Title: Deliver Me
Rating: PG-13 ( T ) – for adventuresome violence and some strong accusations.
Spoilers: Gohan beat Cell! (Don't you say "duh" at me!)
Summary: Videl sets out on a mission to discover the identity of the "Golden Delivery Boy" who fought Cell...No HS, No Buu, GhVi. Co-authored by dbz-lover91 and Ms. Videl Son.
Insert smartass comment here.
Prologue One: Reflections
'2:30,' Videl observed to herself, glaring at the clock hanging on the wall over the teacher's head as if it were at fault for the time. Huffing, she dropped her chin into the palm of her hand and settled in for a long, boring game of watching the second hand tick around the face. Hey, did it just pause?
"So, Videl-chan," a conspiratorial whisper called to her. Videl shifted her eyes, and eyes only, to her left and fixed them on the blonde-headed girl next to her. To her right, a series of soft snores implied that their conversation wouldn't be overheard. "What are you doing for summer vacation?"
Videl pondered her response, turning her gaze back to the clock as she did so. It was a simple question, but the answer was a little more complicated. "I'm traveling," she finally replied, honestly enough.
The girl pressed on, leaning closer. She held a textbook up in front of her to shield herself from the teacher's line of sight. "Where to? Going on tour with your dad?"
"No, just...," Videl paused, skirting around the territory between the truth and lies. "Traveling. What about you, Erasa-chan?"
Fortunately, Erasa leapt at the chance to change the subject and began gushing about her plans for the break. "Daddy got a house at the beach so we'll be staying there for a couple of weeks. I need a new bikini, though, d'you want to help me find one after school?"
"Can't," Videl replied immediately. She leaned back, crossing her arms over her chest, and shifted her backside in the seat of her chair. She'd been sitting so long that even her tailbone had gone numb. "I've got to go home and pack as soon as the last bell rings."
"Really?" Erasa asked, apparently surprised. "Wow, girl, you want to get away bad, don't you?"
Videl smirked a little. "You could say that..."
Videl and Erasa both jumped at the sudden interjection of a loud, angry voice into their dialogue. Both girls sat up straight in their chairs, doing their best to look as if they had been paying attention to the teacher's half-hearted spiel the whole time.
The educator's wrath wasn't directed at them, however. To Videl's right, the snoring boy woke with a loud snort as a chalkboard eraser collided with the crown of his golden-blond cranium. A white cloud of dust rose from the point of impact, causing Videl to shield her mouth and nose lest it invade her sinuses.
Between coughs, the boy complained, "Ow! What the hell?" Dramatically shielding his head from further attacks with one arm, he waved the allergy-inducing miasma away with the other.
"How many write-ups am I going to have to give you for sleeping in class, Sharpener-kun?" the teacher shouted, pointing his finger at the whining teenage boy with righteous anger.
"C'mon, Teach," Sharpener whimpered, rubbing the invisible lump beneath his hair. The chalk had settled into his golden locks, aging him about twenty years. "It's the last day of school! Cut me some slack!"
"I'd like to cut your hair, you hooligan!" the teacher shot back, causing the classroom to erupt in mean-spirited laughter. "Now try to stay out of la-la land until the bell rings unless you want to start your vacation in detention!"
The teacher finally turned his back to the class again, picking up his lecture notes to carry on his lesson with. Sharpener, still moaning and complaining like a baby, could be heard grumbling, "Sheesh...old goat probably got roped into teaching summer school so he's taking it out on innocent students..."
Erasa was still giggling at his expense. "I guess Sharpener-kun's brain is already on vacation, huh, Videl-chan?"
"Sharpener's brain is always on vacation," Videl replied, sharing in Erasa's amusement with a chuckle of her own.
Sharpener frowned and scooted his chair closer to Videl. The pigtailed-girl pointedly shifted closer to Erasa. "What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, puckering his lower lip in a pout.
"That you're an idiot, of course. What did you think it meant?" Videl replied, keeping a wary vigil on the position of Sharpener's infamously wandering hands. If the left one moved even an inch closer to her knee, she'd stuff it down his esophagus.
"You wound me," he proclaimed, moving his arm away from her leg. It's relocation to the back of her chair wasn't any improvement.
