Consolation Prize

Disclaim: Characters and setting are the property of Akira Toriyama, I'm just borrowing them for a little non-profit entertainment.


A pleasant-looking nineteen-year-old with wild, black hair walked toward Capsule Corporation with a cell phone glued to his ear. "Will anyone mind if I bring a friend along?" he asked. "No, no! Not a girlfriend! Monica, you know you're the only one for me! – No, he doesn't go to college with us; Trunks graduated early. – He's a family friend; my best friend ever since I was born really. – Why haven't you met him before? Well; Trunks is pretty busy, his mom's preparing him to take over the family business. – Anyway; I'm doing the family/friends get-together thing. Yamcha – yeah, the baseball player – yeah, 'Persons' voted him bachelor of the year, that's why we're having the party. Trunks' mom figured everyone would want to give him a hard time about that. Anyway, when I take off to meet up with you guys Trunks will be alone with the old people and the squirts if I don't bring him – You understand? Great! I'll see ya!" Goten hung up the phone and flew over the wall separating the Capsule Corps grounds from the street.

The first person Goten spotted was a dark skinned boy with a tall Mohawk. "Hey Uub! It's good to see you!" Goten called as he began scanning the area for his father's messy mop of dark hair.

Uub shuffled his feet a bit guiltily. When confronted with Goku's family he always felt bad about the amount of time Goku dedicated to training him.

"Um, my dad is here isn't he?" Goten asked after a few moments.

Uub glanced at the ground awkwardly. "Well, um, Chichi-san, um," he stammered.

"What he wants to say is your mom dragged your dad off for some alone time as soon as she saw him," Kuririn said with a smirk as he and his wife joined the boys.

"Why can't humans just say what they mean?" #18 asked coolly. "Goten; your parents are having sex. Assuming they showed some self-restraint they're in one of the guest bedrooms if you wish to locate them. If they didn't, I am certain we'll hear about it shortly."

Goten blushed and squirmed uncomfortably at the thought of walking in on his parents. "That's okay," he squeaked. "I'm sure I'll see Dad before the party's over."

Kuririn gave his wife an admiring look then went back to embarrassing Goten. "Yeah, it's only been – what? – A year this time? I'm sure Chichi will let him go shortly, they disappeared a few hours ago."

"Can we please not talk about my parents having sex!" Goten exclaimed.

Kuririn got an evil gleam in his eye. "Okay, I won't talk about your parents love-life… So, have you got a girlfriend?"

Goten focused his attention exclusively on Uub. "Is the guest of honor here? I should go say hi."

"Yamcha-san is out back," Uub replied politely.

Goten nodded his thanks and hurried in that way as he muttered, "With him around I shouldn't be the star attraction."

"…With his mysterious past and rugged good looks, which are only enhanced by his oh so fascinating scars this guy is no weekend warrior, what woman could resist…" Bulma read from the article in an over-exaggerated manner as Yamcha's face turned increasingly red.

Vegeta and Hercule Satan both glared darkly at the embarrassed baseball star.

"I don't see why they chose him," Hercule complained under his breath. "I'm the World Champion."

"Buu not know either; Mister Satan is the nicest friend," the blobby pink genie said consolingly.

"It's just 'cause Yamcha's still got all his hair," Pan contributed and her grandfather all but started balling.

Videl sighed and patted her father on the hand. "I'm sure it's just because you've won before, Dad."

"…So girls, hurry up and snatch this one while he's still available." Bulma finished.

Marron, Kurinin and #18's sixteen-year-old daughter latched on to Yamcha's arm and batted her eyelashes at him. "He's been saving himself for me! Right Yamcha?"

Yamcha gulped. He was sure this was just Marron's way of getting in on harassing him and Kuririn was about as laid-back as a guy could get without being Goku but Marron was still Kuririn's teenaged daughter and, well, getting beaten to a pulp by an overprotective father wouldn't make Yamcha's day.

Yamcha was too busy delicately trying to free himself from Marron's grasp to notice the thirteen-year-old Bra giving Marron a death-glare to rival her father, Vegeta's but Pan noticed.

