A Week To Learn
Title: A Week To Learn
Author: Angelic Aki
Summary: You think Gohan has a hard time being Saiyaman? It's worse learning how to drive. When Videl bets he can't learn how to drive in a week, our favorite demi-Saiyan is forced to learn the hard way – from Erasa and Sharpener!
Rating: PG-13 [Language, some sexual innuendo]
Disclaimer: DBZ isn't mine! And, and… uhh… well, whatever else isn't mine just isn't. Wee!
Author's Note: This was gonna be a one-shot, but then I decided to make it a lil' longer, just with a chapter for every few lessons… but these chapters are gonna be shorter than how I normally like to make 'em so I can try to update more. Please review if ya like… Heck, if you have constructive criticism, I'd be happy to get that too!
A Week To Learn
Day One: Life's Not Fair
"Oh, sure, that's real funny!" I yelled after Videl as she sped off, laughing all the while. She had just pulled a sneaky one on me.
Everyone in school knows me as cute, little innocent Gohan who gets good grades and is pretty much the quiet guy around campus. Hey, I don't really mind the reputation, since that means I don't get asked questions when I don't speak up. People just assume that's how I am all the time.
The problem is with the people who actually know me. Videl, Erasa, and Sharpener are in that small section. They know I'm naïve and that I know my education, but they've also noticed some things about me since I hang out with them. Now, most of these things are pretty important that I have to keep down, and I had a hard time concealing my Saiyaman get-up. In fact, Videl eventually found out about it, due to the fact that I was always showing up behind her when she was fighting crime as a hero, then coming back to school late and eventually was known as the 'kid who cut class by asking the teachers if he could use the bathroom then never coming back.' Lucky for me, she thought it was great and agreed to not say anything about it.
So you wanna know what the problem is? It's the little things that are actually embarrassing. For example. I live out in the mountains where there are almost no roads, and I've grown up believing that the only necessary form of transportation was flying which I eventually learned. This is how I got around after that, and occasionally hitched a ride in Videl's 'copter if she was going to stop by. Because of this, I never learned how to drive a car.
I wasn't proud of this, since everyone at my school worshipped the things and had first turned a car-wheel at the age of six. By 14, just about everyone was able to drive an automatic, and by the time they could legally drive they were pros – compared to me, especially.
I thought that out of all people Videl would understand why I couldn't drive, but she didn't even think about it. It was just a few minutes ago that she'd realized I was incapable when placed in front of the steering wheel, and had completely taken advantage of the moment.
"Gohan, you want to come with me? I'm going to this new restaurant they opened, I heard the food's great." Videl grinned as drool practically rolled down the side of her friend's mouth.
"Sure!" Gohan flashed a huge smile back, than stepped into a corner as he tapped the button on his wrist-watch, his Saiyaman costume appearing over his body. He held his arms open, than blinked when Videl didn't move. "Well, if you expect me to fly you over there, I have to carry you."
The raven-haired girl shook her head. "No, I think it'd be fun to drive over. Then we could see the new development they've done to the city on the way. You can't see it from the air as well. Do you have your car with you?"
Gohan sweatdropped. Car? He didn't have one, much less know how to drive one. He shook his head slowly, hoping Videl would agree to flying instead.
"Oh, that's no problem then! I brought mine along just in case." Pulling a capsule out of her back-pocket, she waved it in the air for a moment to show it to Gohan before tossing it to the ground, a red convertible appearing once the smoke cleared. She motioned to the vehicle. "Hop in!"
Gohan nodded again, transforming back into his regular school clothes. He stepped hesitantly towards the car, than walked around it before opening the door to the passenger's side. He was about to take a seat when Videl stopped him.
"No, baka!" She grinned at him while he scowled. "You drive this time. Think of it as payback for all those times I gave you a lift in my 'copter."
Uh oh. Gohan blinked once, than paled to a considerable shade of white. If he drove, there was no way that Videl's car was going to survive. It wouldn't be a convertible by the time he got through with it – if anything, it'd be a crushed soda can.
"Uhhhh…" he stalled, when suddenly Videl shoved him into the car, across the passenger's seat into the driver's place. She herself took the passenger's seat, pulling her seatbelt over her form as she pulled the door closed.
"Come on, Gohan, it's not like you haven't done this before!" Videl said cheerfully as Gohan laughed nervously.
