Anyway, I'm terribly sorry if this special turned out to be a waste of your time. I was too far in to turn back. ::sighs:: Guess I'll concentrate on P&P and Veritas now ^^;;; Er, thank you for all the reviews!!!
Here's a quick and simple 'cover' for the special! Dedicated to all
of you!! ^_^ Ah, hopefully I'm getting the hang of Toriyama's style ^^
Disclaimer : Toriyama good. Me bad.
-200 review special!-
Bound : Part 2
Morning came too soon for Gohan as he gazed down at the sleeping girl in his arms. Her head and right hand rested on his bare chest as her soft hair covered his shoulder. The slight chill of the pendant she bought the day before from the side of his ribs was uncomfortable, but he paid no attention to it. He had just woke up feeling more refreshed than ever, the nightmares that plagued him gone the previous night. Feeling her comfortable weight on him, he couldn't help but bask in the feeling of completeness. Of course he would feel complete... she was his to begin with after all.
He didn't want the morning to end. He didn't want to lose her warmth at the moment. He was even a bit concerned that he would never get another good night's sleep without her there. But then, his stomach had other ideas as it shattered the morning's silence into a thousand shards.
The raven hair girl in his arms groaned. "... How can you be hungry so early in the morning...." She then tried to turn to the other side to avoid the sunlight streaming in through the curtains but found it impossible due to the glue. Grunting in annoyance, she just dug herself deeper between them. Gohan smiled in amusement; she was clearly not a morning person.
"Come on, Videl, get up. I'm hungry," he shook her shoulders, barely dodging a lightning fast swat of her arm.
"Go away. You're always hungry," she mumbled grumpily, pulling the covers so tightly around her that he could only see a small tuff of her hair. Could she even breathe in there? His question was answered when a moment later she poked her head out to take a deep breath. Seconds went by before she rolled on her back and slowly opened her eyes. Blinking slowly she turned to glare at Gohan the way only a sleepy person could.
"I hate your stomach," she announced clearly. He gave her a lop-sided grin.
"But you love the rest of me, right?"
She gave out a half snort half laugh and he chuckled soon after. It was that moment the both of them felt how right waking up together was. The feeling terrified them. What did it mean?
Gohan cleared his throat, hoping to dissipate the sudden awkward silence. "Come on, I need to go to the bathroom. We can also explore the city if we finish breakfast early." The last bit made Videl's eyes light up with anticipation. In fact, it was her who deftly shoved Gohan off the bed (herself falling off with him) and quickly ushered him to the bathroom. The two entered the bathroom and had time for a quick round of rock-paper-scissors. Gohan won so he got to use the toilet first.
Their soaked clothes that were worn the day before were stuffed separately in plastic bags to which Gohan informed they would drop off at the hotel's washing machines. Brushing their teeth side by side was a amusing experience. Gohan's elbow kept on narrowly missing Videl's head and she eventually grew tired of ducking every half second. A quick elbow jab was enough for Gohan to swallow a mouthful of paste in his surprise. He did however, ended up spitting out the white foam all over the bathroom mirror. Videl was so floored by his reaction that she herself accidentally choked on the toothpaste and ended up adding to the white icings on the mirror.
They both laughed. Their first genuine, unrestricted, hearty laugh--together. Gohan had to put both hands on the rim of the sinks to keep himself steady and Videl was doubled over, leaning heavily on Gohan's shoulder as she laughed till her sides ached. After what seemed like eternity, their laughter settled down to snorts and chuckling. But that was before they turned and got a good look at each other. In their exuberant outburst, the toothpaste that were previously in their mouths were now spattered artistically around their lips, dribbling off their chin.
Again, they burst out into uncontrollable laughter, gasping for sorely needed air. Needless to say, it took some while for the two to finish freshening up.
After dropping off their dirty clothes at the hotel's free laundry service, the two stepped back outside into the busy streets of hunter capital, Redwood. Now that she thought about it, Gohan did have slight tinge of... irritation in his ki signature. It was clear he was telling the truth about not liking it in Redwood. She lightly tugged at his long sleeved jacket (that nicely covered the slight bunching of his shirt due to their connected flesh) to gain his attention.
"Breakfast at...? Are we going to a restaurant or eat some more stuff we haven't tried yet?"
