Disclaimer: DB/Z/GT do not belong to me. At least, I don't think they do . . . let's take a vote; all who say DBZ belongs to me, raise his or her hand! *looks around* Only one hand, and that's . . . never mind, that's just my sister's Vegeta action figure and he doesn't know anything. So I guess it's not mine. ^_^

A/N: Don't even try to ask why I wrote this -- I've been in a really dark mood lately, with (lemme' count) 6 fics on the go, 3 of them posted, and none of them finished, and one of them is a dark, depressing, violent, etc. story that wouldn't put anyone in a good mood to write. To top it off, I've been sick for quite some time now.

This was basically a combination of my desperate need for comedy in the midst of my (quite formidable) anger, and as a compromise. This story was supposed to be a Goku/ChiChi romance dealing with the issue of Goku staying away for so long, but it got heavy and depressing. So, hence the idea came for me to write it from Gohan's perspective. It made it much lighter and more entertaining, I think. That's why the issue is addressed in one of the scenes.... basically, this is a comedy with a bit of seriousness in it for a little while.

The rest of the story is silly, I admit, but so is little Gohan. He's so adorably clueless, and when you foil that against Piccolo's world-weary cynicism, it creates the perfect scenario for the scenes you're about to read -- especially the final one.

I hope you enjoy reading this. I really, really needed to write it, and for those of you used to my angsty stories, this might be a pleasant change. It's the first time I've attempted to write something completely lighthearted since "Like Father, Like Daughter -- Saiyajin Style."

Enough chatter. Read on!

What is Going On?

"Dad's back, Dad's back, Daddy's back, la, la, la, la, la!" Son Gohan sang to himself happily, as he, Piccolo, and his father flew to Mt. Paozu. It was a year and a half since the ordeal on Namekusei, and a few hours ago Furiza had been defeated by a strange, lavender-haired warrior . . . and now, Dad was coming home! Gohan hadn't had a more perfect day in a long time.

Dad laughed at Gohan's impromptu song, and he reached over and ruffled his son's unruly hair. "That's right, big guy. And I'm here to stay this time. No more dying or going off into space again. It'll be you and me again."

"And Mom," Gohan interjected, "And Mister Piccolo."

"And Mom, and Piccolo," Dad corrected himself, shooting a grin at the latter. The Namekusejin ignored them completely, but Gohan didn't care. He knew Piccolo well enough that he could tell when his friend was trying not to smile. "Speaking of Mom, how is she?"

Gohan gave a little shrug. "Strong," he replied, "She's been trying to be strong since you left, but she still misses you," the little boy burst into a wide, infectious smile. "Boy, will she be happy to see you, Daddy!"

"I hope so," Dad nodded affirmatively, but there was something funny about his tone of voice that made Gohan look at him. Dad's face had gone serious all of a sudden, and he frowned at nothing that Gohan could see. "It's been a long time since I've seen her. Has she changed at all?"

"No. Just as loud and obnoxious as ever," Piccolo snorted. "She actually tried to hit me with a frying pan the other day."

Dad burst out laughing, and the care lines disappeared from his face to be replaced by an expression that resembled pride. "That's my ChiChi, all right," he chuckled. "Well, I'm glad she hasn't changed. With all these enemies coming and going and everything moving so fast, it's nice to have something safe to come home to."

"Not the word I would use to describe her."

"Aw, Piccolo," Dad rolled his eyes. "You know what I mean! ChiChi is somebody I can always count on, that's all."

Gohan smiled, and he moved close to his father. Dad put his arm around him, holding Gohan to his side, and Gohan felt tears come to his eyes. He'd forgotten what it was like to be held by his father, to feel his strong arms around him and to smell his scent, like the mountains. It was comforting. "I dreamed you came back last night, Daddy."

Dad raised his eyebrows. "Really?"

"Yeah. Mom was in it, too. You said hi, and then asked what was for supper, and you went in through the window, and Mom didn't even yell at you!"

"I didn't hug her or anything, huh?" the funny look came over Dad's face again.


"Well," Dad looked determined all of a sudden, and he gave Gohan a squeeze. "That's not gonna' happen this time."

