AN:Guess what? Before the split between ff.net and fp.net, I posted "Acquainted With the Night" as my fiftieth story on the site. Then the two sites seperated, so I get to post a fiftieth story…AGAIN! And here it is! Had this half done for ages. A little—or not so little—vignette for you. POV, of course. If it's not a songfic, it's a POV story. That's about all I write, huh? Either way, I hope you enjoy. I don't own DBZ.
Today has been getting weirder and weirder.
When I blackmailed Gohan into entering this thing, I had done so under the impression that it would be a fairly enjoyable day. I would finally get to see exactly what kind of a fighter Son Gohan was (and spend some time with the guy, which was an ulterior motive, but I refused to admit that). Then I would probably end up watching my father walk away with another championship, thereby adding to his trophy room and his ego. Don't get me wrong, I love my father and all, but let me put it this way. If you go outside on a clear night, you'll never be able to see the stars. Dad's head is in the way.
I was really excited for the tournament. But once I got here, things just started getting bizarre. And I don't just mean Gohan's Great Saiyaman outfit, either.
Well, there was that whole incident with Sharpner deciding he had a crush on me. But if nobody minds, I'd rather pretend that little thing never happened. Except that it was pretty funny to see Gohan's face turn red when I grabbed onto his arm. He completely panicked. That was just priceless.
But most of the weird stuff started with the elimination round. Punch a machine, get a number, highest numbers get in. Simple enough, right? Yeah, simple. Simple until one of the first fighters called stepped up to take the test. She was a blonde girl who didn't look much older than me. Something about her expressionless face made me want to shrink into myself. I honestly got the impression that this woman could stare down a tiger and not flinch. But men being what they are, they simply saw a pretty blonde woman, and naturally several of them began hooting and cat-calling at her.
If it had been me, I would have slugged them. But she handled it a different way with exactly the same results. She just hit the machine with two fingers, and scored somewhere the mid seven hundreds, I think. Boy, that shut those guys up pretty fast.
Well, the elimination round continued like that. Most of the people who had entered didn't even break one hundred. Except for this group of people who all seemed to be there, hanging out together. I assumed they knew each other from the way they stood there in a big clump. But they were all scoring in the two hundreds. At least. And then…HE came.
He was a strange-looking guy, to say the least. He wasn't tall, but something about the way he walked and carried himself made him appear to be about fifty feet high. His hair strongly resembled a black flame; it would have looked absurd on anyone else, but somehow, he made it work. And from the look on his face, I deduced that this was not someone you wanted to cross. I later found out how right I was.
But anyway, he stepped up, raised a fist, and punched. The way he acted, it was nothing. But the machine didn't seem to feel that way. The poor machine didn't survive. It skidded across the plaza and hit the wall, where it died. It ended up in dozens of tiny, smoldering pieces, scattered across the stone ground.
The number of entries suddenly decreased. A lot of people dropped out right then and there. For them, I guess it was a simple choice: they wanted to keep both of their arms and legs, and stay alive. I just remember praying that I would NOT have to face that guy in the first round.
So it ended up that Gohan and I were going to have to wait in a long ling for our shots at qualifying. Not that I minded hanging out with Gohan, but I did really want to see the Junior Division. Goten was competing, and I was eager to see how well that kid fought.
But I was so curious about that weird group of people. A few of them just looked…familiar. Like I'd seen them somewhere before, but only in passing, just the vaguest of memories. But my curiousity was tempered by irritation, and maybe a little jealousy, embarassing as it is to admit. Who were these guys, and how dare they be able to score so high? For Kami's sake, they hadn't even put any visible effort into it! They tapped the stupid machine, and scored twice as high as my father. I didn't like it at all.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to run at them and demand to know their secret. But then I got an even bigger surprise. I met Son Goku, Gohan's father. But at first I didn't even realize it.
