AN: Sorry for the wait. Some things happened, I wasn't in a very humorous mood, and then I just had a distinct lack of motivation. A very huge GOMEN NASAI to everyone who had to wait for this chapter. I hope it meets with some approval *prays*
This fic really is winding down, just because I'm running out of ideas. As of this point in the story, Gohan has a week and a half-two weeks-ish left before the Dragonballs become active again. So maybe four, five more chapters (no promises) before the last official chapter, and then there will be a short epilogue, and then this will be done!!!
Anyway, here's the new chapter. Thank you to all my wonderful reviewers. I don't own DBZ. Oh yeah, and I borrowed a little idea or two for this chapter from the show "Family Guy." That show is freakin' hilarious, if you haven't seen it. You'll know the parts I mean—they'll be the parts that seem to be written by someone with ADHD because they make very little sense in the general scheme of the story. Strangely enough, I am attention deficit, so it works!!!
Chapter Twenty-Five—Love Triangle
It was early on a Saturday morning. It was a nice Saturday as well, the kind of Saturday that children dreamed about all week. The sun was shining, the air was warm but not too warm, there was a pleasant breeze blowing in, perfect for flying kites, and though there were clouds in the sky, they were as fluffy and white as could be, the ideal kind of clouds for finding funny shapes.
And Son Goten was no exception to such a day. In fact, the moment he woke up and saw the sunlight streaming in through the window, he did the normal thing for a child his age.
He reached over, shut the curtains to keep the sunlight out, and went back to sleep. Hey, it was only eight in the morning on a Saturday! He'd enjoy the day in another hour or so.
An hour later…
"SON GOTEN, IF YOU'RE NOT DOWN HERE IN FIVE MINUTES, NO BREAKFAST!!!"
No lesser threat from any lesser being could have stirred the seven year old demi Saiyan from his sleep any faster. Screw sleep—he was hungry!! Immediately awake, he jumped out of bed, threw on one of his trademark orange and blue gis, and was down in his chair at the table in record time, even for a Saiyan.
"Good morning, sweetie," ChiChi said cheerfully, showing no sign of the fierceness with which her voice had summoned him to the table. She set a loaded plate down in front of him, and another in front of Gohan, who had been in his seat long before Goten had made his mad dash down the stairs.
"So what do ya wanna do today, Gohan?" Goten chirped, shoveling the first mouthful into his waiting stomach. "Something fun, right?"
Gohan opened his mouth to reply, but he was cut off by his mother. "Oh no you don't!" ChiChi declared, taking her own seat at the table. "Gohan, you have homework to do."
"Aw, but Mom—" Gohan started, but once again, he was unable to complete his intended statement because his mother bowled right over him.
"Don't 'but Mom' me, young man!" her eyes were blazing as she spoke. "You've been slacking off on your studies ever since that wish was made, and I've been more than lenient. But it's time to get caught up. You and your brother can do something when you're done, and not before." At the sad look on his face, she added, "Look at it this way. In a couple of weeks, you'll be back to your adult self. You won't have much left to do then, so you can go spend more time with Videl."
"MOM!!" Gohan yelped, but ChiChi didn't respond because she was following the example of her younger son and diving into her breakfast. Gohan pouted, but eventually figured if you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em, and picked up his fork.
Once the meal was over, Gohan was shooed up to his room for some quality time with his textbooks. Goten only stopped his protests when he was reminded that he and Gohan could go to the park or whatever after the homework was done, and if a certain seven year old didn't stop arguing, he wouldn't be allowed to go anywhere.
With not much else to do for the time being, the younger of the two Son boys headed outside.
Goten wandered the forest aimlessly, not really sure where exactly he was heading. He was mostly just killing some time until Gohan could get away from that schoolwork. Then Mom had said they could go to the park for a while before dinner.
With a heavy sigh, he continued his meanderings. Gohan was smart—the work probably wouldn't take that long, really. But to a seven year old, with a seven year old attention span, 'five minutes' is approximately equal to 'eternity,' in completely defiance of the laws of physics.
