Disclaimer: I do not in any way own Dragon Ball Z or its starring characters.
Author's Note: This is the same thing as what has bee up for a while, but do to the strange way the text uploaded the first time, I've finally gotten around to fixing it. As a side note, a big thank you goes out to all of those who helped me with the whole Japanese thing. No guarantees that I'll correct my spellings at this point, but I do believe most of you will understand my meaning. Now then, Remember this? If you haven't read and reviewed yet, I'd be much obliged if you would ^_^
Worlds to… See?
-How had this happened?
All he had done was comment on how wonderful his mother's cooking was. It, of course, was as delicious as any master chef could create.
He hadn't thought she would go on a tangent over that.
He hadn't known that her temper would lead him to this… this place.
None of it surprised him though. In Son Gohan's world, anything seemed possible.-
Leaning comfortably against the pillow on his bed, the teenager watched the sun rise through his bedroom window. Normally he enjoyed watching such a spectacle from the vantage of a favorite lake side shore. However this morning he was content to watch the beauty from afar, under the comforting weight of his thick blankets. The view is just as lovely, if a little bit warmer, Gohan decided. That, and this way I won't wake Goten.
He looked down to his right side, at the small form that slept peacefully there. Goten had woken with nightmares in the depth of the night. Gohan, understanding more than his little brother would ever know, silently agreed to letting Goten spend the rest of the night sleeping next to him. The boy had curled up right beside him and fallen back to sleep. And there his older brother had found him at dawn, softly snoring.
The teen worried about his younger sibling. The boy had particularly nasty nightmares some nights. Goten never seemed to remember what they were about after words either. Gohan had begun doing the only thing he could think to do while Goten was still crib age. Take the child to his bed and simply hold him. To ward off the fear, the monsters of the night. The method seemed to work well though. Gohan smiled and ran a hand through the child's wild raven hair. He remained undisturbed. Goten looks so sweet and innocent when he's asleep. He does when he's awake too, just like Dad. Unless Trunks is around…
Shaking his head and grinning despite himself, the young man sat up and stretched. A healthy scratch and yawn followed. Looking back down to his right side, he discovered the boy was still undisturbed. All right, so I wasn't all that worried about waking him. You don't need to throw an attack at me for it Conscious.
Cautiously easing his way out from beneath the blankets, Gohan stood and tucked them back in around his little brother. Goten shuddered in his sleep, despite the warmth of the bed and wrapped his arms around Gohan's recently vacated pillow. The young man had this odd feeling that he and his belongings served as something of a 'security blanket' to his younger sibling.
The thought didn't scare him, rather it entertained Gohan. The same idea occurred to him every time he woke with Goten sleeping next to him. Each of those mornings the concept entertained him all the way to the dresser. As it did on this day. He looked down at the clothing neatly folded there, and briefly considered himself as a blanket dressed in blankets surrounded by furnishings made of blankets. Gohan smiled. About now is when a few of my friends would be telling me I think too much about little things. I guess that's true enough.
Digging out a loose pair of jeans, the half Saiyan fingered the hole in the left knee a moment before putting them on. It didn't matter too much anyway. His mother might grumble, but on the weekends he was allowed to dress at his leisure. School clothing was not meant for the home, according to his Okaasan. A white sleeve-less under shirt and a sky blue button up long sleeved shirt followed the faded blue jeans on to his lithe pre-adult body.
Padding silently on shoe-less feet, Gohan wandered over to his younger brother's bed. They shared the room. That meant when mother said "Clean your room," Gohan had to clean for both himself and younger sibling. However, that also meant the cheap entertainment that only Goten could provide was a constant in the teenager's life.
I don't know what I would do without Goten. The half Saiyan smiled as he pulled the blankets straight and tucked them in on his brother's bed. I would become a slovenly pig, just so I could have something to clean later. That morning task done, Gohan decided it was time to go wish his mother good morning. She could get snappier than a bear with a cold when he didn't show up before a certain time in the morning. When exactly that time was, the young man had never fully figured out. I think it just changes from day to day and mood to mood for Okaasan.
Walking down the same stairs and through the same halls that you had your entire life would be something the average person would never pay attention to. Son Gohan did. He had learned at an early age the importance of familiar things. How easily they could be taken from you, or you from them. The comfort of his familiar home and quirky family never ceased to amaze the half Saiyan.
