I do not own Dragonball Z or it's characters...
The End Always Justifies The Means...Or Does It?
Bulma Briefs lay on the cool floor of her lab, well make-shift lab anyway. Since the artificial humans had proceeded to take out every bit of civilization, the people of Chikyuu had been forced to take drastic measures for their safety and she had been no different. She had all the money one could possibly have, yet it wasn't enough to secure her peace of mind or buy her security. She sighed. The cool floor felt good on the hot, scorching day. When they had destroyed everything the first time , they had unfortunately taken out the air conditioning machines and the back up generator. While it was mostly cool in the underground shelter they had, her lab in particular, was sweltering. The air barely moved and she inevitably spent all her time sweating to death in the stupid place. She needed a fan. She popped her head up on her elbow and looked at the computer that she had been slaving over all day. How had her future self accomplished that? Was it desperate times breed desperate measures or was she just more intelligent in her older years. Her future son was desperate to get home, shadowing her every move, wanting to know what she had accomplished. Had she figured out how to build a new time machine, how long would it be before she had figured it out. She let her head drop back down onto the floor. Everyday she was faced with the same disappointed, haunted look on the boy's handsome face, the face that so resembled his father. She had no clue to how she had accomplished it and until she did, he was unfortunately stuck there. Damn those stupid artificial humans. Why did they have to destroy his time machine anyway. His mother, her future self was probably missing him like crazy and she knew he agonized over the safety of her on a daily basis, regretting his decision to even come to the future in the first place. She could see his guilt and anguish, his thoughts that it had all been for nought. Things hadn't turned out any better in this timeline. The main differences being that both Goku and his father were still very much alive, but both completely unable to defeat the artificial humans. That Vegeta was still alive was enough for her. His trip had paid off in that regard and Goku...it had been well worth it. The inability to defeat the artificial humans had driven Vegeta nearly insane with anger. He had never been one to share much anyway, but before the artificial humans things had been different, he'd been different, if not loving and devoted at least intensely focused on their mutual feelings. The burning desire for each other. Now she rarely saw him anymore and when she did it usually ended in a flux of angry, ugly words, usually on his part. She had stopped fighting him a long time ago. Maybe she had mellowed or maybe she realized it did her no good. She would allow him to tear into her, trying to ignore the hurt that his words caused, the pain, then she would silently leave,allowing him whatever space he seemed to need, trying to clean up the wounds he left her with as best she could. She had accepted that it was over between them, or had it ever really been them. She wondered sometimes if she had completely misjudged him. She loved him completely and totally, had given herself to him repeatedly and fully. She knew there was a living, breathing man underneath all that cold arrogant behavior, she had seen him, felt him, loved him but he refused to let her see that side of him anymore and she had been forced to come to terms with the idea, that she was the only one with strong feelings, that for him it had been purely lust. Her pride refused to allow her to grovel over someone who could care less about her existence and what was worse his own son's existence, an incovenient consequence of all their times together. Once he had been enthralled with Trunks, when the initial shock of parenthood had worn off. He had never been a doting father,but she had seen him watching the baby in quiet awe, from time to time, seen the wealth of emotions he did his best to contain, shining in his beautiful, black eyes. Now the only look any of them recieved was the cold look of a man who saw them as a nuisance, a setback, a man filled with pain and anger.
"Bulma, you shouldn't be down here. It's hotter then hell. " Goku's kind voice invaded her thoughts. It was a welcome invasion however. If she kept thinking about Vegeta, she would inevitably end up in tears and she couldn't do it today. She just couldn't. She rolled over onto her stomach and stared up at her friend. He still looked like a pale shadow of his former self. The heart virus had hit him hard and while the medicine Trunks had brought with him had saved his life, his strength had been stripped from him completely, leaving him weak and defenseless. She was still gloriously happy he was alive. Her life without his goofy smile and loving attitude would have been unbearable, it was too ingrained in her life, had been for many long years. She got to her feet and hugged him, glad to see a friendly face.
"What was that for?" He pulled away from her and smiled.
"I'm just glad you're alright. " She stared into his wide black eyes, so expressive and open. Goku looked back at her and frowned slightly. He saw the black circles underneath her eyes, saw the war weary look of sadness about her, as if she had fought her last battle and realized it.
"Bulma, Chi-Chi and I are worried about you. You're not taking very good care of yourself and I know Vegeta has been hard on you." He had been an unfortunate witness to one of Vegeta's mean-spirited tirades earlier. He knew that Vegeta was frustrated and looking for an outlet, any outlet that might help him, but Goku felt they were all that way, they needn't take it out on each other. Bulma hadn't deserved his angry words. He had hurt for her and had wanted to go after Vegeta to say something to him, but Chi-Chi had stopped him. In the end he had agreed with her. Vegeta was unlikely to listen to anything Goku had to say to him. It might actually make things worse. She had suggested that they be better friends to Bulma, to be there for her. Vegeta obviously wasn't and only a fool would miss seeing how worn out and hopeless she was beginning to get.
"Well, you know Vegeta. Kindness and tact have never been his strong suit." She tried to make light of it. She saw he wasn't buying it. He really knew her too well.
