I do NOT own dbz or any of Akira Toriyama's characters, the bands, stores, or most anything important.

I apologize, this may take a little while to get into... but it'll be a good plot. Please review and send love! Also, ideas would be nice too, just for kicks.

No Way Back Chapter I:Darkness

SLAM!

The kitchen door slammed shut as a tall, thin, lanky teenager in a dark hooded sweatshirt dragged himself in. With his huge feet he strode across the kitchen revealing long, slender legs against his black faded jeans that clearly hung from his waist by the security of a belt. He might've taken off his backpack that hung off one of his broad, boney shoulders but he drudged on with it anyway.

Little Goten wandered into the kitchen from the den hearing his brother come in. A smile lit up on his face showing the excitement in his eyes.

"Hi Gohan!" his childish voice said, "Today me and Trunks were playing in the fort we made and a dinosaur tried to get us but we blasted him and asked Mommy to cook him up for lunch and we ate him and—"

Goten stopped when he noticed his big brother just kept walking past him into his bedroom and locking the door paying no attention to the little boy. A pout formed on the little demi saiyan's face as he wondered why Gohan never spoke anymore... or played with him, or sparred with him... or even ate. He walked back into the den and resumed watching Spongebob Squarepants where his sadness melted away with laughter and he forgot his troubles.

Back in Gohan's room, the older boy laid on his back on his bed while listening to his i-pod; the guitars and percussion screaming loudly into his ears. Gohan sought refuge from the world in his music like it drowned out all the pain and sorrow of his life. He never cared how loud it got... just as long as it was there to save him. Closing his eyes, he mouthed along with the lyrics having memorized them all:

I can't remember anything

Can't tell if this is true or dream

Deep down inside I feel to scream

This terrible silence stops me

Now that the war is through with me

I'm waking up, I cannot see

That there's not much left of me

Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death

Oh please God wake me

Back in the womb it's much too real

In pumps life that I must feel

But can't look forward to reveal

Look to the time when I'll live

Fed through the tube that sticks in me

Just like a wartime novelty

Tied to machines that make me be

Cut this life off from me

Hold my breath as I wish for death

Oh please God wake me

Now the world is gone, I'm just one

Oh God help me

Hold my breath as I wish for death

Oh please God help me

Darkness

Imprisoning me

All that I see

Absolute horror

I cannot live

I cannot die

Trapped in myself

Body my holding cell

Landmine

Has taken my sight

Taken my speech

Taken my hearing

Taken my arms

Taken my legs

Taken my soul

Left me with life in hell

For the first time in a long time, Gohan found himself in a rare moment of tranquility where his mind seemed at ease– like he could fall asleep without a care as the rhythmic lullaby of guitars soothed. He woke up from his trance when he heard a knock at the door, life once again weighing him down.

"Gohan?" asked the voice of his mother. She'd just gotten back from the grocery store probably to fix dessert for tonight since they were all going to Kame House to have a barbeque with all their old friends.

He opened his eyes but didn't say a word.

"Gohan, ...I know you can hear me. Can I come in?"

Still silence.

"Ugh..." he heard Chichi sigh. The doorknob turned and she entered quietly, making sure to close the door behind her. She advanced to her son's bed, sat on the edge of it and cleared her throat. "Gohan, I came to tell you something I know will cheer you up," she began slowly,"–-a miracle has happened!"

"..."

Ignoring his lack of concern, she resumed, still very high in her hopes.

"Gohan... in the Budokai Tenchaichi next week... —your father is going to be there!!" she almost squealed in delight. Her smile retired just as soon as it was made.

Not a look.

Not a flinch.

Not a smile.

Not a word.

Nothing.

He eyed the ceiling with the same disgusted look that he wore when she had come in and broken his peace.

Chichi was baffled.

"Gohan? Why aren't you happy? You've wanted to see your father again since you were a little boy– what's wrong with you?!" She shouted, almost panicking with disappointment.

What's wrong with you?

What's wrong with you?

