Location, The Son Residence:
It's been a little over a month since the newest addition to the Son family, Goten, was born. And while Chi-Chi and Gohan absolutely adore him, he is also the spitting image and a constant reminder of their beloved husband and father, Goku, who by his own choice is no longer with them.
When Gohan first broke the news of his father's fate to his mother, she was distraught. But after a while, she seemed to have accepted Goku's choice to stay in Other World, and made a decision of her own that she still hasn't told Gohan about, hoping it won't come up for the foreseeable future.
Gohan didn't share the same sentiment as his mother about Goku's decision, but he didn't say as much out loud, not wanting to upset anyone.
All of Gohan's friends and family hold Goku in such high regard, that he knew disparaging him and his choice would just upset them all. So he stays silent about his feelings, seeing it as a fitting punsihment to hold all of his anger and resentment towards Goku for his choice to not come back to life, and towards himself for not finishing Cell off as soon as he had the chance deep inside so he doesn't burden the others with his problem.
"Finish him now Gohan! We all know you have the power, it's time to use it!" Goku desperately screams at Gohan.
"Finish him now? No I think I'll wait, I'm gonna let him suffer for a little while." Gohan answers his father with a self satisfied smirk.
'No! What are you doing!?' Gohan internally screams at himself. 'Kill Cell now! So mom can be with her husband! So Goten can have a father!'
He watches himself relive the worst day of his life, every single second. Right up until the final moment, where Goku is standing in front of him, about to dissappear forever to make up for his child's mistake. 'So I'm not responsible for destroying my family!'
"Goodbye my son." Goku says to Gohan, and then vanishes, sacrificing himself to save the entire planet one last time.
"NO COME BACK!!!" Gohan screams as he wakes up in a cold sweat, tears pouring down his face.
Before he can go into a full blown panic attack, his attention is caught by Goten crying in the crib next to his bed.
"I'm sorry Squirt. Did I wake you up?" Gohan asks as he scoops Goten up and begins rocking him in his arms to try to calm him down.
"Uhh...wuuh" (The noises I assume babies make)
"Yeah, tell me all about it buddy." Gohan says, a small smile starting to form.
"Gohan? Are you awake?" He hears his mother ask as she comes into the room."Oh sweetheart, what's the matter!?"
At first, Gohan assumes her second question is to Goten, but then he realizes he got so distracted tending to his baby brother that he forgot to wipe the tears from his eyes.
"Oh nothing to worry about Mom, just a bad dream." He rushes to explain, not wanting her to worry about him unnecessarily.
Chi-Chi's expression changes into one of sad understanding. "Was it about your father?"
Not too surprised that his mom had caught on, Gohan decides to answer honestly. "Yes."
"Gohan, I know it's hard, but you know you can talk to me if it gets to be too much... you know that right?" Chi-Chi tells her oldest son while trying to give him a reassuring smile.
Gohan shifts Goten to one arm so he can wipe the remaining tears off of his face, then gives his best attempt at his father's trademark Son grin to his mother. 'This is punishment for my failure, it's my burden alone to bear Mom. So please don't waste any concern on me.' He thinks to himself while he tells his mother. "Of course I know that Mom...I'm ok..really, the nightmare just caught me off guard since it's been so long since the last time I had one. That's all, I swear."
While Chi-Chi is sure her eldest isn't being entirely truthful with her and is about to call him on it, but she gets sidetracked when Goten starts fussing again. "Wuh..wah..ahh!"
"Aww, is someone not feeling too good?" Chi-Chi coos at Goten, then begins reaching to take him from Gohan's arm, when he suddenly backs away.
Slightly surprised, she tells him. "It's ok honey, I've got him. You just get yourself a drink of water and try to relax ok?"
Not wanting to be on his own right now, Gohan responds to his mother's sorta but not really a request. "It's ok Mom, I've already got him. Just go back to bed, alright?"
"Gohan, don't over exert yourself. I know you're trying to put on a brave face for me, but you're not even 12 yet. So just allow yourself to be a kid and let the adults handle this kind of stuff, ok?" Chi-Chi pleads with Gohan.
