Bringing a much-needed update, is DarkVoid116 and Saiyajin-Love
Disclaimer: TDS does not own Dragonball/z/gt.
Not knowing what else to do, Gohan exclaimed, "Mom!" to stop her. But he didn't have to and it wasn't because she already had the door open. It was because as he peered into the house from where he stood, he could see much like Chichi, that no one was there. Nor was a certain backpack that she always carried around.
The old house was completely empty.
Silence. It crept inside and between them. The only sound that could be heard was the soft whisper of a breeze sweeping into the room through the open door.
Chichi narrowed her eyes, scanning and examining the old home. There were brand new sheets, tangled upon the bed. She walked forward, allowing her hand to grace the rim of the tub situated in the middle of the room. It felt slightly warm, causing her to glance down at her fingertips. The tub, which had been outside and next to the old home, was inside and sparkling clean. Now that she wondered about it, Chichi began to scrutinize the very appearance of this entire home. Not a speck of dust was on any of the furniture. In a house that was supposed to be vacant for years, not even a cobweb was in the corner. Something was definitely off.
"Gohan," she said sharply. "This place is spotless. Do you know if anyone had been inside of here?"
"Uh, maybe there was a, uh, hiker that found it and decided to stay here for a bit?" he stuttered out.
"Those sheets on the bed?"
Instantly, Gohan's face dropped. "Y-Yeah? What about them mother?"
"I know my sheets. They came from the house."
"W-Well.. I-I.. there… See….I-It's just..." he kept sputtering incoherent words. His heart began to madly thump against his chest, its sound resonating within his eardrum. Each passing second only allowed his anxiety to build up. The expectation for him to say something decipherable kept increasing while the resilient fear working against him made him ramble. He diverted his eyes, frantically fretting with his fingers… until Chichi couldn't handle his apprehension any longer. Whoever this was that he was protecting must've been worth it.
She snapped around to face him. With her suspicious eyes piercing his own, she asked "Wouldn't you be aware that there was someone nearby?"
"Mom, I was taking care of you. I haven't been paying much attention to anything," Gohan said truthfully.
Chichi nodded absently before she made her way outside of the small home with Gohan trailing behind.
"I'm about to go back home. You should stay outside for some fresh air; you've been too concerned about me for too long. I could see it just then." She crossed her arms, righteously turning her nose up as she closed her eyes, "That's why you didn't know what to say about the sheets. I confused you and made you worry. If I stress too much about things as simple as sheets and someone hypothetically staying here, it won't be healthy for the baby right?"
She opened one eye to see Gohan nodding his head, unable to say anything.
She dropped her arms and opened both eyes once again, "Now, I'm going to go cook dinner. And don't follow me."
"No but's Gohan. I'm well enough to cook you a simple meal by myself. You need to go find someone-" Chichi immediately corrected herself, "Something to do, like exercise! And I'm not taking no for an answer!"
Gohan sighed and relented, "Yes Mother."
With the sound of his mother's footsteps fading, Gohan began to contemplate on what he was just told. It appeared as if… Gohan shook his head. There was no way his mother suspected anything. He was a much better liar than he had thought, which wasn't something he wasn't proud of.
But there was no time to think about that. For Gohan had just realized that there was someone he needed to be concerned about.
It was cold.. Too cold for comfort and causing tremors to erupt from her petite frame in the middle of sheer darkness.
She was mad, no, beyond pissed. In fact, she was quivering with anger as she had stomped away from Gohan. How dare he! He had no right to talk to her like that! That stupid country bumpkin had the nerve to think that she depended on him…that she needed him.
Her disgust for his offensive attitude only added to her frustration and bitter feelings. Videl Satan didn't need anyone. Not when she was left alone when her mom died, and definitely not now. To prove it, she refused to stay any longer under his so-called instructions and care.
With her mind made up, she marched into the pleasant hut she had been calling home for the past weeks. Videl wasted no time furiously cramming what little possessions she had into her backpack.
The floor... It felt hard as concrete and was so uncomfortable. Just where was she? With a pounding headache, she could only recall so much.. She couldn't even remember how she got here.
