I wrote this a LONG time ago, when I first started writing stories. I tried to edit this, but I'm afraid that it might still be too. . .Well, anyway, this is one of my favorite stories. It was so sad and cute. It takes place a few years after Dragon Ball GT, and it's mostly about how much Chi Chi-san misses Goku-san. Enjoy!
I'm Always Here
Ch Chi just couldn't pay attention to her dinner, not what her daughter-in-law was saying. All she could think about was how much she missed her husband and how empty the place was without him. Goku had gone off with Shenlong, and had promised he would return soon. But many years have passed, and he still hadn't come back. She hung onto his word, trusted that he would return, but lately. . . she couldn't help shake the feeling that Goku was gone for good.
The nearly empty house was rather quiet. Paris had stopped talking when she noticed that Chi Chi's thoughts were somewhere else. It was just the tow of them in that house, no one else. Goten had called earlier and said he would be working late again. Ever since he married Paris, Goten had been working at Capsule Corp. Trunks had offered him a job, just as an excuse to get the chance to talk to him. The Sons and the Briefs have gotten distant lately, and it has been awhile since Chi Chi had seen Trunks, but she knew he was still single, based on what Goten had said. But rumor had it that Trunks had his heart set on a certain daughter of Kuririn's.
"Chi Chi?" Paris' sweet voice had finally gotten through Chi Chi's deep thoughts.
"I was just wondering if you're okay. You don't look too well." Her voice was filled with concern, making Chi Chi smile.
"I'm fine, dear," she lied. To tell the truth, Chi Chi was feeling really ill. But she never told anyone how she had felt, even if it was serious.
"Yes, I'm fine. Don't worry about me." Chi Chi faked her best smile. Paris felt as though Chi Chi wasn't telling the truth, but decided it was best not to ask.
After the two women had finished dinner, they began to wash the dishes. Chi Chi washed the plates while Paris dried them. About halfway before finishing, the sound of the front door opening and closing could be heard. A moment later, Goten appeared in the kitchen.
"Hi, Mom. Hi Paris." He gave them both a kiss on the cheek. He began to unbutton the blue jacket of his suit and loosened his tie.
"You said you'd be back by nine o'clock," Chi Chi said. "That was half an hour ago. Where were you since then?"
"Sorry about that. After we finished working, Trunks and I went to eat in that new restaurant. I didn't know what time it was until we were leaving."
"So how is Trunks doing?" Paris asked.
"Trunks?" Goten asked. "He's doing okay. . . I guess."
"What do you mean?" Chi Chi wondered.
"Well, on the outside, he's fine. But emotionally, he's lost it."
"What do you mean 'lost it?'"
"He really wants to tell Marron how he feels, but he doesn't know how, or what'll happen. I think he's going to anytime soon."
"Trunks is probably afraid of rejection." Goten and Paris stared at the older woman in front of them. "It's not uncommon," she said. "Trunks is afraid that Marron won't return his feelings, so he keeps it inside and shows a different emotion around her."
"How do you know, Mom?"
"Trust me Goten. A lot of people get that way with the person they love."
"Was it that way with you and Dad?"
Chi Chi smiled and shook her head. "That was completely different. I just told him how I felt. As for his part. . . before I thought he wasn't sure what it was I was feeling for him, but once in a while, he would return my affections."
Goten nodded. The same thing happened to him and Paris. The only difference was, the both of them married because they loved each other. When he was young, Chi Chi told him that Goku married her because he didn't understand the idea.
Goten then looked up at his mother. Her eyes had a distant look and had become glassy. Goten knew she was remembering memories of Goku. He had the sudden urge to smack himself. He shouldn't have mentioned about his father. It always made Chi Chi sad.
Chi Chi turned around the rest of the dishes, but Goten stopped her.
"Paris and I will finish the dishes, Mom," he said.
"Are you sure?"
Goten nodded. "You just go and get some rest, okay?"
Chi Chi smiled and nodded. Maybe it was better if she did sleep. Her head was beginning to hurt again. She bade goodnight to Goten and Paris and went to her room. After getting ready for sleep, she crawled under the covers and turned the light off.
