Chapter 18


The night before:

"Have you ever thought about getting your hair cut?" Zaria asked, popping another Frito into her mouth.

"Have you ever thought about getting your hair cut?" Jay responded, dealing out the cards onto the bed. Actually, he loved her full green hair. Tonight, she'd straightened it out from its naturally curly state so it hung to the middle of her back. She tucked a few loose strands behind her ear.

"I asked you first."

He crossed his legs Indian style in an imitation of her. "If you ever asked me, I would."

She blushed. That caught her by surprise. "No, I was just wondering what you'd look like."

He gave her a saucy smile. "Wondering huh? Didn't know I was on your mind so much. Anything else you've been wondering?"

She pushed his shoulder playfully. "Yeah. Wondering when your flirting will stop making me blush."

"What do you want to do?" he changed the subject.


"Well, besides me, of course. I mean, I don't get the impression that you want to be a bartender all your life."

She blushed some more. "Don't laugh."

"I wouldn't."

"When I was in New York, I was taking acting classes. I want to be an actress."

"I could see that. So why aren't you?"

"An actress?"

"No, why aren't you still taking classes?"

"Family problems. I had to come to the West Coast to help out with stuff."

"Does that mean you're going back?"

She hesitated. "I don't know."

He smiled at her and looked back down at his dealing. "You ready?" he asked. She nodded and they both flipped up a card. Half a minute later, she slammed her hand on one stack of cards, exclaiming "Speed!"

Jay threw his own hand onto the bed with frustration. He still hadn't beat her. He was 0 for 7. She stacked up the cards and glanced at the TV. ESPN of course. "Can you believe the Sixers made it to the playoffs?" she awed.

He shook his head, still in shock that this woman was interested in the same things as him.

She pulled a Jay and changed the subject abruptly. "Did you mean what you said?"

He took a sip of his soda. "About what?"

"About you never willing to associate or date a female Ginyu."

"Of course I meant it."

Zaria felt something stab her chest. "Surely they're not all that bad."

He shook his head again. "You don't know these Ginyus, that's why. Their women sleep around more than Paris Hilton. And that's saying something."

She didn't laugh. "Where'd you hear that?"

"About Paris Hilton?"

"No, about the Ginyus."

He waved it off. "It doesn't matter. Everyone knows it. Which makes me wonder why I don't know your last name."

She shook her head in disbelief and stood up on the bed. "So if I was a Ginyu," she proclaimed loudly, "you'd have nothing to do with me?"

He stood up in front of her. "Of course I would. I wouldn't be able to resist your pretty eyes and cute ass."

She fell back on the bed. "I'm serious."

He chuckled and sank to his knees. "You don't have to worry about it. I mean, you're not a Ginyu, are you?" he asked, more rhetoric than not."

She paused, feeling as if this were the perfect opportunity to tell him the truth.

"Are you?" he persisted teasingly.

She bit her lip. "No," she whispered.

He smiled, cupping her cheek. "Okay then." He leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers. He pulled up her shirt a bit and rested his head against her bare midriff and toyed with the belly ring that he'd grown fond of. She stroked his shoulder length hair with a guilty conscience, wanting the moment to last but knowing that their time together would shatter like broken glass.

"You sure look like you didn't get laid last night," Chichi told Vegeta as they walked into work. He'd given her a ride that morning since he had to pick up Speed from her place and drop him off at his mom's house. Not to mention that he'd encountered his mother's boyfriend Connor again this morning. He'd ignored him.

He gave her a sidelong glance and shook his head. "Always in the gutter isn't it?"

"What's wrong? Did Ray not meet expectations last night?"

"This coming from the 23 year old virgin?" he answered lifting the garage door open and letting her go through.

"Would you rather me pull a you and sleep with half of LA?"

"Don't even think about it, woman."

"Okay then."

"That still doesn't mean you don't know what you're missing."

"I can wait."

Vegeta spied Bulma ending a quick word with Launch and heading into Tinker's computer room.

"I can't," he replied under his breath. Chichi gave him a confused look. "What'd you say?"

He shook his head dismissively. "Never mind."

Chichi rolled her eyes. "You really do need to get laid." She left him to go finish up a job she was doing with Launch. He made his way toward Tinker's room but was deterred by Jay and Krillin.

