~This chapter is dedicated to NSBVEGETA. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Get well and come back to us soon!~
"Shit! It's completely ruined… nothing but melted trash!"
For Vegeta it was laughable how backwards the planet earth really was. Oh yes he had scathed, he had insulted and he had laughed before, but now, he was glad to have some weight to go with the argument. Before he had just been guessing, but now he had absolute proof, and he couldn't wait to rub it in. The question was who? Who would be affected the most and whom would he derive the most pleasure from taunting?
The mother? Feh! The thought was positively absurd. The woman's head was even more fucked up than his. Where was the fun in it? Messing with inanity only caused frustration. It was disconcerting how that was the only true lesson he had learnt since arriving on this pathetic planet.
The father? Perhaps. He had the intellect to be affected by it, but was it something he wanted to discuss with such a disgustingly helpful, benign, and smelly old man? The constant stench of old-spice was always a deterrent. It reminded him of the Shantoran Meth that had been so fashionably lathered on by the high-ranking soldiers of Frieza's army. The old man reminded him somewhat of them, because on a hot day you could literally see the fuzz around him.
It might prove entertaining to see if he could glean a little fear from such a quarter, but ultimately it would be far too easy, and for once he didn't care about the result, he just wanted to torment. Had he still been on Frieza Base Five he would have had the privilege of slave livestock rather thin air to practice on, but at Capsule Corporation... there was nothing.
Mental stimulation was just as important to his warrior instincts as physical. Besides, he had a reputation to uphold. He was not feared solely for his power, but his skill as a tactician as well. Unfortunately for him it was imperative that his mind stayed sharp and for that there was no escape but trying to find a reliable source of stimulation. The rookie soldier's on Base Five weren't exactly a minefield of intellect, but at least they had served to brush up on his insults. Now it was his duty, as a strategist, to find an appropriate outlet.
Thoughtfully he paced down the long curved hall.
"And that's when he turned to me and said 'Excuse me madam, can you please get your foot off my bag!' I tell you Chi I've never been so embarrassed in all my life! I thought I was going to die right there and then in front of him."
Vegeta smirked… a low, deep, evil smirk.
"No! Oh Chi you're no fun! Come on you buy that magazine every week! You can't tell me you haven't thought about what it might feel like to be floured up by such skilful hands!"
She was laughing inanely, twirling the phone wire around her little finger as he entered, thumbing her way through the contents of some glossy publication. Good, she hadn't seen him. It might prove all the more entertaining.
Absently, he slouched down on the sofa, obscured from her line of vision by the padded back. Putting his legs up to rest over one arm, he stretched out and crossing his arms behind his head, cradled it on them.
"Right! That's it! As of this minute I completely disown you! Nope… no, no and no… there isn't any amount of grovelling that will make this ok now. I mean it… no more visits, no more recipes from mum, no more learning books for Gohan…!"
Vegeta rolled his eyes. He'd have to do something to get her attention. There was no way he was going to sit through any more of this crap!
"Oh my god Chi!" She sputtered in hysterics, "What would Son-kun say if he could hear you?"
"If he had an ounce of sense he'd tell you to shut the fuck up!"
Vegeta chuckled inwardly. The sharp intake of breath was exactly what he had been expecting. Chiku-jins! They were just too easy to scare.
"But of course he doesn't have an ounce of sense, so the point is mute." He continued, correcting himself. "I guess I'll just have to tell you to shut the fuck up instead."
There was no reply immediately and Vegeta was forced (much to his frustration) to sit up enough to peer over the leather cushion. It was then he saw it. Not anger, not disgust, but amusement. It was alive in her eyes, and soon she was laughing again.
"Vegeta!" She exclaimed, "You're too much!"
He frowned and instantly plopped back down.
"Oh and by the way, the bathrooms that way." She pointed to the door. "You're stinking the place up."
With nothing else to say the female… Bulma, was back on the telephone gibbering away in that gratingly cheerful tone as though nothing had happened. Well too bad for her. He wasn't in the mood to be placated so easily.
"… Of course not… no… I'm fine… really. No just Vegeta… what the…? Hell no…!"
