It was so boring. It was so immensely boring. Gohan wiped away the sweat on his forehead, the movement almost too much. Just a month ago they had defeated Buu. It was amazing how happy everyone was lately, he was too but… when his mum told him to take the summer off, not study but to do something fun… Studying was fun! Not necessarily for school that was indeed rather annoying he knew most of it already anyway but there was so much that interested him and he couldn't. Not that she kept him away from his room by force, no, not physical force at least, mental.
They were doing it all over the house. He tried, he really did. He couldn't spend his summer in his own room thanks to the overactive hormones of his parents!
Gohan rolled on his side on the grass. Probably stained his clothes, what did he care? Hopefully his dad would never die again! Goten got it better, he was at Kame Island with Trunks, escaping the other pair of crazy adults with crazy hormones. The thought alone made him groan in frustration. Not even Piccolo and Dende wanted him, he shouldn't train but have FUN! WHAT did they even think he did for fun! Staring at the bushes around Mount Paozu? They weren't all that interesting!
He rolled around again. Even Videl was busy. They had met a couple days ago, went to the cinema, kissed a bit, it was super awkward. Saving the world together didn't make it better somehow, it made it worse. Not to mention her father who wanted to spend more quality time with his darling, ugh.
Groaning, he got up. He could dig a hole and get in it, crawl out when mating season was over, sleep the whole summer. Maybe he should go swimming, kill one of those big fish they had here and slap his parents with it… he chuckled, kicking a rock away. It flew through the bushes with a very satisfying sound of breaking wood and…
“Oh my god.” He had hit someone. He probably killed someone! With wide open eyes, he tried to get through the thick vegetation as quickly as possible. There he was, rubbing his butt, looking mildly displeased, Trunks, the older one.
“Holy… how… why? What?”
He looked up, winking lightly. “Hey Gohan, what's up? Someone threw a rock at me…” He made a short pause.
“Yeah, sorry, it was an accident. I'm kinda… I'm… what happened? Is someone attacking again? In the future? Now? Please say yes.”
Trunks looked sheepishly around, coughing slightly. “No, nothing happened. I mean, well… actually… I…”
Gohan's eyes widened and he nodded slightly to urge Trunks on. Maybe he was hallucinating. It was a really weird encounter if he was honest.
“Ehm, say, how much time has passed since I was here last? You look… older.”
Gohan looked down to assure himself that he was in fact not 11 anymore.
“Right, seven years. Shouldn't you know? Wasn't it seven years? What happened?”
“No. No, it's not even a year.” He rubbed a hand over his neck. “I think I need to catch up.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The waves were making a soothing sound, coming together with the soft wind. Gohan cleared his throat, destroying the peaceful quiet.
“Alright, I'm… I'm glad that everything is working out for you. All of you, I mean, Earth, future Earth.”
Trunks grinned but didn't say anything.
“So… did you...? Were you at home? I mean if I disturbed you walking through the woods…”
“I was at home. They were busy.” Trunks tried to hide his blush with his hair but it was short again. He noticed it as well, coughing. “I thought I'd say hello to you and I flew over here and then I felt your ki and…”
“Oh thank god. Everyone's ‘busy’, we just defeated another strong enemy, you know? They are all celebrating.”
“You don't sound happy.”
Gohan rubbed his foot over some leaves. “Of course not, I can't go home. Anyway, maybe you'll have to fight him, too, I can tell you everything about it!”
Trunks grinned, he looked rather… embarrassed.
“Hey, are you alright?” Maybe he hadn't told the truth. He shuffled forward a bit, instantly going over every possible worst case scenario. His mum was dead. The world was going down. He had cancer, Alzheimer's, something!
“I'm just… still a bit overwhelmed. I hadn't expected you to be… not a kid anymore. Anyway, you're right. Tell me about that new enemy, I'm the only one defending the Earth, right?”
