Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z.

A/N: Ugh, I tell myself I'll write a small A/N, and always end up writing an essay. There are just a few things that I want to let you all know before I get this story underway, so that I don't have to say it before later chapters. Firstly, I've been aching to get back into writing in the first person, but it's something I haven't done since '09, so this is my experiment (and I'd love your comments on how this reads). This story will be told using both Chi Chi's and Goku's POV, so I hope you get a sense of their different 'voices'.

Just to note, I'm one of those people who does not think that Goku is stupid. Yes, he is naïve, and at the age of 18, he's spent most of his life without access to things that we take for granted (education- Roshi makes him study a tiny bit in DB- technology, etc.) and therefore he doesn't understand how a lot of things work. He doesn't understand social norms either- take the whole nudity thing, for example (because we all know he loves being naked- not that I'm complaining). But he is an amazing fighter, and to be so good at strategy I think he has to be pretty smart.

I can't promise quick updates, but I can promise that I'll complete this story (and I'll complete all my others too- I work on more than one at a time). My goal with this story is to take a canon look at both the good and the bad in Goku and Chi Chi's relationship- there's plenty of both- and fill in all those gaps that we don't see in either the manga or the anime. I'm not going to shy away from certain topics or present a rose-tinted view of their marriage; instead, I'm hoping to give a realistic portrayal of all of the joy and heartbreak they experience. I'm starting with the wedding day, and I'll be ending with their (final) deaths. I'm also disregarding GT, because Toriyama appears to have done this himself, from what I've read of interviews and Dragon Ball Online.

This story spans a long time period, and because of that, each chapter will cover at least a few months. So just be aware that between each section break a number of weeks, or even months may have passed (I will always include some sort of reference to time anyway). My aim is to show readers the scenes that I feel is necessary to tell this unconventional love story, without getting bogged down in a day-by-day play of the characters' lives.

And before I forget, this is rated M for a reason. If you don't like reading lime/lemon, this probably isn't the story for you. In saying that, I don't write that explicitly (I think most of my stuff tends to fall in the lime category rather than lemon).

O-kay! I think that's all I need to say about this. I hope you enjoy :)


The best laid schemes of mice and men

Go often askew,

And leave us nothing but grief and pain,

For promised joy!

-Robert Burns

. . .


Love to faults is always blind,

Always is to joys inclined,

Lawless, winged, and unconfined,

And breaks all chains from every mind.

-William Blake

"So, we're married now, huh."

Goku rises from the bed where he's been sitting quietly, and comes to stand behind me. In the reflection of the mirror I finally notice just how much his body dwarfs my own. He is huge- well over six feet tall- and it adds to my apprehension. Big men are meant to have big penises, right? I try to remember all the advice I've read in women's magazines regarding sex, but I can't think straight. All the ribald pieces of 'advice' from the women of my kingdom seem to blur together in my mind, and I'm not sure what to do. My thoughts turn to my mother once more, my eyes running over her ivory silk dress that fits me perfectly. I've often wished that my mother was alive, but today I've really felt the loss. I don't even remember her, but from what I've heard I know that she was a kind woman. She would have given me plenty of advice that wasn't filled with nonsense. I love Goku, but right now I am terrified.

"Hey," he says, and our eyes meet in the mirror. His handsome, boyish face is filled with concern, and he places a gentle hand on my shoulder. "You're shaking. You must be cold."

Before I can protest he's pulling the coverlet off out brand new bed and throwing it around my shoulders. I grasp onto the corners and pull the blanket further around me, suddenly aware of the very real chill in this room. I hadn't realised it got so cold at Mount Paozu during the night, and suddenly question my decision to build my house- our house- here. But then I remember the way Goku smiled when I said we'd live at Mount Paozu, and I know I made the right choice. This is his home, and now it is mine, and it will be our children's, too.

"Gah, it's not really working, is it?" he asks, frowning down at me. "You're still shivering."

"Maybe," I begin hesitantly, avoiding his eyes, "maybe you could hug me, instead?" My heart is hammering in my chest, and I know my face is flushing red. I've never been shy of Goku before, but now I'm suddenly frozen on the spot. The task before me seems too daunting.

