The Misadventures of Videl and Gohan
Misadventures in Babysitting
Videl Satan walked slowly down the street. She had flown the helicopter to a safe location and decided, perhaps optimistically if not foolishly, to walk the rest of the way. When she had left her house, the sky had been clear and bright blue; the heavy gray clouds that were quickly filling up the sky were clearly an indication of Videl's less than spectacular forecasting skills. She estimated it would be less than twenty minutes before she was completely soaked in a torrential downpour. She mentally lectured herself for not listening to Miya, the housekeeper and her best adult friend, who had tried to persuade her to take an umbrella before she left.
Well, at least she wasn't wearing white.
She kicked a garbage can and knocked it over, inadvertently hitting a young man into the street. So he barely missed an oncoming ice cream truck. Big deal. When he glared at her she smirked; what was that Vegeta always said? Something about being prepared for anything, even in times of peace? So she was entirely unsurprised when the dude that narrowly escaped death via Choco Taco came up behind her and began to hit on her.
This was really turning out to be a terrible day. First: school was boring and grating. She seriously considered faking a bank robbery to get out of trigonometry, it was that bad. Second: her relationship with Son Gohan, which was great, but still kind of undefined. Frustrating. Third, directly relating to the second, her dad: Hercule's general outlook on life that that the world revolved around him, and just this morning when she mentioned that she was spending the evening with Gohan and his family again, he had complained about evil alien boys wanting to corrupt his baby, again. She then patiently reminded him that the planets revolved around the sun and not an aging prize fighter who didn't even stand a chance against the evil alien's kid brother and he hadn't exactly looked happy. He'd yelled, she'd yelled; he stormed out, she stormed out.
Videl was knocked out of her inner monologue by the dude with a death wish, who was now asking the approximate time she fell from heaven, blah blah blah. Her response was a few choice curse words and a clean clip to the jaw. When his eyes narrowed and elbow came up to her side to - to what? Retaliate? Cop a feel? As if - she kicked him into a manhole. A closed manhole.
Unfortunately, during his descent when he was flailing and screaming, he punched her in the face and she didn't have the time to dodge. Reckless, she thought, putting a finger to her left eye. That was going to swell. No doubt it'd be black and blue in the morning. Now she'd have to deal with Gohan - world savior, champion of justice, costumed posing maniac and maybe her boyfriend (?) - who already worried about her carelessness constantly. He might not even let her do what she came to do - babysit Goten and Trunks while he studied - in favor of lecturing her.
It couldn't get any worse.
The skies obliged and opened up, leaving a soaked Videl on the Sons' doorstep.
Gohan reasoned that, all in all, things could be worse.
It wasn't hard to imagine. Six months ago, he was dead and the Earth was destroyed. That was definitely more horrible than, for instance, following his mother around the living room and trying to convince her to lay off the Future-Bride-Videl shtick for the next hour. He hadn't even mustered up the courage to ask her out yet, for God's sake.
"Now, be on your best behavior for Videl. It won't do to have you scare away your future sister-in-law." Chi-Chi wagged a threatening finger at Goten.
It could be worse. It could be worse.
"Come on Chi, they'll be good. Calm down," Goku soothed, entering the room. When Gohan turned to his father to thank him for being the only sane person in the room (at least for the next five minutes when there weren't worlds to save), his father looked at him with such pity and understanding that Gohan could almost see himself standing on the sidelines at the 23rd World Martial Arts tournament as his mother grabbed his father by the arm and forced him to marry her. "Everything will be okay."
If only he were a normal kid from a normal family. Maybe then he'd have gone to school with Videl from the start, from Orange Star Elementary through Orange Star High. He fantasized about it sometimes – the Videl and Gohan story that didn't include secret identities, blackmail, aliens, death, etc. She'd probably still be a ridiculous adrenaline junky with a death wish who frequently brought only her fists to a gun fight, but maybe he'd worry a little less that he was contributing to the overall danger of her wellbeing.
