A/N: Sorry so much for the wait guys! But for this being the finale, I didn't want it to just be any ordinary love scene. I wanted to add as much to back it up as I could. But because it ended up being way longer than expected, I had to split up the chapter. So there will be one more after this! And that will have their "big moment." This takes place 5 years after the events of the Buu Saga btw. Thanks so much for being patient with me and I hope you enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own DBZ or any of its characters.
The ethereal haven of earth... Videl felt almost imaginary being up such great heights. If it wasn't for her martial arts training she wouldn't have been able to bare the thin atmosphere. It held such an unwordly kind of silence. No birds chirped nor trees rustled in the whistling breeze.
If she had any kind poetic talent she would've tried to find a way to cleverly note the irony of the peacefulness to the turmoil that was currently going on in her home and to the people of Earth.
For it was bad, simply put.
And it was in these moments that Videl truly realized how messed up the world was. And not just Earth, but throughout the years she learned of other planets, galaxies, and even multi-dimensional planes that were subjected to danger and suffering.
Within the past few days Earth came under attack. So far it had been all the major cities including her home, but luckily while her father stayed at one of their surviving guest houses, Chi-Chi offered Videl a place in their home. The world's computers had been tampered somehow and every major missile launched and caused absolute havoc. What was first thought of as a military mishap soon turned extraterrestrial when some strange alien army had broadcast to every television and radio wave that they were out for blood, Saiyan blood. Videl didn't fully understand the history behind it or how they explained it, but apparently a ragtag army of former space thugs apart of some planet trade organization wanted revenge on the race that enslaved their people. All that citizens knew was that a war was brewing, and some were out on a manhunt for the capturing of the so-called Saiyans at that very moment.
Unfortunately, that meant Gohan as well.
Though she was pretty positive no one outside of their friends and family knew what they were, she was told by his father and others that that wouldn't stop unknown enemies from arising, as they always do. So now it was at the Earth guardian's lookout she stood, waiting for Gohan to return from the hyperbolic time chamber. She tapped her boots against the tiles and released a deep sigh. She had only been there once before, and if only she knew before that the earth had an actual being literally watching over them, she would've came for guidance a long time ago. But she looked around. Why exactly was it so quiet? Weren't there other guardians or something that lived up here too?
She snapped around when her name was called. "Uh...Videl, is it?"
Walking towards her was a young green-skinned man about her height wearing white robes and holding a staff that definitely made him look the part of an all-knowing guardian if not for his young age. Behind him a large black figure sat on the other side watering some plants. The green one stopped a couple of paces in front of her to wait for her response.
"Oh! Yeah, hi! I, um...sorry, am I not supposed to be here yet?"
The Namekian offered a friendly smile. "Oh, don't worry about it, it's just that if it's Gohan you're here for he's not supposed to be out of the chamber until another half-hour."
Videl's head sunk a little. "Oh. I guess I just got a little too anxious there."
"Well good thing for us, you're not allowed to exceed over two days in there, so if he wants to be safe he should be making his way out any minute now."
Videl bit her lip in concern. She probably would regret asking this, but she was once again drawn in by the eerie atmosphere and had to know. "Say...what exactly happens if you do exceed two days anyhow?"
"Well you get trapped inside forever and no one can ever rescue you or use the door again-" but Dende immediately paused when he saw her features practically drop to the floor and a sickly pale blue started to paint her face.
"Whaaa...!" she squeaked.
"I mean uh!" he tried to assuage the human, "t-that's never happened before so I'm positive Gohan will be out j-just in-"
"GOHAN!" and all Dende could see was a flash of jet black and pink as the young fighter bolted for the door of the hyperbolic time chamber. She was too fast for him to catch, and right as she was about to fly up the steps, another pair of strong hands came out of nowhere and pulled her back.
"Hold it there, girly," the deep voice sounded. Videl recognized the voice from a while ago as Piccolo, Gohan's old master, but she didn't care to turn around or stop her fight to wriggle free.
"That's it, Gohan!" she continued yelling. "You come out of there now! Ugh-no way am I gonna let you be stuck in there for eternity, you hear me! Trust me, I understand you have to help save the world and all—"
"I said hold it!"
"Uh miss Videl?" Dende tried to interrupt, "I don't think-"
"but there's no way you can do that if you're in another dimension! Gohan!"
