Author's Note; This story was once known as 'Hate Me, Love Me'
They had been friends for years, and been on many adventures together in their youth. But lately things had changed between them, bringing out long-suppressed feelings that could lead to something more. An alternate version of the infamous 'three years'.
Disclaimer; I do not own Dragonball Z or anything DBZ related. The story does take place in the show's own storyline, but this is an alternate take on those events.
The cover art is called '.:Goku X Bulma ...the kiss:.' by desertora001 and can be found on DeviantArt.
This is a Goku/Bulma story. If you're offended by this, than please don't read. I'm not anti Vegeta/Bulma, I just like this pairing as well and wanted to write my own take on this relationship.
Goku spread his arms wide open with a yawn, before his beaming trademark smile broke onto his face. He'd had a terrific night's sleep, and the smell of breakfast wafted into his room. He turned to his right, noting the empty space in the bed where his wife should have been, and frowned. He couldn't remember the last time he had woken up to find her lying beside him, it had been many years. But instead of dwelling on that fact, Goku threw off the covers and sat up, running a hand through his spiky hair as he looked out the open window. The sun was shining and there weren't many clouds in the sky – a perfect day for training.
Once out of bed, Goku quickly got dressed and washed his face before hurrying to the kitchen, where he was not surprised to find his wife hovering over a full stove, muttering to herself as she stirred with one hand and sprinkled salt into a pot with the other. "Morning Chi-Chi! It certainly smells good in here!" Goku exclaimed brightly as he sat down in his favourite chair, watching her intently. Chi-Chi turned around quickly to glance at her husband before returning to the cooking, saying nothing.
Goku frowned. Things had certainly not been the same between them since he had returned from Namek. He could tell that Chi-Chi was definitely upset about something, but she was much too stubborn to tell him herself. He had tried to keep things as normal as possible, to get back into the old routine, but she would hardly speak to him, and it was worrying him quite a bit.
Unfortunately he had other things going on, such as his intense training in order to defeat the androids in three years when they were due to arrive. Trunks' warning echoed in this thoughts, and while he tried his best to remain focused on the task at hand, he also had his impending heart disease to think about as well.
The medicine Trunks had given him sat on his bedside table, a constant reminder that it was going to happen, but he hadn't been told an exact time, or what precisely would bring the sickness on. With all that worrying happening inside his normally carefree mind, he just didn't have the time to try and figure out what was going on with his marriage.
His train of thought was derailed as Chi-Chi placed a large bowl of rice in front of him, as well as an assortment of steamed fish and vegetables. The perfect breakfast, in Goku's eyes. His eyes lit up as he began to devour the food, not considering how fast he was eating it as Chi-Chi watched him, a hint of disgust in her features.
Once he was done, Goku sat back in his chair and patted his stomach, a sign of being full. "That was great! Thanks, Chi-Chi." he thanked his wife,but she was too busy clearing up the table and washing the dishes in the sink to reply. Goku sat up, now ready for the day ahead. But he was missing one vital thing. "Is Gohan up yet? We've got to get to our training, I'm sure Piccolo is waiting for us."
Something in Chi-Chi snapped, and she turned around to glare at her husband. "Are you kidding me?" she asked him seethingly, and Goku took a step backwards from her. He knew what Chi-Chi was capable of when she was angry, and did not want to incur her wrath. But unfortunately for Goku, it was much too late. "What do you mean?" he asked innocently, trying his best to understand why she was so furious.
"Ever since you came home, which took you much longer than it should, all you care about is training, training, training!" Chi-Chi yelled at him, snapping the handle of the scrubbing brush she was holding before she threw it away from her. "But I need to train, so I can beat the androids when they arrive." Goku explained, holding his hands out in front of him in defence. "Fine. Go and train. But don't expect to be taking Gohan with you. That boy is still capable of having a normal life, and Kami knows I will do anything to make that possible."
Goku cringed. He and Chi-Chi had always had different views when it came to their son, but he had always felt that Chi-Chi pushed him into studying much too hard. "But I need to train Gohan. He's going to be a crucial player in this upcoming battle." he protested, but one look of Chi-Chi's face shut him up. "Gohan needs to catch up on his homework." she replied sternly, turning away from Goku and getting back to washing the dishes.
A large plate was thrown in Goku's direction, causing him to quickly duck before it smashed into the wall behind him, breaking into millions of little pieces. "Get out. I can't even look at you right now." Chi-Chi told Goku, her back to him. Goku looked down at the floor. "But Chi-Chi-" "Just go." Goku slowly made his way out of the kitchen, leaving his wife to settle down as he went outside.
His eyes instantly met with a large green being, who simply looked at him. "Hey Piccolo." Goku greeted the being, sighing as he did so. "Goku." Piccolo nodded his head in return, before turning his eyes on the kitchen window. "Listen Piccolo, I don't think I'm in the right state of mind to train today." Goku admitted, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. This had never happened to him before, where he had not wanted to do any training even when presented with the perfect opportunity.
