I know it has been a while (almost 4 years). I apologise for the delay, but as usual, life has its way to keep me busy.
Hopefully it won't take me 4 years to upload the next chapter – it better not!
This chapter hasn't been beta'ed, so apologies for typos/grammar.
I would like to thank all reviewers for your positive comments – they are sooo motivating!
A special thanks to Kisa-kun for being relentless on getting my ass in gear.
I hope you like this chapter and please do leave a review.
"Look at you all happy." Videl said while looking at Bee, the family's four legged friend. "Do you miss flying?"
Bee just looked at Videl, tongue out of his mouth, his long and furry ears flying everywhere.
"Perhaps you're just happy you're going to be fed something else other than chocolate... I honestly don't know how you're still alive, how many times did Buu feed you junk?"
Hearing Buu's name made the dog even more excited.
"Never mind Bee, you're going on a break. Too much excitement can't be that good for your little heart, right?"
Mr. Satan was living the life. Drink in his hand, shades on his face while sitting at the garden enjoying the sun.
Oh, if only his leg wasn't in a cast…
After being dismissed from hospital he got himself admitted into a nice and private clinic. This way he wouldn't be a burden to anyone other than the clinic's staff.
Videl didn't oppose to the idea, not because her dad would be a burden (even Chichi offered to help the champion in this time of need), but because this way she was sure that her dad was doing his physio properly. She knew the man… she knew he would blag his way out of physio if he was at home.
Gohan, who also had a drink in his hand, was enjoying the scenery. The clinic's location was amazing; it felt like they were in the countryside, although they were only 10 minutes away from Satan City.
Pan was enjoying the scenery as well, although in a much more hands-on fashion. Her uncle's old hobby grew on her, especially now that she was learning Natural Science at school. The girl was digging near the green and trimmed hedges for bugs.
Gohan would have to make sure he would apologise on his way out, although probably Mr. Satan could fix it all by writing the gardener a cheque.
At the moment, they were all waiting for Videl who went to the Mansion to pick up Bee the dog.
Bee was going on a city-break until Mr. Satan was well enough to look after him. Not because staff at the Mansion wasn't capable of feeding the dog, but simply because Buu had the tendency of sharing his sweet-chocolaty based diet with his four legged friend.
"Look at the state of her." Mr. Satan chuckled.
"Eh?" Gohan didn't get the comment as his attention was locked far, far away onto the green fields.
"Look at the mess Pan is making... she has soil everywhere, even her hair. Videl is going to be pleased with that."
"My mother would go ballistic. Videl doesn't care that much, after all nothing a good wash won't fix." Gohan chuckled.
"Very true." Mr. Satan agreed, casually sipping his drink.
"You know son, before Videl was born I always dreamt of a son... I wanted to play with him, wrestle with him, the whole lot." The older man placed his shades on top of table, adjusted the pillow under his leg and reclined. "It wasn't that I was disappointed when Videl was born, but I must admit I felt pretty lost when I thought about what I was going to do when she grew older and wanted to play."
It was not unusual that Mr. Satan would engage in conversation with Gohan, especially when the topic involved Videl. After all, it was one of the things they both had in common...
However, Gohan being Gohan did most of the listening whereas the older man did most of the talking. Gohan didn't mind.
"But you know Gohan, Videl was such a tomboy that I never felt I was missing anything out. Boy, was I glad she didn't like dolls! Pan is just the same and she reminds me so much of her... Makes me feel really old."
Both men admired the girl, now running after what it looked like a butterfly.
"She does take after Videl a lot." Gohan said. "Not that I knew how Videl was when she was little, but I can see a lot of her traits in Pan."
"Before you came along, never in a lifetime I thought that I'd see Videl wearing a skirt or make up... let alone seeing her married with a kid!" The man shook his head smiling at the memory.
"I'm not sure if I should apologise for that or not." Gohan asked not really expecting an answer.
"Don't be daft boy, I'm glad you found each other! I doubt anybody else would have the guts to deal with her. I know I don't, she's too damn stubborn for her own good!" Mr. Satan kidded.
"DAD! I caught a butterfly without flying!" Pan shouted from the other side of the flower patch.
"Well done Pan, now let it go!" Gohan instructed.
An instant later, Gohan noticed that Videl was approaching nearby... so much for telling Pan not to fly - there was Videl up in the air holding what looked like a ball of fur.
Videl landed next to the men of her life and Bee practically jumped out her arms straight onto the champion's lap. The man was caught off guard and if Gohan hadn't gone to the rescue, he would have fallen off the chair.
