• Published 8th Mar 2015
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Blooming Talent - Griffin Productions



Apple Bloom wants to become a great martial artist. There is only one being in the entire multiverse who can teach her the best: Son Goku. (Dragonball/MLP Crossover)

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...and He Shall Appear

Apple Bloom floated thirty feet off the ground as she concentrated on not losing her balance mid-air. If she tilted to far forward or back, she'd do flips, and then panic, and then fall. She was not going to do that again. She was slowly getting the hang of it though, and that was enough to keep her head held high, both figuratively and literally.

"You've made astounding progress, Apple Bloom." Gohan congratulated. "I'm actually very impressed. You achieved more in a few hours than Videl did in days."

There was another name that was brought up again: Videl. It sounded like a pretty name. "Who's this Videl?"

Gohan blinked. She guessed he hadn't been expecting that question.

After a moment, he chuckled, and put his hand behind his head.

"Oh, she's my wife." He smiled.

Now it was Apple Bloom's turn to blink in surprise. She didn't think Gohan had been married. It wasn't that he wasn't attractive (how could he not be; he was Goten's older brother), but she hadn't seen his wife at all while they'd been at Goku's. Maybe they lived elsewhere? But then...

"How come you don't live with her?" She asked.

Gohan, once again not expecting the sudden interrogation, answered. "Well, every once in awhile I return to mom and dad's for a couple weeks. It's just a family thing. I still live with her and our daughter in the city."

"You have a daughter, too?"

"Mhm." He answered with a grin. "She's nine years old now. Her name's Pan, and despite her size, she's a feisty one."

"Feisty, huh?" Apple Bloom repeated. "Sounds like somethin' Applejack would've used to describe me."

"Actually," Gohan suddenly stated. "you two are quite a bit alike in some ways."

She looked at him questioningly. "How so?"

"Well, for one thing, you both have this drive to do what ever is put in front of you." He said. "After dad introduced her to fighting, she trained with us every chance she got, and then she won the Budokai tournament. Come to think of it, that was the one last year."

Apple Bloom scratched her head. When she was a little filly, everyone scolded her for fighting, even just verbally. The customs here sure were strange, but not entirely unwelcome. At least it meant the little tyke could protect herself if it came down to it. That way she wouldn't end up like...

She shook her head, displacing the memory. She had had a decent day so far, and was not going to let anything interfere with that.

"I think it's time for a small break." Gohan said, stretching his limbs. "Let's return to the ground and rest for a few."

She nodded and clumsily, but quickly descended with the half-saiyan. Goku was down on the ground kicking an imaginary opponent like greased lightning. How someone could move that fast was beyond her, but hey, she had just learned to fly without wings. Maybe she'd also learn to move that fast as well. Wouldn't the ponies be surprised when she returned to Equestria, whenever that would be.

Goku looked over as they neared the grass laden surface.

"Hey, good work up there Apple Bloom." He said, giving a thumbs up. "You're a natural."

"Thanks, Goku." She replied, a proud smile on her lips. "But I know I can get even better!"

"That's the spirit!" He said. "But it's getting pretty late in the afternoon, and my stomach is pretty angry right now. Let's eat!"

The three sat down and prepared to get some dinner in their bellies, but Gohan had noticed they were short a few supplies, including water. Goku had said they would fly to a small town nearby to get the missing things, and Apple Bloom had decided to stay put and keep training while they went off.

After making sure she wanted to do so, they flew off at unbelievable speed, leaving the young mare to keep attempting to do more than float. She failed to notice, however, that they weren't the only hungry ones in the area...

Demon King Gaki waited in the trees nearby, watching the pony. He had been biding his time until the saiyans were unable to interfere in his hunt. Horses were rare in this part of the countryside, and this young pony looked like a delicacy to the brute.

He unsheathed his massive sword, and began to maneuver out of her line of sight so as to catch her off guard. His cloven hooves made surprisingly little sound against the twig covered dirt as he moved. When he was sure he had a good striking position, he leapt out, giving a hungry battle cry; his sharp teeth gnashing in his pig snout.

Apple Bloom turned around in time to see the massive man-pig-goat thing that was coming right at her, gargantuan sword held overhead and ready to cleave the mare in two.

With a surprised yelp, she jumped into the air, and floated just far enough to not get sliced by the blade as it cut a swath in the place she had just been standing. She made a face in triumph at the beast, but then quickly realized all the momentum from her leap had gone away, and now she was just hovering.

