CHAPTER TWO
 
 °»Kaasan?  Kaasan, you home?°…

        °»Yes, dear,°… 18 said, coming into the front room.  °»Who°«s this?°… she asked.

        °»Kaasan, this is Mr. Brock.  He°«s my math teacher.°…

        °»Oh, dear, are her grades that?°… 18 was cut off as Mr. Brock threw himself at her and hugged her, sweeping her off her feet. °»Excuse me!°… she said sharply.

        °»Oh, it°«s really you.  I can°«t believe it!°…

        Marron could see her mother°«s patience wearing thin. °»Mr. Brock,°… she started.

        Mr. Brock put her mother down and looked at her. °»You look the same,°… he marveled.

        °»The same as what?°… 18 asked, exasperated.

        °»I°«m sorry.  Let me introduce myself. My name is Kenji Brock.°…

        °»Pleased to meet you,°… 18 said civilly.

        °»Meet me?°… Mr. Brock laughed. °»What do you mean, meet me?  You know me.  You might not recognize me?it°«s been eighteen years?but this is not a meeting.°… 18 stared at him. °»What are you saying?°… she whispered.

        °»I°«m saying that?°…

        °»Wait!°… Marron exclaimed. She touched Mr. Brock°«s arm and concentrated.  He was telling the truth. °»I think I know what you°«re saying°ńshouldn°«t 17 be here?°…

        °»Yes!°… 18 said immediately. °»Krillin!°… she called.

        Mr. Brock looked confused. °»What? Who°«s 17?°…

        °»Kaasan, I can go get him,°… Marron answered. °»You explain a bit to Mr. Brock.°…

        °»Fine.  Good.  Go do that.  Quickly.°…

        Marron raced outside and grabbed her motorbike.  She wished she could fly.  It would be a lot quicker than this stupid machine. She bit her lip as his house came in view. °»17!°… she yelled as she raced towards his house. °»17!°…

        °»What?°… he asked irritably._I°«m not intimidated.  I°«m not._ °»You need to come over.  Now.  It°«s important.°…

        °»What?  What is it?°…

        °»I?it°«s something you shouldn°«t hear from me.°…

        °»What is it, Marron?°…

        °»No.  I can°«t tell you.  Please, come.°…

        He glared darkly at her, but nodded. °»All right, I°«ll come.°…

        °»Thank you.  Go ahead.  Get there in a hurry.  I°«ll be on my way.°…

        He gave her another dark look, then flew away.      Marron got on her motorbike and hurried for the island.
 

***

        Mr. Brock had waited on explanations until she got back.  Marron felt kind of bad, but shrugged it off.  She hadn°«t asked them to wait, nor had she wanted them to.

        °»Glad you°«re back,°… he said briskly.  He offered her a seat.

        °»Thanks,°… she said uneasily.

        °»Anyway, as I said, I was 7 when you guys disappeared.  You were 21, by the way, so that makes you 39 now.  We didn°«t know had happened to you.  But,°… he grinned ruefully, °»I grew up with you, believe you me.  Our parents never stopped looking and wondering.  I knew what I was supposed to do when I was old enough to try and find you.°…

        18 grinned and squeezed Krillin°«s hand. °»Isn°«t this exciting?°… she whispered.

        °»This is great for you,°… he replied.

        °»I did want to look for you, I really did.  But I have a life of my own.°… He sounded apologetic. °»So I pursued a teaching degree and only occasionally checked leads out.°…

        °»Kenji, you shouldn°«t have to ignore your life for us,°… 18 told him.

        °»Maybe, but I feel bad.  Anyway, Kaasan and Tousan died a couple of years back.  I wish I had found you before then,°… he said wistfully. °»But never mind that. What did happen?°… 17 and 18 looked at each other. °»I told you we didn°«t
remember our past,°… 18 said softly. °»That isn°«t the whole, complete truth.  We remember a little bit.  A Dr. Gero kidnapped us.°…

        Kenji°«s face registered utter shock. °»How°ńterrible,°… he finally got out.

