Author's Note: This is a rewrite of my fic "Promises." With my return to the Dragonball Z fandom, I decided to rewrite the story to bring it up to my current standards and hopefully finish it.
Please, leave a review. You have no idea how much they encourage me to keep going.
Other World Love
The hours droned on, and the seconds turned to minutes, the minutes to hours, and the hours to days. Chichi strove to fill them with anything and everything. She trained Goten, she fixed the same amazing meals she always had, and she made sure Gohan studied like he always had. Goku had been absent from their lives before, she knew how to adjust to it.
But always before, she had adjusted with the knowledge that somehow, somewhere, someway, Goku would be coming back to her and the boys. Now he had chosen not to come back.
You know why he did that, she chided herself softly as she took out the large thirty pound sack of rice that she bought every other day.
Knowing the reasons didn't help with the pain, she had discovered. Mourning for her husband numerous times had let her know what to expect, but his death after the Cell Games had been very, very different.
He's not coming back.
She shut her eyes to the pain, laid a hand over her heart as if to keep it safe from some outside threat.
She turned slowly to face Gohan's voice. "Hello, Gohan."
"Mom, I just talked to Dad! He's coming back to for the World Tournament!"
The memory of it made Chichi smile. She was without Goku again, but now she had Gohan, and Videl, and Pan, and Goten, and very possibly more grandchildren and great-grandchildren on the way. Goku might not have been there physically to see the Son family line grow strong and proud, but she had been there.
She still lived in the same house she always had, and she resented Goten and Gohan's efforts to get her to move closer to the city, closer to them. They could fly, after all, and besides, she'd always lived in the cottage in the mountains. Why change now? It was the one indulgence they could give an old woman, she always said, and they always complied.
All of my memories of Goku are here.
Funny, they'd been married longer than most of her friends, but they spent less time together. That didn't make their love any less real, any less potent.
She stepped out into the wind, and wrapped her outer jacket closer around herself. Her gray hair tossed and fidgeted with the breeze, and she smiled. Today she felt closer to Goku than she had in years. It was almost as if she could reach out and touch him.
Now she had time, time that she hadn't had in years. Time to herself. Visits from her relatives came often, but they couldn't be with her every single minute of every single day, like she had been used to.
The loneliness was something that she would enjoy, occasionally, but other times, she felt it like it were a physical pain.
So, just as she had done when Goku had refused to come back, she filled her time with things. She grew a garden, she went for long walks, acquired a dog, and cross stitched and read to her heart's delight.
Today, her destination was the lake that Goku had always caught their fish in. It held more than a few good memories for Chichi, specifically once when Goku had taken her for a swim, and they'd ended up making love.
When she reached the shore, she didn't let the lapping water approach her shoes, nor did she jump in like she might have once. After all, she wasn't a demi-Saiyan, and there was no doubt that Pan Briefs, her granddaughter, would throw a fit if she found out.
It was cloudy that day, matching Chichi's melancholy mood. If wishes were riches, she thought to herself, and chuckled.
It wasn't old age that would kill her, she knew, nor was it any disease. It was the bond that she shared with Goku. Through Gohan and Goten and their offspring, she'd managed to stay alive, but her heart and body and soul longed to be with her husband.
With a smile, she lightly caressed her bond mark. It was as dear to her as the ring on her finger. Certainly it meant more to Goku than any physical thing or symbol would have.
Her thoughts drifted towards what Goku must be doing now. Surely he was training, or working with some younger or weaker fighter, so that they could reach their optimum level of ability. Or perhaps, he was eating breakfast, listening to other warriors brag.
Does he think about me like I think about him?
The question was a familiar one to her. Obviously, Chichi and Goku were committed to each other, but in her weakest moments, Chichi often worried. Maybe he would find some other woman that he loved more in the Other World, or perhaps he would simply grow tired of her and her vicious mood swings, or…
Son Chichi, you are turning into a silly old goose.
The wind swept the water more fiercely than it had before. Her jacket flapped around her body, and she felt curiously warm.
A tingling feeling began at her fingertips, and spread through the rest of her body. She whispered only one word.
