I do not own DBZ, and would not claim to do anything official with its characters, situations, or likeness. This is merely a fanfic.
The story within this story, however, is not DBZ, and I do own it. It was created in the closing months of 2002, as part of my final project for my Fables and Fantasy college English class. Interesting teacher, great class. It gave me an excuse to re-read Watership Down, and to watch the animated version of Animal Farm. And I got a fanfic out of it! What more could you ask for in a class? Though I sometimes wonder if the professor ever realized where I got my inspiration for that last project…
And because it is traditional for me to associate story titles with songs, now would be a good time to pop in a Michael Smith CD, if you've got one…
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Early afternoon in the Son household…
"I can't do this!" Wailed Gohan as his head fell to the table. For a long moment, he lay there, breathing quietly.
"No," he muttered at last. "I can. It's just mind over matter. Mind over matter…. Remember what Piccolo taught you… Concentrate. Visualize your opponent. Plan your attack. Gather your power…" With his eyes lightly closed, Gohan inhaled deeply and raised his head. "…And do it."
Gohan opened his eyes. Before him lay the kitchen table, with books, notepads, and loose paper strewn from one rounded corner to other. Letting out his breath, Gohan centered his gaze as the blank paper immediately in front of him. Deliberately, he picked up his pencil, and placed the tip on the paper. For a moment, Gohan paused.
"…I can't do this!" He wailed again, dropping the pencil. Once again Gohan fell face first onto the table.
Gohan remained in this state for several minutes. As time dragged on, he noticed the hum of an approaching hovercar. Gohan could only bring himself to moan yet again.
"Hhhhhhhhhmooooooomiiiiiiieeeeeeee…" A three year old Goten streaked through the kitchen and out the door, leaving a wake that disturbed every sheet of paper not weighed down. Muttering to himself, Gohan quickly scrambled and began trying to grab the airborne papers.
"Mommie—Mommie—Mommie—Moh—Hwaaaaah!" A dull thud followed the string of babble. "…Heeey…"
"I told'ja squirt, watch the car, or I'll toss you over it."
"You have such a way with young kids, Yamcha…" Snatching the last sheet of free paper, Gohan glanced up and saw his mother backing through the kitchen door. She was holding two large bags of groceries, and was chuckling at the spectacle outside. Letting the door swing closed behind her, she walked into the kitchen and started to set the bags on the table. "Hey, what—" Noticing the mess, she stopped short, and her eyes narrowed. "Go—Haaan…"
Gohan smiled weakly at his mother. "Uh, sorry Mom. I… Uh, needed to spread out."
Sighing, ChiChi placed the two sacks on the already overcrowded counter. "Well, I suppose that's excusable… Just get it cleaned up. I'll need to start dinner soon."
Gohan's reply was cut off as Yamcha pushed his way through the door, carrying a sack of potatoes, and with Goten all but gnawing on his leg. "Okay, ChiChi where do—Oh, hey Gohan. Where do you want this guy?"
ChiChi put her hands on her hips and glanced around the Kitchen. "Eh, put it in the sink for now."
"'Kay." Yamcha gently dropped the sack at the base of the counter, pried Goten of his leg, and dumped the young Saiyan in the sink. Knowing Yamcha would turn on the water next, Goten quickly scrambled out of the sink, fell to floor, and scampered back out the door. "Tricky little bugger," Yamcha muttered. "So where'd you want the potatoes?"
ChiChi rubbed the bridge of her nose, doing her best not to laugh out loud.
Yamcha chuckled and turned towards the teenaged Saiyan. "Hey, Gohan. What's with the paper spread?"
Gohan put on his best smile. "Oh, this? It's nothing. Ju—huist!" Breaking off after his voice jumped an octave, Gohan nervously cleared his throat. "Just some research for one of my correspondence courses. …Uh, y'know high school prep work…"
"Eeeuuhhh…" Yamcha eyed the assortment of books warily. "Yeah."
"Well, just get it cleaned up," repeated ChiChi, finally regaining her composure.
"But Mom…" Gohan pleaded. "I need to finish this! Tonight!"
"Well then," ChiChi replied in the condescending tone that all mothers pick up, "you can finish it in your room. Food gets priority in the kitchen."
Gohan weakly gestured at the table. "Mo—ooom! It took me a long time to set this up! I can't just pack it all and move it. That would throw off my momentum! Besides, my desk isn't big enough for all this!"
ChiChi sighed. "Gohan do you really need all this—"
"Gohan," ChiChi lectured, "I can't fix your dinner if you're spread out all over my kitchen."
"You could grill it," Gohan quickly suggested.
"Ooh!" Chimed in Yamcha. "A barbeque! Do that."
