CHAPTER SIXTY-NINE: WIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

            As far as Chichi was concerned, Planet Vegeta was boring, and a bad environment for her son. The last thing that he little Scholar-In-Training needed was to be around an entire planet's worth of large, hairy warriors. So, she had decided to take matters into her own hands.

            Gohan had been locked in the closet for three days now. Really, it wasn't her fault. Who would have known that the locks on the doors in the hotel were made to withstand ki blasts? And for some strange reason, the lock had broken on the outside, too. Really, it wasn't her fault that Gohan had chosen to hide in there after one of her little "episodes" involving Salad. Chichi had since decided that she was going to get her boy off this planet the second that they got him out of the closet. She had been lax for too long- a poor excuse for a mother. Now was the time to finally make her boy grow into a success. The success that she had failed to be in life. The success that her father, and his father, and the ones before him had failed to be.

            Chichi wanted her son to be the best. Her family had quietly faded into nothingness throughout all of its history, and she wanted it to change. Her father had tried to become a fighter, and had ended up being a nobody living on Frypan Mountain. His father before him had done the same thing- and ended up dead for it. Never in her family's history had anyone tried to fight and been successful, and Chichi knew it well. She just wanted her son to have a chance in the world, that was all.  And her husband- the example that he was giving! Running around, bashing heads with everything that moved, socializing with these... barbarians! Now that she had met his father, Chichi saw where Gokou had gotten it from. Bardock was a total barbarian. The others weren't exactly shining examples, either. Zarbon had been good company at times, but that was before Chichi had declared war on his wife. Zangya seemed to be a good example, but she was too shy and quiet. Thinking back on this, Chichi realized something. She was lonely. Terribly lonely. Since she had arrived on the planet, she had succeeded in alienating nearly everyone around her and somehow getting her son locked in a closet.

            Chichi's train of thought was broken by the door, which was broken by a Saiya-jin carrying what appeared to be a jackhammer. Gokou was standing behind him.

            "Hi, Chichi! This really nice guy said he'd get Gohan out of the closet for us, and-*"

            "You mean to tell me that you're letting that MAN use that MACHINE on our SON?"

            "You'll be able to feed him meals that couldn't otherwise fit under a door!" Gokou interjected. Chichi relaxed.

            "Okay, then," She told the Saiya-jin. "How long will it take?"

            "I'd guess... about an hour or so. Hotel closet doors are tricky things. I'd suggest that you two go out on the town for a while."

            In suggesting that, the nameless Saiya-jin man had planted the seeds of chaos.

 

***

 

            Chichi frowned down at her meal. "I don't like this," she commented gravely. "It looks raw."

            "Well, that's how Saiya-jin cook most of their meat, honey," Gokou replied in between mouthfuls of his steak. "You could have gotten it cooked more if you asked."

            Chichi folded her arms and glared at her husband. The tension caused by having your young son locked in a closet for three days had set her on edge. "Hmph. they should have known anyway."

            "Chichi, there's something that I've been meaning to ask you," Gokou said. Chichi glared at him.

            "What?" she replied.

            "Well, I never really put much thought into it, but... how can you survive so easily on this planet? I mean, the gravity level is five times the level on Earth- and even I had some trouble training with Kaiou at that level!"

            "You're surprised?" Chichi answered.

            Gokou took that as the only answer that he would get, and went back to eating his dinner.

            "You know, Gokou, I really can't believe you," Chichi started, "First you bring my son on this kami-forsaken ball of dirt, then you doubt me as a capable person who can stand a little extra weight, and you even had the temerity to bring me to a restaurant and serve me raw meat!"

            "Chichi, I didn't cook the mea-*"

            "Oh, you just be quiet!" she started to yell. "I didn't ask to come here!"

            "Yes, honey, you di-*"

            "I didn't ask to see my son get locked in a closet!"

            "You closed the door on hi-*"

            "And what's more, you interrupt me too much!"

            "Chichi, you're getting everyone's attention, please-*"

            "I only wanted my son to be a scholar, that's all... to succeed where others have failed... I just want him to be a success in life, but now it seems that all of my hard work has been for vain."

            "Um, Chichi, I don't see how-*"

            "Poor Gohan. Poor, poor, Gohan," She went on. "The future that I had dreamed for him has shattered like glass, and now he'll be lucky if he can eke out a simple life doing anything but fighting."

            "Hey!" Came a voice from the back of the restaurant. "What's wrong with fighting!"

            "It's a brutish, stupid act and you can't live your life doing it!" Gokou audibly gulped.

            Five rather large Saiya-jin approached the table. "Oh, really? You don't think that fighting is a very useful thing?" one of them cracked his knuckles.

            Gokou rose to his wife's defense. "Hey! Leave her alone! Don't try anything!"

            Chichi elbowed him in the stomach. "Shut up, Gokou. They're idiots."

            One of the Saiya-jin grinned. "Where I come from, those are fighting words." he said.

            "You want to make something of it?" Chichi replied.

            "Sure," the Saiya-jin in the back of the group said. "We'll make something of it."

            "Chichi!" Gokou shouted. "You don't know what you-*" Chichi elbowed him again.

            "Stay out of this!" she shouted at him.

            The fight began. To make a long story short, Chichi showed five Saiya-jin that fighting was worthless by beating the crap out of them even though her power level was roughly 1/500th of theirs. Never underestimate the power of an angry mother.

