Videl wanted to hit something.
To be fair, this wasn't anything new for her. She'd gotten into trouble more than once for playing too rough or punching a bully. Her teachers got mad at her for it every time it happened and told her she should use her words instead of her fists or find a grown up to take care of things, but Videl always thought that was stupid.
Asking someone to be nicer never worked because then they just thought you were a wimp who was too scared to fight back, and grown ups wouldn't do anything except maybe just tell a kid to stop. If the bully was smart about it and didn't let a grown up catch them, then they'd never get in any trouble at all so Videl decided it was better to just handle the fight herself. That way the bullies knew not to mess with her if they didn't want to get hurt. Her Daddy was always really proud of her for that attitude and kept saying that she was a fighter, 'just like her old man!', and other than time outs and no recesses she never really got into too much trouble for standing up for herself and her friends, so she didn't see any reason to change the way she handled things.
Unfortunately, this meant that Videl wasn't very good at sitting back when someone was in trouble and she couldn't do anything to help. Like right now.
"Daddy! It's true!" she said in frustration from her booster seat in the back of the car on the drive to her school. "My friend needs someone to save him! You have to call the police!"
"Sweetie, it was just a bad dream," Mr. Satan said for what felt like the hundredth time that day, starting to get slightly annoyed at his daughter's doggedness on this subject. Completely understandable since he nearly had a heart attack when his daughter burst out of her room shouting about kidnappers and demanding he call the police first thing in the morning. After he got her to calm down and realized what the problem was, Mr. Satan tried to reassure his daughter and tell her it was all in her head, but Videl wasn't having it. "The police have real criminals to worry about. They can't go out looking for little monkeys lost in deserts. Who's gonna stop the bank robbers and kidnappers if they all left to do something like that, huh?"
"But he's scared and cold! He's all alone, Daddy! We need to save him and take him back home to his Mommy!"
"Didn't you say his Daddy is a superhero?" Mr. Satan reminded her absently as he pulled into the school's parking lot. "He'll probably fly in and save him, Videl."
"But he can't! His Daddy died saving him from his mean uncle!"
"Superheroes don't stay dead, pumpkin. I'm sure he'll be back saving the world when you go to sleep tonight," Satan assured her confidently. Videl frowned a little at that. It was true that his father wasn't going to be dead for very long, but that didn't make her feel any better about just leaving her friend in such a scary and dangerous place. She wanted to help in some way, not just sit around waiting and hoping her friend didn't get eaten or die of hunger or something.
"But Daddy-!" Videl started, nearly in tears of frustration as Mr. Satan simply got out of the car and came around to open the door and help her out of her booster seat.
"I love you sweetie, but Daddy's got to go to the gym now," he told her. "There's a big competition tonight, and Daddy will make lots of money if he wins. Be good for your teachers today and don't worry so much about your dream. Just remember it's all pretend in your head," and, with a hasty kiss to her forehead, Mr. Satan gently pushed his daughter towards the entrance of the school before getting back into his car and driving off, leaving Videl standing in front of the steps with the grim realization that her pleas for help were going to go unanswered not only by her father, but any other adult she told her story to as well.
Her friend was lost, scared and all alone, and there was nothing she could do to help him and no one who'd believe that any of it was real.
Videl's day didn't get any better after being left all alone on the steps of the school. She spent the rest of the morning stewing in her anger and worry. She was a little that her Daddy thought she'd lie about something so important and scared that something might happen to her friend before someone saved him. These emotions kept the five year old distracted all day, so she didn't do any of the activities she was supposed to or play with any of her school friends. Her teacher pestered her once they noticed she wasn't joining in, but Videl was still stinging over her father's dismissal that morning and knew full well that the teacher thought her monkey tailed friend was all made up so she didn't even bother trying to explain the problem to her. Instead she stayed stubbornly silent even as she got put into time out for being bad, ignoring the jeers and taunts from the other kids as she sat mutely in the time out corner.
