Gohan inhaled a sharp breath of air, almost unable to believe that he had heard the dragon's words right. How could Porunga, an even stronger dragon than Shenron, be unable to grant his wish?
"... What?" asked Goku, his eyebrows knitted in confusion. Almost as though he were looking for an explanation, he shot a quick glance towards Gohan only to receive a similar look from his son. The Namekians surrounding the father-son duo quickly broke into loud chatter.
"As I said before, such a wish is beyond my power." Shenron bellowed deeply, much to the shock of everyone present.
'This shouldn't be possible,' thought Gohan, clenching a fist and gritting his teeth slightly as he attempted to hold back his frustration. 'Surely Porunga can restore her memories, he's recreated an entire planet before!'
"And why can't you?" questioned Gohan, immediately figuring that the matter could be resolved if he found a quick loophole. He was good at finding those, the little technicalities that everyone liked to overlook.
"I am unsure," the dragon responded. "It seems that I am not physically capable of granting the wish, now make another wish so that I may return to my slumber."
"Moori, what's he talking about?" asked Goku as he frowned, "There's no way that something as easy as restoring Videl's memories would be too hard for it!"
"I..." Moori stuttered at a loss for words, "have never encountered a situation quite like this before. Despite my age, I do not know why Porunga is incapable of granting the wish."
"Perhaps it has something to do with Elder Guru?" suggested the Namekian who had stepped up earlier to translate. "He created the Eternal Dragon after all."
"Perhaps," said Moori, an emotionless-yet-regretful tone to his voice. "I should bring this up with the remaining elders and see if there are any potential reasons."
"Doing that's not going to help!" exclaimed Gohan, his body trembling more and more with every word that he spoke. The entire time that Videl had been suffering from amnesia, he had known that the Dragon Balls were almost in his back pocket... but now, he felt so... so powerless.
"Calm down, son," Goku clasped a hand onto his son's shoulder. "There's nothing that they can do about this... why don't you try it again with different words or something?"
"I'm afraid that it doesn't work li-"
"It's worth a shot," said Moori decisively as he narrowed his eyes. "Rephrase your wish and perhaps the dragon will understand it better."
"... What's the point?" choked Gohan, doing almost everything he could to prevent himself from pulling his hair out right there. "It's probably not going to work anyway."
"I'll do it then," sighed Goku, as he eyed Porunga, almost like he was sizing the dragon up. Walking forward a few steps, he spoke. "I wish that Videl regains all the memories she's lost in the last few months!"
Sighing, the Namekian that had aided with the translation shot a quick glance at Gohan who was muttering a quick string of curses, before following after Goku. Dropping to a knee once again, he made his wish to the dragon in a pleading tone.
"It cannot be done!" the dragon's voice echoed, its eyes failing to glow red this time.
"Why?" asked Gohan, a third time. "All you have to do is fix up her memory, it's not a wish with bad intentions or anything!"
"Yeah, and it's not like a cool dragon like you couldn't bend the rules this one time," Goku attempted to half-heartedly barter with it, however the dragon shook its head.
"I was not created for this purpose and as such, cannot be used for such a purpose. It is impossible for me to alter something like my abilities, so I will ask you one final time to ask another wish!" the dragon bellowed, seeming ready to blow his fuse.
"Stop," Moori held up a hand, attracting the dragon's attention. "I am Moori, one of Elder Guru's oldest children and the current guardian of this planet."
"I am aware of who you are," stated the dragon, its voice not changing in the slightest. "However my patience is beginning to wear thin."
"Answer me and you will be able to take your leave a lot sooner than you would if you chose not to," Moori reasoned. "What limitation would granting such a wish violate, perhaps the one that prevents you from using your powers for evil?"
"I am unsure," the great dragon admitted as it bowed its head in shame. "I simply cannot grant the wish, however I would assume that it stems from the fact that the mental condition of this person... appears to be natural."
"Of course it's natural," Gohan honestly tried his hardest to keep himself from screaming, in many cases amnesia was a purely natural occurrence. "But its cause was not!"
