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A Work in Progress

Guest valeyard

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Guest valeyard
Bulma awoke as she had for that last three nights and for the same reason. She sighed. Not again! Vegeta stirred fitfully in his sleep. He murmured and growled to himself, but no clear words came out. Bulma turned over in an irritated state. That man! Probably dreaming he is fighting Son again. Vegeta was fighting. His greatest enemy. It wasn?t Gokou.

He stood there dressed in full armor, over a blue, long-sleeved jumpsuit, scouter at the ready to read power levels. His stance was that of a fighter, tight as a clock spring. Black storms brewed behind accusing eyes shot with lightening.

?You?re a disgrace!? He stood there finger pointing at what he would become. ?Worse you are a hypocrite! You killed Nappa for losing to Kakarotto, but how many times have you lost to him? You called Kakarotto a traitor for not destroying Earth and then you settle there.?

?Shut up? what he would become screamed in fury at his former self. ?What do you know! I?ve become a Super Saiya-jin, I?ve reached levels you would only dream of.?

?What of it!? His former self returned. ?Your strength is lost in your caring for those weaklings you live with. And I can?t believe you ****ed it! I can see it as a curiosity thing but to have bastard half-breeds with it. It makes me want to puke! You should have killed them all, a long time ago.?

?Don?t you ever talk that way about her! She may look like these weaklings but she is strong. She is more than worthy and my son went Super Saiya-jin at an age when you were still a mere slave and plaything of that bastard Furiza!?

?Oh, you make me bleed,? his former self gloated. ?Don?t we have a complex? I think I will cry! The elite, Saiya-jin killer brought to his knees by a human whore and her bastard half-breeds.? He said the last in such an ugly tone, his future self lunged for him. His hands went right through his former self as it had in every dream he had before.

His former self laughed derisively at him. ?You can?t kill me. I am you!?

?You are me,? his future lowered his head, as he conceded what he well knew. ?I am a killer. I have killed before, and I will kill again. But I will kill for myself, and for my own reasons, not because I am slave like you!?

?You still don?t get it do you? You still are a slave, but now to me. I will always be there. I am never going to let you have one moment?s peace until I am free. Every time you enjoy that whore you joined yourself with. Every time you feel happiness, every time you feel joy, I will be there. I will be in your thoughts, in your dreams, in everything you do.? His former self laughed at the horror on his future self?s expression.

?And one day,? he gloated, ?I will get the upper hand.?

?You will never control me!? His future self clenched his fists and his hair started to glow with power.

?Threaten away. Blow your strength at me! I am you. I will get the upper hand, because you know there is part of you that wants me free again.?

His future self?s hair went black and the color drained out of his face in an instant. ?That?s not true,? he said in a horrified whisper. He began to tremble in fear.

?You?re afraid of me, aren?t you?? He chuckled evilly. ?The great Super Saiya-jin afraid of what he used to be. I will get the upper hand. And when I do, I am going to kill Kakarotto and then I am going to pay a visit to that little wifey of yours and those half-breed bastards and finish what you should have a long time ago.?

?Don?t you go near them!? His future self screamed and lunged again and his former self slipped through his finger like sands through a sieve.

?I go near her every day!? He laughed insanely. ?I am under your skin, in your mind and in your dreams. You can?t avoid it. The only way you can avoid me touching her, is if you never touch her as well!?

?I am going to kill you!? His future self growled in rage but the sound of it was as impotent in his ears as the despair he felt in his mind. He grew cold all over.

?I am you Vegeta, I am you Vegeta, I am you Vegeta.? His former self said it over and over each time sounding more ugly than the last. Then his form began to blur until it reformed, to a shiny metal exterior that narrowed into a long tail. The voice changed to that sickly effeminate voice that he had hated his whole life.

?Furiza! You?re dead, you bastard?

?I can?t die Vegeta, you can?t kill what?s up there.? His laugh was so girlish it made his future self nauseous. ?I am you.?

?NO!? He sat straight up in bed grabbing the first thing he saw, by the throat, drawing back to punch its head off.

?Vegeta!? Bulma screamed.

The horror of what he had almost done stopped Vegeta like a cold slap in the face. He sat there with his hand still round her throat but now he relaxed his grip and put his other hand on the back of her neck, dropping his head to his chest in exhaustion.

?God, Vegeta, I thought you were going to kill me!?

Vegeta raised his head, his black eyes blazed with lightening. ?Don?t ever say that! Don?t ever say that to me again! I would never hurt you. Do you hear me, never!?

Bulma fought down the feeling Vegeta was convincing himself instead of her. ?Vegeta, what?s wrong.? She wanted to say that she had never seen him like this before, but she knew that wasn?t true.

He was a coiled snake, ready to spring. He turned and looked at her. His eyes went wide and then he seemed to relax a little.

?Nothing woman,? he mumbled. His eyes glazed over as if he had never really been awake in the first place, and he slumped back down on the bed.

?Vegeta,? Bulma began and put her hand lightly on his arm.

He shrugged her off and rolled over, yet it was not the relaxed posture of one in peaceful sleep. He lay stock straight and his body slightly trembled with some hidden energy. The veins stuck out on his arms. His hair, ever standing on end, was absolutely bristling with hidden electricity. She smiled when she looked at his arms. That thick black mane of his, and yet the hair on his chest and arms was as fine as a baby?s. She always loved that about him. Only now the hair on his arms stood as straight on end as the hair on his head.

She listened to him breathing, it was ragged as if he had just been through a hell of a fight and was still catching his breath. Soon his breathing slowed and she knew he was fast asleep. She sighed. How he could sleep, yet still be in such a state of agitation was amazing to her. That man could sleep through a nuclear blast!

Bulma gave in to her deeper worries. She had seen this before. He was scared. More than that, he was scared half to death. Not that Vegeta would ever admit to being scared about anything, she thought with a smirk. What was it that had him so upset? Was it some new ki he could sense? Some new monster to worry about? Every time she convinced herself she no longer need worry about becoming a widow, there was always some new horror to ruin that vain dream. Why did he always keep these things from her?

Soon, Vegeta was tossing and turning again and then he sat straight up and swung his legs over the side of the bed, walking out of the bedroom with deliberate steps.

?Vegeta, what is it?? Bulma demanded. ?Have I made you angry or something?? Vegeta looked over his shoulder at Bulma with an expression of surprise and irritation.

?Don?t be stupid, woman! I just need some time alone.? He slammed the door to their bedroom and she could hear him stomping down the hall. Off to train at all hours of the night again. This was the third time this week. She would again find him, in the morning, either asleep on the couch or on the floor of the training room. She started to cry. Was he tired of her? They hadn?t made love all month. When she tried to engage him, he went stiff as a board as if he was avoiding her touch. Now he seemed even scared of it. Was there another woman? She lay back down on the bed and for the third time that week cried herself to sleep.

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Vegeta awoke on the floor of the training room. He looked at his surroundings dazedly, until he remembered leaving the bedroom. He still wasn?t sure when he had stopped training to sleep. It just happened. He was unusually hungry and was rather looking forward to breakfast.

Bulma was already having breakfast, looking terrible. Her eyes were red rimmed, looking like she had no sleep at all. Vegeta thought it best not to engage her in conversation, which only seemed to make her more agitated and hostile. Women! Try to be the least bit sensitive to their needs and they get upset anyway! What was he supposed to do? If he were upset about something, his space is what he would want! Try to show the same consideration toward a woman and they just get all the more hostile! He hurriedly shoveled down his breakfast and got up to go anywhere but there, Bulma?s eyes boring holes in the back of his head as he left.

?This is your idea of a happy marriage?? His inner self derided him.

?Stuff it!? He said out loud. Trunks passed him in the hall, eyes wide, and Vegeta knew Trunks must have overheard. He hoped he would pass it off as ?Dad in one of those moods.? Vegeta pretended like it didn?t happen. Vegeta was not sorry Trunks was there, even if he had overheard him. In fact, he was glad he was there.

?Trunks? Vegeta demanded, ?have you eaten, yet??

?Um,? Trunks stopped and shifted uneasily, ?I was just heading there now.?

?Good!? Vegeta said to Trunks? surprise. ?Look in on your mother, she is upset this morning. Then meet me in the training room. You can tell me what she said while we are training.? Trunks winced. Vegeta could tell this was not what he wanted to hear.

?Um, me and Goten were hoping to go riding.? Vegeta gave Trunks a sour expression.

?You can go cruising for girls another time.? Vegeta inwardly chuckled. He was a Saiya-jin all right! Not all conquest was won on the battlefield. Trunks? face fell, he rolled his eyes, but he turned around and walked to breakfast. Vegeta walked the opposite direction, a voice in his head screaming.

?This is your heir? A pretty half-breed boy, who would rather go babe trolling than uphold the warrior tradition of a proud race? Do you know how many worlds I had conquered by his age?? Vegeta didn?t bother answering this inner rage. It was true that Trunks would be different had he not been raised entirely on earth, but then, he wouldn?t be at all, were that true. He was a pampered, rich boy, and his mother had far too much influence on him. There was hardly anything to do about that. He could hardly expect Bulma to butt out.

?Kill her and take the boy, somewhere where he can be trained properly! He may be a half-breed, but he does have potential.? The veins were popping out in his forehead and his arms tensed under the strain of trying to block out the screaming in his head. What was happening to him? He had lived with Bulma in relative peace for several years. Why were these feelings being awakened in him? It?s not like they had ever gone away, but now they raged in his mind like a caged animal screaming for release.

As we walked by his room, he saw the sun streaming in his window. He thought of how many lonely years he spent in the cold of space. No sun, no warmth. Yet, all these years on Earth, he hardly went outside, unless necessity drove him. Maybe that was his problem. He needed to change his pattern.

Vegeta walked with deliberate steps away from the training room, and stepped outside the Capsule Corporation. He stood there sullenly looking up the street leading away from the Capsule Corporation Building. Small winged reptiles squeaked and twittered in the trees, people strolled down the street smiling. One forlorn figure walked toward the Capsule Corporation Building. She looked to be an old lady the way she halted as she walked. Vegeta suddenly felt foolish. What was it about a little sunshine and fresh air that made people so careless and lazy? He should be training, he thought, and turned to go back inside. Trunks came bounding out the door, eyes shining full of hope.

?Hey, Pappa!? Trunks enthused. ?Thought you wanted to train today, change your mind?? He looked into Trunk?s hopeful, lavender eyes. They were so much like his mother?s. Something in Vegeta gave in. He couldn?t be stern with him.

?I just came out here to get a breath of fresh air, before I went in.? Vegeta said fighting to keep the blush of embarrassment out of his cheeks. He had really hoped he would not be seen. But Trunks was not listening to his father. His eyes fixed on what Vegeta had taken for an old lady as she now walked by them.

What Vegeta had taken for an old lady from a distance, was actually a girl of not more than 14. She hobbled on a badly wrenched foot, and she held an arm that hung limply at her side, possibly broken. She looked dusty and dirty, but as she came close, Vegeta and Trunks could see what looked like dirt was actually old and dried blood. Vegeta turned to look at Trunks. Trunks never took his eyes off the girl as she walked by them. Vegeta regarded her. Yes, he supposed she was pretty for her age, beautiful in fact, despite her wild and dirty appearance. Wild was an understatement. Her hair stood in pink curlicues all over her head, framing her face, and falling into pink tangles down her back. Her skin, what could be seen of it, under the blood, was white with a slightly pinkish hue.

Despite the attention Trunks and Vegeta were giving, she totally ignored them. In fact, she behaved as if she could not see anyone. She had her head down and continued to halt and shuffle her way past them.

?Er, Miss? Trunks practically squeaked. Vegeta inwardly cursed. Leave it to Trunks to forget all discipline on a pretty face! The girl continued to walk up the street as if she had not heard.

?Miss!? Trunks called louder. The girl stopped then halted toward Trunks until she was only inches from his face and studied it closely.

?I don?t know you. I?m sorry, but I don?t know you.? She then walked away, but suddenly stopped as if remembering something and walked toward Vegeta. In fact, to even Vegeta?s shock, she walked right up to within half an inch from his face and studied it for several minutes. Vegeta took two steps back, but the girl only advanced that many steps and got even closer.