While Gohan wiped his brow out of relief for saving his father-in-law from injuring himself any further, Videl was laughing her head off with the incident.
"I guess somebody missed you old man!" she said while petting the dog's head.
Mr. Satan couldn't help himself from the dog's affectionate attack.
"MUM! You brought Bee! Cool!" Pan ran, hugging her mother. "Is he going to stay with us for real?"
"Yep. Only until grandpa's leg gets better. After that Bee goes back to grandpa's okay?"
"YAY! I'm so happy! It's going to be so fun! Can Bra come and play with Bee as well?"
"Now sweetie, Bee is getting old like your grandpa, you can't be too rough with him alright?" The champ advised out of concern for his pet.
"Don't worry grandpa, I've been practicing loads with dad so I can play with my friends at school. I won't hurt Bee!" Pan said, leaving the old man confused.
"Don't worry dad, it's a long story! By the way, if anyone asks if Pan is training with you, just say yes. Please don't ask about the rest." There was no way Videl was going to boost her father's ego by letting him know what she said at Pan's school. After all, 'he' was the reason the girl was able to push kids twice her size flying across a classroom.
The frantic noise of Videl's ringtone contrasted with the whole peaceful scene. Sighing, Videl took the noisy and vibrating contraption out of her pocket and answered the call. Unsurprisingly it was work.
Gohan still loved to hear Videl using his surname as her own, even if she'd been using it ever since they exchanged rings. Although she kept her maiden name, sometimes Gohan thought that she actually used her acquired surname in order to benefit from the anonymity she so much desired.
Videl did her best to keep her face straight without alarming her dad... there was a bit of a situation going on. A situation that Videl wasn't sure how to deal with... yet!
"Okay, I'll be there asap." Videl informed curtly. The less she said, the less chance her emotions would get the best out of her.
"Everything alright?" Gohan asked out of concern, he could feel Videl's change of mood even though her face didn't show it much.
"Yeah..." Videl nodded. "Dad, wait a second, I need to have a word with Gohan 'kay?" Videl said grabbing Gohan's hand and moving a bit to the side, preventing her dad from listening to their conversation.
"What happened?" Gohan whispered.
"I need you to grab Pan, my dad and the dog and fly them somewhere safe".
"Why? What's wrong?" Gohan asked while holding her hand, Videl was still grasping her phone.
"A gang planted a bomb in Dad's Hotel. The police don't know what their demands are yet but they've got hostages. Damn..." Videl tightened her hold on her phone. "The hotel is fully booked because of the Anniversary Special."
"No, I'll go! You take Pan and fly your dad to safety."
"NO! You're faster than me... you go, make sure they're safe and then come back to give me a hand. Probably they're just bluffing and taking advantage of the situation. Media just spread the news that dad was in the hospital recovering from a 'mishap'."
Videl put her phone back in her pocket. She took hold of Gohan's hands in a reassuring manner.
"You know I worry about you... I've got a bad feeling about this." Gohan said concerned.
"Hun, it's probably nothing... but just to be on the safe side, please take them to safety. I just told Chief Trout that I was going to meet him for debriefing." Videl's mind was already in work mode, still, she raised herself high enough to give Gohan a peck on the lips.
"Meet me at the Hotel okay? Don't tell dad what's happening, come up with something... and don't let them turn on the TV."
"Dad, Pan, I've got to go." Videl said giving her dad a peck on his cheek and Pan a quick kiss on her forehead. "You should go with Gohan okay? See you in a bit!" And she set of into the air, the hotel was only a few miles away it'd be faster that way.
'Great' Gohan thought. 'Now I have to come up with a reason to take Mr. Satan away... Why does she do this to me? She knows I'm a crap liar.'
"Everything okay son?" Mr. Satan asked. Pan wasn't too bothered as she was playing with Bee.
"Sort of... how about some of my mother's cooking?"
The older man looked at him suspiciously, raising his eyebrow. The boy was a terrible liar. Regardless, Chichi's cooking sounded wonderful, especially after so many days of eating hospital food.
Videl landed on a secluded area close to where her Chief instructed to meet. Out with a capsule and POOF Videl's motorcycle came into view. She only rode her motorcycle when she travelled alone and had to avoid traffic, or in small journeys like this one.
Videl could see lots of faint flashes of blue light at the distance, which confirmed that probably every squad car has been called to the scene. The debriefing area was not too far from the hotel, but still at a safe distance just in case things took a turn for the worst.
Gohan's words were still on her head I've got a bad feeling about this... If Videl had any concerns about the situation, they just increased a million fold. Often his bad feelings turned to be accurate, however, there were exceptions and this could be one.
