The Promises We Keep - Daughters of Darkness
The Sequel to A Disturbed Savior.
For those who have not read A Disturbed Savior, to understand this Story even in the least, you must read A Disturbed Savior first. If not, then w/e, have fun understanding your out of the usual Gohan and Videl
I can't and won't promise anything this time around.
It's DBZ, I obviously don't own shit.
Never down, never out! Playing hard, living loud! Keeping up with the boys, making out, making noise! - Halestorm
"Videl? Uh, what are you..what are you doing here so early?" Fumbling with his words was the champ as he was greeted by his unexpected visitor.
"We got bored waiting for Gohan and his dad to come back from their little talk so we came up here. Is there a problem?" Erasa and Sharpner followed Videl inside the suite and took a seat on the leather couch.
"No no. There's uh...what?" From what Hercule knew about the Son family, the man known as Goku wasn't of this world anymore. His eyes flickered in a drawn out confusion.
"What? We were bored. So we came to say hi. Too hard to believe?" Videl sassed.
"No...no. Not that. After that. What you said about Gohan...and his dad. Say it again." He requested.
"Hmm? He's having a talk with his dad. So?"
"..." His face contorted as he sat completely frozen, the cigar in his hand falling to the floor.
"Uh, Mr. Satan, are you ok sir? You look pale."
"No, no I'm fine. It's all right. If you don't mind, I'd like to speak with my daughter and her friends in private for a minute." Mark asked of the lone tournament official watching over him.
"Yes sir. Not a problem, just call if you need anything. I'll be right outside." He bowed his head and quietly left the room, softly closing the door behind him.
"Alright, now that we're alone. Please, explain to me exactly what you mean by Gohan is having a talk with his dad."
"Ugh, aren't you used to these weird kind of things by now? It's been what, 4, maybe 5 years already?" Videl replied.
"That's not explaining anything young lady. Tell me now, what in the heck is going on? I've been told, no! No! I saw it with my own two eyes. Gohan's father took the hit for the planet himself. There's no way he can be talking with Gohan. He's deceased.." He paused for a moment to see how the three would react. They didn't seem fazed by his statement.
"Umm, he is, well, ya know, dead, right?" The grown man asked whilst twiddling his fingers.
"Yes dad. Gohan's dad is dead." Videl dead panned.
"But he's back on Earth for a day." Mr. Satan smiled and took out a bottle of whiskey and a an empty glass from his desk. This was beginning to sound like the makings of a very long day.
"What does that even mean? How is that possible? You just said he's dead, didn't you? I mean, does that mean that Heaven and uh, well, that other place exist as well?" Hercule began to fill his glass halfway full with ice.
"Who knows? Goku's back. He's talking with Gohan. And they should be back pretty soon. But if they happened to not make it back on time, I wanted to make sure that those idiots still get into the tournament. You can do that, right?" Videl threw her feet up on the desk and reclined in her chair as she let her father ponder the thought.
"Ye-yeah. Yes. I mean, of course I can, I am The Champ of course. Ehahahahaha!" A moment of awkward silence passed through the room before Mark decided to speak again. He took a sip from his glass before doing so.
"So, when will they be back?" He asked with a change of expression.
"Like I said before. I dunno. They'll be back when they're back. Until then, it's a waiting game. As usual. Whatever. Anyways, they shouldn't be much longer. It's been at least an hour at least so far, and Gohan knows what time registration is over. So, what's up?"
"What's up? What's up? Well, there's a dead man is walking the Earth and he happens to be your boyfriend's father. Am I supposed to react some sort of specific way if or when I-"
"You'll see him later. No doubt about it. And you'll definitely recognize him when you see him." Videl interrupted. Hercule took a moment to clear his throat.
"Right. When, I see him, what am I supposed to do? What do you say to a person like him?"
A question that still poked it's head at Videl's, Erasa's and Sharpner's minds. They were too caught up in the surprise to even say a word when Goku first appeared. The most Videl could muster up was a formal greeting.
"Uh, err, yeah I uh...Hmm, yeah I have no idea, sorry."
Videl and her father felt defeated as they tried to trample the simple task of figuring out the proper way of greeting a dead man back to life when a suggestion from an unknown visitor disturbed their thoughts.
"How about 'It's nice to finally meet you. How has your day been?'"
