How Much I Care

Gohan woke up to see his parents sitting together at the table. His mother was not chirping, nor was she silent. His parents were having an actual conversation and it shocked him.

"Morning, Gohan. Sleep well?"

"What happened? Last I remember… we were training with Piccolo and Dad, you passed out…"

Gokou grinned and shrugged.

"It's okay now. Oh, by the way… we aren't going to be training today."

Gohan stared.

"Does this mean I have to do homework?"

Chi-Chi laughed softly and set Gohan's breakfast on the table.

"No. It doesn't mean you need to do work."

"Really? Can we go camping, Dad?"

"If that's what your mom wants to do."

Chichi shrugged a bit. So the day started. Chichi made lunch to go while Gokou watched her, as if fascinated. Either that or hungry. Chi teased him. Gohan wasn't worried anymore.

It was decided that they would just picnic instead of camp. Chi sat on a rock next to her husband and listened to Gohan tell stories of the adventures he'd had on Namek.

It surprised him that she did not seem to get worried when he told of the daring things they'd done. She was a completely different person, she seemed younger, prettier.

Happy.

The day ended and Gokou made love to his wife. Chi-Chi knew without either having to say a word that the three years' time was almost up and this would probably be one of their last days together in a while. She did not cling to her husband's chest.

He could end up dead. Her son could end up dead. But they wouldn't. Gokou was too naïve to know when to give up.

The two rest in bed. There was no ocean of covers between them. Chichi's head rested where it seemed to belong on this time on her husband's chest. She could hear his heart.

No uncomfortable silences. He did not blush when he saw his wife naked.

It was a very sweet night.

The next day, when Chichi woke up, Gokou was still under her. He smiled at her and she smiled back and the day began. She made breakfast and he watched the sun rise, slowly waking himself up to begin his training for the day.

They ate together and Chichi waved without complaint when they left and did not scowl when they returned at dusk, both a little battered. She was flustered when they would not let her fuss over the minor cuts but the Son men gave in and allowed her to bandage the cuts they hadn't taken much notice in.

Dinner came and they ate happily.

Time passed. Gokou did not change, proving this was no temporary adjustment. Life was soft and happy in the Son household. Chi-Chi was not lonely.

Only once did she ask her spouse if he thought that this change would ever come to its end due to whatever reasons.

"Never, Chi."

Everything was settled thereon.

It's amazing how in the beginning of this tale, Son Chi-Chi was the lost one, or so she seemed to be lost, but Son Gokou was the one that had to find more than her.

Is it really that amazing?

Eventually, the dream slipped from Gokou's mind though he never completely forgot the lasting memory of the lesson he had learned and the newfound understanding of his wife.

It was the last night. The next day he would go and play hero and he almost did not want to finish his dinner.

Chichi stared at him oddly from a side-glance, but waited until Gohan left the table to mention anything to her husband.

"What's wrong?"

Gokou smiled sadly.

"Gohan's very excited."

"So are you. You've waited for this for a very long time."

Chi-Chi reassured, but rested her head on his shoulder.

"It's okay to be afraid, even if I know you're not. So what's wrong?"

"I'll miss you. I don't know how long I'll be gone… but I will miss you, Chi-Chi."

"I know. I'll miss you too, Gokou. But I'll be waiting here with your dinner ready when you get back."

Gokou laughed softly.

Once again, he made love to his wife. It seemed amazing how she could be so sweet and peaceful when tomorrow he would be facing the exact opposite-the hell of the battlefield.

She did not cling to him but she would not let him go either.

"You know what?"

"Hmn?"

"I love you."

With a very soft smile, he touched her cheek. "Let me show you how much I care."


-8/10 edit