"What's crackin' bossman?" Krillin said by way of greeting.

Jay clapped him on the back. "Yeah. You look a little tense. Get enough sleep last night?" He raised his eyebrows up and down in a knowing fashion.

Krillin snickered making it obvious that Jay had told him what had happened the night before. Apparently the two assumed that he and Bulma had left together which was more or less-- actually more-- true.

"And by the way, if I were you, I would steer way clear of Ray. I ask her for help with the dyno and she bites my head off. I think she's got her monthly bill if you know what I mean," Krillin complained.

Jay gave Vegeta the thumbs up sign and the two went back to work.

Vegeta shook his head. He could never get a single word in when those two were around. He passed by Picollo, Tien, and Chiouatzu who were arguing over last night's game, and headed into Tink's place.

Vegeta bit back a groan when he saw Bulma in a familiar position, bent over Tink's chair in order to see what was going on in the computer. She was wearing a more short than usual white skirt and a blue tank top. Was it legal to look as good as she did?

When they heard him come in, Bulma glanced in his direction and Tink sighed dramatically. "Here we go," he shook his head pessimistically. Vegeta ignored him and stood beside Bulma, looking at the screen also.

"Is this part done yet?" he asked, eager to get to the actual physical part of putting the car together.

She nodded, the motion bringing his attention to the base of her neck. He could see she'd covered up the evidence of last night with a strategic amount of makeup.

"Yeah, pretty much. Just wanted to check in with you. See what you like and don't like."

He smirked to himself. "You know exactly what I like, woman."

Her lips turned up in a small smile. "Be serious."

"I am."

Tink's eyes furrowed, confused at the tone of the pair behind him. "Wait. I'm getting a thought. Were you two just... Nah," he dismissed.

Bulma pointed to the screen, ignoring him. "There's the yellow streaks on the deep blue paint job and of course the black interior that you wanted."

"What happened to the cream?"

She looked at him. "You didn't want the cream."

"Yeah, but you did," he reminded her.

"When do you ever listen to me?"

"What ever happened to 'The cream looks nice. you get all the chicks with the cream'?" he raised the pitch of his voice to imitate hers in a mock fashion.

She tried not to smile. "I changed my mind."

"Black it is then," he smirked. "The boss always gets his way. Besides, she wouldn't want me to get all the chicks," he told Tink, loud enough for Bulma to hear.

She chose not to respond. "That was easier than I thought," said Tink. "Went by with a lot less arguing and personal information that I so don't like hearing."

After printing out all the angles for reference, he saved the information onto a disk and dropped it into an organized drawer. "My work here is done," he said, leaving his seat and heading to the door. "Time for a breakfast break. He stopped at the exit. "And before I forget Bulma, the Capsule Corp. parts that I asked about? How do those look?"

She gave him the thumbs up. "Should have them into you by next week."

He smiled, giddily, his scientific side ecstatic at the prospect of having CC products at the tip of his fingers. He closed the door on the way out, giving the other two the privacy to discuss how they were going to begin to fix up the vehicle.

Which is why it surprised Bulma when she felt Vegeta's arms wrap around her waist from behind and pull her to his chest. As if by its own will, her body leaned back onto his own. He swept her hair to one side and brushed his lips against her neck kissing her there softly.

"Don't give me another one," she murmured breathily. "It's a bitch to cover them up."

"You can't even imagine what I went through last night," he complained. "Just thinking about you I was up all night. In more ways than one." As if to punish her for doing this to him, he nipped her hard, eliciting a small moan from her lips. "What are you doing to me, woman?"

Before she could answer, the door opened. "Hey you guys," came Tink's voice, "I think I forgot my--"

"Get the hell out of here!" Vegeta barked, his voice muffled by the crook of her neck. They heard the door shut abruptly.

He spun her around to face him and wrapped his arms more securely around her. She bit her lip and clutched onto his strong arms when he cupped her ass, pushing her into him. He watched her face react to his body; her eyes closed and her tongue darting out to lick her lips.

He caught them with his own lips, turned on by her reaction to his boldness. Bulma became lost in him, not even noticing when she backed into the counter. He lifted her on top of the messy surface, not stopping to break the passionate kiss.

