With You

Author`s Note: Sorry this one took a bit longer, but hey... On the plus side, this means I`ve managed to keep at least one Linkin Park song in every Hybrid Theory fic that`s gone for more than one part. Woo :P

Disclaimer: Nope, no witty disclaimer here. Moving along...

Hybrid Theory: Opaque Portents
With You

Gohan was still laying on the ground twitching in battle fatigue when Videl arrived, followed by a briskly walking Piccolo and a contemplative looking Chaozu, who was probably the only one of the three with no real reason to have walked out with them. Given that the two foot tall ex-Emperor had telekinetically geared the Senzu out of the way though, he was probably just going to make sure he hadn`t unwittingly killed the poor teen. "Bad enough I paired Krillin with Dabura earlier, no point in killing Son`s first born as well," he reasoned to himself while watching Videl skid along on her knees to a seating spot next to the still downed youth.

"Don`t be dead!" She ordered, causing him to crane his head forward with a wince. "I`ll take a few little cuts and bruises over you getting mad any day of the week," he muttered with playful cynicism. Videl frowned somewhat and sought to pop him on the back of the head like she always did when he said things like that, if not for the fact that she stopped herself prematurely when glancing at the burns on his back. "Gohan..." She mumbled, half-way between disgust and amazement. "Least the nerves in my back`ve shorted out, probably won`t last for long but hey," he mumbled, that same cynicism still present to an uncharacteristic degree.

"Allow me," Chaozu intervened, telekinetically lifting the teen from the ground and holding him up in the air. The burns on his back were quite sickening to building alright, singed to the extent that even with Dende or the Senzu it would likely take a few months to fully heal. Either that or a good few hours/meals of the other two options combined. Drifting still, Gohan hazily glanced over at Piccolo, his vision gradually distorting here and there before he finally brought it back to Videl, looking over her shoulder with a cocked up brow at what he percieved as a youthfully middle aged woman with long, flowing blackish green hair tied into a fairly eye catching ponytail, as well as a fairly flamboyant, odd looking skirt-bathing suit-schoolgirl uniform type of outfit.

And then he looked back at Videl and spotted a pair of fairly different eyes than those baby blues he was gradually coming to really get conciously attached to these days. Instead of the blues, he was greeted by a deep, hypnotic looking pair of darkish purples. "Eee," he mumbled in shock with a twitch. At which point he fell unconcious, the work of Chaozu.

"He`ll probably be out long enough for you to have your match," Chaozu explained while telekinetically lifting Gohan up and over Videl and Piccolo`s heads, pointing him back towards the lounge as he did so. Videl snorted and Piccolo scowled. "He`s Goku`s boy, you expect him to actually not at least try to fight in the finals?" Chaozu asked dejectedly while glancing over at the pair. "Good point," Piccolo conceded though he still walked alongside the far shorter Chaozu, if only to make sure the runt didn`t drop his best friend.

"Insane," Videl thought in unknowing concert with another of the prominent women from her teenage crush`s life.

"It`s absolutely insane how he insists on going out there, he`s going to get himself killed! Just like Goku!" ChiChi growled out, much to the dismay of Goten, and the mutual annoyance of Roshi and Bulma. Yamcha, Puar, Oolung, Umi and Lunch all remained pretty quiet though, for now anyhow. "Looked okay to me..." Trunks uncertainly cut in, currently sitting not in his mother`s lap, but on Yamcha`s shoulder. It had come to be one his favorite perches as of late, if only because he could recline himself back on the side of the baseball player`s head and Yamcha was too nice and polite to tell him to stop it.

"You`re just too young to realize the dangers of going out and fighting like that," ChiChi replied almost automatically, like she was so used to it that the response was preprogrammed into her. "You always say that," Goten grumbled. "And I`m always right about it," she sighed with a shake of the head. "When you`re older, you`ll understand," she stated. "He`ll be alright," Roshi interjected, switching the subject masterfully. "Can still feel his ki like he`s takin` a nap, " he pointed out.

