Goku did not want to be here. Yamcha was always painful to watch in any sort of club and Goku had grown accustomed to being embarrassed by him. Finally being able to indulge in the lifestyle their field of work promised to them, Yamcha had taken to immersing himself in the uncouth frenzy of his fellow co-workers. Goku could at least take a bit of comfort in the fact that Yamcha wasn't off somewhere passed out as many of his counterparts. Of course, this didn't mean that Goku trusted his friend enough to make it back to their hotel own his own. Leaving that miserable job to Goku.
Sin's Lounge, was the place in Satan City where many of business workers would meet after a long day of dealing will legality and stuffy superior, a place for them to unwind and let go, and let go they did. Originally employed in North Capitol, Goku and Yamcha were only supposed to be having a business meeting with the city council to discuss opening another Hermit's Dojo in Satan City. They were successfully running the first one located in North Capitol and were looking into expanding. They've also had taken a trip already to Central Capitol and were looking to make a trip West Capitol after leaving Satan City. It had been taxing trying to sell Satan City's legend Hercule Satan on the idea of letting a competing dojo in the city that is doused in his martial arts legacy. It is why, much to Goku's annoyance, the would have to remain in this debauchery of a city for another week or so.
Goku thoughts went to his and Yamcha's respective companions, Suno and Bulma. Neither had wanted to accompany their lovers on their business trip. Suno, because she was village girl, who only tolerated North Capitol for Goku's sake and her education. Goku related very much to Suno in that aspect. Bulma, on the other hand, was always caught in business of her own at Capsule Corp in West Capitol and traveling to North Capitol just to be with Yamcha most of the week was already proven to be a lot to balance.
Although, Goku wasn't too sure if Bulma would be as lax about traveling with them if she saw Yamcha's lewd behavior. Letting random women dance and parade around him, Bulma would probably have an aneurysm. Though he was drunk, Yamcha thankfully never did anything that would ruin whatever relationship him and Bulma had worked so hard to build. So Goku never felt the need to share his friend's behavior.
Not being much of a drinker himself, Goku settled for the free glasses of water the bar had to offer. From the annoyed glances he was receiving from the bartender, they must've assumed Goku to be a freeloader. Oh well, someone had to make sure that he and Yamcha made it back in one piece. Despite some of the temptations being sent Yamcha's way, he seemed to at least be doing well in avoiding any activity that would no doubt get him in trouble. Goku at least trusted his judgment in that department, so he left him to his devices.
Personally, Goku would rather be back at his hotel in the 24-hr gym getting some late night training in or curled up with Suno in bed at home. Master Roshi had called Goku an odd fellow. 'Boy, if I still had half the looks you got there sonny, I would…' and it would be somewhere along those lines Goku would tune his old master out. Being twenty-six now, Goku knew he should technically want to indulge in this lifestyle, but he felt no desire for such things.
Goku was growing restless, any time spent not doing what he wanted always left him a bit antsy. He contemplated on picking Yamcha out of the crowd and dragging him back to the hotel against his will. The prospect of being in his quiet hotel room started to seem like one of the best offers in his life. In a scan of the room in hopes of catching a glimpse of his scarred face friend his eyes beheld another sight. There was a young couple pressed close up against each other, chuckling quietly to themselves and letting their hands innocently wander across curved hips and toned chests. She was using the part of her foot left exposed by her heels to brush against the backs of the man's calves. The young man seemed completely taken with the position and leaned his head down to her ear to whisper something to her.
Usually, displays such as this never really interested Goku. But the girl's head turned when she chuckled at what the man had said to her. Her. Could it really be?
Goku knew he was better off looking away, but how could he? After so many years, seeing her here like that was too much to put away at the moment. Goku almost forgot to remind himself that he was staring rather oddly and would no doubt be caught if he didn't let up soon. It couldn't have been Chi-Chi, not after all this time and not here of all places.
