Disclaimer; I don't own DBZ or anything related to it.
Gohan stretched as he slowly opened his eyes, warm light flooding the room, and tried to get his bearings. A flow of memories came over him as he lay in bed. He had done it! he had defeated Nahog! And he had talked with Videl through a psychic link and she didn't hate him!
As he sat on the side of the bed, Gohan realized that this day couldn't really get better unless his dad suddenly returned from the dead and walked through the door. Still sitting, Gohan looked around the room; it was familiar.
Seeing the red-and-purple colors decorating the room, along with the white stone walls, Gohan finally realized where he was; the Lookout. Gohan's surprise lasted a couple seconds before he remembered the wish he had made the night before he fought Nahog. Upon Nahog's death, all his destruction was to be undone.
While Gohan was still looking around in a daze, surprising himself with how glad he was to have the Lookout back, the door to his room opened. Turning around, Gohan was treated to the surprise of a lifetime. Bulma entered first, leading Videl, Erasa and – to Gohan's great relief and surprise – Sharpener in to see him.
Gohan's eyes were locked on the trio of teenagers, especially on Sharpener, who Gohan had considered to be his best friend, before Nahog showed up.
"Sharpener? But… but how? I saw you… I saw your…"
"My body?" the long-haired blond asked, a look of amusement on his face, "Yeah, I was dead. At least, that's what everyone keeps telling me, I don't remember anything about it."
"Hey Gohan, how're you feeling?" Erasa piped up, her face also lit up by a smile. Next to her, Videl stood with one hand on her hip.
"I, ehm, I'm good. And you guys?"
"We were pretty worried about you when you just wouldn't wake up. But everyone said that you were perfectly fine, just exhausted."
"How long was I out? I felt like I just had a good night's sleep."
"Well, you certainly had that," Krillin said as he stepped into the room as well, "you were out cold for three hole days."
"Three days? Guess I was more exhausted then I'd thought."
"Yeah, Piccolo told us you also needed to sleep off the stress from the last couple months, so we just let you rest instead of having Dende replenish your energy on the spot. But let me bring you up to speed, you don't know what's been happening lately."
Krillin walked over, leaning on the bed and pointed at Sharpener.
"As soon as we saw you defeat Nahog, Piccolo and Dende joined their powers and contacted New Namek. With Porunga's aid, we got our three additional wishes. Piccolo immediately set about reviving everyone who had been killed because of the clones, so combined with your wish to Shenron, it's literally nothing but a memory for all the people. No dead and no property damage remain. The second wish was to remove the knowledge of the dragon balls from everyone on earth who had learned of them through you. wars have been fought over the dragon balls when only a select few knew about them. I don't want to imagine what'd happen if the world at large would learn of their existence. Instead, we made everyone think you used some ancient magical artifact that drained you of all your superhuman powers in exchange for restoring everyone and everything that was damaged, destroyed or killed during the fighting."
Immediately Gohan's eyes sought out Videl, he vividly remembered how she had been opposed to altering people's memories to suit the wisher's purposes.
"Yeah, I was worried when they said they'd make that wish as well, but Krillin made a couple of arguments that I couldn't defeat. And this wasn't as bad as erasing everyone's memories just to make them look good."
Gohan dropped his head a bit, she wasn't about to let that one go, was she?
"Anyway," Krilllin continued, "we still had one wish left from Porunga and Videl wouldn't let us remove everyone's memories of Nahog's sheer existence, so we made another one. Initially we were going to have everyone know the truth of what happened, but that seemed sort of counterproductive when you were quickly growing into an international hero thanks to the Kais. So instead we wished for Porunga to strengthen the Lookout and Korin's Tower. Now, they can never be destroyed, as long as the earth itself still exists anyway."
"Wait, what?" Gohan's eyes nearly popped out of his head. "What did you just say? The world is seeing me as a hero? How?"
"Well, not sure if you figured it out or not, but the Kais used their magic to have everyone see the fight itself, so they saw you taking on Nahog mano-e-mano. That always stirs a couple hearts, but when you started taking hits for other villages, you were gold for them. People are still somewhat dived on you, but the general opinion is that you're a good guy. Gotta love divine intervention, right?"
"Wait, the Kais helped out? Why'd they do that? I mean, I'm grateful, but aren't they supposed to stay out of mortal affairs?"
