Chapter Eight: The Kamehameha Wave
Roshi observed the two children before him in bemusement. He hadn't been expecting them quite so soon, admittedly, but he could deal with this. He looked at them and finally spoke. 'I'm not surprised to see you back here,' admitted Roshi after a moment. 'I see you've adapted to life without the flying nimbus quite well.'
There was a long pause as Kakarot glared at him. The silence which ensued was so thick that a knife would break in the attempt to cut it. Hell, a chainsaw would likely snap to pieces when set against it. Kakarot stared at Master Roshi with a look filled with absolute indifference and contempt. Roshi wondered what exactly he had done to warrant such a stare.
After a moment Roshi looked to Chi Chi, deciding to change the subject. 'So Kakarot, what happened to your friend here? Last time I saw her she was taller and older, and… bigger too. Now she's not-'
'Listen you depraved old bastard,' snapped Kakarot 'I've been set on fire, nearly drowned, assaulted with an axe by the Ox King, slammed into the ground at massive speed, and forced to endure your company for more than thirty seconds, all on the same day. This stretch of fewer than twenty-four hours has been one long line of traumatic events. So I think I'm pointing out the obvious when I say that I don't have time for small talk.' Well, that statement was brutal.
'Well, that's a little blunt.' said Roshi.
If Kakarot had a reason he didn't. 'For reasons beyond my comprehension the Ox King thinks you can help put out the fire on his mountain. So I'm here with Chi Chi to request you come and help him.'
'Well that doesn't sound too difficult-'
'And if you don't help,' said Kakarot 'I will kill you and everyone on this island, and then burn this cesspool to the ground.' What?
'Geez kid!' said Roshi 'Didn't anyone ever tell you that you're supposed to wait for an answer before you start making threats!'
'Actually yes,' admitted Kakarot 'I just find it comforting to my second-degree burns!' He roared, his voice echoing across the ocean. 'And by the way, you blind old fool, the girl you saw before was Bulma. This is Chi Chi. What, did their clear difference in appearance and age not penetrate to your fading and soon to be nonexistent brain? Or are you merely wasting my time with a poor attempt at sarcasm?'
Roshi stared at him in shock. 'Whatever happened to respect for your elders?'
Kakarot did not respond. Both of them then realized that at this point there were only two ways this conversation could go. They could either descend into a no holds barred fight to the death, or pretend as though they could afford to tolerate each others presence.
'Chi Chi's father is the Ox King.' said Kakarot finally.
'Really?' said Roshi.
'Mmhmm.' Chi Chi nodded.
'Hmm,' said Roshi as he turned to look out over the ocean, his back to them. 'the Ox King, hmm. Well I haven't heard from him in years, You know, I used to train that little guy-'
Kakarot and Chi Chi meanwhile were not listening. Chi Chi moved in close. 'Pss, Kakarot, are you sure this guy is Roshi?'
'How the hell should I know?' snapped Kakarot 'Maybe he was lying to me when he introduced himself.' He glanced over to where Roshi was telling some long and ancient story, which he couldn't care less about. Something about the Ox King and how he had been as a boy. 'Although he does seem to know the Ox King. It's not like we have anywhere else to check.'
'Yeah,' said Chi Chi 'we'll just see if he's for real.' She took a stance, her cloak flowing behind her in the wind. 'Before I believe that he's a martial arts master, he's going to have to prove it.'
Kakarot opened his mouth to object. 'You know what screw it, go ahead and kill him.'
She took hold of the blade on her head and focused on it. 'If he can avoid it, then he's Roshi…' Then she unleashed her weapon, which went spinning through the air towards the Turtle Hermit.
Time slowed down, as Roshi turned round with ease and brought his staff round to strike the blade with ease. Unfortunately, his staff was made of wood, and the blade of metal, so the blade hacked straight through and impaled itself into Roshi's skull. 'Ah!'
'Oh that's gotta hurt.' said the Turtle, who had been observing.
For his part, Kakarot burst out laughing. He laughed and laughed until he fell on his back, still laughing. Tears fell from his eyes, as he stopped making sounds and instead silently chuckled at the sight before him. Eventually, Roshi recovered, but Kakarot was still laughing like a madman.