Videl narrowed her eyes at her hormone-driven classmate in hopes that he (for once) might take a hint. "I'm thinking about it."
"Make it up to me?" he pleaded, clearly ignoring his own sense of self-preservation.
With a sharp jab of her elbow to Sharpener's ribs, he was forcefully removed from Videl's person entirely. "In your dreams."
After a desperate gasp for air, Sharpener replied, "Every...night."
Videl really couldn't wait to leave.
— — —
"So you really can't come with me?" Erasa complained in a high-pitched whine. Her lower lip was jutted out as physical proof that she was pouting.
"Sorry, I've only got time to drop you off at the mall before I have to get back to the mansion and pack. I want to leave before Dad finishes that publicity stunt over at the gym," Videl replied in a no-room-for-arguments kind of way. She had plans to tend to, after all.
In one last attempt to convince Videl to play shopping buddy for the afternoon, Erasa said, "C'mon, it'll only take a couple of hours, tops! And you could use a new bathing suit."
Videl bit her lip to keep herself from laughing aloud. "And what's that supposed to mean, huh?" she teased, throwing a mock of her own glare Erasa's way.
"That you'll never snare a hot guy in that tomboy-ish one-piece you've been wearing for three summers now!" Erasa exclaimed, her tone suggesting that the world could end at any moment over unfashionable swim wear.
As this thought occurred to her, Videl's laugh finally exploded from her mouth, causing a few students unlocking their car doors to turn and look. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed one or two of them hurriedly jump into their vehicles and start their engines.
Videl and Erasa strolled across the blacktop at a relaxed pace, school literally and figuratively behind them for the summer. They bypassed the parking lot full of cars that couldn't be shrunken down into capsule size and headed towards the basketball court just beyond the white-lined asphalt.
As they finally reached their destination, Videl's amusement at Erasa's melodramatic statement was dying down to a tolerable level. "So I – and the male teenage population of the world – is doomed if I don't get a two-piece, huh?"
Reaching into her pocket to withdraw a capsule labeled "No. 1," Videl depressed the button on top before tossing it away from her. It landed on the pavement a few yards away and – with a loud boom and a cloud of white smoke – her jet copter appeared before them.
Erasa huffed at Videl and crossed her arms beneath her bosom, clearly annoyed. "I didn't say that," she claimed, stalking towards the yellow, grasshopper-ish vehicle with her nose in the air. "All I meant was that summer is a time for love and you'll never get any for yourself if you aren't prepared. Besides, isn't that thing getting a little small for you? I know you've been growing since middle school."
"It fits well enough," Videl replied, climbing into the pilot's seat next to Erasa. "Besides, I only need it for swimming, not flirting. I might not even use it this summer."
Erasa sighed, cupping a palm to her face. "You're such a hopeless romantic, Videl-chan. Emphasis on the 'hopeless' part."
Again, Videl couldn't prevent herself from laughing aloud. "And how do you propose to fix me, then?"
With a grin that proposed she had some sort of grand scheme, Erasa reached down into the floor and grabbed hold of her school bag. She practically tore it open with a loud, jerky ziiiiiiiiiiip before dipping her hand inside to feel around. When she'd apparently found what she wanted, she proclaimed, "Ah ha!" and pulled it out with an excessive amount of fanfare.
It was...a novel. If you could call it such, anyway.
"Promise me that you'll read this over the summer," Erasa insisted, pushing the book into Videl's gloved hands.
Turning it over to see the front cover, Videl read aloud, "Nerd in Shining Armor. You can't be serious." ( 1 )
"Oh, come on, Videl-chan! It's really good! And the love scenes are really steamy!" Erasa exclaimed, holding both hands to her face now as her cheeks burned cherry red. "When Jackson burned his feet just to give Guenevere a – "
"Okay, okay!" Videl shouted, waving a panicked hand at her friend just in case she didn't get the verbal hint. Videl could feel the apples of her cheeks warming at Erasa's sexy insinuations and wasn't keen on hearing any more. "I'll read it, geeze."
Erasa grinned at Videl in a knowing way that the latter girl didn't like. Not one bit. "You're such a prude, Videl-chan."
