Authorís note: Finaly! The long awaited sequel to Run From ItÖ um, maybeÖ I finished it, but the first three quarters and the last quarter were separated by four months of college, (which youíll probably be able to tell) so bare with me. Most people go to college to get smarter, I think I just got sappy. This is only the middle piece to a trilogy. You know how the second one is never as good as the first, and the third just blows them all awayÖ well, this will follow true to form, I hope. (The first part for sure) This has less violence and sex then the first one, youíll see why, and it kind of leaves you hanging, but as I mentioned before there is a third one on itís way. Just be patient, and forgive me for the "cheesy romantic" plot to this one, (maybe send a few emailsÖ wink wink) and Iíll get it out as soon as possible. Thanks to all the people that sent me word on RFIÖ they were much appreciated and if I didnít replyÖ Iím sorry, please try again. And now with out further delayÖ enjoy!
Look It In the Eye
"So, what youíre telling me is that you think these dreams, these nightmares that youíve been having are all recent occurrences, and that youíve never had dreams like this previous to theÖuh,Ö incident at you company?" The psychiatrist glanced up at her skeptically.
"Well, IÖ," Bulmaís first thought was Of course not, It was all be cause of that machine, but as she thought about it she realized that she couldnít say that for sure.
The Dr. Lane stood and walked from behind his desk to where Bulma lay on the very Freudian couch. "If what you tell me is true, and this machine pulled the dreams from you sub-conscious, then these concepts shouldnít be new to you. Try to think back, and remember." He sat in the very tall backed chair and leaned closer to her.
Dr. Lane wasnít your typical idea of a psychiatrist. Bulma always thought of old white-haired men with bifocals, but Dr. Carl Lane was quite young and very good-looking. So far he had been very professional with her, but she could feel some under-lying attraction. And she was sure he liked her, too. She laid back and closed her eyes trying to concentrate.
"Well, Iíve always led a very, uh, stressful life. My young childhood was consumed mostly with my studies; I received my Doctorate in Physics and Mechanical engineering by the time I was eleven. Thatís about the time decided that I wanted to take a brake and have some fun. I never got to do what other little kids did. I met Son Goku and from then on my life has kind of been two halves of different kinds of pressure. Either I was inventing new things under the watchful eye of my hard-to please father, or I was off with the z-fighters using those things trying to save the world. Mash in several failed relationships, and several life threatening situations and you get what I like to call, one messed-up chick." As she rambled on Bulma felt all the tension come flooding back, all the stresses of her life, Capsule Corps., Androids, Yamcha, VegetaÖ Her thoughts were however broken by the sudden laughter of her shrink.
"Everyone has some sort of sob-story, Ms. Briefs, but that is amazing. Now I suppose you want me to tell you that your fear of failure is fed by your fatherís pushing your schooling and you are afraid to become all the terrible things you fight against, and that makes you a total unique kind of wacko so you should be locked up, right?" Bulma didnít think he was mocking her by laughing at her, but it still made her a little uncomfortable.
"You think itís funny that I canít even sleep at night and Iím suddenly finding myself succumb to fits of paranoia, donít you?" She felt her temper start to rise.
Dr. Lane continued to laugh. He smiled charmingly at her as he spoke his next words. "You are a very intelligent woman, Ms. Briefs, and I think you think that qualifies you as a psychologist as well as a CEO of one of the worldís most profitable corporations. Well, you came to me so I could tell you what you want to hear, but Iím not going to. You arenít nuts, and you arenít all that messed up, not any more then anyone else, anyways. We all have those deep rooted fears and questions about who we are, ectÖ, Itís just that we manage to suppress them and hide them away. Being suddenly face to face with them is the only thing that separates you from me or any other person. You are a very normal, though not common, woman. My advice is to take a few more days off and then get back to work. Get back to your life. The memories of your trauma will fade eventually and then youíll be ok, I think."
Bulma stared in shock as the man stood and walked back to his desk. "Thatís it? Thatís what I pay you two-hundred bucks an hour for?"
"Well, you can afford it, and I think you needed to hear what I had to say. However, if you want something more substantialÖ" He pulled a pen from his pocket and began scribbling on a pad of paper. "Hereís my prescription."
Bulma took the offered paper and read it out loud. "Get yourself a boyfriend." She turned and sat up. "Whatís this at the bottom? 555-6733?"
He gave her another prizewinning smile. "Thatís my home phone number. In case you need any moreÖ help." Bulma blushed slightly at his obvious come-on. Then a picture of a black-haired alien flashed in her mind.
She attempted to casually shrug off his pass at her. "Uh, thanks, doc, but I donít think Iíll be able to survive much longer. These dreams are worse then anything you can imagine. I just want to forgetÖ what happened." She really did want to forget all the nightmares that she had experienced, but deep down she hoped she could forget what she felt for Vegeta, and the pain that all those feelings were causing her. She hadnít told anyone, not even the Dr. Lane about that part of her "experience". It was too personal.
"I havenít been able to use my bathroom at all, or take a bath without wondering when the water was going to come alive. Whenever Iím alone I feel eyes on me and when I close my eyes I see his face. Covered in blood and staring at me with those eyes that seem to plead. They pull at me and ask, "Why did you murder me?" She became very serious and as she choked out her last words she began to cry. Again. It seemed she had done nothing but cry for the last month and a half, or so.
There was an awkward moment as the atmosphere changed from personal back to professional. "If you really feel you need some more help with this, then I can recommend a good hypnotist. But things like that are never a guarantee, and sometimes they can be dangerousÖ especially when dealing with memory. But if you have your heart set on it then thereís nothing I can say to make you change your mind, is there?" He handed her a Kleenex from a box on his desk and she wiped her eyes and blew her nose.
She had calmed significantly. "No," she sniffed regaining her composure, "thereís not. I would appreciate a recommendation."
"Thereís a good friend of mine goes by the name of Richard Banks, Iíll give him a call. I can have I secretary set you up with an appointment, if youíd likeÖ"
Bulma started getting exited inside. Finally, Iíll be able to forgetÖ "Yes." She walked to the door and prepared to leave. "Thanks for your help. No offense, but I hope I wonít have to see you again." The doctor looked shocked and a little hurt. "At least not as a Dr." With that small incentive she walked out the door, missing the grin that crossed the manís face after her parting words.
On the drive home Bulma though about what Dr. Lane had said. Was he right about just needing time? Maybe hypnotism was too much. She would have to think about it. Maybe I should try going back to work? Bulma pulled into her driveway having decided that it was time to get on with her life. Tomorrow was Saturday. On Monday she would go back to work. Now she had to deal with things at home.
She walked in, ignoring the explosions coming from the gravity chamber, and made a mental note to deal with that later. First things, first, she thought as she entered the front room where her father and mother waited for her return. They had wanted to accompany her to her session, but she had assured them that it was something she needed to do for herself. She was a big girl. Now they rushed to her and began asking all kinds of questions. "How was it?" "What did he say?" "Can he help?" "Are you cured?"
"Whoa, hang onÖ No, Iím not cured, yet, but I think I Ďm getting closer. Dr. Lane helped me understand a few things about myself, I think Iíll be doing a lot better from now on. There are just a few things that I need to deal with." Her parents sighed in relief.
"Well, thatís good, honey." Her father patted her on the shoulder and then walked out of the room, Bulma supposed he was going back to his lab to work on some new thing. He hadnít been real thrilled by the idea that she was going to see a psychiatrist, like seeing a shrink meant she had mental problems, but now that she was fine he figured that it was ok. That was her dad.
"So," her mother brought her to the couch and sat her down, " was he as good-looking as Iíve heard?"
"Oh, mother!" Bulma cried out in exasperation. Her mom was always trying to hook her up with one guy or another. Especially since her and Yamchaís "separation".
"Well," her mom probed. She wasnít going to stop till she got her information.
"He was very good-looking, and charming, too. He even asked me out, kind of. But, heís not really my type. I told him maybe later. Right now I just need to get my life back together. Then I can think about guys again."
"Is there someone in particular? Someone you like?" Bulma almost started in shock. Her mother was usually a little dim-witted, but she seemed to have a sick sense about those kinds of things. She decided to try and lie anyway.
"No, of course not."
"Youíve been acting so strange lately, especially aroundÖ" Bulma interrupted her mother with another outburst of exasperation.
"Iíve been acting strange lately because I went through a very traumatic experience, mom. Any one would act the way I do."
Her mother gave her a suspicious worried look. "Ok, dear, if you say so." She didnít sound very convinced.
"Mom, I have a few things that I need to take care of. Weíll all go out to dinner somewhere nice tonight to celebrate, though, ok?" With out waiting for a reply she made a beeline for the stairs and went straight for her room.
Once she was safely hidden the confines of her own domain she felt more relaxed. If she wasnít careful, her mom was going to catch on to one of the main reasons for her peculiar behavior. Things had been really strained between her and Vegeta lately. She didnít know how to act around him anymore. Before, when she hadnít cared what he thought she had been able to do anything, say anything around him, but knowÖ "Why did things have to be so complicated?" Because you went and fell for the most unreachable man in the universe, you idiot. She answered her own question. I need to start thinking about dinner tonight. Where am I going to take every one? Someplace real specialÖ Iíll think about that laterÖ right now I need to her ready. She started to walk out. She had gotten so used to using her parents bathroom, but now she stopped and stared at the door to her own. It stood ominously in front of her, seeming to laugh at her. I need to get my life back to normal, and that starts with using my own, bathroom.
She took a tentative step towards it, and then she stopped and turned away. NO! I canít go in there! She mentally shock herself. I thought you were a big girl? You stopped being afraid of monsters under the bed years ago. Buck up. You know that thereís really nothing in there. Youíll see for yourself that there isnít anything to be frightened of. She mentally pep-talked herself as she walked towards the bathroom door.
As she got closer she began talking out loud. "Önothing to be afraid of. Open it and find out. That was all just a dream, a nightmareÖ it wasnít realÖ you can do thisÖ" She stood in front of her destination and slowly raised her hand to the doorknob. She almost screamed at the tension that rose in her throat. I can do this. Iím Bulma Briefs. Iím not afraid of anything. This is nothing. She stood tall and turned the doorknob, throwing the door open wide.
Nothing. It was all as she had left it that morning, besides a little added dust. It had been, almost a month since anyone had been in here. She flipped on the light switch and forced herself to take a step into the room. She looked into the mirror, it wasnít shattered into many pieces, but it was dirty. She ran her fingers across its smooth surface, shivering at the chill of cold glass against her skin. Looking down at the sink she saw her toothbrush and favorite hairbrush, among other things. She smiled at the familiar tools. She hated having to use substitutes in the absence of these things. She was oddly comforted by their familiarity. She turned away and stepped towards the shower. The curtain was pulled shut. Had she left it that way? She didnít remember. She stepped towards it and wrapped her fingers around the cold plastic. She hesitated as she envisioned what she would find behind it. A dead body, Jaken, perhaps, or the fried corpse of Goku and his son. Although she had seen them both alive and well she still felt guilty when she thought of what had happened. Maybe she would come face to face with the black monster that had chased her around her dream worldÖ Stop it! You know, your worst problem is simply an overactive imagination! She flung open the curtain in defiance of her fear. Again, nothing. See, nothing to be worried aboutÖ She turned to run into a brick wall and stare into a pair of black eyes.
Her look of smug triumph turned to shear horror as she pinched her eyes shut and let out a blood-curdling scream. She nearly fainted when she felt a hand come up and cover her mouth. Itís happening againÖ She felt her body going limp and she prepared to faint when she heard a familiar voice.
"Donít you dare faint on me, woman." She felt a strong hand grip her arm and support her gently. "And would you mind, shutting up!?" She recognized the anger in the voice and realized she was still screaming against the hand that held her mouth. She silenced her voice and opened her eyes. Vegetaís eyes bored into hers. He looked very angry. Slowly he removed his hand from her mouth as if he wasnít quite sure she was finished. "Thatís better."
Bulma felt terribly foolish for her reaction. She hated feeling foolish, and she hated being scared. This combination caused her to become suddenly very angry. She stood more upright, but Vegeta still grasped her arm. "How dare you startle me like that!? And what are you doing in my room? Donít you know how to knock?" She was really mad at him, but he only snorted and smirked.
"Itís not my fault you are so jumpy. I just came up here to ask you when my dinner was going to be ready and you started screaming in my face, for no reason. You humans are so weak and easily scaredÖ" He stared straight into Bulmaís eyes, knowing his challenge was going to get a reaction from her.
Bulma was reacting, but it was more to his closeness then his words. He still held her arm and he stood no more then four inches from her. She felt hot and weak again, his presence was making her flustered. Bulma hated being flustered.
"Let go of me, you creep! Get out of my room! Maybe you can fix your own dinner tonight!" She tore her arm away and pushed against his chest. He was obviously surprised by her reaction. He turned and walked slowly out, not because he was told, but because the woman was going into another triad of screeches, and his ears were still ringing from her earlier screams. He was not one to retreat from a fight, but he wasnít stupid either. The woman was really mad at him this time for some reason. He shouldnít have scared her that badÖ Then again she had been acting more strange then usual since that little incident at her work a while back. Personally, Vegeta was starting to get fed up with the way she had been acting. More moody as usual, with drawn, and jumpyÖ Something was obviously bothering herÖ Why did he careÖ he walked down stairs away from the still yelling Bulma all but ignoring what she was saying. He was getting hungry, so he went to the kitchen.
There he met Mrs. Briefs. He tried to ignore her, too. She was nothing more then a half-wit that spent too much time in her garden. If she didnít cook better meals then the other woman he would probably blast her and put her out of her misery. Thatís what he told himself anyway. In truth, he was just annoyed by her flirting and always trying to fix him up with girls when he was busy training.
"Oh, Vegeta, if you are hungry, Bulma is taking us all out to dinner later. So just get a little snack, we wouldnít want you ruining your appetite."
Vegeta almost laughed. A Saiyan ruining his appetite, now there was something to see. Bulma probably didnít know her mother had invited him, and would be angry that he would be there. All the more reason to go, besides, how else was he going to get fed tonight?
