Marron raked her fingers through her curled hair. She had dressed up. Caulifla and Kale had insisted no one would be weirded out by her age. She was an adult. She reminded herself.
An adult looking to rebound from a big break up.
This was her first year at university. She had spent a year at community college and was ready for a change of pace. Plus her closest childhood friends Trunks and Goten were attending West City University for the ROTC program.
Her roommate happened to be in the same ROTC cohort as the boys, but she was hardly friendly something Marron hoped would change. Marron’s ex-boyfriend had cheated on her before coming to university his first year. He was a year older and blamed the distance. Fortunately—or unfortunately depending on how you look at it—her friends weren’t in much better shape.
One had an annulment from a drunken marriage he fell into first thing after enlisting and the other seemed to give his hopes upon the worst women leaving him hopelessly single.
She was just looking to have a fun time and overall her expectations were meager.
Caulifla had promised they wouldn’t leave her in the lurch but as soon as she got there the only two people she knew were already a few drinks in and getting their flirt on.
Marron kind of wandered around and sought solitude in the kitchen. She was feeling a bit out of place and regretting not extending the invite.
Someone walked into the kitchen from the patio and smiled right at her. He was handsome and a little tipsy. Which was to be expected at a party like this. He didn’t look much older than her. His hair was dark, almost black and he was a bit on the thinner side.
He shook his head, "Sorry I am so rude. Can I get yah a drink...?" He pointed at her and waited for her name.
"Marron and yes,” she smiled and played with her hair.
He nodded and grabbed another beer. "I'm Cabba. Caulifla and Kale are my cousins. I'm in the military but I am here for a bit." His smile widened.
Marron took a sip and smiled, he sure was cute. "I work with them. I don't know anyone else here."
"Honestly me neither. But I guess I know you now."
"Yeah. I guess you do. Sooo tell me about the military," she said flirtatiously and sipped from her drink.
Before she knew it her lips were crashing into his, in the living room of his apartment. She had never done this. Hook up with someone she just met, but after talking to him for a short few hours she knew she wanted this.
His hands slide down her back and he pressed her flush against him. Marron was kind of shocked that he returned her flirtation at all. She had come in to contact with many shallow men over the years, but Cabba seemed different.
He was sweet and looked her in the eyes. Something she had learned a man rarely did when it came to her. She had a unique look to her and it was shocking for most.
“Wait. Do you have?”
He kissed up her neck and looked her in the eyes, “Yah I got ‘em. We don’t gotta if you know you don’t want to.” He brushed his thumb over her cheek tenderly, the faint smell of alcohol still on his breath.
She blushed a little in the moonlight and kissed him back aggressively. She ran her hands up his bare chest his shirt discarded just moments before and wrapped her arms around his neck, “I want to.”
His lips pulled into a smile against hers and he picked her up carrying her to his bedroom.
Oddly enough Marron didn’t feel self-conscious being so vulnerable in front of this almost stranger. He took things slow something she appreciated. By the time he positioned himself at her entrance, she was already bliss.
Everything was perfect from the way their bodies seemed to respond to each other to the way his lips moved over hers.
Marron sat next to Goten and Trunks plopped down across from them setting four coffees on the table.
Marron raised a brow, “Who is the fourth one for T?”
“Probably his crush,” Goten teased with a mouthful of bagel.
“Chew before you talk dude. It’s for your roommate actually. She’s always up so early training and shit I am just trying to be nice and make friends,” Trunks stated.
“Well good luck Vi is kinda bitchy and she calls you lavender. She can’t remember your name,” Marron giggled and elbowed Goten.
“Also Trunks debating the military budget aggressively in class might not be the best way to flirt with a girl,” Goten snickered and Trunks rolled his eyes.
“We respectfully disagreed on some fundamental things but I think we have chemistry and I don’t feel that way about everyone.”
“Whatever both of your moms are still fighting over which one of you guys gets to marry me,” Marron sighed and laughed, “By the way, my parents are still split. My dad votes Goten because he wants to be Goku’s brother-in-law and my mom votes Trunks because your family is rich.”
Goten wrinkled his nose in disgust, “Marrying you is like marrying Trunks. Ewwww.”
Marron smacked Goten’s arm, “Rude! Anyway, neither of you two are getting me. Not that it’s serious or anything but I met a guy last weekend and we have been talking all week.”
“Marron! You finally got out of your hobbit hole? I am aghast.” Trunks snorted and she huffed.
“Wait did you go to a party without us?” Goten asked with a pout.
Marron laughed and looked at them, “Guys, if I would’ve brought you along with you, would’ve never let me get within five feet of a guy. You guys are a little overprotective when it comes to me. I can handle myself.”
She was interrupted when Trunks and Goten saw someone they knew. “Good morning Captain Savoy Sir,” Trunks and Goten said in unison. Marron froze when she saw his face. He was in uniform and the other boys were not.
“Good morning Cadet Briefs and Cadet Son I will see you in class later,” He stated and smiled at Marron. “Oh, hi Marron. It’s kind of odd running into you here.” Trunks and Goten looked at their friend who appeared very confused.
“Yeah, it is. Why are you here?”
“Mar this is our Captain.” Trunks stated.
“I am an ROTC instructor, but I was wondering the same thing about you?” he laughed a little and his brow furrowed as he connected the dots.
“How do you guys know each other?” Goten finally asked.
Trunks eye went wide and he covered his mouth, “Oooohhhh…”
Goten looked between the group. Cabba had maintained a rigid smile while Marron looked slightly horrified. “I don’t get it,” Goten finally said.
“We met through friends,” Marron finally said and rubbed her arm self-consciously.
Cabba shook his awkward demeanor and looked at Trunks and Goten, “Yes, anyway I will meet you two in class.”
“Yah and I am going to go…bye,” Marron said and tried to casually push past Trunks in the opposing direction.
“So you hooked up with your best friends’ ROTC instructor. I mean Mar you could’ve done way worse,” Trunks commented spinning in her desk chair.
She was beginning to regret going to Trunks of all people for comfort and reassurance, but she didn't have many options. She was pretty sure Kale and Caulifla didn't know about the hookup and she preferred to keep it that way. Her roommate seemed to be the type of person to judge her openly and she wasn't ready for that. She didn't even dream of talking to her parents.
Marron was planted on her bed and curled up in a ball, hugging her knees. She was just trying to piece everything together, “He just said he was in the military.”
“Well, yah. He is in the military. He is active duty. This is his assignment for now. I mean I don’t know what you see in Captain Savoy but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get laid,” Trunks teased with a shrug and Marron threw her pillow at him.
“Please don’t call him Captain Savoy. It makes him sound so old,” she pled and rubbed her face.
“Well, I can’t call him Cabba. He’s my Captain. And I mean he’s not old but he ain’t young,” he reminded her and she groaned. “Listen he’s kind of uptight and trust me it’s annoying. He is such a peacemaker and always concerned about what is proper or politically correct. He’s always cutting me off in class discussions.” Trunks crossed his arms and snorted.
Marron rolled her eyes. There were likely valid reasons for Cabba cutting him off since Trunks never learned when to shut his mouth and loved controversial discussions. But right now that wasn’t the point. The point was she had slept with and agreed to a date with her best friend’s ROTC instructor. And she didn’t know how to handle it.