"Normally, yes," Piccolo's voice immediately commanded a silence in the room, since Sharpener and Erasa had started chatting a bit, "They decided that Nahog's existence was too much of a threat to the Celestial Plan and had to interfere. But the only way that they can interfere – by sending in a warrior of their choice – took too long, so they did the next best thing. They chose you as their champion and used their magic to restore faith in you."
"And all the dead people? They can't remember seeing me fight, right?"
"Actually, I do." Sharpener was looking very intimidated as he looked up at Piccolo – then again, anyone standing next to the seven foot tall alien would look scared – "I'm not sure how, but I'm pretty sure I've seen you fight. there's a bit of a gap between Satan City and you fighting Nahog in the middle of nowhere, but I've definitely seen it. I'm trying not to think about it too much."
Gohan raized a quizzical eyebrow.
"Divine intervention bro, don't question it." Krillin advised, now sitting down on the bed. Bulma, who had been standing next to the door and observing the room more then joining in the conversation, finally stepped forward.
"Well, we're all chatting your ear off Gohan, while we just came to see how you're doing. We'll leave you to get some rest now, but if you're hungry; your mother has cooked quite a grand dinner to celebrate your victory. If you hurry, you might save some off it from Vegeta, Trunks, Goten and Yajirobi."
Gohan didn't need to be told twice. He immediately shot out of his bed and dashed towards the dining room, the others all remaining in the room and laughing. Gohan hadn't just been saying something to motivate himself in the fight; he really was starting to behave and react like Goku.
Food before anything!
The light was already fading outside, but neither detective Reginald, nor his partner Senior Detective Kaikaina prepared to leave for home. Instead, they simply sat behind their desks, switching between looking at their screens and each other.
"So, what do you think Kai?" Reginald asked, though he only wanted to break the silence.
"You damn well know what I think Reg." Kaikaina returned. "We are sitting on one of the biggest secrets in the past fucking decade, what'd you think I'm thinking?"
"Not just that, but about everything that happened last week. Us suddenly able to see that fight, two Gohans, Bulma Briefs giving a press statement about cloning research leading up to all the damage… and then everything we discovered after one Gohan killed the other. I'm not sure which of the two is a larger mindscrew…"
"Don't get me started. It all fits perfectly – which it would, of course, if it was the truth – and I'll admit I've been considering the possibility of a twin or a body double or something, but this is just too much. Seriously, cloning? Who thinks of that?"
"Look at the bright side; we were pretty much the only ones who considered the possibility of there being something fishy about Gohan's sudden personality change. Everyone else already assumed he was just a psycho."
The last couple of weeks, the duo had been working extensively with Videl and the girl's sharp and fresh mind had pointed out many things that they hadn't thought off before. But even with their three minds combined, they didn't reach a possibility anywhere near this.
"Reg, let's… let's just drop this shit, ok?" Kaikaina asked, leaning back in her chair and enjoying her last cigarette. She'd need to buy a new pack tomorrow. "I mean, normally I'd be all over this guy like a bloodhound, but what've we got on him? Our original charge was for multiple cases of first-degree murder, destruction of public property, acts of terrorism and causing discord amongst the people. But no-one is dead now, everyone's back alive, so I doubt we can catch him for murder. We kind of need a dead body, though I doubt even the judges would know how to deal with this kind of shit.
"and all the destruction that was caused by him has been immediately restored, so we can't nail that on him either. Terrorism is an act committed by a person or a group and we now know it was his clone who was doing the terrorism, but all the damages have been undone, so I doubt we can nail that one either. And causing discontent; after we all saw those damn images, he became public hero number one. I seriously doubt anyone will sue him for cuasing discord of that's how people think."
Reginald took a few seconds to think about it, but he already knew Kai was right. He had been going over a hundred and three different ways that he could possibly still catch Gohan Son and send him to jail, but there was literally no proof for his crimes. Cloning was unethical, but there were no laws against it – not yet anyone, if the current political storm, led by the Ox King, was any indication there'd be one within the month.
"I just hate letting the bad guys get away, especially when we know what he did."
"That's just the thing Reg; everyone knows he did it, but it wasn't really him. And more then that, EVERYTHING has been undone. There is no law that can claim anything about this, so there's no way to charge him with a crime. And from what I've come to understand, the real Gohan was as much a victim as the rest of us. As long as the rest of the world doesn't want him locked up, I say we don't bother. He can blast us from existance with a thought, so I say we don't mess with the guy. I've just got Gary back, no way am I going to let myself get killed because I can't leave the past behind. I'd suggest you do the same."
