Thanks for your patience, you guys are the best! ~Samurai Girl
Disclaimer: Hercule walks on stage "Yeah the Champ is in the house!" -stands in classic pose with legs spread and arms raised with fingers in the 'V' position- "Hahaha oh yeeeaaah! You know the author doesn't own me, the Champ, or any other DBZ character by now." -crowd cheers exuberantly- "I'm afraid I must take my leave, but fear not! I brought plushy dolls for everyone!" -suddenly plush Hercule dolls rain down from the ceiling above onto the crowd-
Chapter 24- Peaceful Resolution
It was Monday again and Gohan and Videl had spent the weekend making up for the week they had lost. Gohan specifically made sure to make up for some of the lost kisses. Never before had he even thought of kissing, but lately, it seemed to be ALL he could think about. He never knew such a wonderful thing could exist, not to mention be so pleasurable. It was because of such thoughts, and the goofy grin on his face, he didn't even notice he had flown straight by the school.
Finally snapping out of his daze when he reached the city limits Gohan laughed at his carelessness and quickly turned around heading back to Orange Star High. Landing on the roof as usual he searched for anyone nearby and found one, though it was a very familiar energy. He couldn't help but smile as he pressed the tiny button on his watch and turned around to see Videl leaning against the building with arms crossed.
"About time you got here. Do you normally fly by the school before landing?" Videl teased with a smirk as she made her way to Gohan.
Gohan laughed and rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Yeah I was kind of daydreaming and accidently flew past it."
"Oh? And just what were you daydreaming of hmm?" The raven haired beauty asked with a playful smirk and raised brow in question.
Gohan immediately dropped his arm from behind his head and wrapped both of them around Videl, pulling her to him in the process. "This girl I know. She's pretty cool. I think you'd like her. I can introduce you if you want."
Videl smiled at his playfulness and quickly pecked him on the lips. "Somehow, I think we're already acquainted."
Gohan let his own handsome smile lazily crawl upon his face as he stared at Videl for a moment longer before releasing her from his grasp. Something he had been pondering all morning came back to his mind as his smile slowly slipped into a more serious expression. "Videl, I've been thinking about it and if you don't want anyone to know we're together that's alright with me."
Videl, touched he would even think about such a thing, smiled once more as she responded, "I think it's about time people know how I feel about you. Besides," her smile changing into a smirk quickly, "you'll save me a lot of hassle from having to constantly reject the idiots that try to ask me out."
"I was hoping you'd say that." Gohan replied happily as he extended his hand out for her to take. "Ready for this?"
"Shouldn't I be the one asking you that? I'm used to all the attention."
Gohan turned to smirk at her. "Bring it on."
Videl couldn't help but laugh a little. "Prepare to be even more popular and the topic of a lot of gossip for a while."
Gohan raised a questioning brow. "Since when haven't I been the topic of gossip?"
The school day was uneventful as usual, with the exception of he and Videl being a couple that is, and frankly Gohan was bored out of his mind. He supposed he had his mother to thank for that since she made him do absurd amounts of schoolwork as a kid, not to mention it being far more advanced. Sighing Gohan rested his chin on his right hand and glanced out the window. You'd think at least the idiots out there would try to break the law somehow and give him an excuse to get out of school. Unfortunately today he had no such luck. On the plus side, he only had one more class left for the day.
Gohan let his mind wander wherever it pleased, which currently happened to be what his mother might be cooking for dinner tonight. He didn't eat as much as his dad, or even Goten for that matter, but he did thoroughly enjoy food and his mother's excellent cooking. Maybe she'd make lemon spiced fish tonight. Hey, he could take Videl fishing with him after class. Then again, it was getting pretty cold outside and definitely too cold for a swim which would mean they'd have to use a fishing pole and well, that wasn't nearly as much fun as chasing them in the water. Noodles, they haven't had noodles in a while, maybe his mom would make them tonight. It would be a nice change of pace to the rice they had been having recently.