"Please Mom? Looking out for and taking care of Goten is my job as his big brother right?....this'll help me relax more than anything else could...we'll be alright, ok?" He asks.
Just like that, Chi-Chi's resolve wavers and she gives in. "Alright, alright, you got me. Just try to get yourself to sleep after you put him back down. You got that mister?" She answers him while giving a mock stern glare, trying to lighten the mood.
With a more genuine smile, Gohan gives her a mock salute. "Ma'am yes Ma'am."
With a light chuckle, Chi-Chi heads back to her room. "Ok, I'll see you two for breakfast bright and early. Goodnight boys."
"Ok Goten, let's get you all settled." Gohan says as he lightly tickles his brother's tummy with his free hand.
Goten squeals in delight while Gohan checks his diaper and sighs in relief. 'Clean, thank goodness.' "If you're clean I bet that means you're hungry, huh bubba?"
Goten let's out another bubbly laugh in response."Yeah, I thought so." So after giving Goten 3 bottles of formula. 'Like father like son with that saiyan appetite.' Gohan is putting his brother back in his crib and watches him drift back to sleep.
"I'm so sorry Goten. You don't have your dad to be here for you because of me." Gohan whispers, tears threatening to spill over again. "But I swear I'll always be here for you no matter what." He promises his brother, before going back to his own bed and into another fitful sleep.
The Next Morning :
"Gohan, get up. It's time for breakfast." Gohan hears as he slowly wakes up.
"I'm up Mom." He answers loud enough for his mother hear, then gets out of bed and sees that Goten isn't in his crib.
'She must have came and got him before he fully woke up so I could sleep in.' He realizes as he goes to wash up and get ready for the day.
As Gohan enters the kitchen, he sees Goten in his highchair, happily mumbling to himself while Chi-Chi is cooking enough food to feed a small army (or 2 growing half saiyans).
"Morning Mom, Hey Goten." Gohan greets his family.
"Good morning, are you feeling better Gohan?" Chi-Chi asks her eldest, hoping he got enough sleep after his nightmare.
"Yeah Mom, I feel great, thanks for letting me sleep in." Gohan answers with a smile, trying to reassure her.
"That's good to hear." Chi-Chi replies, deciding to believe Gohan for now. "How about we go see your grandfather after breakfast? "
Relieved for the change in subject and genuinely happy with her suggestion, Gohan answers. "That sounds great Mom."
"Ahh ahh wuuhh." Goten mumbles aloud.
"Looks like someone agrees with you." Chi-Chi says between light laughs
"Yeah, I guess so." Gohan replies while ruffling Gotens hair.
They resume their breakfast and then head out to enjoy the day, not knowing the pain that was about to befall them all.
Location Ox Kingdom:
Chi-Chi, Gohan, and Goten meet up with Ox King at his home, then decide to go on a hike and sight see around the nearby mountain trails.
Gohan was carrying Goten a little ways ahead of his mother and grandfather, enjoying the sights and time with his family.
"Isn't it so nice and beautiful here Goten?" Gohan asks his brother.
"Ahh..uh..bwuh." Goten mumbles in response to hearing his name.
"Gohan seems to be in good spirits today." Ox points out to his daughter.
"That's a relief, I'd hoped this would cheer him up after last night." Chi-Chi replies to her father.
"What happened last night Chi-Chi?" Ox asks.
"Oh Dad, he's having nightmares again...he still feels guilty about what happened with Goku, I know it. I just can't get him to talk about it." She answers, dejected.
"That poor boy, I wish he could forgive himself and realize he isn't to blame for anything that happened." Ox says with a sad look in his eyes.
"Yeah, I was hoping this family time would help him put those bad memories out of his mind, if even for a little bit." Chi-Chi explains.
"Hey Mom, Grandpa, I think I found a good spot to stop for lunch. You brought some food right?" Gohan shouts to his family.
"We're coming, and yes I brought food." Chi-Chi replies.
"Great, I'm starving, and I bet you are too, aren't you Goten?" He asks his brother while he lightly tosses him up in the air and catches him.
