~Chapter 34: A Recovery and A Confession! Goten's Resolve~
Rias arrived on the grounds of the Son house, back in Mount Paozu, still reeling from the Rating Game while trying to comprehend everything that happened back there. The image of Goten's lifeless body covered in scratches, dark bruises and dried blood burned into her mind. Her heart ached for him. She felt so helpless. "If only I was stronger, then I would have been able to help him..."
It was a roller coaster of emotions, that's for sure. At first she thought that Akeno, her childhood friend had died. Then she learned she had survived and witnessed the love of her life go berserk and end up at death's door all the in span of an hour. Rias just wanted to go inside, lock herself in her room and go to sleep, but she couldn't. She knew she couldn't. Not now.
How would she be able to face Chi-Chi? Rias got a lump in her throat just thinking about it. The poor woman was none the wiser of the recent events, probably happily busying herself with some household task, expecting her boys to be coming home at any minute with their usual grins, ready to eat. How could she tell her surrogate mother that Goten was near-death?
"You have to be strong. Goten is with his dad. Everything is going be fine, but for now you have be strong. Akeno's waiting for you." Rias told herself, though the little pep talk didn't do much. But she could almost see and feel her boyfriend's presence pushing her forward, and that gave her the strength she needed.
Rias took a deep inhale in front of the door of the quaint little home, and then exhaled to steady herself a bit. Upon opening the door, the fresh smell of food on the stove filled her nostrils, noise of the television coming from the other room reaching her ears and a part of her half expected to see Goten on the couch waiting for her like nothing had happened.
"Goku? Is that you sweetheart?" Chi-Chi called from the kitchen.
"It's me!" Rias called back as she kicked her shoes off at the front door.
"Welcome home, Rias! Goku dropped Akeno off not too long ago, he seemed to be in quite a hurry!"
Rias smiled at that. It was faint, but still Rias took off her shoes at the door and she went into the living room to see her best friend, sitting on the couch curled up in a blanket while watching television. Her heart soared, finally confirming that Akeno was alive and well with her own two eyes.
Akeno smiled when she saw Rias, but soon faltered when a certain half Saiyan wasn't with her. Without another word Rias ran forward and brought her friend into a long hug, fighting back tears of joy.
"You're alive! You're really alive... I'm so glad... I thought... I thought I'd never see you again!" Rias cried.
Akeno desperately hugged her best friend, choking back tears of her own. "Rias! It's really you! What happened?!"
"After you vanished... Goten... He... he completely lost it, Akeno. He was so upset he went berserk. It was terrible... Everything I tried didn't work. I couldn't get through to him..." Rias said. "Had it not been for Trunks, Piccolo, and Goku... he may have..."
Akeno had only known bits and pieces, as all Goku had told her was that it didn't seem good. She was almost afraid to ask, but did anyway.
"...Is he alive?" Akeno asked with a hint of hope in her voice that her adorable Goten didn't die in his rampage, but Rias could only nod silently, which made Akeno relieved, but only a bit. "...Where is he now?"
"With Goku. He took him to the hospital. Seems it's the only option since his body is rejecting any and all magic. Plus, there's no Senzu Beans left either." Rias said sadly, which made Akeno frown a bit.
"Goten needs you. Please, I'll be alright here for now. Go be with him. I'll make up an excuse." Akeno said, while Rias stared at her friend for a moment before smiling.
"Alright. Thanks. Talk to you soon." Rias said before she left again.
Trunks raced from the Lookout, trying to get the hospital as soon as he could. He knew Goku would already be there with Goten, but he called his mom to give her another heads up. By the time the young Saiyan touched down in West City, Bulma had already called to set up the room for Goten and was on her way. She arrived not too long after Trunks did. People in the area were shocked to see a golden-haired boy drop from the skies. Trunks rolled his eyes at all the gossip and powered down to base form once he was out of sight.
As President of Capsule Corp., Bulma practically owned that hospital and got Goten the best care possible. Bulma was devastated to see the poor kid like that, Goten was like another son to her. She watched both him and Gohan grow up. The last time she had seen anyone that wounded was after the fight against Vegeta when he and Nappa invaded the Earth all those years ago, back then when he had broken pretty much every bone in Goku's body.
While the doctors did emergency care on Goten, the trio of Bulma, Goku and Trunks had to wait in the hall. Bulma talked to the doctors, Trunks was pacing while biting his nails while Goku stared at the ground, hurt from the inside to think how he would have to tell Chi-Chi about all this. The poor woman had suffered too much over the years: First when Gohan was kidnapped by his own brother, then when she was left alone after he died and Gohan was kidnapped, then staying dead after the Cell Games, and finally believing that her Gohan had been killed by Majin Buu. It was too much for one person to handle. And now this. Goku just apologized to his loving wife over and over again in his head.
Rias arrived just as the doctor came out of the ER. The worry and fear on the young woman's face spoke volumes.
"Is my Goten okay?" Rias pleaded, while Goku stood up beside the redhead and placed a strong yet gentle hand on her shoulder as a way to console her.
"To be honest, it's a miracle this boy is even alive. Almost all of his bones are broken and the internal bleeding almost killed him. He's unconscious right now, and we're not sure when he'll wake up. There doesn't seem to be any permanent damage though, but it will take a very long time for him to recover." The doctor frowned, while Rias gulped a bit.
"May I see him?" Rias asked.
"Immediately family only. I'm sorry miss, but I can't allow you to enter." The doctor said.
Rias frowned sadly. Her whole soul ached at the thought that she can't see her Goten right away, but she wasn't giving up. "I am! He's my... future husband! We.. we live together! He needs me! I need to see him." Rias stammered, trying to do anything to get inside and see her beloved, but the doctor would not back down even a little bit.
"I'm sorry. My hands are tied right now. You'll be able to see him first thing tomorrow morning once visiting hours begin."
Rias went to open her mouth again to say something, but immediately closed it. She then nodded in defeat before the doctor left the group.
"This is all my fault. If only I had listened to Goten when he said he got a bad feeling, we could have taken Diodora out and he wouldn't be like this." Rias said in sad and heartbroken tone as she looked down on the ground.
"Stop attacking yourself Rias. You did nothing wrong. It was those devils who made Goten lose it. And look what happened to them. They got what they deserved." Goku reassured her. Rias couldn't help but be comforted by his smile, but then again Goten told her how his father always managed to brighten the mood whenever he was around.
"Personally, I think what they got was too easy. If I was Goten, I would've tortured them much longer for what they did." Trunks spat before Bulma rolled her eyes and clonked her son on the head.
"That's enough out of you mister. I already have to deal with your hotheaded father blowing smoke all day, we don't need another one." Bulma scolded, while Trunks held the back of his head.
Rias sighed. "I dont feel right leaving him here alone..."
"Don't worry. I'll stay with him for now." Goku said.
"I'll contact Chi-Chi and Gohan. You've been through enough Goku, just relax for now." Bulma added as she smiled at her oldest friend before Goku nodded gratefully back.
Rias then let out a sigh and slouched into a chair before Trunks came up beside her.
"I know how you feel. But for now, we have to be patient and let time do it's thing. Goten is a resilient one, you of all people know how stubborn he is. I bet he'll be up and walking by tomorrow, whining about how hospital food tastes bad and when he can get the hell outta here."
Rias chuckled for the first time since before the Rating Game. A legitimate chuckle too, not one of those fake half-chuckles. It made her feel a lot better, all things considered. Trunks was a lot like Goten in a lot ways; he knew just what to say to make her laugh.
"Thanks. I needed that." Rias smiled gratefully.
"Come on, let's go find the others and get something to eat. We should do something to keep our minds off things for now." Trunks waved goodbye to Goku and his mother.
"...Do you think she'll hate me more than she already does?" Rias asked as the two walked towards the elevator.
"Who? Marron?" Trunks scoffed as he pressed the down button to call the elevator. "She doesn't hate you, Rias. I don't think Marron truly hates anyone. I've known her since we were practically in diapers. That girl is stubborn as hell- as stubborn as Goten is, if not more. She's just upset that you got through that thick head of his first. She's found a true rival." Trunks said with a grin and Rias giggled. "She's always been very possessive of him, ever since we were kids. You know that nickname he always calls her? She won't let anyone else use it but him."
Rias admittedly found that really sweet. Marron and Goten had been best friends for over a decade. Rias envied that a bit. She started to understand where Marron's rivalry with her was stemming from.
And so the Trunks and the Occult Research Club went out to a night of bowling to get their mind off of things. Nobody said it flat out, but there was one thing that went through all of their minds: It wasn't the same when a piece of their group was missing.
Later that night, Rias lied restless in her room. She tossed and turned, clutching a pillow from Goten's room to have his scent in attempt to comfort her. No dice. No matter what she did, the redhead couldn't fall asleep. She couldn't stop thinking about her beloved Goten in that hospital room alone. That's when she made up her mind. Rias threw the covers off and got dressed into something more than just a flimsy nightgown. With a glance out her door, she confirmed that the other three in the house were asleep. And in a bright flash of red, she vanished.
