It had been a week since the events at the Soare Clan Mansion. Seven long days for Videl to recover from and she had to say her burns were finally fading away. She currently had what amounted to a bad sunburn at the moment, something she hadn't felt in eons and she was pretty sure why she wouldn't be feeling another one anytime soon.
Today she was spending the day at Chichi's shop. The witch had been having some problems with her sight, namely that she was having a little trouble seeing things. Apparently all of that light that flooded the mansion that night—killing damn near every vampire in there—had ended up affecting the mortal woman after all. Now that she thought about it, it would have been the equivalent of staring into the sun for far too long. Chichi had been fortunate enough to get a shield up to protect her eyes when she did, but there were still some damage that needed fixing.
So Videl found herself helping the woman pack her things away. Using her magic, the witch had enchanted a bag to hold everything in her store, along with her personal possessions. That had made the packing much easier.
"That should be the last of it," Videl commented as she closed the bag. All around her Chichi's upstairs apartment was completely bare. It looked as if no one had stayed there aside from the chair Chichi was sitting in. "You sure you should be leaving though? I mean, you said you were having some trouble with your eyesight."
"That's why I'm going, dear," Chichi replied humbly. With sunglasses perched on her face, the woman sat demurely in her chair. "I need to have this fixed and the only person I'd trust to do it is my old teacher. She'll be dodgy about it in the beginning, but eventually she'll help. Besides, I need to get back on the road."
At this Videl nodded. "To find your son. I understand. I'm sorry my friend got away. I'm sure he could've been of some use."
Chichi waved that off. "That's alright, I'm sure I'll run into your vampire hunter friend sooner or later."
Shortly after they had left the mansion, Videl had told the witch about Gohan. The deal they made, how long they had been working, and even the embodiment inside him. Chichi had first been bewildered about the arrangement, but seemed to accept it. Soon the only thing she cared about was that he had her tracking spell attached to him. It had been a relief for Videl to finally tell someone of that secret and then promptly not have that person try and kill her.
And speaking of sharing secrets, the only other person in the know, the counteragent Sharpner, had gone into hiding. Since he had aided the enemy, he was taking no chance at being found, only leaving her a contact number in case she ran into Gohan. He still wanted his rematch with the vampire hunter and until that score was settled, he was keeping out of sight.
That's where Videl's thoughts became gloomy. She had seen neither hide nor hair of Gohan since he had disappeared in that shroud of flames. It was as if he had disappeared off the face of the earth. Now with Chichi leaving, her group of friends was increasingly dropping to zero. She was starting to feel lonely.
Apparently Chichi was sensitive to her mood. "It's always sad to see friends go," she said. "But just because we're not around each other doesn't mean we can't stay in contact."
Videl perked up at this. "That's right! So how do we do this?"
"Well, most people usually have cell phones or are they not in vogue for vampires?"
A blush covered the girl's face. For a moment there, she thought Chichi was going to enchant some object to give them a direct line to each other. Silly her for forgetting the advances of the modern era. Then again, she technically could apply for most government retirement programs. Pulling out her phone she then said "Tell me your number and I'll send you mine."
Once the two had exchanged numbers, the two fell into a silence. "Well, I suppose I should get going," Chichi finally said. "No need to make this any more awkward."
"Yeah, right," Videl murmured, watching the witch push herself up. The two women left the apartment, heading downstairs to the barren shop. That had been the first place Chichi had instructed her to pack up and Videl had made sure she did the job right. For the first time since she had found the place, the room was wide open, none of the shelves that were crammed in here were present. Having to comb through everything as she packed it into Chichi's magic bag, the vampire had found so many thing she never would have dreamed existed. It made her wonder where she had found all of them. And she was still curious as to how the witch had gotten her hands on so many "dragonballs." You know, since she would have imagined the dragons hadn't been very happy with the idea.
Upon exiting the store, Chichi locked the door with the key and murmured an unintelligible word. In a puff of smoke, the key vanished from sight. "What did you do with that?" Videl asked.
