A/N: Hello, everybody. I'm really sorry this took so long. I had a writer's block and couldn't think of writing anything for almost two weeks. But for all it's worth, here it is now.
Thank you to everyone who reviewed, faved, and followed this fanfic. I really, really appreciate it. Shout out to you all! :))
Disclaimer: Dragon Balls is owned by Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation. Maybe Santa would be nice enough this Christmas and hand it to me wrapped up in ribbons and... *wishful thinking*
Videl felt disconcerted as she made her way towards the school cafeteria. She couldn't believe she'd been bested twice in one morning. And what more, one of those times was done by kids half her size!
She had stayed with the police till the building was cleared. She helped arrest some of the unconscious crooks and she couldn't help but wonder. How strong were those twins? They had knocked out all of the kidnappers with just one hit and it was done without breaking their bones or cutting them open? The little girl had not once used her bow, except when she accurately shot the oncoming ammo of the bazooka towards Videl. The police had retrieved that single strange silver arrow from the scene not far away from where she stood then for investigation but she doubt they'll get anything from it.
The kids we're really odd. Even their entrance were quite peculiar, as if they we're something from the mythical fiction books she used to read when she was a child. They could fly and moved too fast for the eye could see. Her father had always made her believe that it wasn't logical to believe in magic but that morning, she was inclined to assert that it was exactly that considering she didn't see any ropes or smokes and mirrors during the two children's appearance. They seemed familiar though. When she met those pair of twin black pools, she knew she had seen them before but from where she could not tell.
Her thoughts then wandered to that vigilante this morning. Satan City had been, as shameful as it was to admit it, one of the cities around the globe with the highest crime rate for the past few years. As the years go by, rarely did anyone braved the bold-faced evildoers and tried to stop them except her and the police. It was strange that a civilian, martial artist or not, would risk his life especially in front of heavily armed men who had every intention of killing anyone that stood in their way. And then he was followed by the 'Super Twins'. Videl got a hunch that it's either the two rescues we're miraculously timed or they we're simply linked with each other. If that's the case, then the mysterious vigilante knew the twins personally and was somewhere close by. But why didn't he himself helped?
Videl creased her forehead in deep thought, forming a big picture from the little pieces she'd gathered from the events of her morning. Even though she could never be certain, it was good to formulate a hypothesis.
Her musings we're interrupted by the high pitch tone of her bubbly best friend. Videl was so lost in thought she had unconsciously found her way to their usual table. Somehow, with Erasa's overly friendly disposition, she was not surprised to find their new classmates sitting with the rest of her group. Videl took it in strides and sat at the opposite of the raven-haired boy which, to Videl's amusement, only succeeded in making him more uncomfortable. She had missed all of her morning classes because of the unfortunate event so she had no more choice but to attend her remaining afternoon classes after lunch break.
"'Rase, remind me again why Brains is sitting with us," Sharpner asked coolly, throwing a disgusted look at Gohan. Gohan, for his part, fidgeted uneasily on his seat but did not say anything. Not like he needed to. The slight crimson that spread on his cheeks was enough indication how embarrassed and humiliated he felt. Marker and Stapler who sat beside the blonde boy snickered at the blushing face of their new classmate.
"Oh shut up, Sharpie. Don't be such a douchebag to Gohan," Erasa chided. Although her voice almost burst the poor demi-Saiyan's sensitive eardrums, he was more than thankful to her for standing up for him. Sharpner just snorted at her and continued the conversation he had with his friends about sports, girls, and other manly stuff. She smiled at Gohan warmly. "Don't mind him. You'll learn to live with it eventually!"
Videl inwardly rolled her eyes. Really, sometimes she thought Erasa was too friendly for her own good. She's more than sure that the fair haired girl would no doubt adopt the awkward teen to her very close circle of of Gohan, there was something she wanted to ask him so maybe it was a good thing Erasa made him sit at their table. She narrowed her eyes at the raven-haired boy as he nibbled at his food with a grimace, barely even touching it. She couldn't blame him, the food they served in this cafeteria looked and tasted like mud, reason why most students opted to pack lunch.
