Boss Undercover
by StarbearerTM     More by this Writer
Mirai Trunks and Gohan have been lulled into a boring and dull existence living their luxurious and sheltered life. After they realized this, find out how they will escape their gilded cage and their ensuing adventures following this peculiar decision.

Author's Notes : This story is based on an idea proposed by Lord Truhan and developed with help from him! This is a rewritten version of the original story. We hope you’ll enjoy the improved version.



Chapter 01
Certain days of the week made Gohan feel as if he were training under one hundred times gravity. All the piles of paper stacking up on his desk seemed to weigh him down even more. Not to mention the number of emails popping up on his computer screen. Instead, he swept his eyes over the desk calendar not far from the keyboard of his laptop computer. He snapped up his head when he glared at the red X’s precariously close to one penciled in Date, Wedding Anniversary.

“What the heck am I going to do this year for him?” Gohan wondered aloud.

Across the office, the door clicked open, admitting the spiky haired head of his brother Goten. Peering around it, he waved to Gohan, asking, “Hey bro, you busy?”

Gohan glanced up at his younger sibling and smiled. He was grateful for the distraction from the impending date weighing down on him. “So, Goten what brings you here? Other then lunch?”

“Just had it with Trunks,” Goten shrugged, carrying a stack of colorful paper under one arm. Gohan pushed his glasses further up his nose, examining them closely.

“So, um, those don’t appear to be reports. But… brochures?”

“I need your input on something, Gohan,” Goten said with a hopeful grin. He plopped the stack down right on top of Gohan’s desk calendar, generating a puff of air that sent other papers flying.

Gohan felt himself sinking further under the combined weight of this nuisance along with the papers and the impending date. He wondered next if the ocean in the brightly colored pictures would wash over him next in a tidal wave, as those surfers on the cover of the top brochure were fond of braving. Resting his elbows on the desk front, Goten’s face bobbed inches from Gohan’s. Now his brother was a bit of an assault on the senses. He scooted his chair back and said, “Um Goten, what exactly is all this?”

“I need you to put that brain of yours to use. C’mon Gohan, its way more fun than those numbers you’re crunching now. Thought it’d be a nice break,” Goten chuckled, tugging up a char behind him and plopping down.

“All right, what have we here,” Gohan sighed. At that moment he realized Goten had a point. It was far preferable to play travel agent than engineer because at least the notion of bright light and smiling people walking along the beach reminded him of outdoors. As he glanced at his hand reaching for the top travel leaflet, he noticed how pale his skin was compared to his brother’s.

“These are all from the Travel Agency. I was wondering if you’d taken any of these with Trunks. You know ‘your trunks?” Goten asked.

My Trunks. The words conjured up images of bubble baths and candlelit dinners. Groaning Gohan realized this was not the distraction he wanted at all. It only reminded him of the penciled in day in red glaring pen like a warning. Flipping through the first brochure, he saw the words “Gold Star package,” and thoughtfully ran his finger over it.

“Yeah,” he admitted shyly, glancing over his glasses at Goten’s eager eyes. “This does sound familiar.”

“I knew it!” Goten clapped his hands together. “So, what do you recommend?”

“Goten, I’m sorry, but you see that pile of papers there?” Gohan sighed, eager to plunge into them rather than a travel recap. Such things evoked painful doubts that recently surfaced.

“Yeah, so, this will only take ten minutes, I swear,” Goten pouted, chewing on his bottom lip. “Don’t be a square, bro!”

“But can’t this wait?” Gohan pouted back.

“I bet you haven’t even taking YOUR lunch break yet,” Goten retaliated, leaning up out of his char and shoving the pile further across the desk, causing Gohan to want to scoot away from it like it was a dangerous illness.

“Fine. Ten minutes, no more, Goten,” he relented. Mentally he scolded himself for being such a pushover. Ever since they were kids, he couldn’t turn away from some things. One was helping his mom do the wash, and the second was pacifying his younger brother.

“Aww you’re the best, Bro!” Goten cheered, his face breaking into a smile that relieved some of the weight on Gohan’s heart a bit.

“Okay, what have we got here?” he muttered, opening several of the other brochures. On a number of pages were similar pictures of people in skimpy bathing suits clutching various glasses. Alternatively, others he turned to held images of people hanging on fake walls with various protuberances.

“Rock climbing, shuffleboard, dance contests,” Gohan read off. Hearing his own voice, he realized it was as lifeless as a stock report. A loud clacking sound caught his attention again, and he saw Goten’s fingers wrapping around one of the silver balls of a desk toy.

