Prologue: What We Left Behind
He held tight.
Was this what he really wanted? Perhaps there was another way. Maybe it didn't have to be like this. At that point, he did not care. The nightmare would end. It didn't matter if this was wrong or even insane; all that mattered was that it would end.
Off in the distance he heard someone screaming for him to stop. They said exactly what he had thought. There was another way. They could make another way. In the end he still didn't care. Resolute, determined, he held on even tighter.
Words rolled off of his tongue. Words meant to ease the pain of the others, though he knew they wouldn't. Now that he thought of it, the words were completely meaningless. Only the last two he uttered had any substance; ". . . goodbye."
Light enshrouded him. His body dissolved away. His enemy screamed in agony at the final attack that he couldn't escape. Amidst all the pain, all the sorrow at those he would never see again, the young hero smiled.
Light turned to complete darkness. He could no longer feel his body. Thoughts entered his mind. Did he regret it? Now, when it was all over. Yes, he did. There was only one urge left in him. He wanted to see her face. If only for one last, fleeting moment, he wanted to touch her.
Then it began.
He could feel his body return to him. He couldn't understand what was happening. He became weary, and slowly lost consciousness. Before he finally went under, one last thought came to him. No, not a thought, but an answer.
I can go back . . .
Four Years Later . . .
The Capsule Corporation mansion; for decades it served as a home and a second home to a select few across the planet. People who had stood death and destruction in the face, and come out unscathed. Well, unscathed for the better part. It was nearly a sure bet to point to whoever entered or exited that they had died at some point, only to be brought back to life. Of all the battles and the fighting they had suffered, only one of these people had been unable to return home.
One of them, a lone and erect figure, stood outside his home and stared up into the stars. He was a proud and noble warrior, the heir to a long dead race. A prince amongst the universe, a man without weakness, and yet he couldn't help but think of that lost friend.
Friend? He didn't need friends. He was the prince of all Saiyans. That had been true many years ago before setting foot upon this world. Strange; he had originally come here to kill and destroy everything. To become an immortal god amongst men. Then he was befriended, his pride tamed, and yes, he even fell in love. Settled down with an Earth woman and raised two children to carry on his legacy.
Despite his mastery and vast power, despite his royal ancestry and fierce determination, Vegeta found himself constantly doubting himself in comparison to his peers. It wasn't so much strength anymore that chided him, Vegeta had long since grown out of such jealousy. It was their actions.
Gohan sacrificed his body, the living shell that allowed him to exist, to remove a threat to everything else. Could Vegeta have brought himself to do that? Could he have sacrificed all, his very existence, to save the life of someone who was alive and waiting for him? To this day nobody know, but when Gohan had died; Vegeta found a place of solitude and wept. If ever there were a true example of what the Saiyan race was in the height of its majesty, Gohan was it.
So now, once again on the anniversary of his comrade's death, Vegeta stood outside his home, stared at the stars, and let his mind take him back to long lost memories.
Right on time. Vegeta turned his eyes to see his former rival, the father of the lost hero, materialize out of thin air. Vegeta wished he could learn that accursed trick. Son Goku stepped towards him, lifting a hand, "Hey, Vegeta."
"Kakarott." The only greeting Vegeta could give the man. It annoyed him how everyone else on this planet wanted him to use anything but the Saiyan's birth name.
"I don't suppose you watched the World Martial Arts tournament today. Hercule won. He actually came back after confessing everything about the Cell games and Gohan." A quiet laugh, "He even dedicated the tournament in Gohan's honor."
"Why do you think I didn't enter?"
It was true. The entire cast of the Z fighters had decided not to enter the World Martial Arts Tournament having heard Hercule's plans. The man deserved one chance at redeeming himself, and to show his appreciation to their friend.
That reminded Goku, "Has Bulma seen Videl lately?"
"She is meeting her for lunch tomorrow. Still trying to get that girl to move on."
Goku leaned back against a tree, and let his eyes drift upwards, "I wonder why she won't."
"Don't you?" Goku blinked at the words, "A Saiyan and his mate share a bond that extends well beyond anything the people of Earth can have, Kakarott. To choose one is a serious commitment, even for the human half of the relationship. Videl no doubt still feels the lingering connection to your son."
Uncomfortable silence followed. Goku decided to let out what was not being said, "Vegeta, I'm not just here for the anniversary of Gohan's death. There's something else you have to know."
"Yes." The Saiyan prince nodded, "There's no need to. I have felt them."
"Ever since Gohan's death. They have been in the back of my mind, and only recently did I perceive them for what they are. And I can sense more of them every day."
So he knew. Goku was always being surprised by Vegeta. Perhaps having been his superior so often has warped his perception of the prince. There was a new threat on the horizon. At first there had only been two that Goku could sense, but now there are more. As the weeks go by he can sense new powers on the distant horizon in the galaxy.
And for the life of him, Goku didn't believe even with his great strength he could stop them.
You will notice significant changed from the original epilogue shown in the Story of Gohan Part One. Do note that this is also the prologue for Part Two. Chapters will be coming out at a minimum of one a week as I write this, Spiderman New Age, and Darkside Heir.
I hope you all enjoy the conclusion to the Story of Gohan. The first was a true alternate universe stemming from one exact change. This next part is completely different, and holds no ties at all to post-DBZ or DBGT storylines. This is all my own work, so that means you won't be able to guess a single thing that's going to happen . . . not that you could anyway.