Bulma yelled at Vegeta until he was out of sight, then she collapsed on her bed and took a deep breath. I am defiantly going to have to learn to control myself better. Living with Vegeta had been easier because she hardly ever had to face him. A few minutes at lunch and later at dinner, was usually all, he was so busy training. She just hoped that it would be enough. Enough to what she didnít know. Enough training to beet those androids, enough time away from him to get over him, enough contact to let him start to like herÖ Ugh! What was she thinking? She stood and walked back into her bathroom. At first she was tense as she began to get ready for dinner, but she slowly began to relax. She called down and told her mother to be ready in an hour. That they would be leaving around six, and that would give them enough time to eat and then maybe see a movie or something. Tonight she was going to let it all go and relax. Carl was right, she needed to lighten up and get back to normal.
By the time she was ready she was totally at ease in her bathroom. She smiled at her small victory, despite Vegetaís interference she had managed to overcome this first of many obstacles. Maybe hypnotism wouldnít be necessary after all.
She walked down the stairs wearing a nice cashmere sweater and a pair of black slacks. The sweater was a pale blue that matched perfectly with her hair, and it was nice enough to be perfect for what she had planned tonight. It had taken some deep thinking, but Bulma had finally come up with the perfect plan. A night out with just her and her parentsÖ some quality time with outÖ Vegeta!
She gasped at the sight of the Saiyan waiting with her parents in the family room. He was sitting, arms folded, on the couch, a grumpy expression plastered to his face, as usual. He was wearing a white pullover shirt and black jeans. He looked very nice, except for the frown, that is. Why would he be dressed up, she thought, unlessÖ Oh, noÖ "Oh, no. What do you think you are doing?" She marched over to him as he stood his arms still crossed, but his frown was now replaced by a smirk.
"Honey, I invited Vegeta to go to dinner with us." Bulmaís mom said matter-of-factly.
"But he canítÖ" Bulma started, but stopped at the look on her motherís face.
"But I thought when you said you were taking all of us out to dinner you meant Vegeta, too. He is practically one of the family." Bulma knew her mother meant that because he was living with them, notÖ well, not because of that, but she couldnít help being unsettled by the idea.
Her mother looked at her disapprovingly. "It would be rude not to take him, especially now that Iíve invited him, donít you think?"
"Yes, terribly rude, "Vegeta said, enjoying every minute of the expression on Bulmaís face.
"If Vegeta doesnít go, then neither do I." Mrs. Briefs said firmly. Vegeta just looked at Bulma as if he had just won a contest of some kind. Giving her that "what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it" look.
"But, dearÖ" Dr. Briefs didnít like the idea of his wife taking Vegeta under her wing, but he couldnít really say anything. He was too frightened of Vegeta. Bulma could see he wasnít going to be any help. She let out an exasperated squeak of desperation.
Bulma was upset, but it was more because of the way her body was reacting to Vegeta then the fact that he was joining them. And now her mother was sticking up for him! This could ruin everything. "Fine!" Bulma said in defeat. "But he better behave himself." She spun around and stormed out. Her parents went after her followed by Vegeta who was still smirking to himself. This could be a lot of fun, he thought to himself.
The drive to the Italiano was quiet. Bulma was driving like a maniac and it was all her parents could do to hang on. Vegeta sat with his arms folded reveling in the effect he was having on the woman.
Little did he know how right he was. Bulma couldnít concentrate on anything, but Vegeta in the back seat. She was getting more and more frustrated with her inability to control her thoughts. Finally they arrived at their destination. The little restaurant glowed with in the fading light. It was situated away from the city in a very romantic little spot in the hills. The small building sat on the shore of a small mountain lake and cast an enchanting reflection on the water. Stepping out of the car Dr. Briefs made a mental note to make sure he drove home. Mrs. Briefs relaxed instantly as her eyes settled on the beautiful scenery. As they walked up the boardwalk, Bulma smiled at her motherís exclamations. She was pleased she had chosen this place. The smells of Italian food drifted out the open window along with sounds of a band playing bittersweet melodies of authentic Italian songs.
Inside, Bulma was swept away, by the charm of the little place. The open room was draped
in holy and other greenery. There were several tables with red and white-checkered tablecloths that all had candles in bottles and breadsticks as centerpieces that surrounded the center dance floor. A few couples were enjoying the company of their partner, but most just watched. There were candles everywhere giving the whole place a very genuine-Italy type atmosphere. Everything was glowing; it warmed Bulmaís heart.
A hostess seated them at a table for four and gave them all menus. Then she excused herself to bring them their water.
"Why, Bulma, this places is so enchanting. Where ever did you hear of it?"
"Yamcha used to bring me here," she said with some sadness. She wasnít sad about losing, Yamcha, that was over and done with, but she was sad that she didnít have anyone to bring her here now. Unfortunately, everyone at the table took her look to mean she missed Yamcha. Vegeta scowled, he thought she was done with that fool. Not that he caredÖ
When the waitress, Lily by name, returned with their water she took their order. Vegeta let Bulma order for him, being as how he didnít speak Italian, and when all were done Lily sighed in shock. It was a big order for just four people, but not too big. Her uncle was a wizard at pumping out the best food very quickly.
Mrs. Briefs began talking about her and her husbandís trip to Italy a few years back, and how much this reminded her of their time there. Bulma listened with patience, her mind never wandering very far from the man sitting next to her. Vegeta was beginning to look bored. Then again, he usually looked bored, when he wasnít fighting someone or blowing things up.
A short time later their food arrived and he concentrated on eating while the others ate slowly and talked. When he finished, he sat, waiting for the others to finish so they could go home. Being a prince he was used to being polite, despite his discomfort. He began watching the couples on the dance floor. The song was faster now and they were mostly following a lead couple in some very complex steps. Vegeta had often seen people engaging in this thing called "dancing". Personally he didnít see the point, but as he watched he began to get caught up in the motion and the concentration required to perform such delicate steps.
Bulma noticed him watching and caught her breath. He was so handsome. As he gazed intently at the dancers, his eyes following their movement, his jaw clenched in concentration, his look was so intriguing. It was one she might get when calculating some in-depth equation that would solve some problem of the world. She looked away before he caught her staring. Or so she thought.
Vegeta had felt her eyes on him from the second her attention was on him. This puzzled him when she didnít make some comment to insult him or make him mad. She had simply looked at him as if trying to figure him out. That was a little unsettling to Vegeta. He turned barley catching her head turning away. She pretended to join in her parents conversation, but he knew she was still thinking about him from the way she kept giving half-way side glances in his direction.
A smile spread slowly up his face. Trying to get another look? Vegeta knew he looked good. He seldom donned this human apparel, but when he did he was not displeased with the results. He let his eyes wander over her face as she pretended to ignore him. She was pretty. Not as much as some women heíd beheld here on this planet, but she was not unpleasing to look at. Her shoulder length hair fell across her cheek in a most attractive way, and her eyes flashed in the candlelight. Not bad, not bad at all. And she has a very nice body, hidden under that sweater, as wellÖ His eyes drifted lower until he sensed her turning her head. It was his turn to look away. He looked back to the activity on the center floor. The song was just ending and people began to clap. Then the band began to play again, a slower ballad, this time.
"Vegeta, why donít you ask Bulma to dance." Bulma looked up sharply at her motherís comment and then glanced at Vegeta.
"Mother, Iím sure the prince of the Saiyans doesnít dance." She sounded a little perturbed at the idea and Vegeta was tempted to ask her just to fluster her more, but thought better of it. His joke could turn of him very quickly, besides she was right. A prince could make such a spectacle of himself by doing such a thing as dancing.
Bulma sat for an awkward moment before rising and announcing she was going to take a walk. Her parents just smiled at her and resumed their own reminiscing conversation. Bulma walked out the door and along the boardwalk. She shivered at the slight breeze and wrapped her arms around herself. Following the deck around the side of the building she walked along it to the waters edge. There were a few couples enjoying the romantic scene and taking full advantage of the rising three-quarter moon on the horizon. The sight was magical. Next time I dream I must remember this placeÖ She sighed loudly.
"Donít tell me you still miss that idiot boyfriend of yours." Vegeta spoke up from behind her. She was almost startled, but continued to stare ahead.
The prince wasnít too exited about being ignored. He stepped to her side and raised an eyebrow. "You know you are better off with out that weakling."
"You mean Yamcha? I know. Thatís not what I was thinking about." She could tell he was disturbed by her comments. In the old days she would have snapped at him and started a big old scene. She continued to watch the lights flicker off the water. "Why did you come out here anyway?"
"You expected me to stay in there with your parents drooling over each other as they were?" He sounded disgusted.
"Hmmm, I guess not. You must be terribly bored by all this." She sounded sad, that confused Vegeta even more.
"I donít really care. I just came because of the food, and because I knew it would annoy you." He smirked a little. When she didnít respond he looked out at where she was looking. This was a very stunning planet. There were so many surprises. The stars had come out at there was a small meteor shower in between the forested hills that ran along either side of the lake.
Suddenly Bulma burst out laughing.
"Whatís so funny?" Vegeta asked angrily. She just turned and walked back towards the building, still laughing. Women! Vegeta thought. I donít get them. He watched Bulma walk away for a second before following.
At home, in her own bed, Bulma remembered all that had happened that evening. It had turned out better then she had expected, considering. She just couldnít believe her luck! There she had been, standing under many shooting stars in one of the most romantic scenes she could imagine with the man she thought she loved, and he was only there for the food! And to annoy her! Had it been any other man he would have swept her away until they were just like the other couples there. As it wasÖ Oh, well, thatís my lifeÖ She drifted off to sleep, still laughing at her poor choice in men.
It was another one of those dreams. The ones where itís just all lights and sounds. The landscape crinkled and wavered first fast then slow then fast again. There were many different colors all swirling and dancing, transforming into something never imagined before. Sounds of patterns and rhythmus banging out to the beet of the floor. Then suddenly everything grew louder and faster swelling and growing, booming out louder and louder until it was suddenly silent. The anti-climax frozen like a still photograph. Then the colors dripped and ran like a chalk drawing in the rain, leaving behind one solid base color: red.
Bulma suddenly found herself standing in the middle of a great red place. Looking around she could see no seems of dimensions, just red. Red everywhere. The color of blood. Bulma shuddered in her sleep. But also the color of loveÖ
Before her the red wall divided smoothly and silently like a curtain of silk to reveal a figure. Just a black blob, like looking through a telescope thatís out of focus, she watched it come towards her. She felt no fear, no excitement. As it got closer it began to take shape, details formed and he came into focus.
She had know who it would be before she actually could see him clearly. "Hello, Vegeta," she said in a calm voice, as if she had been waiting for him. She turned and began to walk, he followed, his arms crossed behind him. They walked for an eternity in dreamtime, saying nothing, just walking side by side, as equals, companions. Then her peace was shattered when Vegeta stopped and reached out to her. He wound his fingers around her elbow and turned her slowly.
"This can not continue. I need to reach out to you, but I cannot unless you come to me first. I need you to wake me up, Bulma. No matter what I say, what I doÖ you must bring me to you. Forgive me for what I will do, donít let me get away. We must be together."
"Vegeta, IÖ donít know if I can. I donít know if Iím strong enough to love you."
"If you cannot then I will be doomed. You are the strongest. I believe in you. You are the only one who can conquer me. PleaseÖ" He pleaded with her; Bulmaís heart was braking.
"But, what ifÖ"
His finger covered her lips. "No more buts, if you do not I am lost. Donít let me goÖ" with that he stepped back and melted back into the red from whence he had come. As she felt herself float to the top of her conscious she thought, Why is he always disappearing like that?
When Bulma awoke she came to the sudden realization that she had to do something, or this unquenched desire was going to tear her apart. She crawled out of bed and walked to her vanity. Sitting in her chair she gazed at her reflection. Besides the residue of sleep in her eyes she was still a pretty girl. She sat up straight and began brushing her hair. As she watched herself she began to gain confidence. There is nothing I couldnít do, but Iíve let myself get down because of fear. Well, it wonít stop me any more. Dreams or no dreams Iím going to be better then ever before. This single thing has got to goÖ And Iím going to get me some new clothes and start taking myself more seriously. Not anyone, Not Vegeta, not my father, not any stupid nightmare is going to keep me from being happy!
With that she rose, showered dressed and went down stairs. The typical morning scene lay before her. Her father was reading the paper and sipping coffee, but only for a few more minutes, then he would be off the lab. Vegeta was busy devouring whatever food her mother had prepared for him, this morning it was scrambled eggs and pancakes, but he too would finish quickly and disappear into the gravity chamber. Her mother was sipping tea and smiling over the happy peaceful scene before her that meant she had a happy normal life. Bulma entered the kitchen and smiled. For weeks she had been faking her smiles, but this was real and genuine. It was amazing how a little thing as a smile could make you feel so much better.
"Morning, Dad, Mom." She received a nod and smile from her father from behind his paper and a "good morning" from her mother. She gave her mom a swift kiss on the cheek and turned to the "other" occupant in the room who hadnít even graced her with his typical rolling-of-the-eyes.
"Good Morning, Vegeta." He grunted and she sat down while her mother brought her own plate of eggs and a glass of orange juice. She began eating slowly. "So, Vegeta, what are you up to? In the gravity room, I mean. Have you reached 700 Gís yet?" She gave him a curious look in between bites. He looked at her as if she had just said she was going to start dating Krillin because she liked his baldhead. She had to hold back the urge to laugh.
Vegeta quickly regained his composure and grunted again. "Why would you care what level Iím at? I thought you hated fighting and training."
Bulma knew he would react this way. She already knew that he hadnít reached it yet, and confessing that would make him look weak, something he hated. "Iím just wondering when itíll need another upgrade, is all." She said with total innocence. The confident flirt is back. I am the woman!
She did laugh a little at the uncomfortable way Vegeta was squirming. He was backed into a corner and he knew it. "Of course. I have exceeded that." He lied. It must be really bad for Vegeta to lie, she had always thought that was something he despised. Obviously he hated looking weak more.
"Well then you shouldnít be using it until I can get it upgraded. Itís dangerous to push it to such limits. I have to do some shopping this morning, but I should be free this afternoonÖ Until then, youíll just have to find something else to do." She replied smugly knowing that he was about to blow. She had seen the anger rise as she spoke.
