Chapter 13

Brought to you by Gue22, Boboleta and ShadowMajin


Maybe he was getting paranoid.

His fingers had been itching to dial Kame House to check in on Videl all day but... he was worried. What if the agency was listening in on his conversations? It was possible, especially now that he knew how extensively ex-agent Del Tan's surveillance of him had been prior to making her move. She'd planted cameras everywhere, watched his every action, private or otherwise. Funny how he'd never given it much thought till very recently, but now that things were changing between them. He'd catch himself feeling embarrassed about the possibility of what she'd seen of him, back in those days.

He groaned, not entirely in displeasure, when he considered the fact that she must have seen him undressed on some of those occasions. Sure, there'd been no cameras in his bathroom but... when you lived alone, you didn't exactly feel pressed to restrict your bare skin to the confines of your bathroom. And having a camera in his bedroom meant... well, it meant there was a strong possibility that she'd seen him on those nights when his body would be so wound up in sexual tension that he'd have to ease it... somehow. He was only flesh and blood after all, and being single all his life well... he had to take care of business in some other way.

He stood up, pushing out his swivel chair as he did so. Well, tit for tat he supposed; he'd done his own watching while she was being held at Capsule. Boy, what a pair they made: peeping Tom and Jane.

He sighed, moving away from his desk to stare blankly at the large world map on the south wall. His eyes followed the red dots sticking out in random patterns, signifying all the locations of the Son Inc. mines while impatient fingers ran through his hair. This office was stifling him. What was the point of being here if he couldn't even concentrate? It was getting late anyway. He could very well wrap up and go home, not that there was anything waiting for him there. There would be no welcoming smells from his mother's house next door, no unchecked laughter spurting from his brother... nothing.

And his own house... he sighed again, feeling silly as he gazed at the red dot that that signified the small mine closest to . Many a time in these past few weeks he'd thought of just blowing the entire structure down, rebuilding and starting afresh. He wouldn't admit it to anyone but there was an uncomfortable eeriness about it now, like the 66 was still floating around in the air, waiting to smother him to death while he least expected it.

The ample office was getting smaller and smaller around him with each breath he'd take, white walls mocking him and his qualms with their constrictive boundaries. He had to leave.

With wide steps he strode to the nearest window, swinging it open and taking a deep, cooling breath of freedom. A well rehearsed move undid his burgundy satin tie and threw it somewhere to the side, just before climbing out and flying away into the dark of the night.

Maybe he should have informed his secretary, but he just couldn't be bothered right now. There was somewhere else he needed to be.


It was gentle, but incessant and just damn annoying. What was it with this island anyway? Only a day in, and she'd already found more than enough things that rattled her teeth. She squinted in the dark, clumsily reaching for the light - another thing that irritated her. It danced down from the ceiling in all its pink, musical glory, dredging up memories long dead of two skinny girls - one with neat dark hair and the other, long golden locks that fell down her back in a mess of waves, the two of them misstepping then arguing and pushing each other in their bubbled tutus when they couldn't agree.

She didn't want to be ungrateful for the free digs, but this room and its accessories were just way too pink and girly and five!

That annoying tapping again, what was it?

She threw off the pink covers, tiny toes brushing against the fluffy mermaid shaped rug and stomped to the window. Viciously, she split open the curtains, prepared to deal rather severely with whichever island creature it was that was keeping her from her sleep. She was not however, prepared to come face to face with Gohan's sheepish face. She sighed, irritation and anger dissolving like a cube of sugar. With little effort she slid the window open, a hint of a breeze blowing in with just a touch of fine sand.

"Hey," she heard herself say, biting her lip. This was... unexpected.

"Hey," he said back, dark spikes angled at her as he leaned his weight on the windowsill, head and shoulders poking in. "Can we uh..." His eyes dipped down her length for a second before running back up again. "Take a walk?"

He'd seen much more of her than this "thighs bare under oversized t-shirt" look, but she still felt a little embarrassed by the way his eyes had flown to her face guiltily after that point-two-second appraisal.

"Um, sure. Give me a sec," she said. Thankfully he disappeared, so she didn't have to squirm about letting him or not letting him see her as she dressed. Honestly, all these uncertainties and school-girl internal debates were really annoying. She was an adult, and a pre-exposed one at that. What was with all the misplaced modesty? Grumbling, she slipped on a pair of jeans and climbed out the sill. The sand was cool, grainy and kinda squishy under her feet as they sank into it. And for some reason, the sensation combined with the act of crawling out the window in the middle of the night, made her feel young and innocent again... well, young maybe, innocent was too much of a tall order.

He held out a hand to her, which she grabbed, a ridiculous warmth lighting up in her belly. She was aware of the soft, almost crackle-like crunch as their feet carried them, her hair blowing awrily in her face. It was a nice night - clear, calm with only the whispers and the humidity of the ocean surrounding them.

A gentle squeeze on her hand, "Are you getting on okay?"

"It's fine, Master Roshi can be a bit... liberal with my personal space, but it's nothing I can't handle."

He chuckled. "I forgot to warn you about him, I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it; I'm a big girl. At least he's not shy about it," she chuckled too. "And he's mild so..."

"Mild?"

Videl shrugged, "Compared to some of my ex-colleagues at least. When they think you're not listening, men can be... anyway, never mind. Any news from the world leader?"

"No. Not yet."

"I see," she tried to sound neutral, but really she was bristling with impatience. Every drop of blood in her system was crying out for vengeance. But she couldn't tell him that now could she?

"I uh, I brought you a few things." Gohan reached inside his pocket and pulled out a capsule.

"Cigarettes and whiskey I hope."

