Title: Killing Me Softly
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song.
nbsp;Bra walked slowly into the dingy club. She knew she shouldn't be here,
but she heard too much about the singer. She heard he sang like no
other person. She never cared for other people's opinions but her curiosity
got the best of her. It couldn't hurt to just listen to him. She wanted
to know how good he was. 'It's not like I know him or anything.'
I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style.
And so I came to see him to listen for a while.
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes.
She sat in the corner. The small club all of a sudden got very quiet.
Bra watched intently as a young man took the stage. He had a broad back
and messy black hair. When he sat down Bra saw his shadows of his face.
He had chiseled good looks and dark fiery eyes. He sat down on a small
brown stool with his guitar in his hand. He tapped the microphone and
looked around in the audience. She was certain that his eyes locked on
hers. There was something familiar about his eyes. His eyes had a sense
of security and a peaceful calmness about it. She slowly bit her lip.
'I think I know him.'
A waiter brought her a small lemonade. She began to drink some when he strummed a few notes on the guitar. "Hello folks. Tonight I'm going to sing one of my favorite songs. This is dedicated to a friend. If she's here tonight, I hope she gets the full meaning of the song." Bra watched him closely. He had a husky deep voice. She became entranced when he started to strum his guitar slowly. She heard the speakers play the music, but with the melody he was playing it seemed more real. She took another sip out of the glass and watched him as he began to sing.
His voice was rich and deep. He sang from his soul. It touched her like nothing she ever heard. 'They were right. He sings like no other.' Bra didn't realize he was done singing. She listened as he played a few more chords. Tears steadily rolled down her cheek. A sudden realization hit her as she recognized the song was meant for her. When he played the last chords everyone stood up and applauded. She stood up as well. Her eyes searched for the man on the stage. He stared long and hard at her again. That sense of realization hit her again. Her silent tears rolled down her face as she stared at him. She just had to know who he was. Her vision was blurring but she had to know. She mouthed the words to him. "Who are you?" She stared at him longer. That song or what she heard of it really spooked her. She saw him motioning her to come towards him. She bit her lip. He picked up his guitar and turned around. Before he exited the stage he looked back at her. She still couldn't see his whole face but something just said "go!" She acted on instinct for the first time and looked back at him. Bra nodded her head and headed towards him.
She walked to the beginning of the club. She took comfort in the fact
that the darkness of the club made it so comfortable. She stopped when
she came to the stage door. 'I've got to know? How did he know that
much about me?' She wasted no time in opening the door. The door slowly
creaked open as she entered.
A shadowy silhouette was in the corner. "Do you know who I am?" It was a simple question. There was something about it though that sent a tingling feeling down her spine. She tried to make out the figure but nothing came to her mind.
"Who are you?" Bra smiled happily that her voice didn't falter. The figure switched on a lamp. It gave the room a dim look to it. She squinted her eyes until she could make out the silhouette. When her eyes finally made out who the shadowy figure was she gasped. "Gohan-san?"
Gohan laid the guitar down and stared at the blue haired twenty year old. "Yeah, it's me." He gestured towards a seat opposite of him.
"Gohan-san... I didn't know you could sing?" Bra walked hesitantly towards the chair and sat down heavily on the seat. Her jaw was open as she looked at him.
"There's a lot you don't know about me."
She looked at him strangely and frowned. "Ohh." He sat back in the chair and she squirmed in uneasiness. There was another question that was burning at the tip of her tongue. "Gohan-san, was that song about..."
"Yeah, it was about you."
"But why? I don't understand. Why would you sing a song about me? We hardly ever talk? It just makes no sense. T-That song... it was like you were describing my life. It's like... I really can't explain it, but..." Bra put a hand to her head. New tears came to the back of her eyes, but she wouldn't shed a tear.
"Bra-chan, I don't understand either. But I have been noticing you a lot lately and it sometimes confuses me. You seem so drawn out and depressed a lot of times. It saddens me when I see people I know being neglected. I really can't explain it, but I feel connected to you. I didn't know I would even sing that song tonight. But I felt I had to."
Bra looked away from him. "Gohan-san...", she bit on her fingernail, "um... how do you feel connected to me." She looked back at him. He eyes taking on a glassy effect.
Gohan bit his lip to keep from hugging her and telling her it was going to be alright. Telling her there was no need to cry. He felt a strong urge to protect her but he quickly pushed that to the back of his mind. "Bra-chan, I... um.... I think I can understand what you are going through. I was exactly like you after my father got killed in the Cell Games. I didn't feel close to anyone, but when I met Videl, something clicked. I felt something... my sense of loneliness kinda went away. But ever since...." Gohan sighed. "What I'm trying to say is, that ever since that day something said 'don't worry.' Think about others, think about someone close by." Gohan raised his head and cracked a half grin.
Bra smiled at Gohan's sincere words. "Thank-you Gohan-san. It's nice to know someone recognizes me other than my father." Against her will a tear rolled off her cheek. Gohan scooted up to the seat and wiped it off.
"You're welcome. Just remember I'm here if you need me for anything."
A genuine smile graced her facial features. At his touch the dam burst open. She wiped her tears away furiously. She gave him a wan smile. Bra cleared her voice getting ready to change the subject. "Gohan-san, how did you know I would be here tonight?"
"Just Gohan. I don't really know. I have been playing here off and on for every few months since she died." Gohan bowed his head in respect for his deceased wife. "Something told me to play tonight. I guess intuition is always right."
Bra sat back in the chair. She wondered if Gohan was really going to be there for her. It would be nice to have someone other than her dad to count on. "I hope we can be buddies from now on Gohan. I hope Pan doesn't get jealous if I spend some time with her father."
"Heh, Pan is old enough not to worry about me. She's too involved with Ubuu to notice me anymore." Gohan sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.
Bra bit her lip. Last year when Videl-san died of cancer, Pan was shocked. The only way to help her through that time was Ubuu's love for her. Gohan had his brother to help him with the pain. But anyone could tell, it just wasn't the same. Bra reached for his hand. "Don't say things like that."
Gohan looked at her hand on his for a while. "Thank-you Bra-chan."
Bra smiled. "You're welcome." She smiled at him again. "Next week I think I should sing a song to thank you."
Gohan's eyebrows shot up. " That's really nice of you but you really don't have to. But it you really want to why don't you wait for a while." Gohan gave her his sweetest smile and grabbed her hand to pull her up. "May I take you home, it's kinda late."
"Thanks Gohan. We can talk on our way. I walked here." She gave him her best kiddy smile.
"So did I. I can think more that way." He smiled down at her too. Gohan took in how pretty she was. He had to mentally kick himself to remind him that he was old enough to be her father. A small blush crept to his cheeks. 'Why am I even thinking like this?'
Bra looked up at Gohan. He had his guitar strapped to his back. He was really cute. Cuter than Goten. He was smart, strong, sweet, and caring. She squeezed his hand in hers. When he looked down at her she smiled again. A small smile came to his lips. 'Oh yea... this will be an interesting friendship.'
"So how long have you been playing the guitar?"
&nbp;sGohan seemed lost in thought before he answered. "For a while. Mom wanted me to play an instrument. I picked violin. I hated that thing, but I didn't want to quit because mom said I was so good at it. When she wasn't around I used the thing as a guitar. I just taught myself."
Bra laughed. "That was interesting." Gohan chuckled a bit too. "I would never guess you the type to go against someone's wishes." She laughed a little more.
"I guess you're right. But ever since Videl died, I haven't been feeling like myself lately. I really don't understand it." Bra looked up at her companion. His voiced switched from a joking tone to a depressed one.
"I'm sorry about her Gohan. I know how much she meant to you and Pan." She squeezed his hand in reassurance. Gohan smiled at her with glassy eyes.
"Thank-you Bra. Let's talk about something else before I get all mushy." Bra's expression changed into worry at his words.
