Whistling, Pan walked through the university, her hands jammed in her pants pockets. At twenty years old, she was still the tomboy that she'd been at fourteen, though now she turned heads as she moved gracefully along the tree-lined sidewalk. Dressed in simple navy blue cargo pants and a gray hooded shirt, and light make-up on her face, she didn't appear to put in much effort in how she looked. Her hair was a shining black cap as she had gotten it cut recently, finally deciding that long hair was too annoying to deal with. Despite all this, no one could deny her beauty. Trunks said often that if Pan decided to walk Bura's path to cosmetic artistry, any male within a ten mile radius would be in deep, deep trouble.
Letting out a breath between her pursed lips, Pan sat down on a bench and waited for her ride. She checked her watch and wasn't surprised to find that her Uncle Goten was ten minutes late. She would be more surprised to find that he was on time. She'd drop dead if he came early. Five minutes later, a low-slung navy blue sports car pulled up to the curb. With an amused smile, she noted that the license plates said 'TrnksBby'.
"Hop in," Trunks said, as the passenger door rose. "Goten said that he's sorry he couldn't make it, but something came up."
"That's a little to graphic for me," she said with a wicked smile as she climbed in, tossing her bookbag in the backseat.
Trunks' cheeks pinked. "Dende help us if your grandmother ever hears you talking like that."
She laughed gaily. "Cluck, cluck. You're like an old mother hen, Trunks. Are you gonna wash my mouth out with soap and water?"
"Don't tempt me," he growled.
He pulled away from the curb and drove out of the campus.
"How were finals?" he inquired.
"Not too bad. I'm just happy to say that I've only got one more year to go and it's all over!" she crowed, turning in her seat to face him.
"That is, until you start counting the years when you have to work," he pointed out with a smirk.
Pan stuck her tongue out at him, just like she used to when they were flying around the galaxy with Goku. "Way to burst my bubble, Mr. President."
He grinned and looked about as much as a president as Goten. His suit coat was lying in the back seat along with his tie and his glasses. With his shirt sleeves rolled up, he looked like a regular guy...that is, if the car could be ignored.
"You know you love it," he said with a wink.
She laughed. "About as much as a pimple."
"Be grateful that I came by to pick you up, or else you'd be out there roasting."
"Thank you, Trunks," she said, lightly mocking. "Hey, you wanna get something to eat?"
"Thought you'd never ask. What's your pleasure?"
He sighed a long-suffering sigh. "Don't I always?"
She licked her lips. "Let's go to Chez Louis," she suggested, a teasing glint in her eyes.
"Are you nuts?" Trunks cried, thinking of Chez Louis' romantic atmosphere, not to mention astronomical prices. "That's a restaurant you take dates to. More specifically, a fourth date."
Pan chuckled. "Just kidding. Bonsai Palace is fine. It's our place," she said, fluttering her eyes at him.
Trunks laughed reluctantly. "Very funny, Pan."
Goten looked from left to right to make sure that no one was looking at him. Nonchalantly, he moved to stand by a table where a young woman wearing large black sunglasses sat. Her wide-brimmed hat obscured from view what her glasses couldn't.
"Ready?" she asked Goten.
She left first, not looking around. He followed a moment later, keeping his eyes to the ground. He would find her by following her energy. When he finally looked up, he found himself at a park amist a few large-trunked trees. He grinned amusedly when he saw her waiting for him.
"Did anyone ever tell you that you look ridiculous in that get up?" he asked.
Making a face at him, Bura removed the hat and the sunglasses. "I'm in disguise, Stupid. How many times do I have to explain that consequences if someone recognizes me?"
Rolling his eyes, he recited, "If a picture of the two of us together comes out, we'll have to explain ourselves to our families, and that's no good because then we'd be smothered by them, therefore ruining our relationship."
"Exactly," she said, coming towards him.
He took her in his arms and kissed her. "I missed you," he murmured against her lips.
"I know. I'm sorry I couldn't get away. Trunks was having a heart attack and needed an extra pair of hands. It's tax season."
Goten grinned. "I'll bet he was. He's on a well-deserved break now, though. I sent him to pick Pan up."
"Did you tell him why you couldn't?" Bura asked, alarmed.
"No. I'm not an idiot, Bura. I just told him I had a hot date." He pinched her bottom playfully. "Don't I?"
She chuckled. "I'd say you do."
"How about we go somewhere more private?" he suggested.
Her cheeks suffused with color. "Goten..."
He kissed her forehead. "Not like that, Bura. I know you're not ready. I mean just to talk and stuff." He looked around. "Unless you like this type of thing."
She smiled. "What do you have in mind?"
"My mom's out for the day," he said. "She went shopping then she's going over to Gohan's to help Videl cook. We can go hang out at my house for a while."
"Sounds good to me."
She started to put her hat on, but he stopped her hand, making her drop it.
"I have a better idea," he said.
He put one arm around her and before she could protest, he shot up into the sky, going so fast that there was no way anyone could have recognized her. Laughing, Bura put both arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.