Gohan continued to think idly about food until he noticed something out of the corner of his eye through the window. Baseball practice was starting. He watched the players warm up for a while until one took the position of short stop. This guy had short dark brown, nearly black, hair and blue eyes. Gohan would recognize him anywhere. That was the blasted idiot who kissed Videl. Gohan unconsciously clenched his fist and jaw as he stared at the player. A sudden wave of possessiveness washed over him. He needed to show this guy just whose girl he was messing with. Gohan was so lost in thought he hadn't noticed the concerned look from his girlfriend seated beside him.
It wasn't until he felt a hand on his own that he finally broke his glare outside to glance to his hand, then to Videl's beautiful light blue eyes. He followed her gaze once more to his hand and saw he had completely snapped his pencil in half, well, more like turned it to saw dust actually.
"Are you alright?" Videl whispered quietly still looking upon him with concerned eyes.
Gohan let out a breath and turned to Videl. Seeing her worried expression melted away any negative feeling he had instantly. He let out a gentle smile and turned his hand so he could interlock fingers with her briefly.
"I'm okay. I'm sorry I was just…lost in thought." Gohan answered sincerely. "I think I'll go wash my face and clear my head."
Videl simply nodded and turned her gaze back to the teacher while Gohan politely asked to use the restroom. Once Gohan was clear of the classroom however his expression hardened yet again. He had no intension of going to the bathroom just yet. No, some fresh air would do him good right now. He would stop on the way back to actually splash some water on his face. Using superhuman speed Gohan ran through the halls to the baseball diamond outside and locked onto his target immediately.
The guy wasn't half bad. He had decent form and a good arm, but he had nothing on Yamcha. Gohan could see why this guy thought he was hot stuff. However, he needed to learn his place.
Feeling a heated glare on him Sai turned and saw this dude giving him a glare that would turn lesser men into ashes. This guy had spiky black hair, strong features and carried himself with pride. He was wearing a semi-fitted brown long sleeved shirt and jeans. What was most unnerving were his fierce black eyes and aura around him. Just who the heck was this guy and why did he look like he wanted to kill him? Never taking his eyes off this stranger Sai called out to the coach asking to get some water.
"Yeah whatever, just hurry it up will you?" Replied the coach who was obviously busy with the other player he was training.
Sai quickly ran off the field and straight to Gohan, who had crossed his arms in a very Vegeta like fashion. Stopping a few feet from him Sai glared back at Gohan.
"Something I can help you with spiky?" Sai threw out clearly aggravated.
Gohan's eye twitched slightly as he raised his power level enough for this bozo to feel it.
Sai quickly took a step back, losing his confident appearance instantly. Power was washing off of him in waves. What the hell had he done to piss this guy off so much!
"Yeah actually, you can stay away from my girlfriend."
Sai was clearly confused as he tried to recall what girls he had been out with recently. Surely none of them had boyfriends…right?
"Look man, I don't know what you're talking about. Just who is your girlfriend anyway?" Sai finally asked when he couldn't come up any names. Sure, he'd date two or three girls at once occasionally but dating girls who had boyfriends just wasn't his thing.
To this question Gohan actually smirked proudly. "Videl Satan."
Sai's eyes widened to their maximum. This guy was dating Videl? Why hadn't anyone told him Videl was off the market? Sheesh, no wonder this guy was so pissed. He kissed her last week. The picture was proudly hung on his wall even. Suddenly all color drained from his face and he swallowed hard.
Gohan's smirk only increased. "That's right."
"But aren't you that bookworm who gets perfect scores on every exam? Why would Videl date some nerd like you?" Sai spit out forgetting momentarily that this guy looked ready to rip him apart limb from limb.
Gohan frowned and flared his energy some more unconsciously. "Videl likes a complete package kind of guy. She doesn't just want some brainless jock like you. Besides, I seem to be able to please her more than enough." Gohan added cockily. He was of course speaking of her emotional state but Sai however took it to mean something completely different.
Sai took another step backwards. Crap, what had he gotten himself into? This guy was obviously getting the goods from Videl, something said to be impossible. Another wave of power radiated of Gohan and Sai fumbled backwards yet again.