"Sorry, no whiskey. Didn't think of it. But uh yeah, the cigarettes are in there. I thought a laptop might come in handy and there's a phone in there as well. Bulma assured me that it's safe, so you can uh... you know, call me if you want. I got a new line myself, an anonymous line, just in case. The number's already been stored."

"I'm glad you're being thorough. If I know Pho, he's probably gonna play it safe for a while, watch you, pinpoint your weakness and then use it to lure you out so he can try again. I know I would."

"Mom and Goten have gone to stay with my grandpa for a while. Goten's just a kid, but he's strong. If anything happens, he'll protect our mother. My grandpa's security has also been alerted to be extra careful. I hope it will be enough until the government moves in."

"I know you don't want to hear this, but... I still think my plan is the safest choice. With my information and your skills, we could permanently dispose of Pho and wrap things up in an hour. We could do it right now."

"Videl... we've talked about this."

"Just saying," she shrugged, chin tilting up to receive the cooling breeze coming from the south. It was a relief to feel so carefree in the wind, the urgent need to keep her forehead hidden had vanished. He'd seen all her ugly parts anyway, both in and out, and he seemed to be okay with them. He was what he was, and she was what she was, and as such there was really no point in trying to pretend that her feelings on how to handle her former boss had changed.

She wanted his corpse - unmoving and unfeeling and preferable in some deep unmarked grave so his very existence could be buried. It would give her great satisfaction to know that he would never plot a single thing ever again with that perfect head of his; and she was determined to see it through. She just didn't know how yet. On this warm night though, she knew better than to say more on the matter, so she left it behind like the footprints they were making in the sand.

"In other news," she broke the recently acquired silence. "I hear you do a little shape-shifting on the side. Big Ape? That surprised me."

He stilled, the momentum taking her with, their feet digging a little into the sand as they came to a stop. She didn't know whether it was conscious or not, but he had somehow dislodged their previously entwined hands. Big chocolate eyes were widened in astonishment as they faced her. "W-Who...who told you that?"

"Your good friends, the Islanders, who else?"

"It's not like that!" he blurted, a hand running through his hair. "I can't even do that anymore, not without my t-t..."

She chuckled. "Tail?"

Gohan groaned, a pitiful, resigned sound. "I can't believe them, no sense of discretion. I should have known. What you must think of me now." He sighed, shoulders slumping.

Videl pursed. "I'm not that shallow, it's not like I'm some kind of specie-ist or something," she grumbled, slipping her hands in her pockets, only to pull them to rub her arms instead. "You saw my stylist the other day," she added after a small uncomfortable silence. "Did I shy away from his big paws and swishing tail?" She looked up at him, an itching sense of irritation threatening to take over her mood. "Give me some credit." She turned away then, walking towards the water where it lapped leisurely against the sand.

The muddy texture was cool and pleasant when it touched her toes, the gentle scour of the grainy water reminding her of spas and mud baths and exfoliations. A pang, when a bubbly face framed in blonde ghosted with the patched memories. She moved to hug herself, but strong arms beat her to it, encircling her from behind.

"Sorry," Gohan murmured into her hair. "I wasn't accusing you of prejudice, just..." He inhaled sharply, letting her go. She was surprised at how quickly she mourned the loss of body heat, but he'd only moved to stand in front of her, placing firm hands on her shoulders. "Being different, growing up always feeling different, has a way of making you shrink into yourself, luring you to hide that which makes you different so you can... you know... fit in."

"Is that why you did it?" She turned up her face, gaze fixing on the lone coil of hair bouncing stubbornly in protest of the force of the wind. "Why you... hid the real truth about the Cell games from the world? To keep your secrets so you could fit in?"

"They told you about that too? Great."

"They didn't have to. I was bound to figure out that my ex-target was the real world saviour sooner or later." The taste of bitterness coated her mouth; he'd saved the world with his bare hands and she'd rewarded him with the 66 - what a trooper. "You could have told me. It fits the picture quite nicely though, doesn't it?" she muttered. "Father and daughter: the world's two biggest frauds."

"Don't say that! You're not like your father," he urged with a sympathetic frown that did nothing for her. How could she believe him?

"I'm worse! He's just a liar, while I..." She sighed, giving up on finding a suitable word that could sum up all of her sins. They were just too many. "I just don't understand you. My father stole everything from you, everything that should have been yours and I... I put you at death's door and-"

"I could never live like your father, with the eyes of the world on me, so in a way he did me a favor. And look at it this way," he said with a smile, stepping closer and hugging her lazily around the waist. "If you hadn't put me at death's door, then we wouldn't be here now," he kissed her cheek ever so softly, "...together," and then the corner of her lip. "I like where we are Videl." Finally, her parted lips. "I like it very, very much."

Videl closed her eyes and smiled back. She liked it too.


Great. Apparently she'd acquired an extra shadow.

It wasn't that hard to realize that she was being followed, and her training had nothing to do with it. The island was so small, she could hear the girl's footsteps crunching in the sand from the other end of it as she trailed behind her.

Why was she sneaking though? It's not as if her attempt to exercise was an exclusive activity. She'd attempted to run a few laps around the island, but... with its size... all that round and round had felt more like whipping pirouettes in a ballet studio than running.

Regardless, her golden-haired shadow had followed her soft trudging the entire time. And now that she had stopped to push a few sit-ups instead, the girl had taken to peeping at her from behind the corners of the pink Kame House walls.

"You can join me if you want." she announced.

The bobbing head ducked, though the tips of her shoes failed to be as clandestine. Videl resisted a smile. "You can help pin my legs to the floor."