"Gohan, it's okay, we can talk about her if you want to. I have no problem with it." She stopped him and looked at him. "It's better to talk to people about your pain. If you don't open up, you'll end up like me again. Sad for so many reasons, and you can never face your problems." Bra was unaware that her voice dropped a few notes from normal.
"Bra-chan... really you don't have to..."
"But I want to. You don't know how much I feel in debt to you from the way you sang that song. It seems you know more about me than any of my closest friends. Please..."
Gohan stared at the young woman beside him. He could sense the sincerity in her expression. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. "Okay, Bra-chan. But do you want to stop for some ice cream. We can talk there." Gohan held out his hand again for her to take.
Bra suspected he was trying to dodge the problem. She hesitantly took his hand. "I guess. I haven't had any of the pretzel-chocolate-peanut butter ice cream in a long time." Bra rubbed her stomach and took a step forward.
Gohan turned up his nose and shook his head slowly. "I can't believe you just said that. I think we should talk about you before we talk about me."
Bra grinned. She stopped and stared at him in the face. "That is good. You should try it. I didn't make fun of Goku-san, Goten-kun, or you when I saw you eat cake. Now that is even more of a reason we should talk about you first." Bra poked his cheek like it was some kind of threat.
"Bra-chan, that was just mean. How about...."
"Let's stop talking about our eating habits. I want to know useful stuff about you than how many weird ways we eat food."
Gohan chuckled. "I guess you're right. The ice cream place is the next building."
After both of them had their fourth ice cream sundae's and five ice cream cones they began to talk. Bra stared at the young looking college professor across from her. He was such a cutie without those dorky glasses. He had a intensity about him that made you wonder about him. 'I wonder if this is what Videl-san felt when she met Gohan,' she thought. Bra adverted her eyes away from him when she sensed he was noticing her studying him.
Gohan almost smiled. He knew she was trying to study him, but he studied her as well. Bra was very pretty. She looked a lot like Bulma. That was one of the things he liked about her right away. When he was younger he had a small crush on Bulma. He always helped her with little stuff like carrying her places, listening her talk about some invention, help her when he could. But Bra was something different. She may have looked like Bulma but she was a long shot away from being like Bulma. Bra had her own style and personality. It was another thing he liked about her. Gohan had to admit to himself though, he liked Bra a lot more when she wasn't wearing her red outfit that he had seen her in so often. She wore a tight black shirt with devil horns on it and a flashy gray-black pants with black boots. She looked... it was a word he couldn't think of, but whatever it was she was it.
"Gohan let's talk about you." Bra gave him a half smile and pushed her dishes out of the way. "C'mon, there's a lot I don't know about you."
Gohan stared down. "I guess... I can talk about myself. But do I really have to??"
Bra laughed. "Yeah you do. Unless, you want to just start writing each other. Writing is ten times easier than talking. I write you a letter everyday and you write me. I'll drop by your office at the end of the day to pick up my letter and give you yours." Bra's eyes went upwards as she talked.
Gohan considered her idea. She was right. Writing was a lot easier than talking to someone about them. "I guess. It couldn't hurt either."
"Gohan!! You are impossible! Just say it was a good idea. You remind me of Trunks!" Bra sighed exasperated.
Gohan smiled. "So I'm like another brother to you?"
Bra had a surprised look on her face. "No. You don't know what it's like to live with a bunch of nuts. Daddy is so worked up over training. Trunks is... well let's just say he is a very unhappy person. Mom invents something every ten minutes. And me... well you know." Bra grinned at the description of her family.
"And I thought I was the only one whose family was different." Gohan laughed with Bra then.
They chatted and laughed with each other until Bra looked at her watch. "Oh crap, we've got school tomorrow and it's almost one thirty."
Gohan stood up when she stood. "I guess I see you tomorrow Miss Briefs." Gohan gave the heiress to Capsule Corporation a mock bow.
"Quit it. I hate my last name, remember I told you that." Gohan grinned at her agitation. "Anyway, don't forget my letter. It better have something meaningful in it, and by meaningful, you know what I mean." Bra gave the older man a stern expression.
Gohan didn't bother to look at the woman in fear of wincing at the look. 'Nevermind what I thought before. She acts just like Bulma.' He sighed and finally looked at her. "Yes ma'am', but you better have something meaningful in your letter,and don't say anything defendful. Do you want me to walk you home? Didn't you say you moved into an apartment a few blocks from here... right?"
Bra nodded at him. "But you don't have too..."
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want to." Gohan took her by the arm and led her outside of the small building.
They walked in silence on the way to the apartment. Gohan occasionally looked her way. Bra peeked in a shy look now and then. When they finally reached the place, the silence overwhelmed them.
'Say something stupid,' her mind urged. "Gohan thanks for tonight. I can add another buddy on my friend list. Let's see... that makes seven."
"You didn't want me talking like that, so what makes you think I am going to let you talk like that."
"Okay... I'll remember what I say from now on." Bra looked around, she didn't want to leave him yet. "You'll remember my letter?"
"Yeah... will you remember mine?"
"Yeah. I'm gonna write it tonight." She smiled up at him. Bra tiptoed up and kissed his cheek.
Gohan stepped back in confusion. "I-I don't understand? What was that for?"
"For being a friend. I'll see you tomorrow." Before he could say anything else, she entered the building and closed the door behind her.
After some time Gohan closed his mouth and whispered two words. "Goodnight Bra-chan."
Bra ran up the stairs in a rush. She wished she could have seen
Gohan's face when she kissed his cheek. When she got close to the her floor
she slowed up a bit. Her talk with Gohan today had helped her. She just
wasn't sure how yet. There was something about
him she sensed he wasn't telling her. It was something that was eating
up at her insides. When she finally reached her door she got hit with a
feeling that she wasn't the only one who could sense Gohan kept a
secret from them.
Bra bit her mouth's insides. She opened the door and walked into the
bathroom. Whatever it was, she knew it would tie some sort of bond with
him forever. The word bond scared her. Bonding period scared the crap
out of her. She knew that the bond she would form with Gohan wouldn't be
one she would like. Even if she did like it, someone she knew was not
going to like it.
Gohan stood there numbly for a moment longer rubbing his left cheek. He stared after her retreating back until he couldn't see it anymore. Slowly he turned around and walked away.
He shoved his hands deeper in his pockets as he walked on. He let his thoughts reflect on how his day had gone. It was an ordinary school day. Nothing special. Nothing ever happened on Wednesdays. He walked through the day like in a hazy fog. Later that evening he kept thinking about Bra. Something about her didn't smile like he remembered how it used to when she was younger. Something was breaking her down. Then he kept thinking about the club he went to once or twice a month to play at. He didn't know what made him go to the club tonight. Something just told him to go and play the first song that you heard. What a coincidence the first song he heard reminded him of Bra. The song was "Black Balloons" by the Goo Goo Dolls. It was a depressing song. But a lot of the lyrics reminded him of her. He felt sorry for Bra. He didn't know why, but he did.
When he saw his house in the distance he walked slower. He still couldn't understand why he felt so sorry for Bra. He thought and thought until he remembered. Bra reminded him of his mom. Both have been neglected by love ones. He could tell both of them have had their hearts broken many times. He sighed. Tears came to the back of his eyes. His mother died a few months after his father left for the last time. All he had in the world was Pan and he suspected she would be leaving him soon. Pan and Ubuu were becoming involved rather quickly. He had a feeling Ubuu would propose to her any minute. A small smile tugged at his mouth. At least something good was going to happen soon. His thoughts drifted back towards Bra. A small sense of panic came to him when he thought about her. It was like something was bad was going to happen to her, and she was going to let it happen to her. He desperately tried to shrug the feeling off, thinking it was only him being paranoid. But the less he thought about it, the more dread came to his stomach.
He opened the door slowly because he didn't know if Pan was asleep or not. He went directly to his study to write Bra her letter. He got out lots of paper, for some reason he felt he had a lot to talk to her about.