Gohan thought about it a moment before turning to look down at her, "Lets go explore the markets we haven't been to then. I now you're dying to go."
Videl smiled up at him, a real one. "What are we waiting for? Come on!" she wrapped her arm around his and dragged him forward before stopping after a few feet. Holding down her blush she asked up at him sheepishly, "Which way?"
Gohan sighed dramatically before leading the way, chuckling softly to himself. The markets along the south border of the city were as widely diverse in it's delicacies and merchandise as the north market. Like the day before, they ate while browsing the various sorts of unique items. While in the middle of listening to an old woman's tale of of a cursed pendant similar to Videl's, a loud bang echoed through the marketplace.
"What was that?" Videl asked, getting on her toes to peek above the crowd, inadvertently pulling the skin at their joined waists quite painfully.
"Auction," answered Gohan , guiding them through the crowd to a makeshift stage in the middle of the town center. Well dressed business men and women were seated up close to the stage under dull green tents that blocked out the sun. Behind them were regular hunters, hoping to get a bargain. Interested in getting a closer look, Videl managed to convince Gohan to register them in. He himself wondered why he was willing to comply to her wishes.
"First item up!! These small beans are said to possess great power to heal instantly any wound! Even if near death, by simply consuming it will restore full health! The bean also posses the ability to immediately quench hunger, no matter how starved! Only two are available in the whole world! Do I hear 200000 zenie for one?"
"Senzu??" Videl questioned mostly to herself. Yes, the two small beans resting on a small white pillow in a glass case were definitely Senzu beans. Gohan was a bit surprised to see Korin's precious beans sold in Redwood. How did they get out from the Z warriors ring anyway? And 200000 zenie for one bean? If he wasn't mistaken, he was carrying seven--very tempting. However, he knew beyond a doubt the Senzu were worth much, much more than money. The experience of suffering through a broken neck proved it.
The beans were eventually sold to a sassy looking collector for well over two million zeni. Next up were a bunch of rare items including the K'Juju powder Videl heard so frequently about. After listening in detail on the powder's properties, Videl wondered why anyone would even use it for interrogation in the first place. She asked Gohan about this and he shrugged, answering that it's potency was well worth the messy outcome. Then, one item Videl had never dreamt of laying eyes on again was brought on stage. Gohan felt her ki spike before turning his attention at the display case.
"This fine double-edge sword was not easy to require, ladies and gentlemen. Only now have we managed to purchase this infamous sword directly from the Satan Palace."
Gohan's eyes widened slightly before she snapped his eyes down to a pale Videl. She was staring unblinking at the fine silver sword, tracing its contour with eyes that had memorized each edge.
"Yes, this is the sword that would be remembered throughout history. The very sword that robbed the Satan royal family's last breath. The sword of General Videl! Still in top condition, the sword's handle was crafted by the famous Rapier himself! The authentic proof, the name of the general, is carved right under the silver and gold hand guard."
"I carved it myself..." Videl whispered absently, her eyes searching for a damning dark red stain but found none. "Took me days to get through the silver..." Gohan listened to her small voice, nearly straining his ears to catch it. It was for a good reason that she whispered so lowly though, her words would likely expose her identity to the hunters that surrounded them.
"Do I hear a 500000?"
She could remember how she sharpened the sword every night, making sure it was polished better than any other. Her first sword, rightfully hers the day she took up command of the largest army in the world.
"Yes! 850000! 900000! 1200000! Once! Twice!"
The weight of it calmed her as it hung by her waist. It strengthened her when she swung it in battle. An extension of her body. Of her soul. Every curve, every tip, she could feel them all.
"1250000! 1500000! Once! Tw-1600000!"
It stood through everything. Even through the fire. It stood there like a morbid cross. Standing tall; embedded in her father's corpse.
"1630000! 1635000! 1637000!"
She sharpened it well. Pulling it out from her father was done without the slightest resistance. Like pulling it out from butter.
"1638000! Once! Twice!"
She held it in front of her as she faced death.
Was she crying? Yes, there were wetness on her cheeks yet she made no attempt to wipe them away, still staring at the silver sword in the display case. If she stared hard enough she could see the red stains on it's blade. Red, deep, stains. The kind of stains that doesn't go away.
