Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ!
Author's note: This is my v first story, so I hope it's ok! I dont have lots of experience with babies etc so I've made quite a lot up. I got the idea when noticing that my cousin was jealous of a new arrival in his house. Gohan and Goten are my favourite characters so I wanted to do a story that explored thier relationship. the sentiments have been used in other stories but I hope this one is a lil different. I'd appreciate any reviews! On with the fic...
Goten's new room.
It's been a little over two months since my niece was born and I was sat in my room quietly wondering what was wrong with me.
I should be happy. Everybody is happy.
My mother is ecstatic that she has finally gotten a grandchild.
Dad is...well Dad is happy that Pan has finally arrived, but I think he's probably more happy at the fact that everybody else – especially that Gohan, Videl and Mum are so happy.
All of the other Z-fighters that I saw when they came to congratulate Gohan and Videl were delighted for the couple and with the new baby.
So basically I was the only one who wasn't, well, happy.
I just don't know what is wrong with me. I should be ecstatic, I finally have the adorable niece that I have been waiting nine long months for.
I'm not though.
Well not really. *sigh* Why do I feel like this? Why aren't I excited about the brand new person in my family?
I want to be happy for Gohan and Videl, I really do. And I want to be able to be happy when I look at my neice, but I'm just not. I don't think that anyone really knows that I feel like this though – I put on a smile and act happily in front of everyone else.
I don't know what to do with myself. All I want to do is be by myself, and yet I ache to be with other people.
I want to go see my brother, but I'm scared that he will see through my front. So far when I've seen my brother, he's been too wrapped up in all that comes with being a new father to properly notice whether my smile was fake or not.
That's not going to last forever though and I'm scared of hurting him with my reactions. So far I've stayed away from Gohan's house for that reason and the fact that Mum told me to stay away. She had told me that it is important for the first couple of months after a baby is born, for the parents not to have too many visitors so that the new family can adjust itself.
She said that I could go over this evening though. I guess that's why I've been sat here all morning – debating whether to go or not. Argh, I'm not going to get any peace of mind sitting here. I guess I'll go visit Gohan.
It took me less than a minute to get to the other side of Mount Paoz where my brother's small family resided. Gohan had chosen the spot because it was close enough to our parent's house that he could still help out when needed, but far enough away that Videl and Mum wouldn't feel cramped by the other. I smiled at myself. Gohan now had well established diplomacy skills that he practiced frequently keeping the peace between the two women.
Decending in front of the small house I approached and knocked lightly on the door, entering slowly.
"Hey, anybody home?" I called out.
"Gosh, not so loud Goten, I'm trying to get Pan off to sleep here!" Videl admonished in a hushed tone. "And shut the door would ya? Your letting a draft in".
"Sorry Videl" I whispered, blushing at being snapped at, while stepping further into the house, "How're you doing?".
"I'm fine Goten" Videl sighed, "I'm sorry I snapped at you, it's just I've been trying to get this little madam off to sleep for at least half an hour now. At least she's finally stopped crying!"
Walking over to the pacing woman, I peered at the little bundle in her arms. Sensing my approach, Videl stood still and softly rocked Pan so that I could look at her. Wrapped tightly in a soft pink blanket was my tiny newborn neice. She had pale skin and a small tuft of jet black hair, with her mother's nose and beneath eyelids that were fighting to stay open, her father's eyes. She's insanely cute, but why wasn't I happy? Maybe if....
"Um could I try holding her Videl?"
"Sure, at this point I'm willing to try anything to get her to go to sleep" she said as she wearily handed Pan over to my nervously waiting arms.
Awkwardly cradling the baby, I walked over and sat with her on the sofa. The baby peered sleepily at me, wondering who this new person was that now claimed her. I stared back, lost in thought as he studied my neice's small face. Slowly but surely the baby lost the battle with sleep and lay contentedly in my arms.
"Um, Videl, I think she's asleep" I whispered to my sister-in-law.
Letting out a breath I don't think she realised she had been holding Videl took her daughter from the young teenager before her.
"Wow you're a miracle worker Goten! Nothing I did could get her to sleep!" Looking closer at me, I think she noticed something off about me and so looking concerned she asked "Are you ok Goten? You don't look like yourself."
Pulling a smile that I know didn't quite reach my eyes, I replied "Yeah I'm fine, just a lil tired is all"
"Well as long as your sure" Videl said, not looking entirely convinced. "Look, I hate to leave you, but I'm going to put Pan down, and then go for a nap myself...I'm shattered" she continued, stifling a yawn and shifting Pan into a more comfortable position in her arms, "But Gohan is around here somewhere. I think he's avoiding me at the moment in fear of waking this one up".
Stifling a giggle as she was probably right, I said "Sure, get some rest, I'll see you later Videl". At that, she headed up the stairs, leaving me to find my brother.
