"Hey Videl, I've been thinking." Erasa piped up to her dark haired friend.
Videl repressed a chuckle. "Don't strain yourself Erasa."
"Yeah, very funny. Very original, blonde equals stupid and all that, huh?"
Videl wasn't being serious, and she knew her friend wasn't either. "Come on, you left yourself open to that one. What have you been thinking about anyway?"
"Well, since you, Sharpener and I are going to that World Tournament carnival that's coming in to town this weekend, I thought that maybe we should ask Gohan to come along too."
Videl frowned a little, not because she disliked Gohan, quite the opposite in fact. However, she knew why Erasa wanted to invite Gohan, it was because she thought that something was going on between the two of them, and if there weren't anything going on, then she could try to do something about it.
"Look Erasa, there's nothing going on between me and Gohan!" She blushed a little as she saw the boy in question climbing the stairs to his seat, a blush covering his cheeks.
"Good morning ladies." He spoke as he took his seat.
Videl mumbled a reply quietly and quickly. She had to admit, she had a soft spot for Gohan Son. Only a tiny one though, Videl Satan didn't have 'soft spots'.
Despite her suspicions of him, which led to doubts over his honesty, she found him to be quite an interesting character. He was ridiculously smart, and managed to deal with numerous requests to help with homework; he was funny too, she'd found herself laughing at him fairly often. Quite how intentional some of that humour was though, she wasn't sure. And yeah, she had to admit he was pretty easy on the eye too.
He'd even got smart with her once or twice. Usually she wouldn't have let that slide, but some reason she did with him.
That was why her reply wasn't particularly welcoming; she couldn't appear to eager to see him. It would only give Erasa and Sharpener more ammunition to question her with.
"Say Gohan, would you like to come to the carnival this weekend? I'm sure you'd be interested to know that Videl's coming too." She said with a wink, embarrassing the poor boy more.
Gohan looked over at Videl, who was staring resolutely at the front of the classroom. He didn't understand girls much, but she was a complete mystery to him. Sometimes she acted as though she felt nothing but indifference towards him. This wasn't particularly out of the ordinary, he had discovered from studying her, she treated pretty much everyone apart from Erasa like this.
There were times though when she seemed to really hate him, and she got so angry and annoyed with him at she slightest provocation. But at other times, she seemed to actually quite like him. He'd given up on ever really understanding her.
"I don't think I'll be able to go with you guys I'm afraid, I've got to-"
"Study, right?" Videl who was still facing towards the general direction of the teacher's desk, but was now watching him from the corner of her eye cut him off.
Gohan looked down at the desk. "Actually, I promised that I'd take someone else to the carnival."
Erasa decided to question him. "Ooh, is it a girl Gohan? Do you have a girlfriend?"
"Erasa! Stop pestering Gohan, he can't go and that's final, all right?" Videl prevented Erasa's mindless gossiping, partly because she knew it was all done for Videl's own benefit.
Videl couldn't help but think that it was obviously a girl, what else could it be? She just didn't really need to hear it from him. She tried to quell the feeling that perhaps she was a little jealous.
Erasa just had to say something to make Videl feel even worse. "Maybe we'll see you there then, eh Gohan?"
Videl padded over her soft bedroom carpet from her large walk-in closet. She wasn't really sure why she had such a big one, she had lots of clothes, but it wasn't as though she ever really wanted to wear all the fancy dresses and outfits she was given.
"How do I look Erasa?"
Erasa was gob smacked, for two reasons. First of all, it had been years since she'd seen Videl in clothes that weren't two sizes too large or just plain made for boys. Second of all, that a question she had never expected to hear from her friend.
"That bad, huh? I'll go change then."
"No, wait!" Erasa composed herself quickly. "You look great, it's just that in all the years I've known you, you've never once asked me how you look." Suddenly she turned a bit slyer. "Is there a reason you're asking me that? A certain person perhaps?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Videl replied flatly, blushing a little. She had thought that Erasa wouldn't have realised how absurd the question was coming from her, but unfortunately she hadn't given the girl enough credit.
"Come on, I know you're thinking about whether we'll run into Gohan."
"I see Gohan everyday, why would I dress up for him tonight?"
"Hmm, perhaps because he'll have a date with him this time." Erasa let out a laugh of unreserved joy. "Your face when I said date was priceless! It's killing you inside. I know it. I'm certain that you have a thing for Gohan now!"
"I don't have a thing for him."
"What other reason could you possibly have for dressing up?"
"I'd hardly call this 'dressing up', Erasa. It's only a pair of jeans and a shirt."
"For you, this is dressing up. But I'm sure if Gohan sees you he'll appreciate the form-fitting jeans. That t-shirt is pretty tight too. Please, just admit that you like Gohan, and then we can move on. I'll stop nagging you if you tell me, and I promise not to tell anyone."
