AN: Whew…can you believe it? This story is a whole year old! *singing* Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear incredibly awesome cool fic, happy birthday to you!!! *everyone runs away screaming at the sound of the horrendous noise* Anyhoo, I'm sorry I'm getting so slow with updates. I used to post, like, every other day, so remember those days and be grateful! And hey, at least I haven't abandoned this fic ^_^

So here we go. This chapter highlights on yet another simple, yet essential part of childhood. At least, it was for me. This is one thing about being a kid that I miss a lot! On we go! I don't own DBZ.




Chapter Twenty-Nine—Splish Splash

The concrete was cold; the chill, coupled with the fairly rough texture of the stone, sent shivers down his spine. It was somewhat paradoxal. The rain had finally stopped, and the sun was shining. Yet here, in the shade, it was still bordering on being cold.

His tongue swept over dry lips in a vain attempt to moisten them. One hand clasped his weapon at his side; the other was clenched into a fist, so tightly that his knuckles were snowy white. A nervous bead of cold sweat ran down the back of his neck. He pressed flat against the cement wall, trying to make himself as invisible as possible to whoever was on the other side of that corner. This was it…

With a yell, he raised his weapon, and leapt around the corner, prepared to strike.

Unfortunately, his opponent struck first.

Son Gohan was hit, and he was surprised enough to fall over, ending up sprawled on his back on the ground. His weapon clattered noisily to the earth beside him. Above him, he could hear gleeful cackles.

"Honestly," Gohan sat up, wiping icy water out of his eyes. "That was a cheap shot."

Trunks grinned broadly, slinging his own weapon casually over his shoulder. "Aw, don't be a bad sport." He frowned then. "Hang on, I need to refill. The tank's empty." With that, Trunks turned away to reload his weapon—namely, his Super Soaker.

Muttering unkind things under his breath, Gohan got back to his feet and retrieved his own water gun. It had fallen to the concrete, but seemed to be unharmed. Still grumbling rude things about Trunks' parentage (after checking to make sure that said parentage wasn't anywhere within hearing distance), he followed to also make sure his Super Soaker was full.

With the absence of the rain, and so little time left before Gohan's return to semi-adulthood, the Trio of Terror had decided that it was an ideal day to play outside. And what better way to celebrate warm weather than with an all-out day of water fights and swimming?

So far today, they had gone swimming (at a pool with a waterslide, no less), and played in the sprinkler—a special Capsule Corporation-designed sprinkler, especially for children; it changed the direction of the spouting water randomly, often soaking those who weren't anywhere near the sprinkler. Bulma had designed it to get Vegeta. And now, after that last surprise attack on Gohan, the three decided to engage in some other form of water-related activity. A classic favorite—the Slip 'N' Slide!!

It didn't take them long to lay out the long, yellow chute and drive in the stakes that held it down. It took them even less time to fill the pool at the end and attach the hose. When they turned on the water, water spurted from the sides, effectively soaked the chute.

Goten took the first dive. A small jogging start (since a running start would probably end up with him somewhere on the other side of town, given Saiyan speed), and then he dove onto his stomach, slipping 'n' sliding all the way down to the other end, where he ended up in the pool. "Waa-hoooo!!!"

The chibis screamed with delight as they took turns going down the slide—on their stomachs, on their backs, and Trunks even tried it sideways. It was a happy time for all!

At least, it was until something relatively expected happened.

Suddenly, the Gravity Room door opened, and Vegeta's head popped out. "Would you keep it down out there!" he roared. "Damn brats!" The door closed again, and he was gone.

Gohan, Goten, and Trunks simply stared at the dome. Then, their faces broke out in evil grins. Well, two of them did, anyway. Goten's face fell at the idea that their fun was being interrupted. But Gohan and Trunks simultaneously had the same idea.

"This is going to be good…" Gohan cackled evilly.

"But Gohan," Goten protested with a sniffle, "Vegeta said we had to stop…"

"Goten, I have an idea," Gohan managed to keep a civil tone; it was one of the few times in his life he was ready to strangle or otherwise inflict mild bodily harm on his younger brother. So, for the sake of preserving his own sanity, he dealt with it in the best way he knew how. At least, the best way he knew how that wouldn't result in massive bloodshed on the part of one or more parties. "Let's play the Quiet Game, okay? You go first."

Goten clammed up instantly.

"Okay then," Gohan nodded his approval and returned to the task at hand—planning. "Now, here's what we're gonna do…" Much whispering, arguing, and plotting later, the three moved into position.

"Okay, now Goten, you're in charge of luring Vegeta out here, just like we talked about, and—what?" Much to Gohan's surprise, his little brother was shaking his head 'no.' "You won't do it?" Negative. "Ooookay…how about you and Trunks switch places then? You know what Trunks was going to do, right?" A nod. "Good. Okay. That'll work." The three moved into position. "Okay, let 'er rip!"

Trunks took a deep breath—and let out a yell that was probably capable of killing small animals. Gohan and Goten crouched down, fully prepared to strike.

The noise had the desired effect—the Saiyan Prince surged out of the Gravity Room. "What did I tell you about—ACK!" That last, rather undignified sound was the result of three demi-Saiyan children jumping on his back, sending him flying forward onto something long, yellow, and extremely slippery.

There was a splash, and the children let out loud whoops and hollers at the success. Trunks even grabbed his water gun and fired a few victory rounds into the air. And Gohan, infinitely intelligent, took advantage of Vegeta's momentarily shock to whip out his trusty camera.