"I am not afraid of dangerous, woman!" he stood and yelled down at her. "I will be fine!" With that he turned and started out. Bulma wasnít about to let him get out of it that easily.
"Hey, Vegeta!" She called after him, he stopped and turned back, still fuming. "You didnít finish your pancakes." She said in a voice dripping with sweetness. He growled as he left. Point for me! Bulma mentally congratulated herself. Her parents were a little shocked, though.
Her mother looked at her with concern. "Are you sure itís safe to talk to Vegeta that way, dear? If he gets angry enough he could kill us all in the blink of an eye." Bulma smiled reassuringly at her mother.
"Donít worry, mom, I know what Iím doing. Did you have plans for this morning? I was wondering if you wanted to go shopping with me." Her motherís eyes lit up and she forgot all about the stubborn prince.
"Iíll get my purse!" She left to get her things while Bulma finished her breakfast. Her father finished reading his paper and got up to leave.
"I suppose I better get to work on that upgradeÖ" His mustache twitched a little.
Bulma reached out a hand and caught his arm. "Donít you dare! I told Vegeta Iíd take care of that when I got home."
"Yes, but Iím sure heíll continue to use it until then, and thereís a chance he could get hurt." Her father wasnít really worried about Vegeta personally, just the gravity room. Heíd probably consider it a blessing if Vegeta were to get killed.
"Not any more then usual. Itíll be fine, dad. Besides, I have something special in mindÖ" Her father caught the malicious look that flashed in her eyes. He was a little worried that she would get them in some kind of trouble, but didnít think that he could say anything to dissuade his daughter.
"Alright. Iíll leave him to you, but be careful. Donít do anything stupid." With that he left for his lab. Bulma finished her breakfast and was carrying her dishes to the sink when the phone rang.
"Hello?" She picked it up after the second ring.
"Hello? Ms. Briefs?" The voice on the other end was very masculine and slightly familiar.
"Yes, this is her."
"This is Dr. Lane. I, uh, just wanted to call you about that information you requested." Bulma smiled. He sounded a little nervous. "I had my secretary set up an appointment with my friend Dr. Banks, if your still interested. Itís not for a couple weeks, I thought that might give you time to think about what we talked about."
"Yes, I have thought a lot about what you suggested and it seems to be helping quite a bit. If things keep looking up, I wonít need your friends help, but I donít want to toss that possibility out yet."
Bulma took down the information and pinned it to the bulletin board. Then she dodged several attempts of flirtation by the doctor and insisted that sheíd let him know how things turned out. After she had hung up she went to meet her mom and they headed off to do some serious damage to the credit cards.
A few hours Bulma and Mrs. Briefs came home, both were laughing and chattering on happily. The shopping spree had been very successful. They entered the house carrying several bags each.
Vegeta was just finishing his forth set of pushups when the banging started. At first he ignored it, but the acoustics and the increase in pounding soon became too much for his fragile Saiyan ears to handle. He yelled in exasperation and turned the gravity machine off. When he opened the door he found the same cheerful face that had been haunting him all morning. First she torments me at breakfast and now she has the nerve to interrupt my training?! "What do you want, woman?!" He roared at her.
"Well, isnít someone unnecessarily grumpy today?" Bulma smiled up at him. "I guess I wonít come work on the gravity machine." She turned and began to walk away. Mentally counting down, 3,Ö2,Ö
"Wait!" Vegeta called after her still sounding angry and frustrated.
Bulma smiled again and whirled around to face him batting her eyes as she had this morning. "You mean, you do want me to improve your toys?" His face grew even more intense and dark.
"The Prince of the Saiyans does NOT play with toys." He spit through gritted teeth.
Bulma realized that she might be pushing him too far. "Whatever," she dropped her tone into a more normal fighting type voice. "Listen, if you want me to add my new stuff to your "training facility", then you are gonna have to pay for it. I need someone to help me unload my car. You help me do that and Iíll work on this."
Bulma didnít really know how he would react to such an ultimatum, but she should have. " I am not your little peon that you can order around as you please. I donít do favors for anyone, least of all a weak little human female like you." He stared at her, waiting for her response. Bulma figured that he was just trying to get back at her for this morning, and she wasnít going to give him the pleasure of getting to her.
"Since when does a prince pass up the opportunity to save a damsel in distress? Besides itís not like you Ďd be doing it as a favor. Heaven forbid you help someone of your own free will. Itíd be a trade of services. I so something in return for something you did." She reasoned with him, not because she needed the help, really, her and her mom could have unloaded the car by themselves, but she wanted to see it she could get him to do it. He had never once said thank you for what they had done for them. Never once had he repaid them for the roof they put over his head and the food they provided and the use of the gravity chamber. He just demanded and took and took some more. And she wanted to see if he would submit to her orders.
If he had know that he would have just slammed the door in her face and continued with his push-ups, but Vegeta was curious as to why the female was acting so strangely, first last night, then this morning and now this challenge. He also wanted to see what new toys she would be able to supply for his use. "Fine." He said and followed her towards her car. He scrutinized her every move, watching for some hint to the purpose of her behavior.
Bulma was doing flips and summersaults, inside. She couldnít let Vegeta know she was so glad he had agreed to help her, because then he wouldnít, but her insides were ecstatic. Vegeta followed her round the house to the driveway where her car was parked. She walked to it and opened the trunk. Vegeta stared in amazement at the plethora of boxes and bags packed tightly into the large trunk.
"You get these, Iíll get the rest of the ones from the back seat." Bulma said matter-of-factly.
"You mean there are more?" Vegeta peeked inside and sure enough, the back seat had several stacks of bags and boxes. "Woman, you were only gone for a couple hours! How in the world did you manage to purchase all of these things in such a short amount of time?" Vegeta was astonished.
Bulma gave him a proud look. "Itís called power shopping, Vegeta. Itís tacked me years of practice and training in order to master this skill." She was only half way mocking him. He didnít seem to notice. "Come on, Iíll load you up." She walked back to the rear of the car and started retrieving the items stored there. "Vegeta, hold out your arms."
Vegetaís attention came back and did as he was instructed. Bulma piled boxes into his arms until they were stacked well over his head. "How am I supposed to find my way to the house if I canít see, woman?" Vegeta had regained in sarcastic and angry composure.
"Use the forceÖ" Bulma muttered under her breath.
"What force?" Vegetaís super hearing caught her remark, but his Saiyan culture did not.
"HereÖ" Bulma gripped Vegetaís shoulders from behind and gently turned him towards his destination. "Go that way."
Vegeta started to protest at his treatment, but Bulma swiftly slid another bag into the space between his face and his load, shutting him up. Then she nudged him forward with a hand on his back. She walked him to the house hearing his mumbled cursed through his makeshift gag.
Vegeta wasnít sure why he didnít just drop his cargo and walk away, but he told himself it was because of their deal, service for service. But he was still very displeased at her treatment of him. When they reached the living room, after only hitting one doorframe, he let his arms drop the stuff not-so-gently onto the couch.
"Hey, careful with thatÖ!" Bulmaís protest was cut off when she saw the look on Vegetaís face.
"Whatís the idea, trying to humiliate me like that? Youíre just having fun with me, arenít you? Well, no more. Iíve done my part, and Iím not going to help you anymore. Iím through being your toy! I am Vegeta, the prince of the SaiyansÖ"
"Öthe prince of the SaiyansÖ" Bulma mouthed along to his lecture, only managing to make Vegeta more furious.
"And I am no oneís pack mule!" He finished by yelling into her startled face. Oops, I guess I went too far again, Bulma swallowed.
"Ok, Vegeta, thatís good enough." She pretended to shrug him off and dismiss him, as if had been her idea that he stopped all along. She turned and started to go back to the car to finish her job.
She felt a rough hand grab her shoulder and turn her around. She was inches from his flashing black eyes. Wow, I could fall foreverÖ Her thoughts were interrupted, however, as he began to spit harsh words into her face.
"Listen to me, you ugly, pathetic, witch, I could kill you in a second, if I wanted, too, and right now thatís starting to look like a good idea. It would rid me of all your nagging and tormenting and screeching all in one blow and not feel the least bit of guilt about the whole thing."
Is he trying to convince me, of himself? Bulma thought. "But VegetaÖ" she questioned quietly.
"What!?" he roared back.
"If you kill me now, then I wonít be able to keep my part of our bargain and youíll have carried these packages in for nothing." Bulma got more confident as she saw him react.
What is she trying to pull? Vegeta was curious as to the femaleís motives, but he did admire her courage. If he had said that to anyone else they would have been sniveling and begging for their life. His expression slowly lightened. "You are absolutely right." He said and released her arm
"I am?" Bulma looked a little stunned, she hadnít know exactly how she was going to get out of that one, but things were looking better. She had given him an excuse for his pride to spare her. Way to go, girl! She congratulated her self and even risked a small smile.
"Yes, you are." Vegeta walked to the door and then turned back. "Remind me to kill you after you fix my machine." He smirked as her smile dropped. This is more like it. Donít like it too much when the taunting tables are turned, do you? Vegeta gave her a very familiar smirk and then walked out.
When Vegeta was gone Bulma resumed her work. She got her mother to help her unload the rest of the car. Then they went through each thing and retold how cute or stylish it was and why they bought it and when the were planning on wearing it, etc, etc ,etcÖ
By the time Bulma had finished putting away everything she had purchased it was dinnertime. Vegeta didnít come in from the gravity room, but that didnít surprise Bulma one bit. He had been pretty angry at her earlier and she figured sheíd give him a little while longer to cool off before she began round three.
Her and her parentís ate and then Bulma gathered the remaining food and some of her tools from her lab and started out. The door to the gravity room was open and Bulma figured that Vegeta was expecting her. Note to self: She thought, Try to be less predictable in the future. She stepped inside, her confidence faltering a little. She wondered it this was a good idea; maybe Vegeta really did intend to kill herÖ thatís ridicules. Come on, you canít give up now! Her mental encouragement helped and she strode into the room with her head held high and a smile on her face.
"Vegeta?" She called. At first there was no answer, She looked around the large room, but the large column in the middle made it impossible for her to see everywhere. She walked to the control panel to check what level he had been training at. 635 Gís, wow! Heís been pushing himself way too hard. Itís a good thing I decided to upgrade, today. Heís closer to the max then I thought. Itís amazing he hasnít had more accidents then he hasÖ She felt more then heard the figure approach form behind her. She tried not to look frightened as she turned.
As she thought, it was Vegeta, but her mind had imagined any number of horrible apparitions.
It was hard not to let relief flood over her face. "Geez, Vegeta, you could give a girl a heart attack. You shouldnít sneak up on people. Itís not polite."
"Not to mention that it usually results in the person shrieking until theyíve given you a pounding headache." He stepped beside her, he still looked upset and he sent her several chilling looks. He examined the capsules she held in her hand. She could almost see his nostrils flaring as he tried to sniff out the contents of them.
Bulma loved it and Vegeta hated it that he couldnít detect anything once it was capsulated. Bulma figured it made him feel out of control. "I brought you some food, but maybe Iíll make you guess which one itís inÖ" She searched his face for reaction. Again, he had anticipated her being in a teasing mood and his face showed no change as he picked up the capsules one by one and looked them over.
She had four capsules: One with food, one with tools and two with parts. He looked them over carefully before pressing the button on one of them. It was the one with food.
"Wow, Iím impressed. First try evenÖ" She tried to sound sarcastic, but she really did wonder how heíd guessed correctly.
"Not very impressive, actually. I just studied the different labels. This one was a temporary all-purpose one, so chances were it was the one with the meal." He sounded like some kind of robot, spouting of facts.
Now whoís acting weird? Whatís up with Vegeta? She decided to get to work and unencapsulated the other things she needed while Vegeta ate. She was dressed especially in her overalls and her favorite belly shirt. She opened up the front panel and began to work her magic.
A while later Vegeta finished eating and began to do a few minor exercises. Bulma kept working and pretended not to notice he had removed his shirt and was now giving her the occasional glance to see if she was watching. Vegeta knew how great his body was and he never hesitated to remind Bulma of that fact. It was becoming more and more difficult to concentrate on the work at hand. Well, two can play that game. Bulma very quietly undid the clasps on the straps that connected to the bib on her pants. She worked for a few minutes before she knew the straps had slid of her shoulder with her movements. She stood up and stretched her arms above her head exposing her bare midriff almost to the bottom of her bra. Her pants snuggled down around her hips and hugged them nicely. She almost lost her cool exterior when Vegeta did a double take. Bingo! Eat your heart out, Vegeta! His eyes wondered over her for mere seconds before he returned to his training. Bulma went back to work, herself. This could be a long night, Vegeta thought.
He was wrong, however. Bulma quickly finished her repairs and left with out further incident. After the dismissive look Vegeta had given her she had decided not to try anything else. Partly she had lost her confidence; partly she just wasnít sure what to do. How did one go about seducing the "Prince of the Saiyans"? Bulma wasnít didnít know, but she was sure of one thing. She needed a plan of attack.
The next day was every uneventful, things went mostly as normal, with the exception that Bulmaís thoughts were preoccupied with how to go about telling Vegeta what she felt. Should I just blurt it out? No, heíd just laugh at me. Thereís always the sexual partÖ I could do the seduction thingÖ Somehow Bulma didnít think that a purely physical relationship was what she wanted. Since her childhood she had fantasized about someday having a real boyfriend, someone who loved her and who would take care of her. The more Bulma thought about it she wondered how in the world she was going to tame the Saiyan PrinceÖ It would help if she knew exactly how he thought of her, but he was so unreadable!
Bulmaís day continued in this manner as she pondered her options and tried to come up with the best solution. When night came Bulma found it hard to sleep. She hadnít come up with any ideas, and she still had many thoughts buzzing inside her head. When she finally did sleep it was a restless and haunted sleep.
Her feet pounded across the pavement echoing hollowly into the cold open air. She could hear the sounds of death approaching from behind coming like tidal wave of fear and corruption and pain. It was like the sound of crunching bones and swarming insects and nails on a chalkboard all in one. As it approached from behind she felt herself losing speed. Her legs seemed to slow and get very heavy, as if she were wading through knee-deep water. Her panic rose and intense need to get away overcame her, but her feet seemed waited down and wouldnít comply.
