Still Here

Disclaimers: Ho Hum. How should I put this? Dbz, how shall I own thee? Never! Never! Never! Verbal Tear Poetic enough for you?

Alrighty then. I'm going to get out of my formal beginnings that you are all so used to in my other stories. Frankly I'm bored with it, and I am sure you all are too. Hopefully the layout of this new story will be easier to read and more enjoyable too.

With new layout options it kind of makes it hard to see spaces so I'll put between the breaks. Makes it easier on the eyes, I'm sure.

I also promise to work harder on these new generation of stories. Hopefully send them to my beta every chapter. Look over twice. Write outlines. Make it better of everyone, ne?

Enough of my goals and on with the story.

Ah. Before I go, I guess I should explain a few things, right? Well this new story is strictly about Gohan/Goten relationships. Not yaoi… Because that would be sickening. :shiver: But it will circle around that main relationship. If you have any questions with things being out of place in the series, forget them. I am not following the series after the cell games. They aren't going to chase Buu or so on, so don't question it. Just go with me. I'll show you the way. I promise.

Yes. It is bad of me to come up with a new story. But you know me… if you've read my other bazillion stories, I jump at any chance for a new idea. And this is as new as they come.

I hope you all enjoy!

Chapter One: Incendium

"Personality is born out of pain. It is the fire shut up in the flint."
-J.B. Yeats

It hadn't been that long…

It hadn't been long enough.

A helicopter made it's slow decent upon the sloping lawns before the former residence of the acclaimed Martial Arts champion. Champion once. Runner up twice.

The grass waved in and out as the copter's legs struck the earth once again. The hum sung through the air as the propellers of the machine slowed. They swooped overhead the cockpit like deadly blades sliding through the throat.

The machine gleamed a paint of bright yellow against the faded autumn background that was it's season. Slowly the propellers ceased their repetitive pulsing giving signal to the person inside.

They took their time- gathering things up in their arms for the trip. Arms full of empty picnic baskets, checkered cloth, and paper bags- the woman kicked the helicopter's door open allowing it to slam into its opposite side. She slipped casually out into the sunlight, blowing the blue strands out of her face.

Her bright eyes scanned the somewhat less cheery surroundings. She felt out of place here. Like she didn't belong. She admitted, partially, that she didn't. But the woman didn't like dwelling too long on the negative.

'He was never like that, you know.' She always thought, 'Things always came out well for him. So will they for us.'

Bulma, or formally known as Professor Briefs Bulma, the ingenious inventor of Capsule Corporation, had just made a four hour flight on her fastest vehicle to reach this destination. Dressed in her casual best of blue jeans, white tank, and covered head to toe with picnic supplies, Bulma stumbled up the slope to the cute little cottage.

It didn't take long to reach the kitchen door- friends of the family were always welcomed through this door. Bulma knew this. But she had to hesitate before taking it.

The smell of breakfast, or maybe even lunch, hung in the air. This reminded the inventor, painfully, that she had not had any. She hadn't called ahead… But perhaps there would be some left for her.

With a sayian in the household, she found it highly unlikely.

The kitchen door was opened, exposing only the screen. Bulma could see shapes moving around inside, but the house was too dark to discern much.

Before the kitchen was filled with light.

She thought to knock. Thought little of it. Her hands were filled, and she never had to before.

Again, she hesitated.

'Maybe tomorrow', she thought. 'Maybe in a year or two.'

But in her heart, she knew. As a friend, she knew. They needed this now. They needed reprieve. They needed happiness. They needed escape.

Bulma breathed deeply to calm her emotions. The air had a salty tint to it.

Smelled like rain.

Careful not to cause too much alarm, Bulma pushed the screen open.

Two sets of eyes peered at her from the darkness. It took a couple of minutes for her eyes to adjust, but those eyes were enough to tell her…

She had picked the wrong time for this picnic.

Gohan, the eleven-year-old prodigy, sat vigilantly at the kitchen table. He appeared fully recovered from recent bouts, although it was no surprise. Bulma had helped with her vitamins she had recommended for him. But the Dragon and Karin's sensu beans had done most of work.