"Awful, isn't it?" Videl asked the raven-haired boy, her nose wrinkled in disgust. Gohan looked up from his food and smiled sheepishly at her, glad that he had someone to talk to who's voice didn't make his ears bleed. "It sure taught us not to forget our lunch for the past years."
The half-Saiyan nodded. He had not forgotten his lunch, actually. The food capsule was safely tucked in his pocket but he decided not to open it. He had planned to eat alone; maybe on the rooftop or under a tree at the wide expanse of the lawn but his new self-proclaimed friend had invited him to sit with her during lunch. Her other friends already thought him weird and nerdy; he didn't want to make their first impression of him anymore bad than it already was with his unusual enormous appetite.
Videl was about to open her mouth to ask her question when Erasa spoke again.
"Hey, Vi, I've heard about what happened at the capital building. Is it true two cute kids helped you fight the Red Shark Gang?"
Curiosity dancing within obsidian orbs at the mention of the occurrence that morning was caught by Videl's sharp blue eyes but she didn't let it show. She concentrated on Erasa and instead watched her enigmatic new classmate from the corner of her eyes. Videl contemplated her answer, flashing back her memory to the twins who helped her and the police. A small smile formed on her lips when she remembered the little boy and his proud grin and the solemn girl and her parting words. They must have watched her from afar while she was fighting the leader; it was the only reason why the girl would call her brave which was pathetic in comparison to what the two of them had done. "They were twins," she suplied offhandedly, and then she frowned when she remembered that, "I forgot to thank them for saving my life."
A look of concern took Erasa's face. She found it strange that Videl would submit to the vulnerability of confessing she needed saving or literally betting saved. In Erasa's eyes, Videl Satan was a stubborn, tomboyish girl who hated showing her weakness and she would never, ever willingly tell anyone that she of all people was saved by little kids. "Were you hurt? What happened?"
Videl shook her head. "Nothing serious. A crazy thug just thought it would be hilarious to try and deteriorate me with his bazooka; it's a shame two half-pints burst his bubble and smashed his face to the ground," she replied nonchalantly, taking slight amusement from Erasa's 'Oh my God' and the horrified expression of the other person tuning into their conversation noticed by nobody but her. "The kids left in a hurry though. I wish they could've stayed long enough for me to thank them," she added, a little wistful. But most importantly to find out who they were and how were they so strong, she added inwardly.
"I'm sure they know you're thankful," Gohan said with a soft smile. It was just a gentle curve of his lips but it somehow held a firm reassurance and Videl hastily crushed the urge to return a smile of her own. She reminded herself that she shouldn't feel attached to someone she met just a few hours ago and was secretive enough for her to label him untrustworthy.
Gohan bit his lip when the girl glared at him. He was sure he didn't say anything offending.
In contrast to Videl, Erasa didn't expect Gohan's interjection so she started when he suddenly entered their conversation, but she smiled cheerily nonetheless. "You're so sweet, Gohan. You know he's right, Videl. And maybe you could thank them if you see them again. I mean, they helped once, I'm sure they'll help again sometime soon." It made Videl wonder if the girl ever felt animosity around her.
"Hey, what's this I hear? The great Videl Satan getting saved by little kids? What's next, Babe? Maybe you should give us a heads-up in case pterodactyls should come to the city and do crime fighting next time," Sharpner butted in jokily. Videl didn't appreciate the joke though and he audibly gulped when the Satan girl's glare shifted to him, either because of the joke or the nickname he didn't want to find out. "Sheesh, I'm just kidding. So, Nerd-boy, what school were you from?" he asked, quickly changing the subject before the temperamental girl could decide to pummel him.
"Oh, this is my first time in an actual school. I've been homeschooled my entire life," Gohan answered honestly. He was bewildered when the rest of the occupants of their table openly gaped at him.
"Wow, you're much of a nerd than I thought," Sharpner worded out snidely when he got over his shock. "Studying must've been the only thing you knew all your life. No wonder you perfected the entrance exams."