“Isn’t it great? Did you and your hubby do all that? Or did you just laze around sipping margaritas and think of parrots?” Goten asked. He released the end sphere of the toy, letting the balls clack into the other sets. This set off a repetitive chain where the six balls swing in alternating sets of two and three.

“Well, some things I’d prefer to leave up to YOUR lurid imagination,” Gohan answered, giving Goten a ‘wait till your older look’ that he knew would rile the boy up.

“Yeah yeah, pretend I’m seven again. That’s how you always get. Gohan, loosen up a bit? I mean when was the last time YOU did this for your anniversary huh?”

“Two years ago,” Gohan confessed, feeling a surge of guilt at the thought of having made no concrete plans for this year. This sent him spiraling slightly downwards, contemplating all the possibilities he had already nixed for the perfect getaway. All of them seemed as contrived as the booklets he thumbed through now.

“See I’m doing you a favor! I figured if you helped me plan a cruise for Trunks and me… my trunks you’d come up with some great ideas for yours!” Goten said.

“No wonder you’re VP of sales and marketing,” Gohan reflected dryly, tugging his glasses off. He chewed nervously on the end of them, his stomach filling with butterflies. Shortly he diverted his attention to the blue and yellow striped tie hanging loosely knotted around Goten’s neck. His brother’s long hair was equally relaxed framing a face free of worries that he was sure his must have been creasing with.

“While you’re at it, maybe you can suggest some of the hotels you stayed at?” Goten further pressed, both hands poised on the desk. He picked up one of the paperweights and started to roll it from one hand to the other.

“Goten, look, I’ve got other things to worry about rather than cruises. I appreciate you thinking about this, but I’d rather do something quiet and low key for my anniversary, okay? It’s not always about outdoing the year before,” Gohan snapped, feeling a bit frustrated.

“Yeah, you’re happily married. You’re just as much an old fuddy duddy as Mom and Dad. Sheesh I swear,” Goten teased, plunking down the paperweight.

“I am not!” Gohan retaliated, his voice rising in pitch. At the sound of this, he realized he was livelier in these ten minutes than he had felt all day. Arguing with Goten often had that effect on him. He mentally thanked Dende for annoying little brothers to stir him out of complacency. Yet even then, he still felt ten tons dragging him down. Words like Low key tumbled through his head, adding to the snowball effect rolling down a long hill.

Just why was he getting angry at Goten? Shifting blame to a younger brother for his own shortcomings seemed an easy way out, Gohan scolded himself for. Suddenly the piles of brochures seemed as pointless as the multiple email balloons popping up on his screen. There seemed no end to them.

“Gohan?” came Goten’s voice amidst the clacking of the toy.

“Sorry,” Gohan apologized, snapping awake.

“You spaced out there. You sure you’re okay. I could have lunch sent. Y’know how you spaz out if your blood sugar drops,” Goten said, reaching for the phone. He hauled himself up on the desk corner to reach it better.

“No it’s okay,” Gohan replied, darting his hand out to grab his brother’s wrist. Carefully he pushed it down along with the phone receiver.

“Why? It’s no biggie. Keeps the delivery people paid, so why not? I mean we generate jobs from our lifestyle.”

“Sounds like something Trunks would say,” Gohan rolled his eyes, releasing his hand from Goten’s. Papers crumbled under his brother’s posterior, poised on the edge of the desk.

“Hey, thanks!” Goten grinned, squeezing his eyes shut and rubbing the back of his neck. For a moment, Gohan thought he looked too much like Goku, and cringed. Was his family doomed to have at least one in each generation? Hadn’t giving him responsibility pounded some sense of a work ethic into his younger brother?

“You got to lighten up and enjoy your wealth, you know? Good thing you’ve got me and Trunks to remind you old married men about that,” Goten teased.

His words suddenly slammed down on Gohan, stopping the thoughts cold. His stomach churned twisting his guts into uncomfortable knots. So Goten HAD learned the value of hard work. Just as long as the end goal was enjoying the fruits of labor. He only knew of the benefits money could buy, not the intrinsic value of the hundreds of people that worked for them.

Gohan blinked, pushing his glasses on again. Just how many people DID work for them again? A few clicks of the keys brought up the figures, but the number was meaningless. Intangible. What did he have to show for an afternoon of paper pushing? Something boiled up inside him inciting his temperature and blood pressure to raise at least ten notches. Goten tossing the paperweight back and forth suddenly pissed him off, as well as the casual way in which his brother just sat on a stack of reports it took him hours to review.