Rias appeared in a dark hospital room. The only sounds that could be heard was the machine hooked up to Goten help his breathing. It broke her heart all over again. Goten was wrapped up in bandages from head to toe. He at least didn't look in pain, she thankfully thought. Rias then leaned down and kissed her boyfriend gently on the forehead, before she climbed into bed with him.
"We'll always be together, my sweet Goten. I love you." She said before she finally succumbed to sleep.
Two days passed since Goten was taken to the hospital.
Rumors already started flying about Goten's absence.
Some said he died.
Others were that he just moved away.
And some even thought he got Rias and Akeno pregnant and then ran off.
As the students were gossiping, Trunks was in a trance, aimlessly walking from class to class and sneaking off as soon as the last bell rang. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, but he felt a bit lost without his best friend. Before Goten came to Kuoh, Trunks was miserable. He just went to school, kept his head down and went home. All the unwanted attention was too much for him. He talked a big game, but when it came down to it, Trunks was actually rather modest. And when Goten started, he finally had a friend. A true friend that changed his whole outlook.
A familiar voice called out for him, breaking him from his trance. When he glanced to his left, he found Marron rushing towards him.
Now he could feel the gazes of the other kids lingering on him even more. The whispering was always picked up by his heightened Saiyan hearing. Being seen with the hot new cheerleader only sent more jealous gazes his way, but he couldn't care less. He had long sinced tuned out the whispers.
"Oh, hey Marron." He half-heartedly said.
Marron glarred up at him, with tears in her eyes.. "Don't 'oh hey Marron' me, you asshole! What happened to Goten?"
"What? What do you mean?" Trunks asked, playing dumb, averting his eyes from her glare. Trunks kicked himself. He completely forgot to fill Marron in about what happened to Goten. All the chaotic events that happened that day was too much for his brain and was just trying to forget it.
"Bullshit! Don't pull that with me! I know when you're lying! I tried calling him over and over again, but his phone was off every time! And whenever I bump into Rias these past few days, she wouldn't even look at me! It looked like she was about to cry! Even Ravel and Koneko won't say anything beyond 'I cant say' when I try asking them in class!'" Marron was shaking now, holding back tears. "So you tell me what happened this instant!" Marron yelled, while Trunks winced a bit from her her temper. Still, he could hear the fear and worry in her voice.
"Alright, alright, geez. I'll tell you everything. But pipe down. People are staring." Trunks said as he raised his hands in front of him to calm Marron down. But when Marron calmed herself, she was slightly surprised to see a rather serious look on Trunks' face. Almost sad, even.
"There's no easy way to say this Marron, but…" Trunks stopped as he tried to collect himself and tell her the truth, ugly as it may be.
"Is it bad?" Marron really started worrying now. She rarely saw Trunks this troubled. Trunks said nothing. "I have an idea. Follow me." Marron said before she walked to Trunks' left. The half-Saiyan glanced at her curiously before he followed the blonde outside to the courtyard and sat underneath a tree. It was still rather hot, so shade was the only protection from the sun.
"Much better." Trunks laid back on the grass. "So sick of all that damn noise."
"Now, spill it."
Trunks took a deep sigh. "It's like this."
Then he filled the blonde girl about everything that happened.
"Goten is in a hospital?!" Marron exclaimed in shock. She wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. She wanted. No, she needed to see him. "Why didn't you tell me?! It's been two whole days and it's only now that I hear that my best friend almost died?!"
"Ouch! Take it easy. You're even louder than normal." Trunks said as he rubbed his ear for buzzing to subside. "I didn't mean to not tell you. Things have been pretty hazy these past few days, it's hard to focus."
Marron wiped her eyes and jumped her feet. She started digging into her bag for her air jet capsule.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm going to see him! As long as Goten is sick I have to be there for him!"
"He'll be fine. Goku is probably there right now. Besides, you can't just skip class."
"Yes I can! You and Goten do it all the time." Marron protested. He could see the desperation on her face.
"Tch..." Trunks groaned. She was right. "Look, we'll go later. Both of us. I promise."
Marron nodded and sat down. "But.. what if Goten... what if he gets hypontised? Or seduced into doing her bidding forever?! Now that-"
Trunks clonked Marron on the head before she started going off again.
"Oww! Jerk! Why'd you hit me?!" Marron whined.
"I'm in no mood for your silly tangents." Trunks smiled while Marron sighed as she knew he was right. "I get you're jealous, really I do, but you gotta accept it. Goten is happy with her."
"I know, okay!?" Marron's voice cracked. "It's just really hard..."
"You really should try to be friends with Rias. She's a nice girl! It even took Goten and I a while to realize that. Plus, you two have a lot more in common than you think. Fighting won't get you anywhere, and I know Goten wouldn't want to choose between the two of you if it came down to it." Trunks understood where she was coming from. It must have been hell watching the one you loved for almost eight years be with someone else. He wanted to help somehow, when he remembered something.
"I would never make him choose. I know he wouldn't." Marron faintly smiled.
"Goten told me that while they were training in the Underworld, Rias and Akeno made a truce. They used to fight all the time like you and her do now." Trunks said.
"Really? They'd fight over him? How?" Marron asked.
"For sure. Akeno would flirt with Goten purpose to rile Rias up. Apparently one time they got so heated they started firing magic blasts at one another until Goten literally jumped in the middle and stopped it. They've calmed down since then, and now from what I was told they pretty much agreed to share."
"S-S-SHARE?!" Marron yelled, but it came out almost like a squeak as her face turned as pink as the twin ribbons in her hair. "T-T-That's too perverted! I-I couldn't do that! Wh-What kind of girl do you think I am?!"
"Marron, cut the crap, you and I both know you're a closet pervert." Trunks smirked a bit.
"I AM NOT!" Marron screeched.
"Oh yeah? Remember the beach? You were practically drooling. I bet if you tried to ride the Nimbus you'd fall right through." Trunks said as he narrowed his eyes mischievously.
"If Goten can still ride it after doing all those... lewd things, then so could I!"
"In all honesty, I doubt Goten can either, those two totally corrupted him. He said so himself." Trunks joked, but then backed up when he saw Marron's expression. "Look, I dunno what you think they did, but they haven't gotten that far yet. Goten woulda told me. Just consider asking Rias for a truce. A ceasefire. Even temporarily."
"...Alright. But if-" Marron started, but then her voice trailed off. It was useless. Marron knew that she really was the one at fault, Rias was just defending herself. She started to feel bad for the things she said to her. "Ok. You're right."
Trunks yawned and laid down on the grass under the tree. "Finally..."
Just then, a shaodw blocked Trunks' sun.
"H-Hey, what gives?" He sat up, squnting.
"Excuse me. Are you the one named Trunks?"
An unknown, feminine-sounding voice said. A pretty black-haired girl stood in front of them, wearing a uniform from an all-girls school down the street from Kuoh Academy.
"Umm, yeah?" Trunks asked in slight confusion. "Something about her seems familar."
"Who's this chick? Someone you know?" Marron asked.
Trunks shook his head. "Nope. She sees to know Goten though."
Marron pouted. "Just how many pretty girls does Goten know? He's a deviant! A big pervert!" She said while blushing.
"You may not know me, but my name is Raynare. You must be his best friend, if I recall." She smiled gently.
"...Raynare?" Trunks said before he held his chin in thought. "Oh yeah, I remember! Goten told me about what happened with Issei and Asia. He eyed the girl carefully, honestly prepared for an attack, but her energy seemed completely pure. "I see things are much different since then."
"Yes, it is something that I have deeply regreted from the moment Son Goten spared my life." Raynare said in remorsely. as she looked down on the ground before she looked at Trunks and smiled gently. "But that's the reason why I'm here. I wanted to see him again, so I can-"
"Alright, paws off sister! He already has three girlfriends, he doesn't need you as a fourth!" Marron exclaimed in frustration. Another pretty girl was the last thing he needed right now!
"He can have his stupid harem! I didn't come here for that!" Raynare shot back, hiding a blush while crossing her arms. She then gasped and quickly composed herself a bit and turned to Trunks. "I simply want to thank him for sparing my life that day. Not many people would have given me the same courtesy, considering the person that I was back then."
"Goten and his family do have a knack for sparing their opponents, but I'm sure he must have told you that."
"Yes, he did." Raynare smiled gently as she glanced down to her feet, recalling that day before she looked at Trunks again. "But I still want to thank him in person. Can you tell me where he is now?"
Trunks and Marron the glanced at each other silently, not knowing how to respond.
"He's not here. He's..." Trunks began, not sure how to explain to the fallen angel. Sure, she was Goten's one-time enemy, but the more he thought about it, pretty much all of Goku's allies were once his enemies. Including Trunks' own father. He figured he'd give the girl the benefit of the doubt.
"At the hosptial." Marron finished.
"Oh my! What happened to him?" Raynare exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hand. She never would've guessed someone as strong as him could get beaten so badly.
"Let's just say that Goten was in a brutal battle. And since there's no Senzu Beans left, he's recovering there. Who knows when he will wake up."
