Gohan had arrived home late for the third time that week and he was anticipating the harsh scolding he was going to receive from his mother. He'd been visiting Videl quite often since the end of the last World Martial Arts Tournament and, as of today, they were officially going steady. Gohan didn't think he could withstand Goten following him around making kissy-kissy faces and his mother lecturing him about the distractions of a girlfriend while undergoing a severe grounding, so he made a mental note to avoid informing his family of his newfound relationship until a better time.
The flustered teen was trying to come up with a good excuse to explain his late arrival when the front door was ripped open by Chi-Chi, who ordered him inside.
"Gohan, I don't know what's been up with you lately but dinner has been delayed enough this week. You can make something for yourself if you're hungry tonight."
"Mom, I can explain," he said. "A friend from school needed help with math and I forgot to give you a call while I was at his house. It won't happen again, I swear."
Goten suddenly appeared in the hallway and laughed. "What other friends? You only have Videl!" This was followed by a string of smooching sounds, finger pointing and more laughing.
The Goku look-a-like sidestepped a thrown shoe and raced into the living room when he saw Gohan getting up (not to mention charging up). Goten was flying around the house dodging his brother's attacks ("Oh, I love you, Gohan! Why, I love you too, Videl! Kissy-kissy-kissy-kiss! Ha ha ha!"), leaving picture frames hanging askew as he left footprints on the walls, while Gohan was knocking over lamps and tables as he chased after his pesky, little sibling. Gohan grazed the back of Goten's uniform and was preparing to make another running leap but their mother had intervened when the troublesome duo were dangerously close to smashing into the China cabinet. That was her breaking point. All that house cleaning she had done was not about to be wasted by her two freakishly powerful sons. They didn't know how hard it was to get blood out of the carpet or to fix the giant, scorching holes in the floorboards from one of their energy blasts.
"'nough of that, you two! I have important news I wanted to share with you and clearly that didn't happen so it's going to happen NOW before you end up destroying the house!"
"News?" asked Goten, peaking out from his hiding place behind the overturned couch.
Chi-Chi was relieved when her eldest son had dropped his energy levels. Though she couldn't sense it with the acute judgment of her husband or other Z Warriors, she could still tell that he was powering down when the house stopped vibrating. And judging from that dumbstruck look on Gohan's face, he was curious as to what the news was as well.
"News? Well where's dad? Shouldn't he be here to listen to this too?"
"He's out at the moment running errands with Krillin but he already knows about it."
"Huh? He knows?" If Gohan's eyebrows went up any further it would be lost in all of his hair.
Chi-Chi sighed. "Just flip this couch over so you can sit down and we can talk."
"YOU'RE PREGNANT?" Gohan and Goten exclaimed.
"But how could this happen?" Gohan was mumbling to himself, not sure if his hearing was failing him.
"Yup!" beamed Chi-Chi. "I've been sick in the mornings, my sense of smell is better than your father's, my mood swings have been off the charts and my breasts are tender."
Gohan was so nauseated about that last tidbit about his mother's breasts that he couldn't fully register the news until Goten leaped off the couch in excitement, screaming, "I'm going to be a big brother?"
As if on cue, the front door opened at that precise moment.
"So I'm guessing by all of the excitement, you told them?"
It was Goku with Marron's old crib in hand.
The sight of his father confirmed his mother's proclamation and Gohan could feel his world beginning to spin and his vision becoming blurry.
"Ah…son, are you okay?" Gohan blinked several times before he could clearly see his father's worried face in front of his. He managed to snap out of his lightheaded state when he saw Chi-Chi with the same expression and proceeded to congratulate her on the news. Though he declined the invitation to take a bath with his father, claiming he was too old for such a request and had to finish a history paper anyways, Goten happily took up the offer and father and son took off.
With their departure, Gohan made his way upstairs until his mother stopped him.
"Are you sure you're alright with this? We can talk about it if you're not."
He gave his mother a genuine smile. "Don't worry about it, mom. I'm fine. I just wasn't…expecting it is all."
She didn't look fully convinced but by the way her shoulders relaxed she seemed a bit more reassured.
"I know I said I wouldn't give you dinner but I'll bring you a snack later if you want."
"Okay, thanks mom."
And he disappeared upstairs.
It wasn't like the young Saiyan was bothered by the idea of another sibling, he was actually quite happy for his mother, but an overwhelming feeling of confusion had engulfed him.
With the announcement of Chi-Chi's third pregnancy, Gohan was faced with the question that had been eating at him for the past seven years: how could this happen? He didn't mean biologically speaking since, as a child, his mother had pushed him to be a scholar and he had covered the human reproductive system in his advanced studies years a go. Right after the Cell Games to be exact. At the time, Gohan couldn't imagine anything more traumatizing than losing his father due to his own arrogance until he opened up one his textbooks, and was greeted by the sight of a diagram of the menstrual cycle. That's when he learned that, while he was fighting Cell, women everywhere were facing their own battles.
