Learning to Love - Chapter 29 - Fanficlover345 (2024)

Chapter Text

The Nimbus zoomed through West City early in the morning, carrying Goku and his girlfriend Suno. Goku sat behind Suno, his arms wrapped gently around her, providing a sense of safety while airborne. Meanwhile, he quickly sent Bulma a message to inform her of their departure from Jingle Village. With each passing minute, the Nimbus picked up speed, creating powerful gusts of wind that whizzed past them. Their laughter echoed, filling the air as they looked down at the vibrant cityscape below. Soon, their destination loomed into view.

In the aerial view, the familiar dome-shaped building stood surrounded by trees and other advanced structures. The flying Nimbus floated downwards, coming to a stop just behind the entrance of Capsule Corp. Goku released his arms from around Suno and hopped off, extending a hand toward her. Without hesitation, she took his hand and carefully descended from the cloud. Hand in hand, they approached the front door. Goku rapped on the door with a few solid knocks, and together, he and Suno waited for a response.

With a gentle creak, the door swung open, revealing the warm and welcoming presence of Mrs. Briefs. The couple exchanged greetings with the kind-hearted woman, who graciously invited them into her family home. Mrs. Briefs informed them that Bulma and the others eagerly awaited their arrival in the cozy living room. They made their way there, anticipation building with each step.

They soon entered the entire living room where Gohan, Goten and some of their friends— Krillin, Eighteen, Bulma, Vegeta, Trunks, Videl, Mr. Satan and Piccolo were present. All seated around the coffee table. The others were absent, presumably busy with their own stuff.

"Daddy! Suno! You made it!" Goten waved at them with a bright smile radiating happiness, while cushioned between his brother and Videl.

Gohan returned the gesture, his hand raised in a friendly greeting. "Dad, Suno, it's really great to see you! How are you both?"

Suno smiled at her boyfriend's sons, her hand gently resting on her chest. "Aw, we're doing really well!" she replied, her voice filled with warmth.

"Better than ever!" Goku exclaimed, his grin spreading from ear-to-ear. "Good to see that both my boys are doing well this morning."

"You two look like you've had a wonderful night's sleep." Bulma exclaimed with a warm smile.

"We certainly did." Suno replied with a bit of remorse. "Sorry that we're a little late, though. We've been a bit occupied with our daily routine this morning."

Bulma casually dismissed the apology. "No need to apologize." she remarked, extending her hand towards a cushioned sofa at the table. "Please, take a seat so we can delve into the court preparations."

Both settled into the plush, double-cushioned sofa, and extended friendly greetings to the other members present, asking how their night was, and just exchanging a few pleasantries. Notably with Krillin, Eighteen, Videl and Mr. Satan. Amidst the pleasantries, an unspoken silence lingered in the air, as every person present knew this meeting held a significant purpose.

"So I guess now is the time to start preparing for Goten's custody hearing, right?" Suno finally spoke, her hands resting in her lap.

"That's right." Goku put his hands together, his voice grim and face showing determination. "We have to start getting ready for that moment, isn't that so, Bulma?"

Bulma's response was firm, her gaze fixed on her friend. "Exactly, Goku. We must approach this with utmost seriousness and precision."

Gohan leaned in closer, an intense gaze fixated on the scientist. "So what's the idea, then?"

"We first have to discuss what Goku is going to wear, what he'll say and how to behave in court." Bulma replied sternly, then she glanced over at her childhood friend in thought. "I'm assuming you don't have any professional clothing with you, Goku?"

Goku's shoulders slumped slightly as he admitted, "No, I don't have anything suitable for such an occasion."

Krillin interjected, his voice thoughtful. "Well, if we talk about clothing, Eighteen is a real expert, right honey? You used to help me pick out clothes all the time and thanks to you, Marron has quite the wardrobe."

"That's right," Eighteen nodded, her expression serious and determined. "I can help with no problem. We'll make sure Goku looks presentable for the hearing."

Goku let out a big sigh of relief. "Whoa, thanks a lot, Eighteen. Because as you all know already, I have no idea about wearing fancy clothes, haha..." He finished that with a small chuckle and a scratch of his head.

Videl's voice cut through. "I'll help too!"

"Really?" Gohan looked at his girlfriend in surprise, his serious demeanor momentarily softened.

"Yeah, I have no problem with that. We can search through different clothing stores to see what outfit would be suitable for Goku to wear in court." Videl explained, her gaze briefly fixed at her partner before looking back at the rest of the group.

Goku offered her an appreciative smile. "Well, thanks a lot, Videl. I will really need a lot of help with this."

Suno cut in, her voice firm and resolute. "And I'll accompany you as well. I want to help out as much as I can."

"Oh yeah, please. I need you by my side, Suno." Goku replied, his voice filled with conviction. He reached out and gently placed his hand on hers, their fingers laced together. "The three of you have a lot of experience about this, so I know I have to listen to you."

Bulma's eyes narrowed, her tone becoming steely. "Sounds like a plan, but we'll need to take care of that as soon as possible. Time isn't really on our side."

Vegeta reclined on the sofa, crossing his arms and fixing the group with a hardened gaze. "You have a point there. Because just like us, that harpy is setting things up too against Kakarot."

Eighteen's voice dripped with anger as she muttered, "With General White in the mix, it's bound to get even messier."

"That's right, Eighteen. We have to play our cards really well this time." Goku then looked towards Bulma once more. "So after the clothes is what I'll say in court, how to behave and when the evidence will be presented, right?"

"Exactly."

Krillin paused, deep in thought. "Now that I think about it, Eighteen already said something about that, back when we met at Kami's Lookout, right honey?"

"I did." Eighteen recalled, then she firmly addressed Goku in an unwavering tone. "Chichi will most likely—" she paused for a moment, rethinking her words. "no, she wants to get a rise out of you in court, so no matter what you hear from her, you have to keep quiet."

