Part Three: Undoing the Injuries
It took all four of the Z-fighters to carry the three wounded back to Capsule Corp. Goku had to carry Vegeta because none of the others would. Krillin and Gohan took Trunks while Piccolo was stuck with Bulma. He had a newfound respect for the annoying loud-mouthed human. She had come very close to beating Vegeta all on her own.
During the flight Krillin and Gohan filled Goku in on what had transpired, but he could only gape in amazement. "You mean his hair turned golden?"
"Uh hu." Krillin nodded.
"Like this?" Goku transformed into a Super Saiyan and the other three nearly dropped their cargo.
"What the…?" Even Piccolo looked shocked.
Goku dropped back to his normal countenance and began to explain. "While I was training at King Kai’s he told me about the Saiyan’s legend of the Super Saiyans. Radditz came here looking for me because I was his brother and that would make me a Saiyan, right?" Goku had an interesting way of stating the obvious well know facts.
"Right," said Krillin.
"So during my training I was able to achieve the power of Super Saiyan and learned to control it. It all happened when Bubbles had me trapped in a corner and Gregory had already beaten me up with his mallet. King Kai told me that if I didn’t beat them then I couldn’t come back to Earth after my year was up. I got so angry that it just happened. It’s all pretty weird."
"I’d say…" Gohan agreed.
"So it was your desire to help us that caused your transformation, am I right?" Krillin was trying to make sense of it all.
"Yeah, all though it looks like you didn’t need me too much, not with this new guy in town." Goku smiled.
"And I think it was Trunks love for Bulma, that when he thought she was dead he just couldn’t handle it, and that’s why he transformed."
"Whoa! Trunks loves Bulma?!" Goku and Gohan were stunned. Piccolo didn’t care.
"Yeah, at least he did. He came to me for some…uh… advice, but I don’t think that they ever got together like that, though. They worked together to come up with these amazing devices, and she’d come watch him train, but I think that they were just friends. I never remember seeing them kiss or hold hands or do any of that mushy stuff Bulma and Yamcha used to do.
The three bowed their heads for a moment of silence before continuing with their conversation.
"So, this guy must be a Saiyan, or at least half Saiyan." Goku said finally.
"But that’s impossible. You and Vegeta are the only Saiyans left, besides Gohan and Vegeta just got here. I know he isn’t your son, and he isn’t Gohan’s son, and he and Vegeta didn’t act like they knew each other at all, besides the fact that they tried desperately to kill each other." Piccolo stated all of the possibilities, trying to come up with a logical explanation.
"I get the impression that Trunks was raised on Earth. He’s talked about his mother and father a lot, and I don’t think there’s anyway he could be Vegeta’s son." Krillin offered his own thoughts.
"Then there must be another Saiyan somewhere on Earth." Gohan spoke up for the first time.
"Or at least there must have been. Trunks said his father was killed and his mother got sick." Krillin said sadly.
"It just doesn’t make sense!" Piccolo raised his voice in frustration. He hated it when solutions eluded him.
"I guess we’ll just have to wait and ask them when they wake up." Goku stated calmly as the touched down on Bulma’s front lawn.
"Speaking of waking up…" Piccolo observed. "What are we going to do with Vegeta? We can’t just let him run free. He saved Bulma’s life, but he will probably still want to destroy the planet when he’s all healed up."
"That’s a good question." Krillin cringed at the thought of Vegeta waking up and running amuck, again.
"Well just have to keep him here. I’m sure Bulma's got something that can keep him contained, and she maybe the only one willing to look after him."
Inside, the four found Dr. and Mrs. Briefs waiting by the television. When they saw the fighters enter their front room the both smiled and rushed over.
"Oh, my baby!" Bulma’s mom said as she noticed her in Piccolo’s arms. "Quick! Lie them down in here." She led them to a makeshift medical facility. Each of the warriors laid their passengers on a bed. There were several beds still not in use; it looked as though the Briefs had prepared for the worst.
A few hours later the Briefs personal physician made a report on each of the wounded. "Vegeta seems to have sustained some heavy injuries, mostly broken ribs and various bruises, and some light burns on his hands, but he has already started to heal. It’s miraculous the way his body is repairing it’s self in the most quick and efficient way possible. By examining him I can tell that this is not the first time he has sustained major wounds, unlike the other two.
Trunks seems to be the most beaten up. He also has broken ribs, and fractured collarbone, as well as general cuts and bruises over eighty percent of body, but he will heal. It’s Bulma that I’m concerned about, unfortunately.
Her physical injuries are the lightest of the three with only a few cuts and bruises, and some burns. She’s got second degree burns on both her wrists and around the upper half of her left arm, and some first degree burns on her stomach, but other then that she should be fine. The problem is in the fact that her brain waves are irregular and all of her impulse patterns seem to be scrambled. She’s not in a coma, this is something completely different, something I’ve never seen before. She could come out of it in a few days, or she may eventually slip into a coma over time, I have no way of telling at this point. I’m just going to keep a close watch on her for the next few days. I’ll let you know if there’s any change." With that, the doctor walked back into the small room.
"Seems pretty grim right now, guys. I just hope they can all pull out of this." Krillin bowed his head.
"I’m sure Trunks and Vegeta are going to fine in a few days, a little sore maybe, but they’ll live." Goku was looking into the room at the three, bandaged patients. "Looks like we’ll have to wait for our answers, though." Goku said, a little too happily.
"In the meantime I suggest we ask Bulma’s father about confining Vegeta. He’s not going to be very happy when he wakes up." Piccolo displayed his mind for details.
