How they got from studying to talking about boys, Videl would never know. What she did know was that Erasa had something for Sharpner. Frankly put, she couldn't blame the girl. He'd changed a lot over the past three years, in depths that Videl would never know.
It wasn't his physical body or something that had changed, that was almost the same. Except his hair had become a slightly darker shade of blonde from what Videl perceived, and that he had a few more well-defined muscles.
It was a much more psychological change… gone was the singlet wearing show-off of a jock, in his place; a very similar looking guy who wasn't even half as shallow as he was before. Quite frankly though, Videl wasn't interested; she hadn't been back then, she wasn't right now and she probably never would be. Thankfully, somewhere along the line in the past three years, he seemed to have taken the hint. Videl doubted she'd really be that interested in boys for a while, and Sharpner wasn't exactly her type.
Speaking of Sharpner… Videl realised that she'd soon have to take him up on the sparing match that he'd offered her once she was better. She wasn't exactly better, but rather better off. And hey, it'd be a perfect way to see if Sharpner had become any better.
Like most of the people that got to know her, he had approached her through Martial Arts. Needless to say, he'd gotten his ass handed to himself quite quickly, but he'd stuck around for some reason afterwards. Either to get to her father through her, to get his money, or to just have the bragging rights of having bedded Videl Satan in the future. Or maybe he just wanted his name in the newspapers and all that nonsense. The media loved stories about Cell's Vanquisher and his family.
Granted, they were only fourteen at the time. As surprising as it sounded, it wasn't all that absurd of a theory, if that's what his intentions had been; he was by no means the first and probably not the last.
It seemed that Videl had been wrong in all scenarios, though. It was remarkable… It brought the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover,' new meaning. And while Erasa hadn't changed from the bubbly blonde she was all those years ago, Videl suddenly realised something… she was more mature.
It wasn't overly obvious, more subliminal. She didn't squeal at everything quite as much, and she wasn't exactly pushing her to get a boyfriend, when the topic of boys came up. Videl was actually pretty damn near surprised that Erasa hadn't thought something was going on between her and Mark… Videl wouldn't have put it past Erasa to have assumed something stupid like that.
Then again, she'd seen the lust in Erasa's eyes as she ran her through Mark's basic defining features. It was entirely possible that she wanted Mark for herself or something… she wasn't sure where Sharpner was in that whole equation. But one thing was certain; Videl was dispelling herself from that entire… love triangle… or whatever it was, completely.
The night was still pretty young, it was only about 8 o'clock but Videl had figured that it was time to head back to her place. She didn't exactly plan to sleep over at Erasa's place, it was a school night; and with the amount of sleep or lack thereof that she'd had last night, she didn't exactly want to stay up all night talking.
They hadn't done all that much work on Chemistry, but what they had done… the textbook did a better job of explaining it than Erasa. Although on more than a few occasions, the textbook hadn't helped; that's where Erasa had come into play. She wasn't sure if she'd have to sit the test, but she was going to find out tomorrow for sure. She had Mr. Loi or whoever he was tomorrow for Chemistry, anyway.
Walking along lazily, Videl yawned pondering upon the other ways in which her memory issue was sure to screw her over. Not many were plausible, and she sure had a vivid imagination but she was sure that she hadn't missed anything.
Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Videl spotted a plume of smoke rising in the distance.
'Odd… The Force usually calls me if this stuff happens.' Videl thought, figuring that it was one of the rare occasions where she got to the crime scene first.
Running, into action, Videl ran towards the source of the smoke in full gear. Knowing that there was no way that she could take out – if her suspicions were true – a fire, by herself; Videl quickly tapped an alert button on the side of her video phone.
It was designed pretty well, hidden to the average eye and finger-print sensitive. Videl supposed that it was because the police didn't want just anybody to have the power to give off an alert like that. The Chief had a similar Video phone, which would immediately start beeping and would give him her location immediately. It ran off satellite, so she'd be able to rely on it almost anywhere, and it's most valuable function was perhaps that it granted her an almost-instant hotline to the Chief.
In a big city like Satan City, that was a very valuable thing. Even her father, a very influential and powerful man didn't have access to communication with the Chief like that. But then again, he'd probably just have to ask for it and he'd get it just like that.
Nearing the smoke, Videl was surprised when she found that the Chief hadn't answered… not even his deputy… odd. Paying it no mind – she didn't have the time – Videl, ran even closer to the smoke.
She had expected to see a fire, which was well out of control. Not one which was being doused out by several fire brigades. She was even more taken aback when she saw the police there.
Not only were the Police Force and the Fire Brigade on the case, but they hadn't alerted her. That was a bit strange, she'd normally at least get some kind of a message telling her that a fire had been averted at the least.