"Uh, sure Videl, sure," he mumbled, his hand fishing around for the seat-belt. Finding it after several moments of searching, he tugged it over his lean frame then settled uncomfortably into the seat, both hands resting on the steering wheel.
He looked once to Videl who only nodded at him. "Whenever you're ready, Gohan," she added in helpfully. The demi-Saiyan gulped and nodded, before looking straight forward again. What was it that Bulma had done to make her machine's start? Oh, right, one of the pedals.
He pushed one pedal, and nothing happened. Frowning, he tried the other, and still nothing happened. Okay, maybe it had something to do with the other one… He tried the last of them, and something popped, then the car started rolling backwards. Okay, so he was going somewhere, but he was supposed to be going forward, not backwards.
Eyes widening slightly as he tried the other two pedals again, he yanked the steering wheel back and forth in vain. Something was wrong here! He thanked Dende that there weren't any cars parked behind them, and groaned as the car continued to slowly roll in the reverse direction of where he had meant to go. This was so pathetic.
Videl, meanwhile, was staring at him with eyes as wide as saucers. She didn't blink once as she watched him first attempt every pedal after first taking off the parking brake. It wasn't even funny how completely hopeless Gohan looked at the moment. Actually, it was, but she was too shocked to laugh.
"Gohan," she squeaked out after several moments. "You need to turn on the car."
Pausing, Gohan looked at her. "Turn on the car? Where?" He looked around the car's interior in a puzzled manner, eyebrows scrunched up in confusion.
"Oh Kami… Gohan, the key."
It was at this time that Videl fell over in her seat, head falling back over the headrest. "Oh, my, Kami," she said again, drawing out each word, before bursting out laughing.
Gohan blinked, than took on a pained look. "Videl, it's not funny!" he whined, when suddenly his eyes fell on a dangling key-chain that was sticking out from the side of the base of the wheel. So that's how you turned on the thing. "Oh, here it is!" he bobbed his head once to each side happily, turning the ignition as he hit the gas pedal.
Unfortunately for Videl, who was still busy laughing her head off, he hit it pretty hard.
The car shot forward, almost careening into a trashcan before swerving to the right, then back to the left again as it narrowly avoiding a car that was parked on the other side of the street.
Videl found herself being flung forward by the whiplash before being yanked back by the seat-belt, grunting as the air was knocked out of her. Gasping as she attempted to stop laughing so that she could breathe, she grabbed onto the side of the car with both hands. "Gohan, are you crazy? Slow down!"
Gohan looked to her and was about to ask how to do that, when he realized there was another pedal that he could try. Since the one he had his foot on made them go, and the other was the brake, he figured that the last one would make them stop. He put his foot on the other one and pushed, hard.
The car screeched to an immediate halt. Once again, Videl was jerked around like a puppet in her seat, a look of slight nausea covering her features. Roller-coasters and helicopters didn't bother her, but Gohan's driving was enough to make her feel like hurling.
Gohan kept his foot on the brake and looked to Videl. "Wow, you don't look so good," he tilted his head to the side as concern appeared on his expression. "You okay?"
"No, Gohan, I'm not," Videl muttered as she unbuckled her seat-belt and opened the door, nearly falling out of the car. She stumbled out, then grabbed onto a fence that was nearby. "Have you ever driven before, Superboy?"
Now the demi-Saiyan found himself blushing as he mumbled out an answer. Glancing at Videl from the corner of his eyes, he realized she hadn't gotten a word he said, and repeated himself in a louder tone. "No."
"Oh, Gohan…" Videl giggled into the palm of her hand, previous sickness now forgotten.
"What?" the boy gasped, indignant. "It's not like I need to know how!"
"You should!" the girl shot back. "After all, it's not exactly normal for anyone around here to not know how to drive by the time they can legally get their driver's license."
"Whoever said I was normal?" Videl scowled in response to this, having no retort available. Gohan was anything but normal, and he knew it.
"Whatever, baka. You still should learn how to drive."
Gohan frowned stubbornly as he himself stepped out of the car, thanking Kami that he had guessed right by hitting the parking brake. "Why? There's no point to it and I need to focus on training and school."
