~Three Layer Wedding Cake~

"The bookshelf should be in the living room. Nothing is more important to décor than an expression of intelligence."

"No way, you loud mouthed woman! My painting is going there, not some stupid, ugly, useless book shelf!"

Eyes downcast, the young half Saiyan listened to the conversation with more than a hint of resignation.

"I have you know, Satan, that just because you don't read doesn't mean that my son and daughter don't! The bookshelf goes there, not your ugly mug!"

Hands tucked safely between his knees, Gohan sat on the step up between the living room and the kitchen. His eyes were focused on the deep blue carpet. They were all in the apartment he and Videl were moving into. His mother, of course, was helping them move in. So was Mr. Satan.

Son Gohan was waiting to have to intervene in a fist fight.

"All right!" Videl stood in full battle ready position facing the parents, hands on hips and fire in her eyes. "This is my apartment, unless you guys have forgotten."

Gohan snorted despite himself. 'Apartment' was a bit of an understatement by typical Japanese standards. What they were moving into was more of a condo. Two bedrooms, spacious living room, full bathroom, office, nice kitchen. He was going to have to work for the rest of his life in an effort to return payment to his future father in law for this. Videl afforded him a dark look for interrupting her tirade. "Like I said, my apartment. I will choose how it's decorated. The entertainment center is going there!"

Mr. Satan extended a hairy hand to his daughter, placing it on her shoulder. "Now, now, Sweat Pea. That's the middle of the wall. You should have the most important thing there. A painting of your dear ole' father. The entertainment center can go in the corner."

Chi Chi smiled indulgently at her 'daughter'. "He's absolutely right, dear. The most important thing should go there. The bookshelf! What can be more important than showing how well read you are?"

Videl rolled her eyes. Gohan watched through his eyelashes as she pointed to some point beyond his shoulder, into the beautifully tiled area that was apparently the kitchen/dinette. "Do you see that nice big open space?" She questioned carefully.

When both Chi Chi and Hercule had expressed some sort of consent, the raven haired girl continued. "My oak table is going there." She pointed to the corner her father had referred to earlier. "I can't see the TV in that corner from the table. The entertainment center goes in the center of the wall and that is final!"



"No!" Declared his fiancée. "The book shelf will go in the corner, Daddy; your painting is going in between the windows there." She grimaced slightly at this. The painting was rather… distasteful. "Gohan!"

Black eyes peered up carefully at his lover. "Yes, Vidy?"

Her countenance softened at his expression. "Go make yourself useful and move the TV and the book shelf around. And set the couch at a slight angle right about…" She walked to the center of the plush carpeted room before spreading her arms wide. "Here. The recliner can be beside it, angled the other way. The coffee table is fine where it is."

The demi-Saiyan moved to comply with her wishes as his mother and future father in law began to plead their cases once more. That was his job in this process. Chi Chi and Mr. Satan made suggestions, which the both expected to be followed, Videl laid down the final law, and Gohan was the strong back. This was all well and fine by him. He had learned from a young age that arguments with or between parents were to be avoided at all costs. Thank Dende the woman he was marrying was braver than he was, when it came to standing up to the like of his mother.

Arranging the furniture to the request, Gohan again seated himself on the step between the living room and the kitchen. It was really all one big room, but the step added a quaint differential. Once more, idle hand s were trapped between his knees as he listened to his three companions argue on another section of room.

It was Wednesday, May 29th. Videl was officially three months pregnant. They had gone in together for more prenatal tests on Monday. Dr. Gyna Obyst had declared the child healthy. His little girl… They had been at the doctor's office for three hours total. However, most of that had been so Dr. Obyst could run more tests on him. Which involved a lot of needles. By the time she was done with him, Gohan feared he was going to develop a needle phobia to rival his father's.  Whatever she was learning about him through her continued tests, it must have been interesting. Though, she had yet to share anything beyond what he knew.

Today was Wednesday, May 29th. In three days, he would be married.

