At Each Others' Throat
Fall Out Controlled
Disclaimer: I do not own dragonball z or any of its characters. But that's not gonna stop me from trying!
Previously: Gohan woke up and talked with Piccolo, Gohan found a way to communicate with his dad and Goku got smacked around by Chichi…
The creaking sound reached Gohan's ears and his eyes snapped open. He didn't move anything else as he waited. Very slowly he heard the door close again with a click. He waited a minute, checked for nearby ki's and when he didn't sense any, he rolled onto his back and released a heavy sigh.
This was going on ever since his near fight with his dad, when he tried to intervene between him and Piccolo. They came to check on him every half hour and after a dozen times Gohan pretended to be asleep. The hovering was getting ridiculous.
It was Bulma's fault. She had insisted on constant bed-rest and anything he needed was taken care of for him. He couldn't even get up to stretch his legs, not even if he promised to stay in the room. That, however, wasn't the worst if one could believe it. He wasn't even allowed to sit up without help, everyone jumping to his aid whenever he started to move.
How fragile did they believe him to be?
He knew they meant well and most of them felt it was a bit much too, but didn't dare hover any less for fear of Bulma. Gohan had never expected Bulma, his aunt -he was getting used to it already- to be worse than his mother.
Thankfully there was still one sane person, well 3 actually. Piccolo acted as he always did, normal, and wasn't the least bit intimidated by Bulma whenever she glared at him for not assisting Gohan. Gohan always thanked him mentally, which he knew Piccolo would hear since he kept an almost constant connection to Gohan's mind. It was a one-way connection though -only Piccolo could hear Gohan, but Gohan didn't hear Piccolo nor felt the connection- mainly for Gohan's sake. Even with his health and strength improving, both physical as mental, it was best not to strain the mind just yet.
Dende was smart about it, not having the same nerve as Piccolo. Whenever Gohan was moving or asked for something, Dende tried to help slowly and others reached Gohan before him. That way Bulma could not berate him for not helping, only for being too slow.
Vegeta was the last sane person, if you could call Vegeta sane. He mostly stayed away from Gohan all together, but when he did come, mostly to get Piccolo or the next Goku Watcher, he'd focus on his task and be out before Bulma could demand something of him. And if Vegeta didn't get out soon enough, he'd simply tell her he wasn't a nurse and stormed off.
Bulma always apologized for that to Gohan, thinking Gohan felt hurt for being brushed off like that, while in fact Gohan always had a laughing fit inside that only Piccolo could hear. It was so typical Vegeta and Gohan was happy there was another person who didn't hover.
Gohan sighed again before gently pushing himself into a sitting position. His ribs still hurt quite a bit, even with Dende's healing. Gohan wasn't completely healed yet, for which Dende was very frustrated. The young namekian had never had so much trouble healing a person. First it just took time between heals for them to work, but even when enough time had passed his healing wasn't up to notch. Most severe injuries were healed enough so they were no longer dangerous, but most still hurt quite a bit. The theory going around was that the saiyan issue was somehow blocking the process.
Gohan looked around the now empty room. Most times when he decided to sleep, everyone would leave the room, like right now. Gohan was happy to be alone while awake for a change. He was very grateful for their worry and care, but even he could get overwhelmed and somewhat annoyed.
He wondered how long it would be before they came to check on him again. Gohan ached to get out of bed, to walk around the Look Out a bit, but he didn't dare try. He wouldn't put it passed Bulma to make an alarm for him stepping out of bed.
But what if he didn't get out of bed? The thought grew in his head rapidly as his excitement increased, excitement to get out for a bit. What if he was in bed, while he was out of bed. The multiply technique!
Piccolo had taught him that technique, although it was originally Tien's. Piccolo had taught him that so he could train against himself whenever Piccolo was away. Gohan didn't use it often, but right now it would certainly come in handy, especially since Gohan altered it a bit. Instead of making enough so there were four Gohans, he managed to make a single duplicate.
The idea of walking outside, breathing fresh air, seeing the sky instead of the constant four walls and door he was seeing right now -sure there was a window, but whenever he tried to turn to see through it everyone tried to assist him and he decided not to move as much when someone was with him, anything to stop the hovering.