The demi sayian had nearly finished his breakfast. Or rather, knowing him, one of his helpings.

But then again, he appeared not really intent upon eating. To be distracted so easily at Bulma's entrance gave her the impression that Gohan wasn't eating healthily. At least not in Sayian terms.

He still had his dark, strangely cut hair. His large, curious eyes- but some of the brightness seemed gone. She needn't ask why. Everyone had lost some of their brightness. It was no different for Gohan.

But it was different…It was startlingly different.

Gohan broke his gaze from Bulma's to glance wearily at his mother. The woman did not rush to Bulma, like she used to. Instead, she stood eagle-eyed in the upper corner of the kitchen. Watching, with a strange look on her face. A face she often used when she didn't know what emotion to display on her face; a mixed, confused look.

It was then that Bulma realized she had walked in on a fight.

Gohan looked passively between Bulma and his mother. His face remained neutral. A calm lake free from ripples. He had not started the fight. He would not finish it.

Mother had once again been fed up with Gohan's serene attitude. She knew Gohan was hurting inside. Of course she knew. It hurt her that she couldn't see it. It made her think he didn't care. If only she knew how much…

This was how most fights started. At meals. It was the only time they had really seen each other, after the day. Gohan studied. Chichi cooked. Each smothering themselves in jobs that preoccupied their minds. At meals, they couldn't focus on eating. So the fights would start.

Gohan was actually glad Bulma arrived. Now he could go up to his room and study in peace.

He didn't have to finish his meal… It tasted bad anyway.

"Umm… I'm sorry." Bulma finally spoke awkwardly, dropping her items on the clean floor.

Gohan noted his mother's flinch. Right on cue.

"I- I thought we might… go picnicking. Like we used to- remember?"

Gohan almost felt sorry for Bulma. She was trying so hard to pull everyone back together. But- then, with Father gone… so was the glue.

The hybrid was actually quite shocked to hear his mother speak,

"Oh Bulma."

Gohan turned his head to his mother, to see her eyes were welling up with tears. She choked on them as they ran down her cheeks,

"Oh sweet wonderful Bulma. I've missed you too!"

Bulma fell back awkwardly as Chichi fell into Bulma's arms weeping. Shocked, Gohan only blinked.

Why didn't she hug him like that?

Gohan glowered quietly with jealously until Bulma was able to pry Chichi off her.

"There, there. It's alright." hushed Bulma.

It worked. Chichi calmed down. Gohan's jealously grew.

Bewildered by Chichi's openness, Bulma felt quite silly for offering to go picnicking. But before Bulma knew it, Chichi had all three picnic baskets in hand. She smiled merrily around the bleak kitchen and nodded to Gohan,

"Clean your dish, Gohan! Let's not keep Bulma waiting!" Chichi cheered, "Then we get to work on filling these picnic baskets."

Bulma watched the boy curiously as he rose from his chair. He was 'glaring' at her, for some odd reason, it seemed. But the mood shifted in his eyes, and instead, he looked quite ill. Complying with his mother's wishes, Gohan took his dishes to the sink.

Chichi began chattering about past events. Past outings where they had enjoyed each other's company. She was actually starting to insist they invite everyone else too, when Bulma quickly interrupted that they had not made preparations for something like that.

All the while, Bulma watched Gohan. He sulked as he washed his dishes. Worried, Bulma moved towards the boy. Chichi's chattering lessened as she, too, noticed Gohan's dark disposition.

"I could help you, if you want, Gohan."

Gohan did not respond. Not even when both Bulma and Chichi were at his side.

"Gohan? Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." Gohan spat rather roughly making a hasty slip of the sponge.

There was a brief instant in which everything went too fast to see. Blood ran down his palm and into the soapy waters of the sink. Red. Very red blood.

The knife he was scrubbing cut a clean line across his hand. Bulma was actually quite surprised at the fragility of his skin. So surprised she didn't realize how severely he had cut himself.

The knife fell- bloodstained and soapy, onto the kitchen counter. Gohan pulled back in pain,


"Gohan! Watch your language!" Chichi scolded, quickly taking his hand in her own, "Oh sweetheart. Here. Wash off the blood…"

"Let go! It hurts!" Gohan cried as Chichi attempted to clean the wound under the warm water, "Mother!"

