This post is part of the series The Intermediate Years: Nasu
Other posts in this series:
Plot, or Lack Thereof: Vegeta meets Yet Another Childhood Friend when she drops in with a few “friends” of her own.
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization, borderline self-insert. In the process of being rewritten into For Want.
The next morning, Chi-Chi announced that Nasu would have to attend school. Of course, Nasu was not too happy about this turn of events; she sulked while Goten and Trunks chatted their way to Orange Star High school.
“Hey, Nasu, what’s with the long face?” Trunks asked when he noticed that Nasu hadn’t said a word since she left the Son house.
“A Saiyan’s life is on the battlefield, not in the classroom,” Nasu mumbled, kicking the loose stones on the road and sending them flying.
“Don’t be so glum,” advised Goten. “You can’t be all brawn and no brain.”
“Yeah, or you’ll end up like Goten’s dad,” Trunks joked.
Goten pretended to be angry and raised a fist. “Take that back, you.”
Trunks, out of Goten’s reach and knowing that the other wasn’t being serious, stuck out his tongue. “Make me.”
“Ooh, you’re asking for it!” Goten lept at Trunks, who turned tail and ran; the usual chase began.
Nasu sighed and rolled her eyes before running after them.
“Attention, please,” the teacher rapped on her desk for order; after a few moments, the students quieted down. “This is Nasu, and she’ll be in our class for a while.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Nasu lied.
The room resounded with return greetings. The teacher rapped on her desk again. “You may introduce yourselves to her after break. Nasu, please be seated; class is starting.”
All eyes followed Nasu as she sat down next to Goten. A few of the boys began whispering among themselves about her tail.
“Ahem!” The teacher glared at the guilty parties, who immeadiately became silent. “Well then, we will continue yesterday’s lecture about integrals.”
As the teacher droned on, only a few students paid any attention; a good part of the class pretended to pay attention, while another part was asleep or in the process of dozing off. Nasu, being one of those who were in the process of becoming bored out of her brain, became more and more desperate to keep herself from fidgeting. She sneaked a look at Goten and felt relieved to see that he, too, was growing restless. Still, it was getting more and more difficult to stay in her seat. Time passed at a slow pace. After what felt like an eternity, the students were finally dismissed for lunch. Chi-Chi stopped by to drop of an enormous amount of food enough to feed both Nasu and Goten. As the two ate, Goten noticed several mean-looking boys headed towards them.
“Not again,” he groaned.
“What?” Nasu wanted to know. She followed his gaze. “Oh,” she took another bite of her lunch. “Why don’t you just beat them up?”
Goten shook his head. “Mom doesn’t like it when I get into fights. Besides, it’s not worth the trouble.”
“True,” Nasu agreed, and resumed eating.
The group of bullies got to the table where Nasu and Goten were sitting. The tallest boy put a hand on Goten’s shoulder and said: “Hey, Goten, when did you get such a cute girlfriend?”
Goten blushed from his neck to the roots of his hair. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Oh?” The boy walked around the table and studied Nasu. “Too bad, because she’s one hot—gurk!” Nasu grabbed the him by the collar and stood up, lifting him off the floor. With one hand.
“I’d like to eat my lunch in peace,” Nasu told the shocked boy. “So unless you enjoy being beaten up, I suggest you leave us alone.” She dropped the boy and sat back down. The others made a quick retreat, with the boy following close behind.
The rest of the week, while just as boring, passed without incident. Somehow, she made it to Friday without going crazy.
“Finally,” Nasu sighed on the way home. “I thought this week would never end.”
Trunks laughed. “Welcome to the club. By the way, Goten, can you come over tomorrow?”
Goten grinned. “You need a ‘study buddy’, right?”
Trunks also grinned. “Right.”
They broke into a fit of laughter; Nasu, who didn’t get the joke, shrugged and walked on.
The next day, Nasu finally understood what was so funny when Trunks pulled out a strange looking contraption and began plugging it into the television.
“This is what you call ‘studying’?” she asked, an eyebrow raised, as Trunks popped a disk into the machine.
“We don’t actually do any ‘study’ studying when we’re at each other’s houses,” Goten explained, untangling the cords.
