13/12/2014: I'll be editing the previously published chapters. Nothing major, just cleaning up the smudges.
The young woman kept a solid pace in her step as she marched towards her destination, keeping a good eye on her surroundings as she crossed a road and took a shortcut through a narrow alleyway. It was nighttime and the slums of South City were a dangerous place to be in the late hours. These streets were renown for their high crime rate as well as the larger portion of the city's drug addicts owning either a house there or a cardboard box. Clusters of young men, armed and dangerous stood about on almost every street corner. A few of them whistled like howling wolves as she passed by, others shouted crude remarks in her direction. The woman rolled her eyes in response; it wasn't like she hadn't heard any of it before.
Even though she had walked this route over a dozen times before, it never grew boring for the beauty. She liked to view herself as a people person, and even while she couldn't know what kind of thoughts circled around in the minds of inhabitants of the streets, she still enjoyed trying to envision what their lives must be like. Living in such a poor part of the city brought along enough drama as it was, and it certainly made for more interesting stories as well as more interesting people with more appealing personalities. Add that to the fact that most of them were also addicted to at least one kind of sedative substance and you had the perfect recipe for a high-rating reality show.
Now, about the drug addicts she couldn't talk all that much trash. She herself had also become quite attached to the feeling of euphoria that she couldn't obtain herself. She too had fallen into the deceiving claws of illegal substance, and now she couldn't live a day without at least a proper white line to lift the spirits and clear the mind and take away the hunger that made her belly rumble day in and day out. In the back of her mind she resented herself for it, but then another day would come and she would once again sigh in relief as she felt the tiny white crystals go up her nostrils and tear her nose open from the inside. The fog in her brains would clear and she would be content with herself for another day. This cycle had been going on for a good four years now.
The young woman was well on her way to getting her daily fix. She was only two blocks away from her usual pick-up address, and if she had to believe the stories she had been told, her supplier happened to be the biggest drug runner in the entire southwestern district. So far he had been able to keep his sketchy business very underground, with information only being passed around in spoken words. Everybody called him 'Moon', a nickname which came into existence due to the full moon emblems printed on every ziplock bag used to keep the salesware together.
She crossed another street and hugged her slender arms along her waist. It was a cold night with a biting chill and she berated herself for not bringing anything to keep herself warm in, but somebody in her field of work was best of dressed as scarcely as possible. The woman took a final right and marched on for a few yards more, halting in front of a closed coffee bar. The interior was pitch-dark and above the main entrance neon letters spelled the name of the establishment in a dim light across the black sky.
Even in her childhood years, the woman had learned to not just judge a book by its cover, something which had become all the more clear to her during the years in which she had spiraled down in her substance abuse. She had been here before and she knew that there was more to this coffee corner than met the eye. Much, much more.
Rummaging through her purse she found a small pink makeup mirror in between other personal artifacts. She flipped it open and used the light that the neon letters above her head provided to study her own reflection. She had made sure that the thick layer of beauty products brought out her deep cerulean eyes and her blonde short hair had been perfectly styled. Content with what she saw she tossed the mirror back into the deep and dark depths of her handbag and made sure that her clothes were on right, pulling the hem of her shirt down and exposing the better part of her full and curvy cleavage.
A small hand reached out and knuckles banged on the front door, the thick plexiglass trembling under the force. There she remained standing in silence for a minute or two, which she used to her advantage by scanning her surroundings and making sure that she wasn't being watched by prying eyes.
Mr. Moon had certainly chosen a creepy location to keep his hideout. The streets around it were narrow and both of the stores- well, what used to be stores- on either side were empty, giving the whole scene an eerie and lonesome look to it.
The door opened and a man with hair as black as the night opened, sending the young woman a curious glance. He was probably in his early forties; the small wrinkles around his eyes and the corners of his mouth gave that away. A scar in the form of a cross decorated his left cheek, as well a the vague outlines of an old cut across his right eye. What had left them there could be anyone's guess. Suddenly his features turned to a smile, as if he hadn't recognized her at first sight.
"Hey, Erasa," the man said as he opened to door and gestured for the blonde to come in. "Good to see you again, come in!"
