Videl sighed for the thousandth time that week. It had been nothing but trouble so far; catching up with all her classes, non-stop fights with her father and attempting to cope with life without being on the Force.
To say that she was having trouble with her classes was an understatement. It was ridiculously hard… being thrown into work that was three years ahead of what you last remembered studying. Some teachers didn't even cut her any slack; in particular her Chemistry teacher. She'd been struggling with the subject, and the teacher was more than glad to mark her down.
Some people took teaching too seriously. He hadn't even offered her some kind of tutoring or catch up program, nor had she been offered any explanation of what they were doing. Maybe it was a bit selfish of her, but didn't she deserve that at least?
According to Dr. Loi; no. From what she'd seen of the man; he'd probably think of it as unfair to all his other 'students.' Erasa had tried to help her through, but things were looking bleak for her upcoming test.
Truth be told, she'd be happy if she just passed it. 50% wasn't really all that much to be proud of, and she'd always strived to achieve at least above 70%; but it would do. It would probably be a black mark amongst her grades and all; considering that it was her final year at high school.
But Chemistry wasn't the only subject she'd been struggling with; Maths had been no blessing to her either. Numerous formulas which she didn't remember weren't the least of her problems; she couldn't understand half the symbols either.
Her Maths teacher was nice enough, and he'd tried to help her out. But in a class as big as theirs was, there wasn't all that much that he could do. It wasn't like he could completely ignore the others that needed his help, and Videl needed help with the far more basic things. He'd veered off the course for the entirety of one lesson to help her, and almost did so for the other two that they'd had so far.
But frustration was clearly evident upon his face… he was getting sick of it. Videl resolved to try and find a tutor, but to do so she'd have to get help from her dad. And at the moment that was the last thing she wanted to do.
And soon, she found himself within Maths again; struggling to get even the basics of the lesson down.
"Alright… Videl, why don't you move over and sit next to Gohan? He's an excellent student who excels in every aspect of Maths, and you two used to sit together all the time anyway." She was a bit ashamed that she couldn't manage to recall their teacher's name.
For some reason to name Gohan rang a bell… he was that… new kid that Erasa had told him about. Well, he wasn't really new anymore; but he was the guy that she'd met in the Sushi Bar. Nodding, she struggled to recollect the boy's features as she scanned the numerous faces in the room.
Many of them new, and many of them old, she eventually managed to pick out the face. There was no mistaking it; he looked almost the same; except that his eyes were large and staring at the wall, an unbelieving look upon his face.
She had no clue what that was for… he'd seemed normal enough around her when they'd met briefly at the Sushi Bar. But she really didn't have the time or the interest to pay it any mind.
Moving towards him, Videl took the now-empty seat next to him (the person in it had moved to another vacant seat somewhere off in the distance).
"So… fancy meeting you around again?" She whispered as their Maths teacher continued teaching the lesson.
"Y-yeah. Didn't expect to see you back at school so soon." He stuttered slightly before finishing coolly.
"Me neither, but it was either this or repeat the year." Videl sighed as she ran her fingers through her hair. She hadn't even really done the year, or the two before.
"So what do you need help with?" He changed the topic quickly and somewhat awkwardly. His speech pattern wasn't too dissimilar from what she could remember of the Sushi Bar.
"Uhh quadratic equations. I don't get how you're meant to complete the square…"
Things had gone relatively simply after that, she'd been able to understand things a little better; but nothing else. They'd sat in silence like the rest of the class, and done their work. Then she'd had a few other classes, where nothing really happened before going home early.
One of the perks of being in her final year was that she had Study Periods, or Spare Periods, where she could do whatever she pleased. Go off campus, stay on-site and study or perhaps just sleep on the couches in the school library. It served various purposes, from allowing students extra study time when they needed it, to giving them a chance to catch their breath or even the chance to go out with a few friends in time they otherwise wouldn't have.
With Videl in the situation that she was, most would have assumed that she'd it studying for the test she had the next day. However since her Spare Period was her last period for that day, she figured that it would be best if she headed home.
She was quite eager to wrap the day up, and get some sleep. She was almost positive that she'd end up waking up at some time later in the day, so she could study then.
For some reason, she found it easier to do things in the dead of night as opposed to at four o'clock in the afternoon. Walking outside, she wasn't surprised to see Mark there in her car; having called him to pick her up a mere twenty minutes prior.
She didn't want to walk today, for some reason she just felt too damn exhausted.
"So how was school?" He asked, jokingly. "Did you make any new friends?"
Deciding to humour him, she rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue good-naturedly. "As a matter of fact, I did."
"Oh really, now?" He asked his eyebrows rising.
"Yeah… this kid called Gohan that I met a couple days ago. He's helping me with my Maths." She said, dropping the joke.