"Haahahaaa!" Goten exclaims in joy.
They got everything set up, and enjoyed their lunch and small talk together. But as the hours passed by, it started to get late, so they decided to go back.
They were just about ready to head home, when...it happened.
"Gohan, we're all packed up and ready to go. Can you get Goten please? " Chi-Chi asks.
"Sure thing Mom." Gohan replies, a little reluctant to see such a good day end, but feeling much better compared to last night, so he was content for the moment.
As Gohan went to pick Goten up, he noticed the little guy had his tail in his mouth. "Come on Goten, that can't be sanitary heh heh." He mock scolds his brother as he scoops him up and reaches to get Goten's tail out of his mouth. But after he does, Goten gets a very strange look on his face, then randomly bursts into tears.
'Goten's energy just spiked really high for a second there. What's going on?' Gohan wonders to himself as he tries to sooth his hysterical baby brother. "It's ok Goten, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."
Gohan then suddenly feels a dangerous, evil, presence right below where he and his family are standing.
As the ground begins to violently shake, Gohan screams at his family. "Mom, Grandpa, run now!!"
But its too late. The ground bursts open and from it, comes out a familiar face Gohan thought he'd never see again.
"B..b...Broly!?" Gohan stutters out in shock while looking back down at his baby brother for an instant, wondering. 'Did Goten sense him while I couldn't? Or was his reaction just a coincidence? If it's the former, how could he do that?'
"Raahhhhhhh!!!" Broly screams as his power starts to erupt from him.
Snapping out of his trance, Gohan quickly powers up to Super Saiyan and flash steps (I know, I know, that's Bleach, but that's just what I'm going to call it when a character flashes from one spot to another.) over to his mother and grandfather and hands Goten to the former.
"Mom, Grandpa, take Goten and get as far away from here as you can now!" Gohan orders as he takes a defensive stance, getting between Broly and his family.
"But Gohan, who is that? What's going on!?" Chi-Chi frantically asks.
"He's an old enemy we fought before the Cell Games that I thought Dad had killed. I have no idea how he's alive, or how he ended up here on Earth, but he is and you're not safe here. So go, now! Grandpa get everyone in the kingdom evacuated as soon as possible, please!" Gohan begs them.
"Ok Gohan, we'll get everyone nearby out of here. Just be careful." Ox King answers Gohan as he grabs Chi-Chi and starts backing up at the same time Broly looks down at them and sees Goten in Chi-Chi's arms.
"KAKAROT!!!" He screams as he charges toward them, only to get punched in the face and launched in the oppisite direction by Gohan.
"Don't worry, I'll be fine. Piccolo and Vegeta will sense what's happening and come to help. I can hold him off until they get here, so hurry and go!" Gohan says, not noticing a huge energy blast Broly fired in time to dodge or block it.
Gohan gets nailed in the back by the projectile and crashes to the ground, forming a small crater in the area surrounding him.
"Gohan!" Chi-Chi fearfully shouts at her son as she goes running to him.
'Damn it! How did I not sense that coming!? What's wrong with me!?' Gohan berates himself while powering up to Super Saiyan 2.
"Mom get out of here, you're just distracting me! I can handle this, I'm a lot stronger than I was the last time I fought him! I'll be fine, now go!" Gohan commands her, then shoots off towards Broly as he's transforming into his Legendary Super Saiyan form.
They collide, and start throwing multiple, rapid barrages of punches and kicks at each other.
"Chi-Chi come on, we have to go!" Ox begs his daughter while his younger grandson is crying in his arms.
"No Dad, I wasn't there for him during his fight with Cell, so I'm not going to leave Gohan to face this all alone!" She proclaims, refusing to budge as she watches the sky and listens to the shockwaves of the battle, praying for her son's safety and victory.
"I don't know how you survived the fight with my dad or how you ended up on Earth, but I am not going to let you roam free to hurt and destroy everything! I'm going to finish you off once and for all Broly!" Gohan adamantly declares after several exchanges, seemingly starting to push Broly back while dodging a punch and kneeing him in the gut.
