Mount Paozu, Early Morning
Morning has dawned as the sun rose over the mountains surrounding the valley, and as it always has, the wildlife began to stir and begin their natural routines in life. Smaller foraging animals began looking for berries or anything that looked appetizing, while larger carnivores looked for an early breakfast. The day would start just like any other, barring the absence of one of its long-time residents, Son Gokū, and the intrusion of yet another unfamiliar visitor for the first time since Gokū had left to gather the Dragon Balls with Bulma.
Rustling through the trees near Gokū's hut was the same visitor in question. Many native animals did not flee immediately, for something was oddly familiar to this intruder. The rustling eventually reached the edge of the clearing containing the vacant hut, and out rolled a small child with a serious look on her face, having a pair of jet black narrow eyes and a crop of black spiky hair with two bangs framing her face to complete the look. The girl was wearing a basic purple gi, with a long-sleeved pink undershirt. Her gi was tied by the waist with a pink obi which was covered by what looked like a thick brown fur belt. Catching sight of the hut, she crouched down and began to crawl towards the house. "That looks like the place. Maybe I can get some answers."
The child proceeded closer to the hut with as much stealth as she could - which was certainly wasted effort to any possible witnesses - ducking behind rocks thinking she was close to being spotted, when in reality it was just a butterfly passing by. She eventually reached the door of the hut, and slowly opened it peering inside, only to see it was not only completely empty, but a small layer of dust had settled everywhere, indicating no one was here for some time.
"Dang it!" The girl muttered under her breath. "I thought this person lived here! Now where do I look?"
Crossing her arms and thinking, she stood in the empty hut, completely oblivious to a distinct whirring sound coming up over the mountains.
Skies above Mount Paozu
Perched atop his Kinto'un, Son Gokū began to stir from his night's sleep and travel, still feeling off-balance from the loss of his tail the night before, but adjusting well. He let out a large yawn and looked at his surroundings. "These mountains look familiar. My house should be nearby!"
Kinto'un responded to his master's wishes and slowed down the pace to allow for a better survey of the ground below. A small hut in the middle of the wilderness shouldn't be too tough to find, especially from the air. As Gokū looked down below for his humble abode, he thought about the offer given to him to study martial arts by Muten Rōshi, the same man that taught his grandfather, Son Gohan. "Staying with Muten Rōshi might be a bit of a burden. I should probably bring my own futon just in case."
Sure enough, the hut of Gokū's dwelling came into view, the tiled roofing unmistakable. Kinto'un responded to Gokū's notice of this and proceeded to descend towards the hut. What the boy was not expecting after returning from such an adventure was to see his front door wide open.
Mount Paozu, Gokū's house
The whirring of Kinto'un finally reached the girl's ears, and immediately she began to panic. Whoever lives here is back! Looking for a place to hide, she quickly jumped behind the dresser which held a purple velvet cushion on top, and tried to keep her breathing quiet. Kinto'un came to a complete stop outside the open door, and Gokū leapt down with a puzzled look on his face.
"I always close the door when I leave," Gokū thought aloud looking around in his home. "Maybe an animal pushed the door open?"
Gokū's eyes then trailed to the floor, where he saw footprints in the thin layer of dust. They certainly did not belong to an animal, especially not one from around here, and saw that they trailed around to the back of his dresser. Even more curious, the tracks do not lead back out, and an unfamiliar scent was strong within the room. Knowing he had an intruder, Gokū reached over his right shoulder and drew out his Nyoibō, assuming a basic defensive stance. "Whoever you are, come out!"
The girl hiding behind the dresser began to panic even more. She was caught and had no means of escape other than to fight her way out. This guy seems weak, right? Running through the options in her head, she went with fight instead of flight, and immediately jumped out from behind the dresser, charging and yelling at a now surprised Gokū. She reared her fist back and threw a punch directly at his forehead, only for it to be blocked by his forearm.
"Ouch!" Gokū recoiled in both surprise and pain. Inspecting his arm. It was mildly bruised, but nothing serious. "Who are you? Where did you learn to hit so hard?"
