The Broken Road
by Veronica     More by this Writer
Trunks finds that there is life after Goten when he falls for the person he least expected (P.S: It’s Gohan!)

Author’s Notes: Just a little DBZ chick lit. “Present” timeline. This story is based on an idea suggested to me by the one, the only Lord Truhan — many, many thanks!. The first few chapters are Truten–I hope it doesn’t offend anyone–Truhan is coming. All good things to those who wait ;-)



Chapter 01
“So, you’ll do it right, Goten? Come on, I’ll help you with the application.” It was the spring of Goten’s senior year of high school and Trunks had everything planned. He had taken a year off of school after his own high school graduation and worked with his mother at Capsule Corporation so he and Goten could start college together. But his best friend was not making it very easy.

“Tru-unks,” Goten whined into the telephone, “you and me both know there’s no way I can get into Weston University.”

“Why not? It’s not even that great a school. Western Tech and South City College both ranked higher last year. It should be a piece of cake, really. Practically anybody can get in.”

“Maybe for you, Trunks, but you don’t get it. It’s an Ivy League school. Just because it didn’t rank as high as two other Ivy League schools doesn’t mean they’re going to take me,” he insisted. “Don’t all those ranking books you have tell you what their acceptance rate is? Weston takes, like, 2% of their applicants—if that!”

“I guess . . . .” Trunks gave in. Goten was probably right, he supposed. “Well then let’s both apply to West City U. And you can’t argue with me because right here in my book it says they accept 70% of people who apply. You’ll get in there even if you don’t manage to graduate. They take anyone!”

“Gee, thanks!” came Goten’s sarcastic reply. Then again, if he blew off organic chemistry one more time there was a distinct possibility that he would not be graduating. Maybe Trunks was on to something here. “Ok, I’ll apply there. But you can’t. It’s insane. You’re practically a shoo-in at Weston. You can’t give that up.”

“Why not?” The teenaged prince sounded indignant. “I don’t even wanna go if you’re not there. Come on, we always said we’d go to college together, since we didn’t get to go to high school together.” Bulma had sent Trunks to a private school in West City while Goten had attended a small public school for Mt. Paozu locals. When Goten was old enough for high school he had come to West City to attend the public school there. He and Trunks always met up after school and spent until dark hanging out at Capsule Corp. when Goten had to go home. But back then they swore they’d go to college together so they could stir up trouble during school hours, which they were sure was much more fun.

“I don’t know . . . .” Goten trailed off. Why couldn’t his friend see that things had changed since then? Trunks took after his mother’s family in the brains department and was destined to be a great scientist. Goten . . . well he was more like Goku in the brains department. Of course, Goten didn’t particularly want to voice the comparison out loud. Instead he stated simply, “Because we made that pact when we were little kids and we’re not kids anymore. It doesn’t really make sense now that we’re older.”

Trunks gasped loudly. “Don’t you think it would be fun to go to school together? It’s not childish to want to spend time with each other. You’re hurting my feelings here, Goten.”

“Stop being melodramatic. Of course I think it would be fun to go to school together. But your mom will flip if you tell her you’re going to West City U.”

“Well, good, I like making waves. Someone has to make things more interesting around here,” Trunks said, resting his chin in his hand as he laid belly-down on his bed. “It’s settled then, we’ll go to WCU together!”

“Ok, Trunks, if you want, we’ll go to WCU together.” Goten laughed.

“And another thing,” the older teen said matter-of-factly. “I’m getting the hell out of here. I’ve got to get away from my parents. Let’s get a place together! An apartment in the city. Just the two of us–no one to interrogate us, no one to answer to! No one screaming at us every day . . . .” he added.

“Ha! Well it sounds great,” Goten said, a mental picture of Chichi’s angry face making him cringe. “In fact, it sounds like a damn dream come true, but there’s no way you’re going to win this one. Chichi is never letting me out of this house. She didn’t let Gohan leave until he got married, and then it was only across the yard.”

“You’re no fun. Just ask her, it’s worth a try.”

“You seriously like seeing me in pain, don’t you? She’ll bite my head off for even thinking about it.”

“Do it tonight, come on.” Then Trunks added sweetly, “For me.”

“Ugh, fine!” Goten relented. The dread of approaching Chichi with such a request was already building in his stomach.

