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Chapter Four

Pan closed her eyes and enjoyed the taste of Goten's grilled chicken breast. She'd been surprised that he offered to cook them dinner until she realized that he and Bura were probably planning to replace the frame they had broken. So, before they had arrived, Pan had put the frame back where it was hanging.

"This is great,' Trunks commented, his mouth full of food.

"I'm surprised you can taste anything," Goten remarked dryly.

"Oh, I can taste alright," Trunks assured him. "Chichi taught you well."

"Would it shock you right out of your seat if I told you this was my recipe?"

"Yes," Trunks and Pan replied at the same time.

Goten returned their stares with a smug smile. Across from him, Bura hid her own smile by taking a sip of water.

"You really created this yourself, Uncle Goten?" Pan asked, her dark eyes wide.

"You bet, Kid."

"I hope you wrote the recipe down because I'll wear black for a month if I can't have this again," Trunks said, piling more food onto his plate.

"Thank you, thank you very much," Goten said, pleased with himself.

"Good thing we dropped the twins off at your parents' house," Pan said to her husband, laughter in her voice. "Or else they would have deprived you of more food."

Amidst the laughter, Trunks only nodded his agreement which made the others laugh even harder. Goten met Bura's gaze across the table and was happy to see a proud smile on her face.

"You know who I saw today, Uncle Goten?" Pan asked.



It was as if someone had pushed the pause button. Everyone stopped what they were doing as they allowed Pan's words to sink in. Trunks glanced sideways at his wife, his fork half-way to his mouth. She looked back at him, realizing she shouldn't have said anything. Goten put his utensils down, immediately losing his appetite. He was suddenly aware of Bura squirming uncomfortably in her seat. He cleared his throat and focused his attention on Pan.

"Oh really?" he said calmly. "Where?"

"I-In the city," Pan answered. "I'm sorry, Uncle Goten. I wasn't thinking."

"It's alright. It's been a long time since I've seen Paris."

"You loved her a lot, didn't you?" Bura said quietly.

"Yes, I did."

"But that's over now, Goten," Trunks reminded him. He had been the one there to comfort Goten when Paris broke up with him and only Trunks knew how much she had hurt Goten. She wanted marriage and Goten hadn't been ready for that yet so she went back to her parents. They hadn't heard from her since.

"Yes, it is. Over and done with."

No one said anything for a few minutes. Goten stared at his plate, a million thoughts running through his head.

"Is she married?"

"I don't know."

He looked sharply at Pan and she sighed.

"No, she wasn't married," she said.

"Don't even think it, Goten," Trunks warned. "You're only going to set yourself up to get even more hurt. You've put her behind you. Don't go back now."

Goten leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms. "I was just curious. Seeing as she was in such a rush to get married, I'm surprised she's not married yet."

"How about getting dessert, Goten," Bura suggested, her voice shaky.

He nodded and stood, his movements jerky.

"Way to break the news to him, Pan," Trunks chided softly so that Goten wouldn't hear.

"I know, I know," she said. "I'm such an idiot."

"Will he be alright?" Bura asked.

"He just needs to let out some steam," Trunks answered.

"You should take him out and spar," Pan said.

"Since you said something, you should."


Goten came back in the dining room, a cake in his hands. Trunks licked his lips in anticipation. A reluctant smile curved Goten's lips at the look in his best friend's eyes.

"Relax. It's not going anywhere," he said.

"Except in his mouth," Bura said.

"Wanna do some sparring after dinner?" Pan asked.

Goten arched an eyebrow. "I'm fine, Pan."

"Is that a no? Are you chickening out?" she taunted.

He grinned wolfishly. "Of course not. You're on."

Bura kept on looking over at Goten who sat in the passenger seat. His eye was swollen shut and he had a huge cut on his cheek, but he looked pretty satisfied with himself. Pan didn't look much better than he did.

"You wanted to jump in, didn't you?" Goten asked as he put a finger on the corner of his lip to check for blood.

"What makes you think that?" Bura hedged.

"You were leaning so far out of your chair I thought you were going to fall off."

She chuckled. "Yeah, I did want to throw a couple punches."

"See? You're a natural."

"I guess I am. Hey, thanks for dinner. It was excellent. You know, I was thinking that you should open a restaurant."

"A restaurant? I don't know..."

"Why not? You can't deny that your dishes are one of a kind and it'll get popular very quickly. You can call it, Goten's Place."

"I kinda like the sound of that."

"Me, too. I'd be a more than willing investor, if you decide to do this."

He turned all the way to look at her, his eyes wide. "Really?"

"Yes, really."

"I'll think about it, Bura."

"You do that."

