"Not much better," Videl sighed as she let out a deep breath. "It's all a blur… I can't really believe I'm eighteen, dad! Everything feels almost as if I'm still fifteen."
Mr. Satan nodded sympathetically. Videl could tell that he couldn't really understand what she was suffering through, but she couldn't blame him… not many could.
"Remember, the doctors say that there's a fair chance that the amnesia will wash away in the next year or so, maybe even just a few months. If not, I'm afraid they suspect it'll be… permanent."
"I understand, dad. I missed a couple years of my life, but everything's pretty much the same... except I'm not in high school anymore." It really wasn't, she had no clue what was going on any more. Most of the people she knew had turned their backs on her, soon revealing ulterior motives; Erasa was one of the few people that she could still trust, too many others were willing to take advantage of her memory issues.
She wasn't exactly sure how people had heard of her amnesia, hell she didn't even know how she had gotten it, but saying it was headline news was a bit of an understatement. Many 'best friends' or 'boyfriends' had suddenly made their presences known, but Videl could tell that it was all bullshit. She may have been lacking in the memory department but her brains hadn't been affected.
Erasa had confirmed that she wasn't seeing anyone at the time and that while she'd made a few pretty good friends, they weren't any of the ones coming forward. Her father had been keen to also back up her friend's statements, so Videl was left at a loss. She wasn't exactly eager to meet these 'good friends' that she'd had either… things would be awkward. Things were already weird enough with Erasa as it was, although she'd finally began to warm up towards her friend once more.
"… Well, if you need anything don't be afraid to knock on my door, sweet pea." The elder Satan gave her a reassuring nod of his head as his eyes softened.
"Will do," she nodded as she turned around to leave the gym and return to her bedroom… she just wanted to sleep.
"Hang on," she turned around once more as her father held out a hand. "Where were you last night? I heard a pretty large racket earlier on."
"Well, Erasa and I were out shopping pretty late. Then the chief called in when I got home, and it wasn't like I could say no…" Videl trailed off slightly.
Her father sighed hopelessly. "I've told you before that you shouldn't be out so late at night, sweet pea."
"Dad! I can take care of myself, even if I don't remember who I am; I still know how to fight." Videl protested as she snapped awake, she wasn't a plastic doll which needed to be protected. She could fight and she was among the world's greatest martial artists… at least of her age group.
"Speaking of which… I've been thinking about this long and hard, but have you given any thought into perhaps resigning from the Police Force?" Hercule said cautiously, almost as though he was treading on thin ice.
Videl could understand why he was being so over-protective… He just wanted what was best for her, after all. And had the amnesia been any more serious, he could've lost her. She'd have been simply a living ghost, a body with nothing controlling it. She wouldn't remember anything… at all.
Attempting to help her rebuild her life from that would have been devastating for anyone. Especially her dad, this man had watched her grow from the minute her mother had given birth to her. It gave her a certain feeling of… happiness, to know that her father cared deeply for her.
His ego had been irritating for a long, long time. She'd been getting fed up with it and she was unsure if anything had happened within the last few years, but ever since she had woken up not remembering anything; he was a changed man. There was genuine care visible every time he talked to her and as much as she loved it, it was a bit too much at times.
"No… I'm not resigning dad. There's too much at stake, the police in this city need me. I'm physically fit so I can keep going and besides, fighting's in my blood. If there's anything I can handle, criminals are it." She replied, attempting to keep bitterness out of her voice.
Nodding, her dad responded. "If you're sure… but don't hesitate to call in sick, honey. Don't work yourself too hard. Other than that, there's one final thing I've got to ask you."
Videl's eyebrows rose as she looked at her father, intrigued. She was fairly surprised that he hadn't pushed too hard for her to resign and rather curious to find out what the question was.
"It's been about a month and a half now… and I've pulled about just every string I can. If you want to stay in high school, you're going to have to go back on Monday. That… or you can take the rest of the year off and repeat it next year." Her intrigued features quickly turned to ones of shock; she'd been enjoying her 'holidays' up until this point.
Staying home in isolation, doing nothing but training and occasionally hanging out with Erasa and sometimes Sharpner… she'd be lying to say that hadn't been fun. It wasn't that she didn't mind going to school, it was the people there.
She wasn't really sure who she could trust… or who she knew. Erasa had taken the time to get a photo of almost every kid there was on her cell phone and teach Videl most of their names, so she wouldn't be a mumbling embarrassed mess on her first day back but that was hardly enough.
