Hearing a soft knocking noise, Gohan raised a hand to his temple, gently massaging it as he managed to open an eye. Sitting up on the bed, he wiped a hand across his forehead as he attempted to make sense of his surroundings.
He was in a fairly clean but empty room, there was a side table next to him but not much else within the room except for a dresser. The walls were completely void of decorations—no paintings, no photos and no ornaments of any kind were hanging from them—and were a pale cream colour. All in all, the room looked relatively unfurnished, almost as though someone was moving into it but nothing had been added to it yet.
Finding a small bandage tied around his knuckles, Gohan flexed his left hand slightly before quickly Ki-checking the area. Recognising the one at the door as a familiar one, he pushed himself off the bed and opened the door of the room.
"How're you feeling kiddo?" Bulma asked with a genuine smile.
"Fine I guess... although I don't know why I'm here," Gohan shrugged slightly. "All I remember was a spar with Vegeta..."
"Don't know what you two were doing in there, but Vegeta had you slung over his shoulder as he came out last night—you were out like a light," Bulma explained, laughing slightly. "So anyway, I've been meaning to ask you how the changes to your Saiyaman costume worked out. Any bugs I should know about, or things that you'd like me to work on?"
"I haven't tried it yet, didn't even go to the city yesterday and you only gave it to me on Friday," Gohan chuckled a little. "I'll make sure to swing by after I try it out though, that Ki-vision thing sure seemed interesting."
Bulma blushed slightly, "Aww... it was the least I could do anyway. And yeah, I guess I forgot that I only gave it to you two days ago, but I've got another question for you."
"And what would that be?" Gohan asked inquisitively, glancing into the shorter woman's eyes.
"What do you plan to do with Videl?" Bulma asked with the unhesitating blunt force of a bullet. "I know it's a little harsh on me to ask you about it and all, but you need to come to a decision sooner or later."
"W-what do you mean?" Gohan stuttered anxiously. "It's her life, I'm not going to pressure her into doing anything.""That's fine and all kiddo, but remember what we talked about? The Dragon Balls?" Bulma continued as he slowly nodded. "I reckon Videl-"
"Hang on," Gohan interrupted her suddenly, a look of horror painted upon his face. "The Dragon Balls... oh no."
"What?" asked Bulma, confused. "Yeah, the Dragon Balls, the things that grant any wish..."
"No, I mean that we need to use the Dragon Balls... I forgot something really important the other day," Gohan tore at his hair slightly, a panicked tone to his voice.
"Calm down Gohan," Bulma made sure to look right into his eyes, attempting to reassure the half-Saiyan. "Let me know what's wrong and we can take things from there."
"I-I forgot about them that day... the day that Saiyaman returned... I was a bit too late and a couple of the people on the Police Force died—in front of my eyes too!" Gohan scrunched up his eyes in anger. "I pretty much let them die and I completely forgot about them too... just think of their families."
"Take a deep breath," Bulma instructed, making sure to wait for the adolescent to do so before continuing. "First of all, don't worry, we can fix things with the Dragon Balls and second, it's not your fault in the slightest Gohan."
"It is..." Gohan frowned, "Vegeta was right, I was lazy—slack, if I'd just been a little faster they'd still be breathing."
"You need to understand that crime is committed all over the world, first. Satan City is a criminal hotspot because it's home to one of the world's biggest Black Markets although in recent years it's become much safer thanks to the work of yourself, Videl and the Police Force. In other places, countries, deaths are much more frequent. What matters is that you showed up, instead of thinking about how many deaths occurred that day, think about how many you prevented—you saw the situation, everyone did, the Police Force couldn't have handled that without a lot of collateral damage." Bulma's voice slipped into the reprimanding tone she generally saved for Trunks, firm but just and all-knowing.
"I guess, but that still doesn't do anything to change the fact that people are dead and that's indirectly because of me," Gohan clenched his fists slightly.
"That's where the Dragon Balls come into play. We've got two wishes and we can use them; the first to revive them and the second to make everyone forget that they ever died," Bulma argued reasonably, calming slightly as she saw Gohan relax a little.
