Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ. I just like to watch it and dream about it.

Authors Note: This is for all my kind reviewers. I know it has been a while but I haven't given up yet. The next chapter is gonna be a pain though. Hope you all enjoy it.

How to Carry On.

Chapter 6

Just five minutes ago Goten, Gohan, Vegeta and Piccolo had entered the Son's house to find Chichi scrubbing the floor. It was quickly evident that something was not right with Goten and Gohan's mother. Her lack of greeting to the men and boys notwithstanding it was her announcement that dinner would be late which made it clear that all was not well. Then Chichi removed all doubt by bursting into tears and running from the kitchen.

Gohan turned to look at Piccolo and Vegeta in shock." Something is wrong with Mom I'd better go see what I can do." Gohan quickly exited the kitchen after his mother.

Vegeta turned and walked to the door. His hand had just started to turn the doorknob when Piccolo's head shot around and he demanded, "Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm leaving of course, this has nothing to do with me." Responded the Saiyian Prince.

Piccolos face went hard as stone and he strode over to the door where Vegeta stood. "The hell you are. Something is wrong with Gohan's mother and we are not leaving Gohan to handle it alone. He might need an adult around, so we will wait to make sure everything settles down."

Vegeta pulled a face." The boy is your student not mine. What happens in Kakarott's house is none of my concern." He then reached for the doorknob again.

"You will wait. We all owe Gohan our lives so the least we can do is give him a little support when he needs it." Piccolo insisted, placing his hand on the door to keep it shut.

" Humph. ......" Was all Vegeta got to say as Gohan came back into the kitchen.

"Is everything all right, Gohan?" Piccolo asked quickly.

Gohan scratched his head nervously." I'm not sure. She seems pretty upset about something."

Chichi entered the kitchen and started pulling pots and pans out to prepare dinner. Her face looked red and swollen and she avoided looking at the other occupants of the room.

" Mom! How about I call Yamcha and see if he wants to fly over for dinner?" Gohan suggested with the look of someone who thinks they have found a solution to a problem.

"NO!" Chichi burst out." I mean, don't do that I'm sure he has something more important to do tonight." Chichi turned back to putting rice in a pot to cook.

"I doubt the weakling has anything better to do. " Vegeta snickered. He was leaning against the door with his arms crossed in front of his chest. ~Damn Namek thinks he can order me around, I'll just have a little fun then, he'll be begging me to leave.~

~That sawed off pain in the ass.~ Piccolo thought as he glared daggers at the man half his height.

Vegeta smirked at the green being." What is your problem Namek? You made me stay and now you want me to be silent?"

BAM!!

Piccolo, Vegeta and Gohan all looked at Chichi. She had slammed a pot on the counter top and now stood holding it and glaring at Vegeta.

"Don't talk about Yamcha like that in my house! He's a better man than you are. He's a better person than I am." Chichi stopped shaking the pot at Vegeta to drop it and cover her face with her hands as she began crying again.
Gohan became distressed. He actually flew over to his weeping mother and wrapped his arms around her. He hadn't seen her cry this hard since he had come home after the Cell Games and told her about Goku's death. Sure she had cried frequently after that for a while but not so hysterically as she did the first time.

Gohan lifted Chichi and sat her in one of the kitchen chairs." Mom please tell me what is wrong." He begged.

Chichi gasped for air."Oh Gohan, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I'm such a wicked person. I've done something terrible. So, so terrible." The distraught women huddled into a ball in the chair.

"Please calm down Mom. I'm sure it isn't that bad. If you would just tell me what is wrong, I'm sure we can make it right." Gohan was rubbing his mothers back while he knelt by the chair.

Chichi shook her head while still cradling her face in her hands." I can't Gohan. You'll hate me."

Piccolo moved quietly beside Vegeta and sotto voce,"I think it is time we leave."

Vegeta looked at Piccolo in annoyance." You are kidding me right? You made me stay, now you want me to leave?" Vegeta spoke up.

Piccolo sighed in exasperation. And whispered some more "I think we should leave. If Gohan needs our help he can contact us."

"But I want to know what the woman could possibly have done that is so terrible. I'm sure she hasn't gone out and purged any planets. I'm just as sure she hasn't gone on a killing spree. What the hell could she have done that's so bad? Burn dinner?" Vegeta continued speaking too loudly.
"You!! You don't know anything Vegeta! You don't know anything about me!" Chichi had jumped out of the chair and now stood glaring at the flame- haired man.

Vegeta snorted." I know all I need to know. You are Gohan's mother and Kakarrot's mate." And he folded his arms across his chest again while returning the woman's glare.

Chichi burst into sobs again even louder than before. Gohan gave Vegeta an angry look and sat his mother back down in the chair.

"Mom! Please calm down." He pleaded.