"Perhaps, mortal, but my powers are limited. Now enough with all the games, I would like to take my leave."
"I suppose all that can be done is to choose another wish," answered Moori. "In the following year, I'll meet with all the others elders and see if we can find a reason for this."
Even though all Gohan wanted to do was punch a massive hole through the ground, he managed to take a large, relaxing breath of air in order to calm himself down. "I guess that's the best we can do..."
"So what else would you like to wish for?" the Namekian who had offered to translate for them, asked.
"Nothing," answered Gohan, "at least that way we'll be able to summon the dragon again quicker."
"Actually," interjected Moori, "I don't believe it works like that. The one hundred and thirty day limit before he can be re-summoned is standard to every single time Porunga is summoned, whether or not even a single wish is made."
"That's different from Earth," commented Goku. "Back home, you could summon Shenron quicker if you didn't use up all his wishes."
"Interesting," said Moori, before looking up at the irritated look on Porunga's face. "Anyway, that's besides the point, I think it's best that we make our wish now."
"What do we wish for then?" asked Gohan, realising that it was best to be rational and not waste a wish. He would worry about Videl later.
"Well, if we can't get Videl's memory back..." said Goku thoughtfully as he raised a finger to his chin, "we could always help her out in another way."
"And how are we going to do that?" Gohan asked, unsure of what his dad was going on about. However he didn't interrupt him because while Goku's decent suggestions were usually far and in between; they were often the results of a stroke of genius.
"You did say that she was having trouble at school, didn't you?" confirmed Goku, Gohan's eyes widening slightly as he realised where his father was taking this. "So why don't we wish for something to help her out at school, it's better than just throwing away a wish and it's also the least we could do?"
"What should we wish for, it's not like wishing she graduates with high marks will help right?" asked Gohan, running a nervous hand through his hair.
"We could always ask for something like a loophole to be made," suggested Goku. "Something that allows students who have had a medical injury to not have to worry so much..."
"That's not a half-bad idea," Gohan brightened up. "And we could help out almost everyone who's had a similar injury by wishing for them to make a loophole like that, so we're helping out others too."
"So it's done then?" asked Goku as Gohan gave a firm nod. "Alright then, we wish for all the schools on Earth to have a loophole written into their rulebooks so that any kid who'll have a medical problem, similar to Videl's, will be able to experience their educations in way similar to what would have occurred if they didn't have any medical problems."
The translator met Moori's eyes, and once the older Namekian gave him a nod, he walked forwards with confidence. Speaking lowly, he repeated Goku's wish word for word in Namekian while Gohan watched on anxiously.
"That is your wish?" questioned Porunga, as its eyes began to glow red, "then so be it! It has be done."
"Did it work?" asked Goku, almost like an anxious three-year old after the dragon spoke.
"I believe so," said Moori as he looked up to Porunga who gave a slight nod of confirmation. "You are dismissed."
"I see, I shall return to my slumber then." With a great boom and a crackle of lightning, the dragon's body split into seven large, orange balls. With rocket-like speeds, they shot off in a burst to every corner of the planet.
"So what do we do now?" Goku asked Gohan, "Was there anything else you wanted to do."
"No, not really," replied Gohan. "I guess we better head back now, mum's probably going to be upset that we both disappeared without telling her anyway."
"Alrighty," said Goku as he raised two fingers to his forehead before hesitating. "Oh! Where are my manners? Thank you guys for everything, we really appreciate it."
"Yeah," added Gohan as he looked towards the crowd of Namek meaningfully. "I don't know what I would've done without your kindness."
"Do not mention it," responded Moori. "We will forever be in debt for what your father and yourself did for our people, and our planet, when you fended off Frieza's forces."
"Wow it's really been a while since that happened, hasn't it?" Gohan rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"Indeed, especially to us as our years pass much faster than your Earthling ones," Moori gave a warm nod of his head. "Now do tell Dende that I said 'hi' for me."