"Thanks Bulma," he flashed her an appreciative smile. "You always know what to do."
"I'm not a genius for nothing," she stuck her tongue out at him playfully. "Although there's a little problem with that... I was just about to ask you whether or not you were ready to use the Dragon Balls for Videl."
"Use them for Videl?" He questioned, somewhat curiously, although he had a gut feeling that the conversation was headed somewhere he didn't want to go.
"Don't you remember?" Bulma sighed lightly, "We were planning to use the dragon to override her amnesia if she didn't manage to do it herself. It's been a couple of months, so I was just about to ask your opinion on it before I approached Mr. Satan again."
A pit of dread began to slowly develop in his stomach as his mind raced through the different possibilities. "I-I'm not sure. I guess we could head over to Namek or something..."
"That doesn't sound like a bad idea kiddo, why don't you ask your dad to go and see if anything can be done?" Bulma tapped a finger on her chin thoughtfully, "in the meanwhile I'll have a chat with Mr. Satan and get his opinion on what we should do."
"I-I think Videl should come first Bulma, that was only partially my fault right?" Gohan looked towards the ground, "the people that died though were completely my fault. It's not fair if someone else has to suffer because of my mistakes-"
"Hold it," Bulma interrupted. "None of that was 'partially or completely' your fault, so don't go blaming yourself for it. And I'm sure Videl will be fine, after all there's still a chance that she'll naturally regain her memories—it's only amnesia that we're dealing with."
"That's not the point..." Gohan trailed off, looking up towards Bulma slightly. "That's only half the problem, you've not seen Videl in any of the classes that we have. She's struggling, badly."
Bulma shook her head grinning slightly. "Well you could always lend her a hand if she needs it that badly."
"I can't Bulma... if this stuff doesn't work out, I don't deserve to be apart of her life again," Gohan said shamefully.
"That's nonsense Gohan!" Bulma snapped quickly before taking on a softer tone, "And besides, if she's really struggling like you say, it should be your responsibility to help her along. Not sit away selfishly while her life falls apart—even if she regains her memories, her career won't be smooth sailing if she's got poor grades in her final year."
"Do you really mean that Bulma?" Gohan said guiltily, "am I really being selfish? I thought-"
"You thought wrong, Gohan. If Videl needs help are you really going to take a big step back because you're too afraid to interfere?" A sharp look accompanied Bulma's words.
"So what do I do then?" He asked, frustration evident in his lost tone.
"You could start by helping where you can... other than that, not much else I suppose, but you need to make a start."
"That's not really going to help," argued Gohan. "If she's doing bad at most of her subjects, helping her with one or two's hardly going to make a difference!"
"I'll talk to Hercule and maybe talk him into getting her some help, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't do what you can Gohan." Bulma made sure to look into his eyes as she spoke, before hesitating slightly. "I know this is hard on you and that this is a touchy subject kiddo, but you need to make sure you're not doing more harm than good sometimes."
"I'm not wearing that Erasa!" Videl all but shrieked as she screwed up her face.
"Why not?" her blonde haired friend asked enthusiastically. "It looks really cute and I bet that it'd go really well with your eyes."
"That's exactly why," Videl rolled her eyes slightly. "Videl Satan does not wear dresses!"
"Well what's the harm in wearing one?" Erasa argued, arching an eyebrow in a surprisingly mature manner. "Besides you could probably do with getting in touch with a bit of your inner girliness, Vi."
"I don't need to be girly," Videl huffed. "I don't like getting all dolled up and feeling helpless."
"I forgot about how stubborn you were about this kinda stuff," Erasa sighed, turning away from her longtime friend. "I'd just gotten you to start coming around too..."
That seemed to do the trick... sort of. "Fine, I'll take the skirt," Videl said sourly.
"And the dress?" Erasa piped up hopefully, as she glanced towards the garment in her hands.
