Foreword: So a few months back I asked myself a question: What do the normal people in Dragonball feel about the whole conga line of disasters that plague them in the years covered by Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z?
The thought would not leave me alone and thus was born the concept for this extremely short multi-parter (which will probably be collected in a single one-shot when done, seeing that it won't be more than a few thousand words long if I stay true to form).
Also, thanks to Barret, who helped with the original idea.
Mid Morning Tea & Conversation
AKA Tea With Furry
In a small house, far removed from civilization, someone knocked at the door.
The lady of the house had been sweeping the floors and opened the door with a frown in her face and a broom in her hand, firmly determined to welcome her husband with a piece of her mind (and a couple hard whacks with the broom). The insensitive jerk had promised that he wouldn't come late from playing with his friends. And heaven help her if he had forgotten lunch again...
The man who had knocked wasn't her husband, though. And after blinking in confusion for a couple of seconds, the broom slipped from her suddenly nerveless fingers as recognition set in.
Unlikely as it seemed, there was no mistaking those large eyes behind thick glasses, that moustache or, for that matter, all the blue fur. For all that the woman had met some truly remarkable individuals thanks to her husband's adventures, including persons whose rank and power greatly dwarfed the visitor's... Well, she really hadn't been expecting the King of the World to show up on her doorstep this morning. She opened her mouth, closed it and then opened it again, determined to mumble some kind of greeting, despite her unresponsive throat.
King Furry, though looking uncomfortable and ill-at-ease himself, seemed a bit more composed and decided to break the silence himself.
"A fine morning to you, Miss Son. May I pass?"
Those ten softly spoken words were enough to kick ChiChi half-way out of her state of stupefied surprise and leave her feeling strangely grateful for this rare chance to be a proper hostess for someone, besides the louts and madmen that her family usually associated with. Silently, she bowed -half in greeting, half in apology- and stepped aside, inviting the dogman to enter.
"Y-your M-majesty. What can I do for...?"
She stopped with an eep!, when the monarch whirled suddenly and regarded her with intensity.
"None of that, Miss Son. As you probably know, my name is Koku Furry. You may call me Koku, like all my friends do, or mister Koku, if you are more..."
"That's my given name, sir. If you insist on informality, it will go both ways."
Will. You. Calm. Down? You are a princess. (Dad was just a jumped up adventurer who married into a meaningless title!). You are the best friend of the smartest and richest woman in the world. (Why does Bulma have all the luck!?). You have met Kami-sama. (And? Dende is just a nice alien kid with magic powers!). You have had princes and GODS for dinner. (Psychos and good-for-nothings the lot of them!). The King of the World isn't really that big a deal anymore. (Says you!!!).
While the reasoning parts of her mind discussed matters with her still freaked out subconscious, an outwardly serene Chi-Chi removed the kettle from the fire and took it to the table, where she had already arranged the tea set and sat in front of her guest, who was still regarding the different utensils and delicate porcelain containers with a bit of trepidation. When she started pouring hot water into the teapot, he finally spoke.
"I must admit that I am more of a coffee person, ma'am, and it has been years since I last had to attend one of these easterner tea ceremonies. Apologies if I don't do everything correctly. I really don't mean to offend."
"Ma'am, Your Grace?"
"Sorry, Chi-Chi," said the king, before laughing a wry chuckle and continuing. "Guess those protocol lessons finally sank in. In any case, no offense is intended if I mess up."
"None will be taken. And, truth be told, just that apology already gives you a huge head start over anybody else in this house."
"You don't say."
"Yes. I was too much of a tomboy to bother learning the traditional ceremony when I was younger, Goku wouldn't recognize table manners if they punched him in the face and the boys... well, they have never had a chance to practice etiquette. I am told that I make good tea, though, so I hope you'll enjoy it."
The dogman answered with a non-committal grin, but observed with some interest her adding the tea leafs and closing the pot.
Chi-Chi herself sat down and let the seconds slip away in comfortable silence, until an idea spawned by her subconscious rooted itself in the back of her mind and grew, becoming a question that she finally asked after serving the tea and offering Koku a cup.
"Is it really okay for you to be here? I mean... you are the King. Don't you have things to do? Places to be?"
Furry waved his hand to dismiss her concerns.
"I am touring the eastern sectors in a display of goodwill and all that. There was nothing important in today's agenda, so I just told my doctor to tell the press that I was unwell and clear my schedule for the day. As long as I am back in town in time for dinner with the World Champ, there is nothing to worry about. And since I've been meaning to come here and talk with your husband for a while now..."
"A number of reasons. Mostly, because Buu killed me and I'm alive again. Because I know that one of the voices that spoke in my head asking for energy to destroy the monster was the voice of the boy who saved the world from the Arch-demon. Because now I know that that boy and your husband are one and the same. Finally, because it was high time for me to come here, face my fears and stop being an ungrateful son of a bitch."
He took a sip from his tea and arched one of his eyebrows.
"You are right, Chi-Chi. This is very good tea."