As the weeks went by, Trunks and Goten became very good friends. In fact, the two boys along with Chisa and Kira became an inseparable foursome. The other kids didn't understand the reasons behind their friendship as they could only see how different they were from each other on the surface, but as a result of it they did start leaving Kira alone. The twelve-year-old girl joked constantly about her three "bodyguards" to which they responded with copious amounts of muscle flexing and fake threats toward any other kid who happened to get too close.
In just a few months the school year would be coming to a close. Trunks and Kira would be heading off to middle school with the rest of the big kids and the younger members of the group were worried that they would forget all about them. Neither voiced their concerns, however. They hoped that their friendship would remain basically the same but there was a very high chance that it wouldn't.
Every Saturday they met up at either Goten's or Kira's apartments. Trunks, for obvious reasons, couldn't host their get-togethers and Chisa's parents were hardly ever home. From there they would go to the park or just go on expeditions thought up by the ever-adventurous Trunks. After they'd tired themselves out, they would head over to whosever home was the closest. Sometimes they were so far away from their base of operations that it happened to be Trunks'. In that case they would always end up spending the night together in the living room. None of the parents were too worried about them doing that as they were only grade school kids and they were all familiar with each other from speaking over the comm. They had yet to meet up together in person but that was soon to change.
About a month before school ended there was an open house so that parents could come up to the school to discuss their children with their teachers and the kids could show off their accomplishments. Goten was extremely excited about the entire thing. His class had recently done a special project on the known universe and he had gotten assigned to the group that covered the solar system that his father had originally come from. He thought that the picture he and the other two kids had drawn had turned out really good. The other three were less enthused about the entire thing but for varying reasons. Chisa didn't think her parents would be able to make it, Kira was afraid that her mother was going to embarrass her, and Trunks was afraid of what his teacher would say to his father about his behavior. Goten didn't allow their moods to dampen his own, however, and by the time the day of the open house arrived he was so bouncy that his father made a comment about having to scrape him off the ceiling.
Goten, Goku, and Gohan stopped off across the hall to pick up Chisa from the baby-sitter and headed off to S.S. No. 19. The little girl was quiet for the entire duration of the journey and nothing Goten did or said could change that. Her mother had promised at breakfast to try and get off work early that day but Chisa had little hope that she would be able to. Her father, on the other hand, hadn't made any such promise.
When they reached the school they merged into the groups of other people passing through the open double doors. There was a banner strung up above the entrance that said "Welcome Parents!" It only served to reinforce to Chisa that her parents weren't with her and tears began to trickle down her cheeks. She was so quiet that Goten didn't notice that she was crying until he turned to say something to her. "Tousan," he said quietly while tugging on his father's shirt.
"Hmm?" he asked without looking. It was difficult to see where he was supposed to register with so many people around.
That definitely got his attention.
Crouching down before her, he asked gently, "Chisa, sweetie, what's wrong?"
"I-it's okay, Mr. Goku. Don't worry about me."
"I want to worry. Is it your parents?" A stifled sob was her only response. "I'm sure if they could be here that they would."
"I know." Bravely she smiled at him and rubbed her eyes. "My mom, at least."
"Chisa!" a voice from behind called. Her face lighting up at the sound, Chisa spun around to face her mother. Reina Lang was a pretty felid who her daughter resembled completely. In addition to sharing the same blue eyes they also both had chestnut brown fur with chocolate brown stripes on their ears and tail. "I'm so sorry that I'm late. My boss constantly found things for me to do at the last moment."
"That's okay, you're here now!" She looked around hopefully. "Where's Dad?"
"Um..." Reina bit her lip. "He's still at work, honey. There's a very big project due and-"
"It's okay," she interrupted, not wanting to hear any more excuses. "It's better with just you here, anyway. Dad would be upset that I didn't get perfect grades again."
"You did your best, right? That's all that matters." Mother and daughter smiled at each other, all temporarily right in their worlds.
The adults began to chat about standard adult topics such as the weather and the economy. Gohan tentatively joined them. Goten and Chisa grew bored after thirty seconds and ran off to find Trunks and Kira after informing their parents where they would be.
"I can't wait for Tousan to meet him," Goten said as they skipped down the hall, dodging people left and right.
"Why? Is it 'cause you liiiike him." Chisa grinned at him when his cheeks darkened a little with embarrassment.
"Of course I like him. He's my friend."
"Well, Kira's my friend, too, and I don't look at her the way you look at Trunks. Your eyes get all unfocused and you almost always smile."
Goten slowly came to a stop. "Chisa? What do you think Tousan would say?"
"He's nice. He won't be mad."
"You sure?" he asked hopefully. "Gohan still doesn't like Trunks. Last week he even started talking to me about how I'll like girls someday and want to marry one."
The little girl laughed. "Really? You never look at girls like you look at Trunks."
"That's 'cause I don't like girls like that. Gohan calls that bein' 'gay' and he didn't make it sound like a good thing."
"I don't know why he said that because he's gay, too."
Goten stared at her. "What?!"
"It's true. I've seen him look at boys the way you look at Trunks. Never at girls."
"Then why doesn't he like it? It's not like he can change. I know I can't 'cause I tried. Girls are cute but that's it. You're cute. Kira's cute."
Chisa looked away from him, pleased and embarrassed all at once. "Some people think it's bad, that's why. Even though there's a lot of people who like people who're the same gender as them. I think that's stupid. If you like them, you like them. Why would you change that?"
"I'm not going to try anymore. I know Trunks likes me, too. He even kissed me once."
Gasping, Chisa hit him on the arm. "You never told me that!"
"It was just yesterday and then I got so excited about today that I forgot."
"You don't forget something like that. Where did he kiss you?"
"On my cheek."