Bra came out of her bathroom drying her hair with a towel. She pulled
on her black night shirt as she went to her room. She looked through
her book bag for her pen and notebook. When she found them she went to
her bed and stretched out. "What should I talk to you about first..." She
tapped the pen on her notebook thoughtfully. She gave up on to talk
about anything specific she just had to concentrate on writing him. She
took the top off of the pen and began to write. "Dear Gohan...."
Gohan wrote three pages so far. He didn't know he had this much to tell her. But he had to get some things off his chest.
"Bra... you don't know how much I needed to talk to someone about this. I never new that I had this much to tell someone. I shouldn't keep my feelings bottled up inside... but sometimes it is hard to talk them out with someone. I could talk about things like this to Videl... but now she's gone. I loved her. I love her so much it's hard to describe. It might sound corny, but I don't think I ever will stop loving her."
Gohan wrote half a page more. He didn't want to talk about everything at once... he had to save some things for later. When it came to the closing he got stuck. 'Should I put Sincerely or something else?' He nibbled on the end of his pen. He finally picked the right closing. 'Can't go wrong with this one.'
Bra only stopped writing when she got hand cramps. She wrote about
everything that was glued to her mind.
"Gohan, I think you should open up more. You seem more closed out and drawn away than most of the time. It's kinda sad. I always thought of you as one of the coolest people I have ever known. You went through so many storms but you always end up dry. You may think that you're scared to go on without her, but you have a lot of courage. I read somewhere that courage means to walk in the shadows while everyone else walks in the light. Remember that... I think it will help you later on in life."
Bra looked at the clock and decided it was getting late and to wrap things up. 'Now how do I close this thing up?' She tapped her pen against the notebook again. She gave up on trying to be poetic and settled for what she knew would be perfect.
"Your friend always,
Bra woke up sleepily when the alarm wouldn't go off. She looked at the
clock. It was a quarter after nine. She didn't have classes until ten
thirty. A few more minutes of sleep wouldn't hurt. Just as she was about
to close her eyes her doorbell rang. "Ugh... why me?" She pulled the
covers off as she got up.
She didn't bother putting on any shorts or shoes. Whoever it was would just have to settle for her looking like crap. Hastily she opened up the door preparing to be extra crabby to whoever it was who woke her up. "What... oh it's just you."
Trunks rolled his eyes as he let himself in. "Good morning to you too."
"Sorry Trunks, but I had at least another half and hour of sleep left. And I stayed up all night."
"If you stayed up all night then an half an hour's rest wouldn't matter." Trunks walked to her kitchen to grab something to eat.
"Feel free to eat all of my food Trunks." Trunks poked his head out of the kitchen with a chicken leg in one hand. "Sorry about that sis. I came to ask you a favor."
Bra walked to the kitchen and pulled out a box of cereal. "What favor?"
Trunks took a big bite out of the chicken leg. "Mawon amd me habto goo wo oufto towm twodae. Cwen ydo wat Carwen twodae?"
Bra looked at her brother. She had to dodge a few times from the pieces of food flying out towards her. "Trunks... do you really think I understood you?"
He looked at her and swallowed. "Sorry. I said, Marron and me are going out of town today. Can you watch Carmen this week. We'll be back next Thursday."
She took a bite of her cereal and chewed thoughtfully. "Haven't you talked to mom or dad about it?" Trunks shook his head.
"They are busy. Same thing with my in-laws. Please Bra, I know I owe you big... just this once. Juunana-gou will be by here to watch her sometimes too."
Bra's eyes lit up a little. "Okay. When will he be by?"
Trunks took another bite. "He said he will watch her while you are at school. So you don't have to make any serious changes to your schedule."
Bra finished her cereal and put the bowl in the sink. "Oh okay. So where is Carmen now?" Bra went back and sat down at the table.
"She's at Juunana's now. I forgot to ask you this yesterday. But it's okay now." Bra opened her mouth to say something else. But Trunks beat her to it. "Thanks Bra. You're the best. And thanks for the chicken." Trunks grabbed a napkin and headed for the door. "Kiss Carmen for me." He turned and waved before closing the door.
Bra groaned. She loved her niece but Trunks could have told her a lot sooner. But at least she would get to see Juunana. Bra went back into the kitchen to wash the dishes. When she finished she headed towards her room to grab her clothes. She went to the bathroom to clean up and get dressed. "I guess I will clean up the guestroom then head to school." She yawned and opened the door.
Gohan taught three classes before he could take a break. So far, all
he could think about was her. It was a task to keep his brain focused as
he taught the class. He was actually looking forward to seeing her
again later in the day. He just had to get through two more classes before
he could take off. Not many people took advanced Pediatrics and
Medicine Terminology III anyhow. He would be ready to go at around one thirty
or two. Bra told him that her classes ended at one. 'It won't be too
long.' He thought wistfully.
Bra went through the day in a haze. Her thoughts kept going back to Gohan. She was growing impatient because of her slow teachers. She needed to get to Gohan. It still kinda shocked her. In three and a half hours she thought of him as her best friend. Someone she could totally trust and rely on. Now... she didn't know what she would do without him.
When the class was dismissed she shook her thoughts in place. She didn't want to seem too anxious to see him. But that was the problem.... she was. 'Maybe he can come with me to get Carmen. I can talk about Juu-kun on the way there. It'll be nice to talk to someone about him.' She smiled as she kept walking down to his classroom. A small smile graced her features. She was already planning their day together. She stopped for a minute to find her letter to him. 'Can't loose this...'
As Bra drew closer to the door she slowed down. She felt like there were dragonflies in the pit of her stomach. The closer she went the more she felt like she was going to be sick. Just as she was about to open the door it opened itself.
Gohan regained his sense of surprise when he came face to face with Bra. Their noses bumped before he had a chance to jump back. "Sorry about that Bra-chan."
Bra smiled at him. "Don't worry about it. I was about to open the door too." Gohan chuckled a bit too. He dug his hands in his pockets and looked down. "Come in. I taught all of my classes for the day." Gohan opened the door wider and stepped aside so she could enter. Both walked to the front of the class. Gohan sat behind his desk while Bra sat on a corner on the desk.
"You know, Bra, I had a hard time teaching my classes today. I kept thinking about you." A small blush came to his cheeks. "I know what you mean. I was so thankful that I didn't have any tests today. Most likely I would have failed." Bra said blushing a bit too.
"I stayed up till three writing you your letter. It's kind of long, sorry about that." Gohan handed Bra a blue envelope with her name on it. "Don't apologize so much. The letter I wrote you is on the long side too." She smiled as she took the envelope from him. She gave him a green envelope with his name written on it.
Both took a few minutes to read their letters. Gohan smiled at some parts. Bra had managed to write only half a page about herself. The letter was basically about her telling him to open up more and not be so bottled up inside. He was touched that she actually cared so much about him. When he finished he set the letter on the desk and stared at her. Tears were coming down her face.
Bra was getting emotional and she hated it. But Gohan's letter was just so... deep. He told her of how scared he was after Goku left. Then after Piccolo Chi Chi, and Videl died. He told her about how much he loved Videl. How he thought about suicide after she died. Everything she couldn't imagine. But she had a feeling that the things he told her now was just the tip of the iceburg.
"Bra... is everything alright?" Gohan tentatively placed a hand on her shoulder. Bra whipped her head around at his touch. She smiled a sad smile for him. "Yeah... just a little teary. I am so sorry Gohan. I didn't know half of the things you went through." More tears escaped her eyes against her will.
