Author's Note: Yes we're celebrating Christmas. And I'm sorry about the long update.
Chapter 19: Christmas Eve
I ran a hand through my hair. Why was this so hard? I mean I had defeated Cell for Kami's sake, but this…this was getting the better of me. I crinkled my nose looking at several of my options. I had to admit to defeat and ask for help. If I was going to do this I was going to need an expert's opinion.
"Gohan," Speak of the expert. "You have been staring at those two stores for ten minutes now." There was another pause followed by chewing. "I had time to stand in line and get a pretzel before you even realized I was gone." I blinked and finally faced him. Sharpner had a pretzel in his right hand and a soda in the other. "Just pick already!" He exclaimed.
I groaned. "I want to get something perfect!" I insisted. "What did you get Erasa?"
He smiled proudly and swallowed the pretzel he had in his mouth. "I got her this incredible diamond necklace. Wooo… I had to work quite a few extra hours in Mr. Satan's gym, but Kami it was worth it. She is going to freak. I can't wait to see the look on her face." I could tell I had lost him for a moment.
"Hmm." I looked down at the floor contemplating what I should get her. "Jewelry is a little intense at this point in our relationship. I mean I reallylike her, but expensive jewelry?" I looked at Sharpner shaking my head.
He shook his head back at me. "Yeah, let's not be creepy!" It was silent for a moment. "Well, what about something for all her fighting and training?"
"I want to get her something special. She is…" I held up my hands at a loss for words. "-is so much more than a fighter. She's sweet, compassionate, she's funny, she's deep…"
Sharpner raised an eyebrow. "Are we talking about the same Videl?"
I nudged him laughing. "I know a different side of her!" I argued. And then it clicked. I knew exactly what I wanted to get her. "Come on!" I nodded for Sharpner to follow me. I stopped outside of an art supply store.
Sharpner stopped when we walked inside and looked around. "Wwhooaa! Good job, bro. Way to think outside the box!"
I smiled. "Hey I'm not terribleat having a girlfriend." I defended.
I grabbed several different paint colors, a handful of different size brushes, and three canvases, all different sizes. I even grabbed a huge one for her painting for the auction. I paid for everything and Sharpner helped me carry everything out to the jeep. "I was wrong nerdboy." I laughed at the now kind of endearing nickname. "You really outdid yourself for her."
I smiled knowingly. "I'm not quite finished yet." Sharpner looked at me inquisitively.
Several hours later I was struggling up the stairs that lead to my third floor. I went into the door opposite of my room and dropped everything on the floor. This room of the house was filled with training equipment. It was a decent sized room and everything was spaced out. I started to rearrange the room putting the weight bench, a few punching bags, the dumbbells, some weighted clothes and a few bigger bars on one side of the room.
"Perfect." I said proudly. I opened the curtains letting the warm sunlight bathe the room. I studied the space for a moment. I went down the steps and into the hall where a mostly empty book case stood about the height of my hip. I picked it up and walked it up the stairs and into that room. I set it in the corner of the room. I started to rearrange the knickknacks and started putting paints and paintbrushes on the shelves. I picked up an easel and stood in front of the window placing it beside the window.
I stood in front of the window. It overlooked the crystal blue lake that I used to go swimming in as a kid. You could see the river connecting on either side of the lake. Sitting beside the lake was a round grassy area that my dad cleared out for us to go camping in. With all of the trees and the mountains it was an incredible view.
And it was perfect for her.
It was Christmas Eve. I was walking up the front steps of Videl's house excitedly. I skipped the last two steps and rapped on the door. I could hardly contain my excitement. I looked down at my watch. It was almost 5:30pm. We were supposed to be at her house in the city at 6pm for an early dinner. The door swung open and I looked up. There she was. She was wearing blue skinny jeans and a red flannel shirt. Her hair was undone from her usual pigtails and hung straight instead of its usual messy look. I hadn't realized just how long her hair was before.
"Hey." She smiled at me.
I smiled at her. "Hey, are you ready to go?" She came out of the doorway and slipped her arms around my waist. I chuckled and put my arms around her. Kami, I loved having her so close. I pulled away from her to look at her. "You look adorable!" I blushed. I can't believe I just said that.
She was blushing. "Thank you!" She responded. "Y-you look great too!"
I smirked at her mischievously. "You're going to need this." I broke the silence and uncapsuled a helmet and thrust it in her hands.
"What? Gohan, what are you talking about?"
