Author's Notes- Hey guys, got a one shot here. This is an AU that's similar to the canon DBZ universe, but not exactly the same. Goku's backstory is altered. Also, some of the power levels are rearranged a bit. This is a songfic to Skillet's "One Day Too Late". I came up with this fic thinking about this song. Enjoy!

I don't own any of the characters or anything.

One Day Too Late

"That's very good, Gohan!" Goku praised his young son, who was just learning to fly.

"Yay! I want to fly just like you, daddy!" Gohan said excitedly.

"Goku! Gohan! Lunch is ready!" Goku's wife, Chi Chi, called to the two of them.

"Finally, I'm starving!" Goku exclaimed, grabbing his son and zipping into the house.

Goku felt blessed to have found a woman that he loved, and even more so to have a bright young son. Gohan was making surprising progress in his flight lessons. Chi Chi was reluctant to allow it, but she eventually relented and let Goku give their son flying lessons. They agreed that he'd wait until Gohan was a little bit older before he learned martial arts.

They went inside and sat to the table. Chi Chi served cupped noodles with some vegetables added in. Goku sometimes got meat to cook, but he didn't bother on days when he'd give Gohan flying lessons. The three of them ate and enjoyed their meal and family time. Afterwards, Gohan began begging Goku to let him fly some more.

"Please, daddy?" Gohan pleaded with his dad.

"Okay Gohan, but why don't we go somewhere a little more open?" Goku suggested.

"That sounds awesome, daddy!" Gohan said to his father. Goku picked up his son, and the two of them made their way to a more open area.

"Alright, Gohan, let's pick up where we left off, okay? Sit still and focus on bringing out your energy." Goku instructed. But before Gohan could do that, a cruel voice floated over to them.

"Well well well, if it isn't my weakling brother, Kakarot."

Goku looked up to see his older brother, Raditz. The two of them didn't fight each other much, but they weren't particularly close. In fact, more often than not, they weren't getting along.

"Raditz, what are you doing here? I'm trying to spend time with my son!" Goku declared.

"I'm here to recruit strong warriors from this planet to serve Lord Frieza." Raditz told his brother.

"Well, there's no one to recruit here, so why don't you go on about your business?" Goku said, trying to get rid of his brother.

"I don't know, Kakarot. Maybe your son would make a great soldier." Raditz said, getting under Goku's skin.

"Stay away from him! You're not recruiting my son!" Goku shouted.

"Why not? I thought you wanted your child to be better than you. But I guess you just want him to grow up to be a weakling just like you." Raditz spat.

"Shut up! I want Gohan to have a good life, and that's why I'm staying with him and my wife. So leave him alone!" Goku told Raditz.

"You deserted us! You left our forces to lead a weak life!" Raditz accused.

It was true. Goku used to serve in the Saiyan force as part of Frieza's army. But when he married Chi Chi and they learned she was pregnant with Gohan, he decided to quit the force and, instead marry Chi Chi and settle down. Ever since then, his relationship with his brother was strained.

"I happen to think happiness is more important than strength. Now leave us alone!" Goku told Raditz with an air of finality.

"Whatever!" Raditz said as he flew away.

"Who was that guy, daddy?" Gohan asked, having witnessed the entire exchange.

"That was your uncle Raditz." Goku told his son.

"Is he bad?" The young boy questioned.

"I wouldn't say he's all bad. But he doesn't understand why I left the Saiyan force. He hasn't been very nice lately." Goku explained.

The two of them continued their flying lessons, and returned home once finished. It wasn't until a few days later that Goku encountered Raditz again. He had been spending some time training with Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, and Chiaotzu out in an area not unlike the one he had given Gohan flying lessons in.

"Wow, great job guys! You almost beat me that time!" Goku praised his friends.

"We would have beaten you if you hadn't dodged my Spirit Ball." Yamcha grumbled.

"I still can't believe you managed to beat all four of us by yourself." Krillin told Goku.

"Yeah, we really need to work harder if we want to keep up with you." Tien agreed.

"I must say, I am quite impressed with you Earthlings." Raditz said, revealing his presence.

"Yes. With a little training, they could easily become stronger than Kakarot and work for us." A Saiyan named Turles agreed.

"Then we won't need that traitor anymore!" Nappa, the third Saiyan, added.

"Um, Goku, those guys aren't your friends, are they?" Krillin asked, terrified.

"You again! What do you want this time?" Goku demanded.

"The same thing as before, Kakarot. We're recruiting warriors with exceptional fighting skills." Raditz answered.

"Why do you go after my friends?!" Goku asked, furious.