Erasa gave a snicker at seeing his enthusiasm. This was Yamcha, ex-baseball player and a trusty friend of Moon. On most days he would basically act as a doorman, making sure that nobody entered his boss's hideout without him knowing. The first time that she had seen the knife he kept behind his belt for protection, she had shuddered in fright; no matter how much she tried to avoid the thought, she couldn't help but wonder how many times Yamcha had cleaned someone's blood off of the shimmering and razor-sharp blade of the hunting knife. The way he always kept it spotless and shining unnerved her as well. The thought of being able to see your own reflection as your throat gets slit wasn't one that ensured her a solid eight hours of sleep.
"Hi Yamcha!" Erasa giggled as she stepped past the man into what still seemed to be an ordinary coffee house at first sight. She let out a small cackle of laughter when the ex-baseball player slapped her on the ass as she passed him. Even while Yamcha teased her sometimes the beauty knew that he had a soft spot in his heart for her.
She followed Yamcha to the back of the establishment and waited until he had unlocked the door furthest to the back. It swung open with a croak of protest, giving the duo a good view of the stairs which led down to the basement. The steps were dark and the lightbulb above their heads did little to illuminate the path downwards.
The doorman was the first to descend down the squeaking old wooden boards beneath. Erasa followed in close behind him and shut the door, the old piece of wood falling into its lock with an audible click. In the distance she could hear several voices coming from a room at the end of a long hallway. A weak bundle of light shone from out the open door and bounced off of the grey stone walls tagged with graffiti. Laughter erupted from the room and the voices continued to grow clearer with every step that she took.
When she finally entered the room all eyes turned to her. There were three men in total, four counting Yamcha. She knew two of them by name; the other one had never told her his real name. The room itself was spacey, with a few armchairs as well as a couch taking up the most space. Most of the furniture was old, but a single armchair seemed like it was made of the most expensive fabric that Erasa had ever seen.
"What's up, Erasa?" one of the men spoke. His blonde hair fell straight down over his broad shoulders and his exposed muscular upper arms. Normally he would be somewhat frightening to behold, but the way he was lounging in an old and dusty armchair -which seemed like it had been picked up on the side of the road- gave him a laid back impression.
The blonde man usually went by the name of Sharpener, but whether or not that was his actual birth name Erasa wouldn't know. He was an underground boxing champion who had only lost a handful of fights in his entire life, something in which he prided himself constantly. But of course being an underground fighter wasn't the most highly paid job in the world and the athletic man had found out that substance abuse and paying rent weren't manageable alongside each other. Much to his luck it turned out that Moon was looking for an employee like him, mainly to beat the living shit out of the competition and to retrieve information on opposing drug dealers. Sharpener's only demand was that he would be paid through substance instead of cash, to which Moon had agreed. Now every time he came back with useful info Moon would supply him with a good dose of brown or glitter, leaving him free to spend his actual paycheck on food and shelter.
"Hey Sharpener," Erasa replied, winking at the blonde and sending him a playful smile. She then turned her attention to the man lying on the couch with his fingers interlaced behind his head, staring up at the ceiling as if something interesting could be seen in the cracked plaster.
"And hello to you too, Vegeta," the prostitute said, earning herself a nod in the form of a greeting. Vegeta stood closest to Moon in every possible way. Whenever the drug lord himself wasn't available it was up to this man with his high and black widow's peak to make sure that the business remained up and running. He knew everything about shipments of narcotics coming in and out, and he frequently went out to close off deals and to make sure that they weren't being robbed out of their money. Yamcha had once told Erasa that Vegeta did all of the 'dirty work', something he himself liked to refer to as 'exterminating the vermin'.
But the blonde hadn't come for Vegeta or Sharpener, no. She had come to see the man sitting in the expensive chair, the man who was on top of everything. Even though she had been here many times before Erasa was still cautious as she approached him.
"Uhm, Mr. Moon," she mumbled. It was still a very intensifying experience to address the biggest drug runner in a radius of a few hundred miles. "I was wondering if you could fix me up with something."
