AN: I'm back!! Brand new story! Kudos to Cat for the inspiration. I was running kinda dry on ideas, so this was very welcome.
This story is intended as kind of a quasi-follow-up to "The Riddle," but you really don't need to read that unless you want to. This stands plenty fine on its own. I hope that at the very least you find it somewhat amusing. At least. And now, on with the story! Mesa no own DBZ.
Chapter One—Goten Makes a Wish
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I'll forgive Thy great big one on me.
-"Forgive, O Lord," by Robert Frost
Goten pushed as hard as he could against the rock, and it finally gave way. The enormous boulder rolled a few inches and tumbled down the craggy side of the steep hill it had been sitting on the top of. The chibi peered into the newly-uncovered crevice, and a huge smile broke on his face.
"Gotcha!" he said triumphantly, speaking to the baseball-sized orb that had been hiding under the boulder. One small hand reached in and plucked the ball from the dirt. He lovingly brushed the dirt away and counted the stars. "One…two…three…four…five!"
Clutching the five-star Dragonball tightly in both of his hands, Son Goten took off into the air, flying towards his house. This was the last one. Now he could make his wish. He was so excited! This was going to be great!
It didn't take him a terribly long time to reach his home. He touched down in the large grassy area in front of the house and looked around. Not that anyone would be there, anyway. His mother had gone off to the city to run some errands, and Gohan was, of course, at school. There was no one around to stop one crafty little chibi from summoning the Eternal Dragon and making a very important wish.
Goten walked into the house and peered around again, just to make sure. Seeing and sensing no one, he ran up to his room and closed the door. There really wasn't a reason for him to be so secretive, since there wasn't anybody home. But he felt better knowing that just in case someone did happen to enter his house, he was hidden.
The chibi set the precious Dragonball on the bed and then dropped to the floor. Laying on his stomach, he dug around under the bed for a moment until his fingers finally closed around the thing he'd been searching so carefully for.
"Yes!" he cheered, pulling out a plain backpack, made of simple black canvas. The bag itself was fairly nondescript, but there was something inside that had the bag about half full.
Humming to himself, Goten unzipped the biggest pocket of the backpack and dropped the last Dragonball inside; it clinked loudly against the other objects within the bag. "Shh!" he whispered to the inanimate objects, slinging the bag onto his shoulders. Then he laughed and began singsonging, "Backpack, backpack," mimicking a tune from Dora the Explorer.
"Goten?" a voice called from down the hall, echoing from somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen. "Goten, where are you?"
Uh-oh!Goten looked over his shoulder in a panic. Mom's home! His eyes tried to bore through the wooden door, but he quickly discovered that X-ray vision was not a standard part of a Saiyan's powers. Fortunately, better than average hearing was a part of the deal, and his sharp ears picked up the sound of his mother's assertive footsteps clicking towards his room.
"Goten?" she said again, this time from right outside the door.
The chibi made a split-second decision and dove out the window, landing on his stomach in the dirt. Just as he hit the ground, he heard the door to his room open. He waited, not moving until he heard her sigh, and the sound of retreating footsteps.
Breathing a sigh a relief, Goten crawled a few feet, then pushed himself up into a standing position and took off. He turned happy somersaults and did cartwheels in the air. At last he was free.
Before he knew it, he had arrived at the place he had selected as the spot for his wish. It was a clearing in the forest, far enough away that no one could interfere.
This was a very serious wish. Goten had been planning it for quite some time, and now he could finally carry through with his plan. This was the most excited he had been in ages. He was finally getting the chance to offer up some payback for all the wonderful things his brother had done for him in his life.
He opened the backpack and rather unceremoniously dumped the seven magical Dragonballs out on to the ground. They rolled around a little in the grass and clinked together. Goten tossed the bag off to the side and held out his hands over the glowing gems. "Hey, Mr. Dragon! Wake up!"