"Bulma, Vegeta has no right to berate you. Chi-Chi and I think you need a break. It's big Trunks night for patrol, so why don't you and little Trunks come join us in our room for dinner. Chi-Chi will fix something great."
It was on the tip of her tongue to say no, to just make him leave and go about her business, but she had been so lonely and the companionship would be so nice to have. To have an adult conversation with grown-ups, not just babble to a baby. Why not. It would be like old times, at least for awhile until reality intruded upon her again in the form of an empty bed and a lonely heart.
"Alright, Goku. That might be just what I need. Oh, by the way, I have made up some of those transmitters that we can use to bug Dr. Gero's main lab. We just need to get someone to plant them."
Goku's face lit up. "That's great Bulma. Maybe we can figure out what it is that Gero is going to do before he does it. It might give us a chance to stop him." The transmitters had been his idea, the only thing he could contribute since his illness. Bulma didn't miss the pained look that crossed his face, the knowledge that he might never get back his strength, might never be physically whole again ate at him. She wondered how he was really holding up but refrained from asking him not wanting to make him think of it.
"Well it's a start anyway." She began the shut down on the computer. Yes, Gero had fixed them all good. With only two artificial humans he had managed to take over the entire world. He now ran it from his mountain laboratory, hidden and nearly impenetrable, or so she had been told. No one ever saw him, only his two artificial humans of death. He would be difficult to bring down. Kami knew what horrors he was dreaming up in his lab right now, horrors he would leash upon the earth. She could only imagine. They left the workroom in silence and she locked the doors behind them. Not like it would keep artificial humans out, but it still gave her some small peace of security. She'd never be able to explain it. She smiled at Goku and took his arm, hoping to lighten the mood.
"So what's for dinner" Chi-Chi could always be counted on to whip up something incredibly delicious. Her stomach growled at the thought. She'd skipped lunch. She was starving.
"I'm not sure. Chi-Chi never tells me, she likes to surprise me."
Bulma smiled at that. "Alright, let me get cleaned up and gather Trunks from mama and we'll be there in a bit." She stopped at her room and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks for thinking of me."
"Bulma, we love you. You know that." He pushed her to her door, then turned and strolled down the hallway to his own rooms. She smiled and opened her door. She'd shower first, then dress and go fetch Trunks. She made her way to her small bath, at least small by what she was used to and wasn't surpised to see that someone was already in there, taking a shower. Vegeta. It amazed her, how she wasn't good enough to sleep with or carry on a normal conversation with, yet for some inexplicable reason, her shower was the only one he would bother using. She rolled her eyes. Maybe she should just go get Trunks now and come back afterwards. She could set him up in the bathroom with her. She had absolutely no desire to end up on the short end of his tongue. She dismissed that idea as soon as it entered her mind. No she wouldn't hide from him. This was her room, her only sanctuary. He'd given it up. She wouldn't be chased out of it. He'd just have to deal with her presence. She turned back to her room and began pulling out clean clothes to change into. When she had gathered them she sat patiently on the bed waiting for him to finish, hands folded neatly in her lap. He trained so hard and always went looking for fights with those stupid artificial humans that she hadn't the heart to make him take a shorter shower. She imagined the warm water felt good on his aching muscles. He had used to allow her to rub those muscles after he had trained. She could remember the soft moans he had unwillingly let escape as she massaged his shoulders and his back. The teasing look on his face as he rolled over and tempted her to do more then rub his muscles. Somehow he had always managed to get her to comply. She laid back on the bed and closed her eyes, trying to remember a time when her life had been simpler. She couldn't do it. It had been that long. She yawned trying to ignore the sleepiness that was starting to overtake her. She lost the battle, maybe a short nap would refresh her a bit.
Vegeta came out of the bathroom, well aware she was there. He had sensed her when she came in. So she wants to fight some more. He smirked. He would be happy to oblige her. He slipped into his shorts and entered the small room, frowning when he did not immediately see her. He looked around, spotting her sound asleep on the bed, a bed barely big enough for two. He walked over to her, hand stretched out to shake her awake, to goad her, enrage her. Instead he found himself caressing the fine line of her jaw, his thumb flaring out, caressing the full, bottom lip. It had been so long since he had tasted her, made love to her. He bent down and bit the lip gently, his mouth trailing down the smooth skin of her neck to the mark that signified their mating. His tongue lashed out to caress it. He felt her stir slightly, but she didn't awaken. He felt the ache he had for her, deep and neverending. He jerked his head up and away. No, he would not do this. Damn her. She had distracted him when he most needed to be strong, forced him to feel things he wasn't ready to feel, offered him things he had no business accepting. No he would not be weak like that again. He would not allow himself the luxury of feeling things he had no right to feel. He was a warrior, born and bred from a warrior race, not a love-struck idiot. If his peace of mind came at the price of her hatred, then so be it. He would antagonize her, goad her, hurt her until she turned from him and fled, never looking back. He didn't want to think what it would do to him when that happened, but he knew that for him, there could be no other way. He turned in disgust and hunted for his battle armor. He had not planned on going out tonight, had not planned on hunting, but now he had the overwhelming urge to kill something, anything, whatever would take his mind off of her. He sat on the edge of the bed, as far away as he could get from her, and roughly jerked his suit and armor on, the Saiyajin armor she had designed for him. Tonight was as good as any to go chase after the artificial humans. He could lose himself in the mindless rage of the battle and forget at least for a moment this damn Chikyuu-jin woman and the many things she offered him.