"Look man, no one told me she had a boyfriend okay? Besides it was just a measly kiss. It's nothing to get all bent out of whack about." Sai said in an attempt to calm the aggravated teen before him down.
A measly kiss? The words rang in Gohan's head loudly as his jaw set and eyes narrowed in a deadly way. Gohan stepped up to Sai, who continued backing away, and grabbed a fist full of his jersey lifting him on his toes in the process. "Listen here you imbecile, Videl is my girlfriend. Her lips are only for me to kiss and likewise with the rest of her body. She is mine. Got it?"
Sai scoffed out of habit, a poor choice given his current situation. Gohan growled low in frustration and pulled Sai's face within a foot of his own as his features darkened from his point still not being received.
"Let me make it clear. Stay away from Videl or I'll make sure the next time I see you with her it will be your last breath on this planet." Gohan threatened seriously as power flooded off of him. He was at his maximum without transforming now. Gohan of course, knew other planets existed and could easily relocate Sai to one of them, however most Earthlings lived oblivious to the galaxy around them and ignorant to 'aliens'.
Sai gulped once more and shakily nodded his head. "N-No p-problem." He barely squeaked out as his voice cracked in pitch. He could feel Gohan's anger towards him and it scared him senseless. Never before had someone intimated him like this. The aura coming off of him was powerful, so powerful it was nearly tangible. Intense was a word that just didn't seem quite good enough to explain the feeling. It was like this guy was going to rip him apart limb from limb if he got near Videl again. That 'killing intent' so to speak was more than he could put words to and it was terrifying.
With one last narrowing of the eyes Gohan practically threw Sai to the ground, turned and walked away just as powerfully as he walked out there. Sai let out a deep breath of air once Gohan had vanished back inside.'Man that guy was pissed. I'll be sure to stay clear of Videl from now on.' Feeling something wet on his leg Sai glanced down and scowled.
"Ah man…" Looking to his coach he shouted, "Coach I'll be right back, I gotta use the bathroom." 'And get a new pair of pants'
-Three Months Later-
Three months had passed since Tiya first started to visit Azer. Azer, that name was still foreign to her but he clearly preferred to be called that compared to his birth name of Sakazu. The apartment Videl and her father had arranged for her was only about ten minutes away from where he was being held. In the months that had passed the police station was rebuilt as well as the adjacent jail where the majority of the attack was staged several months ago. The chief and Tiya were on friendly terms and she no longer needed permission to visit Azer. Thus far she had gone to see him a minimum of once a week and sometimes as often as every day. Progress was slow, but she was convinced his barriers were breaking down.
Tiya greeted the clerk at the front desk and signed in just like every other visit, going through the procedures in place, and immediately went to a very familiar cell.
A groan was heard from inside once she appeared in view.
"You're back again? Don't you ever quit woman?" Azer spat out, though less venomously than normal. His tone was more annoyed and disbelieving than anything.
"Not until my son returns and gains his honor back." Tiya stated firmly.
"How many times do I freaking have to tell you! Sakazu is dead! Azer is who I am now and all that remains." Azer yelled in frustration.
Tiya walked closer to the cell door and narrowed her eyes looking directly into her son's ice blue ones. "You're wrong."
With another groan Azer turned to his bed and flopped down on it irritated. Clearly today was no different than any other and the woman planned to talk his ear off again. He realized early on his threats and glares had no affect on her. He simply had to shut up and take it if he ever wanted her to leave him alone.
"Why did you do it Azer?" Tiya asked with genuine curiosity.
This caught his attention and interest. What the heck, why not humor her today? Maybe she'd finally be disgusted with him and leave him in peace finally.
"Do what?" He ground out aggravated.
"Let Katsu make you his puppet?" The older woman stated softly.
His puppet? Surely that's not what he was to Uncle? "I was no puppet. Uncle trained me, taught me everything I needed to bend others to my will."
Tiya clashed her blue eyes with his more icy ones strongly. "And you never saw how he was playing you, bending you to his will? He was the one who hated Hercule, not you. True, Videl beat you in a fight, but it was a fair fight. You have no reason to be angry with her. If anything, you should blame the elders who thought you cursed and forced my hand."