A soft caress broke her out of the spell and she looked up at Gohan. He gently wiped away a tear, his expression something she never seen on him before. Pity? Condolence? What? She blinked at him, hopelessly trying to stop the flow of tears. Why won't they stop?
Stains that deep can't be washed. They're there. You just need to know where to look.
"1650000," Gohan called out clearly, raising his number card.
"Once! Twice! SOLD to the gentleman number 28!!"
Videl watched as Gohan lifted the glass from the display case, exposing the sword to the morning air. It was perfect as always, the sword she so lovingly carried by her side as frequently as she could. Raising a shaking finger she tested the blade edge.
"Videl," Gohan called, she did not respond. "Videl," he tried again, louder. Still she did not answer. Finally he reached out and pulled her hand back. She blinked and turned up at him confused. It was then she noticed the steady crimson flow coming from her hands.
There was royal blood staining the silver blade once again, only this time in a much smaller amount. She was so dazed that she didn't register the pain nor sight of the deep cut as she pulled her finger down its deadly edge. She could see to the bone and the blood was flowing freely, showing no sign of stop from the inch wide gash. It rolled down her hands to also stain Gohan's firm grip and all she could do was stare.
"Videl.... are you okay?" his concerned tone penetrated the haze around her mind, sending reality crashing back.
"I... I.... I.... don't... know..." she stammered. Looking back at the blade she suddenly felt nauseous at the sight of blood on it's surface. He felt her discomfort and wisely turned her away from the sword. Quickly tearing off a strip from her cloak, Gohan wrapped the cloth around her finger, wiping up any blood in the process. She was deathly pale, almost like on the verge of either fainting or vomiting.
"Why did you buy it?" she managed to croak out. "Why did you buy the sword?" she repeated.
"Because it's yours," he answered simply, leaning back on the warm trunk of a large maple tree. They had flew off to the surrounding forest for privacy as soon as Gohan paid for the sword. Videl said not a single word throughout the whole time until just now.
She couldn't find anything to reply so she just held her still bleeding finger. It was five minutes later that she gathered up the courage to set her eyes on the blade again. The contrast of dark red made her flinch and she turned her head away.
"You can't run forever."
She slowly looked up at Gohan. He looked back, locking her in his penetrating gaze.
"You can't run from your past forever. Pick it up and face it."
Videl eyed the royal sword, taking in the familiar yet haunting contours. Reaching out she curled her fingers around the bronze handle but stayed there, not finding the strength to actually pick it up. Heavy. Too heavy on her soul.
"I can't-!" she cried out in exasperation. "Too.... heavy... I can't lift it..."
"You're not trying, Videl," Gohan hissed lowly, noticing how her hand trembled, not even gripping the sword properly. She shook her head, small rivets of tears leaking out once more.
"I just-..." the sword was held up right in front of her. Over her shaking fist was Gohan's large one. He was glaring at her again, but not in his usual way. This glare was more of a demanding look than anything else. He didn't need to say anything, she understood perfectly what he wanted. Raising her other hand, she clasped it under her right and closed her eyes. Slowly she felt the weight as Gohan released his grip, letting her hold the sword on her own.
It was just as she remembered. Not too heavy yet not to light. Perfect. It was made for her after all. Chosen by her. Used by her. Branded by her. In the end also abandoned by her. After falling off the cliff from the android attack, she hadn't thought about it since. Too frequently in her dreams would she see the sword she carried at her hip be silhouetted against a burning background, it's lower end buried in the unmistakable form of her father.
She left it behind, along with everything else she loved. Along with everyone else.
Videl titled the sword to catch the sun rays like she would always do. She turned it in her hands, getting the feel of its balance back in her system. Motioning for Gohan to stand up so she could, she gave the sword a few graceful swings. The arc of light that followed the swings were nostalgic to her eyes. Finally, she tilted it downward, giving her and Gohan a clear view of the word 'Videl' carved in rough stokes right under the hand guard. She traced it with her fingers.
It was hers. Her sword.
She smiled sadly at it, finally able to wish it a proper good-bye. Finally able to let go another part of her broken soul.
