Napan came to an hour later. "She" sat up in her bed and rubbed her pounding head. Trunks had given her one hell of a beating. She wondered why she was still alive. She also realized that she was wearing one of Trunks' shirts and not much else. She felt her face heat.
"You're a girl," Trunks said, standing up. He'd been sitting on the armchair at the window.
"So what?" Napan muttered, pulling the over her bare legs.
"Why didn't you tell us?"
"You assumed I was a boy, and seemed satisfied with that. I let you think what you want, but I didn't try and hide anything."
Trunks reluctantly believed that. Napan hadn't tried to hide anything. Trunks peered into his face. Napan met his scrutiny without flinching. The delicate features took on a different dimension this time. Napan could have been a sweet faced girl in another time, but life on the streets had toughened her expression. It didn't help that her hair was cut short. She did look boyish. Trunks suspected that she purposely did it so that she would look that way. If she did live on the streets, the last thing she needed to look was beautiful. Even her husky voice gave nothing away, although now that he thought about it she did sound more like a female than a young boy. But it was the first impression that counted and he was certain that was what Napan had been going for.
Bulma came in the room just then with the first aid kit in her hands.
"Good, you're awake," she said to Napan. "Let me put some dressings on those cuts. Trunks wouldn't let me before. He said to let you sleep."
"Thank you for that," Napan said sincerely.
Trunks looked sharply at his mother. She glared, silencing him. In truth, what he did say was not to waste her time dressing the cuts because he would be more than willing to blast Napan into nothing. Then, Bulma told him why they shouldn't kill Napan. Reluctantly, Trunks promised not to kill Napan until after she'd had a chance to explain herself.
Bulma sat down on the edge of the bed. "Your mother was Videl, wasn't she?"
"How did you know that?"
"She was the only girl I remember Gohan bringing to meet me. I could tell that they were very serious about each other. I knew that you reminded me of someone the first time I saw you, but I didn't know who. You look a lot like her, Napan."
"Why didn't I meet her, Mom?" Trunks asked.
"You must have been around nine or ten years old at the time, and you were at school. Gohan only brought her around once, then I never heard from her again. I didn't want to ask Gohan what had happened because he walked around with a long face for nearly six months after that. Chichi told me later that Videl had broken up with him and disappeared."
"How old are you?" Trunks asked Napan.
"Nineteen," Napan replied. "I'll be turning twenty in four months."
Trunks looked to his mother. She nodded. Napan was the right age.
"He'd gotten my mother pregnant with me," Napan said, resuming the story. "She didn't want to tell him because she knew that he was a warrior and he didn't need the extra burden of a child. She knew he was important to the safety of our world and she didn't want to compromise that. So, she broke up with him and ran away."
"Have you always been homeless?" Trunks asked.
"As far as I can remember," Pan answered, her blank countenance not giving away her feelings. "Sometimes we came into some money when Mom would find some oddjob to do, and we'd stay in a motel for one or more nights. We always ended up back on the streets, though. We lived pretty much everywhere."
"Where is Videl?" Bulma inquired.
Napan's eyes grew moist with unshed tears. "Around two years ago, the cyborgs finally attacked where we were living. Mom had been in the house, the house we'd been scrimping and saving for years to buy, when--" she swallowed, "--it was blown away. I was in a cave that I had found by the sea, because I needed some peace and quiet," she paused, pressing her lips tightly together. "Mom had been unbearable that day and we had fought. I never had a chance to say that I was sorry." Napan looked away.
Neither Bulma nor Trunks knew what to say to her. They waited until she spoke again.
"The cyborgs never found me. I've been looking for my father since then."
"Gohan's been dead for nearly fifteen years," Trunks said gently.
"I know, but then I learned about how he was your teacher. I wanted to meet you, so I searched for you. It took me two years to find you, you know. All that investigating and finally I found you."
"Why didn't you tell us who you were at first?" Trunks asked.
"I wanted you to trust me. Would you have let me in if I had told you right out that I was Gohan's daughter?"
"Probably not," Trunks muttered.
"And I wanted to learn from you," Napan confessed. "You're a great warrior, Trunks, and a proud one. I knew that if you found out who I really was, you wouldn't believe me, and you'd kick me out. I wanted to learn as much as I could before then."
"Didn't you think about blood tests?" Bulma asked.
"I didn't know you had these kinds of facilities," she answered. "All I knew was that I had to learn how to fight, and learn about my father. I didn't think about proving myself to you."