"Just sent it to the building's owner. I rather not have to drop the key at his place or just leave it lying around for some delinquent to pick up," Chichi answered. Taking a deep breath then, she looked up and down the street before looking to Videl. "Mind giving me a ride to the bus station? I rather not wait at one of the stops with my eyes being in less than ideal shape."
"No problem," Videl said as she fished out her keys. "Follow me. I didn't park too far away."
Between the store and the bus station, Chichi and Videl made three stops: one for a bit to eat, another for Videl fill up her car, and a last one at the city park. Each knew they were stalling for time, to push back their final farewell for as long as they could, but neither made mention of it. Eventually, they reached the station, both of them looking at it as with reluctance. "I don't think we can postpone this any further," the witch sighed with resignation. Looking to the vampire girl, she said "I'm very glad that I've met you, Videl. It's been one of my better experiences on this journey."
"Took the words right out of my mouth," Videl replied, a wary smile on her face. Unshed tears were gathering around her eyes, Videl fighting furiously to keep them from falling.
Putting her hand on the girl, Chichi gave her shoulder a squeeze. "Thank you Videl. For everything." Then without another word, Chichi exited the car, bag in hand, and made her way inside the station. Wiping her eyes, Videl sat in the car for several minutes, trying to compose herself. It had been a long time since she had a genuine friend. She really was going to miss the older woman. Though with the way things were going, perhaps she should just follow her to her master's place. They could both look for her son and wouldn't have to part like this.
That thought lit something in her. Yeah, that's what she'd do. Though Chichi probably wouldn't want her to go with her to her master's house, she'd definitely let the witch know that when she was ready, she had her little vampire friend ready to help her scour the earth. Yeah, yeah, she really liked the sound of that.
Feeling better about herself, Videl revved her engine and left the station. The drive back to the apartment went like a blur and before she knew it, she was at her apartment door, unlocking it and walking inside.
A sigh escaped the girl's lips as she was greeted with the sight of her same old, same old apartment. It was a dreary feeling to say the least, especially when all the excitement of life seemed to be sucked out of everything. Ugh, she was starting to become depressed.
Walking pass the kitchen, a nice aroma wafting from it, Videl found her way to her couch and plopped on it. Part of her wanted to just sit there for the next century, just wasting away. Tonight had been too draining for her. Unfortunately, she wasn't tired enough to go to her room and call it a night. To top it all off, she didn't even have the energy to reach out to her TV remote and turn the TV on. It just seemed like too much work.
"Rough day?" she heard Gohan ask her.
"You can say that," she answered apathetically. "It was just really exhausting."
It was a couple moments later that Videl realized what had happened. Eyes snapping wide open as her head jerked up, she whipped her head around to catch sight of Gohan leaning out of the kitchen doorway, a frying pan in one hand and a spatula in the other, looking at her impassively.
"YOU!" she exclaimed, startling the young lad. "But what…how…why are…wha?"
"Uhh, anything wrong?" Gohan asked perplexed.
Videl's mind finally caught up with her, just in time to wipe that goldfish look on her face. "You're here. But how? Why?"
"Umm, yeah I'm here. I walked through the door. Because I live here," Gohan answered.
Videl would later blame it on the stress caused by that tearful parting with Chichi, but at that moment her brain just shut down. If she had been a computer, she would have gotten that dreaded blue screen of death. Thankfully she wasn't a computer so she was able to reboot herself after staring at Gohan for who knows how long. "I thought you had left," she finally said.
Gohan cocked an eyebrow at her before retreating back into the kitchen. "Where did you get that idea?" he called out to her.
"Well, I saw you vanish in a pillar of flames. I had no idea where you had gone."
There was some clinking and clanking before Gohan reappeared, walking over to her and taking a seat on the back of the couch, causing him to look down on her as he replied "Well, I had to hide the mask again, somewhere where it wouldn't be found as easily. Took me the better of four days to find a decent place."
