Author Notes: This is a start to a multi-chapter fic involving three main couples, Trunks/Pan, Goten/Bra, and Uub/Marron. It was inspired in part by Witchyprincess' "RainWater", which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Rating: As of now, T for language. This is subject to change.
"You need a job."
Pan choked on a bit of her bagel—her father surprised her by his speculation to the point that a piece of the bread got lodged in her wind pipe. Wouldn't that be funny, a girl named Pan being killed by bread. The irony was not lost on her, but she couldn't laugh because she couldn't breathe. Her mother saved her from such a brutal fate by smacking her solidly on the back and dislodging the piece of bagel from her throat.
Gohan gave her a slightly panicked look. "Are you okay?" asked he, fully aware that he—
"You nearly killed me," Pan said, a wry grin touching her lips.
"Remember, you should always chew twenty times before you—"
"Bad advice, Dad." Pan took a sip of her orange juice, soothing her throat. "Saiyajins don't chew. We inhale."
He had to admit she had a point. Shaking his head, he changed the subject back to their original topic on hand. "You still need a job. If just a summer one, at least, to give you experience in the work field. Your mother and I can't continue to support you for forever."
"I know that," Pan snapped, clearly offended. "In fact, I just had an interview yesterday."
"Ah, yes, I heard about that," Gohan said, dryly. "What did you do again? From what I heard, you creamed your interviewer a good one."
"He was staring at my chest!"
"Pan." It was her mother who answered this one—there was no way Gohan would object to Pan beating the snot out of anyone who looked at her inappropriately. In fact, he looked as if he was about to find the interviewer himself in order to give him another black eye. "You can't go around hitting everyone who checks you out. You're an adult now, and men will be attracted to you."
"I'm not about to work in a place where there's the threat of me being leered at all the time." Pan knew, at least, that she had her father's full support on that one. Gohan sighed and sipped his coffee.
"I completely agree with you, sweetie, but that doesn't change the fact that you need a job."
Pan stuffed the rest of her bagel in her mouth, giving her father an annoyed look. "All right, all right, fine." Her mouth was still full, and her mother gave her such a disapproving look that she swallowed before she continued with her sentence. "I'll go job hunting today."
Chapter One: Prospects and Problems
"I think my parents are trying to get rid of me."
On the other end of the line, a deep voice huskily chuckled. She had been dating Tote for nearly a year, and his laughter still managed to bring a smile to her face.
"Can you blame them? You've been living in their house for twenty-two years now, it's no surprise they would want some alone time together, again."
"You always know how to make a girl blush, sweetheart," Pan grumbled, sarcastically. She was standing in front of a bookstore, wondering if she should pick up an application. It didn't seem reasonable—what experience would she get with working with books? Organization? That would look good on her resume. 'I have hands on experience with putting things in alphabetical order'. But then again, it would be a job, and that would get her parents to shut up, at least for a little bit.
"It's a gift." She could hear Tote shuffle something around. Possibly he was rearranging some papers on his desk. "Pan, I still think you should come live with me. You won't even have to get a job. I promise I'll take care of you."
Oh, Dende. Why did the conversation always have to lead to this?
"Tote, we've had this conversation before. Just last week, even! I've already told you, I'm not ready for that step yet."
"We've been together for ten and a half months. Hasn't that been enough time to get ready? How long are you going to make me wait?"
"Until I'm good and ready," she said, frankly.
The black haired girl turned around, looking surprised. Bra Briefs pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head, showing just how wide her eyes got at seeing her old friend. Her arms were weighed down with bags, which was no real surprise, but she looked great. Her jeans were slightly loose and hung off slender hips, torn at the knees (because that was today's style and Bra was always in style) and she was wearing a cream sweater with a drapy neck.
"Tote, I'm going to have to go." What a relief. Bra had perfect timing—now she could avoid the topic for another day. "I've just ran into an old friend, who I haven't seen in ages. I'll call you back later, okay?"
Tote made a frustrated sound, and she could picture him running his fingers through his hair in annoyance. "Fine. Call me later." He hung up before she could say good-bye, and she snapped her phone shut. She'll have to talk to him about that one.
But she could worry about that another time. Pan turned her full attention to her blue haired friend. "Bra!" Let bygones be long and gone, she ordered herself, and smiled brightly.
"Pan, you look great!" Her eyes said the same thing that was going through Pan's mind—where have you been? Why haven't you called? Pan supposed their expressions also mirrored—guilty as charged. She couldn't accuse Bra for disappearing from her life for four years like so, they both had their own lives to lead. Besides, she could have made the effort to call Bra, too.