Videl shook her head. "There is too a point for it. There's going to be a time, eventually, when people are going to try and make you drive them somewhere. They'll get suspicious if they know you can't drive, and then they'll want to know how you get around. After all, you do live about 3 hours away from school by helicopter."
To this the boy said nothing, knowing she was right. He'd never really thought about it before, considering that Videl was one of his closet friends who knew about his alter ego and that Erasa and Sharpener weren't really the suspicious types.
"You know I'm right, Gohan. Look. Since you're obviously hopeless, I'll help you out. Sharpener and Erasa can too… No, don't give me that look. They won't think it's unusual for you, anyways, considering that they think you're so naïve and such. Besides, they're pretty good drivers no matter what you think."
Erasa and Sharpener? Oh, that's hilarious. Gohan now grunted in response, crossing his arms over his chest. He would refuse to take driving lessons if they were just going to laugh at him.
"Gohan," Videl started in a warning tone. Seeing that it did nothing to change her friend's decision, she paused, head bowed in thought. Within seconds a large, mischievous grin had spread across her lips. She knew what would work; a mixture of what Gohan hated and loved.
"I knew you wouldn't go for it, you big baby," she taunted. "I bet you wouldn't do it if I paid you. I should've known you would've been up to it. Sorry I ever asked." She shrugged as Gohan's head jerked up, face red. He was about to shout an angry retort when she interrupted the beginning of his rant. "Oh well, I guess I wasted my time thinking up the awards you would've gotten for driving well. Too bad, the restaurants would've appreciated the business."
The Saiyan, taken aback, hesitated from his planned yelling. He tilted his head to the side, now intrigued. "Restaurants…?" he prompted.
"Yeah, restaurants. You know, that place where you get food. Edible food. And, if you're with me, lots of it."
"F-food…" Gohan's stomach rumbled, reminding him that he hadn't eaten lunch yet, considering he was supposed to go with Videl to the new restaurant in the city. He was so absorbed in his thoughts of delicious morsels that he didn't notice Videl's smirk.
"Yeah, food. But it doesn't matter, since you don't want to learn to begin with. After all, I had bet myself that you wouldn't be able to learn how to drive if your life depended on it, and it looks like I won. Since you can't drive I guess we can't go to that new restaurant…"
"Videl!" In a blink of an eye, Gohan was wrapped around Videl's legs, tugging on the bottom of her shirt with a hand while he held onto her to keep her from walking away. "I'll do it!"
"You know… learn how to drive the what's-it!"
Videl rolled her eyes, prying Gohan's arm off her leg. "Car, Gohan. I didn't know you were that clueless."
Gohan frowned slightly. Well, he wasn't, but the whole thought of food was clouding his mind. That is, until he quickly ran over what Videl had said exactly to get him to do the driving lessons. The taunting.
The frown on Gohan's face deepened into a complete scowl, and he straightened, dusting off his clothing in a regal manner as he glowered at Videl. The girl looked back, momentarily confused, before realizing what it was he was upset about. He'd remembered the way she'd insulted his pride.
"So you think that I'll never be able to drive a car, huh?" He growled under his breath, eyebrow twitching.
The daughter of Hercule merely nodded in response, a smirk lighting her expression.
"Well, I bet that I can," Gohan spoke out, jerking his thumb towards his chest. "I learned just about every human task in a week, and this one should be a piece of cake!"
Videl's eyebrow quirked as he said this. She slowly turned her head towards him, now very much interested. "You willing to bet on that?"
The boy snorted, crossing his arms in front of him as he allowed his eyelids to lower in a very Vegeta-like manner. In fact, if his hair was any spikier and if he shrunk a few inches, many would mistake him for the temperamental Saiyan.
"Then it's a bet, Son Gohan. You have exactly one week to learn how to drive a car. If you can do it, I'll take you to any restaurant you want any number of times for a week, my treat. But if you can't, you're my slave for the same amount of days."
An evil grin spreading across her features, Videl turned on the heel of her foot and hopped into the convertible, turning the ignition.
It was the sound of the revving engine that shook Gohan out of his macho-like trance, and he gasped as he realized what he'd gotten himself into. Videl! She knew what she was doing all along! "Hey! You took advantage of my Saiyan side!" he yelled, waving his fist in the air angrily. "That's cheating!"
Videl grinned as she hit the gas, the car screeching as it sped from the parking space. "There's no such thing as cheating in this game, Gohan! It's life!" she yelled over her shoulder, then burst into laughter.
