Videl's heart was beating wildly in her chest, and only a small part of it was from surprise.
She was sparing with Gohan (who, like always, was holding back, not that he would admit that), Gohan attacked, she dodged and then tripped on Gohan's leg, and before she knew it she was straddling him, her face at only inches of his boyishly charming one.
Gohan looked surprised and confused up at her, and she unconsciously leaned closer, closing her eyes to-
"Videl-san? are you hurt?"
Videl snapped out of her fantasy at once, feeling stupid as she seated on the ground.
"I am fine, you oblivious idiot!"
Gohan laughed and nodded, seating on the ground too, "Oh, ok then- wait- oblivious?!"
Gohan blinked and started to blush, realizing at once what was about to happen.
The way that Gohan was acting, as if confused and afraid and apoplectic all at once was answer enough for something that she has suspected for a while.
Gohan was never interested on girls or boys in school, and if there was some it was only a passing interest but never never more than that.
A part of Videl thought, assumed, that learning his secret and spending time with him would-
Gohan looked relieved, followed immediately by guilt.
"I- if it helps any, I believe you are a wonderful and amazing girl, Videl, I am just-"
She wanted to be angry, but hearing Gohan talking like that, trying to comfort her...
She smirked and ended his sentence,"-you are just interested in someone else?"
Gohan's eyes widened and his face flushed of the most vibrant shade of red she has ever witnessed in a fellow human being, it was impressive, really.
"Gohan, you are shit at keeping secrets"
"Oh...um...and...you don't think I am weird or...um...a bad person for...?"
Videl was not sure what Gohan was referring to with those questions, why would he be weird or a bad person for liking someone else? even if it were a boy it couldn't- unless he was homophobic? but knowing him, and his mother....
"Your mother doesn’t approve, does she?"
Gohan's eyes widened again and, looking down, nodded again then shook his head.
"She doesn't know? She would have- She could have tried to kill me, or them, probably them if she knew... I mean, she never has accepted my friendship with...um...the person...um...and they look older and kinda scary, they also act cold with me around others, but they are only 4 years older than me! and I am their first, best and only friend! and I've liked them for a very very very long time! not that people seem to realize that I like them that way, and I used to tell them that I loved them all the time so even if I slipped they wouldn't truly get it, not that I am planning to! If I were to tell them they surely could comply with whatever I ask, even if they are not comfortable with it, because it could make me sad if they don't and make me happy if they do and I don't want that! I'm fine staying like this! really!"
Videl was amused but also intrigued by Gohan's ramblings, Gohan has mentioned his best friend once or twice, but not for long or in such detail, and he has mentioned that he only had one friend before coming to school. Is this the same person?
"The guy that you meet when you were 10?"
Gohan blinked in confusion and shook his head, "Um...no? I...I meet them when I was 4, and I...I didn't realize that I liked them that way until I was 10?"
Videl's eyes widened, Gohan has been in love with whoever that person is for that long? no wonder he has no interest in anyone else.
"you are really alright with- with never saying anything? for what you said, they could-"
Gohan's eyes narrowed, his whole demeanor changing from his usual childish and innocent and wallflowerly one for one of commanding and-
"No! I won't tell them anything, I am selfish enough already staying around them and commanding and demanding their time the way I do, I won't ask for more, I know they are not comfortable with shows of affection and they are disgusted and confused by love and what it imply, and I won't subject them to it just because I am in love with them"
Seeing Gohan like this, listening to this Gohan, made Videl realize how little she knew of him and how much she wanted to learn and, if possible, get him (as long as he wants her back)
"Ok....if that is what you want, then why don't you try dating someone else?"
Gohan's look of confusion was amusing.
"I mean, you won't ask the one you like, but you surely are not planning on staying alone, right? you would find someone that knows and understand, and even support you on this. I can't say that I understand everything, or I won't react badly to something or another, but knowing that you feel that strongly and at the same time so respectfully for someone...I-I want that, or at least I want part of that-"
Gohan's eyes widened and warmed, touched and surprised by her words.
"Let me finish, dammit!"
Gohan startled and nodded.
"I- I want to be your friend, not that mockery of friendship we've had so far, and if something more develop in the future I wouldn't mind either, but- and I promise you this, if we date or end together I will never get between the one person you love and you, just...think about it? alright? and perhaps I can meet them in the tournament"
Gohan's eyes widened and his face turned a vibrant red, confirming her suspicions.
"You will present them to me in the tournament, right? just- think about it, alright?"
"I- ok, I will think about it, but no promises, and...um...maybe? if depends on them, they are not very sociable."