And maybe if he didn't have to worry about crazy mothers planning his wedding, trigger happy Saiyans everywhere itching for a fight, or meddling Capsule Corp CEOs, it wouldn't have taken him over six months (and counting) to ask her out on a freaking date.
"Don't worry, Mom! I'll be on my best behavior," Goten interjected, stars in his dark eyes. "Videl's the greatest!"
"I just hope she lasts longer then the former babysitter." Trunks had a suspicious glint in his eye, one that made him look even more like his father. Gohan compiled a mental list of the things the Terrible Twosome had done to their former babysitter (that he knew of): put a spider on his face while sleeping, locked him out of the house in his underwear in the snow, shaved off one eyebrow, replaced all of the sugar in his apartment with salt, and created a fake internet dating profile and posted it to dudes who do other dudes dot com.
In any case, Uncle Yamcha hadn't visited in over four months, and he still twitched when someone mentioned online dating.
"Mom. Goten. Trunks. Please." Gohan couldn't even put together a full sentence. His palms were getting sweaty. He was definitely T-minutes thirty seconds to a full blown panic attack. Videl had hung out with him and his family before, but they were getting more out of hand with every exposure. What would happen if Videl finally decided that she was oversaturated with – with all of this?
Bulma slapped him on the back in what he supposed she thought was a comforting gesture. (It wasn't.) A few feet away from them, Vegeta groaned. "This," he drawled, "is the stupidest plan I have ever been in involved in. Why should I — " his rant was interrupted by Chi-Chi's infamous frying pan, which her sons respected and feared in equal measure. "What the hell was that for?!"
"What plan?" asked Gohan.
He was ceremoniously ignored.
Before anyone could blink, Vegeta was on his feet, hovering over Chi-Chi and her cast iron skillet. Goku was at her side immediately, a mild, unreadable expression on his face. "If you think I'm going to allow some inferior, low class human – "
Bulma grabbed her husband by the shirt, which surprised everyone in the room, especially Vegeta. "Listen to me and listen to me good. You will not ruin this for Gohan, do you understand? You will leave without a fuss and have a good time making fun of the weaklings on this planet when we get to the restaurant. You will not intimidate my best friend, or fight with her husband, or cause trouble at all." Bulma hissed into his ear. "Got that, mister?!"
"That's a yes ma'am in Saiyan," translated Trunks.
Gohan was finally able to get his heart rate down to a manageable level when the doorbell rang. Look nonchalant, he told himself, leaning against the couch. Yeah, except that because he was so nervous, his diaphoretic hand slid right down the couch and Gohan ended up face down on the carpet as Goten pulled the door open to let Videl into the house.
When he righted himself, he caught sight of her – she looked tired, wet, and a little murderous, to be honest – but she was smiling and hugging Goten. "Hey, kiddo," she greeted affectionately, but her eyes weren't on Goten, the person currently attached to her legs. They'd locked with Gohan's, and his heart rate shot right back up again. Hi, she mouthed to him. "Are you being good? Or are leaving disaster in your path as usual?"
"Noooooo," Goten replied, letting her go and floating up to eye level. "We don't mean to get into trouble. Trunks is just a bad influence on – hey. What's wrong with your face? Did you have to arrest bad guys before coming over?"
Videl put her hands up in front of her and instinctively took a step back. She was beginning to redden – it always started at her neck and tips of her ears – so Gohan was sure that she was embarrassed that she had to explain this away. "It was silly, I – "
It said something that Gohan's concern for Videl overrode his baseline nerves. She was crazy even before she met him – jumping out of planes, starting fights with paparazzi, putting out fires with spit and a prayer – and now that she was stronger, she took twice as many risks. Had twice as many injuries. He was at her side in three long strides, gentle fingers at her rapidly discoloring eye.
"How sweet," Bulma breathed, but Gohan ignored her.
Videl blushed harder and moved from Gohan's grip. "Some jerk tried to get me to go out with him." Gohan's left eye started to twitch. "It's no big deal, really."
