First, Jealous Chi-Chi.
Finally. Goku breathes in, silently thanking the gods who watch over Earth, that his wife is finally climbing into bed with him. He's been waiting for this moment for the longest time, that Chi-Chi climbing into bed, is easily the highlight of his entire night. And he's fought Jiren tonight. With Frieza by his side. In perfect sync, more than he's ever fought with Vegeta.
All this time that he's been waiting in bed for her, his eyes have been closed, but he specifically made sure to command his mind not to fall asleep until Chi-Chi was lying next to him, and his arms were around her. It looks like now, he's going to have his wish come true, and then he can peacefully fall asleep like he wants to.
'It's okay, Chi-Chi,' he says as he opens his eyes to meet her. 'I'm awake.'
He can't have her softly smooth her side of the bed, in fear that she'll wake him if she makes the wrong move, when he's really awake. He needs her to know that she's not risking to disturb him in anyway.
'You're not asleep?' she wonders, her voice full of surprise.
When he straightens just then, and his eyes fully focus on her, to see surprise softly showing on her face, he immediately thinks that he can't blame her for that response. At the later-than-usual hour that he came home tonight, she probably expected that after taking a quick shower and eating, he'd heavily fall asleep the second that his head rested on his pillow.
Having just come from a Tournament that seemed to go on for days instead of a little under fifty minutes, with seconds to spare, he should've fallen that quickly and that heavily asleep at the slightest chance, but tonight, he can't bring himself to fall asleep without embracing what's precious to him.
'I was waiting for you,' he answers delicately, following his answer with opening his arm out for her.
Chi-Chi, apparently minimally stunned by his answer, pulls her head back, giving off the impression that she's surprised at his patience.
'You waited three hours for me?' she asks, not climbing into his open arm like he wants her to.
Three hours are nothing, he mildly responds in his head. In retrospect, three hours are dust compared to the torturing thought that he had when the Earth had been on the verge of erasure; and that was that he didn't even get to say goodbye to Chi-Chi and Goten before he left for the Tournament. That thought had weighed on him so heavily –even though he didn't show it- that three hours of waiting for her to join him in bed, are nothing at all.
'It's been that long?' he jokes.
'Yes,' she nods, then only climbing into bed, straight into his hold and properly snuggling into him. 'I thought you'd be tired for sure. You were so quiet when you got home, so I thought that you were tired.'
'I am tired,' is his reply to her as his hand grips around her, to keep her pressed against him.
Although, after swallowing a senzu bean, he's not physically tired, he can admit that he's tired in a sense. Mentally, he considers, maybe he's tired mentally, because he does feel some type of tired, all due to coming close to erasure and remembering all that could've been, but thankfully isn't.
'Then sleep,' Chi-Chi softly vibrates, lightly punching his left pectoral.
'I will, now that you're here,' he promises before sliding them down to lay on the bed, only to hear her protest against that.
'I should turn off the light,' she tells him.
He knows that she's silently asking him to let her go, so that she can get up to turn off the light, however, he doesn't budge. He won't deny that his body needs rest, or even that he wants to sleep. Except, now that his wife is here with him, and he's inhaling the soft smell coming from her hair, he's suddenly reminded of all the females from today, that had not been her.
'Not yet,' he hears himself say.
He's not sure why the females from the Tournament are suddenly popping up at a time when he simply wants to bask in and appreciate what he has, but yes, all the females that he fought in the Tournament, are all of a sudden standing out in his mind. It's as though his mind wants to show him clearly, that no matter how much he enjoyed fighting with those females, those fights will never beat this, right here, with Chi-Chi. Not one single fight with those female fighters, brought him the contentedness, that quiet tranquility with his wife brings him.
He could name them one by one, to compare the rushing excitement they brought him, against the peaceful fulfillment from his wife...
There'd been Universe 2's Brianne or Ribrianne, he's not sure which it really is, to be honest. In any case, despite how what's-her-name had tried to entice him with her love powers, she had been a decent opponent, entertaining even. He got a good rush from dodging her attacks, but... If only she'd known that he has no need for something that he already has an abundance of, then maybe she wouldn't have wasted her love powers on him.
