"Haha, alright then. So let's get moving then?" Her chauffer slipped his hand carefully out of her loose hold.
"Yep… but don't you have a name first?" Videl grinned playfully at him. He seemed pretty nice; maybe it wouldn't hurt to get to know him. And besides… Erasa certainly would approve.
"Oh yeah… name's Mark." He replied, grinning back at her.
Videl started to walk, as he followed, keeping up beside her step-by-step. "So… I don't really remember you, but we-"
"Were we friends before you lost your memory?" Mark cut her off, funnily enough finishing her sentence for her.
"Yep. I kinda don't remember much, there are fragments or random things here and there but everything after fourteen in one gigantic blank." Videl sighed; she was going to have to repeat the same sentence several times over the next few hours.
"Figured you'd ask that. Nope… I'd just been hired, when you lost your memory that was, and you weren't too friendly with the new kid who just wanted to make an easy buck."
"I didn't say anything too bad, did I? I mean, you don't seem like you're a bad guy or anything." Videl bit her lip nervously.
"Well, you didn't really know me. I'd only been with you guys for about a week before you lost your memory, but hey; I can get to know you now, right?" He playfully stuck out his tongue as they passed a small café.
"I guess…" said Videl slightly nervously. "So anyways… you seem pretty young, so if you don't mind me asking; how old are you?""
"Just turned nineteen a couple of weeks ago," Mark grinned casually. "So how about you, I hear you're about eighteen… right?"
Videl was a little taken aback. It was surprising that her father had even hired him in the first place… he had a very strict policy against having guys near her own age around. It was probably some kind of stupid unwritten law of parenting, and it was just like him to assume that she wasn't big enough to take care of herself.
"Well… I guess I'm eighteen. But the last birthday I remember having was my fifteenth. I guess it's kind of crazy; it takes the saying, 'time flies' to a whole new level." Videl laughed grimly.
"That must really suck, you know…" Mark said, adopting Videl's solemn voice.
"What?" Her face perked, up slightly confused.
"Losing your memory like that… I can't even begin to think of how I—or anyone else that I know—could cope with it."
"Well, it's not that bad. It's only three years that I've lost. There are people that have no idea who they are, out there… I guess I'm one of the lucky ones."
"Still, you're ridiculously strong. You know that right?" Mark gave her an appreciating nod.
"Well, I'm not the daughter of the World Champ and a crime fighter for nothing, y'know?" She grinned at him, although she had a feeling he wasn't talking about physical strength.
"So anyways, you've got to get to school don't you?" He said, moving on towards another topic.
"Oh shit…" Videl sighed. She'd lost track of the time. "I'll have to talk to you later… Mark… I'm going to be late for school otherwise."
Without waiting for answer, Videl sprinted on ahead to school. It felt somewhat weird, ditching him like that. But it was needed after all; her watch now read eight twenty-five a.m.
Sharpner's eyes widened as he heard an all-too familiar voice ring out through the classroom.
'… It… can't be.'
"Sorry I'm late, Miss." said a certain brunette who was standing by the open door, as she attempted to catch her breath. "I lost track of time in the morning…"
"… Videl?" Sharpner watched bemused as his English teacher dropped the papers within her hand, clearly shocked. "Is that you, honey?"
Sharpner, like many others had heard the rumours of Videl returning to school on Monday. However, he'd simply dismissed it as more paparazzi bullshit, as they seemed to milking whatever they could from the situation. He'd thought that his point was proven when she hadn't shown up when the bell rang for Tutor Period that morning; but clearly he was wrong.
Here was Videl, acting completely natural and as if she hadn't suddenly reappeared for the first time in a few months. Sure, being a close friend of Videl, Sharpner had seen her more than a few times within those few months. But that didn't mean it wasn't surprising to see her… in public.
"Y-yes, Miss…" Videl said, surely at a loss for words. Sharpner couldn't really blame her for it though; she probably couldn't recollect anything about their teacher.
"Leef," she supplied for her. Ms. Leef wasn't exactly an old teacher, she was relatively young and new; if Sharpner had to take a guess, he'd have placed her in her early twenties. She wasn't bad on the eyes, and was relatively nice. Definitely one of the better teachers he had.
"Why don't you take a seat?" She said, gesturing towards an empty seat somewhere off in the distance.
Videl hesitated for a moment, before Erasa raised her hand. "Why don't you come sit over here instead, Vi?"
Erasa gestured to the seat on the left of her, which was surprisingly empty. Sharpner almost blinked—he could've sworn that someone was there mere moments ago—before his eyes widened in understanding as he saw Gohan quietly take a seat off in the distance.
He didn't exactly understand why Gohan was avoiding her, but he couldn't really say that he cared all that much. If he wanted to keep his distance, Sharpner understood and respected that. Gohan was a nice kid – maybe he just hadn't known how to let her down easy. He was too nice for his own good sometimes.
In the corner of his mind however, Sharpner supposed that he knew that wasn't true. Gohan was too nice for his own good, but the kid knew what he was doing… Sharpner just wished he had the slightest fraction of a clue of what was running through the boy's head at the moment.
