Hey guys! Back with another update for this story! There's a lot of Gohan/Erasa in this chapter, just as a fair warning for any of you that don't like it, but if you can bear it, there's also plenty of action to hopefully make up for it. Anyway, hope you enjoy, and as always...REVIEW!

~~~InHisFather'sFootsteps~~~

Chapter 10: Blast From the Past

"Class, if you'd please turn to page 102 of your textbooks, I can give you your class assignment for today," instructed the teacher, flipping through the pages of her own book. She waited a few moments for everyone to turn to the appropriate page before grabbing a dry erase marker and writing their directions on the white board. "Good, now, read until page 124 and then answer the questions at the end of the chapter. When you are finished, you have the rest of the period free. Begin!"

The room was silent as the students began their reading, the only sound the occasional turn of the page. Some of the faster readers finished quickly and took out their binders and notebooks, flipping pages back and forth noisily as they searched for the answers to their class work. Halfway through the period, the mostly silent study session was broken as Videl's watch received a call.

"Videl, we've got another bank robbery on the corner of Citrus and Main," said the chief. "They have hostages and demand an audience with you. I'm sorry to bother you during school, but we really can't handle this one without your help."

"It's alright," she said, already packing her things. "I'll be there as soon as I can. Sorry ma'am but I've got to go!" Running down the stairs, she burst through the door and left.

"Teacher, I need to use the restroom!" Gohan suddenly said, standing up in his seat.

"Take the pass," replied his teacher, not once looking up from her magazine.

Hurriedly he made his way down the stairs, grabbing a plastic pass card by the door before leaving. Erasa watched him go, slightly worried. He always seemed to be going to the bathroom these days and she wondered if maybe it was a potential medical problem. Sharpner, on the other hand, took advantage of Gohan's unguarded paperwork and dragged the Son boy's binder towards him.

"Y'know, I wonder where Gohan really goes," said Sharpner quietly, as he looked between his paper and Gohan's, quickly jotting down similar, but re-worded answers.

"What do you mean?" asked Erasa, giving him a sharp look. "He just said that needed to use the restroom."

"Are you kidding me? He's always gone for like…half an hour! I highly doubt that its diarrhea, Erasa."

"Okay, so he skips class. What's the big deal? It's not like he doesn't already know all of this stuff," she defended.

"Well, I mean, he leaves like right after Videl does. Don't you think that's a bit suspicious?" he asked. He didn't mean to be so accusing of Gohan, but it was true. Seconds after Videl was whisked away to deal with a robbery, Gohan would run after her, complaining of a sick stomach or needing to use the restroom.

"Y-you don't…I mean, do you…do you think something is going on between them?" she asked, suddenly remembering how close the two had become over the past few weeks.

"Erasa, I'm not saying that," replied Sharpner, not wanting to upset her. "I'm just saying it's weird how Gohan disappears all the time."

"I guess…" she answered, now a little worried.

Ten minutes later, Gohan returned to class and took his seat next to her. He gave her a warm smile and she quickly returned it, although half-heartedly. A few minutes later, Videl returned as well, sitting down and pulling her things out once more. Gohan gave a side-ways glace at her, watching momentarily as she continued the work she'd stopped before leaving. Erasa, who had been studying her boyfriend at the time, did not miss the look between the two and frowned slightly to herself. When the bell rang at the end of the day, she gathered her things and packed them in her bag.

"Hey Videl, wait up!"