"Brother," Piccolo muttered.

A while later, they landed in front of Gohan's house. Dad set Gohan on his shoulders, and he glanced around, a big smile on his face as he looked at the trees and the grass, and the smoke coming out of the chimney. "I've missed this place, ya' know," he sighed happily.

Piccolo grunted, but Gohan detected the faintest hint of a smile on his face. It was nothing anybody else would be able to see, though. "If you're going to go all mushy and sentimental on me, I'm leaving."

"Nah, I'll stop," Dad laughed. Putting his hands on either side of his mouth, he shouted, "Hey, honey? I'm back!"

"Gohan, what did I tell you about flying off -- Goku? Is that you?" came Mom's voice from inside the house, at first sharp and accusatory, then breathless and excited. The front door swung open with a bang, then Mom all but flew out of the house, running straight into Dad and flinging her arms around his neck. "Goku! You're finally back!"

"Whaaaa!" Gohan cried as his mother's embrace knocked him off his father's shoulders, but Piccolo caught him before he hit the ground. "Whoa, Mom!" Gohan whispered in awe, "You did miss him, didn't you!" Piccolo put Gohan down, and Gohan leaned against Piccolo's leg, grinning at his parents.

Dad was laughing and he spun Mom around, Mom still clinging fiercely to his neck. "Of course I'm back, hon!" Dad exclaimed, finally setting her down. "I said I would, didn't I?"

Mom smiled, then she did something completely unexpected; she threw her arms around him again and kissed him. Dad almost fell over in surprise, but then he just kissed her back. Both of them completely ignored their audience.

Gohan grinned crazily, glad his father hadn't walked in with barely a hello like he had in his dream, and he hugged Piccolo in excitement. Piccolo, meanwhile, looked extremely uncomfortable. Curious, Gohan hissed, "How do they breathe when they do that, Mister Piccolo?"

"Don't ask me," Piccolo muttered back. "I don't want to know."

At last, Mom pulled away, and she looked happier than Gohan had seen her in years. "I've missed you, Goku!" she proclaimed, "It's been so long! I kept making too much food, expecting you to be home for dinner."

"I know, and I'm sorry," Dad's face got all frowny, and he played with the strands of hair that hung down at the sides of Mom's face. "But I couldn't help it. I had to stay on Yardrat to learn a --"

"I heard," Mom's face fell for a second. "You should have seen the looks on everyone's faces, when you said you didn't want to come back. They all thought I was a horrible wife and you didn't want me anymore," Gohan's eyes widened at this, and he prepared to fly off and beat up anyone who had made his mother feel so upset, but Piccolo rested a heavy hand on his shoulder in admonition. Gohan screwed up his face in annoyance, but stayed where he was.

Dad touched Mom's chin with one finger, looking at her. The expression on his face was one Gohan only vaguely remembered from before the entire ordeal with the Saiyajins -- one that looked like Dad thought Mom was the prettiest girl on the planet. "That's not true. You should know that."

Mom chose not to reply to that, instead forcing a smile. "Well, I'm just glad you're back," she declared, taking Dad's face in her hands and kissing him again.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Piccolo grumbled, and Gohan laughed. Piccolo's cheeks were turning purple, and Gohan hadn't seen his friend so embarrassed in his entire life.

Dad probably heard him, because he pulled back, holding Mom's wrists. "Hey, ChiChi, Gohan and Piccolo are watching, remember?"

Hurt spasmed across Mom's face, and she nodded, prying Dad's hands off her wrists. "That's right. I'm sorry, you two," she apologized, but that look was still on her face; the one like she was going to cry.

"'S'okay, Mom, we don't mind," Gohan chirped, and he elbowed Piccolo in the knee. "Do we, Mister Piccolo?"

Thankfully, Piccolo caught the hint, and he shook his head, though he glanced at Gohan oddly. "Nah. I think I'm going to go meditate, though," he patted Gohan on the head, then sent Dad a little smile. "Good to see you back, Son."

"Yeah," Dad saluted him, and they watched Piccolo walk away.