Kuririn and #18 caught up with Goten just in time to overhear Marron's declaration. "Marron, you really should go after Trunks," #18 commented. "CEO's have more productive years than athletes."

"But you married Daddy," Marron replied.

#18 glanced toward her husband almost shyly, her face softening from icy perfection to true beauty. "There were other considerations," she said and Kuririn smiled brilliantly.

Pan smirked at the looks Bra was shooting Marron, "Oohh, Bra's got a crush! Bra's in love! Bra wants a bbbooyyfriend!," she sing-songed gleefully.

"Shut up Pan!" Bra exclaimed hotly. "I do not!"

"You'd better not," Vegeta contributed.

Hercule gave Vegeta a sympathetic look. "It's hard having a daughter," he said. "I though I was safe telling Videl she couldn't date anyone weaker than me. After all, I'm the World's Champ, who would dare challenge me?" He grinned at his son-in-law. "How was I supposed to know that the kid who really beat cell would end up in her high school homeroom?"

"Do not attempt to commiserate with me!" Vegeta commanded. "We have nothing in common… I really can, and will, kill any boy who dares look at my daughter."

"Daddy!" Bra screeched.

"You can't kill them all hon," Bulma said with a laugh. "I'm going to want grandkids one of these days."

"MOM!!" Bra exclaimed

"Let the boy take care of it," Vegeta said.

"Let me take care of what?" Trunks asked as he joined the group. "Hey Goten; didn't see you get here."

"Hey Trunks; your dad was just volunteering you to get your mom grandchildren," Goten explained.

"Mom; you've been spending too much time with Auntie Chichi," Trunks sighed.

Gohan smiled and wrapped his arm around Videl's waist. "I think my mom had pretty good instincts when she started talking about grandchildren five minutes after meeting Videl."

"I haven't even found a girl I'd consider seriously dating yet." Trunks grimaced. "They all turn into simpering morons the moment they realize who I am."

Videl gave Trunks a sympathetic smile as she remembered her own problems with being a celebrity.

"Don't worry – you have lots of time," Bulma said. "After all, I'm hardly old enough to be a grandmother yet; I was just saying, someday – which means if Bra eventually meets a nice boy, whom I approve of, Vegeta can't kill or maim him."

Without thinking Goten said, "But you're older than my mom and she already has Panny."

"You know Goten, sometimes you're too much like Son-kun," Bulma said with a threatening air about her.

Goten laughed nervously and scratched the back of his head. "Heh... er...I'm starved! I'm gonna go hit the buffet; talk to you all later!"

At the mention of food every Saiyan came to attention. "I'm hungry too," Trunks declared.

Gohan gave his wife a quick peck on the cheek, "If those two hit the buffet first there won't be anything left."

Vegeta just started toward the food after giving Yamcha a warning glare that left the baseball player wondering just what he'd done to tick off the bad natured Saiyan Prince.

"Hey, wait for me!" Pan shouted.

"Boo hungry too!"

"Now Boo, no eating just the desserts," Hercule declared.

Videl nodded. "Pan, that goes for you too. I expect to see a healthy portion of vegetables on your plates."

"Hey Bulma; you did set aside food for those of use not brave enough to compete with Saiyan appetites didn't you?" Kuririn asked.

"How long have I been living with Saiyans?" Bulma asked.

"That was a rhetorical question right?" Kuririn said. "I don't want to end up on your bad side along with Goten."

Bulma glared at him. "There's another buffet table in the house," she said.

"Well, lets go," Kuririn replied and the remaining group strolled toward the house.

Yamcha glanced at Bra in surprise. "You're coming with us?"

"She decided she needed to go on a diet," Bulma said. "We've settled at four times the calory intake for a human of comperable age and build."

Bra scowled. "And the girls in my class still say I eat like a pig."

"You eat like a demi-Sayian dear. If you ate like a human you'd be anorexic with your metabolism." Bulma said. "I never had this problem with Trunks," she confided to Videl.