"Don't get your hopes too high," Videl chided as she picked out one of the skirts from the rack they were standing by. It was one of the many that Erasa had taken her through and probably the most sensible of all of them, a white business-like mid length skirt. Definitely the lesser of two evils when it came to the other god-forbidden miniskirts that Erasa had picked out or the skimpy thing within her hands.
"Aww," whined Erasa as she tossed the dress carelessly on top of the rack. As somewhat of a surprise, she had decided to take her friend shopping and hopefully bond with her more. It was almost working, although there was still an air of awkwardness between them. And that had never been there before, not before the little memory muddle or back when they'd both been fifteen.
"So anyway, how'd you go on that Science test with Dr. Loi?" Erasa asked, opting for a change of topic.
Wincing slightly, Videl bit her lower lip. "Fifty-three per cent, 'least I managed to pass it I guess."
"That's not half bad," Erasa gave Videl a sympathetic look. "Sorry I distracted you the other day instead of studying more with you—if anything it's my fault... I can-"
"Relax Erasa," Videl grinned slightly as her friend panicked. "It was my fault for not studying as much as I could have, I procrastinated too much. Besides it's only one test, I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up by the next one."
"Still... Dr. Loi's such a dick! How exactly does he expect you to sit a test with the condition you're in? I mean it's a miracle that you even got past the third question," Erasa threw her hands up a little in frustration.
"I guess all I can do is live with it," sighed Videl as she glanced at the skirt in her hands. Fingering the material slightly, she found that it was rather soft and that it felt nice to touch—a sharp contrast to the tight jeans she was wearing.
"Sadly," Erasa relented as she let out a deep breath. "So anyway how are your other subjects coming along? I haven't had the chance to have a good chat with you in a while!"
"Well I reckon I'm good with English," Videl said as she walked towards the counter, a nodding Erasa in tow. "Maths isn't really working out all that well, but there's some kid that our teacher told me to sit next to. Apparently he's a wiz at everything and all, think we've got him in English as well."
"His name isn't Gohan by any chance, is it?" Erasa asked, as curious as she always was to know about the details of everything before joining Videl in the queue.
"Yeah, is he anyone I should be knowing?" Videl asked absentmindedly, she'd seen him around a couple of times.
"Not really," Erasa sighed before grinning a little bit. "Just between me and you though, he's a bit of a cutie."
"Cutie?" Videl asked perplexed before adopting a similar grin to the one Erasa had on her face. "I thought you liked Sharpner though?"
"Sharpner's coming along, and Gohan's not really my kinda guy," Erasa waved a hand dismissively. "But you've got to admit that he's got the best eyes in our year level—no contest."
"Haven't really paid much attention to them," Videl confessed as she advanced in the queue. "They were brown, right?"
"Yep," Erasa confirmed as she eyed a few clothes off to the left. "So any other problems with your other subjects?"
Reverting to their former topic, Videl replied nonchalantly. "Not really, all the teachers have been really sympathetic towards me in them. Don't know how long that'll last for, but apparently I've got to apply to have some special provisions or something at the curriculum office at school."
"Oh yeah!" Erasa exclaimed in recollection, "I remember that time when my sister broke her writing arm, she had to apply for them so that she'd get to type her exams on a laptop instead of writing them out on paper."
"Sounds pretty lucky," Videl grinned, even she knew how much of a pain writing out a long exam could be.
"Kind of," Erasa agreed. "She was allowed to do that, but I think they nerfed the amount of time she was allowed to do the exam in—plus, it wasn't even connected to the net."
"Makes sense, I've been meaning to apply for it for like the past week now but I keep on forgetting."
"Remind me to drag you over to the office on Monday then," Erasa poked her tongue out playfully at Videl as the former crimefighter moved towards the counter to pay.
"Will do," Videl nodded as she moved away from the counter with the bag that the cashier had handed her after she bought the skirt. Exiting the store as Erasa followed her, Videl expertly waved through the crowd as she made her way to the shopping centre's food court.
Glancing at her wrist only to realise that she didn't have her watch on, Videl guessed that it was about three in the afternoon, meaning that they'd probably be able to catch a late lunch. With luck, there wouldn't be a crowd either.