Goku's jaw tightened as he repeated that, understanding the importance. "Oh yeah, now I do remember that. No matter what she says about me, I have to keep my mouth shut... until I get permission to speak."

"You got that right." Bulma chimed back in, her voice still unwavering.

"Because if you don't, you'll screw everything up, just like when you almost killed her." Piccolo's steely gaze was fixated on Goku as he gave the Saiyan a sharp reminder of that one grave mistake.

"That's true..." Videl mumbled, her voice barely audible above a whisper.

Goku gazed down at the floor, still feeling a small twinge of guilt. "Yeah, if it wasn't for Vegeta and for Suno too... this case would already be over before even making it to court."

"Hey," Bulma said, reaching over to gently touch his arm. She released his arm once he turned his gaze back to the group. "We're not going to let that happen. Now we need to discuss how the evidence will be presented in the courtroom, which is the most crucial aspect of all."

"Well Bulma, considering you've been the one safeguarding it all this time, it would be most fitting for you to present it." Gohan suggested with a light tone.

"I suppose there's nothing wrong with that."

Piccolo shrugged nonchalantly. "You practically orchestrated the whole plan to gather it, so I'm with Gohan on this one."

"I'm with you too, son! Wait—" Goku hesitated, a sudden realization dawning on him. "don't we need a lawyer as well? Just like how Chichi has General White representing her?"

Bulma took a deep breath, her voice steady as she began to explain, "Normally, a lawyer would be required for these types of complex legal cases, but I'm considering taking on that role. I'm quite confident that I can handle it since I have extensive knowledge of the legal system. By doing this, we gain greater control over the case, including our strategies and the presentation of evidence. Additionally... because of my name and status, it's unlikely that anyone would raise questions about my involvement."

With a contented sigh, Goku sank into the plush cushions of the sofa. "Alright! So I think that we have everything so far!"

"Not so fast—" Bulma interjected, her intense gaze piercing across the coffee table at Goku. "we'll need a witness for the custody trial. Someone will have to testify against Chichi." Her eyes swiftly shifted, locking onto the oldest half-Saiyan. "Gohan, you're the perfect witness!"

Goku looked at her, surprise etched across his face. "Really?"

"Yeah dad." Gohan reassured him, his tone steady. "I can be the witness, because we do need a testimony from someone who actually witnessed the horrible things 'she' did. Goten can't do it because he's too young, but I was there too. I gathered those pictures and those two recordings. So I think that I should be the one to expose 'her' in front of everybody."

Goku nodded, a mix of gratitude and pride in his expression. "That's true, Gohan. You've shown great courage and determination. I believe you can handle it."

"Great idea," Eighteen affirmed.

"He does have a point there." Vegeta stated simply, acknowledging Gohan's contribution.

Videl shot up, excitement lighting her eyes like a bright bulb. "Bulma, you can be the next witness, right?"

"It's not possible, I'm afraid." Bulma replied, shaking her head. "Because I'm already doing a lawyer's work, presenting all the evidence and defending Goku. I can't be acting as a witness and representing Goku at the same time."

Videl's face fell as realization dawned on her. "That's true... so the only witnesses would be Goku and Gohan, I suppose?"

"Exactly, it's perfect that way."

"I wonder if Chichi's filed for the divorce yet..." Suno pondered, laying a hand against the armrest.

Goku's brows furrowed with concern as he responded, his voice tinged with worry. "We don't know about that, but Vegeta's right. Chichi is undoubtedly plotting her own moves as we speak."

"Hold on a sec... there's a way we can find out!" Bulma cried out excitedly, her hands crashing down on the coffee table.

Goku winced at the sound, then he gazed at her intently, hope filling him. "There is?"

"Yeah!" Bulma rummaged through her lab coat and fished out her cell-phone, a bright smile showing as she held it aloft for the whole group to see. "I can call the West City courthouses to find out if Chichi has filed for the divorce or not!"

Gohan raised an eyebrow, his curiosity piqued. "You can actually do that, Bulma?"

"Of course I can!"

Krillin blinked his eyes, astonished at her quick thinking. "Wow Bulma... when people say you're a genius, they're not lying." His expression shifted to concern, "Hold it— who's going to foot the bill for all this?"

"Yeah. Court hearings can be insanely expensive..." Suno couldn't help but voice her concern. "There'll probably be a lot of costs involved, and it may not be easy paying for everything."

Bulma shot them a confident wink. "No worries, I'll take care of that too!"

"No, Bulma. Let me pay for all this time."

The entire room descended into a profound silence as everyone's gaze shifted towards the origin of the voice - the esteemed world martial arts champion himself, Mr. Satan. His typical demeanor had transformed into one of intense seriousness, compelling the undivided attention of every individual present. With an unwavering gaze and a firmly set jaw, he locked eyes with each person in the room. Confusion and curiosity etched across their faces, as no one knew why he had cut in like that.

Krillin blinked. "Wait... what?"

Eighteen just gave a strange look. "Huh?"

Bulma raised an eyebrow, "Mr. Satan?"

"Dad?" Videl tilted her head.

"Please, let me explain this to all of you." Mr. Satan implored, his voice resonating with unwavering conviction.

Once he had successfully captured their attention, he rose from the sofa, towering over them like a proud figure. After a momentary pause, he closed his eyes, collecting his thoughts, before reopening them with firm determination.

"As you all know, I don't have not even 1% of the power you guys possess. In fact, I feel indebted to Gohan for shouldering the credit of killing Cell seven years ago, when it was actually you Gohan who killed him by delivering the final blow. Even Videl knew about that." His gaze briefly fixed on the couple, who exchanged stunned glances, their mouths agape, unable to find their voices amidst the weight of his words.

