Why Can't We?: The conclusion of the Rikku/Goku Universe. It's been 7 years since Gohan and Vegeta defeated Cell, and 7 years since Rikku's demise had been finalized. She's lived in other world with King Kai, training and making new friends. However, the comforts of death couldn't take away the homesickness and she gets a longing to see her home once again. Meanwhile on Earth things have progressed and the Z fighters prepare themselves for the upcoming Tournament not expecting that their 7 years of peace is about to uprooted.
Chapter 1: I'm Coming Home!
The world of the Kais was a world that was like nothing Rikku had ever seen before. The spread out planets stretched around a single giant planet that was home to the Grand Kai, a supposed master of the martial arts, and an all powerful being. She lived here, for seven years, training amongst many great and noble fighters and enjoyed every moment of it.
She met many friends, including Pikon a fighter of the West Quadrant of space, and Olibru, a man from Earth who many of the legends and stories of Earth were based on. So many fighters, and so many stories to be told and she became close with each one. Her own skills were nothing to be sneezed at for even in the beginning she played high cards with the boys. The tournament saw to that.
I had been an incredible bout and the finals had come between her and Pikon. Although she beat him in the ring the tournament was called a draw for both her and Pikon had been disqualified for touching the ceiling simultaneously. It was a shame, but a great learning experience. Every year she grew stronger and stronger and hit levels she never knew existed.
On occasions she would think of home, and wished she was back in that little kitchen on Mt. Paos eating one of Chichi's fabulous recipes, or playing with Goten in the fields around her house, or fishing with Gohan and telling him stories of the old days… gosh she sure missed home.
"Hey Rikku!" Rikku looked up from her meditation to see King Kai rushing towards her. Right behind him was little Fortune Teller Baba.
"Ah! Baba! It's so good to see you!" She grinned standing up and hurrying over to the old lady. She greeted her with a wrinkled smile.
"Hello again Rikku, we meet again after all these years." Baba adjusted herself on the great crystal ball staring into the eyes of her old friend. Rikku recalled that Baba was able to take fighters back to Earth in order to fight in her mini tournaments. Guess it pays to be psychically aware.
"What brings you here? You visiting?"
"Not exactly, I've been made aware that there's a tournament being held on Earth."
"Really, the martial arts tournament? That takes me back." Rikku thought grinning. Those had been the days. She did nothing but train for years just to become the best. Life was so simple and pleasing. "I wish I could go, even if it was just to watch."
"That's what I'm here for. King Yemma has granted me permission to take you back for the day."
"Huh? WHAT! Really!" A large grin spread across her face. "You mean I get to go home and see my family and friends for a whole day! You're awesome Baba I don't know what to say."
"Think of it as a reward for saving the Earth. Now, you may want to tell your family and friends that you're gonna be around." She motioned to King Kai. "That way they know to look for you."
~Back On Earth~
Gohan soared through the air with his head hung in failure. Why did high school have to be so complicated? First he let his obsessive need to help others get him caught in Super Saiyan mode. He thought that no body would recognize, or they wouldn't care. While no one knew his identity the word of a mysterious "Gold Fighter" spread like wildfire all around his school.
In order to make damage control he asked Bulma to help him create a new identity to protect his saiyan heritage. "The Great Saiyaman" had become the city's national hero and for awhile it worked splendidly… until Videl Satan, daughter of Hercule Satan, had found him out. She had done a lot of digging on his family too. She found out his mother had been a former champion of the tournament and blackmailed him to participate in order to make a great fight, and on top of it wanted him to teach her how to fly.
"It's not big deal," she had said. "I just want you to teach me how to fly. Simple right?"
Who does that? No big deal she said! What would Chichi think? For the past seven years he, and his little brother Goten had been living with Chichi. She raised him and his brother with an iron fist (or frying pan, depending how you looked at it.) She had pushed him to continue his studies, and with only a mild hesitation he followed through. His mother had wanted him to go to a public school so it was only right he went with her wishes and got into the best school possible.
Oh well, it was best not to think of it now. He would cross that bridge when he got to it. In the meantime he had a small pressing detail and would need Bulma's help. He landed in the Garden of Capsule Corps and was greeted to the sound of Trunks' voice. "Hey Gohan, What's up?"
