A/N: At last, we reach the conclusion. When I originally finished this story back in 2012, I mentioned that it had been read in 140 countries/territories from Argentina to Zimbabwe with over 100,000 views. Another achievement was that it had been favorited over 200 times. As of right now, with this remastered version, 'No More Forgiveness' has tripled that and been favorited over 600 times! Based on this statistic, it falls into the top 0.13% of all Dragonball Z fanfiction on this website (#62 out of 48,000 stories). This is a major accomplishment and I want to thank everyone for their support. Please stay after the ending to read some final notes I have regarding this story.
Enjoy the ending.
Chapter 38: Fin Filial Part 2
After constant fighting, the two distanced themselves for a break. Soaked in sweat and blood, they stood approximately five meters apart from each other on the rugged terrain that had served as their battlefield. The snow was starting to let up, giving them a clearer view of each other.
Goku stood up straight. "You've done well Gohan. You've done very well."
Gohan narrowed his eyes. Was his father patronizing him?
"You've exceeded my expectations today… in more ways than one. I'm proud of you son. You're-." His speech was interrupted.
"STOP IT!" Gohan shouted, catching Goku off-guard. The puzzled look on his father's face told him the significance of what was just said was unintentional. Although he wasn't sure if this made things better or worse. He elaborated. "Nearly twenty years ago you stood on this same location and said almost the exact same words to me before you teleported away with Cell. I wouldn't see you for the next seven years and those words would play in my head on repeat during that time. You don't get to have the moral high ground this time! You've done too much damage, not just to me, but our entire family. I was hoping you would have learned something from our fight today."
Goku took a deep breath. "I'm sorry. For what it's worth, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories for you. I really am proud of you son; both back then and today. I've made mistakes, but when I beat you, and you give me another chance, I'm hoping to show you how I've changed."
"And when exactly is that supposed to happen? You've shown me your power to be beyond what I expected, but I've been keeping up with you. Your stamina is decreasing faster than mine. You can't last much longer at this rate."
"You're right." Goku confirmed. "That is why it is time to end this now." He flew back several meters before taking his iconic stance to prep his final attack. Cupping both of his hands he slowly placed them to his side as he concentrated all the energy in his body.
Gohan's eyes widened. His father wasn't kidding. Goku was quickly draining almost all of his energy and placing it into this attack. It was certainly a risk, but then again, this was really the only option his father had left. As he just implied, had they continued hand-to-hand combat, the young warrior would have been the clear winner based on stamina alone. This was Goku's last resort.
Gohan flashed back to his battle with Cell almost 20 years ago; when Cell started his final Kamehameha. The demi-saiyan was weakened from battle, just like he was now, and the only way to save the planet was to counter with his own Kamehameha. Bringing himself back to the present day, he imagined that history would be repeating itself, albeit with some changes. The Earth wasn't in danger from Goku, and even with both of their powers combined, one would be unable to kill the other. Still, it remained appropriate that he counter with an attack of his own, rather than attempt to dodge it, which would have been a challenge itself given Goku's expertise. This time, however, he would not be able to pit his Kamehameha against his opponent's. Even though he had more energy left, Goku's attack was far more advanced. Instead, he had his own move… but he didn't know if it would be enough. A day's worth of battling had come down to this one moment.
Placing both of his hands, palms open (facing outwards), together on his forehead, Gohan began his own chant.
"HA…" Goku continued
"HA!" They both yelled simultaneously, unleashing their attacks at each other.
Sill observing the fight, Piccolo braced himself for the cataclysm that was to come. The beams flew across the land and quickly met in the middle of the two fighters. The impact created a powerful wave of force that leveled the area in between them and shook the ground for miles. Both maintained their position as the energy from their attacks changed the surrounding landscape. With such an awesome display of power, they knew the fight would be finished after this.
From the start, their powers seemed to be matched, as neither side appeared to waver. In an effort to gain a quick upper hand, Goku pushed forth a small amount of extra energy. He could immediately feel the drain it put on his body, but it provided him with results. His Kamehameha started to move closer toward Gohan.
"Damnit!" The demi-saiyan swore under his breath.
Forcing more power into his attack, to counteract the gain his father had made, Gohan's body was draining itself at a rate now faster than Goku and, while his beam was now getting closer to his opponent, it was traveling at a painstakingly slow rate.
It took Goku a minute to even realize that Gohan's Masenko was, slowly but surely, overpowering his Kamehameha. Despite its weak approach, the only thing that mattered was if it came into contact with him. He had very little power left and his stamina was low. Even if he somehow managed to hold his own, he estimated he would lose the battle within the next five minutes if he didn't do something. Sweating profusely, he knew he had to act. Channeling the very last bit of his energy he had, he added more fuel to his Kamehameha. That provided enough power to switch the direction back towards his son.