"Well, then I guess that can only be a good thing. So have you been having any other luck with your other subjects?"
"Apart from Maths, my Chemistry teacher's an asshole. I don't even get half the stuff he talks about, and won't even bother to help."
"Ouch," Mark winced, brushing his short brown-hair across his face. "That must suck. Never took Chemistry myself, good old Physics. We had this hot red-haired chick as our teacher, so as you can imagine none of us really ever paid that much attention. Not like we needed to, it wasn't even that hard."
"Heh, I don't even know why I took Chemistry. Maybe I wanted to become a scientist or something," Videl said in a dazed voice, half-joking and half-serious.
"Well, you've got to take one of the sciences, don't you? Everyone does it, and people who take Biology say it's crazy hard."
"Not to mention that I've never liked doing dissections. Cutting something up for research… it just isn't for me," Videl sighed as she tapped the side of the car absentmindedly.
"What? You're able to beat crazy criminals to within an inch of their lives, but you're afraid to cut open the inside of a frog?" Mark questioned with a small grin upon his face.
"Not anymore anyways," she said looking out the window. "And besides… it's just different. Frog intestines are gross anyway."
Gohan let out a sigh of frustration. His stupid Maths teacher had sat Videl next to him. Things had been going well with keeping his distance… until that.
There wasn't much he could do about it supposed. Just keep his distance to the end of the year, help her with her Maths problems and hightail it out of there. And besides, he had other things to worry about.
Saiyaman, for example. He'd let the caped crusader make his return on some sort of a whim. That night, it had been a blur, but it had been a good blur. He felt… like himself again. It felt good to help everyone out, just like he used to.
With Videl no longer able to save the day, Saiyaman would be keeping the streets safe, at least until she made her return. There were various things that he had to do… First off he needed to get the damn costume repaired.
The clothing was torn, dirtied and old. Old, in that he had somehow managed outgrow it over the years. He'd returned, saved a few lives or two, beaten the bad guys and left… not many saw him, and most of those that did were police.
He wasn't sure how eager they would be to tell everyone and anyone about his return, but he needed to make sure that he wasn't showing up to save the mayor in rags. It wasn't exactly a top priority, but he needed to do that. Speaking of what had gone on that night… he needed to find out who had died somehow. They had died because he hadn't been fast enough… it wasn't good enough, they deserved a second chance.
How many times had people died because he hadn't been there? Because he didn't do something when he could? When he was too selfish to step in himself? What had he been doing…? Letting innocent people die, it seemed. He'd bring them back, despite how unfair it would be to all those that weren't brought back, because that's something he could have truly prevented. It was the least he could do.
Sighing, he walked towards his locker and dumped his books in it after unlocking it. Before packing his bag with the homework that he had to do, he reached into the far-right bottom corner of his locker and with a subtle look of satisfaction on his face, pulled out a scratched and damaged watch. Evidently, the clothes weren't the only things that were damaged. Until a couple of nights ago, it had been buried deep within his locker, hidden by cascades upon cascades of books.
His locker wasn't the neatest thing by any means. With a mum who jumped when she saw a speck of dirt out of place, it felt good to have something that was his. Something small, locked up far away from his mum. He could keep whatever he wanted in there, and keep it however he wanted. Fingering the button on the watch, Gohan inspected it. It was cracked in more than one place, and quite frankly; he was surprised that it was still holding together.
He just hoped that Bulma would be able to work her magic on all of it. It would be really… unfortunate… if nothing could be done. That would be horrible, he'd have to get his mum to repair the clothes and attempt to try and repair the watch himself. His mum would probably get over Saiyaman returning pretty soon, but he wanted to avoid the topic altogether. He was almost positive that she'd start with her teasing again. Repairing his watch wouldn't have been all that complicated, if it was a normal watch. He was too scared that he'd muck something up that would leave him in his underwear instead of his Saiyaman costume.
Taking his bag out of his locker, he lazily slung it over his shoulder and slammed his locker door shut. Reaching into his left pocket, Gohan grasped a single capsule and stared at it… a wondering look upon his face.
Exhaling slightly, he dropped it back into his pocket… he didn't feel like driving today. Making sure to take a quick glance around him, Gohan checked that no-one was looking at him before proceeding towards the roof. He hadn't gone up there in a long time, but it felt as if something was calling him up there.
He didn't know why and he didn't exactly care why, but he figured a breath of fresh air could do him wonders.
Almost at the top of the stairs now, he quickly glanced at his clock. It was around about four o'clock, meaning that it wouldn't be too early to drop in. Hopefully Bulma would be free… if not he'd probably have to wait.