He stood and jerked open the door, coming face to face with his son, his future son. He snarled, of all the people to run into, this weak fool was not the one he wanted to see.
Trunks stepped back from the door, surprised to see his father. He had not seen his father in his mother's room ever, had not expected to see him. The look of contempt wounded him, but he would not let the bastard see that. Squaring his shoulders he stepped forward. "I came to speak to Bulma...I mean mom."
"Your mother is asleep. Don't bother her now." Vegeta's voice rang cold and hard in the relative warmth of the hall. He stepped forward menacingly and shut the door, brushing Trunks aside by his mere presence, starting down the long hall. He found it strange that this boy was his son, was Bulma's son. He was barely thirty, yet here stood the adult version of his son, staring at him, and with his mother's eyes no less, an almost constant reminder of her presence in his life, of their connection.
"Where are you going father? It's my turn to patrol tonight."
"I don't particularly care. I'm looking for my own amusement, I'm not interested in yours."
"Father, you can't go looking for trouble. You'll get yourself killed."
"Shut up, brat. I am fully capable of taking care of myself, I require nothing from you. I am the Prince of The Saiyajins, best you remember that."
"What about Mom? What happens to her if you die?"
"Why should I care? She means nothing to me." That was a lie, but the brat didn't need to know that. Truth was, his death wasn't even something he had entertained. The thought of her being left on her own brought him up cold. He watched as Trunk's eyes narrowed, her color, but his expression, almost identically. He almost smirked, but forced himself not to. "Enough of this pointless conversation. Leave me alone, boy."
Trunks stopped and watched as his father continued down the hall. "Someday dad, you're going to have to recognize me." His voice was low, barely more then a whisper. He turned in disgust and walked away. It was time to prepare for his own patrol, let his stubborn father worry about himself.
"Chi-Chi, this is excellent." She forked the food into her mouth, savoring all the flavors Chi-Chi managed to get into her food. She wished she was a better cook, not that she was bad, but she couldn't compare to Chi-Chi.
"Fill up, Bulma. I don't think you're getting anywhere near enough to eat these days." She turned and watched her husband shovel his food in his mouth, shaking her head at his table manners. "Goku, I just don't know how you can eat that way."
Bulma smiled. He'd eaten that way pretty much since she'd met him. "Where are Gohan and your dad?"
"Oh, Gohan wanted to go and check out some of your father's new inventions, dad too. He is as big a kid as Gohan is."
Bulma smiled. "I haven't seen dad in awhile. He's been locked away in his lab and I've been trying to get this time machine working for Trunks."
"Still no luck?" Goku looked at her with concern.
Bulma shook her head, "No and everyday he asks me and when I can't tell him yes, he looks at me and I just can't..." She sighed, calming her voice, slowing her words. She wouldn't break down here, breakdowns were for the night when she lay alone and awake. She had learned that the hard way, thanks to Vegeta. "He's such a good boy, never says anything, just walks away with his head down. I just have to figure it out someway, somehow." Her head drooped.
"You will Bulma. You just have to have faith. I have never known a time when you couldn't come up with something. " Goku laid a gentle hand on her shoulder, her hand came up to rest briefly on his, then she stood abruptly, needing to get away. All this kindness was going to be her undoing.
"Well, I had better get Trunks and go to bed. I unfortunately have a very busy day planned for tomorrow. Goku you might want to call a meeting about the transmitters. The sooner we get them in place the better."
"I will Bulma." Goku stood, Chi-Chi behind him.
"Thanks for the dinner guys. It was delicious." She hugged them both, noticing the frailness of Goku's body against hers. How could such a strong, vibrant man be brought to this.
"You just take care...." Chi-Chi's words were cut off abruptly by an explosion that rocked the entire compound. Bulma fell back against the wall, scrambling to get up and reach Trunks.
"It's the artificial humans!" Goku yelled at them." Come on we have to get to shelter." He staggered as another explosion rang through the building. Bulma managed to reach Trunks, sheltering his body as chunks of the wall and ceiling fell around them. No she couldn't let her baby be hurt, damn those stupid artificial humans. Impotent rage filled her as they continued their viscious attack, reigning terror, smoke and destruction in their wake. She had to figure a way to stop them. She winced as a piece of wall clipped her head, her hand felt for the spot drawing back blood. She tried to push Trunks as far under her as she safely could, praying that the artificial humans didn't decide to go looking for the people that were on Gero's wanted dead or alive list. A list she and Goku were featured prominently on. She closed her eyes as the explosions continued and prayed, prayed for an end, for help, for whatever would end this senseless destruction, never seeing the piece of wall that hit her and sent her into the sweet black oblivion of empty awareness.
Juuhachigou smiled at her brother, her face lit from the fires that were spreading through the city. How good it felt to destroy things. It was such fun.