Goku takes a moment to consider this, shrugs, and then steps forward, wrapping his big arms around me. He's taken off his white jacket and bow tie, and wears only his white shirt and pants now. I bury my face in the white frills that cover his chest, melting into the warmth that he gives out. He is a walking furnace, never cold, and my nervous trembling slowly dissipates under his touch.

"This is a good idea, Chi Chi," he says quietly. "You're not shaking anymore."

I smile into his shirt, breathing in the smell of him. The scent of the wild stays on him even though he's in clean clothes; he smells of freshwater streams and wild grass, of deep forests and wide open skies. He has a masculine smell too; I press myself closer, taking an even deeper breath. I love the scent of him, and in his arms I no longer feel so fearful. He is the strongest man alive, but he is also the most gentle and kind, and I know I can trust him.

"I'm a little scared," I tell him truthfully, keeping my eyes closed. He doesn't reply immediately, and I focus on his heartbeat. Is it just me, or is it beating a little too fast?

"Are you scared of me?" he asks, his voice filled with uncertainty. My head jerks up at the question, and I see both confusion and worry in his eyes.

"No!" I answer quickly. "No, Goku. I love you; I'm not scared of you. I'm just…" I trail off, blushing, heartbeat thudding in my ears. I pull my gaze away from his and focus on a loose strand of cotton on his shirt. "I… we have to have sex, and I want to, I definitely do, but I've never… and I don't know what… and if it'll fit and – "

"Chi Chi." His voice is serious now, and I look back up at him, surprised once again by how quickly his moods can change. He is usually as carefree as a child, but I know he is a smart man underneath all the play, and have witnessed time and time again the seriousness that overcomes him when he is in battle. He is frowning at me now, his dark eyes intense as he peers at my face.

"Chi," he murmurs, and the lines between his brows soften slowly, "I'm scared too. I've never done that with a girl! I mean I've seen it, but watching's different to doing, y'know? But we'll work it out."

Hold on. "You've seen it?" I ask, pulling back slightly. "What do you mean, you've seen it?"

He chuckles and lifts one hand to his head, scratching in that usual spot, where his mass of black hair hides the raised scar on his scalp. "Come on, you know what Master Roshi's like," he chuckles. "He's always playin' those movies of his. You can't live at Kame House and not know what sex looks like. Boy, I remember this one movie where there were four people, and they were all naked, but everything seemed to fit together all right."

"You…" I stutter, my mind reeling at the idea that my husband's watched such things. Goku clearly hasn't finished explaining, because he keeps talking.

"But like I said, looking is different to doing. Like when I watch someone use a new technique, I normally can't just do the same thing straight away. I mean, I can, but I'm not real good at it. You have to practice, because you're not used to it, y'know? Is it the same with you, Chi? I'm always trying to put lots of other fighter's moves into my training, 'cause I figure that's the best way to figure out their weaknesses."

I think I must be wearing an odd expression, because he pauses, suddenly looking unsure. "I think it just takes practice?" he says, insecurity evident in his voice.

My mouth feels dry. I lick my lips, and give him a small nod. "I think so too," I begin, my cheeks flushing again. "I just didn't realise you've been watching so much porn! That's kind of disgusting, Goku."

He laughs at that, throwing his head back and surprising me with the sheer volume of his barking voice. I step back, but find myself smiling as he continues to laugh. His mood is contagious, and by the time he is bent over, clutching his stomach, I am giggling too.

"At least… at least I know where my prick has to go!" he shouts between laughs. "When I was littler I used to think everyone had dicks an' balls, and that wouldn't have done us any good!"

That comment has me, and I collapse on the bed in a fit of laughter. My stomach aches, and there are tears in my eyes from laughing too hard, but my heart is soaring. I have never been this happy before. Goku lies down beside me, still clutching his stomach, his own cheeks streaked with tears.

It takes a good ten minutes for the laughter to die down. I reach for his hand, and his fingers envelope mine as we lie side by side, staring at the ceiling. I turn my head to look at him, and our eyes meet. Once more I am left breathless by the shock of how handsome he is as the corner of his mouth lifts in a tentative smile.