Figuring that it was nothing but perhaps quick timing, or that something was wrong with her watch Videl approached the commanding officer. He wasn't the Chief, Videl knew that, but she'd seen him around enough. He was wearing a different – but still police – uniform so Videl assumed that he'd been promoted.
"Seems like arson," He remarked to the officer, with a shake of his head.
"Any suspects?" The other officer asked, his eyebrow raised.
"Well I'd guess that this is Suspect K and his gang's work… We'll have to salvage what we can from the inside and search for clues. They're not one to leave evidence behind, but his gang's not always the brightest bunch."
"Who's Suspect K?" Videl asked, interrupting the two and tapping her foot impatiently as the two looked at each other nervously for answers.
"I'm afraid… I can't answer that Videl," the commanding officer said, a slight look of regret upon his face.
"Why not?" She questioned, not liking the situation one bit.
"Well… how do I put this… you're no longer apart of the Force."
"You selfish, arrogant, good-for-nothing prick!"
"Videl… honey… please try to understand. You're starting school again, and the pressure's going to be too much for you to deal with. At least until you get back into the swing of things," Hercule said wincing.
"How could you? I told you I didn't want to be taken off! And what do you do? You go and take me off the damn Force!" Videl yelled, she was past the point of talking. She thought that her father had changed and then he decided to pull this… trick.
"It's what's best for you-"
"You don't know what's best for me, and you should stop pretending I'm five years old dad!" Videl interjected, thoroughly pissed off. He just took things too far.
"Look… sweetie. I've already lost my wife, and I've already lost a bit of you… I can't risk it. I just can't, not until I'm sure you'll be safe."
"I don't give a damn! Don't you understand? All I had left was the Force! It's the only thing which hadn't changed… You, Erasa, Sharpner… everyone I knew. You're not the same!"
"Videl, people change… everyday they're different…"
"No… no… no! They don't and you're even more of an ass then before!" Videl slammed the door to the gym and walked out, fuming.
Things had been going well for her, she hadn't been all that close to recovering the years lost to her; but things were working out fine. Now… what was the point?
Even if she did find her 'other self,' she'd never be able to be her. Hell, she wouldn't be able to herself, full stop. She was Videl Satan, Satan City's crime fighter. The only one that was still in high school for that matter.
Now who was she? No-one, just another rich snob's daughter. Without her role on the Police Force she wasn't Videl Satan, she was Hercule's daughter. It was unfair.
She'd never tried to be one who was upset about the cards that she was dealt; she'd been given a pretty good pair with her father being a future billionaire and all that, but this was pushing it. Losing the last three years of her life was bad… but it could've been worse. Losing her spot on the force – everything she'd worked towards for as long as she could remember – was a bit too far.
She couldn't really think of ways in which this could get any worse. At this point, she'd have normally gone into their indoor-gym and beaten a punching bag for a while; but her father was in there and she really didn't feel like beating the stuffing out of a motionless bag for hours on end.
What was the point anyway? She was just Hercule Satan's weak little daughter. No… she didn't need to exhaust herself physically, she needed to get in touch with her emotions.
Puberty… well she never really expected to have woken up and found that the process was almost complete. Almost complete as it may be, it hadn't done anything to quell the thumping in Videl's heart… the raging fury that accompanied it and the urge to sit down and cry for as long as she could.
There was really only one person who could really help her in this situation… Videl tried not to go there very often, viewing it as something akin to a sanctuary. Perhaps it was, but whatever the case, Videl needed to go there at the moment.
Maybe she was wrong… the Force hadn't changed much, but it was sure to have changed a bit. If the place that she intended to go to had changed though, she would go berserk. No-one would have the audacity to touch anything around there, including both herself and her father.
Finding the door to the room that she wanted to enter, Videl quickly gave the door a quick inspection. Satisfied that it hadn't changed in the slightest, Videl gently turned the door-knob of the room.
It was a special door-knob, the only one in the house that didn't reek of luxury. Her mum would have never wanted it that way.
Poking her head through the door and looking slightly into the room, Videl let out a relieved sigh as she found that the room was relatively untouched. Several stacks of photo albums, some that she instantly recognised, some which were probably new, littered the room.
However that wasn't what interested Videl, it was the little memorial in the far right corner of the room. It wasn't lit up at all, the room didn't have any electricity in it for that matter… it was dark… but familiar.
Shedding a slight tear, Videl took off her boots before she walked into the room. They were still somewhat dirty from earlier in the day… night… she couldn't even remember what it was anymore. Regardless, Videl wasn't about to ruin such a treasured place.
