Gohan grinned and rubbed the back of his head.
"Come on, Gohan!"
"Yeah, bud, it's your turn!"
"You did it a lot as a kid!"
He cocked his eyebrow at his mother. "Yeah, when I was a kid. I'm twenty-eight now!" he informed. Two tiny hands grabbed his larger one. He looked down at the little black-haired girl to his right.
"C'mon, Daddy! I wanna hear you sing!" she said in the voice she always used to make the hybrid do something. He visibly hesitated, trying to keep from making eye contact with the girl's matching chocolate orbs. "Pleeease?" she pleaded. Defeated, he sighed and smiled.
"Okay, Panny." He ruffled her hair playfully, making her grin. Videl rolled her eyes and gave him a knowing smile. He smiled back, "Oh, come on. Don't tell me you don't fall for that." He couldn't believe it. After all that the couple had been through, this beautiful, young, now incredibly famous (thanks to her involvement in the defeat of Buu) woman agreed to be his wife. Him, a low-class Saiyan, low-class human. He glanced down at Pan.
And they made something so beautiful together.
"I'm a stronger woman than you are, apparently," Videl answered playfully and shooed him onto the little stage in the garden of Capsule Corporation. Gohan scooped up the karaoke microphone and hit the "random" button on the operator. The other Z Fighters watched eagerly as the machine spun the songs before slowly deciding on one. Gohan took a deep breath as the notes of a guitar sounded out of the speakers.
"Well, I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind. I left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time. I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon. I feel there's nothing I can do, yeah…" He paused to let the music play. He looked out to the crowd of faces of friends he knew so well. He let his eyes settle on his wife and daughter. "I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon. After all, I knew it had to be something to do with you. I really don't mind what happens now and then, as long as you'll be my friend at the end." The music built up, "If I go crazy, then will you still call me Superman? If I'm alive and well, will you be there holding my hand? I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might, Kryptonite." The music slowed again.
As it slowed, Gohan furrowed his eyebrows. An unknown woman tapped Videl on her shoulder, gaining her attention. Videl's eyes widened and she hugged the woman quickly. The woman adjusted the hood over her head, masking her face in a blanket of shadow. She tilted her head down to little Pan, who was watching her daddy with large, excited eyes. "You called me strong, you called me weak, but still your secrets I will keep. You took for granted all the times I never let you down. You stumbled in and bumped your head. If not for me, then you'd be dead. I picked you up and put you back on solid ground."
The woman handed Videl a black notebook, one regularly used by school-going students. Gohan could just barely see the distantly familiar messy scrawl on the front. Pavisse "If I go crazy, then will you still call me Superman? If I'm alive and well, will you be there, holding my hand? I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might, Kryptonite…" his voice trailed off as the woman smiled and looked up at the stage Their eyes met. Hers were shiny and so familiar. Chocolate brown.
His voice was quiet, "If I go crazy, then will you still call me Superman? If I'm alive and well, will you be there, holding my hand? I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might, Kryptonite." The woman grinned. It was all so familiar. Gohan repeated the chorus once more, louder, pondering the woman's identity. Videl turned back to him, eyes also shiny with tears.
Pan, she mouthed. The woman pulled her hood farther over her head and turned away to leave. Gohan threw down the mic and jumped off stage after her, but by the time he reached the edge of the garden, she'd disappeared. The music ended slowly, softly. His daughter ran up behind him and grabbed his arm, confused and worried. "Daddy? Are you okay?" she asked. He looked down at her, lost in his memories. Her face, her clothes, her voice, even her personality was exactly how it was supposed to be. Exactly as he remembered the little girl's counterpart when he'd met her. "Daddy?"
Videl walked up and touched his other arm. "She said she misses you," she said gently. "And she gave us this, just as she promised in high school." Videl motioned to the notebook in her arm. Gohan gazed at the notebook, still lost, until he let his eyes travel up Videl's arm and to her eyes.
"You know, there's not a happy ending in there," he said softly. He could feel the other Z Fighters' eyes on his back, but he didn't care. "Mage never had a real happy ending. Not like us." Videl smiled knowingly.
"I know what you want to do," she replied. "And I want you to know, if you want to do it, there's still one wish that we didn't use… you know, back then." She grinned as her husband's eyes widened. "They're in your parents' house in the kitchen cupboard." Gohan scooped Pan up into his arms and took off for Mount Pouz.
