He reached for his wristwatch, then checked the capsule attached to it. Sometimes he still felt the need to wear that 'Great Saiyaman' outfit in case he ran across any trouble. For the past few days very little had happened to warrant an appearance by him or Great Saiyagirl. Crime had died down to minor break-ins that the authorities could handle on their own. Both superheroes had informed the police they were only to be contacted for jobs that taxed the resources of the law department.
A quick shower taken indoors later followed up by a blast of ki to dry his hair, and Gohan returned to get dressed. This time he selected a more casual pair of jeans, leaving behind his usual nerdy ensemble in favor of a polo shirt. The outfit was completed with a pair of nice new sneakers. He made his way into the kitchen to sit down at the table piled high with breakfast. Already his father and younger brother were stuffing their faces, served by Chichi flitting about with second and third helpings.
"There you are! You slept in! There will be nothing LEFT if you don't shake a leg, Gohan," Chichi informed him.
"I asked for yours, but you had to s how up after all," Goten whined.
"You're dressed a little different Gohan," Son Goku commented, through mouthfuls of his breakfast.
"I suppose it's not that bad, considering you're wearing one of those newer shirts I bought you last year for your birthday. I didn't realize it went so well with blue jeans," Chichi clicked her tongue.
"It's only a study day. I'll be at the library most of it," Gohan said, looking calmly down at his mother. He lacked the usual nervousness, but Chichi seemed in very good spirits.
"He could wear clothes like yours Dad," Goten chimed in.
"Now don't give him ideas, Goten," Chichi scolded, but ruffled her younger son's hair. "I have to admit it's growing on me. Especially since those are NICE jeans, not full of holes or rips as if some of the teenager's think seems 'cool'. Eat up Gohan…"
"Right Mom," he nodded, sitting down to get what breakfast he could away from the others. If he glanced up from his bowl he could see Goku mouthing a thank you to Chichi, who wrinkled her nose playfully. Dad's constant presence and attention to his mother continued to mellow Chichi's still high-strung disposition. Certainty after what happened yesterday she had a reason to celebrate. Such thoughts made Gohan blush and he pushed the image from his mind.
"Are you going to get some balls and make it known what YOU want?" Vegeta's voice echoed in his mind. Gohan finished his food efficiently, then stacked his plates to take to the kitchen.
"I'm going mom," he announced. "I put my dishes in the sink."
"Say hello to Videl for us! And don't forget your lunch," she said.
"I don't think that will be," he started, then figured that battle was not worth it because he didn't want to ruin his mom's good mood. "Okay thanks."
He took the paper bag she handed him and leaned over to kiss her cheek before hugging his dad and little brother goodbye. Goku slapped him on the shoulder and then opened the back door for him. "Remember just relax," Goku whispered.
"Right Dad, Thanks," he said.
"And if you're going to be saving the world, be sure and call us to let us know if you'll be home for dinner?" Chichi called, cupping her mouth with both hands to call to him as Gohan blasted off. Ki flared over him as he rocketed across the skies towards school and Satan City.
Meanwhile Videl had arisen from bed, and felt the aches and pains still plaguing her body. How she received them were still far worth the aftereffects. She went about her own morning routine, choosing to dress herself in a new skirt and short sleeved blouse that was low cut. A quick goodbye to her father on the way out from breakfast brought her to the air car she normally took to high school. Although she could easily fly, she knew her father would scold her about drawing undue attention to herself.
"Those tricks are fine for the ring and when you're playing hero, but be careful please?" he urged. "I mean I bought you that car for your sweet sixteen and the least you can do is use it to humor your old man… sweetheart?"
"Sure dad," she relented. Luckily, there was no need to worry about parking with her vehicle since she could easily capsulate it and carry it in her purse. Today she had paid particular attention to her hair, and walked around in a pair of strappy sandals. Weather was mild, and she felt the need to show off for Gohan's sake.
The small amount of makeup added enough charm to her without detracting from her beauty. It was hard to focus through a written exam in Biology, but she was glad for the study session. Nearby across the lecture hall she glimpsed Gohan, sitting near Erasa and Sharpener. While other students were perplexed, Videl felt much relieved that the facts easily flowed through her pencil to the paper.