As she walked towards the memorial, Videl noticed dust—even in the dark—littering several of the stacked photo albums. Finally having approached the unlit-stand which contained several upstanding-framed photos, Videl picked up the box of matches sitting on the edge of the table.
Unsurprisingly, she found that it was also covered in dust. Taking off her fingerless-gloves and mentally chastising herself for not taking them off before she entered the room, Videl quickly wiped the box down with them before carefully letting them slowly free-fall to the carpeted-ground.
Sliding open the cardboard box, she found not one but several matches. Her memory of the place was cloudy, it was rare for her to come here once ever half a year, but it was evident that it hadn't been touched in a long time.
Gently picking one up with her fingers, she swiftly struck it against the side of the box and moved the now-lit match towards the white wax-candle standing in the middle of the table; causing the wick to ignite.
Her cerulean-blue eyes sparkled as they reflected the light of the small flame for the briefest of moments as she looked at the several framed pictures on the table. The numerous pictures of her mother almost made her feel like she was looking into strange mirrors… If not for the obvious aged features of her mother, and the fact that her hair was a lot longer and in a single pony-tail as opposed to two pig-tails.
However, one thing in particular caught her eye. A small framed picture… no a drawing. It contained two hand-prints, one of an average size and the other far-smaller.
"Mummy, look what I can do!" A small girl exclaimed, pouring purple paint onto the entirety of her miniscule hand and pressing it onto the parchment-style paper. "Haha, see mummy, I'm an artist."
"That's right sweetie, that's a wonderful painting! We can both be artists," a much older woman smiled as she imitated the actions of the young child, printing her larger hand onto the paper next to the smaller one.
Videl pressed her right hand gently on top of the glass protecting the smaller hand-print. Comparing it, Videl sighed somewhat sadly… it wasn't as small, and it would never be once again. Moving onto the right one, Videl gently touched the glass finding the fit to be almost perfect.
Her hand was still a little smaller than that of her mother's, but it was a lot larger than the last time she had compared their hands. Videl could barely remember when that had been, and wouldn't have had a clue as to how big hers had been last time if not for the lack of dust on certain portions of the framed picture.
Sighing, Videl walked away from the memorial as she looked for a photo album. Sometimes she liked to just sit by her mum's little memorial and look through photos of them. It was almost like she was looking through them with her again. She wasn't looking for one in particular, just something… preferably with the two or perhaps the three of them in it. The flickering flame provided nice illumination for the small stand in memory of her mother, but it did little to light the albums; so she couldn't read the names or the dates.
Picking one up at random, Videl took it back towards her mother's illuminated stand and sat down. Crossing her legs, Videl put it on top of them and opened it to a random page, subconsciously brushing her hair as she did so.
There was a reason that Videl had never cut her hair… her mother had always had long hair, which was why it was odd to see a photo of her staring back at her with warm, blue eyes that were almost glowing because of the light that lingering flame was emanating. However that wasn't what caught her attention… it was the short, haphazardly cut hair above her eyes.
Things hadn't been going all too well on his end, but by the looks of it; things weren't all nice and dandy for Videl either. She had come into Maths with a tear-streaked, puffy face, evidently having cried earlier in the day. Maths was his first period of the day, meaning something had happened earlier before she left the house or while she was coming to school.
As much as he'd wanted to approach her, he'd found himself unable to. Almost stuck to his seat in the back of the classroom – he sat there with every class that didn't have Erasa or Sharpner in it these days - he watched as she tried to swallow whatever was hurting her up, and go on with the lesson.
He knew her body language well, and it had been shaking. Not of anger… but of grief and sadness. He should've taken the hint when he saw that she wasn't wearing her normal clothes, rather a pair of jeans and a black shirt.
It had been a long, long while into the time that he'd known her before she decided to change up her clothes. She still generally preferred the outfit she wore almost every day for its practicality, it was decent to wear casually and almost perfect for fighting; he knew that much.
But he'd have never thought that if she'd been taken off the Police Force, she'd opt to wear something else. Perhaps her fifteen year old self had a different mindset or something, but he'd have thought that she'd stick with it anyway. He hadn't expected her to have been taken off the Police Force for that matter anyway.
He wasn't into gossip or whatever it was that amused Erasa so endlessly, but he'd found out soon enough. Later, in Biology, they'd been doing a dissection; an all-time favourite of Gohan's because it was the one thing that he was never able to do with his mum's homes schooling, and Gohan hadn't suspected much was out of place when Sharpner approached him to partner up.
They were on better than relatively good terms, but they were a little lower on the friendship scale than best friends. However it wasn't like they partnered up all that often, Sharpner had a few friends that would all ways go for him first and Gohan was often stuck with trying to partner up with whoever didn't have a partner.
