ncfwhitetigress (ncfwhitetigress) wrote in dbz_couples,

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An Empire Reborn, Chapter 3

Chapter 1:
Chapter 2, Part 1:
Chapter 2, Part 2:

Title: An Empire Reborn
Author: ncfwhitetigress
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Violence. Yaoi, sex, language, etc. in later chapters will up the rating.
Summary: Vegeta's left Earth with new plans for the future and someone has gone missing. Goku has been sent to find that someone.

Chapter 3: Chi Chi with Child

“Now don’t you worry about that beast, Bulma. My Goku’s taking care of him for sure. I promise your baby will be just fine. You’ll see, sweetie. A few more hours and he’ll be back in your arms. You just wait.” Chi Chi told her blue-haired friend in a soothing tone while offering her a warm cup of green tea, which Bulma politely refused.

“No thanks, Chi Chi.” Replied a tearful Bulma, plucking another tissue out of the box on her lap.

Gohan sat in the corner trying to write a biology paper, only to find that he was inevitably distracted by Bulma’s sniveling. “Hey, Mom, can I go to the school library to study?” He inquired hopefully.

“Can’t you wait until after dinner, Gohan? It’s almost ready, dear.” Chi Chi took a sip from her teacup and let the warm liquid slide down her throat.

“When is Dad getting back? He’s been gone for hours.” Gohan moaned, getting edgy. He put down his pen, repeatedly finding his attempts to focus futile.

“I honestly have no idea, honey. I certainly hope he gets back soon, though.” Chi Chi replied, getting up to do some household chores.

“I wish we could’ve sent him earlier.” Bulma sighed, recalling that they’d been unable to find the Son family when they had needed them two weeks previous. As things turned out, they had been on Thanksgiving break visiting Chi Chi’s extended family.

“Oh, dear, I’m sorry we didn’t leave a phone number or any contact info when we were on vacation, Bulma. I’m the one who should’ve thought of that. If only I’d been thinking.” Chi Chi sighed, feeling a tinge of guilt.

Bulma sighed too, sneaking a quick glance at Chi Chi’s swollen belly and trying not to let her green-eyed monster loose.

“So do you know what you’re going to name him?” Bulma asked in a pleasant tone of voice, referring to Chi Chi’s unborn child.

Before Chi Chi could answer, her attention was diverted by a loud knock on the door.

“I wonder who that could be.” Thought Bulma out loud.

Chi Chi shrugged and got up. Then she casually sauntered over to the door, unlocked it, and pulled it open, gasping at the sight befallen her.

“Goku!” Chi Chi exhaled in surprise as he collapsed at her feet, unable to hold himself upright any longer.

“GOKU’S HERE?!!” Bulma hollered with excitement, scrambling up from the couch and sprinting over to them at top speed. “Goku! GOKU!! Where’s my baby?!! Where’s Trunks?! Tell me, Goku!!!” She cried frantically, falling to her knees at Goku’s side.

“I…I couldn’t…” Goku rasped, his face white as a ghost’s. It had been an hour or two since the fight had ended and Goku had been dawdling in the woods nearby and trying to decide how to let Bulma down gently. In doing so, he had lost a lot of blood when he should’ve been seeking medical treatment and the condition he was now in was not impressive, to say the least.

“You couldn’t what?” Bulma inquired.

Goku fainted before he could give his friend the reply she wanted.

“You couldn’t what?!!!” She cried again with more agitation in her voice, all while shaking him.

“Oh, no! What did that horrible monster do to my poor, sweet Goku?!” Chi Chi whimpered, pushing Bulma away and cradling her husband in her arms.

“Do we have any senzu beans?” Bulma asked instinctively, wanting to bring Goku back to his senses as soon as possible so she could interrogate him as to the whereabouts of her missing newborn.

“I believe they’re out of season.” Recalled Chi Chi. “We’ll have to use the regen tank at Capsule Corp.”

Bulma mentally cursed, knowing the regeneration tank would take much longer than a senzu bean, and she wanted the answers to her questions immediately. Her patience was running short.

Gohan dashed over to where his parents and Bulma were with a worried look on his face. “Oh, no! Is my Daddy ok?!” He kneeled down beside his mother and father, then looked around and added, “And where’s the baby? I thought you said Dad was coming back with Bulma’s baby, Mom.”

That pushed Bulma over the edge and she started to weep again like she had earlier. She hid her face in sorrow.