"I don't have to tell you anything!" The girl finally spoke, assuming a similarly basic stance, but was more offensive. "Now get out of my way!"
The girl then proceeded to throw several punches and kicks at Gokū, who parried some of them now that he knew what sort of fight he was in for, but felt the force of the rest. Eventually he found an opening, and thrust his Nyoibō into the girl's stomach, causing her to gasp for air. Gokū then lifted the pole up and vaulted the girl over his head and out the door. He then proceeded to walk outside, closing the door behind him.
"Why did you sneak into my house?" Gokū questioned, now ready to fight more seriously with his expression shifted to match.
"What did I just say?!" the girl snapped back, squaring up. "I don't have to tell you anything!"
Gokū proceeded to aim one end of his Nyoibō towards the girl and shouted. "Extend!"
The pole began to increase in length at an alarming rate, the end opposite of Gokū quickly racing towards the mystery girl, who was unable to react due to her surprise and disbelief that such an artifact could exist, and this inaction would cost her in the form of another blow to the stomach.
As she fell on her back reeling from the hit dealt to her gut, Gokū retracted his Nyoibō, relaxed, and bluntly apologized. "Sorry about that, but you did sneak into my house, plus you tried to fight me."
The girl pulled herself up, gingerly rubbing her stomach and groaning from the aching caused by the impact. Visibly she was mad at the boy, while Gokū's expression was blank as paper.
"Anyway, I'm gonna go pack my things," Gokū called out as he went back to his hut. "Try not to cause more trouble."
"P-Packing?!" the girl stuttered in disbelief. "But you just got here! What are you packing for?!"
"I'm gonna go train in martial arts with Grandpa Kame-Sennin," Gokū answered nonchalantly. "You wanna come along?"
"M-Me?!" The girl stammered even more. "Why me? I literally broke into your house and attacked you!"
"You don't seem too bad." Gokū casually retorted as he placed his folded futon and a small bag of supplies onto Kinto'un. "If you want to come along though, you should make sure Kinto'un likes you. If your heart isn't pure, you'll fall through."
"I didn't say I wanted to tag along you moron!" the girl snapped back, puffing out her cheeks in indignation. "I'm looking for someone anyways, so I can't be bothered."
"Maybe I can help out?" Gokū offered, displaying a grin that was simultaneously goofy and endearing. "Kinto'un is pretty fast, so we should be able to find this 'someone' pretty fast."
The girl looked away and thought it over, her sour expression persisting, until at last she came to a decision. "Fine. But what if that cloud doesn't like me? I don't want to be eaten by a cloud."
"Kinto'un won't eat you," Gokū assured the girl with the same grin. "You just won't be able to sit on top and fall on the ground instead."
The girl was clearly hesitant in letting this yellow cotton candy-looking cloud judge her, but eventually went for it, and decided to jump onto the cloud. During the very quick descent of her jump she closed her eyes expecting to eat dirt, but instead was met with a different type of surface. The surface was soft, fluffy, and felt like air. She opened her eyes and was sure enough sitting on a cloud.
"Looks like Kinto'un likes you!" Gokū laughed as the girl realized the situation she was in. "Alright Kinto'un, Go!"
"Wait Waaaaaaaiiit!" The girl screamed as she held on for dear life and as Kinto'un began speeding into the air. Once the cloud rose above the mountain range, it began to spiral in loop de loops and eventually decreased to a cruising speed allowing the girl to collect herself and catch her breath lost from shock. "A little warning next time, please?!"
"Sorry!" Gokū smiled back, oblivious to the shock of the girl. "By the way, my name's Son Gokū. What's yours?"
"My name?" the girl was taken aback. She pondered telling this kid her name, but for some bizarre reason felt she could trust this 'Gokū' character, and eventually decided to share. "My name is Caulifla."
"That's a neat name. Is it a girl's name?" Gokū bluntly asked, his naive nature going on full display.
