"The Drummer's March"

This is a sequel to For the Love of a Child, I suppose if you haven't read that, this is probably going to be a bit confusing at first.

Disclaimer: I don't own DragonBall Z. Cause if I did it certainly wouldn't have ended on such a dorky note and Gohan would never have been turned into such a geek it was embarrassing to watch.ahem So. I don't own DBZ, I'm just borrowing it. (Not to be given back.)

Chapter 1

I can't stand stupid people. It's probably something I picked up from dad, who I know got it from Piccolo. And right now I'm completely surrounded by incredibly stupid people.

Dad would have come to register me, but had to stay home in order to convince his editor that he still refuses to do book signing tours. To the rest of the world, he really is a cranky old curmudgeon. I can't help but grin a little at the thought. The rest of the world maybe, but never to me. Besides, how can you be a curmudgeon when you're only twenty-seven? He doesn't even look that old. Bulma says he doesn't look a day older than twenty-three and Piccolo still calls him 'kid' when he can get away with it. Dad just growls and Uncle Vegeta says it's the Saiyan bloodline. At least I look my age of fifteen, though Dad says so did he.

Today I'm suppose to start at a new high school. Actually we're suppose to start at a new high school, we meaning me and Trunks. Both of us could have gone somewhere closer to our homes, Satan City has a large high school that Trunks could have attended if he wanted. But Trunks flat out refused to stay at that school. Something about him wanting to go somewhere the name Briefs wasn't automatically associated with Capsule Corp, his genius mother, or being a multimillionaire. I can understand that, it would suck having people make judgements about me only based on stuff they knew about my family. As for me, well Dad's pretty famous as a writer, but he doesn't write under his own name. I don't really have a reason for going to this particular school. Dad asked where I wanted to go, I said I didn't really care, and then Trunks asked me to go to whatever school he did so that he could actually talk to somebody.

Bulma says we're arrogant. But I don't think it's arrogance to want to have somebody around you can actually level with. We have history. We're like blood brothers I suppose. We've certainly bloodied each other enough times. We're tight in a way most people don't understand. We can fight each other and not hold back, we challenge each other physically and mentally. Mostly though, we just know who we are and where we come from. I mean, I can't just casually explain to some guy in my health class that I fly to and from school, can I? Or try to convince the girl who sits three rows back, that my blonde highlights don't come from a bottle of Clariol.

So Trunks and I decided to go to Fukuoka High School, which was about half way between his place and mine. Half being relative since his place is a good five hour plane ride from the school and mine is half way around the world. Of course when you're a Saiyan, time and distance have a slightly different meaning than that of a normal human.

I hadn't been waiting that long when I felt his energy signature approaching. Unfortunately I'd been waiting long enough to already be set upon by a group of students wanting me to join various different clubs. I was forming some choice swear words under my breath when Trunks walked around the corner.

"Yo." He held out a fist and we tapped knuckles before he looked around and sighed. "So this is it?"

I grimaced and nodded, ignoring the flyers that were being shoved in my direction. Pointing toward the table marked 'registration' and nudging him with my shoulder we headed over to sign away the next four years of our lives.

"So how're the rents?" He looked over the course listing he was scanning and rolled his eyes at me.

"Oh you know, the usual. Dad spent the morning ranting about how I don't train enough, Mom spent the morning moaning over why I couldn't go to school somewhere closer, and then Bra came downstairs wearing makeup and her skirt rolled up above her knees and Dad blew a gasket. So now he's in the dog house for breaking what is the third table this month."

I couldn't help but grin a little.

"So that'll be a reservation for three at Casa de Son, tonight?" I asked, though we both knew it was more of an open agreement.

"Reservation confirmed, amigo." He tapped the list in his hand. "What do you think about Trig, too boring?"

I looked over his shoulder at the schedule and shrugged. "It's right after lunch, I suppose we could use the period as nap time."

He laughed and circled the subject. "Trig it is. So how's the professor?"

It was my turn to roll my eyes and I chuckled a little at the memory of Dad earlier that morning. He'd been standing barefoot in the middle of the kitchen wearing only his pajama bottoms. Hair messier than usual, he'd had a wild look on his face as he waved his coffee cup around while yelling into the phone.