His mind made up, Gohan carefully folded his legs in a meditative state and clasped his hands together. Closing his eyes he focussed on his energy, while at the same time trying to block it's signal so no one would notice what he was doing. It was ridiculous, putting so much pressure on his body and mind when very recently he was so badly injured, but the idea of a little freedom away from the smothering crowd, was too strong to abandon.
He felt the energy envelop his body and wrap gently around his mind. He felt a tiny sense of nausea before his body stretched, then returned to normal. This feeling increased little by little, until finally with a snap his body separated in two.
Gohan let out a rush of air before gasping for air. Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea. He felt exhausted, drained, but surprisingly his power felt not halved. He still had all his power, pressed tightly into his small body and strangely enough it was resonating. This got Gohan worried, his power only resonated like this when there was danger, as if aching to be used, to protect its user.
Opening his eyes, Gohan looked up at his duplicate standing behind the bed, staring at him. Gohan felt confused, his duplicate looked exactly like him, everything had gone right except for the power share. Though not totally bad, it worried Gohan. It wasn't as if his duplicate needed power to lay in bed pretending to be him, but it worried Gohan that the technique hadn't worked properly. Perhaps he was too weak to attempt it after all.
Before he got a word out, though, his duplicate smirked at him. Gohan was startled at first, but then dread filled him. His duplicate shifted into a stance Gohan remembered well. All his hopes disappeared when his duplicate spoke.
"Hello, Gohan"he spoke in that same tone that set Gohan off, that angered him while at the same time scared him.
He couldn't be here, it was impossible! He was a part of Gohan, not a person in itself! Panic fluttered within Gohan and he suddenly found himself wishing someone was here, hovering over him. How could this happen? Why did he do something as stupid as he had now!
"I see, not very talkative, still"
Gohan felt himself weakening, his exhaustion catching up with him. Apparently the technique had been too much. He heard him speak, but felt unable to respond. He tried one desperate increase of ki to alert the others, but his air supply being cut off broke his concentration. He locked eyes with his own, though these looked different. Filled with anger, disgusting amusement, hunger for control.
"None of that, now. Be a good boy and go to sleep" He squeezed tighter and Gohan felt his chest contract with the lack of air. "I'm dying to meet my relatives and you are not invited" With those words Gohan felt himself slip into unconsciousness, leaving his friends and family in danger of himself.
- DBZ -
Goku was doing some light martial arts movements in the large back room where he'd spent to much time already. Chichi had gone with Bulma to her house to get some fresh food and clothes and to check back in with the real world that wasn't in the clouds. Everyone else had stayed on the Look Out.
Though it might have been a good idea for Goku to leave to -so he wouldn't risk fighting his son again- he had opted to stay. His decision was respected and though Goku knew they all forgave him and would not bother him with stupid questions, he left their presence to work out by himself. It always calmed him down.
Everyone tried hard, but the air was still filled with dread, sadness, tension… everyone was on edge and it was putting Goku on edge. The well-known movements came to him without thought and he always lost himself in this training, which is what he needed.
The reason he wished to stay was not so it was quicker to reach him if they made a break through, no one was that oblivious. He wanted to stay as close to Gohan as possible. He couldn't see his son, couldn't talk to him, couldn't hear him, but he could feel him and though he surely could feel him from large distances, he wanted their final connection, the last piece that kept them together, as strong as possible.
His next movement was interrupted by a strong aching feeling. Goku steadied himself before focussing on the feeling he was sensing through the bond, from Gohan. His son was aching for something, desperately, but he couldn't sense exactly what it was. Goku tried to concentrate on a deeper level through the bond, but before he could reach the feeling it was overshadowed by determination. Then a sudden nausea filtered through and Goku tried to determine what caused it, but still he could not tell what the feelings meant deep down, where they came from. What was Gohan aching for? What was he determined about? Why was he nauseas? What caused it?
This worried Goku for it had never happened before and could only mean two things: either their bond was weakening -which was worrisome in itself- or Gohan was blocking the bond. So far Gohan had never blocked the bond, mainly because they didn't know it was possible. Now that it was proven that it could be blocked, Goku worried about two other possibilities: either Gohan figured it out and felt the need to block Goku for whatever reason -and usually Gohan only blocked others if he feared for their safety- or Gohan was unaware he was partly blocking the bond.
He was about to get someone to check up on Gohan when an overwhelming exhaustion hit him and Goku stumbled. He quickly righted himself, but when he tried to sense what caused the exhaustion coming from his son, he was blocked once again. What was happening with his son?