?I know you. Yes I know you!? She then turned and started to halt away, mumbling to herself. ?Yes, I know you, if only I could remember. Maybe, I could place where I know you.? Lowering her head again, she headed back up the road as if she had never spoken to the pair.


Trunks was starting to get on Vegeta?s nerves and he scowled at him to let him know this fact. Love sick puppy! Vegeta growled but Trunks ignored the warning. The girl, however, seemed dazed, and she, too, totally ignored Vegeta?s consternation. She turned toward the sound of Trunks?s voice, but her eyes had the glazed look of one on drugs or close to unconsciousness, or both.

?Miss, I think you need some help. It?s pretty obvious you?re hurt, and probably in shock. Why don?t you come inside and we can get you some medical attention?? This offer didn?t seem to register at all with the girl. She just stood there staring at Trunks, making no sign that she comprehended a word.

?Besides,? Trunks added pointing to his father, ?you said you knew him.?

?Leave me out of this!? Vegeta hissed at his son.

Trunks, undeterred, had only eyes and ears for this mystery girl. ?Perhaps if you come inside with us, it will give you time to remember.?

That seemed to have some persuasion on the girl. She turned toward Trunks and followed him inside the Capsule Corporation. Vegeta inwardly growled that he was going to put Trunks through a double regimen of training for this. Trunks slammed the door after the girl, right in Vegeta?s face, before he had a chance to come inside. Vegeta stood there for a moment, staring at the door as if it had personally insulted him. He was going to triple Trunk?s regimen, when he got a hold of that brat! He pulled the door open forcefully and stalked down the hall after the pair to see where they were going. Trunks took her into the kitchen.

?Are you hungry??

?Yes!? Was the reply.

?Maybe you want to wash up first and then we can get you something to eat.?

?No, food now!? The girl said in a determined tone.

Trunks raided the refrigerator of what food was left over from breakfast. She ate all of it.

?Have you got any more?? She asked.

Trunks took a look in the cupboard and made a bunch of sandwiches. She launched into them as if she hadn?t eaten in a week. Vegeta looked in on them and scowled. He turned to the main rotunda and flew up to the second level. He never used the stairs. Bulma was clattering away on a computer keyboard, and didn?t hear him as he stepped inside the doorway. He leaned against the doorjamb in a posture of sarcasm and arrogance. The smirk on his face could also be heard in his voice.

?Your son has picked up a stray.? Vegeta said to Bulma.

Bulma?s tone was still icy as she spoke to him. ?Cat, dog, reptile??

?Female.? Vegeta answered, suppressing a lecherous chuckle.


Bulma jumped up from the computer and flew past Vegeta like he wasn?t there. Vegeta inwardly kicked himself. Why didn?t I just kept quiet? Now, not only will she be acting strangely over last night but now she will be in a roar because her son is eyeing some stray he picked up on the street. Vegeta told himself he would probably get the blame for not stopping him. He drew a heavy sigh as he followed after her. The same insanely, demonic voice screaming over and over again in his head.

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?Well, look who?s up!? Vegeta said snidely as Bra sauntered past her father.

In answer, she flicked her finger over his chin and left a streak of some cream from her collection of many fragrances and lotions. Vegeta swiped at his chin and sniffed. Dammit! He would probably smell of that half the day. He looked ruefully after her, and walked away, hurrying up to see what tirade Bulma was throwing. When he got to the kitchen, he was amazed. Not only was Bulma not throwing a tantrum, she too, seemed to have come under the ?stray?s? spell. She was fixing the girl a third helping of sandwiches, and enthusing about how she needed to have a bath first thing after eating. Trunks was enthusiastically agreeing this needed to be done, but his face fell when Bulma informed him, he would be training with his father while this necessity was done.

What was it with that woman and baths? When she took him in, the first thing she did was insist on a bath. Was it like this with all women? Then an ugly thought crossed his mind. She knew Kakarotto for some years before me. She took him out of the woods. Vegeta shook his head at what he considered a hideous thought. No, she wouldn?t, she just wouldn?t! Vegeta dashed the horrendous thought from his mind. He could hear a commotion and saw Bulma chasing a protesting Trunks toward him.

?You can just forget it buster! You go train with your father. This is one place you are NOT needed!? When she caught up with Vegeta she gave him a hostile look and motioned toward Trunks. ?Fifteen and he gets more like you every day!?

Vegeta surprised Trunks by putting an almost consoling arm on his son?s shoulder. ?I think we are both in the doghouse son, come on.?

Vegeta turned to walk toward the training room, then looked back to see if Trunks was coming. Trunks balefully followed.

?Have you ever seen anyone so beautiful in your life, Pappa??

The love sick tone of Trunks voice, utterly disgusted Vegeta. ?Yes, son,? Vegeta replied sharply, ?I have.?

Trunks rolled his eyes and snorted at this answer. ?Yeah, but mom doesn?t count!?

Vegeta turned in irritation at his son?s naivete. ?Oh, she doesn?t?? Vegeta said irritation crawling into his voice at the idea his manhood was being challenged. ?And just how do you think you got here? Hatched from an egg??

?Forget I brought it up!? Trunks said.

Vegeta grunted in agreement and said nothing more until they reached the training room. Once in there Trunks took a stance as if he expected a sparring match. Vegeta shook his head and informed him they would be doing push ups.

?Yeah I know, Pappa. One hundred with one arm behind your back.?

Vegeta shook his head cracking an evil grin. ?Two hundred.?

?But Pappa!?

?Three hundred! And maybe next time, you will not shut the door in your father?s face.?

A sweat drop broke out on Trunk?s face just thinking about it and he looked chagrined. ?Oh, uh sorry about that, Pappa.?

Vegeta?s smile became even more evil. ?You will be.?

Vegeta raised a hand as if to mark when Trunks should start, but Trunks got an equally evil grin across his face.

?Make a deal with you, Pappa. Let?s have a competition. I win, I get the rest of the day off. You win, and it?s whatever you want.?

Vegeta was going to remind him, it was whatever he wanted anyway, but competition was never something he resisted very well (and Trunks well knew it!) ?You?re on!?

Vegeta got down on the ground, one arm behind his back, resting his whole body weight on two fingers. The first 100 were easy. Both were hardly breaking a sweat. The next 100, perspiration was breaking out on both of their faces, but they showed no sign of slowing down. At 300 Trunks attempted to change hands, but Vegeta said that would be cheating. At 500 Trunks slumped to the floor and Vegeta chuckled evilly in triumph.

?Still can?t take on your old man, eh?? Vegeta was never above gloating, even to his own son and took full of advantage of the opportunity to do so.

?Okay, pappa, you win. What do we do next?? Trunks sounded utterly defeated.

?In a little while,? Vegeta replied, ?I?m going to take a break for a moment.?

Vegeta walked out of the training room as if he felt perfectly fine. The moment he was out of sight of Trunks, he rubbed his shoulder and arm. Trunks smiled wickedly as he saw his father go. It worked! If he knew his father, he would get something to eat and probably sleep. Dad sure loved his sleep. He would be free for hours! Trunks made sure his father was out of sight and then headed the long way around, to where his mother was tending to the girl.

Vegeta didn?t make it as far as the kitchen. He walked past the old room, where he stayed when he first was taken in by Bulma. That was before he moved into her bedroom, he noted to himself with a smirk. The twin bed, he never slept in, was still there. (Vegeta always slept on the floor.) He walked in, lay down on the floor and remembered the night when life completely changed for him. He couldn?t for the life of him, remember what the fight was about, only that they were fighting.

?How on earth, did I think I could let someone as uncivilized as you stay here!? Bulma screamed at him.

?Uncivilized!? Vegeta was clearly insulted. ?I am the Prince of all Saiya-jin, compared to the Saiya-jin, you humans are rustic, backwater primitives!?

?Primitives!? Bulma shrieked so loud she could barely catch her breath, her face turning bright red with the effort. ?How dare you! I will tell you who is primitive. You are a killer and a monster! And you call me primitive!?

Instead of returning insults Vegeta swung his arm out, grabbing her by the waist. He crushed her so hard against his body, there was no way she could get away. She was so tight against his body he could feel her heart jump in her chest, which made his breath quicken. Vegeta exulted in the exhilaration he felt as he saw her expression. Her face went from the bright red of rage to the ghostly white of terror. She worked her mouth to say something, but nothing came out. She was too paralyzed with fear. Beautiful! Vegeta brought his eyes level with hers, giving her his most evil smile.

?You are so right! I am a killer, and a monster,? he hissed evilly. ?So, sit back and enjoy the ride!?

Then he twisted his arm, grabbed her by the hair and kissed her as savagely as he thought a human could endure. When he drew away, he realized that perhaps humans were more fragile than he thought. Her lips were bruised and a single tear escaped from her eye. He let her go with a spin and a satisfied smirk. Then she drew back and punched him right in the nose, running away as she did. They are not so fragile, he thought.

He slept outside that night. Not because he was told to, but because he feared he might not have a home after that last exchange. Not that he minded sleeping on the ground. He had done so before and he could do it again. Vegeta could sleep just about anywhere. He had been outside under the stars, about an hour or two, when he heard something walking toward him and a shadow passed over the moon. Reflexively, he grabbed it by the ankle fixing to throw it down.

?Hey!? Bulma yelled.

?Don?t you know better than to sneak up on a warrior in the dark, woman? I might have killed you!?

He let go of the ankle and that is when he noticed the ankle and the leg attached to it was completely bare. Looking up at the silhouette, he realized the entire form was quite naked against the moon.

?Bulma!? Vegeta said in an awed whisper.

The naked form crouched over Vegeta as he heard Bulma?s voice came in a savage whisper. ?Now it?s your turn to sit back and enjoy the ride.? Then Bulma jumped on him, and enjoy the ride he did.

When Vegeta woke the next morning he was still on the ground, feeling as though he had been through an all night training session. What had that woman done to him?

?All in all,? he growled to himself out loud, ?I prefer her training regimen to Furiza?s.?

He would have half-believed it to be a dream, were he not completely naked. He stretched and raised himself, looking around for his clothes. They were completely gone. Vegeta cursed himself for being taken in so easily. So, she got her revenge after all! Vegeta could just see Bulma laughing at his expense. He would be damned if he was going to walk naked in front of the Capsule Corporation begging to be let in! He then turned his head for any sign of a way out of this predicament, when we saw the note that had been left on the ground.

It read simply: ?Now you will have to come back.?

Vegeta was glad his room was on the forest side. He kicked out the window and climbed inside. Quickly getting dressed, Vegeta marched out to have a word with Bulma about her joke. Bulma was in her office, looking over some bills that had arrived that morning.

He was in a full tear when he entered the room. When he saw her, the anger drained out of him, and he found it impossible to think of anything besides the night before. He cleared his throat to get her attention, but she made no sign of hearing him. He was tired of pretending like it didn?t matter to him. Vegeta wanted her! He?d known he wanted her from the first time he set eyes on her, even if his pride wouldn?t allow him to admit it. The Prince of all Saiya-ins wanting a human as a consort! Well, why the hell not? What was wrong with it? Why shouldn?t he have her? Was he the Prince of All Saiya-jins or not? Why shouldn?t he have whatever he desired?

Vegeta had a fleeting thought of declaring his birthright, and how he was entitled to whatsoever he desired, including her, but the only words that came out were, ?What about Yamcha??

?What about him?? Bulma replied cooly.

Vegeta?s face fell and something inside of him felt as if it had been crushed by Furiza, again. Of course, she wasn?t going to get rid of Yamcha! Theirs was just a one night stand and she would be off the next day with her pretty boy like nothing happened.

Fool! Vegeta growled to himself. You expected better from a human, especially a low class female? You are a Saiya-jin Prince! You had better get used to life alone if you expect to keep your pride on this planet! Vegeta recited the words that should have bolstered his pride, but now they felt as hollow as the place in his chest Bulma had just kicked out. That a woman could do this to him! He felt his fist clench in anger.

Before he could say a word, Bulma turned and looked Vegeta right into his eyes. ?Didn?t you hear me on the phone a moment ago?? Bulma smiled into his questioning eyes. ?I just dumped him.?