'Mr. Moon' looked up from the magazine that he had been reading and flashed her a warm and kind smile, one that wasn't to be expected on someone of his 'profession', yet Erasa had seen those pearly whites more often during her three years of coming here and had grown accustomed to it. If she hadn't known any better she never would've guessed that this was the man responsible for supplying most of the junkies around.
"Well I'd love to say that Mr. Moon is my father, but that would be a lie," Moon said with a grin. "Still, simply Moon is more than enough Erasa, I thought I told you that before. And of course I could fix you up with a little something, but you know what I ask for in return."
Erasa didn't dare to look the drug runner in the eye after that. "S-S-See, that's the problem," she explained, all the while staring at the ground below her feet. "I don't have any money right now."
"Oh?" Moon exclaimed, obviously feigning his surprise. "Now that means that we have a problem, wouldn't you agree?" His hands met in front of his face at the fingertips, hands forming a triangle and his face expressing what seemed like he was in deep thought. "And how were you planning on paying me if you don't have any money to buy the goods, if I might ask?"
Erasa swallowed hard. This wasn't the first time that she had come to see Moon without any money to fund her drug habit, yet every time she would walk out with at least a few grams of coke. It was the way in which she obtained it that made her feel disgusted with herself.
"I-I can perform other services, if it would please you," she answered. She had to force herself to put the words over her lips and once again she could feel a deep sting of hatred towards herself inside, yet the urge to snort and finally feel normal again was so incredibly overwhelming that she saw no other option aside from whoring herself out and get paid in substance.
Moon was silent for a few seconds, his eyebrows furrowed as if in thought. When he answered his deep masculine voice echoed off the walls and into the long empty hallway.
"I'm certain that you could," he told the prostitute, "but you should know that I'm not interested in handing out drugs in trade for an hour of fun. But perhaps one of my men would like to help you out; I'm sure that they have enough goods to share with you."
A look of desperation crossed the young woman's face as she eyed the three other men in the room. All three of them remained silent at first, none of their faces giving away what their intentions could be. Erasa could feel her stomach dropping at the thought of not being able to score tonight at all, but finally it was Sharpener who stepped forward and took her by the arm, dragging her along the hallway and dangling a small bag of cocaine back and forth in front of her face.
Moon kicked back in his chair a bit more when the two were out of sight. As of late business was rolling well and more and more profit was being made. And luckily for him nobody outside of this very room knew that Yamcha was actually in the drug business. The ex-baseball player had a few strong ties with the local police department and he was able to tell Moon that the case they were working on, the case regarding him and his shifty trades, was running towards a dead end.
As he watched Vegeta grab a lighter in order to spark the joint that he had left in an ashtray he found himself happy that he had never resorted to the stuff himself and had opted to stay clean. Drugs could do weird stuff to people and he wouldn't want to see what would've become of him if he had gone down that path himself.
No, all he did was sell the stuff, nothing more, nothing less.
The man yawned as he stirred through his morning coffee. The soft tinkle of the spoon against the ceramic mug rang through his head like a bell. He seated himself at the large oak-brown breakfast table and took a sip, delighted to feel some of the fatigue clouding his mind starting to clear up. A quick glance at the clock above the refrigerator told him that it was five o'clock in the morning. What had motivated him to wake up at such a godforsaken hour he wouldn't be able to recall. The incredible silence of the house made him feel drowsy. His wife and child were still far off in dreamland.
He pulled the newspaper closer and unfolded it, onyx eyes scanning the printing. But his mind wouldn't register the words this early in the morning, so he tossed the paper aside, sighing restlessly as he drank the rest of his scalding hot coffee down in one go. He might as well get ready for work if he wasn't going to get any more sleep.
His tired legs carried him to the bathroom and the quick pull of a string by the door was enough to illuminate the small space. He walked over to the sink and turned open the faucet. The splash of cold water in his face was a welcome refreshment and managed to wake him up for the better part. He turned his gaze to the mirror above the sink and studied his own reflection.
