-This story was something I was goaded into doing on a dare. I wasn't sure where I was headed with this at first, but once I began working on it, it took on a life of it's own. I'll admit DBZ is not one of my favorite Anime's, but the little drama with Gohan and Videl got me interested in the show again. My favorite DBZ fics to read are the one's that retell the story of how Gohan and Videl met and fell for each other through the authors eyes, and since I've only read two or three really good ones I decided that's what I'd do with mine. This story will probably start out like a dozen other fic's you've read, but it takes quite a few sharp and different turns rather quickly. This isn't a great piece of work, but I don't think it's all that horrible either. Hopefully a few of you will enjoy it. Enough from me, on with the show!
Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ. 'Nuff Said.
Some Dreams do Come True
"I don't like this Chi-Chi," Piccolo muffed, concern evident in his voice.
"And what exactly don't you like about it Piccolo?" Chi-chi asked in her usual tone of voice. The defensive one ready to bite the head off of anyone who dared deify her. She frowned slightly, and continued to attack the mountain of dishes piled up in the sink, the causalities from that mornings breakfast.
"It's not one thing in particular, it's the big picture I'm worried about. Are you positive sending Gohan to school is in his best interest?"
"Of course it is! I know what's best for my son thank you very much!" Chi-Chi growled, annoyed with Piccolo's constant bickering over this subject the past few days. The only reason she tolerated it was because of Gohan's relationship with the Namek. After all, Gohan looked up to Piccolo like a second father, and the Namek was merely worried about Gohan's well being. Though Chi-Chi wasn't exactly thrilled with that concept, she learned to live with it for Gohan's sake. Not that she held any personal grudges towards Piccolo, she just didn't care for the thought of her children looking at anyone in that light except for their true father Goku. She'd be much more comfortable if they considered it more like an uncle/nephew type relationship. That's what Piccolo always acted like anyway. That one but-in-ski uncle most families seem to have that buts in, and tries to tell you how to raise your kids every time he feels the need to.
"Of course you do, I wasn't implying that you didn't," Piccolo said, hoping to sooth over the wound before he opened it. He had learned the hard way over the years that it was completely useless to get into a war of words with the wife of Goku. He'd only be leading himself to the slaughter if it came down to an all out battle in that department. "From what I've observed he's been doing great with home school. May I ask what's with this sudden change of heart where you feel it's best to send him to public school?"
Chi-chi sighed and dropped the bowl she'd been cleaning back into the soapy water, suddenly finding the clear blue sky outside the window more interesting. "I felt I needed to do something Piccolo. You've seen how down he's been since Goku died, even after all these years, and he really needs something to help bring a brighter outlook into his life. I don't think that it's only missing his father that's getting him down, I think it's partly my fault to. I've had a goal set up for him since the day he was born, and never really took a second thought to think he may ever want to do something different with his life. I've pushed him to hard, and I've kept him cooped up in here way to long. I wanted him to succeed so badly, I forgot to let him be a child every once in a while. He's seventeen years old and besides you, me, Goten, and occasionally Krillen when he drops by every once in a while he doesn't really have anybody. He's never really had any friends his own age, except for Dende, but he's the Guardian of Earth now for crying out loud! He needs a little more besides schoolbooks, and the occasional training outside in the woods! The only idea I could think up to get him outside into the real world was to send him to school."
Piccolo nodded, understanding her logic. "I guess it makes sense when you put it that way. I just worry about how he's going to handle himself around a large group of people when he's not use to it. I'm worried if things don't go well it will only accomplish throwing him into a deeper funk then he's already in."
"I know it'll be rough on him at first, but he'll adjust. Don't worry yourself too much Piccolo. Kami knows I can do enough of that for the both of us."
A small smirk crossed the Namek's lips. "Well, if it's all the same to you, I'm probably going to worry anyway."
In the meantime, the subject in question was eyeing himself in the bathroom mirror, a look of uncertainty and sadness in a pair of eyes that could only be described as black. He noted how his hair spiked a little wilder then usual this morning, but of course it was considering it was his first day of school and all. It was a well known fact that whenever a day arose where a good first impression was required, that anything and everything that could possibly go wrong will. Gohan examined the clothes he was wearing. Just a simple pair of red dress pants, and a loose fitting white T-shirt. He wanted to maintain as much of a sense of normalcy as he could possibly manage, and keeping his build secret from the prying eyes of others would go a long way to aid in that. He was relieved his mother didn't put up much of fight when he told her he didn't want to wear the fancy school clothes she wanted to pick out for him. She'd been surprising him about things like that as of late. He could remember back to his younger days when everything his mother said was law, and daring to break those laws held serious consequences. However, lately she'd been much more lenient and willing to listen to his wants and needs. For the first time in his life his mother was actually asking him what he wanted instead of telling him what he wanted.
