Smirking in the darkness, a small dainty figure silently climbed through the branches of the very high trees near peak of Mount Paozu. Licking her lips, her intense hazel eyes watched her prey with delight. Tail swishing back and forth, curling herself up like a spring; she pounced. Elegantly and silently, she captured the small innocent deer with no trouble at all and with a quick swipe of her hand, she accidentally decapitated the poor creature. She chuckled to herself as she marvelled her own strength, initially aiming to simply break its neck. Smiling happily and carelessly, she was about to begin her feast but she suddenly stopped, very tense as her ears twitched. There was a noise and she hissed as she felt an unfamiliarly powerful ki approaching. Quick as she could, she wrapped her tail around the slain creature and leapt into the trees once more. Pouncing away before she could be spotted.
Son Gohan stopped as he felt that incredible ki suddenly disappear and cursed himself for forgetting to mask his own. He was stood in a clearing where he had last sensed its' presence. His expression completely unphased by the small head of a deer gazing up at him with unseeing eyes, blood oozing from what was left of its' neck. He looked around suspiciously as his Saiyan eyes and ears seemed to pick up even the slightest movement. He had become out of practice ever since his battle with Cell, which had resulted in a slow response to the sudden unknown burst of ki. He looked left as he sensed a presence, and didn't even flinch when he saw Piccolo beside him, appearing as if out of nowhere.
Piccolo stared in the same direction as Gohan, the place where he must have sensed the last of that incredible burst of energy. "You felt it too?" he spoke quietly and Gohan nodded to his former master.
"Do you think it's Cell?" Gohan asked, though there was little worry in his tone and seemed to be a question he asked purely for reassurance.
"No." confirmed Piccolo. "You obliterated cell. This creature is something I've never sensed before."
"Do you think it's dangerous?" Gohan asked, still glancing left and right at the slightest movements.
"I don't know." Piccolo admitted solemnly. "But let's not let our guard down Gohan. Make sure you're prepared. You've grown soft over the last few years."
Gohan nodded at his master, knowing he spoke the truth. His studies had begun to take priority over his training, now that his father's influence was no longer present in these last 4 years. He should have expected that, as the strongest warrior in the universe, he was bound to attract attention. But his mother was definitely going to kill him if he skipped out on his studies too much. He relaxed his stance and felt himself smile at the thought of his mothers' reaction to him beginning his training again.
Though if he could, he'd prefer to avoid a fight altogether.
"Should we train at the lookout or here?" Gohan asked, curiously looking at his master, who smirked down at the powerful Saiyan.
"So quick to assume that you'll be training with me?" Piccolo asked and Gohan laughed, smiling innocently and brightly like his father.
"Well, I guess I could train with Vegeta, but he'd probably try to kill me. At least if you kill me I know it's an accident." Gohan laughed lightly and Piccolo chuckled as his friends comment. His own strength barely matched half of what Gohan was capable of. The thought of seriously injuring him, let alone killing him, would be near impossible for the Namekian warrior.
"I'll be at the lookout whenever you're ready. But you should probably tend to your mother first." Smirked the Namekian and Gohan smiled, laughing nervously.
"Oh yeah, I was meant to be catching some fish for dinner!" Gohan laughed, smacking his forehead. He began to gently float into the air, looking down to his friend. "I'll be come for training as soon as I can. If I survive!" laughed Gohan. "See you later Piccolo!" He called and flew off towards the river, ready to use some of the simplest and most effective fishing techniques his father, Son Goku, had taught him before he had given his life for him.
Gohan sighed to himself as he landed by the riverside and couldn't help looking up to the stars, thinking of how much he missed his father. And yet, as corny as it sounded to him, his father seemed to be an omnipresent spirit within his heart. Gohan never felt as if his father was truly gone, because he knew he was watching over him in Other World. But he missed his physical presence, his guidance, his light and carefree approach to life.
With ease, Gohan soon reappeared at the home he shared with his mother and baby brother, Goten. He smiled in the doorway, carrying a fish that was clearly 3 times the size of him, dead in his hands.
"SON GOHAN! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" screamed his mother, and Gohan laughed nervously, smiling his father's signature smile.
"Sorry mom, I got distracted." Gohan explained, walking over to her with the fish and handing it over. She frowned at him and he quickly cut the fish into smaller, human-sized manageable pieces with his hand so that his mother could finish her cooking.
"And what," she spoke in an angry tone, but was at least no longer shouting at him, "I would like to know, had distracted you so much that it made you an hour late?"
"A whole hour! Really?" gasped Gohan, surprised at how much time his tiny adventure had taken up. "Well," he sighed to himself, scratching the back of his head guiltily; unsure of how much he should reveal to his mother in her delicate state. "I ran into Piccolo and we were talking for a bit and I guess I lost track of time." Gohan replied rather lamely, clearly beating around the bush.
Chichi frowned at her son, knowing there was more to the tale than what he had said. But she let it slide, for once, knowing that she had to try to control her temper in case she woke Goten, who was sleeping soundly in his crib. Chichi couldn't help thinking that, as the second son of Goku, it is more likely than not that Goten, too, sleeps like a rock; just as his father and elder brother did before him. She smiled to herself as she thought this and carried on with her cooking, telling Gohan to set the table and go wash up as she did so.
As she let the fish chunks fry in the pan, she let her thoughts wander and released a weak sigh. Chichi looked over at the sleeping Goten and the spitting image of the father he shall never know slept soundly and undisturbed in his place. She couldn't help but think of her late husband and how happy he would have been to be having another child. Guilt washed over her again, as it so often did, when she thought sadly that this child would never know what a truly wonderful man his father was... is. He was waiting for them in Other World, watching over them. And she could still feel his love for her in her heart, making her swell with pride at the thought of him.
"Mom I- Mom? Are you ok?" Gohan spoke suddenly, snapping Chichi out of her thoughts. She quickly wiped away the tears that she hadn't realised were there and plated up their dinner.
She smiled weakly at Gohan, who looked very worried. "I'm sorry Gohan." She spoke softly and looked over at the sleeping Goten, "I was just thinking about your father." Gohan too, looked over at his younger brother and felt solemn. "I just hate to think about how poor Goten will never really know him. And Goku has no idea about Goten either."
Gohan placed a hand on his mothers shoulder, having grown to her height in the last few years. He smiled weakly at her as she looked at him sadly, "Mom, Goten will know about Dad and Dad is probably watching over us from Other World, and knows all about Goten already. They'll have a special bond and will see each other in Other World."
Chichi smiled at her son and nodded. Sometime over the last few years, she hadn't noticed how much her son had now grown up. He was becoming a very handsome young man, just like his father. They sat down and enjoyed their meal together without any depression in their eyes, for they felt warmth in their hearts as they spoke fondly of Goku.