“Gohan, pick your father up and bring him to the car. We’re going to Capsule Corp.” Chi Chi instructed. Bulma stood up and tried to gather herself.

Gohan promptly obeyed and placed his father carefully in the back seat of Bulma’s car.

“Vegeta didn’t do this, did he? I’ll kill ‘im!!” Gohan swore with a raised fist.

“Well I can only imagine what state Vegeta must be in. Looks like they had a pretty nasty fight.” Bulma muttered, sniffling.

“I don’t care if Vegeta got beat up too. I’m still going to kill him! He hurt my Daddy.” Gohan replied defensively. “And he stole your baby.” He added, “Why would you have any sympathy for that jerk?”

“I don’t know.” Bulma sighed. “I thought I loved him…” she said, letting the thought hang. She entered the driver’s side and shut the door behind her.

“Are you sure you should drive, Bulma dear? Since you’re upset right now…” Asked Chi Chi.

Bulma quickly wiped her eyes. “I’m ok, Chi Chi, I am. I can make it to Capsule Corp. Come on, get in and let’s get going.” Bulma unlocked all the doors and Chi Chi got in next to Bulma and laid her purse next to her thighs. Gohan got in the back seat and cradled his father’s head in his lap.

The trip to Capsule Corp was quick considering how far above the speed limit Bulma was going. Chi Chi kept telling her to slow down and drive carefully because they had an injured man in the back seat, but Bulma still kept speeding up whenever the other woman’s attention wandered, egged on by the need to hear the news Goku had to report on the baby front.

Once they arrived, Gohan, with Goku in his arms, and Chi Chi followed Bulma to the proper section of Capsule Corp—the area where the regeneration tank was located. Bulma put it on the proper settings and soon Goku was suspended in a warm healing fluid.

Bulma, Chi Chi, and Gohan then waited in the living room for the healing process to finish, watching TV and trying to get their minds off of things.

Bulma’s mother, Mrs. Briefs, strolled in and offered everyone some hot chocolate, as it was beginning to get chilly outside. Winter was on the way. Everyone refused the offer except Gohan, who was apparently getting the munchies.

“Hey, Mom, I’m hungry.” Gohan spoke up, trying not to whine. He sipped from his mug of hot cocoa.

Bulma gasped and turned to Gohan’s mother, who was knitting in the corner. “Chi Chi, you didn’t leave dinner to burn, did you?”

“No, sweetie,” replied Chi Chi calmly without turning her attention from her needlework. “I turned off the stove. I’ve always been careful with things like that.” She was working on a scarf for a Christmas gift.

“Hey, Mom!” Bulma called to her mother in the kitchen.

“Yes, sweetums?” Chirped Mrs. Briefs, banging around a few pots and pans.

“Gohan’s hungry. Do we have anything?” She asked without looking up from her magazine.

“Why, yes, I believe we do, princess. Gohan honey, what would you like?”

“Do you have anything with beef?” Gohan inquired, looking very interested.

“I can make you a few hamburgers.” Offered the kind blond woman.

“Yummy!” Replied Gohan happily, his mouth watering.

“Anything for you, ladies?” Mrs. Briefs addressed her daughter and the other woman in the room. Chi Chi shook her head casually and continued her knitting.

“No thanks, Mom. I can’t even begin to think about food at a time like this.” Replied Bulma.

“Poor dear. Can’t I get you anything?” Her mother suggested.

“Maybe an Advil might help. I’m starting to get a headache.” Bulma said, rubbing her temples.

“Absolutely! Just a moment, schnookums.” The blond woman turned on a heel, strolled into the kitchen, and started perusing the medicine cabinet.

Chi Chi sighed. “How much longer will this take? I’m worried about my Goku. He’s been in that tank for an hour already.”

“It almost always takes a few hours at least, Chi Chi. Better than a month-long hospital stay, though.” Replied Bulma.

Gohan chimed in, “It sure is. I can tell you that from personal experience.” He recalled his days in the hospital following the battle with Vegeta and Nappa. Hospitals certainly frightened him. Although they bothered his father even more than they did Gohan—a fact of which most of the Z squad was well aware.

Dr. Briefs suddenly entered the living room with briefcase in hand, back from a long day working in the lab. “Has my grandson returned yet?” He inquired aloud.

Bulma broke down and started to sob her heart out again. Her mother ran over to her side and put her hands on her shoulders, giving her a soothing back rub.

“Oh, dear,” she muttered to her husband under her breath. “It’s probably not a good idea to mention little Trunksy-poo around Bulma for awhile.”

