Ch. 33: Making Up (ENDE)
Videl let her head hit the lunch table with a groan. Today was just not her day. NOTHING was working. He didn't accept any gifts, he wasn't taking letters, AND he wasn't talking to her. Granted she wasn't talking to him either, but still!
Just go talk to him.
I can't just go talk to him! What if he just ignores me?
Face it Videl, you're out of ideas. If he still hates you after this, then you've got nothing to lose.
She glanced towards the cafeteria doors, knowing that Gohan was on the rooftop, sharing lunch with Erasa and Sharpner. She could go up there now and talk to him. Right now.
Videl swallowed nervously. Slowly, she got to her feet and headed to the doors. She left the cafeteria and walked up the stairs to the door leading to the rooftop.
She stopped at the top of the stairs, hesitating. I can do this. She took a deep breath and was about to open the door when she heard voices on the other side. Curious, she pressed her ear to the door and listened.
"Okay Gohan. Spill it."
The dark eyed teen looked up from his mountain of food. It was lunchtime and he'd come to the rooftop to eat. Frankly, the idea of eating in the cafeteria intimidated him. He was the most recent center of attention at school. Everybody was suddenly talking to him and about him and it was super weird and he didn't really like it. Any escape was a welcome one.
He swallowed his mouthful and spoke. "Are you sure you want me to tell you right now? It's kind of a long story. Lunch break is only an hour long."
"We'll skip. The next period is free anyway." Sharpner shrugged. He sat down next to Gohan. "We got nuthin' but time."
Gohan nearly spit out his food. "Skip class?!"
His burly blonde friend reached over and snagged himself a sandwich from the massive pile. "C'mon man, it's not gonna be a problem is it?"
"Are you nuts? My mom would kill me!"
"Only if she found out. Right Erasa?"
Erasa plopped down beside her boyfriend. "Yeah! Live a little Gohan!"
"Sheesh. You two are bad influences." Gohan shook his head. "How about I give you the short version and we still make it in time for class?"
"Fine by me." Erasa said. "Just so long as we get the gist of it."
"Alright." Gohan picked up a fresh bowl of rice and resumed eating. It was kind of amazing how he could pack away so much food and speak at the same time. However, before he began, he paused. "Doesn't Videl want to hear this too?"
"Oh don't mention that girl right now." Erasa huffed, angrily tearing into a saran wrapped ham sandwich. "She can go wallow in her own stupid self pity forever for all I care!"
Sharpner leaned over. "They had a bit of a fight earlier." He muttered low enough for only Gohan to hear. "Don't worry though. They'll be over it by the end of the day." He moved away and rolled his eyes. "Girls."
"Oh. W-well, I guess I'll tell her later then." His face didn't betray the hurt and disappointment he felt inside. He really wanted to talk with her, but all she really did that day was shoot glances at him. Her face was all red and he was sure she was still very angry at him. There were times today when he wanted to start up a conversation, but his father's advice rang in the back of his mind. Give her space. Give her time. It hurt, but he felt it was a wise thing to do. He didn't want to make it any worse than it already was. After all, though not a word was spoken, he could feel her eyes burning a hole in the back of his head. It was kind of nerve-wracking. Better to let it be than to fan the flames.
Then again, Erasa said Videl knew that he was the Gold Fighter now. Maybe…
He paused, his senses picking up a familiar energy signature close by.
Gohan felt a rush of emotions. Irritation, guilt, longing, tenderness, and curiosity spun in the forefront of his mind for a moment. Videl was right outside the door, probably listening in. Why didn't she just come and join them? Did she really dislike him that much? He shook his head to clear it. Erasa and Sharpner were waiting to hear his story. He had to suck it up.
"It all starts with my dad. See, dad came to earth when he was just a baby and didn't have any parents. He was adopted by my namesake, Son Gohan."
"Hold up a sec." Sharpner interrupted him. Gohan was surprised. He hadn't even gone five sentences. "Did you say 'came to earth'? What… is he an alien or something?"
Gohan shrugged. "Pretty much. Yeah."
"That's… that crazy!" Sharpner flailed about briefly. "How can you be an alien?! You look completely human! Your dad looks completely human!"
"Well technically you guys look like saiyans without the tail." Gohan continued. "Mine was cut off when I was younger. You want to see the scar?"
"You used to have a TAIL?!"
"Yeah. Dad had one too. Turns out he was sent here as a baby to destroy the planet, but got a bump on the head and was raised here on earth as a human. He didn't know he was as alien until my uncle showed up. I was about 4 or something. My uncle actually kidnapped me when he arrived on earth. My father died the first time trying to get me back."
