Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z or the characters attributed to the series.

Author's Notes: Again, this fiction contains some mature subject matter and violence that is terrorist in nature. Please do not read if this is in any way offensive to you.


The Calm Before The Storm


Costa stood among the ruined remains of the arena, his piercing black eyes surveying the rubble that lay around him. The once glorious city of Valoria, the crown jewel of Maordi Prime, lay before him in disarray and devastation. As his gaze swept eastward he could see raging fires that had yet to be squelched spreading and razing whatever remained standing in its path. He clenched his fists in absolute rage. Who had dared to do this to him and to his city? Had it been connected to Vegeta's escape? By all that was holy he would see them and Vegeta pay for this crime.

He turned at the sound of someone stumbling over heavy debri. Princess Tannia, his intended. He'd been too busy trying to save himself to worry about her or her safety. Costa hoped she hadn't noticed.

"Princess, are you alright?" Costa's gaze swept over her body.

Tannia swept her black gaze over his body. The coward had ran and hidden like a child instead of standing to fight like a man. Damn Vegeta, he had failed her... he had promised her if he was freed that Costa and her father would be destroyed and yet both still lived. She forced back a growl of fury and smiled shakily, attempting to keep up the facade of the naive chit that Costa had come to expect.

"My father and I are both fine, no thanks to Vegeta. Who has done this to us? Are they cohorts of Vegeta?" Tannia barely kept the anger raging within her below the surface.

"I'd stake my life that it had something to do with Vegeta. He has disappeared without a trace. It had to be some kind of rescue mission. The bombs kept us distracted while the bastard made his escape. I will track him down and see his life ended for this travesty." Costa's tail lashed violently behind him as he whirled around to stare once again at the devastation that surrounded him. " I swear Tannia, I will hunt him down and put an end to his miserable life. I will avenge this city and its people."

I doubt that fool. Tannia stared at his broad back derisively. Vegeta would mop up with him. That had been obvious as she had watched Vegeta pummel him for the few brief moments before the attack. His power had been awe-inspiring and he had been as surprised by the bombing as everyone else had been. He was definitely King material. She would have to step up her efforts to convince him that he belonged beside her. A power such as that could rule the universe if he so chose. First, however, Costa must be disposed of and Vegeta was the one to do it.

"I have a ship, Costa... one that we could use to track him. I assume he went back to the planet you brought him from."

"Chikyuu. The bastard has been on Chikyuu. He has a whore there, one that I could use against him." Costa smiled maliciously, remembering the feel of the woman's smooth skin against him. Wouldn't Vegeta be in for a shock when he set eyes upon the mark he had bestowed upon her. He cackled insanely. "Where is this ship Princess?"

"It is in the underground spaceport at Lake Hasaria. My father placed them there for an occasion such as this. It is a days travel., but the ship is fast and would return us to Chikyuu in record time." Where Vegeta can kill you. Tannia stepped closer, trailing a light finger down his massive chest. She suppressed a shudder. Vegeta had to come through for her.

"Alright Princess, we will go. Let me locate my second, Refallo and then we'll be on our way. Are you sure you wish to travel with us?" Costa shivered under her close regard. Perhaps she would wish to start their physical relationship early. She was exceptionally beautiful, though she paled to the blue-haired bitch of Vegeta's. Still, this one was a Princess and through her was the road to untold power.

"I wish to see Vegeta get all that is coming to him, Costa. Do not deny me this." Tannia's eyes burned into his.

"Of course, my Princess. You shall have a front row seat to his demise, I promise you that."

Tannia smiled lightly at his words. Yes, I will... to your death. "Then let us go Costa, let us go."




"Help me... please!" The haggard man fell to his knees on the wet pavement of the street, hand outstretched to the young, jean-clad man who stood looking nonchalantly down at him. "Please, I can't breathe, I need help."

Juunanagou stared down in amusement at the dying man that begged him for help. How pathetic the human race was. Help... Juunanagou snorted. He'd give him help.

The sick man stared in bewilderment as the man he had reached to for aid raised his finger and pointed at him. His confusion quickly turned to horror as a beam of red light shot forth and pierced his breast--stilling the thready beat of his heart. He collapsed in a heap on the hard cement, dead.

"There, how's that? Do you feel better?" Juunanagou laughed lightly, excitement coursing through him at the idea of being able to terrorize the weak humans of this worthless planet. Finally, they would be able to have some fun.

Pointing his finger, Juunanagou blew up the building that sat behind the man's dead body. Maybe he would go and blow up a hospital full of the sick and dying. His lip curled upwards disdainfully. He and his sister could put the bastards out of their misery.

Juuhachigou stood before a clothing shop, debating on whether or not to go in. She loved clothes, loved to look beautiful. She could have easily collected hundreds and hundreds of outfits to wear. Still, they were on a tight schedule. Gero had given them free reign for three days. Three glorious days to bring mass destruction and terror down upon the Chikyuu-jin's heads. Smiling, she raised her hand and blew the building away. This was day three, there would be time for clothes later. Tonight they would be forced to go back to Gero. Why her brother didn't just kill him was beyond her. She had wanted to, but Juunanagou had stopped her, assuring her that when the time was right he would gladly do the deed and never look back. So what was he waiting for?

Turning she watched as he destroyed the remaining block of buildings, laughing uproariously at the sickened people who cowered wherever they dropped. She watched him as he blew them all away, laughing all the while. He was such a child and why did he always have to wear that stupid red scarf?

"Juunanagou!" She yelled his name sharply, irritation flooding through her.

His head swiveled towards her, black hair whipping abut his face as he turned. "What?"

"Come on! Why don't we go on over to the next town. I hear it's more populated."

"Sounds good, sis." Juunanagou shot upwards into the air, followed closely by his sister. "We only have a few more hours left, might as well get what we can done."

"Yes, well we could be doing this on a daily basis if we could dispose of Gero."

Juunanagou leveled a cool gaze at her. "Didn't I tell you that I had a plan?"

"Yes, but you never told me what it was." Juuhachigou's blue eyes blazed into him.

"All in good time sis, all in good time. You need to learn to have patience." Juunanagou winked at her devishly, before turning to rocket off.

"Damn you Juunanagou, you are going to get us deactivated." She swept a stray strand of blonde hair back from her face. "Or worse."




Vegeta carried her into the small cabin quietly, laying her limp, exhausted body gently upon the bed. He snorted lightly. Small would be a gross understatement. It was the size of a fucking closet and the bed was laughable. What did he expect? The ship itself was small. They were lucky to have any privacy at all, let alone a room to themselves. It was more than he had expected and he had been in serious doubt as to whether he was going to get to share it with his woman at all. For two days she had sat in the cockpit and flown the ship, refusing to leave. They had not been together since that night they had marked each other... there first night aboard the ship.

Vegeta reached down to pull her clothes off, taking care not to awaken her. He stopped, mesmerized, as always, by the sight of her body and carefully smoothed his hand down the flat plain of her belly, pressing down lightly as his hand came to a rest.

There was no extra ki. He had been wracked with uncertainty, thinking that perhaps she had been mistaken or worse, that she had lied to spare him the anguish of knowing she had been used in such a foul manner. Yet in this quiet, peacful, interlude, Vegeta could not deny the truth she had told him.