Gohan flicked his gaze between his parents, and a tiny smile worked its way across his face. "I think I'll go inside and clean up," he told them, then skipped inside the house. Once inside, however, Gohan levitated a few feet in the air and peeked through the window in the door and watched.

Dad was saying something to Mom, and it looked like Mom was crying. Dad put his hand on Mom's shoulder and was talking insistently to her, an apologetic look on his face, but Mom just turned her head away. Gohan frowned, puzzled, but then Dad cupped Mom's chin in one hand and kissed her. When they finally pulled away, Mom was smiling again.

"Yes!!" Gohan whispered ecstatically, clenching his fist. "Way to go, Daddy!"

A few minutes later, Gohan's parents got into a fight. Well, it wasn't really a fight, since it basically detailed Mom yelling at Dad and Dad trying to placate her, but Gohan was still nervous. He didn't want his parents to be strangers, he wanted them to be Mom and Dad again. He didn't want Mom to yell at Dad, or Dad to run off and train. He thought it was a little jumpy of his mother to fly off the handle like that, but Gohan had thought Dad would wait at least a few days before springing news of the jinzouningen on Mom.

Supper was eaten in silence, and through the entire meal, Gohan worried -- so much, in fact, that he only had two helpings of everything. Fortunately, since Dad scarfed down everything else, this went unnoticed. Afterwards, Dad suggested that he and Gohan clean up the dishes, since one of Mom's arms was in a sling. Mom looked a little surprised, but nodded.

Gohan said nothing as he dried the dishes, standing on a stool so he could reach the sink. He glanced over at his father, and saw that he was scowling thoughtfully, washing the same plate over and over again. Gohan finally poked him, and Dad grinned quickly at him and moved on to the next plate. The thoughtful look was still on his face, though.

Once all the dishes were cleaned and put away, Gohan hopped down from his stool and sat back down at the table. He had the feeling something was going to happen, and he watched silently, hoping his parents would forget he was there. Sure enough, Dad went to stand behind Mom's chair, and he placed his hands on her shoulders. Mom looked up at him quizzically.

"ChiChi, what if Gohan stayed home and studied on weekends?" Dad said slowly. "If I didn't need him for this battle, I wouldn't ask him to train at all. You know that. But since I do, how about if he stayed home at nights and on weekends?"

A funny expression crossed Mom's face, and she got to her feet. "That's fine, Goku, but . . . what about you?"

Something in Dad's face softened, and he put one hand on Mom's waist. "I'd come home with him. There's no question about that. I can't train all the time, now can I?"

Mom's face broke out into a brilliant smile, and a tear ran down her cheek. She sniffled and wiped it away. "I guess . . . that would be all right," she agreed.

"That's good," Dad slipped his arms around her and pulled her close, then he tilted his face down and kissed her. Gohan grinned to himself as Mom practically melted against Dad, wrapping her good arm around his neck. Dad reached up and pulled the ribbon out of her bun, and he ran his fingers through her long, black hair.

It was weird, Gohan thought to himself as he watched them. He'd never seen his parents show this much affection toward each other in one day before . . . he remembered them kissing a few times, when he was really little, but nothing like this.

And then, he understood. Dad hadn't been home to see Mom since he before had been killed by Radditsu, when Gohan was four -- he had been in hospital for a while before going to Namekusei, but that didn't count. Gohan's parents hadn't been able to spend time with each other for over three years. No wonder they were so happy to see each other!

Gohan tilted his chair back, propping his feet up on the table, and he laced his fingers behind his head. He knew most other boys his age would gross out and probably run out of the room if their parents kissed in front of them, but he was different. It makes Mom happy, Gohan thought, And that hasn't happened for a long time. I'm not gonna' be a brat and wreck it by yelling "Ew!" at them.

Eventually, Dad stepped back half a pace, and he turned to look at Gohan, almost like he just noticed he was there. "Hey, Gohan, do you want to stay with Piccolo tonight?"

Gohan brightened, but Mom stiffened in Dad's arms and tried to pull away. "What?" she demanded, looking betrayed. It looked like she felt Dad had kissed her just so she wouldn't get mad at him.

