This "What if…?" came to my mind while rewatching Dragon Ball Z on TV a few months ago. As the description indicates, it will mainly star Chi-Chi and show a scenario of what would have happened if her role, motivations, and characterization at the beginning of the series had been different. But what inspires me the most to do this is to give some justice to this character, who I'm sure could have been so much more than she was if given the chance.
As explanatory notes before beginning, I must say that it is clearly an "Alternate Universe." And although it will base a lot on what is shown and explained in the Anime, I will take the freedom of slightly twisting some events or concepts to tell the best possible story. This applies, for example, to the issue of the scale of power, as you will see. But because of this, you will likely find details that make you say, "But that doesn't work like that," or "That character obviously couldn't have done that at that moment," or similar things. In that sense, I invite you not to take these things too seriously and just let the story flow and show you what it offers. And hopefully, the result will be worth it.
Without further ado, I thank you for entering and giving this story a chance. I hope you like it.
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Chi-Chi made lunch early that day, as her husband and son were going on a trip, and she didn't want them to go without eating anything. Bulma had written to invite them to spend the afternoon at Kame House, the residence of the venerable Master Roshi. The invitation was extended to both, of course, but Chi-Chi had no plans to attend. The most likely thing was that this meeting would last until the night, and they would have to return the following day. And she didn't have that privilege with everything she had to do around the house right now.
In fact, there were so many chores that doing without her husband's help wasn't exactly an idea that appealed to her. She always found it helpful to have the strongest man in the world on hand to help her with the most tiring and complicated tasks. However, although Goku didn't show it so openly, Chi-Chi could perceive a certain emotion in him at the idea of seeing his old friends. After all, it had been at least five years (five years!) since he last saw them.
On top of that, Goku also seemed very interested in them finally meeting Gohan. And their little son could barely interact with other people there on that mountain, not to mention other children. So he also seemed very interested in going to this totally new place, fueled by his innate curiosity as a researcher, Chi-Chi would like to think.
With all that, who was she to deny them that little joy? Spending a day alone at home was not such a high price, and perhaps her father could come to keep her a little company and help her a little.
She served all the dishes quite diligently on the table, all and each one. The portions that Goku used to eat were indeed coarse, but Chi-Chi had managed to find a way to satisfy him without spending her life cooking. It was all part of the work of a good wife.
Once everything was served, she went to the door of her little boy's room. She had told Gohan to go over his lessons before they left, or she wouldn't let him go anywhere. It wasn't true (at all), but sometimes it was good to motivate him with what she could.
"Gohan, the food is served," Chi-Chi pronounced loudly, knocking on the wooden door with her knuckles. She waited to hear some response from the other end or sense some movement, but all remained quiet. "Gohan?" she uttered again, and when the boy still didn't answer, she opened the door and peered inside.
Her son's books and notebooks rested on the desk, but no trace of him was found. The window was also open, and a slight breeze stirred the curtains.
"Where is he?" Chi-Chi muttered with a slight mixture of anger and concern.
She went to the front door and out of the house, greeted by the bright rays of the summer sun and the crisp mountain air.
"Gohan!" she exclaimed loudly so she could be heard clearly. "Gohan! It's time to eat!"
She kept screaming as she moved around the house, hoping to see some trace of her son or that he would appear to respond to her call; neither of these things happened.
Gohan sometimes leaving without permission was not precisely usual, but it happened. Earlier, Goku had said that he was going to train a bit in the forest, and Gohan had wanted to go with him, but Chi-Chi had sent him to go over his lessons. The little boy obeyed as always, but apparently, he had decided on his own that once he finished his review, he could give himself permission to catch up with Goku in the forest.
"Those two are just right for each other," Chi-Chi thought, letting out a heavy sigh of frustration.
A loud dragging sound suddenly caught her attention from the front of the house, so she immediately headed there. As she got closer, she could see the shape of a huge round tree trunk slowly approaching her. Although, of course, it didn't come alone because as soon as it went up the hill enough, she saw Goku's figure below it, carrying the trunk on his head like a feather pillow.