"Oh, yeah!" Goku slapped his forehead. "Hey, Dr. Briefs!" He called as he walked over to where the old man was leaning over his daughter. "We were wondering if you had any way of restraining someone as powerful as, say, Vegeta?"
The doctor thought for a moment before his mustache twitched and he looked up with a smile in his eyes. "Why, yes, I do, as a matter-of-fact. Come with me." He led them out of the room, down some stairs, and through some hallways until they finally arrived at a huge lab. "I know Bulma was working of some equipment her in her spare time. She showed me some of her stuff, the things she had just been tinkering with, but I think there’s something here that may be able to help us. Now where did she put that…?" He began to rummage through some papers and drawers until he finally stood up and gave a shout. "Here it is! I found it!" In his hands he held what looked like a used up paper towel roll, besides the fact that it was a yard long. "This will keep Vegeta confined, and we won’t even have to move him!"
The four men looked a little skeptical. "That cardboard tube is supposed to hold Vegeta?" Piccolo voiced the mutual concern.
Dr. Briefs looked confused. "Cardboard tube…?" He looked down at what he was holding and smiled. "Heavens no! But this is." What they hadn’t noticed before was that the cardboard tube looked like it was floating in Dr. Briefs’ hands, as if he was holding something bigger then the tube. He held it in one hand and pinched the air in front of the tube and then pulled his hands apart. The three could see nothing. It looked like Dr. Briefs was telling a fish story.
Noticing the unimpressed looks on the fighters faces he decided to go a different route. "Goku, try to hit me in the face." He held his arms up.
"What?!" Goku was taken back. "You do realize that that could hurt? I don’t want to hurt you."
Briefs smiled. "Just do it. Trust me on this one."
"Ok, but you asked for it…" Goku pulled back his fist and then launched it at the Dr.’s face. It never connected, with his face, at any rate.
Before he could punch the doctor his hand stopped and Goku felt a shock jolt up his arm, and he pulled back quickly. Dr. Briefs smiled and Goku cried out. "Ouch, that hurt!"
"Oh, sorry about that Goku. I should have warned you not to hit very hard. This is solidified ki that acts as a kind of ki repellant. The hard you assert your ki the more it hurts. It’s invisible, because typical ki energy has no color. It’s the perfect holding material. We just have to hang it around Vegeta’s bed and he won’t be able to get through it. I don’t know about long term, though."
"Well, this is just until we have a chance to talk to Vegeta and see what his plans are. Bulma didn’t want us to kill him, but if he won’t change his mind about destroying Earth, I may have to do just that." Goku stated.
"Just like that? You sound pretty confidant, Goku." Krillin figured his friend had a secret.
"Yeah, I’m way stronger then Vegeta is right now. Almost double, and King Kai taught me a few useful tricks."
The others should have been surprised, but they weren’t. "Well, lets get this stuff hung before Vegeta wakes up." They wouldn’t have to wait long.
The next morning the doctor found Vegeta sitting up in bed examining his injuries that were almost healed. He had removed all of his bandages and was systematically flexing his muscles, and testing his bones. He cringed a little when he touched his side, but the wounds he seemed worried about were the burns on his hands. He stared to them in extreme confusion. The physician called for everyone and then walked up to the ki shield to talk to Vegeta.
"Do you remember what happened?" He asked cautiously. His fear was obvious.
Vegeta’s head snapped up and he glared at the frightened man. "Of course I remember what happened." Then he looked back at his hands and continued to frown.
The others entered and stood in a circle around his bed. The watched for a minute before Piccolo spoke up. "You go those burns when you broke the Ki enhancer off of Bulma’s arm and saved her life."
Vegeta looked up in horror for a second before scowling again. ‘So they did see…’ "Huh," Vegeta grunted. "I was just stopping her from getting any stronger. Don’t think I did that for her." His voice was threatening, but somehow he seemed to be trying to convince himself more then them. ‘Is that the truth? Why did I save her?’ Vegeta looked back to his hands and continued to frown.
"So what now?" Goku said as if discussing which ride to take next at an amusement park. "I’d say we’re kind of at a stand still. You saved Bulma and in turn she saved yours, so far, but I won’t hesitate to destroy you if you still contemplate trying to take out our planet." Goku’s voice had turned slightly menacing.
Vegeta looked up again and looked Goku over. "You must be the one named Kakarrot. The one I was sent here to kill. You seem pretty powerful, but don’t think it’ll be easy to kill me. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do next. It seems as though I have a lot to contemplate."
"I guess so." Goku admitted. "You might consider joining us and staying here." Everyone looked at Goku as if he’d sprouted horns and a second head, including Vegeta, but no one said anything. "Well, we’ll let you rest." With that he left and the others quickly followed.
‘Stay here? He must be insane, but would that be better then going back to Frieza’s army? He’s sure to notice when I don’t return and send some of his goons looking for me. I’m sure with my help these weaklings could take them out. But would they be so quick to trust me? Why haven’t’ they killed me yet? I can here to destroy their world and everyone on it and still the let me live.’ Vegeta bared his teeth and growled. ‘It is apparent that they are strong enough together to eliminate me, especially with that woman’s devices…? She saved my life…?" He glanced over to where she lay unconscious and silent two beds over. Next to him laid the young man that had beaten him. ‘The one who went Super Saiyan. But how is that possible? He is obviously a half-breed Saiyan, but whose brat is he? Not that Kakarrot’s surely, he’s too old, and he couldn’t be Raditz’s son, although he was famous for littering the universe with bastard half-breeds. He was only here a year ago. Is there another Saiyan here I don’t know about. There can’t be! It just doesn’t make sense! And how could he achieve the level of Super Saiyan when he was weaker then I and at such a young age? AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHRRRRRGGGGGGG!’ Vegeta’s mind was swamped in confusion. He wanted answers, and it seemed that could only be answered by his recent enemy.
