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Chapter Five

Bulma stretched and yawned. She'd been at her workbench for a good three hours, sitting in the same position as she tinkered with a new gadget. Vegeta was in the gravity room, training as usual. She stood and headed for the kitchen to get some refreshments. She knew that he would be dying for water. The front door opened and she peeked out to find Bura wiping at her face.

Bura had flown around for hours, just thinking and crying some more tears. Exhausted, she wanted to go to bed and forget the world, if only for a few hours. She started for the stairs, but sensed her mother nearby. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to calm down.

"Hi, Honey," Bulma greeted. "How was your day?"

"Fine," Bura answered tersely.

Bulma frowned. "Something wrong?"

"No. I'm gonna go to bed now."

"Alright," Bulma said suspiciously. Even the dim light couldn't hide the glimmer in Bura's eyes. "Goodnight."


Bulma watched her daughter fly up the stairs and go straight in her room. She racked her brain, trying to recall if Bura had brought any new boys home.

But, she'd tell me if something went wrong with them. She always does, she thought.

Still deep in thought, she carried two glasses of water to the gravity room. She was at the door just as they slid open, revealing a very sweaty Saiya-jin prince. He took the glass from her without a word and gulped it down.

"Is Bura dating anyone, Vegeta?" Bulma asked.

"No," he answered. "She's spending all her time with Kakarot's brat."


"That's the one."


"What's going through your head, Woman?"

"She's upset and I'm trying to figure out why."


"She was crying when she came home."

Vegeta scowled. "If Kakarot's brat made my daughter cry, I'll pound him into a bloody pulp."

"I know," Bulma said, patting his arm. "But why would she cry over Goten? They're just friends, right?"

Bulma started for her workroom, mumbling under her breath. On quiet feet, Vegeta headed for the nearest window. His arms crossed, he floated upwards until he was outside Bura's window. The curtains were drawn and he tapped lightly on the pane.

"Go away, Daddy," Bura called out. "I'm fine."

He tapped again. Her shadow appeared on the other side of the curtains, but she didn't open them.

"I'm fine," she repeated, choking a little.

He tapped, hard enough to make a crack in the glass. Bura finally opened the curtains, revealing a tear-streaked face. She unlatched the window and it swung open. Vegeta flew in and sat down on the window sill. He kept his eyes on his daughter, not a single word passing between his lips. Bura stared back at him and her lips began to tremble. With a cry, she threw herself at him, crying into his shoulder.

"I feel horrible," she sobbed.

Vegeta put a comforting arm around her, patting her back awkwardly. "Is it Kakarot's brat?"


He rolled his eyes. "Goten. Is he the one making you cry?"

"Yes," she whispered.

Bura felt his muscles tense, but she tightened her arms around him. "No, Daddy. I'll deal with this."

"If he's acting like a jackass, I'm going to rip him into little pieces!" Vegeta exclaimed.

"NO!" Bura said, pulling away and looking him in the face. "I'll deal with this, Dad. Do you doubt me?"

"No," he muttered.

"Then let me take care of this my own way."

Vegeta didn't like inaction, but he allowed it this one time for the girl's sake. He straightened and headed for the door.

"Don't let him call the shots," he said before he left. "Remember who you are."

His words made Bura smile. "I know, Dad. I'm the daughter of a Saiya-jin prince."

The door closed quietly behind him and Bura sat down on her bed, cupping her chin in her hand. She was finished crying and was now deep in thought.

"Do I love him?" she asked herself. "Or am I just afraid that we won't be able to spend as much time together if he finds Paris? Am I just afraid of losing a friend?"

She glanced at her dresser where there was a big group picture of them all, including Goku. Goten was standing next to Gohan, his smile mischievious. She was much younger then, her hair pulled back in a ponytail and she was waving at the camera cheerfully. There had been nothing between them then rather than a passing acquaintance since Trunks was Goten's best friend and they were always at each other's houses. She never would have guessed that they would become as close as they were now.

"I'm not in love with him, am I?" she asked her reflection.

Trunks paced the length of his workroom, his hands clasped behind his back. Goten sat on a stool, his eyes glued to the tips of his sneakers. He'd just unloaded his entire story and for the last minute was met with silence on Trunks' part. Pan was upstairs with the twins as Goten wasn't quite ready to tell her. He wanted his best friend's thoughts on the matter first.