The door to her dorm room opened and her roommate Violet walked in from a workout. Violet had her hair all tied up in a bun and Marron shot Trunks a knowing glare.
Trunks attention immediately turned to the purple-haired woman and Marron snorted at her stoic roommate. “Hey Vi,” Trunks said leaning back in Marron's chair which caught on the carpet and almost tip over. He caught himself and quickly fumbled to regain composure.
Violet turned to him, “Don’t call me Vi. I hardly except Mar calling me that. I only let her because we live together.”
“Okay cool. Cool.” Trunks smiled at her and Violet raised a brow.
“Is he leaving soon? Because I am getting in a shower and then I want to relax.”
“I’ll kick him out before you come out,” Marron gave her a thumbs up.
Once the water turned on Trunks shrugged at Marron. “She is so rude to you! Why in the world would you like her?” Marron laughed.
“It’s my kink. Just makes me like her more.” He shrugged with a smirk.
“You are sick Trunks Briefs.”
Marron rolled her eyes at Goten who was grinning ear to ear chatting with some girl at the entrance of the coffee shop. Trunks and Marron had already gotten everything out to study while their other friend gushy over the model-thin brunette.
Trunks snorted, “He falls in love with every girl who even mildly flirts with him. Prepare for the fall out of Goten Son being head over heels.”
Marron shook her head, “She’s probably a uniform chaser. I mean she is always hanging around all the ROTC guys and she doesn’t even have classes in that building.”
“Hey I know Goten better than anyone and there is absolutely no use in telling him otherwise if he thinks she’s girlfriend material he is doomed.”
“How can you say that so casually?” Marron scoffed.
Trunks shrugged and looked around at the ceiling, “Relationships are weird and complicated. Your parents are like the poster children for marriage. If you were raised by mine you would have some interesting views on relationships too. I mean sure they love each other, but their relationship always seemed touch and go to me until Bulla was born.” Then Trunks smirked, “Besides you have no room to talk.”
“Don’t even that is not a relationship! It was just a hookup. And you have no reason to talk mister married for two months to a woman twice your age,” she smirked and he let out a bunch of air. “Whatever happened to Mai? She die of old age? You know natural causes?”
“Ha. Ha. I don’t know we don’t talk anymore or make an effort to at least. I mean it was dumb and it lasted like half a second it doesn’t count. It wasn’t even a divorce. It was an annulment,” Trunks said defensively.
Marron covered her mouth and laughed. Then she took a deep breath holding back more laughter, “When you guys had sex did you have to be careful not to throw her back out?”
“Fuck you,” Trunks said with a glare. “No one is even supposed to know because can you imagine my parent's reactions? Can you image your parent’s reactions to your boy toy.” Trunks pointed out and her smile fell.
Goten finally walked over all smiles. He was holding the girl's hand and leaned back in his seat to look up at the pair. “Marron, Trunks, this is Valese, my girlfriend.”
“Hi,” the brunette said laced with giggles that made Marron’s eyes go wide and Trunks stare at Goten critically.
“Girlfriend? You guys just met on what Monday?” Trunks asked and smoothed his hair back, “Goten. You do know that it’s Saturday of the same week.”
Goten shrugged, “I don’t know. Sometimes you just know. Like Valese and I just can’t stop thinking about each other. I know rushing into relationships is usually your thing and apparently, now Marron’s but we like each other.”
Valese pinched his cheek and kissed him, “Awww you are so sweet. Babe, will you get me a coffee?” She said sitting next to Marron and pushing the other stuff away to make room for herself. Marron’s jaw dropped and she made eye contact with Trunks.
“Sure thing baby. You guys need anything,” Goten asked.
“No,” Marron and Trunks said with irritation.
Please let me know what you think of the rebuilding babies growing up!
Marron had just got into the salon for the day. She was still reeling from this whole ‘situation’ and didn’t know what she wanted or how to handle it. Cabba had still been making an effort to text her and she just kept saying she was busy.
Truthfully even with school and work, she had plenty of time to talk to him but she didn’t want to think about him.
Caulifla waved, “Hey Mar! Sorry, we didn’t hang out with you much. You have fun?”
She froze and stuttered, “Huh?”
“Well you left early and we didn’t see you the whole night,” Kale commented.
Marron relaxed a little and let out a breath, “Oh well I stayed a little bit. I got going though I had to study…” she trailed off.
Caulifla laughed, “Mar you need to let loose a little. Have some fun. You are so young you have your whole life to be serious.”
“But on the flip side, education is a good thing. I mean we didn’t have that opportunity Caulifla. Anyway, you are welcome to come over some other time Marron.”
Marron pulled her hair up into a top knot bun and started getting things set up for her first client, “I will consider it. I have a haircut appointment though. One of my guy friends is coming by. His hair is a mess.”
“Ooohhh guy friend,” Caulifla teased.
Marron waved her hands in front of herself defensively, “Oh heavens no Trunks is just a friend. He needs a cut that meets regs.” She said and then instantly regretted it.
“So you like a man in uniform. I won’t tell,” Caulifla winked and Kale giggled. “Bet you would like our cousin.” Marron laughed nervously and walked away. She fanned herself walking to the front.
Marron wrung out her long blonde hair. Her roommate was luckily out for the night, but she was still filled with overwhelming anxiety. This was her first year at university and of course the first guy she fell for had to be…complicated.
It was a Saturday night and she had made these plans with him before she realized he was an instructor at the university. Not one she would EVER have, thank god. He was an ROTC instructor for the class her closest friends were in and her somewhat cold roommate.
That realization shot fear right through her heart and Trunks had already begun teasing her relentlessly. Goten luckily was in his own little world. If she was being honest she wasn’t even sure he would show tonight, she had been distant and ignoring him. And she wasn’t sure she wanted him to show. The location of their date—if she even wanted to call it that anymore—was public and not far off from campus.
Although the restaurant wasn’t far away, public city transportation would have fooled her, as it would take an hour to get there. Plenty of time to get lost in her thoughts. She brought a book to read on the bus but she couldn’t focus.
Why did it seem so simple when she met him? He was sweet, charming, and sexy. He seemed so nervous to talk to her and he also didn’t seem to be much older than her. So she figured he had to be right around her age and just as nervous as her to be at a party.
She didn’t have many girlfriends coming to college so she was fine with making friends with Kale and Caulifla, two of her co-workers at the salon. She wanted to go alone looking for someone to spend the night with and she knew her friends would get in the way. Now looking back she wished she took Trunks and Goten with her to ward off suitors.
He offered her a beer, assuming she was 21 and as if Marron was going to turn down a cute guy getting her a drink. He said he was in the military which naturally propelled the conversation. Marron’s father enlisted in the military before getting his education to become a Marriage and Family Therapist.
She got off the bus and walked to the restaurant. When she got there she wasn’t even sure if she was disappointed to see him waiting out front with some flowers. She could feel her heartbeat in her throat seeing the bouquet and the smile on his face.
This whole date was filled with tension. Marron felt thrown off by his warm approach, even though she knew she shouldn’t. When she woke up in his bed the next morning after their hookup they were both very much sober planning this.
Cabba was quiet for a little bit but he pulled her chair out for her and sat down. “Sorry I am a bit awkward,” He laughed breathily, “Kale and Caulifla tease me relentlessly for being not great with women and just being a bundle of nerves.” He shrugged a little, “You do look beautiful though.”
She brushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “Uh thank you,” She quickly changed the subject, “Have you ever ate here before?”
“No. You mentioned you liked sushi so I thought it might be fun to give this place a try,” Cabba shrugged. Marron internally winced. He just had to be so considerate, didn’t he? “Would you recommend anything? I have never had sushi, to be honest,” he said rubbing the back of his head.
She suggested a few rolls to him and remained quiet as he rambled on through the date. “Were you born here?” She asked abruptly. He blinked at her and she took a deep breath, “You mentioned you are Saiyan. Were you born here?”
“I was lucky enough to be born here. The country has been in shambles for many years. I’ll be honest though I had an odd relationship with my culture.”
“Okay some of my friends are Saiyan as you know,” she said and he set his chopsticks down, breaking from his meal.
“I mean I recognized Trunks and Goten right away. Our community is rather small,” he commented. He cleared his throat and looked at her, “Marron, I didn’t know you were a student, my cousins didn’t tell me,” he said, “I don’t go out all the time or anything. I like you a lot but I also don’t expect anything to come from this date. I realize that this is probably awkward since Trunks and Goten are in my class.”
“Okay good,” she said and she caught a hint of a smile on his face before she finished her statement, “I just don’t think it’s a good idea. For us to date or see each other…”
Cabba blinked and look down at his plate. She felt her heart clench. Did he think she meant something else? He nodded understandingly, “Yes of course. I would still be happy to drop you off it is late.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea…my roommate is in your class.” She said, not looking him in the eyes.
When the waiter came with the check he insisted on paying the bill and leaving the tip. It was the first time that night she realized just how handsome he was without the sting of alcohol clouding her judgment. He held the door open, “I don’t know if you want these?” he offered her the flowers and she shook her head no. He smiled sadly but nodded.
She brushed her hair to the side and he held the door for her. They both came to a tentative stop and he made the first move, “Well I hope you have a safe ride home….I guess this is…” He trailed off and chuckled a little.
“Goodnight Cabba.” She said with a sad smile.
“Yes goodnight,” he responded and headed in the opposite direction of her. She watched him go wondering if it was a mistake. As he was walking away he handed the bouquet to a little girl who had stopped him. Marron’s heart sank.
Some chance encounters with my lovemuffins! Let the angst begin.
Over the past several weeks things were mostly going back to normal for Marron. She had somehow managed to befriend her roommate who had tentatively begun hanging out with her.
Trunks hadn’t given up on trying to impress Violet, which drove Marron a little nuts. Trunks made a funny habit of trying to be something he wasn’t when trying to impress others. Goten had always seemed to accept that quality but Marron was less forgiving.
Back at home, Marron had learned some basic weightlifting from her dad while Trunks and Goten were away. If was one of their father-daughter bonding moments.
Her parents were busy and had ventured into running a group home which kept them busy in much of their ‘free time’. Family hikes and the gym were some of the only places she got her parents to herself.
Marron had finished up getting ready as her thoughts faded the moment Violet came in and said “Gym?”
Marron immediately started changing her outfit, “Oh god yes! This week has been a pain. I mean I know I am just in fashion design but it was hard.”
Violet shook her head, “You don’t need to discredit yourself. The work you do is amazing. Anyone can study for an exam. I sure as hell can’t make an outfit.”
Marron smiled at her roommate, “Thanks, Vi. That means a lot.”
“We already get discredited in our respective fields just for being women we got to support each other. Now. Gym.”
When the girls got there Trunks and Goten were playing basketball in the rec room. Violet grabbed Marron’s arm and dragged her toward the weight room. Marron laughed, “Why don’t you just tell him you're not interested, Vi? Unless you're not sure?”
“Oh, I am sure. But I would rather not get into that. He’s your friend and there is no sense in adding fuel to this fire. Let’s go ahead and do some cardio first.”
The girls got on the stair machine and Marron slide on her headphones, drowning out reality. Once she was getting a good sweat on she noticed a familiar flash of dark hair.
She rolled her eyes and blew out a bunch on air. Of course, he was here. Why was he here though? This was a student gym? Or maybe not. His tank top was practically drenched in sweat so he had been here longer than her.
Cabba lifted his shirt to wipe his face. He was facing a large mirror and in the reflection she could see a very impressive set of abs. She looked away quickly, her blush being concealed by her workout flush.
She thought he was hot but she didn’t get the best look at his body tangled in the sheets of his bed. She looked back over to see him doing some squats. His form was perfect and as she thought about his ‘technique’, her foot caught on the stairs and she dropped to the floor.
Violet quickly got off and took off her headphones, “Mar you okay?” Her voice seemed genuinely worried and Marron covered her face.
“Uh yeah sorry I am fine,” she looked down at her shin to see it littered in scrapes. “This is so embarrassing,” Marron muttered quietly.
Violet helped her up to head to the locker room. Marron caught Cabba looking at her or rather the blood running down her leg with shock. She quickly looked down and her face colored red.
Caulifla wiped down the counters and looked at Kale. "Guess who is in town?"
"Who?" Kale asked, spraying her scissors. "Fucking Shay. You can always tell by how Cabba acts. He like gets out the expensive designer shit he never wears. He tries slicking that bang back. I always tell him he’s got a cowlick. Just work with it.”
Marron flinched when she heard his name. She winced a little her leg stinging from days before. Her heart raced and she went back to cleaning up the dyes.
"I mean.. Give him a break Caul. She was his first love. I mean he always thought she'd come around."
"Well, she's a bitch. Hot. But a bitch.” Caulifla turned over her shoulder, “Hey Mar! Did you meet our cousin Cabba?"
Marron froze and turned around, chewing on her glossy pink lip, "Huh? No…How would I?”
“He was at our party but he’s quiet. Oh well! Let me describe him. Scrawny. Kind of a dork." Caulifla said.
"But it's endearing. He's very smart. Only one of us to go to college," Kale added.
"He's so responsible it disgusts me. He has a savings account Marron. And it has money in it. Who does that?"
"And if we are being objective he's cute. Like not hot. Just a cutie pie." Kale added.
"Well his ex messed up a two-year relationship and now just pops in from time to time. And Cabba just lets her." Caulifla pretended to gag.
Kale shrugged, "She must know her way around the mattress. You know how shy Cabba is. He hardly dates. If she's offering sex I doubt he denies. He's comfortable with her." Marron’s chest clenched.
Caulifla wrinkled her nose, "We need to just make him a match.com account. He deserves a total hottie who is going to worship him. I mean Cabba is such a dork. Sometimes I think he's still a virgin but I know that's not true. Maybe he needs a Saiyan woman. What you think Mar?"
Marron brushed her bangs back, "He seems nice. Well sounds nice. Maybe just let him figure it out on his own but make it known you don't like her.”
Caulifla smiled devilishly, “Well look! Speak of the devil its Cabba. Kale go check him in I am going to harass the shit out of him.” Marron froze and heard her heart pound.
She was trying her best to avoid them, moving her work to the side opposite from where Caulifla usually set up. But Kale and Caulifla took Cabba to the back of the salon. Caulifla punched Cabba’s arm and pointed to Marron, “Yo Cabba this is our baby girl at the salon Marron.”
Cabba’s eyed went wide and he rubbed where she punched, “Oh…” he drawled and regained composure. His stoic expression returned and all character drained from his face.