Gohan was nervous and silently freaking out as he presented his family and friends, and with how much he was freaking out it was almost impossible to figure out who it was that he was in love with, but the way that Gohan was non-too-subtly avoiding one person in particular, one that looked more than just kinda menacing and was totally antisocial (or at least didn't interact with anyone more than the bare minimum, except for Gohan, who he followed with his eyes almost constantly) It wasn’t that difficult to figure out.
The guy didn't look the age that Gohan told her he was, nor he acted that way, and it was surprising that Gohan liked someone like him, green skin and all, but the guy's reactions at shows of affections fit with what Gohan described.
How can Gohan feel so strongly for someone like this? someone that all but ignored him for the most part?
She wanted to learn more, to talk to the guy and get to know him too, but everything was put in the back burner when she was hospitalized, after what Gohan was attacked, and everyone that knew Gohan just stood there while he was being attacked.
Gohan told her that the person he liked acted cold with him around others, and she saw the way that the guy was controlling himself to not go to Gohan's help, but to leave like that? without even a backward glance?
Gohan deserved better than that, especially when he was part of the group that defeated Cell so long ago.
Gohan was pissed off, really really pissed off, not that he could express it as openly as he wished, nobody would be able understand him, or if they did they would disapprove and criticize him.
Piccolo wasn’t supposed to get hurt, Gohan was supposed to protect him how Piccolo has protected him so many times in the past, but he was weak and stupid and naive.
Dabura will pay for having attacked Piccolo the way he did, he will destroy him with his own hands, he wants to humiliate him and make him beg for his life, only for him to-
He shook his head, trying to get rid of those thoughts. He is not like that, he has never been like that.
(That's not true, whenever that someone that he cares about is hurt or put in danger he wants to kill, to destroy, especially if that someone is Piccolo)
Gohan gritted his teeth, trying to fight Dabura without giving to his dark urges, trying to keep the fighting fair, but-
The spit flying to him, and his glove turning to stone, and the memories of Krilin and Piccolo (His Piccolo) doing the same finally snapped his control over his temper.
Nobody has the right to hurt or put in danger his beloved Piccolo-sama, nobody.
He powered up, and rushed to Dabura, placing his hand covered in energy on that red forehead and letting go.
All the memories of Piccolo, of him in danger and Piccolo purposefully putting himself in danger for his sake rushed to the forefront of his mind, his blood boiling in anger and a rush of adrenalin and power filled him.
Gohan hated himself and his weakness, never able to protect what he wants to protect, he was unworthy of Piccolo, that's why he never even considered pursuing him.
The screams of pain and suffering were music for his ears, washing away that self-hate and those painful memories, only leaving him with the good ones, of Piccolo teasing and being teased by him, of them spending time together how he enjoyed so much and a smirk soon appeared on his lips.
It was only once the screams turned to gurgling and then an eerie silence that he opened his hand and shook his head, erasing that creepy and disturbing smile that appeared on his lips at such inopportune time and trying to calm down and clam up that power, feeling lighter from that high that letting go always caused him.
Everyone was looking at him in surprise, and he smiled sheepishly and scratched his head.
"Um...sorry about that? I tried to keep the fight fair but...um..."
Vegeta was smirking and then he was laughing and laughing.
"I had almost forgotten that you do that whenever you are pissed off, you should snap more often, brat, you are not fun at all like this"
Gohan pouted, his cheeks heating up in embarrassment.
"Well, I for my part don't enjoy it when I snap, I am not myself when I do and I act all selfish and demanding and violent and-"
The world was suddenly muted and blurred and cold and hot and-
Gohan brought his hands to his head, feeling like it was about to burst open all of a sudden, he could hear voices and other sounds around him, and screams, and then a second set of screams joined...him?
As suddenly as the pain started it stopped, he straightened up and looked around him, everything was the same, except that it was not, they were back on the ship and Dad and Kaioshin were looking concerned about something, and Vegeta-
Vegeta has that symbol on his forehead, the one that resembled an M, his own mind felt sluggish and Vegeta was talking with Dad, and Kaioshin was stepping back in fear, his eyes going from Vegeta to him to Dad and back.
what was happening?
He looked around again, and Piccolo appeared and he grinned, not caring that there were others around to witness-
He glomped Piccolo, as he used to do all the time while younger and only occasionally did now.
"Piccolo-sama! you are alright!"
Piccolo tensed at his greeting, but then he was ruffling his hair and he was grinning even wider as he nuzzled him.