Gohan watched silently as Videl kissed the handle with such finality it was clear what she was about to do. Swiftly she gave the sword one last swing and embedded it into the ground. They both moved back and Videl raised her right hand.
"Good-bye, my sword."
A flash of light, a single explosion, her sword was no more.
They laid back under the tree again, no words spoken, no words needed to be spoken. Gohan had felt like intruding the symbolic moment as Videl let go of yet another thread to her past, but was honored the same that she let him see. Not that she really had a choice though. She was now resting her head on his shoulder, watching the city in the distance. Gohan peered up at the sky. It was noon.
She noticed the inclination of his head and followed his gaze. Yes, it was noon.
It was an unspoken agreement between them to walk rather than fly back to the city. Were they both unconsciously trying to stall? Or were they doing it consciously, hoping the other won't notice? Or was it that they both already know that they both were delaying? Whatever the reason, they didn't say anything about it. The city limits was coming into view between the thick trees. Then the view was blocked.
Gohan and Videl stopped in their tracks to eye the sudden appearance of... the receptionist at Redwood Rapture?
"You, what are you doing here?" Videl asked the red-head in a cautious tone. She noticed how neither she nor Gohan sensed the young woman till she was right in front of them. Her ki was low, too low. Could she be suppressing it? A female ki user other than herself?
The one named Kiwi smiled, "I was curious about the Predator there and decided to look him up in the hunter history files. Quite an impressive list of hunts you got there."
"Thank you," Gohan said automatically.
Videl rolled her eyes at Gohan before turning her attention back to Kiwi. "So, yeah? You just came all the way here to tell him that?"
"Actually, I came all the way to find you. General Videl." Gohan and Videl didn't react, they knew it was coming. "I came across the top list of hunted in the Predator's data and found your file. I didn't believe it at first, but then I had got a really good look at you and the resemblance was too similar to ignore. How interesting that the Predator himself was hiding you all along."
"I don't hide from petty hunters like you," Videl hissed. Kiwi laughed sharply.
"Oh, I'm not a hunter. But I do know a lot of them which explains my ability to log in to hunter files. But then, I am looking forward to your bounty."
"I claimed her first," Gohan cut in, his voice colder than ever, "Her life as well as her bounty is mine." Videl started to protest them both when Kiwi cut her off.
"I know you can't claim anything but the head, and that will be ours!!"
'Ours?' the both of them thought at the same moment five other ki registered into their senses. Five previous unnoticed hunters burst out off the thick foliage to box them in. Each of the female hunters didn't carry weapons and had deceptively low ki. Gohan and Videl knew then, they might have a challenge after all.
"You must have heard of the Sisters of the Loom. ("No, we haven't," the pair said but Kiwi didn't hear them) Well, I might not be in their hunter group but I am a sister," She turned her head to grin at Gohan. "Please step aside Predator, I know you're strong but you can't be that strong. The general is ours, leave or we'll take her by force."
Gohan looked at Videl and shrugged; he took a step to the right taking Videl with him. Kiwi and her sisters stared. "Well?" Kiwi prompted, not in the mood for games.
"I stepped aside, go ahead, see if you can take her," Gohan answered lazily.
"Gee, I can see the depth of your commitment to me," Videl snorted as she slipped into a stance, making Gohan bend down with her. That's all he did though, bending at the knees with his arms crossed, looking quite bored.
Kiwi and her sisters stared again at the odd couple, "Wh-what are you playing at-oh f*** it! Get her!!"
All six sisters charged, their ki suddenly shooting up. Videl's eyes widened in surprise before managing to block the first hit. They really did know how to use ki, and it was painfully apparent by the way Videl's arms and legs stung from her mistake of underestimating them. Annoyed at all six pairs of arms and legs targeting her, she powered up with a shout. The white aura burst forth, blasting the six hunters away from her to slam into the surrounding trees.
"That's it?" Gohan asked, a bit surprised that the female hunters didn't put up much more of a show.
"No thanks to you," Videl grumbled, powering down. Luckily she didn't power down immediately as a yellow ki blast flew right at her. Swatting the blast away, Videl glared at the rising sisters. "Oh, back for more, eh?" she didn't even wait for them to rise fully before returning with a barrage of ki blasts of her own. The blasts hit four of the sisters (including Kiwi) and they stayed down. The remaining two stared at their smoking sisters before high-tailing it out of there.