The little half saiyan boy whom had been a happy accident between Vegeta and Bulma, had grown into a springy eight year old with a sense of mischief and adventure. The two of them shared a bond like brothers, for they shared one in Goten. The spawn of Rikku and Vegeta may live with him and Chichi, but Vegeta never missed his time with him. No matter how much he tried to hide his affection, Gohan knew Vegeta cared for his sons. Trunks for he was his first born, and had the most love of training and fighting, and Goten for he was the full blood out of the two of them and his only link to his mother, whom he loved to this day.
"Hey Trunks," Gohan greeted. "Where's Goten?"
"He left already. Ever since dad taught him how to fly he's been coming and going on his own."
"Oh, I see. I need to see your mom about something. Do you know where she is?"
Bulma Briefs, the woman with a million hairstyles, had stuck with a short cut that framed her delicate face and held her youthfulness. Age hadn't diddled her brain whatsoever, for she was as brilliant and as spunky as before. "The World Martial Arts Tournament huh?"
"Yeah, they don't allow helmets so I need a new disguise. I don't want to enter as myself, because who knows what will happen if the kids at school find out about my strength."
"Well, you've come to the right place kid. You just leave it to me!"
After a few mismatches Bulma came up with a winner. The Bandana and sunglasses look did the thing. "Make sure you like it because your face is going to be plastered everywhere after you win."
"Who says he's going to win?" Vegeta said walking in. Trunk immediately stood next to him in a sign of admiration and respect.
"Who else could possibly rival him?" Bulma asked puffing on her cigarette. She had to admit Vegeta looked awfully dashing in his training wear and it sent a sigh of recollection through her. That one night they spent together had been a one night stand, but it was a night she wouldn't soon forget. Her fondness for Vegeta had turned into full blown love after the past seven years of living with him. He had changed, and become a little softer in his daily routine. She didn't dare tell him though. Who knows what kind of fit he would throw if she told him he had become a softie.
"I could, naturally."
"You're going to enter the tournament?"
"Of course, if you'll enter, then I'll enter. We were equally matched when we fought Cell together. However, while you were in the library and going out on dates I've been training and keeping my skills up to par."
"Yeah!" Trunks said getting excited. "Dad and Gohan are gonna fight. This is so cool."
"You can count me in, too!"
The voice that rang through the air stopped hearts. Bulma dropped her cigarette and stared up at the ceiling. "Rikku?"
"Hi everybody! It's me!"
"Mom!" Gohan shouted happily. "Wow it really is you!"
"Hi son, oh I can't tell you how great it feels to hear your voice again."
"This is unbelievable! I can't believe it's really you!"
"Where is she?" Trunks asked looking around for her.
"Karat," Vegeta spoke now his heart pounding hard in his chest. "Is it true? Are you really coming back?"
In other world Rikku heard Vegeta's voice and he felt all those emotions swim back to the surface. "Yes. Baba checked it out for me. I can come back for the whole day. I can't wait to see everyone! I'm so excited!"
"This is great!" Gohan wanted to dance. He hadn't been so filled with happiness since those days before the Cell Games. He would finally get to see his mother again after all these years.
"Tell Chichi, and your brother, I'm coming home!"
Oh he would alright. In fact he told everyone. He danced in the air to Krillen's island first telling him of the tournament and of Rikku's comeback. He'd been thoroughly excited, but a little bummed when Eighteen, his wife of 6 years, and their daughter Marron manage to weasel him into participating in the Tournament.
His next stop was to the lookout to see Piccolo. The excitement bloomed in his eyes and he also agreed to participate. The last stop on his list was home, he landed and did a little jig. He spotted his brother out front with a young girl just a year younger than him. The past seven years had been a roller coaster of emotions, and one of them had been the shocking marriage of Chichi and Android 17.
Much to Gohan's surprise 17 had become a very habitual and woodland lover. He found the wide open mountain range, and rushing rivers a place to be thoroughly explored on foot. In a span of one year he and Chichi bonded, married, and had a daughter. Little Rika was a bright young and conservative girl. She took after 17 the most but had Chichi's habit of cleanliness and keeping things in a certain order. Goten loved to Razz her.
