This is my very belated Christmas story for 2002. *laughs*
Posted: 5th Jan 2002
Warnings: a bit of fluff and the second part may be considered too informative…and no sex!! *looks around as she loses half her readers* Yep, a change from the stories I usually write. No lemon, no lime, no porn.
Disclaimer: I don’t own DBZ… And my apologies if I get some of my facts wrong; I did as much research as I could (without moving from my computer)…
Thanks: to Lully for beta-reading this!
Quick background: Somehow, Vegeta and Goku are together, and Bulma and Chi Chi are together. The three boys spend time with both sets of parents. They call Vegeta ‘Otousan’ and Goku ‘Dad’.
And if anyone is still left...
Vegeta dragged himself out of the gravity training room, looking up at the darkening sky with a groan. It was starting to snow lightly and dusk was falling.
Grumbling under his breath, he started to walk back to the main house, a series of domes connected by walkways. Each half-spherical structure constituted a set of rooms: one for him and Kakarrot, one for their sons and a larger one for the main living area. It was a neat and modular arrangement. At present, the white domes were gaily decorated with a thin frosting of snow and gaudy streamers of tiny blinking lights.
It was that time of the year again. The Saiyan prince did not mind the cold; heck he loved snow, and he did not really mind the fact that all three of their sons were at home for the holidays, despite his constant complaints.
No, what he really detested was that baka Ningen holiday. Sure, it was nice to get gifts and he did like the feasting, but it was annoying to see how the whole world suddenly went crazy. Their sons were practically bouncing off the walls, and everyone was suddenly visiting everyone else, grinning like idiots and exchanging gaudy gifts that would probably be returned to the mall the following week. And it was even more mortifying to see his own mate get all cheerful and sunny like an overgrown kid.
It was …weird. Puzzling. And annoying…extremely annoying.
He had taken to spending more time in the gravity room, hiding from his family when they wanted to go out shopping, or bake cookies, or decorate the house, or do something …festive. He shuddered when he remembered that time a couple of years ago when Trunks had demanded that his ‘tousan bring him to see Santa Claus. His ‘kasaan had been doing that for years now, but suddenly that five-year old brat wanted his ‘tousan and nobody else but his ‘tousan. Oh Kami… He felt a headache coming on just recalling that particular fiasco.
Stepping through the main door, he paused as the scent of fresh pine and chocolate assaulted his senses. Suddenly, brawny arms swept him up.
“Mistletoe attack!!” Goku planted a loud smacking kiss on the startled prince’s lips.
“Mistletoe! If you stand under mistletoe, you’ll get a kiss!” Vegeta looked up to see a small wreath above his head, complete with a pair of shiny red balls…berries… seated within a nest of spiky emerald leaves.
“Oh…right. I forgot.” The older Saiyan’s mood picked up a little. Well, not everything was annoying about the holiday traditions. He pulled his mate down for another kiss. A proper kiss this time.
“Hey dad! Look at what I made!” A high-pitched voice piped up.
Vegeta scowled down at the black-haired interruption while his father blinked and stuttered, trying to switch from ‘lover’ to ‘dad’ mode. “Oh, Goten…heh heh…uhm… what did you make?”
“A list for Santa!” Vegeta rolled his eyes as he stomped towards their room to shower. Yet another thing about the holiday that irked him. No, scratch that. That was probably the thing which irritated him most about Christmas.
That obese guy in the horrendous red suit.
Dinner was nosier than usual that night, as four-year old Goten and five-year old Trunks chattered on excitedly about their visit to the mall the next day. Now that he was twelve, Gohan pretended to be cool about the festivities, but it was obvious that the normally serious and studious boy was affected by the holiday mood as well.
Goku had agreed to bring the kids to the shopping center the next day so that they could buy their presents and also present their wish list to Santa. Their mothers were not around; they had decided to take a break from the hectic festivities and their maternal duties this year. Bulma had taken Chi Chi to the Bahamas for two weeks in the sun and some ‘us’ time. And so, instead of spending alternate weeks over at each of their parents’ places, the kids were now spending two entire weeks at their fathers’ house.