"Will do," grinned Goku as he grasped onto his son's shoulder, two fingers pressed gently against his forehead. "I think it's time for us to head home."
"Videl, honey, are you awake?" asked Hercule despite knowing that it was unlikely. He moved closer towards the young teenager and placed a warm hand on her forehead, "I just wanted to let you know that everything's going to be okay."
Though the girl didn't move an inch, he continued as though she were listening in to every word. "This was so irresponsible of me, I should have never left you alone the way I did... I should have hired a bodyguard or something."
Moving forward to ruffle her raven locks gently, he found himself shuddering in a moment of weakness. She looked so pure, so innocent... so free... what on Earth had he been thinking, to let her fight crime years before she even began to touch the wisps of womanhood?
From what he understood, if just one of the crooks had been slightly more accurate, he wouldn't have been standing in the hospital at the moment. No, he'd be mournfully sobbing over the girl's closed casket. With a heavy heart Hercule took the time to stare out of the half-open window, eyeing the starless night sky with a painful gaze. His wife wasn't the kind to pick at faults or anything, but how on Earth would she have ever been able to forgive him if their only child ended up meeting her at heaven's gates before he did?
He had known the dangers of death for some time now, just how easy it was for someone's life to just slip away from them at the time nobody expected it. He had experienced it several times, though he was only just in his late-forties he had lost almost everyone close to him. His mother had died in childbirth, his father had died a week before he entered high school and his wife had died just months before he managed to make the first major breakthrough of his career. Videl was all he had left, how foolish was he to leave her so expendable? Just out there in the open for someone to strike... with the incredible amount of fame he had, it was a miracle that she hadn't been kidnapped or something yet.
He chuckled slightly as he remembered just what his wife would've said had she been present. She would have whacked him over the head slightly for being so overprotective and told him that Videl was able to hold her own. He would've replied by saying that with her memory issues, things weren't as simple anymore and the two of them would've agreed with each other's points before embracing one another. Some World Champion he was... so weak without her.
He never let it leak out into the physical world but without her, the afro-wearing man knew that emotionally he would never be the same. It was kind of ridiculous that he had gone on to become so famous, becoming one of the greatest non-Ki wielding martial artists in modern times, without her. Hercule wasn't going to lie to himself though, he knew that the biggest part of his career was based off a lie but as he liked to put it: he was half-martial artist, half-businessman. The eldest Satan had simply seen an opportunity and taken it, taking fame which nobody (especially not Gohan) would have ever otherwise claimed.
Was he that bad a person for trying to make his little girl proud? Sure it was a lie, but like with any twist of words, half-truth or form of deceit it all snowballed. He was iconic before, he represented a piece of the world of martial arts, afterwards he slowly began to shift away from just martial arts and eventually ended up representing the world. Who would've thought that he would've gone onto become such a successful person without his wife? After she had gone, after she had lost the opportunity to enjoy the rich and exotic fruits of his labour... it was like one last twist in the story book that was his life before he reached his happy ever after.
Silently berating himself for allowing himself to slip into such a state of mind again, he glanced back towards the sleeping eighteen year old on the hospital bed again. As he watched her stomach rise, slowly but steadily, some part of him couldn't help but wish that her physical body had reverted to its mental age too. It sounded odd, ridiculous and creepy... he'd admit that... but at the same time, where had the time gone? She had already turned eighteen, she was an adult in the eyes of the law and the eyes of those around her. What had happened to his little girl?
Maybe, just maybe, she had grown up. The answer was chillingly shot down as soon as it had surfaced, as his face contorted to that of a caring father's. No, even if he were to ignore the amnesia, his baby girl still had a lot of growing up to do. If he was being true to himself, it was fair to say that every person, himself included, did too but at least he knew that the joys of fatherhood had not yet ended.
"... Dad?" She began to stir slowly as she opened an eye. "Is that you?"
Hercule grimaced, it was clear that she was still in some form of pain. "Yeah, how are you fairing honey?"
