Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT or any of it's characters.
"GOOOHAAAANNNN! GET UP ALREADY OR YOU WON'T GET ANY BREAKFAST YOUNG MAN" a shrill voice called out, disrupting the young demi-saiyan's peaceful dreams. Groaning, the young boy blinked blearily, staring at the ceiling for a few moments before pushing himself up and out of his bed. He drowsily staggered over to his closet and pulled out a set of clothes to wear for the day, not that he had much of a selection to choose from. His mother had a very strict idea of what she thought was suitable for studying in and as such there were two or three different outfits. There were a few training gis hanging as well but Kami help him if he walked out of his room in one of those.
Sighing, Gohan pulled out a random set and began to groggily pull the shirt and pants on. He was still half asleep, which was normal for most mornings. He'd wake up, stumble into some clothes and only really wake up when he smelled the food on the table. This wasn't going to be a normal morning though. As he shuffled towards the door to his room he glanced towards the full body mirror next to it…and stopped dead in his tracks.
It wasn't the kind of language one would expect from someone who was still ten as far as the law was concerned, but Gohan wasn't a normal ten year old kid. From the time he had been four he'd been thrust into life or death struggles, one after the next, with the stakes getting higher each and every time. He'd seen more lives snuffed out in six years than all but a few and had been on the receiving end of the kind of brutality that would turn even the most war weary veterans of Earth into sniveling children. It was a truth he'd tried to shove into the background of his thoughts for the last few months. It was a truth that was at that moment staring him right in the face.
The mirror reflected a young boy in black pants and a white, long sleeved, button up shirt. His hair and eyes, both normally black, were bleach blond and teal respectively. He was the spitting image of a boy in the photo on his bedside table. A boy who had been celebrating his birthday when that photo was taken. A boy whose father was standing next to him, both with massive grins plastered on their faces. A father who was no longer alive by his own choice.
Blinking his eyes in order to fight back the tears he relaxed himself and powered down, his hair and eyes returning to their natural black color. After roughly a year of maintaining the Super Saiyan transformation full time it had become almost synonymous with breathing, and it was nearly impossible to tell the difference between his transformed and base state if he was distracted, or in this case, half asleep. He had accidentally shifted into the form several times in the last few months, especially early in the morning when he still wasn't fully conscious of himself or his surroundings.
His thoughts drifted back to the first time it had happened after the Cell Games, his mother screaming that all the fighting and his father's death had finally turned him into a delinquent. He had asked for the mirror to be installed shortly after that, not wanting to have to listen to that lecture more than one time, and it had worked perfectly. Though he sometimes had to deal with some painful reminders of what had happened a few months ago, like today.
Taking a deep breath, Gohan pushed open his door and walked out into the kitchen. His mother Chi-Chi was busy at the stove, finishing up cooking the large pile of food that would be breakfast. She turned, seeming ready to shout again when she spotted him standing near the table. She looked startled for a moment but was quickly smiling at her son.
"Oh there you are Gohan. I was worried you'd oversleep and miss out on precious studying time." She turned back to the stove, stopping momentarily and putting her hand to the prominent bulge in her stomach. "Now eat up quickly so you can get started on your assigned studies for the day," she ordered.
Gohan looked at all the food on the table and began to feel his body acknowledge the hunger he was feeling. He sat down and promptly began to devour the assembled dishes, doing his best to assure that he didn't cause food to splatter all over the place, succeeding where his father had failed. His father never had learned the intricacies of table manners. The permanent faded stains on the walls were a testament to that. Several minutes later, with his hunger abated, he began to pile up his dishes and bring them over to the sink.
"Thank you Gohan, now go start your studying," his mother said, grabbing one of the dishes and beginning to scrub. Gohan nodded and went off to his room, sitting down at the large desk that was situated against the wall across from his bed. Only a few months prior it had been covered in books every day, but about a week after the Cell Games his mother had realized that he was going through the materials far faster than new books could get mailed to the small house out in the middle of the 439 mountain area, so she had purchased a desktop computer and signed him up for an accelerated track set of online courses.
It had taken him about a week to get the hang of using the computer but after that he had continued to outpace even the accelerated course load, not that he had let his mother know. For a while he had used studying as a way to dull the pain of losing his father, let it consume his thoughts as he threw himself into the course work. It hadn't taken long for that to become inadequate though, especially with how quickly he was moving through through it all, so he had taken to searching the internet to see what he could learn. He had been particularly interested in learning about how the public school system worked and it had given him an idea, one he wanted to bring up with his mother today during lunch.