Gohan shrugged and started right at the beginning. Though he deliberately decided to leave some details out. He didn't want to tell Trunks his superhero side job and he left out Videl. Somehow, it didn't seem right. He didn't want to bother him with uninteresting information. Yes, that was it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“…and Dad killed him. Though I must stress again that your dad and Mister Satan were really helpful.” He paused, thoughtful. “I also did my best.”
Trunks shrugged, staring at the dark water. It finally cooled down a little with the sun almost down on the horizon.
“I´ll… see what I can do about it. Should probably talk to Goku-san.”
“Yeah, maybe… not today or the whole summer.” Or ever. He knew everything as well, no need to ask someone else! Maybe he hadn't saved the world but almost. That counted for something, right?
“I´m sorry, I didn't want to mention it. Hey, did you celebrate? With that girl you mentioned?”
Trunks looked at him, a dirty grin right over his face. He wasn't supposed to look like that! Gohan had always held Trunks in high esteem, he didn't want him to be exactly like everyone else, perverted.
“Oh, no, Videl is just a friend. It´s cool, saving the world together doesn’t mean she owes me something, right? That's ridiculous and also pretty low. And…”
He stopped the moment Trunks laid his hand on Gohan's shoulder. That was weird.
“I think you should celebrate as well. Instead of sitting here, staring, kicking rocks… you know?”
Gohan didn't know. He just stared at Trunks´s completely earnest face until Trunks nodded slightly.
“I… I guess.”
“Awesome!” Trunks immediately leaned in, getting close, closer. Panicked, Gohan pushed, maybe a bit too hard and jumped on his feet.
“Oh my god, I´m so sorry, are you okay? I´m so much stronger now, I don’t always know…”
Trunks got up on one elbows, waving with his hand. “It's okay, it's my own fault. I thought you were… interested, maybe.”
His brain was running in overdrive. Had he given hints? He hadn't realized. Did he do that often? Was he some kind of unintentional slut?
“Gohan, hey! You didn't… hint… something. It was me, all on me. Sorry.”
The silence was extremely awkward, while Trunks got up and Gohan just tried to sort his thoughts. “I'm sorry if I reminded you of… ehm, me in your time.”
“It's not that!” He was angry, almost shouted. Gohan took a step back maybe a little distance was called for.
“It's not?” It sure was plausible, if anything could be.
“Okay, you know what? You know why I came? I had no reason, actually, I mean say hello is all nice and good but my mum is KILLING ME! Since I came back she is all ‘good you killed those machines, now we can FIX THE WORLD! Honestly, I can´t take it anymore, I didn't even know she could be like that, she rebuilt the company! Not the building, the whole fucking thing, she practically monopolized saving the world. Or… or just getting everything up and running again, I think she wants to run for president as well and she's constantly nagging that I should do more, help more, tell everyone how I saved the world, how I defeated the androids and how I was it who did everything and to make it even WORSE…”
He paused. Gohan just stared at him with wide eyes, nodding slightly.
“She now accuses me of not stopping her from sending me here. Because, now get that, she would've done it with less trouble. Right, and she would've kept me from spending a year with my father. My not-father, as I was told, because now get that, she didn't ever tell me the actual FUCKING truth and just told me nice things about him that were barely close to reality because he was dead anyway. Had she known I would spend more time than ‘hi Dad, alternate Dad, we gotta save the world together yay!’ she said, she actually said, she would've protected me from his bad influence.”
“O…kay. That´s pretty… harsh.” And it was not explaining anything at all, actually. He didn't want to put it quite so bluntly, though.
“And then I get here, maybe visit my not-Dad or whatever, say hi, and you are sitting around here, grown up all of a sudden and just as pissed as I am!”
“Mhm.” Not really, a bit pissed, a little bit, annoyed, at most.
“So, where is the problem if we just… do it? I can´t stay here anyway, so you can go back to your girlfriend.”