Piccolo's eyes widened at Goku's words, it was almost unbelievable that he would say such a thing. But then again, he did not understand human interactions all that well, choosing to instead keep out of them. Goku looked up at him. "I think I might go and see Bulma. Could you stick around here and keep an eye on Gohan for me?" Piccolo merely nodded, and before he could say or do anything else, Goku's fingers went to his forehead and he vanished into thin air.
Back inside the Son home, Gohan trudged into the kitchen, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Morning Mom." he greeted Chi-Chi, before realising that something was very wrong with her. Worry in his dark eyes, he approached her carefully, placing a small hand on her back. "Mom, are you okay? Where's Dad?" he asked, looking around. Surely Goku hadn't forgotten his promise of letting Gohan train with him today?
Chi-Chi glared into the bowl she was scrubbing. "I don't know and I don't care." she answered coolly, and Gohan moved back from her, sitting at the kitchen table. He was a smart kid, and was well aware that there was something very wrong between his parents, even if he couldn't fully understand why. He looked out the open window, hoping that things would get better soon, and that maybe his mother would cheer up. As if on cue, Chi-Chi placed a large bowl of food in front of her son, patting his head. "Eat up Gohan, you've got a lot of studying to do today."
"Yamcha, how could you?"
"What? I didn't ask for it, she just gave it to me!"
Bulma closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. It was the only thing she could do to prevent herself from wanting to scratch out her boyfriend's eyeballs. The day had started out well enough, Yamcha had asked her out to a lunch-date at a fancy restaurant, and she had happily accepted. But things had turned sour when instead of looking at Bulma with lustful eyes, his gaze had been misplaced on their waitress, who not only had thrown her ample chest in front of Yamcha with every chance she got, but had also had the nerve to give him her phone number.
"Well even so, you shouldn't have accepted it." she looked at the small piece of paper clenched in her hand, with a series of numbers scrawled across it accompanied by little hearts. With no hesitation, she swiftly tore it into many pieces, and threw them into the nearby rubbish bin. Yamcha's mouth gaped open. "What did you do that for?" he asked her, narrowing his eyes in annoyance. "Because surely you weren't going to call her, since you have a girlfriend, and therefore I was just saving you from having to throw it out."
Yamcha crossed his arms angrily, but had nothing to respond with. Bulma knew she had won this battle, but that the war still raged on. Since Yamcha had returned from the dead, things had been more difficult in their relationship than ever. As Bulma glared at her boyfriend, he turned towards the door. "I'm outta here." he announced, grabbing his jacket and leaving the room. Bulma simply watched him go, before turning towards her laboratory.
It seemed that all she and Yamcha ever seemed to do was break up and then get back together again. But that routine was getting stale, and now that Bulma was getting older she needed something stable. A proper relationship, where she could eventually see herself getting married and even having children. The more time she spent with Yamcha, the more she realised that they were never going to achieve those things, no matter how hard they tried.
Her thoughts were interrupted as a half-naked, sweaty man blocked her off in the hallway. "Woman, I require a meal." he demanded, placing his hands on his hips. But Bulma wasn't in the mood for Vegeta's antics today, she merely slipped past him and continued on her way. "Woman, did you hear me? I asked for a meal, and I suggest that you do as I ask." Bulma rolled her eyes but continued to walk. "Woman, I-" "Bite me." she retorted back, before disappearing into her laboratory, leaving the Saiyan Prince stunned in the hallway.
Sliding the door closed behind her, Bulma took in a deep breath, an attempt to clear her mind before a person suddenly appeared in front of her, making her scream loudly and back up against the door. But before she could analyse the situation, the door behind her slid open quickly, and she fell back into a pair of surprised and conflicted arms. "What is wrong with you woman?" Vegeta rasped, his cheeks blushing red as he set Bulma back into her feet and withdrew his arms.
"Oh, I'm sorry Bulma, I still haven't quite figured this technique perfectly yet." Goku apologised, holding out his hands. Vegeta grunted in response, before turning up his nose and leaving Bulma and Goku in the room. Bulma clutched her chest, trying to get her breathing under control. "That's alright, but just be a little more careful next time, yeah?" she told him, before a bright smile crossed her face. "Anyway, it's good to see you!" she exclaimed, moving close to Goku and placing her thin arms around his neck. "You too." Goku replied, wrapping his strong arms gently around her petite waist.
"So what brings you here?" Bulma asked, as the two broke the embrace. It was certainly nice to see her oldest and dearest friend, but Goku wasn't one to make visits a habit. Goku sighed. "Chi-Chi kinda threw me out for the day. She's been so angry at me since I came home, and I don't know why." he answered earnestly, and Bulma gave him a warm smile. "Well why don't I make us both some lemonade and we can have a chat?" "Sounds great."
