Disclaimer : I do not own Dragon Ball, it belongs to Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation.

Hello, it's me again! After so much time I had ideas once more for this fanfiction which in turns made me type more chapters before I knew it.

Thanks for the reviews, and the PM's. Some of you will like it that this is becoming a Full-Fledged story.

As for Chi-Chi, this isn't a bashing story, no matter how much I disliked her in the show, I still liked her as a character (You have to give her props for putting with Goku, the man who was absent for half their marriage.)

This is written from Gohan POV, a young man entering puberty who has seen some horrendous things. A boy under much psychological pressure.

In this story I'm trying to explore his psyche he is a very interesting case as far as the DB Universe is concerned in my opinion.

On to the story then ;)

Chapter 2 : Getting back on our feets


Is there any other way to describe what life is all about? Some people I know may say that it isn't, that life is about happiness, love, work, fun… All these things. But at the beginning you don't have these things, you need to acquire them first. You want to have them, want being the keyword.

You then strive for a goal. A goal that will brings you Happiness, be it finding your one true love, be it sleeping around or doing your dream job…

You then break down - conscientiously or not - most often not that one goal or several goals into several smaller goals to reach.

For a Child this can be getting a brand new toy that would make you happier, to play with and all of this. Being Happier being the subconscious goal for a kid.

We can then agree that everyone is working towards goals in their lives, hence questions as "What do you want?" or "What do you want to do with your life" and so on being common.

Once everyone realizes that, what they need to realize next is how dreadful and terrifying it is for someone to find themselves with no set goal. Some people before reaching that point may think it would be liberating because in a way it means you could then do whatever you want. They would be mistaken, I'm sure.

Because to me, at twelve years old, it is downright terrifying all of a sudden to find myself alone in the world by my own choice without any kind of idea of what I could and should do.

It has been close to four months since I left my mother's house on Mount Paozu, four months since that argument that was a major turning point in my life. At the time I wanted to get things out of my chest and more importantly… I wanted out.

At the time, reflecting on it, I never expected things to be so confusing… From the anger at first, the righteous anger which led to this decision. Then to the bone crushing guilt which almost had me return home and beg for forgiveness on an impulse. Feeling… a chill all of a sudden, tears coming to you thinking about how you basically lashed out at a family member, laying down all of their perceived defaults and how they antagonized you without ever thinking about it.

Then Fear, what was I going to do in the world, alone? For all that I said I wanted to protect the world, the world at this time was an image. Meaning I knew it was "big" but what I wanted to protect more than anything was "my" world. My family, my friends, my way of life.

I was dreadfully unaware of the world at large.

Thinking about it brought back the anger. I was so heavily sheltered in life, by both parents but moreso my mother, Chi-Chi, than anyone else.

The anger coming back crushed the guilt which tried to reassert itself. The anger showing that I was right, but that the means weren't necessarily the best. My mother DID lose my father only months ago after all.

A father that I got killed which she forgave me for…

Oh God, the guilt came back.

Basically this was my routine for the last months, thinking in circles, feeling in circles, and being awfully tired for it.

What I realized though was that…

Training, fighting when it wasn't in life threatening situations wasn't so bad. I would never be my Father who, God bless him couldn't see that training wasn't all life was about or Vegeta who was a training nut. But it was great to stop thinking and just go with the flow.

God knows I needed to stop thinking.

My decision was made, it was made months ago. And only cowards started looking back. Then again, only idiots never change their minds. That wasn't incompatible though : You can change your mind without going back on your word.

That was called Living after all.

I would strive forwards and so, what I did first was prove my mother wrong. She said that what I was doing would never amount to anything? I did something my father never did. I got a Job.

It was an odd impulse but everyday I spent laying about thinking were making me go insane. I felt that I needed an anchor, something that I could do to prove myself that I could. This however gave rise to another issue.

Who in their right minds would hire an eleven years old do you ask? Well, only unsavory people… I found that out soon enough and instead went for the lesser evil. Lying. I was exceedingly bad at it at first, because to me it was something nobody "proper" would do.

Something my parents taught me. Unfortunately, being proper didn't get you a job, and stealing was NEVER going to be something I would stoop to.