Gohan—or rather, Goten—had told me that some lady was bringing their father to the tournament. So with only that little bit of information to go on, I made the natural assumption that Gohan's parents were divorced, and that his father had just remarried, and that she was going to be at the tournament with him. For some reason, no one bothered to correct me on that mistake. I had this vision of Goku, the former World Martial Arts Champion of the World, as being this tough, unpleasant man without a cheerful bone in his body, a guy who hadn't seen his kids in years. I was right on a total of one count: it had been a very long time since Goku had seen his family, but not exactly for the reason I'd suspected.
I think I was chewing out Gohan from sheer frustration, even though he hadn't done anything. But he really didn't seem bothered at all by my complaining or the power of these mysterious guys. The way he acted, you'd think a strange short guy in Spandex punching the crap out of a machine like that was normal, just part of a daily routine. And for some reason, that frustrated me even more.
Then they started moving. They were walking towards the door to the arena, obviously confident of their places in the actual tournament. I figured that they were probably going to go in and watch the junior division or something like that. The crowd of fighters, having already seen what kind of scores these guys had gotten, parted to let them pass, like the sea parting before Moses.
I know I made a few very disparaging comments about these people I didn't even know. But that's just what happens when I come up against something I just don't and can't understand: I get very frustrated, and frustration usually leads to anger. And when I get angry, I sometimes tend to lash out, and woe be to the poor unfortunate soul who happens to be nearby when I get pissed off.
But my anger shattered against the two friendly words of the man in the orange and blue gi. He was one of those fighters that had scored outlandishly high. I could tell just by looking at him that he meant business. Were those kinds of muscles even remotely human? I wasn't sure. But every inch of this guy read confidence, power, and perpetual alertness, three marks of a truly great fighter.
And what did he say?
Two words spoken in the most cheerful, good-natured voice I have ever heard. And then I noticed two things I had missed while trying to read what kind of fighter he was: he had a very friendly smile that seemed eternally at home on his face, and the fact that he looked an awful lot like an older version of Son Goten, Gohan's little brother. That probably should have been a tipoff, but I wasn't exactly thinking too well at the moment.
Suddenly, I felt very confused. Especially when this strange guy started talking to Gohan. And not stilted, formal conversation, either. No way. They greeted each other like old friends. Then one of the other guys started teasing Gohan about me after I'd been introduced, and I was too stupefied to react. I'm sure I made a great first impression on them, standing there with my mouth hanging open like a herring caught on a hook. Then it clicked. Gohan knew these guys. And from the way they so easily conversed with each other, he knew them well.
As soon as they left, I rounded on my friend (and believe me, it had taken me quite some time to realize that yes, Gohan was my friend, and probably the best one I'd ever have). Only then did I find out that Gohan had indeed known these guys for a very long time, and the guy in the orange outfit, the one with all the marks of a great fighter, but the cheerful personality and manner of a kindergarten teacher, was actually his father.
His dead father.
Gohan's father was deceased, brought back from the dead to the world of the living for one day to compete in the tournament. That halo floating over his head? According to Gohan, that was the symbol marking him as a temporarily returned soul.
All of a sudden, I felt like I needed to go lie down for a while and wait for my head to stop spinning and my stomach to stop doing roller coaster flips.
We waited forever, bored out of our minds, and managed to get into the stadium partway through the final match of the junior division. I don't know how Gohan managed to find those weird people—his friends, I had to remind myself—in that huge crowd, but sure enough, he ran right up to them, with me following hot on his heels.
And then the teasing did commenceth. I mean, good gods, they were trashing on Gohan like there was no tomorrow! Subject. Me. That's right. Me. This person they had never met before and knew nothing about, but were perfectly willing to include in their banter simply because I was a friend of Gohan's. I was later to find out that to them, being Gohan's friend was credentials enough for them to accept me. But anyway, those guys—his father included—trotted out several classic 'Gohan has a girlfriend' jokes. Of course, he protested, quite vehemently, and started blushing a lovely shade of pink.
I have no idea where it came from, but I felt a strange pang at his denials of us being anything more than friends. I didn't know what it meant, and I didn't understand it. So I just ignored it and tried my best to surpress it as best I could. For distraction, I turned my attention to the fight going on in the ring. Goten versus Trunks for the title in the Junior Division.
