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Chapter Six

"You're losing your touch," Trunks taunted as Pan took a swing at him and missed.

She gritted her teeth and dug in her heels. "I'm just getting warmed up," she retorted.

She came at him with a roundhouse kick, and he neatly ducked away from it, but hadn't been prepared for the fist that came flying from beneath. It connected neatly with his chin, making his teeth snap shut painfully. Pan took advantage of his momentary distraction to attack again and again with her feet and fists. Blood trickled from Trunks' mouth, but he smiled wickedly as he caught her fist in his hand and pulled her towards him. Her momentum made her lose her balance and she fell forward and into his arms.

They were both startled at the current that flowed between them as they realized they were standing much closer than they ever had before. Trunks could feel her along his entire body and swallowed hard. His head was feeling strangely light and his breath quickened. The same thing seemed to be happening to her as well.

She was the first to pull away. She blinked, trying to get a rein on her emotions.

"Oops," she said weakly.

"Yeah," he said vaguely, still shaken. He'd never been affected this powerfully just by a woman's closeness. He never wanted to kiss someone so badly in his life.

"So, are you just going to stand there or are we going to fight?" she said with affected lightness.

He got down into fighting stance and she followed. For nearly half an hour they did nothing but take shots at each other, not even pausing for a breath. It wasn't until Trunks felt an unfamiliar ki close in on them did he drop his fists. Pan didn't feel the ki, and smashed her fist into his jaw, causing him to stumble backwards and fall down.


Startled, she turned at the voice. Ken stood gaping at her, his mouth wide open. She made a move to go to him, but Trunks had rendered her legs immovable with a scissor hold. Her movement made her fall forward and on her face. She looked up, spitting grass.

"What did you do that for?" she demanded, turning to Trunks.

"For this," he answered brusquely, pointing at the redness at his jaw.

"Oh," she said sheepishly.

Ken ran to her side and helped her up, glaring at Trunks. For his part, Trunks just stood up casually and brushed himself off.

"What are you doing here, Ken?" he asked.

"Chichi told me that Pan was here when I stopped by there." He turned to Pan. "This was the last thing I expected to see."

"What?" she questioned, puzzled.

"You never told me you fought."

"Does it matter?"

"When your parents died at the hands of the cyborgs, the last thing you want your girlfriend to be doing is creating her own violence."

Pan bristled. "I am not creating violence. This is an art. I'm not doing it because I want to hurt someone."

Trunks snorted, rubbing his cheek. She looked at him and shrugged. "Well...just you," she said to him.

"She's telling you the truth, Ken," Trunks said, unsure of why he was trying to keep Pan and her boyfriend together, especially when he wanted them apart. His eyes widened a fraction when he realized that he did want them apart.

But why? Could it be...?

"I don't care how you see it," Ken said, his voice rising. "You're actually drawing blood, Pan!" He gestured to Trunks' lip, then to her own scratched face. "And look at you! You're going to scar your beautiful face with this foolishness!"

Pan glared at him, her hands on her hips. "First of all, this isn't foolish. I love doing this. It's great stress release and it something I enjoy doing."

Ken sneered. "I can think of other ways to relieve stress."

Pan felt Trunks' ki rise. Her own rose a few notches. She put a restraining hand on his arm.

"Can you leave us alone for a few minutes?" she asked.

"Sure," he all but growled. "I need to clean my cuts anyway."

He went into the house. Pan and Ken faced each other like opponents. He was looking at her as if she was a stranger and it saddened her. She knew what was coming.

"I'm sorry," he said, though she doubted he meant it. "That was a low blow."

"It's ok," she said. "I know you're angry. Why did you come here, Ken?"

"I was going to ask you to marry me," he said gently. "But I don't think I can love you in the way that you deserve if I know what you do in your spare time."

"You can't even try to understand why I do this?"

He shook his head and stared hard at her. "I wish I could. I love you, Pan. I don't want to lose you, but this--this is too much for me."

She took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, Ken," she said. "But if you're asking me to choose between you and this..."

He raised a hand. "I know your answer. I better go."

She nodded. "I'm sorry," she repeated.

He started to go, but turned around after taking a few steps.

"Did you love me?" he asked.

"I liked you a lot," she said honestly. "But I didn't love you, Ken."

