Disclaimer: Dragonball (Z) is owned by Akira Toriyama
Nada: I wrote this because I was bored playing with my cards. Heads up: it's totally pointless! But it made a few friends giggle so I decided to post it. The story can either be considered Alternate Universe or after the Buu Saga, it doesn't really matter, haha.
Warnings: Minor swearing
Whatever possessed Chichi to leave her husband in charge of the house and kids must have been genetic because Gohan found himself in a situation he thought was impossible. With the house out of food, the only reason why Chichi left in the first place, and with nothing else to do—other than the same old—Gohan decided to enlightened his father and brother with something new he learned from school.
That was why they sat together in the dining room with a deck of playing cards in the center of the table. Goku and Goten stared at the deck with scrutiny. Their eyes jumped from the cards to Gohan, who watched them with an amused smile. Goku scratched his scalp in confusion.
"Um, so… what do you want us to do with this again?" he gestured toward the card deck.
"Crazy Eights," his oldest son repeated.
Gohan took the cards into his hands, picked up the first two cards from the deck and set them aside. Goku and Goten glanced at the discarded cards out of curiosity. They were joker cards. Gohan began to shuffle the deck with such skill and expertise, it gave his family the impression he had done this countless times before. Goten scrunched up his nose at the thought.
"How do you know how to shuffle like that?" he asked.
His older brother shrugged, not wanting to divulge details. Once the deck was thoroughly shuffled, he began to pass out the cards to each of the players until they each received a total of seven cards. Gohan picked up a card from the deck and laid it face up in the center of the table. It was an Ace of Spades.
"Remember the rules?" He asked them.
"We're supposed to match the number or the suit, right?" His father said, eyeing the turned up card.
"And eights mean we get to change the suit to whatever we want?" Goten inquired with a raised brow.
"Dad can go first." Gohan said as he fanned out his cards. "Then me and then Goten."
The other two mirrored Gohan's movements and fanned out their cards. Goku examined his deck, unsure of whether or not he had a good deck. He spotted an Eight of Diamonds among his various cards and debated on whether or not he should use it so early in the game. He decided against it, figuring it would become useful sometime later. Remembering the rules his son explained, Goku searched for an Ace or a Spade. Finding no Ace, he picked up the first spade he spotted and dropped it on top of the Ace of Spades.
The game had officially begun.
Gohan eyed his father's Nine of Spades then examined his deck. He placed a Nine of Clovers into the center deck and smiled when his brother's face contorted into a frown. Goten snooped through his deck for a Clover or a Nine. He spotted his Eight of Spades and contemplated using it to change the suit into something more useful, but just like his father, decided to save it for a more important time. Without a Clover or a Nine in his deck, Goten was the first to pick up a card from the main deck. To his luck, the first card he picked was a Nine of Hearts.
With a toothy smile, he dropped the card onto the center pile and turned expectantly to Goku with confidence.
"Ten of Hearts," their father said as he dropped down the card. "So where did you learn how to play this game?"
Gohan shrugged, his eyes focused on his cards. He pulled out of Four of Hearts and said, "Some kids at school taught me during lunch break."
Goten eyed the offending card for a moment then pulled out a Four of Spades. Goku frowned slightly at the change of suit. He picked up his card and dropped it into the center—Four of Clovers.
"Did they teach you how to shuffle like that too?" Goten asked.
"What's with you asking that question?" His brother put down a Jack of Clovers.
"Because the only person I've ever seen shuffle like that is Trunks's Mom."
Goten examined his cards in search of a Jack or a Clover. He threw down a King of Clovers.
"Come to think of it," Goku began, examining his cards as well. "Master Roshi knows how to shuffle like that too, but that's because he, Bulma, Krillin and Yamcha used to play Strip Poker." Without a King or a Clover in his deck, Goku decided now was the best time to use his secret weapon. He placed the Eight of Diamonds onto the pile of cards and changed the suit to Spades. He was left with only three cards.
It was Gohan's turn again.
Goku turned to his oldest, who threw down a Queen of Spades, and asked, "Have you ever played Strip Poker with your friends from school?"
"Not with friends from school—I mean—not with anyone, ever!" the boy sputtered, the apples of his cheeks strangely flushed.
Goten put down a Seven of Spades with a slight frown. His father and brother only had three cards left in their hands, yet he still had four.
"It's okay if you've played Strip Poker before, Gohan." His father reassured him—it was obvious the man had no idea what kind of game Strip Poker was. "Master Roshi says it's a really fun game, especially with a lot of girls to play with. Maybe we should play it the next time Bulma has a party at her house?"