It was funny; he didn't know all too many people at Capsule Corp. It wasn't exactly a home-away -from-home, but he'd been there often enough. The amount of people he knew from even just that side of West City could be counted on a single hand.
Opening the small door atop the stairs, Gohan quickly took in some of the fresh air. Walking towards the edge of the roof, he briefly looked down upon the busy city. It wasn't even peak-hour, but the streets were still crowded with people and different vehicles.
"Thought I'd catch you up here," Gohan's head instantly snapped up as he turned around the face the voice.
"Erasa…" Gohan muttered, recognising his friend almost immediately. "What are you doing up here?"
"Nothing much, I just wanted to hear if the rumours and all were true." She said brushing her nearing shoulder-length hair, absentmindedly. Her slightly longer hair was one of the many hairstyles which he'd seen on the girl in the time that he'd known her.
"Rumours?" Gohan asked questioningly, his eyes perking up slightly.
"Yeah… Saiyaman and all, y'know. And I also wanted to talk to you; I mean it feels like it's been forever! You literally haven't said a word to me since Monday!" She said, sighing somewhat.
"Now, that's not true. There was that one time in English on Wednesday…" Gohan trailed off, smiling ever so slightly.
"I swear Gohan… you're hopeless!" Erasa exclaimed, comically throwing both her hands up into the air. They both shared a small chuckle, before Erasa continued. "So anyways… where's Satan City's superhero off to now?"
"How'd you find out about that anyway?" Gohan asked, rubbing the back of his head lightly.
"I have my ways, Gohan… I have my way- hey! Don't try and move off the topic!"
"Well, I'm headed off to Bulma's." Gohan said, glancing off into the direction that West-City was. "I need to get the costume repaired and all, it's a bit damaged."
"Ooh, I've been there before. Mind if I tag along, and maybe meet her again?" Erasa asked hopefully, pouting for good measure.
"Well… I don't see why not," Gohan laughed nervously. Actually he could… when Trunks was concerned anything was possible. That went double, for when Goten was there and on occasion; triple if Vegeta was involved.
"Great. So how does this flying thing work? I just hop onto your back, right?" Erasa said, clearly over-eager to experience flight.
"Well, we're not exactly flying…"
"What do you mean? Aren't you going to turn into Saiyaman and fly over there, or something?"
Gohan flashed her a knowing smile, before looking towards the clouds. "Nimbus!" He called with a confident voice.
"Fix it? Kiddo, you're underestimating me again. I reckon I can do a little more than patch up this whole hunk of junk… in fact, I could give you a whole new costume." Bulma said, fingering the damaged watch.
"No thanks, Bulma. It'd be fine if you could just make the watch look a little better and repair the costume…" said Gohan, stifling a small yawn.
"Alrighty, but don't be surprised if you see a little upgrade or two." Bulma flashed him a quick smile before saying. "Now, why don't you show this young lady around?" She gestured towards Erasa who was sitting on a rather expensive looking couch, doing something on her phone.
"Will do, and I wouldn't expect anything less from you, Bulma." Gohan nodded appreciativel, as Bulma walked off.
"So… you said you've been here before?" He asked, turning towards Erasa.
"Yeah, I came over with Videl that one time. Mrs. Briefs showed me around the science labs and everything. It was pretty cool; I got to see a few products that they were testing." She said, offering him a smile as she looked up to face him. "So don't worry about giving me a tour or anything. Vi told me something pretty interesting though," she said motioning quickly towards the phone in her hand.
"She did?" Gohan asked; half-curious, half-uncaring. It really wasn't any of his concern anymore.
"Yeah! Why didn't you tell me that she's sitting next to you in Maths now?" Gohan winced as the bubbly blonde squealed.
"Probably because you would've ended up telling the whole school or something…" He muttered quietly, smiling innocently as her eyes bore into his. "How about I make it up to you, and show you something you haven't seen before? I mean, we might as well, since Bulma will probably be a while and all."
Gohan watched bemused as she nodded eagerly, pocketing her phone and standing up to follow him. Glad to have moved away from the topic that they were discussing earlier, Gohan lead the way.
It was a pretty short work to where they wanted to go; the science labs were always close to the gravity room. Gohan snickered a little as he realised that was probably because Vegeta probably managed to break something in it, so often.
Instead of going in, Gohan quickly checked the Ki of the room before stopping abruptly and walking into the room next to it. It was just as he suspected…
Swinging the door to the observation room open, Gohan let Erasa pass him. It wasn't anything special; a one-way viewing wall into the Gravity room that Bulma had built for some reason. It was just something that made the thing more practical for things like spars as opposed to simple workouts, as there could be spectators.
He was sure that both Goten and Trunks often found themselves stuck in the observation room anyway, to keep them from annoying Vegeta and all.