I turned my back to Videl and threw down a capsule that I had been using for the last month. An orange and blue sport bike emerged and Videl gasped. I turned to look at her. "So, what do you think?!" I exclaimed walking over to it. "I've been riding it for about a month now and I'm pretty confident on it." I uncapsuled another helmet and smiled at her.
She walked over to it. "Gohan, it's kind of dangerous don't you think?" She bit her lip uncertainly.
I shrugged. "I think I've done a few things that could be considered more dangerous than this." I admitted. I walked over to her and put my hands on her shoulders. "You always said you wished you could fly." I put the helmet on her head. "This is the closest I could feel to flying without actually flying."
She slid up the visor so I could see her eyes. "Like you know what actual flying feels like." She accused, her voice muffled by the helmet.
I put my own helmet on and tightened the strap. I pulled up the visor. "You know what I mean." I defended coolly. I reached over and tightened her strap. "You ready?" I turned on the biked, swung a leg over and revved the engine a few times. I looked back at her and saw her eyes light up, but I could tell she was trying to remain uninterested. I nodded at her and she approached the bike. She put her arms on my waist and swung a leg over the bike behind me. She adjusted herself behind me and put her arms around my waist.
I smirked to myself. I loved having her close to me. I made a mental note to thank Bulma.
It was just a short motorcycle ride from Videl's place in the country to her place in the city, but it was incredible. I loved the way the wind felt rushing passed me. The whole world seemed to rush by in a blur and for that brief 30 minute ride it was just me and Videl. It felt like nothing else mattered. I went a little faster and I heard her squeal with excitement. She tightened her grip around my waist, but I knew that she was enjoying this ride just as much as I was.
We arrived at the smaller mansion in the center of the city. I slowed down and nodded to security to let us in. They opened the gate and we slowly rolled up the driveway and to the house. We came to a stop at the front steps and I shut the bike off. I undid my helmet and when I looked back Videl was beaming at me. She tore her helmet off. "Kami that was intense Gohan!" She exclaimed excitedly.
She jumped off my bike and waited for me to dismount. I took off my helmet and laughed. "I'm glad you enjoyed it!" I set the helmet on my bike and she set hers next to mine.
She jumped up and wrapped her legs around me and kissed me. I quickly put my arms around her taking a tight hold of her. "You weren't kidding! That really was like flying!" She laughed again.
I kissed her again. She broke away and let go of me standing in front of me. I laughed nervously rubbing the back of my head. "I'm glad you enjoyed it."
She took a step towards me smiling. "You nervous about meeting my dad as my boyfriend?"
I chuckled and bit my lip. "Actually, yeah…" I admitted. Of course I wasn't nervous about meeting him so much as I was nervous about him recognizing who I was. I bent down and kissed her.
The front door swung open and my heart started pounding. I broke away from her and turned to the door. My hand intertwined with hers and I held my breath. There he stood again in front of me. He was wearing black training sweats and a tight white shirt, both had Satan logos sprawled across them. He was standing in the doorway with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. He cleared his throat and spoke, "Were you two planning on coming inside any time soon?"
I tried to stay as cool as I could. "I'm sorry sir." I apologized. "Thank you for having me over."
Mr. Satan smirked at me. "It's my pleasure, son. Gohan right?" He outstretched his hand I took a few steps forward shaking it. "Well come on inside my boy. Let's sit down and have dinner. I would like to get to know you if you are going to be with my little girl."
He turned and went inside. Videl stood beside me and grabbed my hand and flashed me a reassuring smile. We followed him through the sitting area, the kitchen and into the dining room. There was a smaller dining room table that could seat six individuals, but was set for four. Even though their mansion I the city was rather large it was still significantly smaller than the house out on the countryside.
I pulled Videl's chair out for her and then took the seat beside her. An older gentlemen in a button up plaid shirt and a pair of nice jeans came into the room with a tray of four soups. He set the tray at the center of the table and took the seat beside Mr. Satan. "Hello." We shook hands. "My name is Mitchell. I work as a cook for Mr. Satan here." He smiled happily.
"Gohan." I shook his hand.
"He's a live in chef." Videl explained to me. "He is here 24/7."
Mitchell smiled enthusiastically at Videl. "The Satan family has been good to me." He looked over at me. "My wife died a few years ago, and my kids are all grown and out of the house so Mr. Satan offered to let me live here." I was eating my soup while he was talking. He took a bite from his soup and waved his hand. "But enough about me. Let's hear about you, Gohan."