"No, let's not," the teenager muttered.
Goku glanced up at his oldest, confusion clearly in his eyes. "Why not?"
Gohan shook his head, slightly exasperated with the conversation. "Just put down a spade, Dad."
His father put down a Three of Spades and Gohan followed it with a Three of Diamonds.
"Queen of Diamonds!" Goten smiled, putting down the card.
Goku glanced at his deck then mimicked his second son's smile and threw down a Queen of Hearts. He was left with only one card now and both Gohan and Goten frowned at the thought of their father winning.
With only two cards left in his hands, Gohan put down his last remaining heart—a Jack of Hearts—onto the pile. Thinking quickly, Goten threw down his eight and changed the suit from Hearts to Clovers.
Goku pouted. He picked up a card from the main deck, his pout still present. He picked up another then sighed. He picked up his third card and examined it, his expression now grim. Gohan and Goten exchanged victorious glances with each other. It didn't look like their father was going to win the game at this rate.
The fourth card Goku picked up wasn't any better than the first three, so he picked up another card and frowned.
"Where are all the clovers?" He asked no one in particular as he picked up his fifth card from the main deck. It was another diamond. He picked up his sixth card and slammed it onto the center pile enthusiastically. "Crazy Eights!" he called triumphantly, not noticing the verbal groans that escaped his son's mouths. "I'm changing it to Spades!"
Gohan glanced at his remaining card—King of Diamonds—then scowled. He picked up his first card, which was a dud. His second card wasn't any better. His third card was a diamond. His fourth card was still a diamond.
On his fifth card, Gohan let out a cheer of joy and slammed the King of Spades on top of Goku's Crazy Eight.
"Hah! Spades! Eat that!"
"Hah! Two cards!" Goten reminded them, fanning out his remaining two cards for his family to see. His moment of triumph for being in the lead quickly deflated when he realized none of his cards were Spades or a King. He grumbled.
Gohan smirked at him. His father merely smiled. The first two cards Goten picked up were duds. The third card he chose made him frown. The fourth card made him clench his jaw. And the fifth card made him want to hit his head against the table. His victory had gone right out the window.
"Having trouble with those spades, little brother?"
"No," Goten grumbled, picking up his sixth card. His expression darkened.
"Boy Goten, you're out of luck today." Goku commented as he watched the lad pull out his seventh card from the deck.
Goten's eyes flashed dangerously at the sight of the seventh card. A devilish smirk crossed his face.
"BAM!" he yelled, slamming an Eight of Hearts against the King of Spades with such strength, the table buckled under his palm. They heard a crack resound in the dining room, but neither of the three bothered to check where or what it had come from. "WE'RE GOING HEARTS!"
Goku, with a slight frown, dropped his only Seven of Hearts into the pile.
"You don't have to scream. We know your losing." Gohan instigated. He dropped his Six of Hearts into the center. As if to annoy him further, Gohan fanned out his cards within his hand, revealing to them that he only had four cards left—the less out of all of them.
Goku's frown became more prominent. Goten rolled his eyes in annoyance.
"Well it isn't fair if you've played this game before when we haven't." Goten complained. He scanned his hand of cards for a heart and threw down a Two of Hearts.
"Just because I know the rules better than you doesn't mean I'll win for it. Crazy Eights isn't exactly a game you could really cheat in, you know."
Goku set down his Two of Spades with a smile. Gohan's eyes suddenly narrowed at the card then at the man behind it.
"What's with you and Spades?"
Before his father could reply, they heard Goten snicker as though he found their predicament especially amusing.
"What's wrong Gohan, you don't have any Spades?" the little boy teased.
"No, I don't," the teenager admitted, startling the boy with his unexpected honesty. But his surprise was short live when Gohan gave him a wicked smirk and placed a Two of Diamonds onto the deck. "I just have a two. Do you?"
Goten frowned. Without a word, he put down a Four of Diamonds and turned to their father, who was busy examining his hand of cards. The Saiyan placed a Five of Diamonds on top of the pile. Gohan replaced the five with a King of Diamonds.
Goten scrutinized his brother's deck. He only had two cards left and despite the fact that he couldn't see what those last two cards were it didn't take a brain surgeon to guess Gohan had an all diamond deck. He needed to switch the suits, some way, somehow. He so wasn't going to let his older brother win!
With no King from a different suit, Goten threw down his Ten of Diamonds, a part of him hoping that his father would change the suits in hopes of pulling the win out of Gohan's hands. And to the boy's luck, his father threw down a Ten of Spades.
