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24 March 2007 @ 04:07 pm
A Price Paid in Blood, ch. 35 (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.



In the instant that the blast hit him, time seemed to freeze. Gohan’s eyes unfocused as visions danced in front of him…memories of a life he had once know, of a happiness that had once been his. Things he hadn’t even been aware that he remembered…

He saw himself as a baby, with his parents. They were younger…and his father seemed to be asking a million questions…

…then as a child of four, visiting the strange pink house on the island with his father…then came Radditz…he relived that whole ordeal…

…then for a long time, it was just Piccolo, out training for the arrival of the Saiyans…then the Saiyans themselves…Nappa and Vegeta…

…then Namek and Frieza…the quest for the Dragonballs…

…Garlic Jr. and the Black Water Mist…Piccolo attacking him…

…Mirai Trunks…his father’s heart virus…the fear…androids…

…the Cell Games…oh gods, the Cell Games…

For some reason, the Cell Games seemed to repeat a million times over in front of his eyes. More specifically, the part where Cell began self-destructing and his father had jumped forward to clean up after Gohan’s own mistakes…and his father’s last words to him were lost as the vision erupted in light when the scene changed to Cell—alive and well—flinging the blast at Vegeta, and Gohan taking the hit, sacrificing his left arm in the process…and then another flash as the battle of Kamehameha began, Cell throwing everything he had at Gohan’s eleven-year-old self, and Gohan replying with a blast of his own, fired one-handed. Gohan’s Kamehameha overpowering Cell…

Then the visions changed…no more fighting, but peace. Goten was born…gods, he remembered that…he remembered resisting getting close to anyone, but eventually having his heart stolen by a pair of huge, charcoal-black eyes and a permanent case of bedhead. And something he hadn’t really realized before—the memories with Goten in them, the ones he was seeing at that moment, all were good ones.

But then he saw something else…himself. Pushing everyone away so carefully and so subtly that no one even realized he was doing so. The time he sliced his finger open, completely on accident. The first cut he purposely made, a very short time later.

Three years of relief through pain. Three years of tormenting himself for things that might or might not have been his fault. Three years of paying for everyone else’s mistakes as well as his own. It was a price that Gohan had paid in his own blood, and no one had even noticed until a twist of fate had brought certain matters to the attention of his friends.

Then, a series of coincidental events that had led to his secret coming out. Goten interrupting his "relaxation", Gohan completely spacing off the fact that the evidence was right out in the open, and for some reason, he saw his mother going into his room and finding the blades. He saw her shock, he saw her anger, and he saw her fear.

All of the events of the past couple of days flashed in front of him. Running away, slashing his wrist, trying to escape the darkness, being called by Goten, yelling at the chibis, running away again, being brought back, and then…

His father had shown up. And it had all gone downhill from there. The explosion of anger, the isolation, and more cutting. And Goten showing up in the doorway to see it, followed by the scene at the bathroom door, and then…

Something passed in front of him that didn’t really make any sense to him. It was the strangest thing...he didn’t know what to make of it.

He saw a girl—well, more of a woman, really. She looked to be maybe eighteen or nineteen, with dark hair, a pretty smile, and wide cobalt-blue eyes in a beautiful face. He could tell that she was tough and almost undoubtedly stubborn. But he had never seen her before...yet somehow...she was familiar...but he didn’t know, nor did he have time to ponder it because something else the vision of the young woman changed again. She was talking with someone, a tall young man, who was also strangely familiar. They seemed to be quite happy...but he couldn’t quite place either of them.

Then the visions vanished.

They just stopped.

Nothing more.

Only the ki blast ripping through him. Pain lanced through him, to every inch of his being. But he didn’t even have the energy to scream out in agony. All he could do was feel.

As the ground quickly and violently introduced itself to his back, he felt his lifeforce depleting. His eyes refocused and stared at the ceiling. Screams and crying echoed through his ears.

Why the hell didn’t I just do this sooner? he wondered, his very thoughts wavering. At least it’s finally done. They can’t stop me now. Goodbye, Earth. Goodbye, everybody. You’ll all be way better off without me. And Goten…I’m sorry…

He tried to send that last thought, but he wasn’t sure if it made it. The thought trailed off as his mind plunged into darkness.