Bulma knocked on Vegeta's bedroom door. "Are you ready to go, Vegeta?" She cracked the door open and peeked into the room. Her breath caught in her chest when she saw how handsome he looked. His black suit matched his wild black hair. Beneath the jacket, which had long tails in the back, he wore a bright white shirt. He looked absolutely stunning. "Nifty get-up," she complimented.
"Kakkarot insisted that I buy 'respectable' clothes," Vegeta huffed. He slapped his black top hat on and looked into the mirror. "I don't like the hat."
"Don't wear it then," Bulma replied. "You have swell hair, you shouldn't cover it. Let's get going, it's already getting dark."
Vegeta tossed the hat onto the bed and walked with Bulma down to the car. She waited by the passenger door. Vegeta walked around and sat in the driver's seat. After a few moments, Bulma still hadn't gotten into the car. Cursing to himself, he honked the horn several times. Bulma didn't get in. Enraged, he leaned over and looked at her through the passenger window. "Come on! Get in, Woman!" He became more angry when he saw her examining her fingernails as if he didn't exist. He laid on the horn several more times, glaring at her while he did. She ignored him, still looking at her hands.
He threw open the car door and got out. "What's the matter with you?" he yelled.
"I'm waiting for you to come over here and open the door for me. That's how you treat a lady," she sneered.
Vegeta stomped around to the passenger side of the car and opened the door for Bulma. After she got in, he slammed her door and returned to the driver's side. He got back into the car and started it. He hit the gas and turned the car sharply around. "Where does the Sap live?" Vegeta asked.
"I'm meeting him downtown," Bulma replied. "I'll give you specific directions then. We'll be going to a restaurant." Bulma pulled up the right side of her skirt, exposing part of her leg.
Vegeta watched her out of the corner of his eye as she reached for something. She pulled out a flask. He shook his head and grinned.
"It's my whiskey flask. I keep it on my hip," Bulma proudly stated. "Drink?" she held the flask toward him.
He snatched it from her hand and took a gulp. He coughed violently and grimaced as the alcohol burned down his throat. He thrust the flask back at her.
"Have another drink," she urged him. "My dad makes the best moonshine around, eh?" Bulma smiled devilishly at him.
Vegeta grumbled to himself, and tilted his head back. He dumped the entire contents of the flask down his throat before tossing the bottle into Bulma's lap. "Here! Now pipe down!"
"Oh my God," she giggled and shook her head. "You poor little bunny!" Bulma's giggling turned to a hysterical laugh. "Do you drink like that all of the time?"
"No," Vegeta shot Bulma an annoyed look. "This is the first time I've ever drank that stuff. I don't see the big deal anyway."
Bulma doubled over with laughter, gasping for breath. "Oh, you're going to be lit up like a store window!"
Upon reaching downtown, Bulma gave Vegeta directions to the corner of 52nd and Tin Pan Alley. Yamcha leaned against a lamp post with a large bag in his hand. As soon as the car pulled up, he jumped into the backseat. Bulma hopped out of the car, and climbed in with him.
"Baby," Yamcha glared at Bulma. "Why is Vegeta with you?"
"He's protecting my family," Bulma replied sweetly.
"On who's orders?" Yamcha demanded. "Who would send a killer to protect your family? Why wasn't I assigned to this job?" Yamcha raised his voice. "Doesn't Goku trust me? That double-crosser! He knew that I wanted to do another job for your father!"
Vegeta laughed and steered the car slowly back into traffic. "Kakkarot sees you for what you are. A Sap!"
"I've EARNED my respect from both Goku, and Bulma's father long before you ever came around!" Yamcha yelled. He leaned over the front seat and sneered, "Don't ever forget that! Goku only took YOU in because he pities you! Poor Vegeta, no home, no family, NOTHING! Goku should have killed you to put you out of your misery." Yamcha stopped talking and sniffed a few times. "Have you been drinking? You're pathetic."
"So's your old man," Vegeta retorted with a smile. Bastard! I could fucking kill you right now! No...no, I can't do it. Not yet.
"Turn right here," Bulma interrupted. "This is it. The Swanky Steak House."
Vegeta stopped the car, and Bulma dragged a still-fuming Yamcha out of the back seat. "Come on Vegeta!" she yelled. She leaned into the car.
"I'll wait outside," Vegeta mumbled. He felt dizzy and weak. His head slammed down onto the steering wheel with a thud.
Yamcha laughed, "Who's the Sap now?"
Vegeta didn't respond. He had never felt so weak. Maybe, he thought, this is the reason that alcohol is banned in the first place. He faintly made out Bulma and Yamcha's conversation.