Above him, the sky darkened menacingly. The orbs exploded in golden light, and the light zipped into the sky like a shot fired from a flare gun. The beam twisted and bent until it finally took the form of and solidified into Shenron, the Eternal Dragon, looming across the sky.
"Whoa…" Goten whispered, his eyes wide in awe and wonder.
The dragon's eyes flashed a blood red. "YOU HAVE SUMMONED ME. I WILL GRANT YOU TWO WISHES. CHOOSE CAREFULLY," he boomed like thunder.
Goten blinked, then grinned. "Oh! Okay! I wish that my big brother was my age again, but I still want him to be smart and stuff, okay?"
Shenron growled, "ARE YOU SURE?"
"Yes!" Goten cried indignantly.
The Eternal Dragon's eyes began to glow with a fire from within, lighting them up; then they dimmed again. "IT HAS BEEN DONE!"
Goten grinned. Big brother was going to be so surprised!
"What the hell?" Sharpner yelped suddenly right in the middle of the teacher's lecture, catching the attention of everyone in the class. The blonde jumped to his feet and pointed a shaky finger towards the window. "What happened to the sky?"
Thirty teenage heads pivoted, and thirty pairs of teenage eyes stared out the window. Nearly all of the students followed Sharpner's example and leapt from their seats. In an explosion of sound, the students flew to one side of the room and crowded around the window, pushing and shoving to try and get a better view. Only Gohan and Videl remained in their seats, though their eyes followed everyone else to the window and the strange thing that was happening outside.
The sky had gone dark; the sun and clouds had vanished behind the blue-black blanket (AN: Oh, the joys of alliteration!) that had been draped across the firmament. Lightning seared across the heavens in bright golden branches.
"Gohan, what is that?" Videl asked in a loud whisper, certain that he would know. She was right.
"Someone summoned Shenron," he muttered softly in reply so that no one else would be able to hear him. Not that they could have heard much of anything over the din their classmates were making. "The Dragon's awake. Oh gods, what's the wish, and who's making it?"
*Gohan, did you get a load of this?* a voice growled in the teenager's mind.
*Yeah. Who is it?* Gohan sent back.
*I don't know,* Piccolo replied. *But he's close. I'm already on my way.*
*I'd go with, but I can't leave.*
"Don't worry. If anything happens, I'll let you know.*
*Sounds good…* Gohan's thought trailed off into a groan that was both mental and out loud. He felt eyes boring into him, but his head was suddenly throbbing too much to pay much, if any, attention. He pressed both hands to his temples in an attempt to stave off the pain, but it didn't work, and he groaned again. What was wrong?
As hi s whole body seemingly became paralyzed, stars danced in front of his eyes, and he couldn't sit upright any longer. Gohan fell forward onto his desk, letting the wave of numbness wash over him and drown him. He allowed himself to fade into darkness.
A minute later, Gohan snapped back to consciousness, still sprawled across his desk. Feeling had returned to his body, and the tiny lights had stopped dancing around before his eyes. His head still hurt a little, but the pain was deadening. He had the sense that he had only been out for a moment. How odd.
Shaking his head, he pushed himself back into a sitting position…and was startled when he actually drpped several inches to land in his seat. But now his desk was at his eye level. This was almost going beyond peculiar…
It was only then that he realized that everyone was staring at him, open mouthed and wide eyed. It was like they didn't know what to make of him, like a particularly interesting or disgusting specimen laid out on a dissecting table.
He blinked a few times. "What?" he asked in confusion, and was startled at the voice that came out of his mouth. Was that him? No way! His voice hadn't been able to reach that kind of octave for years!
Erasa, who had been physically crawling on top of people in an attempt to see the strange condition of the sky, was the only one with enough wit left to answer. "Who…are you?"
"Huh?" Gohan squeaked, suddenly aware of the fact that he felt very strange.
Outside, the sky returned to normal.
"YOUR FIRST WISH HAS BEEN GRANTED," Shenron thundered. "WHAT IS YOUR SECOND WISH?"
