Gohan:  Development of a Hero

            This is a Dragonballz fanfiction.  To my eternal sadness, I do not own or in anyway profit from Dragonballz or any of the characters in this story.  This fic, as you can guess from the title, centers on Gohan, and begins right after the cell games.  It is an AU, and reviews are welcome and appreciated.

Part 1 – The First Meeting

            As he flew, Gohan listened to the wind.  It howled and whipped around him as he shot through the air at incredible speeds, as if trying to defy and shout its anger at his defiance.  Despite its best efforts, it was effectively suppressed by his ki, and Gohan felt only a slight breeze as he traveled to his destination.  Still, the noise was loud enough to almost distract Gohan's mind from all that had happened.  Almost.

            Cell was dead, and the androids had been neutralized.  The enemies that the Z-fighters had been preparing for was no more, thanks in no small way to Gohan.  It was he who had finally killed Cell, in a tremendous kamehameha.  He had ended the threat to the earth, but it had come at a price.  Goku was dead, and it was all Gohan's fault.

            This was the fact that had stopped Gohan from entering his house.  He had gotten very close.  Another step, maybe two and he would have been at the door.  But he'd heard his mother's words of worry and felt the agitation in her ki, and stopped cold.  How could he face his mother, and tell her that his father wasn't coming home again?  That he'd be able to come home if Gohan had only killed Cell right off instead of playing with him, toying with him as if that could somehow make Cell pay for what he'd done.

            Actually, that isn't entirely true Gohan thought as he landed.  After all, Gohan and the others were ready to go to New Namek using a wish and bring Goku back.  But he'd intervened, and told them he'd decided to stay dead.  He did not want to come back to life, to his family…to his son.

            "How could you do this to us?" Gohan asked aloud.  He just couldn't believe it.  His father, the man who Gohan had admired and idolized his entire life, had just abandoned them.  He'd left it to his son to explain to his wife that he wasn't coming home BY CHOICE.  Gohan knew what would happen.  He remembered the last time, after Frieza, when they'd thought Goku was dead.  He'd heard his cry herself to sleep every night, a sound that forever haunted him and which he never told her he could hear.  There were times that Gohan hated Saiyan hearing.

            Gohan slid bonelessly to the ground as he took in his surroundings.  This clearing was always his favorite place when he was younger.  The noise from the waterfall and the surrounding wildlife had always given off a peaceful aura, allowing Gohan to forget his problems if only for a moment.  But not even this place could ease Gohan's mind, and tears began to slide down his cheeks.

            "I just don't understand," Gohan muttered.  He looked skyward, as if demanding an answer, "Why are you abandoning us dad?  You say it's to protect us, but how safe are we without you?  You've always been the strong one, the one everyone looks to for help and security…and now they'll look to me.  I can't fill your shoes dad…I…I…"

            As if a dam had burst, Gohan began to weep loudly.  He tried to stop himself, to control his sadness.  He'd always hated crying.  Piccolo once told him only weaklings cry, and Gohan hated to be weak.  But he just couldn't seem to stop, as if any hold over his emotions was gone, washed away by his tears.  Gohan cried and cried, losing all sense of time as he immersed himself in his sadness.  When the tears finally abated, Gohan felt a wave of exhaustion come over him, and he fell asleep.

            "Open your eyes Gohan,"

            Gohan slowly opened his eyes, and found himself in a strange place.  Formless mist surrounded him, and he could see very little of his surroundings.  He appeared to be in a circular area of some kind, but Gohan had no idea how he'd gotten here, nor where here even was.  Wherever he was, it was unlike anyplace he'd ever seen before.  Gohan's gaze finally settled on the owner of the voice that had spoken.

            He was big, as tall as his father if not taller.  The man had the body of a fighter, all sinewy muscle with skin and bone mixed in.  He stood lightly balanced on his feet, ready to move rapidly if needed.  His face was partially obscured by the black locks that hung down over it, but even with the covering Gohan could see it was covered in scars.  They ranged from a small one on the tip of his chin to a nasty looking one that ran from his right temple to his left cheek.  But it was his eyes that told Gohan the most.  They were a dark ebony color, and seemed to hold a world of pain and suffering.

            Gohan slowly settled into a fighting stance.  He may have just fought Cell, but Dende had healed him.  He was now stronger than ever, and if this man wanted a fight, Gohan would be ready.