"Would you have said no if I had asked you to marry me?"

"Do you really want to know that answer?"

He smiled sadly. "I guess not. Good-bye, Pan."


Pan watched him go before sitting on the grass and hugging her knees to her chest. She rested her chin on her knees and closed her eyes. She felt an enormous weight lift from her shoulders, but a knot tighten in her stomach. She couldn't erase the look on Ken's face before he turned away. He looked so broken. And all because of her. The guilt made her feel nauseous. She had cared about him, but not as much as he did her.


She opened her eyes slowly and found herself looking right at Trunks' handsome face. She smiled wanly.

"It's done."

"You broke it off?"


Joy spread through Trunks' body and he would have told her right then and there that he wanted to be more than friends, but the expression on her face stopped him. She looked torn. He fought back a fit of jealousy and forced himself to act as her friend rather than Ken's rival. He sat next to her.

"Did you love him?" he asked.

"Not as much as he loved me, but I cared about him a lot," she replied. "I feel terrible. How could I have hurt him like that? After all he did for me..."

Trunks put an arm around her shoulders. "I'm sorry, but at least you're not stuck in a relationship you didn't want."

"But he could have been the one. I know he would have taken good care of me."

I can take better care of you.

"But do you really think that he would want only half of your heart?"

Pan had to admit that he had a point. "He doesn't deserve only half my heart." She rested her head on his shoulder. "But that doesn't make me feel any better."

She felt him rest his cheek against the top of her head. She closed her eyes, and felt somewhat better. She was now free.

"Do you want to go out again tonight?" he asked.


"You can't sulk. Have dinner with me. My mom is going to some meeting in the city and I don't want to be alone. In fact, spend the night. I'll make you forget about Ken. We'll watch some funny movies and do each other's hair."

She laughed. "But I don't want to leave my grandmother alone," she said.

"She won't mind."

Pan raised her head and smiled at him. "Ok, I'll stay."

After her third shot of tequila, Pan felt better. By the fifth shot she could barely remember why she'd been unhappy. Next to her, Trunks was on his tenth shot and didn't even look flushed. They had retreated to the couch after dinner and when her spirits weren't raised after the comedy they watched, Trunks broke out a different kind of spirit.

"In times like these, sometimes you have to look to the east," he had told her.

"Why the east?" she had asked.

"Because that's where the liquor cabinet is."

Now, with the tequila bottle empty and the vodka bottle half-empty, Pan was feeling much, much better. She and Trunks had their heads tilted back on the backrest, staring up at the ceiling.

"You know, I could never have loved him," she said, her words slurring slightly. She waved her hands about, gesturing.

"Why not?" Trunks asked, rolling his head towards her.

"Because I was in love with someone else," she replied. Giggling, she slapped her hand over her mouth. "Oops. Didn't mean to say that!"

Trunks frowned. "With who?"

A part of Pan screamed at her not to say a word, but the alcohol had penetrated a good part of her good sense. She leaned towards him and rested her chin on his shoulder. Her face was so close to his that their noses touched.

"You, you idiot."

He was shocked. "Me?"


They stared at each other, not even realizing that the space between them was rapidly closing. When their lips touched, the rightness of the feeling penetrated the haze that covered Trunks' brain. He pulled her onto his lap until she straddled him, and wrapped his arms tightly around her.

"Pan," he whispered, against her lips.

"Take me upstairs," she murmured, pressing kisses all over his face.

"But you're drunk. I don't want to take advantage of you," he protested half-heartedly. Either way, he knew he wouldn't be getting a good night's sleep.

"You're drunk too," she pointed out.

"What if you're on the rebound? What if..."

She silenced him with a kiss, her tongue teasing him, her hands caressing him. With her body moving against him, he could barely think. Drinking nearly half a bottle of vodka didn't help improve his self-control. He swept her up in his arms and ran to his room.

Pan opened one eye and groaned. The light filtering into the room made her already pounding head hurt even more. She rolled over to her other side and saw Trunks lying on his stomach, sleeping peacefully. She smiled to herself, remembering the night before. It hadn't been her first time, but that didn't make it any less special. He showed her that even half drunk, he was a very skillful and unselfish lover. Wickedly, she wondered how he was when he was sober.

Trunks woke slowly, aware that someone was watching him. He reached out blindly with his hand and came in contact with soft, smooth skin. He opened his eyes and smiled at Pan.

