Disclaimer : The dragon ball franchise belongs to Akira Toryama, I'm merely borrowing his universe, and his characters ;)

It was finally the end...

It has not even been an hour since the worst threat as of yet to not only mankind, but the entire universe had been slayed; The Bio-technological android (or was it cyborg ? let's go with overgrown cockroach and be done with it) known as «Cell» who had deprived countless people of their families, their homes, and their lives; Who had used their very essence as fuel for his power; who had defied the whole planet at his self-organized tournament where the strongest warriors of the universe and the planet had gathered; names like Son Goku; Piccolo Daimaou and Tien Shinhan, fighting alongside them was also Hercule, the hope of the earthlings...

The warrior who slayed that monster, that demon for some was one who had an amazingly high fighting experience, and the power to back it up; Facing off the Saiyan Prince, Vegeta and his dim-witted henchman whose lack of brain cells did not deter the fact that he was a Saiyan Elite... Going to space on the purpose of finding seven magical artefacts which were stuff of legend he battled against the élite of the universe, the strongest warrior that the Tyrant and strongest being in the universe at the time to his knowledge, Frieza could throw at him, and then the tyrant himself... He did not win against him, but he did bring him to his knees before his power in his second, and third form... that was a feat in itself. Eradicating and his minions he then proceeded to become a Super Saiyan, the golden warrior, a transformation which was seen as a mere fairy tale to scare the children of the Frost Demon into behaving... And to master it, even going as far as surpassing it. This warrior of exception, the strongest of the known universe slayed the «abomination»; slayed Cell.

An eleven years old boy slayed the perfect monster.

Yes, this warrior was a child, and yet he went through battles, and even what some would call a War against the Cold Empire itself of an unbelievable magnitude while grown men would be shaking in fear, succeeding where the greatest warriors failed, surpassing them, and even surpassing the first super saiyan in a thousand years, Son Goku, his father who died, sacrificing himself against the villain... And now it was finally time to bring him back from the dead, alongside Cell's victims.

The seven glowing spheres, made of the purest crystal, and the mightiest of ancient magic lost to man were now shaking, emitting a golden light which was rapidly expanding towards the now dark skies above, taking the shape of a chinese dragon... The dragon Shenlong, in all his might was now summoned once more before the victorious warriors, and especially Son Gohan...

Within the mind of the young warrior, however, there had been a conflict taking place which was appeased by the knowledge of the dragon ball, a raging battle the like of which were not won with a Kamehameha wave, and a flashy transformation, no matter how impressive and powerful it may be... Blaming himself for the death of his father, for the death of his hero, he did think that it was his fault, he did think that because of his arrogance, because of his power he killed his own father in cold blood, and endangered the earth; he however had not the time to become engrossed in his self-loathing, for Cell had come back, more powerful than ever, ready to kill and start his genocide of every beings in the universe besides him. He had had to put aside his self-loathing, and his fear of his own power in order to destroy the monster, to try and redeem himself ? Maybe when he thinks back on it... To kill the monster he blamed for his father death ? Of course he had the desire to do it, no matter how much he told himself that revenge was what brought the situation on hand in the first place... To protect the earth ? It was compulsory, least he screwed up even more by allowing Cell to win, everything would have been meaningless, his father's death would be meaningless... What worse could happen ?

If only he had known, he may just have let the planet go «boom» and be done with it.

In the end, hearing his father voice led him to believe that he was still here, that everything was just a fleeting dream, or nightmare and all he had to do was to kill Cell, he then focused on it and wiped him of the face of the universe in a mighty Kamehameha wave alongside his father spiritual and psychological support... He then passed out and had not to dwell too much on it; upon being healed and regaining awareness, the dragon balls were there, and he was sure that his mistakes would be erased, that everything would be fine, then his inner conflict went back to sleep, it had no reason to really exist did it not ? After all, the main cause of it would be forgotten...

If only he had known, he may just have let the planet go «boom» and be done with it.

«I'm sorry guys, but I will have to ask you not to wish me back» The oh-so painfully familiar voice snapped him of his trance, of the numbness that he felt... His father did not want to be wished back.

