A/N: Thanks to all of you who encouraged me to keep writing this fic. Sorry it took me so long to update. I was struggling with MAJOR writer's block. But I'm better now. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the latest installment. ^^
Trunks was brooding, and there was nothing more dangerous than a brooding Saiyan prince. Things were not going according to his plans. He had made a decision the afternoon that Yamcha had given Megumi the roses: the secretary was "the one." Then she had come along.
Kakuzatou Waatame had arrived just in time to spoil Trunks' plans. The petite blonde had somehow captured the former desert bandit's affections. She and Yamcha had been on three consecutive dates. Today would make number four.
Bulma was holding a barbecue at Capsule Corporation, and Yamcha was bringing Waatame along to introduce her to "the gang." Trunks was currently watching his mother commanding the legion of caterers who had been hired to fix enough food to feed five Saiyans, plus several humans. The guests were due to arrive at any moment and Bulma was on a warpath.
The Son family was the first to show up. Chichi quickly stepped in and joined Bulma in berating the caterers who were scurrying around frantically. Goku and Gohan stealthily slipped away, heading off to find Vegeta. Goten made a beeline for Trunks. The older boy watched his best friend skip towards him, waving merrily.
"Konnichiwa, Trunks-kun!" shouted the youngest Son as he stopped in front of his friend. He took a seat next to Trunks on the swing set.
"Hey, Chibi," greeted the lavender-haired boy, a weak smile on his face.
"What's wrong?" asked Goten, leaning closer to the other boy.
"It's nothing," muttered Trunks, shrugging slightly.
Goten opened his mouth to argue, but Kuririn and the other inhabitants of Kame Island arrived. Eighteen, Chichi, and Bulma began to chat while Kuririn and Master Roshi tried to hush the squalling Marron. The little girl caught sight of Trunks and Goten and immediately stopped crying. She squirmed out of her father's grasp and ran towards the two boys, waving the dolls that she held clenched in her fists.
"Twunks! Goten! Let's play dollies!" yelled the blonde as she rushed towards them.
"Okay!" piped up the younger boy, smiling happily.
Trunks groaned and rolled his eyes, but he didn't protest. The three children moved to the shade of a large cherry tree. Marron rationed out her dolls, then dictated roles to each of the boys. Trunks grudgingly obliged, but Goten happily participated.
Goku, Gohan, and Vegeta had reappeared when Kuririn arrived. They stood in a loose circle as far away from the fussing women as they could get. Tien and Choatzu arrived as the caterers were leaving; Piccolo showed up soon after. Next came the Satan family and Buu. Videl rushed to Gohan's side, much to Chichi and Mr. Satan's horror. Megumi was the next to show up; she had been invited by Trunks. Lastly, Yamcha, Pu'ar, and Waatame arrived.
Pu'ar left the couple to join Oolong. Waatame looked around nervously and then stepped closer to Yamcha; she wasn't very good around new people. But these were Yamcha's friends. She was sure she would like all of them.
Yamcha first led her towards the buffet table, where Bulma, Chichi, Eighteen, and Megumi were standing guard. Waatame smiled shyly at the women. Then her gaze fell over the pink puffball hovering close behind them. Buu squinted down at her and then grinned.
"Hi pretty lady!" he greeted.
"Er….hi," croaked Waatame in reply.
"Waatame, you know Bulma and Megumi. This is Chichi, Eighteen, and Buu," introduced Yamcha, smiling proudly.
"It's so nice to meet you!" stated Chichi politely.
"Hi," muttered Eighteen dully.
Waatame giggled nervously, and then turned to Megumi. "Good day, Tereda-san," she greeted her supervisor.
"How many times do I have to tell you to call me Megumi," corrected the pink-haired girl with a smile.
Waatame forced a grin and then turned away. She didn't know why she was so nervous. She chided herself for being so silly.
About that time, Buu tried to snatch a cookie off of the closest banquet table; however, Chichi was ready. She quickly smacked his hand with a ladle and frowned up at him. Buu protectively held his hand to his chest and glared down at the brunette. He grunted angrily, and for a moment, it looked like he was going to lash out at her. Then, he suddenly grinned and patted Chichi on the head.
"I not hurt nice lady again! Nice lady cook yummy food for Buu!" cried the pink puffball happily.
"Hurt…again?" muttered Waatame, her eyes wide.
"Um…let's go meet the others," stated Yamcha hurriedly, dragging her away from the group. He led her over to where Piccolo was standing alone. Waatame stared up at the impossibly tall, impossibly green man. "Waatame, this is Piccolo."
"Um…hi," squeaked the young woman.
"Hello," growled the Namek, eliciting an "eep" from the newcomer. Piccolo glanced over her shoulder, and Waatame turned to see another one of Yamcha's "friends" standing behind them.
"So this is your new woman?" drawled Vegeta, his ever-present smirk in place.
Yamcha scowled at the Saiyan. "This is Bulma's husband, Vegeta."