Videl never had a talent for memory games or the like, and seeing a student body which mostly consisted of newer or drastically changed faces didn't help. She'd still only learned a couple of the newer kids.
Then there was the issue of school work. Videl wasn't the smartest, she wasn't necessarily dumb either but she preferred martial arts over written work… she was just average. However, she technically had missed out on the better part of the last two school years.
There would've been several things which were left uncovered, several gaps which would take time to fill in. It wasn't that she didn't mind putting in the extra work, but rather why she had to. She'd been a good student, she didn't deserve to have work thrown on her like it soon would be… but at the same thing there wasn't much that she could do.
Videl found herself half tempted to simply take the rest of the year off, and as appealing as that offer sounded it also meant leaving Erasa behind. Erasa was a childhood friend, and Videl wasn't prepared to ditch her. Sharpner too… they were friends and damn good ones.
Even if Videl didn't remember any of it, the Videl which remembered everything wouldn't have appreciated her breaking off from them. No, it would be simpler to just try and catch up with everything.
And besides, she was Videl Satan. She was Satan City's notorious crime fighter; she could take anything that was thrown at her. High school wasn't a big deal, and Videl had a feeling that it could somehow work out if she tried hard enough.
"Videl, are you alright?" Her father asked, snapping his fingers in front of her tired face.
"Huh?" Videl asked, dazed. "Oh yeah… I'm fine… just tired. Guess I zoned out there, huh?"
"Sure, sure. So do you want me to contact the headmaster and arrange for you to re-join next year?"
"Nope. I want to go back to school on Monday," Videl smiled at his questioning look. "It's not like I can leave Erasa and Sharpner behind, right?"
"That good-for-nothing blonde kid? I wouldn't mind if you forgot about him, but if you're sure honey; I'll have it arranged."
"Thanks dad… I think I'm going to head off to bed again now."
With that, Videl headed towards her bedroom with the intent to get some rest for the third time in ten hours.
"C'mon Gohan, Videl's doing much better now. You should at least introduce yourself to her!" Erasa shook her head at her friend.
"W-well we kinda ran into each other, earlier in the morning," Gohan stuttered as he nervously sipped his coffee.
"Oh really? I'd have thought she was sleeping, we were out pretty late last night, in fact," Erasa said, curiously.
"It was at a crime scene… I had no idea, though. I just ran into her as I was going to get some sushi, it was a complete accident…" muttered the Son.
"Go on," Erasa beckoned. "What did she say? Did she recognise you? Y'know I should've set you two up to meet ages ago."
"Well, she recognised me. But, not the kind of me that I was hoping for." Giving her friend a confused stare, Erasa let him continue. "She remembered Son Gohan, the new kid who got perfect entrance exams. But not me…" Gohan let out a little sigh and she instantly caught on.
"Aww… I'm sorry Gohan," Erasa said sympathetically, as she reached over the table and patted him on the back. "But then again you should've talked to her ages ago and just told her everything."
Inwardly, Erasa found herself slightly surprised. Videl shouldn't have been able to remember Gohan, but then again there were a few different things that Videl shouldn't have been able to remember. Recalling a certain conversation with a doctor however, made Erasa recall him saying that little holes in the type of amnesia that Videl had weren't all that uncommon.
"I don't think I can put myself through that though, Erasa. It's best to just keep my distance from her, as sad as it is; it's best she has nothing to do with me this time," said Gohan, dejectedly.
"Don't be stupid, Gohan. You're a great guy, and if there circumstances were any different I'd be chasing after you like there was no tomorrow." Erasa gave him a reassuring smile, however something told her that it would not nearly be enough to bring him out of the mood he was in.
"That's all I am, and all I want to be, Erasa. I don't want to cut her off but like Mr. Satan said, it's probably for the best. Maybe we can be friends or something…"
"Mr. Satan only wants what's best for his daughter, but like most parents he's just as blind. This'll hurt her in the long run, Gohan. Is that what you really want? To pretend everything never happened?" Erasa questioned… she understood it and it made sense, but at the same time it didn't.
"It never did happen in the first place," said Gohan as he stood up from his chair. She watched him fumble around in his pocket for some money, before he placed it down on the table. "Here… this should be enough to cover the both of us, it's been nice talking to you, Erasa, but I've got to go. Maybe think a little… Maybe just be by myself for a while," the spiky-haired boy said in a deeply philosophical tone that was unlike him as he ran out of the cafeteria.
