AN: I've managed to type three chapters in one sitting. Hooray for Spring Break! Chapters 5, 6, and now this one all got done in one day. Not too shabby. I'm proud of me ^-^ But anyhoo, on with da story! Thanks to all my wonderful, wonderful reviewers. You all rule! I don't own DBZ. Why? Does someone actually think I do or something?

Chapter Six—A Messy Situation

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee

And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.

-"Forgive, O Lord," by Robert Frost

Two weeks had now passed since the wish that had screwed up Gohan's life so drastically. One week had gone by since Videl's visit. And it had been six days since the morning Gohan had woken up and discovered that his little brother had cut his hair while he had slept.

It really wasn't that bad. Actually, in Gohan's eyes, almost anything was an improvement over the dreaded mop top. His hair was now sticking out in several spikes, almost reminiscent of their father's famous hairdo. It was shorter, of course, but as far as Gohan was concerned, as long as he didn't have bangs anymore, it was okay.

But anyway, after several days, ChiChi had finally forgiven her younger son for ruining Gohan's hair, which was, as she put it, 'a true masterpiece—destroyed!' Once Gohan's shock had finally worn itself away, he had actually spent twenty minutes thanking his brother profusely.

Goten had been thoroughly enjoying have a brother his own age to play with, and Gohan was really getting into the idea of being able to relive some of his happier days of childhood, those all too rare occasions where he could actually have some fun running around in the woods and such. But on the other side of the coin, being the same age and being allowed the same priveleges of fun were also causing some severe moments of tension between the brothers, and they had taken to arguing over the stupidest of things.

In fact, they were enjoying one of these excursions of brotherly bonding at the moment, as it were. The terrible twosome were engaged in one of their favorite activities—they were going exploring. Not that there was much they hadn't explored or anything, but it seemed like there was always something lying around in one of their secret places that was new and exciting.

"Not fair!" Goten protested loudly as he tripped over some tree roots protruding from the ground and ended up sprawled flat on the ground, eating dirt. Which is really disgusting, if you think about it. I mean, aside from the awful taste and texture and stuff, there's tons of germs and bacteria and stuff that live in dirt. And you don't know who—or what—has been walking on that dirt! So eating dirt is definitely a bad idea. Just a friendly note from your author. Okay, enough of my pointless commentary. Back to the story!

Goten quickly recovered, though—and wisely spit out the dirt that had been forced into his mouth by his fall—and continued the chase. But Gohan had been running around these woods for a full eleven years longer than his brother, and knew them eleven times better. He probably could have navigated those woods blindfolded if he had to. Which he didn't, which was also nice.

Well, the chase went on, with Gohan in the lead, and Goten trying fervently to catch up, until they finally ended up in a clearing which held one of Goten's favorite landmarks in the woods and mountains that surrounded their house. In this little round opening in the trees was a large pile of dirt. And because of the rain that had fallen so generously the night before, the dirt was now a lovely mud soup. Not literally soup, of course. Kami forbid anybody should try to eat it or something!

So they stopped, and they both stood there, panting heavily from the exhertion of their exhilirating race through the woods.

"Hey, Gohan," Goten said between gasps.

"Yeah?"

"You suck! I can't even beat you when you're my age!"

"Well, geez, let's think about this," Gohan retorted, still breathing very heavily. "I've been running around these woods for twice as long as you have. I know this place better than you do."

"You still suck," Goten glowered.

"Tough," Gohan snapped. "If you're going to be a sore loser, I'm going home."

After making a face at his brother (which, of course, was the truly adult thing to do in a situation like that), Gohan turned to storm off back towards the Son house, thus ending yet another one of their fights over pointless things that just didn't matter.

But Gohan didn't get very far. He had taken two steps when something hit him in the back. He couldn't see what it was, but whatever it was, it was cold and wet and slimy and soaked right through the back of his gi.

"Ack!" he yelped, whirling around only to get hit again. This time, right smack dab in the kisser. The same cold, wet, slimy substance on his back. Only this time, he could see what it was. "Yuck!" he cried again, using the backs of his hands to wipe the goo from his face. He looked down at his hands, and saw the brown stuff that was now all over them. Then he glared up at his brother.

Goten was standing beside the huge mudpile. His hands were dripping a brown substance similar to the stuff on Gohan's hands (which, Gohan noticed, was also very, very much like the mud soup on the ground); the most telling piece of evidence, though, was the triumphant grin on Goten's face.

"I got you!" Goten declared proudly.

"Oh really?" Gohan snarled. "We'll see about that!" Before Goten could react, Gohan dove forward, grabbed a handful of mud, and launched it. Even at seven years old, Gohan's aim was near flawless, and he managed to nail his brother right in the face.

Goten yelped and immediately wiped the goo from his eyes; those selfsame eyes then narrowed. "Okay, Gohan, if that's how you want to play it…this means war!"