She couldn't zip up her stuffed backpack fast enough before she slung it across her shoulder and proceeded out the door. Videl wouldn't even look back at the house. Everything about it, from living there to learning under him, was nothing but a dream. Thankfully, today she had finally woken up to reality. Reality being she didn't need him. She didn't need anyone.
With her feet moving as fast as she possibly could, an agitated Videl began to walk away from the little house and into the forest. She was going to head to the city…or maybe another country. To be honest, she had no clue where she was headed and right now, she didn't care. Videl was too consumed in her bitter thoughts of wanting to get away from that kami-forsaken place. In fact, she was too engrossed in her thoughts that she couldn't sense anyone nor hear the quick footsteps picking up behind her.
She halted for a moment, scanning the forest area before her to find the right path to the city. Immediately, a damp rag covered her mouth and nose. A potent odor burned her nostrils as she involuntarily inhaled its harmful fumes. She tried to scratch, flail her arms, kick up dirt, but within those mere seconds she had already blacked out and been subdued by…
She couldn't remember. She hadn't noticed their presence nor seen their face when she was caught. She didn't know who had kidnapped her. Trying to desperately think if she could even recall catching a glimpse of their faces caused the headache she already had to worsen.
Videl squinted her eyes, trying to make out what little light she could. She squirmed against the frigid pavement underneath her, careful not to have her bare skin scrape against its surface, but she could barely move. She may had not been able to see in the dark, but she could tell and feel that there were ropes around her wrists positioned behind her back. There was another squeezing her ankles together. Videl repositioned her head in the darkness, attempting to remove the scarf tied around her mouth. After a minute of nodding her head, the scarf lowered enough to allow her to speak and breathe better.
She struggled just to sit up, "Alright…." Exasperated, she still raised her voice to say, "Hey you bastards! Are you going to leave me down here all day without showing your faces! You.." she panted before adding , "Cowards!"
She heard quick footsteps above and a murmur of voices before the light came on in…what looked like a basement to her. She squinted her eyes, adjusting to the bright lights now illuminating the room. Her headache continued to throb against her temple as she tried to face those who had came down to greet her. There were five people in all, but she was only familiar with one. While the other four began some heated argument upon seeing her, the blond-haired one she recognized walked towards her.
"You… It's YOU," Videl exclaimed like this was some big joke.
Eric smirked, "Nice to see you too, Miss Satan."
"Can't say the same," Videl spat back.
"Now…now, is this the way to treat an old acquaintance?"
"You're right, untie me and I'll greet you properly," she smiled.
Eric's entire demeanor changed then as flashbacks of their last meeting played within his mind. His face dropped before he stormed towards Videl, forcibly pulling her hair to slam her into the nearby wall.
"Hey!" one of his friends called, in response to his aggressiveness, but the others drew his attention back with their argument.
Eric paid them no mind as he kneeled down to gather a fistful of Videl's hair. His grip almost made it seem like he was pulling her hair out its roots. It caused her eyes to scrunch up in pain.
"Now Miss Satan," he spat viciously. "I don't think you're in any position to be demanding things."
"Oh, you think? This must be the first time in a while."
He gripped even harder, causing her to let out an involuntary whine. "You little brat. I'm going to put you through the hell you and that other bastard put me through."
She chuckled in his face, "As if I haven't been through it already." Her eyes narrowed, as if she challenged him in her glare. "I'm not scared of you."
Eric would've continued to glower upon Videl if one of his friends had not called for him. He roughly released Videl's head, making it thump against the rigid wall she lied against.
He walked over to his friends and pulled out a cigarette. Balancing it between his lips, he then asked, "What's up?"
"Eric," one began, "We made a deal. We get her, turn her in, and split the money. Why is she down here?"
The other two were going to defend his actions once more until he silenced them with his finger. He then took out a lighter, cupping around his mouth to light his cigarette. Placing the lighter back into his pocket, he took his time deeply inhaling the sweet smoke from the cigarette held by his forefingers. He exhaled before replying, "Why are you the only one going against our plans?"
"It's not just him! I don't agree with what we're doing, especially in my basement!" his friend retorted.