When the day finally ended and her time out with it, Videl wasn't surprised to find an elderly woman in a skirt and jacket with silver hair pinned up high on her head had come to pick her up. With her father busy preparing for his match in a few hours, that meant he couldn't come to get her out of school. Whenever that sort of thing happened, Dr. Abbot would come to pick Videl up and she'd hang out with her until her Daddy came home.
Dr. Abbot was one of their neighbors, an older woman who retired a long time ago. She liked when Videl and her Daddy came to visit her since she didn't have any kids of her own and her husband died a long time ago. Despite Videl's initial worries when she met the woman, Dr. Abbot wasn't the sort of doctor who gave kids shots or stuck lights in their ears. Instead, she studied history and learned old stories and stuff. Her job had a long, fancy name that started with an 'A' but Videl couldn't pronounce it so she just called Dr. Abbot a history doctor if anyone else asked.
Normally, Videl liked when she got to spend time with Dr. Abbot. Sure she was too old to play games with and her TV was small and old and only had one cartoon channel, but it was still fun to hang out with the older woman. Dr. Abbot as smart and funny, and she didn't talk to Videl like she was dumb like a lot of grown ups did. She also had a lot of cool stories about how she used to hunt through deserts and jungles to find old stuff for museums, and knew lots of crazy stuff that happened a long time ago. Her dream friend always got excited when Videl got to spend time with Dr. Abbot because she always came to him with cool stories his books didn't have. It made her feel smart and important to be able to tell him all the stuff she learned from Dr. Abbot.
Unfortunately, Videl wasn't in the mood for any stories after the day she had.
"Hello, my little hero," Dr. Abbot greeted her warmly when she came over to collect Videl after talking with her teacher for a long time, "I hear you've had a rough day." Videl frowned a little at the remark. Normally, she loved Dr. Abbot's nickname for her, which she'd earned after she climbed a tree to save the old lady's hat when it had blown off her head and got caught in a high branch. But right now she didn't feel like much of a hero at all.
Bitter, the five year old kicked mutely at the chair leg as she glared at her lap. Why didn't the grown ups understand that she didn't want to talk? What was the point, if anything she said just got ignored and make her mad, which just got her into more trouble?
Thankfully, Dr. Abbot did actually seem to understand since she left the little girl to her sulking, instead collecting Videl's coat and shoes so she had some protection from the mid-October chill outside. Videl stayed quiet as she shrugged the coat on and let Dr. Abbot zip her up, reluctantly accepting the hand the elderly woman presented to her after walking out the door and onto the steps her father had left her on that morning.
The two of the walked slowly and silently down the sidewalk until they reached the park. Once there, Dr. Abbot settled down on a bench and pulled some yarn and knitting needles out of her bag, setting to work on her project as Videl stood off to the side, conflicted. She normally liked playing and blowing off steam after a bad day, but there was no way she could enjoy the park while she was still so worried about her friend. So instead of running off to start a game, Videl sat down on the bench next to Dr. Abbot, watching her experienced hands as they quickly and confidently worked the yarn. After nearly ten minutes of being allowed to just sit without being given a hard time for it or feeling like it was punishment for a wrong she didn't commit, Videl felt herself calm down a little. She still didn't feel good, not now that she knew no one would believe her when she told them her friend was in trouble and needed help, but she didn't feel quite so much like punching anyone anymore.
She just wanted to cry now.
With the anger burning off, fear and helplessness was quickly replacing it. She just wanted so badly to help her friend, to get him home safe. But she couldn't because nobody believed her when she told them he was in trouble. The whole thing just sucked, and Videl was going to cry even though she HATED crying more than anything in the whole world. So to keep herself from bursting into tears, the four year old turned her attention to her sitter.
"Dr. Abbot?" Videl said, scooting closer to the old woman, who gave a thoughtful hum in response to the girl's bid for her attention, splitting her focus between her needlework and the child at her side, "what would you do if you had a friend who was in trouble, but you couldn't help them?"