She didn't stop him.
The second Gohan walked through the door, his left leg was grabbed and held tightly by a blob of orange and dark blue.
Ruffling his younger brother's hair, Gohan chuckled. Sometimes he just needed a little pick-me up. "How's it going squirt?"
"Really good! Me and Trunks played hide and seek, and I finally won today!" Goten exclaimed as he jumped up and down.
"Well, that's nice." Gohan couldn't help but continue to laugh at the young boy… he was so… happy.
"Yep! And I got one of his toys too! You've gotta see this one, Gohan!" Finding himself dragged along to his and Goten's room, Gohan tagged along. He'd do what he could to keep Goten happy; his brother didn't need to know what exactly had gone on.
Amidst the junk on his bed, Goten quickly began his search for Trunks' former toy. Honestly, Gohan wouldn't have been surprised if it was a baby rattle; anything could and would excite Goten.
Gohan smiled as Goten pulled out a small figure and covered it with his still-relatively small hands, beaming brightly. "Look at this one! I wanted to get this, but mummy wouldn't let me… please don't tell her though."
Gohan curiously looked closer, as his brother shifted closer towards him. Gently uncovering the figure, as if it was a small treasure, Goten whispered. "Look… it's you."
Gohan grimaced as the smile disappeared off his face. It was a figure striking an odd pose that wore an odd orange and black helmet with two antennae sticking out of it. It also wore a cheap plastic replication of black spandex as a bodysuit, however most of it was covered up by the large green tunic that it was wearing on top. All of this was topped off by a red cape which stuck out from behind it.
There was no denying it… it was Saiyaman.
"I've told you before… not anymore, Goten. I'm not Saiyaman anymore, I quit and you know that." Gohan winced at the hurt look which flashed across the boy's face as his hopes were dashed. It was harsh, but necessary he supposed. And besides there were plenty of worse things that could happen to a boy of Goten's age.
"Can't you just be Saiyaman again, big brother? You were the coolest big brother ever!" Goten attempted to convince him otherwise, but it wasn't working. It wasn't happening, he was just Son Gohan.
Not the Delivery Boy, not the Gold Fighter, not Saiyaman. Just plain old Gohan, and he was going to keep it that way this time. Nobody else was going to discover his past… or his secrets. Not again. And this time he wasn't going to be stupid enough to keep them open like a book.
"I'm sorry, squirt. But I can't do it anymore and besides Satan City is safe now," Gohan sympathetically ran his hand through his brother's spiky locks.
"B-but Saiyaman's never there to save the day anymore! It's on those news shows every day, Gohan… mum just always turns them off the second they talk about you. The bad guys keep on robbing the good guys, and they can't fight back without you big brother!"
"I'm sure they'll manage," Gohan muttered. "They did before I appeared, and besides they've got Videl. She's a strong girl and she'll be able to take care of the city."
"… She was strong when she was Saiyagirl, but now she's just stinky old Videl again. She can beat the baddies most of the time but it's just not as cool anymore. And to become Saiyagirl again, she needs Saiyaman. Please? Do it for me? I promise I won't ever scribble over your homework again…" Goten spluttered slightly as he frowned.
It hurt Gohan… hurt him deeply, to see his brother like this. The child had always held a soft spot in his heart, having resembled their father so much during his absence; he naturally had a certain influence over Gohan… but it was for the best. All of it was for the best, Satan City didn't need a Saiyaman anymore.
"Sorry, Goten… but I can't be Saiyaman anymore. Tell you what? Why don't you see if dad wants to have a spar with the two of us, we can go over to the mountains?" Gohan watched as Goten attempted to cover up his disappointed face with a cheerful mask. It was painfully obvious that the boy was trying not to be too upset, but that deep down he was sad.
"Okay!" If Gohan didn't know otherwise, he would've thought the fake beam of a smile which his brother flashed him to be real. Sighing to himself, Gohan picked up Goten's Saiyaman action-figure as he ran off to find their dad.
Fingering it, Gohan let out a deep breath. He really just wished things could slow down so that he could figure out what to do… what was going to happen, and what had already happened.
Videl quickly threw on the same old usual attire she wore every day, at least that hadn't changed. She nervously looked at her watch, checking the time.
She wasn't sure if she was meant to be satisfied that there was still a fair amount of time left, or to be scared because every second that she waited would be agonisingly slow. She'd decided to skip breakfast, having not felt like it and had instead opted to check over everything that she was taking to school.