"Dende help us," Trunks muttered at last. "You really did it this time, Goten."

"I know," Goten said, rubbing the back of his neck. "I haven't told anyone yet...well other than you and Bura."

"You told Bura?" Trunks echoed, brow furrowing.

"Yeah. I was with her this afternoon."

Trunks stopped right in front of his friend and looked him in the eye. "You two have been spending a lot of time together huh?"

"More than usual," Goten answered carefully. "Why?"

"Is she why you can't marry Paris?"


"It's an important question."


"You sure?"

A muscle in Goten's jaw jumped. "Yes, I'm sure. I can't marry Paris because it scares the hell out of me, okay? When I think about it, my stomach gets all tied up in knots, and...and..." He waved his arms around emphatically.

Trunks sat down at his worktable. "You're just not a marrying kind of guy."

"No, I'm not. I'm going to support them though. Juno is still my son."

Trunks shook his head ruefully. "It's mind blowing, isn't it?"

"That's an understatement."

"Did you talk with her long?"


"Does Juno have any powers?"

"She did say that he's extraordinarily strong for his age, but nothing that I saw."

"I'm sure his powers will manifest themselves when you start training him. Did Paris say what she wanted from you?"

"Not really. I'm supposed to meet her for lunch tomorrow."

Trunks put a hand on Goten's shoulder. "Hold your ground, Goten. Don't let her talk you into anything you're not sure about, but also think about what'll be best for the kid. Be honest with her. You're in for a lot of sacrifices. I would know," he said with confidence. "And good luck, Buddy. You're in for a bumpy ride."

"Bumpy? I feel like I've been smashed into the side of a mountain and I sure as hell didn't think I'd feel that kind of pain again."

"And now you have to go tell your mother and brother."

"Great. Remember how Gohan reacted when you took Pan home after her little island hopping experience?"

Trunks put a hand on his neck. "Yeah. I don't find it so hard to believe that he's the strongest fighter in the universe anymore."

"You got off easy. He's going to tear my head off. And my mother..." Goten shook his head. "I'll see you at my funeral."

Bura came downstairs for lunch. Despite her exhaustion, she didn't get any sleep the night before, but skipped breakfast. She'd watched the clock instead and when the time came for her to leave for training with Goten, she resolutely stayed where she was. She called his house long after she knew he would be gone and told Chichi she wasn't feeling good and to tell Goten she was sorry she missed him. So she was surprised when she walked into the kitchen and saw him sitting at the table by himself, dressed in a suit and a bouquet of flowers resting next to his hands. For a split second, joy exploded inside her as she assumed that he got all dressed up for her.

Then she remembered that Paris was in town.

"Hey," she greeted coolly.

"Feeling better?" he asked innocently, though his narrowed eyes told a different story.

"Where are my parents?"

"They went out for lunch."


She went to the fridge and rummaged through its contents, taking her time.

"Where are you off to?" she asked, her head still in the fridge.

"I'm meeting Paris for lunch. We're going to talk things over."

Taking a deep breath, Bura straightened and turned to look at him. She struggled to put a smile on her face.

"I hope it works out, Goten. I really do."

"Yeah, sure." He stood, the chair he'd been sitting on scraped against the floor loudly. "I got you these. Get well soon and all that." He started for the front door.

She glanced at the bouquet and saw a small card tucked amidst the wildflowers that said 'Get Well Soon'.

"Goten, wait," she said, picking the bouquet up and running to him. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have stood you up like I did."

"I don't understand what's going on, Bura,' he said, turning around. "I thought we were friends."

"We are," she assured him, putting a hand on his arm. "I'm just acting like an idiot. I am here for you if you need anything."

He smiled and put his arms around her, pressing a brotherly kiss on her forehead. He felt her hands clutch at the back of his suit jacket and she buried her face in his chest. He could feel her shuddering breaths and he closed his eyes, leaning his cheek against the top of her head.

"Thank you, Bura," he said hoarsely. I'm sorry about all this.

"What are friends for, right?" she said, pulling away from him and putting on a brave smile. His embrace left her unsteady and her knees felt like jelly, but she forced herself to act as normal as possible. "Thank you for the flowers."

"You're welcome."

He left and she sat on the couch, the flowers clutched in her hands.

Idiot...I am in love with him.

To Chapter Six