She drew one last breath, and her body fell to the ground. Son Chichi picked her final resting place as the exact spot where Gohan had been conceived so many years before.
Chichi opened up her eyes and found herself in a room full of spirits with no solid form. A closer inspection of herself revealed that she did indeed look like she used to back on Earth.
"Son Chichi!" A loud voice boomed her name from across the room. Chichi looked up and saw the largest man that she had ever encountered. Goku had told her about him.
"King Yemma?" Her voice sounded quiet compared to hers.
"That's my name, don't wear it out," he joked. "Goku told me to look out for you. He said you might be in shortly."
Chichi smiled. "He did?"
"Yes, he did," King Yemma said. "He described you so that I could recognize you, and asked me to give you special treatment. Said something about how you deserved it."
Positively beaming, Chichi managed to work up her courage. "When can I see him?"
"I've sent someone to let him know you're here. He should be here before too long. Now, we have to work out the logistics."
"All right," Chichi said tentatively.
"Relax. It's nothing bad. Let's see, it says here that you were the strongest female fighter on Earth before the arrival of Android 18. Is that correct?"
"Yes," Chichi said, matter-of-factly.
"You have two sons: Gohan and Goten. Gohan saved the world from Cell, didn't he?"
"Yes. He has a Ph.D.," Chichi informed him. "He's positively brilliant, and very strong. Goku was always going on about all his inner strength."
"Goten merged with Trunks Briefs to fight Buu, didn't he?"
"Yes," Chichi said. "I always thought they were much better separately. Less attitude."
King Yemma laughed. "Now, your file states that you've remained entirely faithful to Goku, even after his deaths."
"I belong with Goku."
It was stated so simply, so briefly, as if it were an obvious fact, that King Yemma had to look up from the papers he was holding. Just mentioning his name, Chichi's eyes sparkled with delight and interest.
"Interests," King Yemma continued, "cooking, reading, other such activities… hmm."
Chichi blushed. "I like to cook. It's very relaxing, and besides, everyone says I'm very good at it."
King Yemma thought that a good portion of 'everyone' was probably Goku. "Well, Mrs. Son. Here's the deal. You get to keep your body here in the Other World."
Chichi was shocked. "I thought that was reserved for the strongest fighters in the quadrant."
"It is, usually. However, you and Goku have obviously shared a full bond for a very long time now. It would be cruel to separate you two, not only in location, but also with different physical forms."
"What? I have to live apart from Goku?"
"Absolutely not! I may be dead, but I don't want to endure the wrath of Son Goku," King Yemma protested. "He's a nice guy, but I've heard that when he's angry he's positively unbeatable."
"My Goku is unbeatable, no matter what his emotional state."
It was then that Goku arrived. "Chichi!" He spread his arms wide, inviting Chichi to come to him.
Ignoring King Yemma, Chichi vaulted off of one foot into Goku's outstretched arms. "Oh, Goku," she murmured.
"Thanks for taking care of my wife for me, King Yemma," Goku said, still embracing his wife. "Is there anything else that she needs to know?"
"Actually, yes, there are a few things that Chichi needs to know."
Both Sons turned to look him, and King Yemma got the impression that he was holding back a very important reunion.
"The Supreme Kai has asked that Chichi train his daughter."
Chichi blinked. "What? I'm not a fighter… Surely he wants Goku…"
"The Supreme Kai will explain it to you when he comes to visit your home in…" King Yemma looked at the paper carefully, "one week from today.
"Grand Kai has decided to grace Chichi with the title of Warrior's Matriarch. The fighters will be asked to come to her for emotional support and other such things."
"Wow, Chichi, that's great!"
Chichi blushed. "I don't know why he did that. I'm not even sure what that means."
King Yemma smiled. "You'll figure it out quickly enough, I imagine. Your file says that you're very smart."
"She is," Goku said, and Chichi looked him in the eyes gratefully.
"Anyway, both of you will be expected to return to your duties in one week's time."
"Okay. Thanks, King Yemma!" Gathering Chichi in his arms and going Super Saiyan, Goku blasted off, and the entire building shook.
Looking at the happy couple, the King had to laugh. "I don't know that a week will be long enough. Maybe I'd better change that to two weeks."