AN: The lack of good Gohan centric stories just bugs the crap outta me. So, I decided to do something about it. The use of foreign terms will be used regionally just like in our world and translations can be found at the bottom of each chapter. I hope you all like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Ball Z.
Bulma had seen a lot of things in her life, many that one had to see to believe. Homicidal monsters, deranged aliens, self-centered psychopaths bent on world domination, even the dead brought back to life. But she had never seen anything as heart wrenching as the scene before her. A boy no older than eleven was curled up by one of the huge windows dotting the large domed complex of Capsule Corp. that boasted a sweeping view of West City. Wind rushed in causing his short messy black hair to dance on that adorable peachy face. Music flowed softly out of the radio next to him carrying with it a dark undertone. Black eyes scanned the skyline as if searching for something or perhaps someone who wouldn't be coming any time soon. Tears welled up in her baby blue eyes. A pale hand calloused from years of handling tools and circuitry rubbed at them. Hastily she turned back to the spacious living room filled with somber faces.
"I think something is wrong with him." Chi-Chi admitted in a low voice. Her youthful face was lined with worry and framed by long raven locks that had come loose from its bun. Hands fidgeted with the purple cheongsam covering the slender frame underneath. "He won't stop training and he barely finishes his homework."
"He's taking Goku's death hard." Roshi said. Though dressed in a festive tropical shirt and light shorts his wrinkled face was drawn in concern. A frown could be seen under that snowy white beard. "He feels that it's his fault that his father died. The guilt is driving him to better himself so such a thing will never happen again."
"It's Goku's fault that Gohan is like this!" Chi-Chi snapped. "He wouldn't have to be dealing with any of this if he just stuck to his studies like he should've in the first place!"
"Had Gohan concentrated on his training then there wouldn't have been any need for Goku to sacrifice himself." Piccolo countered coldly. That severe green face appeared even more so with that weighted turban and cape sitting on such a tall muscular figure. The Namekian leaned casually against the wall but he emitted a serious vibe. Everyone lapsed into a tense silence. He sighed. "Look, the kid's had a rough life. He's had to fight against intergalactic tyrants, save countless lives…he's had no time to act his age. It forced him to grow up mentally even if he's physically a child. But through it all Goku was there to support him. Goku understood what Gohan was going through. Now that he's dead Gohan feels lost and alone. He feels pressured to fill the void Goku left behind. When another threat looms someone has to face it."
"But why would Goku want to stay dead then?" Krillin asked. That bald shiny head frowned as he absently plucked at his vibrant orange gi. "I mean, doesn't he know how much we rely on him? How much the world needs him?"
"Goku isn't exactly known for his brains." Bulma joked weakly, tucking her shoulder length light blue hair behind her ear.
"So, what should we do?" Yamcha inquired, his scarred tan face serious.
"I say bring his dumb martyring ass back to life." Piccolo replied. Everyone looked at him in uncertainty.
"But would he let us?" Krillin questioned.
"You know, if it was one of us that died, Goku wouldn't just roll over." Bulma reasoned. "He'd never rest until we were brought back to life. Why not do the same for him?"
"That means going to New Namek. Does anyone know where it is?" Yamcha added.
"Dende can supply the quardinates." Piccolo told them. "He used to live there after all." Bulma smiled. She just couldn't help but want that small boy she knew for so long to be happy again.
"Then it's settled!"
