Nocturne

BY : setbl
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 1082
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: All Dragon Ball/Z/GT characters and related material(s) belong to Akira Toriyama and respective owners. Everything else belongs to me. No money/profit is made from any part of this fanfic.

Disclaimer: All Dragon Ball/Z/GT characters and related material(s) belong to Akira Toriyama and respective owners. Everything else belongs to me. No profit/money is made from any portion of this fanfic.

Warnings: There will be non-conventional relations and situations as well as adult content through the course of this fanfic. If canon is what you want, please support the official releases—if you haven’t already—for fan fiction is automatically not canon. If your heart and mind is small and closed, please refrain from imbibing any part of this fanfic; everyone else, I hope you enjoy.

“Nocturne”

1

It was cold; the dead of winter and the denizens of the village of Nocturne went about things as usual as they could during this time of the 1) earth cycle. It was a place with four seasons, all lovely to the eye, but its winters were especially unforgiving. Those that had the resources and family to help would leave for other lands before the first bit of frost came. The rest were forced to stick it out. Even for those that had been there all their lives it wasn’t easy, but it was doable for the diligent. One such lad was already well prepared to spend another winter alone. Only one person had ever shown him any tenderness and affection—his grandfather. He had lost him a few earth cycles ago to illness and old age.

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His grandfather had been a carpenter. He had built the very house he lived in, including furniture while still in his youth. As he got some real age on him, he had to make much smaller pieces of furniture and pieces of well-carved art in order to keep a living.

On a spring day earth cycles ago while out collecting timber, the old man heard a loud wail that descended into the sorrowful cries of an infant. The old man was a hermit, and only came out to collect supplies and sell his wares. He lived close enough to the village to make do, but far enough away to keep his peace and sanity. So when he heard the voice of an infant so close to home; it shook his world a bit.

Once he found the infant, he looked down at it. He knew why it was left now. The infant had a severely bent spine. If his parents were too poor, he understood. No one decent would ever want to kill their own child or leave them in the hands of dubious strangers, so there wasn’t much alternative out in those parts. But the cloth he was wrapped in said otherwise. It was expensive fabric that you could only find several hundred kilometers away, clear on the other side of the land. His so-called parents were well-off, but got rid of him because every toe and vertebrae wasn’t in place. No, they got rid of him because they were evil. They always looked down on others not like them; their blood was no exception. They didn’t try to find him a home or even have the decency to put him out of his misery. The just got rid of him like some unwanted object instead of the innocent life he was. They were cold to the core, like too many before them. That’s why the old man was a hermit. Most people he met weren’t worth the time it would take to kill them. But the human world was such a cesspool; someone really needed to take out the trash.

The old man attempted to leave as if he saw nothing; he was too old and tired himself. But he knew the villagers might do worse to the child. They were very superstitious, and people with severe ailments or deformities weren’t killed, but kept and treated as demons. The worst of them would take him in only to raise him as their own personal slave for the rest of his life... But...he couldn't...

He looked down at the child again. He hadn’t realized that while he was contemplating, the child’s cries had ceased. The infant was looking directly at him, taking in every movement. The old man’s breath stilled. No one had ever looked at him so closely, so deeply before. They both held on to a moment of silence without looking away from each other.

“If you’re gonna stay with me, you’ve got to earn your keep,” the old man finally said in an even tone.

The infant moved his head as best as he could and looked back to the old man. The old man was amazed. The child wanted to live even though it clearly knew how filthy the world has always been since man. Well, he would keep his promise then.  

When the boy was old enough, the old man made him work hard. He taught him all he knew about carpentry and the world. He taught him how to defend himself. He made him get and keep his body strong. His back was bent, not broken. The old man never treated the boy as an oddity or as something deformed. He held him as he would his own son, and in truth the child was—maybe not by blood, but true family is of the heart. He cherished the boy until his last day. He passed down his home and all his worldly possessions to him.

With his last breaths he bade the boy to always be strong, and never lose the true beauty that always seemed to shine from the boy so effortlessly, that of the heart—the one thing in the world that can neither be bought or stolen once it is true. The boy wept that day for the first time since he was an infant. He promised he would do his grandfather proud. He would live a decent life, however large or small it might be. 

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The boy was now a young man of nineteen. He was reminiscing about his grandfather as he always did during the winter; after all, that was when he had passed. He had felt so completely helpless then. He never wanted to feel that helpless ever again, so he worked hard every day to be strong in body, mind and spirit. He knew his grandfather was the only one who ever loved him. He would probably reach his day of death and that would still be the truth, but he would continue to live strong and well as he had promised his grandfather.

There was a large commotion in the town. Either something serious had happened in the village or more of their ridiculous superstition rituals were going on. He was so sick of their crap. Even in this harsh frigidness they wouldn’t pull their heads out their asses for just a little while. His grandfather never told him what had kept him in that place. He sure wished he knew. Maybe things were better once but changed for the worse, and instead of moving on, his grandfather stood his ground. As a carpenter, he had helped build most of the place after all.