Gohan was to add a new photograph to his bedroom wall that night: Vegeta, splayed out in the yellow inflatable pool-thing at the end of the Slip 'N' Slide. Water dripping from his decidedly odd hairdo, and barely suppressable rage burning from his eyes, like Piccolo's laser beam thingies. Only less deadly. Maybe. Slightly.

But before he could hang that picture on his wall (right beside the one of Vegeta crying and trying to claw his eyes out, the one of Vegeta standing on a chair while snakes crawled all over the floor below him, the one of Capsule Corporation bedecked in toilet paper like a bride on her wedding day, and of Vegeta wrapped up in the glorious stuff known as duct tape), he had to survive one more thing…

"What is the name of Shenron is going on out here?!?" Bulma demanded angrily.

Then she noticed something—Vegeta was drenched, Gohan was holding a camera, Trunks was laughing his head off, the lawn was soaked, and the Slip 'N' Slide was floating back to the ground in tiny, yellow pieces that had been scattered into the sky by an enraged Saiyan Prince.

Said Prince was now readying a ki blast, ready to blow said children into the next dimension.

"Vegeta, I will handle it," Bulma said firmly, in one of those voices that not even Vegeta would argue with. "And trust me, it won't be pretty." She turned a Look on the three chibis, who quailed suitably beneath its weight. That kind of a Look usually promised Frying Pan Whapping and/or starvation.

It was moments like this that had Gohan convinced that Bulma could probably go head to head with Frieza himself, and scare the reptilian tyrant into submission within moments. He'd always suspected that his mother could have singlehandedly taken out Cell, though he had never voiced that opinion, for fear that Krillen would tease him, Vegeta would [try to] beat him, or that Piccolo would just smack him repeatedly upside the head.

"What could you possibly do?!?" Vegeta roared angrily. "Nothing's stopping them! They're devils! Little tyrants!" He paused; then, with an almost wonderous expression, he added, "They're almost acting…Saiyan! Only less evil…and without destroying planets…" The revelation was plain on his face; he had gone blank at the very idea.

Bulma took advantage of this momentary distraction to steer her wayward Saiyan partner back into his treasured Gravity Room, and close the door, effectively delivering the three children from excruciating pain, monstrous injury, and almost certain death.

At Vegeta's hands, anyway…

"All right, you three," Bulma wheeled on the chibis. "You're in big trouble!" She advanced a step; they fell back a step. Suddenly, she grinned. "Unless you give me a copy of that picture. I assume it's a good one?" She winked, and there were multiple sighs of relief. But this one wasn't resulting in Bulma's home being destroyed, or anything along those lines, so she could deal with it.

Behind her, Krillen was laughing his head off. "Man, that was awesome! I wanna see that picture!" Gohan grinned, until he realized that Krillen had Marron with him, and she was staring at his wet, swimming-trunks-clad self, almost drooling. Of course, that last state could have been attributed to her young age, but Gohan wasn't taking any chances. He grabbed his towel and covered up.

He was only mildly surprised when she started pouting at him.

"Well, I got what I needed," Krillen held up a handful of capsules, as if to prove his point. "I expect to see that picture, Gohan." With a wave and a goodbye, he left, taking his mildly-lovesick daughter with him—much to Gohan's relief.

"Honestly, Gohan, I don't know what's gotten into you," Bulma sighed as she led the three children back to the house. "You've been a little demon ever since you went chibi, and I have to say, it's almost frightening. You're the only person I've ever seen who could plan a better practical joke than my son." She ignored Trunks' protests, and continued, "Have you always had this talent?"

"I don't know. It's like…it's like something just comes over me, and I can't control it. When it happens, I—I just have to prank somebody. And Vegeta just makes himself the obvious choice. I can't fight it," he replied half-mournfully, then paused and shot Bulma a glance. "Why are you asking?"

"Oh, I'm just wondering if you'll retain this side of you when the second wish is made, and you go back to being eighteen," the blue-haired beauty replied thoughtfully. "Trust me, Vegeta still has his 'I am the Prince of all Saiyans and that gives me the right to be a complete jerk to everyone, so there' moments every once in a while, and sometimes, I just need to put him in his place, if you catch my drift."

Gohan nodded fervently. They had all been a victim, at some time or another, of Vegeta's trademark 'I am the Prince of All Saiyans and that gives me the right to be a complete jerk to everyone, so there' moments. And usually, he walked away from those times with a clear reminder of why he always pulled pranks on Vegeta.

"I could help, if you want!" Trunks chimed, knowing he probably wouldn't be allowed to do something like that to his father. But Gohan was cool—maybe there'd be some covert work for him to do or something. The penalty if he was ever caught would probably be death, but hey, what's life without a little risk? Boring. Flat-out boring.

Trailing along beside Gohan, Goten grinned. I am sooooo winning this quiet game.




AN: This wasn't intended to be a prank chapter. It just kind of…happened. Semi-prank, we'll call it. I love Vegeta to death, I really do. But he sets himself up for all the torment we authors put him through. *sigh* And poor Goten…heeheehee…

Hehe…I'm trying to figure out what will happen in the next couple chapters before we get the final prank, the Dragonball hunt, the second wish, and the epilogue. So…yeah.

Oh yeah, and the first chappie of the Christmas spin-off is almost done. Ideally, it'll be up soon, but I'm not going to make any promises. This is the time of year where EVERYTHING starts happening at once, so time might become a very valuable resource.

Fortunately, summer vacay is nearing, and with that, hopefully I'll have a little free time. I doubt I'll ever get back to my daily updating habit (*sighs* Once upon a time…), but I'd like to post a little more frequently than I do now. I feel bad when I don't update.

Next chapter: Not a clue, as of yet…