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24 March 2007 @ 02:17 pm
A Price Paid in Blood, ch. 10 (DBZ)  
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.




Uhh…strange…warm…where am I?

Gohan stirred a little, and opened his eyes. There were lights around him that very nearly blinded him at first, but once his eyes had grown accustomed to the brightness he got a good look at his surroundings. He was lying on a couch in a large domed room, which he recognized almost immediately.

How did I get to the lookout? he wondered vaguely. A small scuffling noise from one side of the room caught his attention. It was Mr. Popo.

"Good. You’re awake," was all he said before bowing and exiting the room for destinations unknown, once again leaving Gohan to his jumbled, sleep-fogged thoughts.

It wasn’t long before another familiar face entered the room. Gohan looked up to see who it was—and promptly lowered his head and focused on the design of the blanket he’d apparently been sleeping under. It was the one person he didn’t want to deal with at that moment.

Piccolo.

Dammit, he didn’t let his thoughts show on his face, but instead kept his eyes on the complex weaving pattern of the covers. He didn’t look up as Piccolo crossed the room and sat down at the other end of the couch. Even though Gohan refused to look up, he could feel that Piccolo was watching him, waiting for him to say something.

All right, Piccolo, if that’s how you’re gonna play, then I guess I’ll play along.

"Good morning," he said slowly, letting a hint of sarcasm color his tone. "What brings you here? Or maybe I should be asking what brings me here."

Piccolo wasn’t amused. "Cut the crap, kid. Start talking."

"About what?" Gohan resorted to the only thing he could think of—denial, and pretending he didn’t have a clue what anyone was talking about. The problem was, his former mentor wasn’t buying it.

"So that’s the way we’re going to do this. Fine with me, I don’t have anywhere to be, so I have plenty of time. Take as long as you want, because you’re not going anywhere until I get a very full and very detailed explanation."

The teenager said nothing, but traced the design of the blanket with his forefinger. He was in some serious trouble; why did he have so many stubborn friends? He wasn’t hurting them.

"I really have no idea what you’re talking about, Piccolo," he said icily, trying to follow the example of Vegeta; the Saiyan Prince was a model of arrogance.

The Namekian raised an eyebrow. "Really? You don’t remember running out on your mother, you don’t remember throwing me into Vegeta, and you don’t remember cutting yourself?"

Gohan thought it best to stay silent. He didn’t trust himself to answer.

Piccolo, on the other hand, had plenty more to say. "So you don’t know any of that, huh? Well kid, I don’t believe that."

Gohan narrowed his eyes in anger and jumped to his feet. "Trust me, nothing’s wrong."

"I have no reason to trust you, kid. Any trust I had in you is currently on hold. You’ll have to earn everyone’s trust back, Gohan. Now start talking."

"I don’t have anything to talk about," Gohan growled. He was getting angry, and that scared him. If he lost it…there was no telling what he might do to Piccolo.

But his mentor wasn’t giving up. "Gohan, I don’t know why you’re acting like this! "What the hell happened to you, kid? Have you gone crazy?" By this time, Piccolo was shouting.

It was taking everything Gohan had to keep a reign on his temper. He wanted out. He wanted to leave, to run, to get as far away from all these people as he could. And right now, Piccolo was standing in his way. If this interrogation kept up, Piccolo wouldn’t be standing for much longer.

"What do you think your father would say if he knew about this?"

The tedious hold he’d had on his temper snapped. In a flash of golden light he changed; his hair stood straight up and bleached itself to a goldenrod color, and his eyes faded from onyx to azure. The force of his aura sent both the couch and Piccolo flying. The Namekian jumped to his feet to find himself face to face with a furious Super Saiyan, falling into fighting stance so he could try to defend himself if necessary.

"You want an answer, Piccolo? Let’s try this. I’m the reason my little brother was half-orphaned before he was even born! Is that clear enough for you? Nothing made me feel better before! Nothing! If I show emotion, I’ll get myself eaten alive. Remember that, Piccolo? You taught me that. So I had to find my own way to deal with things. And if letting myself bleed helps me deal then I’m gonna keep right on doing it because it helps me and it’s not hurting anyone else!" At this point the teenager was panting with fury, and tears were running unheeded down his now-red face.

Piccolo stared wide-eyed at the person that up until recently he’d thought he knew better than anyone. Now he wasn’t sure if he knew him at all. After a second of silence he managed to get his voice to work again. "Gohan…have you ever thought about doing anything more…drastic?" It was a dangerous question, and Piccolo wasn’t sure if he really wanted to hear the answer.

Gohan’s face twisted into a sick parody of a smile. "Yeah, actually I have. I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve thought about just cutting my arm open and letting it bleed and bleed and bleed until I just die. I wish I wasn’t such a god damn coward, because if I wasn’t maybe I’d actually have the nerve to go through with it!" his eyes narrowed. "And maybe someday, I will."