Things were quite tense at the Son residence. Chi-Chi flitted about the modest house cleaning in an almost obsessive manner. It was one of those times where her skills in martial arts shone through; the speed at which she moved, the way her hands darted about sharp and quick, and how she seemed to be looking nowhere and yet everywhere at once…it all made for an intense display of a housewife's inner turmoil. The Ox King was glad that he had decided to stay with his daughter and grandson even though there wasn't much he could do to comfort the grieving. Soft words only went so far. He may be the ironfisted ruler of the East District but he wasn't as powerful or as menacing as some made him out to be. As it was he sat forlornly on the couch merely paying half of his attention to the TV which was yet again hailing Hercule, better known as the World Champion Mr. Satan, as the one who defeated the monstrous bio-android called Cell. It constantly flipped back and forth between images of a green mottled insect like humanoid and a burly hairy man pumping his fists in the air with an animalistic roar. Not exactly hero material. Then again one could argue the same about Gohan, who really did destroy Cell. Ox King changed the channel to something a little more entertaining and shifted his twice as normal sized body awkwardly. His feet could easily reach the TV if he spread them out. Unconsciously he scratched at the wiry beard on his round face. Charcoal eyes blinked tiredly behind black rimmed glasses perched under a horned hat bearing his seal. Had he worn his colorful royal robes instead of a simple button down and slacks held up by suspenders he'd look quite intimidating. Instead he looked like a usually jolly guy who was having an off day.
"Otousan, where's Gohan?" his daughter called out with an edge of anxiety in her voice.
"He's out playing with Icarus honey." he replied calmly. She popped her head around the corner of the hall where she was cleaning the pictures that hung there.
"Did he finish his homework?"
"Most of it." Chi-Chi stepped closer to her father.
"How did he look?"
"About the same as he has been. Depressed." She sat down on the couch next to him with a sigh.
"Oh otousan, I don't know what to do." she confessed. "Kids his age are supposed to be happy, carefree, go to school. It seems like he's been trying to be like Goku ever since he was kidnapped by that Radtiz." The Ox King was silent for a moment.
"You know honey," he began, "some people react differently to fear. Where most would scream, runaway, or develop a phobia others fight or confront it." Chi-Chi stared at him.
"But why? I mean, he could get hurt or-"
"Honey, I think you're being a little overprotective of him. You've been so against him fighting even though it's in his blood. You want him to be a scholar because it's safer."
"Are you calling me a bad parent?" she accused. He shook his head calmly.
"No. I think you've been scared all these years. Look at your childhood. As my only child you were a prime target for those who sought to overrule me. You fear Gohan would face the same. And in a way he has. But look at how strong he's become. He's a fine young man. He only wants to make you proud of him. You should be." Chi-Chi looked down and wrung her hands in her lap.
"What are you trying to say?"
"I think you should take a leaf from his book and face your fears."
Gohan laid sprawled out in the middle of the flowering meadow watching as puffy clouds drifted lazily across the impossibly azure sky. Warm sunlight bathed him with its golden heat. Birds, squirrels, and a few hares gathered around him curiously. It was another oddity he had inherited from his father. All he had to do was stand still and animals just seem to gravitate towards him. Normally he would've indulged in petting the creatures but at that moment he really didn't care. He couldn't really care about anything. The world felt like a harsh shallow place now that his father was dead. Or maybe that was the guilt talking. Gohan fisted his hands in the long grass. A few of the creatures plucked at the white nehru and black trousers he wore as if to cheer him up. It didn't. Fresh hot tears rolled impetuously down his cheeks for what seemed like the hundredth time. A long hot tongue came out of nowhere and licked them away. He opened an eye. Big blue eyes stared back. The young higher dragon crooned sadly, nudging an apple towards him with a beak like muzzle. Gohan patted the scaly purple hide affectionately.
"I'm a baka, aren't I Icarus." Icarus squawked unhappily in response. His body, chubby with baby fat, shifted awkwardly as he reared back on his hind legs. That thick tail beat at the ground and wings too small for his four foot long body slapped against the air.
"I may not be an animal person but I wholeheartedly agree with that overgrown lizard." He tilted his head back as far as the ground underneath would let him. Piccolo stood there with his arms crossed over his chest and an unusually somber look on his face. The Namekian sat next to his young friend, the animals gathered about hardly shifted. Gohan sat up but kept his head low in shame.
"But…it is my fault. If I hadn't gotten so confident, so arrogant like Vegeta, he'd still be here." Abruptly his head began to throb. Unconsciously he felt through his thick mass of hair only to hiss as he brushed against a small bump that stung angrily. He looked at Piccolo in surprise. "You hit me!"