The heat in Videl's face intensified. "Shut up...," she grumbled, reaching down to start the engine. "And buckle up."
— — —
"One...four...seven...eighteen...," Videl tallied aloud, touching her finger to each corresponding capsule in its turn. "That's all of them," she pronounced, satisfied that they were all there, plus a couple of unnumbered spares.
"Wait," she paused as a thought struck her. "I'm pretty sure I still have that motorbike capsule in here somewhere..." Roving her eyes over to the intricately carved vanity that had been part of her bedroom for longer than she cared to remember, her gaze lingered on it until she made a quick decision to start her search there. She wandered over to it and pulled one of the deep drawers out, peering down into the clump of miscellaneous junk that had accumulated in it since early adolescence. "I should really clean this thing out," she groused to the pink-haired troll doll that sat atop the collection of useless artifacts. Immediately thereafter, she dug in, pawing through the mess in search of the elusive capsule that she might or might not need on her trip.
After leaving a pouting Erasa at the mall, as promised, Videl had immediately returned home to commence packing. In the background, Videl left the television on and half-listened to the live report of her father's press conference, hoping to know the exact instant at which he decided to leave the event and head her direction.
"...and, as the man who defeated Cell, I endorse this facility..."
Judging by the direction in which his speech was going, Videl figured she still had plenty of time to tie up loose ends before striking out for the summer. Whenever he started ranting about his grand victory over Cell, it was sure to be long-winded.
And all lies.
Pausing as she riffled through the vanity drawer for the capsule that immediately became inconsequential, Videl allowed her concentration to wander. Her head rose until she met her own gaze in the mirror while her mind, as it always had done for the past month, returned to the prospect of finally having her questions answered and unmasking her father for the fraud that he surely was. She didn't want to hurt her old man (he was her father, after all, and a respectable man aside from his...proclivities towards lying), but her burning thirst for knowledge had never been more intense. She simply had to know what the rest of the world couldn't fathom, what they refused to acknowledge...After so many years of skeptical acceptance, Videl was ready to learn the truth about Mr. Satan's true role in saving the planet.
Videl was fairly certain that she was the only person in the free world that thought her father was a fraud, but it just didn't make any logical sense that he, a former-wrestler-turned-World-Champ, would be able to destroy a monster like Cell. He was a reasonably strong fighter, Videl knew, but Cell's strength had been inhuman, if anything.
Besides, the last time she'd sparred with her father had been two years ago and, if she wasn't mistaken, she had almost beaten him. His victory over her would have been assured if he had, in fact, beaten Cell like he claimed, right?
It didn't seem...plausible, somehow. The more and more she thought about her father's supposed defeat of Cell, the easier it became to convince herself that something simply wasn't right about the yarns her father spun. In defiance of all logic, her father had, supposedly, beaten a monster that could not only destroy an entire city's worth of the human populace, but had also managed to best the combined armed forces of the world in well under five minutes. Somehow, Videl was a little skeptical, even as a child.
May 26th, 767, a day she'd never forget. The day of the Cell Games. A day that would live in infamy...
Mr. Satan had set the VCR to record the broadcast, confident that it would be another victory to have under his belt. With the entire population of the Earth behind him, one could hardly blame him for being a little (okay, a lot) arrogant at the time, but the potential impending doom of the world seemed to hardly faze the Budokai-appointed World Champion on the morning of the world's fate. As Videl recalled, her father hadn't even been the slightest bit nervous at the prospect of going up against Cell, who had successfully slaughtered millions of people prior to the official start of his tournament.
Of course, Videl had been frightened enough for the both of them. With only one parent left, Mr. Satan's demise would have been beyond unbearable for the young tomboy, even if she had been assured over and over again that her father simply couldn't lose. "Aren't you scared, Daddy?" she'd asked him just as he was about to climb into his personalized limo.
After making a slow turn away from the elongated vehicle, Mr. Satan had grinned at her and patted her patronizingly on the head. Videl would have normally ducked out of his reach and complained at such a gesture, but she couldn't bring herself to allow any precious moments left with her father to be spoiled by her individualistic attitude. "Now, now, Angel," he'd cooed at her, using the baby talk she loathed so much under everyday circumstances. "Daddy will be just fine. Nobody can beat the World Champion!"