ChiChi glared at the ex-fighter. "You… Are not eating here. So stay out of this." Ignoring Yamcha's feigned disappointment, ChiChi turned back to his son. "Gohan, we're not grilling. It's not healthy, and we don't have—"
"You've got steaks," Yamcha supplied. "Or chicken breasts. And ribs. Lots of salad stuff…"
ChiChi narrowed her eyes. "Yamcha, where do I have all that?"
"Uh, back in the car…"
ChiChi's eyes narrowed even further.
"Well," Yamcha weakly defended himself. "It was there, and they'll eat it. And it's not you were really on a… Budget…"
ChiChi tried to keep glaring at Yamcha, but broke off with a sigh. "Okay, Gohan, we can grill outside tonight. Just… Be done by tonight. We are not grilling for breakfast." Shaking her head, ChiChi began walking back to the car to finish unloading the groceries.
"Whoo—hoo!" Cheered Yamcha as he followed her. "Barbeque, here we come!"
"You're still not eating here," ChiChi's voice floated back.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Gohan sat down and began reorganizing the collected papers. He hadn't wanted his mother to know, but he wasn't exactly working on a paper for a correspondence course. And now that she was gone, she probably wouldn't ask him about it again.
In a university in Port Shaolin, several anthropologists had just finished translating a huge stash of newly discovered ancient fables. They would soon publish a complete set of their translations, many of which had never been translated before. Gohan had read about the discovery in one of the short story anthology magazines his mother had given him a subscription to. In the same issue, he had stumbled across a little contest.
To commemorate the publication, the anthology's publisher was sponsoring a contest. The last issue of the anthology had given an invitation to all writers, professional or amateur, to submit an original story to the publisher. They planned to celebrate the discovery of ancient fables with the creation of a set of modern fables. The anthology would publish twenty five original fables, paying out 5,000 zenni for each of them. After being published, one of the authors would receive an additional 25,000 based on reader response.
ChiChi had been raising her son to be a more of a scholar than an author, but Gohan figured that for 5,000 zenni, he could try his hand at literature. Besides, writing a one page essay for a shot at 30,000 zenni was a chance that was too good to pass up. At least it seemed that way before he started.
Gohan sighed as he scanned the submission requirements yet again. Being the perfectionist that his mother had trained him to be, he had decided to do some research about fables before jumping in and actually writing one. The results of his search had not been helpful. Instead, they had been rather mind numbing. Now, whenever he tried to write his submission, all he could think about was vulgar coyotes, long winded roosters, devious spiders, slick talking foxes, hot-roding toads, 'tar babies,' communist pigs, and fascist rabbits.
Chewing on the end of his pencil, Gohan mused that he may have been somewhat premature in planning how to spend his 5,000 zenni. Let alone the possible 30,000… The plan had been secretly write the essay, win, and then to quietly slip the prize money into the family coffers. Well, deducting a little for some textbooks, and some comics for Goten. Well, some comics for Goten and few for Gohan himself… Still, Gohan honestly planned on putting most of it in the family coffers.
Not that they really needed it, Gohan mused, but it would certainly help his mother rest better. Unless she started wondering where it had come from. That thought brought a chuckle to Gohan. Since Goku's passing, his family hadn't been exactly well off, but they were in no real danger. Gohan's grandfather stopped by frequently to make sure everything was okay. Yamcha had made a habit of periodically popping by 'giving ChiChi a hand' with the grocery shopping. And whenever word got out that any of them short on clothes, Bulma would invite ChiChi for some 'girl time,' usually at the mall. Piccolo and Krillin would also stop by, with varying frequencies, though.
Still, Gohan figured, his mother would feel more comfortable with a bit of money of her own.
Sniffing lightly, Gohan glanced up. "Huh," he muttered. While he had been zoning out and thinking about his paper, Yamcha and ChiChi had apparently finished emptying the car. Now, with the smell of fresh groceries wafting through the air, Gohan's mouth was beginning to water.
"Huh—uh. No way…" Gohan shook his head and stood up. "I won't be writing a fable if all I'm thinking about is what's on the counter…" Gohan walked over to the kitchen sink, and slid open the main window.
"…When you were in there. His voice is starting to change. You know what that means…"
Glancing out the window, Gohan saw his mother and Yamcha talking, while Goten played in the grass beside them.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, there. Don't start looking at me like—"
"Yamcha, that's one thing I don't want my Gohan learning about out of a book. He needs to hear it from somebody he knows. And I don't think he'll like hearing it from me.""Point. But…"
"His father isn't going to tell him, Yamcha. Heh, even if Goku were still around, I don't think that would happen."
A small smile formed on Gohan's face as he watched the two laugh.
"…Yeah, but… ChiChi, puberty didn't exactly go well for me. I don't think I'd have very much useful to say… Talk to Krillin about this."
"…Yeah. After he gets back. The honeymoon has been how long, now?"