Erasa wasn't sure what she was meant to be feeling at the moment. It was great to see Videl back in school… she, herself, had no clue that her friend was returning to school today but something didn't feel right.
Not about Videl, it was more Gohan that she was concerned about. He was avoiding Videl, that much was certain; but she didn't really understand why. That day was—and always would be—a blur. Something had gone wrong, Gohan hadn't been there… Sharpner hadn't been there… she hadn't been there… nobody had been there for that matter.
Nobody had assumed that anything had been wrong; nobody had thought that anything would go wrong. They'd been very wrong… Reports had come in very quickly, Videl Satan; the amazing crime fighter had finally had her downfall. She was in hospital, in critical condition; rumours about her being dead even floated around.
Erasa remembered being very scared, and worried. She'd immediately called up Sharpner to gather his thoughts on the situation but he proved to be just as clueless as her about the whole ideal. They'd both attempted Videl's phone but she didn't pick up, only worrying them further.
Hercule was next, however his phone was frequently busy. She supposed that in that time she should've talked to Gohan, instead of fretting nervously over her friend as she waited for the hands on the clock to turn. She was meant to be a friend, and she hadn't really done her job and there were obvious marks on the boy now.
Even just a few months down the track, he wasn't the Gohan he once was. Granted, it wasn't necessarily because of the one incident, it had definitely done its damage. It was clearly visible to anyone who even half-knew the guy. Erasa could easily say that a couple of months ago he wouldn't have given his seat away… like that.
It would've been more like that Gohan, to offer his seat verbally as opposed to slipping away in the shadows as if he'd never been in it in the first place. Erasa really appreciated the gesture, as it meant she'd be able to sit next to Videl, and she was next-to sure that Videl needed a bit of guidance and comfort. She was no counsellor, but she was a friend which Videl knew. Surrounded in a classroom full of people which she had never met… Videl was tough, but getting to know everyone would be no easy task. Especially when, they all knew her. Not just knew her by name, but actually knew Videl. As in, they knew Videl herself, not what she was painted to be by the press.
Erasa and Sharpner were both very sceptical about the whole thing, and perhaps they were overdoing it; but there was no doubt in the both of their minds that there would be people who would try to manipulate Videl.
It was some kind of an unspoken agreement between the two of them; they'd first regain Videl's trust themselves (knowing Videl, she wouldn't trust too many immediately) and then slowly let those with good intentions get close to her. Videl was never one to have many friends, but she got on well enough with enough people.
Sighing, she turned towards Videl who had sat down next to her in the meanwhile. She was currently fumbling through a small backpack which Videl had brought to class, no doubt looking for the same textbook that was sprawled neatly across her desk.
Their teacher was still somewhat shocked, her mouth visibly agape at seeing the Satan girl show up out of the blue the way she had. However, she seemed to be regaining her slightly confounded composure. Ms. Leef wasn't exactly a bad teacher, nor was she particularly good. She was just… average.
Boring, you could say. She was your textbook teacher, she had no excellent teaching methods and she didn't bond overly well with all her students. She'd walk into class, teach her class, assign homework and leave. Granted, Erasa supposed that she was still relatively new to teaching.
Hoping that she wouldn't be interrupted, Erasa scooted over slightly closer to Videl, dragging her textbook along with her. A quick glance into Videl's brown bag told her that the girl hadn't brought the correct textbook, meaning that it was probably in her locker.
Erasa quickly tapped her friend on the shoulder, and gave a rushed explanation of the chapter which they were studying. She wasn't the smartest, Videl usually achieved higher grades than her, but Erasa supposed that it would have to make do for now.
It was a shame that Gohan was distancing himself the way he was – he was brilliant at explaining all this stuff.
Thankful that the bell had finally rung, Videl quickly escaped from the confines of the school. Students and teacher alike had been after her all day, asking never-ceasing questions. Some of the questions asked were… awkward… to say the least and some of them indicated that the person who asked it was genuinely concerned for her wellbeing.
It was probably somewhat rude of her, but Videl really couldn't care less. She didn't know these people, and most of these people didn't know her. Hell, she barely knew herself. She supposed that she appreciated their concern, but that's all they really were; concerned.
She wouldn't be half-surprised if every other person she would meet would express how sorry they were before simply continuing on with whatever they were doing before. It was typical, and she didn't really expect anything less. But for now, all she wanted was to get away from it all.
Her return had also spread like wildfire… it was everywhere. Quite, literally. And she'd been in school the entire time; she couldn't even bring herself to imagine what it would be like once the press discovered she had returned.
Well they probably had already, the entire school had known before lunchtime and she wouldn't be surprised if the entire city knew by nightfall. She kind of wished that they wouldn't make such a big deal about it – she was just a normal person after all.
She bowed her head as she ran along the street, hoping not be recognised. She guessed that it was kind of stupid; everyone who knew her knew that she wore the same outfit day-in and day-out but she hoped that it'd buy her a couple more seconds before she was recognised, or at least stop a few people from asking questions.
