Pairing: GokuxChiChi

Rating: PG

Word Count: 661

Notes: Slight spoilers for Android saga

Disclaimer: I own nothing in connection with Dragonball Z, nor do I make any money through writing this fanfiction.

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Bitter Aftertaste

As she cries, Goku stays silent and still, letting her do as she must because he knows it's the best way, even if it is painful for the both of them. All he does is keep his arms around ChiChi's shoulders, holding her close as she sobs into his shirt and beats his chest with her shaking fists. He feels the soft thuds upon his body, but they're not painful at all. What hurts is listening to her when she tries to talk, attempting to justify the tears streaming from her eyes with reasons he already knows. But when she tries to talk, the words dissolve into sobs and she can't.

Goku holds her, listens to her and watches a small set of circular shelves which are mounted in one of the corners of the kitchen. They hold four shelves and the bottom two are full of jars and little bottles of spices and sauces she uses in her cooking. On the shelf above that there are empty tupperware boxes, staked inside each other where possible. When ChiChi feeds her family, leftovers are unheard of. But Gohan is married now and Goten sometimes spends the night Capsule Corporation. When Goku is gone as well, she finds she cooks too much so she'll save whatever she doesn't eat.

On the top shelf is what Goku watches. There is only one item upon it and that is a small empty bottle. When full, it held one dose of the heart medicine Trunks had brought to Goku from the future universe. He couldn't remember much about being sick, just a stabbing pain unlike anything he had felt before. It felt as though something had wormed inside him, spread throughout his body and was eating him from the inside, burning as it did so. Within the pained haze, he could remember something upon his tongue which had the tang of a cherry flavour to it and it had also felt cool so Goku swallowed, hoping it would at least do something about the fire he could feel in his chest. He could also vaguely remember the horrible bitter taste which had suddenly burst over his tongue and down his throat.

And then he remembered waking up and feeling better. He had breathed in the salty sea air surrounding Roshi's island, spun ChiChi around and couldn't stop laughing because he felt so happy.

Whenever he was home, sometimes Goku would happen to spot the bottle and idly wonder why ChiChi had left it there. He knew it had been washed and thought she could use it for keeping something in to go amongst her ingredients. What Goku supposes is that she just hasn't gotten around to it yet. Then he would look away from the bottle and forget it moments later.

During these moments when she's crying so much and he just can't help, Goku wonders if it's left there on purpose. The bottle isn't in a place where it's seen all the time but should ChiChi's eyes settle upon it she remembers when she nearly lost him.

Goku knows that's the reason why she cries so hard. That morning he had left early, feeling the Saiyan blood inside him boil restlessly. He just couldn't help but get up, get dressed and leave, knowing he could catch some fish in the river for breakfast before starting. And so when ChiChi had woken up and found him gone, she became panicked. Then upset and remained so until Goku came back when the afternoon was starting to settle into evening. As he stepped through the door, it all came rushing out but caught in her throat and ChiChi burst into tears.

He had known it would happen. In his state of mind upon waking up of itching to get up and train he hadn't realised.

More than anything he wants to promise that he won't leave her again. But he never knows if he's telling an unintentional lie.

END