___Chapter 3- Going home again (oh, can't you?) ___ ~~ By Velasa

~~NOTE- Not much to say here. This is simply the third installation or my ongoing Krillan ficcy. I'll be writing our more as the ideas come to me... Ideas are welcomed ^_^ only one rule- it has to be before the Cell games. I want these to be accurate to the show, and I haven't been able to watch past ep153 because FUNi's being an ass and releasing Buu and GT on DVD without finishing Cell.... - *a very confused green-eyed boy with wings gets shoved on-screen- he blinks a few times, sweatdrops, and holds up a sign- 'insert disclaimer crap here'. blinks...* Um... Vel... what'm I suppose to do now... *doesn't get a response- scratches the back of his head, shrugs, and flies off, grumbling about weird authors* ~~

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The water sparkles in the early morning light as it's poured in the glass, crackling against the ice, cubes fusing and shifting around- but I'm too tired to care, let alone admire it. Damn. Four AM.... the sun isn't even up and ~I~ have to be. Why can't I sleep.......

Grab the glass, some toast and jam, and slip outside quietly so I don't wake anyone. The sea air practically assaults me, I can taste the salt in it, hear the cries of a few sea birds. Sky's still darkened, but it has that weird pre-sunrise light on the horizon you see when you live on the ocean... go to eat the toast, but it's burnt on one side.... bleach. I miss Ranchi's cooking. When Goku and I were kids, she'd always cook for us, like she was our mom... Come to think of it, if they were still here, he'd probably be up by now, and the Turtle house would probably be full of the smell of wonderful things cooking (I knew they were, because I could almost taste it on the air back then, over all the salt....) Ok. I'm making myself hungry. I ditch the burns toast and go grab a box of cereal. That's better- not Ranchi's cooking, but better. Heh. Too bad she left... if I can remember, it was because she went chasing after Tie-

I slap myself upside the head and moan- oh great. I had to go bringing THAT up, didn't I....

So much for being calm.

Now I'm preoccupied. I'm not really hungry anymore... just pacing. It's only been about a week... has it been that long? The last couple days I've been trying to ignore what happened. I don't want to think about my dead friends... damn. Not doing a very good job, am I.

Distraction... distraction....

We're going. We're going to Nameck. Another planet... miles... and miles away... where Piccolo came from. No, not Piccolo... his father. And Kami. Yeah. Piccolo was born here. I remember hearing about it- I was kind of dead at the time.

I'm gonna travel in space. SPACE!! Am I crazy? Wait, don't answer that... I'm standing on the beach with a box of kid's cereal at four a.m. talking to myself about space travel... I am crazy.

Of course, we all are, kinda... Heh. A bunch of nuts, and it's on our shoulders the fate of the world rests... I'd raise my eyes to Kami, but remind myself he's dead. As if THAT doesn't make it weirder....

A sigh echoes out- it's me. Well, when all else fails, train. (or spend time with your girlfriend, but let's not get started on that one......) That'll take my mind off everything... yeah.

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It gets old after about five minutes. So I'm sitting on the roof, clutching my head in my hands, trying to think of a distraction.

Then it hits me. it's crazy... but it just might work. I run back in, write a quick note, stick it to the fridge, and fly off. Wonder if they're still in business.....

~~~~~~~

It doesn't take long to find the island. hell, I spent months here as a kid. weird though, seeing it from the air...

I'm in luck- it's still there...... It only takes me a minute of talking to the manager to convince him I'm the same kid that worked for him years ago. He still stands there for a minute, giving me that look, like he wants to say something but he's biting his tongue....

As I'm walking off, he mumbles something about "Haven't grown much, have you?"

And I promptly end up in a facefault -.-

Bah. Do you know have any idea how much dirt you ingest when you pull one of those?

Wait.... ah! Forgot something! Zip back over, grab the boxes out of his hands, and race off down the path. Gotta hurry- the milk needs to be there before sunrise.

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It doesn't really even occur to me that I can fly. The whole damn path's ingrained in my memory, so I just take off running. No chi, nothing but my own two feet. Not just straight through either- even without the old master telling me to I go back into the old patterns- ziggu-zaggu, hop hop, laps, stupid pattern after stupid pattern that I hated so much as a kid.....

Kinda zone out there... it all blurs into my childhood, and I feel like a kid again..... Though I think I broke a few of those old records. The looks on those farmer's faces..... Well.... the farmers. The sharks. That old saurian.... everybody, basically. And I even managed to find some construction to work with, though it wasn't the same buildings. Those have been finished for years.

Guess I kinda broke pattern there, though... I was suppose to do all those other things after I finished delivery, but I'd only had one bottle left and I wanted to save it for last. There's still a while until sunrise, you know.

~~~~~~~

I'm not even breathing hard as I race up those old steps... I can practically hear Goku laughing from higher up, though, cheering me on... C'meon Krillan, you can do it....

....... I can't describe the feeling I get when I finally breach the last one in time to watch the sun rise.

Just sit there for a while at the foot of the little pagoda, taking in the colors and the silence. Whole sky goes bright with them- every corner's got something splashed in it....

And for the first time I can remember since everybody died, I smile. A real, honest smile. Didn't know I still had it in me.

It's.... nice, in this world, My old world- without massive threats to all life, aliens, or cycles of death.... I really kinda miss it. It was simpler, easier- more innocent. Pilaf the little blue elf, the Red Ribbon army even (at least they were human), and - well, maybe not Daimou- stop my thoughts, find a minute to rub the sweatdrop off- I mean, they all seem so small when compared to what we just faced. Yeah, I wasn't there for Pilaf, missed most of it with Daimou, but I heard about it.

The world's different now. We're not just a bunch of kids going off on adventures- we know too much to go back to those lives.

Even as I sit here watching the sun rise above the mountains, I know I'm in a different world, and I can't go back. Yeah, it makes me sad. Why wouldn't it? But I guess..... I'm alright with it. I mean, it's over now. The fighting. Vegeta's still out there... but he won't be back for a long, long time, if he survives his journey in space. We can only hope. We can't go back....

But after this trip, we can try.

Open my hands, forming a small chi ball- something I could only dream of doing as a kid in the old milk delivery days. I've come so far....

A scream rings in my ears. Reminding me that as far as that is, it's not enough. People died because I couldn't help. Yamcha, protecting me. Chautzu, protecting all of us. Tien because we were too slow. And Piccolo......

....

Well, he made his own choice.

It's not just the very old or the very weak that get killed anymore- it's us, the young guys in our prime.

Sometimes I think about giving up this fighter stuff. As it is I'm behind, and that can only get worse with time. Again, I ask myself why didn't I just go off and get married.

But then I see two little kids running around down in a valley- laughing and playing. And I can't help another smile. Those kids wouldn't be laughing if we'd all just given up. They'd be dead, like my friends. but they're not- and I can claim partial responsibility for that.

How's that for a legacy.

~~~~~~~

The sun's high in the sky by the time I pry myself off the ground, and once there's feeling in my legs again I take off.

And you know? I don't feel quite so crazy anymore.

END

12/31/2003

(sorry it took so long. I lost track of the copybook this was written in.... took me five months to dig it out and type this. If I can get the next idea in place, I hope to get it out alot sooner....)