How could two kids less than half my age fight like that? I'd see Goten in action a couple times during my flying lessons in the Son's front yard, but never like this! This was hard core, hand to hand combat. Those two were trading punches left and right, and barely even flinching. Those hits probably could have easily killed a normal adult, and these two children were having the time of their young lives. Even a blind person could have seen that they were easily stronger than any of the adult fighters in the competition. Well, except for Gohan's friends, I guess.
And just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any weirder, Goten turned into a Gold Fighter, right in the middle of the ring. I don't know how he did it. He just did. Blonde hair, bright aura, the works. I literally felt my eyes bugging out.
Around me, I heard a cry of surprise—that was Goku—followed by several exclamations of dismay—most of the others—and one very angry comment from Vegeta about something not being fair. Hello? This seven year old kid just turned into a Gold Fighter and broke a strangle hold like it was nothing, and all this freak can do is prattle about something being fair?!? What the hell is up with these guys?
In hindsight, I think that Goten's transformation or whatever it was should have been a tipoff, a huge red alert. But like the genius that I am, I just didn't manage to make the connectioin between the Gold Fighter who had interrupted my crime fighting, and the chibi standing in the middle of the ring, glowing.
Trunks did eventually win the match after one hell of a fight, also pulling out a Gold Fighter thing along the way, but by that time I was too surprised to be surprised, if that even makes sense. So, as an added bonus for being the Champion, he got to fight my dad. Lucky kid, huh? Most of the people in the crowd were voicing concern for Trunks.
I was suddenly very worried, not about Trunks, but for my father's welfare.
Then the others left. They didn't seem at all concerned about either my father or Trunks. They went to get lunch. Gohan stuck around with me to watch, but I got the distinct impression that he didn't really want to. He was probably just being nice, but that's just Gohan for you. Ever the gentleman.
And then everyone—including me, actually—got a really big surprise when Trunks sent my father, the hero of the world, flying out of the ring with one little punch. The kid didn't even put any effort into it! Dad played it up, of course, acting like he'd let that happen on purpose. I don't know how I knew he was acting, but I just knew. His whole ploy just didn't strike me as being at all real. I was confused, all right, but more stunned than anything else. Daddy had really gotten thrown out of the ring by a single punch from an eight year old. It's times like this when I'm proud to be a Satan. Yeah, right.
And Gohan still didn't react in any normal manner. He wasn't surprised, not even a tiny little bit. He hadn't seemed surprised by much of anything today. Did anything faze this guy?
So we caught up with the rest of Gohan's friends. Don't ask me why I was following them around. I think I was just really, really curious as to how they were so powerful, and how they knew Gohan. My motive was simple: I wanted to know their secret. I didn't realize that I would eventually end up becoming great friends with these bizarre people.
The guys were *ahem* thoroughly enjoying their meal. The way these guys shoveled it in, you'd think they were never going to get another meal. I figured out that Goku and Vegeta alone were probably responsible for the famines in Africa. And then Gohan digs in, and boom! There's the famine in South America covered right there. He happily ate anything and everything that was put in front of him. I'd seen him eat at school, and even that huge amount of food suddenly seemed like a very small amount compared to what he was packing away right now. But I could forgive him his appetite, I guess. At least he had pretty decent table manners. Unlike his father.
Goku was still an enigma to me. I knew he was Gohan's father, a former Martial Arts champion, and an unbelievably powerful fighter. But that was all, and I was going crazy trying to figure out what it was about this guy—this dead guy—that made him so different, that set him so far apart. But he was friendly enough, and seemed perfectly happy to accept me as a pal just because I was a friend of Gohan's. But that was how they all were, I guess. My friendship with Gohan was all I had for credentials, and that was good enough for them, even though I didn't know them all that well.
Gohan was being a pretty good sport about being at the tournament, though, considering I had blackmailed him into entering. And he had the decency to jump all over Krillen when he started trashing my father. Krillen shut up right away, as if he actually thought Gohan was capable of doing damage when angered. That was another thing I noticed: Krillen's purpose in life seemed to be making sure that Gohan never had a moment's peace. I feel for Gohan in a situation like that, though. After all, up, my long time best friend is Erasa. Need I say more?