The sound of fleeing footsteps was the only response she received. Great. She was so socially inept that she couldn't even coax a ten-year-old into sitting with her. Muttering an incomprehensible grumble, she crossed her arms over her chest and began to rapidly raise her torso with her abdominal muscles. Crunch after crunch, she worked her muscles until she could no longer rise from the floor.

Spent, she collapsed onto the sand with a damp and heaving chest, the soft whisper of the oceanic breeze caressing her skin like the gentle blow of a lover. It took a few minutes for the burn and tension in her muscles to subside while she stared dully at the blanket of blue hovering above her. Really, blue was so overrated; it stared at her first thing in the morning in the mirror, stared at her from above, and it was all she could see no matter what direction she faced. Bored, she roused from the sand and trudged back to the house.

"I'm bored," she announced right off the bat when he finally picked up. Really, you'd think she was calling her father or President Furry himself, the way the phone had just rang and rang, unanswered for what seemed like an eternity. She'd been about to give up and toss the damn thing.

"Um, hey... can I call you back?" Gohan near whispered. "I'm just in the middle of something with my HR manager right now."

Settling back against the crescent shaped scatter pillows behind her, Videl visibly scowled at the dolphins flying on the thick strip of wallpaper ahead. "Would this be the lovely Talia? Ms. Queen of confrontations?" The woman's pleasant face immediately leapt from her memory files and burned itself at the forefront of her thoughts. The hitch of his breath was all the confirmation she needed. "I see."

"Wha...h-how did you...you know Talia?"

She scoffed, squirming atop the fluffy duvet uncomfortably. Sometimes he was just so naive. "Talia Dew. 27 years old. 10 Sani Road, West-City. Green eyes, red hair. Freckles on the bridge of her nose," she began to list what she could remember of the facts she had gathered on the woman, though she did not care to mention the ample bust and curves. The more details she remembered of her physical attributes, the more painfully aware she became of hers. She jumped off the bed and stood before the oval shaped mirror, noting just how unlike the voluptuous Talia she was. She scowled. "Graduated fifth in her class at East U. Single."

There was silence on the other end that made her wonder if he was still there. And then: "Videl." She did a double take at the stern tone. Gone was the nervous stutter of a few seconds past. "Why do you have all that information on Talia?" The hard protective note of disapproval in his voice was unmistakable. It was rather clear that he cared for the woman which was perfectly in line with his character. Still, after what she'd overheard his mother say about her all those weeks ago, she couldn't help but wonder if he cared for her as an employee or something else?

An ugly, unrecognisable thing took root in her belly. "In my field, one should always have the drop on the potential competition."

"Compe...Competition?"

"Give me some credit." She pinched the tips of her fringe, tugging down on them fruitlessly in an effort to elongate them. "According to your mother, and the substantiating video footage," she gave up on her hair all together and turned from the mirror. "You were eyeing her rather lusciously at last year's award ceremony."

"Lusci...Videl..."

"I know you have a thing for her, you used to blush to the depths of your toes anytime her name was mentioned. It's childish to deny it."

"Listen, Talia-"

"Look," she added hurriedly and interrupted whatever it was he was preparing to say, hating herself for hating this woman just because she'd made him blush. "I was only calling to say that this hole you've dumped me in is starting to cave in on me," she deliberately veered as she gazed out the window, watching the flighty movements of little Maron as she laughed, feet sailing after a mermaid on a kyte by the edge of the water.

He was silent, as if in thought. Which only made her spew out more words. "I'm going out of my mind from boredom here, I can barely think straight." Right. As if that was an excuse. God. If only she could run out there and bury the evidence of her jealousy deep in the sand.

"It's only been two days," he said, rather tiredly. No doubt her petty remarks had finally done him in. "I know there's little to do over there, but please try to bare with it a little longer."

"Easy for you to say," she muttered, knowing she was being unreasonable but unable to help herself.

"Look, it's already Wednesday today," he stated the obvious, "hold out for three more days okay? This Saturday, my grandpa's kingdom is having a big celebration for his birthday. It's an all day and night event and I'm sure Eighteen has a dress you can use."

"Are you stupid?" she stared incredulously like the kyte she was watching outside had done some kind of circus trick. "No way am I going to some grand royal party with you!" Was he mad?

"Wha...why not?" the shock in his voice made her shake her head in disbelief. "There's so much planned! There'll be a great military procession around the villages with music and traditional dancing. The Bull Masters have a spectacular show organized and in the evening there's a concert of-"

She rolled her eyes. "As much as it pains me to miss the renowned Ox Kingdom's Bull Masters in their overpriced capes and skintight pants," she said dryly, "have you forgotten that I'm in hiding? You can be sure that the agency's eyes will be all over that party."

A pause. "Right. Sorry. Sometimes I forget."

Sometimes I forget? She resisted the urge to grind her teeth. God! He must really think that Pho and the agency were beneath his consideration if he could so easily forget the threat they posed. But she knew better than to forget, despite his instructiveness. What lives can die and Pho would find a way to make it so, even if he had to shave his perfect head to do it. "You'd be better off if you didn't."

A sigh. "Yeah, you're right. Look, I really hate to cut this short but I really have to go. I promise to think of something we can do about your situation though."

"No stress, I'm just being a baby. Just bring me a bottle of fine whiskey when you fly over tonight. That should keep me entertained enough."

"Uh... I can't tonight. I have a thing."

"A thing?"

"Business. The team and I are meeting over dinner to discuss some new prospects. There'll be drinks after and only Kami knows when the thing will end. Sorry, should have told you last night."