“Goten, that was the wrong thing to say, and you picked a hell of a moment to say it,” Gohan panted, his face wrinkling in anger. Slamming his hands down on the desk, Gohan shoved himself out of his chair. It shot backwards from the opposing force.

“Gee… what did I say?” Goten asked, leaping off the edge of the desk. Warily he took a few steps back, his eyes filled with surprise and shock.

“You’ve got no sense of what all this money means, do you?” Gohan asked, inhaling deep breaths to calm himself. He realized his temper was disproportionate and snapping at his brother was not a healthy means of release.

“Whoa, settle down! I didn’t mean to piss you off! I’m sorry!” Goten waved his hands in an X in front of his face as if to banish the tension roiling between them. It took Gohan nearly a minute to damp down the rising ki surging around him, stirring up papers in a tempest that caused Goten to assume a defensive posture.

Is this what I’ve come to? Am I so out of touch with reality and my feelings that I need to flip out over something so minor? On the other hand, is it so minor? Gohan debated, unclenching his fists and dropping back into his chair. He willed away the hostility, forcing himself to stare at the calm blue seas in the brochures. Thought of crashing waves and pounding surf washed away the pent up aggression.

“I’m sorry Goten. Look, it’s just that it seems superfluous to go on a ship with all the comforts of home, to escape well… all the comforts of home. I mean what is the point?” Gohan laughed falsely in an attempt to clear the air.

“Well, I hadn’t thought about that,” Goten confessed, scratching his neck. He closed the gap between them and scooped up all the brochures scattered her and there. Gohan meanwhile rose to his feet and collected the strewn papers.

“That is the precise problem. You don’t always think, Goten,” Gohan mumbled, bent over double adding more papers to his stack under one arm.

“You think too much Gohan,” Goten countered, sticking his tongue out. He slowly began to help Gohan with his picking up. Grumbling Gohan realized his brother pushed another button. Luckily, the approaching small ki responsible for the knocking on the door was well timed.

“Excuse me?” called the voice. “Is it all right to come in, Mr. Son?”

“Yes, please do,” said Gohan, swinging up from his crouch. He set the pile of papers he’d already collected down on the desk in a neat pile, and watched Goten open the door.

“Oh my goodness is everything okay?” Miss Thyme asked with wide eyes. Why did Goten stop helping the moment the secretary appeared and started straightening up papers?

“Nothing,” Gohan said, bending over again.

“Uh see you later, Gohan! I got to go!” Goten said, glancing at his watch. He darted around Miss Thyme and left his brother and the secretary to straighten up his mess. Gohan realized his brother had made only a half-assed attempt to pick up papers, and it didn’t help sooth Gohan’s nerves.

***

Unknown to Gohan, Mirai Trunks also wrestled with an internal debate. His calendar was turned to the same page as Gohan’s, and he pushed paperclips around on his desk just thinking about the implications. Grabbing a legal pad and a sharpened pencil, Mirai Trunks started to scribble a list down.

1. Cruise
2. Candlelit dinner and hot tub
3. Skydiving
4. Sex in space on Capsule’s new station
5. Bungee jumping followed by a dip in a mountain river.

Once he read the list, Trunks snatched the end of the paper and tugged it across. The sheet made a satisfying ripping sound. Between his hands, he balled and crushed the paper before hurling it in a perfect arc towards the wastebasket. It hit the rim, and then bounced out. Mirai Trunks frowned, shaking his head. If that were the only thing that went wrong today, he would be happy.

The trilling phone broke his mood and he seized it. Bringing the receiver to his mouth, he said, “yes?”

“Mr. President, the VP of Finance wants to see you,” said the voice of his secretary.

“All right, send him in,” Mirai said, tapping the eraser end of his pencil on the now empty pad.

Stacks of papers were neatly arranged here and there, and Mirai felt the sweat soaking through his shirt. So much for a paperless office, he inwardly reflected. His ears perked up at the sound of the doorknob clicking, and the familiar blue ki shimmering. Chibi, or rather this reality’s Trunks opened the door, leaning casually in to peer at him. That smug look plastered on his other self’s face pushed away Mirai’s hopes for a diversion.

“Hey there, Nii-san,” Trunks grinned. “Hope I’m not interrupting anything?”

“Depends on what you mean, Chibi,” Mirai grinned, trying to use his facial expression to change his inner turmoil. Running his hand in a half arc, he signaled it was all right for Trunks to enter. With a stack of colorful pieces of paper under his arm, his younger namesake strutted in as if he owned the place.

