Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Gohan took a deep breath and surveyed the area around him. The courtyard was littered with students his age wandering around and chatting with their peers before class. The sight of so many teenagers actually scared him a little. Growing up on Mt. Poazu, Gohan had very few friends his age, as houses were few and far apart in his little area of the world.
His former area of the world. Gohan had to mentally correct himself for about the millionth time in five days. After far too many days of not being able to provide for her two very hungry sons, and having to travels miles away in order to acquire necessities, like meat and household products, Gohan's mother, Chi-Chi, had to take her two sons with her to try and find new work in Orange Star City.
Gohan can still remember the emptiness he felt upon hearing the news.
He forced himself to walk down the concrete leading to the three-story tall building called Orange Star High. Being homeschooled all his life by his mother has prevented Gohan from experiencing any sort of public schooling. Gohan can still remember some night were he would lay in his bed dreaming of what it would be like to go to a public school. He envisioned that it would be glorious and he would excel in everything that he did.
Now he just wants to go crawl back in bed.
But he still needs to at least go in the building. He reaches for one of the bronze doorknob and pulls back the door which is, amazingly, made of glass and feels the air conditioning hit him like a T-Rex.
Not that he would know, of course.
Fortunately for him, he is able to right away spot the main office on the right side of the concrete hallway where he could pick up his schedule for the semester. Most of the other students had probably already printed them out, but Chi-Chi had yet to go out and buy a computer for the family.
Opening the door (wood this time) Gohan spotted a woman sitting in a chair staring at her computer, the screen giving her skin a pale complexion, which made her look bored. Giving Gohan a glance she asked with forced politeness, "Can I help you?"
Gohan blurted out, "Uh, this is where I can print out my schedule, right?"
Turning back to her computer she tapped the keyboard a few times and stood up and walked to the computer in the back of the room. Glancing at the paper her eyes widening before catching herself and walking over to Gohan and handing the paper to him.
Deciding on classes had not been hard. Due to how well he did on his entrance exams, Gohan was limited to only the advanced classes.
Smiling and thanking the woman Gohan left and began to leave for his homeroom class. Turning a corner, Gohan found himself in a long hallway surrounded by lockers on either side of the hallway. And filled to the brim with students.
Orange Star High had one of the highest, if not the highest, academic reputations in the entire Orange Star District. This, of course, had attracted massive amounts of students to its doors. The final number Gohan had heard was somewhere around 1500 students. His former school had held only two students.
Observing the students as he walked down the hallway (Room 101… 102… 103…) Gohan observed bullies picking on smaller students, cheerleaders giggling in packs, and nerds carrying around massive books.
Or, actually, he didn't.
He saw some groups of students standing off to the side allowing some of the students to walk down the hall to find their friends or go to class.
Had all of the books lied to him?
Smiling a bit at himself, Gohan walked into his classroom, Room 107, and observed their seating arrangements. Being the size a college, OSH had adopted the lecture style room design. Gohan had estimated the class size being about at 50.
Gohan was pulled out of stupor by a man waving at him from the front of the class. He had brown hair that circled down around his very bushy beard. Completing his look, the teacher also wore a button up flannel shirt and brown pants. A lumberjack in the middle of a city. Go figure.
"Good morning!" He offered Gohan. "I believe that you are the new student, am I correct." Gohan answered the affirmative.
"Well you can call me Mr. Plum. It seems that I will be your homeroom and 1st period teacher this year." Gohan took the pause to introduce himself.
"So Gohan Son, I would like to get to know you better. But class will start very soon, so I will have to take a rain check on that. Can I get you stand up here until class starts?"
Gohan leaned up against the wall and let his mind wander. Moving to the apartment had been taxing on the family, with really only Gohan and Chi-Chi to carry things. Gohan was plenty strong for age, having not much else to do during his down time on the mountain, but moving all of the furniture had seriously tired him out. The drive was terrible as well.
"Good morning class."
Goten. Gohan couldn't figure out what his little brother was feeling. Being ripped from his home (and Goten loved his home) and being placed in the last year of middle school had to depress anyone. Yet, Goten still remained his chipper self. Rather his unlimited-energy self.