Tiya suddenly became quiet as she dropped her head slightly, brown locks of hair covering her face from view. Her next words were spoken so softly Azer had to somewhat strain to hear them clearly.
"They wanted you to be killed you know, believing wherever you went to be cursed to death for the remainder of your life. I sent you away that day in order to save your life. If you went to live with Katsu, who was already banished and cut out of the family, they no longer cared that death followed you like a plague. They forgot about you eventually. Your name was never allowed to be spoken again. The elders passed recently. Only grandpa remains, but he never blamed you."
Azer instantly rose to his feet in irritation. "Grandfather died before I was outcast. You're speaking nonsense." Azer interrupted clearly remembering the very reason he was banished. The grumpy old man was praying to the gods when a tile from the ceiling above fell and crushed the fool.
"Not that one. My dad, not your father's father."
"That old fart is still alive?" Azer couldn't help the small chuckle that escaped his lips. He had many great times with his Grandpa. They would always prank the elders' together or other people in the dojo. Plus, he would always take him fishing just to get him away from training for a day.
"And he is still causing trouble rest assured." Tiya added with a hint of a smile. 'He remembers and more than that, he doesn't even realize he's beginning to crack. I even see a smile. Just a little further now.'
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Azer replied with a light shake of the head in a humored way. As if suddenly snapping out of a daze Azer instantly hardened his features and scowled. 'Dang woman. She's getting to me.'
"Why do you fight the good in you, Azer? Why do you still let Katsu have control over you even from beyond the grave?" Tiya asked with concern and confusion.
"Uncle never controlled me." Azer countered yet again.
Tiya scoffed at her son. "I highly doubt that. Even before that fateful day Katsu was paralyzed he always twisted others for his purposes."
Azer fought against such thoughts. Uncle loved him! Still, he couldn't help the memories that flooded him suddenly.
"Sakazu no man should have to live with the shame the Satan's have caused you." His uncle stated strongly.
"But Uncle Katsu, why should I hate them for what they've done? If I had only been trained properly I wouldn't have lost. It's my own fault." The boy called Sakazu replied honorably.
"Sakazu think of what that Satan girl has done! Your family now banished you and it all began with HER!" Katsu began to yell.
"Yes, but she didn't know what would happen this isn't her fault." Sakazu defended, putting his own pride aside.
"Think back to that day Sakazu! REMEMBER IT! REMEMBER YOUR SHAME!" The wheelchaired man yelled with anger as he forcefully grabbed Sakazu's shirt and shook him.
Katsu released him as the boy closed his eyes and did as his elder had commanded. Before him flashed the images of that day and also from events there after. When he opened his eyes again they no longer held the innocent look of an honorable boy, but rather the look of hatred.
"Yes, that's it boy. Let your hatred consume you. Harness it, use it, let it be your most powerful weapon. Hate them. Hate the Satan's!" His uncle encouraged as he faded into the night shadows.
"Azer you must t-take your revenge on the Satan's. I won't be a-around to see that glorious d-day, but still you must. Don't ever forget what t-they've done to you, to me. Your f-family banished and disowns you! They sent you to live with m-me your dying uncle! From t-the day you got here I trained you in what you needed for revenge. I g-gave you the tools and weapons for success. Now, you are ready. T-There is no more left to teach you. I h-have n-nothing left to o-offer."
"Uncle please, save your strength. You can't die yet!" He exclaimed with emotion.
"A-Azer listen to me, remember what I've told you. Always remember your hatred, let it be your strength and drive for revenge. Let it fuel you… and then… revenge will be… yours. Take c-care boy. Remember your p-promise… you promised to t-take revenge… f-for me." The man suddenly fell silent.
"Uncle! UNCLE!" Azer screamed as he shook his uncle trying to wake him up but to no avail.
Azer lowered his head as his brows furrowed together. 'I promised to take revenge for Uncle. Was that all he wanted from me? Was I really just a pawn?'
Like a slap in the face Azer could finally see the truth behind his Uncle. 'I meant nothing to him. All he ever wanted was revenge! It was all he ever talked about! How could I not see this before!'
