Disclaimer: You know the drill. I don't own and it's all fanmade.
Full Summary: It was all someone's get-rich scheme from the start of the broadcast of the Cell Games. It wasn't planned though, that Videl seven years ago found the DVD in the indestructible video camera intact, thus discovering all that happened during the Cell Games. Now that the mastermind behind this is back, this person is bound to ruin Videl's life. But not if Gohan can help it!
"Stop! Just stop!" I shouted and exploded to my feet. "Stop worshiping him! He doesn't deserve it!" I must have looked like a maniac just then, yelling what everyone thought were senseless words and my eyes ablaze with tears.
The audience fell silent. Even the camera flashes fell silent.
Dad dropped his cocky grin and feigned a confused face for the public. "Videl, sweet pea," he whispered nervously. "What are you talking about?"
"You know what I'm talking about!" I marched up to the podium and shoved him aside. I opened my mouth to let it all out, but my eyes aligned with Gohan's at the last minute. Whatever he mouthed to me, although I couldn't read lips, I could read the panic-stricken countenance just fine. Pleading was printed all over it.
Finally, the mayor cleared his throat. "Miss Satan, do you have something to say? If not, please let Mr. Satan resume his speech."
Through my teary haze, I looked at my father. I could see he was trying to remain calm and not raise any suspicion, keeping that nervous smile glued on his face. I looked at Erasa and Sharpner. I looked at the impatient mayor of the city that should never have been named after my father. I looked at the rest of the believers. I looked again at Gohan.
This was wrong. Just like Gohan said. Two wrongs don't make a right. My dad would suffer public humiliation until the day he died and bring me down with him, just because I was lucky enough to be born the daughter of the world's most succesful liar. But I couldn't take it anymore. It was like the emotions were bubbling in the soda bottle with such force that the lid was about to blow off. And watching my father, that filthy liar, bask in the camera flashes and winking at his fan girls did not help at all.
He lied to all of us, to his family, his friends, the city, to me, his only daughter. He cheated us, never once with a silver of guilt in his heart. He did it all with a proud expression. Like it was just a little white lie. A little white lie that had the world kissing his feet, modeling his afro, paying big bucks for his dojo.
At one of my last minute final decisions that never got me anywhere, I took a deep breath and leaned into the microphone.
One Month Earlier
Let me tell you something you should already know.
Videl Satan is not just the daughter of the world's (cough) savior, or a tomboy with a kick-butt attitude, a new name for independence, or a girl that talks to her watch and saves the day. With the experiences ranging from urgent conversations with a freaking wristwatch (Dad insisted. Who else would be responsible?) to mopping the floor with an armed bank robber literally with both hands tied behind my back and blindfolded, I've developed a hyper sensitive smell for up-to-something's. I'm like a Nancy Drew but a million times stronger and my happy endings don't depend on luck. Or Sherlock Holmes. Or Encyclopedia Brown. You get the point. And just when you thought my personality was fresh out of bonus points, right?
So anyway, the odor of suspicious choked the room like several squirts of a strong perfume the minute that Gohan kid set foot in here. My gaze raked over his form. His ebony spikes stood from his head with a single wisp overhanging the bridge of his nose which, actually, looked kind of cute. He was clad in a loose white shirt overlapped by a dark vest, and tight red jeans with polished black dress shoes to compliment the studious get-up. He made polite regards, all with a nervous smile and innocent twinkle in his onyx eyes, but he wasn't fooling me.
"That's weird, he looks familiar," I said thoughtfully.
Sharpner chuckled. "He was probably on some TV spelling bee."
Right, because of course I'd prefer to waste my time viewing one of those nerd showdowns over violence. Typical Sharpner thinking.
"Gohan here made perfect scores on all his entry exams. English, math, chemistry... Many of you could learn from his example," said the teacher in his aged, crackly voice.
"Example this!" some misbehaving student called out. Whatever his demonstration was that earned laughs I didn't see. My sapphire orbs were trained on the new student.
"Silence! You kids are an embarassment to public school!" the teacher yelled. "Well Gohan, you may sit wherever you'd like to sit." He turned back to his chalkboard.
Erasa shot up from her desk on cue. "Yoohoo, new boy! Here's one."
"Oh, sure. Thank you."
I didn't complain when he sat two desks a distance off mine. A closer look was perfect for investigation.
"Nice to meet you," he greeted.