"Just leave him, Bulma. He'll be fine. He can sober up while we eat dinner. He would refuse help anyway," Yamcha said.
"Alright, if you say so Yamcha," Bulma replied.
"I need to make a phone call. Go ahead and get a table," Yamcha said. "They'd better have a phone."
Vegeta sat alone in silence. He struggled to raise his head, but lacked the strength. Mr. Briefs sure knows how to make some potent stuff! After a few minutes, Vegeta passed out. He suddenly awakened when he heard breaking glass. He lifted his head. Shit! How long have I been passed out? Hands grabbed him and pulled him out the door. Vegeta couldn't put up a struggle. He was dragged around the car to the sidewalk.
As Vegeta regained his senses, he looked up and saw a group of angry men surrounding him.
"What do you think you're doing?" one of the men asked. "Don't you know that this is Mr. Satan's turf?" The men chuckled, taking turns kicking, and hitting Vegeta with a metal pipe.
Vegeta grimaced and grunted as the men kicked his head as he lay on the sidewalk, too drunk to defend himself.
"Now beat it hoodlum! If we find you here again, we'll kill you!" a man warned. Vegeta laid there a few minutes in excruciating pain, before pulling himself to his knees.
Vegeta pulled himself up to the car fender, and began coughing blood. He saw Bulma and Yamcha through the restaurant window. When Vegeta's eyes focused, he realized that Bulma had her back to the window. However, Yamcha's expressionless gaze stared right back at Vegeta. That asshole!
Vegeta stumbled around the side of the car to his door, and got in to wait. He thought they would never get finished. Finally, he heard Bulma's voice as she climbed into the back seat.
She was giggling and carrying on with Yamcha when she got into the car. She stopped when she saw Vegeta's disheveled jacket. "What happened to you?" she leaned forward. He turned to her. She gasped when she saw his bloody face. "Are you alright?" She tried to touch his face, but he knocked her hand away.
"Why don't you ask the Sap?" Vegeta growled. "He probably saw the whole thing!"
"I don't know what you're talking about, Vegeta!" Yamcha yelled. He turned to Bulma, "Don't believe that guy! He's screwy!"
"Yamcha, lay off," Bulma warned. "Vegeta, take us home please."
Vegeta eased the car into traffic. He was sobering up and seething inside. What is Yamcha up to? What about Bulma? Does she know anything about it? Damn them! They're going to pay!
"Hey Bulma," Yamcha chimed. "Look at this baby." Yamcha opened the bag that he had brought into the car earlier.
"Is it something for me?" Bulma bounced up and down with excitement.
"No Babe," Yamcha replied. "It's not for you. A woman couldn't use this. You're such a Dumb Dora!" Yamcha pulled something large from the bag.
"What is that?" Bulma asked in awe.
"It's a Tommy Gun. When you have one of these, nobody's gonna mess with you," Yamcha proudly exclaimed. "They call it the 'Chicago Typewriter'. In Chicago, EVERYONE who's ANYONE has one of these. I, personally, like to call it the 'Chopper' though, because it will tear someone to shreds."
"Wow, Yamcha." Bulma was impressed. "So that's one of those machine guns. Let me hold it."
"No way! A woman can't handle this. This thing can shoot about 1,500 rounds a minute. Your wimpy arms couldn't control that," Yamcha laughed.
Bulma slapped Yamcha's arm. "You slay me," Bulma replied, rolling her eyes.
"I don't think that Yamcha's weak arms could handle it either," Vegeta snickered from the front seat.
"What was that?" Yamcha lunged forward and held the gun to Vegeta's head. "Don't fuck with me Vegeta. Show me some respect!" he hissed.
Bulma screamed as Vegeta slammed on the brakes and grabbed the barrel of the gun. "No! I think you'd better show ME some respect!"
Bulma watched fearfully as Vegeta pulled the end of the gun so hard and fast that Yamcha ended up halfway into the front seat. Vegeta smirked and whispered something into Yamcha's ear that seemed to make him freeze with fear, before he slammed him into the back seat. The rest of the ride to Bulma's house was silent.
When they arrived at Bulma's house, Yamcha jumped out of the car. "Can I use your phone to call a taxi?" Yamcha asked.
Bulma got out of the car. "Sure," she answered. She followed Yamcha into the house.
Vegeta got out of the car and stumbled into the house. He shot Bulma and Yamcha a nasty look before he made his way to his room.