All Hail the Prince, Mirai reflected sarcastically. His majesty already stood in front of the mirror where Mirai straightened his hair, running his fingers through it to make sure he was preened to perfection. That moment snapped into Mirai’s mind, a painful reminder of how extreme his vanity could become.

Since when had his younger self become such an uncomfortable foil?

“All right, what brings you here, Chibi?” Mirai asked, folding his hands on the desk before him.

“Well Nii-san, I thought I could ask your advice. I’m planning a cruise with Goten, and wondered if I could talk about time off?” Trunks said, wandering over to the lacquered cabinet under a small marble counter. He faced with his back to Mirai, which really irritated him.

“Time off? How much time off are we talking?” Mirai asked, not liking where this conversation seemed to be heading. Turning his head slightly to the side Trunks glanced back, his eyes narrowed a bit. A quick glance down on the glossy wood desk gave Mirai the answer to this reaction. His sour expression.

“You look like you’ve sucked a lemon. It’s no big deal. I’ll make it a working vacation,” Trunks said, reaching into the cabinet for a glass.

“Um, all right. But you still haven’t told me how long,” Mirai said, watching his younger self open the fridge. He tugged out a few bottles turning them over. Selecting one, he twisted at the cap of the bourbon.

“I was thinking three…” Trunks said, suddenly putting the opened bottle back.

“Three weeks? I suppose that would be all right,” Mirai said, wincing at the actions of his younger self. Great, 200 zenni down the drain. He was saving that bottle for a special occasion, Mirai complained inwardly.

He grabbed another bottle, of the scotch and plunked it down letting the fridge snap shut. Two ice cubes clinked in the low glass that Trunks selected, followed by the seltzer swishing and the gurgling of something being poured.

“Sorry I meant months, not weeks,” Trunks said. Turning around he held one drink, swirling his scotch and soda as he strode towards the desk.

Mirai felt the muscles in his eyes taxed to their limits. He was sure they must be the size of saucers now when he stammered out, “Three MONTHS?”

“Don’t look so shocked! I had considered six, but thought that’d be a bit too much,” Trunks said as he sat down, one hand stretching out to calm his other self down presumably. However, Mirai taxed his eye muscles again by narrowing them to mere slits with the rest of the scowl marring his handsome face. Great, so much for that advice his beautician gave him about excessive worry lines. The pen he was holding in his hand sudden cracked.

“That, that’s just not a good idea,” Mirai said, swallowing his distaste. He licked his lips, and dropped his pen in the trash.

“I said it was a working vacation. I’ll make sure I take my laptop and assistants with me, okay?” Trunks tried to reassure him.

“But still, for three months. What’s to prevent them from participating?” Mirai asked, hoping he was hearing this right.

“Hey, don’t be such a big brother. I can handle my own assistant you know,” Trunks glanced at him, with a slight look of frustration.”

“It’s just so sudden and inconvenient. Especially in light of the fact that well… I have many important clients scheduled that you will need to meet with during that time. What if some emergency comes up?” Mirai asked, grabbing a paperclip and twisting it in his hands.

“Well that’s not a reason to micromanage me. I am a big boy and I can run my own division. Maybe you need a vacation so you can back off a little bit,” Trunks said, before taking a big gulp of his drink.

“I… micromanage? Someone has to keep you in line since Mom is the CEO. I have half a mind to call her up,” Mirai grumbled.

“So you’re going to run it by mom to make sure she has my permission? WHEN did I need YOUR permission to do something as simple as take a working vacation eh?” Trunks asked, swilling more of his drink.

“It’s simple protocol. I’m the president; you’re the VP, Chibi. All such decisions naturally go through me,” Mirai said, twisting the paperclip around his forefinger.

“I’d like to think you have more trust in me than you’re showing,” Trunks pouted, glaring at his ‘older brother’.

“That’s not it; it’s just… that I would like to know your rationale behind such a decision. Think of the implications. I mean you’d have to rearrange THEIR work schedules too, not to mention I have to find people to fill in and… it just makes MY job more complicated even having to think of it,” Mirai sighed, pushing his bangs out of his face.

“So go ahead and call mom and whine about it. I dare you,” Trunks snorted.

Mirai stopped his hands inches from the phone. Instead, he waggled a finger and opened his mouth to say something. Unfortunately, that bored unimpressed look Trunks gave him only stopped him short. “See what I mean? You’re going to give me the ‘responsibility and hard work lecture.'”

“Well sometimes you act like you need reminding,” Mirai stammered.

“I know you just as well, maybe even BETTER than you think. Hell, if you’re what I’m going to become I’m glad I’m someone else,” Trunks smugly shook his head.