Finally growing bored with simply wandering, Goten sat down beside a large tree. It was only after he'd been sitting for a few minutes that he noticed something—there was a hole in the tree trunk. A large hole, actually. A large, dark hole. The perfect place for something to hide…
Curiousity overtook the small demi-Saiyan, and he leaned over and peered into the tree hole.
Two beady little black eyes peered back.
Goten let out a yelp as the owner of the eyes—namely, a racoon—suddenly jumped out and latched onto his face. The chibi stumbled backwards at the force of the attack and ended up flat on his back, rolling around on the ground, trying desperately to get the small masked creature off of him.
Finally, he managed to free himself from the cluthces of the racoon, and sent the animal running…well, actually more like rocketing back into the trees.
Now safe from the clutches of the Evil Rodent of Death, Goten sprinted back towards the little house. He nearly managed to knock the door off its hinges as he exploded into the kitchen.
ChiChi was just finishing the dishes; she turned to him with a distinct lack of amusement on her face. She opened her mouth, undoubtedly with intent to scold, but then she noticed the scratches on Goten's face, and motherly instinct took over. "What happened? Are you hurt?"
"A racoon jumped on my face," Goten said sheepisly. "He came out of a tree."
ChiChi managed to refrain from sighing and/or smacking the small child with a cooking tool. Instead, she simply said, "Clean yourself up. Your brother's almost done. Then you two can go."
Goten followed instructions, happy to have avoided any further bodily injury. The scratches he'd acquired in his short lived battle with the racoon weren't anything major, anyway. Feeling better, he went back down to the kitchen. "Mom, I'm thirsty. Can I have some juice?"
"It's in the fridge," ChiChi replied absently, her attention momentarily elsewhere.
Grinning, the spiky haired chibi skipped over to the cabinet and pulled out a glass. Then he headed to the refrigerator and opened the door, hoping there was still some orange juice in there—
—and was sent flying backwards as the Racoon of Evil came flying out of the fridge right at him, fixing itself to his hair.
"Goten, would you keep it down?" ChiChi admonished, not turning to look at him as he ran around, flailing and yelping, trying to pry the stupid animal off his head. "Your brother's trying to study."
Gohan stared at the textbook in front of him. He'd been staring at the same page for a good twenty minutes now, and couldn't have said what was typed on that page. He thought it might have been Chemistry, but he wasn't sure.
"This sucks," he sighed, putting his head down on the desk, on top of the book. "This excessively bites. I've only got two weeks left…why am I doing this?"
Instead of focusing, he let his mind wander. It meandered far away from his schoolwork, ending up in what he thought of as Evil Land, a place where he was free to be as immature and childish as he wanted. This was also the place where all the ideas for Vegeta directed pranks, big and small, had come from. The practical jokes he had become so famous for had all been born in this little, disturbing corner of his eighteen year old mind.
He only had two weeks left. He had to go out with a bang. There was still time to fit a couple of really good kickers in and make Vegeta's life a living HFIL before he was wished back. He sighed, and let himself drift off into thoughts of duct tape and hair dye…
"GOHAN, GET TO WORK!"
With a sigh at the Voice of DOOM's intrusion into his thoughts, he muttered the standard, "How does she do that?" And Gohan did as he was told, and went back to work.
"I didn't think you were EVER gonna get done," Goten chirped as the two Son boys shot through the sky towards Satan City and the park lying therein.
"Me neither," Gohan replied. "But I did a little thinking while I was working, and I have a couple of ideas that I think you and Trunks will just love."
"Awesome!" Goten clapped his hands in delight. Brother had the best ideas! Even if Gohan's big ideas tended to result in frying pan punishment, they were worth it for the humor factor.
They landed just outside the city and then proceeded to race to Satan City Central Park, making it there in record time. The place was packed, mostly families with children enjoying the park's extensive playground and lawn areas. Naturally, Gohan and Goten headed for the playground area.
The two chibis turned at the sound of the familiar voice. Sure enough, Videl was jogging towards them. Unfortunately, Sharpner and Erasa were right behind her.