Tiya stood quietly opposite his cell. She could clearly see the emotions flashing across his face. He was breaking. Finally, the cold walls surrounding his heart were shattering.
Azer lowered his head in shame as the thoughts of what he did to Lime and Videl washed over him. "What have I done?" He whispered full of realization and regret.
He lifted a hand to his face as emotion washed over him. He could no longer stand and fell roughly to the bed beneath him.
Tiya's heart broke as she watched her son come to terms with the mistakes he made. She grabbed the chair beside her, scooting closer to the cell and gently called out to him.
"You see it now, don't you?"
Azer was too ashamed to even look at his mother. "How could I have been so foolish?" He mumbled out in a hushed whisper.
"Azer" Tiya warmly spoke his name, though sorrow was also present in the tone.
The light brown haired teen slowly tilted his head back until it came in contact with the wall behind him a few inches away. "All this time, all those years, I was being played." His voice was pained with the realization of his mistakes and ridden with guilt.
Tiya sighed as she thought over her next words. "Katsu…he was a man who could never let go of his anger. He let his hatred consume him and in the end, it took his life. Your uncle could have been a very different man, if only he would've let go. Because of his burning hatred and thirst for revenge he used you, a mere boy. He wanted you to do what he could not. Finally hurt Hercule Satan. I…I should have seen it. I should have seen what he would do to you. Leaving you that day has been my greatest mistake."
Tears freely flowed down pale cheeks as Tiya looked to her son. Azer turned his head to his mother upon hearing her last statement. His own blue eyes had formed tears which had yet to be released and fall.
"Mother?" Azer called out weakly while rising off the bed and going towards the cell doors.
Tiya snapped her eyes up at the name she hadn't heard in years. "Oh Sakazu." She immediately stood and outstretched her hand through the bars.
As though a child, Azer quickly stepped into the bars and grabbed her hand desperately. Tiya stretched her other arm through the bars and gently stroked his head. Both were completely against the bars, the cold metal the only thing separating the two from a full embrace. Tears flowed down Azer's face as years of torment finally cleansed themselves as the salty water left his eyes.
"I'm so sorry son. I'm so, so sorry." Tiya whispered over and over as she held him as best she could while her own heart broke at seeing him in such a state. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. She had failed as a parent. That was clear now. Nothing could take back the years of pain he'd suffered or give him back his childhood but she'd be damned if she'd make the same mistake twice. She'd never leave him again, ever.
After what seemed like hours the two backed away from each other and sat once again. Azer was obviously still shaken up from the knowledge of what he had done and knowing he had been so manipulated. He just couldn't wrap his mind around it all.
As if sensing his thoughts Tiya spoke, "It's going to take time. You'll have to learn to let go of the guilt."
Azer looked to his mother with broken, lost eyes, the eyes of a confused and scared child. "What do I do now? The crimes I've committed, the things I've done, I'll never leave this cell."
"You make the most of what you have. Though you now know your mistakes you still must atone for the wrongs you've done. Serve your time, but use it wisely as well. Actions are not without consequence. I taught you that as a child. Now it's time for you to face the consequences of your poor choices, but know I won't be far. I will continue to visit you. After all, I just got you back, how could I possibly walk away now?"
Azer smiled and for the first time in years, it was a gentle one without malice or anger. "Can you do something for me?" When he saw his mother nod in affirmation he continued. "I need you contact Videl and her friend Lime. I need to speak with them."
Understanding filled Tiya's eyes as she responded. "Of course."
Videl and gang were all out at a local pizzeria when her watch began to beep. Instantly Gohan and Videl turned their attention to the mechanism.
"What is it Chief?" Videl asked in her normal no-nonsense tone.
"Videl, relax there's no crime. This is more of a personal call." The chief's voice echoed through the device. Gohan quirked an eyebrow upward at the statement as he glanced at Videl.
"Sir? I, um, I thought this was only used for emergencies." The raven haired girl replied with confusion.
"This is a one-time deal. Regardless, I need you and your friend Lime to come down to the station sometime today if possible." The communicator crackled slightly at the end of the message.
