Part 18: The Girls' Outing

        Bra looked at her watch again.  She'd been waiting for at least five minutes outside Marron's door. "Are you ready yet?" she demanded.
        "Yep!  Be right there!" Marron tied a knot on each ponytail with a red ribbon.  She looked at herself in the mirror and chuckled slightly.  She looked about the same as she had when she was four years old, except the ponytails were lower, she was taller, and she had a nose.  She pulled her hat on and stepped out of her room excitedly.
        "Oh, geez." Bra sighed.
        "Look at you!"
        "Wha?" Marron looked down. "What's wrong?"
        "I have the strangest feeling I'm going out with Alice in Wonderland, except this Alice has two ponytails and wears a hat.  And I'm the white," Bra paused, "that is, red rabbit."
        "Oh, c'mon!  Don't tell me you're criticizing my clothes!"
        "I'm not!" Bra looked at her in amusement. "It's just that you're twenty four, but you're dressed like…like…"
        Marron frowned.
        "Okay, you're cute.  In a little-girl kind of way."
        "Very funny!" Marron glared at her. "Do we have everything we need?"
        "Uh, Marron-chan, sweet-cake, we're just going shopping."
        "Right." Marron stared at Bra for a while. "Don't
ever call me that again."
        "Whatever you say…sugar," Bra agreed.
        "Bra…" Marron warned.
        "Yes, my…apple pie?" Bra burst out.
        "BRA!" Marron stomped her foot.
Bra giggled and ran away just before Marron could get her.  Laughing and teasing all the way down, they seemed like little kids but people who saw them thought them more like sisters.

        "So, what time did Pan say she would come?" Marron asked, wiping away sweat from her forehead with a
        "I dunno!  I thought we'd have lunch together, but now it's practically noon and she's still not here!"
Bra told her.
        "Atsuiiii," Marron whined, uncomfortable because of the heat. "But it looks like it might rain," she added
hopefully. "I hope it does!"
        "Yeah," Bra agreed. "This is really funny weather.  I mean, last night was so chilly, but now the heat is
killing me…I'm gonna get that weatherman!" And she waved her fist threateningly.
        Marron laughed.
        So they sat, waiting, outside the mall.  It would be easier to spot Pan from the outside.  After all, Pan
always was the lazy bum who forgot things easily.  Or, at the very least, was late.  Controlling all her strength must have used up lots of Pan's brain cells.
        "I just bet she forgot," Bra muttered.  The look on Marron's face showed the older girl was in complete
agreement.  Bra forced herself to lighten up. "Well, she just must be busy…that's all."

        After a few more minutes, Pan finally showed up.  She was running as fast as she could, huffing and puffing
like she was going to blow the house down.  She wanted to fly, but couldn't.  She just waved when she saw
them. "Bra-chan!  Marron-chan!" she called.
        "Look, here she comes!" Marron pointed.
        "Hi…" Pan puffed. "Sorry I'm late!  I forgot all about it until Obaasan reminded me…"
        Bra looked at Marron. "Called it," she said.
        "Who couldn't call it?" Marron replied. "Well, since we're all here, let's go inside, shall we?"
        "Right!  Let's go!" Pan agreed happily and walked in first.  Bra grabbed Marron's arm, keeping her from
        "Marron," she whispered, "about what happened this morning…please, please, PLEASE don't mention it in
front of her, okay?"
        "Don't worry, Bra," Marron whispered back. "I won't."
        "I knew I could trust you."
        Marron smiled. "Come on, I'm STARVING." She held Bra closer and they walked in.  Pan stood there, waiting for them.  The three surveyed the mall, wondering what to attack first.  Their first stop was lunch at Danddy's.
        "Ahh! Oishiiiiiii!" Pan cheered when the pizzas arrived.
        "Ugh, what are those?" Bra asked.
        "Mushrooms, Bra," Marron clarified. "Go ahead, eat them.  Mushrooms are our friends.  Consider Pan here…"
        Pan frowned, then smiled. "Ittadakimasu!" She raised her fork and knife, ready to dig in. "C'mon guys!  Eat, eat, eat!  We still have a lot to do today!"
        "Pan, you're a girl, not a slob," Bra reminded her.
        "Not a slob and you're a snob," Pan chanted.
        Pan stuck her tongue out. "See, you're acting like one right now!"
        "You better take that back or else…"
        "Or else WHAT?"
        Marron's eyes widened.
        Pan's jaw dropped. "I DO NOT!"
        "YES YOU DO!"
        "Why, you…!" Pan was about to throttle her, but Bra stood up and avoided her friend. "Nyah, nyah, you can't catch me!" she taunted, sticking her tongue out.
        "Ooh…I'm gonna GET YOU!"
        "Ahhhhhhhh!" Bra screamed. 
        Marron giggled as she watched the two girls chase each other like little kids, running inside and outside of the restaurant, causing havoc and not caring.  They were laughing and yelling at each other.  Happy as always.  Marron was touched.  She never had such fun when she was a teenager.  She wished she could run around with them.  Maybe that was why she hung around with people younger than her, except for Trunks and Goten.  Because those two crazy girls were like the sisters she never had.
        Then an unbidden thought crossed her mind.
        Would they still be like this if Pan knew her best friend was in love with her uncle?
        Marron sighed lightly.  She couldn't tell.


"High Tension" by TM Revolution