"This situation doesn't concern only Goku, but also you and Goten. I'm the one who took you guys in when you ran away from Chichi." He swiftly turned back to the silent group, a mixture of determination and vulnerability in his eyes. "So I really want to feel useful at least once with all of you. I know I helped Goku back against Majin Buu by telling people to send him energy for the Spirit Bomb, but now this is different." He locked eyes intensely with the CC heiress, his plea weighted with emotion.

"So please Bulma, let me pay for all the court fees. Let me pay off this debt that I have with Gohan... and with all of you."

Silence hung heavy in the air, each person grappling with the unexpected weight of Mr. Satan's emotional speech. Despite the many mistakes Mr. Satan made during his lifetime, they could all see the newfound fiery determination burning in his eyes - his unwavering resolve, his desire to contribute and prove his worth. In this very moment, it became crystal clear to them all that they sat before a real champion, one who learned from his past mistakes and was truly deserving of respect. The room brimmed with smiles among the group, all heartfelt and genuine, a reflection of their deep admiration for the remarkable transformation Mr. Satan had undergone.

"Well... I already said this once to your daughter," Piccolo began, his voice steady and his lips graced with a respectful smile. "While you'll never possess the powers we do, your compassion exceeds any victory we could ever have achieved on the battlefield."

Videl's eyes widened, her admiration for her father swelling in her chest. She whispered, her voice barely audible. "He's right, dad..."

Mr. Satan turned to his only daughter, his expression softening. "And I know Gohan is important not only for Goku, but for you too, Videl." He said, once again voicing his approval of her relationship.

Tears welled in Videl's eyes, threatening to spill over, but she blinked them back, determined to keep her composure. "Thanks a lot, dad... for your understanding..."

Gohan remained in silent shock over this speech, his mouth hanging open, "Woah... Mr. Satan... I-I don't know what to say about this..."

Goku fixed his gaze on the world champ, a smile aimed at him. "Well... back then I told you that you were the real savior of the universe, but now I can confirm... that you're a real hero, Mr. Satan."

Suno glanced up at him, her eyes shimmering with genuine warmth. "Hearing about what you've done for them all Mr. Satan, you have my full respect." she said, her voice carrying a mixture of awe and admiration, while offering a subtle nod of her head.

"That's right! Mr. Satan, you're a real life champion!" Krillin cheered, pumping his fist high up in the air.

Goten bounced up and down on the sofa. "Way to go, Mr. Satan!"

"Thanks to all of you."

Videl slowly rose from the cushioned sofa, and approached her father. Without a moment's hesitation, she threw herself into his arms, burying her face in the crook of his neck. Mr. Satan responded quickly, his arms enveloping her into a loving and protective embrace, lightly stroking her back. Both extended their arms outward, a silent invitation for the two Saiyan brothers to join in. Gohan and Goten rush forward, and the three form a circle, their bodies connecting in a powerful display of love and unity.

Suno and Goku stared at the display, with nothing but big proud smiles crossing their faces. They exchanged glances, before Goku eventually gazed over at Bulma, who flicked a tear from her eye.

"Well, you never saw this coming up, right Bulma?" Goku questioned, his smile unfaltering.

"I could have never seen this coming, but I'm glad it turned out this way," Bulma replied, while still keeping her gaze on the four.

Gohan, Goten, Videl and Mr. Satan withdrew from their embrace, arms gently sliding apart, fingers slipping free from their tight grasp. With a final, lingering look, they stepped aside as they had to return to the matters at hand.

Mr. Satan glanced over at the CC heiress, once again sporting a serious look. "So Bulma, you just take care of coaching Goku for the custody trial while the three of you—" He gestures towards his daughter, Suno and Eighteen. "help him to get really suitable clothes. I'll take care of all the payments."

"Thank you, Mr. Satan, this is very much appreciated." Bulma expressed with a huge smile, while reaching for her cell-phone on the coffee table. "While you three are out, I'll get to work calling all the courthouses I know to find out if Chichi has filed for the divorce. Also, I'll be transferring all the evidence onto this laptop, to ensure a seamless presentation in court." She retrieved the laptop from a nearby shelf, its polished surface gleaming.

"Alright!" Goku extended his hand to Suno, who eagerly clasped it, rising from the sofa in unison. "I think we should get going now if we hope to find some suitable clothes!"

Suno frowned with another touch of concern, "Wait... what about the expenses? Who's going to pay for all that?"

Videl, ever resourceful, chimed in with confidence, "I've got that covered!" She swiftly reached into her pocket, producing a credit card as if it were an ace up her sleeve.

Goku raised a brow at the object, a little hesitant. "You sure about this?"

"Don't worry Goku, it's not a problem at all!" Videl slid the card back into her pocket, patting his shoulder reassuringly.

"Okay, if you say so."

Eighteen took charge, striding purposefully towards the front door. She cast a glance over her shoulder, her gaze meeting the eyes of her three companions. "Now that we have that settled, let's get going. I know a fantastic shopping mall in West City where we're sure to find the perfect attire for you."

After exchanging goodbyes with the remaining attendees, the four of them gracefully exit through the grand front door and make their way towards the entrance of Capsule Corporation. Once they step out onto the vibrant streets, they opt for a leisurely walk on their way to the mall, allowing their minds to unwind and find solace in the tranquility of their surroundings.

The four embarked on a nice stroll through the highly-advanced city, while chatting amongst themselves. Goku and Suno held hands, their connection warm and comforting. Videl watched them with admiration, while Eighteen led the way, effortlessly navigating the streets. As they navigated their way through the winding pathways and sleek bridges, Suno couldn't help but excitedly share stories of the places she visited on the same day she reunited with Goku. Smiles graced their faces, and Goku couldn't help but pull Suno closer to him, cherishing the memories they were creating together.