But when Gohan jumped all over Krillen for what he was saying about my father, it clinched it. There was something going on here, some big secret that these guys shared. It was some secret information that I hadn't been trusted with yet. And in some way, shape, or form, it concerned my father.
The meal went on, and the elephant sized appetites continued to graze. I swear, those three guys built the next wonder of the world, the Leaning Tower of Dirty Dishes! I felt kind of sorry for the poor people who had to clean up after them.
Then Krillen decided to open his mouth again. "You Saiyans are bottomless pits, I swear!"
My curiousity had finally reached the breaking point, and I asked, "What's a Saiyan?"
Gohan jumped up like somebody'd set a firecracker off under his chair. He was suddenly really pissed off. "Krillen! Do you mind?!?"
Krillen immediately slid down in his chair and shut up, and promised not to talk anymore.
Ding. Red alert. Something Gohan doesn't want me to know.
My mind was going a mile a minute. Saiyan…Saiyaman…coincidence? I didn't think so. There had to be some kind of a connection between those two words or concepts or whatever they were. Having no idea what a Saiyan actually is, I really wasn't in much of a position to even make an educated guess. It was like only having half of a book; you get the first part just fine, but without the second part, you can't get anywhere. No resolution, no nothing. It's so frustrating!
That was the last weird happening at lunch, and the day went on fairly normally. Well, normally except for when we met that weird little purple guy with the goofy white mohawk—Shin, or something like that. And his friend, Kabito. That guy just freaked me out. And I got a lot of weird vibes from both of them. There was something about the little smirks those guys were wearing that made me really nervous.
I also learned that Piccolo was extremely paranoid, or at least he acted that way. Maybe it was just my imagination, but it was as if he saw danger lurking around every corner. Now, maybe I'm crazy, but if I was some kind of danger, the last person I would go after would be a seven foot tall green guy with fangs. No, I'd be more likely to go after somebody like Goten.
The drawing took place, just as planned. I guess that was when Gohan's friends found out that I was the daughter of the great Hercule Satan. But instead of being impressed or doing what almost everyone else does when they find out—sucking up or worshipping at my feet—they actually started teasing Gohan more. It was like that gave them an even bigger license to make the poor guy miserable. It just convinced me even more that they knew some big secret about my father, something I had yet to discover. They didn't even seem remotely impressed by who I was, and for some reason, I preferred it that way. It was nice to be treated just like everyone else, for once. Or in this case, teased just like a member of the group.
We drew. My first match was against Spopovitch; Gohan was against Kibito in the match right after me. Assuming that we both won our fights, which I figured is what would happen, we would be paired against each other in the second round.
That was the main reason I'd blackmailed Gohan—or rather, Saiyaman—into entering this tournament in the first place. I wanted to see just how good of a fighter he was, and I wanted to prove that I could measure up. How in the name of the seven mad gods I expected to measure up to a guy who could lift cars and buses over his head was beyond me, but at least I was going to try.
I guess there was another reason, one that occurred to me a lot later, though. I think I might have been hoping that maybe, just maybe, Son Gohan would be the one to beat my father. Dad had told me that I couldn't date unless the boy was stronger than he was. How typically male. Putting strength above all else. But I had seen Gohan in action, and I knew for sure that my father couldn't lift cars or stop small missiles in midair or get hit by a bullet, only to have the bullet bounce right off him. Daddy just didn't have that kind of strength; Gohan did. And I guess I figured that maybe if Dad got beaten, maybe he'd ease off a little. I'm eighteen years old, and I don't need my father always telling me what to do.
Well, the fights progressed. Krillen was up first against some huge guy with an ego as big as he was. Krillen knocked him out of the ring in five seconds flat. Surprise, surprise, huh? Well, I just wasn't surprised by much of anything anymore. I didn't think there could possibly be anything left about these guys that could surprise me.
How wrong I was.
Piccolo versus Shin next. Now, everyone expected this to be another easy win for a member of Gohan's group, as I now thought of them. But oh wonder of wonders, I—along with everyone else—got a big shock. Piccolo forfeited. Gave up. Threw in the towel. Walked out of the ring. I didn't have the vaguest idea why. Something about Shin got to him, though.