"I love when you do that, or when you smile at me, or when you hug me, can you hug me?"
There were some words exchanged, not that he cared about what was being said, and Piccolo-sama was talking, and his arms were around him, and-
"I love your voice too! I love all of you really, I know you don't have any interest on romance of any type, and I didn't plan on asking you because of it, but I don't care anymore if I am being selfish, because I really really love you, Piccolo-sama, so could you please go out with me? would you please be my boyfriend? that would make me really really happy"
He looked up, and Piccolo was looking down, at him, his face turning a beautiful purple-
"you are blushing! I love when you blush!"
Piccolo's blush grew and he was ruffling his hair, "Let's talk about that after we deal with this, alright?"
Gohan wanted to pout but, "okay, it's a promise"
He raised his pinky finger and Piccolo, after a little hesitation did the same, joining them and-
Babidi being killed by Piccolo was not a surprise, the sudden dizziness was unexpected but not that hard to deal with, but the embarrassment and guilt for what he did and said under his control...
Gohan looked at Piccolo, and the Namek blushed slightly at his look but gave him an almost imperceptible nod in acknowledgement.
Buu waking up, fighting him and waking up in another planet was not on his plans, and being praised for how innocent and pure his dark side was was the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to him.
Training with a secret mystical sword, breaking said sword, and having his potential unlocked were a walk in the park in comparison to the embarrassment and the nerves he was feeling knowing that he will need to face Piccolo sooner rather than later.
It was not fair, he needed more time, but more time might mean putting Piccolo in even more danger, and that is not something he will allow.
Piccolo's look of relief and awe, and something that he wanted to believe was something more, his cheeks and ears flushing purple as soon as he saw him back was...
He swallowed dryly and faced Buu.
The fight that followed, and his defeat, and having to be rescued for his Dad and Vegeta were a blow to his confidence but something positive too, everyone was too distracted to notice if he slipped away.
He gave a pointed look to Piccolo and he nodded, following up and out and away from where everyone else was.
They flew for a long while, at least it felt like it, and then they were sitting on their place, the one where they meet so long ago.
He didn't talk about what he said while he was in control of Babidi, and neither did Piccolo, but they waited together for something intangible in silence, as how they used to do all the time (unless he wanted to share something when he was younger, still unable to control himself while excited or angry)
Piccolo's hand on his head startled him, and when he looked up Piccolo-sama was blushing, with his eyes looking up front.
"I'm not- I am not against romance, just confused by what it entails, but if that is what you want-"
Piccolo looked at him in confusion and surprise, and he smiled and leaned closer.
"Piccolo, if you are accepting because I asked then I have to tell you that this is not what I want. Answer me this, what do you want?"
Piccolo blinked and tilted his head, "What I want...?"
Piccolo scrunched his nose, which was really really cute, and closed his eyes as he thought-
"I- I want you to be happy, but you are human, you are supposed to be with another human, even if-"
Gohan assumed as much, it hurt but also warmed him, knowing that Piccolo wanted his happiness above all, but he was still curious about-
Piccolo's cheeks and ears turned a soft purple, "even if I enjoy spending time with you, or how much I feel annoyed and frustrated and pained when you spend time with others-"
Gohan's heart was beating wildly in his chest, Piccolo's words, and his whole demeanor, was all but screaming jealousy.
Did Piccolo-sama- Did Piccolo-sama love him like he does? willing to suffer by himself for his beloved happiness?
"-I want you to be happy, and I can't give you that"
Gohan blinked the tears that filled his eyes, his face and ears burning and his heart-
"I love you, and the only thing I've ever wanted is to make you happy"
Piccolo was blushing again, his eyes snapping open in surprise at his declaration.
He grinned and took Piccolo's hand in his, his fingers interlocking with those beautiful and perfect green ones.
"I love you, Piccolo-sama, and if anyone in the universe can make me happy, truly and unreservedly happy, that's you and you alone"
Piccolo looked confused and touched and flustered, but a small smile and soft blush appeared on his lips and face.
Piccolo looked at his face, and then at their joined hands, and almost hesitatingly squeezed.
"You...make me happy too"
He grinned and Piccolo-sama smile widened just a bit, lifting their joined hands-
"this make me your boyfriend or-?"
"if that's as far as what you want to go, yes, but- if you are...um...interested or willing to go farther...."
Piccolo-sama blinked in confusion and he wanted to groan, or coo, at how innocent his Piccolo-sama was about these things.
Piccolo looked surprised by his words, but nodded all the same, no hesitation whatsoever.