A small voice nagged in the back of Bulma's head. It was saying something like, "Run! Get out while you can!" She squashed the voice with an imaginary foot.

She felt his hands hook under the bend of her bare knees and wrap her legs around his waist. Her skirt rode up to give him more access. One hand went to her thigh as the other pulled up the fabric of her shirt.

In the background, the two heard the phone ring. Bulma pulled back, reluctantly and breathlessly, expecting him to get it.

"Let it ring," he told her, kissing her again. His hands migrated slowly up her petite side, taking the time to savor her warm flesh.

"Hey, you've reached Jared's hotspot. Leave a quick message and I'll try to hit you up as soon as I can. That is, if it's important. If not...then... you'll probably just never hear from me."


"Vegeta you bastard. Where the hell are you? You were supposed to be here half an hour ago!" Vegeta broke the kiss abruptly and hurried to the phone.

"What the hell are you doing calling me on Tink's line?" Vegeta demanded. Bulma watched as the guy on the other line answered. "Well if I'm not in my office, don't you think that means I'm busy?" Vegeta asked, annoyed, running his hand through his disheveled hair.

He checked his watch and cursed. "Shit. I forgot... exactly what I said. I forgot!" Vegeta turned his head away so Bulma couldn't hear as well. "You bastards would do anything if it meant getting what you want. Even kill... yeah, I bet that's funny.... look, I'll be there in 15." He hung up.

"Fuck," Vegeta muttered facing his dilemma. This time, though, he chose not to think with his dick. "Important stuff," he explained. "Really have to take care of that."

Bulma nodded, stepping off the counter and self-consciously pulling down her skirt. Vegeta licked his lips as he noticed her action.

"Yeah, of course. Sounded important."

He cursed again. "We'll finish this later," he assured.

She blushed.

He took that as a yes and walked out the door.

Bulma let out a deep breath and ran her fingers through her hair. 'What the hell is your problem Bulma? Not just a few hours ago you were at a meeting involving putting this guy in the state pen, and now you're making suck face with him?' She shook her head. She was deeply and hopelessly confused.

She waited a few minutes before leaving the room, wanting to make sure that Vegeta was gone. She opened the door and immediately turned the corner this time instead of walking straight out into the garage, discreetly passing by Chichi and Launch.

She headed determinedly for the secluded door that she knew was there but hadn't yet bothered with. Kami hadn't wanted her to check it out without Goku but right now was perfect... Vegeta wasn't around and everyone else was busy.

The door read "basement," the first 'e' and 'n' missing. She looked around to make sure no one was watching and entered the room, shutting the door quietly behind her. It shut with a sharp click and echoed hollowly through the dark open space. She slid her hand along the wall until she could feel a light switch.

When she flipped it, only one light came on, hanging from the ceiling and dimly lighting at most half the room in a less than luminescent circle.

Bulma walked down the steps, listening to the dull thud of her sneakers hit against them. '1,2,3,4,5,6' she counted mentally. It looked like a medium sized garage from what she could see. Not very full, just a few box-filled shelves.

She went over to one of them and kneeled down in front of it. The dim lighting made it difficult for her to see the lettering on the boxes so she reached into her back pocket and pulled out a small flashlight, shining it onto one of the boxes.

A Sony DVD player. She stilled and raised an eyebrow in surprise. She shined it onto the higher shelf right above the first one, fearful of what she would find next.

'Fuck.' Stereos, televisions, more DVD players. In all, about 25-30 in all of the shelves. Bulma shook her head in disbelief.

"This is not good." She pulled out her cell phone and dialed a number.

"Hercule's place. Electronics and car parts. What do you want?" came the voice on the other line a bit impatiently.

"I want you to check something for me," Bulma demanded, getting straight to the point.

There was a pause on the line. "Who's this?"

"Don't play dumb, Hercule. You know who this is," she answered, trying not to let her impatience get the best of her. Now was so not the time.

He sighed. "You do know I'm trying to run a business here? I can't just drop everything just 'cause you blue suits need my help. What do I look like? Superman? I--"

"Save it," Bulma interrupted with a roll of her eyes. "Vegeta's a regular customer, right? I need you to check his tab."

"You know I can't do that."

"Can't or won't?"

"Well, a bit of both, really. Combined with a 'don't really want to because I don't like you.'"