Gohan was touched again at how much she cared for him. He wiped a few tears away. "It's okay Bra. I didn't know exactly what I was feeling. You don't know how much you have helped me. But how come you didn't tell me anything about yourself?" That earned a smile out of Bra. She tried desperately to blink the tears away. "If you want me to talk about me. It's going to be a novel. I have so much going through my mind and after things I went through. You wouldn't want to read anything about me." She sighed and tried to turn away from Gohan's grasp. But he kept his hand to keep her from turning around. He grabbed her chin for her to look at him. He looked straight into her eyes and didn't take his gaze off of them.
Bra stared straight at Gohan. She felt like she could drown in those eyes of his. When she couldn't stand his piercing eyes anymore she closed her eyes. Tears still rolled down her cheeks.
"Bra don't close your eyes." Bra blinked up at him. He still had her chin in his hand. "I want to see what kind of person would cry for me. Please Bra. Please do me this favor." Bra resisted from him. "Gohan... I think it just isn't right for someone as kind as you to be put through a hard life. You didn't deserve bad things to happen to you. It's like death surrounds you, but you can find a way to smile through it. I wish I had that kind of courage." Bra sighed and opened her eyes to look at him. "I wasn't surrounded by death. I was surrounded by loneliness. I know my family loves me... but it's like they are always an arm's reach away. I am and always will be alone." Bra closed her eyes and stood up. She turned her back on him.
Gohan was dumbfounded. No one actually took their time to realize the life he had. He hardly knew what kind of life he had. He watched Bra stand alone and wrap her arms around herself. He ran his fingers through his hair. He stood up and walked right behind Bra. He hugged her from behind. "Bra... don't worry. You won't be alone anymore. I am always going to be with you. You're like my best friend now."
Bra turned around in his embrace. He rested his chin on her head. In a muffled voice she talked to him. "Thank-you Gohan. Thanks." Gohan smiled a little. "You're welcome."
Bra stayed in his arms a little longer. Her tears were gone. She knew if she stayed in his arms any longer she wouldn't be able to leave. She bowed her head down when she stepped away from him. "Sorry about that Gohan. You probably think of me as a crybaby now. I usually don't cry. It's a sign of weakness. I am so..."
Gohan rolled his eyes and put his finger on her lips. "Bra-chan, shut up. I don't think any less of you than I thought before. So you can stop rambling." He removed his fingers and stepped back. "Plus, if crying was a sign of weakness... everyone in this world would be on life support." Bra grinned at his remark. "Okay... thank-you Gohan again." He waved his hand as in dismissing the idea. "Don't worry about it. I know you would do the same for me." Bra nodded knowing he was right.
"Um... Gohan, can I ask you to do a favor for me?" He looked at her. "Yeah, what is it?" Bra fidgeted a bit. "I am watching Carmen this week, and I have to pick her up at Juu-k... Juunana-gou's place. Can you come with me?"
l Bra's little slip up didn't go unnoticed from him. "Sure. And Bra can I ask you a question?" Bra lifted her head up. "Yeah. What is it?"
Gohan walked a little closer to her. His face had a stern expression. "Bra... do you like anyone?" Her eyes popped out of her head. "U-Uh... no. I don't think I do." Gohan shook his head side to side. "Are you lying to me?" She shook her head sideways. "I think you are." Bra looked at Gohan strangely. "C'mon... you like Juunana and you know it. I can tell." Bra bit her lip to keep from saying anything. "It's okay. You can tell me all about it. But before you tell me about Juunana-gou, can you tell me your feelings on Goten? I was positive you two would end up with each other, but I must have missed something."
Bra laughed and pulled him out of the class. "You are left out in the dark. C'mon, let's get Carmen. My story with Goten is short so don't expect some depressing break-up, but Juunana-gou is another thing." Gohan willfully followed Bra out of the school.
"So that's what really happened between you guys?" Gohan stopped and thought about it a little. "How come no one ever told me?" Bra stopped and turned around to face him. "You never asked. Plus... I don't think Goten and I actually thought about it too much." Gohan facefaulted. "Okay... I haven't talked to Goten as much the past couple of months so I don't know his side clearly. But you said Goten went back to his ex-girlfriend?"
Bra ran her fingers through her hair and nodded slowly. "But I think I saw that coming a mile away. I just didn't want to face reality. But as you have guessed, I moved on. At least I am trying to. I haven't said anything to Juu-kun. We go out sometimes but that is just sometimes. I like him a lot, but I am not trying to fall in love again. The whole situation with Goten was a lot of heartache and confusion."
Gohan stared at her. His brain was slowly processing the information she gave him. "But I thought Goten dumped her a while back?" He scratched his chin and with his other hand behind his head. "Yeah he did. And that pisses me off. I loved Goten and he leaves me for some dumb bimbo who he dumps a week after me."
Gohan couldn't help but to laugh at his friend. She was acting like some fourteen year old. As soon as a stifled laugh came out of his throat he regretted it. Bra's head whipped around so fast he didn't have time to catch his breath. Within seconds she tackled him on the grassy area. She got in his face and gave him a look that belonged on Vegeta's face. "That was not funny. Take that back. You're suppose to be my best friend Gohan!"
Gohan's mouth stretched in a goofy smile. "Sorry about that Bra-chan. Didn't mean to laugh at that. But it was the way you said it and..." Bra sat on his stomach hard. Gohan's air went out of his lungs. "You can be such a meanie at times. Forget about it and let's get to Juu-kun's house."
Bra got up off of Gohan and gave him a hand. "Let's go. I haven't seen Carmen in a while. I want to take her to the mall and maybe the park if I get home in time." Gohan took her hand as she helped him up. He dusted the grass off of himself and looked back at Bra. "I didn't know you liked kids so much." Bra was temporarily shocked. "I don't. But Carmen is different. She is smart for a four year old and she's just the sweetest thing I have ever met. She is also cute considering who her father is." Gohan chuckled at her comment. "That was mean. You and Trunks look alike you know." She made a face and pinched him. "Don't say that again. But I guess we sort of do. Carmen has the lavender hair like my brother's and no nose like Marron." Gohan flashed a half grin. "It's not nice to talk about people." Bra shrugged her shoulders. "Who cares anyway? I'm not hurting anyone." Gohan only shook his head with a smile. The rest of the way to Juunana's cabin was in silence.
"Obachan!! Am I spending the night at your house?" Bra picked up her
four-year old niece when she entered the small cottage. Bra smiled and
pushed a stray lock of lavender hair from her eyes. "Yes... but first we
are going to the park if it isn't to late." Carmen smiled up at her
Juunana walked in the room when he heard squealing. His eyes brightened up a little when he saw Bra holding Carmen. Even though he never told anyone, he liked her a lot. There was this force that attracted him immediately to her. It may have come off as him being too proud to admit something like that. But the fact was, he was just too shy. Feelings were still new to him, and he intended to take his time and figure out what he felt.
In a sly seductive voice Juunana shocked Bra. "Hey Bra-chan. Is it time for you to pick up Carmen already?" He smirked at the faint blush that rose on her cheeks.
Bra saw his smirk and cursed inwardly. "Yeah... I might take her a couple places before we go home, but it might wait for later. You can come with us if you want to. It's only going to be Carmen, me, and Gohan."
When he heard her say Goku's brat's name his eyebrows shot up. 'Why in the world would she be talking to him? Unless...' Bra seemed oblivious to Juunana's sudden silence. "So do you want to come? It would be fun. I just got out of school and I need to find a reason to be happy." Juunana narrowed his eyes and looked away from the blue haired beauty. "No. Not tonight, maybe later. I have to catch up on something. But you will drop her back off in the morning?" Bra nodded. She was about to ask him something else when Gohan came up behind her. He tapped her on the shoulder before whispering something to her. Gohan noticed the cyborg in the middle of the room and smiled at the man. "Hi Juunana-gou."
Juunana looked pissed off. 'What does this dude got that I don't. Why does she want an old man anyway. I bet he can't even catch up with her.' He crossed his arms over his chest demanding a little attention. "Bra... I will call you in the morning if you want me to pick her up. Unless you want to drop her off." Bra's smile dropped a bit when she heard the faint sound of annoyance in his voice. "Um... okay Juu-kun. Please call me. I will see ya later." Bra, Carmen, and Gohan all waved as they exited out of his house.