"Good. Someone remind me to... Put him in public schools," ChiChi said as if surprised at herself. "Could`ve sworn I was going to ground him but... Maybe some interaction with more kids his own age will get him to ease up on his responsibilities as Earth`s protector..." She thought to herself. By now, Goten had scrambled out of ChiChi`s lap and somehow ended up in Lunch`s lap instead, idly hunched forward on his hands while gazing down at the ring and waiting for the next match.

Even if it had been Kushami, he would`ve been alright. It seemed that over the years, isolation had eased Lunch`s disposition to people in all of her forms considerably. Part of that was easily attributed to Goku and Krillin, mostly Tien and Chaozu but the other two had done their part. Goten, as luck had indeed had it, was like a youthful Goku. As such, Lunch had somewhat adopted him pretty quickly.

Anyone else but Trunks probably would`ve been thrown down the stands and shot several times, but it was a start.

"Hopefully that will make up for costing you a chance to heal up quickly," Chaozu thought, figuring some real social interaction would be good for the boy, whom he was currently holding a quiet vigil over, telekinetically holding Gohan all of three feet up off of the ground. It was a small task, barely took any concentration given how skilled he was, but it was one he carried out all the same. Nearby, Piccolo lorded over Chaozu, keeping a death glare on the runt as if he would kill him if Gohan was dropped by so much as a hair, and nearby to Piccolo, Tien looked as if he had reoriented himself solely to get in between the two and blast Piccolo if he so much as tried it.

As for Zangya? She and Krillin were being pretty vocal in their support to Videl as Suta walked out of the lounge, pounding his fists together a few times to try and burn some excess energy off. It didn`t work.

"Since explanations would just waste time at this point, it`s Suta versus Videl Satan! Whoever wins is going to go on to face Son Gohan in the finals, assuming he hasn`t gone into a mild coma by then... Anyway, this could very well be the true decisive bout of the tournament, who has more strength? Who has more skill? We`ll never know until they get ready," he paused, watching Suta enter the scorched, mostly abused ring, followed by Videl`s rolling up off of the ground and into her feet within the ring a few seconds later.

"Get set..." He waited, allowing the two fighters to get themselves into decent starting points. Given how pockmarked the ring was with craters by now, it was more or less a small scale obstacle course rather than a real fighting ring, and a shoddy one at that.


Suta eased himself forward step by step, sliding into a ready stance as he did so before assuming that hopping motion that boxers seem to have so often, gradually making his way towards Videl at a good speed. She was utterly unintimidated though, dodging the first of his jabs, then the second, third, fourth, fifth and six in rapid succession before blocking the seventh and kneeing him in the stomach. The fact he stood roughly a half a foot taller than she did made it all the easier for her to use his size to her advantage, using him as an anchor while executing the move. He blow caused him to lurch forward just a bit before he recovered, his formerly grasped arm slinging tightly around her waist.

Normally the move he used required a tripping motion of some sort, but since Videl was pretty much airborn already, he didn`t have to bother. The intent was to drive her down face first into the tiling of the ring but instead of that, Videl slung her hands forward and roughly stopped her own momentum, holding herself back with one hand and jabbing her free elbow into his stomach repeatedly. Suta let go and stumbled back a bit, ducking Videl`s rabbit punch only to take a knee into the forehead.

Rather than fall over though, he jumped straight up into a backflip and caught her in the chin with a ki enhanced flip kick, which threw Videl back and into the air for several seconds until she regained her senses and righted herself, touching down with a quartet of thumps and one hard thud, trying in vain to stop her momentum. She was quick to spring back up though.

