Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z.
Author's Note: Okay, before we get started, let me just say that this is my first multi-chapter G/CC fic. I'm really, really nervous but I'm anxious to finally get this story out; it's been on my mind for quite a long time… Anyway, I was watching Dragonball one day, and the memory of the movie It's A Wonderful Life just popped into my head. I began wondering what Goku's life would have been like without Chi-Chi. Despite what a lot of DBZ fans think, I think that Chi-Chi made a big difference in Goku's life, and she does matter to him. After all, all of us G/CC fans have seen more than enough episodes that prove it. So, a plot bunny came into my head after thinking about this, and this is the result. I hope none of the characters are OOC so far…
On an added note, I don't know whether Christmas exists in the DBZ universe, but it will in this fic, and I hope that doesn't bother any of you. Please read and review. And since I've never done this before, I'll start replying to them in the next chapter. Enough of my long note; enjoy the story!
A Simple Wish
It wasn't supposed to be this way, Chi-Chi thought bitterly. It was supposed to be the whole family together again for Christmas…
Normally on Christmas Eve, she would have been inside her house, happily decorating the tree with her family and cooked a big meal for all of them. Bigger than the usual meals she cooked, and that was saying something, considering the huge appetites of her sons and husband.
Instead, she was taking a long, lonely walk in the woods nearby her house. It was a cold, windy evening, not to mention that it was snowing, but it seemed better than sitting all alone in the living room.
Chi-Chi kicked the snow angrily. This Christmas was supposed to be a special one, for it was the first one in a long time that her family was together again for the holidays…
Only a few months ago, Goku had been brought back to life after seven years of being dead. Seven years… it almost felt like an eternity to Chi-Chi. Christmas had never been the same without him. Of course, she had Gohan and Goten to keep her company, and she loved her sons dearly, but she still needed her husband in her life.
So she had been in a good mood that day. At least that's how it started out…
Chi-Chi was in the living room, preparing to decorate the tree with ornaments she had retrieved from the attic. The family always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve; it was something of a tradition among them. All she had to do was wait for Goku and Goten to come home, and then they could get started…
Gohan came downstairs, dressed in a suit and tie. Chi-Chi looked at her oldest son in surprise. "Well, don't you look handsome," she commented happily. "But you didn't have to dress so fancy… after all, it's just the family tonight, isn't it?"
Gohan looked uncomfortable. "Oh --- Mom, I guess I forgot to tell you… Videl invited me over to a Christmas party at her house. Is it all right if I go?"
"What?" Chi-Chi exclaimed, shocked. "Gohan, it's Christmas Eve! We always spend it as a family! And your father's home for the first time in years!"
"I know that," Gohan said, looking sorry, "but Christmas is tomorrow… we could all spend the day together then…"
"Why can't Videl just come over here?" Chi-Chi protested. "She's more than welcome too… after all, she may be part of our family someday…"
Gohan flushed. "Mom, we're only dating, it's not like we're engaged. Besides, Videl's mom is at the party. She can only visit her tonight…and Videl really wants me to meet her mother. It's only one night; I can make it up to you tomorrow!"
Chi-Chi let out a sigh. "All right," she said grudgingly. "If it really means that much to her, then you can go."
"Thanks, Mom. I'll be home early, I promise!" He turned to leave.
"By the way," Chi-Chi asked suddenly, "do you where Goten and your father are?"
"Goten's out playing with Trunks," he replied. "I don't really know where Dad is, but I'm sure he'll be home soon. Bye, Mom." He walked out the door and flew off.
Chi-Chi sighed sadly. Ever since Majin Buu was destroyed, Gohan had certainly been spending a lot of time with Videl, whether they were working together as Saiyaman and Saiyagirl or going out on dates…
She liked Videl; she was a nice girl a strong fighter… yet she couldn't help feeling slightly resentful that she was taking her son away from her.
There was no getting around it: Gohan was grown up now. He was no longer her little boy, and pretty soon he wouldn't need her anymore.