"What kind of trouble, dear?" Dr. Abbot said, stopping her knitting to focus more fully on Videl.
"Remember the little boy I told you about? The one I see when I go to sleep, with the monkey tail?" Videl said, waiting for Dr. Abbot to nod with a small smile before continuing. "A really bad man took him away from his home and put him somewhere dangerous and scary. I tried to tell Daddy about it but he told me it was just a bad dream. But it's not. It doesn't feel made up at all. I don't want my friend to get hurt, but I can't make anyone believe me so no one's gonna help him," Videl's voice watered a little as she finished explaining things to Dr. Abbot, who frowned thoughtfully throughout the girl's story.
"Oh my, that's terrible," she sighed. "People these days refuse to believe what they cannot see, my dear. They don't understand that there's a world beyond their vision, full of thing that defy explanation." Videl didn't know what Dr. Abbot meant by that, but it seemed like at the very least she wasn't saying it was made up and that Videl's worries and fears didn't matter, so Videl felt a little lighter.
"What do I do though?" Videl asked, helpless and frustrated. "I'm scared something bad's gonna happen to him, and I can't help."
"And who says you can't help?" Dr. Abbot asked. "Aren't you a little hero? You're a clever little girl, Videl. I'm sure you can do something for your friend, if you put your mind to it."
"But nobody believes me when I tell them he's in trouble. He's cold and hungry and alone, and there's dinosaurs and stuff that try and eat him."
"Yes, that is a problem," Dr. Abbot agreed. "So why don't we tackle each problem one at a time. How do you get someone to stop feeling cold?"
"Um… a jacket?" Videl suggested.
"That's one way, yes. Can you get a jacket to your friend?"
"Nuh-huh," Videl said, shaking her head so aggressively it made her pigtails whip across her nose. "It doesn't work that way. We can make stuff in the Dream, but we don't have it when we wake up."
"So no jackets. Is there any other way to get warm then?"
"He can make a fire," Videl suggested. "That's what they do in the movies and stuff. They make a campfire and roast marshmallows and stuff."
"Good, good. I have a book at home that talks about how to make a fire. If we go home and read it, do you think you can show your friend what he has to do to make a fire?"
"I can do that!" Videl said eagerly, her heart lifting now that she had something to offer her troubled friend.
"Wonderful, dear. I think I have something about edible plants in my library, too. Could that help your friend find something to eat?"
"Yeah!" Videl said, grinning happily in relief. "Can we go back to your house right now, so I can see it? Please, Dr. Abbot? Please?!"
"Of course, sweetie," Dr. Abbot said, tucking her yarnwork back into her bag and standing up to offer her hand to the five year old once more. Videl grabbed it immediately and began half dragging the woman out of the park and down the sidewalk, trying to get back to their apartment as fast as she could. Behind her, Dr. Abbot laughed softly at the girl's attitude, thrilled to see the fiery spirit she loved so much was burning once more.
It took about twenty minutes to walk from the park to the apartments, then up three flights of stairs. They passed Videl's apartment on their walk down the hall to Dr. Abbot's apartment. The elderly woman's home was sparsely furnished, with an old TV, a large brown couch, and an armchair that had a knitted blanket draped over the back. Rather than the TV, the centerpiece of the living room was Dr. Abbot's four massive bookshelves, lined with thick books and decorated here and there with old pottery, statues, and an occasional picture from back before Dr. Abbot retired.
When Videl first started coming to stay with Dr. Abbot while her Daddy was working, she was a little worried. There was a sort of museum feel to the place, like you weren't supposed to touch anything because you might break it. But Dr. Abbot had been quick to put the girl's fears to rest. Instead of forbidding her from going near anything, Dr. Abbot told Videl what her stuff was and the history behind it, and showed her how to handle them properly so she didn't break them. After that, Videl became much more comfortable in her elderly babysitter's house. Which was why the five year old didn't hesitate to make her way over to the bookshelves and began studying the Titles printed on the spines, less than half of which she actually understood.