I woke up in a dream today
To the cold of the static
And put my cold feet on the floor
Forgot all about yesterday

"My time now and I`m not letting this idiot stand in the way,"
Videl thought with a bit of greed, standing back up straight and cracking her knuckles with a smirk. Suta shook his head and dashed forward, stopping at the last second and flinging himself to the side. Videl anticipated the move perfectly though, jumping in the same direction and catching him off gaurd in the shoulder with a knee. Suta let out a shred of a grunt and drew back from the impact, his arm shooting forward instantly. Videl twisted out of the way and touched down with a spin, kicking out Suta`s feet from under him.

Her reflexes surprised even herself a moment later when she sprang up into an uppercut before even finishing thinking about it. Suta howled in pain as what felt like fire tore into one of his kidneys, a purplish glow emitting from where Videl`s fist had hit. She didn`t notice it, no one did really, bar Tien. His third eye was probably the only thing currently present aside from Piccolo or Chaozu - neither of whom were paying attention to the fight - that could easily recognize magiks.

Suta landed on his side and spun back up as if break dancing, doing so in a manner that carried him across the flat, unscarred part of the ring the two were currently situated on. Each twist brought one of his legs to fling at her, followed a second later by the other. Each time, Videl hopped back and avoided, before finally, she was at the edge of the ring.

Suta in one direction, the ground in the other, instant defeat seemed virtually inevitable but another sudden burst of power carried Videl almost twenty feet straight up, passing over Suta and landing with a perfect crouch behind him. Suta sprang back up and arrived to his feet a few seconds later, though he looked a bit dizzy as a result. Videl turned around and faced him while he shook the cobwebs out and then, right as Suta finished, Videl darted forward, barely missing him by an inch or two when she let loose with a flurry of quick jabs using both hands, driving Suta back under a blistering hail of fists.

He dodged most, blocked some, parried none and took a few into the jaw, gradually inching back before falling down into a crater and rolling back up to his feet, leaned on the opposite wall with his hands held out.

A yell later, Videl dove out of the way and a burst of fire flashed from where she had been, streaking off over the area walls and striking somewhere out in the parking lot, as evidenced when bits of debris flew up into the air only to evaporate from the heat of the explosion. "Can`t let him use any of his moves, I can`t counter them," Videl thought to herself, not even paying attention to anything outside of the ring.

Diving into the crater, the cramped fighting conditions soon proved to be exactly the kind of thing she and Suta would end up in a deadlock in. His offensives trailed fist-sized imprints on the walls of the crater, Videl`s tended to kick up a large amount of dust as kicks and punches glanced along the walls of the crater, above or below the trails of imprints from Suta`s attacks. The two were practically even in every sense of the word before Suta finally took a gamble and allowed himself to take a hit in the face, unwittingly yeilding to a dozen or so more light punches across his face and chest, ending with both of Videl`s open hands slamming across his collar and causing him to fall back into the wall of the crater hard.

Despite the nice trail of bruises and the busted lip, it was what he had wanted. Pooling up energy into his forearms, Suta howled aloud and brought them into a cross over his chest, uncrossing them in the same instant and sending an invisible wave of energy at Videl. She barely managed to duck out of the way, and the rim of the crater behind her was cleanly sliced as if by a laser as a result.

And that was when the magiks again made themselves apparent, a brief flaring to that purplish aura taking place out of no where before Suta was forcibly thrown back and out of the crater, rolling roughly along the surface of the ring before sliding over the edge.

Survival instinct was all that kept him from getting knocked out, that and an arm and a leg both coiled over the edge, soon followed by his chin. With a stressed, worried expression, he hauled himself back in and rolled back out of the way and almost over the side when Videl soared out of the air like a hawk and crashed both legs into the tiling he had been laying on with enough force that her boots became ingrained by almost two full inches into the cement. Suta grimaced and threw himself, literally, back up to his feet, twisting out into a kick. Videl ducked and allowed the blow to soar over her before righting herself again with a grunt and headbutting him in the chin.

Suta stumbled back and and then lurched forward under another hail of fists, gradually stumbling back under the assault, right as an elbow finally slammed up into his forehead and busted the skin enough to cause bleeding, Videl`s other hand seeming to piston back and forth repeatedly even as the larger, more experienced fighter paled under the attack.

