A/N: Here's the second half! What I tried to accomplish with this story was two separate views on the grief caused by Goku's death- one as an outsider through Videl, and one with a personal stake through Gohan. I hope the flashbacks with Gohan don't take away from the flow before catching up with Videl as I tried to showcase that.
Enjoy, and thank you to all the readers for this story.
Gohan paused when he landed outside Capsule Corp. He was invited, of course, but the eleven year old usually visited with either of his parents. Chi Chi enjoyed visiting Bulma, and Goku loved Mrs. Briefs cooking. He looked over his shoulder, a frown marring his face. 'Can I play with Trunks?' Was what he asked his mother, as he reminded his dad to save some for him.
Huh. It was a weird feeling, but one he did not dwell on for long. He ran up to the door and knocked. Not waiting for an answer, Gohan used his key to get in. Bulma had given a few of her friends keys so they can get in for an emergency since it will take a while for anyone to answer the door on the resident end of Capsule Corp. The genius had said ruefully so that way no one will get the inclination to blow the door down.
He rubbed his ears, wondering why it was so quiet as he headed to Bulma's lab. There was no Vegeta storming over demanding Kakarot to leave his house, or Goku commenting that he didn't understand why the Briefs remodeled and changed decorations around so much. As it was, Gohan sensed Vegeta's ki training down the hall, and while the Saiyan Prince likely could tell he was here, he stayed where he was.
Gohan reached Bulma with no interruptions. She turned around in her chair, eyes scanning behind him for a brief moment. She smiled sadly. "What can I help you with, Gohan?"
The blood rushed to his ears, and Gohan noted that maybe his current state was a bad thing. It wasn't like he could help it. Rage boiled in his gut, and he turned Super Saiyan without realizing it. A thin string of reason held him back from taking it further. He hadn't since Cell, and the preteen decided that he never would again. Because that hurt, that destroyed him because now he had no father to help him out. And it was all his fault.
The world around him was a blur of crumbling earth. He was careful, though, no one was around for several miles. As his fist rammed into the side of the mountain, he realized a trickle of blood travel down his knuckles. Hm. He must have been at it longer than he thought; no stone should be able to do that. His breath ragged, he shrugged and swung around to kick the nearby boulder.
He continued throughout the rest of the day. The back of his mind noted the setting sun, yet he continued to ignore it. He knew Chi Chi would understand as long as he was back by dinner and to help with Goten before bed. Loneliness was not his fate, being in the middle of preparing a ki blast when a fist came out of nowhere and knocked him to the ground.
"Your self-awareness is pathetic."
Gohan knew that voice. He blinked dust out of his eyes to see Vegeta standing over him in a training gi. Grounding his teeth together, he sat up. "What are you doing here?" Vegeta remained unimpressed and crossed his arms.
"Checking on you. Your ki is erratic, and if you keep going unchecked you may blow up the planet by mistake." Gohan had no idea if the older Saiyan was joking; it was hard to tell with him. He flushed.
"What? Do you expect me to calm down?" He couldn't. He needed to tamper the well of emotions that assaulted his brain. And here no one else will get hurt.
Vegeta snorted and dropped into a fighting stance. "No. I expect you to control it. What kind of Saiyan do you think you are?"
The lull of the waves splashed against the sand. Gohan sat on one of the beach chairs at Kame house, with his eyes on the horizon. Everything in the world seemed so still. He sipped his coffee slowly, not breaking the stale mate he had with the environment. He was not much of a coffee drinker, yet he yeared something stronger today. The world contradicted his busy mind, and this was a compromise to get his mind elsewhere.
Krillin walked outside to join him. He had his own glass as he took the opposite chair. The short man sighed, "It sucks, doesn't it?"
Blinking the shock of the sudden sound, he sat up and looked at his friend. "Do you think we made the wrong choice not going to Namek to wish him back?" The waves against the shore teased him with the answer. This planet was whole, happy, but something- someone- was missing from it. "Dende says he can tell where New Namek is and it won't be impossible."
The former monk wanted to agree with him. He did, on most days, yet that did not change how things were, or what Goku's request was. He reached over and squeezed Gohan's shoulder. "This is what he wanted. He trusts you here on your own."
Nothing else was said as the sun shone down on the small island.
