A/N: Just a little one-shot, its after the Cell Games. About how Gohan blamed himself for his fathers death. A little Gohan/Piccolo fluff.

TOUGH LOVE:

A One-Shot

By Anamix1

It had been two weeks since the faker Hercule Satan had proclaimed to the world, he was their champion, two week since a boy of mere eleven really saved the world, two weeks since the worlds greatest saviour perished, two weeks since Gohan had lost himself in his grief and guilt, two weeks since Cell. The tranquil area known as the 439 mountain area was quiet, almost too quiet. The only sound was the soft humming of a dark haired woman as she stood washing dishes gazing out the window absentmindedly. There was no sound of fist hitting flesh, no sound of craters being made as a body hit the ground hard. There was no sound at all, it was to quiet. It wasn't the same. Her husband was gone, and her young son who had been forced to grow up so quickly that any other adult would have buckled under the pressure, was a living shell of his former self.

The dish she had been working on for the past fifteen minutes fell to the floor with a clatter as she took a step back and gasped in both shock and apprehension. It smashed into a million pieces but she took no notice as she stumbled backwards and sank down the kitchen counter, her breathes sharp and short. Usually there would be someone to catch her before she did herself harm, Goku and Gohan would catch her before she hit the ground.

"Piccolo," She hissed sharply, before repeating the name in louder tones.

The Namek in question raised an eyebrow before turning around and casting Chichi a questioning gaze through the window. A moment later he was in front of her, hauling her to her feet none to gently. Piccolo looked at her stomach then her face a few times before shaking his head and reassuring himself he was sensing things. Could he sense two ki's?

"What are you doing here?" Chichi asked in a suspicious tone as she dusted herself off and straightened her kimono, although she was sure she already knew the answer. Since her husbands untimely demise at the hands of Cell, Gohan had become more withdrawn, more sullen. He blamed himself, Chichi knew that she didn't blame him though. Piccolo had been hanging around the house more often now that Goku had died, whether it was some otherworldly request from a certain Saiyan, or whether it was out of the goodness of his heart because of his relationship to her son, she didn't know. Nor did she question it, all she knew was that it was unnerving at the best of times.

Piccolo grunted and Chichi knew that was the only answer she was getting out of him. Suddenly Piccolo's eyes shifted to the ceiling above him in silent contemplation, then his eyes snapped back downwards to meet Chichi's probing gaze. Was that panic Chichi could see in her eyes? Before she had a chance to ponder further there was a thump from above then thrashing.

"Gohan!" Chichi yelled in a strained voice.

There was a blue and green blur followed by a rush of wind that knocked Chichi back onto her bottom. Blinking a few times, Chichi looked around in confusion before hearing a gruff voice call from above, calling her sons name repeatedly. "Gohan," She whispered in a worried voice, clutching her heart. Leaping up and ignoring the already forming bruises on her backside that would hinder more than help her tomorrow. She didn't bother to question why she suddenly had seemingly accumulated bundles of energy she took the stairs three stairs. At the top of the stairs she didn't hesitate to throw open her sons bedroom door and charge into the room.

But what she saw stopped her in her tracks.

Her son, her baby, her Gohan was flailing on the floor. The remains of his shredded bed sheet littered around his normally tidy little bedroom. But that wasn't what surprised her. The fact was that Gohan was on the floor, full power he had transformed into that thing. She recoiled slightly at the shock of his sight, but there was something different to the way her sons transformation was to her late husbands. His aura was in full blow, flaring wildly as his emotions spiralled out of control. Instead of just the normal golden aura there was lightening bolts crackling around in numerous places around his body.

Piccolo was perched on his chest, his white aura flaring but more controlled than Gohan's. His knees were spread, both knees on his arms which where now pinned to the ground. With his two free hands Piccolo punched Gohan repeatedly, although it seemed to have no effect as Gohan continued to wriggle. "Cell, I'll kill you!" Gohan murmured in his sleep. The mention of the enemy they had just recently got rid of caused Piccolo to slack his grip on his pupil. Thus allowing Gohan to throw Piccolo off him, causing the former Namek to smack into the wall. Luckily not ploughing straight through it, the house had to be strong. It housed two Saiyans for well over ten years didn't it?

