Part 20: Two New Hearts 

        "Tadaima!" Bra announced their arrival as they stepped in the house.  The place was quiet as usual. "Come on in, Marron," she invited. 
        "This is funny," Marron commented as she stepped in. "Your house is so big, but empty!  All you have are 
robots and stuff!" 
        Bra giggled. "I know…sometimes I wish I had a bigger family." 
        "Yeah…" Marron sighed. "A FAMILY." 
        "Come on, let's go up to my room and put away all the stuff I bought!" She dragged Marron up to her room.  

        "Hi, Marron!" Bulma greeted her when she saw the two. She was on her way to the kitchen to prepare dinner 
for her husband, who was busy training in the gravity room. "What have you been doing all day?" 
"Oh, hi, Bulma-obachan." Marron bowed politely. "Bra and I just got back from shopping at the mall…" 
        "With Pan, too," Bra added. "And now we're really exhausted, Okasan…" 
        "I know you are." Bulma smiled at her daughter. 
        "Hey, I have an idea!" Bra exclaimed. "Okasan, can Marron stay for dinner?" 
        Marron looked startled. 
        "Well, of course she can if she wants.  It's always nice to have another girl in the house." Bulma laughed. "Marron-chan, have dinner here, okay?" 
        Marron looked at Bra, then back at Bulma.  She couldn't possibly decline this special offer.  At least, she felt it was special.  She's had dinner with them before and it was always fun, so why not now?  She smiled at him. "Sure…why not…thanks!" 
        "YATTA!" Bra cheered. "This is great!" Even Bulma seemed happy. 
        "Good.  Now scat, girls.  I have to make tons of food for that so-called Prince of mine." 
        The girls giggled. "Okay, Okasan, we'll be in my room if you need anything," Bra told her. "Come on, let's go!" Bra pulled Marron by the arm towards her room.  She didn't notice that Marron seemed to be getting nervous. 
        At dinner, they all had to wait for the food to be finished and for Trunks. "I'm gonna help your mom," Marron said suddenly, hurrying towards the kitchen.  She wasn't that comfortable sitting in there alone with Bra and Vegeta.  Despite everything, he still intimidated her a lot. 
        "Hi, Bulma-obachan." 
        "Marron, what are you doing in here?" 
        "Just seeing if there's anything I can help you with." She noticed some dirty dishes in the sink. "Can I do the dishes for you?" 
        "Oh, no, no, no, honey.  Really.  It's okay, I'll get one of the robots to do that," Bulma said, but Marron already had her sleeves rolled up and was heading for the sink. 
        "It's not a problem.  I always washed the dishes for my mom at home," Marron said.  She turned on the water and started washing. 
        "You're a good child, Marron." Bulma smiled at her, making her blush a little. "And now I've got someone to talk to." The two stood side by side, Bulma drying the washed plates. "How old are you again?" 
        "Twenty-four, Obachan, why?" 
        "Not married yet?" 
        Marron laughed. "Of course not!  I'm not ready yet!  Obachan, don't ask such funny questions!" 
        Bulma laughed, too. "You're going to make a wonderful wife, though, someday." 
        A plate slipped from Marron's hand into the water. "Oh, gomen nasai…" 
        "It's okay, Marron, it didn't break or anything." 
        Marron was about to respond when they heard the door slam. 
        "Oh, Trunks is home," Bulma said. 
        "You can tell by how the door shuts?" 
        Bulma winked. "Stick around long enough and you'll be able to, too.  You can go wait in the dining room now, 
dinner will be served in about two minutes." And she pushed Marron out of the kitchen. 
        Marron unfolded her sleeves and tidied her dress.  It was a little wet after washing dishes, but she couldn't do anything about that.  She saw Trunks sitting next to Bra…and that made him opposite her! 
        His eyes widened when he saw her. "Marron-chan, what are you doing here?" 
        "Well, my beloved brother, she's staying for dinner!" 
Bra answered for her.  Marron giggled and sat down, avoiding Trunks' eyes.  She had relaxed, but was now beginning to feel nervous again. 