“Oops.” Replied Dr. Briefs with an embarrassed smile, putting a hand behind his head.

“My baby…” Bulma squeaked, with her two fists clenched and streams of tears leaking down her face. She pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged them, burying her face in them while continuing to sob.

“Oh, angel bunny cupcake puppy pie!” her mother whispered soothingly, rubbing her back, “I’m sure Vegeta dear didn’t mean any harm. He didn’t mean any harm, buttercup.”

“I miss my baby, Mommy. I want him back in my tummy.” Bulma squeaked, laying down onto her side on the couch and putting a hand to her stomach, remembering the final days of her pregnancy.

“Mommy knows, honeybuns. Mommy knows.” Her mother replied, giving her a quick hug before returning to the kitchen to make Gohan’s dinner.

King Crystalis stood before the regeneration tank in the hospital ward patting his full abdomen. This section of the palace was close to the training grounds where guards were often injured and in need of treatment during training practices. Crystalis loosened his nighttime robe around the middle for greater comfort.

“How is he?” Inquired the King, keeping an eye on the dormant Saiyan royal before him suspended in the healing fluid.

The doctor on duty checked the monitors, seeing all his vital signs were normal. “His Majesty Prince Vegeta needs a few more hours, my Lord, but he’ll be just fine.”

“I suppose we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what happened today.” Muttered the King to his escort, the elegant Queen Bijou.

His mate was a lovely woman by all Pellucian standards. She had long dark purple hair, bejeweled with various sparkling hair accessories, light violet skin, a fine figure, deep cerulean orbs, and long lashes. She was also an excellent co-ruler, beloved by the people, without whom the King would never be able to rule even half the planet. “That was some powerful warrior who showed up today. We’re lucky Prince Vegeta was able to take care of himself. I’m glad we didn’t underestimate him simply because he lost his people and planet.”

The King chuckled at his mate’s comment. “Some peasants assume that once a ruler has lost his kingdom, he turns a commoner. A very loutish notion, don’t you think, dearest?”

“Loutish, indeed.” Answered the Queen, “Blue blood never turns common. Nobility is one’s birthright.”

“Agreed.” Replied the King.

After a brief moment of contemplation, Bijou let out a sigh. “Let us thank the gods for the death of the tyrant Frieza. It’s a wonder our own kingdom managed to survive his reign.”

“We probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Prince Vegeta’s father. We owe that man a bundle. I feel as if he sacrificed his own for ours.” Added the King.

“Rumors say he was a degenerate and a true ally of Frieza.” Said the Queen, recalling some of the things she’d heard.

“Never believe rumors.” The King urged, “The Saiyans were a noble warrior race, and they lived by their vows to protect their allies. King Vegeta only befriended Frieza to protect his empire and ours from that maniac, although the effort turned out to be misguided and futile. He did what he thought best for his people. I knew him personally and he was not a bad man by any means. Furthermore, he convinced Frieza to leave our planet alone. I almost feel as if he took the blade for us.”

“We lost a great ally when Planet Vegeta was destroyed. Fortunately the Prince was kept alive. I can’t even begin to imagine the horrors he must’ve lived through under Frieza. I can’t help but look at him with admiration each time I see him.” Lamented the Queen, trying not to ponder too much on Vegeta’s past. “Hopefully we’ll get in a word with him tomorrow about today’s earlier events.”

“I pray my curiosity will not overly disturb my sleep.” Said the King, thinking out loud.

“Mine likely will.” Bijou’s eyes sparkled in the beam of half-light from the hall.

“Let’s to our chambers now.” Chimed the King with a yawn, “It’s getting rather late.” The two left to turn in for the night, accompanied by two guards and two servants.

A few hours passed and it was soon getting late. Chi Chi started to yawn and rub her eyes and Gohan fell asleep on the couch, face buried in a comic book. As for Bulma, she went to the lab and started pacing in front of the regen tank, unable to get all the anxiety out of her head. She side glanced at the clock. It was 2 in the morning and Goku only needed another hour. Bulma could tell she was getting uppity for the answers to her questions.

“Come on, Goku,” she muttered under her breath, urging the regen tank to hurry up.

The time seemed to pass so slowly, but finally an hour later the buzzer went off and got Bulma’s attention while she was dozing. Goku appeared to be asleep as the tank started to drain. In reality, he was only half asleep and in complete dread of facing Bulma and the others. He thought maybe he could pretend to be exhausted and they might let him rest. Then again, Bulma probably wouldn’t if she were determined enough.