Then she grabbed him by the hair and kissed him passionately on the mouth letting it linger, sucking gently on his lips as she drew away. Letting go, she walked away down the hall. Vegeta watched her saunter away and smirked in stunned amazement and suppressed joy. Son of a *****! Maybe life on this low-class, forsaken rock wasn?t going to be so bad after all!

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Vegeta woke several hours later with the setting sun glinting red in the window. He shook his head and looked around. He was on the floor of his old room. For a moment, he didn?t remember why he was in there. Then it came back to him, the pushup contest and the subsequent need for a break. Trunks was probably laughing his *** off at the old man for not returning in a few minutes. He rolled over and pushed himself up from the floor, immediately regretting it, because he had slept on the very arm used for the pushup contest. Vegeta got to his feet and scowled at the room, but more at himself for being so foolish as to indulge in old memories.

Still, they were good memories. He didn?t know about Bulma, but how he loved to fight with her. It got him so hot. He used to pick a fight deliberately, because of the great sex they would have afterwards. At least he used to enjoy such things. Lately, Bulma was in a cold war with him. He knew he hadn?t been exactly attentive to her, but he couldn?t understand why she was so hostile.

His musing was interrupted by voices in the next room. Vegeta listened to them for a moment, felt cold, then he felt hot with anger. He raised his arms, clenched fist, as if preparing for a power-up. The voice was like his nightmares coming to life. In his deepest paranoia, he even imagined that someone had actually tapped his mind and was reading it out for everyone to hear. He fought for control and lowered his arms, but the fists remained clenched.

?It?s cold. It?s so cold. Let me out of here. You can?t do this to me. My father will kill you for this!?

?She has been like this for hours, ever since I put her to bed.? The voice was Bulma?s.

?She doesn?t look as badly hurt as I first thought. Did you try to put her in the regeneration tank?? Vegeta recognized the voice as Trunks.

?Yes, but she absolutely freaked, and I had to let her out. Real claustrophobic, I guess. Since then, she has been asleep. She keeps saying much the same thing as she said when I put her in the chamber.?

The next voice was Bra?s. ?Mom, does she have to stay here? She looks funny. She gives me the creeps.?

?Don?t you say that about her!? Trunks yelled.

?Her hair sticks up all over.?

?So does Pappa?s!?

?But its pink. Its way weird!?

?Both of you stop it!? Bulma commanded. ?Until we figure out where she comes from, she is staying here. I am sure she has parents looking for her. It will probably only be a few days.?

?Yeah, but if we don?t find them, she could stay here longer, right?? Trunks said hopefully.

?If you drool any more over her, Mom is going to have to hose you down.?

?Shut up, Bra!?

Bra giggled and started taunting, ?Trunks is in love, Trunks is in love.?

?MOM!? Trunks protested.

?That?s enough out of both of you. We should just let her rest. Both of you out! It?s time for dinner anyway.?

With protests from both, Vegeta could hear Bulma usher them out. He overheard a muffled ?where is Pappa, anyway?? Then he couldn?t hear them anymore.

He poked his head out of the room, making sure they were gone, then cautiously walked toward the next room and opened the door. She was on a couch in an old, unused office. Her hair was now clean and piled up behind her on the cushioned arm of the couch. An old quilt was put over her and tucked down to keep her warm. Despite being cleaned up, she was sweating. Her teeth gritted as if she were in utter torment. Vegeta knew that expression all too well. Her voice was thin and high, reminding him of the impotence of the words.

?You can?t do this to me! When my father comes, he will kill you all!?

Vegeta felt himself sinking into blackness. By force of will, he pulled himself out, again. He looked at the last rays of sun. As the sun sunk behind the horizon into darkness, a voice in his head laughed insanely. He stiffly turned his back on the girl and headed out the door. He was not going to give in to this! Besides, his family was expecting him at dinner. It wouldn?t do to have them suspect anything was wrong.

Dinner was, at best, subdued. Trunks and Bra were obviously not getting along. Bra stuck her tongue out at Trunks when Bulma wasn?t looking. Bulma wouldn?t make eye contact with Vegeta though Vegeta tried to engage her. Vegeta told himself it was probably just as well. After dinner he told Trunks they needed to finish training. Trunks looked abashed. Once in the training room, Trunks unloaded.

?I am so sick of Bra?s teasing.? He said in a red rage.

?You?ll survive.? Vegeta said unsympathetically.

?Well, Goten is lucky. He doesn?t have any little sister, always sneaking up on him, and poking into his business. Sometimes, I just wish I could go Super Saiya-jin and beat the tar out of her.?

Before Trunks knew what happened, he was slammed into the far wall, and his father was standing over him in a rage. ?Don?t you ever say that about your sister! Do you understand? You will NEVER touch your mother or sister. You have a lot of power, Trunks, and with that goes responsibility. You use that power to hurt those you love, and you will never be able to go back. Don?t you ever forget that!?

Trunks cowered against the wall, as his father stood over him. He probably had enough power to take his attacker on, but this was his father! He was horrified at his father?s vehemence.

?Pappa,? Trunks stammered, ?I didn?t mean it! You know I didn?t mean it. I would never hurt Mom or Bra. I was just talking!?

Vegeta was appalled to see a tear come to Trunk?s eye. In all his life, Vegeta had only seen Trunks cry when he was a baby. He backed up and watched his only son crab walk away from him like a small, frightened child. The words of Bulma echoed in his head, ?killer and a monster!?

He walked backwards toward the door. ?Perhaps, we should call off training tonight, son.?

Then he turned and walked out the door, leaving Trunks crying. ?You hurt those you love, you will never be able to go back!? And he had just done that. A blackness closed in on his mind, and it took every effort he had not to scream. He desperately sought refuge in the dark. The only word that came to mind was, sleep. Sleep, the only refuge in the dark years he had ever known.

He found he was in a very long hall. It looked like the Capsule Corporation, but he knew of no hall in it that was this long or dark. He called for Bulma, but there was no answer. He called for Trunks and Bra. Only his footsteps came in answer. The hall seemed to forever curve, only allowing him to see a few feet ahead in the darkness. He came around a curve and saw Bra. She was laying face up in a pool of blood, eyes wide open and still. He screamed and picked her up, looking for some sign of life, but there was none. Her eyes were like the glassy eyes of dolls, with no sign of life in them at all.

Now, Vegeta started to run. He had to find Trunks and Bulma. He screamed their names, and in answer, he heard Bulma scream. He turned the corner and saw Bulma, half naked and bleeding, Trunks was weakly trying to crawl over to his mother, a sword sticking in his stomach. They were both still alive, but barely.

?Well, hello Vegeta!? His former self gloated as he grabbed Bulma by the last shred of clothes and lifted her up for another hit. ?I?ve been waiting for you. Had lots of fun with Bra, but I wanted to make sure you got to see the little wifey die in person.?

?Oh my God, Bulma!? Vegeta rushed over and tried to grab her away from his former self. His hands went through her as if he were a ghost.

?You aren?t real anymore!? His former self laughed insanely. ?Remember what you told Trunks. You hurt the ones you love, you will never be able to go back. Hitting 15-year-old boys counts, you know. I told you I would get the upper hand. Now you are just the voice in my head. And I will love to hear your pain as I kill these two.?

Vegeta rushed his former self, but as he punched at him, he saw that his arm was transparent and he passed through him like he didn?t exist.

?Vegeta,? Bulma gasped. ?Why? Why? Why would you do this??

His former self laughed insanely as Vegeta desperately tried to help his wife and son, but he passed through them as well. ?They can?t see you!? His former self gloated. ?I told you. Now you are the invisible one. The little voice wanting to be free. Welcome to Hell, and your cell will be in my mind.?

Trunks lifted himself up though in great agony, and tried to pull himself toward his former self. He weakly pawed his foot. It so obscenely reminded Vegeta of how he had to bow and scrape before Furiza, he had to force down the bile clawing in his throat before it overwhelmed him, in a wave of nausea.

?Pappa, don?t hurt Mom.? Trunks sounded as if he were gasping out his last. ?I am the one that failed you. Kill me! Please leave her alone.?

Vegeta screamed as he pitched himself up in bed. Bulma reached up to console Vegeta, but he fell out of bed and scrambled toward the wall, as if her touch burned him.

?Just stay away from me, Bulma! Stay away! He?ll kill you!?

Bulma began to cry. ?It?s true, you don?t love me anymore.?

Vegeta heard his own words, ?you hurt those you love, you will never be able to go back again.? Bulma wiped the tears away. She stopped crying in the shock that Vegeta was crying as well. She had never seen him cry in her life.

?Bulma, I hit Trunks tonight. I hit him real hard. I made him cry. I?ve never seen Trunks cry. Bulma, I don?t know why, this is happening after all these years. I have been content here with you. But, I think I am losing my mind. I?m falling into a black pit, and I can?t find my way out. If I stay here any longer, I will hurt all of you. I have to leave!?

Bulma?s expression turned to horror as she contemplated his words. ?You hit Trunks? Vegeta how could you??

?Because, I am a killer and a monster, Bulma. I always have been, and it looks like I always will be.? With that, he flew toward the closed bedroom window and flew through it without stopping.

?Vegeta!? Bulma called weakly. ?I didn?t mean it!? She wailed into the dark.

Vegeta landed outside the window, heedless of the glass scattered in his hair and clothing, and ran. He could have flown, but he ran instead. Ran, to feel the blood pumping in his veins. Ran, to hear his feet thrashing the ground. Ran, as if all hell were after him. Ran to feel or hear anything but the voices screaming in his head and the one very frightened child crying in his mind.

?Let me out! You can?t do this to me! I am the Prince of all Saiya-jin!? Vegeta heard raucous laughter outside the tank. ?When my father gets here he will atomize you into bits. Then I will bathe in your blood, and when I am done doing that I will drink what is left!?

A sickly, girlish voice he learned to hate was heard. ?The Little One has spirit.? The other voices laughed in agreement. ?Didn?t I tell you, I had made a perfect choice??

?I am the Prince of all Saiya-jin! You will all suffer before you die for touching me!?

?Dear, Little One,? the girlish voice enthused. ?Do you know what we do to princes out of their principality??

This pun was met with more raucous laughter. Then Vegeta got his first taste of what happens to a prince away from his home world.

Little Vegeta woke to the taste of blood in his mouth and the taste of his first scars. He struggled to get up, but he felt what he thought was a hand run over one of the wounds setting the wound on fire. Then with sickening horror and revulsion, he realized it wasn?t a hand, but a tongue, lapping the blood from one of the wounds. He heard the sickly, girlish voice laughing quietly.

?Don?t worry about this, Little One.? The girlish voice enthused. ?You monkeys heal up remarkably well, and you will be much stronger for it. Wonderful thing about you monkeys. You almost die, you become even stronger when you heal.?

Vegeta turned his head to face Furiza. He knew who he was. His father had many dealings with him, but his father?s business had never been Vegeta?s concern, until then.

?When my father gets here, ? Vegeta broke off in a scream as he felt iron like nails bite into one of the wounds.

?You are here because of your father?s wishes.? Furiza gushed. ?He felt you were a weakling, and that I could make you strong.?

?That?s not true,? Vegeta said in a horrified whisper. Vegeta screamed again as he felt the nails bite harder into the wound pulling up the skin.

The girlish voice became hard. ?Never call me a liar, again!?

?You will serve me,? The now hardened voices told him. ?If you ever want to see your father again, alive you will do exactly what I say.?

The voice broke off into another girlish laugh. ?Pleasant dreams, Little One.? Vegeta heard Furiza give orders to have him put into a regeneration tank.

Vegeta had waited and dreamed of the day his Father would come for him, but he never did. It would only be years later he would learn, he couldn?t have come, because Furiza had killed him, even as he told Vegeta he would live as long as Vegeta served him. He hated Furiza, and he hated his Father for not being strong enough to be the hero he had once imagined.

Vegeta grew to hate everything. He hated the people he was a slave to kill. He hated how he never grew to his father?s stature. He was sure, if he hadn?t had to scavenge most of his life for food, he might have. He hated the underlings that worked for Furiza. He hated the way they called him ?Little One.? At least they called him that, until the day Vegeta grew strong enough to kill Furiza?s servants. Then they stopped calling him anything, and were in terror of him. Vegeta delighted in not only maiming them, but killing them as the mood hit him. Furiza never seemed to mind. Vegeta was one the favorites and Vegeta worked very hard for that approval. The only approval he ever had. He both hated Furiza and needed his approval, and for that he hated himself most of all.