"Good morning," he said huskily.

"It was an even better night," she teased, snuggling against him.

"You're not hungover?" he asked sounding disbelieving.

"Just a little," she said, closing her eyes. "I think I'll just stay in bed all day."

He snickered. "I don't think I have enough energy to last the entire day."

She grinned. "We'll just have to improvise then." Her face turned tender and she kissed him. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"For making me feel better. For helping me forget."

She felt him tense. He seemed to shrink into himself. He put her away from him and got up from bed. Pan blinked.

"What's wrong?"

"This was a mistake," he growled, putting on his clothes with short, jerky movements.

"WHAT?!?" she cried, ignoring the pain that shot through her head at the sound of her own loud voice.

He turned to look at her, his eyes flat. "We shouldn't have done this. It was wrong."


"You were getting over Ken and I took advantage of that. I shouldn't have."

"You didn't take advantage of me," she assured him desperately, feeling him already slip through her fingers like sand. "Trunks, please..."

"Then, you took advantage of me to forget Ken," he said, a muscle jumping in his jaw.

Her expression sparked with rage. She got up and began pulling on her own clothes. "Oh really? Is that what you think I am? Just some slut? Did it ever occur to you that I really care about you?"

His face softened a fraction. "Of course it did, but what if you just transferred your feelings for Ken to me?"

"Trunks!" she shrieked. "Didn't you hear me last night? I told you I loved you."

He shook his head, refusing to believe her. "You were drunk."

"I'm not drunk now!"

"You transferred your feelings for him to me," Trunks repeated stubbornly.

Pan stifled a frustrated scream. She picked up a pillow from the ground where it had fallen during their lovemaking and hurled it at him. He caught it neatly.

"So you're my therapist now!" she screamed. "Well, then you're fired!" She threw him a disgusted look. "I'm going home. I never want to see your face again."

For nearly a week, Pan spent most of her time in her room, alternating between loving Trunks and hating him with a passion. He was such a fool! Chichi was becoming concerned especially when Pan's normally enormous appetite had dwindled to practically nothing. She was beginning to lose the weight that she had gained. At night, Chichi heard her stifled sobs through the thin walls of the small cabin. She never asked what had happened, but had a suspicion that it had something to do with Trunks. She and Bulma had talked and he wasn't faring too well either.

Chichi tapped on the door that had been closed for nearly twenty-four hours. Pan hadn't even come out for lunch.

"Yes, Grandma?"

"Are you alright, dear?" Chichi asked. "I don't think this is healthy. It could help if you talk about it."

Chichi pressed her ear to the door and heard Pan moving around inside. The door opened with a soft snick. At the sight of her granddaughter's red eyes and dishevelled hair, Chichi felt her heart break. She pulled her into a warm hug. Pan's body shuddered with a sob.

"I don't know what to do with myself," Pan muttered. "I can't live without him."

Chichi sat her down in front of the bureau and began brushing her hair. "When your grandfather died, I did exactly what you did. I stayed in my room for months. It wasn't until I realized that Gohan was hurting just as much as I did, did I start living again." Her face grew pained. "Then, when Gohan died I wanted to kill myself. I almost did actually, but then Trunks..."

Pan let out a sound. Her face hardened, but her eyes conveyed her pain.

"It's him, isn't it?" she asked.

Pan nodded and buried her head in her arms. "I told him I loved him and he didn't believe me."

"Why not?"

"I had just broken up with Ken when I told him," Pan replied.

"Ah. Can you blame him?"

"I told him that I had broken up with Ken because I was in love with him, but he didn't believe me," Pan clarified.

"Why wouldn't he have believed you?"

"I was drunk at the time," Pan replied meekly.

Chichi gave her a disapproving look. The brush went through her hair a little harder as Chichi applied more pressure.

"But I wasn't lying. I love him."

Chichi stopped brushing her hair. "Are you willing to go back to him and talk it out?"

"No," Pan cried stubbornly. "I said all that I needed to say. It's up to him. I don't even know if I'll take him if he comes."

Chichi kissed the top of her head. "I wish I could tell you what to do, but this is something you two need to sort out between yourselves."

"I know." I just hope he comes to his senses before I lose it.

To Chapter Seven