Dedicated to my beta-reader, readers, and reviewers of P&P. Get me another 200 and I'll write another one, hehehehe... ;P
Disclaimer: Not to I, shall DBZ belong.
Predator and Prey
-200 Review Special!-
Bound : part 1
It was an honest mistake, really. Not really a mistake if you think about it, more like a Dende-forsaken-horrid-unbelieveable-twist-of-fate. What were the odds? The millions to one ratio that this would, could, happen. Off all the situations you can end up with your arch-nemesis...... this was definitely not one anyone would ever expect. EVER.
It was a blistering day. Our female protagonist had picked the most comfortable covering that day; a simple black sports bra along with her usual short spandex shorts. Unknown to her, our other protagonist (considered antagonist by our female protagonist), who was male, was also suffering from the heat and decided to ditch his usual attire. In fact, he ditched the whole upper part of his attire, leaving everything above his abdomen open to the wind's cooling caress.
Both of them weren't really with anything in mind, too distracted by the heat than anything else. Videl Satan, our female protagonist, wasn't really concentrating on running away from anyone as she trekked leisurely across the sun-kissed countryside. Son Gohan, the male protagonist if you haven't guessed already, was also not in the mood to track anyone down, just deciding on a walk rather than flight. They both, of course, could have just flown off somewhere cooler or find a refreshing lake to dip in but something, something unexplainable, made them decide against the logical action of escaping the heat.
Not before long, the two wandered into a small village, entering from opposite sides and thus not noticing each other. A single ice cream parlor called out to them, and to the villagers too, as a large crowd could be seen gathered around the entrance waiting their turn. It was by chance Gohan did not notice the suspiciously yellow substance that resembled gelatin goo hanging from the top of a nearby lamp post. He passed under it and it was then the goo decided to give up it's fight with gravity, landing smack dab on the side of Gohan's stomach, right above his right hip. He shrugged off the sensation, thinking it was just sweat and continued his pace to the parlor; much to the delight of nearby females who openly gawked at his chiseled and glistening body.
Videl herself came from the other side of the large crowd, wanting nothing more than cool cream down her throat as she gingerly got in line, careful not to make contact with any sweaty guy. The sun was playing a cruel joke on her that day, as it seemed the golden orb intensified it's scorching heat just for the sake of distracting her and Gohan from what was about to happen. Neither was prepared. Neither was aware till the damage was done.
A slight bump from Videl's right sent her one step to the left. But that was all it needed.
She felt the gooey substance on the exposed flesh on the side of her waist and mentally "Ewww"-ed, thinking it was gum or something worse. Than she realized she was pressed up against a very obviously naked torso. The fact that it was a very obviously sexy naked torso escaped her mind as she and the owner of the torso suddenly realized just who they were in skin contact with.
"You!!" They both whispered harshly and proceeded to jump away from each other. Videl to run from him and Gohan to give space for the coming chase.
Nothing happened save for the pulling sensation at a specific part of their exposed skin. Blinking at each other before looking down, they almost fainted (well, for Videl. Gohan merely stared in disbelief).
Our favorite hunter and his prey were joined at the hip, literally.
"This is your fault!! What were do doing with super-glue on your hip anyway?!" The pissed off voice of Videl echoed in the alleyway where the two awkwardly waddled off to for privacy.
"My fault? You were the on that attached yourself."
"Attached myself? Attached myself?? You make it sound like I want to be stuck by your side forever!!"
"Then cut yourself free, it'll leave a scar but no permanent damage."
"Why don't you cut yourself free?"
"Because my blood spilled isn't worth it."
".... You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"What makes you think I'm not?"
Videl growled in frustration before pulling back a fist and sending it up towards his face. Being stuck to his hip and all made it virtually impossible to give him a good punch and so Gohan easily caught her fist and held her there. Struggling briefly to find she has no leverage whatsoever Videl eventually huffed and jerked her fist back. Gohan merely smirked.
Then the impossible happened again. It started to rain. Pour in torrents. On a blistering day. In the blink of an eye.
The both of them darted in different directions but Videl ended up being pulled with Gohan and she resigned to keep up with his long strides to get them to a shelter. It was typical of Gohan to run into a restaurant. The cozy restaurant gave the atmosphere of serenity with it's sepia color scheme and dim lights. Soft cafe music drifted in and out in the background, setting the mood for lovers looking for a place to, well, love. A waiter went up to them and eyed their scantily clad dripping bodies.
"Excuse me, sir. But you must wear a shirt when you come in here." then the young waiter turned his attention to Videl and looked her up and down. For a moment Videl was certain she would get the same reprimand but then the waiter just gave her one of those infuriating male smirks and said nothing. Videl stepped forward to strangle the guy for having thoughts she knew he was thinking before finding she couldn't advance another step. Ah, yes, stuck to Gohan, great, wonderful.
Gohan fished out a a black cotton T-shirt from his bag and slipped it on before handing Videl a simple white button up one. She quickly slipped it on to cover herself more all the while glaring daggers at the perverted waiter. The waiter ignored her glare and nodded his approval.
"Table for two, I presume?"
"We're not to-" Gohan cut Videl off.
"Preferably in a round booth, in the corner perhaps?" he gestured to the darker areas of the restaurant. The waiter nodded again and lead the two (Videl was being dragged) to Gohan's seating request. Gohan sat down and Videl found the height difference to her disadvantage. The few inches that joined their bodies made it so that Videl would be leaning slightly against Gohan's chest if he sat down. She was currently straining as far as she could from him, making it seem like she was avoiding some pungent odor from his mouth. Gohan noticed her actions but paid no heed, concentrating on the menu.
The waiter stood idly by, his pen and pad ready as he watched the odd couple. The girl appeared to be trying to get away yet she made no attempt to leave his side. How peculiar....
"One of everything and two, er, three glasses of water, please," Gohan calmly said as he handed the menu back to the waiter. When he found the waiter not writing his orders down, Gohan frowned. "Didn't you hear me? One of everything and three glasses of water."