Eyes as dark as the earth stared back, their gaze hardened through the years. His firm and perfectly cut jawline was rough with a three-day-old stubble, the individual hairs hinting towards a shade of grey. He knew that it was a sign of his aging, just like the crow's feet that began to form around his eyes. He quickly combed a hand through spiky and pitch-black hair, finding that there was no possible way to stylise the thick locks.
After a quick shower and shave he tiptoed over to his bedroom as to not wake up his sleeping wife. He picked out his work clothes; the official uniform of the South City police department. The middle-aged officer slipped into the blue trousers as well as the white vest that came along with it. Over the regular uniform he wore a yellow coat with the emblem of the SCPD sewn onto the sleeves.
He walked around the bed as silently as he could and took a minute to register the beautiful sight that was his sleeping wife. Her messy raven hair covered up the better part of her graceful features, but she was stunning nonetheless. The man sank to his knees until his head was close to hers and pressed a kiss onto her cheek. The woman stirred and opened her eyes.
"Huh," she groaned with a sleep-drunk voice. "Are you going to work already? It's not even five thirty in the morning."
"I know," her husband replied with a heavy sigh, "but I couldn't sleep so I decided that I might as well go and do something productive." He leaned over and kissed his wife on the lips. "Goodbye, Chi."
"Goodbye, sweetie, see you at dinner." The woman yawned as she turned under the covers, drifting back to sleep in a matter of seconds.
It was only a ten minute drive from his house to his work, but to Son Goku the small trip felt like it lasted for an eternity. Now that the tiredness was gone from his brain his mind couldn't stop mulling around in thought. He didn't even take notice of the other cars that passed him by with their bright headlights on the dark road.
For three years now, three long and hard working years Goku had been working on one single case. It kept him awake by day and haunted his dreams at night, so much that it had become a part of his being.
For three years he had been busy collecting evidence as well as information on the possible whereabouts of one single criminal was an absolute danger to each individual member of society and could be called a public health concern. He was a drug dealer, and a good one at that. According to the SCPD's data he could be the biggest narcotic trafficker in the entire southwestern district. He went by the name of Moon, his nickname adopted from his trademarked full moon emblem.
Goku could very well remember how he had first gotten to know about Moon's illegal schemes and the memory wasn't one that he thought back to with joy in his heart. Three years prior he had been out on patrol with his partner when they had found a sixteen-year-old girl lying on the side of street. They exited their vehicles and sprung to action, startled to see the teenager foaming at the mouth and breathing in panicked fashion. By the time the ambulance had arrived she was already dead. After searching through her clothes he had found a small zip-lock bag inside of her pants pocket, containing two small white oval pills with the Nintendo logo printed into them. Knowing that ecstasy pills were named by color and logo he concluded that the girl had suffered an MDMA overdose on the White Nintendos. Her heartbeat had been so wild and frantic that the pounding muscle in her chest had suddenly just stopped working.
A small full moon emblem had been printed on the bag of pills. Goku hadn't thought all that much of it, but over time more and more cases were reported of people being arrested under the influence of illegal substances. Whatever drug they were on was always concealed in a plastic bag with that little white moon on it. To the SCPD it became clear that a big underground organization was on the rise and it was posing a threat to the innocent civilians. A big investigation was set up to find the people responsible for the spreading of the narcotics.
At first the entire investigation had gone well. Small time drug dealers were brought in along with their salesware, which was evidence that they worked in service of a man they all called Moon when questioned about him. Goku could ask for the man's actual name over and over again, but none of the criminals they plucked off the streets were able to help him any further. Other than that the operation went along smoothly and the police department continued to arrest dealers and prevent them from bringing dangerous substances out on the streets.
The biggest leap towards finding the notoire drug runner had to be when his partner had brought in a nineteen year old boy who had been arrested for carrying around over a pound of heroin on his body. The teenager had been able to tell him that Moon was to have a 'business meeting' with a client the following day, and that he would be arriving at a restaurant downtown as well as give the police a description of his car. They had sent an undercover officer to the scene to take photos of the suspect and just like they had been told a car fitting the description rolled to a stop at the appointed restaurant. Snapshots had been taken and then the SCPD had a clear image of what Moon looked like, sending them down the right path to closing the investigation.
