Disclaimer: I don't own any of DBZ or its charaters.
The next morning, Gohan awoke before Goten as usual. Of course their mother was already up. Quietly Gohan showered, dressed, and snuck into the kitchen. If he wasn't out the door soon, Goten would awaken to the smell of food. Like their father, Goten's alarm clock was frequently food. Gohan seemed to be the only exception to that Son male instinct. Sure he loved to eat, but it wasn't on top of his 'vital list' like it was for his father and brother. Gohan sushed his mother from talking as he helped her set the table. She immediately understood Gohan's reasoning. A newly energized Goten was worse than a kid hyped up on sugar and caffeine. Gohan wolfed down his breakfast in the usual saiyan manner before darting out the door. Just as he opened the door, he halted mid-stride in shock.
"Morning brother! Looky look! It's a fuzzy caterpillar."
Gohan nodded though still stunned and patted his brother on the head. Goten never ceased to amaze them with unpredictable antics. He'd actually used his brother's this time by sneaking out of their bedroom window.
"Are we gonna train now brother?"
"Uhm, sure, but only for a short while. I'm running later than I thought."
Goten nodded as the two dashed off to the fields behind Mt. Paozu. Gohan was dressed in his school clothes rather than his gi so he primarily coached Goten's training instead of participating himself. A little while later both returned back to the house. Gohan then departed for school.
Once at school, Gohan immediately sought out Videl at their usual location and their usual time, namely Videl's locker.
"Good morning Videl."
"Well good morning to you too Son Gohan."
"So what's that unit have to do with this power you mentioned?"
"Haven't figured it out yet eh?"
"Okay, hint two...not the sex or the marriage parts though they have something to do with it later, but focus on the word 'love'."
"Hmm, how does love factor into power? Can it be tapped so that one's ki can be increased?"
Videl giggled. "You really are of warrior blood aren't you?"
"Is that a trick question?"
Videl giggled again. Gohan grew impatient. "C'mon Videl. You're just meanly teasing me now."
Videl tapped his nose with a finger. "But you're so cute like this."
"Like what?" Gohan asked as he stepped back to try to increase distance between them. While he enjoyed Videl's closeness, it had a strange effect on his body, heart, and mind, especially when not distracted by things such as fighting thugs. Videl noticed how her proximity unnerved this supposedly skilled warrior when his guard was down. She knew how to rattle his senses and ignite his instincts. While he hadn't quite figured out the meaning of it all, Videl knew exactly what he was dealing with and she played on it. She continued to close the distance on him, matching every one of his steps with two slow steps of her own. Gohan continued his retreat, that is until he ran out of room and backed into a wall of lockers with a thud. He tried to sidestep away, but Videl caught up to him and placed her arms on both sides of him and onto the lockers. Gohan was pinned between the lockers and Videl and now prevented from any 'normal' escape.
"Videl, c'mon, stop playing." Gohan whined softly, the discomfort evident in his voice.
"What's the matter Gohan?" Videl purred.
"Let me go, please?"
"Cause we'll get into trouble."
"I won't fall for that one hero."
Gohan blushed and giggled nervously while pointing over her shoulder. Videl followed his finger and looked behind herself. There, standing with arms folded was the principal of Orange Star High. Videl chuckled and blushed while allowing Gohan to slink safely out of her confinement.
"I'm sorry Mr. Principal. I was uh, well, teaching Gohan a new move I learned from the police on how to corner a thug."
The principal slowly grinned. "Of course Videl. How could I even think it would be anything else. But honestly Videl, you shouldn't pick on the weaker students. He looked pretty frightened."
*Gohan weak!? And the Earth's made of pudding!* Videl thought before replying. "Right. I'm sorry. I won't do it again."
"That's our heroine. Good
day Videl." the principal replied as he waved and continued
his stroll down the hallway. Videl let out a sigh of relief before
scanning the crowd of students for Gohan. He'd managed to slink
away completely. She shrugged and continued her way to her first
class. Sure enough she also found Gohan. He was in his assigned
seat, talking to Eliza as if nothing had happened. This of course,
prompted Videl into action. She leaned over behind him and whispered
into his ear.
She stood back up and plopped into her own assigned seat which was just a couple seats down from his. She then leaned over and stared at him, anticipating a response. Gohan just stared dumbly at her in the typical Son way.
"Power." she mouthed. He continued his bewildered stare only now with a raised eyebrow. She was going to take it farther, but the instructor entered and started class. And so Videl raised her nose into the air with a pride driven sniff and turned her attention to whatever the instructor was saying.
Gohan found himself completely ignoring hte lesson. He was running through all the possible combinations he could think of for 'love' and 'power.' His was completely lost in his own mind until...
"Son Gohan? Son Gohan!? SON GOHAN!!!"
Gohan was finally snapped out of his thoughts and suddenly found himself nose to nose with one upset instructor. Gohan screeched then stared dumbly back at the instructor.
Eliza, Sharpener, and Videl were laughing softly. The instructor pointed towards the door. Gohan knew what it meant, he'd been through this before. He got up and trudged out the door to stand in the hall with water buckets in hand. After class (and now with twice the homework than the rest of the class), Gohan still hadn't arrived at a solution to Videl's love/power puzzle.