        "This food tastes terrible," Vegeta complained. "The chicken is cooked and there's no blood left at all." 
        "Well, what do you know about cooking anyway?" Bulma narrowed her eyes. "You've never even held a frying 
pan for Kami's sake!" 
        Vegeta snorted and kept eating, keeping silent.  He knew he wouldn't get to go anywhere after dinner if 
she opened her laser mouth and started blasting.  Marron giggled as she watched this, but she wasn't very comfortable eating it with you-know-who in front of her.  Bra noticed it, but she didn't say anything. 
        "So, did you girls have a good time?" Trunks asked Bra, trying to open up a conversation. 
        "Oh, you bet!" Bra answered. "You gotta hear what happened at the Haunted House!" she added.  
        Marron choked on her food and had to quickly drink some water. 
        "What happened?" Bulma asked. 
        Marron gave Bra eye signals NOT to say anything, but Bra was enjoying the colors Marron's face was turning. 
"Well," she started, "we bumped into this guy who we thought was a ghost at first but was actually the security guard there.  And…" She looked at Marron. 
        Marron was hiding her face under her hand, but that couldn't hide that she was blushing furiously.  She wouldn't look up at anyone. 
        "And Marron fainted in there!" 
        Bulma and Bra began laughing.  Vegeta didn't care and just shoveled more food in his mouth.  Trunks looked 
at Marron in wonder. "You…fainted?" he repeated, chuckling. 
        "It was scary, okay?" She gave Bra an evil look. 
        "So, Marron-chan, I heard you moved here?" Bulma asked, changing the subject. 
        "Yes…did you hear it from Bra?" 
        "Actually, your mom and I talked on the phone this morning.  Aren't you a little lonely all by yourself?" 
        "No…well, sometimes.  But I'll get used to it, and it's kind of nice." She looked down at her food again. 
        "Okasan, can Marron sleep over tonight?" Marron looked at Bra again, startled. 
        "Well, honey, it's fine with me, but maybe you should ask Marron first, neh?" 
        "Marron, can you sleep over tonight?  Please?" 
        "W-well, Bra, I…" 
        "Please please please please please please…pleeeeeeease," Bra whined. 
        Marron thought awhile.  Then she smiled. "Well…I do get kinda bored on my own… so…sure.  One night should be fun." 
        "YAY!" Bra jumped from her chair. "This is so cool!  Don't worry, Marron, I'll get you some pajamas from the guest wardrobe and we're gonna have so much fun!  Just you and me having girl-to-girl talk!" she said excitedly.  Marron was quite surprised at how exuberant Bra was. 
        "Bra, table manners please…" Bulma reminded her. 
        Marron didn't feel nervous anymore.  For some reason, she really liked it that this family was treating her 
like one of their own.  Then she noticed Trunks was looking at her and his lips were slowly forming into a smile.  Something told her that HE was happy about it, too.  And he was.  She smiled back at him. 

        "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU TOLD THEM!" Marron threw a pillow at Bra later that evening. 
        "Oh, c'mon." Bra laughed. "It's not THAT bad." 
        Marron groaned. "Not that bad?  You're not serious!"  
        Bra laughed again and made her bed.  They were getting ready to sleep, staring at the ceiling while listening to some ballads by Le Couple.  Bra dimmed the lamp and yawned. "Ya know, Marron, I've always wanted a big sister, and instead I got a big jerk of a brother." 
        Marron laughed. "Well, I've always wanted a sibling, I didn't care if it was older or younger or a brother or a sister."  She looked at Bra. "Too bad we're not really related, huh?" 
        "We could be." Bra's eyes closed but she was still talking. 
        "What do you mean?" Marron asked. 
        She yawned again. "Oh, you know, sisters-in-law…" Bra smiled. 
        Marron's face grew redder at that statement.  She reached for another pillow to hit Bra with, but the younger girl was already asleep.  Marron watched Bra sleep for a few moments, then smiled.  Bra was smiling in her sleep.  Marron honestly wanted to help her with her problem…but she knew it wouldn't be easy.  Still, Bra had trusted her, and she had to help. 
        "I would be your sister-in-law," she said aloud. "If only I could…" She sighed, leaned back, and closed her 
eyes.  Soon she was fast asleep. 
        Trunks had been walking by Bra's bedroom when he heard Marron talking.  His hands were in his pockets 
and he was looking at the floor.  He looked up and slowly smiled, walking towards his own room, chuckling 
to himself. 
        He heard everything. 

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"Hidamari no Uta" by Le Couple