Piccolo growled to see his student so distressed over his mothers distress." Now look what you've done Vegeta. Don't you know when to be quiet?"

"What? I didn't say anything. What did I say woman? What did I say to cause you to make that awful noise?" Vegeta demanded unfolding his arms.

Chichi took her hands away from her face and look up at Vegeta. "You said I was Goku's mate....I'm his wife and I've ......betrayed him." The last two words came out as a sob, but there was no mistaking them.

Three pairs of eyes blinked at each other totally perplexed.

Even Vegeta was surprised."How in the seven hells do you betray a dead man?!"

"Vegeta!!" snapped Piccolo, shocked at the sayian's lack of manners.

Gohan turned his attention back to his mother. "Mom, I'm sure you didn't betray Dad. Tell me what happened. Did you get mad? Did you wish he was here and get mad at him for not being here?" Gohan had done that himself enough times in the last five years for it to jump quickly into his mind. That or get mad at himself because his father wasn't around to help his mother or teach Goten anything.

Chichi shook her head." No even worse. I forgot I was married."

" I believe the correct tense in your language is "were" married." Corrected Vegeta.

~I had to make him stay. ~ Thought Piccolo rolling his eyes.

"No Vegeta, I was married and still am married." Chichi countered.

Gohan decided to interrupt Vegeta and his mothers little tete-a-tete." So how did you forget you were married? Did you fill out "single" on a form or something Mom?"

"This is not funny Gohan!" Chichi scolded.

" I wasn't making fun Mom, honest. But what made you realize you forgot?" Gohan quickly hung is his head apologizing.

"I kissed a man." Chichi whispered.

"Huh?" Gohan looked at his mother confused.

Vegeta as helpful as always started to repeat Chichi's statement." She said she ...."

"We heard her Vegeta!!" Interrupted Piccolo. ~All right, I am now totally out of my element. ~

Gohan smiled." Mom I might be 15 and never had a date but I don't think kissing is a capital crime in this region." Vegeta smirked at that one, Piccolo just cringed he knew what was coming next.

"Don't you give me any attitude Gohan!" Chichi shouted jumping out of the chair again. "I kissed a man who isn't your father. You should be furious with me."

~Well the onna is getting her exercise jumping in and out of that chair. ~ Vegeta observed to himself.

"Why should I be furious with you? "Gohan asked as he stood up.

"Why?" Chichi answered," Because........it was more than just a kiss."

Gohan's eyes went wide." MOM! Were you making out?!"

Chichi's mouth dropped open. She quickly shut it. "That isn't what I meant. What I meant is that I think I've got feelings for someone other than Goku."

"Wow mom that is great!" Gohan grinned at his mother. ~This might turnout all right after all. ~ He thought hopefully.

SMACK! Gohan looked stunned, the smack to the face hadn't hurt, he just hadn't seen it coming, literally or figuratively.

"Have you no shame Gohan?" Chichi inquired of her eldest son.

"Chichi calm down. I do not think Gohan was trying to be flippant. Gohan, why did you say that it was great?" Piccolo decided he needed to draw Chichi's attention away from physical violence.

"Well, I worry about Mom." Gohan turned his attention to his sensei." I worry how she will live and if she will get lonely when I start high school and when Goten starts school. I worry about her being all alone when me and Goten grow up."

Chichi picked up the pot from the floor and went back to the stove." I'm sorry Gohan but what I did was wrong. I've had a husband; I have two sons to raise. I have no right carrying on like a schoolgirl. What would Goku think if he knew what I was doing, what I was feeling?"

Piccolo frowned. "Goku is dead not you. If he was so concerned about what you would do with your life he should have let us wish him back with the dragonballs." Now he stood in the middle of the kitchen with his arms crossed over his chest. "I'm sorry Gohan I do not mean to be cruel, it is the truth though."

Chichi continued cooking." I can't condone what I 've done. I couldn't bare to hurt Goku."

Vegeta made an annoyed sound in the back of his throat. "Stop and think onna. Kakarott didn't have a jealous or selfish bone in his baka body. Do you think he would want you to pine away all alone for the rest of your life on this mud ball of a planet?"

Three sets of eyes stared at the Saiyian Prince in shock.

"What? "Barked Vegeta.

"You stopped butting in, I forgot you were still here." Piccolo covered his surprise.

Gohan considered the last living full-blooded saiyian. "Vegeta-san, could you answer a question for me?"

" Hn, it depends what kind of question?" Vegeta held Gohan's gaze.

"About saiyians. What do Saiyians do when they loose a mate?" Gohan inquired.

"Kill who ever is responsible, or die trying. Then they grieve like crazy." Vegeta answer easily.

Gohan nodded. "Do they ever choose another mate?"