"So what exactly is this place?" Erasa asked, tapping the almost glass-like wall with her finger.
"That's called the gravity room. It's a special room that allows you to amplify the gravity within it, so you can train a little harder. It works wonders for when you get out though, if you can get used to moving normally in two-times the Earth's gravity; you're much faster when you revert to the Earth's actual gravity." Gohan said sheepishly, wondering how much of that would pass over his friend's head.
"That sounds pretty cool," Erasa said, approvingly. "So who are the two guys in there?"
"That's Bulma's… husband… and son. Her husband's probably stronger than me, while her son's still got a little more work to do." Gohan said, eying the two work-out. The gravity was probably at some ridiculously high level; Trunks was in Super Saiyan form and struggling to stand while Vegeta was having problems walking in his base form.
"You know…" Erasa began, as Trunks decided to fire a Ki-blast for some reason. "Magic clouds … flying… gigantic blasts… I think I'll just stick to using a car to get around."
They both shared a short laugh, before Gohan decided to head out of the room, Erasa in tow. Chances were, Bulma was about done by now and if not; she wouldn't be much longer.
"So I guess you can't avoid Videl all that much, anymore, Gohan?" Erasa said, trying to strike conversation as they walked.
"I guess, but I'm still going to keep my distance... It'll be better for the both of us, that way." said Gohan, a mellow look on his face.
"If you say so," Erasa sighed.
"Here you go," Bulma said, handing Gohan an un-familiar watch. He didn't recognise it at all… it was nothing as simple as his previous one… it was much bigger and bulkier too. It also had a much larger and obviously higher-quality screen.
"The watch is a special little thing, while designed to look like a regular one… It's a videophone; so that means you can talk face-to-face with others who have a similar one or you can use it as a good old fashioned phone and talk with your voice only. Now, since your little crime fighting buddy won't be running out every time there's a robbery, I managed to hack into the police's database. Every time an alert within your vicinity goes out, you'll be notified with a little vibration." Bulma smiled.
"Sounds good so far… but doesn't that mean my watch will go crazy with notifications, on occasion? I mean a lot of vibrations could sure get annoying."
"Nah, once again, you've underestimated my genius. There's a do-not-disturb setting, I'll get to that later. Anyways, that's as far as the watch goes. As far as the other changes go; we've still got a while."
"A while?" Gohan repeated intrigued, "without changing the actual design what could you have possibly done?"
Bulma grinned. "Why don't you try it out?" She said, tapping the button on the edge of the watch.
Deciding that not much harm could be done, Gohan pressed it and was unsurprised to see his clothes replace themselves with that of his newly-returned alter-ego.
"You probably won't notice that much is different straight away, other than that I fixed the costume. The changes that I made were more or less related to your helmet."
Petrified, Gohan turned to Bulma and stared at her through his fully black-tinted visor. "It's not pink or something is it?" For some odd reason, Gohan could just see the headlines in the paper now…
"Haha, I'd never pull something like that on you kiddo," Bulma laughed. "But you'll notice that those antennae are gone, they were pesky little things; but I managed to get rid of them."
Walking towards him, Bulma tapped a button on the side of his helmet. "It's not all that convenient to access, but tapping this will activate a little something I like to call scouter-vision. It's basically a type of x-ray vision which allows you to see Ki signatures, and then receive the specifics of the Ki you're focussing on. Its top-notch technology and I got Krillin over to help me out with it, but don't go playing with it while you're fighting Vegeta or someone. God knows, your Super Saiyan forms would fry it; its limit's about that of what your uncle's one had when he first paid the Earth a visit."
"So you mean this scouter's only good for measuring power level's up to about 10,000?" asked Gohan.
"Yeah, unfortunately. But hey, a little while ago even your father couldn't reach that kind of power, so I doubt any pesky robbers will manage to do the same. I'll let you know if I manage to get any further with it, though."
"Cheers," Gohan said, stretching his arms.
"Wait, so what would my power level be?" Erasa interjected, having been quiet for a while previously.
"Uhh… I'd guess something like five, or maybe ten?" Gohan scratched the back of his head. It was as obvious lie to anyone who knew a thing about power levels; Erasa's would be much closer to two.
"Wow… so you are really that much stronger than us all, Gohan?" Erasa said, a slight amount of awe detectable within her voice.
"I guess so," Gohan yawned. He was getting tired, even though it was barely six o'clock.
"Anyways, back on topic. You can also intercept police calls, and all that good stuff. I guess you're essentially an undercover cop with a bigger gun than the rest." Bulma said shrugging slightly.
"An undercover cop? Except the police have no idea that they can call on me…" Gohan muttered.
"Something like that anyway, except knowing you; you'd probably end up responding faster than the police."