Vegeta bent his head, nearly weeping with the joy that certain knowledge brought him and trembling with the fear the incongruity of his emotions left him with. When had he allowed his heart to be captured and enslaved by this little runt of a human? That she and her life should affect him so deeply, and on such a profound level scared him beyond any force he had ever faced before. The fear of what she could do to him, of what power she held over him left him vulnerable in its wake, a feeling he despised. Did his woman know what she meant to him? Did Bulma have any idea that she held him so completely in her grip? Vegeta didn't think so. He'd been too good at hurting her; at convincing her that he cared nothing for her. He dipped his head down, placing a soft kiss on her stomach, muttering a wordless prayer of thanks that she had not had to suffer Gero or Costa's vile touch; that she had not been raped. They had meant to though; if not for her cleverness and her ingenuity things would be very different. For that that crime alone, he, Vegeta, would see them dead. Slowly, painfully, they would know suffering and fear and they would pay.

Vegeta placed another reverent kiss upon the slope of her belly before lightly resting his head on her; inhaling her near maddening scent. God forbid she should wake up and catch him fawning over her this way. It was sickening at the depths he had sunk to, but he just couldn't control it any longer. It had been too long since they had last been together and he wanted her so much. The desire welling within him, threatened to overflow and spill forth with an explosive force if he didn't find a way to quell it. Would she even welcome his touch? She had in the bathroom, but the situation had been different and she had needed the mind-numbing release he had given her. His woman had needed him to take her and erase all thought from her mind and he had done so inequivocably. Now, though, in the quiet solitude of their ship's tiny cabin, with the hum of the engines the only sound, he wondered if she would welcome him? His mate had been through so much and he had left her alone to face it; his parting words to her had been ugly and unforgiveable. Then he had been forced to watch as Costa had drug her away. Now, the memory of those words rattled around and around in his head, driving him further and further to the brink of insanity each minute that he was left alone to think of them.

Vegeta shoved away from her in disgust, leaving her to sleep quietly. God he had been such a fool and she had still come for him. Bulma had saved him, facing her fears head on and coming to his rescue as if he were some kind of helpless child, while he had been unable to lift a finger in defense of her. The damn bastard had unmanned him, had stripped him of his pride, just like Frieza had. Vegeta clenched his fists in blinding rage. His woman had saved him and the thought that he had been reduced to such a level enraged him until he literally burned from within. He would not rest until he saw the two responsible for this destroyed by his hands. He had not had that satisfaction with Frieza, had been forced to beg Kakkarot to do it for him while he lay, choking on his own life's blood and dying by Frieza's hand. He growled in frustration. How could this happen to him again?

All he had known in his life was cruelty and pain and a near savage desire to obtain more power than the being that held him in line. Strength... more to the point, his strength was everything. It had propelled him, had driven him forward, even when the odds had been against him. He had been forced to serve Frieza for nearly half his life, been forced to bow and scrape and had been handed one humiliation after another, some far worse than others, some utterly devastating in their cruelty. He had come to need only one thing and that had been raw power and brute strength. His one thought had been simply to overpower Frieza and kill him, then take what belonged to him--all of it. That had been his goal since he had been a child, he had known nothing else until he had come to Chikyuu and met up with Kakkarot. Everything had changed in that one moment of time, his destiny re-written and his goal to defeat Frieza forcibly sped up as it had become a do or die mission. That was when he had seen her, gorgeous, frightened, and utterly captivating to his every sense. If he had managed to achieve his goals on Namek, he'd have gone back and taken her... of that he was positive. Instead he had been killed, then accidently wished back, only to find himself living with the object of his lust. One thing had quickly led to another as his thoughts had turned from Frieza to this new strange life he found himself caught in: terror at the desires he had to reach out and take all the temptations this new life offered him and stark, raw lonliness of having no-one to even bark a command to. Bulma had caught him in one of those terrifyingly lonely, vulnerable moments and then everything had changed for him yet again, throwing his well-disciplined life into disarray as he struggled with new thoughts and emotions he had believed himself immune to, that he had thought were dead. Surprisingly, he'd been reasonably content with her for quite awhile, training by day, sleeping with her at night, availing himself of all the pleasure and comfort she so willing offered up to him and slowly rebuilding the pride he had lost at the hands of Kakkarot, achieving Supersaiya-jin. He had been positive he could easily take the artificial humans that the boy had come to warn them of. He'd been wrong.

Again he had watched as his hard-earned power was shown up, and he had been handed yet another devastating defeat. Once again his pride had been torn from him and he had blamed her for the distraction she had been and for being the person who had released the desires and need he had always held locked away deep in his heart. She had shown him his weakness and he had hated her for it and now his pride had been ripped away from him again at the hands of Costa. Who could he blame this time? No-one but himself.

Vegeta turned back towards the small bed, staring at the slim woman that lay quietly in it. There was no point in fighting his feelings for her any longer. They were there and no matter what he did or how far he ran he always found himself drawn right back to her like a moth to a flame. Bulma was his, for better or worse and he would not part with her again. Whatever genetic fluke ran through his Saiya-jin blood ran deep where she was concerend and he was too tired to fight it any longer. The only question now was how could he be the man she needed; the man she wanted when his honor and his pride were gone? He was the Prince of the Saiya-jin race and his behaviors were deeply ingrained within him, he couldn't change them no matter how hard he tried, didn't want to. He had lived an entire lifetime of misery and despair in his some thirty years of life and he was still a veritable pup where the Saiya-jin race was concerned. Now he had been forced to watch as his past had come back to haunt her, and he had not even been able to spare her that ordeal.

Vegeta walked slowly back to the bed, sitting down on it; sweeping the silky locks of blue hair from her face. His woman was so exotic looking, at least compared to what he was used to. Where he was from black hair and black eyes ruled the day, but this woman, with her light coloring and vivid blue hair and eyes was like a taste of some exotic drink after months of having water only. He was a Prince and this beauty was his Princess, his mate--a woman with as many faults and irritating attitudes as he had but yet a woman who held him enthralled within the palm of her hand. She had been dishonored, horribly so and he found the idea of it was something he could not live with, not for her. Perhaps it was hypocritical of him to turn a blind eye to all that he had done in his life to warrant the kind of reckoning that had been brought upon him, but he would not see her held accountable for his past. He might not be the gentlest or kindest of men, nor the most emotional, but he had honor and he would see hers avenged, just as he had not been allowed to do for himself with the death of Frieza. Something else that Kakkarot had taken away from him.

Vegeta stood to stalk away, fists clenched at the thought of the third-class loser's defeat of Frieza, but a light hand on his arm forestalled him.

"Vegeta, " her voice was husky with sleep and mind-numbingly seductive in its tone. He groaned at the feelings of restlessness she induced within him. "Vegeta why don't you come and lay down beside me."

Vegeta stared at her, wide-eyed and quivering with need. Was this an invitation? Was he so transparent that she could look at him and see his desire to be close to her so clearly? He turned away from her, shaking her hand off.

"Not now woman, you need your rest and that bed is barely big enough for you, let alone the both of us." He turned away from her and stalked to the farthest corner of the room, trying to still his pounding heart.

"I need you Vegeta." Bulma's voice sounded sad and small in the stillness of the room. Why was he running from her now? Did he regret what had happened between them in the small lavatory? Did he hate her for some new infraction against his pride or honor. She swallowed against the lump that had risen in her throat. She wouldn't cry in front of him now. She had to be strong, she had to show him she was tough.

Vegeta swallowed hard at the simple words she had uttered into the silence of the small, dark cabin. She needed him? Did that mean...? Turning he found himself taking step after agonizing step towards her, stopping before the small bed and waiting for her to make a move.

Bulma stared up at the sharp, handsome contours of the face that looked back at her so filled with emotion. He didn't even realize how much he gave away with a simple look. This man kept everything he felt so locked away, so firmly embedded in his soul, it was a miracle that he didn't just collapse with the weight of it all. That he hadn't spoke volumes of his strength--both inner and outer.