The young man was roused out of his thoughts when the front door to his cottage was rudely busted open. He grabbed his long blade and took an offensive pose. No one would get away with damaging any part of what his grandfather built. Those damned villagers!

“Have you seen the demon?! Has it come here?” A cacophony of horrendous voices echoed.

The young man with the bent back replied harshly, “I have seen no one before you this day. You are the ones storming around as demons, destroying people’s homes. I have seen no one, and hope to see no one else!”

The throng of miscreants calmed down a bit after that. The young man appeared very intimidating in his own right. Even with a heavily bent back, he was taller than every villager. And although his back was harshly bent, it was very strong, as was his entire body. He appeared menacing towering with a heavy blade in his hand. It was probably one of the only reasons the villagers didn’t try to go after him—they were too afraid to and he kept to himself.  

“You be sure to tell us if you do Goku.”

The young man didn’t answer, strongly standing his ground. The villagers eventually left, and Goku didn’t waste any time repairing his grandfather’s cottage.

Once Goku was done repairing the damage the villagers had done, he built a nice fire on the hearth. He knew he should probably make something to eat, but just couldn’t bring himself to. He knew he would never leave his grandfather’s house, but he was becoming weary of being there. It wasn’t just the villagers. He was...lonely. He didn’t know if he could be strong enough to be a hermit like his grandfather; a part of him always wondering how he did it.

He tried to read some scrolls his grandfather left him to get his mind off things, but just couldn’t get into it. He tried to whittle something, but his heart wasn’t in it. Finally he decided to turn in for the night. He knew it would be a restless sleep, but it was all he had.

Goku had just finally succumbed to slumber when he was roused by a noise in his kitchen. It wasn’t a loud noise, but he knew his house well. No one should be in there but him! He grabbed his long blade and carefully made his way to the kitchen.

The noise had stopped, and it was dark. Goku lit one of the candles he kept in every room. Everything seemed to be in order except that his pantry door was wide open. He stepped closer and looked inside. A good portion of the meat he had dried and stored to survive the winter was gone. What in the world?

Before he could turn around he felt something whoosh past him. Goku quickly turned before whatever it was got away and grabbed for whatever he could get ahold of. A loud yelp echoed throughout his humble cottage, and Goku found that he was holding something long and furry. Goku looked closely and found that he was holding a bushy tail and it was attached to a young man, maybe even his age.

“I’m sorry,” the young man with the tail said nervously. “I have no family left and I don’t like to kill, but I don’t want to die. I’ll find a way to pay you back for the meat. I-I’m sorry. Please don’t kill me!”

Goku couldn’t believe it. The poor kid was shaking life a leaf. He obviously wouldn’t hurt a fly. And this was one of the beings the villagers were so afraid and hateful of—damned fools. Even though they were probably the same age numerically, Goku felt older so he called him as such.

“What’s you name boy?”

The other young man turned around and looked Goku in the eye. Only one other had ever acknowledged him as a person before. Tears welled up in the young man’s eyes, and his strong muscular frame began to quake. It looked so strange to Goku to see this strong, tall beautiful young man with medium length, wild ebony locks and a long bushy tail of the same color break down like that. But then he thought he didn’t know the kid’s story, so who knows what kind of life he’s had to endure. Whoever this kid was, he wanted to help him. He couldn’t have just stumbled upon his house for no reason.

“I asked your name boy. Mine is Goku. If you’re going to be using my home or supplies, you’re going to earn your keep.”

The young man with the tail was dumbfounded. He had entered this person’s home without permission and eaten some of their hard collected food, and he was inviting him to stay if he worked?!

“M-my name is Gohan, sir. It’s very cold here, and I got very hungry on my journey. Please tell me how to repay you and I will. After that, I have to be on my way. My friend needs me.”

Goku was intrigued. The young man was on a journey to help his friend. While winter was a poor time to travel, he figured him and this kid could do it. After all he’d gotten this far hadn’t he?

“That’s the payment I want. We will both go and help out this friend of yours. I will provide supplies for the journey and you will lead the way. However, it’s a harsh world out there. If your friend is in some real trouble and you act the way did in front of me just now, you’re not going to make it. In fact you’ll be more of a liability. I suggest we both do some heavy training before we leave.”

“You’d really help me, us?! Thank you!”

The tailed young man scooped Goku into a hug. Goku was going to chastise him, but it felt too good to be surrounded by warmth again. He had almost…forgotten. He didn’t really know what he was getting himself into, but almost anything had to be better than staying in a place cold and alone, just watching earth cycles pass you by. He hoped this young man with the tail would come to be his friend. And maybe the friend he spoke of would come to be his friend too. Gohan didn’t seem to even notice his severely bent spine. For once he was being treated as a person. It felt… nice. Goku was determined to get them both ready for the journey ahead. Whatever it turned out to be, Goku was more than willing to try.

1) This is the term I will use to indicate a year; a full earth revolution around the sun.

A/N: This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a different kind story. It is going to take time to develop it, but I hope for the entire journey to be good for everyone. As always, thanks for reading. 

 



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