"I can't help it if all the strong fighters hang around you. I'm just doing my job." Raditz said.

"We wouldn't be this pressed for more warriors if you hadn't deserted our force." Turles pointed out.

"None of my friends are interested in joining you. Now get out of here!" Goku ordered.

"Is this really any way to talk to your big brother?" Raditz asked.

"It's not like you're being the best brother in the world or anything. If you cared, you'd let me be happy and stop trying to force me and my friends to come back!" Goku countered.

"Serving the Saiyan force is your job, Kakarot! You don't just leave because you want to! It's selfish! Or have you forgotten that Lord Frieza will be very upset if his work isn't done the way he asked?" Raditz argued.

"Look, thanks for the offer, but we're not interested." Krillin told the Saiyans.

"Yeah, we'd have to be crazy to work for a guy who'd kill us without a second thought." Yamcha agreed.

"Your friends can choose not to come with us, but Kakarot, once you're in, there's no getting out!" Turles told Goku firmly.

"Look, I don't want my son involved, that's why I chose to get out. And I'm not going back with you!" Goku told the three of them.

"You know what? We don't really need him, boys. Let's just go." Nappa suggested. The others nodded and they flew away.

"You know, Goku, you're a lot stronger than him, if I'm feeling his power level right. Why don't you just teach him a lesson? Or maybe just get rid of him? Then he can't bother you anymore." Yamcha said to Goku.

"He annoys me, but ever since our father, Bardock, died, Raditz is the only family I have, besides Gohan. He's not the best brother, but I don't really have anyone else." Goku answered.

"But what if he comes after Gohan?" Yamcha pressed.

"I don't think he'd do that." Goku said, though he was now starting to worry.

It was about a week later that Goku had been helping Chi Chi at home while Piccolo gave Gohan more flying lessons. Goku had been training a lot with Piccolo and the others, while Gohan was busy with his studies. The two hadn't spent much time together the last few weeks, besides the occasional flying lessons Goku gave his son.

"Goku, you should really spend more time helping Gohan study. You know, he won't be young and teachable forever." Chi Chi suggested.

"I think he's growing up fine, Chi Chi. You give him more homework than most kids his age have." Goku said.

"I guess you're right. At least you're protecting him from the Saiyan force. I only wish his uncle would respect your decision." Chi Chi told Goku.

"Chi Chi, you don't think Raditz would try to hurt Gohan to get to me, do you?" Goku voiced his worries.

"I don't know, Goku. That man is crazy." Chi Chi responded. It was then that Goku noticed Raditz's energy signal near Piccolo's and Gohan's.

"Oh no! He somehow found Piccolo and Gohan! I'm going there right now." Goku declared. He was gone before Chi Chi could respond.

As he rushed to their location, Goku thought about what Chi Chi had said. He hadn't spent enough time with his son, and if something happened to Gohan now, Goku would never forgive himself. After this, he would make sure to take time out of his training to spend more time with Gohan.

When he arrived, he saw Raditz talking, more like shouting, to Piccolo and Gohan. He caught the last few snippets of the conversation.

"Join me, green man. And I'll let Kakarot's brat go." Raditz was demanding.

"Not a chance." Piccolo responded coolly.

A blast suddenly landed between Piccolo and Raditz. Jumping back, Raditz looked around and saw Goku standing in a fighting position.

"Get away from them!" Goku demanded.

"Kakarot! You would fight your own brother?" Raditz asked Goku, shocked.

"I don't have a choice. I didn't want it to come to this, but I can't let you take Gohan." Goku told his brother solemnly.

"Fine then! If this is the only way to get you back, I'll fight you!" Raditz said, throwing a ki blast which Goku easily dodged.

Raditz threw more ki blasts at Goku, and every one of them missed. Goku flew up and punched Raditz. Taking the blow, Raditz tried to retaliate but instead was kicked to the ground. Goku landed a few feet from him and put his hands together, preparing for a powerful attack.

"Ka… me… ha… me… ha!" Goku released the attack which headed straight for Raditz. The older Saiyan was barely able to dodge the powerful attack, which would have injured him greatly if it hit him.

"Kakarot, you don't understand-", Raditz started, but was cut off.

"Save it!" Piccolo shouted, firing a blast towards him. Raditz dodged, but had no choice but to retreat.

"Piccolo, thanks for the save. Are you okay?" Goku asked him.

"Yea, I'm fine, and so is Gohan. He didn't attack us." Piccolo answered.

"Daddy, I want to go home." Gohan told his father.

"It's okay, son. Why don't we go home and study?" Goku suggested.