Videl met him at his locker. "I'm sorry Gohan."
"For getting you in trouble."
"You always get me into trouble Videl. There's no need to apologize. Besides where would my life be without your troublemaking abilities?" Gohan teased.
"You'd be a goody-goody beyond anyone's imagination." Videl joked.
"What's so bad about that?"
Videl giggled. "Nothing except, there's no such person. And if there was they'd be chastised as a freak."
"Okay, enough about that. You still haven't helped me solve your riddle. How is love powerful? I cannot figure out how it can influence power."
Videl laughed then suddenly became very serious. Her eyes bored into Gohan's own. He instinctively cowered and began to retreat. Again Videl pinned him up against the lockers.
*How the hell did I fall for that maneuver again!? Father never fell for the same move twice! I'm such an idiot! Or is it that I like being pinned by Videl?* Gohan thought as he waited for Videl's next move.
Videl grinned then looked both
ways in the hall. The were unobserved and no teachers or principals
in sight. Returning her attention back to Gohan, she grabbed his
chin, floated slightly to match his own height, and brushed his
lips with her own. Gohan was taken aback, but didn't protest.
In an instant it was over anyway. Videl returned to the solid
floor and backed away. She then met his eyes once again.
"That dear Gohan IS the power of love." she whispered. Gohan was in some stupified state. She giggled and slapped him on the shoulder. "Well, I gotta get to class. You'd better too if you don't want to spend another session in the hallway." she said as she darted off to class leaving Gohan to his own fate.
After a moment had passed, Gohan jumped back into reality and stared at Videl's departing form. He quickly put away his books, slammed his locker shut, and ran after her.
"Hey Videl wait! What was that all about?" he yelled down the hall at her. He finally caught up with her just before she entered the girls locker room. She winked then motioned for him to come closer so she could whisper to him. He did as she requested.
"Power." she whispered again with a smirk and then entered the locker room. Gohan started to follow her.
"Gohan! Unless you have some special power that changes you into a golden-haired girl or something, you're not allowed in here." Videl giggled.
Gohan stopped dead in his tracks and surveyed his surroundings. He then blushed furiously and quickly exited without a single word while the girls inside broke into hysterical giggles. Seconds later, the bell rang.
"Crap! I'm late for class!" Gohan exclaimed to himself while dashing into the boys locker room.
For the rest of the day, Videl refused to answer any of Gohan's questions aobut love or power. She told him to 'sleep on it' by the time school was out for the day.
When Gohan arrived at home, he ran the question past his mother in hopes of at least some more hints or suggestions.
"Love and power? Dear Gohan why are you pondering such a silly thing?"
"It's silly mother? You mean there's no correlation?"
"Oh there is, but you're the wrong sex to unlock its potential."
"It's a power only females are known to posses Gohan. Or at least the majority with this ability are female."
"How else do you think Bulma and I could keep and control the only two full-blooded, strongest in the universe saiyan warriors?"
"Must be some strong power. So why does Videl bring this up to me?"
ChiChi's eyes suddenly widened with excitement.
"She did!? I just knew it! Oh Gohan, you've made your mother so happy!" she enthusiastically exclaimed as she hugged her eldest, now stunned son.
Goten walked in upon hearing his mother's cheery voice. "What'd brother do mom? Is Gohan and Videl getting married finally?"
Gohan sputtered, amazed at how many exaggrations his mother was giving to his little brother.
"No, no Goten, I'm too young for that right now." Gohan managed to say though directing the statement more towards his mother than brother.
"But mom says---"
ChiChi immediately rushed over to her younger son and covered his mouth with her hand while giggling uncomfortably.
Gohan just gave them a confused look and opted for a change of subject. "When's dinner ready?"
"In about thirty minutes."
"Okay mom. I'm going to go study until then. Call me when it's ready."
ChiChi nodded while Goten squirmed out of her grasp. He was about to follow his brother to their room until dear ol' mom used her diversion.
Goten's eyes widened and he quickly did an 'about face' and darted back into the kitchen. "I can have one? Really mom?"
ChiChi handed her youngest son a freshly made, just out of the oven cookie. "Now Goten, promise not to bother your brother."
"'kay mom. I promise." Goten said between bites. ChiChi gave him a couple more and he made his way to the living room and flicked on the tv. ChiChi didn't need to worry aobut ruining the boy's appetite. He was his father's son afterall, perhaps moreso than his older brother.
Meanwhile, inside his room, Gohan set his bookbag on his bed and turned on his computer to check for any important emails. He skimmed past the announcements about graduation and the senior class trip and quickly opened the one that was from Videl.
Gohan stared blankly at the screen, pondering the words upon it. Videl was up to her riddles again. For several minutes he contemplated the meanings of the words and any relevance. Finally, with a grin of satisfaction, he replied to her message this way:
He then added a P.S.
Gohan then sent the message and smiled happily. *Love at first sight? My father apparently fell prey to it and now so am I. Love is indeed the strongest power in the universe.*
Later that evening, Videl read his message and grinned. Gohan was hers. She silently thanked the powerful essence called love and for her good fortune in finding one who loved her back...his name...Son Gohan.