"See! Exactly. He knows that stuff a lot better than I do…"
Shaking his head, Gohan went back to his seat. As much as he liked seeing his mother actually talk normally with someone, he had work to do.
Sitting back at the table, Gohan's mind wandered again. Yamcha. His mother was cordially talking with Yamcha. Gohan scoffed at the oddness of that. When Gohan had first 'met' Yamcha, there was nothing personable about him. At the time, he had appeared to be a grim, heartless warrior who had every intention of fighting to the death.
"To the death, he did," Gohan whispered to himself. "Which was a lot more than I did. More than I ever did, until…" Gohan shook his head and sat back down at the table. "Yeah, he was a fighter, back then. Probably one of the best when he was in his league. Too bad we were all outmatched back then… Too bad…" Gohan trailed off, and absently picked up his pencil.
Yamcha was rabbit who
"Too obvious," Gohan muttered as he scratched out his first line. "Yamcha... Chamya... Yamuca..."
Yalmar was a jackrabbit who lived alone in a
"He used to be a bandit didn't he? Robbed from the rich, and gave to the poor, and all that?" Gohan snorted to himself. "Pfft. Right. Did probably lived in a forest, though."
Yalmar was a jackrabbit who lived alone in a lowland forest. In his youth, he had laid claim to a small stretch of stream, and defended his territory from all other animals. Though small, Yalmar had bested many a threatening animal by using his speed and cunning to his advantage.
"And his mighty Kamehameha Wave. But I don't think rabbits do that."
One day, a young
"Dad, Dad, Dad... Saiyan? Salmon? No…" Gohan scratched his head absently. "Bull. Buck. Young buck. Fawn!"
One day, a young fawn wandered across Yalmar's stream. The fawn
"Tried to eat him out of house and home…"
The fawn was attacked, and driven off the banks. Yet, instead of running further, the fawn paused.
"Because Dad really was that dumb, sometimes."
The creature begged Yalmar to show him how he could defeat a foe that, on the surface, so outmatched himself. Flattered, and unaccustomed to such gratitude, Yalmar agreed to teach the young fawn.
Yalmar, began training the fawn, the pair soon forged a great friendship. Now seeing more to life than defending a lonely stretch of stream, Yalmar abandoned his former home, and began journeying with the fawn.
"Puar," Gohan mused for a moment. "Nah. That'd just be a bit too weird." Gohan put his pencil back on the page, but found his mind had gone blank. Letting out a slight growl, he tapped his pencil impatiently.
"…About Goten? He get over that scorpion sting?"
"Stings, Yamcha. Many, many stings. The boy found a whole nest of them."
"Euh. Y'know, maybe you ought to find something for that boy to do. Y'know, a hobby or something. Does he like crayons?"
"No, they taste 'icky.'"
Out in the wilderness, their adventures were many. They fought off evil armies
Gohan scratched out the sentence.
They competed in tournaments against other forest creatures
"No…" Gohan angrily scratched again. "How'd they do things back then? They couldn't have just stumbled across…" Gohan frowned. "Yes, they could. Why would things have been any different back then?"
They were set upon by ferrets and hawks, snakes and owls, waterbound pikes and cunning foxes.
"And lions and tigers, and little black terriers."
The braved foul weather, and traversed across inhospitable terrain.
"They boldly used vocabulary that no fable had used before." Gohan chucked to himself. "Excelsior!"
But through his wisdom and cunning, Yalmar always managed to defeat the dangers he faced.
Gohan frowned. "Or he let Dad handle things. Eh, this is his story…"
The young fawn, though powerful in his own right, never ceased to admire Yalmar's abilities.
"So I assume."
It did not take long for the number of Yalmar's companions to increase. They were joined by a
"I should probably keep Bulma out of this," mused Gohan. "Roshi too. This isn't a Coyote Tale… So I guess Krillin would be the first, really. So, something… Bald." Gohan chuckled. "No, he's deserves better than that. Hm. A newt? Mouse? Chinchilla?" Gohan snapped his fingers.
They were joined by a vagabond squirrel, quick and agile. They befriended a chipmunk, who brought with him a distant, yet protective ferret.
"Wait, didn't Tien come from some rival school? What did Dad say they were? A bird. They were some type of bird. One the tall legged ones… A Heron!" Gohan scratched out and quickly rewrote his previous sentence.
They befriended a sparrow, who brought with him a distant, yet protective heron.
"Which would bring up Mister Piccolo…"
They were at one point stalked by a vindictive wolf. But in time, he too came around, after killing the fawn and his long lost brother and kidnapping the fawn's
"Gah." Gohan scratched out his accidental tirade.
But in time, he too came around and joined the travelers. With each addition that was made, the formidability of the travelers increased. Yet at the same time, the importance of each individual member lessened.
Coming to the end of the page, Gohan proudly placed it at the center of the table, and grabbed the nearest blank sheet. But once again his rhythm was thrown off by the disturbance, and his pencil sat motionless on the paper.