Trunks stirred. Opening his eyes slowly he looked up at the white ceiling above him. He hurt all over, but it seemed as though he was safe for now. ‘What does it matter, when she’s dead…?" Trunks cried out and shut his eyes. The worst pain was deep in his chest. It seemed his heart had broken.
"What are you crying about, boy?" The voice cut through his thoughts. ‘What?! Vegeta is here? He’s alive.’ Turning his head towards the voice he looked to the left and opened his eyes. There sat Vegeta on the edge of his bed frowning at him with his arms crossed over his chest.
"What are you doing here?!" Sitting up quickly, Trunks ignored the pain and tried to rise. "I guess I didn’t finish you off." His anger was rising, but as his feet touched down his knees buckled beneath him and he had to catch the bed to keep from tumbling to the floor.
"Careful, you don’t want to hurt yourself." Vegeta said in mock concern.
"I have to finish what I started." Trunks leapt at Vegeta, but came up short as he connected with Vegeta’s prison walls. A bolt of pain shot through his body as he was pushed back and fell to the floor.
"By the way, there’s some kind of field around my bed that seems to reject ki. It’s supposed to keep me in, but it has also managed to keep you out, as well. Not that I’m worried about you. I’m your weakened state I could fry you with one blast."
Trunks gathered his strength and stood, supporting himself on his bed again. "How could they let you live? You came here to destroy us all."
"I was wondering the same thing." Vegeta smirked.
"It’s because of you that Bulma is dead…" Fury was building again. Trunks head was swimming.
"On the contrary, it’s because of me that she is alive." Vegeta said almost proudly.
"What?!" Trunks looked up.
"See for yourself, baka. She’s alive, for now, although from what I gather she’s in pretty bad shape." He gestured weakly to a place behind Trunks. When he turned his eyes beheld Bulma sleeping like a baby in the next bed. She was hooked up to several machines that were silently keeping a vigil over her.
"But I thought…" ‘She’s alive!’ Trunks heart seemed to beet again. ‘Then Vegeta did manage to save her… It should have been me.’ Trunks mentally kicked himself for not being fast enough.
"Hey, guys! Trunks is up!" Krillin stood in the doorway and beckoned to the others. Then he walked over to help him back into his bed. "What did you do? Hit Bulma’s ki screen? It’s a good thing your weak. That thing could have killed you, you know. Bulma made us promise not to kill Vegeta, so you better leave him alone until she wakes up." Both men were shocked at Krillin’s revelation.
‘Bulma said not to kill him…?’
‘She told them not to kill me…? So that’s why…’ Vegeta and Trunks both frowned and looked down.
"I guess I owe you an apology, Vegeta. I’m sorry. I should be thanking you instead of trying to kill you." Trunks said almost inaudible.
Vegeta’s looked at Trunks in surprise. "Wha…?" He shut his mouth and he scowled. "I didn’t do it for her, you fool. I just…" He didn’t feel like explaining again.
"Hey, Trunks! Guess who’s here?" Krillin gestured to the doorway where he saw a tall spiky haired man smiling warmly. "I’d like to introduce Goku."
"Hi, Trunks! I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s great to finally meet another Super Saiyan!" Goku walked up to the bed and shook Trunks hand. Around the room there were several reactions. Vegeta started as if he’d been slapped and then bared his teeth and growled. Trunks looked confused and grimaced as Goku shook his hand wreaking havoc on his bruised muscles. Piccolo, Gohan and Krillin just stood their ground and waited for things to unfold.
"Another…Super Saiyan…?" Vegeta said from between his teeth.
"What’s a Super Saiyan? Trunks was a little worried.
"Well, the guys tell me that your hair turned gold and your eyes went teal when you thought Bulma was dead and that’s how you beat Vegeta, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so. I wasn’t really paying attention to what I looked like just then, but I did feel an incredible boost in power." Memories of those final moments of the fight were playing through Trunks’ head.
"That’s another side affect. Anyway, it seems that you have reached the Super Saiyan, but in order to do that you would, of course, have to be Saiyan, or at least have some Saiyan blood in you. And, well, we were kind of wondering if you knew anything about that? We can’t seem to explain it. A year ago the only known Saiyans left in the universe were Raditz, Vegeta, Nappa, and me." Goku rattled on, and everyone else in the room listened intently.
‘So they have been wondering the same things about this mysterious boy.’ Vegeta figured that he was finally going to get some answers. He was sadly disappointed.
"I don’t really know. I don’t know very much about my parents or their pasts. I don’t even know my mothers real name. I didn’t know that I was Saiyan at all. This is as much a surprise to me as it is to you. Sorry." Trunks bowed his head.
"Wow!" Goku said. "You don’t even know your mother’s name? You must have had some kind of childhood."
"Yeah, my past isn’t something I want to remember too much." Trunks sighed. ‘This is getting sticky. Maybe I should just tell them the truth…"
"There has to be some kind of mistake, a fluke." Vegeta said from his bed. "There is no record of any other Saiyan disappearing anywhere with in a trillion light years from here, ever. I would have known about it."
"Well, he’s not my son." Goku said simply. "And I’m sure he’s not Gohan’s. Is he yours. Vegeta?"
Trunks sucked in his breath. ‘Goku’s son’s name is… Gohan?’
"Of course not, you low class baka! I just arrived here a few days ago, besides he’s too old. I’m not careless enough to spawn half-breed brats, either."
Trunks turned to Gohan. "Your name is Gohan? I guess I never knew that before. That would explain a lot of things."
