AN: Hey, everybody! *waves* *crickets chirp* Ummm…yeah. Sorry it's been a while, but I've been busy. Let's just say I'm not getting much sleep as of late. So this chapter is going to be short, and (for once) not all humor. I'd almost call it a filler, but not quite.

Almost all of Gohan's adventures in this fic have been the extreme on the (hopefully) humorous end of the scale. Well, there are a few far simpler pleasures of being a child, and this very short chapter is going to highlight one of those, one of my favorites. I still like doing this sometimes ^_^ Even though I can't lately, because it's snowing. Again…*shakes fist angrily at the sky*

I hope you enjoy, even if it isn't as humorous as the other chapters in this story. I don't own DBZ, and the beautiful poem used in this chapter is the sole property of Langston Hughes.

Chapter Twenty-Eight—In Time of Silver Rain

In time of silver rain
The earth
Puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads
Of life

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Gohan was sick of the rain. It had been pouring nonstop for nearly two days straight now.

He didn't have much time left before they would regather the Dragonballs and make the wish that would set things right again. He would be his old, eighteen year old self again, and all would be blissfully well with the world. Except he'd have to go back to school, but hey, one couldn't have everything one wanted, now could one?

But he had nothing to do. His homework was done. Goten was in his room, playing with his action figures. Probably another of his favorite games, 'Videl and Great Saiyaman Save the City, and Then Get Married So Goten Can Have a Big Sister.' Gohan wasn't sure who he needed to have a word with: his brother, or his mother. Neither would probably have any effect.

But the point was that Gohan was flat-out bored. And there didn't seem to be anything he could to alleviate that boredom. So he sat on his bed, arms on the windowsill, chin resting on folded hands, staring blankly out the window at the precipitation. He could almost feel his brain beginning to liquify from lack of use. And any minute now, he expected that brain, the very organ he had spent so many years bulking up under his mother's cracking whip…er, guidance…to come oozing out his ears in its liquid form.

Not pleasant.

Such was the state he was in when he became vaguely aware of his bedroom door opening.

"Gohan, are you all right?" his mother's voice asked from the door behind him.

"I'm bored!" he flopped his arms dejectedly. "I don't know what to do. I'm just restless."

ChiChi was silent for a moment as he turned back to the window. Her first instinct was to assign him a few chores. But something wouldn't let her tell him to clean his room or help her fold the laundry. Instead, she tilted her head to the side thoughtfully, and said, "Why don't you go outside?"

Gohan's head snapped around so fast that she could have sworn she heard it crack. "Really? I can?" He had good reason to be shocked, too. Son ChiChi was one of those mothers who had a strong dislike for those who dared to drip water on her nice clean floor, and as such, it was usually accepted that no one went outside in the rain.

Goku had made that mistake once. And only once. And he had committed the crime of dripping the Water of Evil on the Sacred Kitchen Floor of Cleanliness. And he had paid the ultimate price in the Son family. The matriarch had presented him with his punishment: a heavey-duty smack in the head with the Hallowed Frying Pan of Holiness.

So when ChiChi made the suggestion that her son go outside and frolick in the rain, she was doing so at her own risk, so to speak. That was the reason for his utter shock.

"I just said you could, didn't I?" ChiChi's response was slightly amused. "And take Goten with you. He needs to get out of that room for a while. I think he's talking to himself in there."

That was all the encouragement that Gohan needed. In a single bound, he was off the bed and across the room. He paused briefly to throw his arms around his mother's waist and say "Thank you!" Then he was out of the room and into the hallway, bounding towards his little brother's room.

Approximately thirty seconds later, the two Son boys were running across a rain-soaked field, without raincoats, hats, boots, or anything else to protect them from the weather. They had actually left through Goten's bedroom window in order to achieve just that—freedom. Simple, primal freedom.

And they had already decided on a location. If they were allowed to be out in the rain, they were going to do it right, no holds barred, and get as soaked as possible. So there was really only one place they could go to really accomplish that.

"Woo hoo!" Goten laughed as he leapt into the air—and landed with a splash in their favorite pond. The water surged upwards with his entrance, and he surfaced a moment later, shaking the water from his eyes. "This is awesome!"

With a Tarzan-esque screech, Gohan did the only dive he knew how to do: the Cannonball. His entrance into the water created an even bigger splash than Goten's had. But unlike Goten, Gohan didn't surface right away. He stayed beneath the surface.

By slightly moving his arms and legs, Gohan propelled himself forward. He had gone swimming in this pond many a time in his day, but somehow, it was more magical to rediscover things as a child again, even though he was technically an adult. It didn't dampen things a bit, pardon the pun.