"So what do you feel like eating?" The black-haired girl questioned as they approached the food court.
"I'll probably just have a salad," Erasa gave her a goofy smile. "Not feeling all that hungry."
"Knowing you, you're probably just trying to watch your weight," teased Videl as she sat down at a table, gesturing for the blonde to sit down on the seat in front of her.
"Hey, beauty doesn't come easily for all of us!" Videl laughed playfully with Erasa as the girl's smile blew into a full-fledged grin as she spoke. "So what're you going to eat, Vi? I'll bet all that shopping made you hungry."
Not quite catching the joke, Videl's face straightened a little. "Not really, I was thinking about going for a burger," Videl gestured over to a small fast-food like shop behind her.
"You know that stuff's not healthy for you," commented Erasa. "Why don't you try a salad? A bit of healthy eating never did anyone any harm."
"I guess," Videl shrugged optimistically, sitting down at a table as Erasa beamed brightly at her. Sighing as the blonde girl took off to get them food, Videl slowly eyed the people in the shopping centre one by one, absentmindedly as she tried to calm herself slightly. While on the exterior she was shielded by the cool facade that she normally produced, on the inside she was worried. Both paranoid and anxious if she had to take a guess, as well as slightly worried about her test result for Chemistry.
Videl had slowly begun to cope with the fact that she was eighteen, that actually wasn't hard to get her head around. Being in her final year of high school was. One moment she had barely even entered high school and boom... the next she was a senior student. The mere thought of that was preposterous, but not nearly as much as the pressure of everything.
She had never had perfect grades, good—maybe slightly above average on a great day, but at the same time she had never really struggled with anything. The work was hard, so hard that she was convinced that even with all the help in the world, she would never be able to understand it. That had never happened before, if it was hard it was moderately hard... now it was extremely difficult.
In Maths, she wasn't even doing Year 10 work! Unlike the rest of her classmates, she was going through a shabbily thrown together crash course in whatever the teacher knew on Year 9 Maths. That was hard enough to grasp the concept of, nevermind the square root of negative one.
That was only one piece to the puzzle, Chemistry she had only scraped through in because majority of the test was multi-choice for some reason. By some fluke she had managed to gather quite a few points there and a couple in the writing sections. Regurgitating the information in her textbook had been a great help with that—Videl has almost no doubt that she would fail the final exam.
Even if by some miracle she didn't fail it, getting fifty-three per cent was almost just as bad. But that still want even half of the problem, she intended to go on to university after school—she always had. The degree she wanted to do was still up for grabs, Satan City's education system generally attempted to leave all paths as open as possible at all times. Even so, Videl could merely imagine the grief that university would bring upon her given that she was struggling with high school work.
And the last thing she wanted to do was let anyone think that she couldn't handle it. Videl was aware that it was incredibly stubborn, Erasa has said so enough times already, but she wasn't a puny princess who couldn't handle it when things got tough. She didn't need to be out in a special school or kept home for the rest of the school year, she was a big girl and she could handle it.
Glancing throughout the crowd, Videl noted a vaguely familiar face. He was a sporty guy that she remembered from way back in middle school, athletic to crazy degrees. Puberty had worked its magic with him, and now instead of the pimpled-face guy with a high voice who could run fast, stood a fairly muscular young man.
However it wasn't to him that Videl's eyes were drawn to, rather the blonde girl accompanying him. As Erasa approached with their food, Videl slowly compared the two hairstyles before her eyes widened significantly.
"Say... Erasa, didn't I have short hair at some time?"
Videl wasn't sure what hurt her ears more, the resounding clang of the metal tray as it hit the floor or the surprised squeal of her friend.
"And today we have with us long-time student of Orange Star High and all-time best friend of Videl Satan, the one and only Sharpner Pencil!"
Sharpner blinked slowly before clearing his voice and looking towards the camera. "That right, I'm Sharpner Pencil. Was there anything specific that you wanted to tale about... uhh"
"Jess," the reporter supplied. "And Sharpner, I asked you earlier if you would be willing to have a brief chat with us at ZTV about the current situation with Ms. Satan, so why don't you start us off?"