That made sense. She hadn't even thought about the mask after it had vanished. Obviously that had been on the top of Gohan's list of things-to-do. That just left one other thing. "And what of Suveran? What happened to him?"
"He's dead," Gohan answered simply. "I can assure you, he didn't like that very much."
"I'm sure no one actually likes being killed," Videl retorted. Then a thought occurred to her. "So now what? You pretty much emptied the Soare Clan Mansion so there aren't that many vampires left here."
"But there still are a few remaining ones," Gohan countered. "I told you once I would clear this area out of vampires and I intend on doing that. Once this place is pretty much cleared, I'll move on."
A sinking feeling began to grow in Videl's stomach. Though he hadn't said it out loud, his goal of vampire extermination meant that she would be apart of his extremely shortened to-kill list. Her time living here was coming to an end and Gohan would make sure she didn't see another moon.
Yet a part of her hoped he might give her some leniency. After all, she had helped him all this time. Maybe he could give her a head start or something? "And what about me?" she asked uneasily. "What'll you do with me?"
Gohan blinked his eyes. "What do you mean by that?"
"Well, I am a vampire. Do you intend on killing me as well?"
The young man hesitated at that. "Well, you have been useful…" he said slowly. "I don't see why you can't continue being useful."
"Well, I still need to root out any remaining vampires here, not to mention new ones immigrating here. I'm sure you can find those out, right?"
Hmm, it seemed Gohan was giving her a bargaining chip here. "And why should I help you do that? After all, you do intend on killing me eventually."
"Why would I kill someone that can help me?"
Videl was starting to feel better about herself and her current situation by now. It seemed her ideas after seeing Gohan fulfill his obligation to her were coming to fruition and from the very guy she felt she had to barter with. What an interesting turn of events here. "And after that? I don't mean to sound like a broken record here, but I do like having some security for my future here."
Gohan sighed, looking down at her from his perch. "Well, I would imagine the Council will become aware of the sudden decrease of vampire activity in the coming weeks, if they don't know already by now. I would think they would try to figure out what happened and this could prove an opportunity to strike a serious blow at them. And I wouldn't mind any assistance offered to me…"
A coy look began to grow across Videl's face. "So, are you offering me a partnership, Vampire Hunter?"
A grin appeared on Gohan's face. "Perhaps. As long as we don't try to kill each other, Vampire."
"So we have to trust each other on that?" Videl paused, feeling her more teasing nature rearing its head. "I don't know. I mean, I think I could try this trusting thing, but it's you I'm not so sure of. I don't even know what your real last name is."
An amused look appeared on the young man's face. "Is that such a big deal to you?"
"Well, you told me your real first name to show you had trust in me. What's wrong with asking for a little more?"
"I guess I can accommodate that."
Videl held out a hand to Gohan. "I believe we have a deal then."
Gohan clasped her hand with his own and gave her a solid shake. "So we do."
"So what is it?" the vampire girl asked, a smile growing on her face. "I bet it's something embarrassing. No wonder you went with Sing."
"No, it's nothing like that," Gohan admitted. "Or at least I don't think it is. It's Son."
Well, that's it for the story. It's been a fun ride if I don't say so myself. And before anyone asks, yes, I "borrowed" Merlin's magical bag from Sword in the Stone. It was a very convenient prop to use at the moment and at the very least, none of the furniture was dancing in and out of it.
Moving along, I would like to thank everyone that read and reviewed this story. I appreciated all the comments and look forward to seeing you in other stories. To everyone else that simply read the story, I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for taking the time to read it as well.
Now that this story is finished, the next GV Week entry will be Framed, though I have another project I'm working on that's getting me excited. It's also AU—like everything else I'm planning on doing for awhile—but it is something I've been considering doing for a long time now. With the way things are going, you'll probably be seeing this surprise story first.
Once again, thank you everyone for reading, reviewing, and enjoying the story.
Until next time,