DISCLAIMER: There are few things in this world that one person can say they rightfully own . . . and -you know what, let's quit the philosophical drabble. DBZ is, never was, and never will be owned by me.
"Our lives are made, in these small hours, these little wonders, these twists and turns of fate" -Rob Thomas "Little Wonders".
Two figures sat together on a riverbank. They were both sitting leisurely, staring out across the horizon, lost in their own thoughts. The figures looked similar, and one was significantly younger than the other, probably the older man's son. One could easily think these two were extremely lazy, wasting their days away sitting by the river, but they could not be farther from the truth. These two were taking a well-deserved break from training. Their training was to protect the Earth from the terrible fate of falling to the androids who would arrive in three years time.
The younger boy looked uneasily at this father, as if he had a feeling that something was wrong. Instead of saying something, however, he picked up a pebble and threw it into the river where it landed with a large splash. After the momentary distraction, the two went back to what they were previously doing.
"Hey, Gohan," Father said to son, breaking the previous silence. "You know I was thinking . . ." Goku trailed off.
"About what, Dad?" Gohan asked. He shifted his gaze from the river toward his father, who had a serious expression on his face.
Goku stayed silent for a couple seconds, barely acknowledging his son had responded. He suddenly faced his son and looked at him directly in the eyes. "Have I . . . have I been a good father?" Goku finally asked.
"What? Dad," Gohan said, completely confused by his father's question. He slightly hoped that his father was joking, that right about now, the serious expression would slide off his face and the more at home grin would resume its place. No luck there.
"Please, Gohan. Just answer the question," Goku half-begged. Gohan was becoming worried. His father had never begged him for anything. Come to think of it, Goku didn't beg anyone. Gohan really didn't like the way this conversation had started off, and had a feeling that it was going to get a lot worse before it got better.
'Better just tell the truth,' Gohan thought. He looked down at the ground and brought his hands together. "Dad, you've always been a great father. I'm really happy that you're my dad, because I really wouldn't rather anyone else." Gohan looked back up at his father, hoping his response had remedied the problem, if there was even one in the first place.
However, instead of his words having a calming affect, they seemed to be doing the opposite, as Goku seemed more agitated than before. Goku stood up, showing his restlessness. "How can you say that?" Goku asked his son, "How can you say I've been a good father when I've barely been there for you?" Gohan stayed seated, shocked by what he was hearing. This was the first time his father had spoken about his frequent "absences," as his mother liked to call them.
Goku interrupted, "Don't 'but, Dad' me, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And don't lie to me and tell me that my leaving didn't hurt." Goku leaned down and looked into his son's eyes, and Gohan noticed his fathers' looked as if they were holding back tears. "I want you to be honest."
"Dad," Gohan began, "I am being honest. Fine, I won't say that you being gone didn't hurt, because it did. But, whenever you are here, you brighten up every aspect of my day, and I know Mom feels the same. I love you, Dad." Gohan ended his declaration, and looked at his father expectantly. Goku had turned around, trying not to look at the innocent gaze of his son. Goku's strange disposition did not go through any noticeable changes, but he seemed to have regained control of himself.
Gohan cast a couple of furtive glances at his father's back. The issue didn't seem to be completely resolved, so he opted for another approach. Gohan sprang up and, faster than his father could react, grabbed one of Goku's arms and raced back on the path towards the Son home. When Goku snapped out of his initial confusion, he didn't do anything to stop his son. He merely asked in a dull voice, "Where are we going, Gohan?"
After hearing the alien voice from his father, Gohan almost faltered on his race back up the well-worn path. It was easy to forget that this . . . fragile man, was his father, Goku. That the serious expression he so seldom saw on his father's face outside of battle, could become a permanent fixture. 'I've got to fix him soon,' Gohan told himself.
In between breaths, Gohan explained, "If you don't believe what I said, I've got one more thing to show you." Goku seemed to accept the brief explanation, and consented to being half-dragged along by his son.
Gohan considered flying, but immediately decided against it; running seemed more appropriate for what he had in mind. As the duo approached their home, Goku expected his son to stop, but Gohan did not. Apparently, their destination was elsewhere, and Gohan's lips were sealed. Instead, the two kept going up along the path, following the curves of Mount Paozu. Only when they reached the summit of the mountain, did Gohan stop. Breaths that were slightly faster than normal were the only indicator of the previous exercise.
"Do you know where we are?" Gohan asked his father with a quiet voice.
Goku nodded and said wistfully, "Yeah, I used to walk this paths with my Grandpa all the time . . . before he died . . . "
"Do you know why I brought you here?" Gohan continued.
Goku shook his head in reply, and scratched his head, looking much more like his old self. "Now that, I have no idea."
Gohan gestured toward the whole area below them. "I want you to look . . . " Gohan said to his father, keeping his hand pointed in the same direction. "I want you to look and tell me what you see, isn't worth fighting for. And then, and only then, I might change my opinion about you. Until that day, I will always be proud to say Son Goku is my father."
Goku looked down at the mountain he grew up on, and the paths that he walked everyday. The view was breath-taking, and he felt like he was seeing it for the first time. He see for miles to the bottom, and a clear waterfall ran straight through to the bottom. Wildlife populated much of the mountain, and Goku could see several groups of animals roaming. As he scanned the mountain, he saw his home out of the corner of his eye. He looked back at his son bursting with gratitude.
"Thank you, Gohan" Goku said, wiping his eyes. He pulled his son into a hug that he hoped would show Gohan how much his son meant to him. "Thank you."
A/N: I'm back! Happy dance! This story marks my one-year anniversary of DBZ fanfiction . . . Exciting right? Anyways, I'm obsessed with the song "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas, and I really wanted to write a fic about it. This is probably the fastest fic I've ever written in just about 90 minutes . . . Won't get it out till tomorrow. Um . . . if you think Goku is a little OOC in this fic, then just put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel about missing your son's life? Please read and review! (Alien Patrol coming soon!)