Bulma stared at the knife curiously, and then- artfully pocketed the item. She turned her gaze back up just as Gohan yanked himself free of his mother.

"Gohan. I have to clean it. Otherwise it will get infected." Chichi reproached logically.

Gohan still pulled away, keeping his injured hand out of her reach.

"Gohan! This is ridiculous! Give me your hand now!" Chichi raged, "Or I'll- Or you're grounded."

"Fine." Gohan retorted, "I didn't want to go on the stupid picnic anyway."

The boy turned sharply, dancing out of his mother's reach, and ran off into his room. A door's slam echoed down the hall causing both mother and friend to flinch.

"Teenagers." Bulma shrugged, "He'll get over it…Chi?"

Chichi closed her eyes as tears tried squeezing out.

"No. And it was looking to be a good afternoon."

"Don't worry about it, Chichi." Bulma encouraged, touching the woman's shoulder, "It can still be a good day. Give Gohan his space. He needs time alone, but you need sunlight. Let's go have a good picnic back at Capsule Corp."

Chichi hesitated, but a smile swept her features,


"Did you douse the fire?"

"What are you, Smokey the Bear now? Yes! I did."

"Geez. Just asking. pause You're a pain when you're drunk."

"Just drive. We've got a long ways to home."

A single cigarette tumbled out of the passing car as it drove down the abandoned wood. The leaves began to smolder…

"I wish you wouldn't do that."

"Do what?"

"That. Throwing lit cigarettes out. Those things aren't cheap. sigh One of these days you'll start a fire that way."

"Whatever. Keep driving."

Vegeta glared down upon the children's book irately. Stupid fairy tales.

And he was supposed to read them to Trunks?

Like the kid understood.

"Humpty Dumpty… err… fell. All the King's men… couldn't put him back together again." Vegeta grumbled.

He paused, looking about for the 'woman' before uttering,

"Damn stupid story."

Giggles resounded from the baby chair the lilac topped baby was strapped into. As Trunks giggled a small bit of drool wound down his chin, bringing disgust to the Sayian Prince's face.

"Just because you can't read, dear, doesn't mean you have to take it out on Humpty Dumpty." Bulma snapped, reappearing from the living room with Chichi close at hand.

Vegeta turned- diverting his gaze from Trunks' drool. His eyes fell on Chichi.

"Kakarot's mate." Vegeta jeered, "Why didn't your force your brat to come? I wanted to train against him. He's been avoiding me!"

"With good reason." Chichi spat, retaining some of her old flare.

"Gohan wasn't feeling well, Vegeta." Bulma muttered darkly, "It's best you didn't pester him about training."

"Boy's gonna be out of shape."

"It's only been two weeks!" Bulma riposted, loosing her temper, "Have some respect, will you?"

"Yes. But those are two weeks that Kakarot would have used." hissed Vegeta.

Bulma tried but failed to retort to that. Smirking, Vegeta scooped up his son in one arm, the book in his other- and left the room. Bulma glared wrathfully after her husband's turned back.

"Argh. Men." Bulma snorted.

"It's alright, Bulma." Chichi smiled softly, taking her friend by the arm, "Vegeta's just worried about Gohan's health. Just like me. Right?"

Bulma hesitated, but then nodded.

"Right. We're all worried."

Gohan stared idly down at his palm. The blood had dried leaving an odd sort of patch about the wound. Transfixed, Gohan touched and then cringed as pain surged from it.

How had he been able to cut himself?

Hastily, Gohan wrapped the bandages back about his hands. Mother had left with Bulma. He was still a bit sore that she had left him. But then he'd spoken truthfully. He didn't want to go on a picnic. He'd rather die then go. But then he'd rather die then do a lot of things lately.

Shaking the thought from his head, Gohan set back to studying. He had to make it up to Mother somehow. This was the only way he knew. And the only way he dared to try.

3. The sum of an objects internal kinetic and potential energies is…

It had only been two weeks really. His arm still burned where it had been detached and mangled. Like the healed arm was a ghost of the former thing it used to be. The wounds did not heal. Gohan felt as if they wouldn't ever.

