Age Means Nothing in Matters of the Heart
An after DBGT Trunks & Pan fic
He swept her up like she weighed nothing - which, of course, she didn't compared to his sheer strength. What was she doing here, outside of his condo, sleeping with her back against his door? It had been quite awhile since he had seen her last. He noted how she had grown over the past two years since the defeat of the shadow dragons. When his eyes fell upon her face, he noted the tear trails that stained her cheeks. Because fumbling with his keys to unlock the door, while holding her, was an annoyance, he effortlessly kicked the door off of its hinges.
Of course, the commotion caused her to bolt awake and attempt to free herself from her vice-like restraints. Disorientated about her surroundings, she kicked her legs and pushed against a rock hard, muscular chest to no avail. Lack of training over the past couple years of peace had left her weak compared to the man who didn't even strain to keep his hold on her.
"Pan, it's alright. Calm down," he soothed, while walking over the threshold with her still in his arms. She became still at the sound of his voice as recognition began to settle over her.
Trunks!?" she exclaimed, raising her wide, dark eyes to his. Only the light from outside illuminated the room through the open doorway, behind them, leaving his face overshadowed.
With a chuckle, he set her down on the couch and moved to switch a lamp on. "Who else were you expecting?" Leaving her to catch her bearings, the half Saiyajin moved to repair his entry way.
For a few moments, her mind was blank. Hearing his voice made her pulse quicken and she forgot the reason why she had come. Unaware of how much time had passed, she jerked back to her senses when she heard him speak again. "Would you like something to drink?" She looked up to find him standing beside her.
"Thanks," she muttered, reaching to accept the can of soda that he was offering. She brought it down to her lap and stared at it as memories from earlier that evening began to replay through her mind.
"So, Pan, what brings you here so late?" He had been caught up at work, having to stay late to resolve an issue with one of Capsule Corp's new products. How long had she been waiting? A glance at his watch told him that it was ten o'clock at night. "Does anyone know you're here?" He removed his suit jacket and draped it over the back of a chair. How old was she again; he quickly did the calculation in his head, seventeen? Should she be out this late? Why was she here by herself? Did something happen? All of these thoughts ran through Trunks mind as he studied her face. Her eyes were red and swollen. Something pretty serious had to have happened to make her cry. His mind started to race with the possibilities. She continued to stare down at her can of soda, saying nothing. When her lower lip started to quiver, he reached for his cordless phone and dialed Gohan's number.
"That Jerk!" Pan's sudden yell made him drop the phone. "I should have killed him!" She clinched her fists together and the pop can exploded, spraying the carbonated beverage all over herself and the couch. He stared at her, shocked by the dramatic change in her mood.
"Hello? Hello?" The sound of a voice reminded Trunks of the phone. He bent to pick it up from the floor.
"Yes, Hello! Videl? Yeah, it's Trunks
" A glance in Pan's direction revealed how she waved her hands frantically in front of her to get his attention.
"Don't tell her anything," Pan pleaded with him in a whisper.
everything's fine. I just wanted to let you know that I ran into Pan after work, she's with me now. What? She was on a date?" He looked towards Pan to see her slicing her hand across her neck, giving him the signal to cut the conversation off. "I don't know about that, she was alone when we met. Yes
yes. It's no problem at all. You're welcome. Okay, bye."
"For the love of Dende, what did you have to do that for?" Pan jumped off of the couch to question him. "Now I'm going to have to explain what happened!" She wiped at the stickiness on her arms from the soda spray a few minutes before. "Ewwww
With a sigh Trunks moved around the couch, crossing the room to where the kitchen was divided from the living room by a bar table and change in the flooring from carpet to tile. Wetting a dish towel, he returned to wipe the couch of its sticky residue. "Go use the bathroom to clean up," he instructed her.
Pan was more than happy to comply. After she was out of the room, Trunks plopped down on a chair. His head fell against the back of it and he ran his hand through his hair, letting out a frustrated groan. He blamed the swirl of chaos in his head on exhaustion; why should he care that she was dating?
