By: Ryquest (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I turn to see my mother calling out to me, just as I was about to leave for school. As usual, she presents me with a pack containing my lunch. I also saw that she made lunch for two. I smiled. And it wasn't exactly for my younger brother, Goten, either. Videl had been coming around a lot lately, and she and mother were getting along quite well. Too well, maybe. When they think I'm not paying attention to them, they'd glance at me and giggle. I somehow get the feeling that they're up to something.
"Arigato, Okaa-san!" I bent down and gently kissed her cheek. From my younger days, my mother had been zealously overprotective. And yet, I almost didn't mind. Almost. It just showed that she cared for me a lot.
"I'm off to school. Is Goten flying along with me on kintoun?" I recall that my younger brother has a fondness for riding that cloud we inherited from Otou-san.
"Hn, I don't think so. He took off with Trunks earlier." She laughed and shoved me out of the door. Then her face took on a sly expression. "Now off with you! And I suppose you'll be meeting Videl along the way, eh?"
For some reason, I blushed. I'd met Videl quite some time ago, during one of the parades for her father, Satan-san. They rode around in some sort of wagon, and he was waving in the air, proclaiming that he was the greatest warrior ever. Vegita-san had snickered and smiled that ironic smile of his. Kuririn-san had smiled tolerantly, while poking me at the side and saying that he knew who the true hero was, and he was beside him. But my attention had been drawn to that lithe girl who was almost my age, who possessed a stern expression in her black, gleaming eyes. I waved at her then, and she glanced in my direction. To my surprise, she shyly waved back.
Then the next thing I knew, we were teenagers, and we went to the same high school--Orange Star. Once I became acquainted with her in class, she was anything but shy. I found out that she could be proud, brave and loyal, and that she was drawn to fighting as well. In fact, she wanted me to spar with her, and to teach her how to fly. I just shook my head in disbelief, since I didn't want to hurt this human girl. But she persisted anyway, and we became partners--sort of. That Great Saiyaman thing was partly her idea. She was quite a good fighter--for a human girl--much better than her father, in fact. But then again, Satan-san wasn't exactly that good. Not that I'd mention that to her face, but I think she knows about his façade.
And so after a last wave to Okaa-san, I flew into the air on my way to school. Actually, I was going to meet Videl on my way. Or rather, she was going to meet me. She could be very insistent when she set her mind to it, and I felt that she was somehow possessive over me. That made me more than a little nervous. We're hardly more than friends, aren't we?
Just as I was brooding, someone streaked toward me, and I knew from the ki signature that it was Videl. I slowed my pace to enable her to catch up. As she neared, she smiled at me and waved. I smiled back. At least she was a nice companion. Though I did worry about her when we fought against tough opponents. Sometimes I think she refuses to believe that I'm half-Saiyajin. That just I'm an ordinary--but strong--human. Not even when she sees Goten and Trunks power-up does she believe that we're partly alien.
"Ohayo, Videl-san!" I smiled as she came abreast. It won't be long now before we reach school. Another long day of boring lectures. Sometimes, I can almost see why Goten detests school. But I do like reading books--most of the time. My mother's legacy, apparently.
"Oi, Gohan-kun!" She smiled as well, and gave me a pat on the shoulder. "Your brother not with you today?"
"Goten? He's with Trunks, as usual," I replied, thinking about my lively young brother who was more like our father than I could ever be. "Off sparring, I suppose. Otou-san would have been proud to see him growing up. But maybe he is watching."
"Oh, right," she said pensively. "You know, I've talked to your mother, and I can sense how lonely she feels that your father is gone. That what keeps her going is her love for her two sons, and she doesn't want to leave you boys alone."
"Hai, wakarimasu," I replied, thinking about my mother, who had loved my father deeply, in spite of his deep love for fighting, which often made him stay away from home just to train against stronger opponents. Fighting was my father's love, and even if he did love her, I always suspected that he held the thrill of battle closer to his heart. "I do feel sorry for her. So I try to be a dutiful son, mostly. I hope she hasn't been too disappointed with me."
"Iee, she's quite proud of you, actually." She smiled and smirked, and I got the feeling that mother has been telling her lots of stories about me. I gulped and tried to act nonchalant. But it was hard to do that when I saw her smooth skin, her pretty face, and the determination and fire that made her seem so attractive to me. Oh stop it, Gohan! It's not like she sees you as more than a friend.