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Vegeta had traveled all night?sometimes walking, sometimes running, sometimes flying. He headed for the forest, traveling cross country, little heeding where he was going. By dawn, he was quite exhausted and very hungry. He sat on a tree stump in a wooded clearing, near what looked like an old, abandoned pile of wood. He lowered his head into his fists, jamming his knuckles in his eyes, in an attempt not to give into weariness.

Vegeta gave in to the indulgence of contemplating his future, then deciding it was a wasted effort. He had no future. He realized with a shock, he had never attempted to live on this planet alone. He always told himself he was not living off his wife, since she wouldn?t be living at all, was it not for his protection. He always felt he more than earned his keep. However, that was a far cry from actually going it alone. He never had to worry about food, clothes (and he had always been particular about clothing), or shelter. The thought of returning to scavenging for his food, he found repugnant, but he could do it again.

The thought of suicide crossed his mind, and was immediately rejected. That would be the coward?s way out. Vegeta could see sacrificing himself in battle (and had done so), but killing himself because he could not live on his own just seemed the lowest of the low. It was not a way for a warrior to die, much less the Prince of all Saiya-jin. So, the Prince of all Saiya-jin sat on that stump with no ideas, no future, and no clue even where he was.

He heard grass crunch under approaching footsteps of someone coming from the north. Normally, he would have taken a defensive posture, just out of reflex, but now nothing seemed to matter. He remained on that stump staring at his feet, and wouldn?t have cared if the person approaching was Furiza, himself. Worse than Furiza, two seconds later, Gokou came crashing through some brush, practically running into him.

?Hey, Vegeta! How you doing!? Gokou?s voice, as ever with Gokou, gave no indication that Vegeta had tried to kill Gokou more times than Gokou, himself, could recall. ?Man, Chi Chi has been on the phone all morning with Bulma. What happened man? Everyone is having kittens! Trunks and Gohan have been up half the night looking for you.?

?Kakarotto, this is not a good time.? Vegeta shook the weariness from his head, looking at his surroundings. ?What the hell are you doing out here, Kakarotto??

Gokou laughed, as if all was right with the world. ?What am I doing here? Vegeta you are in my front yard!?

Sure enough, Vegeta looked above the tree-line and could just barely make out the roof of Gokou?s hut. If he paid attention to where he was going, instead of just wandering, he would have noticed it sooner.

?Gokou!? Came the usually harsh voice of Chi Chi. ?Have you caught our breakfast, yet??

?Sorry, Chi Chi!? Gokou called in his usual condescension to Chi Chi. ?Vegeta?s out here and I just stopped to talk to him.?

?Vegeta!? Chi Chi screeched. ?You tell him to go home to his wife! Bulma has been crying all morning. He should be ashamed of himself!?

?Yeah, I will do that Chi Chi!? Gokou said practically cringing.

It had always amazed Vegeta how one so powerful as Kakarotto could be so completely controlled by a weak female like Chi Chi. That would never happen to me, Vegeta assured himself.

?Kakarotto,? Vegeta said slowly. ?You know the power and the rage that happens when you become Super Saiya-jin.?

Gokou put his hand behind his head, as Vegeta had seen him do a thousand times before, and laugh. ?Oh, yeah, sure do!?

?Our wives,? Vegeta said even more carefully. ?They are not always the easiest people to live with. Have you ever, even for a moment, thought of doing harm to your wife, when that rage comes upon you?? He fastened his eyes on Gokou.

If Vegeta was expecting an adamant denial of such a possibility, what happened next utterly shocked him. Gokou blanched, turning white. A glint of insecurity and panic came into his eyes, like a trapped animal looking for any means of escape. Gokou stretched a smile across his face, but, Vegeta could see it was plastic and far from genuine.

?Well,? Gokou stammered, ?just between us Saiya-jin, you understand that rage. There are a lot of thoughts that come into your mind, when that rage is upon you. But,? he faltered and lowered his head, ?I could never hurt Chi Chi. You are right, she is not the easiest person to live with, but, oh hell, I love her.?

Vegeta looked down at his feet, again, contemplating Gokou?s words. Maybe, he wasn?t going insane, after all. Perhaps, this was just part of the problems Saiya-jin would have living with humans and half humans. Kakarotto had learned to cope. Surely, if Kakarrotto could, he could! For the first time in a month, Vegeta had hope.

?Thank you, Kakarotto.? Vegeta said. Then, it was Gokou?s turn to be shocked.

?Gokou! Breakfast!? Chi Chi?s voice sounded even angrier.

?Going right now, Chi Chi!? Gokou called, then he lowered his voice. ?Hey Vegeta, I wouldn?t stay out here long, were I you. Chi Chi is in a tear about Bulma. She finds you here, she will kick your ***!? Gokou, with a clear laugh, flew off toward the lake, as if he had made the funniest joke in the world.

?What a baka.? Vegeta said under his breath in pure disgust, lowering his head again to his fists.

Vegeta heard feet approaching, again, but didn?t raise his head to their approach. ?Please, Kakarotto, I just need to be alone for a little while, then I will go.?

?Go anytime you want!? Came the harsh voice of Chi Chi. ?But, you better be going home to your wife, you monster! How could you hurt her, after how she has put up with the likes of you!?

The last person he really wanted to see. ?Chi Chi,? he said in barely controlled tolerance, ?this is really not a good time.?

?You may be the Prince of Saiya-jins but you are not of me, buster! This is my front yard and you don?t tell me what to do in it!?

?What is your damn problem?? Vegeta demanded, his temper rising. ?I am sitting on a dead tree, in the middle of the woods. I am scarce consequence to you or that henpecked, baka of a husband of yours!?

?Henpecked!? Chi Chi screeched. ?How dare you! Not only have you hurt my best friend in the world, but you once hit my precious, Gohan. Everyone else may have conveniently forgot that, but don?t think for a minute I have!?

?Oh, please, Chi Chi!? Vegeta said, wanting to tell Chi Chi off for years, seeing nothing to hold him back now. ?If you ever got your head out of the kitchen, and that son of yours from behind his books, you would have noticed, it would take a lot more than a few hits to hurt that boy. If I had wanted to hurt him, he would be dead! He should thank me for giving him a lesson in dropping his guard.?

Vegeta lowered his head again. The next thing he heard, was the clunk of wood across his head and a showering of stars across his eyes.

?Dammit, you *****!? Vegeta screamed, doing everything in his power to keep from tearing her apart. ?That hurt!?

?Consider it a lesson in dropping your guard!? Chi Chi screamed as another chunk of wood went sailing past his head, barely missing him. ?Get out of here, Vegeta!?

?You?re lucky, I?m going! If you weren?t friends with Bulma . . . ? he broke off.

Chi Chi squared off into a fighting stance in front of Vegeta. ?Yeah, buster, just make my day!?

?Oh, don?t make me laugh. I am not in the mood for it, anyway. I can?t imagine anything more boring. You would be dead within the first three seconds.? With that, Vegeta stalked sullenly off into the woods.

As he walked away, he saw Gokou charging up the path, dragging a fish, half his size. ?Hey Vegeta, glad I caught you before you left. I almost forgot. We were over at the Capsule Corporation last night, and I got to meet that girl that is staying there. And it?s the funniest thing, she asked me almost the same question as you asked, a moment ago.?

Vegeta felt that same sensation he felt, the night before, as he listened to her talking in her sleep?cold, then hot. The paranoia and madness, he had been fighting against, overwhelmed him again.

?What question? What did she ask you?? Vegeta said, suspicion rising in his voice.

?It?s real funny. She was sitting there, not saying a word, just staring at me for the longest time. Then she asked me about my powers, and how she knew I had them, I have no idea. But she asked me about them, and if I had ever thought about harming someone I cared for. Isn?t that funny??

?Hilarious,? Vegeta said with no trace of humor. Vegeta had been so involved with his own situation, he had paid little attention to the newcomer. Now, she preyed upon his mind as heavily as the dreams and the voices. Who was she? Why did she say she knew him, and why did she seem to know the very thoughts in his head?

?I have to be going, Kakarotto.? Vegeta was walking away even as he said this. ?Do me a favor. Let?s keep our prior conversation between ourselves.?

?Sure thing, Vegeta. We Saiya-jin gotta stick together! Catch ya later.? With that, Gokou crashed through the brush, fish in tow.

If, Vegeta thought to muse their conversation over in silence, the thought was interrupted by what he heard next.

?You did what?? The voice was Kakarotto?s. ?Chi Chi you crazy *****! Are you insane? Vegeta isn?t the most stable person at the best of times, but lately, he has been acting downright freakish! He might have killed you!?

Vegeta dourly listened to himself being discussed. ?Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kakarotto. Saiya-jin have to stick together, my royal ***! What a baka!?

?What did you call me?? He heard Chi Chi scream.

Then, Vegeta heard another plank of wood making contact with something.

?OW! That does it Chi Chi!? Vegetal was shocked to hear the anger in Kakarotto?s voice. He had never heard Kakarotto ever raise his voice to Chi Chi, before. ?I have put up with your crap all morning. You are coming in the house right now, before you get yourself in more trouble!?

?Gokou!? Vegeta heard Chi Chi screech. ?You put me down right now! Don?t you dare go Super Saiya-jin on me!? Then he heard the door slam.

Super Saiya-jin? Vegeta looked back toward the Son?s hut, his curiosity running wild. No, impossible! It would kill a human being! He shook his head, dismissing the thought. The words of Kakarotto came back to him, ?he might have killed you!? Vegeta, still heard the anger and concern in them. Amazing! Vegeta thought. He really does love that witch!

Then, he heard the voices of Gohan and Trunks and the door of the hut being opened.

?Cripes! Dad!? He heard Gohan yell. ?Don?t you think you and Mom could have waited until you made it to the bedroom? ARE YOU SUPER SAIYA-JIN? Dad, that?s disgusting! Try it with Videl? ARE YOU INSANE? IT WOULD KILL HER!?

Then, Vegeta heard Trunks? voice. He sounded very tired, and very worried.

?You saw Pappa? Where? Just a moment ago! Pappa! Pappa! Where are you? He?s suppressed his ki! Oh, why is he hiding from us! Is this my fault? Pappa, I?m sorry. I won?t ever say it, again! Please, forgive me. I won?t fail you, again! Please! Come back!? Trunks? voice trailed off into a thin wail.

Vegeta had seen and heard a lot of pain in his lifetime, but the sound of his only son begging forgiveness for something that Vegeta had done to him, was the most wrenching and painful sound he had ever heard.

Everything in Vegeta wanted to go back. He desperately wanted to tell his son, that this wasn?t his fault. That he loved him so much, he was willing never to see him again, just to keep him safe. How could he expect a boy to understand? Vegeta clenched his fists so hard, drops of blood squeezed between his fingers. He trembled all over, with the frustration and agony of wanting to take away the pain, he knew he was inflicting on his son. Then, Vegeta flew off, before they had time to search the woods for him.

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Trunks had just drug himself into the Capsule Corporation, looking more than tired. He looked emotionally devastated. Yet, at seeing the girl, he rallied himself and brightened.

?It?s Trunks.? He said bashfully.

?Torunks,? she said slowly. ?It?s very difficult.?

?Its okay, you can call me Torunks, if that is easier.?

He reddened when he looked into her eyes. She was tiny, and delicate. As shapely as Bulma was, her old dress hung loosely on the girl?s slight figure. Her pink curls stood up in all angles and directions. Trunks was convinced she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen.

?You never told me your name,? Trunks shifted foot to foot uncomfortably.

?It?s Meisukai.? She said, blushing and making her skin even pinker. ?It?s a combination of words. My mother said it means dark angel. She named me after my father, though I never knew him.? She looked down and grew quiet.

?Meisukai,? Trunks said, rolling it over in his mind. ?That?s so unusual. It?s really very pretty.?

?It always seemed a curse to me,? said Meisukai. ?An omen of evil.? She shivered, closing her arms about herself.

