AN: :does happy dance: Yay rah for my fantabulous reviewers! Neato mosquito, guys! I'm proud of you, and I'm really happy that everyone's enjoying the Dragonball hunt. And I was surprised that not even one person flamed me for the end of the last chapter. Surprised, but pleased, heehee. After this, we have a mere two chapters left-both of which are already mostly written. Yes, I sometimes skip ahead to the end of a fic-I started the last two chapters, oh, somewhere around Chapter Eight, I think. Leave me in my shame.
Anyhoo, here we go! The last three Dragonballs are found, and Gohan's getting one last challenge as a chibi. The last part of this chapter-the tests-were the brainchild of the lovely and talented Goten's Girl12!! Praise her, I say! I hope this measures up to your idea. No ownie!!!!
Chapter Thirty-Three—The Dragonball Hunt, Part II
Or, Who's the Best of the Boys?
Four beautiful, orange, star-spangled spheres sat atop a blue pillow. Said pillow was then put in a place of honor-okay, so it was Bulma's desk, next to her computer, but hey, anyone who walked by could see them! Wasn't that enough?
They had gathered four of the Dragonballs, which left three more to go. Once those three were gathered, Son Gohan could be wished back to his eighteen-year-old self, and all would go back to normal…well, as normal as things ever got around those guys.
Videl and Number Eighteen had been sent out a little later than everyone else, so they hadn't yet captured their prize. That left two. Krillen and Yamcha had volunteered to go out again (provided they didn't meet up with the Spaz Man again-though he had a nice, big White House). And Bulma, being the fair-minded sort, had made an executive decision: Vegeta would go get the last one.
Naturally, the proud Saiyan had raised holy hell over this, but Bulma had taken him aside; moments later, he was rearing and ready to go. Nobody was quite sure if they wanted to know what Bulma had said to him to make him so eager to go find the thing.
And Gohan, Goten, and Trunks were left to their own devices, with only a warning not to make any sort of trouble, cause any sort of destruction, or traumatize any small children or animals.
In short, they weren't allowed to have any fun.
And so the search continued…
"So it's nearby?" Videl asked, looking down at the landscape.
"That's what Bulma said," Number Eighteen replied shortly.
As if on cue, the radio at Eighteen's belt crackled loudly. "Hey, you're there! Head on down and look around. It should be just below you!"
Obediently, the two women dropped some altitude and swooped down to the ground for a graceful landings. Once there, they glanced around. It was a plain, nothing too exciting, with a few low trees poking up over the grass here and there. So this was the location of the fifth Dragonball.
"Well, let's find it," Eighteen ordered, and Videl nodded.
After a few minutes, Videl reached behind a rather large rock that was shaped sort of like Goku's head, and shouted triumphantly, "Found it!" Her hand withdrew, clutching the elusive Dragonball. It bore its seven stars proudly.
"Great. Let's get out of here," Eighteen smirked.
"I don't think so!"
The voice trumpeted out of nowhere, and the two women whirled to find themselves staring at a veritable army of people. The man at the head of this large group was the one who had spoken. He was tall, handsome, and wearing a black tuxedo. His army…well, they looked a little odd, to say the least.
"We'll be taking the Dragonball, thank you very much!" he announced loudly. "We, the members of the Black Tie Army, shall conquer the world through song and dance, and we need the Dragonballs to do it! So hand it over, little girl!"
"No? Very well, then! We shall take you down with our super powers!" he cackled, then puased. "Why am I ending every sentence with an exclamation point?" He thought about it for a second, then shrugged. "Oh well. Hit it!"
It was then that they realized exactly why the army looked so damn strange. They were all wearing sequined tuxedos, sparkly top hats, and carrying gold-topped canes. The instant the order was given, they fell into a formation and started a routine.
Videl's jaw dropped. Eighteen's widened.
The Black Tie Army began to sing.
Come and meet [tap tap] those dancing feet!
On the avenue I'm taking you to
Eighteen realized that she suddenly had the urge to vomit—a remarkable feat for an android.
Hear the beat [tap tap] of dancing feet
It's the song I love the melody of
What the hell was this? Videl tilted her head to one side. No, it didn't make any sense from that angle either. These people were all certifiable, she was quite sure.
Little nifties from the fifties, innocent and sweet
Sexy ladies from the eighties, who are indiscreeeeeeete!
With that, they broke into a full blown tap routine.
They're side by side, they're glorified
Where they underworld can meet the elite
[tappity tappity tappity tappity tappity tappity tap]
Where the underworld can meet the elite
Someone was trying to sing soprano who was obviously NOT a soprano, and the incredibly high note showed it for all its tone-deaf glory. At that point, Eighteen had just had enough. With a slight growl, the android plowed into the army.