No, Gohan was wondering how his father managed to engage in any kind of sexual activity.
He knew he was entering uncharted territory by questioning this. After all, as horrifying as it may be for a parent to think about the prospect of their child doing anything remotely sexual, it was equally horrifying in the reverse. And this wasn't any parent or adult. This was Son Goku.
The man had the mental capacity of a six year old. Not to mention the sex drive of a peanut. So how was it possible that Goku was able to produce not one, not two, but THREE children?
Gohan had never questioned his own procreation before. Usually people questioned why they were born, not how. He never gave a second thought about Goten's either. When their family had found out that Chi-Chi was pregnant with him, the only worries on Gohan's mind were one intangible, incoherent mess along the lines of, "My dad's dead. We have no money. There's a baby on the way. I have to be there during the birthing process. OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod!"
Apparently, Gohan wasn't the only person to question this before.
He remembered the Z Warriors would trade weird stories about his father from when he was a child. They were always hush-hush about it, yet there were times when the men were careless with their words, thinking that Gohan wasn't listening or was "just sleeping".
But seriously, the boy wasn't deaf. He heard all of the ridiculous stories that the Z Warriors would talk about his father when he wasn't in earshot. Gohan specifically remembered when he was around the age of six, after the ordeal with Freiza had been dealt with; Chi-Chi and her father were busy so he had to stay at the Kame House where Krillin was supposed to be babysitting him. But when Yamcha and Tien made an unexpected visit, they shoved him, Puar, and Chiaotzu in the corner where the television set was located with Master Roshi. The turtle hermit and the two tagalongs may have been satisfied with watching aerobic instructors but Gohan wasn't, so he began to listen to the other men as they caught up on old times. Although the stories they were retelling seemed pretty boring – nothing but talks about training – Gohan was sure it was because they were well aware that he was eavesdropping. However, the stories took on an entirely different topic when they started to play poker and cracked open a couple of beers. Except for Tien that is, he stuck to his oolong tea.
"Man, no matter how many times I think about it, I can't believe that's Goku and Chi-Chi's kid," said Yamcha.
Krillin snickered. "I know what you mean. First time Goku mentioned having a son was when he randomly showed up with the kid."
"No, no, it's not that! I mean remember when Goku was a kid? Raised in the batshit middle of the forest where he didn't talk to anyone? Before we were in the picture he couldn't even differentiate a girl from a boy."
"Oh yeah," said Tien, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "I was one of the victims of his infamous 'pat-pats'."
"'Pat-pats'?" asked Krillin.
"That's right; he asked you if you were a boy. Before that, Goku would have to pat people to see if there were any…you know." Yamcha began inconspicuously pointing at his crotch.
And then Tien and Yamcha laughed at Krillin whose face was growing redder by the second although they didn't know whether it was from the embarrassment or the beer.
Gohan didn't know how to make any sense of the information he heard back then, but now he did. And it explained a lot.
When his father had caught up with Gohan back at the latest Worlds Martial Arts Tournament, Goku had pointed his finger at Videl and asked him, "Hey, Gohan, I didn't know your friend was a girl. It is a girl, right?"
It wasn't like his father was whispering either. Goku had quite the set of lungs and he basically broadcasted his question to the entire tournament.
Gohan was absolutely mortified since the girl had been self-conscious with her shorter haircut and he didn't know how he managed to smooth out that predicament without having to explain his father's troubles with female-male identification. He guessed he should have just been content that his father didn't rub the girl down because that would have been more embarrassing and probably would have resulted in a lawsuit. But if Goku ever had issues identifying Videl's sex, Gohan could reassure his father from personal experience that Videl was ALL woman.
Gohan tried smothering out the memory and ran his hands over his face, feeling the blush that was appearing on his cheeks was also creeping its way to his neck and ears. This was not an appropriate time to be getting hot and bothered when he was attempting to find the roots of his father's libido. Or lack of it.
At this point, the teen was certain he was assessing the latter and concluded that if his mother had not met Goku when she did, the man would still be living the life of a bachelor. Who else but Chi-Chi would marry a man that had no education, no income and not one hormonal thought in his empty head?
A smile spread across Gohan's face as he remembered his grandfather, the Ox King, telling him about his parents' unconventional proposal. It turned out Chi-Chi was the one that popped the question and from there the details only became more puzzling. Supposedly, Goku made a vow to marry her when they were children and when Chi-Chi showed up at the World Martial Arts Tournament to claim her man, he didn't even remember her or their promise. What made the matter even more troubling was the fact that they were opponents during a match so they had to resolve their issues on the arena. When everything was finally sorted out, Goku found himself engaged to a total stranger only minutes after he learned what the words "marriage" and "bride" even meant.
Gohan couldn't stop himself from chuckling now. That was so like his father: clueless but loyal. And that most certainly sounded like his mother. She was the type of person that knew what she wanted and took charge to make sure that it did happen.