?Torunks,? she said hesitatingly. ?Let me ask you something and don?t think it a weird question.?
?Sure,? Trunks said, ?anything.?

?If I were to pick a gun up right now, and kill you. Who killed you, me or the gun??

Trunks stepped back as if he expected her to brandish a weapon at him, not that a mere gun would have any effect on him. ?Well, you did!? Trunks said, quite put off.

?Then, the gun is guiltless??

?The gun is just a tool. It can?t do anything on its own. Put it on a shelf for 100 years, and if it is never picked up, it can do harm to no one.?

Trunks looked down at her. Her fists were clenched and she trembled all over.

She relaxed and looked up at him. ?Thank you, Torunks.?

Trunks realized, for the first time, that despite her pink hair and bright pink skin, her eyes were as black as midnight, and much deeper.

?Meisukai,? Trunks heard the words and scarcely believed he said them. ?Will you marry me?? Trunks was crushed when he heard her laugh.

?Torunks,? she laughed, ?you are a boy, and I have only known you one day.?

?I know it?s fast, and I am only 15.? Trunks stammered, then set his shoulders back, trying to look older. ?But, I have never felt about anyone like I do you. Besides, I will be 20 in five years and ready to inherit the business. You will be what, 19 by then? We will have plenty of money. We will never have to worry about money, that is for sure. Five years isn?t that long. Won?t you consider it??

?Torunks, this doesn?t seem the time.? She said sadly. ?Your father missing. I seem to have only brought trouble.?

?Besides,? as tears came to her eyes. ?I cannot stay. I must leave. There is someone looking for me.?

Trunks caught his breath at this, assuming she was talking about parents or possibly another boy. ?You mean your mom.? He said hopefully.

?No,? she said painfully, ?my mother is dead.?

?Well, then you have to stay here!? Trunks said joyfully. ?You can?t leave at your age without at least a mother to go home to.?

Meisukai laughed. ?How would you know how old I am??

?Well,? Trunks said reddening. ?You can?t be older than I am.?

?Of course,? she smirked, and then ruffled his head, like she considered him to be a little boy.

She turned sadder. ?But I do have to leave, Torunks. If I stay, it will only bring greater woe for this family. I am being hunted, and anyone that gets in the way, will be hurt.?

?At least, don?t leave before I have had time to sleep. I have been looking for Pappa all night, and I am very tired. Please promise me that? Then, you can tell me more about who is hunting you, when I have had enough rest to be of help.? Trunks took her by the hand and lowered his head.

?All right Torunks,? she slowly. ?I will promise you that.?

Trunks opened the door to the Capsule Corporation and let Meisukai go in before him. His mind was full of her, until he set eyes on his mother. Seeing the stricken look on her face, the day before came flooding back. Trunks felt guilty for thinking of the girl at a time like this.

?Mom,? he said helplessly, wanting, above all, to be of some comfort to her. ?Don?t worry. I will get a couple hours sleep, no more and I will go looking for Pappa again. I promise.?

Bulma could see how exhausted Trunks was, physically and emotionally. ?No, Trunks. Your father loves us. We may not understand why he is doing this, but I know he loves us. He will come back, when he is ready. You go get some rest. He will come back, I know he will.?

Bulma looked at Meisukai, who was standing silently by Trunks, and it seemed to her that there was a cold light in her eyes, as they discussed Vegeta. The first seeds of mistrust were sown about her in Bulma?s mind.

Vegeta had flown deeper into the woods until they stopped being woods and turned into the forest primaeval. He found a secluded alcove full of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, a churning river below, and lots of very fierce looking animals living in the valley created by the river. Well, he thought to himself. I have solved water and shelter. There are animals for food. I better keep it to animals or I will attract attention. I suppose this will have to do.

He wasn?t sure what animal it was he caught. He had never really been concerned with the fauna on Earth, at least the nonhuman kind. Vegeta didn?t bother skinning it. He just shoved a stake through it, extended a finger toward a pile of brush he had made and soon he had a roaring fire to roast it whole. The light from the fire spurted and gutted sending flickering shadows contorting and writhing on the cave wall. In his madness, he thought he saw the shadows taking monstrous forms, fighting and killing each other. He stared at the shadows, part of him engrossed in the carnage, the fire reflecting in his black eyes. He shuddered and pulled away, trying to shake the visions from his head. He turned his back to the wall to concentrate on dinner.

It was better than he had expected. In fact, he had expected to find the whole thing revolting. It surprised him, how much he actually enjoyed the taste, which he found very unsettling. He had believed after all these years, he had left such an animal like existence behind. It was very disconcerting how easily he could fall back into that role.


Vegeta was shocked to hear someone call his name. Despite his state of mind, he had been very careful to concentrate enough to suppress his ki, so as not to be found. He walked to the mouth of the cave and saw Gokou hovering about a couple feet off the ground in front of the cave.

?Kakarotto!? Vegeta?s face turned red with anger. ?What the hell are you doing here? How could you find me? I suppressed my ki!?

Gokou wasn?t laughing now. He had the serious face of a warrior.

?Just because Trunks couldn?t find you, don?t think you could fool me. I learned a lot from King Kai. I could sense you.?

Vegeta looked dejectedly at Gokou and motioned his arm into the cave. ?Won?t you come in?? He said sarcastically.

Gokou came in, but he cautiously kept Vegeta in front of him, as if he expected Vegeta to attack at any moment. Then, Gokou saw the animal at the fire.

Gokou brightened like a kid in front of a candy store. ?Wow!? Is that what I think it is? Vegeta, where did you catch this? Boy, do you know how long it has been since I have had one of those? They are good eating! Can I try some of it??

?Help yourself!? Vegeta said sarcastically, waving his arm at the first meal he had in two days.

Not paying the least attention to Vegeta?s sarcasm, Gokou ran over, grabbed a leg, tore it off, sinking his teeth right through the skin to the meat.

?Oh man! Does this take me back to when I was a kid. I used to kill a couple of these or a wolf for my dinner every night.? Gokou took another bite like a starving man with his first taste of meat in years.

?You, Kakarotto?? Vegeta said surprised. ?I didn?t know you ever had to scavenge.?

Gokou put his hand behind his head. ?Oh, yeah! After my grandpa, died, I was still a little kid, and I was kind of on my own, for several years until I met Bulma. Humans man! They don?t seem to appreciate some of the animals they have on this planet. I tried to get Bulma to try some, but she never would. All she would do is scream.? Gokou laughed.

?And Chi Chi!? Gokou said between gulping bites. ?Man, she freaked! That was my last meal by an open fire. Funny though, she doesn?t seem to mind fish.? Gokou bit off the last scrap of meat on the leg, and patted his stomach.

?Thanks, Vegeta!? Gokou said, looking well satisfied. ?That was food to a dying man!?

?You sure?? Vegeta said with resentment in his voice, ?I only haven?t eaten in two days. I wouldn?t want to keep you from your memories.?

?Oh, uh sorry, Vegeta.? Gokou said looking abashed. ?There?s plenty left. Go ahead, I won?t stop you.?

Vegeta ate in silence for a while, and then he said something under his breath.

?Sorry, I didn?t catch that.?

?Just animals.? Vegeta said thoughtfully. ?You only scavenged animals??

?Oh, no! I ate a lot of fish too!? Gokou smiled at the memories.

?Of course,? Vegeta said with a haunted look in his eyes. ?You will never know how lucky you are Kakarotto. Do you know how many years, I hated you for that??

The smile left Gokou?s face.

He turned to look at Vegeta with sympathy. ?I know you had it rough, Vegeta.?

?You know!? Vegeta spat bitterly, the veins in his forehead popping out. ?What would you know? With your pretty planet, and your fish! You have no idea what Fur . . . ? As Vegeta tried to say the name, he put his head in his hands, and screamed.

?Vegeta!? Gokou cried alarmed. ?What?s wrong??

?It?s happening again!? Vegeta screamed. ?It?s like I am splitting in two! It?s no longer just when I sleep. It happens without any warning when I am awake!?

He raised his head, breathing heavily. He looked at Gokou with an expression of someone who was beyond exhaustion, beyond despair, and beyond all hope.

?Go home, Kakarotto. Go home to your wife, and your fish, and your happiness. I don?t know what is happening to me. But, I know whatever is happening to me, it is too late.?

?I don?t believe that, Vegeta.? Gokou said looking seriously at Vegeta. ?And I can?t believe, you believe that either.?

?What you believe!? Vegeta spat even more bitterly. ?It?s because of you, I have come to this!?

?Me?? Gokou said, looking innocently surprised

?I told you before. It was because of your influence, that I came to live on this planet. Had a family, and liked it. If I had stayed on my own, this would not be happening.?

?What is happening, Vegeta?? Gokou demanded.

?I see myself killing my family! Are you satisfied?? Vegeta?s voice was a strangled scream of despair. ?I see myself, bathed in their blood. Not only that, I see myself enjoying it!? Vegeta turned painfully away at that last admission.

?Vegeta, I don?t believe you could do anything to hurt Bulma or Trunks and Bra. Even under the madness of Babadi, you pulled yourself back for them.?

Vegeta flinched at the mention of that episode of his life.

?I almost killed Bulma the other night.? Vegeta said. The haunted look in his eyes deepened, and behind it Gokou could see a cold light that he hadn?t seen in Vegeta?s eyes, since the death of Furiza. ?I dreamt it was Furiza. I grabbed her and almost punched her head off. If she hadn?t screamed.? He broke off and raised his hands to show Gokou, as if they were already red with her blood.

?I?m scared, Kakarotto.? Gokou turned toward Vegeta in shock, not only at the honesty of the admission, but to see that Vegeta was truly shaking in terror. ?I?ve never been so scared in my life. It?s like Furiza is alive again, only he is inside me, and he is fighting to get out! I was never strong enough for him. He?s going to win. I just know it, and then he will kill them, while I watch.?

?Vegeta,? Gokou said firmly. ?Furiza is dead. He has been dead for years.?

?No, No!? Vegeta insisted, hearing the madness in his words and not flinching from them. ?He?s alive, I tell you, in here!? Vegeta pointed to his head. ?He is still alive, and he is trying to get out.?

?Vegeta, you?re tired.? Gokou said, trying to sound reassuring. ?When was the last time you slept??

?Not, since I left.? Vegeta said. He closed his eyes, as weariness swam in front of them. ?If I sleep, I dream, and it is always the same dream. I?m afraid of what I will find when I wake up.?

Then, Vegeta became still and calm as madmen do when they believe they see the solution. ?Of course, it?s so simple,? he said to himself.

Vegeta looked up at Gokou as the calmness of his new idea shown in his eyes. ?You have to kill Furiza. You killed him before, you must kill him, again.?

?How am I supposed to do that, Vegeta?? Gokou spoke slowly as if humoring a child.

?Simple!? Vegeta said as if explaining the most rational idea in the world. ?By killing me!?

?Vegeta!? Gokou said, alarm rising in his voice. ?Now you are talking crazy!?

?Don?t you think I know that?? Vegeta shouted hoarsely. ?It may be the only way to stop him, before he gets free. You have to kill him!?

Then, Vegeta attempted to calm down, returning to the tone of one explaining an extremely rational idea. ?It?s very simple. I will make it easy for you. I am very tired. I will go to sleep. You can do it quickly and easily while I am asleep. Kill me, you kill Furiza. Its might be my family?s only chance! I don?t know how long I am going to keep what is left of my sanity.?

?Vegeta, get serious!? Gokou said, turning angry at the suggestion of such a cowardly act. ?I am not going to kill you in your sleep!?

?What are you going to do?? Vegeta screamed desperately. ?Stand on guard at the Capsule Corporation until I show up? It might interest you to know, in my dream, I kill you first before I kill my family. What if Chi Chi got in the way? Are you going to let that happen??

?No,? and there was a deadly serious tone in Gokou?s voice. ?I would never let you harm Chi Chi.?

?Then what are you going to do, Kakarotto?? Vegeta?s voice became calmer. ?What are you going to do?? Vegeta said the last in a desperate plea.

?Okay, Vegeta,? Gokou said, and he raised his hands in a motion of surrender. ?You win. You go to sleep, and then I will do it.?