This time not only did Gohan glance at Videl in confusion but so did Kero, Lime, Sharpner and Erasa. "Uh, yeah, sure Chief. We'll be there in about an hour."
"Good. See you then." With that last sentence the connection was cut leaving six confused individuals.
"I wonder what he could want." Stated a semi-shocked Lime as her green eyes looking to Videl's light blue ones.
"I have no idea. I can't figure out why he would want you there." Videl replied as she glanced between Kero and Gohan for any form of explanation.
The brown haired, violet orbed teen simply shrugged in response. "Got me."
Gohan was trying to piece together the information given to find a plausible reason however there just wasn't enough to go on. "Guess we won't know until we get there." Catching the waiter bringing their pizza out of the corner of his eye he added. "For now let's enjoy our time and eat!"
Sharpner chuckled lightly. "Gohan, do you ever not get excited over food?"
Gohan laughed heartily as he scratched the back of his neck. "You should've seen my Dad! I've got nothing on him."
The group laughed openly but all had a similar thought. If Gohan was nothing compared to his Dad, just how bad was he then?
Sharpner and Erasa said their goodbye's to the other two couples apparently having a date planned for later on that evening which left just the four of them heading to the station. The curious call from the chief an hour before had them all confused as to what might happen once they arrived. The trip didn't take long and soon the four teens were walking to the chief's door with Videl at the lead.
"We're here Chief." Videl stated after receiving permission to enter his office as they all walked through the door.
"With a few extra's I see. Kero, Gohan." He greeted with a nod to each of the males.
"Sir." Both replied almost in unison.
Turning back to the raven haired girl the chief continued, "Sorry if I worried you Videl as I said over the communicator this is more of a personal call than anything. It seems one of our inmate's wishes to speak with you." Videl's brows furrowed together with the odd statement but she waited for him to continue. "Well, you and your friend Lime. It seems Yakine wanted an audience with you both. I'm assuming you two boys want to go with them?" Gohan and Kero both nodded in affirmation as he continued, "Fine with me. Videl, you know where to go."
Gohan's mind was spinning with possibilities for why Azer would want to see both Lime and Videl. A few scenarios played out in his head but he wasn't certain on any of them. Who knew what Azer had up his sleeve? Gohan only hoped that somehow Tiya was able to reach him in these past three months.
"Okay, well, I guess we'll be on our way." Videl said clearly confused by the information. With a quick nod to the chief Videl and the others made their way out of his office and to Azer's cell.
Azer and Tiya had been sitting for the past two and a half hours catching up, apologizing, forgiving and simply coming together again as a family through healing. Azer actually had a light, almost playful smile on his face when Gohan, Videl, Kero and Lime approached which had instantly turned into a shameful expression upon seeing them.
Tiya, noticing the sudden change in her son, turned to see what the problem was when she eyed the group walking towards them. Understanding flashed through her blue orbs as a knowing yet somewhat sorrowful half smile pulled at the corner of her mouth.
"Gohan, Videl, it's good to see you again." She greeted warmly as she embraced them both. Pulling back she took note of a beautiful and petite auburn haired, teal eyed girl and a larger boy with dark brown hair with longer bangs and striking amethyst colored eyes. "You must be Lime, and I'm sorry but I'm not sure who you are young man."
Kero laughed bit and smiled. "The name's Kero. Pleased to meet ya."
"Pleasure's all mine Kero. I'm Tiya Hiroshimo." She replied with a laugh.
"Tiya I don't mean to be rude, but why are we here?" Videl asked cutting to the chase. She was friendly with the woman on normal terms but being around Azer always made her on edge.
"Ah well, I'll let Azer explain that. Excuse me while I go get something to eat." Tiya responded as she exchanged kind glances with them all before walking down the corridor to give them some privacy.
Kero turned his attention to Azer with a cold gaze. "Azer"
Kero's icy tone and glare inwardly made Azer flinch, not that he could blame the guy any. If someone had done the things he had done to someone close to him, he would be cold too. Before Azer could speak Gohan placed a firm but calming hand on Kero's shoulder silently letting him know to relax as he met his violet eyes meaningfully with a slight nod.