Built up anger build up inside of the young cyborg. When he was sure that the people were out of ear shot he cursed out loud. After he finished his little outburst he went to his room. For some strange reason he felt like he needed sleep. He felt so drained of energy when he saw her with him. 'Out of all people it had to be another Son brat.' He sighed inwardly. He had hoped after that break-up with that other brat, she would recognize him more. He rolled over and talked into his pillow. In a muffled voice he said, " Bra... why can't you see that I love you?"
Bra held Carmen while Gohan walked beside them. The hair on Bra's arm
bristled when she heard someone call out her name. "Gohan... did you
hear something?" She asked uncertain. Gohan turned and stared at her his
eyes full of question. "No... maybe you're just hearing things. What's
wrong... you do something bad?" Bra rolled her eyes at him. She didn't
feel like teasing. "Shut up." Gohan bit his tongue at the coldness
evident in her voice. Under his breath he mumbled an apology to her.
Bra felt her cheeks warm up. "I'm sorry Gohan-ch... Gohan." Bra felt her whole face grow hot. She mentally kicked herself. 'Stupid. Stupid. You do NOT call Gohan "chan." What were you thinking. You only actually met him yesterday night. Think straight Bra.' Bra pushed her thoughts away. "I didn't mean to snap at you. I just feel an urge to run to someone. It's a strange feeling." Carmen raised her head from her aunt's shoulder. "Then why don't you go to him?" Bra looked at her nice strangely. "What do you mean?" Carmen pulled her thumb out of mouth and looked at her with big blue eyes. "To whoever is calling you." Bra smiled gently and wiped Carmen's hair out of her face. "It's not that easy." Carmen took that as a reasonable answer and nodded back to Bra's shoulder.
Gohan just stared at Bra. He was positive she almost called him "chan." And second, he never knew how good she interacted with kids. She seemed to have some kind of dark motherly glow about her. He looked at his feet on the way to Bra's house. The silence was just fine with him.
Bra opened the door to her apartment. She pointed out a couch to
Gohan. He took the meaning and sat down. It was almost dark outside so Bra
led Carmen to the kitchen. She pulled out a bucket of chicken and a pot
of spaghetti out of the refrigerator. "Carmen... dinner will be ready
in a few minutes." She smiled at her niece and put the cold food in the
&Nbsp;"Gohan!" Gohan snapped out of his train of thoughts when he heard her calling his name. "Yes, Bra." Bra came out of the kitchen to talk to him. "Do you want to stay for dinner? It's only going to be Carmen and I. We've got leftover chicken and spaghetti." She smiled up at the man. Gohan tensed slightly and smiled nicely to her. "I'll take a raincheck Bra-chan. I have some work to do tonight. See you later." Bra's smile dropped a bit. She led him to the door. "I had a real nice day today. I'll write you tonight." Bra leaned on the door. "I'll write you too." He smiled sweetly at her. "Good-night, Bra-chan." Just as she was about to say good-night to him to he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. "And from now on, you can call me Gohan-chan. I don't want to feel too old." He walked down the hallway to leave. Before he went down the steps he turned and waved at her.
Bra just stared at his retreating back. 'I can't believe he actually did that. Oh my goodness!!' Bra felt tingly all over. It was just like she was fourteen again. She walked inside and closed the door. A deep blush cam to her cheeks when she fingered where he had kissed her. She smiled a goofy smile to her niece. "Carmen.... why don't we order pizza instead. We can have today's leftovers tomorrow." Carmen grinned and jumped out of her high chair. "Really?!? Can it have pineapples, bubblegum, and pickles?" Bra smiled at her and nodded. "Sure.... just as long as I can have cookies, cottage cheese, and peanut butter on mine." Carmen licked her lips and ran to get her aunt the phone book. "C'mon, we got to hurry. I am practically starving after what I said." Bra's smile stretched as she picked her niece up and went to the couch.
After Bra and Carmen ate their dinner, both girls took their baths. Bra took Carmen to her guestroom. "Your uncle will pick you up tomorrow. So don't be afraid if you wake up in a different bed." Carmen nodded slightly as she dozed off. She exited the room quietly and close the door. She went straight to her bed and flopped down on it. She yawned and pulled out her notebook and pen.
Gohan walked home slowly. He didn't know why he kissed her on the
cheek. It was like some kind of payback for last night. A faint smile
touched his lips. 'I wonder if this is going to some kind of habit.' He
unlocked the door to his house and entered. He walked into the kitchen and
jumped back a bit. "Pan-chan, you scared me." He ran his fingers
through his tousled hair. Pan's eyes grew big. "I scared you?!? You scared
me! What are you doing out this late anyway?" The way Pan talked and
acted he almost laughed. She looked so much like her mother. A bittersweet
smile came to him. "Does it really matter?" He walked past her to get a
glass of water. Pan fumed. "Yes it does matter. It's been... well it's
been... it's been a year since mom died. Don't you think it's a little
soon to start dating?" Gohan almost choked on his water. "Is that what
you think?" Pan cast her eyes down. "I can't believe that. I am just
out with a friend. All we do is talk. So think before you speak or act
Pan." Pan cringed slightly at that saying. She remembered when she was
younger, he had said that to her. "Sorry otousan, but I worry about you."
Gohan's face softened. "I'm okay. Worry about whether Ubuu will ever
pop the question or not." Pan blushed as Gohan walked past her to his
He sat at his desk thinking about his daughter's concern. He felt a little bad about not telling her who his new best friend was, but she never asked. He pulled out some paper and began to write Bra's letter.
"....Gohan-chan.... it sounds so weird but normal. But since you
*insisted* I call you that, then I will. I think Juu-kun, is mad at me. But
I don't know why. And that pisses me off. How can I keep my thoughts
straight if I don't know what I am feeling? I like Juu-kun a lot, but I
don't think he'll ever feel the same. I used to think he liked me. But I
was only kidding myself. I have to move away from the feelings thing.
It's getting really frustrating. I never understood why daddy never let
any of his emotions show. Now I know. It's so much easier for others to
have an opinion of you, then you giving them one. Less pain and trouble
This is bye for now.....
Your best friend,
"....Bra-chan.... I wish you would talk more about yourself. You know
things about me... but I still know next to nothing about you. Except
the signals you give off to people. I don't know what you think of your
life from your own view. With you it's always third person. If you want
me to open up more.... you are going to have to cooperate too.
I hope you can understand some of the things I am trying to tell you. I'm like your best friend, please tell me something about yourself. I can wait, but even I get sick of waiting all the time. I hope you listen to some of these things I said....
Remember what I said....
Your friend forever,
Bra woke up early that morning. She had to get Carmen ready before
Juunana came and picked her up. She looked around for her niece's shoes.
"Where are they? I know she took them off somewhere around here?" She
mumbled to herself. She was about to look under the couch when she heard
a knock at the door.
Juunana fidgeted a little. He had forgot to call her, but he knew she was expecting him. Unless she was expecting Goku's brat. 'I can't believe she likes him!?! I mean... I thought she liked me. Possibly more...' His thoughts ran straight when he came face to face with her. Never in his life had his feelings been so clear until now. 'So this is what it feels like. This is what it means to be in love.' Juunana didn't question his thoughts. It was the only logical explanation. Bra looked sleep deprived, older, and messier. But in his eyes, all he saw was how pretty she looked. In his enticing voice he greeted her. "Good morning Bra-chan. Is Carmen still asleep or is she ready?" It took all of his will power not to stutter or goof up.