"I see," her knuckles blanched as her grip tightened on the phone. "Don't worry about me, I've got tons of sand particles to count while you're out wining and dining Ms. Talia. Have fun with your team." She hung up.


She hated surprises... she hated them with the strength of a thousand suns that blistered her skin into shreds and revealed every single hating fibre of her hating flesh underneath. And no, that wasn't being dramatic. Not after he'd ditched her for that work 'thing' yesterday. She could just see the 'thing', too, all voluptuous and perfect leaning over the dinner table. Oh, Gohan, you're so interesting! Please, tell me more! Slut...

And where were they, anyway? They'd landed on sand again, crunching and giving in as expected with every blind step she'd take and assuming they hadn't flown around in circles for awhile only to touch down at the same miserable little island, they were on some other beach nearby, just as sandy and oceany and constrictive as the last one. So why did he insist on covering her eyes with his hands? Like she couldn't be trusted not to peek... pitch black as every other night around here what would she be able to see anyway? Did this particular beach not have dirty old men and annoying dwarfs? How quaint.

"Almost there," Gohan jingled as if on cue.

"Did I forget to mention how I hate surprises?" she vented in sarcasm.

"No, you've mentioned it," he cheeked. "Repeatedly."

"And still here we are."

"I'm trying to be romantic."

"By bringing me to a secluded location in the middle of the night where nobody can hear me. Classic friendly-rapist material," Videl mocked.

His hands flew from her face to grip at her shoulders and all of a sudden he was in front of her. "Don't even say that! I... I'd never..." he stuttered.

How priceless was that frown, desperately begging for her trust in his intentions? It served him right! Maybe next time he'd think twice before choosing Big Tits over her! She relished on the scrunch in between his eyebrows, impeccably traced by the dim light of the nearby... candles? Dozens of them, scattered all around the tiny private cove he'd brought them to and casting their trembling incandescences on its stony terracotta walls. Her mouth gaped absentmindedly.

"Surprise," Gohan uttered in a sigh and his dejected tone managed to peel her incredulous eyes from the wide blanket and wicker basket at their feet. Did he go to all this trouble... for her? "Why?" she whispered to herself.

"I know you hate being trapped in that island," he explained, "and since we never had a proper date before..."

She didn't hate it... it was painfully tedious but it was starting to grow on her. The heat was a little uncomfortable but it could be worse, and she was mentally trying to coerce herself into treating the whole thing like the overdue vacation she never had or missed, before. But a 'proper date'... yeah, he was right about that. "You normally ask a girl if she wants to go on a date."

"I didn't want you to say 'no'," he confessed, looking away.

'No'? Wouldn't it be sacrilegious - a hideous freak like her, to spit in the face of Lady Luck like that? A date with a gorgeous man was a scarce fortune in her life all in itself, but with this particular man... maybe in her previous life she'd have discarded it as too good to be true, but not anymore. Not with him.

Did she put that sadness in his eyes? Unacceptable. "What's in the basket?" she asked, kneeling over the minky soft flannel.

Gohan followed suit and sat by her side, smiling peacefully now - a welcome change. He opened the double-lidded top, taking out two tall stemmed glasses and... "Champagne?" Not what she was expecting, she had to admit.

He brought his free hand to the back of his neck, an averted stare and sheepish chuckle completing the set of a deeply self-conscious individual. "Yeah, I... don't really know what you like, but... I didn't think you were the flowers and chocolate type of girl," he explained, carefully, wishfully daring a peek to study her reaction.

She definitely wasn't that type of girl - although now she was craving for some chocolate - and an effortless smile worked on erasing the worry lines that his frown was sketching on his face. No other words complemented the rumbling surf or the champagne's chime as it slowly filled the flutes in Gohan's hand.

This was romantic - she had to give him that - but... that was exactly it. Sex was one thing, it served a purpose, it eased the itch, but romance had never been something worthy of her. Or maybe it was the other way around... Either way, it was getting really evident, really fast that being on the receiving end of such affectionate gestures was also not in conformity with the "type of girl" she was. Loving something didn't automatically make it comfortable, apparently.

"So," Videl began, retreating to her go-to defense mode for these kind of situations, "you bring all your dates here or just the ones you're hiding in a secluded beach house?"

His eyes widened minutely and she was mostly certain he'd blushed under the deep tone of amber that enveloped his pale complexion. "No! I mean... there aren't... I-I don't..."

"Oh, come on. How many honeys have you gotten to scream your name on this very blanket, over the years?" she teased, brushing the soft flannel with the palm of her hand while trying to resist a laughing fit. "I trust that you've at least washed it?"

He didn't respond. No stuttering, no trembling or nervous excuses. Anything but a dry swallow and an almost gloomy... embarrassment? Why embarrassment? Had he not actually washed it, because goddammit, she'd touched the filthy thing!

Wait... no, it couldn't. There was no way. Videl's smile faded to black when all in him confirmed what she refused to believe. "Oh, my God," she whispered. "You're a virgin."

"W-Why do you say it like that?"

Why? Rich, hot, and sweet? She snorted. "Because if my life had turned out differently I would have tried to jump in your pants the minute it became legal to do so," she half-joked.

"R-Really?"

"Don't you get all prude on me! You can't not know how hot you are."

She blanched. Had she actually blurted that out? Quickly, she looked away into the dark ocean in front, concentrating on the shimmering specks of light from the nearest populated island, lost somewhere deep in the horizon. "I mean... you're... kinda cute, is all."

"You're kinda cute, too," she heard him say after a while. Yeah, right. She didn't need the pity, thank you very much.

