AN: I was going to call this 'True Love Last Forever' but thought that would be cheesy and settled on 'Chi-Chi's Journey.' I still like the first title better. What can I say? I'm a big G/CC fan and think they have true love, despite what some would say. I put my other stories on hold to rush with this one. After 'Goku's Next Journey', a friend of mine who was a big G/CC fan was completely distraught and upset with Goku leaving Chi-Chi again. Goku leaving like that doesn't leave a good impression, especially when he said he was going to live with Uub and visit his family and friends. So, I decided to write this story to show that Goku does love his wife and he had good intentions in leaving. I must admit, I'm having a little too much fun with it. I should warn you that Bulma and Gohan may act OOC in this chapter, but that's because they are mad at Goku.
Part One: Alone Again
He was gone again. Just like that. Without an 'I love you' or 'I'll miss you.' He just let the kid jump on his back and they were off. Going only who knows where for who knows how long, possibly forever. Well, he did say he would come back to visit.
What kind of man visits his wife?
Chi-Chi was finding the day unbelievable. She woke up that morning with her husband by her side and now, for the first time in ten years, she was going to go to bed without him. It was a nightmare all over again. Goku had left her again, not to sacrifice himself to save the Earth, not to fight an enemy threatening the Earth, but to train a kid. A kid who is a reincarnation of the monster that killed her as well as everyone else on Earth and blew up the planet just for the fun of it.
"You want to stay with us, Mom?" Gohan asked.
Chi-Chi stopped looking out the window and turned her attention to her son who was driving her and Goten home. They were riding in the backseat with Pan sleeping beside her.
"Hmm? What did you say, Gohan?"
"I wanted to know if you want to stay with me and Videl tonight?"
Chi-Chi sighed. "No, thank you. Besides, I have Goten to keep me company." She was trying to put on a strong front because of the situation and was obviously failing.
"Are you sure, Chi-Chi?" Videl asked.
Chi-Chi smiled at the young woman. "Yes."
Gohan parked his car in the driveway of his parent's house. "Hey, Gohan. I'll take our car home. I'm sure you'd want to talk to your Mom and brother."
Gohan smiled and kissed his wife on the cheek. "Thanks."
After Gohan, Chi-Chi and Goten were out of the car, Videl made the short trip home. Gohan walked his Mom to the house. Chi-Chi put the key in and unlocked the door. She turned to Gohan.
"You don't have to say anything to me, Gohan. I'm used to your father leaving me now. He's left me a lot throughout our marriage. I shouldn't be surprise he did it again."
Gohan just hugged his mother. He knew his mother and he knew this was what she needed. "You have us, Mom. Whatever you need, Mom, remember I'm right next door. Goten will be here for you, too." Gohan said and looked at his brother, who nodded.
Chi-Chi pulled back from Gohan. She was holding in the tears that were threatening to fall. "Thank you. I know. I'm going to bed now. Good night," Chi-Chi said to both of them and went inside.
"'Night, Mom," both her sons said.
Gohan waited until his mom was out of hearing distance before talking to his brother. "Goten, I want you to watch Mom for me."
"Yeah, okay, but what are you saying? Are you leaving Mom, too?"
"No, of course not. Now that Dad has left…again," he said with much annoyance, "you will have to be here for Mom. I'll check in as often as I can, but after school, for the next few months, I want you to come straight home and check on Mom. This will mean giving up on a few dates, but Mom has sacrificed a lot more, so you have to do this for her. She's very fragile right now."
Goten frown. "Fragile? Mom?"
"Mom is very fragile right now, Goten. She may put on a strong front, but she is. Mom is a very strong person, but she can be very vulnerable, especially when Dad leaves her." Gohan sighed, thinking about the time his father left to die with Cell and he had to tell Chi-Chi that her husband wasn't going to come back. That was a very dark period for the family and he hoped to never see it again, but feared it may happen since his father left again and there was a strong possibility he wasn't coming back.
Goten nodded and frowned again. "I don't understand this time. Dad left to train a kid because he has potential. He wants me and Trunks to continue training because Uub is going to be looking to us for leadership? What does Dad mean?" He asked his brother who shrugged. "I overheard Bulma talking to Vegeta. She was very upset with Dad. She wondered if Dad ever love Mom and said Mom meant nothing to him when it came to fighting. Vegeta didn't say anything."
Gohan frowned. "Yeah, well I overheard Piccolo saying that he hadn't seen Dad this happy in a long time. So, what's he saying? Dad wasn't happy with Mom or us? He rather be fighting than be with his family?!" Gohan shouted angrily. He had never been so upset with his Dad.
Gohan paced to calm down. "It was different with Namek and Cell, but this…if he's going to train Uub…I can't believe he just left like that. I thought he changed since he came back from being dead for seven years. Mom did, so why couldn't he?" He ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "I can't believe he left Mom like this."
"I'll watch Mom," Goten said assuring his brother.