"I'm Erasa. With an E." She jerked a thumb in my direction. "And this is my friend Videl."
A look of recognition crossed his face, which he soon relieved to his soft smile again. That was proof enough that I had definitely seen his face somewhere before. If only I could put my finger on where...
"Gohan," Erasa spoke up in the middle of the lesson. "You wanna know who Videl's pop is? You'd be surprised."
I sighed inwardly. Here we go again.
"Oh yeah? Who?"
Erasa winked. "Hercule Satan!"
"What? Hercule Satan?" For some reason I had a hunch he was thunderstruck for the wrong reason.
My throat narrowed at the mere mention of his name, but I refused to spontaneously break down in a public school. If Erasa only knew, she would not be bragging. She would never have brought it up. And now I would soak in the glory of undeserved fame from one of my father's fans all over again. It was like a bank's stolen money raining down on me, if you know what I mean.
I held my breath and waited for the burdened shower of attention.
Instead he remarked, "Well, that must be great. You being a celebrity's daughter and all."
My heart leaped. He wasn't prompting me for an autographed photo of my father? A warm glow of appreciation settled in the pit of my stomach. Yes, this Gohan was something else.
"Our Videl is a special gal. Of course, being the friend of a daughter of a celebrity is pretty cool too, you know," Erasa boasted.
And then it clicked together. "So you're the guy!" I exclaimed.
His eyes widened at my accusation, giving me a boost in my already superior self-esteem. Ha, knew it!
I pointed. "Yeah, you're the guy that I talked to outside of the bank this morning."
His shoulders fell in relief. Had I miscalculated? "Yes, I am."
"Woooow, right after the Gold Fighter vanished?" Erasa asked admiringly.
Gohan blinked. "Gold Fighter? Is he a celebrity too?"
Since I obviously wasn't an ear for gossip either-I mean, the only reason I knew was because I had arrived at the crime scene too late-Erasa filled him in enthusiastically. "Where are you from? You're out of the gossip loop. He's a crime fighter with super strength and magic powers! They say he looks like a teenage boy, except he has glowing golden hair! Everyone's talking about it."
For reasons unknown, Gohan's shoulders shot up again with tension, which I did not overlook. What was it that troubled him? The first question? Magic powers? Or maybe the whole scoop alone? My eyes narrowed to slits. He knew something.
"Now, zet's see zif you can find ze essential clause in zis sentence," our English teacher drawled with an unperceived accent as our gazes connected solidly. I searched his onyx eyes thoroughly, but they gave nothing away. They did, however, spark that warm glow within me again which I did not understand at all.
"Gohan." My tone was dead serious. "I remembered something. What the Gold Fighter was said to be wearing. It was a white shirt, a black vest, and red pants. Sound familiar?"
His eyes bulged. Videl one, Gohan zero.
"Hey, that's funny! You and the Gold Fighter dress alike!" Erasa didn't have a clue.
"Yeah!" He laughed nervously. "Funny!"
"You three in za back! Pay attention!" the blonde teacher snapped, ruining my moment of cornering the suspect.
Our little trio shoved our noses in the textbooks on command and Gohan said quickly, "Yes ma'am."
Sharpner, knowing me well, chuckled smugly. I hated that chuckle down to every last scrap of meat. "C'mon Videl, you know he can't be the Gold Fighter. Who in the world's ever heard of a little book nerd secretly being a super hero?"
Again, typical Sharpner thinking. Like, um, just about every comic book out there? Spiderman? No matter how many times I popped him in the mouth, stupid remarks kept spilling out.
"The guy's gotta be buff," he finished, finally looking at Gohan. I guess those multiple knuckled sandwiches I fed him paid off after all. Now that I thought about it, I couldn't see an ounce of muscle on his body...
But with a touch of self-assurance I was back on track and mentally punching myself for listening to more than one syllable from Sharpner. "Maybe that's why he's dressed so loosely. You trying to hide something Gohan?" My eyes narrowed on their prey.
"Yeah, I bet you could fight crime if you want," Erasa agreed. She tipped her cheek in her hand, eyeing him flirtatiously.
"Oh, I doubt it." He kept his voice steadier this time.
I almost snapped my pencil in half with my iron grip. I'm a lot of things, like those mentioned at the start of this story, but one thing I am not is an idiot. (That's Sharpner's job.) You take me for a fool, Gohan?
I'll show you.