AN: And so, here is a fairly unsatisfying beginning to what I hope will be a two or three part story. I don't really know where I want this to go. It was simply a concept I felt like exploring. No age changes, no excuses. No GT exclusions, much as I'd have liked to. I almost went with the Dragonball Online storyline, but it just didn't work for me in the context of this story. So, we're stuck with GT, though you can always cut out the final episode from this story's canon since I refuse to believe that the families would lose touch.
ANYWAY. I'd love feedback on this. I don't really know how vocal the T/P fandom is, or how appreciative they are of the actual age gap since all I seem to see on this site is extreme alterations that suit the moral compasses of your average writer. Fuck all of that noise, we're going for it!
I think the follow up chapter to this will be from Pan's point of view, then maybe one from Gohan or Videl. Or maybe parents first, Pan second. I don't know. I have a pretty decent idea of what I want from this, I just have to figure out a way to do it. As I said before, feedback is encouraged. Thanks in advance!
((PS: For reference, I am going with the 'canon' GT ages, even though I don't think they were portrayed very realistically in the show. That means that there was a five year gap between the end of DBZ and the start of GT, making Pan 9ish at that stage, and Trunks 23ish. This story is set around nine years after that.))
"But if I were sober?"
Her words repeated over and over in his head as he allowed his eyes to slowly take in her sleeping form. She had her back turned to him, and was curled into herself slightly, quilt bunched up between her knees. She was clad only in modest underwear and a plain white t-shirt, one that he'd thrown to her as she'd made a rather pitiful attempt to hold a towel around her body. If Trunks were a better man, he'd probably have covered her by now. His eyes fixed onto her back, where the t-shirt lay flat in the absence of a bra. He'd only recently become used to the fact that she even needed one of those, and now he was getting worked up over the fact that hers was in his bathroom somewhere.
Disgusting. People would no doubt say that about him. There was no other scenario. Her parents would murder him, his own would be ashamed beyond all belief. Here he was, in his early thirties, trying to resist a girl two months shy of eighteen. He'd been doing such a good job, too.
Then she had to go and kiss him.
That was the tired old story of statutory rapists everywhere though, right? He tried to resist, but she was too beautiful, too mature, and above all else, she wanted it. He would usually scoff at that stock-standard excuse, but really he had no idea how to phrase it any differently. She was beautiful, or at least she was to him. She had a maturity acquired through a lifetime of feeling (and being) different. And if last night was anything to go by, she definitely wanted it.
Fuck. Why couldn't Gohan and Videl have had the damn kid when they were sixteen or something? Pan would be in her twenties then, and this would be fine. Her appeal wasn't a result of her age. Trunks was confident that anyone who cared to look at his internet history would come to the conclusion that he held no such penchant for young girls. Surely everything he liked about her now would continue to exist five or six years from now. Could he wait, maybe? Was that a thing people did? Was he less of a creep if he held out, or was the mere desire enough to write him off for all eternity?
They hadn't seen each other for at least four years, not since Goten's wedding to Marron. There wasn't a reason for this break, exactly, it was simply a combination of her being at school and him working tirelessly. He had become more of a workaholic in recent years, a side effect of his best friend settling down it seemed. Less time for bar hopping or nights of poker and bourbon meant that he had to fill his time with something, and that something turned out to be work. He never thought he would be that guy.
His recent trend of spending time with Pan came purely on a whim. Gohan, upon being asked how his daughter was, had informed Trunks that as of late Pan had been isolating herself and was generally not the happiest camper. Though he hadn't implied in his explanation that Trunks should spend any time with her, the offer came out before Trunks knew how to stop himself, and before he knew it he was picking her up from work. She had taken to spending a couple of evenings a week behind the front desk of the Satan Hotel, an addition to the expanding empire which had been built a few years prior to her family deciding to spend the school semesters in West City.
She hadn't been overly receptive to his invite, but after he had dragged her along to a movie and cooked the two of them a passable meal at his townhouse she relaxed a little. She had talked to him about feeling like a freak, a notion that had plagued her since she was seven and a paranoid parent had insisted her child be moved to another class due to Pan's history in martial arts. She mentioned the uneasiness she experienced, returning to school after her extensive absence during the period spent in space with Trunks and Goku, and having to lie to everybody including her teachers. Finally, she revealed a brief period of time, very early in high school where she was so desperate to fit in with a group of girls, that she had given herself, only partially willingly, to a guy at a sleepover.