Of course there was this school thing, but Gohan didn't expect to have a say in everything. Still, this was something he wished she would've listened to him about. Gohan drooped his shoulders, and looked towards his reflection for advice. "I don't know what I'm going to do. Mom thinks this is what's best for me, but I just don't know. I don't know how to act around other people! I've never even really known anyone my own age before, let alone have any idea how to interact with them! I'm going to make an ass out of myself, I just know it…"
Gohan sighed if defeat, accepting nothing short of a wish from the Dragon Balls was going to prevent this day from happening no matter how much he might dread it. He picked his bag up off the sink, and headed towards the kitchen to wish his mother goodbye, his head hanging the entire way. That was until something, rather someone, caught his eye while trekking through the hallway. A small smile crossed Gohan's lips at the sight of his baby brother passing by him.
"Hey Gohan!" Goten chirped cheerfully, the same smile plastered across his face that never seemed to leave it. "Are you going to school now?"
"Sure am squirt," Gohan said, as he ruffled Goten's hair. "You be good for Mom okay. If I come back, and find out you've been misbehaving then you're in big trouble!"
"Gotcha," Goten giggled, before darting off for the very bathroom Gohan had just left.
"You saved my life you know kid," Gohan whispered affectionately as soon as Goten was out of earshot. During his entire flight to school he let himself get lost in the old memories of how Goten did just that…
Six years ago
"It's my fault… It's all my fault," eleven-year-old Gohan repeated for the umpteenth time, as he slowly stumbled his way towards home. He just couldn't shake them. The memories of Cell, and his father… The Cell Games had been done and over with for five months now, but the dreams and images were so sharp and accurate it might as well have been yesterday. They drove themselves further and further into his heart, mind, and soul until they took complete control of him and slowly began to drive him insane. It never got any easier as time progressed like everyone had convinced him, things only grew worse.
Goku had paid the ultimate sacrifice because of his stupid mistake. The one time Gohan let his Sayian heritage get the best of him, and it cost his father his life, and almost that of everyone else in the world in the process. Normally gentle and passive little Gohan let anger and bloodlust take control of him, and the thing that sickened him most was he enjoyed it. He loved every second of it… The latter moments of his fight with cell… Seeing the fear in his eyes, and the pain he inflicted on him with every blow. For the first time in his life he was indeed a true Sayian. At the time, he couldn't have been more proud of himself, and now he was ashamed of the alien blood that surged through his veins. The blood that for a few minutes transformed him into a cold-blooded killer. Never again, is what he vowed himself. He'd never give in to his Sayian urges again. Sadly, he knew there was only one way to accomplish that.
His father had chosen to remain dead for the safety of the Earth, considering just about every enemy they faced seemed to show up to defeat him. Gohan got to thinking about that, and that would be how he would justify the actions he was planning on taking in just a few minutes. As far as he knew now, he was the most powerful living being in that part of the universe, so it would only make sense for new evil to come to Earth hunting for him now wouldn't it? So, Gohan decided if that was the case then he should probably be dead himself.
A smirk crossed his face as he thought about the warm comforting arms of death. Finally, he'd pay for his actions, and finally be at peace with himself. No one would have to rely on his unworthy self anymore, nor would he have to worry about the weight of the world being placed on his shoulders. He had nothing to live for anyway… No reason, and in his mind he just flat out didn't deserve too. He just had to tell his mother good-bye before he went through with what he thought was in the best interest for the world, but mostly for his own selfish self.
Gohan stumbled into his home bruised and beat up from hours of tearing up Mother Nature's hard work, picking fights with mountains and trees. It was a simple enough plan. All he had to do was kiss his mother good-bye, and tell her he was going off to mediate or something. Then all it would take was a simple Ki blast aimed for his face. If it was strong enough to blow a mountain to pieces, then surely it wouldn't have any trouble taking his head off.
Gohan headed towards the bedroom expecting to find his mother, but instead encountered several people he hadn't been expecting. Namely his grandfather the Ox King, Krillen, and Bulma. They all smiled at him, and parted out of his way so he could see his mother lying flat out across her bed. No one thought much of his appearance or where he had been, figuring he'd been out training like he had done many times to get his mind off of Cell and his father.
"Hey Gohan, it's about time you showed up! You've been gone for hours!" Krillen said cheerfully. "Why are you just standing there? Your mom has something to tell you."
Confused, Gohan approached his mother who wore a sleepy smile on her face. The first thing Gohan noticed was her stomach, and that it wasn't nearly as big as it had been in recent months.
"Come on Gohan, don't look so down," Chi-Chi scolded in a gentle manner, and then nodded her head towards a small basket crib lying on the bed next to her. "Come around to the other side, and meet your new baby brother."
"Baby brother?" Gohan gaped, completely forgetting that his mother was even pregnant. He walked around the bed slowly, and peered into the small basket. Inside he found a little version of his father with traces of tiny black hair on his scalp. The baby was staring up at the ceiling like it was the most interesting thing in the world, until his eyes feel upon Gohan. The baby smiled at him and stared, the same smile he'd become famous for later in his life.