She was a little disappointed. "I thought he kissed you on the lips."
Goten's cheeks heated up. "I wished that he did."
"Hey, why are you two just standing there?" a familiar voice called. Trunks walked up to them with a grin on his face. Vegeta was right behind him. "Is there something interesting over there that I should see?"
Chisa joined Goten in blushing and they both began to babble something inane about fairies. Trunks rolled his eyes at them, trying not to laugh. Vegeta, on the other hand, couldn't stop staring at Goten. The kid didn't have a tail but he just knew that he was Saiya-jin. His tail had probably been removed much in the same way as Trunks': by a doctor holding a laser scalpel.
"Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?" Vegeta asked his son.
"Oh yeah. Goten, Chisa, this is my papa, Vegeta. Papa, these are two of my friends."
"You look just like him," Goten observed aloud. "You kinda look like my Tousan, too. Doesn't he, Chisa?"
She nodded. "You're right, he does. Are you related to Mr. Vegeta and Trunks?"
"I hope not," Trunks said quickly. He was thinking about how weird their future relationship would be if Goten was family. Seeing that his words had made Goten sad, he was quick to fix things. "I didn't mean that in a bad way."
Frowning at him, his friend asked, "How did you mean it, then?"
Since his father was standing so close, Trunks moved away from him and leaned in close to Goten so that he could whisper in his ear. "We're sorta boyfriends, aren't we? If we were family that would be strange."
"Oh!" he exclaimed. Then he grinned and said more quietly, "Boyfriends? Really?"
"Yeah. Really." He was startled by Goten grabbing him in a hug.
Chisa smiled at them but Vegeta wasn't nearly as happy. He narrowed his eyes in speculation, the weeks of Trunks going on about "Goten this" and "Goten that" suddenly making sense. It was almost too unreal to be true and he figured that Trunks was just going through a phase as he was only twelve. If he would stop to think about it more carefully he would realize that Trunks' mind didn't work in the usual way of kids his age and he would know that his son was serious about his feelings for Goten.
The kids led the way back to where they'd left Goku, Reina, and Gohan. They had been joined by a Kira and a strange-looking woman that just had to be her mother. She wore a long flowing dress the same color as grass and a big floppy straw hat with a wide green ribbon on her head. Around her neck were about half a dozen long strands of faux pearls. Her make-up consisted of emerald green eyeshadow and lipstick. Kira looked incredibly embarrassed to even be standing near her.
"That's my other friend, Kira," Trunks informed his father.
"I recognize her from the comm," he said dryly. Kira called at least three times a week. He had figured a while ago that she had a crush on his son (and was struck once more by how quickly he was growing up), but as he observed her he saw that she didn't treat Trunks any differently from how she treated the other two. Maybe she just liked to call people.
"You must be Trunks' dad!" Kira's mother said loudly. She rushed over and grabbed the small man in a giant hug. Over her right shoulder the kids and the other two parents could see his eyes open wide with surprise. All of them had to stifle laughter. "Kira talks so much about your son. Well, she talks a lot about all of them, really." She finally released him and stepped back.
"That's... nice," he managed to say without coughing. Her perfume could fell an elephant at twenty paces.
"I was just mentioning to Goku and Reina that we should have a little get-together soon. Maybe one to celebrate the end of the school year."
"That would be nice," he said lamely. He was still recovering from his close encounter with the woman's exuberance. As soon as she stepped away to greet a parent that she knew, he let out a sigh of relief.
Trunks ambled up to him. "I warned you, Papa. When I first met Giselle I thought that she and Kira were playing a joke on me. Unfortunately, she acts like that for real."
"Yeah, your description of her was a little too much. I thought you were just trying to scare me."
"I don't have to. She's scary enough on her own."
Kira's cheeks were dark red. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Vegeta." She said this in an exasperated way that indicated that she'd had to apologize for her mother's behavior a lot in the past.
He waved the apology away. "You don't have any control over her." Kira nodded but her facial expression told him that she really wished that she did.
They all split up in the end: the parents in one group and the kids (with Gohan as their baby-sitter) in the other. Goten mentioned something about there being things for them to do in the gym while their parents talked to their teachers. After promising that they wouldn't go anywhere else without permission, the kids took off.
Vegeta found himself incredibly interested in Goku. Like with Goten, he could tell on sight that he had Saiya-jin blood, but he couldn't tell how much. Goku didn't have a tail either but, then again, neither did he. A while ago he'd gotten into a fight he almost hadn't been able to win and it had gotten ripped right off. Unfortunately, once a Saiya-jin entered puberty there was no chance in hell of his or her tail ever growing back.
He searched for a topic of conversation to bring up with the other man and could only come up with one: the friendship between their sons. If he was honest with himself he would call it the "budding romance." Vegeta didn't like the fact that Trunks was getting so close to another boy. It would only spell disaster in the end and he didn't want him to get hurt. He had already been hurt enough to last a lifetime.
While he could bring it up right now he figured that it wasn't yet the right time. It would be better to wait and call on the comm or even go over to Aros and have the discussion in person. As long as there wasn't anyone else around.
"Vegeta, you're miles away," Goku said with a smile on his face. "This is the last place you want to be, isn't it?"
Opening his mouth to respond, Vegeta was suddenly struck by the beauty of Goku's eyes. They were such a dark brown color they were nearly black but he could see varying shades of brown in the irises. He lost several seconds just staring at him, completely unaware that Goku was doing the exact same thing. Slowly the noise of the people around them returned and his mind was startled back into the here-and-now.
"Uh, Trunks always gets good grades and he tries to keep his misbehavior down to a minimum," he said in a slightly dazed voice.
"What?" asked Goku.
They looked at each other, blushing a little. Then they both made a point of looking away.
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