He tried talking to Piccolo about it, but the Namekian often wasn't one for much sympathy. Gohan knew he meant well, but Piccolo wasn't the best person to complain to. Even with Kami as a better half.

15. Estimate the x coordinates at which the relative maxima and relative minima occur…

The dreams were getting worse, really. At first they were just dreams in which Father was there. Alive again. Smiling that dumb grin of his. But as soon as Gohan woke, he would quickly find the face escaping him. He would have to relive his father's absence everyday. Relive the knowledge that he was slowly forgetting his father's face. Father's voice.

But lately the dreams were different ones. Where the pain struck when he was sleeping. Often making him scream.

17. Witty language used to convey insults or scorn, Polarity, Satire, Paradox, Wisecrack

How much longer could he take this? How much longer could Father be gone?

30. Fire is to Water as Immortality is to-

The lights flickered. Gohan glanced up; shutting his test booklet. He wasn't even halfway through. The answers seemed to be escaping him of late. And distractions didn't help…

Now why did they do that?

They flickered again, growing on Gohan's nerves. The sayian rose from his chair, and moved cautiously to his door. The door handle was strangely warm. Gohan's heart skipped a beat. He knew the signs…but-

What's going on?

Keeping up his guard, Gohan unlocked his door, and moved out into the hallway. Heat wrapped his body and face painfully as he stepped out. His arm burned worse then ever. Gohan could hardly breathe.

Smoke hung over the whole house in thick clouds. Gohan couldn't see. In fact, it hurt to try…

His heart was hammering. How long had he not noticed the fire?

Rushing to the kitchen, Gohan spotted the flames. They were coming from the outside. From the trees.

Forest fire…

I have time to get out. Gohan thought quickly to himself, I just have to grab a few things…

The flames were growing. Gohan watched them. Gohan saw it all. He held his breath and moved closer to the wall.

Why couldn't he move? Why couldn't he pry himself away?

The flames. They were beautiful.

They are beautiful.

The family picture sat on the sill, illuminated in the bright of the fire. It looked as if the flames were dancing all around it. Not touching it. Not daring too.

Gohan couldn't drag himself away. Not while his father's eyes were upon him. Not while the flames danced. He watched them, reflecting their ballet in his dark eyes, as if desiring to join them. He moved, quietly, removing his bandage.

The wrapping fell silently into his other hand, and carefully the boy pulled it over his mouth. A filter from the smoke.

But Gohan was already intoxicated.

Charily, he wandered to the windowsill. Flames licked out at him. Beckoning him to them. Gohan flinched at the sharp fists that bit at his clothing and flesh.

They were growing. Gohan was not moving any faster.

Gohan groped the picture frame in both hands- just as suddenly dropped it.

It was hot.

The glass shattered- falling about him. The images got eaten away. The memories. Goku disappeared last.

"Father." Gohan whimpered.

The hissing sound caught Gohan's attention. He turned- eyes wide.

The flames were bigger then him. Towering over him menacingly. Cell's face loomed down at him through the flames. Through hell.

Gohan screamed and fell back into the wall. He covered his face desperately trying to rid of Cell's gaze. The insect. The monster.

His instincts told him to get out. But Gohan didn't want to listen.

The demi sayian looked up, eyes flaring a dangerous blue. He could see the events flashing again.

Cell, a luminous balloon, against the dreary backdrop of the crumbling planet. His evil smile from purple lips. Inhuman qualities that made him different and deadly. Qualities that made him evil.

Gohan could see his father's face. So reassuring. Shrouded in flames.

"I'm proud of you, Gohan."

Proud of a murderer?

Index and middle tapped his temple and Goku was gone. Forever and for good.

There was a time when Gohan could not understand the point of his father's battles. The point of beating upon another person until they proved incapable of receiving the pain anymore. But now Gohan knew. It was for the thrill… and that fact terrified him.

Held up in the moment- he was mistaken. And that mistake cost him so much more then when he was a coward.

It seemed he couldn't do anything right. Cowardly or heroically.