A few minutes later, dozens and dozens of sequined figures were sprawled over the landscape. A few were unconscious, most were groaning in pain, and a few begged for death.
Eighteen flew over to Videl. "I hate that song," she said, flipping her hair back with one hand. "Come on, let's go back to Capsule Corp." Videl didn't need to be told twice.
"Guess we're gonna get wet," Yamcha commented, looking down at the blue expanse of ocean beneath them. Bulma's directions had brought them here, and she now swore that they were right over it. It was a good thing that it was so warm out—they were going for a swim.
Taking in deep breaths of air, they took the plunge and swam for it. They headed for the bottom, and looked around. It took surprisingly little time to find it—the elusive Dragonball was tangled in a seaweed bed, almost entirely hidden from sight. But Krillen found it, and freed it from its watery, planty prison. Clutching the one-star ball in his hands, he smiled (quite a feat, given he was underwater). They were almost there!
Krillen's attention was then caught by Yamcha, who was waving frantically and pointing towards a nearby coral reef. Understanding the gesture quite clearly, Krillen swam over towards his friend and peered at whatever had him so worked up. Some part of him was suddenly quite thankful that their training had afforded them the ability to hold their breath for a long period of time.
It was very obvious what had gotten Yamcha that excited.
There were a bunch of fish and other water animals dancing around on the coral reef. Nearby, there was what looked like a small redheaded girl with a green fish tail watching a crab (with some sort of accent) belting out a very catchy tune.
"Under da sea!" the crab sang, and the other fishies echoed it.
The two Dragonball hunters looked at each other, shrugged, and headed for the surface. When they broke through to the air above and caught their breath, Krillen turned to Yamcha and asked in bewilderment, "What was that?"
Yamcha shrugged. "I don't know…but that was a cool song!" He started singing. "Under da sea…under da sea…" That was as far as he got before Krillen punched him.
It was sunny, bright, and beautiful.
Vegeta growled at the blue sky. It was too damn cheerful for the proud Saiyan. As if it wasn't bad enough that he'd been sent on this asinine errand by the damn woman, it had to be so blasted nice outside. A complete contrast with his mood. So naturally, he hated it.
He looked down, and saw something rather odd.
Beneath him was a bright arch of colors, reaching across the sky. He frowned, and finally, it clicked what it was. He was flying over a rainbow. Wait…wasn't there some ridiculous song by that title?
The woman owed him for this, big time.
Finally, Bulma's voice came over the radio. "Head on down, Vegeta. You're there."
Grumbling, he obeyed. But when he landed, he became acutely aware that there was something decidedly odd about this place. For starters, all the trees were very strange-looking, as were the houses. They were all different shapes and colors and styles, unlike anything he had ever seen before on Earth. And furthermore, he seemed to be standing on some sort of strange road—except it was the wrong color.
His thoughts about the path were distracted, though, as someone approached him. Actually, several someones. Several very small someones. They were even shorter than him, though they looked to be fully grown adults, somehow.
Vegeta waited for them to say something.
One of them finally did—a fat man in a green jacket, holding a little black hat. "Where do you come from, stranger?" The man's voice sounded like he had been sucking helium; it was enough to make Vegeta's teeth grind.
"Somewhere else," he growled, not quite sure why he was answering. Trying to ignore the dozens of little eyes watching his every move, he began looking around. The Dragonball wasn't too hard to find, actually. There was a bird nesting on a nearby roof, and the orange sphere had ended up in the poor animal's nest. Vegeta plucked it out, ignoring the bird's screeches and pecking.
He regarded it smugly. The last Dragonball.
Now if he could only figure out why the hell the road beneath his feet was made of bricks, he would be all set. Even better, could someone tell him why it was yellow?
Three people scooted over and began singing. "We represent the Lollipop Guild…"
Okay, enough was enough. He had the Dragonball, and these little people were beginning to freak him out. Only one way to handle something like that. Vegeta shot off into the air, ignoring the gasps of the crowd; he spun, held out one hand, charged up, and let the ki blast fly.
There were squeals and screams, and dozens of yellow bricks came flying past his head. When the smoke cleared, he saw that he had made a nice dent in that oddly-colored road.
Shaking his head at the strange place, Vegeta soared back over the rainbow, heading for home.
When he returned, though, he quickly discovered that he was in serious trouble.
