The Promises We Keep - What I've Done
The Sequel to A Disturbed Savior.
For those who have not read A Disturbed Savior, to understand this Story even in the least, you must read A Disturbed Savior first. If not, then w/e, have fun understanding your out of the usual Gohan and Videl
I can't and won't promise anything this time around.
It's DBZ, I obviously don't own shit.
For What I've Done, I Start Again. And Whatever Pain May Come, Today This Ends. I'm Forgiving WHAT I'VE DONE - Linkin Park
A punch to the gut. Yeah, that was how he said hello and welcome back to his beloved father. Son Gohan was not always a rational person, but under the right circumstances he let instinct take over and think about what happened later. This was one of those situations.
"GOHAN!" He heard just about everyone scream. They were probably yelling at him to stop doing what he was doing, hurting his father. But he heard none of it. His head was full of the static that ran circles around his head when his emotions took over and moved his body for him.
It only took one. Just one punch, that was all he needed to express himself. All the anger he pushed back, all the guilt, sorrow, sadness, everything that was building up deep inside his soul that was slowly breaking him down was all let loose in that one punch.
His arm was still stuck in the angel's stomach when he began trembling. It was when the realization of what was happening had finally hit him was when it started happening. Gohan began making noises that only one's close to him could recognize. Only those who were there to console him in the dark times he ventured through.
"YOU BASTARD!" He screamed once more as he pulled back his fist. He lifted his head to hide the emotions he wanted no one to see slip through. He was strong. He was a warrior. No one should have the right to see him at his worst, breaking down.
The teen scraped the signs of humanity from his face and gave his full attention back to the man with the seven spikes. He tried to stay angry, he tried his hardest to stay mad at him. He had every reason, every right to stay mad, but he couldn't hold it. Something in his face would twinge at every other memory that filled his clouded conscious.
'Gohan.' Goku thought. His first born child. His tall and very studious child with strength only understandable by the Gods that forsook him with it. The same little 5 year old boy who was kidnapped, beaten to within an inch of death, and forced to carry the broken body of his mentor.
That 5 year old boy was the same who was standing before him, the same one who embedded his right hand into his gut. For whatever reason he may have had, Goku would understand.
He stepped closer to his son. And with every step closer he could see his son's face contort more and more as he tried to fight back the urge to jump forward.
"Goku! Are you ok? GOHAN! How dare you hit your father like that! Apolo-" Chi Chi was cut off when her deceased husband put his hand up, a gesture telling her that things would be alright.
"Gohan. It's going to be alright. I promise. Just let me-" Goku stopped short as he tried to place a hand on his son's shoulder just to have it miss. Gohan pulled back at the last moment. The look in his eyes told a story. A very long and heart breaking story, one of spilled blood and broken trusts. Now Goku wasn't ever big on books, but he could read those eyes as easily as an author could read their own books. The were screaming for help.
And Goku knew it was partly his fault. There was a tightening pull in his chest that pained him to no end. There were no medicine cabinets, no pills to be swallowed, and no liquids to drink that would fix this pain in his chest.
Was everything going to be alright? There was no telling. Everything he had told himself he was going to say, everything he planned was going to happen, it just wasn't happening for him the way he thought. Gohan didn't need any more false assurance. There was something more that only he could give him.
There were certain things in life that a child wanted to hear from his or her parents. Happy Birthday. We love you. We're proud of you. All things any kid would kill to hear. But Gohan wasn't just any kid with normal problems or normal standards. Goku had to dig deep down to speak the words he never wanted to say, because he knew that in his heart that it was wrong.
"Gohan. I-I fo..." He paused and grabbed a hold of his chest at the spot where his heart once upon a time pumped.
No. He told himself a million times and another million over again. It was never like that. He didn't have to say something like that to make things right. It was never anyone else's fault but his own. What happened was his choice alone. It shouldn't be done, it shouldn't be heard. But what other choice did he have right now? But not with all these people around.
'I can't do this around here. I have to find somewhere alone.' Goku told himself as he came up with an idea. Hopefully one Gohan would agree to.
He stepped closer and held out his hand. Gohan pulled back again, not knowing what was going on. What was he doing? What was he thinking? Did he want him to shake his hand? What was that going to do?
"I'm not going to hurt you. Trust me Gohan, just take my hand. You trust me don't you?"