Finally, it was my turn in the ring. Spopovitch was my opponent. I could feel the million's of eyes from the crowd, and I could sense the approval radiating from them. They were pulling for me. They thought I was going to win. And quite frankly, so did I. On my way out, I told Gohan that I expected to see him in the ring in the next round. He seemed all for the idea.
Well, my match was a bona fide disaster. For me, anyway. I've never been in so much pain in my life, and that guy just kept coming. He actually stopped me from going out of the ring, just so he could beat on me more. And he's suddenly managed to gain powers of flight and the magical powers Gohan had called ki. According to everyone, he hadn't been able to do that before.
For some reason, while I was getting the crap kicked out of me in the ring, I thought about Gohan. I could hear him yelling at me from the sidelines, just like he'd been doing for most of the match. Shouting encouragements and things like that. Well, when it became obvious that I was in serious trouble, he changed his tune. He started yelling at me to give up.
I don't know why, but I was angry at him for suggesting that I should give up. I mean, I'm the daughter of the great Hercule Satan, the man who saved the world from Cell! I couldn't give in to somebody like Spopovitch. No way, no how. And for some insane reason, I actually thought that he just wanted me to give up so he would have a better shot at the finals. But that thought wasn't even all the way through my mind before I felt terrible about it. Gohan would never think like that. He just wasn't that kind of guy. It wasn't fair to him. He wanted me to give it up before I got myself killed.
I truly thought I was going to die. I really did. That's the thing I remember most about that whole fight, once I realized that Spopovitch didn't care about the tournament. He would have killed me without a second's hesitation. I've never been in that much pain, and I've never been that scared in my life. Not that I'd admit it, of course. But I actually prayed that I would just black out, just so I wouldn't hurt anymore.
I'm not exactly sure what happened at the end. I think Spopovitch was actually going to kill me, but somebody stopped him. And the next thing I know, I'm on my back in the grass outside the ring, in a whole lot of pain. And there was a presence—some kind of vibes or energy or something nearby. It was really powerful, and really bright. And for some reason, I just knew it was Gohan. It just felt like him. And I knew he was pissed.
I vaguely remember feeling someone pick me up, and just like before, I knew it was Gohan. I couldn't even coordinate myself enough to move; I just hung there like a dead fish, letting my head rest against him. It was easier than trying to move. But I could hear him telling Spopovitch to watch out, because when they fought, it wouldn't be pretty. I think my heart skipped about ten beats at that.
What happened after that is pretty much a blur. I know it hurt—a lot. And I remember hearing a huge commotion at the door. Probably reporters. I hate them. And then there was Daddy. He was absolutely frantic that the big oaf named Spopovitch had beaten up his little girl.
Next thing I know, Gohan somehow managed to actually get in the room. How he got through that stupid crowd outside is beyond me, but hey, I wasn't complaining. He told me that he had something that could help me. Daddy and the monk guy who was in there started freaking out, telling me not to take the thing. It wasn't anything major—just some little bean-like thing. But I trusted Gohan, without question. The guy was incapable of hurting anyone…except maybe Spopovitch, I guess.
Well, I took the bean thing. And while I was focusing on chewing the stupid thing, Gohan told me that he'd take care of Spopovitch as soon as he won his next match. Then he left. My dad started freaking out about boyfriends and things, but I really didn't pay attention. I just swallowed the thing and—lo and behold—I was a hundred percent back to health. Don't ask me what that thing was, but Gohan could have marketed those bean things as a heal-all, made a bundle, and retired at age thirty, set for life.
I've never seen my father look so stunned, and I've never seen him speechless like that.. That look alone was almost worth everything I had gone through.
Daddy was still howling when I walked out of the room, complaining that I wasn't allowed to date, especially a scrawny kid like that, and how I shouldn't have swallowed that thing, that it was probably poisonous or something idiotic like that. I must say, I did enjoy breezing past those reporters, who were absolutely flabbergasted at my quick recovery. Quick? More like inhuman. Most of them were too stunned to even think of asking a question, and I derived some satisfaction from ignoring the ones with enough coherence to speak. I hate reporters. They annoy me.
