AN: It is I, the Queen of the Songfics! I love writing em! This is a sweet story. Almost too sweet, if a friend of mine is to be believed, but I'll let you judge that for yourself. The song is "Turn the Page" by Aaliyah, from the "Music of the Heart" soundtrack (awesome CD!). I listen to this song and I think it's talking about best friends or maybe brothers? It seemed to fit for Gohan and Goten (my second favorite characters -)
Turn the Page
Gohan sighed as he settled back into the rocking chair and tried not to fall asleep. He'd put Goten to bed about ten minutes earlier, and he was starting to think that his little brother was lucky.
They had company over—Vegeta, Bulma, Krillen, and Number 18. Marron and Trunks were pretty much asleep on the floor, and Gohan was certain that everyone would be leaving soon.
He tried to focus on something Bulma was saying, but kept dozing off. Maybe the kids did have the right idea…
Suddenly Trunks sat up, and rubbed his eyes sleepily. Then he stood up and started moving, wavering as he walked, obviously still three-quarters asleep. He went over to the couch, crawled up so he was sitting next to Vegeta, leaned against his father, and promptly fell asleep, something no sane (or fully awake) person would have ever done.
The Saiyan Prince stiffened quite perceptibly at this display, and slapped his best stoic expression across his face, one that read 'I'm going to allow this, but if you tell anyone I'll kill you.' Everyone simply smiled and did their best not to say anything like 'awww…" That would have meant almost certain death.
Meanwhile, Krillen had gotten up and picked up Marron, and both were now back in the chair Krillen had occupied before, daughter peacefully asleep in her father's lap. 18 smiled fondly.
The conversation continued softly so as not to wake the children, but then…
"Gohan?" a soft voice yawned from the doorway.
Everyone turned as Goten walked into the room in his pjs. He promptly trudged over and clambored into his brother's lap.
"Hey squirt, what are you doing up?" Gohan asked as the child settled himself in more comfortably and looked up at his brother.
"I can't sleep."
"You were snoring when I left!"
"Nuh-huh, I was pretending," Goten yawned happily and leaned against Gohan. "Gohan, tell me a story. Please?"
"I've told you three stories already tonight!"
"Yeah, I know. So tell me one more."
Gohan gave an overexaggerated sigh. "Okay, okay, which one?"
A second of silence, then, "Tell me about how dad went Super Saiyan."
The older brother had to choke back a laugh. "I've told you that one every night this week! And if I recall correctly, I've already told you that one tonight."
"It's my favorite," Goten sat up and looked up at his brother, putting on his best sad puppy dog eyes. "Pretty please, Gohan?"
Once again, Gohan gave a long-suffering sigh. "Oh, I suppose."
Goten smiled happily and nestled himself in, leaning possessively against his brother.
"It happened when we were on Namek," Gohan began, painfully aware that everyone in the room had stopped talking and was listening to him. He briefly considered taking Goten back to his room and telling him the story there, but Goten didn't seem inclined to move any time soon, so he stayed put. "Frieza was attacking us, so Dad threw a Spirit Bomb at him. We thought Frieza was dead, but he wasn't. He ended up injuring Piccolo, which made Dad really mad. Then Frieza crossed the line."
A tiny voice interupted his story. "Frieza blew up Krillen."
Gohan stopped and tilted his chin down to look at the top of Goten's head. "Why don't you just tell me the story, hmm?"
"No!" Goten said a little louder. "You tell it better."
"But you know it as well as I do," Gohan persisted in a teasing voice.
"No! I won't interrupt again, I promise!"
"Okay, then let me tell the story. Yes, Frieza blew up Krillen. For the first time in his life, Dad lost his temper. Completely snapped. So then…" The room was completely silent except for the sound of Gohan's voice, softly telling the tale.
"…and that's the end," Gohan finished. "Dad was a Super Saiyan."
He heard Bulma and Krillen both sigh contendedly. "Great story, kid," Bulma smiled.
There was no sound from Goten, though. The little boy was curled up, head leaning against his older brother's chest, eyes closed, breathing steady and slow. He was sound asleep.
"Okay, I think it's time for this little boy to go back to bed," Gohan said softly, sliding a hand under each of his brother's arms and standing up, positioning Goten so that the younger boy's head was resting comfortably on his shoulder. He glanced around the room; everyone was smiling in a way that said 'we're trying very hard not to laugh', and his mother looked ready to either laugh or cry or both. He grinned and turned to take the little demi-Saiyan back to bed.
Then there was a small movement from the head on his shoulder. Goten lifted his head up a little bit, leaned over and gave Gohan a kiss on the cheek. As he put his head back on Gohan's shoulder and fell back into slumber, he whispered something.
