Just a Nightmare: Distant Dreams

The holiday season had come and gone, now it was time to pack up the decorations until next time. Bura had mixed feelings about the new year. Oh, she knew that it was a time for new beginnings and fresh starts, but something deep inside of her was twitching anxiously.

"Do you think anyone evil will show up anytime soon?" she asked Trunks as they put away the ornaments. "I've got this bad feeling in my stomach..." Bura looked up at him with worried eyes.

"Listen, Bura-chan, we can handle whatever comes. You're surrounded by many people who will do all they can to protect you."

Nodding, she hugged him. "I know, niichan, but the feeling just won't go away."

Trunks tickled her. "Maybe your stomach's upset because you have to go back to school soon." She giggled and squirmed in his arms. "Are you trying to fake being sick?"

"Niichan! Stop it!"

"Need help, Bura?" Goten asked. Without waiting for a response, he grabbed his mate and held him down. "Go ahead, get your revenge."

She did so with relish until the lavender-haired demi-Saiya-jin's face turned red from laughing so hard. Bura left him gasping for breath on the floor as she finished packing up the box. "Only 358 days until Christmas," she said with a sigh.

"Already counting?" Goten asked.

"Of course I am! I love Christmas. We should start planning for next year since the party will probably be here again." Her face lit up with an idea. "We could have a Halloween Party, too. It'll be great!" Mentally, she did a quick calculation. "Only 302 days until October thirty-first! Hey, is next year a leap year?"

"I have no idea."

"I hope not because then it'll be 359 days 'til Christmas and 303 days 'til Halloween. That's one day too long!"

Trunks chuckled. "Bura, you're something else."

They were completely finished in a few more hours and Bura was utterly bored by then. "Anyone want to play a game with me?"

"We can play Life. It's fun and time consuming." He raised his voice. "Tousan, Papa, you guys want to play a board game with us?"

"Sure!" Goku shouted back. "We haven't got anything better to do!"

"Speak for yourself, Kakarotto! There are millions of better things I could be doing with my time."

Bura pouted. "Onegai, Papa. It'll be fantastic, you'll see."

There was a pause, then the ouji said, "Oh, alright, just get that look off your face before I come down there!"

"What look?" she asked innocently, but stopped pouting nonetheless.

The board was set up on the kitchen table. Bura had the blue car, Trunks had the white one, Goten had orange, Goku had red, and Vegeta was stuck with yellow or green.

"Someone trade me," he said as he eyed the remaining two choices. "I don't like either of these colors." The other players all clutched their tokens tightly in their fists. Not even Goku would trade with him. Vegeta growled and snatched up the green car. "Fine then, I'll use this ugly thing to win the game!"

Trunks smirked at him. "You want to bet on that? 500 zenni says you lose."

His father grabbed his hand hard enough to break something and shook briefly. "It's a bet."

"Okay, put a colored person peg into your car and then we spin to see who goes first." Bura told him as she spun. "I got six."

"Eight!" Goten cheered.

Trunks frowned. "Five."


The ouji fully expected to get the highest number and gaped in shock when it landed on... "ONE?!" Everyone started laughing and he frowned. "I demand a do-over!"

"No do-overs!" came the simultaneous response.

Goku chose to go to college and everyone went that route... except for Vegeta. "I can't wait until after four years of college to get paid!"

"Are you absolutely sure you want to go straight into a career?" Goku asked him. "I mean, think about what you'd gain by going to college."

"The faster I'm out in the world, the faster I can get rich and win the bet."

"Okay, Vegeta. Just don't say I didn't warn you."

Goku got a ten on his first turn and landed on "Graduation Day". He drew a Life tile. "Your turn, Goten."

"Six!" He landed on "Study in Europe".

Bura landed on "Job Search". "Papa, when you go to college you get draw three career and salary cards to pick from. More options." She picked superstar and 7,420,379 zenni ($60,000 & 38,123). When she spun again, she landed on "Pay Day".

"Yeah, yeah," Vegeta grumbled.

Trunks landed on "Buy books and supplies." and ended up paying the Bra (the banker) 618,364 zenni ($5,000 & 3,177). Then it was finally Vegeta's turn.

The ouji drew and received artist for a career and 12,367,298 zenni for a salary ($100,000 & 63,553). He spun again and promptly landed on "Pay Day". "In your face!" he told his son as he collected his money.

"Just wait, I'm still probably gonna win. I haven't gotten a salary yet, you know."

"Keep dreaming, boy."

"Since papa has the best salary card, you might not. Then again, he pays the most taxes. If you pick accountant and he lands on "Taxes Due", it all goes to you."

He grinned. "Sugoi."

Goku landed on "Job Search". "I drew accountant, Trunks."

"Oh, please don't choose that one, Tousan!" the demi-Saiya-jin begged. "Salesperson and teacher are really good careers, too."

"Well..." Goku's hand hovered over accountant for a moment just to tease the young man. He eventually chose teacher and chose a salary of 11,130,568 zenni ($90,000 & 57,198) to go along with it. When he spun again, he landed on "Adopt a pet."

"There went the second highest salary," Bura commented.