"Oh, sure, that's real funny!" he roared, stomping his foot as she vanished behind a corner. That was so, so not fair. Muttering under his breath, he picked up his book-bag as he walked back towards the alley-way.
"Life's not fair!"
**End of Flashback**
Yup, I was stuck. Stuck in a bet that Videl knew I'd probably lose. I'd just have to show her up, I decided, and I'd start by learning the rules of the road. If I was lucky Erasa and Sharpener wouldn't care too much about that and would just teach me how to keep from getting killed when behind the wheel. The only one I had to worry about was Videl.
Later, when I got home from the library, she'd called me up to discuss the details. Apparently I'd have as many lessons as I want, but all of them would be with Erasa and Sharpener. When I thought I was ready, I'd have a final 'lesson' with her; actually, it'd be more like a test. She'd decide whether I'd passed or not, and if I was capable of driving on the road with other cars around.
I told Mom about the driving lessons and she thought it was great, even burst into tears and had demanded that for my first lesson, have a picture taken of me in front of the car I'd be driving. I agreed, considering I did want to have dinner that night.
By the time it was bedtime, I was thanking Kami it was Spring Break. I'd have all the time in the world to learn how to drive without homework around – well, all the time I could get in a week anyways. I'd only be able to have a maximum of three lessons with Erasa then three with Sharpener before my big final with Videl, thanks to the time I was given. I was hoping I'd be able to pull it off, considering that I haven't been lying when I'd said I'd understood most human tasks within a week.
Then again, those had nothing to do with driving.
I hit the lights, pulled up the covers on my bed and slept. Tomorrow, the first day of driving lessons, was going to be a long day.
"Why me, why me, why me?" Gohan banged his head against the steering wheel over and over again, trying to make the funny-colored dots go away.
Yes, the entire Son family, accompanied by the Briefs, had come to watch their baby boy prepare to take his first driving lesson. Bulma and Chi Chi were, to say the least, thrilled. Goten and Trunks were busy running in circles around a nearby tree, and Goku was scratching the back of his head while Vegeta roared a rain of challenges at the man, completely ignoring the others save his rival.
Erasa blinked as the cameras continued flashing, thanking Kami that she wasn't the one they were all focused on. Not to say that she didn't appreciate being in the lime-light; it was more a matter of keeping her 20/20 eyesight. Gohan already looked like he was about to go blind.
Suddenly, two clicks sounded followed by a whirr, and Gohan's head shot up as a beaming smile appeared on his face. "Yes! They're out of film!" he grinned cheerily.
"Oh, keep that smile, dear! We have a whole 'nother roll of film to save that beautiful face forever on!" Chi Chi shouted as she tossed a roll to Bulma, clicking one of her own into her camera.
Gohan blinked, than groaned again as the flashing started all over. He looked to the ecstatic women, back to the dented steering wheel, than began to bang his head on it once more. "Why me, why me, why me?!"
After Bulma and Chi Chi had stopped taking pictures, Erasa had eventually gotten Gohan to stop banging his head against the steering wheel, which had suffered only a few minor dents. Fortunately for the car, Gohan had been gentle on it. The Sons' and Briefs' had migrated to the inside of the house as Erasa prepared to teach Gohan the basics of driving, hoping he'd pick it up pretty fast.
Then again, this was Gohan, the boy who didn't know what PMSing was until Sharpener had defined it as 'Painfully Mean girlS'. This, naturally, earned him a slap across the face by two certain someone's who happened to be in the middle of that particular time of the month.
Erasa cheerfully tucked her pencil behind her ear, clipboard in hand. "Okay, Gohan! You ready for your very first lesson of driving, given by yours truly?"
The boy cast a sorrowful look to the girl beside him before allowing his forehead to droop back to rest on top of the steering wheel. "Shoot me, shoot me now."
Erasa blinked, then chewed on her bottom lip as she frowned, a single eyebrow arched. Okay, so maybe teaching wasn't all it was cut out to be. "Yeah, well, oookay…" she started. "Well, anyways! First off, you have to learn how to start a car and obviously stop it. Along with this comes steering, which shouldn't be too hard. Ready to learn the names of the parts?"