"The first time?!"
"Yeah. He's died a few times. In any case I was re-kidnapped by my mentor. We found out that more saiyans were coming to earth and trained to fight them."
"Wait, saiyan?" Erasa's eyes got wide. "You mean… like those guys who came from space a few years back?! They said they were… So you mean you're really…"
"Yep." Gohan chuckled at their expressions. "I'm the world's first half alien."
*One exposition later*
"Lemme get this straight." Sharpner rubbed the bridge of his nose. "You're half alien, I mean half saiyan, were born with incredible power, used to have a freaking tail, was kidnapped twice, forced to fight for your life, fought space napoleon/hitler, some garlic guy, the killer androids, Cell, AND that mess last week was just you going through space alien puberty?"
"In a nutshell."
"Holy crap!" Sharpner put a hand to his head. "Feels like I'm listening to an episode of stargate."
"Ahah… yeah. It does sound kind of insane." He looked down at the now vacant spot where his food used to be. He felt even more discouraged as Videl's energy signature raced back down into the school. "I don't blame you for not believing me."
"What? Naw man, I believe you." Sharpner grinned. "I just didn't think I'd ever meet an alien."
Gohan looked up hesitantly. "You really believe me?"
"Sure we do." Erasa smiled brightly. "Like, you've never lied to us before about anything like this. I mean, hiding your secret superhero-ness is one thing, but you've been telling us your background. You have no reason to lie."
Gohan leaned back against the barrier around the rooftop. He was somewhat surprised. Mostly though, he was relieved. "That's really good to hear! I was a little worried you think I made all this up."
"I can see why." Sharpner scratched his cheek absently. "Sounds more like a science fiction novel than a personal history." (_)
"Sharpner, you read?"
Sharpner shot Gohan an annoyed look. "Don't go telling people." He sighed. "The more I think about it, the more it makes sense in a weird, convoluted sort of way. I mean how else can you do the stuff that you do? "
"Are you sure you guys aren't… you know…" Gohan waved his hands in the air, "weirded out?"
Sharpner just looked at him. "Why would we be? You're our friend. That's all we really care about."
Erasa nodded. "Yeah. Even though it is a little weird."
Gohan was amazed. He'd never expected this. Then again he'd never expected to have friends like Erasa and Sharpner. Filled with gratitude, he smiled that sunny Son smile. "Thanks guys."
Sharpner returned the smile. "No worries Gohan." Then he sighed despondently. "I only have one problem. I wanted you to teach me how to go blonde, but then you have to go and tell me it's genetic."
Erasa laughed. "Looks like you're gonna have to keep bleaching your hair Sharpie!"
Videl stared at herself in the mirror of the girl's bathroom. Gohan's an alien? She was having a little trouble wrapping her brain around what she'd just heard. He used to have a tail? She pictured him with a gently curling monkey tail and blushed. That's crazy!
But the more she thought about it, the more sense it made. How else could he be that strong? If he were only human, he wouldn't be able to do half those things! No human could transform into a golden haired super crime fighter. Sure Krillin and Yamucha are human and can fly and shoot those energy beam thingies, but that was only after training for years and years with some of the most revered masters alive! Even now they definitely do not have the kind of power Gohan has.
Power. Videl gripped the edge of the sink tightly as a new idea wormed its way into her brain. Gohan had been fighting since he was four. He'd battled and defeated monsters that she'd only dreamt about! Nightmares from worlds away, fighting his best alongside his father to protect the earth. He'd fought to save the world before she was even out of middle school. How could she ever compare to that?
Perhaps that mob boss was right. She was just a policeman wannabe. Who was she fooling with her little playacting? She wasn't even a blip in the grand scheme of things. She couldn't even defeat a gang of mobsters without getting herself eyeball deep into trouble. How could she compare to a guy her age that had already defeated some of humanities' greatest enemies?
Videl looked in the mirror and despaired. One of the most powerful people, one of the most kindhearted, bravest people she'd ever known, or ever heard about, was hurt at her hands. How could they ever be more than tentative friends after how she treated him? More importantly, how was she going to get Gohan to know how sorry she was?
She sighed despondently and left the bathroom. None of her schemes had worked. He still wasn't talking to her. All of her well laid plans failed to get him to open up. She was out of ideas.
Somehow I'm just going to have to talk to him. She aimlessly wandered the halls, caught up in her own miseries. But how?
She had no answer.