It didn't take Videl long to reach her destination, the amount of personnel that had been dispatched to the scene was incredible. Without a doubt backup from neighbouring towns had been requested. 'Okay... so perhaps this is a real threat and not just a crazy loony with a death wish.' Videl thought. It wasn't the first time and definitely it wouldn't be the last time that some evil-doers tried to cause some havoc in town – only the place changed, now her dad's hotel, yesterday the city hall, tomorrow the multiplex or mall.
As a matter of fact, this wouldn't be the first time the hotel had some kind of threat. Soon after the hotel opened, some group of low-lives announced poisoning the water supplies and asked for a large lump sum of money in exchange for the antidote. Suffice to say, and after thorough lab tests, it turned out it was nothing but a huge bluff.
"Videl, it's so good to have you here. Thank you for coming so quickly on your day off." Chief Trout approached her as soon as she hopped off her bike. "There is a high chance that these guys are really up to no good."
"What do they want?" Videl asked. The older police chief was far too stressed for her liking.
"The usual... money, a helicopter and a jet."
"And I'm guessing if they don't get what they want the hotel goes boom." Videl raised her hand to her forehead and shook her head. "How are the hostages fairing?"
"Negotiators think they might be in the boiler room. Apparently the head of the gang has done something similar 20 years ago. It was before your time but you may have heard of Jo Bomber." The Chief walked closer to the centre of operations, Videl followed him suit.
"Oh yeah... he got out of jail last year." Videl recalled some older colleagues mentioning Jo and she had a vague memory of studying him in one of her classes years ago. "So probably he has been planning this for a while..." This was definitely not good. After all the only reason Jo got caught and sent to jail was because at the time, he bombed Orange City Congress Centre and got injured in the explosion, simply because he made a mistake and the bomb detonated earlier than planned.
However, 20 years passed and not only technology evolved, but he also had plenty of time to plan his next target while he was locked up.
"The biggest concern is that we know he is able to execute. We were fortunate that his past incident had no fatalities... if it had gone as Jo Bomber planned, a lot of lives would have been lost that day." Chief Trout took off his hat and wiped his receding forehead.
"So, what's the plan of action?"
Gohan felt the explosion while in mid-air and tried to get to the Hotel as soon as he physically could, he landed as soon as he saw the police cars and ran to Videl's Chief.
"Hello son, glad you could make it!" He shook Gohan's hand vigorously. "As you can see things aren't going as planned. Is Mr. Satan safe?"
"Yes he is, sir. Videl told me a gang planted a bomb. Where is she?" Gohan asked, despite feeling her somewhere inside the building.
"Videl entered the air con vents to see if she can kill the servers, we think they might be using the Hotel's surveillance cameras to have a feel of what's happening outside." Gohan took a deep breath and acted as if that information did not worry the crap out of him.
"Is there anything I can do?" Gohan asked still looking at the surroundings and analysed the situation they were facing. Bits of roof tiles scattered everywhere on the lush green grass by the pool area, shattered glass absolutely everywhere.
"Son, we could really do with your magic... we've got a lot of lives at stake." The tired chief confessed. He had seen Gohan and Videl in action throughout the years and he was sure that if there was anyone able to miraculously sort out this mess, it would be Satan's City crime-fighting duo... even without wearing spandex.
Videl had no recollection of when things went tits up, her mind focussed on the task at hand. She really did not expect Jo 'Effing' Bomber to blow up the entire Pool Bar area.
Uncomfortable with the special forces closing in the building, Jo 'Fucking' Bomber as she started to call him about half hour ago, showed how 'goddamn serious' he was by providing everyone with a little taste of what was yet to come – if his demands weren't met.
Fortunately, there were no casualties as the bastards had all the hostages locked down in the underground boiler room.
Videl was almost positive that he was using the hotel surveillance cameras to see what was happening outside. She knew the layout of the hotel, the boiler room had no windows, and the temperature cameras did not show anyone peeping through a window.
These guys were organised and either had an outside snitch or they were definitely using the Hotel's CCTV.
Once the Pool Bar's roof went up the air, their plan of action changed last minute and Videl convinced her Chief to let her go and kill the servers in the IT room – which she knew exactly where it was, and even knew an easy shortcut to it.
All the smoke and debris were the distraction she needed to make a run for it, hopefully without being detected. However, deep inside, she had the feeling that they a worm in the apple... and one of the good guys was collaborating with the bad guys.
She just hoped Gohan would be there to give her a hand quick, this was definitely not going as planned.
