Disclaimer: I don't own any of Dragonball/Z/GT.
Back at Mount Paozu...
Pan slammed her bedroom door as she trudged downstairs.
"PAN! In the kitchen, NOW young lady!" her father yelled after spilling coffee on one of his research papers because of the pain of the amplified sound of the door.
"Yes dad." Pan replied and dragged herself into the kitchen.
"Darling, you've been in a severe state of anger and depression in the past couple of days. Would you care to discuss it?
Pan didn't want to answer. Her mother stepped away from the sink. "Perhaps it's something you'd rather share with me alone?"
Gohan gave his wife a quizzical stare before accepting the fact that it may be a 'female' thing.
"I don't mind if dad hears. Fine, I'll spill since you two are going to bug me about it anyway. Hate Trunks. Hate Marron. Hate myself. There. Can you help me?"
Videl and Gohan exchanged stunned and confused looks. Videl was the first to arrive at a possible explanation.
"That little crush for Trunks you had as a little girl has become something more hasn't it?"
Pan knew her mother would understand, but was unsure as to how she'd react to the identity of the male. She could feel her father's ki increasing. She knew he wouldn't understand and it was his instinctive right to be protective of his daughter. As far as Gohan was concerned, he wanted his little girl to remain as such forever. Pan lowered her head down. "Yes, mom. It's something more now."
Gohan gave a deep growl as he grew more and more uncomfortable about what he was hearing.Videl immediately turned her attentions to her husband once again.
"Gohan, dear, let's not be like that. Passing judgement is only going to bring us and Pan unhappiness. Allow fate to take it's course, whereever that may be."
"He's Vegeta's son."
Gohan didn't reply. "Pan, why Trunks? He's so much older than you. Sure, he's a great friend both to you and me, but why?"
"Dad, did you ever think the same with mom? She started out your friend then you two ended up married. Obviously something 'clicked' between you two. Well, I have a feeling the same can happen between me and Trunks. Love knows no boundries."
"Pan, I don't want to see you get hurt. I've known Trunks longer than you. His largest flaw is a lack of commitment. He never really knows what he wants, especially out of life, and he may never find the answers."
"But Dad, if he searches within himself, maybe he will. That dragonball hunt we went on years ago showed me that there's more to Trunks than what you and others say about him. Most of what he does these days is following what society or his parents expect of him, NOT what he wants for himself. There's another side to Trunks, I just know it."
"And what if he doesn't return your feelings? What if he has taken interest in Marron? What if that interest in Marron is exactly what you thought you could bring out in him?"
Gohan's words were painfully true. She couldn't force Trunks to love her afterall. Perhaps it wasn't her destiny. But what if it was? What if Marron was just another score in his book? He'd dated several women in his life and some over a pretty decent duration. One thing was in common with them. He treated each one as if she were the Queen of his world before dethroning them for some reason or another. His actions with Marron weren't much different were they? Discerning between his 'routine' and true 'love' with a lady would be difficult. But Pan didn't lose hope. If there was a chance, that little flicker of a spark between Trunks and her, she wanted to be sure it had a chance to ignite.
"Dad, I need to know for sure...one way or the other. My little chat with him the other day revealed some important clues that I may have a place in his heart, even if he hasn't seen it himself yet."
Back in the forest...
Trunks placed himself on alert, physically and mentally. This warrior was one to never be underestimated. Sure enough, within minutes, the form floated into view, his gaze firmly fixed on Trunks.
Trunks cringed and began to realize just how small the world really was when he tried to get away from others who could sense ki. With a gulp, he waited for the newcomer to make his move and hoped for a physical response. If words were to be exchanged, the confrontation would drag out and make his suffering so much worse.
A man of few words though perfectly capable of a harsh, cold speech when necessary, Vegeta eyed his son. He could smell his son's fear and see his son's defensive posture. The man before him was an example of classic submission. Inwardly Vegeta wished his son had become strong and respectfully superior, in a manner like Gohan had when he fought Cell. But alas, his son's skills and drive were subdued and redirected by his mother. In doing so, Bulma allowed her son to slide down the pecking order of dominance. Trunks, a saiyan hybrid with royal blood and a successful fighting bloodline easily yielded to the likes of Kakarrot, Gohan, and even the Namekian, Piccolo. Most of all, he avoided all possible confrontations with his father whether it be verbal or physical. The boy knew his place, and sadly, it wasn't at the summit of warriors like Vegeta had inwardly desired. Vegeta remained poised and speechless with his arms crossed and his facial expression unreadable.