"But it's for Sam! We need to help pay his hospital bill. He's already going through enough financial difficulties," another friend chimed in while Eric took another puff of his cigarette.
"Didn't you see the way he handled that child! Who's also a girl!" the friend continued to protest.
"Well, if you wanted to make the story believable, we have to rough her up first. Then blaming it on that kid, would make things better. We get the money for returning her and turning the kid in," Eric simply said.
The two guys objecting looked horrified. One chose to question, "Are you crazy?! What part of hurting this child is okay? We're not going to do that."
Eric inhaled the sweet smoke again, "Why not? You know Hercule would pay big bucks to get his hands on any poor sap that dared lay a hand on his precious daughter."
"That's a lie! You all are idiots. My father doesn't care enough to pay so much for my return," Videl bitterly chuckled. The sight was almost sad.
Angrily, Eric inhaled once more before he tossed his cigarette aside. He stormed towards Videl and knelt down.
He firmly grabbed her chin, forcing her to look at him as he said "I'm getting so tired of your sassy mouth."
"Speaking of mouth, how's yours holding up? Your jaw wasn't shattered too much last time, was it?"
His eyes narrowed. Eric snatched his hand away as he drew back and stood up. Reaching into his pocket, he smirked as Videl found herself staring at the tip of a pistol's barrel. "You want to repeat that again, wench?"
"Eric! What the hell are you doing man!"
He snapped around, pointing the pistol directly at the two who had opposed him, "Shut the hell up! Either you're with me or against me! Decide now!"
His friend tried to reason, "Look, let's think this through. She'll be able to identify us if we were to hurt her."
"When we're done with her, she won't be able to see well enough to do such," Eric snickered. The look in his eye was nothing short of terrifying. Revenge and madness filling its brim as if it were tears. It commanded his friends in the room and silenced anyone who objected then and there. None of them wanted to experience his wrath. At that moment, his madness even frightened Videl. In his mind he knew what he was capable of so much that he frightened himself.
"No one loves her enough for a real investigation to get carried out. She said before that her father didn't care much, so regardless of her condition as long as she's turned in, it's okay." He turned around to face her. Those eyes full of a malicious intent bore right back into hers while his sinister smirk sent chills down her spine.
"Alright, we might as well get to work before that other brat shows up," Eric ordered. Videl, eyes widened in alarm. She tried to pull her wrists out of the rope, but her efforts proved to be futile. She wasn't strong enough. All that training she had done, was all for nothing.
Feelings of doubt and worthlessness overwhelmed her. She couldn't win against them and no one was coming to rescue her even if she screamed with all her might. After all, no one cared enough for her… And now, she just knew she was going to die all alone in this basement.
Gohan stretched out his senses as his mother's tinier signature grew further and further away. He tried to locate the moderately adequate signal resonating from his fiery ex-student. It took him a few seconds to pinpoint where she was, which concerned him greatly. If that wasn't bad enough, he was a bit horrified to discover the presence of five smaller yet oddly familiar beings in her vicinity.
Piecing two and two together that she was likely in danger, the disgruntled teen took off towards Satan's daughter. She was oddly far away, probably at least three hundred kilometers southwest, considering she couldn't have left more than a day ago and didn't have a hover car on her person, which further confirmed Gohan's suspicions.
The young Saiyan knew time was of the essence and turned it into high gear, soaring through the skies at breakneck speed. Within ten minutes the young warrior had flown the vast majority of the distance he needed to cover. He was hovering in mid air, trying to pinpoint her exact location. Moments later he landed with a soft thump in a heavily wooded area, houses populating the area in bounds. He narrowed his eyes into slits as he could feel Videl's severely weakened ki signature emanating from underground a large, maroon house with a long, tall brick chimney sprouting from its center.
Slightly angered by the state of Videl's well-being, Gohan sprinted at full speed towards the door, coming to a halt inches from the golden, shiny knob. He twisted the handle and unceremoniously ripped the door off its hinges. Not one to whither away precious time, the young fighter immediately made a beeline for the basement where he could feel Videl.
Seconds later, Gohan was staring right into the eyes of Videl's five seemingly kidnappers. He recognized them from when he had saved Videl, the unmistakable blonde hair essentially labelling him an idiot for not realizing it earlier. He focused all of his attention on the leader, the one who was pointing his pistol directly at him.