I lick my lips. The nerves are still there, but far less this time. We're both beginners, and like Goku says, it takes practice.

I lift my head, and lean towards him. He meets me halfway, our lips brushing lightly over one another. It is only our third real kiss, but it does not take long for instincts to kick in. Our mouths part slightly, and I moan as our tongues meet.

His hand slides down my side and back up again, exploring the curves and contours beneath my dress. His movements are hesitant at first, but as I move myself closer, burying a hand in his thick hair, he grows bolder, sweeping a thumb over my breast. I moan again and try to pull myself closer to him, but the mass of ivory silk tangled around my legs hinders my movement. I pull my lips from his, though I hate the loss of contact, and sit up.

"I can't ruin this dress," I say, and he nods in agreement, panting. We went through far too much in saving this wedding dress to ruin it now, and I slide off the edge of the bed in order to take it off. By this point I've forgotten, of course, that it took two women to get me into the thing, and for a moment I struggle, trying to reach the intricate ribbon lacing at the back.

Goku's hands on my shoulders surprise me, and I jump. He mumbles an apology, even as his hands set to work, carefully untying the dress bit by bit. Eventually the bodice is loose enough to slip from my torso, and I raise my arms, allowing Goku to lift it over my head.

"Ahh," he sighs, catching sight of my front in the mirror. I am blushing now as his eyes rover hungrily over my naked breasts and stomach, and it's tempting to cover myself with my arms. I take in a shaky breath, though, and hold still under his gaze. Eventually he looks away, cradling my dress carefully in his arms and depositing it over a chair in the corner of the room.

With his back still to me he pulls off his shirt, dropping it on the floor beside the chair. I have seen him shirtless before, but the sight of him now makes me gasp. The dim bedroom light throws shadows in every dip and valley of his tanned, sculpted body, and I find myself wondering if he is even human, for surely no mere mortal could look this good, and be that strong?

I continue to watch as he drops his pants. He hasn't any underwear underneath, and my eyes focus on the round, furry patch where his tail once was.

"Did it hurt?" I blurt out, and his head turns to look at me.


"Did it hurt, when Kami removed your tail for good?"

He turns to face me, and I can't help dropping my eyes to his crotch. The sight shocks me, more because I didn't quite know what to expect, and it really does look so big. The surprise must show on my face, because when I look back up at him, he is smiling, his big dark eyes laughing at me.

"I guess you're not used to seein' naked boys, huh?" he asks, lips stretching into a wide grin. "Did ya know it could do that?" I suppose he's referring to the fact that it is standing as stiff as a board.

I take a deep breath and nod. "I… I knew, but I've never seen – "

"It'll fit," he says reassuringly, "Don'tcha worry 'bout that. Master Roshi just said I've gotta go really slow for you, the first time. And nah," he adds, getting back to my earlier question, "it didn't hurt at all when Kami pulled my tail off."

I blush even further; how many people has Goku been talking to about our wedding night? I wonder what else that old pervert has told him, but decide I'd rather not know.

Not yet, anyway.

I'm trembling again, from both nerves and the cold, I think. Goku picks up on this, and walks towards me, opening his arms wide and saying "You get cold real easy, don'tcha?" I lean into his chest, taking in his comforting scent once more, and revelling in his blazing skin. He takes another step forward and I jump slightly as his erection presses hard against my stomach. It feels nice against my belly, I decide, and not so terrifying now that I'm not looking directly at it.

We stand like this for a long time. Eventually Goku lifts a hand to my head and begins to pick the pins out of my hair. One by one they drop to the ground, tinkling against the wooden floorboards. He is slow and methodical about it, and I focus on his even breaths, matching mine to his. The last pin falls at our feet, the sound ringing out in the cool air.

I lift my head, craning my neck so I can look him in the eye. "I know it's going to hurt, the first time. For me at least." For some reason I am whispering now; I suppose because the room suddenly seems so quiet.

Goku frowns a little, his expression thoughtful. "Yeah, Master Roshi told me that, too. But he said that after a few times you'll feel good about it. I guess it's just like fighting in that way too, huh?"