'Where am I?' Chi Chi thought as she studied her surroundings. She seemed to be in an entire white room. There was nothing or no one in the room except her. How very weird.
"Chi Chi." She looked around to find the one who said her name. But she was alone.
"Chi Chi." There it was again. This time it was louder, so she was able to make out the sound of voice. Her eyes widened with surprise.
"Goku?" she wondered out loud. Then, there was a blinding flash of white, which engulfed her and the entire room.
When the light subsided, Chi Chi was able to open her eyes again. When she did, tears formed at the edge of her eyes. Standing a mere five yards in front of her was a tall man. His hair stuck out in neat points at the side of his head, a few strands sticking out here and there. He wore a blue, sleeve-less shirt and orange-yellow pants. On his wrist were pink wristbands, on his feet were black shoes. Around his waist was a white belt.
His back was facing Chi Chi, but Chi Chi knew who he was. He was the mane she had fallen in love with when she was a child. He was the man she had two sons with, both sons making them proud. He was the man who would risk his like to save the earth. He was the man who was wished back to a kid with the dragonballs. He was the man who had to leave her ant the rest of his family and friends. He was the man that she loved, the man who loved her. He was her husband, Goku.
Chi Chi smiled through her tears, too overjoyed to speak. When she finally found her voice, she said, "Goku."
He turned around when he heard his name. Upon seeing his wife, he smiled, that smile he was famous for. The big, wide grin that clearly said that everything was going to be all right.
Chi Chi went up to her husband, wrapping her arms around him. As his arms encircled around her, she felt the similar strength and warmth that he always had. She felt warm and secure once more.
"How are you Chi Chi?" His voice was soothing and soft, a sound she hadn't heard in a long time.
"Okay, I guess."
"You guess?" He pulled back to look into her eyes. "Since when were you unsure?"
"Since you left," she said sadly. "I'm just glad to see you again."
Goku suddenly became uneasy. He pulled away from Chi Chi, letting his hands go to her shoulder to push her away from him.
"What's wrong, Goku?"
"Chi Chi, I think you should. . . forget about me." Ch Chi couldn't believe her ears. How could he say that? "What do you mean, 'forget about me'?" she asked.
"You haven't been thinking of anything but me, and that's not good. You haven't been taking care of yourself, yet you're not telling anyone."
"How do you expect me to forget you?"
"I don't know, but you have to try. Besides, people forget about each other all the time. . ."
"Not me," she said defensively. "I don't forget the people I care about, especially you."
"Please, you're only hurting yourself this way." Goku turned and began to walk away. Chi Chi wanted to go after him, afraid of losing him again, but her feet and mind weren't working. All she could do was watch as the departing figure became more distant, until he was nothing but a silhouette amidst the light. Soon, even that disappeared. Chi Chi was once again alone, the chill in her heart made her even lonelier than before.
Chi Chi's eyes snapped open and she sat upright in bed. Looking around, she realized she was in her bedroom.
'Just a dream,' she thought. But it had seemed so real, too real. Why had Goku told her to forget him? She was fine. . . wasn't she?
The light from the alarm clock shined dimly beside her on the nightstand. She saw that it was almost six o'clock. She remembered how Goku would wake up around this time and train. She sighed and slowly got out of bed. She went to the window and opened it, looking out and up at the sky. Though it was five forty-nine, the sky was still black and the stars were still out. There among the starts was the resembling pattern of Goku's face, the brightest stars making out his eyes. She sighed and pulled her head back in.
Heading towards the closet, she looked around for what she would wear today. Beside her dresses were Goku's outfits, all the blue, sleeveless shirts hanging in a row, all his yellow pants folded in top of each other. She quickly pulled out her pink, Chinese-style dress, and closed the closet door, a tear rolling down her cheek.
After getting dressed, she walked out of her room and into the living room, sitting on the couch. On the coffee table was a big group picture. It had all of the Sons' close friends, many of which were Goku's friends first. In the center among all of them there was Goku himself, smiling his big smile his giant, goofy grin, holding up his fingers in a victory sign.
Chi Chi shook her head. She looked at the clock hanging on the wall. It read six o'clock. She got up and went in the kitchen. Around this time, she would be making breakfast and Goku, thanks to his super Saiyan hearing, would come in.