Bulma ran to get Chi Chi and Gohan, who jumped up despite their sleepiness and followed her to the lab, where the tank was already half-drained. Once finished, it began to open automatically.

“Goku honey?” Chi Chi murmured, being the first to speak. “Are you okay, dear?”

Goku was groggy. He rubbed his eyes and started to get out of the tank, with his wife’s assistance. “I think I’m okay, Chi Chi.”

“Goku, what happened?” Asked Bulma, now utterly desperate for information.

“Well,” breathed Goku, reluctant to talk on the subject.

“Where’s my baby?” Squeaked Bulma. She was almost afraid to hear the truth.

“And where’s Vegeta?” Added Chi Chi, snarling as she said the royal Saiyan’s name.

“Can I change clothes first? I feel really soggy.” Pleaded Goku, “Then I’ll answer your questions. I promise.”

“Here,” Bulma handed him some fresh clothes and he went into the nearby bathroom to change.

He came out in a pair of blue jeans and an orange polo shirt, hands in his pockets. “Alright, guys, you can probably guess that I don’t have good news.” He finally chimed, causing Bulma to gulp audibly.

“You might want to sit down, Bulma.” Chi Chi suggested, putting a hand on her shoulder.

Suddenly Bulma burst into tears again and ran over to Goku, taking hold of his collar and shaking him frantically, “WHERE IS HE?!! WHERE’S MY BABY, GOKU?!! TELL ME!!!!! OH GOD, TELL ME WHERE HE IS BEFORE I HAVE A HEART ATTACK!!!!! PLEASE GOKU!!!!!!”

“I don’t know where your baby is!” Goku admitted, trying to pry her hands from his shirt collar as he felt himself being strangled. “Vegeta wouldn’t tell me.”

Gohan and Chi Chi tried to restrain Bulma, who was on the edge of going psycho.

“Bulma sweetie, please calm down.” Chi Chi pled in a calm voice, trying to pacify her blue-haired friend.

“Dad, tell us more. What happened?” Gohan asserted, eyes on his father, ready to listen.

Goku sat down and gestured for the others to do the same, which they did. “I almost feel like we should have the whole Z team together so I can tell them all what happened at once.” Said Goku, in truth just trying to stall so he wouldn’t have to talk.

“We’re having a barbecue tomorrow and you can tell everyone then. But you’ve got to tell us three now.” Bulma charged.

“Okay, well I did indeed find Vegeta with my instant transmission abilities. He’s on a planet named Planet Pellucid.”

“Never heard of it.” She muttered.

“I didn’t know where I was until Vegeta told me.” Replied Goku. “So Vegeta is on Planet Pellucid,” he continued, “basically living like royalty. Well…correction—he IS considered royalty there.” Goku told them.

“Royalty my ASS!” Chi Chi shouted with indignation, waving a fist in the air, “There’s no way that heartless murderer deserves such a title!”

Goku put up a hand to quiet Chi Chi, “I mean it, Chi, he has servants and guards and royal garb and everything. When I used instant transmission to find him I ended up in the middle of some king’s throne room, which was kind of embarrassing to be honest. All the guards were looking at me like I was the menace. It really freaked me out.”

“Weird…” was Gohan’s comment.

“Don’t tell me you couldn’t handle those guards, Goku!” Chi Chi scolded.

“The guards weren’t a problem. Vegeta took me away from the palace so we could settle our conflict. I mean, I expected him to be willing to fight me himself, but I didn’t expect him to go Super Saiyan!” Goku stressed the last two words, thinking back to the striking encounter.

“SUPER SAIYAN?!!!!!!!” Shrieked Chi Chi, Bulma, and Gohan all in unison, eyes wide and jaws dropped just like they’d seen a ghost.

“Yeah, I was shocked too.” He conceded.

“But Dad! I thought you had to be pure of heart to turn Super Saiyan.” Gohan protested.

“I guess not,” was Goku’s blunt reply.

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Spoke Chi Chi in skepticism. “How could he turn just Super Saiyan? The thought of that…that MONSTER with so much power is sickening and frightening.” She shuttered at the mental images.

“He’s not really a monster, Chi Chi.” Goku attested, sticking to his belief that there was some good in everyone.

“Goku’s right, Chi Chi, he’s just a big jerk.” Bulma agreed. “And by the time I get done with him, he’s going to be pork roast! Goku, where exactly is this ‘Planet Pellucid’?” Bulma asked, turning to her childhood friend.