Relief came into Vegeta?s eyes, as exhaustion took its last toll and he sank down beside the fire. ?I?m depending on you Kakarotto. Kill that bastard for me,? escaped his lips and then he was asleep.

Gokou sadly watched Vegeta?s sleeping form for several minutes. If there had been anyone to watch, they might have seen something on Gokou?s face. They might have thought it was a tear, or simply a shadow cast by the fire. No one knows, for Gokou never told anyone what transpired between himself and Vegeta, that night.

Gokou walked toward Vegeta?s sleeping form, and gently knelt beside him, putting his hand upon Vegeta?s head. Bulma would have been surprised to hear what came out of Gokou?s mouth next, never considering him too bright. Even Gokou wondered where he had heard something like it before.

?Goodnight, dark prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.?

There was a stomping sound heard from inside the cave, then Gokou walked out. This time, tears could be clearly seen streaming down his face.

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***Alert from the author: The following chapter contains a scene of fantasy blood drinking based on my conjecture about the Saiya-jin bonding ritual. This is a FICTITIOUS SCENE. This should NOT, under any circumstances be attempted by anyone. (Don?t try this at home, this means you!) I know most people are intelligent enough to know that, but there is always some goof that gets carried away. This is fiction people. That means it is not real, and the author takes NO RESPONSIBILITY, WHATSOEVER for any idiot that tries to make it real. Okay?????????? Thank you for your attention***

Gokou walked out of the cave, Vegeta?s prostrate form in his arms. Tears were streaming down Gokou?s face. He looked angrily at Vegeta and shook his head. Then he flew away, with Vegeta in his arms.

?Let me out! You can?t do this to me!?

Vegeta woke up with a start, wildly looking around his surroundings. Gleaming walls rose to a peak. I?m finally in Hell, he thought. No worse! It?s Furiza?s ship! Then, his panic turned to rage, when he realized it was his own bedroom.

That ****ing, bastard! That lying, ****ing, slimy, son of a *****! Vegeta marched out of the room and down the hall with only one thing in mind. When he reached the main rotunda they used as a living room, he walked past his family like they were not there.

?Hey, Vegeta,? started Gokou, but was interrupted when Vegeta hit him so hard, he went sailing out the far window. Vegeta went flying out the same, now shattered window, launching himself toward Gokou.

?Wow! That?s the Vegeta, I know!? Gokou said to himself, raising himself up before Vegeta got to him. He locked arms with Vegeta as Vegeta made contact. Iron muscle and sinew locked against iron muscle and sinew, every vein in Vegeta?s arms could be seen as they strained against each other.

?You ****ing, lying, bastard! You promised me!? Vegeta strained to get himself free, but Gokou wasn?t letting go for all the Dragon Balls in the universe. Both pushed, but neither could get the advantage.

Gokou was smiling, which only made Vegeta more enraged. ?I said I would do it! I didn?t say what ?it? was! You were so exhausted, last night, you weren?t thinking right. Did you really think I was going to kill you??

?I heard you stomping me, in my sleep!? Vegeta started panting, but there was an explosion and his hair glowed gold as he pushed harder.

Gokou answered with his own explosion and the contest was still dead even. ?Nah! You heard me stomping out the fire.? Gokou laughed as Vegeta screamed in frustration. ?You fell asleep so close to the fire, your hair was smouldering. You?re lucky I was there. Bulma is right. You could sleep through the Cell Games. If I hadn?t put out the fire, you wouldn?t have needed me to kill ya. Hey, but don?t worry, it seems going Super Saiya-jin solved the problem. You can?t tell where it burned!?

?Carried home like a child. Of all the humiliating . . . I swear I am going to make you sorry for this, you bastard! You took me to the one place, I shouldn?t be. If anything happens to my family, because of you.? Vegeta?s teeth clenched like an enraged animal frustrated at the kill that was so near, yet so far.

?What are you going to do, Vegeta?? Gokou smiled, but now it was the smile of an animal warrior that also smelled the blood on the wind. ?You going to rip my head off??

?That would be too easy on you.? Vegeta said, putting his face within micrometers of Gokou?s. ?I am going to make you suffer first.?

?Put my eyes out first?? Gokou?s grin was wider, as he pushed Vegeta harder and Vegeta returned with equal strength.

?Your arms first. I will rip them off! Then, your eyes. I will tear them out! Your head comes last!? Vegeta hissed savagely between harder breaths.

Gokou shoved Vegeta so hard, he fell flat on his back on the ground. ?You?d do all that, if anything happens to your family?? Gokou set himself in a stance waiting for Vegeta?s next attack.

?You?ll wish that is all I did!? Vegeta rose slowly to his feet, but it was a deception and Gokou well knew it. Vegeta sprang with surprising quickness, launching himself over Gokou landing behind him, taking his head in a lock that would have killed a lesser opponent.

?Is that the Vegeta that would likely do anything to hurt them?? Gokou said, straining against Vegeta?s attempt to tear his head off. ?Look at you! You are so willing to kill me over them. Is that the Vegeta that is going to really lose it and hurt them??

?I don?t know!? Vegeta screamed. ?I just don?t know, any more!?

?Then, take a look over at them you selfish, son of a *****! You have been thinking so much of what might happen, you never bothered to notice what you are doing to them, right now! They have been going through hell, worrying about you. Don?t you think that is part of hurting them? How about me telling them you are dead? Look at them after missing you for two days and imagine what that would do to them.?

Vegeta looked over Gokou?s shoulder in horror. His family, was looking out the shattered window. Each face was study in pain. Vegeta shoved Gokou away, turning his back on him.

?This is your fault, not mine!? Vegeta said, catching his breath, his hair returning to black. ?I didn?t want them to see me like this.?

Gokou stepped farther away, but kept Vegeta in front of him. ?Then just hold onto the Vegeta that was so ready to rip me limb from limb, for his family. I don?t believe that Vegeta would hurt them, and I don?t think you do either. Besides, you have my word, that I will stay here until whatever is happening is over, if that is what it takes, but don?t torture your family, Vegeta.?

?Besides,? Gokou lowered his voice. ?I think there is more to this than meets the eye.?

Vegeta turned his head and looked at Gokou from the corner of his eye. ?What do you mean?? He said suspiciously.

?When did you start having these visions of killing your family??

Vegeta flinched uncomfortably, turning his face away from Gokou. ?It?s been happening for a month, but it didn?t get bad until four days ago.? He said quietly.

?Just about the time your little guest showed up.? Gokou turned his head back to the shattered window.

She was standing there as still as stone. While everyone else looked anxiously out the window, she stood behind them, with no expression, at all.

?That?s right!? Vegeta said bodily turning toward Gokou.

?Have you ever taken time to feel her ki? I did this morning. It?s very unusual.? Gokou looked at Vegeta with the deadly serious expression of a warrior not convinced the challenge was over.

?No,? Vegeta stammered, embarrassed that he could be so caught off guard. ?I have been preoccupied.?

?Well, feel it now.? Gokou said.

What Vegeta felt was something powerful. Not powerful like Gokou, or even like his son. But, there was a power. He could feel it, even if he could not understand it.

?I can?t believe I didn?t sense this before.? Vegeta said in shock.

?Well, like you said, you were preoccupied.? Gokou reassured him. ?But, it?s weird, it?s like it?s her, and it?s not her. There is something or someone behind that ki that we can?t see. It?s like there is something else hiding in her mind, and she doesn?t even know it--or maybe she does.?

?Then we find out who or what she is now!? Vegeta said marching back toward the shattered window and his family.

?Wait, Vegeta!? Gokou protested. ?She?s just a kid! It?s no good scaring the hell out of her!?

?Don?t talk to me about hell, Kakarotto!? Vegeta said in no mood to wait. ?I have been there for a month. It?s time I find out why.?

If Vegeta had expected to march in using whatever means necessary to intimidate an answer from the girl, what happened next didn?t just shock him, but everyone. When Vegeta and Gokou got closer, they could see that the girl was not as expressionless as they thought. Tears were streaming down her face. As Vegeta entered, her face twisted into a look of rage and she marched right up to him.

?I remember you now! It was you, it was you! You were younger, thinner, almost half starved, but it was you! You killed my mother!?

?You!? Vegeta took two steps away from her, practically choking out the words in his shock. ?It can?t be! It just can?t be!?

?You killed her, you killed her! Why did you do that??

She started pummeling Vegeta who just stood there too shocked and horrified to do anything. Then, something happened that no one expected. As she hit Vegeta harder and harder, she screamed as power exploded all around her.

?Oh my God!? Gokou screamed, ?She?s Saiya-jin!?

Her hair, now glowing gold, stood up all over as her fists continued to hit Vegeta harder and harder. Blood began to show on his face and shoulders. Trunks could endure no more. He grabbed her arms.

?Stop it!? He shrieked. ?Can?t you see he won?t fight back??

She shook herself free of Trunks and faced Vegeta. ?I don?t care what it takes. I will take everything from you that you hold dear, and when you are begging for your loved ones, like my mother begged for my life, then I will kill you like you killed her.? Then, she flew out the broken window and was gone.

Everyone was speechless, except for Vegeta.

He quietly turned to Bulma looking like he had seen a ghost. ?Bulma, I have to talk to you, now.?

Bulma was trembling, looking like she would collapse after the ordeal of the last few days. ?Vegeta what is happening!? she wailed.

?I don?t know, Bulma. Maybe this is the last time we will talk together as man and wife, and maybe after I talk to you, you will want it to be the last time, but I have to talk to you, please!?

Bulma was as shocked by his last word as the commotion of just two minutes ago. Vegeta had never said please to her in his life?not even when they got married.

?I wish to marry you.?

Bulma tried not to laugh when Vegeta said this. It was, as usual for Vegeta, a royal command, not a request.

?You never mentioned marriage before? Bulma said, suppressing a laugh. ?Why today??

Vegeta was in no mood for Bulma?s levity. ?You carry my child. I will not have you give birth to a bastard.? Vegeta?s tone was deadly serious.

?Okay,? Bulma sighed, secretly wishing for something more romantic. She told herself, however, if she wanted that, she shouldn?t have taken up with a Saiya-jin. ?I will contact a minister that can marry us.?

?NO!? Vegeta said firmly. ?No earth ceremony! I am Saiya-jin. The child will be half Saiya-jin. The ceremony must be Saiya-jin.?

Bulma felt a little offended at this. ?I?m not Saiya-jin. I am one of those weakling humans, remember? That ceremony you reject, is rather important to me.?

Vegeta sighed. ?We can do an Earth ceremony afterwards if it is that important, woman.? Vegeta said in a tone that conveyed he thought Bulma was speaking of trifles. ?But, we must bond in the Saiya-jin tradition. In that way we are bonded for all time.?

Bulma realized, with an inward chuckle, despite her being very pregnant with Vegeta?s child, Vegeta was still unsure about her, and wanted to make sure she would always be his. Despite all his bravado and arrogance, she was beginning to see, he could be quite insecure. Perhaps, she thought with a shock, that was what all his arrogance was about! It was a shield! A way for his pride to conceal a very deep insecurity.

?Okay,? Bulma conceded wanting very much for him to feel sure about her. ?You win. How do we do this??

?We each drink the other?s blood. Thus, our blood flows through each other?s veins, binding us to each other for all time.? Vegeta said this reverently, with no trace of the horror this gave Bulma.

?You can?t be serious!? Bulma cried, horrified, but calmed down when she saw how her revulsion visibly hurt Vegeta.

?Then you do not wish to bond with me.? He said quietly.

?I didn?t say that Vegeta, but isn?t there a way besides this?? Bulma demanded.

?Don?t worry, woman.? Vegeta said trying his best to reassure her. ?I will not insist on the full ceremony that would be done for Saiya-jins. I understand you are human and pregnant and fragile. Normally, we would bite the throat and drink. But, I shall be very gentle.? Vegeta showed her the knife.

?What are you planning to do with that knife?? Bulma screamed.

Despite Vegeta?s best attempts to belay her fears, the idea of having her throat sliced seemed no more gentle to her than being bitten. Bulma only agreed when she saw how important this really was to him. She didn?t understand it, but she knew there were things about Vegeta she would never understand.

The ceremony, for Bulma, was harrowing, to say the least. He approached her with the knife, intoning something under his breath. Then he said the words slowly for Bulma to hear and commanded her to repeat the words.