Erasa looked over as Gohan jogged down the stairs to catch up with the Satan girl, who was already half-way to the door. She narrowed her eyes at Sharpner, who gave her a knowing look and she shook her head. He sighed and shrugged his shoulder, allowing her to pass by him before following her down the stairs to go after their two friends. Deciding that she wanted to talk to Gohan, she quickly caught up to him and grabbed his hand.

"Oh, hey Erasa!" he said, smiling down at her and he squeezed her hand.

For a second, any worry she felt disappeared as she looked into his reassuring eyes, but her curiosity was just too much for her to handle. "Gohan, I want to talk to you," she said, tugging his arm in a different direction. "You two go ahead, we'll see you tomorrow!"

"Bye Sharpner, bye Videl!" called the Saiyan, as he was led away by his girlfriend. The two walked quietly, hand in hand, as they made their way through the school parking lot. "So, what did you want to talk to me about?"

"I…I don't know how to say this…"

Gohan gave her a quizzical look, slightly confused by her nervous stuttering. "Erasa, whatever it is, you can tell me," he said gently, pulling her closer.

Erasa sighed and averted her gaze. "Is something going on between you and Videl?" she asked hastily, still looking away. She chanced a quick glance in his direction and felt her stomach twist guiltily at the shocked expression on his face. It looked as if a bucket of ice cold water had been dumped on him.

"E-Erasa, you know I would never…I mean, Videl and I…" He couldn't even begin to come up with anything to say, still too surprised to speak. "No!" he finally said, the only thing he could trust himself to say without making himself look like a bumbling idiot.

"I'm sorry…it's just you're always disappearing whenever she leaves, and…you two seem to have gotten really close all of sudden these past few weeks…" She looked away again, now ashamed of ever bringing this up.

Gohan stared down at her, feeling guiltier and guiltier by the second. She thought he was with another girl behind her back! He never thought that his going off as Bardock would be noticed in such a way, and he mentally berated himself for making her feel this way. He opened his mouth to explain, but immediately shut it when he realized he had nothing to say to her. He had no excuses…

"I'm sorry Gohan," said the blonde, looking at him apologetically. "Just forget I said anything. You're a good boyfriend and I know you would never do anything like that to me. I should go. I promised my mom I'd go visit my grandparents with her later... " She gave him a sad smile before turning to walk away, the Saiyan unhappily watching her go.

"Erasa, wait!" he shouted, running after her. Quickly catching up to her, he grabbed her hand and pulled her back to him. "You're my girlfriend, and I would never, ever do anything intentionally to hurt you. I-I can't really explain why I'm always leaving, but I can tell you that absolutely nothing is going on between Videl and I. She and I are just friends." He leant down and gently kissed her cheek, grinning shyly as he said, "You're my girl, no one else…"

Erasa couldn't help but giggle and gave him a quick peck on the lips, much to his surprise. It was a rare display of affection outside of hugs and holding hands; although they'd been together about a month now, Erasa knew he was still somewhat shy about those kinds of things and they'd only shared little kisses here or there. "I'm really so—mm…" It was her turn to be surprised as Gohan lightly pressed his lips against hers, effectively cutting off her apology.

"Don't be," he said, kissing her again. "You had your reasons, and I'm glad you brought it up."

"Really?" she asked.

"Yeah, I don't want you to keep things like this from me," said Gohan, pulling back and wrapping his arms tightly around her. "If something is bugging you, just tell me. I'm always here for you, and I'll understand."

"You're a sweetheart, y'know that Gohan?" said Erasa, as she giggled once more. She held him close, resting her head against his chest as she smiled softly to herself, the uneasiness in her heart quickly fading away into nothing.

