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Chapter Eight

Goket and Lei dragged their new found cousin outside. Paris looked after Juno worriedly, but Pan put a hand on her arm.

"They'll be fine," she said. "Goket and Lei could find their way around the countryside with their eyes closed."

"He's beautiful, Paris," Chichi said. "You did a wonderful job with him."

"Thank you," Paris said, blushing as she glanced at Goten. He smiled at her.

Nearby, Bura scowled. She couldn't help but be jealous. Goten hadn't left Paris' side since she'd arrived, but he did look over at her once and a while, a smile on his face. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Bura grabbed a plate and began piling food on it.

"Should you really eat that much, Bura?" Marron asked, eyeing the food on her friend's plate.

"Why not? I'm starving."

"You look like you're packing on the pounds," Marron said, tapping Bura's hip with her own.

Bura's eyes widened. "Really?"

Overhearing the conversation, Goten sidled up to Bura, a plate in his hands.

"It's cause of the sparring," he whispered in her ear. "It's muscle, not fat, Bura."

She let out a breath but then threw him a look. "Do I look like a musclebound, large-hipped, she-man?"

He snorted. "Hell, no. You look great. Eat all you want, is all I'm trying to say."

Pleased at his words and nodded, and began to eat. Satisfied, Goten started to go back to where Paris was talking to Chichi, but Gohan called him over.

"Where have you been?" he asked. "You've been busy the past couple of months."

"I'm working on something," Goten replied. "I think you'll like it."

"Oh yeah?" Gohan said, an eyebrow arched. "What are you doing?"

"You'll find out soon enough."

"Sounds mysterious, Goten," Krilin said, standing next to Gohan. "Can you give us a hint?"

Goten looked thoughtful. "Hmmm...nah."

Nearby, Trunks hid a smile. He'd been by to see how it was going and was surprised to see that Goten and Bura had turned the once plain white space to something quite beautiful. At his arm, Pan saw his smile and nudged him.

"Try not to look so smug," she chastised.

"Sorry, sorry. But you really should see it, Pan."

"I will when they're ready to show me."

"Awfully good of you."

"Can't you see my angelic glow?"

"Is that what that is?"

She glared at him and was about to say something when the twins and Juno came running into the house, nearly upsetting her plate.

"Hey, no running!" she called out.

"Sorry!" Goket and Lei replied in unison and they stopped dead in their tracks, causing Juno to run into them.

The twins lurched forward, crashing into Bura in the process. She let out a yell as her plate went flying and hit Vegeta square in the chest. He glared at her and Bura was sure that if her father could shoot lasers from his eyes, she would be deadmeat.

"Sorry, Daddy," she said, picking up a napkin and trying fruitlessly to wipe away the food from his shirt.

Bulma let out a huge guffaw. "Nice aim, Honey!"

"Stuff it, Woman," Vegeta growled.

Chichi came back with a handtowel and Vegeta cleaned himself off. Bura's lips trembled as she struggled to keep her laughter in, but when she met Goten's eyes, a small chuckle escaped. She covered her mouth with one hand and rushed out the door, letting out her laughter. Pan and Trunks began to laugh as well when they heard her clearly. Which then caused everyone else to laugh. Vegeta came back out of the kitchen, his face red with rage. Energy began to spark in the air around him and Yamcha jumped behind the couch.

"Dad," Trunks said, putting out a hand as Pan jumped behind him. "Don't even think about it."

"Are you telling me what to do, Boy?"

Trunks took a step back. "Of course not."

Chichi came up and smacked Vegeta in the back of the head. "If you turn Super Saiya-jin in here and destroy my house, I'm going to move into yours," she threatened.

Forgetting that she'd hit him and only thinking of having another chatty woman in his personal space, Vegeta powered down. Bura came back into the house, looking as if nothing had happened.

"Can someone hand me another plate?" she asked. "I didn't get a bite to eat."

Pan handed her a plate and she went back to the buffet, licking her lips in anticipation. Then, her cell phone rang and she rolled her eyes.

"Hold this, will you?" she said, handing the plate to Trunks.

She went outside where there was better reception and answered the phone.

"Miss Vegeta?" said an unfamiliar voice.


"This is Professor Sagen."

Bura's eyes widened. He was her business class professor. It also happened to be the one class in which she was dancing on the line between failing and passing.

"I just wanted to talk to you about your grades."