Then the purplish aura once again made it`s appearance, each punch carrying a flare of that darkly colored fire into the impact point. Suta`s gi shirt was quick to shred at each impact point, and his skin was even faster to tinge solid black surrounded by blood red from each blow pouring in one after another, almost two at a time. To put it mildly, it hurt like hell because the blows were all like getting hit by hand grenades or napalm, save that each blow carried through beneath the skin.

Remembering I'm pretending to be where I'm not anymore
A little taste of hypocrisy
And I'm left in the wake of the mistake
Slow to react

"Gotta try and block,"
Suta thought desperately, throwing his forearms down in the path of the attacks. Instead of blocking though, Videl just changed targets, punching him once in the throat, twice in each cheek and once in the forehead.

It was enough to make a man pass out, and as Videl unknowingly pooled all of that strange aura into her right hand and then outright decked Suta in the face, that`s just what happened. Given his performances earlier, it was surprising to virtually everyone who was paying attention with the knowledge to understand it all, especially given Videl had no training in ki usage it was even more so, and given that the defeat was so rapid and sudden it was downright shocking.

Even though you're so close to me
You're still so distant
And I can't bring you back

With a dull thump and a wheeze, Suta`s unconcious form slapped into the ground, limbs spread wide, mouth hanging open, chest slowly rising and falling with each labored breath. Videl shook her head smugly and turned towards the announcer, who had already begun to raise the mic to speak.

"Videl wins!" He shouted, though the crowd wasn`t surprised one bit that she`d won. How fast and well, how one sided and final, yes. That surprised them, but that she had won to begin with wasn`t a surprise in the least. It was a small scale ego-trip for Videl, having come this far with none of the powers and skills that Gohan or their friends had. Without the strength of Gohan, the skill of Piccolo, or the speed of Zangya. She didn`t have the experience of Vegeta and she didn`t have the arsenals of moves that fighters like Krillin and Tienshin, but she`d come all the way to the finals anyway.

That in and of itself made it all worth while, and for once she didn`t really quite care if she lost. She`d beaten her father and she`d taken down her two other opponents in lightning style with an almost one sided win resulting from each.

It's true, the way I feel
Was promised by your face
The sound of your voice

"And now..." Capel began, hyping up the crowd and hoping that Gohan wasn`t dead, comatose or sleeping. He wouldn`t blame the teen if he was, but still. It was the principle of it all, you know? Besides, it`d prove to be the match of the century - or one of them. He was still in half-awe, half-disdain at the battle the youth had waged against Jun-Yah, who himself had caused Capel to come close to needing a change of underwear simply by revealing his true identity.

"For the thousands in attendance, and the millions watching around the world..." He began, taking in a deep breath before going into a coughing fit, forgetting that his voice had been worn out earlier. "Crap, I`m gettin` too old for this," he muttered to himself, unknowing that it was being broadcast for several seconds. "Oops..."

Painted on my memories
Even if you're not with me
I'm with you

"Wakey wakey Gohan,"
a surprisingly Videlesque voice echoed into Gohan`s unconcious mind. At that moment, he woke up, and Chaozu idly dropped him to help him finish the process. One eardrum shattering yell later, and when about half the ceiling had vanished from the force of a sonic boom that ensued, Gohan was on his feet wincing insanely and trying to avoid ripping his hair out. The nerves in his back had finally regained their sensitivity and right now, they hurt like all hell had just been dropped on them, complete with flaming pitchforks and buckets of lava to finish the deal.

"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow," he grumbled repeatedly before Piccolo gruffly cleared his throat. "Good, you`re awake. Time for the finals," Chaozu interjected, preventing Piccolo from chastising his former student for complaining. "Oh? Ow. Didn`t - ow - know - ow," he replied while inching towards the exit of the lounge, managing to find the willpower to stand up straight and carry himself taller than he would have otherwise.

