DISCLAIMER: I do not own Dragonball Z in any way, shape, or form.

The Art of Sarcasm

"Hey, Goten, come here. I want to show you something," Trunks said to his best friend who was busy devouring an apple.

"Sure, Trunks," Goten replied while chewing. "Just let me finish my apple." Goten took a huge bite of his apple and threw away the remains. He got up from his seat at the table and walked over to the desk his friend was sitting at.

Looking over Trunks's shoulder, Goten asked, "So, what's up?"

Trunks put down the magazine he was reading and showed Goten the cover. "Check this magazine out, it's called Science Weekly. It's got articles by some of the top scientists in the world about a bunch of different topics revelant to the science community." He handed the magazine to his friend.

Goten held the magazine lightly as if prolonged contact with the publication would burn him. "Well, that's great for you, I guess, but I'm not really into the whole science sort of thing so . . . "

Trunks frowned and said dully, "There's a picture of hot swimsuit model on page 26." Goten's eyes opened wide and he started flipping through the magazine at a much faster pace, almost ripping a couple pages out. Trunks started snickering at his friend's abrupt change in attitude, and put a hand over his mouth. A year ago, a comment like that wouldn't have fazed Goten, but ever since puberty hit, things were different.

"Hey!" Goten yelled as he turned to the correct page. "There's no swimsuit model here! It's just a random article about 'electron diffraction' by a nerd named Trunks Briefs!"

Trunks waited while his friend connected the points in his head.

Eventually, Goten looked from the article to his friend. "Wait! You're the nerd named Trunks Briefs!" he yelled incredulously. Trunks rotated his chair around to face Goten and nodded. Goten continued, "What are you doing in this magazine? I thought you said these guys were the 'top scientists in the world.'"

Trunks caught the attempted insult and ignored it, saying, "Well, my mom promised the editor of the magazine she would write something to be published in the next issue. But she didn't anticipate being so busy with work, and taking care of Bra last week. So, since she didn't want to submit some article written in five minutes, she forced me to write something for her."

"Pretty impressive," Goten replied, eyeing the article, "Especially since you only had a week to write it."

Trunks shook his head. "As much as I'd like to say that's true, I basically took all the research from my last science project at school and typed it up. It came out better than I thought it would, though. The editor was a little skeptical when I submitted it, but he changed his mind after he read it."

"Sounds interesting," Goten said, putting his fingers to his chin in thought. "And you gave me this magazine, I bet, so I could read your brilliant article."

Trunks replied, "Yeah, you do that." The room went silent while Goten read the article, and Trunks wondered what his friend would think of his writing. Truth be told, Goten wasn't really the first person he would want critique from, especially on something like this, but he knew his friend was completely honest, and wouldn't skirt around the truth in order to save Trunks's feelings.

Goten cleared his throat when he was finished. "I like your article, but I just have one question."

"Okay, Goten, ask away." Trunks replied, curious.

Goten stared at his friend seriously, but suddenly he went back to his usual happy-go-lucky grin, placing an arm on his neck. "What is electron diffraction?"

"Gah!" Trunks yelled as he fell out of his chair in surprise. As he pushed his body off the ground, he looked at Goten and said, "Even after reading that whole article? Seriously? " Goten nodded energetically.

"Unbelievable, Goten," Trunks said, finally standing up, "you always seem to prove to me what an utter genius you are. Your level of intelligence amazes me."

"Thanks, Trunks!" Goten replied, clearly missing the edge in Trunks's voice.

"That wasn't a compliment," Trunks said bluntly.

Goten lowered his arm and said, "It wasn't? But you called me a genius! And I know what genius means."

Trunks's jaw dropped. "You mean to tell me that you've never heard of sarcasm."

"No," Goten replied. "Is that bad?"

Trunks sighed. "It's not bad. Just weird, because I'm pretty sure you've used it before."

"Yeah, right. I use sarcasm all the time," Goten replied, annoyed at his friend.

"There!" Trunks exclaimed. "You just did it!"

"Okay," Goten said uncertainly. "Sure, I did, Trunks. You still haven't told me what it is."

"And again!" Trunks replied. Goten looked at him blankly. "Ugh! You're impossible! Sarcasm is when you say the exact opposite of what you mean. So if I hated the shirt your wearing I might say look at it and say 'Nice shirt' like that."

Goten looked down at his yellow and green shirt that read 'GOTEN SON' in block letters. "But this is a nice shirt," he said quietly.

Trunks put his face in his hands. "That's not the point, Goten. The point is that I was trying to insult you by not insulting you, using sarcasm. Now you try. Say something about me."

"Fine. Your shoes are uh . . . stupid! –Wait, no! They're uh . . . cool!" Goten said loudly.

"Um, Goten," Trunks said, wondering how his best friend could be so oblivious. "I'm not wearing shoes." He pointed to the floor, and Goten followed the invisible line traced by Trunks's finger until he settled on his friend's bare feet. "Besides, even if I was, your sarcasm sucked."

"Well, that's just your opinion." Goten pouted and crossed his arms over his chest. "It doesn't mean much. You're also a terrible teacher."

Trunks clenched his fist in anger. "And you're a lost cause! That's it! This conversation is ov–"

"I'm a lost cause!" Goten interrupted. "You're the one who thinks you are the 'King of Sarcasm' and you give me some lame explanation, a terrible example, and then blame me when I don't do it right. Well, fine, Mr. I'm-so-smart-I'm-in-a-published-science-magazine, I guess I am a lost cause. You know what I have to say to that?

"I think that it was a great idea to get information about sarcasm from you, Trunks. And by 'great,' I mean stupid. And I also think that you were extremely helpful. And by 'helpful,' I mean not helpful in the least. And now I'm out of here. Thank you, Trunks. I appreciate your non-existent help." Goten turned his back and started to walk out the room. He paused at the doorway and said, "By the way, nice hair, bowl cut."

Trunks just stared at the retreating form of his friend. He was too shocked to take offense to anything his friend had said. "Goten, you genius!" he yelled out the door sincerely.

"Don't insult me!" a peeved voice yelled back.

A/N: Inspired by an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Kind of stole one of the lines. Kudos to whoever knows which one it was. Thanks everybody for reading this one, and please review! I'd appreciate it.