Title: A Whisper, Not a Shout

Author: RaliNeoBlade

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ, or Videl, or Gohan. (::sob, sob:: I want Go- chan! Boo-hoo!) However, I do own the poem, 'A Whisper, Not a Shout', and the plotline for its story namesake. So, please don't use it without my permission.

A/N: OK, major G/V fluff here. Both of them might be *slightly* OOC. Beware, you have been warned. Oh, and inbetween ~*~ is the poem, _…_ is thoughts, *…* is emphasis.

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~*~ I've done so many things in life ~*~

~*~ Had crazy ups and way more downs ~*~



Valentine's day. A frown marred the pretty features of the girl in the last row. She was the only one there, so she could have a clear path to the door at that end of the classroom, in case she got any calls from the chief of police.

_I hate Valentine's Day,_ Videl said to herself, just as she did every year. However, this year it was said with just a little more 'oomph', a little more accusation. Instead of the history notes that were supposed to be adorning her paper, there were scribbles, and what looked suspiciously like doodles of hearts with x's through them.

_Dad's gonna use this for publicity again,_ she thought, drawing a stick figure with a heart for a head being marched to a guillotine. She remembered back to the last Valentine's Day, her face burning at just the thought of it.

Mr. Satan had thought it would be a grand idea to host a Valentine's party for his 'little' girl, who was already fighting crime at that point. He'd invited a bunch of celebrities and high power executives, the only people Videl really knew were Erasa and Sharpner. Mr. Satan seemed to approve of Sharpner for some reason that she couldn't fathom.

But *then* he'd had the audacity to invite Z TV to *videotape* the whole event, like it was some sort of advertising stunt. Videl had gotten in a huge argument with her father over this point, and had stormed to her room, only coming down to grab Erasa's arm, when she got there, to drag her away.

Videl sighed heavily, sinking down and resting her head on her hands. A spiky, black-haired head in front of her turned around and gave her a concerned, 'what's wrong?' glance before the teacher barked at him to pay attention. Videl smiled wryly as Gohan buried his nose back in his book, then she sighed again.



~*~ Joy and loss and suffering ~*~

~*~ Are fixed on this boy's crowns ~*~



Gohan was probably the reason that this Valentine's Day seemed even more unbearable than the others. She'd had developing feelings for him even before the Buu incident, and in the weeks afterward, they took off. Considering as how she'd never allowed her self to like a guy that way, it was slightly frightening for Videl to feel that intensely for her best friend.

Worse, he was totally oblivious to it. Gohan might have saved the world more than a couple of times, but he had to be the most naïve person she'd ever met. From what she'd seen of his father, she supposed that Gohan had gotten it from him. Then again, that ignorance and innocence was part of what had drawn her to him.

"Hey, Miss Satan," Videl looked up and saw Gohan grinning at her. "The bell rang, class is over, come on." Videl would have liked very much to be able to scowl at him, but looking at his handsome face rendered her incapable of any such thing. So instead, she complained.

"I thought I told you not to call me Miss Satan," she grumbled, getting up and scooping her doodles into her bag hurriedly. "I get that twenty-four/seven at home, I do *not* need it at school." Gohan eyed her curiously for her apparent grumpiness, but it looked like she wasn't going to tell him anything, so he changed the subject as they walked out to lunch.

"So, were you listening to *any* of what Ms. McDowell was prattling about?" he asked teasingly.

"No, but I'm guessing it was Advanced Calculus, as that's what she's paid for," Videl teased back, starting to regain some of her good humor. _I don't need him to like me back,_ she chanted in her mind. _Having him as a friend is just as good. Just as good._ Then he smiled at her, that slow, brilliant smile that characterized him, and her stomach flipped, contradicting her mind. _Damn!_ she cursed. _That's it! Screw being friends, I've gotta have this guy._ Then she made herself a dangerous promise. _By the end of today, Valentine's Day, I, Satan Videl, will have told Son Gohan how I feel about him._



~*~ Through it all there hasn't been much hope ~*~

~*~ Too many voyages with changing gales ~*~



They reached the bench outside that they usually sat at, and for once Videl was glad Erasa was absent. She knew that her friend had a small crush on Gohan, and felt slightly guilty about falling in love with him, but she figured that since Erasa had already had so many boyfriends, she wouldn't grudge Videl her one true love, right?

A giggling girl ran by a ways away from where they were sitting, and a guy ran after her, loudly singing an offkey and cheesy love song. Gohan grinned at Videl, and she smiled, shaking her head.