"Just the normal problem of being eaten out of house and home?" Videl replied. "The first year Gohan and I were married I think we must have ended up imposing on Chichi or Daddy's cook at least every other day because I underestimated how much food we needed when I was grocery shopping. He'd never say anything but I could hear his stomach growling."

"Poor Gohan," Bulma giggled. "Sometimes he's too polite for his own good."

Chichi was just coming downstairs when the human contingent of the party trooped inside. Self-consciously Chichi smoothed her hair and tugged at her dress to make sure she was presentable. "Is it dinner time already? Bulma, you should have called me. I said I would help with the food."

"And I told you the caterers would take care of it," Bulma replied then she grinned mischievously. "Besides, I thought you were a bit too busy with other things to worry about cooking."

"Bulma, whatever do you mean?" Chichi asked as she widened her eyes innocently.

"Hey Chi! Did you see what happened to my shirt?" Goku asked as he appeared beside his wife.

"There's a blue gi by the back door," Yamcha volunteered.

"Thanks!" Goku replied cheerfully.

Bulma, Kuririn and Yamcha started snickering when they saw the scratch marks on Goku's back, Chichi blushed then let the innocent look drop and shrugged. "It's been awhile," she muttered.

"I'm impressed," Bulma said. "I can't leave marks on Vegeta; he's too tense."

A few moments later Goku leaned back inside while pulling on his shirt. "Where's everyone else?" he asked suspiciously.

Bulma giggled. "Sayian portioned food is outside."

Goku's eyes widened in alarm. "They're already eating?" He touched two fingers to his forehead and vanished.

After they filled their plates the remaining Z fighters and their families wandered back outside to eat. A while later the Saiyan contingent joined them, each carrying one last heaping plate of food.

Vegeta glared angrily at a sulking Goku as he took a seat beside Bulma. "Stay away from my food," he snarled warningly.

"But you took all the egg rolls, Vegeta," Goku whined.

"So?"

"Would you spar with Pan?" Pan asked Uub cutely as soon as she'd emptied her plate.

Uub glanced over at Goku. He nodded. "Have fun," he said.

"No ki-blasts," Videl warned.

"Just because I blew up the car once," Pan muttered.

A short while later Marron and Bra approached their respective fathers with hopeful expressions.

"Daddy, Marron and I are going shopping," Bra announced.

"What do I care?" Vegeta replied.

Kuririn dug out his wallet and handed over his credit card with a sigh.

"I suppose you want money too?" Vegeta said.

"Please Daddy?"

"Why should I?"

Bra pouted, Vegeta managed to hold on to his glare for another five seconds then surrendered.

"Thanks Daddy," Bra chirped.

"He likes to pretend she doesn't have him wrapped around her finger," Bulma whispered to Chichi.

"Yamcha, would you drive us?" Bra asked.

"What?" Yamcha exclaimed.

While he stammered his protests #18 stood up coolly. "I could use some new things," she said.

"Did you invite Panny?" Chichi asked.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Videl replied. "My little tomboy would never chose shopping over sparring."

"That's my granddaughter!" Hercule exclaimed then looked at Goku worriedly. "Uub won't hurt her will he? Maybe I should go referee?"

"Naw, Uub's great with kids," Goku said.

"Well if you're sure about that Goku," Hercule said hesitantly.

#18 looked at Kuririn. "Well, what are you waiting for?"

"What?" Kuririn asked.

"I'm going to buy things; I need someone to carry my packages," his wife stated.

"Sweetie, you could rip a whole shop out of the ground and carry it home with you," Kuririn replied.

"So?" #18 said.

Kuririn smiled ironically. "It's good to be needed," he told Goku as he got up to go with his wife. "Okay, I'll carry the bags, but I expect to be rewarded later."

"We'll take you out to a movie, Daddy," Marron offered.

"Yeah," Bra chimed in, "There's that new one with Meonardo ReCapria out."

"Oh joy," Kuririn said.

"We could sit in the back row," #18 suggested quietly.

