Knowing Each Other
Gohan tapped his foot impatiently, his eyes glancing at the clock on the wall as he waited for his mother. He wore a long sleeved black shirt today, with his coat over it and a pair of blue jeans, Videl had told him this was nothing formal. Muttering a curse that would have him eating soap had Chi-chi heard it he sighed...she had also said it was to begin at five. Sighing, as much to not curse again as to calm down, he watched as his mother moved at an insanely slow pace. Deciding it was best to keep quiet to her, he knelt to the younger half-sayjin and took him by the shoulders meeting his eyes.
"Now Goten, this is important, you know how mom tells you to keep your powers under control when we are out in public?" his brother nodded and Gohan smiled, "Well, Videl doesn't know about Sayjins or what we can do...so you need to keep quiet about those alright?"
Goten shrugged slowly then grinned, "Well...until you tell them right?"
Gohan blinked a bit, "Erm...I don't know..."
Chi-chi, finally finished her wrapping of a dozen warm brownies , stopped as she was pulling her own coat on. She was dressed in her usual attire, a nice purple coat that fell to her calves, with golden sleeves tight at the wrists. Her coat was cut on the sides for freedom of movement and her dark yellow pants were much like her son's training attire. When Gohan had suggested dressing a touch nicer she had snorted and said that Hercule could accept her as she was and like it. But now she regarded her son calmly and spoke slowly...an unusual thing for the older woman.
"You are planning on telling them aren't you Gohan? It's unfair to Videl to hold such an important thing from her..."
"Oh yes, 'Hey Videl, I know we've only been dating for a week or two, but you should know my dad was an alien, I can blow up the planet if I wanted to, your dad's a fake and I am the guy who beat Cell...still wanna go out Saturday?' sounds like a great idea mom..." his voice was edged with sarcasm as he muttered a bit irritably.
"Mind your tone Gohan, and you can't hide it from her forever, she's very intelligent and doesn't miss much...she'll realize it on her own in time. Isn't it better that it come from you first?"
He looked down as he rose to his feet again and sighed slowly, "I know mom...and you're right...it's just. I guess I am scared that I'll lose her when she finds out the truth."
Chi-chi stepped close and cupped his cheek gently, "If she is truly the woman who loves you then I doubt there's any need for you to worry." He smiled a bit and moved to hug her gently, Goten squirming in to hug both of them as well. The moment was held as the family drew comfort and strength from each other. Finally a horn honking broke the warm moment and they drew away with a last minute glance to ensure that they had everything.
Gohan shuffled her out the door before she remembered a dozen additional things, waiting in front of the small house was a white car, the Capsule Corporation logo on the doors. Sitting on the hood of the car, her green hair dancing in the breeze, Bulma smiled big as she saw them approaching. She was wearing tan overalls, spotted with old grease stains on the legs and torso, over it was her brown bomber jacket. She gave a wave and a grin to Goten as he hugged her, and Gohan shook his head, even though she was older than his mother the scientist could easily fit in at his high school. He could only hope that he would age so gracefully.
"Well, is everyone ready? Sorry for the dress, but I had to work on the training room today...a certain pair of someones completely ruined the whole system..." she gave a meaningful glance to the older of the boys, it was a testament to the damage if it had taken her this long and it still wasn't fixed.
"Vegeta must be chomping at the bit," Chi-chi smiled at the longtime friend of the family. Behind her, Gohan had the decency to blush in embarrassment not noticing the sparkle in the older woman's eyes. She had never had a bad thought towards Gohan, and doubted she ever could...he was too much like Goku for that. But he wasn't above a good tease now and then.
As they got into the car, the boys in the back, Chi-chi and Bulma in the front Bulma grinned, "Well...it does grate, but all I do is mention helping around the house and he quits complaining...for a little while at least." The drive was a good clip, which was the reason Gohan flew to school, he'd never make it on time if he drove or road a car. Truth was he wasn't always on time even by flying, Bulma glanced at him from the rear view mirror and spoke slowly.