She stopped her beating and turned her head. "Huh?"
She looked up to see the two Namekians pause in their tracks, and immediately look toward the entrance. Though it took her a second longer to sense it, she finally felt it then.
Piccolo's grip on her arms loosened, but Videl still stood immobilized. So faintly could she hear the clacking of those training boots. Finally, a silhouette made its way into view. As it stepped forward and the light started to shine to fully reveal the full form, Videl knew who she saw in front of her.
She barely made out in a whisper, "Gohan..."
He stood towering as usual, not feeling any draft at all from his torn clothing and bare chest from the rips and tears. His short spiked hair he adorned the past year lost its hold and dark bangs were scattered all across his face. He sported an orange make-shift head band from his torn sleeve to help keep most of the hair out of his eyes, while his spiky mane still sat on his crown. Videl didn't have time to register any other differences before she found herself running in full sprint toward him.
After blinking a few times Gohan finally focused on the small arms that straddled his chest. He tilted his head to get a better view of her covered face.
"I...Hi..." the poor girl temporarily lost all sense of coherent wording when she heard that angelic voice grace her ears. It was quite ridiculous to feel this sick after only being apart two days, but once she was actually in his arms any sense of feminine pride was shot into a million pieces by Cupid's arrow. It was a weakness she learned to adjust to.
His hands held her shoulder and the side of her waist with such comfort and care. "Hey there! I didn't make you worry, did I?"
She shook her head hiding her anxiety well. "Worry? Nah, it's only been two days after all."
"Well, it's been two years for me!" he laughed like always with the most carefree tone in the world.
She then pulled apart a bit to ruffle the top of his head. "Yeah, I can tell!"
"We all can," and the two got snapped out of their calm reverie from Piccolo's and Dende's footsteps walking closer. "I guess Vegeta's drabble about Saiyan bargain sales aren't all false, after all. Even after your inactivity I see you've picked up some new tricks, huh?"
The young warrior rubbed at the back of his neck and smiled. "Yeah! Though it was pretty tough, I'm not gonna lie."
"Just be careful. That form's only for emergencies, no free shows and exhibition matches like your father carelessly loves to do so much."
"I didn't think it was possible," Dende then greeted, "but your energy's off the charts even more so than before. You and your dad definitely represent your race well!"
"Hey, speaking of, where is my dad anyway?"
Piccolo's eyes rested on the never ending blue above them. "Do you even have to ask?"
"Oh, training, huh?"
"Oh yeah!" Videl interjected finally feeling like she was able to contribute to the conversation. "From what I remember Chi-Chi told me Bulma had built some kind of viiirtual traaansporrterr chamber—I don't know exactly what it's called but it puts you anywhere in the universe-"
"Ohhh, the new chamber she's been working the past few years," and a wide all-knowing smile started to stretch across his face. "Then without a doubt my dad and Vegeta are probably battling it out on some freakishly insane planet right now! I wonder if I should join them-"
Videl was about to object immediately but Piccolo beat her to it. "Don't even think about it. A sparring match with those two can easily result in the destruction of any planet, especially when Vegeta's ego starts to pay us a visit. Getting in the middle of that will only ruin their fun."
"And besides," Videl tugged his arm, "Chi-Chi also wanted to make sure I drag you home as soon as you come outta there. She prepared a special meal for you!"
The floor of the lookout then vibrated beneath them. Gohan suddenly gripped onto his stomach. "Aw man, talk about perfect timing. I didn't even realize how starving I was!"
Not having anything else to say, Piccolo turned on his heal and started to head toward the living quarters, throwing some last few words to his friend. "Of course, it's always a Saiyan that eats up anything they can get their hands on. Later kid, be careful out there."
Gohan chuckled as he watched him walk away. If there was anything about the Saiyans that were actually on Earth people had to fear, it was their appetite and appetite only.
Dende too then offered his goodbyes and stepped forward. "Be careful, Gohan. It almost feels like Earth can never get a few years of peace, can it?"
"Yeah," and that's when he grabbed onto Videl's left hand and gave it a light squeeze. "It kinda puts a bump in our plans but we'll be alright."
It took a few seconds to register what he meant but after looking at their intertwined fingers and the light red stained on Videl's cheeks he understood.
