A day passed with little to no incident. Gohan didn't pester Videl about the incident the day before. Putting himself in her place as best he could, he too, would probably want some time alone to sift out what had occurred. He had lied to her, kept a major secret from her, and to top it off, gave some strange monkey woman a first shot at having his offspring. He knew he had infuriated a female, and Videl was not to be taken lightly. Like his mother, Videl had attached to his heart and could rip him to shreds with her fury. All the eldest son of Goku could do was helplessly await his impending doom.
"Gohan, Mr. Piccolo is here." Goten yelled into the doorway of their bedroom where Gohan was sulking. Gohan calmly got to his feet and followed Goten to the back door. ChiChi looked at her boys with a strange look. She never really liked Piccolo, but her sons were attached to the Namek, especially Gohan, so there was little she could do.
"Stay with mom Goten. I think Piccolo wants to speak with me alone." Gohan said as he held his little brother back.
"Awww, but Gohan..."
"Don't whine. Help mom. Maybe she'll give you some scraps before dinner."
Goten's eyes brightened at the sound of the possiblity of more food. "Kay. Don't be long brother or else I'll eat your half too."
"I wouldn't doubt it Goten." Gohan said then turned to his mother. "I won't be gone too long. I think I know what this is about."
"You'd better not. If you're late for lunch, I'm not holding Goten back from eating your half. You'll go foodless until the next meal. Understand?"
Gohan gulped. He surely didn't want to starve, especially when the smell of food would radiate through the house. "I understand mom." He said softly before closing the door behind him.
He found Piccolo leaning against a tree beside the small creek that ran alongside the Son family residence. Gohan half prepared himself for the verbal onslaught he would likely receive.
Piccolo heard Gohan approach and reopened an eye.
"Uh, hello Piccolo." Gohan said in a half-cheery half-scared sort of way. The expression Piccolo was giving him was a forewarning of things to come.
"Follow me. We'll talk somewhere more secluded."
Gohan followed his ex-mentor without a word. Piccolo launched into the air and Gohan followed. They landed at a grassy outcropping at the foot of Mount Paozu.
"The saiyan female has left Earth."
"She honored our deal. I told her to leave this planet and never return if I gave her what she asked of me."
"Vegeta will never forgive you."
"Vegeta's had his pride stepped on before. He'll get over it. It wasn't his choice to begin with."
"What are you going to tell your mother?"
Gohan gulped. Was Piccolo serious!? Tell his mother? About that? "I wasn't planning on telling her. What she doesn't know won't hurt her."
"But your girlfriend does know. How can you be so sure that she won't tell your mother?"
Piccolo had a point there. Videl could even tell her just to get even with Gohan for what he did. He hung his head in defeat. His mother would have to know at some point and it would be best if she heard it directly from her son rather than second-hand from a friend.
"Piccolo, why are you so against me on this matter? The solution was win-win."
"Gohan, I thought you smarter than this. It wasn't about winning and losing. It was about morals and values. Even Vegeta saw it on that level."
Gohan thought about Piccolo's words carefully. The more he thought, the more sense they made. Now Gohan was beginning to question his solution. Was it a mistake? But what damage could it do?
Gohan didn't have to think of the damage. Piccolo supplied it.
"Gohan, that saiyan female could raise your offspring against us. Did you ever think of that? The offspring will have more saiyan than even you have. It will also possess your ability to go super saiyan and perhaps beyond.This is perhaps something Vegeta also predicted. You never thought about the long term consequences did you?"
All Gohan could do was shake his head. He hadn't thought that far off. He was more worried about the here and now.
"Gohan, your deal was for Veleet to never return. You never said the same about any of the offspring she may produce from your gift to her. Are you aware of who will be forced to handle the brunt of an attack such as that? Not your or I. Not even Vegeta. It will be your kid brother and that of Vegeta's. Do you really want them to have to fight as we have had to? They already lost their innocence against Majin Buu. They will lose more if they find they have to handle yet another onslaught. Just think of yourself having to grow up under the same circumstances. Do you really wish the same for them?"