Trepidation marked this thought. Not towards marrying his beloved Videl. He found nothing but happiness in that thought. Rather…. About the wedding. It was going to be a large affair. Media had all ready been swarming them, since the wedding was announced in the paper. All of the demi-Saiyan's family and friends had said they were coming. Half of the school was coming. Hell, half of Satan city seemed to be coming by all of the RSVP's he knew about.

In front of all of those people, at the reception, they were going to tell the world that Videl was pregnant.

Gohan shifted on the step, attention brought back to the challenge at hand. His mother was busy going through their belongings. Many people had dropped off wedding presents for them before the wedding. In the way of a microwave, knife set, towel set… Household necessities. And Videl had come to the apartment with a good many of her own items. Gohan had his books, his clothing, and a few treasured pictures.

That was all that he had ever really owned before this.

His desk was left at home. Goten no longer had to share it. The computer Bulma had bought for he and Goten two years before remained on the desk. Goten no longer had to share that either. His bed was being folded up and put into storage. As the eldest of the Son brothers had capsulated the last of his belongings that morning, he understood why his little brother looked so lost in the unnaturally spacious room.

Gohan himself remembered when it once held only one bed. And later, when it held a crib and a bed. Goten, however, had never had the room to himself. The young man silently reminded himself to not only call the young boy tonight, as promised, but to send an e-mail as soon as Videl's… no, as soon as he and Videl's computer was set up. This was proving to be a very hard move on the youngest Son.

Come to think of it, the elder brother wasn't handling it all that well either. This living in the city concept was… new.

"Ahg! That's it! Both of you out of my apartment! I appreciate that you're trying to help, but you're both just very much getting in the way. Gohan and I will un pack from here. You two just… go out to eat, or home… I don't care! Just leave!"

His mother and Hercule looked as decidedly dazed as he felt. After a moment, Hercule shrugged and began walking to the door mumbling something along the lines of being "just like her mother". Chi Chi sighed before walking over to her very perturbed daughter and offering a hug. Videl accepted. The older woman patted her back and said, "If you two need anything dear, just call. I mean it!"

Videl smiled. "Yes Mom."

Chi Chi nodded moved to her boy and kissed him lightly on the head and made her exit. That left Videl standing at the edge of the living room, Gohan seated on the step. They looked at each other. "Remind me again Gohan as to why marrying you seems to involve adopting your mother?"

The young man shrugged helplessly. "The same reason it involves me adopting your father. Besides… this isn't all that bad. When our little one is born though… I get the feeling both of them are going to want to just about move in with us."

"Oh dear Dende," Videl moaned. She gave up her position in the living room to have a seat beside Gohan. She buried her nose in his shoulder. "Please, don't make me think of that. That's six months away, right? I don't need to think of that."

The half Saiyan twisted so that he could wrap both of his arms about her lithe body. She was still thin. A very slight roundness was making its self known in her belly, but nothing noticeable to most people. It just happened that Gohan was watching for such signs. "All right than, Vidy."

"Our wedding is going to suck."

"Videl! Don't say things like that…"

"I'm wearing a dress. That's enough to tell me it's going to suck. Then add in all the family, Daddy's followers, the police force… the damned reporters… Can't we just elope?"

"If my mother didn't kill us, your father and Bulma would."

"I know."

They sat like that for a time, on the step in their apartment. Each drawing comfort and strength from the other. Finally, Videl pulled back. Those wonderful blue eyes looked laughingly up into his. She reached up and pushed his glasses back up his nose with her index finger. "Lets just worry about un-packing for now."


Something about this whole thing just reminded her very strongly of prom. Videl didn't like it. She was happy even to admit to herself today that she was very nervous. A large mirror before her reflected the image of the professional here at Studio 212 applying all the beautifying necessities.

To her right sat Erasa. And, oddly enough, to her left was Eighteen.

She and Gohan had gone through a good many books and websites on marriages and after mutual discussion, had decided on having two couples stand up for them. Videl had wanted Erasa to be her Maid of Honor. Thus, Sharpener came along as Gohan's best man. And Gohan had wanted Krillen to be in the wedding party. Eighteen then, was her other bride's maid.