So it was a bit out of the blue when Sharpner asked him to partner up, but he didn't think too much of it. He'd absentmindedly considered mentioning Videl's condition at the start of last period to him, but the blond boy beat him to the punch. Her father had taken her off the Force… it was as simple as that.
He didn't talk about much other than that, and they both just carried on with dissecting the frog as if nothing had happened. Gohan wasn't sure what he was meant to make of it, or what Sharpner wanted him to do with that knowledge… but Gohan supposed that he just wanted to keep him well informed.
He'd taken to focusing carefully on analysing Videl's Ki during English from the back of the class. He could sense that it was disturbed; probably something to do with the test which she was being forced to sit… Erasa had mentioned something about that before Videl walked in, apparently having run to beat the Satan girl to the class and have a chat with him.
Looking closer, he discovered that the Ki wasn't grieving. It was sad… uncertain and somewhat anxious. Depressed would be a better word, although he still wasn't sure if it was entirely fitting. Whatever the case, it was definitely negative.
He was almost irritated with Erasa for not doing anything to cheer her up, before he realised that the chances of cheering her up before the end of the day were almost non-existent. If Videl was sad, she was sad for the entire day, if not longer.
It was one of the many things he had learned about her. It was probably borderline-stalking at this point, but he just wanted to make sure everything was going… alright; so he soon found himself listening in with keen ears on what Erasa and Videl were talking about.
Videl was very worried. Not really that much about her removal from the Force, from what he could gather, but more about the safety of those who lived within Satan City. And Gohan had to agree, during his somewhat short-lived crime-fighting career, he'd found that criminals were abundant.
The Police Force couldn't handle them all, that much was certain. Rocket Launchers… Machine Guns… Planes… Busses, the police weren't superhuman. Saiyaman wasn't even entirely human, but Videl on the other hand was pretty damn near.
For the first time in a few months, Gohan found his heart reaching out towards the innocent and defenceless citizens of Satan City.
Sirens echoed loudly throughout the dark, somewhat-unlit tunnel as police vehicles gave pursuit to several more numerous and larger black vehicles.
It was one of the longest tunnels within Satan city, going on for at least a kilometre, if not two, and because of this, it was almost impossible to block off. It wasn't hard to block off either end, but it was impossible to get all the civilians out of said tunnel in time.
Locking them in with robbers, potential terrorists and murders was not a great idea. Especially if one of them decided to take the entire tunnel down with them; after all each vehicle had the fire power to do it.
The police were almost reminded of that as a police car which got too close to the group of escaping cars was blown to shreds by several rockets which were launched at it. A large explosion almost shook the entire tunnel, as another car was destroyed as it found itself engulfed in the flames of the explosions.
Manoeuvring carefully around several civilian cars and flying debris which was sent his way, a long-time veteran of the Police Force followed the escapists. His siren was off, so as to not attract attention however its location was being tracked by those in the Police Headquarters to give rough estimate of where the escaping gang was.
Entering a much better-lit portion of the tunnel, the veteran gave a few words of advice to the rookie next to him. "This is what separates boys from men; you've got to play it smart. Use your head, and be courageous. If you screw it up here, you're turned into smithereens."
The rookie only looked ahead at the gang, fear almost leaking off his shaking body.
Perhaps, they had made a wrong move or two, because a rocket was approaching the pair of them at nigh-impossible speeds. Suddenly, even the veteran found himself rigid with fear.
The tunnel's lights died off for the briefest of moments, as the approaching rocket was replaced by a red object. The veteran's face slowly morphed into a smirk as he recognised the fluttering—albeit torn—red object in front of him.
It was a cape, a very familiar one at that, and it was attached to the back of a rather tall person's back. A familiar tall person's back. Adorning his heady, was an orange-and partially black helmet that he hadn't seen in ages and looking closely he saw a bright-green tunic-like article of clothing behind the cape.
Maybe it was by pure chance, maybe it wasn't. But for the moment all that mattered was that, arguably the greatest hero Satan City had ever seen had reappeared… in all his glory, hovering before them for the first time in years.
Nobody had seen where he'd gone. At first he'd missed a few crimes, nothing out of the ordinary. Then a few quickly became a lot and suddenly he was nowhere to be seen. He'd vanished off the face of the Earth the very way that he came; without a trace.
It was almost frightening for some of them, but he'd paid it no mind. The police veteran had always been fine without him, so what did it matter if he decided crime fighting wasn't for him? Apparently, the veteran's life…
However, he'd reappeared. With no warning, completely out of the blue and perhaps when they needed him the most. What better way to make up for the loss of an amazing crime fighter than to have an old one return?
"Boy, you're in for a show tonight, son." The veteran's eyes sparkled with renewed passion and hope as he spoke to the rookie.