"All right class, thank you for an excellent year. I wish you luck in your other finals and comprehensives," the teacher said after all the papers were handed back. The bell rang, and Videl stood up to put her schoolbooks away. Erasa sidled up to her whispering, "So, you didn't call me all last night? How did you do?"
"Pretty good. But I think I can't know till the scores are posted on the school web site," Videl whispered back.
"So… did you and Gohan have a fight?" she asked.
"Oh no," Videl whispered, dragging Erasa into the ladies restroom. She hated to elude Gohan, but sensed her friend would not be satisfied without a quick and dirty news flash.
"Wait, you two made up… and… wait did you go to HIS place to study?"
"Well," Videl leaned closer, both of them standing near the sinks and scanning for anyone who would be listening.
"Wait… you did… and you… Oh Videl… did you…"
"Just a minute… we got to his place, and his mom fed me. You know how she is the best cook in the world practically. She let us study in Gohan's room…"
"Wow how did you pull that off? I thought you said Mrs. Son was the overprotective mom from…"
"She's cool once you know what to tell her," Videl whispered, trying to keep her excitement in check. Erasa's blue eyes widened when Videl continued her confession. With each passing minute, Videl's face flushed from pink to bright red.
"You two… did you…"
"I wasn't sure I could walk for a week," Videl whispered back.
"EEEEH! YOU LUCKY GIRL!" Erasa squealed.
"SHHH! For heaven's sake!" Videl clapped a hand over her friend's mouth.
"You and he… did it? How was it you've got to tell me!" Erasa pleaded.
"It was so… how can I describe it," Videl said dreamily. Erasa was amazed to see such a look on her friend's face. Being with Gohan had softened the rough edges on the tomboy, and left her a young woman.
"Was he gentle and sweet, or hard and fast? I heard the quiet types…"
"Both and neither. It was incredible. Erasa, it was ten million times better then anything we have heard the rest of the gang say," Videl laughed.
"Lucky girl! It didn't hurt?"
"It hurt, but he knew what he was doing…."
"Then you really did do some hands on studying of biology," Erasa giggled. Both of them continued to whisper about things until several other girls entered the room. Grabbing each other's hands, they rushed out to grab some lunch. On the way there, they saw Sharpener and a few of his friends standing around. Erasa and Videl's other friends named Flair Tip and Prisma Mark, both with purple hair and tanned skin, and pink hair and violet eyes respectively clustered with them in the line. Prisma brushed off her blue sundress while Flair was pulling her purse further up the shoulder of her blue jeans vest and capris ensemble.
"Don't you two look like you've got a big secret," Flair whispered, fluffing out her purple hair which complimented her bronze skin nicely. "Some dirt you two want to share?"
"I'm only worried about if we all passed the biology final!" Prisma interrupted. She twisted a lock of her long pink curls around one finger nervously. Her violet eyes sparked with worry.
"I think we'll be okay," Videl said.
"I saw you guys yesterday with Sharpener and Gohan. Did you have a private study session we didn't know about?" pouted Prisma.
"Leave 'em alone. I'm sure with Gohan they're going to get straight A's," Flair waved a dismissive hand.
"Let's go get some coffee, I need it after being almost fast asleep," Erasa said.
"Don't you want to meet the guys for lunch? Because they are standing over there waiting for us…" Prisma waved. Already two young men, both the boyfriends of the two girls were sitting or preparing to drag chairs out of the table. Sharpner was already standing near them.
Minutes before, Sharpener had chased down Gohan, who was glancing around for Videl. "So, did you have FUN studying last night?"
"Give me a break Sharpener. I hope I did the same thing YOU did, actually studying my notes," Gohan returned.
"Lay off the bookworm, Sharpner," someone interrupted. Gohan looked gratefully at their mutual friend Bic, who was broad, shouldered with muscle. Although he was a football player, he studied quite hard. Gohan had helped him on several occasions with other classes, and had earned the jock's respect in spades. Short-cropped hair on his tanned head was a dark red, almost crimson, and he stood a full head and shoulders above the two classmates.