It took quite a while, but their relaxing journey finally came to an end as they stood before a grand, multi-story commercial building boasting a sleek and modern design. Its facade was adorned with expansive windows, allowing streams of natural light to flood the interior. The building offered a myriad of levels and sections, inviting shoppers to explore its vast offerings. Vibrant signboards and enticing advertising displays adorned the lower levels. Eighteen beckoned Goku and the other ladies to follow her lead. They swiftly crossed the street, traversed the mall's bustling parking lot, and arrived at a set of automatic sliding glass doors. As the doors opened, the pair all stepped inside, ready to fulfill the purpose of their journey.

They traversed the sleek, polished marble walkways and climbed up and down escalators, passing a shop with colorful displays and a cozy café where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled the air. The journey felt never-ending until Eighteen finally halted at their destination—the entrance of an upscale, high-end clothing store. With a graceful sweep of her hand, she beckoned for them to follow. As they stepped through the automatic doors, the interior became more visible. Before them, the store unfolded into distinct sections, each carefully curated to captivate the discerning shopper. The walls and central aisles were lined with racks and displays, showcasing an array of clothing items. Formalwear glistened in one section, while a lively area held casual attires. Mannequins, frozen in stylish poses, stood in the center of the store, adorned in the latest fashion trends. Glass display cases showcased additional clothing and accessories.

The pair followed Eighteen to the men's section of the store, where clothing racks brimming with formal attire awaited them. Engrossed in their mission, they immediately scoured through the racks, engaged in fervent discussions about the most suitable outfit for Goku's court appearance. Meanwhile, Goku stood at an empty corner away from the ladies, feeling a bit out of place amidst the bustling activity. Suno, Videl and Eighteen examined each garment, carefully selecting an assortment of suits, ties, dress shirts, pants and shoes which they promptly deposited into Goku's arms. A mountain of clothing soon formed, and he cast an overwhelmed glance, a bead of sweat forming down on his brow as he was fully aware that the process would likely consume a significant amount of time. Eighteen then guided Goku to a nearby fitting room, instructing him to try on the clothes while they patiently awaited his transformation.

That's what happened for the next couple of hours. Goku tried on every single garment he had available, then he emerged from the fitting room in a completely different outfit—in various colors and styles. Videl and Suno eagerly gave their opinions on his new appearances, but it was Eighteen who had the final word, being the one with a keen fashion sense. The cycle continued relentlessly. Once Goku had exhausted every item, the ladies returned the clothes to their respective racks, only to then swiftly pull out another fresh set of clothes for him to try on. The process left Goku feeling exhausted, longing for it to end. Hunger began to consume him, intensifying with each passing moment. As his hunger grew, his focus wavered. His stomach rumbled loudly, a constant reminder of his discomfort.

After hours of trying on countless outfits, Goku couldn't help but voice his exhaustion and hunger. Suno, understanding the challenge he faced, did her best to comfort him. At long last, an agreement was reached, and they settled on a relaxed yet professional outfit—a lightweight, tan-colored suit with matching pants, a dark-coloured vest, complimented by a crisp white dress shirt, a stylish purple necktie and a pair of sleek dark dress shoes. They approached the cash register where Videl gracefully produced her credit card and settled the bill for Goku's new outfit. With everything neatly packed into a shopping bag, they decided to get a quick bite to eat at a food court inside the mall.

They entered a lively food court filled with diverse options. Display cases and counters showcased pizzas, hot sandwiches, stir fries, tacos and more. Grab-and-go items included fresh sushi rolls, wraps and salads. The bakery section offered an array of pastries, muffins, and loaves. Conveniently packaged granola bars, energy drinks and bottled beverages were also available. They ordered a variety of dishes and drinks from each of the display counters, ensuring Goku's satisfaction until evening. With their plates full, they quickly sat at a table and began to eat, mindful of their limited time as they needed to return to Capsule Corp.

After their satisfying meal, Videl once again took charge of settling the bill, prompting the group to hastily depart from the shopping mall. The four agreed that flying back was the best option in order to save time. Eighteen dutifully held onto the shopping bag, allowing Goku to carry Suno tenderly in his arms during their return. Without a moment's delay, they fired off towards the direction of Capsule Corporation.

Bulma placed her cell-phone on the coffee table, massaging her forehead as she focused intently on the bright laptop screen, diligently working on her mission. With a few more clicks of her wireless mouse, she shut the computer's lid, a smile slowly forming on her lips. This arduous search had produced the results she'd been hoping for. She'd finished just in time to see Vegeta, Trunks, Piccolo, Krillin, Gohan, Goten and Mr. Satan reappear in the living room. They had previously decided to give her some space while she worked on her own, contacting every single courthouse she could think of. Then the door slid wide open at the same time, revealing Goku, Suno, Videl and Eighteen also resurfacing back in the sitting area.

"You guys are finally back! Great, how was the shopping?" Bulma beamed, pushing her laptop aside as the four approached even closer.

"It took a long while, but we managed to find something suitable for Goku's court appearance. Here it is!" Videl made a gesture towards Eighteen, who dropped the shopping bag on the living room floor. "You can take a look in there if you want."

Bulma waved dismissively. "Nah, it's not necessary. I trust that you all got Goku an appropriate outfit to wear. Now come on, you four should take a seat! I have some news to share. Guess what it is?" There appeared to be a glint of excitement in her eyes, as she could hardly wait to tell them.

Goku walked over to the cushioned sofa he was seated on earlier, plopping back down. "Oh yeah, you told us earlier that you would call all the courthouses to find out whether or not Chichi has filed for the divorce. Any news on that?" He looked at Bulma with hope, as his girlfriend retook her seat next to him.

"Uh-huh. I got in touch with all the courthouses, even ones outside West City and Chichi hasn't been in any one of them to file for the divorce!" Bulma almost cried out, gazing between the reunited group, barely containing her relief at the news. "There's nothing about it in their records! I even checked online, and no results there either!"