Abandoning the sofa once and for all, he stood bolt upright, pulling his arms tightly over his chest and sticking it proudly out. If this didn't get her attention, then nothing would.
There was silence for a moment. In that time Vegeta had gained great amusement from watching the Chikyu-jin's reaction. At first the sight didn't really register and her eyes had merely casually swept past him, but that was soon brought to right. In the time it took them to return, those picture blue eyes had doubled in size. Her mouth was trying to say something, but her brain wasn't cooperating. She shook her head once, trying pointlessly to get her faculties back. The arm that had dropped slack, was now hoisted to her ear.
"Um Chi…" Her cheeks crimsoned ever so slightly. "I'm going to have to call you back." Swiftly she hung up.
"Well?" Vegeta asked, triumphant.
The female wasn't exactly behaving as he thought she would, but she was affected and that was enough.
"W… well… w… what?" She replied, squeezing her eyes tight, but still managing to take a quick peek at selected intervals.
Vegeta had to admit that her behaviour was curious. He had expected to invoke a reaction, but this wasn't the one he had hoped for.
"Dammit onna! The least you can do is show some respect by looking at me."
To his annoyance she took in a gasp, before shaking her head.
"Look at me!" He demanded, "Or I'll use my ki to melt your eyelids open... permanently!"
"Ok… but could you at least cover yourself up!"
For a moment he was unsure to what she alluded and then it registered. He laughed out loud. "Stupid humans!" He smirked, "You are so fucked up, the lot of you."
"I wouldn't class common decency as something fucked up." She chided, "Now please put some clothes on!"
"Fine then… I'm going!"
"No you're not."
"You're going to look at me and you're going to see what it is that is absurdly wrong with your culture."
He walked around the sofa and picked up the magazine that now lay, disregarded on the computer desk.
"You see…" He rasped, catching her chin forcefully and lifting it as he dangled the magazine in front of her nose. " Your species is so preoccupied with the pointless and materialistic crap that goes along with their thick headed delusions of comfort that they have stayed as stagnant as every other third rate planet out there. Your father and you think you are oh so different from the rest of the universe and yet you're just as fucked up as the rest."
"Your kind spend millions a year researching," He looked at the front cover and sneered, "How to make 'A new and improved balm to make your lips extra full for that all important first date' and yet no research has been done on how to make a simple training outfit withstand even the mildest of exposure to a ki based energy attack! Now tell me that I am wrong and that there's hasn't been some gross oversight in your planets priorities." After a moments thought, "And for Kami's sake if you're going to stare do it openly rather than taking cowardly glances when you think I'm not looking!"
Feeling a lot better for the outburst, and especially smug in the way he had delivered the final part of the killing blow, Vegeta had nothing more to do than wait and watch. How would she react? He couldn't wait to see the result. There was something delicious in the anticipation of retaliation.
Eventually he frowned. She had been silent for too long. Perhaps this had been a mistake. Damned humans. Why had he even bothered? They were all just as useless as each other. What gave this blue-haired creature any more credibility than the rest? Just because he had happened to mistake a certain eccentricity to her character as like-minded fire, didn't mean that he had any hope of her being up to such a level.
"Pitiable!" He snorted and turned away.
Just as he was about to reach the door her voice finally stopped him.
"So that's why you're standing in front of me with your tackle hanging out?" She laughed out loud, "Oh man! You melted you're training gear and then in a pissed off rage came storming up here as nude as the day you were born to give me a lecture on the absurdities of my race? I'm sorry Vegeta, but there's just no way I can take you seriously while staring at that!"
Vegeta paused mid-stride. He pulled his back up straight and before he turned to face her, he allowed the faintest glimpse of a smirk to grace his features. So the woman did possess fire. What an intriguing development it was for him. Almost immediately he wondered how far he could take it.
"So you admit that you were staring! But of course you would be, after all you have never been treated to Saiya-jin flesh before. When it comes to Saiya-jin and human, there is no comparison."
He smirked. Colour tinged her cheeks and he found it to be an intriguing mix of anger and embarrassment.
"Don't flatter yourself Vegeta. I haven't tried Saiya-jin, but I have human, and since I'll never let such bloodied and disgusting hands, like yours, ever touch me, there really is no comparison."
