Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ, nor would I presume to do anything to make a profit from its concepts and likenesses. This is simply a fanfic, and you know it.
Notes: Consider this an alternate ending to the Saiyaman saga…
Tuesday, in a juice bar in Railport…
Videl sat alone in a window-booth and tried to sort out the rather chaotic events of the past hour. She was in Railport, thus missing a day of school and leaving her town to that nutcase Saiyaman, because of her father. Hercule was having another one of his publicity events, and had dragged her along with him. He had said it was because the event was for some charity that helped troubled teens, or something like that. Videl hadn't listened to hard. She rarely did.
Her role in the affair had taken place in the morning. Once she had played her part, Videl had taken off. Her father, of course, had stayed, planning to milk the event for all it was worth. As far as Videl knew, he was still at the event now. Since there hadn't been much point in rushing back to Satan City for the last bit of school, Videl decided to kill the rest of the day just wandering around town.
The excitement started when Videl was walking past a bank. As she approached, a black van with tinted windows pulled up to the curve, and six people in masks rushed out of the van and into the bank. Videl's instincts immediately kicked in, and she sprinted down the block to intervene.
The scene when she arrived was pretty much as she had pictured it. Four goons were standing around banishing assault rifles, and two others were at the counter threatening the tellers with pistols. The tellers were cooperating as best they could, while the rest of the bank patrons were huddled on the ground or were being herded into the corners.
Videl jumped in before the bank robbers had even registered her presence. Crashing through the plate-glass storefront window, she took out the first gunman with a flying sidekick. The other gunmen immediately focused on her, while the civilians ducked down and hoped for the best. Videl knocked down anther gunman by throwing the downed goon's assault rifle at him, and immediately ran headlong towards the next target. All total, the fight wouldn't have lasted more than a minute if one of the bank robbers hadn't turned out to be a martial artist himself. Not a terribly good one, but one with enough skill to keep Videl momentarily at bay.
It was while fighting the last robber that things went from exciting to just bizarre. Most of the civilians had gotten as far from the action as they could during the fight. But not all of them. One of them was leaning against the bank's ATM, and watching the fight up close. And, to Videl's infuriation, he was actually calling out advice to her! The advice actually prolonged the fight, galling Videl so much that she lost her focus and kept missing the robber.
Then one of the other gunmen woke up. Before anyone realized it, he was up, and had his assault rifle locked and loaded.
With his fellow robber laughing, the gunman opened fire.
Videl dove to the ground.
The stranger by the ATM took four to the chest.
Rather than pulling the usual routine of falling to the floor and dying, the stranger got mad. Videl never saw him pull out a weapon, but one second later the gunman was blasted out the storefront glass and onto the sidewalk. The fighting robber gaped for a second before he too was knocked into a cinderblock wall. With all robbers unconscious on the ground, Videl slowly got back to her feet. Police sirens were already audible in the distance.
Videl had tried to talk to the stranger, but the police arrived too soon. That irony only added to Videl's growing sense of unease. The police questioned Videl about the incident for the better part of the hour. The press also showed up, getting a few shots of the scene, and of her. In the back of her mind, Videl wondered if her little altercation would upstage her father's event, or if he would manage to link the two together for his own benefit. Thinking about that kept her entertained during the police's mundane questioning, but did nothing to improve her mood.
By the time the police were done with Videl, the stranger was gone. She glanced around for some sign of him for a moment, but then dejectedly moved on. Videl was so preoccupied that she almost missed him when he tried talking with her half a block later. Ignoring her immediate flood of questions, he said that he was thirsty, and wondered if he would join him for a slush or something.
Which brought Videl back to the window booth, trying in vain to make sense out of the day's events.
"Ah," greeted the stranger as he walked up to the booth. "Nothing like flavored ice on a fall afternoon… Wouldn't you say?" The stranger slid a cup over to Videl and took a seat opposite her. "And keep in mind," he said with a grin. "You're not even paying for it."
"Yeah, sure." Videl glanced at the cup, then over at the stranger. "Thanks," she added. "But just… Who are you?!"
The stranger grinned, genuinely amused. "You really don't know? Well…" The man pulled down the bill of his baseball cap and tapped it a couple times. "This narrow the field down, any?"
Videl glanced at the cap's insignia, and exhaled in annoyance. "I don't follow sports, much."
The figure raised his eyes. "Really? Well, you looked athletic enough…"
"Well, mostly, I just do fighting."
"Good to hear!" The stranger beamed. Before Videl realized it, he was shaking her hand. "The name's Yamcha. Semi-finalist in Tenaichi Bodukais Twenty-one, Twenty-two, and Twenty-three."
Videl's eyes slowly widened as she finally placed the man's face. "…And the Cell Games," she quietly observed.
Yamcha winced and pulled back to his seat. "Yeah, and that," he muttered. "Guess you follow fighting a little too well."
"You were really there? With my father?" Asked Videl. Despite the earlier strangeness of the day, suddenly finding herself in the presence of a Cell Game veteran, someone who was in the same league as her father, left her a little awe-struck.