"Well Videl's been doing fine so far, as you likely know she's recently returned to school and is currently catching up with all her subjects." Sharpner replied nonchalantly, making sure to phrase things correctly. If there was one thing he knew, it was that the media could put a spin on any story.
"How is her memory fairing, Mr. Pencil?" The reporter pushed the microphone that she was speaking into towards his mouth.
"Uhh, I'm not too sure to be honest. I don't think there's been much of an improvement, but Videl's strong and I'm sure she'll recover," Sharpener said awkwardly. He really had no clue how to respond to a question like that, did they expect him to be inside her head or something?
The reporter nodded, seemingly accepting his response before posing another question. "Do you have any comment to make on her being taken out from the Police Force?"
"Videl's still the same Videl as always," Sharpner sighed slightly. "She's still an excellent fighter, it's just that taking on crime fighting duties along with getting readjusted to school would be hard for anybody."
"So does that mean we can expect to see her amongst the ranks of other crime fighters again?" Jess' eyebrows peaked ever so slightly, as though it was a question that she really wanted to know the answer to.
"Count on it," said Sharpner firmly. "I don't reckon it's permanent in the slightest, she loves crime fighting and protecting the people of Satan City."
"Well that's great to hear Sharpner, I'm sure everyone would love to see her up and about again. On that note, what are your thoughts on Saiyaman returning?"
"I think that there couldn't have been better timing," Sharpner raised bemused eyebrow at the question. "It's great to know that there'll be someone filling Videl's shoes while she's gone and I have utmost faith in his abilities."
"Do you think that he returned specifically because of Ms. Satan's... little... situation?" she asked awkwardly, "it's been a while after all."
"Indeed," Sharpner replied wisely. "While I don't know the guy personally, that's probably pretty likely. Can't say I know why he disappeared in the first place either, but hey he's back now!"
"And there you have it folks, the latest news on your favourite eighteen year old courtesy of ZTV, this has been Jessica Sanders reporting!" The reporter subtly signalled the camera man beside her to end the broadcast, before reaching into the pocket of her blue-jacket and pulling out a cigarette.
"Thanks kid," she muttered, biting the cigarette as she fished around for a lighter in the pockets of her jeans. "The stuff you made up about Saiyaman was pretty great."
"I didn't make up anything about him," Sharpner replied a little too swiftly in protest as the woman shrugged before lighting her cigarette.
"You don't seriously believe the stuff you said about that clown do you, kid?" she said, puffing a little smoke his way.
"Of course I do!" Sharpner said incredulously, "and don't call him a clown, he's a-"
"Superhero?" She questioned as she cut him off. "A freak would be more like it and an idiot even closer, you shouldn't get too fond of such people. It'll do you a world of good later on, Sharpner."
"... He might be a little silly sometimes, but that doesn't mean he's a freak," the blonde-haired adolescent struggled to keep his cool. "He's actually pretty good guy."
The reporter merely offered him a smug smile in response as he blinked in confusion. "Did I miss something?"
"You said you didn't know him personally, but if that was so how would you know that he's 'actually a pretty good guy?'" Jess inhaled slightly as she flipped her hair.
"I-I didn't mean... that," Sharpner ran his fingers through his hair in defeat. "Why do you even care, he's a freak isn't he?"
"That he is," she nodded in agreement. "Or at least that's what he'll be until I'm convinced otherwise, however there's no way in hell that I would miss the chance to be the first person to shove a mic to Saiyaman's face."
"Well you're out of luck," Sharpner said blandly. "I don't know who he is or where to find him, but I've talked to him as Saiyaman before... hanging around Videl let's you do that and all."
"While she's putting our building fires or defeating robbers?" she asked sarcastically, "I'm sure you'd be right next to her."
"You'd be surprised actually, I'm actually a bit of a martial artist myself," Sharpner bit on his bottom lip as he prayed that she wouldn't call his bluff.
"Heh I guess those biceps had to come from somewhere," she chuckled slightly. "How come you're never on television with her or anything?"