Juunanagou smiled back at her. "Are you having fun sis?" His smooth voice yelled to her.
"Yes! This is exhilirating." She turned and fired another blast at the rounded dome of Capsule Corporation. Gero wanted it destroyed completely and that was one order she didn't mind following at all.
"I think we're about done sis." Her brother yelled back at her. "Time to head back and make a report to Gero." Juuhachigou rolled her blue eyes causing her brother to smile coldly. "don't worry. It won't be much longer, we'll be free before you know it." He turned and flew off back towards the mountain that held his home, his sister following closely behind him.
Vegeta whirled in the air at the sound of the first explosion. He had been looking for the worthless piles of junk all night, looked over three different cities, but had so far turned up nothing. These explosions were coming from close to home. Dammit, Bulma, Trunks..he rocketed towards the flashing light and explosions that he could see in the distance. He had to get back, had to make sure his mate was safe, his son. He lost all reason but the instincual need to protect his own. Reaching out to her, to feel her ki, he was stunned to find it weak, and thready. He sped up, traveling faster then he had ever traveled before, coming up short as he saw the entire city in smoking ruin. What had the point been? They had already devestated the area awhile ago, why come back, why finish it this way? He saw the flashing lights of the explosions moving off in the distance, slowly moving away to wreak havoc on the countryside. He should pursue them, destroy them, but he couldn't. Bulma. He rocketed off towards Capsule Corporation, coming to a stop at the twisted mass of wreckage that was left behind. His heart stopped. Why had they come back like this, why had they attacked this way. Capsule Corp had already been damaged beyond belief, Gero couldn't have known of the underground shelter. He turned sharply at the energy source he sensed coming straight at him, relaxing only slightly as he saw Trunks. "Where have you been boy? I thought it was your turn to patrol tonight?" Fury pumped through his blood that this boy had failed to do the job that had been given him. If anything had happened to Bulma, he would kill him, son or not.
"I was." Trunks replied angrily. "I got pulled away from here by a group of people that had seen the artificial humans in the countryside. I went to check it out, when all this started. I got back here as fast as I could."
"You fool. You're first duty should have been to your home." He turned away in disgust, more for himself, then for Trunks. He had left too, left her alone to protect herself.
"Home?" Trunks asked in disbelief. "Home? This isn't my home. My home is twenty years in the future. My mother is alone, I don't even know if she's dead or alive.." His voice broke off, choked with unwanted emotion he would be damned if he would show his father. Rationally he knew he would have gladly died protecting his young mother, but his father's viscious words taunted him, willed him to lash back.
"Your mother was alone here, brat. She gave you a place to stay, works herself to death trying to get you back, and you can't even be counted on to help her when she needs it?"
"How in the hell do you know what she does, you don't even care if she lives or dies. You weren't even here yourself." Trunks took an unwilling step forward, ready to do battle. Why was his father so upset? He claimed not to care about Bulma one way or the other so what did it really matter to him.
Vegeta's fists clenched, aching to beat the shit out of his mouthy son, but he stopped himself. He'd give too much away if he did that, too much that was private and personal. He wasn't ready to lay bare the secrets of his mind and soul, most especially to this brat. "Enough of this pointless conversation." He hunted around for the entrance to the shelter, finding it buried under a mountain of rubble. He blasted it quickly and dropped down, cringing as he saw the debri and destruction that lay in the empty hall. The lights hung flickering on and off, illuminating the hall weakly and sporadically. Around him, he heard only eerie silence. The silence was deafening and left him with a gnawing fear in his gut that he could only recall having a handful of times in his life. He heard Trunks drop down behind him, but ignored him, moving forward towards the room that was Bulma's. The door hung off the hinges, beams and plaster and debri lay everywhere, covering every inch. Bulma was not there. He could sense her ki further down, towards Kakkarot's room. What in the hell was she doing there? He made his way through the mess and towards the room, entering through the hole that had been blasted in the wall. His heart stopped as he saw her laying on the floor, her blue hair strewn across her face. A glance to his left showed Goku and Chi-Chi lying against the wall, unconcious. He looked back at Trunks, "See to them." He moved towards Bulma, gently brushing her hair from her face, cringing at the gash that slashed across her forehead. She was bleeding heavily. He needed to get her help. He could hear his son's muffled cries, but could see him no where. In frustration he sought out his ki and located it under the bed. Somehow Bulma had managed to push him under, taking the brunt of the attack herself. Concious of his future son's ever watching eyes, he made no move towards Bulma, restraining himself from showing her any great concern. "Your mother needs help, I need to find a regen tank, you see to the people here. He gently lifted her into his arms, bending down and grabbing the baby by his shirt. Bulma would have killed him if she'd seen the way he'd grabbed the boy, but he could care less. She coddled the brat too much. He was a Saiyajin and perfectly able to handle rough treatment.
"Father, Bulma, I mean mom has senzu beans in her room. She kept them for emergencies." Trunks looked at him with concern for his young mother. She was bleeding heavily from a gash in her head and had yet to reain conciousness. "Is she going to to be alright?" He put voice to his greatest fear, not only for this Bulma, but another Bulma who was trapped without him in a hell of even greater proportions Vegeta leveled a killing gaze at him even as he left the room to get her help.