Suddenly, a foghorn was heard from afar, shouting once and for but a few seconds, only to be replaced with very faint cheers that the wind brought gliding over the peaceful ocean surface. "What was that?" she asked, not expecting touches of civilization to reach them in the middle of nowhere.

"The Moon festival," Gohan responded with a knowing smile. "It's a harvest celebration on a little village nearby. They do it every year to bless the crops." He handed her a glass of champagne, which she unconsciously took.

"Oh?"

"It's also kind of a celebration of life, so," he shrugged, "I think it's appropriate." He raised his glass, requesting a touch of hers. "To new beginnings."

Videl would smile at the corniness of his words but instead she ate them up as gospel. They made her happy for their truthfulness and so she clinked to the toast, taking a sip at the delicious bubbly - expensive stuff, no doubt.

"But shouldn't we be there," she tilted her chin at the village's general location, "if we wanted to enjoy the party?" Not that they should and she was glad he didn't forget again how a massive security misstep that would be for someone in hiding.

"Nah..." Gohan dismissed, shifting his position to lay back on his elbows. She did the same. "It's much better from over here." His proud smirk confused her but a distinctive hiss echoed all across the natural walls surrounding them and cleared her mind from further doubts - or anything else, for that matter.

The clear dark sky beamed in a thousand different colors with every thunderclap and every roar of light that was shot from the distant island. Fireworks... how long had it been since she'd seen those?

"You're supposed to make a wish," he offered quietly. Corny again, yes, but how could she resist a single kernel of it? Two seconds were spared and he slowly leaned in for a kiss that she willingly took, guiding his body down with hers until her head rested on the blanket beneath them.

"Was this what you wished for?" he asked suggestively in between pecks.

"Take a wild guess," was her answer, short and quick just to appease him into continuing what he'd started. It actually was, in a way, but... since their phone call yesterday, there was but one true wish in her dirty, dirty mind.

Those Bull Masters' outfits... she could just imagine what such a garment would do to his glorious ass.


Ok, so... a tiny holding cell at Capsule Corp., a tiny house on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere, and now a tiny hover car at the edge of a dark forest next to a paved road. Why did Gohan taunt her with fireworks at romantic locations or bullfighters and royal parties just to end up stuffing her into a decrepit tin can like this one? He'd better not think this counted as a second date!

The damn car she was sitting in had seen better days about twenty years ago if the rust on it was any indication. Gohan sat next to her on the wide seat, gazing at the road patiently. Apparently, he had borrowed this rust bucket from some friend - her money was on the Bulma woman - and assured her that it would not run. What was the point in even having a car that didn't run, anyway? Just when she thought she had a grasp on who these people were, they just had to do something nonsensical.

"What are we doing here?" Videl grumbled as she sank into the ripped car seat, her arms crossing over her chest.

"You're bored," Gohan replied simply, still staring at the road. "This is just another opportunity to relieve that."

"Sitting in a busted up car in the middle of nowhere is not an improvement," the dark-haired woman retorted snidely. "I swear, if you even think this would count as a date with any girl, then I can totally get how you're still a virgin." She paused for a moment. "Please don't tell me you've actually tried getting lucky doing this."

A furious blush covered the youth's face as he jerked his head to face her. "Wha... No! I haven't done that!"

Videl shifted in her seat as she tried to get comfortable. "Good, because if you had, you'd be striking out once again. I don't get dirty in the backseat."

"No one's doing anything in the backseat!" Gohan exclaimed embarrassed. "That's not what we're here for!"

"Then what are we doing here?"

Almost as if to answer her question, a flight appeared far down the road. Immediately looking at it, Gohan let out a sigh of relief and said, "We were waiting for those trucks."

Videl stared at the trucks, unmovingly. "And what's so special about trucks?"

"Those trucks are carrying a payload of weapons," Gohan explained. "Guns, bombs, stuff like that. In one of them is a small case of uranium that they're transporting to an enrichment factory. We're going to stop those trucks and destroy the cargo."

This time, the young woman blinked her eyes owlishly. "We? You mean you want me to help?"

Gohan shrugged his shoulders, though his face was bemused. "You said you were bored."

Videl slapped his shoulder in annoyance. "Don't be annoying. So how do we do this?"

"There's three trucks from what I can tell. I'll take down two of them and you can take the last one."

"Great, so how do I do that? You have a gun for me or something?"

Immediately, the dark-haired young man's face went stern. "There will be no killing. No one dies tonight, understand?"

Videl looked flabbergasted at that. What was the point in having her help if he was gonna make her do this unarmed? She was willing to do dangerous stuff, but doing it stupidly was not her thing. "Then how am I supposed to stop a freaking truck? Not all of us can rip trees out of ground, ya know! The guys in those trucks will have guns and they won't be trying not to kill me just because I'm not armed!"

At this, Gohan reached beneath the car seat and pulled out a taser, handing the device to her. "You can use this. Do what you have to do, but no killing."

Holding the taser, Videl stared at is blandly. "You've got to be kidding me."

"C'mon, they're almost here," Gohan said as he climbed out of the hover car. The moment he stood on the ground, a golden glow began to envelop his body before it roared. Instantly, the young man's hair went blond as his eyes turned teal. His body seemed to bulk up too, much to Videl's surprise.

For several moments, Videl just stared at the golden alien. It wasn't until Gohan glanced at her and spoke that she was taken out of her daze. "Hey, the trucks are almost here. You might want to get out of the car."

Immediately, the dark-haired woman scrambled out of the car, gripping onto the taser tightly. She wasn't too sure how she was going to stop a truck, but she got the feeling Gohan didn't care unless someone died. While she couldn't guarantee anything, she really hoped that any possible body wasn't hers.