"Like what?" Vegeta asked gruffly.
"Well, I think there’s something I should tell you guys. I think I can explain my heritage a little better now."
"What do you mean?" Goku looked at him, confused.
"Well, it’s kind of a long story… and a little complicated as well." ‘I have to be very careful now.’
Vegeta grunted. "Well, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon." He lightly flicked the ki screen, sending a ripple through the air around the bed.
"I guess I…" Trunks was interrupted by the sound of a small alarm to his left. The doctor rushed into the room quickly and ran to Bulma’s bedside. The girl was jerking and twitching violently.
He scanned the screens of several machines before frowning and putting two fingers on Bulma’s through. After a few seconds of silence he frowned again and turned to the counter tops and cupboards on the other side of Bulma’s bed. He opened a drawer and pulled out a small bottle filled with clear liquid. With the hands of an expert he lifted a needle form the counter and slid it into the bottles top. Preparing the syringe he quickly gave Bulma and injection and then went back to the screens. Bulma slowly relaxed and settled down. Trunks watched in horror, along with Krillin, Piccolo, Gohan and Vegeta. Goku had disappeared somewhere with the appearance of the needle.
After a minute the doctor frowned and let out a deep breath. Trunks was the one to break the dreadful silence. "Is she going to be alright?"
The older man looked up and shook his head.
"She’s not…?" Krillin couldn’t finish the sentence as the words chocked in his throat.
"No, not yet, but it doesn’t look good. She had a type of seizure, due to irregular brain waves, but the problem goes much deeper then that. There isn’t anything wrong with her brain. The problem seems to be in her metaphysical patterns. I can’t explain it, let alone fix it. I’ve stabilized her for now, but her condition is continuing to decline. I’m sorry, but it’s not going to be long before she just shuts down."
Trunks shook his head. "No! It’s not her physical injuries causing this, it has to be something to so with the ki enhancer. Some how it’s disrupted her energy."
Trunks stood on shaky legs and limped to Bulma’s bed. Taking her hand gently he concentrated on her. Eyes closed he let a part of Bulma’s energy reach him. After a second he jumped back as if he’d been burned.
"I think I know how to help her. Krillin, I need you to do something for me. I’m not really in any shape to go anywhere so I need you to go back to the battle sight and see if you can find Bulma’s jacket. She should have some capsules and things in the inside pocket. Could you bring it back here?"
"Right away." Krillin started to leave, but Trunks called him back.
"You have to hurry. Fly faster then you’ve ever flown before, she’s running out of time."
"Right." Krillin nodded seriously and then left.
Goku peaked his head around the corner. "Are the needles gone?"
"Yes." Trunks, Piccolo and Gohan said together, all of them a little agitated.
"Where’d Krillin take off to?" Goku asked.
"He went to get something I think can help Bulma. I’m pretty sure the problem has to do with her ki."
"But she doesn’t have any ki with out that device." Vegeta said.
"Wrong. Everyone has ki, most people’s just can’t be detected. Ki is the energy inside every cell of everyone’s body that controls every function of life. When she put the ki enhancer on it took the little ki she had and multiplied it exponentially. Each time she turned it up her energy expanded in leaps and bounds. At some point her cells weren’t able to handle that amount of energy and they began to shut down. Her body wasn’t used to channeling and using ki like we are, and she wouldn’t have been able to control it as much as she did if I hadn’t helped her a little while we were testing the prototype.
When Vegeta saved her by ripping the Ki enhancer of her arm, he also traumatized every cell in her body. She needed to turn it down to zero before she removed it, because stopping mid high leaves the ki scattered and disoriented. Her cells don’t know what to do. Some are still at an enhanced level while others are clinging to life ready to shut down, and there are several levels in between. To put her back together we’re going to have to use the ki enhancer. It’s dangerous, but it has a chance of succeeding. If we do nothing she’s sure to die."
"But Vegeta destroyed the ki enhancer." Gohan observed.
"Vegeta destroyed a ki enhancer. Bulma and I made one for everyone. She would have been bring them to us, but things went wrong and she found it necessary to fight herself."
Goku looked a little confused. "Let me get this straight. Your going to use the device that did this to her to cure her?"
"Yes. It wasn’t actually the device that hurt her, but the fact that it wasn’t handled properly. Vegeta ripped it off with out turning it off, is all." Trunks tried to explain, but finally realized that it was no use.
"So, it was Vegeta’s fault?" Piccolo said sternly. Vegeta just grunted.
"You can’t really blame him, he didn’t know, and he did try to save her." Deep inside Trunks wanted to blame Vegeta, but he knew that he was really the only one at fault.
"You said these things are at the battle sight? And you sent Krillin? Ha." Goku laughed a little. "Watched this." He put two fingers to his forehead and disappeared. All of the room’s conscious occupants dropped their jaws in amazement. Thirty seconds later Goku suddenly reappeared holding Bulma’s jacket and a very frightened Krillin. "He wasn’t even a third the way there yet. Here you go." Goku handed Trunks Bulma’s jacket and set a stuttering Krillin down.
"Goku," Krillin’s breathing was slightly labored. "If you ever do that again with out giving me fair warning, I’m going to have to hurt you."
"How did you do that so fast, Kakarrot?" Vegeta looked a little angry.
"King Kai taught me this new trick called instant transmission. I basically dematerialize myself and travel at the speed of light."
"Oh, is that all." Piccolo’s sarcasm didn’t amuse anyone.
Trunks pushed everything else aside and began his search through Bulma’s jacket. Pulling out a small case of capsules he quickly read the labels before pulling one out and pushing its button. A second later a small case sat on Trunks bed. He opened it and removed a metallic band identical to the one Bulma had worn a few days earlier.