"Which ones were you talking about?" Videl asked the old doctor when she came up beside her.
"Right here is where I keep the things about survival skills," Dr. Abbot said, pulling three books off of a higher shelf and giving them a rather fond smile. "This sort of knowledge really comes in handy. Sometimes going on an expedition put me and my team in more dangerous situations than we were expecting. It's easy to lose sight of how dangerous nature can be living safely in a city, and if you're not prepared it can easily overwhelm you."
"That's why I gotta help my friend get back home before he gets hurt," Videl said, accepting the books from Dr. Abbot. "If he knows this stuff, then maybe he can find his way back home to his Mommy."
"I'm sure it will be very useful," Dr. Abbot said with a light laugh. "You're a good friend, my little hero, to be helping your friend out like this."
Videl grinned back at her for a moment before she buried herself in the books that Dr. Abbot gave to her to study. She didn't move after that, and the only times she spoke were to ask for Dr. Abbot's help when she came across a word she didn't understand since the guide was a little more advanced than her usual books. Hours flew by as she struggled her way through the information she was being given. By the time her father came to pick her up, Videl could barely keep her eyes open.
She usually didn't stay up this late since it cut into her playtime in her dreams, but it was important that she absorb as much information as possible before she fell asleep. Besides, she didn't dare close her eyes at Dr. Abbots out of fear of getting woken up again once it was time to go back home. Waking up before the night was over forced her to leave the Dream, and whenever she left early she could never figure out how to get back in. That meant she'd have to wait a whole night to see her friend again. For that reason she stubbornly stayed awake even after Dr. Abbot changed her into her pajamas and convinced her to brush her teeth while waiting for her Daddy to come back home once his fight finished. Which he finally did a little after midnight, singing and laughing so loudly that Videl knew he was coming even before he entered the apartment.
"There's my little sweetpea!" Mr. Satan's voice boomed happily as he let himself in to Dr. Abbot's loft with his copy of her key. He was grinning from ear to ear in triumph and had a drunken sway which told Videl he'd won his match and gone out to celebrate afterwards. "How's it feel to be the daughter of the strongest man in the world, princess?" Videl frowned a little as he father came up to her and planted a sloppy kiss on her forehead.
"I take it the match went well then?" Dr. Abbot asked from where she sat in the kitchen, a bemused look on her face as she nursed a cup of tea and a book of her own.
"Number one, baby!" Mr. Satan boasted with a loud laugh, flashing Dr. Abbot a victory pose. "Netted myself a cool 500,000 zeni! We gotta hit the town to celebrate, you me and my little sweetpea!"
"I think it's rather late for that tonight, don't you? Videl needs her rest," Dr. Abbot pointed out as the five year old in question closed the book she had been reading.
"Alright, alright. Tomorrow, then!" Mr. Satan said cheerfully as he picked his daughter up in his arms. "Thanks again for watching my little girl, doc."
"It was absolutely my pleasure," Dr. Abbot said, smiling warmly at Videl. "Sweet dreams, little hero."
"Bye, Dr. Abbot! And thanks again!" Videl responded earnestly, earning a small laugh from the doctor. Mr. Satan assumed that his daughter's gratitude was because the elderly woman had watched her all day, but Dr. Abbot and Videl both knew better. Whistling cheerfully to himself, Mr. Satan happily carried his daughter down the hall to their own apartment. He threw the door open with reckless abandon and set his daughter down on her feet before happily making his way over to the fridge for a beer.
"So, do you wanna hear how your Daddy beat up his opponents in the ring today, pumpkin?" Mr. Satan asked as he cracked open the can while his daughter shut and locked their front door. "Your old man put on one heck of a show, you know! Even had a guy come up to me and start talking about sponsorships and corporate deals that could get us some steady money! Pretty soon, you and me will be outta this dump and living on easy street!"
"I'm going to bed," Videl said, not even acknowledging his statement. Even though she felt better now that she had some way to help her friend, she was still upset with her father for not listening to her that morning.
