The plans were in Radditz’s pod. She salvaged them from the wreck after he was killed. It took her longer than she liked to decipher the blue prints and construct what the space pod computer called a regeneration tank. She had constructed it to help heal her friends when senzu beans where unavailable. She never imagined that the man who had followed Radditz to complete what Radditz had set out to do and something more would be one of its first users.
But Goku had insisted that Vegeta be put in the tank when he, Krillian and Gohan were done with it. Krillian wanted to kill him. Bulma agreed with him. But for some reason Goku would not allow it. He had allowed his own brother to be killed but he would not allow this so called Prince of Saiyains to be put to the same faith. A faith no doubt he justly deserved. Goku said something about admiring his power. But Bulma had a sneaking suspicion whatever part of Kakarott had survived in her oldest friend was what prevented him from taking the life of the man who would have been his prince. Maybe in a way he still was.
Bulma sighed. Placing her hand gently on the clear dome of the regeneration tank she gently pressed her forehead to the dome. He was exceedingly handsome if you could forget about his bloodthirstily nature. Shaking her head and wondering where that came from Bulma turned her attention to the controls. Unfortunately, the two or so days Vegeta had to wait for tank-time had worsened the injuries he received during his fight against Goku and the other two surviving earth defenders. He now needed to be in there for at least a month, maybe even more. Unfamiliar with Saiyain physique and the time requirements for healing in the regeneration tanks Bulma could only make educated guesses. Not that she minded having the Saiyain Prince in the tank.
It made sure that he would not be giving them trouble. Besides, his unconscious floating form made for good company. Better company no doubt than when he was awake and fully healed. He had woken briefly while not in the tank and shot her a look so cold Bulma felt as if she had frozen into a beautiful ice sculpture right there and than. He had mumbled something about destroying her and ever other pathetic creature on this stupid mud ball. She believed him and begged Goku to take him out. Goku shook his head and told her it would be okay. Than took towards the space ship her father had and she had constructed using the engine of the two Saiyain space pods the Prince and his big brainless companion had come in. They were of to Nemek to wish back their friends who had lost their lives fighting the monster she was now endeavouring to save.
She laughed and sat down on the floor next to the tank. Lightly pressing her back on the metallic surface of the tank. ‘Isn’t this ironic Vegeta?’ She said to the comatose Prince, ‘Here I am working day and night to make sure you live and the first thing you will do when you are healed is kill me.’ She said with an odd mixture of amusement and fear. ‘Yet here I am.’ She said. ‘Nursing you when I should be on Nemek helping my friends gather the dragonballs so that we can wish my one true love back.’ And that thought grief clouded her heart. She hung her head down and whispered, ‘O Yamcha... why did you have to die?’ she wondered.
But at the thought of her name other feeling than grief and loneliness filtered into her heart despite her desperate fight to keep them away. With the first shock of his death long over, she could not help but remember all the reasons she had walked out on him, time and time again, but let him back inside when he begged her to. He had told her that he dreamed of getting married once. But somehow that dream seemed not enough to induce him to propose to her.
After getting over his fear of girls he seemed to have developed a short of addiction to women. It was similar to someone getting over their fear of heights only to become a sky diving instructor as if it was a way of proving to himself and the world constantly that he was no longer afraid. Again she sighed. It did not matter. Nothing really mattered. Love she certainly had for Yamcha but more than that she was lonely. She didn’t want to be lonely. She hugged herself tightly. She suddenly felt like she was the last person in the universe. Completely alone, destined never to feel warmth from another living creature.
‘Now you know how I feel.’ Whispered a voice raked with pain.
‘Who, who said that?’ demanded Bulma as she got to her feet.
‘You heard that!’ screamed a voice inside her head. ‘I must be more injured than I thought.’ Murmured the voice. ‘O great now I can’t even admit something to myself. Get me out of this freaking tank.’ Demanded the voice. ‘You screwed this thing up. It’s breaking down my mental barrier and exposing my thoughts to you. I do not want a weakling such as you hearing my thoughts.’
Bulma’s ever-volatile temper ignited at the arrogant tone of the Prince, ‘Look you jerk nothing would please me more than to get you out of that thing and leave you to die. But for some reason Goku seems to think that you are worth keeping alive and that is the only reason you are still alive.’
Silence, ‘I refuse to take pity from Kakarott.’ So saying he began to power-up but like powerful engine that did not have quite enough power to start-up and thus ended up shutting down, ‘#$%@ hell.’ Screamed Vegeta.
Bulma chuckled, ‘Looks like the might prince is helpless under this woman’s power.’ She teased.
Vegeta growled, ‘Woman If I were you I would be more careful. I will not be in this tank forever and when I get out it will be you, me and a powerful garlic gun.’
Bulma cocked an eyebrow, ‘Garlic gun?’ she repeated, ‘You are going to pelt me with garlic? What do you think I am a vampire?’
Vegeta growled, ‘Look I was hungry when I thought up that particular Ki attack. But don’t judge the attack by its name. It can take you and the your pathetic planet out.’ He said with confidence.
Bulma rolled her eyes, ‘You are not getting out of that till Goku gets back here and than we shall see what happens.’ So saying she turned and left. Vegeta’s lips curved up in a smirk. Despite himself he liked what he saw in her mind. Yes, he could see her mind. Humans did not have any mental shields to speck of and her mind was an open book to him now that his was disabled as well.