A round of raucous applause from the servants and guests invited to watch the Games on their big screen television had burst forth just then, giving Mr. Satan an opportunity to pose for his adoring fans. Only Videl had remained quiet, silently fretting over whether or not she'd ever see her loving (if painfully embarrassing at times) father again...
In a way, she was guaranteed to see him again when he took the ring an hour or so later. Not that this was much consolation, of course, since it was at least possible (if not probable) that this same broadcast might also showcase his very last moments of life. Videl did her best to convince herself that her father would be just fine, that the Budokai Champion of the World couldn't possibly fall in a similar tournament, but any daughter forced to witness her widower father enter battle with a creature such as Cell would have at least a few concerns over his welfare, no matter how strong she knew him to be. Up against a human opponent, Videl would have had nothing but the utmost confidence in his abilities, but against a monster...the young Satan couldn't help but worry.
Despite her natural misgivings, Mr. Satan, as self-assured as he ever was, soon stood across from the stoic creature, bellowing promises of imminent death while, simultaneously, laughing in a nonchalant, confident fashion with the single brave reporter and camera crew who dared to watch from the sidelines. The people of Earth had lapped it all up.
That was when the strange group of fighters had, quite literally, landed smack dab in the middle of her father's spotlight, utilizing their gift of flight to propel them onwards to their conspiracy theory fame. Were people (even weird-looking ones) supposed to just drop out of the sky like that?
She had been amazed at the sight, to say the very least of such a feat. There were no strings or any suspension equipment to be seen and there was no other way they could have done it… was there? The reporter had obviously shared in her confusion as he'd turned to Mr. Satan, seeking his corroboration as to whether what was unfolding before his very eyes was, in fact, real. Mr. Satan had laughed raucously and deemed it a "cheap trick" that gave fighting a "bad name."
Then, there was the first close-up. The reporter had ordered his cameraman to get a "good shot" of one of the fighters who had so brazenly dared to imply that Mr. Satan would "get hurt" while giving Cell the ol' one-two, as if he weren't the champion of Earth and, thus, the only qualified individual on the entire planet who could possibly best the beast. The man that had appeared on the screen had a very unusual mane of large golden hair and a very innocent and unassuming expression on his face. The reporter's voice sounded off camera, intoned with blatant indignation and reproach as he declared, "Just moments ago, this long-haired guy had the audacity to tell the people's hero, Mr. Satan, to back down from the tournament. Imagine, telling the Martial Arts Champion of the World that he was going to be beaten!"
Her school friends (and Sharpener, Videl recalled with a roll of her eyes, who had ended up amongst the group somehow) had come 'round to the newly acquired Satan Mansion to watch the broadcast alongside the creme de la creme of society and had immediately started booing at the screen filled with the mysterious man's unabashed and clueless face. She would have, as well, had she not been puzzled over the man's seemingly familiar countenance. She was sure she had seen him, or at least someone who looked like him before...It wasn't until several years had passed and she'd done an obscene amount of research on past Budokai champions that she'd felt she could honestly claim that she could pair a name with this infamous face.
Just as Mr. Satan was poised to remove his cloak, a pink helicopter had arrived on the scene with the most annoying voice being projected from within its confines. It still grated on her nerves every time she watched the footage, searching for clues. "Hold on everybody. It's time to get happy! Thaaaat's right! The fabulous duo is here. One's got the strength, one's got the face and everybody's got the love!"
"Love!?" Videl questioned even now, feeling tinges of indignant jealousy on behalf of her father. Shameless as her advances had been, she'd been successful (for about six months, anyway). 'What a bimbo.'
Videl had slapped her forehead in exasperation and embarrassment before the two dimwits had even appeared in the helicopter doorway. Her two former babysitters-turned-martial-artists were sure to make as big (if not bigger) a spectacle of themselves as Mr. Satan. To her utter dismay, her suspicions hadn't been disappointed (she usually fast forwarded through this part of the tape, unable to bear the vacant and bemused expressions on the mysterious fighters' faces as the two nimrods performed their routine before a then-live audience of the entire world's populace). To her even greater shock and disgust, the people around her cheered almost as hard for them as they would later for her father.