"I'm… truly sorry to hear that." Raynare said before she smiled gently. "Well, I guess I'll thank him another time. Could I ask you for one more favor?"
"No I won't give you his phone number!" Marron exclaimed and then Trunks bonked her on the head again. "Owww!"
"Ignore her, please." Trunks said, chuckling.
Raynare giggled in reply. "I'd like to see Rias Gremory. I owe her and her household my apologies to her for what I tried to do to Asia and Issei. I want to make amends. I've spent months rebuilding my life after what Son Goten said to me."
"You want to see Rias?" Trunks said.
"I won't be staying there for long. I would go myself, but I think they might kill me on the spot." Raynare said, nervously scratching her cheek.
"Fair enough. But I gotta warn ya, Rias has been pretty on edge these past few days. This whole hospital fiasco is really affecting her. Anyway, meet us at this spot once classes are over." Trunks smiled.
"Very well. See you later then." Raynare bowed and then left. She smiled to herself, thinking that Son Goten really had nice friends. They were definitely protective of each other. She admired that.
"...That was weird." Trunks said.
"Are you seriously trusting her? For all you know, she could find Goten and try to kill him!" Marron exclaimed in frustration. "Or maybe she's an actual succubus! That's what fallen angels do right?!"
"You seriously have a wild imagination. I didn't sense an ounce of evil intent from her, so I doubt something like that would happen. Besides, even if she were to try that, we would sense her energy spike beforehand and Goku would be there the same instant."
"Man, you're just as gullible as Goten." Marron said as she pouted and folded her arms. "As soon as you boys see a pretty girl you turn into butter!"
Trunks rolled his eyes and sighed. At least he had a sense of normalcy with Marron around.
A few minutes later, Raynare teleported on a rooftop near the hospital building. It took her a while to find the room where Goten was placed after she surveyed one floor after another, room by room, but eventually she found him and teleported to the said room. When she materialized inside, she was slightly shocked to find him in a crippled state, all covered in bandages and the sounds of medical machines keeping his health condition in check.
It pained the fallen angel to see him like this. She slowly approached the young warrior until she stood next to his left. Raynare smiled gently as she remembered that moment when Goten held his hand out to help her to her feet and said the words that surged through her heart like a wind blowing on her skin.
"I guess Dark Angels aren't so bad after all."
Raynare's cheeks turned a faint pink. Those words and his bright smile stayed with her ever since. Raynare smiled gently before she started to caress his black hair. "You saw good in me, when nobody else did. You gave me a second chance at life. I wish you fast recovery Goten. So I may give you a proper gratitude." She said, smiling at that last bit.
With nothing left to say, at least for now, she took a few steps back.
However, unknown to Raynare, as she went to leave, Piccolo observed the whole thing silently from outside the window with an everpresent, stern look on his face. He kept an eye young Saiyan at all times in a similar fashion like he did with Gohan since he was but a small child. He found that girl to be oddly suspicious. The Namekian decided to keep a better eye on the boy while he slept, just in case. And when things got better, he planned on investigating the mysterious girl as well.
Later, after classs that same day...
Rias and the others were just idling around. She had temporaily halted devil activities, as the group agreed they were in no state of mind or mood to be doing so.
Issei had brought a mini television and hooked up a video game console for him and the others to play. This was Ravel's first time playing a video game and she was so excited. She loved living in the human world. Xenovia and Irina were doing homework together, meanwhile Rias and Akeno were looking at some paperwork on the table. While they were each doing their thing, they heard the double doors opening, which drew their attention.
"Hey Trunks, what's up man?" Issei called out. "Oh, Marron too!"
"Hey girl!" Akeno waved to her friend. Marron cutely waved to the group with both hands. Rias pouted and looked the other way with a cute 'hmph.'
"This is a surprise. What brings you guys here?" Kiba asked.
"Welllll..." Trunks began hesitantly, "someone wanted to talk to you guys." He stood aside to reveal Raynare.
All of the devils gasped slightly in surprise and horror. Irina and Ravel just looked confused.
"What the… d-dont tell me!" Issei exclaimed in shock. It was like a seeing a ghost.
Rias' tolerance levels was basically zero after the Rating Game. Both her and Akeno charged their respective attacks, ready to fire. After trusting Diodora when she shouldn't have, Rias wasn't about to make another mistake like that. Coming face to face with the one who hurt her precious Asia was enough to drive Rias over the edge.
"State your business right now, Fallen Angel! Did you put them under some kind of mind control?!" Rias asked angrily.
Akeno charged electricity in her hands. "My my, back for more, eh? I'm not as merciful as my Goten is." She spat, licking her lips.
"Whoa whoa whoa, easy there girls!" Trunks said as he waved his hands in front of him to try to calm them down. He knew this was a bad idea! "She's just here to talk! Honestly!"
"Yeah! Chill!" Marron exclaimed. "Are your boobs so inhumanly large they made your brain smaller?! We're not hypnotized!"
Trunks had to cover his mouth to prevent himself from laughing out loud.
Rias and Akeno glanced at each other in slight bewilderment, but after that moment they realized their mistake and lowered their hands, apologizing for jumping to such a conclusion which made Trunks sigh in relief. Goten was always easier at this stuff than he was..
"Trunks, you do know who this is, right?" Issei asked. A whilrwind of emotions blew within him. He didn't know what to think right now.
"Yes I know, Goten told me the whole thing. But you're alive now, right?" He said like it was a normal thing to get revived from the dead. He was too jaded since pretty much everyone he knew, himself included, was killed and brought back to life at least once.
Issei went to retort but said nothing. Asia held his hand comfortingly and the boy smiled.
"I can sense her energy, it's pure. No evil intent whatsoever. I wouldn't have brought her here if she did." Trunks said and Marron nodded in agreeement. She wasn't an expert at energy sensing, but she could differentiate evil from good ki rather easily. Raynare smiled to herself at that.
"That sounds familar, doesn't it, Rias?" Akeno said, smiling down at her friend.
"...There's nothing I have to say to that woman." Rias said after a moment. Deep down she knew Trunks and Akeno were right. This was a lot like her first few encounters with Trunks and Goten when they first started at Kuoh.
Kiba and Koneko kept glaring at her. Xenovia, Irina, and Ravel only heard stories but knew enough.
Raynare wasn't surprised by their reactions. In fact this was exactly what she expected. Which was why she wanted for Trunks to go with her to calm them down, at least enough for them to hear her out. Had it not been for him (and not for Goten back then) she would have been obliterated ten times over. Raynare's crimes haunted her. For months she wanted to make amends but was too afraid. Now that she finally mustered up the courage, she just hoped it would be enough.
"From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to all of you. I want to make amends... At the time, was blinded by my arrogance and thirst for power and recognition by the higher ups of the fallen angel society. I was a fool. I know words aren't much to compare to what I did to you, and I don't expect forgiveness, I just wanted to convey how sorry I am for my actions. I should have died that day. But Son Goten... he spared my life when I didn't deserve it. I-"
"I think you should be saying all that to Issei. He's the one you hurt." Rias flatly said, glancing to her Pawn. She could already picture her Goten's reaction if he was here. He would've welcomed her with open arms. A few months ago she wouldn't have been so kind. He definitely changed her for the better.
When Raynare looked at the boy, she noticed that Issei was practically shaking. He clenched his fists and lowered his head away from everyone. Asia comforted him, glancing between Issei and Raynare. Those kind emerald eyes of hers could melt even the darkest hearts. It made Raynare overcome with regret all over again. How could she possibly want to hurt someone so gentle? In her time on Earth as a human, she made friends. Friends like Asia. And she couldn't fathom hurting them. As a Fallen Angel, she didn't have friends. She did things for purely selfish reasons. Even her comrades were just a means to an end at the time. She had learned what Rias had done to them. She knew that she would have suffered the same fate if Rias had been there instead of Son Goten. Thank the gods of every single mythology that it was Goten himself who was the judge and jury, but not the executioner.
"Issei. I know what I did to you back then was more than cruel." Raynare said. "I'm sure that you've had a strong desire to kill me, so... if it means atoning for what I did... I... I'll allow you to do just that..." Raynare delcared and closed her eyes. It almost seemed like a trick, but they heard the fear in her voice and how her body shivered slightly. She was being geniune.
"What?" Issei said, shocked by her words. "You're serious?"
Thoughts screamed at him in his mind.
"She killed you."
"She threw you aside like trash."
"She put you down and mocked you as if you were a street dog."
Issei violently shook off the voices in his head. That was not him. He wasn't like that. Issei started to slowly walk towards his ex-girlfriend, prompting Raynare to look up and saw that he now stood in front of her. She flinched, and then gasped when she saw him cracking a smile. "Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt you or anything. I... I forgive you."
"You.. you what?" Raynare said, at a loss for words.
"It took a long time for me to move on. A really long time. For months I thought I could never have a real girlfriend because I thought they'd just kill me the first chance they got. But I had Asia by my side." He turned to the former nun and smiled. Asia smiled with relief as she hugged his arm tenderly, happy that he made the right call. "I love Asia and want to protect her with everything I had. Having her in my life changed my whole outlook." Asia found herself intensely blushing at the declaration of love as the others watched on in awe. Issei really had matured. "I quit peeping on girls. I even quit using Dress Break. I wanted to become a better person for Asia's sake."