Snapping out of his shock the waiter stuttered his apologies and went away with the unbelievable order. Videl just sat it through, fuming silently. Eventually she broke the silence.
"So..." she started in a flat tone, clearly not happy, "when are we going to find a way out of this?"
"We're not in a hurry, are we?"
Videl scowled at him, turning her head to the side and up managing a glare. "I'm not going to go to the restroom, or sleep, or bathe with you there! Of course we're in a hurry!!"
"Which reminds me, I do need to use the toilet now."
Her eyes widened comically and Gohan nearly laughed at the sight before standing up. "What-Go-Gohan! Stop! Wha-what are you-!?" Videl stuttered in panic as she pushed against him, desperate for him not to do... what she was sure he was going to do. Gohan absently slapped his right hand behind her and over her mouth, muffling anymore protest, as he dragged her with him to the toilets that were quite close to their booth. She was clawing at him by now, and even giving out weak ki blasts but he merely raised his ki and felt nothing of them.
He did jerk to a stop a few steps from the men's restroom though and glanced to his side to find both of Videl's hands actually digging in the plastered walls. "Don't you dare go in there, Gohan!! I'm warning you! DON'T-GO-IN-THERE!!" Videl shrieked as she dug her fingers in deeper.
"Sorry, I really need to go," was Gohan's somewhat amused answer before prying out her fingers and continuing his stride. Videl's left hand then shot desperately down between his legs and he was fortunate enough to catch it before it hit. "It's just the men's restroom, Videl. Nothing to be afraid of," Gohan smirked as he locked both of Videl's hands in one of his large hands. She was screaming for people to help by now, but sadly those who heard her banshee like screams found themselves not wanting to know what caused it.
As they stepped in, Videl froze. The few men at the urinals froze along with her. "Haha, she just wouldn't leave my side!" Gohan cheerfully said to the shocked faces of the men as he walked over to the empty stall at the end. Videl was blushing like no tomorrow with her eyes clamped shut as she transported herself mentally to an open field where daisies and pansies bloom all year. The sound of Gohan unzipping his jeans shattered her inner peace like a thunderbolt.
"Gohaaaannnn...." she whined, feeling increasingly more uncomfortable with the situation. The sound of 'water' splashing was equally disturbing as if hearing Frieza profess his undying love to her. Listening to your would-be killer urinate was not something she had on her 'Thing to do Before I Die' list.
"Hold on, almost finished, dear. Honestly, it's like you never seen my not-so-little mini me before," Gohan said in a voice loud enough for the occupants of the restroom to hear. As chuckles and suppressed guffaws reached her ears, Videl bit down on her lip to refrain from doing anything that would keep him in the restroom any longer. With the sound of him zipping his pants back up Videl almost cried in relief. Gohan dragged her over to the sinks and washed his hands before exiting the restroom, leaving baffled men behind.
"Whoa, talk about the obsessive girlfriend..." one of them whispered in awe.
"You're going to strain something soon if you keep that up."
"I'll deal with it."
The two were back at their booth; Videl leaning as far as she can humanly possible from Gohan. Gohan eyed her for a few moments before sighing loudly and pulling her against him by her shoulders. She stiffened before he shook her slightly, easing her into a more relaxed posture.
"You're pulling my skin too when you do that. Just relax, I won't be found walking around with an injured or dead girl anyway. I won't be hurting you until we're separated again."
"Well, gee, I think I'll stay by your side for eternity then..." Videl grudgingly answered, finding herself a more comfortable position against his shoulder.
Gohan said nothing and they ignored each other till the dishes came. Videl ate what she could while vainly dodging bits of food flying from Gohan. Geeze, she never could understand why he eats as much and as fast as he does.... Yuck, was that a piece of broccoli landing in her hair?
She jabbed him in the side violently, "Stop eating like a pig!! The food's all there and it won't go anywhere! You're getting stuff all over me!!"
Gohan grunted his reply and kept his pace, but in a more organized manner. She sighed loudly, wishing they would get back to blasting distance. Gohan eventually finished and paid his meal, dragging her out with him. Stepping out from the cool restaurant, they were floored with humid, hot air. Videl peered up into the sky; didn't it just rain? Why is it so blazing hot again??
Her attached companion also turned his curious gaze to the cloudless, blue sky. If he didn't know better, Gohan would swear Dende was playing a sick joke on him..... wait, can the little green guy control the weather? Nah, most likely not...
"So... now what?" the raven hair girl next to him asked.
"Go to a store and see if we can get something to dissolve the glue."
"Dissolve the glue? Sounds like it'll dissolve skin and flesh as well."
"Then what's your idea?"
"I don't know! I don't even know what kind of glue it is, let alone take it off!!"
Gohan looked around before abruptly taking off into the sky, ignoring Videl's screams of protest. When they got far from the small town he stopped and gathered his bearings. If he remembered correctly....
"You moron!!" Videl yelled in his ear, her face red with anger, "Don't ever take off like that again!! You nearly snapped my backbone!!!"
He ignored her and blasted off again, Videl screaming obscenities at point-blank.
"Ooo! I just sold off the last bottle! A new shipment would be in tomorrow at noon though, come back then!"
Videl glared at the trader's bushy face, willing herself not to blown him up. "Are you sure you're out? I don't think there would be many people that would purchase such an item...." her voice grew colder with every word; Mr. Brown, the black-market trader, gulped audibly.
"Y-You see..." the aging man started, "L'Kat glue is already an rare item, mostly sold at hunter auctions like the infamous K'Juju powder. Such a powerful glue for binding fugitives is not easy to come by. Its solvent, L'Pas, is even more hard to come by and I didn't have much in stock. I usually let it run empty until someone shows up for it."
Videl turned to Gohan, who was looking around at the various interesting gadgets lining and hanging from the walls and ceilings of the cramped room. "Gohan!" she jabbed him roughly to get his attention, "Why don't we just go somewhere else to find this L'Pas solvent?"
