AN:…hello? Is anyone still there? Helloooo? *echoes* Okay, maybe there isn't anyone there anymore. Rats. Oh well, I'll post this anyway. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry! Here's what happened. I started this, not really having any idea where it was going. Then, I got into some little one-shots, and then the idea for "A Price Paid in Blood" hit me, and I honest to God forgot about this story! Don't hurt me! I'll work on it more now! I don't own DBZ…if anyone is actually reading this…
Gohan opened his eyes and looked around. He was in a long line behind what looked like a bunch of fluffy little white clouds. The line led up to a large building. How odd.
The line moved slowly. After what felt like hours, Gohan finally made his way into the strange building and found himself looking up at a red giant wearing a suit and sitting behind a desk. The horns on the guy's head reminded Gohan of his own grandfather.
The giant looked down at Gohan from his imposing height. "Your name?"
"Son Gohan, sir."
An expression of confusion crossed the giant's face. "Son Gohan? The son of Goku, correct?"
The giant's face broke into a wide grin. "Ah, yes. I am King Yemma, Lord of the Underworld. We didn't think we'd be seeing you for a while. If you'll give me a moment…"
Gohan waited patiently, not quite sure what he was waiting for. He took the opportunity to look around a little bit, and eventually settled into daydreaming about what might happen.
"Gohan?!?" an all-too-familiar voice said incredulously. Gohan stiffened, then slowly turned around, not sure if he wanted to see…
Standing in the doorway, wearing his standard orange and blue gi, gravity-defying hair sticking out in half a dozen different directions, one hand raised in greeting, was Son Goku. A very startled and confused-looking Son Goku.
Gohan's tongue froze in his head; he couldn't get his voice to work. "…Dad?" he finally managed to choke out.
Apparently, Goku was experiencing the exact same loss of speech. "…Gohan?" That was as far as he got before his son crossed the short gap between them and flung himself at his father. "What are you doing here? Is it a new enemy?"
"It was," the teenager pulled back, his eyebrows lowered over darkened eyes. "But he's gone now, thank Kami."
"So what happened?"
"I took him out. At a price," Gohan sighed. "That's why I'm here."
Goku nodded that he understood. "Was it that bad?"
"It was the only choice at that moment, and I didn't have much time to wait for any other brilliant ideas. But at least that thing is dead." Gohan's dark look disappeared and was replaced by a semi-smile. "Gods, it's great to see you again, Dad."
Chatting aimlessly, father and son strolled out of the enormous check-in station. Apparently Goku was quite a familiar face, judging by how many of the ogres he waved to; he greeted quite a few by name, and exchanged jokes and teasing remarks with just as many. Son Goku was definitely one well-known guy around this place. Finally, they managed to make their way onto the long, winding Snake Way. From there, they just started flying around through the clouds.
"So…you're actually eighteen now?" Goku said incredulously. "Man…never thought I'd actually have to look up at my son!"
"Yeah…that's not the only thing that's changed," Gohan replied. "I have a little brother, too."
Goku screeched to a halt. "WHAT?!?"
"Yup. His name is Goten. He was born after you died," the teenager supplied. "He's very much his father's son, let me tell you. Even eats like you!"
"Oh man…nobody told me about that!" Goku shook his head. "Anything else?"
"Yeah…there's something else…"
"Gohan, start talking."
"Okay, that's it, mister. You're grounded."
"What? You can't do that!"
"I'm your father. I sure can."
"What's fair? I never heard anyone say anything about anything being fair."
"Tell me what else is going on down there."
"Fine…" Gohan finally gave up. "Ya know, this isn't something most teens would really want to share with their parents. We like to keep some things secret."
"Well, too bad. Tell me!" Goku actually started whining. It reminded Gohan of those times when he knew a secret, such as what Goten's Christmas or birthday present was going to be, and the chibi was trying to worm the information out of his brother by the simple expenditure of being annoying. If done right, timed right, and handled correctly, a well-placed whine could do wonders.
"Fine!" Gohan rolled his eyes. The next few words were muttered and slurred together so that even Goku's sharp Saiyan ears couldn't make out what he was saying. "Ihaveagirlfriend."
"Gohan…" Goku folded his arms and raised an eyebrow at his son.
Gohan groaned. "I have a girlfriend now…"
"Really?" Goku brightened. "Tell me all about her!"
For the rest of the flight towards wherever it was that Goku was leading them to, Gohan told his father about Videl: how they'd met, how they'd started dating, and how ChiChi was already planning their wedding. He even threw in a few funny stories about their adventures as the Great Saiyamen. (AN: Again, that plural Saiyamans thing! What is it, exactly? Saiyamans or Saiyamen or what?!?) By the time they reached Goku's training grounds, the Saiyan was doubled up with laughter.
"She sounds like a winner. Is she cute?" Goku asked innocently as they landed.
"Dad!" this time, it was Gohan that whined.
"Okay, okay…hey, King Kai!"
A short, blue…well, catfish-man was the best term Gohan could come up with to describe the individual that came strolling over. When it spoke, it's…er, his voice was extremely nasal and kind of hard to understand. It sounded like he had a few dozen walnuts stuffed into his cheeks. "Welcome back! Well? What did you find?"
"It was! King Kai, this is my son, Gohan," Goku said proudly.
"Nice to meet you," Gohan bowed politely.
"Ah, so you're the son of Goku," the strange blue guy wheezed. "Hey, this reminds me of a joke. What did the elephant say—"
"So, Gohan!" Goku interrupted loudly. "Tell me more about this Videl girl."
"Actually, I'm wondering if she knows I'm dead yet," Gohan sighed.
"There's a way to find out," the Saiyan said cheerfully.
The way Gohan reacted, you would have thought he'd been told that his father had come back to life. "What? Where? What do I do?"
"Calm down. Follow me. Not many people around here know about this."
Goku led his son over to a cliff and pointed down into a small pond. "Here. Look in there. It'll show you just about anything you might want to see from the Real World."
"Hey, Goku, got a minute?" King Kai called, and so Gohan was left alone to figure out the strange viewing pond or whatever it was.
"Hmm…" he muttered. "Well…umm…show me Videl?"
Almost immediately, the pond began to swirl with every color imaginable in a beautiful rainbow kaleidoscope. A few seconds later an image became visible.
Gohan's heart shattered inside him at what he saw.
AN: I finally updated! And ya know what? I already have the next chapter written! And—get this—the one after that, too! Except I need to make a few changes to that last one. After that…well, I'm not quite sure where the story is going. I'm going against my rules and juggling two major stories at once. We'll see…tune in, because the next update will be lots lots faster! Promise!