"VEGETA!" Bulma roared when he landed. She did, however, reach out and grab the last oh-so-precious Dragonball out of his hand as she screeched. "I warned you, didn't I?!? NO BLOWING THINGS UP!!! You could have destroyed that poor town!!!"
"How did you know?!?" he was too stupefied to even deny the charge.
She held up one of the handheld radios they had all carried. "I heard it, Vegeta."
Vegeta threw his hands up in the air. "Oh, for the love of Kami, woman! I put the fires out!"
Bulma wheeled on her mate, eyes blazing with unholy flames; the glare she gave him was probably capable of killing small animals. It was one of those Looks that would have made braver, stronger men than Vegeta quail-if such men were to be found. "Vegeta, you made them WORSE!"
He couldn't resist. He tried, he truly did, but he could not resist. The opportunity was just too great. It was dancing around in front of him naked, wearing a sign that said I'M HERE! Vegeta put one hand on Bulma's shoulder, leaned forward, and smirking, replied, "Worse…or better?"
In the midst of all this excitement were three very bored children.
Gohan was staring off into space, waiting for them to come back and make the wish.
Trunks was studying the wall, wondering if his dad had found the Dragonball yet.
Goten was looking at a bug.
In an attempt to distract themselves further, they decided to watch some television. However, they quickly realized that TV wasn't going to do much for them in this situation. After a while, Gohan jumped up and pointed at the screen in confused exasperation.
"I don't understand it!" he shouted angrily, his pointing hand shaking furiously with the force of his voice. "I don't understand these American cartoons! What is it with the sponge…and squarepants?!?"
Goten cracked up as Patrick dropped his rock-home on his own head again.
Gohan sighed and shook his head. How was it possible that they were related?!?
"Let's do something!" Trunks declared suddenly.
"What should we do?" Goten asked innocently.
Trunks shrugged again. "I don't know. I thought up the idea of doing something, now you guys think of something to do." He waited expectantly.
Gohan rolled his eyes. "Why does it not surprise me that you can't think of something to do?"
One lavender eyebrow arched. "What is that supposed to mean?"
Gohan leaned in and spoke in his very best 'talking to confused children' voice. "Let me spell it out for you. I'm insulting your intelligence. That means I'm saying something bad about you. Did I use small enough words?" For some reason, he was feeling contrary today.
"Oh, you're on!" Trunks jumped to his feet. "That's what we'll do! We'll have a contest! We'll see who the Best of the Boys is! You're going down, Son Gohan!"
"What would you like written on your tombstone?" Gohan asked, cracking his knuckes. This sounded like it would be a lot of fun!
Goten laughed as Squidward got hit in the face with a Krabby Patty.
"Okay, first is the test of Sneakiness!" Gohan announced. "Go into the office, distract Bulma somehow, and swipe something from the room without her seeing. We'll time to see who can do it fastest, and who can get the best item. Trunks, you volunteered to go first."
The lavender-haired chibi nodded, and disappeared into his mother's lab. His voice drifted back through the slightly-open door a moment later. "Have they got the last Dragonballs yet? Man…they need to hurry…" A moment later, Trunks reemerged. He pulled one hand from behind his back to reveal the alarm clock from a table in the room.
Gohan took his turn next. He slipped in, and entered a conversation with Bulma as well. After a slightly shorter moment, he came out holding a paperweight, taken right from the desk itself. He grinned triumphantly and waved it in Trunks' face. At the moment, Gohan was in the lead, and the only one who hadn't gone yet was Goten.
Needless to say, Gohan felt preeeeeety confident.
Goten walked in casually. "Hey, Bulma."
"Hello, Goten. Are you hear to steal something from me too?" she asked in mild annoyance, not taking her eyes from her computer; her fingers were clicking away on the keyboard. "Gohan and Trunks don't seem to notice that I saw them taking my stuff. What's the deal?"
"Oh, it's a contest. They're supposed to swipe something without you seeing it," Goten explained. "They're having a contest to see who's the best. It's kinda stupid, isn't it?"
"Honestly, those two," Bulma rolled her eyes. "I can't wait until the last Dragonball is collected and we can get this all back to normal. Maybe Gohan will start acting like himself again."
"Maybe," Goten agreed. "Well, I'll let you get back to work. But…can I have a hug?" And he turned on the puppy dog eyes. Frieza himself would have been powerless before the power of those eyes. It was more potent then Super Saiyan. And Bulma proved that she was not immune, and swept the child up into a quick embrace before patting him on the head and turning back to her computer.
Goten skipped out of the room, where Goten and Trunks were waiting semi-patiently.
"Well?" Trunks demanded.
"She saw both you guys take stuff," Goten reported.