"So would you prefer four to six or four with two probation?" She could almost hear him grit his teeth.

"For the last time, I was taking the lady home!"

"Right. And on the way, her mouth accidentally fell on your dick."

"Fucking prostitution charges," he muttered just loud enough for her to hear.

"What would the wife say?" Bulma continued, her dislike for this guy egging her on.

"What do you need to know?"

She smiled. "I need to know if there's anything strange happening with the Diesel's tab."

"Besides the fact that the fruit, Jared, is pulling it?"

"Yeah, unfortunately for me, Diesel's has found a new parts seller."

"Let me guess. Capsule Corps?" Bulma said, not impressed with that bit.

"Those ungrateful bastards," Hercule muttered. "I give them discounts on everything and they bail on me just because they've found someone else. And not to mention--"

"Discounts? On what?"

"Parts, info, stereos--"

"Info and stereos?"

He paused. "Yeah, so?"

"What kind of info?"

Hercule sighed. "Why don't you ask them? It's not really my place to--"

"What kind of info?" she asked with more conviction.

He sighed again. "Just basic stuff, you know? A few weeks back, the one chick with the green hair, has a guy's name..."

"Ray?" Bulma guessed.

"Yeah, her," he affirmed, "she called in a few weeks back wanting to know the shipping routes."

"What the hell would she want with shipping routes?"

"Well if you would let me finish a whole damn sentence." He shook his head. "As I was saying, Ray called in to ask for the truck routes. The trucks that I'm talking about are filled with electronics and car parts. You know, the one's that have been hit with a few jackings throughout the past few weeks. They come to my place every month when I need to stock up on stuff to sell."

"So you just gave her the information because..."

" 'Gave'? Honey, Hercule doesn't just give. There was a little money involved. But the reason Ray needed the info is because it helps with their little garage business that they've got going on."

Bulma's eyes furrowed wondering how that information would help the garage.

"When the trucks roll into the area, I'm always the first to know about it," he began to answer her mental question. "Because of this, I'm able to get to them first and get better prices. Illegally of course."

Bulma shook her head. It looked like Hercule forgot he was talking to a cop.

"Vegeta's crew knowing where the trucks are and where they're going allows them to get better deals because they can get to them before anyone else."

"That's the reason she gave you? They need the truck routes so they can get better deals?"

Hercule shrugged. "What else could they want them for?"

Bulma shook her head but didn't answer. "So you said you gave them discounts on stereos also?"

"Yeah, I guess I said that."

"I'm going to read you off a serial number and I want you to see if this stereo comes from your stock."

The phone crackled.

"W--men --nd all their --emands," she head him complain through the static. She took the phone from her ear and looked at it. Bad reception. She put it back to her ear. All static.

"Fuck," Bulma cursed. She seemed to be doing a lot of that lately. So much for that. She'd question him about it later. She flipped the cell and slipped it back into her pocket.

She flashed the light into the area of the room that wasn't lit by the dim rim of light. She spotted something big covered with brown tarp. It was in the shape of a car.

Bulma walked over to it and shined the light up and down the height of it. When the light hit the base, she spotted a big oil stain on the ground. Next to it, about three feet away was another one, and maybe three more next to that one in three feet intervals.

'This must mean there were other cars here,' Bulma figured. 'But where are they?' She began to pull the covering from the car when she heard a noise.

"What the hell are you doing here?" A female voice materialized from the darkness.

Rayven stood there, hands on her hips, waiting for an explanation.

Bulma jumped in surprise. "Fuck, Ray. you scared the shit out of me!" Bulma stalled, discreetly turning off the flashlight.

"What. The hell. Are you. Doing here?" she repeated.

Bulma didn't answer, all the excuses she was thinking of sounding quite lame. So she settled for the old, "None of your business."

Ray crossed her arms and walked in a skeptic circle around Bulma. "None of my business huh? I smell cop. And it smells like shit."

Bulma raised an eyebrow. "Then maybe you should keep your nose out of where it doesn't belong."

"So you admit it? I had a feeling you were a copper," she accused, sneering. "Wait 'til I tell Vegeta."

Bulma felt a moment of panic but then rolled her eyes and chuckled. "Who'd have known that your obsession with Vegeta would turn into full blown delusion?"