After making their way upstairs, Bulma made her way into the kitchen and began to make the lemonade as Goku leaned on the counter, watching her with mild curiosity. "So, where's Yamcha?" he asked, looking around. He knew from Trunks that the relationship between Bulma and the scarred warrior was going to end, but he wasn't sure when. Bulma sighed. "I don't know. We had a fight and he left. That scumbag thought it was perfectly okay to get another girl's phone number!"
Goku cocked his head to the side in thought. "But why is that a bad thing? Maybe she wanted to just be friends with him?" he wondered aloud, but Bulma merely shook her head. "I saw the way she flirted with him, there is no way that she would just want to be friends. Besides, it's almost impossible for girls and guys to be just friends."
Goku's face scrunched up in confusion. "But we're friends, right?"
Bulma stopped in the middle of stirring, Goku's question replaying in her mind. There were things that she had long buried when it came to the younger man, feelings and emotions that were not permitted when it came to her friendship with him. She could feel them beginning to swell, but swiftly pushed them away. "Of course. I didn't say it was impossible, just almost impossible."
Goku laughed, and she breathed a quiet sigh of relief. "That makes sense." he replied, his eyes lighting up as she poured the lemonade into two tall glasses and handed him one. "Just don't drink it all in one go." she teased him, before leading him outside to the balcony, her favourite place to just sit down and chill out.
Bulma took one seat, Goku following suite and sitting down in the one opposite her, taking in a deep gulp of the lemonade before letting out a rather loud burp promptly. "Oops, sorry." he apologised, letting out a chuckle. Bulma couldn't help but giggle a bit herself, before taking in a deep breath. "So," she began, taking a sip of her cool drink before continuing, "What's going on at home?"
Goku's goofy demeanour vanished as his face turned serious. "All Chi-Chi does is yell at me. And that's if she actually talks to me. I know she's angry with me, but no matter how many times I ask her, she won't tell me." he explained, resting his head on his propped-up arm. "And I don't know how to make her happy again."
Bulma sighed. She could understand why Chi-Chi was upset, but not why she would refuse to talk about it with her husband. She knew that this would be hard for Goku to hear, but it needed to be said all the same. "Goku, I'm pretty sure that Chi-Chi is feeling abandoned by you right now." she explained, trying to figure out the best way to tell it to him. Goku was a simple man, a reflection of his upbringing, and she wouldn't be able to over-analyse things because she was certain that he would not be able to follow her at all.
Goku raised an eyebrow. "Abandoned?" he questioned, his eyebrows knitting together as he tried to understand. "Well, it's been an eventful few years. First of all, you were dead for a whole year, and then when you came back, you fought the Saiyans and ended up in hospital for a few weeks. Then as soon as you got better, you went and left for Namek, and it took you a while to get home. And now that you're finally home, you spend all of your time training." Bulma replied, before taking a much-needed drink of her lemonade.
Goku's eyes trailed down to the table. Bulma had a point. He'd hardly spent any quality time with his wife in the last few years, that was true, but it wasn't for lack of trying. When Goku and Chi-Chi spent time together, it mainly had always consisted of Chi-Chi cooking and Goku eating. "You're right." he exclaimed, holding his hands over his face. Bulma leaned over and pulled Goku's hands down so that she could look at him. "The best thing to do is to think back on why you fell in love with her in the first place."
Goku swallowed guiltily. The truth was, he had never been in love with Chi-Chi, no matter how hard he had tried. He certainly admired her, and would have hated for anything nasty to happen to her, but he had never felt love when it came to his wife. He didn't even fully understand what the word meant, or what the emotion even felt like. He had only ever had strong feelings towards one person in his life, but had never discussed them with anyone, simply because he had never understood what those feelings had meant.
And then he had agreed to marry Chi-Chi, making up for a promise he had made in his youth, not fully understanding what marriage really meant. He liked Chi-Chi enough, but he always felt that she had much stronger feelings for him than he had for her. In the course of their marriage, they had only been intimate a number of times, one of them resulting in their son.
Goku had hoped that over the years his relationship with Chi-Chi would develop and grow, but it seemed that they had headed in the opposite direction. It made him feel like a failure, a feeling he was not well accustomed with. He could destroy the most powerful being in the universe, but could not fix his marriage. But that didn't mean that he wasn't going to attempt it. He would spend some time with Bulma first, and give Chi-Chi some time to settle down, and then go back home and try to sort thing our.
After finishing their drinks on the balcony, Bulma led Goku back to her laboratory, where he watched her build some new battle droids, obviously for the arrogant warrior that was currently residing in the compound. Goku wondered how long it would take for Bulma and Vegeta to get together, as much as he secretly wished deep down that it wouldn't happen. But Goku wasn't one to harbour negative thoughts, and quickly pushed it out of his system.
Before either of them knew it, the sun was beginning to go down, signalling the end of the day and Goku's time to return home. He gave his best friend one last hug, holding her as tight as he could without being in the danger of crushing her bones. "Good luck." she told him, stepping back as Goku raised two fingers to his forehead. "Thanks." he smiled back at her, raising his other hand in a wave before disappearing before her eyes.