Bulma rose up on her knees, running her hands along the bare, tanned flesh of his chest. They had never gotten his shirt back from Maordi Prime and he had been forced to go without one, not that she minded seeing him cavorting around bare-chested, the very sight of it enough to nearly make her swoon. She had been around nice chests for a good portion of her life and none had ever looked as good or affected her as deeply as this one. Bulma wrapped her arms around his neck, meeting his blazing black eyes with her fiery blue orbs. She shuddered with desire as she pressed her naked flesh against his chest and felt the heat emanating from him. The man practically burned, though that wasn't surprising. Everything about him was full of intensity and heated passion. That the fires that burned within him had only the pores of his skin to truly escape through didn't surprise her one bit. "I want you Vegeta. I want you inside me, I want you..." Bulma broke off in a near sob, unable to put words to the wealth of emotions that were threatening to overtake her. "Please..." She was rewarded by a growl of heated emotion and two strong arms wrapping themselves around her like bands of steel.

Vegeta couldn't have walked away from this woman if he had tried, any other maybe, but this one... this one had him right where she wanted him. How had he gotten to his point of such weak, undisciplined behavior? Right now he didn't care as all thought was replaced by the feel of her in his arms, of her naked flesh pressed against him so tightly that not even a fraction of an inch remained between them. It was as if they were trying to occupy the same body, they were so close and if he had his way, they would be closer still. His mouth found hers, deeply possessive as he ravaged her mouth. He groaned in agony as she returned his kiss full force and passionately, running her hands through the thick, black flame of his hair to pull him closer still. Somehow he managed to get himself out of all that remained of his clothes, the training pants that he had been wearing, and maneuver her back down to the small bed, hovering mere inches away from her. His coal eyes locked onto hers, and he found himself unable to look away from the shimmering cerulean pools that looked back at him so heavy with desire and passion. It was for him, her passion was completely for him and no-one else and he found the thought more erotic then he had ever believed possible. He gasped as her hand moved upwards to stroke him lightly. "Woman." He grated out through clenched teeth. " Woman..."

Vegeta wasted no time sliding himself inside her and moving firmly against her, never releasing her gaze as he did so. He wanted to see her as she lost herself in her pleasure, he wanted to see the look of passion that only he could bring her to and he was near desperate to do it. There would be time for a more leisurely play later, now he needed only to lose himself in her and in their world together, a world where he wasn't the agonized Saiya-jin Prince afraid of showing any emotion, but merely this woman's lover. He moaned softly as she flooded his mind with her feelings for him and he hesitantly answered them back, nearly afraid of what such an admission to her would cost him, but knowing that he could no longer deny that he felt deeply for this woman. It was useless and here in the dark, between the two of them, he would tell her in the only way he knew how. His woman had won the battle they had fought against each other for so long now and he was hers until the end of time, whether he could ever publicly admit it or not. His mouth, hot and burning, slipped down her neck to rest against the mark he had placed on her just a few days earlier in the lavatory. Vegeta slid his tongue provacatively along the mark, before biting down again and drawing blood, reaffirming the choice he had made at the time. This woman was his and she and whomever looked upon her would know it. This was his way of saying it.

Bulma gasped as his teeth sunk into her neck and she arched her body upwards to meet his pounding thrusts as he moved desperately against her. Kami, he was so hot and strong against her and his feelings... he had shared something willing with her for the first time since she had first taken up with him. Vegeta did have feelings for her and that he had managed to find a way to share them with her aroused her to the core.

Bulma could feel herself being carried to the pinnacle of her desire and she held onto him for her life as her climax came crashing down around her. "Vegeta," She moaned against his mouth, drawing a low growl of desire from him, before he wrapped himself around her more tightly and crushed his mouth to hers in a searing kiss that shook her to the core of her very soul. She managed to wrap her legs around him as he continued to move faster and harder.

Vegeta felt her climax against him and moaned with pleasure at the sound of his name being torn so sensually from her mouth. God, she was incredible and the sheer joy of being this close to her, of being this connected, of hearing her moan his name as she... he lost all thought as his own climax roared through his body, ripping her name from his mouth in a hoarse growl and leaving him shaking like a leaf in her arms.

Bulma lay under him, cognizant of the tremors that ran through his body and the warm, panting breath against her neck as he attempted to gather his control. Mutely, she wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly, suddenly aware at how close she had come to losing him for good on Maordi Prime.

Vegeta felt her arms tighten around him and frowned. He had shown her too much, allowed too much to pass between them that should have been left buried. As much as he loved her , it would be better that she never know the true depths of what she meant or she would have a power over him that he could ill afford. Even now she clung to him like a vine and he allowed it because it felt good. He was already hardening within her as he laid there. He was a warrior for Godsake, not a sex-starved, love-sick boy. When he could move, he rolled over bringing her to rest atop him.

Bulma stared down into his narrowing eyes, aware immediately of the change in his demeanor. Well here it was, the sharing of emotion and now the taking it back. How many times had she lived through this before? Well this time she would make her escape before he could shoot her down and ruin a perfectly beautiful moment with his idiotic words. Sitting up, she pushed away from him and swung herself off the bed in an attempt to make her escape. His hand latching onto her arm like a vise held her in place.

"Let me go Vegeta, please. I already know how this is going to end. I don't need you to spell it out for me. I'll go back up the cockpit and work on the landing coordinates. Trunks needs some rest anyway." Bulma could hear the note of hysteria in her voice and cursed herself for it. Damn it, why did she always have to be the weak fool? Why did she have to break down all the time. It was litle wonder that this man held her in such low regard. A warrior like Vegeta would admire strength, not sniveling. She attempted to pull away again and this time he let her go, watching her with inscrutable black eyes as she bent to gather her clothes.

"You needn't bother getting dressed again woman." His deep voice, broke the awkward silence that had descended upon them. "I am not letting you leave this room." Vegeta smirked as she turned to face him, brow furrowed in irritation.

"Excuse me?" Bulma gaped at him in disbelief. A moment before he had been staring at her as if she were the most distasteful thing he had ever encountered and now he wasn't going to let her leave the room? She clenched her fists in fury at his presumptious nature. "Why you bastard! You don't get to do this to me anymore. I am through giving myself to you and having you throw it back in my face as if I were some piece of trash. I have endured a lot for you, the least you could do is be a bit appreciative and let me escape with whatever small amount of pride I have left--which isn't much." Bulma choked back a sob as the words spilled from her mouth. Not yet, she would not break down yet, not until she had said everything she needed to say. Swiping angrily at the tears that were flowing down her face, she continued. " I am through with you Prince Vegeta and I am through with being your doormat. I am taking my son and I am going as far from you as I can possibly get when this is over. I cannot..." The words were ended abruptly as his mouth covered hers, harsh and possessive. She struggled against him for the briefest of moments before collapsing against the solid warmth of his body and sobbing.

Vegeta groaned in agony as she returned his kiss and melted against him. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her gently against his body, moving to sit on the bed with her and muttering soft words in his native tongue to quiet the sobs that were shaking through her body. What was he supposed to do now? He had seen her cry before and had always been able to dismiss it, but this was much different. He recognized these instantly for the deep, gut-wrenching sobs they were. He had heard the same thing from himself after Frieza had... degraded him.

"Woman," Vegeta began softly, smoothing her silky hair awkwardly with his hand. He had no idea how to do this, or even how to comfort anyone, but he would try as much as it pained him to do so... he owed her this for what she had endured with Costa. Swallowing he began again. " Bulma, I would hear what he did to you." He shut his eyes and leaned his head against hers, not wanting to particularly know the details but knowing deep-down within his gut that he had to. This was a pain that he had to share with her.