"Trunks?" His name being called pulled him out of his thoughts.
yeah?" He pushed himself up and moved towards the bathroom to better hear her.
"Can I borrow some clothes?" She asked through the door.
Yeah, sure, let me see what I can find." He wasn't sure that he had anything that wouldn't be overly large on her; in fact, he was certain that he didn't. He walked down the short hall to his room, where he dug through his dresser for something that would best fit her; a pair of cut off training pants and an old t-shirt that no longer fit him. Returning to the bathroom door, he knocked on it. "I'll just set these out here," he moved to leave the clothes on the floor when the door opened. Looking up, he found Pan standing in only her bra and panties. Despite his reaction speed to look away, he still noticed just how nicely she had filled out. Clearing his throat awkwardly, he passed the clothes through the door and shuffled away, shaking the image out of his head. He really wasn't supposed to see that
This is why he chose to move into his own place; because of Pan coming over to spend time with his sister, and after the months that they spent together in space, watching her grow up, he soon found that the feelings he had for her were different from those that he felt towards Bura. It wasn't right, she was too young, and Gohan would likely kill him. Had Dende led her to his door only to torture him? If only he could view her like a sister, then he could move on with his life.
"How do I look?" she asked a few minutes later. His cut off training pants fit her like a pair of Capri's. She had found one of his belts in the bathroom and it hung around her waist, over his old t-shirt the sleeves of which had been torn off ages ago that fit loosely around her small frame. Her hair was brushed neatly down her back, reaching to her waist. Trunks was at a loss for words. Her giggle snapped him out of his daze. He blinked and looked away from her, muttering his approval.
"So, what happened to your date?" He decided it was best to change the subject, though he nearly stumbled over the word 'date.'
" she sat down in a chair, leaning forward and fiddling with her fingers. "It was nothing that I couldn't handle."
Trunks leaned back against the couch and crossed his arms. The scene he found when he came home told a different story. Sure, she probably handled it physically, but not emotionally. He raised an eyebrow and waited for her to continue.
Pan sighed, "Look, I took care of it already. Beat him good for it too. Don't worry about it."
Trunks nodded. He didn't doubt that she taught him a lesson that he wouldn't forget, but the image of her tear stained face told him that there was more. "I'm more concerned about what happened to make you cry."
Her back straightened at the mention of her crying and the familiar hard look that he knew when she was angry could be seen in her eyes. "I wasn't crying!"
Trunks shrugged. She could deny it all she wanted, but it didn't explain anything. "What happened, Pan?" He narrowed his eyes and fixed her with his own cold stare, demanding that she spit it out.
With a sigh she looked away, down at her hands, and continued to fidget. "Just promise you won't tell Dad."
"Alright," he nodded.
"He tried to force himself on me." Her voice was quiet, almost a whisper.
It took all of his self control to keep from exploding. The thought of somebody
anybody, being with her in such a way caused an inferno of furry to build within him; and not in a fatherly or brotherly manner. She must have picked up on some of this, because she began to explain everything in a rush.
"We've been dating for three months now. He's the first guy that hasn't been scared away by my strength. Things just got a little hot and heavy. It's my fault, I enjoyed his kisses and the way he touched me. I could have stopped him sooner, but I didn't. If I had, it wouldn't have gone so far. He's not a bad guy, honest. I just freaked
Trunks clenched and unclenched his fists and had to stand up to walk across the room towards the kitchen to calm himself; she had provided more information then he cared to hear about. Something bubbled under his rage, something disturbing, was it jealousy? This wasn't right, he shouldn't feel like this. Struggling against these emotions he spoke as calmly as he could manage. "I hope you gave him a good beating."
Pan nodded and let out a sigh of relief, having been afraid of his reaction. He appeared to be taking it better then she expected; her father and uncle would surely have rushed off to kill the guy. She knew that Trunks would be different, that he would understand. He always seemed to understand her better than anyone. In a flash she was hugging him from behind. "Thank you!"