"Guys I'm starving. The girls are going to bitch if we don't save them a table, remember?" the second person named Beryl reminded them. A bit slenderer then Sharpener, and shorter then Gohan, he pushed his glasses up further on the bridge of his nose and glared at both of them. A letter sweater had the words Baseball written across his back, and despite his smaller frame, his arms were nicely muscled.
"So let's go already," Bic urged. "You guys coming?"
"Misery loves company," Sharpener shrugged.
"Erasa's probably going to be there with Flair and Prisma," Beryl said, grabbing his backpack and slinging it over one arm.
"I bet you can't wait to pitch your usual lines at her. Did you catch anything funny last night?" Sharpener asked.
"Zip it Sharpener," Bic urged. Sharpener clamped his mouth shut and glared.
"Easy guys. We're all fagged out from that exam, so let's keep it cool," the pitcher of the team raised mediating hands.
"Fine, it's nothing," Bic said.
"Whatever, I'm starving," Sharpener said.
"So Gohan, I wanted to thank you for the suggestions. I think the flash cards worked great," Bic said. He strode first, with Gohan walking next to him, followed by Beryl and Sharpener a few steps behind.
"Sharpener, I'll tell you about the play by play. If you tell me if you and Erasa had some fun of your own."
"Okay, but you'd better dish," Sharpener brightened up. "Did you and your honey get a hands on for this test?"
"It was all bases loaded," Beryl whispered. Eagerly Sharpener angled his head closer. Both of them had played baseball together several seasons and were next door neighbors. Often times Beryl kept Sharpener in check if he got too much out of line. He had tried to urge Gohan to join their team despite Gohan's protests.
Bic knew the other two from middle school. He watched over most of the 'nerdy' kids because he had once been one himself. That was before he had his growth spurt and gained a good amount of muscle. Now the nerd turned jock took care of his old friends and new. Gohan felt most at ease with him, and the two were discussing the finer points of which question they missed when Beryl interrupted.
"There's an empty table there, guys. Let's grab it."
"Right. You joining us Gohan?" Bic asked.
"I guess if nobody minds," Gohan shrugged. He felt too good to let Sharpener's glare ruin his morning. Each of them pulled out various chairs and tipped others up to save places for their female friends.
Bic waved the cluster of girls over from the lunch line. He led the way, Gohan at his heels. "Stay here," he told Sharpener and Beryl. Both of them piled their books around the spare places and kept any others from stealing their spots. Male voices interspersed with female ones once Gohan and Bic grabbed the trays gallantly for Videl, Erasa, and their friends.
"You're late," Flair scolded.
"So how'd it go, Hun?" Beryl asked Bic.
"We'll tell all soon," he waved her to the table.
"Gohan, you were right. I did… study on my own last night," Erasa whispered.
"Well I'm glad to hear that. I had hoped Sharpener didn't drag you into using those tests," Gohan nodded.
"Let's just say Sharpener shaped up after I got wind of that," Bic said firmly. "I don't think he'll decide on that option."
"Good," Gohan nodded with satisfaction. Erasa beamed with pride, while Videl moved up to stand near Gohan.
"Hi," she said shyly. He gave her a smile and reached out to take her hand.
"I missed you," Gohan answered. Their fingers intertwined and he set down her tray before them. Once chairs shifted, the eight friends arranged themselves in a comfortable circle around the round table. Gohan pulled out a bag lunch, as did Beryl, while the others contented themselves with the food. Bic got up once more to fetch more food for himself and anyone else that wanted it.
"What's this I hear about 'outside help'?" Beryl sidled up to Sharpener.
Gohan almost spat out his drink had Videl not slapped him on the back. "Easy there Gohan."
"You okay?" Flair wondered, tossing Videl a napkin.
"You don't have to spray it, bookworm," Beryl cautioned. "I was just wondering if you used those tests or not… because if Bic finds out you did…."
"You'll be dead meat," added Prisma, threading her arm through Beryl's.
"All right already! I get the message," Sharpener sulked.
Surrounded by the crowd of their friends, Gohan and Videl were jostled and pushed. Everyone tried to maximize tabletop space without knocking the contents of their respective trays to the floor. Bicc Penn and his girlfriend Flair solved their quandary by eating off one tray. As for Erasa and Sharpener, they simply got rid of their trays and put their bowls and plates directly on the table.