"KA...KAKAROT!!!" Broly yells while shooting an energy blast in the direction of Gohan's family.
"NO!" The young saiyan shouts, realizing where the blast is heading, Gohan dashes there, hoping to intercept it, only to be cut off by Broly.
"GET OUT OF MY WAY!" Gohan screams as he fires a Masenko at the lunatuc, directing the wave to send Broly upward. He then continues his way to his family, only to hear the explosion.
"MOM, GRANDPA, GOTEN!!!!!" Gohan desperately calls for his family as he lands on the smoldering crater where just minutes ago they were all laughing together without a care in the world.
"G..Go...Gohan." A faint voice calls out.
Gohan turns to the direction it came from and to his horror, his grandfather is on the ground, not moving. He senses no life from him, and he sees his mother barely clinging to life, tightly curled in on herself.
"Mom! Grandpa is....'hic' Grandpa is dead, and you're hurt...I'm 'hic' I'm so sorry, I couldn't stop it in time, and, and Goten...whu...where is he?" Gohan manages to say between sobs. He then watches as his mother uncurls herself, revealing a very hysterical, yet intact Goten wailing in her arms.
"Your..grandfather, when..he..he saw the blast coming, gave him to me, then moved in front of me to...shield us, and I curled in on myself as.....tightly as I could, to make sure Goten was...wa.....was safe. Is....is he ok?"
Gohan frantically picks Goten up and checks his brother over for injuries, momentarily relieved to see the wailing boy was, while clearly terrified, relatively unharmed.
"He..he's ok Mom, he's ok." Gohan answers his mother.
'She's not gonna make it! It's all my fault! If I had noticed Broly when Goten did, I could have grabbed and flew them all out of here and dropped them somewhere safer! No! No! I should have done that anyway, I screwed up again!' He thinks to himself.
"I'm so so sorry Mom, but I promise I'll get rid of that monster, and get the Dragon Balls together to bring you and Grandpa back as soon as I can!" Gohan swears to his mother.
"No...don't....don't bring me back." Chi-Chi tells her son.
"What....what are talking about Mom?" Gohan asks, horrified and hoping he just heard her wrong.
"I don't want to be brought back when I die.....I....I decided right before Goten was born." Chi-Chi answers him.
"Mom wha.....why would you do that?" Gohan asks, trying to make sense of what his mom is telling him, while mentally screaming to himself. 'No this can't be happening...not again!!'
"Why wouldn't you want to come back?" Gohan begs Chi-Chi to explain.
"I miss your father Gohan. I miss him so much. I knew when I died and I saw him, I wouldn't be able to handle being separated from him again by being brought back to life....I'm so sorry sweetie, I didn't think it would happen this soon but...maybe it's fate that it is happening now....please bring your grandfather back, but let me stay with Goku in Other World?" Chi-Chi pleads with her oldest son.
"But Mom, what about Goten?" Gohan asks her.
'What about me?' Gohan thinks about adding but hesitates.
"He'll be fine. He has you and he'll have your grandfather....you'll have your grandfather." She answers, then adds. "Just protect and watch over your brother, and make sure you both live great, joy filled lives. Remeber, your Father and I will always be watching over you both. I love you Gohan, I love you Goten, so much.....goodbye." Chi-Chi says, then her eyes close and Gohan feels her energy signature dissappear.
"No....No...NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" Gohan screams, clutching Goten to himself with tears beginning to pour from his eyes and his power starting to skyrocket even higher than it did when he fought Cell.
He then senses Broly heading towards them.
"I'm so so sorry Goten, because of me you lost both of your parents before you even got to know them." Gohan apologizes as he puts Goten down next to their mother's body, then creates seperate energy barriers for his fallen family members, and an extra powerful one for his last surviving family member.
"But I Promise That From Now Until The End, I Will Protect You!!!" Gohan declares, as he screams in agony, rage, regret, and despair.
His power keeps increasing and his hair starts to grow longer and longer, until it's past his waist, his eyebrows vanishing, making his forehead and eye ridges appear larger, and revealing a more prominent brow. (This description of Super Saiyan 3 is mostly from the wiki)
He sees Broly coming in fast from the distance, charging another blast, far stronger than the ones he'd unleashed earleir.