~~~InHisFather'sFootsteps~~~

"Gohan, quit pouting and hurry up," said Erasa, as she dragged him through the mall. She rolled her eyes as he stared longingly at the food court and grabbed his arm, tugging him in the direction of another store. "You just ate before we left, so don't tell me you're hungry again. We'll eat later. I'll even buy you frozen yogurt from that one place you like so much."

"Really? You promise?" asked the Saiyan eagerly, perking up at the mention of food.

"Yes, I promise. Now, be a good boy and come along," she said, as the two walked into one of her favorite department stores. Making their way through the aisles, she picked out several outfits and handed them to Gohan, who dutifully followed her throughout the shop. When she was satisfied with the pile, she led him to the dressing rooms and sat him on a chair, taking the outfits with her into the stall.

"How does this one look?" asked Erasa, appearing a minute later dressed in long, black spandex shorts, a form fitting white shirt and dark gray bomber jacket.

The spiky haired teen titled his head and looked her over. A second later, he grinned and nodded his head, giving the blonde a thumb up. "It looks really good," he answered.

His girlfriend smiled and walked back into the room, changing into a new outfit as she tossed her previous outfit over the top of the stall for him to catch. "Put that into the 'maybe' pile, will you?"

"Got it," he said, already knowing what to do. He'd gone shopping with her enough times to know how she liked to organize things. There was a 'no,' 'maybe,' and 'definitely yes' category when it came to trying on clothes, as she was very particular about what she wore. This went on for about an hour as she tried out different clothes and Gohan separated them into their respective piles. When she was finally done, Gohan put the items in the 'no' category on the rack to be put back while Erasa looked through her 'maybe' pile and made final decisions on what to buy.

"So you all set?" asked Gohan as he came back, noticing the piles had been adjusted.

"Yeah, I think so," she replied, picking up the clothes she wanted to buy. "C'mon, I'll pay for these and then we can go eat."

Gohan gave a mental whoop of joy as he followed her to the front register, shifting back and forth on his feet in barely restrained excitement. Seeing her finish the purchases, he took her two bags from the counter and allowed her to slip her arm around his before heading out. Arriving at the food court, they found a table and set their things down, Erasa promising to save the table while Gohan went off and bought them lunch. Finding his favorite food stand (3 eggrolls for 1 zenni!), he ordered two dozen plus a few sides of noodles and rice and brought it back to the table.

"You sure that's enough to feed you?" asked Erasa, as she pulled a small plate of noodles towards herself and grabbed two eggrolls. "I know you can eat a lot more than that."

"This is good enough to get me by for the rest of the day," came his muffled reply, mouth already stuffed with rice and noodles. The two ate in comfortable silence, Gohan quickly inhaling his portion and finishing what Erasa couldn't. As they got up to leave, the building suddenly shook violently as a loud explosion went off in the distance. It was instant chaos as the scared citizens went running off, unsure of what was going on.

"Oh my gosh, what was that!" cried Erasa, clutching Gohan's arm fearfully.

"I don't know but—watch out!" He shoved the blonde to the floor, throwing himself over her protectively as a giant, red blast of energy passed overhead. His breathe caught in his throat as it flew past him, just barely singeing the tips of his tall spikes. He watched in a mixture of awe and horror as the beam plowed through a wall, and then another, eventually making a hole straight through the entire mall. His stomach dropped as he thought of any innocent bystanders that may have been caught in the blast, and he snapped his head in the direction of its origin.

What he saw made his eyes narrow, and his blood boil. Floating outside was a tall, muscular figure, with dark red skin, a reptilian like tail swaying dangerously behind it. Jumping to his feet, Gohan shoved the bags into Erasa's hands and pushed her away.

"Get out of here," he ordered, staring darkly at their mysterious attacker. "No, I mean it! Get out of here now! Things are about to get a lot worse!"

"G-Gohan, what's going o-on?" sobbed Erasa, frightened as she clung tighter to the Saiyan.

"I don't have time to explain!" he shouted harshly, instantly regretting it as he saw her wince at his tone. "I'm sorry, please, just go! You and everyone else here is in danger." Shoving his capsule car into her hand, he pushed her towards the mall's other exit. "Take my car and go."

"B-but…" she protested.

"No buts, understand?" he said. "I'll see you later, I promise. Please…please just get out of here."

Erasa stared pleadingly into his eyes, but he remained steadfast and she sighed in defeat. Clasping the capsule tightly in her hand, she nodded her head as she wiped her tear-filled eyes. "I-I don't know what's going on, or what you're not telling me, but…just be careful ok?" He nodded his head and she kissed his lips before turning and running away, hoping beyond hope that whatever her boyfriend was about to do, he'd return safely to her.

Gohan watched her go, and noticing that people were no longer around, pressed the watch on his wrist and transformed into Bardock, a golden aura bursting forth from his person as he ascended. Growling lowly, he stepped back and roared his frustrations. "KA-RYU!" he shouted in rage, the golden flame surrounding him suddenly flashing brighter as it danced wildly around him.

"So you remember me after all," said the Fire-jin, floating in through the hole he had created. "It's been what…four years since we last saw each other?"

"Four years," repeated Bardock, nodding his head in affirmation. "And I never thought I'd have to see your ugly face again. What are you doing here? Still upset that you were beaten by a child?"

Ka-Ryu snarled angrily and threw a blast of ki at him, which he easily backhanded away. "You stupid boy; you may have grown up some since we last met, but you are still a pathetic child! I was supposed to win that tournament! I am the most powerful being in the universe, and you took that from me! I swore to you I'd come back and defeat you, and here I am, now many times stronger than I ever was before! You stand no chance against me!"