Trunks momentarily stiffened, the feeling of her body pressed against his back quenched the fire of rage within him and replaced it with a burning passion that he fought against. Closing his eyes, he let out a breath of exasperation. "You should get going home. Your parents are waiting."
He felt her grip loosen from around him and she nodded her head against his back. "Thanks again, Trunks! I'm so glad I could turn to you!" She released him and let herself out. Trunks didn't move until after he heard the door close behind her. Gripping the bar table, he came to the realization that the feelings he was having weren't healthy and that he needed to do something to change them.
Two months passed before he saw her again. In his attempt to abate the feelings that he had developed over the years for the younger quarter Saiyajin, Trunks had made the decision to start dating. The problems with this plan were that women tended to want him for two things; his looks and his money.
Pan was different. Pan never cared about money. Looks, maybe, but she never showed evidence of it. Pan, she was growing into a fine young woman, but he was fourteen years her senior. Her Uncle was his best friend, her father was like a brother, and her grandfather was a mentor.
"Trunks, earth to Trunks. Here, carry this for me." Trunks was pulled out of his thoughts by Marron as she passed off another bag full of new clothes to him he was already carrying four and stood on her toes to kiss his cheek. It was a Saturday and she had talked him into taking her to the mall. "Oh Wow! Look at that! They're the latest designer boots. They would look great with my new outfit!" Trunks sighed in defeat and watched as she ran to the shoe store. Exhausted from trudging through store after store on his day off, he collapsed on a bench that was situated in the middle of the hall way, and dropped his her merchandise on the floor. His feet were killing him. He'd rather be training with his father. Leaning his head back on his shoulders, he looked up at the ceiling and then closed his eyes, blowing out a breath.
"Where would you like to go now?" A familiar voice made Trunks tilt his head further back to look, upside-down, behind him.
" her name passed through his lips when their eyes met.
"Trunks!" she called and ran towards him, pulling a boy with reddish-brown hair cut into a longer version of his same hair style and vivid green eyes. "What are you doing here?"
Trunks sat back up as she rounded the bench and came to a stop in front of him. "Hey there, Pan."
"Wow, that's a lot of stuff," Pan commented about the bags surrounding him. "Did Bura drag you out shopping again?" she giggled. The sound was like music to his ears.
"Uh, no. It's Marron."
Pan's expression froze for a brief moment. "O
" Was that disappointment that he heard in her voice? If it was, she recovered quickly. "Oh, yeah, Trunks, this is Daichi! Daichi, this is Trunks. He's a friend of the family and
"The president of Capsule Corp.," the young man cut her off to say. He held out his hand to shake. "It is an honor to meet you, sir! My father works for your company."
Keeping a blank expression, Trunks shook his hand; his grip seemed firm enough. He had an athletic build, and a pretty boy look, but he shook Trunks hand with too much enthusiasm. The smile on his face seemed too carefree, as if he was trying too hard to impress someone. Trunks studied the boy for any flaw he could find. Was he the same one who had made Pan cry? A quick glance at her, and she seemed to read his unspoken question. She looked wide eyed and worried.
"It's okay, everything was worked out. It hasn't happened again," she replied with a smile. Trunks felt a sharp pain in his chest watching her wrap her arms around one of this boys and pull him closer. She looked happy enough. Who was he to step in her way, besides, why should it matter to him? This was only brotherly concern, right?
Unsure of what she was talking about, Daichi released the handshake and brought his hand to the back of his neck, letting out a nervous laugh. Trunks silence made him feel awkward.
"If it does happen again, your father and uncle will have to wait until I'm through with him before they get a piece. If there are any pieces left." It was an obvious threat. Trunks eyes narrowed as he stared at the boy before him.