Trust him? Did he trust the man who left him? Or slap it away and show him the respect he deserves? The many turns that Gohan had taken in life have only led up to this one decision. It wasn't life or death, not literally speaking, but it would decided many things to happen in his near distant future.
He wanted to, he wanted to trust this man. But the hard shell that he'd worked so hard to uphold kept telling him to slap that hand away and show him another fist. That's all it was though, just a shell, a big red brick wall that he had yet to climb and overcome.
No matter how many times he'd tried to climb over he just couldn't. While trying to get over his father's death he only fell short. Drawing his own blood just to feel pain, pushing away those who cared about him, but even worse, the worst thing he'd done since attempting to climb over that brick wall, denying. Denying himself. Denying who and what he was. A boy born to fight, bred to protect.
That protecting part was the one variable he couldn't comprehend. How was he supposed to protect anyone? He was just a kid. A short, whiny brat who was never strong enough to help those he loved. And so he fell farther and farther from the wall, never being capable of surpassing the wall.
What was wrong? Why couldn't he ever just do right? Why must someone always be disappointed in his decisions no matter the outcome? Out of all the times he did right, there was always a wrong that overlapped it. He could save someone's life, but someone might have also died, or gotten kidnapped in the process.
Maybe it was his approach. Instead of turning left, maybe a right turn would have been better at the fork in the road. Instead of walking, maybe running and hurrying would have been better. Talking instead of fighting. Smiling instead of frowning.
It was only a theory, but one worth testing. But on the other hand, it could be just one of those bad decisions that would only lead to his despair.
"Hello? Gohan? You in there?" Gohan was just about as deep in thought as he could be when the chatter around him came to ear. His eyes widened as he looked back down at the arm extended in his direction.
"Take my hand. We'll talk."
He thought about it for a moment. And maybe the risk was worth taking. Maybe he wasn't supposed to climb the wall. Running right through it would be just fine.
"Yeah." Gohan spoke almost in a whisper as he made proper skin to skin contact with his idol.
"Hey guys, we'll be back in just a bit. I promise we'll be back in time to sign up. There's just a few things Gohan and I need to talk about alright? Kay bye?"
"Hey Goku wait!" But they were already gone. In an instant they were halfway across the world.
"Hmph. That guy. He never changes."
"Never will." Two of man's oldest friends exchanged as they looked to the sky.
"Umm. Excuse me, but can you tell me just where the hell did they just go! Gohan promised that he would fight in this tournament with me and now he leaves right as it's about to start up! Uh uh, tell me where he is, I'm going to drag his ass back here right now!"
"Woa woa calm down now Videl." Krillin tried to wave her back. "There's no need for that. Like Goku said, they'll be back soon, alright?" Videl game him a 'you better be right' kind of look and turned back to her friends.
"They better be."
"Don't worry Videl. We've got plenty of time before anything even starts. Let's just relax and enjoy the festivities before you kick some asses, alright?" Erasa explained as she tried calming her hot headed friend down.
"Yeah yeah, whatever."
It all happened too fast, almost as if nothing had even been done. But before he knew it, they were on another side of the world at a place he didn't recognize. He looked around, but there wasn't much to see. Just water that surrounded the little piece of land they landed on. Besides that there was what looked like a large temple to the North.
"Where are we?" The place was too foreign and there didn't seem to be any other life forms in the area, how did they even get here? Instant Transmission required a source of energy to go by to teleport from what he remembered.
"This is Baba's place. It's quiet and no one will disturb us while we talk." Goku explained as he took a seat in the middle of what he once called a fighting arena.
"Talk? About what?" Gohan questioned as Goku took the opportunity to notice the tail wrapped around his son's waist.
"Well, you can start by telling me how you got that back?" Goku requested while pointing to the furry appendage. Gohan looked down at what he called his 'curse' and sighed.
"Long story." He answered in a less than enthusiastic tone. But Goku just smiled and waited.
"Well take a seat then. I've got a whole 24 hours to listen. Hopefully it won't take that long though." His smile was as sincere as it ever was, and Gohan knew this. Finally, he could relax. The younger Saiyan sat down as they began to talk and exchange stories.
Gohan talked about everything, about how it all started, while leaving out some details. One's he'd rather put behind him forever. But for the most part Goku was treated to the whole story. He learned about Gohan going to school, meeting Videl, and his 'mild' outbursts. Then came the tale about the tail and that whole fiasco. Goku couldn't quite wrap his head around the science so Gohan simplified it.