Videl wandered aimlessly for a good while. She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that when the bell rang, it startled her sharply. She hadn't realized she'd practically wasted the entire lunch break. Scowling, she headed back to class. Her thoughts returned to how she was going to apologize and get out of this mess. She thought about how she didn't deserve forgiveness anyway and was really starting to work herself into an emotional tizzy.
That is, until she turned a corner and nearly smacked face first into somebody's chest.
"Gohan!" Videl shrieked and did an awkward little bobble out of the way. "Don't DO that! You know you're like a brick wall! Geez!" She ran a hand through her short hair in frustration. "You could really hurt someone like that. Watch where you're going, okay?"
Gohan was stunned. He blushed and stuttered a few words of apology. His hand went back behind his head and nervously rubbed his neck.
Videl's eyes went wide. In her surprise, she completely forgot that she felt guilty. Or that he supposedly hated her. Or that she was a complete waste of space. Immediately her face went red and she averted her eyes to the ground.
"Sorry." She muttered and spun away, hoping to make tracks before anything worse happened.
The blue eyed crime fighter stopped dead. She didn't turn around, but waited to hear what he had to say. She could scarcely breathe. Anticipation and anxiety filled her up. Oh Kami what is he going to say?! Did the gifts finally pay off? Does he finally understand that I was trying to say how sorry I was? Is he finally going to chew me out for last week?!
"Videl, listen." Hurt laced the edges of his voice. Still, the sound of it made her shiver. "I know that…" He took a breath. "I know that you probably hate me and don't want to have anything to do with me, but I want you to know that I am willing to talk. I don't want us to stay like this."
What?! I don't hate you! I've been trying to apologize all stinking day! You're the one who… don't you hate me?
His voice became a bit firmer, like he'd rehearsed this part. "I know you don't like me anymore, but perhaps you could tolerate me for the sake of or friends."
Videl's heart was sent into shock.
Gohan went on. His tone was softer and more pleading. "I… I know you were listening in on the rooftop. You probably got the whole story but… I'm pretty sure you have questions. So…" Another pause. "… uhm… yeah." He finished awkwardly.
Videl slowly turned to face Gohan, wide eyed. You… you don't hate me? After all I've done to you, after the way I've treated you, you don't hate me? And after all the presents I've given you to apologize, you think I'm the one who hates you!? He stood in front of her anxiously. A half hopeful half pained look on his face. She stared at him and the pain intensified. He sighed and turned away, walking back the way he came.
What? Videl stared at his retreating back for a second. WHAT?! That's IT? Didn't he see how hard she was trying to apologize? All of her hard work, all of her presents and gifts and shenanigans amounted to that? That couldn't be it! Her temper mounted and boiled over, momentarily erasing all the dark feelings in her heart.
"WAIT JUST A MINUTE!"
Even though he was pretty far away from her at this point, Gohan flinched and turned around. Oh crap. Videl stormed down the hallway, ranting all the way.
"I don't believe this! Here I am, agonizing over the fact that you hate me to the point of never coming back to school or even talking to me and then out of the blue you just decide to hit me with that?!"
She got closer and Gohan got more confused. She thought I hated her? But…
"After ALL that I did to you," Videl continued, disregarding all the stares now directed her way, "after all that crap I put you through, you think that we can just… go back to normal?! Are you kidding me?!"
"I…" Gohan tried.
"NO! I've felt so absolutely horrible ever since last week because I knew who you really are! I've agonized over the fact that you trusted me enough to tell me your secrets and I shoved them back in your face! I still feel like a complete ass for not trusting you and believing you when you told me the truth! I've been trying all flipping day to apologize to you and you just aren't getting it!"
"What are you…"
"I stuffed presents in your locker," Videl said, getting close enough to poke him in the chest with her finger, "I wrote you love notes, I gave you a full 4 gallons of ice cream, I bought four passes to an amusement park which you friggin' gave away, I asked the teachers to cut you some slack, and I got the police to try and call you in for an award since they all agree that you deserve one!"
Gohan's dark eyes got wider. "That was you? But I thought…"
"And that's the problem! I thought I was getting the message across, but no! After all I've tried you STILL didn't get it! And here, you don't actually hate me at all?!" She backed him against the lockers angrily. "I'm such an idiot! I beat myself up for over two weeks over you! I friggin' cried over you! And I don't cry!"
Gohan was stunned. Again.
"Do you know how much I've wanted to beg you for forgiveness? To apologize my lungs out?!" Videl grit her teeth. "Do you know how much I regret my actions?! I treated you worse than dirt! How are you NOT angry with me?! Kami Gohan I am so sorry for the way I've treated you! I'm a horrible person and don't deserve your friendship or anything else you have to offer me!" Videl was yelling now. "Gohan, I'm a worthless piece of shi-"
"Don't you dare!" Gohan gripped her shoulders and stared her hard in the eye. He was also yelling now. "Don't you dare call yourself names!"