"I said I'm a martial artist, not a crime fighter," Sharpner said smoothly, finding it simple to work the answer into his lie. "Attacking armed robbers isn't my forte."
"Y'know you're not all that bad kid." She nodded in understanding and if he didn't know any better, he would've said that the redhead smiled at him. "How old did you say you were again?"
"I didn't," he said flatly. "I'm eighteen next Saturday, actually."
"Well aren't you a big boy," she flashed a grin at him, as she reached into her breast pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. Handing it to him, she winked. "Let me know if anything else happens in regards to your friend... or if you just want to talk to me... either way, I'm sure something could be arranged."
Sharpner didn't notice her elusively slipping away as he glanced at the piece of paper within his hands, his heart-beat rising ever so slightly as he saw what was on it.
A phone number.
"Yes, I think that will be most appropriate. It's unfortunate, but I think it's only fair—she'll just have to wait."
"Thanks for being so understanding, Hercule. I'm sure it'll soothe a few of Gohan's worries, but I've told him to ask Goku about Namek anyway. I'll keep you posted on what's happening."
Hercule sighed as he pocketed the phone he had pressed to his ear. Reaching for the handle of the door, Hercule pulled it and stepped out of his car. It wasn't anything special or flashy, just a regular car—a couple years old and relatively cheap. He had long-since learned that an expensive car wouldn't do when you were trying to fit in amongst a crowd, even one in the bustling streets of Satan City.
Closing the door, he calmly locked the car before proceeding to confidently walk towards the entrance of the building he had stopped in front of. It wasn't that he was trying to hide from anyone, it was just that what he was doing was rather important—for both himself and his daughter—and he didn't want to be interrupted.
He had already scheduled an appointment with the school's principal, something that he should've done along time ago. It hadn't taken him long to realise that there was something off about the test that Videl had sat... even he had much better grades in high school, and that was saying something since during his youth he hadn't been known for his wit.
He found himself a bit ashamed to admit that he used to opportunity in order to get Videl pulled out of the Force, even temporarily because it was clear that the test she had sat was far beyond her level. Hell to barely scrape though it was a miracle in itself...
However, he was unsure of who was to blame. Himself for not organising something—he hadn't honestly expected her to leap right back into school when she barely remembered anything that she had learned within the last few years, had he?— or the staff of the school who should've taken it upon themselves to do something about it.
He had even checked with his secretary, something that he rarely bothered to do, and found that the school had made no attempt at contacting him. Part of him wanted to have Videl immediately pulled out of the place—it was ridiculous, any decent school would've contacted him after all—but he knew that would be rash and stupid. Things that he had been fairly guilty of being as of late.
Brushing those thoughts aside, he let his walk turn into a powerful stride as he opened the front door of the school building. Ignoring the small creek that the badly oiled let off, he made his way towards the front desk—somewhat surprised when he found no-one behind the counter.
He could've sworn that he had made an appointment. How... unprofessional. Frowning, he impatiently pressed on the golden bell sitting on the counter. It wasn't until a few moments passed before he heard the distinct scuffling of something in the room behind the counter.
A scrawny figure soon emerged, light grey haired and blue eyed, however he had a very-noticeable hunchback. Despite that, the man had a very bold and somewhat obnoxious tone to his voice.
"Ahh... Mr. Satan, we've been expecting you. The headmistresses will be with you shortly," he said in a rather formal tone as he gave a polite nod of head to the afro-haired man. "In the meanwhile, why don't you take a seat and occupy yourself with whatever it is that you do these days."
In the various visits that Hercule had had with the school, he had come to learn that the vice principal was an odd fellow—the term old fart didn't even begin to describe him. Wordlessly nodding, Hercule sat down on the coffee table before glancing at his watch.
However, he wasn't short on time. He had given up most of the day to the specific cause of the little meeting he intended to have with the principal. But his patience was still wearing thin—Hercule himself had been ten minutes late to their little meeting—and Hercule wasn't a very patient man.
