AN: Okay, after a long and difficult struggle, I discovered something—I can't write fight scenes!!! So I'm going to move on with the story, make a couple of allusions to the general idea of what happened, and leave the rest up to your imaginations (and vow to never again write a story with a fight scene). I am soooooo sorry, everyone whose been so patiently waiting for the next chapter. I feel bad…but we'll go on with the story anyway. I don't own DBZ.

Chapter Three—The Time Has Come

Videl grabbed Gohan's arms in a death grip that he didn't think a Super Saiyan could have broken.

"Gohan, please!"

"Just go! This is all gonna be over in a few minutes."

"Are you gonna be okay?"

"I don't know."

"Gohan, I'm not letting you go if you're not coming back!"

It had been a long haul; those damn blue things hadn't been too tough. But then they'd all joined together, like a deranged fusion or something. The result had been a creature that looked exactly the same as before, only ten feet tall and far stronger. It had taken a combined effort from himself, Yamcha, Krillen, and Videl to send that thing flying. Piccolo and his opponents hadn't returned at all, leaving Gohan with a vague suspicion that his mentor hadn't bothered giving those things a fighting chance. In other words, they were probably in small pieces by now. So Gohan was pretty much alone to make the decision as to what would be done next. Translation: he was fighting with Videl over the plan of action.

For the first time since their argument had started, Gohan turned and looked down at Videl. Her face was red, there was a cut bleeding on her forehead, and her eyes were bright with anger and tears. Looking into those eyes very nearly shattered his resolve, but he forced himself not to give in.

"Videl, I promise that I will always come back for you."

A single tear escaped from her eyes. "Promise?"

"Promise."

He glanced over his shoulder. That thing was coming back. He had to hurry.

"What is it?" Videl asked.

"It's coming. You have to go now."

Videl faltered. "Gohan…"

He tilted her chin up and kissed her gently. He pulled back and uttered two words.

"Forgive me."

A single chop to the side of the neck was all it took, and Videl was unconscious at his feet.

Yamcha and Krillen were standing nearby, but neither of them had the bad taste to give Gohan a hard time about that. He turned to them, expression hard, but eyes almost frightened.

"Take care of her for me, would ya?" he looked down at her sadly. "And tell everyone else I'm sorry. Especially Goten and Piccolo. Goten probably won't understand, though. Don't let Piccolo get here. He's on his way back. Drag him away by force if necessary."

The other two men nodded.

"And guys?" Gohan managed a weak smile. "Thanks…for everything."

They returned his grin, and Yamcha walked forward and gathered up the unconscious Videl. "Everyone's really proud of you, Gohan. I know it," Yamcha said just before he turned and lifted off, flying as far away as he could get. Only Gohan and Krillen were left on the battlefield.

"Hey Krillen. I'm trusting you to do me a really important favor."

"Sure, kid. What's up?"

"Tell Videl that I did this for her. Tell her I died bravely. And tell her…tell her I love her."

Krillen said nothing, but Gohan knew that his message would be delivered. He watched as the last of his friends lifted off and headed for safety.

Behind him, he heard the evil one land.

It was time.

AN: Once again, I'm really really really really really really really sorry about the wait. I just can't write a decent battle scene. But I think I'm entitled to one major screwup, don't you? So don't kill the author or you won't know what happens next!!!!