One of the tournament helpers approached me and asked if I wanted some new clothes. It was only then that I realized that my outfit was basically in shreds. I gratefully accepted, and it felt great to get into something that wasn't sweat soaked and blood stained.
A few well placed questions assured me that Gohan was in the ring, and I took off running. I had to see him fight. That was the reason I'd blackmailed him into this in the first place—I wanted to see exactly what Son Gohan was made of beyond the dorky costume and the posing and speeches and stuff. I wanted to know exactly what kind of fighter he was when he wasn't holding back.
Imagine my shock when I come around the corner and leapfrog over a couple of people to land right in the doorway, and I see Gohan, standing in the ring. He actually looked…confused. Then his expression changed to one I had never seen before on his face. And then it happened.
He clenched his hands into fists, and the look on his face hardened. I was actually kind of freaked out. That expression just didn't belong on Son Gohan's face. But that was small changed compared to what he was actually doing. He started glowing. A brilliant gold light formed around him. The whole stadium started shaking. And then the tiles in the ring actually lifted out of place and started hovering in the air around him. Oh, just wait, it gets better.
He…changed. His hair changed, actually. It turned…blonde. Just magically bleached itself. And the glow got brighter. Kibito looked stunned, and so did the spectators, but the rest of Gohan's crowd looked more anxious than anything else. Not that I paid a whole lot of attention to them, though. My attention was conveniently elsewhere.
With a crash, the stone tiles landed back in their exact places on the ring floor. For some reason, I actually had to bite my tongue to keep from muttering something about showoffs.
And standing in the place where Gohan had been only a moment before was the being I had been determined to track down for so long, since he had decided to interrupt my crime fighting on the day Son Gohan had first appeared at my school. The Gold Fighter.
"No way!" I actually yelped out loud. "Gohan can't be the Gold Fighter!"
I don't know what was more shocking at that moment. What was going on in front of me, or what was being said behind me. And what was being said behind me, you may ask?
It was the guy who had busted the punching machine—he had a really weird name. Vegeta. I'd made the assumption that he wasn't from anywhere around here. He, too, was a friend of Gohan's, although he didn't act much like a friend. More like he was just putting up with everyone else. I don't know what his deal was, but I had already figured out that this guy was definitely not someone you wanted to mess with.
"You know, Gohan was a lot more powerful when he fought Cell," he said in an exceedingly condescending tone. "I think your son has gone soft in this time of peace, Kakarott."
I barely heard the second part of his cruel remark, though, and I don't think I even remotely wondered just what the hell a Kaka-whatever was. I just froze at the sound of the word Cell. To my mind, the words 'Gohan' and 'Cell' did not belong anywhere near each other. In fact, they probably belonged in separate counties. But yet this freaky spandex-clad guy with the flame-shaped hair had linked them together with the word 'fought.'
Gohan had fought Cell? How was that possible? I was eleven when the Cell Games happened, and Gohan is my age. Besides, how could he have even been there? The only people there other then my dad and the reporters were those weird people, and nobody knew who they were. After the Games and my father's defeat of Cell, they had just disappeareed. There's no way…
I could have fallen over right then and there, but I didn't want them to see that I'd overheard. Somehow, I just got the impression that the comment was not meant for my ears. They had probably forgotten I was there, or just assumed that I wasn't even listening. Or maybe they didn't care if I heard.
But either way, it didn't really matter. It finally hit me, like one of Spopovitch's punches to my face (only this was a little less painful). There was a way an eleven year old could have been at the Games. There had been a little kid there, and there had been an international outcry that someone would allow a child to be on the field with something like Cell. But Dad had played it down, saying that he was a delivery boy, just there to deliver a pizza or something.
That couldn't have been Gohan, though! That kid was a…
And in the ring, twenty feet away from me, what had Gohan just turned into?
…could it have been?