"Don't worry miss Videl," Dende gave a reassuring smile. "Whatever happens tomorrow I know Gohan won't be reckless. On Namek we don't have mating customs like you guys have here on Earth but Gohan's the most loyal and good hearted person I know. He'll be the perfect life ma-"
"WOAH THERE! Wait a minute Dende!"
He stopped when he noticed both pairs of cheeks now stained and Gohan scratching the top of his head. "I haven't even told you yet that Videl and I are engaged. How'd ya know?"
"Well, uh... You guys are a lot closer than you were the last time you were here. And besides," and he pointed to their hands, "she's wearing the same kind of ring that Bulma and Chi-Chi and Krillin's companion wears. So I figured that's like a mating tradition or something. Wait, was I not supposed to know?"
But the couple then dramatically shook their heads. "No not at all! It's just that..." Videl started, "Gohan asked me right before the attacks started, and it wasn't until he was about to go into the time chamber that he gave me the ring. With everything going on-"
"We figured it'd be best if we waited until this whole thing died down before we plan any ceremonies," Gohan finished.
Videl started to drift into thought as she lifted her hand to stare at the beautiful diamond. "But then, I don't know. Something just told me I should wear this today."
Gohan, sharing the same thoughts, placed an arm around her shoulder. "Maybe keeping this a secret will be harder than we thought. I suck at lying after all-"
Videl stifled a giggle. "Yeah, you kinda do."
"And there's no way either of us can keep anything from my mother."
"Knowing Chi-Chi she probably has some sort of marriage detector in her brain. For sure she'll put two and two together."
"Maybe we should tell at least her...with a wedding to plan it can distract her from everything that's going on."
"Oh guys!" Dende interrupted. "Speaking of Chi-Chi, weren't you two supposed to get home to eat?"
"OH RIGHT!" they exclaimed in unison, giving each other mental slaps.
"We need to fly off now, Gohan," said Videl. But right when Gohan was about to oblige he paused in his tracks.
"No wait! I know a faster way we can get there!"
"Huh? Like how?"
That's when he stepped back an inch and clasped his hands together. The smile on his face left to only a calm and frozen expression. He exhaled slowly before speaking in a lower tone. "I'm not sure how well this will work out, considering I didn't have any other ki signatures to test out on in the chamber, but after accomplishing my goal I still had some time left over and figured one more technique could help me out wherever I go with this war."
Videl became skeptical. "Aaand just what is that exactly?"
But he simply extended his right arm. "Grab my hand," he instructed.
She gave one last look to Dende but he shrugged as well. Then she followed suit and grabbed on. With his left hand he extended two fingers to the middle of his forehead. Dende gasped when he realized what he was about to do.
"Gohan! Don't tell me you've mastered your father's instant transmission technique!"
He smirked. "Well that's what we're about to find out," then he glanced down at Videl. "Ready?"
"Alright then...mom, lead me to your ki..." Long seconds passed. Before he anticipated on it taking it a while longer, a smile formed. "Oh, awesome! I sense Trunks and Goten at our house, too! Their energy's a lot stronger so transmitting there will be a piece of cake, after all!"
He gave his friend one last goodbye.
"You, Piccolo, and Mr. Popo be safe!"
"Don't worry about us, we'll be fine up here! Same goes for you!"
And with that last exchange they were gone.
Videl couldn't even describe the sensation if she could. Once she experienced it with Goku she gave up trying to comprehend the incomprehensible and instead enjoy the ride. Within one blink they were away from the look out and on the green grass of the Son family front yard, illuminated by the late afternoon sun.
"Glad to know that worked out!" Gohan wiped his brow once they separated, but Videl's mind stayed on their previous issue. "Right, now it's time to work out how we'll tell your mom."
Gohan gave her a smile that managed to make her feel like a seventeen year-old girl again. "Well just like everything else, we'll do it together. I'm not very good with this sorta stuff...but I know that this is what we're supposed to do."
She clasped her hands behind her back and looked up at the sky, needing to clear some of her racing thoughts. "So...ready to be stuck with me for the rest of your life?"
"From the way I see it I don't really have a choice."