Bra smiled. Even though she tasted the bile and bitterness of her morning breath she had to smile at him. She couldn't frown or do anything weird around Juunana. His presence made her feel special and younger. Against her will, a faint blush graced her features. She opened the door wider. He stepped in. She studied him. She had never saw him without his green socks on and it kind of made her a bit sad. It was one of the small things she loved about him. "Um... she's still asleep. Do you want to take her now, or have a cup of coffee before you leave?" Silently she was pleading. 'Please stay a little longer.'
As if he had heard her thoughts he accepted her invitation. "Yeah.... sure. Carmen sleeps heavy, so I can stay for a while." He gave her his detestable smirk and crossed his arms.
Bra sighed happily. He looked too cute standing like that. His smirk was something else she loved about him. She knew she was falling for him, but she didn't know if she was falling hard.
Juunana looked around her apartment. It was basically spread out in black. There where black and white curtains on the windows, black carpet, and a black furniture set. It looked modern and a little bit creepy. "You like black, I see." It was more of a statement than a question. "Yeah... I think it best describes me. Black is a mystery. I would like to think of myself as a mystery. No one seems to know enough about me anyhow." Bra scratched her head. She motioned for him to follow her into the kitchen. "Do you want something to eat or anything else?"
Juunana looked at her with his icy blue gaze. "No thanks." He sat down on the seat closest to the exit. Bra nodded and took out two mugs. She poured the hot black liquid into the mug. "Cream and sugar?" Juunana smirked. That statement always had a double meaning to him. "Nothing. I drink my coffee black." Bra smirked and brought her mug up to her lips. "Me too."
Bra and Juunana drank their coffee in silence. Bra drank her mug's continents slowly to stay awake. "I didn't get a chance to take Carmen to the places I wanted to take her yesterday." Bra said drowsily. "Gohan-chan came with us and we took our time coming here. We just basically played." Juunana's soft expression turned to one of jealousy. He choked on his coffee for a bit. Bra's signs of fatigue disappeared when she heard him coughing. "Oh... are you okay?" She patted his back while he continued to cough. In between coughs be said, "Yes... I am fine... don't worry about me..." He slowly stood up.
Bra watched him ruefully. "Are you sure you're okay?" Juunana nodded his head. 'Makes no difference. I lost the one person I actually loved to a monkeyboy. Of course I am going to be okay,' he thought sarcastically. "I should be leaving anyway. Where's Carmen?"
Bra dropped her hand from his back and scratched her head again. "She's in the back room. I think she is still sleeping, but she could be up." Juunana smiled at her and left her in the kitchen alone.
He walked to the room where his great niece was at. He entered the room looking around. The room was a decorated out in a dark blue. It had white carpet and white curtains. The walls were blue with white borders. The bed where Carmen lay, had silk blue sheets. He went towards the sleeping form and picked her up gently. He wiped stray lavender hairs out of her face. He kissed her forehead and walked out of the room.
He walked to the kitchen where he saw Bra cleaning up. "Are you going to pick her up today or should she just stay with me?" Bra grabbed a towel and dried her hands from the soapy dishwater. "I'll pick her up, unless you have something planned to do with her today." Bra stared at Juunana with big, bright, blue eyes.
He moved a little in annoyance. 'I have nothing special. I just don't want to see you and "Gohan-chan" come near me.' He looked back at the young woman in front of him. "Yeah... I was going to take her to the park." Bra nodded her head. "Okay. Just don't give her any pizza, we had that last night for dinner." Juunana nodded his head and walked towards the front door. "Sorry to come so early Bra-chan. I'll see you sometime. Bye." Bra stood at the doorway in confusion. Juunana never left her apartment without some kind of flirty remark or pass at her. As she watched his retreating back leave away from her, the more upset she became. 'I wonder if something's wrong,' she thought miserably.
She went back inside of her apartment and closed the door. "At least I can get a couple hours of sleep," she said to no one in particular. Bra shut off all the lights in her path as she headed towards her room.
Bra walked up to Gohan's classroom slowly. She was still thinking
about Juu-kun. 'I hope I didn't do anything to offend him.' Bra sighed and
opened the door. She saw Gohan in the front of the class with a worried
look on his face. "Gohan! Gohan-chan!" She called out softly.
Gohan looked up and saw her walking towards him. A smile came to his face. He had gotten a bit worried that she couldn't come or she had forgot. He stood up and met her in the middle of the aisle. "Good afternoon Bra-chan." He grabbed her hands and kissed her quick on her cheek. Bra smiled softly and squeezed his hands. "Good afternoon to you too." Bra sat down in one of the nearby seats. "I'm kind of tired today. I really don't know why though." Gohan smiled down at her and took the seat opposite of her. "Do you want me to pick Carmen up for you then?" Bra smiled at his thoughtfulness. "No, it's already taken care of. Juu-kun wants to take her to the park today." Gohan nodded in agreement. "I wrote you today. It's not as long as before, but I'm not talking about me in this letter." Bra's smile turned into a half grin. "Thanks a lot Gohan-chan." Bra accepted her letter and gave him his.
Bra smiled when she finished her letter. She kept her soft smile when she saw Gohan finish up his. Her smile dropped a bit when she saw how placid his face was. She couldn't read any emotion anywhere.
Gohan bit the insides of his mouth. 'Why is she hiding her feelings from everyone?' He thought knowingly. A small smile came to his face. "Bra-chan, why don't you want others to know what your feeling?" Bra's smile grew grim as she slumped into her seat. "Gohan-chan, I don't really want to talk about that right now. I'll tell you later, just not now." Gohan watched her intently before taking his eyes off of her. "Okay, but will you tell me when you want to talk about it?" Bra's facial features lighted up a bit. "You know I will. So why didn't tell me absolutely anything about yourself? I may know a lot, but not everything." Gohan grinned sheepishly. "You did the same to me, so you can't really say anything." She laughed. "I guess you're right, but I need to know something about yourself."
"You will know things about me, I will tell you later." Gohan came and sat down beside her. "So what do you want to do today? I have no plans until next week." Bra went into gloomy mood. "What do you mean? I can't see you next week?" She turned to pout at him. Gohan chuckled. He rested his forehead on hers. They looked straight into each others eyes. "I will always make time to see my best friend. So don't worry about it."
Bra smirked. "Thanks Gohan-chan. You are the greatest." Gohan moved his head from hers. "I know, but you don't have to remind me." Bra hit him playfully. "You are so silly."
He smiled and playfully hit her back. "But onto more serious issues. Why don't you tell Juunana-gou how you feel?" Bra's smile disappeared as she sat back. "I told you, I am not a feeling person. Juu-kun is the same way too. Feelings bring up too many problems within yourself. You loose all concentration, thinking, and views on things. If I actually sorted out my feelings, I would be a mess." Gohan shook his head. "But that's what you need to do. If you know what you're feeling, then you have a clearer focus on what you're thinking. Does any of this make any sense to you?"
By the expression on her face Gohan knew she didn't. He ran his fingers through his hair. "Bra-chan, how do you feel about me?" Bra was taken aback by his question. She brought her knees up to her chin and tapped her foreleg nervously. "I really can't describe it. I like to be around you because you understand me. I like talking to you because you listen more than you talk at times. I like you in general." Gohan had a tight smile on his face. "That's nice to know, but can you be more exact?"
Bra shook her head in tiredness. "Gohan... I told you I would understand my feelings in time. Don't worry about me." Gohan shook his head slowly. "But I do worry. Bra remember what I told you when we first talked. I mean actually talk?" Bra nodded. "Then understand me now. I think I understand you but I don't understand what you're feeling. You have to tell me that." Bra nodded. "I understand, but it gets confusing." He nodded. "Then talk to me when you don't understand something. I will try my best to help you understand your feelings."
Juunana walked with Carmen in the park. He loved his nieces more than
anything in the world. They were the closest to him ever. "Jiisan
Juu-san, can we go and get some ice cream?" He smiled down at his niece as
he picked her up. "Yeah... but don't get too many things on your ice
cream. I don't want to go through what we did last time," he said in a
mock angry voice. The child's laughter filled his senses. He smiled
affectionately at her. She looked a lot like Bra-chan. "You know you look an
awful lot like you auntie." Carmen smiled. "Gohan-san said that too."