"Now," Trunks frowned. "There’s just a few more problems we have to deal with."
"And what would those be?" Piccolo asked roughly.
"First," Trunks stared intently at the ring in his hands, "we have to figure out what level she was on the last time she turned the band."
"That’s easy." Vegeta said. "She turned the thing four times between the time she put it on and when I took it off."
"Ok," Trunks said relieved. "Now, someone has to put it on her when it’s already at level four, so that she can start back at where she left off. This will be the dangerous part because level four is where she shorted out, so to speak."
"We have to try. It’s like you said, she’ll die if we don’t." Krillin said in his usual dramatic way.
"And that someone has to be Vegeta." Silence.
"What!?" Vegeta yelled after it registered. "If this some kind of game to make me look foolish of get me killed, you can forget it. I won’t do it."
"You have to." Trunks said simply. "You’re the only one who can. When I searched her ki it felt weird and very wrong. First of all, it’s all disoriented, but also I could sense a little bit of you inside her. When you ripped the ki enhancer off her arm part of your ki got mixed in with the rest of the energy that’s scrambled and trapped in her. When you put it on her and it’s starts to realign everything you need to be there to…, take your ki back, I guess." Everyone looked at Trunks as if they weren’t sure if he were sane or not.
"Feel for yourself if you don’t believe me." Trunks was a little hurt that they weren’t quick to trust him, but then he thought if her were in their place he probably wouldn’t trust him either.
"We believe you, Trunks." Goku reassured him. He turned and looked sternly at Vegeta. "You said that you only saved Bulma before to save yourself, well, then, let me give you the same motivation. If you don’t help Bulma we’ll know you can’t be counted on, and if she dies, you die. She’s the only reason you’re alive right now, and when she’s gone we have no obligation to let you live." Goku’s words were very final and Vegeta considered them carefully.
‘He’s not lying. I know that much. He’s too stupid to want to deceive me. He’s given me an excuse to help and still save my pride. To die as a prisoner of war is a disgrace, besides… would it be that bad to stay here and live, away from Frieza’s tyranny, away from my past…’ Vegeta’s forehead wrinkled even more as his frown increased. ‘I will not be bored here. There are many challenges to amuse myself; for one, the woman, if she survives this. She could be very amusing… and I’m sure Frieza will come after me soon. I might stand a chance to beat him if I stay here and train, and use some of the amazing technology that they have to increase myself even more. Even if I lose that battle it is better to die is battle with the strongest creature in the universe then to these weaklings in captivity.’ Every choice pointed to helping and staying. He would have to swallow a certain amount of pride, and forget an few traditionally rules, but the Saiyan race was dead anyway. There was no one around to tell his father that he had lowered himself to living with such weak aliens. He made his decision.
"What guarantee to I have that even despite my efforts the girl dies anyway that you won’t still kill me?" Vegeta needed all his bases covered. After all, the boy had said there was a good chance she wouldn’t survive.
"As long as you do your best to help, then we’ll owe you your life, whether Bulma lives or dies." Goku promised.
"Then I will help you. And," He paused trying to choke the words out through his pride. "And I will no longer seek to destroy this planet." ‘That wasn’t too bad. They needn’t know yet that he planned on staying. And, at some time, if I am strong enough and no longer have a use for them I can always leave.’
Goku’s face lit up with a smile. "Great! Glad to hear it! Now, Trunks, tell Vegeta exactly what he needs to do to help. Oh, and Krillin, go get that doctor to take down the ki screen."
"Are you sure he can be trusted?" Pessimist Piccolo questioned.
"Yeah," Goku said confidently. "He knows if he tries anything, I’ll just kill him." Vegeta growled. He did know, but he still didn’t like the truth that Kakarrot could be so much stronger then him.
"Let’s get this over with." Vegeta frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. His face seemed to be almost pouting.
Krillin left to find the doctor and Trunk began to explain to Vegeta the details.
"I’ll turn the ki enhancer to level four and hand it to you, and you’ll put it on her arm. It’s going to be pretty rough. We’ll have to go somewhere else. I don’ think this room will be able to deal with the energy serge, plus, we’ll probably need it for both of you after wards." His voice was very serious and grim.
"This is going to hurt a lot, isn’t it?" Vegeta asked bluntly. He didn’t mind pain, but he did want to be prepared for what was coming up.
"Most likely it’ll be worse then when you took the first one off. You’ll have to concentrate hard to accomplish your job."
"Don’t worry about me, boy, I’ll do all that is necessary." Vegeta frowned.
"Ok, it’s very important that you turn the ring down the second you feel things realign. You should be able to tell. Before that you should be searching her energy for parts of your own energy and collecting them…"
"And exactly how do I "collect" them?" Vegeta didn’t want to be unsure about anything. He was pretty certain they only had one shot at this.
"Just as if you were drawing energy to fly or fire a blast, only pull from out side, from Bulma. When you have it all and when her own energy is settled turn the ring counter-clockwise to you when you facing her. That’s very important. If you turn it the other way you’ll turn it up and that would kill you both." Trunks visually showed Vegeta while he talked.
"After the first turn, you should wait a few minutes before turning again, to let her adjust. After another adjustment you can turn it down again, then finally off. The whole thing should take, maybe ten minutes. I don’t think she’ll wake up, she may struggle a little in her unconscious state, but nothing serious."
"Nothing I can’t handle." Vegeta smirked confidently.
"Is there anything else?" Trunks asked politely.
"When will I know when she’s adjusted?"
"I’ll stand by and watch. I’ll let you know when to turn it down."