"I-I'm better than I was before," answered the girl, her voice a husky whisper that Hercule had to be careful to not lose in the night's howling winds.
"That's great to hear," he attempted to say positively. "Do ya want me to go fetch you a nurse?"
"Nah," though pain still laced her face, it was a great weight off his chest to see her grinning from ear to ear. "I wanna just talk, if that's alright."
"Talk?" Hercule frowned slightly, though he wasn't going to deny the girl's request, he couldn't help but ponder upon the absurdity of it.
"Yeah," it was almost possible to hear the smile through her voice. "It gets lonely around here, y'know."
"Oh..." said Hercule, realising that the girl probably wasn't aware that he knew she had been unconscious for quite a while. "What'd you want to talk about?"
"J-Just stuff," she replied nonchalantly.
"Just stuff?" he repeated, "Is this about a boy or something?"
"Daaad," whined Videl, "it's just about stuff."
"Okay then," he played along. Perhaps somewhere deep down he had forgotten that the girl wasn't quite the adult that she often tried to be anymore. "So how's school?"
"It's okay," she answered, "just been tiring lately."
"I hear you," chuckled Hercule; to say he wasn't exhausted after everything that had happened within the last month or two would be a large understatement.
"S-So do you have any idea how much longer it is till I'm outta here?" asked Videl, the giddy excitement in her voice only adding to Hercule's every growing smile.
"Nope," said Hercule, "but I'll bet that even this place won't be able to hold you down for long."
"You know me," she laughed weakly. "I bet all the teachers at school are going to be pretty annoyed with me though, getting stuck in hospital again and all."
"Well if they don't like it, they'll just have to deal with it," said Hercule firmly. "Nobody's going to be saying anything to my baby girl under my watch."
Hercule knew that he overplayed the protective father card but it was the times like these, the ones where he could offer himself to be Videl's shield, that made it all worth it.
"Hey, Gohan!" called Erasa, attracting the attention of the demi-Saiyan as he walked through the door. "Sit over here."
Looking around dumbly, his eyes managed to reach the vacant spot next to Erasa. His former seat, the one he'd given up to Videl when she had returned to school all those days ago. In light of the dragon's words, he couldn't help but reflect on how stupid that decision had been. There were plenty of empty seats close to Erasa that Videl could've taken, why did he have to make it seem as though he didn't exist?
Though he knew the answer to it, the question circled through his mind for the next few minutes as he sat down next to Erasa. Glancing at the blonde, he muttered a greeting before hesitating as he saw the conflicted look in the girl's eyes. She didn't look... right? Though her eyes were blue like Videl's, he quickly realised that they looked a lot smaller and red. Almost puffy, he wouldn't go so far as to say that the girl had been crying but she seemed tired and perhaps sleep deprived too.
Catching himself halfway, he dropped those thoughts, as he realised he attempting to diagnose he-
"Well, well, looks like books has finally come out of the shadows," teased Sharpner as he tapped his pencil on the desk beside Erasa.
"Cut it out, Sharpner," said Erasa as she glared light-heartedly at the jock. "We haven't gotten to talk to Gohan in like forever."
"I guess," the blond agreed. "So I suppose you know that Videl's in hospital, right?"
"Yep," he said sullenly. "I didn't manage to get to her in time and once again, someone else suffered the consequences for my tardiness." Upon receiving a confused look from both blonds, he rephrased his statement, "Someone else suffered again because I was late."
"Give yourself a break, brains," said Sharpner. "It's probably not that easy to get to cri-"
"Sssshhh," interrupted Erasa before her voice dropped to a whisper. "People can hear us, you know?"
"Right," Sharpner heeded the girl's advice, "It's probably not that easy to get to crime scenes right on time, each and every time."
"I guess," Gohan shrugged, "but it's not like speed's really a problem for me."
"Well I don't think that you tried to make an effort to not be there on time," said Erasa, as Sharpner nodded his head in agreement. "So I think you should stop being so hard on yourself."