"Go ahead and pick him up Gohan," Chi-Chi encouraged, noticing her son's awestruck hesitance. Gohan pulled the baby into his arms gently and slowly, studying the little life in his arms the entire time. "His name is Goten. I'm counting on you to be a big part of his life. Unfortunately he's never going to get to know his father… I know it's a lot to ask of you, but I'm hoping you could be some help in filling that void for him."
"Goten…" Gohan's heart sank when she mentioned he wouldn't ever know his father. That was his fault to after all… Gohan lowered his head to take a better look at little Goten presenting the little tyke with an opportunity he just couldn't pass up. Goten flung his little arm up and nabbed the collar of Gohan's Gi, unintentionally locking his older brother in a strangle hold as he tugged on the fabric tighter. Gohan gingerly pried the baby's fingers loose, using much more force then you should have to with a normal infant, while everyone else in the room was sent into laughing fits.
"Well, looks like Goten definitely inherited his father's grip," Krillen joked, noting how red Gohan's face had gotten.
Gohan shook the incident off, and resumed his inspection of his little brother. Yes, it was true he was the reason Goten would never know his father, at least Gohan placed that blame on himself. He owed this little guy something because of that. Gohan allowed a slight smile to cross his lips directed towards little Goten. Maybe he did have a reason to live after all.
Gohan had never seen so many people in one place in his entire life. Young people mostly the same age or slightly younger or older then Gohan filed through the hallways of Orange Star High School, seemingly unconcerned with the large number of people roaming through the building. Gohan envied those people, wishing he wasn't so nervous on his first day of public High School. At the very least that sea of humanity confirmed his suspicions that there truly were other members to this social class his mother and friends called teenagers. He hadn't encountered too many others before today.
The first thing Gohan noticed after walking through the doors of the school was the Ki level floating in the air. Not the collective energy of the student body, but two Ki's in general that were impressively high for humans. One in particular that felt down right ridiculous for a human teenager. The strange thing about it was, whomever that Ki belonged to, they quickly lowered it not to long after Gohan's arrival. So low in fact, it now blended in perfectly with the rest of the students, leaving Gohan with little means to find out whom it belonged too. That was all right with him though. Finding him would give Gohan something to do during passing or free periods, or any other time he might get bored with his schoolwork.
Gohan lowered his Ki down to normal human level just in case. If whoever it was could suppress their Ki like that, then that person could probably sense it as well. That person most likely sensed Gohan's Ki the second he walked into the building, thus prompting whoever to lower theirs in response. If that was the case then Gohan certainly didn't want to be found out before he had a chance to identify the other party. Just on the outside chance whoever it was might not be friendly, and that thought was all the more reason to track him down. That was one of the interesting little abilities Gohan had picked up over the years, and this one he wasn't really sure how it came about. Somewhere along the way Gohan learned how to sense when certain fighters were suppressing their true power, probably picked up from knowing how to identify the other Z-sneshi's Ki's even when they were at low level. It drove Vegeta up the wall too, since the Prince of the Sayian's just couldn't master the same technique no matter how hard he tired. Sadly though, it only worked when he knew the person the Ki belonged to, so discovering the owner of that energy was going to be all that much more difficult. Still, a slight smile crossed the young half Sayian's lips. Difficult, but interesting none the less.
Room 234B. The location of his first class, if he could ever find it in this maze they called a high school. That's right, he had to find his locker first. He looked down at the sheet of paper with his schedule and everything on it that the lady at the front office had given him. Blue lockers No. 74. Gohan took a peek at the number on the locker directly to his right. 364. Sweat drop. At least they were blue, but it looked like he had yet some more walking to do. "I guess all I have to do is follow them on down until I get to No. 74."
Gohan readjusted his book bag over his shoulder, and proceeded down the hallway. He passed quite a few people on his way, but one young lady in particular caught his interested. In wasn't her looks that caught his attention, but later on closer inspection he would decide she actually was quite the looker. She wasn't all that flashy, normal height for a girl her age with blue eyes, and raven black hair tied into non-traditional pigtails draped over the front of her shoulders. It was her energy that caught his attention, and he quickly recognized her as the lesser Ki he'd felt when he arrived that morning. He already thought of it as impressively strong for a human, but slightly more so for a woman. Her Ki was at the very least as high as his mothers if not even slightly higher.
Gohan stopped in his tracks, and eyed the girl as she walked by him. Apparently he was staring a bit too hard, for the girl noticed and looked back at him with a slight frown etched into her face. "Do you have a problem?!"
Gohan blushed bright red. "Oh! I'm sorry…" Gohan mumbled absently before walking off on his way rather quickly.
The girl watched Gohan hustle down the hallway with a look of mild confusion on her face. "Weirdo."
The girl standing next to her eyed Gohan's backside for a second, and then looked back at her friend before nudging her with her elbow. "Videl! What the heck are you doing?! When you catch a cute guy looking at you, you don't ask him what his problem is!"
Videl blushed slightly. "I don't know what you're talking about Erasa! I don't care if he was cute or not, he still shouldn't have been staring at me! Now come on! I need to use the ladies room before class starts, and if I don't hurry I'm going to be late!"