"Irate. His editor is trying to force a book tour on him, even offered to come out to the house and pick him up herself. I think the only thing that saved her from instant death was that he got to drink at least half a cup of coffee before she called."

I looked up from my own course listing. "We have a choice, P.E. or Calligraphy. What do you think?"

Trunks glanced around the large gymnasium we were standing in and studied the other students around us. He looked back at me and raised an eyebrow.

I grimaced. "Right. Calligraphy."

We'd had the problem of P.E. classes every year we'd been in school. I can still remember dad cautioning me to 'play with the children like a wild creature, gently'. It was hard always having to hold back, even gently kicking a soccer ball could send it straight through the net leaving nothing but a ball sized hole. The week my junior high school gym class studied marital arts, dad let me go visit the Briefs.

We were silent as we finished picking out our schedules and then handed them to a girl sitting behind the desk. She glanced over them before looking up at Trunks and smiling. "I just love your hair, did your parents freak when you did it?"

We looked at each other in surprise and Trunks shook his head. "It's not dyed." To me he muttered, "Though maybe I should. Give myself blue stripes or something."

I snorted, "Not unless you want to look like a walking bruise."

I turned and studied Trunk's hair. It was cut short in the back and fell longer over his eyes. I guess the color would be considered lavender by most. I'd never actually thought about it, his hair was just...his hair. Though when I considered it, I suppose lavender made sense; Bulma had blue hair. And Vegeta's hair was black, though it was also yellow, and blue and yellow...wait that would make green. So did that make black and blue turn violet? I shook my head and chalked it up to the mysteries of genetics.

The girl stared at Trunks for a moment, obviously not believing him, but then just handed him another piece of paper and smiled.

"I'm Clarissa by the way. We have Trigonometry together. Mr. Draper is the teacher, I hope you're good at math because his class is tough. I'm terrible at math, I'm always having to go to the study sessions just to pass the tests."

She glanced at my schedule and then handed it to me as well. "You signed up for all the same classes, are you guys friends?"

I nodded and took the paper from her, shoving it into my pocket. "Yeah." I grinned at Trunks. "You could say we're practically related."

"Right." Trunks gave the girl a slight wave before turning away. "You say that just because you know it pisses my dad off."

I laughed and shrugged. "Yes but it's so much fun. He gets all red and starts growling about low class Sayains and upstart half breed brats. Then your mom swats him with whatever is handy. Good times, man."

Trunks scowled a little and propped himself against the wall by the door before sliding down to the floor. We still had ten minutes before the bell rang for our first class. "You only say that because you don't have to live with him. You get to go home to the professor."

He scowled even harder and I felt a little guilty about my teasing. Sliding down alongside, I nudged him with my shoulder and sighed. "Hey, it's not all blue skies and apple pie. My dad isn't exactly Mr. Rogers either you know."

Trunks sighed and thunked his head gently against the wall before turning it slightly to look at me out the corner of his eye. "No, but he doesn't constantly hassle you about the need to be a proper Saiyan warrior, the need to train more, the lack of respect you show your elders..."

"Ah!" I interrupted with a raised finger. "I get that one all the time from Piccolo."

He scowled at me and I grinned. "Ok, you win. You have the shittiest deal. But at least that means you have a good place to come to, ne?" I gave him the patented Son smile and tossed in a wink for good measure. He scowled a moment longer before sighing and then chuckling.

"I hate it when you do that."

I grinned. "Yes, but it works." He just shook his head and we sat silently watching the other students register for their classes.

Maggie Ford had never actually met Sam Maxwell. In fact, she didn't even know his real name. As his book editor, this was a great source of irritation for her. She knew the basic facts; he was male and wrote very popular detective novels under a pseudonym. She knew his return address, email address, telephone and fax number.

She didn't know what he looked like, how old he was, his marital status, or any other personal bits of information. He was a mystery.

And he was driving her absolutely crazy.

"Look, I understand you don't want to do a large book signing tour but would you at least consider coming in as a guest speaker for the writers conference? They would dearly love to have you give a brief speech, it doesn't have to be..."

