It was a bright and sunny day at the World Martial Arts Tournament. There, they would have the annual Youth Tag-Team Tournament. Many youngsters had showed up to participate in the tournament, some with parents and others with masters.
"We're gonna whoop 'em Ted!" an excited voice cried. The voice belonged to eight year old LT Tiernan. The lavender-haired boy's eyes sparkled with delight as he turned to his set partner for the championship, a smaller boy with wild black hair, about seven years old. Both boys stood on one end of the arena.
"We sure are LT!" Ted chirped. He grinned broadly at his partner. Roshai watched the two cheerful boys from the stands. He had trained them, upon their insistence, for the championship. Goku Reigen, presently ten years old, had declined Roshai's offer to prepare him for the tournament as well, as the boy wanted merely to spectate. DJ sat in the stands too, pouting about being forbidden to participate, which was the boy's own fault for getting in trouble.
DJ was yet another Saiyan child that escaped the onslaught of Frieza. Roshai was taking care of the boy, of course. DJ was even more of a troublemaker than LT was, though he was more obvious than LT was as well. Roshai often called DJ a "little demon".
The matches were set. The first match would have LT and Ted against Ryne and Amir. Ryne was ten years old, stocky and short, with blond hair. Amir was dark-skinned, had a buzz-cut, and was tall and thin at age thirteen.
The match began promptly. LT dove at Ryne, a barrage of kicks and punches easily knocking the boy over. Amir ran to assist Ryne, but found that Ted had somehow climbed atop his shoulders. The tiny Saiyan boy yanked on Amir's ears, the boy stumbling as he tried to remove the small Saiyan from his back. In the confusion, LT jabbed Ryne in the stomach and sent the boy flying out of bounds accidentally with a punch. Ted managed to hop off of Amir at the right moment, as the older boy ran head-first into the wall. Amir was out cold, and LT and Ted were promptly proclaimed the winners.
Roshai purchased DJ an ice cream, which proved beneficial in getting the boy to stop pouting. They watched as Thinh and Dan, two young Asian martial artists, took out Kupo and Joga, both clocking in at twelve and fourteen. Then they also watched Malik and Dre defeat Weyne and Koruv. The last match of the first round of battles was interesting; a tough Chinese duo known as Tri and Jian fought and defeated the duo of Luther and Corey.
The next round pitted LT and Ted against Thinh and Dan, which was still an easy win for them. The semifinal match, however, was tougher.
Tri was fast on his feet, dodging a good deal of LT's attacks. LT cursed inwardly; he and Ted had promised they would not use their full power, so dodging Tri was much harder. Jian was a hard hitter, and Ted winced at a good deal of his blows. But eventually, the human boys were no match for the Saiyan duo, and they had lost when they exhausted themselves to defeat.
The champions of the past tournaments remained, waiting for the new challengers. The champions were a set of twins, Nat and Pat. Both were dark-haired and dark-eyed, a certain knowledge of fighting seemed to come from them.
All this time, Ted had watched and waited, observed carefully. Nat and Pat relied heavily on teamwork of a sort, even though part of their strategy was somewhat dishonest. The twins, or one of them alone, would knock one teammate (the perceived follower to the other) down long enough to knock the other partner (perceived leader) out of bounds. The tactic was underhanded for the tournament, but not illegal, and the twins enjoyed the lap of luxury as champions.
But Ted noticed in the practice matches leading up to the finals that Nat and Pat were not so clean-cut. The twins would be identical, but Pat was plump, and blundered more often than his twin. Ted had seen Nat yell at Pat for every little mistake made, but when Nat made a mistake, he either yelled at Pat for "contradicting him" (pointing out that Nat had made the mistake) or Nat would find some way to pass the blame on his twin, who bore it with the same shame he was accustomed to.
The time for their match finally came, and LT and Ted stared down the twins from their end of the arena. The match began.