"If I say that I like him, I'll never hear the end of it, you'll be trying to get us together non-stop!" Videl was pleading desperately now.
"No, I swear I'll let you go at your own pace."
"What's that supposed to mean? Just because I like him doesn't mean I want a boyfriend or to go chasing after him. I don't have time for that." Unluckily for Videl, Erasa was sharp enough to catch her admission.
"You admitted it, you like Gohan!"
"What? I never said that."
"Sure you did, you said 'just because I like him doesn't mean I want a boyfriend or to go chasing after him'. You'd make such a cute couple." Said Erasa with hearts in her eyes.
"No sign of Gohan and his girlfriend yet?" Videl thought she was being discreet, but Erasa had been watching her straining to look beyond the throng of the crowd.
"I am not looking for Gohan, I'm trying to spot where the good stuff is for your information."
"OK Videl, if you say so."
It was Sharpener's turn to speak up now. "It's hard not to be suspicious about this whole thing Videl. As much as I'd like to think that everyone's attention is always on me, you do seem to hang around with Gohan an awful lot. You're always talking to him at school."
"Whatever Sharpener. I'm just suspicious of him. When I'm speaking to him I'm only questioning him."
"Believe whatever you want Videl."
"You guys are starting to infuriate me now." All the while she continued to scan the crowds for that telltale hairstyle.
Suddenly, over the screams of the two little kids running around the trio of friends, she thought she heard his voice.
"Goten, Trunks, get back here!"
"Oof!" She turned to see Sharpener on the ground, knocked down by two small boys wrestling on the grass.
"I'm sorry Sharpener." It was indeed Gohan. "Let me help you up." He reached out a hand, all the time being watched by a silent Videl. Here she was, expecting a girl to be hanging off his arm, but instead he was here with two little kids. She watched as he pulled Sharpener to his feet with unnatural ease, continuing to apologise.
"It's fine Brains, thanks."
Gohan proceeded to grab both of the children by the scruff of their necks' and lift them clean off the ground and apart from each other. "I told you guys that if there was any nonsense, we'd be going straight home, remember?" Gohan spoke sternly, and both boys looked genuinely sorry for their actions.
Videl noted the way he had spoken, it was powerful, even if it was only directed at two kids. She quite liked it in fact, and her breath quickened at the realisation.
The girl continued to watch as he placed them back on the ground and they mumbled their apologies. Soon enough, Gohan's attention was on her, and he was quite shocked to see her out of her baggy shirt and pigtails.
For the first time he could see the soft curves of her body. His eyes trailed up her hips and the swell of her breasts, before he caught a hold of himself and focused on the socially acceptable location of her face. Her face was one aspect of her body that he had been able to freely admire since he met her, but now that her hair was tied back in a loose ponytail, it all seemed even better.
Perhaps it was the lights of the carnival, or the way a few loose strands framed her features, or maybe how he could see the soft skin of her neck much easier without her pigtails obstructing his view, but he felt that he was looking at the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
"H-hi Videl." He managed to choke something out in the end.
"Good evening Gohan." She replied swiftly.
"I thought you had a date Gohan?" Erasa asked.
"Whatever gave you that idea?" Erasa and Videl looked at each other. It was Videl's fault in a way; she had ordered Erasa not to pursue the matter further in the first place.
"Videl and I just assumed…"
The teenagers' conversation was cut short by the two young boys present. "Goten, get off me!"
"You started it Trunks!" replied the dark haired boy to his friend.
"Boys." Gohan's once again stern voice quietened them down.
"Sorry Gohan." They spoke in unison.
Gohan crouched down to their level to speak to them. "I'm going to introduce you to a few friends of mine from school, so be polite. This is Sharpener, Erasa and Videl." He motioned to each in turn as they all nodded back.
Goten looked pensive for a moment, before he spoke up. "Gohan, is this the Videl that you said you'd like to-" The young boy's sentence was cut short as a large hand found its way over his mouth.
Gohan chuckled with embarrassment. "I'd better take these guys for a drink of water, they've had so much cotton candy and coke that it's given them a sugar high." He continued to laugh nervously, hoping Videl didn't have thoughts on what the next few words might have been. Even Gohan wasn't sure exactly what words Goten was going to repeat; he'd said quite a few things at home about Videl.
Gohan began leading the two youngsters away, but spoke over his shoulder. "Maybe I'll see you guys later."
Videl smiled at him. She'd barely registered what had been said over the last few moments, and this was why she hadn't realised what the boy who could only have been Gohan's little brother had almost said. "Bye Gohan." She spoke just loud enough for him to hear and he gave a smile back, one that she was sure he didn't know had just melted her on the inside.
Erasa clicked her fingers in front of Videl's zoned out face. "Earth to Videl. Anybody home?"
"What?" Videl turned to her friend.