'Laugh it up monkey boy.' snapped Roshi in irritation.
'I'm not sorry or anything,' admitted Kakarot as he gained control of himself. 'But…' he wiped a tear from his eye. 'H-how are you even alive?'
'You little runt!' snapped Roshi 'I'll have you know that I'm one of the strongest people in the world! Why I oughta…' Then he looked to Chi Chi, and had an idea. A terrible, awful, wonderful idea. 'Say girlie, would you like a gift?'
'A gift?' asked Chi Chi 'What kind of gift.'
'Oh nothing special,' said Roshi 'you just have to be able to ride it.'
'You twisted sick-' began Kakarot.
'Nimbus!' called Roshi.
'Oh,' said Kakarot 'I was thinking about something else.'
'What do you take me for?!' snapped Roshi as the golden cloud came into view.
'A pedophile.' said Kakarot bluntly.
'A pedo-wha?' asked Chi Chi.
'Nothing,' said Roshi 'you'll learn about it when you're older.' The golden cloud hovered in front of Chi Chi. 'Now this is the Nimbus cloud. If you can ride it, it's yours. But to do it you have to be pure of heart. Kakarot already tried and failed before you. Think you're up to it?'
Chi Chi set one hand to the cloud, and little by little pulled herself up until she was sitting on the cloud. 'Wow, I guess this means I'm pure of heart. Isn't this wonderful Kakarot?!' She looked at him with innocent eyes.
'Yes,' said Kakarot through gritted teeth. 'wonderful.'
'I guess your just not as good a person as she is.' reflected Roshi smugly. 'Maybe if you cut back on the wise cracks.'
'And maybe if I bash my power pole against your neck really hard so it'll break!' snapped Kakarot.
'You want a piece of me you little runt?!' asked Roshi, at his wit's end.
'Bring it on, old man.' said Kakarot 'A little girl took you down, I can beat you!'
'Uh…' said Chi Chi 'I don't mean to interrupt, but I don't think that's Master Roshi. The real Master Roshi would have stopped it.'
'Are you kidding?' asked Roshi 'Nobody alive could have blocked that, not even me!'
That's because your not Master Roshi!' she snapped 'Now tell us who you really are!'
'Look,' said Roshi, drawing out an ID. 'it's me. I am Roshi.'
Chi Chi looked at it in surprise, and got off the cloud. 'Oh no… papa is going to kill me! I'm sorry.' She then gripped the blade, and hauled on it. 'Here, I'll get it!' The blade came free and she fell back. Roshi also fell back, landing with a crash.
'…I still think he's not going to be of any help.' said Kakarot after a moment.
It took a few minutes to explain the situation more fully, and it wasn't really helped by the fact that Kakarot kept muttering death threats. Eventually Chi Chi finished, and Roshi blinked. 'The Bansho fan, yes I used to have one. Just one swing of it causes a massive wind. The second time its swung a rain cloud appears, and the third time it rains alot.'
'Wow,' said Kakarot 'if what you say is true then this expedition might not have been a complete waste of time.'
'Save it,' said Roshi 'the Bansho fan is very dangerous. I'm not sure you kids can handle it.'
'But we have to put out the flames on fire mountain.' said Chi Chi. 'Their so hot that me and my papa can't get back into our castle. Please help us Master Roshi.'
'Well the Bansho fan definitely could put out that fire.' reflected Roshi, turning his back on them. 'And since one good term deserves another… hmm… well I mean I suppose you've both given me some bad turns also, but that besides the point… the point is… Kakarot, I need to speak to you alone.'
'Great,' said Kakarot 'I can tell I'm not going to like this.'
Around the corner, Roshi faced Kakarot down. 'Now Kakarot, you are perhaps the most disrespectful and infuriating little boy I've ever met. However since I have a good heart, I'm willing to help you with the Bansho fan anyway. But there is something I need from you in return.'
'What is it?' asked Kakarot suspiciously.
'You remember that other girlfriend of yours, Bulma?'
'What about her?' he asked.