Unable to gauge his father's motives or expression, Trunks grew impatient and frustrated. The anger within him began to surge and boil. Soon, he would lose control to his instinctive craving for a fight, eventhough his mind knew it was a fight he couldn't win. "Well, if you're going to do something, you may as well get it over with now, father! I haven't got all day!"
Vegeta spat to the side then returned his gaze to his son. He remained calm and expressionless however. He could also sense the turmoil within his son's heart. Was the boy finally contemplating mate choice? While not clear-cut, it was indeed a possibility. "Return home. The woman says if you're not going to work then help her in the kitchen." Vegeta said and finished with his classic smirk. He then turned about and departed, leaving one very stunned son.
When Vegeta was out of sight, Trunks relaxed his guard. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ALL ABOUT!?" Trunks said to the air around him. "Is mom slipping him or me something in the morning coffee? Geesh." he continued as he too, took to the air. There was no way he was going to get any serious thinking done after that strange incident anyway.
The next day in the West Capital City...
Trunks returned home from a long day at work. He plopped his briefcase down on the floor and slung himself onto the soft, cushy sofa with a heavy sigh. He then pulled out a cell phone from his jacket and dialed.
"Hello again Krillin. Marron home yet? She is. Okay." Trunks said as he grabbed the remote to the tv and clicked it on, tuning in to the latest stock quotes while waiting for Marron to answer.
"Hello Trunks. You're a day late."
"You didn't call last night."
Trunks smacked his own head. "I passed out as soon as I got home last night."
"Technically I shouldn't be this nice, but I guess I can forgive you since you did manage to remember to call me, even if it was 24 hours late."
"I reinvented lateness and took it to a new level. Didn't you see my name in the scientific journal about that latest breakthrough?"
Marron laughed. "Hey Trunks?"
"I'm getting promoted to Vice President of Pakar, Inc."
In shock, Trunks dropped the phone on the floor. He quickly picked it up. "Heheh, sorry about that, phone slipped."
"My news was that good eh?"
"Something like that." Trunks replied as he tried to dodge a bullet.
With Marron as Vice President of an affiliate company, things were going to get rough, especially with Pan adding herself into play. Marron now possessed the power to undermine Capsule Corp. Pakar, Inc. was his company's best and most dangerous affiliate. It was a company that could take a big bite and cripple Capsule Corp's productivity, distribution, and assets. In turn, once those aspects had dropped, share holders would begin selling Capsule Corp. stock. Pakar could buy those shares for sale and if enough were acquired, could attempt a hostile takeover of Capsule Corp. Trunks could lose the entire company on a simple relationship now. Keeping Pakar, Inc. a friend was of utmost importance. Normally it would be business before pleasure, but in this case the two had been skewed together in a potentially dangerous mix.
"Trunks, you don't sound that excited."
"Uh, really I am. I, was uh, just looking at a stunning news report on tv."
"Really? What's going on?"
Trunks cursed inwardly. Little white lies became big, cornering ones when allowed to escalate. "Just an issue I feel strongly about."
"Oh. Well, if you don't mind, I have a meeting at another company tomorrow. I need to pack my bags and turn in early."
"Sure. No prob. Stay in touch okay."
"Sure thing Trunks."
"Take care, Marron."
"You too. Good night."
"Night." Trunks said as he switched off the phone.
By this time, his curious mother had stepped into the living room. "Geesh Trunks, you're looking a little pale. You really are injured. Oh my little baby! I'm so sorry for forcing you to go to work like that!" Bulma cried as she went into emotional hysterics.
Trunks rolled his eyes. "No mom, it's not that. There's no major injury. I just received some disturbing news, that's all."
Bulma raised an eyebrow.
"Mom, I'll explain once I know more about it myself, okay?"
"I suppose I can live with that for now. But remember, the more you keep within you, the more that'll it'll eat you from the inside out."
Trunks found an opportunity to get his mother off the subject. "Speaking of eating. I'm starved! How's dinner coming along?"
Bulma shook her head as she prepared to return to the kitchen. "You saiyans are all alike. Food. Food. And more food."
Trunks chuckled. "If you weren't such a good cook, we wouldn't be eating so much."
"Don't try to butter me up boy." Bulma added as she too, began to laugh.