Lying it was.

"You see… My family has troubles getting by so I said I would go work… To bring money back you know? I'm very strong so I would be good for the job" I had the strongest urge to add "I think" at the end, but I once lost an opportunity with it, saying I think meant you weren't sure of yourself.

I was. To prove my point, I lifted the pillar of stone besides me. I didn't know what would be overdoing it. But well, I was hired. On the spot. It was satisfying to see my would be employer's face going from an expression that screamed 'I will humor you by listening to you before sending you to your family' to 'I need this guy in my company'. Then again, this could be my overactive imagination.

I was now a full time construction worker, and the damn best construction worker around you can be sure of it. Normally my contract should only have lasted for the duration of the first construction project, but I soon became a company fixture. When interrogated about it, I was told that having me on a project meant finishing way before schedule.

Which I could work out meant that the clients paid more, but well, I didn't say anything.

My boss was pleasant enough not to ask too many questions, it was hard enough setting up a bank account to send the salary to… Thankfully I already had one I found.

Bulma had one set up for me when she learned of my existence and she didn't have any children, just in case the worst happened to send any potential inheritance to. Said account was almost empty, and I hoped it would have stayed empty for a very long time. Not counting my putting money into it.

Finding a place to live was more difficult though. I didn't want to go to Bulma's for the only reason that I didn't want to talk about everything that happened with my Mother and she would try to help me. It was cowardly, but I wanted to work through this on my own. The Lookout was out of the question too… For obvious reasons, seeing Piccolo brought mixed feelings inside me, he was my friend, my father figure… And someone else entirely now since he fused with Kami. It was unfair to think this, he would always look out for me. But he would not give me the beating I deserved anymore if I deserved one.

Basically he was Piccolo, but not Piccolo at the same time.

Besides this… Well, nowhere to go, I really didn't know many people, did I?

So what I did basically made having a Salary pointless. I… just went on to live in the wild. For a time anyways. It was sadly where I was the most comfortable, saying a lot considering the company was wild dinosaurs, tigers, and the likes. But it provided food and shelter so why not?

I didn't think this through, did I?… Not at all. I managed to get myself a job, but one which didn't serve any purpose since I had nothing to buy with it. Well, the whole point in coming to a town was to get to know more people, to have a more normal life.

What was normal anyway? To me normal was lifting trees, to most people it was… not that.

It changed with the person, so let's just say I wanted something more… mundane? Was that it?

Then again most twelve years old do not perform deep introspection of themselves.

It was weird, seeing your own power and wonder why you had it. And when you found why, you found that there was no long-term goal behind it besides "In the here and now, make sure my friends don't die".

Powers born out of survival, of need. To the opposite of my father which was a power born out of desire to get stronger.

In that regard, I was a passenger in my own life instead of being the driving force.

Which was utterly ridiculous, being so passive? At least I was doing something.

But I still lacked something…

I lacked drive.

-Line Break-

To be honest, I didn't really know what I was expecting. What I did know is that realizing you can do something if you pay your mind to it, anything really if you have the motivation but find out that you do not have it is downright annoying.

I could say that I liked my work, it took my mind out of things. I could also say that lightly training took my mind off things. But there was one more thing which was helpful. One thing I could buy with money that was good company.

I didn't like being forced to study, but studying in light amounts did have a certain appeal to it. When I was younger… It was the thing I was good at that didn't involve being hurt, possibly killed and see deaths. I was just not… someone who genuinely loved learning advanced mathematics for the sake of it if there was someone out there who honestly felt like that. It did take my mind out of it, but right now… It wasn't something I wanted to do.

Sure, I did want to become a scholar, that's what I said to my father when I was sent to do battle with Cell. But anything was preferable to that. And at the time… I didn't realize how much that was something just expected of me. At the time it felt that it was either Training or becoming a Scholar. Already doing one of them meant disappointing one of my parents, doing none of them meant disappointing…both of them. Letting down one parent was already a terrifying prospect to me, both would be too much.

