AN:Yay! I'm back! Hooray! A couple people said they wanted to see this happen in the story, and in truth, it will become important a little later on. Just bear with me, and all will make sense later. I don't own DBZ or Robert Frost or nuttin'. I don't even own the car I drive. My parents do.
Chapter Nine—Chow Down and Disturbing News
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.
-"Forgive, O Lord," by Robert Frost
The weather in Otherworld…well, it was just like any other day. They really didn't get too much variety in the Elysian Fields of the afterlife. Not that anyone cared either way. The weather had always been that way. It was one of those things that just was.
At the moment, the select few fighters who had been granted access to the special training grounds of the next dimension were enjoying a daily ritual. Namely, lunch. The one time of the day where they all actually sat down together and did something other than try to beat the living…er, um, dying daylights out of each other.
One of these fighters usually didn't talk very much, though. He ate enough to feed the rest of them a hundred times over, and was usually still hungry. He just tossed in a few words between enormous mouthfuls. Not that anyone minded. That was just Goku for you. They had figured out early on that the Saiyan residents of Earth were almost single handedly responsible for the famines in Ethiopia.
"Hey," Goku proclaimed around mouthfuls of noodles. "This is really good!"
Everyone nodded good-naturedly. As usual, that was just Goku for you. Training and food. Not much else. But nobody complained. Actually, considering Goku's power, some of them were secretly starting to wonder if perhaps his diet was really his secret. One or two of them had actually tried it, and ended up with exceptional stomach aches as a result. Now they were wondering if perhaps, like the guy in the Bible, his hair was his secret. That would explain a lot.
But anyway, the fighters just continued with their meal. Strange…one would think that being dead would mean they didn't have to eat, but oh well.
Swallowing his last bite, Goku looked pitifully down at his empty plate. Fifteen plates, and he still felt as though he hadn't eaten anything. He glanced around, and noticed that the guy to his left still had plenty left…surely he wouldn't mind if Goku just helped himself to a little…
That plan came to a screeching halt when lightning flashed, and a voice came down upon the assembly of fighters who were enjoying their midday meal. Wait…does Otherworld even have days? Oh well, doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.
"Son Goku, you keep your hands on your own plate!" ChiChi's voice raged from above them.
Everyone looked around in confused panic. What the HFIL was that? Where did it come from?
Finally, Pikkon asked the question that was on everyone's minds. "Who was that?"
"My wife…ChiChi," Goku said sheepishly, pulling both of his hands back under the table.
Pikkon blinked. "How does she do that?"
"I've been trying to figure that out for years," Goku replied mournfully.
"Goku!" King Kai suddenly came waddling into the little room where the fighters were relaxing. "Goku, I think you'd better have a look at this!"
Sighing inwardly over being torn away from lunch, the Saiyan obeyed, and followed his old teacher out of the building. Whatever he was being summoned to have a look at, it had to be huge, amazing, or otherwise important, because King Kai was absolutely frantic, and muttering in a voice that sounded like he had several dozen walnuts stuffed into his cheeks.
The little blue catfish man finally stopped by a strange looking pool, with waters that were every color imaginable, all swirled together into a beautiful sparkling rainbow kaleidoscope. This was a special pond, for it allowed those residing in Otherworld to see what was going on in the other dimension—in this case, on Earth. "Take a look!"
The colors moved, and finally, a picture was formed. Two small children were engaged in a full fledged mud war; the two chibis were covered from head to toe in the filth. Goku laughed out loud at the image. "So…what's the big fuss? A couple of kids making a mess. Nothing wrong with that…unless you're Gohan, and ChiChi finds out…" The great warrior shuddered at that thought.
King Kai sighed. "Keep watching."
And so Goku watched as Krillen showed up. It took the Saiyan a minute to recognize his best friend; Krillen had hair…and a daughter? Bizarre. And as if that wasn't bad enough, he watched the two children get an earful from…ChiChi?!?
"Uh, King Kai?" Goku said hesitantly. "Why is ChiChi grilling those two?"
"Those are your sons, Goku," the little blue god replied impatiently.
"Sons?" Goku jumped a mile. "As in, more than one?!?"
King Kai nodded. "Goten was born after you died."
"But wait a second…" Goku thought something over carefully, then counted something out on his fingers. "Hey, King Kai, Gohan was eleven when I died. Did ChiChi have two kids or something?"
"No. You only have two sons."
"But those two are the same age!" Goku protested. This just didn't add up! "Unless Gohan shrunk or something, how is this possible?"
King Kai chuckled. Oh, Goku was so clueless. Sometimes it was just a lot of fun to show the mighty warrior something that was ten feet over his head and sit back and watch as he tried to figure it out. Nine times out of ten, Goku would give up, and it was always funny to see his face when it was explained to him. "Goku, Goten gathered the Dragonballs and wished Gohan back to being a seven year old again. That's why they're the same age."
Son Goku jumped right out of his halo. "WHAT?!?" Then he looked back down at the pool, where the two children had finished their bath. Now they were very clean little kids, as opposed to the walking mud monsters they'd been a short while before. With the mud gone, it wasn't hard to see the family resemblance. And Goku definitely recognized the one face as being a young Gohan. "Huh…what do you know…it is Gohan!"
"He's an eighteen year old stuck in a seven year old body," King Kai explained, savoring the bewildered look on Goku's face. It was so much fun to watch the strongest warrior in the universe struggle with this kind of problem. It was almost as amusing as the time Pikkon had asked Goku what eight plus four. That question had been asked two months ago. They expected an answer any day now.
"Aw, that really stinks!" Goku frowned and folded his arms across his chest. "Can he go Super Saiyan or anything like that?"
