Vegeta loudly yawned and chugged down his freshly made coffee in a matter of seconds. He was bored beyond belief. It had been exactly a week since he was suddenly given his life back. As Bulma had explained to him following a cross-galaxy phone call, Goku and Gohan had found another set of Dragon Balls on Namek. That planet's Dragon had the ability to make not one, but three wishes, but at the cost of only being able to revive one person per wish. The first wish was used to wish Piccolo back, and since he was back, so were the Earth's Dragon Balls. Kami quickly gathered that set and used them to bring back everyone who had been killed by Frieza and his men.
Which included him.
Personally, Vegeta found it foolish that the father/son duo declined to use the other two wishes for themselves, but what did he know? Besides, that couldn't have been any further from what was the most intriguing piece of information he'd learned – Gohan achieved the legendary Super Saiyan transformation - right after he died, no less – and finally conquered Frieza. That astounded him, and though he would never admit it, he was somewhat proud of the fact that the kid he personally trained and taught how to survive had avenged him.
What absolutely infuriated him, however, was the fact that the low class, traitorous piece of shit by the name of Kakarot, or Goku, as he insisted on being called, had done it, too. He could slightly accept a clearly gifted prodigy like Gohan beating him to the transformation, but that idiot doing it too while he was reduced to a toy for Frieza to play with and torture in his last moments? It took all of his self-restraint to keep him from killing the very first person in front of him to blow off the steam.
That meant he had to start training, and soon. Under no circumstance was he going to let himself fall behind Goku for too long. But of course, since Goku and Gohan had taken the only ship, he couldn't really get much done. Instead, here he was, sitting around and doing nothing for the first time in…God, he had to have been an infant since the last time that happened. However, he was growing increasingly restless, even though for the first time in his life he was able to be completely free of worrying about someone trying to kill him.
Just as he was about to get up and do God knows what (he had strangely become fascinated by some asinine "Reality TV Show" Bulma watched all the time involving a bunch of morons being stranded on an island), he felt two large power levels approaching the planet. His immediate instinct was to square his shoulders for battle, but that feeling passed when he realized that these were two familiar powers. Saiyans, to be exact.
Almost on cue, the sound of an engine blared from outside of the Capsule Corporation building while Bulma yelled "THEY'RE BACK!" from the living room. Vegeta gave a customary grunt and sat back down, not in the mood for some sappy reunion.
Gohan took a deep breath as he stood back up. After being incessantly pressed by Goku over the last seven days while traveling back to Earth (why didn't he just use one of those two wishes to zap himself back?), Gohan begrudgingly decided to take up his offer and return home, which meant facing his mother for the first time in nine years. He was a bit jittery, having no idea how things were going to go down. Just as he was about to leave, he noticed a leftover scouter near the control deck, one he previously hadn't noticed. Probably the one Bulma had used back when she was trying to crack Frieza's location a year ago. Curiosity got the better of him and he picked it up.
The door of the ship opened, and seconds later Gohan and Goku flew out of the ship to the usual crowd of Goku's friends.
"Nice to see ya back in one piece, Goku!" Krillin said.
"You said it, it feels like I haven't been in here in ages!" Goku replied. His smile faltered pretty quickly, however. "It's a good thing we got back now, because we're all out of food. I'm starving!"
Gohan rolled his eyes, while Goku's friends all shared a laugh at Goku's usual plight. He felt like he was going to vomit from all of the sugary sweetness, so he opted to walk in the direction of the familiar Ki signal he picked up from inside of Capsule Corporation. As he walked, he tinkered with the scouter in his hand and placed it over his ear. He was giving the idea of finding some leftover from the Cold Empire and giving him a threatening message for laughs some serious thought. That was, until he saw a live link that was familiar to him, one that made him smirk.
"Recognize the voice, Arepa?"
"Gohan, is that you?" asked a familiar voice from the scouter.
"So I see you're back to life. Couldn't wait to get away from Earth, I see," he snickered.
"You're tellin' me! I got off of this mudball the second I woke back up. But I just wanted to say…thanks. For bringing me back to life."
Gohan raised his eyebrow as if he was talking to her face to face. "If you bolted as soon as you were wished back, how could you possibly know that I wished you back?"