She stopped the car and he realized that they were in front of his house. He started to get out, when she put a hand on his arm. He looked at her questioningly.

"Are you going to call her?" she asked.

He feigned innocence. "Who?"

"You know who."

"I don't know," he answered honestly.

"Do what your heart tells you,' Bura advised, letting go of him and focusing her blue eyes on the steering wheel.

"Thank you, Bura."

She smiled, but didn't look at him. He got out and she drove off. Whistling, he walked to the front door, but he stopped in mid-step. With a glance at Bura's retreating tail lights, he shot up into the sky and flew towards the city. In the car, Bura felt his energy rise and she looked at the rearview mirror in time to see him fly off. Her vision blurred.

Damn, she swore silently.

Goten flew over the city, his eyes scanning the faces of the buildings below him. He'd stopped a few minutes before to make a few calls to the mid-priced hotels and he'd found the one Paris was registered in. Finally, he spotted the one he was looking for and he landed on soft feet. Nervously, he ran a hand through his hair and straightened his shirt. He walked into the hotel and went straight for the concierge's desk.

"Hi, I'm looking for a friend of mine," he said.

"And who is this friend you are looking for?" the concierge asked, fluttering her long lashes at Goten.


Goten's fists clenched and he turned around slowly. He smiled tensely when he saw Paris standing behind him, but that smile froze when he saw who was with her. Paris followed his eyes, her expression guilty.

"Who's this?" Goten asked.

Paris looked down at the little dark-haired boy holding on to her hand. He had big innocent dark eyes and a sweet smile. Goten felt like he was looking into a mirror of the past.

"Goten, I'd like you to meet Juno," Paris said, making Goten's world come to a crashing halt. "Juno's your son."

Goten let out a yell when Bura's fist made contact with his cheek again. He stumbled backwards, barely keeping his fists up. She sighed and put her hands down.

"What's eating you?" she demanded. "You're not putting up much of a fight."

He let out a frustrated breath and put his own fists down, his shoulder slumping defeatedly. "I've got a lot on my mind."

"Having Paris in town is wreaking havoc on your brain, huh?" Bura said gently.

"I saw her last night," Goten said.

"I'm not surprised." Bura sat down. "How did that go?"

Goten licked his lips. "I expected it to go better than it did."

"What happened?"

"She had someone with her..."

"Oh no. Is she married after all? Engaged?"

"Worse. She's a mother."

Bura blinked. "Excuse me?"

Goten rubbed his face and it was then did Bura notice how tired he looked. He hadn't gotten any sleep the night before.

"She had your child, didn't she?" Bura said, one hand coming up to cover her mouth. It took all she had inside not to blast off right then and get as far away from him as possible. She felt dizzy and was glad she was sitting down.

Goten nodded and sat down next to her. He covered his face with both hands, letting out a huge sigh.

"What are you going to do?" Bura asked stiffly. She clutched at her knees to stop her hands from trembling.

"I don't know. I haven't told anyone yet," he replied, his voice muffled because of his hands. "I screwed up, Bura."

"What's the child's name?"

"His name is Juno."

"I know this is an insensitive question...."

"Yes, I know he's mine. He looks exactly like Dad did when he was Juno's age. Like I did."

Bura smiled sadly. "He must be the cutest little boy."

"He is."

"Are you going to marry Paris?"


He raised his head and looked at her. Bura could see the turmoil in his dark eyes and wanted to put her arms around him, but something held her back. In the back of her mind, she knew this was not what he needed right now. She squeezed her knees tighter, her knuckles turning white. He looked away and rubbed his forehead.

"I don't know," he sighed. "All this just happened at once and I can't...I feel like...I feel like I'm drowning."

"I bet you are," Bura said, her tone bitter.

"I could use a little sympathy here," Goten said.

Something snapped inside Bura and she stood. "I'm trying Goten, but it's your own stupid fault!"

He looked up at her, surprised and hurt at her tone. "I didn't mean for this to happen! How was I supposed to know Paris was pregnant when she left? She left because she didn't want a marriage based on the fact that she was pregnant seeing as I wouldn't marry her otherwise. Do you know how angry I am about having missed out on Juno's first five years? I spent some time with them last night and he treated me like an uncle or something. I'm his father, Bura!"

Bura took a step back at the anger in his words, but her eyes filled with tears. "I'm sorry, Goten. I'm so sorry. I just..."

Without another word, she blasted off, knowing only that she had to leave. He stared after her, feeling alone once again and hating every minute of it. He thought he'd be able to talk to her about it, but he was wrong, and her reaction confused him. He stood and blasted off as well, heading towards Trunks' house.

To Chapter Five