Catching the sounds of rattling dishes and mumbled 'mother curses' far before reaching the kitchen, Gohan proceeded with care. Mother curses were invented because the 'good' mother was above true swearing. Or so said Bulma. They consisted of phrases ranging from "This is a load of Balogne," to "Oh Sugar." And in his Okaasan's case, they meant "Beware to all who enter here!"
The half Saiyan took care to fix a smile on his face before crossing the kitchen boundary. Striding in with a sedated step, Gohan walked to his mother and gave her a brief hug and a kiss on her fore head before 'singing' out his good morning. The young man's efforts were rewarded with an answering smile from his mother.
Sniffing the air in a theatrical manner, he began the conversation that was his and his Okaasan's daily ritual. " Mmm, Mom, this smells delicious!"
"That's good dear, than you and my little Goten had better eat it all when it's done."
"Of course Okaasan! Don't we always?"
"Of course Gohan." Then she said something that went way out on a limb from their daily conversation. "You two do always eat it all. But, you're almost seventeen, and you couldn't cook any of it even if you wanted to." She sobbed and dropped her face into small white hands. "I've failed you as a mother!"
The young man loved his mother dearly, but he hated this. Hated when she did this guilt trip thing, hated having to be the 'man of the house', hated all ready knowing how to fix it. Pulling his mother into an awkward hug, he sighed, gritted his teeth, and delivered his helpful words.
"Okaasan, you haven't failed anyone as a mother. I can… that is, I'm still able to… learn how to…"
Bright black motherly eyes looked up at him expectantly. Fat tears accented the corners of her eyes. How could any one refuse to do something when faced with such a look? Oh but Mom, I can't do it! I've never been able to. Even Otousan would stand by that were he here. I just don't think I can learn to… "Cook."
Happiness swept away her sorrow in moments. And the textbooks say teenagers have rapid mood swings…Chi Chi smiled up at her eldest son and patted her ever-present bun back into place. "Of course you can Gohan. And we'll start teaching you right now. Instead of studying, you will be making the biscuits for this morning's breakfast."
Oh Dende-sama, what did I do to deserve this?
A half an hour later, his head spinning with the specific instructions delivered to him in cheery mother tones, Gohan reverently stuck to that thought. He stood at the north counter of the kitchen starring wide eyed at all of the ingredients that surrounded him and his extra large metal bowl. From eggs to flower to butter milk, it was all there. Well, no time like the present…
Looking down at the hand written instructions, Gohan began his laborious task. Let's see here. Mix for thirty beats with wire whisk the following ingredients… Shortening. He looked at all of the supplies that cluttered the counter top. A cylinder cardboard container read 'Shortening' in bold print. Taking it with a nod, he scooped out the amount needed and dumped it into the bowl.
…Eggs. Mom said not to get any shells into the mix. Picking up one of said eggs; Gohan aimed it at the lip of the biscuit bowl. I just need to tap it gently and…
… Maybe Mom won't notice those few bits…. Ok, the entire shell….
The half Saiyan continued his way down the list of wet ingredients he beat them together with the whisk for thirty swirls. The resulting frothy liquid looked anything but edible. The yellow color offset only a little by the white and tiny islands of floating shell. That will just add texture, yeah, texture! He then continued onto the dry ingredients. Sift into mixture X-amount of flour. All right.
The teenager picked up the three bags of flower his mother had left on the counter. Apparently that was the 'x' in 'x-amount'. None of them were open. Shrugging, Gohan gripped opposite sides of the first bag and gave a tug. The recycled paper gave way much too easily with a 'pop'. The half Saiyan blinked. Suddenly he was coated in white.
Two giggles behind him said that Goten was up and the boy and his mother were having a good bit of humor on Gohan's account. He turned, and while his mother had the good grace to stop laughing, Goten continued on. Gohan smirked, an odd mixture of Piccolo and Vegita combined on a Son face. Dipping his hands discreetly into the flower bag, Gohan asked pleasantly, "Do you think that was funny little brother?"