"Good, then if something goes wrong, they can blame you and not use it as an excuse to say I didn’t ‘try my best’ and kill me anyway." No mercy. Vegeta’s words cut to Trunks heart.
‘They’ll blame me if this doesn’t work… and they should. It’s because of me this all happened.’
Krillin entered just then with the doctor and Dr. and Mrs. Briefs.
"Krillin tells us you have a plan." Mrs. Briefs looked hopeful.
"Yeah, we’re going to try to reverse the effects of the ki enhancer using the ki enhancer." Trunks said. Dr. Briefs slapped his forehead.
"Of, course. Why didn’t I think of that?" He said and then went on mumbling something inaudibly.
"Let’s move her out of here. I guess we should take her outside. We don’t want the energy release to cause the buildings any damage." Trunks was being practical.
The doctor hesitantly removed the ki screen from around Vegeta’s bed, and Vegeta quickly jumped down and stretched. He looked more comfortable now that he was free and moving around. Trunks gently tried to pick up Bulma, but the feel of her ki was like heat to his touch.
"Vegeta, I think you’re going to have to carry her. None of the rest of us can stand it, and you need to get used to it anyway."
"Huh. Weakling…" Vegeta mumbled under his breath as he picked Bulma up. The feel of her energy was very disturbing, but he wasn’t about to let them know that. He followed Trunks and the others out side and set Bulma down on the ground, only slightly less gently then Trunks would have liked. "Let’s do this." Vegeta said confidently. ‘Before I lose my nerve…’ He wasn’t about to admit out loud how… uncomfortable, this whole situation was making him.
Trunks distributed several of the ki shields to all those in attendance, including Goku, Piccolo, Krillin, Gohan, Dr Briefs, his wife and the doctor. He instructed them on their use and then put one on his own chest. He taped it lightly and felt the rush of the surrounding field.
"This is just in case things get really nasty. They’re just a precaution." Trunks explained then, after all shields were in place, he stepped forward and raised the ki enhancer. He took a deep breath to steady himself, said a silent prayer and then twisted the band four times. It was like trying to hold onto a squirming animal. He did managed to keep his grip on it, however until he managed to hand it to Vegeta. "It’s all up to you now. Take care of her." Trunks said so that only Vegeta could hear him. Vegeta nodded, despite the clenching of his jaw and accepted the live-wire machinery. Squatting down he held the band tightly in one hand while raising the left arm of the woman who lay, still and unconscious on the grass. Quickly, in one fluid motion he slid to metal ring onto her hand an up her arm.
The second that the band came into contact with the mostly healed ring burned into her arm, Bulma’s eyes snapped open and she looked directly into Vegeta’s eyes. Growling softly she tensed and prepared to take flight. Around the pair, the air was alive with static electricity and free flowing ki. Sensing her intention to flee Vegeta gripped Bulma heavily of the shoulders. She, in turn began to struggle, but managed only to stand. Vegeta could feel the wrong in her body undoing itself. Bulma was beginning to feel the pain of the overextended limits of her energy under the ring and raised her head to howl and scream. Her voice was, once again, the twisted double tone of the battle and everyone witnessing her struggle took a step back.
Vegeta began to concentrate on recalling his own energy. ‘It won’t be long until she’s unscrambled.’ Closing his eyes and focusing on Bulma, Vegeta felt their minds and souls become one. Suddenly he was swept away in a tidal wash of all of Bulma’s thoughts and feelings. Her tortured ki was like flames to his mind and he found it hard to ignore the pain and concentrate on his job. He lost all track of his own body and started to swim around inside Bulma’s consciousness. In the background he could see Bulma’s normal life, like a sunset on the horizon, but all around him a storm raged; the last few days of her trauma, the battle with him, and her feelings towards him.
‘She thinks I’m sexy…’ his mind caught that thought briefly before drifting to the next. ‘She was having as much fun as I was… despite the fact that she was trying to defend Trunks and her friends.’ Vegeta began to sort through things a little more. He felt what she felt for Trunks, and her friendship with Goku/Kakarrot. All of her brilliant thoughts overwhelmed him and he pushed them aside. Here and there he found a little piece of himself and he gathered it up, like collecting seashells on the beach.
After what was in reality less then three seconds, but what felt like a lifetime to Vegeta, he sensed that things were back in place. It was only just before he prepared to remove his mind that he realized he wasn’t alone. Behind him, he finally sensed Bulma, who was going through his mind. ‘What does she think she’s doing?’ Vegeta wondered a little upset about the woman being in his head.
‘-Just taking a peak, Monkey boy, turnabout’s fair play, and everything, right?-’ She answered him mentally. Vegeta snapped back and they separated like vinegar and water. He opened his eyes and found her smirking at him, face to face. Some how he managed to slid his hand down her arm and turn the ring, the same way Trunks had shown him.
Bulma felt the energy leave, and she wondered where the ki leach was attached. It was as if she had suddenly dropped out of warp drive and she lurched harshly. She could still feel the overpowering thirst for strength, and didn’t appreciate having things ripped from her grasp, like that.
"What do you think you are doing!?" She snapped at Vegeta and ripped herself from his hands.
"Trying to save you life!" Vegeta yelled back.
"Oh, Veggie, I didn’t know you cared." Bulma crooned before punching him in the stomach and blasting away.
Vegeta faintly heard Trunks call to him. "Don’t let her get away, keep her busy, but don’t lose track of her!" ‘Easy for him to say’ Vegeta thought as he took off after her. He caught up with her in short order and grabbed her by the ankle before yanking her back down to his level.
"Get away from me you overgrown ape!" She turned to run again, but Vegeta caught her around the waist and pulled her to him roughly. One arm wrapped tightly over her arm, pinning it between them, and pressed against her back and the other gripped her arm, holding it down, while preparing to turn the ring when given the call.