Juunana's smile dropped a little. "He said I looked like a combwo...
combon... a something like Mommy and auntie." Juunana's smile stayed on
his face. "It's true. You look like Marron and Bra-chan." The little girl
nodded her head proudly. Juunana watched as his young niece wiggle out
of his grasp. She walked beside him holding his hand.
He thought about Bra.... and Gohan. It made him sick to his gut. 'Why in the world would she even like him? What was going on between the two anyway. Most importantly, when did all of this happen and does anyone else know about it?' He shook his head to clear it. Emotions were rising up in him and it was not one he welcomed.
"Jiisan, c'mon... you almost passed it." Carmen whined. "Sorry about that, let's go. Do you remember what I told you though?" Carmen nodded and rushed inside the tiny building. Juunana followed right behind her.
Gohan and Bra left the university. "You know, it feels like I have
known you longer than just a couple of days." Gohan chuckled and put his
arm around her waist. She leaned her head on his shoulder. "And it's
almost like we're a couple too." He chuckled a little bit. "No... we're
just really comfortable around each other." She cocked her head to look
at him more. "It's either that, or we just like each other and we're too
shy to admit it." He smiled at her. "So where do you want to go today?
I have to be home early though, I think Pan suspects something." Bra
nodded. "I don't understand why though. We're not doing anything wrong."
Gohan nodded, he was just thinking the same thing. "I want to go to
your house. We'll just watch movies all night." He thought it was an okay
idea and changed directions to the movie store. "While we're watching,
you can tell me more about your relationship with Videl-san, you don't
talk about her much." He dropped his arm from her. "When I get through
talking to you about her, you'll understand." She dropped a bit behind
him and saw how fast he tensed up. A strong sense to hug him came to
her mind, she pushed it as far as it would go. 'I wonder what exactly
"I want to watch something with a lot of death in it. The way some of these people die in the movies are just too funny." Gohan's eyebrows shot up. "You're not serious are you?" Bra turned to face him with mischievous, serious eyes. "Yes, I am. Have you actually paid attention to their deaths and how stupid the plot is sometimes?" Gohan nodded slowly. "I guess you could be right in some ways." Bra rolled her eyes and went to grab the newest horror flick. Gohan strolled over to the animated sections. Videl loved cartoons. She especially loved the ones where there was no happy endings. She had always said: life isn't a happy ending, so why watch something about it. There was a lot of truth in the words.
Gohan's thoughts jumped back into order when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He tensed up, but relaxed when he realized who it was. "Bra-chan, you scared me." Bra smiled appolgizetically at him. "Sorry. You seemed out of it, I didn't mean to interrupt your train of thought. I had gotten a bit worried when you didn't respond to my voice." He grinned.
"So did you pick out the movies you want?" She nodded and headed towards the check out desk. "Yeah, I think you'll like them too." She looked at him but turned away when she knew she wasn't going to receive an answer.
Pan and Ubuu sat on the porch swing swinging gently. Ubuu noticed his
girlfriend's distraction for the past few nights. "Pan... is something
wrong? I mean, you seem distracted about something."
Pan snapped her head to look at him. "I am sorry. I guess I have been out of it lately." She sighed and scooted closer towards him. "I'm worried about otousan. He isn't as home as much as he used to be, he is up later than normal, it's just not him."
Ubuu rubbed her arms and rested his chin on her head. "I wouldn't worry about him. Maybe he made a new friend or..." Pan pulled away from him. "I know what you're thinking and you're wrong. Papa is not seeing anyone. It's too soon. Mom only died a year ago... he's not the type to jump into situations."
Pan smiled faintly. "I'm sorry. It's just I thought about the same reasons too. What if he did find someone new?" Pan turned to face him. A sense of panic evident in her eyes. "The thing that really upsets me about this is that, I think it's someone close to me." Ubuu reached for her hand. Pan looked down as she reached for his hand. "He cannot forget about mom. If he does... what will I do then?"
Bra noticed the way Gohan was painfully quiet. The way he walked out
of the store kind of scared her. When she couldn't stand the silence any
longer she stopped him in the sidewalk. "Gohan is something wrong?"
Gohan stared at her with an uncertain look in his eyes. A charming smile came to his face. "Ah... what do you mean?" Bra's concern expression escaped her face, it was replaced by a stern, cold face.
"Gohan, don't lie to me. I may not know you well enough, but I am the closest thing to you in this universe. I know you well enough to know when something is wrong though." Gohan's face grew grim. He unmasked his eyes to reveal a heartbroken, lonely, and angry man. "Oh Gohan..."
Gohan smiled without humor. "Bra-chan... I've been thinking about Videl a lot lately. Normally this wouldn't be such a bad thing, but I remember something my mother told me. When you start thinking a lot about something... it's more than likely you've closed that chapter in your life." He stared at her closer. "Bra-chan... I think I moved on. I think I gotten over Videl."
Bra watched in wonder as she stared at him. "Gohan-chan, don't worry. Things will be alright. It's not like you forgotten her or something. You are just probably missing her more right now." Bra said as tenderly as she could. She rubbed his back slowly hoping to relieve some of the tension in his body.
"No... you don't understand. I really have gotten over the pain of her death. I still love her, but when I think about her... it doesn't hurt as much." Gohan turned around to face her. "Bra... it's not a bad thing. I will always love her, but now I can move on with my life. I know this is what she would have wanted, but the realization that this is really happening is a lot to take in."
Bra was quiet. "Gohan-chan..."
Gohan silenced her. "Bra-chan, I will be fine. Don't worry about me."
Bra still wasn't convinced. "Gohan... will you at least tell me what made you come up the this sudden realization?" Gohan silently stared at her.
Trunks dropped his fork in mid-air. He looked down at it and cursed
silently. "Something is not right. Something is going to happen."
"What are you talking about? What's going to happen?" Marron asked in confusion her blue eyes dancing in panic.
"I don't know, but I got this strange feeling about Bra. I don't know if is a good or bad thing. But whatever it is, it isn't normal."
Marron sat back in her seat. "Don't worry about her. She is a big girl now, Bra can take care of herself better than anyone I know."
Trunks picked up the fork off the ground and slowly looked at his wife. "I know that, but some thing just tells me to stay on my feet around her again."
Bra looked at him more intently. "Well, Gohan?" He stepped away from
her and bowed his head before speaking. "Bra I....."
"Obaachan!!" A high pitched voice rang their ears. "Obaachan!!" The voice called again. This time Bra looked away from Gohan to a smiling girl running towards her.
"Carmen??" Bra smiled when she saw her niece jump into her arms. "What are you doing here? Where's your uncle?"
Carmen looked over the shoulder of her aunt then pointed far back. "He's back there being slow. We went out to the park and for ice cream, and now we are going to get a movie."
Bra smiled at the girl's excitement and looked over of Gohan. He had a relieved look to him and didn't look as tense as before. "Gohan, is everything okay?"
He smiled and flashed the okay sign. "I am fine. Just a bit surprised." He smiled again to reassure her that everything was indeed okay.
Bra hesitated to say something but changed her mind. She turned her head back to continue to look for Juu-kun. "Are you sure your uncle was behind you when you left? Maybe you ran too fast or..."
"Ah, leave the kid alone. You're telling her everything except that I am old, which I am not." Juunana-gou flashed Bra a smirk and took Carmen from her. He looked back at Bra and kissed her on her cheek. "So what are you doing this far away from home?"
Bra stopped blushing from his previous kiss. "Oh, nothing really. We came to rent some movies then to watch them later tonight."
Juunana's cool exterior dropped for a split second. "What do you mean "we"?"