But Videl didn't know how to take that. Did he just think of this as a forced arrangement? Something that he was only supposed to go along with because he didn't want to face her attitude or deal with the trouble of saying no? But before she could voice her worries he continued on. "I'm not really clear about my future right now to be honest. I've been told since I was young that I was destined to be Earth's future savior, but up until these attacks happened I was just simply enjoying myself in college. Maybe I don't have what it takes anymore...maybe the fates were wrong..."
And just as fast as Videl's anger came it got washed away by the emotional tides of his fears. She absently held his wrist in between her palms and rested her forehead on his arm, offering as much comfort as she could. The pressure she felt long ago from being Hercule Satan's daughter had absolutely no significance in comparison to Gohan's. Having the strongest people on the planet all look to a boy for salvation...? Having such powerful genes and coming from a race that fed off the rush of fighting must have always made him more conflicted inside than she could have ever imagined. She wanted so badly to say it was unfair, to deck anyone and everyone who asked so much of him, but then just the same, it was either her pride, her faith, or her adoration that told her that the Gohan she loved was capable of anything, and the way he protected others, protected her even when she knew she didn't need it, proved to her that he was something too amazing for words, too amazing for even this earth to handle.
"The fates know just as much as I do that you're one of the strongest, most kind-hearted people in this universe. They have faith in you so you should too."
The young half-breed started to feel the warmth surge from her touch and melt away his cares, reminding him just what he meant to say. "Nevertheless," and he placed a hand on her shoulder, silently thanking her for snapping him back to reality, "one thing I am sure about is that you're one of the greatest people I've ever met. I basically learned from my parents that marriage is simply being with someone that makes you happy forever. They challenge you and make you want to protect them. I have that with you, Videl, and I wanna make sure we keep that for as long as you'll let me."
It took Videl everything she had not to succumb to the stinging tears that were threatening to spill. There was no way that someone could be that romantic without realizing it. Never was she more proud of the ring that decorated her finger.
"You don't even have to ask, I always will..."
With one last cheesy smile he nudged his head toward the steps of his home. "Sooo, ready to tell my mom?"
But before she could respond quaking earth lead the way to Chi-Chi's sudden arrival, as she ran out the door to meet them and bombard Gohan in a death grip of a hug. Videl noticed Trunks, Goten, and Bulma peaking their heads out of the door frame. Bulma was smiling just as wide but the boys looked utterly confused.
"TOOOOOOOO LAAAAAAATEEEEE!" her voice echoed against the surrounding mountain tops.
"Chi-Chi...?" Videl stuttered. "H-how did you-"
"OH MY GOODNESS, FINALLY! TWENTY-THREE YEARS A MOTHER HAS WAITED TO HEAR THE WORDS! MY SON'S GETTING MARRIED!"
All Videl could do was blink.
She sat at their kitchen table hands awkwardly glued to her lap while her groom-to-be lost all sense of urgency when he started diving head first into the mini-banquet Chi-Chi had set up for him. Noodles were stuffed in his cheeks while a roasted chicken occupied one hand and a bowl of rice another. It was too late for him. Clearly he was lost in his own little world and nothing could lure him away from the smell of sweet pork and fried...well, everything.
So she was on her own when it came to the impending questions from her friends.
Bulma sat across from her, elbows propped on the table, fingers crossed underneath her chin and a wide grin exposing all of her giddyness over the marriage announcement.
"So Videl, how'd he do it?"
"Uh, do what?"
"You know, propose! I kill for these kinda stories. As you probably figured me and Trunks' dad never did anything traditionally. The jerk never even took me out on a proper date!"
Trunks lifted his head from the giant chicken leg he was sharing with Goten. "Dad said dating is for the weak, Mom."
"Well your father can take that sentiment and shove it up his capsule!"
Chi-Chi added to the commotion when she returned from upstairs, practically floating towards Videl, carrying a huge stack of papers that towered above her head. Videl rose from her chair to offer some help.
"This is huge! What is this, anyway?" but as soon as she took half the stack to place on the counter, she could tell by the fancy script and the photos of women in beautiful white gowns.
"Why, wedding magazines of course!" Chi-Chi beamed. "I figure now's the time to get a move on planning if we want this to happen before the summer's over!"
"Uh, Chi-Chi," Bulma called from behind them. "Don't you think that with everything going on on Earth right now, wedding ceremonies can kinda wait? He is leading King Furry's attack in space tomorrow after all. Who knows when he'll be back?"