"Liar." Koneko said flatly and continued drinking tea.
"I'm not lying!" Issei shouted back at her before turning to his former enemy and chuckled. "In a way, as strange as it sounds, I should almost thank you for killing me back then. If that didn't happen, I never would have meet Rias and the others. I basically never would have been become a friend to probably the best group of people in the world. I've been become a fighter like I always dreamed. I learned things I never would've thought were possible otherwise thanks to knowing Goten. Just like he said, everyone deserves a second chance, right? You deserve yours too."
Raynare put a hand over her mouth and looked like she was about to cry. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
The rest of the devils were admittedly shocked, but soon all grinned. Goten really did rub off on them all. They turned to Raynare who was tearing up, as she bowed again and again while thanking the ORC. Maybe some day, she could be friends with them too.
"I've started to go to school down the street. Should you ever need extra firepower in a battle, come find me there. I'd gladly be of assistance to you."
"Sure. Stop by when my Goten is around. He'd be happy to see you." Rias said.
Raynare beamed, finally feeling weight off of her shoulders that she carried with her for so long. She bowed, thanking Trunks, Marron and the ORC one last time before leaving. The fallen angel could tell just by how Rias spoke of Son Goten that they had a very close relationship.
The devils all praised Issei for doing the right thing. Even Rias could see Raynare had become a good person.
Akeno then turned to Trunks and Marron. "Stay for a bit, guys! Unwind a bit. I'm sure you're stressed after everything thats been going on too."
"Well first, there is another reason we came here. I think Marron has something to tell you." Trunks smiled a bit.
"N-No I don't!" Marron stammered, crossing her arms and turning away while blushing.
"Come on! Tsundere hour is over." Trunks groaned. Some of the others chuckled.
"Ugh! Fine!" The blonde sighed and went over to Rias' desk. Her and Akeno exchanged a look while the others were confused Marron composed herself and turned to the redhead. "Look, I-I... I'm sorry for always starting problems with you. I know how much Goten loves you, and I don't want to be the one to come between that. And if he's happy, I'm happy. But that doesn't I'd just give up! So, I'd... like to make a truce! Marron sad, pouting a bit.
Rias stared up at the blonde in surprise. "Are you serious?"
Rias touched her chin to think. "Well, you do have a point..."
"Now we can team up against her!" Akeno high-fived her younger friend and Marron giggled in reply.
"Even both of you together couldn't win against me. As soon as Goten gets healed I'm taking him for myself." Rias declared.
"Oh yeah!?" Marron said.
"Truce or not, both of you will lose to me~ One look at my breasts and Goten will be mine." Akeno replied.
"Mine are bigger!"
"Mine are softer!"
"Bigger isn't always better!"
"But in this case, it is."
Rias, Akeno and Marron all started bickering yet again.
Trunks sighed. Is that what Goten had to deal with on a daily basis? "Uhh, girls, I thought this was supposed to be a truce."
The three girls all blushed as they realized they were in front of all the others and not in private.
"A truce it is!" The three said together and all shook hands.
"Let's see how long this lasts." Trunks whispered to Issei and Kiba and they all laughed.
Eight days passed since the Rating Game...
Goten's condition had greatly improved, but he still hadn't woken up. The doctors said it was a miracle that he had come this far in only seven days. Little did they know that Saiyans healed much faster than humans. Goten was now just in a deep sleep, sometimes grunting or flinching in pain out of nowhere.
Trunks had called out of sick from school again. He hated being there as it was, and without his only true friend there (besides Marron) he felt absolutely zero motivation to go. Bulma understood though. Besides, he had A's in all of his classes and it would take no time at all to catch up. Since his motivation to train was also currently dead, he felt obligated to 'keep watch' of his best friend just in case he woke up.
Marron had excused herself at lunch time for a "family emergency" and took the rest of the day to spend with the boys. It broke her heart into a million pieces, seeing the kindest and most selfless person she ever knew look so broken and helpless lying in that bed. She talked to him for hours, not expecting a response but just babbled on anyway about her day. She talked about anything and everything, like her classes or cheerleading or whatever else. Goten was normally always happy to hear that stuff. She got butterflies when she heard about the surprise he had planned for her. It only strengthened her love for him, never wavering once through the years, despite her recent rivalry with a certain redhead.
Trunks sat on the other chair on the opposite side of the bed, balancing himself on the back legs. He glanced to his still motionless friend. Goten was in much better shape compared to a week ago, thankfully, something that was revealed when some of the bandages have been removed. And he could breathe fine on his own now. He was still wounded, but the speed of healing was shocking for every doctor in the building. Trunks knew though.
Marron hadn't taken her eyes off of him for hours. Sometimes she would put a wet rag on his forehead to stop the sweating, and other times she just held his hand and gently ran her hands through his hair. She didn't know what else to do.
"...Do you think he can hear us?" Marron finally spoke up after a long time of silence.
"Maybe, I dunno. You're loud enough that you might wake him up." Trunks shrugged with a smirk.
"Very funny. Yes or no?" Marron said rather sharply. She wasn't in the mood for one of his smart-ass remarks.
"Marron, Goten's been unconscious for over a week. I don't know, okay? I'm gonna say no, but with him I wouldn't be surprised if he heard everything you've said to him these past few days."
Marron took a deep breath. "Then I guess I'll say it now."
"The thing I've been too afraid to say for much too long now. Everything I've wanted to say for years." Marron said. She e, something that Trunks noticed as he nodded with a light grin. He had a feeling this would come out sooner rather than later.
"Want me to give you some privacy?" Trunks said, while Marron shook her head.
"No, you already know anyway, right? I'm sure you've had it figured out for years now. All things considered, you being here would make it easier." Marron smiled gently.
The half-Saiyan shrugged and went back to balancing on the chair. "Go ahead."
Marron very gently took Goten's bandaged hand in hers and stared at his face, finally seeming like he was calm after so long.
"Okay Goten if you're listening y-you'd better get everything! B-Because this is really hard, okay?!" She said and then took a deep breath and exhaled.
"Goten... I.. I love you. I love you so much. Ever since we were little kids. I don't know when it exactly it started, but one day I just knew. You were so naive back then. We both were. I still had no idea what these emotions meant. I just knew that being around you made me so happy. I wanted to tell you so for long, but I could never get the courage. I was afraid. You're my best friend in the whole wide world, Goten. Everything is just so... easy when I'm with you. You mean everything- everything to me. I didn't want to jeopardize our friendship because of my selfish feelings. If you didn't feel the same way, and it ruined our friendship, I... I couldn't live with myself. So I just kept them to myself. I just wanted to keep supporting you the best way I could, but seeing you with Rias was harder than I ever thought it'd be. I got carried away, and for that I'm so sorry. And when you wake up- whatever happens between us, I'll be by your side. I'll always support you. I know you have Akeno Rias now, and I'm... I'm sorry for coming between you, Goten. I hope you don't hate me..."
Marron smiled through her tears and gently kissed Goten on the forehead, staying there for a long moment.
Trunks noticed Goten's hand twitch ever so slightly at the touch, but Marron was too preoccupied in her emotions to notice.
"I love you, Goten. I hafta go, but I'll come visit, tomorrow, okay?" She repeated, finally feeling the weight off her shoulders. It felt good to say it out loud after so long. She wanted to say it again.
The blonde took one last look at her lifelong friend and crush before leaving.
Once the coast was clear, Trunks looked back to Goten and smirked.
There was no response for a moment, but then Trunks smiled harder when he heard Goten groan and slowly open his eyes. It was blurry at first but his vision began to focus. He saw Trunks smiling at him. His whole body felt numb.
"Am I dead?" Goten said, glancing around the dreary gray room. His voice was barely audible.
"Nah man. You're alive." Trunks replied.
"I can't feel anything..."
"They pumped you with so much pain-killers I'm surprised you're even coherent right now." Trunks smirked, trying to lighten the mood a bit.
"...What the hell happened to me?"
"Long story. You don't remember?"
"Nah... It's all a blur from the moment I went into that place..." He trailed off for a second then spoke again. "Where am I?" Goten said. He found it hard as hell to talk, and even harder to move, but he used all the might he had to do so.
"You're in the hospital. You've been out for over a week." Trunks frowned.
"What? A week?! What about the Senzu?"
"All out. We had a... predicament."
"...Predicament, huh? I see..." Goten coughed and fought off some of the hoarseness in his throat, regaining his voice somewhat. It wasn't hard to put the pieces together. "How did I end up like this?"
"...I think it's best we wait for Gohan and your dad to come back. They had to take Pan home, but they'll be right back." Trunks said.
A silence fell between the two for a moment. Trunks could see Goten's brain working, trying to remember what happened.
"Was it that bad?" Goten said, almost remorsefully. He felt like he did something really, really bad for some reason.
Trunks said nothing. He didn't have the heart to tell him he went berserk.
Goten then audibly gasped and his whole face went blue. Something came back to him and his heart fell deep into his stomach. "Akeno... She's... she's really gone...?"
