This is a slightly different take on the normal Gohan x Videl story. I was partially inspired by "Love at First Sight?" by Decious. My story is drastically different in terms of plot, but this incredible story got me thinking of different approaches to these characters, particularly Gohan. A while later, I eventually came upon this idea and decided to stop merely reading fanfiction and finally write some.

I hope you enjoy! I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to review, whether you like it or hate it. It means a lot to me. Don't be afraid to leave both positive and negative feedback-it helps me improve. Tell me what you like/dislike. It will make the end product better.

Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ or any of its characters

Prologue: Nightmares

Son Gohan tore from his bed in the hyperbolic time chamber, screaming. Drenched in sweat, he rushed to the bathroom and splashed cold water on his face, trying and failing to forget. He clenched the sides of the sink, his whole body trembling as horror and disgust overwhelmed him. He was quickly losing control.

Higher and higher his power climbed until the entire room began to shake with the force of his energy. For a while he immersed himself in its flow. There was a kind of immense pleasure whenever he exercised his power.

For a while, he toyed with the idea of giving himself over completely and surrendering to its alluring promises. He wouldn't have to hurt any more. He would be strong. He would be able to protect everyone most important to him from any enemy. He would be respected by those he loved. He would be feared by those he hated. He would be a god! All he had to do was let go, submit and let this vast power inside him fulfill his every desire.

It seemed so easy, so attractive, but … he just couldn't do it. The arrogance and obsession with his own power that had seized him that night ... it was just like his nightmare—the same one he had had for six years.

Revulsion seized Gohan.

That's it! I can't take it anymore! He silently screamed at himself as the memory of the dream washed over him.

Gohan stood in the ruined remains of Cell Arena. Directly in front of him was Cell in his perfect form, smirking as his friends lay dying all around him. Pure rage coursed through Gohan's body, saturating his entire being until he could no longer contain it and he exploded into his Ascended Saiyan form.

With his new power, he commenced to pound the now helpless Cell around. After a particularly devastating combination, he delivered a powerful kick to the creature's gut, causing him to spit up Android 17 and revert back to his second form.

Gohan could easily destroy Cell right then and there. He could obliterate him in an instant without breaking a sweat. He wasn't even near using his full strength yet. But he wanted to revel in the pain of the one who had caused so much pain to others. The fear in Cell's eyes thrilled him. He was drunk on his power.

Then, the scene shifted and the desperate Cell suddenly started to expand like a balloon, planning to blow himself up and the Earth along with him. Time seemed to slow down. He saw his father suddenly appear next to Cell, with two fingers on his forehead and a hand on the oversized Cell. Goku looked at Gohan one last time, then disappeared forever.

"DADDY!" screamed Gohan, tears streaming down his face as he pounded his fists on the ground with grief.

Even as he relived his nightmare, Gohan had left the time chamber and was speeding towards Capsule Corp. as fast as he could without transforming. After six years, he had finally come to a breaking point. He needed to see Bulma.

After he had learned his father would not be brought back to life, Gohan was devastated. There was no way to undo his actions, but he vowed that he would never let anything like that happen again. So, he had thrown himself into his training, battling to control his power so that it would never master him like it had during the Cell Games.

Ignoring Chi-Chi's furious protests, Gohan had abandoned his studies entirely, spending almost every second of his time either eating, sleeping, or training.

Much of the time, especially in the first year, was spent working to maintain his Super Saiyan 2 state. Eventually, Gohan could maintain it almost effortlessly for days at a time, with virtually no energy lost. This increased his power tremendously, just as it had when he had done the same thing with his father when they were training to battle Cell. It also gave him great control.

He often left home entirely to train, sometimes in the gravity room that Bulma had made for him, sometimes in one of the deserted areas of the planet, and sometimes even on other planets. Whenever not in the gravity room, he wore weighted training gear (specially designed by Bulma) that weighed a total of 20 tons.

While his physical training progressed at a steady pace, Gohan saw his mental training as equally if not more important. He spent many afternoons with Piccolo. Gohan was restricted to only a fraction of his full strength while his mentor attacked him with several times more, forcing Gohan to exploit his power to its fullest extent by using his intellect, ingenuity, and technical skill. At first, the matches only lasted a few minutes, but eventually, Gohan could hold off the Namekian for almost an hour and occasionally even won.

Throughout it all, Gohan meditated for at least 2 hours each day. He would even spend some days entirely in meditation, taking breaks only to eat.

Control. That's what he had been seeking for years. Control over his body. Control over his power. Control over his emotions. But however close he got, total control eluded Gohan's grasp.

And the dreams continued to haunt him. He could not go a week without experiencing the reoccurring nightmare at least once. As the years went by, Gohan grew stronger and stronger in his dreams, but the result was the same. The look on his father's face slowly changed from one of pride to one of disgust. Each sleepless night only drove him to train harder in a desperate attempt to find peace, but peace was nowhere to be found.

Despite all his training, Gohan's dreams were getting worse and more frequent. Even after all he did to try to suppress it, he remained far too proud. The Saiyan in Gohan reveled in his power. He loved how it felt to let loose, but also derived great satisfaction from being able to use it with perfect precision and control. It was like a disease, and he hated himself for it. That night had been the last straw. Gohan had decided to try a different tactic—one that would require Bulma's help. That was why he was flying towards her house at full speed.