Oh well, he mentally shrugs, that doesn't matter now. He bets that she's learned her lesson, if they ever get to meet again.
There'd also been that shy Saiyan from Universe 6, Kale. That Kale person, didn't really have the hang of her power the first time that they fought, but she got significantly better and magnificent when she fused with Caulifla, to make Kefla. Kale reminded him of Brolly in a way in that berserk form of hers, although, he wouldn't mind fighting her again, because she would make for a decent exercise partner in his base form.
Maybe, he can ask Whis to organise with his sister, a fight between him and Kale, like he did the last time with Hit. That would be so much fun, especially considering that she, just like Gohan, has extraordinary potential that she doesn't unleash that easily. Yeah, he'll definitely talk to Whis about Kale sometime soon.
And then, most importantly, there'd been Caulifla…
All too unexpectedly, catching him unprepared, the feelings from when he fought Caulifla, come back to his body, at just the thought of her name. And then, like those feelings burst from the base of his lungs to foam out as froth from his mouth, he finds himself confessing what he hadn't planned on saying. At least, not tonight anyway.
'I met a female Saiyan from Universe 6 today.'
'Female?' Chi-Chi sounds her curiosity.
Something about Chi-Chi's curiosity, makes him delve deeper into the feeling in his body, and give himself over to expressing the feeling verbally.
'She was amazing,' he remembers in admiration, before correcting himself to say, 'She is amazing.'
Chi-Chi is the only person that he has freedom to tell about the deep intricacies that go through his mind and body while he's fighting. Alternatively, Vegeta would be a good person to confide in, but Vegeta usually has no interest in sharing his feelings, which puts Goku off sharing completely. Everyone likes to know that they can share their excitement with someone, and he is especially not an exception.
He's just thinking to lower his cheek on Chi-Chi's head, and close his eyes to savour this moment with her, when Chi-Chi pushes completely out of his hold, and then looks up at him with wide eyes. Instead of wondering why she chose to pull out of snuggling with him, and why her face is set to that expression, all that he registers to see, is the pleasing face of his wife. The face of the woman who he can share his battle excitement with, which is why he gently smiles at her.
'I think that she'd like to see me again,' he continues thoughtfully, 'and I completely understand that about her.'
How can he not understand Caulifla's need to see him again? It's an akin feeling to him, that when he's faced by strong opponents who nearly defeat him or defeat him all in all, he's never satisfied until he sees them again, if only to beat them.
At this point, although he notices that Chi-Chi completely pulls away from being near him, lifting up into a sitting position in bed, he doesn't register why, neither does it cross his mind to question her why she's pulling away from him altogether. Rather, he focuses on getting his feelings out, now that he's started with them.
'I've never met anyone like her, to be honest,' he ponders. 'She was rude at first when I met her, like Vegeta is, I guess…'
These days, he considers Vegeta's attitude normal, and it doesn't bother him anymore that Vegeta is like that. But with Caulifla, it was just a sharp slap in the face, because as a fellow Saiyan, he expected better from her. Maybe he just had too of high expectations when he found out that she was a female Saiyan, rather than expecting her to be like Cabba.
'But as soon as we started fighting,' he remembers, 'I became her only interest. It was like she forgot everything else that was happening around us, to focus on me. It's interesting, because she has that Saiyan arrogance like Vegeta, but otherwise, she's a little like me. She got all excited at seeing my strength, and she kept trying to draw more power out of me, to increase her own power that way. It was really amazing fighting with her.'
As soon as he finishes telling her all that, Chi-Chi lets out a frustrated sounding, 'Hmph!' as she aggressively climbs out of bed. Faster than he can think to stop her, she makes out of their bedroom in a rush, leaving the door open behind her.
Huh? What happened?
Feeling baffled by her unexplained behaviour, Goku blinks, keeping his eyes on the empty space where the door had been.