"I remember you saying something similar to that at the tournament all those years ago, and as I recall, I still kicked your ass!" taunted Bardock, smirking.

"You got lucky last time with that second transformation," said Ka-Ryu, crossing his arms. "But now I know the extent of your powers and have trained non-stop to become stronger. Today, I will take back what was rightfully mine and destroy you, proving that I am, in fact, the most powerful warrior in existence. Prepare yourself!" Flaring his ki, the reptilian charged towards him with incredible speed, dust and debris flying in wake of his passing.

'Oh man, he's gotten faster!' thought Bardock, just barely able to bring up his defenses in time as he brought up his arm, blocking what would have been a devastating kick to the head. Phasing away, he attempted to distance himself from his opponent, only to be kneed in the back as Ka-Ryu appeared instantly behind him. Grimacing in pain, he spun around, kicking his leg out in an attempt to catch the other off guard. He scowled as his kick was dodged and leapt forward, throwing his fist into Ka-Ryu's gut, smirking in satisfaction as he groaned in pain, spit flying from his mouth at the force of the blow.

"You've definitely improved, but you're still no match for me," teased Bardock, as Ka-Ryu stumbled back. He dodged left and right as the Fire-jin retaliated with a barrage of kicks and punches, hitting him with a few punches of his own whenever he found an opening. The alien growled and jumped back, taking advantage of the space to power up.

"Don't think that because you landed a few hits, you're better than me," he said. "I'm just warming up!" Charging forward once more, he threw a giant blast of ki at the Saiyan, phasing behind him once again and jump-kicking him directly into the blast. He laughed haughtily as he heard the man's cry of pain as it exploded, standing defensively as he waited for the smoke to clear. When the clouds dissipated, it revealed a slightly smoldering Saiyan, his body smoking from the heat of the attack. Aside from a few, small scorch marks on his body and a burnt tear in his spandex it had done nothing to harm him.

"Is that the best you've got?"

"There's a lot more where that came from!" shouted Ka-Ryu, slamming an elbow into his chest. Bardock lurched forward in pain, and he quickly took advantage of this, jack-hammering him in the back of the head and sending him crashing into the ground. Not wasting a chance to do some serious damage, he brought both hands forward and shot blast after blast of ki at him. He was relentless with his attack, sending a continuing volley of ki blasts for a minute or two before finally letting up. He stared down at the destruction he had caused, smirking as he saw the large crater it had created. The boy would have a hard time recovering after something like that.

"Seriously, is that the best you've got?" asked a voice from behind, and he spun around in shock. Floating before him was a bloody and bruised Bardock, but his injuries seemed to hold no affect him on him whatsoever.

Instead of answering, he screamed in fury, aggravated at the teen's resilience. "I didn't want to do this, but you leave me no choice!" Continuing to scream his rage, his aura grew larger and larger, pushing Bardock back just through sheer force. It grew from a bright red, to a dark crimson, as flames and bolts of electricity were discharged around him. Bright light flooded the area, temporarily blinding the Saiyan before receding back and revealing a newly transformed Fire-jin. Ka-Ryu stood before him, his muscles slightly larger than before, and his skin a blood red. Aside from the increased muscle mass and darkening of his skin tone, there were would have been no drastic changes to his appearance if it weren't for what appeared to be thick, black markings over his body, as if a flame had been tattooed to his body.

"What the…" muttered Bardock, staring wide-eyed at Ka-Ryu, sweat pouring from his face at the sheer heat radiating off the Fire-jin. Not only that, his power had literally shot through the roof, now double, maybe triple what it had been before.

"Just as the Saiyans have their Super Saiyan transformation, my race too has a way to increase our strength, and only the most powerful, battle-hardened warriors of our planet are able to reach such a level," explained Ka-Ryu, smirking sinisterly. "After my defeat at the tournament, I spent much time in the dead of space, training myself beyond breaking point in order to reach this level of power. I trained non-stop, day after day, only eating and sleeping when absolutely necessary. I suppose I have you to thank for it; it was your victory over me that pushed me train so hard, and without your defeat as motivation, it probably would have taken me much longer to attain this transformation."

