Meet my Reflection:
Goku brushed the leaves away from his face. It was pitch-black, but that didn’t make much difference to a Saiyan. And Goku knew this area like the back of his hand.
After all, he grew up here.
He arrived at the clearing. Stretching out as far as he could see, was a lake with the most pristine water you could ever find in this Age of Machines. He took in a deep breath. It came out shaky and ragged. Goku was rarely scared of anything. In fact, dying over and over again was like taking a vacation to the beach. He did it so often.
Death is merely the beginning.
Or the in-betweener, at any rate.
Goku knelt and in a circular formation, he placed the Dragonballs on the ground.
With each Dragonball he placed, a memory plagued him.
Goku smiled as he saw his sons spar. He could feel the rise and fall of their power levels. He was proud of them. How much they’ve grown…
Vegeta sidled up next to him. “Want to spar next Kakarott?”
Goku gave his power grin, “Not yet. Let them finish first. I’d hate to disturb them.”
Vegeta nodded an affirmative as Goku quietly got up.
“Where you’re going Kakarott? Surely you’re not running away from our sparring match?”
“Wouldn’t dream of it Vegeta. I’m just taking a walk, that’s all. Need the exercise.”
“You don’t need exercise baka; you’re the second-best warrior in the universe.”
Goku smirked, “Who’s the first?”
Vegeta straightened up, proud and haughty, “Why me, oh course. After all, I’m the prince of all Saiyans.”
With that, he walked off.
Goku moved almost robotically as he placed the second Dragonball in its position.
He really didn’t want to do this. He has been protecting Earth from evil forces since he was a child.
He’s done his share. How much longer must he go through with this? A peaceful life. That’s all he wanted.
Was that too much to ask?
Goku strolled off, whistling a tune which he was sure would even affect the tone-deaf.
It was peaceful, for a change. No invaders and no sign of Chichi’s frying pan. He loved Chichi, but her constant nagging and complaining was starting to irritate him. But he hid like he always did, with a sickeningly sweet and idiotic grin.
He stopped to see Kami hovering a few feet above him.
“Konnichi-wa Kami-Sama. I sensed your ki a couple of minutes back. But, for some reason, you didn’t approach me, so I used the lame excuse of taking a walk to meet you.”
Kami nodded, while sweatdropping. No comment needed. ^_^
“Why are you here?” Goku questioned, his muscles tense and ready. Was there a new enemy?
Kami landed on the ground softly, his slate-like eyes flashing. Goku grew more apprehensive by the second. Why was Kami so distraught?
“Goku. How long has it been since you fought off the threat of the Saiyans?”
Goku blinked. This certainly wasn’t a question he expected.
“I’m not sure…Gohan was six when I died,” He saw Kami wince. That memory was always painful to him.
“Goku-sama,” Kami said respectfully. Goku stared t him, wide-eyed.
“The Age of Machines is drawing closer and there will no warriors ready to protect when needed. Someone must accept the power of the Dragonballs.”
“And that someone is me, right?” Goku stated flatly.
Kami turned, apparently distressed, “I’m…sorry. I know how much you wanted to end it, but this the only way.”
“NO IT’S NOT!!” Goku burst out, “I’m so tired of the endless fighting and blood-shed Kami, can’t you let me end it?”
Kai remained silent. Goku’s eyes widened as the full force of Kami’s statement hit him. He glared at Kami scornfully and left.
“No, I can’t,” Kami whispered.
Goku removed the third Dragonball. Why was he receiving these memories again?
To tell him it was worth it?
Was it worth it?
I used to want this gift. Now, that it comes to me, I reject it.
Did I change or did the world I used to live in, change?
Goku strode back to the training area. He noticed that Goten and Gohan had finished sparring and that Vegeta was waiting patiently for him. He saw that all of them were looking at him, worriedly. That made him angry. Who were they to think he can’t take care of himself?
“Dad? You look upset…” Gohan commented, his soft black eyes distressed. Vegeta also worried.
“I’m fine,” his voice came out sharp and angry. Gohan and Goten drew back, shocked. Vegeta’s eyes widened.
“What’s wrong with you, Kakarott?”
Goku shrugged. He was still angry with them, but they were only concerned.
“I was talking to Kami.”
“What did that fool say?”
“Vegeta!” Gohan berated him.
Vegeta only snorted and continued his staring at Goku. Goku found it unnerving. He was used to the Prince of All Saiyans’ death-glares, but this calm baleful stare made him nervous.
“What did he say Kakarott?” Vegeta said calmly.
Goku looked up to the sky, not knowing what to say.
What could he say?
“He said…I have no more choices,” Goku said slowly, as if each word was a blow to his heart.
“Damn it Son, that’s no answer!!” Vegeta snarled, apparently angry. Gohan stared at his father as if seeing him in a new light. Goten just didn’t get it.
“I’m sorry, but that’s the only one I can give,” Goku said, still staring at the sky.
To be free…
With that, he vanished.
He was a coward for running. Gohan, Goten and Vegeta tried to pursue him, but this is Son Goku and he out flew them easily. Also he had gotten a head start.
Sighing, he took out the fourth ball. He could see his reflection in the ball.
It made him sad, for some reason. It feels as if he lost himself along the way. All that was left was the reflection.
How pathetic was that?
Goku landed in front of Krillin’s house. Slowly, he knocked on the door. It was answered by Android #18.
“Goku.” She said in a chillingly emotionless tone. Goku winced. He hated that tone.
“Goku?” Krillin suddenly popped up from nowhere, a bright smile on his face, “Come in! Just don’t stand there!”
Goku snapped out of his reverie and followed Krillin inside. Android #18 ignored him.
“So, whassamatter buddy? You looked…tired,” Krillin inquired anxiously.