Perhaps the pressure of the business world was beginning to get the better of him, but he had become very accustomed to the uniformity of said world. There was a life outside of the ring for him, it was the one which fed and watered his family... or at least what was left of it.
Grimacing, Hercule looked up as he heard the creaky door fly open, both relieved and delighted to note that the principal had finally shown up.
"Sorry for my tardiness," she offered him a happy smile. However he was a little taken aback to notice that he wasn't quite who he had been expecting. "You wouldn't believe it, but there was a massive traffic rush."
"Y-you?" he stuttered, looking at her in disbelief. "You're the principal? What happened to the other guy?"
"The other guy, as you put it, retired rather earlier on in the year. Teaching all these kids sure can be a handful, so Mr. Adams left his post as headmaster," the blonde grinned at him slightly before adding, "fancy meeting you again, Hercule?"
"I guess, it's been a while..." Hercule stuttered slightly, at a loss for words.
"Rose," she supplied, realising that he had forgotten her name. "Take it that my face is a little more familiar than my name?"
"Y-yeah, but it's changed quite a lot since high school." Hercule rubbed the back of his head slightly, before snapping up into a more serious position. "Anyway, all jokes aside there's some serious stuff that we need to talk about."
"I noticed," she nodded, "so what was it that you wanted."
"It's about Videl..." He muttered slightly as he massaged his temples slightly. "I'm not even sure what I'm meant to do anymore."
"Well why don't you follow me into my office, and we can talk more there?" she said before walking forward, Hercule following with a nod.
Reaching for the door of her office, she politely held the door open for Hercule and allowed him to enter before doing so herself and sitting down on her chair. Gesturing for him to sit down on the little visitor's chair across her desk, she ran a hand through her hair.
"It's not often that I make appointments on Sundays, but I figured I'd make an exception in this case," she said. "I guess we can start things off by agreeing on one thing, taking Videl off the Police Force was a great move on your part."
"I'd like to say so," Hercule responded grimly. "However she hates my guts for it... and it's been a long time since we've been at odds like we are now."
"She might not like it," Rose admitted as she let a heavy breath out. "But can you imagine the stress she would have to deal with because of it? I'm sure Mr. Adams was considering having a talk to her about stepping down even before this whole memory mess."
"I still don't like it much though," Hercule said with no small amount of distaste in his mouth. "Anyway, I needed to talk to you about maybe organising something for Videl. It's obviously completely unfair if she goes into exams in her current state... there must be something we can do?"
Tapping a finger on the old wooden desk, the principal responded. "Yes, from what I've been told Videl's been instructed to submit a 'special needs' form to the curriculum office. I'm unsure if she's done so or not, but with luck it'll be no problem and we'll have something worked out."
"I see," Hercule said nodding, before reaching into the pocket of the coat that he was wearing and pulling out a piece of paper. "This here... is a recent result of Videl's, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it."
Hercule watched with fascination as Rose's eyes widened considerably as she took the piece of paper from him. "This isn't something that Videl should've been made to sit!"
"That's what I thought," he sighed before continuing, "it's dated as quite recent too."
"I might have to have a little word with Dr. Loi, but was there anything specific you wanted to talk about?"
"Yeah," Hercule nodded. "If that's the work that she's going to have to do, I'm going to need some kind of way to get her up to shape or something."
"Makes sense," the principal nodded. "Well there are a couple of things that you could do; as you no doubt know, you could move her down a couple of years, pull her out of school and let her rejoin Year 12 next year or alternatively... you could look into hiring a tutor."
"A tutor?" Hercule's eyes snapped up to meet the principal's amused ones.
"Yes, a tutor. I hadn't quite considered the option before because of the work Videl was doing with the Police Force, that would have her completely swamped with things to do, but now it's a completely viable solution." The principal nodded, speaking more confidently with every passing word. "Many students have tutors as it—she just needs a good one."
"A really good one. A really, really good one if she's to catch up on a few years worth of high school," Hercule nodded in acknowledgement.
"I'm sure that won't be too much of a problem, the curriculum office will most likely allow her to take notes into a couple of the tests and all that. If she puts in the work—which I'm sure she will—things should turn out just fine for her." He smiled at the woman's confidence in his daughter.