"Of course it is!" the girl, now named Caulifla shouted back. "You couldn't tell I was a girl?!"
"I figured you were, but I wasn't sure." Gokū answered with honesty. "I usually pat a person's crotch to check if they have-"
"Please stop!" Caulifla immediately demanded, her face turning red. "There are simpler, less embarrassing ways to check if someone is a boy or girl!"
"Okay," Gokū replied, his blank expression ever present. "So, who is it you're looking for?"
"Well," Caulifla began to answer, choosing her words carefully. "Not someone specifically, but someone, like me."
"Like you?" Gokū asked, his blank expression accented with his head tilting to the side. "What do you mean?"
"I've been traveling for a long time and made a stop at this place called Fungus Town. The folks there said I was a lot like this boy that saved them from some local crooks a week before I showed up. If so, maybe he could help me with a problem I have."
"Well, what made them think you were like this boy?"
Caulifla sighed and pondered her next choice of words even more carefully. "I'm gonna ask that you don't freak out, okay?"
Caulifla closed her eyes, and the brown fur belt around her obi began to move and unravel, until it was blatantly apparent that it was not a belt, but a tail, and it was attached to the base of her back. How Gokū reacted to this revelation was like something out of a cartoon, as he screamed loud enough for a flock of birds to fly away from a distant tree, and he fell off Kinto'un and down into the uncharted forest below. The somersault cloud, noticing its master take a tumble, immediately darted down to try and catch him, only to miss and have Gokū fall into a cluster of tree branches.
"You idiot!" Caulifla snapped, visibly angry and crimson in the face as Kinto'un brought her down to the tree canopy Gokū was stuck in. "You said you wouldn't freak out!"
"Y-You have a tail!" Gokū stammered out in complete surprise as he freed himself from the canopy foliage.
"Yeah, I have a tail!" Caulifla snapped back once again. "I get it! It's weird and no person would be a freak like-"
Gokū interrupted before Caulifla could finish her statement. "Just like I did!"
"Like you... did?" Caulifla began to calm down and genuine curiosity took over her face. "So, you're the monkey kid who saved Fungus Town from that rabbit?"
Gokū leaped back up onto Kinto'un brushing away stray twigs and baring his trademark grin. "Yeah! I sent him and his goons to the moon!"
"The moon?!" Caulifla immediately shifted from curiosity to shock, ignoring the implications of travelling to the moon. "Was it a full moon?!"
"No, it was the middle of the day, plus there was a full moon just two days ago." Gokū waved it off. "Why do you ask?"
"Do you… remember what happened during that full moon?" Caulifla asked with trepidation in her voice.
Gokū tried to remember the events of that night, and he gathered his words. "Well, me and my friends were stuck in this mean guy's castle, who wanted to use the Dragon Balls to rule the world, but we stopped him. We ended up stuck in this metal room with a glass roof and couldn't get out. I looked up and saw the full moon, and the next thing I remember, I wake up without my clothes, and my tail was gone."
Caulifla was absolutely stunned by this explanation. The time skip between seeing the moon, him waking up bare as the day he was born, those notes made sense to her, but the lack of tail was an odd part. Maybe someone cut it off at some point? No, that was the point, because this kid had a tail before they met.
"Are your friends still alive?" Caulifla asked with even more trepidation in her voice than before.
"Yeah, they made it out okay, but I never really figured out how we got out of that metal room." Gokū answered, now noticing the shift in Caulifla's demeanor. "Hey, are you okay?"
"I-I don't know," Caulifla answered as she began to visibly tremble. "Your friends probably know what happened when you were out, and I think I know what happened as well."
"Can you tell me?" Gokū asked, with more sincerity than before.
Caulifla hesitated to answer Gokū's question, but then sighed. "Alright. If you're anything like me, then when you looked at the full moon, you must have turned into an Oozaru."
"An Oozaru? Like the one Grandpa Gohan told me about?"