“Yes! This is gonna be so great. I’m asking Bulma and Vegeta as soon as we’re off the phone.”

“Bulma and Vegeta? Don’t you mean your mummy and daddy?” Goten asked, saying the last words in a high-pitched voice, openly mocking his friend.

“Hey, I’m just trying to be more grown up, like you Goten.” The young prince mocked him right back. “Now stop picking on me and go ask her. Ask Goku first, he’ll say yes.”

“You know that won’t work.”

“Make it happen. Bye Goten!”

“I hate you,” were the last words Trunks heard as he hung up with a satisfied grin. So far things were going exactly as planned.

***

“Mother!” Trunks’ shouts echoed through the halls of the house as he headed for Bulma’s lab. He could sense her faint ki-signature there. “Mother, mother!” He loudly announced his presence as he entered the lab.

“What is it, Trunks?” She looked tired. Uh oh, he thought, maybe I didn’t pick the best time to talk to her. Oh well, no turning back now.

The door to the gravity room opened and a long, slim shadow fell across the floor. “What in the world is all this racket?” Vegeta did not look amused.

Always so uptight, the younger Saiyan thought, his face dropping into a frown. “Well, I’ll tell you,” he began, trying to sound like a confident adult. “I’m going to be starting at university in a few weeks, and . . .” He hesitated for a second. “I think it’s high time that I get my own place. Yes, I want to move out,” he finished. No sense beating around the bush. Trunks braced himself as he saw Bulma’s mouth drop open.

“There’s NO way!” she screeched. “There is no way you’re living on your own. Trunks, you don’t even know how to do your own laundry!”

“But I won’t be on my own, mother,” he answered excitedly. “I’m going to live with Goten. He’ll do my laundry!” Trunks flashed all of his teeth in a huge grin, thinking what Goten would say if he had heard that.

“For god’s sake, woman,” Vegeta chimed in. “Cut the cord. Do you want the boy living here forever? Quite frankly I’d be glad to be rid of him. He eats us out of house and home.” Trunks thought this was probably his father’s idea of helping him out.

“Well . . .” Bulma considered it for a moment. “I suppose maybe if you were going to live with someone responsible.”

“Oh yeah, Goten’s totally responsible. He’s always talking about how we’re grown-ups now and everyth–”

“No, not Goten,” Bulma interrupted. Her son could tell by her voice that she had already made up her mind.

His blue eyes narrowed. “Well, then who?” he asked, a slightly whiny tone creeping into his voice.

“Well,” Bulma looked thoughtful. “Gohan has been looking for a place in his price range ever since he and Videl divorced. You know he doesn’t want to move back in with Goku and Chichi.” She made a face. “And in the meantime he’s just living in that house with his ex-wife, she’s at his throat all the time, and he lives so far away from Capsule . . .”

“Motherrrr!” Trunks was in full-fledged whining mode now. “Not Gohan! He’s even lamer than the two of you!” He clapped a hand over his mouth as Vegeta gasped in annoyance and surprise. A look which could almost be described as hurt spread across his father’s face.

“Well, good! That’s what you need,” Bulma said. “You and Goten are too wild. You need someone who can look after you. And who knows how to do your laundry.” She added with a laugh. “I doubt Goten knows any better than you do how to get chocolate ice cream out of cashmere.”

Trunks frowned, but gave in. “Ok, fine. But can Goten live there, too?”

“If Chichi says it’s ok. And if Gohan agrees. We can’t make too many plans without asking him. Although I think he’s really eager to get out of Videl’s house. I’ll call him right now!” Bulma’s excitement by now matched her son’s. She was just solving everyone’s problems today! She leaned against her computer console with a self-satisfied smile.

“Sweet! Thanks mom, thanks dad!” Trunks quickly exited the lab and raced upstairs to call Goten. Chichi answered the phone at the Son house. “Hi, is Goten there?”

“You have a lot of nerve Mr. Trunks Brief!” she screamed into the phone. “My Goten is not going anywhere–and especially not to live with the likes of you! I know how you operate, Mister. You city people are all the same! Dragging my son to all sorts of dirty drug houses and dance clubs and down back alleys where he could be robbed or even wors–” Trunks drowned out the sound of Chichi’s voice, amused that she clearly didn’t know that living under her roof hadn’t stopped Goten from finding dance clubs and drugs years ago. And anyone who tried to rob a Saiyan would be very sorry.