She didn't strike him as the type of girl to enjoy the nightlife, and Goku half wondered if maybe it was an imposter, a very convincing look alike. But there was no mistaking it. Those wide eyes were practically a password leading to his memory, and that smile she had just cracked made the entire realization a done deal. Plus, if he had nothing else to go by, that familiar giggle—the one that he could pick out from a crowd without any trouble at all—did all that it needed to when it came to convincing him.
Suddenly, he realized his slip and turned his gaze back down to the counter he was sitting at. The girl had—without any exaggeration—disappeared six years ago. He had met Chi-Chi in brief time during his youth but then reconnected with the young woman again at university. They had been friends from freshman to sophomore year until Chi-Chi apparently decided that the university had given her everything it could offer her and just left. Goku didn't resent Chi-Chi for it, he'd encouraged all of his friends to do what would make them happy. And if he was being honest, out of all of his friends he trusted Chi-Chi the most, when it came to taking care of themselves. But he never pegged her as the type to not communicate at all during her absence.
None of that matter because now here she was, entangled up and flirting with some man, in the corner of a packed nightclub.
Goku resisted the urge to walk up to her and make himself known, it would be rude and Chi-Chi was always particular about Goku's "obnoxious" behavior. The last thing he needed was a reunion with an angry Chi-Chi. A possessive thought entered his mind, however, making him wonder how the gesture would be rude, it was him who knew Chi-Chi longer. Disappearance be damned. But then again there was something so fascinating about the exchange—something about the way she seemed to control everything that's happening right down to how long the man let his lips linger on her earlobe. It caused Goku to stare again.
Deciding he had looked long enough, Goku fixated his gaze back on the water in front of him. Six years without communication is a long time and Chi-Chi was a very sure of herself type girl, so if she wanted to still be friends with Goku she would've been. But would it do any harm to at least make his presence known to her, maybe he would get some inside scoop on her abrupt departure? Would she even recognize him?
As if Kami himself had decided to prank him at this moment, a familiar yet foreign voice spoke up next to him at the bar.
"Scotch no ice, please."
Her voice was no longer high-pitched like in her youth, nor did it carry the same acute tone from her time at university. This voice had a certain rasp to it, that almost blended to perfection with her already high pitch, adding an almost breathy sound to it. He noted with a smile that she probably would never stop sounding so direct and in charge. It was…charming. It was like being doused in warm lava that spread through his body like a comforting little hum. He was so caught up in the pleasant change that he had nearly missed her inquiry.
"Huh?" Goku turned and regarded the girl as she received her drink. Her head tipped back as she effortlessly downed the drink and didn't bat a lash at the burn that was no doubt spreading in her throat. She was looking at him, yet somehow through at the same time. Her coal eyes seemed even richer than before or were they always so potent and Goku never took the time to notice.
"Not your usual crowd, huh?" Her nails drumming with the beat.
Did she recognize him, or was simply making conversation with the odd stranger she caught staring at her from the corner. Either way, Goku found himself intrigued and willing to play along.
"How do you know I'm not the type to get lost in the festivities of the night?" He hadn't meant for his voice to come out as huskily as it did—he was still trying to figure out how exactly what had happened—but Chi-Chi, apparently caught the sultry tone and ran with it, if that smirk that appeared on her face meant anything.
"If that were so, you'd be sandwiched between two bimbos right now. Besides…" She reached across effortlessly and grabbed the water he was nursing in front of him. She smiled as she swallowed his glass whole"…water is a rather poor choice for letting loose."
"Now how did you know that?" Goku lifted a brow, Chi-Chi had always been an upfront type of girl. But this woman in front of him was more than that, she was bold. Goku found himself…excited?
The girl shrugged. "You asked for about eight refills, and your breath doesn't reek of alcohol and you still seem to have a steady balance"
Goku chuckled at that. Still as sharp as ever, he noted. "Alright, fine. I concede to defeat. Very impressive deductions."
"I know," she smiled sweetly—again, with an alluring undertone he wasn't sure was intentional.
"You know, huh? Quite conceited are we?" Goku smirked.