"Kids these days," Gohan remarked. "Rather sweet, don't you think?" Videl, knowing that her role as tough girl extraordinare was at jeopardy, demurred.

"I really don't see a point to Valentine's Day," she said. "It was all well and good when we were in elementary school, passing out paper hearts and things. But I think it's kind of immature for everyone to lose their heads for a week, then go bonkers today."

Gohan laughed and put his hand behind his head, an action that all his family members seemed to do, Videl noted. _Can that sort of thing be inherited?_ she wondered, smiling slightly. _His father does it just the same way….and his little brother._

"I think people should be allowed seven days out of three-hundred sixty-five, don't you?" Gohan asked, then, seeing her frown, amended hastily, "Y'know, just to get it all out of their systems."



~*~ I thought at least my beliefs were steady ~*~

~*~ 'Cuz baby, I don't believe in fairytales ~*~



Videl glanced at him, frown disappearing, amusement clear in her eyes. Even after all the time they'd known each other, and how close they'd come, Gohan still jumped at signs of her temper. Videl patted herself on the back for a job well done 'training' 'her' saiyajin.

"Maybe," she replied casually, taking a bite out of her sandwich. Gohan looked startled as he just remembered that it was lunch time, then dug out a capsule from his pocket. He pressed the trigger and tossed it onto the table, salivating as a huge meal appeared. Videl looked at it all wide eyed. She still hadn't gotten over how much he could eat.

In-between stuffing his face, Gohan stated, "You seem awfully passionate about this subject." _You look even better passionate than you do angry,_ he added to himself. "Got something against Valentine's Day?"

"No," Videl said defensively. Then, seeing Gohan's look, admitted, "Oh, all right." Then she told him about the party her father had thrown the year before, concluding, "I've never really like Valentine's Day. It's all mushy and sappy and stuff. You know I'm a tomboy," _I don't think of you as a tomboy,_ Gohan thought, "and that stuff is all kind of stupid to me. See, I don't believe in true love."

Here, she expected Gohan to contradict her, and give her a lecture or something. Instead, he just raised his eyebrows slightly, and said, "Neither did I."



~*~ No such thing as happily ever after ~*~

~*~ No faith in love at first sight ~*~



"Aha!" she said triumphantly. "A kindred spirit at last!" Gohan grinned.

"Sorry, Videl, no kindred spirit here. I said 'neither *did* I.' Past tense. I believe in true love now."

Videl's stomach did the funny flop thing again. Did he mean….? _No way._ She shook her head. _He couldn't like me, that's impossible._ That settled, a kind of sick jealousy filled her as she thought about what Gohan had said. It meant….that some girl had made him believe in true love. He was hinting that he was in love with someone. Her heart was screaming, but she forced a lighthearted smile.

"Ooooh, little Gohan in love? Who's gonna be your Valentine?" She tried to go for subtlety, but something inside her wrenched as she said the words. Gohan put his arms behind his head and looked at the sky. He was blushing, ever so slightly, in that endearing way she had come to love. Oddly, this comforted her instead of making her envy the person who could make him blush.

"N-no one," he stammered. "I just- I meant that, well…..When my dad came back, and I saw how happy he and Mom were, they were both just-just *glowing*, I knew that they loved each other a lot, and that true love had to be real, and not a fairytale." Gohan was only half-lying, but he still felt slightly guilty about it.

"Ah." Videl suspected that he wasn't telling her everything, but she was too relieved to give it any more thought. Gohan wasn't in love with anyone!!! She could just burst into song. Feeling decidedly better, she teased her best friend. "So, if you believe in true love now, describe your perfect girl. Y'know, your *true love*."



~*~ Couldn't believe in cheerful endings ~*~

~*~ 'Til you dropped in overnight ~*~



Gohan felt slightly uncomfortable, because he'd never discussed this kind of thing with Videl, but if she wanted to…. "Well," he said reluctantly. "She'd have to be intelligent, of course. I don't think I could relate to someone that couldn't keep up with me."

Videl nodded eagerly, fighting the urge to whip out a pen and start taking notes. Imagine, Gohan was actually telling her! What an opportunity! _I'm smart!_ Videl thought desperately. _So I fill at least one of his requirements!_ A year earlier she would have scoffed at herself, declared herself so lovesick that she had fallen so far as to be willing to change herself for a guy. _But I didn't know Gohan then,_ she thought.

"I guess it would be awkward to explain everything about my heritage," Gohan continued, while Videl smiled. _He rolls the super strength, tails, turning into giant apes on a full moon, bloodthirstiness, and power of his saiyajin side all together, and calls it his 'heritage'._ She shook her head. _Only Gohan._ "So she would have to be someone who wouldn't freak out at something like that. You know, I could trust her."