"Yeah, I know, I know. But still, you know." Reginald turned back to his computer screen, while Kaikaina leaned back to enjoy her cigarettes. Her fiancé had also returned after having been dead for nearly half a year. He had been one of victims in the initial battle between Nahog and Gohan's friends, over West City and she had been consumed by hatred for the entire time that he had been gone. Now, she was thoroughly confused and swung between overly happy and borderline depressed. If she didn't know any better, she'd almost swear she was pregnant!
"Stop staring at the screen or you'll leave here with square eyes Reg." Kai said after she had finished her cigarette and the younger man's eyes were still glued to the screen.
"I'm just… I'm thinking." He spoke very softly, afraid that anyone else might discover they existed and listen in. considering their new topic of conversation, Kaikaina wasn't surprised. All the clues they had found over the last weeks had let to another conclusion, one that both detectives wished they hadn't discovered. But they had opened the hole and now theyhad to look down to see what lay in that dark pit.
"I know." Kai leaned forward, pushing her cigarette into her ashtray. "But what are you thinking about, let me know."
"I'm… conflicted, I suppose." Reginald sighed and also leaned back. "my mind tells me that we have to tell the world about this. I mean, it's practically the biggest lie of the century and the entire world buys it daily, so I suppose it's just… wrong for so many people to be deceived."
"But on the other hand, I've always admired Hercule, not just for his defeat of Cell, but for just who he was. He was… he was a symbol, a hero. Someone I've believed in while I finished my school, even before he defeated Cell. He is an inspiration to millions of people every day. Is it really right for us to destroy that hope for so many people?"
"Reg, I couldn't have said it better myself." Kaikaina mimicked his action by leaning back in her chair as well, contemplating what she'd do next.
Just this morning, they had finally pieced everything together. Gohan's age matched that of what had been the assumed age of 'The Delivery Boy' back at the Cell Games. Before that, it was possible he had been involved in the Saiyan Invasion some fifteen odd years ago. The tapes of those fights were unclear at best, but there had been one young boy among the fighters. The original tapes of the Cell Games had been even harder to obtain, but once they had seen them several times over, one thing became clear; Hercule couldn't have defeated Cell.
Seven years ago, the world had gladly believed the light blasts and teleportation's of the fighters in the Cell Games to be magic tricks, but with everything that they had learned from the Gohan-Nahog affair, it became quite clear that they were no tricks. Superhuman abilities, yes, but no tricks. It had still taken them nearly a week to finally admit the hard truth to themselves.
Hercule Satan, the Great Hero of the World, an inspiration to millions if not billions of people every day, the famed victor of Cell… was a fraud and a liar. He hadn't defeated Cell, he had merely claimed the credit for it. and if Kai's guess was right – it was impossible to know for certain, because there had been no images – it had been Gohan who had defeated the monster. He had been the last one to fight before the camera's went out and had been doing the best out of everyone involved.
"What'd you think we should do Kai?"
Kai looked up for a few seconds. It had been ages since Reg had asked for her guidance like that. he had grown into a more then decent detective and wasn't above asking advice, but this was nearly pleading. Kai thought about it, but realized that she really didn't have too.
"We do nothing, we say nothing and we destroy any evidence leading to this find." She said as she stood up from her chair, moving over to the window instead. She had a perfect view of the masses below, already moving along like nothing had ever happened.
"You said it yourself, Hercule is an icon, a hero and an inspiration. With all the shit that the world has been going through these last couple months, I think we should leave this little ray of light untouched. If it's a lie, at least it's a good one. No-one is hurt and a lot of people are helped. Hercule went through enough shit on his own thanks to Nahog, I don't think we need to add on it by completely destroying the man's life. If Gohan wanted to do that, he'd have done so when he was fighting Nahog. He obviously didn't, so we leave him alone. Agree?"
Reginald looked at his computer for a few seconds, considering his next action, before he pressed some buttons himself. The screen flashed for a few seconds, then cleared out.
Nearly two months after he had woken up, Gohan stood waiting around in a street of Satan City. He knew he had to cross the street and he'd reach his objective, but for the first time since he was a little boy, fear had paralyzed Gohan.
He was instead stuck staring at the large building across the street. Orange Star High. For two months now Gohan had been recovering from all of Nahog's actions, he had been dragged from one courtroom to another, then was forced into press conferences all round. Finally, last week, all the chaos had stopped suddenly and Gohan was free to act as he pleased once again. Before he could so much sit down for a meal, his mother had suggested – ordered actually, but she managed to make it sound like a suggestion – that he return to school and finish his education.