The girl scoffed at the label. "Conceited, never got that one before. Bitch, perhaps. Either way, you don't seem to mind." Her smile was filled with a lazy starkness. The Chi-Chi Goku had known before would have been offended and chastised anyone for insinuating such a thing. Age must have turned her away from her usually brazen way of speaking and replaced it with a tasteful cunningness that Goku enjoyed immensely.
"Maybe not," Goku admitted, "but I think I should be a little concerned about you counting my drinks."
"Very bold statement coming from the man who couldn't seem to keep his eyes off of me and my gentleman friend in the corner, a minute ago," Chi-Chi smirked.
Goku did everything in his power to control the heat that threatens to creep upon his cheeks, he liked the game they were playing and he wanted to win.
"It was quite the display, I guess my curiosity got the best of me. "
"You know they say curiosity killed the cat," she smirked.
By this time, Goku realized that he was flirting with Chi-Chi just a bit, which was odd considering the history that they shared. Chi-Chi, in their time at university, had always strangely reminded Goku almost as a mother-figure. Doting over him as if he was some small lost child, needed of guidance. Then there was also Suno, the lovely young lady that had the pleasure of being his girlfriend for the past five years, the one that was waiting at home for him.
But this was Chi-Chi, the girl that left with no attention of keeping in touch, the girl that in her absence Goku only thought about sparingly, this was nothing. This was just talking. A game, set up to brighten his otherwise dampen mood.
That in mind, he didn't even try to hide the deeper, lower tone of voice he took on when he asked her, "Who was that man you were with anyways?"
"You aren't jealous are you?" Chi-Chi threw Goku a slick smile. Goku felt a fire rumble in the pits of his stomach.
"You're quite the most curious fellow I've ever met then," Chi-Chi chuckled darkly. For a split second, Goku almost found the laugh to be extremely attractive.
"But to answer your question, he's nobody. Just like most men I happen to meet," Chi-Chi let out a dramatic sigh and leaned her head against her forearm.
"Surely, you've met at least one man in your life that was worth being around for more than just a moment?" Goku asked.
"If I have can't say I remember them," Chi-Chi shrugged
The comment left Goku slightly offended. He knew that she didn't know who he was, but he thought she would at least hint towards him. He was almost positive that before university, when they were children, Chi-Chi had had a little crush on him. Or at least that what Bulma had made him aware to him some time ago.
"Guess they were all boring, huh?" he responded bitterly. He couldn't help himself.
This time, Chi-Chi couldn't hide the large smile that manages to dissolve any resentment that built up in Goku's heart.
"You are anything but boring, Son-Kun."
Chi-Chi laughed filled up the room, drowning out the music in Goku's ears. If his face wasn't stuck with that stupid look on it, he may have been laughing with her.
"Seriously Goku, you've had the same ridiculous haircut since I've met you at twelve-years-old, albeit your voice is a tad bit deeper, but c'mon I'm not blind you know," Chi-Chi teased.
"Nice to see you again too, Chi," Goku playfully rolled his eyes and offered his raven-hair companion a soft smile.
For a brief moment, they found themselves staring at each other. Goku watched as Chi-Chi eyes soften a bit, maybe internalizing the apology she felt he was due. But just as the look came, it was gone and back was the teasing playful eyes. Goku found that he didn't disagree with the change. This hardly seemed the place for apologies and confessions.
"Here on business, I assume? I've read about the plans for the Hermit's Dojo. But I hardly consider this the proper place to conduct such business," She smirked.
"Yamcha's idea," Goku answered, sharply.
"I knew I thought I saw that scared face bastard somewhere around here, too drunk to speak to me," Chi-Chi let out a playful huffed. Her and Yamcha's sibling-like relationship always did intrigue Goku in a way.
"So how's the heart-throb life been treating you," Chi-Chi continued without letting Goku get a word in, was she avoiding something?
"Heartthrob, huh?" Goku scratched the back of his head, with a lifted brow.
"Don't be modest Son-Kun. I'm suure you've seen all the things these lady blogs had to say about someone as defined as yourself," Chi-Chi said while giving Goku a full body examination. Goku shifted slightly in his seat, his body-temperature rising just a bit.