"Crap…" Gohan stomped his foot in anger.
"So you guys both lose, I guess. Oh yeah!" Goten produced a small leather wallet with flowers embroidered on it. "Here's her wallet. I swiped it when she hugged me. I'm hungry!" He smiled cheerily and headed down the hallway towards the kitchen.
Gohan and Trunks stared blankly after him. "That did NOT just happen…"
The Sneakiness Test. Winner: Goten
"And now for the Intelligence Test!" Trunks proclaimed.
In order to properly administer the test, they had grabbed Bulma (after returning her things and apologizing profusely) and asked her to help. She had agreed to monitor and time the three children while they worked at the object of the test-the SATS.
"You have thirty minutes to complete each section of the test," Bulma intoned, reading from the test booklet. "Once you have completed a section of the test, you may go back and check over your answers. You may not go on, and you may not go back to a previous section of the test. When the instructor says stop, please set your pencils down immediately. Do you understand?"
She looked up. Gohan was pretending to listen-her trained mother's eye knew the feigned listening position when it saw it. Trunks had his feet kicked up on the desk. Goten was sticking his pencil up his nose. In short, they weren't paying a whit of attention.
"Are you ready?" she asked. They nodded. "Begin!"
The three children went to work. Gohan was breezing through it. Trunks would work for a while, study the question booklet, then frantically erase and remark. Much more of that, and he would probably rub right through the answer sheet. At one point, he nonchalantly leaned over and tried to peek at Gohan's sheet, but Gohan noticed almost immediately and covered up his paper with his arm. Goten, meanwhile, was barely looking at the question booklet, though his pencil moved neatly over the bubble sheet.
After what seemed like eons to Bulma, but mere minutes to them, Bulma signalled that time was up. Once all the sections of the test were completed, Bulma gathered their answer sheets, chuckling inwardly as her son raced to fill in the last answers.
"Now we'll run them through this computer," the blue-haired genius said cheerfully, gesturing to the contraption beside her. It looked more like a jumble of wires and cords attached to a box with lots and lots of pretty blinky lights on it than anything else, but if Bulma said it was a computer, than by God, it was a computer! "And we'll find out what your scores are. Whoever gets the highest score wins the contest!" She looked down at the three papers in her hands. "Let's start with Trunks'!"
The lavender-haired chibi looked faintly pained as she fed the paper through one end. The computer blinked and dinged and some other fine examples of onomotopeia before a number finally popped up, glowing brightly in a little window in the middle of the box.
Trunks visibly withdrew into himself as his mother bestowed upon him the most withering of Looks. The kind of Look that would take the paint off a building at five hundred yards. The kind of Look that actually leaves a hole where it pierces. The kind of Look capable of killing small animals.
"Now, Gohan's," the genius' voice was decidedly crisper at her son's failure.
Again, the machine beeped.
"HA!" Trunks shouted triumphantly, thrusting one fist victoriously into the air. He subdued immediately, though, under Gohan's Glare-of-Death (patent pending) and Bulma's Look-of-DOOM (patent already secured and effective). He suddenly realized he had the almost uncontrollable urge to go hide under the bed. In Germany. Far away.
"And now, Goten's test," Bulma sighed, looking at the last child. Goten seemed inordinately fascinated by the pretty blinky lights on the side of the computer, and apparently wasn't even listening. Shrugging, she fed the test paper through. Again, the machine whirred and clanked and…meh, you get the idea. It made a bunch of noise.
And the number came up.
"What?!?" Trunks yelped.
"What?!?" Gohan squeaked.
"What?!?" Bulma gasped.
"HA!" Goten shouted.
Everyone stared blankly, save for Goten—who was doing the Funky Chicken as a victory dance.
Bulma blinked. "Well, I'll be darned."
The Intelligence Test. Winner: Goten
"Okay, so this is an easy one!" Gohan explained. "The first one to annoy Mr. Piccolo wins! Hell, I'll even go first. Let's do it!" Trunks nodded. Goten was whimpering with his hands over his ears because Big Brother had said a bad word.
Gohan floated up to Piccolo's side. Piccolo was meditating in front of his favorite waterfall—just like he always did. It was one thing about Piccolo that most of them liked: it was never hard to find the guy.
"Hey, Mr. Piccolo!" Gohan chirped.
One Namekian eye opened and rolled over to look at the young speaker. "What do you want?"
"I got some jokes for you!" Gohan trilled, causing Piccolo to almost wince in pain at the pitch.
"Gohan…" Piccolo's tone was steeped in warning.
