"I don't think this is a good idea."
Goten looked up at his best friend, a little surprised at the comment. "Trunks, I thought I was the one who was supposed to say that."
The young prince rolled his eyes. "That's because I'm usually the one with a crazy idea talking you into doing something stupid. This might actually be the first time you've talked me into it."
"You didn't think it was a bad idea when I told you about it!" the eight year old defended.
"Oh, sure I did," his elder friend casually responded with a shrug. "I was just bored, so I figured it would at least be fun to get in a little trouble with you."
Goten huffed and pushed his best friend in the shoulder. "Well, why didn't you tell me that you thought it was a bad idea?"
"I told you," Trunks responded, "I was bored."
The younger boy grumbled and shifted the backpack on his back. "You know, you're a lot less fun when I'm the one with the crazy idea."
Once again, the younger of the pair huffed. "Can you just tell me where the next one is?"
Trunks chuckled as he clicked on the radar. "Sure thing," he answered. "Let me see here…according to this thing, the next dragon ball is about a hundred miles…" He studied the small machine carefully before raising his hand and pointing to the east. "Thataway!"
As the two boys took off once more, Goten began to look a little worried. "Trunks?"
"Why do you think that this is a bad idea?"
Trunks shrugged, adjusting his own backpack as he flew. Balancing three dragon balls on his back was a lot harder than he thought it would be. "Look, we're gathering mystical, powerful balls that have the power to grant any wish you can think of, and we're doing it behind the grown-ups backs. Plus, they were used six months ago, so if we blow it, we can't undo it for another six months. Do you have any idea how many ways this can go wrong?"
Goten pondered that statement for a moment. "Um, a lot?"
"Yes, a lot," Trunks affirmed. "You don't even know what you want to wish for yet, so to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why we're doing this in the first place."
The younger boy looked like his lower lip would start quivering any second. "But…but why didn't you say any of this before we had six of the dragon balls?"
"I say again, I was bored. Plus, you didn't ask."
"Well, I didn't ask if you thought this was a good idea five minutes ago!" Goten countered.
"True," Trunks agreed, "but we've hit that point where the part of my brain that says this is a bad idea is being a lot louder than that part of my brain that thinks this is fun." However, in spite of Trunks' mild protesting, they did not slow down.
A few minutes passed in silence before Goten decreed, "I'm gonna come up with a good thing to wish for."
"A really, really, really good wish," Goten went on.
"Absolutely," Trunks agreed. "It'll be fantastic."
A few more minutes passed before Goten reaffirmed, "It'll be the best wish ever."
Trunks rolled his eyes. "Yes, Goten, I'm sure it'll be a great wish, but could you stop telling me that it's going to be a great wish and come up with whatever it is you're going to wish for? We're only, like, five minutes away from the last dragon ball."
Yet another moment of silence followed. After several minutes of quiet time, Goten cleared his throat for a question. "Hey, Trunks?"
"Do you think Krillen knows we're missing yet?"
Trunks sighed as he landed, and he studied the radar in his hands with a careful eye. "Of course he knows we're gone by now, Goten. We've been gone for four hours. Now, I think that in order to get that last ball, we have to go…"
"But if he knows we're gone," Goten interrupted, "how come we haven't been caught yet?"
The little prince took a deep breath and forced himself to not smack his best friend across the back of the head. "Goten, we have not been caught caught yet is because Krillen offered to watch us as our moms, his wife, and Videl went shopping while our dads and your brother spar."
"So, in order to report us missing," Trunks patiently went on, "he would have to admit that he lost us to either your mom or my dad."
Trunks could feel his patience draining fast. "And," he grit out, "no one in their right mind would want to tell your mom or my dad something they did not want to hear because they are the two scariest people in the frickin' world, and Krillen's just not that desperate. Now, would you just shut up for long enough for us to find that last ball before we're reported missing? We'll only have, like thirty seconds after Krillen makes that call. Your dad does teleport, you know."
"Oh," Goten responded, seemingly appeased, "okay."
The elder of the pair had to suppress the urge to say something snarky. With a little luck, they could just pick up that last dragon ball, make a nice, safe wish, and get back before Krillen got desperate enough to narc on them. "This way to the dragon ball," he guided.
Goten nodded as he followed his best friend. "You know, I think I want to use my wish on you."
That caught the little prince off guard. "What?" the nine year old asked.
"Well, I've been thinking about it," the little boy explained, "and what I really want is to be your best friend, and I'm already your best friend, so I'll use my wish on you."
Trunks rolled his eyes. "Don't waste your wish," he huffed. "There's nothing I don't either have or could get on my own."
Goten looked thoughtful. "Are you sure there's nothing that you want?"
"Goten, I have my family, a giant house, awesome toys, and enough money to buy anything new I could possibly want," Trunks pointed out. "There's no reason for me to use that wish at all. Seriously, use it for yourself."
"But I don't know what I want," Goten pouted.
"Well," Trunks grunted, reaching into an animal burrow for their prize, "I suggest that you think of what you want soon, because I think I just found the seventh ball." With another little grunt, the purple haired boy got back up to his feet and smiled. "There we go!" he proudly announced. "That's the seventh one!"
Goten jumped up and down and clapped. "Oh, goody!" he exclaimed. "Now I can make my wish!"
"Yeah," Trunks laughed, "the wish you haven't decided on yet."
The boys emptied out their backpacks and watched in awe as the magical orbs began to glow. "This is so cool," Goten giggled. "Okay, you summon the dragon, and I'll make my wish!"
Trunks chuckled as he brought his hands over the balls. "Let's see if I can remember how to do this…"
"Focus, you idiot!" Vegeta snapped at Gohan.