Women had flirted with him before, but there was a certain cunningness to Chi-Chi that made him feel smaller than he actually was. She always had that power. The power to back him into a corner, leaving him at her mercy through words alone. But back then it was in the act of reprimanding him for 'delinquent behavior', this was something totally different. Her talents over the years had apparently taken on a brand new form.
Feeling a little bit more self-conscious and all the more fascinated,
"You wanna to dance?"
In hindsight, it wasn't the best idea, but Goku desperately needed to shift the narrative. He was suffocating being this close with her, maybe there were enough distractions on the dance floor that would put them back on an even playing field. Right now, Chi-Chi had full control and Goku didn't take to kindly to that.
"Sure, why not? Lead the way Monkey Boy," Chi-Chi smiled.
They both laughed at the inside joke from their childhood, one which included Goku being super obsessed with primates.
The stumbled onto the dance floor, and as if almost instinctively Chi-Chi took the lead. Being dragged to numerous clubs by his peers, Goku vaguely recognized the song being played; Hips Don't Lie. Goku knew how women danced to this song and now found himself wishing that he and Chi-Chi had kept at their game of banter by the bar.
Goku was trying his best not stand there like a bumbling idiot, as Chi-Chi swayed her very womanly hips to the beat of the song. She didn't seem to mind the intimacy of the song. Apparently, sensing his nervousness Chi-Chi firmly took Goku's hand into hers and guided his movement to mimic the fluidity of her own. He hadn't noticed her spaghetti-strapped little black dress until her hands were guiding his up and down the sides of the dress. Letting him know how much she had filled out over the years.
"Loosen up Son-Kun. I thought a martial artist such as yourself could keep with a few dance steps," Chi-Chi teased.
He knew what she was doing, she was challenging him. And Goku, like always, bit the bait. He found himself forcibly gripping her hips and spinning her around so that she was facing him. He couldn't help the devious smirk that made an appearance on his face, watching the young woman in front of him. They were close enough for him to smell the scotch on her breath, her sweat even held a certain spiciness to it, Goku was completely enwrapped at the moment. Their lower bodies had a teasing but respectful amount of distance between them, Goku wasn't sure them being any closer would be appropriate and he more honestly wouldn't have been able to handle it. However, Goku did think that for a couple of minutes it would be nice to be his carefree self and have fun, so he did, with Chi-Chi. Whenever he and Suno danced together, it was always slowed and intimate. Always leaving Goku a bit bashful, those dances were nice.
But with Chi-Chi, it wasn't a fondness being shared between them with this dance. But rather an insufferable heat radiating off of both of their bodies mixing with one another's. As their hips move together in-sync with each other and the song, the looks they shared wasn't of lovers but of two people just enjoying the atmosphere around them. They weren't the center of attention, just bodies mixed in with the crowd. For a moment with Chi-Chi, Goku could possibly understand why Yamcha liked these places so much.
As the song drew to an end, both parties found themselves panting and sharing whatever laughs they could get out between them. Strings of Chi-Chi's hair were sticking to her face. Her pale skin held a slight flush to it and her sweat added a certain sheen to her body, almost as if she was glowing. She looked very pretty, Goku decided.
By now the DJ had a switch to dubstep and Goku and Chi-Chi found themselves pressed together, a sloppy imitation of a mosh pit certainly beginning to form. Chi-Chi was the first to speak up, "Let's get out of here!", Goku nodded. He had definitely had enough for the evening and from the looks of his watch, it was nearly three in the morning. Goku concluded that if he hadn't found Yamcha by now, then his friend had already taken the liberty of escorting himself back to the hotel. Goku knew Yamcha hadn't drunk as much as usual, so trusted the wolf warrior to make it back safely without much worry.
Goku followed Chi-Chi to where the bouncer had been keeping those of who paid, coats and jackets. Each put on their respective coats and the two friends left the nightclub and entered the cold streets of the city.
Chi-Chi dragged him to a 24-hour Chinese takeout spot. Goku deduced it was mainly because Chi-Chi was itching to get out of the cold. He couldn't help chuckle at her miserable attempt to try to warm herself. She took notice of his teasing and playfully stuck a tongue out at him. Yep, Chi-Chi definitely made being in Satan City a little more tolerable, even if was just for a night.