"Good idea," she said.
Gohan adjusted the brown bags in his arms to get a better grip. Next to him, Videl was taking her time as she chose flowers to make a bouquet.
"How does this look?" she asked, holding up a vibrant yellow daffodil.
"Nice," he said, almost losing his grip on a bag. "Uh..could you hurry it up? I'm about to drop everything here."
"Everyone's coming over for dinner tonight for your birthday, Gohan," she said. "It has to be perfect."
"I like daffodils," he said. "Just get a bunch of daffodils."
"You do not like daffodils that much," she said. "I'll be done in a minute."
Gohan sighed. Every time he and Videl went to the outdoor market, she spent hours just miling about, not really looking for anything, but just enjoying the atmosphere. He wondered why he went when he knew he would be relegated to carrying her bags.
"Dad!" a familiar voice called out.
He turned too quickly and a bag almost toppled out of his arms if not for Trunks' quick reflexes. Pan got on tiptoe and pecked his cheek.
"Happy Birthday, Professor Gohan," Trunks greeted with a grin. "Got a day-off huh?"
"Thank you and yes, I did. My class was more than happy to cancel class in celebration of the day of my birth. How about helping me out here?"
Trunks relieved him of one of the bags and looked about him with some distaste. "Can't believe you let Videl drag you here again."
"Me either," Pan said. "Don't worry, Daddy. It'll all be over soon."
"I don't know," he said, eyeing his wife. "She's only got one flower in her hand."
"I'll help," Pan said, skipping to Videl's side.
"I thought Goten was supposed to pick her up from class," Gohan remarked.
"He was, but..." Trunks hesitated, thinking of Pan's reaction to his words. "...he had something to do."
Pan looked at him, laughter in her eyes. Or someone, he could almost hear her say
Gohan shook his head ruefully. "I swear, I don't know where he gets it. Our Dad was never like that and I sure wasn't."
"Goten's a special case," Trunks agreed. "I pity the poor woman he settles down with."
"Are you coming to dinner tonight?"
"I wouldn't miss it."
"Great. I hope I don't miss it either at the rate Videl's going."
But to Gohan's surprise, Pan did manage to get her mother out of the market in record time. They walked back to the parking lot, their arms loaded with bags. Videl managed to elude Pan and make some stops along the way out.
"I'll just get a ride home with my parents, Trunks," Pan said. "Thanks for lunch."
"Sure," he said with a wave as he got into his car. "See you later."
When they got home, Pan, Gohan, and Videl got the house ready for the party. Chichi arrived not long after to help with the cooking.
"How old are you now, Daddy?" Pan asked as she floated upwards to hang some streamers and balloons.
Gohan smiled amusedly. "Why should I tell you? You're just going to tease me about being old."
"You don't look a day over twenty-five," she retorted. "People think you're my brother, not my father."
He chuckled, his vanity enjoying her comment. "I'm old enough to be your father. We can leave it at that."
Pan grinned. "Smooth answer."
Soon enough, mouth-watering smells began to waft out of the kitchen and guests began to arrive. Bulma, Vegeta, and Trunks were the first, bearing loads of presents. Krilin and Marron came afterwards, Krilin explaining that #18 would be by shortly. Then, Goten walked in and Bura not long after. Piccolo and Mr Satan arrived a second later. The small house started to get packed and the food began to disappear. By the time Yamcha, Chaozu, and Tien arrived, there wasn't much left.
"I knew we should have come earlier," Yamcha complained. "Whenever we let Saiyans get the first crack at food, we always get the leftovers."
"It's your fault," Tien argued. "You took too long fixing your hair."
"Don't worry, Boys," Chichi said. "We always have more."
She went into the kitchen and returned with another plate full of food. Yamcha licked his lips greedily and dug in. When everyone was finally satisfied and strewn about the living room, Videl rolled the cake out. It was chocolate, covered with brown frosting, and was in the shape of a book much to everyone's amusement.
"How about a little birthday music!" Pan said, and she blew into a kazoo.
They sang uproariously and Gohan blew out his candles. He looked up with a grin as Videl took a picture.
"It's time for the presents!" Bulma exclaimed.
"Do you really have yell everything?" Vegeta spat, throwing an annoyed glance at Bulma.
"YES!" she screamed into his ear.
Trunks and Bura exchanged amused glances.
Ignoring the old married couple, Gohan took his first present in his hand and was about to tear it open when he suddenly stopped, his gaze focused outward. He frowned.
"What's wrong?" Videl asked.
The others grew silent as they too realized why he had paused.
"It can't be," Krilin breathed, glancing at Trunks.
"It's not possible," Gohan said, as his mind went over the facts. "It's just not possible."
"How can Trunks be two places at once?" Pan questioned, confused.
"This is weird," Trunks said, sitting down.
"What is it?" Bulma demanded.
"He's back," Piccolo said gravely. "Trunks is back."
Then suddenly, a collective gasp echoed in the room.
"Who is that?" Pan questioned, frowning.
Eyes wide with shock, Gohan replied, "It's you."