Bulma lay quietly in his arms, sobs long since gone, leaving only silent tears coursing down her face. She felt him lean his head wearily against hers, not sure if she was ready to share with him the details or even give voice to the feelings of fear and shame and shock that had been her only company since the entire ordeal had happened. "Wh-what is there to tell?" She asked shakily.

"I know he touched you woman. I saw the mark on your body, I can see the shame in your eyes wheever you look at me. What did he do to make you feel this way, what did he manage to accomplish?" Vegeta murmured into her ear.

Bulma tried to escape him, but he held her firmly against him, growling a low warning in her ear that he would not be put off. She felt the tension drain from her as she accepted the fact that he was determined to hear her and she had little choice but to tell him. Haltingly she opened her mouth to speak.

"Why?" She asked quietly, plucking nervously at the edge of the blanket that lay under them with shaking hands. "What does this matter now that it is over?"

"I need to know, woman." Vegeta pulled her tighter against him, all pretenses of casualness gone as he gripped her to him. "I see you, I see shadows where there used to be light and I need to know what happened, I need to know what you... " He broke off, unable to put voice to the words. "You are my mate and he dishonored you, it is my right to know what he did." Vegeta turned her face to to his, a scowl of displeasure scrawled across his face. "Don't keep anything from me. I will know."

"I have no desire to relive it Vegeta, I don't want you to have to hear it. I..." Bulma broke off as another sob bubbled upwards, choking off her words. She felt a tear slide down her cheek, followed by another. She stared up at him despairingly, his face set in stony resolution and knew she was lost. There was no escape for her. He needed to know; more than that she could sense it was some kind of punishment for him to have to hear. On this, it was obvious, he would not relent.

"I have no wish to make you relive anything painful but we must share this and I swear to you Bulma as a warrior and as your husband I will end his miserable life and he will never lay hands on you again. I have never cared enough about anyone else to make this kind of oath, but this-you-you and I are different, we are bonded." Vegeta struggled with the words as they left his mouth, not bothering to hide the rage that had flared to life within him at the thought that Costa had laid one hand on her, on what was his. Yes, he would ensure that Costa never laid a hand on anyone again.

Bulma felt the taut muscles of his body tremble under hand with his emotion and she sighed, shutting her eyes briefly before standing and walking to the small porthole that looked out into the vast expanse of space. So many stars. How she would like to just be able to get lost on one with Vegeta and her son and forget the rest of this nightmare. How nice it would be to have Vegeta all to herself and happy, not constantly fighting his feelings for her and pushing her away. Sighing again she shook her head. It was never going to happen. He was who he was and one either accepted it or got away. She had a feeling it was too late for her to get away.

"Woman," Vegeta growled softly, warningly, though he made no move to follow her. He sat rigidly on the edge of the bed, waiting for her to speak.

"Well he didn't rape me Vegeta. I swear to that. I had managed to steal some of Gero's concoction... a sedative of some kind. I just had to wait for the right moment to use it and that was really the worst part... to have to endure his touch while I looked for any opening..." Bulma broke off with a shudder, her mind flying back to the moment Costa hd been poised to take her, the memory of his leering face looming above her sickening her in its recollection. "Thank Kami Gero's sedative was fast acting."

Bulma turned to face Vegeta, watching the play of emotions that flitted across the stony mask briefly before he set himself once again like a statue. Unyielding, cold and silent. The only sign of his feelings were hidden deep within the depth of the glittering black eyes that followed her every move.

"He touched just about everything with his hands and his-his mouth." Bulma shuddered violently, wrapping her arms around herself in an attempt to ward off the chills that were quickly invading her boy. She watched as Vegeta stood, intent on coming to her, but she raised a hand to halt him. "No, let me finish. I laid there and fought him for awhile, or at least as much as I could with a broken arm before he used it to pin me. I felt his mouth and his hands all over me and I froze. I froze Vegeta!" Bulma was barely aware of the tremors that had begun to race through her body anew, though her voice remained deceptively calm. "I lay there and I screamed for someone to help me and it was a very close thing," She bowed her head in misery, "a very close thing before I finally remembered what I had and that I could take care of myself. "

Vegeta felt himself shaking as he stood and walked to her, intent upon touching her in some small way. All this time he had fought against loving her, fought against mating with her of admitting he cared. He had sold her short repeatedly, cruelly tossing aside her emotions as though they were petty and useless and cursing her for being weak and himself for being weak enough to feel anything for her and her brat at all. Watching her now, as she stood completely naked, calmly recalling a situation that should have by rights sent her into hysterics and knowing she had found a way to save herself invoked more emotion within him than he had ever felt before. His woman was his equal and thensome. As much as he had fought his own fate with Frieza, he had not managed to escape it, but this one, small woman had. Vegeta might never speak the human version of the words, but he loved her, though how it was possible for him to care about anyone else amazed him, but the feelings were there and he did and after what she had just told him, and after the resolute way she had managed to recall the whole sordid detail, he would never let her doubt it again.

Bulma felt the warmth of his presence as he wrapped his strong arms around her and pulled her naked, trembling form to him. She sagged against him, relieved he was there and that somehow, someway he had managed to find a way to admit he cared for her, even if it was small and hard to see.

"I will never allow him near you again woman, and for what he did to you I will see him dead." Vegeta murmured huskily into her ear, his voice hard even as he sought to comfort her.

"What about Trunks?" Bulma looked up at him, blue eyes sparkling with tears. "Juuhachigou... she... "

"I'm well aware of what she did to the brat." Vegeta released her and strode back to the bed, sinking down onto it. "I am not unaware of what he went through and I will sp-speak to him about the issue." Vegeta clenched his teeth at the idea of speaking to the boy about any part of his past or about anything emotionally difficult at all. What was happening to him? First this small woman wrapped him around her fingers and now he was going to have to speak to his brat. God, it was enough to make him want to throw up.

"I will find a way to kill her for him, so that he doesn't have to know she's out there." Bulma's eyes narrowed in rage. Whether he was the future version or the baby version, Trunks was still her son and the idea that that sick artificial human had dared to lay a hand on her baby enraged her to depths she had not believed possible.

"NO!" Vegeta barked out roughly. "If Trunks is to move on from this, her end must come at his hand, not yours or mine or anyone elses. She will always haunt him if he doesn't."

"You know about this first hand don't you?" Bulma whispered, gasping as his gaze jerked towards hers; completely unprepared for the look of raw pain and torment that swirled deep within the black depths.

Vegeta stared at her in dismay, cursing himself for allowing her to see the pain that still lingered in him from his time with Frieza. The pain had mostly dissipated... mostly. Still, there were times when vivid, gut-wrenching memories that he had no wish to recall surged upwards from the bowels of his soul and refused to be banished. Now was one of those times. How ironic that his son would suffer similiarly to him, thought to his immense joy he could say that he had not been forced to endure the full violation. That would have been more than he could bare and more than likely sent him over the fine precipice of sanity that he already tread so lightly on. He assuredly would not be here with this woman if it had happened. Still, what he had endured had been shameful and sickening and he had no wish to share it with his woman or his son. To do so would admit to a weakness, he'd rather not share with anyone.

Bulma crossed to him, sitting lightly beside him. "You can tell me if you want Vegeta, I won't force you. I already know something happened... that scar..." Bulma traced the mark she had put on him, smiling as she illicited a shiver from him.

"I have no desire to tell you." Vegeta clasped her hand firmly, moving it away from his neck. "What occured between Frieza and myself is long over, I have no desire to revisit it."