Her back began to tingle and her hackles rose down her spine. Time froze for a fraction of a second before resuming. Bulma jerked to a stop. Now instead of being all alone on a dark, abandoned avenue she was in the middle of a green field with dozens of other people. Her friends and family swarmed around her unaware of the impending horror that still lurked on the horizon. When she had jumped here the sound had dropped to a dull whisper, like the radio playing in another room, but it was still there and growing again.
She tried to warn those around her, but they only smiled at her pleasantly and went on their way. Bulmaís voice wasnít reaching their ears. She felt a sense of helplessness overtake her. The sky darkened and fell, squishing everyone except Bulma. She stared in silent fear at the blackness around her. Alone, Iím aloneÖ Those words repeated in her mind over and over. The ground swirled around her feet into a great whirlpool that she let swallow her completely.
When she opened her eyes she was lying on a cold metal grating. The walkway that surrounded the pentolater. She stood and looked around. Through the big glass window she watches as the scene played out. She could see Jaken entering the code into the main computer. Just as he finished she watched herself burst into the observation room by means of the side door. In front of her eyes she watched her and her old assistant talk to each other. She could hear nothing, however, because the inner chamber was sound proof with out the speaker system being turned on. It was like watching a blue and gray silent movie.
She began to pound her fist on the window. Anything to make them stop. "Stop!" She screamed at the two figures. "Donít do this!" They canít hear me! The computer was now announcing the shutdown and deactivation of the pentolater project. Behind her she heard the metallic sounds of it completing itís work. Alarms flashed red, mixing with the blue to make a very depressing purple shadow. She saw Jaken turn and look out the window. Yes! I can her his attention! She waved her arms frantically, but he seemed to look right through her. He canít see me? She made her way to the exit door the one that led to the airlock, but she was stopped by a new sound. One too familiar. Stopping dead in her tracks she turned to face the monster she knew was there. It loomed over her, itís mouth open in a buzzing, ringing roar.
"YOU CANíT STOP ME! IT WILL HAPPEN! YOU WILL KILL HIM!" It laughed at her feeble attempts to change the outcome.
"Thatís a lie I can stop it!" Bulma ran for the door and managed to get it sealed before she felt it lunge after her. She scrambled for the other door to follow herself inside. There she found everything going as she remembered.
~ "You did all this because you wanted more credit on the Pentolater project?"
Jaken smirked. "That, and it gave me a perfect opportunity to test out one of my completed experiments you cut budget for after the merger. It really worked quite perfectly, my little mind manipulation machine. Ingenious really, I built it on the same principles as the Pentolater only with out the radiation. It stimulated electromagnetic pulses in your brain and broke down the barriers between you conscious and your unconscious thoughts. You were literally living in your dreams. You should thank me really. Not everyone gets such a clear look at their most desired fantasies and worst nightmares. Yours were particularly interesting. You are afraid of loosing your family, being raped, hurting other people, and being judged by the ones you care most about. You hate the thought of being betrayed, you are afraid of death and you like taking cold baths out in open."~
Bulma tried to get the attention of the two players, but they looked right through her as if she were a ghost of phantasm of some kind. Out side the window she saw the black atrocity pointing and laughing at her. She had no choice but to watch in horror as the rest of the event played out.
~"You were watching?" Bulma shivered at the thought. He saw what Goku did, and me and VegetaÖ
Jaken was quite pleased at her reaction. "Yes, quite a unexpected side effect was the ability to watch your dreams and even manipulate them as I willed. That Black Monster was one of my own touches. As well as that last scene, I needed something good to convince you to give me the code."
"Well it might have workedÖ"~
The realization suddenly hit Bulma. Of, course! Jakenís machine! The purple and gray world around her seemed to melt and run into nothingness.
She sat upright in bed. The clock read 5:15, but Bulma only glanced at it briefly before she leapt from bed and hurried to get ready for work. She showered in under ten minutes and was dressed in fifteen. She didnít bother with make-up, there wouldnít be anyone else there this early anyway. On her way out of her bedroom she was still trying to pull on her shoes when she bumped in to two solid legs.
"Uuhhf!" Bulma fell back onto her backside. "Hey!" she looked up at the familiar frown of her royal houseguest. "Oh, Vegeta, itís you! Sorry about thatÖ"
"Just watch where your going from now on." He turned and started down the stairs without another word. "Clumsy woman" he muttered under his breath, just loud enough for her to hear.
Why am I apologizing to him? Itís as much his fault as mine, and he didnít even help me up! Bulma thought as she stood. "Vegeta!" The tone of her voice was enough to freeze the prince in his tracks. "Why do always have to go around being mean to everybody, hu? I feed you, I give you a place to sleep and train; without me you wouldnít have a chance of getting as strong as Goku. Even with my help thatís a slim thing, but you are so caught up in beating yourself up that you donít even notice that life is going on around you!" She was in his face and she could see the anger building in his eyes at her words.
"I will beat Kakarott, and when I do, I fully intend on destroying this pathetic planet, right along with you and the rest of your weakling friends!" Vegeta pushed her out of the way and walked downstairs. A few seconds later she heard the door slam. On further inspection she found the door to still be connected to itís a frame and concluded that Vegeta had been holding himself back.
She fumed in anger as she got her keys and left for work. As she pulled out of the driveway she saw lights flashing in the gravity room, through her rearview mirror. Stupid baka! What if he meant what he said about destroying the earth? Then Iíd be helping him reach his goal even faster. No! I just wounded his pride by what I said about not beating Goku. He couldnít even break the door; heíd never be able to hurt me. He drive to work was short and she soon pulled into the empty parking lot. There were only a few cars were scattered sporadically, mostly night guards.
She made her way inside and into the elevator. She felt a growing sense of anticipation as she neared the twentieth floor. She had promised herself she would go back to work today, but now, as the walls closed in and the floor began to tilt, Bulma wasnít sure if this was such a good idea. Get a hold of it, girl! She closed her eyes tight and gripped the railing. Her balance returned and she opened her eyes as the doors opened. She stepped out, still feeling anxious, but not as nauseated. Instead of walking straight to meet the guard she turned left down the hall to where the offices were. She walked slowly past the doors marked "Dr languin Soto" and her own small office that she never used. She finally came to the door with the nameplate that read "Jaken Phillips". It wasnít looked, so she just opened the door and stepped in, turning on the lights. She quickly scanned the small room with its desk and filling papers, papers were scattered everywhere. On the drafting desk to the right she saw what she had come for.
When they had pulled it from her office she had told them, over the phone, to just have it sent down here. She didnít feel right about confiscating it from JakenÖ she had taken so much from him already. There was a small, normal looking light bulb, that was actually the only piece pulled from her office upstairs, the rest had already been here. The small viewing screen and virtual reality head gear that plugged into a mixer like box. She was sure that when Jaken had discovered the ability to affect her dreams as well as just watch them he had run out and purchased the VR set and just wired it into his machine in a matter of minutes. He had been a true genius. It was such a shame he had been halfway crazy as well.
The light bulb, as far as they had been able to tell was a two-way transmitter receiver that created the electromagnetic pulses that knocked you unconscious and manipulated your brain waves. Then it broadcast them to the mixer like thing that translated them into viewable images. The VR gear was how he sent his images back through the mixer and into the persons dream. It was quite remarkable, and most of it she figured he discovered by accident.
Bulma planned to send this little invention to "the basement" where they kept all the failed of dangerous things that were built at Capsule Corps. But first she was going to use it to solve her little "problem".
She packed up the equipment in an all-purpose capsule and then left. On the drive home, Bulma felt a little bit of guilt creep in about the ethnics of what she had planned for Vegeta. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures! Besides, after this morning he deserved it. She figured she was doing it to ensure the safety of the Earth. To see if Vegeta had been telling the truth this morning, and if he had, to make sure Goku stopped him now, while he still could.
In reality her reasons were much more selfish and carnal, but these excuses made the trip home more bearable. She even made a few previously unscheduled stops.
Later that night Bulma waited impatiently for Vegeta to finish his training and go to bed. She had installed the dreamlight in Vegetaís bedroom thinking that if she waited till he was asleep to turn it on, heíd think it was all a real dream and not get suspicious. But he didnít seem to be cooperating this evening. It was after eleven. Vegeta usually finished before ten, ate and then went to sleep. She wondered what was keeping himÖ
ÖVegeta could feel the weariness seeping into his muscles, but his anger kept him going. All day he had pushed himself to the max trying to forget the words of a particular female, but trying to ignore it only seemed to bring it closer into his thoughts. He couldnít bare the thought that that woman thought him as weak and dependant, but what bothered him even more is that she might be right.
When she had bumped into him this morning he had first wondered what she was doing up so early, but then he had had to suppress the sudden urge to help her up. Of all the stupid, weakÖ! Even now as he thought about it he sent a flying kick at an imaginary foe and let out a cry of rage and frustration. He had ignored the call to breakfast and lunch, and since they had come only from Mrs. Briefs and not Bulma, he had been allowed to. Usually, if he tried to refuse a meal he only met with the tenacious nosiness of that obnoxious woman, but today he hadnít heard a word from her. Except for this morningÖ He almostÖ He blocked out any thoughts and blanked his mind. He pushed back all emotions and feelings and focused on perfecting his right upper-hook.
A few minutes later his legs gave out and he fell to the floor. Crawling over to the control panel he shut off the gravity and tried to get his labored breathing under control. When he had enough strength to stand to opened the door and made his way towards the main house. He was glad to discover there were no lights on. They must all be asleep, so much the better. He slipped unnoticed in the back door, through the kitchen, (pausing briefly to pick out a quick snack), up the stairs, and into his room. Or so he thought. With his door closed, he laid back on his bed and fell asleep.
Bulma heard his door shut and jumped up from her bed. She had almost fallen asleep, but now she was wide-awake. She rushed to her desk where she had assembled Jakenís dream-fluxometer. She had dubbed it that after a small inspection earlier that day. Since there was no instruction manual and she didnít really know how it worked she had spent most of the day in her lab analyzing the strange invention. She had figured out how to work it almost immediately and had even found some of Jakenís notes tucked under some of the paneling. Just basic operations and a few safety rules, and such, but they had been very useful.
She hesitated for only a second before switching the dream light on. She had installed a video camera in Vegetaís room and she could see him lying on the bed with his eyes closed. When the light was activated he twitched slightly and then lay perfectly still. The other monitor showed results almost instantaneously. Vegeta was lying in the red dirt of a foreign planet. Show time! Bulma pulled on the VR gloves she had bought on her way home and slid the headpiece over her eyes. She was now standing next to Vegeta. At first she was a little panicked. She didnít really want him to see her yet. She wanted to observe for a while, see what some one like Vegeta dreamed about, but as he opened his eyes and looked around he looked right through her. Cool, looks like Vegeta doesnít see me till I want him to. She didnít even want to think about where Jaken would have been in her dreams. She waited patiently for things to progress.
Vegeta stood and looked around. He was standing in the middle of the Mak-aliyie Desert of Vegetasei. The red dust swirled around his white boots. He was dressed in his royal armor that included shoulder pads and waist skirt. Instinctively, he knew what was coming. "Show yourself!" He yelled out into the desert. Over the rocky horizon he saw several figures approach. He prepared himself for battle. One figure rested on the crest of one rocky plateau to watch the fight below. Ten or twenty other figures flew down towards the waiting prince. The other Saiyans looked the prince over.
Vegeta was suddenly eleven years old again. He felt the power of his older-self pulled from him, and he had to adjust quickly to the power loss, as three of the large armored guards charged him. He was fast enough to dodge their attacks and even land a few of his own. One Saiyan was swiftly put out of out commission, and then two. Five of the remaining Saiyan elite joined in battle with their Prince. Vegeta received a few blows, but kept up the fight, taking out three more elites. He kicked anther in the face and watched him drop. Vegeta felt two arms lock around him, in an attempt to hold him back.
The adrenalin flowed through him as he saw another flying forward with a grin on his face, ready to punch the harnessed boy. Vegeta had a smirk of his own, as he kicked out the knees of the Saiyan holding him and flung him against the oncoming warrior.
It was over in a matter of seconds. Vegeta, the victor, settled slowly to the ground and surveyed the fallen warriors. Then, proudly, he turned to the figure on the knoll. He knew what words were coming, but that didnít make them any less painful.
"Weak." The one word shot through Vegetaís chest and dissipated into the valley like a fog after the sun comes up. "Too slow, too merciful, too weak. You have much to learn before you are worthy of the title of prince." And with that his father turned his back on his son and walked away.
Vegeta sank to his knees. He relived this moment many times in his dreams, but this was more real, more painful than heíd ever experienced. Pushing back his hurt feelings and crushed pride he stood, with his chin high, and flew into the air.
Bulma gasped at the words of the dark spectator. The young Vegeta had executed the other Saiyans with amazing speed and deadly accuracy, and yet the man had refused to acknowledge his skills. She felt sorry for Vegeta. Who does that guy think he is?! Doesnít he know how damaging words like that can be to a kid? No wonder Vegeta turned out like he did.
When Vegeta took off Bulma was afraid that she would be left standing in the middle of the alien desert, but her genius intellect quickly picked up on the small fact that she could fly in Vegetaís dreams. So she followed him close, wondering what other revelations she would be enlightened upon.
The terrain below quickly changed from red rock to green tree. He was flying towards a small village of Hamlik-jin, a peaceful race that lived on a planet much like Earth. Vegeta watched as a teen-age version of himself destroyed the entire civilization as the stood their ground holding their loved ones. There had been no fight. They had simply surrendered and accepted their destruction with sorrowful faces. It had been his first purge, and at the time he had figured the race cowardly and sentimental. Men held their mates and their children their hands locked together in comforting hopeful prayers. A few of the smaller children had tears in their eyes, but the clung faithfully to their motherís bosoms, trusting in them as far as they could comprehend.
