Author's Note: Alas! I regret to inform you of this stories closing. **sadfacee* Well, let's not keep you from the conclusion, although nothing much really happens. Just wraps up everything.
Discalimer: I do not own.
Ch. 12: Epilogue
"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero." - Marc Brown
Gohan dropped to the ground as Piccolo thrust his foot in his former student's direction. Gohan took this opportunity to swing his leg around and trip the Namekian , then kick him back towards the trees. Gohan wasted no time, cupping his hands and sounding out each syllable "Ka… Me…" Gohan then flew towards Piccolo as he sounded out the next set, "Ha… Me…" He was right above Piccolo, whose face took on one of shock; his eyes wide and his mouth agape.
"Ha!" Gohan called out, thrusting his hands forward. Although, nothing came forward, nothing shot out towards the Namek. Gohan then started laughing as he put one hand behind his head and rubbed the back of his neck. "You lose again, Piccolo. How many times is that now?" He then held a hand out towards his friend as he continued to laugh.
"Alright, don't get too cocky. You'll slip up sooner or later." Piccolo replied with a smile as he took Gohan's hand and helped himself up. "But you are getting better, I'm glad to see."
"I've been practicing between studying." Gohan smiled the trademark Son grin.
"My turn! My turn! No fair!" a small voice called out. The toddler then ran over to the two and yanked on his brother's hand. "Go'an, you said I could spar next!"
"Okay, Goten." Gohan said to his younger brother.
"Goten spars, too?" Piccolo questioned.
"How do you think I've been practicing? Goten is a pro." Gohan smiled at his younger sibling who gave a "Victory V" to the green man. Gohan then lifted the youngster onto his shoulders and began running around yelling, "Champion, champion. Goten is the Champion!" Goten giggled as Gohan bounced around their yard. He bounced quite high, bouncing almost as high as he trees. He knew Goten loved to feel the wind rush through his hair, and the way his stomach tickled when they fell back to Earth.
"Stop, stop!" Goten giggled when he couldn't take it anymore. Gohan halted his actions and removed Goten from his shoulders and placing him on the ground.
"Okay," Gohan voiced, "Ready to show Piccolo what you've learned so far?" Goten gave a sharp nod of his head and got into a sloppy crouching position. Although, Gohan knew he would learn the correct way after a few more years of practice. "Ready…" Gohan sounded off. "Set…"
"Gohan, Goten! Time for lunch!" Chi-Chi interrupted as she stood in the doorway of their tiny little house.
"Aw, man!" Goten pouted and crossed his arms, dropping out of his own little defensive stance.
"It's okay, Goten. Maybe later." Gohan tried to console, but Goten wasn't having any of it. Then Gohan got an idea. "Hey, if you promise to eat all of your lunch, and after your nap, we can practice more on your flying. How about that?"
Goten perked up at that. He basically ran into the small house, no doubt to devour his lunch, then sleep it off on the living room couch. Piccolo looked to Gohan with a smile before placing a hand on his head. Glad to have you back, kid, Piccolo sent through their mental link.
Glad to be back, Piccolo, Gohan sent back. And with that, Piccolo took to the skies.
Gohan made his way back into the house and made his way to his seat at the kitchen table. As fate would have it, Goten was already halfway done with his meal with no intentions of slowing down. Of course, though, that was normal for him. Anything else would cause worry.
"Bulma invited us to her house for a big dinner." Chi-Chi said with a smile. "She invited everyone actually. She said it's time everyone got back together. A little reunion."
"Really? We're gonna go, right?" Gohan responded with genuine excitement.
"Of course," Chi-Chi laughed at her son's eagerness.
"You'll play with me and Trunks, won't you Go'an?" Goten asked as he swallowed the last of his food.
"Well, duh, squirt! What else would I do?" Gohan replied as he patted his younger sibling on the head.
After lunch was cleaned up, it was time for Goten's nap. Gohan brought the toddler to the room they shared and laid him down in his bed. After a quick story to put the boy to sleep, Gohan exited the room and found his mother sitting on the couch, gazing absently at a picture. When Gohan approached her, she snapped from her trance and immediately put the picture back on the stand. Gohan glanced sideways at the picture that had captivated his mother - a small family of only three occupied it. A picture of a family that seemed all wrong now, like an incorrect answer to a question. The man in that picture no longer existed, and the boy not in that picture did indeed exist, now. Gohan noted how, even though the family looked happy in that picture, the picture that sat next to that one, the more recent picture with a proud, single mother and two young boys, held a family that looked just as happy - if not more.
"Mom..." Gohan spoke softly.
"What is it, honey?" she asked, her eyes showing concern, probably worried that she had upset her son somehow.
"I was just wondering… Do you mind if I go out for a little while? I won't be gone long, I swear." The demi-Saiyan knew that the last time he left the house by himself, which was almost four months ago, he didn't come back home for hours, and wounded no less. But that was before, all of his wounds, physical and emotional, have, for the most part, healed up. Gohan was now determined to earn his mother's trust back.