"Akeno is fine. Your dad and Supreme Kai saved her from the Dead Zone just in time." Trunks said, making Goten audibly sigh with relief.
"How about Rias? And the others?"
"They're all okay. Rias has been here every day. I think she even slept here a few times. Akeno came with the others yesterday." Trunks smiled.
The pretty face of his girlfriend came to mind. Rias Gremory. He loved her so much, and fear filled his whole being that he could have harmed her. And then there was Akeno. There was so much unsaid between the two of them. He wanted to tell her how much he loved her. He recalled her last words to him before she vanished, seemingly forever. He felt terrible that he didn't do enough to save her.
"...Have you not left this whole time?"
"Nah, just been here most of today. Wasn't feeling school, so I said fuck it and came here." Trunks shrugged.
"That sounds just like you." Goten chuckled. He then looked down at his bandaged hands seated in his lap again. The fear and anguish of that blank in his memory was terrifying. Possibilities of what he could have done-and not being able to remember swirled uncontrollably in his mind and no matter he did to fight the thoughts off, more came.
"So, by the way, how much of Marron's little speech earlier did you hear?" Trunks asked, raising an eyebrow.
"...Pretty much all of it." Goten sighed. He tried to sit up, but even just moving slightly felt like ten-thousand needles shooting up and down and grimaced from the pain. "Mar is in love with me? Like for real?"
"Took you long enough."
"Goten, literally everyone knew. I've known since we were like ten."
"Well thanks for cluing me in."
He was still confused about having feelings for two girls, and now Marron's confession threw him for yet another loop. Feelings that he thought were long since buried- feelings that he forgotten about until these past few weeks came rushing back to the surface rather suddenly as all his senses continued kicking back into high gear.
"Hey, it'll be okay man. Believe it or not, Rias and Marron made a truce." Trunks smiled.
"A truce? Those two? Ha! I'll believe that when I see it for myself!"
Just then, there was a small knock at the door. It squeaked open and wild palm-tree hair stuck through, which was none other than Goku.
"Hey, Trunks. How's- G-Goten! You're awake!" Goku said in immense joy.
Gohan's voice came from outside. The older Son brother appeared from behind his father and the man's face lit up. The happiness and relief colored both of the Son men's faces.
"Hey!" Goten tried to mimic his usual greeting but then flinched from a sharp pain in his arm. Goku smiled and eased him back down.
"How're you feeling?" Gohan asked, now standing at Goten's side.
"Like the Lookout fell on top of me." Goten groaned a bit. "Why do I have to look like a mummy?"
"If you have the strength to make a comment like that, you're definitely okay." Trunks laughed.
Goten chuckled and then flinched again. "It hurts to laugh..."
"Try not to move, kiddo. You're still too weak. Ya know, I was stuck looking like this too after the fight with Vegeta. Krillin said I looked like a mummy back then too." Goku grinned, lightening the mood a bit as Goten grinned. "I think getting the needles were worse than the actual injuries."
"You should heard him Goten, Dad was screaming for his life. Mom was so embarrassed she walked out of the room." Gohan added.
All four Saiyans got a laugh out of that.
Goten looked down after a moment and then back up to his father, his eyes pleading. "Can someone please tell me what happened? I'm drawing blanks and it's... it's freaking me out! I...I need to know what I did." His voice was cracking from the fear of the unknown. "All of it."
Goku frowned. As ugly as the truth may be, it was necessary for him to know. "Alright. I'll tell you. But first, I need to assure you that what happened was not your fault, okay?" Goku said seriously. Goten nodded, but it wasn't very convincing.
And so Goku explained what happened, with Trunks filling in the blanks for the parts Goku was absent from. Goten had to listen in horror as they explained that he not only attacked his family and friends, but the one person he loved above all. It destroyed him inside when he pictured Rias' heartbroken face. If Goku and Piccolo had arrived another second or two later... she would have... No. He refused to even think about that possibility.
"You mean I... I almost..."
"The important part is that you didn't. The past is in the past. Rias is crazy about you Goten, her eyes light up whenever she talks about you. Just focus on healing, okay?" Goku said seriously as he grabbed his son's shoulder as gently as he could. "Don't be so hard on yourself."
"Yeah... Got it." Goten smiled back. It made him a little feel better, truly, though he wasn't sure what to say to her when he finally did see her again.
"I'll be right back. I'm gonna let Mom know." Gohan said, heading for the door.
"No Gohan, you stay here. I'll use Instant Transmission and get her." Goku said and vanished.
When Goku returned with Chi-Chi a moment later she instantly burst into tears of joy and hugged him desperately. Chi-Chi was fussing over her son like he was a baby. Goten groaned and protested while the others laughed.
For the first time in over a week, the Son family felt complete once again.
A few hours passed since then.
Rias walked through the same halls of West City hospital, like she had been for the past eight days. She never really liked hospitals, but for her Goten she would do anything. The heels from her shoes clacked on the dull white tile floor, as she passed the same hallways as before. Rias had memorized where his room was by now. Goten's room was on the 5th floor, room 510. How fitting, she thought to herself. She started humming happily to herself as she got closer to Goten's door, when she heard voices coming from inside.
Rias heart soared and picked up her pace. When she got to the door, she stood there for what felt like an eternity. In reality it was only about ten seconds, but her heart was pounding so loudly she barely could hear herself think. Finally, Rias found the courage to knock.
"Come in!" Goku's cheery voice came from the other side.
Rias expected to walk in the dull gray room and see her Goten lying motionless like he always was.
What she didn't expect was to see a young boy sitting up in bed, laughing. He was still completely wrapped in bandages but very much awake. And the kind look once again in his eyes as his gaze met hers.
Rias dropped her purse onto the ground and gasped, holding a hand over her mouth. Was this real? Or was this just another dream?
"Hey." He said weakly, but his signature warm smile curled across his face. She looked gorgeous. As always. Rias practically jumped across the room to hug him.
"It's great to see you too-owwww!" Goten flinched at the tight hug that Rias gave him. He was still really sore. The redhead instantly jumped back and started apologizing again and again. Goten smiled and raised a weak hand to touch her cheek. "I'm so sorry, babe. I never meant to-."
Rias shook her head cut her beloved off her a gentle kiss. It almost felt like her first kiss all over again. It was amazing. Seeing Goten back to his old self made her heart soar to new heights. Once they parted, she touched his cheek and smiled. "You don't have to apologize for anything, my darling. You didn't do anything wrong." She said and kissed him again. "I love you so much."
"I love you too." Goten smiled sincerely and kissed her again.
"Normally I'd feel like I'm about to barf watching you two act all gross, but for once this is actually really sweet." Trunks teased.
"What, jealous much?" Goten smirked a bit. "It's not my fault Tsubaki isn't as forward as Rias is."
"Okay, that was too far." Trunks groaned as Goten grinned. Trunks soon smiled too.
Rias pinched Goten's cheek, pouting. Five minutes and he was already making fun of her! Things were already getting back to normal. Well she'd teach him!
"Stupid Goten, don't say embarrassing things..."
"Owww! Why are ya pinchin' me?! I just woke up and I'm still injured..." Goten whined.
Rias giggled and kissed him repeatedly instead. She wouldn't have it any other way. She was so happy.
Marron made her way to Goten's room, just like she did the previous week. Her mind was still racing from her confession yesterday.
She noticed the door was cracked. Odd, she thought.
Marron poked her head in to see the bed was empty. The covers were thrown about and multiple torn bandages laid on the ground. She almost screamed.
The blonde frantically searched around. "There's no way he could've just got up and walked out! Just yesterday he was still unconscious!"
Then, Marron picked up on a familiar energy signal coming from above her. "It... it can't be... the roof?!"
Marron rushed to the elevator as fast as she could. She took it to the top floor and then found the stairs that led up the roof. She flung open the door to see the young Saiyan in a hospital gown gazing out into the city.
"Goten...?" Marron said, her voice shaky and barely audible. She was ready to scream and yell at him for being so careless, but as soon as she saw him she melted and could barely speak.
Goten turned around and saw her standing there and smiled. "What's up?"
Marron rushed over to him and hugged him. Goten flinched but found it didn't hurt as much as yesterday. "You idiot. I was so scared! I thought you'd never wake up!" Marron cried into his hospital gown, ever-so-lightly hitting his chest with her fists as he hugged her. "What're you doing out here, huh? What if you fell and get hurt again when nobody was around!? Then what? Idiot Goten!"
"Sorry, Mar. Good to see you too." Goten chuckled. He knew Marron well enough. This was her own way of saying how much she cared. It was honestly really cute. "I just needed some fresh air. I've had a lot on my mind..." He said, glancing down at her.
Marron's whole face suddenly turned bright red. "Could he be... Does he know? Did he hear me?!" She looked around, anywhere but at him. If she looked at him right now she might legitimately burst. This was too embarrassing! He wasn't supposed to hear her confession! That's why she said it! Damn Trunks. Always had to be right...
"I heard what you said to me yesterday."
"You weren't supposed to hear it!" She shouted.