'Yeah I was perhaps wondering if you could convince her to pay an old man a visit.' said Roshi, face going red. 'Perhaps take a romantic moonlight stroll around the island.'
'But Master,' said the Turtle 'you know that dating is against your code!'
'Shhh,' said Roshi 'and its not a date. Its a walk.'
'Hopeless…' murmured the Turtle.
'Who asked you, you goodie goodie!' snapped Roshi 'Besides, can't a tired old man near the end of his life have a little fun before he goes.'
'No,' said Kakarot.
'…You know I'm not really asking for much here kid.' said Roshi in a tired tone.
'The Ox King is your student.' said Kakarot 'You have an obligation to help him. I shouldn't have to bribe you to do your damn job. And anyway if you were at all serious about all those fond memories you spent an hour talking about you aren't just going to stay here and do nothing.'
Roshi looked at him, their gazes challenging each other. 'I just might for all you know.'
'Oh well,' said Kakarot 'then I guess you can explain to poor little Chi Chi over there that your perverted fantasies are more important to you than her home.'
'Also you already drunk the waters of youth,' noted the Turtle. 'so you know you aren't anywhere near your end.'
'Why you rotten little traitor!' said Roshi, waving his stick.
'Look are you going to help us or not?'
Chi Chi had been waiting awhile. Then suddenly Kakarot strode round the corner smiling. 'Hey Chi Chi, we get to borrow the Bansho Fan, free of charge.'
Chi Chi leaped for joy. 'Yay!'
Thirty minutes or so passed as the Turtle Hermit entered his house. Through the window they watched as Roshi went back and forth, searching for the Bansho Fan. Finally he looked out the window and called. 'Hey Turtle do you remember where I put that blasted fan?'
'You were using it as a place mat the last time I saw it.' said the Turtle.
'A place mat?' asked Chi Chi.
'Oh dear me, that was the Bansho Fan?' said Roshi 'I spilt some juice on it so I threw it away because it was all sticky.'
'…Are you sure your the Turtle Hermit?' asked Kakarot.
'Yes!' said Roshi.
Chi Chi made a small sound, and then she covered her eyes and began crying. 'We can't put out the fire…'
'And I'm never going to get the dragonball.' said Kakarot in a low tone. 'Fix this now.'
'Stop!' said Roshi, voice determined. 'It looks like I'm just going to have to go to Fire Mountain and put out those flames myself.'
'And you are actually capable of this feat?' asked Kakarot doubtfully.
'Why of course!' said the Turtle Hermit. 'There is nothing Master Roshi can't do!'
'Except keep track of ancient artifacts, it seems.' reflected Kakarot.
'Shut up, kid.' said the Turtle.
Roshi made his way over to the door and exited, making his way into the sunlight, newly repaired staff in hand. He was suddenly clad in new garments, and orange overshirt, and sunglasses instead of his casual demeanor before. 'Alright, lets go!'
'Was the change of clothes really necessary?' asked Kakarot.
'Of course,' said Roshi 'I gotta look sharp for the occasion!'
'Slight problem,' said Kakarot 'neither one of us can ride the flying nimbus. And I am not carrying you on my back.'
'Eheheheheh,' said Roshi 'don't worry about that son. I think I can find another ride. Come to me, Baby Gamela!'
At that moment a spinning rock like thing came out of the sky and landed before him, revealing itself to be a very large turtle thing. 'At your service,' It said.
'I need to take an express spin over to Fire Mountain.' said Roshi.
'Sure,' said Baby Gamela.
'Okay,' said Roshi, glancing to the Turtle. 'behave yourself.'
'Hey, I don't find that the least bit funny.' said the Turtle.
'I'm gone,' said Kakarot as he drew his power pole. 'lets go Chi Chi.'
'Okay kids,' said Roshi 'I'll be along shortly!'
Kakarot extended his power pole and went off into the air, as Chi Chi followed behind on her flying nimbus. As they raced back over the landscape, Kakarot found himself hard pressed to keep up with the flying nimbus. It seemed that no matter how fast he went, Chi Chi aways remained ahead of him.