He could not speak, he could not hear as his friends... his father's friends were asking him to come back, to explain them why he did so, he did not even hear his father answer, he did not even realize that he actually answered his father promising him that he would be fine, he could not even realize that he actually behaved like he always did on the outside.

His mind had just shut down and his body was working on auto-pilot, not because of the news in itself : He had always known that between protecting the earth, ensuring peace on it and for his loved ones and making the «selfish choice» of staying with his family his father would choose the former, never the latter, for his father would not be the hero he was if he took the latter... In his own eyes at least.

It was his own inner conflict which was unbearable, his own guilt, his own feeling that he would never amount to anything his father was, that he, himself could have killed Cell, that his father would be here, partying with him and his mother if he...

Oh, God, his mother.

He had not thought about his mother until now, he had not even fit her in his musing, in the bigger picture of things... He had deprived his mother of her husband ! Just when he promised her they would be a family again... ! How could he break the news to her ? There was just no way of doing it... He could hear his own voice, which was tainted by Goku and Piccolo's one answering the other, which was his own, with nothing added to it trying to reason with him, telling himself that it was not his fault, that he could not control it, that his father could have come back, that nobody even asked him to be able to handle his own power when it had gotten out of hand, that he was just a child no matter how much of a «Warrior» he was, no matter how strong he was... The other voice saying that he should have been able to control himself, to save the day...

The voices were battling, no one was winning, he was in pain, and there was nothing that he could do to stop it, he felt as if his chest was pierced by a spear, the tears were flowing from his eyes, he could feel his nose heating up, the feeling of wetness on his cheeks... And yet he did not power up, his emotions did not cause any stir in his Ki, he was subconsciously keeping it at a level where he would not go Super Saiyan, or even worse Super Saiyan 2 on anyone, he never wanted to see those forms again, no matter what... Never wanted to fight again, whenever he did somebody had to die protecting him ! First Piccolo died against the saiyans protecting his pitiful 5 year-old self, so powerful but yet unable to strike his opponent... Piccolo protecting him from Frieza, thankfully he did not die... And his father to protect him against Cell... He never wanted to see anyone die again, he did not want to be fighting...

No matter that the other voice, sounding so much like Piccolo at the moment was telling him that he was drowning himself in self-pity out of sheer stupidity, he could hear it, it was reason, but it could not fight against his feelings of pain, of sadness, of sorrow, it could only add to it by telling him that he should not be like that...

That he was even more weak than he already felt he was.

Passing Korin's Tower, he did not see nor feel the Cat-hermit frown while passing him, musing in his head.

Without even realizing, he was on his doorstep at Mount Paozu...Ready to enter while wondering how he would tell his mother.

His house was just like he had left it this very morning... Now he understood what he was thinking was silly clichés from the old movies that his mother watched during the day when his father was training, so long ago... When the main character would say «It feels like an eternity» while he had left his home earlier during the day... It did feels like an eternity, life-changing moment should be happening over the course of months if not years, his logical mind was saying.

No matter how illogical it sounded.

He could feel his mother taking him in a bear-crushing hug, his grandfather looking at them with warmth, wonder, and worry... He could also see all the pictures of his father arround him which made his heart clutch painfully... although he did not catch any heart virus, that was his father not him.

«I'm so glad that you are alive Gohan ! I thought that my only son was going to die out there fighting this monster ! You should never even have been fighting, it is all Goku's fault for making you do it and i'm sure that those Karate Bums he call his friends helped forcing your hand, as soon as I get a hand on your father I will...» She said frantically before being interrupted

«You will not be able to get an hand on him...» Gohan said in a low voice, a somewhat defeated voice, filled with his desire to conceal his sadness, and his sorrow

«What do you mean Gohan, why are you speaking like that, what happened to you ? You were not hurt were you ? Where is he, I'm not going to hurt him you know me of course, I just want to insure your safety and...» She stopped when she could not hear any answer, Gohan was just staring blankly at her.

«What is it Gohan ?! You are scaring me !» She said, putting her hands on her son's shoulders, while her father was looking away, eyes closed, having fully understood the hard truth...

«Because dad... Dad is dead mom... He died fighting and sacrificing himself against Cell» He said, while holding back himself from adding 'To make up for my screw up...' he did not want his mother reasoning with him and telling him what his father's and Piccolo's voice were «telling» him in his head, interlaced with his own voice.