"It looked like your consciousness had deserted you for a moment. Isn't that great of Gohan to bring his little brother and his friend here? What a sweet guy, huh?"
Videl replied, in an almost dreamlike manner. "Yeah…"
"Videl, me and Sharpie are pretty tired, we were thinking about calling it a night. Are you ready to go home yet?"
"I'm not tired."
"Shut up Sharpener." Growled Erasa.
Videl turned to her friend with irritation; she had been busy scouting the crowds. "I was hoping to stay a bit longer, we haven't even been on the teacups yet." The blonde girl had gambled that Videl's answer would be along those lines.
"Teacups? You want to go on the teacups? Are you sure you aren't hoping to run into someone while you're still here?
"I'll level with you Erasa, I am interested in Gohan, but only so that I can find out about his secrets. If I can spend time with him I'm sure he'll slip up at some point."
"Well, you'll be pleased to know that he's coming this way right now." Erasa spoke, pointing a finger over Videl's shoulder.
"What? Where?" She turned around in a hurry and a tad flustered. Coming towards them was indeed Gohan, with the two excitable boys he was with still buzzing around his ankles.
"Hi again guys, I wasn't expecting to see you again."
Videl decided that she'd better speak to him this time, in order to save herself from looking a fool. "I would have thought that you'd have gone home now, it must be getting pretty late for those two little guys?"
"Well, it is way past their bedtime, but if I take them home this hopped up on sugar they'll never go to sleep. Best to tire them out while we're still here."
"Gohan, Sharpener and I were about to leave, but Videl wants a ride on the teacups, you wouldn't mind if she joined your group, would you?"
Gohan turned his gaze to Videl and gave her one of his effortless smiles. "Of course not, there's always room for one more."
"It's settled then." Erasa moved closer to Videl so that she could whisper in her ear. "If you happen to kiss him, remember that-"
Videl cut her friend off short with a hiss. "There will be no kissing going on!"
"Just make sure to call me tomorrow." Spoke Erasa in a singsong voice, as she dragged Sharpener off.
"So, um…teacups was it?" Gohan asked the question nervously, he hadn't missed the whispered conversation, despite the two girls' best efforts. Videl nodded as an answer.
Together they began to wander towards the location of the teacups. Videl's nerves had settled quickly after Erasa's suggestions and her usual demeanour had surfaced. Quickly they reached their destination, as the two boys were also excited to be going on the ride.
The four of them piled in together, Gohan allowing the other three to climb in before him. Videl wasn't quite ready as the ride started up, and hadn't yet got a decent hold on the bar in front of her, and due to the movement of the cup she slid along the seat right into Gohan.
Gohan felt her move and reached his free arm around her shoulders to steady her, resulting in him bringing her body even closer to his own. In the chaos of the ride and the screeching of Goten and Trunks, Gohan didn't quite register what he had done.
Videl however, couldn't ignore it. Her cheeks flushed with a heavy blush, not because of the act in itself, people had attempted to put their arms around her shoulders before, resulting in varying levels of violence. What she was really blushing at was the fact that she really quite liked having his arm around her.
The pair remained like that until the culmination of the ride, when Gohan gradually loosened his hold on her body, still not quite realising that he had been so close to the girl he desired so much.
The two youngest of the group clambered out of the teacup first, and jumped off the stand of the ride onto the grass below. Gohan motioned for Videl to exit first, and as she placed a foot on the ground, a sudden wave of dizziness washed over her body.
Gohan noticed that her footing was a bit unstable and grasped her around the waist before she could go tumbling to the ground. Videl was pulled towards his chest, facing him.
"Whoops." She spoke as she become conscious of just how close their faces were. His breath was gently tickling her lips, and Erasa's words from earlier ran through her mind. Was he about to kiss her? What should she do if he did?
She bit her lip and closed her eyes, she couldn't bear to look him in the eye, if she did, she was sure that she'd kiss him. His eyes held something in them, something powerful, mysterious, but they had such a kind and gentle nature that she felt as though she couldn't resist him.
Slowly, she felt the pressure of his arm around her waist subside, and the closeness of their bodies disappeared.
"Careful Videl, you wouldn't want to bang your knee or anything." Videl cursed how clueless he was, he obviously didn't experience the same turmoil that she had just been through.
She was mistaken however, as the words he had heard from her conversation with Erasa had not escaped his mind. He had come dangerously close to kissing her, but Videl's reaction to Erasa's suggestions was hardly encouraging.
He took her hand and led her from the teacups. Videl looked down at their joined hands, her slender fingers being gently squeezed by his own. "We'd better get moving before those tykes get too far away."
Videl squeezed Gohan's hand in return and followed his lead. It didn't matter that they hadn't kissed right then, there was always the future.
This is an entry for SweetestIrony's July contest, the challenge being 'Festival'.