AN:Thank you, reviewers, I love you all! We're moving on, so I'm not going to babble on endlessly for once. I don't own DBZ, yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill.
Chapter Eleven—Help Me, Brother
"Mom! I'm going over to Trunks' house!" Goten called on his way out the front door, already knowing that permission would be readily granted.
He was right. "Okay, sweetie. Be home in time for dinner."
Goten ran outside and pushed off the ground into flight, heading in the direction of West City and the world-famous Capsule Corporation. He was going to Trunks' house.
Right now, Goten just wanted a little time to be by himself. Since Gohan's death, he hadn't gotten any time to just think. There was always someone who wanted to know if he was okay and how he was holding up and such. He knew they were well-meaning and concerned, but most of the time he just wanted them to go away.
It was like the time his pet lizard had died when he was five. That had been his first real encounter with death, and the chibi had been very upset. At such a young age, he just didn't understand why his pet was gone. But luckily, Gohan had been there. Gohan had seen plenty of death by the time he was that age, and he seemed to know exactly what to say to make everything seem better.
Goten crawled into his brother's lap and hugged him tightly. "Where did Pudding go?"
He felt his brother tense with laughter he dared not release. Gohan had always chuckled at the lizard's name. But it was a brown lizard, the same color as chocolate pudding, so what wrong with naming it after something it looked like?
But Gohan didn't laugh. He just answered, "When something dies, its spirit goes to a different place called Otherworld."
"Like Daddy?" Goten asked.
"Yes, just like Daddy," Gohan replied. "Otherworld is a happy place if you were a good person…or lizard. And Pudding was a very good lizard, so I bet he's in the happiest part of Otherworld."
"So he's in a good place?" Goten queried.
"A very good place. I'm sure he's happy over there, and I'm sure he has lots of other lizards to play with, so he's not by himself either," Gohan said soothingly, giving the chibi one final hug before Goten skipped outside to play, feeling much better.
He sighed at the memory, so recent in his brief life. He really had felt better after talking about it with Gohan. Actually, that's what he did whenever he got upset—he went and talked to Gohan. And his brother could make just about anything better.
But with Gohan gone, he didn't have anyone that understood. There was no one who would just sit down across from him and talk to him like an intelligent person. They all treated him like a baby. And if there was one thing Goten hated more than almost anything else, it was being treated like a baby.
He touched down outside the limits of West City, just like he'd been taught to do so long ago. After all, all the little normal people might get a tiny bit panicked if a small child flew over their city. It was easier to just land away from the regular people and walk, rather than instill mass panic in a population that usually acted like herded sheep.
He entered the city on foot, ignoring anyone and everyone who looked at him. His eyes stayed on the pavement in front of him, not looking anywhere but at the ground. He didn't want to go to Capsule Corporation. Not just yet. He just needed a little time to himself.
His feet controlled his destination; he had no real route in mind, and just let his shoes decide where they were going. He wandered aimless up and down sidewalks, around corners, and finally, he came to intersection where he decided to cross the street.
Goten waited patiently for the light to change, and when it did, he stepped off the curb with the large crowd of adults who were also crossing. As he walked into the street, even though the cars were stopped and he was in absolutely no danger, he felt scared and alone.
Help me get across the street, Gohan,he found himself praying. Please get me across the street okay, big brother.
When he stepped up onto the curb on the other side of the street, he heaved a sigh of relief, and let his feet go where they would. But when he came to another crossing, it was the same thing.
Please make sure I get across safe, big brother,he thought, wondering if Gohan could actually hear his silent pleading. He decided that maybe he could, since he was getting across the streets safely.
After what felt like ages of wandering around, he realized that the sun was starting to dip down lower in the sky. That was when he realized that he needed to go to Capsule Corporation, where he had told his mother he would be.
Goten started off towards the famous building, walking at first. But then he began to run, though he wasn't sure why. He felt scared, panicked, and more alone than ever.
Once again, he sent up that silent prayer to his older brother in the next world. Please, please, please…if you can hear me, Gohan, get me there in one piece. Help me, brother.
When he came around a corner and found himself staring at the formidable dome of the Capsule Corporation building, he wanted to either sing or cry. But he did neither; he simply ran to the front door and rang the bell. Then he stepped back and waited patiently for his ring to be answered.
A few seconds passed before the doorknob rattled. The door opened, and Bulma looked down at him. At first she was smiling, but then her eyebrows drew together in a frown.
"Where have you been, young man?" she asked in a scolding tone. "Your mother called me ten minutes ago and said you were coming over here. She said you left about an hour and a half ago. It doesn't take that long to get here. Where were…" her voice trailed off as Goten finally burst into tears.
Maternal instinct overrode everything else, and she was on her knees in a heartbeat, gathering the chibi up in a tight hug. "Sweetie, sweetie…I'm sorry. We just didn't know where you were, and we were worried. Don't go wandering off by yourself like that ever again, all right?"
"Brother helped me," Goten sniffed. "Gohan made sure I got across the street safe and stuff. He got me here okay."
Bulma gave him another squeeze and scooped him up, carrying him into the house. "I know he did, Goten. I know. Now let's go call your mother."
Gohan stared down into the strange pool that allowed him a clear view of events on the planet Earth. He watched his brother wander around the city, and he heard his brother's silent prayer for help.
He still hadn't decided if he was going to go back or not, but this was definitely making things more difficult. Goten was so drastically different from the happy-go-lucky child he had been before his older brother's unfortunate demise. He'd changed in a way that almost defied words.
But in spite of the indecisiveness that had been plaguing him since he'd arrived in the Otherworld, Gohan smiled. Don't worry, kiddo. I'll get you across that street in one piece. As long as I'm here, be it two weeks or two eternities, I'm always watching out for you.
AN: Poor Goten! It's like in the Buu saga, when they tell him Gohan's dead…it's so heartbreaking! Can you tell I like Goten? *sigh* Poor kid…did you like the nice fast update? Yeah! I don't quite know what's gonna happen in the next chapter, so it might be a couple days.