He had noticed her first when he begin to stretch out with the Ki detecting skill he was trying to copy from the natives. He felt her weak Ki only because she was so near to him. He tried to practise by keeping track of her Ki as she moved around the place. As time went on he found it easier and easier to do. As time went on he also found that all he had to do was concentrate a little and her mind opened up to him. The openness of her mind was something inherently human he realised. But the ease with which he could read her thoughts indicated to him that his own defensive psi-shields, in place to protect his mind form being bombarded with thoughts and to keep his thoughts from being access by people he did not want to access them, was weak. His suspicion was more than confirmed when that silly girl was able to pick up his stray thought. ‘Feh, maybe now she will leave me alone.’ He thought to himself. He was dead wrong.
She kept coming to him and not just to check the controls and the status of his recovery. Now she stayed and talked to him. Yes actually talk to him and not just dump her weak human emotions and stupid problems on him. She sat and asked him about his life, about the Saiyain race about Vegitasei and about the universe as a whole. At first he just yelled and scream at her and told her it was none of her business. But perhaps knowing that Vegeta could not walk away from her she would always just sit down and start talking about herself. Inwardly Vegeta knew that all he had to do was be really, really mean to her and she would leave him alone. But some how his meanness stopped at telling her "shut up and leave me alone" in a tone that totally undermined the harshness of the words.
So she stayed and talked. After awhile he began to answer her question. He answered her question truthfully for he could not lie in his thoughts. He answered her question in detail because he could not help but show her his soul. When she was not their he told himself that it did not matter that the weak link knew about his every deep dark secret. It did not matter that she knew that underneath the layers of think sheets of ice, the stone wall of pride he had a heart that longed to be touched. He told himself that it did not matter that she knew that he secretly suspected the monster he worked for to be the once who destroyed his planet, his kingdom, his people. He told himself he did not care that the woman now knew him better than he knew himself. He did not care. He would soon be out of this cursed regeneration tank and once he was he would make her pay. Yes he would make her pay for building the tank in such a way that he could not help but open up to her. He could not help show her the depth of darkness that surrounded his soul as well as the pure core of light that the horror he had been forced to witness, the horror he had been forced to create threatened to shallow. He ignored the voice that told him he could not harm her even if his life depended on it.
‘I must be out of my mind.’ Thought Bulma as she lay on her bed thinking about the Prince in the tank downstairs, ‘I actually think I am being to like that arrogant jerk.’ She said. She laughed at herself. That has got to be the century’s greatest understatement. "Like" was a word that had seeped into her attitude towards the Prince a long time ago. Love was what she was fighting now. The problem was of course that if she won the fight she would be devastated, if she lost she would be devastated. Even after all that he had shown her of himself she could not know if he would ever return her affection. She sighed again and than there was Yamcha. So they had broken up before he died but still... Bulma got up and looked out in the pitch black night sky. She had received a message from Goku a couple of hours ago, asking if Vegeta was better. He then went on to tell her that someone called Freeza was on Nemek.
She knew instantly who Freeza was and more than hesitated to tell Vegeta about it. But eventually she had. Vegeta had gone stock-still. Bulma had stood there for what felt like a lifetime before he softly told her to leave. She complied because she did not like the cold softness of his tone. She sighed again and closed her eyes. That’s when something exploded downstairs.
The infirmary doors slid open to reveal a Saiyain Prince calmly putting on some cloths she had made for him as the remains of the regeneration tank still smoked behind him. ‘What are you doing?’ demanded Bulma as she reached for the fire extinguisher, ‘You can’t leave now.’
Vegeta turned and fixed her with his beep dark ebony eyes shining with a spark Bulma was not sure she liked. Suddenly Bulma felt her knees began to give. Before she could fall he caught her and pulled her into his arms. Slowly, ardently he kissed her. Every fibre of her body, very inch of her mind, every speck of her soul was satisfied with that kiss. But at the same time every fibre of her body, very inch of her mind, every speck of her soul craved far more as they slowly parted. He could still read her mind although his mental shields were back in place stronger than ever. He knew what she was thinking, what she was wanting. But he shook his head there just wasn’t enough time. ‘I have to go.’ He whispered as he nuzzled his face into her neck, ‘Freeza must not get the dragonballs.’ He pulled back and looked her deep in the eyes, ‘You know a lot about me.’ She nodded, ‘Yet you still care about me.’ She nodded, ‘What no words?’ she shook her head. She didn’t want to hear her own voice right now, she just wanted to hear his. Vegeta chuckled and kissed her once again. ‘I have to go little one.’ He whispered as he pulled away from her. ‘But when I come back you will be mine forever.’ He warned/promised, ‘You know too much about me to remain not bound to me.’ He whispered before in the flash he took off towards the second spaceship her father had created as a back up.
Slowly Bulma sank to her knees as his words began to register fully. Did he just propose to her in a very odd, round about way? A slow smile curved up her mouth. Somehow the idea of spending the rest of her life with Vegeta was not as ominous as they should have been. Would have been before she placed him in her regeneration tank. She heard the space ship take off and ran out side to see its fading trail as he journeyed to Nemek to face the monster that took everything from him. Somehow she knew he would return, ‘And when you do, I’ll gladly be yours because I know you will be mine too. All mine.’ She whispered as she felt probably for the first time in her life as if she was not alone.