Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ.

"........"-speech ::......::-thoughts ~......~-flashbacks ^^......^^-change of time/location

Sorry for the (cough, cough...two-month) delay! I got grounded from the computer! I'm updating Threats and The Trust Pact, and maybe starting a new story (since Threats will be finished this update) to make up for it. So sorry!!!


Chapter Seven: Rescue Videl!

A week after discovering the Dragonball was missing; Dragon radar in hand, Gohan flew next to his father, flying toward the four-star Dragonball, and Videl.

::I'm coming, Videl,:: he thought with a small smile.

^^The cave Videl, Van Zant, and Schmitty are in^^

::I'm coming, Videl.::

Videl's eyes opened when she heard Gohan's voice.

::Huh? I heard Gohan...but he's not here...oh, the bond,:: she thought, smiling. She tried to reposition the uncomfortably placed Dragonball in her boot with her toes. ::At least having that thing in my shoe paid off. It's as annoying as heck.::

Being more used to the bond than Gohan, she could easily feel him out, and grinned again when she felt him less than a mile from the cave.

^^Outside with Gohan and Goku^^

"We're almost directly on top of the Dragonball," Gohan said, pressing the button on top of the radar to get a more exact reading.

"There's a cave about 50 yards ahead of us. That's probably it," Goku said, looking ahead.

"Yeah, you're right. Let's land and walk the rest of the way. We don't want them to know we're coming," Gohan reminded his father. Goku nodded and followed his son to the ground. The Saiyans lowered their kis to the point that they wouldn't be noticeable for the most sensitive energy sensing person or instrument.

They hurried toward the cave, both hoping they wouldn't be noticed and therefore cause Videl's death. They crept quietly up to the entrance of the large cave, seeing light at the end of the corridor that the mouth of the cave opened into.

Looking around for security cameras, and seeing none, they walked toward what was probably the only room in the cave, neither Son really even breathing.

^^W/ Videl^^

::Gohan's in the cave, and I'll bet anything Goku's with him. I should distract these two, make it easier for them,:: Videl thought, sitting up.

"'Ey, I didn't tell you to move," Van Zant said loudly.

"Really? I could've sworn you just ordered me to beat the crap out of you," Videl said with a sweet smile.

"I did no such thing. Shut up and sit back down, bi-"

"You really ought to watch your language, Van Zant, seeing as there's a lady present," Videl pointed out to him. Gohan and Goku appeared in the doorway, and Videl shook her head slightly. Schmitty would see them, since his attention was not solely on Videl and Van Zant's argument, but on polishing his gun.

Goku, having seen Videl shake her head, put an arm out the stop Gohan.

"If you're a lady, them I'm-" Van Zant began, only to be cut off by Videl again.

"You're the insanely large amount of lard attached to Schmitty's midsection?"

"Hey, watch your mouth, girl! Van Zant, can I please shoot her? Just in the leg or something of the sort?" Schmitty asked, walking over, leaving the way clear for Gohan and Goku to walk in.

"Actually, Schmitty, I think that could be arr-" Van Zant started, but was interrupted by Videl once again.

"Well, that might be able to be arranged if the guy you helped frame and his dad weren't..." Videl trailed off

"Weren't what?" Schmitty asked. The scouters sitting on the table where Schmitty had been beeped wildly as the Saiyans let their energy rise to normal.

The guns in Schmitty's hand and in Van Zant's back pocket disappeared, and Videl continued, "Standing right behind you, holding your guns, and about to knock you out."

The two crooks whipped their heads around, both to be punched in the face by a rather p-ed off Saiyan. Both hit the rocky wall and slid to the ground.

Gohan dropped Van Zant's gun and then kneeled down and broke the chain that was attached to Videl's leg, connecting her to the wall.

"Gohan!" Videl exclaimed happy, not even waiting for him to stand back up before hugging him tightly. Gohan fell back onto his butt and hugged Videl back.

"I missed you, Gohan," Videl said.

"I missed you more," Gohan whispered.

They stood up, and Gohan also removed the steel band that was suppressing Videl's ki. Videl rubbed her wrist momentarily before hugging Goku, as well.

"Sorry about the whole kidnapping thing, Videl. I should've noticed the switch from your ki to that fake one they planted in the room," Goku admitted.