And with his training, he could hold his breath for quite a long time, so he could really take a good look around, and re-explore the underwater world while the rain fell above. If he looked up, he could see the little ripple effects where the precipitation was falling.

It was surprisingly clear under the water. He had no trouble seeing around him. To many, it would have been boring. To Gohan's inquisitive mind, and trained eye, it was a veritable wonderland.

The bottom of this particular pond was soft and sandy; he knew that from experience. And the floor was littered with things. Tree branches that had broken off in past storms, stones worn as smooth and shiny as mirrors, and a plethora of other little treasures. Fish swam by, some stopping to look at him curiously before zipping off to hide in the underwater foliage.

For what seemed like forever, the chibi swam around, not really looking at anything in particular, but just looking for the sake of looking. It was so peaceful, so relaxing…

Suddenly, Gohan became aware of something unusual, and slightly alarming. His lungs were burning. And it hurt like hell. He was running out of air. How long had he been down there?!?

Crap! he let out a mental yelp, and made for the surface. It wouldn't do any good for him to drown. He'd never get back to his eighteen year old self then. And plus, it would be pretty damn pathetic. He was Son Gohan, half-Saiyan, one of the strongest beings ever to have lived, the son of the legendary martial artist Son Goku. It would be pretty damn sad if he was found, the victim of a glorified puddle.

Unfortunately, something was in front of Gohan, blocking his way to the surface.

And that something was Goten.

Gohan broke the surface right under his brother, and the expected happened. The younger of the Son boys let out a little yell as he was thrown upwards and backwards; he ended up landing on his back in the water and sinking like a stone. He surfaced a second later, and the two boys began treading water as they both gasped and sputtered and hacked up water.

"Good Kami, Goten!" Gohan wheezed, a touch of anger coloring his voice. "Do not float above me when I'm dying the abyss!" Goten coughed and glared in response.

Once they were both breathing normally again, and all the water had been unceremoniously hacked up (and they had repeatedly dunked each other in retaliation), the swim resumed. The water around them rippled, dancing to the beat of the raindrops touching the surface.

But unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas. Though those plans didn't involve a frying pan *shudder* they were somewhat unpleasant in a different respect. She decided to make the temperature drop a bit. Okay, maybe more than a bit…

Okay, maybe a lot.

"Brrrr…" Goten shivered. "It's cold." He clambered onto the muddy bank, ignoring the fact that his orange and blue gi had acquired a nice brown stain. There he sat, shivering, trying to get some warmth back into his extremities.

Gohan followed suit, similiarly shaking (alliteration!). "Yeah, it just got colder. Maybe we should head home…" But no sooner were the words out of his mouth then did he hear the second most terrifying sound in the world. The first most terrifying sound, of course, was the sound of air being displaced by a frying pan in motion. But the second most terrifying noise…

"GOHAN! GOTEN! HOME! NOW!" the Voice of DOOM rumbled across the sky, like thunder. As if to accent the horrifying sound, a streak of lightning crackled through the clouds overhead.

Put it this way: Instant Transmission couldn't have beaten them back to the Son house. They arrived in record time, moving so fast that even the raindrops could barely touch them. And then skidded to a halt outside the front door, and hunched over, gasping for air. Both were soaked and muddy.

The door opened, and ChiChi stuck her head out. She looked as though she was going to say something, but stopped short when she saw her sons. "Oh. I was just about to call you." Her brow knitted in a frown. "You had both better change before dinner."

"But…you…Voice…DOOM…" Gohan stammered and wheezed as his mother turned and sauntered back into her cozy little home. He watched her retreating back, then turned to his brother and said…oh, come on. Do I really have to tell you? *sigh* Fine…

"How does she do that?!?"

*the author's inbox is suddenly filled with flames*

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AN: …yeah, I know. Not as humorous or as long as the other chapters, but still a valid part of childhood. Consider this more of a filler than anything else. I just felt bad for not updating for so long. It's been hectic, with midterms and everything. I'm going crazy.

Next chapter, I really have no idea what's going to happen. I'll figure it out soon…hopefully. I'm probably going to bring Goku back for another cameo before this story ends, though. Nothing major, just a goofy little idea I've been nursing for a while now.

Oh yeah, one more thing! I'm headlong into what is most likely going to be a three part fic. That's right, folks, it's the Once Upon a Chibi OVA or movie of shorts. The title is A Very Chibi Christmas. I think the title says it all. Hopefully, I'll get the first chapter of that up soon. I've stretched the timeline of this story far enough as it is, with both a prom chapter and a Halloween chapter, so I'm doing Christmas as a separate piece. So keep your eyes peeled!

Until next time, ja ne!