Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ or any of the characters therein.
Alrighty, guys, so I think that Goku and Chi-Chi go largely ignored as a couple. That sucks! Oh, and to those of you still hanging in there with me, thank you!
Chi-Chi sneezed. Spring was in the air, and unfortunately, that meant pollen. Lots of pollen. Normally, she wouldn't have been affected quite so much, but her nose was already raw from recent activities. Last night, she'd cried herself to sleep.
She slammed her family's dirty training gear into the little wicker basket on the floor, and snapped it up angrily. She stomped around the house, cursing the fine yellow dust that had settled on the furniture. Great, now she'd have to add dusting to her list of chores. It wouldn't do for her Gohan to have a dusty home.
If his father ever brought him home...
Her eyes filled with tears again. Walking to the kitchen table, she plunked the basket down and buried her face in her hand. The cool gold of her wedding ring felt freezing against her heated flesh. She looked down at it through a watery haze and hiccuped as a sob tried to work its way free. She loved her husband more than anything else in the world. However, as of late, she was beginning to seriously doubt that he felt the same way.
Seriously, what husband who loved his wife would take their only child and disappear for days on end, all in the name of training? When she really stopped to think about it, did he ever really do anything to show her that he cared? He never remembered her birthday or their anniversary. He never noticed when she got her hair done or bought a sexy new outfit to wear for him. Come to think of it, he'd never even told her that he loved her first, only parroting back the sentiment when she said it to him. Did he even know what love really was? Hell, the first time they'd spoken of marriage, he'd thought it was food!
What was she even doing here? He treated her like nothing more than a friend with benefits! Or a maid! She definitely felt like a maid! She shot a glare at the basket and swiped it from the table, their clothes spilling onto the dusty floor. Good riddance!
She spun around quickly, knocking her hip against the corner of the table. She yelped and grabbed her abused flesh, glaring at her wayward husband. He looked like he'd just been three rounds with a mud puddle and lost. Lovely, now she'd have to draw him a bath too. He walked over to her and placed his big hands on her shoulders, his brow furrowing in concern.
"You okay? That sounded painful. I'm sorry, Chi, I didn't mean to scare you..."
She knocked his hands off of her, ignoring the momentary hurt that passed through his eyes.
"Oh? And wouldn't you like to know? Since when do you care if I'm injured?"
Shock settled over his features.
"How could you say that? I always care about you!"
"Oh yea? So that's why you took our son for five days and didn't bother to call me? I swear, Goku, what's the point of Bulma giving you that hand held if you aren't even going to use it?"
"Aw, Chi, is that what's bothering you? I didn't use the com link because we accidentally broke it! See?"
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a melted pile of metal. Her face dropped.
"Seriously," she shrieked as she yanked it from his grip, " that's the fourth accident this month! What the hell happened to this one?"
He grinned sheepishly and scratched his head.
"Well, uh...Gohan had a little mishap when he was practicing. So it actually wasn't my fault this time. Unfortunately, he...may have also destroyed our camping gear..."
She stared at him, and he flinched, wishing that she would say something to break the awkward silence. Instead, she just shook her head and bent slowly down to retrieve their laundry. Tense as they were, he couldn't help but admire the view. She sure had a nice butt. Even under all of her clothes, he could see the perfect heart shape of it, and his fingers itched to grab it. However, years of marital experince with her had taught him that it would be an awful idea when she was upset.
She stood back up, and he was worried to see the dark circles under her beautiful eyes. He knew something was really bothering her, but was reluctant to pry, lest he set off a firestorm in their tiny kitchen. She had been known to break a few dishes when she was mad...and frying pans... But is something was really upsetting her that much, he couldn't just let it go. Squaring his shoulders, he swallowed his uneasiness and spoke.
"Do you love me, Goku?"
His words died in his throat, and a leaden dread filled his gut. Okay, now he knew something was off. He swallowed again, his throat suddenly very dry.
"Is...is this a trick question?"
She startled him when her face crumpled, tears wetting her lower lashes.
"When the woman you married asks you that question, Goku, it's never a trick. I'm sorry, but you'll have to pour your own bath. I need some time to think."
With that, she shifted the basket away from her bruised hip and walked out the door, leaving a very stunned Son Goku gaping after her.
He couldn't help but feel that he'd said something horribly wrong, and this time, he had no idea how to fix it.
"Dude, you really said that? Bad move, Goku, bad move."
Krillin laid back in his beach chair, pushing his shades farther up the bridge of his nose. He wouldn't tell the young Saiyan, but he was worried. As one of Chi-Chi's oldest friends, he'd been subject to quite a few of her tantrums, most of them directed at Goku. But something about her calm words chilled him. The heat of her anger was something familiar, something that they could handle. But this...this was a new monster. Cold silence.
He shook his head, casting a sideways glance at his best friend. Goku was great at a lot of things, but being a husband didn't seem to be one of them. Oh sure, he was always there when she needed saving from some enemy, but he didn't seem capable of remembering the simple things like her favorite color. If he had a girl like Chi-Chi, he would live everyday doing his absolute best not to muck things up. He nodded, having made up his mind to give the doofus an earful and stopped dead at the forlorn expression on Goku's face. He sighed instead.
"Look, man, I don't know what you did to set her off, but you need to fix it. Face it, Goku, she's the best thing that ever happened to you. You're an unfairly lucky bastard to have her. I know you love her, so why don't you show her? I think that's all she really wants."
Goku was pensive. As he mulled over Krillin's words, guilt began to eat him alive. He was extremely lucky to have her, but just he because he knew that didnt mean she did. When was the last time, if ever, that he'd told her he loved her? When was the last time he'd told her she was beautiful? When was the last time he'd really made love to her, and not just had sex? Hell, when was the last time he'd done the dishes for her so she could rest a bit?