"Thanks. At least someone's responsible," Gohan grumbled.
"What do you mean by that?" Goten asked.
"Nothing. Just take care of Mom."
"Sure," Goten said and went into his house. He went upstairs but stopped by his mother's room first to see if she was all right. He started to knock but he heard his mother crying. He slowly opened the door and saw his mother, face in the pillow crying.
"Why, Goku? Why did you leave me again? Haven't I been a good enough wife that you didn't have to leave me again? How can someone I love so much hurt me so bad?"
Goten closed the door quietly and went to his room. He had never seen his Mom so hurt. He remembered as a child, he heard his Mom crying herself to sleep. He would go in and ask her what was wrong and his Mom would say it was nothing. Nights like that, he often slept with his Mom and she would stop crying. This night, she needed to be alone. He couldn't comfort her. His mother never looked this sad. It was like her heart was broken today…by her husband.
Gohan walked back to his house. He checked on Pan who was fast asleep in her bed. He went to his bedroom and found Videl changing for bed. Gohan began undressing as well. Videl saw her husband looking upset. After today, she couldn't blame him. She couldn't believe what happened either.
"Do you want to talk about it, Gohan?"
Gohan sighed as he pulled off his shirt. "Dad's naiveté blinds him from seeing the pain he cause his love ones, especially Mom."
"Yeah, I can't believe he left like that. I feel so sorry for your Mom, Gohan."
Gohan didn't say anything for a bit as he put on his pajamas. "Mom has us, though I know it won't be enough." He sighed again. 'It will never be enough.'
Bulma wrestled in bed in frustration. She had been trying to sleep for the past ten minutes now but she was still furious at her friend. Bulma sat up and clapped, turning the lights on.
"I can't believe Goku just left like that!" Bulma yelled. "Poor Chi-Chi." She looked at Vegeta who was rubbing his eyes, wincing in the bright light. "I swear if you ever do that to me, I'll kill you!"
Vegeta laughed. "As if you could kill me." He clapped his hands, turning the lights off.
Bulma clapped her hands, turning the lights back on. "All I have to do is ask Shenron to make me a stronger and better fight than you."
Vegeta didn't say anything louder than a grunt. "Kakarot has his reasons. His mate will understand." He clapped his hands again, turning the lights off.
Bulma clapped her hands again, much to Vegeta's annoyance and the lights came back on. "But come on, Vegeta. Hasn't she suffered enough? Being away from him for all those years and when he leaves again, he left without a proper goodbye. Didn't even have the sense to say 'I love you' or 'I'll miss you.' By Dende, this is his wife we're talking about."
"You're being sentimental. Get over it," Vegeta told her and clapped his hands. The room fell dark again.
Bulma clapped her hands again and the room was filled with light. "I'm being human."
"And Kakarot's not."
Before Vegeta could clap his hands, Bulma grabbed a hold of it, keeping them apart. "So, what are you saying? Saiyans leave their wives?"
"No. Kakarot loves to fight. He does it for his own happiness, even if the fate of the universe depends on it. Kakarot isn't easy to read, especially when he has that stupid grin on his face when the world is in danger. He may care about his family, but if a challenge arises, he'll leave them in a heartbeat. Now, can we go to sleep now?" Vegeta asked and clapped his hands. The room was dark once more and Vegeta rolled on his side and went to sleep.
Bulma laid back down on the bed, surprise at what Vegeta said. "What a jerk."
Goten rushed down the stairs as he smelled breakfast from his room. When he came into the kitchen, he frowned. 'Oh, great. She did it again. It's been fifteen months since Dad left and she stills cooks as if Dad was here."
Chi-Chi saw her son and smiled. "Morning, sweetie. I think I cooked too much again. If you can't eat it, I'll just give it to Videl and Pan. Videl sometimes has trouble cooking for Saiyans."
"You're the master at that," Goten said cheerfully. "But I can eat it."
"Are you sure?" Chi-Chi asked. "The last time you did, I thought your stomach was going to burst."
"I'll be fine. If I can't finish, I'll take some to school as a snack." He soon regretted his words after he finished eating. He could barely move, but he did since he had school in thirty minutes.
After Chi-Chi finished the dishes, Chi-Chi sat alone in the kitchen bored. Goten and Pan were at school. Gohan at work and Videl was gone. She was once again, alone.
'It's been fifteen months and he hasn't come home yet for his 'visits'. Hmp.' Chi-Chi thought. 'This really wasn't the life I hoped for. I wanted to have a husband, have children, watch them grow up and move on with their lives. I wanted to grow old with my husband. Not grow old alone. I wonder if I had wasted my life on Goku. Would it have been better if I never went to that tournament?' Chi-Chi shook her head. 'No, I wouldn't have had Gohan and Goten—my sons if I didn't meet Goku at the tournament. How could I—.' She stopped talking to herself when she heard a knock at her door. She went to open the door.