"And why not?!" Videl was far too into her rant to notice their proximity. "It's only what I deserve for…"
"I ALREADY FORGAVE YOU!"
Videl went silent, jaw hanging loose.
Seeing his opportunity to talk, Gohan relaxed his grip and continued. "I already forgave you Videl. I told you once before that you were too important to me to lose. That hasn't changed." He let his hands fall from her shoulders, his eyes tender. "Videl, you hurt me really bad. I was angry for a while, but there was more going on than you could've known. I can't hold that against you. After all, I never stopped… I mean I still…" He hesitated.
I still love you.
He took a deep breath. "B-but if you don't want to be friends, that's alright. I know you don't like me the way I like you, but even if it's just your friendship, I don't want to lose that."
His face was tinted red as he met her eyes. "I thought that you were still angry with me. So I… uh… I wanted to give you space. That's why I didn't talk to you all day." He chuckled nervously. "And while I'm glad you're not angry with me, you really didn't need to give me anything."
She shut her jaw with an audible snap. Her face went very red and she looked away. They stood there awkwardly, trying hard not to look at each other.
Gohan cleared his throat. "So… uh… We'd… we'd better get to class." He slowly turned his gaze to her, hesitating to look her in the eye. "Are… are we good? Can we be friends again?"
She shook her head.
Gohan felt his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. Well, can't say I didn't try. He thought sadly, almost bitterly. I just knew she wouldn't want to be friends anymore. The downtrodden young man made to move away from the lockers, but was stopped as Videl's firm hand pushed him back.
"You don't get it, do you?" Videl was looking at him with a strange half smile. "Things can't ever be the same between us."
"Uh…" What does she mean by that?
Gohan felt a prickle of apprehension as Videl's face took on a very determined look. The prickle of apprehension got stronger as she got closer. He squeezed his eyes shut and steeled himself for the sure onslaught about to be dealt to him by the fiery fem fatale.
He was not even remotely prepared.
At the gentle pressure of her lips on his, his eyes flew open wider than he thought possible. The soft sensation overwhelmed his senses. The slightest movement sent tingles down his spine.
Videl was kissing him. Videl was kissing him!
There was NO WAY he could've predicted this! He was about to have the world's best internal freak-out when she pushed into the kiss a little more. His eyes fluttered shut and cognitive thought flew out the window.
Even though his mind was reduced to very happy demi-saiyan mush, his body ran solely on instinct as he gathered her in his arms and kissed her back.
Videl broke the impromptu kiss to the sounds of gasps, swears, catcalls, and squeals. It was hard to tear herself away from his lips. It was her first kiss after all.
Wow. She thought, slightly breathless. His lips were soft and full and so warm. She wanted to kiss him again. Pressed up against him, held in his strong embrace, she could feel the electricity that tingled up and down her spine.
She looked up at Gohan with a lidded gaze, a little dreamy eyed from the kiss. He looked absolutely dazed. She shivered a little at the emotions she saw in his eyes. They definitely couldn't go back to being friends again.
They were more than friends. He'd forgiven her before she even asked. Before she'd even gave him all the presents. How did he know she'd come ask for his forgiveness? He couldn't have known, he thought she hated him. Yet he forgave anyway. Did she mean that much to him?
Well, he certainly meant that much to her. After all that they'd been through, after all the crap they put each other through, friendship was a thing of the past. She was in love with him. She couldn't possibly just be a friend with him at this point.
Well, she totally would be his friend if he didn't return her feelings. She bit her lip. He hadn't said anything yet. Was she too forward? Did he still want a relationship with her?
She watched as his eyes slowly came back into focus on her. He smiled and she felt joy bubble up in her heart. All the dark feelings she'd been harboring shriveled up and died in the face of the radiant smile he gave her.
He leaned forward and pressed his forehead against hers, still smiling that goofy, love-smitten smile. She couldn't help herself. She matched his smile and felt tears of happiness and relief prick her eyes. After all that madness, things were finally going right. They both started laughing as the craziness of it all hit them both at the same time.
"Hey Videl." Gohan's voice was husky with emotion. The sound of it made the butterflies in her stomach start acting up again.
She couldn't help the surprised laugh that spilled out of her at his next question.
"Want to skip class?"
"See? I told you it would work." Erasa said smugly.