He already knew that, he did not want to hear it from her.

«But... The dragon balls ! Goku told me he brought back that namekian child and that the balls were not inert any longer ! That we would use them in order to bring everyone from the dead when this conflict would be over ! Gohan... please Gohan, answer me !» She had tears in her eyes, her voice was breaking down, but still filled with something akin to hope...

But it was not hope, it was the kind of things you held on when truly despairing, it was more denial than anything else, because they knew it full well... If Goku had been brought back, her son would not be in that state.

He had this «hope» but it was broken earlier, and now he hated himself because he had to do the same for his mother... Because if not, she would not be able to move on, she would not be hearing the same conflict within herself, she would not be able to triumph.

Because she would triumph; she was not like him, she was not there to see it, unable to prevent it... Even causing it.

«Mom... Dad... could not be brought back with the set of Dragonballs currently on earth... We thought about going to Namek to use theirs but...» He trailed off, readying himself for what he was about to say, eyes closed.

«But Gohan ?...» She was oddly calm now, it was scary to hear, and to see, it was not «Calm» as in 'I just meditated for hours, and I'm now at peace within myself'...

«Dad said that he would not come back, asked us not to wish him back... To ensure that nobody would ever come once again after him to finish the job and putting us once more in danger... He sacrificed himself on the purpose of protecting us... He is dead Mom, truly dead now...» He was holding back sobs, while hugging his mother and delivering the bombshell.

And now, she was openly crying, and screaming towards the heavens the name of the very man who was once the strongest under those same heavens, who was now the strongest warrior within those heavens to the sorrow of his loved ones. The calm was now more, because it was in face just the calm before the storm, and there was no more silver lining within, the Dragon balls could not bring back an unwilling man, no matter how willing his family was.

Once again, Gohan was powerless, as his mother was crying her heart out, the poor woman now a widow, having lost one of her two reasons to live, the man she pursued from her childhood, the father of her child, no matter how much she hated some of his traits, they were also his qualities and she loved him for it, she also loved him for fighting against her attempts of changing that, she loved him for being a man who would even die to protect her loved ones...

She did, however never foresaw that he would stay dead for his loved ones... the Dragon balls were always a reality, a reality which made death less dramatic, it could be reversed, it was not an issue for them, for the protectors of the planet !

It could not be reversed, she knew it, and his son knew it, he started hugging her, the only thing he could do with a crying woman, and listened to her, not trying to solve issues that were not solvable, not trying to tell her better, for it would not work.

He listened to her as she went into how much she loved Goku, into how she met him, into how she intended for her children to be scholars so that they would not die and be ripped away from her, how she always tried to provide for them with what little money they had, how she never wanted for her children to go through that, how she wanted them to live carefree lives... And to be right in doing so, since they would be able to afford anything (with their money) and they would not die for doing so (since they would not be fighting)...How her heart clenched everytime his husband was going to fight, everytime he was going to train in order to fight...

Before then, she fought and loved it because she thought that the worse that could eventually happen, in a fight was a few broken bone, maybe life threatening injuries that were usually treated...

He listened when she told him how the fight between Piccolo, his once evil mentor almost killed her husband in a battle that looked more like a war than anything.

It was a war, nothing else, Martial arts were arts when practiced safely, but it was nonetheless «Martial» used for warfare.

How to this day, she feared for long that this «Man» would pierce holes in the chest of his husband, and worse, her only son, before taking over the planet, no matter how illogical it was, how she feared for the worse when seeing them going to war essentially.

How she did not care if the world ended, for in the end she would be reunited with them, she knew that afterlife existed, she was not afraid of it...

For how much selfish it sounded, she just did not want to go through the pain of outliving them, and mourning them.

It did not matter anyway, he would not interrupt her even if he could, he kept listening, kept rubbing her back while hugging her, hoping that it was the right thing to do, it seemed to work...

She was ranting now, pouring everything that she had ever thought, each of her supressed feelings to him, and only him since her grandfather went out, not wanting to interrupt her, it was after all a private matter, he trusted his grandson to be able to handle it.

