Fandom: Dragonball Z
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements)
Publish Date: 8/13/2002 to 11/4/2002
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ.
The bright lights of the city were dazzling, but Gohan did his best to shut them out. Why the hell did he decide to land here? He was completely lost here, a fish out of water. Unconsciously, he tightened his grip on the tiny box in his hand. Just knowing it was there gave him confidence.
He ducked into an alley to think. The cut he’d made on his arm had stopped bleeding long ago, and he hadn’t even bothered to roll his sleeve back down. Why should he even bother trying to hide? But he did tuck the box into his pocket, just for safekeeping.
Nearby in the alley, an older man in a ragged, dirty clothes was asleep under a newspaper, a bottle clenched in his fist. Gohan suddenly felt very frightened.
And to make matters worse, he could sense his pursuers in the city. That’s why he’d stopped flying and started walking. This way, he could keep his ki pushed down low enough that maybe they wouldn’t be able to find it. The only reason he’d stopped was because he was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted, not to mention the fact that hunger was starting to claw at his insides.
Maybe death would be easier then this, he thought through a haze of drowsiness that threatened to completely overtake him at any moment. And Kami knows I deserve it.
He began nodding off, blissfully falling into the arms of sleep, but just before he fell completely deaf to the world, his mind snapped to full alert, and he shot back to reality.
Vegeta. Close. Very close.
Very, very close…
"Well what do we have here?" a soft growl from only a few feet away gave him the answer he’d been praying not to get. Gohan was on his feet in the blink of an eye, facing the Saiyan Prince.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Gohan snarled, trying to hide the fact that he was trembling from head to toe. He didn’t want to fight Vegeta; the only person he wanted to hurt was himself…
"I’m doing this as a favor to the women," was the curt reply. "For some reason they’re very concerned about you. You really should just come back. You’ve caused enough trouble to everyone for one night already. Don’t make it worse. And if you’ll give me just a second, I’ll have the Namek over here. I’m pretty sure he has a few things to say to you, brat."
Gohan’s panic and anger was growing by the second. There was no way in hell he was going back—he couldn’t! Even if he wanted to, there was no way he could face his mother. And even though he doubted that they had told Goten what was going on, he was certain he couldn’t look his little brother in the eye either. If he had to fight Vegeta to get away, then so be it.
Apparently, Vegeta noticed Gohan’s rising ki and smirked. "So you’re going to fight me. Is that how desperate you are to avoid going back?"
The only response Gohan trusted himself to make was a nod. Vegeta’s smile grew broader.
"Well, perhaps you’d like to discuss that with your Namekian friend," he chuckled, a laugh that actually sent chills down Gohan’s spine.
And then he noticed it. Piccolo’s ki. Too close…
Right behind him.
Whirling around, he found himself face to face with his former mentor.
Without even realizing it, he said the first thing that came into his mind. "Oh shit."