Bra dropped her head from her his gaze. 'I wonder if he could be jealous of Gohan.... but why would he?' Bra pointed towards Gohan a bit behind him. "Gohan came with me."
Juunana only nodded and smiled tightly. "Really? Tell me about the movies later, okay. It's almost time for Carmen to go to bed. I'll drop her off tomorrow morning at your house." Before Bra had a chance to say anything else he turned away with holding Carmen's hand.
"I wonder if something is wrong with him." She frowned as she turned to face Gohan. "What do you think?"
Gohan turned to her startled a bit. "I really don't know. He seemed normal to me." Gohan walked closer to her.
"I don't know, something just doesn't seem right to me. He seems different." She dropped her train of thought when he stood beside her. "And while I am on the subject, on someone not acting normal, what's with you? What were you going to say?"
His eyes froze. "Oh, nothing. I'll tell you later." He smiled at her and grabbed her hand. "Why don't we watch the movies now?"
Bra hesitated. "Okay.... but you promise to tell me?" She watched him smile at her and nod his head. "Yeah, let's go now."
Pan tensed a bit. "I feel otousan coming and.... something else." Ubuu released his hold onto Pan as she stood up. He strained his senses until he felt the other power source. When he finally recognized the unknown source he bit the insides of his mouth. "Pan... are you okay?"
She turned to him with confusion mixed with anger in her features. "Why is she with him? What's been going on? How come he never bothered to tell me? This cannot be happening." Pan paced back and forth with each question. Her black hair swinging with each sudden step. "Ubuu?!?"
"Pan, maybe it's not what you think. Maybe they met on the way and decided to come here or something. Don't start jumping into conclusions. Just wait for your answers, don't get angry."
Pan wrapped her arms around her stomach. "I'll wait, but I want some answers. I don't think this is some type of sudden run-in meeting. Something just does not seem right here."
"Jiisan, is something the matter? We didn't pick out my movie." Carmen
looked up at her uncle's blazing eyes.
Juunana switched thoughts as he looked down at his niece. His eyes changed from a dark cobalt to his normal hazy shade of blue. "Nothing is the matter. Why don't we pick up the movie someplace else. I don't think that store has the one you wanted." He smiled faintly at her.
"Okay. But why didn't we stay longer to talk to obaachan and Gohan-san. I thought you liked obaachan?"
Juunana's smile never left his face. 'I do like Bra. Just not that Son brat.' He looked back at her. "I do like Bra. I just thought that her and her friend might be busy. We'll talk later to them, ne?"
Carmen nodded and reached for her uncle's hand again. 'Something doesn't seem right,' she thought while looking for the next video store.
nbsp;Gohan stopped in the driveway in front of his house. "Bra-chan, be
careful of what you say in front of Pan-chan. I think she is going to
suspect more than what she already does."
Bra looked at him. "I am going to act the same way I've always acted. Why should she suspect something? We haven't done anything but talk. If Pan doesn't trust me after all these years, then why does she bother with me." Bra saw Gohan's face drop a bit, but she pinched his cheeks to bring his eyes up to hers. "You worry too much."
He only sighed and walked on. Bra caught up and grabbed his hand. "I told you I was going to act the same way, so don't try and pretend that I'm not."
Gohan smiled at her determination. "There's no use trying to argue with you is there?"
She smiled up at him. "Have you forgotten who my parents are?" Both laughed when the came up to the house.
Ubuu was beside his girlfriend in less than a minute. "Pan... babe,
please calm down. They are only laughing. It's no big deal."
Pan turned around to look at him. Her face was red and flushed. "I cannot believe this is happening. Out of all the people in the world it had to be my best friend and father! This is not happening."
Ubuu sat down when she pushed him away. "I think, I'll go and meet them. It won't hurt no one."
Before Ubuu could grab to catch her she jumped off the porch preparing to meet her father and friend.
"I almost forgot how you could be at times. You know you are just like
her, don't you?" Gohan's voice became softer with each word.
"My mom? No we're not. The only thing my mom and I have in common is daddy and that's it."
"It's not true. You look like her, sometimes you sound like her, your appearance, skin complexion, and something else I always wondered."
Bra looked at him. "What would that be?" He dropped her hand and stopped her. His fingers ran through her straight, blue hair. "That hair color. I've always wondered about it. Is it dye or something?"
"Ugh... and just when I thought you were being serious." She laughed and grabbed his hand. "That's what you always wondered?" He nodded his head and smiled at her.
"Ah.... excuse me. Am I interrupting something? Because if I am, when,
how, and why did this all start?"
Bra squeezed Gohan's hand tighter. Gohan turned whiter than rice. "Hey honey, where's Ubuu?"
Pan tapped her foot rhythmically while staring at them. "You still didn't answer my question. Will one of you please explain this to me?"
Gohan looked at Bra or some type of explanation, but as he looked at
her he got more than what he expected. He looked down into her eyes. The
excitement, surprised, eagerness, and something else he read puzzled
him. A small grin tugged at his lips. He felt the same things as she,
just not at her level. He looked up at the night sky for some type of
answer to what he was feeling and why was it happening now. She squeezed
his hand again for him not to look away from her.
Bra looked at Gohan and smiled a bit wider. A strange thought was running through her. She squeezed his hand again for him not to look away. Her strange smile reached her eyes.
Gohan looked harder at her and felt a sudden urge to do something that made absolutely no sense. Without thinking he bowed down and kissed her on the lips.
"What is the world is going on here?!?!" Pan screamed in horror. She
threw up her hands and yelled at the top of her lungs at them. "Tousan!!
Gohan and Bra's magical spell shattered when they heard screeching in the background. Both looked at each other confused and a bit embarrassed. "Bra.... I-I...mean.... I didn't mean to do that." Gohan stuttered and blushed at her.
Bra smiled and touched his cheek lightly. "Don't worry. It.... it was kinda nice." Both almost shared another tender moment then looked back at Pan.
&nsp; Pan looked at the two in shock and shook with anger. "Dad!!! I can't believe you actually did that in front of me?!?! Why!! And Bra!!!! I thought we were best friends!! What has been going on between you two?" When she finished ranting she looked at the two with hurt and anger still evident in her eyes.
"Oh, Pan honey, I am so sorry. I-I mean, we didn't know what came over us? It was like... I really can't describe it. I am... we are really sorry." Gohan had tears in the back of his eyes. Bra moved a bit away from him and looked at Pan with a rueful expression.
Ubuu watched from the porch and frowned at the scene before him. It looked like at any moment Pan might breakdown or go into a tantrum. Gohan and Bra looked upset about the consequences but not entirely sorry for their actions.
"I...I can't believe this. Why did this," she waved her hands in front of them, "this... have to happen? What did I do to deserve this?"
Gohan advanced towards his daughter slowly and hesitantly. "Pan, it happened. There's no changing the past, we can't do anything about it but accept it."
Pan looked at her father then over to Bra. She bowed her head and said very low, "I'll accept it when I'm ready. Ubuu, let's go." Pan walked ahead of her father and Bra without the slightest recognition.
Ubuu jumped off the porch and was beside his girlfriend in seconds. He turned back to Gohan and Bra. "I guess, I'll see you again sometime." He waved and followed Pan out of the driveway.
Gohan sighed at his daughter's exit. He tried his best to explain what
had happened, but he didn't even know. He sighed once again and looked
at Bra. She was crying and wouldn't look away from Pan's back. He
walked right behind her and tapped her lightly on her shoulder. She turned
around and buried her head in his chest.
"If only she knew what happened between us. If only we could just tell her, but I still don't understand."
Gohan rubbed her back lightly and pulled her away after her words. "You mean, you know what happened?"
Bra wiped her tears away and bowed her head. "Gohan-chan, I don't exactly know how to put this but.... we're bonded."
Ai-chan: *sniff* Oy…so sadd!! I LOVE IT!!! I wasn’t expecting Gohan…original combo Ashley!