Caulifla scoffed and shoved him. “Don’t be fucking rude. Shake her hand.” Caulifla scolded.
Cabba flinched at her voice and shook Marron’s hand awkwardly, “It is nice to meet you, Marron.”
She returned the chaste gestured and felt her ears heat up with anger. “Yes. Hello, Cabba. Nice to meet you too,” She said with a fake smile that hopefully past as sincere. Truthfully it shouldn’t bother her, she rejected him after all.
“Sorry Marron he is socially inept and we are trying to fix him. Well, now that we are all acquainted together let's trim this mop of yours.”
Cabba snorted at her, “My mop? Your hair is long not mine.” He had turned his body fully to his cousins as if to block Marron from his view.
“Get your bony ass in the chair before I shave you bald Cabba,” Caulifla threatened and Kale snickered walking off to check in the next client. Cabba muttered something in Saiyan and Caulifla flicked his ear with a comb, eliciting a yip.
“You know what Kale I will take them!” Marron called out, arms crossed over her chest. She rolled her shoulders back and straightened her back. She didn’t want anyone to know she was at all bothered by Cabba’s behavior—including Cabba.
Kale turned back around with a questioning look, “Really? Mar you have done so many today. I mean you could take a break or something.”
“Yah I am sure, spend time with your cousin. I will take them and then go make myself busy elsewhere.” She said dryly, walking off to be anywhere but near Cabba.
She took her client back chewing on her lip with ire. How dare he pretend they had never slept together. He knew she worked here! He was coming into her place of work, not the other way around.
It set her neurons on fire just thinking about how little it all must have meant to him. But she shouldn’t care. It didn’t matter. Cabba didn’t matter.
Her client left happy with their cut by the grace of God since she wanted to put a pair of scissors through a particular awkward man’s skull.
ALL ABOARD THE PAIN TRAIN CHOOOOO CHOOOO
His thoughts swirled around in his head like a maelstrom. Nothing was working out right, except his career. Cabba finally got the courage to say what was on his mind to the only person he trusted with sensitive information. ”Well, what if it's just not in the cards for me?" Cabba asked, sending a punch towards Vegeta's right ear, barely missing.
"You have to be joking Cabba you are hardly thirty years of age. Bulma and I hadn't begun any sort of relationship until I was in my thirties. And our relationship was hardly stable until we were in our forties. Hell, Raditz met his wife when he was forty. You should be bragging that you've been in the military for over a decade and have no divorces." Vegeta threw a punch and pulled back knowing it would land on the younger man. “Most men I know have one by your age. Even Kakarrot has a divorce under his belt. Though he did remarry his woman.”
Cabba sighed leaning back against the ring, “Are we done? Already?”
"Well, your mind is occupied so we can continue later. Trunks won't be in for an hour or so." Vegeta stated and Cabba nodded.
"It's just been difficult…dating. Like I just don't get it. I feel like I am nice and like I am honest with my intentions. And to me that is key. And I tried the whole casual hookup thing. Then I asked her out to dinner. She said yes and once we were out she was not interested." He rubbed the back of his neck, timidly. "Do I ooze desperation?"
Vegeta tore his boxing gloves off and leaned back against the ring across from Cabba. He wiped his bare chest with a towel. Cabba, on the other hand, kept covered in a t-shirt. ”I think you look in the wrong places. I understand you were not born in our mother country but it still may be a culture clash. It took Bulma and I ages to work that out. I am very firm in my ways and so is she.”
Cabba snorted, ”Yes firm. Anyway, but am I Saiyan? I wasn't around the community until I was like a teen. I feel like I am neither a Saiyan or an American.”
"You were raised by your Uncle Renzo until his passing when you were young." Vegeta pointed out.
"True...he made sure I knew the language…he set a good example for me. Told me I needed to take care of Kale and Caulifla.” Uncle Renzo had taken care of him and the girls until he died in combat orphaning the three of them.
"Would you still say many important figures in your life are Saiyan or American?"
Cabba snorted and snickered, “Saiyan, without a doubt."
"You are a Saiyan. Your blood is your blood. Not eloquently put but it is true. Not many people here understand our culture."
Cabba jumped when he felt a lean on the chords of the ring. Raditz was laughing and chimed in, "This is true had two divorces and several failed relationships before I met my woman."
"...you heard all that?" Cabba groaned wiping his forehead.
“Chill I ain’t gonna tease yah forever. Ay, my little girl is marrying a Saiyan boy if I got anything to say about it. Or someone willing to meet her half-way like my queen did for me."
"Lena have any cute younger cousins?" Cabba asked sarcastically. "Anyway, I guess I am just a career guy. I’m having dinner with my ex tonight so there’s that.”
“Why do you submit yourself to such torture. That woman is a heathen,” Vegeta barked and shook his head at Cabba who shrugged casually.
“Better to have something for a night then nothing for a lifetime I guess,” Cabba said with a frown, the air around the men feeling heavy.
“Alright, what’s the tea? That’s what my daughter calls drama now,” Raditz commented and Vegeta rolled his eyes. “Hey someone has gotta know what Ruta and Bulla talk about. And it ain’t you Geets.”
Cabba chuckled, “Well we were engaged and it just didn’t work out. We wanted different things.”
Vegeta snorted, “That’s putting it lightly.”
Marron smiled as she fluffed her hair int he car mirror. Goten’s girlfriend was a total airhead but at least she had some awesome party connections with some of the hottest frats.
Between work and school, she had no time for a commitment to a sorority but Valese was a model with an undeclared major so she had all the time in the world. Goten seemed excited to meet some of Valese’s friends. Trunks, on the other hand, had zero interest until Marron convinced Violet to come.
The house was booming with music and flashing lights. Trunks practically tailed Violet the entire time, but shockingly her roommate chatted with him for a little bit. Marron walked off once the pairs drunken banter turned to airplanes and jets, something she had no interest in. Though she thought it would be cute if an aspiring female pilot fell for a future aeronautical engineer. Violet seemed to have reservations about men in general, but Trunks wouldn’t hurt her. Marron was sure of it.
Marron was having fun dancing with someone when he spoke over her shoulder and she had to turn to him. “What? I am sorry I didn’t hear you,” she smiled pointing to her ears.
He laughed and grabbed her hand, dragging her outside to chat. She felt her heartbeat quicken and smiled at him, running her fingers through her hair.
“I was just wondering. The girls you came with. The brunette and purple-haired girl. That their boyfriends?” he asked, biting his lip as he eyed Violet talking to Trunks. Her roommate seemed pretty into the conversation, giggling and smiling at Trunks who was very animated in some explanation.
“Oh well, Valese the brunette is dating Goten. They are a thing. Violet is single but I don’t know for how long she seems pretty engulfed in her convo with Trunks,” she tucked her hair behind her ears. “But I am single though.”
The guy turned back to her and offer a half-smile, “Ah yeah that’s cool. I mean like I had fun dancing. Better get over there before the purple-haired girl is taken though. Thanks…uh…what’s your name?” he asked, crushing his heel into every fiber of her being with one dismissive statement.
“It’s Marron…” she said quietly.
“Ah yah! Thanks, Marron! I’m Jake by the way.” She nodded and he trailed off toward the couch Trunks and Violet sat on. She blinked and slowly made her way to the bathroom to dry her eyes.
Marron knelt on the floor, pincushion sitting next to her as she attempted to continue to hem the gown. Trunks was as nosy as ever these days looking at the outfits she had hanging.