"Already?" Mr. Satan whined. "But I just got in!"
"Good night, Daddy," Videl said, walking into her room and leaving her father blinking after her in surprise at the cold shoulder he received from the five year old. Shutting her bedroom door behind her, Videl leaned against it with a frown. Didn't her Daddy even care that she had spent most of her day upset because of him? Her friend was important to her, and she was mad he didn't help him even a little bit.
Figuring that she had better things to do than sulk about her Daddy's absentmindedness, Videl walked across the room to close the curtains, blocking out the light of the full moon shining outside, before crawling into bed and pulling the covers over herself. It didn't matter if her Daddy didn't believe her when she said her friend was in trouble. Right now, he needed her help.
And she was going to make sure he got it.
For the second night in a row, Videl immediately knew something was wrong when she found herself in the Dream. Only this time, it was even worse than it was the night before. Opening her eyes the five year old didn't find swirling mist in a blue-gray backdrop she was expecting. Instead there was a thick, blood red fog beneath her feet while the sky above was black, save for the occasional flash of white hot lightning. The whole place was pulsing with some sort of strange energy, like an angry heartbeat pounding all around her and there was an unusual heat, uncomfortable and heavy like she just stepped into an oven. Or a volcano.
For a moment, Videl was too stunned to do anything. The Dream had never looked like this before and she had no idea what had changed it so dramatically. But slowly, inexplicably, she felt herself being consumed by another emotion.
She had no idea why she was suddenly so angry. She didn't have anything to be mad about right now, and she knew that. But that didn't stop her blood from boiling, her heart from pounding, and her desire to tear something apart from rising. Almost like there was a voice whispering in her head, eating away at her self control until only that anger was left. Anger that pushed her to throw her power around. To destroy something. To hurt.
A vicious growling noise filled the air, and it took Videl a while to realize that it was coming from her. Freaked out by having her emotions hijacked to such an extreme, Videl shook her head furiously to try and dispel whatever had possessed her to make her so angry. Once the storm cloud cleared from her head, her rage was quickly replaced by fear. This… this wasn't right. She had to hurry up and find Gohan, and figure out what the heck was happening to the Dream.
"Gohan? GOHAN!" Videl cried out, her shouts echoing all around her as she searched the terrifying Nightmare for any sign of her lost friend. She never got a response though, and her fear grew the longer the silence stretched on. Not to mention the fact that she could feel the weird cloud of anger from earlier trying to seep back into her head. She did her best to keep it away, to focus on finding her friend so they could fix whatever the problem was, but that was easier said than done. As Videl's cries continued to echo through the barren world around her, they slowly began getting angrier and angrier until she was almost snarling her friend's name. "GOHAN WHERE ARE YOU?!"
As that question echoed angrily around her, lightning flashed once more, closer and brighter this time, revealing a massive shape that Videl failed to see in the surrounding darkness when she first arrived. All words died in Videl's throat as both her fear and anger fell away, leaving only shock in its place. The five year old could only stand there, frozen. She scarcely dared to breathe as she stared up, up, up, up, UP and into the glaring red eyes of the monster that stood before her.
It was impossible to make out exactly what it was in the darkness that concealed it which only left Videl with a faint outline of its shape and two giant red eyes glaring down at her. But without a doubt it was the biggest thing Videl had ever seen in her whole life. Bigger than a plane, or a house, or a whole skyscraper. And it's wasn't just tall either. This giant had fur and muscles that added to its overall size and made it look even more terrifying and powerful, and when it growled at her it flashed long white fangs that were twice as big as her.
Whatever this things was, it was big, angry, and could swallow her whole if it wanted to.
Videl always prided herself on her fearlessness. She was never afraid to fight a kid who was bigger than her, and she usually won despite being smaller and a girl. She knew size wasn't everything in a fight, after all. The bigger they are, the harder they fall and stuff right?