After Yamcha left, Bulma crept down the hall to Vegeta's room. She cracked his door open and saw the light on in his bathroom. She tiptoed through his bedroom to the bathroom. Bulma peeked inside, and smiled when she saw that he wasn't wearing a shirt. How could he look like such a mess and be so handsome at the same time? "What do you want?" Vegeta's voice startled her.
"I, uh, was wondering if you had a ciggy," Bulma replied quietly.
Vegeta grabbed his jacket off of the floor, and pulled out a cigarette and gave it to her. She leaned forward and he lit it.
Bulma took a long drag. "Are you going to be alright? Tell me what happened."
Vegeta scowled. "As if you don't know," he turned to her. "You set me up!"
Bulma's heart jumped. "I would never do something like that! I'm Goku's best friend, I would never betray his trust by going against his wanting you to protect my family. You have to believe me. Besides, that would mean that I was betraying my father. I would never double-cross my own family!"
Vegeta eyed Bulma suspiciously, before turning to the mirror. He wiped the blood off his face, revealing the bruises underneath. "That horrible concoction you gave me almost killed me."
"You're the one who guzzled it all down!" Bulma snapped. "I'm sorry. I didn't know that you would drink the whole thing. It's very potent stuff!"
Bulma felt bad as Vegeta cleaned up. "Here, let me help you." She grabbed the washcloth from him and wiped blood off of his neck and chest. She was surprised that he didn't try to stop her. "I know you're extremely strong like Goku, so to see you in this bad of shape at the hands of some hoodlums is quite a shock. If I was you, I wouldn't drink ever again," Bulma warned him. "You Saiyans must be alcohol intolerant or something."
"No shit," Vegeta sarcastically retorted.
Bulma ran warm water on the washcloth and continued to wipe his neck. "I'm sorry for the way Yamcha acted tonight. I don't know what his problem is lately. He's gotten a really big attitude." Bulma shook her head. "By the way, what did you tell him in the car? He looked scared."
Vegeta chuckled. "I made him an offer he couldn't refuse."
"Oh yeah? What kind of offer is that?" Bulma asked.
Vegeta grabbed Bulma's hand and pulled her close to him. He leaned forward and whispered into her ear, "I told him that he would either agree to call a taxi when we arrived at your house and stop dating you, or else I could use him to find out what .45 caliber armor-piercing bullets do to someone when the gun is shoved up their ass."
A shiver traveled down Bulma's spine. Did Vegeta just chase off her boyfriend? She handed the washcloth to Vegeta and took another puff of her cigarette. "I hope you don't think that Yamcha set you up. He would never do that."
"I think he did," Vegeta growled. "He took advantage of my condition at that moment, and had me beat up. The only reason I didn't kill him in the car is because I have a sense of humor. If my hunch is correct, several people probably want him dead, so I'm going to sit back and enjoy the show because it's going to get REALLY ugly. However, if he dares to show his face here again, I won't hesitate to send him to oblivion."
"You wouldn't dare bump off Yamcha!" Bulma yelled.
"Watch me," Vegeta sneered. "Yamcha was right about one thing, I am a killer. I have no qualms about taking his life if he ignores my warning." Vegeta could see Bulma's fear. "Don't worry Bulma, I won't hunt him down like an animal, unless you want me to." Vegeta smiled.
Bulma turned and rushed out of Vegeta's room. She heard him laughing as she ran down the hall.
After breakfast the next morning, Bulma sat in a chair by the window reading the newspaper. The headline startled her. "Ten Found Murdered in Alley". She read the bloody details. The men, presumed employees of the mob boss, Mr. Satan, were found heinously murdered. Their badly mutilated bodies were discovered in the alley behind the Swanky Steakhouse Restaurant.
These men must have been the ones who beat up Vegeta. If so, did Vegeta kill these men? He had admitted to her that he was a killer. Was he capable of murdering these men in the cruel and calculated manner that the newspaper described? Bulma looked up from the newspaper when Vegeta came downstairs. She watched his demeanor as he talked with her father. She couldn't detect anything different about him. He certainly didn't look like a homicidal maniac. Her heart lurched when Vegeta turned to look at her, with a seemingly smug look on his face.
Bulma quickly looked away. Her heart pounded in her chest. Vegeta had to have been responsible, right? Bulma jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Anything interesting?" Vegeta grabbed the newspaper from Bulma's hand. He chuckled when he looked at he headline.
"Stay away from me!" Bulma warned as she jumped up. She ran upstairs to her room. How could Goku recommend such a bloodthirsty hoodlum to her father? A cold-blooded killer was living in her house. Bulma picked up her phone and dialed Goku's number. She waited as the phone rang. Suddenly, someone grabbed the phone from her hand and hung it up. Bulma screamed, but it was cut short when a hand covered her mouth.