Suno clapped her hands together. "That's great. So I'm guessing this works out in our favor."

"Totally." Bulma proudly pointed a finger at her computer. "And I've also successfully transferred all our evidence onto this laptop, so I was thinking that I could use a projector to showcase everything. I would just need to connect it to the laptop itself and voila! It would be easily visible to the judge and jury."

Eighteen just blinked her eyes, amazed at Bulma's quick thinking. "Woah... that's incredible!"

Goku's jaw dropped wide open, dumbfounded. "Amazing!"

"I know, right? We have so much to discuss regarding the court—"

"Bulma, wait a sec!" Goku exclaimed, abruptly interrupting their conversation. His widened eyes drew nearer to the scientist, his curiosity piqued.

"What's the matter?" Bulma pressed, her voice filled with interest.

Goku leaned back against the cushion, gathering his thoughts. "So... how exactly are we going to make it to the courthouse? I have no idea where it's located, and flying or using Instant Transmission might attract attention to us."

Bulma rubbed her chin in thought, her gaze directed at the floor. "You raise a valid point. Hmmm... let's see about our options here..." Her face lit up as she snapped her fingers. "we can all ride together in my jetcopter. That should make things a lot easier and faster."

"Is it big enough to fit all of us?"

"There's more than enough space, so no need to worry about being cramped in there." Bulma reassured him with a wink.

Goku's usual grin returned, convinced by Bulma's solution. "Awesome, let's do that!"

Bulma chuckled lightly before her expression turned serious once more. "Now the next thing is—"

"Hold on, Dad!"

Startled by his older son's sudden interruption, Goku yelped in surprise, tightly gripping the armrest. "What is it, Gohan?"

"There's another way we can get to the courthouse!"

Goku scratched his head, now curious. "And that is?"

"You can drive there! You have a license, remember?" Gohan exclaimed out of the blue, leaning closer to his father, face all brightened up.

Goku frowned in confusion, scratching the back of his head. "Errr... I don't know what you're talking about—" He began, before his face became all fired up, a sudden recollection having dawned upon him as he sat up on the sofa. "wait, I know how to drive and I do have my driver's license!"

Bulma, Vegeta, Eighteen and Suno shifted their full attention to the Saiyan, their eyes shooting out of their sockets, and jaws all agape at him in the most intense shock of their lives. "HUH?! YOU HAVE A DRIVER'S LICENSE?!"

"Kakarot... since when the hell could you drive a vehicle?" Vegeta sputtered out, searching his face intensely for any signs of a joke.

Bulma sent him a look of disbelief, having such a difficult time processing this sudden revelation. "Yeah... I'm wondering about that too... you can drive... who can imagine..."

Eighteen blinked her eyes, also struggling to process what they'd been told. "Unbelievable..."

Suno stared at her boyfriend for a long while, flabbergasted. "I'm utterly confused here... you have a license now? How come I didn't know about this?"

"Haha, sorry for keeping you all out of the loop..." Goku released a soft chuckle before he gazed at the whole group, their expressions showing that they all demanded answers. He began to explain his story, "before the androids arrival, Chichi made me go to a driving school so I could obtain my license. On that day, Gohan caught a huge fish for dinner and when we returned home, I remember Chichi screaming at us about something."

He rubbed under his chin in thought, and stared up at the ceiling, trying to recall the exact details. "I don't remember exactly what, but she did eventually complain about me not having a car and how I didn't know how to drive. That was when she forced me to get my driver's license, or I'd have to cook my own meals from then on. Piccolo was involved in the whole ordeal, and it was humiliating for him."

Goku let out a light chuckle at that final moment, remarking, "He even had to go around wearing my clothes… hehe…"

Piccolo sent him a sharp glare, displeased with that memory. "Do NOT remind me of that. I never want to go through something like that again!" He grumbled, a vein popping on his forehead.

Krillin's eyes shot up wide with surprise as he stared at the Saiyan. "I remember now! I rode with you, Gohan and Chichi prior to the Cell Games. We were heading over to Master Roshi's place for a visit and you were the one driving, so you know how to use a vehicle!"

"W-What the hell?" Vegeta choked out, his disbelief evident in his voice.

"I'm at a loss for words..." Suno murmured, her shock still freezing her in place.

"The point is, I can drive to the courthouse because I have a license." Goku explained, his brows furrowing in thought. "I'd have to look through my stuff though, as I haven't seen it in a while. I'm not sure if I took it with me when I left Mount Paozu or if it's still there."

Eighteen eyed him cautiously, her skepticism evident. "Are you sure you can drive properly?"

"Like, it's been many years since you obtained your license. You must have forgotten everything you learned and plus—" Bulma hesitated, expressing her doubts. "your license must have expired by now."

"I'll admit that back then, I wasn't the best driver. I was terrible actually," Goku confessed with a nervous laugh, memories of his questionable decisions during his driving lessons surfacing. "I couldn't even remember how to start the car, haha. I did crash the car on more than one occasion. But then during the resting days prior to the Cell Games, Chichi started to teach me and then I went again and passed the test with flying colors. Once I learned how to drive, I kept practicing only to maintain my license. Every time it was about to expire, I made sure to renew it."

Eighteen couldn't help but be impressed. "Woah... impressive. I could have never imagined that you would pull off such a feat..."

Bulma beamed at her childhood friend. "What an amazing accomplishment. I'm proud of you."

Suno couldn't hide her admiration for her boyfriend's dedication. "If Goku says he can drive safely, then I trust him. I know he would never put anyone in danger." She smiled affectionately, her hand calmly resting on his knee.

"Me too. I trust dad also!" Gohan grinned, his faith in his father shining brightly.

"Yeah. I think daddy should drive!" Goten chimed in, his voice brimming with enthusiasm.

"If you can do it buddy... then go for it." Krillin encouraged, expressing his faith in his best friend.