But this was on a completely different level. This wasn't just bigger than her, it was bigger than anything she'd ever seen before in her life. The idea of trying to take on something like this was absolutely insane. It could squash her without even trying, or gobble her up in just one bite. And despite her usual fearlessness the idea of trying to fight this massive, angry beast left Videl shaking in terror.
Before Videl could try to overcome her fear and get someplace safe, the massive beast before her suddenly began to move. Dropping to its knees it planted each of its giant hands on either side of Videl, causing tremors that knocked the five year old clear off her feet. Ignoring the pain in her backside from the fall, Videl turned her attention back up to the monster that was looming over her, eyes going wide as she realized that the thing was leaning in closer to get a better look at her. Suddenly, Videl was up close and personal with the creature's furry, ape-like face being studied closely by it's blood red eyes. Frantically, Videl tried to remember what Gohan had told her to do when face-to-face with a large predator. Was she supposed to find shelter? Play dead? Make noise to scare it away?
The girl didn't get time to decide on a course of action though, because suddenly the giant ape thing was smelling her.
Videl screamed in surprise and fear as the beast inhaled sharply, causing a strong wind to gust towards its nostrils which pulled her unwillingly closer to the creature. An equally strong gust of uncomfortable hot and moist air came gushing out it's nose a moment later, forcing Videl to roll and tumble backwards until she finally came to a stop. Her head spun at the wild ride she'd been forced to endure before the giant monkey began making a loud noise over and over than had Videl clapping her hands over her ears to protect herself from going deaf. Her wide blue eyes turned to the creature producing the racket, and her fear quickly turned to fury when she realized exactly what it was.
The stupid thing was LAUGHING at her!
"HEY!" Videl said, her outrage at the humiliating treatment temporarily getting the better of her sense of self preservation. "What's the big idea, you big dumb monkey?!" to Videl's dismay, this angry demand only made the massive beast laugh harder, practically sending her tumbling back again with the force of its mirth. When she at last found her footing, Videl growled at the animal's hysterics. "Think that's funny, do you?"
Before Videl could go off on the monkey for it's rude behavior, something else caught her attention, making her draw back in surprise to glance around. The area around them was changing. The darkness that had made it so difficult to see until now had started to brighten, and the red began to bleed out from the mist around them, turning it back to a wispy blue-grey. The giant Ape monster was still there, but everything around them suddenly seemed a lot less scary and the weird sense of misplaced anger that had been hanging over Videl had almost completely vanished. Videl's eyes widened as she realized that it was the Ape and his moods that were affecting their surroundings. But, the only people who should have been able to do something like that were herself… or…
"...Gohan?" Videl half asked, scarcely believing that the scary looking monster in front of her could possibly be her friend. To her surprise, the beast responded to the name she spoke by tilting its head at her in a questioning sort of manner, as though asking why she was calling to him. For a moment, Videl stared slack jawed at the giant monkey her friend had apparently become before her previous actions caught up to the girl, causing her to flush bright red in embarrassment.
"You jerk! You almost scared me half to death!" she yelled up to him furiously, causing Gohan to pull back a little and give an annoyed growl in response. Somehow, Videl knew what he was trying to say, though how she could possibly know what beyond her. "Oh, don't even TRY to tell me not to yell after this stunt! I thought you were gonna eat me!" that statement earned her an unimpressed grunt that had Videl giving her friend a dirty look. "Watch who you're calling scrawny! You might be bigger than me right now, but I'm still a year older than you, you know!" Sighing a little in frustration, Videl shook her head in dismay before giving Gohan a curious look stepping a little closer to better examine her friend. His giant form was still a little scary looking, but it bothered Videl a lot less now that she knew Gohan was the one under all that fur and muscle. She knew her friend, and she trusted him not to hurt her. "So how'd this happen, anyways? I mean, we've never been able to change how we look in the Dream before, so why now?"
