*Used with permission*
For the next several days, life passed easier than the two Saiyans had anticipated. Though each night, Goten made a ritual of crossing out the passed day with a large red marker on the wall calendar, which began to annoy Vegeta. Especially when she paused during the day to mentally count them.
“Will you cut that out!” she demanded, “It’s like being in prison.”
Goten rolled her eyes. Lately, there wasn’t much that didn’t annoy her. “We’re free to go anyplace, and we don’t have to wear hideous uniforms.”
“The hell we don’t,“ Vegeta muttered, snapping the shoulder strap of her loaned sports bra, “My back is killing me.”
Goten considered her. Coinciding with their new bedroom discoveries, for the first week she’d been unusually calm and serene, and even trained less. But fearing to become rusty, she’d reintensified her workouts, resulting in two major muscle sprains. They slowed her down considerably, and the fallout was not pretty. Goten knew not to take her moodiness personally, and motioned to the couch.
“I’ll fix it.” It was only mid-afternoon, but she deemed that a nap would do her the most good.
Vegeta wiggled the offending garment out from under her shirt, never one to refuse Goten’s magic hands. She layed facedown on the couch, and a half hour later, the demi Saiyan had kneaded all the tension from her back. Feeling to have melted into a sparkling puddle of liquid, Vegeta began to doze off, her irritations forgotten.
At her motionless form and even breathing, Goten smiled to herself. No one would believe her if she told them. She squeezed in beside her and curled up to catch a nap as well. It could be worse, she thought cheerfully.
“VEGETA! HELP ME!” Goten’s bloodcurdling scream startled Vegeta, causing her to spill half her morning coffee on the countertop.
Alarmed, she hurried to the bathroom to find Goten huddled in a corner, clutching a towel in her lap. Her face was a pale mask of terror.
“What’s the matter?” Vegeta asked quickly, readying for attack. She glanced around the room, seeing nothing amiss.
“I’m bleeding! Like, everywhere!” Goten held up the evidence, her panties soaked with blood, as well as her pyjama shorts, onto which a bit had leaked. The panties were white, in strict observance of Murphy’s Law.
Vegeta slapped a palm to her forehead. “You scared the hell out of me.” At Goten’s frozen stare, she demanded impatiently, “Didn’t your father and brother explain all that?”
Goten looked thoughtful, yet no less horrified.
Vegeta tried again. “You surely heard the girls at your school complaining about being ‘on the rag,’ usually in bitchy moods–” She herself froze, then turned around to look down her own shorts. And groaned.
“You too?” Goten hid her face in her knees, suddenly feeling very dumb. She hadn’t thought that would apply to them.
“Wait here,” Vegeta sighed wearily. She trudged to their bedroom and brought the bags Videl had prepared for them from the closet, taking out two clean pairs of plain cotton black panties and black shorts. A smaller plastic sac was discretely tucked at the bottom of each, which she brought to the bathroom and tossed Goten hers.
Inside each were two boxes of anticipated necessities with yellow Post-It notes attached. “Don’t panic. Follow the directions,” Videl’s loopy handwriting was scrawled on them.
They both cringed, then turned their backs and changed accordingly, opting for the easier, faster way. Goten filled a basin with hot water and detergent, where they tossed their laundry, but she remained crouched over.
“Are you in pain?” Vegeta asked, feeling ill herself.
Goten made a face. “Like being sucker-punched in the gut.”
Vegeta nodded in confirmation of what she’d believed to be another training injury, and took a medecine bottle from a sack. She glanced at the label and shook out a small handful of pink pills for them each, and filled the glass on the lavatory with water. Goten swallowed hers without question, and Vegeta followed suit.
She took out a box of herbal tea provided with the pills, and placed the two sacks in the cupboard. “Come on, then.”
“I’m not moving.” Goten remained crouched over with her head on the side of the bathtub, one hand clutching her abdomen.
Hautily unamused, Vegeta pulled her up firmly by the arm. “Women get this all the time. It’s nothing we can’t handle.” Dragging Goten out of the bathroom, she turned away to sharply inhale through her teeth, resisting the urge to clutch her own abdomen.