Well, didn't she have the 'most enthusiastic student of the week.' Rolling her eyes, Erasa tapped the steering wheel with her pencil. "This is the steering wheel. Use it to… um… steer. This," she bent down, now rapping on one of the several pedals. "is the gas pedal. Use it to go. This one, then this," she poked the two others in order; "are the brake and the parking brake. The brake is what you use when driving to slow down and eventually stop. The parking brake is for when you've parked and don't want your car to go anywhere." She sat up, adjusting her jacket. "Got it?"
An incoherent mumble was her response. This, however, could be translated into other words; 'Whatever, I don't care, I don't understand a thing but sure.'
Erasa shook her head. "Fine, Gohan, it's your life – not mine. I know that I wouldn't wanna be stuck being Videl's slave for a week." She eyed Gohan and, seeing no reaction, tried another tactic. "Besides, free unlimited food for a week sounds awesome." This did the trick.
Gohan immediately perked up, head popping back into the air as he instantly straightened, grip renewed on the steering wheel. He looked to her then nodded rapidly while talking. "Steering wheel, gas, brake, parking brake… Got it!"
Now smiling, Erasa turned back to the clipboard. Now to see if Gohan could put his knowledge to work.
By the end of day one, Gohan had managed to destroy two trashcans, three mailboxes, a wooden park bench, dent a light pole, flatten multiple hedges, and nearly run over two men, one woman, a kid and a duck.
When they finally pulled back into the front of his house, Erasa having taken over the position as driver, the car was a mess. The hood was slightly arced up and the front crushed, the back bumper was hanging by a hinge, a door was swinging uselessly and one of the tail-lights was shattered. Oh, yeah – the front window had a crack in it from where the kid that had almost gotten run over had thrown a rock at and hit, all the while yelling that Gohan was a very bad man who deserved to go to jail.
To say the least, Gohan was both a physical and emotional mess by the time he trudged in through the front door. It didn't help that the entire Briefs' family had decided to stay over, and that Goten and Trunks had claimed his room as a safe-haven considering that Vegeta was on the warpath until he could get Goku to spar.
As soon as he stepped through the threshold of the door, he was tackled by two squealing women.
"Gohan! How was your first lesson?" Chi Chi asked, while snapping photos of the teen-in-question.
"Yeah! Tell us how it went!" Bulma chipped in, taking her share of pictures as she did so.
Gohan looked ruefully to each woman, knowing that he'd probably get blamed for the damage dealt. Then again, it was sort of his fault that he kept on mistaking the gas for the brake… The black-haired woman looked to her blue-haired friend beside her, blinking, before looking back to Gohan. She continued staring at him for several more seconds, when she suddenly exploded.
No, not literally. She just started screaming.
"Son Gohan! If you completely obliterated the city because you weren't listening to that very nice young woman who was teaching you then you are going to be grounded forever, you're never going to eat again and your life will be very, very painful!"
Gohan clamped his hands over his ears as he winced, trying not to grin as he saw Bulma do the same. So he wasn't the only one that got affected by his mother's screams – then again, it was loads worse for him thanks to his hearing sensitivity.
His sympathy for the other woman (who'd tortured him with scary, bright, and flashing cameras earlier) vanished – instantly. This realized, he began to snicker, remaining oblivious to the glares that his mother was now directing towards him.
"Gohan, you silly excuse for a Saiyan! Don't laugh when I'm asking you a question!"
Pausing in his laughter, Gohan blinked. Question? Oh, right. In the semi-accusation, she had included a question that revolved around asking what had gone wrong. Right.
"Oh. Well, it wasn't that I didn't listen, it's just… Well, uh, how to put it? I mean, it was just, like… Okay, let me say it like this; me and cars don't get along."
Rolling her eyes, Chi Chi heaved a sigh. "Good Kami… Cars and I, Gohan. Don't act your brother's age, he's the only one allowed to talk like that and still be cute about it."
Gohan resisted the urge to bury his head into his hands for probably the tenth time that day. Driving in cars not only made him emotionally and physically exhausted, but also made him forget all his education that he'd been taught over the years.
"Sorry, Mom," he murmured dejectedly, turning as he trudged towards his room. Man, he never felt so tired before in his life – well, maybe he had, but all he knew was that he'd really like to sleep.