Gohan cocked his head to the side at her question before the scenery around them changed and shifted, the misty dreamscape slowly replaced by the sight of a wasteland at night. Videl and Gohan sat next to one another on a large plateau, though she looked almost comically small next to her oversized friend. Videl shot Gohan a curious look at the sudden change in their surroundings before glancing around them in awe. Dimly, she realized that this must've been the place that Piccolo had dumped her friend. She frowned to herself a little at how barren and unforgiving the land around her looked. How was Gohan supposed to find food and shelter in a place like this? Before she could ponder that question very long though, her eyes were drawn up to the full moon above her and an almost hypnotic pull began to sweep over her. It was only when Gohan gave a soft growl of concern that Videl was able to pull herself out of it, shaking her head to dispel the haze that had almost fallen her before turning a questioning look to her friend.
"The moon? You looked at the moon and that's what made you this way?" Videl clarified, earning a sharp nod in response. The five year old frowned a little at that. "But… you've seen the moon before, right? How come you never turned into a big ape thing before now?" Gohan cocked his head at the question and made a confused noise in response. "No clue, huh?" Videl sighed to herself as Gohan frowned deeply, giving a worried rumble. "Your brain feels fuzzy? Yeah, whatever did this to you was messing with my head too when I got into the Dream. Seems like everything's better now, though." That got Videl a snort of annoyance from Gohan. "Well if being a big hairy Ape bothers you that much, then why don't you turn back?" she demanded, rolling her eyes when her friend responded with a childish whine. "You said the moon turned you into this, right? Then maybe you'll turn back when the moon goes away. You know, like a werewolf. Or Weremonkey, I guess, in your case…"
Gohan considered this for a moment before relaxing a little, apparently accepting the logic of Videl's advice, making the girl in question grin a little. Gohan was book smart, sure, but being a whole year older than him meant she had more common sense. If Gohan didn't have her there to help him through this confusion, who knew what her poor friend would be getting up to right now!
"So what's it like being so big, anyways?" Videl asked in fascination. Gohan wrinkled his nose in response to that, looking as though he'd just tried to eat a whole lemon. "Oh come on! It's gotta be at least a little cool to be so big and strong, right? I bet you if you wanted to, you could even beat up Piccolo like this!" The lemon-wince got even more pronounced at that statement, making Videl roll her eyes. "What do you MEAN you don't wanna beat him up?! He kidnapped you, remember?! Don't you wanna go back home to your Mommy?" Gohan squirmed a little at the question and made noises that were surprisingly small for such a big Ape. Videl replied with a frustrated sigh. "You don't want to hurt anyone? Even after everything he did? Man, you are hopeless. You know that right?" shaking her head in dismay, Videl decided to give up on trying to convince her friend to use his transformation to give his abductor some much needed karma. "Well, whatever. Anyways, I went to go see Dr. Abbot today. Wanna hear some cool stuff I learned from her?" Gohan perked immediately, monkey face brightening with eager curiosity that made Videl grin. "Okay, so when I woke up this morning I tried to tell Daddy that we need to go to the police…"
Piccolo honestly didn't know what to make of what he was currently seeing.
He knew Son Goku's brat had potential to be powerful, if the kid could stop sniveling and cowering long enough to learn to take care of himself. He'd seen the kid's power firsthand, though the boy himself apparently had no recollection of attacking his alien uncle to save his father's life. With two more Saiyans bound for Earth and only year to prepare, he figured that the situation was more than desperate enough to warrant some rather radical actions he was certain his better half would not approve of, and thus made preparations to train the boy to fight. So far, the kid had been nothing but a disappointment, a sad shadow of the incredible strength he saw earlier when the child let loose on Raditz.
He was just about ready to up and abandon the kid to the limited mercy of the wasteland when out of nowhere the boy up and transformed into a giant goddamn APE of all things, nearly giving Piccolo a heart attack in the process. Upon his change, the child easily destroyed the cliffside he'd spent most of the day stuck on, turning it into a pile of rocks before roaring loud enough to make the earth itself quake. Piccolo had been half afraid he'd have to fight the giant ape, who's ki was easily ten times as powerful as it was when the boy fought Raditz, but to the Demon King's surprise the monster ended it's rampage there. Piccolo couldn't say for certain why the giant ape suddenly calmed down, but it kept him from having to fight such a beast so he wasn't about to look that gift horse in the mouth. Instead, he settled for breathing a quiet sigh of relief when the Ape seemed to nod off, curling up next to the destruction it caused and closing its eyes to fall asleep.