And then the trucks arrived. They were moving at a pretty generous pace, the roaring of their engines indicating they were speeding up. In an instant, Videl felt Gohan's presence disappear from her side, causing her to jerk her head to stare at the vacant spot he used to be. Wildly, she searched for the golden alien, quickly finding him standing on the road mere feet from the hood of the first truck.

Oh, this was not going to end well.

There was no time for the driver to steer out of the way. The feet between the vehicle and Gohan closed within seconds. However, that proved to be enough time for the young man as he threw a fist into the front of the truck. A loud booming sound echoed throughout the area as the truck came to an immediate halt, the back of the canopied truck lifting right off the ground as momentum tried to keep it moving. Without hesitating, Gohan leaned down and grabbed the bottom of the truck's grill with his other hand. Just like that, he lifted the truck off the road, twisted his body around and swung the vehicle over his head and threw it. Everything seemed to slow down as Videl watched the truck sailing through the air until he landed on its top with a loud bang, skidding on the ground until it came to a stop.

A squealing of wheels jerked Videl out of her trance. Looking back to Gohan, she saw the second truck running off the road to avoid the young giant tires were tearing up the grass that lined the side of the road. Instantly, Videl raced towards it, facing it head on. She was cutting it close, but... she had to take this chance. With a yell, she leapt, body slamming into the door - hard.

Her outstretched hand founds its target, the door handle, and snagged it. The rough contact with the metal singed her palms, her body jerking around from the the truck plowing through rough terrain, but she held onto it for dear life. Good thing too, because the driver made a sharp turn, and very noisily, the truck veered back into the road.

Gritting her teeth, Videl pulled herself up, surprisingly one-handed. Fortunately, there was a metal step underneath the cab. She stepped on it, pulling out Gohan's pitiful taser gun. Shoving it into her waistband, she braced her hand on the side of the truck and with one swift motion, she ripped the door open.

The first thing she saw was two men, one driving the truck and the other in the passenger seat staring at her. Why the passenger was staring was a mystery she had no desire to solve, especially since she'd just noticed something far more interesting. Seemed the duo were not into wearing their seat belts.

How convenient of them.

As she balanced herself with her feet on the metal step and her hand on the door, she brought her other hand and grabbed onto the frame of the vehicle. Releasing her grip on the door, she slugged the passenger in the face, making the man cry out from the blow. Grabbing onto his shirt collar, she pulled with all her might, forcing the man out of the seat and falling out of the truck.

The man let out another cry before he hit the ground like a skipping rock, rolling over himself repeatedly. Videl didn't pay much more attention to him as she pulled herself into the cab. Unfortunately, the driver seemed to be more alert than his partner was because he was scrambling to pull out his gun from his holster.

Pulling out her taser, she immediately switched it on and forced the electrified mouth against the man, delivering several volts of electricity that stunned him. The shock caused him to convulse and jerk on the wheel, sending the truck towards the other side of the road.

Lunging, Videl grabbed the wheel and steadied it. She then began slowly turning the truck back towards her. Had she immediately jerked the wheel, there was no doubt in her mind that she would've overcorrected and sent the vehicle flipping over itself. Once she was sure they were stable, she used her other hand to shift the gear into neutral and let physics slow the truck down.

It took awhile, longer than Videl would have liked, but she didn't want to bother shoving the driver out of her way, not when she could accidentally send the truck into a tree. But eventually the truck did come to a stop. Now she could-

A knock on the driver's window caused Videl to jolt in her seat. Staring at the window, she saw the golden glow of Gohan as he seemed to hover in front of the glass. Grumbling to herself, Videl reached over the unconscious driver and rolled down the window. The young man greeted her with a smile. "You went pretty far," he commented.

"Not all of us can flip trucks over our shoulders," the young woman shot back with annoyance in her voice.

"Mind if I give you a lift back?"

What the heck does that... Videl began to think when Gohan dropped down and the truck began to lurch around. "Don't tell me he's picking up the damn thing," she exclaimed.

As the view outside the windshield rose up and turned around, Videl knew her 'partner' was carrying the truck back to their attack point. Glancing to her side, she saw the door was still open, something she immediately rectified by slamming it shut. It didn't take too long before they began to land.

Taking in the scene, Videl eyed the second truck that Gohan had stopped. The cab was caved in from the roof, or at least she thought it was. The grill had rammed right into the first truck and was currently stuck in it. The young woman couldn't help raising an eyebrow at this. The guy had said not to kill anyone, right? Then why did his trucks look like they were on the losing end of a wrecking ball? There were bad auto accidents and then there was this.

Once the truck touched the ground, Videl climbed out of the cab and circled the vehicle until she stood next to Gohan. At the moment, he was just admiring their handiwork. A rookie move in the assassin's book and she let him know as much. "We're not done here, you know. We still need to destroy the cargo."

"I've already got the guys out of their trucks, except for yours," Gohan replied, still looking at the scene. "It shouldn't take too long."

The young man's languishing response didn't sit all that well with Videl and she was about to let him know just what she thought about his words. However, in the blink of an eye, he disappeared, leaving her alone for a few minutes before reappearing. "There, we just have to blow it all up now."

Videl could feel a vein pulsing on her forehead as her frustration began to build. She had always been serious about her work. Everything had to be perfect. Being partnered with a happy-go-lucky guy had always been a pain for her and this was no exception. "Where did you put them?" she growled out.

"They're down the road, out of the blast radius," he answered before turning to a side. Raising a hand, he extended two fingers and let the tips begin to glow. A beam of light fired from the fingers and hit the ground. He then began creating a thin trench as he began to move his arm.