"That's it?" Gohan asked again.
"Again no thanks to you."
After the rather pointless encounter, Videl and Gohan made it back into the city, heading straight for Mr. Brown's. Videl would have tried to get Gohan to enter the arena again but even she knew she was pushing it. Stepping into the dark and cramped store, they were immediately greeted by Mr. Brown.
"Gohan! Right on time, I got your bottle of L'Pas right here!" The aging man rummaged under his counter as Gohan and Videl approached. "By the way, I heard some interesting rumors," came Mr. Brown's voice from under the counter, "Some hunters claim to spot General Videl in the city. She was here with a tall, black haired man," he rose, in his hands a small black vile. Setting it on the counter, he raised his eyes to the couple before him.
Gohan said nothing as Videl pointedly avoided Mr. Brown's questioning gaze. The man relented after a few seconds, chuckling lightly. "It's not my business so I won't ask. Other than this news, I also heard the a famous phoenix pendant was bought."
This time, Videl shot her head up. Pulling the pendant out from under her cloak she showed it to the trader, "You mean this?"
Mr. Brown gasped lightly, "Why yes! No wonder Isabelle was so excited about it. Do you know the story behind it?"
"The lady at the stall I bought it from said nothing...."
"Yes, Isabelle probably didn't want to scare you off."
"Scare... off?" Both Gohan and Videl whispered apprehensively. Videl unconsciously held the pendant further away.
"Yes, it seems the pendant is cursed."
"Cursed?" They both chorused again. "Wait," Gohan started, "Earlier this morning, the old story teller, before the auction. She was telling a story about a phoenix pendant that held a peculiar curse." Videl tapped her chin in thought.
"It didn't occur to me that it was the same as mine. We didn't hear much though, just what is the curse?" the last part was directed at Mr. Brown. The man cleared his throat before leaning forward.
"It is said the phoenix chain brings soul mates together. It will do everything in its power to bring them together by any means necessary... then it'll feed on their 'love' till they grow bitter and eventually kill each other by their own hands."
Mr. Brown had the shock of his life when Gohan and Videl burst out into laughter. "Soul mates? Soul mates??? It's a great story really but you believe we will accept that crap?!" Videl forced out between breaths. Also, Gohan and Videl didn't really need a cursed pendant to get them to kill each other.
"Well, the pendant did find it's way into your hand. You must have been called to it," Mr. Brown defended.
"I merely found it pretty, nothing else! I felt no calling what-so-ever, in fact I was close to choosing another pendant before Gohan helped me decide."
"Do you usually buy jewelry?"
"So why did you?"
Videl said nothing. In her mind a tiny voice whispered, 'Because it was pretty.'
"And," Mr. Brown added, "Do you find the predicament you both are in a mere coincidence?"
The store fell silent. It was impossible, was it? Cursed pendants, that was a laugh. She and Gohan soul mates? That was an idea even more ridiculous..... Was it?
"If the curse is true... then just get rid of the pendant, destroy it." Gohan eventually said, eyeing the gold phoenix encircling a red ruby held in Videl's white grip.
"I don't think it's wise, young Gohan. Such an accursed item would have been destroyed long ago by its previous owners... yet why hasn't it? There must be something that kept it intact to this day."
"Stop talking about it like its alive," Videl said in a shaky voice. She pulled it off and dangled it in front of her. "We'll just leave it here then-"
"No!" Mr. Brown interrupted, "It's responsibility has fallen upon you both. I'm afraid it will find a way back to you if you just get rid of it that way." Videl huffed before dejectedly hanging it back around her neck. Suddenly it didn't feel so comfortable anymore.
"This is unbelievable. If it is cursed, why did it chose us then? We were miles away from Redwood. Why didn't it pick... another couple?" Gohan stopped himself before saying 'soul mate', he was uncomfortable hearing the word, let alone say it.
"Maybe it sensed a bond stronger than any other."
Videl felt Gohan stiffen beside her. She glanced up at him, puzzled at his reaction. What did it mean?
"I suggest you leave," the bushy man continued while handing over the solvent, "Many have spotted you, young Videl. It won't be long before they act upon their suspicions." Gohan paid the rest and pocketed the small vile.