Yet, Moon had managed to stay out of the iron grip of the law so far and had barely been spotted in the meantime. All the police had to work with were freeze frames of security cameras and one girl who had seen a man fitting his profile closing off a drug deal. Slowly the case began to aim at a dead end and the last few weeks there hadn't been any progress at all.
Goku parked his car on the lot in front of the police station. there were barely any vehicles there, and with good reason. The dark-haired man couldn't see why anyone would want to get to work this early. He exited his vehicle and locked it before trotting over to the main entrance at a brisk pace. The double doors had already been unlocked by another officer clocking in untimely early today so he was able to keep walking straight for his office. He found freshly made coffee on a cart near the lunchroom and poured himself a cup right before slipping into his office on the other side of the hall.
The officer glanced around his office and could only sigh at the incredible mess. He found a place for his hot beverage and began to tidy up everything he had left behind the previous day. He cursed himself for not cleaning it up sooner, yet he knew that it would be the same thing again tomorrow.
The enormous stack of paperwork on his desk was the worst. Everything had to be put away neatly and systematically, since a lot of the documents held important details to major cases the SCPD were working on. After that it was mostly putting away personal artifacts. Like he did every day, the seasoned chief of police made certain that the small and thin nameplate was aligned with the edge of his desk, allowing everybody who entered his office to read the name 'Son Goku'.
After tossing the emptied coffee cup into the trash Goku turned his attention towards the wall behind the big black oak wooden desk. While all the others were painted white and shading towards yellow this particular wall stood out. A giant map had been put up against it and file cabinets as well as electronic equipment had been moved to the other sides of the room as to not take away any part of the map from sight.
The streets of Satan City curled out and unfurled like the branches of an eerie black and white tree, the grey specks of houses forming the canopy. Thumb tacks in an assortment of colors had been pressed into the paper and certain buildings or streets, mainly in the slums of the enormous City, had been circled in either red, yellow or blue.
Goku leaned back on his desk and tried to study the tangle of streets and roads more intently The door to his office went open and a small, bald man walked in. He was wearing the same uniform as the veteran chief and he gave his colleague a nod of acknowledgement. Goku mimicked this action and addressed his partner and lifelong friend.
"Hi, Krillin," he greeted shortly before turning his attention back to the squiggly lines and colored circles. "You're awfully early this morning," he joked as the short man put his stuff away and went over to halt beside him.
"I could say the same of you," Krillin snickered as he rolled up his sleeves, leaving his lower arms bare. "I suppose that staring at that map hasn't revealed anything new so far?" He queried, obviously knowing the answer beforehand.
Goku shook his head. He had gone over everything depicted on the printing a million times, yet he never grew any wiser of it. Sometimes he felt like he was being mocked, that he was to look at the lines on the paper for all of eternity without drawing a solid conclusion.
"Well then," Krillin said as he reached for a stack of four folders still on Goku's desk. "Shall we go over everything before we start for another day of confusion and dead ends?"
After being met with an affirmative nod from his comrade Krillin took the top folder into both hands. It was a plain and simple white color and it was by far the thickest of them all.
"So this is the folder with information related to every single thumb tack on the map," the bald cop said as he let the big stack of papers slide through his fingers. "Every one of them represents a location where a drug dealer has been arrested while carrying substances in bags with a full moon emblem."
Said thumb tacks were scattered across the entirety of the the map and had been pinned in every suburb of the city, though the slums seemed like a more popular location to distribute drugs than in the heart of the city, where the upper class of South City's society lived.
"We also have all of their statements as well as personal data collected," Krillin continued. "We could've gone and pinpoint every place where one of Moon's baggies of misery was found, but that's kind of a no go since the the guy is all over the city. So far the dealers have only been able to tell us where some of the higher ranked drug lords in Moon's organization are trying to hide, but Moon's location is still unknown. Which brings us to our second folder."
The second one was red to match a few of the circles drawn in magic marker. All of them encircled houses, warehouses and even apartment buildings. .
