"I came back to see you guys and how you were doing, even if its for a limited time."
"So after what, 8 years, you decide to show up ... and see how we're doing?!" Gohan lashed out.
"After letting your wife cry every night for a year, after leaving behind a son to grow up without his father, after leaving a 10 year old to take care of a family ... do you decide to fucking visit?"
"No Gohan," Goku said seriously, but not angrily. "You've got it all wrong. I know that you are very upset with the decision I made near 8 years ago. But you have to look at things from my perspective."
"Your perspective, your goddamn perspective?!"
"Yes." answered the older Saiyan firmly.
"Pray tell father ... your perspective."
"Gohan, I was the guardian of Earth at the time. I couldn't just make the best decision for my family. It was my duty to make the best decision for the fate of the Earth."
Ignoring what his father explained, "You abandoned you're number 1 responsibility, your family."
"No. I did not abandon my responsibility as head of the family or the protector of Earth. I took care of two problems with one ultimate solution, to remain dead."
"Sounds like a selfish solution to me," Gohan retorted. "Remaining dead would let you avoid your obligations to family and allow you to fight as much as you wanted in the other world. You know, I think that never wanted a family."
Goku was stunned. Gohan was accusing him of never wanting his family.
"I've heard the story. You thought marriage was a food, frigging food! I bet you never had any wishes to marry Mom, but you stuck around since you're such a nice guy and all. And I believe you never had any plans on having children. I suspect that you took every opportunity to get away from us and go fight the bad guy. And when given the choice of death or your family. You chose death."
Goku couldn't believe what he was hearing and it shown visibly on his face. While the part of thinking marriage was food was true, everything that Gohan suspected was false.
"That's not true Gohan!"
"Oh come on, even Vegeta, mighty prince of all monkeys, was able to settle down with his family. While he is not one to show his love and affection for his family, the fact that he is there is enough."
Tears welded up in Gohan's eyes but he refused to let them fall or show them.
Goku finally responded, "Son, you have got it all wrong. I did want my family. But in life everything doesn't go the way we want them to. I had to do the things I did. I can't lie and say I don't enjoy a good fight, but I did what needed to be done."
After a pause, Goku continued, "In the past years on Earth without me, has there been any danger?"
Gohan chose not to answer.
Goku went on, "That is the whole reason I chose to stay dead, son. I protected my family and the planet from any danger or threat. Without me on Earth, no beings could seek me out and threaten the Earth."
There was silence between the father and son. Then, Goku walked towards his son. Goku stopped right in front of Gohan. Gohan's body stiffened when Goku embraced him in a hug.
"Its been too long since the last time I hugged you son."
*The Next Day*
It was 10 o'clock and the tournament would resume soon. Gohan had gotten a notice from a messenger saying that Hercule would like to see him before the tournament continued. Gohan followed the messenger back to the room that contained Hercule. Gohan entered the room and the messenger left.
"Okay, Golden Fighter guy. It seems to my knowledge that you are the best fighter in this tournament. So, I want to make a deal with you."
Gohan stifled a laugh. 'The guy's trying to do something smart.'
"I propose that when I meet you in the final match-up, that you take a dive and let me win. And we split the money 60-40."
"You're a funny guy Hercule. One funny guy."
"Okay, how bout 70-30?" Hercule asked as Gohan walked away with a smile on his face. Hercule and his antics were able to lighten Gohan's mood after his discussion the previous night with Goku.
Everyone was drawing their numbers out of a box to determine who they would face. Though Gohan was looking to avoid his father, there was a thrill of a fight between the father and son. Gohan was trying hard to manipulate the pieces of paper with numbers on them so that he would draw the number that would match up Gohan with Goku. But Gohan got a little distracted when he saw his mother badgering Videl no doubt with her questions.
Gohan messed up with the numbers and ended up with the number that would have him facing Videl.
Goku got matched up with a random weak fighter. Vegeta, like Gohan, manipulated the numbers to face a pompous fighter that was hitting on Bulma.
Goku won his fight. Vegeta won his fight too until he got disqualified for continuing his assault on the guy after the fight was over. It was time for the 3rd fight, Gohan vs. Videl.
The crowd was heavily on Videl's side.
"Don't go easy on me Gohan." Videl warned.
Videl initiated the fight as Gohan stood not in his fighting stance. 'Arrogant bastard.' thought Videl. Videl let loose a fury of punches at Gohan. The punches hit Gohan but they didn't phase him. Gohan seemed deep in thought.
In truth, Gohan was still thinking of his conversation last night with Goku. But not just the conversation, the hug. It felt so comforting after all those years without his father around. Goku had that aura that anyone would feel at peace or safe with him.
Gohan was dragged out of his thoughts when Videl landed a stiff kick to his neck. Videl put some energy into that kick and it got Gohan's attention. Videl was getting madder by moment when she noticed that Gohan wasn't even acknowledging her in their fight. The angrier she got, the more energy she put into her attacks. The fight was getting interesting as Gohan finally decided to do something.