"You'd better pray she will be." He flew out the door, straight back to the mess of a room that had served as hers. His son struggled in his grip causing him to growl. "Be still brat before I drop you."He dropped down in front of Bulma's smashed in door and went in, looking through the debri and rubble, attempting to find a place that Bulma would have stuck her senzu. The dresser stood against the far wall, covered in plaster and blocked by a metal beam. Another metal beam lay across the bed. If she'd been in here she would have been...he broke off the thought as his throat convulsed tight and hot, raw and unwanted emotion trying to take hold of him. No he would not think of it. She was alright,she was safe and she would be as good as knew after he had found the damn senzu. He let the baby drop gently on the bed while he threw the beam off. He laid her down on her bed gently, before turning to the dresser to check for the senzu. Dammit, why hadn't she ever mentioned them to him before. He could think of several occasions where she had produced them after he had been injured in battles with Juuhachigou and her sadistic brother Juunanagou. She'd pulled him back from death's door on more then one occasion, yet she had never once said anything to him about the senzu. Because you were never around..the unwanted thought flitted through his brain. He clenched his teeth, refusing to even think of anything else but getting her the senzu. Then he would have to find a safe place for her and his son to spend the night. He tossed the beam aside, wincing at the ringing clatter that it made as it hit against the floor. He jerked open the each damaged door of the dresser,pushing Bulma's clothes around, looking for anything that might be holding senzu. He finally found the loosely tied bag in the bottom drawer amongst Bulma's rather scanty underwear. He felt heat rising in his face as he thought about that underwear and the last time he had seen her in some. He had been floored. Nothing in Frieza's army had ever prepared him for Bulma or even sex with Bulma. When she had come to him, he had been completely untried, having never been allowed to experiment or even think about sex. Not that he hadn't tried, but the few times he'd attempted to try it out with some willing woman, Frieza had beaten the life out of him each time. Frieza seemed to be saving him for something and even now he shuddered to think what that might have been, he'd do better to push that unwanted memory away. He was completely and gloriously free of Frieza and was free to do what he wanted and that included having sex, though he had not had sex with anyone but Bulma and didn't figure he ever would. He had been absolutely clueless as to what to do with her when she had first approached him, though his body had responded in several different ways to her teasing and taunting until he had managed to get a hold of her and give her exactly what she wanted, several times a he recalled. He had come unglued in her arms,never even thinking that it could have been so incredibly good. He could still recall his shaking, trembling body in her arms, trying to regain the control that he had so prided himself on. He had wanted her with a passion that was unheard of in his race ever since that day and had even gone as far as to take her as his mate, making sure that he took her every night and they had managed to discover several things together. He smirked at the memory, before he noticed that he was already starting to respond to his own thoughts. The smirk turned to a grimace as he angrily grabbed the bag of senzu and stalked back over to her, kneeling by her bed. He was not going back to that with her. She had inspired him to several acts of foolishness and had caused him to bend his pride back further then he would have ever considered for anyone else. He could not forget that and he would be damned if he would do it again. Bulma and love and anything that went with those two words was out of the question for him. He was a killer, stuck on this mudball by circumstances, not by choice. His past was littered with so many acts of horrendous violence he would never be able to live them down. There could be any number of people looking to kill him or pay back whatever atrocity he'd visited upon them. A normal life was out of the question. Bulma and Trunks were out of the question. He would not endanger them and he didn't give a moment's pause as to why he would even care if they were endangered. Bulma was the only one who had offered to take him in, to help him out, and why she should have was beyond him. He had done nothing but threaten her and bully her, yet somehow she had managed to see past all that and reach out to him anyway. Of course he had not appreciated it in the least. She was a fool, and he would have no trouble taking advantage of a fool. He'd willingly taken everyting she'd offered him, even her body and her heart, finding out too late that he was the one who had been ensnared. He pushed a senzu into her mouth, forcing her to swallow and set back to wait. Of course he'd been furious when she'd turned up pregnant with Trunks, not even considering he might have some small part in it. He'd left her like a coward, left her to deal with the pregnancy and labor and delivery all by herself, rocketing into outerspace to escape her and his feelings,to achieve the power that he had so wanted. SuperSaiyajin. He'd spent every day worrying about her health, wondering if she would even be able to tolerate a Saiyajin baby, but he had stubbornly refused to even go and peak in a window at her,training himself to a pulp, nearly dieing and returning some three months after the baby had been born, a SuperSaiyajin. For all the good it had done him.He still couldn't defeat the two bastard artificial humans, nor apparently could he protect his mate. It only reinforced his belief that he had made the right choice in leaving her. If he couldn't keep her from two hunks of trash, what would he do if some long forgotten memory of his past decided to pay a visit. He didn't doubt there were bounties on his head in several parts of the galaxy. Eventually one of those would catch up to him and he really didn't want her anywhere near him when that occurred. He watched as she came awake, groaning low in her throat, her hand sweeping up to her face, drawing back blood.