The Demon King licked his lips in anticipation, grabbing up at her greedily with his filthy hands.

She attempted to turn around and fly off, but she had turned to fast, and shifted her weight far too much, and was now spinning in the air helpless, unable to regain her mid-air balance.

She felt her tail being yanked on, and let out an involuntary grunt of pain as she was pulled from the sky. She then found herself staring into the face of Demon King Gaki.

"I, uh, don't suppose we could talk about this?" She tried.

When the demon opened his mouth, she decided there was no way that would happen, and began to kick frantically at him; maybe she would knock a tooth out or something, and he'd drop her in pain.

Her legs were only a few inches to short though to contact the bones on the edges of the huge maw waiting to swallow her whole, however.

As she closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable, heard a familiar voice call out; "Hey!"

She thought she had imagined it at first, and risked opening her eyes to confirm. She was not disappointed, as what she saw was Goten connecting a big kick with the creatures jaw joint.

As the attack connected, Gaki dropped Apple Bloom, and she quickly got to her hooves to watch Goten change position in mid-air and drop a guillotine kick atop the monster's skull.

He flipped back and landed on the ground as the demon reeled in sudden pain, taking a stance Apple Bloom didn't recognize.

Goten was kneeled down slightly, knees bent and legs spread. His torso was twisted to one side, and his hands were held near each other as if holding a ball or something of that nature.

"Kamehameha!" Goten shouted in a quick breath.

He launched his hands forward and a brilliant beam of blue energy blasted into Gaki, sending him flying backwards into the forest. Goten held the pose for a moment, and once satisfied he had done his job, he straightened up, and looked at Apple Bloom with a goofy grin.

Goofy as it was, it still made her heart skip a beat.

He walked over to her, a small bit of concern on his face. "Are you ok?"

She nodded, her mouth agape. "How'd...how'd ya do that?" She asked.

"Do what?" Goten asked, innocently.

"That!" She blurted. "That whole 'fwoosh' thing you shot out of your hands!"

"Oh, that!" Goten laughed. "That was just my Kamehameha. It's a family technique, everyone in our household knows it."

She wasn't any less confused now than when she had asked, but she settled on that answer for now. She had another question shewanted to ask anyway.

"What are y'all doin' here? I thought you were back at your house."

Goten shrugged, chuckling nervously. "Well, heh, I was bored without my new friend no longer around, and so I decided to follow you guys on your trip."

New friend? Was he talking about her? She hoped he was talking about her. That meant he thought of her as much as she thought of him...ok, maybe not that much, but enough to care to some extent.

Goku and Gohan returned suddenly, a small wind break popping a soon as they halted.

"We sensed an evil power back here!" Goku said. "Are you ok?"

"She's ok, dad!" Goten waved. "I took care of it."

Goku looked a bit shocked to see his youngest son. Gohan looked jumbled.

"Goten?!" Gohan blurted. "What are you doing here?! Did you sneak out?!"

"Uhm...no..?"

"Oh, no. You did sneak out!" Gohan answered himself, putting his hand to his face.

"IT's not like it's a big deal, Gohan." Goten protested as his brother calmed down. "It's a weekend."

"But if you snuck out, do you know what mom is gonna do to you?"

"Oh..."

Goku couldn't help but laugh loudly as his sons bickered.

"Dad, why are you laughing? This isn't funny!" Gohan said, turning to Goku.

Goku calmed himself enough to talk, and breathed in before replying. "Hey, look on the bright side. He saved Apple Bloom. If he hadn't snuck out, Apple Bloom might have been hurt."

Apple Bloom nodded quickly. "It's true! If Goten hadn't shown up, I'd be lunch meat right now."

She realized just how true that statement was. Now not only had Goten saved her from nigh terrors, he'd physically saved her from a monster. If this kept up, she was going to feel mighty embarrassed having to be saved all the time by her crush.

After a bit of discussion, it was decided that Goten could stay with them on their journey, much to Apple Bloom's excitement. Goku had volunteered to take Chi Chi's anger, or at least the blunt end of it. Besides, it was always good to have a back-up.

The group continued Apple Bloom's flying training on the go as they soared over the treetops; Goten and Gohan on either side of her should she fall. She found it much easier to fly now that Goten was here. It was like just seeing him really did make her light as air. When she attempted an aerial backflip, though, she found out really quick that it was much harder than Rainbow Dash had made it look, and had to be stabilized by her half-saiyan escorts.