            The man smiled, and said, "I'm not here to fight you Gohan…well, not exactly."

            "Who are you, what do you want?" Gohan demanded.

            "That is…complicated," the man began, "Needless to say, I'm here to warn you and help you."

            "Warn me about what?" Gohan asked.

            "A great and powerful evil that is coming, one that threatens everything you hold dear," the man answered.

            "Is this about Cell?" Gohan wondered, "Because if it is, you're a little late.  I've already taken care of him."

            The man's expression darkened.  "I wish it was.  I know all about your battle with Cell, and this evil makes Cell look like a weak puppy."

            "How could you possibly know about that?" Gohan questioned.

            The man didn't answer right away.  Instead, he slowly walked around Gohan, as if sizing him up.  Finally, the man stated, "Not bad.  You're a little rough, but with my help, you'll be ready."

            "I'm not going to get ready for anything until you answer my question!" Gohan shouted.

            The man sighed, "I believe right now the Trunks from the future is still with you?  This is a similar situation."

            "You're saying you're from the future?" Gohan asked in disbelief.  "Where's your time machine?"

            "While Trunks used a time machine to come back and warn you, my resources are slightly less impressive," the man explained, "If it weren't for…certain circumstances, I wouldn't be able to help you at all.  As it is, I can only speak to you, and only when you're dreaming."

            "So I'm asleep?" Gohan asked.

            "In a manner of speaking," the man responded, "But don't be fooled.  This isn't like a normal dream.  What happens here can have just as much effect as any event in the real world."

            "So what are these circumstances you mentioned?" Gohan continued.

            "Much like Trunks, there are some things I can't talk about without risking changing events that have to happen.  Someday, when it doesn't matter anymore, I'll explain it to you." The man provided.

            "Why should I believe you?" Gohan asked skeptically.

            The man slowly knelt down, until he was face to face with Gohan.  Looking at him, he said, "You've always been a good judge of character.  You saw good in Piccolo, even when no one else did.  Look into my eyes, and let that judgment reign."

            Gohan stared deeply into the man's eyes.  He saw pain, misery, and a faint hope.   But he saw no malice, and he felt deep down that this man could be trust.  Gohan relaxed out of his fighting stance slowly, and said, "I'm listening."

            The man stood up, and smiled.  "That's all I'm asking.  In the future, an evil wizard named Babidi will come to Earth.  He will be seeking to revive a deadly and powerful creation of his father's, a monster called Majin Buu."

            "So this Majin thing is the evil I'm supposed to stop?" Gohan concluded.

            The man shook his head, "I wish it were that simple.  Majin Buu will not be your problem.  There will be…people available that can handle him.  No, you must deal with a threat from one of Babidi's agents.  This being is more powerful than Majin Buu could ever be, but Babidi is too deluded to realize it.  This being is known as the Destroyer of Worlds, and it is up to you to deal with her."

            "Her?  The Destroyer of Worlds is female?"  Gohan wondered.  While he'd always known females could be dominated and strong (his mother was Chi-Chi after all), he'd never met or heard about an even average female fighter.

            "Don't let her gender fool you," the man warned, "her power is immense, and her cruelty is without limit."

            "And she's really stronger than Cell?" Gohan ventured.  He just couldn't fathom any being with that much power existing.  It just wasn't possible.

            "You just don't understand.  I suppose I'll have to prove it.  Gohan, do me a favor.  Power up to your strongest," the man ordered.

            "Why?" Gohan demanded.

            "Just do it, please," the man countered.

            Gohan sighed, and said, "Okay."  He immediately pulled his power out of the core of his being.  He felt it suffuse his muscles, saturate his skin, change his hair color, course through his eyes, and fill his very being with strength.  Gohan ascended past Super Saiyin into the power he'd just discovered, the power that had killed Cell.  With a scream, Gohan became a Super Saiyan 2.

            The man watched Gohan impassively for a few seconds, and questioned, "This is your maximum."  As Gohan nodded, the man exploded in a burst of light.  When the light faded, Gohan fought to keep his jaw from dropping.  The man's hair had gone golden, his eyes green.  He's become a Super Saiyan.  More than that, Gohan could feel it.  He was at the second level.

            "You're a Saiyan?" Gohan gasped.  "And you can become a Super Saiyan 2.  How?"

            "That's not important," the man stated.