“Now what does that have to do with anything?” Mirai spluttered, shuffling his papers around. “Don’t try and change the subject.”

“Oh you’re worse than MOM is! You’re just proving I’m right!” Trunks laughed.

“Right about WHAT? What’s your point and what does this have to do with my first question, huh? What is your justification for a cruise at this time? You haven’t come up with a better answer, so spit it out, or explain it,” Mirai requested, rubbing his face with his hands.

“That you should give me more responsibility and freedom. Stop acting as if you’re a Prince, and let one of your subjects have some slack. I mean I am just as much a ‘prince’ of this corporation as you are.”

“Now that’s not necessary, you know,” Mirai protested. “I’m not the one acting like a royal brat you know. Take a good look in that mirror…”

“You look in it enough, so what does that matter?” Trunks countered.

Deflated, Mirai suddenly felt his arguments crumbling to pieces. This kid was so frustrating he sympathized with his mother at how much she put up with sometimes with HIM as a kid. How he was so much alike and so much different. What did Chibi know about real suffering and hardship? Growing up with such abundance made him soft. Intensifying his stare, Mirai said, “Okay, fine. At least I know what it was like NOT having all this money. I know the value of hard work!”

“Yeah, yeah, sure. But I’m the one who crunches the numbers, Nii-SAMA,” Trunks said, using the end as an insult rather than a term of respect. “Your Royal Highness wouldn’t be half as well off if I didn’t find ways to SAVE money and improve profit 10 percent since last year!”

“All right, you’ve got a point,” Mirai relented, struggling to stuff down his temper. “Now tell me what are you going to do for three months even if you DO have a working vacation? Not just sip margaritas and stare into your boyfriend’s eyes I hope!”

“Come off it, Prince Perfect,” Trunks sneered. “Don’t tell me you haven’t wanted to run away with your husband? I figured I’d do you a favor bringing some travel brochures since you seemed to have FORGOTTEN your own anniversary and…”

The stack of brochures slid over the desk, where Trunks tossed them. One of them glided right in front of his laptop and Mirai felt his pressure skyrocket again. Just how their mother had dealt with two of them amazed him at this minute. Hell, he wondered how he had dealt with his younger self all these years. Some very uncomfortable buttons had been pushed and he was smarting from the verbal jabs.

“Prince perfect huh? So now, we’re reduced to name-calling. If you’re trying to show me your maturity level, you just blew it, kid,” Mirai said with a slight smirk.

“Oh yeah, so what? I’m not the one making it impossible to reason with here. And the fact remains you probably have no clue what you’re going to do this year, do you?” Trunks said.

“What I do with my husband is my business, got it? Stop trying to dodge my question…” Mirai managed to ask. He hated to admit that his younger self had perfectly valid points.

“I was right, wasn’t I?” Trunks said with a smirk of triumph, downing the rest of his drink. Rising from his chair, he strode over to the bar again, and bent over to root through the fridge. Seeing this caused Mirai to yelp, “HEY, stop drinking that!”

“Relax! I was only getting a drink!” Trunks grumbled, spinning around. He glared at Mirai, holding two glasses in his hand.

“You wasted an expensive bottle and didn’t even DRINK from it! I was saving that for my anniversary and you didn’t even THINK to ask my permission if it was okay!” Mirai huffed, feeling his face flush hot.

“Big deal. I’ll buy you another. Don’t tell me that’s what has got your panties in a wad, Nii-Sama!”

“And stop calling me that! It’s getting on my nerves,” Mirai added.

“I am only addressing the Prince of Capsule by his honorific since he’s acting the part,” Trunks sniffed, dragging his feet as he sauntered over to the desk and plunked a glass down by Mirai’s elbow. “And I was TRYING to be nice bringing YOU a drink but now you’re acting all MOODY.”

“You’re exasperating,” Mirai threw up his hands and turned his chair away. He suddenly felt exhausted from trying to reason with what seemed a brick wall. Every point was being rebuffed and he had no answers that weren’t retreads of something their mother would say.

“Look, I’m just trying to prove a point. You need to relax and stop trying to outdo me. I’m not trying to do that same. We can both run this company without being so damn competitive,” Trunks said with a sigh.

“I’m not competing…” Mirai started, and then snapped his jaw shut.

“You are. I’m not saying anything that isn’t true, Nii-san,” Trunks said gently. Mirai noticed that he had returned to a more familiar honorific.

“Chibi, I’m just overworked and tired. I’m sorry I blew my top, but this isn’t a good time to bring it up, okay?” Mirai muttered, turning around to face his younger self. He shoved his hands in his pockets, unable to meet the other’s gaze.