"I...didn't...think..." Gohan trailed softly unsure of what to really say. He now realized that what he thought was a good idea now could turn out to become a grand mistake years down the road. To make matters worse, it would affect friends who had nothing to do with the situation.
"No you didn't think. I suggest you start thinking now. From what I can gather, Vegeta's already one step ahead of you. I suggest you swallow your pride and approach him. Bulma's designing another space ship for Vegeta to use. It would be best if you were on that ship as well."
"In a cramped ship with Vegeta!? Are you nuts Piccolo!? He hates me now!"
"You have to start somewhere. Vegeta would be best an ally than foe, Gohan. If he has to take care of these matters for you, he'll consider you a foe for eternity. Your father has already instilled enough emotional fuel in the saiyan prince. Do you honestly want to add more?"
"Fine then. I hope you can undo your doings. Farewell Gohan." Piccolo said before flying off.
"Me too. Farewell Piccolo." Gohan muttered back eventhough Piccolo was already long gone. Gohan then returned home.
Upon entering the house, ChiChi noticed the long face on her eldest son.
"Gohan, what's wrong?"
"Lots, but I can't explain yet."
"THE EARTH ISN'T IN DANGER AGAIN IS IT!? OHMIGOSH, NOT AGAIN!" ChiChi yelled in half panic that her dear children would have to face battle again.
"No, no...not yet anyway." Gohan said with a soft, calm voice. ChiChi ceased her sputtering and glared at her son.
"What did you do?"
"Long story. Can I explain after the meal please?"
Gohan gulped. The time to explain to his mother was very near. It would be very difficult.
"Mom, I've got to call Videl. Yell when lunch is ready okay?"
ChiChi nodded and returned her attentions to the wonderful smelling creations on the stove.
Goten tried to follow his brother and was once again halted.
"Goten, stay with mom."
Goten's face developed into a stern pout. "You made me stay already. This is my room too. I can go in it if I want to!"
"It's important I talk to Videl alone Goten, please?"
"I'm getting tired of everybody pushing me out of the way Gohan!"
"I'm sorry. I promise I'll make it up to you lil' bro. Okay?"
"You'd better." Goten sternly commanded as he stomped away once again.
With Goten safely away, Gohan shut the door and dialed Videl's number.
"Videl Satan here, may I help you?"
"Videl it's me, Gohan."
"I'm not speaking to you."
"Wait! Please don't hang up! You said you'd allow me to explain."
"I don't know why you'd even want to try."
"Look, I'm sorry. Piccolo came by earlier and explained to me the possible ramifications of my decision. I know it's not your reason for being upset, but it got me thinking."
"That's a first in a while Gohan. You obviously didn't use the right brain to arrive at the previous decision."
Gohan sighed. How in the name of Dende was he supposed to explain? "I understand that now. I wish I had before, but what's done is done."
"And you think by explaining that the done can be undone, at least between us?"
"So why bother?"
"Because I can't stand to have you mad at me Videl!" Gohan blurted out unsure as to whether it was from his brain or heart.
Videl hesitated on the other end of the line. But, she knew she had to remain firm, no matter how much she wanted to be with him.
"Gohan, I can't let you cute-talk your way out of this one. This is serious."
"More serious than you know unfortunately."
"Wow. You sure have some explaining to do Gohan. I can't talk now. If we're going to talk, I want to do it with a cool head. I'll let you know when that will be. Okay?"
"If that's my only alternative, then I guess it has to be okay."
"It is. Til then, take care."
"Bye Videl." Gohan said softly as he heard the phone click on the other end.
"Why is this happening to me? If my dad was here----ah, why bother, he's not. I've got to get out of this hole I dug by myself." Gohan said to himself as he prepared for the next onslaught. After his meal he would have to deal with an even greater threat than Videl--a face-to-face with his own mother!
to be continued...