Piccolo slid down the wall in a dazed state, allowing the previous moments events to sink into his brain. Gohan had mentioned Cell's name. He was having a nightmare, but he'd never known a nightmare that made anybody transform in their sleep and be impossible to rouse. 'Even in his sleep, that cockroach's still haunting him,' Thought Piccolo bitterly.

Standing himself up to full height, Piccolo deposited his cape and turban allowing it to fall to the ground with a loud thump. This would take all his strength. His eyes widened as Chichi was thrown back, not by Gohan's aura like he had but by a punch. A fairly weak one, lucky for Chichi. She spat up blood, coughing out saliva as she did so. That didn't hurt as much as it should have. It was as if some unknown force was protecting her. Like some extra ki from her stomach had suddenly been pumped into her to protect her, almost as if it were feeling her distress.

Gohan pushed himself up, apparently still in sleep, his eyes were open, but they were glassy. He cupped one hand at his side, taking up his father's favoured attack stance. Interestingly enough, he was only using one hand like the other arm was injured. Cursing softly Piccolo leapt to his feet and rushed toward Chichi, hoping to shield her from what was to come. He began to chant the legendary words as a ball of blue ki pulsed into existence in his cupped hands. "KA-ME-HA-ME-,"

"GOHAN!" Piccolo snapped ruthlessly, taking up the tone he'd used when he'd first taken Gohan on as a four-year-old cry baby. "That's your mother, do you want to kill her?" Piccolo yelled dangerously.

At the word kill, Gohan's aura suddenly dissipated, but still remained in Super Saiyan form. He came fully out of his sleeping state. He looked around softly and in a confused manor. Then he put the pieces together as he noticed the state his usually neat room was in, his super saiyan transformation, and the way his mother was huddled on the ground, with Piccolo protecting her.

"Shit!" He cursed softly, swiftly turning on his heel and blasting straight through the open window, taking chunks of the wall away with him as he did.

Chichi sat in dazed silence, not bothering to rebuke her son for his foul language. A loud crash brought her out of her state as she glanced around, noticing a Namek shaped hole in the wall. Pushing herself up, still clutching her tender stomach, she stumbled to the hole in the wall. "You could have at least used the door!" She screamed, raising a fist into the air and shaking it menacingly. Sinking back down onto the floor, she hung her head and rubbed her temples soothingly. She couldn't go after her son and comfort him like a mother could because he could fly and she could not. "I really need to learn how to fly," She grumbled.

Gohan raced through the skies, not bothering to disguise his sonic booms as he did so. There was no point, it wasn't as if he could hide his power level, not with his current state of emotion. Every ki sensor on the planet would be able to sense him and would be wondering what was the matter with their child hero.

With bile rising in his throat, Gohan took a sharp left and dropped to a nearby forest. He immediately dropped to all fours and began throwing up. Grey paste was deposited from his mouth and found a new home on the dirt. This was not healthy, he was not healthy, he was lost in his own grief and blame over his father. "Dad," He cried weakly. "Why did you have to go?" Hot tears sprung from his dark eyes as they fell unbidden onto his hands. "Why?" He croaked again.

"He did it to keep you safe, he did it for you," A gruff voice answered from somewhere behind him.

Gohan subdued a soft, knowing how much his mentor hated to see him crying. Showing emotions was for the weak. "It's my fault! I get it! You all hate me! I killed him ok! I killed him," Gohan wailed, breaking down into sobs as he pummelled the ground repeatedly. Taking care to avoid his upchuck, the remnants of what was left in his stomach after so many days without food.

A foot hooked him in his solar plexus, knocking the wind, rain and everything else out of him as he was sent sailing backwards. His nerves protested vigorously as his diaphragm contracted and retracted struggling to pump the air that was lost back into his battle hardened body. He crashed into a nearby cliff, the impact so great that it caused the cliff to tumble down on top of him. He was unharmed, maybe only a little scratched but he didn't bother to get up, enjoying the solitude underneath the rubble.

Gohan sighed allowing his aura to spring up around him as he sensed Piccolo's incoming blast, but he didn't bother to dodge. What was the point? The blast burned him, but he didn't bother to scream. What was the point? In all truths, what was the point in living. His father was dead by his hand. What was the point? That was Gohan's train of thoughts at the present moment.