"Chi Chi," he would say, "I'm hungry."
"Be patient, Goku, I'm almost done." Then he would sit and wait until food was placed in front of him. He would start gobbling it up really quickly in big mouthfuls.
"Goku, slow down!" she would repeat over and over.
"But Chi Chi!" he would whine between mouthfuls. "I'm hungry!"
Chi Chi smiled at how cute Goku sounded when he whined. The smile left her when the sudden thought struck her that she wouldn't hear him whine anymore. A depressed sigh was freed from her lips. She decided to take a walk. She grabbed her coat and left the house.
As she walked away from the house, she turned around to close the gate. When she did, she saw a metal barrel, which was about three-fourths of her height, by the side of the house. She remembered how Goku would 'bathe' in that can while she made it hot with a fire. She turned around and walked on, unsure of her destination.
"Forget about me." Why did Goku tell her that. It was impossible. There were too many memories about him. His very essence was in the house, for he had built it himself.
Chi Chi was beginning to wonder how far she had been walking, when she came across a lake. All at once, she knew exactly where she was. This was the lake Goku had always gone fishing in. and he would always return with a huge fish. It might have been Chi Chi's imagination, but it seemed as though Goku caught the same fish over and over.
Chi Chi shook her head. Everything seemed to remind her of her missing husband. How she missed him. Light began to appear over the mountain as the sun came up. As she watched it rise, she couldn't stop herself from uttering, "Goku."
A breeze blew as soon as she had whispered her love's name. it took the name far away, just as Shenlong had taken her husband years and years ago.
When she got back to the house, the door closed with a click behind her. From the living room, she then heard someone call for her. "Mom?"
Chi Chi entered the living room, surprised to see her eldest son standing here, waiting for her. "Yes, Gohan? Do you need anything?"
He shook his head. "No, Mom. I just came by to see how you were feeling."
"I'm fine, Gohan, really." But the look on his face clearly showed that he didn't buy that.
"Come on, Mom. You can tell me what's wrong. I'm trying to help."
"I don't have any idea about what you're saying," she replied hotly. "I'm perfectly fine." She all but stomped into the kitchen, Gohan following right behind her. She began to take different pots and pans out from the cupboards.
"You're still thinking about Dad, aren't you?" Gohan asked quietly. Chi Chi stopped suddenly. She put down the pan she was holding. Though her back was faced towards him, Gohan saw his mother nod. He walked up to her, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"Mom, I miss Dad, too, but you have to get on with your life."
"That's easy for you to say, Gohan. The one you love is still with you." Gohan sighed. Sometimes his mother was as stubborn as his father, if not more. He knew that this wasn't going to be easy.
"Though that's true, I'm without my father again."
"You're all grown-up, Gohan."
"So are you, Mom."
"You wouldn't understand what I'M going though."
"How wouldn't I?"
Chi Chi exhaled slowly, trying to pick the right words. "Goku was. . . always off somewhere. When we were younger, he had all these adventures to go on, and I would always wonder if he remembered me. I doubt he didn't when I met up with him at one of the World Martial Arts Tournament. Turns out he had no idea who I was. But we married after that, and was always elsewhere then, too. Training, fighting, saving the world.
"I love him, God knows I do, but sometimes. . ." She stopped, pulling away from her son.
"But sometimes what, Mom?" Gohan asked after a minute of deafening silence.
"Sometimes I wonder if he ever really loved me back."
"Of course he did. Dad loved you very much."
"Well, you couldn't really blame me for wondering, could you? I mean, it was obvious how much he loved you, and Goten, after all the time he spent with you. Even after the seven years of his death, when he was alive again, he and Goten bonded so well, just as you and Goku did when you were younger.
"But did you notice how much time he spent with me? It wasn't nearly as much time as with you or Goten, was it?"
Gohan thought about it and had to agree with her. Goku had hardly spent any real time with her.
"But that doesn't mean that Dad didn't love you, Mom. You meant a lot to him. He just wasn't sure how he could show it to you. With me and Goten, he knew that by spending time with us, he would learn about us and we would have fun together. He knew that that was enough to show how much he cared for us.
