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24 March 2007 @ 02:28 pm
A Price Paid in Blood, ch. 13 (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.




Why is it always me that ends up in these kinds of messes? Gohan wondered bitterly, watching the trickle of blood run down his arm. His outburst with Piccolo had been nearly two hours ago, and now he was so tense and angry and confused that he couldn’t stop. He knew that Piccolo had been watching discreetly a little while ago, and he’d done his best to ignore his mentor’s disappointment and disapproval. Consequently, the Namekian had apparently given up.

He’d was laying on his stomach, with his head resting on one arm at the very edge of the lookout, watching his arm bleed, little white box beside his elbow, trying to calm the anxiety that had settled in the pit of his stomach. He’d cut more in the past couple of hours then he usually did in two or three days, and he was starting to get a little bit scared.

Why can’t I stop? he screamed at himself in his mind. I used to be in control of this, but now…it’s controlling me! And I’m not gonna talk to Piccolo. Not a chance in hell.

He sighed and continued staring the cut on his arm. Blood was still oozing out. I miss Goten. I miss my house. I miss Mom. I doubt anyone told Goten what’s going on. But Mom and Bulma and whoever else they decided to include on this little conspiracy. I wonder how Goten would take it if I never came home. He pondered that for a while.

It was a full two minutes later that he noticed that the cut he’d made on his arm was still bleeding. But he’d made that incision well over five minutes ago. Why was it still bleeding? It had never lasted this long before; usually the blood tapered off after a minute or so.

Gohan stared at it for a long time, then gritted his teeth and used the blade to widen the gash, letting more of his life fluid seep out. His entire arm was red now, and he watched it in morbid fascination for a long, long time. He’d never bled like this before; maybe he’d cut a major artery or something.

Suddenly, it hit him. He could die if the bleeding didn’t stop. Already he was starting to feel a little bit dizzy. And suddenly, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to die or not.

Staggering to his feet, he stumbled towards the palace. He got halfway there before his knees suddenly gave out. That was when he became completely convinced.

He didn’t want to die, but he was going to.

Resorting to the last thing he could think of, he used his mind.

*Piccolo!* he sharpened the single word into a mental dagger and hurled it.

Surprise, then, *What?*

*Piccolo…it won’t…stop…* his ability to even think began wavering. He tried to send an image to get his message across. *…won’t…stop…*

He couldn’t think anymore and let himself begin slipping into a merciful darkness. The last thought that made it through his mind was, Maybe this won’t be so bad…I’ll see Dad again… He wasn’t sure if that thought had also been sent to Piccolo, and he was too tired to wonder.

Suddenly someone rolled him over onto his back, and a hand closed tightly around his bleeding arm, but he was too far gone to even notice that pain. Then he heard a fuzzy voice barking orders, and felt a strange warmth entering his arm and spreading throughout his entire being. It pulled him back from the darkness at the very last second, and he came rushing back to himself.

Someone was calling his name, but for a long moment he was afraid to open his eyes, but the kis he could sense standing around him weren’t going anywhere. It was just Dende and Piccolo; Popo probably couldn’t take that kind of bloodshed and had chosen to absent himself instead.

With a sigh of defeat, he opened his eyes and sat up, ignoring the inevitable pool of blood that had formed around him on the white tile of the lookout. He also ignored the questioning looks of the two Namekians. Instead he climbed to his feet, trying to keep his balance with only partial success. Dizziness seized him and he sat right back down again.

"I…I didn’t mean to do that," he said finally, even though it wasn’t true. Gods, why was he being so stupid lately? Lying, running away…what was happening to him?

"Gohan…" Dende began, then stopped as if not sure what to say.

Gohan held up a hand. "I’m okay now. Thanks."

With that he struggled to his feet again, and this time didn’t let himself fall over. Instead, he staggered over to the edge of the lookout where he’d been sitting earlier, and collapsed once again. He rolled over onto his stomach so that he could look down at the planet.

*That was definitely NOT the smartest thing you’ve ever done, Gohan. Way to go,* his thoughts took on a mind of their own in the form of a cruel and unforgiving voice that was determined to torment him. *They probably think you’ve completely cracked! Maybe you have. You should’ve just let it go. Maybe it would’ve just kept bleeding and bleeding and then you would have died. Wouldn’t that have made you happy, Gohan? Wouldn’t it? Isn’t that what you want?*

That was when he discovered that he was powerless to stop that severe voice in his mind. It kept repeating the same thing over and over again. *You could have died. Isn’t that what you wanted? You want to die. The world would be so much better if you just disappeared.*

No! he screamed back. I don’t know what I want anymore! Leave me alone!

*You’re a pathetic excuse for a human being. Oh wait—you’re not a human being!*

Go away! I’m not listening to you! I don’t know what I want! I want to die! But I don’t! Just leave me alone! Gods…I’m so confused…

He looked at the blood on his arm and thought about what he’d very nearly done. The majority of the red stains on his skin were still sticky.

For what seemed like the millionth time, tears stung his eyes and his throat burned. He held his breath and closed his eyes to hold them back, but it didn’t work. He felt like a complete crybaby. He was the strongest fighter alive, and yet he couldn’t fight his own tears.

Gohan fell onto his side on the tile floor of the lookout, curled up into the tightest ball he could, and for the third time that day, he cried.