As Vegeta watched now, he saw that the faces that looked up at him were not sad because of their own destruction, but they seemed to be pleading with him not to do this for his own sake. That destroying them was only bringing more condemnation upon his head that they wished they were not a part of. They feared not for themselves, but for him. With this sudden realization Vegeta gasped. "Not cowardly. Brave."
They were not afraid of death and they faced it with true courage. He wanted to stop himself. Donít do it! His mind screamed, but his body, trained over many years that to show mercy was weak, could only watch as, one by one, the families were killed.
"Not cowardly. Brave." Bulma wondered what he meant. The scene bellow them had tears rolling down her face. How could you do it, Vegeta? How could you kill them all? She had know that his life before coming to Earth had been one of endless conquering and killing under Freeza, but not knowing the specifics had blurred that fact into obscurity. Bulma didnít think she liked knowing about all that Vegeta had done. It wasnít that she felt any less for him, she just questioned her sanity for loving such a mad man.
Then Bulma stopped. She landed on the ground in the center of the village. She was standing next to a male Hamlik-jin and his three small children. She could hear the words that were spoken, which meant that Vegeta had too. "Forgive him, my little ones," he said. "Forgive him, for he sends us to be with your mother."
"Yes, papa." Said the eldest, who was no more then six or seven. The other two shook their heads and agreed as well. Then they turned sad eyes to Vegeta who looked down on them with an angered face. With a yell he sent a ki blast that disintegrated the group instantly. Bulma sank to her knees. She could not be angry at Vegeta for this, only saddened. As she watched his face as he watched himself, she saw a flicker of pain, and sadness. Maybe heís sorry for what heís doneÖ Bulma pitied the prince even more. To be haunted by past deeds every night in your dreams is worse then anything I could ever experience. What a punishment...
Enough of this! Vegeta powered up and blasted away. He had never been one to run away, but he knew if he didnít get away quickly he might loose his mind. After a few seconds he stopped remembering that this was just one of his recurring dreams. Whatís nextÖ
Vegeta dreaded the response that quickly followed. He was now inside Freezaís ship. All around him were fellow lackeys for Lord Freeza. He was receiving the normal taunts from Zarbon and the other warriors and ignored them. Blasting them would have given him much pleasure, and he had even tried it a few times, but the outcome was always the same, as it was with all his recurring nightmares. Vegeta smirked in his own knowledge that when he finally awoke from this they would all be dead and he would be alive. He waited patiently for the call to come.
"Vegeta, Lord Freeza would like to have a word with you." Dedoria sneered from his place at the doorway to the recreational quarters.
Vegeta rose and walked the halls he knew so well. When he reached Freezaís throne room he waited for Freeza to speak. The cold-jin sat on his throne-like chair in his lavish apartment. Behind him the wall was one large window that viewed the stars that slipped past the ship at rapid speed. The sight was awe inspiring, but at the moment the company put a chill in the room that made it hard for Vegeta to enjoy.
"Vegeta, Iím so glad you could make it. I have some very important news! I just know your going to find this very interestingÖ"
"Can it, Freeza."
Freeza feigned shock. "What kind of way is that to treat the one who has taken you in and given you a place to stay, especially now that Vegetasei has been destroyed." Freeza unveiled his news expecting the Princes reaction to be one of horror and pain, but Vegeta already knew what Freeza was planning on saying. He had, after all, lived through this moment countless times in his dreams.
"I already know. And I also know that it was no meteor shower, but the betraying hand of the spineless Lord Freeza. I grow tired of this pointless scene." With that he raised his hand and sent a large ki blast at the glass window behind him. Smirking at the look of surprise that crossed Freezaís face.
Bulma watched as the window exploded, sending little shards of glistening glass that mixed with the flashing stars. All the air was quickly sucked from the room along with any objects that werenít bolted down. She found herself floating in the middle of space surrounded by sparkling stars and crystalline glass. It was breath taking. Literally.
She wondered if she could die here, being as it was just a state of mind, but knowing the powers of the mind, Bulma didnít feel like testing it out. She searched around for Vegeta and spied him not far from her drifting on his back with his eyes closed and a smile on his face. He looked at peace, and he was breathing. He must know itís a dream; otherwise he wouldnít have done that. And heís perfectly fine. Thinking fast she took this into account along with the power of suggestion and all she knew about the mind and came to the rapid conclusion that it could only hurt her if she thought it could. But it wasnít as simple as just taking a breath. Everything around her screamed that she was just about to die, because space was a vacuum and there was no air. She pushed off a large bowl that had contained some kind of alien fruit before being sucked into the great beyond. Only a few more feetÖ
Vegeta was reveling in the peace around him. He just wanted to drift into the darkness and become part of the nothingness. He was wondering when unconsciousness was going to overtake him when he felt the grip of a small hand on his arm. Startled he grabbed the arm and opened his eyes. Bulma! What is she doing here? Sheís never been in this dream before. Looking into her frightened eyes he knew she was suffocating. Now Iíve gone and killed her as well. He gripped her shoulders and looked her in the eyes. "Breath, woman." He said sternly. Her eyes widened in panic and she shook her head. Her mouth formed the words ĎI canítí. Her hand on his arm began to slip away and her eyes drifted shut, she was passing out. Vegeta knew that would mean her death. He also knew that he could breath fine, and that he didnít want her to die.
Pulling her forward he brought his mouth to hers blew air into her lungs. He felt when her lungs filled with air and she became lucid again.
The lightheaded felling didnít go away when she felt he lips press against hers, but it did change. She could breath again, the life giving air was filling her body, but for a minute she put it on hold. She closed her eyes again and leaned into his mouth, only to feel him pull way as her tongue brushed his lips. She looked at his face that registered only confusion. She was breathing on her own now because she was no longer thinking about her surroundings. It was only her and Vegeta, and she wasnít going to let him get away from her.
Vegeta looked into her blue eyes and wondered again why she was here in this dream. He had dreamt about her before, of course, but it was never in one of his recurring nightmares. The elements of those were always the same unless he did something to change them. Did I bring her here? Did I wish her here because I wanted to save her? Was it because I wanted a chance to redeem my self, or was it part of my guilt trying to torment me by endangering her life? Or did I just want her here with meÖ That of course was ridiculous. Thatís what Vegeta told himself, any way. I know that I am physically attracted to this human, but could it be more then that? His thoughts were cut off as she leaned in and brushed her lips against his. They were warm and soft, and molded perfectly with his.
Vegeta felt her delicate fingers slid over his cheek and ear and settle in his hair. Her tongue, again, touch on his lips, asking permission. He granted it.
In the middle of the wide-open expanse of outer space Vegeta wrapped his arms around Bulmaís waist and she hugged his neck. Together they danced through glittering fragments of starlight and glinting glass. They hung there, with no gravity in a seemingly eternal kiss.
Bulma pulled the VR gear off her head and flipped the switch on the fluxometer to the off position. She was still breathing pretty heavily, and the memory of the kiss still fresh in her mind. It was so realÖ She looked at the clock. It was roughly an hour after she had turned the machine on. She decided to get some sleep, she did have to work in the morning. Before she walked to her bed and got in she glanced at the other screen. Vegeta was lying on his bed, his covers were strewn around his prone body and he had a smile on his face. Bulma smiled and turned the screen off. Good night my PrinceÖ
Vegeta wasnít sure when it was that Bulma disappeared, but he did know that he was warm and comfortable and he slept the rest of the night with out any more nightmares.
In the morning he rose early and prepared to train, as was his usual habit. He was confused over the dreams he had experienced the night before. He didnít know how to deal with his feelings for the woman, for now he was sure he had some. Should I tell her? What would she say? She would probably just laugh at him. Then she would be angry, especially if she knew about the dreams he had about herÖ No, I must never let her know how I feelÖ then with his self-pact for celibacy he stepped out of his room and made his way towards the stairs. As he passed Bulmaís room her heard a noise coming from inside. Curiously, he opened the door to take a peek.
The woman was wrapped in her sheets and was grinning in her sleep. She was also talking in her sleep.
"Stop that!" she said playfully to an unseen person. "Ugh, yes, you are such a great kisser!" She giggled and licked her lips. Then she turned over and mumbled into her pillow. Vegeta felt a knife through his chest. Sheís probably dreaming of that fool Yamcha, again. I thought they broke upÖ He suddenly realized that he was still watching her sleep and instantly felt a little guilty for peeping. He started to close the door when his eyes caught her desk in the corner of her room. On it were several pieces of machinery, it reminded Vegeta of the set-up that Bulma had in the rec. room upstairs. What was it calledÖ? A video game. Thatís strange. I thought she only had that for when that pathetic cue ball came over. She usually keeps her inventions in her lab down stairs, so it couldnít be that. Why does she have that in her room?
Vegetaís mind was filled with questions, but he pushed them back, scolding himself for having such an interest in such a weak earthling female. He closed the door and went down stairs.
Bulma awoke about ten A.M. and jumped out of bed. She had been having such a wonderful dream about Vegeta she hadnít gotten up in time. Oh, well, better late then neverÖ She showered quickly and went to work.
Things were dreadfully dull; all of the people were welcoming her back and asking her how she was doing. Everything was slow, and Bulma could hardly wait for that night. She had decided to go in again, only this time be more aggressive. She figured that Vegeta liked her, at least a little, after that kiss, he had to, but Bulma wanted to test him farther and see how extensive his feelings were before she tried to breech the subject in broad daylight. She couldnít keep her mind on her work and so she excused herself early with a headache.
At home, she sought out Vegeta, to see if he wanted to spar verbally. She found him on the back lawn doing some exercises while she saw her father doing some minor repairs on the Gravity Chamber. She decided to start right in.
"Whatís the matter, carrot-top, you brake your toy already?" She walked up to him. He was on the ground doing one-fingered pushups. He hardly glanced up at her to reply.
"Well, if you were smarter and could build a decent machineÖ" He smirked at her legs and followed them up to her knee length skirt. "donít feel too bad, though, there isnít much that can stand up to a Saiyan."
"Well, if you werenít so full of yourselfÖ Your gonna have to work for it this time, monkey boy. Maybe youíd play a little nicer if you had to do dishes every time we had to fix the gravity chamber, hu?"
"Donít even think of it, woman. You know I do not do dishes. Iím far to busy trying to get ready for those androids so I can protect your pitiful planet. You, on the other hand seem to have nothing better to do then pester me with you demeaning chores that were only meant for women in the first place."
Oo, one point for himÖ "A chauvinist then, are we? I see. You just make sure youíre grateful for those women and all the demeaning chores that they do for you; otherwise, you might find yourself catching your own food and doing your own laundry, not to mention fixing your own GC. Donít forget that you depend on me and my parents for your livelihood." That got him. Bulma laughed inside as the Saiyan got to his feet and looked her in the eye.
They were equal at eye level, only Vegetaís hair made him a few inches taller then her. She met his gaze in a challenging manner. "I donít need you or your house, or your food, or your Gravity machine. I donít depend on anything." He spit into her face.
"Ok, then. Why donít you go?" She knew he would never leave. They had had this discussion numerous times.
"Youíd like that wouldnít you? I wouldnít dream of forfeiting the opportunity to torment you. Besides, I know how much you would miss me."
"Oh, Vegeta, I didnít know you caredÖ" Bulma used that sweet puppy dog eyes look and stuck out her lower lip a tad. "Thatís so sweet!"
Vegeta growled. "Whatever, woman! Just remember that I stay here because I chose to stay here, and that is because it is the most convenient for me."
"Ok, Vegeta, whatever you say." Her tone indicated that she didnít believe him, but she didnít want to argue about it anymore. "Dinnerís in an hour, if dad isnít finished with the repairs by then you might join us for an evening of useless human sentiment and boring, pointless cultural rituals." She started walking away, her mockery was very blatant, and she heard him grinding his teeth together. He didnít say anything, however.
"Oh, and donít worry, I wonít tell anyone." She said over her shoulder.
Vegeta was, needless to say, shocked and puzzled about her last words. He would have called after her, but he was painfully aware that she knew that he knew that she knew it would make him look like he cared. He growled again and went to see if the good Dr. was finished fixing his GC.
An hour later Dr, Briefs hung up the telecom and gathered his tools. "Sorry, Vegeta, Bulma said itís time for dinner and that Iíll have to finish tomorrow. She also said that if you wanted anything to eat this evening you would come in now and join us. You know how Bulma is." He walked towards the house.
Vegetaís stomach was growling and so was he. He hated giving in to that womanís whims. He stalked up to the house and went in the back door, his arms folded over his chest and his usual frown in place.
Inside, he sat down in his usual place at the table and waited. He was determined to eat as quickly as possible and leave just as quickly. Maybe if he went to bed early he would have more dreams aboutÖ Bulma!
She entered the dinning room with a dazzling smile. She had changed her clothes and was now wearing tight fitting blue jeans and a baggy, green knit turtleneck sweater. Her hair was curled and fell in waves around her face. She looked absolutely radiant. Vegeta quickly caught himself and looked away before anyone could catch him with his mouth open. He stared at the table and frowned harder then ever. He couldnít get out of his mind the way her pants hugged her hips or the way her sweater promised lustrous curves when ever she turned her body slightly or bent overÖ Vegeta desperately tried reciting all the Saiyan war cries that he could remember, which, at the moment, werenít very many.
Mrs. Briefs brought the food to the table and the others sat down. Vegeta began distracting himself with stuffing his face.
"Geez, Vegeta slow down. Your stating to eat like Goku." Bulma teased. Vegeta gave Bulma a death glare across the table. At any comparison to Goku he could feel his anger rising, but he fought to keep it under control because he knew that thatís the response that she wanted. He just gave a "humph!" and ate slower.
Although he knew he should be hating the entire experience, Vegeta found that he was enjoying the time he could spend with Bulma. And that made him angrier. The small table afforded room for four, with the Dr. and his wife sitting across from each other Vegeta was forced to sit opposite Bulma. Not that he minded too much. It gave him a better view. Occasionally, Vegeta would look up and find Bulma looking at him. She would give his a funny smile and go back to her food. He even felt something brush his leg under the table. At first he dismissed it, but then it became more frequent. It felt like some one was trying to remove his boot with their toes. He looked at Dr. Briefs and his wife, but they were caught up in discussing their vacation to America. That left Bulma. He searched her face, but she only stared at her plate and continued eating. Vegeta was puzzled. Whatís going on? He was about to look under the table when the mystery foot slid up his leg to tease behind his knee. He could tell Bulma had shifted in her seat a little, but other then that, his thoughts were caught up in the sensations that crept from his knee up to his groin. He tried to concentrate on his food once more, and would have found it extremely difficult if not for all his training in self-control.