"Sh!" Vegeta hissed. "Be quiet! What is wrong with you, Woman?" Vegeta waited for Bulma to stop struggling. "I'm taking my hand off of your mouth, so don't scream. Alright?"
Bulma nodded. She was breathing heavily and when Vegeta uncovered her mouth, and she tried to hide the tears in her eyes.
Vegeta was confused by Bulma's behavior. "What's wrong? You think I did those things in the newspaper?" he asked angrily. He sighed when Bulma nodded. He let her go. "I assure you that I didn't have anything to do with those killings! Don't be scared of me. I am not saying that I'm not capable of killing, because I am. However, I swear to you that I had nothing to do with those mens' deaths."
"Then what in the hell is going on?" Bulma asked.
"Never ask me my business," Vegeta warned. "But since you think that I'm responsible, I'll tell you what I know. I did leave to find those men last night after your family went to sleep. But I didn't kill them. I strongly urged them to level with me about who gave them the orders to rough me up."
"Urged them?" Bulma repeated. "What exactly does that mean?"
Vegeta chuckled. "I roughed them up a little," Vegeta shrugged. "I swear I didn't kill them though. They were giving me a lot of static, so I had to show them that I meant business."
"So you basically beat the shit out of them," Bulma replied.
"Basically," Vegeta smiled. "I think they were a little surprised by my strength when I'm not intoxicated, judging from their pleas for mercy," Vegeta snickered. "After some convincing, they finally admitted that Yamcha was the one who ordered them to rough me up. I wouldn't be surprised if Yamcha is responsible for those mens' deaths," Vegeta added.
Bulma was silent. Is Yamcha a traitor? A murderer? "Are you sure?" Bulma asked. "Why would he do that? Why would he go against my father?"
In Bulma's opinion, Vegeta was the one with the horrible temper. "Yamcha would never bump someone off without getting permission first! Especially not in the grotesque manner in which those men were killed."
"That remains to be seen. I'm trying to get the goods on him," Vegeta replied. He lit a cigarette and handed it to Bulma. "I need to call Kakkarot." Vegeta walked out of her room.
Bulma puffed on her cigarette. I'm going to check this out, she thought. She crept down the hall toward his room and listened outside of his door.
"I did NOT kill those men!" Vegeta yelled into the phone. "I beat the shit out of them, nothing more! Yamcha is setting me up, Kakkarot! He arranged for those men to attack me! Then he killed them to make it look as if I did it! For some reason he doesn't want me working for Mr. Briefs!" Vegeta's face was contorted with rage.
"Vegeta," Goku replied calmly, "We both know how bad your temper is. Now, because of you, I'm receiving death threats from Mr. Satan's gang. They want revenge. The cops are sniffing around too. You have succeeded in drawing attention to our once-smooth running organization. We can't afford this much heat from the police."
"WHAT? Are you off your nuts?" Vegeta screamed into the phone. "I told you that I was not responsible for their deaths! You'd better have a talk with Yamcha!"
"I already have," Goku replied calmly. "His story is that you were so intoxicated, you couldn't even offer protection to Bulma while they were in the restaurant. That right there shows a lack of responsibility. Then, he claimed that you accused him of setting up the beating. Do you deny these allegations?"
"NO!" Vegeta yelled. "But..."
Goku cut him off, "Do you deny threatening his life if he ever set foot in the Briefs' home? Something about shoving his gun up his ass?"
"I don't deny any of that," Vegeta was ready to explode. "But..."
Goku interrupted him again, "Please Vegeta. Don't make yourself look like a sap. I'll call you in a couple of weeks, after I figure out what to do. Meanwhile, you still watch over the family. I want to trust you, Vegeta, I really do. I'm going to try to get to the bottom of this."
"Fuck you Kakkarot! If I'm being accused of killing someone, I might as well ACTUALLY kill someone! I'm going to kill YOU!" I'm tired of pretending to like you!" Vegeta shouted. "GO CHASE YOURSLEF!" Vegeta slammed the phone down, breaking it into pieces.
After Bulma heard Vegeta's yelling stop, she peeked her head into his room. "Vegeta, I need you to drive me downtown next weekend. I want to go to my favorite jazz club."
"Beat it Woman!" Vegeta growled. "I don't have time to punch the bag with you right now!" He closed his door, leaving Bulma alone in the hallway.
"Fine!" Bulma yelled. "I don't want to talk to you either!"
* * * * *
A/N: Ok, I couldn't resist using the 'made him an offer he couldn't refuse' line from the movie "The Godfather". ^_^