Gohan felt the added force that Goku had just delivered into his attack, and he knew at that moment things were not looking good for him. It was taking everything he had to hold off the Kamehameha. He barely had enough energy to counter the extra push his father had given. And even if he did put forth that energy, he estimated that it would simply produce a stalemate; the two ki attacks would not move in either direction. In addition, he could sense that the two had about the same amount of stamina left, meaning the stalemate in ki attacks would lead to a stalemate in the battle as a whole, and he was not about to let that happen. Power alone would not win the battle; it was going to take wit and talent… but how exactly was not yet determined. He began to contemplate his options as the Kamehameha inched towards him. He thought about abandoning the attack altogether to fly around and catch his father off guard with hand-to-hand combat. He looked up just to see how far their attacks stretched from the radius. "No." He told himself. "The circumference is too large. I wouldn't be able to fly out of the way fast enough."
The Kamehameha was now 3/4ths of the way to him and he was quickly running out of time. Victory seemed imminent for Goku.
"Damnit!" Gohan swore again. This seemed like the battle with Cell all over again except this time he didn't have anyone to aid him in defeating his opponent by distracting them.
And that's when it came to him… an idea!
"That's it!" He exclaimed. "But do I have enough time?" His plan was going to take away some of his power momentarily. In doing so, the Kamehameha was going to approach him at a much faster rate and he ran the risk of being hit by it before he could perform his alternate attack. His mind raced as he tried to estimate if his plan would work. In a split second, however, he decided that thinking about it was only wasting more time and he simply had to go for it. He closed his eyes and began to concentrate. As he did so, his Masenko began to lose some it's power, making Goku's Kamehameha advance on him.
With intense concentration Gohan located the exact point where his father was standing, which was a lot easier said than done given the amount of energy surrounding them. Once he had the exact position, he focused on surrounding environment. "Pick one too small," He thought to himself. "and you could miss him. Pick on too large and take away too much energy from keeping the Kamehameha from hitting you." Hmmmm. "… That one."
Suddenly, behind Goku, a boulder shifted from the pile of rubble from the mountain he had crashed into before.
"Come on." Gohan thought as he sensed his father's attack getting dangerously close to him.
"Almost there." Goku thought at the same time. While he was oblivious as to what was going on behind him, his felt his attack was about to hit its target.
With a little more effort, Gohan was able to withdraw the half a meter long boulder from amongst the rubble and have it floating, stationary, in the air. But by now Goku's attack was only a meter away from him.
"This is it!" They both thought it unison.
As Goku prepared for the resulting (non-lethal) explosion his Kamehameha was about to make, Gohan (using his telekinesis) flung the boulder towards his father. Time seemed to slow down as Gohan contemplated which attack would hit first; his father's Kamehameha or his own telekinesis trick.
He felt the Kamehameha literally centimeters away from him. Goku could feel it as well, but there was something else he felt… the harsh, jagged edge of a rock hitting the back of his head. The blow caused him to immediately lose complete control of his Kamehameha, and served to knock him head first into the oncoming Masenko attack, which now had nothing blocking its path.
The explosion ripped through the sky and decimated the surrounding landscape. Goku had been hit full on by the blast.
With the settling dust, Goku found himself laying amongst a pile of rubble, beaten. His hair back to its original color, he could no longer manage his Super Saiyan form. Wincing from the pain he was in, he coughed as the dust around him continued to clear. His son's attack had been a direct hit. It was a devastating blow that had him bloodied and incapacitated. He could barely move a muscle, let alone continue to fight. There was no denying it. He had lost. He slowly opened his eyes as he continued gasping for air after the tremendous attack. He looked around him for signs of his son, but there were none. "Gohan…" He gasped, before struggling to sit up on the back of his forearms. "Gohan?" He yelled out this time. But all he could see was the falling snow around him; remnants the ferocious blizzard.
No answer… there was only silence…
Instantly, his son appeared right over him, grabbing a small part of his shirt that wasn't already shredded. Gohan was bloodied from the battle but showed signs of fight left in him. The demi-saiyan had his other arm drawn back, almost as if he was about to give a death blow. But the most surprising and disturbing thing about seeing his son over him was the look in his eyes. They were cold, emotionless… they were his warrior eyes; fighting until the very end.
"G-GOHAN!" Goku shouted in a panic. He shut his eyes as Gohan thrust his fist forward.
"GOHAN STOP!" Piccolo came rushing in from the side.
They both heard a loud crashing sound.
After a brief moment, Goku realized that he had not been struck. Slowly opening his eyes he found Gohan's fist to be mere centimeters away from his head, imbedded deep into the rock underneath him. Staring wide eyed, his focus shifted to his son's face, where Gohan's expression had gone unchanged.
"You lose." The demi-saiyan declared, calmly yet sternly.