"Still, she could've gotten hurt really badly or something," Gohan said, his quiet voice laced with worry.
"Why don't you make it up to her then?" asked Erasa, earning herself a confused look from the spiky-haired boy. "Visit her in hospital, bring her some flowers, check on how she's doing. After all, if you're that disappointed with yourself, you owe it to her to at least visit her."
Gohan's mouth fell slightly agape at the girl's words, however he couldn't bring himself to fault her logic. Perhaps it was time to cave in and stop pushing her away... despite what they were, or rather what they weren't, she had been hospitalised and as a good person it was only right that he visited her. "Alright," he agreed, as the girl broke out into a grin.
"After school then?" she asked, "I'll come with, Sharpner can too if he likes."
At the girl's words, the taller blond declined. "Unfortunately, I'm busy, but I might drop in if I get a chance."
"Busy?" questioned Erasa, "What are you going to be doing?"
"There's this party I promised I'd be at," explained Sharpner. "I'll definitely go visit her tomorrow though."
"I'm still not too sure about this though," said Gohan, a slight frown upon his face. "What do I say to her, I mean it's been so long since I've so much as even talked to her..."
"Let me handle that," smiled Erasa, her tired eyes shimmering. "For now, it looks like we've got an English class to get through."
"I like that one," said Erasa as she gave a nod of approval to the bouquet of violets that Gohan had clasped in his hands.
"I think she would too," commented Gohan as he reached into his pocket. Fumbling around for the money, he passed it along to the cashier without bothering to look at the old man.
"Take it that you and your girlfriend are going to visit someone?" asked the cashier, "Those are some pretty good flowers."
"Actually, we're just friends," said Erasa, a flustered look upon her face. "He's pretty cute though."
"Maybe one day he'll work up the courage to ask you out then, eh?" the cashier winked at Erasa, playing along.
"Doubt it," laughed the blonde. "He's way too shy."
Looking to the ground as he blushed, Gohan grabbed the change from the chuckling cashier's hand before tucking it into his wallet and proceeding to lead Erasa out of the building.
"So where was her room again?" asked Gohan, "If I remember right, it was somewhere in the C-Wing?"
"D-Wing, room 242 I think," she corrected. "I have to say though, Gohan, I never expected you to come along with me."
"I guess you could say I had a change of heart," admitted the Son boy as they headed into an elevator. Pushing on a button, he continued, "I figured I kinda owe it to her since the amnesia's got her in a pretty bad state."
"And what were you doing the last few months?" asked Erasa, "She's not lost anymore memory during that time, so what made you suddenly decide to go see her?"
"This probably isn't going to be the easiest thing to explain," said Gohan, "but there was this little solution to the whole problem with Videl's memory, you see there are these seven mystical-"
"Magic alien powers," interrupted Erasa. "There's no point in explaining what it was since I don't reckon it's going to make any sense to me, just like all the other wacky-stuff you sometimes talk about."
"Uh... right, magic alien powers," Gohan chuckled nervously. "So we had this solution, a last-resort that we didn't really want to use in case her memory came back naturally."
"But?" Erasa questioned, impatiently as they stepped out the elevator.
"I'm getting to that, so we thought that it'd be worth it to just wait and see how things turned out. Long story short, a few circumstances presented the opportunity for us to use it and since not using it would've turned out to be a waste, we decided to go for it," explained Gohan.
"So did it work?"
"Not really," said Gohan awkwardly. "We all thought it would, but it just fell flat on its face."
"And what's that got to do with you having a change of heart?" asked Erasa as they walked along a corridor, unable to connect the dots.
"I'm not all that sure but now I'm not as comfortable about the whole situation," answered Gohan. "I just feel... powerless."
"Like you can't do anything?" prodded Erasa, "Well I guess you should get used to that, it's how plenty of normal people feel on a day-to-day basis."
"I know that," sighed Gohan. "It's just that it doesn't feel right... anyway, I think were here."