Videl didn't realize the magazine she just dropped. She didn't even realize where she was right then, but knew she saw her Gohan in such innocence over there, and realized in the worst timing that something might happen and stop her from seeing him that way again.
He might not be back...
"Bite your tongue Bulma!" Chi-Chi crossed her arms at her friend. "My Gohan will be perfectly fine and we'll have everything set up for when he returns."
"Yeah!" Gohan exclaimed through a stuffed face. "I'll be fine, nothing to worry about!"
"You know you guys wouldn't even have to worry if you just sent me and Goten up there instead," Trunks offered another one of his commentaries, "I'd thrash all those space army dudes with Goten as my backup."
"I'd rather make it a competition!" Goten cheesed. "First one to beat all the bad guys gets dibs to all Trunks' video games!"
"Give it up, Goten, you're never gonna get my games."
"But you don't even play with like half of them! You're just a...a game waster!"
Videl tried the best she could to let the voices around pull her back to reality, the reality that involved a very much alive Gohan. She already worried herself to death over what happened with Buu in the past. No way would she do it again.
"Right," she finally spoke over the boys' arguing, "everything'll be fine-"
"That's the spirit! Now!" Chi-Chi hastily grabbed at Videl's shoulders and twisted her around. "What dress size are you...hmm... The best bride only needs the best dress after all. I take it your father will be happy paying for all of this right?"
"I uh...haven't exactly told my father yet."
That's when she stopped her turning and landed slit-like eyes to her son. "Gohan. Everyone knows that the proper way to ask a girl's hand in marriage is to ask her FATHER first! Seriously, where are your manners!"
He wiped his mouth before speaking, having drowned out most of the talk. "Sorry Mom, I guess it just hasn't come up!"
"Well it's gonna have to when he has to walk his own daughter down the isle! Do I HAVE to do everything myself here?" and she turned to search for the house phone. But Videl stopped her in her tracks.
"Wait, Chi-Chi! My dad has just been going through a lot right now with our house getting destroyed so I'm the one who suggested not to tell him yet. But we will! We'll do it together first thing —right Gohan?"
She looked to him for reassurance and he slowly nodded. "Yeah...though honestly sometimes I get the feeling that he still kinda hates me."
"He's probably still just butt-hurt that you're the one who really defeated Cell and that his daughter's boyfriend is stronger than him, which is hilarious," Trunks smirked.
"How he brags about it, being famous doesn't look all that great," Goten rested his chin in his palms in thought. "Though it is pretty cool having a giant bubblegum monster as a best friend, hahahahahahaaaaa!"
"My dad loves you!" Videl tried to reassure him. "It's just boys in general he has an issue with."
"Boy does that make me feel better."
Bulma started to rock back in forth in her chair as she drifted into thought. "You know, surprisingly my parents didn't really have a problem with Vegeta. Which still surprises me. Usually parents are the first to object to their daughters bringing home evil alien princes but I guess he must have won em over with his charming wit and good looks," Bulma clearly had sarcasm dripping from her words. "If I didn't know any better my mom must've had a little crush on him of her own."
"Ew, mom, I'm eating!"
"And just what are you babbling on about now, woman?"
Their home filled up with two more occupants as Goku and Vegeta made their instant transmission appearance. Videl stood behind Gohan's chair. Well, the cat was definitely going to be out of the bag now. She just hoped her father wouldn't make an appearance next.
Bulma jumped from her husband's voice. "GOSH Vegeta! I hate it when you sneak up on me like that!"
"The feeling's mutual," he provided a lazy grin while massaging his wrists in passing. The boys shot up from their food and mirrored each other's ecstatic expressions.
"Well aren't we looking famished after a long day's training," Chi-Chi motioned to her husband's ripped attire. Goku provided his trademarked smile. "Yeah, you bet! My stomach's been rumbling for hours for some of your cooking!"
"Hey Dad," Gohan greeted.
His youngest son did the same. "DAD HEY!"
"That must mean you guys are done in the chamber!" Trunks clenched his fists in anticipation. "Now it's our turn, let's go, Goten!"
"Hooold it boys," Goku acted as the usual go-between and grabbed their heads before they were able to dash past him and Vegeta. "That was the first time the transporter chamber's been used. We can't allow you boys to just go to whatever random planet you want without supervision."