Without quite knowing how to respond, Goku nodded. He admitted his defeat.
Piccolo and Gohan freed Goku from the rubble around him as the latter propped his father up in a more comfortable sitting position.
"Thank you for being here Piccolo, but I'd now like to speak with Goku alone." Gohan said.
Piccolo looked back and forth between the two. His services of playing referee were over. It was time for him to head back to the Lookout. Before he went, however, there was something he had to say. "Gohan, I know you asked me to be here to bear witness to this match and to let your friends know that the Earth was not in any danger, since they would be able to sense my ki with the two of yours. But I'm telling you right now, this is the first and last time I will be doing this type of favor for you. If the two of you decide to fight again, that is between you two. I'm to be left out of it."
Gohan acknowledged his request. "I understand Piccolo. I apologize if I put you in an uncomfortable situation. It won't happen again."
With nothing more to say, Piccolo turned his back towards them and took off.
When his mentor was out of view, Gohan turned towards his father. "I need to thank you as well. Thank you for letting me prove you wrong."
Goku remained silent. He was still trying catching his breath.
Gohan sighed as he leaned against the rock next to his father. "I never understood why you put training ahead of your family. You claimed it was to protect us, but you never considered the consequences it would have; the emotional trauma it would cause. Out of all my battles, the most painful experiences I've ever had were from when you left us. And you never seemed to seek any alternative. It was as if it was either one way, or the other. But today I've shown you that you can have it both ways. It's possible to adequately train while maintaining a family life. In fact, spending time with my family is what has made me stronger. Simply by being with them I realize just how precious they are. Every second I'm in their presence, I'm motivated to be the best fighter I can be. This is something I couldn't achieve by training alone. Instead, I've found a balance… fulfilling both my roles as a fighter and as a family man. That is why I will continue to train. I will continue to get stronger. That way, if Earth is ever threatened again, I will be there to defend the ones I love. Because if you have learned anything from this experience, be it this… there is nothing more important to me than my family and friends, and I will do everything in my power to protect them." He stood up, brushing dust off of his tattered clothes. He gazed at the sun, which was starting its descent in the late afternoon sky. The snow had now cleared up.
Gohan sighed turning back to his father. "I suggest you stop your training with Uub and go home. You no longer have a reason to keep training at the intensity you have been. While you may have experience, your stamina has suffered because of your age. It showed at several points in this battle. Let me, and the others, carry on the torch as Earth's protector." He then dug into a pocket in his shirt to retrieve a small brown pouch. He opened it and poured the two senzu beans it contained, onto his hand. After taking one, healing his wounds and replenishing his energy, he flicked the other onto his father's lap. "I can't forgive you for everything you have done, but it may not be too late for you to have a relationship with mom and Goten. They want someone who will be there for them; someone they can rely on. They deserve that much." As he prepared to set off in flight, he addressed his father one last time. "Go home Goku and take care of your family…" He turned away from him, facing the horizon. "… for once." He then proceeded to fly off into the sky, leaving his father behind.
From that point on things changed. Gohan no longer dwelled on his past. The angst and pain he had felt from his childhood had been expelled during the fight with his father; a type of resolution for all those years of suffering. He had said what needed to be said and done what needed to be done. Life was able to return to normal, except for one detail.
Likewise, things changed for Goku as he took his son's advice. He halted his training with Uub, for whom he could teach nothing more, and dedicated his time to his family and friends. He would still train but it wouldn't be as severe as it had been in the past and it was always with Goten and/or Vegeta and Trunks. No matter what, at the end of every day, he would end up home. He soon realized it was where he belonged, and he was actually happier for it. He was finally with his family, except for one detail.
That 'one detail' for both of the men, was that the day of the fight was last time they ever saw each other. Each would continue to live their own lives, but they were indeed separate lives to be lived. It was something Gohan wanted, because no matter what happened, he no longer trusted his father.
Because sometimes time doesn't heal all wounds… sometimes there can simply be…
…no more forgiveness.
A/N: The reason I wrote this story was because I wanted to provide a different take on Gohan and Goku's relationship. I wanted to analyze it from a standpoint of rejection and abandonment, which I believe is more realistic than 'Oh, that's just how Goku is', a narrative taken on by a lot of people in the DBZ universe. I chose this ending, which I had planned out from the very beginning, because I wanted to make a point that not all stories (fiction or non-fiction) end happily ever after. While I certainly believe that family members should try to work things out to the best of their ability, the reality is sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes, if a situation is severe enough, that there can be no more forgiveness. That's life. And occasionally, life can be a tragedy. Not everything is going to be perfect. We have to work hard to maintain relationships, to show people that we really care for them. Family members are meant to be there for one another, not abandon each other in times of need. These are the messages I was trying to convey in this story.
Once again, thank you reading this story and I hope you enjoyed it.