Goku smiled. Krillin was always worried about his friends.
“Krillin…” he hesitated. How would Krillin answer this?
“Kami wants me to accept the Power of the Dragonballs.”
Krillin’s eyes widened. “Really?”
Goku nodded. He waited patiently for Krillin’s reaction.
“Goku…” Krillin said quietly. He saw the silent despair in his best friend’s eyes.
“I don’t want it, Krillin.”
“But…you’ll have ultimate power!!! You’ll live forever!!! Wasn’t that what you wanted when you were a child? To be the most powerful warrior in the universe?”
“Krillin…I…to leave my family again. To watch them grow old and die while you remain young. To know that even in the end, you still can’t be there for them.”
Goku looked so lost, it killed him.
Krillin took in a deep breath, “It’s your decision to make. Only you.”
Goku took in a shuddering breath, “I was afraid you’d say that.”
Krillin bent his head. He failed his best friend.
Only a few more…
Then it will complete.
There’s no turning back.
That’s what he told Chichi.
News spreads quickly. Soon, all the Z warriors had gathered at Goku’s house. Piccolo was there too. Goku suspected that Kami put him up to it. Vegeta was there too. That surprised him. He wasn’t expecting the grouchy Saiyan to show up at all. Nonetheless, Vegeta’s presence gives him a sense of comfort and strength to continue. Yamcha, Tien, Krillin, Dende…the list could go on.
Goku cleared his throat, “Kami came to me the week before and gave me a gift and a curse to accept. We all know the Age of Machines is nearly here and the Age of Martial Arts is fading away…the number of warriors decreasing. So, Someone must accept the power of Dragonballs. He…chose me.”
Silence. Goku waited for everyone’s reaction. Piccolo hasn’t made eye contact with anyone at all. Gohan and Goten looked shocked and Yamcha and Tien were dumbfounded. Bulma clapped a hand on her mouth and Vegeta turned away.
Goku couldn’t stand the silence anymore, “Say something, for God’s sake!!”
Everyone flinched from Goku’s outburst. Goku was irritated to the core and feeling very hopeless and lost.
It was Chichi who spoke first. In a quiet voice she asked, “Is this what you want?”
“No. It’s not. I want it to end.”
“Were you given a choice?”
A pause. “No.”
“Then, there’s nothing we can do. This is your decision. Goku,” She looked at him with those pearl-hued eyes of hers, “I know you’ll make the decision.”
Everyone nodded in agreement. Goku clasped Chichi’s hand and stroked it.
They were here for him.
They trusted him to make the right decision. They believed him.
That meant a lot to him, at the moment.
Vegeta ran off before Goku could say anything. He had a feeling the prince was upset because immortality was something Vegeta always wanted. That was why he came to Earth.
He was wrong.
The sixth ball…
Only one more left.
Goku hovered above Capsule Corps. He knew Vegeta would sense his ki and join him any moment now.
A beam of energy caught him off-guard. Yet, Goku dodged it with ease. It unnerved him, though. Vegeta appeared, looking every inch of the haughty Saiyan he is.
“Feh, what are doing here Kakarott?”
“Are you mad at me?”
Vegeta turned away from him.
“No. I left because I was…I felt sorry for you.”
“You WHAT?” Goku swallowed his confusion. The Prince of All Saiyans feeling sorry for…him?!
“Don’t get me wrong Kakarott. I felt sorry for does not mean I care about you and your pathetic brats,” Vegeta snapped.
Goku said nothing. They hung in the air for a while. Then,
“If I let you have the Power of the Dragonballs, would you take it?”
No one spoke. Goku looked at him appealingly.
“Dad!! Mom said you better get back to bed or she’s locking up the Gravity Room!!”
Goku looked downwards (remember, they’re hovering) at Bra. She was waving her arms frantically. Bulma was at the doorway, shaking her head smiling.
Vegeta looked pissed off.
“Onna, if you do anything to the Gravity Room, I’ll…”
The banter went on for some time. Goku wasn’t sure who won, but he had a feeling it ended in a compromise. Vegeta turned back to Goku.
“What’s so funny Kakarott?” He snarled.
Goku grinned, “You two were made for each other.”
Vegeta spluttered, “I—we—I’m only with her for the room, that’s all.” He huffed.
Goku rolled his eyes, “Right Vegeta, I believe you.” He replied sarcastically.
“You still haven’t answered my question, Vegeta.”
“Here’s your answer; No.”
That threw him off. Vegeta wanted immortality so much before. Why has he changed his mind?
Vegeta replied to his unspoken question, “I—have a family now Kakarott. I—never had a family and I never thought—I’ll get one now. I have a family. I want to be with them till the end. You—understand, right Kakarott?”
Goku was speechless. But his murky eyes softened and he replied, “I understand. Be happy Vegeta.”
The last ball…
But this memory he’s having.
It hasn’t happened. Yet.
It was in the future.
*Glimpse of the Future*
Goku watches his great-grandchild battle in the world tournament against Vegeta’s great-grandson. Vegeta has no idea how much his great-grandson looks like him.
And act like him.
He saw Pan in the audience. There was a light in her eyes. She was proud of her son.
Then she saw him.
She tried to get closer, but the crowd kept pushing her back.
Goku smiled. Ever-determined Pan.
But, he had to go. He’ll come back later.
Maybe he’ll get to see how far his family will go.
Goku gasped. He knew his father had oracular powers, but he didn’t know he could see the future.
He shouted, his words ringing throughout the heavens.
“Dragon, come forth! Grant me this wish!”
There was a blinding burst of light.
The world went beautiful black.
Son Goku’s reflection faded away.
Hope you like! My first one-shot ever!