Standing in the doorway to the kitchen I regarded my older sibling for a minute. At the moment he was busy at a counter mixing some bottles for his infant daughter. Always busy with something, this was a scene I remembered fondly from when Gohan still lived at home with me and Mum.
"Hey squirt, hows it goin?" Gohan said suddenly startling me out of my memories.
Wondering just how long he'd known I was there I said shyly "It's ok Gohan, I just wanted to come see you. I mean if you're not too busy".
"Well of course! I always have time for you, you know that!" Gohan beamed as he came over and put an arm around my shoulders, steering me further into the kitchen. "We have some juice if you want a glass?"
"Sounds great" I said quietly as I was led into the kitchen. As Gohan gathered various items I regarded his kitchen. Baby items were scattered all over the floor and bottles were stacked haphazardly on the counter waiting to be cleaned or re-filled.
"So, Videl get Pan off to sleep finally?" Gohan asked as he handed me a glass of ice cold orange juice.
"Yeah, she's gone off for a nap herself" I replied after taking a sip. For some reason I felt really awkward sat in my brother's kitchen. *sigh* Whats wrong with me? I felt Gohan's eyes wander over me, making me feel completely self-concious.
"Let's go outside shall we? That way we won't wake the girls up and we can enjoy the fresh air" he said, already leading the way out of the house, glass of juice in hand. I followed him slowly, out onto the small porch where a couple of chairs sat, looking out towards the forest that surrounded our mountain.
As we settled, we sat and watched the breeze play with the bright green leaves on the trees and heard the quiet noises of the things that lived in them.
"So how's things going at home?" Gohan asked me, still looking at the forest.
"There fine. Mum's doing what she usually does, but of course can't stop going on about her 'darling little angel'", I said sending an amused smirk Gohan's way.
He smiled fondly at me. "I bet" he said. "How's Dad?"
"Ok I guess. Same as really. He's away most of the week training Uub so we only see him when he comes home to eat and stuff. You've probably seen him more than me recently".
"Maybe" he said, now looking at me curiously. "How's Trunks doing?"
"Dunno," I shrugged, "Bulma's got him doing extra hours at Capsule Corp, and Vegeta's making him train loads so he's not had that much time to spend with me lately."
"That sucks. So what you been doing to keep yourself busy then?" He asked, stifling a yawn.
"Not a lot. Training, homework, that kinda stuff. Hey I keeping you up big bro? If you want me to go...." I trailed off. On the one hand I wanted to escape....I felt really awkward around Gohan and I didn't know why. I never had before. But on the other hand I really wanted to stay. I didn't want to go back to sitting in my room thinking again.
Yawning again, yet waving a hand at me Gohan said "Don't be silly Goten, of course I want you to stay. I haven't seen you much lately. I'm just tired. Pan isn't the easiest baby. And Videl and I are up all night and day dealing with her."
"Sucks to be a new parent huh?" I said glumly, feeling kinda stupid for coming over. Of course they were busy with the baby. They wouldn't have time for annoying little brothers hanging around.
"Aww it's not as bad as all that. All new babies are like this for a while, you just have to settle them in a routine. Pan is fighting her routine, but we'll get there."
"How'd you know all of this parenting stuff already Gohan?" I asked. Not so much out of curiosity, but out of a desire to keep the conversation going. I didn't know what else to say to Gohan at the moment. His whole world revolved around Pan nowadays, so thats what I needed to talk about.
"Well Goten, Videl and I have read a lot of the parenting books, and we've had a lot of advice from Mom and Hercule".
"Oh yeah, right" I said feeling even more stupid. How many hours had I spent on Gohan's sofa watching TV or doing homework while he read up on parenting tips.
"But mostly I know all this parenting stuff because I had to learn it before."
"Um, I don't know if you noticed Gohan, but Pan is your first child" I said shooting him an ironic smile.
"I have noticed Goten, but I also have a brother who is eleven years younger than me. I helped Mum look after you when you were a baby" he responded, gracing me with a soft smile.
"Yeah but surely Mum did most of the, you know, routine stuff and important bits".
"She did, but I helped her as well. Goten, Mum was on her own, with two children to raise having just been told her husband was dead and not coming back. She needed a lot of help, so I just stepped in," he told me, a pained look on his face as he remembered those days.
"Musta been really hard" I said, looking at my feet. Gohan was eleven when I was born. He had been taking care of me even then? Burdened with a little brother. I don't know if I could handle a child and I'm fourteen!
"Nah not really. You were an easy baby. Really happy and content. I liked looking after you. Took my mind off....well you know," he explained, looking sheepish. I know Gohan and Dad had a long talk regarding what happened at the Cell games and that Gohan is mostly over the guilt now, but I know that it ate at him for a really long time.