Gohan took a second to examine his first period teacher, while he double checked Gohan's schedule to confirm if he was in the right place or not. He was a tall balding man with thick glasses, but seemed nice enough when Gohan introduced himself. With a smile the teacher confirmed what Gohan had already known, and assigned him an end seat in the fourth row of the seven inclining rows of desks.
Someone in the fifth row in the desk just above Gohan's took an immediate interest in the new student. His chocolate brown eyes followed Gohan his entire climb up to his desk. Gohan noticed the boys gaze locked into him, and truthfully it made him just a bit nervous. Actually, he could tell half the class was watching him, but there was something much different and unsettling residing in this one's gaze. Gohan felt like his eyes were studying him, or sizing him up for something. Once Gohan arrived at his desk, curiosity got the better of him, and he looked back at the boy sitting behind him right in the eyes. He was a normal enough looking kid with dark brown hair, bushy eyebrows, and wearing a plain white T-shirt with a pocket located on the left side of his chest. To Gohan's surprise the boy simply smiled, and waved at him slightly. Gohan smiled nervously, and waved back before quickly taking his seat. What Gohan didn't see was the boy frown with uncertainty at the back of Gohan's head.
Man that was weird. The way that kid was staring at me. Something is definitely off about him… I don't know, it is my first day here, so maybe he's just curious about me. Gohan shrugged it off, and went to examining the rest of his surroundings. Finding nothing much of relative interest, Gohan decided to flip through the textbook the teacher had assigned him before taking his seat. He wasn't particularly interested in anything he found inside, so how he didn't pick up on the large Ki approaching from his right he may never know.
"Oh, it's you again," a commanding female voice said from overhead.
Gohan's head shot up to find the same girl he had encountered in the hall not that long ago. The same exact look on her face to as a matter of fact. She wasn't exactly wearing a frown, more of a serious expression really. The deceiving part about her was her eyebrows, which were pushed low over her eyelids making her appear like she was angry all the time. Gohan smiled nervously, blushing ever so slightly. "Oh, hello there."
Videl merely hummed in response before taking her seat. "Look… I'm sorry if I sounded a little hostile back there. I didn't mean to come by as unfriendly or anything."
"That's good to hear," Gohan laughed nervously. Strange, she didn't appear all that warm now either. Little did Gohan know that was the way she usually came across to people meeting her for the first time. "I'm sorry too, I wasn't meaning to stare at you or anything… It's just that I sensed something strange from you, and I…"
Videl's brow squinted suspiciously. "You what?"
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Gohan threw his hand over his mouth, as he mentally berated himself. You've been in school less than an hour, and the first thing you let fly out of your mouth…
"I asked you a question! What do you mean you sensed something from me?!" Videl demanded, interrupting Gohan from his self-scolding.
"Um, well I…"
"Relax Videl," a calm male voice chimed from below them. Gohan looked down at the boy. He was a well-built youth with long blonde hair, and a forehead that clearly showed his skull protruded out way to far for his own good. Gohan thought he remembered hearing that the boy's name was Sharpner. "He probably just recognized you were Hercule's daughter. That's the way everyone seems to react when they first meet you."
"What, wha, what?! Your dad is Hercule Satan?!"
Videl raised an eyebrow, and glared at Gohan as if he'd gone nuts. "Yeah, so what? I know my dad's famous and everything, but it's nothing to freak out like that over."
"Oh, sorry about that," Gohan snickered, regaining his composure. He forced a weak smile, while chocking on his own vomit just thinking about what he was going to say next. "I wasn't expecting to meet the daughter of the man who saved the world from Cell… It's nice to meet you Videl."
"Huh? Oh yeah… You too, uh… Um…"
"Gohan… Sure, whatever."
After things settled down and the bell rang to signal the start of class, Gohan got to thinking about his newly found discovery. The daughter of Hercule Satan! No way! I don't see the resemblance at all… She's really cute, she must get her looks from her mother. She's a lot stronger than her father too, so unless he's gotten a whole lot stronger since the Cell Games then he obviously hasn't been training her. At least I know she's one of the Ki's I sensed when I arrived here today. Now if I can only discover who owns that other enormous energy I felt… Well, at least it should be kind of fun trying to find out.
Gohan smiled at the prospects of this, as he listened intently to the teacher as he began to speak to the class. Gohan might have been adept at sensing a person's energy, but it was a little more difficult to feel somebody's eyes as they feel on you. There for Gohan was unaware of the two sets of eyes watching him closely, as he stared ahead watching what the teacher was scribbling on the blackboard. One a set of soft blue eyes gazing at him from his right, and one pair of hard brown glaring at him from his backside. Curiosity glimmered in all four eyes, just different reasons.