Chi-Chi looked at her son without expression for a few moments before smiling softly. "Alright. But I want you home in an hour. Have I made myself clear?" Having a curfew was a good sign that his mother was putting trust in her son again.
"Yes, ma'am." Gohan saluted. He then ran outside and immediately took to the air. "See you in exactly one hour!" Gohan shouted to his mother before flying off.
It had been so long since Gohan had some time to himself. He couldn't blame everyone for wanting to keep a close eye on the boy, not after everything that had happened. But now, he was ready to go off on his own. He was finally able to face what happened and come to terms with it. Now there was one place he needed to visit before he could put this whole situation behind him.
Gohan landed on a small area of grass. He sat down and gazed at the trees far below, watching as the midday sun hung brightly in the sky, showering him with warmth. He then began to think back to those days where his soul purpose for coming to this place was only to test out experiments with his mother's kitchen knives, and then carelessly throw them into the distance after they failed. He breathed a sigh of relief, happy that this place didn't hold the same ominous feeling that it used to. This small area, too, seemed to be moving on. Maybe it was just Gohan's imagination, but the sun seemed to shine more profoundly on this place, making it that much more comforting.
"I'm glad this place has gotten more joyful." Gohan said to the skies. "After all, it was where we used to spend our time together during the last few years you were alive, Dad." Gohan smiled. "We used to watch the sun set, and then watch it come up after a whole night of training," Gohan's voice began to tremble a little. He could feel a knot constricting his throat, making his voice take on a strained tone. "We'd come to camp here a lot, too." A few tears slipped from his eyes and raced down his face. He swallowed before continuing, "I miss those times. And I miss you, Father." He sniffed. "I'm still not sure if it was really you that lead me to Trunks and Goten, or not. It could've just been my imagination for all I know. But I choose to believe that it was you, watching over us, and helping in any way that you could." Gohan wiped at his eyes with the back of his hand, then wiped his hand on his jeans. "Even in death, you're always playing Protector." He then looked out towards the trees and watched as a sudden flock of doves flew from the branches, flying overhead, giving off occasional chirps. Gohan lay back on the cool grass, putting his hands behind his head as he did so. He closed his eyes and took in the sweet scent of the forest. "We're going to Bulma's tonight for a celebration," Gohan voiced. "Everyone's gonna be there. I bet it'll be fun. Of course, it won't be the same without you, but I'm sure you're just living it up in Otherworld." Gohan chuckled as he pictured his father eating insane amounts of food, especially for a dead man, and everyone standing around with astonished faces. Gohan sighed and looked up into the trees above his head, casting shadows over the teen's body. "I think I'm ready to start talking to Goten about you. He does ask a lot of questions and Mom usually answers him quickly. She probably doesn't want Goten bothering me with those types of questions, but I think I'm finally ready to tell Goten your story." Gohan sat up, excitement painting his features as he wiggled happily in his seat. "Oh, I can't wait until he wakes up! Just wait until he does learn how to fly! Oh boy, we'll have our hands full then, won't we?"
Gohan laughed as a gentle breeze picked up and softly swirled around. It felt good against the demi-Saiyan's heated skin. The leaves in the trees above rustled slightly as Gohan happily accepted the cool air circling about.
He felt fine. He felt more than fine, he felt amazing. He felt as though nothing in the world would ever hurt him again. Even if it was true or not, Gohan liked to think that his father was in Otherworld right now, making eye contact with Gohan as he stared at a random spot in the sky. And he could've sworn he heard someone call his name, swiftly drifting to his ears as he sat looking towards the sky. But then again, maybe it was just the wind.
Author's Note: And there you go. I want to thank everybody who took the time to read and actually stick around until the end. Truthfully, I never thought I'd finish this story. There were times where I was just sitting at my computer, basically ripping my hair out because of writer's block. And since this ending really doesn't have that much going on, I'm posting early. I'd feel like a real dick if I kept you guys waiting all week just for something like this.
I will be returning with more stories, I just don't know how soon. A new story I'd like to work on is an Ouran High School angst fic starring Kaoru and Hikaru. I'm not big on the whole "twincest" thing, so it wouldn't be a yaoi story... sorry to disappoint anyone. But it will be filled with angsty goodness! So, in the future, if you see my pen name, I'd be ecstatic if you checked out my other stories. And that's not to say I'm done with Dragon Ball Z. Because I'm not. To let you in on a little secret, I kinda, sorta am thinking of a sequel to this story. Maybe! I'm not entirely sure yet. I don't know where to go with the sequel yet other than the cliche, repetitive themes I've already used in this story - and that'd just get boring. Anyway, I'm ranting. I think it's because I just don't want to see this story end! Now how am I supposed to spend my weekends? Guess I'll go get some friends or something...
Lol, okay. So I guess until next time, folks!