Author's Note: This story was written for SweetestIrony's Gohan/Videl week 3.0. The starter sentence was "...leaving her thunderstruck". I fudged a little bit and delayed the starter sentence until the fifth paragraph.
So...what if, on his first day of school, Gohan didn't remember Hercule from the fight with Cell? After all, Gohan only saw him for one day, seven years ago, and he kind of had more important things to worry about at the time.
"Videl is famous, you know," Erasa said.
"Really?" Gohan asked. He had never met a famous person before! Then again, he had never heard of Videl before, either. "Why?"
Videl closed her eyes to try to block Erasa out. Here we go again... she thought.
"Her father is Hercule, the World Champ."
"Who?" Gohan asked, leaving her thunderstruck.
"Hercule Satan, the world's greatest fighter! You haven't heard of him?"
"Nope," Gohan said, trying to think if he had read that name in a book somewhere. "And I know a lot of good fighters, too..."
Videl let out a breath she didn't know she was holding in. Finally, someone who wasn't completely obsessed with her father.
"Please, he's a country bumpkin," Sharpener said. "Of course he doesn't know anyone important."
"He's the man who defeated Cell!" Erasa said.
"WHAT?" Gohan asked, almost falling out of his chair. "But I—that is—who are you talking about now?"
That's weird, Videl thought. Why is he overreacting?
"Here," she said, pulling out their civics textbook and flipping to the story about how Orange City was renamed Hercule City seven years ago. She pointed to the picture of official naming ceremony. "There's me, and there's Dad."
Gohan stared at the picture until something clicked.
"Oh wait, I know him! He's that phony—oops."
"Phony?" Videl asked, dangerously.
"No, not phony! I'm sure your father is a nice person, even if he's not that good of a fi—"
"Not that good of a fighter? He's the World Champ!" Erasa insisted.
"The best fighter ever!" Sharpener said.
Videl had a more sensible objection. "If you haven't heard of my dad before, how do you know what kind of a fighter he is?"
"Ha ha ha!" Gohan laughed nervously. "Look, forget I said anything! This whole fighting thing is none of my business, anyway!"
"You know something about my dad, don't you?" Videl asked.
Gohan looked around desperately for something that would change the topic. The picture in the textbook caught his eye; specifically, he saw the woman who looked sort of like an older Videl who was standing behind her.
"Hey, enough about your dad, let's talk about your mom!" Gohan said, pointing at the woman in the photo. "That's her, right? What's she like?"
"She's dead," Videl said. "She died in a car crash three years ago."
Oh... Gohan thought. Not the best topic change ever. "So why don't you—?"
"Hey! Are you paying attention up there?" the teacher asked. "Mr. Gohan, I know it's your first day of school, but could you please save the chit-chat for after class?"
"Yes, sir, Mr. Brown," Gohan said.
He knows something about my father, Videl thought. But...how can that be the case if he doesn't know who my dad is?
After class, Videl stopped Gohan.
"Gohan? Could we talk alone for a moment?"
"Huh? Sure, I guess," Gohan said.
They waited for everyone to leave the classroom.
"Is this about your mom?" Gohan asked. "I'm sorry for mentioning her. My dad died when I was eleven, so I know what it's like to lose a parent."
"Your father died when you were eleven?" Videl asked. "That must be rough. How did it happen?"
Gohan's eyes turned unexpectedly harsh. "He died fighting Cell," Gohan said simply.
"But...most of the people Cell killed came back to life!" Videl said. That was the big miracle that occurred shortly after her father killed Cell. Try as she might, she never could figure out why or how it happened.
"...My dad wasn't one of them," Gohan said.
Oh...no wonder he thinks my dad is a phony...
"I'm really sorry," Videl apologized again. "I didn't mean to remind you."
"It's not your fault," Gohan said. He smiled at her. "Thanks for caring, though. Want to eat lunch together?"
"Um...sure, okay!" Videl said.
They ate underneath the big tree at the end of the schoolyard.
"No, I'm an only child," Videl said. "What about you? Any brothers or sisters?"
"Just my little brother Goten," Gohan said. "He's seven. Mom's really overprotective of him."
"I'm lucky my dad isn't overprotective," Videl said. "At least, not usually."
"He lets me do whatever I want except when guys are involved," Videl said, tracing her hand along the grooves in the tree trunk. "I'm not allowed to go to school dances or anything like that unless he's there to chaperone. It's embarrassing."
"I can imagine," Gohan said.
"What about you?" Videl asked. "Does your mom allow you to go out on dates?"
"I don't know," Gohan said. "I never asked. There aren't any girls near my house."
"Where do you live?"
"In the mountains," Gohan said, taking a bite of a sandwich. "I live about two hours away from school."
"Wow, that's a long commute," Videl said.
"It's not so bad," Gohan said, mainly because he could make the trip in fifteen minutes. "I kinda like it here."
"I'm glad you do," Videl said. "It's a great place."
"So, how was your first day of school, Gohan?" Chi-Chi asked.
"I've never been to the city before," Goten said. "What's it like?"
"Well...it's really different," Gohan said. "There are so many people around, and they all know about things I've never heard of! I hope I'll be able to fit in okay."
"I'm sure you'll do fine, honey," Chi-Chi said. "Did you make any friends?"
"Sure, I guess," Gohan said. "The people I sit with in class are really friendly, and I had lunch with a girl named Videl."
"That's a silly name!" Goten laughed.
"She's semi-famous, too! Her father is the person they named the city after!"
"Well, isn't that nice?" Chi-Chi said. "Sounds like you're making friends with important people, Gohan. I always wondered why they changed the name of the town. What did he do?"
"Um..." Gohan said.
"Not only did he take credit for killing Cell, but they named a town after him for it?" Chi-Chi screeched. "That's it! I'm going to beat this man with my bare hands! I'll show him what a real fighter looks like!"
"Mom! You can't go around beating up my friends' parents!"
"Well...maybe not, but he'd better look out during the next Back to School Night!"
"So, how was school today, Sweet Pea?" Hercule asked his daughter at dinner that night.
"We have a new student," Videl said. "His name is Son Gohan, and he sits two seats next to me."
"A new student, huh? Where's he from?"
"Somewhere in the mountains," Videl said. "I get the feeling this is the first time he's ever been away from home before. Can you believe he didn't know what a cell phone is?"
"A kid in high school who doesn't have a cell phone? I didn't know people like that existed anymore!"
Videl smiled at her father's joke.
"Papa...I have a bit of a serious question."
"Why is it that when you killed Cell, all the people who died came back to life?"
Hercule was surprised. "Why do you want to know?"
"Gohan's father was killed by Cell," Videl said. "But he didn't come back to life, and I was wondering why."
"Oh, well...in that case, well..." Hercule said. "To be honest, I don't know why the people Cell killed came back to life. I just assumed it was all some kind of trick that Cell did."
"Oh..." Videl said.
"Don't go telling people that, though, okay?" Hercule said. "I have an image to maintain."