Just a Nightmare: Distant Dreams

On Christmas Eve, Trunks and Goten went through with the bonding ritual. They'd decided that Goten had been the one pursuing Trunks (by his dedication to spending every single lunch hour with him) so he earned the right to leave a mark first. On exactly midnight on Christmas morning, he marked the older demi-Saiya-jin in the midst of his climax and woke up everyone in Capsule Corp. who could sense ki.

Pan sat up straight in Bura's bed and looked towards the window. "What was that?"

"Nothing, Pan-chan. Go back to sleep." Bura smiled sleepily and silently congratulated her niichans. She was just on the verge of slumber, when Gohan's impassioned cry brought her back to full wakefulness.


Bura glared in the direction it came from. "Jeez, Gohan-san. People are trying to get some sleep around here."

"He doesn't sound happy."

"He'll get over it."

A few minutes later "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse".


At five in the morning, two very excited little girls ran as fast as they could downstairs to open their presents. "I bet I got more than you did," Pan said as she sorted through the gifts.

"I bet you're wrong."

Soon wrapping paper was flying all over the room and gifts were being separated into piles: the good stuff and the bad stuff. Both girls had a lot more in the good pile than in the bad one.

"An Easy Bake Oven," Pan said dully.

Bra smiled. "I'm guessing that you didn't want one."

"Mama and Papa gave it to me. I guess they're trying to make me more of a girl." She tossed it aside and started on a box from Goku and Vegeta. "Ooh! Roller blades! Goku-ojiichan and Vegeta-ojiichan are the best!"

An hour later, Goten bounded downstairs with all the glee of a small child. "Meri Kurisumasu, chibis!" He looked around the room, unsure of where to start. "Damn, there's a lot of stuff in here."

Pan smiled sweetly at him. "Don't curse in front of me, Goten-ojichan. Papa gets upset."

"Yeah, we don't need him any angrier than he is already."

"You heard him, then," Bura sighed.

Her niichan nodded. "Who didn't? I'm sure he woke people three towns over."

The youngest Son cocked her head to the side. "What are you guys talking about? I know that Papa sounded mad this morning, but about what?"

"Trunks and Goten bonded this morning like your ojiichans did."

"Oh. Well, I could have told you he wasn't gonna like it. One time, when he took me to the mall, this guy hit on him."

Bura and Goten stared at her. "Honto?!" they asked in unison.

"Yup. I think it freaked him out." Her fingers paused in untying a bow. "But for a second, he looked a little happy."

"Hmm..." Goten said as he continued searching for his gifts. "That's very interesting."

"My bike! They bought my bike!" Bura wrapped her arms around it in glee. The gift had been placed in the very back behind most of everything. "You wanna go outside and ride around the neighborhood, Pan-chan?"

Pan nodded. "Right after I open the rest of my presents, get dressed, and eat breakfast, okay?"

Her father entered the room on the tail end of the conversation. "You're going to do what right after that?"

"Roller blade with Bura," she answered as she tore into another gift. "My ojiichans bought me a pair for Christmas."

"I can't believe they did that! You're only six years old!" Gohan was already pretty upset with his father and that only served to make it worse. "Give them to me, Pan."

The little girl shook her head and hugged the box to her chest. "Iie! I won't let you take them away!" She ran behind Goten and used him as a shield.

"Niichan," Goten said, "are you taking them away because you really think she's too young, or because Tousan and Papa bought them?"

"You call him 'Papa'?!"

"That's irrelevant!"

His brother turned away. "I don't answer to you."

Goten approached him with Pan close behind. "Let me remind you that this is the same little girl who defended her friends from the sixth-grade bullies, beat up numerous adults in the Tenkaichi Boudoukai, and refused to cry even when she broke her leg after falling out of a tree. Pan can handle a little pair of roller blades, Niichan. Hell, this child could probably handle falling off a cliff!

"If it's because of who bought them-" He stopped a few inches away from Gohan, so close that their noses nearly touched. "-then allow me to remind you that they did it because they care for her. Did you even bother to find out what she likes? Do you spend any time with her at all?"

"Pan knows that I'm very busy..."

He shook his head. "No matter how busy you are, you should always make time for your children. Will you please let her have fun? I know that you really don't want to become Kaasan's clone."

Deciding to end the argument, Trunks spoke up. "Neither one of them can ride anything outside because there's about eight inches of snow on the ground and more is on the way."

Bura gasped and ran to the window. "Wow! I've never seen this much snow before!" Pan joined her and, a soon as the two girls were out of earshot, Trunks had a few words with Gohan.

"Please, can you keep your comments to yourself? I don't want to have to go visit you in the hospital because Papa beat you half to death."

"Tousan would never allow him to do that to me."

Trunks smirked at him. "You would think that, wouldn't you?"

Goten tried to change the subject. "It was pretty cold this morning when Trunks and I were out there. We actually had to go Super Saiya-jin to keep warm." Unfortunately, it was the wrong topic to change to.

"So I felt," Gohan growled. His brother blinked at him in puzzlement.

"We all felt your, um, excitement," Videl informed the couple. She had been silently observing the exchange until that point. "Gohan sort of freaked out. He has issues with everything."