"I know they haven't been up to par lately, Professor, but I've been busy helping out a friend, and..."

"I don't want to hear any excuses, Miss Vegeta. I just came to warn you that if you get anything lower than a B on next week's final, you will fail the class. You were so promising in our earlier classes together. I don't understand what's going on."

"I know," Bura said, rubbing her eyes. "There's just been a lot going on..."

"Whatever it is, if you want to graduate in May, you will put it on the backburner."

"I do want to graduate and I will pass your class, Professor Sagen."

"Good luck to you, Miss Vegeta, and I will see you in class tomorrow."

Bura put her phone back in her pocket and tilted her head back to look at the stars. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a shooting star, streak across the sky. She rubbed her arms as she felt a cold breeze.

"What's going on?" Goten asked, putting her jacket across her shoulders.

"I need to go home," she said, facing him. "I'm sorry I have to leave your party early, but I have a final next week and I have to go study."

"Want me to wrap you up some food?"

"No, it's alright. Just tell everyone I got a call from a friend and she needs me." She got on tiptoe and pressed a kiss on his cheek. "Happy Birthday, Goten."

"Good luck on your studying."


She blasted off and he went back into the house, but his spirits had dampened. When his mother rolled out the cake a few minutes later, he couldn't help wishing that Bura had been there, smiling across the candles at him, the glow lighting up her eyes.

A week passed by in a flash. Bura spend half her time helping Goten search for the right supplies, and the other half with her nose in her books. She'd woken up nearly every morning with her face in an open book. Goten didn't mention her studying, but he didn't ask questions when she left earlier than usual. He missed her by his side as he worked in the restaurant, but it also made it easier for him to set up his surprise for her. He was grateful that she was gone the one day that the menus arrived. He'd ran a hand down the pale green, leather bound booklet and smiled when he saw the name stamped across the top of the cover.

He was hiding the menus in the kitchen when he heard her enter. He checked his watch and saw that she was returning from her final. He rushed out, his expression expectant.

"I don't know how I did," she said, wringing her hands. "It's scaring the crap out of me."

He put an arm around her. "I'm sure you did fine. You're going to graduate in May and we'll have everyone in here for our grand opening."

"Yeah," she said, sitting at a table. "Hey, these seats are pretty soft."

"I know."

She looked around and was pleased with the effect they had created. The tablecloths were different colors, though all pale, to match the flowers on the walls. The menus they had ordered would match with the table they were given to. The dishes that were coming in that day were a plain white, but there were carvings of entwined flowers bordering the edges. She smiled and met his eyes, satisfaction on her face.

"Two more weeks, Goten," she said. "Two more weeks and Goten's Place will be in business."

He grinned. "I know."

"We need to start hiring people," she remembered suddenly, jumping to her feet.

Amused, Goten pushed her back down gently. "I already took care of it. I've got a fleet of servers and some helpers in the kitchen. I even found a not-so-snooty French guy to be the maitre'd."

She let out a relieved breath. "Good. So what's left?"

He sat across from her. "Absolutely nothing. You hungry?"

"Yeah. All that thinking..."

He grinned. "I know. Wait right here."

He jumped up and disappeared into the kitchen. When he came back out, he had two plates in his hands, food artfully arranged on them. Eyes wide, Bura allowed him to serve her. He put the plate before her and got her utensils. He shook out a napkin and laid it across her lap, his eyes never leaving her face.

"That smells wonderful," she breathed.

"Try it," he said.

She picked up her fork and stuck it into the soft meat. She closed her eyes after she took a bite.

"Excellent," she said. "I've died and gone to heaven." She opened one eye. "Did I mention how hungry I was?"

Expression rueful, he pushed his plate towards her. Smiling gratefully, she speared a vegetable from his plate with the fork and popped it into her mouth.

"I didn't know everything came in already," she said.

"Just this morning. Surprise," he said.

"A nice surprise. Since everything's pretty much done, what are we going to do now?"

"Since we've gotten lazy with the training, I say we head out to the clearing after you finish eating."

"You're on. I'm feeling wily."

He laughed. "I can't wait to see how that affects your fighting."

She met his eyes and was struck by how right it felt to be with him. She glanced back down at her plate. He reached over and put a finger on her chin, tilting her head up so that he could see into her face.

"Is something wrong?" he asked.

"No," she said with a smile. "In fact, it feels like nothing could ever go wrong again."

To Chapter Nine