Daichi swallowed and his look became serious as he took a wild guess about the topic of the conversation. He returned the older man's stare, somehow managing to hold his resolve, and nodded his understanding.
well, It was nice to see you, Trunks, but we should get going," she looked at the clock that hung down from the ceiling. "Look at the time, when does that movie start again? Okay, well, see ya later, bye." Trunks watched as she hurried past him and continued on her way, all the while clinging to that boy. Unconsciously, he clenched and unclenched his fists.
"Well now, that was rather amusing," Marron spoke, stepping up to his side. She had been standing behind the young couple, observing them, and would have liked to greet Pan herself, but the entire scene seemed too tense. When Trunks didn't seem to notice her she raised an eyebrow. What was with this situation? Trunks wasn't even this overprotective of his own sister, and it wasn't like Pan was lacking in people to take care of her; not that she couldn't take care of herself. "Hey," she touched his arm to get his attention. "Come on, let's go, and don't forget my things."
Four months later, Trunks was sitting at his desk at work. There was a pile of paperwork that needed to be reviewed, approved, or signed. It was a gorgeous day outside, and the blue skies beckoned to him. With his chin resting in one hand, he tapped the end of his pen on the document that he was currently reading. It had something to do with revisions to an earlier prototype for a capsule bot that was essentially a maid. The original version had a glitch in its system and could only be programmed to handle one task at a time. This newer version could not only be programmed with an entire day's worth of chores, it would repeat its tasks on a given schedule for an entire week before needing to be recharged. It was every housewife's dream.
Finally on the last page of the report, he signed it and flipped the pages over onto the pile of approved proposals. That was the last of it. His desk calendar now stared at him. A large red circle brought his attention to a particular date. It marked Pan's eighteenth birthday, a week from today. If they were having a party, he hadn't yet been informed. The day, itself, was during the week. So a party would likely be on the weekend. Yet, if he wasn't mistaken, her graduation was coming up soon, so he wondered if they would be combining the two parties. In any case, he decided that he'd like to do something special for her on her actual birth date.
When that day arrived, Trunks showed up at her school in the company limo to take her out for lunch. He had already made the necessary phone calls to keep it a surprise. Expecting his arrival, the school pulled her out of class early.
Trunks? What are you doing here? Is everything alright?" she questioned when she saw him waiting for her in the office.
He grinned upon seeing her dressed in her school uniform. Because of the potential for raised suspicion if a school girl, dressed in her school uniform, was seen dining with a businessman, not only had he changed out of his suit into a pair of black pants with a black, short sleeved button down shirt the top buttons of which were left undone but he had brought something for her to change into as well; having managed to call her off for the rest of the school day. "Here, go put this on," he handed the shopping bag to her. It was something that Marron had picked out.
kay, but, what's going on?"
"It's a surprise."
Pan cast him a questioning look, but when he didn't yield, left to change in the bathroom. When she returned, a knot caught in his throat and he stared at her in wonder. She looked very professional and like a lovely young women dressed in a black pencil skirt and blousy style white top that had a necklace type neckline. She stood with her hands on her hips, glaring daggers at him. "What's up with this getup, Trunks?
Raising a hand to the back of his neck, Trunks replied with a nervous laugh, "It really becomes you. You look very mature."
Pan's arms relaxed at her side and the blood rushed to her cheeks. "Don't be ridiculous." She looked away from him and crossed her arms over her chest. "So what's this about?"
Trunks grinned, admiring this side of her, and stepped to her side to offer his arm for her to take. "Shall we go?" She looked up at him, her surprise was obvious, and seemed a bit tentative to take his arm. He was willing to bet that she hadn't ever been treated in a gentlemanly manner like this before. This caused a flutter of hope in his heart, which he suppressed. He reminded himself of their age difference and close family ties. Plus, she already had a boyfriend.
After helping her into the limo, Trunks slid into the seat beside her and they were whisked away, flying off to their destination. Not having ever been in such a luxurious vehicle before, Pan examined all of its features; it's double seats that faced each other and were long enough to lay down on, its spacious flooring, the radio, sunroof, even a mini refrigerator. He couldn't help but to chuckle at her childlike innocence; it was one of the things that he loved about her.