"You're welcome," replied Bardock sarcastically, crossing his arms. "Y'know, all you space villains are the same. You all go around thinking you're high and mighty, but when someone comes along and shows you you're not, you embark on some crazy journey to prove you are. Grow up, accept defeat, and move on."

"You fool! How dare you make a mockery of me! You will pay dearly for such a mistake…" In a flash, the Fire-jin was upon Bardock, slamming his fist into the golden warrior's cheek. Reeling back, the Saiyan had no time to recover as Ka-Ryu continued to pummel him with punches and kicks, reinforcing his arms and legs with ki to enhance the strength of each blow. Kicking him up, he phased above him and grabbed a hold of the straps of his armor. Swinging him around, he flung Bardock to the side, where he crashed into the side of a building, half-buried into the concrete.

'Ok, note to self: don't tick off a newly transformed Fire-jin,' thought Bardock, shutting his eyes tightly as Ka-Ryu sent a powerful beam of energy at him, sending him through the building he had been stuck to and out the other side. Feeling himself begin to plummet, he quickly caught himself in the air and flew higher into the sky, hoping to spare the city some damage. Realizing he was no match for the red-skinned alien in his current form, he grit his teeth and powered up, quickly bursting into the second level of Super Saiyan.

"Now that the playing fields are even once again, let the real fight begin," he muttered, dodging to the left as Ka-Ryu came flying at him. The two exchanged fists, matching each other blow for blow as their fight ascended higher and higher into the air. Grabbing the Fire-jin's arm, he pulled the larger male towards him and kneed him hard in the gut. But before he could pull away, he was grabbed by the shoulders in a rough hold. He struggled to break free, but Ka-Ryu's grip was too tight. His eyes widened in slight fear as he smelled smoke and realized the Fire-jin's hands were on fire.

"Burn!" shouted Ka-Ryu, laughing manically as he intensified the heat, the scent of burning flesh filling his nostrils.

"G-get…off…of…ME!" shouted Bardock, flaring his ki. It was just enough to push the other away from him, and he quickly distanced himself from his opponent. He breathed heavily and winced as his shoulders burned painfully, a steady stream of blood oozing down his arms. Mentally berating himself for getting caught like that, he swore never to let himself be caught off guard again and charged forward, deciding offense would be the best option at the moment.

Flying at him with incredible speed, Bardock nailed Ka-Ryu with a swift uppercut, followed by a quick succession of jabs. Ducking beneath a kick, he flew beneath and behind the Fire-jin and jump-kicked him in the back. As his opponent was sent flying forward, he phased in front of him and slammed a fist directly in the middle of his face. The reptilian alien lashed out in anger and kicked a leg forward, hoping to score a hit, only to have it caught by a hand. Bardock glared at his former competitor and gripped the leg painfully hard, extending his arm forward and releasing a giant, golden blast of ki.

Ka-Ryu was sent back down to earth, crashing painfully into the ruined remains of the mall's food court. Struggling to his feet, he stood to catch his breath, panting heavily as he wiped blood from his mouth. He wearily eyed the Saiyan as he floated down into the rubble, standing a dozen or so meters away. He opened his mouth to speak when a small whimper caught both fighters' attention, their heads turning to look for the source of the noise. Eyes spotting a young, blonde woman whose leg had been caught beneath a small pile of rubble he raised a hand and fired off a small ki blast. He didn't need the weak, pathetic humanoid distracting him in the fight.

Bardock's eyes widened in shock as he spotted Erasa caught beneath a wooden beam, heart pounding loudly in his chest as Ka-Ryu threw a ball of ki at her. Instantly, he was in front of her, crouching over her body as he took the brunt of the attack. The Fire-jin, realizing he was going to protect the woman, decided to take advantage of the situation and fired a round of ki blasts at him. Bardock groaned and continued to shield Erasa, feeling his armor begin to crack and fall apart under the unrelenting attack. Ka-Ryu spotted a hole in the Saiyan's armor and pointed a single finger, sending a small, but densely concentrated beam of ki at it, piercing straight through his side.

Bardock screamed in pain as the blast tore through his side, losing his transformation as he slumped forward, reverting back to his normal Saiyan state. Erasa, who had shut her eyes in fear, heard the scream and opened her eyes, letting out a pained scream of her own as she realized who exactly had been protecting her. "GOHAN!"