Gohan's first week of school went about as he expected it to. It was absolutely horrible. With the exception of his history teacher he wasn't particularly fond of any of his other educators. With all the advanced classes he was in the homework was outrageous, but considering he found little challenge in any of it, that wasn't as much of a factor as it would've been for most other students. It was the principal of the thing, nobody likes homework. Gohan in particular was sick of it, seeing enough of it from his mother over the years to last him two lifetimes. To make matters worse, Gohan was quickly building the reputation of being a bit of a dork around campus with some of the guys, but most others completely ignored him since he'd been so quiet. Not that he had a problem with the later part. He didn't care if the whole damn school looked past him like he didn't exist, but the snickering and snide-remarks his sensitive ears had been picking up from some of his classmates were beginning to get under his skin. Those people sickened him to the highest degree. They hadn't known him for more then a week, and had no means of knowing who he really was or what he'd been through and experienced. Yet, here they were already trying to brand him as an outcast just because he wore his hair a different way, or didn't present himself the way the so-called social elite had decided was in or cool. Absolutely ludicrous. Stupid. Senseless. Welcome to high school Gohan.
Gohan eventually realized he'd have to suck it up, and learn to live with it. He'd have to learn to co-exist with these teenagers who were stuck in a mental stage he had grown out of when he was twelve or thirteen. Maybe that was a bad thing, but it wasn't Gohan's fault fate had placed in front of him the type of childhood he had to endure, forcing him to mature much faster then most other's of his age. The worst part of it all was the girls there. He lost count how many of them he caught giggling at him, staring at him through the corner of his eye, or whispering behind his back. He just couldn't understand what they found so funny about him. Maybe he just had a funny looking face that made girls laugh or something, or maybe it was his hair.
Finding little challenge in his schoolwork, the only thing peaking his interest at the moment was finding the origin of that Ki he sensed on his first day at school. He'd be lying to himself if he said he wasn't frustrated that it was taking him so long to put a lock on his target. His pride as a half Sayian was at stake here. He hadn't sensed much of it the first couple days after he first picked up on it, so at the time he thought maybe he'd imagined it, or he might've been picking up someone passing by the school or something. But then on Wednesday morning he felt it again, and one more time later in the day. Since then he'd been sensing it flaring on and off about half a dozen times each day. If Gohan didn't know any better he'd swear whomever that energy belonged to was playing with him. It was a little unnerving to say the least… Especially since he had to consider the fact that whoever it was just might be dangerous… Whatever the case might be, Gohan was determined to end this little game of Ki tag as soon as possible. He was sick and tired of being it.
Speak of the devil. Just as Gohan was thinking about him, he felt a large flow of Ki flare up again, and disappear almost as quickly. It was close by too. Gohan searched around frantically for the culprit, but it could've been anyone amongst the sea of kids burrowing their way through the halls. Gohan cursed ready to concede defeat again, when his first real clue came into view. The name of that clue was Ryo. Ryo was the boy Gohan had met on his first day of school, the one who'd stared a hole through him so attentively on his arrival. Gohan sensed something from him right away, and Ryo had been his prime suspect ever since. Gohan was nearly convinced it was him, but he lacked enough proof to convince himself just yet. Right now Ryo's Ki was measuring at the same level as most of the student body, but then again so was Gohan's at the moment. Ryo being in the same area as where Gohan had felt the Ki surge just moments ago was the first real hard evidence Gohan had been presented with. Maybe this was Ryo's little way of saying I'm here now try and catch me.
Gohan glared at Ryo to see if he would make any kind of move to tip his hand, or hint that he was in fact the man he was looking for. Ryo gave him nothing but a bit of a cross look as if to ask why the heck are you looking at me like that? Gohan slapped his head as a form of scolding himself for being so obvious before heading off towards history class. As he walked away, he felt the same Ki rise up again from directly behind him. Gohan whirled around quickly, but found no one there. A small smile forced it's way to Gohan's lips before he headed off on his way. "I'll get you yet… Just wait and see… I'm going to win this game."
Lunchtime. Gohan grumbled in disgust at the pathetic pile of slop the woman had dumped on his tray, and called it food. Gohan poked at the meat with his finger just to make sure it was dead. He'd been forced to eat twice as much food for breakfast since he began school to make up for the lack of an adequate lunch. There just wasn't any way for him to eat his fill at lunchtime without drawing any unwanted attention to himself. Offering a Sayian a plate of gruel like this, even when it was edible, was like trying to give a thimble of water to a man who'd been lost in the desert for a week.
Gohan shook his head at just one more little adjustment he'd have to make, as he moved to search for a place to sit. He'd been lucky enough to find an empty section at a table where he sat alone every day up until now. No such luck this day. He took a little to much time getting to the lunchroom that afternoon, dooming him to the dreaded last kid in line status. By the time he weeded his way through the line all that was left were several vacancies that were too dangerously close to other breathing beings for his liking. Close enough it might demand that ever-dreaded human social interaction he'd been trying his best to avoid. At least until he sharpened his social skills to a point where he wouldn't make a fool out of himself every time he opened his mouth. Most of the student body had already stamped 'dork' on his forehead, and he certainly didn't want to do anything to strengthen that image in anyone's mind.