"Ah I see, but that said, do you have the name of a decent tutor? I want nothing short of the best for Videl, it's the least I could do after taking her off the Force and all," Hercule raised his arms behind the chair and stretched them.
Rose grabbed the notepad that was carelessly sprawled out on top of her desk and reached into a nearby draw to pull out a pen. "I'll write down this guy's details; he helped my daughter get into the best university in the country a couple of years ago, his name's Mr. Shu and while he's a little strict, I'm sure you'll find him to be rather suitable."
Hercule only nodded, as she slipped a small post-it note across the table. "Also while we're here... I was just wondering if anything related to a Son Gohan has come to your attention."
"Ah, I've heard about that fellow," the principal smiled. "Used to hang out with Videl from what I've gathered, but as of late he's apparently been a lot more withdrawn—also as of the last couple of days his attendance record has been falling down the gutter." Her smile faltered.
"Interesting... I was just making sure that-"
"Nothing was going on?" She raised an eyebrow, inquisitively. "While it's not my place to say, it's Videl's business. But if it does quell any fears, Son Gohan's academic scores have never been better... though the recent disappearances are rather worrying."
"I wouldn't be worrying about it too much..." Hercule muttered, purposely allowing Rose to hear. As she glanced at him curiously, he continued, "I'm not too sure on the exact details but I do know he used to have some issues..."
"Issues?" The aging woman's face piqued.
"I think they were medical or something, nevertheless I reckon it'd be best to let him do as he pleases." Hercule said smoothly, shuddering slightly as Rose gave him a harsh glare.
"You would reckon, but you're not running the school, Hercule. I cannot let a student disappear like that, it's unsafe!" she protested, absentmindedly wondering how they'd gotten from Videl to Gohan's attendance record.
"The Sons are rather close family friends..." Hercule's voice dropped to a whisper, it sounded as though he was making up a story but at the same time it was coated with adamant confidence—something that wasn't easily faked. "I would have no issues with paying for Gohan to attend another school which will let him do what he wants to sort out these issues, but if you need it... I could certainly organise a little more money to take care of any problems that would arise by letting him disappear."
Hercule knew exactly where Gohan was disappearing to, although it wasn't hard to act as though he had no clue. Rose easily bought that, which only added to the plausibility of the whole thing—Hercule wasn't considered an inspiration leader for nothing. He knew how to lie or rather, how to subliminally plant ideas into someone's head using dialogue.
"Now you're trying to bribe me? Hercule, I never expected you to stoop that low!" She continued to give him an unimpressed glare as he flinched a little.
"If not for the sake of Gohan himself, at least do it for me, an old friend?" he pleaded, joining his hands together slightly for full effect.
"... Fine," she sighed, looking the other way. "You said it was probably medical and Gohan's easily the best student the school's had in the last decade, at least, academically."
"Yep, that kid has enough brains to fill an entire library," Hercule nodded as he cooly reassured her.
"Well... I can't stop the questions from arising, but I can tell the teachers to let it go. You said it was medical, but you didn't know the details..."
"It's a rare conditioned that's resurfaced after an absence of sorts," Hercule half-lied as he grit his teeth. "Gohan's not very comfortable with others knowing about it, from what I've gathered."
"So I guess I shouldn't put it on the medical records then? The only problem is that if anything happens to him, we may need to know what he's diagnosed with-"
"Relax," Hercule held out a hand, stopping Rose from ranting any longer. "It's nothing that's necessarily bad, or life-threatening, plus he's got his own private doctor on call. If something goes wrong, the school can call the registered number."
"It's a sad day when a parent knows the medical practices of this school better than the principal," she sighed. "I'll do my best, Hercule."
"Thanks, I appreciate it," he gave her a sincere smile, before his face darkened slightly. "One more thing... don't tell anyone about his condition, and for the love of god don't question him about it."
"I take it that there's been a bad experience related to that in the past?" She chuckled, before sighing. "Well, no worries, I swear to confidentiality too; this stays between you and I."