Before he could answer, Mr. Brown cut in, "I believe I can answer you question, Miss. I am the sole distributor of L'Pas solvent. You can't get it anywhere else."
Videl turned a disbelieving blue eye to Gohan. Gohan grinned at her, "He's right. Mr. Brown is the sole distributor of many things. All hunters know about this."
"What about the manufactures? I believe we can get them directly somehow!"
Mr. Brown shook his graying head, "The links go deeper than you imagine, Miss. Even I have no idea who produces the solvent."
Videl scoffed, "Then how do you order them in the first place?"
"I go through a whole chain of connections. Rather than find them out for yourself, it'll be much faster to wait till tomorrow. Your solvent will be here by then."
"Thank you, Mr. Brown, that'll be all. Pre-paid as usual?" Gohan said in a cheerful voice Videl sometimes hear him use. He also likes to go around looking naive and carefree, wonder how he does it....
"Yes, Gohan. You were always my best customer. Hunters aren't usually nice people, you're quite a refreshing change for this old soul," Mr. Brown smiled a toothless grin as he calculated the fees.
"Gohan? Nice? Are you high on something, old man?" Videl said incredulously. Gohan gave her a sharp nudge.
"Can't you be polite for a change, girl?" He hissed lowly; she merely huffed and folded her arms. Mr. Brown chuckled heartily.
"You got a lively one there, young Gohan ("Hey!" protested Videl ). You know I have a policy not to ask but I just can't help myself this time, just how did this happen?" he waved a wiry hand in their general direction.
"Twist of fate," Gohan answered simply.
"You two seem to know each other well enough though," the aging man added as he scribbled down a receipt.
"That's why I said you must be high! I've been with this, this, this violent bastard for almost 3 years, 24/7, and I don't find what's nice about him at all!!"
"Been with? You two are lovers?"
"NO!!" Videl screeched, her face a dangerous red. Gohan badly camouflaged his chortle with a cough. "He's trying to kill me!! He's been torturing me for years!! Always there tormenting me!!" she yelled hotly leaning forward as far as she could go.
"Why, I see you're quite healthy now, Miss," pointed out Mr. Brown as he handed Gohan the receipt.
Videl threw up her hands and groaned, "Why do I even bother...." Both Gohan and Mr. Brown chuckled this time, she ignored them.
Pulling out 1000 zenies, Gohan handed over the wad of cash over the counter and pocketed the receipt. "The 2500 rest will be paid when I get the bottle. Thanks again, Mr. Brown." He walked out of the small shop after a small wave, towing Videl with him. Mr. Brown waved back and sighed. It was so nice seeing Gohan with a girl his age. Young love... the trader shook his head. He wished his wife was still alive to bicker with him again....
".... Can't we go to another city for the night?"
Gohan glanced down at the petite girl beside him who walked with obvious tension, her head bowed down and her usual cloak around her shoulders. "Why? Redwood has the cheapest, yet luxurious, hotels. I figured you would like them, knowing how you used to live in the palace and such."
"But then, I didn't have to sleep without worrying that the bellboy would come in and cut off my head!! You brought us to Redwood, Gohan!! Redwood!! Hunter capital!! You brought me RIGHT. INTO. THE. DEN. OF. ALL. HUNTERS!!" she whispered harshly, pulling her cloak tighter around herself.
"You're actually safest here if you stop acting so suspicious. Hunters would never expect such a high-profile hunted like yourself to set foot here."
Videl peeked up a bit to study her surroundings. Redwood was one of those slum cities that obviously lacked any ruling authority. It wasn't really a large city, barely a quarter of Satan City, but it seemed more alive than any other. People all sizes and shapes, including some obviously not human, bustled around. Redwood was the center of hunter auctions, black-market trading and also the place to hire mercenaries, assassins and hunters alike. Not a nice city, but many make a living here.
Suddenly Gohan stopped and she looked up to see what was the matter. A tall caucasian man stood a few feet away in front of them. He had on a large grin, to which Videl could spot at least 3 golden teeth, as he stroked a gigantic double-headed ax in his hand. Eyeing the ax warily, Videl crouched slightly in case she would need to defend herself.
"What is it this time, Ham?" Gohan's cold voice carried over the ruckus of the crowd. "You annoyed me enough last time, I might not let you go this time."
Ham laughed a dry laugh that made Videl's hair rise on end. It was the kind of laugh you never hope to hear again. "It's been too long since you stepped back in Redwood, Gohan," he pulled at Gohan's name in obvious resentment, "I've gotten stronger, much stronger. I've been in the hunter arena for months while you have fun chasing that General of yours out there." Videl snorted loudly, drawing Ham's attention to her.
"Hello, what do we have here?" His eyes trailed down Videl's body; even with the side parted cloak he could figure out the slim curves underneath.
"Someone that would punch your eyes through the back of your head if you keep looking that way," replied Videl casually.
"Ooh, I like her, feisty bitch you got there."
"She's/I'm not my/his bitch," Gohan and Videl spat out.
"Well then, how bought we wager her then, at the arena? I've been waiting too long to get your scrawny neck between my hands," the hunter, Ham, punctuated this by fisting his left hand in front of him, loudly cracking his knuckles. "You will not deny me the pleasure, Predator."
"Predator?" Videl turned up to question her 'companion', ignoring the hunter before them.
"A nickname I somehow ended up with amongst the hunters. It seems I got myself a reputation," Gohan shrugged absently.
"Gee, I never knew you even have a reputation."
"I didn't know myself until they started calling me that here."
"Have any idea how you got it?"
"No, but I was told it's because I am the most successful hunter around. I only go for the big shots and I get them every time."
Videl gave out a bark of laughter, "Well, I guess I have the honor of being your first failure?"
Gohan smirked down at her; it wasn't his usual 'I'm going to kill you' smirk but more of a playful one. "Failure? Nah, just the honor of being the one I enjoy having around."
Videl returned the playful smirk, "I'm flattered, Gohan." Were they flirting? What a disturbing thought....
"WOULD YOU TWO STOP IGNORING ME!?!?!"