I smile. Goku always turns conversations back towards martial arts. I think it's cute; it's so nice to have a husband who's so big and strong- the strongest man in the world. "I suppose so," I tell him. "When my father first started training me, I had sore muscles for weeks. But now I hardly feel the strain at all, unless I've been sparring all day."

"Yeah," Goku nods. "Sex has gotta be the same as that."

I take a deep breath. "Yeah," I agree.

. . .

Goku, I discover, prefers nudity. When I ask him to put some pants on, he says "But why? There's no one around here for miles. Besides, you're just gonna take them off me again, anyway."

I can't help but grin at that comment. We have been married a week, and I must admit, we've spent a great deal of that time naked. We don't always have sex- it still isn't the most comfortable fit down there- but I enjoy exploring Goku's body, and enjoy it even more when he explores mine.

"But don't you think it's a little gross to sit on the couch naked?" I ask, crossing my arms across my chest. I am dressed in a sleeveless cheongsam, its hem falling just above my knees. Usually I wear pants under this, but it has been warm during the day here, and I like to show off my legs in front of Goku.

Goku thinks for a moment, leaning further back into the couch. The movement draws my eye to his abdominal muscles, and I can't help thinking again that he has such a perfect body. I am the luckiest woman in the world, and I know other women envy me for having such a handsome husband.

"Nah," Goku answers, shaking his head. His thick black hair brushes against the chair's leather back as he grins back up at me.

"Ugh! There's no point me even disagreeing with you, is there? You're just going to continue to sit there naked. What if my father were to show up at the door?"

"But I'd sense him coming," Goku counters. "Ox King is a fighter; he has a big ki. You don't have to worry, Chi. Besides, I think you should be naked too."

"But I have to start making lunch. You eat so much food Goku; it takes me hours to prepare." This is the truth; I had never realised just how much he eats. Cooking is quickly becoming my most dreaded chore.

Goku just laughs. "I'll find my own lunch today; there's plenty of animals around to eat."

I screw my nose up at this. Goku's hunting habits are a little disturbing. Yesterday he killed a wild pig with his bare hands and roasted it over a spit. When he came back inside he was covered in the thing's blood.

It seems that I am destined to lose this argument, because Goku's hands are snaking their way up my bare legs. He tears off my panties, which I should berate him for- it's the third pair he's ruined in as many days- but I am too surprised by his calloused fingers, and then his mouth, and…oh!

Son Goku, I have come to realise, is a competitive man. When he thinks he's right, he lets you know. He has wholly succeeded in getting my bare behind on the couch.

I don't complain.

. . .

I'm taking Chi up the mountain today. She's a fighter like me, so it's much easier going than if Bulma were here. Bulma would trip and complain and cry about the bugs, but Chi only stops every once in a while to look back down the track behind us and say "Oh! Look at the view, Goku! It's beautiful! And there's our little house! It looks so small from here!"

I agree, and let her take my hand. It's annoying when she grabs my entire arm and does that whole drag-me-around thing, but when she just holds my hand, and smiles up at me like she's doing now, I don't mind at all. She's pretty good with keeping up; I just slow down a little, because I realise that her legs are so much smaller than mine, and like Krillin, she has to take lots of little steps to keep up with my big ones. I figure that it's not really fair if I take big steps and expect them to run beside me- they can't help bein' short- so I purposely walk a bit slower.

We could have taken Nimbus up to the top- it would have only taken a minute or so to get up here- but then we wouldn't get the exercise. I'm wearing a turtle shell on my back- Master Roshi gave it to me as a present- and the added weight helps me get some training in.

Chi packed us a lunch, and she's got that in a basket on her back. It won't be enough to fill me up, but I'll just find something extra to eat, later. I know that she's still learning the whole cooking thing, and it takes her a long time to make enough food, so I don't mind going out every day and catching a fish or a deer or a pig or something. She doesn't like blood dripping on the floor though- she can yell like Bulma!- so I just take a swim in the river after eating.

All in all, I think I like being married. I still don't really know why Chi Chi chose me, but I'm glad she did. It's nice to have someone around to talk to, especially here at Mount Paozu. My Grandpa and I used to have so much fun when I was kid, but then after he died it was just me and all the wild animals around until Bulma came along, so it's nice to have Chi Chi living here.