Honestly, it had been a shock when Gohan had chosen the little man. Videl had thought she knew everything about who Gohan considered his closest friends. Apparently, she had guessed wrong on his thoughts about Krillen. When she had brought that up to him, he had laughingly told her that Krillen was the best friend he had through out his childhood, besides 'Mr. Piccolo'. Well, now she was living with Gohan, and after today would be living with him for the rest of her life if she had anything to say about it. The young woman decided she would have to question her mate further on his childhood exploits in that time.

All the crap a couple had to go through just to get married was ridiculous. From the relationship tests (to see if they complimented each other) to everything for the wedding. Invites, dresses, tuxes, setting up with a church, several meetings with the priest… Her father had insisted on a Christian Church wedding. Anyway, it was all bull crap.

And so was sitting here letting some strange woman put on her make-up and put up her hair.

"Now then, Miss Videl, your vale is on a comb… Do you want it over your face at all, when you're married?"

Videl shook her head no. That would be just another hassle. "Okay then, I'll incorporate it in with your hairstyle."

The woman went to work doing just that. Videl's hair was still short, but hadn't been cut in months. Shaggy was an appropriate descriptive word. Through the use of several bobby pins, however, the beautician had pulled her hair back tight to her scalp, the ends of which were in some decorative from on the back of her head that she couldn't see. And, after that vale was attached, that know one else would see either. Except Gohan, if he bothered to look tonight.

Erasa was all smiles and giggles. She was the maid of honor. In a June wedding! The girl was entirely in her element with this sort of thing. As she had been when she threw the bridal shower for Videl. Eighteen simply displayed her natural stoicism, and a few undercutting snide remarks. Both of the blondes wore light blue dresses with spaghetti shoulder straps. Videl and Eighteen's distaste for frills had shown through in the choosing of style for the dresses. They came down low enough to show the cleft of the bosom, where it was then simply a straight line across beneath the armpits. A frill of cloth was attached across the bosom, but the rest of the dress went straight down. There were two layers to the dress part, a silky under layer and a lacy over layer. They were accented by a lacy scarf, which Eighteen and Erasa had both looped once about their necks.

Both maids also wore the gift Videl had bought them for being part of her wedding party. A dazzling and delicate diamond necklace encircled each throat, with matching earrings.

The young not-long-to-be Miss Satan found herself in a relatively plain white gown. Sans train, while shopping for dresses with Chi Chi and Bulma she had pointed out that she could all to clearly see herself taking a head long with something like that. Videl was rather clumsy in 'feminine' attire. The old adage was that a bride should wear on her wedding day "Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue."  The dress was new. The necklace was an old gift from her mother. The earrings were a favorite of Bulma's.

The garter was blue.

Impatiently her eyes darted to the clock again while the woman continued fussing with her "uncooperative" hair. It was past twelve thirty, they needed to be at the church by one for pictures. The wedding started at two. The young woman took a deep breath and let it out. There were butterflies turning in her belly, and it had nothing to do with the baby.

Eighteen snorted, causing her own beautician to jump. All of her hair was pulled back into such a fashion that it looked like an exotic golden bloom was growing on her head. Apparently she had been watching Videl's actions. "You can't really be that nervous about marrying the boy." It could be taken as no less than a statement.

Erasa spoke up in her defense, peaking around to meet light blue eyes. "Everybody's nervous on their wedding day, aren't they?"

"I wasn't."

Videl sighed. Sometimes she wondered if the android was even capable of such emotions. She would have asked aloud, but Erasa didn't know about Eighteen, and Videl didn't feel like explaining. "I'm not worried about marrying Gohan. I'm worried about making an ass of myself in front of all the church, would be committed to tape and recorder and by tomorrow everyone in the whole fucking world would know. Yeah, that makes me a little nervous."

Eighteen rolled her eyes; her manner was frustratingly Vegita like at times. "I wouldn't worry about it. If anyone there will make an ass of themselves in public, it will be Gohan. It's in his genetics."

Videl groaned. "That wouldn't be any better."

"Or perhaps that oaf of a man you call father."