Beryl and Prisma sneaked food off each other's plate. Despite the huge basket of fries and double order of barbecued chicken they worked on, it still seemed like they picked at their food. It drove Sharpener nuts whenever he would accompany his oldest friend on a double date because of this. Evident by the impatient glare he shot the two over Erasa's shoulder. "C'mon, you're going to make me nuts eating one dang fry at a time!"
"Don't you know it's my secret weapon, Sharpie? Makes the girls stay with you longer," Beryl mock-whispered.
"Okay, okay, I get the hint," Sharpener relented. Gohan and Videl were pushed closer together, so as Videl tried to reach for a napkin, Gohan leaned over to pick up his bag off the floor. He extracted a few containers out of it, and opened them up. Taking a pair of chopsticks, he used them efficiently to eat the rice. Erasa at the same time leaned over Sharpener's lap to pull something out of her bag and set it before them. She gleefully pulled the plastic wrap off a homemade tangerine and spinach salad. Sharpener raised a brow; annoyed she set it right in front of him.
Yet seeing Beryl feeding his girlfriend a fry, he changed his mind. Especially when she licked ketchup off his still extended finger. Erasa suddenly felt his arm snake out and drag her onto his knee. She almost dropped the spoon she held, feeling Sharpener's muscular chest pressed to her back. "Okay, let's see what you've brought, since you've put it right under my nose," he whispered.
"Is he for real?" Beryl shot an inquiring look at Prisma.
"Oh hush up! I've been trying to hint to those two for Kami knows how long," she hissed in his ear. He found a mouthful of chicken wing shoved into his mouth. Erasa blushed a pleasant shade of pink when Sharpener himself started digging through the salad with his own fork, appearing VERY interested in what she had to offer. Gohan was thankful Erasa and Sharpener had drawn attention away from him and Videl.
"Hey, I think we've hogged enough chairs," Sharpener glared at the surprised looks of everyone else. "I don't think any of you would argue about this…"
"He's so forward," Erasa giggled, loving the fact that he had finally seen what was in front of him all along. In addition, to her delight and everyone's continued amusement he let her feed him small bites.
"He's actually eating it and liking it," Videl whispered to Gohan. She leaned forward to take a mouthful of ginger chicken he extended to her on his own chopsticks.
"Wonders never cease," Gohan snickered to himself. "He's actually showing some brains. Erasa is a sweet girl. I only hope he treats her well."
"Don't worry," Flair whispered, next to him, half sitting on her chair and Bic's lap. "If he doesn't, Bicc with see if he fits into his locker."
"Even though I usually reserve that honor for freshmen," Bic joked.
"Ha ha," Videl shot him a glare. Nevertheless, both smiled.
Not wanting to be outdone by Sharpener's open declaration, Beryl urged his girlfriend into his lap, and there were two empty chairs pushed out. Eagerly the ever-crowding cafeteria snatched them up. The only thing they feared was the overzealous eye of a teacher lunchroom monitor chewing them out for PDA's.
"Crap, I think I saw Miss Harrison on lunchroom duty!" whispered Beryl.
"What are they going to do to us seniors? Give us detention?" Sharpener laughed, quite liking the feel of Erasa on his lap.
"Well there's a thing called 'not graduating', which could turn into a five year plan if you're suspended for not keeping your hands to yourself, idiot," Bic glared at him.
"Oh, so they're supposed to put up with you and bookworm playing Boy Scout and get jealous?" Sharpener teased.
"There's a time and place for everything," Gohan interrupted. "And if you respected the rules, you wouldn't want to put your girlfriend in danger because you can't control your base impulses."
"Oh I'm so scared," Sharpener laughed.
"Loosen up, Gohan," Beryl said.
"Leave him alone. You people behave, okay. That's for later," said Bic, glaring at his classmates.
"Lousy spoilsports," Sharpener gave him a dark look. Nevertheless, his blue eyes spoke of promise to a shy but excited Erasa that he released from his lap. Reluctantly Beryl did the same with Prisma. As the teacher marched over both girls made a show of gathering food plates and rushing off.
"Nice save," Beryl whispered. Sharpener had to agree.