"Kind of like I had no desire to revisit what happened to me, yet you forced me to." Bulma stood and strode away from him moving back to the small window. She could remember looking at the thick blanket of stars as a child, when her father had brought out his telescope. Oh how she had marveled at the magnitude of the universe. They had stayed up into the wee hours of the morning staring at the different stars and planets and she had listened to him as he had told her the name of every one of them. Now look at her, she was on a spacecraft, hurtling back towards earth and she had just made love to an alien... albeit a sexy alien, but an alien all the same. How strange life turned out to be sometimes.

Vegeta watched her stare impassively out the small window, his heart sinking as he realized what he was going to have to do. Could he even form the words that would describe what had happened? Worse than that, would she turn her back on him in disgust when he finally shared his shame with her. Staring at her as she stonily stared into the black void of space he realized that the choice had been stolen from him.

He inhaled sharply before plunging onward, his voice toneless and devoid of all feeling. "I made the mistake of walking in on Frieza and one of the soldiers he enjoyed regularly--a soldier who was not willing. He enjoyed breaking men's bodies and showing them the type of power he wielded if he so chose to." Vegeta broke off, grimacing at the remembrance of what he had been witness to. "I thought at first he would be furious, but instead he laughed and asked if I wanted to join them." Vegeta shuddered before continuing. "I laughed in his face and told him he was disgusting and that I would never allow him to touch me. As if I was even interested. Insulting him was my first mistake."

"Wh-what did he do?" Bulma had turned to him in surprise when he had begun speaking, her heart leaping into her throat as she had seem the horrible look of painful memory and shame mixing with the equally terrible emotionless tone of his voice. She closed her eyes, unsure if she really wanted to hear the rest of what he had been forced to endure now. Great job, Bulma, you egg him on to tell you , then you clam up when the story turns out bad.

Vegeta stared at the floor, gathering his nerve to speak of the incident he had not spoken of to another living being since the day it had happened. Only Nappa had known and he had apparently told something of the story to Costa. What if she looked sat him with disgust, what if she never wanted him to touch her again. He shut his eyes and inhaled softly, exhaling quickly before opening his mouth to speak. " I turned to go, but he grabbed my tail... and well you know how vulnerable the spot is to you when you touch it... well Frieza knew how to get a response out of any Saiya-jin, whether it be pain or pleasure." Vegeta felt a tremor shoot through his spine as a flash of memory shot through his brain, vivid and stark of Frieza , of his hands, of the feel of... No, he would not remember any of that. He had been young, barely sixteen when it had happened and he had managed to put it behind him, he would not drag it up from the bowels of his memory to further torment himself with. Frieza was dead and the past was in the past. "Lets just say that he knew how to get a rise out of me, regardless of what I did or didn't feel about the situation. I fought him as much as I could but he was stronger and he incapicitated me and..." Vegeta broke off as a sob threatened to spill forth. He clenched his fists in the blanket. No, he would not break down over this, he would not let her see him cry. Frieza had merely touched his body, he had escaped the full violation--as bad as it had been, it could have been much worse.

Bulma stared at the bowed head, understanding exactly what he was trying to tell her so simply and overcome with emotion for what he must have gone through, for what he had to have experienced and survived. The sheer magnitude of what he had just shared with her, even in the barest of ways, left her shaken and that he had been able to tell her at anything at all... Bulma took a step towards him but stopped herself. He wasn't ready for the comfort yet. She could see the inner struggle on his face, the belief that he should have done more to stop it, the anger that his body had been forced to do something it had no desire to do. Hot anger at what he must have gone through flowed through her and she pressed her lips together to keep from screaming out in rage. It was Frieza that had stunted his emotional growth and taught him to not care and she understood all too clearly now the rage he felt towards Goku for killing Frieza when he had been unable to. His honor and his pride were everything to him, what kept him going and Frieza had stolen that from him in a million humiliating ways.

Vegeta lifted his head and watched her turn away from him to stare once again out the small window in their room. "He might have let me go if I hadn't insulted him, but I couldn't have stopped myself from doing that, not then. He practically begged for it. Actually thinking that I, the Prince of the Saiya-jin, would willingly allow him to touch me. As if I even went for that type of thing. Still, he taught me pretty fast that the body doesn't have to be willing for a response." Vegeta clenched the blanket with his fists, feeling the same feeling of hot shame beginning to flow through him. God how he had hated that monster for what he had done to him. He had been so young and still so undisciplined. He would have been able to change things now, but then, then he had only been able to lie there in a pool of his own blood as Frieza had done what he wanted. Why couldn't he just shut up now and stop talking about it. Bulma knew too much, knew more then she should. He watched her as she turned to face him, her face hidden in shadows. What was she thinking?

"I wasn't lying when I said I understood what Trunks felt or what he needed to feel whole again." Vegeta

swallowed back another raw sob, unwilling for her to see what that confession had cost him as a warrior and as a man. Looking at her he could see she had seen anyway; had seen straight through to his soul and read his pain and torment quite clearly. After what he had just told her of Frieza would she turn from him in disgust and horror? Vegeta watched through half-lidded eyes as she turned away from him again and stared back out the small, round window of their room, her face unregisterable in the dim light. Her silence frightened him. In all the time he had known her, she had always been so loud and expressive, so easy to read... never silent like this. She didn't want him.

Vegeta started to rise. He'd be damned if he would sit here and beg for her to understand or wait for some small morsel of affection and understanding to be thrown his way. He had opened up the deepest part of himself, shared something he had never planned on sharing with anyone else and she had just destroyed him with her silence. He'd been right in thinking she could do far greater damage to his soul then Frieza had ever managed to inflict on him.

A light hand to his chest stopped him, pushing him back down on the bed. Vegeta swallowed hard at the look of desire and need stamped across her face, his heart slamming against his chest at their physical contact.

"You don't get to tell me something like that, and then just walk out of here as if it were a meaningless admission, you bastard. " Bulma slid over him, laying herself atop his body and kissing him with exquisite gentleness.

Vegeta fell back onto the covers moaning with desire and need. God she felt so incredibly hot against his body. He nearly came up off the bed as she slid on him, slowly, easily, using her body in exquisite torture against his.

"I love you Vegeta and nothing you could tell me will ever change that." Her eyes slid closed as she rocked against him. "What Frieza did to you was inexcusible and sick and a way to lord his power over you. It was not your fault, my god you were sixteen--sixteen!! So don't you even think of hiding from me over it." She continued her agonizingly slow motions.

Vegeta made no move to end them. He merely laid back against the bed, his black eyes glittering up at her with a passion that nearly blinded her in its intensity.

Kami, how she loved this man. He had her heart, mind, body and soul, completely and tonight she would be damned if he would get to run away and leave her alone to deal with the magnitude of their feelings for each other. Not tonight. Tonight he would give her what she wanted or she would die trying.

Her body was pure molten heat against his. This was where she belonged, this was right, this was everything he could have ever dreamed of. If he had been the kind of man prone to fantasies. Not that he hadn't had a few about her before, but this... this was perfection.

Vegeta groaned at the feel of her naked flesh sliding over every part of his body, teasing him, working him up into a passionate frenzy. He managed to lift his head and watch her, wanting to flip her over and drive himself into her again and again and...

Vegeta lost all sense of himself as she sped her motions up, slamming down onto him with all the force she could muster and drawing him along to the fine precipice of completion that he now teetered on so very precariously. Somehow he managed to reach his shaking hands to her and yank her downwards claiming her mouth violently in a burning, searing connection that left her breathless and panting.

"Kami, Vegeta." Bulma let him roll her over, her stomach flipping wildly at the feel of his hard, muscled body against hers; at the look of half-mad possession in his eyes. "Oh Kami, oh Kami," she sobbed as he pushed into her.

Vegeta surged into her, moaning out as he sunk deep within her body, groaning at the feel of her around him, like a warm blanket, clinging and molding to fit him perfectly. Oh God she was perfect, this was perfect. How could he deny this to himself? How could he taste this kind of surrender and not accept it?