His self-control was shattered when her foot found itís way higher and began caressing his inner thigh. His eyes jumped immediately to Bulma and he found her giving him a smoldering look.
"Whatís wrong, Vegeta? You look like you swallowed a bug. Youíre not choking, are you?" To her parents Vegeta was sure Bulma sounded genuinely concerned, but he could hear the taunting in her voice.
"Are you ok, Vegeta?" Mrs. Briefs asked.
"Iím fine!" He managed to choke out abruptly. Why is she doing this? She must love humiliating me in front of her parents. Vegeta gulped as he felt a set of toes touch the slight bulge in his pants.
"Glad to hear it." Dr. Briefs said and turned back to the conversation with his wife.
"Yes, very." Bulma breathed softly. She was now giving Vegeta a smoldering look with one eyebrow raised slightly. Vegeta closed his eyes and stifled a groan. He could feel the tightness increasing in his spandex suit. His food was entirely forgotten.
Bulma went back to her food and looked as though she were holding back a huge laugh. Her parents didnít notice any of it.
Vegeta was starting to lose control when the massaging appendage suddenly disappeared. He let out a large breath he hadnít even realized heíd been holding. Bulma stood and asked her parents if they were finished. The replied in the affirmative and she picked up their plates.
"Why, Vegeta, your not finished yet. When I said slow down I didnít mean stop completely." She said quickly and took off to the kitchen with the three plates. Vegeta inhaled the last of his meal and took off to his room before Bulma could return. He didnít want her seeing the effect she had had on him. He rushed into his small bathroom for a fast cold shower before bed; his mind in a whirl of confusion and unanswered questions. Even though it was only six oíclock, Vegeta felt exhausted and retired.
Bulma couldnít have been more pleased with the results of her latest experiment. She wanted to test Vegetaís control to see if it was even possible to seduce him, if she was ever had to resort to that. His reaction had been very typical and only slightly slower then a normal human males.
About eight oíclock she bid good night to her parents and went upstairs. As soon as she was in her room she shut her door and made a beeline for her desk. She turned on the monitor and found Vegeta already asleep, so she flipped the switch and pulled on the VR gear.
She was very surprised to find where she was. All around her were tall trees and heavy shrubbery. She explored a little and walked onto a very disturbing scene. The first thing she heard was a very familiar voice screaming a very familiar name. Her own voice, to be exact, yelling Vegetaís name. It echoed through the entire forest. Then she found them. Well, her and him.
On the ground in the middle of the woods Vegeta was giving it to a very exaggerated version of herself. How dare he have sex with me without my permission?! Then she remembered the dream she had had the night before and blushed slightly. Itís kind of flattering, if you think about it. I guess I had more of an effect then I realized. She felt a little dirt watching the two, but rationalized it, seeing as how she was one on the participants.
First of all, I am not that loud! And second, my hair isnít that long. On closer inspection she found that there were other discrepancies and flaws with Vegetaís image of her. They both climaxed and collapsed. Vegeta raised himself onto one elbow and brushed the hair from her (Vegetaís Bulmaís) eyes.
"I love you, woman. I wish I could tell you that." He whispered to the woman underneath him. She only smiled back up at him. Bulma felt her heart jump in her chest. "I hate that you tease me and play with me, but you would never let me have you."
Guilt overcame her. She never realized he felt so strongly about her, or she would have never played with is emotions like she had. The other Bulma just smiled. He doesnít know how I would react, thatís why she doesnít say anything. Itís time that changed.
She gave the mental command for things to change. The forest melted away along with the fake Bulma. Vegeta lay on the ground on his stomach and propped his chin up on his crossed arms. He looked so sad, like he was about to cry, but was programmed to hold it all back. Clothes, she thought. Vegeta was suddenly wearing a white tank top under a white button up shirt and black slacks. She though about her self and changed her outfit to include a dark purple gown with a v-neck and short sleeves. It fell to the floor of the black nothingness and gathered there in a flowing train. The empire-waist accentuated her slim waist and full breasts nicely and a slit to mid-thigh reveled just enough of her legs to be very tempting. Her hair still fell in gentle curls around her shoulders.
For the scenery she envisioned a rocky coastline with a path down to the beach and a moonlight ocean of midnight blue and black. The sky above was starlit and clear, with the full moon low in the ocean horizon, itís orb large and golden.
"Perfect", whispered Bulma.
Vegeta stood, wondering where he was, and why he would be dreaming of such a place. He did a quick search of the immediate surroundings and spotted Bulma, with her back to him looking over the edge of a tall cliff. The wind tossed her hair and dress gracefully and he walked towards her.
His insides were doing flip-flops, but his heart was still in torment. In his dreams he could have all the sex he wanted with the frustratingly gorgeous woman, but it was unfulfilling. He wanted more. I better take what I can getÖ he walked up behind her and slid his arms around her waist. She settled back against him and sighed.
"Oh, Vegeta. Is this all we are meant to have?" Her word echoed his thoughts. He took in the scent of her hair, different then usual. More like what she smelled like in real life. It was more stimulating then his dream girlís typical sweet smell. It was musky and exotic.
She turned in his arms to face him. "I wish you would just tell me, Vegeta. Swallow your pride and let me know how you feel. I wonít laugh. I love you, too. I want more for us then this. This is stale and meaningless. This world is made of thoughts and dreams. Well, I want the real thing!" Vegeta was a little puzzled. She was starting to get angry, impatient. His dream girl was never like this. This was more like the real Bulma. I must be getting better, or desperate.
When he didnít reply she pushed him back and turned away again. She was starting to cry. "Donít start making that annoying noise, now! I want more too, but I donít think you do. You are just saying what I would want you to say."
"Arenít you listening to me, Vegeta, you stupid thick-headed lunk? I said I love you! Why canít you accept that?! Is it because you donít want to look weak? Itís very brave to take a chance and express your feelings, it takes a lot of guts, you know! Is it because youíre afraid that I wonít reciprocate your feelings? Iím telling you right now that I do! Or is it that you are just afraid to really care? That if you care for me I can only hurt you and cause you pain, like you father?"
"Hey, what do you know about my father? You donít know anything about my life!" He was getting angry now, maybe because she was hitting it a little close to the mark.
"Yes, I do. I know about how your father never gave you the love and praise you deserved and that as a child, thatís all you wanted. I know how miserable life with Freeza must have been and what it must be like to find out your whole planet has been destroyed, along with your whole race!" At first she had been yelling into his face as tears poured violently from her eyes, but now she was speaking in almost a whisper and the salt-water was running in streams down her face. "I know you have killed many species and people, and that you are afraid to regret those actions, but itís ok, Vegeta. Itís ok to feel, and to hurt and to love. You canít shut everyone out. You canít shut me out." Her make-up was running in black-streaks down her face, making her look disheveled and sincere. Makeup, I would never imagine makeup. Thereís something wrong, hereÖ
"You canít shut me out. I know you are a different person now then you were before. You have changed so much and you donít even know it. If only youÖ" Bulma stopped when she noticed the look on Vegetaís face. "What is it?"
"What is going on here? This isnítÖ" He stopped and looked around. "Iíve never been here. Where is this? Why is there black stuff running down your cheeks?"
"What? My mascara?" She touched her face in an effort to wipe it off when she realized her mistake.
"Iíve never heard of mascara before, and I donít think itís something I would make up." Vegeta grabbed her arm. "What is going on?"
Vegeta, why did you have to be so smart? Heís figured it out, or at least part if it. What are you going to do now? In her panic she reached out and pulled off the Virtual Reality headpiece and disappeared from Vegetaís dream.
Once she was out she flicked off the fluxometer and jumped into bed. Pulling the covers up to her chin. If she could get him to believe she was asleep then maybe he would be convinced it was all just a weird dream. Behind her the second monitor showed a very angry Vegeta getting out of bed and leaving the room. A few seconds later Bulma heard her door open and several angry steps entering her room. His hand wormed itís way under her covers and she was pulled from her bed sharply. She was suddenly face to face with a very pissed off Saiyan, and thatís enough to scare anyone.
"Vegeta, whatÖ?" She tried to act surprised but only managed to sound frightened.
"What are you doing in my head?" Vegeta demanded harshly. He shook her slightly.
"I donít know what youíre talking aboutÖ" Lying was obviously the wrong choice. His face grew darker and his scowl deepened.
"No, then whatís this?" His free hand wiped her face and came back smeared with black. "Mascara, I think is what you called it." He looked around swiftly. Bulmaís fear deepened at the killer look in his eyes. "And whatís that?" He turned her towards were his gaze was held. The monitor showed his room as he had just left it. "Youíve been spying on me as well as invading my dreams." He picked her up and drug her over to her desk where he began to hurriedly examine the equipment. "Tell me, woman. Is this how you did it? This invention of yours, is this how you went where you shouldnít have been? Is this what you used to toy with me?"
"Vegeta, I didnít mean to playÖ" her explanation was cut short my his next question.
"How long?" He seemed to be calm now, but she could still see the storm brewing under the surface. That scared her even more.
"I only did it to see how you felt, I didnítÖ" She was just trying to explain now before he decided to blow her head off.
"How Long!" He yelled this time, shutting her up instantly.
There was a moment of silence before she answered, whispering in a defeated voice, "Just last night and tonight. I didnít know what I was doing. I just wanted to know how you feltÖ" He cut her off with a single look.
"Well, now you know. You know about my past and you know how I feel. Are you happy?" She didnít answer. "What were you planning on doing with that information? Fondling me under the table? Seducing me in the Gravity chamber for your own twisted pleasure of controlling me? Teasing me until I did something to hurt you? Using it to humiliate me every chance you got? Exploit my weaknesses? Well, now that you know what they are I guess youíre free to use them how you will."
He dropped her to the floor and made his way to the door. "Vegeta, wait! Itís not like that! I just didnít know how to tell youÖ I didnít know if youÖ" She raced after him trying to explain, but not having the words. "Iím sorry, Vegeta, would you just stop for a second and listen to me!" she yelled at his back but he kept walking, down the stairs and out the door. They didnít notice the shocked looks of Dr. Briefs and his wife as they flew past the living room.
Bulma tried to get a hold on his shoulder but he was too strong, too quick. "I said Iím sorry! I would never use that do humiliate you!"
"Oh, yeah, that what was that little scene at dinner?" He stopped to face her. The wind was blowing and clouds roared, threatening rain.
"I didnít mean it like that, Vegeta! I just didnít know how to tell youÖ that I was in love with you with out knowing how you felt first. I fell the same way you do! InsecureÖ unsure of my feelings and how you would reactÖ"
"Donít mock me, woman." The words jerked like knives into her heart. "I donít know why you think you need to do this to me. I donít know why your sick mind insists on playing these games with me. Or is it any guy? Your stupid womanly instincts make you torment any men you see, just because you can? Yamcha was smart you rid himself of you when he did!"
Bulma felt like sheíd been slapped. She was trying to explain, but he didnít believe her. And on top of it all he insulted her where he knew it would hurt worst. She felt the frustration transform into anger.
"You have no idea how I feel! Donít act so hurt! You are just a stupid Saiyan who doesnít know how to feel. You wouldnít know love if it hit you in the face!" And then she did. As the trickling water began to fall from the dark sky that mirrored the torrential feelings raging in both of them, Bulma watched in horror as he only smirked at her attempt to inflict pain on him. Then his face turned to one of malice and fury.
"Youíre right. An ugly little baka like you isnít worth my time. I could never feel anything for you. Donít worry, I wonít show my stupid Saiyan face around here any more." With that he turned and took off into the air.
Bulma screamed in frustration and pain. "VEGETA!" Then she sank to her knees and let the now pouring rain soak her clothes and hair. "Come back, Vegeta. Iím sorry, I love you." She whispered into the wet ground and then brought her hands to her face to cry.
Bulma felt two hands on her shoulders and looked up quickly. Itís Vegeta! He came back! But instead of Vegeta she met the sympathetic eyes of her father.
"Oh, Daddy." She cried and hugged him close. "Heís gone and Iíll never see him again." She sobbed into his neck. He carried her into the house and up to her room where he placed her gently in bed. She sobbed for several hours while her parents watched over her until she fell asleep.
Vegeta flew through the rain cursing and yelling. His hair was dripping wet and water ran down his face in place of the tears he couldnít cry. "How dare she!" He whispered. "HOW DARE SHE!" His only was a clap of thunder several miles to the east. Inside he was torn into pieces and shattered into shards of pain. I loved her and all she did was manipulate me so she could humiliate me! She said she loved me too, but how could she do that! How could she use that stupid machine to get in my head? His anger was derived partly from pain. She knows. She knows who I was and what I did. Thereís no way she can ever love me now. He burst with another explosion of rage. "I CAN NEVER HAVE FEELINGS FOR A WEAK HUMAN! I AM THE PRINCE OF THE SAIYANS! I AM FAR ABOVE HER AND HER STUPID MACHINE!" Vegeta sent a blast at a near by mountain, obliterating it completely.
On he flew, blindly into the stormy black, not knowing where he was headed, and not caring in the least.
Over the next few days Bulma went through several feelings. First she was in denial that Vegeta was really gone for good, then she was angry at him for leaving her just as she learned how he felt. And lastly she was angry with herself for deceiving Vegeta and making him hate her. This reasoning caused her to initiate in self-destructive behaviors, such as driving recklessly, walking around downtown late at night, and being extra careless while she was at work dealing with heavy objects and power tools. Unfortunately for Bulma, she was spared any real damage and was even sent home by her father because he was afraid that sheíd hurt somebody. Her mother kept a close watch on her and made sure she was safe from herself.