"I’m getting awfully tired of all your insults, you little ingrate. All I’m trying to do is save you so that I can live, but you don’t have to make things so difficult." Vegeta’s face was twisted in anger as he shouted at the woman in his arms.
"Who are you fooling? I’ve been inside your head, remember? I know everything. I didn’t ask for your help, so just get off of me!" Her eyes flashed white light and she pushed away from him with her hands on his chest, but he held fast. She continued to fight and struggle, and Vegeta was getting tired of the trouble she was giving him.
"Ok, Vegeta! Turn her down!" Trunks yell rose to their elevated ears.
"It’s about time!" Vegeta growled and turned the band again.
"NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Bulma screamed as she felt more power ripped from her. Her voice dropped back to almost normal, with only a small reverb; the glow in her eyes dulled
‘Only two more,’ Vegeta thought with a sigh. He was feeling a little worn down, and with the woman in a weakened state he didn’t have to focus so much on restraining her. This would have been good, had not his thoughts found other playgrounds to exhort.
The writhing form of the female in his arms was turning him on. He found himself drowning in the blue eyes locked on him even in her attempts to free herself. The look of determination and need in her eyes made him long to press his lips to hers and take what he wanted. What he knew she wanted to give, deep down inside.
Vegeta stopped himself short and looked at the curious and anticipatory look in her eyes. Bulma had stopped her struggles as she found the prince lowering his head to hers. ‘What am I doing?’ Vegeta’s head was swimming. ‘She’s so… beautiful.’
Bulma’s exertions had caused her to sweat and the hair next to her skin was soaked. The little droplets on her nose and forehead begged to be tasted and her hair was whipping around her face in a very fluid and seductive manner. Vegeta shook his head.
‘This isn’t the time, or the place… but I’m pretty sure this is the woman…’ At first Vegeta didn’t want to admit his feeling for the little vixen, but she had more then proven herself worthy, and she was very desirable. As he had fought her and as he had learned of her plea for his life he had felt a part of him that he never knew existed awaken. ‘What have you done to me, you little devil?’ He stared back into her eyes.
‘-Only what you wanted me to. Even if you didn’t know it.-’ Bulma replied in his mind. At first Vegeta thought she had said it out loud, but when he couldn’t remember her lips moving he was taken back in one of the biggest shocks in his life.
‘-You shouldn’t be in my head. We’re not linked any more!-" Vegeta yelled into her mind.
‘-Don’t yell at me! I don’t understand it anymore then you do. Thanks, by the way.-’ Bulma thought sweetly to him.
‘-For what?-’ Vegeta asked confused.
‘-For thinking I’m beautiful, even though I know I must be as attractive as a drowned rat right about now.-’ She though teasingly.
If Vegeta could blush he was doing so now, as much as possible for a hardened Saiyan prince, anyway. Vegeta put up a strong mental block and tested her. ‘-You have a big butt a loud mouth.-’ Nothing. It had worked, for now. But it wouldn’t be hard for her to bypass his block if she set her mind to it.
"Next level!" Trunks gave the word. Vegeta turned the ring again.
Bulma growled and yelled. "Stop doing that!" She felt to weak compared to what she had been at. She continued her struggles wondering why Vegeta’s thoughts had stopped.
‘What are they doing up there?’ Trunks was beginning to worry about Bulma, and he was getting a little jealous of the way Vegeta was holding her so close. ‘Surly she’s weak enough that he doesn’t have to hold her so tight…’
Up in the air Vegeta continued to fight the urges he was feeling. He was averting his eyes, but he continued to hold her against him. A few minutes later Trunks gave the last cue.
Bulma’s head snapped up. She knew what was next. "No, don’t…" She pleaded with him. Vegeta could understand her fear of weakness, but his grip tightened on the ring, regardless.
"This is for your own good, little one." He whispered comfortingly. As he began to turn Bulma panicked she did the only thing she could think of. She leaned in with her head and sank her teeth into the soft flesh between Vegeta’s neck and shoulder. As the last of her energy faded she bit down as hard as she could.
Vegeta’s eyes widened in shock. ‘No! She couldn’t!’ His thoughts cried out, searching for some kind of grip on reality, or an explanation for the insanity that was passing before his eyes.
Had she waited a few milliseconds later, Bulma wouldn’t have had enough strength to break Vegeta’s skin, but, as it happened, she managed to make her bit count. Vegeta closed his eyes and waited for the experiences he’d only heard legends about descend upon him and the weak Earthling female.
Bulma was still morning the loss of her strength when she noticed another sensation taking over. She had tried to defend herself in the only way possible, but it hadn’t stopped him from turning her off. She was still clutching the Prince’s flesh between her teeth and when she felt and tasted his coppery sweet blood touch her tongue her mind began to reel in vertigo. Her own natural energy surged slightly, as if waiting, and then started to drop. It didn’t stop when it reached her natural level, but continued on down and Bulma could feel her life slipping away.
‘-What’s happening?-’ She was so confused, but couldn’t move and could hardly breath.
‘-Now you’ve done it little one.-’ Vegeta’s words entered her mind like a helpful rope dropped into a deep pit. Vegeta could feel his own ki slipping out from between his fingers, as well as the ki of the woman in his arms. ‘-It has to be completed or we will both perish.-’
‘-What? What has to be completed? Perish? You mean we’re both dying?-’ Bulma asked frantically, searching for answers.