"It wasn't your fault, Goku," Videl said, sitting down on the bed, pulling off her boot, and taking the Dragonball out. "This little thing came in handy, I guess?" Videl asked, referring to the 4-star ball, but nodding toward the radar in Gohan's hand.

"Yeah. Thanks for thinking of it," Gohan said with a smile, taking Videl's hand and pulling her to her feet.

Standing a few feet in front of the couple, Goku's gi was suddenly splattered with blood.

"Goku, you're shirt," Videl said, before falling flat on her face.

Gohan turned around, seeing Van Zant standing, a bloody lump on his head, holding his just fired gun. Gohan growled and lunged at him, shouting, "You're gonna pay for hurting Videl!" Grabbing the other man by the throat, Gohan was planning on blasting his head off, but Goku grabbed his arm.

"Gohan, no! Let him go! Videl needs you now. We have to get that bullet out of her. You feel her ki, don't you? It's nearly gone!" Goku pointed out.

Dropping Van Zant after knocking him unconscious with a chop to the neck, Gohan bound them both with ki rings before going over to Videl. Ripping away the shoulder of Videl's shirt, he thought, ::Dende, don't let it have hit her heart. Not her heart.:: He gently lifted her up to look at her back.

"Great, it's stuck in her. We can't just give her a Sensu," Gohan muttered.

"Come on, let's go back to the house. It'll be easier to help her there," Goku said. Hospitals had professionals, but they were slow professionals. He knew Videl stood a better chance if they saved her themselves.

Goku used instant transmission and brought himself, Gohan, and Videl to the house.

Bulma and Chi-Chi, seeing their dilemma, brought towels and hot water so they could clean Videl's wound before giving her a Sensu, which Goku went to get from Korin's.

Gohan, with an extremely small ki ball, cut the hole the bullet had made slightly wider, and then, seeing a shine of metal, with a steady hand but the rest of him trembling, plucked the bullet out with tweezers Chi-Chi had brought him. Sweat rolling down his face, he thought, ::Geez, now I know how a doctor feels.:: He began sopping up some of the blood, and then cleaned it to ensure there would be no infections before feeding her one of the Sensus Goku had brought back with him.

Videl, fully awake and fully healed, sat up.

"Videl, if you don't stop this almost dieing thing, you're gonna have me losing my hair and having heart attacks before we're done high school," Gohan said as Bulma and his parents walked out of the living room.

"Maybe you should take better care of me, then," Videl stated with a smirk. Her smirk faltered when Gohan frowned and looked down at his blood-covered hands.

"You're right. I should take better care of you. You nearly died three times, AND I let you get kidnapped. I let Buu kill you, too. If I really was dead I might have an excuse, but I was alive. I could've saved you." Gohan whispered the last part.

"Gohan, none of it was your fault. You couldn't stop any of it from happening. Especially Buu eating me," Videl said, resting a comforting hand on Gohan's shoulder.

"Everyone makes excuses for me," Gohan muttered, quietly enough that Videl could not hear him.

"What'd you say, Gohan?" Videl asked.

"I said everyone makes excuses for me. When Nappa and Vegeta first came to Earth, and I was too scared to triple team Nappa with Krillin and Piccolo, Krillin said it was my first big fight, and I should be nervous. Then when I fought Cell, and I let him self-destruct, they said that it wasn't my fault, because I didn't know he could do that. Now all of this. If only-"

"Shut up," Videl said, cutting his rant short.

"Huh?" Gohan asked, surprised by her command.

"I told you to shut up. I want you to stop putting yourself down. You're an amazing guy, Gohan, but you can't do everything. You're a genius, but you can't know everything. The countless number of heroic or super-intelligent things you've done outnumber any mistakes you've made, anyway," Videl began. Gohan tried to protest, but Videl put a finger to his lips, and continued. "So, you thought of 6 things you screwed up on, right?" Gohan nodded. "I can easily think of double that number of things you've done that are amazing. You're only mortal, Gohan. Being a Saiyan and a genius doesn't change that."

She leaned forward and kissed him lightly, and quietly said, "Nobody's perfect, Gohan. But you're as close as anyone can get to perfect, in my eyes. I love you just the way you are."

Gohan grinned and said, "Thanks, Videl. You always know how to cheer me up." He pulled his girlfriend onto his lap and kissed her cheek.