"Please Vegeta, please... " Bulma managed to gasp out through is driving, pounding thrusts, clutching at him in a desperate attempt to bring him closer to her. Her mind was gone, had fled her actually and all that remained was him.

"Woman." He grated out through clenched teeth, what remained of his mind and his self-control rapidly leaving him in a wave of scorching emotion. He wouldn't fight it this time, he would just let her have him, every part of him. There were no more secrets now. She knew the deepest, darkest one and she hadn't left. Bulma was here and in his arms and she was allowing him to touch her as she had never allowed another person in her life. Vegeta knew that with certainty. She was his and she wasn't going to desert him, not willingly. Oh God, for once, something good was his and he would give his life to protect it. He would never let it go.

"Vegeta," Bulma sobbed raggedly as she came, pulling him down to her and holding onto him for her life, afraid that if she let go, this and all that she had just experienced would disappear.

Vegeta buried his head in her hair, his ragged, panting breath inches from her ear. He wrapped his arms tighter around her, crying out in near pain as she wrapped her legs more securely around his waist to draw him in nearer. Oh God, he couldn't take this. The feelings were too much, she was too much, he was lost.

"Bulma," Her name was drug from him as wave after wave of mind-numbing pleasure washed over every part of his body and embedded itself into the very fiber of his being. "Oh God woman, oh God." He tightened his arms around her as he came, pulling her against him as his body shuddered in the aftermath of his climax.

Bulma lay quietly in his arms, absently stroking his hair in an attempt to soothe away the tremors that raced through his body. The memory of being crushed, of being held immobile and helpless shooting through the thick tendrils of sweet oblivion to paralyze her. The horrid remembrance of Costa's huge body pressing into her this way; holding her in place while he tried to rape her. It was all there, all the panic, all the horror she had felt. Oh Kami, no. This was Vegeta, not Costa. She wanted to be held by Vegeta this way, tightly, possessively. Why couldn't it all just go away?

Vegeta rose up slowly as he felt the first violent tremor shake through her body. He looked down just in time to see the first heart-rending sob that tore through her.

"Bulma," Vegeta moaned softly. He had pushed her too fast. He had known what this felt like, to be held immobile, to have your will taken from you and yet he had dismissed hers as trivial and inconsequential. What she had been through was nothing compared to being mauled by Frieza. God, why had he been such a self-absorbed fool? Vegeta sat up, pulling her limp, shaking body to him. "Bulma, it's alright, it's me, it's me."

"Oh Kami, Vegeta. How could you stand it? Being forced to endure that? How did you survive? I know I'm with you and that I am safe, my rational mind keeps pointing it out to me, but out of the blue, something triggers my brain and these horrible memories of Costa and... " Bulma broke off, unable to continue. "I don't want to be like this anymore, I want to be normal."

"You will woman, you will."




Trunks glanced over at the girl who sat beside him in the cockpit, face bathed by the light green glow of the console panel, giving her an almost ethereal appearance. She'd barely uttered two words since they had made their escape from Maordi Prime and when she had spoken the words had been short and terse. Trunks sighed heavily and glanced away, observing the stars that streaked by them as they raced back to Chikyuu. His mother had once told him of the nights that she and his grandfather had spent staring through the telescope to the heavens above them, studying each star until the wee hours of the dawn. It had been a cherished memory to his mother and one that he had loved listening to. Her face would light up like a child's as she recalled the nights of shared companionship with the man she had so loved and idolized.

Trunks glanced down at the small scar that now adorned his forearm. A personal reminder of Gero for the rest of his life. His father had cut the small transmitters out of he and his young mother with a small knife Goku had found in the tiny galley. He had then incinerated the two small devices beyond recognition with his ki, effectively freeing them of Gero's clutches for good. You couldn't grab what you couldn't find and Trunks hoped that was the case. Eriadne had assured them that Gero had put no such device implanted in her. He wanted to fight Gero and kill him and his abominations, but he had no desire to ever revisit the room that they had tried to break him in. The only way he would go back to that room was to destroy it and that blonde bitch and her demonic brother.


Eriadne's soft voice interrupted the dark reverie he had sunk into. He jerked his head to her, noticing the dark circles that shaded the pale skin under eyes. She was exhausted, but then again, they all were. He wished this nightmare would be over with, wished that he could get back home to his mother who needed him... but that would mean, that would mean never seeing Eriadne again. The Eriadne in his time must be years older than he, if she was even still alive.

"Trunks, do you think there is a way to defeat Doctor Gero?" Her blue eyes searched his, looking for some hidden clue as to what he truly thought.

Trunks shrugged. "It's like Goku says, where there is a will, there is a way. If we can destroy those two monsters of his, then we might have a half-decent shot."

Eriadne pressed her mouth together. Monsters? That was her family. How could she let him destroy them? There had to be a way to help them, to save them from what ever hell Gero had sent them into. They had started out as human, surely there was a way to retrieve the humanity that still existed within them.

"Could there be a way to help them. They were human once, Trunks... maybe there is a way to reach them without killing them."

"Why would you want to do that Eriadne? They are monsters... monsters that thrive on pain and suffering. They might not have stared out that way, but I will never be able to forget what they have done in the name of Gero."

"How can you say that? How can you be so heartless. From what I gather , your own father was not exactly the purest man to roam the galaxy. How many people did I hear he killed? If he deserves forgiveness, then so do they."

She recoiled as he shot forward, gripping her arms tightly and sending her a gaze that seared a burning path straight through her. "Don't you dare compare those demons to him! You know nothing about my father or what he went through. He deserves forgiveness because he has changed. He met my mother and he came to this planet and he changed. Juuhachigou and Juunanagou are monsters, monsters that have no conscious, no feeling. Do you see them begging for help? NO! They kill people on a whim because it is fun, Eriadne. They laugh as they extinguish life for no reason at all." Trunks released her and shot upwards. " Why would you have any interest in helping them at all? They captured your village and you have seen first hand what they are capable. How can you even believe that they could be changed."

Eriadne stared at him in shock, shaken at the depth of his hatred for her brother and sister. "I only meant that they had been human once, that Gero changed them to suit his needs, perhaps there was hope that they could be molded into something more positive."

"Whatever humanity was in them to start with has been driven out by Gero. The greatest mercy anyone could show them is to kill them quickly." Trunks turned back to her, eyes soft with apology. Sitting back down he ran a hand through his short lavender hair and shrugged off his blue Capsule Corporation jacket, letting it fall to the floor. "Eriadne I'm sorry. I have very strong feelings about them and there is a reason that goes far beyond anything you know." He leaned forward, reaching out to sweep a tendril of black hair away from her face.

Eriadne reached up, catching his hand and holding it tightly in her grip. "Tell me, Trunks. Tell me why you hate so deeply." Her eyes swept over the firmly muscled body dressed in nothing but a tank top and loose pants. Except for the light coloring he was almost an exact replica of his father--though taller. She shivered in recollection of her first sight of Vegeta up close and personal. She had seen him in the dim cells of Gero's prison, but he had been different, subdued and despairing. Here in the ship, his power and intensity were obvious and coupled with handsome face and strong body, well he had left her a bit breathless. He had been so dark and forbidding and one scowl had sent her as far away from him as possible. He had said nothing to her the entire trip, though she had seen him watching her on more then one occasion, his gaze openly dubious. He apparently didn't trust her and at first she had been frightened, thinking he knew some detail that would expose her secrets and get her and her brother and sister killed, but as the past couple of days drew by she had realized that he had no true knowledge of who she was or what she was about. If he had known, she would be dead.