The rocks where incinerated but Gohan still lay there, a gash running down across his forehead, but otherwise unharmed. Piccolo strode over to him, a face like thunder as he picked him up rather roughly by the front of his gi and shook him about wildly. "Why didn't you dodge?" He hissed through clenched teeth, barely managing to keep the volume of his voice to normal tones.

"What's the point?" Gohan sighed, closing his eyes and allowing his head to flop lazily to the side.

Piccolo shook Gohan harder by his grip on him, causing Gohan's head to jerk forward and bite his tongue. Gohan gave a yelp of surprise before spraying blood in the process, missing Piccolo's face by mere inches. "What's the point? The point is your still alive! Your father gave his life so you could live! You look terrible, when was the last time you slept? Ate?" Piccolo raged, unable to control his tones now. He wasn't his usual self but when Gohan was involved, he never acted like he did when he was around the others.

Snapping out his arm Piccolo released Gohan allowing him to sail through the air for a few moments before landing on the ground in a crumpled heap. Was he crying? Sure enough when Piccolo strode toward him and forced him to look at him, his eyes were bloodshot and swollen and leaking water, a clear indication he was or had been crying. "That's because there's no point. Dad's dead because of me! Those people don't even know what happened, they think Mr Satan defeated Cell. Do you know how hard it is for me to just sit there and watch tv while he sits and says we're all fakers? Its my fault. I should be dead instead of dad. I failed, I didn't kill him when I had the chance. If I did, Dad wouldn't of been died, neither would Trunks." Cried Gohan, wiping the tears away with the back of his hand. "What was the point in me saving the world? Eh? There's none." Gohan finished softly, refusing to look Piccolo in the eyes as he pushed himself up onto his arms.

Piccolo's gaze softened slightly, he sighed. Where all kids like this? Or was this one of these 'teenage moments' he'd observed from the lookout. Then that sentence, What was the point in me saving the world? Eh? There's none. Piccolo almost saw red, what was wrong with this kid? With a low snarl, Piccolo swooped in, gripping the back of Gohan's gi and lifting him up with him as he soared into the skies. His aura flared around him, enabling more speed as Gohan's form hung limp below him. Not even bothering to struggle, the winds battered his body but he just went with it. He was still in Super Saiyan. Had been for some time now, those times in the chamber had taught him full control of his transformation.

Piccolo didn't dare talk to the boy again he knew Gohan's emotions were unstable at the least. There was a few things you needed to know about Gohan's emotions. When he was happy, he could be the cheeriest child in the world, even rivalling his own father. Perhaps that was how he managed to keep his childhood innocence through Raditz, Namek and beyond. Then when Gohan was angry, you were either in awe and celebrating his power if you were on his side. Or if you were his enemy, you prayed to Kami for a quick and painless death, because when Gohan was pissed off, you really didn't want to be the one his anger was aimed at. When Gohan was sad, alarm bells were set off. Gohan was hardly ever sad, that made him unpredictable and out of control. He was prone to outbursts of power, probably on account of his Super Saiyan transformation not dissipating earlier on. His emotions were in turmoil. Perhaps that was why Piccolo was so worried, or perhaps it was because he loved the boy like a son.

Stopping above a city Piccolo grabbed the boy by his head and hoisted him up, but Gohan's eyes remained closed, refusing to even look to see where they were. "Kid, open your eyes!" It wasn't a request, it was a command. Still Gohan refused though, even though he knew it was real bad to disobey Piccolo. Growling low in his throat, Piccolo punched Gohan hard in the abdomen, using the full brunt of his power. He calculated in his head since Gohan was in Super Saiyan it wouldn't do too much damage. He got the desired effect though.

Gohan's eyes snapped open wide and as soon as Piccolo removed his fist, Gohan bent over double, clutching his abdominal area in pure agony. After the pain had subsided, Gohan broke free from Piccolo's grip and flew over to float beside him. "Where are we?" We asked confused.

"West city. Now open your senses, feel out the energy's down there," Piccolo commanded, crossing his arms and closing his eyes.

"Bu-?"

"Just do it!" Snapped Piccolo, eyes snapping open to glare at Gohan before closing them again.