Was this going to be fun…
They drank their coffee in silence while the tea infused in a small teapot on the table. It was better that way, being on unfamiliar terrain, each with her own thoughts.
Goten furtively glanced at Vegeta’s expressionless face. She thinks I’m weak,she thought with a scowl, though she didn’t actually know what the former was thinking. Sometimes, avoiding telepathic contact was done by courtesy, and this was one of those times.
In truth, Vegeta didn’t know what to think, except that it was more accurately like being repeatedly kicked from the inside out.
Some time after they’d finished drinking the tea, either it, the pills, or both had kicked in well enough to stop the worst of the cramps. They remained seated to make sure before carefully standing up.
Vegeta watched Goten for a moment before venturing, “It looks like the worst is gone. We can train–” Another sharp, unexpected cramp had her doubled over, her teeth bared painfully. “–later,” she finished quickly.
Goten nodded vehemently and prepared two hot water bottles, shifting uncomfortably. “Anyway, every time I move it grosses me out.”
“The other box,” Vegeta flatly reminded her, concentrating on straightening her back again.
“Those freak me out.” Goten wrapped each bottle in a small towel and handed one to Vegeta.
The latter accepted it but sighed impatiently. “Goten, the whole situation is ridiculous. You’ll just have to pick the lesser discomfort.” She clutched the bottle tightly against her lower stomach, her face twisted in pain. “Dammit!”
Goten thought that she’d seen her… technically him… in worse states with less complaint, but said nothing as she followed her slowly to the living room couch, holding her own bottle tighter as they sat down.
They sat quietly and still for a long time before they were able to relax, breathing a unanimous sigh of relief. Still, neither moved outside of absolute necessity to preserve their first sense of calm that morning.
The couch was where they remained most of the day until well into the afternoon. Predictably, training had not gone well. Between Vegeta’s muscle sprains and both their unnatural feminine cramps, it became downright impossible to accomplish anything. Even Vegeta had to recognize it as a waste of time, stonily taking their downtime like a true prison sentence.
Bringing back more herbal tea and their reheated hot water bottles, Goten tried to lighten the mood. “Me, Dad, and Gohan always knew when it was time to stay outa Mom’s way,” she recalled, “That part of the birds and the bees was a survival lesson.”
Vegeta snickered. “No doubts. It was the same with Bulma.” She thought back. “I remember telling you, ’ ‘Birds and Bees: Extreme Survival’ applies here, too.’ Maybe karma’s punishing us for laughing.”
“Maybe we should apologize to every female we ever knew.” Goten took the pink pills from the tea tray to pour out another guessed handful for each with a glass of water. She sobered as they swallowed them, then giggled. “I hope you guys only took pill or liquid medecine. Imagine accidentally swallowing someone’s airplane.”
Vegeta stared oddly at her teacup for a moment, then burst out laughing hysterically. She was quickly joined by Goten, and they both laughed until their stomachs ached for a better reason. “Stop it!” Vegeta exclaimed between gasps for air, both holding their sides until they gradually calmed. “You’re gonna kill me.” She squeezed Goten’s shoulder.
“Not so fast, I hope.” The demi Saiyan took her face in her hands and kissed her lips, immediately moving from soft to heated.
“You’re too cute.” Vegeta pulled her close, encircled in the passion of Goten’s embrace.
“Hn… now something else is happening,” Goten mumbled in wonder.
That could not be denied. But… Vegeta’s cheeks blushed deep red. “Not now.”
Goten looked confused, then understood. “I know. Just a cuddle.” She couldn’t help the way it felt, and longed for the sparkling sensations produced by their chemistry alone.
“Goten, please.” Vegeta looked troubled, clenching her hands in her lap. Goten tried to understand, but the former’s thoughts were a confused mess. She did want it, she could see, but was stopped by something unreadable. Maybe their current state embarassed her.
“Okay.” Goten respected that, but couldn’t help feeling rejected.
Not knowing what to say, they sat in a long, awkward silence. Since they’d been together, that rarely happened.
In periphery, Goten saw her quickly wipe her eyes, and a cascade of sudden tears replace the initial few. Choking back a sob, Vegeta wiped them away with clear embarassment.
Goten took a few fresh kleenex from the table, and handed them to her. She waited for her to clean up before tentatively asking, “What’s the matter?”
