She shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep. So I was sitting on the roof and I saw you leaving. So where are you going?”
“Whoa. You were sitting on the roof?”
She rolled her eyes with all the condescension a seven-year-old girl can have towards her eighteen-year-old brother, which is really quite a lot, and said, “Well, of course I was. Duh. How do you think I got stuck in the tree that one time?”
Trunks stared at her. “What were you doing in the tree?” he asked.
She clapped her hands over her mouth. “Oops! Niichan Goten got me that time. I don’t suppose you can forget what I just said?” she asked hopefully.
Trunks sat down. “Uh, no, I don’t think so. What were you doing in the tree?”
Bra sighed and plopped herself
in his lap. “Well, Kaasan told me to clean my room, but I didn’t wanna,
so I got a cleaning robot and climbed out. Then I got stuck and Niichan
Goten saw me, so he got me down. And I went over to Pan’s house,”
Trunks grinned at her. “I see.”
“So, where are you going?”
Trunks sighed. “Well, I couldn’t sleep either. So I was going to go to my canyon.”
“Your canyon?” Bra asked.
“Well, Tousan showed it to me. I go there sometimes to think.”
“Oh.” Bra nodded wisely.
Trunks took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Imoto, do you think you’d like to come there with me?”
She stared at him. “Are you serious?” she demanded.
“Of course I am!”
She turned around and looked deep into his eyes. “Wow. You are,” she said in surprise. “That would be great.”
Trunks picked her up and stood. “Want a piggyback ride?” he asked.
She grinned at him. “That would be very much fun.”
He hefted her up. “Hold on tight,” he instructed.
She rolled her eyes at him. “Niichan, I have flown before, you know.”
Trunks barely suppressed a grin. “Oh. Well, sorry.”
She settled in and wrapped
her arms around his neck. “How far away is this place, Niichan?” she asked.
“Well, I’m not really sure. It only takes about ten minutes to fly there, though.”
“So, how’s school?” Trunks asked.
“You’re reaching, Niichan,” she said. “But school is fine. Except I had to fight yesterday.”
“Had to fight?” Trunks repeated.
“Yes!” Bra defended. “Look, this boy kept saying these really mean things about our family. Then he said that you looked like a girl. So I had to fight him.”
Trunks was touched. “You didn’t have to fight over me, Imoto.”
“Sure I did. You’d fight
for me, so I had to fight for you. It’s only fair. Besides,
I just hit him once, and he was down! Flat on his back. You’d’ve
“Where’d you learn to fight?” Trunks asked.
She rolled her eyes again. “Niichan, you’re asking silly questions.”
“Well, enlighten me anyway.”
“I watch you and Niichan Goten spar all the time! Don’t you ever notice me?”
“Of course I do!”
“What is this canyon like, Niichan?” Bra asked.
“Um, it’s like a canyon. It’s big and empty and—”
“Is there somewhere where you could make a fire?”
“It is a little cold,” Bra pointed out.
“Oh.” Trunks hadn’t noticed. “Imoto, do you trust me?”
“Of course I do!”
“Okay, I’m going to power up a bit to give us some heat. It won’t hurt you or anything at all, all right?”
“Okay.” Bra shrugged.
Trunks concentrated for a moment, then felt his ki flare. “Is that okay?”
“That’s very nice, thank you, Niichan,” Bra said, and settled into this back.
“Okay, here we are.” Trunks started descending, stopping only when he got to a cave half-hidden by the canyon walls.
Bra clambered down and looked
around. “Wow, this is really cool,” she said. She started shivering.
Trunks grinned at her. He sat down and powered up again. “Want to sit in my lap?” he invited.
Bra grinned back. “Thank you, Niichan.”
“Hey, wait until I tell all the guys at school I got a beautiful girl to sit in my lap,” he said.
“Niichan, you are very silly,” she informed him.
“Yeah, well, it happens sometimes.”
She leaned back into chest. “Niichan, why do Kaasan and Tousan always fight?” she asked.
“Oh…well, they do it for fun.”
“Fun?” Bra repeated. “You can’t be serious!”
“Well, I am.”
“But when we yell at each other, they tell us to go to our rooms and be quiet!” Bra protested.
“I’ll tell you something, Bra. Adults have a double standard. They can do all sorts of things we’re supposedly not allowed to do.”
“I already know that!” Bra gave him a look that spoke volumes.
“But it was nice of you to try.” Bra smiled up at him. “How’s your school going?” she asked.
Trunks grinned down at her. “Well, it’s finals time.”
“We have a whole bunch of tests in just a couple of days. The thing is, these tests are so important, that our whole grade can depend on it.”
“Eww. I guess I’ll have to go to high school someday, won’t I?”
“And I’ll have to take finals, too, won’t I?”
“Know what, though?”
“I like being here with you…this doesn’t suck.” She smiled up at him. “I thought you didn’t like me, but now you do, and you’re a really great big brother.”
“Wow. You’re just full of compliments for me tonight, aren’t you?”
Bra shrugged. “Well, I just think that you deserve it, that’s all.”
“Well, thank you, Imoto. You’re a pretty great little sister yourself.”
“No, I’m not.”
“What? Why do you say that?”
She looked around guiltily. “Well, I told on you once.”
“Imoto…” he started.
“No, wait. And then I called Pan and told her you were in big trouble.”
He began laughing. “Imoto, I really don’t care about that. I really don’t. I’ve been in so much trouble in my life that something like that…well, let’s say it’s not remembered very long.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well, good.” Bra leaned her head on his chest and closed her eyes. He began rocking imperceptibly. Soon, she was asleep in his arms.
Trunks looked down at her. She really was a sweet kid. He thought back to all the times that he’d been angry enough to throttle her and couldn’t help chuckling. Usually, she hadn’t even understood why he was mad at her. He wondered if she’d abuse him during her teenage years the same way that he’d abused her. Probably, he decided. Oh well. If she’d managed to live through his rages, he could live through hers.
Trunks rested his cheek on Bra’s head and closed his eyes.
He didn’t realize he had fallen asleep until he woke up. He rubbed his eyes and looked out. The sky was beginning to turn pink. It was sunrise, he realized. He grinned and lightly shook his sister. “Hey, Imoto. Look. The sun is rising.”
Bra opened her eyes and looked out. “Wow,” she breathed. “It’s so pretty. Thank you for waking me up.”
He grinned at her. “Do you think Kaasan and Tousan noticed that we’re gone?”
“No, I couldn’t sleep last night ’cause they were yelling at each other in their room,” Bra told him.
Trunks could feel himself begin to blush. “Oh,” he said. “Well, either way, we’d better get home.” He stood up and picked Bra up. “I’ll carry you, don’t worry,” he said. “Why don’t you just go back to sleep?”
She relaxed and leaned her head on his shoulder. “Sankyuu, Niichan,” she said drowsily.
Trunks flew in her room quietly
and set her in her bed. “Sleep well, Imoto,” he whispered, tucking her