"I don't know what your grandpa told you, but I had to find out the hard way. I grew up in a small village near a dojo early in life. The locals said I was a child from Heaven, and I still don't get why they called me that. Life was good with my adoptive parents, and I had good friends, but I was always told not to stay out late at night, or monsters would get me. One evening, I was out late, and I looked at the full moon. The next thing I knew, it was morning, my clothes were gone, and the entire village, my friends and family…"
Caulifla couldn't finish her story as she began to shed tears and weep. All the while, Gokū's mind began to race. Grandpa Gohan had told him similarly to go to bed early, especially on the nights of the full moon, lest the terrible Oozaru come for him. Caulifla's story sounded eerily similar to what had happened when he had found Grandpa Gohan, and then it hit him.
Gokū had killed Grandpa Gohan.
Tears began to well in Gokū's eyes as the realization hit him like a freight train. This whole time, he was a monster and couldn't even know about it. Even worse, no one had told him the truth, not even Grandpa Gohan. At the same time, it was a form of closure. The mystery of the death of Son Gohan was solved, and he met someone whom he could relate to. It was at this moment, Gokū's mind began to work harder than it had before. He looked over at Caulifla and her free-swinging tail, and came to a decision.
"OW!" Caulifla screamed as she felt a sharp pain at the base of her tail. "What the hell was that for?!"
She looked over to Gokū to see that he had ripped her tail off with one swift tug. Tears were in his eyes, yet he had an earnest smile. "This is why we are monsters! I think my friends cut off my tail and that's what turned me back to normal. If you don't have your tail, you won't have to worry about the full moon!"
Gokū tossed the tail over the side of Kinto'un and into the forest below. Caulifla looked at both the forest and Gokū with pure disbelief, and then his words granted her an epiphany. Whenever someone squeezed her tail, she would always feel weaker, and then she began to speculate, could she learn to control herself during a full moon? Such speculation was useless however, since her tail was gone, and in a sense, she felt better for it.
"I, I don't know what to say." Caulifla struggled to find the words to describe what she was feeling. Relief, closure, to a minor extent, regret, and genuine happiness for the first time since before she had lost her home.
"You'll feel off-balance for a little, but you'll get used to it." Gokū replied, his grin returning in full force. "I lost my tail 2 days ago, and I'm already doing better! So, since you found out who you were looking for, you wanna train with Grandpa Kame-sennin with me?"
Caulifla pondered this offer for a few seconds, and then her face went from surprise to determination. "Hell yeah!"
"Alright!" Gokū cheered as Kinto'un began to go full speed and over open water towards the fabled Kame House, where their martial arts training under the legendary Muten Rōshi will begin.
Kinto'un - Flying Nimbus
Nyoibō - Power Pole
Oozaru - Great Ape
Muten Rōshi - Master Roshi
Kame-Sennin - Turtle Hermit, Roshi's other title
A/N: So, here's Chapter 1 of an idea I'm sure a lot of us have had, and some among us wanted to do it in a way that makes sense without completely breaking the whole show. I will try to add a key of naming discrepencies whenever I can, for those that are confused, with only new key items added when they turn up. I'm using manga terms to sate an acquaintence of mine, sir LastationLover5000, who happens to be a purist for the manga and is not keen on the dub of the anime. (though there are exceptions, however few there may be) As it turns out, same purist is a decent fic writer (subjective, but whatever) responsible for the Erased Chronicles and half of Heart of Adventurers. Worth reading, and helped me with a rough framework for this idea.
Technical fluff out of the way, I also tried to keep to Kid Goku's personality as well as maintain Caulifla's hot-headed nature. And to those who may be asking 'Why does Caulifla have a tail?' 'Why does she have her Saiyan name?' 'I thought she was in universe 6. How did she get to Earth?' My answer is Chaos Theory and Fuck you, that's why. Totally fine with people not enjoying the story (though it helps if you do) and I'll bear the criticisms regarding writing style and how I approach it. This is basically my first fic on text, as everything else up until now was cliffnotes and brain wandering. Enjoy! :)