Gohan could see so clearly the fate that awaited him. The fate he escaped and bestowed on another… The fate remained his own…still.

Villains always lose. It's time I face that. Because- Because I'm one too… I killed my own father- and I- I can't-

"I'm not running this time."

Everything went white, like a flare going off.

He went blind. Then numb.

Then… Then there was nothing.

Vegeta froze… halfway up the stairs. Perched between two steps, he faltered- a most peculiar look on his face. His skin was burning up in down like sweeps from a tide. As if a sudden fever struck him.

"No way."

Trunks was frowning up at him, eyes coated over with a distance sense of wisdom. A sort of claim to babyish intelligence. The corners of Trunks' mouth twitched slightly as he nestled himself deeper into his father's chest. Vegeta remained unresponsive.

The book that the Sayian Prince had carried in the hook of his other arm- fell. It dully clunked down the staircase until it smashed into the opposite wall. There it fell opened to the last page…

Broken egg shells.

"Mr. Briefs?" A meek voice called, "Sir? Did you drop- this?"

A balding man wearing the palpable uniform of steel blue and white, that Capsule Corp employees often wore, sauntered up the stairs towards the shorter sayian. He kept the book out before him; carefully shutting it before holding it out to Vegeta.

Vegeta turned-without even looking at the Capsule employee. His eyes blinking strangely as if holding something back. Vegeta made his way back down the staircase, bobbing slightly with each step he took. The employee flinched at the unnerving clanking that Vegeta's shoes made when in contact with the metal steps.

Clank. Clank. Clank…

Vegeta paused before the worker, eyes boring holes through flesh, and handed Trunks to him. The child gave a docile cry in protest but was quickly hushed by the look on his father's face.

The employee looked taken aback; as if uncertain how to care for a child. He struggled briefly as he attempted to hold the babe in a comfortable position.

"Sir?" He gulped, as soon as he had situated the infant properly in his arms.

"Take him to Bulma. Ms. Briefs." He added, "Tell her… I'll be back."

"Err… Yes, sure." He nodded submissively, "When will you be back? If I may ask… sir?"

"Later." Vegeta frowned.

The Prince continued down the stairs, leaving the hired hand alone with the lilac topped hybrid. Trunks reached out his tiny hand to his father's retreating back. The fingers wiggled helplessly before the palm unable to cling onto anything but air.

"Tou!" He cried, "Tou! Tou!"

Bulma grinned as she adjusted her rear view mirror to get a better view of her best friend in the back seat. She was filled with good cheer; smiling giddily back at the blue haired pilot.

Bulma had nearly prepared for their trip back to the Son residence. Although Bulma greatly desired Chichi to remain longer, she knew Gohan had to be tended to. Despite his newly obtained gloom-and-doom attributes, she knew in her heart Gohan was a great kid. Chichi and Gohan would both drive over this hole in their lives safely-

And damn Goku if they don't, Bulma thought darkly to herself.

Bulma glanced up to spot Vegeta trudging across the lawns in front of the helicopter. He appeared in an apparent rush. Curious, she apologized to Chichi, and climbed out of the helicopter.

"Vegeta? Wassup?" called Bulma.

Noticing Trunks was not in his arms, she added charily, "Where's Trunks?"

"I gave him to an employee of yours." Vegeta grunted, "What are you doing here?"

"I'm taking Chichi back home." Bulma huffed in disapproval, "And you need to stop handing our son off to people, Vegeta. You don't even know who you are giving him to!"

Vegeta ignored his mate's last comment and instead took in the first one for consideration. His ebony eyes shot over to the yellow helicopter parked only a few feet away, where Chichi's peaky face peered out at him from its tinted windows.

Frowning, Vegeta murmured to himself, "That's right. You brought her over earlier."

"Yes." Bulma snorted, "Earth to Vegeta. We ate lunch together, remember?"

Vegeta's frown deepened. Fighting the urge to rush off again, he considered the woman inside the aircraft.

"Is something wrong, Vegeta?" Bulma asked with a bit more concern.

"I'll take Chichi. It will be much faster flying." Vegeta spoke rashly.