Once again, expectations were…

My fathers friends from the moment they saw me asked if I wanted to become a strong martial artist like my father. That was expected of me, but before being abducted, I was never pressured into it. Even going to Namek was my own choice. And no matter how much I wanted to blame others for it, I could have refused to fight Cell.

If I wanted the earth to be destroyed, sure.

What in hindsight I didn't like at all was how I was put on the spot. My father didn't tell me beforehand, if he did?

I would have returned, alone even in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and would have trained to harness my hidden power.

It was expected of me to roll with it.

Just like that, my mother expected me to be a Genius, to love studying, to want to be the best there was. But I don't, I don't want to be something to be paraded, the prodigal son, the Genius son who look down on everything else. That wasn't an appealing mindset to me, even if caricatural.

So where did that leave me ? I enjoyed training, but not to extreme extent, and I enjoyed studying but only on some amounts.

Well, I loved reading. I loved reading about… Adventures.

Yes, that was the one kind of books I didn't have, a waste of time even if somewhat acceptable to my mother that I decided to buy as soon as possible. I took some classics, like Journey to the West no matter how ironical it was, some new like the Harry Potter serie or The Lord of the Rings… Some comics, some mangas, really, I was literally buying more books in one week than most people in a year.

No matter how self-depreciating it was it was sad, since I came to the city to make friends, not to bury myself in books.

As far as reading goes… I was more of the binge-reader type. I never stayed on a set story and instead opted for reading as much as I could. Reading about adventures was something I particularly affectionated for one reason most particularly. That is… You can always find crazier adventures in writing than the ones you actually lived even if you were Half-Saiyan and fought space tyrants alongside Androids. Well, for one example, I was never invited to a Wizard school, was I? If I had been it would have been an interesting experience though. Even if fighting using wands sounded impractical I could totally imagine someone like Vegeta just stabbing his opponent with said wand.

Actually, the very thought of Vegeta or Piccolo in a Wizard Robe speaking in old Latin to fight was enough to make me break out laughing. Would he call himself Vegeta, Headmaster of all students? Then he would have a beard… Or maybe a mustache.

Anyway, no matter how ridiculous it was it ended up being my reason to find myself a flat. Because storing books in the wilderness wasn't exactly the best thing to do… Living in the wild was good when you didn't have to store belongings.

Finding myself a flat at Twelve was a grueling task. Worst than finding work, and Capsule Houses, the next best thing had their own problem, the first of which was their price, it wasn't something you rented. For now, I was completely disappointed so I bought myself a Capsule to store my books in and any other belongings and kept living in the woods.

I would just have to save money so I could just downright buy some land, then I would build a house on it. Strangely, the laws on buying lands authorized anyone to actually buy land as long as you had the money for it in South City.

South City was where I would be for the foreseeable future, since that's where the building company I'm employed at is.

Speaking of which… I was due to get my new assignment from my Manager.

"Hey Kid, stop spacing out and take this already! I don't have all day!" The…Man? In front of me looked like a caricature of what a Manager should look like. He was balding with some spots of grey hair around his ears, sporting quite an impressive belly which from the smell of his breath wasn't entirely from food with a notepad suspended to his neck with a leather cord. Sporting round glasses which made his face look hilariously big compared to his eyes. No matter how nice I was supposed to be to everyone, that man was throughly unpleasant which may or may not taint my view of him. But then again he was far from the only unpleasant person here.

Wanting to be done with this as soon as possible I simply answered quickly "I wasn't spacing out " Well, that was a complete lie but I couldn't very well admit to my manager I was spacing out now; could I? "I'm simply waiting for my assignment"

Eying me dubiously and biting back a retort the not quite imposing simply pawned me off "Here, don't slack off. You are assigned to the National Park of Life "Treasures"" He snorted at that which managed to aggravate me "Never quite understood these lunatics spending money on that but well, they pay us, we do the work and with the hefty sum they do pay us, you would have better not screw this up" As if, I was usually one of the only actually doing work on most assignments - As soon as the other workers saw my strength they managed to give most of the work to me.

God, twelve and already sarcastic.

I couldn't really well complain, I was grateful enough to have a Job to begin with. This would change once I was fifteen and could start applying to other positions more easily.