Ted launched himself at Pat, punching. LT and Nat circled each other, eyes locked. Ted and Pat were trying to match their fists and dodges, but for every punch Pat threw that missed Ted, he received two or three successful ones back. Ted punched rapidly with ease, enjoying the simplicity of the battle, his primal urges enjoying the intense feeling and satisfying their need to punch and bruise and hurt. Pat's forehead was dotted with sweat, his punches lacking the same pep they had at the start. LT and Nat wrestled, trying to grapple the other. Ted launched his fist upward, catching Pat on the chin in a swift, strong uppercut. Pat screamed and went flying. Ted ran to assist LT, who was throwing punches at a fallen Nat.
Nat was being pummeled furiously by both little boys, and he screamed for Pat to help. Pat, as bruised, sore and tired as he was, dutifully rushed to pull Ted off of his brother. But it was of no avail, for Pat soon stumbled after a punch to the stomach Ted willingly gave, and he fell out of bounds. Nat screamed at Pat. but took an uppercut from LT that shut him up, and Ted kicked him in the stomach. Nat had passed out from the pain. Ted and LT were the champions.
Just as a man carried the trophy over, Ted stepped forward.
"LT and I want to decline championship status. There is a team here that deserves a chance that we got, and we'd like to ask permission if they can fight and try for champion instead." Ted shouted.
"But you already won..." the man said.
"Yeah, but that's just because we wanted to see what the fight would be like. We wanted the challenge. Tri and Jian should be here." LT said.
"I suppose. Make sure those two are ready first thing in the morning for the battle." the announcer sighed.
Nat was furious. He and Pat had lost to those little brats, Ted and LT. As to how kids their age could be even so strong, Nat was shocked. The eight year old brat, LT, had grappled him with strength beyond that of a kid. He was something else.
But then again, it was Pat's fault. If Pat wasn't such a blundering idiot, Nat would still be an undefeated champion. But now, his record was forever stained with this embarrassing defeat to two little kids. It was Pat's fault, as it always was!
Nat looked at Pat, and he saw a world of imperfections. Pat was chubby. Pat was clumsy. Pat wasn't ruthless. Pat was a bumbling, emotion-ridden fool. And yet, they had been born twins, and Nat was stuck with Pat having the undeserved title as his "twin". It angered Nat. Every time Nat looked at Pat, he saw a failed version of himself, the scapegoat of all of his shame. It was all Pat. If Nat was born with a twin identical to him in every way, he would still be a champion, undefeated. But instead he was given Pat. His championship, his desire to be the best was always thwarted by his pathetic twin's bumbling.
After the loss, when they were recovering for tomorrow's match, Nat had struck Pat and screamed at him. He had only struck Pat once before, maybe twice, and both times he had held back a bit. But this time, he hit Pat with full force, and gave him a push and a kick too. He screamed out all of Pat's imperfections to him. Pat cried, the great blubbering fool. Somewhere in Pat's heart, he had ignorance when it came to Nat's indifferent nature to him and thought it was possible to earn his twin's acceptance and love. Feh...love. Nat loved no one. When he was old enough, he had left home. Pat followed, of course, crying about his homesickness and wetting himself, but Nat's abuse was enough to scare those behaviors out of him, in time. Nat was proud of himself; in instilling fear in Pat, he was able to control him, while the occasional (and always public and before an audience) displays of affection that made Nat look good kept Pat loyal.
Nat, with a foolish state of mind, believed that every partnership they had encountered had a leader. He assumed this sorry sort of ignorance from the basis of his own partnership, where he was the leader, of course. He didn't know that Tri and Jian were both equally matched and so in-sync with one another that their teamwork was superb.
When the match began, Nat targeted Tri, who he assumed was the leader due to his height. Tri was fast, but Nat could fight a fast opponent. He heard Pat's groans as Jian punched and kicked without mercy, and Nat was secretly pleased that Pat was taking such a beating; served him right for having been the cause of their loss to young boys.