It would be embarrassing enough to not remember half the people there, but even more so if she had forgotten her things. It felt as though she wasn't sure of a single thing until she had checked it, then checked it again and then finally checked it again to make sure that she had checked it again. It wasn't the Videl that she remembered being, but then again… she wasn't exactly the Videl that she remembered being.
Reaching into one of her draws, Videl sighed to herself as she pulled out two yellow hair-bands. Walking in front of the mirror, she made sure that she looked somewhat decent before putting her hair into parting pigtails.
Normally, Videl wouldn't have given a rats-ass about what she looked like. She just wasn't one of those kinds of people but today called for it. She hadn't necessarily been separated from society, but she hadn't been amongst it for the past few months; having only left her house to hang out with Erasa, lend a hand to the Police Force, or to get checked up at the hospital.
But nevertheless, this marked her real return to public. It had been a long, long time and she was determined to make it count. Also, there was the fact that she had trouble getting to sleep last night. She wasn't an insomniac or anything, nor was she being haunted by nightmares. It was her nerves. She was just too anxious, maybe even a little scared. Her nerves kept her up practically all night, so much so that she couldn't for the life of her remember when she had managed to drift off to sleep.
Her digital clock had read three a.m. the last time that she had checked it, but she wasn't sure if that was an accurate representation of the time that she went to sleep. No, even after that, she'd spent hours upon hours simply staring up onto her dark ceiling.
She hadn't had a dream either… at least not one that she could remember, and Videl highly doubted that she got more than an hour or two of sleep, if any at all. She was somewhat relieved when she saw that the bags under her eyes weren't all too visible, it meant that she wouldn't be getting many questions about it.
Moving back to her bed, Videl picked up her yellow backpack and put it on before walking out of her bedroom door. As she moved through her house, she found her butler waiting in front of the front door.
"Miss Satan, you have not had anything to eat. What would you like for breakfast?" The man gave her a grin that looked warm yet welcoming on his aging face. "I figured that maybe I could cook you up something today instead of the normal cereal that you're insistent on eating."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Albert… but I'm not really feeling like eating anything today," said Videl, quietly. "I'm just not hungry… maybe you can make something nice for dinner though?"
"Miss Satan, I urge you to reconsider. This is your first day back at school in a long time, and you need to keep you energy up. As it's a job this household trusts me to do, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I let you attend school on an empty stomach," Albert smiled at her once again, hoping that he'd be able to get her to change her mind.
"I'm sorry… I'm just not hungry," Videl frowned as she opened the door and walked out, ignoring his small cries of protest. Strolling through the green front yard, she approached the front gate and prepared to step out of it however a look of surprise overcame her face as she saw that a chauffeur was waiting with a car instead.
She wasn't surprised that the chauffeur was there… no, it was just that he was rather early. Another quick glance to her watch told her that it was only half past seven, which meant that he was at least twenty minutes early.
"You look like you could use a ride, Miss Satan," the young chauffeur grinned lazily at her through the open window as he yawned. He had a chiselled and well defined face, auburn-dark brown hair and damn near one of the cutest smiles she'd ever-
Abruptly stopping herself, Videl took a second to scold herself for almost checking out her chauffeur, off all people. However, she supposed it wasn't really that something that could've been avoided…
She'd sort of hoped that she'd have been in a relationship by now, rather than having made no progress whatsoever romantically. True, she didn't and had not expected to find her soul mate immediately but she'd have expected that Erasa would have pestered her into going on a date or two.
Perhaps not though… contrary to what a lot of people thought, it wasn't that Videl had no interest in guys whatsoever, rather that most of the ones she met were arrogant scumbags. The others didn't seem to live up to her father's expectations of a 'boyfriend' but it wasn't as if she was romantically turned off. She was certain that she wasn't asexual, she just wasn't much for the whole dating thing that all the girls her age had seemed to be going for.
She supposed that maybe she'd be able to finally get to know someone decent by the time that she was in university, but then again that was a longshot. She'd thought she'd find someone by the end of high school but evidently that hadn't happened, so who said university would be any different?
Sighing, Videl responded. "Sorry, not really in the mood for getting driven… I think I'll walk."
"May I accompany you then, Miss Satan?" The chauffeur flashed her cheesy smile, as he opened the door and stepped out, offering her his hand.
"Yes… you may," Videl smiled lightly, taking his hand as she decided to humour him, and besides she needed to clear her head. Talking with someone couldn't hurt. "Oh, and the name's Videl."