He leaned closer to Piccolo, his eyes closing, and-
The soft brush of Piccolo-sama's lips against his own was heaven on earth, and the look of surprise on Piccolo-sama's face when he left those lips was almost as heavenly.
"how- how was it?"
Piccolo licked his lips, thoughtfully, and stayed silent for what felt like hours.
He finally nodded and-
"I....liked that, I don't mind if you want to do it again"
A part of Gohan wanted to push for more, to see how far he can push before-
"There- There are other things too, but holding hands and kissing is more than enough to me for now"
Piccolo nodded and squeezed, smirking when Gohan's cheeks filled with warm.
"I can get used to this relationship"
Gohan laughed and nodded, he was looking forward to this relationship too.
Shin was a relatively young Kaio, and for a Kaio of his age he was the most level-headed one, at least that was what everyone said around and behind his back, but even he has limits.
Meeting Son Goku, Son Gohan and company was something unexpected, to witness the eagerness for battle coming from Vegeta and Son Goku was surprising, even shocking, but he can deal with that.
Having the level-headed warrior, the innocent young looking one, Son Gohan, the one who admitted (and everyone keep commenting) that was not interested in training to the point he barely trained fighting Dabura to a stalemate was also something he could wrap his head around.
He was growing worried and afraid for the mortal when his behaviour suddenly changed, the boy rushing to Dabura, grabbing his face and blasting him into non-existence effortlessly, grinning and almost laughing while Dabura screamed and cried and gurgled his last breaths.
That- that he cannot deal with, but as suddenly as that change happened Son Gohan was back to normal, laughing sheepishly as he scratched his head.
The reactions from Son Goku and Vegeta were unexpected, and learning that this kid, as innocent and pure looking as he was was capable of such cruelty, and was aware and disliked that part of himself was only a short-lived relief, if it can be called that.
As soon as those words and explanation were uttered Gohan swayed on his feet, bending over and clutching his head as he screamed, his Ki blindingly bright around him, and the screaming continued and continued and continued, and another voice was joining in the screaming and Shin could only look helplessly and uselessly how two of the three warriors he brought with him were corrupted beyond salvation.
"What- What is happening!?"
"They- They are being corrupted by Babidi's Magic, whatever darkness they possess on their hearts have been unleashed and magnified!"
"That's- that's not possible! Gohan! Vegeta! Gohan! can you hear me?"
"It's not use, they are not the same people you know"
The first one to stop screaming was Vegeta, who looked at Son Goku with contempt, "you and me Kakarot, you cannot refuse me now"
Shin wanted to run when the first voice who started screaming, of the one who so effortlessly took Dabura, stopped.
He took a step back, looking between Son Goku, Vegeta and this new threat, but before he would do anything he felt a new presence making their way (their very very fast way) here.
He watched in despair as another person joined him, another one that will be killed, he needs to warn them-
He looked at the person that appeared, and Gohan turned almost at the same time to face the new threat, powering up, Piccolo bracing for the attack and- and- and Gohan was hugging the Namek?
"Piccolo-sama! you are alright!"
He looked in shock at the mortal, who was practically purring in happiness in the embrace.
There were more words exchanged, and then a demand for a hug.
Piccolo looked at him in surprise and confusion and he returned the look at first, but then-
"I- I don't know how you are doing it, keeping him calm and non-aggressive, but keep doing that, if he grows annoyed he might-"
Shin could admire that undying trust and loyalty that Piccolo was displaying for Gohan, but this is by far the worse time to act like that.
Piccolo did indeed comply with Gohan's demand, after an almost endless moment of uncertainty, and the boy just smiled and sounded happier.
Son Gohan was rambling about something, his ramblings almost nonstop, it was something related to love and romance and something like that, but too fast to be understood for someone not used to Gohan's fast paced ramblings, apparently, the only thing that Shin clearly understood was the end, something about 'really really happy' or something, and Piccolo was looking down in surprise, his face turning purple and his eyes-
"you are blushing! I love when you blush!"
Shin looked at the two in surprise, and when Piccolo blushed worse he suppressed the urge to laugh.
Gohan was surprisingly and blatantly honest while possessed, it seems.
Piccolo huffed softly and ruffled the hair of the boy, making him pout.
"Let's talk about that after we deal with this, alright?"
"okay, it's a promise"
Gohan, like a child, raised his pinky finger and Piccolo, after a little hesitation did the same, joining them.
That's- that's the most tame and pure hearted dark side of anyone that Shin has ever seen, how would he ever doubt or be afraid of someone like Gohan?