That's What Big Brothers Are For
Author – cornerofmadness
Disclaimer – not mine. All rights belong to Kazuya Minekura et al, no profit made, just a little fun
Rating – PG, totally work safe
Pairing – none, gaiden gen fic
Timeline – Set early in the Gaidens.
Author's note – it's a drabble….er, a drabble that got into the steroids, written for lillypuff for her birthday.
Kenren had nothing planned for the day other than lying around under a tree, drinking sake and nursing his wounded pride. His big night with Tenpou and Goujun and the dragon king's two amazing - Kenren sighed a little at the memory of those appendages -had been ruined when they realized they had a voyeur. To be fair, Kanzeon would have gotten away with it if she hadn't felt the need to shout out a few suggestions. Kenren still had a lump on the back of his head from where the dragon king had bowled him away.
He set his sake cup down, hearing the ominous cracking of wood. Kenren's muscles bunched, ready to propel himself out of the way but the breaking branches weren't over his head. He watched Goku plunge out of the tree, bouncing off a few branches and careening into the trunk on his way down, the hard way. For a moment, the boy just lay on the grass then the wailing started.
Kenren rolled to his feet, wondering how badly the little monkey could be hurt or, like most children, was just scared by the accident and crying from fear. Still, Goku had all that weight tied to him. He hit ground hard and Kenren knew, no matter if Goku was a heretic that most of the Heavens despised, he was still just a little boy. He knelt down next to Goku, seeing the boy had an egg forming on his forehead just below his diadem and a badly skinned right knee with bark in the wound, as if someone had cheese-grated Goku's leg and salted the wound with wood. "It's all right, Goku," he said, putting a hand on the boy's shoulder.
Goku stopped crying, looking at Kenren with watery gold eyes. "Ken-nii-chan?" Goku looked surprised to see him and Kenren smiled. "It hurts!"
"I bet. That was a nasty fall. What were you doing up there?" Kenren lightly touched the bump on Goku's head. There wasn't much he could do about that. "Can you move? Is anything broken."
"I can break?" Goku's voice squealed high in panic.
Kenren chuckled. "Everyone can break, Goku."
The boy gave his limbs a tentative try. "I don't think I'm broke." His eyes widened as he saw his ripped up, bleeding leg. The child pointed to it, his lips wibbling.
"I'll fix it," Kenren promised, looking around for something to stop the bleeding. He snagged a handful of leaves. "This might hurt a bit, just stay still." He picked the wood out of Goku's wound, trying to ignore the child's whimpers, then pressed the leaves to the wound. "We'll just hold these here for a moment."
"It hurts," Goku repeated. "I was trying to catch a cloud."
Kenren grinned widely, grateful Goku hadn't leaned out a tower window to try that one. "Clouds can't be caught, Goku. They belong in the sky."
"But they look so fluffy and soft, I wanted to feel one."
Kenren rubbed Goku's arm. "Sometimes clouds fall to the ground and become fog. I'll let you catch fog the next time it happens."
Goku brightened at that idea. "Thank you!"
Kenren peeled the leaves back and saw the wound was no longer bleeding. It was already looking better. "See? Not so bad." Goku gave the black-haired man a dubious look. Kenren stood up and made to pick up Goku then remembered how the hell much the kid weighed with all his shackles, the poor little bastard. Instead, he helped Goku up and the boy leaned against Kenren's leg as the general walked him over to the tree Kenren had been lying under. Kenren snagged his sake before leading Goku into a clearing. "Have a lie down," he said, flopping into the grass.
"Why?" Goku snuggled up close to him.
"We can watch the clouds. That's more fun than catching them," Kenren confided in him. "See that one, it looks like a horse."
"Oh yeah!" Goku scanned the heavens. "And there's a meat bun."
Kenren snorted. Only Goku would see food in clouds. They cloud gazed until Kenren felt his eyes getting heavy. He was jerked out of a light sleep when Goku asked him something. "Hmm?"
"What's in there?" Goku leaned over him and slapped a hand on his sake bottle.
"Sake." Kenren sat up, thinking that sounded like a good idea. The sun had warmed him up and he wanted something liquid.
"Rice wine." Kenren poured himself some.
"Can I try it?"
Kenren heard Tenpou's voice in his head screaming 'no' and imagined what Konzen would say but that just made him want to do it more. He held out his cup. "Just a sip."
Goku took more than a sip. His face screwed up, his arms flailing. The sake cup rolled in the grass. The boy's face went beet red as his tongue lolled out. "Ewwwwww! It burns!" he gasped between coughs.
Kenren patted the boy's back then fetched his cup. "It's grown up stuff."
"Feel sorry for grown ups." Goku wiped his tongue on the back of his hand.
Laughing, Kenren ruffled Goku's hair. "Come on, let's get you back to Konzen. You've had enough excitement for one day." The general got to his feet.
Goku gave him a worried look. "You're not gonna tell Konzen I fell out of a tree, are you?"
"Nope. Don't tell him about the sake, either," Kenren replied as Goku got up. He figured once Konzen saw Goku's battered appearance he'd know the monkey had been up to no good.
"I won't. Promise, Ken-nii-chan!" Goku stuck out his pinkie like Kenren had shown him to do and Kenren hooked his pinkie with Goku's. After the pinkie swear, Goku's fingers twisted into Kenren's grasp.
"I know," Kenren said, walking the child home. "You just have to remember you're too heavy for the little branches, Goku."
"I will," the monkey promised. Kenren knew he wouldn't but that was what being little was all about; adventure. Skinned knees were a small price to pay.