I really like sex. I didn't think I'd like it as much as I do, especially because it looks like such a strange thing- who would think that putting you're prick inside someone else would feel so good?- but it is fun, and now that I've had it, I keep getting that feeling in my chest and guts and wanting more.

I think I even like it as much as I like fighting.

Master Roshi said that marriage means I'm only allowed to have sex with Chi Chi. That's okay, because she's happy to have sex with me, and I think she really likes it too. It doesn't seem so sore for her now, and every now and then she does that tensing-up thing and cries out, and I'm pretty sure that means that it feels good for her too.

Thinking about sex has got me all hard again. Now that Chi Chi's around it happens all the time. I think she's noticed, too, because her face looks flushed from more than just the hike, and she's got that look in her eye.

Ah, we're in luck. There's a nice patch of grass up ahead, just off the trail. I tug on her hand and lead her off the path, and she takes her basket off and sets it down next to my turtle shell. It sure feels good to get that off my back, and I stretch, staring out at the view. The sun is shining, and the sky is clear, and the mountains in the distance look blue. I see a pterodactyl flying in the Western sky, and point it out to Chi Chi. She gasps and grins, and then pulls my head down for a kiss.

She tastes… Damn, she tastes like nothing I've ever had before. Our tongues play with each other- you'd think kissing would be gross as well, but it gets my prick even harder- and I'm moaning into her mouth and she's moaning back, and we're falling to our knees and not letting go.

It's a mad rush to get our clothes off. I want to see her naked; I want to taste her skin. It's salty and sweet, and soft, especially around her nipples. She gasps and rubs her crotch against my prick and it's almost too much.

I just… I just… Kami, she is so wet! It slides in so much easier this time, and I am grinning, and so is she, and I am thinking that this marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me, if I get to do this every day!

"I love you Goku!" she cries, and I go faster. I love that she lets me do this. I love this feeling. I love her squishy butt and her soft round hips. I grab onto her tighter, moving faster again. Kami. Fuck!

Afterwards we are sweaty and breathless and happy. The sun is shining and the birds are singing, and life is good.

. . .

I forgot about the whole blood thing. When I asked Bulma about it one time her face turned red and she yelled at me and asked me how the hell I knew about it, and she got even more upset when I told her I could smell it.

Yamcha explained that one to me. Gosh, these girls sure have to deal with a lot of weird things. I don't think I'd like having boobs, except maybe it would be fun to play with them, and I definitely wouldn't like to be bleeding down there for a whole week straight.

It's lame. Chi Chi says we can't have sex, so I'm stuck doing what I used to do. I pretend that my hand is Chi Chi- Chi Chi's hand, or Chi Chi's mouth, or Chi Chi's pussy. I think that's what it's called- that's what Oolong always says. Chi just calls it her 'down there', but I don't think that's the real word for it.

I don't tell Chi that I'm bummed that she says we can't have sex, because she already seems real down about the whole bleeding thing. I don't get it- Yamcha said it happens to every girl every month, so why was Chi so surprised about it this time?

. . .

I sit on the toilet, crying. We've been married for three months, and I'm still not pregnant yet. I'm starting to worry that there's something wrong with one of us. What if Goku's infertile? What if I'm infertile? What if both of us are infertile?

I try to cry quietly, because I know it upsets Goku. He likes to fix things and make people happy, and he doesn't like it when there isn't an obvious solution to something. There is no solution to this, at least not right now. When my period is over I'll make love to Goku as much as possible, and pray to Kami for a child.

I have always dreamed of having a big family. I have been obsessing over babies and pregnancy for years now, waiting until Dad said I was old enough to marry Goku. Since our wedding day I have been imagining the babies that will fill this house with laughter and joy, and I want them so bad!

But every month so far I have been disappointed. I'm sure we're doing things right.

"Chi?" Goku calls from the hall. "Are you okay?"

I wipe my eyes, and take in a shaky breath. "Yeah," I lie.

. . .

It is quiet, except for our breathing. The room is dark tonight, as the moon lays hidden behind a cover of clouds.