            "How strong are you?" Gohan asked.  As hard as it was to admit, Gohan could feel that this man was holding back.

            "I'm not sure you're ready for that knowledge.  Let's just say I'm much stronger, and even I can't beat her." The man supplied.

            "I get the idea, and I appreciate the warning.  I'll tell Vegeta and the others and we can…" Gohan began.

            "No." the man interrupted.  When Gohan looked at him, the man explained, "You can't tell the others.  No one else can know what is coming."

            "What, why?  I can't do this alone, I'll need their help," Gohan protested.

            "No you won't.  Even if they trained their hardest, they can't help you." The man mentioned.

What do you mean?" Gohan asked.

"Think back for a second Gohan.  How was your arm injured?" the man asked.

            "I blocked a blast from Cell that would have killed Vegeta." Gohan supplied.

            "Why couldn't Vegeta stop it?" the man remarked.

            "Because it was too fast for him to…" Gohan began, but trailed off.

            "Despite their performance at the end, in general everyone else including Vegeta was a liability in the fight with Cell." The man mentioned, "You lucked out that Cell didn't take more of an advantage of that fact.  In the fight that's coming, you can't afford any liabilities.  A single mistake would mean not only your death, but the death of the entire planet."

            Gohan fell silent.  He couldn't do this alone, face another monster.  Look what had happened with Cell, he'd lost control.  Even now Gohan could feel the Saiyan in him singing at the power that flowed through him, desiring to test it and its limits and show off.  He couldn't rely on that, he had to tell someone.  He couldn't…he wouldn't stay quiet.

            Gohan wasn't aware that the man had been moving until he felt a hand on his shoulder.  Startled, Gohan looked up and met a pair of ebony eyes.  "I know how you feel Gohan," the man said quietly with a look of sympathy in his expression, "I've spent my entire life battling this monster, wishing I had help, feeling deep down that I wasn't good enough or strong enough to stop it.  I had people I relied on when I was a kid, but I came to a point where I couldn't hide behind others.  I came to a point where I had to stop forward and fight alone.  You're reached that point Gohan.  I wish it wasn't true.  I wish you could never fight again, and do whatever would make you happy.  But as much as I wish it were the case, I can't make that happen.  For others to live, you're going to have to fight."

            Gohan looked into the man's eyes, and realized he did understand.  He could see the pain in the man's eyes, and knew somehow they shared an understanding.  Slowly, Gohan nodded and whispered, "Alright, I won't tell anyone.  What do I need to do?"

            The man smiled a sad smile, and said, "For now, nothing."

            "What?" Gohan asked in surprise.

            "I've given you a lot of information to process, and I'm not going to pile anything more on your plate just yet.  I'll give you some time to think about it, and we'll talk again the tonight when you go to sleep.  In the meantime, I have something for you."

            The man reached into his right pocket, and pulled out an amulet.  It appeared to be made of some sort of translucent crystal, and Gohan thought he could see a faint light coming from the center.  "What is it for?" Gohan asked as the man handed him the amulet.

            "It has a lot of uses.  But right now the most important one is it establishes another link between us.  Despite what it may look like, talking like this is very difficult to maintain, and we need the help if we're to prepare you for the coming battle."

            Gohan nodded once before slowly putting the amulet around his neck.  "Now what?"

             A flash of sadness came over the man's face, "It's time for you to wake up.  I believe you have some news to tell your mother."

            The man turned to leave, and Gohan said, "Wait!  You never even told me your name."

            The man paused at the edge of the mist, and said, "You can call me Sensei.  Now, wake up."

            Gohan sat up quickly.  Staring wildly about, Gohan realized he was still in the clearing, and by the position of the sun, only an hour or so had passed.  Was it all a dream?

            As Gohan patted his clothes to get some of the dirt off, he felt something cold against his chest.  Slowly, Gohan reached in and pulled out what lay there.  He found himself staring at the amulet.  Gohan looked at it for several seconds, and then said softly, "I guess it wasn't a dream."

            With a sigh, Gohan slid the necklace back under his shirt.  He'd think about what he'd just been told later.  Right now, he needed to get home.

            He had to talk to his mother.


Well, this was the first part.  Please review.  I've never written a DBZ fic before.  Was it good, okay, bad?  Any suggestions, advice?  I'll take good reviews or bad ones, but take pity on the newbie and don't flame me too badly.  In the meantime, I promise another chapter will be coming very soon.