'Wow Kakarot,' said Chi Chi 'its a real pity you can't sit on this. This Flying Nimbus is the best!' She soared too and fro, while Kakarot continued to shove himself through the air.
'Do you think he can really put out Fire Mountain Kakarot?' asked Chi Chi.
'I think he can die in the attempt.' said Kakarot 'Either way I win.'
'Your not really a very nice person are you?' asked Chi Chi.
'You just realized that?'
Chi Chi was alright, Kakarot reflected.
Later they met back up at Fire Mountain, and found the Ox King waiting for them. He greeted them kindly, and embraced Chi Chi warmly. Then he heard the news.
'What!' he said 'The Bansho Fan is ruined?!
'Yeah,' said Kakarot 'apparently Roshi is coming to put the fire out himself, but I don't buy it.'
'I don't believe it.' said the Ox King.
'He's right there.' said Kakarot, pointing with one finger.
Then Roshi came spinning down towards them to land in the village. Suddenly with a cry, Roshi leaped off his transport and shot down towards the ground to land on his feet. And despite himself, Kakarot suddenly found himself far more likely to believe that Roshi could do as he claimed. Something had changed about him. He could not pinpoint exactly what it was.
Suddenly Ox King rushed forward. 'Master Roshi, its really you!' Then the massive giant prostrated himself before the old man. Such was the force of his prostration however, that Roshi was sent flailing backwards. Quite suddenly the moment was over.
'I'm sorry papa,' said Chi Chi 'he wasn't like this when we found him.'
'Thats the one drawback to riding Gamela,' reflected Roshi 'he makes you so dizzy, its hard to adjust.'
Despite himself Kakarot was impressed. That Roshi was able to stand at all after effectively spinning his way across hundreds of miles was certainly a testament to his control. Though he still didn't understand why he was suddenly taking the old mans seriously.
'Are you going to put out the fire now?' asked Kakarot, surprised that he didn't have any snarky commentary.
'Wait,' said Roshi 'first things first!' He turned to the Ox King and just looked at him. He looked at him so hard, and sternly that the Ox King fell down and bowed before him, averting his eyes in shame. 'I've heard about you, you big old Ox!' snapped Roshi 'Hurting people over a silly treasure! Is that how you show respect to the master who taught you!'
'I'm so sorry Master,' pleaded the Ox King. 'please forgive me!'
Kakarot was speechless. Here was a giant of sufficient strength and power that Kakarot hadn't even been able to stun him, and Roshi had turned him into a puddle of jelly with his gaze alone. Despite himself he was beginning to wonder if he hadn't been bullying a dragon by trying to start a fight with Roshi,
'I guess I'm not worthy…' whined the Ox King, breaking into pitiful sobs. 'I beg of you, please forgive me master…'
Roshi's expression softened and he reached out to pat him on the helmet. 'Oh stop your blubbering you big oaf, I forgive you.' Then he turned to the raging inferno he had come to deal with. 'Now you mean to tell me that you can't put out that fire yourself? Whats wrong, too old?'
'Oh,' said the Ox King 'yes Master Roshi.'
Then Master Roshi stepped forward. 'Its time to cool this mountain down!'
'Hmm,' said the Ox King 'sounds like he is ready for action, doesn't it?'
'Yeah!' said Chi Chi.
Roshi stood in the shadows cast by the flames, the fire reflecting off his sunglasses as he stood dignified and powerful. Then he narrowed his eyes, and cast off his turtle shell, throwing aside his staff, before opening his shirt. He cast that aside too, and stood shirtless, his thin frame still muscular. 'Well here goes,' he said, before leaping atop the wall, looking a touch unsteady as he did so.
'So he can really do this, huh?' asked Bulma doubtfully.
'Don't underestimate the master.' said Ox King.
'Okay, ready.' said Roshi.
Suddenly his muscles bulged outward, as he took on the hulking frame of a wrestler. Taking a stance, he focused, his entire frame radiating with power. He put forth his hands as he began to glow with a supernatural light.
'Now watch this,' said the Ox King 'its the masters Kamehameha wave!'
From where they watched in a combination of fear and awe, Yamcha and Puar trembled.