Huh, thought Gohan. So maybe it was because of her that…
Just as quickly as the thought crossed his mind, it was like someone had hit the breaks and Gohan found himself slamming his head against his work desk trying to create enough head trauma to forget the idea of his mom being sexually aggressive and using this to take advantage of his father. But this only seemed to trigger the memories of the Z Warriors swapping stories (specifically their theory that Gohan was the result of Chi-Chi raping the Saiyan in his sleep), which made things ten times worse.
For one thing, thinking of his naïve father as a sexual being was enough to keep him up at night, but to think of his mother as some sort of dominatrix-type was a whole other topic that he didn't dare touch. Secondly, it implied that his parents' relationship was entirely one-sided. The idea made him…sad and he finally stopped smashing his head against the desk. The furnished wood was too weak to do any real damage to him anyways (he was actually doing more to it than it was to him) and the noise was prompting Chi-Chi to enter his room!
"Gohan!" she shouted, her footsteps making their way down the hall. "What are you doing in there? I could have sworn I heard screaming and the sound of something breaking."
No, she can't come in here now! He panicked.
"It's okay, mom!" he hollered. "I was just killing a bug! It was really big and pretty resilient but I got it now!"
"Well okay…I guess I'll make you that snack now."
"Thanks, mom!" And he was visibly relieved when he heard her retreat from the door and slowly descending the stairs, yet he couldn't relax. The tension he felt before his mother interrupted his thoughts didn't entirely go away.
Gohan merely didn't like the idea of Goku marrying Chi-Chi simply because he had made a promise. That would insinuate that he never cared for her.
Yes, Chi-Chi was difficult to be with. Everyone could agree on that.
She was also demanding and stubborn and loud and short-tempered. But she was caring and selfless and faithful and hard-working too. She was a great mother and wife and her crazy tendencies were due to her worries that her husband and son wouldn't return after a battle, which had occurred on more than one occasion.
Chi-Chi loved her family more than anything and Gohan was sure his father felt the same way.
The moments Goku and Chi-Chi showed affection for each other were rare, neither were very public when it came to matters like that, but they were evident. The loving way they looked at each other even if they were quarreling, the subtle touches when they needed one another's support, and the way they gravitated to each other after they had been parted for too long. It was all there. It was all proof.
That's when Gohan realized he was being silly for even trying to figure out how this third child came to be.
Gohan was the result of Goku and Chi-Chi consummating their marriage. The thought was icky but true. Goten was due to the possibility of utter inhalation from the awaiting Cell Games. Apparently when his father emphasized the importance of staying close to your loved ones (during their three day break from training), he had meant it literally. And this third child's conception was because of Goku's rise from the dead. After all, Goku and Chi-Chi did have a lot of catching up to do after he'd been deceased for the past seven years.
All three of them were the product of love.
What else was there to analyze?
After all the surprise, shock and thinking Gohan had been doing, his stomach was reminding him that he hadn't eaten since lunch and the boy headed downstairs to retrieve that snack his mother had been promising.
When he got there, Gohan found his father and little brother restoring their house to its usual organized condition. They were still wet from the bath and he guessed that his mother had demanded they clean up the house the instant they set foot inside.
"Did mom have a mood swing and tell you guys to put things back in their place?" asked Gohan.
"No, I thought it would be easier on your mom if Goten and I helped out a bit. Things are going to get pretty crazy with another baby on the way so we should make it as nice as possible."
Ah, there was that marital love Gohan had noted before.
"It's not fair that Gohan doesn't have to clean up right now. He made half this mess," pouted Goten, scanning the room for signs of damage. "Maybe even more!"
Goku went to ruffle Goten's hair. "Gohan has a lot of homework to do so you're going to suffer in the meantime."
"Right, homework! I have lots to do!"
Gohan made another mental note to finish his actual assignments as he passed his father and brother to enter the kitchen. Being with Videl and the news about the baby was already making him a sloppy student.
There was a plate of cookies waiting for Gohan when he arrived and he thanked his mother before leaving. He was about halfway through the swinging door when something caught his eye at the last second. Turning very slowly, he focused on his mother's back as she was washing some dishes and then noticed a wet handprint on her butt.
The image of Goku groping his mom on his way back from his bath flashed into mind and Gohan nearly dropped the plate of treats as he cringed.
"That's just…not right…" he muttered, leaving the kitchen and hoping that that sight would permanently leave his memory too.
ClockRepair Message: This was my first Dragonball Z fanfic ever and I hope you enjoyed it. I'm not entirely satisfied with it since it has a format that's eerily similar to another one of my stories but it'll suffice for now. The story is a bit AU though because if Chi-Chi was really pregnant with a third child, the family would be shitting bricks instead of being unusually happy about it. Because if you look at the Dragonball Z timeline, Goku leaves to train Oob ten years after my story takes place so, like the rest of Goku's children, it may also feel the stinging feeling of abandonment. I wouldn't be too happy if I was that kid or especially if I was Chi-Chi.
Thanks for reading.