They arrived at the Akabeko, a famous and expensive steak house and sushi lounge. After stepping out of the limo, Pan stared up at the towering building, the first three floors of which belonged to the restaurant; the first floor was for business casual dining, the second floor consisted of the bar, and the third floor contained grandiose halls for parties and conventions. Her mouth dropped and she began to babble illegibly. "What? Why? Trunks, this is
Oh good Dende, why are we here?"
Trunks gave a whole hearted laugh. Never before had he enjoyed the fortune of his mother's company more than he did now. Her reaction made it all worth it; the knowledge that this wasn't something she expected, like every other woman who only saw him for what he was financially worth. "It is a treat, in celebration of your birthday."
birthday? But we're celebrating it along with my graduation party next month."
Taking her arm, he looped it around his own and led her forward. "Consider this extra."
They were seated in a court yard in the center of the building. The tables were made of wrought iron and had a glass top. The matching wrought iron chairs had plush green and white ivy print cushions. The ceiling was made entirely of skylights, creating a green house effect that was responsible for the lush garden that surrounded them. Pan stared around at everything in awe. "It's so beautiful!"
Trunks nodded. He supposed she was right, but by now the scene was so familiar to him that its affect no longer fazed him. He was more interested in the transformation of the young woman before him.
"So, how's the relationship with Marron going?" Pan's question pulled him out of his thoughts and he frowned about the changes that it brought to his mood.
It hasn't gone very far, to be honest." The relationship was really only for appearances. The one good thing about it was that it kept all of the other women from continuing to pursue him. He realized four months ago that a serious relation with Marron wouldn't work. Though they never talked about it, Marron seemed to agree. Whenever they were together it was never any different from hanging out with an old friend.
"Oh, I see, I'm sorry,"
Trunks shrugged, "Don't be, it's fine, really." He was grateful that the waitress appeared and gave him the chance to get off of the subject.
After they ordered their food, Trunks took the opportunity to ask about her own relationship. "How are things with
" he paused to try to remember the name. "Daichi? He hasn't tried anything again, has he?"
"No, he's been the perfect gentlemen." Well, maybe not as perfect compared to this, she thought, referring to all of the special treatment that Trunks had been giving her.
"Is that so?" Trunks hoped that he didn't sound disappointed. Even if he knew that he shouldn't hope for more, he couldn't help but hate the idea of her being with someone else. He would have preferred that the guy tried something again for the sheer enjoyment of taking out his frustration. Wow, he was starting to sound like his father; wanting to beat someone or something for the sole purpose of making himself feel better. Even if the reasons were different, it was basically the same.
Not liking the direction that she felt the conversation was going, Pan asked about family and work. After their food was brought out, she talked about her family and school. As expected for being Gohan's daughter, she was graduating with honors and was her classes' valedictorian. Trunks wasn't surprised and expressed his congratulations and his pride.
"How about some ice cream?" Trunks asked when they had finished eating. Pan's eyes lit up, making him laugh. She was ever the kid, no matter how mature she looked. They both stood to leave, Trunks having charged the bill, and walked to Pan's favorite Parlor. She ordered a sugar cone with two scoops; he ordered one scoop in a bowl. They sat down on a bench outside and proceeded to eat while sharing memories from when she was younger.
School had recently let out for the day. There were many school kids there as well; it was a popular hangout spot.
"Remember the time when you were six? I came over to hang out with Goten, but he was stuck on babysitting duty," Trunks reminisced.
Pan laughed, "You'll have to be more specific than that. Which time are you talking about?"
Trunks stuck a scoop of ice cream in his mouth and smiled; she had a good point. "The time when we were all talking about what we would wish for if we gathered all of the Dragon Balls," He watched her face, looking for recognition. "I think Goten's wish was to get you another babysitter." She blinked, lowered her almost finished ice cream cone to her lap and stared down. Whether or not she recalled the memory, he couldn't tell. "You wrote down your wish on a piece of paper because you didn't want me to hear it."