God, he'd really screwed this up.
And if it took him his whole life, he'd make it up to her.
Blood stains really were the worst. No matter how hard she scrubbed at them, they never seemed to come completely out. Chi-Chi growled and doubled her efforts, attacking the offending substance with all of her pent up rage. Just as the sting of the cold river water was really biting her palms, another pair of warm rough hands engulfed hers. She'd know those hands anywhere, though she was surprised to see his wedding ring. He hadn't worn that in years.
"Easy, Chi," he said as his lips pressed to her ear, " you're gonna rip it."
She stilled herself and took a deep breath, always thrown a little off kilter when her husband was so near her. Well, this time she wouldn't be assuaged with sex. He'd really hurt her, darn it, and she intended to let him know on no uncertain terms.
"If you've come out here for a romp in the leaves, I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed."
"No. That's not what I want. I just want you." He pulled the shirt from her hands and cradled her in his lap. He put his head on top of her silky hair and listened to the river. Several minutes passed before he spoke again. " Why, Chi? Why did you ask me if I love you? Have I really been so bad that you would actually doubt that?"
He sounded so upset that she deflated, the anger draining out of her. She leaned back against him, watching the sunshine filtering through the trees around them. Was he really such a bad husband, or was she once again over reacting? Hey wait! Why wasn't she sticking to her guns? She shook her head and wiggled out of his arms. She stood before him ram-rod straight, unwilling to fall back under his spell so easily.
"Yes, Goku! You have been that bad! Do you ever even think about how your actions will affect me? Do you care that you make me worry about you every day? Just what am I to you, anyway, huh?"
He opened his mouth, but she cut him off.
"No, Goku, you aren't going to worm your way out of this one! It's my turn to talk! I'm so sick of being treated like I'm second to your martial arts! I'm tired of taking a backseat to your life, and your dreams! I mean, seriously! Do you ever think about me? Do you know my favorite song, or my favorite movie? Do you know what my pet peeves are? For the love of God, do you even know when my birthday is?"
"Sure I know! It August twenty-second!"
She let out a frustrated sob, pacing like a jungle cat.
"Wrong! That's Krillin's birthday! Mine's June fourteenth, you asshole!"
He mentally kicked himself. That should have been an easy one. He was beginning to feel a bit hopeless. Maybe he should just stop talking while he was ahead? He knew if he did that though, it would be as good as walking out on their marriage. He studied her, all red faced and crying, and began to get a bit annoyed. Things had been fine until she'd started questioning everything! Why couldn't she just leave well enough alone?
"What do you want me to say, Chi? I've never been good with this kind of thing! You knew what kind of man I was when we fell in love! And ask yourself this! Would I really have married you if I didn't love you?"
"Oh bullshit, Goku! The only reason you married me was because of some stupid promise you made when we were kids!"
A deafening silence fell, broken only by their panting. Even the birds seemed reluctant to chirp. Goku was furious. Had she really just said that? He jack knifed to his feet and stalked toward her. She held her ground, but he could see the nervousness flickering in her eyes, and it cut him like a knife. He took her by the shoulders and held on for everything he was worth, afraid she would bolt.
"That's not fair, Chi-Chi. You know damn well that wild horses couldn't have dragged me down that aisle if I didn't wanna go. Look, I'm sorry that you feel neglected! I promise to do better! I know I'm a screw up when it comes to us! I don't mean to be, but it's just how I am!"
He looked down at her, a ring of ice forming around his coal-black eyes. Never had he regarded her with such disdain, and it wounded her deeper than words ever could. She dropped her face, looking at the ground as tears rolled down her heated cheeks. Then he tilted her gaze back up with a gentle hand, his ring searing her skin with its presence.
"Haven't you always said that you loved me for me? That you wouldn't change me? Was that all a lie?" His voice broke and a sheen of tears blurred his vision. " Do you love me, Chi-Chi?"
She was stunned. Did he really doubt that she loved him? After everything she'd given, everything she'd sacrificed? Well of course he did. After all, she'd been berating him all day about what an insensitive jerk he was. All of the fight left her, and she collapsed against him, squeezing his neck.
"Yes, Son Goku," she whispered thickly, "with everything I am."
His arms went around her waist, and he pulled her roughly to him until they were pressed completely together. He held her tightly, sniffling back the unmanly tears trying to spring from his eyes. He buried his nose in her hair and drew in her scent, committing it to memory. Cinnamon and vanilla. Spicy and sweet, just like her. He smiled as warmth bloomed in his chest, melting the ice working its way through his veins.
"I love you Chi. Please don't ever question that again. I know I don't show it enough, but I do. I would die without you."
"Yea, because no one would be around to feed you."
She giggled when he pinched her side. He turned her face back toward his, and feathered his lips over hers in a gentle kiss. She pulled away after a moment and laid her head over his heart, reveling in the steady beat of it. He smiled.
"And for your information, little missy, I know your biggest pet peeve is when I leave a trail of dirty clothes on the floor. Your favorite movie is "Dirty Dancing" because you say that Patrick Swayze is a hunk, and your favorite color is orange because it reminds you of your mother's favorite dress."
She stared up at him, and his eyes twinkled mirthfully. She laid a hand on his cheek, and he turned his mouth in to kiss her palm.
"Oh, Goku, you really do love me."
"Yes, Chi, I really do. Now come here and let me show you just how much."
And he did just that, making love to her tenderly on a bed of their clothes. Neither of them cared when his shirt floated away with the river.
I know it's sappy, but I figured I could play with that here. Vegeta and Bulma have more of a sarcastic relationship, and a girl's gotta get her romance fix somewhere, ya know? Love y'all!