"Uh. Why-?" Bulma sputtered, "…You called her Chichi?"

Vegeta didn't answer. Instead he ambled over to the aircraft, and pulled open the door. Chichi, startled, did not move at first. But slowly she undid her seat belt to see what the Sayian Prince wanted. The mother-like figure crept towards the opening and out into the lawn before him. She looked puzzled- glancing back and forth between Bulma and the Sayian. Vegeta's face remained neutral.

"What's wrong?" Chichi inquired innocently.

"Vegeta?" asked Bulma carefully as she gripped his arm.

Vegeta sighed. Stupid nosy women. But then again- he knew, oddly, that Bulma would find out anyway.

"A few minutes ago, Gohan's ki heightened and then disappeared."

Chichi stiffened a horrified gasp, and fell back against the cold metal of Bulma's helicopter. Her hands were shaking, but she kept her hard gaze on Vegeta's.

"What does that mean?" questioned Bulma; taking the words right out of Chichi's mouth.

"I'm not sure." Vegeta spat indifferently, "Nothing good, I guess."

Chichi didn't like that answer. She closed her eyes hard, hoping the room would stop spinning.

Gohan wasn't dead, was he?

Typical that this would happen just as Chichi was feeling better about herself. Bulma glowered.

"I don't understand this whole ki sense thing, but a disappearing ki signature… Could that mean a number of things? Besides Gohan being…" Bulma trailed off, mindful of Chichi.

"Yes. It could mean that someone is suppressing his ki. Or he's suppressing it himself."

"What about sleeping? Could it mean he's asleep-?" Bulma interposed.

"Woman! Do you think I would be making this big of a deal if there was a chance he was just sleeping?!" Vegeta bellowed, just increasing Bulma's own anger.

"Well, I don't know!" Bulma snapped, "You never taught me about this stupid ki sensing thing before!"

Vegeta mellowed down, glancing between the two women. He really didn't feel like explaining, but he figured he'd have to before they got anywhere. Bulma loved making things difficult this way.

"A Ki signature is like a person's internal energy supply. What a person's capable of, his emotions, and his alignment are all formed in this energy. Everyone has one. Only few know its there and how to tap into it. A ki level can't be lowered simply by going to sleep. In fact it would probably increase because energy is being restored not detracted in that amount of time. The only way that energy can be gone is if the person is incapable of living anymore. That is when it's gone."

Vegeta felt drained. He hated having to explain things to people, especially when they needed to hurry. Chichi and Bulma both just gave Vegeta biddable stares. He sighed miserably,

"I am sure… That 'that' is not the case for Gohan."

"But we should still check it out, right?" Bulma suggested, "I mean, disappearing ki is uncommon, right? So we should check to make sure it's not a new evil."

Vegeta looked doubtful but he nodded. Determined, Bulma whirled back around to face Chichi,

"Come on. We have to go back to your home now- You heard Vegeta."

Chichi's pallid face flushed before she lowered her head. In a modest voice she whispered,

"If anything's happened to Gohan…I-I don't think I could ever forgive myself."

"What's that now?" Bulma murmured, moving closer to the distraught woman, "It's not your fault."

"We don't have time for this." Vegeta barked, losing patients, "I told you what was going on, so now we need to go. Woman…Err… Kakarot's mate- Jump on my back."

"Excuse me?" Bulma grumbled cocking an eyebrow.

Vegeta blushed a bright red, and added mildly,

"I'll just carry you then."

"Yes. Much better. I get the back, thank you very much." Bulma snorted.

Piccolo was there before they had arrived.

He looked very foreboding before the bleak desolation around him. There was no Son residence to return to. There were only flames that quickly diminished before the mighty gusts of the incoming storm.

Rain was pounding down on them when they had landed. Chichi was in hysteria- so far that Vegeta had trouble getting her off him. Had he been a normal man she might have broken his arm.

Bulma slipped silently off Vegeta's back, glancing about the forest clearing. All the woods around them were scorched. But she could see no source to the fire… and it seemed that it stopped in this clearing.

"What happened?" Vegeta demanded from the Namek-jin.