"Yeah I guess".
"Want a refill Goten?" Gohan suddenly asked. I realised that all my juice had gone and I was now just fiddling with my glass.
"Sure" I said.
As Gohan left to refill our glasses, I sat and contemplated what he had been saying to me.
Eleven years old and caring for an infant. Amazing really.
As I sat contemplating this, my mind wandered over all of the events of my childhood. Gohan was always there for me, keeping me out of trouble, playing with me, helping me with homework...everything.
Even when Dad came back Gohan was the one who looked after me most. I spent lots of time with Dad when he first returned from being dead, but Gohan was always there in the background. Gohan always had time for me, even when his relationship with Videl got serious.
But now, now he has his own kid he probably won't have time to spend with his little brother. I think I always took it for granted how close me and Gohan were. I know most siblings aren't half as close as we are. I guess that I'd just have to get used to it from now on. Sighing, I resolved to put on my happy face again as I heard Gohan's steps coming towards me.
Too late. Gohan was stood in the doorway looking at me sadly. I'd blown it, I'd let him see that I wasn't happy. I didn't want him to worry about me when he had so much to take care of with Pan! Gohan came over and put the glasses down on the table and said in a serious voice "Come with me Goten".
Gulping at the serious tone of my brother's voice I said "Ok" and then followed him back into the house and up the stairs. We went really quietly past the master bedroom and the room I knew to be Pan's nursery, down the hall until we were facing the two doors at the end of the corridor. One was Gohan's study and another was a spare room.
Turning to me with the serious look still on his face Gohan said "I've been wanting to show you this for a while, but it was never the right time. Videl wanted us to show you together, but I think she'll understand if I show you now."
Thoroughly confused I just looked quizzically at my brother who was looking at me thoughtfully. Then, as though he had come to a good conclusion he nodded and exclaimed
"Yes. Now is definitely the right time. Go ahead, go in!", while opening the door for me.
Shooting him one last puzzled glance I entered the room. The room contained a good size bed with a nice blue duvet on it. There were some shelves with a few comics on it, ones that as far as I could see were my favourite ones. Some martial arts posters decorated the blue painted walls.
Turning to Gohan I asked him what was going on. He closed the door, I assume so that we wouldn't wake Videl and Pan and then answered with a smile "This room is for you Goten! I hope you like it!"
"For, for me? But why?" I asked stunned.
"Well I figured you needed somewhere more comfortable to sleep than our sofa Goten" Gohan grinned at me, "And besides your round here so often you need some place of your own to go to".
"Gohan. I, I, I...I don't understand. Why are you showing this to me now?". Why was he showing me this? Why would he want me in the way when he was going to be so busy with the baby?
"Well I was saving it for the next time you stayed over, but you haven't been around in a while. I think you needed to see it now anyway." He explained, the thoughtful look back on his face.
"I don't understand" I said, looking at him in bewilderment.
"Well I saw you outside. You looked so sad. I know something has been bugging you for a while, but I just couldn't think what it was. I think I figured it out though. You think that now I have Pan I won't have any time for you right?" he asked.
There was no point in lying. Gohan always knew when I lied to him. I nodded, silently, not wanting to admit this, even to myself. This is what had been plaguing me. I knew the feeling, but couldn't formulate the thought to myself. But trust Gohan to figure out what was wrong with me before even I could.
"Well that's just silly Goten!" Gohan exclaimed.
"What?!" I exclaimed suddenly angry and feeling a little betrayed that he could make light of my feelings, "How can you say that Gohan? You know that it's true!".
"No it's not! I love you Goten, I will always have time for you!"
"You won't! You have a child now Gohan! Why would you want to waste that time on your stupid little brother?" I was close to shouting. In fact I think I would have been had I not been aware that Videl was sleeping. No way was I going to wake her up. She was almost as bad as Mum!
"Don't talk about yourself that way Goten!" Gohan said, clearly shocked, "Yes I have Pan now, but I still have you too! I could never ignore you lil bro!"
"Gohan, it's fine. I'm just your brother, I don't need to take up all of your time" I sighed turning away from him feeling defeated.
Gohan sighed and then went and sat on the bed. "You know Goten. I thought that this day might come eventually. I've thought about what I would say to you, but now its here I'm not sure what to say to you".
I turned around to look at Gohan. I could tell that whatever he was going to say, was something that I needed to hear – whether I liked it or not.
"Goten. This is going to sound really weird, but...sometimes I forget that you are my brother." He paused for a second, while my heart thumped wildly in my chest – he's forgotten all about me.
I sat down heavily on the bed and while I was having a internal panic attack, Gohan continued however "Sometimes I forget that you are my brother, because I see you as more than that." He glanced at me to see my reaction, but I was too shocked to say anything so he continued. "I've helped Mum raise you since the day you were born. How could I not start to feel, I dunno, paternally, towards you?"