He was out the double doors before he was aware of moving. He was walking at a brisk pace through the halls, the need for running strong but his need for composure more important. If he went running towards the others in a huge panic, he'd cause a stampede to Gohan's room which would be no good either way; if something was wrong with Gohan, then Bulma needed quick and easy access to him instead of needing to fight her way through everyone else. If Gohan was fine, then surely a stampede of people would not put him at ease and would in fact aggravate his body when he jumped up in concern.
Before he reached the others -he still had a few long hallways to go- the bond went silent. Goku had to steady himself against the wall for it came like a blow to the face. Having always felt a connection to Gohan and these last years it was stronger than ever, to suddenly have it silent, gone, was too much a shock to his mind. Sucking in a breath he tried to reach out for anything from his son, the smallest flutter of emotion. But there was nothing.
Horror gripped him, choking him, drowning him from the inside. It couldn't be, it couldn't. Before a full blown panic could take control of him, he sensed for any ki signal from his son and sighed in relive when he found it. He was fine, weak as he had been most of the time, but fine. *
"Well well well, what do we have here?"
Goku turned abruptly at the familiar voice, though heard in a tone he'd never thought he'd hear from him. His eyes widened and his mouth opened slightly in shock at the sight before him.
Gohan, his son, was standing not 5 paces away looking completely healthy. Except he wore a smirk on his face and his eyes seemed to challenge him. That wasn't like Gohan, at all.
"Gohan? What a- " Gohan punched Goku in the face, sending him stumbling backwards, and successfully interrupting him.
Goku steadied himself, his hand hovering over his face, where he'd been hit. Gohan had hit him. His son was standing right here and had hit him.
And he hadn't hit him back.
Goku heard footsteps and looked up quickly to see his son walking towards him. As soon as he made eye contact, Gohan charged and tackled him in the gut sending them both to the ground. But Gohan quickly jumped up, hovering slightly over the ground before lightly touching down.
Before Goku could recover from the shock of his son attacking him, an energy blast came flying his way. Purely on instinct, Goku dodged it using his ki to become airborn to escape quicker. He turned around to ask Gohan what he was doing, when Gohan was suddenly in front of him. Without warning he began a series of complicated punches and kicks and Goku could only defend himself.
"Gohan! What are you doing?" Goku called desperately between punches. Gohan didn't respond, except that he hit faster and aimed for the openings more. "Gohan!"
"Shut up!" Gohan shouted before sending Goku flying back down the hall. The crash reverberated through the ground and walls when Goku hit the ground.
"Gohan? Please, son, what's going on?" Goku asked desperately. Gohan's glare turned into a smirk, which really worried Goku. Gohan was acting weird.
"What makes you think I'm Gohan?" he answered. Goku paled. This wasn't Gohan?
"Who are you? Where is my son?" Goku demanded, suddenly angry, protective.
"Can't you tell?" Gohan teased.
Goku felt the anger boiling inside him, but nevertheless he tried to sense Gohan's ki signal. He was momentarily startled to sense it right in front of him, this fake Gohan, but then he sensed… well… another Gohan, where he was supposed to be, in his room.
Knowing his son was safe, he checked the ki signal of the one in front of him. It was uncannily similar to Gohan's ki, but there was a difference, a rather big difference. His ki was filled with anger, hatred. It was so unlike Gohan's who's ki felt kind, gentle, happy. But both were powerful. This ki in front of him was practically radiating with power.
"Found him?" Gohan interrupted. Goku snapped out of his thoughts and looked at the person in front of him. He looked identical to Gohan. "I won't kill him, not yet anyway" That got Goku's attention and he felt the anger that came whenever anyone threatened those he loved bubbling to the surface. "I just wanted to meet you first"
Before Goku could respond, more punches and kicks flew his way and he dodged and blocked as much as he could. Even though he knew this wasn't Gohan, he couldn't hit him.
"Is this the best you can do? Come on! It's now or never. After I'm done here, your son is next" Gohan ended with a smirk.
Goku knew he spoke the truth. It was like Vegeta, back when he just arrived. This person, was threatening his son and Goku then and there decided he would not let him pass. He would not let him hurt his son.