"Oh. Nice to meet you, Mr. Briefs," commented Waatame, politely. Vegeta blinked in surprise and Piccolo chortled. The young woman frowned and turned to Yamcha. "Did I say something wrong?"
The tall fighter laughed and shook his head. "Don't worry about it. Come on," he stated, pushing past the surprised Vegeta and leading her towards another group.
"This is Kuririn, Goku, Videl…" began Yamcha, pointing to each individual in the circle; however, Waatame wasn't listening.
"Oh my gosh! I can't believe it!" she cried, her eyes wide.
Yamcha stopped his introduction and turned to stare at her cryptically. Waatame's eyes were locked on the man standing in the middle of the circle. A faint blush tinted her cheeks and her eyes were glistening with admiration.
"Mr. Satan!" she gushed, staring up at her idol.
"Er…" replied the "legendary hero." He glanced around the group for support. However, everyone seemed as surprised as he was.
"Oh wow! Can I have your autograph!" asked Waatame eagerly, frantically searching for a scrap of paper and a pen. She pulled out a note that Yamcha had left on her windshield, a silly little "love poem," and handed it over the incompetent fighter.
"Sure!" cried Mr. Satan, immediately slipping into his "impress the fans" mode. Next to him, his daughter rolled her eyes.
"Daddy," she whined, fixing him with an admonishing look. But nothing could tear Mr. Satan away from the glowing praise of one of his admirer's.
Yamcha watched despairingly as Mr. Satan signed his name across the back of the note that he had given to Waatame. He suddenly wondered how much he really mattered to the blonde. He mentally chided himself, trying to reason through it all. She must not have realized what she had handed that idiot fraud.
Yamcha finished his introductions, though he wasn't as enthusiastic as before. Not that it really mattered. Waatame had her eyes glued on Mr. Satan. Every chance she got, she would hurry over and start another pointless conversation with the egomaniac.
Vegeta slipped up next to the ex-bandit as Yamcha watched his girlfriend fawn over the imposter. The taller warrior expected the endless barrage of jokes and snide comments to begin at any moment. However, the Saiyan simply stared at him with dark eyes.
"What do you want, Vegeta?" muttered Yamcha darkly, tearing his eyes away from the blonde.
"You don't seem to have very much luck with women, do you?" commented the prince dryly. However, his voice betrayed the slightest hint of sympathy.
"I guess I don't," replied the scarred man, letting out a heavy sigh. He was surprised when Vegeta laid his hand on his shoulder. Yamcha stared disbelieving down at the prince.
As quickly as the moment had come, it passed. Vegeta smirked up at him, and shoved Yamcha away from him causing the tall man to stagger backwards. The prince turned on his heels and marched away.
The ex-bandit shook his head as he watched Vegeta walk off. "I'll never understand that guy," he muttered.
He was surprised when Megumi suddenly appeared next to him. She smiled nervously at him for a moment, and then glanced around as if she were being spied on. "Hello, Yamcha-san," she muttered, moving closer as if seeking protection.
"Is something wrong?" he asked, touching her arm gently.
Megumi was broken off when Buu popped up next to her. He instantly swept her up in a bear hug. "Pretty hair!" cried the puffball, stroking Megumi's pink hair that perfectly matched himself.
"Thank you, Buu-san," replied the young woman, gracefully pulling out of his grip. Obviously this scenario had been going on for a while. Megumi had tried to seek refuge with Yamcha, but her plan had failed.
"Pretty, pretty, pretty," chanted Buu, patting Megumi on the head.
The pink-haired woman sighed and stared pitifully at Yamcha. He forced himself not to laugh at her predicament. He reached out and pulled Megumi to him, away from Buu.
"Buu-san, I think Chichi-san is about to serve some cake. Why don't you go see if she needs help," lied Yamcha.
"Buu help!" exclaimed the former villain, clapping his hands. He skipped off towards the serving tables, humming merrily to himself.
Megumi let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you, Yamcha-san," she stated gratefully, resting her forehead on his shoulder. "I thought I was never going to escape."
"Don't worry, Megumi-san. I'll protect you!" joked Yamcha.
The young woman giggled. She stepped back and glanced around. "Where's Waatame-san?" she asked, searching for the blonde.
"She's over there," grumbled Yamcha, half-heartedly gesturing to where Waatame stood, glued to Mr. Satan's side.
Megumi's lips twisted into a frown. She opened her mouth to speak, but she was interrupted by the outburst from the serving tables. Buu and Chichi were battling over control of the cake server. Yamcha excused himself and joined the other men in separating the two spastic opponents.
The afternoon seemed to drag by agonizingly slow, but finally the barbeque was over, and the crowd was beginning to disperse. Yamcha practically had to drag Waatame from Mr. Satan's side. Pu'ar, sensing that her company would just be a hindrance, had already left with Oolong and the other Kame House inhabitants.
