Just a Nightmare: Distant Dreams

A/N: Chapters seven, eight, and nine are also going to be my Christmas-related Dragon Ball thing for this year (2002). I can't see myself writing something in addition to this. That sort of sucks, though, because I have a really good idea for a humor fic. (Update: I wrote that humor fic in 2003 and it's called Christmas Vacation).


Bura woke everyone up bright and early (seven-thirty a.m.) to propose an idea. Since Christmas was just around the corner (in less than a week actually), she thought they should all head over to the mall to purchase the gifts she knew they forgot. Since no one had bought anything, the men had to admit it was a good idea.

After holding a brief funeral ceremony over the death of her piggy bank (one that everyone was forced to attend), Bura took her life's savings of 77,926 zenni ($635 or 408) and crammed it into her wallet. "Jeez, I need a credit card."

"Are you ready to go yet, Bura?" Trunks called from across the hall. As soon as the eulogy was over, he'd gone back to his room to finish dressing.

"In a minute!" After figuring that her wad of bills just weren't going to fit into the wallet, she grabbed the backpack purse her mother bought for her seventh birthday from the back of the closet and dropped it inside. "With room to spare."

Vegeta was rummaging through the fridge and Goku was commenting about everything he started to select. "That'll rot your teeth, 'geta. How about eating some cereal?"

"Don't have enough cereal for five people, baka. We don't have enough of anything."

"We can go to McDonald's!" Goten suggested with a grin. "Oh please, can we go?"

Goku nodded and shut the fridge door, narrowly missing Vegeta's fingers. "Sure, son!"

Vegeta frowned. "What if I don't want to go to McDonald's? What if I want to eat chocolate?" Goku leaned down and whispered something into his ear that made him blush. The next thing they knew, Vegeta was outside the front door. "Come on, people! I don't have all day!"

After causing the restaurant to shut its doors after only being open for two hours, the five Saiya-jin headed off to the Satan City mall. Just like its namesake city, the mall contained a giant fountain of Satan-san in the center.

"Every time I see his stupid grinning face, I want to spit in it," Vegeta muttered as he stared up at the stone figure. "Why hasn't he died by now?"

"Because his luck hasn't run out yet," Trunks answered. "The man has more lives than a cat."

Bura was tired of all the "die Satan-san" talk that she always heard. "Forget about him, okay? Let's just shop till we drop!" She grabbed Vegeta's hand. "I'm goin' with Papa and Tousan!"

"Fine with me," Trunks shrugged.

She grabbed both Saiya-jin's hands and swung them happily. "First stop is the toy store, okay? I'm gonna make a list."

"I'm damn glad your mother willed me some money." Goku smiled at his mate, knowing that he would have found a way to buy Bura what she wanted even if he was completely broke.

"I need to go there, too. Gotta shop for Pan-chan, you know."

The little girl's eyes lit up at the mention of his granddaughter's name. "I'm her aunt, aren't I? That is so cool!"

Once inside the huge Toys 'N' Stuff store, Bura immediately ran off with a notepad and a pencil. Vegeta, not really knowing what to do, followed Goku.

"What are you going to buy her?" he asked.

"The best presents in the store." Goku stopped in front of a gigantic doll house that was almost as large six-year-old Pan. "Gotta get all of the accessories, too." Underneath the display was the house itself (unassembled of course), dolls, furniture, and other home-related things. He sent Vegeta back to the front of the store for a shopping cart.

Vegeta eyes widened with every object he placed into the cart. "Do you even have any money?"

"Sure I do. Remember the last tournament? I won first place, you know. Then there's the money left over from ChiChi's life insurance since she wanted to be cremated. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I spent it on Pan-chan."

Placing his hand over his Goku's as the younger man placed yet another thing into the shopping cart, Vegeta smiled. "I'll go half with you. These gifts can be from both of us."

"Great!" he cheered as he jogged down the aisle while pushing the cart. "Let's go get more stuff!"

"Kakarotto, that wasn't permission to go crazy!"


"I want this and this and this and... Ooh! Of course I want this!" Bura scribbled rapidly as she went through the store. She stopped in the middle of the video game aisle and added a game to her hand basket. "Goten will like this one."

Goku stopped as he passed by. "Hey, Bura. How's it coming?"

"Great, Tousan! I'm almost one-fourth of the way done with my list!"

"How many things are on it?" Vegeta asked.

She smiled innocently. "Only about twenty...."

"And you're only one-fourth of the way done?!"

His mate waved his hand dismissively. "Stop acting as if you're shocked. Bura's just taking advantage of a good thing."

She smiled again, brighter this time. Vegeta felt his tiny amount of resistance fade away. "Oh, alright Bura," he gave in. "I don't know why I let you do this to me."