He now understood his mother better than ever... She was not selfish compared to what others would say, at least not for him.

This was a woman who also fought, just as hard as them, in order to keep her family alive, and who was not afraid of admitting it... A woman who fought in her own way to reach her dreams of an healthy, happy, and very much alive family.

'We all want the survival of our loved ones, we never want to feel the sorrow and the void left by their death, for there is no cure to that disease that silently eat away your livelihood' He thought, remembering some quotations from his history books and mixing them together, unconsciously...

And I ripped that from her.

You did not. Replied that part of his mind, the fusion of his voice alongside Goku's and Piccolo's

I could have killed Cell !

You could have killed him, you did not, we all make mistakes

'So in the end it is the same ! You are even admitting it ! I made a mistake that killed my father ! A mistake that put my mother in that state !' He replied, feeling the woman within his arms crying, feeling the wetness where her mother was burying her face, in his chest and hugging him like he was about to disappear... She was still speaking about his father.

I admit that you made a mistake, but we all make mistakes; Dad made the same when he became a Super saiyan for the first time, ordering his friends to go, allowing Frieza to blow up the planet... Of course you did make a mistake, but it is possible to learn from it instead of bitching about it; Cell killed him, the only thing that you did, or that we did was leaving him an opening !

'I SHOULD HAVE NEVER LET HIM THAT OPENING THEN !' he yelled at his own mind in anger.

And yet it has been done, even Cell left openings in his guard when you were pressing him, Vegeta basically allowed him to become even stronger !

'The whole point of fighting is not to let your opponent have any opening ! To finish him while he can not retaliate ! I betrayed lessons that have been put into my head since I was a FUCKING CHILD STUCK INTO A FUCKING DESERT WITH A FUCKING DEMON KING, SO DON'T TELL ME IT IS NORMAL FOR ME TO HAVE LEFT HIM ANY OPENING !'

Do you think that...

'I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE, I WILL NEVER FIGHT AGAIN, IF I CANNOT DO ANYTHING RIGHT, I DO NOT SEE WHY I SHOULD BOTHER...' He yelled in his own mind, trying all he could to suppress the other voice, of his own creation, his own conscience, his own backstabbing thought. 'My mother will need me, I will study for her, I will do everything I can for her, to ease her suffering... I will never train, fight or reach for my so called power ever again, I will never defend anything again... I can not defend anything, not a single person, not a planet, and even less a whole universe...' he said defeated.

Coming back to his senses, doing his best to relinquish in his sense of having finally found «peace» within himself, using meditation (which was essentially the art of letting your own mind fight within itself), he took his mother face, and looked at her, he then kissed her forehead, while she stopped crying the remaining of her tears, surprised by the gesture.

«You should go rest for a bit, I'm going to study until dinner, don't worry I will do so in the kitchen to stay with you, everything is going to be fine» He said with a smile, his face betraying nothing but happiness, seeming totally natural, even to his mother who could not see anything wrong with him... Or not wanting to see anything wrong with him.

She smiled in return, kissed his forehead, and told him «Yes, everything is going to be fine» in a tired voice, obviously trying to show some strength... if her son could, how much of a mother would she be if she could not do the same ? After all, she was the one supposed to be hugging him and reassuring him, not the other way arround !

Her little boy was strong not only in brawn, she thought proudly, if only she knew...

It was time that his training to conceal, and control his emotions was paying, even though the pain was still there, even stronger than before, he managed to put not only a strong front, but a happy front, which was looking totally genuine, as long as your name was not Piccolo or Vegeta.

For how long would it last though ?

Gohan was actually doing his best to focus on his sociology books, alongside the psychology ones, he had not given himself a single break since he started working almost twenty hours ago, when his mother had finally fallen asleep...

'Or was it cried herself to sleep ?' he thought tiredly

His work had always been advanced, he was studying calculus at nine and arithmetics at the very same time, the perks of being home-schooled was that his mother could have him work on anything, and since he started early on his studies (he could not remember her mother doing anything else than teaching him) his brain had become really good at remembering information, and cramming in knowledge... Then associating it between fields.

After all, the brain was like a muscle, the more you used it, the stronger it became, with the exception of it becoming an exponential increase when you started early on.