Piccolo and Vegeta remained silent, but their approving nods spoke volumes, indicating their trust in Goku—signaling that the ball was in his court.

A surge of motivation flooded Goku. The unwavering belief of his friends, family and his beloved girlfriend ignited a fiery determination within him. "Thanks guys!"

"You can ride with Gohan, Goten and Suno in the car, then I can lead you from my jetcopter so you aren't lost." Bulma suggested, her smile warm and reassuring.

"Sounds great!"

"And—" Bulma's smile remained unwavering. "I'll lend you a car to use. It's a Capsule Corp car, designed by my father and me. We've added many new features, but I believe you'll be able to handle it just fine."

"Actually— we already have a car!" Gohan exclaimed, excitement lacing his voice.

Goku nodded, memories resurfacing. "Yeah, I remember. It should still be in Mount Paozu, right?" He turned to his son, seeking confirmation about the car's whereabouts.

"Uh-huh, it's still there."

Bulma furrowed her brows, contemplating their next course of action. "If you haven't used that car in a while, it's probably going to need some repairs before it can be used again. Why don't you go get the car, and I can take a look at it? After you win Goten's custody, I can upgrade the car to make it look more modern and beautiful."

"Sounds great! I'll search for my license then tomorrow, I will go back to Mount Paozu and retrieve the car."

"And before you go, I'll give you a capsule to store the car in." Bulma said firmly, her voice filled with determination.

"Thanks Bulma."

Bulma taps her fingers against the closed laptop as she gazes at Goku, her eyes bright with purpose. "Now it's time to coach you for the custody hearing!"

Vegeta rises from the sofa, his expression one of mild disinterest. "In that case, I'll be heading to the gravity room. No need for me to stick around here." Without another word, he turned and strode purposefully towards the chamber to resume his training.

Gohan sat for a moment, contemplating on how to occupy his time. Suddenly, he spotted the Saiyan Prince just as he reached the chamber's door. "Hey, wait up, Vegeta!"

"What is it?" Vegeta paused and glanced over his shoulder, his gaze fixated intently on the half-Saiyan.

"Would you like a sparring partner?" Gohan asked, an eager gleam in his eyes.

Vegeta shot him a surprised look, but a small smile tugged at the corners of his lips. "Hmph! Sounds fine... but don't think I'll go easy on you, Gohan." He cracks his knuckles in anticipation of their upcoming battle.

Gohan returned the smile as he strode towards the prince, ready to fight to his heart's content. "Don't worry, I already knew that." He then smashes his fists together in response, ready for an exhilarating fight.

"Count me in. I'm intrigued to witness the extent of your training, Gohan." Piccolo's words were accompanied by a small smile aimed at his former student.

Eighteen turned to her husband. "Will you join them, Krillin?"

Krillin looked on nervously at the energized trio, beads of sweat forming down his face. "Hehe... errr... I-I don't think I stand a chance against any of them..."

"I think I'll go and relax outside in the yards. You're welcome to come along, if you want." Eighteen stood up from the sofa, once again walking towards the front door.

"Me too! It'll do me some good to get fresh air!" Videl exclaimed, following after the android.

"I'll be joining them there, also. If you need me for anything Goku, don't hesitate to call me." Suno rose up from the sofa, the soft cushions shifting under her weight. Leaning down, she pressed a tender kiss to Goku's lips, cradling his face in her hands. Goku melded into her touch, intertwining his fingers with hers for a brief moment before she pulled away, the warmth of her kiss still lingering.

Goku sent his partner an endearing smile. "Don't worry, hon. I'll do just that."

The entire group went their separate ways, with Mr. Satan, Krillin and the ladies heading out to the yard where the get-together party took place. Meanwhile, Piccolo, Vegeta and Gohan began to train intensely in the gravity chamber. Goten and Trunks decided to immerse themselves in a friendly competition of video games. With everyone engrossed in their chosen activities, Goku and Bulma found themselves alone in the sitting area. A glint of excitement sparkled in Bulma's eyes as she beckoned Goku to follow her to her laboratory.

Goku strode into the well-equipped, high-tech workspace, his eyes scanning the shelves and storage units that brimmed with a vast array of mechanical parts, electronic components and blueprints along with newly-completed inventions. Bulma beckoned him toward her work desk, towards the chair opposite her. Goku settled down, his gaze fixated on Bulma as she situated herself, setting her laptop aside on the table.

"So Bulma, you said there were no records of Chichi having filed for divorce. I'm guessing this means we could file it ourselves, then." Goku spoke firmly, diving straight into business.

Bulma raised a hand, halting Goku's train of thought. A sudden realization had dawned on her. "Wait, instead of a divorce... what if we go through with a marriage annulment?"

Goku arched an eyebrow, his face showing his cluelessness. "Annulment? I don't think I've heard that term before."

Rubbing her chin thoughtfully, Bulma searched for the best way to explain. "An annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage to be invalid from the very beginning, due to certain circ*mstances. Very much different from a divorce, which terminates a valid marriage. In simpler terms, it's a legal way of saying that a marriage never really happened."

"Okay, I think I get it..."

Seeing that he was still somewhat confused, Bulma decided to take things a step further. "You know how you and Chichi ended up together, right? Let's retrace those steps."

Goku's face darkened, memories resurfacing from the depths of his mind. "I made that promise to her back when we were kids, thinking that marriage was some kind of food," he recalled, his expression grim. "It wasn't until she showed up at the twenty-third world martial arts tournament that things became complicated. She was furious when I couldn't remember her or the promise I made. In the end, I felt guilty so I asked her to marry me in front of a huge crowd of spectators. And—" his voice trailed off, filled with a haunting quietness. "she admitted during our confrontation that she only married me for money. Never loved me or the boys."