“I mean, it´s not as if I don´t like you or anything, I just… I don´t…”
He stopped talking. That had been a rush. Gohan sighed, sitting down on the ground as well. Trunks looked like he wanted to cry and it kind of freaked him out. It was all a bit sudden and he wasn't quite sure if he could just roll with it. He didn't want to be that person.
“I… I get it and it´s not as if I don't like you, I just… I can't do that. It's not right and you should really talk to my dad, if Boo is a threat in your time as well. Okay?”
Trunks nodded slightly, not looking very convinced. He still followed Gohan when he flew home and tried to get the attention of his parents without further mental harm.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Sighing, Gohan sat down on his favorite rock. It was probably the best spot on Mount Paozu as it was, secluded enough to not be accidentally found, near to a cliff so that he got an amazing view. Silence, silence was good.
It had been a rough week and he was glad it was over. Breaking up with Videl and… everything. He kicked a small rock over the cliff, listening to it banging against the stone wall on its way down, soothing.
Gohan didn't turn around, he just raised his hand, waving. “What a coincidence, I just thought about you. How's it going?”
“Thought I´d come over and get a report in how my fight with Boo went and since you were hanging around in the woods again…”
Gohan grinned, still not looking up. He heard Trunks get close, sitting down next to him.
“Your parents still banging too much?”
“No, I broke up with Videl. The… the girl I saved the world with, helped, I guess.”
Trunks patted him on the shoulder, not commenting. Somehow, he wanted commenting just like he let Trunks spill it last time they saw each other.
“You know, it wasn't going too well and I told her that earlier this week. She responded with…” He choked on it. That was not how he had imagined things. “Well, she's pregnant. Guess I´ll be a single dad soon.”
“Hn, how long is it since I was here last?”
The time machine didn’t work all that exact anymore. Gohan had been wondering about that the last time as well.
“Six years, and you?”
He looked up. Trunks looked older but not that much. When he turned his face towards him, he sucked in some air.
Trunks shrugged, leaning back a little.
“You know, fought in a big fight, alone. This is barely anything, just a few scars. Lost an arm, funny enough not the same as Gohan did.”
Gohan was irritated for a second, his arms were both where they belonged before he realized that he wasn't meant.
“They look fine.”
“Well, Mum did a good job. It's fine, don't miss it.”
“How was the fight?”
“Hard, nasty, I'm glad mum got some ideas, she helped a lot.” He scratched his head, looking thoughtful. “She is president of the Earth now. Can you believe that?”
He actually could. Bulma always had ambitions, she infected people with them. He should know, he worked with her.
“Hey Trunks, in retrospect I am really up to that fuck now that we missed a few years ago.”
Trunks gave him a sly grin while he stood up, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“I just want to talk to Goku.” He hesitated for a second. “It's been thirteen years.”
He flew away. Gohan kicked his favorite rock down the cliff and listened to the beautiful sound of it shattering on the ground.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It had been her first day at school, she had been so excited. At least he had beat Videl to taking her, from what he gathered when she picked her up it was all ‘it's more fun with Grandpaaa!’. He grinned at his laptop. Maybe they shouldn't have left her with his parents so often, it was much more interesting at Mount Paozu than here.
The doorbell started ringing and startled him. He hadn't expected… and no ki. So, someone he knew and wanted to surprise him, maybe Goten.
“Hi Gohan, you look older.”
“Hey Trunks, that's, ehm… unexpected.”
He let him in. It was weird, that comment. He wondered how much time had passed in his timeline. Didn't look that much different, just the hair was longer.
“So how long has it been this time?” Trunks stopped at the couch, looking at a picture of Pan. “I guess a few years.”
“Seven, Pan got into school today, didn't like it. Why are you here?”
He sat down, rubbing his hands. “I felt bad about last time. It was… just a few months for me. I…”
“Why is that?” Gohan went to the kitchenette, getting something to drink. He didn't want to hear excuses, from anyone about anything anymore.
“What? I just wanted to tell.”