As night fell upon the countryside, the four decide to set up camp and sleep for the night. Goku was in dreamland almost instantly, and Gohan wasn't too far after.

Apple Bloom, however, was huddled up by their fire. She didn't know if she might have another memory come back to her in her sleep, and even if Goten was here, the fear still kept her from even shutting her eyes and attempting to get some rest.

Goten seemed to still be awake as well, because he rolled over a few feet to lay by her, and poked her in the side, which slightly startled her.

"You ok?" He asked. "You look kinda pale, even under your fur."

She sighed. "Yah, I reckon I'm alright. I just can't see to find the will to sleep."

"Well, why not?" Goten asked, moving to sit upright next to her.

Apple Bloom had to resist the urge to lean against him.

"I'm...I'm afraid the nightmares will come back if I do..." She told him.

"Hm? But I thought you were finally done with the nightmares?"

"One night without 'em don't mean it's gone for good, silly." She said, giving a slight smile.

"Well, why do you suppose you keep having them then?" The young half-saiyan questioned.

She herself wasn't even sure. The fact that they were all memories she had experienced made it even more confusing than if they were random terrifying imaginings. They had all been traumatizing events, sure, but this was ridiculous and without explanation as to why they kept repeating themselves in her sleep. She also wondered why Princess Luna had not done anything about them yet. When Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo had had awful night terrors, Luna had always been present to help them through it. She would've thought that it ws because se was in a new part of the multiverse, but even back in Equestria, she had done nothing. That meant that she either couldn't do anything about them, or that Apple Bloom simply wasn't worth the time...

"I don't know, Goten..." She finally said. "But sometimes, I just feel plum useless..."

Goten raised an eyebrow at her, looking at her as if to say "go on."

"These nightmares..." She continued. "they're not really nightmares...they're bad memories. Things that I've experienced that I never wanted to experience again, but for some reason my dreams keep forcing me too...and in each one...I've been unable to help my friends...my family...or myself..."

She took a deep breath as she felt a few tears forming in he eyes. She didn't want to cry in front of Goten and look like a filly.

"That's why I came here, yknow? Why I came to train with your father. Back home, I lost a few good friends, and all of my household family to my helplessness...in fact...you saving me today...reminded me of when my sister...when my--my sister..."

She wasn't going to be able to finish that last sentence, or she would burst into sobs. She suddenly felt a warmth around her body, and looked to see Goten's strong arms embracing her and holding her close to him. She buried her face in his shoulder and started to let it come out. Her tears flowed down her muzzle and landed on his shirt, causing wet spots to appear all over it. She'd have to apologize for that later, she thought to herself.

After a minute or two, she got her crying under control, and Goten backed off just enough to look down at her.

"You came to become stronger and be able to prevent things like what happened to your family and friends from happening to anyone else. I get that, Apple Bloom. It's a very awesome thing for you to do."

He smiled, wiping a tear away from her eye and slowly stroking her mane with his other hand. "But it won't happen over night. You have to train, and that could take anywhere from months to years to get to even my level, especially since you aren't part saiyan."

He brought her to his chest and slowly rocked her back and forth. She returned his embrace, wrapping her forelegs around his torso and placing her head under his chin as he continued to stroke her back.

"Just because I had to save you today, doesn't mean someone is always gonna have to save you." He said, encouragingly. "I mean, heck, by the time we're done with training you, you could go find that demon and kick his butt in three seconds flat."

She let out a rough laugh, and a genuine smile spread across her face. He was saying such nice things. She jut hoped to goodness that they were things that were true. She didn't want to rely on sompony else all the time to fix her problems. It was time she paid her helpers back.

It might have been the courage gained from his close proximity, but she asked Goten something she still couldn't believe she had the guts to say after only knowing him such a short time.

"Goten...do you think...you could sleep close to me...yknow, kinda like how are now...I mea, just in case..the nightmares come back..."

Goten chuckled, which was a good sign. "As long as I don't get woke up by a big karate hoof chop, you got a deal."

Her heart did a backflip, and as Goten laid down on his back, she curled up into his warm and gentle embrace once more. She placed her head on his chest. and his rhythmic heartbeat lulled her to sleep as she closed her eyes.

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