"Yeah yeah. Whatever you say Erasa." Videl rolled her eyes. They were all chilling in the park after the madness that was the school day. They sat under the shade of the trees. Just talking with each other.
"I'm serious! You apologized, made out, and now things are totally fine!" Erasa pouted and her friends laughed. She wasn't wrong.
After the 'incident' as the student body was calling it, the two of them actually skipped class to talk things out. The two of them had so much to talk about. So many misunderstandings to get straightened out. They discussed a great many things. Things that both needed to get off their chests. Videl found out about Gohan's background in greater detail. Gohan found out more about the day he went crazy. Secrets came out, but to both teens' surprise, neither really cared. They were both more than fine with who the other person was.
After all, love is about who you are, not who you were or who you're going to be.
They talked about the many disagreements they had. Both of them apologized profusely. Happiness, sadness, confusion, frustration, loss, hope, and love were all felt and relieved by both parties as forgiveness did its work in their hearts. They were able over stupid things they did to each other and how they tried to hide things in the course of the last two weeks. The hurts began to heal.
Because forgiveness is a powerful thing.
In the end, both agreed that they were idiots. Two stubborn, prideful idiots in love with each other in an insane situation that neither could completely control nor understand.
So they started dating.
"Frankly I can't believe you actually did that." Sharpner shook his head in wonder. "You kissed Gohan in front of practically the whole school! What're the tabloids gonna say? Videl Satan, hero of the city, kisses Gohan Son, resident nerd."
Gohan laughed. "You know, I couldn't care less what they say." He reached over and ruffled Videl's short hair. She grinned and bumped shoulders with him good naturedly. He chuckled and leaned down to give her a quick kiss on the cheek. She blushed and sighed happily, leaning into his chest.
Across from them, Sharpner groaned. "Please stop being cute. It's seriously ruining my stomach."
"Oh get over yourself Sharpner. This is what we worked so hard for!" Erasa chided him.
"Whatever." The burly blonde grumped. Yes he was happy for them, but he was still a little sore over the fact that Videl was now dating someone and that someone wasn't him. Old habits die hard.
Erasa glared at him. She was going to have to work with him on that. She turned to Videl. "So now what? You know all Gohan's little secrets. You have him wrapped around your little finger," Gohan scoffed and she giggled, "and I'm guessing you're both going to fight crime together?"
"Yeah, but that's about it." Videl shrugged. "We're just gonna take one day at a time."
Gohan nodded. "Yeah. After all, a good relationship doesn't happen overnight."
"We're both figuring on entering this year's tournament though." Videl smiled. "Pretty sure most of his family and friends are entering anyway."
"Figures you two couldn't go on a normal date." Erasa teased.
"Well, he isn't normal and neither am I." Videl shrugged. "Plus his parents got engaged at a WMAT. Don't knock it."
Gohan blushed and laughed. "Strange thing is, she's right."
"Wow. Coincidence?" Sharpner finally shook off his jealousy to grin at his friends. They both blushed and he laughed. "In any case, that's pretty ballsy man. Didn't you know that Hercule said that the guy who dates his daughter has to beat him in a fight?"
"Yep." Gohan grinned mischievously. "But that's not gonna be a problem."
"Really? I mean you're pretty strong and all, being a superhero, but we're talking about Mr. Satan here. Are you sure you can take him and come out with your face still in one piece?"
"Oh… I dunno." Videl leaned back against Gohan. She looked up at him and they shared a knowing look. He gave her a confident smile and hugged her close. She snuggled against his chest and smiled back at him.
"I think he'll do okay."
A/N: So Gohan survived his saiyan puberty. Videl came to find the truth and together they started a relationship. After all no one can stay Under the Radar when love is involved. Only time will tell where that leads. The story goes on, but the tale of the beginning of their relationship is over. There are more twists and turns in their relationship to come. Especially in the Buu saga. Everybody knows about the Buu saga. Things always get worse before they get better. But they do get better.
But that's another story for another time.
Thank you for reading. It's been a long journey. Like… two years worth of journey. Two and a half years of journey WOW.
Reader, you've been a trouper. This is one long story. It really got me started on writing and is the first full length thing I've done. I really hope you enjoyed it from beginning to end. Feel free to leave your honest to goodness review of the entire thing. Your input is invaluable.
Again, thanks go out to everyone who has stuck with this story from its strange, slightly hurried beginnings to now. Your support has helped me in ways I can't fully express here. I pray that this story has made your life brighter in some small way. Your comments and reviews certainly made mine brighter.
Thank you. Until next time, stay snazzy out there. :D