“Look, I’ll talk about it later. Why don’t I just leave you alone when you’re in a better mood,” Trunks relented, and backed out of the office. Future Trunks simply glanced down at his shoes, unable to say anything else. Instead, his hands sagged deep in the pockets of his designer pants. As if he was reaching for something that wasn’t there in the first place. Seeing Chibi’s frivolous use of his booze was far more disturbing because it reminded him he could easily have done the same.

Why do I give a shit about a 200-zenni bottle of liquor when it could easily be a ten-zenni bottle from the liquor store? Is it that big a deal? Doesn’t he care how much things cost, and how many people it takes to…?

I don’t know the answer to that, Mirai realized soberly.

Catching sight of his reflection in the glass of the huge window, he wandered over to stare out of it. Multiple curved high rises and skyscrapers obscured the sky while others he could see the roof of. All of them were intact thanks to Capsule’s providing jobs. Yet the window washer he saw on another office building swing easily on his swing, polishing merrily in front of him. He hadn’t looked down for an instant since Trunks occasionally watched him.

“How many windows has that guy washed, and why does he seem more focused on that job than I am now?” Mirai asked himself.

Why did the secretary behind his desk seem so focused and busy? Instead of trying to escape and chatting about vacations like his younger self was. Why were they all so anxious to get away from it all? To make money to buy more things like 200 zenni bottles of liquor, designer pants, and manicures. Mirai added this when extracting his hand and staring at his flawless nails.

“Shit, I am a Prince,” he muttered and then laughed at the irony. His majesty, the Ruler of Capsule.

“I should be called Nii-sama,” he chuckled, and sighed. “That’s all I seem to have been. Shouting orders day in and out. Riding his butt because I thought it was for his own good.”

Why do I bother? What does it all mean? I can’t even answer how many windows there are in all the Capsule buildings to wash. Nor how many window washers have done them to perfection. On the other hand, how many people it takes to keep Capsule running day to day. What else don’t I see anymore, blinded by my wealth?

***

Dark brown eyes glued themselves to the clouds wafting lazily below. The first dozen times Gohan thought riding in their own corporate jet was fun, but now it was just another mundane activity. IN reality, he preferred flying so he could feel the wind hitting him in the face, using his own power. Diverting his eyes from the nearby window, Gohan shifted to sit on the plush sofa. It lined the back of the private compartment, in front of a built in bookcase loaded with binders and tomes.

Trunks shifted behind the simulated wood grain desk, snapping shut his laptop. He glimpsed at two velvet-lined seats that faced each other across a sizable dining table fused into the side of the cabin wall. Running his fingers over the smooth desktop, he glimpsed his reflection there in the highly polished polymer.

“Ready for the meeting?” Trunks called over.

Gohan flipped through the plastic sleeved pages holding pie charts. Overtop his glasses he regarded Mirai, answering, “As ready as I’ll ever be. All the facts and figures on R and D spending are committed to memory.” Here he tapped the side of his temple, earning a smile from his husband.

“Gohan you don’t have to memorize them,” Mirai laughed, rising from behind his desk. Abandoning his chair, he walked over and sat down next to Gohan on the sofa.

“I know. However, it is just a force of habit. I always crunch the numbers after I look at the pie charts while you get the draft proposals together for the meeting with our clients. It’s always better to know the information than go hunting through stacks of paper,” Gohan reminded him.

“Yeah, mom trained you and I pretty well didn’t she?” Trunks patted his husband on the thigh. He saw Gohan’s dark eyes fixated towards the line of windows again.

“Hey, what’s bothering you?” Trunks asked, nudging Gohan’s knee.

“Just thinking about how easy it would be to fly there under our own ki,” Gohan said reflectively.

Trunks tapped his chin, intrigued by Gohan’s thoughtful state that seemed far from the business at hand. “Well, you know that wouldn’t work, Gohan. Think of all the people we’d be meeting. It’d be pretty lousy for business and drawing attention to ourselves for them to see two of us flying in our suits now wouldn’t it?”

“I know,” Gohan, sighed, resting his hand atop Mirai’s, and squeezing it. “It’s just that well… flying by corporate jet makes it too easy.”

Mirai narrowed his blue eyes, frowning. He heard the ring of truth in Gohan’s words. Yet again, the same thoughts came rushing back from the first time he had heard them. Life was too easy because others were doing the work. When was the last time…?

“Yes I know what you mean. It’s just as you said. It’s too EASY,” he answered, intertwining his fingers with Gohan’s. When he saw the clarity in Gohan’s gaze, he felt a huge weight lifting off his chest.