"Don't... I can't." Marron choked out the words as she buried her face into his chest. She already knew what was coming.
Goten smiled down at her nd gently pushed a strand of hair away from her face. "I feel the same way."
"...W-What?" She said. Did she hear him right? "You do?" Her voice was a tiny whisper. "Goten I swear if this is a joke I'll..."
He kissed the blonde's forehead and Marron almost melted on the spot. "You've been my best friend for as long as I can remember, Mar. When we were younger, I had feelings for you that I didn't even know what they were at the time. But I felt like if anything did happen, I'd screw up somehow and you'd end up hating me and we'd stop being friends. So I buried them. I buried those feelings so deep I legitimately forgot I had them. But they never really went away. And when I saw you again after all those months looking so pretty in that new dress, those feelings started rushing back. But I already had Rias, so I didn't know what to do, and then there was my feeling for Akeno too... It was really confusing for me, ya know? You were my first crush, yet I felt like I was betraying them somehow. And betraying you too. I'm so sorry I put you through all of that. I can't imagine what that must have been like for you. I love you. I always have."
Marron blinked away tears and gently kissed her lifelong crush with everything she had. A hospital roof wasn't the most romantic first kiss, but she didn't care. "I love you too."
"By the way, the girls and I made a truce. We agreed to share~" Marron winked, kissing him on the cheek. "But having alone time like this is good too~"
"Oh, so your friends now?" Goten asked and Marron nodded. He chuckled and hugged her, making Marron blush. "So Trunks was serious after all! I never thought I'd see the day you'd swallow your pride like that."
Marron pouted. If he wasn't still injured she'd let him have it. "For your information mister, it wasn't that difficult! Rias, Akeno, and I just all agreed that we'd team up out of our mutual love for you. And no matter what happens we don't want you to feel like you have to choose or that you're hurting one of us. Rias said herself she's okay with it."
"Sounds like her."
Marron giggled and kissed him again. "Now back to bed. Right now!"
"Come onnn, this is much nicer! I wanna get outta this stupid place! We can sneak off on the Nimbus and nobody will know!" Goten exclaimed.
"Not a chance, mister." Marron flipped her hair behind her back. She tried to act tough, but as cute as she was, it only made him laugh. "You can still barely walk, you dork. If you get hurt again then I won't visit you anymore!"
"Oh come on, don't be like that! Besides, you can nurse me back to health if that happens!" Goten grinned and Marron's cheeks turned bright pink at the thought of it.
"...Okay, fine! But I get to sit on your lap!" Marron said while blushing, averting her gaze from him.
Just then they heard a loud whoosh behind them. "Ah-ha! I knew it." A voice said from behind them.
Goten and Marron whirled around to see Goku standing there.
Marron and Goten said respectively.
"Don't even think about it." Goku grinned. "You should be in bed. I tried the same thing when I was in your shoes and it never ended well. Your mom had to come look for me and drag me back!" He said, laughing.
Goten sighed and went back with his father while Marron happily helped him.
And so, with Marron now officially the third girlfriend, the blonde no longer felt emotionally constrained. Goten was glad that she brought those feelings in the open. Now they could move forward together: all four of them. He just hoped their truce was for real.
Currently Marron was pushing Goten in a wheelchair as they both ate some ice cream.
She had to feed him because, well, she wanted to. And Goten definitely didn't protest. The wheelchair was a punishment from doctors because Goten kept trying to sneak out against the doctor's orders. Marron like playing nurse with him though.
Above the two, Rias and Akeno sat on top of the wall watching them, with Rias having a slightly jealous look while Akeno was giggling.
"Getting a little jealous, aren't we, Rias?" Akeno smiled, kicking her feet.
"No, I'm not." Rias puffed her cheeks. She was in denial. Sure, they made a truce, but she still wanted to be the one to feed him ice cream! "How about you? I'm surprised you haven't gone down there to jump on him like you always do. In his weakened state you could probably do whatever you wanted and he'd let you."
"Where's the fun in that? Besides, I want our first time to be special~" Akeno giggled cutely.
"It doesn't matter what you two have in store for him. All that matters to me is that my Goten is alive and well." Rias smiled blissfully.
"Yes. Me too."
The next day, Rias and Akeno came together to visit their favorite Saiyan. The Son home wasn't the same without him there. They walked in to see him sitting up in bed, staring down at his lap with a conflicted look in his eyes. He looked up and gave them both a half-hearted smile. His mind started to wander again and started going back to that day.
The girls wordlessly looked at one another and then went over to their beloved, both hugging and kissing him while telling them how much he meant to them and had nothing to be sorry for.
"Please don't be upset, sweetheart..." Akeno said. "I don't want you to blame yourself."
"We love you so, so much. The day I first saw you with that cute grin of yours changed my life forever. I wouldn't change a single thing, Goten.
Even though he couldn't voice it out, their loving words meant to him more than he even himself realized.
"I love you both so much. I want to be with you both forever." He said. Rias and Akeno both blushed, swooning from the indirect marriage proposals and they took turns smooching him over and over.
Finally, he began to truly feel better.
For the next two hours, the girls cuddled with Goten in his bed and had an intimate chat about everything on the outside world. Goten felt like a hermit being cooped up all the time. Even though he'd text the girls all the time (and they'd send him sexy pictures of themselves whenever they could) it still felt nice to have two of the girls he loved most with him.
After what seemed like a whole day of staying there with him, the door opened and Goku came in. "Oh, sorry guys. Am I interrupting?"
"Oh hey Dad. You're fine. Girls, do you mind if I have a word with my father alone for a bit?"
Rias and Akeno exchanged worried gazes before nodding. They each kissed him on the cheek before leaving the room. They considered snooping, but new that wouldn't be right and instead decided to go to the food court for a meal.
"What's the problem, Goten?"
"I didn't say it in front of the girls because I didn't want them to worry, but... I don't know if I want to fight anymore. Or at least take a break."
"What?! Why not?"
Goten sighed. "I really do enjoy it, but if I just don't fight then I can avoid losing control like that. What if I keep geting stronger and then it happens again? What if you aren't able to stop me next time?"
"There won't be a next time, Goten."
"But nothing. I don't know where you got it in your head that there's something wrong with you, because there's not! You're an amazing fighter. I know you're scared, but I'll be here with you every step of the way to help you regain your confidence and get control of your strength. I think the best thing for you right now is to try imagine training.
Goten raised an eyebrow to look up at his dad. "Image training? What's that?"
"It's kind of like mind training. You meditate and link your mind up with someone else by telepathy. Then you fight in your mind as if it was a real battle."
Goten stared down at his hands in silence for a long moment and clenched his fists. "Alright. I'll give it a shot."
When th girls return about twenty minutes later, they saw Goten and Goku in deep thought. Both sat with their legs crossed and arms folded, looking serious to the point where the two older girls could feel the intesnity of their energies radiating from their bodies. But yet they kept it completely contained.
"Just what are they doing?" Akeno asked.
"I've got no clue..."
After watching them for a bit, Goten sat back, out of breath. "That was close... That one move was cool!"
"You didn't even see my secret technique!"
"Secret technique? Can I see it?!"
"Then it wouldn't be a secret."
"No fair. Next time- oh, hey girls!" Goten said, lighting up at the sight of his two girlfriends.
Rias smiled. "Hey sweetie~"
"Someone's looking chipper!" Akeno said.
Goten smiled. "Yeah! My dad taught me image training, and it really brought me out of a rut. You girls talking with me before really helped too."
"I'm so glad~" Rias said and kissed his cheek. Akeno followed and did the same. Goten just grinned widely as the girls giggled.
And so, in the days that followed, Goten would do just that as he practiced image training with Goku. Trunks or Gohan would do image training with him too when they would visit. Goten figured since he wasn't going anywhere, he might as well do something productive until it was time to leave that boring hospital.
A few more days passed. Goten spent the rest of the time bonding with his girlfriends. He was almost getting used to it. But he couldn't wait to go home.
Then, the day finally came for Goten's release. It was mid afternoon.
The doctors called it a miracle. Inhuman. Impossible, even. How could a child recover so quickly?
The Z Fighters oly hid grins and stiffled laughter over the real reason.
Goku pushed his son on a wheelchair outside, while Rias, Akeno, Marron and Trunks followed them. The girls were over the moon. They were giggling and humming that the awaited day finally arrived.
"So Goten, how does it feel to be finally free?" Trunks smiled.
"Man, a year in the Time Chamber seemed like a weekend compared to this." Goten said, stretching.
"Yeah, I know that feeling. The Senzu Beans should be ready by tomorrow." Goku smiled.
"Tomorrow feels like an eternity at this point." Goten whined a bit.
"And that's all the time we need to spoil you silly when we get home." Akeno whispered in Goten's ear alluringly.
"Oh yeah?" Goten smirked a bit as he knew fully well where she is going with that. "That sounds great!"
Rias came up from behind and kissed him. "When you're like this, I'll be able to pin you down and-"
"Alright, back off! He needs relaxation, not ...a-arousal!" Marron exclaimed, flustered. The blonde said and yanked Rias away from Goten. "Besides... it's not fair you two get to hog him all day at home..."