She, with the rest of the world who had tuned in to watch on that day, had then seen her father swatted away pathetically, like some inconsequential bug, and sent sailing away into a cliff. Cell, apparently, hadn't even felt the need to turn and face him as her father had approached, poised and ready for action. It had been plain embarrassing for her, even now as she remembered. Somehow, even then, she hadn't quite believed his excuse of "losing his footing," as ridiculous and improbable (not to mention implausible) as it had been. He had also conveniently neglected to address the question as to why, after he'd "successfully" unleashed a fury of punches and kicks, Cell had been left completely unscathed, his bored expression never wavering for a single instant.
It was something that had chewed away at Videl's conviction ever since she'd stopped being Daddy's Little Girl and had grown enough to derive her own cognitive assimilations on the world around her. And what she had imbibed from watching that footage again had both excited and disturbed her in equal measure, each feeling evoked for very different reasons.
After her father had been knocked from the ring, the tall blond man with the big hair, who had previously been shown and lambasted by the reporter for warning her father to not fight the creature, had stepped into the ring. What followed was a spectacle that, to this day, Videl still found difficult to describe.
Moving faster than the eye could see and with a pent-up fury that left her on the edge of her seat, they had gone at one another, trading blows relentlessly. Shock waves shook the ground and blinding lights, seemingly expelled from their very hands, illuminated the vicinity. It was nothing short of astounding.
Yet, when the bemused reporter conferred with her father for his so-called "expert" opinion, Mr. Satan had continued to affirm that they were simply "cheap tricks" and nothing more.
Even at the innocent age of ten, Videl had been dubious when, just as the two fighters vanished from sight of the cameras again, Mr. Satan had claimed they were hiding under an upturned tile in the ring. What kind of explanation was that? ("A stupid one," as far as Videl could fathom.)
All-in-all, re-watching the broadcast of the Cell Games years later raised more questions than the satisfactory answers she'd been hoping for. With such questions revolving in her mind, she had set out to research every possible lead that might bring her even the tiniest bit closer to identifying the mysterious fighters that had faced down Cell at her father's side. One of them might be potentially able to tell her what she wanted to know about her father's role in the tournament, if he'd had any at all. She was (figuratively) dying to know what they knew and had known for the past seven years and why they'd kept it (and their identities) secret for so long. Curiosity might have killed that stupid cat, but Satan Videl wasn't afraid; she knew she was up to the challenge.
Yet, what made her stomach knot with excitement was the chance to meet the person who had been the object of her growing obsession since she had first recognized the holes in her father's account of what had happened that day seven years ago when that perverse win, lose or die tournament had been held by the monster of Ginger Town. The person she suspected was the honest-to-gods hero of the world, the one who had been dismissed as a simple delivery boy upon his appearance on the battlefield, the single individual on the entire planet who could tell her everything she wanted to know...
The Golden Delivery Boy.
Thus, instead of heading off to "Camp Satan" (a selective wilderness camp for individuals wanting to commune with nature during their martial arts training and the perfect excuse for being out of touch with civilization for months at a time) for the summer like she'd told her father, Videl was striking out on her own adventure. She was going to look for the mysterious fighters (the youngest, in particular) who had challenged Cell alongside Mr. Satan in the hopes that they could answer some questions for her about what had really happened that infamous day. Surely they, if no one else, could fill in the blanks that had been omitted by the abruptly-ended Cell Games footage.
Having given up on finding the motorbike capsule (which she may or may not have loaned to Sharpener a few weeks ago anyway) in the interest of time, Videl tore her eyes away from her reflection and took stock of her current preparation. With her clothes, toiletries and other travel necessities safely stowed away in capsules, she was ready to go, it seemed.
Just to be sure, Videl scanned her bedroom for anything she might have forgotten. Her eyes made a couple of sweeps before a pile of computer-generated papers and news clippings attracted her attention.
Oh, right. Couldn't very well leave without those.
Pulling an empty capsule out of her case, Videl strode over to her desk with quick, purposeful steps, stopping directly in front of the stack of research materials. As she reached down to pick the pile up, she absentmindedly read the headline on top; "Son Goku Declared Champion of the 23rd Budokai!"