"Mmm. I. After hearing all that, I don't even know what to say." Goku confessed.
"There's nothing to say. What's done is done. I've got a tail, I'm a full blooded Saiyan and I've got a mate."
"GIRLFRIEND!" Goku yelled back. He still couldn't believe how Gohan fell under Vegeta's influence.
"Girlfriend! Videl is your girlfriend! She's not your mate! That's a disgusting thing to call a person Gohan. You were raised better than that. She's a person just like you and I. She deserves the same respect! I might not have been alive for the past 7 years but I still know how to properly treat a woman Gohan. And you should too!"
Goku stared back at his son with the same eyes that he would any enemy he looked to surpass. They were eyes determined to imprint the right and dispel the wrong.
"Rahh! Whatever! It's none of your business about what I call her. What about you! Huh? Mr. I still know how to treat women properly? How about mom! Huh! Do you think you've been treating her right? Huh! You left her! You left me! YOU LEFT ALL OF US!
H-how? HOW COULD YOU JUST LEAVE US!" The sadness of years built up was finally being released as Gohan couldn't help himself. On the outside he was a strong wall, but broken and crumbling on the inside. He couldn't help it. His father was finally back, and after 7 long years he would finally get the answers he wanted.
"NO! There's no excuse for what you did! It was selfish and...and...I...I don't hate you for it! No matter how hard I try to convince myself, I can never hate you! You're the only father I've got and I'll always love you! But, what you did was the most selfish thing I've ever heard of anyone doing, and it's unforgivable!"
The words shot through Goku like a bullet through his heart. His dead and bloodless heart. The pain he felt was one even a dead man could feel. He did all he could to contain himself by tightly clutching his chest. These words were hard to take, even harder when they were coming from your own son.
"I." He swallowed. "I'm sorry Gohan. I really am."
"You say that now."
"But I am! I really am! I'm sorry Gohan! I made a mistake! Understand, please? Everyone makes mistakes, I made one. It just happen-"
"It just happen to what! Hurt more people than you expected! Cause your son to go into depression? Lose all control and confidence? His motivation for living? HUH! Is that what JUST HAPPENED because of your ONE mistake?"
Even through all the heat Goku still looked like a little child as he tried to shy away. He knew Gohan was right and he was wrong. There was no denying that. This wasn't how he envisioned this talk going. He had to turn this around. But how?
He sighed and took in the fresh air of the living world in the hopes that it would serve him as it did when he was alive. A good, deep breathe of fresh air always did him good to clear his head, and right now, he needed that more than anything if he was to get through this talk with any of his pride left.
"I'M SORRY GOHAN! I REALLY AM! And I'm sorry that what I've done has hurt you and your mother so much, but I can't take it back! What's done is done! All I can do now is try and make up for it and hope you forgive me. If you give me just these short 24 hours on Earth to make it up to you, I promise I'll be the father I couldn't be for you before!" Goku pleaded as he jumped to his feet and screamed to the skies above.
"Yeah? And what makes you think that'll make everything better huh! You think ONE SINGLE DAY can make up for the years of suffering I've put up with! Huh! Can you give me back my childhood? Can you erase the memories of seeing innocent lives being slaughtered in front of my then five year old eyes? Can you! Can you take away the pains of seeing my friends being beaten to death until I couldn't take anymore? HUH! CAN YOU! CAN YOU!"
Silence was golden. Goku could not answer these questions the way he wanted to.
"I didn't think so."
Silence may have been golden, but he had been silent for long enough. His pride and was at stake here. His whole reason for going through the hells of the past 8 months would all be for nothing if he didn't take this time seriously and stand up for himself and explain.
"FINE! I get it Gohan! You're angry! You're mad at me! And you have every right to be! But you're not the only person who was hurting. You're not the only person who was in pain these past 7 years. I was up there for SEVEN LONG YEARS with no family, and the only true friend I had was King Kai. I might as well have been alone!"
"YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN! YOU LEFT THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO LOVE YOU! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME!" Gohan screamed through the tears that flew out from his dark lids. It calmed Goku to see that Gohan like this. Sure, he was mad, but you'd have to be an idiot to not see the happiness behind the black in his eyes.
