AN: Okay, this is my first attempt at a really really dark fic. Everyone knows that Gohan is a really tormentable character, and this is a 'tormented Gohan' story. It's very dark and very depressing, so read it at your own discretion. As usual, I don't own Dragonball Z.

Chapter One—Gohan's Secret

He stared in the mirror, and inwardly winced at what he saw.

Anyone else who would have looked at Gohan would have seen a pretty handsome kid—good facial structure, dark hair, and tall for his fourteen years. What Gohan saw, on the other hand, was someone hopeless, someone terrible, someone that needed to be destroyed.

Tearing himself away from the bathroom mirror, he bolted down the hall and into his bedroom, where he locked the door after making sure Goten wasn't in there. His little brother was two years old, and a miniature copy of their father.

Rolling up his sleeve, he crossed the room and collapsed onto his bed, then reached over and opened the nightstand drawer. Inside was a small box. He lifted the lid on the box and pulled out a single razor blade. Without even hesitating he drew the sharp edge across his upper arm.

There was a small spasm of pain, and then nothing but the relaxing feeling of watching his own blood seep from his flesh. He'd been careful not to make too many new cuts—usually he just sliced over the old ones. He was still training with Piccolo almost every day, and since the gi he wore was sleeveless, his mentor would probably have noticed a whole bunch of cuts. The ones he'd already made could easily be attributed to little things, like flying too fast through the forest or wrestling with Goten. Plus, with his Saiyan-borne healing abilities, the cuts didn't last long. And when he wasn't training, he just wore long-sleeved shirts. It wasn't hard to hide.

He focused all of his attention on the red fluid oozing out of the cut on his arm, blocking everything out. All his pain, anger, and self-loathing went out the window. This was the one thing he was completely in control of, his own physical pain. He'd been doing this since about four months after the Cell Games; he'd accidentally cut himself doing something, and had been amazed at how relaxing it was to watch himself bleed. That had been the start, and he'd been cutting ever since, though he kept it to a minimum so as not to raise any suspicions.

It was quite a feeling of empowerment.

"Gohan?" the doorknob rattled, followed by someone knocking, all accompanied by Goten's voice. "Gohan, Mommy wants you to come down for supper now."

"Okay, hang on just a sec," Gohan replied as cheerfully as possible. He grabbed a rag and pressed it against the cut. The bleeding stopped within a few seconds. Having thus gotten rid of that evidence, he rolled his sleeve back down and leapfrogged across the room to unlock and open the door.

The two-year-old child was looking up at him, a huge grin on the little face. He reached up towards his older brother. "Carry me!"

"Carry you? You want me to carry you?" Gohan feigned shock. "What am I, a horse?"

"Yes!" Goten answered, then giggled furiously.

"Okay, kiddo," Gohan picked the child up and held him by his knees so that he was upside down. The two brothers walked to the dining room together laughing, and Gohan completely forgot that he had left the drawer open, the lid off the box, and the razor on his bed.

AN: Like I said, I really wanted to try writing something dark and depressing and scary. Please review, flames are welcome, and any Gohan fans, please don't kill me, I promise it'll all work out. Next chapter up soon. Thanks.