Vegeta's features must have displayed an innate desire to kill, because almost as soon as she finished, Bulma clasped a hand over her mouth. Fortunately his mind wasn't tuned by the same impulsive instincts as his body, otherwise she might have been incinerated on the spot.
Vegeta's anger was soon replaced with curiosity. So this was why obedience from her felt so awkward. She had been hiding herself from him. It had been a reasonable plan for sure, but had she really thought she could pull the wool over his eyes? His mouth looped into a wicked grin.
"You know woman." He purred, closing the gap between them, "Speaking that way to a Saiya-jin might just be considered a challenge."
She backed away from him. His grin widened as the fear spread across her features. There was nowhere else for the ningen to go. Solid wall blocked any more retreat, and his powerful arms either side of her head cut off any means of escape. She shivered. Was it disgust… or something easier to work with? Either way it didn't matter.
"There's no need to look so pathetic." He snarled. "I have more important things to do than disease myself by taking some scrawny, insignificant earth creature to my bed. The thought, quite frankly, disgusts me."
Her whole demeanor changed in that one second. Her features cleared of all panic and something stronger, more indomitable took over. "Well then." Her hands were defiantly thrust onto her hips. "At least we can say the feeling is mutual! Now if you don't mind I was in the middle of a phone call when you so disturbingly interrupted me. I'm going to call Chi back."
Vegeta had to admit that he was somewhat impressed. She was trying to lift his arm, searching to escape. He obliged her with laughing sarcasm for a moment, before smashing his palm firmly back into the plaster. "Where do you think you are going? We still have an unresolved issue here woman." He growled.
"Yeah well I guess I can't do anything about the stick up your ass Vegeta, maybe you can find someone less diseased to pull it out."
Vegeta felt his features harden and set in a grim snarl. Fire was all well and good, but now she was pushing his patience. "Look ningen! It doesn't matter to me one way or the other what happens from this point, but unless you want me parading around your house naked until Shenlong is summoned I would suggest that you find me training clothes somewhere on this mud ball that can withstand ki energy."
There was a pause. Vegeta was still spitting angry, and he used the time to try and calm his temper. "Fine." She conceded at length. "I'll see what dad and I can come up with."
Anger turned to frustration. Where did all her spirit go?
"And…" He added, hoping to re-ignite it, " I want it as an exact replica of my usual uniform."
She laughed, "What you mean beaten up so much that it's not even recognizable as fabric anymore?"
Her eyes were now no longer slanted and biting, but large and shimmering. It almost looked like she wanted the work, and that she was pleased to help.
"Isn't that what has caused all the problems in the first place. It was you who suggested that I train in something cleaner."
"Fine… I'll see what I can do. Yamcha used to wear ki resistant clothing, but he got all his training gear from Kami. I'll need to visit his old flat and find his gi. I should be able to get enough info from that to create a copy."
Vegeta knew that he didn't want to know the answer but his curiosity got the better of him. "And who, what, was or is a Yamcha?"
"He was my boyfriend, and a member of the Z senshi, but you should know, after all it was thanks to you that he died. When you came to earth the first time…"
"Oh." It was all he could think of to say.
"Oh… oh… " She was shaking her head, pacing backwards and forwards. "And that's it?" she continued. "No apology, no remorse… no feeling? "
Suddenly Vegeta's interest was heightened. The fire was back and with a vengeance. It was impressive to watch. Time to test its limits.
"What else would you have me say ningen? It's not as if I'm likely to remember each and every creature that I've sent to the next dimension. After the first thousand or so, it all becomes rather boring." He looked smugly down at her.
Her face was a picture. He fully believed that if she were to move a muscle her whole face would shatter. It was so ludicrous he almost laughed. What did the woman think he was? What disillusions had he waved before her to think that he would have any concern in such trivial emotions? Foolish girl!
"Pathetic creature!" He spat, "Your race forgets such important things so easily."