"Goku?" I ask. "Are you still awake?"


I slide closer to him, and plant a kiss on his shoulder. "I love you," I tell him. "I love you with all my heart."

He seems to take this as an invitation, because his lips suddenly crash against mine. I don't mind; in fact, it gives me an unexpected rush, sending fire curling through me.

The weather has grown warmer, so we sleep naked these days. I wrap my arms around him as he rolls on top of me, pinning me to the mattress. I love the feeling of his muscles beneath my hands; I touch his back, his arms, his chest. He trails kisses down my jawline and neck, and between my breasts. He chuckles to himself as he takes one nipple in his mouth; he loves my breasts, just as much as I love how he plays with them.

Please, I pray silently to Kami, as Goku positions himself at my entrance. Please let it happen this time. Please give us a baby!

Tonight we are slow with our lovemaking, taking our time to kiss and nip and lick whatever our lips touch. Goku rumbles with contentment when I run my hand over and over his furry tail scar; he is like a lion, powerful, sleek, and animalistic. I tell him this and he grins at me, his white teeth glowing in the dark. I realise that the clouds must have cleared, because I can see more clearly now. He is watching me, and I drown in his big dark eyes. Oh Goku, I will love you forever.

I am satisfied after the first bout, but Goku wants more, and I am happy to oblige him. I could not love anyone more, and I adore this connection we have.

I cry out, and arch against him. Goku cries too, throwing his head back as he climaxes along with me. His movements slow, then stop altogether, and we relax against the bed in a haze of exhausted afterglow.

Let me be pregnant, I beg the gods.

. . .

I wake in the middle of the night and reach for Goku, only to find his side of the bed empty. This sends a jolt of panic through me; I sit up, grasping blindly for the switch on my bedside lamp.

He still isn't home yet. The thought is terrifying, and immediately my mind jumps to worst case scenarios. Perhaps something has happened to him, on his way back from Kame House? He was only supposed to be gone for the day. What if he's lying hurt somewhere?

Images of a green-skinned demon with sharp fangs flash through my head. Oh Kami, what if Piccolo has him? What if he's dead? What if my Goku has been killed by that monster that he let go?

It takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the light, but eventually I blink the sleep out of my eyes and realise that it's quarter to four, and dawn will be here in another hour or two. This has me even more worried, and I stumble out of bed, stopping only to wrap my robe around me.

I don't bother to switch on any other lights; the dim bedroom lamp gives off just enough for me to make my way down the hall and into the living room. I head immediately for the phone, one hand picking up the receiver as the other scrambles for the phone book.

Damn, now I do need light to read the numbers, but I don't bother walking across the room to flick the switch. I am too panicked; instead I hold the phone book beside the small red LED bulb that glistens in the corner of the phone. It illuminates the page enough for me to read Roshi's number; I go over it twice in my mind.

My hands shake as I dial. I hit the wrong button once and have to start again, cursing. When I eventually get it right, the phone rings for over a minute, but I don't hang up. I don't care who I wake- it is midnight for them there- I just care about my husband.

The old man finally answers with a hoarse "What?"

"Goku hasn't come home!" I yell. "Has Piccolo attacked him?"

"What?" Roshi asks once more. "Who's this?"

"Son Chi Chi!" I yell. I can't help it; I am scared in this dark house by myself. I am scared for my husband, and all I want is to have him beside me, safe and sound.

There is a short pause on the other end of the line, then "Calm down." The old man's voice is gentle. "There's nothing to worry about. Goku is here. He's fine."

"Oh, thank goodness," I say, and lean against the nearest wall. Goku is safe. He's simply at Kame House.

My relief disappears as I think about this. My heartbeat quickens, my stomach lurches. I realise that although nothing has happened to Goku, this is still not good. My own husband has chosen not to return home.

"Chi Chi," Roshi says in my ear, and I force myself to focus on his voice. "Goku is fine. I assumed that he'd told you he was staying over, but he obviously forgot to mention it. The boys are asleep in the room upstairs, but I can wake him and send him home if you want."

I am silent. I have no words to describe how I feel. Foolish, embarrassed, ashamed. My own husband failed to tell me he wasn't going to be home. What does this mean? I would tell Goku if I knew I wasn't going to be where he expected me to be. I would think of him. I love him.