_He told me about his 'heritage'_ Videl thought, going down the mental checklist so far. _And I didn't freak out. That must mean he trusts me, right? And I'm intelligent. Three for three so far, keep it up, Videl, you may just get him yet._

"And strong women have always interested me. Maybe because I've grown up around two of them," Gohan said ruefully, thinking of his mother and Bulma, two women, strong in different ways. Gohan glanced at Videl; she seemed really absorbed in what he was saying. He went on, taking advantage of the moment; it wasn't often that he was the center of their conversation. "And we'd have more in common if she was a fighter."

_Yes! Yes!_ Videl crowed mentally. _I'm a fighter! Four down, and I don't know how the hell many more to go!_

Gohan felt her intense gaze on him and shivered involuntarily. "Physical traits, what about physical traits?" Videl asked intently.



~*~ There was no sudden brilliant flash ~*~

~*~ No unexpected change of heart ~*~



"Uhm, short hair?" Gohan offered, smiling. He was thinking back to their conversation when he was just starting to teach her to fly.

**Flashback**

"I'll be back tomorrow," Videl said, perpetually angry look on her face. She tossed a capsule over onto the grass and with a loud, 'bamph!' her helicopter appeared.

"What?" Gohan exclaimed, agitated. He didn't want her over any more than she had to be- it was too dangerous. Goten might forget and show more of his powers than he was supposed to, and besides, he needed time to get some serious training in. "I already taught you how to fly! All it is from now on is practice, really," he protested weakly.

"I want to know more about this," Videl stated, walking over to her copter. Then she stopped and glared over her shoulder at Gohan, who froze under her scrutiny. "Or is that a *problem* for you? Am I a *problem*, Gohan?"

"N-no, of course not!" he denied, waving his arms around nervously. Videl gave him another long look, then turned back around.

"Good." Just as she was about to climb in and fly away, Gohan called out.

"Oh, and, uh, Videl?" he ran up, a hand behind his head.

"Yes?" she asked curiously.

"I-I was, uh, thinking." She gave him a 'spit it out already' look. "Um, your hair," he said sheepishly.



~*~ Just the warmth and charm that make you, *you* ~*~

~*~ Are now tearing me apart ~*~



Videl touched a ponytail. "What about it?"

"I thought- Maybe it would be better….short," he said slowly, looking for her reaction.

A light blush covered her face. "Do you mean….that you like short hair….on girls, Gohan?" she guessed, gazing at him shyly. Then he ruined the moment.

"Well, gee, I never thought about that," he said innocently. "It just wouldn't get in your face when you're flying, and your opponent wouldn't be able to grab onto it, and-…" He ticked things off.

"RRRRRrrrrrr!" Videl managed, the exploded. "Why don't you just get out of my hair and leave me alone, you big JERK!"

**End Flashback**

_Of course, then she went and cut it anyway,_ Gohan thought. _I didn't get it then. But…she doesn't look great like that…._

Videl, however, wasn't remembering this incident. It was just another tally in her book. She was starting to get the idea that Gohan was trying to tell her something. When he looked at her again, his dark gaze went searing through her. _All of these things…._ she thought slowly. _Sound an *awful* lot like me….._ She hardly dared to hope.



~*~ I know that we're best buddies ~*~

~*~ We've been through trials and pains and fun ~*~



"And," Gohan finished huskily, looking straight at her. "Pretty eyes. Pretty blue eyes," he breathed, trailing off. _If she doesn't put two and two together after that, she's not as smart as I give her credit for…._

Struck suddenly by how Gohan was looking at her, Videl opened her mouth- And the bell rang, signally the end to the lunch period. Gohan felt like screaming and blasting the noisy thing into oblivion. _Hey, I sound like Vejiita…_ he thought, amused, then remembered how the moment was ruined. _*Sooooo* close…._

Videl growled through her teeth. The moment was so ruined now! She wished she could ignore school and go on like they had been, but she knew that it wasn't an option. _*Sooooo* close….._

"Well, happy now?" Gohan tried to say lightheartedly, but he was still seething. "Is my ideal girl who you thought she'd be?"

Videl shoved him playfully, but harder than she needed to. "I don't know who your ideal girl is. I just know what you'd like her to be." She scrubbed her mouth with a napkin hastily, then looked at the remains of Gohan's lunch. It consisted of dozens of paper plates and tinfoil that now only contained crumbs.

"You need help with that?" she said uncertainly.