"So, is there a reason you didn't fly to Videl's Gohan? Goten could have carried the food and you could have carried your mom...not that I mind driving you guys, I just think it would have gotten you there faster is all," as if to punctuate her statement they came to a stop at a railroad crossing and he felt his teeth grinding, the clock on the dashboard read 5:11.
Chi-chi shook her head, "He hasn't told Videl about that yet..."
Bulma gave him a considering look, "I see, well, I hope you tell her soon. At least when I started with Vegeta I already knew what I was getting into."
Gohan frowned a bit, 'Is everyone going to lecture me today? But they're right...I just wish I could be sure how she will take it.' The train finally gave way and the drive continued in silence. Gohan welcomed it as he considered all that had been said. As they arrived at the gates of the Satan mansion however, he still hadn't found any answers as the how he was going to approach this problem.
Bulma spoke to the intercom and the gates swung open to admit them to the grounds. The gardens were covered in white snow and the security was thinner, but still present as the car came to a stop before the front doors and the Son family stepped out slowly. Bulma bade them good luck and soon drove away as they stepped up to the large double doors. Ringing the bell, they waited until the left door swung open and Videl beamed at them.
She was dressed in a simple light blue blouse, the column of buttons ending below her throat and a dark pair of blue jeans that hugged her slender figure. Gohan's nose caught the scent of perfume that followed the warm air from within the mansion. She looked at the three and gently ushered them inside. The mansion felt different for Gohan since the last time he had been here and he was unsure what it was that had changed.
"Here, let's get your coats hung up, dinner's ready so we can begin once everyone's seated..." as if on cue, they smelled the savory aroma of a fine meal from the dining room nearby. As they shed their coats and gave them to the waiting servant, Videl took Gohan's hand and led the three into the dining room.
Candles lit the room, casting a golden glow over the table and the feast upon it which was much larger than Gohan had feared it would be. He could control himself but he wasn't sure that Goten could have handled being forced to wait for his appetite to be fulfilled until they returned home. A large roast was the center of attention, with fluffy rolls, potatoes and corn, savory gravy with steam rising from the plates and bowls all caused the watering of mouths. Chi-chi handed her plate of brownies to Videl with a smile and Hercule rose from where he had been sitting.
The World Champion was dressed with a black sweater and his jeans were a similar shade to his daughter's. Chi-chi gave him a bow and a leveling look, by the way Hercule reacted he had not entirely forgotten the last meeting between them. Gohan gave a silent prayer that this was not a disaster waiting to happen as they took their seats. Fortunately his mother sat a table length from Hercule and she seemed composed...which only concerned the older boy further.
Videl sat next to Gohan and the meal began peacefully enough, Hercule speaking slowly, and his first words were not the expected small talk usually concerned with breaking the ice. Then again considering the source, Gohan doubted the man had ever been shy about speaking what was on his mind.
"I know much occurred between us, and it was not my best moment," Videl glanced at her father as he spoke, her eyes showed her surprise as he continued slowly, "I would like to say it was all Elliott, and while most of it was, I had my part in it. I hope that this can be a new beginning for us and we can start again."
He raised his glass, a bit hesitantly, and after a moment Gohan raised his with a nod as he met the man's eyes, "Everyone deserves a second chance, my father taught me that. Here's to a new beginning." His eyes turned to his mom meaningfully, waiting a tense moment before she smiled a bit and her glass was raised as well. Videl and even Goten followed suit and the tension vanished as all drank.
The meal continued with a little conversation, Goten forgot himself and begin eating with all his fervor as he would at home. Both his mother and brother groaned and offered apologies, but Hercule gave a hearty laugh, "It's just good to know he is enjoying it."
Videl leaned over and whispered to Gohan, "I haven't heard dad laugh like that for a long time." Under the table her hand found her boyfriend's and gave it a squeeze, he returned it gently but she could tell that there was something more he was thinking about. He was active in the conversation, but there were times when he seemed to be lost in his own thoughts.
