Subconscious Strange Sensation
Unconscious relaxation
What a pleasant nightmare
And I can't wait to get there again


Everytime I close my eyes
There's another vivid surprise
Another whole life waiting
Chapters unfinished, fading


Something's awfully familier
The feeling's so hard to shake
Could I have lived in that world
It's a link I'm destined to make


I'm still searching but I don't know what for
The missing key to unlock my mind's door


Today I am searching for it
A feeling that won't go away
Today I'm searching for
The one that I only know
Trying to break free


I just can't help myself
I'm feeling like I'm going out of my head
Tears my soul in two
I'm not the one I always thought I knew


I just can't help myself
I'm feeling like I'm going out of my head
Uncanny, Strange Déja Vu
But I don't mind - I hope to find the truth


-Dream Theater - Strange Déja Vu

______________________________________

Sweet Charade

Prologue - Revelation

Goten sat on his bed, heavily muscled arms stretched back supporting his head, thinking. The bed was far too small now. The bed of his childhood, and his long legs flopped over the end clumsily. He didn't mind though. He wasn't here to be comfortable, he was here to go back, to think.

Lately, life had been less then simple for Son Goten. He'd just recently broken up with his long-time girlfriend of four years, Parisu. And strangely, he didn't really care. She'd never been too important to him, so when she'd told him it was over, he'd simply shrugged a casual cheery "Ok." And they had parted ways in a friendly manner. Parisu's reasons for breaking up were what had got him thinking, and what were keeping him thinking here in his old room.

Two years ago, Goten had graduated with Trunks from Orange Star University, and had a job at Capsule Corps where Trunks was president. Goten's job was a travelling representative for his best friend, and he couldn't have been happier. His mother couldn't be happier either, she frequently gushed about how well both her boys had turned out, making such respectable and finacially sound lives for themselves.

Parisu hadn't been bothered by Goten's frequent travels. Actually, she'd said she thought it more romantic to have him back for only a limited time. It apparently made the time they spent together more special.

Soft footfalls padded down the hallway outside Goten's room. His saiyan ears picked them up easily, and the ki he felt varified who was outside, and who was pausing and turning the doorknob.

A pair of dark youthful eyes peered in, framed by soft black hair. The eyes glanced at him and opened the door more fully and Pan walked in silently.

"Uncle Goten?"

Goten turned to her more fully. "Yeah Pan?"

She sat down on the bed. Pan was sixteen this year, and excelling in school, not by choice. Her number one love was fighting though. She sparred everyday with almost everyone. And she was growing up to be quite pretty.

"I heard you were back. But you wern't at Capsule, in your wing. Why are you here? Grandma and Grandpa arn't here you know."

"I know."

"Then?"

"I'm just thinking Pan."

"Anything I can help you with?"

Goten faltered a bit and sat up clumsily, crossing his legs on the bed to give Pan more room. "I don't know. Probably not. It's complicated."

Pan smiled softly. "Is it about Parisu?" She prodded.

Goten nodded. "Kind of."

"Do you miss her?"

Goten was taken aback, and sat, thinking for a few minutes. "No. Not really."

Pan frowned. "What is it then Uncle Goten? What's bothering you so much?"

Goten sighed. "It kind of has to do with the whole break up with Parisu thing. I mean, I've been thinking alot since then."

"About what?"

"Stuff."

"Uncle Goten, just tell me. It's obvious you've got to get this off your chest, and who's better to spill it to then me? I mean, I won't tell anyone if you don't want me too." Pan said, hugging her knees loosly and glancing at Goten with a concerned look.

Goten sighed. "Ok. If you won't tell anyone. Not even Bra ok?"

"I promise, I promise! Now, come on!"

"Well," Goten said, scratching the back of his head lightly with one callused hand. "I guess it started when me and Parisu broke up. I don't know, I really didn't care. She said that she needed someone who would give her attention, affection, like a hug or two. I guess she felt like I was treating her like a pretty ornament. I kind of was I think." Goten paused and looked at Pan again.

"Is that all uncle Goten?"

"No, I'm just getting to the real problem now. I - I, promise you won't run away ok?"

Pan chuckled. "The only way I would run away was if you told me right now you were into incest."

Goten chuckled. "Thankfully, no."

"I think Parisu was on to something." He continued with what appeared to be much difficulty. Goten was wringing his hands anxiously while Pan leaned forward a bit in anticipation. "I didn't really want to hug her or anything. She was an ornement. And I started thinking why. I mean, was Parisu just not what I was looking for in a girl? Wasn't she pretty enough? Was she a bit too slow? Was there some girl out there I'd prefer better?" Goten sighed. "I asked myself all that stuff again and again but, the answer was no everytime. I liked Parisu, but I like cheese on toast too."

Pan giggled a bit, but the tension still hung heavily in the air.

"I - I think it's because I didn't want a girlfriend."

"So, your just not the commitment type. That's fine Uncle Goten."

Goten grimaced and felt a strange feeling rising in his chest. Here it was, he was about to voice his real fears, his real apprehension. "No, It's not about commitment-"

"What then Uncle Goten? Why so secretive?"

"I don't want a girlfriend because, I - I think I'd prefer a, a boyfriend."

Pan blinked. Then blinked again. Goten looked at her earnesly, awaiting her reaction.

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