Piccolo, despite his great hatred for the frying pan crazed female, could not remove the pity from his eyes. Vegeta barely heard it's answer,

"A fire."

"I figured that." Vegeta snarled, "What happened to Gohan? Did you get him out?"




Vegeta groaned in annoyance. The stupid 'plant' never gave straight answers. Never more then was directly asked of him. Glancing back at the ruined house, he snapped,

"So where is Gohan now?"

Piccolo didn't answer. He just looked wearily over at Chichi again.

"Did you search for him?"

A nod.

"Did you find him?"

No answer.

"Did you find him, dammit?!" Vegeta spat grabbing the green man by his tunic, and shaking him roughly, "I asked you a question- now answer me!"

"Let go," Piccolo glared demonically, "and you'll get your precious answer from me."

Vegeta hesitated- but complied with to Piccolo's demand.

Piccolo frowned and then spoke again,

"No. I have not found him, but then again I have not been here long."

"What's with the damn silent treatment, then?" Vegeta snarled.

"I'd rather not say," Piccolo growled deeply, "what I assume happened here."

Feeling further bantering with the Namek-jin was pointless, Vegeta turned back to the two woman he had carried over with him.


Bulma tried not to be surprised that he used her name, and instead pondered out the scenario in her head. Letting off a visible shiver- she looked weakly about her surroundings,

"Well, there are definite signs of a fire. But how could a fire harm a sayian?"

Vegeta was about to reply when Piccolo interceded,

"There was an explosion. From the inside. One of great magnitude. Almost… ki made."

"That's impossible." Vegeta grunted, "Even so, that shouldn't have killed Gohan. You… You can't kill yourself with by your own ki. It's physically impossible."

"Impractical. Not impossible." Bulma noted, "Just like one might turn a exerted force back upon its user, so could you turn the ki back upon its maker."

"Maybe… it was a gas explosion." a small voice negotiated to the side.

Everyone's head turned to face Chichi, hugging herself close as she spoke,

"Perhaps I left something on- inside… that caused the explosion."

"Assuming that that's possible," Vegeta frowned, "how could 'that' kill a Sayian?"

"Maybe he was sleeping!" suggested Bulma.

"Again with the sleeping thing, huh?" Vegeta groaned.

"Well, a human is definitely more vulnerable when asleep." Bulma speculated quietly, "I am sure that's the same with a sayian too."

Although Vegeta doubted greatly on the hearsay, he nodded. Bulma seemed mostly satisfied.

"So Gohan was just asleep. Meaning he should still be okay. We just have to find him and then get him a sensu." Bulma beamed cheerfully, "No harm done, right?"

Chichi sniffed quietly from her huddled position on the ground.

Piccolo refused to make eye contact.

Even Vegeta looked a bit sheepish.

"Right…" Bulma repeated dully to herself.

There had been no pain to accompany the light. Perhaps that was why Gohan barely remembered passing out. Rain was falling. Wind was blowing… But strangely, Gohan felt indifferent to it all.

To the sound of the rain pelting on the ground about him. To the smell. To the taste. To the touch. As if it were traveling through him… but that, of course, was impossible.

Gohan raised his head slightly, seeing nothing but strange misguided shapes. There was tenuous ringing in his left ear -the side he had fallen on. Gohan ignored it at first until it slowly became louder… until it formed words.

It was like an unspoken song. In words long dead. Sung in a sort of drone that would give little children the shivers. A tone that gave Gohan the shivers. As Gohan tried to stand, the song grew louder and louder.

When the singing transformed into shrieking curses, Gohan was pulled to the earth again. The pain building up in his ears was incredible. He rolled back and forth on the earth, trying to rid of the voices…but failed. Helpless as a infant, Gohan curled himself up into a ball and cried. His ears felt like they were being stabbed by white hot daggers. Over and over. The screams became less coherent. And his pain before more and more defined.

Gohan knew… He would soon cease to exist. Had he died twice? Is this what it felt like to die again? For the final time?

He could not see, not hear, or feel. Like a empty torso, with no soul. But yet here he was, being tortured in the knowledge of this. Agony seared his body numb. Hurt became his only thought.