Chi-Chi sat down on the couch. Oh well, she thought. Goku and Goten will still be here tonight. She smiled to herself. Maybe if Goku got home before Goten did, they'd get a chance to spend some time alone together…
An hour later, neither Goku nor Goten returned home. Chi-Chi was starting to grow impatient.
What's keeping him?she wondered. Maybe he's at Capsule Corp. or at Master Roshi's house. Chances are, one of them is having a party… he probably stopped there to say hello. It is Christmas, after all. They'll be home soon, I know they will. They wouldn't miss Christmas Eve…
Another hour passed. Chi-Chi was now both angry and worried. What if something happened to them? She still remembered when Goku took four-year old Gohan to visit Master Roshi and his friends years ago… and didn't return all night. It was until the next day that she found out that Goku was dead and Gohan had been kidnapped…
No,Chi-Chi thought, shaking her head. That can't happen again. She went to the phone. Maybe I should call Master Roshi and Bulma… just to make sure they're okay…
"Goten left about an hour ago with Trunks," Bulma had told her. "I think they might be out sparring again. But I haven't seen Goku at all."
Krillin had answered the phone at Master Roshi's house. "Sorry, Chi-Chi, I haven't seen Goku either. I'm sure he'll be home soon though."
"Oh, for Kami's sake!" Chi-Chi fumed, slamming the phone down on the receiver. "I bet they're out sparring again! And on Christmas Eve!" She glared at the clock. "Well, they'd better be home soon or they're in big trouble!"
By the time a half-hour passed and neither of them were home, Chi-Chi had enough. "I don't believe this!" she muttered furiously. "Oooh! I need to go get some fresh air. With that she grabbed her coat, threw it on, and stormed out the door.
That had been quite a while ago. She'd spent at least an hour walking in the woods, stewing and seething. The mere memory of it hurt her. First Gohan left her to go to a party, and then Goten and Goku didn't come home at all!
This was typical behavior, especially for Goku. Still, even he had always been for home Christmas before --- well, except for the time when he first died and when he had been on Yardat. He loved Christmas, it was one of the only times when he stopped training and spent time with his family. Naïve as he was, he'd known how important Christmas was to her.
In fact, during the seven-year period he was dead, Christmas had been one of the days that she had missed him the most.
She knew that Goku often left because he had to save the world. He was a Saiyan warrior. Fighting was in his blood and a big part of her had begun to understand that, especially when he was dead. That was why she trained Goten…
Chi-Chi loved Goku dearly and she knew that he loved her back, even if he didn't say it aloud. Deep down, she knew that he never meant to hurt her by leaving. But she still couldn't help feeling somewhat neglected by his absences.
Sometimes, although she felt ashamed to admit it, she couldn't help but wonder if Goku would be happier without her. No one would yell or nag him… he could train for however long he wanted, and no one would stand in his way.
Goku knew he was in trouble the minute he returned home. He hadn't meant to be back so late, but he'd completely lost track of time while he'd been out.
For once, he hadn't been out training. He'd been looking forward to his Christmas back with his family. There had been one minor, important thing he'd forgotten do to, and he hadn't remembered it until earlier that day…
He'd forgotten to get Chi-Chi a Christmas present.
In a desperate attempt to fix the situation, he quickly flew out to West City to find something nice to get her. But it was Christmas Eve; all the stores had been so packed with people that he could hardly get into any of the stores.
Besides, not only did he not have a lot of money; he also didn't know what exactly to give her. He had to give her something. After all, she was his wife and he loved her very much… she deserved something special…
Then he'd gotten the perfect idea for a gift… only it took so long for him to get everything he needed…
Now it was well into night. Even if Chi-Chi liked the gift, she was still going to be really mad at him for being home so late. And Christmas Eve, of all nights…
Cautiously, he entered the house. "Hello?" he called out. "Chi-Chi? Gohan? Goten? Anybody home?"
The house was completely deserted. Where is everybody? Goku wondered, going into the living room. What he saw there made him feel even worse. Boxes of decorations had been set next to an undecorated tree.