“You’re not thinking about going there, are you, Bulma?” Goku inquired with more than a tinge of perceptible apprehension.

“You’re darn right I’m thinking about going there! That’s probably where that muscled dork took my baby.”

“Don’t even try it, Bulma! You’ll get crushed.” Goku countered.

“What do you mean?” Bulma cocked an eyebrow.

“I could tell the gravity there was at least five times earth’s gravity. You’d have to do a lot of training to even be able to survive the descent in a space craft.” Goku warned.

“Damn it!” Bulma deplored, stomping her foot on the ground.

“Even if you did manage to go to Planet Pellucid you’d never get past the royal guards at the palace gate. Apparently there is a law there saying that biological fathers own all their children. Women have no right to their kids. So you can’t even try to sue the guy for child custody in their court system. They’d just laugh at you!” Goku insisted.

“That’s fucked up!” Bulma shouted, bewailing the injustice of it all.

“How could they have such a terrible law?” Said Chi Chi, looking cross.

“It’s called patriarchy, Chi Chi,” Bulma replied angrily, beginning to pace again. “Gosh, now what am I going to do?” She wondered aloud to herself.

“Taking poor little children away from their loving mothers? How utterly awful!” Thought Chi Chi aloud, holding onto Gohan protectively. Gohan was visibly annoyed.

“That’s what I told Vegeta. That it was wrong. He wasn’t convinced, to say the least. Furthermore, he started lecturing me about being ‘hypocritical’ and ‘self-righteous.’” Goku complained.

“Self-righteous indeed!” Bellowed Chi Chi with an urge to have the one and only Prince of the Saiyan race before her right then so she could violently throttle him.

“That’s not self-righteous!” Bulma demanded. “All it is is not-so-common common sense. Not-so-common for Vegeta, anyways.” She spat, folding her arms over her chest and leaning on the wall behind her.

“Well what are we going to do now?” Asked Chi Chi.

“What happened after Vegeta went Super Saiyan, Goku?”

“We fought, is what happened.” Replied Goku.


“For hours and hours.”

“Yes, go on.” Bulma encouraged, looking anxious.

Goku put his hand behind his head in the typical Goku fashion, feeling rather fidgety and uncomfortable. “Yeah, hey…look you guys, I admit I’m a little reluctant to tell you all about how Vegeta licked me.”

All their mouths dropped into frowns at that statement.

“Heh heh…” Goku laughed nervously in response to their reactions. “You see,” he continued, “for a while we were in a stalemate, until we got into another argument and Vegeta threw an attack that put me out of commission. He could’ve killed me, but he let me live. And I don’t even know why. Guess he doesn’t hate me as much as I thought he did.”

“Well you have to go back!!” Demanded Bulma.

“That wouldn’t do any good.” Goku replied, visibly downbeat, “He’d probably just defeat me again. I forgot to mention his tail grew back, and he didn’t even use it in the battle. What’s if me going back there pisses him off and he decides to use it to finish me off? I’m of no use to you guys when I’m dead, now am I?”

Chi Chi sat and thought for a moment, then made a rather obvious statement. “This is a problem.” She sighed.

“You think?” Bulma shot at her pregnant friend with a tinge of sarcasm.

“No need to be rude, Bulma.” Replied Chi Chi. “I was just thinking out loud.”

“No need to tell ME how to be, Chi Chi,” Bulma spat, “especially considering you don’t have a kidnapped child to mourn over.” Bulma stared accusingly at Chi Chi’s pregnant belly, finally letting her jealousy show.

“Hey, now, Bulma! It’s not Chi Chi’s fault what happened. She’s just trying to think of a solution.” Goku spoke, defending his wife.

“Well I’ve got a solution for you, Goku. Let’s send the entire Z squad!” Bulma declared, both fists in the air, looking to have the same level of determination needed to lead an army into battle.

“No, that’ll only piss Vegeta off. Vegeta said if I don’t leave him alone, he won’t just destroy me, but he’ll come back here and destroy earth too. He promised to leave this planet alone as long as I don’t bother him.”

“FUCK earth!” Shouted Bulma, unrelenting, “I want my baby back NOW!”

“One baby isn’t worth the entire planet, Bulma.” Gohan sighed.

“Well, guys, I don’t know what to say,” said Goku, scratching the back of his head.

“I doubt there’s anything we can do then, huh, Dad?” Gohan lamented, eyes lowered.