She saw Ray's face falter slightly. Bulma walked straight towards her with confidence until the other woman had to back away. "I wish I was a cop," Bulma told her, venom in her voice. "Then I could kick your ass, arrest you, and not have to worry about going to jail." 'Keep your cool, B. Don't deny it because that would be flat out admission.'

Ray glared at the other woman. "Okay, so you're not 5-0. Doesn't change the fact that you stole Vegeta from me."

Bulma let out a mental sigh of relief and shook her head. "We've had this same conversation before, and to be honest, I'd rather fall down three flights of stairs than listen to your garbage. So if you don't mind, I'm leaving."

She turned around to head for the steps to the door but Ray grabbed her elbow. "You never answered my question."

Bulma ripped her arm out of her grasp. "Which was?"

"What the hell you were doing down here in the first place."

"I was looking to see if there were a few extra NOS tanks. Obviously there aren't," she answered simply.

Ray shook her at what she thought was Bulma's stupidity. "If you were half competent, you'd know that the extras are in the junkyard."

Bulma shrugged and walked past her. "My bad."

She made her way up the stairs and out the door. She closed it behind her and leaned against it, letting out a much needed exhale. If she could, she'd pat herself on the back for not panicking at Rayven's suspicion.

She looked around the garage for Goku and spotted him with Chichi and Launch. The three were joking, laughing at something that Goku said. She watched Chichi touch Goku's bare arm tenderly and say something in his ear that made him grin.

She smiled a real smile. She was glad the two were getting along.

"Bulma!" Launch called. "I asked you to help me with this like an hour ago! Hurry up and get here before I do something we both won't like!"

Bulma sighed and shook her head. "Oh, shit. I forgot."

She headed to where Launch was, preferring not to be on the receiving end of one of her fits.

"So you've finally decided to grace us with your presence, eh Prince Vegeta," the detestable man on the other side of the desk greeted sarcastically.

Vegeta didn't answer, instead deciding to let Cooler's provocation go to waste.

"Why don't you take a seat?" Cooler offered, gesturing toward the chair in front of him.

Vegeta answered by leaning on the nearby wall, arms crossed.

"You know how stubborn Vegeta is, Father," the younger man, Frieza, reminded him.

"The only way he complies is if you threaten him and his family a bit," Dodoria, standing on the other side of Cooler, snickered.

Still, Vegeta did not answer but if one looked close, they would see his jaw clench.

"So," Cooler said cheerfully, "what do you have for us today Veggie boy?"

Vegeta gave him a scathing look at the pet name. "Nothing."

"Oh come now Vegeta," Cooler said, trying to keep his patience, "there must be something."

Vegeta shook his head. "Nothing."

He could see the man get red with anger. "You've been at this for weeks Vegeta! Yet you have no information for me at all? Every week it's the same damned answer!"

Vegeta shrugged.

"I know that you know who's up to those truck jackings. I have half a mind to think you're involved in them."

"What do you want me to tell you, Cooler? I know nothing."

"You're damn right you know nothing. You're useless!" he exclaimed, slamming his fist onto the table. "You know everyone in the street racing biz and someone in the street racing biz is responsible for those jackings. If you do the math correctly, that means you know who's up to it. Do you know what it would mean for us to solve this case before FBI? Do you even know? Of course you don't!"

He began to sweat so Dodoria handed him a tissue which he patted his forehead off with. "It would mean that our precinct would gain much attention and credibility. And do you know what goes hand in hand with attention and credibility?" He paused as if waiting for Vegeta to answer.

"Money!" Cooler shouted. "Free money from the government! Just imagine. A small gig like us solving this case before FBI. And legally too. We give you a badge and a gun and you can do whatever the hell you want to solve this. You can be as shady as you want, I don't give a damn. The government will be showering us with money. Not to mention the humiliation of the FBI. I can't stand those bastards."

Vegeta frowned at the man's warped mind. "Money to buy drugs and put it on the street?"

Cooler waved him off. Vegeta knew that Cooler was working on a drug empire. Pretty much had it built already. The fact that he was head of the local precinct was used to his advantage. Not to mention he had the Ginyus working for him and selling his shit. He was basically the most powerful man in the area.

"So, what if I never get any info for you?" Vegeta asked, already knowing the answer.