His vision was hazy at best but he could still make out the ring, the fact a good chunk of the ring was still missing, and the fact that Videl had walked to the center of it. He couldn`t see her expression but yeah, that was Videl. She had one of those quirky little walks when she was antsy, reminded him of her father in a sense, and there was also the fact that oversized white t-shirt she wore tended to be a nice give away in a background of dark gray and green, even if it was probably a little blood stained and dirty at this point. Speaking of Videl and family however, Gohan thought he finally heard Hercule`s voice somewhere in the background. Could at least sense that the newly retired ex-champion was out of the infirmary and somewhere near or in the lounge.

"A nap`d be pretty good right about now," he mumbled to himself, staggering up the half blasted steps of the ring and bringing his eyes to focus on the blur that was Videl. "You look like hell," she stated bemusedly. "And you look so blurred right now... Uhm... Yeah," he replied, unable to effectively come up with a counter jab back at her. "Where`d that Suta guy go?" He asked curiously while waiting for the bell to ring.

"They carted him out on a stretcher a few seconds ago," she replied, taking a deep breath and holding it in for several seconds.

Now I see, keeping everything inside
Now I see, even when I close my eyes

Gohan couldn`t even make out the details of her face at this point, but her outline was all he really needed. In a deafening roar to his soar ears, the bell was struck, and it raing loudly enough that it jarred every fibre of his body back awake. In a haze of pain, most of which he tried to ignore, he burst forward as quickly as he could given his current state. Videl was barely able to hop out of the way, elbowing him in the temple near instantly. His balance already off at that, Gohan stumbled to the side once he landed, eventually collapsing to his knees and getting right back up, breathing hard.

"You sure you should be fighting right now?" Videl asked.

"I said I was going to see you in the finals, didn`t I?"

"Can you even see at all right now?" She asked sarcastically in reply. "Don`t need to," he muttered, allowing his eyes to fall heavily shut before blurring out of view. Videl was expectant of the tactic he used, she`d found that despite the dozens of differences between the two, they thought almost exactly alike when it came to fighting, so all she had to do was imagine what she would do if she had those kinds of powers herself.

It was how she turned around and caught him with one of those aura laced punches she`d unknowingly developed, and hadn`t even noticed yet. He had reappeared the instant her fist had been an inch from where his face ended up being located. He let out a hard grunt as the punch slammed into the side of his head, just above the temple, crumpling hair and impacting what felt like reinforced steel, namely Gohan`s thick skull.

I hit you and you hit me back
We fall to the floor

Videl gasped and Gohan`s fist finished it`s own quick journey, slamming into her stomach hard enough to finally cause the girl to hawk up a bit of blood and fall over. It was like getting hit by a dozen sledge hammers, though that wasn`t quite the same as having your brain set on fire, which is what it felt like for Gohan at the moment. With a loud groan, he fell into one of the nearby craters, going an extra two feet while Videl collapsed to her knees.

The rest of the day stands still
Fine line between this and that

Wheezing, Videl glanced into the crater to spot that Gohan was utterly unmoving, aside from the fact his eyes were half open and his mouth was infrequently opening and closing to try and draw bigger breaths into his exhausted lungs. It felt like he`d probably caused her a minor amount of internal bleeding and she knew right off the bat that had he been fighting as he could`ve if not for bad luck(so it seemed) and a duel with a clone of Cell, she`d`ve likely lost back during the first move.

"You alive in there?" Videl asked concernedly, dragging herself back up with a stumble. "Well, it feels like most of my body`s lost 80% of it`s circulation and my brain feels like it`s on fire and it hurts to move, so yeah, I`m either in Hell or alive," he replied lengthily. "Are you always this sarcastic when you`re half-dead?"

"Not really," he replied with a good bit of seriousness behind it. Videl didn`t know whether to be sickened at how honest he sounded or to just shrug it off but given the current condition, she decided to just shrug it off.