"All of the red circles are locations where we've knocked out the front door in the hope to see Moon lounging on the couch," Krillin told his friend, who knew all of this already. "Yet on every search the place was completely abandoned and most of the time there weren't even any traces of anyone having been there for at least a year. At one location we did find a pill press used to make ecstasy pills, which has been taken away to the evidence lab."
Goku stared at the red marks on the map. To him it seemed like there were over a hundred of them, and in his eyes that meant a hundred failures. He eyed the other circles as well and found them to be in a lot lesser numbers than their crimson counterparts.
"Thirdly we have yellow. These are places where we think that Mr. Moon might be trying to keep himself hidden. We have multiple police officers keeping an eye out on the premises, taking note of whoever comes in and goes out at any given time." They didn't mean a thing to Goku; the yellow would soon enough be replaced by red most likely.
"And that leaves us with the folder about possible shipment delivery locations," Goku mumbled. Krillin confirmed this.
"True," his best friend said. "Everything circled in blue are the places we think Moon has his narcotics delivered. Just a few weeks ago one of our undercover buddies has gotten to know someone who we believe could be one of Moon's most trusted a bit of luck we might be able to arrest the guy, but we will not be able to do that on the spot that easily due to a lack of evidence. We can, however, try to discover whether or not Moon has his drugs delivered at the same location and if it is one of his henchmen. If everything goes according to plan the deal will take place ... here." Krillin pointed out one of the blue circles situated by the South City Haven.
The bald cop put the stack of folders away and took down a photo that had been pinned to a board on the right wall. It was one of the snapshots that had been taken of Moon early on in the investigation. When Goku saw that all-too-familiar face he could feel anger starting to swell up inside him, his heart pounding like the ticking of a time bomb. Inky dark eyes looked right back at him from under a full head of equally dark hair trimmed short. Moon was tall and lean and seemed like he spent some time in keeping his physique.
But it wasn't the fact that the man could probably win the Mr. Universe contest with ease, nor was it the fact that he sold dangerous substances to the common crowd that filled the experienced officer with disgust, no. What sickened him the most about this young man was that sly smile that curled his lips. He was smiling like there wasn't a single care in the world, like the police wasn't trying to hunt him down like a pack of wolves on a hurt baby deer.
"Honestly, Goku," Krillin said as he colleague put the photo away. "I have no idea how you can still be so hell bent on trying to bring Moon down," the small man began collecting his stuff for a morning of patrolling the slums in the search for clues.
The other one of the duo simply shrugged. "I don't know either, really," he confessed. For a part of it that was true. They were chasing this drug runner for over three years now already and the case only seemed to go bleaker with every day that came and went. Yet, Goku didn't want to give up this fight before he had either lost or won.
"I mean," Krillin explained as he threw his coat on. "No matter what way you look at it, he is and always will be your son." With those words he walked out of the office, leaving his partner alone to stare at a picture frame on his desk.
Goku reached out and grabbed the wooden picture frame, decorated with macaroni and an excessive amount of superglue. It depicted himself and his wife, happily smiling at the camera. A little boy was sitting on his daddy's shoulder, eyes and hair as black as the night and nearly identical to his father's.
Seeing the photo filled the middle-aged man with unmistakable sadness. The son in that photo was a stranger to him now, or dead would be a better suit.
Oh, Gohan, where did it all go wrong...?
His oatmeal tasted awful today. He barely even registered the taste as he stirred through the thick and squishy brown flakes drowned in a white sea of milk. A glance to his side revealed an empty seat, a sight that he had gotten accustomed to, much to his dismay.
To say that Son Goten's life had been an average one would be a downright lie. His father was hardly even home, as he was always busy with his work as a police officer. That empty chair would greet him every day for breakfast and it wasn't a rare thing for it to tell him goodnight as well. Goku worked hours that could even make the gods cry out for retirement while his mother spent the day cleaning, cooking, washing, doing laundry and so on.
As Goten swallowed down another mouth full of oatmeal he reasoned that that wouldn't even be all that unusual to most people. Sure, parents tend to work a lot more these days in order to keep a steady flow of money coming, but he was fairly certain that there wasn't a single father out there laden with the task on Son Goku's shoulders.