 

***

 

            Salad was bored, and feeling remotely depressed. She was lonely. Lately it seemed that no one wanted to spend any time with her anymore. Looking back, it was partly her fault- the feud with Chichi over absolutely nothing that lasted a few weeks didn't exactly help her interpersonal relationships any. But still, she missed Zarbon. He had been growing more and more distant as of late, becoming more absorbed in his work than ever. Strangely enough, his current work now only involved trying to keep any of the visitors from earth from causing any interplanetary incidents- which was a major task- and simply managing things as usual. Salad supposed that a part of it had come from the multiple heated arguments that she and Chichi had been having- added with that the way that either woman had treated anyone unfortunate enough to get in their way. But still, it saddened her. And it made her feel more lonely. Loneliness was something that Salad had always struggled with in the past- the need for companionship, and the ever-present feeling that it would abandon her someday. She loved Zarbon, she truly did- and he definitely loved her back far more than she could imagine- but lately it seemed that he was trying to avoid her. If so, then it was nothing new. Everyone had tried to avoid her since the incident with Chichi. Salad had made a forced attempt to stop the fighting a week earlier, by simply leaving; but the result was that she was now totally alone without even an argumentative, annoying hellbeast like Chichi to get in the way.

            Salad closed her eyes and sat back in her chair, letting her thoughts drift. She was thinking back to highschool, and how different things were when you weren't married to a government worker- or even dating him. Of course, the fact that her boyfriend before Zarbon had been Sauzaa didn't exactly help the idea much. Sauzaa was, after all, higher up in Cold's military than Zarbon. And to think of how close she had come to marrying Sauzaa, if he hadn't broken off the relationship first. She still cared for Sauzaa a bit, but he most certainly was no Zarbon. Salad was still thinking and remembering when Zarbon came in through the front door of the flat that they had rented out while they were on Planet Vegeta.

            "Honey, I'm home- I hate that quote," Zarbon chirped, smiling, as he walked in. Salad, who hadn't noticed him come in, jumped.

            She let out a quick shout of surprise, and blurted out, "Hi! What are you doing here?"

            Zarbon gave her a semi-confused look. "I live here, Salad. Remember? I'm your Husband, remember? We've been married for a while now, remember?"

            Salad shook her head. "No, of course not. I'm a woman, therefore I have absolutely no short-term memory. Remember?"

            Zarbon cocked a blueish eyebrow. "I didn't know that a short-term memory extended that far," he replied, "But it doesn't matter. I guess I'll have to start over." He pointed at himself. "Me man-person." he pointed at her. "You woman-person. We live together. Very happy. Maybe someday make child. Man-child. All woman-child must be drowned in lake."

            Salad cracked up. Zarbon joined her. When she was done laughing, she spoke up again. "Zarbon, you're home a little early today- what happened?"

            Zarbon flashed her a grin. "I tried to kill King Cold in another coup and he had me executed. At the stroke of midnight tonight you will be visited by three spirits."

            "Huh?" Salad asked, totally confused.

            Zarbon slapped himself on the forehead. "Stupid!" he said, "I forgot- you haven't been on earth yet... never mind. There was nothing really going on at all today, and I felt like coming home before the sun sets for a change."

            "Oh, you did, now, did you?" She asked him back, "And what made you think that I'd let you back in so early?"

            Zarbon folded his arms. "I was thinking about a candlelight dinner for two at some grossly expensive restaurant, but if that's not what you'd want..."

            Salad wanted it.

 

***

 

            "I missed you, Zarbon," Salad said about midway through their dinner.

            "What?" Zarbon asked, curious.

            "You haven't been around much lately," she answered. "It's almost as though I didn't have a husband anymore, or something. I was lonely."

            Zarbon nodded. "I know, I know- right now is just a critical time for the whole thing with earth being declared safe, and your little rivalry with Chichi didn't help things, either."

            Salad blushed. "I know, I know. I tried to end it the other day."

            "So I've heard," Zarbon said, taking another bite of his steak, "What happened?"

            "Chichi told me that if I was going to be such a coward and back out, then I wasn't worth arguing with." She shrugged. "Go figure."

            Zarbon shrugged as well. "I guess that's just her way of sparring like her husband. She did marry a Saiya-jin, after all."

            Salad rolled her eyes. "You'd call him a Saiya-jin? He acts more like a house cat than a mighty warrior of a powerful and legendary race, if you ask me."

            "You haven't sparred with him," was Zarbon's reply.

            "Zarbon," Salad said, changing the subject a bit, "I'm sorry if I drove you away a little bit recently. I really didn't mean to do it."

            Zarbon nodded, and held her hand. "Honestly, I don't care. You know that I love you. You're my wife, and I'm not going to abandon you just because you went overboard over Chichi- she has that effect on people."

            Salad smiled. She paused for a minute. "Zarbon," she said, "I have something that I want to ask you."

            "Yes?" he replied."

            "Is there anything going on between you and Zangya that I should know about? Anything? How do you feel about her? I trust you, but I still worry."

            Zarbon looked her in the eyes. "There is nothing going on," he answered, "And you can look in my eyes to see if I'm lying or not. I care about her, but in a strictly platonic way. I'd never have an affair with anyone, but even trying something like that with Zangya would be more of a crime against her than against you."

            Salad nodded. "I understand. She doesn't seem like your type, anyway. Too weak."

            Zarbon smirked. "She lasted ten years with Bojack. I don't consider that as weak."

            "She's weak now," salad replied. "And you're right- there's no possible way that she could willingly get involved in a relationship now, the poor thing. Do you think that praying for her would help any?"

            Zarbon shrugged. "Ask Gokou. He's talked personally with three gods that I know of- the god of earth, the god of the northern galaxy, and Enma- and he'd probably know better than anybody else. According to him, North Kaiou needs to get out more."

            Salad giggled. "Are you sure Gokou wasn't saying that about himself?"

            Zarbon paused for a moment. "Hmmm... no. He's too naive to know it."

            They both shared a short laugh.

            Zarbon remembered that dinner as one of the happiest times that he had ever spent with his wife. Even after, when things had changed and certain events had passed that made all of these times impossible, he remembered it with joy and with love.