'Whats he doing?' asked Puar 'I think we should get out of here!'
'Wait,' said Yamcha 'I've heard of this technique. Right now he's gathering all of the latent energy in his body. Then he's going to release it all at once!' He couldn't help but show the awe in his tone. 'But I've never seen it in action before!'
His preparations done Roshi put out his hands, before drawing them back.
He cupped them together by his side.
He pulled his arms back, as the energy intensified.
Power surged around him.
He put his hands forth and unleashed his full power.
White light engulfed the landscape as a beam of light surged forward towards the mountain. There was a moment of brilliant radiance when nothing could be seen but Roshi, and light. Then nothing could be seen at all.
Then Roshi was standing there, no longer packed with muscles, and looking quite ordinary. 'I'm done…'
'Wow…' said Kakarot. 'I… I don't…'
'Master,' said the Ox King 'the fire… its out but… you kind of… well the mountain and my castle.'
Roshi glanced back, and stood up in surprise. Fire Mountain was no more. In its place was a perfectly flat pile of rubble. 'Uh… not bad for an old man I guess. I'm not as rusty as I thought. Sorry about that.'
Everyone fell over.
Later Kakarot and Bulma walked through the wreckage, looking for the dragonball. 'How the hell are we going to find the dragonball now?' asked Kakarot. 'Assuming it wasn't destroyed by the Turtle Hermit.'
'No worries Kakarot,' said Bulma, fiddling with her radar. 'dragonballs can't be destroyed, and besides I'm still picking up a signal. I'll just adjust the scale here, and I've already got a reading. It should be fifty yards in that direction over there…'
They began to pick their way through the rubble, halting every so often to look under loose stones. 'Are we nearly there?' asked Kakarot.
'Almost,' said Bulma 'we're really close now…'
Here words did not prove prophetic. They searched and searched without end, not finding anything until both of them sat down in exhaustion. 'This is absurd, Bulma.' said Kakarot 'Are you sure dragonballs are indestructible?'
'Ugh!' said Bulma in frustration. 'Its got to be here somewhere!'
She moved one last rock, and found beneath it the seven star ball. 'Yeah! I found it!' she cheered. 'Check it out Kakarot! Now there is only one more to go! Yes! Yippee! Woohoo! YAAAY!'
'You know, we do still have to steal the dragonballs back from Yamcha.' said Kakarot.
'Oh come on Kakarot, let me have this.' said Bulma 'We can worry about details later.'
They made their way together back to where Roshi and Ox King were sitting down together, resting. Chi Chi was also with them.
'Thank you so much for putting out the fire, master.' said Ox King. 'It feels better here already.'
'Oh don't thank me.' said Roshi 'I feel bad about wrecking your castle.'
'Don't feel bad,' said Chi Chi 'we can always build ourselves a new one.'
Yamcha watched all this, thinking. 'So that little old man really is the great Master Roshi. Extrordinary.'
As Kakarot returned he approached Master Roshi, feeling rather sheepish. How to go about saying what needed to be said. 'Listen uh… I don't ordinarily apologize for saying or doing things but… I was wrong. I took you for a complete fool who couldn't do anything right. Obviously I was completely wrong.'
'Apology accepted, for what its worth.' said the Turtle Hermit. 'Anything else?'
'Can you teach me how to do that?' asked Kakarot suddenly.
'Sure,' said Roshi 'but it'll take you fifty years to learn the Kamehameha wave.'
'Fifty years?' asked Kakarot. 'I… don't really have that kind of time.'
'Master,' said Ox King 'why don't you stay here and live with us?'
'Thanks,' said Roshi 'but I really do enjoy living by myself.'
Meanwhile, Kakarot was trying to do a Kamehameha wave against the car he had stolen. 'KaaameeehaaameeeHAAAA!' he said as he did the moves.
And to everyones great surprise, he sent a beam of white and blue light surging towards the wall to explode into flame, destroying the car completely. He looked at his hands. 'Damn, I was no where near the Turtle Hermits level.'
'Excellent,' said Ox King 'well thats Gohan's pupil.'