Including Christmas. Oh joy.
Vegeta’s frown deepened as the two younger boys compared their wish lists. As he opened his mouth, Goku caught his eye with a pleading look and a discreet shake of his head. Ohhh fine. He hesitated for a few moments and then shut his mouth with a snap.
Knowing that Vegeta was close to blowing up, Goku quickly intervened. “Uhh, boys, are you both done with dinner now? It’s almost time for your cartoon hour.”
As soon as the two boys skipped out from the room to see their favorite cartoons, Vegeta spoke up. “You do realize, Kakarrot, that there is no such person as Santa Claus.”
“There isn’t??” But the wide, shining eyes of shock didn’t fool the prince for a second. “Hahahahaha…. Of course I know that, Vegeta. I was just kidding.”
“And do the brats know that too?”
“Gohan!” Vegeta barked. The older lad had been trying to pick up his plate and move away quietly, not wishing to be drawn into taking sides. “You do know that fat guy in the red suit is a fake, ne?”
Gohan nodded and then quickly made his escape to the kitchen.
“So we all know that. Yet, would somebody please tell me why we continue to deceive our sons like this? And why you all continue to prattle on as if that fake was real?” Vegeta spat in frustration. “It’s all so bloody stupid! In fact, the more I think about it, the more ridiculous I think this whole myth is. And I am going to tell them that …”
“Wait, Vegeta! Don’t do that!” Goku caught the prince’s wrist as he stood up. “They’ll feel so crushed!”
Vegeta glared at his mate. “But they will definitely find out about it one day. Brat! When and how did you find out?”
Gohan had been trying to sneak past the dining table to go back to his room, but no such luck. ”Uhh…when I was about seven I think…”
“And how did you find out?” Vegeta sat back down and kicked out another chair with a foot. “Sit.”
Gohan sat, seeing no escape. “Well… I had been getting suspicious since I was six or so. I mean, certain things just didn’t add up; how can there be more than one Santa appearance at different malls at the same time? Or how can he deliver presents to the millions of kids all over the world, all within one night? And so on… But then I thought; the Z sensei can do all these and more, so maybe Santa Claus is a sensei like us too…”
“But…?” Goku listened with interest. He just realized that he had never asked his elder son about the issue before.
Gohan sighed, raking a hand through his dark hair uneasily under his fathers’ intense looks. “I finally realized the Christmas when I was seven. I decided to prove to myself that there was a Santa Claus, so I pretended to sleep early and then sneaked out to wait in the living room. And…ahm…when I saw you filling my stocking, Dad… I somehow knew that you had been doing it every year, and I realized then and there that there was no Santa Claus.”
“Oh…” Goku remembered how quiet Gohan had been the next morning, but he had not thought much about it.
“And how did you feel?” Vegeta looked at the adolescent intently.
“Uhm… bad. At first.” Vegeta shot his mate an ‘I told you so’ look as Gohan rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “Ano…Dad… I don’t blame you, really. I did not know what to say to you after that. I felt betrayed and angry and uncertain… but after a few days, I realized that you did it to make me happy. So I decided to keep my mouth shut, and soon after that, Goten was born and suddenly, well...” He shrugged. “Later on, I got over it. I also let slip that I knew, and that I didn’t mind playing along because it was nice to receive presents.”
“We can give you presents; we don’t need to pretend that it was some fat guy in a red suit who gave them to you.” Vegeta rolled his eyes in exasperation.
“Well, yeah… But it was fun in a way…” Gohan struggled to find the words to say. “I mean, there are so many legends and myths out there, and this was a rather fun legend… you know? Like the legend of the Super Saiyan.”
“That was not a legend.” The prince looked highly insulted.
“Ok, bad example.” Gohan replied hurriedly.
“Yeah, but until I first became one, nobody knew for sure.” Goku interjected.
“Kakarrot. That is not the point. The Super Saiyan is real. Santa Claus is not.” Vegeta crossed his arms, frowning. “And our sons should know that.”
“Either way, they would feel bad. But would you rather they feel bad now? Or later, when they have spent more years believing in the phony? Forget those onnas. Don’t you feel stupid about deliberately deceiving our sons?”