When things go wrong I pretend the past isn't real
Now I'm trapped in this memory
And I'm left in the wake of the mistake
Slow to react

In a blur, Gohan vanished and then almost instantly reappeared - albeit he was stumbling and severely off-balance as a result - standing in front of Videl with his arm pulled back. She was fast enough though, only barely fast enough to tilt her entire body out of the way, slinging her entire arm forward and jabbing Gohan in the stomach even as the taller of the two leaned into his own attack from a lack of balance, almost about to fall into Videl if not for that same blow he had just taken into the gut.

This time he staggered back, half of his face contorted into another of those agonized winces. Videl didn`t look at his face though, would`ve gotten at her conscience to see his expression right now. Contrary to popular belief, the girl had a fairly strong sense of right and wrong, and a good bit of sympathy for those around her. It would`ve probably spurred her to throw the match if she`d looked at that expression he had, but she didn`t, instead, she got downright nasty, spinning around him and lashing out with a hard kick into that singed back of his.

"VITH!!!" He screamed. Another funny thing only Vegeta and Piccolo really noticed anymore, when Gohan cussed in public, he did it in the bits of saiyago he knew, something that Vegeta didn`t really know what to think of and Piccolo found himself outright perplexed at. Collapsing to both knees, Gohan bit down hard on his inner cheek while Videl landed awkwardly behind him, still holding her stomach and finding it downright sickening that he hadn`t called it quits by now.

Really, she wouldn`t have minded it. This was supposed to be a contest between friends after all, not a bloody struggle between a half-dead gimp and a rising star.

"Sorry..." She managed to wheeze out while still holding her stomach.

Even though you're close to me
You're still so distant
And I can't bring you back

"No problem," he managed to cough out, getting back up yet again and steeling himself. Another instant and he threw himself, backwards, at Videl. It was a sign of sheer desperation when a person threw the most injured parts of their anatomy at someone to try and catch them off gaurd, but it worked. Videl hopped out of the way and Gohan twisted in mid-air, catching her off gaurd with a kick into the cheek. It was surprisingly light and weak given how strong he was, but Videl could easily guess that was the result of his currently injured state.

"You`re utterly insane," she muttered out, wiping her newly bruised cheek off whilst Gohan twisted in mid-air and forced himself to land on his shoulder to avoid further injury to his chest or back, though all that succeeded in doing was smacking his still burning head into the tiling of the ring.

And then she finally caught sight of his bloodied face. No longer was he sporting a wince though. It was the expression he bore at the moment that finally convinced her he had utterly lost it at this point. The expression he wore, you ask?

That infectious Son Grin.

"Runs in the family," he finally replied while dragging himself back up once again, breathing hard. Videl shook her head and decided that she had to find a way to end things, crouching down slightly while Gohan walked towards her, each step just a little slower than the last. "Kame..." He began, spreading his hands out and trying to power up, though not too much. Videl`s eyes widened and she got ready to dive out of the way as he brought his hands together, joined at the butt of each palm, a dull blue glow beginning to stubbornly form there.

"I`ll just have to dodge out of the way, he expects me to go left so he`ll aim right which mean`s I`ll just go left but he`ll expect that and... God damnit," Videl thought to herself, the seconds seeming to slow down as Gohan spread his legs into the classical stance for the attack, eyes narrowing. "Hame..."

Videl winced and readied for the end, knowing it`d be impossible to dodge the attack and even if she did, the concussive force from the resulting explosion or the drag it exerted on the air around the beam would still fling her right out of the ring. End game, Miss Videl Satan.

"Heh heh... I`m tired."

No matter how far we've come
I can't wait to see tomorrow
With you

Gohan flopped over backwards and passed out instantly, any chance of the attack being set off vanishing in that moment, and leaving Videl staring blankly at him with eyes the size of dinner plates. End game indeed, eh?