He doesn't understand… He didn't exactly tell her about the Tournament itself, because it's over and there's no use bringing up what could've been but isn't, so... He figures that there's no use in worrying her with something now past. Just like that time when he had Late-onset Disordered Energy Syndrome. He didn't tell her about that disorder specifically, because he knew that if he did, she would be worried senseless, that every time that he left the house, he would be going to trigger that same disorder, which would eventually lead him to being a vegetable.
With Chi-Chi, omission is better sometimes. The crazy amount of worrying scenarios that play around in her head... It's the reason that he made certain to keep the Tournament Of Power from her.
He doesn't remember mentioning the Tournament specifically, but it appears that Chi-Chi is upset with him for a reason that he cannot grasp.
When he starts to hear strange sounds in the house, he carefully gets up and follows her, to find her in the kitchen. Surprisingly, he finds her cleaning the kitchen surfaces, with the thick smell of lemon detergent welcoming him to the kitchen.
The fact that she is cleaning surfaces that he's sure she leaves clean every night before she comes to bed, leaves him so confused that he can only immediately call her name, as a means of asking for an explanation.
To his own ears, his voice sound groggy, and that must be the result of his confusion. He wonders if Chi-Chi heard the grogginess too, but then his thoughts immediately shift when she starts to vigorously rub her orange cloth on the current surface in dangerous circles. If that doesn't give away the fact that she is upset for some reason or another, her silence is the best sign.
Still, being who he is, more so that he doesn't like to be ignored, least of all by his own wife, he moves to her and uses his hands to stop her hands from doing any more cleaning.
'Why are you cleaning?' he wants to know. 'Didn't you already leave everything clean when you came to bed?'
Turning to look at him, her eyes narrow, her forehead creases and her lips set into a tight pout. He would otherwise think of how funny she looks like that, if he couldn't read the disruption in her eyes.
'What's her name?' Chi-Chi asks him.
That's quite… What's the word? Random. Yes, her question is quite random. What does she mean? Is she referring to herself as 'her' now, instead of 'me'? Is she asking him to say her name?
'Chi-Chi?' he nervously provides the answer to her question, as a question, because he still doesn't know what is happening here.
'I'm Chi-Chi,' she thickly replies, jerking a finger at herself. 'What's the other woman's name?'
Other woman? He can't help it pull his face to make an expression that speaks volumes of his confusion and inability to understand what is going on here. Because really, what other woman?
'Who?' he asks, slanting his head a little to the side, to think about where he missed something important.
'Don't be stupid, Goku,' Chi-Chi fumes out as silently as she can –for sleeping Goten's sake, no doubt. 'She's amazing, Chi-Chi,' she mimics his voice, and then returns her voice to normal to complete with, 'Miss Amazing, that's who! What's her name?'
'You mean Caulifla?' he asks to be sure that they are on the same page.
Chi-Chi bitterly said 'woman' in a way that lead him to think of a very different image. The way that she said it, he thought of an old person, sitting outside of her house, sipping some sweet drink, while she waited for someone to come to her. But apparently, the woman that chi-Chi is referring to, is Caulifla. He never imagined Caulifla as a woman.
'Caulifla?' she tests.
He can only nod for an answer, because the thought of Caulifla being referred to as a woman, doesn't sit all that well with him. Although, to be fair, he has his own definition of a woman, and that definition is only defined by his wife alone; Chi-Chi takes up that whole definition by herself.
Of course, he knows that people like Bulma and other older females are women, but he only thinks of them by their names, not as women necessarily. It's not entirely a common way to live, but it works for him, and he's content with it. Caulifla on the other hand, looks even younger than Videl, and dresses like she doesn't have a proper shirt, so he couldn't even begin to think of her as a woman.
It's not that he cares what Caulifla wears, because it has nothing to do with him. However, he's thinking of Caulifla's attire because in comparison, if for some reason Chi-Chi were to wear something like that outside of their home, he'd probably go Ultra Instinct to pummel whoever dared to see her that way.
'Like cauliflower?' Chi-Chi asks, and just then lets out a short exclamation. 'Ugh! No wonder you're gushing for her! You couldn't be bothered to eat broccoli, but you swallow all of your cauliflower whole!'