?Two bodies, one blood.? She repeated, secretly thinking the whole thing was just creepy. ?For all time, you will be in my blood, you will be my blood. We each exist in the other?s veins. Each keeping the other alive. Two bodies, one blood.?

He expertly ran the knife along her throat barely cutting into the skin. She drew in her breath at the sting of the blade. Before she had time to feel any real pain, he plunged his mouth hungrily on the wound. Bulma?s head swam for a moment, as her terrified mind ran between an intense dichotomy of feelings. Could I be enjoying this? It horrified her to think it possible, but a gasp escaped her lips she was not able to suppress. Vegeta gave her his best evil grin, letting her know he heard it.

Then, without the slightest hesitation, he ran the knife along the side of his own throat, cocking his head to one side, baring his throat to make the ordeal easier for Bulma. Bulma hesitatingly put her mouth to his throat and sucked the wound. She felt the warm liquid enter her mouth and knew she was supposed to swallow. Bulma did, hoping she didn?t vomit as she swallowed.

Vegeta drew her up and kissed her very passionately and very hard. He was trembling with excitement. To her horror, Bulma realized there was still blood in his mouth. All her paralyzed mind could think was, what kind of animal have I joined myself with? The last was just too much and she fainted. She woke up hours later, realizing Vegeta must have carried her to bed. She touched her neck where the wound was, and there was a dressing on it. Vegeta was asleep beside her. No dressing on his wound. It still bled slightly, but it was beginning to stanch.

She watched his sleeping form, his breathe the only sound to be heard. This was not exactly how she had imagined her wedding night. He had not wanted to make love to her since he found out she was pregnant. There were times when the man, she once called monster, could be too gentle. He seemed to have a real fear of hurting her or the baby. She wondered if he would actually go through with an earth ceremony. She just couldn?t imagine him in a tux.

?Please!? Vegeta repeated desperately, which brought her out of her reverie. She slowly tried to take him by the hand, but he said, ?Don?t touch me. Just please follow.?

Three ?pleases,? she thought. This had to be important. So she followed him. He didn?t bother with the door. He took her to the shattered window, lifted her out it, and then had her follow him.

Gokou tried to follow, but Vegeta held up a hand. ?No, this is between me and my wife. We will return.?

With that, Bulma hesitatingly followed him into the forest.

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As they walked into the forest, Vegeta was in his own reverie. Not of love and bonding, but of fire, blood, pain, madness, deep regret and fear.

Fear was the only emotion Vegeta associated with pleasure. Not his own, but the fear he inspired in others. He loved to walk down the corridors of Furiza?s ship and watch Furiza?s underlings flee or hide in any hole available at the sight of him. He loved that even though he was three times his size, even Nappa was afraid of him. But now, he was 14, and considered himself a man, and a man?s mind looks to other things besides terrifying Furiza?s trash.

He found what he was looking for on some backwater planet in a section of the galaxy he was supposed to conquer. The people were living on a primitive level and Vegeta considered them contemptible weaklings. His desire was the most beautiful woman Vegeta had ever seen, up until that time. Though, if the truth be told, she wasn?t much older than him. Vegeta was not used to seeing much beauty from life. Her hair was a wild pink, and her skin was a paler pink. Her eyes the color of the planet?s sky. She was tiny and delicate, which just added to his sense of her helplessness. He drank the exultation of that, along with the exhilaration of her screams. He had been chasing her for two hours to his absolute delight. It was the most enjoyable thing he had experienced in his short life.

He would fly over her then fly up so high, she could not see him. He would let her think he was gone, and then fly down, appearing two feet in front of her, blocking any escape, reveling in her screams as she saw him floating. Finally, she could run no more. She fell to the ground panting, and Vegeta found that most arousing, as well.

?What are you?? She screamed between hard drawn breaths. ?I have never seen anyone fly before!?

She shivered as Vegeta chuckled evilly. ?Well, maybe I am an angel.? He said in an ugly, mocking tone. ?Or maybe I am your darkest nightmare. I guess you will never know.? He looked on her with complete arrogance, devoid of pity.

?What do you want?? She said trying to hide her face.

?Now it comes to it.? Vegeta said arrogantly, raising his hand to send a ki blast that sheared off the top of a nearby hill.

The girl screamed and looked at him in horror. ?You are an angel.? She whispered in horror. ?A dark angel.?

Vegeta only laughed contemptuously at her awe. ?It?s not what I want, it?s what you want.? He sneered. ?How would you like to keep everyone on this planet breathing?? Then he sent another ki blast and sheared off a second level from the same hill.

?How do I do that?? She said, tears starting to run down her face at the horror of her situation.

?Well,? Vegeta said smiling cruelly, as he began to remove his armor, ?that depends on how nice you are to me.?

Bulma brought Vegeta out of his reverie, as she attempted to take her hand. Vegeta weakly protested, and just sat down on the ground in the middle of the woods. He ran his hands through his hair as if there was some vision he could exercise by doing this. He looked up at Bulma, and despite having a night?s rest, he seemed to her to be very pale and very tired.

?Bulma,? he said quietly. ?Do you know what has always been my greatest fear??

Bulma awkwardly stood there not sure how to answer. She sat beside him, but he flinched at her touch.

?Losing to Gokou?? She said helplessly.

?No, Bulma.? Vegeta said soberly. ?My greatest fear has always been that you would find out just how right you were when you called me a monster. You think you know my past, but you don?t know the half of it. I purposely kept if from you. I feared if you did find out, you would never have anything to do with me, or leave me and go back to Yamcha.? When he said that name there was an undertone of pure hate.

?Vegeta,? Bulma said trying to be helpful. ?I know things were rough for you. No one is blaming you for that.?

?I blame me for that, Bulma,? Vegeta said forcefully. ?I blame me!?

?Vegeta,? Bulma started, but Vegeta held up a commanding hand, not to be interrupted.

?Remember when I told you, you were my first?? Vegeta looked at her hesitantly then looked down at the ground.

Bulma nodded.

?Well, it was a lie.? Vegeta looked up at her dejectedly. ?Come on, Bulma, don?t look at me like that. I lied a lot in those days. It was a skill I needed to survive. Those kind of skills are not easy to break. But I did determine, especially after we bonded, that I wanted honesty in our relationship. I have tried to be truthful ever since.?

?Who was she,? Bulma asked trying hard to keep the tears she felt welling up, not to be heard in her voice. She was not successful and Bulma could see it physically hurt him to hear it.

?I was 14. I had been sent to conquer some part of the galaxy. There were so many I can?t remember which. She was about the same age. I didn?t know what love was. I had never experienced it, not even from my father. I was young, and wanted to experience it, but I had no idea how. I told the girl, if she was nice to me, I would leave her planet alone, and not kill everyone. She agreed, or at least I think she did.? Vegeta looked at Bulma out of the corner of his eye to see how she was taking all this.

?And I tried to keep my word, Bulma,? Vegeta looked at Bulma with certainty in eyes. ?I may have lied a lot, but I was still a Saiya-jin Prince and my pride mattered more than anything. I gave her my word, and I really tried to keep it. But, I was young and cocky. I imagined myself such a clever liar, that Furiza would never catch on. And Furiza didn?t for two years. Until, he turned his attentions to that part of the galaxy and I was brought before him to explain why a job was left incomplete.?

What Vegeta didn't say to Bulma, was that Nappa had been the one to crack and tell Furiza about Vegeta's failure to exterminate the planet. Vegeta swore the moment he didn't need Nappa, he would kill him for that. A promise Vegeta kept with all his heart.

Vegeta shuddered as if remembering some past pain or humiliation. ?Do you know what Furiza did to those that didn?t finish a job? At least those he let live? Furiza?s kind didn?t eat, except for the occasional drinking of blood. Furiza wanted me to be strong. His method was to beat me almost to death, which he did on many occasions, or simply beat me until I could not fight back and then drink my blood until I was almost dead. It was an effective method. When I healed, I would be much stronger. Only this time he brought me so close to the brink of death, I was truly convinced he would kill me.?

Bulma put her hand over her mouth, horrified, ?Oh my God, Vegeta. Considering your reverence for the Saiya-jin bonding ritual that must have been horrible for you.?

Vegeta put up his hand, as if that aspect of the ordeal he did not wish to discuss, ever! ?I reverenced it, but I am not a zealot. We could have never truly done the complete ritual. It would have been impossible for us both.?

?How?? Bulma said, routed out of her horror by curiosity.

?In the complete ritual, each turns into their Oozuru form, and the blood letting caused by this animal state, results in a mating frenzy.? Vegeta said, gravely.

?Oozuru?? Bulma asked.

?Were monkey,? Vegeta answered helpfully. ?It was considered the final rite of manhood. If he survived the bonding ritual, he was considered worthy.?

?Survived?? Bulma asked sharply.

?It?s not so unusual, ?Vegeta waved his hand as if he was talking about common ordinary matters. ?Remember that insect you told me about that eats its mate.?

?Black widow spider,? Bulma corrected, ?it?s not an insect.?

?Whatever! It is twice the size of the male. You see, although our females, like human females tended to be smaller, the female Oozuru could sometimes be twice the size of the male.?

?Eats her mates?? Bulma asked incredulously.

?It was a risk.? Vegeta said flatly. ?Those that did not survive were considered unworthy.?

?But do not feel, I think less of you for not being able to do the complete ritual. I could not do it either, without my tail.? Vegeta looked over his back at what used to be there, and in his eyes was the glimmer of regret. ?I didn?t tell you this aspect of the ritual when we bonded because I did not want you to fear I was going to become some animal and harm you. It was enough for me that you were willing to try.?

?But what happened to the girl?? Bulma asked no longer wishing to dwell on animal rites and suspecting Vegeta was simply trying to get her off a very uncomfortable subject.

?After Furiza was finished,? Vegeta said slowly, ?and I recovered. He sent me back to complete the job. So, I went back.?

?I started exterminating people, as soon as I arrived. Soon, I came upon her. She was two years older, and she carried a child in her arms.? Vegeta closed his eyes as if trying to block out a painful memory. ?She begged me not to kill the child, because the child was mine. She said to kill her, but to let the child live.?

Vegeta raised his hand and extended two fingers. ?I raised my hand, pointed it at the pair. She threw the child out of what she thought would be my range. She had no idea how easy it was to kill them both in one blast.? Vegeta faltered and lowered his arm. ?And I couldn?t do it, Bulma. I am guilty of many things, but that is one thing where I know I am innocent. I did not kill her.?

?I told her she had two hours to get off the planet. That was all I could do for her.? Vegeta put his face in his hands. ?It was a primitive planet,? he admitted, ?and I had no idea how she could have left on a more advanced planet, but I couldn?t do more. I left to find something to eat.?

?Something to eat?? Vegeta winced at Bulma?s interruption.

?I told you.? Vegeta said breathing hard as if bearing up under some heavy burden. ?Furiza?s kind didn?t eat. That meant no food. We had no homeworld, no ships and nowhere to go. You know how much food it takes to keep a Saiya-jin alive. How do you think Furiza controlled anyone as dangerous as the Saiya-jin so completely? He did it by starving us. If we completed a job, we ate. If we didn?t, we starved.?

?Oh my God!? Bulma reeled from the horror.

?I never ate human flesh!? Vegeta said in a desperately defensive tone. ?Besides what do you think your precious Gokou,? and his voice took a bitter twist at the mention of that name, ?would have been eating had he completed his mission??

?What mission?? Bulma looked at Vegeta puzzled.

?You don?t know?? Vegeta looked at her shocked. ?He never told you??

?Told me what??

?How very interesting,? Vegeta said to himself in an ugly undertone.

?Why do you think he was on this planet in the first place? To pick pretty wild flowers and present them to Furiza?? Vegeta yelled in bitter sarcasm. ?He was sent here to destroy all of you. How can you live with a Saiya-jin your whole married life and not see the potential? He would have left nothing breathing on this planet before he was even one year old.?

?And then, he would have lived on your decaying corpses, until he was picked up.? Vegeta said this grimly, with as much shock value as he could twist into those words.