"Oh for the love of Kami—you and spades, Dad!"
"That's all I have!" His father explained.
"YES!" Goten cried. He threw his hands into the air looking as though he were praising the heavens. "EAT IT BRO! EAT DAD'S SPADE!"
"Shut up Goten, I can still win!" his older brother growled. He grabbed the first card he could from the main deck and glared at it.
Goten snorted. "Oh yeah? Why? Because you're a cheeeeeeaaateeer?"
Ignoring his younger brother's jibe, Gohan pulled out another card from the deck and then another card and then another card. His expression darkened. He was only two cards away from winning… now, his chances were long gone. He picked up another card—a Five of Hearts. And then another—he slammed it angrily against the Ten of Spades, revealing it to be a Five of Spades.
Goku winced at his son's anger, but Goten continued to dance victory in his chair.
"Five of Clovers!" the seven-year-old announced, throwing down the card.
His father glanced at his three cards and sighed. He reached for the deck and threw down a Ten of Clovers.
"Done with the spades now Dad?" Gohan grumbled. He threw down a Queen of Clovers onto the pile, his agitation clearly present on his face.
His father frowned. "Don't be petty, son."
"I am not being petty!"
"So are," Goten sang. He placed his Six of Clovers on top of the Queen with a happy smile.
"So not," the older boy replied with a scowl.
Goku fanned out his three cards and examined them. He blinked. He glanced at the Six of Clovers on the pile and then back at his hand of cards. He blinked again. He felt the eyes of his children watch him carefully. His expression grew grim.
"I'm not sure if I should do this," he admitted after a few moments of staring.
"Just do it, Dad. What's the worst that could happen?" Gohan exhaled, suddenly tired.
Goku didn't look reassured. "I don't know…"
"Do it. Do it. Do it." His youngest son insisted.
"Alright… but don't say I didn't warn you." the man muttered. He slipped out the card from his hand and, for a moment, held onto it longer than he should have. But his children insisted he put down the card and so he did, much to Gohan's utter annoyance. It was a Six of Spades.
Gohan gave his father a fierce stare. "Really DAD? A fucking spade? I'm so sick of your SPADES!"
Goten burst into laughter. He slammed his head against the table, his fist pounding away as boisterous laughter wracked his frame. Goku raised up his hands defenselessly against his angry son, sensing the teenager's energy swell. For a moment, he swore his son had transformed during his outburst.
"I warned you!"
Gohan threw the remainder of his cards face down and grabbed another card from the main deck, all the while muttering under his breath about his father and the never ending spades. His first card was a dud, just like the second and the third. He reached for the deck again, only this time, there were no more cards for him to pick. He growled.
"I can't go. I don't have any spades or a six. It's your turn Goten."
"Sorry son, I didn't—"
"SCREW YOUR DAMN APOLOGY DAD! GOTEN GO!"
"Someone's a sore loser," Goten sang again, fanning out his remaining three cards.
A muscle somewhere on Gohan's face twitched. "And someone is about to be sore if he doesn't take his turn now!"
"You don't have to scream Gohan. Everybody knows your losing." Goten grinned as he placed down a Six of Diamonds.
On his turn, Goku threw down a Seven of Diamonds, now left with only one card. Gohan wisely chose not to retort to his brother's jib. He didn't want to lose his temper anymore than he already did. He eyed his father's remaining card suspiciously, unable to reign in the fury that swirled through him like a hurricane. If that last card was a spade, he was going to pop.
He threw down a Seven of Clovers, despite the various diamonds he still had left in his hand. Goten scowled.
"Pass," he muttered.
"Ditto." Their father said.
Gohan smirked. "Well, well, looks like the tides are turning." He put down an Ace of Clovers, feeing triumphant now.
Big mistake. Goten threw down an Ace of Hearts, changing the suit of their hand. Goku shook his head again. He still couldn't go. Gohan's good mood instantly soured. If his father didn't have any Clovers or any Hearts that meant the last card in his deck was either a Diamond or…
He growled at the thought. In the end, he was just going to have to risk it.
"Ace of Diamonds!" Gohan declared, putting down the card.
Goten sighed. Goku shook his head again.
The older demi-Saiyan felt his triumph deflate faster than a punctured balloon. Anger quickly boiled his blood at the revelation. Goku's last card was a spade and he had stupidly allowed his father to win. No, he couldn't allow that to happen. Gohan threw down one of his diamond cards—a Nine of Diamonds—and prayed that he still had a chance of winning this.