“I thought you disliked Valese as much as myself?” he finally asked, inspecting the pieces she had sewn together.
Marron exhaled and continued pinning, “I don’t adore her. But she is Goten’s girlfriend and it’s not like she asked me to design a grown, just hem it. Honestly, I am just glad Chichi taught me when I was a kid.”
“Yah well this formal is gonna blow anyway.” Trunks bit and Violet rolled her eyes. Despite her headphones being firming pressed in place, she had overheard Trunks. Marron cringed at her friend. She had warned him that Violet did not seem interested and now he was paying the price. He had asked Violet to their winter ROTC formal and her answer was an awkward and tentative no.
“She’s not even going,” Marron whisper-yelled at Trunks.
He shrugged dramatically, his feelings still clearly hurt from the other girl’s rejection, “She could’ve.”
“There is probably more to it than that,” Marron said and Violet slammed her book shut. Trunks flinched a little and Marron watched her roommate stuff her book in a bag and run out the door. She didn't miss the tears welling up in her roommate's eyes and sighed.
“But like what else could it seriously be Mar? Come on. She just... I don’t even know. Whatever. She wants to miss out on the fun? Her loss.”
Marron blew out air at him and continued her work adding a few embroidered pieces Valese requested. She heard hangers clank and one scraped against the metal, coming to a halt.
“What’s this for???” Trunks asked, holding up the gown.
“It was one of my big assignments. The theme of this was a fairytale and this piece is called ‘Fit like a Daydream’. It’s nice.” She admired the gown which was a bright pink sequined gown. There was a modest slit up the left side of the gown. It had draped sleeves and a sweetheart neckline.
“You should wear it.”
“To this stupid formal. With me. I already bought two tickets like an idiot. We can hang out with Goten like the old days.”
Marron blinked, “I mean are you sure? Like I wanna wear it but not bad enough to cause drama.”
“Why does it matter,” he said defensively, “She rejected me.”
“I guess…and it’s just friends like always,” she giggled a little and Trunks crinkled his nose. She teasingly scoffed and tossed a shoe at him.
Marron should’ve known better but she didn’t want to let down Trunks by saying no to a formal she agreed to on a whim.
"Woah," Trunks said looking at the woman on Cabba’s arm. Marron turned and Trunks grabbed her arm to pull her in. "Maybe you shouldn't look there."
"Why?" She huffed and turned to see something that made her chest ache.
Based off Kale and Caulifla's conversation that must be Shay. She had beautiful brown hair, every highlight perfectly placed. Her eyes were sky blue. She had a perfect model figure and height. Also, she had a perfectly balanced face and slim nose.
"Well uhhhh." Trunks tugged on her arm toward a table. She dragged her feet and followed. "You look great Mar."
She was resting her chin in her hands, "Uh-huh."
"Mar if you like him why would you tell him you aren't interested?" he said with irritation.
"Because it's super weird. Like we are all intertwined or something."
"I mean our families kinda are. And friends. It's all weird."
"Well, maybe I am sick of weird or abnormal. It gets exhausting always being the oddball. Like my parents are both so happy in their mutual weirdness but what if normal is just fine. What if for once I want something that is going to make me just like any other woman my age."
Trunks shrugged, "We don't get to choose all the things that make us stick out or make us...us. Like our culture, our looks, even who we love..."
"You know just because you are my date doesn't mean you can't dance with someone else." Trunks said suggestively.
"I'm fine Trunks. But the same goes for you."
"I would but she's not even here."
Marron sighed. "Why does it suck so much? Having feelings for someone?"
"Think of it this way at least he wants you back. I keep getting sucked in deeper with Violet and I am pushing her further away."
Marron rolled her eyes, "because Trunks you try too hard. You aren't yourself around her. Just be a dork and talk about online gaming or your weird indie music. Be yourself. Because Violet thinks your a flossy douche bag. And I know you and you're a sweet guy. She would like you for you, not your trust fund."
He nodded and looked down at her. "Thanks, Mar, dance?"
"I thought you don't dance."
"No wrong. I can't dance. I am awful. I did not get my father's gift. But time to be myself I guess. And I am not letting my best friend go without dancing." He put out his hand and she smiled.
Trunks put his hands high up on her waist and turned awkwardly with her. Goten was spinning his girlfriend around the dance floor and Valese looked in awe.
Goten gave the pair a thumbs up and Trunks flipped him off. He turned back to Marron. "Thanks for coming with me. I was feeling pretty bummed about the whole being turned down thing." Trunks said awkwardly. "But you are right I try too hard with her. And I would've ruined the night.”
Marron and Trunks ended up chatting with the lovebirds for a bit and Marron was trying to enjoy the atmosphere. A manicured hand tapped shoulder and she turned around to look up Shay. All Marron could process is how much more beautiful Shay looked up close.
“Hey sweetie sorry to interrupt. Who designed this dress?” Shay asked.
Marron brushed her hair to the side. She knew that stare, the one that always landed in the center of her face. “I did. I am in the fashion design program here.”
The other woman’s eyes went wide, “You designed this? Oh wow! It’s gorgeous. I need a gala dress and something like this is a stunner. Cabba!” she called out waving him over.
He was engulfed in a conversation with another officer and currently had a mouth full of food, making his cheeks puff out. He looked around side to side and awkwardly made his way over to the group. He drug his feet and took a deep breath as if his internal monologue was a pep talk.
Shay waved him over quickly and put a hand on his shoulder, “Cabba, this dress is amazing. I would look amazing in something like this.”
“It is,” he nodded awkwardly and rubbed the back of his neck.
Shay giggled and smacked him on the chest, playfully. Familiarly, Like Shay had known Cabba his whole life. Marron noted their interactions and suddenly felt small. “Sorry, he has always been a little awkward. We met back when he was stationed in my hometown and I swear he didn’t talk to me until he was at least three beers in.”
Cabba interrupted and his tone was laced in irritation, “Shay. Trunks and Goten are my students.”
Shay rolled her eyes and giggled, “See what I mean?” Cabba chewed on his bottom lip in frustration but bit his tongue.
Marron saw Cabba filling his plate by himself and decide to seize this opportunity. She threw her shoulders back and walked right up to the table, scooping some fruit onto a plate.
Cabba looked over quickly and back down. It made her blood boil and it was enough to push her over the edge, “Why do you act like you don’t know me?” She tried her best to bit her tongue and seem unbothered but her attempt was futile.
She could see him blink in her peripheral vision and his eyebrows practically knit into a knot.
“I’m sorry?” he offered, the confusion in his voice evident. “I guess I was trying to make you comfortable?”
“How is pretending you don’t know someone comfortable,” she hissed.
Cabba turned to her a little, but she didn’t return the gesture. She stared forward at the wall trying to maintain composure.
“You didn’t want anyone to know. I thought I was doing you a favor,” his voice was soft. He paused and ultimately finished stacking his plate with some cookies and heading back to his table.
Trunks and Goten were working on a project with Violet in class for their final. She had been clearly avoiding Trunks since rejecting his invitation to the formal and been unsuccessful.
“Well I had a fun time,” Trunks said and side-eyed Violet. He noticed Cabba turn to their group and roll his eyes, “Marron was the best dance partner so I am pretty glad I went with her. She’s great,” he said raising his voice.