"So we have a new student joining us today." Gohan snapped back to reality and straightened up to face the class. There seemed to be about 30 students in the class, (not everyone can take Advance Calculus), but really got Gohan was dress. Most students were dressed extremely casual including one guy with a professional sports jersey on, a girl wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt, and one guy only wearing a wife beater. He kind of pulled it off, unfortunately. Gohan began to feel really self-conscious in his formal attire. His black sweater started to feel hot on his skin, and his khaki pants started to itch.
"So, introduce yourself to the class." Mr. Plum prodded Gohan.
"Well, my name is Gohan Son and I, uh, just moved here from Mt. Poazu." A mummer rumbled across the class and Mr. Plum had to clear his throat to restore order. The silence allowed Gohan to continue. "I guess that I like to read and uh…" Gohan rubbed the back of his neck and continued, "I, uh, don't know what else to say."
Plum smiled and saved Gohan by saying, "That's fine Gohan, I'm sure we'll find out more about you as the school year progresses. If I may say something, I saw Gohan's entrance exam, and I think you all are going to half to work really hard to surpass this guy." A few snickers could be heard in the class.
"Does anyone have anything they want to say to, or ask Gohan?"
One boy in the front row blurts out, "Dude, you look like you're on a date!" Gohan started to blush until one boy higher up added jokingly, "Note, man, we are in Advanced Calculus. None of us get dates!"
The girl sitting beside him added, "And especially not you Note!" At that the class burst into laughter, including Note, and Plum regained the order of the class with a smile on his face. "Alright, alright that's enough. Gohan, why don't you go and sit next to… Erasa. You see the girl on the third row." Gohan nodded, still smiling himself, and walked up and sat next to the blond girl. The blond girl smiled at Gohan as he took his seat and Gohan noticed her short blond hair, blue eyes, and green tube top. That was totally all he looked at.
She whispered in a low voice, "Erasa, Erasa Rubba."
Gohan responded by whispering, "Gohan Son."
Erasa blinked at him, "I know. You just introduced yourself." Gohan cursed himself for forgetting that already and making a blunder. The girl giggled to herself. "It's alright Gohan. I know that you are nervous and being polite. I'm just teasing you." Smiling at him, she added, "But we probably should pay attention to Mr. Plum. He's been talking since you sat down." Nodding, Gohan looked to the front of the room.
"…so the school always mandates that the first day of homeroom should be used to read all of the rules and guidelines for the upcoming year. But since you all are juniors and can go to the bathroom by yourself, I'm just going to play the rules aloud from one of those online read-aloud things on low volume while you talk to yourselves until homeroom ends."
Laughed danced around the room along with some whoops and clapping. Finishing her own clapping, Erasa turned to Gohan and asked him, "So you did well on your entrance exams, then?"
Gohan, afraid of being labeled in the first period, responded, "Well fairly well, I guess, I'm sure you guys did better."
"Well, what percentage?"
Turning red Gohan answered, "Uh, 95%"
Erasa mouthed 'Wow' and turned to the boy sitting beside her who had been listening in. "Sharpener, can you believe that!?" Sharpener grunted and responded, "Well you got me beat there Brains, but I definitely have you beat in the muscle department." It was true. Sharpener was the wife-beater boy, and had the muscles to fit it. His long blond hair only accented them.
Smiling good naturedly, Sharpener added, "From boxing."
A third party voice jumped in from past Sharpener. "Sharpener! Don't pick on the guy! The only thing you need to pick that guy on is his brain. You'll need the help."
Sharpener looked fake offended and started to whine to the owner of the voice, a girl, about how mean she is to him. The girl was short with black hair fitted in to two pony tails, hanging on either side of her head. She wore a loose fitting white T-shirt and black shorts and had two large blue eyes. That were rolling in response to the blond beside her.
Erasa, to clear the situation, told Gohan, "The crybaby there is Sharpener, our best boxer in the school."
Pausing she continued, "And the girl is Videl Satan. She's the daughter of the police chief."
Gohan arched an eyebrow, "Wow, the police chief of Orange Star City, he must really know his stuff then, after all this city is huge."
"And dangerous." Videl added. She paused and then said, "You are still new here, so you probably don't know about this city or my father. This city has been plagued with crime for so many years now." Videl shakes her head." Gohan I will say this once, because I only need to say this once. Be careful. The crime syndicates around here will tear you apart if you let them. They can see your naiveté."
Gohan, stunned, managed to squeak out. "Uh, thanks."
"Videl! Don't freak the guy out on his first day of class!" Erasa scolded her friend.