Kuririn grinned. "While the girls go front to ogle? Yeah that works for me."

#18 smirked, "And if the movie doesn't hold our interest..."

"Oh yeah," Kuririn sighed happily.

After the shoppers had left Puar, Oolong and Master Roshi wandered over.

"Where have you guys been hiding?" Yamcha called.

Puar giggled. "They were afraid to come over while Bra was here."

"Why would they be afraid of Bra?" Goten asked with a puzzled frown.

"Oh it's not Bra they're afraid of," Puar confided.

"I told them if they did; said or thought anything perverted around my daughter, I'd kill them," Vegeta remarked smugly.

"Then he spent a good twenty minutes elaborating on the how," Oolong added with a fearful shudder.

Bulma gave her husband an approving smile; Bra really was too young to be subjected to Oolong or Roshi's nonsense.

"Oh come one; you're not taking his side!" Oolong whined. "We used to hit on you and it didn't do you any harm."

"Bra might like to dress like she's all grown up but really she's just a kid," Bulma said.

Trunks snorted quietly. "She dresses like she does because she gets a kick out of seeing Dad lay into some poor unsuspecting fool," he said to Goten.

"Maybe she's just looking for a guy who isn't afraid of her dad," Goten suggested

"Are you volunteering?" Trunks asked, still keeping his voice down. "'Cause you're pretty much the eligible candidate who doesn't need to be terrified of Vegeta."

Goten made a disgusted face. "Sheesh Trunks, she's ages too young for me; I remember listening to you complain about her stinky diapers! Anyway we better get going; I don't want to make Monica wait on me."

"What happened to Clarice?" Chichi asked.

"Come on Mom, Clarice was last month!" Goten exclaimed.

"Last month! Last month! I married my first boyfriend!" Chichi exclaimed.

"Mom, you didn't even like Clarice," Goten said.

"I haven't even met this Monica person; what are you trying to hide from me Goten?" Chichi exclaimed. "Is... is she a... a..."

"Mother!" Goten exclaimed.

"I just want to meet any possible future daughter-in-laws; what's so wrong about that?" Chichi demanded.

Goten grabbed Trunks and quickly made his escape before his mother could really get into the guilt trip.

"I think we'd best get going too," Videl said. "It's a long trip home and Pan has school tomorrow morning."

"Don't worry about the trip," Goku said. "I'll just Instant Transmission you home when it's Pan's bedtime."

Videl and Gohan exchanged a look. "Thanks Dad, but it'll probably take the whole ride home before Pan's settled down enough to even think about sleep," Gohan said. "Just look at the power levels she's sparring at."

Goku's gaze when distant for a moment then he grinned. "Wow, she's a lot more powerful than I remember."

"Pan's -err, determined," Gohan said.

Videl grinned. "What he means is she's a rotten loser and too stubborn for her own good... And I'd better go rescue your student before she really gets frustrated with not being able to beat him."

"Well, Buu and I had better get going too," Hercule said, he'd never felt quite at home with the Z Fighters without his daughter there. The whole group had seemed to accept him as being one of them from the first moment Goku had brought him back to the Lookout after their battle against the Evil Buu, but deep down Hercule was still waiting for someone to take him to task about stealing the credit for Gohan's victory against Cell so long ago.

Some time after they'd gone Uub wandered over with a dazed look on his face, "For a little girl she sure packs a wallop," he said.

"She's Saiyan," Vegeta stated.

"Ummm, Goku-sensei? When will we be getting home?" Uub asked awkwardly. He knew his sensei was going to be dragging him out of bed at the crack of dawn to spar or for some unusually training technique and it was starting to get late.

Goku glanced around at his friends and family. He always knew he didn't stop by to see them nearly as often as he should; he always got too caught up in whatever he was doing. Even while he was training Uub trouble still seemed to seek him out like it had ever since he'd been a boy. He never had time to think about missing anyone, but when he saw them again it always surprised him just how much he had missed them and he always wanted to make the time with them last as long as possible. "If you're tired I'm sure Bulma wouldn't mind if you took one of her guestrooms," Goku said.