“Shhhh…Trunks come on,” Goten pled and nodded to Violet.
Trunks smirked at his friend, “Awww come on Ten it’s all in good fun. You didn’t come home so I know you had a good time.” Goten colored red and looked around for anyone listening.
“Well I am glad you two enjoyed yourselves,” Violet said quietly.
“You could’ve come.” Trunks shot back.
Violet slammed her pencil down and looked at him, “No I couldn’t. I couldn’t afford it. It was either go to the formal or visit my family during winter break. My dad is sick and I want to see him.”
Trunks eyes widened and he looked at Goten who shrugged, “Well I could've loaned you some money or something.”
“It not like I could pay it back,” she pointed out.
Before Trunks could respond Cabba cleared his throat standing in front of the group, “Trunks must you insist upon discussing your personal matters in class? I know Cadet Yung is going through something but your final project is due next week make this time count.”
Cabba nodded when Goten and Violet apologized and began looking at their work. Trunks growled and bit, “Must you insist upon dating younger women.”
Cabba straightened his back and narrowed his eyes down at Trunks who matched his glare. The class went silent and turned to watch the pair who were in a staredown. “Cadet Briefs-Ouji you will see me in my office before our next class. Now you may leave my classroom because I do not tolerate this kind of disrespect.”
“Gladly,” Trunks offered him a fake, mocking smile and packed up his bag.
“Trunks chill…” Goten murmured.
Trunks took a breath, “I am absolutely fine Ten. You guys just text me any updates.”
Trunks blew out a bunch of air, pacing in front of Cabba's office. He waved Trunks in and shut the door behind them. "Cadet Briefs-Ouji take a seat," Cabba stated and set his work down. Once both of them sat Cabba took a breath, "I think you should know from me that I will not be recommending you for leadership this summer."
"Excuse." Trunks said wide-eyed. "Is this because of Marron? Because I took her to the dance? Because that's immature and messed up!"
Cabba put his hand up, "It has nothing to do with Marron though I do not appreciate you bring her up in class, even though you did not name her. I doubt she would appreciate it considering everything." He pointed out.
Trunks sighed and rubbed his head. He knew he crossed a line saying that and though he cared not for Cabba's sake...Marron had been particularly fragile lately. "Probably not. But I don't get it. Why me?" He crossed his arms defiantly.
"Because I recommended you on my behalf and I can no longer put my neck out for you. Because you are smart and a prior-enlisted member. You are no doubt one of the most talented cadets I have met. But you are full of yourself. You continue to try and pester Cadet Yung and I can't put my name to that especially having a personal connection to your father."
And there it was. Vegeta, the actual reason Trunks never took a liking to Cabba. Trunks looked down at his hands, "Did you tell my dad?" he asked quietly.
Cabba snorted a little and shook his head, "I can't. I have no legal right or obligation to discuss any of your concerns with Vegeta. Though I think he would be disappointed."
"Probably. Especially since I'm not you," he said quietly.
Cabba looked up from his papers, "Is that why you choose to challenge me on everything you possibly can? Because of your father?" He snorted in laughter, "You do realize I get no special treatment with Vegeta right? When I told him I was going into the military he cursed me for going enlisted like him. And he beat me up in the ring. Anytime I make a mistake Vegeta sets me straight. Having a father figure come into your life at 16 isn't what it's cracked up to be."
Trunks snorted, "He's just..."
"Hard to read?"
"Well, then you better work on cleaning up your act. As you put it 'Captain Savoy is an uptight dick' and I don't go easy on people. But I know very much so what it's like to try hard to fit in."
"So you did hear that." Trunks rubbed the back of his neck.
"Of course I did. I mean you said it the first day of class and I was looking to establish a presence. And it's fine. I mean truthfully I am pretty uptight. That I have in common with your father. But I spent many years in the service trying to fit in. When I came to college I had no clue how to act. And I share that with you."
"It's not what I thought it be," Trunks commented.
"Never is. You ever get a formal letter of reprimand?" Cabba asked.
"Think of this conversation as serious as you would that."
Trunks nodded and got up, "Uh Captain Savoy. I shouldn't have brought up Marron."
Cabba looked up and nodded curtly, "No, you shouldn't have." Trunks responded with a nod and walked out.
Later that week Marron and Violet were trying to go out to the grocery store and her car wouldn’t start. It was an old car and neither the two of them had a clue what was wrong. ”Trunks could help. He is great with cars. I could call him,” Marron offered.
Vi rolled her eyes, "It can't get worse right?"
“Your friendship with him or the car?” Marron asked.
Violet threw her arms in the air and exhaled, “Why not both?”
Trunks came out in a ratted up shirt and pajama bottoms. He rubbed his eyes as Violet stuck the keys in his hands. He yawned and turned to the car to inspect it. After a few minutes, he looked at the girls, "I can fix it but I'm gonna need to get my toolbox."
When he finished he was covered in dirt and grease. Violet smiled, "It actually works."
"She gave me a run for my money but she runs," Trunks said proudly, tapping the hood of the car.
"What do I owe you?"
He shrugged, "nothing. I had fun doing it.”
She scoffed, but smiled a little, “Seriously?”
“Seriously. Anyway, you ladies have fun today. I gotta catch up on all the work I have neglected over the last few days!” he snickered and Violet smiled.
As soon as his office door shut she pressed a hot kiss to his lips. He was still in his uniform from teaching his previous course and at first, he responded well to the kiss letting her lead.
He pulled her hips closer to his and she felt her body bubble up with anticipation and excitement. Then he began to slow down and gently took her hands and moved them away from his chest. “You're crying,” he stated matter-of-factly.
"I’m fine,” she shook her head and he held her gently at a distance. He searched her eyes for answers and she broke down forcing out, “Do you not want me too?”
“Marron who has told you that.”
She sniffled and tried to lean in, “What do you mean who? You are. Right now Cabba.” She knew this was selfish. Wrong. But she was conflicted following this formal. As soon as Caulifla uttered at work that Shay was gone for good she felt her heart flutter. Like her mind was made up.
“Marron you said too…” He shook his head in disbelief but quickly shoved that aside when he saw how tearful and broken up she was. “I’ll get yah a coffee from the break room and we can chat.” He started to head for the door and she grabbed his wrist.
“Hold on,” she said quietly and dug in her purse producing a makeup wipe, “I got lipstick on your face.” She carefully wiped away at the berry smears she left on his face. There was something about this moment that was intimate. She was inches from his face, wiping away any evidence of the kiss from his lips. She imagined a slight lean he had into her touch. As her thumb glided over his bottom lip she took a step back.
He awkwardly, with that delicate Cabba charm, excused himself and offered her to make herself comfortable.
His office had hardly anything in it at all and it made her wonder just what kind of man Cabba was. There were only two personal photos. One with both his cousins. The second was at a diner she recognized Trunks and Goten bringing her to when they were teens. The man in that photo was Papa Nappa owner of Oozaru’s a Saiyan restaurant. The only one in the city.
She realized she truly knew nothing about Cabba and she hardly gave him a chance. He had no pictures of a family. It looked nothing like how she would plaster an office in photos.
She knew nothing of this guy who she ran into the arms of at the first opportunity. But she knew how his body felt against herself and could recall how his lips moved over hers. How he was slow and careful, but frenzied and passionate at the same time. How his skin was warm, hot against hers. She hardly knew Cabba outside of his bed, but he was the first person she thought to come to in a mess of tears. Not Trunks. Not Goten. Not even her now best friend and roommate. Just Cabba. Before she had time to mull this over more he came back with two coffees in hand, some sugar packets, and creamer.
