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 Namekian listened, horrified, to Gohan’s outburst. When had this all happened? When had the sweet, happy, innocent child he’d trained so long ago become this angry, depressed person? For once, Piccolo was completely at a loss.
Gohan glared angrily at his former teacher, then threw the blanket off and stood up. He was halfway across the room when Piccolo found his voice.
"Are you happy, Gohan?" he called after the teenager, knowing full well that is was just about the most dangerous question he could have asked.
The demi-Saiyan stopped a few yards away from the door and half-turned. His face was twisted into a blend of sadness, anger, and pain. "Do I look happy to you, Piccolo?" he spat the words out as if they’d been a bitter taste in his mouth. With those furious words left hanging in the air between them, Gohan returned to normal, turned and stormed out of the room, leaving a disturbed Piccolo behind.
Gohan went straight to the edge of the lookout and sat down, letting his feet hang over the edge. From this vantage point, he could see the planet. Gods, it was beautiful…
A sudden thought struck him, and he shifted so that he could fish into his pocket…
Sure enough, his little white box was still there. He fished out a blade and rolled up his sleeve. But for the first time in years, he hesitated. Did he really need to do this? He knew that if he went back Piccolo wouldn’t hold it against him. Or maybe…
No, it wouldn’t work. Not here. Dende was too close. If he tried anything seriously drastic and they noticed it, Dende would just heal him, and then everything would be ten times worse, if not more.
He made his decision, and it came through in a fresh slash across his lower arm. He watched it with intense focus, blocking everything else out. The only things in existence at that moment were himself, his arm, and the lines of crimson running down his arm onto his sleeve.
Some part of his mind noted that Piccolo had followed him out here and was watching him, but he was beyond all semblance of caring. It didn’t matter what Piccolo thought anymore. It didn’t matter what anyone thought.
As the blood began tapering off, he slowly let the rest of the world back into existence, including Piccolo’s presence, which at that moment was far too close in spite of the fact that the Namekian was a good five feet away.
"Gohan, I want you to listen to me," Piccolo growled in such a way that only Gohan could have possibly picked up the hurt among the anger. "I can’t help you if you don’t want to be helped. This is something you’re gonna have to figure out for yourself, kid. And if you can’t, then I don’t know what you’re going to do. But you’re hurting everyone, realize it or not, intend to or not, believe it or not. Think very carefully about what you’re doing."
A flutter of fabric told the teenager that his mentor had taken his leave, and had probably gone back to the Palace. This left Gohan completely alone with his jumbled thoughts and confused emotions.