"Yep," said Erasa as she pointed to the silver '242' painted onto the door. "Oh and by the way, there might be other people in there. I think she was sharing the place with a few others."
"Alright," said Gohan as he took a deep breath before pushing the door open, hesitating only slightly as he did so. Closing his eyes, he gripped the flowers tighter in his hands as he stepped on into the rather quiet room.
Taking a sniff from his nostrils, he was pleased to find that the room didn't smell overly horrific, rather the almost odourless scent of hospital air freshener ran amok. Opening his eyes with a jolt, he broke into an easy smile as he saw four different hospital beds, each with their own curtains so as to insure privacy. Thankfully, they were all drawn so he didn't need to deal with the embarrassment of being flustered in front of any onlookers.
As he looked around for Videl's bed, Erasa nudged him slightly on the shoulder before capturing his attention and gesturing to the bed on the right with her arm. Following the blonde's hand, Gohan gulped as he saw two very curious, and two very awake blue eyes staring back at him.
Stammering forward, Erasa following him from behind, he muttered a greeting. "Hi, Videl, it's me... Gohan. You might not remember me but I'm one of your classmat-"
"I didn't lose my memory again you know," she informed him icily, as blood flushed his cheeks. How could he have been so stupid? "You help me in Maths class sometimes, so why would I not remember you?"
"I-I guess I thought that someone as busy as you wouldn't remember someone so insignificant," stuttered Gohan, moving on as he knew it was a weak excuse. "Anyway, Erasa and I got you these." Gohan weakly presented the purple violets, his body breaking out into an anxious sweat.
"Actually, Gohan here was the one who picked them out," chimed in Erasa happily, "he even paid for it."
"Uhh thanks," said Videl as she gestured for Gohan to place them on the table to her side, where he noticed there were a variety of gifts... but no flowers. "I'm not really one for flowers and stuff but I've always thought violets were pretty cool."
"You're welcome," said Gohan awkwardly. "So how are you liking the hospital?"
"I hate not being able to move," she laughed melodically. "But the doctor says I'm getting there, so I'll probably be out of here soon."
"I'm sure Gohan would love to tell you about all the maths homework that you've missed out on," smirked Erasa devilishly as she made for the door. "So I'll leave the two of you to it, I need to go and I only came here to make sure he didn't get lost. See ya guys."
If it were possible, more blood rushed up towards Gohan's cheeks as the half-Saiyan prayed to whichever deity that would listen that the girl in front of him didn't take note of it. "S-See ya Erasa, t-thanks for your help."
"Yeah, of course you're going to ditch me the one time I want your company," joked Videl as she bid farewell to the bubbly blonde. "Bye, remember to come visit me tomorrow though."
"Alrighty, now you two have fun," giggled Erasa as she left the room, leaving the former-crime fighting duo to themselves. "I'll make sure I drag Sharpner along too."
"So..." said Videl as she attempted to make conversation, "Son Gohan, was it?"
"Yeah," nodded Gohan as he suddenly became aware of the constant pounding of the heart within his chest.
"That's a pretty fancy last name," commented Videl with a grin. "It beats Satan any day, and if I'm not mistaken its the last name of a pretty famous martial artist."
"I guess it's not that uncommon in rural areas," said Gohan, knowing exactly which famous martial artist she was talking about. "But what's wrong with Satan, I always thought it sounded pretty cool?"
"I guess you're right," answered Videl with a slight sigh, "but it also sounds pretty evil. But haha I guess I'm stuck with it."
"Yep..." trailed off Gohan awkwardly, aware of the girl's attempts to keep the conversation from dying but unsure of how to continue it. "So I take it you haven't done much Maths work lately?" he asked lamely.
"Nope," she said with a small giggle. "But I was starting to make a fair bit of progress, almost done with most of the Year 10 syllabus."
"How've you been learning it?" questioned Gohan, knowing that the words they were trading were finally heading more into his field of expertise.
"Just going through the textbook and doing a few questions from each exercise mentally," said Videl. "It's confusing stuff but the teacher gave me a special book which covers all the questions that you get in the examples, so no confusing stuff for me."