"See?" Bulma made a decisive hand gesture. "Those are valid grounds to file for an annulment. She manipulated you into marriage with the secret intent of extorting money out of you. Only used you and the boys for her own selfish purposes."

Goku's face brightened in understanding. "Now I get the full picture. Okay, let's do that!"

Bulma reopened her laptop, readying herself to do some quick research. "Great! Now I believe that there are certain legal requirements to this..." Just as she clicked on her trusted web-browser, her eyes shot up wide. “Hey Goku! I do have some more great news!”

His eyes now sparkled with childlike enthusiasm. “You do? Tell me, please!”

Bulma leaned forward, her voice filled with urgency. “I’m sorry, I should have told you this much earlier, but in child custody hearings, there’s NO jury. Only the judge.”

Goku raised an eyebrow, his eyes narrowing as he carefully absorbed this new information. Questions and possibilities flickered through his mind. “And… that's something really good for us, right?”

Bulma nodded rapidly. “Absolutely! Because the judge will be the one who determines which parent Goten is living with. They also have specific training and experience in these areas. It means less people to convince and it means more chances for you, as well.”

“Alright, that's great!”

She then navigated through a couple of websites that explained marriage annulments, taking the time to provide Goku with a more detailed explanation of the common grounds under which a marriage can be annulled. Gradually, Goku's grasp on the concept solidified. Once Bulma was certain that he had a solid grasp, she deemed it time to start with the coaching.

Bulma opened a nearby drawer with a hastily scribbled list. "Okay, so... now that you have a suitable outfit for the custody trial and we've agreed on filing for a marriage annulment, there's still a lot more we need to prepare you for ahead of time. I've made a list to keep track of everything." She scanned through their items. "On this list, we have things like when to speak and when not to speak in a courtroom, how to handle the presentation of evidence, how to write your own signature, how to maintain respect, what topics to discuss, what to leave out during your speech... oh, and how to dress—" She paused, realizing that the latter has already been done. "Wait, scratch that off the list," she said, marking through it with her pen.

Goku chuckled nervously. "Hehe, this is quite overwhelming..."

"Don't worry, it gets easier over time." Bulma smiled at him reassuringly. "So which one do you wanna tackle first?"

He scratched the top of his head, unsure of which option to choose. "Ummm... I guess we can start with writing my own signature. Don't have a single clue as to how that works."

Bulma nodded in understanding. "Figured as such. Hold on a sec!" She rises up from her swivel chair and hurries toward a storage unit, pulling out a bundle of papers and folders before returning to her desk.

She settled back into her seat, spreading the papers in front of Goku. "A signature is a handwritten representation of someone's name, usually placed at the end of a document, message, letter, or other written material to signify authorship or approval. It's typically written in a stylized, cursive fashion rather than just printed letters." Pausing, she gazed at Goku intently, ensuring he understood the explanation before continuing. "These are some Capsule Corp business papers and contracts with my signature on them. Take a look at how my signature is written: in cursive handwriting, at the end of my contracts. It's important for you to learn this because you'll be signing annulment papers."

Bulma handed Goku her ballpoint pen. "Why don't you try it now? Using what I've just told you, try writing your own signature."

He nervously takes the pen from her. "Okay, I suppose it's necessary..."

Bulma offered him a sheet of paper, sending him another reassuring smile to encourage him. He started off a bit clumsily, but with each attempt, his signature began to take shape. Bulma watched attentively, ready to lend a helping hand if necessary. As time passed, Goku's determination paid off, and he successfully wrote his own signature. Bulma praised his progress, and they moved on to the next tasks on their list.

Bulma's coaching session with Goku covered many important aspects of courtroom etiquette, covering the importance of knowing when to speak and when to remain silent. She explained how the evidence could be presented, and stressed the importance of respect and professionalism. They discussed the need to be punctual, follow courtroom rules, address the judge appropriately and maintain attentiveness as well as remaining quiet during court proceedings. Bulma also touched upon using suitable language, following instructions, managing emotions, and anticipating objections. They had a thorough conversation about Goku's upcoming speech, carefully considering what topics he would address and what information he should omit.

They both agreed that his speech would delve into their journey as a couple, shedding light on Chichi's treatment of him and the boys throughout their marriage. The argument they had the night before she left Mount Paozu with their children was a crucial turning point in their relationship, which both agreed should be addressed in his speech. Additionally, he would also share how Bulma continuously welcomed him into her family home whenever Chichi kicked him out, showing no regard for his well-being.

They had also come to the agreement that Goku would refrain from mentioning Kami's Lookout. Furthermore, he would not discuss his Saiyan heritage or bring up the enemies of his past. Both were well aware that such revelations could potentially impact their chances of winning the custody hearing.

Seizing the opportunity, Bulma presented Goku with another piece of evidence–the alcohol photos. She explained to him that they hadn't had the chance to show him earlier due to his explosive rage upon learning about Goten's near-death experience. Goku, though initially taken aback, handled it fairly well. Not stopping there, Bulma proceeded to show Goku the security camera footage from the party. As the scenes played out, he felt a mix of disappointment and anger. Chichi's attempt to drive a wedge between him and Suno became evident, but he refused to let his emotions consume him. Instead, it fueled his determination to win this case.

Once they had covered all the necessary details for the day, Bulma took charge of making arrangements for filing the marriage annulment and Goten's custody trial. With her extensive connections in the legal department, the process moved along swiftly. She effortlessly secured a suitable time for both the signing of the annulment papers and the custody hearing. The annulment papers was scheduled in three weeks, followed by the custody trial in another three weeks, allowing ample time for preparation.

After Bulma informed Goku of these developments, they concluded their tasks for the day and she instructed him to return the next morning for further preparations.