Gohan sat in the forest, recalling sometimes in the past where he came out here to do his homework. It was a good plan back then. He could go out by himself to either train or do school work- or neither. His parents would believe whatever they wished to in concern for his activity.
Now, he just required some fresh air. He had a book open in front of him, reading the words at his typical quick pace but not absorbing them. If someone asked he was sure he would be able to recount the whole chapter. It wasn't a complicated book. He turned the page. Did Chi Chi assign any homework for this? He couldn't say. He guessed it did not matter too much.
Maybe he should go on a jog? No, that would be too easy. He'll end up a hundred miles away without realizing it. He turned the page again and tapped his pencil on the pages. He could try it anyway. At this rate, he would finish this before he returned home.
"She was right; you are lost in your thoughts." A hand gripped the back of his shirt and lifted him up. Gohan went with it with no resistance, confused as he twisted around to see Piccolo hold him aloft.
"Mr. Piccolo. What are you doing here?"
"Your mother sent me out to get you for lunch, and I came because you said you'll be open for training this afternoon."
Gohan nodded. He remembered that now. He should really set an alarm on his watch. He gave an apologetic smile. "Sorry?"
The Namekian replied gruffly. "It's fine, Gohan. Though when someone calls you, you should make a habit to answer. After you get your Saiyan appetite filled, I'll help you with meditation."
He walked to his bedroom door and poked his head out. There was a squeal of delight from the kitchen, which he attributed to Goten. The child was hardly a year old but already filled with energy. Just like Dad. He chuckled. "What do you need?" He called back.
"Can you take Goten outside for some fresh air? He's becoming a handful." More cooing noises came from the kitchen, and he wondered what kind of mess he would be greeted by. He took his time entering the kitchen to find out. Truth was, it wasn't that bad. The budding toddler kept his reign of terror to knocking over some sauce Chi Chi was making.
"Sure thing." He strolled over to his brother and picked him up.
Chi Chi gave both of her boys a kiss on the cheek and ushered them to the door. "Have a fun time dears."
Gohan grinned. She was giving him an out to take a break on his school work, with the added bonus of getting her sons out of her hair as she made dinner. He winced as Goten pulled his hair. "We'll be back in the hour. Right kiddo?"
Ai!" Goten exclaimed.
Gohan finished his training for the day, sitting on a rock overlooking the forest near his home. He would have bugged Vegeta over a quick spar, yet they had the exact opposite methods for their vigils after Goku died. Gohan chose that day to train, while Vegeta made it his day off. And Gohan wasn't going to give the invitation in case the Saiyan Price took it as an excuse to wake him up on the crack of dawn the next day. That happened last year, and he would rather not repeat the experience.
Instead, he relaxed his body and finished with meditation before he returned home. His appetite already started to peak, and he wondered how much longer he could continue. It didn't surprise him that Piccolo was so good at it if he did not have to eat. Of course, his Namekian mentor would have chastised him for not focusing properly.
Startled at the noise, and on top of that, Gohan was shocked who it was that called him. Shit. Videl. What was she doing here? Noticing that he was hovering in the air, Gohan cut off the ki leaving his body and dropped like a rock. Unfortunately, he was close to the edge and stumbled over.
Videl's surprised squeak was almost drowned by the blood rushing to his cheeks. This was embarrassing. He heard his friend come over. "I'm so sorry! Let me help you up."
The voice belonged to Videl, no doubt. How did she know where to find him? That question joined the others as he shook his head from his spot. That spot dangling from one arm on at least a 100 foot drop. For anyone else, it would appear as a precarious situation. "No worries, I got it." He muttered and pulled himself up, twisting his legs around so he landed in a crouch.
He stood up and rubbed the back of his sheepishly. He must appear different to her. While he did not look beaten up or exhausted, he was covered in a thin layer of dust and in a training gi. It was a long way off from what he wore to school. It was also far from the casual outfit she may see if she caught him at Satan City before he went to visit Krillin or the others. Her confused eyes assessed him, with her brows drawn together.
"Hey Videl. Um… if you don't mind me asking- what are you doing here?"
She snapped out of her musings and in a second her no-nonsense attitude was back. "Right. I came here to visit you. You haven't been at school and I wanted to check and see if you were alright. And uh… your mother said to go get you since she'll have food ready soon."