Bulma wasnít exactly suicidal, but she did wish that some merciful angle would take her away from the world and all the messes sheíd made. She experienced deep depression for over a week, and then, one day, she decided that Vegeta wasnít worth ruining her life over. She cleaned her self up and told her father she was ready to be a good girl and could she please go back to work.
She kept her word to be better and even managed to fake a smile for some of the other employees. Inside she was still wracked with guilt and anger at herself, but she managed to keep it all inside and get on with her life on the out side while she was in public. At night she had nightmares about that night and about terrible things happening to Vegeta. It was almost as if the whole "Jaken" episode had happened all over again.
Two weeks after the night of Vegetaís departure Bulma sat in her room staring at the fluxometer. For several hours she just stared at it, then suddenly she stood walked down to her lab and returned minutes later with a large hammer.
"This is too dangerous to allow it to remain." She lifted the hammer and brought it down on the first monitor. She began to sob as she demolished the machine that had ruined her life. After several minutes she was in a hysterical fury and kept on banging on the remains of the fluxometer long after it was un-functional.
Her father, hearing the ruckus from upstairs and having seen Bulma pass through with the hammer, rushed upstairs to stop his daughter from doing anything drastic. When he reached her room he grabbed her arms and tried to hold her and comfort her, and she let him for a second.
"No!" She pulled away and ran out of the room still sobbing. He followed her to Vegetaís room where she ripped the hidden surveillance camera from the wall and threw it out the window. After that was complete she jumped up onto Vegetaís bed and unscrewed the dream light from the socket next to the regular light bulb. She stared at it in hatred for a second before she laid it on the floor and raised the hammer over her head.
Her father watched as she brought in down with perfect aim, smashing the little bulb into a million splinters. When it was all destroyed she dropped the hammer with a thud and held her face in her hands. Her whole body shook with the tears she cried. Her father tried to hug her and comfort her, but her shoulders jerked so heavily he found it difficult.
"Just leave me, please." Dr. Briefs barley heard her almost in audible whisper.
"Ok, honey, but your mom and I are here if you need us, you know that." He waited for her nod before leaving, closing the door behind him. When he was gone, Bulma crawled up in Vegetaís bed and cried herself to sleep.
Vegeta lived outdoors for a few days before he stopped by Gokuís house for a quick fight.
"Kakarott!" he yelled at the little house. He could feel Gokuís ki inside. "Come out, Kakarott and spar with me!" He was answered by a furious Chi Chi with a wooden spoon in her hand.
"Have you no manners?! Gokuís eating, Vegeta! Youíll just have to come back later. And you might try knocking instead of just shouting!" She gave Vegeta a glare that would send Goku running, but he had regained his cold, heartless, uncaring demeanor and was not even phased by her death look.
"Itís ok, Chi Chi," Goku said as he exited the house wiping his face. "Iím finished and I need a good fight. So how ya been, Vegeta?"
"None of your business, now quit talking and start fighting." With that Vegeta powered up and charged Goku, who easily dodged his attack.
"Whoa down, Vegeta. Whatís bothering you?" Goku asked with concern. He was almost sure it had something to do with Bulma, but he wasnít going to risk anything by saying so. Vegeta ignored him however and launched another attack of Ki balls his way. Goku decided that it was futile to try to talk to Vegeta, and so he gave in and started his own attack at the Saiyan prince.
A few hours later Vegeta left, a little beat up, but still as silent. Goku decided that Vegeta was still pissed about something, and that it was probably best to let him cool off some more before he made any further inquiries. At least from Vegeta.
Bulma was sitting at the table sipping hot chocolate and trying, unsuccessfully, not to think about Vegeta, when the phone rang the first time.
"Briefs residence, Bulma speaking."
"Hi, Bulma. This is Carl Lane, you remember me, donít you?"
Bulma tried to sound happy. "Of course, What can I do for you, Doctor?"
"Well, actually itís what I can do for you. I was calling to remind you of that appointment you made with my friend Richard Banks, the hypnotist and ask you if youíd made up your mind, yet?"
Bulma felt something like relief and excitement build in her chest. "Yes I have made up my mind and yes, I would like to visit with your friend. When was that appointment, again?" She began searching the counter and drawer next to the phone.
"Itís tomorrow here at my office around ten oíclock. Are you sure about this? When I spoke to you last you seemed confident that you werenít going to need any hypnotherapy. What changed your mind?"
Bulma sighed. "I just canít live my life knowing what I know, Dr. Lane. Some people say the person we are depends mostly on our memories, and I just donít like the person Iíve become." She felt another round of tears coming on. "So, Iíll see you tomorrow at ten, then?"
"Yes, tomorrow." With that the doctor hung up.
Bulma put the phone on the hook and pushed back the tears with the thought that, by lunchtime tomorrow she wouldnít hurt anymore. She even managed a small smile.
She didnít get half way back to the table when the phone rang again. As soon as she picked it up she heard: "Hey, Bulma? Is that you?"
"Hi, Goku!" She was genuinely happy to hear his voice. "So whatís happening with you? Howís your training going?"
They talked for a few minutes, reminiscing and catching up and then Goku asked the question.
"So how are you doing? Is everything ok there?" Those very simple questions nearly put Bulma over the edge again.
She took a deep breath. "Yeah, Goku. They are. For a while I wasnít sure that everything would be all right, but now, I think they will."
"What happened? I saw Vegeta. He was pretty upset about something. Do you know what thatís all about?"
"You saw Vegeta? When did you see him?" Bulma hated the urgency in her voice, but it helped change the subject.
"He was here this morning. He wanted to spar, but I donít think his heart was really in it. Do you know whatís gotten him more upset then usual?"
Bulma hesitated. "I havenít seen him in a couple weeks. We had a fight and he decided not to live here anymore. Iíve been worried about him, but I think this is all for the best." Her heart broke all over again at her own words, but luckily it didnít sound in her voice. Somehow Goku didnít need to hear it and he knew it was there.
"Come on, Bulma. Weíve been friends for how long? You can tell me." He encouraged.
"Goku, IÖ" Her voice was beginning to crack.
"Hang on, Iíll be right there." Then the line went dead.
"Goku?" She asked into the phone.
"Right behind you." Bulma dropped the phone and spun around.
"I donít think Iíll ever get used to that instant transmission thing." She gave a weak smile and stepped forward. Goku wrapped his arms around her in a comforting hug. She cried for a few minutes and then lifted her head to give him another smile.
"Iím ok, now," she said wiping her face with a tissue. "Iíve just been such a mess since that thing at work, and now my nightmares have gotten even worse. Iíve just been so scared and paranoid, but tomorrow Iím seeing a man thatíll be able to help me forget." She turned away from his shocked look. "Tell Vegeta, if you see him again, that he can come back, cause Iím not gonna remember anything, and if he can tolerate seeing me again that heís free to use the gravity chamber any time he wants. And tell him Iím sorry. Heíll know what for. Thanks, Goku, youíve always been a great friend. I donít think I wouldíve made it with out friends like you. Tell Chi Chi and Gohan I said Hi." Then she walked upstairs to her room to retire early and left a dumbfounded Goku standing in the kitchen to show himself out.
Vegeta landed in front of the cave where he had been spending his nights lately and walked inside to lick his wounds. He wasnít surprised at all that Kakarott had managed to beat him severely. He hadnít been sleeping well the last week or so, and his concentration was almost nonexistent, as thoughts of Bulma always seemed to dance of the edge of his conscience. Fleeting images of her and his dreams seemed to present themselves at the most inconvenient of times. His anger was mostly passed. Only his pride and his Saiyan tradition for holding grudges made him a captive in this cold cavern.
His feelings for Bulma hadnít diminished upon discovering her deception, as he had first thought they would. Instead, being apart from her was slowly driving him insane. There were so many things he wanted to know, so many questions that were left unanswered. Mostly he was just confused.
He felt betrayed and confused and angry and mostly just that he wanted to go home. Heíd never had feelings like this before, so he was having a harder time then usual dealing with them. Some times Human things were far beyond him. Living with them was defiantly having an effect of him. Too many things were rubbing off on him.
He kicked a boulder out of the way and sat in itís place. He couldnít take his mind off Bulma and what sheíd said to him, but he didnít exactly know what to do about it. He couldnít go back. It would be a humiliation to go crawling back to her like heíd seen that weakling Yamcha do so many times. But it always seemed to work for him.
Vegeta didnít know how many times when heíd been kept up at night listening to those two "make up". He smirked a little. Maybe I ought to try it?
"Oh," he burst out in frustration. "Why would she take me back after all the things that I said to her? Iíve hurt her, and I donít think she can forgive me so easily." Vegeta slammed his fist into the rocky wall, just hard enough to shake the whole hill. Then he turned his back on the wall and slid down till his head was resting on his knees. The smell of mold and earth washed over him and he thought how fitting they were to his mood. He rested his forehead against his forearm and closed his eyes.
A deeply hidden part of him was feeling guilty for causing all this mess in the first place, but the more dominant surface of Vegetaís ego was swelled with pride and insisted that it was the womanís fault for meddling. His worst fear, that she would find out who he truly was, had come true. Vegetaís heart ached at the thought of her hating who he was. And why shouldnít she. He had killed countless numbers of species with countless populations. He didnít hesitate for a second when called to murder little children and their parents, and he had been sent to Earth to kill her and her parents, and would have done so if things had not gone the way they had. He shuddered at the thought that if Kakarott hadnít beet him he would have been the key to her death.
Previously, his defeat at the hands of a third-class had only brought him shame and anger, but when he looked at it this way, he was almost grateful for it.
"What am I thinking!" his own thoughts surprised him, but not as much as they would have a year before. He had changed.
Somewhere in the middle of trying to figure out whether these changes were positive or negative his mind drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
Bulma awoke at approximately eight thirty and quickly began to get ready. She took extra care of her appearance, which she hadnít done for a while, because she figured that after she had forgotten Vegeta and all of this mess she wouldnít mind the doctors advances that were bound to come. Wonít it be nice to have a real relationship again, even if itís just dinner and a movie, she thought with sadness. Things just wonít be the same if Iím not fretting over Vegeta. "No, theyíll be better; happy and normal." She said aloud as she pulled her black v-neck sweater over her head. The thin formfitting garment muffled her words a little.
Looking in the mirror Bulma couldnít help feeling a little bit of pride and confidence in her looks. This was one of her favorite casual tops because it was very flattering to her plush figure. Some casual slacks and comfortable flats completed the outfit and she was soon on her way out the door. She tried to feel confident about the choice she had made, but over night, some doubts had crept in. Could this really help her? Would it be worth it? Was it safe? She thought of that old clichť "Itís better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all." Was that true? She knew that right now she was still hurting, so it might be a hasty decision to rid herself of all of feelings for Vegeta. Someday she might not care as much, after the pain has gone away.
No, there was so much more worth forgetting. And Bulma figured that this pain was going to last a while. It was just better to get rid of everything. Maybe Vegeta was right about feelings and love. They just made you weak and vulnerable. Walking up the stairs of the building she took a deep breath and strengthened her resolve. She had made up her mind and nothing could change that. She hoped. She checked in with the secretary who told her to go on in. Dr. Lane and Dr. Banks were expecting her.
In the cave Vegeta sat up abruptly as he hear footfalls nearby. He looked up to find Goku looking around in the darkness cluelessly. "What do you think you are doing here, Kakarott?" His gruff voice startled the searching Saiyan.
"Geez, Vegeta, you scared me!" Goku cried out walking over to the price that was shaking his head in disgust at the stupidity of the third-class. "Hey, is this where youíve been hiding out? Itís great!"
"I havenít been hiding!" He stood, so as not have to look up at Goku from the floor. "What do you want?" He was growing impatient. He only tolerated this baka because he was the only other pure blooded Saiyan left alive, (and because he wouldnít be able to destroy him if he wanted to, but he wasnít about to admit that).
"I have a message from Bulma." Goku almost expected the arrogant prince to object or fly away, but instead he stood silent, not so patiently waiting for the message.
"Well, what does that baka female want to tell me?" He tried to make it sound as though he didnít care, and succeeded, mostly.
"Well, I spoke to her yesterday and she said for me to tell you that, um, letís seeÖ" Vegeta tapped his foot impatiently and crosses his arms across his chest in an agitated manner, but remained silent. " She said, Ď"Tell Vegeta to come back, cause Iím not gonna remember anything, and that heís free to use the gravity chamber any time he wants.í And she said that sheís sorry. She said youíd know what for." Goku seemed very pleased at his ability to recite such a lengthy message. "Then she ran off."
"What did she mean that she wasnít going to remember anything?" Vegeta queried, sounding only slightly worried.
"I donít know what sheís up to Vegeta, but I do know that sheís sorry and that she misses you. Sheís been miserable since you left. If I didnít know any better Iíd think that sheís in love with you." The last part was said merely for Vegetaís benefit, and for Goku to see how Vegeta would react. Vegeta sadly disappointed the taller man by succeeding in the same thing he had practiced all of his life, hiding his true feelings.
Vegeta stared with a blank scowl for a few seconds before speaking. "If thatís all you wanted then I suggest you leave. I havenít eaten yet this morning and I can get very irritable."
Goku just smiled and gave a sheepish laugh. "Yeah, I know you, Vegeta. Donít worry, I was just going. I wouldnít want to keep you any longer." He turned and began to leave. Vegeta tried to ignore the meaning implied in the other alienís words. He knew Kakarott thought that he was going to running back to that woman, now that he knew it was ok, but he wasnít going to. First of all, the prince of the Saiyans did not act to any womanís beck and call. Secondly, there was no way Vegeta was going to show weakness and look as though he had feelings for the girl, although he was curious as to how she planned on forgetting all that had transpired between them. And last, he still needed some time to sort things out in his head.
He was so caught up in his thoughts, that he didnít see Goku turn and give him one last knowing glance before exiting.
Several hours, later Vegeta launched from his cave and made his way towards Capsule Corp. He had thought it over and decided that he would give the woman a chance to explain. He realized that he had been hasty in his assumptions about her motives. After thinking about it, he decided that it only made sense for her to be in love with him. He was, after all, the price of the Saiyans. Many women of all races found him to be attractive, he had just never found much time for those kinds of things. These things had been the easy revelations.