Diverting his attention from the leader, Gohan took a moment to take in Videl's appearance. Her lips had lost some of their color, indicating there was pressure on them not so recently; the scarf lying aimlessly on the floor near her legs was a testament to this theory. He could easily discern that her wrists were roped together behind her back and that there was a second strand of rope intertwining her ankles. Scrutinizing the rest of her physical appearance turned out to be a blessing as Videl's new savior realized her hands were nearly free of the rope and her ankles would be able to break the rope easily at this point. He immediately concocted a plan, the only plan he could devise which insured her safety.
"So, what do we have here?" Eric questioned. His eyebrows rose slightly, his lips curled up into a smirk. He was practically beckoning for Gohan to step out of line so he could exact his revenge for being humiliated and for Sam being hospital-bound. "I seem to remember you, brat. We met you the first time we met this bitch," he added. As he said bitch, he pointed towards Videl with one thumb, taunting her for her helplessness.
"Look, if I surrender myself, will you let her go?" Gohan offered as a compromise.
"Sure thing," one of Eric's friends said. Gohan could tell Eric didn't take kindly to being answered for, but he surrendered his wrists nonetheless to the ropes.
As soon as Eric's buddies had tied Gohan's arms together they roughly shoved him against the wall near Videl. Gohan knew making them think that hurt him was necessary, so he feigned injury and slumped to the floor, mumbling out unintelligible grunts and groans of supposed pain.
Gohan lowered his ki to next to nothing just in time to be on the receiving end of a punch to the gut. The warrior faked a cough, sparing a sideways glance at Videl to see if she'd made any progress in ridding her restraints. He pretended to be physically harmed by the blows that rained down on him.
"So now Videl gets to go, right?" Gohan queried through gritted teeth. The moment he witnessed the eerie, psychotic smile adorn Eric's features he knew the situation was far more complicated than he had hoped.
"Don't think so kid," Eric supplied before kneeling to Videl's level. Before he could grip her chin, the fiery young woman swung her first, clocking her captor squarely in the nose. The blonde kidnapper stumbled backwards a few steps, clutching his now-bloody nose.
With a jerking of her legs, the rope came apart around her ankles, leaving her restraints as a thing of the past. Videl sprung to her feet, but was pushed back down by one of Eric's friends. The resilient young fighter caught herself before hitting the ground and rebounded back to her feet in a fighting stance. She charged the punks, all of whom were now preparing for a spar, but got quickly knocked down.
Seeing there was a decent chance she was in trouble, Gohan flexed his muscles, effortlessly snapping the pathetic excuse for a restraint attached to his arms. He made his move in just the nick of time, too; as he freed his restraints, he spied a cheap punch aimed for the back of Videl's head. Acting quickly, he blocked the punch, taking the time to make it look as effortless as possible to show that it was child's play.
With the odds now relatively evened, the two young fighters went on the offensive. Videl held her own significantly better than the first meeting between the duo and Eric and company. Videl parried a few blows to the side, absorbing less of the damage than the attacker had intended, and dodged even more. When she struck, she hit with intensity and ferocity which made her an actual dangerous fighter.
Gohan smirked at her vast improvement in such a short period of time. He himself was having an absolutely simple time dismantling his opponents' technique and strategy. He clearly outmatched them in strength and was fairly certain they knew this. Their advantage, or so they thought, had lied in outnumbering the prepubescent duo, but that advantage was immediately made moot once the significant difference in power came to the forefront.
After Videl struck Eric in the side with a powerful roundhouse kick, the frustrated blond thug reached into his pocket once more, pulling his pistol out. He took immediate aim at Videl and fired without hesitation, the bullet ripping through the sudden thick, suspense-filled air in the room.
Before the round weapon could reach its intended target, Gohan stepped into the path of the bullet, allowing it to harmlessly bounce off of his chest. Eric and his friends stared shell-shocked at the mostly flattened fragments of what used to be a bullet. The thin, long piston-like weapon was crushed like a soda can, any remnant of a fearsome force to be reckoned with long gone.
