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24 March 2007 @ 01:59 pm
A Price Paid in Blood, ch. 3  
Title: A Price Paid in Blood
Fandom: Dragonball Z
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements)
Genre: Drama/Angst
Publish Date: 8/13/2002 to 11/4/2002
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ.




Goten’s breathing was steady and soft, a sure sign that the child was asleep. He always managed to fall asleep just as the story was ending.

"The end," Gohan finished, tucking the blankets in around his little brother. "Stay tuned tomorrow night, same time, same place, for the next exciting episode." He was rewarded for his joke when his little borther smiled in his sleep.

ChiChi had listened to the story from the doorway, but her mind wasn’t on the tale. Her heart felt heavy, like it was made of lead, and would crash from her chest to her feet where it would probably shatter on impact. Gohan was on his feet and had already moved past her on his way to his room.

She followed him to his room and watched him sprawl out on his bed. She didn’t want to do this, but if she didn’t ask, she’d spend forever wondering.

"Gohan, I need to ask you something," she began slowly, taking a few steps into the room.

He looked up at her and gave her that smile he’d inherited from his father. "Sure, mom. What’s on your mind?"

"Well, Gohan…" she decided to just blurt it out. "Would you mind explaining why you’ve got a box of razor blades in your nightstand and why one of them has blood on it?"

Gohan’s smile vanished, and was replaced by the iciest look she’d ever seen on his face. "What the hell were you doing in my room?"

That confirmed her suspicion that there was indeed something dreadfully wrong here. "Don’t talk to me in that tone of voice, young man. I can go in your room if I want. I was picking up some laundry you left on the floor and I found that razor blade on your bed. That drawer was open and there were plenty more in there. I want an explanation."

"Tough," Gohan stood up, grabbed the box out of his nightstand, and walked past her, back out his bedroom door. "You’re not getting one."

"Gohan!" ChiChi felt her temper begin to rise.

To her surprise, he stopped and turned to face her. The look on his face was indescribable.

"Gohan, what’s the matter with you? Are you hurting yourself or something?" she began yelling in spite of herself.

"So what if I am?" he snarled.

ChiChi froze at that answer. He took advantage of her momentary paralysis to continue storming out. She managed to choke out a few words through her shock. "Gohan, come back here!"

He ignored her and disappeared around the corner. Seconds later, she heard the front door slam.

"Mommy, what’s going on?" Goten’s sleepy face appeared in the doorway. He rubbed at his eyes drowsily and looked up at his mother for an explanation. "What was all the yelling about? And where did big brother go?"

"He…went out to run an errand for me, sweetie," ChiChi thought the lie up quickly, not sure what else to do. What was she supposed to say? Sorry, honey, but your older brother’s a manic depressive, I think he’s been cutting himself, and now he’s stormed out of the house headed for only Kami knows where? Not a chance in hell she was going to tell that to her two-year-old.

"Oh, okay. Good night," Goten smiled with his unfailing good nature and went back to bed, leaving ChiChi alone without any idea as to what she should do next.

Feeling frightened and desperate, she picked up the phone and dialed in a number. After a few seconds, she heard a voice on the other end.

"Hi Bulma. It’s ChiChi. Sorry to call so late, but we have a really big problem over here."

"What’s wrong?" Bulma’s voice was concerned.

"I went into Gohan’s room to pick a few things up, and I found some razor blades in his nightstand. When I asked him about them, he got really defensive and ended up storming out of the house."

A shocked gasp came from Bulma’s end of the line. "I’ll be right over. Do you have any idea where he might have gone?"

ChiChi shivered. "Not a clue."

"I’ll bring Vegeta along," Bulma said with more confidence then she felt. "He can sense Gohan or whatever it is they do to find each other. Don’t worry. It’ll all be okay."

The two women said their goodbyes and hung up the phone.

After what felt like ages, the doorbell rang. ChiChi was waiting, and she flung open the door to see a concerned-looking Bulma and an irritated-looking Vegeta.

"Can you find him?" ChiChi didn’t bother with hellos, not when the situation was this serious.

Vegeta glared at her, but answered. "I can sense him and follow it, if that’s what you mean."

"Would you?"

Once again, he shot her a death glare. Only a pleading look from Bulma got him to agree.

As he turned to fly off, Bulma grabbed his arm. "Vegeta, find Piccolo. If anyone can talk some sense into Gohan’s head, Piccolo can. Please."

He nodded once, sharply, and took off into the night sky, heading towards the Namek’s ki.