"Okay, okay, so I might have looked around for answers," Arepa admitted. Gohan could practically hear the awkward grin in her voice. "But as soon as I found out the scoop, I was outta there!"
"Of course. Take it easy, Arepa," Gohan said.
"I'll see ya around one of these days," she replied. Gohan shut off the link and casually tossed the scouter away.
Gohan walked through the doorway of Capsule Corporation and, to his surprise, a certain Saiyan prince was sitting on the couch and…watching TV?
"And here I thought you'd be somewhere training," Gohan snidely remarked.
There was silence between the two for a few moments. Nothing much needed to be said, really. Gohan could tell just from reading Vegeta's face that he was aware of what went down. There was one issue he wanted to press him on, however.
"So what will you do now? You have no more opponents in the universe besides whatever outmatched idiot tries to rise from the ashes of Frieza and his clan. Didn't you want to take over?" Gohan asked.
"Feh, don't be ridiculous," Vegeta quickly dismissed, an angry glare making its way to his face. "I don't care about that shit anymore." What he wouldn't admit, of course, was why. Having been made aware of his own mortality had been a blow to arrogant prince's fiery pride. He felt like a disgrace, someone who let his people down and had to have a half-breed and his silly low-class father clean up his mess. He was a supposed thoroughbred Saiyan of the highest order who turned out to be nothing more than a disappointment. He didn't even think of himself as worthy of taking up that task unless he brought himself back to the top of the food chain.
Part of him would have been fine with staying dead.
Gohan nodded, somewhat unsurprised by Vegeta's answer. "Well if you're ever in the mood for a spar, you'll probably know where to find me." Gohan turned around to leave, but stopped when Vegeta grunted at him.
"Good job, brat."
Gohan couldn't help but chuckle at that.
Goku was just about to walk into the Capsule Corp building to get himself some much needed food, but he, and everyone else for that matter, heard a car storming its way towards them. Goku turned around, figuring it could only be one person.
From the car that just arrived on the scene was Chi-Chi. Bulma had already given her a heads up that Goku would be coming back, so of course, she hopped into her car in matter of seconds and probably broke a million traffic laws. The scatterbrained ex-martial artists charged towards her husband and would have tackled him if she didn't stop herself short.
"Oh, I just had to know you were back for my own two eyes!" she yelled, clinging to Goku like he was a magnet. That small lapse of sentimentality went away almost immediately, however. She let go of Goku, put her hands on her hips, and looked at Goku with te fiery eyes from hell that he was all too familiar with. "How many more times do you just plan on leaving on short notice, huh? You can't keep going on these crazy trips in space all by yourself, y'know!"
Goku awkwardly laughed, knowing what was in store next. "Well, um, Chi-Chi, I wasn't exactly by myself."
"What do you mean?" Chi-Chi asked, giving Goku a sideways glance.
"Well, y'see, there's something I've been meaning to tell you for the last few days," Goku began, scratching the back of his wild hair. "I've known about it for the past year, but seeing as how I've been dead and all, I haven't really gotten the chance to talk about it, and…"
"What is it Goku, spea-"
In an instant, the only thing that could come out of Chi-Chi's mouth was a gasp, her words dying. She saw Goku's answer for herself, now rendered unable to even process what had been going on.
A few feet away from Goku stood a certain shaggy-haired boy. The silence had become the most apparent thing in the air now. While Goku and his friends just awkwardly looked around, anxious over what was going to happen next, two other specific people could only stand still, unable to form words.
A wave of emotions was sweeping its way through Gohan, who had just returned from the compound. The woman standing across from him…it had been ages since he'd last seen that face, but he knew who it was as easily as he did the back of his hand. He had no clue on what to do but stand, trying to get a hold of what was going on. He didn't realize it, but tears were beginning to well up in his eyes, dampening the vision in his eyes that was replacing the scene in front of him with memories.
"Gohan…?" Chi-Chi finally asked, her voice shaky.