She smiled at the image of the former champion posing for the photograph with his new bride clinging to his arm. Looking into his broadly grinning face, Videl was certain all over again that this was the man who had taken on Cell immediately after Mr. Satan's initial (and embarrassing) defeat. His hair was different and – even though the black-and-white photograph couldn't convey the turquoise hue so infamously linked to the Cell Game's fighters – so were his eyes, but the face and body structure were the same, if slightly younger.
Yes, Son Goku was almost certainly the key to the success or failure of her mission. If he couldn't give her answers, nobody could.
She was definitely looking forward to meeting Son Goku, – secretly a hero of hers thanks to his famously wild battles at the three Budokai tournaments in which he had participated – but Videl was still most interested in meeting the "Golden Delivery Boy" (so-named by the press in the wake of the Cell Games) who had taken on the overgrown green cockroach in the third round (assuming that the tag-team of Mr. Satan's disciples didn't count as an actual match, which Videl figured it didn't). Due to his age at the time of the Cell Games, he was, by far, the fighter she had devised the most questions for, the first of which would certainly be about what sort of training methods he had used to collect such amazing power before reaching adulthood. Had Videl trained for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for the entirety of her childhood, she knew that her strength wouldn't even be comparable to his. He must have done something special...
Whatever it was, Videl was willing to bet her father's entire fortune that Son Goku had taught it to him. Not only were their powers blatantly similar, but they even resembled one another, suggesting some sort of familial relationship. Father and son, perhaps (some of Videl's sources did claim that Son Goku had settled down and started a family after his final appearance in the twenty-third Budokai, after all)?
If locating Son Goku also led her to the hiding place of this "Golden Delivery Boy," Videl would be more than thrilled. She'd be ecstatic to meet someone so close to her age with such amazing, Earth-trembling strength. Not only would she learn the truth about her father's supposed victory over Cell, but she might even discover the secret to earning a bit of that power for herself...
Quivering with renewed excitement over her quest, Videl decided that it was definitely time to hit that dusty trail.
Walking to the center of her bedroom, she deposited the towering stack of papers on the carpeted floor and stepped back. She withdrew an unused capsule from her store and, after activating it by depressing the button on top, threw it at the collection of research material.
When the smoke cleared, nothing but a blank, white capsule remained.
Retrieving the unmarked containment pod from the floor, Videl placed it back into its case alongside the others. With a permanent marker stolen from the cup on her desk, she inscribed the empty label with the number twenty-three before closing the lid. After inserting the capsule case into the front pocket of her backpack, she slung the straps over her shoulders and picked up her television remote.
Turning to the animated box, Videl grimaced at Mr. Satan as he continued to rant and rave about the new gym and his undeserved fame.
"...and when I, the man who defeated Cell, say that this is a great facility, you know you can trus – "
Vacant of Mr. Satan's grinning face, the television was blank; the following hum of electricity seemed to be a sigh of relief. Beneath the cooling set, the VCR read 3:02 in green, blinking letters.
Throwing the remote onto her bedspread, Videl turned her back on the room and exited, shutting the door behind her. Just as the lock clicked behind her, she proclaimed, "Ready or not, Golden Delivery Boy, here I come!"
First stop: Mount Fry Pan.
— — —
( 1 ) Nerd in Shining Armor – a real, honest-to-God book by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Ms. Videl Son's personal favorite out of her Nerd Romance series. It's your basic stuck-on-a-deserted-island-with-only-one-guy-the-girl-doesn't-really-like plot, but the guy happens to be a computer nerd. It's hot and an excellent summer read. n.n
— — —
Author's Notes: There, RyRy, satisfied?
Starting in June 2008, there will be bi-weekly updates of this fic until its future completion. We hope that you'll have patience with us as co-writing chapters takes a lot of time and coordination and we really want to get this right!
This fanfiction is being jointly written by dbz-lover91 and Ms. Videl Son. We both hope that you've enjoyed the story thusfar! Your comments and suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Gohan et al are approximately sixteen in this story, Goten seven, Trunks eight, etc (ie, we're going by the manga ages).
Btw, this chapter was posted on May 26th, 2008 at 3:02PM (EST).
- / - Master and Wise One - / -
-- Who's your daddy? GohanVidel