The blue haired princess dropped her bags to envelope her old friend in a tight hug. "Seriously, though. You look great. How have you been? What are you doing standing in front of a bookstore?"
Pan had the decency to look slightly embarrassed. Compliments from Bra were always humbling—the girl always looked as if she stepped straight from the glossy pages of a fashion magazine. Pan, on the other hand, couldn't help but to feel a bit plain next to her childhood comrade. She usually had her hair pulled in a tight ponytail, and her jeans cost twenty to Bra's two hundred, and her long sleeved gray shirt was slightly faded from the wash.
"I've been good and—" Here was the embarrassing part. Really, a twenty-two year old looking for a job at a bookstore? She was better than that. But Pan never kept things from Bra back when they were younger, and that old trust was still there. "Well, I was going to pick up an application."
Bra gave Pan a bemused look, then glanced back to the store. She looked at Pan again, and scrunched her nose.
"Well, yes." She kicked lightly at the ground, embarrassed. "Take what you can get." She was no billionaire like her friend, and likely never would be. Especially not if she got a job at a bookstore.
"That would be a horrible job."
"I know, but I don't really have a choice."
Bra chewed on the corner of her lip for a second, thinking. "Well, I could always get you a job..."
Both of them grimaced. The idea of a Son working under a Briefs was kind of a tender one—neither of them liked being in debt to the other. Besides, their pride always tended to get in the way. Bra opened her mouth to apologize, but Pan jumped the gun.
Immediately, Bra's mouth snapped shut (and Pan had to be slightly amused—her teeth clicked together). "Uh."
"I'm desperate, and frankly, I don't like the idea of working in retail. What's your idea?"
"Well." Bra still looked slightly baffled. She had not expected Pan to agree so readily. "Well, Trunks really needs a secretary." Again, both girls grimaced. Working under a Briefs was bad enough, but having to work as a personal secretary for one? Pan would never do it.
"Oh, come on! It would just be a temporary thing, I promise. Trunks would promote you to something bigger in no time. You're like family."
"I'm not the 'secretary' type. Isn't there some sort of quota you have to fill? Wouldn't my chest need to five times the size of my brain and my IQ lower than the number on my bra tag?"
Bra had to grin at that. "Trunks tried that with his last secretary—Vase, or something. She's left everything a mess, and to top it off, Trunks is being swamped by everything that's not being filtered to him. Like, he has to deal with almost every single call that gets sent through to Capsule Corps., and his important meetings are constantly interrupted by things that can be pushed to a later date. He's completely unorganized right now." Bra's eyes twinkled mischievously. "Daddy said to him, 'serves you right for hiring someone who would be better under a desk than at a desk'."
Pan stared. "Vegeta said that?"
"Mom spit her coffee out and Trunks ended up choking on a piece of bacon. I was laughing so hard I had to leave the room."
"And your dad?"
"Glared, of course. Anyway, what do you say?"
Pan scratched at her chin, thinking. "Well, all right. Fine. I need the money. I gotta get out of my house. Just as long as this is a temporary thing, and I'll get promoted." She'd give it a week. If Trunks decided to take his sweet ass time on it, she'd just have to find another job.
Bra's eyes lit up, and she grinned brightly. "Fantastic. Do you want to get some coffee?"
"Why not? I came here to look for a job—now that I have one, I really have nothing left to do, huh?" Pan smiled back and fell in step with her friend and took some of her bags, the two of them walking in no particular direction. It was a crisp day, with clouds blanketing the sky and promising snow later in the afternoon. Not many people were around, seeming to prefer being at home in the warmth or being stuck at work.
"Speaking of work, Bra, what are you doing? Do you have a job at Capsule Corps.?"
"No. Ha, no. I would never survive there. It's way too boring and filled with stuffed shirts. I've started my own company, actually." Her eyes lit up at the prospect of telling someone new about what she's done with her life, and Pan couldn't blame her for being proud. Starting a company was tough business, even when you had your billionaire family to back you up. "I had some help, of course, but it's my baby."
"Oh yeah? Congrats, Bra. I'm proud of you."
The youngest Briefs ducked her head away, looking slightly embarrassed. "Thanks, Pan. That means a lot. Anyway, I've started a new fashion line. 'Bra Briefs'. We've been up in business for about six months now, and we're just starting to really get out there in the media."
Pan's eyes widened. That certainly was impressive.
"Actually..." Bra looked Pan over, completely indiscreet. The older girl grimaced, not exactly liking her scrutinizing gaze. "You should really do a shoot in some of my wear sometime. You'd make the perfect model."
"Really!" Bra emphasized, poking Pan's hip. "You're a looker."
"I'll think about it."
"You should. Now that's where the money really comes in."