"That's more like it" Gohan said when he saw the anger and determination in Goku's eyes. "Lets dance"
- DBZ -
The Look Out was silent. Except for Gohan, Goku and Dende, everyone was outside. Dende was resting from the intense healing he'd been doing lately.
No felt like talking. Vegeta stood a little ways away from everyone, as usual. Piccolo seemed lost in thought on the edge of the Look Out, but they guessed it was more like deep in thought, puzzling over a solution that seemed to elude them all. The rest was either eating or just sitting there. Basically, the mood was tense and bored.
A sudden rush of power came from within the Look Out and had them all up on their feet in seconds. They quickly realized it was Goku and shockingly Gohan! Everyone rushed inside to stop the fight before it got too far out of hand. Piccolo and Vegeta flew side by side and shared a look.
Piccolo knew Vegeta had sensed it too. The ki signal that they thought was Gohan, felt different, much different.
They didn't get there in time. Before they were at the scene, they felt Goku's ki weaken to a state of unconsciousness and the other ki was already moving on. Unfortunately they were in a long hallway with no way to intercept the attacker, nor was going back down the hall fast enough.
Panic scattered across the group when they saw Goku unconscious on the hallway floor. Noting that he was fine, just knocked out, Piccolo took quick lead and ordered Trunks to stay with Goku. Piccolo noticed the questioning looks and before they could become verbal, he interrupted them.
"Whoever did this isn't Gohan, but is on his way to him" With that Piccolo took off and seconds later the rest followed.
- DBZ -
"Well about time you woke up"
Gohan's eyes snapped open and he locked eyes with his other self. A surge of anger filled him at seeing him.
"Now, now, don't look at me like that. You let me lose, remember?"
"I didn't know this would happen!" Gohan snapped back. Hs counterpart just smirked at him, fueling Gohan's anger.
"So like a child, immediately coming to your own defence. You set me free but are not willing to face the consequences. Your father must be disappointed in you"
Gohan locked his jaws together, not wanting to make him win by reacting to his baiting.
"Speaking about your father, I met him" Gohan snapped into alert, looking startled at his counterpart. "He's got quite the punch, but that about all there is to him. Not very bright either, took him long enough to figure out who I was"
Goha understood what he wasn't saying. He had fought his dad, provoked his dad, looking like him. And he could make out he had hurt his dad.
"What have you done to him?" Gohan shouted angrily, a camouflage for the fear.
"Nothing much, really. By the time he'd figured it out, I won" Dread rushed into every corner of Gohan's body.
"What do you mean?" he demanded. His counterpart smirked again and Gohan felt an unadulterated anger, rage through his veins. If he had hurt his father, Gohan would make him pay.
"Just what it is, I won the fight and killed your father"
The light in Gohan's eyes dimmed. Dread, fear, pain all disappeared. There was no room for those emotions. Anger and hatred filled up their place and Gohan felt himself burn, like he was literally on fire and perhaps he was. He was transforming and he knew his weakened body would not agree. His muscles were burning, but he didn't care. All he cared about was hurting his counterpart as much as he had hurt him.
Without warning Gohan blasted his counterpart through the wall beside the door. His counterpart slammed into the hallway's wall and slid to the ground, the rubble scattered around him in the hallway. Gohan jumped through the wall, looking down at his counterpart, who was still overcoming the shock.
Gasps from his right drew Gohan's attention away from his counterpart. What he saw startled him.
His friends were all standing in the hallway looking shocked between him and his downed counterpart. For a few moments no one spoke. Then Krillin broke the silence.
"Well… that is new"
Well that was it. Hope you all liked it. I'm so sorry for taking this long, but please appreciate this, I wrote this while unwell since I promised to update before Christmas and I succeeded.
Explaining the star:
* Goku didn't sense Gohan's counterpart because he was merely focussing on Gohan's ki and although the counterpart is Gohan too, he feels slightly different, more angry, more saiyan like while Gohan's ki is gentle and that is what Goku was focussing on.
Not to mention, the man was panicking.
Please review. I know it's been long, but let me know if it was any good. If I don't get reviews I won't know what people like and what they don't like.
Next Chapter will probably be a long one, since I'm aiming for it to be the last and perhaps an epilogue after that. If it really gets too long I will split it into 2, but I'm aiming for just one more chapter and an epilogue.
Next Chapter title, I think, will be: Falling Out