Obviously the boy hadn't noticed the dangerous smile his brother wore. His world awareness hid as it was behind the classic Son smile. The teenager felt no sympathy for Goten's naivete as he leapt a crossed the kitchen in one bound and smeared his flower coated fingers down the length of the boy's face and chest. Goten stopped laughing abruptly and looked at his brother in surprise. The elder didn't get to enjoy the look long.
"GOHAN! Don't do that to your little brother! You get back over there and finish your biscuits RIGHT NOW if you intend to eat today!"
The teen ducked his head, dropping his eyes to the floor as he sulked back to the bowl. "Hai, Okaasan."
He had expected Goten to laugh again at that. Rather the seven year-old looked affronted at their mother's harsh actions. Gohan agreed with Goten silently. They were only playing, after all.
He swiped a towel his mother had handed to him a crossed his face. "Arigato Okassan."
Looking back down at his directions, Gohan sighed at the torn bag. Sift into the mixture… It looks fine enough to me. What's the difference if I sift it or not anyway? With a decisive nod, the teenager dumped the partial bag and the other two, more cooperative bags, into his wet mixture.
Add a pinch of salt and 15 tablespoons of baking…. Of baking what? The directions had been hit with water at some point in the life they had spent on paper. The water had smeared the word or words after 'baking'. He looked up at the goods his mother had pulled out for him and found a box of baking soda and a container of baking powder. Oh dear…Well, I guess I'll just use half of each.
Adding the rest of the dry ingredients to the mix. Gohan continued reading. Mix thoroughly with hands. Ok, I can do that. Rolling up his sleeves, he dove into the mix and blended it until everything was mixed together. Then roll out to ½ inch thickness, cut out biscuits, and put 12 biscuits on each pan with an inch of space between each. That shouldn't be too hard. The teen proceeded to follow the last of these directions with out flaw.
Place into the oven at 400*F and cook for eight minutes. Good.
Taking the eight minutes to heart, Gohan ushered his mother out of the kitchen, sat her and his little brother down at the table, and began walking breakfast out to them two plates at a time. When the biscuits came out, they were tall and golden brown, like they were supposed to be. He buttered the tops and brought those to the dinning room table too.
"Oh, Gohan, these are delicious! I've never had such well-done biscuits before! Did you follow the recipe exactly?"
"I … ah…", not exactly…
"Hai Onichan, these are really yummy! But, why are there crunchy things in them?"
"…adlibbed a little, hehe…"
"Gohan, dear, is this eggshell?"
"I think I need to go study now…"
"Gohan, I told you not to let any eggshell fall in!"
"I have to keep up on studies through the weekend to do all right in school and all…"
With an 'eep', the young man ran up the stairs and into his and Goten's room. Slamming the door shut behind him, he stopped and panted in the middle of the room. Looking at the nearest thing, a globe, he pointed at it and said, "I told you I couldn't cook!"
Gohan blinked, sighed, and dropped his hand. Wonderful, I'm talking to inanimate objects. What next Gohan? Are they going to start talking back? NO! And if they do… Now what's that? A pinpoint of light had appeared above his desk chair. It sat there doing nothing for a few moments, the extended up and down like somebody slashing at a cloth.
The chair fell two different ways, neatly cut in half.
The slash opened, widening into a circle. He saw the outside through the circle. A field with a house at the far end. A strong gust of wind nearly overbalanced the half Saiyan. He attempted to correct himself. In the process a second gust of wind barraged his back. Gohan over compensated and fell ungracefully through the circle. To land nose first in a field of grass with high mountains all around.
The young man looked back for the slash, for his home. It was gone, as if it had never been. Gohan stood and absentmindedly brushed himself off as he looked around. The house, that wasn't all that far away, was obviously a creation of Capsule Corps. There was one familiar thing. All of the landscaped looked like any part of his home planet of earth. That was familiar too.
As he reached out with his senses, to test the ki's of those around there, his eyes widened. Shifting nervously from one bear foot to the other, Gohan licked his suddenly dry lips. He reached out with his sense one more time, and licked his lips again. Oh dear Dende-sama, I'm not in Kansas anymore…
He could feel all of the familiar Z-warrior's high frequency ki's. All of them. Including his own. But it wasn't his; it was… different somehow. It sat contentedly in that quiet little Capsule house. Gohan swallowed hard. Dende-sama, what DID I do to you to deserve this?