"But come on, that's no fair!" cried Trunks.
"Yeah! Gohan got to use the time chamber for two whole days! And Miss Bulma just built the coolest thing in the world and we can't even use it!"
"You're forgetting that I'm officially thirteen now and old enough to do what I want," Trunks challenged, but it went unmatched against Vegeta.
"No matter what age you are you forget who makes the final decisions around here, boy."
"Finally I can actually agree with you two," Chi-Chi chimed in. "No way am I letting my Goten run around the galaxy training in God know's what kind of harsh conditions! What if they were to get lost or something, or eaten by some kind of ravenous were-alien with no sense of home training!"
"Actually, Chi-Chi," interjected Bulma, "the way the chamber's designed, yes they could transport to anywhere outside of Earth they wanted, but I'M the one who controls where. The settings are a bit different for Vegeta and Goku, but for these two they'd only be allowed to explore across the perimeters of the chamber. You guys try to run off outside the allotted space, and an invisible wall would just bounce you right back."
"In that case it might as well just be another one of our virtual reality games," Goten pouted.
"Well since you mentioned it, little man," Bulma drummed a manicured finger against the table, "I did come up with the idea after watching you two play one of your little Storm City games... But this is all the real deal. What you do inside that chamber effects wherever you are. So if you see some random were-alien beastie thing it can very much attack you."
"Which is why me and Vegeta decided to train on deserted planets so not to have to pick a fight with anyone." Goku added.
"Pfff, speak for yourself, Kakarot," Vegeta smirked, "I would've held my own just fine if something decided they had the nerve enough to attack."
"You realize you guys are just making it sound mooore and moooooore cooler now, right?" Trunks then grabbed at his dad's shirt. "C'mon, you just gotta take us!"
"We promise we'll behave!"
"You two told us we'd have to help protect the earth anyways! We can't do that if we're not at our absolute best!"
"Yeah! I wanna be Earth's protector just like you, Dad!" Goten pointed up to Goku, and he couldn't lie, that made the Saiyan burst with pride over his son's sense of justice.
"Ya know," Gohan finally decided to step in, "while you and Vegeta are resting I wouldn't mind taking them in for a bit to see how they do, Dad. I think I stuffed myself enough to function again!"
"Huh, really?" Goku turned to his eldest child. "Well I can tell you must've done some real damage in your two years, son!"
But as usual it still wasn't enough to impress Vegeta. "Yes, even though it still doesn't compare to the power you had as a boy. But I guess by now it's safe to say that's a thing of the past."
Subconsciously one of Videl's hands moved to Gohan's shoulder for comfort. Earlier only proved how much of a touchy subject that was for him.
But Gohan was able to hold his own. "Nevertheless, the power I have now will be more than enough to help fight off those guys tomorrow."
Videl finally felt the need to ask the question she's been unsure of all day. "Sooo it's official? You guys go off tomorrow?"
"Yeah, first thing," Goku answered. "While you were out, Gohan, King Furry's had an emergency military draft, but even with his army doubled they won't be enough to stop these guys. They're still pretty much a mystery to us, so instead of fighting them head on Vegeta's the one who came up with the decision to infiltrate their army instead, find out who's their leader and what's their weak point."
"We'll have the boys track down the dragon balls in the morning just so we'll have them for whatever need be. Gohan will be the only chance Earth's weakling armies have, considering they're trying to pull off a last-minute counterattack. If these guys were really apart of Frieza's planetary trade organization then they're as powerful as they are desperate and blind for revenge. That doesn't make for a very good combination. I probably won't even remember what they look like, and with Frieza and his family long gone this all seems pretty pointless, but if they want enemies with the Saiyans, then they've got one."
"Yeah!" shouted Trunks. "With us here now that makes my dad the real King of all Saiyans which makes ME a prince! A prince's job is to fight off all the bad guys, so let me do it!"
"Hey, if Trunks is a prince then I wanna be a prince too!"
"Everyone knows I'm already a princess," Bulma sighed while flippantly placing a string of short blue hair behind her ear.
"Uhh, wouldn't that make you a queen, Bulma?" Videl countered.
"Foolish attitudes," Vegeta crossed his arms. "It's one thing to just claim the title. Any lowlife simpleton can deem themselves the prince of anything. But it takes a true warrior's pride and strength and inability to be defeated that makes him true royalty."