        °»Yes.  It is.  We have no memories of anything.  That°«s why it°«s so exciting for us to find you.°… 18 looked over at her brother. °»Isn°«t it.°…

        °»Yes.°…

        18 sighed.  Her brother was a man of few words. °»Kenji, I just have one really really really big  question.°…

        °»What°«s that?°…

        °»Please, please, what are our names?  Our real names.°…

        Kenji smiled at them. °»You,°… he pointed to 18, °»are Azami, and you,°… he pointed to 17, °»are Taro.°…

        18 gasped. °»Azami,°… she mouthed, then smiled. °»Azami. My name is Azami!  Krillin, I have a name, and it°«s Azami!  And my brother, his name is Taro!°… She grabbed 17°«s hands and they hugged. °»We have names!°… she exclaimed.  °»We have a past!°…
        Marron watched her mother and uncle in awe.  It wasn°«t often that they showed emotion with norestraint.  She smiled at the thought that her mother might become more open. _To training, even, maybe?_ she thought hopefully.
        She came out of her reverie when she realized Krillin was tapping her arm. °»Yes?°…

        °»I think we should make ourselves scarce,°… he said softly.  He jerked his head towards the three. °»I think they°«ll want a little private time.°…

        Marron nodded and followed him into the kitchen. °»Tousan, can I go out for a bit?°…

        Krillin looked at her. °»Where are you going to go?°…

        She gave him her most innocent expression. °»Oh, I just want to think about what happened.  Just think, Tousan, if I hadn°«t said I really did have to go to math, I wouldn°«t have run into Mr. Br?Jisan Kenji.°…

        °»Oh, all right.°… Krillin surrendered with good grace. °»Just be home by six.°…

        °»Thank you, Tousan!°… Marron hopped on the motorbike and headed for Capsule Corp.  After all, Trunks deserved an explanation of why she ditched him.
 

***
 

        Trunks stared at her, open-mouthed. °»You°«re serious.°…

        They were in his room, sitting on his bed.  Trunks was the only one home, as Bra°«d had some sort of award ceremony she°«d wanted Bulma and Vegeta to go to.

        °»Dead serious,°… she answered. °»Is that just crazy?  I mean, imagine I°«d taken Tousan up on his offer and not gone to first hour!  We might have never met him! Trunks grinned. °»That is weird,°… he agreed. °»So, is that all you came by to say?°…

        °»Well°ńyes.  I just thought you should know why Mr. Br--Jisan Kenji °∆kidnapped°« me.°…

        °»I did wonder a little,°… Trunks admitted. °»I mean, you might not be that great at math, but you wouldn°«t let your grades slip so badly.°…

        °»Well, since that°«s all°ń°… Marron stood up.

        Trunks grabbed her hand and pulled her back down. °»Stay awhile,°… he said. °»We still have to work on that schedule, don°«t we?  What time do you have to be home?°…

        °»Six.°…

        He looked at his bedside clock. °»Well, it°«s only four now.  How many nights a week do you think you could slip away without the folks getting suspicious?°…

        °»Right now, I think I could get away with murder and they wouldn°«t notice.  Oh, wait, I°«m grounded.  Once things settle down and I°«m ungrounded, I probably won°«t be able to get out more than three days.°…

        °»Okay.°… Trunks reached in his desk and pulled out a schedule. °»This is the work schedule from Capsule Corp.,°… he said sheepishly, °»but it°«ll serve our purpose.  I usually work every day from six to whenever on weekdays, but I can work with you any time before then.°…
        °»Well, how about I come here right after school?°… Marron suggested. °»Three-fifteen to about five-thirty okay?  Or too much?  Or not enough?°…

        °»No, that°«s good.  On, say, Tuesdays and Thursdays?°…

        °»All right.  And on Saturdays, when do work then?°…

        He shrugged. °»Whenever I feel like it.  Could you come at, say, seven every other Saturday?°…

        She gave him an incredulous look. °»On a Saturday night?°…

        °»What°«s wrong with that?°…

        She stared at him. °»Okay, I don°«t know about you, but I do have a life, you know.°…