The two joined pair turned to see a seething Ham. A vein was throbbing comically in his temple as his whole frame shook with anger. "I will not take this mockery!! You WILL face me, Predator! And I will have your title as well as my revenge!!"
"I must decline," said Gohan calmly. "I'm... stuck with matters at the moment."
"Come on, I'm tired of hearing him whine. Just go along with it, Gohan," Videl drawled lazily.
"If you get discovered then it'll be your own fault, Videl," Gohan whispered back so Ham couldn't hear.
"... I forgot I was stuck with you. Do they even accept pairs into this so-called arena?" she whispered back. Ham could be seen fuming in the background by their blatant display of ignoring him again.
"Actually they do. And it's kinda of a free for all, one can earn quite a lot of cash. I built my financial bases this way."
"I hate to admit it but I'm curious. You said it yourself they won't be expecting General Videl here anyway."
"....." Gohan eyed her grinning face before turning back to a red-faced Ham. "I hope you're up to getting your ass kicked half-way across the world, Ham."
The arena was a cage. The size of a large Budokai ring, it was surrounded by thick barbed wires that promised extreme pain for whoever gets thrown into it. A large crowd of ruffians packed the place every hour, betting their zenies or even competing themselves. Videl scrunched up her nose at the pungent smell of rotten flesh and blood. From the looks of it, the cage only gets cleaned once in a while. Is that an eyeball hanging on top of the cage??
"So... how does the system work, Gohan?" she asked him, keeping herself in his large frame (grudgingly) to avoid the other more dirty and smelly hunters as they stood in line to sign up. Ham was in another line somewhere, they both didn't bother to track him.
"You wager for yourself, or your group. Then when you enter the ring, challengers will come in to defeat or kill you. It doesn't matter who was being challenged in the end; the last one standing gets all the money that were wagered by those that entered and double his own."
"Does it matter how much you wage for yourself?"
"A minimal of 1500 zenies per each person. With you here we'll have to wager a minimal of 3000 to get in. If we wager more, then we can take more back when ours get doubled. The Keepers here get profit from the bets but they did set a maximum wage of 10000 zenies to not lose too much in rewards. "
"Wow, I'm betting 10000 zenies then."
"Confident, aren't you?"
"Well, how much do you usually bet on yourself, Gohan?"
Videl smiled, "My point exactly."
They eventually got to the head of the registration where a wrinkly old man with one eye lazily smoked his pipe. "Name? Wager?" he asked in a slurred tone.
"Gohan. 10000 zenie." Videl noticed the sudden hush of the crowd around them at Gohan's name. Was he really that popular?
The old man's pipe dropped to the ground. "Gohan the Predator?! Full wager as usual too! Welcome back, son. We'll be expecting a good fight." He then turned to Videl. "With a partner this time? Name? Wager?"
"Prey, ten thou-" Videl buried her elbow in his side.
"Devil Huntress, 10000 zenie," she threw the wad of money next to Gohan's wager then gave Gohan a glare.
"Good luck you two, though I highly doubt you need it. Your number is 207," the old man winked his one yellowed eye. "Next!"
The pair waddled off to wait for their turn. They eventually decided to watch the fights from the top of nearby buildings. In a leap, they settled down in clear view of the cage. Videl took the opportunity to scowl at Gohan.
"Prey?? What kind of name is that, you jerk!"
"Predator and Prey, has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" Gohan smirked at her. She 'hmph'-ed in annoyance before turning her attention to the fights below. Most of the fights were pretty gruesome, most frequently ending up with death. Sometimes challengers crowded the cage so much that she could hardly tell who was aiming for who.
"Is there any rules here? It won't be much fun if a single ki blast can take them all out," she asked absently.
Gohan tapped his chin, "Ah yes, ki blasts aren't allowed, though everything else is. Watch out for dirty tricks like poison powders and needles."
"Dirty tricks are allowed but ki not? Why?"
"That was my fault actually. I came and blasted all my opponents in one second. The Keepers set up that rule to ensure a more... entertaining fight."
"I can imagine..." Videl murmured. She was a bit excited though, if not a bit miffed that she would be stuck with Gohan when she wanted to test her own abilities against a horde of hunters. But then... her mind flashed back to her first meeting with Gohan. Ugh, that was something she never wanted to experience again. They both watched the fights in amusement, absently commenting on the tactics and style used. Even if for the moment, they both forgot they were supposed to be enemies.
"Next up... 207!!" the speaker roared as the last body had been dragged out from the arena.
"That's us," Gohan said before pushing slightly behind Videl's back so they would both fall at the same time. It was quite the entrance really, falling from the sky to land right in front of the arena's cage doors. The crowd suddenly went from loud to thundering when someone yelled, "It's Gohan the Predator!" Videl glanced around in awe as the crowd bellowed their bets to be put with Gohan. Gohan merely gave the crowd an appreciative nod for the attention.
"Yes, ladies and gentlemen!! Tonight we have a special guest! The legendary hunter that set new records that stand to this day! He's back! Gohan the Predator!! And with him he brought along a newbie to our ranks, the mysterious Devil Huntress!"
The crowd roared and Videl couldn't help be feel exited in the charged atmosphere. Gohan gave her a slight nudge and grinned down at her.
Videl nodded sharply. Gohan then placed his hand at the small of her back and they both walked in the cage confidently. Videl didn't really mind him touching her by then, after all she was pressed up to him for hours already. Challengers then filed in. Ham was in the front, waving his huge ax like it weighted nothing. From behind him a pack of gigantic men followed. Each of the men towered over them and wielded the nastiest looking weapons Videl ever saw. She noticed how all of them eyed Gohan hungrily.
Gohan's left brow rose, "All of you again?"
"Again?" Videl echoed. "Are you saying all of them have a grudge against you?"
"Yes, including those behind them too."
Videl turned her head back to the other side of the arena and her jaw dropped as even more men entered. Soon the whole area in front of them were jammed with the largest, smelliest, ugliest men Videl ever had the chance to er, fight. It was 2 against 37.