"What'd you do to the guy?" Trunks asked.
"I threw him into a manhole," Videl said smoothly. Gohan opened his mouth to reply - on one hand, the guy deserved it! On the other hand, a normal person could get really hurt falling ten feet into the sewer – when Videl put one of her hands on top of the hand that was resting on her cheek.
"Don't worry, Gohan. I called an ambulance."
He was sure she did. Eventually.
"Hn. Well, it seems that Kakkarot's brat picked a violent mate," Vegeta smirked. A crooked smile danced sardonically across his face. "A common one at that, but that in itself doesn't surprise me."
"Vegeta," Videl feigned concern, "your face is all contorted. Are you having a stroke? Are you smelling burnt toast? How many fingers am I holding up?"
It was just one.
"Listen here, you horrid little brat..."
What was she doing getting down into a fighting position? She wouldn't. She couldn't. "I'll take you anytime, anywhere. Only," she paused, "maybe you don't want to get your good spandex dirty?"
Oh, God. "Videl, please stop baiting —" started Gohan.
"Please Vegeta, you could really hurt—" Goku tried.
"STAY OUT OF THIS!" they shouted in unison.
"Do you dare you defile the name of Vegeta?" asked its prince.
Gohan blamed himself. After the whole Buu debacle, Videl had (very understandably) had a lot of questions. He'd answered many of them honestly, but, perhaps out of self-preservation, when it came to the Saiyan race itself, he'd only told her the bare basics. She'd just had a traumatic experience, he rationalized. What could it hurt if she thought of Saiyans as proud warriors instead of barbaric blood-thirsty maniacs?
He didn't exactly lie, but he didn't exactly provide enough information to keep her from provoking the price of all psychopaths, either.
It was Chi-Chi that forced Videl and Vegeta to stop glaring at one another. She put herself between them, arms out, and addressed the latter. "NO! You will not hurt Gohan's future wife and YOU WILL NOT DESTROY MY HOUSE! Remember that time you and Goku blew up the kitchen wall? The water that comes out of my faucet is still a little green!"
Goku cocked his head thoughtfully. "You know, I thought my tea tasted funny."
"Mom, Vegeta, Videl," Gohan said weakly. This was getting out of hand quickly.
"I've had enough of you, whelp," Vegeta declared, bursting into the bright yellow flames that signified the transformation into a Super Saiyan. He threw his head back and laughed. "Not so tough now, are you?"
Videl was impassive. "Bring. It. On."
"No!" Goten cried, jumping in front of Videl. "You can't hurt her, I won't let you! Videl's too nice to be blown up! Besides, if you Big Bang her, we won't have a babysitter tonight!"
Trunks nearly keeled over in laughter. "Yes, Dad. Please don't Big Bang our babysitter."
Gohan stepped in front of Goten and Videl. "Don't even think about it, Vegeta."
Again it was Chi-Chi that diffused the tension. She just walked up to Videl, grabbed her hand, and started to pull her out of the living room. Both Vegeta and Videl were too surprised to do anything but let her. "Videl, sweetheart, why don't you get out of your wet clothes and make yourself at home?"
"Just ignore Vegeta," said Bulma. "That's what we all do."
"I'll show you to our room." Goku put a strong hand on the small of Videl's back and started to lead her toward the back of the house. "I'm sure Chi-Chi has dry clothes that you can change into."
"Thanks, Goku." To Gohan's absolute horror, she couldn't help but get in one last dig as she left. "Don't miss me too much now, Vegeta."
There was a stunned silence. Then:
"It amuses me that a mere girl would stand up to me even if I were to kill her." Vegeta lowered his ki and dropped to his normal state. "It is marginally impressive."
Gohan exploded. "THERE WILL BE NO KILLING HERE TODAY, ESPECIALLY OF VIDEL!"
So his family would ever be normal, that much was true. But would it really be too much trouble to just pretend for five minutes?