He slapped his head. "Oh no, I completely forgot!" he muttered. "We were all supposed to decorate the tree together. Man, I feel like a heel. Chi-Chi probably wants to kill me right now…"
He felt Gohan's ki approach the house. A moment later, Gohan himself came inside, covered in snow.
"Hey, Gohan," Goku said to his son. "Where've you been?"
"A Christmas party at Videl's house," Gohan replied. He looked around. "Where's Goten? Shouldn't he have been back by now?"
Goku shrugged. "I don't know. I just back myself. Where's your mother?"
Gohan suddenly looked guilty. "She's was at home when I left… she was really disappointed that I wasn't going to stay home for Christmas Eve." He stared at the bare tree in front of them. "She must have got tired of waiting for us to come home, huh, Dad?"
Goku sighed sadly. "I didn't mean to be out this late. I really let her down this time…" He looked out the window. "I think she went out for a walk. I'd better go find out and her... and Goten too."
"Goten loves Christmas," Gohan said thoughtfully. "I wonder why he never home…"
Just then, Goku sensed a tremendous ki emerge. "Gohan, do you feel that?" he asked, alarmed.
Gohan nodded. "Yeah…" He looked out the window. The sky had changed from dark blue to pitch black. From a short distance away, he could see a bright light in the woods, shining above the trees. "I think Shenron is being summoned."
"Someone must have gathered the dragon balls," Goku said, thinking hard. "But who?"
They looked at each other. "You don't that Goten and Trunks ---?" Gohan started to ask.
"I don't know," Goku replied, "but I'm going to find out. You stay here in case your mother comes back while I'm gone. I'll use Instant Transmission, it'll get me there faster." He put two fingers to his head, concentrated on the Eternal Dragon's ki, and vanished.
"You have disturbed my slumber," Shenron thundered. "Name your wish!"
Goten looked at Trunks uncertainly. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" he asked. "I hope we don't get in trouble for this."
Since it was Christmas, Trunks thought that it would be fun to use the dragon balls to wish for an early present. Trunks's mother already had gathered four of the dragon balls, so all Trunks had to do was take the four balls and the dragon radar to find the remaining three. It only took them about two hours to find the others.
Goten knew that his mom would be mad that he was out this late, but the promise of adventure was too tempting for him. Trunks could convince him to do anything.
Goten's stomach growled. "Trunks, I'm hungry," he complained. "Maybe I should go home. Momma always makes yummy food for Christmas…"
"If you're so hungry, you can use your wish to get food," Trunks retorted.
"Well, what are you going to wish for?" Goten asked innocently. "Candy? Toys?"
Trunks snorted. "That's kid's stuff, Goten! I'll think of something good…"
"You try my patience!" Shenron roared. "Make your wish!"
Meanwhile, Chi-Chi was approaching towards the spot where the two little boys were. She was too lost in her own thoughts to even notice what was going on.
The more she thought of it, the more upset she became. "All I wanted was for my family to be all together for just one night," she grumbled to herself. "Is that so much to ask?
"I mean, I wonder if I even matter to them at all… I cook and clean and pretty much do everything for them… but Goku was living by himself long before I even met him. He can take care of himself…
"Maybe all I am is a burden," she thought aloud sadly. "And to Gohan and Goten too. I always got in the way of their training and fun… Am I that much of an inconvenience to them?"
Trunks saw Chi-Chi coming towards them. "Uh-oh. Hey, Goten, isn't that your mom over there?"
Goten turned around. "What? Mom, what are you doing here?" he called out.
Chi-Chi didn't hear him. "Honestly," she said angrily, unaware that her voice was getting louder with every word, "it's enough to make me wish that I was never born!"
Unfortunately, the dragon had heard her. His eyes flashed bright red. "It is done," he boomed.
Chi-Chi looked up and saw Shenron before her, glowing brightly. Everything around her was illuminated in the light from the dragon… including herself. Soon the light become so bright that she was unable to see anything.
"What's going on?" she gasped.
The last thing she heard before the light dissolved into darkness was Goten screaming her name.
To be continued…