Merely nodding while saying that I would do my best as usual, I managed to get myself out of that man's office. Today he smelled even more awful than usual which is saying a lot. Putting on mountains of perfume when you obviously haven't bathed in one week doesn't manage to quite hide the smell to someone with acute senses it just makes it worse.

"Hey, wonder boy, I hope that today you won't break an arm! Smoke and mirrors don't help much when doing real work!" An annoying loud high-pitched voice, so it had to be Wally. Wally fitted that one role that all books have of the annoying, clueless and aggravating co-workers that most readers usually want to punch. Ever since he noticed my likeness to the boy on the Cell Games tapes he started making fun of me. I never dropped out of Super Saiyan since that day when I left my house… At the time, it just felt like proper to change appearance when taking a major step in life.

Also, this was one of my greatest achievements to date, I really liked it, it made me feel more confident but not overbearingly arrogant like my fully powered state, what I had come to call the form I achieved against Cell.

There weren't many blond kids with gravity defying hair and teal eyes around. Thankfully most people ended up believing I was simply a fan trying to give myself a style or some such.

Even so, some people just took whatever they could as a cue to start picking on you, taking indifference for weakness.

Not giving any retort, I breezed past Wally which seemed to aggravate him, proceeding to head towards my assignment.

-Line Break-

The National Park of Life Treasures was an institution founded in Age 674 as a bid to preserve some of South Continent most endangered fauna&flora. It was constantly protected by two kinds of people. Mandated officers from the King's Office which was an obligatory passage towards prestigious desk work, it was usually only given to people having proved themselves in the Police Force of South City.

Then, there was the Rangers, they were hired on a basis of skill to actually live in the "Park" which was more the size of a generous forest. They had to be talented enough to sedate any rampaging animal, and protect the biologists when they did go on expeditions to collect sample, plant or the like.

Often enough renovations were made to the infrastructure, with the park notoriety, it was the go to donation made by politicians wanting to make themselves look good. Actually if was an unspoken rule that it was mandatory since not making a donation to it was more notable than actually doing it. Come into office without making it? You were plastered on Papers for at least a month… I discovered that because it happened not even a month ago something I found ridiculous but well… That's not the subject is it?

It meant the park had money to preserve nature. Money they used to pay my company.

I was actually quite at ease working here which could not be said for my coworkers… Wally actually jumped every time a rabbit or a squirrel made some kind of noise… The others weren't much better off. I actually didn't know their names since they were only part time hired on this project alone.

Did it say something worrying about me that I was more interested in petting the Stags than making conversation with my coworkers?

"How long will they take to come seriously? It has been 10 minutes already where are they?!" That was Wally, complaining about the rangers who were supposed to greet us and accompany us for the duration of the project. We were supposed to build a resort area for tourists, an endeavor that would take around six months until completion according to the contract.

My contract however said a three months completion time was heavily suggested.

"They are rangers, there may have been an emergency which is more important than to greet us, Wally" I sighed, why did I speak again? Oh yes, he was aggravating the stags.

"They were contracted to greet us at 2PM, were we late? No but they are, and we are supposed to work with them for six months? As if!" I sighed once again. "And what are you doing?! We aren't supposed to touch the animals, they could attack us Idiot!" Well, at least he sounded worried enough to say us instead of 'me'… I guess I could humor him.

"That's my line, I'm supposed to work with idiots unable to read their contract? You aren't supposed to speak so loudly it work up the felines. Also, they apparently did not give you the right meeting place" The voice made a 'tsk' sound but I was instantly wary.

One reason was that the voice seemed a bit… familiar? But there was something very off about it, like I knew the person that voice belonged to but it should be different.

The second thing was more alarming, I couldn't sense any KI belonging to the person.

I instantly turned around, reflexively dropping in a fighting stance when I noticed him.

Dressed in a Park Ranger outfit, a rifle on his back staring right at me was a Black-Haired copy of Android Eighteen. With no Ki.

"Who are you?"

And that's it! For chapter 2 ;) I'm pretty sure you can guess who is our mystery character!

Read&Review as always. It is really important since to authors it lets us see if our work is enjoyed, or not.