Goten screwed up his face in disappointment, his turn passed once more. Goku shrugged, once again, unable to go. Gohan eyed his deck desperately. He had no more nines and only one last diamond. He glanced at his father's remaining card and then at Goten's. What were the chances that their cards were Jacks? He had no other choice, he had to go. He swallowed thickly and hesitantly placed his Jack of Diamonds into the pile.
The reactions were instant. Goten groaned. Goku's eyes lit up. He threw the last card onto the pile—a Jack of Spades.
"I win!" he exclaimed with a jubilant smile. "This was fun. We should play again."
"Aww, why are you always good at everything, Dad?" Goten frowned, a little disappointed to have lost, but happy with his close second. "I thought Gohan would win for sure since he's played this before, but you beat him!"
"I guess I'm just lucky," the man sheepishly smiled.
At the mention of the older boy, two pairs of eyes stared at the demi-Saiyan curiously. Gohan gave them a blank look.
"Wow Gohan, are you okay? You look a little pale."
The older teen suddenly blinked. "Hey, Dad?"
"What's your power level?"
"Uh, good question." The man replied. He scratched the back of his head curiously for a moment. "I guess I don't know. I kinda lost track after Frieza. Why?"
Gohan dropped his head, his expression unreadable. "Oh, you know… just to make sure…" his voice trailed off, leaving the duo confused in their seats.
Goku tilted his head slightly, intrigued by his son's curiosity in the level of his strength.
"Make sure of what?" he finally asked when he realized his son wouldn't finish.
In a split second, the eighteen-year-old suddenly threw himself over the table toward his father. Goku's chair fell back from the force of their collision, crash landing to the ground while Goten flew out of his chair in surprise. There was a flash of white light and a surge of power that brought a shiver down their spine like a chill.
Gohan stood over his father, a handful of the man's gi clutched in his hand while his other fist drew back, ready to strike. Goku had yet to transform or regain his senses from the unexpected attack. He tried to brace himself for the strike, knowing it would hurt in his current state, but to his surprise, the pain never came.
The Saiyan opened his eyes and quickly realized why. All eyes stared at the black haired woman who had just walked into the dining room, her arms crossed against her chest and her foot tapping the ground impatiently. She cleared her throat, expecting an explanation.
"Welcome back mom!" Goten smiled. He ran toward the woman and gave her a brief hug.
Chichi returned the hug, her eyes softening, but for only a moment. They quickly hardened with anger the moment her focus fell back onto her oldest and her husband, the two still left in their spots.
"And just what do you think your—" Chichi's eyes turned away from the two and fell onto the table where the cards were still left in a messy pile. Her dark eyes practically bulged. "Gohan!" She cried, making the teenager wince. "What have I told you about playing cards?" Gohan opened his mouth in an attempt to answer, but as he expected, his mother cut him off for a rant of her own. "Didn't I forbid you? DIDN'T I? Ooh! That perverted hermit will pay for teaching you such a useless thing!" She growled.
"But—" he tried to no avail.
"I thought fighting was bad," she continued, her voice no longer a high pitch shrill but still loud enough to override anyone around her. "I thought it would stop after the Cell games and when you started high school, and when it didn't I thought I could accept it, but this-!" She gestured haphazardly toward the playing cards, nearly hitting Goten on the head for being too close. "THIS! GAMBLING! MY SON'S A GAMBLER!"
"We weren't gambling, Chichi, honest!" Goku tried.
"Yeah!" Goten began. "We were playing Crazy Eights before Gohan went crazy and attacked Dad."
Silence quickly befell them… until…
"He…did… WHAT?" the woman screeched.
Goten shirked away from his mother, now completely terrified. He sent an apologetic glare his brother's way before he escaped the dining room for the safety of his room. With his brother gone, Gohan turned his death glare toward his father, who gave him a very serious stare.
"Son," he began in a tone that commanded authority. It almost made Gohan want to let him go. Almost. "I love you, you know that right? I'll wish you back with the dragonballs."
The teenager's brow twitched. If his father was trying to be funny with his subtle implications, it failed. "Thanks Dad," he muttered, bitter sarcasm laced his every word. "Thanks so fucking much."
"WHAT WAS THAT?" He heard his mother scream again.
The eighteen-year-old winced and cursed his very existence. If he were ever to play Crazy Eights with anyone ever again, he'd make sure to do it as far away from his Mother as humanly possible. Assuming his mother didn't really kill him tonight, of course.