After a brief glance at Kero, Gohan turned to Azer as he let his arm drop back to his side. "You requested our presence and we've come as you wished. Please, say whatever it is you called us here for." Gohan spoke in a patient and compassionate tone.
Azer couldn't help the slight widening of his eyes as Gohan spoke. Was there no limit to this man's kindness? After everything, Gohan still forgave him and allowed him the chance to change. Perhaps Azer could become such a man someday.
Releasing a deep breath the blue eyed teen began, "I know this sudden and probably doesn't make sense, but to get straight to the point… I'm sorry." He paused as he bowed his head slightly to go with his apology. "I don't expect your forgiveness or even your understanding. I just wanted to say what I've done to all of you was wrong and I'm deeply sorry for that. I cannot take back the things I have done, but I can apologize and serve my sentence according to the wrongs I've committed. I am sincerely remorseful."
To say the four were shocked would be the understatement of the year. Azer, who was a vengeful, malice filled, hard ass this whole time was apologizing and genuinely! Videl and Lime had their mouths slightly parted in surprise while Gohan took to a small, relieved smile. Kero still had an edge of skepticism to his eyes, not quite believing the other male yet. Azer had played games before and proven himself to be a good actor, he wasn't about to trust someone like that so easily.
"Why, why now?" Kero asked in a clearly disbelieving tone.
Azer's blue eyes flickered to Kero's amethyst ones. After a few quiet moments he replied, "Because I've finally seen the error of my ways." His eyes dashed back to Gohan's onyx ones. "It started with your kindness Gohan. After everything I had done, you spared me, showed me mercy when I deserved none." Meeting Kero's eyes again he added, "Then you, Kero, also showed me kindness in our battle after I had attacked Gohan with the virus. You told me it was never too late to do the right thing. I was vulnerable, beaten and you could have easily taken my life and ended all your problems, but you didn't. You showed me mercy saying it was what honorable people do. 'No matter how wrong or evil your enemies are, you have no right to be evil in return.' That's what you said to me that day and it startled me. Whether I wanted to or not, I couldn't get that thought out of my head."
As Azer said all these things with such honestly and genuineness Kero slowly let his guard drop. "So what now?" Kero asked in a far softer tone than before.
He looked to Lime and Videl briefly, remorse evident in his eyes. "I serve my time. Lime, nothing I say could take back what I've done. I hope one day you can find it in your heart to forgive me, even though I don't deserve it. I am truly sorry." His eyes then flicked to Videl's light blue ones. "Videl, words could never be enough to apologize to you. All this time, I wanted nothing but revenge for what I thought was your fault when in reality, it was my uncle who had placed such ideas into my head. Still, I made the choice to do such things and as such am responsible for my actions, no matter how clouded they might have been at the time. I wish you and Gohan the best. Please know that I will no longer be a problem in your life." A harsh laugh escaped his lips before he continued. "I think I've more than a few years to pay for my crimes so you can relax. I'll willingly stay and atone for my injustices against you all." Azer glanced around the group one last time making sure to meet each person's eyes. "I am deeply sorry for my actions."
A distinctly feminine voice echoed through the now quiet hall as Lime spoke, "Azer, I forgive you." She added a small smile as he looked to her clearly surprised and startled. "Holding on to anger is no way to live. I hope you can find some peace in life."
This group was extraordinary, Azer realized once more. How such people still exist in today's world was beyond him.
"Thank you." He replied quietly. "I didn't mean to take up all your time. Please go enjoy the rest of your day. Know you all have changed my life." Azer specifically sought out Gohan's eyes one final time. "Gohan, thank you for all you've done. I have a mother again because of you and she was the one who finally brought me back from darkness. If it wasn't for you and the care you've shown, I don't know how much worse I would've become. I am forever grateful. I don't imagine we'll be seeing each other again. Farewell."
A silence enveloped the hall again as Azer clearly finished all he intended to say. He was beginning to turn around heading to the cell bed when a deep voice called out to him.
"Azer," Gohan called knowing he had something to say also. "I'm glad you're finally free."