"Shimatta Gohan! It's not your fault! Everyone gets cocky now and then! I've even seen Goku get cocky and wind up eating his words!"
"Look, you're a Saiyan. Saiyans are strong and confidant. You're slowly changing from that wimpy whiney brat I first met into a real man. It's not an easy or fun process. There'll be times when you'll hate yourself, hate the world for singling you out, but just remember that despite all the heartache and set backs he faced in his life your otousan became one of the greatest men alive. And I have no doubt that you will be too." Gohan just stared at him for a moment, eyes suspiciously shiny. Slowly a broad carefree smile that hadn't been seen in days broke out across his face.
It was chaotic. Tools and machines littered the reinforced concrete floor to where it made it hard to walk. The torch in her hands flared to a fine blue point as she cut along a precise line on the heavy metal sheet laid out before her. Sparks flew. Heat sizzled. Metal bubbled like melting chocolate. There was a loud clang as the excess metal fell to the cluttered floor. Turning off the torch Bulma pulled off the protective face shield with a sigh. Despite the room being about the size of a warehouse the battered spaceship she'd been working on took up most of the space. It was a wreak to say the least. Several of the circuits in the main computer were either fried or had simply blown up. The inner walls were severely cracked. Not to mention that the engine and gravity generator had been salvaged to create Vegeta's precious Gravity Room. It was Vegeta's fault that the ship was a wreck in the first place thanks to him turning it into his own personal gym for a few months until the poor thing just fell apart from the pressure. As Bulma had told him time after time it was specifically designed for space travel, not prolonged training sessions under four hundred times gravity. He found that out the hard way when it exploded. Now she had to put it back together if anyone was to go to New Namek. Her father and the technicians who volunteered to help had already taken their lunch break but she decided to stay behind. The ship needed to be up and running as soon as possible.
"Onna, what are you doing?" a dark voice demanded. Bulma turned around. A rather short but serious man had walked through the automatic doors. His black hair stood up on end in ridiculously long spikes and his body was covered in a blue skintight suit made out of a material similar to spandex but much more durable. An annoyed tick had developed near that widows peak of his. He was like a motorcycle, low to the ground, loud, sometimes to the point of annoying, and had a hard edge to him. Kami knows what kind of racket he'd make should he find her comparing him to a vehicle.
"What does it look like I'm doing?" she snapped back. Sometimes Vegeta just got on her nerves. What did she ever see in him?
"It's lunch." Vegeta stated bluntly. Bulma put her hands on her hips.
"I know." Dark eyes looked her over but there wasn't much to see with the flame-retardant apron, thick gloves, and the standard issue Capsule Corp. coveralls covering her womanly form. He noted the black smudges blemishing her otherwise clear skin.
"You're a mess."
"It's called working! You should try it sometime!" Bulma shrieked. Honestly, if she wanted to be insulted she would've start singing a mangled version of 'Bad Medicine' up and down the halls of Capsule Corp. like she did in the shower. Before she could react a strong muscular arm wrapped around her and proceeded to guide her away from her work as the other stripped her of the apron and gloves, tossing them to the cluttered floor like trash.
"Your presence has been noticeably absent all day." he growled out. Bulma reframed from trying to squirm out of his grasp. As powerful as he was she would only wind up hurting herself.
"So? There are times when your presence had been absent for days with that ridiculous training regimen of yours!" she snapped back. He didn't respond. Bulma huffed. Why would it matter if she was busy? Surely the man could entertain himself. Unless…she gave him a piercing look. No way. "You missed me." she said in disbelief. Vegeta didn't look at her.
"Enough of this nonsense. You're just wasting time."
Gi- a uniform used in training for martial arts.
Nehru- a hip length tailored coat. Popularized by the Beetles.
Cheongsam- your atypical Chinese dress
Shimatta- damn it!
Arigatou- thank you.
AN: The song referred to is done by Bon Jovi. I don't know why but Bulma struck me as an 80's rock kind of person. Suggestions are always welcomed so long as they're not too outlandish. This story will go the way that so many others have!;) Please Review!