Not entirely aware of what she was doing, Chi-Chi stormed to Gohan and grabbed him like she had just rescued him from the monsters herself. She was sobbing uncontrollably, but they were cries of joy. Gohan was crying with her, welcoming her embrace. The angry, cold-hearted teenager that was forced to become an adult early in his life was nowhere to be found, and in his place was a boy who had been robbed of a childhood.
Bulma, Krillin, Master Roshi, Yamcha, and especially Puar, found themselves getting more than a little choked up. Goku just looked at the ground and smiled, not particularly experienced (or educated) with this type of stuff.
"I…I can't believe it…my baby boy has come back to me!" Chi-Chi deliriously yelled. "I didn't know if you'd ever come back! Oh my…look at how much you've grown!"
Chi-Chi was grabbing his face harder than some of his enemies had. Gohan wiped his eyes, embarrassed by how easily he let himself get worked up. More embarrassingly, he had no problem with Chi-Chi smothering him like the most overbearing mother in the universe and beyond; he welcomed it.
"Just one thing, though…do you have ANY idea how much work you have to catch up on?!"
Yup, that was it, alright. For the first time in a long time, Gohan felt like he was home again.
Gohan yawned, setting his pencil down and closing the book laid out on his desk. The half-Saiyan wasn't exactly keen to the idea at first, but after a while, he found that reading through those textbooks and performing the exercises was perhaps the easiest way of reining himself in with the new life that had come to him.
It was a day by day process, one that he was still having to walk along. It started with little things, like not blowing a hole through his wall when the boredom overwhelmed him, and obviously, just being able to walk around free of paranoia. Living with Bulma in Capsule Corporation for a year had already prepared himself for some of the baggage that came with living with a fiery woman like Chi-Chi. But the keyword was some. That meant doing things like talking to his mother with respect even when she started flying off the handle or getting overly emotional when she would have those moments where she realized that she wasn't dreaming and that her son really was back. Because, if he were being honest, she was sometimes even more frightening than Frieza when she got angry.
But he wasn't going to complain. Though Gohan had grown accustomed to a life where all that mattered was strength, he was never cut out to continue living the same way as a man like Vegeta did. This was what he needed instead, and it was infinitely more preferable to what he was doing for the last nine years of his life, even though the Saiyan blood in him occasionally grew sick of the humdrum lifestyle.
Gohan heard a knock on his door. "Who is it?"
"It's me," Chi-Chi said as she opened his door. "So I see you're already done with your school work. And you didn't sneak off to go train this time!"
Gohan grunted. Hey, he was still adjusting.
"Anyway, if you're going to be back on Earth full-time, you're going to have to learn a few things. Mainly, communication," Chi-Chi said.
"I already learned enough of that at…" Gohan began, though his voice trailed off. Chi-Chi's expression softened, and Gohan mentally kicked himself for bringing up what was still a sore subject in the household. "…forget it."
"Well, anyway," Chi-Chi awkwardly continued, wanting to get away from that subject as quickly as possible, "We're going to get you a cell phone."
"Does this mean having to go to the city?" Gohan asked, the annoyance in his voice obvious.
"That's generally what you have to do to go to the store, yes," Chi-Chi dryly replied. "It will be helpful for you and will make communicating a lot more convenient."
"Okay, fine," Gohan conceded with a sigh.
Gohan followed his mother out of the house. As Chi-Chi got in her car, Gohan walked past her and lasted himself off into the air. He didn't get very high up, however, before Chi-Chi yelled out his name.
"What?" Gohan asked.
"We're not flying, silly! You don't even know where the store's at, for God's sake," Chi-Chi said with a playful smile. Gohan rolled his eyes and flew back down, walking in the car with silence. "There, much better." Gohan watched as Chi-Chi placed the key in the ignition and put her foot on the gas pedal to start the car. Flying to planets was one thing, considering the fact that he was traveling through space while working for Frieza, but Gohan couldn't understand for the life of him why humans were so lazy that they had these vehicles drive them around the planet. No wonder this was nothing more than a frontier planet that even the infant version of his father was deemed sufficient to destroy – these morons were a bunch of slackers.