"So young man, Videl tells me that you're something of a scholar, that you are one of the better students in her school." Hercule regarded him calmly, but Chi-chi's shoulders rose a bit with pride as she nodded. Gohan nodded slowly taking a moment to swallow his most recent bite glad of something to distract him from thinking about how to broach the topic he felt was needed to be spoken of.
"I don't know about being better or worse than anyone sir, but my mother started early with instruction and both my parents taught me the value of discipline and seeing things through," he smiled across the table at his mother, "Truly, everything I am is because of the people in my life, past and present."
Hercule gave a slow nod of understanding, "Videl's much the opposite, with me being away so much she has always had to find her own strength to get through life...and it seems she has more than enough of that. Far more than I could ever hope to have if I had a hundred lifetimes to do it." His own voice was warm with pride and even Chi-chi had to admit she had misjudged this man who had always worn arrogance like a mantle, she was beginning to wonder if much of it was due to the fact that was what he was expected to be.
The praise caused Videl to blush, she was used to praise as a fighter, but never realized that her dad held her so high. The dinner finished in a comfortable silence, the room warm with emotions of family, both old and new, and the promise of bonds soon to be formed. As the final tray was taken from the table, the brownies gone but for the crumbs Goten was eyeing longingly, the clock chimed the late hour causing Chi-chi to blink in astonishment.
"Oh my, I didn't realize, it's later than I imagined, this one should be getting to bed soon," she rose and gave Hercule a bow, much friendlier than she would have days ago and spoke with a smile, "It has been a pleasure meeting you Mr. Satan, and I thank you for the wonderful meal as well as looking forward to our next occasion to meet together."
Hercule had risen as she did and he shook his head, "The pleasure was mine Ms. Son, you and your family are welcome anytime," he truly sounded like he meant it, much to both Videl and Gohan's relief. Gohan walked with them to the door and Hercule grinned a bit.
"From what I understand you don't have a car of your own, so I took the liberty of having one of my drivers ready," in front of the mansion, waiting as if cued, was a white limo. Sleek and unmarked, the driver stood next to the rear door nearest them in a long black coat and a billed hat. He tipped his hat as they appeared outside.
"Well...thank you..." was all Chi-chi could manage as Goten blinked, "That's a really long car momma."
Gohan held back and spoke slowly, "Mom, you and Goten go on ahead, I'll get a ride with Videl in her jet copter or something, I want to talk with her a bit more." Chi-chi met her son's eyes and nodded once with a kiss to his cheek. She hugged her future daughter-in law warmly and bade her goodnight with a last handshake for the World Champion. Goten, already showing signs of weariness, followed sleepily until his mother lifted him into her arms as if he weighed no more than a toddler.
The long car disappeared down the road before Gohan turned away and followed Videl into the large house. Hercule remained a bit longer and made idle chat before he rose and bade them goodnight with a warning for Videl not to stay up too late. He was hesitant about them being together alone, but he reasoned that if they had wanted to do anything they could have done it when she was over at the Son residence.
As the large man walked up the staircase, Videl regarded her boyfriend from where she lay on the couch, her legs bent and her head resting on the arm looking for all the world like a curled up cat, but she spoke slowly her voice warm with concern, "I know something's bothering you...want to talk about it?"
He sighed a bit and took the chair opposite the couch, his eyes meeting hers as he nodded once, "I've been trying to figure out how to begin...it's not short I am afraid...and it's not going to be something easy for you to take."
She nodded and slowly rose walking to the chain and kneeling to take his hand, her other moving to caress his cheek warmly, "Gohan, I love you, and after all we've been through...I won't let anything change that now."
Her words comforted him and he kissed her once gently before guiding her to sit with him on the couch. She moved and settled into her favorite position, her head on his shoulder as she lay against his chest, his arms around her flat stomach and his fingers interwoven with hers. Her eyes closed as he began to speak slowly, his chest rising and falling with his breathing, "My father was born with the name Kakarot, his father's name was Bardok..."