Her knees were definitely bruising from all the scraping through the vent, her hands almost red from the friction with the metal. Still, Videl persevered... her mind trying to abstract herself from the chaos and panic that the first explosion had caused. 'Keep at it Videl, you can do it' she tried to encourage herself.
Her mind wondered for a bit, but the pain she felt when a pointy screw stabbed her hand brought her back. 'ARGH!' she bit her lips to prevent her from cursing or emitting more noise than she needed. 'What am I going to cook for dinner? WHAT am I going to cook for DINNER?' she shouted mentally, while sucking the blood from her hand. Videl took a look at it, it wasn't that bad, but she was definitely going to ask for a tetanus shot after all this.
Gohan honestly felt like scolding his wife – wasn't there anybody else better prepared for the job than herself on casual jeans and t-shirt? Stealthily entering a vent wasn't exactly written on her job description...
But he knew Videl and had in mind that the same Videl, a decade ago or so, without any proper training, was jumping from helicopters onto burning building roofs - so he would be considerate and try and go easy on her.
On the other hand, he knew exactly why she offered to do the job. He also knew exactly which vent Videl entered and he actually admitted that she would have the upper hand in this case.
This was the exact same vent where their Pan, one time while playing hide-and-seek with some kids lodged at the hotel, found her winning hiding spot... and then fell asleep, probably bored because nobody managed to find her.
So in reality, this wasn't the first time Videl was in this position... except this time there was a maniac somewhere with a detonator, and she was trying to get inside the server room instead of dragging her naughty girl out of the vent.
Gohan distanced himself a bit from the scene and elevated a few feet off the ground in an attempt to get a more global vision of the whole event. How could he infiltrate the building and kick some ass without anyone getting hurt?
The hostages were definitely making it difficult.
It was then that he noticed what looked like someone hiding in the bushes... and he didn't think twice, he lowered himself as quickly as he could, hoping the guy would only notice he had company when he had his hands around his neck.
Acting first and asking questions later wasn't really Gohan's approach, but this guy looked suspicious as hell, and he really didn't want to take any risks.
The guy really had no idea what hit him until he felt Gohan's hands tight on his collared shirt and being turned around at incredible speed.
In a bout of panic, the suspicious dude dialled a button in the cell phone that he was holding unbeknownst to Gohan.
Then it was Gohan's turn to panic once he realised what the guy had done. The few seconds between Gohan knocking the guy out of his senses and the boom of another explosion felt like minutes to Gohan. Acting on pure instinct, Gohan grabbed the guy completely disregarding his well being, flew back to the scene – threw the guy toward the police crew and ran towards the part of the hotel that had been blasted.
His ki rising to the point he didn't care if he blew up Earth or not... the explosion had blasted the area where Videl was supposed to be.
Uub was surprised when his foot hit his master's head at full force, but what really surprised him was Goku's sudden serious face and "Uub, carry on training. I will be back."
Placing two fingers in his forehead, off he went, disappearing in front of the tanned lad.
Uub was getting better at detecting ki... what felt like his maters ki and another powerful one were very very distant.
Being the good student he was, his dedication to training won over his curiosity.
Gohan felt nothing while he removed big blocks of concrete with his bare hands... the previous minutes just felt like a blur – as soon as he approached the building, the special forces team managed to infiltrate and caught Jo Bomber and his gang, who were as surprised by the blast as everyone else. He remembers his dad materialising in front of him, and he was certain he felt Vegeta approaching.
He does not remember if words were exchanged, all he knows is that Videl was underneath the rubble and he wanted her out!
He powered up and pieces of rubble flew, caught in the anti-gravitational field.
He could exactly pinpoint where she was, she was fine, her ki seemed irregular but present. He cleared his head from any other thought, and just focussed on getting to her. It didn't take long until he found her curled in a foetal position, protecting her head with her hands. Her knuckles were bloody and there was grey, concrete dust everywhere.
Despite all he wanted was to hold Videl tightly, check if she was okay and kiss her all over, he knew better than to move her too much in case his assessment was wrong and she was really hurt.
Videl felt the weight off her body, unclasped her fingers and took her hands away from her head. She wiped her eyes and struggled to focus, but she recognised Gohan's face practically glued to hers.
Videl coughed and then smiled.
"Gohan, I'm okay... dinner will be...chicken with pasta."
Gohan smiled at Videl, pecked her dusty lips and then was pushed aside by the medical team.
Forever grateful that the love of his life was such a tough cookie, Gohan felt relieved that Videl was fine - minus for the obvious concussion.