Gohan started to use Videl's anger against her. Gohan dodged her attacks. Thus, frustrating Videl even more and putting her into a rage. Gohan sure knew which buttons to push.
Gohan had no intentions of fighting Videl. So, he would trick her and lead her on in this fight.
"Fight back damn it!"
Gohan caught a rather powerful ki charged punch in his palm. Gohan then threw Videl into the air. Videl flowed there for a moment. The crowd and Hercule watching on his TV were astounded.
From her spot in the air, Videl fired ki blast after ki blast aimed at Gohan. He took direct impact. The blasts blew him one step away from falling backwards out of the ring. There were scratches left on Gohan for the most part.
Videl charged towards Gohan to get the win via ring out since she couldn't win by beating him in the fight. 'Its nice to see her try something new, but it will be her downfall.'
When Videl swung at Gohan, she hit nothing but his after image. Gohan reappeared behind her and simply tapped her. Videl fell over face first onto the grass covered ground.
"And the winner by ring-out, Gohan!"
Videl was frustrated. The whole fight he toyed with her and patronized her. Videl was most embarrassed by the way she lost. Falling flat on her face.
Videl got up and went to confront Gohan in the middle of the ring. The crowd watched on.
No words were spoken. Just a ticked off looking Videl and Gohan staring each other down. Just 1 feet separated the two. Spontaneously, Gohan grabbed Videl by the back of her head and Videl did the same to Gohan. They pulled each other in for a first and tender kiss.
This was it. The time for the final battle between the contenders. The winner of this fight will face Hercule for the title of World Champion and the prize money off course.
"Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a surefire classic between these two great warriors. Former WMAT champion Goku Son vs. Gohan. Father vs. son."
The two Saiyan warriors got into their fight stances.
Gohan launched the fight as he exchanged punch for punch with his father. As they made contact, sparks flew quite literally. The crowd was pumped at what they were witnessing.
The fight soon picked up speed. Gohan and Goku started going at it in hyper speed. The two almost became invisible to simple human eyes. But everyone felt their presences' when the sound of fists colliding roared.
Gohan hopped away from Goku and took a quick breather. His father's training in the other world really put Goku over the top.
Gohan powered up and became a Super Saiyan. The crowd went into a cheering frenzy when they saw the infamous Golden Fighter. Goku too became Super Saiyan.
The electricity ran around each of the two fighters. The two forces clashed once again. Gohan went with a jab to the face but he pulled back his fist short of the target. Gohan opened his palm and blasted Goku straight in his face.
When the smoke from the blast cleared, a smile was evident on Goku's somewhat blackened face. He shook his head and the blackness wore off. Goku was surprised at Gohan's improvement in battle tactics. Goku was never one for tactics, he just enjoyed the thrill of the fight.
Rather than waste time smirking, Gohan went back into the offensive. Despite not being one for battle tactics, Goku was known to used a new technique every once in a while. So, Goku just a technique he learned in the other world and he split into 5 Gokus. Only one was the real deal. Gohan couldn't tell which one was the legit one as Goku has poured some of his signature ki into each copy. Gohan resorted to the simple strategy of hitting all of the copies in hopes of finding the original. As Gohan did that, the sneaky Goku charged up his Kamehameha.
Gohan had finished go through each copy and was angry at his father's trick as he wasn't able to find the real one. That's when it hit Gohan, literally off course. Goku's Kamehameha hit Gohan in his back and partially tore up the ring. The clothes from Gohan's back was also torn up too.
Gohan felt so stupid. He seemed like a boy trying to fight a man. And he was losing.
Unsure of what to do next, Gohan flew up high into the sky. He was followed by Goku.
"What do you say we end this son?"
After much fight high up in the atmosphere, the two came diving down towards the ring. Goku had Gohan wrapped in his arms and Gohan also did the same. It was a suicide dive. Both was going down, and going quite fast. They hit the center of the ring head first.
A crater was created in place of the ring. All the ring tiles were gone, there was just the ground and grass under the two.
Gohan and Goku laid flat on their backs. Gohan had his head turned and faced his father while Goku faced him.
"Listen son, I'm sorry about everything-"
"No dad, I'm sorry." It was the first time in years that Gohan called Goku 'dad.'
The father and son duo finished their apologies to one another speaking only so the other would hear.
"Well I have 6 hours left on Earth. What do you want to do Gohan?"
After thinking for a second, Gohan replied, "How about we go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and catch up?"
Goku and Gohan both rose up and flew into the sky leaving the island in hindsight. They weren't too far though. They heard the announcer say that they would were disqualified because they were both on the ground since the ring was destroyed. There was no one to face Hercule, thus he remained World Champion.
Hercule was saying his speech and babbling on. Gohan laughed to himself.
"You know, you and that guy could end being in-laws."
"I'm glad I'm dead."
A/N: It feels great to finish my first story. The thing I was going for the whole time in this story was Gohan taking a major turn in his character. And by the end, even though he had changed, Gohan was still the same ole Gohan.
I thank you guys for sticking with me in the journey of the story.