"Pan? What are you doing here? I got worried when I didn't see you at school; thought something happened
What are you wearing?" It was Daichi. Trunks glared at the boy, annoyed by the interruption; Daichi stared at him in return. He knew that look; he had seen it often on his opponents after they realized how much more powerful he was then them.
Daichi!" Pan exclaimed, jumping up from her seat, almost losing her ice cream cone in the process. "Trunks took me out to lunch for my birthday!" she explained.
The young man smiled at her as she bounced over to hug him. "That sounds great; it looks like you had a good time." He looked back at Trunks and gave him a respectful bow. "Thank you for taking care of her." Trunks merely nodded in return, keeping a serious expression. "Well, are you ready to go? Everyone's waiting," Daichi returned his attention to Pan.
Give me a sec." She moved back to give Trunks a hug and kiss on the cheek. "Thanks so much for everything! I really enjoyed myself. Sorry, but we're supposed to meet some friends for cake."
Trunks nodded his understanding and gave her his best smile, despite his regret to see her go - and with him no less. Before she could step away, he took hold of her hand and pressed a small box into her palm, pulling her closer so he could whisper in her ear. "Happy Birthday, Pan. Be sure to open it later, when you're alone." When he released her, their eyes met and he noticed something in her look that he couldn't decipher; she seemed reluctant to go.
"Thanks, again, Trunks!" She gave him that radiant smile that made his heart melt, but it was quick to freeze back over as he watched her return to Daichi's side and the young man took her hand.
No longer in the mood for ice cream, Trunks tossed the plastic bowl into a garbage can located a few meters away.
"I don't think he likes me," Daichi commented when the Parlor was out of sight.
"Hmmm? Who?" Pan had been walking in a daze; her thoughts were a swirling mess of confusion.
Pan sobered at the sound of his name. "I'm sure that's not it. All of the men in my life are really over protective. Just look at Gramps," she said, referring to the Martial Arts world champion, Mr. Satan.
Yeah," Daichi stumbled over the word. "I'm a little anxious about meeting your father and uncle next month."
Giving his hand a gentle squeeze, Pan smiled up at him. "Don't worry, I'll protect you." She wasn't being fair to him. Even knowing that she was stronger than him, he had stayed with her for nine months now. Her thoughts should only be about him. She wrapped her arms around one of his and hugged it. She did love him. Who cared that she was stronger? He was an accomplished athlete in his own right, and one of Gramp's best students.
The couple met up with their friends and, after Pan changed into her usual street clothes which she carried in her backpack because flying home in her school uniform was awkward they went out for karaoke, cake, and more ice cream. Afterwards, Pan thanked everyone, said her goodbyes, and gave Daichi a hug before flying home.
"There's my girl!" her father, Gohan, greeted her with a hug, upon her return. "I was starting to worry that you had flown from the nest already. It's awful late."
"Sorry, Papa!" She returned his hug. "I said I'd be going out with some friends after school."
"Yes, I know, but it's still a school night."
"I know, I'm really sorry, we lost track of time."
Gohan gave her a small smile, but there was a sad look in his eyes. "My little girl's all grown up
"Aww, Papa, not again, we went through this, this morning
" Pan found that he wasn't releasing his hold around her. "No matter how old I get, I'll always be your little girl," she gave in and pat his back. "You're acting like Grandma Chi-Chi."
"What's that? Who's acting like me?" Chi-Chi and Videl appeared in the kitchen doorway.
"Now Gohan, you've been like this all week. Don't you think that's enough, now?" Videl told her husband, walking over to pry him off of their daughter. However, Pan was released from her father only to be smothered by her grandmother.
"My baby's all grown up now!" Chi-Chi cried.
"Now mother, you've been through this twice already. You'd think that you should be a pro by now," Goten followed the older women out of the Kitchen and moved to save his niece from being suffocated. "Hey kiddo, Happy Birthday, how was your lunch date with Trunks?"