Sorting out his own feelings had taken much longer. He wanted to be closer to the infuriating woman. He found her attractive and was impressed, although he would never tell her, with her intelligence and skill with technology. He was frustrated with her physical weakness, but found their verbal sparing matches quite entertaining. Lately, she hadnít seemed quite herself, not since that incident at her company. He now seemed frightened and vulnerable, and he had felt an incredible need to protect her and make her happy again. He wondered if she felt the same as he did still, even after seeing his past. A part of Vegeta was scared that she had invited him back out of guilt, and not her true feelings. He wanted to scold himself for worrying about being rejected by a weak woman, but there was an aching in his chest each time he thought of her hating him.
He knew that there was no one left to look down upon his actions. His father, Freeza, his planet had all been destroyed. Only the silly earthlings were left to witness the fall of the mighty Saiyan Princeís heart to this human. What did he care about them? Nothing. He could destroy this whole planet if he so desired. If it didnít suit his purposes he would have blown it to ashes months ago, but he found a place to train and food to eat, and a home. He almost feared that word, home. He had never really had a home, and it was having some strange effects of him.
He touched down out side the Briefís house and tentatively stepped towards the door. Time to see if his future held happiness or torture.
"There you are, Vegeta!" Mrs. Briefs ran up to the scowling Saiyan with a look of joy in her dull eyes. "Where have you been for so long? We all missed you around here, especially Bulma." She placed a small hand on his arm and gave him a smile. "Itís good to have you back." She patted his arm lightly and then went back to her baking. Vegeta wondered through the kitchen in search of Bulma.
After arriving home from the doctors office Bulma had changed clothes and gone straight to her shop. There were so many things to finish, so many projects that needed work. Why had she wasted so much time. I must have just gone through a lazy phase, she thought passively. Time to get back to work.
After an hour or so her stomach had begun growling louder then her drill, and so she had given up and gone in search of some dinner. It was a bit early, but she didnít remember eating any lunch, so an early dinner seemed all right. She wiped her greasy hands on a rag and made her way to the kitchen. She wondered if Vegeta had left anything for her to eat, and then it hit her. Vegeta was gone. She knew that he hadnít been home for some time, but she didnít know where heíd gone or why. She shrugged this off. He was always taking off for one reason or another.
Just then she walked around the corner and smack into a brick wall. "Hey! Who put a wallÖ" She looked up from her sprawled position on the floor into the face of a startled Vegeta. "Oh, hey, Vegeta! When did you get back? And whereíd you take off to anyway." As if remembering that she was sitting on the floor and the reason for her being there she frowned in an irritated manner. "Why donít you watch where your going any way!? Are you going to help me up or not." She didnít really expect him to, but when he reached a hand down she took it in surprise. "Well, seems youíve learned some manners. Now we just need to wait for that miraculous day when you say, ĎIím sorry.í"
Vegeta frowned; this was not the welcome he had expected. Heíd almost wished heíd had to fight off one of her emotional displays. "Do you have something you wish to say to me?" He prompted. She didnít look very sorry, or overly glad to see him. If Kakarott had liedÖ
"Um, actually, yeah I do." She was busy brushing herself off, which was almost comical, seeing as how she was dressed in grimy, dirty coveralls. She looked into his face and paused. Vegeta waited for her explanation. Here it comes, he thought, sheís just trying to hide her true feelings.
"Do you want to get out of my way? Iím starving. You havenít raided the refrigerator yet, have you?" He stepped aside in surprise. Bulma brushed past him and continued on her way. Vegeta felt anger welling up inside him. At Kakarott for deceiving him, and for her disregard for him altogether. After what sheíd done to him she could at least be polite, and apologize. He missed the irony in his thoughts and followed her swaying hips down the hall.
"Thatís all you have to say to me?! After all the offenses youíve made against me?" He nearly yelled after her. She paused and turned slowly to face him.
"Geez, Vegeta. I didnít realize that running into you had hurt you so much, since I was the one that ended up on the floor." She ended sarcastically. "Whatís up with you lately? You take off for no apparent reason and then you come back acting all weird and stuff. Are you on drugs?" She asked in mock seriousness before turning and continuing on her way once again.
"What do you mean Ďno apparent reasoní? You know exactly why I left!" He followed her, confusion and anger in his voice. "After you invaded my privacy with that retched gismo of yours, and went were you shouldnít have gone in the first placeÖ" He continued to follow her into the kitchen where she opened the fridge and began to scan for something to eat.
She looked up at him having retrieved a Tupperware dish with some leftover casserole in it. "I have no idea what your talking about, Vegeta."
Vegeta paused in surprise. Either she was an excellent actress, or she was telling the truth. Looking into her intent gaze he could see that she was telling the truth. She had never been one to hid her feelings well, and she was a lousy liar when it came to her emotions. There was nothing in her eyes. No feelings, no guilt, no remembrance, she truly had no idea of what he was talking about. But how could this beÖ
"You mean you donít remember being in my dreams?" He asked with unveiled shock. Bulma stared into his face for a few seconds before giving him a sideways laugh.
"If I didnít know any better, Iíd say you just gave me a line. But knowing you Iím wondering what is wrong with you, Vegeta? What are you talking about?" She shut the fridge and stepped up to him, a look of worry beginning to show on her features.
"Nothing. Nothings wrong with me. Just forget I said anything." Vegeta remembered Kakarottís words. "Tell Vegeta to come back, cause Iím not gonna remember anything, and that heís free to use the gravity chamber any time he wants."
She truly did not remember. But how? He watched her turn away and slide her meal into the microwave. "Hi mom!" She said casually to her mother who was working at the stove.
"Hello, Bulma. How was your trip to the doctors this morning?"
"Um," she had to think for a second. She remembered being at the doctors, but she wasnít sure why she was there or if she was ok. "It was fine." She said slowly. She didnít want her mother to worry about her loss of memory. It must not have been that important, she concluded.
Vegeta watched the confused look on Bulmaís face when her mother asked her about the doctorís. He suddenly realized that it must have some thing to do with her loss of memory. Turing in defeat he walked outside to the gravity chamber. He needed to ponder this new development, and training was just the tool to help him.
That night Bulma slept like a bear in hibernation and when she woke up, she felt more refreshed then she could ever remember feeling. She jumped out of bed and sang in the shower. She spent only a few minutes on drying her hair and putting on her make up because she was in such a hurry to get out side. She wanted to go shopping and take a picnic with her parents and maybe even call YamchaÖ Well, maybe not, but sheíd call the Sonís and see if they wanted to come over later and barbeque. It was going to be such a great day.
When Bulma finished getting ready she reveled in the fact that she was still a gorgeous girl, even with out all the make-up. He clothes were comfortable, casual and very flatteringÖ "Girl, you are one foxy lady!" She said out loud as she walked away from the mirror towards her door. In the hall way she happened to glance into Vegetaís room. His bed was still made and looked as though it hadnít been slept in all night.
"I wonder if he took off againÖ Humph," she grunted. "Stupid Saiyan, canít hold still for one day. Oh well, good riddance." She said the words, but she didnít feel them. For some reason she thought she was going to miss the big monkey. Just a little bit.
Down stairs she looked for her parents, but found only a note on the fridge saying that her mother and father were flying to Hawaii for the weekend. A frown touched Bulmaís face for a split second before she sighed and smiled again. Oh, well, scratch the picnic with mom and dadÖmaybe Goku and his family could come over for lunch. Before leaving she picked up the phone and dialed Chi Chi and Gokuís number. "Moshi moshi, Chi Chi here."
"Hey, Chi Chi. How have you been. They talked small talk for a few minutes and then Bulma popped the question. "What are you and Goku doing for lunch? ĎCause if you not busy I wanted to see if you wanted to come over for lunch. We could get some stakes and sushi, and I could break out the grillÖ"
"Uh, Iím sorry, Bulma, but Goku and Gohan are off training and I donít have any way to get there by myself. And I have so many things to do. With the boys out of the house Iíve been doing some spring cleaning andÖ"
"Oh, Chi Chi. I wish you luck with all your chores. And tell Goku I called. Iíll talk to you later. Bye." She hung up and shrugged it off. It was too nice a day to be discouraged. There was always shopping! And she might just pick up a guy or twoÖ The day wasnít totally ruined.
She gathered her keys and purse and stepped outside into the driveway. As she walked to the car she heard the familiar explosions and rocketing of a warrior in training coming from the Gravity Chamber. "No way! He couldnít have been in there all night, could he?" She walked towards the large metal dome curiously.
"Vegeta!" She yelled and banged her fist on the door. "Hey, Vegeta! Is that you?"
She heard some incoherent mumbling as the explosions stopped. The door opened suddenly and Vegeta stepped out looking very beat up and worn out. His clothes were in tatters and he was scratched and burned in various places over his body. "Of course itís me! Who else did you think it would be?!"
Well, his mouth obviously wasnít as worn out as the rest of him. "I donít know! Why in the world did you stay in there all night? It wasnít built to take this kind of beating, and neither were you. You look absolutely retched, and like your almost ready to drop dead! Are you alright?" She asked a little more softly.
He looked a little annoyed at first, until he saw the concern in her eyes. "of course Iím alright, you baka woman." He growled quietly and then turned to walk back into his sanctuary. He wasnít ready to face her and her memory loss quite yet. Bulma reached out and grabbed his arm gently.
"Vegeta, you canít train any more today. You look terrible and I insist that you go to bed this instant." She said firmly but gently. She was almost shocked by her own tone and from the look on his face it was evident that Vegeta was a little surprised himself.
"IÖI donít need your pampering." He stuttered. It was his line, what he always said, but he didnít sound convinced of it himself this time. The look in his eyes was drifting dangerously near desperation. "Just go away and leave me alone." It was a command, but his eyes were pleading.
"No, I canít let you kill yourself like this. Not when you live under my roof. Come on, I was going to go to the mall, but if I have to make sure you take care of yourselfÖ" She tried to get back some of her old sarcasm, but the feel of Vegetaís taunt muscles under her arm was making her own heart race and her skin burn.
Vegeta saw the change in her demeanor as she glanced at her own hand on his arm. Maybe she was beginning to remember. He grasped onto that like a man who was dangerously close to tumbling into an abyss and had only a thin rope for security.
"Alright." He stepped down, out of the GC and stood next to Bulma, looking straight into her eyes. They were so blueÖ
Bulmaís eyes locked onto Vegetaís black ones and she felt as if she were falling, being swallowed up into eternity, and the world around her began to tilt.
"IÖwhat did you say?" She asked breathless and a little confused. Her focus drifted to his lips momentarily as she flicked her tongue gently across her own lips.
"I said, Alright. Iíll stop, and you can watch over me. Just to make sure I donít do anything to kill myselfÖ" A wicked smirk slid up his face as he realized that even though she had forgotten everything that had happened between them she couldnít forget how she felt. He could win this after all.
Suddenly she pulled away and started for her car. "Youíre a big boy, you can take care of yourself." She was running away. The sudden flood of bittersweet emotions shattered her wonderful morning. She was dizzy and her head ached a little.
Donít let her get away! Something in Vegeta screamed at him. He followed her quickly and caught up with her. "Wait," he called out as he stepped in front of her. "Donít go." He brought his arms up to grasp her shoulders and he gazed into her eyes again, searching.
"Let me go, Vegeta." The dizzy spell was increasing steadily and every nerve in her arms was alive and on fire.
"You do remember something, donít you?"
"IÖwhaÖ" All thought seemed suspended as she struggled for the meaning in his words and drowned in the intensity in his eyes. "I rememberÖwhat do I rememberÖ?" She was seeing fragments of something she couldnít explain. Her and Vegeta making love, his betrayal in the courts, dancing with the devil, and crying in the rainÖ but everything was blurry. She tried shaking her head to clear her thoughts, but his hand was soon on her chin.
"Maybe this will help you remember." He brought his face closer and pressed his lips to hers. Possessively and with passion he thought he reserved for fighting, Vegeta kissed Bulma as though his life were hanging in the balance of her acceptance.
For Bulma the world was ending in a whirl of crashing images and driving emotions. Her lips molded against his and she gasp inwardly at the heat and pressure that jumped between them. Inside her stomach clenched in anticipation and her mind swam in the outpouring of memories that came rushing back. Their souls touched for a moment and they joined as one person, as their lips parted allowing their tongues too finally find each other. Memories were shared between them, and feelings twisted and welded together. It was almost to much for them to bear. All this time and waiting and torture for both of them seemed to funnel down into this one moment.
They pulled away in unison, but didnít go far. Bulma rested her head against his neck and tried to catch her breath. Vegeta, too, was breathing heavily.
"IÖI remember everything." Bulma said after a moment. "Oh, VegetaÖ" She pulled back and looked into his face tears welling up and pain evident in the glassy surface of her eyes. "How can you forgive me for what Iíve done?" She tried to step back farther as she lowered her head in shame, but he held her firmly and pulled her to him again.
"I know why you did what you did, and Iím kind of glad you did it." He said comfortingly with a little smile. Then his features softened and he tipped his forehead against hers. "Otherwise I might never have found the courage to tell you how I felt, and then I would never be able to be here with you, like thisÖ"
The gentleness in his voice caught Bulma off guard, and then she smiled through her tears. "You mean a big, strong warrior like you is afraid of little old me?" She asked teasingly.
He began to reply with another smart comment, but she cut him off with another kiss. Her hands found their way around his neck and her fingers went almost instinctively to his hair. His own hands grasped her sides and settled on her hips, pulling her closer.
When Bulma pulled away again she had a frown on her face. "Do you know how much I spent on that Hypnotist, and you just went and undid hours of work with just one kiss. Why, If I hadnít enjoyed it so much, IídÖ"
"Youíd what?" He interrupted her threatening growl with his own amused question.
"Iíd have had to try it again until you got it right, Monkey Boy." With that she smiled again and tilted her head for another kiss.
From the sky and figure watched and smiled at the couples first real kisses. It was only a matter of time and he knew it. Soon Trunks would be born and the future would have one more hero to protect it, increasing the odds even more. Things had worked out as they were supposed to and it was only a matter of timeÖ
Goku turned and flew home with a knowing smile plastered on his face once again.