"Okay! It'll be so much more fun with you helping me, daddy!" Gohan exclaimed. They went home, and Chi Chi hugged both of them very tightly.

"I was so worried about you both!" Chi Chi cried.

"Don't worry, Chi Chi. We're going to study all afternoon!" Goku told her happily. Chi Chi fainted from shock.

Gohan had done very well on his studies. He had done so well, in fact, that after only one hour, Chi Chi insisted that the both go outside and play. They went outside, and the dinosaur that Gohan played with sometimes was waiting for him. Gohan flew on the dinosaur's back, with Goku trailing behind them.

"Yahoo! This is awesome, daddy!" Gohan shouted to his father excitedly.

"Hey, want to race?" Goku asked.

"Sure, let's do it!" Gohan said, telling the dinosaur to go as fast as it could.

The father and son flew quite a far distance, but it was clear that Gohan and his dinosaur were never going to catch up to Goku. The dinosaur landed and Gohan sat down on the grass, which Goku also sat on upon coming back to him.

"Hey, my dinosaur flew away! How do I get back now?" Gohan cried worriedly.

"Don't worry, I can take you back home." Goku told him.

"Yay!" Gohan exclaimed.

Goku carried his son home, but upon his arrival, he discovered Turles waiting for him. But something wasn't right. Turles's armor was cracked, and his face was scratched up. He had been in a fight and clearly hadn't won.

"Turles, what happened?" Goku asked.

"You did!" Turles angrily shouted.

"What?" Goku gasped.

"You refused to do your job, and now Raditz…" Turles trailed off.

"What about Raditz?" Goku asked. He still cared about his brother.

"Why don't you find him and see for yourself!" Turles said bitterly.

The two of them made their way to where Goku felt Raditz's energy from. The energy seemed to be fading. Goku reached Raditz's location just in time to see him get hit with a Death Beam. Frieza stood over him with a scowl.

"Didn't I tell you that if you didn't bring that foolish brother of yours to his senses, or find me a suitable replacement, I would be quite angry?" Frieza spat.

"Raditz, no!" Goku cried, flying over to him.

"K-Kakarot… I wanted… to tell you…" Raditz stuttered.

"Raditz… I didn't know this would happen. I'm sorry." Goku said, his emotions getting the best of him. His heart was filled with guilt.

"Please… listen… I should have… told you…" Raditz tried to say. Goku remembered him trying to say something before Piccolo intervened.

"I know… you wanted to… protect your son. Please… take care of him…" Raditz fell back after those words. He had died.

"Raditz…" Goku whimpered.

"What an idiot." Frieza sneered nastily. Goku turned to look at him, the guilt he had been feeling quickly being replaced by anger.

"Frieza… YOU WILL PAY!" He roared.

With his rage, his power increased greatly. Goku's hair flashed golden for a second, and his eyes flashed green. It happened again and again in the span of ten seconds. Then with a mighty roar, he powered up fully into a Super Saiyan.

"W-what?" Frieza stammered.

"DARN YOU!" Goku shouted, powering up a more powerful Kamehameha wave with just one hand and sending it at Frieza. If Frieza had been in his final form, he would have survived. But instead, he was obliterated by the attack before he could even think about transforming.

Goku's hair fell back down, reverting to its natural, black color. He was more powerful than ever before, and the entire Saiyan force was now free. Yet Goku didn't feel triumphant, because he had lost his only brother. Goku fell to his hands and knees.

"Raditz…" Those were the only words Goku could get out before breaking down into sobs. Their last encounter had turned violent, and now they would never have the chance to reconcile. Goku felt like he had failed his brother. He had cared about Raditz the entire time, and he had hoped that one day, Raditz would understand why he made the decision to leave the Saiyan force. But Goku should have gotten the others to band together with him to stop Frieza sooner; instead he was only worried about himself and his family.

He felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Turles with an expression of sympathy on his face.

"I'm sorry, Kakarot. But he's in a better place now." Turles tried to console Goku.

"But I should have done something to help him!" Goku choked through his sobs.

"What's done is done, and he would want you to enjoy the rest of your life with your son. That was the last thing he said before he died. Go take care of your son. The entire Saiyan force is in your debt for freeing us." Turles said with gratitude.

Goku looked up and nodded, and flew back to his house without another word. He had to spend the time with his son while he had the chance, because if there was one thing he had learned, it was that you never know when you would lose the ones you love. He went to spend time with his family, before it was too late.

Author's Notes- That's the end of the story. I thought it would be interesting to have a bittersweet story about Goku and Raditz, since they're brothers but they are enemies in the show. So what did you guys think? Let me know, and reviews are appreciated!