Ignoring the few loud cries of, "Hey! That's Videl Satan!" she ran faster. Videl almost absentmindedly wished that she had let Mark drive her to school in the morning, had she done that; he'd have probably been here at the moment and she'd be in the shelter of her father's car.
It didn't take all that long for her to get home, especially at the pace at which she had been running. It was funny; she still hadn't gotten quite used to her new body. Well, it wasn't exactly a new body, but it wasn't the way that she remembered it.
It wasn't quite as tall as she'd hoped it would, but it was still taller. It had taken a bit to get used to that, and then she had discovered the extra strength that she'd picked up. If she didn't know better, she would've said that she was stronger than her father. The punch she now packed – surpassed her wildest dreams; she'd never thought she'd ever have that kind of strength.
She'd been a tomboy as long as she could remember, and she'd almost felt disgusted at her elder self upon looking at her wardrobe. Sure, the outfits were mainly the same, but her keen eye had instantly picked up on a dress or two. Soon after though, Videl had realised that the chances were that it was Erasa's doing.
It was pretty funny, over three years; Erasa hadn't changed one bit. She was the exact same person, albeit with a different hairstyle. Sharpner, on the other hand had become a person she'd have never expected him to be.
He was nice. Well, he was always nice, she supposed. But he was like the old Sharpner, minus the douchebag. From what she could tell, he wasn't all too interested in getting in her pants anymore. That, or he could mask it well.
He wasn't the cocky or overconfident dorky-jock she'd expected him to become. If she had to guess, she'd say that the boy had evolved from the almost-friend he was to something of a brother to her.
It was annoying really, not knowing who anyone was. Well, she knew who a few people were, but then again she only knew what they were like three years ago. They knew her, but she didn't know them.
She hated the thought that anyone could have a one-up on her, it made her feel weak and defenceless… certainly not a feeling which she was accustomed with, nor one which she would ever be comfortable with.
If there was any jackass who'd played a bad move in the last three years, with her. She wouldn't know. She could've been violated or abused, and she wouldn't even have a hint as to what had happened.
Naturally, she doubted anything as dramatic as that had happened. She had faith in her older self to have been able to protect herself and in her dad and friends to have told her if anything had happened.
Suddenly, Videl paused in the middle of the street. It wasn't that she was worried or that she had remembered anything important, she had realised that she had no idea where she was going. She had few choices, she could go home and study or train… or she could go to the local dojo or something, or she could go over to Erasa's.
Figuring that the latter sounded the most appealing, Videl reached into one of her short's few pockets and pulled out a mobile phone. It was the same one which she'd had three years ago, so she had no problems with navigating around the phone to call Erasa.
After a few rings, the blonde girl picked up and answered with a dull voice. 'Hello?'
"Yeah… Erasa, are you doing anything at the moment?" Videl asked, attempting to fake laziness.
'Nah, not much. I'm studying for that Chemistry exam on Friday, but I've still got a while.' Erasa yawned, clearly bored.
"Chemistry exam?" Videl's eyes widened in an un-appreciating manner. "Am I in your class?"
'Yeah, wh—oh shit. I don't know if you remember Doctor Loi, but he's not really a nice guy.'
"Don't think I've had him, but I remember the name. He's the guy who hands out detentions to whoever's outside the door when the bell rings, right?" Videl sighed, as she recollected an odd rumour or two which she remembered for some strange reason. It was kind of stupid, she could recall the name of a teacher she'd never had (until now) but nothing from the past three years.
'Yea… I swear he's got anger issues or something. Anyway, he wasn't too happy when he found out that you'd be absent for a while. Not much he could do, but I wonder if he'll let you skip the test – or postpone it.'
Videl almost snorted. Being the daughter of Hercule Satan had its perks, and if he was planning to give a test designed for those soon to graduate from high school to a mentally-fifteen year old; he had another thing coming. Chances were that he'd be too afraid to pull anything.
"Don't worry Erasa, I'm sure it'll be fine. I don't even know the material, it's not like he can actually test me?" Videl chuckled lightly.
'Trust me; he's a lot worse than you'll probably remember. So what'd you want in the first place?"
"Nothing much, I was just wondering if you were busy. Wanted someone to talk to and all, but I reckon I'll let you study." Videl said playfully, as she stuck out her tongue even though they weren't face-to-face.
'That's perfect! Why don't you come over now, and we can have a study session in case he tries to pull anything on you!'
"Uhh… Erasa, I only remember being fifteen. I'm as smart as I was when I was fifteen, I reckon I'll probably just slow you down or something." Videl sighed. It felt as if she was suddenly much more stupid than everyone else her age.
'Well you were always smarter than me, I'm sure you won't have that much of a problem catching up. And if not, nothing's wrong with a little role-reversal, right?' Erasa's playful voice rang throughout Videl's ears, as the blonde hung up. Maybe it'd be worth it, just in case.
And besides, she wanted to see just how smart the future-Erasa was.