Chi Chi glanced at Gohan's retreating form before looking to Bulma with a shrug as she begin stirring a bowl of pudding that she had started up earlier, on request from both the youngest of her sons and Goku. "It's alright, hun. And try not to sleep too long, since the Briefs' will be staying for dinner!"
Well, not like there was any chance of him skipping dinner to begin with. He was dead tired, but not enough to sleep the night away when he knew that nice, wonderful food would be waiting in a few hours.
After kicking Goten and Trunks out of his room, he crawled towards his bed, fully intending on getting some much-needed shut-eye. As he drew the covers up, he drew in a deep, blissful sigh – and that was when the phone rang.
"Oh, good Kami," he groaned, yanking the pillow over his head as he tried to shut out the noise. Why was the world so cruel to him? Why, dang it, why?!
"Goooohaaan! The phone's for you!" Chi Chi's voice could be heard a mile away if need be, so there would be no excuse if Gohan pretended to 'not hear' and just skip the call. With a small growl of discontent, he drew the pillow off his head and sat up, grabbing the phone as he resisted the urge to snap at the person on the other end.
"Hey, Gohan! So, how was your first time?"
Out of all people… Sheesh. His luck certainly wasn't getting any better. Resisting the urge to let loose a tirade of complaints, Gohan instead said nothing.
"Oh, that bad, huh? Poor Gohan. Looks like our little super hero is going to be slaving away for me for a week, eh?"
Oh yeah. The bet. It was then that all of Gohan's Saiyan pride decided to come busting back into Gohan's brain, entering without knocking.
"Hey! Don't start making assumptions, I'm just tired! And today went just fine, for your information. I told you that this would be easy as bakin' a cake."
"Gohan…" The teen frowned; he could tell by the tone of her voice that she was trying not to laugh. "Last time you tried to bake a cake, you almost burnt the house down."
Why did she hafta' bring that up now, at all times?! "That's besides the point!"
"I don't think it is, Gohan, not at all. In fact, I think it's exactly the point. Make an analogy. If you have that hard of a time with baking, just think about how bad it's going to be when you get around to driving without someone there to hit the brakes for you. Y'see?"
"Videl!" Gohan exclaimed, aghast. How had she known that Erasa had to do that at one point during the lesson? Well, at least he wasn't going to crash into anything big at the time, just a tree. Still, though, it had been incredibly embarrassing…
"Don't act all surprised, superboy. It's not like I haven't already gotten all the updates from my very good friend Erasa, ne?"
"Oh. Right." Why didn't I think of that before? Of course she knows exactly what happened, Erasa must've called her right after to give her a total minute-by-minute commentary of the torture. "Well, now that you've basically ripped my pride to shreds and thrown it in my face, is there any other reason for why you called?" he asked, both annoyed and amused at the same time. As much as Videl could bug him, he still liked talking to her, even though he'd be dragged through fire and water before admitting it while she was on one of her 'ha-told-you-so' trips.
"Actually, yes. Just calling to say that tomorrow's lesson with Sharpener's going to be at ten o'clock a.m., sharp. Be on time or he might just bail to go out for hamburgers, knowing him."
Hmm, true. He did know Sharpener, and that sounded exactly like the type of thing that the big guy would pull. Shaking his head as a small grin spread across his face, Gohan replied; "Alright. Thanks, Videl. And believe me, next time the updates that you'll get on the lessons will be a lot better than before."
Videl's laughter could be heard over the line. "Whatever you say, Gohan. I just hope that you won't accidentally run over any innocent pedestrians like you almost did, what… five times today? Anyways, get some sleep. You sound exhausted."
"I am. Night!"
"Talk to you later."
Gohan hung up the phone, pulling back to curl back up in the nice, soft comforter of his bed. He'd worry about the lessons later, when he had the time and energy to do so. At the moment, his only concerns were that of getting some sleep followed up by dinner.
"Sleep is great," he murmured as he pulled the pillow back under his head. "Sleep is greater than great, it's fantastic…"
He dropped off to sleep with a smile on his face.
To be continued…
Ending Notes: "Un-deux-trois-quatre-cinq, pssh, pssh, pssh, pssh… Bravo, bravo, bravo!" Gooo French cheers! It's weird, I know, but it's fun to do… It's like making lil' fireworks all over! And the pssh's are supposed to be like a firework-shooting sound, y'know… Umm, yeah! Heh.