"And until he decides to discuss things like an adult, we won't ever solve this problem." Goten turned away and went back to opening presents. "I'm through trying to talk to him." Gohan left the room in a huff and Videl followed, intent on trying to get him to calm down.

The doorbell rang and Trunks went to answer it. "Um, may I help you?"

"Konnichi-wa, Trunks," the man smiled at him. "You know my sister. She left an message on her voice mail saying that she'd be over here."

He stared hard into the stranger's blue eyes and could see the resemblance between him and... "Is your sister Juuhachi-gou?"

"Hai," Juunana-gou answered. "Though I've never met you before, I knew your mirai counterpart."

"Well, come on in. As soon as Papa gets up, he'll be making breakfast.

The artificial ningen froze. "You know, I could have sworn you said that Vegeta would be cooking."

Trunks laughed. "I get that reaction from everyone."


After the morning meal, majority of the guests ended up playing outside in the snow. No one knew who suggested it, but it was fun nonetheless. Bura and Pan spent an hour teaching Vegeta how to make a snowman and soon there were a crowd of them in the back yard.

"Hey, that's not your snow!" Marron protested as Trunks took some of the white powder from her area. "I was just about to make a hat!"

"I ran out, okay? Goten stole a lot from me." The next thing he knew, she was throwing a snowball at him. He ducked and it hit Kuririn in the back of the head.

The short man mock glared at the two of them. "Leave me out of your little fight!"

"Gomen nasai, Tousan," Marron said sheepishly. She didn't see the snowball coming.

Trunks burst into laughter as she wiped the cold slush from her face. "Bull's eye!"

She packed another mound of snow between her gloved hands. "Oh, you're asking for it." The teen started to stalk him, carefully avoiding the various snow people around the yard. Letting her snowball fly, she cheered when it collided with his chest. "All right!"

"I let you do that," he told her.

"Yeah, right." She squealed when she felt a sudden frigid wetness down the back of her shirt. "Ack!"

Goten grinned. "Mission accomplished."

"When two people have a mental link, you are never safe." Trunks high-fived his mate and they both did a little victory dance.

"A what?" she asked.

He placed a finger to his forehead and then to the younger demi-Saiya-jin's. "It's a bond-related perk."

Goku smiled at them and went back to trying to fix his snowman. "Does anyone know how I can keep his arm from falling off?"

"Kakarotto, I doubt snow can be extended like that unless you turn it to ice."

"But I wanted our snowmen to hold hands," he pouted.

Vegeta felt himself melting into a puddle of goo. Before he could stop himself, he pulled Goku down to his level and kissed him gently.

"Whoo! I got a public display of affection out of you!"

"You make me into a pile of mush, do you know that?"

"Hai, but you're my pile of mush."

Marron watched them, hoping one day she'd find someone to love her as much as they loved each other.

By the time lunch came, Vegeta was wondered if their guests were ever going to leave. He was pretty certain that Gohan would have taken off a long time ago if his wife hadn't talked to him. It was a good thing that he didn't, though, because his new father wanted to have a word with him.

"Let's take a walk," he told the oldest demi-Saiya-jin. Gohan eyed him for a moment before following. "I may not have the perception that your father does, but this is out of his league. He has no experience when it comes to dealing with hostility."

Gohan opened his mouth and the ouji glared at him until he closed it. "Kakarotto's upset because his own son isn't happy for him. Are you aware of how much your words hurt him? I know exactly how much because I felt all of the anguish they caused."

"Say one word and I'm going to hit you." Vegeta said when the young man started to speak again. He stopped and looked him straight in the eyes. "Look, your problem is simple. One: you think that he's betraying your mother by falling in love with someone else. Two: you're insecure in your sexuality so you're homophobic. Three: you don't like me very much and think that Kakarotto shouldn't waste his time. I'm still debating which reason gives you the most grief."

The young man sighed. "I'm going to talk about this with you, Vegeta-san, because I respect you. Both of you are men, correct? What can you receive from an intimate relationship between the two of you?"

"The very same thing you receive from your relationship... minus the kid, of course. You've got to keep one thing in mind, Gohan. We are Saiya-jin and things were done differently on Vegeta-sei."

"You're on Chikyuu, now."

"Hai, but the death of our planet wasn't the death of our traditions. The bond was highly respected for very good reason. It brings two people together to form greatness. Similar to fusion, but completely different."

It was something he'd heard before. "Tousan told me all about it."

"You aren't bonded to Videl. Is this why you don't understand?"

"I am not jealous!"

Vegeta smiled slightly. "I never said that you were."

Gohan sighed again. "I love my wife, alright? I just wish something as powerful as the bond could exist between us as well."

"You should be content with what you have. Not many people can find true love." His smile grew wider. "I can teach the ritual to you, if you really wish it. Maybe it will form."

"Really?" he asked, completely shocked that the Saiya-jin no Ouji would offer to do something like that for him. "Even after I said all those things about you? Why?"

"You are the son of my mate... and because I care too much to see you miserable." Gohan stared at him in amazement, wondering if the bond had anything to do with Vegeta's newfound kindness.

"Arigatou, Vegeta... tousan," he said grudgingly. And the two of them returned to the party.