The teenager grunted as he took the prince's fist to his midsection. He was having an extremely hard time keeping his head in the fight, and he had the bruises to show for it. "Sorry," he huffed, trying to recover.
"Sorry?" Vegeta sneered, taking a swing at Goku. "You let your guard down for no apparent reason! If you're dumb enough to do that in battle, you're going to get yourself killed!"
"Oh, go easy on the poor kid," Goku grunted, barely able to stop Vegeta's fist. "He's just getting cold feet, that's all."
Gohan pouted as he tried to reenter the fight. "I do not have cold feet!"
Vegeta ducked under Gohan's kick and swiped out his knees, sending the boy to the ground. "You're afraid to talk to your woman," he contradicted.
"I am not!"
"Gohan, it's okay!" Goku responded with a chuckle, knocking his son off balance. "There's nothing wrong with being nervous about the first time you…"
"DAD!" Gohan protested, turning bright red and backing away from the fray. "We're not doing…that…"
Goku dropped his arms and looked at his son, clearly puzzled. "You're not?" he asked. "Then what are you nervous about?"
"Hey!" Vegeta shouted, throwing his arms up in frustration. "I thought we were fighting here!"
Goku scratched his head. "We'll get back to that," he assured, "but really, Gohan, I thought that you and Videl were getting ready to…"
As the young prince began to utter the magic words, a telltale energy signal caught up to the wayward boys. "There you two are!" Krillen panted, landing hard beside the boys.
Both of them yelped as they realized they had been caught, red handed. "It's not what it looks like!" Trunks protested.
"Oh, really?" Krillen gasped. "Because to me, it looks like you two little hoodlums ran away from me while I was supposed to be watching you. And is it just me, or is there an enormous magical dragon hovering behind you?"
Goten dug his toe into the dirt. "Um, it's just you?"
Shaking his head in frustration, Krillen pulled out his cell phone. "You know, I've been putting this off for over four hours, but enough is enough, boys. I'm calling your parents."
"NO!" they cried in unison.
"Yes," Krillen calmly said, opening up the phone. "You guys ran away from me. You hunted down the dragon balls, even though you have been directly told not to do that. You have no idea how much danger you could have been in, and your parents need to know."
"Oh, come on!" Trunks protested. "How the heck much danger could Goten and I possibly be in? The only things on the planet that are stronger than us are people we share DNA with! No one on this planet can hurt us except the ones that you're calling!"
"Trunks…" Krillen tried to respond, pressing the auto dial for Bulma's cell phone.
"And they're going to murder us!"
Goten suddenly turned completely white. "They're gonna what?" With terror in his eyes, the little boy did the only thing he could think of: he lunged for the phone.
"Hey!" Krillen yelped, trying to avoid being tackled. The phone dropped from his hand and flipped on the ground.
"You can't let them kill us!" Goten begged. "I'm too young to die!"
Bulma giggled as she guided the hover car through the air. "Oh, man, we really needed this today."
"Agreed," Chi-Chi responded with a happy sigh. "Don't misunderstand, I love taking care of my family, but every great once in a while I really need to just get out for a girls day. There's just too much testosterone in that house sometimes."
A subtle ring was heard, and Bulma rolled her eyes. "Videl, honey, if you could push that button on the console with the…"
"Yeah," Videl grunted, stretching to reach it, "I know the one."
As the youngest of the group was setting up the car phone to intercept the call, Bulma looked over at the brunette mother beside her. "I totally get where you're coming from, Chich," she agreed. "It's always training and fighting and eating more food than I think the planet can keep up with. And any time I try to get in on it, they both treat me like I'm not supposed to be there at all. Sometimes I get the feeling Trunks and Vegeta want to put up a sign that says 'No Girls Allowed'."
"At least you have the lab," Chi-Chi countered. "You can run away for a little while if you want to."
"See, this is why you two should have been smart like me and had daughters," Eighteen responded from the back with a smirk.
From beside the blonde, Videl smiled. "Hey, I think I got it!"
"Goten, it's a figure of speech!" Trunks yelled, restraining his friend. "They are not actually going to kill us!"
Goten shifted his weight in an attempt to see his friend. "What?" he asked.
"Hey, I think I got it!"
"Wait, what was that?" Krillen asked. "Where's the phone?"
"I think I got the phone connection set up," Videl told the driver.
Chi-Chi sighed as she leaned back and closed her eyes. "You know, sometimes I wish our guys could understand what it's like to be like us."
"I think I got the phone connection set up."
"Was that Videl?" Goten asked.
Trunks looked at the fallen cell phone. "I guess we accidentally put the speaker phone on."
"You know, sometimes I wish our guys could understand what it's like to be like us."
All three pairs of eyes grew wide. "Oh, no," Krillen whispered.
"No, no, no, NO!" Trunks shouted as a brilliant flash of light formed.
"Trunks, honey?" Bulma's voice called out over the phone. "What's wrong?"
As the light died down, Trunks quickly examined his body. "Oh, thank Dende I'm okay," he sighed.
"Trunks, what is going on there?"
"What the hell did you two do?" a high, feminine voice called out.
Trunks quickly picked up Krillen's cell phone and set the speaker to its standard setting. "Um, can't talk now, Mom. Things to do. See you at home! Love you! Bye!" As quickly as he could, the boy hung up on his mother and turned to the baby-sitter.
He could not believe his eyes.
"We are so dead…"
Note: Yes, I know that fun with genders has been done before, but I'm hoping to take this idea for a new spin. Ah, the joys of the mistimed wish…