“Yeah,” Trunks nodded. “We’ve probably really done something productive, what, once? Twice?” He tried to remember. “Oh, well. Enough of that, though!” Trunks turned the machine on. “Today, we will defeat the enemy!” He tilted his head back and attempted an evil laugh. He was not very convincing.
Although Nasu did find what was going on intruiging, she was nowhere near as absorbed in it as Trunks and Goten were. In fact, they were so concentrated on playing the game that they didn’t seem to notice Vegeta’s powerful energy emanating from the gravity chamber. Even through the thick walls of both the chamber and the house, Nasu could tell that Vegeta was giving himself quite a workout. From time to time, a large burst of energy would manifest itself in the form of interference on the television screen, making both Trunks and Goten very nervous. Both of them sighed an audible breath of relief when the image steadied itself; then, it was back to “saving the planet,” as Trunks put it when Nasu asked him what he was trying to do.
As she watched, Nasu felt her eyes grow heavy. She did not remember falling asleep, but the next thing she knew, Goten was shaking her gently, telling her that it was time for dinner.
“Big Sis, can I sit with you?” Bra asked Nasu when everyone—the Vegetas plus Goten and Nasu—entered the dining room and began seating themselves around the oval table.
Trunks raised an eyebrow. “Big Sis?” He mimicked Bra’s tone of voice. Even Vegeta flinched when he heard Bra address Nasu in such an intimate manner.
Bra nodded. “Big Sis,” she repeated, emphasizing this by looking up at Nasu with glittering eyes. “Please?”
Nasu gave up. “How can I resist?” she smiled at Bra. “Sure.”
“Yaay!” Bra cheered, before leaping into Nasu’s lap. Nasu blinked, surprised by the boldness of the young girl.
Bulma laughed. “I guess I should have warned you that Bra isn’t exactly a shy child.”
Nasu smiled again. “I don’t mind,” she put an arm around Bra’s waist. “I like kids.”
Vegeta growled something inhuman and gave Nasu a look suggesting ‘try anything and you die in a most slow and painful way’, which Nasu ignored. Bulma, who also noticed what was going on, sighed and picked up her fork, signaling the start of dinner. At once, every one else began eating as well, albeit in a much less civilized way. (Bulma was surprised to see that Nasu would pause every once in a while to load food onto Bra’s plate.)
Except for the expected noises that accompanied several Saiyans gorging themselves, there was no other sound. Bulma tried to break the silence by asking Nasu a few questions, but Nasu answered all of them in a very roundabout way. Finally, Bulma gave up and finished her meal without a word, but in the back of her mind she wondered why was Nasu so reluctant to talk about herself. Bulma had a feeling that she wouldn’t get a clear, satisfying answer to that question for a long time.
Another week passed; this time, just Goten went to Trunks’ house.
“Where’s Nasu?” Trunks asked as he let Goten in.
“At home. She said she didn’t want to give your father more reasons to want to beat her up.”
Trunks chuckled. “Wonder where she got that idea.”
“Because Vegeta looked like he was ready to jump across the table and strangle her during dinner last week?”
Trunks sighed. “Goten, I was being sarcastic.”
To be fair, it must be noted that Goten and Trunks didn’t just fry their brains when they got together on Saturday afternoons; they also confide to one another. Through the years, they’ve shared their most intimate secrets, desires, and fears. Today, the topic of discussion centered around Nasu.
“So, about Nasu,” Trunks began as he hooked up the system. “Do you like her?”
“Maybe,” Goten shrugged. “She is kinda cute.”
“You really think so?” Trunks grinned. “There’s hope for you yet.”
“Seriously, Goten, what do you think about her?”
Goten sighed. “Trunks, I hardly know her.”
“Then why did you stick up for her when my dad wanted to kill her?”
Goten thought about this for a while. “I don’t know. It just felt like the right thing to do.”
Trunks snorted. “Yeah, come to the defense of the person who was trying to kill everybody.”
Goten hit the ‘start’ button and narrowed his eyes at Trunks. “All right, if she was so dangerous, then why didn’t Vegeta kill her?”
It was Trunks’ turn to do some thinking. “Good point,” then he grinned again. “But I still think you were just trying to get on her good side.”
Goten sighed and turned his attention back to the video game.