"He needs to know." Sharpener adding his two cents.
Gohan managed to recover and finally said, "Erasa it's okay, at least I'll be more vigilant now. Uh, thanks Videl."
Videl nodded and looked back to her notebook.
Erasa broke the silence by asking, "So Gohan what was life in the mountains like? I mean it must be really different than living here."
Gohan finally smiled and said, "Well, where should I begin, my favorite thing would have to be-"
"Alright class it is time to begin 1st period, so take out your notebooks, and we will begin." Mr. Plum cut the conversations short with a surprisingly booming voice.
Gohan whispered, "I'll tell you later." Erasa smiled.
Meanwhile in the Orange Star Police Station, Hercule Satan spilled coffee on one of his documents. Inwardly cursing, Hercule stood up and shook the page over the trash can to try and get it to dry off a bit. Sitting back in his chair and sighing Hercule contemplated the recent few weeks. Crime had been the smallest that it had been in recent memory. There were some whispers around the Police Station that it would stay that way.
Hercule knew better. He dialed his receptionist on his phone and politely asked for another copy of the last Red Shark report. The Red Shark gang had been a problem for years and had created a track record consisting of everything from drugs, violence, theft, sexual assault, to human trafficking.
The report (A dry one, thanks to Jenny) told Hercule of rumors circulating around the city about their most recent hideout being somewhere in the South West of the city. The police had busted up their previous hideout two months ago. Hercule himself had led on the scene, and many people had told him that the bust was his most clever and greatest achievement at that time.
Hercule tended to ignore such things. It was times of silence like this that Hercule worried most about his daughter. He sometimes wondered if the first call he received would be about her.
Walking home after school Gohan felt much lighter than he had felt in the morning. I guess that I had worried too much about school. Gohan had done his "research" regarding high school in the few days before school and was terrified at what he read. Those "fanfictions" were especially brutal.
The day had gone by pretty quiet. He saw the same people pretty much in each class, as advanced students seemed to stick together. Sharpener, Erasa, or Videl had been in each of his classes, except for his gym class, where he recognized a boy from his math class named Pen. He had spent lunch with the three from his math class and had gotten to know them better. Videl, no surprise, wanted to follow her father and become a great police chief like her father. The determination that exuded from her when she expressed her goal gave Gohan shivers. Sharpener had expressed his desire to be a detective, which caught Gohan off guard, who was expecting "body-builder." He wasn't in advanced classes for nothing, Gohan supposed. Erasa, however, threw Gohan for the biggest loop, when she announced her desire to be an engineer. Gohan had blinked a few times and then asked her which kind, which Erasa had shrugged and responded with "Whatever the funnest!"
Gohan learned not to judge people based on appearances.
Walking up to his apartment building, Gohan remembered his brother, and his first day of class. I hope he had a good day as well. Gohan knew that he had gotten lucky and met three really good people. He guessed that few other people would randomly offer to hang out with a new kid.
The Son's apartment was on the third floor of the apartment complex, which was not the most awful place on the earth, but definitely not the best. The white paint was chipped in multiple places and Gohan had found a couple holes in the wall that were created by who knows what. The apartment offered two bedrooms, one for the brothers and one for Chi-Chi. The kitchen was modest, but the oven and stove covered most of Chi-Chi's desires. There was also a family room that had to double as a dining room.
But it was home.
Gohan walked in to see his mother chopping vegetables on the granite counter, who greeted him with a smile.
"Gohan! How was your day, honey?"
Throwing his backpack in this room, Gohan answered his mother, "It was really good actually. I met some good people in homeroom."
"That's great honey! Oh, and dinner will be ready in about an hour."
Gohan sat down on the couch and opened a book he was reading. Unfortunately, mayhem was waiting in the bathroom. The bathroom door opened suddenly and a figure ran out and jumped on Gohan. The older brother grunted and caught the intruder and turned to drop it back on the couch.
Goten groaned and looked up at Gohan saying, "Dangit, I thought I had you that time."
Gohan grinned, "Maybe next time."
Goten sat up and moved to allow his brother to sit down beside him.
"So how was your day squirt?"
Goten frowned at the nickname, but still answered. "I guess it was good. I found some people who I think are cool."
"Well what are their names?" Gohan prodded futher.