"Why did the chicken cross the road?" Gohan took a deep breath and said all of the next jokes in one long, fast rush. "To get to the other side! Three guys walk into a bar—bet that hurt! How many Saiyans does it take to form a mating circle? Only one, but he has to be really flexible!"
The words of aggravation died on Piccolo's tongue at that last, and he looked at Gohan questioningly. The child shrugged. "I heard it from Vegeta."
"Somehow, that doesn't surprise me."
"Soooo…how many baritones does it take to change a lightbulb?"
"KNOCK IT OFF!" Piccolo barked, sending Gohan back a few feet.
The chibi looked at him with wide eyes, and for a long moment, the Namekian almost felt guilty. That is, he did until Gohan perked up and said, "Thank you, Mr. Piccolo!" And he turned and flew off, leaving Piccolo to wonder exactly what had happened.
Gohan flew up and tagged Trunks' hand. "You're up!"
Trunks zipped over and waited until Piccolo acknowledged his presence. "Now what do you want?" the Namek growled, a bit wary. Why were the children bothering him right now?
Trunks took a deep breath, and went into his own repetoire. "This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends, some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because this is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends…"
To Piccolo's credit, he made it through a full two renditions before he snapped and shot his eyes lasers in the child's general direction. Trunks dodged with a little squeal, and shot away, in the same direction Gohan had gone. Piccolo muttered a few colorful Namekian curses under his breath and went back to his meditation. He had the sinking feeling that he would be interrupted again.
Sure enough, he was right.
Piccolo glared as Goten approached. He was getting heartily tired of this persistant annoyance, and wished desperately that he could punt them through a wall with a clean conscience. But Gohan might get angry with him, and that just wouldn't do. So, with a sigh, he asked gruffly, "What do you want?"
Goten tilted his head to one side, like he was sizing Piccolo up for something. He floated a little closer, his expression…well, it was as thoughtful as a seven-year-old's could be. He moved even a bit nearer, and then smiled. "Hey, Mr. Piccolo?"
"Can you hear me now? Good! Can you hear me now? Good! Can you hear me now? Go—"
There was nearly a sonic boom as Piccolo zipped away, screaming.
Goten pouted. "He didn't let me finish!"
The Annoying Test. Winner: Goten
And the games continued for the rest of the day as they waited for the last Dragonballs to be gathered. The tests went on relentlessly, with the competition as fierce as they come. And the results were something no one could have predicted.
The Singing Test. Winner: Goten
He was the only one who didn't shatter anything made of glass in the room or kill any dogs.
The Painting Test. Winner: Goten
Gohan painted something that actually looked vaguely like Piccolo. Trunks painted what he called 'Stick Person in a Stick Forest.' Goten then proudly displayed his work, which he had titled Shenron and the Four Dragonballs Amidst Flowers. And it was.
The Macarena Test. Winner: Goten
He managed to make it through thirty straight rounds of the dance. Gohan and Trunks, sadly, were left writhing on the floor in utmost agony after the first five or six times. And even then, they were subjected to further irritation as Goten continued to enjoy himself. He only stopped when Piccolo, who had taken refuge in the Capsule Corporation gardens (hiding ride under the nose of the enemy, as it were), once again cracked, dove in through the window, and blew up the stereo.
The Eating Test
I really don't need to tell you this one, do I? Let's just say Bulma needed to do some major grocery shopping in the very near future.
As the last Dragonball was placed beside its six brothers, there was an audible sigh of relief. For more reason than one. First, it meant that this adventure in renewed childhood was almost over. And secondly, it meant that there were actually people around now who were capable of making Goten stop doing the damn Macarena.
Gohan sighed and stretched out in bed. There was a lot of extra legroom, given that he was still so short! But that would change very soon. His last night as a chibified version of himself. It would all be over soon. Four months of fun, games, trouble, and pranks were about to come to an end.
They would make the wish tomorrow.
AN: Two chapters left, and they're both fairly short. :sigh: Hard to believe it's almost over. But in a way, I'm glad…'cept I have no inspiration for any longer DBZ works, save for the OVA. IDEAS, SUGGESTIONS, AND REQUESTS ARE ACCEPTED AND SOMETIMES EVEN USED!!!
Oh, oh, oh, before I forget—IT'S POSTED! The first chapter of A Very Chibi Christmas is up and running! FEEL FREE TO CHECK IT OUT!!!! No promises on when Chapter Two goes up. Sorry, guys. I'll work on it, I promise. Eventually. I'm back at school, so my time is going to become very valuable. I'll keep writing—just not as often as I posted this summer.
So keep your eyes peeled. The last couple chapters of this fic should be up shortly. Thanks!