"Hey, we've met before, haven't we?" Erasa bubbled. "You're Gohan's cousin, right?"
"Uh, yeah!" Gohan said, remembering that day at the mall when his cover had nearly been blown.
"Cute as ever!" the blonde gushed. She probably would have gone on, but she was distracted by her boyfriend calling her over to the pretzel stand. "Be right back, sweetie!" And she left.
Now alone, Videl smiled. "How much longer do you have?"
"A little less than two weeks," Gohan said with a grin. "It's been interesting, to say the least…" His voice trailed off as his eyes widened in surprise and a touch of horror. He had just spotted Marron. But by the time he saw her, it was too late.
With a speed that would have made a Super Saiyan turn green with envy, she moved, closing the distance between them; her short little arms closed tightly around his neck.
"My sweet baboo!" she chirped. "It's been so long!"
Gohan didn't reply, mostly because he was busily trying to pry the small human child from around his throat, but as before, she had quite a grip for someone so small and so human. But finally, he managed to squeak out the standard response: "I am NOT your sweet baboo!"
Videl looked bewildered. "Uh, Gohan, who is this?"
"Marron," he choked, "Krillen's daughter."
The little blonde girl looked up at Videl then, and frowned. "Who are you?"
"My name's Videl," the teenager smiled.
Marron didn't smile back. "He's mine! You can't have him!"
Now Videl looked quite taken aback. "What do you mean?"
"He's mine! He's my sweet baboo, and you can't take him!" for a three year old, she was certainly quite defensive. "He's mine, and we're going to get married and live happily ever after."
Gohan had gone about six shades lighter than normal, and was still struggling valiantly to get out of the blonde child's death grip on his neck, still without much success.
Videl's brow creased as she frowned. "Excuse me, Marron, but I don't think—"
"HE'S MINE!!!!!" Marron shrieked, enough to shatter glass. Gohan stopped struggling and resorted to cringing, hands clenched over ears that were probably bleeding from the noise.
Enough was enough. Videl decided to fight back. "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?"
And so the Great Contrived War of Who Got to Marry Gohan began. (*readers feel the urge to flame the author relentlessly*)
In the confusion, Gohan finally managed to slip free of Marron's grasp; he fell to the ground and rolled a few feet away before climbing back to his feet.
"Are you okay?" Goten asked in concern.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Girls are really weird."
The conversation pretty much died as the two boys watched the heated argument going on in front of them. Videl and Marron were out for blood, it seemed, and people were stopping and starting to stare.
"WHY WOULD HE LIKE YOU?!? YOU'RE OLD!!!"
"YOU LITTLE BRAT!!"
"WHY, I OUGHTA—"
Camera flashes started going off, and Gohan heard a few sounds that sounded an awful lot like reporters talking into tape recorders. So the press was here. Naturally, they would be. After all, Satan Videl, the daughter of Satan Hercule, the Hero of the World (note the capital letters), was standing in the middle of the park, having a very loud, screaming argument with a very small child. And the child was screeching right back. Something about a boy, from the sound of it. What news program or news letter wouldn't love to have this kind of story?
"I DON'T LIKE YOU!!" A soft thunking sound.
"OW! YOU LITTLE BRAT! KICK ME IN THE SHINS!!"
"'CAUSE I DON'T LIKE YOU!!"
The two women in the argument were reaching the passion point by now, and arms were starting to fly in highly energetic gestures. And woe to the person who was standing close enough to get smacked in the face by their waving arms.
Unfortunately, Gohan somehow managed to get a little too close, and Marron's small human hand made hard, upward contact with his nose. It wasn't so much the impact as the surprise that made him fly backwards, clutching his face.
She must have hit it at the right angle or something, because the little three year old human girl had actually done damage. A couple little drops of something red decorated Gohan's fingers where they had been grasping his nose.
"My dose iz bleedeng," Gohan almost whimpered.
"Here, I have some tissues," Videl said, reaching for her purse. She rarely carried one, but for some reason had opted to do so today.