::Everything's just about perfect, now. We gotta get a confession out of Hercule, still,:: he thought, sighing.

^Satan City^

Videl, Gohan, and Goku sat in a jet copter with Bulma driving, on their way to Satan City to interrogate Hercule.

"Do I have to wear a wire? I feel bad. He is my Dad, after all," Videl asked, zipping up her light jacket to hide the small microphone taped to her shirt.

"I don't like it either," Gohan said, pausing to pull his shirt over his head. "But there's no way we could get honest answers out of him if a cop was around."

Goku nodded in agreement. He wasn't wearing a wire; he was only coming to stop Gohan from killing Hercule. Bulma was there because she had experience with the court system.

A few minutes later, they landed in the front yard of the Satan mansion, and Videl led the way inside.

"Miss Videl! Welcome back," the butler exclaimed as they entered the front hall.

"Hi, Ian. Do you know where my dad is?" Videl asked.

"He's eating dinner in his private dining room," Ian said. Videl thanked him and led the other three to the said room.

As they walked into the dining room, they saw Hercule, seated alone at a large table. He looked up, and faking a relieved smile, got up and ran to Videl.

"Videl! You're home! I miss-"

"Cut the crap, Dad," Videl interrupted, Hercule obliged, hearing the annoyance in his daughter's voice.

"Why?" Videl asked.

"Why what?" Hercule asked in response.

"Why'd you have Van Zant and Schmitty hurt and kidnap me, and why'd you frame Gohan?" Videl asked.

"W-what are y-you talking about, Videl? Why would I do a-a thing like that?" Hercule stuttered under the piercing stare of his daughter and a rather mad half-Saiyan.

"We determined why you would do it the last time I was here. Now I wanna know why," Videl demanded.

Hercule gulped. He may not be the smartest person, but he knew very well that his daughter, Gohan, and Goku could easily beat the crap out of him, and Bulma could either sick Vegeta on him or sue his butt for the half-destroyed private section of CC, courtesy of Buu.

"Okay, I admit it. I knew those two saw me making friends with Buu, so I found them and offered money for them not to go public with it. Then, I saw you and the kid getting a bit too buddy-buddy for my taste, so I used their knowing to my advantage. They already knew about Buu, so I didn't have to tell anyone else. I knew about the healing beans and Dende, so I figured you would be alright after they attacked y-"

"Figured she'd be alright? What the hell is wrong with you? You put your daughter's life in danger and 'figured she'd be alright' because you don't like me?" Gohan said angrily. He took a step toward Hercule, but Videl stopped him and said, "Whoa, easy Gohan."

Gohan crossed his arms and glared at afro-man.

"Go on, Dad," Videl said.

Hercule's lip trembled as he tried not to cry in fear. (a/n: I can't say I like Hercule very much. But I promise I'll do a fic where he's the good guy eventually. Maybe in The Trust Pact.)

"W-well, um, that's about it...um...I didn't actually mean for you to be kidnapped, it was more their idea. I knew I shouldn't have them do anything to you while the kid-" "He has a name. Gohan." "-right, Gohan, was in jail, cuz it would prove him innocent. But they threatened to tell the world that I didn't beat Buu, and so I kinda helped them out by telling them about the private section of Bulma's laboratory," Hercule concluded.

"Thanks, Dad. That's all we needed to know," Videl said, un-zipping her coat. Hercule's face paled at the sight of the small microphone.

"We decided not to go to the authorities, because you're Videl's father, but if you try anything else to keep her from seeing Gohan, it's to jail with you, no matter how rich and powerful you are," Bulma stated. The four of them turned and left, leaving behind a dumbstruck Hercule.

^The Son Home^

Gohan and Videl lay in the former's bed, Gohan's arms wrapped around Videl.

"Life has been really weird since I met you," Videl said.

Gohan laughed and replied, "I could say the same to you."

Videl rolled over and looked up at Gohan.

"I love you, Gohan," she said.

"I love you, too, Videl. And I'll always protect you, no matter how dangerous the threat," Gohan said.

"I know you will, Gohan. I know," Videl whispered.


Check out my next fic:

Never Get a Saiyan Mad

Brought to you by EmMeRz*! Coming soon to a computer right in front of you.

The story starts out during 'The Wizard's Curse.' It portrays what I think could happen if Videl never left Gohan during the flight to Babidi's ship.