Fandom: Dragonball Z
Publish Date: 8/10/2002 to 1/3/2003
Disclaimer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I do not own DBZ.
The sun was sinking lower and lower in the sky in the sky, but it was still bright enough to see the variety of cloud shapes. That’s what the two teenagers were looking at. Not for much longer, though. The sun would be setting shortly.
Since Master Roshi had gone to Capsule Corp for a while to get a new capsule for something from Bulma, and Turtle was off visiting some of his children, the island was deserted. Gohan and Videl had taken advantage of the fact to have a little time to themselves to just relax.
Since it was a Saturday, they didn’t have school, and both were wearing something other than their school clothes. Videl was wearing denim shorts and a yellow T-shirt, while Gohan had on jeans, a white T-shirt, and a blue button-up.
They had kicked off their shoes and were sprawled out beside each other on the beach, looking up at the sky, trying to find shapes in the clouds. They’d made it into a contest to see who could find the most unusual cloud-forms. Videl was winning.
"That one there! That looks like Santa riding an alligator!" she pointed, laughing.
"You just made that up! It does not!" Gohan protested, laughing also. Then he pointed at another one. "Hey, there’s Piccolo!"
Videl looked at it for a second, then nodded. "Yeah, you’re right."
They lay there in silence for a moment, watching the sky change colors from blue to red and orange. For that brief minute, it felt like they were the only two people left on the planet. And for some reason, Gohan decided he liked it that way.
"Okay Gohan," Videl broke the silence as she rolled over onto her stomach to look at him. He remained on his back with his fingers interlocked and his hands under his head, and didn’t say anything. "You’re the Gold Fighter, Saiyaman, the kid from the Cell Games, and the one who really beat Cell. Any other secrets I should know about?
She said it teasingly, just trying to make conversation, but to her surprise, Gohan visibly siffened, and in her mind, she could actually feel his emotions. Panic…a touch of anger…and panic.
That means yes.
She crawled over a few inches so that she was right next to him, then crossed her arms and set them on his chest. Then she rested her head on her arms so that she could look right into his face. His response was to close his eyes and keep his expression as shuttered as possible.
Now that she was certain he was hiding something else, Videl persisted. "Come on, you can tell me. Please?"
"No," he said softly, not opening his eyes. "I can’t tell you."
"Why not?" she refused to give up. She get it out of him if it was the last thing she ever did. "Why can’t you tell me?"
"Because," he answered flatly. But his mind said more, even though he didn’t know she could hear what he was thinking.
Because you won’t understand. Because you’ll be scared. Because you’ll abandon me. Because I don’t want you to be afraid of me. Because I don’t want you to leave me here with the emptiness. Because you’ll think I’m a freak.
Videl’s heart shattered within her at the bleakness of his thoughts. Without thinking she blurted out, "I don’t think you’re a freak, Gohan."
His eyes flew open and he stared at her as if he couldn’t believe his ears.
Videl hesitated, then made her confession. "I can hear your thoughts, Gohan. Not all the time, but right now I can. And I can feel some of what you feel, your emotions. And I’m here to tell you that you aren’t a freak."
"You don’t know," Gohan whispered, visibly fighting with himself. "You don’t know me."
"I’d like to," she said softly.
There was a long moment of silence, then Gohan sighed. "Videl, I’m only half human. My mom is a human being, my father is an alien. A Saiyan, to be exact."
Videl’s eyes widened a tiny bit, but she didn’t move or say anything.
"My father was sent to Earth as a baby to take over, but he ended up getting dropped on his head and getting amnesia, and becoming the guy we all knew and loved. He didn’t find out that he was Saiyan until he’d grown up, gotten married, and had me. Then, when I was four years old, my father’s brother, my uncle, showed up, told Dad what he was, and walked off with me. Thus ended my childhood. My father was a Saiyan. And the whole Gold Fighter thing? That’s actually an advanced Saiyan form called a Super Saiyan. There’s only supposed to be one every one thousand years, a full-blooded member of the Saiyan nobility. As the half-breed son of a third-class warrior who had already made the transformation, I pretty much threw all those expectations into the dust. Saiyans are ruthless killers. They were in the planet trade—they’d find a nice planet, see the sights, taste the food, and happily kill off the inhabitants so that the planet could be resold for a nice profit. If their home planet hadn’t been blown up and they’d come here, they probably would’ve killed me on sight. They don’t tolerate half-breeds. I’m trapped between two worlds—that of my father, and that of you humans. I’m not one of them, and I’m not one of you."