The bride gritted her teeth. "Don't remind me."

"Or, perhaps even that wad of bubble gum, Buu."

"Oh dear Dende…"

"Yes, I suppose that boy could make a show as well."

Videl's eyes widened. "You don't suppose he would be there…"

"He and the groom are good friends."

"Oh," Videl sighed dejectedly, "good point."

"Oh cheer up, Videl." Erasa chimed in. "Don't let grouchy there get you under on your wedding day! Now come on, I think the limo is here to take us to the church!"

The three women were forced to push a way through the media frenzy to dive into the limo, and again, to get into the church. Where Videl was honestly quite happy to have her father waiting with open arms. "Oh… my little girl just… you aren't going to be my little girl much longer, eh? This is where I give you away…"

The normally very confident voice was hollow; the bright blue eyes looked lost. Videl's heart went out to her last surviving parent. "I'll always be your little girl. You know that. I love you, Daddy."

A round of 'Awww's' reminded her that they were not alone. Standing on her tip toes she briefly kissed her father stubbly cheek and hissed in his ear, "Do me a favor, please? Keep these hounds away from me until after I'm married!"

Satan nodded assent. "Of course, Sweet Pea. Now you scurry on over to the waiting room so that boy your marrying don't see you. That's bad luck on a marriage, you know."

The bride grinned, feeling very much like a giddy little girl. Her emotions were on a real roller coaster ride today. "Thank you, Daddy. I know!"

In the waiting room were the three Bouquets. Apparently the bouttiners were already passed around to all who were supposed to have them. There was also a mirror where Erasa hurriedly straightened herself out and then went to work on rearranging Videl. Who was beginning to feel like a basket case now that she was actually in the church. She needed something else to think about.

The young bride turned to the bouquets. Immediately she felt anger and frustration color her emotions. Stalking to the table that held them she hauled up the one that was labeled as hers. "This isn't right! This isn't what I ordered at all!"

Erasa was at her side in an instant, Eighteen made her way casually closer to the table. "What do you mean, Videl? These flowers just look absolutely gorgeous! The flower woman you hired really did a nice job!"

"No she didn't," Videl growled in return, "Look at this, Erasa! Do you see Ivy? NO! There was supposed to be ivy flowing down off of this. Instead it's just this!" She thrust the bouquet beneath Erasa's nose to prove her point.

"Oh, Videl… They're still very pretty. I like it a lot. Maybe the Ivy would have been too much? It's just stunning the way it is"

Videl heard Erasa's words and the rational part of her agreed. Unfortunately… emotions were raging in full control right at the moment. She was about to rant further when Eighteen's cool fingers landed lightly on her naked upper arm. "They look fine. Leave it alone."

The young woman blinked. "Your right. I guess I'm just a little touchy right now…"

Chi Chi and Bulma choose to burst into the room at that moment all smiles. The photographer came in shortly after, to garner some before the wedding pictures before disappearing back out into the large church. Videl could here all the voices of the many people being herded in. The church was new, and huge. The flowers were forgotten.

Time flew and before Videl could be sure she was ready, the entrance march began playing loudly through out the church. Erasa gave her a quick hug before exiting the room behind Eighteen. Videl peeked out the door to be sure it was safe for her to come out where she walked to her father's side at the end of the line up. The other couples were making their slow walk down the isle, up to the alter. Hercule silently held his arm out to her, and Videl slipped her own into it. They began walking. The isle had suddenly gained a hundred miles, though it hadn't looked so long at the practice run the day before. At the end stood her future, her life, her destiny.

At the end of that isle stood Gohan.

She didn't care what he wore, or that there was anyone else at the room right then, it was just her, her father, and Gohan. And then Gohan was walking towards them, he wore that soft smile that Videl knew belonged only to her. She smiled back before turning on her heel and kissing her father on the cheek. Gohan shook hands with the world champ and then turned to his beloved. He held out his arm for her and they walked together before the priest.

Videl knew she didn't hear most of what the priest was saying. She knew that she repeated when she was supposed to, and managed not to drop Gohan's ring as she slid it on his finger. Or her tiny candle as they lit the larger Unity candle. It was all so short, yet so long. Save for the warm support she found in Gohan.