Chi-Chi waltzed into the kitchen while humming a happy tune, snapping the fourteen-year-old boy from his train of thought. Goten wanted to do his best and smile at the woman, but this morning he didn't feel like facing such a challenge. His mother must've picked up on this, judging from the maternal tone that covered her usually somewhat stern voice.
"Goten? What's the matter, sweetie?" She queried as she draped her arms around his neck and placed a kiss on the boy's jet-black spikes. It was her way of trying to comfort him.
"Oh, it's nothing, Mom," he replied. He knew that lying or holding back the truth wouldn't do; Chi-Chi would see right through it. "It's just that I'm bummed out that Dad's not here for breakfast again." Suddenly feeling irritated he threw his spoon into the ceramic green bowl and shoved it aside, his appetite now spoiled..
"Honey," his mom began. This was the part where she would justify his father's continuous absence. She was always able to bring it with such aloofness, like it was the most normal thing in the world for a pubescent teenage boy to never see his father. "You know as well as I do that Daddy has to work so much in order to keep bread on the table. He can't help it that he's always gone for so long and I'm sure that he would change it if he could."
"Well maybe it's just because he loves his job a little too much," Goten retorted. "I can't see anyone working such ungodly hours for a few petty thefts and parking tickets."
The slight wince that his mother tried to hide from him felt satisfying to a degree.
"Maybe you're right, sweetie. Who knows." And that was the end of their discussion, no further arguments given.
Goten was no fool. Chi-Chi always told him that Goku worked such late hours due to the incredible amount of paperwork that his job came with, whether it'd be for an armed robbery or a murder case. But the young teen knew that that was a lie; he had overheard his parents talking on several occasions. While they believed him to be in bed he was actually keeping his ear pressed against the living room door as he listened to his father talk about his day of work.
It hadn't taken long for Goten to discover that his dad wasn't your everyday police officer. The empty seat at the breakfast table was Gohan's fault, a young man Goten had once considered to be his big brother.
Yet, Gohan hadn't exactly been a son and brother to idolize. According to the stories that Mom always told him Gohan was arrested for the first time when he was only fifteen years old for the possession of cannabis, most likely in order to sell. In the years that followed, his big brother's crime spree had spiraled out of control so badly that three years ago he had decided to leave the house without saying a word, only to be never seen again.
In the note that Gohan had left, he mentioned that he had decided to disappear out of their lives because he couldn't stand inflicting such emotional pain on his family anymore, but Goten didn't believe that one bit. Chi-Chi had told him that before the eldest Son brother had left he was involved in a huge drug dealing scheme. She had said it with such venom in her voice that the kid didn't even dare to question her. Come to think of it, his mother had never said a nice word about Gohan ever since his departure.
Goten absentmindedly got ready for school, the wide smile that Gohan had always flashed him haunting his thoughts. He wasn't sure what to think of his sibling after everything he had put their family through. Sure, he was doing some things that everyone on the planet saw as something immoral, but Gohan had never seemed like a bad person to Goten. To him he was the cheerful playmate that he always loved to follow around and play hide and seek with.
No, he couldn't think like that! Gohan had hurt his mother more than anyone had ever done and it had caused his father to grow obsessed with finding him. Goten assumed that the queasy feeling in his stomach whenever the subject arose was hatred; what else could it be? Gohan had done things that most people didn't even dare think about doing. Goku should try his very best and arrest his big brother as soon as possible. He should be brought to justice for the crimes that he had committed...right?
He pressed a kiss on Chi-Chi's cheek and told the woman goodbye. Ever since the older Son boy had taken his leave the used-to-be mother of two had begun spoiling her little one to near perfection. There was nothing that Goten could do wrong in her perspective and he hated that. He hated it that his entire life was being decided by the actions of someone who nobody even saw anymore.
He barged out the door, an annoyed expression on his face. Secretly he wanted to see Gohan again despite everything else, but he knew that his parents would never allow it and he had no idea where to go find him in the first place. All he could do was try and not turn out like Gohan. That would be an easy enough task... right?