It was at that point that Trunks could see what being a Saiyan had done to this girl. Trunks had been lucky in that his entire schooling career had gone uninterrupted by enemy encounters. His own sister had managed to suppress most signs of her heritage, and as such had never really had to fabricate anything to cover for weird incidents. While he had maintained a few steady lies over the course of his life, Trunks at least had Goten by his side to provide positive commentary. Pan and Bra... they never clicked. They had tried, as it seemed like the right thing to do to have a Saiyan Girl Alliance, but they were very different. Both families had long since abandoned the fantasy of their two girls being best friends.
Gohan and Videl had both agreed that mainstream schooling was the best idea since Gohan, in all his awkwardness was a testament to the effects of an isolated, Mt Paozu education. Pan agreed, despite her struggles, and had talked about the activities she'd thrown herself into as a distraction from her worries. Trunks had been surprised to hear that she was a cheerleader; that was certainly a past time he had never expected Pan to embrace, being the tomboy that he remembered.
Except that she wasn't that tomboy. Not anymore. Sure, she wasn't flouncing around in tiny skirts and impractical shoes the way Bra usually did, but Trunks had almost immediately taken note of the subtle hints of mascara and lipgloss that graced the features of this girl he'd barely seen since puberty hit. He had mentioned how uncharacteristic cheerleading seemed of her, and when she responded with a shrug and pointed out that it was a fun and effective way of using up some of her energy reserves, Trunks' first thought was that he could think of a much, much better way to do that.
And then he had excused himself from the room momentarily to stand in the bathroom and ponder over exactly where the fuck that thought came from.
That had been a couple of weeks back, and since then they'd spent a few nights hanging out, watching movies and generally just making up for lost time. Not that he'd assumed prior to this that there was any lost time to make up for. After all, she was a kid last time he checked. Sure, they had some strange memories together and their families would probably always be connected somehow, but their ages had always made it somewhat impractical to forge a real friendship.
At this moment, Pan was in his bed because she had attended a party earlier in the night, a birthday of some girl on the squad, and had very quickly had way too much to drink. She hadn't even wanted to go. She told Trunks as much, but he pushed her, said it was one of the last of her high school years and she should give it a shot. She had apparently meant it when she said she wasn't comfortable at parties and so, a few mostly incoherent text messages later, he had discreetly driven by the party and picked her up.
He just hoped that nobody there had noticed; it might not look great in the tabloids if Trunks Brief was picking up drunk high school girls at parties.
While Pan vomited into his toilet, Trunks stood close by the door. He occasionally checked on her while simultaneously having a brief conversation via text message with Videl, letting her know the situation as delicately as possible. It wasn't that Pan would be in trouble with her parents, but he didn't want them to worry.
Once his drunken companion was happy with the intense ten minutes she spent brushing her teeth, she had crawled into his bed and made herself at home. He wasn't about to tell her to go to the guest room, since she was clearly a little bit stressed by her situation. Not to mention, the gross, pervy side of Trunks was enjoying having a freshly showered girl lying skantily clad so near him. He had lived in his townhouse for just under two years, and it was actually slightly longer than that since he had seen any action. So, Pan was actually the first girl he'd be spending the night with in his 'new' room. That was weird.
Then, she'd kissed him. It had followed a short conversation about drinking in moderation and she had simply shuffled close to him and done it. Unceremoniously for sure, but with a startling amount of emotion. Trunks wasn't sure what to make of it, but he knew he couldn't allow it while she was in this condition, and said as much.
Pan seemed to consider this for a moment, before looking him square in the eye and posing that fateful question, "But if I were sober?"
To this, Trunks stared her down with attempted authority and said that he was not going to discuss it with her right now and that she should go to sleep. She had responded with a simple, "Fine," before rolling over and allowing sleep to overcome her. And Trunks lay there, mere inches away from her, wondering how the hell he would make sense of their situation before the sun came up and he was forced to talk.
Thanks for reading! TBC, I suppose. Hopefully the next chapters will see me deviate away from my consistent theme of alcohol and beds.