Vegeta stared at nothing in particular and shook her head. “I have no idea.” She sounded as bewildered as she looked.
Goten rubbed her hand. “No worries. Just hormones getting crazy.”
“I guess,” Vegeta agreed absently, “Is there any chocolate left?”
Goten beamed. “Good idea!” Brightening, she hurried to the kitchen, returning with a big box. It was imported from Mr. Satan’s recommended company in Switzerland, sans poison and expensive, but very worth it.
Between two Saiyans, each with an incorrigible sweet tooth, the whole box quickly disappeared. After a last cherry cordial, they both leaned back with satisfaction to enjoy the magic.
Unfortunately, it was short-lived. “That wasn’t such a good idea,” Vegeta commented. Her face looked a bit green, as did Goten’s.
“We ate the whole box on empty stomachs,” Goten miserably reminded her.
“It was your idea!” Vegeta snapped irritably. No puking… anything but that.
“Was not, it was yours!” Goten shot back, in equal dread of her stomach going into reverse. She opened a pack of white crackers and poured more tea.
“If I drink any more tea, it’ll leak out my ears,” Vegeta complained, but took her cup and crackers anyway.
Goten picked up hers as well, too weary to argue. Vegeta needed to vent, such was her nature. Goten had her own stress relievers, probably not the healthiest, but not deadly, either.
When their nausea had passed, Vegeta commented in lofty annoyance, “I don’t understand! Women get this all the time – Saiyans were the same – many complain, but they still carry on as usual. Our ki is the same as before, so why are we affected to such an extreme? It’s ridiculous!” She folded her arms angrily.
“Probably because real females have their whole lives to develop,” Goten reasoned, “We had about half an hour.”
It probably was that simple, Vegeta figured, though weakness being a deadly sin was the way she’d been raised. She glanced thoughtfully at Goten. “Have you noticed any unusual symptoms the days before?”
“It’s not a disease,” Goten chided amusedly despite herself, but thought about it. “I don’t know. Guess I was kinda moody.”
“You are a lot anyway,” Vegeta pointed out dryly. At Goten’s raised eyebrow she admitted, “I suppose I was a little as well.”
“I’d say you were…” Goten began. Don’t say ‘bitchy,’ she warned herself. “…easily annoyed,” she finished diplomatically, quickly adding, “But I didn’t find it strange.”
But Vegeta had overheard her thought. “I am not ‘bitchy!’” she exclaimed indignantly, “And I meant things like pain, headaches, and feeling like you’re gonna puke.“ She glared angrily at Goten, then at the wall, her mouth pinched in a thin line.
Goten winced at her ki, a cold, piercing anger that darted in random directions, including straight at her. She didn’t need this, especially with unfamiliar hormones bouncing around like screaming meemies. Even in her normal form, she had some significant issues; a cocktail of this caliber held the potential of giving her a nervous breakdown. “That’s not what I meant,” she pronounced tersely, struggling to keep her voice even, “We’re in bad moods, whatever you want to call it. I don’t care.“ She turned sullenly, thinking she should probably leave the house for a time, and now, before things degenerated on a major scale.
“I know exactly what you meant,” Vegeta seethed, “You didn’t think me being ‘bitchy’ was unusual because I’m one anyway… but what the hell, you know it all! So go sulk like the drama queen you are. Stoned or not, you have to be awfully stupid to make such a wish!” She was on her feet, hands clenched into fists, and blue-white sparks of ki sizzled around her.
Goten’s face looked first shocked, as though Vegeta had slapped her, then gradually turned to fury. “If you think you scare me, don’t make me laugh!” Goten sneered back caustically, “I’m sick and tired of walking on eggshells around you, just so you don’t turn SSJ-Bitch!” She was also yelling now, bearing an ironic ressemblance to her uncle, with the same sparks of ki flashing around her.
Their narrowed battle glares of dangerously glowing teal locked, the ends of their hair lighting up in random steaks of gold as they slowly circled each other. It was difficult to tell who said or did what next, beyond some incoherent cursing, before battle hell broke loose.