"I love you, Gohan."
At that point it took everything Gohan had to keep from crying. Instead, he gave his brother a tiny squeeze, being extremely careful not to really wake the child. "Back at ya, squirt."
Leaving behind a room full of grinning faces, he carried the child into the bedroom and set him down on the bed. He pulled down the blankets and tucked his little brother in. Then he just sat there for a few moments, watching Goten sleep.
I hope you never go through anything like I did, Goten. I want you to have a real life, not a neverending struggle between life and death. That's what I had, a constant battle masquerading as an existence. I'm not gonna let that happen to you. I promise.
Sighing, the doting brother got up and left the room, closing the door behind him. When he got back out there, he was immediately greeted with a chorus of 'awwwws' and a rousing game of Let's-See-Who-Can-Make-Gohan-Blush-First.
"Gohan, that was absolutely beautiful," Bulma said with a laugh after Gohan had stopped blushing, muttered a couple of disclaimers, and sat back down. "I mean it, kid. That was wonderful."
"I gotta agree," Krillen nodded, the laughing expression he had been wearing while teasing Gohan softening. "You are one awesome older brother."
"The best there is," ChiChi cut in, giving her older son a smile.
"Well, I hate to leave a good time, but I think someone needs to go to bed," Bulma stood up, strolled over, and gathered her son into her arms, much to Vegeta's quite obvious relief. Trunks stirred a little and mumbled something, but did not wake.
18 also got to her feet. "I think you've got the right idea. Marron really should be in bed." Krillen didn't argue; he merely said his goodbyes and allowed ChiChi to escort them all to the door. Within a few minutes, the house was empty except for Gohan, ChiChi, and the sleeping Goten.
"Gohan," ChiChi called over her shoulder as she locked the door. "I think it's your bedtime as well. And don't you dare argue with me."
"Yes, ma'am," Gohan waited until she turned around, then gave a mock salute and headed for his bedroom, suddenly feeling quite exhausted. He paused long enough to peek in on Goten again. The little boy was sleeping quite peacefully. A tiny trail of drool had worked its way onto the side of the child's face, but otherwise he was just how Gohan had left him.
Satisfied, Gohan continued on his way. Once safely in his room, he changed into his pajamas in record time and crawled into bed. Hmm…that pillow felt really good right now…he pulled the comforter up under his chin. Hmm…sleep... Gohan dozed off easily, and slept, but did not dream.
A little while later…
"Gohan?" a tiny voice pierced Gohan's sleep-ridden mind. "Gohan? Are you awake?"
"Ner…" was about all Gohan could manage at that point. He shrugged the voice off and fell back into blissful silence.
"Gohan?" the voice came again, a little bit louder this time, and this time accompanied by something shaking him.
This time, Gohan woke up. "Huh? What? Wha' happened?" he gasped, trying to get his bearings. After a few seconds of fumbling for a grasp on his surroundings, he finally managed to focus on the owner of the voice that had pierced his sleep and the hands that had shaken him into wakefulness. "Goten?" he blinked owlishly at the little figure standing by his bed. "What're you doing up? I put you to bed twice already!" He managed to make out the glowing red numbers on the clock by his bed. Two o'clock AM. Good gods…didn't this kid sleep?
"You talk really funny when you're still sleepy," Goten giggled; Gohan's speech had been somewhat slurred by weariness. "Hey big brother, since you're awake, I had a bad dream. Can I sleep with you? Please? I brought my own pillow."
At this point, Gohan would've agreed to just about anything if it would've meant that he could've gone back to sleep. He would've sold his soul to Dabura himself! "Sure kiddo, hop in."
Goten crawled over Gohan and snuggled under the covers, arranging the pillows so that each of them would have somewhere to rest their heads. Thus arranged, Goten cuddled up to his brother. "Goodnight, Gohan," he whispered. But Gohan was already asleep again.
The next morning, ChiChi was up early, busily tending to household chores that needed to be fulfilled. Humming to herself, she walked to Gohan's bedroom door and pushed it open with every intention of rousing her oldest son to a bright new day. She stopped in her tracks at the sight that lay before her eyes.
Gohan was laying on his side, with Goten right in front of him, so that they were both facing the door. Gohan's arms were wrapped around his little brother, and his chin was resting on top of Goten's spiky black hair. Both were sound asleep.
ChiChi stood in the doorway for a moment, just watching her boys. Then with a smile, she stepped back out of the room, pulling the door closed behind her.
AN: Okay, I know. Another songfic ending with Gohan and Goten asleep ever so cutely. But it's a good way to end 'em! I know this is almost too sweet, but I think it works for those two. Gohan's such a good older brother.