~*~ But I've never really faced this feeling ~*~

~*~ 'Cuz it's an elusive thought, that you're the one ~*~



"Nah," Gohan said, shaking his head. Then, glancing around for people, he disintegrated the trash with a small chi wave.

"Show off," Videl said, smiling.

Gohan smiled too, then shrugged. "What can I say? These skills have some domestic uses. Let me tell you, was my mom surprised when I started using my chi to dry the dishes. It gets them done a lot quicker, though."

"Hn, I'll have to try that," Videl remarked as they ran into the building. They had separate classes now, and Videl was feeling slightly desolate as she sat down in English. Sharpner was in front of her, and she could tell that he was trying to get her attention by the way he kept flexing his muscles right in her line of view. She wrinkled her nose in disgust.

_My guy is a million times stronger than you'll ever be,_ she wanted to spit in his face, but she knew that Gohan wouldn't appreciate that, although it would make *her* feel very, very satisfied.

***

Gohan could feel that Videl was down by how her chi level sank slightly, and he frowned, only listening to his biology teacher with half an ear. He smiled as he had an idea, and scribbled quickly on a piece of paper.

***

Everyone in Videl's class looked up in shock when a paper airplane came sailing through the open window. What made it even more incredible was that there was no breeze on that day.

Videl stared open mouthed at it as it made a perfect landing right on her desk. The tips of her ears burning as she felt everyone looking at her, she opened to mysterious paper quickly.



~*~ I know you probably don't feel the same ~*~

~*~ Although now I *have* to let it out ~*~



**Videl- Keep your chin up! Valentine's Day will be over soon, and I'll buy you some ice cream, OK? Good. Everyone's probably staring at you, now, huh? Sorry. Wondering how I managed that trick? It's all in the wrist! No, seriously, I used chi. (() See you after school! -Gohan**

Videl felt a slow smile creep up her face. Her expression went from shocked to delighted in no time flat, and that made everyone stare at her more, wanting to know what the note had said, and who had sent it to her.

_He's the sweetest person in the whole wide world!_ Videl couldn't help thinking. _How did he know I needed cheering up? Oh, man, how did I ever survive without this guy?_

***

_Yes, thank you, I *am* a genius,_ Gohan gloated mentally when he noticed the dramatic upword change in his friend's chi. He nodded, very pleased with himself, not noticing that he looked very preoccupied.

"Mr. Son!" the teacher bellowed, and Gohan jumped guiltily.

"Sorry, Sensei," he eeped, habit forcing himself to pick up a book and put it up in front of him like a wall for defense. _I've gotta stop spacing out over Videl,_ he scolded himself.



~*~ Still, I'm rather shy, honey ~*~

~*~ So I'll make it a whisper, not a shout ~*~



***

"Gohan!" The tall young man turned around and was suddenly hit by a blur.

"Agh!" He gave a muffled sound before falling to the ground, a bright eyed young woman hugging him around the shoulders. "Uh, hi, Videl," he said, laughing helplessly.

"Thank you, soooo much for the note after lunch!" Videl enthused. "You have *no* idea how much I needed that!"

_Actually, I think I have a pretty good guess,_ Gohan thought, grinning, before clearing his throat. "No prob, Videl. Uh, you wanna get off me now?"

"Oh!" Videl moved off of him, bright red, but Gohan was too busy getting up to notice.

"Thanks."

"Small payment for that cheering-up note," Videl said. "That telekinetic trick was pretty neat. You didn't have to go to so much trouble, though."

"I wanted to," Gohan explained. "That's what friends are for, right?"

Videl made a face, but Gohan missed it. _That's not exactly what I had in mind…_ she thought sourly, then smiled. "Hey, you promised me ice cream."

"You don't forget anything involving sweets, do you?" Gohan asked, eyes sparkling.

"Of course not!" Videl said huffily.

"Don't you ever worry about gaining weight?" he inquired, mock- innocently.

Videl shot him an outraged look. "Are you implying that I'm fat?!" she demanded, stomping her foot.

"No, no, of course not." Videl wasn't convinced by this, however, seeing as how was holding back his chuckles unsuccessfully. She narrowed her eyes and he shut up hastily. "Uh, how about we get that ice cream, eh?"

***

_All right, Videl,_ she thought determinedly. _You're going to tell him now. Before we leave this ice cream parlor, he is going to know how you feel._ They were sitting next to each other in a booth at the local ice cream haunt. She slurped her semi-melted strawberry sundae, feeling like she had just signed her death warrant.

