Disclaimer: I don't own DragonballZ. If I did, Gohan, Trunks, and Goten would have still kept fighting instead of turning into a scholar and boy-crazy guys. Those contributed to ending to DBZ, which didn't like, for obvious reasons. I also don't own "I Still Believe" from "Miss Saigon." I changed a lyric so that it would fit with the story.

Author's Note: Ironically, I have never seen "Miss Saigon", but thanks to the invention of the Internet, I read the script and listened to the songs, and --- being the sap I have apparently become --- cried my eyes out. I thought that Kim's part of the song identified well with the G/CC pairing, because of Goku leaving to fight all the time, and Chi-Chi waiting for him to come back. Extra-sensitive readers may want to break out some tissues for this one. Anyone who wants to hear the whole song can listen to it on this site I found:

I Still Believe

It was well past midnight. Usually, she would have been asleep by now, but she just couldn't get comfortable. She kept glancing at the other side of the bed --- where her husband used to sleep. At the thought of him, her heart suddenly felt as empty as the bed.

~~~

Last night I watched him sleeping,

My body pressed to him.

~~~

It only seemed like yesterday that he was here with her. If she closed her eyes, she could still feel his arms around her.

~~~

And then he started speaking,

The name that I heard him speak was mine.

~~~

She still couldn't believe that he was gone forever. Or maybe she didn't want to believe it. The way he died… it was unreal. He was always healthy, happy, and lively. She couldn't remember him ever getting sick…

At first it was just little things: coughing, less energy, even a lack of appetite (which was saying something, since he was always hungry). She'd been concerned, asking him to see a doctor. He kept insisting that he was fine. Unlike his wife, Goku hardly worried about anything

Then one day, he had collapsed, clutching his heart. She called the doctor, but there was nothing he could do to help; the virus was new at the time, and there had been no cure.

Even then, she still believed he'd make it. After all, he had died once before, but he returned. He fought on an exploding planet and escaped in the nick of time. He saved the world countless times… surely a tiny virus would be no problem for him…

Yet that little virus had destroyed everything.

It was torture for her to watch him, the strongest man in the universe, in so much pain. He never did anything to deserve it. His friends tried to use the dragonballs to cure him, but it was beyond the Eternal Dragon's power to do.

What did he mean, 'beyond his power'? she thought bitterly. All those times he saved the Earth… and they just let him die!

Within days, he quietly slipped away from life. Perhaps it had been a merciful end to pain. And yet the fact that she never got a chance to say good-bye was more than she could bear.

That had been thirteen years ago… thirteen dreary years without him. The house had never been the same without him. Nothing had ever been the same without him.

~~~

Yes, I know that this was years ago…

~~~

And still the memory of him still lingered like distant music.

~~~

But when moonlight fills my room, I know

You are here, still…

~~~

She could still hear his laughter, see his smile… sometimes she thought she even saw him. It wasn't like a ghost, it was just him. Often he was training, or asking her for food. The two things that had once annoyed her --- but now would have given anything to see him do. For a moment, she'd believe that he was really there…

But then he'd vanish, and she'd know it was only in her head.

~~~

I still…

I still believe

You will return,

I know you will.

~~~

She switched on the lamp and picked up a photograph that sat on her cabinet. It was of the three of them; Goku was standing next to her, holding Gohan in his arms, smiling in his usual cheerful manner. It was taken years ago, before Raddiz came…

They'd been happy then. Goku stayed always stayed home, and Gohan was her little boy… Life had been sweet and peaceful. She would have given anything to have those years back.

~~~

My heart, against all odds,

Holds still.

~~~

Somehow, she still had to keep going. She was no stranger to the pain of having him leave. What kept her going all those times was the knowledge that he'd come back. No matter how long he was gone, he always came back. Dragonballs or no dragonballs, he always found a way…

~~~

Yes, still…

I still believe

As long as I can keep believing,

I'll live.

~~~

Whether it was hope or simple denial, it was the only thing that had kept her living. For a while, it had been Gohan as well…

~~~

I'll live,

You will return,

And I alone know why…

~~~

Gohan had been hit hard by his father's death; the two of them had been very close. He blamed himself for not being there when he died. In truth, she blamed herself. She was the one who sent him out for groceries on the day he died. Afterwards, he started training harder than ever, despite her protests that he should be studying.

Oh Gohan, she thought, tears welling up in her eyes. Why couldn't you just understand that I didn't want to lose you like I lose your father?

She never admitted it to anyone, but she was proud of her son. The only reason she disapproved of his training was because she was afraid he'd get killed. She knew he was strong, yet he was still her little boy. She worried because she cared.

Yet the more she pushed her son to succeed, the further she seemed to push him away from her. She couldn't hang onto him forever; he was growing up. Or maybe he already had grown up after Piccolo had trained him. He left six months later to fight the Androids.

So the years passed. Every so often, he would stop by and visit. She would try to keep him there as long as she could by fixing a big meal for him or insisting that he'd stay overnight instead of sleeping somewhere out in the woods.

She'd plead over and over to stop fighting before he got himself killed. He'd smile just like his father, and reassure her that he wasn't going to get killed. "When the Androids are destroyed, I'll come back home," he kept promising.

But he never did.

Bulma had come over a week ago, to tell her that Gohan was dead. Her baby, the one thing that she had left, was gone. It was like Goku dying all over again… only worse. Piccolo and Kami were dead, and the dragonballs were no more. He was never coming back, and there was no hope.

Or was there? Bulma had also told her about the time machine she was working on. Her plan was to go back in time and give the antidote to Goku. Then he'd be able to defeat the Andriods…

"But it's more than that," Bulma explained eagerly. "That means that they'll come back --- Tien, Piccolo, Krillin, Chiatozu, Vegeta, Yamcha, Goku, Gohan --- everyone!"

"Will it really work?" she asked cautiously, not daring to get her hopes up.

"I'm sure it will. Anything is better than just doing nothing while those monsters kill everyone."

~~~

For still…

I still believe

As long as I can keep believing,

I'll live.

~~~

If Bulma's plan worked, then the whole ordeal will seem like a bad dream. She'd be able to say all the things she didn't get to say, like how proud she was of them, how much she loved them both… she'd even stop nagging them so much.

We'll be happy again soon, she thought. I can't give up now. She gazed at Goku's face in the picture. I know you wouldn't.

~~~

I'll live,

You will return,

And I know why…

~~~

"You'll be back," she murmured, kissing the photograph. "Both of you. I don't care how long it takes. I'll wait. As long as there's a chance, I'll still hope. There's nothing else I can do except that…"

~~~

I'm yours

Until we die.

~~~