"Eww! Put that frog down Goten! That's disgusting! Put it down!"
"Aww, come on Rika it doesn't bite!" His brother, what a character. He was the perfect blend of his mother and the Saiyan Prince Vegeta. He had Rikku's love of the world, her kind and gentle eyes, but his father's love of fighting and intimidating smirk. His hair was a mix match of a flame and star, the spikes sticking out in odd positions that just seemed to suit his cute face and lanky 8 year old build. He was only a few months younger than Trunks, but thanks to his full saiyan blood and his inherited determination the boys had always been one on one trying to outdo each other. At the same time the boys bonded and had become the best of friends.
"Gohan!" Rika rushed over and hid behind his legs. "You're a super hero, tell him to stop!"
Goten lowered the frog and looked up at his brother. "She's just no fun, Gohan."
"She just has different interests Goten. Put that thing down and wash up. I think I smell dinner."
At the mention of food the frog was put aside and a grin spread to the boys lips. "Alright!"
"Rika, stop playing with your food and eat. You're gonna starve yourself to death." Seventeen chewed thoughtfully into his food. One of the big reasons he had fallen for Chichi was her cooking, the woman was a genius. After all these years it had been shocking, even to him, that he could get so wrapped up into normal human life. His urge to kill, maim, and cause trouble had completely disappeared and was replaced with familial affection.
"Chichi looked at her husband with obvious love and affection. "Seventeen, you're so good with kids. Why don't we have another?"
Seventeen hand jerked and he spilled rice down the front of his shirt. Goten snickered as the Android tried desperately to control his embarrassment.
"Chichi, not here." With is cheek stained with a blushed he turned his attention to Gohan. The man had Gohan or Goten like sons. Instead they were more like friends or brothers to him. "So what's this that you were saying about the tournament."
"Oh, right, well I was at Bulma's today talking to her about the upcoming tournament and you wouldn't believe who popped in on the conversation. My Mom!"
Chichi screamed and jumped from the table extremely giddy. "Oh my gosh! Rikku? Really?"
"Yeah, her and Baba are making plans for her to come back for the whole day of the tournament so she can compete."
"Do you know what this means?" Chichi said laughing and took a wriggling Goten into her arms. "You finally get to meet your mommy again!"
"Chichi, Calm down." Seventeen tried to control his wife. "Don't strangle the boy!"
"Oh this is so unfair!" Chichi said her eyes glowing brilliantly with tears. "She probably hasn't aged a bit and I'll look like an old woman!"
It amazed Gohan how much Chichi could rant on and on like a robot. Even after he told her about his plans to compete she had every excuse coming out of her mouth for him not to compete… that is until he mentioned the prize money.
"You could get a PhD with that kind of money!" Chichi calmed down and got dreamy eyes. "Of course, you can compete Gohan. Of course you can!"
What a day, Gohan thought as he and Goten settled in their beds. Things had been topsy turvy, from school, to blackmail, the tournament, and then his mother's announcement. However, he had never been so excited.
"Hey Gohan," Goten spoke from the top bunk. "What's our mom like?" He wriggled in place and rolled onto his back unable to sleep. "Is she pretty?"
"She's like an angel, Goten." Gohan said in a low whisper.
"What's an angel like?"
" I'm not sure, but I know when they're around you just feel happy inside. You'll love her Goten. Her voice is comforting, her smile is warm, and her laugh is absolutely contagious."
"She sounds nice." He hid a smile under his covers putting an image in his head. "Dad told me she's the strongest woman he knows."
"She's the strongest in the universe. I've never known anyone with her kind of power. It's not just her strength either. She has this ability to light the way even in the darkest of times, and give hope to those around her." Gohan turned his head to watch his brother wriggle again. "Are you nervous about meeting her?"
Goten waited a beat before speaking honestly. "Yeah." Goten closed his eyes. "Just a little." With the image of his mother swimming in his mind Goten drifted to sleep.
That was the first installment of the Third and Final Chapter in the Rikku/Goku universe! What did you think? Are you excited? You better be because I'm stoked and ready to write until my hands cramp! Stay tuned for the next chapter… "Super Saiyan Goten, Videl's flight!"