Akeno and Rias both giggled, admitting that Marron was right. This time.
"Well, everyone hold onto me, I'll use Instant Transmission to get us home."
"Dad, wait a second." Goten suddenly said.
"Huh? What is it Goten?" Goku asked curiously as he looked at his son, along with everyone else.
"It felt like I was lying on that bed for years! I really just want to fly back home. Please?"
"Your energy is still stabilizing, you might fall out of the sky." Goku said and Goten's face fell. Goku felt bad but then remembered the next best thing. "Hey, we can still use the Nimbus!"
Goten lit up again. "Yeah! Do you mind, girls?"
"We'll go ahead, sweetie. You coming, Trunks?" Rias smiled sincerely before she started to conjure a magic circle. Akeno stood with her.
"No thanks. Flying's more my style."
Rias waved one last time and the girls were gone in a flash of red.
Goku patted his son on the shoulder. "Ready to go home?!" Goten happily nodded as Goku shouted to the sky. "FLYIING NIIMBUS!"
A moment or two later, a fluffy yellow cloud screeched to a halt in front of them. Goku helped Goten on when Marron tugged on her boyfriend's shirt. "Can I... go with you?"
Goten smiled. "Sure!" He held out a hand for the blonde to take and she climbed up and sat on his lap. Marron blushed and covered her face with her eyes to keep from squealing. She got to have alone time with him! She never felt happier.
"Alright, see ya guys back home! Go, Nimbus!" Goten said and took the skies followed by Goku and Trunks.
As they were flying high in the sky, Goten closed his eyes and took big breath of the fresh air. Marron rested her head against his shoulder and sighed happily. Goten held her a bit closer to her, causing the blonde to blush.
"Boy, it sure is nice to feel the wind blowing through my hair again." Goten smiled.
"I'm so happy that you're back to your old self."
"I'm so happy to have you with me." Goten said and the two kissed again. Marron hummed into the kiss with delight as she screamed on the inside. She still couldn't believe this was real.
When they pulled apart, Marron flushed red. Goten only grinned and hugged her as they stared at the sights and the approaching mountain.
"Oh, by the way..!"
"A girl came up to me and Trunks the other day looking for you. Raynare?"
"Raynare? You mean that dark angel girl? What'd she want?" Goten was surprised that her of all people would show up. He always wondered what happened to her.
"She turned her life around cause you let her go that day, and just wanted to thank you." Marron said.
Goten gasped. "Wow, that's so cool! I'm glad she's a good person now. Come to think it, I feel like I subconsciously remember feeling her energy when I was asleep."
"You can do that?" Marron asked.
"Yeah, ya know how like when you're asleep but you can hear everything that goes on? It was like that, except it was ki sensing instead. I dunno."
"You gotta teach me how to do that."
"What's in it for me?" Goten teased.
Marron smiled. She wrapped her arms around his neck and brought him into a long, deep kiss. She had only kissed him a few times, but she was getting better! "That's just a taste~"
"Good enough for me." Goten grinned.
Soon the forests and sprawling rivers of Paozu region were in full view. Marron never got tired of seeing it.
"Look, over there! Finally home!" Goten smiled brightly as he pointed down at the very familiar valley. Two small houses could be seen in the distance.
"Let's go." Goku smiled before he started to dive down towards their home, followed by Trunks.
As they were descending, Goten noticed that their house looked a bit different. Or maybe he was just away for too long...
The four touched down and saw Chi Chi, Rias, Akeno, Gohan, Videl and Pan were all waiting for him.
"Uncle Goten!" Llittle Pan popped up behind her mother before she ran towards her beloved uncle. As Marron helped Goten down off of the Nimbus Cloud, Pan jumped and hugged her uncle tight with her tiny arms.
"Hey there Panny, I'm so happy to see you!" Goten said in pure joy as he hugged his little niece before he patted her on the head.
"Welcome back home little bro." Gohan smiled as he and Videl approached.
"It's good to see you back home Goten." Videl smiled.
"Goten sweetie, are you feeling okay? It doesn't hurt too much anymore, does it?" Chi Chi said worriedly as she caressed her son's cheeks and hair.
"G-Geez, Mom! Stop it! I feel fine! Just a little sore!" Goten protested, geting a laugh from the others. He looked towards his house. Now that he saw it up close, it was definitely different. "Wait. Umm, guys? Is it just me, or did the house get... bigger? And w-wait what?! Gohan what happened to your house?!"
"While you were in the hospital, Rias' dad decided to make us have one big house together." Goku said.
"Wow! Really?! Does that mean you're gonna live with us again, Gohan?"
Gohan grinned. "Yup!"
"We're one big happy family again!" Chi-Chi cooed.
"Rias' dad wanted to build us a huge castle here with fifty maids or something, but Mom and Rias didn't want that. To be honest it would be too big for my tastes too." Gohan added.
"Wait, a castle?! With fifty maids?!" Goten exclaimed. He thought what it would be like having fifty cute maids around all the time. "That sounds kinda cool..."
"Absolutely not! Having that many women around would undoubtedly distract Goten from his real priorities." Rias pouted in jealousy as she folded her arms. making Akeno giggle.
Marron nodded her own agreement. "The last thing this dork needs is a bunch of girls at his every beck and call!"
The group got another laugh and Goten whistled like it he wasn't actually thinking about it.
The Son house was indeed bigger, but still kept that quaint little home feel. It added a third floor, along with additional spare rooms and larger ones for the girls. Goten's room, which was now on the second floor, now had a balcony leading outside. The kitchen was stocked with the newest, state of the art equipment. The main bathroom (now located on the side of the house) became a huge indoor bath-house. Though there were other smaller, regular sizes bathrooms upstairs. And finally, the basement was equipped with a fully-powered gravity chamber that could go up to five hundred times normal gravity.
"I'll take you on a tour later." Rias said.
"I wanna go too!" Marron exclaimed. This was a surprise to her as it was him.
Chi-Chi smiled. "I know just the thing you need. A homemade meal made by yours truly." Chi Chi said.
"Alright! Boy, I'm gonna eat until I pop!" Goten said cheerfully.
"Good luck trying to beat me." Goku replied.
"Oh yeah? Bring it on! After all that nasty hospital food, I can eat hundreds of mom's dishes!" Goten said with a look similar to one when he was sparring. Goten got up from the wheelchair and hobbled towards the house, but almost lost his balance until he was caught by Gohan.
"Easy there Goten. The food isn't goin' anywhere!" Gohan smiled as he and Goku helped him slowly get to the house.
"Thanks... Sorry for being such a burden."
"You're not a burden! It's fine!" Goku said, reassuring his son.
The five women smiled sincerely as they watched the three Son men laugh as they made their way home.
Goten ate enough for an entire three days worth of food. He stuffed his face until he physically couldn't fit one more bite.
And surprisingly, for the first time ever, Goten actually beat his father which shocked both Goku and Chi Chi.
The next day, Goten was to remain in bed until he fully recovered. Strict demands by Chi-Chi.
But that wasn't a problem for Rias and Akeno as they could do whatever they want with him in his new bedroom.
"Delivery!" Goku said cheerfully as he flew on the balcony, surprising the three teens. Rias and Akeno blushed while Goten groaned. He wished his dad would knock like a normal person.
"Are those the Senzu Beans?!" Goten smiled brightly, shaking off any embarrassment.
"Yup, right from Korin!" Goku smiled as he pulled out one bean from the sack. "Think fast." He tossed the bean to his son, while Goten immediately caught it and tossed it into his mouth.
Rias and Akeno waited with baited breath for the magic beans to have an effect. And to their surprise, it worked. Goten felt his entire body revitalized, his wounds healed and his energy restored as he leapt from his bed and spun forward before he landed. Then he flexed hard and the last of his bandages shattered all around him.
"Finally, about damn time!" Goten said cheerfully as picked Rias up and spun her around and kissed her. After putting her down Akeno yanked his collar and brought him into a deep passionate kiss which he happily reciprocated. Once she pulled away, swooning, Goten dashed towards the balcony and jumped into the air. "Woohoo! Yeah, alright!" He said cheerfully as he blitzed in every direction. "Ahh this feels great! I almost forgot what it felt like to feel weightless like this again!"
Rias and Akeno fondly watched him laugh and cheer as he flew through the air.
"Look at him~!"
"I haven't seen him this happy in what feels like forever~"
"I'm happy, but really I think I'll miss spoiling him..."
"Me too. But there's ways around that even now!"
"I see what you're getting at~"
The girls said, exchaning sultry grins.
"Check this out!" Goten kicked and punched the air at a rapid speed, vanishing and reappearing across the sky. "This is amazing!"
And so with Goten healed, a huge feast was prepared for all of Goten's friends and family at the new and improved Son house.
The whole Son and Briefs families, and the devils: namely Rias' parents, Sirzechs, Grayfia, and of course the ORC.
Goku talked with Zeoticus as their wives met for the first time.
"Oh you have a wonderful home, Chi-Chi. It's a pleasure to finally meet the woman my darling Rias gushes about so much."