When Goten got home, he found Nasu in the living room looking through the pictures taken over the years. Peering over her shoulder, he saw that she had already gone through the first half of the albums and was currently looking at his baby pictures.
“Hello, Goten,” Nasu said without looking up. “You don’t mind, do you?”
“Nah,” Goten shook his head. He fought back a yawn, hoping Nasu wouldn’t notice.
Nasu noticed. “If you’re tired, go ahead and sleep; I’m going to be here for a while.”
Goten blinked away more yawns. “I’m okay.”
“You’re a terrible liar.”
Goten placed one hand behind his head and laughed. “On second thought, maybe I will go to bed.”
Nasu watched Goten enter his room before continuing to look through the albums. She went through Goten’s childhood, noticing with some amusement that Vegeta seemed to have a different scowl in every picture.
And then, when Trunks was around 8, the pictures began to change in such a subtle manner that most people wouldn’t have seen the difference. First, Vegeta, who had up to this point made few appearances besides the once a year formal photos, began showing up in more spontaneous settings. Second, while he still didn’t look at the camera, he didn’t seem to be as grumpy or annoyed by it as before. Third, he became more intimate towards his family, after the birth of Bra in particular. Nasu felt the edge of her eyes grow moist when she saw the picture of Vegeta holding Bra, his arm at an awkward angle, both afraid of dropping her and crushing her in his grip.
No. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You didn’t lose him because you never had him.
Nasu turned the page.
Feeling chilly, Goten woke, and discovered that he had kicked off his blankets while he was sleeping. Fishing around in the dark for his blanket, he noticed the thin ray of light coming from the door. He took a glance at his clock.
4:00 a.m. and Nasu’s still up? Goten got up, made his way into the living room, and saw that Nasu had fallen asleep with the last photo album open in her lap. The other albums had been placed back on the shelves, albeit not always in the correct order. Goten pulled the album out of Nasu’s lap, inserted it at the end of the shelf, and was about to return to blissful slumber when it occurred to him that Nasu might need a blanket. He found one in the linen closet, and draped it across her. Before leaving the living room and turning off the lights, he took one last look at Nasu.
Do you like her?
The question eched in Goten’s head even as he fell asleep.
Goten was jerked from the world of sleep. He opened one eye, groaning as he was then blinded by the morning sun. He closed it again and turned the other way.
Goten put the pillow over his head and kept trying to sleep.
Tap tap tap.
Goten continued to ignore the tapping.
“I’d break this window,” came a muffled female voice. “But you probably wouldn’t be too happy about that.”
Recognizing the voice, Goten sat up and opened his eyes. As he got used to the light, he made out Nasu outside, who smiled and pointed to the latch. Goten unlocked the window in a hurry.
“Morning, sleepyhead,” Nasu greeted. “It’s too nice of a day to be in bed.”
Goten moaned. “You’ve got to be kidding.” “Do I look like I’m kidding?” Nasu placed her hands on the sill and leaned forward into the room. “Come on, Goten. It’s almost ten already.”
Although Goten wanted to go back to sleep, he suspected that if he didn’t accept he wouldn’t be able to get any more rest anyways. “Oh, all right,” he rubbed the last traces of sleep from his eyes. “Just let me go change into something.”
Goten came out of the house—via front door—wearing a t-shirt and baggy jeans, a choice of clothes which Nasu disapproved of.
“How can you fight in pants like those?”
Goten responded with a few casual attacks, all of which Nasu dodged with ease, but this made his point. Nasu and Goten then began to spar in earnest, moving away from the house as they did so. After about twenty minutes of trading hits, Goten was already starting to tire from trying to keep up with the faster and more agile Nasu—and he was pretty sure she was pulling her punches. He became certain of this when she intercepted him in mid-attack with a trip, grabbed his right arm, twisted it, and pinned him to the ground.
“Gotcha,” Nasu announced, giving Goten a light noogie. A strange rumbling sound came from her stomach. “Oops, lunch calls. Let’s call a break.”
“A break would be nice,” Goten agreed. Nasu released him and waited for him to stand before heading back towards the house.
“Oh, and by the way,” she said as she walked. “Thanks for the blanket last night.”
Had she turned around, she might have seen Goten pause in surprise for a few seconds before continuing, grinning all the way back.
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