Gohan begins charging a Kamehameha wave in response
"I wish I could blame you for this, but I know it wouldn't be true. I know it's my fault my mom and grandpa died, just like my dad's death was my fault. I'm what's wrong, I failed him and now I've failed the both of them as well, but...FROM NOW ON, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL KEEP ME FROM HONORING MY PROMISE TO PROTECT MY BROTHER, NOT YOU OR WHATEVER OTHER HELL FATE PLANS ON THROWING OUR WAY!!! DO YOU HEAR ME BROLY!!!??? Gohan screams at the top of his lungs to Broly, who simply shouts. "DIE!!!" Then fires his blast at the same time Gohan launches his Kamehameha wave.
The shockwaves of the resulting beam struggle cause everything around them to violently shake, the surrounding mountains to crumble away, and the clouds in the sky to dissapate while Gohan is desperately trying to win out against Broly.
He hears Goten start crying behind him. "Ahhh...uhwahh...naahhh..wahhh!!!!"
"It's gonna be okay little buddy, don't worry." Gohan tells his brother, hoping to reassure the terrified infant.
He then senses something strange at the center of the energy collision.
'What's happening? It feels like our attacks are being sucked into something.' He wonders, then sees a third light starting to emit from his and Broly's beam collision.
Suddenly both fighters attacks dissappear for a moment, then detonate. The resulting blinding light from the explosion causes Gohan to close his eyes, and when he opens them, he sees what looks like a giant black hole floating in midair, and for a few seconds it does nothing, but then suddenly, an invisible force starts pulling him towards it.
"I can't....I can't fight the pull this thing is giving off, How is this possible? What's happening!?" Gohan shouts, realizing that whatever that hole is, he was getting pulled into it no matter how hard he struggled. So before he lost his footing, he used his energy to pull the small barrier bubble holding his brother to himself, refusing to be separated from what was left of his family.
"It's ok Goten, I promise you that wherever we end up I'll be with you the whole way! We're gonna make it somehow!" Gohan swears to his brother as he wraps his arms around the energy bubble protecting the most precious person in his life while they get swallowed up by the hole, not noticing they aren't the only ones being pulled into it.
There is nothing but darkness surrounding Gohan, the only bit of light coming from anywhere is emanating from his aura and the energy bubble around Goten.
'It feels like my body is being pulled in every direction! It's taking everything I have to not be ripped apart and keep Goten's bubble from disappearing! But I won't stop, no matter what! I'm doing this for him, I'll endure anything for his sake, this is nothing I cant take on!'
Gohan suffers through this agony for what feels like an eternity, his power drastically dropping from the strain of keeping his body and Goten's energy bubble from being torn apart.
He reverts back to his base form, begins losing consciousness, and just when it seems like this will be the Son brothers' end, all of the strain instantly vanishes as Gohan falls and lands on solid ground, bloody and ragged, but still in one piece.
He looks down at Goten in time to see the bubble fade, and Goten's sleeping form softly fall on his chest, tears still spilling from his closed eyes, face a little swollen and red from crying for so long, body covered in dust, small scratches, and a little bit of blood (thankfully not his own) but still alive.
Gohan is so relieved Goten is alive but also too busy checking him over to make sure none of the baby's injuries are serious, that he doesn't notice that someone's approaching them until he hears a man yell. "My god kid, what happened to you!?"
"Jesus Tony! Either call an ambulance or get these poor boys inside the lab's med wing, hurry!" a woman hysterically shouts at the man now identified as 'Tony'.
The man carefully gathers the boys into his arms while he replies to the woman. "Right...right..Pepper, go get all the first aid kits you can find in the house."
The young saiyan can tell he's about to pass out, so he clutches Goten tighter to himself and asks the strangers. "Wh...where are we?"
The man, 'Tony', answers. "You're in Malibu kiddo."
'Malibu...I've...never heard of....' are Gohan's last thoughts before he finally loses consciousness.