“No, really, Chichi, it’s not like that!” he attempted to interrupt, but there was no stopping her when she was on a roll.

“You have always been a bad influence on my Goten! I still think it was you who taught him how to turn into one of those horrible Super Saiyans when you were kids, oh bless his heart–”

Trunks could here Goku in the background. “Chichi, please, just give me the phone and calm down.” A minute later, Goten’s father had managed to pry the phone from his wife’s hand.

Goku laughed nervously, “Hi Trunks! She’s just a little bit upset right now. Hey, how are your parents doing?” Goku was doing his best to diffuse the situation.

“Oh, they’re both good, thanks for asking.”

“Has your dad been training in the gravity room a lot? Tell him we should spar sometime soon! I found a great place out here that’s at least a hundred miles from any town and we could really go all out–no holding back. That should be enough to tempt him, dontcha think, Trunks?”

“Umm, yeah, he’s always grumbling your name when he’s in the gravity room, so I’m sure he’d be all for–”

“Get off the phone, Dad!” Goten’s angry voice broke in. “Trunks doesn’t care about you and Vegeta’s stupid workout routine.”

“Ok then,” Goku didn’t sound put off. “Bye, Trunks, good talking to you!”

“Bye sir.” Trunks said quietly.

As soon as the boys heard the distinctive click indicating the line was theirs, Goten hissed, “Do you see what you did?”

“I’m sorry, Goten.”

“No you’re not,” Goten said calmly. “But there’s the answer to your question. I’m not moving anywhere.”

Trunks knitted his lavender brows wondering how to get around this latest hurdle. Maybe Gohan could talk some sense into Chichi. If there was anyone she’d listen to, it’d be—. Oh my god, Gohan. “Oh no, Goten.” Trunks’ voice was deadly serious. “You have no idea how bad this is.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My mom–she won’t let me move either unless I live with–” Trunks paused for added effect. He didn’t want the horror of the situation to be lost on his friend, “–with Gohan!” he finished dramatically.

“What? My brother, Gohan?”

“Do you know a lot of other Gohans that my mom would just hand me off to?” Trunks was annoyed.

“But why?” Goten asked.

“Because she says I need guidance and structure. Something about doing my own laundry, I don’t know!” The demi-Saiyan was panicking now. This wasn’t the way he had planned things at all. A little while ago, he was as good as shacked up with his best friend, mentally planning the craziest house-warming party West City had ever seen, and now he was stuck living with practically the most boring person he could think of after his parents. Gohan would never agree to a house-warming party featuring multiple flavored vodka ice luges. At least if Goten was there, they would have had a 2-to-1 advantage. Trunks was beside himself. “Thanks a lot, Goten!” he couldn’t help yelling even though he knew it wasn’t the other boy’s fault. But after a few silent moments, Trunks brightened a bit. “Well, at least we’ll still be going to school together,” he reasoned. “And I’m sure you can crash with us sometimes. Maybe if you stay over enough and don’t die or get mugged, then your mom will let you move in properly!” Yes, this could work. “All is not lost, Goten.”

“Well, I’m glad you have it all worked out, Trunks,” the other said with a sigh. “I, for one, am exhausted. I’ll catch you tomorrow, k?”

“Night, Goten.”

“Night.”

***

“I have good news,” Bulma’s voice sang as Trunks entered the kitchen. He was still half asleep, dragged from bed only by the smell of blueberry pancakes.

“What?” he asked, barely paying attention as he poured maple syrup over his heaping pile of pancakes.

“I talked to Gohan last night, and he’s very excited about the little idea we came up with!” Her eyes sparkled. She just loved to help out a good friend and Gohan had been grateful for the opportunity to get a place in the city for such a great price. “I told him I would pay the rent for both of you since he agreed to look after you, and he’s doing me such a big favor, but he insisted on paying his part. He’s such responsible young man. You could learn a lot from him, Trunks.”

“Great,” Trunks mumbled. But he was actually getting excited about the big move. “Can we go look at apartments today? I’m thinking penthouse, doorman-building, master bath off of my bedroom . . . Of course it has to be close to West City U. . .”