By the time Yamcha was pulling the car out of Capsule Corp., he was extremely perturbed. Waatame, however, was still glowing from her encounter with her personal hero, and she didn't notice Yamcha's foul mood.
The blonde rambled continuously about Mr. Satan, highlighting his "charismatic personality" and his "sincere concern for his fans" as his two best qualities. Sickened by the conversation, Yamcha turned up the volume of the radio. After he had done this three times, Waatame finally took notice.
"Is something wrong, Yamcha-kun?" she asked. Her bottom lip stuck out in imitation of a pout. He normally hung on every word she said, and Waatame wasn't used to him ignoring her.
"I'm fine," he replied as he glared darkly out at the street ahead.
"No you aren't, Yamcha-kun," replied Waatame in a sing-song voice.
Yamcha let out a heavy sigh. "Well…" he began.
"Oh! An ice cream parlor!" interrupted the blonde. "Yamcha-kun! I want ice cream!"
"Sure," grumbled Yamcha. He pulled the car into an empty parking space. Waatame didn't even wait for him to turn the car off before bounding out onto the sidewalk and into the ice cream shop. Yamcha grudingly followed her inside.
After ordering two cones of double chocolate ice cream, the pair found a seat at a table next to the window that looked out across the street. Yamcha stared at the passers-by while Waatame prattled on about her exciting encounter that afternoon. After several moments, the blonde realized that he was still not listening to her.
"Yam-cha-kun!" she stated, exaggerating the syllables. Waatame leaned across the table and grinned at him. "What's the matter?" she asked sweetly.
Yamcha stared into her deep blue, soulful eyes and he felt his anger melt away. "It's really stupid…" he muttered, feeling foolish.
Waatame pressed a finger against his lips, silencing him. "Nothing you ever say is stupid," she whispered.
He grinned and continued. "You probably didn't realize it, but the piece of paper that you gave to Mr. Satan was that poem I wrote you the other day…"
"Oh! I knew that was the poem," piped up Waatame, turning her attention back to her ice cream cone.
"Huh?" replied Yamcha. He wasn't sure he had heard her right.
"It was the only piece of paper I had in my purse," casually explained the blonde. "You can write me lots of poems, but it's not every day that I get to meet a superstar like Mr. Satan."
"I am so sick of Mr. Satan!" shouted Yamcha, slamming his free fist down on the table.
Waatame jumped slightly. She began to blush when she realized the patrons nearest them were staring. "Yamcha," she hissed.
"All you've talked about all day is Mr. Satan this, Mr. Satan that…I'll have you know that Mr. Satan is nothing more than a liar and a fraud."
"Yamcha!" exclaimed Waatame, sitting up straighter. "How dare you! Mr. Satan saved the world from Cell…"
The ex-bandit let out a bitter laugh. "No, Mr. Satan didn't. He just conveniently took the credit for everything the others did. Gohan was the one who really saved the world from Cell."
The blonde snorted. "Gohan? You mean that kid? He couldn't have been any older than thirteen when Cell attacked…"
"Yes, Gohan," retorted Yamcha.
"And how would you know who really defeated Cell?" sniffed Waatame, turning away from him and sullenly licking her ice cream.
"I was there."
Waatame stared at Yamcha for a moment. He sat perfectly still, watching her solemnly. After a long pause, she began to laugh.
"What's so funny?" snapped Yamcha.
"I'm sorry, Yamcha-kun, but you don't really expect me to fall for that, do you?" replied the blonde, giggling loudly.
"I'm telling the truth!" he insisted.
The smile faded from Waatame's lips. "I don't like you lying to me, Yamcha," she stated softly.
"I'm not lying!" he argued. "I swear I'm telling the truth. Just ask Vegeta, or Piccolo, or any of the others."
"And now I'm supposed to believe they were there too?" asked Waatame huffily. Her bottom lip began to quiver as tears filled the corners of her eyes. "What sort of idiot do you think I am?"
"I don't think you're an idiot! I'm telling the truth!" yelled Yamcha.
Waatame stood suddenly. "I don't think I want to talk to you any more, Yamcha-san," she stated curtly. "It's not nice to tell lies to a sweet girl like me. And then to say such bad things about Mr. Satan. It's unforgivable!"
Waatame spun around and marched out of the parlor. Yamcha watched her through the window as she disappeared down the street. Grumbling to himself, he stood and threw away the rest of his ice cream before stepping outside. For a moment he paused, trying to decide whether or not to follow after her. He decided against it, opting instead for heading back to the sanctuary of his apartment.
Yamcha came home to an empty apartment just like he had most of his life. With Pu'ar still out with Oolong, loneliness quickly seeped into his veins. He shuffled to his bedroom and collapsed onto the bed; rolling onto his stomach, he pulled the phone off of the nightstand and dialed a now familiar phone number. After a few rings, someone picked up.
"Hai. Moshi, moshi," greeted a soft voice.
"Megumi-san? Are you busy?"
To Be Continued….