Wasn't that funny. Pan had went into town hoping for a job at a retail store, and ended up with one unlikely job and one other just as unlikely job perspective. And both under the Briefs siblings. This should either turn out extremely interesting or a complete disaster. Or both.
"I don't need a secretary."
Bra was leaning on the palms of her hands on her brother's desk, glaring at him over the stack of papers that was slowly starting to cover his entire desk. He was glaring back, of course, but it wasn't hard to miss the dark circles around his eyes and the weary lines just barely starting to crease the sides of his mouth. He wasn't getting wrinkles—oh no, he was a Saiyajin, after all, and Saiyajins just don't wrinkle, but her brother was exhausted. Which was kind of funny, because Saiyajins usually don't get exhausted, either. He wasn't doing anything strenuous, after all. Then again, that very well could be why he was exhausted. Saiyajins weren't meant to sit behind a desk, even half-Saiyajins.
"Yes, you do."
"I don't want one." He took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his knows, as if trying to stem off a headache. "Especially not Pan. My life is already stressful enough."
"Too bad. I've already told her that she's got the job."
"Why can't she work in your company?" He ignored that like she knew he would. Poor boy was under the delusion that he made his own decisions around here. Please. He would do anything his mother or father or sister would tell him to do, and if Bra wanted Pan to be Trunks' secretary, Pan would be Trunks' secretary.
"Because I, dear brother, have everything completely under control. You, on the other hand, are so completely unorganized that it's starting to reflect on our company. It's completely understandable, though. You've got too much on your plate and not enough help. Trust me, Pan working here would be good for both of you guys. She can control your schedule."
"Which is scary enough by its own rights." Trunks sighed and put his glasses back on. "Fine. All right. She can have the damn job. But if anything goes wrong, I'm kicking her out of here in a second, childhood friend or no childhood friend.
Bra smirked and pushed herself off from the table. "I knew you'd see it my way."
"I don't have much a choice. You'd scream it in my ear every day until I relented, if I didn't." He grabbed another paper from the stack and started writing on it before he even read anything. "I want her here by six on Monday."
"Call her yourself, brother. You've got her number. Besides, I have stuff I need to do. Ciao!"
He threw his pen at her, but she made sure to get behind the door before it made impact.
Six o'clock. Sixo'fuckingclock. He had to be out of his mind. Absolutely crazy. Whowoke up at six these days, let alone have to be at work at that time?
"I want you here at six in the morning. Not a minute late."
And that had been the extent of their conversation. No 'hello', 'how are you', 'I've missed you and can't wait to see you again'. Just a demand and a sort of threat. Not even a 'good-bye'! He hung up on her! What the hell was with men these days? Tote had barely even apologized for also hanging up on her, and Pan couldn't help but to get the feeling that he felt she deserved it. He didn't even congratulate her on her new job. Trunks was already starting to show signs of being an utter control freak. Her father looked about as happy as her telling him that she got a job as Trunks' secretary as she imagine he'd be at her telling him that she's finally lost her mind and had decided to move in with Tote. It was like there was something in the air, causing all the testosterone in the world to turn into some bastard hormone.
And there she was, standing at a bare desk, at 5:57. In the morning. The large doors to Trunks' office were closed, and she bitterly wondered how long it would take him to come out and give her an orientation. Or if he was even here. As far as she knew, he was still asleep. The jerk would do something like that to her.
But at exactly six on the dot, Trunks stepped out of his office, freshly showered. His hair was combed back, he wore his three piece suit like a second skin, and a pair of wire rimmed glasses rested on his nose. For a long moment the two just stared at each other. Pan was rendered immobile—it was as if something coiled in her stomach and froze all of her limbs. From fear? It was impossible to tell. Trunks didn't move either, but his face was so carved in stone that she didn't even try to guess what he was thinking.
"It's good to see you," she tried, offering a weak smile. But he didn't smile back, and hers faltered and died away.
"Same to you."
Their formalities died at that, and Pan felt a bit gypped. Though she rarely imagined what their reunion would be like (but she had to admit—sometimes she thought about it), this was hardly what she expected.
"Well, where should we start?" She kept the desk between them, having a sort of funny idea that that the object would protect her.
"You'll be answering my calls. I want you to filter out anything that is unimportant—send them straight to my voicemail." Leave it to Trunks to jump straight past any possible awkward small talk. "There's a button on your phone that will send the call through to my office, but you're only allowed to do so if it's something vital. Anybody who wishes to see me personally will have to go through you, first. An intercom connects our desks—always ask me before sending someone in. You will be filing. All the cabinets are in my office. Basically, you do what I tell you to do, when I need you."
