Disclaimer: I own nothing and no money is made with this.
A.N.: This takes place between DBZ and DBGT. Goku visits the first time after leaving with Uub.
Gohan's head went up when he heard the doorbell ringing. He sighed, closed his book and made his way down the hall. He didn't really expect anyone. He opened the door and looked right at the smiling face of his father.
For a moment he just stared. The little boy inside of him was happy beyond words at seeing his father again after such a long time, the man though was everything but. "Hello, father."
Before he could say anything else, a little whirlwind rushed by him and jumped at Goku. "Grandpa!" Pan cried as she swung her arms around his neck.
"Hey, little girl!" Goku laughed and threw her up into the air.
"I'm not little anymore, I'm already six!" she declared proudly.
"Oh really?" He looked at his son. "It's been that long?"
"Yes, it's been that long," Gohan replied and stepped aside to let them through. "Videl!" he shouted. "Look who's here."
A black head popped out of the kitchen. Her eyes widened. "Goku?" She looked from her smiling father-in-law to her scowling husband. "What a…surprise. You're just in time for dinner." Goku's smile grew even wider and he followed her into the kitchen.
The moment they had all settled down at the table, Goku and Pan started devouring their food. "This is delicious!" Goku mumbled with a full mouth. "I haven't had anything to eat in hours."
Videl looked at him, amused, then shot a worried glance at Gohan. "Aren't you feeling well, honey? You're still at your first portion."
"I'm not really that hungry at the moment," he replied quietly. Videl frowned, but he knew that she was aware of the reason, when Goku said: "Are you ill, son? You're not eating."
Videl used that moment to ask: "So how's the training with Uub coming along?"
"Oh, it's going great, he's already become much stronger."
Gohan remained silent at that. Soon after, the table was clear of all food and he stood up to put the dishes in the sink.
Pan, who was again clinging to her grandfather, bombarded him with questions. Videl pried her of him. "Time for bed, Pan."
"But, Mum," she pouted, "I want to stay here with Grandpa!"
"No discussion, say goodnight to Grandpa."
Pan looked rebelliously at her mother for a moment, before pressing a kiss on Goku's cheek and running up the stairs. Videl threw a last glance at both of the men before following her daughter upstairs.
"She's grown so much," Goku said, grinning.
"Yeah." Gohan opened the backdoor and stepped out into the garden, knowing that his father would follow. He looked up at the sky, the moon was already slightly visible. Everything was quiet, then he heard Goku's steps behind him.
"What's up, Gohan, you have been so quiet throughout dinner."
He turned around to look at his father and the innocent expression on his face for some reason made his blood boil. "What's wrong? I'm angry, that's what!"
Goku's eyebrows shot up. "You're angry? What about?"
"I'm angry at you!"
Goku took a step back at the force of his son's words. "At me? Why, what have I done?"
Gohan couldn't believe his ears. "What have you done?" he echoed, unbelieving. "You just left! Mum was a wreck for months and I was the one who had to deal with it. 'Take care of your mother and brother, Gohan,' you said. Guess what, that's what I've done for years and I'm tired of it."
Goku stared at him in shock. "I never knew you felt like this."
"Well, when do you ever think about what we feel?" he answered and hated himself for the bitterness in his voice.
"Now that's not fair…" his father protested.
"Isn't it?" he cut in. He felt himself trembling, though he didn't know if it was from anger or because of the hurt he felt deep inside of him. When his next words came out, his anger was gone. "All the other times, Dad, I understood. When you left me with Piccolo to train in the Otherworld, and when you didn't return from Namek immediately. I even understood why you didn't come back after Cell, even though it ripped my heart out knowing that if I had killed Cell when I could, you would have never been able to make the decision to stay dead. I understood all of it and accepted it, but not this time."
He looked at his father and his eyes grew hard again, the vulnerability gone from them. "You have no excuse for this time."
"I had to train Uub." It came out quietly and both of them knew that it was a feeble excuse.
"We're living in peaceful times, you didn't have to do anything." He met his fathers gaze, the black eyes so much like his own. There was a gentleness in them that never left and he knew that his father had never intended to hurt anyone, that was just not his nature. It was one of the reasons he loved him so much, but someone had to tell him that he was, indeed, hurting everyone of them, even if it wasn't on purpose.
He sighed. "I know you, Dad. I know you're doing it because of the rush it gives you. The rush you feel at the prospect of fighting Uub with his full powers." He knew the rush himself, the exhilarating feeling of power cursing through his veins. He had never felt it more than when he was fighting Cell; and it had frightened him.
"But you have responsibilities. You're not supposed to visit your family once in a while. Hell, even Vegeta manages to stay with his family and that is saying something."
Goku's expression had grown serious as the implications of what was said sank in. But he didn't say a word.
A lump formed in Gohan's throat at his father's continuing silence. "Mum's your wife, Goten's your son." He felt his voice breaking. "I am your son." He turned away when he felt the stinging in his eyes. Damn it, he was too old for tears.
Then he felt a hand on his shoulder and next he knew his father had his arms around him, holding him so tightly it almost hurt. For a moment he was too surprised to do anything, then he held onto him for dear life.
It was the first time in years that it felt like being father and son again.
A.N: I felt the need to write something after that horrible departure Goku made after DBZ. I just felt that someone had to make him realize how much he hurts his family with that, because apparently he never even gives a thought to how much he hurts them, especially leaving Chichi again and again. Since I wanted to achieve this without any Goku bashing, I thought, why not have Gohan make it clear to him while throwing in some father-son bonding. I thought, since Goku almost never really hugged his son, a heartfelt embrace by him would say much more to Gohan than words could.
Hope you liked the result and please leave a review and tell me what you thought about it.