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.
Bulma and ChiChi listened to Vegeta’s story with a mix of several emotions: relief that they’d been able to catch up to Gohan, sadness at Gohan’s attitude, anger at the fact that they hadn’t just brought Gohan back home, and worry over Gohan’s well-being.
"And then I left," the Saiyan Prince finished, leaning against the wall. "The Namek said they were going to heal Gohan, and then work on getting him to talk, see if they could find out what the problem is."
"So he’s with Dende and Piccolo?" Bulma sighed, leaning back in her chair and pressing a hand against her forehead. "Well, I’ll admit, that does make me feel a little bit better. If he does anything stupid or extreme, Dende can heal him."
"But when is my son coming home?" ChiChi demanded, tears staining her face. "If Gohan doesn’t come back, what am I going to tell Goten? He’d rather die than lose his brother! I can’t tell him the truth, he’d never understand. Quite honestly, I don’t understand."
"Actually, I think that might be part of his problem," Vegeta closed his eyes, recounting Gohan’s words. "He doesn’t think anyone understands him at all, and he doesn’t feel like he has anyone to talk to."
"What about Piccolo?" Bulma persisted.
"You should have seen the message he left us," Vegeta chuckled. "I believe his exact words were ‘Piccolo, I can’t yak your big ears off every time I have a nightmare.’ It was something like that."
"Good gods," Bulma put her face in her hands. "How bad did we screw this kid up?"
Surprisingly, ChiChi answered that question. "Pretty bad."
A heavy silence descended on the room for a long, tense moment.
"Mommy?" a small voice came from the doorway. Everyone turned to see that Goten was up again, standing there in his pajamas, rubbing his eyes, and to a person who didn’t already know better, it would have looked like the child had a severe case of bedhead.
ChiChi immediately slapped a façade of calmness onto her face and held out her arms to her younger son, who promptly crossed the room and crawled into her lap. "You should be asleep now, sweetie. What’s wrong?"
"Where’s brother?" the two-year-old asked with a yawn. "I want brother."
ChiChi was at a loss. "He’s…not back yet, sweetheart."
"Did something bad happen?" Goten looked up at his mother. "Something bad happened, and Gohan’s in trouble. It’s bad."
Bulma’s jaw fell off her face. For that matter, so did Vegeta’s.
"What do you mean?" ChiChi didn’t bother to hide her surprise.
"Feel it, like when I got sick," Goten said very seriously. "A bad feeling in my tummy. Gohan’s far away, and the bad feeling says he’s in trouble."
The room fell silent again, this time in shock. How on Earth could Goten possibly know that there was something wrong with his brother? He was only two years old!
"Have you gotten these ‘bad feelings’ before?" Bulma asked.
"Uh-huh," was the reply, "like when Trunks climbed up his house and fell off the roof. I felt sick then too. But this is badder. Is Gohan in trouble?" he looked up at his mother with those huge eyes.
ChiChi gave her son a tight squeeze. "I don’t know, sweetie."