Never mind that Gohan was now a world-famous superhuman warrior who could get any job he wanted – people rated him on par with Hercule as an inspiration for some reason – she thought he still had to finish his education.
But now, standing here in front of his school, Gohan was frozen in fear. The last time he had walked through those gates, it had been to be held in contempt by the entire school because everyone had thought him to be a mass rapist. It was a downright miracle they hadn't charged at him in hindsight.
What if everyone would look at him like that again? Gohan wasn't sure if he could take that, everyone staring at him like he was a monster. He had spend half a year fighting off a monstrous version of himself, but there was no telling how much people believed of the official story when they saw him in person.
People in the street mostly kept moving, not paying attention to anything but their own affairs, but every once in a while one of them looked at Gohan and either stopped walking or simply kept his eyes on Gohan as they walked by.
'Come on Gohan, you've fought battles for the sake of the earth and even the universe. Don't chicken out on this, there's nothing in there that can hurt you.'
But that, too, was a lie. As Gohan had learned from Nahog's actions, there were plenty of ways that the people in the school could hurt him. Physically they were nowhere near a threat to him, but on an emotional level…
'Come on, dad wouldn't be afraid of getting stared at and neither will I!'
The reminder that Gohan was striving to be more like his father finally made the teenager move. Since the weather was nice and classes hadn't started yet the school's grounds were packed with the students, chatting and walking and sporting as they seemed fit. Gohan walked through the gates into the grounds, wearing his old school uniform, and looked around for a bit.
All around him people stopped what they were doing and stopped to look at him. People elbowed their neighbors to get their attention and pointed at him. Again, fear gripped Gohan's heart, but this time he forced himself to look around, see people's faces and try to read their eyes.
There, a group of the jocks had stopped their game of basketball, one of them clenching the ball against him in one arm, and stared at him. They didn't seem hostile, they weren't making a show of being tough against him either, but Gohan did feel something negative from them. Jealousy?
A bit to the side sat a cluster of what others often defined as nerds. They looked pretty ordinary to Gohan's eyes, with only two out of het ten or so having glasses but they all held either a book, a portable gaming device or they had been chatting about something'nerdy.' They sat on their seats, looking at him but there was no negativity from them. after a second or so of looking at them, a couple of them waved over at him, all of them smiling at him.
Next was a group of girls all clustered together, as soon as Gohan's eyes landed on them – each of them with her hair in some different style that brought out a part of their faces and various degrees of make up applied – they smiled and vigorously waved at him. A couple of them even blew kisses his way!
Gohan's eyes scanned further and further into the crowd of students, but there was no hatred that he could really find. Sure, some of the people didn't like him – Jocks and the Loners most of all – but other then that no-one seemed to be upset at Gohan's arrival.
Returning his eyes to the front, Gohan saw that the crowd had stepped aside a bit to allow passage for a special group. Special within the school because they didn't fit any traditional description and special to Gohan because they were his friends. Videl, Sharpener and Erasa were the first to step into the large circle that had formed around Gohan as he had stared at the crowd.
Sharpener, wearing his hair down and a sleeveless shirt as usual, gave Gohan a quick nod, the closest the man would get to showing affection to another man in front of a crowd. Erasa, wearing her favored green-striped tank-top gave him a wave, a wink and a smile. But Gohan's eyes were mostly on Videl. She stepped forward from the other two, closing the distance to Gohan but staying just far enough that Gohan couldn't reach her if he extended his arm.
Slowly, Videl raised her arm and held it out to Gohan, palm first. Gohan was surprised at the gesture, but didn't react immediately.
"Welcome back to Orange Star High, Gohan. It's been too long."
With a smile now growing on his own face, Gohan accepter her hand and let her pull him back into their group of four, turning and marching back into the school. Classes were about to begin, so the mass followed them inside, but Gohan paid it little attention.
Since his fight with Nahog, Gohan had been worried that his fate was now sealed, but this had proved it wrong. In the fight itself Videl had already stated that she didn't hate him, that she knew he was a good guy. It wasn't as good as the confession he had been hoping for in the depths of his heart, but it was better then the rejection he had feared. He still had a chance to make his life right, to make things work with Videl. The old saying was right; Time heals all wounds.
And now that Nahog was dead and no other threat remained, Gohan had plenty of time.
Do your thing