Videl inwardly smirked when he fidgeted again. This was her chance! She could interrogate him with no repercussions because it's a getting-to-know-you kind of conversation.
"Tell us about your parents, Gohan. What do they do? My farther is a banker and my mother owns her very own fashion line! It's pretty cool because I get to have all the hottest trends in my wardrobe and never have to worry about footing the bills," Erasa supplied with a squeal in her voice and Gohan fought the urge to wince.
"Well, Mom's a housewife. And Dad," a shadow fell on his face and significantly diminished the twinkle in his eyes, "Dad was technically a farmer, I guess. But he used to be a great martial artist back in the days."
Videl felt her stomach plummet when his next smile didn't reach his eyes. Was. His father was dead. Gone. It was implied in his words and it seemed like the loss had a very huge impact in his life. She almost convinced herself to not ask her question and be sensitive for once. Almost.
"You're a Son, right? Are you by any chance related to the former WMAT Champion, Son Goku?" she finally asked with a victorious smirk when he turned ghastly white.
Gohan sighed. Well, it'll come out eventually so there was really no use hiding it. Not like he ever would. Being Son Goku's son was the best thing that ever happened to him. It was ironic that it was Hercule Satan's daughter who pieced together the puzzle. Nope, he shouldn't be surprised; with her annoying personality of butting into other people's business, it should be expected.
"Yes. He's my Dad."
Erasa gasped, her fingers covering her mouth. Sharpner and his buddies halted their light conversation and looked at the both of them, especially at the raven-haired boy. And then the three of them burst out laughing.
Gohan had a dumbfounded look on his face.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Stapler struggled to say between bouts of laughter. He wiped the corner of his eyes in an exaggerated manner with the tip of his burly fingers. "I just thought I heard you say that your farther is a great martial artist. Oh, that was rich!"
Gohan gritted his teeth at the jibe and struggled to control his fluctuating ki. "He was."
Videl saw his fists clench by his side, making the corners of her lips twitch upwards. It seemed she was the only one who actually read between his lines.
The winner of the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai was a well-known legendary icon among the circle of martial art purists even since she was born. They believed him to be the irrefutable essence of the Golden Age of Martial Arts. Although her father had won the subsequent tournament after the rebuilding of the destroyed battle arena, he could not conquer Son Goku's fame. It was only after the Cell Games that her father had finally earned it all. It was at the Cell Games that the deceit of the former champion and the fighters at the Cell Games were revealed to the world. That they were nothing but a cheat and a fraud.
Still, despite this, she felt a prickle of her conscience. It was not right to spit on other people's grave especially when someone who cares was right in front of them. Her curiosity got the better of her though so she opted to remain quiet and listen in the conversation instead. Who knows, maybe the idiots could rile up the raven-haired boy and prove to them that he was indeed a former WMAT champion's son.
"Oh, please," Marker scoffed. "We already know your father was just an amateur magician and a whimpering coward. All those light shows were nothing but tricks. Mr. Satan said so himself!"
Gohan kept his eyes on the tabletop in fear of showing his anger. He took calming breaths and tried to listen to the rational part of his brain. They knew nothing, and because of that, whatever they say won't mean a thing in his world; the world that his father sacrificed his life for. "Just because he don't understand it doesn't mean it's a trick," he argued back. Why he took the trouble to, he couldn't fathom. Idiots, all of them.
"Prove it then," Videl interrupted. Gohan looked up from his view of the blank smooth surface of the table and met her challenging gaze. And Videl felt like her brain suddenly short-circuited.
"I'm sorry." He promptly stood up from his seat and quietly walked away from their table and out of the cafeteria as the bell signaling the end of lunch break rang in the distance, leaving the smug school supply trio, a worried Erasa, and a flabbergasted Videl.
It was really not his apology that froze Videl nor was it his abrupt exit from their conversation; it was the sight of his deep obsidian eyes flashing into bright teal for a brief second.
And Videl was more than sure that Gohan had intended her to see it.