"I hate seeing innocent lives destroyed, Eriadne. I hate thinking that I..." He broke off, not sure if he was ready to tell her where he was from or that he would be going back as soon as reasonably possible. "I hate thinking that any children I have might have to grow up in a world of death and destruction., that they might never know a time of piece."

"Juuhachigou and Juunanagou ar merely the instruments, Trunks... Gero is the killer. He believes himself equal to God. "

"I know that Eriadne," Trunks frowned in consternation, why was she going on so about the damned artificial humans? "But in my book they are just as bad as their creator. In my world they..." He broke off, cursing as he realized the slip.

Eriadne leaned forward, placing her hands on his legs. "Your world? What do you mean your world, Trunks?" Her blue eyes blazed into his.

Trunks stared at her, trying to decide what he should tell her. He swept his eyes downwards over her figure, taking in the smallest of details about her from the loose white t-shirt she wore to the light blue hue of the denim jeans she wore. The color matched her eyes, he realized. Sighing he leaned back in his seat and shut his eyes. He might as well tell her, there was no point in hiding it, she'd had to have known eventually.

"Do you remember telling me how young my parents seemed to you?" He watched her nod through hooded eyes. "My mom is twenty-nine and my father is thirty--in this time."

Eriadne narrowed her eyes in disbelief. "What do you mean this time and how can they be so young when you are eighteen? That would have made your mom what... eleven when she gave birth to you? That's not possible Trunks."

"I'm from the future Eriadne." Trunks answered her calmly, watching her face closely for any hint at her feelings. "These two are younger versions of my parents or at least my mother. My father was killed by the artificial humans in my time." He bowed his head, recalling the last moments with his mother before he had left to come to the past.

"I'll be back as soon as I can Mom, I promise."

"Trunks Briefs, you be careful there. I want your father alive in that time and I want you back alive in this time."

"Don't worry mom. I will be careful, I promise. You keep yourself safe while I am not here to protect you." He had bent to kiss her pale cheek before hopping into the time capsule and traveling to the future in a valiant effort to save this timeline from mass destruction and his father from certain death. He had failed completely and worse, now he was trapped here while his mother fought for her life. At least his father had survived. That was something positive anyway.

"What?" Eriadne breathed in disbelief. "How can that be, time travel isn't possible."

"My mother is Bulma Briefs, the inventor and inheritor of Capsule Corporation. When she sets her mind to something, she does it. I was a baby when my father and Goku and all the other warriors were hunted and cut down by Juuhachigou and Juunanagou. I grew up living underground having to listen to the sounds of the dying and the maimed, while those devils laughed as if it were some grand joke on humanity. My master... no, my friend Gohan gave his life to those demons so that I might live..." Trunks broke off, blue eyes wet with moisture. No he would not cry, not again. Gohan was in a far better place than he was and he was with his father... at least in his world. "I'm sorry, I didn't want to remember that... not now. My mother designed and built the capsule that carried me here. Unfortunately once I arrived here, the artificial humans destroyed the capsule and now I am stuck here until my younger mother figures something out."

Eriadne leaned back , wide-eyed with shock. "Kami, Trunks, I don't believe it."

"Well believe it, because it is true. In my time Gero was killed by his creations. They ended his life before he could create any of this army he has unleashed on Chikyuu now."

"Your mother actually invented a working time machine?" If Bulma could do that, could she... would she work on her siblings? Eriadne stared into Trunks eyes intently, marveling at the kind of intelligence it would have taken to design and build a time machine from scratch. If there was some way to help her brother and sister, would his mother know how and beyond that would she do it?

"My mother is a technological genious. There isn't much she can't build. She and my grandfather are serious rivals to Gero." Trunks was unable to keep the pride from his voice as he spoke. His mother never got the credit she deserved, most especially from his father, whom he had watched, brush her accomplishments off as if they were meaningless along with her.

"Maybe she could rewire Gero's army, Trunks, including Juuhachigou and Juunanagou and turn them against Gero!"

"Why would she want to? If she does anything she'll come up with a way to defeat them. " Trunks stood and looked away. "I don't know why you are so determined to save any part of Gero's inventions."

"Some of them are human, Trunks, and had there humanity stolen from them in a horrible, violating way. Do you really believe that they all deserve to die?" Eriadne stood to face him, locking eyes with him, refusing to back down. Those are people Trunks, human beings just like you and I."

Trunks reached out to grip her shoulders, pulling her gently towards him until their faces were inches apart. "They used to be humans Eriadne, and as cruel as it is, and as horrible as it may sound, the best thing anyone can do for any of them is to end their tormented existence. Their lives will never be normal again."

"No, I don't believe that, besides we may need these very abominations to take Gero out." Her face glowed white in the pale light from the console panel as she pierced Trunks with her blue eyed gaze.

"We aren't going to need them at all." Trunks stared back at her intently. "There is something else you should know: My father is Saiya-jin from the planet Vegitasei... that makes me half- Saiya-jin. We are extremely powerful, though at present time, not strong enough to defeat the artificial humans. Goku is one as well. We can achieve greater limits of power through training and when we get back to Chikyuu my father and I are entering a room that will allow us to train a year in one day's time. We will defeat the artificial humans, you can count on that Eriadne."

Eriadne felt herself slide back down into her chair, wide-eyed with shock. "Saiya-jin?" She murmured.

"Yes, Saiya-jin. My father and Goku are the last full-blooded Saiya-jin left alive."

"Wow." Eriadne replied, unsure what else to say. "First time machines, then Saiya-jin." She stood, running a hand through his hair and down his back. "You don't look or feel different."

Trunks shivered at the contact, forcing himself to stay calm. He needed no romantic entanglements right now, nor was he ready for any. He was going back to his time, to pursue anything here would be wrong and he had no desire to hurt her or cause himself any great pain when he had to leave.

"I'm not really, just a few differences here and there." He smiled lightly, catching her hand as she sought to touch his face. "Eriadne..." He warned, bringing the palm of her hand up for a gentle kiss.

Eriadne shivered as his lips pressed softly against the flesh of her skin. They were so warm, he was so warm. Unconsciously she took a step closer. Why did it have to come down to a choice between him and her family? She didn't want to cause him any harm, but still... what was she supposed to do? Gero had been adamant in his demands and quite clear about the price of failure. He would deactivate and destroy her siblings. As horrible as they had become, she couldn't just give them up as a lost cause. She had watched her parents grieve everyday of their lives over the disappearance of the twins and she had sworn to herself that if she found them, she would get them back and she would. Her parents were dead now, killed by Gero, but she would be damned if she gave up the one thing that would have made them whole again--their children. Glancing up at Trunks, she watched him through veiled eyes as he pressed another kiss upon her skin. No, this was wrong and it would just make what she had to do all the more difficult. Reluctantly she pulled her had away and turned to sit back down in the chair.

"So, Trunks," Eriadne took a deep breathe to clear her dazed head and break the dangerous mood. She had enjoyed that too much. The way he had watched her so sensually as he had kissed her hand, he had practically breached all her defenses. She wondered if he was even aware he had done so. "Why don't you sit down and tell me all about the Saiya-jin race?"

"Alright, " Trunks slipped back into his chair shakily. Kami, the way she had looked at him as if he were the only man in the universe. He shivered, reaching down to retrieve his discarded jacket from the floor. Get a hold of yourself Trunks, you don't want this now, you don't need it. Get a hold of yourself and talk to her about the weather or some other mundane topic. Perhaps he should put some distance between them.

He turned to look at her as he slipped his jacket back on and smiled. "I need to go and speak to Goku for a few minutes. Can you wait until I get back?"