Gohan flew through the early summer air, accompanied by Videl, Trunks, Krillin, and 18, grateful for a small breeze that cooled the stillness of a slowly encroaching thunderstorm. They were returning from a routine visit to the Lookout with a new supply of senzu beans. Even in times of peace, they knew, it was best to stay prepared.
The small group was talking cheerfully when they picked up the vibes of two hostile ki. They paused in midair, a drop of sweat forming on Gohan’s brow when they realized from which direction they emanated.
“Oh gods,“ Trunks muttered, yelling to the others, “Hurry!”
“What’s happening?” Krillin asked, the other three flying faster to keep up with the demi Saiyans. He and 18 had not been told, nor anyone else as promised.
“What I suspect to be my worst nightmare right now coming true,” Gohan replied quickly.
“Seconded,” Trunks added. Their determined faces did not betray their actual panic, but Videl knew better, and accelerated.
“‘Why don’t you go with us?’ you said. ‘It’ll do you good to get out,’ you said,” 18 mimicked her husband.
“It’s not funny, 18, they’re in real danger with ki levels like that.” Krillin wasn’t one to make light of potential life threats, while it was how 18 dealt with them.
“Faster!” Trunks yelled to the group. They could see the waterfall in the foothills of Kasumi-Mori near the small capsule house. Landing by the yard, they hit the ground running.
“You three, stay outside,” Gohan said to Videl, Krillin, and 18.
Videl looked protesting out of worry, but the chestnut duo shook their heads and stepped back while the demis rushed to the house. Yelling, things breaking, and fighting noises with ki blasts were heard from inside.
“No problem. I want no part of that.” 18 crossed her arms and leaned against a fir tree.
When Videl didn’t understand, 18 lapsed into the meme theme song that the former had jokingly sent her:
“’Fuck This Shit I’m Out /MmmMmm/ Fuck This Shit I’m Out/ No Thanks/ Don’t Mind Me/ Imma Just Grab My Stuff And Leave/ ‘Scuse Me Please/ Fuck This Shit I’m Out/ Nope/ Fuck This Shit I’m Out/ Alright Then/ I Don’t Know What The Fuck Just Happened/ But I Don’t Really Care/ ImmaGetTheFuckUpOutaHere/ Fuck This Shit I’m Out.‘”
“I wish you hadn’t sent her that,” Krillin complained to Videl, trying to hear what was happening.
“You didn’t do the little dance,” Videl pointed out, catching on to her coping strategy.
Fortunately for their front door, Vegeta and Goten left it unlocked when they were home and unoccupied. The house was small excepting the training room, and Gohan and Trunks had no trouble finding them.
Physically separating them was another story. Gohan trapped Goten’s arms from behind, and Trunks did the same with Vegeta. It wasn’t nearly that easy, however, and though the couple’s respective brother and son finally succeeded, they did not come out unscathed. Keeping them restrained was yet another challenge.
“Both of you, calm down at once!” Gohan commanded firmly, “Get ahold of yourselves.”
“You both fuck off!” Vegeta growled at them, “It’s none of your goddamn business!” Goten was cursing a blue streak at them that was barely comprehensible.
“Mostly not,” Trunks agreed in an attempt to rationalize, “But you engaged in Mortal Kombat is our business. Why are you fighting?”
The question resulted in both yelling in unison, “SHE SAID–”
“No. The real reason,” Gohan insisted firmly. By some miracle, he seemed to have got through to them, as both were quiet. They suddenly looked confused; indeed, that was a good question.
Outside, the trio looked up when the noise stopped.
“Do you think that’s a good or bad sign?” Krillin asked nervously.
Videl shook her head. “I knew all the cops in Satan City, and every one of them said they dreaded domestic violence cases the most.” The term used to describe any of them sounded off somehow.
“They’re Saiyans, it’s not the same thing,” 18 pointed out, “What say we take a look?“
“Wait!” Videl held out her hands to stop them. “We promised not to tell anyone. All I can say is, it was an accident and it’s temporary. And you…” She imitated the see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil monkeys. “Got it?”
Krillin and 18 nodded in half dread, half morbid fascination and followed her in sneaking to a window from whence they’d heard the noise. They could not hear what was being said at normal volumes, but could see Gohan and Trunks warily release them. Vegeta and Goten were equally bruised up, their clothing partially ripped from them in classic Saiyan style. “I can’t unsee that,” she commented, “Imma do the little dance.”