‘-Yes, I mean dying. Now hold still. I am sorry for this, woman, but it is the only way.-’ He lowered his head. ‘-Do not let go of me. This will only hurt for a second.-’
‘-Wha…?-’ Bulma didn’t even have time to complete her question when she felt Vegeta’s teeth sink into her own neck, just above the collar bone. A flash of pain in the form of a bright white light came over her. Slowly the pain melted away, and was replaced by pleasure. Her blood was on fire and her ki was skyrocketing. Her own ki.
When Vegeta tasted Bulma’s blood, all thoughts of hesitation and inhibitions ceased. His pain was minimal, but the pleasure he felt was beyond anything he had ever experienced. His ki jumped dramatically and he felt himself come imminently close to his goal, only to fall short. But he didn’t care. After the pain, peace overcame both of them. ‘This… is… right.’ He conceded as they both sank to the ground in each other’s arms.
Trunks instincts where screaming that something was dreadfully wrong. ‘What are they doing?’ He had felt their power bursts just after he had watched Vegeta make the last turned and, at first, worried that he’d turned it the wrong way. A few seconds later, their ki sank again and they fell back to Earth. He got the shock of his life when Vegeta and Bulma touched down and crumbled to the ground still embracing and still biting each other. Next thing he knew he was pulling Vegeta off Bulma.
"What are you doing to her, you monster?" He yelled as he threw Vegeta back. Trunks bent to look at the bleeding mark on Bulma’s neck and frowned. Bulma’s head was wobbling as if she was intoxicated and her eyes were glazed over.
"Hey, it’s not my fault." Vegeta said in defense. His tone turned to mockery and sarcasm. "She bit me first." His smirk grew, but his eyes were also hazy. Trunks noticed the similar mark on Vegeta’s neck, in relatively the same spot.
The others joined them. "Something’s wrong with Vegeta. He’s not acting quite like himself." Piccolo said, almost amused.
"Of course, I’m not myself." Vegeta almost giggled. He was acting a little, no a lot, drunk. "I’ve just been forced into a bond with a former enemy whom I hardly know." He lay back on the dirt and took a few deep breaths suppressing his urge to laugh.
"Bonded? What?" Trunks asked aloud. He didn’t like the sound of that. Bulma pushed Trunks helping hands away and crawled over to Vegeta.
"What did you do to me, Monkey boy?" She cracked up laughing as she tossed herself across his chest. She lay there for a moment listening to his heartbeat. Its pace was rapid and strong. "Mmmmmm," she moaned as she flopped on her back across his stomach. "What ever it was, were going to have to do that again, sometime, with just little more warning." She held up her fingers and a half an inch apart, as her voice got higher in pitch. She giggled for a few seconds before her hand fell and she passed out.
Vegeta shook his head. It was clearing a little, but he still felt light headed. He lay there with his eyes closed trying to think of a way to get out of this one before he too lost consciousness.
"Now what?" Goku questioned.
"Physically, I think they’re ok, but there’s something else wrong here. Why did they bit each other?" Trunks felt instinctual jealousy, and he had this foreboding feeling, that he’s lost Bulma for good.
"Let’s take them inside and let them sleep. They look exhausted." Goku picked up Vegeta and started inside. Trunks quickly scooped up Bulma and followed, his thoughts were eating away at his insides.
‘What happened up there? Why were Bulma and Vegeta acting so strange? Was it some kind of unforeseen side-effect of the ki enhancer? Why hasn’t it shown up before? Why were they biting each other? This is all so strange…’
They arrived back at the medical room in not time and placed Bulma and Vegeta down, Bulma on her bed and Vegeta on Trunks’ bed. Vegeta’s own bed carried the remains of the ki screen. The doctor made a quick examination of both of his patients and came to the conclusion that, despite former wounds, and the two new bit marks, both of them were fine and resting peacefully. They were just extremely exhausted, but that was no surprise.
"Let them sleep. They should wake up in a few days or so, good as new." The physician was pleased to see that Trunks’ plan had worked out so well. Bulma was safe and doing fine, all threat of her life only a memory.
They all retired to different rooms to get some sleep. Trunks stayed for a few minutes, before submitting to his own fatigue and returning to his room to sleep.
Bulma was tossing and turning in her sleep. A feeling of insecurity seemed to consume her and over ran her whole being. ‘Not right, something’s not right, not right…’ Her dreams were whirling shapes of different sizes and colors, and the one thought that something was wrong, out of place. She was confused and she cried in her sleep.
Vegeta awoke with a start and looked around the dark room. ‘What’s wrong here?’ Looking over he saw Bulma’s condition. She was sweating profusely and had tears running down her face. She was whimpering a little and her arms and legs twitched every once in a while. Vegeta laid back and tried to sleep again, but he could feel the woman’s distress, and, despite being sleepy, he could not manage to fall asleep.
He finally gave in to the dreaded knowledge that he had been trying to suppress. ‘It was real. It really happened, and now I’ll have to take care of her for the rest of eternity. I’ve bonded with that weakling human woman.’ Standing, he stepped to the side of her bed and looked down at her. Killing her would be easy, but he could no sooner sever his own head. ‘Stupid baka. You don’t even know what you’ve done. I guess I’ll just have to make the most of it. I’m stuck with you.’ He looked down at her sleeping form. Hesitantly he reached his hand up and brushed a lock of blue hair from her face in a very un-characteristically tender manner. ‘It might not be bad. As long as we keep that ring around…’ He smirked as he climbed onto her bed and lay next to her. ‘At least this way I’ll be able to get some sleep…’ He pulled her into his arms and almost immediately she settled down and began to rest.
In her sleep Bulma felt a sudden warmth creep over her and she felt… safe. ‘Things are right, now. It’s all ok.’ She fell into a deep sleep.
* * * * *