The parties waited as final betting was made. Gohan and Videl unconsciously paced their breathing and ki, matching it up with their partner. The other side consisted of stroking weapons, chuckling evilly, picking noses, growling, and glaring.
"They will go for you most likely, trying to get you out of the way first," Gohan informed quietly. Videl nodded.
"Most likely they will also hope you'll be distracted trying to protect me or something, maybe even seem to be attacking me in hope they get one in from your unguarded side, my side."
"They don't know how powerful you are though, they will be cautious. If I brought you here, they know you must at least be powerful enough to stand by my side. We'll try to use that to our advantage."
"You think we can pull this off smoothly while being stuck together like this?"
Gohan gave her a knowing smile. "I trust you know my moves enough by now, and me of your moves. Look, unconsciously we even had already paced our breathing."
Videl took time to count, yes, even their heartbeat was in sync. "I hope I won't start eating like you when this is over..." she muttered. Cracking their knuckles, Gohan and Videl slid into a low stance, mirroring each other perfectly.
"Yes! It seems Predator and Huntress will be literally fighting side by side! Will this first time couple make it though all 36 challengers? Including the long time champ, Ham of the Pork Clan, who is back for revenge! We all remembered that day when the Predator defeated Ham and his brothers, Spam and Frankfurter. Spam and Frankfurter were killed but Ham has lived for pay back! Will he get it?!" The crowd agreed and disagreed with the announcer.
Videl ignored everything said but the first bit, "Did he call us a couple?"
Gohan grinned, "Who wouldn't? They would logically assume you're my lover since a hunter of my caliber wouldn't trust his back for anyone less. And they know I don't have female sibling."
The ex-princess of Satan gave Gohan a surprised look, "Are you saying you trust me now?"
"Do I have any choice?"
"The bets are in! Everything goes, RUMBLE!!"
In an explosion of movement, the huddled hunters spread out to cover them from all sides. Gohan and Videl immediately kicked out opposite of each other, slamming their foot into the faces of the nearest hunters, immediately putting two of them out of commission. Then Gohan blocked a war hammer with his fore arm as Videl deftly delivered devastating hits to the wielder's exposed chest. Without losing a beat, both of them continued on, a whirlwind of punches and kicks too fast for the normal eye to see.
The two were actually having the time of their life, excited by the rhythm they took up. It was almost like dancing; only you get to severely maim the other dancers. Gohan even playfully wrapped an arm around Videl's waist, spinning her around with him to give her the extra speed to kick the hunters in range right into the barbed wires. It was almost addictive, they way they could read each other's mind.
"Get the girl first!!" Someone called out and suddenly the rest of the hunters (still twenty strong) went for Videl. Videl growled low in her throat as they all ganged up on her in an instant. Gohan again wrapped an arm around her and put enough distance between the oncoming hunters to get their bearings back.
"Are you sure we can't use ki blasts? Look at them all bunched up together, I can feel my hand itching," Videl licked her lips as they settled down into a stance once more.
"Do you want to lose our 20000 zenies? I think not," Gohan answered, smirking widely. "Let's finish them quickly, I'm hungry."
"Again?" Videl rolled her eyes as they both shot forward in a blur. Nobody saw clearly what happened next but suddenly Gohan and Videl were on the other side of the arena as the group of hunters crumpled to the ground, their weapons broken in pieces. Only Ham remained standing, his face a mix of fear and anger.
"Ah, haven't given up yet?" Gohan mocked, resting his left hand on his waist in a relaxed stance. Videl crossed her arms as she too took up a similar cocky state.
"I just want to fight you, Predator! Do you really need to have a girl help you fight!?" Ham sneered, "Stop hiding behind your bitch and fight me, man to man!!"
Videl was about to scream out a barrage of obscenities when a heavy hand clapped her around the shoulders. Looking up she found Gohan smirking smugly at Ham. "You're not even worth her time, what makes you think you're worth mine?"
"Is that a compliment I hear from you, Mr. Predator?" Videl smiled coyly up at him; despite the frustration earlier that day, she was actually in a playful mood.
Gohan gave her one of his sexy lop-sided grins, "You deserve one time to time, Ms. Huntress." They honestly didn't realize just how openly they were flirting with each other. If anything, it convinced the crowd that they were indeed a couple.
"Would you two...." Ham clenched his fists and swung his ax back, "STOP IGNORING ME!?!?" He launched forward, aiming at Videl. If he could defeat the girl first, Gohan would surely fight him, or even intervene to protect his 'lover'. In his rage, his missed the look of boredom on both Gohan and Videl's faces.
The large ax descended with frightening speed and strength... at least to the casual observer's eyes. Videl saw it coming miles away, heck, Gohan's punches and kicks were a thousand times more dangerous than the razor sharp edge inches from her face. She merely turned her body a few centimeters to avoid the ax all together while at the same time stepping into Ham's defenses. Gohan moved along with her, careful to give her enough freedom of movement.
Ham had only the time to register his ax imbedding itself in the stone ring before a white streak connected at the side of his face. Videl had casually backhanded the hunter, but then, a backhand powered by ki was anything but casual. Ham felt the side of his face cave in before he flew all across the ring, only to get himself pinned up on the cage bars.
That was it. They won.
"185500 zenie..." Videl trailed off and counted the stack of money again. "185500 zenie.... in my hands."
The two came up with quite the profit. Wages by the
36 hunters plus Ham are as follows:
- Ham : 10000
- 10 hunters : 2000
- 8 hunters : 5000
- 6 hunters : 1500
- 5 hunters : 3500
- 3 hunters : 7000
- 2 hunters : 10000
- 2 hunters : 4000
Gohan gave her a lazy grin, "50/50 of course, that would give you and me an equal share of 92750 zenie."
Videl beamed up at the demi-Saiyan (he noted that this was the first time she ever looked at him that way). "I never got so much money in such an easy and fun way before! Let's go back again!"
"No, no, Videl," Gohan said in a voice he had used against Goten, "I'm hungry. We eat and then find a room for the night."