“Why would it have to be close to West City U?” Bulma inquired.

“Oh cuz that’s where . . .” Shit, I totally forgot to tell her this part. Trunks gritted his teeth and closed his eyes. “That’s where I’m going to school,” he finished quietly.

“WHAT? WEST CITY UNIVERSITY? But you’re a Weston legacy! That’s where I went and I always thought my son would follow in my shoes . . .” Bulma’s voice drifted off. She had been angry at first, but now she looked on the verge of tears.

“Mother, don’t worry,” Trunks reassured her, not wanting to see his mother cry. “I’ll go there for my post-graduate studies. I’m just not ready yet.” He attempted to sell the story by giving Bulma his best puppy dog eyes.

“Or do you just want to follow wherever Goten goes?” Bulma knew her son better than he knew himself. “If you think you’re going to goof off for four years and still get into Weston for your doctorate, you’ve got another thing coming, young man. This isn’t a joke, Trunks. You have to take it seriously.” She threw her hands in the air, “Gohan is sure going to have his hands full!”

But an hour later, mother and son were on their way downtown in Trunks’ car. Bulma had called her real estate broker, Miyu, and given her a rundown of Trunks’ demands. She had set up a showing for them in a brand new building just off the campus of WCU.

They arrived to find Gohan already waiting for them. He approached the passenger side of the car and opened the door for Bulma. “Gohan!” she said, throwing her arms around him for a hug. “Long time no see!” Of course she was joking. They worked together on a daily basis, Bulma being the president and majority owner of Capsule Corp. and Gohan being head of the bioengineering department.

“So the penthouse, huh?” Gohan disentanged himself from Bulma’s arms and looked amusedly at Trunks. “Always have to have the best.” Trunks couldn’t tell, but it almost sounded like disdain in Gohan’s voice. But the next second he said cheerfully, “Well, let’s have a look.” The purple-haired teen leaned against his car with a pout. It’s not my fault if I have good taste, he thought, gazing critically at Gohan’s hunter green sweater-vest. Then his eyes moved down slightly. Damned if his ass didn’t look good in those jeans though.

The three headed up in the elevator to the fourteenth floor in silence. There were only two apartments on the top floor and the door to the one on the left was wide open. The silence was broken by the sound of Bulma’s broker, who came flying into the hall, papers and business cards falling to the floor behind her. “Oh, you must be Trunks!” she cooed, running towards the young man with arms spread wide. “You’re twice as handsome as you were the last time I saw you! Oh, you were just the cutest little thing. You were only this big back then! And so mischievous!” She held her hand waist-high for a second, then pounced on Trunks again, pinching his left cheek.

Trunks’ blue eyes widened and he gasped in surprise at the unwanted–and painful–contact. He heard Gohan very obviously suppress a laugh. “Such a cutie!” Miyu gushed. She pinched his lightly tanned skin still harder between her thumb and forefinger.

“Uh, excuse me, Miyu,” Bulma chimed in to save her son. “Why don’t we take a look at the apartment?”

“Oh of course darling!” The broker agreed, removing her fingers from Trunks’ now red cheek. The two women flitted through the apartment door as the lavender-haired teen stood there blinking. Some people! he thought.

Gohan’s laugh echoed from behind him. He was no longer bothering to conceal his amusement. “Move it, cutie,” he teased as he pushed Trunks forward towards the door.

After a quick but thorough look around the place, Bulma and Gohan signed the papers renting the penthouse apartment for the next twelve months. Trunks leaned against the island in the center of the kitchen surveying his 1300-square-foot chunk of freedom while the other two took care of the paperwork. Actually this had worked out quite nicely, he thought. The apartment was plenty big enough for the both of them and Gohan’s room was on the opposite side of the living room from Trunks’ so there should be no problem when Goten came to stay over–

“You sure are good at getting your way, kid.” His thoughts were interrupted by Gohan’s voice. Trunks opened his mouth to defend himself, but Gohan’s smiling face made it clear he meant no offense.

“Hey, I thought of you, too.” Trunks flashed a wide smile. “Both bedrooms have master baths, don’t they?”

“I’m not complaining,” Gohan agreed.

Trunks turned to Bulma with sparkling eyes that matched her own. “So, when can we move in?”



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