Gohan and Goku's sudden intrusion had caused a bit of confusion but it quickly settled and a mountain of explaining was well on it's way. The conversation was one sided as Goku took the reins about explaining how his current situation had come about. While this was going on, precious sign up time was passing by and the Junior division was coming to a close with two incredibly strong young boys being the highlight of the tournament.
But the time would soon come when the great Mark 'Hercule' Satan would have to take his leave from his mighty throne and make strides towards the arena where he would fight the winner of the Junior Division finals. He knew well already that he would have no chance of winning the fight so he would have to come up with some sort of plan to not make himself look like a fool in front of the entire world. He hoped that little ones were easily taken by bribes.
But that wasn't what was on his mind at the moment. He was still trying to put together the many pieces to the puzzle that was Son Goku. From what he already knew, Goku had been dead since that fateful day at the Cell Games. That would make it six, almost seven years that he's been dead for. But there he stood as tall as ever with a smile on his face. Although, that halo over his head did look suspicious. It was at that point that Hercule told himself that 'figuring out' Goku was going to be an impossible task. How could a dead person be in the living world anyways?
Was even really dead? Maybe he was just a-wall for a really long time and didn't bother telling his family about. Like, he clearly had a glowing halo over his head, but still, this was all too suspicious. Why here? Why would he choose now to come back?. Maybe he was a fallen angel or something. Like, he lost his wings somehow and now he has to earn them back. That seemed like the most logical answer to Hercule so far.
Then again, how was a simple human being such as himself supposed to just come to terms with the fact that someone could just magically be wished back to back to life with their body fully intact and their motor skills as perfect as they were the day they died? Dragonballs or not, just forget it. This was just something The World Champ would never be able to understand.
The explanation of how Goku was even on Earth, alone took thirty minutes. Another thirty was taken to properly answer questions the very bubble and highly energetic Erasa had many a question for the dead man. They weren't the the most intelligable of questions, but she was curious. In her situation, who wouldn't be? But Sharpener had his own theories on why Erasa did some of the things that she did. Even Gohan and Videl could tell that Erasa was straightforward ogling Gohan's dad for his impeccable physique. When they all took a look at Gohan for the first time all those years ago they wondered how a kid their age could have a body built of stone. They now were able to understand the reason why.
And while Goku was busy entertaining the blondes, Gohan had his own answers to pry from Videl.
"So..." She started.
"Would you believe me if I said Merry Christmas and put a bow on top of his head?" She asked, half convinced it might work. Gohan shook his head
"Yeah, didn't think so. Either way, is it everything you expected? Seeing him again I mean." She leaned herself against the wall on the outside of Hercule's private room and waited for a response. She stared at him those dead eyes of his, trying to figure out what in the hell was going on in his head. Videl couldn't help but wonder if his initial reaction was a Saiyan thing, or if it was just a Gohan thing.
"I...I don't know. I mean. What was I expecting? The first thing I did when I saw him was punch him in the gut. Come on Videl, really. Does that scream 'I love you' or 'I missed you' to you? You're smart, why don't you figure it out?" He couldn't understand why, but there were still some questions he wasn't ready to admit the answers to just yet.
"Uh right, that was surprising to say the least. But it's you. Since I met you you've never been too intimate with others. So I guess I really shouldn't be surprised." He gave her a weird expression that she knew was telling her she was wrong.
"Yeah yeah, save it for later. My boots are staying on for as long as there's a tournament to be fought. Control yourself Fido. This ain't even what you want right now, believe it." Videl responded to the lecherous grin thrown her way.
"Ya know what? I don't know anymore. I just don't have the answers at the moment. It's funny isn't it? Me, the smartest person in the school can't even figure out what he wants anymore."
"Funny? I think it's sad. You already have all you could ever need but you don't even know if that's enough?" Videl couldn't help but scoff and roll her eyes at the idiocy that spewed from him. He really wasn't the dumbest smart person she knew.
Moments of silence passed between the two until it finally settled in that it was the end of their talk and the rest of the day would be some giant awkward moment.
The Junior Division Championship match had come to a surprising close when Goten was thrown to the wall by a 'cheating' Trunks. Words were thrown, but in the end the friendship was saved by a few toys here and there. Gohan and Goku on the other hand completely missed signing up for the tournament. Thankfully though they knew two reliable shape shifters who would give an arm and leg for either of the Saiyans. God only knew the world owed them more than just a few limbs.