"Hey Gohan, you want to sit with us?" a slightly gruff but still oddly sweet sounding voice called out to Gohan, as he roamed around the lunchroom aimlessly searching for what she had just offered him. Of course Gohan already knew he was going to see Videl once he turned around as much from her Ki as the now familiar sound of her voice. She smiled slightly, her eyebrows manning their usual posts right above her eyes just in case she felt the need to frown at will. Leave it to Videl to always be prepared to shoot someone the death glare.
Gohan was a second away from taking her up on her offer when he noticed someone else sitting across from her. Namely Sharpner, and judging by the way he was glaring at Gohan it didn't make him feel welcome at all. "Thanks, but no thanks Videl. I appreciate the offer, but I don't think everybody present wants me around. I'll see you later."
Videl didn't have to dwell on what he meant very long. As Gohan ventured off on his quest for a secluded place to eat in peace, Videl shot Sharpner a none to flattering look.
"Why are you looking at me like that for Videl?" Sharpner asked nonchalantly, enveloped in his typical aurora of arrogance. "I saved us, and you know it! Did you really want to sit there and watch some dork stuff his face full of food?" With that Sharpner shoveled another fork of what passed for food, at least according to the school board, into his mouth.
The brow above Videl's left eye rose slightly, but other then that the scowl still remained. "Now that you mention it no, but I'm sitting here with you anyway aren't I?"
Eureka. Gohan finally stumbled across a spot that seemed deserted, the nearest body sitting a good five seats down. He sat down and went to eating his meal uncharacteristically slow. He didn't want to revisit that little scene he had endured his first day when about twenty-five other kids stared at him as he engulfed his food, and then stared at him some more like they were afraid he was going to inhale them next.
"Mind if I join you?" an oddly soothing male voice asked from Gohan's backside. Before Gohan could reply, the boy he had come to know as Ryo, was taking the seat across from him. A small smirk crossed his lips underneath those brown eyes of his, burning with something closely resembling curiosity. Unlike Videl, Ryo caught Gohan off guard. The boy didn't really talk much, and his Ki was oddly hard to pick up on. It was on the same level as most of the normal students, but something remained oddly distorted about it. If Ryo truly was who Gohan expected him to be, then that just might explain things. Unfortunately he had no way of knowing unless he came out and said something, or slipped up with his energy some how. His new trait to sense people suppressing their Ki still had some bugs to work out. The oddest being he couldn't pick up on it from Ki's at extremely low levels. He had no idea why that was, it was just the way it worked. He couldn't tell if Ryo was hiding all that energy he'd been sensing inside of him or not.
"Sure," Gohan replied after the fact.
A couple of minutes passed in silence before a casual, slightly uneasy conversation started up. Mostly about the both of them being rather quiet and elusive around school, and other things that were typically normal. However, that sense of uneasiness only grew as time went by as they both eyed each other, like they were sizing the other up for whatever reason. Gohan picked up on this and every other little thing off about him, but little did he know that Ryo noticed the exact same thing in him. The bell rang signaling the end of their lunch period some time later. The two parted ways without as much as a good-bye, and Gohan walked towards his next class with a new sense of confidence and curiosity. Now more then ever he was convinced Ryo was the guy he'd been looking for.
Free period. A normal student's favorite time of day, but just another daily annoyance for the young Demi-Sayian. He needed ways to keep himself occupied during school, not another forty-five minutes to sit around and be bored. Then again maybe it wasn't that bad, because it allowed him some time to check out the school library. It was mostly filled with encyclopedia's and other reference books, and housed very little of the science fiction and fantasy novels Gohan enjoyed reading and counted on to help pass the time of many lonely nights at home. Gohan guessed they didn't deem those as *educational*. On the bright side, the library was home to many detailed history and geography books that proved more than an adequate substitute. Gohan had always been fascinated with the world he lived in, and the rich history of it that led up to the modern age he lived in. It didn't matter whether it was a detailed article about the wildlife of the tropical jungles of Africa, the history of the ancient shoguns of Japan, the native tribes of Central America, or the ever awe inspiring legends of King Arthur and mid-evil Europe, he loved every bit of it. He wanted to know everything about the Earth that his brain could possibly absorb, and hey why not? He'd already saved it once from oblivion, and would most likely be called upon to protect it again somewhere down the road, so me might as well know as much as he could about this blue sphere of mostly water he'd been training so hard to protect.
"If Ryo is the guy I've been sensing, then he's doing a great job hiding his Ki from me," Gohan said absently, as he examined the cover of a book on Egypt he'd just removed from the shelf. "And if he is, then how in the world did he learn to control it? There's not to many people I know of on this planet that know how to control their Ki, and you have to be pretty strong if you do. You don't exactly wake up one morning, and decide I'm going to start throwing my life energy around. I wonder where he learned how… And how strong is he exactly? And why can't I catch him the act?! Maybe my senses are getting rusty… Man, Vegeta's going to have a fit if I don't find out soon. I knew I never should've told him. I just know I'm going to hear that Sayian honor speech from him again if I don't come up with some proof fast. Oh, well. No point in worrying about it now I guess."