Trunks let out a frustrated explosion of breath as Goten spun. "ARGH!" His mate smiled when he was told to draw a Life tile.

She smiled as well, but it faded when she landed on her space. "SKI ACCIDENT?! I don't even know how to ski!" But the little girl still deposited the money into the bank.

Her niichan said a quick prayer before he spun. "WRITE TERM PAPER, LOSE NEXT TURN?!"

"That's what you get when you go to college first," Vegeta told him.

"I hate this game!" he shouted.

Goten rubbed Trunks' knee. "Aw, cheer up, koishii. I bet you get accountant on your next turn." Vegeta spun, received eight, and landed on "Pay Day" for a second time. Trunks' face turned red in anger and he opened his mouth to scream. His mate quickly covered it so that the profanity was muffled. "If he doesn't get something good soon, I think he's gonna explode."

Goku won 1,236,729 ($10,000 & 6,355); Goten bought a stock (Vegeta said, "I didn't know we could do that." He responded, "You didn't ask!"), chose doctor for a career, and salary of 8,657,109 zenni ($70,000 & 44,487) ; Bura had to get married and take a Life tile; Trunks lost his turn a turn ago; and Vegeta also arrived at "Get Married".

On Trunks' next turn, when he was finally able to choose a career, he drew everything but accountant. He didn't lose it completely until he drew for his salary. "I have to choose from the three lowest salary cards in the entire pile! That's it, I QUIT!" He stomped upstairs and the next thing they heard was the slamming of his bedroom door.

"Wow, it's only a game," Goten said as Vegeta took his turn. "Hope he's cooled down by the time we leave for the party."

By the time ten o'clock rolled around, they were still playing. Goten was yawning every five minutes, Goku was leaning on Vegeta's shoulder and pushing his car with his fingertip, and Bura had fallen asleep on the floor. "This game takes way too long," Goten said as if the other players didn't know. He glanced at his watch and his eyes flew open fully. "If I don't get dressed now, we'll be really late!"

"This is the most boring game in history," Vegeta uttered as he put everything away. "I officially declare Kakarotto the winner."

The large Saiya-jin grinned and grabbed his mate in a bone-crushing embrace. "Aw, that's so sweet!"

"Kakarotto! AIR!"


Shaking his head at their antics, Goten went upstairs to change.


"The party's at a frat house." Trunks said dully as he stared at the building. "You brought me to a frat party."

Goten was confused. "What's so bad about it? My friend Tsubasa's a member. We have World Literature together."

The older young man shook his head. "You obviously have no idea what goes on inside one of these places. There's gonna be a lot of drunk, loose college chicks."


"We're gay, you baka!" he practically shouted. He blushed when we realized that several people heard him. One male student actually gave him a thumbs up.

He shrugged. "Your point? We can just go in and socialize for half-an-hour... I promised him that I would stop by."

Trunks felt weary at mere the thought of fighting off droves of giggling females. He saw red when he imagined Goten doing the same. "But you're a hottie!"

His mate blushed. "Why, thank you!"

"It's not a compliment this time, Chibi. Those girls are going to follow you like lawyers chase ambulances. I don't want to have to end up telling several of them off."

Goten smiled as he pictured a very anime-like catfight over him. "Don't worry about it. I'll be glued to your side tighter than spandex on a fat woman." They both shuddered involuntarily at the imagery. "Gomen, bad choice of words."

Outside, the frat house was a picture of serenity and peace. Inside, the noise nearly broke the sound barrier. There were half-naked women being playfully chased by frat boys and cups of beer being passed from where a group of guys were clustered around a keg. "That's it, everybody! There's no more beer!" There was a collective groan of disappointment throughout the room. Then the student continued: "Until Brad returns from the store, that is!" Their cheers shook the rafters.

"Thirty minutes," Trunks told Goten.

"Okay! Come on, let's go find Tsubasa."

Wading through the crowds of people, Goten searched for the familiar blue-dyed spiked hair of his friend. Trunks had to all but hold on to his shirt to keep him in sight. "Some party," he commented during the search. Then he stepped in something gooey and looked down in disgust. When he looked up again, Goten was gone. "Oh no."

"Hi," a female voice said from his right. He looked over into the heavily outlined blue eyes of a girl around his age.

Trunks gulped. "Um, hi."

"You're really cute. You want to hang out sometime?"

"I'm sort of looking for someone at the moment," he said as his eyes frantically darted around the room. "Can I take a rain check?"

The girl smiled in a manner that was supposed to be sultry. "I'm sure your girlfriend can't please you like I could."

He burst into laughter and quickly covered his mouth. "Oh, really?"

She stepped closer and placed her hands on his face. "Allow me to prove it to you." Just as she moved her mouth closer to his, Trunks ducked and took off in the opposite direction. That caused the girl to fall flat on her face.

"Gomen nasai!" he called back as she picked herself up from the floor and glared at him. He rounded a corner and had a head-on collision with someone else. "Are you alright?" Trunks asked as he helped the girl up from the ugly beige carpet. She had dark hair and brown eyes.

"Hai," she nodded. "No harm done. Were you running from someone?"

He blushed. "There was this girl and she tried to kiss me..."