The tournament this time around was like walking into your favourite store after going through a make-over, nothing was the same. Once so used to fighting in all out brawls just for a spot in the tournament, the bloodshed had greatly decreased with the newest idea of choosing participants.
The punching bag took most of the fun out of tournament by not being able to fool around with throw around contenders, but for the sake of safety, it was an understood change for the better.
Goku and the rest of the gang agreed to take it easy on the machine though. After seeing how many hit points Mr. Satan was able to garner, they figured a fist full of super human and alien strength would surely break the machine. Everyone besides 18 didn't have any trouble keeping their 'punching' strength to a minimum.
And then there was Vegeta. The crowd of contestants figured it was weakened by Hercule's earlier punch, but that couldn't possibly be since the machine was changed out while 18 was punching. It was just a little hard to believe that a machine as durable as a punching machine could be turned into scrap metal with a single punch. Then again, Vegeta was never one to hold anything back in a fight.
The fighters were narrowed down to a small group of 16 with the first fight starring the very same Krillin who once took King Piccolo's offspring to the edge of the ring way back then. The ring announcer greeted him like an old friend like nothing had ever changed. He was grateful for the fact that Krillin and his friends had decided un-retire from the tournament scene and grace the public stage one more time.
And just like the olden days, Krillin took out of his much larger opponent without even breaking a sweat. Krillin took the modest route, scarcely making contact with the crowd, but on the inside he was having the time of his life. The adrenaline inside was growing rapidly. He missed the spotlight and the action and just everything that came with the tournament atmosphere. It was...nostalgic.
The next pair up was Majunior, for safety, vs the newcomer, Shin. As Piccolo walked up to the ring he kept his stare on the much smaller fighter. He had this confident smirk pasted on his face that could rival any one of Vegeta's shit eating grins from back in his misguided days. But there was more to it than just his looks.
He had this presence about him that twisted Piccolo's insides up. His thoughts were a jumbled mess with his body being stiff as a board. He couldn't find it in him to lift a finger to his opponent and he couldn't figure out why. The energy he was emitting was somehow familiar to the past guardian of Earth. He couldn't quite put his nail on it, but his other side kept telling him not to fight this opponent.
Kami always knew more than he let known. But this was one of those rare times where he allowed Piccolo to dig deep into his memories.
It wasn't menacing or dark, there was no evil coming from Shin. He didn't need to be told Shin wasn't an Earthling. But after searching through the vast knowledge and experiences of the former guardian of Earth, Piccolo found an answer that had him in a state of paralysis.
From the sidelines he could hear his 'friends' calling out to him to make a move and to put Shin into the ground. But they didn't understand the predicament he was in. They could never comprehend how conflicted Piccolo was as he stood eye to eye with the mysterious fighter.
Piccolo was a fighter! It was in his blood to destroy! To shed the blood of his enemies! But this was an enemy he could never touch no matter how strong he was. It wasn't a matter of strength, more so of status.
After the longest four minutes of his life, Piccolo regained control of his body and turned his back to his opponent. He voiced his surprising forfeit to his opponent and announcer while walking back to the fighter's arena.
He came back to questions left and right but kept quiet until he was given a moment to think. He couldn't understand the reasons for such a being to be on this specific rock in the universe. Was there business he had with someone or something? Did he even come to fight? Piccolo figured not. Then what was his motive for being on Earth?
Shin approached the Namekian and telepathically gave him the answer to just one of the questions he had. The shocked look on Piccolo's face was worth more than a thousand words.
Piccolo had had his fair share of experiences with God's of the likes. King Kai was comparable to a commoner in the presence of this God. The Grand Kai. The man who ruled the afterlife in which the heroes of the past could only pray to exchange pleasantries with. That's what Piccolo was scared of. The guardian in him could never dare to raise his hand to such a being.
Piccolo was in the middle of wrapping his mind around this situation when Goku, Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin approached him once again. It was Goku who spoke up and asked the big question running through everyone else's heads.
"Who is that guy?" He asked with his arms wrapped behind his neck.
Piccolo was hesitant to answer. He wasn't sure what to make of any of this. He wasn't sure if he was supposed to believe Shin. But there was no doubt in his mind that his energy was similar to that of a God's. He couldn't have made up something like this.