“18, please!” Videl muttered.
“Everyone is alive. Just be glad.” Krillin spoke by experience, and, like Goku, he often lived by the Way of the Three Wise Monkeys.
Gohan and Trunks looked around at the shambles in the living room, stumped that its bruised up inhabitants did not seem to think anything was out of the ordinary.
Gohan reached down among some broken glass and picked up the half-empty pill bottle. “Okay, I see.“
“Correct, the bitch mints don’t help,” Vegeta muttered dryly. She moved to sit down but winced, thinking better of it. She and Goten had literally no place that didn’t hurt, and moving was difficult now that they’d stopped fighting. They settled for leaning unsteadily against a wall.
Trunks glanced at the pill bottle, then at them. “You’re invaded by hormones you aren’t supposed to have, result, you beat the crap out of each other. Gohan…?”
Gohan fished their new pouch of senzu beans from his pocket and tossed them one each. “I’d have to call it divine intervention.“
They quickly ate their welcome magic beans, relieved to be in top shape again, but stood in awkward silence.
It was no less awkward for Gohan and Trunks, who’d never seen the couple exchange a cross word. Trunks glanced back, thinking of the trio waiting for them outside. “Can we be sure you aren’t gonna kill each other?”
“We’ll be fine,” Goten mumbled with embarassment, “It’s like you said, evil hormones.”
Remembering, Trunks went to look at Goten’s wall calendar. “You see?” he pointed out optimistically, “Barely a week and a half to go and you’ll be normal again, and the hell-mones only last a few days.” Heard thus objectively, it didn’t seem so long anymore.
“Just stay out of each other’s way, or do what you must, but please don’t do that again,” Gohan told them, “You scared the hell out of us.”
Vegeta folded her arms with a dry look at Gohan. “Speaking of fear, how did you and your father explain that to Goten? She thought she was dying or something.”
“And you only noticed the pain when you knew what it was,” Goten pointed out. At Gohan’s stern look, she promised. “We won’t fight anymore.”
Gohan and Trunks watched them warily and Gohan conceded. “Alright, I’ll call tomorrow afternoon to make sure.” When they were as reassured as they would get, he and Trunks left them seated on the floor, in clumsy silence but painless.
“You okay?” Goten asked. Their minds were still trying to process what had happened and why.
Vegeta nodded. “You?” She glanced at the mess around them.
“Now,” Goten replied with a reproachful look, “Why do you gotta be so mean?”
“Me?” Vegeta began, before seeing and returning Goten’s little smile. “Because you like it.”
There was nothing like a good fight to set their hormonal levels where they should be, with the shared thought that the other never looked sexier than with her clothes ripped to pathetic shreds by her own hands to reveal just enough… The forecasted rain and thunder broke free outside and their lips connected, first softly then heatedly in a desiring embrace that showed them the cure for their current malaise. The worse the fight, the better the making up. The looks in their eyes alone showed much need to make up for.
The next few days passed without major incident, even though it would remain in their memories as the worst month in their lives.
One otherwise silent middle of the night, Vegeta was suddenly awakened when Goten sat up abruptly with a terrorized gasp. She was trembling in a cold sweat, taking awhile to realize it had only been a nightmare. Even the sleepy buzz of the cicadas outside seemed to pause.
Vegeta switched on her lamp in confusion and shook Goten’s shoulder. “Hey. Just a nightmare.” She put an arm around her, waiting for her to calm down, which took awhile. “Jeez, what could be that bad?” she asked sleepily.
The demi Saiyan’s eyes were still a mix of terror and sleepiness. “I dreamed you knocked me up.”
“What?!” Vegeta sat up straighter, but shook her head. “Of all the… Goten, how in the hell would I do that?”
“If you change back to normal before me, or vice-versa…” To her explanation, Vegeta was quiet, debating odds and possibilities. “In the dream, I was just going to tell Mom,” Goten specified.
“Oh.” That would qualify as a nightmare, Vegeta thought. Dutifully she encouraged Goten to go back to sleep, but left the lamp on for longer than usual before they drifted back off.