Realization (3223)

There were moments. In the rushing aftermath of completion that made him feel alive, whole and powerful all at once. Moments where his mind would wonder over the strange emotions tearing around inside him. He'd find himself counting her heartbeats to lull himself deeper, breathing in the scent of her sweat. The scent their bodies made together, rapidly cooling in the low light of early evening or dawn. Her favorite times to make love.

Gohan was nothing if not accommodating.

She'd be lazily affectionate, curled up beside him. Her soft exhalations puffing across his chest and her body very smooth, very warm as she slipped further into dreams. He'd stay up though. A little scared, a little unsure of what he'd feel if he woke up beside her in the morning. If he woke up beside her at all.

Most evenings he didn't want to know why.

Briefly, he'd let himself think on her father. Buried in the depths of her huge mansion, pacing, watching reruns of his glory days. Never knowing Gohan had stolen into his house and loved his daughter.

Fingers tracing across her arm, her head resting on his shoulder, Gohan wasn't sure if he felt vindicated, smug or just plain happy to be there. He decided maybe all three, even if he wasn't entirely proud of it.

She made his muscles ache so pleasantly. Perhaps the girl wasn't a super powered alien, but she was hungry and energetic, incredible. Just enough to tire him out afterwards. He wondered with amusement, if he would ever grow tired of Videl.

Kind of bossy, so beautiful, demanding Videl.

As he lay in the dark, his eyes hardly registering the difference between day and night, he would let his gaze travel around her room. The simple and complex things making themselves known to him. Thick books about the justice system, law, philosophy, vying for space with serial romance and very old fairy tale classics. A neat desk and a very small bureau with only a handful of pictures on it.

She didn't wear make up. She never wore make up. Gohan was rather glad of that, because his sensitive nose couldn't handle the competing chemical fragrances. Even the things that supposedly had no fragrance irritated him beyond compare.

Just soap, shampoo and deodorant. He was always pleased by their understated flavors. Like sweet fruit.

He chuckled a little when he reached the punching bag and free weights, hung and stacked in the corner. From experience he knew her body was firm and well toned thanks to their constant use. Her tiny figure slim at the waist, but full at the hips and chest, something he immensely liked. She'd fit him perfectly on their first try.

His mouth still went dry at the memory. Breathing deep, he tried to ignore the new, and not altogether unpleasant stirring in his heart that accompanied it.

Just the feel of her skin on his own set his senses on fire.

The first time taste of her lips, the flavor of her sweat had haunted him for weeks afterward. Until he'd been nearly insane with a need to bust inside her again - to feel her small, sweet cries press against his shoulder, echo in his mouth.

They'd been arguing. The first time such a thing happened, because in the end, what were they to each other? An annoying girl with nosy habits and a weird boy who was playing at hero. Except he wasn't playing and that was the problem.

Nothing more than begrudging friends.

"So you're going to stand there and tell me there's no one else who can take on this guy?" They'd been in her room, during the short interim before he was expected for battle. She was still slightly beaten up from her round with Spopavitch.

The anger and fear in her eyes said quite succinctly that a couple bruises wasn't going to stop their argument from taking place. It was unfortunate Gohan didn't have the patience to sweet talk the girl out of her stubbornness, and what's more, he didn't want to. He was still hung up about her injuries, and the newest threat to the planet making food out of everyone.

"Look, Videl. I'm not going to stand here and tell you anything. All you need to know is that I've got to try," he paused, turning sharply towards her wide balcony doors, "…and that I'd like you to stay somewhere safe until I do take care of it." Hopefully, he hadn't added, afraid her blue eyes would go all weepy on him. Like his mother.

He couldn't stand it when his mother cried. It would damn near kill him if Videl shed a tear.

She'd started cussing behind him, glaring hard at his back as if she was daring him to go. To leave.

She was so unforgiving.

Shaking his head, he'd just reached out and started prodding her punching bag. Irritated and annoyed because he couldn't make a single goodbye go right.

Her worry made him feel every inch a strong, powerful man, selfishly craving her thoughts, her attention all to himself. He felt despicable because of it. Groaning, Gohan dragged a hand through his hair, and wondered what the hell was happening - had been happening between them.

"Well if you're going to go Gohan, then I'm going to follow. You can't fight and make sure I'm where you tell me to be at the same time." His back tensed, and he didn't need to turn around to know she had her nose in the air, a superior smirk on her face.

He supposed he'd snapped a little.

Suddenly, he was gripping her shoulders, shaking her back and forth as she dangled a good six inches off the ground. She hadn't stuttered an apology though, hadn't gone bleach white, eyes wide and scared of him.

Her jaw had been set as she glared back at him. Jutting her chin until he wanted to break it with his fist.

If she'd been a man, he would've decked her.

"Why aren't you listening?!" he gritted on a blow of exasperation, before his good sense returned. Closing his eyes, he dropped her without a word and stepped back before he did something unforgivable. Like scoop her up and never let her go.

Perhaps he'd been unaware of some things, incurably shy from a life spent in solitude, but he wasn't ignorant of the way his body responded to the proximity of her own. The way he responded to every little thing about her.