"Oh!" Goten said. "I forgot about the other wish. Hmm…I dunno. I don't have one."
"THEN I SHALL LEAVE," the Eternal Dragon boomed, then changed into the bright beams of light and vanished. The seven Dragonballs flew into the air and rocketed off in seven different directions, headed for every corner of the Earth.
"Bye!" Goten called cheerfully, waving at the vanished spheres of light. They looked kind of like that one time when he and Gohan had watched a meteor shower. It was so pretty.
"And what do you think you're doing?" a deep voice snarled angrily.
Before Goten could turn around or reply, someone or something grabbed the back of his orange gi and hoisted him off of his feet. Dangling by his collar, Goten spun around to find himself eye to eye with a very angry Namekian. "Oh…hey, Mr. Piccolo. What are you doing?"
"I believe I just asked you that question," Piccolo growled. "Why did you summon Shenron?"
"I had a wish to make," Goten replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "And it was an important one, too—HEY!"
The chibi was cut off as Piccolo shot off into the air, pulling Goten by his collar behind him. A few minutes later, they landed outside the Son residence. Piccolo took care to make sure that he landed on the side of the house where there were no windows so that if he had to beat the child, ChiChi wouldn't be able to look outside and see it.
Once he had touched down, he looked around to make sure that the frying pan wielder was not ouside. No sign of her. Good. Now he could get it out of Goten.
But as Piccolo opened his mouth to get answers, a loud voice came from inside the house. "Piccolo! You'd better not hurt my baby!"
The Namekian's jaw stayed in its hanging position for a long moment, then he turned and looked at the child, who was still dangling by the back of his shirt from Piccolo's hand. Piccolo frowned. "How does she do that?"
"I dunno," Goten shrugged as much as his current position would allow him to.
"Okay, time for answers," Piccolo shook off his surprise at a mother's ESP and refocused on the mystery at hand. "What did you wish for?"
Goten's chin quivered. "I wished that Gohan was my age again. Oof!"
That last was the sound he made as Piccolo suddenly dropped him. "You did WHAT?!?"
"I did it for brother, so don't get mad at me!" Goten protested defiantly.
Piccolo stared at the chibi for a minute, then groaned and pushed off, hovering a few feet in the air. "When your brother gets home, and I assume he'll be home early if this wish worked, tell me to come see me. I have a feeling we'll have something to talk about." With that, Piccolo left.
No longer under any sort of threat from insane and powerful friends of his older siblings, Goten skipped into the house. "Mommy, can I have a snack?"
"What do you mean, who am I?" Gohan demanded in his suddenly high pitched voice. Just hearing himself talk like that freaked him out.
"Well, I don't know what you're doing here. Are you in the wrong place?" Erasa asked.
"Erasa, what are you talking about?" he queried. At this point, he suddenly realized that his feet no longer touched the floor under his desk. His list of things that weren't quite right at the moment just kept getting longer and longer.
She looked stunned. "You know who I am?"
"Of course!" he replied in exasperation.
Behind him, he heard Videl making a few odd noises that sounded for all the world like she was being strangled. When he turned to look at her, he saw that her eyes were bugging out of her head.
"What?" he piped. Damn his voice! He'd already been through puberty! Why had it picked now to return to a lovely soprano pitch?
Videl was silent for a minute; then she leaned forward. "Gohan?"
"Who did you think I was?" he asked.
"Here," Erasa reached into her purse and pulled out a compact, the kind of thing that held makeup. She opened it and shoved it into his hands. "Take a look. You tell us."
Refraining from rolling his eyes, Gohan looked into the tiny mirror.
And his jaw fell off his face.
AN: Chapter One is done! Hehe…that rhymed! Okay, I'm just being stupid now. We're off on another one my odd little tales. Bon appetite, and feel free to journey back for the next installment, which will be up whenever I can get it written.