She laughed. "Oh, she was one of those girls. My name's Arissa, what's yours?"


Recognition dawned in her eyes. "Hey, are you Trunks Briefs, the single president of Capsule Corporation?"

"Shh!" He gave her a look before making sure no one had overheard. "Don't say that too loud!" Arissa was beyond hearing him, however. All she could see was the lavish wealth she would have if she married him.

Smiling sweetly, she firmly attached herself to his arm. "I have a list of one-hundred reasons why I'm the girl you should marry."

Trunks tried to shake her lose, but she held on more tightly than Roshi to his porn collection. Searching his mind for ideas, he smirked when he found a good one. "Arissa, that girl over there has on the same exact dress as you do!"

"NANI?!" she shrieked as she turned to look. "I'll kill her!" When she turned back to Trunks, he was gone.


The house was completely silent with Bura asleep and the boys out. Vegeta and Goku sat curled up on the couch in the living room, both staring deeply into the dancing flames in the fireplace.

"You know, this past month has been amazing," Goku said suddenly. "No other time in my life can compare to it."

Vegeta smiled. "Not even fusion?"

"Okay, so maybe that comes close, but only because we became one being." He smiled to himself. "Yeah, that was amazing, too." Goku shifted closer to his mate. "When was the first time you had feelings other than hatred for me?"

It was a very easy question to answer. "The time you spared my life the first time I came to Chikyuu is something I'll always remember. You're the only one I can think of who would do something like that."

The larger Saiya-jin placed his hand over his mate's heart. "I felt it deep inside that you weren't completely evil. Somehow I knew you could reform." He felt silent and simply basked in the warmth of the bond for a while. Then, he asked, "What are your New Year's resolutions?"

"I'm going to try not to be so gruff," he told him ruefully. "Do you know how afraid your midget friend is of me?"

"My midget friend?!" Goku asked with a laugh. "Do you even know his name?"

The ouji thought for a moment. "It's Kuririn, right? See, I know it!"

After a few moments of uncontrollable laughter, he wiped the tears from his eyes and took a few deep breaths. "Don't ever try to change yourself for anyone, 'geta. I like you just the way you are."

"Kakarotto? What is your resolution?"

There were many things he wanted to happen in the new year, but he only had control over a few of them. "I want to try and fix the relationship between Gohan and I. It's my number one resolution." The tension between the two of them weighed heavy on his heart. He and Gohan used to be close, never before had things been so messed up.

"We've both spoken with him and nothing seems to have changed. Granted, he looked a little happier when I taught him the bonding ritual, but I have a feeling that it will backfire."

Goku sighed. "Is it because he doesn't have enough Saiya-jin blood?"

"Maybe. It could be that ningen just can't bond with us. No matter the reason, he's still going to be pissed at me. That anger might even turn to hatred."

"For tonight, let's forget that the rest of the world exists. It's just you and me." Glancing upward at the wall clock, the younger Saiya-jin smiled when he noticed the time. "May our next year together be filled with good times... and enough strength to handle the bad."

As the bell chimed with the approach of midnight, Vegeta whispered something heartfelt (and foreign) to his mate before they kissed. The guttural words struck a chord deep within Goku's soul.

"What does that mean?" he asked softly.

"Two hearts forever united as one."

They kissed again, both sending up silent prayers to the heavens for a long-lasting relationship.


"I cannot believe this!" Trunks grumbled as he tried to get comfortable in the small space. "He brings me to a frat party and two girls try to make me their baby's daddy! I don't want to ruin his evening, by my legs are starting to fall asleep."

"Where are you, koishii?" Goten asked a little worriedly. "I haven't seen you in forever!"

"That's because I'm cowering in a closet, Chibi. It's the only place I found to hide from those girls."

"I'm so sorry," came the sympathetic response. "We we get home, I'll make it up to you."

He immediately perked up at the words. "How?"

"I'm pretty sure there's some of that massage oil left..."

The door cracked open and a sliver of light shown through. Goten wedged himself in beside Trunks and closed the door behind him. "Jeez, this place is tiny. We have to practically be on top of each other."

Lavender eyebrows wiggled even though it was too dark for his mate to see them. "That's not a bad thing, you know. Intimate."

"It's a damn closet. Intimate is the only way it knows how to be.[1]" They both suddenly heard the party guests counting down outside. "Just a few more seconds until the new year, Trunks. What's your resolution?"

"I want to..." His words were cut off by soft lips descending upon his. "...make up for lost time. Think of all the years we didn't spend together as a couple."

"Mine's not as sweet as yours."

"Let me be the judge of that."

Goten moved away for air and felt a goofy smile spread across his face. "I'm definitely gonna try to get more of these kisses!"

"You nut," Trunks said affectionately. "Hmm, I wonder what Tousan and Papa are doing for the start of the new year?" Almost as soon as the words were out of his mouth, they felt two giant ki spikes.

Grinning, the dark-haired young man said, "Does that answer your question?"

"Hai, sure does!"

[1] = people were confused about this before. "Intimate is the only way it knows how to be." I meant that, since it's small, you would have to be practically on top of each other if more than one person was in there. It's intimate because it's so close.