"Look, Gohan! I'm not going to keep repeating myself. I know you're not going to listen to me. But I want to tell you anyway. There's a reason I brought you to this place besides the fact that we'd be alone here." Gohan cleared his eyes and calmed himself down. He wanted to hear what kind of bullshit his dad had to say.
"Gohan, I don't think I've told you this story before, in fact, even if I had I don't think you would still remember it. But this place is special to me. It was here that after many years of being on my own since Grandpa Gohan passed away, I stumbled upon this place in search of a Dragonball. And it was on this very same arena that I fought a mysterious man in a bunny mask. He read every single one of my moves. Every punch I threw him was pointless. And when I thought things couldn't get any more messed up, he uses the Kamehameha against me. I couldn't believe it. At that point in time I thought that only Master Roshi and I could use that technique. Before I came along, the Kamehameha was a technique that took 50 years just to come up with. And here's this guy throwing it right at me with no hesitation, knowing just how destructive it was.
But it was ok. Cause I threw one right back at him. And then I beat him into the ground. I thought I had won too. I was happy that I would get knowledge of the whereabouts of the next Dragonball. Until he pulled on my tail. From there on I felt numbness throughout my whole body. It felt like I was going to pass out. He tossed me and threw me around while he held onto my tail, taking advantage of my one weakness. And just when I was about to give up, he ripped my tail clean off."
This last bit of info gained a reaction from Gohan. His face confused as he heard about his dad's being ripped off. It sounded too painful to imagine.
"Yeah, it hurt. But I couldn't think about the pain, I was still fighting. But as I got ready to fight again, he gave up. Just like that. At the time I thought he was some crazy old guy who was just pulling my leg. But then he did the most unexpected thing. I couldn't believe my eyes when he took off that mask."
Now Gohan understood why he was brought here. But Goku was hoping for too much, even after his heart warming tale. Gohan was a warrior, strong and proud.
"Gohan. Up until that moment in my life, I can't remember being any happier than seeing my grandpa again. And he was just as happy to see me. And he knew that it was I who killed him one night after transforming under a full moon. I didn't know about it at the time, and I don't think he ever wanted me to know because he loved me no matter what happened. Me, a little boy he found one day in the woods. Who would have believed that I could have been so lucky to have had such a nice man like Grandpa Gohan stumble upon me, a Saiyan who was meant to destroy this planet and every living being on it? You can call it fate, you can call it luck or whatever you want. All I know is if it wasn't for Grandpa Gohan and his dedication to me, the Earth would probably have been gone years ago."
Gohan listened on, not caring much about what Goku was preaching to him. So what? What did that have to do with him? What did this have to do with the here and now?
"Gohan. I owe everything to that man. He showed me what love was. Even after I killed him, he stilled loved me. Do you know why Gohan?"
"Hmph." He could care less from what Goku could tell. But he would preach on. Because he knew that he was getting through, even if only a little.
"Because I was his grandson. I was his family. And no matter what happened, because of that fact, he would forgive anything I would do to him. He'll love me for the rest of eternity, and I can't thank him enough for it. And that's what I'm trying to tell you Gohan. No matter what you do, what you say or even think, I'll still love you. Because you're the reason for my existence. You, your mother and your brother, you're the only reason I can keep on smiling."
"So, you'd forgive me for anything? Even I killed someone? An innocent person?"
'What? Gohan's killed? He doesn't mean me, does he?'
"Umm, yeah. No matter what." Goku reassured with a smile as he watched Gohan bring himself up to eye level with him.
"Then tell me. Tell me right now!" The teen demanded
"What?" Of course he knew though. But he never wanted to say it. He never once thought of what happened as Gohan's fault.
"Tell me you forgive me! You said you would still love even if I killed someone! So do it! Tell me you forgive me!"
"Why should I? The only person you've defeated was Cell. And that was for the good of the Universe. That's nothing to be ashamed of." Goku stubbornly claimed.
"I HAVE KILLED! I DO HAVE BLOOD ON MY HANDS! AND IT WON'T WASH AWAY! IT WON'T FUCKING WASH AWAY! It just won't!" His hands had begun to shake and shiver. His sight became blurry and he started seeing things. Things he put behind him years ago. Red, his whole hands were stained red with the blood of the most innocent of souls to ever live.