The three men chuckled. "Then a little boy and his mother might have a rather unfortunate accident. We wouldn't want that to happen, now, would we?"

Vegeta bit back his anger and left the room, assuming they were done. What the hell kind of mess had he been forced into?

Saturday night at the drags:

Bulma spaced out as the other women in the car gossiped and laughed good naturedly. She rested her head on the window and sighed.

Vegeta was avoiding her.

Okay, so Vegeta was avoiding everybody. Even more so than usual. Ever since the phone call he'd gotten that day on Monday, he'd been in a stage of manic depression. When they'd worked together on the car, he'd been silent and when she asked him what was wrong, he'd answered her with a grunt and a solid "mind your own goddamn business."

She knew better than to take offense but her pride wouldn't let her go so far as to attempt idle conversation with him. So she'd let him do most of the work while she'd worked on some projects of her own. Mainly finding clues to the case.

Hercule was strangely MIA for the week. He might have gone out of town with the wife sans authorization, but that could be dealt with. She exhaled again.

"Okay B. Sigh one more time and I'm going to have to throw you out of the car. With my bare hands." Juu wiggled her fingers on the steering wheel for effect.

Bulma almost blushed in embarrassment. She didn't know that she was being so loud. The other two women, Chichi and Launch, laughed at her expense.

"What's eating you?" Launch wanted to know.

Bulma shook her head. "Nothing. I'm just a little... stressed."

Juu chuckled. "Stressed or frustrated? As in sexually frustrated." They giggled like teenage girls.

"Vegeta not putting out huh? Don't worry. It happens to the best of us."

This time Bulma did blush. "I don't know what you're talking about." Bulma rolled her eyes. 'Lame cover.'

"I think you know what we mean," Chichi helped, raising her eyebrows. Apparently, news of the foiled 'date' between her, Yamcha, Ray, and Vegeta had spread to everyone during the last week. And from Bulma's perspective, the info had gone from Jay to Juu to Krillin and since telling Krillin was basically like telling everyone else...

"Jay and his big mouth," Bulma muttered. "I swear, it would be so much easier to like Vegeta if he wasn't so damn agitating. Sometimes you just want to shake the guy.

Juu laughed. "It's called The Dick, Bulma."

Launch and Chi snorted. "Something old Chi back there has never experienced. She's a 23 year old virgin in case you didn't know. How sweet, right?"

Chichi raised an eyebrow. "Airing dirty laundry are we?"

Juu shook her head and ignored her. "The Dick, Bulma, is a funny thing. It's a scientific fact that The Dick is where the male ego originates."

Chichi rolled her eyes in Bulma's direction.

"It's true. In fact, the bigger The Dick, the bigger the ego."

"And we all know what a big ego Vegeta has," Launch laughed.

Chichi exhaled loudly. "So didn't want to hear that."

The women laughed as Juu zagged the vehicle through the rapidly thickening horde of people. She stopped it in an open space next to a car that was blasting loud music and waited for the women to get out.

"A lot of people tonight," Bulma observed. Chichi nodded. "It's Saturday." She stood on her tiptoes and looked over the crowd. "I wonder if Goku's here yet."

Bulma raised an eyebrow but didn't comment on the other woman's eagerness to see Goku.

"He should be here already," she answered. "Either that or he forgot and went to Wendy's."

"There he is," Launch pointed out. They spotted him through the crowd munching on a bag of chips and looking like he was lost in his own little world. The four went over to greet him.

"Hey Goku," Bulma said when he saw them.

He smiled and set the chips on the car he was leaning on.

"Hey," he greeted back. "You ladies looking beautiful tonight, as usual."

Juu raised her eyebrows in pleased surprise. "I envy the girl who snags this one. Right Chi?" she said, turning to look at said woman.

Chichi crossed her arms. "I know not what you speak of."

"Oh really?" Juu challenged.

"Yes, really."

Goku shook his head in confusion. "Chichi, I think Juu's talking about you and me. You know? Just the other night in the kitchen we were kis--"

"Okay Goku," Chi cut him off. "I was just trying to be subtle."

"So much for that," Launch said.

