by: Kanki

        "Kaasan! Will you come play with me?" The young child turned his head, noticing the water falling from his mother's face.  "Are you crying?"

          The child's mother shook her head, "I'm fine, why don't you ask your niichan to play with you? I'm busy right now." The young child sighed and left his mother's side.  The dark haired women watched her son walk away disappointedly.  She did not purposely ignore him, or pretend he did not exist, sometimes....sometimes is just helped her to.

          I know why she never wants to play with him, poor kid.  He reminds her so much of Tousan.  He looks just like him, the dark unruly hair, the dark eyes, the same gi, nearly identical.  Not only the looks, but he has the same innocent and kindness in him. It is him that Kaasan sees when she looks at him, Otousan.  She feels that maybe if she ignores him, the painful memories will not return.  Sure, she'll try and play with him sometimes, maybe a game or two, or a short spar, but that's it.  It's not his fault that he looks like Tousan, so why must she push him away?  He is already going to be raised without a father, now, sometimes he doesn't even have a mother.

          "Gohan?" Goten asked, "Will you play with me, plweze?"  He was so small and innocent, naïve.  He had no idea how the life given to you could be taken away, in less than a second.  He knew nothing of death or hatred, yet.

          "Whatcha wanna play?" I asked and bent down to his level.

          "Tag! It would be fun! Maybe we can call Trunks and see if he wants to come play too?" Goten asked hopefully.

          "Sounds like fun! Why don't you go call 'em?  I'll meet you outside." I answered and then Goten ran into the kitchen.  I turned and went outside, inhaling the smell of flowers; the smell of spring--a time of rebirth.  I guess with Tousan gone, I play the father role for Goten, not that I mind at all.  It is just that I always feel that I must be around to support him and Kaasan.  I try not to date, fore I don't want to set a bad example for Goten; instead I study and make sure to complete my homework.  I want him to achieve...to become what he wishes. It's stressing though, but I have no choice, its not like Goten did. I am the eldest son and I must make sacrifices for my family, I knew that.  I knew that Father wouldn't always be around, he would be off at a fight or training.  But I did not know that I would have to raise my little brother for him.  It wasn't fair to Goten, that his father was not there to play baseball with, teach him to ride a bicycle, or spar with. A child should not miss out on those moments, but Goten would.  It wasn't fair.

          "Niichan! He's coming! Yay! I can't wait!  Trunks is my bestest friend, didja know that?" He asked happily.  It amazes me, how happy he can be.  His father is gone, his mother neglects him, but he is always so jovial.  He has been through more as a child then some people have been through in a whole lifetime.  I don't understand how he can always be so cheerful.

          "Goten, that's great! But, I want to ask you something." I wanted to know the answer, how did he deal with it? What was his secret? Often, I felt I lacked the strength to keep living, supporting a family at age seventeen.

          "Sure!  Let's sit down and wait for Trunks!" Goten exclaimed and sat on the ground, Indian style.  I sat across from him, attempting to put my question into words that a five year old would understand. Goten just stared at me, anxiously wondering what I was going to ask him.

        "Goten, how do you do it?"

        "Do what?"

        "Why are you always happy?  Why are you so strong?"

        "I'm sor-"

        "No! Its not bad, I want to know what keeps you alive.  How can you face everyday with such optimitism?"

        "Really? That's a pretty easy question!"

        "Enlighten me."

          "Okay! You see, I may not have a Tousan, and sometimes I don't even know if I have a Kaasan, but I am just happy that I'm alive.  I knows that things will get better, maybe Tousan will actually come back.  I also gots something special that most other people don't got. Sure, they have their Tousans and their Kaasans, but I gots something better! I gots someone who looks out for me, cares for me, and loves him. He gives me a Band-Aid when I gets a booboo, and picks me up when I fall down.  I knows that he is always there for me cuz he tells me.  I can tell him all my secrets and I know he won't tell or yell, he works hard to set  a good example for me, and lots more! I gots a Niichan, named Gohan, and just knowing that I gots someone that loves me, keeps me happy."  The six year old finished his sentence.  I just stared blankly at him, how could a small child see what I could not?

          Goten noticed my blank expression, "Gohan, I know that you'll look out for me and when I get big and strong, I'll look out for you. I know I can count on you.  I wish I had a Tousan, yeah, I wish Kaasan would pay more attention to me, but you're there for me, so I know that everything will be okay."  He looked up at me smiling when he finished it.  I repeated his words over and over in my mind, and grabbed him, hugging him.  If a small child had this much faith in me, why couldn't I believe in myself?  I released my grip on Goten when I sensed a presence at the door of the house.  I looked up to see Kaasan staring at us, stunned at Goten's words.  I glanced at her, she stared at me.  I saw tears weld up in her eyes and she bolted back into the house.  Then, Trunks finally arrived.

          "Hi Trunks!" Goten cried and ran up to Trunks.

          "Hello Goten, Gohan-niichan." Trunks replied waving to me.  I than realized that all I had been for Goten, was nearly the same for Trunks.  Trunks didn't have a father, not one that showed affection for him.  Vegeta never hugged him, never paid attention to him, all he does is train, spar, eat.  His mother is always busy, running the largest company in the world, never spending time with him.  They never took the time to sit down and talk with him about their days or play a simple game of cards.  He never got the attention he deserved, like Goten.

          "I'll be right back you guys, I got to go to talk to Kaasan."

          "Kay, hurry! We gotta play the game!" Goten said, as I ran into our house.

        "Okaasan?? Kaasan? Where are you?" I checked the kitchen and she wasn't there.  "Kaasan?" I asked as I pushed the door of her room open, slowly.  She sat there, at the edge of her bed, sobbing.  "Kaasan, what's wrong?" I asked sitting beside her.

          "Gohan, am I a bad parent?  Am I so bad that I ignore my youngest son?" Kaasan asked me through her tears.

          "No, you're a great Kaasan, the best out there." I encouraged.

          "Then, why does my youngest son...why does he think I don't love him?"

          "He knows that you love him!  It's just that you miss Tousan so much, you see it in him--we all see him in Goten.  But, Tousan, he wouldn't want you to mourn over him so long.  He wouldn't want us to mourn over him.  He wants us to live our lives.  Don't let the Goku in Goten bring you down, let it make you happy.  Let him remind us of his sacrifice and all he has done for us.  Goten should remind us the good times we had with Goku and help keep his memory alive."

          "Gohan," My Kaasan began wiping her tears, "Thank you.  I should stop mourning over Goku.  It's time for me to live my life...to try and enjoy it."

          "Hai Kaasan, you understand."

          "Hai, I do, finally.  I think that I have six years of my son's life to catch up on."

          "And you can start right now, up for a game of tag?"

          "Sounds good Gohan, sounds good." She said standing up, I followed her and put my arm around her.

"Tag, you're it." I said and ran out the door to my two brothers, one blood, one adopted, but both in need of a father and mother.  Hopefully, we were the people to give that to them.


Author's Notes:
        Thank you for reading this story.  I apologize if the ages are a little messed up, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same.  I think it was my best story...which makes it not very good all the same...
        Thanks again!  -Kanki
HaRUko^: Two thumbs up for the lovely story! ^_^

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