The shock dissolved from Bulma's face into a single tear. "No we don't Vegeta. We don't forget, we feel, and that is what makes us human. We never forget, but we forgive, and hope for better things. I've been trying to figure out what it is that I feel for you ever since you came here. I thought it was interest, I thought it might have been anger, resentment, but its not it's pity. I feel sorry for you Vegeta, because you really just don't have a single clue what it's like to feel anything do you? You've become so switched off that you just don't take the timeout to experience anymore. You just are, and I feel sorry, and sad that that's all you'll ever know."
Vegeta knew he had pushed her to it, but it would be a cold day in hell before he would take such a tiny and powerless creatures pity. It felt sharp and toxic. He could feel his control slipping, see his ki rising in waves over his eyes, licking at the confined walls.
"Hate me!" He demanded as he walked menacingly towards her, "Fear me!" He continued, "But don't you dare… DARE, associate my name with pity, ever EVER again, or I cannot vouch for my own control! Do you understand me woman."
"Do you fear me right now?"
"Do you hate me?"
"I said do you hate me?"
She was backed into a corner. The fact that he was still naked was now no longer an issue. It was as though he had driven her beyond the edge of caring. "I… I…" She stammered.
"You have good reason to hate me."
"I have absolutely no idea… ok?" She spat, as he reached the corner she was defiantly defending. "I mean… shit… you helped out on Namek, you've lived with us for almost two months. I… mean geesh… do you hate me?"
He moved in closer, studying her reaction. "A question for a question." He remarked absently, "You get extra brownie points."
"And you successfully skirted the issue, now answer the damn question."
Vegeta thought carefully for a moment.
"No." He admitted grudgingly. " I hate your planet, your friends, your parents, but you… you…"
"Because…" He added with extra inflection, "You have fire onna…. You have fire."
Vegeta was completely baffled as to why he had admitted as much. What was a lie to one weak female, but somehow he couldn't deny the answer to her face. It was dangerous, it was insane and completely beyond his comprehension, but still he didn't regret saying it.
He watched her for a while. It was though a figurative leap forward had been made between them and they were both looking at each other for the first time. "You still disgust me woman." He sneered at length, pushing away from the wall and turning his back. "Go make your phone call before I change my mind and decide to annihilate you after all."
It appeared that the woman had enough sense to know when to keep quiet and under his order she walked sedately out of the room. Vegeta remained for several minutes afterwards trying to calm his temper, something he had never been very skilled at. Realizing that nothing was going to work he decided that, for now, he'd just let the anger work around his system and run it's own course. Kami help anyone that got in his way in the meantime.
He stalked out of the room with agitation brimming from every pore; not caring that his destination was the shower as the woman had pointed out it should have been from the beginning. There was, however, an excellent motive for this, more than just how sweaty his earlier work out had made him, or how effective it might be to cleanse his mind from the conversation he had just escaped. It was more urgent than that.
When the fabric of his human training clothes had melted, the fibers had turned transparent and melted into the skin. To say it was a little more than uncomfortable was an understatement. Pain didn't affect him as it might others, but just because he could blanket it when he wanted, didn't mean that he liked having to do it. He wanted to soothe the burns, just as much as any other creature would.
The cold water quickly pelted his skin, cooling the wounds he had suffered. He relaxed against the glass door, his breathing calm as he peeled what was left of his training top from the lightly scorched skin. Solidified under the water, it almost looked like a clear plastic. Snorting once in derision he threw it away in disgust.
It was bizarre really, but all in all and despite such minor technical glitches as today, or the protests he had made to Bulma, Vegeta was quietly happy with how the time had past since his arrival on earth. He'd be damned and put through the cleansing machine in otherworld fifty times before he would admit as much but there was something about the species that just got to him, and not necessarily in a bad way. He might even go so far as to say he envied them their placidity and inane indifference to the universe.
There was something in particular about the way he was treated by those around him that was more especially poignant after his confrontation with Bulma. Everyone in the Brief family knew exactly what he was. It wasn't made a secret of. They all knew what his main goal and objectives were and yet they still provided for him. It was sheer madness and he had no real way of defining why they did it, or why it made him so uncomfortable that they should? Of course it was all irrelevant in the long term, but disconcerting all the same.