Sighing in defeat, Gohan closed his eyes and extended his senses. Extending his mind web he allowed the tendrils of his mind to trail do a scan of the city, the energy's were small. Tiny in comparison to his and his fellow fighters energy's, but what they lacked in strength, they made up for in numbers.

"How many are there?" Piccolo asked after a tense five minutes of silence.

"Millions. Over Ten million I'd say," Gohan replied uncertainly, unsure of what the true purpose of this exercise.

"Ten million people kid. In one city alone, you saved this city. If it wasn't for you Cell would of blew up the earth without any of us. If it wasn't for you, we'd all be dead. You saved us," Piccolo said softly, albeit a little awkwardly, he wasn't used to being this soft.

"But I still killed dad," Gohan growled at himself, clenching his fists tight enough to draw blood as the tears sprung up again.

Gohan's face exploded in red hot pain and he saw only stars. Blinking his eyes a few times he reached up and touched his cheek where Piccolo had backhanded him and looked at him through wide eyes. "Say that again and I'll blast you to the otherworld, walk you down that damned serpent road, march you up to that idiot that caused all this and you can explain to him everything that's happened." Growled Piccolo, personally leaving out the part about King Kai. "And I'll blast that Kai while I'm at it," Piccolo added as an afterthought.

That last hit seemed to knock some sense into Gohan as he sighed in defeat. "It was dad's choice," Gohan said, it was a rhetorical question, so Piccolo didn't bother answering. "I still can't help but feel guilty." Gohan admitted.

"It wasn't your fault," Piccolo added. "You have to eat kid. I would personally like to blast that Saiyan Prince to the otherworld, but I don't want to tell him his sparring partner starved himself to death." Rumbled Piccolo.

Gohan looked up in confusion and Piccolo merely pointed to the distance where a golden star was trailing away, getting smaller and smaller as it went into the distance. "They all felt you. Your power level was higher than it was when you fought Cell," Explained Piccolo as Gohan examined his hands, clenching and unclenching them a few times, before letting go of his transformed state. His jet black hair and midnight orbs returned to him as he gazed up at Piccolo with a more happy expression on his face.

"Vegeta and I will be expecting you tomorrow sharp, you have to get back in shape," Piccolo grunted, taking time to examine the boy. He'd had his doubts about Gohan transforming into an ascended Super Saiyan again, but he'd been proved wrong today as he did just that, in a dream no less.

"Besides, I don't want your harpy mother anywhere near me. She's bad enough as it is, but when she finally spawns that thing," Piccolo replied with distaste as he returned to his former self.

Gohan laughed, lifting a hand to scratch the back of his head in a way that resembled his late father so much. "So you felt it to?" Gohan chuckled softly, allowing a grin to spread over his face.

"She doesn't know yet though." Added Gohan thoughtfully.

"I didn't feel it, I saw it. That little brats going to be strong. That woman managed to tap into the baby's ki for a moment. Train it!" Commanded Piccolo.

The two floated in silence for a few moments, with Gohan watching the city below him. Watching people get on with their daily lives, praising a fake hero, believing that weakling saved the world. While Piccolo watched Gohan curiously, trying to read his emotions thoughts, but the boys face had went to a blank mask.

"I better go. Mum will be worried." Concluded Gohan, breaking the comfortable silence.

"Hm. See you kid, remember tomorrow we're training, while you like it or not," Piccolo warned, although it was playful.

"Ok Mr. Piccolo, see you," Gohan said referring to the name he'd called his mentor as a young boy.

Collecting his power, Gohan attached himself to the seemingly bottomless well of power his Super Saiyan transformation brought about and instantly transformed. Flaring his aura to its max Gohan shot off, waving over his shoulder as he flew off. He was no more than a spec in the distance in a mere minutes time.

"Kid. You'll be seeing a lot more of me, because if there was a way to kill the dead. I'd take it," Piccolo said to himself as he turned on his heel and headed off toward the lookout going at a much slower pace than his young student was. 'Son. If I see you in the otherworld, you better watch your back. 'Coz I'm gonna' kick your butt all the way from King Yemma's to HFIL then back again, then once more just for fun." Growled Piccolo.

A/N: Thats it, so what do you all think? :-) x