"I agree," said Chi-Chi, brandishing the skillet like a broad sword, "because if Videl is dead, she can't give birth to my grandchildren."
The Sons may have had a small house, Videl thought, tugging one of Chi-Chi's tank tops over her head, but it was cozy. There was something about it that instantly made her welcome, that made her feel like she was already part of their family. Her own house was huge, but often empty. Cold. Lonely. Chi-Chi may have been impressed last year when Videl described it, but she thought the other woman might change her tune if she actually had to live in it.
After pulling on a pair of cotton shorts, Videl sat on the edge of Goku and Chi-Chi's bed. She wasn't quite ready to face everyone just yet, not after that display in the living room. She could only imagine what she looked like challenging one of the most dangerous men in the universe. It probably wasn't one of the smartest decisions she'd ever made. The fact that Gohan, Goten, and even Goku had formed a makeshift Super Saiyan Shield around her certainly seemed to reinforce her stupidity. In the heat of the moment though, anger and rainwater dripping from her, all she could think about was getting the upper hand.
Her pride was likely going to be the literal death of her one day.
She had been trying to decide how to say I give up without feeling like a total moron when Chi-Chi basically did it for her. Thank God.
Videl took a deep breath, stood, and made her way down the hallway leading to the main part of the house. From the corner of her eye she noticed Bulma and Chi-Chi beckoning her into the kitchen. Chi-Chi was waving something in her right hand – oh. It was an icepack. Videl paused to weigh the pros and cons of being alone in a small room with these two women. Pros included distinct lack of Vegeta, Terrible Twosome, and Gohan lecturing her for being so stupid. Cons included the high likelihood of things such as girl talk, which was frightening to Videl on a visceral level.
Her throbbing face was the deciding factor. "Thanks, Chi-Chi," she said, dropping down into a kitchen chair and pressing the icepack to her injury. "For the clothes, for everything."
"It's the least I could do," Chi-Chi replied, smiling so wide that Videl was nearly blinded by her perfect, shining white teeth. "It's really very nice of you to do this for Gohan. He's so lucky to have a girlfriend like you."
Videl's could feel the embarrassment seep through her toes to her cheeks, which were undoubtedly turning red. "Wait, I never said I—"
"Don't be shy," Bulma waved her hand. "Men like an outgoing woman. Well, most men. No one really knows what kind of woman Gohan likes. You're really the first girl he's ever taken an interest in."
"Really?" It wasn't exactly surprising to hear that, but wow, way to pressure a girl.
Chi-Chi put a gentle hand her shoulder. "We're so glad that he's spending his time with a girl like you. Pretty, strong, smart." Videl could almost see Chi-Chi lighting up. "And with her own cook and maid to boot!"
"And it's not every day that someone stands up to Vegeta," said Bulma. She and Chi-Chi shared a meaningful look. "Honestly, he's so amazing in bed that sometimes I forget about his horrible personality."
Videl blanched. Oh no. Not this. Anything but this. "Bulma, please. I'm already nauseated."
"And if you have any questions about life or love or anything," said Chi-Chi, who was no doubt already two binders into planning Gohan and Videl's wedding, "we're here."
No. No no no no no no. Noooooooooooooooo. Ground control to Major Tom, SOS SOS SOS. Critical mission failure. ABORT. ABORT.
"Even about stuff you wouldn't want to talk about with anyone else. Like sex," Bulma said.
"WHAT!? Oh no, I don't think that's — "
"Oh it's okay, don't be embarrassed. Sex is the most natural thing in the world. Like Vegeta for instance, you would think he would – "
Videl sunk lower and lower in her chair. Maybe if she was lucky she would sink so low that the ground would swallow her whole and she would die.
"Can you hear what they're saying?" Goku whispered to Gohan. Both were inching closer and closer to the entrance to the kitchen, trying to keep out of Videl's line of sight. Goten and Trunks trailed dutifully behind. Gohan was extremely concerned that his mother and Bulma had cornered his - his girlf – his Videl in the kitchen. Nothing good could come of this.