"I don't believe so," King Kai shook his head. "But take a look at this! The mudfight happened yesterday, but I thought you'd get a kick out of it. Look what's happening right now."
Goku looked back down at the pond, wherein time had fastforwarded. Now Gohan was sitting next to a pretty girl, who looked herself to be about eighteen or so. They both looked very upset, and the girl was saying something about the prom. Gohan had gone quite pale, and was shaking his head. He looked incredibly sad about something.
"What's wrong?" the Saiyan queried, scratching his head. "They don't look happy."
"Well, your son's in high school, and there's a big dance in a month called the prom," King Kai explained patiently, reminding himself that Goku had never gone to real school, and therefore would have no inkling of what a big deal prom was. "That girl's name is Videl. She's a very good friend of Gohan's."
Goku grinned. "Gohan has a girlfriend, huh?" He studied her for a minute. "She's a looker!"
"She's not his girlfriend quite yet, but it'll probably end up that way," the catfish man snorted. "But Gohan was going to take this girl to the dance. Except now that he's seven again, he can't exactly go. He can't even go back to school in this state. That's why they're both pretty upset. They were really looking forward to this."
"Hmm…" Goku murmured, studying the expressions on the faces in the pool. The girl—Videl—was obviously trying to hide the fact that she was crushed, and Gohan didn't look much happier. The two eventually said goodbye and parted ways, with Gohan retreating into the house and Videl, surprisingly enough, taking to the skies in flight, most likely headed for home.
"I can hear the wheels turning in your head, Goku," King Kai teased. "They're all rusted, so they're making a lot of noise!" He snorted at his own joke.
Goku managed a smile. "Yeah…poor Gohan, though…" First getting changed into a kid, and now missing out on something that's obviously pretty huge, the Saiyan thought sympathetically. I wonder…
"Hey, Goku! Do you want the rest of this?" one of the Otherworld fighters called from the building on the training grounds. He was holding up a bowl of leftovers.
All thoughts of everything instantly fled Goku's mind at the sight of the food, and he zipped back to devour the unfortunate leftovers. He'd worry more about Gohan's problem later.
Alone in the safe haven of his bedroom, and protected beneath the sheets and blankets on his bed, Gohan sighed unhappily. He had been enjoying his days of renewed childhood. But now there was that thing he had so been dreading: a shadow, looming over his happiness.
And he'd been looking forward to the prom. What wasn't to look forward to, though? Spending an evening with his friends, most notably Videl, and have some fun at the dance. Gohan could think of far worse ways to spend an evening.
But as it turned out, he was going to actually find a worse way to spend his evening. He couldn't go. Not as a seven year old! They probably wouldn't even let him into the dance at this size.
With a sigh, Gohan rolled over. Things had just kept getting more and more complicated since Goten had made that wish, and he didn't know what to do about it. It had taken him nearly a month to work up the nerve just to ask Videl to the dance.
He remembered that, too…
Sighing, the raven-haired girl spun around and walked away from the blonde jock. Sharpner looked confused. He had just asked Videl to the prom, and she had turned him down? How was such a thing possible?!? Then he noticed Erasa shooting him a look, and he grinned. Or maybe he could just go for Plan B. Yeah, Plan B would work just fine.
Gohan watched for a minute as the two blondes start whispering to each other. Then he took a deep breath and hurried down the hallway into which Videl had disapppeared.
He had guessed that she would be at her locker, and he was proven right. The young Miss Satan was shoving some books into her locker and others into her bag, all the while muttering to herself. He couldn't quite hear what it was, but it didn't sound very cheerful.
The hallways were fairly empty, considering that most students were out of the building within ten seconds of the bell sounding. Good. That would make this a lot easier.
He swallowed hard and strolled over. "Hey, Videl," he said amiably.
"Hi, Gohan," she said flatly, not looking at him.
Okay, she's in a bad mood, he sighed mentally. But he just leaned against the locker next to hers and said casually, "So…going to the prom with anyone?" Oh, that was smooth, Son, he instantly started berating himself. Way to go!
But surprisingly, Videl didn't even seem to notice the obviousness of the question. "No. Sharpner just asked me for the fifth time, and for the fifth time, I turned him down." She shot Gohan a measuring gaze. "You're a guy. Maybe you can tell me why he doesn't get the hint."
"Uh, sorry…" he shrugged.
She actually looked disappointed. "You were my last hope, Son."
"Sorry," he said again, then glanced around. There was nobody nearby. It was now or never. "Um, hey…Videl…um, if you're not busy or anything, and…um, you're not going with anybody—"
She slammed her locker shut, making him jump. Then she turned and gave him a look. "I'll answer if you actually manage to ask."
He blinked. "Umm…wouldyougotopromwithme?" There. He'd asked.
She quirked a brow. "What was that?"
She's teasing me, he realized, and he sighed. "Would you maybe like to go to prom with me?"
For a minute, she didn't react. Then, slowly, she smiled. "I'd love to."
That had been one of the happiest moments of Gohan's life. Of course, it had been fairly short lived because not five minutes later, they had been roped into a double date with Sharpner and Erasa, who had suddenly decided to escort each other to the dance. But hey, that was life. You won some, you lost some. But now it looked like Gohan had lost. Big time.
AN:Another successful chapter (I hope!) Dedicated to all who wanted Goku to find out! I lova my reviewers, you all rule!!!
Oh, and by the way, I think I might be bringing Hannah back for this tale. For those of you who have never met her, she is an original character, the housekeeper at the Satan family mansion; she's also kind of like Videl's adoptive [grand]mother. She's really old, and tons o' fun. Trust me, you'll like her. I'm pretty sure I'll be putting her in this story for counsel and [more] comedy relief.