"No matter what happens in this round. When your match against Shin comes up next round, you must not fight him Krillin." Of course they didn't know. Krillin assumed this to be a sad attempt at a joke. Piccolo never was good at those.
"Huh? What are you talking about Piccolo? Why not? What's got you so shaken up about this Shin guy? Is he really that strong?" Krillin asked.
"I'm telling you not to fight him! Don't even think about it!" Piccolo commanded the monk.
"Why not though, Piccolo? Who is he?" Goku reiterated.
"Yes Namek. Please, inform us. Who is this Shin, really?"
Gohan wanted to know just as much as everyone else, but he knew Piccolo well. No one was going to get anything out of him that he wasn't willing to share.
If he was going to get it into their thick skulls, the Namekian would have to be strong about it. He gathered his composure and stood up tall as usual. And with his usual bravado he revealed the truth.
"And Videl wastes no time at all rushing straight at her opponent and giving him everything she's got. Oh she's not pulling any punches! She is showing us exactly why she is one of the top contenders for the title this year. Spopovich has yet to land a punch!"
Videl kept her attacks quick and never stopped moving forward, eventually forcing the much bigger and muscular man to the edge of the ring. But that was as far as he would allow her to push him.
Spopovich grabbed her fists in his palms before she could land her final blow and squeezed down. As hard as she may have tried, Videl was unable to break free of his grasp. He threw the much smaller girl across the arena before running in for his attack. His stomped his heavy feet into the ground, creating tiny cracks as he lifted his legs one after the other.
Shit. He's quicker than he looks. I've gotta gain some ground on him before he can latch onto me again. Videl told herself as she continued to evade Spopovich's strikes for her head. She figured he was more of a brawler than anything who'd gotten this far by just pure luck.
There's no way this guy can beat me. My father beat him easily in the last tournament. I'm definitely stronger than he was back then. Oh shit.
Videl just barely missed getting her ankle taken before jumping over the herculean man.
"And Videl escapes once again! Woaho! Ladies and gentlemen are we getting a show or what!? These two are going all out for us today! What a fight! Videl is surely her father's daughter. How proud he must be of the fighter she's become! How about it folks?"
The crowd roared their jeers and cheers for Videl.
"Kick his ass Videl!"
"Come on V! You can do it! Beat him up girl!" screamed her two blonde friends.
Videl continued dodging and blocking Spopovich's attacks until it hurt to defend. He eventually broke through her defenses and landed a clean hit to her face.
"And Spopovich breaks through! This might just be the break he's been waiting for!"
Shit! It's like he's moving faster than before. And that punch was definitely harder than earlier. I can't take anymore hits like that if I plan on winning this one.
Videl ducked out of the way of a right hook and snuck her way around a flailing left. She quickly maneuvered her body around and swung her leg towards his side.
"Ha! I got you now girly!" He readied himself much like a catcher waiting for an incoming play at the plate and took hold of his target.
"And Spopovich grabs onto Videl's leg this time. It looks like the tides of this fight are turning! I wonder what Spopovich plans to do now! It'd be quite the throw from the middle of the ring if he can pull it off."
The veiny, bald headed, hulk of a man caught Videl's stare with one of his own. He grinned greedily and with the force of a raging fire exploding from within, threw the much smaller fighter with all his might from one side of the ring to the other with no safe ground in sight.
Videl panicked as she found herself unable to reach the ground below her to land on. She only knew of one way to escape an early defeat. So she clenched her fists and tensed her body, concentrating on the ever flowing energy within her.
The crowd fell dead silent with their eyes agape and their jaws almost to the pavement, stunned at what they were witnessing. It was comparable to something straight out of a science fiction story.
"I can't believe what I'm seeing! Videl! The daughter of my champion and yours, is floating in mid air! It's simply amazing!"
Shit. I didn't want to have to resort to doing this, but it was all I could think of besides 'that'. And I'm not even sure it would have even worked like I remember it being done. Oh well, what's done is done. I just hope no one tries to say I'm using magic tricks like dad likes to say.
Videl regained her focus and floated back into the ring, catching the amused stare of her opponent.
"I don't know what you're so happy about. But I'll be happy to wipe that filthy smirk off your face if you'll let me." Videl pushed off her heel and jumped at her opponent with a cocked fist.