"You have got to be kidding me," she uttered in surprise, waiting for him to suddenly fly back up, re-empowered on some fluke like earlier to finish her off and take the win in the Tenkaichi like his father had done years earlier, but instead she was greeted by something akin to snoring. If she didn`t know him, she almost felt as though she`d be insulted that he had so anti-climactically keeled over as he did. Instead though? It brought a silly little half smirk to her face as she slapped her own forehead and let out - perhaps for the first and only time in her entire life - a girlish giggle, unable to help it for once. "Yep. That`s Gohan," she mumbled in a mix of a bitingly sarcastic insult and a witty, friendly jab at him.

"Ehm... Miss Videl?" Capel asked over the mic, a bit reluctant to enter the ring these days. She glanced over at him, lowering her hands to her sides. "Is he alright?" He asked. "He fell asleep," she replied with one of those 'Yeah, I don`t believe it either' types of expressions. Capel blinked beneath his sunglasses for several seconds before speaking up in an odd echo of one of Videl`s own earlier statements.

"Yep. That`s Goku`s kid."

The ceremony after the tournament had been spectacular, the usual. Seeing as Gohan was gone, ChiChi had gotten Videl to step into his place for the duration to accept the reward on the Son family`s behalf, and as for where Gohan had gone, he was currently sitting, half asleep on the edge of the Look Out, with Dende to one side of him, Piccolo to the other. The elder Namek was cracking a rare smirk, the younger was on the verge of laughing his head off, and a good distance behind them all were the rest of those that had been included in on the tightly knit grouping of family and friends that was made of the Son and Briefs families, Videl, the Hans(Chaozu, Tien and Lunch, given that Tien had no real last name, Chaozu had loaned him his own as needed and Lunch was considered Tien`s common law wife by now), Yamcha, Krillin, Juuhachigou, the rest of the Kame Island crew as they had come to be called, etc.

"I`m going to go make sure Vegeta`s not blowing anything up," Piccolo explained for no real reason, diving off of the edge of the tower. Parties, even if they were in the honor of his friends or his friends` friends, or just for the hell of it, weren`t exactly the Namekian warrior`s thing. He was about as social as a rotting corpse for the most part, probably a little less so unless you factored his by-now close ties to the Sons.

Gohan, by now mostly healed bar a fairly sore back and a major head-ache was looking far better for wear than he had at the conclusion of the tournament. It had taken Dende roughly half an hour to finish healing him and Piccolo had replaced his clothes with another Piccolo gi afterward, essentially a remake of the one the youth had started the entire tournament wearing, minus the scarf.

"You should really try to wake up some time and go join the party, you know," Dende stated calmly. "Big parties and I don`t mix unless all of my family is there," Gohan replied. It was indeed the truth too, he hadn`t felt comfortable in a large party-type gathering since his father had died. "I understand," Dende replied, leaning on his staff. The two friends had been that way for the past few years they`d known one another, they`d grown to understand one another well enough that words weren`t even required.

As for the party? It was one of those parties that was held for the sake of commemorating the fact that everyone was together. Even Hercule was there, though he was hanging low and just helping Mister Popo, Lunch and ChiChi out as best he could without trashing things. That, and everyone was celebrating Videl`s win, even if she was relatively new to the 'clique' as it could be considered.

And as for Videl herself? She tiredly plopped down next to Gohan and yawned, staring off the edge of tower and down at the clouds below. "Wow," she said, more to herself than someone else. "Heck of a view up here."

"Should see the sunrise sometime," Dende replied. "Beautiful?" She asked. "Twice as much as any painting you`ll ever live to see in this life or the next three," Dende answered. "And I can vouch for him on that," Goahn added in. "Didn`t spend however many weekends up here over the past five years to not see at least a few," he finished. "And here I was thinking you came to keep us company up here," Dende mocked. "You know what I meant," Gohan replied, lightly slapping Dende`s staff, hard enough to knock it`s tip off of the ground. The young gaurdian promptly lost his balance without it and toppled over onto Gohan and Videl`s heads, rolling off and onto the ground behind them a second later.

