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                                                   CHAPTER FIFTY: COMING BACK

 

 

 

 

 

            Chichi set the table for breakfast, blissfully unaware of the screaming violence that had taken place the previous night while she slept peacefully. Under normal situations, Chichi probably would have sensed immedaitely that the two most important peoplein her lfie were in danger, and would have been out of the house and on the battlefield, armed with guns, in approximately 5.3 seconds. last night, though, was an anomaly. Apparently, fate had decided to leave only three people awake at the helm to combat the storm. Maybe it was for the better, but such things are not worth arguing about. The point was, when CHichi woke up and started her daily routine, everything seemed perfectly fine and normal- except that Gohan was wearing his grey pajamas instead of his blue ones. How odd. Even weirder, The boy, and his father and grandfather, all looked as though they had been rolling around in the dirt. Some things just didn't make sense. And then there was the small empty leather pouch lying on the floor in their bedroom that smelled of beans...

            For once in her life, Chichi decided not to stick her nose where it didn't belong. Some things were weird even for her family, a family of alien half-apes with delusions of grandeur.

            In the meantime, she prepared breakfast for her family of two Saiya-jin and a half-breed with an appetite to match. Usually, they were up early enough that she had to temporarily become a speed chef just to make the first serving ready in time for the three of them.

            As it turned out, she had a lot of time to cook breakfast that morning. Staying up until four AM smashing each other's heads is a sure-fire way to make yourself sleep in.

 

***

 

            Piccolo awoke from his meditation. He opened his eyes and glanced down at the small igloo-shaped house beneath him. Forgoing his usual resting-place in the wilderness, the Namek warrior had spent the night in a protectful vigil over Gohan, his only true friend in the world. Things may have seemed all fine and dandy at the end of the previous night's festivities, Piccolo would never trust the Saiya-jin. he had seen the glint of murder in the man's eyes during their two fights in the previous night. Things like that didn't just go away. It made him think back to his conversation with Zarbon right before he had left "To Make earth a Safe World." At that moment Piccolo decided that he would have to keep special tabs on all three of the aliens. At least one of them had proven himself to be untrustworthy, but what about the others? No chances could be taken. none at all. Why in Hell the idiot had decided to take his boy and go back to bed, and also why the Saiya-jin had gone with them was beyond reasoning- but this WAS Gokou, after all. Logic was not a factor with Gokou. it never was.

            Piccolo shook his head and returned to his meditation. Trust was a very fragile thing, easily broken. And it had just been disentigrated with a type of perfection than even the finest Kamehameha could not administer.

            Trust was fragile, all right. And All the world was going to be damned before Bardock repaired it.

 

***

 

Kamesennin Mutenroshi, Earth's resident 400-year-old and former Strongest Man in the World, woke up from his dreams of naked women to prepare for the day.

            And what a good day it would be! Bulma was going to come by talk to Kuririn about the new Saiya-jin guest, and hopefully her guard would be down. There would be lots of Bulma-grabbing today, yes there would!

            'Course, he had to wake up that lazy idiot Kuririn first. More than likely, if not for Roshi, the bald nerd would still be sleeping his life away like a door on its hinge by the time that Bulma got there.

            Master Roshi opened the door to Kuririn's bedroom, ready to wake him by whatever means necessary, hopefully involving a good bonk on the head with Roshi's sizeable cane. it had been too long since he had had the chance to hit Kuririn with it...

            The old man stopped when he saw Kuririn's empty bed, the sheets rumpled and tossed aside, thw window pried open for some odd reason. There was a small shuffling sound coming from somewhere else in Kame House.

            Training his senses into the all-too-familiar state from his youth, Kamesennin Mutenroshi spun around on one foot and brandished his staff. Kuririn was ogne, and the window was pried open. Either the bald guy had been picking up some strange habits lately, or there was someone else in the house...

            Hearing the strange noise again, Roshi crept over to the wall and peered around the corner and into the kitchen.

            There was Kuririn, pacing around like a moron in a filthy, torn-up orange gi that was covered in dried blood, shaking like an old man. Every so often he'd just stop and hit something, causing that strange sound. He looked as if he hadn't had any sleep in the previous night.

            Roshi dismissed all of this, since Kuririn WAS a friend of Gokou's, after all. Still, it was polite to ask...

            "What's wrong with you? Finally meet a girl?"

            The little bald man jumped about eleven feet in the air. With a sweep of his less-than mgihty arm, Kuririn sent the kitchen table flying into the wall, and charged blindly at Master Roshi.

            He would have hit him had he not looked up.

            "Oh..." Kuririn semi-muttered, semi-stammered three inches from the old man's face, "Sorry about the table."

            Roshi decided not to ask again. He didn't get an answer.

            "Bulma called. she said she'd be here in about an hour or two. Somehting to do with Gokou's father, probably. You might want to get yourself cleaned up."

            Kuririn stopped, apparently noticing the complete mess that he was in for the first time, and sheepishly dashed away to the shower.

            He had just gotten cleaned up and dressed in a brand new change of clothes when Zarbon and Zangya arrived.