There. I said it. Now she’s gonna freak out and run away.
But Videl didn’t freak out, and she didn’t run away. She stayed where she was for about ten seconds, just long enough for Gohan to get very nervouse, then did something surprising. She leaned down, kissed Gohan on the cheek, and stood up, walking a few feet away so that she was standing ankle-deep in the surf. In the sky overhead, the sun was sinking lower.
Gohan got to his feet and slowly moved over next to her.
"Would you say something?" he asked, feeling more and more nervous by the second. "Scream, yell, freak out, swear, I don’t know, say something!"
"What do you want me to say?" she asked, not turning around. There was no harshness or fear in her voice. "Tell me, and I’ll say it."
"I…don’t know," Gohan suddenly felt very deflated.
"Neither do I," she turned then to face him. Her face was calm and serene. "I’m not afraid of you now, if that’s what you expected. I really don’t think that you’re going to change as a person just because you told me that you’re half alien, are you?"
"No…" he answered slowly, not sure where this was going.
"Then why should I be afraid?" she turned back to the ocean and the sunset. "You said that Saiyans are ruthless, cold-blooded killers. I have yet to see you kill anyone in cold blood, Gohan. Actually, I have yet to see you kill anyone at all."
"I have killed people, Videl," he felt compelled to be completely honest, now that his biggest secret was out in the open.
"But was it ever in cold blood? I doubt it. And you don’t intend to start murdering people, I assume. So what’s the problem?"
He didn’t answer. His mind had wandered back…to the Cell Games…but he quickly blocked those memories, just in case she was still in tune to his thoughts.
"I completely understand why you didn’t want to tell me," she continued, "and I figure you don’t want anyone else to know. Don’t worry about that either. I don’t plan to tell anyone."
For the first time since this particular conversation had started, Gohan felt completely at ease. It was all going to be just fine. He took a few steps forward so that he right behind her.
"Um, hey Videl?" he said, feeling more then a little foolish. "Thanks."
Videl didn’t answer, but instead leaned back a bit, letting her head rest against his chest. He tensed for a moment in surprise, then relaxed and put his arms around her shoulders. It was incredibly comfortable for both of them, just being able to be together and enjoy each others company without having to worry about anything else.
As if by some unspoken agreement, they both sat down in the waves and the wet sand, not caring that they were getting drenched. She still leaned against him, and he still had his arms around her. Their shadows got longer as the sun sank lower.
"Gohan?" Videl said softly, afraid that if she spoke too loudly it would destroy the mood that had enveloped this perfect moment.
"Hmm?" he answered just as softly.
"What are you thinking about right now?" she asked.
"Don’t I get any secrets with you?" he retorted gently, still not breaking the mood.
"Not a chance. What are you thinking about? I can’t hear your thoughts right now."
"Hmm…" he sighed happily, "I was just thinking…umm…"
"What?" she turned her head to look at him. His expression was completely unreadable.
"Well…ummm…" he still hesitated.
"Come on," she prodded, stubborness taking over.
"Just thinking about…something I’d kind of like to do right now," he said finally.
"Are you telling me the truth?"
"Yes, just not all of it."
"What do you want to do?"
"You promise you won’t kill me?"
"Why would I kill you, Gohan?"
"Promise and I’ll tell you."
"Okay, I promise."
Without another word, Gohan leaned down and kissed her.
Videl’s eyes widened in surprise, but only for an instant. She let her eyelids fall and gave herself over the kiss and the feeling of Gohan’s arms around her. It was the most unbelievable feeling she had ever experienced in her life.
When he pulled back, she felt an anguish that she’d never realized anyone could experience.
Their faces were less then an inch apart, but they both had their eyes closed as if each was afraid to look at the other.
It was Videl who moved first, leaning forward and putting her head on Gohan’s shoulder, pulling him into a hug he returned wholeheartedly.
It was an embrace that had the potential to become so much more.