Gohan flew towards Satan City first. It was, afterall, often passed through or over when on a trip west to Bulma's. Gohan altered course slightly so that he would head to the outskirts of one sector of the city. On the city's edge poised the Satan Mansion. Since this was Sunday, Videl would likely be home. Luckily for Gohan, Videl was, at the time, working out. He could feel her elevated ki. Landing just inside the mansion's security perimeter, Gohan followed the strengtening ki around the left wing and to the rear of the huge building. Peering in a window, he had indeed found the gym area. He also saw Videl busily thrumming away at a sandbag. The speed and fury of her kicks aroused the saiyan side of Gohan. He desired to join her. But, his highly trained brain told him otherwise. He was here for a reason and it wasn't sparring. Or perhaps it was, but not physically. Gohan had to clash verbally with the daughter of Mr. Satan. This was the Satan family's strength. By human standards they were indeed strong, but their manipulative and well-chosen words were the main strength of both father and daughter. Gohan would have to be cautious with his. One wrong word or phrase and Videl would eat him up alive thus solving nothing for the son of Goku.
Nervously, he debated how to attract her attention. Should he knock on the window? Go back to the front and try to gain entry normally? Try his communicator watch? The longer he stood there staring in the window, the easier it was for his body to make the decision his brain was supposed to. He rattled on the window.
Videl was immediatly startled as her kick missed the punching bag and its force flung her off balance and onto the ground. Gohan hid a snicker. It was a rather comedic scene to see her whiff air and fall. She returned to her feet and looked about for the source of her distraction. Gohan tapped again. Her bright eyes narrowed as her brow enclosed upon them. She wasn't happy to see him.
Lifting the window, Gohan backed up thus making sure he wouldn't get punched before saying what he had to.
"Gohan, I'm still mad at you."
"I know, but this is important."
"You said that the last time too, remember?"
"Yes, but this is different, well, not all different, but---"
Videl sighed. "Stop babbling. Obviously whatever it is, I'm going to have to hear it."
"You know that female saiyan--"
"How could I not. That's the reason I'm mad at you."
"Well, she did leave for space, but Piccolo brought to my attention some possible further conseqences of my actions that could happen down the road."
"Vegeta must have too. Bulma's making a space ship. He's going after her. Since it's my fault all this happened, I feel obligated to go too."
Videl thought about Gohan's decision carefully. One part of her said 'fine, go' while the other said 'please don't leave, I don't want you to leave me.' Finally, she spoke. "So, you're ditching school again I suppose?"
"Yes. But, I'm hoping it won't be for too long."
"What does your mother think about all this, assuming you told her of course."
"I told her. And, I told her I was going to join Vegeta. But, she doesn't know I left already. Well, maybe she does now, Goten saw me leave. I'm on my way to Bulma's now, but felt it necessary to stop here first."
Videl was flattered at that response though she wasn't really sure why.
"Gohan, you've really dug yourself a grave this time."
"I know. Vegeta's upset. You're upset. My mom's upset. My once-mentor is upset. Goten's now upset. Nobody seems to like me right now. So, it's best I leave for a while."
"What about the city?"
Gohan hung his head for a moment. "You can hang on without me. I have faith in your strength and ability."
"What am I going to tell our friends at school?"
"The same thing you'll tell any teachers or the principal. That I'm dealing with a family obligation and I'll return soon."
"You mean lie?"
"Exaggerated truth. If Veleet impregnates---"
"Gohan, STOP, I don't want to even remember what you gave her!"
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry."
"Just go. I'll try to hold the fort while you're gone."
"But don't think this is over yet mister. You'd better return quick and in one piece because I want the satisfaction of taking you apart later."
Gohan gulped. "Uh, yeah, sure. Take care Videl. I lo--, I'll return, I promise." Gohan said as he launched back into the air.
*Was he about to say 'I love you?' * Videl thought to herself as she watched him depart.
Gohan arrived at Bulma's within the hour. He breathed a sigh of relief when upon the door opening, Bulma greeted him rather than Vegeta.
"How is the ship coming Bulma?"
She scowled. "I can't believe you did that Gohan. But you're a teenager and teenagers do weird things so I can't totally blame you. I'm just upset that you're taking my 'quality time' with Vegeta away from me for a while."
"Gohan, at your age, you should know what that is. Anyway, it takes guts to ride in a little ship with that man so I guess I should commend you on your courage."
"Does Vegeta know I'm coming?"
"I didn't even know you were. I just guessed that since you are standing at my doorway."
"Well come in. The ship will be ready by tomorrow. I'm charging its systems up now."
"I don't know if Vegeta knows or not. I don't ask him things unless I wish to get an earful of gripes."
As Bulma led Gohan to the launch bay where the ship was now at rest, Vegeta entered from another hallway. He was draped in sweat. Gohan gulped once again. Eventhough he was stronger than the saiyan prince, he never once let his guard down with the unpredictable saiyan.
Vegeta stared him down. Gohan tried to avoid eye contact. Direct contact would mean he was challenging the saiyan prince. He wanted to keep Vegeta as calm as possible. Vegeta was satisfied in seeing the eldest son of Goku squirm under his scrutiny. A slow smirk developed across his face as he turned and departed without saying a word.
Gohan was unsure how to take that, but it couldn't be good. Nerves now jittered up and down his spine as he thought of he and that saiyan locked up in a little ship in space together. There would be nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. No escape anywhere, whatsoever.
Bulma looked at Gohan with pity. The poor boy was barely into adulthood and already he may see his life cut short.
"Well, you may stay the night in the room across from Trunks'. I'm sure he'll be pleased that he has someone to play with tonight. I'll prepare the ship for a departure shortly after breakfast. I'm sure both you and him will want to eat first."
Gohan nodded. "Thank you Bulma."
"You're welcome Gohan, but some advice. If I were you, I'd pray to Dende that you get out of this alive. This is not some pleasure cruise you're embarking upon. Sharing a small spaceship with Vegeta is probably like trying to sleep in a garbage can with a hundred porcupines. Anyway, get some rest. Be up at six for breakfast if you want any chance at some food."
"Uh, okay. I think." Gohan replied as more chills scampered up and down his spine. He was not looking forward to this at all and silently wished that Trunks from the other timeline were present so he could borrow the time machine and change the past for another version of himself. Since now, he wasn't so sure he was going to walk out of this whole situation unscathed.
to be continued...