The last words were spoken with such passion that Napan's face glowed. Startled, Trunks saw Gohan's face on hers. He looked away quickly, fighting to catch his breath.
Oh by Dende...Gohan...why didn't you tell us...?
Bulma finished dressing the last cut and she put her arms around Napan. Napan stiffened at first, then relaxed, resting her head on Bulma's shoulder.
I haven't felt like this in a long time,she reflected. I'm safe. I'm finally safe.
"Why didn't you tell us you were a girl, dear?" Bulma asked.
"You assumed I was a boy, and my pride wouldn't allow me correct that mistake."
Bulma chuckled. She held Napan at arm's length. "Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?"
"My name is Pan, not Napan," she said.
"Pan," Trunks echoed. "That's a nice name."
"Thank you." Pan looked at him, her blue eyes piercing a particularly soft spot in his soul. "So, you believe me?"
Trunks and his mother exchanged a glance.
"I don't know yet," Trunks said uncertainly.
"I believe you," Bulma exclaimed, squeezing her hand.
"What can I do to prove to you that I'm really Gohan's daughter?" Pan asked Trunks.
"Could you do a blood test?" he asked his mother.
"I don't have any samples of Gohan's blood. But if I take some of your blood, I may be able to make some sort of match."
"How's that?" Pan asked.
"Because if you're Gohan's daughter, you have Saiyajin blood in you," Trunks explained. "I'm half Saiyajin, so we should be able to see something in common."
Pan nodded her head. "All right."
Trunks went outside to the balcony. Pan was there, resting her elbows on the railing and looking out into the sunset. Bulma had shooed them out of the lab after she drew blood, begging to work in peace. She told them it would take two hours or so until they would get some results. So, they waited.
Pan stole glimpses of Trunks from the corner of her eye. He stood beside her, wearing a pair of gray sweatpants, a white t-shirt, and barefoot. She had never seen anyone as handsome as he was, and was unsure of how to go about things now that he knew she was a woman. When he had believed her to be a boy, it had been easy. She could hide behind her disguise and not have to face up to the attraction that she now could not deny.
She pursed her lips thoughtfully. Trunks was ten years older than she was. She was merely a child to him, in fact, she'd been a boy to him no more than three hours ago. She needed to bottle up her blossoming feelings, or else she'd be in big trouble. But, she had a feeling that she would come out of that fight as the loser. His presence was just so overwhelming. It didn't help that he was the most intriguing and attractive man she'd met in her entire life.
"I grew up without my father, too," Trunks said, breaking the silence. "Was it hard for you, Napan--I mean, Pan?"
"Not really," Pan replied honestly. "I guess, as a girl, it was easier for me because I had my mother and she understood me well since she'd gone through everything that I was going through. I mean, I still wanted my father, but not as badly as a son would have. I imagine that it was hard for you."
"I had Gohan," Trunks said, looking hard at her. "He was as good as a father."
Pan smiled tightly. "At least he'd had the chance to be someone's father."
"Are you mad at your mother for not telling him about you?"
"I understand why she did it--"
"That wasn't what I was asking."
Pan raised her head and looked up into his face. "I am angry at her. I could have grown up with a father. I could have known who he was. He could have known who I was." She turned back to the scenery, her eyes focused on something he couldn't see. "At least your father knew you existed."
"But he didn't act like it," Trunks said bitterly. "It wasn't until he met me--nevermind. It's a long story."
Pan nodded, not wanting to force him to tell her even though she was now curious about his history. They had never really had a heart-to-heart. She knew the surface details, his father had died fighting the cyborgs, but she didn't know how he felt about many things.
Trunks sighed and turned around to lean against the railing. He turned his head sideways to look at her.
"How did you survive so long on your own?"
"Well, like I said, Mom and I had never stayed in one place for a long time. I learned from her. I grew up on the streets and I don't know any other way to live."
Trunks smiled. "That's an interesting way of putting it."
They talked about everything they could think off, killing time until Bulma called them. Trunks found Pan to be well-educated; Videl had taught her everything she knew, which was a lot more than Trunks suspected he would ever know.
Pan found her sensei to be a thoughtful and kind-hearted man, something she had always known of him, but now she knew how deep it went. They spoke of the problems they had while growing up as a super strong infant, child, and teenager...
Even though they had been training together, they had never really talked. It was only then, as the sun set without their notice, did they realize that they had each found a companion. The blood test was not needed. Trunks knew he had found his Saiyajin warrior.
To Chapter Four