Naturally, my first reaction was one of doubt. There was no way in hell that Gohan could have been at the games, Gold Fighter or not. There was no way in hell that the kid at the games was eleven year old Gohan. No way in hell that kid had been anything but what my father had said, a delivery boy. No way in hell that shy, quiet, nerdy Gohan had fought Cell…
Then reality decided to come back from its lunch break and clock back in for work. If it wasn't true, why would Vegeta have said something like that? He just didn't seem the kind of person to make a comment like that without there being some substance to it. I didn't really know what he meant by 'going soft in this time of peace,' but then again, I didn't know what a Kaka-whatchamacallit was either.
Gohan had fought Cell. The little boy, the Gold Fighter, Saiyaman, and Son Gohan were all one and the same. For some bizarre, unknown reason, it almost made sense. But maybe that was because my head was already spinning too much from this revelation for any more shock to register. And somehow, it dawned on me that maybe this had something to do with whatever it was that these guys knew that concerned my father. Was my dad really the one who beat Cell?
How many freakin' secrets do you have, Gohan? And what else don't I know about you?
And then it went from bad to worse when that bastard Spopovitch and some other guy—Yamu or something—jumped into the ring. And Gohan didn't move. No resistance, no nothing. I couldn't understand why he didn't just fight back. Especially when they stabbed this weird container thing into his stomach. And Gohan just stood there. As did Kibito.
"Gohan!" I screamed, jumping over the barrier the monks had set up in the doorway. I was airborne when someone caught my arm and pulled me down. Of all people, it was Goku who had stopped me. This was just beyond me—wasn't he concerned about what was happening to his own son? Nearby, apparently Krillen was having the same thoughts as I was, only he was being restrained by Piccolo, who didn't look very happy about what was happening.
Finally, after what seemed like eons and eons of watching this, watching Gohan go through this and not being able to do anything, the glow faded. His hair went back to its normal color of black. Then those two bastards let go of him, and he collapsed. Son Gohan ended up face down on the floor of the ring, and he wasn't moving. Then the two guys who had attacked him—one of them, I realized, was my old buddy Spopovitch—took off. They flew away, out of sight within a couple seconds.
Well, that freaky Shin guy started talking to the others. I couldn't really follow what was going on at all. I was still kind of reeling from everything.
Everyone took off, and Kibito knelt down and put his hand on Gohan's back. Yet another weird glow appears around Gohan. What was with these people and their goddamn auras? How did they do it? But to make a long story short, Gohan was back on his feet.
Surprised? Damn straight I was surprised! But more at Gohan passing out flat on the ground and then suddenly recovering than anything else. I wasn't really surprised that there were more surprises.
I ran out into the ring and watched Kibito fly off. Gohan was ready to follow him, and quite frankly, so was I. But there was a little problem with that—namely, Gohan. He didn't seem to think I should go along on this little adventure. Like hell he was leaving me behind! I argued, but he wouldn't agree. Finally, desperation set in, and I did the one thing I never do.
I resorted to begging. I pleaded with him to let me go along, swearing I would run at the slightest hint of anything that even looked like trouble and that I wouldn't get in the way.
Somewhere nearby, my father was throwing a perfect tantrum over the fact that I was associating with, as he put it, "that scrawny kid." I could hear the crowd murmuring in confusion, and I guess they had every right to be confused. I mean, a guy had just started glowing and changed colors in the middle of the ring, then gotten jumped and stabbed, after which he passes out. Then, all of a sudden, he jumps back up, once again in perfect health. If I hadn't been hanging around people who actually had some vague idea of what was going on, I would have been confused too.
Gohan still didn't want to let me go, and I was getting really desperate. I didn't want to be left out of this. Not a chance! But I guess I wore him down. Begging and pleading aren't usually my style, but hey, I do what I have to. Finally, Gohan agreed, as long as I swore I would get out of the way if anything started to happen. And I was perfectly happy to agree to those terms. I wasn't getting left in the dust!
We flew into the air and away from the ring, leaving behind a crowd of stunned spectators. Poor saps. They just didn't have a clue. And my father. Poor Daddy. First there was that whole thing with Gohan collapsing and getting right back up. Then his little girl suddenly knows how to fly, and leaves with the scrawny kid. He was yelling, but hey, since when do teenagers listen to their parents?