Pan's lips thinned. He read her expression, and if possible his stony expression became harder.
"It's not like it used to be, Pan. There'll be no battles for dominance, here. I'm the boss. You're my employee. Here, you call me sir."
Pan grit her teeth and nodded once.
"Is there anything else?"
Though she had more questions, pride held her back. If she needed anything else, she would figure it out herself. "No, sir." She tagged on the last bit, and hoped her tone wasn't too furious. There was no way she would be able to put up with this past a week. Not from someone who had once played a hugely significant role in her life.
"Good. If you need anything, I'll be in my office. Don't be afraid to ask." He gave her a wan smile, then went straight back into his office.
"Your brother is a prick."
Bra settled down in a seat across from Pan, raising her eyebrows. "Well, hello to you, too. Have you ordered yet?"
"No, I was waiting for you." Her black haired friend ran her fingers a bit roughly through her hair, a habit Bra had never seen before. Maybe because Pan hadn't ditched that tacky bandana until probably recently. "I quit."
Bra rolled her eyes and picked up a menu, scanning the items. "I think I'll order the spaghetti, for starters. With or without meatballs?"
"With. I think I'll go for the fettuccini, for now. Kudos for choosing Italian. I think I'll put in my resignation, tomorrow."
Bra sighed and put down her menu, already deciding that she would try everything on the menu at least once. And if she liked one plate enough, she may have it for seconds. "No you won't."
"Yes I will. He's being a total jerk! It's like, seventeen years have been just thrown down the drain. He didn't even say hi to me. Not even a real smile. I hate him."
"You do not." Bra tore off a piece of bread and started on one of the corners, picking it apart delicately with well manicured fingers. "You love him just as much as I do. And you're not going to quit, either."
"I will if he keeps acting like he's got a whole tree up his ass, forget one stick."
"Come on now, sweetie. We're talking about my brother here." Although Bra understood where Pan was coming from completely, she didn't like hearing Trunks being talked about like so. Perhaps she was just being overprotective.
"I know, I know. I'm sorry. I'm just frustrated, I guess."
"And you probably have every right to be. Do you want me to talk to him?"
"No. Dende, no. He'll probably get mad at me for running to you."
The waiter came by and the two placed their orders, Bra ignoring the awed stare he was giving them, and Pan looking slightly embarrassed by it.
"Well, if you're getting too frustrated by it, remember that my job offer is still up. In fact, we're doing a shoot tomorrow. Convenient, huh?" Bra didn't tell her friend that she had pulled some strings to get that. In truth, Bra really wanted Pan to model some of her clothing. Her wild friend had grown up quite nicely—gone was the tomboy attire, replaced with a more casual look. Pan hadn't necessarily cut off all ties with her wear, though, and that was easy enough to see. Her outfits did nothing to flatter her curves, it seemed as if no make-up had touched her face (ever), and her nails were ragged and chewed down to the pink.
But there was something wildly exotic about the girl, a beauty that was apparent even without the make-up and fancy clothing and manicured nails. Perhaps it was several generations of good genes—all the Son's were beautiful in their own way.
Pan looked thoughtful, taking a sip from her water. "I don't see why you want me."
"You'd bring in the sales."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"Have you looked in a mirror lately?"
"I try not to. But I'll think about it."
That was pretty much a guaranteed affirmative. Bra smirked and leaned back as the blushing waiter set their plates in front of them.
"So, tell me about your day."
Pan scowled and took several bites before saying anything. "The only thing that could have rivaled the amount of calls I had to deal with today was the amount of paperwork Trunks had me type up." The scowl got a little worse, as Pan apparently seemed to relive her day. "And then all that paperwork I typed up had to be filed. While I was still answering calls. He's kindly supplied me with an earpiece so I can multitask. His office is a disaster, by the way."
"Well, it has been awhile since Trunks has had someone help him out..."
"Then, after I finished filing, I had to reorganize the entire thing because it had no particular order."
"I'm telling you, Vase left the place a mess."
"He also had me get eight cups of coffee for him."
"Okay, now that's just lame."
Their food was quickly disappearing, but to an outside observer they appeared full of grace, even with Pan's scowl.
"To top it off, it seemed like everyone who works at Capsule Corps. wanted to introduce themselves to me. Or stare at me. And gossip—I think I heard someone talking about my waist size in the break room. Or they could have been talking about my brain size." If possible, the scowl got worse.
"Relax, honey, you look like you're about to kill something." Bra started on the meatball, trying to cut it with her fork. "You know, no matter how many times I've used these utensils, I don't think I'll ever get used to them. You think I'd look weird asking for some chopsticks?" The abrupt change of topic did seem to soften Pan's face a bit. "Anyway..." There was no real delicate way to approach the subject, so Bra just decided to throw it out there. "You've got to understand that there's a sort of title that comes with being Trunks' secretary."