The light brown haired teen glanced back over his shoulder in awe. Gohan merely smiled knowingly and nodded and Azer returned the gesture. He understood what Gohan had meant perfectly. He was finally free from the chains of revenge and hatred. He couldn't help the smile that spread across his own face. Yes, Gohan was definitely a man worth modeling his life after.
"Come on guys, let's go home." Gohan stated reverently in softness while taking hold of Videl's hand gently and beginning to lead them out of the hall. The group glanced back one last time as the realization that everything was settled once and for all washed over them.
Deep in space on the outer reaches of the galaxy a ship was making its way toward Earth. The ship was a dark steel gray color with accents of red on the major edges and other precisely chosen locations. Inside that ship was a being sitting upon a throne like object. This being had pale, white skin that had a slightly green tone to it and dark, blood red eyes with tiny slits for the pupils. Short, brownish gray spiked hair covered the top of the head, eyebrows, and chin. Clothing the greenish white skin was a long sleeved, black, fitted shirt made out of leather like material. The collar of the shirt covered all the way to the being's chin protecting the neck from potential harm. The shirt was almost square in style over the chest and torso, coming to end on the upper thigh. Under the shirt were fitted, yet moveable, black pants made of a similar material but this seeming to be more elastic than the shirt. Finally the pants tucked into high leather like boots, also black, coming to end just below the knee.
A deep voice echoed from the being directed to another of the same species. "Are we nearing the Earth yet?"
The other being spun around to face their leader before replying in a far higher tone, "Another two weeks lord Zarth." This creature had dark maroon colored hair and silver eyes but most notably, was female. She was wearing a similar outfit only sleeveless and in brown rather than black.
Narrowing his red eyes slightly the creature responded. "Very well. I'm going to my chambers to rest. Inform me when we're within two days of the planet so I can stretch my muscles."
"Yes milord." The maroon haired female responded with her right hand fisted over her heart as she bowed respectfully.
"Do find a way to hurry this up. I'm getting restless." With that the one known as Zarth arose from his seat and stalked out of the control room towards his chambers.
'Kena, my love, soon I will make right the wrongs against you. I'll destroy them all, every last one of them. Finally, revenge shall be mine.'
I know it's been a long time since I've updated and I do apologize for that. Please just bear with me a little longer and this fic will be complete. To those who get irritated that it takes me so long to update I'll just say this: You try chasing a 16 month old toddler all day long WHILE being 5 months pregnant on top of all your responsibilities and see how much time YOU have to write. To my loyal readers and reviewers who always seem to be patient with me, you guys rock and keep me going! Thank you.
It's a shorter chapter but hopefully one you can still enjoy. There are only a few more left to be written and I'm going to try my best to actually finish this fic by or in October. I've got lots of work to do before then but that's my goal.
As always, thanks for sticking with me this long and I hope you can stick around till the finish. It really is within sight now and there are still a few surprises in store. Have a great day and if you feel like it, please review, if not, that's alright too.
(Oh let me know about any errors, I didn't really check over this chapter that well and dislike simple grammatical or spelling mistakes that I overlook. Thanks!)
Next time on Growing Up, Gohan Style:
Learn more about Zarth and who he wants to take his revenge upon and why, spend more time with your favorite couple, Gohan and Videl, and get set for coming battle.
Gohan- "Can't we ever catch a break?" -sighs exasperatedly-
Samurai Girl- "You could, but that doesn't make for very dramatic writing."
Videl- "What happened to my training?"
Samurai Girl- "Hmm, good point, I'll have to touch on that next chapter." -grins evilly- "Unless you're too busy locking lips with Gohan that is."
Videl- -turns bright red- "Shut up! I'm not the one writing this thing!"
Gohan- "I don't think I'd mind too much." -gets smacked by a glaring, flushed, Videl- "What?" -shrugs-
Azer- "Does this mean I'll disappear from the story now?"
Samurai Girl- "Quite possible, but hey, you had a good run right? Besides, you got your honor back, what more do you want?"
Azer- "Maybe to be out of a cell?"
Samurai Girl- "Not happening."