And with those words, the full fledged mud war began. For nearly half an hour, Gohan and Goten threw mud at each other, dumped each other face down in the slop, and just made a really big mess in general. After about the first ten seconds, they were both covered from head to toe in the brown ooze. It was thoroughly disgusting.

But, like the two children they were, their quarrel had been completely forgotten; they were too busy having the time of their lives to think about something as petty as an argument.

It went on like that until someone interrupted them.

"What are you guys doing?" a familiar voice asked from beyond the mud's edge.

They both stopped and peered through mud-filled eyes to see who the speaker was.

Krillen was standing there, holding his daughter, and watching them with an expression that was dancing on the knife edge between amused and bewildered.

"Oh. Hey Krillen!" Gohan laughed. "We're having a mudfight!"

"Well, I could see that," the former monk replied sardonically, dodging a poorly aimed mudball. "But why are we having a mudfight?"

"Because we can!" Goten said matter of factly.

Gohan didn't answer because he noticed that Marron was once again making calf eyes at him. She was twirling the end of one blonde pigtail around her index finger, and had her head tilted down bashfully. Krillen didn't seem to notice, but Gohan could feel his face going bright red. Even covered from head to toe with mud, Marron was still flirting with him! Yikes!

Trying his best to shake it off, Gohan was about to say something when all of a sudden, the Voice of DOOM was heard. The Voice of Doom came from the sky, the trees, the ground, even from the mud.

"Gohan! Goten! You two had better not be making a mess!" ChiChi's voice, the Voice of Doom, echoed from nature itself.

Gohan and Goten, who were starting to grow accustomed to this, didn't look too overly surprised at the sudden sound of their mother's angry voice, but Krillen jumped a mile and glanced about him with a panicked look on his face.

Finally, he just stared at the two Son boys, who were still sitting in the mudpile, and asked, "How does she do that?"

They both shrugged.

Suddenly, a terrible, horrible, awful…really, really bad thought occurred to Gohan. He gasped, and grabbed his brother's arm in a panic. "Goten…how exactly are we going to explain this to Mom?"

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Fifteen minutes later…

The two chibis were busy making in depth studies of their shoes and the grass. ChiChi paced back and forth in front of them, looking down at them with something similar to disdain.

Needless to say, it had not been a very pretty picture when Gohan and Goten had come in—or rather, tried to come in—completely covered, from head to toe, in slimy brown mud. The reason it is better to say that they tried to come in is because ChiChi refused to let them in the house in that state.

And now, out on the front lawn, she was pacing back and forth in front of them, like a drill sergeant inspecting his…er, her troops. And ChiChi definitely had the presence for a drill sergeant. She could have had any army whipped into shape in no time flat. But then again, had she been any less formidable, she probably never could have been able to deal with anyone as impulsive and rambunctious as her husband, and for that, the woman was to be commended.

"Well?" she barked so suddenly that both of them jumped. "What do you have to say for yourselves, you two?"

"Sorry, Mom," they both muttered in tiny little voices; like the good little soldiers…um, sons that they were, they were trying to hide the fact that they were scared to death.

ChiChi stopped pacing and stared down at them, arms folded across her chest. Luckily, the Frying Pan of Doom was nowhere to be seen, but that didn't necessarily mean that she wasn't going to pull it out of nowhere or something. She did, after all, have quite a knack for doing that kind of thing. "Are you two ever going to do something like this again?"

"No, ma'am."

"Do you want to know what will happen to you if you do this kind of thing ever again?"

"No, ma'am."

"I didn't think so. Now, you two are going to take a bath. And don't even think about setting foot in my house unless you are completely spotless! Not a trace of mud anywhere! Understood?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Good. Get to it," ChiChi barked her orders, once again bringing to mind a drill sergeant setting troops about an obstacle course. Then she turned on her heel and retreated into the barracks…ah, house.

Gohan and Goten were left standing there; their wide eyes, the only part of them actually visible through the mud, staring blankly ahead. Suddenly, both of them had the feeling that they had just survived a near death experience.

After all, their mother was just plain scary when she wanted to be. Most children feared monsters under the bed or in the closet, or the dark. No, the Son boys feared their mother more than any childhood fable. Gohan was honestly more afraid of his mother than he had been of Frieza and Cell…combined!

Not wanting to invoke her anger again, the two chibis ran off to take the prescribed bath.

AN: Kudos to Angel Wings for the idea for this chapter. Mud fight…haha! Brilliant! Praise her, I say!

Next time, on "Once Upon a Chibi," Videl comes over and finally admits what's been bugging her. Enter point of conflict! Hehehe…this is where I'm going to put a little tiny twist in this story. Again, I love all my reviewers! You all rule!! *sprinkles loves and kisses and cookies to all who have reviewed*