Videl instantly grabbed his hand and glared at him. "What do you think you're doing?" she demanded heatedly.

Gohan blinked at her. "Leaving the DB mark."

"Don't do that," she reprimanded as she shoved his hand down. "They don't need anymore of those to know you're behind this. Let's just destroy the cargo and get out of here."

Gohan stared at her for a moment before sighing and said, "Alright, hang on."

Wrapping an arm around her waist, he pulled her to his body, to which she automatically placed her arms around his neck. A moment later he lifted them off the ground and high into the sky.

"Did you get that car of yours," she asked as they hovered over the wreckage of the trucks.

"Yep, it's back in its capsule," the young man answered. "Now, it's time for the fireworks."

When Gohan aimed his free hand at the vehicles beneath them, it didn't take long for Videl to figure out just what those fireworks would be. His hand glowed brightly before that frightening beam of light fired from his palm and collided with the wrecks of metal below. A ball of fire erupted a second later, rising high into the air, almost as if to burn them both, though it couldn't quite reach.

The room was covered in fire. The steel beam seared her face as the heat of the room boiled her alive. Across the floor, a flowing river of flames, creeping up to her until it hungrily attacked her legs. Oh lord, her legs were burning! Burning!

The image assaulted Videl's head, causing her to flinch. Since she was being held though, the abrupt action made her cling harder onto Gohan, who seemed to stiffen as a result. Faintly, she heard him ask her something. She wasn't sure what since his voice seemed to be so far away, but she knew him, more or less. He wanted to know what was wrong.

The only thing she could do was whimper, her eyes shut tightly as she buried her face into the young man's chest. She could feel the heat of the explosion on the soles of her feet and it was firing off alarms in her head. So focused on that feeling, she didn't even recognize the cool breeze that flowed through her head, or touched her skin. She opened her eyes when the hot feeling disappeared and found the landscape beneath her a blur. Gohan - he was flying them away from there. How considerate.

The young woman kept quiet for the entire flight. Overwhelming fear did that to a person. It wasn't until the smell of salt filled her nose that she figured out they were over the ocean. In no time at all, they were back at the island, their feet standing on the soft sand.

And yet, Videl didn't release her hold on the young man and he on her. He was comforting to her, something she hadn't felt in a long, long time. Still, this wasn't doing anything for her tough-girl image.

"Thanks," she tried to say gruffly, but it came out soft and meek. Coughing, she tried again. "That was everything, right?"

"Yeah," Gohan answered young woman could feel his eyes boring into her and it made her slightly uncomfortable. "Um, sorry about that. I didn't think-"

"Don't worry about it," she immediately interjected. "I'm already over it." At this, she finally moved her face away from his chest and looked up at him. His blond hair and teal eyes had reverted back to the familiar dark colors sometime during their flight. Bad memories aside, she didn't mind their current position.

Gohan looked as if he wanted to say something, but apparently his brain didn't come up with anything for him. That was alright with Videl, she liked the current silence better. Everything felt right, like nothing could go wrong. Words would have spoiled the moment and she really didn't want that to happen.

So to make sure that neither of them did that, she rose onto her toes, using her arms to pull the young man's head down. She guaranteed their silence as her lips met his.


The mid-morning sun filtered through the drawn curtains like a bleached rainbow. So far, five days had passed calmly and without incident, so she was confident that Pho and the agency were still unaware of her whereabouts or fate.

She turned her back to the sun, the harmless streaks falling gently on the flimsy fabric of her T-shirt; she usually hated the sun, or anything else that touched her skin with heat, but somehow, this morning, she reveled in the warmth. Blue eyes refocused on the news article showing on the small computer screen before her. With a pained expression, her gaze zoned in on the empty expressions of the two blonds clutching at each other supportively in one of the 'Videl Satan funeral' photographs.

Gohan was wrong - some things were just... unforgivable.

She sighed, forcing herself to put the articles away. Why was she even bothering with them? They only scraped at her scars, gouging up old wounds. Nothing but a painful and pointless exercise - it was a little too late for regrets. And yet... the her now, the her born from these past few days spent in this tiny little house - that Videl, couldn't help but have wants.

She wanted everything she knew she didn't deserve. Everything she'd thrown away all those years ago: a normal life with her father, with her ex-friends and hopefully some kind of future with Gohan. Granted, it had only been a week since their so called "relationship" had began, but... in their short time together they had borne their very souls to each other. They had dissected each other's lives exhaustively - the good, the bad, and the ugly so much that she wondered if there was to be any mystery left in their future. She still held some secrets of course - like the unbridled desire to wrap her hands around Pho's neck until all the life was drained from his body or... the frightening feelings that swelled in her heart for this half-alien creature that was as good and as gentle as the memory of her mother's face.

A big part of her was still hesitant and afraid... why did a guy like that like her?

She turned to the tousled bed where he lay sprawled on his stomach, pink covers thrown lazily across the small of his back. She bit her lip. This emotional turmoil, these wants... all of this melancholy was partly his doing after all. It was true that allowing yourself to care about one thing had the unfortunate consequence of opening you up to the dangers of caring about everything.

And it was true that she was starting to care - perhaps a little too much. With each passing day, each smile, each laugh, each touch... she was starting to relax, and care, and all manner of other things her training had warned her against. If Pho could see his precious Jawbreaker now, not even a truck load worth of exquisitely hand-crafted shoes of glove-soft goat skin would be enough to quell his disgust. But Pho and his carefully crafted world of lies and murder was her past, and this... this man in her borrowed bed was her future. Well... maybe...