He grabbed the two glasses with water, pushing one in Trunks's hand. Some spilled over but he didn't care.
“Why is the time that's passing always different. 20 years ago it was no problem, why now?”
“Ah, you know, Mum is always meddling with it. It's not the same machine two times in a row. It doesn't matter what I try to put in, it just kicks me out with a huge error rate. We're working on it.”
“So, you plan on coming over more often or what?”
Trunks's eyes narrowed and he put the glass down on the table. That would leave a nasty stain.
“Are you angry?”
Gohan sipped a bit on his water, trying not to look at him. Maybe he should just throw him out.
“You know what, I AM angry! So, you think you can come here any time you want to blow some air and piss off again? Guess what, I've got enough problems on my own, I don't need and I really don't want to listen to any of that. Go and annoy Vegeta or Dad and leave me the fuck alone!”
He threw the glass with some emphasis on the table, where it just toppled over, spilling water everywhere. He couldn't care less.
“I actually came to apologize this time, since I thought I was a jerk. Looks like I was right.”
“Perfectly. Anything else?”
“No, I guess not.”
Trunks didn't move. Somehow, he hadn't been clear enough. He wasn’t beyond kicking him out personally.
“Then leave, I've got work to do.”
“For my mum? It's the logo on your computer.”
“She's not your mum.” He pointed to the door, for emphasis. Next step was violence.
“I…” Trunks got up, slowly circling the table. “I thought a lot.”
“That's great, I don´t want to hear it.”
He stopped in front of Gohan, leaning down. “No more take backs.”
Gohan was about to get up when Trunks grabbed him by the shoulders, pushing him down on the cushions, kissing him. Gohan struggled, he could've easily pushed him away, but… he didn't. It had only taken 10 years, he could still throw him out when they were done kissing.
Trunks stopped first, breathing slightly faster. “It took long enough, I guess. Do you…?”
No, no he didn't. He didn't want to and he was about to say it, he just wanted to kick him out and never see him again, one problem less and no more hoping, no more thinking that he might come back and… he was so weak, so, so weak.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“So you're working for my mum? Not-mum I mean. How is it? Is she as bad as my actual Mum?”
Gohan tried to keep his eyes open but it was hard. It was so hard. “She's not president of the planet, no, but she keeps me as her slave, I guess they're the same.”
Trunks was snuggling in his shoulder, it was almost too warm. He wasn't used to someone else in his bed anymore.
“Slave? What d’you mean?”
“I tried to quit, she won't let me.” He was falling asleep but he couldn't, not yet, not already. So much to talk about. “What now? You going back, I´m staying here?”
He felt Trunks shifting behind him, moving away from him, wrong question.
“I don´t know. Still tinkering on that time machine. If I figure it out, I could come more often. If you like that.”
“I can´t make guarantees.”
“It worked just fine 20 years ago.”
“It didn't, that´s why we tried to improve it. It's not as if it had a high priority.”
Gohan huffed. “No, course not.”
Trunks pushed his shoulder, hard. It actually hurt quite a bit.
“Don't be like that. Do you even want that?”
“You staying here? Yes, obviously.”
Trunks started chuckling behind him, breaking out into a loud laugh. Annoyed, Gohan turned around, ready to strangle him with a pillow.
“Sorry sorry, you were just so adamant in kicking me out before, obviously.”
“I changed my mind, asshole.”
It took a while before Trunks calmed down again. “In any case, I could… stay a week. No one is gonna miss me.”
“No one is gonna miss you anyway, stay longer.”
“Can't, got a lot of press conferences in which I'm supposed to talk about me saving the world.”
“Still? Isn't everyone over it yet?”
He shrugged, smiling widely. “It's not my fault but a week… I could say hi to your daughter, haven't met her yet.”
Gohan closed his eyes. He wasn't all that tired anymore. When he opened them again, he was still there.
“A week is fine. A week… sounds good.”