"Oh, no.What happened?" She sat up suddenly, "Trunks. Oh no! Where's my baby. Juuhachigou and her brother. They were here." She looked at Vegeta terrified, seeming to notice him for the first time."
"Settle down, woman. The brat is here and unharmed. The two junkpiles are gone."
She laid back, relaxing a bit,allowing Vegeta to wipe the blood off her face. He used a piece of cloth he had found on the floor, wiping it gently and nodding his approval as he saw the senzu had healed the cut completely. She could hear Trunk's soft babbling coming from the floor. Had Vegeta helped both of them?
"Why are you here? I thought you were gone."
He regarded her with an inscrutable stare for only a moment before answering coolly. "I was in the area, and saw the devestation. It was too late to go after the artificial humans so I came down to see what had happened. I might need you in the future woman, you and your inventions. I can't afford to let you die." He ignored the look of cold, hurt that infused her face. What did she want him to say? That he had freaked out when he had seen the corporation, that he had been frantic with worry for her, that he loved her? No he would never admit any of those things at all. He sighed as she set up, withdrawing herself, sinking back into the angry shell she used to protect herself from him. It was getting harder and harder to do this with her.
"Well I suppose I should be grateful Vegeta that you even bothered. I guess Trunks and I are alive because of you, so thanks,no matter the reasoning behind it." Her eyes flared wide. "Oh, no..Goku and Chi-Chi, we were having dinner, are they alright?"
"I have no idea. I was concentrating on you. Trunks was seeing to them." He sat back as Bulma swung herself off her bed, reaching down to scoop up her small son.
"I have to go give them some senzu Vegeta. They may be hurt badly. She grabbed the bag out of his hand, rushing down the hall, trying to dodge every piece of rubble and fallen building that she could, in her hurry to get back to her friends. Vegeta followed her, silently fuming that she would care so much about that weak, third class loser. They would do better to let Kakkarot die. Whatever strength he had held was gone now, rendering him useless in the battle against the artificial humans. All the other so called Z warriors except for Kakkarot's brat had been killed or presumed dead, leaving only him and his future son to battle the pair from Hell. Kakkarot was a liability and Bulma needed to recognize that.
"Idiot." He muttered under his breath, unsure whether he meant Bulma or Kakkarot He still needed to figure out a place to go for the night with them. He supposed he could take them back to his own shelter, though he wasn't really big on that idea. The whole idea that Bulma would be where he slept, sleeping with him for any undetermined amount of time, leavinf her scent on everything that was his, was almost more then he could stand. He didn't trust himself to be able to keep his hands off of her. The whole idea of being able to feel that body against his made him tremble with a need he had thought banished from his body. He cursed himself for being weak. What in the hell was he going to do?
Bulma managed to make it back to Goku's room, well aware that Vegeta was following her, and trying not to let that thought excite her. Why was he continuing to follow her? Could he care more then he wanted to admit? No she wouldn't even pursue the idea. It was too painful when he did something mean and spiteful to prove that he couldn't stand her. She refused to continue to go through this with him anymore. She needed to think about Trunks and his well being, and having a mean-spirited, bully of a father around was not going to be healthy. She turned into the room and gasped at the sight of her son, her future son, attempting to get Goku to come around.Chi-Chi sat back against the wall, awake, but obviously dazed, watching Trunks tearfully. Bulma ran to her.
"Oh No, Chi-Chi are you alright?" She handed the woman a senzu and watched as she chewed.
"Bulma, you have to help Goku, please. I think the heart virus has hurt his ability to heal, more then we thought. Trunks can't get him to wake up and Gohan, I don't even know of Gohan is alive. She choked on a sob, noticing Vegeta standing in the doorway, watching evrything impassively. "What's he doing here?"
Bulma glanced back at Vegeta and smiled slightly. "He helped me out, thankfully, or I would still be laying on the floor myself." She set Trunks down by Chi-Chi, and hurried over to Trunks. "Trunks why don't you go and track down Gohan. He was with my father in his lab. See if they are okay? "She didn't want to think that they might not be, especially her father. He had to be alright. Trunks nodded at her once and accepted the small handful of senzu she offered him, before hurrying out, reading the unspoken fear in her eyes. He brushed past his father, ignoring the cold glance that radiated out towards him. His father was becoming an enigma to him, acting like a bastard ninety-nine percent of the time, yet flying to his mother's aid as if Hell were on his heels. How did one explain that? He didn't have time to figure the man out right now. Now he needed to go and check on his grandfather and Gohan and any other poor soul that had been victimized by the damn artificial humans. He prayed his mother could get Goku to come around, that it wasn't too late for him.
Bulma bent over Gokou, and felt for a pulse. It was weak and thready, but it was there. She bent low to his mouth and could barely make out his raspy breathing. Oh, Kami, it was bad. She felt the rush of tears that threatened to flow out, and pushed them away. No, if she had any hope of getting him to come around she had to maintain control and keep her composure. She grabbed a senzu and popped it into his mouth, forcing him to swallow. She sat back and dashed away a few stray tears that had found their way out. Great, just what she needed Vegeta to see, her sobbing. He already thought she was a weak fool, nothing like falling apart in a moment of crisis to reinforce that idea.