"And not to mention remembering what exactly you're fighting for," added Goku. "You guys are gonna play some very important roles in the coming years, so it's important you don't get swept up in the thrill. Stay disciplined, you two."
Their joyful smiles faded a bit, and they stood underneath their fathers, shoulders squared and fists clenched. Videl looked on in awe. They were like two little soldiers, casting their fathers' perfect shadows. Again, it was impossible to fathom the burdens these guys had at such a young age, but she couldn't help but be swept up in the pride as well. Maybe her own son or daughter would look to Gohan in the same way...
"But..." Goku's smile returned, "maybe giving you guys a little taste of what it's like out there will do you some good. Vegeta?"
The stoic warrior scrutinized the two up and down one last time. "I have no doubt that my son will do just fine. Make sure yours can keep up, Kakarot," he jabbed with his own strange brand of humor.
"Hahahahahahaaahhaaa, don't worry about that!"
The seriousness on their faces soon started to melt once the words sunk in. "Wait..." cautioned Trunks, "so that means we can go!"
"It DOES?" glared Chi-Chi.
"As long as you listen to Gohan," Goku warned.
"Are we finished with this now?" Vegeta made his way to the table to sit near his wife. "I need to eat something at once."
"Oh yeah! Bring on the food, Chi-Chi!"
Chi-Chi crashed her palm against her forehead and slouched in defeat. "Ohhhhhhhh...maybe once Gohan and Videl give me grandchildren I won't have to worry about any more little warriors running around. The Earth's officially reached their capacity of saviors, if you ask me."
Goku raised a confused brow and walked to stand in front of the two in question. "Hold on there, Chi-Chi, let's not get ahead of ourselves. I think these two have to actually be married before any of that can happen."
Bulma let out a cackle and nudged her husband in the arm, trying to knavishly show him what was going on. "Yeeeeah, so you say."
Videl fiddled with her fingers as she looked up at her future father in law, suddenly feeling very very small in comparison. His eyes were huge and filled to the brim with confusion. "Huh?"
She could feel Gohan rest a hand on the small of her back, and she took it as cue to tell him.
"Actually, Goku," she began. "Gohan and I are um...to be married."
"Surpriiiiseeeee..." Gohan dragged out awkwardly.
Goku looked back and forth between the two for a few more seconds. In the background Vegeta was more distracted with his meal, Trunks stood looking bored by the conversation, Bulma and Chi-Chi looked on with heart-shaped eyes, and Goten wore the same expression as his father.
"Wait, so you're saying..." Goku raised a finger. "That you two are married now? Hold on, I didn't miss the wedding, did I?"
That's when Chi-Chi sneaked up behind her husband and grasped onto his shoulders still giddy about the whole thing.
"No Goku, nobody missed anything! We're gonna have the ceremony as soon as Gohan comes back. OOOOHHH ISN'T THIS WONDERFUL! Our son is finally gonna be a family man. Ahhh, don't they remind you of us when we were young?"
"Uh, yeah I guess," he smiled, "as long as you know, son, that marriage isn't food."
Videl stood confused but Gohan chuckled, having heard the story a million times. "Yeah dad, trust me I know."
That's when Goku turned more to Videl. Just like Gohan, she only came up to his chest, and in this moment she knew exactly where is innocent eyes came from. She had to struggle to find her voice when he began to address her.
"So," and he smiled down at her, "this means that I have a new daughter, right?"
"In a way, yeah," she heard Gohan say, his boyish grin giving her more reassurance.
Things were coming at her in a blur, but when she felt a tug at the bottom of her blouse she looked down to see Goten now in their small circle, with the same smile of his brother and father.
"And that means I get a new sister, too! Even for a girl you're really cool, Videl! I'll even let you beat me in sparring matches if you get Gohan to let me have his bed once you two move out!"
"Goten you haven't been pushing the beds together and using my mattress while I've been gone, have you?"
"Gote, how many times do I have to tell you, they don't work that way!"
While watching the boys banter she almost forgot about Goku, but she jerked back to his attention when he placed a hand on her shoulder. Chi-Chi was at his other side, arms interlocked around his waist and a head on his chest, releasing out happy sighs every few seconds. It was like seeing the reactions of a mother she never had.