"There's this one guy named Trunks Briefs who seems to like the same video games as me. We both also have some great ideas to prank this cranky teacher named Mrs. Salt." Goten rubbed his hands together giddily. "It's gonna be great!"
"You really shouldn't try to prank your teachers, Goten." Gohan tried to calm down his brother. He had also looked back at his mother when the chopping of the vegetables had abruptly stopped. When it began again, slightly less orderly than before, he turned back to Goten. "So who's the other person? You said a couple people were cool."
Goten turned a bit red and looked away from Gohan. "Uh, nobody else just Trunks" Goten said hastily.
Gohan smirked. "Ooh, I get it. It's a girl isn't it?"
Goten jumped up and walked away, sputtering, "I-It doesn't matter! Come on let's go to the park like we agreed to do!" Smiling, Gohan stood up and followed after his brother.
Calling back to his mother, Gohan told his mother their plans and had promised to be back for dinner. Chi-Chi had agreed without any sort of a fight, which Gohan found strange, but he shrugged it off.
The park was worth the trip. Gohan felt as if he was stepping into Narnia, upon stepping into the park for the first time. He found it amazing that such a lush natural place could exist in the middle of a giant metropolitan city like Orange Star City. He figured that the plants had no problem breathing, with all of the carbon dioxide flowing in from the city.
The Son boys had spent the time in the park absolutely goofing off. Goten climbed trees like he used to back on Mt. Paozu and smiled more in that short time than he had smiled the last few days. Gohan felt somewhat relieved that Goten had found at least one place where he could be happy. It wasn't until Gohan noticed that the sun was going down that made him check the time. They had stayed there much longer than Gohan had promised Chi-Chi. She was going to be mad.
So Gohan and Goten were now hustling down the street in the dimming light severely afraid of being on the blunt end of Chi-Chi's famous frying pan. Gohan knew that all the blame would be placed on him, as he was the oldest. At least I'll have more time to study now. Gohan sighed.
Then he heard the scream.
Turning around, Gohan saw with horror that Goten was being held by the collar of his orange shirt with a gun pressed against his temple. The man holding his brother hostage looked to be in his early thirties, about average height, with graying brown hair. The most gruesome thing had to be ugly scowl across his face.
Gohan realized with horror that he and Goten had, in their haste to get home, had stumbled into a bad neighborhood. The man had seen them coming, and seeing two teenagers, had decided to take the easy prey by hiding in an alley between two buildings.
The man spoke, "Money, cell phone, valuables. Now." He then added, "Or the kid gets hurt."
Gohan attempted to calm the man saying, "Listen, I uh, I don't have anything on me, alright?" He slowly turned out his front pockets showing the man that they were empty.
The man simply moved his arm harder against Goten's head. The motion gave Gohan a glimpse of something on the man's upper arm, on his shoulder. A shark tattoo.
"Don't lie to me kid. You have got to have something."
Goten cried weakly, "Gohan." Tears were starting to roll down his face.
Desperation took Gohan. His mind filled with panic as his mind started to see his brother being shot in front of him. I should have listened to Videl. She warned me, but I didn't listen to her. And now Goten's going to… No! Chi-Chi's crying face flashed before him. The face of his father stared at him with an emotionless frown. A voice in his mind said, "You have failed me, son. Now Goten has to pay."
But suddenly, a different voice spoke in his mind as his father's face changed into a smile. "Do it Gohan. Embrace your destiny. Your destiny as the guardian of Earth."
The next thing Gohan did was act. He lunged forward faster than he ever thought possible and grabbed the man's gun hand and lifted it to point at the sky with his left hand. In the same motion, he clenched his right hand and punched the man hard in the chest sending him careening back into the alley.
Goten had fallen over during the scuffle and rushed over behind his brother.
"Are you okay, Goten?"
Goten looked up at his brother and froze. Gohan, when he did not hear a reply, deduced that something was wrong. He took his eyes away from the man, who was not moving, and looked at Goten's face, and followed his eyes to himself. His head, specifically. Gohan bit into temptation, and began to push Goten in the direction of home. But not before looking into a window of an empty building.
He saw teal eyes looking back at him. The thing that took most of his attention was the glow surrounding them. His hair had spiked up, pointing toward the sky, and had turned a blinding gold.
As sudden as it appeared, his hair returned to its normal color. Gohan wondered if he had been hallucinating. Turning to Goten who was still stupefied, Gohan offered a weak smile.
"Let's go home."