"The general idea people get is that since you're Trunks' secretary, you're sleeping with him."
"People think I'm having sex with him!"
Several heads turned quickly. Bra gave them all a chilly smile and then turned her attention back to Pan. "Could we say that a little louder? I don't think the people down the street heard you."
"I'm not—would not—do anything like that with your brother," Pan hissed, leaning over the table confidentially. "From how he acts, he'd probably pull the whole 'dominant' role in bed. Like, he's got to call the shots or it's a no go."
"First of all," Bra said, stabbing her fork in Pan's direction. She looked amused. "I don't ever want to hear about my brother's sex life. Ever. Second of all, never say never. Third of all, how did you get so knowledgeable about the roles of sex?"
Pan had the decency to look flustered. "I'm not completely inexperienced, you know?"
"Well, actually I don't know. We haven't had a talk like this since we were in our teens. Spill."
"I have a boyfriend, for one."
"Really!" At Pan's offended look, Bra grinned a bit. "Sorry. Okay, give me the details. I want to know everything."
"There's nothing to know."
"Liar. Give me all the juicy details. How is he in bed?" Bra leaned forward, eyes sparkling with interest. "What's he look like? I bet he's a stud. Tell me."
Pan blushed and shook her head. "How about if I introduce you to him? We could do lunch."
Bra waved a hand, but nodded slightly. Yes. That would do. But that didn't mean she would allow her friend get away with all the juicy-ness. She waved the waiter over and they put in their order for seconds, despite the strange looks people were starting to give them.
"We've got all night, and I'm all ears. Start talking."
"I met him in one of my classes."
"Annnnd?" She drew out the word, grinning.
"And he asked me to coffee." Pan took a moment to grab a piece of bread, most likely to prolong continuing the story to torture Bra. "Pretty soon it became a habit. Every Tuesday, we would go out and have coffee together, and then the coffee places turned into restaurants, and then it just sort of...went from there."
"How's he in bed?" Bra asked, bluntly.
Pan blushed. She leaned over, seemed to debate with herself about it for a minute, then sighed and gave Bra a dirty look. "He's good."
"Good? Just good? Not fantastic? Not amazing? He doesn't give you earth shattering org—"
"He's good. And we're leaving it at that. Why don't you tell me about your sex life?"
"Don't have one."
Pan looked shocked.
"Oh, don't give me that look. I'm just...waiting for the right guy. None of the ones I've dated so far have interested me. I mean really interested me. They're just in it for the money. I always end up telling them, 'if I wanted a manwhore, I would have purchased one'." She tore off a piece of bread, defiantly, while Pan gawked. "They just don't understand me."
"Ah, yes, the perplexing woman." Pan regained her composure and sipped some of her water, and the waiter came back to place their food in front of them.
"We have to have some sort of mystique."
"Not many men would probably be able to handle you, anyway. Bra Briefs, daughter of a billionaire, daughter of the Prince of Saiyajins, owner of, from what I'm hearing, a successful business—yeah, I could imagine why most men would either just stick with the safe stuff, and by that I mean money, or run away screaming."
"And here I always thought I had something in my teeth." Bra grinned cheekily. "Think we should put in a third order yet, or should we give the waiter some time?"
Pan looked down at her plate, surprised to see it was almost completely cleaned. "We should probably slow down. Don't want people to talk, or anything. Did I really eat it that fast?"
"It was kind of amazing, really." Bra still had half her plate to go, but it was disappearing rapidly.
"I'm still hungry."
"Like I said, dinner's on me. Eat to your heart's content!"
"Your words, not mine." Pan worked on the bread while Bra finished off her plate, resting her chin in hand.
"Will I be seeing you tomorrow at the shoot?"
"Maybe I'll swing by so you can show me around, but I don't think I can suddenly jump in to doing a model shoot. It's...a bit much for me."
Bra silently cheered. As long as Pan was there, everything should work accordingly. Pan was easy to wear down, once she got started. She wasn't very good at saying no, especially not to people who were so close to her—and Bra was definitely going to take advantage of that.
end chapter one
It takes me awhile to update. This is not because I'm lazy or anything like that, but I have a lot of other aspects in my life that holds me back from fanfic writing. I have a job, I am a full time college student, and my boyfriend demands a large amount of my time. Also, I'm not really good at cranking out chapters—it takes me more than a couple days (sometimes even a couple weeks) just to complete a chapter. But I did really enojoy writing this story, so hopefully I'll be able to put the next part up soon.