Chi-Chi turned to the clerk to make her order; "I'll have eight steamed pork buns and one order of shrimp dumpling soup, please," She offered the clerk a sweet smile, the clerk blushed in return. She turned to Goku with the same smile,
"Pork buns still your favorite, right? I gotcha eight because I doubt that appetite of yours went anywhere. Boy, can you eat! I remember..." Chi-Chi began to ramble, but Goku couldn't really focus on what she had been saying.
It was such a little detail about him to remember, and normally it wouldn't have made him feel so special. Suno remembered his favorite foods all the time and knew close to everything about him. But that was to be expected after dating for so long. Chi-Chi…well, she was just so attuned to him that she didn't even hesitate to read him effortlessly. There was something so oddly warming and comforting about that fact. Having someone that just knew, without needing an explanation.
They grabbed their food and decided to eat on the go, Goku offered to pay but Chi-Chi had already beaten him to it. Still such an independent spirit, he thought warmly.
Walking assumingly to Chi-Chi place of residence, Goku had already devoured three of steamed buns and Chi-Chi took casual sips of her soup to stay warm. Goku had paced his eating so that he could actually engage in conversation with Chi-Chi. Even though the silence wasn't all that bad either.
"So how long are you in Satan City for?" Goku asked, casually.
"Until some legal stuff is over, hopefully, that's sooner than later. This city is suffocating," Chi-Chi mumbled the last part and if her tone wasn't off Goku would've assumed it was a jab at the nightclubs. By the faraway look in her eyes, Goku knew it was deeper than something superficial like that.
Chi-Chi paused for a second, taking a moment to gather her thoughts into an answer that would make sense.
"This city, Satan City, it exposes you to so much. Introduces you to things that you didn't know existed, things you didn't know you wanted. You find yourself reflecting on your own life away from here and this insatiable feeling starts to eat you up inside, which is okay for those who hate where they're from I guess, but for those of us with a somewhat pleasant background, the guilt of home no longer being enough eats away at us. And you know that you should leave and get back to where you belong, that you've exhausted everything this city has to offer, but you've become so emotionally detached from home you aren't sure if there anything left worth leaving for," She shook her head and frowned. "That probably didn't make sense."
"Actually, it kind of did," Goku promised. It's been years since Goku seen Chi-Chi and she was already sharing such intimate thoughts with him. He didn't completely grasp everything she had been saying, but if he showed to be a good enough listener maybe then Chi-Chi would be interested in rekindling their friendship beyond tonight.
"Thanks, I guess," Chi-Chi said offhandedly, "but it's been nice," she concluded.
"Seeing you," she paused to shoot Goku a warm smile, "You're the first familiar face I've seen in years. It's…nice. It kind of makes staying here feel like a want more than a demand."
Goku paused for a moment. He never knew Chi-Chi to be this cryptic. Maybe it came with the age? Or maybe Satan City really had that type of effect on people. She made it sound like she was trapped here with nowhere to go because this place had become apart of her. That it held parts of her, she wasn't quite ready to let go of just yet or maybe she just didn't know how to. Goku wished he could relate to her better at the moment, but he simply couldn't. Sure, in his youth he traveled a lot of places, but he never felt a piece of himself grown so attached to them to the point where he didn't want to return home to Mt. Paozu. He lived in North Capitol with Suno now because of work, but the plan is always to retire in Mt. Paozu. Until that day, Goku found his sense of home in people, Suno being one of them. Maybe that's what Chi-Chi needed, someone to be home for her.
But with the way she was smiling he knew that the city hadn't taken that much from the Chi-Chi in the past, that along with what she said about him caused his heart to swell. He smiled at the compliment and continued walking, finishing his pork buns.
"I really missed you, Chi-Chi." He wasn't sure why he felt like saying then and there. It just seemed like the right thing to say at the moment and the best way, to sum up how he was feeling. He missed this. He really did. It was sweet to experience all over again.