A few minutes later, Chi-Chi stopped her car in the parking lot. Gohan looked out the window and read the sign on the building they stopped in front of. "Orange Star City Mall," it read. Gohan sighed. It seemed like everything in the world revolved around either this place or West City where Bulma lived. As he and Chi-Chi walked inside, Gohan found himself silently observing his surroundings; old habits die hard. He was studying random activities, though he soured on it when he realized that these humans were doing nothing of substance. It was just hundreds of people wandering from store to store, checking out items. There was the occasional dumbass kid doing something annoying, which was at least somewhat humorous, but for the most part it was pretty mundane.
They walked into a tech store, which Gohan had to admit was giving him feelings of déjà vu. This place was more up his alley, filled with gadgets that, while paling in comparison to the advanced technology from Frieza's bases or even at Capsule Corporation, were at least intriguing to his eye. While Chi-Chi was off looking for a good phone, Gohan looked around at some of the other things. There were computers, communication devices that somewhat resembled scouters (wouldn't have surprised him if Bulma was working on some sort of patent to replicate tem).
A few minutes later, Chi-Chi returned, holding a phone. It was a small, tablet-like device. "This is pretty simple to get the hang of, Gohan. I already have the number set up for you."
Chi-Chi handed him the phone and paper with the number written on it before wandering off, probably to search for purses or some nonsense. All Gohan had to do was read the paper to have it committed to memory, though it wasn't of particular importance to him. He toyed with the phone a little bit, testing out the touch screen features. This had nothing on the hologram stuff he regularly used in his time in space, but it was pretty neat nonetheless.
"Jeez, we sure have a knack for running into each other."
Gohan looked up, and was almost unable to hide his irritation when he saw a familiar face in front of him – Videl, the girl he'd saved from Zarbon.
"Man of few words, I see," she quipped. "So what brings you here? I figured a guy like you would probably be busy fighting monsters to just hang around at the mall."
"Whatever," Gohan grumbled. "My mother insisted on me getting a phone."
"Oh, really? It looks pretty neat," Videl remarked. She and Gohan exchanged a glance before standing in awkward silence for a few moments. "So…what's the number?"
"And you want to know…why?" Gohan suspiciously asked.
"Well jeez, excuse me for being curious about the guy who saved my life," Videl said, growing annoyed with Gohan's attitude. "I mean, it'd be one thing if you were some hulking musclehead, but you're pretty nice on the eyes. Cool hair, too."
Gohan's cheeks flushed bright red. This was turning out weirder than he'd ever expected. "Well…I don't know the number," he fibbed.
"Oh c'mon, how gullible do you think I am? You literally just got the phone and you don't know the number?"
"Fine! Here," Gohan relented, handing her the paper with his number on it. Anything to keep her from bugging him, he reasoned to himself.
"I never did get your name, either," Videl said. She gave Gohan an expectant look, unaware of Gohan's lack of experience in human interactions.
"Gohan, eh? Well maybe if you learn to talk beyond a few words, you can call me one of these days. We can get to know each other a little bit," she said with a wink before walking out of the story. Gohan found himself blushing again. What the fuck was that supposed to mean?!
As if this couldn't get any more bizarre Chi-Chi had returned, having caught the last few bits of that exchange between Gohan and Videl. "And just who was that?"
"Um…just some girl," Gohan quickly replied, his face growing redder by the second. He wanted to do away with this stupid subject entirely. "I met her before and she asked for my number. That's all."
"Oh, this is just delightful! If you play your cards right, you might get yourself a catch; that girl looked pretty. And maybe, you'll be able to bring me…" Chi-Chi clenched her hands together and longingly looked up to the sky, "~GRANDCHILDREN!~"
"...What?!" Gohan exclaimed. Okay, so maybe this whole Earth thing was going to be tougher than he thought.
Aaaaand that's it! I'd like to thank all of my readers for taking the time out of your days to read my work; I appreciate it. And sorry for having put up with my erratic updating near the end. This just became a bit more difficult for me to write I guess, and I've just been plain busy. I doubt there's going to be a sequel, and to be frank, writing serious stuff gets plain draining after a while. I'm thinking of re-writing my old fic, Dragon Ball NG, because that's more of what I'm well-versed at – comedy. Again, thank you all. Its been a long ride, but we're finally at the finish line!H