"That's probably not the greatest way to do it," frowned Gohan. "If you don't make sure you're testing yourself, you'll probably not learn anything."
"I don't know about that," she replied, "I'm not doing all that bad, and plus it's pretty hard to write tests when you're the one sitting them."
"Still," he insisted, "I-I could probably lend you a hand with that, if you'd like?"
"Hmm... all right, as soon as I get out of this damn hospital bed," she chuckled light-heartedly. "So how's English, I think I have that with you?"
"Yeah, you do," answered the demi-Saiyan. "It's okay, I could tell you which chapters we were assigned for hom-"
"Relax," Videl's eyes sparkled as she sat up. "I've only been out for a few days, it's not like I've missed anything spectacular and besides I want to enjoy my time off."
"I guess that's fair enough," the spiky-haired boy nodded, though he was trying to stay calm his legs were slowly turning into jelly. "S-So what's being in the hospital like?"
"What, the actual hospital bit or the being shot bit?"
"Both, I guess," he answered as he gestured to the chair beside her. "D-Do you mind if I sit down?"
"Be my guest," said Videl, "it's pretty lonely around here since everyone else around here is unconscious most of the time... and when they're awake, they're usually too weak to hold a conversation with me."
"You seem pretty talkative for someone who's been hospitalised," noted Gohan with a nod as he took a seat. "So how're you feeling?"
"Pretty good actually," she smiled. "It feels like getting shot was just the break that I needed with everything that's been happening lately, lying down in a bed and not worrying about anything's really relaxing."
"What do you mean?" asked Gohan, "Unless school's been extra pressing on you lately, I'd have thought that you'd be a little more free with... you know, you not helping the police out anymore."
"Yes and no," explained the blue-eyed girl, "I guess you're right about being booted off the Force, I've got a lot more free time. But at the same time things were just moving so fast even though it all felt pretty bland. My dad and I weren't really as close as we used to be, and there was a lot of emotional weight that really sucked."
"You should probably work things out between your dad and yourself," said Gohan. "There was this period of time a few years back where I was really questioning a choice that my dad made... even though I didn't get to talk to him about it, my mum and I had a long chat and we figured some stuff out; I reckon if dad had been there we would've reached the same outcome."
"A good one, I hope?" chuckled Videl before nodding, "We actually just sorted things out just yesterday, so I feel pretty worry-free at the moment."
"That s-sounds great," said Gohan, his smile faltering on the inside. So not only had he abandoned her, but she had been at odds with Mr. Satan too?
"It really is, so I guess you'd understand why I really don't mind lying around all day."
"Heh I always thought you were more restless," Gohan said, "You were always eager to punch stuff."
"Did you know me before I-I... you know...?"
"Yeah," he nodded, figuring that anyone else would've been able to tell her that. "Well not really, it's just that we're not exactly complete strangers either. I'm not exactly a new kid..."
An apologetic look overcame her face, contrasting the bemused one on Gohan's, as she recalled their conversation at the Sushi Bar a while ago. "Oh, sorry about that, guess I just forgot that I lost my memory."
"Heh don't worry about it," chuckled Gohan. "It's not your fault."
"So anyway, you got any good stories to tell?" she joked, "I'm starting to get a little sleepy and I wouldn't mind a bedtime story."
"U-Uh... no?" his voice faltering awkwardly at the peculiar request.
"Damn it," she snapped her fingers in exaggeration before laughing loosely. "So how are things going on your end?"
"Pretty well," said the black-haired boy. "I've been pretty on edge about something private for the last few days, but other than that life's not bad."
"Aww I hope that works out for you then," said the Satan girl as she sat up a little more. "What about school and all, you still acing maths?"
"I guess you could say that," Gohan smiled however not at the ex-crimefighter's words. It had been several months since he'd had a somewhat decent conversation with Videl, at least where the main topic wasn't school work, and he couldn't help but bask in the feeling.
It felt good.