Pulling another face, Goku starts to wonder if he, in all of his thinking just now, failed to hear something that she said; something that connects how they jumped from calling Caulifla a woman, to talking about cauliflowers that he hardly chews when it's time to eat.
Just what in the universe?
'Huh? What does cauliflower have to do with Caulifla? I don't understand,' he asks, scratching the back of his head, to demonstrate how unable to catch on he is.
Honestly, apart from sounding similar, what does his love for cauliflower have to do with him fighting Caulifla? But evidently, his confusion, upsets Chi-Chi all the more, because after she, 'Hmphs!' she pulls her hands away from his hold and goes right back to cleaning the surfaces again.
'Chi-Chi…' he tries.
He so hates it when she gets like this. He dislikes the times when she refuses to tell him what's wrong, because she wants him to figure out for himself. He'd much rather that she tells him, and then he can make amends for whatever he did. This trying to figure her anger out thing, never goes well for him.
'What, Goku?' she spins back to him sharply. 'You've never called me amazing! I'm not as strong as that Saiyan woman. I'm not like you. I don't get excited at seeing strong people, and I don't push you to use more strength. And so now that we've established that, I just want to clean, so please go to bed. And probably dream of eating cauliflowers,' she mumbles darkly as an afterthought before returning to her cleaning.
'But nothing,' she snaps, not bothering to face him. 'I'm your wife, but clearly, there's someone out there better for you, that you can't stop complimenting her.'
The strange thing is, even though he's hearing the words that she's saying, he still doesn't understand what all this is about. Well, yes, he heard her list all the things that she's not, but this last thing about Caulifla being better for him, because he couldn't stop calling her amazing, is the most trash he's heard in a while.
'Caulifla's not better for me,' he disagrees with her. 'I mean, I like that she appreciates opponents like I do, but no,' he shakes his head thoughtfully, 'she's not better for me. She's not really nice, and she has this crazy idea that she can surpass me…'
Reflexively, he scoffs at the thought, as if that will ever happen. Had she been his daughter, a sister to Gohan and Goten, he wouldn't have a problem with her aiming to surpass him, but she's not his family, so no, he won't accept to be lesser than her.
'That's irritating,' he admits out loud for the first time ever, 'and I really don't like that about her. It felt really good to show off in front of her and show her that she wouldn't easily catch up to me. Every time that I transformed into something different, it felt good to rub it in her face that she wasn't at the level where I was yet.'
Funny enough, even observing all that about her while they were fighting, he felt very specific feelings of challenge and a thirst to excel above his ordinary techniques. Still, he can't forget how irked his observations had made his soul feel, which was a colossal difference from the feelings his body was accepting. He remembers all too clearly how he enjoyed telling her that she could try to keep up with him, but she wouldn't be able to.
'I usually like to show off my power little by little against someone, but with Caulifla, I loved bragging, all because she's irritating. I don't think that I really want to see her again,' he considers honestly, 'so I guess Vegeta is still a better partner for me than her.'
Perhaps, it's because she is so like him in that regard, but it's annoying to be around her. He can't remember recently feeling as good, as when he fired that last Kamehameha right in Kefla's face. If he had another chance, he would probably do it again, and enjoy it too.
It's not that he doesn't like her, or that he doesn't believe in the potential she has to change her attitude in the same way that Vegeta did, though. It's only that well, he now sort of understands why he gets on people's nerves sometimes. He got a small dose of himself through fighting Caulifla, later Kefla.
'You say that, and yet you call her amazing,' Chi-Chi reminds him hotly, this time facing him.
'She is amazing,' he agrees, not backing away from his assessment of Caulifla. 'She's persistent and determined.'
When Chi-Chi frowns, because he doesn't understand her hostility, he tries to get to the bottom of her attitude.
'Chi-Chi, did I do something wrong?' he carefully asks.
'Of course, you didn't,' she replies coldly. 'Every middle-aged housewife loves to hear her young-looking and handsome husband spew praises about another woman, a woman more compatible than her!'