He'd been with girls before. Two, if he was going to be accurate with himself. He might've lived far out there but he visited the outlying villages frequently, and understood the difference between mechanics and reality.

"You can't make me stay away, Gohan." Her voice was low, even without any hint of the underlying emotion he could see in her eyes. He felt his stomach churn. A weird mix of fear, protectiveness and a few other things he wasn't ready to figure out.

Lying beside her now, staring at the dark and shadowed ceilings, Gohan decided he still wasn't ready to find out. He recalled with a trace of amusement, how they'd continued to argue. Not even a couple, not even physically intimate, and they'd fought like they were married for years.

Smiling, he turned and pressed a soft kiss to her forehead, before he lifted his hand to push a few locks of dark hair behind her ear. She murmured incoherently.

"I can't fight, if all I'm worrying about is you!"

The words had come out and he'd resented being the one to say them. So he merely watched as the surprise settled in, a mild surprise that was almost expectant. Like she'd been waiting.

He didn't think he'd ever understand girls.

She only stood there, staring at the punching bag he'd sent sailing into the wall. Where it hung sadly from the broken plaster. No fear, nothing revealed in her face besides a faint confusion, and something else he'd been too frustrated to work out.

Then she spoke.

"…I know you're stronger than me. Definitely more skilled, as are most of you're family and all the enemies you've faced," He moved forward a step, unable to do anything else at the halting disappointment in her voice. The sound of a pain he couldn't quite pinpoint and fix.

Tears, he just couldn't stand a woman's tears. He'd dealt with them too much in his life.

When Gohan took another step, she backed up at the same time and crossed her arms. Looking away for a moment, Videl lifted a finger. Silently telling him to wait.

"Don't make me stay behind, Gohan. I'm not some…some brain dead miss looking to be cosseted by a man." She faced him again and he felt his stomach drop at the wet trail that glittered on her cheek. Feeling his power fluctuate unexpectedly he had to remind himself not to take another step forward. Not to just flash right in front of her and kiss her unhappiness away.

"I've taken perfect care of myself for a long time," she'd shifted the weight on her legs and quickly swiped the drying trail from her face, "but…since you are my friend and I…c-care about you, I'm willing to make some compromises."

Dropping her hands to her hips, she finally looked up. Her expression was hard, defiant, but not for long before a flush of pink was spreading across her cheeks.

Perhaps she was reading too much in his eyes. He hoped she would enlighten him about it.

Wait, no, not yet, he thought. Not quite yet.

"I-I'll stay where your families staying okay? But if I have to fight, I will. Nothing can change that."

Gohan forced himself to look away. "Sure, that I can agree to."

Silence followed for a time, during which he'd unstuck the bag from the wall, leaving it to dangle from its only unsnapped chain. He let her compose herself, implicitly knowing she'd needed it.

There'd been no segue for what followed. Still the words floated between them, thick and heavy the moment he practically dragged her back home.

"What if…What if you die?"

He didn't move for a long while. Actually went and brushed some of the larger crumbs of plaster from the wall, thinking the 'death' talk was his father's duty. Not his. He'd only had his mother, brother, their group of friends and they knew the deal anyway.

He wondered exactly where Videl fit in.

"Gohan, what if you die?" the voice was firmer now, still a bit shaky, but assertive enough to want the truth. No matter how unpleasant.

He crumbled a piece of drywall between his fingers before he'd turned. She was only a few feet behind him, but for some reason it felt impossibly far. Something that couldn't be measured in inches.

"It'll depend on some other factors. Maybe I'll be back," he delivered lightly, tempering the strange truth with a half smile. She'd just stared at him like he was crazy or he was lying. For some reason the latter really annoyed him.

Then another leap in her unfathomable girl mind had him floundering, trying desperately to catch up.

She breached the last few steps between them. Her pretty eyes set on his and he'd felt his skin prickle, his body hyperaware of something dangerous headed his way.

"Gohan," she whispered, her face so lovely and sad, "make love to me."

Very, very dangerous.

It was a knee jerk reaction, but he'd been unable to think of anything else. Her body so small and warm and close, the scent of her innocence knocking him flat on his ass. The same way it had the moment they met.

"No," he said sharply, before he was hurriedly back peddling at the look on the girl's face, "I mean, this isn't really the time…maybe - are we even going out?"

The question fell flat when her gaze shuttered and she started to turn away. It felt painful, like Videl was taking something with her, something he was pretty sure he needed in the long run.

"Never mind," her voice little more than a husky whisper, "I'll just change and we can go."

Half dreaming those words, Gohan felt her shift against him at present, a strong curvy leg hooking around his waist. He remembered best the way she walked away from him. The way he'd felt the blood pound in his veins. Raging against the fact he turned down the most perfect female just to go battle in some dirty, smelly fight that he'd probably die in anyway. Someone usually did.

As they breathed together in the dark, the shadows stretching, he sunk deeper into the dream of a memory. The way he'd grabbed her arm and spun her around, angry at the tears he'd put in her eyes. For Videl, there should only be happiness.