A curt, "No" cut her off before she could finish, which was better than the first time she had called to ask about the book signing. The man had actually growled at her!

Sighing she decided to change tactics. "Well if that's what you want, I'll let them know." Taking a breath, she plunged on. "About your contract, we have some new paperwork we need signed and I'm afraid it has to be done in person."

She winced, glad he couldn't see her over the telephone. "I know you don't like to come in so I can drop by with the documents for you."

The other end was silent and she began to worry. Finally there was another one of those growls, though quieter this time. "Fine."

She let out a sigh of relief and relaxed. "Good. I'll be there Friday afternoon around 4 pm if that's ok? It'll be a pleasure to finally meet..." She trailed off and stared at the phone in her hand before looking up to where her assistant was watching with sympathy from the doorway.

"He hung up on me. Again!" Letting out a wail she buried her head in her arms. It would most certainly not be a pleasure to meet the person the entire publishing world had dubbed, "The Dragon".

"And to make matters worse, he won't call back and ask so we don't know when she's showing up!" I waved my carrot stick around to emphasize my point and Trunks ducked before snagging it out of my hand and eating it.


"It was mine to begin with. This one however..." And he grabbed another one off the tray in front of me. Popping it in his mouth and grinning. "So what's the plan for this weekend?"

I scowled at where the carrot stick use to lay on my tray. Trunks chuckled before looking around quickly then snapping his apple in two, handing half to me. I took it with a nod of thanks and shrugged. "Don't know, probably just bum around."

"Bumming is good."

I nodded and slouched down in my seat, idly watching the other students eat around us. Our first week of high school had been rather boring, as we predicted. The classes weren't anything special and even the Trigonometry class that girl had warned us about wasn't a big deal. Bulma wasn't a genius for nothing, and Trunks had been educated accordingly. Against his protest usually, but nevertheless, he knew his stuff.

Dad had been educated along the lines of Trunks, but even more to the extreme. To hear Piccolo tell it, if Dad wasn't studying he was fighting and if he wasn't fighting, he was eating. I'm not sure Dad is a genius the same way Bulma is, though I've heard them argue for hours over the construction of some new machine or technology she was working on. And I know she's called him to bounce ideas more than a few times. Piccolo says Dad is incredibly smart, but his real genius lies in fighting. A prodigy since birth, he's a master at tactics and can adapt to any situation.

As for me. Somehow Dad always made learning seem really interesting. I don't remember learning how to read or calculate advanced formulas, I just did. He had this way of calling me into his study, sitting me down and working over puzzles and games with me. When I got older it was books he thought I'd find interesting and then we'd discuss them.

I glanced down at the paperback sitting next to my tray and grinned. The Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong in the fourteenth century. The cover didn't promise much but it was full of blood, betrayal, magic, huge battles and long forgotten warriors.

Following my eyes, Trunk reached over and grabbed the book. "What's the professor got you reading this time?"

Before I could answer a figure walked up to our table and smirked down at us. "Hey pretty boys. Hear the news? Your dear old calligraphy teacher had a stroke."

One of the jocks, Brad something or other, leered down at us from where he stood holding his tray. "Poor boys. They can't find a substitute so guess who's being moved to P.E.?"

Trunks sighed and leaned back in his chair, "How troublesome."

"You're going to be crying for your mommies after the first day, isn't that right guys?" He called to a group of friends who were clustered around a table across from ours.

I studied the guy, never having really paid all that much attention to him before. Broad shoulders and big hands, his head with its brown hair cut close seemed too small, perched up at the top.

"Hey, Brad was it?" He squinted over at me and his leer widened. "Yeah, that's right."

"You ever go crying to your momma?"

His smirk faded a little and a puzzled frown spread across his face. "No."

I pushed away from the table and stood up, Trunks following silently beside. "Nor have I."

(So ends chapter one. I jumped into this as a sort of, let's look at Gohan and Goten a few years after "For the Love of a Child". Unlike my first story, I'm taking a stab at writing Goten in the first person. I'm not sure how it will work out though. I guess I just figured Gohan had his story told the first time around and now Goten wants a chance to shine. Anyway, I hope you all like it and sorry I've kept you waiting so long for a sequel. Thanks for reading!)