Chi-Chi smiled at him—not in that unintentionally teasing or the flirtatious way she had been smiling all night. This was a genuine smile filled with the youth that they left behind all those years ago.
"Missed you too, Goku."
Goku was glad she opted to let him walk her back to her hotel, finding it was only a few blocks from his own. He didn't quite want to say goodbye to her just yet. He wanted to offer her a piggyback ride, considering that she was walking in heels, but the confidence in her strides let Goku know she was in a small battle with the heels, one of which she was refusing to lose. Goku chuckled again, at her stubbornness.
"Are you doing anything tomorrow?" Chi-Chi asked suddenly, taking Goku away from his thoughts.
Goku turned to her and saw her shivering rather violently underneath the light peacoat she had brought with her. As if some sort of second nature, Goku found himself opening his coat to drape over her shoulders. He always offered Chi-Chi a helping hand whenever he saw her struggling with something, this was just another those friendly gestures.
He shook his head. "Not tomorrow, thank goodness. I don't think Yamcha can stomach back to back nights out."
"Good. Then I call dibs on you. We're hanging out," Chi-Chi said, matter-of-factly.
"I see, and do I get a say in all this?" he asked.
"Nope," Chi-Chi answered, snooty-like. Playful holding her head up, nose in the air as the heiress she was. Letting Goku know she would throw a faux-tantrum if he declined.
Trying to ignore how adorable she looked, Goku rolled his eyes. "Still demanding as ever Chi."
The girl grimaced and pulled his coat tighter around her. "Didn't think everything would change, did you? But seriously…interested?"
"I dunno," he replied lazily. "Are we going to another club?"
"Oh please, I made that club the best thing to ever happen to you since you've entered this city!"
"You got me there. I haven't had that much fun in a while," Goku paused at his admission. He didn't like how that sentence came out. He half wondered if Chi-Chi took a deeper understanding of his words. But from the look on her face, she hadn't nearly read as much into his words, as he just did.
"Whatever you say," Chi-Chi chuckled. "Are you gonna catch up with an old friend or what?"
By now they had been standing in front of her hotel and he realized that now was probably a good time to part ways and let her run upstairs so that she could rest. Her feet looked cold and he didn't want to keep her longer than he should have, but there was something so odd about having her wrapped up in his coat the way that she was. Not a bad sort of odd, but…definitely something that he wasn't accustomed to for some reason. He wasn't sure what aspect of it felt strange to him. It wasn't like he hadn't done similar things for her before in a friendly sort of gesture. Surely it was the same now, it's been six years, why wouldn't it have been? But it did feel different.
He looked down at her again and he knew that she was expecting a response from him, one that he wasn't really mentally equipped to answer at the moment. Because for some reason his voice was caught in his throat, looking at her like this up close, his feelings were suddenly all over the place.
The feelings were warming his entire body, he felt as if they came out of nowhere. Maybe he was tired or maybe it was because he was having so much fun with her that he was confusing his feelings. Maybe it was because he looked down at her and her eyes had taken on that lovely onyx shimmer to them, contrasting with the whiteness of winter around them. Maybe he really, really missed her, so much so that it was too much to deal with and he overreacted.
But thankfully, he caught himself and immediately backed away from her.
Goku backing away, losing his body heat, made Chi-Chi aware again of how cold out it was. His pupils were dancing around the whites of his eyes, frantically. He looked petrified.
Chi-Chi made a step towards him, "Goku?"
Goku took an instinctive step back, "I've gotta go," he said before hurrying off in the opposite direction, not giving Chi-Chi a chance to retaliate.
Goku nearly bolted passed his own hotel. He made a screeching stop and his way inside the quiet lobby of his hotel, he took a moment there to defrost a bit.
He thought that by being completely away from her that the feeling would finally go away. But it wasn't. Making his way to his room, Goku flopped down his bed, shut his eyes, and dug the heels of his palms into his eyes and let out a frustrated groan. This wasn't like him. He didn't have those types of problems.
But, here he was in all his "pureness", thinking about how at that moment he wanted nothing more than to kiss her.