Bulma tried to reconcile the vision Vegeta was weaving with that happy, innocent child Bulma had known for so many years. Even as a man, he never seemed to lose his gentleness or his innocense. Bulma always wondered how Gokou could be so happy all the time, no matter the circumstances. Now she understood. He was Saiya-jin. It was in his nature, possibly his genetic memory. Compared to all other Saiya-jin before him, Earth must seem like paradise. She never appreciated before, that Vegeta could have been just like him, save the cruel twists of fate, and realized just how lucky Gokou truly was. But, that eternally angelic child sent here to kill them all? Eating their corpses? She simply could not believe it.

?Oh my God!? Bulma said in horror. ?Not Gokou! He just couldn?t.?

?Oh, yes he could!? Vegeta countered sharply. ?The only reason you are breathing now is because that child lost his memory. You see, I knew him. I saw him briefly on Bejita-sei. When he wasn?t crying, he was a vicious, cruel, little brat.? Vegeta looked up at Bulma with a wicked smile, reminding her very much of the way he was when they first met. ?I liked him.?

?They sent him to earth when he was still a very small infant. The first time he went Oozuru, he would have raped the planet of all that breathed.?

?Oh, yeah, I saw Gokou become that.? Bulma said

?You did!? Vegeta said with a cold light in his eyes that Bulma only saw when he was jealous.

?Yeah,? Bulma said stammering, ?if he hadn?t, we would have died in Emperor Pilaf?s trap, but we were then almost killed by Gokou. He tried to eat me! But, I never knew there was a sexual aspect to the were monkey. That might explain why he kept licking me.?

?He did what!? Vegeta rose to his feet with a very ugly look on his face. The veins on his arm and forehead started to stand out.

?Geez, Vegeta? Bulma cowered as Vegeta stood over her, ?it wasn?t like I was a willing participant, I was screaming my guts out. I?ve never been so terrified in my life. Besides, he was only a kid at the time. He didn?t even remember what happened after Puar cut off his tail.?

Vegeta put up his hands, like this was a matter for another time. ?Lets not talk about this. The point is, I never saw either of them, again. I don?t know what happened to them. But, it is her, Bulma. She should be older. At least 25 or 30 by now, but it?s her. And how she got to Earth, I just don?t know?

?Who?? Bulma asked still trying to digest the horror of Vegeta?s life.

?That girl is my daughter, Bulma.? Vegeta buried his face in his hands falling to his knees. ?I don?t ask that you forgive any of the things I have done. I just ask that you don?t hate me. If you hate me, then I truly am lost.?

Bulma crawled over to him, hugging him as she did.

?Don?t touch me Bulma,? weakly escaped his lips, but he made no attempt to get loose from her. He sagged against her as if his strength were almost used up. Then he pushed her away, standing up, clenching fists to rally his strength. ?I have to find her.? He said stone faced.

?Why?? Bulma asked. ?Why must you??

?I don?t know, Bulma,? and the smile that came to his face was not the smile of a sane man. ?I really don?t know. Then he walked off into the woods before Bulma could stop him.

Bulma kneeled on the ground for several minutes trying to drink in what happened and think of a solution.

Only one name came to her mind and she screamed it with all her might. ?Gokou! Gokou, come quickly!?

Gokou appeared out of nowhere, in a fighting stance as if he expected he would need it.

?Where is he?? Gokou cried, looking wildly about him.

?Gokou, he went off into the woods after her.? Bulma got out between sobs. ?Gokou you should have seen the look on his face. I think he is losing his mind. You have to go after him!?

?Bulma,? Gokou put his strong arm around her, hugging her. ?Please don?t think badly of Vegeta for this. I felt the ki of that girl. You heard her swear revenge. I think this is being done to him. Someone, besides the girl, someone a lot more powerful is trying to drive him insane.?

?Just bring him back to me,? Bulma cried, ?sane or insane, just bring him back to me.? She buried her face in her hands.

?I swear I will bring him back.? Gokou put two fingers to his head and disappeared.

more to come
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Guest valeyard
Vegeta walked like he had a purpose, even if he wasn?t sure of that purpose. Despite, threatening his life, the girl had not made herself hard to find. In fact, her ki was a beacon in the dark. Dark with threat, dark with power, her ki, filled him with an apprehension he would not flee.

He found her kneeling on a cleft level with the ground, just before it fell into a rocky valley below. She must have heard his approach, but she made no sign. She was still as a stone, staring at something lying on her knees. As Vegeta got closer, he could see it was a small blade, about three inches in length, with no ornamentation, save a single symbol in some language Vegeta did not recognize.

?You should leave while you can.? She said without looking up from the knife.

Vegeta surveyed the sky without looking at her. ?Because, of that pathetic knife?? He scoffed. ?Do you really think you could harm me with that??

?No,? she said starting to cry. ?You don?t understand. I followed you. I heard you talking to your wife.?

Vegeta inwardly cursed himself. Had it come to this? Had madness so consumed him, a mere girl could observe him without his noticing?

?I don?t know why, but I believed you. Even, if I didn?t believe you, I have no right to condemn you. I am you.? She put her face in her hands and sobbed.

Vegeta recoiled at the very words that haunted his dreams. ?What would you know about me?? He demanded angrily.

?You don?t understand,? she cried. ?When my mother was killed, I wanted to be anywhere but there. To see her lying dead like that. I tried to close my eyes and escape in my mind. I didn?t know how successful I was. I started having dreams that were so real they were like life itself. In them, I could be a merchant, a warrior, a poet. And in every one, I was convinced I was that person. I always thought they were just dreams, so I kept them to myself.?

She raised her eyes and Vegeta could see the horror in them. ?Until one night, I dreamed I had killed someone I loved very much, and the horror of what I had done was so much, that I decided to kill myself. When I awoke the next morning, I heard that someone in our village had killed his wife the night before, and then killed himself. That?s when I realized they weren?t just dreams. I was really getting inside people?s heads, seeing what they did--thinking exactly what they thought.?

?Then he came. He saw my power and its potential and he took me. Took me away from my home and used me to get inside people?s heads, find what they feared most and use it against them. I had the power to get in people?s heads, but I had no control over it. He could control it, and I was the helpless tool he used. They would scream and scream, and I would scream along with them.? Then her voice turned to bitter hatred. ?And he laughed.?

?I?ve killed hundreds of people.? She shook her head. ?The perfect assassin. No trail, no clues, nothing. Just murder/suicides in my wake and the victim would get the blame. Then he would take me away to be used on another job.?

She laughed mirthlessly through her tears. ?Do you know how he made my mind, stronger? Pushed my mind farther and farther away from my body?? The laugh became pure hysteria. ?Almost the same way! The same thing that was done to you. You see, I am you!? Then she covered her head with her arms as if trying to hide from madness.

?Only I determined to get away and to never help him again.? Then she looked down at the little knife on her knees. ?And if he should find me, make sure it will do him no good.? And her voice took on a chilling calm.

?You are Saiya-jin,? Vegeta affirmed grimly. ?We do not kill ourselves needlessly. We fight. If you have a power, why didn?t you use it to kill him long ago??

?Saiya-jin? I don?t even know what that is!? She screamed.

Vegeta lowered his head with a look of regret on his face. ?You will learn.? He assured her. ?I will teach you.?

She shook her head smiling sadly. ?You don?t understand. It?s too late. I felt him five minutes ago. There is no where to go. He?s here.?

Vegeta looked around but saw no one. ?Who is here?? He asked incredulously.

?Tsunagi Daimyou,? she cried with no hope in her voice. ?And that is why you must leave.?

Vegeta raised his arm, crossed his thumb over his palm, sending a blast that impacted at the far side of the valley basin. ?If he wishes to die,? he said confidently, ?let him come.?

?You don?t understand!? Her voice was a cry of hopeless despair. ?He doesn?t fight. Doesn?t use brute strength. He attacks the mind. He destroys you from inside.?

?Is that the revenge you spoke of?? Vegeta replied bitterly. ?Were you sent here to get to me through my family??

Meisukai looked up at Vegeta in shock. ?Those dreams were about you?? She lowered in head in shame. ?I didn?t know. I swear to you, I didn?t know. That?s the problem with this. I look out through their eyes. I can?t see them, so I don?t know who they are.?

She crumbled to the ground with her head practically on her knees. ?I thought I had escaped him. That my mind was still wandering, but he wasn?t using it. Oh my God, such pain. How could you endure it? How could you endure it??

Vegeta straightened himself, holding his fists tensely at his side. ?I am a Saiya-jin. We survive.? Then he looked down at her. ?Just as you survived. I gave that to you. If nothing else, I gave that to you. And I didn?t do that for you to kill yourself now.?

?You needn?t concern yourself. I wouldn?t allow that to happen.? The voice came from behind them.

It was a sickly, feminine sounding voice which froze the blood in Vegeta?s veins, causing him to spin around in open terror. What met Vegeta?s eyes was not what he expected. What stood there in place of his nightmare, was an elderly man dressed in a casual shirt and safari shorts, reminding Vegeta very much of Muten Roshi.

?What do you want old man?? Vegeta demanded in no mood for interruptions from weaklings. ?Can?t you see I am having a private conversation?? Vegeta turned his back on him as if he had never been frightened, but the laugh he heard sent chills through his blood again.

?Vegeta,? the sickly voice chuckled. ?It is so good to meet you in person at last. I have waited a long time for this day. I have heard so much about you, and now we will have such a long time to get to know each other.?

Meisukai?s raised herself up from the ground to look on the old man in horror. Her mouth worked but the only word that escaped her lips was, ?No!? Then she covered her face. ?It?s too late. It?s too late.?

?What are you raving about, old man?? Vegeta was in no mood for what he considered this old man?s mad rambling. ?Be off with you, before I take a mind to make you wish you had!?

The old man turned to Meisukai with a predatory smile. ?He doesn?t understand, does he, my dear? We shall have to make him understand.?

Vegeta turned to Meisukai in disgust. ?This is your all powerful captor? This wizened abomination??

?You don?t understand!? She said between sobs. ?Don?t be fooled by his appearance. He can look like anything he wishes. Make his voice sound like anyone he wishes. It?s not how he looks. It?s what he does.?

?What I do?? The old man softly purred, which utterly disgusted Vegeta. ?I provide a service. I came upon the girl a long time ago and recognized her potential. I realized with the proper motivation,? and he put an ugly emphasis on the word motivation, ?she could be a valuable asset to me. I cultivated and shaped her. I stayed in the background making sure she survived your murder of the planet. Watched her grow up on her adoptive world. I watched her a very long time, until her mind was strong and developed enough for my needs, and then I collected her.?

?Then it was you! I knew you could change appearance, but I never suspected you to have killed her!?

?Guilty as charged my dear.? The old man smiled cruelly. ?I kept you from suspecting. I can control your mind a lot more than you think. A lot more than just focusing it as a weapon. I?m afraid time away from me has given you time to regain some of your memory, but we shall soon put that back the way I like it, and you can hate your father all you wish.?

?Yes,? the man?s voice was thick with contempt. ? I killed your mother, and in time I took you, and used you as a weapon. Assassination to the highest bidder. It has been a most lucrative business.? Then he turned to look at Vegeta. ?This is where you come in.?

?What have I to do with your disgusting business? A Saiya-jin fights in the open. He does not sneak like a coward to attack in the night.? Vegeta crossed his arms and turned his back on him.

?Well it is like this,? the man?s voice was full of false pleasantness thick with malice. ?When you Saiya-jin destroyed Furiza you made some people very upset. Furiza had allies, even you monkeys were not aware of. Allies, who were looking to benefit from his absolute domination of the universe. When Furiza died, they saw that dream evaporate and they are not the forgiving kind. They were most displeased with your disloyalty, but they feared the Super Saiya-jin just as Furiza did. Then I approached them and showed them how I could get their revenge without them ever having to show their faces. Next thing you know, I was hired.?

?Are you sure you still have a job?? Vegeta demanded his voice thick with sarcasm. ?Furiza died half a life time ago. You are liable to find your pay cut for being slow on the job.?

?Revenge is a dish best served cold,? the old man gushed then raised his arms and flew straight up in the air.

Vegeta watched him rise in the air trying to keep the surprise out of his expression. The old man hardly looked capable of anything more than hobbling around with a cane, yet he rose effortlessly.

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