"Ten and a half years, I`ve known you, and you`re still a clutz," Gohan chided. Videl growled under her breath and wiped the top of her head off, and Gohan for the most part hadn`t even looked phased. "Not my fault someone had to go and knock me over," he retorted after a few seconds, slowly getting back up before Gohan dragged him back down and forced him to sit down on the edge. "May as well rest before your feet get blisters," he said with a frown.

"But it`s more of an ego trip to be god while standing up!" Dende jokingly whined, the start of his eventual rebirth as a trickster god already becoming visible even at the age of fifteen. Gohan simply leered at him sideways before the two erupted into a fit of snickers together. At that point, Dende leaned forward with his chin propped up on his hands, which were enclosed together beneath the weight of his skull, his legs tucking up into the robes he wore and moving out of view entirely.

"Sometimes I really do love my job," he muttered, watching as Vegeta and Piccolo traded witty insults back and forth without any words between them. The two were so alike they could carry out a detailed conversation with one another about the logistics of flaring one`s ki in a manner that would cover up the odor of a fart with maybe two to three words between them, at most.

Gohan`s only reply was a lighthearted chuckle before a soft weight thumped against his shoulder. He glanced down and to his side to spot that Videl had, for all intents and purposes, passed out and fallen asleep. "Guess she had a long day too," he mused. "Despite what you may think, trying to avoid gouging the eyes out of reporters takes a good bit more mental and physical effort than simply beating the snot out of someone and/or having your back turned into hamburger meat," Dende replied. "I`ll remember that next time you leave the Look Out," Gohan replied while calmly wrapping an arm around Videl`s shoulders and giving a half-hug to help her sleep.

Twilight fell and the three teens - an alien god, a half-breed warrior and a reincarnation of a minor goddess - remained as they sat, unaware that several dozen feet behind them, four people were raising an idle toast to their efforts.

It was a fairly strange sight to see a two foot tall doll-like ex-emperor, a middle aged woman, a noseless, fuzzy headed midget and a bluish green skinned woman with long orange hair all sharing drinks together outside of a large party within the main rooms of the palace.

Now I see, keeping everything inside
Now I see, even when I close my eyes

As for others? For Cell Junior, the night wasn`t as peaceful, or enjoyable. Using the same methods he`d employed over the years to hide his energy, the living weapon sat alone, angrily trying and failing to meditate in the same woodlands that were once the training grounds of Piccolo Junior, staring disgustedly up into the skies. Each time he came half-way to the point of calming meditation, it hit him and he would see flashes of Son Gohan`s face, or his own battles with the teen who had so brutally murdered the original Cell.

His only words at all of this?

"Son Gohan... I`m going to kill you."

And as for Dabura? Well, he eventually washed up a few hours later onto a small, long since abandoned island to find a weird looking figure that appeared to be an homage to the movie 'Alien' standing there waiting. His injuries were mostly gone but the scar on his throat would remain forever despite himself. "The master is upset," Pui-Pui exclaimed. "He got stronger," Dabura uttered desperately. Pui-Pui shook his head. "Be glad He still has use for you as a bodygaurd," he stated in reply.

Dabura growled lowly at the weaker warrior, drying himself off with a slow burning of his own aura. "The boy is no longer my concern, I can`t defeat him anyway," he thought bitterly before gazing off to the horizon, back in the direction of Tinoca Island.


End Opaque Portents

Author`s Note: And so ends the tale of Opaque Portents. I hope everyone enjoyed this fic, I had a blast writing it. Expect the two completed OPs(and maybe a third) to be posted sometime within the next two weeks. After that? I have no freaking clue when Generations(if that is the title it`ll have when writing begins) will begin, or end.

Leave a review please! Anything you want to see in Generations or an OP? LEAVE IT IN A REVIEW! Now is the time folks, after the next one there probably won`t be another HT fic and the only time these things can be influenced is before or during the writings.

Sh33p out.