After her cold reply, she suddenly bursts out crying, and for confusion, the first few seconds leave him only able to stare at her.
'You see!' she accuses through her tears. 'You're not even denying it!'
Denying what? She's not making any sense tonight. First, she wouldn't keep in his hold in bed. And then she left him in bed without an explanation, to come cleaning surfaces that don't need cleaning. From there, she randomly started about women and cauliflowers, and now she's crying? Is he dreaming, maybe and the sequence and details are all wrong?
No matter, though, he tells himself, dream or no dream, he can't stand to see Chi-Chi cry. Because of that, he puts his hands on her shoulders to calmly ask her, 'Please stop crying, Chi-Chi.'
'Why?' she wails dramatically. 'Why should I stop? Why can't I cry, when I know that you have interest elsewhere?'
'Please stop crying,' he provides just as calmly as before, 'because I want you to. I really don't know if you're upset about something else that I don't know, but I do know that I waited three hours to fall asleep with you. I just want to hold you and fall asleep knowing that you are beside me. If I did something to upset you, please forgive me.'
Maybe all this is a dream, which would perfectly explain how his mind is stubborn to grasp what is happening here, but the least he can do, is comfort her.
Using that thought as motivation, he uses one of his hands to cup her chin, and make her look at him in the eyes. When she does and their eyes meet, he breathes out a sad sigh. He should really pay more attention, so that he doesn't make her cry in the future. Her eyes always look so beaten when she cries, that it makes him want to do everything possible to make her eyes fill up with excitement or pleasure again.
'I'm sorry for whatever I did,' he gently tells her, audibly pleading, 'but for now, I just want to sleep with you next to me. It's been such a long night and I just want you with me. That's all I want, Chi-Chi. Can you give me that?'
From that, he doesn't say more to her, rather, he allows the silence to set the mood, for his eyes to tell her everything. He wants her to see how much he needs her to fall asleep beside him tonight. He wants her to see that he is genuinely sorry for upsetting her, even though he can't figure out what he did wrong. And most of all, he just wants her to see that without her, he probably would've been affected by what's-her- name's love attack.
'Oh… Goku,' she starts to stammer, her cries changing to something soft and moved.
He smiles from the depths of his heart at that, because she caressed his name out of her mouth lovingly. He should be smiling for the fact that she is apparently pacified by his look, more than his words, but it's the way that she says his name, that has him feeling like smiling until the end of the world. He absolutely loves it when she says his name like that. It always makes him feel like a very specifically cherished hero.
As if her saying his name like that isn't enough, he then stands on her toes to touch her forehead on his. He would've thought that she would wrap her arms around his neck, but she doesn't, however, he is still just satisfied by the small bit of affectionate contact from her.
'I love it when you look at me like that,' she whispers silkily. 'I always feel so loved.'
That's good to know, because sometimes those love words just don't come out of his mouth, but in the silence of just the two of them, his eyes know how to speak them clearly and loudly.
'Let's go to bed, Chi-Chi,' he says, before he melts into the overwhelming feelings for his wife.
He would gladly melt into his feelings for Chi-Chi, but sometimes, like tonight, just holding her is enough for him. Perhaps tomorrow morning they could find a little time, just not tonight. It's the reason why he doesn't wait for her to respond, he rather just picks her up like the bride of his that she is, and carries her to bed.
Only once they've turned off the light, once they've softly kissed each other goodnight, once they've comfortably settled into each other's warmth, and once he's concluded in his head that no amazing fight with Caulifla, or Kefla could top this with Chi-Chi, does it occur to him that...
As suddenly a blink comes and goes, his eyes shoot open with a disturbing realisation. Maybe, he thinks, just maybe, Chi-Chi's behaviour can be explained by the fact that she'd been comparing herself to Caulifla, the other woman as she called her. Goku, feeling as much as disturbed as confused, wonders, what in the universe is Chi-Chi, his Chi-Chi to be precise, doing comparing herself to Caulifla?
Second, Surprised Chi-Chi.