He hasn't thought of me. He didn't think of me at all.

"Chi Chi?"

"No," I tell the old master. "No, don't wake him. Let him sleep."

I hang up the phone.

. . .

Master Roshi is waiting for us at the bottom of the stairs, wearing his usual shirt and sunglasses. "Hey Master!" I greet him, but he doesn't smile at me. He's frowning, actually, and I look at Krillin to see if he knows why. Did we do something wrong?

"Goku," he begins seriously. "Chi Chi called in the middle of the night. She was worried about you."

I raise my eyebrows at this; it's surprising that she was even awake in the middle of the night, and I wonder why she would be worried about me in the first place. Then again, Chi Chi seems to worry about a lot of things.

"Why?" I ask. "I told her I'd be here."

"Did you tell her that you would be staying for a week?"

I pause, trying to remember what exactly I'd said to Chi. All I can remember saying is that I was going to see Krillin and Master Roshi, but I don't see any problem with that, and I tell Master as much.

I think Master Roshi does see a problem with it, because he sighs and shakes his head, and when Krillin, still standing beside me, mumbles "Uh oh," I know I've done something wrong.

"Goku, you need to tell your wife these things," Master says. "Your wife needs to know where you are at all times, or she'll get worried. From the sounds of it, she expected you home last night."

"Boy, I guess you're right," I agree. I guess I'd like to know where Chi Chi is all the time, since it's supposed to be my job to protect her- that's what Ox King told me- but I can sense Chi Chi's ki, so it's easy to figure out where she is and if she's okay. Chi can't do that; no one ever taught her to sense ki, so it makes sense that I actually have to tell her these things. I can see Chi getting worked up about where I am, too, 'cause she gets upset whenever she thinks I've spent too long fishing.

"I think you should go home, Goku," Master says. "Chi Chi sounded upset."

I laugh, partly because Master does not realise that Chi Chi gets upset a lot, and partly to hide my own worry. I have a feeling that maybe I've stuffed something up- I'm still new to this whole marriage thing, and there seems to be a lot of rules I have to follow that don't make much sense.

"Chi Chi gets upset a lot," I tell Master. "She'll be fine. Besides, you told her I was here, right?"

He doesn't look convinced, and I catch the look he shares with Krillin.

"What, uh, does she get upset about, Goku?" Krillin asks. He's staring at his feet, shuffling them on the wooden floor, and I shake my head. I don't get why Krillin seems so shy whenever he asks about Chi.

I scratch my head like I always do, over that scar I have from when I hit it as a baby. It's a bad habit of mine, but I can't help it.

"She's always yellin' if I walk inside and my shoes are muddy, or if I've got blood on my clothes, or if I forget to put my dirty stuff in the laundry instead of on the floor." I shrug. "I just forget sometimes."

Master sighs. He seems relieved, but I don't know why. I wish someone would just explain everything I'm supposed to do as a husband, instead of making me figure it out by myself. Master Roshi told me lots about sex, but he didn't tell me about some of the other things.

"At least give your wife a call, Goku," Master says. "Talk to her." He chuckles, shaking his head. "You'll probably have to apologize, before you get her on side again."

He's probably right. I've found that saying sorry gets me a long way with Chi Chi. She's a good person, and I know when she yells that she doesn't mean anything bad by it. I nod and walk over to where the phone sits, but then I feel a little stupid. I've seen Master and Bulma and Yamcha all use the phone before, but I've never used one myself. I don't actually know how it works.

Master realises this too, and picks up the ear-bit for me. "You dial the number, Goku," he says, pointing to the buttons on the phone, "and then hold this to your ear and wait for her to answer."

"Okay." My hand hovers over the buttons. "What numbers do I press?" I ask him.

"Your phone number."

I look at Master, confused. "I have a number?"

Master Roshi sighs, and Krillin covers his face with his hands. "You do," Master says, "but you obviously haven't learnt it. Never mind. You'll have to fly home and see Chi Chi in person."