She gave up on her reading and climbed back into bed. It was such a tight squeeze really, not that she minded. She curled herself around him, draping her arm over the small of his back and sighed. He was so warm, the perfect electric blanket - not that she needed one of those in this island heat.

A minute passed, then two, then three and... she couldn't get back to sleep. She squirmed, adjusting her position so she was higher up, where she could peer down at his face. With a propped elbow and a hand cupping her chin, she stared. Then a frown began to form at the corners of her mouth.

How could he sleep so soundly with someone squirming around like this? No way her training would allow her to be so peaceful! Smirking, she leaned over just a little and blew a small gust of warm breath at the lone coil of hair half-smiling against his forehead. Then she pulled back and stared, again. One, two, three seconds and he still didn't stir. Only the heat pouring from his body, and the quiet wisps of air expelled at regular intervals from his nose gave any signs of life.

You're kidding me! Do these aliens die when they sleep?

She squirmed a little more, shifting first the position of her legs, then her head, her arms and then ugh... she settled back to staring.

It occurred to her that she'd watched him like this before, many, many a time tucked away in some ghost of an apartment from the other side of a flickering monitor, plotting and wishing for his death. How things change... But the cameras had never allowed her this; had never allowed her to feel this warm intimacy floating around her veins. Not even while watching his solo moments of 'self-intimacy'. She bit her lip, a furious blush creeping across her face. Justify it as she might, she knew very well that she'd gone beyond the call of duty on those particular nights. She'd been spurred on by sheer feminine curiosity and perhaps a small touch of something else...

Now, her eyes were drawn by everything. From the minute twitches of his eyelids to the slight fibrillations of his sharp perfect nose. Sighing, she brushed her knuckles down his jaw, marvelling at how baby-soft his skin was. And then she was tracing her fingertips along the thin lines of his lips. She loved those lips. Firm and soft and so, so creative.

Languidly, his hand came rushing up to swat the nuisance away and hers recoiled instinctively, blue eyes widening as if she'd been caught breaking the rules. The breath she was about to release froze with the rest of her body since any subliminal noise would be certainly more than enough to wake him all the way up. She couldn't have that - so much left unexplored...

He rubbed his face lazily and all-over, muffling mumbled words that were just too incoherently precious to curb a grin. His amazing eyes were still closed shut, witnessing colorful dreams instead of reality and so she ventured a hand at his dark tresses, indulging in their softness as they slid between her fingers. "You're so damn cute," she whispered to herself.

"I'm not cute. I'm adorable," he whispered back with a proud smile that she knew came from taking a confession that wasn't meant for his ears. She'd be mad at him... but he was smiling.

Gohan opened his playful eyes and she diverted all of her might into loosening the muscles at her cheeks, trying desperately to keep at least that satisfaction from him but to no avail, a girlish shriek only adding insult to injury when he executed a surprise attack and reached over to bring her down to the mattress, pinning her beneath his weight.

His bare chest was hard but soft at the same time, grinding at her insides and making her heart sing louder above all other sounds. His natural fragrance bathed in the surrounding ocean; the most beautiful sight greeted her in those dark pools at his eyes... all of her senses were accounted for except that other one, but he was quick to claim it for himself too - soft and sweet and perfect.

Her hands circled up and gripped at his broad shoulders for a moment before sliding down his chiseled back, mapping every valley and mountain at the incredibly slow pace of a sightseer enjoying the ride. The barrier of his underwear would mark the end of the road but her adventurous fingertips slid on a whim just the tiniest under the elastic waistband, little daredevils in no man's land, tracing it carelessly back and forth.

A patch of satin got her curiosity as she brushed by a couple of times - scar-tissue, maybe - and the way every ministration contracted a random muscle all across his body won it her undivided attention. She rubbed it harder and he broke their kiss with a groan.

See? She could smile proudly too. "Sensitive is it?"

Those slitted eyes were uncommon elements on his roll of facial expressions but that might just have been the cause of the extra fire below her navel. "Pretty much, yeah," he said, adding a sexy smirk to the equation that was daring her to do it again.

"Delightful," she gloated with a pleased, deep tone just before lunging up and bringing him back down with a passionate bite at his lower lip. Videl could feel him smile through their kisses and it was yet another thing that was intensifying the desire, urging the need.

Suddenly he pulled back again, horrified. "What time is it?"

Videl stared at him, blinking in shock by the gear shift. "I... I don't know."

He was off the bed in an instant, clothes lying all over the floor now flying randomly into the air as he tried to franticly tell what was what, putting on the right ones and discarding of the wrong. She'd find his stumbling hilarious if the shivering cold of his absence wasn't dimming the mood. She sat up against the headboard. "Is something wrong?"

"I'm late," Gohan responded without a look, searching for the shoe that paired with the one on his hand. It was under the little girl's desk. He'd find it eventually.

"Late for w-... oh," Videl started but quickly remembered him mentioning his grandfather's birthday a few days ago. How could she forget those bullfighter outfits...

The bed shifted and complained under his weight as he sat down to tie his blue sneakers. "I'm sorry," he continued. "I hate to bolt out like this but I need to-"

"Need to go," Videl interrupted calmly. "Don't worry about it, just... have fun."

Gohan let go of his anxious rushing and scooted closer. His eyes locked on hers and his warm hand cupped her cheek, brushing it with his thumb. "I was," he said. "This is just a party."

He smiled and kissed her very gently, getting up towards the door right after. Damn him with his perfect answers... now he'd made her miss him already.

"I'll bring you some cake," he added happily with that amazing grin, just before leaving and closing the door behind him.

Perfect answers and cake...

Damn him...