Trunks smirked as he returned to viewing the television. He stared at the screen, but his attention was elsewhere. His mind was a flurry of activity. To cease his mind's constant thinking, he decided to try to work off some of the stress it was generating. Turning the tv off, he heaved himself off the sofa. "Mom, I'm going to do some training in the gravity room. Buzz me there when dinner's ready, okay?"
Bulma spun from the stove. "You're willingly training? Are you okay? You sure you're feeling well?"
Trunks chuckled. "I'm fine mom. I just feel a little stressed. Perhaps the endorphins and adreneline generated by a workout will make me feel a little better.
"Just don't bother your father if he's in there."
"I'm not THAT stupid mother." Trunks laughed as he headed for his room. He then changed into some sweat pants and a tank shirt, strapped his sword onto his back, and made his way to the gravity room. Glancing at the doorway entrance light, it glowed green, indicating that it wasn't occupied. *Hmm, wonder where father is if he's not here? Oh well. Better for me anyway.* Trunks thought as he entered the chamber and shut the door.
He adjusted the room's gravity to 200 times that of Earth's and did a few stretches. After, he activated a program which he designed specifically for use with a sword. Small spherical robots were launched at a blinding speed towards him, firing laser blasts at him while maneuvering away from any attacks Trunks launched in return. Going super saiyan, Trunks increased his own speed and countered every move the three robots made. Within minutes the three robots were sliced, diced, and ready for later consumption by Gill, the alien robot whom he met during the dragonball hunt and who still maintained a dragon radar within its body.
Trunks then powered down once again and returned to the control panel. He increased the gravity to 250 and ran phase two of the training program. To run phase two, the gravity room enlarged and expanded. This was one of the newest additions to the room, which was constantly being updated by Bulma to satisfy the needs of the treacherous training methods of her saiyan mate. Within the expansion, moving walls with spikes appeared as well as huge medieval-looking axes swung from the ceiling above. The floor was also spiked aside from a narrow beam that ran perpendicular to the swinging axes. It was the only way across. This phase was appropriately called, the Gauntlet. For added bonus, more spherical robots were hovering in gaps where the axes could not reach thus preventing the option of flight. Trunks studied the motion of the axes in attempt to ascertain their timing as they crossed the beam. As he stepped onto the beam, the robots attacked, adding laser blasts to an already complicated situation. Stopping and starting as axes crossed, Trunks' mind was forced to focus on several events at once while still trying to maintain balance on the narrow beam. Several laser blasts hit him in the shoulder and thigh knocking him off balance and leaning towards the razor sharp spikes below. He cursed and tried to recover as an ax shaved a few strands of hair off his head. His timing was off, his sword useless, and flight impossible, Trunks was about to discover a new, barbaric form of acupuncture when suddenly a ki blast took out the spikes below. Trunks fell onto the rubbish below.
The program was discontinued as Vegeta shut it off. He then nonchalantly walked over to his son, raised a hand, and prepared a ki blast...aimed directly at the fallen half-saiyan. Trunks quickly reached for his sword in just enough time to block the blast only to have the impact knock the sword from his hands. Vegeta had another blast nearly ready for firing. Trunks struggled to get to his feet only to drop to his knees in effort to dodge the next ki blast. He rolled several times to avoid the next perry of blasts and ended up near his fallen sword. Grabbing it, he blocked two more blasts before summoning up one of his own. Vegeta let it hit him. It had no effect on the full-blooded saiyan. Vegeta slowly walked forward, blasting each time and forcing Trunks into a constant state of retreat. He was eventually backed into a wall. As he tried to retreat sideways, Vegeta pulled up a metal panel and thrust it into the path of his son. Trunks was forced to head into the opposite direction. Again, Vegeta pulled up a metal sheet and blocked that direction as well. Now, Trunks was cornered with metal sheets on both sides and his father directly in front of him. He lowered his sword and allowed it to fall to the floor.
"You're pathetic boy." Vegeta huffed as he ceased his blasting.
"Then why don't you just kill me and end my suffering and your own!"
"It's crossed my mind, but your mother would remove this room from my use."
"Swell. I feel loved. My father enjoys a stupid invention over his own son. How typical."
Inside, Vegeta did care for his son and was actually proud of him for several accomplishments, but revealing that to him wouldn't give Trunks any reason to set goals. Vegeta smirked. "Dinner's ready boy. Get cleaned up before your mother has a fit." Vegeta then shut down the room and exited.
"Oh yeah, I really feel better now. Nothing like cutting my own nuts off by trying to better myself." Trunks sarcastically replied to himself as he picked himself and his sword up and headed to a shower.
to be continued...