"Thank you, Mr. Brown. You have my gratitude," Gohan shook the old man's hand firmly.
"And mine, thank you." Videl added, giving the old man a quick hug over the counter. He patted her shoulder warmly before watching them disappear through his doors. It was the last time he saw them.
They both didn't waste time getting back to the Redwood Rapture. Kiwi was no where in sight, probably still unconscious in the woods. Picking up their clothes at the hotel's laundry service they made it to the privacy of their room. Their room. Videl never really thought about it till now. Their room. Theirs.
Packing up their belongings, they stood in the middle of the room. Gohan took out the vile and fingered it. "This will feel a bit weird, they didn't really design the solvent for comfort." He never used L'Pas before but heard stories frequently enough. Some of the more experienced hunters had told him it differs from one person to another, depending on their skin type. Some people even had acute allergic reactions to it, the stories were not pretty. Of course, Gohan said none of this to Videl.
"I'm ready," she murmured as she cleared their clothes away to reveal the area of skin to which they were attached. Taking a deep breath, Gohan poured the solvent over it. Now or never.
The L'Pas solvent was a silver metallic color, like liquid mercury. When it hit her skin, Videl couldn't help but flinch at the sensation. The solvent was cold. So much that it burned. It felt like it was freezing up her tissue, turning her blood into ice. Sharp needle like pains spread all the way to the stomach, make her cry out slightly. She instinctively wrenched herself away from the sensation, hearing a wet suction like sound. The burning cold eventually passed and she opened her clamped eyes. Gohan was standing in front of her. No longer at her side.
They were free.
Gohan and Videl stood there, committing the last shred of warmth to their memory before it faded away. They felt empty now; like losing-
half of their soul
-a close friend. Who would have though a single day together made them-
soul mates, bound for eternity and beyond
-no longer enemies. How can they ever look at each other the way they did before? How can they ever face each other, the person-
to which their soul, their mind, their heart and their body belong to
-who they laughed with, cried with; the person they
had confided in at their weakest moments.
Before you can never take another step away from him again.
away from your soul mate
away from your mate
Videl slowly turned her back to him and walked to the door. Her hand closed around the golden handle and pulled. It didn't budge. She didn't need to look up to feel Gohan standing inches behind her, his right arm outstretched over her shoulder, holding the door shut. She didn't need to look up to feel Gohan's left hand holding her left wrist firmly. She didn't need to look up to feel Gohan burying his face into her hair, resting his head on her left shoulder. She didn't need to look up to feel him at all.
She stepped back to release the handle and slowly turned to face him. His grip never left her wrist, only twisting slightly to accommodate their new position. She looked up at him. A defeated yet content upward tug at the corner of her lips.
"You caught me, Gohan."
He slowly released her left wrist only to take both of her hands into his. He opened his palm and she followed, pressing her splayed fingers against his. Her hand was so small compared to his, it was a wonder she could ever trade blows with him and survive. Her pale skin contrasted with his light tan, giving a balance of masculinity and femininity to the image. Smoothly, they intertwined their fingers, both marveling on how perfect it fitted together.
"Do you hate me?" Gohan's quiet voice reached her ears. She swept her eyes from their joined hands to his eyes.
"No. Not any more," she whispered in reply.
"Do you.... do you believe the pendant's curse?"
"I don't know. Do you? Do you think this is why.... we're... like this?"
Are you willing to accept the pendant's curse? And so accept that it took us as soul mates?
"Do you really want to know the answer?"
She searched his eyes, scanning for that opening into his heart that she saw last night. He was closed to her now, yet somehow she felt he was letting out more than ever. What was he hiding?
"If you're willing to give me an answer...." she brought his hand to her and kissed it softly like how he did to her in the hot spring, ".... then I want answers to all of it. Everything."
He silently gazed at her, weighing the pros and cons. Sensing his inner struggle she gave him a reassuring smile. He let go of her left hand, keeping his right still in hers as he reached underneath her cloak for the pendant. He clasped his hand around it and brought it to the light.
"This... is this what's making us like this?" She didn't understand why his face suddenly darkened. "Is this the only reason why?" His grip tightened and it was clear he decided to destroy it. A simple closing of his powerful fist was enough, a simple command from his brain. As the thought to crush it came through, an understanding invaded both their minds.