"ChiChi," Dad quirked an eyebrow at her, and Gohan wondered just what his father was getting at. A funny look lit up his face; mischievous and playful, almost, like he was making some secret joke that only he and Mom knew. "It's been so long -- let him stay with Piccolo just this once, huh?"

Mom gasped, and all of a sudden her face flamed a bright red. Dad just grinned again, almost evilly this time, and once more Gohan got the impression that he'd missed something. "Please?" Dad added.

"Sure, just this once," Mom's voice was almost breathless, and it made her sound like she was a teenager. She glanced over at Gohan, and waved him off with a little movement of her hand. "Go on, sweetie. Go play with Piccolo."

Releasing an exultant whoop of joy, Gohan tore out of the house. The last thing he saw as he glanced back over his shoulder was Dad sweeping Mom up into his arms and carrying her out of the kitchen, both of them laughing.

"Grownups sure are funny," Gohan chuckled.


"Piccolo-san?" Gohan chirped, glancing up at his sensei. Piccolo was sitting, cross-legged, on the forest floor with Gohan beside him, his head propped up on Piccolo's side.

"It's late. Go to sleep."

"I'm not sleepy," Gohan shot back, covering a yawn with his hand and grinning sheepishly. "I wanna' ask you something."

"So ask away," Piccolo looked down at him, frowning sternly. "Doesn't mean I have to answer."

Gohan laughed, and he inclined his head in the direction of the house. "Why do you think Mom and Dad are gross when they start kissing? I think it's kind of nice."

For a few seconds, the only sounds that Gohan could hear were those of nocturnal creatures; birds, bats, insects, and small mammals, scurrying or flying about in the forest. He was about to ask why Piccolo wasn't answering when the Namekusejin spoke up on his own. His mentor's voice was thick with embarrassment. "I'm a Namekusejin, Gohan. I don't understand the need for such . . . erhm . . . physical contact. It makes me uncomfortable. It's not that I think they're particularly 'gross', but . . . ehh . . . I don't see the use of it. Sentimentality and all that nonsense."

Gohan raised his eyebrows and grinned, and he scrambled up to wrap his arms around Piccolo's neck. "This is sentimental, and you don't mind it when I hug you," he pointed out, beaming triumphantly.

Piccolo snorted, and he pried Gohan's arms off him, plopping the boy into his lap and ruffling his hair. "That's different, kid, and besides; you know what I'd do to you if you did that in public."

The demi-Saiyajin snickered, for it had taken a long time for Piccolo to accept Gohan's hugs in private, much less in front of others. A wicked idea came into his mind, and he smiled up at Piccolo angelically. "Oh yeah? What if I kiiiiiiissed youuuuu?"

Piccolo's eyes widened until the point that they resembled dinner plates, and with a silent whoosh, his cheeks turned a bright purple in a matter of seconds. "You wouldn't dare!" he bellowed, grabbing Gohan by the arm and holding him at arm's length, looking at him like he was something nasty Piccolo had just sat on. "You should know better than I do that you do NOT 'kiss' your teachers! Gah, kid, that's disgusting! Please, tell me you weren't serious, or I'll be forced to blow your head off!"

Gohan burst into a fit of giggles that were unbecoming for one of the strongest fighters on the planet, and soon he was gasping for breath. "You ... should ... see ... your ... face ...!" he exploded with peals of laughter, squirming out of Piccolo's grasp and rolling on the forest floor in hysterics. "I was just kidding, Piccolo-san!"

An annoyed grunt was Piccolo's response, then he kicked Gohan in the head, sending him sprawling into a tree. Gohan picked himself up, still laughing quietly. "Okay, I deserved that," he chuckled, coming back to sit by Piccolo again. "I wouldn't really kiss you, Piccolo-san," he reassured his friend, patting him on the knee. "Mom says I'm only supposed to kiss girls -- and only if they're rich ones who went to a really nice college and will marry me and have lots of grandchildren for Mom to play with."

A low chuckle escaped Piccolo's lips before he could haul it back, and Gohan was relieved that he wasn't going to get smacked again. "That definitely sounds like your mother."