"Yeah, I was really there…" Answered Yamcha, with a slight twinge to his voice. But with his curiosity piqued, his good humor quickly returned. "But I'm… Not quite sure…"
"I'm Videl," Videl answered a little too quickly. "My father was Hercule."
Yamcha's mouth pulled to the side in a sort of amused scowl. "Ah, yeah. Him…" Yamcha looked Videl over for a moment. "I guess I can see the resemblance. You have his… Impetuousness. Very nice work at the bank, back there," finished Yamcha, trying to change the subject.
The compliment went ignored by Videl, who seemed suddenly preoccupied with her drink. "Um, sir," she began. "My father told me a lot about that fight. But never…" Videl looked up. "He never told me how he actually won? If you… Since you were there, did you see how he did? Will you please tell me?"
Yamcha rolled his eyes. "It was a sucker punch," he replied with practiced confidence. "He worked it out with that Delivery Boy so that the kid would keep Cell occupied while your father would gather his strength for his special attack punch. It was some special punch that took a long time to prepare," finished Yamcha, smiling in an attempt to keep a straight face. "It's his 'special' move…"
"Oh…" Videl stared longingly out the window for a moment. Blinking rapidly, she abruptly regained her composure and turned back towards Yamcha. "What are you doing in Railport?" She asked of the fighter.
Glad the topic had moved on, Yamcha tapped the bill of his hat and smiled. "I've got a game tonight. What are you doing in Railport?"
"My father brought me up for the day," Videl replied.
Yamcha chuckled. "So you didn't come just to stop the bank robbery?"
Videl abruptly scowled. "Speaking of the bank robbery, you were there too. Why didn't you do something to stop them?!"
"Well…" Yamcha leaned back in his seat and smirked. "When the cops look it over, I'm sure they'll find the tires on the getaway car are quite flat. Had it actually tried to get away, it probably would have experienced some… Other difficulties as well."
"And if they had shot someone before they left?"
"No one would have been hurt."
Suddenly remembering just what had happened to Yamcha back at the bank, Videl stared at his chest. A buttoned up jacket covered where the bullets had struck. Videl glanced up at Yamcha's eyes. "My father…" She stuttered after a moment. "He said that at the Cell Games, you and some others used some kind of… Tricks?"
Yamcha chuckled in understanding. "Let me tell you something about tricks," he said in a conspiratorial tone as he leaned forward. "After I stopped living in the desert, one of the first things my friends took me to was a baseball game. In that game, you have a pitcher, who throws a ball past the batter to the catcher. He does that by throwing the ball really fast, or by throwing the ball where the batter doesn't expect it, or…" Yamcha trailed off for emphasis. "By having it curve in mid air. The pitcher can literally make the ball change direction during the pitch. Now that, Videl, is quite a trick."
"No it isn't," Videl contradicted, annoyed with the fighter for changing the subject. "It's basic physics. Pitchers put a spin on the ball, which makes one side of the ball move faster through the air than the other side. That causes unequal drag, which pushes the ball off to the side. They use that as an example in textbooks all the time."
"So you say," continued Yamcha. "But until you know that… Until you look it up in some textbook or hear it explained by some professional…" Yamcha took off his hat, and held it in his hand. The hat began to glow, and then a small sphere of energy appeared around it. Videl gasped as the hat blackened, and then disintegrated altogether. Yamcha smiled as he dissipated the energy sphere. "…In the eye of the beholder, it remains a trick."
Videl stared wide-eyed at the space where the hat had been. "Why hasn't my father shown me that?" She said after a moment of stunned silence.
Yamcha bit his lip. "Uh… Well, he probably… Didn't want you to try to do things like that on your own. It can be pretty dangerous," truthfully finished Yamcha.
Videl grinned to herself. "Dad was right," she said. "I would have tried to do it myself. But… If I already know about it, maybe he'll—"
"Teach you?" Hurriedly finished Yamcha. "Um… He might not want to do that. I mean…" Again, Yamcha bit his lip. "He might not feel comfortable teaching that to his own daughter. It really can be dangerous. I'm sure your father wouldn't want to help you do something that will get you hurt."
"You're right," mused Videl as she thoughtfully rubbed her chin.
Yamcha exhaled, confidant he had diffused the situation.
Videl abruptly perked up. "Could you teach me?"
Caught off guard, Yamcha froze for a second. Slowly, he met Videl's gaze, looked her over, then met her gaze again. "No."
"Why not?" Videl asked as her brow furrowed.
Yamcha closed his eyes. "How to put this delicately…" Yamcha rubbed his forehead for a moment before meeting Videl's gaze again. "Because… It wouldn't work out."
Videl crossed her arms, silently demanding a more thorough explanation.
"Look, you can't be any older than sixteen," observed Yamcha. Videl opened her mouth in indignation, but Yamcha continued before she could contradict him. "When I say I'm twenty-nine, it's considered a pretty good joke."
"I'm asking you to train me," Videl angrily clarified. "Not to go steady."
"I know," countered Yamcha. "But I'm too old to see you in a sweaty gi and sports bra for any reason."