"Aw, please? I never begged you before! See how desperate I am?!"
"Later, Videl. Later."
"You're no fun."
"I'm not supposed to be."
The pair then made their way to the nearby market where Gohan showed Videl some of the rare delicacies that could only be bought in Redwood. She tried out every treat she haven't eaten before to find most of them quite delicious. Gohan ate with her of course, stopping through every stall before his could satisfy his hunger. They wandered around after that, working off their full stomachs. Gohan even let Videl stop at the rare jewelry stalls and helped her decide to purchase a beautiful phoenix chain pendant. Videl fastened it to her neck under the cloak, content with it's comfortable weight.
"It would get in the way in battle you know, like how your hair used to," reminded Gohan. Videl had merely rolled her eyes at him.
"Then I'll cut it off like my hair if you ever get hold of it, happy?"
They eventually explored the whole marketplace; Gohan surprisingly willing to answer any question Videl had on any interesting item or weapon she saw. Somewhere along the way, she had even grabbed his arm to point at something to her interest not unlike two people on a date. They even shared a laugh or two at amusing things or people that they saw. Yes, if any one of them had ever been on a date, they would recognize what they were doing right then. Ironic to think two enemies would be sharing their first 'date' with each other.
The light faded off into the horizon and soon the whole city lit up with exotic lights. Videl now stood, staring up, at the large hotel before her. 'Redwood Rapture' was embossed in large blinking lights above the front drive-in entrance. The 6-story white hotel almost seemed out of place in the seemingly poor city with it's clean and sturdy structure, clearly showing how high it holds to its quality. But then, by now Videl has realized just how much money runs in the streets; Redwood might appear poor but the cost to survive there might be higher than any other.
Gohan and Videl entered the revolving doors and approached the reception desk. A young woman sat there in a sleeveless uniform that showed off her firm muscles. Almost everyone could fight in Redwood, it was one of the unspoken criteria to safely enter the city.
"Good evening, how may I help you two?" The woman asked in a high-pitched voice.
"We would like a room for the night, check out at noon tomorrow," Gohan replied as Videl admired the beautifully decorated lobby. The large crystal chandelier hanging above the staircase was just breathtaking. And Gohan said this is one of the cheapest hotels in the world? There must be some downside to this.... other than being situated smack dab in the middle of one of the most dangerous cities on the planet.
"Double bed or one king size?"
"One king size."
"Smoking or non?"
"Would you agree to an addition tax for a room with a private outdoor hot spring?"
Gohan nudged Videl, "Outdoor hot spring?"
"Yes, that would be wonderful," she absently answered, her attention focused on the masterful oil paintings that lined the walls.
"Sure, we'll take it." The receptionist typed the information all down into the computer.
"Cash or credit, Mr...?"
"Gohan, and cash it is."
The receptionist gave Gohan a surprised look before smiling seductively at him, "As in Predator Gohan? My, my, I heard stories about you."
"Don't all of them?" Gohan smiled back. The receptionist gave him a wink that Videl just caught as she returned her attention to them. Raising an eyebrow she gave Gohan a patronizing look.
"Flirting with older women are we, Mr. Predator?"
Gohan smiled down at Videl with one of his more 'sweet' smiles, "Don't be jealous, dear. You know you're the only one for me."
"To punch around, to torment, to satisfy your sick fighting desires...." Videl muttered lowly while ticking off her fingers.
"Your girlfriend, Mr. Gohan?" the receptionist interrupted, you could hear the disappointment in her voice.
"No," answered Gohan and Videl sighed in relief, "My wife, just got married. Here on our honeymoon actually." Videl snapped her head up and glared at Gohan with all her might. He returned her gaze casually, immune to any death glare she could throw at him.
"Oh, how wonderful!" You could easily tell she didn't mean it, "I wish you both a happy marriage! I can see she compliments you... very well. Beautiful wife." Videl suddenly felt very annoyed at the rude red-head who obviously disliked her.
"Excuse me, Miss..." she glanced at the name tag, "Miss Kiwi? Aren't you supposed to be informing us about the fees?" Videl then smugly draped herself over Gohan's arm, rubbing his chest in slow circles for effect. "Me and my husband are just so tired from the trip. We wish to retire for the night..." Then she continued in a low proactive voice, "... after some unfinished business of course."
Gohan stood there, enjoying the feel of Videl's arousing touch on his chest. He knew she was just doing it to get back at the receptionist but did she have to be so bold? Down Gohan, down, boy. Down! No! Bad Gohan bad! Down boy! Think Goku naked. Think Vegeta naked. Think Piccolo naked. Think all of them naked together.... it worked. Too well. Gohan was going to have nightmares that night. He shuddered.
The receptionist huffed openly at Videl and finished filing up the details. "That will be a total of 12000 zenie."
Videl pulled out her share of her earlier winnings and paid for the room since Gohan had paid for the food. She then felt him shudder again. Giving him a curious look, she found him slightly pale. Now what was wrong with him? He quickly recovered though and straightened up.
"Thank you, here's the key to room 142, Mr. Gohan. To your right please and have a good night." The receptionist handed Gohan the key and went back to filing her already perfect nails.
The two made their way to the room and went in. Turning on the lights, Videl gasped. The cream colored room was dripping with luxury. Soft carpets padded the floor underneath her feet, antique vases decorated the room, silk covers and feathered pillows adorned the king sized bed. The high ceiling was cover with hand painted landscapes, almost too realistic to not be a photograph. Gohan threw their bags in the corner and then suddenly found himself dragged to the bathroom.
Videl once again gaped at the marble lined step-in tub that sported intricate carvings on it's rim. The faucets were a sparkling gold, she wondered if they were indeed the expensive metal. She then continued to drag a surprised Gohan outside the glass doors to the mini hot spring outside. The stone lined hot spring could easily fit five and more, its stream rising up in the cool air of the night. High traditional wooden walls surrounded them, giving complete privacy.
"Tell me, Gohan, that a room this perfect costing only 12000 zenie a night can not exist," she mumbled, feeling faint.