"And you may now kiss the bride."

They faced each other, Gohan looked slightly flushed, and his eyes were dancing and bright. His lips were gentle, as always. And then they were walking away, Gohan more or less leading the way. As husband and wife. It was then that she saw the room around her for the first time. The six hundred seat capacity was filled, with watchers also standing against the walls. So many familiar faces… a few familiar Ki's even. She smiled at those she knew as they passed, reserving a special one for Piccolo, who stood in a dark suit, a hat pulled low over his ears and face at the back of the room. Truly everyone seemed to have made it.

The Reception line took along time. Many people she didn't even know wishing them well in their life together. And many she did. Including a hug from the chief of police and the Mayor of Satan city himself. It was all jovial, until it came to finishing pictures. Everyone gathered back by the alter. The photographers called for all of the family to step up to the alter for a photo. For the first time, Videl realized who was missing, and why her new husband had been too cool during the ceremony.

Son Goku was no where to be found.

Chi Chi was obviously quite disappointed as well. Gohan's grandfather looked like a thunderhead. Goten's own eyes simply lit up at just being near his brother, it was so important to the child that Goku wasn't there. He didn't understand yet why it should be. Suddenly, Videl didn't feel so delighted, as her husband's deep rooted fears and disappointment burned in her own belly. If Gohan's family didn't kill him first, she was personally going to throttle the thoughtless man who couldn't even make it to his son's wedding. The photographer had taken two shots of the family that remained when Gohan quietly spoke up. "I'd like my other father in a picture with us."

The entire group stared at the young man; Videl smiled and looked up and towards the rear of the room. "Mr. Piccolo," she called politely. If she thought Gohan's real family looked angry, then Piccolo was down right murderous. He looked up, apparently snapped from some dark plans at the sound of his name. "Your son," Gohan offered her a tentative smile at this, "Would like you to join us for pictures."

Much to her surprise, a tiny smile touched those usually impervious green lips. He obliged, removing his hat. The photographer, who like the rest of the world was used to seeing such things as Buu, barely flinched at the sight of the tall green man who entered the family group. And Piccolo himself barely flinched; When Chi Chi pointedly tucked her arm around his.

Goku showed up with Vegita some three hours later at the reception, looking the innocent boy; some excuse on his lips about being out sparring and loosing track of time. Surprise surprise, he showed up just in time for supper. And he wondered aloud why everyone was glaring at him so.

The whole thing had darkened the wedding day, though Gohan had attempted to hide his hurt and focus entirely on her. He was selfless to a fault.

The whole thing made dropping the bomb about the baby seem less important, though that still sent the media into a flurry.

Well… that was a tad… angsty. *excuse the author while she revels*. I'm such an angst addict. You don't care, I know. And I'm ruining the moment ^_^

You guys wondered at the animosity directed towards Goku (even before this -_-)? Well, to be perfectly honest, that is more my opinion than anything having to do with the story line. Refences to these feeling have been vaguely made in previous installments of this series (Mala in Se). While I am well aware that both Son boy's love their father and worship the ground he walks on… you have to admit, he's never returned their love with individual fatherly attention. Well, make that rarely. He hugged Goten once. I've never seen him hug Gohan. Ever. I hold that personally against the man.

As for Piccolo, he respects Goku for his fighting prowess, but has verbally questioned him on the series in matters concerning Gohan. He is very protective, and like any 'parent' I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel that any one is quite good enough for his 'son'. Including his natural father.

And there is my rant for the chapter.

As for the wedding. I relate this entire chapter to my own experience in recently standing up in a wedding. And, I realize that Videl was a bit off in some of her actions (example: the bouquet escapade), but that exac same thing was done by the bride in the wedding I was in. I thought it was funny, even if she didn't.  In Videl's case, as in my friends, we blame it on nerves.

Now then, after an interesting twist like that, I'm going to be upset if I don't get feedback. Not that I'm really worried, you are all very good to me about feedback.