"What are you planning on doing tonight?" Bulma asked Goku. He shrugged his shoulders. "I dunno. Hang out. Race Vegeta. Meet some new people." He said the second part so nonchalantly that Bulma didn't believe she heard right.

"Did he just say what I think he said?" Chichi asked the women incredulously.

Goku nodded his head and said a little annoyed. "I don't know why that's so hard to believe."

Chichi shook her head. "Because it's dangerous. Especially against Vegeta. He's reckless."

Goku sighed. "Believe it or not, I'm not as dumb as you think. At least I don't think I am. I know what I'm doing."

Chichi shook her head, not convinced, but letting him have his way. Bulma didn't argue, knowing that when Goku really wanted to do something, he would do it. He would just have to learn from his actions later.

"We gotta go," Juu said, referring to her and Launch. "We're on watch for 5-0 with Hared and Picollo. For some reason, Pic knows more about cops than most people. You'd think he was one himself or something. See you guys later?" The other three nodded and watched as they made their way through the noisy crowd.

"Well," Bulma said, "Guess that's my cue to act like I have something to do and leave. Don't want to interrupt another session of whatever happened in the kitchen the other night."

She winked and began to wander around, keeping an ear out for anything.

"Hey beautiful!" She heard a man call. "Do you wanna get broke off?" The other men he was hanging with began to laugh. She ignored them and kept walking.

'Not in the mood.' She felt the unknown man's large presence sidle up alongside her. He was a huge muscled burly man with a bald head. "So what do you say huh? Me, you? I mean, you look like we could have a good time."

Bulma rolled her eyes. This guy wasn't for real, was he? Obviously he was under the impression that he'd pick her up with his lines.

She didn't even glance at him. "No thanks," she replied absently. She finally spotted Vegeta a bit away, arms crossed, leaning against the door of his vehicle. He was in the company of guys this time. Probably guys he didn't know. They were standing in a huge circle, Vegeta, of course, out of the circle, egging two men on as they freestyled against each other. Vegeta just watched, not making a sound.

"Come on sweetie. You know you want this bod. What's your name anyway?"

Vegeta must have felt her gaze because he turned to glance at her.

"I'm Spopovitch. They call me Vitch."

Bulma gave Vegeta a look that said, 'Get over here before I kick this guy in the balls.'

Vegeta sighed irately, uncrossing his arms and walking towards them.

"Hey! Aren't you that one broad who almost killed Vegeta in that race a few weeks back? I wish you did. The guy's an asshole who needs to get beat once in a while."

"Is that right?" Vegeta inquired, stepping in between the two.

Bulma's sigh of relief at Vegeta's interruption turned into apprehension when he slid his arms around her possessively. She reflexively brought her hands to his chest.

Vitch's eyes widened in surprise and he backed up. "You know I'm just fucking around V. Didn't know she was your piece."

Bulma took offense at the term but opted not to say anything.

Vegeta gave him a condescending look. "Of course you didn't, Vitch," he said, accentuating the other man's name distastefully. "You can't help it if you're a little bit slow."

He slipped his thumbs into the back pockets of Bulma's short denim skirt, loosely cupping her bottom with his palms. Her stomach fluttered when he pulled her closer to him.

Vitch smiled, acting as if Vegeta was joking, yet knowing he wasn't. "Not as slow as you on the track," he said in the same joking-yet-not-joking manner.

Bulma felt it odd that the two knew how much they disliked each other, yet they were acting as if they didn't. So unlike Vegeta.

"I plan to see you at the Wars huh? We can race for slips?"

Vegeta nodded in a 'yeah right' kind of way.

"Well, I'm gonna go pick myself up a hot breezy," Vitch said, turning to leave. "There'd a whole bunch tonight just waiting to be fucked!"

"Happy hunting, dumb fuck," Vegeta muttered when the guy was out of hearing range.

Bulma waited for Vegeta to let go of her, but he didn't, seeming quite comfortable in their position.

"Thanks," she said sheepishly, feeling his hands burn through her skirt hotly.

"I hate that bastard," Vegeta said.

"I think I do too."


"Where's you usual flock of hot chicks?" she asked. "They appear to be MIA tonight. Replaced by a bunch of guys."

He finally unhooked his thumbs from her pockets and backed up to an appropriate distance, as if just remembering himself. She decided she like him better up close.

"Told 'em to leave me the hell alone."

