AN: Well guys, this is it! The end is here! I hope that this last chapter does the story justice! Thank you for reading and all the wonderful reviews! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from Dragon Ball Z in any way, shape, or form.
"Gohan!" Videl cried out in shock as Goku and Piccolo gingerly sat him down on the temple steps. Dende rushed over to heal the numerous nasty scrapes and bruises littering his body. Hercule, Erasa, Sharpner, and Videl kept back and let the Kami work. Bulma hurried over to Vegeta with Trunks close behind her, worry written all over their faces. A relieved Eighteen and Marron welcomed Krillin. Chi-Chi on the other hand…
"Goku! What happened to our son?!" she shrieked. The Earth-raised Saiyan flinched and reluctantly set Goten back down.
"He just saved the world." the Supreme Kai injected on Goku's behalf.
"Wow Gohan!" Goten exclaimed, oblivious to the drama as he happily bounded over to his battered brother. "Does this mean you're the strongest person in the universe now?!"
"I don't know, Goten." Gohan chuckled. "The universe is a pretty big place." Their mother whirled on the petite deity angrily, causing him to instinctively take a step back.
"Then why does he look like the dog's breakfast?!" the raven-haired woman snarled.
"Majin Buu was-!" he began to explain.
"I don't care about Majin Buu." Chi-Chi viciously interrupted. "What I care about is my son!" Goku hastily jumped in and did his best to calm his wife down before she did anything rash. Meanwhile, Videl gingerly knelt next to Gohan as the last of his injuries faded.
"Are you alright?" she asked quietly.
"I'm fine." he assured her with a tired smile. "Just exhausted. All that fighting really took it out of me." The Satan girl carefully threw her arms around him in a gentle hug.
"I'm glad that's all over." Videl sighed.
"Me too." Gohan admitted, returning the gesture. "Maybe now we can actually go on a date for once."
"That would be nice." his girlfriend giggled.
"Fine." Chi-Chi huffed, turning away from her husband. "Have it your way. But you're not out of the doghouse yet, mister."
"I didn't know we had a dog." Goten said aloud in confusion, prompting Bulma to take him aside to explain what a figure of speech was.
"I am in your debt." the Supreme Kai said as he approached the tired teenage Saiyan, giving him a deep bow.
"We both are." Kibito added, mirroring his lord.
"It was no problem. Really." Gohan told them with an embarrassed blush.
"Yeah!" Goku injected good-naturedly. "You can count on us anytime!" Chi-Chi shot him a hard look.
"Believe us, we will." Kibito smiled.
"But I'm afraid that we must take our leave." the petite deity admitted.
"You sure?" Bulma asked. "You're welcome to stay for the party."
"Thank you. However, the universe needs the Supreme Kai to do his job." he replied. They all saw the two of them off, waving and wishing them well. The Supreme Kai and his assistant hesitated only for a moment, looking out at the people who irrevocably changed their lives forever, before disappearing in the blink of an eye.
It's funny how time seems to speed up when there is no apparent danger or imminent catastrophe. Weeks can pass by in the blink of an eye. Years even. If it weren't for the changing of the seasons or Goten's growth spurts, Gohan wouldn't have been surprised if only a day had passed since Buu's defeat. It didn't help that his grandfather was giving him more and more responsibility in managing the East District that elicited rumors that he planned to step down one day and hand him the reigns. But if that was true or not, the Ox King wasn't telling. However, in Chi-Chi's eyes, Gohan wasn't nearly old enough to go out and do adult things even if he was of legal age. Though in her defense, she was trying to let up a little. A little.
"I'm going!" the now adult Saiyan shouted over his shoulder as he made his way to the front door. "I'll see you guys later!"
"You're leaving?! Now?!" his mother exclaimed incredulously, poking her head out of the kitchen. "But the sun's setting! It's far too dark to be going out!"
"Gohan's stronger than I am!" Goku laughed, getting up off the couch to put a comforting hand on his wife's shoulder. "I think he'll be fine."
"But-" she began to argue.
"I'll be home by midnight." Gohan immediately conceded with a fond smile. Some things never change. "I promise."
"Alright." she sighed. "Be careful." His mother shot his father a look as he broke out into another fit of laughter.
Gohan took to the sky, soaring high over the wilderness of Mount Paozu. Flocks of flying creatures returning from their winter homes swirled around him as if saying hello. He could hear Icarus bugle at him from his perch on a rocky outcropping as he passed but, thankfully, did not follow him for once. The light of the dying sun painted the world in vivid hues of orange and pink. Slowly, wilderness gave way to sprawling countryside which eventually gave way to the urban sprawl of Satan City with Mr. Satan's lavish white manor shining like a beacon in the twilight. He landed right on the front stoop and knocked. Even through the massive solid wood doors he could hear heels clicking against the marble floor as Videl hurried to answer.
