Candyland (candyfics) wrote,

Acquainted with the Night (DBZ)

Title: Acquainted with the Night
Fandom: Dragonball Z
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama
Publish Date: 2/10/2003
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ.

Hello darkness, my old friend. It’s nice to see you. Have you come to visit me again?

It is strange, how comforting the nighttime can be. In the dark, no one can see your thoughts if they should write themselves across your face. In the dark, there is no need to wear a mask; the shadows are thoughtful enough to see to that.

In the dark, it is all right to let the pain reflect itself in your eyes. The night makes it invisible.

She stirs beside me, as she often does, but does not wake. I am thankful for that. The dark of night is my time. This is when I can really think, without interruption from my family.

The room is suddenly stifling, burning hot. Perspiration begins to form on my skin, and I can’t breathe at all. I have to get out of here. Just for a minute to cool off.

It doesn’t take much effort to slip out of bed and out of the room without waking her. My bare feet make no sound on the floor as I tiptoe to the front door and sneak outside.

The night air is cool and wonderfully refreshing, and I inhale it deeply, drinking it in, craving it like a child craves candy. The breeze is gentle; it carries on it the heavy perfume of the nearby flowerbeds. The almost overwhelming scent of roses and lilacs washes over me. How wonderfully relaxing. Clouds hang in the sky like a canopy over the earth; the shadow is so heavy a person could feel it, smell it, almost taste it. The clouds cover the stars, making them invisible to my eyes, and blocking out the faint light they might otherwise have provided.

I cannot see the stars above me, but I still know they are there. Kind of like me…

I smile at the irony which is known only to me.

They never knew. My friends, my family—no one. They never even really suspected a thing, that I am aware of, and if I am careful, they will never figure it out.

It was suprising, how easy it was to hide the truth. I still had my memories, the thoughts of a lifetime I had not lived, and I merely delved into those remembrances to make myself into the person they all knew me as.

A head injury is what imprisoned me within my own mind. Another head injury is what reversed me again, and set me free. God knows I’ve taken enough blows to the head to last five lifetimes. Why that specific one did the trick, I don’t know, and perhaps I never will. And it had happened by accident, the result of my own stupidity. A careless mistake that left me in a strange situation.

Following the memories of what I loosely considered to be my alter ego, I returned to my home. My home. Such a strange concept. When I got there, I was greeted by a young child. A boy. My boy.

My son.


By all accounts, I should have destroyed the half breed brat on the spot, and done so cheerfully, knowing I was purifying the blood of my people. But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it! I couldn’t even will myself to form that ki blast, much less put it through him.

Because he wasn’t just a halfling brat. He was my son. My flesh and blood.

Moments later, I met my mate, the mother of my son. ChiChi is her name…

It was the most bizarre thing; when I saw her, something…happened. I can barely explain it. It was like something broke within me, letting loose a waterfall of something I was at a loss to define. What was it, exactly? I had never experienced anything like this. A search through my conterpart’s memory told me that these strange sensations were called emotions.

That was something I had to get used to…

The night wind is gaining force now. The cold, crisp air blows over the perspiration that remains on my skin. I shiver involuntarily.

Is it just my imagination, or has it gotten darker? Not that it matters. Many others would be scared or depressed, outside like this is the bleakest hour of darkness. But for a person like me, a person so well acquainted with the night, it is nothing. The night holds no fear for me. Rather, it has a certain…charm, perhaps? Well, whatever it is, it draws me to it.

I remember more…meeting the people who called themselves my friends. I had the memories alone to guide me, but some things I just wasn’t prepared for. Like I hadn’t actually believed that my best friend, Krillen, was actually that short!

Out of all of them, only one seemed to notice that there was anything different. I could tell, even though he didn’t say anything. The old man—Master Rosh, my first sensei—was giving me strange looks throughout that entire gathering. Did he—does he know? Not for sure, but I know for certain that he was suspicious that day. I have no idea what he was thinking, and I have no real desire to ask him. If he still thinks there is something up, he hasn’t pressed the issue or asked any questions.

There were many times when I very seriously contemplated destroying them all. I wanted to blow them to pieces, and listen to their agonized screams mingling with the glorious sounds of death as the planet shook beneath them. Then I could go and complete the mission that had been laid out for me so long ago and that I had neglected for so many years, even though I no longer had a race or a leader to fulfill the mission for. No one would be able to do anything. No one could stop me!

Or could they?

Not physically, perhaps.