"You want me to lie?" Gohan snickered. "The reason it is so cheap is because the Keepers of the arena actually live here. They keep the rates low but quality high. It actually storms up quite a profit since this is the best hotel in the region, despite it's more or less un-strategic location."
"Who cares about being surround by hunters, I'm definitely coming back here..." Videl continued in a daze. Then suddenly she stiffened and looked up in an almost embarrassed manner at Gohan. He raised his eyebrows.
"I.... I need to go to the bathroom."
They both stood awkwardly in the bathroom, facing the toilet, trying to figure out a way for Videl to sit down and not have Gohan remove the sink when she does so.
"Why don't you just squat on the toilet bowl so I can just stand in the space between the toilet and the sinks?"
"Squat?? I am in NO way going to squat on any toilet with you there!" protested Videl quite hotly. Gohan shrugged.
"It's your bladder, not mine."
Videl growled but almost whimpered as her aforementioned bladder gave another squeeze. She really has to go. Ignoring the consequences, Videl sat down on the toilet, pulling Gohan down to almost have the edge of the sink slam quite painfully into his sensitive area. He managed to balance himself awkwardly, half leaning on Videl, half balancing on one crouched foot. He respectfully turned his head skywards as Videl pulled off her shorts to relieve herself.
One minute passed.
"Geeze, Videl. Just how much were you holding in there?"
After Gohan also had his turn to relieve his bladder, the two wandered back into the main room. Videl of course wanted to go back to explore the city and have another go at the arena but Gohan firmly stated no. They argued shortly after that, one of their more pacified arguments compared to other times.
"We have a whole night, Gohan! Think how much money we can make at the arena!"
"We have enough to spend at it is, you can always go back by yourself next time, using the same alias."
"I'm not sure if I'm even coming back here when we separate again!" Gohan didn't reply and Videl stood there, silently studying him. The in a softer voice she continued, "You don't like it here, do you?"
Gohan looked her in the eye briefly before turning to look out the glass doors, "No."
"Care to tell why?"
"You know I won't stop bugging you until you explain."
The demi-Saiyan sighed loudly before plopping down on the bed, emitting a surprised squeak from Videl as he brought her down with him. "I hate it here. Absolutely loathe this city. If I had my way I would blow it up in a single blast."
Videl turned her head to look at his profile. His eyes were clenched shut, his brows furrowed, clearly remembering some bad memory. "Didn't you start out here? And so many people know you, you're practically famous. And you said yourself how special this place was with it's cultural diversity and interesting sights."
"The city itself may seem exotic though my admiration for it is overridden with contempt. Starting out here was a nightmare, not a day had gone by without me struggling to keep me hands from spilling even more blood than I already have. I have no good memories of this place. Well..." he opened his eyes and turned his head towards Videl. "... Until today. Ironic to think you of all people would give me a decent memory of Redwood." His features softened in a way she only caught glimpses off. "Thank you."
They both laid there in silence, searching each other's eyes for answers to questions they themselves didn't know what to ask. Videl swallowed lightly, "You're welcome." He smiled then and she smiled back. It was weird how being glued to your enemy could change your view of them in such a short time. She never really knew that much about Gohan until this day, discovering a whole new person she never noticed before. Is this what he was like before becoming a hunter?
She sighed. Then sniffed.
"Gohan. You stink."
Gohan sniffed, his Saiyan nose only now noticing the odor of sweat and grime from both their bodies. "So do you, Videl. It was a hot day and afterwards coming into this dirty city, worse, the arena, of course we stink."
She frowned at him. "I'm not sleeping with you stinking up the silk covers."
Gohan got up with her, dusting off the covers they were laying on. "Then I propose we take a bath."
Videl knew it was coming so she wasn't shocked, but still she would fight against the idea tooth and nail. "I am not taking a bath with you," she announced in an 'no-further-argument' tone. Gohan rolled his eyes at her.
"Would you be creative once in a while? We're going to shower briefly and soak in the hot spring outside. How does that sound?"
"Wonderful, if you weren't here."
Gohan stopped listening to her and picked out some towels from the walk-in closet. Videl followed, not liking it one bit but curious to Gohan's so called 'creative idea'. He then pulled her in with him under the shower head of the step-in tub after taking everything off but his boxers, much to Videl's amusement (she always thought him to be a briefs guy). She did the same but only down to her sports bra and biker shorts. Turning on the warm water he rinsed them both off, even shampooing his hair and hers. Videl was somewhat embarrassed with the intimate act but none-the-less said nothing about it.
After feeling moderately clean, Gohan wrapped a towel around his hip and pulled his boxers out from under. She couldn't help but notice just how low the towel rode because of the obstacle of her stuck to the side of his stomach above his hip. Being a young male that possessed an incredible body just made matters worse. Luckily for her, Gohan didn't notice her sudden attention to his glistening six-pack. Videl stopped herself before she got the urge to touch them.
Videl had to use two towels for herself. One to wrap her chest and another to wrap around her hip. After making sure Gohan wasn't peeking in any way, she carefully peeled off her soaked clothes, steering clear of touching anymore exposed flesh. She kept a glaring eye at the back of his head though.
"What are you so paranoid about, I can practically feel your eyeballs touching the back of my head."
"Forgive me if I want to protect my modesty here," she growled as she flung her soaked clothes off in the corner with Gohan's.
Gohan snorted, "It's not like I never seen you naked before."
"Gee, thanks for reminding me. It still doesn't justify for you to look!" She wrapped the towels around her, securing them tightly.
"Why should I? I could just close my eyes and, oh, hmm, isn't that the scar I gave you on your right breast?"
Videl paused and opened her towel slightly to peer down. There was no scar. She turned her head up to see Gohan smirking arrogantly down at her (and admiring the quick view). "You lying bastard, you made that up!" she seethed.
"Obviously," He chuckled good naturedly as he walked out with her grumbling beside him to the hot spring outside.