I sigh, and cross my arms. "Do I have to go right now?" I ask. Master shrugs, looking up at me. It's still weird, getting used to the fact that he's shorter than me now.

"They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I'm not sure if that's the case with your wife, Goku," he says.

I don't really get what he means, but I do get the feeling that I should go. "I guess I'll see you some other time," I say. Master pats me on the back, and Krillin does too.

"Come back soon," Krillin says. I think he gets lonely here with just Master Roshi. I sure miss hanging out with Krillin. I don't really understand why I have to spend all my time with Chi Chi; it couldn't hurt if I spent a week or two here, could it?

I wave at Master and Krillin. Turtle is on the beach, and I wave to him as well. I call for Nimbus and jump on, and we fly back to Mount Paozu.

. . .

My husband returns in the late afternoon. I'm not sure what to think when he walks in the door; part of me is relieved to see him, but part of me is nervous, and worried. I've been doing a lot of thinking today, and a lot of crying, too. I know my face must be red and splotchy, and I can feel how swollen my eyes are.

Goku has never told me that he loves me. I realise this now, and it hurts. It really, really hurts. I tell him all the time. I have poured my heart and soul to him, but…

I think- I realise- that on our wedding day I did not know Goku as much as I thought I did. I have learnt a lot more about him now, and I'm beginning to see that how I imagined him to be in my mind, all these years, is different to how he really is. I had this image in my head, of us in our house, living together forever. But how can I ignore how free-spirited he is? He is always telling me stories about his training adventures, always taking long walks and going fishing and coming home late, and I fear that he will leave me here alone, that he will choose adventure over me.

I still love him more than anything. But now I am so, so scared that he does not love me back. I don't know what I'll do if he doesn't love me. What can I do?

I am curled up on the couch, and as he stands in the doorway, fresh tears spring from my eyes and roll down my cheeks. He sees this, and the smile on his face drops.

"Chi," he says. His voice is soft and concerned, and it breaks my heart even more. "Chi, what's wrong?"

I sob, and bury my face in my knees. I can't answer that. I don't even know what to say.

"Chi Chi," he says, and he is crouching at my side. His hand touches my shoulder gently, his fingers skimming up and down my neck. "I'm sorry," he says quietly. "Master told me I scared you, 'cause I didn't tell you I was gonna be away. I didn't realise I was supposed to tell ya; I'm still new to this whole marriage thing."

Kami, he didn't realise he was supposed to tell me he wouldn't be here? I am his wife! I'm supposed to be the most important person to him! I sob more, and he pulls me into his arms. His lips brush my hair, and then my forehead, in soft, gentle sweeps. He lifts my chin with his hand and kisses my closed eyes, my nose, my cheeks, my lips. He is careful with his movements; one hand reaches around to unzip my dress as the other brushes across my collarbone and down to cup my left breast. He kisses my neck, murmurs "Don't cry, Chi," and I know his apology is sincere. He is doing all he can, all he knows, to make this right.

"Do you love me?" I whisper. His lips pause just above my heart, and for a beat, the world is silent.

"I think so," he answers quietly, and plants another kiss on my breast. Fresh tears run down my cheeks as my heart breaks. He thinks so. He doesn't know. He doesn't…

I push weakly against his shoulders. He stops what he is doing, and looks up at me. I slide away from him, and pull my dress back up over by breasts, shaking my head. "I just… I don't feel like this right now, Goku," I tell him. He looks confused, hurt, and disappointed, and a little, evil part of me thinks good, even when the rest of me wishes I could just go back to yesterday morning, when everything between us seemed so perfect.

I walk out of the house, walk across the grass towards the forest. I start running, running in my bare feet and undone dress, with tears flowing freely now. I run through the trees until my feet hurt and I can no longer see, and my chest heaves with sobs and I can't get enough air! My face is wet with tears and snot, and I've never felt as shit as I do now, and I am scared, because my period is ten days late, and I think I might be pregnant, and I'm married to a man who doesn't even know if he loves me.

I am crying, howling, bent double in this forest because I love him so much. Why can't he feel the same way for me?

I can't breathe. My vision falters, seems to fade to black and white, then blacks out completely. Oh Kami, I'm fainting.

I'm dying here.