"Bulma, is he okay?"
"He's still alive Chi-Chi and I just gave him a senzu. I won't know for a minute." She looked back at the frightened woman who sat quietly holding Trunks against her, silent tears seeping down her face. "It'll be okay Chi-Chi. You have to have faith."
"You'd do better to let him die, woman." Bulma closed her eyes at his voice. Dammit, why did he always have to be a bastard in front of other people. Just what she needed, a fight to the death between him and Chi-Chi. She opened her eyes and realized her worse fears as Chi-Chi's face lit with rage, something that was truly frightening in itself.
"How dare you, you son of a bitch! How dare you come in here after all that man has done for you and tell me he would be better off dead!" Chi-Chi scrambled to her feet, fear for Goku forgotten as she sought to put Vegeta down a notch.
"It is the way of warriors, idiot. Kakkarot is weak, he is a liabilty now and would tell you that himself." He crossed his arms over his chest.
"Why you bastard." Chi-Chi looked as if she was going to launch herself at him, Bulma stood quickly, placing herself between the two.
"I'm not going to allow Goku to die, not when their is breath still left in my body.Now come on, the senzu should be working, we don't want him to wake up to our fighting." She turned her icy, blue-eyed gaze round towards Vegeta, daring him to disagree with her. He growled, but remained silent. What did he care what she did? Bulma grinned at the petulant look on his face and turned back towards Goku. She could already see the color coming back to his face a bit, at least as much color as he had been able to get back since the heart virus. He just hadn't been the same, healthy man he'd been before. She smiled in relief as he groaned slightly. She bent to check his pulse and was relieved to feel it stronger. The senzu had done its job. She stood and took Trunks from Chi-Chi, allowing the woman to kneel by her recovering husband. She stood back, speaking softly. "Chi-Chi, I'll go and check on Gohan. Trunks should have found them by now." She turned to leave, smiling at the couple on the floor. Thank Kami, she'd had the senzu. She'd kept them for emergencies, most of those being Vegeta who didn't know when to quit with the two artificial humans and who had more times then she would have liked come to her, barely alive, dripping blood and in sore need of medical attention. They had saved his life on more then one occasion. She should just give him the bag, maybe then she could stop living in fear of his imminent death, a thought she didn't even want to contemplate. She saw him standing there, watching her quietly, doing his best to ignore the couple on the floor. She was overcome in that one moment at the thought that something might happen to him, something she couldn't prevent. He was as high up on Gero's wanted list as she or Goku, faced risks everyday that he didn't have to and for what? The challenge. Perhaps, though she didn't neccesarily believe that. She walked over to him, watching him straighten as she approached. Unable to stop herself and knowing it was going to be a mistake, but needing the contact even for a brief moment in time, she threw an arm around him and pulled herself against him, hugging him tightly. "I'm so glad you are alright." She whispered huskily into his ear. She was shocked to feel his arms slip around her and tighten almost imperceptibly, his hard body relaxing for the briefest of moments against hers, before he shoved her away, mumbling something about foolish women. She smiled and turned to go, but his hand shot out,stopping her.
"Where are you going woman?"
"To check on my father."
"He's fine." Vegeta stared at her piercingly.
"How do you...? Oh yeah, I forgot, his ki signature. " She sighed in relief. "Wait a minute how about mama?" She looked frantically at him. He searched for a moment, then nodded.
"She is fine and with him. Trunks is there as well."
Bulma sagged in relief. "Thank goodness. I'd still like to go and check on them." She made to break away form Vegeta's grip, but he wouldn't allow it.
"Woman, they are fine, let Trunks deal with it. We need to find you and the brat a place to stay for the night, until you can figure out a new shelter." She looked at him in surprise for a moment. Why would he care where she slept?
"I can just stay in my room, Vegeta. The bed was clear enough to lay on.." He interupted her with an angry growl.
"Don't be stupid woman. Those two could come back and completely demolish this place. You won't be staying here."
"Well,Vegeta, I just can't go and leave everyone here to risk their lives. I need to stay and help. "
"Woman.." He growled again. She refused to back down.
"No Vegeta. I'm not going to run out on my friends and family. I won't force you to stay here, you can leave if you want." She tried to smile at him, but was taken aback at the ferocity of his look.
"You have one hour woman, to get what you need together. I'll be back." He turned and left, leaving her standing there nonplussed. Since when had he given a damn about her well being and safety before? Why did she always have to fall for the complex, hard to figure bad boys that inevitably trampled all over her heart. She shook her head and quickly made her way to her father's lab. One hour huh? She didn't doubt he would throw her over his shoulder and carry her off either. He'd have no problems doing that. The thought made her smile. Perhaps he cared more for her then she had originally thought.