"But you were different. He knew that just spending time with you wasn't enough for you. But that didn't mean that you weren't special to him. He just wasn't sure how to show that he loved you."
Chi Chi looked into her son's onyx eyes. For a minute, he reminded her of the man she loved, her Goku. Goku's image seemed to nod at her, and he smiled.
Chi Chi smiled at her eldest son. "Thanks, Gohan."
Gohan returned his mother's gesture. "Of course," he replied.
She turned around again, but as she did, the room seemed to spin around with her. She stopped, her vision blurring as the room continued to spin. She felt as if the ground underneath was gone.
Gohan noticed that his mother seemed to sway, but he lurched forward as she began to fall backwards, catching her in his arms. "Mom?" he asked, alarmed. There was no answer. Her body began to tremble, then became limp.
The beeping sound was the first thing she heard when her consciousness returned. She didn't open her eyes yet, but she felt as though she were in a hospital. 'But why?' she wondered.
The beeping sound was slow and steady. Was that a heart monitor?
Chi Chi felt a hand stroking her hair. The hand was warm and very familiar. Curious, she slowly opened her eyes.
Everything was blurry at first, including the one standing over her. But soon, her vision was cleared. When everything came into focus, she looked up at the man stroking her hair. She gasped.
It was Goku.
"Hi Chi Chi," he greeted warmly. He hadn't changed at all. He still sounded like a little boy, though his body was that of an adult.
She sat up as he moved to make room. "Goku?" she whispered softly, as in disbelief. He just smiled. She felt the tears well up in her eyes. He pulled her into his chest, and she felt as if a dam had broken inside of her. The tears began to spill out of her eyes, absorbed into his shirt. He held her as she cried, stroking her hair.
After a while, she was finally able to calm down, though not wanting to leave his embrace. There was an eternity of silence. Suddenly, Goku whispered, "I'm sorry."
Chi Chi looked up at him, her eyes meeting his. "For what?"
"For everything. If only I had kept my promise to you, and to everyone else, maybe you wouldn't be in the hospital. None of would have happened."
"It's not your fault, Goku. You have some reasons, I'm sure. There was nothing you could do. Besides, you've kept your promise."
"I did?" he asked, pulling away from her. "When?"
"Right now," she replied with a smile. "You're here now, aren't you?"
Goku smiled, too, but the smile faded as a thought came into mind. "But Chi Chi, I'm not able to stay long."
She nodded. "I know. That's always how it was with you. But just a little time now is better than nothing."
Goku looked at his wife with a sad look on his face. It wasn't the famous Son "puppy-eye" look, but a look that Chi Chi had never seen on her husband's face before. He held Chi Chi's hand in both of his.
"Chi Chi, even though it seemed like I was gone, like I didn't care about you, I want you to know that I have always been there for you. I have always protected our family, and I still will. I love you, Chi Chi."
She embraced him again. "You don't know how long I've wanted to hear you say that," she said, tears forming in the corner of her eyes again. "I love you, too, Goku."
They stayed like that for a while, neither wanting to let go of the other. But, with a sigh, Goku pulled away from his wife. Question filled her eyes.
"I'm sorry, Chi Chi," he said, "but it's time for me to go."
"The others don't know that you're here, do they?"
"No, and, unfortunately, it must remain that way. I can't reveal myself to them until the time is right. Please promise me you won't tell them."
She nodded. "I promise."
He smiled, then leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers. She leaned further into him, as his arms went around her shoulders. Finally, with much regret from both of them, their kiss ended.
Goku moved off the bed and over to the window, opening it to leave. Suddenly, Chi Chi called out, "Wait, Goku." He turned to look at her.
"Promise me that no matter what, you will always be here to protect everyone."
He smiled and nodded. "I promise." And suddenly, in the blink of an eye, he was gone.
The door clicked as Goten and Gohan opened it and entered the room where the mother lay on the bed. It had been a week since Chi Chi had fainted and was brought to the hospital. Her sons had been visiting everyday since then, only to watch as their mother was losing strength. The doctors said it could be any day now.
She smiled weakly when she saw them. "Hi boys," she rasped.
Goten couldn't take it anymore. He had been holding in for the past week, and now he just wanted to blurt it out. "It's not fair!" he said. "Mom, why didn't you tell us what was wrong?"