"Sure take your pick," Bulma said.

Uub nodded gratefully.

"But you might want to check with Goku and Chichi... find out which bed has already been used," Bulma continued with a smirk.

"Oh you! Would you forget about that?" Chichi exclaimed while Uub blushed. Goku looked vaguely confused as to the source of their embarrassment.

"I'll just go to bed now," Uub said.

The remaining group settled on the lawn and slowly the talk turned to stories about old adventures.

"Remember when we first met," Oolong said, glancing around at the little group who'd remained . "I can't believe Yamcha almost beat Goku that day."

"And he would have too," Puar chimed in loyally. "If he hadn't fainted when he saw Bulma."

"Hey!" Yamcha objected at the reminder of his old fear of girls.

"That weakling almost beat you?" Vegeta asked Goku and shook his head in disgust.

"I was hungry," Goku said with a shrug.

Chichi yawned and leaned her head back against her husband's shoulder. "That was right before we first met wasn't it?" she said sleepily. "I knew I wanted to marry you the moment I saw you."

"Yeah." Goku smiled softly down at her. "I didn't even know what marriage was, but I knew it had to be good since it was with you."

"Which explains why he thought marriage was some sort of food; food is practically a synonym for good in Goku's mind," Roshi whispered Oolong. The little pig chortled at that.

"Oh shush," Bulma said, "They've been together long enough to take some creative liberties with the story of how they met."

"I can just imagine the 'creative liberties' she has to take to make her and Vegeta's meeting seem romantic," Oolong snorted.

"How 'bout a bonfire guys!" Bulma suggested.

"Why? They'll just stay longer," Vegeta said.

"Got it in one, hon," Bulma laughed.

"Why are you still here?" Yamcha asked. "Don't you have training robots to destroy or something?"

Vegeta's lips drew back in a vicious snarl and his ki rose sharply. Yamcha flinched, he'd been expecting a few scathing comments before things escalated to threats... Now that he thought about it, Vegeta hadn't even made a threat, he'd just jumped his ki up to battle intensity. Yamcha gulped and wondered what he'd said to piss the Saiyan Prince off that badly.

"Ah come on guys, don't start this," Goku whined.

Bulma blinked in surprise. Normally Goku loved breaking up fights between Vegeta and the human Z fighters; it was more or less Vegeta's way of asking Goku to spar. Vegeta would never actually ask Goku for a friendly spar, that would be too close to admitting that they were closer to being friends than enemies for the haughty Prince and unless you were about to kill someone it was pretty much impossible to pick a fight with Goku, so Vegeta picked fights with Yamcha or Kuririn so that Goku could step in when things started getting out of hand. Everyone knew about Vegeta's little fiction to get around his pride and if Goku weren't the eternal optimist; still holding out hope that one day Vegeta would slip and admit they were friends; he'd have given in and started allowing Vegeta to pick fights with him years ago just so they could get to the sparring. So why had he... Bulma noticed that Chichi was all but asleep curled up in her husbands' lap and smiled as she realized Goku didn't want to disturb Chichi.

"Yamcha, go get my bonfire ready," Bulma commanded imperiously. "And be nice to my husband, you are at our house ya know! You could at least act like you weren't born in a barn."

Vegeta smirked and wrapped a possessive arm around Bulma's waist. Normally he loathed any sort displays of affections but sometimes the moron needed a reminder of just whom the woman belonged to.

Yamcha signed in relief as Vegeta's ki dropped back to the Saiyan Prince's version of casual and relaxed. "Puar, Oolong, come make yourselves useful," he ordered.

"Yeah, yeah I'm coming," Oolong grumped while Puar enthusiastically joined Yamcha.

As they returned loaded down with firewood Oolong commented, "So, Mr. Most Eligible Bachelor how's it feel? You've gone from fainting at the sight of a girl to having them faint over you in droves."

Yamcha glanced over at Goku cradling Chichi against his chest to Bulma snuggling contentedly into Vegeta's side and sighed. "Like I got the consolation prize."