Blood sprayed the ground in which he used to lay. Flames encased his form, flashing their hues into his discolored skin. Sweat shamed his forehead as heat from an internal struggle.

He flayed and thrashed about- unable to dream of being free. Unable to think. Unable to breathe. One thought became clearer, above all the rest,

"Stop it!" Gohan screeched.

The pain stopped abruptly. Gohan blinked back his tears in disorientation and saw.

A black outlined shape appeared in from of him. Almost like a ball…crumbled on the floor. It shuddered and whimpered in a disgruntling manner- in almost the same fashion that Gohan had earlier. But the pain that this shadow was sheathed in was not physical. It was- emotional. It was crying.

Gohan could not console it. Nor did he have the energy to. Instead he watched, listlessly, as it faced it's own hell.

A light slowly fought to shine dimly within it. It was a soft light. A beautiful light. Like- like fire.

Brokenly, Gohan reached up to the light- his hand groping for something solid. And surprisingly, something- someone formed a hand and held him tight. Gohan blinked and fell back down into the darkness. His hand still clenched in the glow…

The group shuttled back and forth through the remains of Gohan's bedroom. But Vegeta fell back, discouraged.

What was that human expression? Ah yes, like searching for a pitchfork in a haystack. Vegeta thought bitterly. I never understood that dumb saying. Well, this search seems useless. Maybe there is nothing left of the boy…

Vegeta spotted something not to far off to his right side. Like a glint, from glass. Interested, Vegeta wandered over to the spot finding a strange amount of glass shards.

That's funny for the glass to be inside the desolated area. If there had been an explosion wouldn't the window's glass been blown away from the site?

Curiosity getting the better of the monkey, Vegeta shifted further through the rumble before coming across something soft. Pulling the planks away from it, he found his worst fear.

It was Gohan.

The rain pelted harder on Gohan's haggard form. The blood streamed down his forehead in lucid crimson rivers. The boy's eyes were shut. His mouth was closed. He looked asleep. Vegeta knew better.

He felt for a pulse. Waited. And then rose apathetically to face the other members of the search party.

Vegeta's face was riddled with shadow and rain. The others, inquisitive, turned towards the prince respectively. The first time in years, Vegeta had an audience of helpless onlookers. He felt broken…

"Gohan's dead."

To Be Continued…
Please R + R!

And then come the "WHAT?!!!"s. Yes. I killed Gohan. So there. Yes. I'm mean. Yes. I'm heartless. It's a story for gosh sakes! It's not like I really killed him. :glares: Well… Yeah. I do feel bad… Kind of. Sorry.

But hey, if you read this story, you should have been able to tell from the summery Gohan died… If you're upset then why'd you read it then?

Alright! This would be the spot where I would do review responses… But look at that… I don't have any! Well duh! It's a new story! So I'll just randomly banter on and annoy all the readers till they review for me.

Okay. Here's your homework assignment. REVIEW! Please oh please review.

I know beggars shouldn't be choosers, but if you review could you possibly not write a review like this.

Example 1:

"Love it. Update soon."

What does that tell me? That you loved it. Alright. And you want me to update. Okay… Is that it? Ummm. I guess so. So really you love it and you want it updated. What part of that is suppose to inspire me to update:silence:

Right! None of it!

Example 2:

"Hate it."

Alrighty then. Hate you too. If you wanna tell me it's bad, give examples. Although you may make me cry my poor little heart out, it's much better then a pointless review that just tells me you don't like it. Oh and you better make sure your reasons are legitimate. I don't take crud like "Vegeta wasn't in it enough." Or "You killed Goku!"

Sure. I do reviews like that all the time… doesn't make it right! .

Last but not least… In your review could you talk about my story? Could you not post song lyrics or other random prattle that I can't even understand why you are wasting my time and your time with? Unless the song sounds like my story and you want me to see, please… PLEASE… don't review it.

And for your humor:

Example 3:


Uh. Okay. Well, at least the reviewer's smiling right?

I'll let you go now. Hope you like my newest story! Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Special Thanks to Astrozazel for her wonderful editing skills that helped make this chapter more readable for you people. Heaven knows, I can't do it alone. ;