Vegeta continued, everyone else in the room was paying rapt attention to him now. "They may, if they find one that is suitable. My father never did but he wasn't widowed for very long and he had other concerns at the time. But I heard of many who took a second mate. I even have a vague recollection of one Saiyian who took a third mate."

Gohan turned his attention back to the his mother." See Mom, if Dad had out lived you he would probably have found someone else eventually."

Chichi went back to chopping vegetables and sighed." Gohan...I am not going to deal in hypothetical possibilities. I just do not feel what I did was right. And I do NOT plan on doing it again. I'm sorry for creating such a scene."

"Mom, it is ok. You wouldn't want to tell me who the guy is, would you?" Reassured Gohan.

"ABSOLUTLY NOT!!" Gasped Chichi.

~Oh well, it was worth a shot~ thought Gohan.

"Fine woman, make your own decisions but do not blame them on anyone else. The boy has enough on his shoulders.", reminded the Prince.

Piccolo looked sideways at Vegeta. ~Damn, if he doesn't run hot and cold. ~

Chichi hadn't stop cooking she just nodded her head."Right! It is my life and I am responsible for how I live it and I have made my decision."

Gohan watched his mother continue cooking. "ok mom if that is how you feel. Just stop beating yourself up about making one mistake."

Piccolo raised one eye ridge." Actually Gohan that is good advice, you should take it yourself."

Gohan gave Piccolo a sour look. Which just caused Vegeta to smirk. Chichi put down her spoon to pat Gohan on the shoulder and smile at him.

"So can I leave now? I have to get back to my training." Vegeta growled, ~damn weak emotional ningens.~

Piccolo turned to face Vegeta. "Yes, Go already."

Vegeta marched out of the house and flew away. Piccolo followed him to the door, and then turned around before exiting. Looking back at Gohan, Piccolo shook his head. "Well at least it keeps him off the streets. If you or your family need anything Gohan you know how to reach me."

"Yes, and thank you Piccolo-san", replied Gohan. Gohan walked over and closed the kitchen door after watching Piccolo fly away. He walked back to where his mother stood at the stove. "So Mom can I help with dinner?"

Chichi embraced her son. "Yes Gohan I would appreciate that very much."
The next two weeks passed without incident. At least on the surface everything seemed to go back to normal. Gohan however was acutely aware that things still were not right with his mother. She spent even more time cleaning and doing chores than before, it was as if she was afraid to sit still. He also became aware that she wasn't sleeping well either, she was going to bed later and getting up earlier than ever. The worst thing though to Gohan's mind was that she seemed to be eating less and/or loosing weight. The fifteen year old was getting worried. Normally when he wasn't sure of what to do for his mother he would ask Yamcha. Yamcha however hadn't been around at all in the last two weeks. That in it self wasn't that unusual, Yamcha's job did make him travel a lot but at this time of year he usually didn't have to go to far for too long. Gohan decided to take some action by calling Yamcha for some help.

Gohan's phone conversation:

Gohan -"Hello Yamcha, it's me Gohan. I was wondering if you could come over today."

*****

Gohan -"Please, Yamcha."

****

Gohan - "I'm sorry Yamcha. I understand if you are busy but I haven't seen you in a couple of weeks and I need some help with something."

*****

Gohan - "Well actually its about Mom."

****

Gohan - "Usually I would agree with you but."

****

Gohan - "She might be sick or something. She isn't eating right."

** **

Gohan - "Yes I know Mom doesn't eat like Goten and me."

****

Gohan - "She won't talk about it."

****

Gohan - "That and she seems so sad lately too."

****

Gohan - "You always knew what to do for Mom in the past and I."

****

Gohan - "Yamcha?"

****

Gohan - "Are you mad at us or something?"

****

Gohan -"NO, it's just that you haven't been around and you seem so reluctant to come over now."

****

Gohan - "It's ok Yamcha, I'll take care of it."

****

Gohan -"Ya, bye Yamcha."

Gohan hung up the phone. He had taken the opportunity to call Yamcha since his mother was out shopping and Goten had gone with her to help. He walked back to his desk where he had left his schoolbooks open. Gohan sat down and scratched his head.

~Now that was strange. In the past if I called Yamcha about anything he came running over in a flash. I tried not to take advantage but today he seemed determined not to come over. ~

Gohan picked up his pencil and stared at the equations in the textbook. ~I wonder if he knows something or if he and Mom had a fight? ~

Gohan put down the pencil and stood up to look out of his window.

No one was there to see Gohan's eyes widen as a thought occurred to him, an incredible but not impossible thought. ~ I haven't seen Yamcha around since that day Mom fell apart. Since the day she said she kissed someone. I never could figure out where she met a man to kiss. Could she have kissed Yamcha? ~

TBC