"Goten. . ." Gohan warned.
"No, Gohan," Chi Chi said. "I'd like to hear what your brother has to say."
"Why didn't you tell us how you were feeling? We could've helped you."
"What kind of mother would I have been if I had asked that you two should drop everything to help me?"
"You would have been honest," her eldest quipped.
She shook her head. "It doesn't matter."
"It DOES matter!" Goten said. "The doctor said. . ." He stopped, and both of them looked down.
"Said what?" Chi Chi asked.
Goten and Gohan looked at each other, then at their mother. "Because we were feeling depressed," Gohan said, "your body was weakened and it contracted a virus. They've tried their best to help you, but because you didn't tell anyone, the virus has already taken a great toll on your body. They said that, soon. . . you will. . ." He found he couldn't bring himself to say the rest, as if it wouldn't have to happen if he didn't say it.
Chi Chi understood what he was getting at. "Everyone must die sometime," she said softly. "It's now my time."
Goten shook his head, as if he refused to believe it. "No it's not," he said, tears forming in his eyes. "Not now. . ."
"You two are adults now. You should be able to survive without me."
"That doesn't make the pain any less," Gohan said.
"I never said it would. But as I have taught you many lessons in life, the hardest one you will ever learn is to let go."
Gohan laughed suddenly, removing his glasses. "It was easier to say goodbye to Dad," he whispered, rubbing his temples.
"You father was gone a lot of the time anyway," Chi Chi said. "And it was easier because he had promised to return. We had no idea that that was the last we would see from him."
"At least you'll get to see him now," Goten said.
Their mother shook her head. "No, I won't. He's not dead, as we had thought, but here."
Their eyes widened. "Where?" they asked.
She placed a hand on her heart. "In here, watching and protecting you. And now, I will, too. One day, we will see each other again." Chi Chi's black eyes gently closed, and her breathing stopped. On the heart monitor, all they heard and saw was a flat line.
Gohan knelt down next to the bed as Goten's head hung down, focused on the ground. Gohan witnessed a tear hit the floor.
With tears forming in his own eyes, he kissed his mother's cheek. Then, though he knew she could no longer hear him, he whispered in her ear,
The funeral was held two weeks after Chi Chi's death. It was a bright, spring day, the kind of day that Chi Chi loved.
The tombstone was already set up, the coffin was buried, and the flowers were being laid on either side of the tombstone, as though creating an aisle. The flowers were pink roses and violets. Though pink and purple were her favorite colors, Chi Chi's favorite flowers were white roses, but she would only accept those from Goku himself.
Everyone laid the branches of flowers in two lines on either side of the grave. If Goku were there, they all knew that he would place white roses in the middle of the pathway.
Gohan said a last prayer, saying that they will cross paths with her again. Then everyone gave their respects to the Son family, especially to Gohan and Goten. Everyone began to leave and mourn over Chi Chi's death at the Son house. Had they stayed longer, however, they would have seen something, or rather someone, very dear to them all.
As they all left, they passed a tree several yards away from the grave. When they were gone, Goku jumped out from the branches. In his hand was a single, white rose. He watched the retreating figures until they were completely gone. Then, he made his way to the grave.
He stood in front of the brave for a while, a gentle breeze blowing but not stopping. Slowly kneeling down, he placed the rose in the middle of his wife's grave. He looked at the tombstone, reading what it had to say:
Son Chi Chi
Physically and Emotionally
We will miss you
Goku sighed as he stood up, the wind continuing to blow. From inside his shirt, he pulled out a picture of him and Chi Chi on their wedding day, Chi Chi in her mother's wedding dress, and Goku in a white suit. He also pulled out a roll of tape and taped the edges of the photo to the tombstone. He then slowly turned around and began to walk away.
A few steps was all he took before stopping and turning his head to look at his late-wife's grave. In a soft whisper, he said, "Don't worry, Chi Chi. I promise to always protect everyone. I'm always here."
The wind continued to blow, swiftly taking Goku's words as soon as they left his lips. It took his words up towards the sky, up towards heaven, where Chi Chi was waiting to hear his promise to her one last time:
"I'm always here."