"I'm going out!" she yelled out. Hercule yelled something back but it was muffled through the door and the sheer size of the manor. The Satan Girl smiled at him as she opened the door in a classy red dress. "Hey."
"Hey yourself." he replied, leaning in to kiss her. "Ready to go?"
"You bet." Videl lead him to the garage which could easily be repurposed to house a family of four and handed him the keys to a sleek black sports car, causing him to raise an eyebrow in surprise.
"Are you serious?" Gohan asked incredulously.
"Yeah." she grinned. "You've said yourself that you've been driving ever since you were little."
"That was hardly legal." the Saiyan pointed out. "Not to mention my mother had a conniption every time I did it. She grounded me for a month after I let Oolong talk me into going to the Tsumisumbri Mountains with him. And the only reason he needed me to tag along was because he couldn't reach the pedals and look over the steering wheel at the same time." Videl laughed and continued to giggle intermittently as he carefully navigated the streets of Satan City, mindful that the car belonged to one of the most powerful men in the world, figuratively speaking. Although the time was pushing six, the roads were still packed with other vehicles as people decided to go out and experience the nightlife as well. He managed to worm his way to a nice, secluded park that only the city's wildlife occupied this time of night. The Satan girl shot him a quizzical look as he killed the engine and hopped out.
"What are we doing here?" she questioned. "I thought we were going out to dinner."
"We are." he promised her, helping her out of the car to make sure she didn't trip in those heels. "But I want to show you something first." Videl quietly followed him as he walked the disserted paths that wound around the playground, benches, and fountain before finally taking a seat on a decorative stone planter bursting with blooming spring flowers. His girlfriend crossed her arms across her chest and shot him a suspicious look. "What is this all about."
"I just wanted to get this over with before I lost my nerve." he admitted with an embarrassed blush. "Everyone makes it sound so easy. But this has to be one of the scariest moments of my life. I mean, what if-?" The Saiyan stopped mid-sentence as he felt a gentle touch on his face.
"What's wrong?" she asked, now thoroughly concerned. He heaved a sigh as he slowly drew out a small black velvet box and gave it to her. Videl carefully opened it. Her eyes went wide and a gasp escaped her as a diamond ring winked up at her.
"You deserve better." Gohan told her earnestly. "You deserve someone who'll always be there for you no matter what. But the fact is, I can't between helping my grandfather manage the East District and helping my father protect the planet when the need arises. I've seen how much stress it puts on my mother and I don't want to drag you into all this monkey business when you could be-" Again, he stopped mid-sentence but this time by a pair of familiar lips that literally left him speechless. Petite, feminine hands curled in his hair and he could feel the new ring on her finger press into his scalp. They were both panting for air by the time she withdrew with the biggest smile he'd ever seen plastered on Videl's face.
"I don't care." she laughed, tears of joy welling up in her eyes. "You are the most wonderful man I've ever met. And I understand that there are just some things you can't ignore, that sometimes you'll have to go and be a hero. You have a big heart. But that's what I love about you." He smiled back and slowly sank to one knee on the cold gravel path.
"Videl, will you marry me?" Gohan formally inquired.
"Yes." Videl chocked out between her tears before kissing him senseless once more. The Saiyan couldn't help but feel elated knowing that this strong, beautiful woman was going to spend the rest of her life with him.
"Do you think Gohan's going to give that ring to Videl tonight?" Goten idly wondered aloud as he watched TV with his father, anxiously waiting for dinner to finally be ready. Before his father could respond, however, Chi-Chi suddenly dashed over and grabbed her youngest son painfully by the shoulder, completely forgetting about the food cooking away on the stove. He stared at her fearfully. Great. Now what did he do wrong this time?
"Ring?! He bought her a ring?!" she shrieked, shaking Goten.
"Y-yeah." he replied dazedly. "Weeks ago. But he's been arguing with himself about when to give it to her."
"Why didn't anyone tell me this sooner?!" his mother demanded, a silly grin spreading across her face as she let him go. Somehow, Goten found the expression even scarier than her angry one.
"He didn't want anyone to tell Videl." Goku grinned at her. "He wanted it to be a surprise."
"Oh, I'm gonna have grand-babies! Grand-babies!" she squealed, practically skipping around the room. Goku laughed out loud as if they were in on some big joke. Goten turned to his father in confusion.
"I don't get it." he said. "It's just a ring. What's the big deal?"