And so began the long tale, he didn't hold back anything from her, and the entire time she lay there listening though he could tell that her mind was working as fast as his words. He told of Goku's arrival on Earth, the adoption of his grandfather Gohan, Radditz coming and the first of his own adventures. He told of training in the mountains with Piccolo and the first battle for the protection of Earth. As the stories came forth, so did the identities of Earth's truest heroes; the noble mystic Tien with his friend Chioutzu, the fierce Namekian Piccolo, the bold Yamcha, and of course the man who had been a brother of so many of his father's battles, the fun-loving Krillin.
He told of everything, flying, ki energy, even Super Sayjins and his tales spoke of many long forgotten feelings and courageous deeds many did not know had occurred. His tale even came to the arrival of the boy from the future and the beginnings of the Cell adventures with the androids sent to kill his father. His story halted when he came to the actual day of the Cell games, even after telling of his training in the Hyperbolic time chamber...one of his last experiences with his father. He wasn't sure what she was thinking, but this was the point where he was hesitant to continue...the truth was he hadn't expected to get this far before she became frightened of him.
For a few tense moments she said nothing, as she chewed her lip considering everything she had been told. Her eyes didn't open, but then she spoke slowly whispering a question that she had always thought about but never really known anyone who had been there...until now, "Gohan...my dad didn't beat Cell...did he?"
He blinked in surprise, "What makes you say that?"
She turned now to look into his eyes, "Your story...and what little I remember from the news that day, and what I know about my dad. He can't do what you just told me about...and he always said Cell used tricks and I'm beginning to think that maybe he has just been lying to everyone all this time...please, finish the story...tell me what really happened that day."
He hesitated then took her hand, "I can do you one better, if you aren't afraid...I can show you."
She moved now turning so she was sitting with her legs tucked beneath her, her eyes now level with his, "What do you mean?"
"Well...it's a trick my dad did, and Piccolo taught me how to do it, I can send my memories to you with a bit of my energy...it's kind of like a computer file..."
"Will it hurt?" she looked at his hand skeptically, but Gohan noticed she didn't have any sign of fear which vaguely surprised him. When he mentioned it she spoke slowly, "I always knew there was something about you Gohan, first I wondered how you managed to get to school, and you've slipped a couple of times by doing things not normal of people, but a big part is I just added what I knew of some of your dad's matches with what you told me today."
He blinked and she went on slowly, "I used to read old clippings of the World Martial Arts tournaments and they described a few of the techniques you mentioned and flight was a big one."
That elicited a grin, "That doesn't surprise me...so...would you like to see what happened?"
She nodded once her hand finding his as her eyes closed again and she snuggled back into position. He focused on the memories as he had been taught while he summoned his ki around him, a very low level but it was still enough to push a book onto the floor. He gently pushed the energy into her hand, and she felt warmth grow against her fingers spreading against her palm and with that warmth came thoughts.
The arrival of those who stood between Cell and the world...Hercule being dismissed withing a moment...Goku and Cell squaring off...the moment when Goku gave up...Each flashed in a moment, but she remembered as he did. Goku naming him...the miniature Cells brutalizing his friends...sixteen's last words...
She gasped as she felt the flood of his power, as if she were a Super Sayjin herself. The battle was played out though none but he would ever know all the details. She was with him when he beat Cell's power out of him and she relieved the last moments of Goku. Finally the end of the monster with Kamehameha wave and she even knew his connection with his father in those last desperate moments.
Finally the connection ended, Videl felt tears on her cheeks she hadn't been aware of, her body felt like she had run a marathon, fought a hundred enemies and then walked through fire. She never would have thought of it, and as she looked at him, his face calm his eyes unreadable she moved to speak then wet her dry lips and tried again, "How do you do it..."