"Really? Did she tell you that?" I started leveling off, knowing that we would descend for school soon. I tried to land on a clump of trees near campus. A lot of students still got spooked whenever they see me zoom in.
"That--among other things." She followed me but deliberately slowed her pace some more. I flew back to meet her.
"Ne, Videl-san? We'll be late!"
"Gohan-chan…" She smiled at me wistfully, and somehow my heart seemed to beat a lot faster, as if I was about to go into battle. But I wasn't about to hit her or anything. She just made me nervous whenever she called me "Gohan-chan", as if there was some sort of affection behind it. Maybe she cares for me the way I do…no way, that's far-fetched.
"What is it, Videl-san? Is anything wrong?"
"I just remember your mother, and how lonely she is sometimes…" She suddenly lunged forward and hugged me, much to my surprise. We almost ended up plummeting downward, but I tried to keep my control in the air. After all, I've been hit in midair and rammed through mountains. So why did her touch make me more unsteady than I had ever been in a fight?
"Ano, Videl-san…" I stammered, awkwardly patting her back, sweat beading on my forehead in this cool morning all of a sudden. "We have to get to school, and, uh…"
"Please don't die on me, Gohan-chan," she whispered softly, and raised her head to meet my eyes. There was longing there, and sadness, and yearning…but for what? "I couldn't bear it if you left me…I mean, if you left me fighting alone." She was blushing by now, and I was more confused than ever.
"I'm not about to die," I protested, and tried to smile at her to offer her some sort of comfort. "As for leaving you fighting, no, I wouldn't do that. I care for my partner, after all."
"You do?" She beamed and hugged me again, and I wondered if I did say the right thing after all. At least no one saw us, since we were above the clouds. Or at least I hope no one was looking through a telescope or something. "Do you really care about me, Gohan-kun?"
"Ja, of course," I stammered, trying not to squirm. Holding her felt nice--very nice. In fact, it raised some feelings in me I just didn't want to acknowledge. "You're my friend!"
With that, she slapped me, and she stepped away, her eyes alight with fury. Now what did I say? It's not like I was being offensive or anything. I said that I did care for her as a friend. Now what was wrong with that?
"Your mother was wrong! I knew it…that you could never…" Her voice faded from a scream to a whisper, and I winced at the ache I felt behind the words. "Could never…love me…the way I love you."
"Honto?! Videl-san? W-what do you mean…" She couldn't be saying what I thought she was, but I somehow felt it, and I grew more nervous. But she was already drifting away, and I instinctively knew that if I didn't say anything, it would just make matters worse. That she would stay away from me permanently. And I knew I didn't want that. Didn't want that at all.
"Sumimasen! Videl-san! Matte!" I flew after her, and she glanced back, hope somehow in those dark eyes. I easily caught up with her, and without saying a word, embraced her. I knew I was blushing, and breathing faster than I should. But the moment felt right. More right than in a long time.
"Aishiteru, Videl," I whispered, and I kept my eyes closed as I held her, for I was afraid what her response would be. If she rejected me, I didn't know how I'd bear it there and then. Kuso, this is a lot tougher then facing Cell. At least fighting was simple. Either I obliterated him, or he did the same to me. But this…
"Gohan mo aishiteru," she replied, and bent her head backward to capture my lips. I froze. No da?! Then I felt the kiss somehow grow more insistent, and I returned her kiss. I didn't know how long we were there in one spot. Only that she had claimed my soul as hers.
Then she broke off, and an impish smile lit up her face. She tagged me and raced off. After staring at her a moment, I decided to follow. Just when I thought I figured something out, things just grew more confusing than before.
"We'll be late for school, Gohan-kun! And it'll be your fault!"
"Hurry up! We can still make it in time for our first class!" But she smiled at me, and the smile was warm and affectionate.
I returned her smile, and we flew side by side, two souls melded together in the clear morning sky.
That's about it. I just decided to explore their relationship a bit. Just a note: I originally entitled this fic "Gohan mo Aishiteru", roughly translated as "Gohan, I Love You Too". Doesn't sound like much of a title to me, so I changed it to "Surprises", which was what Gohan got anyway. ;) Also, I used the Japanese names for the characters (I think Mr Satan is called Hercule in the Cartoon Network run). So there, any comments, suggestions, even flames? Justmail me! Any reactions to this story or to any other of my fanfics are most welcome.