'What?' said the Turtle Hermit, looking up. 'Kakarot is Gohan's pupil?'
'But I thought you knew that already,' said Ox King.
'Actually I didn't,' said Roshi 'oh I remember Gohan speaking of a child with a tail. So thats him, huh?' He smiled slightly. 'Gohan must be training the boy himself.' Making his way over to Kakarot he looked at him. 'So tell me kid, how is your Master doing?'
'Oh,' said Kakarot 'he… uh… he died awhile back.'
'Oh,' said Roshi, eyes filled with emotion, and he suddenly looked truly ancient. 'I see. I'm very sorry to hear that.' It was rare that Master Roshi truly felt old. His youth was kept constant because of the water he had drunk all those years ago. Yet now he felt the full effects of his age. 'Hey, I've got a great idea. How about you come to train on my island and I'll train you personally. You've got some serious attitude issues to work through, but I think you could make a great martial artist one day.'
'It would be interesting to have the same teacher my Master did,' reflected Kakarot ruefully. 'I may just take you up on that.'
'Whats this?' asked Yamcha 'Master Roshi doesn't just take on students easily! And here he is asking that kid to be his pupil.'
'Maybe we should just forget about the dragonballs.' suggested Puar.
'No, wait,' said Yamcha 'all we have to do is grab that stupid little tail of his and he'll be like putty in our hands.'
'But what if we're not able to get to his tail, Yamcha?' asked Puar.
'Just leave that to me and my Wolf Fang Fist.' said Yamcha.
The car was wrecked. One of its wheels had fallen off, and the metal was melted and twisted horribly. It would never move again.
'Hey, who did this?' asked Bulma.
'That would be me.' said Kakarot.
'Kakarot, you idiot!' snapped Bulma 'You blew up our only means of transportation!'
'Kakarot does giveth and taketh away.' replied Kakarot with crossed arms.
'Its okay,' said Ox King 'you can use one of my cars.'
'Really?' said Bulma 'Thats so nice of you.'
'The boy has done so well today,' said Ox King 'I think he deserves a little reward.'
He tossed a capsule and it landed before poofing into existence a green open hatched car. Bulma sat down in it in the drivers seat. 'Oh my, thank you!'
'My thanks, Ox King.' stated Kakarot 'When the end of all things is brought about by my hand, your kindness shall not be forgotten.'
Bulma checked her radar. 'Hey, this next dragonball is really far away. I'll have to switch my dragon radar over to long range. Ah, there it is. Alright Kakarot, lets go!'
'One moment Bulma,' said Kakarot, before turning to Chi Chi, who had a pensive look on her face. 'whats up?'
'Oh its nothing,' said Chi Chi 'I was just wondering if you were ever going to think about me again.'
'Believe me,' said Kakarot 'after the day I've had today, thats a positive certainty.'
A blush came to her face. 'Oh my, your so funny.' she turned away.
Suddenly Kakarot found himself wondering a similar question. 'Chi Chi, do you think your ever going to think about me again?'
'Oh my gosh!' said Chi Chi, before covering her eyes.
Bulma drove the car a bit away so that they had a clear shot at the road. Then they paused to wave goodbye to their… friends. The thought was a weird one to Kakarot. Then the engine was gunned, and they roared back onto the open road. The wind blew through their hair as they set out once again, for whatever adventure awaited them next!
'So,' said Bulma with a knowing look. 'looks like someone has a crush.'
'Oh shut up,' said Kakarot 'just shut up.'
What new and exciting adventures will await Kakarot and Bulma on their journey? Find out next time, on dragonball!
So yeah, this might be a good time to say that I find the objectification of Bulma in dragonball somewhat creepy. Particularly since it is usually done with Master Roshi as the primary instrument. Consequently, I am going to tone most of the fan service bits down when they involve Master Roshi. I might be willing to include non canon fan service bits to compensate, but you'll have to send me the ideas for that.
On a separate note, when writing this fanfic, I never expected Kakarot to turn out to be as much of a jerk as I he is. There is just something really fun about writing Kakarot as a deadpan snarker with contempt for everyone around him.