"Because I'm your little princess and you love me." She hugged him and skipped off. "Thank you, Papa and Tousan! Ai shiteru!"

"Aw!" Goku cooed as he thrust a five foot tall teddy bear into Vegeta's arms. The cart was becoming a little too full. "You're such a nice guy, 'geta."

"Do you think Pan really needs a stuffed animal this big, Kakarotto? Hell, it's almost larger than I am!"

Goku looked at the bear and then at something else. "You think she would like a laptop more?"

Vegeta shook his head and hid a smile. "Let's stick with the bear."

They shopped for twenty minutes more and found Bura standing open-mouthed in the bike aisle. "Ooh!"

"You like that one?" her Papa asked after he followed her gaze.

"Very, very much! It's got eighteen speeds, hand brakes, a water bottle, and a handlebar pouch!" She pointed to the shelf behind her. "I could even get a license plate with my name on it! If you get me nothing else, please get me this bike."

Neither man could say no. "We'll see," Goku told her.

The total amount of Pan's presents came to 52,094.09 zenni ($424.50 or 272.87). Bra, on the other hand, only spent 6,134.70 ($49.99 or 32.13). Vegeta talked Bura into carrying a few of the nine bags and they moved onward to another store.

"I have to get something for Trunks," she said as they walked toward the department store. "You wanna come with?" Her Papa gave her a look and she grinned. "I know, I know. I'm only eight; of course you're coming with."

"What does he like, anyway?" Goku asked curiously. "I know what I'm going to get Goten: a gift certificate for McDonald's. Hmm, do they even have them?"

"Hai, Tousan. Your certificate's going to have to be more than Pan's gifts combined because Goten-niichan eats too much."

"Oi, Goku!" They heard a voice call from behind them. The three of them turned and each had a different reaction on their faces. Vegeta groaned, Bura giggled, and Goku grinned.

The younger Saiya-jin bowed before his sensei. "Konnichi-wa, Kamesennin. How's it going?" Both Bura and Vegeta stared at him when Goku put a clueless expression on his face. It was one they hadn't seen for a very long time.

"Things have been great, especially since Kuririn and Juuhachi-gou have moved out." The old man grinned. "They were disrupting my flow."

Vegeta snorted. "What flow? No sane female would want you, Roshi."

"That wasn't very nice, Papa," Bura said, but she laughed anyway.

Roshi waved away his comment. "Whatever. Look, Goku, we're having a Christmas party at my house on the 24th and everyone's invited. I called your house earlier and it's like no one's ever home." One eyebrow rose. "Where are you all day? Sparring with Vegeta?"

"Um, hai. I'm always over at the Capsule Corp." A light bulb seemed to snap on over his head. "How about having the party there? I don't mind." Then it hit him what he said and he hurried to correct himself. "I mean Vegeta doesn't mind. Hehehe."

"Oh, really? He seems less than thrilled at the suggestion to me."

The ouji was, in fact, wholeheartedly against it. Well, he was until Goku mentally pleaded with him. "I can use the time to tell them about us, 'geta. Christmas usually warms people's hearts."

"Why do you have to tell them anything? It's not any of their business."

"They're my friends, you know that. I don't want to keep any secrets from them."

A lengthy pause, then. "Alright."

Goku smiled. "How about making it a Christmas slumber party? Everyone can bring their presents over and put them underneath the tree. There are more than enough rooms for everyone."

"What tree?" Bura asked.

"The one we're gonna buy today."

Vegeta immediately opened his mouth to protest and one look from Goku made him close it again. "Hmph."

"I'll start calling people as soon as I return home. See you later, Goku. Bura." Roshi barely glanced at the ouji. "Vegeta."

"Sayonara, Pervert," he sneered. "Good riddance!"

As soon as Roshi was out of hearing range, Bura put her hands on her hips and frowned at her tousan. "What was that all about?"

"Nani?" Goku asked with false innocence.

"Don't give me that! You aren't a baka no matter how often Papa calls you one. Why in the world did you act like one just now?"

Vegeta nodded. "That's a very good question."

He tried to avoid answering, but neither would let it go. "Look, they're all used to me acting like an idiot, okay? Very few people know the real me."

"Why hide from them, Tousan? They're supposed to be your friends, right?"

"Well, hai, but it's not that simple. If I suddenly deviated from what they know as the norm, they'd wonder why I waited so long. What will I tell them?"

Both Bura and Vegeta answered at the same time. "The truth."

"I can try, anyway."


Trunks and Goten sat in the very back of the mall movie theater in a corner that probably hadn't seen a mop in quite some time. In fact, Trunks was pretty sure that the employees had all but forgotten about it. "All this to make out," he grumbled as he pulled his foot from the floor in a loud sucking noise. "My shoes will never be the same."

"Shh! The movie's starting!"

