Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z. Period, dot, end of statement.
"I can't believe that your mother signed us up for this," Videl huffed for the fifth time that day. She was tightly bundled up against the winter cold, as was her husband. Gohan kept a worried eye on her as they made the short trek to the small building.
"Well, you know my mother," he responded wryly, opening the door for her. He returned her glare at the gesture with an even look.
"But Lamaze classes?" she exclaimed as they went inside. "Tell me Gohan, why are we taking Lamaze classes when I'm this far along?" As if to emphasize this fact, she took off her heavy overcoat, revealing her eight-month-pregnant figure. Gohan smiled at her as he took off his own coat but didn't answer, electing instead to lead his grumbling wife to their place on the floor.
They were the last couple to arrive, not a surprise considering that Gohan was the one driving. He would barely let Videl do anything without him there to help her. Vegeta said that it was his Saiyan instincts kicking into high gear and making him more protective. Videl said that it was just plain annoying. Still, despite her independent attitude, a treacherous little spot in the back of her mind actually enjoyed the whole being waited on hand and foot thing. She sat down clumsily, thanks to the extra weight, while Gohan lowered himself to the ground much more gracefully. "Show off," she muttered.
The instructor walked in before he had a chance to respond and so he settled for poking her in the side, making her squirm and laugh a bit. The instructor, an austere looking woman in her mid-fifties, glared at them and the couple sobered up at once. Apparently, being Satan Videl – now Son Videl – didn't count for anything in a Lamaze class. After eyeing them a bit longer, she cleared her throat and began without preamble.
"The important thing about giving birth to a child naturally is breathing. Not the silly, exaggerated version that one sees on television and movies," she added sharply, glaring at everyone as though they were the culprits of this gross mistake. "One should just be aware of their breathing. Everything else comes later." She settled on her mat with her legs crossed. "Now, do what I do." She breathed in through her nose and out through her mouth. After a few breaths, she glared at everyone again. "Why am I not hearing anyone else?" she demanded. Immediately there was a great inhalation as all the couples breathed in together.
"Is it just me or does she remind you of Mom?" Gohan whispered. Videl regarded the woman now prowling around the group and watched as she scolded a particularly hapless couple on how they weren't breathing properly. She caught Gohan's eye and they both had to look away and smother their amusement as the instructor got closer. Quickly they straightened up and joined in with the others. After another moment of breathing down everyone's necks (pun intended), she returned to front of the room.
"Now, I will show the different ways that you can focus on your breathing…"
Time is strange. It has a way of speeding up when you're having fun and slowing down when you're not. Videl and Gohan were definitely not having fun and so it slowed to a crawl. They copied the instructor, they did everything they were supposed to do, and they were completely bored out of their minds while doing it. But time did continue its inexorable march and eight o'clock – and the end of the class from hell – finally rolled around.
"What was this class supposed to teach us exactly?" Videl asked scathingly, sliding into her side of the car. "That breathing somehow helps with the pain?"
"I don't think that it's the breathing that helps," Gohan replied carefully. His wife's temper, always volatile, was shorter than ever thanks to the hormones running rampant through her body. "I think it's the focusing. If you focus on one thing, you won't notice something else as much as you would normally."
Videl snorted derisively. "Whatever. We're not going back." She smiled slightly at his surprised look. "I survived Spopovitch without a breathing coach. How bad can having a baby be?"
Famous last words.
A few weeks later
"SON GOHAN, I'M GOING TO RIP YOUR DICK OFF WITH A RUSTY SPOON THE SECOND THIS BABY IS BORN!"
"Now, Videl, don't be too hasty–"
"HASTY?" the woman screeched. "I'VE BEEN IN LABOR FOR FOURTEEN HOURS! I'VE HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO DELIBERATE JUST HOW TO DO IT!" Gohan blanched slightly, but kept his cool in the face of almost certain castration. He could hear Vegeta laughing out in the waiting room and growled slightly. The prince was going to get pounded into the ground after all this was over! He shook his head slightly. Now was not the time for revenge. Right now he had to attend to his wife.
"Videl, I know that you think it's stupid, but why don't you try that breathing thing from that class we took a few weeks ago?" the hybrid offered. "It's not an epidural or anything, but it might help a little bit." He cringed inwardly at her glare but kept his face as innocent as possible. After a few seconds Videl finally sighed in irritation. She had wanted this baby to born naturally – no drugs or anything. Although she was skeptical of the whole breathing idea, it was a possible way to ease the pain, if only slightly.
"Fine," she relented huffily. Gohan smiled at her and took the hand that she wasn't already using to try and break his.
A few hours later, a tired Videl watched with suspiciously teary eyes as her husband held their newborn daughter as though he had never seen a baby before. He had been right, she admitted ruefully to herself. Focusing on her breathing had only relaxed her body a tiny bit, but it was enough for her to be able to focus on the pushing rather than the pain. Giving birth to Pan had been just as painful as surviving Spopovitch, if not more so, though she would never admit it even to Gohan. As if he knew that she'd been thinking about him, he looked up at her, a proud smile on his face.
"She's so tiny," he marveled. "It's amazing that such a small person could cause so much pain. The breathing helped, didn't it?" he added smugly. Videl glared at him and he laughed.
"Go show her to you mother before she goes ballistic," she ordered. He nodded and came over to give her a chaste kiss.
"I love you," he said quietly. "You have no idea how much."
Videl smiled. "I have an idea," she replied. "I love you too. Now go." He turned to leave. "Oh, and Gohan?" He stopped, a hand on the doorknob, and looked at her.
"What?" he queried. His wife smiled sweetly at him.
"I'm still going to rip your dick off."
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