Outside Goku and Chichi's house, the dragonballs pulsed brightly, humming their eerie note. Pan shifted her weight from foot to foot nervously. "How do I do this?" she asked. Gohan bent down behind her and took her hands in his. He pulled them forward and spread her fingers out. Pan took a deep breath and gazed into the glowing orange orbs. Her heart thumped with them, banging against her chest.
"Call him out," her father said softly. She nodded and straightened her arms.
"Shenron, um… come out!" she said. Gohan laughed.
"You have to sound intimidating."
Pan knitted her eyebrows together; a stern, concentrated frown pulling at her lips. "Shenron! Come out and grant my wish!" she barked loudly. Gohan raised his eyebrows and smiled. A bright light twisted and spiraled into the pitch black sky, forcing Pan against her father's chest. She blamed the weakness on the wind. Gohan smiled and wrapped his arms protectively around her waist as Shenron solidified and glared down at them.
"Who awakened me from my slumber?" he boomed. Pan trembled at the large, deep voice, but she took a long breath and glared right back at him.
"I did!" she shouted.
"Then state your single wish. I will grant any one within my power."
Pan looked back at her father. He nodded once, confirming her unasked question. She turned back to the dragon. "I wish my father's counterpart from the original timeline, the one he calls 'Majunior,' a happy future." Shenron's eyes glowed bright crimson.
"It has been done. Farewell." The dragon disappeared with a crack of lightning, back into the balls. The dragonballs lifted off the ground and twirled in a circle before shooting off to seven corners of the Earth.
Pan released a breath she'd been holding and looked back at her father. He hugged her tightly and scooped her up to spin her around. She laughed and hugged him back, enjoying being in her daddy's arms, as always. When he finally stopped, she calmed down and pulled away to look into his eyes. "Did I do a good thing, Daddy?" she asked. Gohan grinned and held her hand, pressing it to his lips for a little kiss.
"A very good thing. I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you, Panny." Pan grinned triumphantly.
"So… you can make any wish with the dragonballs?" she asked, seemingly innocent. Gohan chuckled.
"Just about," he replied. "But, there's one thing I can do without needing to wish for it." Pan blinked.
"I… can… eatmydaughter!" he shouted and chewed on her arm playfully. Pan squealed and wiggled to get away, but Gohan as too strong. The two ended up falling into the long grass to stare at the night sky. "You remember what I told you about him, didn't I, Pan?" he asked softly.
"He's a hero," she replied, "Just like Grandpa and Grandma and Papa Hercule and Mama and Uncle Goten and Trunks and Bulma and Veggie and Krillen and 18 and everybody we know." She looked over at Gohan, who was watching the sky with that lost expression on his face again. "And Mirai and… Future me, right?" He looked back at her, feeling her breath on his nose.
"And present you," he replied. "You're a hero, too." She smiled and curled into his chest. She looked up at the sky in time to see a shooting star.
"When will he come back?" she asked after a few moments of silence.
"He's already here," Gohan replied. "He never left, not once. Even when I was a kid, he didn't leave. But when he's ready to show himself again, he'll do it. He's done it before. He'll help us, he'll help you, he'll help Mama… everyone. Like he always does. He and Mirai and little Future You."
Pan smiled at the thought. Then another one popped into her head, "How long will he stay here, watching over us?" she asked.
Up in the trees, a lavender haired man was perched on a branch next to a raven haired one. The cloaked woman from the garden landed softly and silently on a branch next to her father. She pulled her hood down and leaned against him, putting her head on his shoulder. He leaned his head on hers and held her hand. "For as long as it takes," he said softly. He smiled.
Another shooting star crossed the sky.
Thank you everyone for reading and reviewing. Your thoughts, compliments, and opinions have helped me so much while writing this story. If not for you, Impasse and Finesse would have never happened.
For those of you who wanted a sequel, I'm sorry to say there's nothing following this. However, I do have a pre-prequel in progress, Pavisse. You can find it on my profile. However, I will not be posting the chapters as I write them like I did this story and its prequel. I will post the chapters at a steady pace as soon as I'm done writing all of them. I don't know when that will be, so keep your eyes open.
Thank you all again.