Eriadne nodded, watching him as he left. Shutting her eyes, she pulled out the small transmitter that Gero had given her and flipped it on, flicking her eyes back open. "Doctor Gero, are you there? It's Eriadne."

"Eriadne?" The Doctor's cold voice crackled through the connection. "I had almost given you up for a lost cause my dear."

"Hardly, Doctor, merely a setback or two."

"Do you have any information for me, girl?" Gero asked her pleasantly, coolly, as if they were discussing the weather.

Eriadne felt the familiar rising swell of disgust for what she was being forced to do, but pushed it back down, speaking softly into the small transmitter. "I have plenty of info that you need, Doctor, I have plenty."




Bulma brought the ship down gently in a small clearing just outside the city, quickly reaching over to begin the shut down of the system. This was the first time she had been in the ship's cockpit since Vegeta had carried her out earlier. He had kept her highly occupied in the small cabin, making love to her over and over again until they could barely walk It had been after their last time together, shortly before they had risen to get dressed that he had told her he was taking Trunks and going into the Room of Spirit and Time. She had nodded sadly, knowing he had to but not wanting to part with him, not when theyhad managed to carve some small bit of peace and tranquility for themself, however brief it mught be.

"What are you sad about woman? It will be one day to you, but a year for me." He had stared at her with a kind of resignation for what he was about to put himself through, but she didn't miss the small gleam of enthusiam that glowed so brightly in the depth of his coal eyes. He was Saiya-jin to the core.

"I know, I guess I'll just miss you." She had slipped her hand up his bare chest, gasping in shock as he had rolled her atop him.

"You've done without me for far longer, woman." He had breathed against her mouth. "It will only be for a day." His mouth had pressed a light kiss against her mouth and she had felt him hardening against her.

"Alot can happen in a day, Vegeta." She had rubbed herself against him, renewing his passions, before sliding on him and moving slowly above him. If he was going to go in for a year she would at least send him off with one hell of a memory. They had said nothing else, merely spoken with their bodies and their minds as they drew each other down into the sweet oblivion of their explosive passion. After that it had been time to get dressed and go back up to the cockpit. She had not spoken to him since, but she could sense him within her mind, intense and brooding about what was to come. Now she was landing this bird and trying to get things wrapped up as fast as she could before Gero could figure a way to track them. It would probably be only a matter of minutes before Gero was aware of where they were, she was sure he had radar and if he had sent portions of his army to Maordi Prime to deal with Costa then he had to have them swarming all over the planet.

Trunks glanced over at his mother and smiled lightly. "You're piloting abilities never cease to amaze me Mom."

"Do I fly alot in your time?" Bulma glanced over at her son, pleased to see him relaxed.

"Not so much now, since the artificial humans made their appearance. You told me once that father had made you stop, once they appeared, but you never explained any further."

"That sounds like your father, trying to forbid me to do something. I'm surprised my future self actually listened to him." Bulma shook her head. "It's so strange Trunks to think that I have this other life, well that a version of me has this life. I'm talking about myself, yet I'm not."

"Hey, how do you think I feel looking at my baby self. I actually held myself!"

Bulma laughed aloud at the remembrance of her future son, holding the infant version of himself. He had looked so strange, so completely floored at the oddness of the situation... she laughed again, happy when he joined her. Kami, it had been far too long since either of them had been given reason to laugh.

"Well the shut down is complete, come on lets go and get everyone together. You need to go and wake up Eriadne." Bulma started to rise, but Trunks hand on her arm halted her.

"Mom, before we go, can I ask you a favor?" He peered nervously at her. "It's about Eriadne."

"What about her? Do you like her Trunks?" Bulma grinned lightly at her son, laughing again at the blush that stained his cheeks.

"Mom, " He growled in embarrassment. "Be serious."

"I was, but nevermind, what do you need?" Bulma stared at him intently.

Trunks fought the urge to look away from the blue eyes that so resembled his. Kami, she had a way of looking straight through to his soul. Could she do this with his father? He cleared his throat nervously before speaking.

"She is all alone with no place to go. Do you think you could take her back to the Corporation with you?"

"Of course Trunks, that's all you had to say. She is welcome to come back with me and Goku. Maybe she can help me out."

Trunks exhaled softly. "Thanks Mom, it means alot."

Bulma grinned mischieviously before she stood. "I bet it does."

"Mom!" Trunks growled but she had already gone. Sighing he stood to follow her. Now it was time to go into The Room of Time and Spirit with his father. This was his one chance to get to be with his father and perhaps learn something from him. He only hoped he could handle it. His mother had already warned him about how seriously the man took his training when he had voiced his first misgivings. She had seemed to think that they would do fine together. It heartened him to know that even in this time she had faith in him.

"I hope your faith is well placed mother, I hope it's well placed."




"You've done your job well my children." Gero stared into the black eyes of his creation Juunanagou. "You have created more chaos and destruction then even I could have ever dreamt of, your rewards will be great." He settled his black gaze on Juuhachigou's piercing blue eyes, unnerved by the look of hatred that he had seen shining in their depths. It had been quickly masked but there all the same. He smirked, yes they would certainly be receiving a very just reward for all their hard work. Did they honestly believe that he knew nothing of the plotting they did behind his back. They were fools and soon they would pay the ultimate price for their treacherous thoughts.

"What do you plan on doing now Doctor?" Juunanagou's vapid voice belied the keen look of interest that sparkled in his black eyes. The time was almost upon him to end Gero's life for good. He had bided his time, toying with the Doctor in a deliberate taunt to the man, waiting until the perfect time to end the miserable bastard' s life for good. He had been loathe to do it quickly believing that perhaps there was something they still needed from the man, but time and distance had quickly shown him that he and Juuhachigou could easily stand on their own without their creator.

"Today is the day that I reach out to the poor, suffering masses that are searching for true leadership." Gero smiled coldly. "The fools are so broken by their human weaknesses that they will willingly reach out to whomever offers them a hand."

"I see and how do you propse to encourage all of the human's to see things from your point of view?" Juunanagou cocked his head curiously, searching the cold depths of Gero's eyes for an answer.

"You needn't worry yourself Juunanagou, I have much planned for the humans of Chikyuu." Gero smiled wickedly.

"Will we have some part in this Doctor?" Juunanagou's voice held the barest hint of insistence.

"Oh you needn't worry Juunanagou," Gero's mouth tilted upwards again in a malicious grin. "You figure very promptly into my future plans, I assure you." He raised his black eyes, connecting with Juuhachigou's silent visage. Seeing the same spark of hatred, he smiled coldly. Ahhh yes, Juuhachigou, hate for it will soon be all you have left.

"That is excellent Doctor. Juuhachi and I do love to have our fun." Juunanagou smiled coldly at the Doctor. It would soon be time to make their move, and then he and his sister would be free of the good Doctor forever.

"Go now, Juunanagou and take your sister with you. Go and retrieve Goku's little wife, Chi-Chi. hook her up to my machine for me. There are things that I must accomplish here." He turned from them to focus on a wall full of cameras.

"Of course Doctor, we'll go now." Juunanagou turned and smiled to his sister chillingly. "Won't we Juuhachigou?"

Juuhachigou raised a blonde eyebrow, reaching up to push her hair behind her ear. "Yes, Juunanagou, lead the way." She followed him as he left the room. What in the hell was her brother up to now?

Gero watched them leave before turning back to the cameras he had lined, preparing himself for what was to come next: The seduction of all humanity.

Gero's somber face flicked to life on the television screens of the world. His bleak appearance a grim reminder of just what the planet was going through and of how its humanity was suffering.

"People of Chikyuu, my name is Gero and I am your savior."

* * * * *

Table of Contents
Chapter 7
Chapter 9