By: Kitten Kisses (Manna)
Setting: A couple months post-Majin Buu.
"Do you think that you'll ever want any kids?" she asked him, raising her head off of the ground ever so slightly to see the expression on his face.
He looked a little startled- probably because her question had been the first bit of conversation between them in the last ten minutes, she thought- but otherwise, he only appeared to be confused.
"W-where did that come from, Videl?" he queried, sitting up far enough so that he could lean back on his elbows. His face was tinged with red, though she wasn't entirely sure that it was only from embarrassment; it was a cloudless, hot summer day, and the lack of a breeze was enough to make anybody sweat a little.
"Well," she told him, her voice even. "I just thought about it and decided to ask. Maybe it's just a girl thing… I mean, I've never heard Sharpner talk about kids before…"
Mentally, she wanted to smack herself in the face- preferably with a rather large, cumbersome object. That wasn't really a question you casually blurted out to a friend who happened to be a guy. She and Erasa had discussed it plenty of times, even when they were kids… but she sure hadn't thought twice about asking a guy who happened to also be a great friend. It would be different if they were dating, she rationalized, but they most definitely were not.
"I, uh… I guess I never really thought about it." He rubbed the back of his head; as he was prone to do when he got nervous, sweat beading on his forehead. "Goten can sure be a pain sometimes, but I think it might be different with your own kids."
She shrugged her shoulders, grass bristling against her face, making her nose itch. "I always wondered what it would be like to have kids. You know, to be a parent."
He laughed shortly before putting the hand that was behind his head up to his chin, thoughtfully. "Hmm… well, imagine getting to do all the discipline! And… doing all the housework…and the dishes…"
He started to look a little depressed.
"It can't be so bad," she said. "All parents say that in the end, it was all worth it. They grow up and then leave you all alone again, but you get that proud feeling that you helped them get where they are."
"I wonder if that's true…" he smiled, his dark eyes blinking once. "But I dunno… I mean, it's got to be hard to be a parent. You have to teach them what you know, but not everything, because some of the stuff you know, you don't want them to know…"
"I guess you have a po-" she stopped talking suddenly, turning her face the other way just moments before she let out a sneeze.
"What was that?" he asked, mirth dancing in his eyes. "It sounded like a cat just sneezed!"
"That," she answered, "Was a ladylike sneeze!" She rolled her eyes playfully and swatted at his arm. He didn't even think to move out of the way, and her hand made a light smacking sound as it connected with his skin. "Don't even bother to pretend that that hurt."
He flashed a quick smile at her and looked away almost shyly when she didn't move her hand from his arm and gave it a light squeeze instead.
"Like I was saying, I suppose you have a point. I'd be more worried about being a bad parent than a good one."
"Why's that?" he looked back at her, noticing the suddenly serious look in her eyes. "I think that as long as you're a good person, you love your kids, and you try your best, it'll be fine. Nobody's perfect or anything."
"My mom died when I was young… I don't know why this bothers me, but I guess it's because I never really had an example to remember for when I have my own kids."
"Look," he said, his voice solemn. "My dad was dead for eight years of my childhood, but I think I turned out okay. I might not be the greatest person in the world, but he still taught me the only things I really needed to know. Selflessness, love, trust, honesty, and how to listen with all your senses; just because someone isn't saying it, doesn't mean they're not feeling it, and that works all the way around. My father doesn't need to be here for me to teach my kids that."
Patting his arm affectionately, she turned her gaze to the warm blue sky. "You're right, of course. I just hope when I have kids, I don't screw everything up." Her dark hair was almost in her eyes, keeping the light of the noonday sun at bay.
"Videl!" he nearly shouted, sitting up suddenly and reaching out to grab the hand that had been grasping his arm. "What happened to that confident, I-can-do-anything attitude?"
"This is different," she said, turning her head back to look at him, her bangs tilting to one side of her face. "It's much bigger than a fight against some two-bit crook, you know? It's someone's life, and it won't be mine, but at the same time, it will be a part of me."
His heart thudded in his chest, partly with the emotions he was feeling, and partly because he wasn't sure what he should say to her. He didn't know if he was in love with her- not yet- but he did know that he loved and cared for this crime-fighting, ass-kicking girl. She sure was something special.
"I think," he said slowly, turning to lie in the grass facing her, his hand still holding hers, and his dark eyes brimming with honesty, "That you will be a perfect mother..."
He decided not to finish the rest of his sentence, as his voice gave way and his face flushed, so he simply thought it to himself. Maybe he would tell her later.
…A perfect mother for our children.
Ugh, light-hearted, much? Oh wait. It's not dark and angsty, filled with character deaths? I must be feeling a little weird today.
I dunno, the mood just struck me. There will eventually be a follow-up (though separate) one-shot, "Fatherhood", which will take place when Pan is in her late teens. I can hardly wait to write that one.
Thanks for reading! If you see any spelling/grammar/characterization problems, please let me know so I can fix them. Let me know what you thought, please?