Gohan was smiling. Videl didn't seem to realize that she was staring at him, quite blatantly. He didn't know what it meant, but it was obvious that she was thinking hard. Gohan finished off the last of his fourth banana split, then remembered. _That reminds me…._ He shifted uncomfortably, fingering the paper in his pocket. _Get it over with ASAP, Gohan, then she can bite your head off…_

_He's gonna stare at me like I'm crazy, then burst out laughing,_ Videl worried. _I don't think I could stand it if he laughed at me….Do it…Get it over with now!_

"Gohan," she blurted out.

"Videl," he started.

They stared at each other, then laughed a little. "You first," they said at the same time. They stared some more.

Gohan sighed and pulled out the fateful piece of paper. "I'll go first," he offered, and gulped when she nodded nervously. "Uhm, Videl, I know you don't like Valentine's Day very much, but….I have to give you this….You can kill me afterward if you like."

Videl looked at him funny, then took the paper. It was beautiful, not corny Valentine's laced or anything. There was a light picture of a waterfall done in pastels in the background, but Videl was focused on the words written on it.

**I didn't think that I could say all this out loud, so I wrote it down. I'm not asking you to feel obliged or anything, I just want you to understand, OK? -Gohan** Following those words were a poem.

I've done so many things in life

Had crazy ups and way more downs

Joy and loss and suffering

Are fixed on this boy's crowns

Through it all there hasn't been much hope

Too many voyages with changing gales

I thought at least my beliefs were steady

'Cuz baby, I don't believe in fairytales

No such thing as happily ever after

No faith in love at first sight

Couldn't believe in cheerful endings

'Til you dropped in overnight

There was no sudden brilliant flash

No unexpected change of heart

Just the warmth and charm that make you, *you*

Are now tearing me apart

I know that we're best buddies

We've been through trials and pains and fun

But I've never really faced this feeling

'Cuz it's an elusive thought, that you're the one

I know you probably don't feel the same

Although now I have to let it out

Still, I'm rather shy, honey

So I'll make it a whisper, not a shout

Tears were brimming in her eyes by this point, and she looked up at Gohan. She saw, startled, that he was looking at her, and got the feeling that he had been for some time.

"I love you, Videl. Happy Valentine's Day," he whispered, true to the last line of his poem. He couldn't bear to look at her anymore, so he looked down, then he felt two fingers on his chin lifting his head. He saw Videl giving him a teary smile.

"You idiot," she mumbled, then wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his head down. Their warm lips met, and both felt a sudden sense of absolute *rightness*.

Videl shivered, burying her fingers in his ebony locks and shutting her eyes. The kiss was soft and gentle at first, then all of a sudden Gohan's arms were around her waist, tightening. He ran his tongue over her bottom lip sensually, silently pleading, and her mouth opened involuntarily.

She gasped at the sensation when his tongue darted into her mouth and claimed it as its own. Feelings and emotions were whirling through her, and she felt slightly heady.

"Mommy, is that guy eating Satan Videl?" a young boy at the counter asked, tugging at his mother's skirt. Gohan and Videl broke away suddenly, blushing violently and panting for breath. They looked at each other, then broke out in silent giggles. Videl grabbed Gohan's hand and tugged him out of the parlor after leaving some bills on their table.

"Think we traumatized the poor kid?" Videl asked him, snuggling contentedly into Gohan's muscled chest.

"I hope not, I wouldn't want to be responsible for that sort of thing," he answered, still blushing a little and grinning as he wrapped an arm around her waist. Videl listened to his voice rumble, fascinated.

"I do love you, you know," Gohan said, stopping, suddenly serious. Videl looked up at him.

"I know," she smiled. "I love you too."

Gohan resumed walking, very relieved. "I was so worried that- y'know, this might ruin our friendship."

"You underestimate yourself," Videl returned. "Even if it was awkward, I wouldn't have been able to stop being your friend. You're too sweet."

"You're flattering me."

"It's not flattery when it's true."

Gohan pressed a kiss to the top of Videl's head, then remembered- "Hey, what were you going to say, back there?"

"Same thing as you, minus the very beautifully composed poem," Videl giggled. "I didn't know you could write like that."

"Well, writing's just like everything else. If you have a worthy enough reason…." he trailed.

"You can do anything," Videl finished.

"Just so," Gohan agreed.



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RaliNeoBlade: Okay, lots of fluff. Sorry if you don't like that kind of stuff. I just thought up the story to go with the poem. Should I write a sequel?

Rali: Please review, it would be much appreciated. RATE this from 1-10, (10 being best,) THANX. I need to go work on my other stories now, ja ne.