About halfway there, Gohan stopped suddenly and thought for a moment, then headed off in the direction of his own house. He would go to Capsule Corp later. It took about 10 minutes to get to his house in the 439 mountain area. He could just make out shape of the house when something collided with him from the side.

"Gohan!" shouted Goten loudly clinging to his older brother. His grip, while superhumanly strong, barely fazed Gohan.

"Goten, it's good to see you again. It's been a while. How are you and Mom?" Gohan replied calmly, his usually stoic face softening a bit. Even during his training, whenever he was home, Gohan tried to spend some time with his little brother. He would turn whatever game that they played into a training exercise.

"Mom's good. I'm so happy you're home, will you play with me?" Goten shot off in his usual rapid-fire, obnoxious manner.

"Sure, squirt. Let's just let mom know I'm home."

They spent the next few hours playing. They played hide-and-seek, chased each other around, swam, and, of course, sparred. Gohan did his best to make this day the best ever for his little brother. It had been too long since they had last played together … and he didn't know when or if he would be able to play with him again.

When their stomachs started to growl, they headed back for dinner. The mouth-watering aroma of Chi-Chi's famous cooking met them as they opened the door. Ordinarily, Gohan would have been dealt swift punishment with a frying pan to the head for being gone so long, but years of Gohan's rebellion had taken its toll on Chi-Chi. She knew that she could not change her eldest son's mind about his studies, so she had long ago decided to take a gentle, subtler approach and hope for the best. It was against her nature, but she tried.

The table was piled high with enough food to serve at least 40 ordinary people.

"The food looks and smells delicious like usual, mom" Gohan told his mother. She went to hug her son.

"Thank you, son. I'm so happy to see you. I wish you would at least let us know how long you're going to be gone. I worry about you."

"I know mom, I'm sorry. Let's eat."

With that, the food began to fly from the table into the mouths of the two half-blood Saiyans. Within minutes, the enormous feast was finished. Luckily, Chi-Chi had served herself up first, or she wouldn't have gotten anything.

After dinner, Gohan leaned back in his chair and asked, "Mom, can I talk to you for a minute…alone?"

A look of shock and worry instantly crossed Chi-Chi's face.

"Of course, sweetie. Goten, why don't you go outside and play for a while?"

"Okay, mom!" Goten shot out of the room with his usual youthful energy.

When he was gone—Gohan was tracking him with his senses to make sure he really left—Chi-Chi immediately asked, "Is anything wrong, honey?"

"Nothing's wrong, mom. It's just…I have some news and I'm not sure how you're going to take it." He waited for a few seconds, seeing the dark look that came over his mother. He took a deep breath and continued, "I'm moving to the city."

"Whaaat!" The old Chi-Chi was back with a vengeance. "How dare you leave me and your brother alone, you overgrown muscle head! Don't you love us?!"

The frying pan came down, but never made contact. Gohan had easily blocked the blow, and was holding Chi-Chi's arm. His mother looked into his pained eyes for a few seconds before dropping the pan and breaking into tears.

"Oh, Gohan, why is my baby leaving me? All I ever wanted was for you to be a scholar. You already gave up all your studies, and now you want to move out? What did I ever do wrong?"

Gohan remained calm. He was used to her violent mood swings.

"Mom, let me explain." He waited for her sobs to quiet down. "The nightmares still haven't stopped…"

Chi-Chi immediately understood. "Gohan…" she whispered, cupping the cheek of her baby boy with concern.

"Nothing I've done has worked." Gohan's voice was strained. "I am giving up fighting and training. You should be happy. I'm going to move to Satan City and start my studies again. Your son will be a scholar." His lips curled into a bittersweet smile. "We can still see each other sometimes if you visit, but I don't want to be around the other Z Fighters or this house anymore. That will only make it harder and bring up painful memories."

For the next half-hour, Gohan gathered up his clothes and miscellaneous belongings. Chi-Chi merely watched with tears in her eyes. When he had finished, he turned to his mother.

"Goodbye, mom. We'll see each other again. I promise. Tell Goten that I said goodbye and that I'll miss him. I love you." And with that, he took off.

When he arrived at Capsule Corp, the sky was rapidly darkening. He entered the enormous building, not stopping to take in the scenery. He sensed Bulma's ki in one of her special labs where all the non-commercial—AKA Saiyan related—inventions were created.

The door to the lab slid shut behind him. Bulma turned, slightly shocked to see Gohan after so long. Gohan didn't give her a chance to speak.

"Did you finish it?"

She looked at him intently for several seconds. Finally, she sighed. "It took me a while, but I finally got all the kinks out. Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Yes, I am sure."

"Alright, then. Head to the medical wing. I'll meet you there." Bulma turned away, digging through one of her drawers to find something.

Ten minutes later, Gohan saw Bulma approaching him with a small spherical device in her hands. It was about the size of a golf ball and had a dozen or so thin, short prongs extending in various directions.

She led him to a room two doors down on the right and pointed to the surgical bed in the middle of the room. Gohan lay down while Bulma rummaged around the room as she made her preparations.

"Hold your arm out," she instructed. With quick precision, she slid the needle into his wrist and started the anesthesia. "See you in a few hours, Gohan. Just relax."

Gohan's eyes looked back at the blue-haired scientist as his eyes began to droop. He thought back to the many days they had spent discussing Capsule Corps many inventions. The two, united by their intellects, had become close friends over the years. Things had changed, though, when he had made this request a year ago. A back up plan …

His eyes slowly slid shut.