Categories > Anime/Manga > Dragon Ball Z

Kick the Can

by Devon_Aster 1 review

A teenage Gohan comes across a group of boys playing a game.

Category: Dragon Ball Z - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Gohan - Published: 2006-01-20 - Updated: 2006-01-20 - 641 words - Complete

Author's Note: A short fic I did focusing on Gohan.

Disclaimer: DragonBall and DragonBall Z were created by Akira Toriyama and is copyright © Toei Animation and FUNImation. No infringement is intended.

Kick the Can

Sighing, Gohan raised a hand to briefly block out the shimmering sun. Little beads of sweat trickled down his back. Waves of heat rose from the ground, causing distorted reflections of the world around him. He rubbed a hand over his glistening forehead and shifted the strap of his backpack. A scratchy throat begged for relief, a drop of moisture to banish the persistent dryness.

Gohan sighed again. A vision of his dark-haired mother flickered before him. She held out a glass of iced lemonade and smiled proudly at her almost grown "scholar". He shook his head to dislodge the taunting fantasy. He cast a lingering glance at the cloudless sky as his boots continued their measured steps to the edge of Satan City.


Laughter, innocent and free, drifted through the air. Gohan stopped and turned his head toward the somewhat foreign sound. His eyes came to rest on a parking lot to the right of where he stood. A group of boys, maybe nine to ten years old, ran about the blacktop in some sort of chaotic dance.

A metal can went clank-clank-clank over the asphalt, hurried on its way by childish feet whenever it came to a rest. The boys smiled and giggled without effort. Arms waving in the air, they ignored the stranger watching them, their world focused on the make-shift toy before them. A burly little youth claimed his turn and sent the shining object flying.

The can sailed through the air and landed in metallic protest at Gohan's feet. The half Saiya-jin studied the thing in silence. The gray cylinder glinted lifelessly in the sun.

"Hey mister!" The boy called out, his young voice slicing through the stillness.

Gohan gazed at the boy and lifted a brow in question. In his memory were the possibilities and outcomes of a thousand situations, and the knowledge of how to handle them. Yet uncertainty reigned in this particular one.

"Come'on, mister, kick it back!" the boy demanded with a wave, impatient that the game was stalled.

Gohan looked back at the can. A fragile little thing, rust spots painted here and there. He gave it a nudge with the tip of his boot, the barest taste of his strength to send it on its way. The plaything rolled sullenly back to the group of children. The burly boy imprisoned it carelessly with the sole of his shoe.

"Heh, what kind of kick was that?" the boy's voice colored with superiority said. "You some kind of wimp?"

The group laughed at the jibe and the youth kicked their toy with vigor farther into the parking lot. He smirked at Gohan as it flew a grand arch through the air. The little tribe then rushed after it. Once more, the dance continued with the music of clink-clank and boyish joy.

Gohan cast one final glance upon the scene. Not saying a word nor answering the challenge, his thoughts swirled in his head. Screams of pain and fear overlapped squeals of delight, images of broken earth faded into black pavement. A ghost in armor weaved among the boys, grinning, then disappeared from view.

The montage lasted seconds and stretched an eternity. Nothing left lingering but the children, once again ignoring the invader to their world.

Gohan felt a stirring, a tiny little something that flashed and faded, leaving only a bitter-sweet trace. He lifted his face to the sun, letting its cleansing heat chase away the demons. He let the physical discomforts of only moments ago draw him away from that tortured world. Then, with a resigned shrug, he turned away and continued his trek to home.
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