A warning. A threat.
Destroy the pendant would be destroying whatever
feelings they held for each other.
They would lose the memory, the emotions that held them together.
They would lose it all.
Videl was the first to recover, ignoring the sudden dizziness that threatened to bring her to her knees. "Tell me Gohan, tell me everything."
Because we both know it won't matter in the end.
He let go of the pendant, making up his mind.
And he told her. Everything.
And she told him back. Everything
Both of them faced each other in the open green pasture. The knee high grass swayed wildly around them, the evening breeze blowing strong. Videl had unleashed tears in blue eyes, threatening to spill once again. Gohan had a similar look of desperation on his face. In his hands, the pendant glinted in the sun. That was it. There was no more secrets between them. They had laid side by side on the bed in the room, talking for hours. Eventually someone called to their room to announce that they were staying over time. Giving the hotel one last look, they flew off. Finishing off the explanations in flight, they mutually decided on destroying the pendant. For all they know.... maybe they would still remember even after its demise.
"Gohan..." she whispered.
"I told you not to call my name..." he answered back, a bit too harshly.
"Gohan...." she took a step forward.
"Don't call my name again, Videl."
"..... Gohan." she took another step forward.
It was him that closed the remaining gap between them, sweeping her up into a crushing hug. "Videl..." he whispered hoarsely, the desperation in his voice so tangible that Videl found it hard to breath. They pulled back slightly, resting their foreheads together. Gohan had his eyes clenched shut, his brows furrowed. She kissed his temple, smoothing out the creases there. She then lightly kissed his closed eyelids, backing off a bit to see them open slowly.
He held her in his gaze before leaning forward to press his lips against hers.
She never imagined him to be so gentle, to taste so sweet. But then again, after knowing everything she found it not a surprise. She kissed back, the tears finally spilling from her closed eyes. Too soon they broke apart, aware that it was getting harder to let go. Her tears were falling freely by now as she backed away from him. Gohan himself felt like crying but didn't; he had to be strong for both of them.
"Go, Videl, run," he urged, knowing if they meet again he would once again hurt her.
"Good bye..." she whispered, her voice cracking up as she floated up into the air. "Good bye, Son Gohan."
One last smile and she was gone, blasting off, never once turning back though her heart begged her to.
Gohan waited till her ki vanished before staring down at his fist. Hissing at the pendant he gave one last thought to Videl before crushing the pendant into pieces.
'Good-bye, my mate.'
"How can it be so damn hot in a forest?!" Videl Satan hissed as she savagely whacked a low hanging vine that got into her way. Her clothes and hair stuck to her skin like a second, well, skin. It has been three days since the morning she woke up simply confused. She had no idea where she was or how she got there. She remembered getting up to a blistering hot day and went for a walk then.... blank. And suddenly she found herself next to a stream, a bump on her head. Did she fall? Must have been heat stroke or something.... ugh, the fall must have caused amnesia....
And so she spent these three days just wandering around trying to make sense of it all. She had changed her clothes. There's suddenly an excess of money in her bag. And hello, what's this? She could swear she smelled like Gohan. She dismissed the thought immediately, imagining the bastard anywhere near her was nauseating. But now she would be happy to smell like him in compared to what she smelled like now.
She was forced to go by foot since she felt Gohan on her trail a few days ago. Leaving a ki signature by flying would be just plain stupid. But dang it! Does it have to be so blistering hot?! All she wanted now was a cool, nice bath with-
She pushed her way through the last of the bushes to find herself staring at the most beautiful sparkling lake she had ever set her eyes on. The sun setting in the horizon made it even more breathtaking with swirls of red, orange and yellow bleeding into the waters. Videl checked to see if she was still alive and not in heaven.
Stripping off she dived into the deliciously cool water.
How could she resist?
- End -
A.N. You guys are so going to kill me for this, aren't you.
Anyhoo, how was the twist at the end? To tell you the truth, I only thought it up halfway through; which is why it pretty much screwed up the whole plot. Oh well, hope you guys forgive me in time >_;;;; Also forgive me for the anticlimactic end. I really had trouble tying it up.
You all do know where the epilogue picks up at, right? >_;;;