"…Actually started showing him some basic fighting moves."
"Why? With Gohan you've always—"
"I know, I know… But lets face it, Yamcha, sometime he's going to need it, and I'd rather teach him myself than have some green demon do it for me…"
Time passed, and all of the travelers were made wise by their experiences. By their repeated deaths and resurrections and the mystic training that had happened in between.
Gohan again scratched out his sentence. "I should just skip Vegeta entirely. Frieza too."
But the fawn, in particular, gained much through his travels. Through listening to the Yalmar and the others, the fawn learned tricks that would allow it to best creatures far stronger or faster than itself. The once nearly helpless fawn quickly grew into a strapping deer, and eventually became a full grown buck. As the deer grew
"His appetite became even more insatiable. If that was possible…"
As the deer grew, it began relying on Yalmar less and less, though neither openly acknowledged it.
"The only way Dad ever used tact. Omission."
Then came the day when the party was set upon by a trio of androids and a genetically enhanced
Gohan scratched out the unfinished sentence. "I think I'm doing that on purpose, now."
Then came the day when the party was set upon by a bear. Acting impulsively, the buck bowed out of the fight and let his son, still just a half-grown fawn, face the bear alone. But his son was young and un
"I've got wrap this up quick," muttered Gohan as he scratched out another sentence. Biting his lip, Gohan contemplated how to go about the upcoming scene.
"…Want me to what?"
"Well, you are here, and it's better than demonstrating against a straw dummy."
"ChiChi, I don't fight. Not anymore. Not even in practice."
Gohan exhaled dejectedly. "You had to say that now, didn't you…"
Acting impulsively Yalmar was the first to defend himself.
"That doesn't sound quite right, but oh well."
Yet against a foe that so truly overmatched him, Yalmar's tricks amounted to nothing, and he was nearly slain in a matter of seconds.
Wounded, and lying helpless on the ground, Yalmar watched as his companions fell one by one before the great beast.
"Actually, that's more like me in my first fight…"
Only the buck could still stand its ground, but stand its ground it did. With its strength and the tricks it had learned, it fought the bear, pressing it back, and ultimately slaying the monstrous creature.
"'Ultimately' being the key word."
Afterwards, all the creatures congratulated the buck on it's amazing feat.
"Gah," muttered Gohan as he scratched out another line. "Stupid apostrophe."
Afterwards, all the creatures congratulated the buck on its amazing feat. All that is, except for Yalmar.
"Who, if you recall, had been gored two paragraphs ago. And since I skipped Korin, nobody had any senzu beans handy."
Where the others had seen the triumph of the buck, Yalmar had seen only the defeat of himself. The young fawn, whose friendship had once brought him out of his own isolation, was no longer around. The creature whom had once so looked up to Yalmar now could do so much more than Yalmar ever could. For the first time since he left his stream bank all those seasons ago, Yalmar saw himself as what he had become. A small, insignificant rabbit trying to compete with those who would forever best him.
Gohan looked up for a moment. "Wow, that fits for a lot of guys I know..."
"…Fought against Saiyans, Androids, and Cell! I'm sure you can show a few moves to a three year old kid."
"Were you at any of those fights? None of them were exactly stellar performances."
"So what? You can still show his some basic technique."
With this thought fresh in his mind, Yalmar slunk away, and returned to the stream that had once been his home. Once there, he returned to his old ways.
"Of robbing from the fairly well—off and giving to the moderately impoverished."
Once again, he lived alone, and cared little for events beyond his shores.
"In short, he discovered classic Isolationism."
None of the companions ever searched for Yalmar, admitting in their own minds that his time had passed.
"Kinda hope we'd be better than that. But for the sake of the fable…"
"—Ow! Watch it!"
"Pay attention, Goten!"
Seasons later, Yalmar was attacked while sitting by his stream.
Gohan chuckled. "Which was remarkably close to my house, it seems."
With his old instincts guiding him, Yalmar retaliated, darting away then returning to cuffing the creature repeatedly. As it was knocked back, Yalmar and his attacker got their first good look at each other.
"ChiChi, you try to kick me there one more time…"
"Get him, Mom!"
Gohan chuckled as he scribbled down the final sentences. "No it wasn't my Mom…"
Yalmar saw a baby moose, alone, scared, and less than a season old. The baby wasn't sure exactly what he saw, but he knew it was impressive.
"Yeah? You'll what?"
With an awestruck look in its eyes, he asked Yalmar how he managed to fight back against a creature that so overmatched him.
"Oh, that is it!"
While doing so, he begged Yalmar to teach him to do the same.
"...Wolf! ...Fang! ...Fist!"
And after a long moment, Yalmar smiled.
Did Gohan make any money off of this? I'm not sure. But I got an 'A' in the class, so his chances are pretty good…