“I wasn’t sure how you like yours fixed so I just brought a bit of everything.”
“Thank you.” she slid half of the sugar and cream to him.
“I am okay thank you," he waved gently.
She snorted, “Black coffee?”
He laughed a little and she found her heart flutter watching the lines in his face deepened when he smiled. “Well, I am military. When I was deployed back in my enlisted days there weren’t many options. You get used to it.”
Silence fell between the pair. That was the most he had ever shared, though it was also the most she allowed before shutting him down like on their first date which was also their last.
Cabba seemed comfortable with silence and she saw him begin to unwind. Trunks and Goten claimed he was wound tight but now she would never know. There was no tension in his face and his muscles were relaxed.
Her eyes returned to the scarce photographs on his desk. “Did you work at Oozaru’s?”
Cabba’s brow wrinkled, “You know Nappa?” he asked pointing down at the photo, “He’s great, gave me a job early on. It was nice because I was just a little punk who didn’t have two pennies to rub together.”
“You? A punk?” she snorted in laughter.
He half-smiled but shrugged, “I grew up in foster care but when I got older no one wanted an older kid around so I ended up in a group home. I kinda was a target. I mean it’s not like I was the biggest kid in my group home.” He rolled his eyes, “Anyway, Nappa caught my cousins and I swindling some guys in the alley. His dumb drunk customers yah know. He said that he could call the cops or we could take his job offer. It was an easy choice.”
She giggled and wiped at her eyes, “Hard to imagine the same guy who let me into his office bawling like a baby as a little street punk.”
He shrugged and sipped from his mug, “Nobody is two-dimensional we are all multi-faceted. Granted I am not the most…open person…” he trailed off but looked at her again, “anyway what’s bothering you?”
Marron frowned and looked at her hands folded in her lap, “It’s really stupid. It’s a pathetic problem.”
“Um. Marron, I listened to people all day complain about civilians when they are civilians themselves. ROTC is a vast sea of complaints.” He reassured and she smiled.
“So there’s this guy and…sorry if this is weird because of us,” she gestured between them and he just nodded.
“It’s okay. I mean I would prefer you don’t kiss me. Kind of sends a mixed message,” his tone was teasing, which should’ve put her at ease but on the fringes of her heart was something else. Something she preferred not to identify for the time.
“It’s just. I am looked at like I am not attractive.” She chewed on her full bottom lip and started again with a shaky breath, “Because I am short and I look the way I do. I overheard someone who, I thought I had affection for, say they would never see me that way.” She ended her statement and dabbed a tissue under her eyes.
He almost looked angry but not directed at her, “Marron you are beautiful and if someone doesn’t see it they are a fool. I get that now this seems like no one will ever have those feelings for you, but it’s just not true. I get it. Stuff sticks with you. Caulifla called me chicken legs all through our childhood. Still does actually. Now that I think about it," he said thoughtfully, "Anyway, the reality is I am never gonna be beefy and burly.”
Marron rolled her eyes and cut him off, “But you look fine. I mean you are conventionally hot. I’m not.”
He returned her eye roll which shocked her, “And what does that even look like? Some stupid image you have been told to believe your entire life? Nobody looks like the models Marron. Not even the models. All that stuff is fake and photoshopped.”
“Did you major in psych or something?” She teased and wiped her under eyes with a tissue.
“Close. Sociology.” He smiled once he noticed she had pulled herself together a little more.
“I am so sorry,” she said quietly.
“Don’t be. I mean if you need support I’m here. You know where I live.” He said and then cringed, “I swear I didn’t mean it like that.”
She laughed, “It’s fine. I know what you meant.” They both got quiet and she finished her coffee, “It’s getting late. I guess I need to go and get ready for work.” She tucked her hair behind her ear and looked up at him.
“Yah just let me know if you need anything,” he trailed off awkwardly and she nodded. They were both stuck in this uncomfortable trance. She made the first move waving as she walked out the door.
She rested her back on his office door and sighed. She wanted to reach for the doorknob, but for what? Marron smiled but walked down the hall passing dozens of uniforms, looking at none of the men in them.
Marron rolled out of bed her hair in complete disarray, she walked down the stairs shocked to see her mom and dad sitting at the table for breakfast. They were usually so busy with work that even on the weekends they were glued to their laptops by now.
“Hey sweetheart, how are you doing?” Krillin asked, setting his phone down.
Marron rubbed her eyes and kissed her dad’s temple then sat down at the table. “I’m sorry I missed you, last night daddy.”
“Oh, it’s okay. I had a late night at the office, group home staff drama. But I want to know about your finals week and everything honey.”
Marron brushed her hair back, “Well I got straight A’s so that makes me happy. My roommate is with family right now but will be back early. We are finally friends so that’s cool.”
“Any boys?” Lazuli smirked setting a plate down, “What about that guy you mentioned from class.”
“Um. No. He’s canceled. And a jerk. I met a guy that I kinda like…” she trailed off.
“Oh no. Why did you stop? Is he your ex?” Krillin asked and raised a brow.
“No. He’s just a bit older and like he’s super sweet and in the military—“
“Marron honey how old is he?” Krillin whined and gave his daughter a knowing look.
Lazuli slammed a muffin plate down in front of them, rattling her husband. “Oh, Krillin don’t start that nonsense. You are a bit older than me babe. We have no room to talk.” Krillin sputtered and Marron giggled, clearly entertained by her parents. “Anyway is he a boyfriend?”
Marron’s smiled fell and she took a deep breath, “No…”
"Well, you better snag him." Lazuli teased and poured some coffee.
Krillin glared at his wife and turned his attention back to his daughter, "Counterpoint. Don't chase a man. If he is a real man he will chase you."
Marron rolled her eyes, "Daddy it's 2019. Why would I wait for likely a lowlife to chase me when there's an awesome guy right there."
"Why do you have to make sense..." Krillin muttered and bit into his muffin. "I do wanna meet whatever guy you start dating Marron. You're my princess."
"Sorry, Krillin we raised a proud feminist. She doesn't need our approval," Lazuli snickered at her husband who was clearly unamused. She kissed his head and placed his coffee in front of him.
"But I do want your input on the next guy I date," Marron said and Krillin smiled at her.
The tension in the room had built between the trio. Caulifla and Kale were sitting close together on the other side of the couch. Cabba side-eyed them as Kale laid her head on Caulifla's shoulder.
Caulifla chewed her lip in irritation and turned to look at him. “You are going out with us,” Caulifla demanded.
Cabba sighed, he was currently laying upside down on the couch eating a handful of popcorn. “Fine sure.” The last thing he wanted to do was go out. The holiday season had to be his absolute least favorite. Growing up Cabba never had a family to spend it with.
In his late teen years, Vegeta would visit him at his group home, but all the other kids were on overnight visits while he spent his holidays alone. The only people he had spent any holidays with were Kale and Caulifla. This year Nappa was pleading with Cabba to join him and his family.
But Cabba hated feeling like a bother. He had already spent every other holiday break the past several years with Nappa. He jerked his head to the side as Kale's voice pulled him from his spiral of thoughts.