Sighing, he spent the next hour finishing up that day's homework before opening a new webpage and logging into his rather recently formed email account. It had been about a week since he had learned about email from one of his fellow classmates online and after creating an account through the online school he had made a quick call to Bulma in order to learn her own email address. This of course had resulted in him getting secondary account on the Capsule Corp servers when she realized that this could be a way for her to secure what she knew to be one of brightest young minds of his generation for the mega corp. It was that account he was on now, looking over the emails he had gotten since yesterday. As of yet they were still all from Bulma, though she had assured him that she would pass along the contact details of other employees when he had learned enough to partake in some of the technical discussions.
Speaking of learning enough, the email he had just opened was another of Bulma's video lectures. Plugging in the headphones that had come as a specialty offer along with the computer, he began to listen to Bulma's newest video lecture, Basic Capsule Theory Part Three. He loved the challenge that came along with understanding everything in the videos. He might have already learned the equivalent of a student about to enter high school, but that did little to help him understand something as complex as even the basics of capsule technology. It was an incredible challenge and it excited him, a combination of his saiyan drive to constantly better himself and human curiosity pushing him to figure everything out to its completion. He watched and rewatched every video several times, greedily drinking in the knowledge and attempting to put them together as a unified whole.
He wished he could talk to Bulma face to face about the subject. He wanted to be sure he was understanding everything and it really wasn't the same communicating with her through email. He was brought back to his thoughts on what he wanted to talk to his mother about and it encouraged him to look towards the small time display on the lower corner of the computer screen. The time showed 11:30, half an hour before his mother usually called him down for lunch, causing him to blink in surprise. He hadn't realized that so much time had passed and he had already spent several hours watching Bulma's video lectures. He turned his attention back to the lecture he was currently watching, but gave up within a few moments, no longer able to pay attention to the video.
"I suppose now's as good a time as in half an hour," he muttered to himself. He typed up a quick email to Bulma and then quickly got up and left his room. Within a few seconds he had found his mother in the kitchen, working on that day's lunch, a big pot of stew that would probably last a two or three days if Gohan avoided completely pigging out. He stood there a few moments, mentally preparing himself before clearing his throat softly to catch Chi-Chi's attention.
She turned quickly, looking surprised. "Oh Gohan you surprised me. What are you doing out of your room? Is there something wrong with your studies?"
Gohan's voice caught in his throat, his nerves getting the better of him for a moment before he shook himself and began to speak. "No, nothing's wrong with my studies, though I did want to discuss something concerning them."
"Oh no, oh no. Is the course work too hard? Is it too easy? Do you need me to get you into a more advanced course set?" she asked, looking worried.
"No no, nothing like that. Actually I wanted to ask you…" he paused for a moment. "I wanted...to ask you...if I...if I could have a few hours each day to do what I want, free of studying."
Chi-Chi's expression froze and there was a nerve wracking few seconds of silence before she opened her mouth to speak in a voice that was dangerously calm. "And do pray tell, what would you do with those few hours of free time?"
"Ah…well I was hoping I could do things like visit everyone at Kame house or Mr. Piccolo up on The Lookout or even go to Caps-"
"I knew it!" Chi-Chi interrupted, "I knew those no good layabouts that your father was friends with would be a bad influence on you! Especially that big green monster!"
"Mr. Piccolo is not a-"
"Oh my poor baby's growing up to be a delinquent! I knew I should have never let you go off on all those dangerous adventures with your father and his friends!" Chi-Chi's rant was reaching a fever pitch and it was clear she wasn't listening to a word Gohan was trying to say. He couldn't believe that things had gone this badly this quickly. Sure he had expected her to get angry with the idea at first, but he had thought she would at least give him a chance to explain his motives.
"-and what would your father say if he saw you like this!" Something in Gohan snapped at that. He had been subdued by his mother's outburst before, but now that she had brought his father into the equation like she had he couldn't help but get angry.
"I'M SURE HE'D BE DISAPPOINTED THAT I'VE BECOME A PRISONER IN MY OWN HOME!" he shouted, stopping his mother's rant in its tracks. She opened her mouth to retaliate but he cut her off. "I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT MY FATHER SACRIFICED HIMSELF TO SAVE US ALL AND THEN REFUSED TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE ONLY TO HAVE HIS SON FORCED TO BE A SHUT IN WITH LITTLE TO NO INTERACTION WITH OTHER PEOPLE!" He paused to breath for a moment, but started up again before his mother could get a word in edgewise. "I get that you're scared now that dad got killed, once again while fighting, but I'm several times stronger than he was at his death! If anything out there could actually hurt me I'd hope you'd be more concerned about the well being of the world rather than locking away the one person who might be able to deal with that kind of threat because you're scared your precious baby might get a scratch!"
"How dare you speak to me that way young man!" Chi-Chi shouted back, looking furious. Gohan however, had had enough. Before she could even ask him where he was going he was out the door, and by the time she was out after him he had disappeared into the sky.
AN: So there's the first chapter of Compromise. It's really only the opening scene, but be sure to let me know what you think :D