What? Hang on? What did Gohan just say? He felt paternally towards me? Did this mean...did this mean that he hadn't forgotten about me after all? I saw Gohan studying me, but I was too shell-shocked to say anything. Gohan continued to explain things to me.
"It was so hard when Dad came back. I didn't know what to do. Suddenly he started to take over all of my responsibilities towards you. It made me think about my role in your life. It made me realise that I had to take a back seat – be the older brother, not the dad. It was a massive step down, and it hurt. But, well you kept coming to me for stuff and it made me feel wanted ...needed. When Dad kept disappearing again, I just took over my old role, hoping that you wouldn't mind too much."
He paused to gauge my reaction again, but as I was still reeling he just kept going. "You didn't seem to mind. And well, this room is for you...if you want it. You used to be over here so much, that we wanted you to have your own space. And well...I'd really like you to feel at home here. I mean we can change the colour, and you can put up your own decorations and stuff. If you don't like it then you don't have to stay in it you know, we can just....do something else with it."
As Gohan started to ramble, I turned and flung myself at him. I nearly knocked him over but he managed to catch us before we fell over. I started to sob into his shirt. I know I'm a bit old to be crying, but I was just so relieved. Gohan did still want me around after all!
"Hey, hey. Whats all this about 'ten?" Gohan said quietly as he stroked my hair. It was a gesture I remembered from when I was little and upset about a nightmare or something. Gohan would hold me close and stroke my hair, speaking to me softly and calmly until I felt better. It worked then, and I can tell you, it was working now. As I slowly cried away my doubts and fears, and Gohan stroked my hair, I realised why I had been feeling so bad.
Gohan had just admitted that he considered me to be more like a son than a brother, and it suddenly became clear to me that I considered Gohan to be more like a dad than an older brother, and I had for as long as I can remember.
He'd always just been there for me. He'd play with me, care for me, make time for me even when he was busy and was just there. Always through my life he'd been there, even if only hovering in the background, providing silent support if I'd ever needed it. It was always Gohan that I'd turned to.
Although I loved Dad, he was more like an awesome uncle that came to visit. He wasn't there the way a dad should be. Gohan was.
I'd been feeling so bad because I wasn't worried about my brother forgetting about me. I'd been worried that I was going to lose my dad!
As I calmed down, I looked up at my big brother and wondered how I could ever doubt that he loved me or that he wouldn't want me around. Gohan wasn't the kinda person to shove someone aside because someone else showed up.
"Gohan. You're awesome" I whispered. He looked down at me questioningly. "How could I have been so stupid to have thought you would forget me?"
"It's not stupid 'ten" he said, using the old nickname he gave me, "most kids get a lil worried about a new baby coming along. Start to question relationships and stuff. Its perfectly natural Goten. And like I said, I've kinda been expecting it. Man, I'm surprised this stuff didn't come up sooner!"
"I've been feeling awful for weeks now" I admitted sheepishly.
"Well you know you can come to me with anything right?" Gohan questioned, looking me straight in the eye.
"Yep. Definately." I exclaimed, truely believing it. The shadows of sadness that had been lingering within me had dissipated throughout our conversation, and for the first time in weeks I felt completely light-hearted. Back to my usual self.
Gohan nodded, seemingly assured that I was ok now. He released his grip on me, letting me sit up fully once again. Now that I was a bit calmer, I got a chance to properly look around the room. It really was cool. Gohan and Videl had obviously put a lot of work into it – finding my favourite colours and setting it up for my needs
"So, what do you think of the room then?" Gohan asked, watching me study the room with a gently smile on his face.
"Gohan....its awesome!" I exclaimed...a little too loudly. The loud cries of a wakened baby filled the house as Gohan clamped a hand over my mouth.
"Goten!!" he whispered animatedly "I'm going to be up for hours now!"
Giggling I said "Well that's going to be fun for you. I'm going to bed!" I hadn't felt this light-hearted for ages!
"Marvelous" Gohan deadpanned, getting up and heading towards the door. "Here or there?" he questioned, glancing at me.
"Ok, well there are pj's in the cupboard. I'll see you in the morning squirt" he said, gracing me with a smile, before closing the door behind him as he heading off to deal with the screaming infant.
As I put on my pyjamas and climbed into bed I found myself looking forward to the following day. I would get to spend time with Gohan and Videl, and I found myself looking forward to playing with Pan, and to really getting to know her. I didn't feel so resentful towards her now. She wasn't going to take my brother (or as I silently admitted in my head – my dad) away from me!
I settled down for the night, blocking out the sounds of a still whimpering child, I sleepily closed my eyes and drifted off into a contented happy sleep in my brand new room at my brother's (dad's) house.