He narrowed his eyes and gazed over the horizon. "You really can be nosy, can't you?" He kept his voice as neutral as possible. That did not succeed in hiding the fact that he came out here to clear his mind and be alone. Even if it would have been Goten, chances were he would still be a little snippy. She drew back, abashed, and he felt a twinge of guilt.
"I'm sorry." She murmured. "You're right. If it makes you feel better, I didn't come rushing over to get in your business. I've been with the kids for the last couple hours." She smirked, and although her eyes were cautious over saying the wrong thing, she stepped back into her confident self.
"It's fine. Thanks for coming to get me. I guess we should head back?" Videl threw him off by showing up; however, he won't allow himself to be rude based on that.
Videl brought her jetcopter out, throwing the capsule on a clear spot on ground. Gohan was about to leave himself when his brain caught up with him. 1) Videl didn't know he could fly. 2) It will probably be as weird to jog back himself and beat her. So he was left stranded, standing there like an idiot. Luck was in his favor, as she asked. "Do you want a ride?" He accepted the cop out with a lopsided grin. "If you don't mind, I'm beat."
Videl watched Gohan from the corner of her eye. He seemed normal, minus the fact that he was apparently trained enough to appear fine after who knows how many hours he was out there. Maybe it wasn't that kind of training. He could have just needed a nice reading spot or have someplace for yoga. That didn't explain his gi or the rubble left behind though.
She was used to keeping her focus on multiple points while chasing criminals, yet Gohan stayed in his nervous zone. "Videl… is something wrong?" Okay, maybe it was unnerving to keep staring at him. She pressed her lips together and focused back on piloting.
"Nothing. So… do you go out and do this often?" Her curious side reared its head before she could stop it.
Gohan winced but answered in a calm tone. "No, I come out here to honor my dad, and also spend time by myself to clear my mind." Videl may have imagined the emphasis on myself, and she rolled her shoulders uncomfortably.
Videl thought that it was awkward when she first arrived in the Son household. No, this was awkward. Stuck in a ride with an anti-social Gohan. She opened her mouth to break it; Gohan beat her to the punch.
"What were you doing before you came to visit?" It was clear that he didn't care too much, and that he did it before questions could be thrown his way. Nonetheless, Videl rolled with it.
"I was with Erasa and Sharpener playing carnival games. My goal was to avoid Dad and the paparazzi that follow him everywhere, especially today." She started to describe and imitate Mr. Satan, one hand on the controls as she motioned with the other. It wasn't the question she wanted to ask. However, she managed to get a laugh out of Gohan, so she counted it as a win.
They landed a few minutes later, and both teens were thankful to exit the jet. Goten and Trunks were outside waiting, and the younger child ran to his brother's side. "Big bro!"
"Hey kiddo. Everything go okay? Is Mom done with cooking yet?" Goten nestled in Gohan's arms and nodded once then answered the second question.
"No. But she let me knead the dough, and I didn't break the counter!"
He was genuinely pleased with the accomplishment. All Videl could think was 'that kid can break a counter?'
"He still cracked it." Trunks spoke up. He was amused throwing his friend under the bus. Videl laughed with Gohan as Goten gave an immediate rebuttal.
Gohan turned to her after the kids calmed down, with the debate clear on his face. "Would you like to stay?"
Videl was about to say yes. She bit her tongue and shook her head. Gohan was just doing the polite thing, it was clear that this was only meant for close friends and family. Besides, she needed to return home herself. Her father may be a big oaf, but she did enjoy their quiet dinner they had every year. It was one time where she could confidently steal him away from the press.
"No thank you. I am glad I could visit though. I think I needed the change of pace." Words formed at the tip of her tongue. She reached out for them without much success. She wanted to say thank you. Why? She wasn't sure. With zero luck on the verbal front, with a moment's hesitation, she gave her friend a hug. She hoped that conveyed her sentiment enough.
When she was back home that evening, she contemplated on what she learned. Gohan's dad likely died near the time of the Cell Games. The subdued family still seemed thankful. She regretted not asking him about it, but for once words had not been forthcoming. Later, then. For now, she amused herself with her father describing (in his over the top methods) how his trip to a preschool went earlier that week.
All in all, the world remained standing.
A/N: Thanks for reading! You all are the greatest. If you need a boost for a hard day, here's hoping you have many great ones in the future to counter it.