"Welcome to our little family, Videl," said Goku.
"No return policies," added Chi-Chi. "You're stuck with us for life."
The feeling was so foreign, Videl could only describe it by what she thought a happy family would feel like. For so long it was only her and her father, but here she was, literally in the middle of the people who showed her a new world, a new sense of living.
And all of it came from falling in love with a strange boy in a superhero costume.
"Sooooo..." Trunks forced his way back into the conversation. "Are we going now?"
"Right!" and Gohan turned to Videl give her a quick goodbye. "It won't be long, promise. You gonna be here when I get back?"
"'Course. Where else would I be?"
"Ha...right..." and as his eyes wandered down he saw her hands and felt the sudden urge to play with them. He barely had the chance though to grab her fingers before Chi-Chi came in between them. Again.
"We'll all be here! We have so much more to discuss!"
Videl made sure her sigh was audible. Yes, Chi-Chi was definitely the mother she never had, especially with how many times she interrupted them. But Gohan caught on and gave her an apologetic smile, and needing to see the perfect little smile of hers that he came to adore, he threw some composure to the wind and arched down to place a quick kiss on her cheek.
Videl's hand shot to her face as the pink blush rose immediately, and the other females in the room shared the same expression. Trunks made a mocking gagging gesture before being thumped on the forehead by his mother.
"C'mom, Trunks," Gohan decided not to explain and instead prepared to take the boys away.
Trunks raised a brow but walked over to his side regardless.
"Now you can see one of the tricks I have up my sleeve, Dad," Gohan crookedly smiled.
"Yeah, what?" asked a curious Saiyan.
He pointed to the boys again. "Trunks, Goten, grab onto me."
Quickly putting two and two together, Trunks looked up at Gohan in slight shock. "Wait a minute, no way..."
Goten caught on, too. "Big brother you're gonna do what I think you're gonna do, aren't you!"
"Uh huh!" and with the two of them holding on Gohan placed two fingers to his temple and smiled over at his father. "I guess I should thank you for the mini lesson you gave me a while back."
"Hahahahahahahaa!" Goku beamed. "I guess you put it to good use in the chamber, huh!"
"Yup!" and he turned one last time to his future glowing bride that still stood dazed at it all. "Later, okay?" he spoke lower, at a tone only the two lovers could hear.
"Uh...uh huh," she nodded, though honestly she wasn't exactly sure what he was referring to. He gave one last grin before vanishing away.
Vegeta looked up from his food for a brief moment. "I see that boy is trying to hide his ascension to super Saiyan 3. Being a reckless show-off must then only apply to you, Kakarot."
"And look who's talking," Goku joked back quickly. But the three women didn't have the same visage. Their human limitations made it impossible for them to notice the change. "WHAAAAAAT!" they shouted. "GOHAN'S A SUPER SAIYAN 3!"
"You got it!" said Goku, finally making his way over to the table to satisfy his growling stomach. "Though...sort of. I don't think those two years were fully enough time for him to master it," and his voice became a bit muffled after stuffing a turkey in his mouth. "His energy rose, definitely, but he doesn't seem as confident about the transformation for some reason. It seemed easier for Trunks and Goten to do it back then cuz of their fused bodies. But heck, with the way those boys are going they'd probably reach it separately in no time if they trained a little more!"
Chi-Chi leaned against the counter. "I shouldn't even be surprised...it feels like another Saiyan form pops up every sixth months nowadays."
Videl absently stroked her ring, which had slowly assumed the role of her comfort device when Gohan wasn't near, and rocked back and forth on the balls of her feet. "Maybe Gohan only wants to use that as a last resort kinda thing. He's strong enough that I don't even think he needs it."
"Don't be delusional," scoffed Vegeta.
"What Vegeta means," Goku successfully acted as the middle man again, "is that we still don't wanna rule anything out, and be as prepared as we can. But definitely, our Gohan will be fine."
Fine. That's what Videl told herself multiple times in the past twenty four hours, so she had to believe that. Their life together hadn't even begun, so there was no way that anything was gonna jeopardize that. This is what she wanted, this is what she was gonna wait for. Soon they were officially going to be married.
But it was in that moment that it all sunk in...
Soon they were officially going to be married.
A/N: More coming soon!