Title: Caring for Saiyans
Author: Candyland
Fandom: Dragonball Z: The story of a man named Goku. He and his friends and family fight against the most powerful (and weird-looking) villains in the universe, those who cannot be defeated and are all-powerful. But in the end, someone manages to summon up some new form of Super Saiyan and—you'll never believe this—win anyway! I don't own it!
Wordcount: 1239
Taunt: My fandom has magical instant bleach-jobs. And on a personal note, this was my first fandom!


Okay, Videl… she told herself, taking a deep breath. Remember that you love your fiancée. You're marrying him. You're not marrying his mother. You're marrying Gohan. And…oh, who are you trying to kid? You know perfectly well that she's always going to be right there. Just get used to it.

Still, it was sort of hard to try and resign yourself to the fact that you were condemning yourself to the Mother-in-Law from Hell (all for the sake of love, of course) when the aforementioned Mother-in-Law from Hell was standing over you, tapping you on the forehead with a large spoon. "Are you paying attention? This is important!"

Videl nodded quickly and tried to force herself to focus.

Since the defeat of Majin Buu and the restoration of the world many months earlier, things had changed a great deal…and yet they hadn't. Erasa was still a ditz, Sharpner was still a pain, criminals still roamed the city, her father was still a big honkin' moron (she realized this more and more as time went on, though she would defend that he did have a good heart), Vegeta was still short, Goten was still adorable, and Gohan…

Well, that was where things had changed.

Her mind drifted away from ChiChi's lecture again as she thought of the slightly nerdy boy she had first suspected, then blackmailed, and then somehow managed to fall in love with. Life was strange like that, wasn't it? Ah, well, at least he was a good sport about it all. Or just too whipped by his mother to say anything ungentlemanly. It was hard to tell.

But whatever the case, their separation, deaths, and subsequent rebirths had ultimately brought them together. And she had integrated herself into his world and his circle of friends, finding herself quite welcome there in spite of her parentage. And she had learned a great deal.

Some girls got flowers, some girls got chocolates, some girls got poetry.

She got explosions, ki-blasts, androids, and children who could lift cars over their heads one-handed.

Those other girls really didn't know what they were missing.

And when he had asked her to marry him, she said yes without hesitation.

She loved Gohan, and she wanted to be with him. So…she would tolerate this.

What was "this," you might ask?

"This" was her future mother-in-law's idea. Videl needed to be aware of all the things that went into taking care of Saiyans. So here she was, sitting in the middle of the Son family kitchen. Goku and Goten were at the table, devouring serving bowls full of cereal and watching the proceedings with vague interest. Gohan was at the library (on Mommy's orders, of course), and Videl was currently learning about the easiest way to prepare enough food for twenty people in fifteen minutes or less.

Why fifteen minutes or less? Videl had asked.

Because if I make him wait much longer than that, Goku might start eating the dishes, ChiChi had replied dryly. Apparently, when it came to Saiyan appetites, it was better to hurry.

Videl privately thought that Gohan could be a lot more patient than that when necessary, but did not say anything. The legendary Frying Pan of Doom was sitting innocently on the counter. She had seen what that thing was capable of. It was frightening. And while she was ninety-nine percent sure that ChiChi would not use it on her…well, the Son matriarch had been known to do some strange things.

Like the bazooka incident.

They did not talk about the bazooka incident.

…at least not until the restraining order was lifted.

Videl nodded obediently as ChiChi showed her the various things she used to cook. Where she had gotten a wok the size of a steamer trunk was anyone's guess. But the amount of rice one could cook in that thing in one go was admittedly impressive—particularly when the chef was using what looked like paddleboat oars to stir the food.

In spite of her mild annoyance at the forced lessons, she did have to admit that ChiChi had this down to an art. But then again, handling her husband and two sons for all this time meant she'd had some serious practice. Maybe she could learn a thing or two…

Now ChiChi was explaining laundry to her. Saiyans liked to fight, she said, and tended to come back rather filthy when they did. Granted, Gohan was rather different from his father in that respect, so it probably wouldn't be as big of an issue for her as it was for ChiChi. But just in case, she should probably know how to handle these things.

Apparently, one handled these things with a washing machine the size of your average automobile.

Who knew?

Cleanliness was next to godliness (and it was well-known that Dende and Mr. Popo did keep Kami's Lookout immaculately clean), but children tended to be messy. So when the children came, she would have to keep an extra close eye on the house—couldn't have the little ones playing in a mess! But kids themselves were completely washable. And needed to be washed frequently.

Videl clenched her hands into fists in her lap, forced a very tight smile on her face, and nodded, privately thinking that there was no way in HFIL she was letting Gohan's mother dictate when they had children. End. Of. Discussion.

And now, ChiChi said, taking her into another room, there was only one more thing she needed to know in regards to the care and handling of Saiyans. She reached into a closet and withdrew a box. A light actually seemed to shine from the box when the lid was lifted.

Videl gaped in wonder as ChiChi lifted the holy item out of the box and held it reverently in her hands. This, she said, was the most important thing. It was the best, most successful means of keeping an unruly Saiyan in line. Gohan didn't need such discipline very often anymore, but it was for Videl's own sake that she should have this.

When this most sacred of objects was passed into Videl's hands, she swore she felt a surge of something run through her fingertips, up through her arms and into her body. It felt…powerful. Not fighting powerful, like she was accustomed to, but…a different type of power.

And she finally understood why ChiChi was so intent on this, and why she had been given this. And for the first time since this spectacle had started, she understood that her mother-in-law was really looking out for her, since she had been there. In her own special, twisted little way, ChiChi was trying to help.

Now if only she would stop dropping hints about grandbabies, they would be in great shape.

-o-

"You look tired," Gohan said as they sat down to dinner that night.

"I spent the afternoon with your mother," Videl replied.

He winced. "What did you two do?"

"She taught me how to cook enough to feed you," Videl tallied the lessons off on her fingers, "how to handle fighters' laundry, and how to keep a clean house for the children…"

Gohan's expression at that last was relatively priceless. "Anything else?"

"Yes. She told me how to keep you in line," Videl grinned, taking a sip of her wine.

Gohan paled. "You mean…?"

"Yes," Videl smirked. "She gave me a frying pan of my very own."


PS. …I have not written for this fandom in THREE YEARS, and I come back for a cameo with a total stream-of-consciousness PWP (plot? What plot?). Wow. Talk about nostalgia. I guess I still carry a fair amount of loyalty to the Dragonball universe, though. This was the series that got me into fandom, and then I never got back out. So I revisit my first real fandom in honor of 100fandomhell. I hope you enjoyed my little trot down Memory Lane. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!