Vegeta flung his seventeen-year-old son into the chamber ahead of him, slamming the door and engaging a full lock down before turning to the boy, disgust written on his features.

"You are far too old to be acting like this, Trunks," he reprimanded, arms folded imperiously over his chest. The boy was already back on his feet, glaring at his father with undisguised fury.

"I could say the same to you," he growled, and Vegeta strode up to him and backhanded him across the face.

"Do not talk back to me, boy," he snarled, and Trunks swung at him. What ensued was not a fight, nor could it be considered sparring. It was not even so nice as wrestling. It was grappling, down and dirty fighting with no clear victor and no objective other than to inflict as much violence on your opponent as possible. Vegeta, who had experienced a very real fear that his son would someday surpass him upon learning that the boy could go Super Saiyan, had kept up his training to ensure that this did not happen. Trunks, on the other hand, had eventually lost his taste for real combat, and while he too had kept up his training, he had neglected the more bloodthirsty parts of his nature. Sparring was as serious as he ever got, and the anger he was allowing to fuel him now was only weakening him. Vegeta fought just above his son's level, suffering no damage and never relinquishing the upper hand.

When he found himself growing impatient he flipped Trunks over onto his back and planted a boot on his throat, just hard enough to signal to his son that this part of the discussion was over.

"No allowance for a month. No dates, no Goten, until I say otherwise. You will apologize to me, and you will apologize to your mother, and then you will sit in your room and contemplate how you are going to apologize to Bra, because for the life of me I can't think of anything you could say to make this up to her. What the hell got into you?"

Trunks grimaced and tapped out, and Vegeta lifted his boot. His son sat up, but stayed on the floor, crossing his legs and tipping his head down such that his hair swung forward to curtain his face.

"You're a real bastard, you know that?" he muttered.

"Sorry, boy, that would be you," Vegeta snarked, smirking. Trunks angled his head so that Vegeta could see one blue eye peering up at him.

"Is that why you like her better?" he asked softly, and he could tell Trunks had been careful to keep all inflection out of his voice.

"What?" he snapped, genuinely confused.

"It's okay dad," Trunks continued, still in that toneless voice, though he looked down again before continuing. "Everyone knows she's got you wrapped around her little finger. I was just curious, you know," and here his voice finally broke, just a little, and Vegeta could catch the bitterness underneath, "why, exactly."

Vegeta stared at his son for a long moment, before finally sighing deeply and rubbing his hand tiredly over his face.

"Are you telling me," he demanded in a low voice, "that you had a screaming fit in front of your entire family over a deleted television program, during which youwent Super Saiyan, because you think I like your little sister better than you?"

The atmosphere turned more awkward.

"Well, when you put it that way," Trunks cracked, trying for humor. Vegeta snorted in disgust.

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," he sneered. "Has Bra ever once seen the inside of this room?"

"No!" Trunks snapped. "And she's never going to, is she?"

"No, she is not!" Vegeta snapped back, now totally bewildered. "Make your point already!"

Trunks jumped to his feet. "I thought Saiyans didn't 'treat their women like china'!" Vegeta tightened his jaw, hating having his own words flung back in his face. "I thought they fought alongside the men!"

"So help me, if this is turning into one of your mother's feminist rants—" Vegeta interrupted.

"No!" Trunks' aura flared for a moment, lifting his feather-light hair into the air. "This is a 'why does my little sister get such blatant special treatment' rant?"

Vegeta was speechless for a moment. Then he slammed down the protective coldness around himself and wiped his face blank.

"If you think not being allowed in here is such a sign of favor," he spat, words like ice, "Then consider yourself uninvited. You are never to set foot in this room again."

Silence crashed around the space where his words hung in the air. The coldness protected him from the pang he might have felt at his son's shocked and hurt countenance, and he spun around and left the room, leaving Trunks there by himself despite the words still ringing in both their ears.