Gohan heaved a relieved sigh after breathing in the cool afternoon city air as he walked away from the gates of OSH. The sun had already started to set, painting the western sky with a beautiful myriad of orange, indigo, and yellow, yet unlike his usual dislike of the day's end, he welcomed it today like he'd missed it his entire life. Truth be told, the demi-Saiyan already had mixed feelings about going through this whole high school thing.
A recap of his first day in school made him wince. He helped the police during a bank heist thirty minutes before his first class. He was late for said first class although he got lucky when he ran into his professor. He met Hercule Satan's nosy daughter who happened to be a crime fighter and seemed to love risking her life. He sent his siblings to back her up, which he hoped ended well. He made a new friend and acquired a ton of new complications just because he was simply not normal and so out of their world that he couldn't fit in even if he tried.
Then there was the issue about his father. He never knew how infamous Son Goku was among the Hercule Satan enthusiasts until today. Apparently, the disrespectful buffoon had trampled his father's legacy to the ground and dirtied his accomplishments beyond recognition that it made the current generation of youths ignorant. Trickster, fraud, liar, coward... among other insulting names we're juggled between his classmates whenever he was within hearing range and it made him livid. It made him rethink the worth of his father's sacrifice. But then, Goku didn't die for them, he died for his love ones. Goku died for his family. For his mother. For his friends. For him. The opinion of Mr. Satan and his schoolmates would never count because they didn't belong in his world. They would never understand because their minds were too shallow and practical that they would never believe the truth even if it smacked them on the face.
Maybe I could smack Mr. Satan right on the face when I see him again to teach him a lesson about making fun of people too way out of his league, he thought wryly.
Speaking of Satan, one in particular was tailing him since he left the school grounds. Gohan was amused. She thought she was discrete enough to stalk someone who could sense life energy, not that she knew that but still.
Gohan rounded a corner of an alley. Just as he expected, the suspicious pseudo-police officer cautiously peeked at him before stumbling back in shock when he met her eyes. Gohan caught her wrist to steady her before she could fall on her behind.
"Why are you following me?"
"I..." Gohan tilted his head curiously when her face reddened in embarrassment of being caught on the act but she quickly regained her composure and glared at him with those sharp blue eyes. She tugged her wrist from his hold defiantly and Gohan took back his hand as if her skin burned his palm. "Because I don't trust you," she bit back venomously.
Gohan raised an eyebrow. "That's understandable. We only met today after all."
She scoffed. "Not that, you asshole. Because I know you're hiding something. If there's something I hate more than criminals, it's lies and secrets," the raven-haired girl hissed.
Gohan stared at her, looking for a trace of sarcasm or some kind of playfulness on the contours of her face. She couldn't be serious. "You know, Videl, not everything is about you. Everybody has secrets. Heck, I bet even you have secrets, but no one ever bothered you to shout it out to the world."
Her glare intensified at his words. "Oh please, at least my secret isn't about my father fooling the world with his cunning light works and smokes and mirrors." She smirked when Gohan scrunched his forehead.
Dendei, is this girl for real?
Seeing nothing more could be attained from arguing with her, Gohan decided to just drop this conversation and pretend everything that happened for the past ten minutes was just a part of a deluded nightmare. He glanced at his watch and panicked when he saw the time. "Look, I have to go. My Mom would kill me if I come home any later than I already am."
The girl squared her jaw and poked his chest. "That's just it, Gohan," she snarled, either from the pain of the tip of her index finger from poking him or from utter frustration, he didn't have time to guess. "You said you live far away, then why are you walking home? You're a nerd but you're also the son of a WMAT champion. You're a liar and so confusing, and that's why I would never trust you. Not until I know how big your secret is and what exactly you are hiding!"
Gohan bit the side of his cheek. How... pathetic.
Her life was so pitiful and hazy that she couldn't even tell what was really true and who to trust. She'd been used, betrayed, lied to and back-stabbed enough times for her to have pistanthrophobia; the fear of trusting someone. It made him wonder what would happen to her if ever she found out that her own father had been lying to her and the world for the past seven years.