"I'd like to see you try! You're just a bug! A bug waiting to be squashed!" Spopovich put up a defense around his face and blocked her initial attack.
"That's right, leave your body open, I'll send you flying this time!" As Videl cocked her leg back Spopovich changed his line of defense and crouched closer to the ground.
Videl used this opportunity to abuse her newly found out ability to stop herself mid air and clenched her hands together behind her head.
"This is my win!" She pounded his head in and watched him tumble to the floor with a loud thud. The gravel beneath his body cracked around him to form.
"And Spopovich has hit the ground! Oh what a strike by Videl! Absolutely incredible! I hope our cameras caught that one, because I've got to see that one again!" shouted the announcer to the crowd.
On the sidelines Earth's Greatest Heroes were praising the young female fighter in their own way, and acknowledging how great a teacher Gohan had become.
Back in the ring, Videl was gripping her knees from exhaustion. The amount of focus and energy that attack took was more than she had hoped it would.
Damn. He better stay down. I don't have much fight left in me. I really have to keep from flying anymore. It's a lot more draining than Gohan makes it seem. Damn. Stupid Saiyans. Why does he get the superpowers? Jerk.
Videl lifted her head to see Spopovich still laying on the ground, but noticed the absence of something that would prove very important to this fight.
"Hey! Where's the count?! Hey announcer dude! Why haven't you started counting yet!? This match would be over by now! Come on!" Videl shouted to the other side of the arena grabbing the attention of the distracted announcer.
"Oh, right! Sorry about that! Alright then. Let's get this count started. ONE! TWO!" The crowd joined in on the count as the number grew.
"SEVEN! Spopovich is still down! EIG-Oh wait! Hold on a second! Spopovich is making an attempt to get up! Incredible! The will of this fighter to not give up is amazing! I can't imagine just how badly Spopovich would like to steal this match and eventually grab the title. In his last appearance at the World Martial Arts Tournament he was but one simple stepping stone away from being named The Champion of the World! I guess we'll just have to wait and see if he still has some steam left in him folks."
Videl couldn't believe what her eyes were telling her. His head was still smashed in and he was acting as if nothing at all had happened. What was more was when he literally grabbed his neck and set it back in place like it was an everyday thing.
She could feel her lunch trying to jump out as she watched the disgusting act, hearing the cracks of his spinal cord. It disturbed her more than anything that he looked more pleased than anything while doing so.
The crowd was just as stunned as she, unable to comprehend the inhuman acts happening during the fight. Every doctor at the stadium, including the staff, knew that Spopovich shouldn't have been able to move let alone fix himself!
"God dammit! What's it going to take to bring you down? GAH!" Not wasting another second Videl flung herself towards her opponent aiming a barrage of attacks at his torso.
"Just, stay, down already!" Videl screeched through her teeth, finishing her attack with one last kick to the face, this one twisting halfway around his neck. She was sure this was it. There was no way he was recovering this attack. Though she was mad at herself that she had to go that far.
Dammit. Even if I win right now, I'll surely be disqualified. Killing is prohibited in this tournament. But I had to do it. Shit! Shit shit shit shit shit! I shouldn't have gone that far. But the look in his eyes after the last one. This was the only way.
Videl distanced herself from Spopovich and waited for him to fall. The crowd looked on in horror at the man with his neck twisted 180 degrees around and he was still standing!
"Well then, it's unfortunate that it's come to this, but it is the rule. Killing your opponent is prohibited in this tournament. And as punishment, Videl is disquali-"
"HEY LOOK! HE'S MOVING!" Screamed someone from the crowd grabbing the attention of both Videl and the announcer.
Oh no. Hell no. This isn't possible. This isn't freaking possible! There's no way he can still be breathing. I snapped his neck with that one. I'm positive I felt his spine break. How is this happening? This isn't normal! This can't be happening right now.
It was at the moment when Spopovich made eye contact once more with Videl that she felt fear run through her body. Her entire body tensed up at the feeling. And though she may have still been fairly new at it, she could feel an evil aura coming from the muscular monster of a man.
"Oh man folks. This match just keeps on pulling rabbits out of it's hat. Spopovich! Is still standing and ready to fight once more! You've got to give it up to these two fighters. Neither has backed down from anything their opponents have thrown at each other. Oh! And Spopovich is going in on the attack now! I sure hope that Videl has something saved up in that tank of her's. From the looks of it, Spopovich isn't going to hold anything back!"