I swallowed the bite that was in my mouth nervously. I always dreaded this question, but I was prepared for it. I had practiced all that week for this dinner. I put a hand on Videl's leg underneath the table and she put her hand over mine. I set the spoon down in the bowl.
"Well, I go to Orange Star High with Videl." We smiled at each other and I looked back at Mr. Satan and Mitchell. "I was homeschooled up until this year."
"Really now?" I looked at Mr. Satan. "That is interesting. Why were you homeschooled?"
I shrugged. "I live all the way in Mt. Paoz and my father worked a lot. It would have been tiresome for my mom to have to drive me to school every day. Now that I can fend for myself it's no big deal for me to go to school. Plus my mom says that if I could get people to know me it might help with recommendation letters for universities and such."
Mitchell looked surprised. "Impressive."
Mr. Satan cut in, "Do you know what you want to do after high school?"
I bit my lip. No one had really asked me that question. I thought for sure I would be protecting the world for the rest of my life now that my father wasn't around but- "I would like to be a University professor."
Mr. Satan snorted. "I was never any good at that book stuff, but you seem like the type!"
Mitchell got up and started to pick up our dishes. I rubbed the back of my neck uncomfortably. "Um. Well thank you sir."
He smirked and crossed his arms. "So you got no fight in you then, huh?"
I cringed. I could feel the bitterness start to creep its way up and I pushed it back down. "No sir." I lied.
He chuckled. "Believe it or not it's refreshing to meet someone who doesn't want my autograph or any of my fighting tips!" He winked at me.
I chuckled. "Trust me sir, I can honestly say I won't be bothering you about that kind of stuff."
Hercule narrowed his eyes and leaned forward, "Are you sure I don't know you from somewhere, kid?"
I leaned back a bit. "N-no sir." I swallowed hard pleading to Kami that he wouldn't recognize me.
Hercule sat back down in his chair waving his finger at me. "I don't know Gohan. I'm pretty sure I know you from somewhere! I'll put my finger on it."
Mitchell came back with plates containing steak, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. He set down plates in front of all of us and I inhaled deeply. "Wow Mitchell!" I exclaimed. "It smells great!"
Mitchell took his seat next to Hercule. "Dig in!"
After dinner Videl and I were sitting on her balcony upstairs in her room. We were bundled up in a blanket and sipping a hot chocolate that Mitchell had brought us. We were gazing out at all the city lights. I sighed contently. This is what I wanted out of life. I didn't have to fight anyone. I could train at my own pace. I didn't feel like I was living in the shadow of my father and- I put an arm around Videl and pulled her closer to me. –And I was with the girl of my dreams.
"Hey Gohan." I couldn't see Videl's face, but I could hear her voice hesitating.
I pulled away from her to look at her. "What's up Videl?"
She was looking at me fully and I could tell she was a little nervous. She was playing with her hands underneath the blanket. "What happened with your dad?" I went rigid. She noticed and added, "I couldn't help but feel you tense up every time my dad asked you a question about your family and you didn't mention him once." I couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed. I was ashamed of how much he affected me and ashamed that Videl knew. Then she added, "I realized I had never asked you what happened."
I stared at her. I knew this question was inevitable, but I guess I always sort of hoped it would never come up. "He died." I looked away from her at the lights. "Cell killed him."
She looked alarmed. "I-I'm so sorry I never asked before."
I shook my head. "Videl don't be. It's okay."
She kissed the side of my head. "Looks like we understand each other better than I thought." I swallowed the lump in my throat and looked away. Kami, I hated talking about him. She put her hand on the side of my face rubbing my cheek. "Want to talk about it?"
"No." I answered quickly. I felt her tense and I instantly regretted it. "I-I don't want to talk about him…"
Videl's hand fell into mine. "Are you sure?" She gave me a reassuring smile. "I would understand better than anyone else-"
I stood up. "Videl," I looked fully at her. For a moment I really wanted to tell her everything. It's my fault he's dead, Videl. Cell killed him because of me. It should have been me Videl that died, not him. I shook my head. "It's Christmas Eve." I gave her a halfhearted smile. "Just happy stuff okay?"
She stood up and reluctantly nodded her head. "Okay." I took a step forward and embraced her kissing her forehead. I stepped back. "So," I raised an eyebrow and she was looking at me curiously. "What did you get me for Christmas?"
"Gohan!" She smacked me playfully.