"Oh god…Gohan!" she screamed again, shaking his limp form. "Gohan! Oh my god, oh my god…don't you dare die on me! GOHAN! WAKE UP! Please…don't leave me…" She buried her face in his chest and sobbed loudly, fearing for the worst.

"Well, isn't this something else," said Ka-Ryu, laughing as he walked closer. "It seems little Gohan really has grown up. Are you his mate? Such a pretty girl; you'll be a nice prize for killing him. And to think, I almost killed you myself…"

Erasa gasped and instinctively tried to get away, unable to because of her stuck leg. She looked back and forth between Gohan's unresponsive form and the monster that was slowly but steadily coming closer, praying for a miracle to happen. Just as all hope was lost, a blue blast of energy came suddenly from nowhere, hitting Ka-Ryu squarely in the back. Whirling around, the Fire-jin glared at the newcomer, angry for having been interrupted.

Vegeta landed on the ground before him, crossing his arms over his chest as he scowled at the red alien. His eyes landed on Gohan's battered body, noticing his severely bloodied arms, and the gaping hole in his side, a small pool of blood forming around him. Using he senses, he felt around for his ki, almost sighing in relief when he found the other Saiyan to still be alive, but just barely. The boy was fading fast, and if he didn't receive medical attention soon, he'd be gone for good. Bringing his gaze back towards Ka-Ryu, he let out an angry roar as he burst into Super Saiyan 2.

"That's Saiyan blood you've spilled!" he shouted, phasing behind him and kicking him high into the sky. Gathering his ki, he shot after him, leaving nothing but a golden trail behind.

Erasa watched her unexpected savior take off after the monster before turning back to Gohan's body, quiet sobs racking her body as she began to shake him once more. "Gohan…" she cried, her voice barely above a whisper. "Please, Gohan…you have to come back. You have to be alive…please; please…don't be dead…"

When she got no response, she threw herself over his still form and sobbed loudly and uncontrollably. "No! No!" she said, gripping his body tightly as tears poured down her face. "H-how is this possible! How c-could you be Bardock! This…this can't be happening!" She continued to cry over her boyfriend's body, no longer caring that she was stuck in a battle zone, barely even aware of the shockwaves that signaled the continuing fight high above her. Seconds seemed to drag on for hours, but what seemed like an eternity was little more than minutes as she continued to cry, mourning her loss.

"Ngh…"

Erasa's eyes widened as she lifted her head, the sudden gasp of pain bringing her out of her misery. Slowly, Gohan's eyes fluttered open and immediately, the couple locked eyes. For a moment, the two stared at each other before he opened his mouth to attempt an explanation. The words immediately died on his mouth as Erasa let out a strangled sob and crushed her lips against his; effectively silencing anything he could even begin to say. Pulling back slightly, she peppered kisses all over his face, holding him close as she continued to sob, though her tears were now ones of joy.

"You stupid, stupid idiot!" she shouted suddenly, slapping him across the face. Gohan's eyes were wide, not in pain, but in shock. "Why didn't you tell me you were Bardock! And…and…oh god, Gohan! You're still bleeding!"

Gohan grimaced and looked down, placing a hand over his wound; partially to help stop the bleeding, and partially to hide the extent of the damage from his girlfriend. A loud explosion caught their attention and he looked up, sensing the battle going on between Vegeta and Ka-Ryu. Weakly, he struggled to his feet and lifted the rubble off of Erasa's leg. Clutching his side, he gathered his ki, preparing to enter the fray once more.

"Don't tell me you're planning on fighting still! You almost died! You are dying!" Erasa yelled, tugging his arm. "C'mon…w-we have to get you to a hospital! You've lost too much blood!"

Wincing in pain, he gave the blonde a small smile. "This…is my battle," he panted, pulling away. "I've…got to f-finish this…I promise I-I'll explain everything…" With a grunt of effort, he flew into the sky to join in the fighting.

"Brat, what the hell are you doing up?" shouted Vegeta, as he held Ka-Ryu in a full-nelson. Both were worse for wear, sporting various cuts and bruises, though the Fire-jin was in much worse condition due to his earlier fight with Gohan. "You are in no condition to be fighting. How you're even still standing after sustaining an injury like that is beyond me."