Why, he didn't know, but he wanted to give it to her.

"What? G-Gohan, what?" She really looked at him then, finally unsure and just a little nervous. Her mouth had been pinched in a scowl but for some reason all he'd been able to think was that it was more like a pout. Pretty pink lower lip sticking out just to tease him, made him want to draw it into his mouth and suck.

There were other parts of her he wanted to do the same thing to as well.

The need had come over him suddenly, irrevocably, but not unexpected. Standing there, staring at her, maybe he'd wanted her longer than he realized.

Her neck. He wanted his mouth on her neck. Pale, delicate, right where it met her shoulder. Right where he could feel her pulse under his tongue. Gripping her shoulders, his vision going just a little dark, he'd crushed her against him.

His mouth had sought hers, kissing and tonguing out the inside until she lit up like a fire cracker under his restless touch. She'd been eager, so unbelievably eager and it was better than anything practiced. Anything learned.

They learned each other together.

Her fingers had dug into his back until she left marks through the heavy stretch cotton, deep, mindless gouges. Growling, he struggled out of his shirt. What was left of her top he'd torn away, because he couldn't wait any longer for the feel of her skin. Certainly she'd not complained about it.

Though he'd never been a voracious eater, surely not as bad as his father, for some reason Gohan wanted nothing more than to glut himself on Videl. Taste every curve, plateau, on top and bottom.

Every hot, silky place in between.

"Gohan, are you sure?" She gasped from her spot underneath him, where he'd wrestled her easily onto the bed. Her panties had been decimated for the most part, though a thin length of lace was still wrapped around her hip. Her bra had received the same treatment, a useless pile of ribbons and silk on the floor.

Her body arched instinctually to meet his. He'd groaned, burying his face between her breasts as her hips continued to plow into where he was straining the zipper of his jeans. She was just so beautiful. So full of want for him.

Swiping a tongue across one of her peachy nipples, he struggled to loosen the hold he had on her hips. Guiding every eager, uneven thrust.

Impatient, he'd tugged on his pants until they were down around his knees.

For an airless moment, as needs crashed over them, their eyes caught and held. Gohan leaned back, silent, reaching out to let the back of his knuckles graze the curve of her breast. He reveled in the way her eyes widened. Dark and needy. Expectant that he would answer all her physical questions.

How odd the hick kid who lived out in the bush would be teaching the city girl something new.

"I'm very sure, baby," he'd muttered, before he was balanced full length across her body, his face down and burying itself in her neck. He let his nose and lips skim along her cheek until their eyes lined up once more.

He wondered if she saw something dark in there, considering the severity of her flush. Not that she wasn't already quite pink and red. He felt a slow half smile spread across his face, before he'd been gently positioning her.

Her hands kept clawing at his back. He couldn't get enough of it.

"You're going to be mine after this, Videl Satan." he growled, "Think you can handle that?"

She just smiled at him, licking her pretty red lips. "I can if you can, Son."

He'd grinned in return and showed her, quite thoroughly, how much he could handle.

The memory of it still made him smile sometimes. Without much warning either. As he sunk inside her, claiming her, he'd been unable to stop an uncalled for swell of emotion. It worried him because it had no rhyme or reason and seemed intent on having Videl close at all times.

In fact it even stung him now, as he lay next to her, listening to her steady heart beat.

Tightening his hold around her, he let his eyes drift open and wander across her face. As he stared, he realized how much he valued every expression, every nuance and word.

The truth hit him then. Painful, because he wasn't sure he was ready to feel it.

"Damn, Videl. I love you," he managed to force out on a dry whisper. "How am I supposed to deal with that?"

She didn't answer, but as he settled in more comfortably, knowing he still wouldn't get any sleep, he figured it didn't matter. Not yet, anyway. He'd deal with her feelings first.

Videl only hugged him tighter, a small smile on her face.


A/N - woof! I'm tired. I'm sorry if you feel the style's changed from Imperfect, I really did try to continue the feeling into this prequel of the story. I know Gohan's more direct here, maybe a little more assertive, but the atmosphere's different if the setting's still similar.

They spend a lot of time Videl's bedroom don't they? Giggles.

If you got the gist of what he's working out in these eight pages, good for you! Boys are always slow on the uptake, as Videl has probably realized.

THIS STORY WAS IN MAJOR THANKS TO THE FOURTEEN REVIEWS AND ANY AND ALL FAVS, ALERTS WHATEVER I GOT FOR IMPERFECT!!! You guys rock my socks. Thank you too dbz-lover91 for PMing and expressing your opinion and making me realize I can't just leave my gohvi hanging! I was a little worried, because Imperfect was one of those stories that flowed out, pretty easy actually and I simply hope this one can live up to its standards.

The slight citrus was for those who'd been hoping for more in Imperfect. I hope this makes up for it. As always, story music goes to Crash Into Me, by Dave Matthews. When it comes to this couple, that song is my muse.

So, perhaps I'll see ya in a sequel, and I'll just make a footnote dedication to dbz-lover91. This story's yours, k?