"I'm not walking. I have a hovercar and a licence." He threw a capsule in the air and the red outdated car his father used to drive popped out from the smoke. Thank goodness to his mother. Kami, he couldn't remember how many times she'd saved him today. And how fortunate that he took those driving lessons with Krillin when he turned sixteen. Dendei knew how much he thought the whole thing useless. He quickly darted inside the car and hastily waved his goodbye at the Satan girl before speeding the hovercar away.
Away from the girl who have everything but got nothing.
And she watched as the tattered old car slowly disappeared in the distance with a pissed off scowl. Her fists clenched painfully beside her.
This isn't over yet. I'll find you out, Gohan. I'm not done with you yet.
"I'm home!" Gohan announced when he entered the Son home. He took off his shoes and neatly placed it on the shoe rack before donning the comfortable pair of slippers readied for him. His mother was a neat-freak and she wouldn't appreciate anything but perfect organization of her house.
Gohan paused in anxiety at the entrance of the living room when he found his twin siblings on the couch next to each other, head drawn and looking absolutely obedient, and his mother impatiently tapping her fingers on her crossed arms with her eyebrow raised as she stood waiting for him. The sight of the Frying Pan of Doom™ made a shiver ran up his spine. Goten and Gine were both quieta with their eyes fixed on the floor, now wearing their casual clothes which were the colorful traditional eastern clothes.
Gohan scratched the back of his head and gave Chi-Chi his best innocent grin. "Hey, Mom."
"Don't 'Hey, Mom' me, mister. Line up," she bit back. She brandished her weapon at the three of them when Gohan had hastily took his seat beside his cowering siblings. He had a pretty good guess what this was all about and he inwardly cringed at the thought.
"What were you thinking?" she started angrily. "Why did you send your siblings in the city, Gohan? You know what these two could do and what if something went wrong? What if they got hurt? What if - " she continued to spout possibilities with a snarl, her fists on her hips. "You were supposed to be the adult among your siblings!"
Gohan hung his head in shame. He knew the risks of course, but, "I'm sorry, Mom. Really. But I can't just stand by while someone's in trouble. I wanted to help but I also know that I couldn't jeopardize my studying. Sending the kiddos seemed like a good idea that time," he reasoned yet not really believing the solidity of his grounds anymore.
"Well, it wasn't!" she screeched. "You two are both grounded for a week! And none of you are training for a whole month, understand?"
The three half-Saiyans flinched. "Yes, ma'am," they simultaneously answered.
"Good. You're all going straight to bed after dinner, got it?"
"Yes, ma'am," they chorused again.
Chi-Chi nodded satisfied and went back to the kitchen to finish her cooking. Goten and Gine deflated on the couch when she was finally out of sight.
"No training," Gine murmured disbelievingly.
"And we're grounded," Goten added.
"And after finishing that insane amount of homework..."
Goten sniffed. "And all the cleaning..." that he did by himself; he was still Gine's slave after all.
Gohan looked sympathetically at the two six-year-olds. "Well," he caught their attention. The two solemn kids looked at him. "Was it worth it?"
Their faces broke into a smile.
"Yah! We met a cool pretty lady!" Goten announced excitedly, seemingly forgetting their punishment. Gohan raised an eyebrow. He must be talking about his classmate.
"And we kicked butts!" Gine added.
"And I won our bet! I knocked out twenty-two and Gine only got nineteen!" the mini-Goku gloated.
Gine ignored him though. "And we rescued hostages!"
"And we got to be super heroes!"
Gohan smiled. At least they had a better day than he did. He just found it ironic that they called the hot-headed Videl Satan cool. Then again, he had never seen her fight yet.
"Absolutely worth it," Gine said, her lips settling into a smirk.
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please don't hesitate to point out my grammatical errors and mistakes. I kinda just wrote whatever came into my mind and made it as natural as I could without making the characters OOC or deviating from the plot I've already mapped. Thank you again, folks!