While he was working, this with his tiredness meant that he could not think about anything else, he could not remember the fighting, his mother crying... Or at least, the memories were not as strong.

Writing on his notebook, he was summarizing and resuming the information that he learnt from his books, to make sense of it, taking notes of the names of sociologists, and other psychologists, right beside their theories, tracing logical links between each information, associating sociology, psychology, philosophy, literature until his hand ached, until his whole arm ached... He could almost feel the pain from the wound caused by Cell, when he sacrificed said arm to protect the infamous Saiyan Prince...

«I'm sorry... Goohan...» he had said

He threw the pencil on the wall, effectively breaking it, it was counterproductive, every time he tried thinking about something else, he thought about the event of THAT day, anything remembered him those games.

The pictures of his father ? Check. The very house ? Check. The various gi he had stacked up in his closet ? Check. His bed where his father came to see him when he had a nightmare about Freeza ? Check...

It was becoming ridiculous, and unbearable... He only wanted to stop seeing those things...

'Maybe if I close my eyes and start focusing hard on reviewing my lessons...» He said closing his eyes...


As soon as he did, his head feel on his desk, fast asleep, the tiredness of the Cell Games, the day after, and just about everything put him to sleep.

'There was fire everywhere, the skies themselves were burning, darkened by the smoke and the ashes, breathing was difficult since the very air was hot, you could hear cars, alarms going off, people screaming...And those explosion, those explosions in the city which could only have been caused by a ki-user. There was blood on the ground, the various bodies on the floor were bleeding, so much that it looked like the crater was a pool of blood...

It only lacked the background music fitting the apocalypse, a part of him thought sarcastically.

He tried examining the bodies, but most were too mutilated to be identified.

«Is somebody still alive ? Do you hear me ?» He shouted, even if for the life of him he did not even remember why he was saying that.

«Go...Gohan !...» Said a oh-too familiar voice in a pained cough.

The body was lying in a pool of purple blood, he had a purple gi, or at least the remains of one, and the most distinctive feature was the green skin.

«No...No...MR PICOOLO ! What happened ?! Don't move ! I will go and...» 'Don't die' he wanted to add, no matter how silly it was, people could not control that.

«No...Gohan you need to...listen... you need to go away from here... quickly...don't stay...» He said «I'm proud of... you... don't forget...» He stopped talking, the once Demon King was dead.

There should have been some dramatic music, there should have been rain pouring from the skies mirroring the sadness and the hurt he was feeling right now, at the sight of his mentor dying for a second time... There should have been lightning strike mirroring his anger at whoever could have done that, and at himself for not having been able to prevent it.

None of that though, that mad it all the more maddening, there SHOULD have been something that changed ! It could not stay the same !... No !

Shaking, crying, feeling tired, his eyes were hurting, and his head was getting so heavy... He did not understand what was happening «NO, MISTER PICCOLO ! DON'T GO ! DON'T...» He started shouting, he stopped when a hand grabbed his ankle, he shivered and looked down slowly, shaking from his feet to his hair... Looking down, slower than he could...

A mangled body dressed in an orange gi was on the ground, the hand belonging to the said person, he was small and... he had nothing between his shoulder, the head resting further, an head which had no hair to speak of.

«No...Krillin... no...!» He then looked arround, trying not to scream.

A tall bald fighter, dressed in a green gi, which had three eye socket but whose eyes were removed in a gruesome fashion.

A tall man, barely out of his teens, with purple hair, nothing covering his torso where the word «Hope» had been carved with ki in a manner that could make wince a master in torture and interrogation from those movies Bulma watched when they were going to Namek.

A small body, dressed in a similar fashion, his armor complete but who was still in his Super Saiyan form, which was impossible since he did not have any Ki...

And finally, an orange and tattered gi, with the kanji for «Kaio» in the back, soaked in blood... This last article of clothing made Gohan stop thinking, he did no even realize he had picked it up while saying «No, No, No, No, No...No...Nooo...NOOOOOOOO» he was screaming louder than he had when transforming in both of his golden forms the first times over...