Chi-Chi touched her cheek, blushing. "Oh stop. Rias is like my daughter already! I love her so much. You've raised a wonderful girl."
"She's crazy about your Goten. Will they be getting married soon?"
"I hope so! I don't have eternal youth like you devils do, I've been telling those two to tie the knot forever now!"
Venelana laughed. "I can see where Son Goten gets his firey spirit from!"
Everyone had a great time hanging out with each other. Goten hung out with the ORC group,
Bulla played with little Pan, so they wouldn't feel left out.
Chi Chi, Videl, Bulma and Venelana were having a pleasant conversation with each other, Mr Satan was drinking beer with Zeoticus and Sirzechs, with Grayfia standing behind the devil king with her usual expression. The busty gray-haired woman stared at Son Goten hiding a small smile. She couldn't help think he was cute. Like a cute little brother.
Goku and Vegeta had their usual eating competition, competing on who will eat more. But while the two full blooded Saiyan had their usual eating session, Goku ate the sushi to his left, which aggravated Vegeta.
"Hey, Kakarot! That was my sushi, I was saving that for last!" Vegeta yelled angrily.
"Oops! Sorry Vegeta." Goku smiled casually. But Vegeta would have none of that as he devoured the pork that Goku kept for last, which was something he did not take lightly. "Hey! What was that for? You just ate my salted port!"
"Well you had it coming!" Vegeta retorted angrily. "You just had to pig out whatever you can get your hands on!" Vegeta said angrily.
But while they were arguing, Pan and Bulla were playing flying-tag and Pan accidentally bumped onto Vegeta's head.
"Sorry Uncle Vegetable!" Pan called out cutely as she tumbled onto her behind.
"Pan, watch where you're flying." Gohan scolded as softly as possible, so he wouldn't hurt his daughter's feelings as she scurried off while giggling.
Goku started roaring with laughter. He didn't know which was funnier, how Pan called him a vegetable or the huge bump he has on his forehead. Either way, Vegeta was angrier now and he grabbed Goku by his shirt.
"Alright, that's it! You and me, right now!" Vegeta said angrily, erupting into Super Saiyan as he pointed upward to settle this dispute in the sky.
"Oh yeah? Bring it on!" Goku smirked as he too turned Super Saiyan. The two Saiyan fathers dashed up in the air and immediately attacked each other with smiles on their faces. Their rivalry was now all in good fun.
"Oh my. Do your husbands always go like this whenever they argue?" Venelana asked with her usual smile. She had heard of the strength of the Super aiyans from her children's account of Broly's revival, but seeing Earth's strongest fighters so easily start a fight was surprisng.
"You have no idea." Bulma sighed in embarrassment.
"Those twho can't even sit one day without fighting or training for one reason or another." Chi-Chi added. "But I wouldn't have it any other way. My Goku looks so happy." She smiled and Bulma agreed.
The party reached into the wee horus of the morning and it was finally time for everyone to call it a night.
"I would like to thank you for inviting us to your feast Goku and Chi Chi, it was a pleasant experience for all of us." Zeoticus smiled. "The human world is a wonderful place."
"Not a problem, it's the least we can do for giving our home this big of an upgrade." Chi Chi smiled gratefully.
"Yeah, thanks a lot." Goku smiled brightly.
"Consider it a token of gratitude for saving this world time and time again. And for the relationship between our children." Zeoticus smiled.
"Don't worry, saving the world from overpowered monsters is kinda our thing after so many years." Goten smiled, resulting in a good laugh from the Son and Briefs families.
"So it would appear." Venelana added.
"Until next time my friends. Farewell." Zeoticus said before he and the rest of the Gremory family (minus Rias) disappeared back to the Underworld.
"Well, I guess it's about time we get you guys back home, you must be pretty tired." Rias smiled as she looked at her devil servants, while the others vanished.
"Yeah, it has been a long day. Goten your new house is sick.
"It's good to see you back and kicking."
"I wanna visit again!"
Issei, Kiba, Irina and Asia respectively said.
"Yeah! We'll all hang out soon! See ya later!" Goten called out before the rest of the ORC disappeared as the others went inside.
"So, now that you're recovered, what comes next?" Goku asked.
"Back to school!" Chi-Chi teasingly said.
Goten turned blue. "On second thought, another two weeks in the hospital doesn't sound so bad. Hey Dad, mind hitting me with another Kamehameha?"
Rias frowned and pinched his cheek hard. She even a tear in her eye. "Don't joke like that! You big dummy."
"Owww ok ok I'm sorry!" Goten whined and Rias turned away from him. She'd get him back.
"I can sense that you've gotten a power boost after you recovered, but I hope that doesn't mean you will be slacking off just to mate with your girlfriends, aren't you?" Vegeta asked.
Rias and Akeno didn't like the way he asked that question, but they kept their mouth shut as Vegeta wasn't someone you want to mess around with, unless your name was Goku. They saw how he could make Goten and Trunks lose all their bravado in a single word once before.
"Well, I might do just that once I've completed my training again back in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber."
"I see. So you plan to master that ultra form after all?" Goku asked.
"No way, that form was only temporary, plus it wasn't a suffient form for fighting, it was too bulky. I'm going for the top. Super Saiyan 3.
"Don't you dare go in there without me. I won't let you leave me behind. When do we start?" Trunks smiled as he approached his friend.
"First thing in the morning." Goten smiled.
Vegeta and Goku exchanged proud grins that their sons were now formidable warriors of their own. This time, Goten and Trunks really could surpass them for good.
The next day, the two teenaged Saiyans, their fathers, plus Rias and Akeno all met up on the Lookout, where they were greeted by Piccolo, Dende and Mr. Popo.
"Hey guys, how's it going?" Goku greeted cheerfully.
"Goku. It's good to see you drop by once in a while." Dende smiled. "And I see Goten is all better too."
"Yeah, nice to see you too Dende." Goten grinned.
"Something tells me you didn't come here just to pay us a visit." Piccolo asked with his usual, stern look before he looked at the Saiyan prince. "Especially with Vegeta around." He said, but Vegeta said nothing as he huffed in turn as usual.
"Well, the boys wanted to go back into the Time Chamber to reach level three like me and Vegeta." Goku smiled.
"Super Saiyan 3, huh?" Piccolo said, smirking. "I just hope you boys don't let that power go to your heads like it did while you were fused together. The last thing we need is two more Gotenks running around."
"Yeah, we're much more mature now!"
Piccolo smiled. "Good."
"Trunks!" Vegeta called for his son, making him wince a bit at his booming voice. "You better not let him reach that third level of Super Saiyan before you do."
"Fine, I won't, sheesh." Trunks groaned as he went ahead towards the palace entrance, not up for listening to his father's rather pointless talks about Saiyan pride, royalties and all that nonsense.
"Well, I better go too. Know that I'll be thinking of you both when I go in that room." Goten smiled.
"You'll only be gone a day, I'm sure we can handle it." Rias said.
"That might be the case here, but it will be a whole year for me and Trunks in there."
"Oh yeah, I remember. You told us before how you were in there for six months before your fight with Riser." Akeno said.
"In that case, we will miss you dearly too." Rias smiled as she held his left cheek, while Goten placed his hand on hers.
"Come on Goten, get a move on before I vomit" Trunks teased.
"Yeah yeah, I'm coming!" Goten said in slightly annoyed tone. He kissed the two girls and ran over to Trunks.
"Hey, Goten!" Goku called out as he tossed a sack of Senzu Beans to his son, which Goten caught. "Make sure you take these whenever you guys go overboard. You'll need it if you plan to spend a whole year in there."
"We will. Thanks dad." Goten smiled before Piccolo lead the boys inside the palace.
Eventually Piccolo, Goten and Trunks reached the doors of the Time Chamber.
"Good luck to you boys in there. I know you've been in there before, but just remember that place isn't a walk in the park." Piccolo said.
"Thanks." Trunks smirked. "Ready man?"
"Yeah, let's go for it."
The two Saiyans exchanged a bro fist before heading in, closing the door behind them.
And so, with Goten back to full strength and the aftermath of the Rating Game finally behind them, the two young Saiyans have once again entered the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, this time on a quest to achieve the pinnacle of Super Saiyan power and finally surpass their fathers. Will Goten and Trunks succeed in reaching Super Saiyan 3? And what about Rias and the others? What awaits them in their stronget allies' abscence? Find out next time!
A/N: Surprise! This took way too long. How have you guys been? I apologize for taking so long again. I haven't been in the mood to write this for a very long time. I mostly just write oneshots now, on my AO3 or tumblr. In fact, I couldn't have gotten this done like I did without the help of my close friend, MysticVegito. He helped me fill in the blanks in my outline that I knew what I wanted but just couldn't get the words out. Thank you so much again man.
I can't believe it! 1000 followers! Thanks to every one of you! It really makes me want to keep going!
As for the harem, it's Rias/Akeno/Marron and maybe Sona and Rosseweisse as well. No more than that.
Loki arc is next but with my own special twist adding a DBZ villain into it. You'll find out soon! Please review!