Goku winced at the bald statement. Put that way, it did sound really bad. “Well, yeah… But how will we tell them?”
Vegeta cocked his head to the side curiously. “What do you mean, how do we tell them? We just tell them… say it straight out.”
“Fine, if you’re going to be so cowardly about it, then I will tell them.” Vegeta scowled and stood up. “Bakas.”
“Brats.” Both boys paused in the middle of their board game and looked up. When they came to stay with their fathers, the two younger boys shared a room while Gohan had his own. The boys’ dome was divided into thirds; the two bedrooms opened up to the corridor leading to the central common areas, and the shared bathroom occupied the last third of the dome.
“About your visit to the mall tomorrow…” Vegeta trailed off, suddenly finding it awkward to vocalize his thoughts.
“Awww ‘tousan! You’re not going to say we can’t go right?” Trunks immediately complained as he pointed accusingly to Goku. “Dad promised!”
“No, that wasn’t what I wanted to say.” Vegeta glared down at his son. “Kakarrot will still be bringing all of you tomorrow.”
“But?” Trunks injected. Goten kept quiet; he wasn’t as fearless of the bad-tempered prince as the prince’s son, but he did look worried as well.
Vegeta cleared his throat and looked towards his mate, but the taller male only stood to the side with a smug ‘I told you it won’t be easy’ look on his face. Gohan hung around nearby, hoping not to get drawn into what he foresaw to be a messy explanation, yet he was still curious to see how the prince would handle the situation.
“Um..well, about that fat guy in the red suit…”
“’tousan?” Trunks asked again after the silence stretched. Uneasily, he recalled his father’s rather unflattering comments about Santa Claus from the unfortunate time when he and his mother had managed to pester his grouchy father into bringing him down to see the jolly man. There had been a huge argument between his parents that night after they came home, and he had felt so bad that he never dared ask his father again.
Vegeta sighed and raked a hand through his hair. Fuck… Here goes nothing. “There is no such person as Santa Claus.”
There was another long pause. The three older Saiyans tensed. And then Trunks and Goten burst into laughter. “You’re kidding, right ‘tousan?”
“No. Why would I lie?” Vegeta looked hard at a certain red-faced male. Goku shifted uncomfortably. “That fat guy in the red suit is just a legend. He is not real.”
Goten’s eyes widened. “But… we… everyone has seen him…”
“That is some person the mall hired to play the part. How do you think he can appear in shopping centers all around the world at the same time?”
“Split form technique!” Trunks announced triumphantly. “If you all can do it…”
“Yes, into two, three bodies! Not over a thousand over forms! And what about…” The questions and explanations bounced back and forth as Vegeta tried to convince their young sons logically, while the two boys remained stubbornly unconvinced. They had grown up amidst people with impressive powers, and with their demi-Saiyan heritage, Santa Claus’s amazing feats did not seem all that amazing after all.
“Arrgh! I give up!” Vegeta wanted to blast something, preferably the baka who came up with the myth in the first place… And after that, all the baka ningens who thought it would be fun to propagate such a ridiculous rumor. “Fine, believe in that crap…” He stomped out of the bedroom in a black mood, muttering under his breath. “Just don’t …wailing… finally discover…baka ningens…baka holiday…”
Breakfast was rather subdued the next morning. The two younger boys ate quietly, and Vegeta was worried for a while that he might have been too abrupt with them.
“Dad? Is it really true?” Goten suddenly asked.
Goku sighed in guilt and nodded.
“But…” Trunks scowled as he poked viciously at his egg. “I… well… I was thinking about what you said last night, and… ‘tousan, would you come down to the mall with us?” He blurted out the last bit in a rush as he looked up at his father. “I know you said you will never bring us there again, and I promised not to ask you, but I need to know after what you said last night and I…”
“I’ll come, Trunks.” Vegeta softened his clipped statement with a nod and a small smile. Trunks looked down at his food again, embarrassed at his sudden outburst. “Arigato, Otousan.”