And yet…and yet…

Something won’t let me do that. Every time that urge would begin eating away in my mind, there was something that would wage war with the notion, and fight it down. When I wanted to form the ki blast and destroy everything…I would look at Gohan’s small, eager face, and my hand would fall lifelessly to my side, temporarily incapable of movement, and I wouldn’t be able to do it. I just couldn’t do it. And at first, I didn’t know why. I had been using borrowed memories from my now-dormant counterpart in order to keep up the masquerade that I was this person, this man that they knew as Son Goku. Little did they know that he was gone, vanished as the result of a second accidental blow to the head. I wasn’t supposed to develop any sort of attachment to anyone or anything here on this pathetic little planet. So what was it that was holding back and has been holding me back for all this time?

I inhale again, breathing in the bittersweet smell of roses and lilacs from ChiChi’s flowerbeds nearby. It is a heady draught, and an overpowering one at that. Closing my eyes, I allow myself to fal backwards into the grass. The lawn is dew-soaked, and it soaks into the T-shirt I am wearing, right through to the skin on my back. It is cold, and I shiver again.

Every incident is still so clear in my mind. Perhaps the most bizarre of all were the androids. They were sent to kill my other half. If only they knew that the man they had been sent to destroy, Son Goku, was technically no longer there. He was gone, and someone else remained in his body. But they attacked the body, heedless of the mind. Then there was that Cell creature. I won’t even get started on that.

But to me, the most priceless memory was on Namek. It is a strange memory, for it is a divided one. It half belongs to me, and half to my counterpart. When Krillen was killed by Frieza on Namek, my other half became angry, angrier than he had ever been before in his life. And it frightened him. He withdrew in fear of his own rage, and I seized that opportunity to emerge, if only for that short battle, to fight the monster that had destroyed my people. His rage, combined with my Saiyan sense of vengeance, resulted in one of the proudest moments of my life—a transformation to the legendary warrior, the Super Saiyan. And following that came another one of the most wonderful moments I can recall in the memories I share with my other self. The defeat of Frieza.

But now there is peace, blessed peace. I have come to enjoy these times where I do not have to worry about the next day’s battle, or wondering if I would live to see the next sunset. I have not lost my will to fight. In a Saiyan, that would be unthinkable. But I have lost something else. I long ago lost my will to murder and to destroy.

It happened so long ago, the fateful accident that returned me to my true self. Since then, I have been able to behave like this person, this Goku, without even thinking about it. Sometimes I even have to catch myself, to make certain that I am still in there. I have gone my whole life as Son Goku, and I will probably die as him as well. My final death, I mean. When I am gone for good, and cannot be wished back by the magic of the Dragonballs.

There has been so much that I have gone through since that fateful day when I regained control of myself. I have been in battle, died, been in battle again, and been brought back to life. Incredible, when I think about it. My whole life has been incredible. There is so much I’ve accomplished here that I never would have been able to had I lived my life on my home planet, with the rest of my people, my brethren. I have actually done good with my life, instead of so much evil. Protecting instead of attacking. Saving instead of destroying.

And I was startled one day to wake up and realize that I like it better that way. I like the feeling I get when I help someone else.

It is cold. I should go back inside before I catch some kind of cold or something. Not that it’s ever happened, but one night, ChiChi found me sitting outside, and ordered me back indoors, saying that I would catch my death of cold. Dying of a cold would actually be somewhat ironic, considering what I have survived through and been killed by in the past.

I stand up, ignoring the fact that my T-shirt is now dew-soaked. I lift my eyes to the darkened sky overhead one last time, and I smile.

I cannot see the stars, just as I cannot see the two halves inside me. But I know they are all there. The stars will come out again. Whether or not my other half will reemerge remains to be seen. Could it happen? Definitely. Will it, I do not know.

As I head back into the house, I reflect one more time on the strange twist my life took when I was a baby, and then again when I had grown up.

I was born Kakarott, Saiyan warrior. A twist of fate turned me into Son Goku.

Another chance occurrence sent me back to Kakarott. But my name did not change again. I remained Son Goku. At first, this was a rather annoying prospect, to spend my life under the name of another, someone I would never be able to know outside of the memories we shared inside a mind that belonged to both of us.

Now, the idea of spending the rest of my life as Son Goku…well, it just doesn’t bother me that much anymore. I have grown so accustomed to the idea, and to being called that name. I think I might be able to accept living my life under another name.

Perhaps I will tell them the truth someday. Maybe I’ll explain that the person they thought they knew has been gone for quite some time, that I have been lying to them for all those long years. I do not know how they would take that news. They might be angry, or hurt, or it might not bother them that much. I don’t know, and I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to find out.

Well, it’s time for me to go back to sleep. I am very well acquainted with the night, but even close acquaintances must part now and then.

Goodbye, darkness, my old friend. Come and visit me again soon.

I look forward to our next time together.

Tags: character: goku, fandom: dragonball/z, misc: one-shot

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