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24 March 2007 @ 03:23 pm
A Price Paid in Blood, ch. 26 (DBZ)  
Title: A Price Paid in Blood: Alternate Ending
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.



His knee stung from his less-than-graceful landing, but he enjoyed the pain as he fled through the forest, knowing damn well that it didn’t matter where he went now. They’d caught up to him because of his own stupidity. He knew that Piccolo could track him through a mind-to-mind link, even if he couldn’t sense his ki. And what had he done? Had a nice little chat with Mr. Piccolo via telepathy, allowing his mentor ample time to find him.

Stupid, stupid, stupid! he berated himself as he ran.

Then suddenly, he stopped. And smiled.

How could he not have seen that? The perfect way out. He wouldn’t have to face anyone. He wouldn’t have to go back. He had the perfect escape. But there wasn’t much time.

Keeping an "eye" on Piccolo and Vegeta, he pulled the little white box out of his pocket and quickly selected a blade, letting the rest fall to the ground by his feet.

They were getting close. It was now or never.

He placed the sharp edge of the blade against his arm and smiled. He was supposed to be the smart one in the group, and yet he’d been a complete idiot until now. This was easily the smartest thing he’d ever done in his life.

Without another thought, he pushed the blade into his skin and drew it up his arm, making a long, deep cut that ran from his wrist halfway to his elbow. It began bleeding almost instantly. Heavy bleeding, heavier then he’d ever experienced before. It was so wonderfully soothing.

So much blood…

After a few short moments he was enveloped in dizziness, to the point that he almost fell over. But he just barely managed to steady himself, and instead lowered himself to sit on the ground. The blood ran off his arm onto the dirt of the ground beneath him.

He heard the sound of someone landing nearby, and he smiled. They were too late. There was nothing they could do. He had won.

Seconds later, he heard Piccolo saying something in his native tongue. Though his knowledge of Namekian was rudimentary, Gohan recognized a few very colorful expletives. He smiled again.

"Gohan!" Piccolo finally stopped swearing and yelled at him in a voice full of rage.

The teenager turned his head with some difficulty and threw a fake smile at his former teacher. "Yes, Mr. Piccolo?"

The Namekian looked shocked, like he didn’t know what to do. "Gohan…" he choked out, "…Gohan, why?!? Why?!?"

"Because it’s what I deserve!" despite his growing weakness, Gohan found himself screaming, emotions he hadn’t even realized he was feeling tearing through his voice. He even managed to stagger to his feet, now ignoring the bleeding that was drawing him perpetually closer to death. "Every time someone looks at me, I can see it! They cry! Because you know what, Piccolo? I’m the reason my father’s dead. I’m the reason he had to die! And they all know it! Well, now they won’t have to cry anymore! I’ll be dead, and they can be happy because the person who caused them all this pain is gone! I’m not hurting anyone! This is for the best! No one would give a damn anyway, even if I didn’t kill Dad. I’m not my father. They all loved Dad. Everyone just expects me to be everything…" He sobbed out everything that was wrong, sustained only by raw emotions of rage, pain, frustration, guilt, and even some humiliation. Eventually, though, emotion couldn’t keep him on his feet anymore, and the severity of his blood loss took over. This time, he couldn’t stop himself from just falling over.

Piccolo and Vegeta were at his side in a heartbeat, leaning over him. Vegeta actually looked lost. "What the hell do we do?"

Looking equally helpless, Piccolo shook his head. "I—I don’t know."

-o-


This was pretty much the last thing Gohan had expected. He’d expected to end up somewhere—Hell, Heaven, somewhere! Instead, he was…nowhere. And there was a whole lot of…nothing.

He stared around the darkness for a while, looking for something, anything! He’d always heard stories of walking into a light at death, but there certainly wasn’t a light.

And he felt very strange, like he had weights tied to his legs, but heavier. Like he was tied to something. But what?

It was all so strange. So strange. Was he dead? He actually wasn’t sure. If he was, there was something missing. The whole reason he’d killed himself.

Relief.

It was nowhere to be found.

He still hurt in every possible sense—physically, mentally, and most unbearable of all, emotionally. Raw emotions still cut holes in the fragile fabric of his heart.

Confused and hurting, Gohan wandered aimlessly into the night, that heavy feeling of being tied down growing heavier with each step.