"Doctor Gero," the smooth voice almost lulled the doctor to sleep, it was so calm and detached. He swiveled in his chair and regarded his monstrous creation with a jaded eye."We destroyed the rest of Capsule Corporation as you wished." The male, Juunanagou, standing beside his sister, Juuhachigou, so many bugs to iron out still. They were so defiant, so willfull. He wondered if that was the human side of them? He had been working on several new models, that he hoped would be much more loyal then these two satanic spawn. He smiled regardless. Satanic because he had made them that way. The new artificial human he was creating would be even better, even meaner, stronger and more of a ruthless killer and what was even better was that he could create an entire army of them. Let Vegeta or Goku try to fight. They would be crushed in moments and this planet would be his completely. With Vegeta out of the way he might be able to gain access to the Brief's girl, a brilliant scientist in her own right. A memory wipe and she would be his. He smiled at the thought. The things they could create together. The universe would be theirs, and a child. What kind of child would two people with their intelligence create. He frowned. It would not be possible until Vegeta was dead. He had proven difficult to kill and Gero knew he had a relationship with the girl, that they had a son. He didn't doubt Vegeta would fight to the death to protect her. Well soon, he would be able to accomplish it, since the two piles of junk in front of him seemed incapable of it.
"Very good, that should flush them out of hiding. It is ashame you couldn't go in and capture a few of them. Goku and the Briefs girl. Even Vegeta would have been an incredible catch. His or Goku's genetic make up would be very interesting to study, to replicate. He could do so much with DNA such a theirs and to watch Vegeta suffer as his love turned on him and took another man. What a fitting punishment for all his crimes. He looked at his twins again and smiled. "I think it's time you bring our prisoner to me. Let's see what we can get done with him tonight." He smiled maliciously as the pair bowed slightly and left, heading to the elevators that led to his prison's to fetch the Z warrior that they had managed to capture alive.
"What do you think Doctor Gero has in store for him?" Juuhachigou asked her brother, her voice nondescript, yet pleasant and soothing.
"Probably the same thing he does to all his prisoner's sis. The memory swipe and implantation of new memories. He wants this one to go back and spy for him. Someone they think they can trust, but in truth can't. It is actually a brilliant idea. He will turn him loose with orders and let them find him. Goku especially will not even suspect that he had actually been reprogrammed. "
Juuhachigou nodded silently. Yes it was a brilliant plan, yet she wondered if the remaining Z warriors were as stupid as Gero seemed to think they were. Vegeta was certainly not trusting and he was the one they were encountering more times then nought. Oh well, what did she care. She would simply kill them all. Wasn't that what she lived for? The twosome entered the barely lit prison level of Gero's hideout, entering it silently, coming up on the man who stood, battered and bruised in the last cell.
"Well,well friend. It's your lucky day, friend. Doctor Gero wants to see you." Juunanagou smiled at the look of fear that blazed across the prisoner's face. "Yes friend, I think you do want to be scared, very scared." The prison door slammed shut with a hollow clang as they led the prisoner, in tattered clothes,to his destiny. What was his name? Juuhachigou couldn't recall,only remembering that he had been a member of the Z warriors. Well soon , he would be one of them.
The man clenched his fists in terror. He had already been through Gero's house of horrors. What else did the deranged doctor have in mind. He shuddered and tried to recall better times. Goku, his friend. Was he even still alive or was it as Gero had said, had he deserted him in his timeof need? The Goku he had known would never have deserted his friends, that was why it couldn't be true, he would never have left him behind if he was alive. He felt real sadness at the thought of the loss of a true friend and hero. His heart stopped as he realized they were already within the confines of Gero's lab. Terror began to flow through him. No, he couldn't go through Gero's mind probes again. He tried to bolt, to escape,but the two twins held him in an unbreakable grip. The door to the inner darkened inner chambers of Geros' lab rolled open, showing the doctor leaning casually against a tank.
"My, dear friend." The doctor spoke almost jovially. "How good of you to join me." He nodded towrds the twins who pushed him into the room, then turned leaving him alone with the monster that haunted his every waking dream.
Bulma had seen to her parents and managed to find shelter for everyone in less then an hour. She wasn't sure how she had done it, but she had. Trunks had agreed that the shelters she had come up with were more then adequate as far as safety went. So when Vegeta showed up, she was ready. He approached her wearing a look of steely determination, as if expecting her to give him a battle. Where was he planning on taking her? She pulled her baby son closer to her as Vegeta got closer, knowing his flair for dramatics. He'd more then likely just sweep her up and be gone. He didn't disapoint her. She was in his arms in a blink of an eye and he was out of the shelter even quicker, rocketing off to parts unknown. Kami, he flew so fast, she hung on tighter to both her mate and her son. "Vegeta," she managed to gasp out against the rush of air,"where are you taking us?"
Vegeta looked at her and smirked. " You'll know when we get there, woman." She sighed and snuggled closer. There was no point in badgering him, he would just refuse to tell her. She might as well enjoy the ride , no doubt he would be difficult and contrary whenever the got to where they were going.
Vegeta looked at his beautiful mate and smirked. She loved to fly, had once told him she found it thrilling and free. He knew she was in awe of the speeds he could go, and that filled him with a sense of pride. He looked back up. They would be arriving shortly, and then he would have to figure out a way to deal with her close presence. He wondered how he was going to get through this. Well he would find out when he got there just what type of control he still had and if it would be enought to keep her at bay. He knew one thing with surety. It was going to be a very long night for him.
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