She unzipped her purse—and the stupid racoon, the Rodent of Evil, jumped out and latched onto Goten's face with the ferocity of a Saiyan going after food.
Goten screamed and fell to the ground, where he began rolling around, desperately trying to pry the masked rodent from his head. Gohan was laughing his head off, and Videl was trying valiantly to help remove the racoon, though she wasn't having much luck. Goten was moving around too much. But still Videl tried to be the hero, and save her adoptive younger brother from the Masked Bandit, El Rodento.
"Now that's a woman," Sharpner muttered approvingly. "And that's a house," he continued as the child over whose shoulder he was looking turned a page in her picture book. "And that's a cat. That's a car. And that's a bee!" (*readers shake their heads, flame the author, and leave*)
While Sharpner was happily reading above his normal level, Videl and Goten finally managed to get the racoon off Goten's face. Gohan wasn't helping much because he was keeping the tissues clamped over his bleeding nose, and because Marron had reattached herself to him while Videl was distracted.
"Marron, could you please let go?" he begged, wrenching his arm free.
To his surprise, she started to whimper, and a few tears rolled down her face. "Do you love me?"
As a friend and a little sister, yes. Not as a girlfriend. There were laws against that kind of thing. But he couldn't bring himself to say that to the tearful three year old in front of him.
He compromised. "I love you like a sister." Except his speech was a little more nasal and a little harder to understand because he was still holding his bleeding nose. The author is just too lazy to try and sound it out.
She reacted pretty much how he had expected. Her face went blank in confusion.
It was then that Gohan noticed someone watching them carefully. This someone had an expression of intent amusement on his face, and he chuckled as he realized that he had finally been noticed.
"And you just sat there and watched?" Gohan said incredulously.
Krillen scooped up Marron, who was still reaching out to try and grab her beloved, and laughed at Gohan's question. "Of course I did. You think I'd miss an opportunity like this?"
Gohan silently made a note to start a hit list, with Krillen as the first name on there.
"So how was the park?" ChiChi asked as her two children came into the house. She was busily setting the table for dinner. Imagine her shock when her sons appeared in the kitchen doorway, both looking like they had been repeatedly run over with heavy construction vehicles. "What happened?"
"Marron decided she's in love with me, and got into an argument with Videl about it," Gohan said; he sounded fatigued. "Then she accidentally smacked me in the face and gave me a bloody nose, and Krillen just stood there and laughed."
"And the racoon attacked me again," Goten added, equally miserable.
ChiChi studied the two boys for a moment. They were telling the truth, she knew that much. "Well, go clean up for dinner." They meekly obeyed, and the minute they were out of the room, the matriarch had a very good chuckle. "Those two…"
"I'm sooooo tired…" Goten murmured, pushing his bedroom door closed. It had been a long, long day for the chibi, and he was determined to crawl under the covers and sleep until it was time to gather the Dragonballs and wish Gohan back to normal.
Rubbing sleepily at his eyes (kawaii!), he trudged to his bed and pulled back the blanket.
A pair of beady little eyes, ringed with black, peered up at him.
"Aw, crap," Goten managed to choke before the racoon attacked again. And the chibi's horrified scream filled the house, echoing into the night.
AN: Don't ask me why I put the racoon in there. I just thought it was kind of funny. Same goes for the Sharpner, "That's a woman. And that's a house…" thing. Sorry if my sense of humor is too bizarre for anyone else to understand. But man, this ended up kind of weird…
Wow, this story is gonna be a year old in a couple of months. Kinda scary, ain't it? I don't think I've ever had a story go on that long. Anyway, hopefully I'll update a little faster for the next chapter.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. There will be TWO more prank chapters squeezed into the end of the fic instead of one, as I previously advertised, heehee. Count them with me: ONE, TWO!!!! I love my prank chapters, they're the most fun ones to write!
Also, I think I'm gonna do a side-story to this fic. Someone made a request for a Christmas chapter, and I already stretched time out really weird to accommodate a Halloween chapter, so I'm planning to do a Christmas one-shot as a kind of spin off. So keep your eyes peeled ^_^ Ja ne!!!