"What? You had lunch with Trunks?" This was the first time Gohan was hearing about it.
"He wanted to take Pan out for her birthday, so I let him pick her up early from school?" Videl explained.
Pan was grateful to her Uncle for saving her, but felt an odd fluttering sensation in her stomach at the mention of the other half Saiyajin. She was reminded of the present that he had given to her, but he had said to open it when she was alone. Curiosity claimed her and she faked a yawn. "Well, like dad said, it's a school night. I should get to sleep.
"Of course, Pan" She found herself being hugged again, and soon she was being passed around the room from one person to the next. "Good night," they all told her.
Finally, when all was said and done, Pan let out a sigh of relief and was eager to go to her room. Flopping down on her bed, she dug through her school bag, pulling out her school uniform and the outfit that Trunks had bought for her, until she found her gift. The small rectangular shaped box was professionally wrapped in gold paper and tied with a red bow, which was slightly crushed from being in her backpack. She opened the little package with care, for some reason unable to rip into it. There was a nervous knot in her stomach. Why had he mentioned that particular memory? Of course she remembered it. She had the biggest crush on him when she was little, but it was nothing but a childhood crush; nothing but puppy love, right?
With the wrapping out of the way, Pan lifted the lid of the box to find a four starred Dragon Ball necklace. She picked up the chain to dangle the charm in front of her face. It looked like a miniature replica of the real thing, except for a tiny hinge at the back. After fiddling around with it for a moment, she discovered that it was a locket that opened between the stars; the inside was hollow and contained a folded strip of paper. Her heart began to race as she plucked it out. It couldn't be
there was no way
The paper was old, but in good condition, and had been folded with care. With shaky hands, she unfolded it to find the familiar, barely legible writing of her six year old self. She didn't have to read it to know what it said. What her wish would have been to the Dragon Balls all of those years ago; to be Trunks wife.
A month later, on a weekend, Trunks was dressed in his usual casual attire and about to leave early to head to the Son's house for Pan's party. Unfortunately, he wasn't leaving early because he wanted to see her sooner. He was leaving early to pick up Marron. Flying by his own capacity was the fastest way to go, but Marron hated flying, unless it was in one of his mother's flying machines or the Capsule Corp. limo.
On his way to Marron's apartment, Trunks found his thoughts on Pan, and wondered what her reaction had been to her birthday present. He hadn't heard from her since their lunch date, so he presumed that it was time to move on; to let her go from his heart. He was prepared to accept Marron whole heartedly as his girlfriend. She could have a very pleasant personality and, in spite of her shopping addiction, had good business sense. She had spent the past two years in the university studying to become an accountant. His mother had already offered her a position at the company.
Marron was waiting for his arrival. Instead of her usual low ponytails, her hair was left down and cascading over her shoulders. She was wearing a sundress that was bright pink and patterned on top and had a sunny yellow flower print skirt separated by a silver belt just under her breasts. The slim yellow straps seemed to be more for decoration then actual support. Trunks had to admit that she looked very nice. He told her so and she gave her thanks.
Their ride started off as being very silent. Either party sat across from one another, but on opposite ends of the limo, watching the scenery out the window. After fifteen minutes, Marron was the first to speak. "You know, Trunks, I've really enjoyed my time being by your side, but you don't have to force yourself."
Confused, Trunks looked away from the window at her. "What are you talking about, Marron?"
"Pan is officially, and legally, an adult now." She met his gaze.
"Yeeaahh?" He didn't understand her point.
Marron sighed at his cluelessness. "You don't have to hide it, or rather, you can't hide it; at least not from me. I've known for the past five months now. "
Trunks gave her a questioning look, "What have you known for the past five months?"
"About your feelings for Pan," she rolled her eyes in annoyance.
Trunks quickly recovered from any sign of shock that he may have displayed. "I don't know what you're talking about, Marron.