"I've tried and I've tried, but it won't wash off! I just keep on seeing red! No matter how much soap I use, it never comes off! SO JUST TELL ME! TELL ME YOU FORGIVE ME! I CAN'T TAKE THIS PAIN ANYMORE! JUST TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME! PLEASE!"
What? Was he hallucinating? Red? Blood? His hands were fine. Was Gohan really this Disturbed? How was he going to fix this? No amount of sorries was going to resolve this issue. No amount of senzu beans could heal this pain. Guilt was a pain Goku was too familiar with, so he could understand where his son was coming from, but Gohan's guilt was misplaced.
There was only one way to fix something like this.
'You can do this Goku. Come on. He's your son. Just do it.' Without another second to lose the man with the halo spread his arms and wrapped them around his baby boy, embracing the joy of his life with a smile on his face.
"It's going to be ok Gohan. It's not your fault, it never was. I'm that you've held all this guilt as baggage because of my mistake. Everything that's happened, it's alright. It's my fault. I never should have let any of that happen. I shouldn't have pushed you so hard. I should have pushed my body to it's limit until I found a way. But my sight was too clouded by your ever growing strength."
Gohan wanted none of this, yet, he wanted all of it. He wanted this embrace, but resented how it came. This was the day he lived for, but he wanted to end already. He tried to break free of the bear hug but couldn't get out. The harder he pushed the tighter Goku squeezed.
"LET! GO OF ME!"
"No! Not until you start listening to me! Forgive yourself Gohan! It was never your fault to begin with, so stop blaming yourself! You won't get yourself anywhere if you continue to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong. Whatever happens in life, happens! It's not your fault! Please Gohan, just listen to me for once."
"NO! NO NO NO NO NO! YOU'RE WRONG! IT IS MY FAULT! EVERYTHING'S MY FAULT! IT WAS ALWAYS MY FAULT! STOP TELLING ME OTHERWISE! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! YOU'RE JUST AN IDIOT WHO SAYS WHAT HE THINKS!"
Not being able to take it anymore, Goku released Gohan from his grasp and instead braced his hands on his eldest son's shoulders.
"Stop Gohan." He said in a soft, soothing tone. "Please, just stop. All this guilt you keep building up, it's not your burden to bare. So please, stop hurting yourself. I just can't take causing you anymore pain. Please." Goku practically begged.
It was unbecoming of him to do something like he was, but if it was to help out his son, then no punches could be pulled. It was either all in or all out.
Gohan just stared out further with a look of amazement hiding behind the water that crystallized his pupils. Was what was happening in front of him, real? It couldn't be? Because that would mean the great warrior Son Goku, the little kid who saved the Earth from the Demon Piccolo Daimo, the same little kid who destroyed the Red Ribbon Army single handedly and almost effortlessly, the same kid who was grew up to save the Universe, was crying. It couldn't be possible. He wouldn't believe it. This whole day had to be some sort of sick joke to begin with. How was his dead father back on Earth anyway? He'd yet to hear any sort of explanation for anything.
His psyche must have been fucked up to have dreamt up this nightmare. Yeah, that's what it was, just another nightmare he couldn't wake himself up from. That's all it was. But it felt so real. Every detail, every building, every cloud in the sky. The way the breeze blew through his hair even felt real. It was indescribable the sorts of hells he'd been through up until this day. But this, this day blew all those experiences to shit. Words alone simply couldn't put it all together.
"Gohan. Please. You wouldn't believe what I've had to go through just to be here. PLEASE! Just, forgive me."
A/N: Figure I've kept you guys waiting long enough. Sorry, it's gotten to the part where I've really got to put my own feelings into it. How would I feel? How would I react? Gotta think ya know? Anyways, hope ya enjoyed cause I ORIGINALLY intended for their talk to go on a bit longer, I guess I'll just have to put that part in the next chapter. There are some things I really want Goku to say that I just couldn't get in this chapter. It was one of those wing it and see what comes out sorta things this chapter. Plenty of Goku, Plenty of Gohan and...yeah, I don't think I've ever seen anyone have Goku bring Gohan here. Originality ftw. NOSTALGIA! Anyways, ranting here. One last thing before I go...I FUCKING LOVE BLASTING MY MUSIC WHILE I WRITE IT'S THE MOST INVIGORATING FEELING EVER!
"I love you lucky wristbands." ^_^