"Yeah. But I don't think I'd mind a girl like that, even if I don't know any," Gohan yawned again, snuggling up against Piccolo. "So I guess I'll have to wait before I get a girlfriend."

"Good," Piccolo cuffed Gohan lightly on the head. "Because you're being disgustingly mushy already, and you don't even have one yet. Gah! I hate to see what you'll be like when you're 'head-over-heels', or whatever that stupid expression is. It will be revolting, that's for sure."

Gohan giggled again and closed his eyes, ready to sleep, but a mere few seconds later, Piccolo stood up. "Get up, kid, we're sparring."

"Sparring?" Gohan echoed in confusion, knuckling his eyes. "But I was just getting tired!"

He looked at Piccolo curiously, and saw that his friend's cheeks were stained violet again. Something had him embarrassed or uncomfortable, and his ears were twitching -- but Gohan didn't hear anything. "Is something the matter, Piccolo-san?"

Piccolo stammered, for the first time in the years Gohan had known him. "G-Gohan, your parents are . . ." he shook his head, the eyes-as-big-as-dinner-plates thing happening again. Gohan wondered why he seemed to be missing everything today. "Well, never mind. Let's just say they're distracting me."

"Why? They're not even here," Gohan stretched out his senses and found his parents' ki forces, and he lifted an eyebrow. "Wow! Dad's energy level is really high. Are he and Mom sparring, or what?"

"I SAID NEVER MIND!!!" Piccolo roared, punching the unsuspecting Gohan in the face. "Now are we going to spar or not?"

"Okay, okay! Eesh!" Gohan muttered, powering up and dropping into a fighting stance. "I still don't see why they won't let me spar with them," he pouted sullenly. "I'd probably get really strong."

"Shut up, Gohan. I mean it!"

Gohan shrugged and launched an attack on Piccolo. He decided he was never going to understand grownups until he was one, and that wouldn't be for a long time . . .

"Do you think if I asked Mom and Dad nicely, they'd let me spar with them next time?" he piped up.

Piccolo paused in forming a Makankousappou and buried his face in his hands. "Gohan . . . please . . . just forget it, all right? You'll be much happier if you do."

"Does that mean that you've sparred with them before?" Gohan folded his arms indignantly. "Hey, that's not fair! How come you can and I can't?"

Piccolo growled menacingly. "I ... do ... not ... 'spar' ... with ... your ... parents!" he bit out between clenched fangs. "I don't need -- or want -- to do anything of the sort, with them, or with anyone else."

"Okay, I gotcha'. But I think you're being a bit touchy, sir."

The sparring continued well into the wee hours of the morning, and the horizon was beginning to be tinged a faint red by the time Piccolo called a halt. Gohan was ready to collapse on shaky legs, and he climbed into Piccolo's lap, exhausted, not caring that he was seven years of age and by rights, too old for such a childish action. "Are they done now?" he murmured sleepily.

"Yes, Gohan. They're done."

Gohan was drifting off to sleep when a sudden thought struck him, and he spoke up again. "Dad's ki was really high. Will you teach me to spar like he did? Please? I wanna' get strong like that."



Maybe it's just me, but I found it rather funny. I'd love to see that look on Piccolo's face; I picture it similar to the one in the Buu Saga, when Goku offered to "set Kaioshin straight" about showing Piccolo a little more respect. ^-^ (If you haven't seen that scene, you should. It's funny!)

Oh, and if anyone reading this is also following any of my other in-progress fics ("Damsel in Distress? Not Likely!", "Deeper Than Colour -- The Kioku Story", and "Strangers"), please don't give up on me. They're coming, really they are! It's just . . . frustrating. Being ill really doesn't help my motivation, nor does my writer's block. The fifth chapter of "Deeper Than Colour" is actually close to being finished, so hopefully I'll have that out by the end of the week. (Eep! Don't jinx it, don't jinx it!)

Until next time . . .

Seishun shiteru no ni

Tatakai bakari

Ichido kurai wa kekkon shite mambo mambo!