Pan sat up through half the night, thinking about what she'd been asked and told. There were so many conflicting thoughts and emotions running through her that she couldn't sort through them to work them out. She knew in the morning Trunks would be back; he was passionate and impatient like that; and while he hadn't said anything, she was certain he'd be expecting some sort of answer that she wasn't able to give yet.
Her roommates were still asleep when she decided to go out, the first rays of sun just rolling in, tipping the horizon with a pale purple. There was a slight breeze so she held a light blanket around her as she walked. She followed the rough path along, gradually making her way down to the clearing that the Darwell House overlooked. From here she could sit and relax, and if the others were looking for her, she could be seen easily.
There was a calm feeling in the air as it passed over her, a gentle breeze pushing against the grass, still wet with dew. She was reminded of her childhood for some reason and she instinctively felt herself looking up.
"What would you say?" She asked the lightening sky. "Should I go with him? Is this okay?" She waited for a response she knew wasn't coming.
"Yeah... I don't know either." She laughed. It was at times like these that she really missed her mother, and wished she was there to talk to. She felt a tear slide down her cheek, hanging at the edge of her chin before falling. "I just don't know what to do."
Early in the afternoon Trunks arrived, this time bringing with him a companion. He could hear several people whispering thoughts of who she could be, and if he was bringing her to live there, although she was such an old woman it didn't seem likely. He smiled and shrugged them off, as he'd learned it was simply in their nature to gossip.
He greeted the girls hanging out in the common room and looked awkwardly away from two men who were sitting with them. It was only on rare occasions that he saw a "client" in the house. He reasoned that only a few of the girls brought their work home, or that they only came late at night when he wasn't around. Either way, it made for an uncomfortable scene so he moved into the kitchen to see who was there.
"Hi Jeane, Mary, ladies." He smiled at the two girls he knew best, then tossed a quick wink in the direction of three others to say hello. Jeane stood up and offered her seat, glancing at the woman accompanying Trunks.
"Thanks." He stepped to the side of the chair and offered it to Bulma. "You want to sit down Mom?" She nodded and sat while a murmur grew outside.
"I see the ladies ears are as sharp as ever," Trunks joked. "So, anyway, let me introduce you."
He quickly introduced his mother and, to their great shock, told them of the possibility of Pan's leaving. It wasn't something he wanted to announce before she'd decided, but he had to give some explanation for suddenly bringing a stranger into the house.
"So, Pan's really leaving?" Jeane asked. "Why didn't she tell me?"
"She hasn't decided yet," he told her. "I really shouldn't have said anything to be honest."
"Oh, she'll go," another girl said reassuringly. "I've seen you two together... You work well. So I'm sure she'll go."
Jeane frowned. "But, it's so weird for Pan to leave so suddenly."
"Look, Jeane," the other girl continued. "You're only thirteen, so you don't understand yet, but one day you'll suddenly realize it's time to go. Pan's young, younger than me at least, but in the times we've seen, age is no longer a sign of maturity. If she thinks she's ready, and she wants to be with him, then she'll go."
"Uh, I don't think it has to do with wanting to be with me," Trunks cut in nervously.
"It's part of it at least."
Bulma watched the interchange with a smile. Her son was finally letting her into the happier aspects of his life, and it was all fascinating. After spending such a long time staying inside, it was nice to go out and see new people.
Their chatter continued until a familiar figure came to stand in the doorway. Pan looked in and smiled half-heartedly, her thoughts no clearer than they'd been the night before
"Hi." She whispered. Trunks smiled back.
They stared at each other briefly while Bulma looked the girl up and down. There was something familiar about her that she couldn't quite place, a look in her eyes that triggered old memories.
"So you're Pan," she said finally, standing to meet her. Bulma took her hand and shook it lightly. "I haven't heard a lot about you, but I've seen all I need to in my son. If you want to live with us, I'm not against it."
Pan nodded. She had not been expecting something like this. I mean, bringing his mother in? This was starting to feel weird and rushed. Suddenly, she just wanted to leave.
"Hi, it's nice to meet you Ma'am." She answered politely. "I'm sorry I can't stay, but I had to run some errands with Jeane." She glanced at her friend helplessly and was grateful when she went along with her story.
"Uh, that's right. I almost forgot. So... Do you want to leave now Pan?... Or..."
"Now would be best." With a quick nod, Pan left the room with Jeane and they both headed out. Once they'd left the house, the blonde turned to Pan.
"So, what's this about? Getting cold feet?"
Pan frowned. "How can I get cold feet about something I haven't agreed to in the first place?"
"Well, he seems pretty sure that you're going."
"I know, that's what's so weird. I told him I had to think about it and that's all."
"I guess he's just excited," Jeane offered.
"Yeah, sure. Oh! You wanna know what the real kicker is? He's not nineteen!"
"He's not? How old is he?"
"Thirty?! Oh Pan, gross! He's a total old man!" Jeane giggled.
"He's not that old, but yeah. Any thoughts I was having about us are definitely out of the question now."
"Really? Even though he's still the same guy?"
"Well, yeah. I mean he lied to me first of all. And... It's just not right. He could be my father practically."
"But, what if it weren't for that. Would you, you know, be interested in him that way?"
Pan looked up solemnly. "I think so, yeah."
The two of them stopped walking and Jeane gave a smile of encouragement. "Heather's right, I don't know much about this stuff, but if you like him, you like him and that's it."
"If only it were that simple."
They turned around promptly and headed for the house. Pan was still unsure of her feelings, but she knew she wouldn't be able to solve anything without being with him. It was time to take action and move on with her life.