“Well, what do you think, Vegeta?” Goku asked as they did the dishes, having instructed the boys to go and change. With the speed garnered from their training, it was literally a breeze. Two blurs moved around the kitchen; one washed and dried the plates while the other cleaned the table and cleared out the coffee grounds.
The shorter Saiyan shrugged. “Good that they thought about it.” Inwardly, he was strangely pleased that his own son had asked him to accompany him to The Hellhole, as he termed it. He didn’t like shopping much, but to have a collection of shops and eateries in one place was certainly convenient. However, he absolutely refused to go down during the holidays if he could help it. Still, the fact that his son had looked up to him for support gave him a nice feeling, and he supposed he could brave the hordes and screaming kids just this once for him.
Goku just smiled as they walked back to their own bedroom. He had been a little surprised at Trunks’ request and more than a little surprised at his normally surly mate’s ready agreement. Vegeta had often complained that he detested crowds. “It was really nice of you to come along for Trunks.”
“Hn.” Vegeta rolled his eyes as he changed into a pair of dark slacks and a crimson sweater. “He had better not expect it to be a regular occurrence.”
Two hours later, Vegeta was beginning to seriously regret his decision. They had been standing in the queue all that time just to see the fat, red guy that sat on a dais at the other end. Kids all around them were screaming, wailing and chattering excitedly in their shrill voices. Vegeta had wandered off to look for a snack, but when he returned, the snaking line did not appeared to have moved at all. With an irritated sigh, Vegeta folded his arms. Closing his eyes with a frown, he waited… for all of 10 minutes before he growled and stalked away again, ostensibly to look for food again.
Finally, it was their turn. Vegeta watched as his son walked slowly up the steps, noticing how the lavender-haired boy seemed less enthusiastic than usual. At first, he didn't seem to want to climb onto the broad, red-velvet covered lap, but then, a shrewd look crossed his face and he hopped up.
"So! Have you been..."
"Here." Trunks cut him off and passed a piece of paper to Santa. The fat man looked surprised initially at the young boy's curtness but then shrugged it off, supremely relieved that he didn't have to listen to another brat rattling off his list. As he looked at the slightly crumpled paper, he didn't notice the boy on his lap poking curiously at his rounded stomach nor tugging gently at his white beard with a look of horror.
"Now, boy, you do realize that I cannot give you all of the toys that you have asked for,"
"Uhh, that's ok. Umm, I've got to go." Trunks interrupted the oft-recited speech and jumped off the startled man's lap.
"Goten! 'tousan was right! Santa is a fake!" Trunks whispered to his companion in betrayed horror. "I poked his stomach, and it felt just like a pillow, not a real stomach! And when I pulled his beard, I saw it separate from his chin! It was just a fake one, hooked onto his ears!"
"What??" Goten’s mouth dropped open. Suddenly, the normally placid boy got angry. "How dare he trick us?" And before Trunks’ astonished eyes, Vegeta’s amused ones and Goku’s embarrassed face, the young spiky-haired boy practically stomped up to the fake Santa Claus.
Goten yanked hard on the white beard, and the hairy attachment promptly tore from the hooks around the unfortunate man’s ears. “Oww! Why you rude little…”
“You’re a fake!” Goten yelled indignantly, pointing a short finger up in the man’s now beardless face accusingly.
“Now, wait a minute, kid…” The fat man started to sweat nervously as the kids around started crying. He could see the store manager heading his way and he blurted out in panic. “I’m just a helper for Santa!”
Plastering a broad jolly grin to his face, he blustered on. “Yeah! I mean, the big man’s really busy you know… That’s why he has helpers like us, so that he can still keep all you …wonderful kids happy!”
Goku face-vaulted and Vegeta wanted to puke. But all the kids, including Goten and Trunks, bought it, lapping the excuse up eagerly. Goten handed back the clump of fake white hair sheepishly. “Uh, I’m really sorry, Mr Santa helper…”
Vegeta turned to Goku with a growl, pulling his taller mate down by the front of his forest green sweater. “I can’t take this bullshit much longer. So unless you don’t mind me blowing something up, I’ll be waiting outside for you. You have 5 minutes to get the brats out.”
Onto Part 2
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