But there was no explosion of ki, there was no transformation, just sobs, just a child on his knees, crying in the gi of his dead father, the gi that had been the symbol of the hopes of so many people, as soon as you saw it, even when drowning in despair like he had been against the Ginyu Force, seeing that gi, these boots, those symbols meant only one thing, that Son Goku, his father was there, and that he would save the day, that he would end any threat, and then they would fix everything that had been done.

That gi was not meant to be shredded and soaked in blood ! Never THAT gi.

It hurted him so much.

«...Oh ? So... You are still not angry enough ? You still haven't got what it takes to fight me ?» Said a mocking voice, in a bored tone...

THAT voice. HIS voice.

Turning arround, Gohan only said... Growled one word : «Cell !...»

«Brat...!» He said in a mock imitation of Gohan's voice «Did you appreciate their death ? I did my best to make it a work of art, giving them personalized death and what not... I would not be a perfect being if I was not artistic while doing what I was created for now, wouldn't I ?» He said in this smug tone of his, how much he wanted to kill him, how much he wanted revenge

«CELLLLLLL» he screamed while throwing a punch at Cell, putting in it all his anger, all his sorrow, all his hate, his loathing of the monster in front of him, he put in all his body weight, all his strength and it was ready to hit him in that smug face of his ! That arrogant face of his !

He hit, and Cell did not even flinch, it appeared to effect him less than the hit of the human champion, Hercule had.

«You are weak... You have barely anymore ki than a regular inhabitant of this planet... You are weak Son Gohan, You are weak in mind, body and soul, whereas I have the world's grateast mind behind my creation, whereas I have a body made from this planet's greatest warriors... and whereas...»

«YOU HAVE NO SOUL ! YOU ARE A MONSTER, A DEMON AND NOTHING ELSE ! YOU KILLED THEM ALL ! THERE'S NO WAY A MONSTER LIKE YOU COULD HAVE A SOUL !» He screamed trying to get out of Cell's bear hug, the very same which almost snapped his spine the last time arround

«Coming from the boy who could kill me, but who does nothing it is almost poetic... Farewell, Gohan Son...May you burn in hell !» He then threw the youngest super saiyan in history at a building, and launched a weak ki blast at him.

Even if he tried his hardest to summon his ki, Gohan could not feel it... Only he could feel the burning feeling of Cell's attack, and then only unbelievable pain.

He started screaming.'

The half-saiyan awoke from his desk in a hurry.

It was just a nightmare, none of this had actually happened.

His mother was still asleep, her ki said as much...

No matter how much he wanted to think that his father was not dead, he could not, he knew he was... only his own death at Cell's hands was a nightmare...

'Why couldn't I use my power ? It is easy to do, I have done it all my life !' He then reached inside himself, pulling at his Ki... Only to find that he could not.

His power was there, but it was not there at the same time !

«What... What's happening ?!» he said, afraid of the answer «Why can't I use my ki !?»

It was only the beginning.

He was sitting, cross-legged in a meditative stance taught to him by none other than Piccolo Daimou Junior... Or for short, trying to get a feel of his power, while not panicking of what it would mean.

Of course, he said that he never wanted to fight again, that he did not want his power... But that did not mean that he wanted it to disappear ! He needed his power...

What for ?

Once again, that voice, that annoying voice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not responsible for what is happening to you, you are.

How am I responsible for that ? I can feel my power but I can't use it ! What did you do ?!

Can't use it ? Oh please, we both know that it is not that you can't, but that you won't. The voice said with finality.

Gohan knew that it would not improve anything to argue with that voice, that it was just the shape taken by his thoughts while meditating.

Once again, the whole purpose of meditating was to feel more at ease and calmer by the processus of letting your mind fight itself, and getting rid of anything that could disturb your inner peace.

That did not mean, however that he had to like it.

Ignoring the voice, he tried to force the ki out of him, only succeeding in pushing it further away from his reach...and with that his frustration grew larger, and larger, and the further away his ki went... he could literally see it going away from his metaphorical hand !

Even if that meant that he would never again lose control of his power, after all how could you lose control of something you did not possess, it did not mean that he was happy with it, without it there was no way he could fight again and...

'Wait... How is that a bad thing ? I don't want to fight again, I don't need to fight again...'