Videl raised an eyebrow. "I look that good, or you're that much of a lecher?"
"Don't sell yourself short," argued Yamcha, ticking off one item on his finger. "And I'd rather not find out," he ticked off on the other. "Besides, I have friends who would readily believe it, anyway."
"Really?" Videl prompted.
"I've met some bad influences."
Videl smirked. "Well, I'm sure you're mature enough to ignore those influences. And I will be the first to let you know when you're not."
This time it was Yamcha who raised his eyebrow. "Don't be too sure of that. You wouldn't believe the differences I've seen girls disregard, just because the guy had a pretty face."
Videl scowled at the insinuation. "Your face isn't that pretty."
A good-humored smirk came across Yamcha's face. "Sure, but it's not the best thing I have going for me, anyway…" Yamcha laughed as Videl's scowl deepened. "Seriously, though," continued Yamcha. "Me taking on a student like you would just be a bad idea."
Videl sighed in irritation. "Well, is there anyone else who would train me? Another fighter from the Cell games? I've already learned the basics! You saw me…"
"Oh, you're fighter material," Yamcha said as he slowly nodded. "If you can stick it out. It can get as depressing as it is dangerous…"
"It's in my blood!" Answered Videl. "I'll do what it takes. Just give me someone to show me how. Whoever taught you, even…"
"That would be the bad influence I was telling you about," warned Yamcha. "You don't want to learn from him."
Yamcha began thinking out loud and ticking off people on his fingers. "Well, Roshi is out. Vegeta is definitely out. Piccolo… Probably wouldn't take a student. Eighteen wouldn't bother. Krillin has a family now. Gohan's mom wouldn't let—"
Videl instantly snapped to attention. "Gohan?!"
Yamcha looked up. "Yeah. Oh, uh, he was the Delivery Boy in the Cell Games. The guy who was fighting Cell until your dad, uh…" Yamcha covered his mouth and coughed. "Sucker punched him."
"Gohan fought in the Cell Games?" Videl mouthed to herself. Anxiously she looked back at Yamcha, and continued out loud. "Where is he now?"
Not quite understanding Videl's sudden interest, Yamcha shrugged. "Still living with his mom at Mount Paozu, I suppose. He can't train you, though. His mom home-schools him, and she's pretty strict about what he can or can't do."
Videl stared blankly past Yamcha for a moment. "Those four fighters with the spiky gold hair," she prompted as she looked back at Yamcha. "Did you know all of them?"
"Oh, yeah," Yamcha replied. "Gohan, Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks. Why?"
Thinking hard, Videl started drumming her fingers along her cheek. "Well, a few weeks ago, a Golden Fighter appeared in Satan City, and…" Videl trailed off, calculating her next statement. "You were talking about the Cell Games, and I just remembered that the fighter looked a lot one of those four. Could it have been one of them?"
"I guess it's possible," Yamcha answered. "None of them have much to do with Satan City that I know of, but I suppose one of them could have just been passing through at the time. What did he do to make people notice him, anyway?"
"Stopped a bank robbery."
"There you go!" Declared Yamcha, grinning. "A fellow traveler like us." Yamcha raised his slush in a mock toast. "So did he look normal, or was he really short with a huge yellow crest?"
"Normal looking," Videl clarified.
Yamcha smirked. "That'd be Gohan, all right. Probably running an errand for his mom, or something… Wonder if he knows he's famous in Satan City?"
Videl quickly shook her head to cover her grin. "Well, never mind him," she said. "He only showed up once anyway. But this other guy…" Videl trailed off, looking seriously at Yamcha. "He's calling himself 'The Great Saiyaman,' and he's been running around my city for weeks now. He's also been doing the same kind of things you and your friends can. Do you know who he is?"
"The Great Saiyaman?" Balked Yamcha. "You're kidding, right? I thought that was part of one of those joke TV shows."
"Oh, he's real enough," replied Videl, completely understanding the reaction.
"Dance moves and all?"
Videl nodded. "Dance moves and all."
Yamcha shook his head slowly. "I've got no idea who that is. I don't think anyone I know could be that… Ridiculous."
"Drat," Videl muttered. She quickly shook her head and dropped the topic. "Well, back to your friends, was there anyone of them who actually would try to train me?"
Yamcha eyed the window for a moment. "Well, your two best bets are Krillin and Tien. The thing with Krillin is that he has a family now. I'm not sure how much time he'd be willing to devote to a student." Yamcha paused for a moment. "And he lives on the same island as Roshi, so you'd still have him to worry about." Yamcha paused again while changing subjects. "Now Tien is still serious about fighting. Plus, he's in the position of being the last real member of the Crane School. So he might be interested in taking on a student. Still, he's kind of a loner, and I've got no idea on how to get a hold of him…"
"Huh," said Videl, feigning interest. "Well, it could still be worth trying to talk to… Krillin, is it? And you do know where he is?"
"I'll give you his number." Yamcha said as he snatched a napkin and a pen out of his pocket. "And just tell him that Yamcha recommended him.
An all too sincere smile came over Videl's face. "Thanks."