Gohan opened his book, and began reading as he wandered back to the table he'd picked out earlier, leaving his book bag there as a marker. It was most likely ill advised for Gohan to be reading while walking. He wasn't paying much attention at all to where he was going, nor did he notice the young lady trying to get his attention as he passed by her. That was he didn't notice her until she yelled loud enough Gohan would've heard her back at his home in the mountains.
"GOHAN! DON'T IGNORE ME, I'M TALKING TO YOU!"
"What?!" Gohan grunted, breaking out of his trance. He found Videl parked at the table he had just walked by, starring daggers at him. "Oh, hey Videl! What's up?"
"What do you mean what's up?!" Videl growled. Gohan thought he imagined smoke coming out of her ears. "I don't like being ignored Gohan! What's your problem anyway?! Do you think you're to good to associate with the likes of me?!"
"No, it's nothing like that at all!" Gohan stuttered, dancing around in a panic. He quickly took the seat across from her, determined on pleading his case. "I wasn't ignoring you, I just didn't notice you I swear! I was caught up in what I was reading, and kind of oblivious to everything around me."
"I see," Videl huffed as she calmed down considerably, but seemed no less angry. "I guess I can understand that, I know how I can get when I get caught up in a good book. Still, I wonder about you. You hardly say anything in class, and I never see you associate with anyone. Do you just not like people in general or something, and if so am I being a burden on you right now?"
"No, it's nothing like that! I swear I just didn't hear you! I'm sorry if I've been acting a little unsociable, but I still feel kind of out of place here. I've lived out in the country all my life with rather limited contact with other people, especially kids my own age. I'm still not sure how to act quite yet. I swear I'm not stuck up, or unsocial or anything. Please believe me, most people around here think I'm a dork already, and I don't need another one mad at me because she thinks I'm a jerk! I can live with it if you don't like me, but please dislike me for the right reasons!"
Videl chuckled softly, allowing a small smile to wrinkle her otherwise stern expression. "No, I don't think you're a jerk Gohan, but you definitely are a dork. Don't get me wrong because that's not necessarily a bad thing. You've seen most of the so-called *social elite*, or what passes for it around here. Trust me, you don't want to be like them. To tell you the truth I don't really dislike you just yet, you haven't given me any reason to up to this point. Keep it that way, and we'll get along just fine."
"That's good to hear," Gohan sighed with relief. "Say Videl…" Gohan started, but paused briefly to rethink the wording to his next question. He didn't want to use the term friendly to describe her, and he certainly didn't want to say anything to set off that hair trigger temper of hers either. She'd never been openly rude or hostile towards him, even during their first encounter in the hall, but on the other hand her attitude wasn't exactly what he'd call hospitable. She was somewhere in between, friendly or hostile depending on the situation and whatever mood struck her. "Why have you been bothering to talk to me?…"
Videl frowned slightly, and Gohan mentally slapped himself. That came out all wrong, and he would've been better off if he had gone with what he had planned to say in the first place. "Well, if me trying to talk to you is a problem for you, then I have no problem stopping!"
"Ack I'm sorry, that came out all wrong! What I meant is that most of the other kids here pretty much ignore me. Your about the only person I've met in school that has actually been decent to me, and hasn't acted like they felt they had to." Not to mention your personality doesn't exactly strike me as warm and friendly… At least at first, but she doesn't seem all that bad now that I've gotten use to her, unless you get under her skin of course. I guess you do have to get to know people first before you judge based off only your first impression, Gohan thought to himself. Of course he didn't dare say that aloud to Videl.
"Oh, no reason really. I'm not as cold as I seem, but I don't warm up to people that easily either. I guess part of it is because I know what you're going through. I wasn't always miss popularity you know…" Videl smirked slightly. "And I'll admit I am kind of curious about you."
Gohan countered with a small smile of his own. "Curious about me? Whatever for?"
"Well, I've learned from experience that quiet people usually have interesting things to say, if I can squeeze it out of 'em that is. They keep a lot of things pent up inside since they don't go yapping to everyone who'll listen every time their dog gets a flea. Unlike other people I know." Videl got to thinking about several people in particular, Erasa being at the top of that list. "You in particular seem to have a lot your hiding inside, and I want to know what."
"Oh really," Gohan gulped, trying to think up anything to say to change the subject. "Wait, you weren't always miss popularity? I find that hard to believe, you seem like a sweet enough girl to me."
Videl's cheeks reddened slightly, but she otherwise shook the compliment off. "Oh that… Look, it's nothing I like to talk about. That's nobody's business but my own. Well, I better be going. I've got some business I have to take care of before class starts. It was nice talking to you Gohan."