"Do what love?" his tone was guarded as he waited for her to show the same fear others had when his power had been shown but she nestled closer wanting never to let go.
"How do you carry such pain, and still keep going, when anyone else would break..." she kissed his hand as she slowly recovered. Beyond the memories had been the essence that was Gohan. She had seen the core that was pain from old wounds, a heart that was still being mended from the loss of a father. For a moment the two lovers lay there before he found the words.
"By living as he lived, by never forgetting the lessons he taught me...and knowing he died defending the world he loved," he smiled remembering his father's smile as he bid his son goodbye. Even knowing what would happen he hadn't hesitated. That memory had followed Gohan all his life as he had always hoped he would have the courage to do the same if called upon to do so. She nodded slowly and he looked into her eyes.
"So now you know more about me than anyone ever has, and with that do you think you can still love me?"
She caressed his cheek speaking slowly, "Whatever made you who you are, I welcome it because you are the man I love with all my heart. It doesn't matter where you come from, what you were, so long as you are mine..." she blushed softly and he smiled a bit squeezing her hand warmly.
"And I shall remain yours, so long as you continue to want me in your life."
The smile on her lips was the very essence of love and happiness as she winked, then she frowned in thought as she bit her lower lip before speaking slowly, "We should tell everyone...the truth about dad...both of our dads...and you..."
But Gohan smiled and shook his head, "No, Dad never cared for the fame, and neither do I to be truthful...people have the legend of Hercule, and though he may never live up to it if it gives people comfort to hold him high then he does something good. You and I will be there to see the world is safe, and my friends as well if we are needed. After all this I think he'll be alright with editing his book when it comes to my father...otherwise..." and he shrugged slowly.
She looked at her hand, still tingling with warmth even now, "When you...I felt..." she struggled for the words and he nodded a bit.
"Piccolo told me few do it because it is so intimate an experience, the mind can hold no secrets..." he smiled gently, "It is an act of trust to let another do what we did and should never be done without permission."
"Did you...read my thoughts as well?" she blushed, some weren't very chaste thoughts about her boyfriend, and his blush told her that he had at the very least caught a glimpse of them, "Oh god..." she buried her head against his shoulder as he chuckled richly.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to...it's just that once the connection begins an untrained mind can send thoughts without realizing it..." he kissed her gently and smiled. "There will be time enough for that love, we are just beginning the steps for the new dance."
She smiled and nodded, "A new dance, but the best of partners." They laid together, for the first time fully aware of each other. They were at peace with each other and knew that from now on there would be no secrets, no doubts, just open love and trust in each other. There, perhaps, is the true meaning of a relationship, accepting and being accepted, loving and being loved...the stars shine brighter on those who find this gift as they shone that night on Videl and Gohan through the windows of the living room.
As she lay there, Videl smiled and thought to herself, 'Love is but the first step in a new dance.'
First of all I normally don't do these, but this story was an experience that I feel warrants something from myself. So here goes, I guess I'll mention it here even though I wrote the standard one in my profile, I do not own the characters from Dragonball, Dragonball Z or the settings of Orange Star High School, and Satan City. As for my original characters they are fictitious, any resemblance to any persons, real or fictitious is purely coincidental.
When I began this story I really did not know how far I wanted to go with it, I knew the basic idea which was inspired when I was watching Dirty Dancing. I watched a lot of dance movies and even Dancing with the stars...which kinda scared me to see Jerry Springer dancing. But I digress, the story seemed simple when I began it, but there were times when I was unsure if I could keep going. The kind support of everyone who reviewed really made me want to go on and finish. I have edited everything, adding little bits, rephrasing and throughout the process of writing it I often erased a whole chapter and rewrote it.
I wish to offer my thanks to several people who really helped me with this story, and I will continue with future stories to use the fabulous ideas that my readers supplied me with. I thank the creators of Dragonball Z for their wonderful characters, even if Gohan did get ruined after the Cell saga. To