Both of them couldn't help but sigh in content as they slid into the deliciously hot water. It was milky white from the heat and smelling herbs so both of them didn't really have to worry about being seen through the water. The depth of the pool was just enough to comfortably soak in with the help of its sloping edge. Videl closed her eyes and then blinked up at the starry sky. The full moon hung in the clear night, she silently mused at the coincidence.
"I am definitely coming back to this hotel..." she murmured quietly.
Beside her (where else?) Gohan nodded in agreement, "Best full moon truce we ever had, eh?"
"Yeah, what a funny coincidence that is.... we should do this every month, minus being glued together of course."
"Yeah, we should, shouldn't we?" Gohan stretched his arms out behind them, in process giving Videl a make-shift pillow she immediatly leaned her head back on. He gave her a look to which she answered with the slight twitch of her lips. He sighed and shook his head, pulling back his arm slightly to give her head better support.
"Yes, we definitely should," Videl laughed lightly, enjoying Gohan's peaceful nature immensely. He chuckled at her good mood before closing his eyes and enjoying the warmth. Videl mirrored him, leaning back and closing her eyes.
It might seem she was taking it all very well, but inside she was a jumble of nerves. She didn't once dare ask him what would happen after they get seperated again. Would he go back to hunting her? Hurting her? She didn't dare ask because she was afraid that it would ruin this newly formed bond between them.
She had fun today.
For once she hadn't once worried about Gohan swooping in to kill her. For once she hadn't worried about Frieza's troops or hunters.
For once... she felt safe.
With Gohan by her side, she felt like she had nothing else to worry about. It was weird, but somehow she knew he would protect her if anything does happen.
He was her biggest threat so far, and now with him for the moment on her side.... it felt good.
She was.... relieved actually. That it was Gohan next to her now rather than anyone else.
He wasn't a stranger. Three years constantly aware of each other gave them a fine balance of respect and familiarity.
She knew for a fact she would have taken the whole matter much harder if it was with someone she never met.
But then... after noon tomorrow... would they go on like the day never happened?
Could she possibly be hoping they don't seperate again?
"Gohan... why did you become a hunter?"
Her soft question seem lost in the wind before Gohan answered in a equally soft tone, "Why did you become a general?"
She didn't answer for a while and he opened his eyes to look at her, finding her eyes closed. She did open them soon after, sensing his attention on her. It was in that moment her sapphire eyes opened he really saw how beautiful she was.... by his side. The moonlight and steam softened her features, the moisture curling her midnight locks framing her pale face. Her lips were always full and inviting, now pressed into a thin line yet still held their beauty. Her eyes looked directly into his, peering deep into his soul. He wondered if she would be afraid of what she finds in them. Her brows were furrowed slightly, giving her the appearance of a light frown.
"I... I was given a choice... and I took it," she answered slowly, not breaking her eye contact with Gohan.
Gohan gave her a sad smile, baring himself for the moment in gratitude for her willingness to bare her soul. "So did I. A choice, I took it."
It was in the split-second Videl probed into his soul, finding anguish and guilt. The sudden tigthening in her chest almost made tears come to her eyes. He looked so lost at the moment, clouded onyx eyes full of sorrow a person his age shouldn't experience. A single lock of black hair hung inbetween them and she reached out a slender hand to push it away.
"You look older like this..." she whispered, keeping the lock away with the rest of his hair. She then slowly let it fall again, secretly curious on how it could retain it's position despite being wet. "Now you look more like your age.... yet the look in your eyes... you seem older than all of us... The hardships I can see in your eyes tell of many battles... but mostly with yourself. You fear the choices you made, fear what you become, fear yourself.... yet why should you? Even I who you hurt so often have no fear in touching you now.... I'm not afraid of touching you Gohan... why should you be afraid of yourself?"
She pulled back her hand only to have it gently grabbed by Gohan's left. She watched as he slowly kissed the back of her hand, hardly feeling it by how gentle his lips brushed against the skin. Then he slowly let it go, leaning back to close his eyes once more. She understood that he couldn't find adequate words for what he felt at her words. She smiled at his now more relaxed features.
Her words were true... she had no fear in touching him now.
But would she still be after noon tommorow?
They soaked for a few more minutes, nearly dozing off, realizing that the day's excitement caught up to them. Pulling themselves out of the water, they entered the main room and quickly changed into sleep wear. Videl wore her dark blue, spagetti strap tank top and black sweat pants as Gohan just pulled on a pair of black drawstring pants. Crawling into the covers from the same side, obviously, they snuggled in against each other for the warmth. Gohan wordlessly raised his ki to warm the cold sheets before following Videl into blissful dreamless sleep.
Somewhere along the night Videl woke up, finding herself curled up against a masculine chest. Peering up to see Gohan's sleeping face she couldn't help but ponder on how peaceful he looked. No cold glare, frowns or smirks. Just.... peace. This was the Gohan inside. This was him.
She would never get to see him again would she?
Videl found herself reaching up to smooth that single lock from his forehead. Her hand eventually found it's way to his cheek to which he slightly dipped into. She let her lips curl up before pulling her hand back down between her and Gohan. Gohan frowned in his sleep and suddenly tightened his arms around her, pulling her closer up against his chest before burying his face in her hair. She felt him breath her scent in deeply before once more giving in to deep sleep. Her eyes drooped shortly after from the warmth and security, and she too, gave in to the sandman's dust once again.
A.N. Second chapter would be out by the end of the week or sooner ^^ Remember that this is branching off from P&P's story line, hence some confusion to why none of this was ever mentioned in P&P. Honestly, I like writing this special better than the main fic XD Hahahaha, wonder why.... Let me know if ya all like it!! It won't be much of a 'special thanks' if you guys don't like it or something XD. L'Kat is taken from the Indonesian word 'lekat' which means 'stick'. L'Pas is from 'lepas' which means take off/remove/release/let go. All weird hunter items would be pun names from Indonesian words just to be original XD
Chapter 11 of P&P is also halfway done, expect it soon sometime after I finish the second chapter of this special ^__^