We flew like the wind, following the freaky red guy—Kibito. That guy still freaked me out like none other. But he seemed to know where we were going. As we flew, he told us the story of this monster, this creature named Majin Buu.
I didn't know quite what to make of it. I mean, Cell was one thing. The whole world had actually seen Cell. We knew that was real. But some monster that from the sound of it was even more powerful than Cell? It just didn't seem possible. But Gohan didn't seem to have any trouble accepting it, so I figured it was probably real.
To my surprise, Gohan almost seemed a little worried about this thing. That just wasn't like Gohan. I mean, aside from when I walked up and told him point blank that I knew he was Saiyaman and maybe when Goten had done the Gold Fighter thing in the ring, I had never seen that expression on his face. He looked…freaked isn't the right word, but it's the closest I can come up with on short notice.
Kibito said we had to hurry, so we picked up the pace. That was when I started having problems. I hadn't been flying for very long, and although I could keep up just fine (even though I knew they were holding their speed back just for me), I wasn't used to flying at those kinds of speeds. The wind was snapping into my eyes and against my face like a whip, and it hurt like hell. I couldn't keep my eyes open against the gust, but at the same time I couldn't fly with my eyes closed, unless I wanted to run into something or something equally idiotic.
After about thirty seconds of me struggling, Gohan seemed to notice I was having problems, and he hung back a little so we were even. He seemed concerned. When I told him what my problem was, he put it off to a lack of practice, and said it was probably better if I went back.
I agreed, disappointing as it was. I really wanted to see this thing! But I had already figured out that there wasn't much I was going to be able to do. But before I left, I had to confirm something.
I had overheard something I didn't think I was supposed to, and it had been bothering me since I heard it. Now I had a perfect opportunity to get some affirmation straight from the source, and if you think I'd pass up that kind of a chance, you're crazy.
"So, you're Saiyaman and the Gold Fighter?" I asked. For some reason, I wasn't even angry that he had lied to me again. Go figure.
"Yes, I am," he said, lowering his head a little. I think he felt guilty about it.
"And those weird people at the Cell Games…that was you guys!"
"Yes," he nodded. He wasn't denying anything.
"And the little boy that was with them—that was you!"
I decided to go in for the kill. He hadn't denied anything thus far; why not go for it? "And you were the one who beat Cell!"
"Yes, I did," he admitted.
If I'd been on the ground, I would have started doing victory jigs. But that wouldn't have been very pratical in the air at breakneck speeds. "I knew it! I mean, I know my dad's strong, but I always knew there was something fishy about that whole story!"
We had a few more words, and then I stopped in midair, while he kept going. He gave me one last look over his shoulder before turning his attention forward and shooting off across the sky. I watched until he was just a tiny speck in the distance.
I stayed where I had stopped, hovering over the ocean, mulling over this new information. So Vegeta had been speaking the truth. It had been Gohan.
Something occurred to me. He had been so freaked out at first about anyone knowing he was Saiyaman or the Gold Fighter or anything, and here he'd just admitted everything to me. This was a secret he'd carried for seven years, and the guy had just spilled it big time.
The others knew. That was the big secret they'd been tossing around over my head, playing keep away from me with. They weren't impressed with who my father was because they already knew that there wasn't any real reason to be impressed by him. But they accepted me, no problem. And now, I knew their big secret. Gohan's big secret.
Which meant that he trusted me with something he'd probably never told anyone. He trusted me.
When he came back, I hoped he would tell me the whole story. I wanted to know exactly what had happened at the Cell Games, and not just the stupid lie my father was feeding everyone.
I looked off towards the horizon where I had last been able to see him, and I felt a smile cross my face. "You'd better come back. Because I'm not finished with you yet, Gohan."
AN: The end! Whew! I'm doing the dialogue from memory, so if it's a little off, I'm sorry. Notice my penchant as of late for these long, rambling fics? Oh well, they're fun. I hope you enjoyed my not so little delve into Videl's mind. Cheese out, people!