“I’m sure sorry, Bulma.” Goku said, trying to offer consolation to his friend.

Bulma’s face went ghostly pale. “Y…You’re not…g-g-giving up on m-me…are you, G-Goku?” Her eyes filled to the brim with tears and she gazed at Goku with those big, sad, puppy-dog orbs.

Goku shrugged sadly, causing Bulma to once again burst into tears, which led to her literally throwing a screaming, crying, hissy fit.

This led to Chi Chi seizing Goku by the ear and literally dragging him into the next room while whining about having his ear pulled. He was in for a serious discussion.

“You, Son Goku, will not enter my house, communicate with my child…” Chi Chi felt a kick in her lower abdomen, “err…children,” she corrected herself, “nor eat my food until poor little Trunks is in his crib safe and sound and Bulma is back to her good old self. Do you understand me?” She instructed, staring him down and looking very cross indeed. It always made Goku feel small when she would glare at him like that.

Goku managed to gently pry his wife off his ear before replying. “But, Chi, what can I do?” He stepped back and scrunched up against the wall as her displeased gaze bore down on him.

“How is it that you spend up to TWELVE HOURS A DAY training and yet you are unable to defeat that little hell-bound ass-troll who attempted to invade earth not more than a few years ago?” She was bearing her teeth at this point.

“I don’t spend twelve hours a day every day, Chi Chi. And Vegeta trains even more than me these days, since you won’t let me train as much as I would otherwise. How can you expect me to keep up with him?” Goku squeaked helplessly.

Chi Chi stood there regarding him with her brows furrowed, arms crossed, and her foot tapping at a timely pace on the floor.

“What?” Asked Goku nervously, putting a hand behind his head and starting to feel very uncomfortable with her angry gaze fixed on him like that.

She remained staring at him, still quite overtly galled, for a few creepy moments. Then she turned to go, but once she got to the door, she stopped and looked back. “Tomorrow the ENTIRE crew is getting together at Bulma’s for a barbecue. I’d like to see you tell them the same thing you just told us without putting forth a plan to set things right.” She spat.

Goku swallowed audibly and attempted a nervous smile, which was not well received, so he dropped it. Chi Chi then turned and paced back into the lab.

Goku’s shoulders slumped. ‘Man…’ he thought, ‘Why’s everyone acting like this is my fault? How’d I get caught up in this whole mess in the first place? Why is it my job to set other people’s problems right?’ He sighed inwardly and then followed her back into the lab, head down.

“Come on, Gohan. We’re going home now.” Chi Chi picked up her purse with her needlework in it and headed for the exit.

When Goku attempted to follow, Chi Chi stopped dead in her tracks, causing both father and son to stop awkwardly too and look at each other, confused.

“Goku,” Chi Chi spoke without turning around and facing him.

“Yeah, Chi?” Goku answered, unsure of what was going on.

“What did I just say?” She practically hissed.

Goku started to get scared. “You said I have to come up with a plan to fix things before tomorrow’s get-together.” He reiterated.

“And what else did I say? I said before Trunks is back in his crib safe and sound, what three things will not be happening?” She stated very directly, still not turning around.

“Uh…” Goku looked at the back of her head confused.

After an awkward silence while waiting for an answer (an answer which never came, mind you), Chi Chi abruptly turned and strolled right up into Goku’s face so that their noses were hardly a fraction of an inch apart. “ONE: You will not enter my house. TWO: You will not communicate with my children.” She counted each one off on the fingers of her left hand.

“Hey!” Whined Gohan, not liking what he was hearing.

Chi Chi ignored him and continued, “THREE: You will not eat my food.” Then she paused. “Any questions?”

“Yeah, how am I supposed to come up with a plan if I have nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat? My brain needs fuel and rest to function, you know.” Goku shot back, stifling a tone of anger.

“Yeah,” added Gohan, “and until Dad’s back in the house, you can forget about me studying.” Gohan stubbornly grabbed a hold of his father’s hand. “You can’t kick my Daddy out of his own house.”

“Gohan, this is between me and your father.” Chi Chi scolded.

Gohan kept a determined look on his face and a good hold on his father.

After another long pause, Chi Chi finally relented. “Alright, you can come home, Goku. But you WILL be sleeping on the couch until further notice. Mark my words!” She locked eyes with him for an extended moment, and then turned to leave.

“I think I can handle that.” Goku replied, heaving a silent sigh of relief that the hostility was over.
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