"I'm fine…Vegeta…" said Gohan, breathing heavily. "This is my fight…let me finish it…"

The Saiyan prince looked between Ka-Ryu and the heavily injured Gohan, contemplating his answer. Although concerned for the boy's health—not that he'd ever admit it—he was proud that he was acting like a true Saiyan, and demanding to continue fighting even when it seemed like he wouldn't make it. But then again, there was that damn harpy's frying pan to think about…

He continued to hold the struggling Fire-jin, watching in a mixture of annoyance and admiration as Gohan ascended into Super Saiyan, and subsequently Super Saiyan 2. When the teen continued to power up, his eyes widened further in shock as his power level skyrocketed and he transformed into something even beyond that. Standing before him, Gohan had taken a big increase of muscle mass, and his tall spiky hair had grown long, flowing freely behind him in a fashion similar to that of his uncle Raditz.

"I said, let me finish!" shouted Gohan, his voice dangerous. The rush of adrenaline from his Super Saiyan 3 transformation kept him from collapsing then and there on the spot, but he knew he only had one chance to end the fight before he finally gave into his injuries. But he knew that one shot was all he needed.

"Fine, have it your way," scoffed Vegeta, releasing Ka-Ryu. Floating back a few yards, he gave the two room to finish their fight. "But once this is all over with, I demand an explanation for this third ascension!"

Gohan nodded his head and glared at the Fire-jin, who now floated fearfully before him. "You attacked my city, attacked me…even attacked my girlfriend. I won't stand for this Ka-Ryu. I held no ill thoughts of you after our first fight all those years ago, but it seems your thirst for power and revenge has driven you to madness. I cannot let you go on unpunished." Spreading his legs wide, he crouched down and cupped his two hands by his side, chanting the familiar syllables of his father's most famous attack.

"KA…"

"N-no! I'm sorry!" shouted Ka-Ryu, now realizing his mistake.

"ME..."

"Please! Have mercy!" cried the Fire-jin, floating back.

"HA…"

Turning around, Ka-Ryu powered up and fled, flying at as fast as he could.

"ME…"

He was already a good fifty yards away, and gaining speed. It was too far for the Saiyan to get an accurate hit, and if he could fly just a few more miles, he could reach his airship and fly into the safety of space. Suddenly, Gohan phased in front of him, still poised to attack.

"HAAAH!" He threw his hands forward and hit Ka-Ryu point blank, the blue beam of energy disintegrating him on impact. Pulling his hands back, the blast faded and he dropped his arms to his sides, instantly losing his hold of his powers as his hair and eyes reverted back to their natural black. He let out a tired laugh, eyes rolling to the back of his head as he lost consciousness and began to fall from the sky. But before he could drop more than a few feet, Vegeta had caught him, slinging him over his shoulder and flying as fast as he could towards home. The boy had some serious answering to do once he was healed. But first things first, there was a rejuvenation tank with the brat's name on it.

Far below, a scared and confused Erasa watched him fly off, eyes securely locked on the lifeless form of her boyfriend. "Gohan…"

~~~InHisFather'sFootsteps~~~

A/N: Alrighty, so that's it for this chapter. I know Ka-Ryu was a bit sudden and unexpected, but I've been itching to put in a battle scene, since its been pretty lacking the past few chapters. Also, I did kind of foreshadow it in the tournament chapter where he said he'd be back one day. Hope you didn't mind all the Gohan/Erasa, but Gohan/Videl will be coming up shortly for all of you that have been waiting. Uhm, what else..yes, for all of you that guessed correctly, Gohan did transform into a Super Saiyan 3 all those years ago in the chamber, and just now revealed it. Also, for any of you that may think Gohan was weak to be beaten up like that, remember, he did take a huge amount of hits protecting Erasa, and i'm sure a hole through the stomach is more than enough to slow even the greatest of fighters down. I'm kind of running out of things to say, so i guess i'll end it here.

Oh wait! In case of any of you haven't noticed, I have a new story up called Nice Guys Finish Last that I'd really like all of you to read (and hopefully review). It's more of a romance/comedy and is a lot more light-hearted than this story. I hope you can all take the time to take a look at it.

Anyway, as always for this story...

REVIEW! REVIEW! REVIEW! (pretty please with 10 push-ups on top! -yes i'm still doing that-)