Is this the power that Raditz mentioned earlier? Is this what happens when a saiyan with a tail looks at the full moon? Piccolo wondered with a frown as the massive monkey give a loud snore. And more importantly, could his half-saiyan student possibly learn to control this power, and turn it against their enemy when they came to Earth? If he could channel this power without losing his mind it could help turn the tides of battle in their favor. Especially if the Saiyans intended to use this transformation against them when they came.
Something else to add to the lesson plan, I suppose. Piccolo mused, deciding it was probably in his best interest to test this power and see if it could be of use. It made him nervous to know that the boy had such a quick and easy way to get more powerful than him, but he didn't seem interested in using that power to hurt anyone so Piccolo figured it was best to leave things be for now.
Besides, there was something else Piccolo was a little curious about too. An odd fluctuation in the boy's energy while he slept. When normally a human's ki would be low and steady during their period of rest, Gohan's would actually spike higher at random before settling down to it's normal level. It was a little distracting, and it irritated Piccolo at first. Now though, Piccolo couldn't help but wonder why his energy would surge and ebb the way it did while he slept. Perhaps that could be worth investigating as well, at some point.
First things first, though. Piccolo thought grimly to himself as the sun began to rise over the horizon and his kidnapped charge slowly shrank back down to his normal size. If the kid was going to be of any use in battle, he had to learn some self-reliance. Daddy wasn't always gonna be there to hold the brat's hand, after all. Once the boy could manage by himself without whining or crying or trying to run off when things got tough then they could move on to actually teaching him how to use his energy and fight. Those tasks took priority over everything else, and any other potential interests would be secondary.
Now that the boy had gotten himself down from the cliff, albeit accidentally, he should be able to manage well enough on his own power. Deciding that his time from here on out would be better served training instead of coddling his rival's sheltered offspring, Piccolo materialized some clothes for the boy to replace the ones he tore when he transformed, as well as a sword to protect himself with.
"There. You're on your own from now on, kid. If you're still alive in six months, then your real training will begin." Piccolo told the sleeping child gruffly before taking to the sky and heading to another part of the wasteland to focus on his own abilities.
With only a year to train, he'd have to make every last second count if he wanted to make it out of this battle alive.
NOTE TO THE READERS;
Thank you so much for being patient with me as I worked on this chapter! I had to restart it three times since the original plans I had for it just weren't working out, which made it frustrating to try and get through. Now that we're here though, I feel a lot better about it. In regards to Gohan's Oozaru transformation, I know technically in the manga it happened on the first night, immediately after Gohan was abducted, but for the sake of the story I decided to wait and instead have Gohan transform the second night instead. Also wanted to play around a little with the idea that Gohan would have a slightly easier time gaining control of Oozaru than a full Saiyan would have since he's half human and less likely to lose his mind. Especially when you add Videl into the mix to serve as an anchor so Gohan can focus and not lose himself to the destructive anger of the transformation.
As for Videl and her acceptance of the fact that her friend can apparently turn into a giant monkey, I'm going to base her reaction a lot on the fact that she's five and Gohan's her friend so she doesn't realize she ought to be more freaked out by this than she is. Kids can be pretty oblivious to just how dangerous or scary things are sometimes, after all… At any rate, her influence was enough to distract Gohan from going off on the rampage he had in canon, so Piccolo didn't blow up the moon or yank his tail. Naturally, this will definitely affect the coming fight with the Saiyans, as well as offering some changes in how Piccolo will train both Gohan and himself. Also Piccolo has taken notice of something strange happening to Gohan's energy when he sleeps, but isn't curious enough to investigate it yet. Sooner or later though that is going to change. And when it does...