Chi-Chi and Bulma never got along when they first met. They were mere acquaintances, but over the years, the two became friends when they found something in common—having children and being the mates of Saiyans. They never became best friends, but they form a respectful friendship.
"Hi, Chi-Chi. How's it going?"
"All right. Where's your daughter? You usually bring her over when you come over."
"She's being watched by my parents. Besides, she can't be around for women stuff yet."
"Women stuff?" Chi-Chi said surprised.
Bulma took Chi-Chi's hand and led her out the house and to her air car. "Come on, we're going shopping for your trip."
"Shopping? Trip? Bulma, I don't—"
"No, prob. It's my treat."
Before Chi-Chi knew it, she was in Bulma's air car heading for the city. Chi-Chi was going to say something but Bulma spoke first.
"Don't argue, Chi-Chi. You need this. Goku has been gone for over a year and he hasn't came back to see you or his children. I swear, Chi-Chi. I don't know how you put up with Goku and his constant absence. The first few times he had reasons—he died, he had to go to Namek, learn the Instant Transmission on Yardrat which became useful and then he died again with Cell and stayed dead for the safety of the Earth, but this time—Arrgh!"
"He wouldn't have done it if he didn't have a good reason, Bulma," Chi-Chi said.
"Good reason?! He left you to train some kid! Goku's too noble and too naïve to see the consequences of his actions! At least you raise two responsible boys who won't leave their wives."
"Goku and I both raised our sons," Chi-Chi said defending her husband.
"Yeah, Goku," she scoffed. "I know your sons won't do what Goku did. They know there's more to life than fighting. They are adults now. What you need to do, Chi-Chi, is go on a vacation. Get away from everything."
"Get away from what?"
"This life of yours. All because of Goku, you haven't lived. You haven't become the woman you could've been."
Now Chi-Chi was really offended. "What are you talking about? I have lived."
"In that house for years, wondering and worrying if Goku would ever come back to you and alive. I apologize for not understanding your feelings years ago when you yelled at Goku and Gohan and wanting them to stay home, but having kids and living with a Saiyan myself, I understand you better. You suffered a lot. I would've left Goku if he did to me what he did to you."
"I guess that's why I love him and you don't," Chi-Chi pointed out wryly. The woman was walking on a fine line insulting her husband.
"Only you could love him," Bulma said. "But like I said, you need a vacation, if only to find yourself and get away from this life of yours. Gohan is living on his own with a family and Goten is old enough to take care of himself. It's time for you to leave for a vacation.
"I haven't lived your life, but even I need a break from my husband and kids, like leaving on a business trip or relaxing in a nice hot bath. When was the last time you pampered yourself, Chi-Chi? Took care of yourself for once instead of taking care of Goku, Gohan and Goten?"
Chi-Chi thought for a moment. When was the last time she treated herself? The answer was surprising. "Never."
Bulma slammed the breaks on her air car, stopping in mid-air. She looked at Chi-Chi shocked. "Never?"
Chi-Chi shook her head. "No. I'm not like you, Bulma. I lived with my father in the country. I was trained to be a good wife and I wanted to be one as well as a good mother. When I first met Goku, it was like my life really began. I fell in love with him almost immediately and I wanted to be a good wife and mother for him. My life is nothing without him."
"But haven't you wondered what it would be like to live for yourself and not your family?"
'This morning I did,' Chi-Chi thought. "Once I wondered if this was the life I was intended to live. I don't mind being a housewife. I love it. I love to cook and clean for my husband and children. I expect Gohan and Goten to leave, but not Goku," her voice was cracking. "I thought we'd grow old together like any other couple. Instead, I grew old and he stayed forever young." Chi-Chi sighed as a tear fell down her cheek.
Maybe a vacation wouldn't be a bad thing. Maybe she should get away just for a while, just until she got a hold of herself. She was slowly going crazy in that house while Goten was gone at school or on a date. She'd been alone in that house most of her life and now that she was getting old, she wasn't sure she could do it anymore. She cried so much now at night and she's been sad for so long since her husband left that she was slowly going mad from it all. It would be nice to go somewhere far from home like Goku did, have an adventure of her own. Maybe Bulma was right.
"It would be nice to go on a trip by myself, Bulma, but I can't leave Goten."
"Goten's 18 years old. He's old enough to fend for himself. Goten will understand. He can stay with me while you're on vacation," Bulma told Chi-Chi.
"Just like we understood Goku's actions for leaving?" Chi-Chi questioned.
"This is a trip and we know you will be back. I say a month away would so you some good. It won't be forever like Goku," Bulma said.
Bulma had a point. A month would pass by before she and everyone knew it. Yes, this was right. Time to take a leave from it all. Pamper herself instead of waiting on others. "All right. I'll do it, but on one condition. I want to use the dragonballs."
To Be Continued
Part Two: Hunt for the Dragonballs