Stab

"Won't you at least come to the party, ...Gohan?" she desperately tried to get him to say something.

Chichi sighed very sadly, shrugged her shoulders and stood up. What he was thinking, she would never know.

"Gohan... come with us, please?" she asked him in more of a demand than a request, "All the guys are expecting to see you; it's been a long time." Chichi kept her voice soft and little.

"..."

She then became a little more stern. "You're coming, son. Whether you like it or not. Be ready in one hour." And she left with a heavy heart.

With her gone, Gohan got up and gathered a few necessities he would need at the party. I-pod, sketchbook, pencils... He laid them on his bed and retrieved a carrying bag in which to deposit them. He then exchanged his dark hoodie for another, heavier, black hoodie that had a Pink Floyd logo written on the front and changed his shoes from all black Chuck Taylor's to black and red trimmed Vans.

As he did this, he thought about what his mother said:

What's wrong with you?!

He took all of her words to heart. And all of the other hurtful things people said to him as well. There was so much pain. He sulked and disappeared into the bathroom.

After awhile, he emerged and walked quickly back to his room, locking it too.

Gohan grabbed the bag and headed out the door... But halted immediately.

His eyes widened fearfully beneath the curtain of jet black hair, and he ran back into his room closing the door quickly, then grabbing his two fingerless gloves.

Angrily, Gohan stormed off down the hall towards the stairwell.

He didn't notice Goten hiding nearby listening to his brother and watching his every move.

"Why does brother want those gloves?" the little seven year old mused himself, wondering why those silly gloves were so important to Gohan. Just then, he heard his mother calling the two boys downstairs.

Like any average kid, he raced down the hall and passed his big brother on the stairs.

Chichi was putting her jacket on and wrapping the brownies she cooked up right when Gohan entered. To kill a few minutes, he turned his i-pod and looked through his playlists.

While he was busy doing that, Chichi glanced at him for a moment.

He looks so much like his father... but... he also looks so sad. Oh... why won't he ever tell me his problems. Chichi thought to herself. She examined how pale his skin was, and how long his hair was. Now he only wore dark, heavy clothes, and rarely ever spoke, or made eye contact.

Then she realized they were late.

"Oh, Gohan, Goten let's go now! Get in the car, we're late!" she ushered them outside to the garage.

While walking behind her eldest son, Chichi noted (not to her liking) that Gohan was nearly over a foot taller than her. It broke her heart that her little baby boy was seventeen already... But that also meant that she was getting old...

The party seemed to go on forever for Gohan, but eventually they made it back home. He was confronted by most everyone and never even said a word. They all seemed to just shrug it off with no concern. Except Piccolo. He didn't greet Gohan anyway... but left with a strange comment.

"Gohan." the tall green namekian said lowly, "You have to find the way back."

When Gohan gave no response or reply, Piccolo simply left, probably back to his meditating spot. All of the other times he'd seen Piccolo, he got that phrase. It didn't mean anything to him but only because he chose not to care.

For now, nothing mattered. The most important things to him were his drawings and his music. But even that wasn't of much significance.

He dwelled in his melancholy when they came home and later found himself sketching a horrific picture of a large eye with the reflection of what he chose to be a decaying skull in the pupil. It was a great and terrible picture; like much of what he made. If anyone ever saw his collection of... masterpieces... they would indeed think him satanic or a diseased mind plagued with lunacy.

When he completed the piece, his alarm clock illuminated 3:30am and he felt the longing for rest. Even if it would be only 2 ½ hours of it. Laying in bed, he remembered: school. Oh how he hated the word. The very existence of the place was a hell– a constant hell. Through his depressed mind, he found sleep and dreamed of familiar nightmares: The Cell Games.

Every horrifying moment from that fateful day replayed in his mind, over and over again. The cycle seemed endless; a black hole that he could not escape from. He dreamt of it every now and then, each time becoming more vivid.

Had Chichi and Goten been born light sleepers, they would surely have been woken by the sounds of Gohan crying out in his sleep. But alas, his cries were unheard... nothing new.