"You too. Good-bye Videl…" Gohan wasn't sure why, or even aware he was doing it at first, but he found himself watching Videl as she made her way out of the library. Not staring really, just sort of watching. He felt compelled to for some reason he couldn't quite decide on. The realization of what his eyes were doing didn't really dawn on him until Videl looked back at him with her usual not so happy look. Gohan blushed a deep red, returning his gaze to his book in a pitiful attempt to play innocent. You've got to be more careful Gohan! She almost bit your head off the last time she thought you were staring at her! Except this time I was kind of looking at her but… I need to learn to keep my eyes to myself! This is what happens when you socialize with people! Isn't there a hole somewhere I can crawl into where nobody will bother me?! Oh man, I had no idea being a teenager would be this hard!
Videl thought she had felt Gohan's eyes on her again. She turned herself around just in time to see Gohan blush, and try to hide himself in that book he was reading. Videl put on her best scowl just in case Gohan decided to take another peek back up at her. However, what she made sure he didn't see was the small smile that crossed her lips as she exited the library.
"HA! YA!" Videl grunted as she kicked the hell out of the leather covered training bag, her usual sparring partner for the night, that was set up in the large gym her father had installed in the Satan Mansion. One of several throughout the house actually, this one being her own personal gym set up conveniently three doors down from her bedroom. As for the other two, one was more of a showpiece for her father to show off to his students and guests, and the other his own personal playpen that no one besides him, even Videl, was allowed to enter.
This is where Videl took out all of her frustrations. She visualized every obstacle that had ever been placed in front of her during her young life in that bag, the face of everyone who'd ever wronged her or said she wasn't good enough, every criminal she stomped in aid of the Satan City police, and everyone of the above that might get in her way down the road. She kicked and punched at it for all she was worth until it was reduced to nothing but dust. A feat that use to take hours in her younger days, which now took only a few minutes at best. Her normal ritual at the end of her daily training. When she was through she'd just put up another one from her seemingly endless supply, so it would be ready for the next night.
It wasn't that Videl didn't enjoy her training, but it wasn't like she had much else going on in her life despite her so mentioned *community service* for the police. She didn't have too many friends, well true friends anyway. Most of her so-called friends were merely suck-ups or airheads clinging on to her just so they could say they were close personal friends with the daughter of Hercule, the man who saved Earth from Cell.
That thought alone brought back some old painful memories that caused Videl to kick at her target a little harder. Those people made her sick. A lot of them were the same kids who use to tease her for the way she dressed, made fun of her pigtails, and laughed at her for just about everything else they could think up. Not to mention most of them were afraid of her. Even as young as the age of eight she could beat up most of the boys on the schoolyard. That made them leave her alone to a certain extent, but that didn't stop all the teasing or the cruel gossip going around behind her back. Things would get so awful at times, even tough-minded Videl was sent home crying into the soothing arms of the mother. Then one day when she was nine, all of a sudden her mother wasn't there to run to anymore. That's when she decided to throw all of her focus and dedication into fighting. It's also when she decided she was never going to cry again unless whoever it was over was truly worth her tears, and that's a promise to herself she'd kept to this very day.
Then of course, came the day her father won the World Marital Arts Tournament, and a few months later defeated an alien monster named Cell. After that, all of a sudden he was world famous, and suddenly everyone wanted to be her friend. It sickened her at first and she wanted nothing to do with it, but eventually she decided to just accept it and adjust to all the attention. Now it had simply fallen into an everyday routine that Videl tolerated more then anything.
There were a couple people around school she hung out with from time to time, but she wouldn't exactly call them friends. Erasa was nice enough, but she was kind of an airhead, and got on Videl's nerves a lot. They were just too different. There was Sharpner as well but… Sharpner was just Sharpner. He was the mere picture of arrogance and egotism, much like her father, and they were two things she despised about him. She had to save all of her love and patience for her old man, and that just didn't leave any room for her to be able to tolerate old Sharpner for very long.
The only thing close to a real friend she had was a boy named Ryo, but even he was more of an in-school acquaintance. Outside of school, it was pretty much her and an occasional sparing partner at the gym, but most nights it was still usually a punching bag. It wasn't that she didn't want friends, or wished not to associate with anyone. She merely had a difficult time finding people she could relate to. Truthfully, she didn't really fit in with any of the crowd anyway. She was too much of a tomboy to fit in very well with the rest of the girls, and too much of a lady to put up with the immaturity and brashness of most of the guys. Other then that, she couldn't find anyone who liked her just for her, and not because of who her father happened to be. There were sometimes when she thought about giving up on people in general, but every once in a while someone would come along to change her point of view. Ryo had accomplished that to some degree, and then there was him…
Videl smiled as her thoughts wandered to one person that had caught her attention. That Gohan boy. There was definitely something different about him, she could sense it right away, and she was determined to find out what. She had a good feeling she was going to have some fun figuring it out along the way.
-Oh boy, pretty basic stuff for right now. Chapter two's pretty much going to be about Gohan adjusting to life in school. He vows to himself that he's going to keep as low a profile as he possibly can… So of course he manages to create hundreds of dollars worth of school damage, gets into a fight, and nearly gets suspended from school the process. Ah… And mother said school would be a blast!