Gohan tried to make out the voices. "Maybe I'd be able to hear something if you guys would be quiet."
"Like Vegeta for instance," Bulma was saying. "You would think he would mumblemumble but in reality he mumblemumble and boy can he mumblemumble,"
What? What would he do? Why was Bulma lowering her voice and mumbling?
"I love the way Goku makes me feel when he mumbles," Chi-Chi said. Her voice had taken on a low, dreamy quality.
A great feeling of misgiving began to brew within him.
Videl was silent.
"Why are mom and Bulma interrogating Videl in the kitchen?" asked Goten, head tilted to one side.
Trunks patted him on the head. "You'll understand when you're older."
Goten frowned. "No fair! I want to understand now! You know how I feel about being left out!"
"SHHHHHHHHHHHH," hissed Gohan.
The men strained their ears to hear, almost falling on top of each other, but the conversation suddenly became very low and almost inaudible. They did, however, hear what Videl had to say in response.
"BULMA! EEEEEEEEEEW I DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW THAT!"
At her high pitched screech, Gohan abandoned his hiding place and rushed to her side. Goku, Trunks and Goten fell to the floor in his wake like dominoes.
"What's wrong?" Gohan rushed to Videl's side. He quickly triaged her – no (new) injuries, but she was pale and shaking. "What happened? Are you okay?"
"Sex. Sex. Sex and mumbles. I can't talk about it," Videl gasped. "I'm already suffering from post-traumatic stress. OH GOD, here comes a flashback."
"Chi-Chi, Bulma. That really wasn't very nice," Goku scolded. He'd ushered Goten and Trunks into the kitchen with him after conducting a careful risk-benefit analysis (risk of concussion via pan: low; benefit of pre-dinner snack: high), and, after a moment, Vegeta appeared as well. "Gosh, I'd be scared to hear this stuff from you guys."
"I didn't know she was so sensitive - " Bulma was interrupted by the doorbell. "Oh, that must be Yamcha."
Vegeta turned to glare at his wife. "I'm going home."
"Come on, Vegeta, don't be like that! Yamcha said he knew a really great buffet place that never runs out of food! How could you say no to that!?" asked Goku. "He's not so bad."
"I thought Yamcha didn't like to come here anymore," Gohan said, surprised. "After that online dating incident, he swore he would never have anything to do with satanic Saiyan children ever again."
"I told him we hired a new babysitter and he said he would be right over," Chi-Chi said.
"Just meet him outside!" Gohan practically pushed his parents out. The last time Yamcha and Videl were in the same room he playfully hit on her and she playfully broke his nose. Gohan, who almost self-destructed he was so angry, had to physically restrain himself from doing worse. "They might run out of food before you get there, Dad."
Goku's innocent eyes went wide. "Can that really happen? Oh no! Let's go!" he threw open the front door, which, of course, swung right into Yamcha's face.
"Dude," the former baseball player protested. "Not cool!"
"Sorry, Yamcha!" sang Goku, who wasn't sorry enough not to push past him on the way to the jetcopter. Karma, Gohan thought, as Yamcha crumpled to the ground on the front steps.
"Be good for Videl, okay Trunks? No mischief," Bulma warned, pointing her finger at her son. "Or I'll let Marron play dress up with you, take pictures and post them on the internet."
"Come on," Bulma said, yanking Yamcha to his feet.
"Wait," he protested, "I wanted to say hi to Videl!"
Bulma practically dragged him away. "You can say hi to her when she turns eighteen. Maybe."
"And try to get some studying done, Gohan," Chi-Chi said as she ran after her husband. "After all, that is why Videl is here. Don't do anything cute until we get back!"
A quiet descended. It was nice. Refreshing. Gohan practically basked in it.
"You sure have got an interesting family," Videl commented lightly a moment later.
He sighed. "You don't even know half of it."