Gohan felt his heart skipping when he noted the sparkle present in Mirai’s eyes. For the past few weeks, Gohan noticed Mirai wandered about as if he were just a windup toy or a robot going through a series of subroutines. Guiltily he admitted he had felt much the same, when they woke in the morning, got ready, worked, and then collapsed into bed only to repeat the process. Feeling his fingers digging into Trunks hand Gohan knew his husband must be on the same wavelength.

“It’s a huge relief to hear you say that too, Trunks,” Gohan exhaled, his own body feeling free of gravity. Just putting a name to the reason behind the cause brought it to the surface.

“Ah, I know that look too well Gohan,” Mirai clicked his tongue. Raising his free hand, he rubbed his husband’s temple and scalp.

“What look would that be?”

“The ‘we’re sharing the same thought but we didn’t talk about it till now’ sort of look,” he answered.

“I had wanted to say something before, but things… well life…” Gohan glanced away, feeling his face flush hot with shame for not saying something sooner.

“Got in the way didn’t it? It was too easy to bury ourselves in day to day workaday matters than face what we’re both feeling, Gohan,” Mirai reassured him, turning Gohan by his chin to look him in the eyes. In Gohan’s glasses lenses he saw his own reflection.

Sighing, Gohan pulled his glasses off and folded them in one hand. He tucked them and hung them by one temple from his blazer pocket. Somehow looking at Trunks without them seemed far easier. Meeting Mirai’s glance he slowly said, “That’s right. We’re using work as an excuse to escape from this feeling of unease that we should be taking action.”

“Against this… this… something that is bugging both of us, huh?” Mirai said.

Gohan turned his face to the side, depositing kisses on Mirai’s hand. Lightly he ran his tongue over the palm, causing Trunks to murmur a bit. “Yes, Trunks. Don’t you feel as if we’re missing something? That we’ve possessed wealth for so long that we’re feeling empty?”

“Yeah,” Mirai answered, stifling his moan. “So I agree with you. We’re both feeling the same thing, so what are we going to do about it?”

“That’s the question, and the dilemma,” Gohan mused, focusing on the curve of Trunks’ face. “We need a strategy. Because this won’t go away.”

“Ignoring it sure hasn’t worked. So any plans, genius?” Mirai gently teased.

“Sadly no. Aside from running away to some remote location? Running away to train in the mountains?” Gohan halfheartedly suggested.

“Well we are whining about life being too easy. Just what makes it too easy?” trunks mused, his face scrunching up in that thoughtful way Gohan loved.

“Perfect. Let’s analyze the problem by breaking it into its most elemental and constituent parts,” Gohan confirmed. He reached for his glasses again, and sucked on the temple, letting them dangle from his lip.

“Such as when did we first start feeling like this?” Trunks asked. “For me it’s just been building steadily over time you know… little by little.”

“Indeed. Same for me,” Gohan nodded, feeling a pang of familiarity. “Does the fact that we both don’t know what to do for one another’s anniversary perhaps act as a catalyst?”

“That doesn’t help matters,” Trunks sighed. “In fact it was when Trunks started nagging me about taking a vacation… excuse me a WORKING vacation…”

“You mean specifically when he drank your expensive liquor, the same day when Goten asked me to play travel agent?” Gohan chuckled, his smile a welcome sight to Trunks to break the somber mood a bit.

“You got it. I realized then and there that I didn’t know our employees names,” Trunks reflected, shifting so he rested his head against Gohan’s sturdy shoulder. He sighed as Gohan lifted his arm and he felt the weight of it settle comfortably there.

“We’ve both not been ourselves lately. In fact you’re onto something when you said get away from it all,” Trunks muttered, something crossing his mind. Just the smallest inkling and tickling of his brain of an idea. Almost like seeing dawn before the sun rose.

“Quite true. So far, we have the recurring feeling of emptiness, and a loss of self-identity. Not to mention how it’s impacting our behavior and our… relationship to each other,” Gohan tentatively said, feeling a spurt of fear.

“You mean it’s why we’re bickering with each other a bit more lately,” Mirai supposed, remembering how often lately he was more prone to snap at silly things.

“That’s part of it, Trunks. Another component is how no matter what you and I do, it’s as if life itself has… become tasteless. Lost its flavor.”

“You hit it exactly Gohan. Whenever you and I’ve had time alone together things, we once found to be great fun aren’t as enjoyable anymore. I enjoy the time with you but there’s something missing, as if the spark is gone.”

