For Granted

AN: Dedicated to Saiyajin-Love, LadyLaide and gue22.

Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ.


It had been another long and frustrating day for Gohan.

.

During troubling economic times, Satan City's crime rate had nearly tripled, leaving the masses fearful of going about their daily lives. With anarchy and chaos everywhere, citizens were unable to make their meaningful contributions to society; as a result, the once prosperous city fell into slump of stagnation and decay. A blanket of proverbial darkness smothered the once vibrant city. Wanting to improve the situation, Gohan dedicated more and more of his own personal time to improving the city, a place he knew as a second home.

Disguised as Saiyaman, he took upon himself a leading role in the restoration of the city's order and productivity—once hallmarks Satan City. He personally sought out specific problems within the city; Gohan targeted organized crime locations, galvanized the local police departments, inspired innovative scientists, and physically helped wherever and whenever he could, providing citizens with a newfound sense of hope. In a short amount of time, Satan City began to resemble what it once was. People flocked to the city, drawn by the city's growing reputation. Once again, the native citizens were once again content, a direct result of Gohan's efforts; lives could now be lived in prosperity, unhindered by the mayhem associated with the once crime ridden city. Unfortunately, these changes came at a great personal cost for Gohan.

At first, his heroics had only been performed during his free time. However, the city's needs were constant, something was always happening at any given hour within the day. Gohan began to sacrifice his time normally spent on school, family, friends, and even sleep, having long run out of spare time. The school was quick to note his tumbling grades and rampant absenteeism; it was only a few weeks before the school expelled him. This straw broke the camel's back. His already strained relationship with his mother, a result of his constant fatigue, was unable to endure the expulsion and in the end, Gohan packed some clothing before flying off into the sky. He now lived at Kami's lookout with Piccolo; Bulma swearing to smooth things out with his mother, but Gohan wasn't holding his breath.

Despite it all, the half-Saiyan had thought his personal suffering worth it. For the greater good, he was willing to take the burden upon himself. Satan City was full of life again, it was being productive again, and most of all people were happy again. People would be able to prosper in the reborn Satan City. Experience spoke otherwise.

.

"I only missed the light by maybe a second or two! Back off bub!"

It had resulted in a multi-vehicle back up and the closure of the intersection for several hours.

.

"Where do you get off thinking you can tell me what to do?"

He'd been reminding a driver of the road's speed limit.

.

"Can you hurry up already? This was supposed to have been done an hour ago!"

Let's see the foreman lift dozens of steel girders seventeen stories into the air, all the while holding them steady.

.

"I could have done that better myself, you know."

Then why hadn't the police officer stepped in in the first place?

.

"The city was better off before you came!"

He didn't even know where that had come from. The worst part was, it hurt less than the other comments he'd received earlier in the day. Or the days previous.

.

As said before, it had been another long and frustrating day for Gohan.

With a disparaging sigh, the half-Saiyan landed in a local park, contemplating the future of Satan City and his role in its development. Crime rates were down, new infrastructure had been streamlined, and the population was booming. The city possessed everything it needed for the future—he had ensured it. Was it worth all the effort anymore? He was beginning to think no.

At that moment, an orange rubber ball flew into his helmet, knocking him out of his thoughts. It bounced a bit before landing in a nearby bush.

"I'm sowwy!" exclaimed a little boy, flabby cheeks wiggled as he gestured with his pudgy hands, "Daddy kickey the ball and it went too faw!"

Gohan bellowed a full hearted laugh; it was sad how this was one of the only times he felt genuinely happy in a long while. He noticed the little boy retreat nervously with his hands now hidden behind his back.

Picking the ball out of the bush, the hero offered the boy the ball, "Here you go bud, don't worry about."

"Thank you," Gohan looked up to see someone he assumed was 'Daddy'.

Thinking the hero to be occupied, the child attempted to stealthily snatch the ball out of Gohan's hands; unfortunately for the boy, his actions resulted in his hair receiving a thorough ruffling. Glaring at the guilty hair ruffler, the boy pouted, eliciting another laugh from the hero.

Sneaking a finger up under his visor, Gohan wiped away tears of mirth, "No problem, the little tyke would have gotten himself anyways."

"No, I mean thank you," the intoned. At the hero's confused expression, Daddy explained, "This city was so… lost before you took charge. You've done more than simply scare away the criminal element. The work you've done with the city planners and scientist, the new laws and bylaws you've helped establish, just everything has been so good for the city. The fact you live in our city, makes us better. I can't express in words how much you've done. So once again thank you."

Through the man's speech, Gohan rubbed the back of his neck, unsure how to respond to his praise. The easiest thing would probably be to fly off.

Half turning, the hero, replied simply, "Thank you."

"For what?" the man asked startled. Watching Saiyaman slowly lift into the air, Daddy called out, "I was thanking you!"

"That's exactly it!," Flying on his back, Gohan shot the man a cheeky grin before shouting out, "For saying thank you!"

Blasting off into the sky, the saviour of Satan City allowed himself a small smile. He now had an answer to his question.

Was it worth all the effort?

Maybe.

Fin.


AN: I hope I've made myself clear. Also... 8===D