For the first ten minutes they watched in silence, Goten stuffing popcorn into his mouth and Trunks eating Sour Patch Kids. Once the younger demi-Saiya-jin's food was gone, though, he wanted to move on to something a little more involved...

The next thing Trunks knew, Goten's mouth was descending upon his. There wasn't a prelude, he just went straight to the main event. "Are you trying to suck the air right out of my body?" Trunks gasped as Goten moved away. It wasn't that he didn't like it, just would have been better at reduced speed.

"Oh, gomen nasai, Trunks." He kissed the length of his neck with agonizing slowness. "Is this better?" The lavender-haired man claimed his lips again and Goten grinned.

"Why are you guys over here in the corner?" asked a voice. The two of them immediately jumped apart and tried to act as if they hadn't been doing a thing. "Don't even try to act like you weren't making out. Can't say that I'm surprised."

Trunks looked over to the left from the corner of his eye. He sighed in relief when he saw who it was. "Marron!"

The blond teenager grinned. "That's my name, don't wear it out."

"What are you doing here?" Goten asked.

Marron sat down in the seat beside Trunks. "Watching the movie, something the two of your aren't." Both of them blushed and she laughed. "Oh, it's okay. If I were here with someone even half as sexy as two of you, I wouldn't be watching it either."

The Capsule Corp. heir didn't know whether to be embarrassed or flattered. He settled on a combination of the two. "Um..."

"Hey, don't mind me. Just go back to what you were doing before I announced my presence."

"How long were you watching before you said anything?" Goten asked.

"Not very long; about two minutes."

He groaned. "That's two minutes too long!" Goten said that a little too loudly and was shushed by at least five people. "Hey, I'm trying to have a conversation here!"

"Forget about it, Goten. The mood's broken; we might as well watch the movie I paid for."

Marron was feeling a little guilty. "I ruined things for you, didn't I? I'm sorry."

Trunks waved away her apology. "Don't worry about it. Goten and I have the rest of our lives."

After the movie, they walked the mall with Marron until lunchtime. She waved goodbye to them and went looking for her parents (who were also Christmas shopping). The two demi- Saiya-jin found a place to eat (McDonald's, of course) and waited for the other three to show up.

"We didn't do much shopping," Goten said as he eyed their two bags. Before the movie, they'd spent majority of their time waiting in the check out line at Pringle's. Goten had brought Bura an outfit and Vegeta a tee that had "I'm too sexy for this shirt." on it. Trunks had bought himself a pair of shoes.

"There's still a few days before Christmas, we've got plenty of time." He looked up and spotted Bura, Goku, and Vegeta coming towards them. His little sister was pulling a huge wagon loaded down with at least seven bags and his fathers were each carrying four more. "Well, they won't have visit the stores again."

"Hi, guys!" Bura said cheerfully before she parked the wagon and went up to order her food. Goku and Vegeta exchanged smiles when they heard Trunks' comment.

"Oh, most of this stuff is Pan's. We still have to come back for Bura." Goku shrugged when his two sons gave him looks of incredulity. "I just couldn't resist."

Bura deposited her very full tray onto the table and began to separate her food by type. "I bought some presents for people, but I'm not even close to being finished." She paused for a moment to eat a cheeseburger while Goku and Vegeta went to order. "What do you think they'd want for Christmas?"

Goten shrugged. "They'll probably love whatever you give them."

"I know, but I want it to be special!" She pursed her lips in thought. "I still have about 69,495 zenni left so I could get them something really good."

"And still buy presents for everyone you want to?"

Sighing, she said, "Iie."

"Buy for everyone else first, then think about them. You could even make them something."

Bura opened her mouth to say something else, but abruptly closed it when her fathers returned to the table. Vegeta studiously ignored the silence, but Goku looked around the table. "Okay, what's going on?"

"Nothing," the three of them chorused.

"Hmm," he hummed, unconvinced. Eventually shrugging, he started in on his own small mountain of food.

Ten minutes later, they were all stuffed and had acquired a crowd of onlookers who had made bets about how much they could eat. Most of the ningen thought Bura wouldn't last three burgers but, of course, she proved all of them wrong. They may have been surprised at the little girl, but they were definitely surprised at Goku and Goten. None of them had thought that the Son men could actually eat their own weight in food.

"I made a lot off those people," Vegeta smiled as he counted his cash. "That'll teach them not to judge a book by its cover."

"It wasn't really fair of you to even bet, 'geta. You knew we could eat that much."

"Hai, but they didn't know that."

Goku and Vegeta went on home to begin wrapping the gifts, while the three kids stayed at the mall several more hours. Bura eventually settled on a twenty-four carat gold id bracelet for Trunks and an engraved gold-plated heart-shaped plaque for the two full Saiya-jin. It read on the front: Kakarotto and Vegeta. Bonded December 19th. A love to last forever.