“What has you all depressed now?” Kale asked and set her magazine down looking at him.
Cabba shrugged, “Nothing. Just class is out and it’s weird. And it’s the holiday season. I don’t have an estranged bio family like you two. Like Kale, you got your half-brother Broly and his wife. Caulifla has Gine.”
“Well she’s like my great aunt and she didn’t even know she had a sister. Besides Cabba it doesn’t matter that we aren’t blood! You and Kale are the only family I have had since we were kids. Besides, we always got Nappa. And don’t fucking make me get sentimental.” She said sniffling and crossing her arms.
“Oh yeah!? Then when were you guys going to tell me you guys have been dating for months? Huh?” Cabba burst out and continued stuffing his face with a variety of candy and snacks.
Kale looked down at her hands in her lap and Caulifla wiped at her eyes. It wasn’t the reaction Cabba expected from her and it got to him. “Did you guys think that the military changed me so much that I would judge? That I wouldn’t see you two as a family? Because it sucks finding out from other people.”
“We didn’t want to ruin our dynamic,” Kale said quietly, “And well…you’ve been sad and I don’t think we ever thought it become romantic between Caulifla and I…”
“That’s not why I didn’t…I was scared that if you knew you would think your not welcome with us anymore and it’s just not true Cabba. I’ve liked Kale for a long time. We grew up calling each other sister so it’s quite the development. You dumb jerk making me cry.” Caulifla bit.
Cabba chuckled, “Ha and I am the emotional one. I mean I am happy for you guys…Just don’t leave me out like this. It’s not like you guys are actually kissing cousins,” he teased and Caulifla punched his arm. “I guess I can just live through you two. I am forever single.”
“About that! We wanna set you up with a cutie,” Kale commented.
“Yah so you can stop being pathetic and pinning over some girl and turning to that airhead of an ex.”
“A man has needs Caul,” he stated and she smacked the back of his head causing him to yip in pain. Cabba sat up on the couch glaring down at her and she smirked.
“You are hardly the ‘not get invested’ type. So you can shut up with that bullshit,” Caulifla barked.
Kale giggled at the two and shook her head, “See nothing will change.”
AND plot twist! Kale, Caulifla, and Cabba are NOT related to each other. They are just really close growing up together!
He looked down at the scale and shrugged clearly disappointed by the result. Vegeta nodded and jotted down the numbers, “Two pounds. Good job.”
“Uh-huh. How many months has it been since my last weigh-in Vegeta?” Cabba asked dryly.
Vegeta sighed, “Two months. Is it the progress we were hoping for? No. Not at all. Just it is difficult for you to put on muscle mass. And you especially struggle to hold on to your muscle gains so two pounds is good.”
“Maybe I should just not do this whole bodybuilding competition. It’s not like I am going to be taken seriously.” Cabba said and tugged his hoodie on over his bare chest.
Vegeta sneered at him and crossed his arms over his chest, “Sure if you wanna be a little bitch and quit.”
Cabba let the words hit him and furrowed his brow. He looked at Vegeta with a mixture of anger and hurt, “Excuse me?”
“You heard me. If you want to quit and go back on your word be a little bitch. But you weren’t raised that way.” Vegeta said and turned to walk away.
Cabba’s shoulders slumped, but his words were ready for war, “Listen I don’t fucking need this from you or anyone right now! The holidays suck for me. I wasn’t raised by anyone but myself thank you very much! I had to raise myself and ohhhh…” Cabba drawled as he calmed down and Vegeta turned around to smirk at him.
“Yes, you forged your own moral code. So the choice is yours.” Vegeta snickered and smacked him on the back. His face flattened and he said, “Besides you know I will visit you. We go to Nappa’s restaurant every year and I will be damned if that changes.”
Cabba snorted and rubbed his face with a smile, “Thanks Vegeta.”
Marron was panicking a little as she got ready for this night out. First of all, Caulifla somehow has convinced her to go to a club. Second, Caulifla mentioned that Cabba would be there.
As Marron carefully placed curls in her hair she considered how to handle this. She had been reflecting all break on how she felt about Cabba and she had run into him a handful of times. He was always so sweet, but at this point, she had to consider that maybe he would no longer be interested in her.
And that was her problem. She knew Cabba had been seeing his ex and it still made her chest cave in when she thought about how stunning his ex was. Going home for a few weeks always changed her attitude. Her parents were very supportive and encouraging.
When she finished getting ready she took an Uber to the location nervous to try to get in a club. "Mar!" Caulifla called out with a smile, holding Kale's hand. Marron thought it was odd but best not to ask at this point. There was an additional woman Marron had never met and she began to get a bit nervous. Cabba gave her a small wave as the girls hugged Marron.
"Oh and this is my sister-in-law Cheelai," Kale explained. "It's a long story but I got a half-brother."
"Yah sorry he didn't come for your girls' first big night as a couple. He had a list of reasons but crowds are still really hard for him. But he has a surprise waiting inside since your dads own the place." Cheelai explained casually and Marron felt like her head was going to explode following all these dynamics, but followed them inside.
Once Caulifla and Kale had a few more shots they started to get more touchy and Marron tried not to react. Cabba tapped her shoulder to whisper in her ear, "None of us are actually cousins."
Marron looked at him with relief and giggled, "Okay that makes sense. I wasn't sure how to react."
"Yah no we just were all kinda raised together so we ran with it growing up. The girls both have some family here," he said with a small smile. But Marron caught the implication, he didn't have a family.
As the table emptied it left Cabba and Marron by themselves so they moved to the bar so Cabba could get a beer. They were both quiet and the silence in a booming club was disorienting.
“This is fun,” Marron commented sitting next to Cabba.
“It really is! I feel absolutely invisible right now,” he smiled and she tilted her head to the side. “We are at a Lesbian bar so no one is looking at me but like it’s not because of me. It’s because I am a man,” he explained.
Marron shook her head, “I don’t get that.”
Cabba shrugged, “What’s not to get? I am not the type women look for. Every girl wants a super huge burly muscular guy. Here at least it isn’t because of that. It is because I’m a man.”
Marron looked at him in utter disbelief. “You really think that? That you women aren't interested in you? Are you that dense?” she asked and he looked back her with confusion. She hadn’t drank at all and Cabba had only had a beer so she took a deep breath and summoned her shattered courage. “Let me just show you how I feel about you,” she said and before he could get a word in she kissed him.
Her lips moved over his and it somehow felt different and familiar all at once. Like she had never kissed this man before. The first time was filled with bubbled anxiety and excitement. The second time she kissed him her touch was laced with sadness.
This was like neither of the two previous kisses. She could only describe is as comfort. Like cozying up to a fireplace wearing heavy socks. Like how a cookie sheet straight from the oven or drinking hot chocolate.
He hadn’t expected it, which was clear. But once he read her lips, as if her feelings were inscribed on them, he warmed into the kiss. She pulled away, eyes half-lidded and he pressed his forehead to hers, a gentle smile painting his face in the florescent glow.
“Me too,” he said and she giggled, pressing another kiss to his lips.
“Uh…can I get you two anything?” the bartender interrupted.
“Holy shit no do not interrupt this!” Caulifla yelled to the bartender and smacked Cabba on the back, “Leave it to the one straight guy here to find love in a lesbian bar.”
Cabba flushed and gave Caulifla a playful shove. Marron smiled at him and played with the ends of her hair.