“Don’t forget how short we’ve been with Trunks and Goten lately,” Gohan also reminded him, feeling Trunks rubbing his thigh slowly.

“How could I forget,” Mirai chuckled, remembering the bickering over his liquor stash.

“There may be a good reason for that too,” Gohan mused, Trunks watching his dark eyes grow even more serious. “Maybe it’s out of jealousy.”

“Jealousy? You mean because they seem to be enjoying themselves far more in all this luxury than we are?” Mirai said carefully, not liking the revelation.

“Unfortunately, they are, Trunks.”

Mirai sighed, resting his head on Gohan’s shoulder once more. “We’ve changed. We’ve lost touch with what’s important. And you saying that just now…”

“Confirms it. Right. This leads us to the question, of what course of action to undertake. Just how it is possible to recapture that lost element and rediscover our sense of purpose, and in so doing, find the answer.”

“That’s it exactly, Gohan,” Trunks sighed, smiling at Gohan’s steady and calm voice reassuring him. It always felt good when his husband could apply words to unknowns, somehow making them quantifiable and solvable.

“You said something regarding me being onto something?” Gohan asked, resting his head against the top of Mirai’s.

“Getting away from it all. Well what if we DID get away from it all, or at least tried to find the value of things again?”

“Sounds like a quest for self awareness through giving up luxury,” Gohan surmised. “Why don’t we take this to its logical conclusion? Say, giving up Capsule Corps entirely, and living in very Spartan conditions where money is limited but we have far more freedom in return. Living like hobos do, working simple jobs and enjoying life’s simpler pleasures?”

Gohan felt gravity no longer pulling him down so much. The air itself seemed far lighter, and the crushing weight on his chest had lifted enough so he could breathe. Mirai lifted his head off his husband’s shoulder, warmth spreading through his body as well. Yet he did feel the need to point out, “That sounds nice but giving up capsule entirely? That would be a bit extreme.”

“Yes, I agree. We wouldn’t necessarily do it all at once. We do need a plan of action, and need to contemplate the phases of this… undertaking,” Gohan clarified. He saw the relief filling Mirai’s face at that second.

“Like a strategic plan, and a vision,” Mirai said, rubbing Gohan’s back. “Where do we start? What should be the steps in our process?”

“We could take it one step at a time, by gradually introducing ourselves to the lifestyle with small changes. Giving up pieces of luxury till we reach the goal, while finding someone else to run capsule for us,” Gohan continued, drawing Mirai closer to him. Now they sat face-to-face, hands on one another’s shoulders.

“You mean like eating in normal restaurants, and perhaps cleaning our own home? Not having our dinners prepared for us for starters?” Mirai suggested.

“Exactly. That’s a good start. We can continue to wear our own clothes to work, but we’ll need to go to ‘normal’ stores and get clothing ordinary people would wear for off hours,” Gohan nodded.

“Perhaps we could even try and get a normal job too?” Mirai mused, pursing his lips. “One we’d interview for by looking in the paper.”

“A menial job,” Gohan agreed, a smile beaming across his one pale face. Trunks eyes sparkled with each new suggestion, and it was a welcome sight to see. “We could live like that for a time, with the eventual goal of phasing down to more manual labor involved jobs requiring far less thought and education.”

“Sounds like we’d be phasing out riches, and paring back.”

Gohan nodded, leaning over to kiss Trunks on the cheeks softly, marveling at the shimmer in his husband’s blue eyes. “When we’re comfortable we’ve weaned ourselves off depending on Capsule’s wealth, it would be time to give up the apartment, the ‘regular’ job, and adopt an itinerant lifestyle of hobos. Involving traveling from place to place with only a blanket to sleep on and the most basic of necessities. We could try it for a time and see how we like it for perhaps six months, then return for contrast’s sake.”

“Sleeping under the stars in the woods eating beans?” Mirai queried his smile mischievous. “Would we be wearing nothing but pants barefoot by then?”

“You’re reading my mind, Trunks,” Gohan purred, mental images of Trunks gloriously bare chested dancing in his head. “That’s absolutely the plan. You and I letting our hair grow. Enjoying one another without the interference of all this technology.”

“To have you all to myself all day sounds far better than anything at this point,” Mirai sighed with pleasure. “Just the thought of getting away from meetings is making this sound closer to a dream.”

“It’s an admirable dream,” Gohan added.

“So when do we begin?” Trunks asked, leaning forwards for a kiss. Mentally Gohan checked his schedule, envisioning a time frame.

“I think in seven days would be good,” Gohan answered, opening his mouth and covering Trunks with his own.



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