As if on cue, the previously confident facade Eric had up crumbled; he threw his hands up faster than he could yell "Surrender!" and let his wide, shocked eyes speak volumes. His cronies followed suit immediately, all their eyes the epitome of absolutely terrified.
"W-what are y-you!" the blond leader sputtered, his voice nearly nonexistent in the aftermath of the display of power he had just beared witness to.
"Oh me?" Gohan asked with a cocky smirk. "I'm just a moody boy protecting someone he feels obligated to protect. As for you, I think the police can handle you adequately." Gohan missed the instantaneous flash of hurt in Videl's eyes at his words.
"Wait Gohan," Videl protested. "Why don't we just let them go? They can pretend they never saw us and we can all move on and put this episode in the rear view mirror." The young savior eyed Videl warily and scrutinizingly, but immediately relented when he glimpsed the pleading look in her eyes. He knew she must have had a sufficient reason for that pleading gaze to be present in her azure orbs. The Videl he knew had a righteous sense of justice. That's when it clicked; of course, Videl didn't want the paparazzi or any police officials to recognize her and force her to reconcile with her father.
Reluctantly, Gohan nodded in consent, nonverbally voicing that he agreed to the solution to the situation. He gave a frustrated sigh before turning his attention to the recently surrendered kidnappers. "You guys are lucky that she wishes to spare you. Don't blow this ridiculously lucky opportunity we are affording you, understand?" With that, Gohan snatched the handheld pistol from Eric's clutches and crushed it in his palm, the pieces falling harmlessly to the floor.
After giving the group of five on final warning glare, Gohan and Videl stalked outside where the demi-Saiyan hollered for the Flying Nimbus. Once the yellow, puffy cloud had arrived, the Satan girl hopped aboard and the pair flew on a return course for Mount Paozu.
Within a few minutes, the duo touched down in front of Gohan's adoptive great-grandfather's house. The entire flight they had avoided eye contact with one another for various reasons, including the obvious elephant in the room.
"So, what now?" Videl asked, finally unable to handle to tension which existed between them. It had become increasingly unbearable as more and more time elapsed. She just wanted to arrive at a resolution to their argument.
Knowing he had been wrong to judge her based off of her father, Gohan resolved to at least smooth over some of the differences they had. At the very least, he needed to apologize for accusing her of taking away from the time he spent caring for his own mother.
"We could resume your training. I'm sorry for jumping to unfair conclusions about your personality due to your parental lineage," Gohan apologized. He saw the apprehension in Videl's eyes and how she clearly was uncertain about this potential resolution. "I really am sorry. We both said things we didn't mean to one another. Let's just let bygones be bygones, okay? I'll come up to the house later."
With the apologies out of the way, Gohan trotted back off towards his small family home. His pupil remained at her temporary home, reassembling the abode the way she had it before she abruptly abandoned it.
Once he arrive at his house, the prepubescent world savior climbed the stairs to his room, all the while groaning as his body caught up to his mind now that things had been resolved. The emotional stress of the past few days came back and forced Gohan to lay down on his bed. Within minutes, the young Super Saiyan oblivious to the world, sprawled out on his bed with drool falling from his slightly parted mouth.
Seeing her son had fallen asleep, Chi Chi quietly tiptoed down the staircase and silently slipped out the front door. The independent mother had been extremely curious for a while now and walked towards her late husband's childhood home, being careful to not make any noise which could accidentally awaken her son due to his heightened senses.
Around five minutes later, Chi Chi was standing outside the front door to the old home. She maneuvered to a side window and took a quick glance inside the house, her eyes widening slightly in alarm as she did so. The fresh sheets which had previously been tangled up on the bed now also housed a small backpack, the contents of which were neatly organized atop the bed. The fiery mother could see the necessary utensils and some clothes spread out on the bed.
Her curiosity at an all time high, the Son matriarch whirled around and stomped to the house. Gohan had a few things to answer to when he woke up! She had figured he was hiding some things from her and now she had caught him red-handed.
Grabbing the handle of the door and pulling it open, Chi Chi came face to face with the one person she never, ever expected to see on her property: the missing daughter of the supposed world savior, Videl Satan.