Goku, Gohan and Goten lingered at the front entrance of Capsule Corporation, ready to return back to their homes after an intensive coaching session. They were patiently waiting on Suno, Videl and Mr. Satan, who still remained inside. The two ladies hurried off to use the restroom, while Mr. Satan was having a quick chat with Bulma about the court fees and how all the payments would be made. Everyone else had already departed, pleased about the latest developments. As they waited around for their companions, a nagging thought plagued Goku's mind, something he had never even thought of until now. He turned to his oldest son, knowing that Gohan would have the answers he was looking for.

"Hey Gohan, there's something I was just wondering about..." Goku's voice trailed off, his voice tense with the weight of his thoughts. "is your grandfather by any chance aware of all this? The evidence against Chichi, I mean."

Gohan's head dropped at the mention of their grandfather, the pain evident in his demeanor. After a moment, he mustered the strength to respond, though his voice quivered. "Yes... he knows. I visited him in Fire Mountain the day Goten and I ran away from Chichi. I told grandpa everything we discovered at the time. Goten's beating, the text messages she exchanged with General White, and that voice recording which revealed her true intentions."

"I see... and how is he handling it?"

Gohan clenched his fists, a mixture of anger and anguish simmering within him. "It's been incredibly tough on him." he confessed, his voice filled with emotion. "He was absolutely devastated when he learned how Chichi was mistreating Goten, and he was almost in tears when I showed him the pictures of Goten's brutal beating. Chichi is his only daughter and she's just— she's become pure evil at this point."

Upon hearing this revelation, Goku felt his heart sinking. "I hope your grandfather finds peace once this case is over. It's such a shame she walked down this dark path..." He says, his voice filled with sorrow.

"I haven't heard from him since that day," Gohan admitted, his voice filled with regret for not reaching out again. "but he does know that Goten and I are no longer living with Chichi, and that we're temporarily staying in Satan City until all this is over. We thought about staying in Fire Mountain, but I just didn't want to risk it in case Chichi might search for us there."

Goku nodded, his expression grave. "You made the right call. This is unbelievable..."

"It truly is..."

Goten, his saddened gaze filled with longing, looked at his father. "Can we visit grandpa after we move back?"

Goku's heart broke at the thought of them never seeing their grandpa again, and he gently lifted his little boy into his arms, holding him tight. "Of course we can, son. I'd also love for him to visit sometime after." He rested a hand inside his son's spiky hair, stroking it gently.

"Me too..." Gohan whispered.

Using his free arm, Goku pulled Gohan into the embrace, providing him with a soothing back rub and a comforting presence. They held each other tightly for a moment until the sound of approaching voices reached their ears. Suno, Videl and Mr. Satan emerged from the Capsule Corp building, hurrying towards the three Saiyans. Once reunited, they exchanged heartfelt farewells before departing in different directions. Suno bid farewell to Videl and Mr. Satan, and then she shared warm goodbyes to her boyfriend's sons. Goku and Suno soared off on the Nimbus cloud, while Gohan, Goten, Videl and Mr. Satan departed in the Satan family van.

Bulma laid back in her swivel chair, letting out an exhausted sigh as she remained alone in her laboratory. As she mulled over what they accomplished in one day, an unpleasant reminder came back to her—informing Chichi about the scheduling of the marriage annulment and the custody trial. Of course, she'd brought this up to Goku earlier during the coaching, and he immediately tensed up, leading her to quickly reassure him that she would handle that. She didn't blame him one bit for not wanting any contact with her after all that she'd done.

Rolling her chair forward, she pushed closer to the telephone sitting on her work desk. Bulma lifted the receiver and dialed Chichi's number, waiting impatiently for a response.

The phone beeped for a couple of minutes before she finally picked up.

"Hello?"

"Hey Chichi, this is Bulma speaking." She replied, coldness etching in her tone.

"Bulma? Oh, hello there. How's life treating you?"Bulma clenched a fist, enraged by this woman's smugness. Before she could retort back, Chichi continued,"Never mind, don't answer that. I can imagine things have been hard for all of you since Goku became a monster in front of his poor girlfriend, and she became all mad at him and broke up with him afterwards. It was really funny to see him reduced to a crying little baby after she left! Pathetic!"

Bulma was left speechless, her anger boiling beneath the surface. "So you're not even denying it, huh?"

Silence hung in the air for a moment before Chichi responded cautiously,"What do you mean by that?"

Wanting to end this conversation quickly, she went straight to the point. "I just called to tell you that we've filed for an annulment of yours and Goku's marriage. I've been helping Goku prepare for the upcoming court proceedings, just so you know." Bulma stated triumphantly, tracing a finger along her table.

"You did WHAT?!"The sound of a glass shattering reverberated in the background.

"You heard what I said. Whether you like it or not, this marriage will be annulled. We've just made the necessary arrangements."

"I was gonna file for a divorce! I wanted one, and you knew that!"

"Oops... too bad. Looks like you didn't react fast enough. We all know what you tried to do against Goku, and it didn't work." Bulma's tone remained icy as she regained control of the conversation. "Anyway, the signing of the annulment papers takes place three weeks from now and another three weeks before the custody trial. I'll text you the rest of the details later."

Chichi's voice became unhinged."Y-You... I should march over there and teach you a lesson, you blue haired—"

"Teach me a lesson?" Bulma cuts in with a raised voice, before she lets out a cold, humorless laugh. "Gotta admit, you're quite the comedian. There's not a single thing you can do to me, Chichi. If you ever set foot on my premises again, it's not going to end well for you, and I'm sure you're smart enough to figure out the many reasons why. I advise you not to do anything foolish in the meantime!"

Sputtering could be heard on the other end of the line, but without hesitation, Bulma forcefully slammed the phone down, anger pulsing through her veins. "Good riddance!"

She then rose from her chair and walked towards the exit, looking forward to a relaxing shower and a well-deserved chance to simply just lay in bed after an exhausting day.

Learning to Love - Chapter 29 - Fanficlover345 (2024)

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