«I rely on you to protect the earth from now on my son, I know you can» His father wanted him to protect the planet; and peace.

'My mother want me to study, and protect our family in another way, she suffered too much, I will not fight and make her worry anymore' It sounded hollow even to him.

But he did not care. Why should he ? No he would not train, he would not fight, he would only...

«Are you okay Gohan ?» said a gruff, and rough but concerned voice.

A white cape floating in the wind, alongside a white turban, and purple gi, so painfully similar than the one he wore in his nightmare, so much that it almost made him cringe. He thankfully caught himself in time, he did not want his sensei worrying and trying to cheer him up in his own way by talking some sense into him.

«What are you doing here ?» he said, in a carefree manner, sporting the son grin, as if nothing was wrong.

«I came to check on you, kid, I was worried after what happened in the Cell game, and about the fallout of your father decision... and it seems like I was right» Said the namekian with finality.

«What do you mean by that ? I'm fine, I understand that my father has always been a hero and I'm okay with that, I would have done the same thing in his place and I do not hold any ill feeling towards him for that !» He was honest on the last point, he did not bear any hatred towards his father, why would he ? The man always tried to make him stronger, to protect him, and to give him confidence in himself as a person... He was not the brightest man he had ever met, and he was not a good man.

No; he was a great man, the only issue being the past tense.

«Cut the charade Gohan, I have known you for too long, and you do know me as well; my speciality is reading my opponent who for the most part I have not even met before, how could you hide anything from me ?» He said in a no-nonsense voice... and Gohan did not know how he could get out of this predicament.

Fleeing the scene ? Piccolo would retrieve him, and it would only confirm what he was suspecting.

Denying ? No use, Piccolo could read him too well for that to work.

Fighting ? As if, he had as much chance as a snowball in hell without his ki, and even if he had, he would not fight. Especially not his mentor.

Not answering ? No, it was for his own good in Piccolo's mind, he would make him talk, the only variable being if he did so quickly, or if the namekian warrior had to resort to... persuasion.

Telling him the truth ? Unacceptable, if he did, he would be lectured about the same stuff that nagging voice in his head was also lecturing him, he did NOT need that.

«Gohan, what's happening and... WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE ?» screamed his mother at his mentor.

'Thank you, Deus ex machina... Or is it dende ex machina ?' he thought, allowing himself a small concealed smile, a genuine one which did not last.

«I'm checking on my pupil» He said, annoyed at the woman's intervention


She was trying to hide that the namekian warrior still scared her witless.

«Mom... It not his fault nor the others... don't worry I won't be fighting anymore anyway if I can help it, but don't blame him...» He then turned to his mentor «And as for you ... Could you...» His voice almost broke right there, he considered just telling him everything, but he crushed that feeling, and he pursued «Could you please leave us alone for a little while ? At least some weeks, or some months... just the time for her to recover from all of that... please» He said in a pleading voice.

It did not matter how much it hurted him that his pupil... His son even did not want to tell him what was wrong, or how much it hurted to know that he did not want him arround and essentially took his mother side... That he apparently did not want to share his sorrow with one of his closest friends, and so much more...Seeing the look in the half-saiyan that he grew to love as an offspring and hearing his tone all too well with his super sensitive hearing he only said one thing : «Very well, Gohan, but promise me that as soon as you will be able to, you will come see me at the lookout... I want us to speak» he said, resigned.

«I promise you that as soon as I can fly over I will do so... don't worry about that , and... thank you...»

The namekian gave him a look that made Gohan feel like his mentor was staring at his very soul, before turning away and blasting off towards the skies.

Seeing nothing but honesty in his young pupil's words, he nodded and went away, knowing that as soon as he would be able to, Gohan would come to the lookout.

He did not know, however that without ki, his pupil would not be able to fly to the lookout anytime soon, that was the loophole in his promise... Who would imagine after all that the most powerful being on the planet could not do something as basic as flying as of now ?

It was finished, and there would never again be any instance where he would have to fight anymore, because he had nothing to gain from it.

If only he had known.

There it is, the first chapter of a story which I have imagined times and times over without ever writing it ! Since this is the first time I publish a story, I would like your insights&reviews to help me improve ! ;)