"Goku?" Chi-Chi pronounced slowly, although her attention was fixed on the huge trunk. "What's that?"
The tall, dark-haired man stepped forward until he was in front of the house, then allowed himself to let the trunk fall to one side, creating a small rumble.
"You said we were already running out of firewood, right?" Goku replied normally, rubbing his hands.
"I said so, but... such a big log...?"
"Don't worry," Goku laughed nonchalantly, feeling the trunk with his hand. "I'll cut it into small pieces later."
Well, that was logical, thought Chi-Chi, preferring to keep the comment to herself.
"Have you seen Gohan?" She asked after a few seconds. Goku, however, had turned up his nose at the smell of food escaping through the dining room window, and his attention had been diverted almost entirely to it.
"Smells good. I'm starving!"
"Goku, I asked if you have seen Gohan," Chi-Chi repeated, slightly exasperated.
"Gohan? The last time I saw him was in the morning. Isn't he here?"
So they hadn't met in the woods. If Chi-Chi had managed to keep her concern at bay until now, it threatened to run riot soon.
"Where did that child go?" she muttered, annoyed, taking a few steps toward the forest where Goku came from. "Gohan! Come now! If you don't eat quickly, you'll be late to go to Master Roshi's house," she indicated, turning to her husband. "Could you go look for him? I'm sure he couldn't have gone very far."
"Okay," Goku agreed, outlining a wide smile. "Don't worry!"
Without further ado, he quickly skipped away toward the forest.
"I trust it to you!" she yelled at him loudly in farewell before the lithe figure of her husband disappeared from her sight. And once alone, she murmured more concisely to herself: "That child is just like his father."
And that wasn't entirely a bad thing, actually. It was not for nothing that Goku was by far one of the kindest, gentlest, strongest, and most noble men she knew. Gohan would be very lucky to be like him... although not in everything. Of course, some qualities of her husband were not so favorable when viewed from another perspective, and it was her mission to take care that her son took only the good things from him.
Before heading back inside the house, her attention was drawn to the huge log in front of the house, and at that second glance, it seemed even bigger than it had been a moment ago.
Now, what do I do with this? She thought to herself with a bit of anguish. If I leave it here, it will get in the way when I do laundry.
She tried to push it herself and roll it to the side, unable to move it an inch, not even applying her entire body.
After trying for a while, Chi-Chi took a second to rest, slump on her seat on the grass, and think about her options. The most sensible would be to leave it there and wait for Goku to cut it into smaller pieces as he had promised.
Smaller pieces, she mused as she gazed up at the sky. Goku wouldn't do such a thing with an axe. He didn't need it; his hands were stronger than any axe. That huge log would become small, manageable trunks with a few swipes.
That was just the kind of task for which it was convenient to have his help... although...
Chi-Chi stood up and looked thoughtfully at the trunk. She began to walk beside it, running her fingers over the bark. When she trained with her father when she was younger, she also had to chop logs with her own hands. Although, of course, not one as big or thick as that one, and she hadn't done it for a long time. But to do that, her father told her it was more about technique than strength. It must be true because even she had managed to do it without being as big and strong as him.
Maybe I can try to break it myself, she thought reflectively. And after only a few seconds, she decided to do it.
She backed up a little, making distance with the trunk, and got into position, pulling her right fist back and focusing her gaze on the target. She breathed in slowly, relaxed her legs, and when she felt ready, she lunged forward, pulling her fist against the trunk with all her strength. Her blow tore through the bark, cracking it, and it continued past at least the first few layers of wood… but no further. Her fist was embedded in a large crater on the log's surface, but something insignificant if she compared it to its enormous size.
Chi-Chi withdrew her fist, and the heat flooded his hand as soon as she did. She groaned in pain and held onto her hand firmly. Glancing at it, she could see how red her knuckles and fingers were, and she had made a few small cuts on her skin. The good news was that at least it didn't look like anything was broken.
"Apparently, it wasn't such a good idea," she muttered, still in pain with barely a tiny voice. "Goku better handle it when he gets back."
Resigned, she returned to the house to heal that hand immediately.
Thank you for reading!
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