He vigorously shook his head as he exited the shower. It was all nonsense to think of anything too carefully. In three months time he would have his shot at revenge and in either victory or death he would have pride restored. He was determined for it to be as such. There was great anticipation for the event. He could feel his blood rising and calling for the victory he deserved every day he was stuck on this world. That was the main focus. There was nothing after to worry about. Pride, power and victory came before everything else.
Ignoring the towel on the rail he merely shook the water from his body and evaporated it with a miniscule release of ki. Normally he would have dried himself naturally but he just wanted to leave the confines of the house as quickly as possible to find a desolated part of the planet to take his anger out on.
Walking through the door he entered his room without turning the lights on. The last thing he wanted to do at that moment was draw any unnecessary attention. His internal energy was like a lake of bubbling magma; one misplaced intrusion and it would explode.
Carefully he pulled a pair of jogging bottoms out of the closet and a white t-shirt. As soon as he was far enough out of range to cause any unwanted attention, he would simply undress again, but when you were flying at five thousand feet, no matter the time of year, it got a little too cold, however much ki you might possess.
Rearranging the room to make it look as cold and unlived in as it ever had, Vegeta was satisfied and abandoned it for the main living space, hoping to grab a quick snack to keep him fueled for a night of comprehensive and compelling destruction. He was therefore, somewhat surprised to see a faint flicker coating the room in an ever changing mishmash of shadows.
Then… then he heard it and his lip tilted into a sneer. How pathetic. She was crying whilst watching the silent picture on the television screen. Idiotic creature. What on earth did she think she was doing, degrading herself in such a manner?
He watched a fraction longer and then… then he saw it. "K… Kakarrot…?"
Vegeta hadn't intended to speak, but as the fighters name fell from his lips it at once disturbed both Bulma and himself. She ran the back of a hand over her eyes in a vein attempt to rid them of the moisture.
"Yes." She replied pointing at the screen. "And Tien, Chaotzu, and Yamcha, but of course you don't remember killing them do you?"
Vegeta was calm, his anger having been momentarily sidestepped for curiosity. He might have simply reminded her that they were in fact killed during their fight with Nappa, but that was all irrelevant. "I might not remember their names, but I do remember them."
"And that's supposed to be better?"
He shrugged indifferently. "It's something."
She snorted and turned back to watch the old video. Vegeta in turn, walked towards the kitchen. He was just about to pillage the contents when he heard a load gasp behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see what the insane human was up to now, only to be just in time to see her whole face blanche.
He shook his head in derision and returned to the fridge.
The shout echoed against the windows.
Vegeta turned again. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" he demanded.
She was breathing heavily and it appeared that she hadn't heard him. He watched as she drew her knees into her chest and rocked her forehead on them. "Go away, go away, go away." She repeated over and over.
Curiosity got the better of him, and grabbing nothing more than a piece of fruit he walked over to the human, curled up on the sofa. "Tell me what's going on?" he stated bluntly, looking down at her with confusion.
"It… It feels like telepathy." She mumbled through the tears. "It's been happening ever since I got back from Namek. I thought I might have been picking up something from you, or one of the Namekians but… I don't know anymore."
"Feh! Ridiculous!" He scorned. "You would never be able to accidentally stumble on telepathic energy simpleton. It is directed straight from mind to mind, there is no way to intercept it. If you are experiencing something to that effect, then you are the target, no one else."
Her eyes widened as he spoke. "Then… why won't they speak or at least tell me who it is?"
"Don't look at me onna. How the fuck should I know?"
"Is … is there anyway I can stop it?"
He deliberated for a moment. "Yes, but I doubt such a limited creature as yourself is capable of it. It requires a lot of mental aptitude."
"Well…" She sniffled. "I am a genius."
"That's a matter of debate." He snorted. "Now I've wasted enough time with this patheticness. I honestly couldn't give a shit what's going on in the deranged head of yours. Just do what every species has to do in order to carry on… adapt."
Bulma nodded dejectedly. Vegeta barely returned the gesture before moving to the large balcony windows. "Adapt." He reiterated, floating gently over the railings.
Growling once he flew out into the darkened sky. Placing the apple to his lips his bit in. "Fuck!" He swore vehemently, " Now I'm going to starve."