Bulma raised an eyebrow. "Like you've been telling the rest of us lately"

"I have not," he disagreed.

"Right. You've been as pleasant as a ball of sunshine all week."

"Your sarcasm is refreshing."

She smiled, tilting her head to the side and combing a hand through the side of her hair. "I learn from the best. You know, I think you're starting to rub off on me," she admitted.

He smirked, forgoing the many innuendos he could say. "Is that a good thing?"

She gave him a thoughtful look. "I'm still trying to figure that out."

He didn't say anything, trying not to focus on how the hot air made a few soft tendrils of her hair curl femininely. They fell into a rare and shy silence.

"So," she started, suddenly feeling very bashful, "I heard Goku's dragging tonight."

"Yeah he is. He'll get turfed."

"Hey, I almost beat you once."

" 'Almost' and 'once' being the operative words."

"Hopefully you won't kill him out there."

"Literally or otherwise?"


He smirked. "I'm not promising anything, woman. I'll keep you in mind and try not to beat him too bad," he said arrogantly.

She rolled her eyes. "Such a big head for such a pea-brained male."

"With the sarcasm again," he said, walking back to his car. "You only do it because you like me."

She shook her head and watched him until he returned to his original stoic position, arms crossed, leaning on his car. A resounding 'oooh' went through the air as one battler hit the other with a witty lyrical punch.

She gave him one last smile and he tried to act like he didn't see her.

But she caught the barest hint of his upturned lips.

She turned around to wander again, a smile still gracing her own lips. It was odd how Vegeta could make her so angry, yet two minutes later, he'd have her permanently smiling like a botox patient.

"Hey Bulma," someone called a few feet from her side. It was Jay accompanied by Zaria. They walked over to her.

"What, are we Siamese twins now?" Bulma teased the two.

Zaria raised her eyebrows. "Talk about Siamese twins. You and Vegeta look like... like... I dunno, something Siamesy as comfortable as you two are."

"Like a Siamese cat?" Jay offered. Zaria made a face at him.

"No. Siamese cats are ugly."

"Oh please, you think Beyonce is ugly."

"I never said that," she insisted shaking her head.

"But that's what you think."

She playfully twisted his nipple.

"Ow! What the hell was that for?"

"That's for thinking you know what I'm thinking."

"Forget that! My turn to give you one. It'll be 'tit' for tat in the most literal sense."

Bulma shook her head. If she didn't like the two, she would have thought them almost sickeningly cute. She'd always liked Jay. And with Zaria's eclectic style, fishnet stockings, chuck sneakers, multiple bracelets and necklaces, and overall different personality, one couldn't help but like her either.

Zaria feigned being faint, putting a jangling wrist to her forehead. "Oh, Vegeta, I don't feel well," she cried in a high-pitched voice. "Please do something."

Jay laughed and said in a deep voice, "Just fall into my arms, woman. Hopefully the muscles I've obtained by doing nothing but turning the wheel will keep you warm."

The pair laughed at Bulma's expense. "Cute," was all she said. They felt the crowd begin to migrate someplace else.

"The race is about to start," Bulma guessed.

Jay nodded. "Let's go watch somebody lose."

* * * * *

Sorry that took so long to come out.... no excuses because, quite frankly, I've run out of them. It's time for me to start taking responsibility for my own actions! Responsibilities include school, basketball conditioning, family, life, drama, work, etc. Oh, look! I made excuses without actually meaning to make excuses! Now I know I'm good. But the main reason I couldn't post was because I was in Maryland this whole summer and I had a disk that had half this chapter typed out. The disk I had wasn't working and this disk had a lot of info on it that I hadn't written down, so I had to wait to get back to Cali.

Um, so what did you think? Did I miss anything? Is there something you guys need from me? Come on, I'll be your Dr. Phil. I've pretty much written down (on paper) the next two or three chapters (depending on how I separate them) and when I have time, I will post them. See, that's why I need a laptop to post faster, which by the way, my uncle will supply me only if I get a 4.0 GPA this term. Good news everybody, I got a 4.0 this half term so I'm halfway there!

I feel like I'm missing something, but it's probably not that important anyway.

Peace, luv, and chicken grease!


Table of Contents
Chapter 17
Chapter 19