        °»Oh.  Right.  Well, what time, then?°…

        °»What about four to six every other Saturday?°…

        °»That°«s good for me.°…

        She smiled sweetly. °»I°«m glad that was resolved with so little difficulty.°…

        °»Yeah, right.  Okay.  Since we can°«t train every day, you°«ll have to do a lot on your own.  Like I said earlier, exercise.  Run, jump?°…

        °»All that good stuff,°… she finished for him. °»Yeah.°…

        His mouth quirked upwards. °»If you°«ll do all this, we should have you flying in no time.°…

        °»I°«d like that.°… She leaned over to look at the schedule. °»Can I keep this?°…

        °»How about this?°… Trunks leaned across her and got another schedule out, copied the first, and gave it to her. °»There.  Now we both have a copy.°…

        °»Thank you.°…

        °»Why do you want one?  Can°«t you remember when we train?°…

        °»Can°«t you?°… she countered. °»I°«ll write the exercises I have to do on it, too.  Maybe it will motivate me more.  Or something like that.°…

        °»Isn°«t flying motivation enough?°…

        She laughed. °»For the first couple of weeks, sure.  But I°«m sure that will wear off after a week or so of not flying.°…

        °»Ah.  Well, then, let°«s take care of that.°…

        Before she knew what he was doing, he had her in his arms and was flying out the window. °»Trunks, what are you doing?°… she shrieked in shock. He shifted her so he was holding her below him, so she was completely dependent on his arm strength to stay aloft.

        °»D--don°«t you dare drop me,°… she gasped.

        Trunks grinned and teasingly relaxed his grip. She shrieked again and instinctively reached up to twine her arms around his neck.

        °»Don°«t worry, Marron-chan.  I wouldn°«t drop you.  Did you really think I would?°…

        °»N-no, but still°ń°…

        He laughed at her but sobered almost instantly. °»I won°«t let you drop,°… he repeated.

        She twisted around to look in his eyes. °»I know, Trunks.°… She let her arms drop from around his neck and stretched them out. °»This almost feels like I°«m flying,°… she whispered.

        °»I thought you might like this.  I°«ll make a deal with you.  Every Thursday after training, I°«ll take you flying like this until you°«re flying on your own.°… She twisted around so fast he almost did drop her but she didn°«t appear to notice. °»You mean it?°… she cried.

        °»Why wouldn°«t I?°… he asked.

        °»This is so incredibly nice of you!  I can°«t believe it.°… She hugged him awkwardly. °»Thank you so much!°…

        He slid his arms down her back, still holding her, but hugging her back. °»Marron-chan, it°«s no trouble at all,°… he whispered into her ear.

        °»No trouble?  Somehow I doubt that.  But thank you anyway.°…

        He looked down at her, smiling, hugging him, looking so incredibly happy; he lowered his head. °»I°«m sorry,°…
he said.

        °»Sor??°… Marron started to repeat, but then Trunks bent his head and kissed her and she was so shocked she couldn°«t react and then a whole bunch of emotions came to the surface and all she knew was that she was _so glad_ and all she could do was kiss him back. Trunks chuckled as he broke the kiss.  Marron°«s eyes fluttered open and she stared at him.

°»What°«s so funny?°… she asked.

        °»This.°…

        She raised an eyebrow.

        °»If you had asked me the first time I saw you if I ever thought I might someday kiss you, you wouldn°«t have gotten a response because I would have been laughing so hard.°…

        She hit him lightly. °»The first time you saw me, you were six years old and I was a squalling baby, for crying out loud.  It°«s been seventeen years, you know.°…

        He traced her jaw with a finger. °»Seventeen years,°… he repeated. °»You sure grew up nicely.°…

        She looked surprised. °»Why, thank you, Trunks-kun.°…

        °»It°«s the truth.°…

        °»Flatterer.°…

        °»True-tongued,°… he corrected.

        She started laughing. °»Just one question for you.°…

        °»Shoot.°…
 

        °»What do we tell our parents?°…


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