Tri kicked Nat's feet out from under him, and the surprised Nat fell, somewhat disoriented. He saw Pat rolling on the ground with pain nearby. Tri and Jian joined their hands, palm to palm, with one arm over their heads and another joined low towards their waist.
Fog seeped into the arena, and clouded their two opponents from view. At a shout from Nat, Pat - in pain - was standing at attention. A strong and sudden wind blew away the fog, revealing two Tris and two Jians.
The two Tris ran forward and grabbed Nat, throwing him to the ground and pummeling him viciously. Nat screamed for Pat to help him, and his twin dutifully pulled one Tri off of him while enduring punches from both Jians. Nat leaped up, grabbed the fallen Tri, and threw him out of bounds. The Tri dispersed, clearly a doppelganger.
Nat seized the opportunity to lunge at the remaining Tri, his target now confirmed. He heard Pat fall, and saw the two Jians drag the groaning Pat to the wall, but Nat pretended not to notice.
He heard Pat begin wildly screaming for his help as Pat was pressed against the wall, vulnerable, with both Jians beating him viciously. Nat ignored his twin brother's screams, which grew more pained and more desperate and frightened by the moment. Nat kept ignoring Pat, but Pat's annoying screams filled his ears and danced around his head, filling him with more and more rage. The rage exploded, and he knocked Tri out of bounds.
"Bye Tri!" Nat shouted, giddy with delight. There was something odd; the area was too silent.
Nat looked at his fallen opponent and grinned, but looked abashed when Tri looked up at him, waved, and mouthed something.
Nat spun around in time to see both Jians let Pat fall; Pat was unconscious and heavily battered. It had been one of the Jians that had spoken, and with a flash of light, one turned into Tri. The real Tri.
Nat gulped and drew up his fists. Pat's body lay, fallen. Nat called out to Pat once or twice, but realized it was futile; Pat was out of the match completely. Nat, fearing being injured to such an extent, and facing both opponents, made a decision.
"I surrender!" Nat squealed. "I give!"
Both Tri and Jian grinned at each other.
Nat watched with contempt as the trophy was handed to Tri and Jian, hailed the new champions. That trophy was his, not theirs. They had no right to hold it, much less touch it. He would kill for that trophy, and decided he should.
Nat sprung into the air, floating, a concentrated beam of energy in hand, preparing to pierce Tri's heart.
Ted saw Nat preparing to shoot Tri, and he cried out, racing over. But he slammed into the barrier that prevented outside interference. LT joined him, and the two of them almost danced around the outside of the arena, ready to jump in once the barrier was breached. From the stands, Roshai began trying to breach the barrier with his energy.
"Nat, stop!" a voice cried. It was Pat, who stood below. "This isn't right! They beat us! They deserve to-"
"Shut up Pat!" Nat screamed, frenzied. "It's all your fault! We lost twice now! I'm not a champion and it's YOUR fault! You're such a failure and I wish you were never born! I HATE you! I could have won without you! WON!"
He aimed the beam at Tri, who was frozen with shock, then turned abruptly before it fired, the malice and hatred in his heart fueling one of the most shocking events Ted would ever see.
Tri remained standing after it fired, but Pat gaped at Nat, a hole in his chest. He fell over, blood pumping from his body and staining the floor of the arena red. Pat convulsed violently, then finally lay still and unmoving, the blood pooling around him and growing greater by the second. Nat laughed a high and insane laugh.
At that moment, Roshai made a breach in the barrier and mentally conveyed the location of the breach to Ted and LT, who entered it at once. Ted teleported silently behind Nat, who laughed insanely at Pat's body and LT moved to get to Pat to see if there was hope of him being alive. Ted screwed his eyes shut, convinced himself that what he was doing was the right thing, then grabbed Nat's neck and sharply twisted. A crack told him Nat's neck was broken, and he almost instantly felt Nat's insane pulse fade, and thus, the rogue champion was dead. Nat's body fell and broke even more. Nat lay broken, not even ten feet from Pat.
Both twins had died, all within five minutes.
Ted closed his eyes.