"Look, its okay, really. It doesn't bother me. Well, it doesn't bother me that you love her, but it does bother me to be the next in line."
Letting out a long breath, Trunk's shoulders seemed to slump as he hunched over to put his elbows on his knees and cover his face with his hands. "I'm really sorry, Marron. I've already given up hope. Even if she is an adult, now, she's still so young."
Switching sides to sit beside him, Marron hugged around his shoulders. "I do like you, Trunks, but in your heart, I could never compete with her. I can tell. She's all you ever talk about when we're together, and if looks could kill, then her boyfriend would be dead already."
Trunks pulled his hands down his face, "That's just it, looks don't kill, at least, not mine, and that's the problem, she has a boyfriend."
"Well, have you told her how you feel?"
"I don't know I haven't spoken with her in the past month."
"Well, I think that today would be a good day to talk to her, don't you?"
Trunks leaned back in the seat, letting his head fall back, and groaned. "I don't know
The rest of the trip was full of silence, again. Trunks thought about what she had said. He thought about Pan and the gift that he had given to her; did she remember her wish? Did that wish have even the slightest chance of being granted? The Dragon Balls were no longer around to be relied upon. Everything was up to him. What about Gohan? Would he approve? He already had a feeling that if Marron had figured it out, then Goten probably knew as well. He was so lost in his own mind that he didn't realize when the limo came to a stop. It was Marron who pulled him back to reality with a gentle shake of his shoulder.
"Bout time you got here," Goten said when the car door opened to let its passengers out.
"What? Are we late?" Trunks asked, concerned. He thought that he had given himself enough time.
Goten laughed and slapped his friend on the back. "No, you're right on time; I just thought that you might have come early.
"Sorry, that was my fault," Marron spoke with a sweetness that would give you a cavity. "I really hate flying."
Blushing, Goten rubbed the back of his neck. "Oh, its okay, no big deal."
where's Pan?" Trunks asked, breaking the moment.
"I'm not sure; she was here a moment ago."
"Why don't you go look for her? Goten can show me around," Marron suggested.
"What? Oh, um
sure," Goten stuttered.
Trunks watched as Marron walked with Goten towards the main house, looking over her shoulder to wink at him. Deciding to take advantage of the opportunity she was giving him, he felt around for Pan's ki. Following it, he was brought to the small grove of trees behind the house. There, he found Pan and Daichi. Though he didn't intend to eavesdrop, the fact that Pan seemed on the verge of tears glued his feet in place.
"What's wrong, Pan? You've been acting strange for the past month; distant, and you introduced me to your family as a friend."
"I don't know, Daichi!" she wailed and the dam that was holding back her tears broke. "I'm so confused!"
She was in his arms in an instant as he tried to calm her down. He ran a soothing hand over her back as she cried against his shoulder. "Talk to me, let me help," he pleaded.
I Love you, Daichi." Trunks felt a sharp pain in his chest as he watched the scene before him. "But
I don't know if
if I'm in love with you. I'm so confused!"
Daichi held her away from him, at arm's length. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Pan shook her head, flinching at the sound of his voice; it was cold. "I don't know
" She looked down.
"It's that man, Trunks, isn't it?" Pan's head snapped back up to look at him in shock. "I've seen the way that he looks at you, and ever since he took you out to lunch you've been acting funny."
I'm sorry Daichi, I don't know what to do." The tears started to fall again. She felt horrible. Here, Daichi had been wonderful with her for the past ten months, with the exception of that one mishap in the beginning. He was the first guy not to run away at the first show of her true power.
"Pan, he's like twice your age!"
Trunks was on the verge of stepping in. He didn't like the tone of Daichi's voice and, though he doubted that the young man could hurt her, was worried that he might hit her.
"Yeah...well, maybe age means nothing in matters of the heart," she replied, raising her hand to clinch something that hung from around her neck. Trunks realized that it was the Dragon Ball necklace and knew that she remembered the wish she made all those years ago