Videl panicked as she couldn't figure out what more she could do. Her attacks weren't doing anything to him. It was frightening just looking at him. He wore a hungry look as if Videl were some kind of prey animal.
With that fear running it's course, natural animal instincts took over and told her to run. And that she did. But with such a limited area to run she jumped into the air and took to the skies. The one place she knew she was safe.
"Ha! You can't get me as long as I'm up here." Videl spat out as she tried to catch herself. She clutched her chest to try and control her breathing.
I should be fine now. There's no way he can get me as long as I stay up here. I just hope I can stay up her long enough to bore him to death. Or at least until I can come up with a plan to take him out.
Videl eventually caught her breath but could feel her body beginning to give out due to the strain from the amount of energy it was taking to keep her afloat.
Spopovich on the other hand grew angrier as the seconds passed and still Videl stood airborne. he growled in a fit of anger and threw a temper tantrum, stomping his feet, creating tiny cracks in the arena.
"You will come down here now before I come up there and bring you down!" He screamed to Videl. But she wasn't dumb enough to comply with such orders. Instead she mocked him with hand gestures.
"Grr! You little..grrraah! I'm coming to get you!"
"Yeah I'd like to see you try! Seeing as I'm up here and you're all the way down there, I don't see that happening. Just give up already. You're not winning this fight as long as I can fly." Videl mockingly explained.
Much to her surprise though, he wasn't going to just give up. He jumped high and almost reached her with his hand. She pulled her leg up just in time to avoid his grip.
"Oh damn. You almost got me there. But almost doesn't count in a fight. Better luck next tournament buddy-oh shit!" Not only had Spopovich jumped higher the next time but in fact just like she was doing, he managed to stay afloat in the air and was gaining on her.
"N..no! No! Stay the hell away from me! There's only enough air in this arena for one of us! And that's me!" Videl resumed her previous assault on her opponent but couldn't land a single hit. She was finding it a much harder task to find her balance and throw a decent punch while focusing on not falling to the ground. But what else was she to do? She had to fight back or she'd lose the fight.
"God, dammit! Just, stay still already!" She shouted as another jab missed his face. He laughed at her troubles.
"Heh. Daughter of Hercule. You're nothing but a weakling! Just like your fake of a father! He thinks he's so strong, but he knows nothing about what real power is!" Spopovich retaliated with his own flurry of attacks. Each one of them at least hitting her defense head on, gradually weakening the young girl.
Dammit. If this goes on any longer no doubt I'll lose this one. I have to turn this one somehow. But, I don't know if I'll have any energy left if I actually pull this off.
Out of the corner of her eye, Videl caught Gohan's stare from afar. He looked focused as usual. She didn't need to say anything and he still knew what she was thinking. Videl knew he wouldn't agree. But there was no other choice. She took her first opening and flew high above her opponent.
Alright Videl you only get one shot at this. It has to be perfect.
She cracked the knuckles in her hand, loosening them up for one final blow. Once she figured enough distance was made between her opponent she stopped and took a nice long stare down at her opponent, still in the midst of a battle between herself.
"Calm down Videl. You've got nothing to lose. You're the best! And this will work! Just...concentrate!"
The raven haired fighter twisted her body and cupped her hands behind her back. She took one last deep breath before beginning her attack.
Down below, Earth's Greatest Fighter's all looked up in surprise at what they were witnessing. They couldn't believe that this random girl was about to perform such an attack. They all looked to Gohan who denied teaching her anything that involved using energy to attack.
I'm doing this! Holy shit I'm going to do this! Don't lose focus Videl don't lose focus!
She felt her body tremble at the density of energy that was piling into her hands and weighing her down.
Come on body! Don't give up on me now! Just a little bit longer! This isn't enough! Come on! All of that training can't be for nothing! All those weeks out in the mountains! There's no way that I'm losing here! No fucking way I'm going to let this bonehead beat me! I'm Videl Satan! I'm the daughter of Hercule! I can't lose! I can't!"
With one last push, Videl focused enough energy and thrust her arms down at her opponent with one last
A/N: Beta'd somewhat by the ever persistent Kakarot Son. Thanks yo!
Um...sorry for the incredibly long wait? Sorry :D