Chapter Nine
The Beginning of Inevitability


Still clutching the table, Bulma didn't have the mental control to do anything other than gawp at the man she had previously lamented as being miles away on a different continent, and who was now standing in front of her, looking… damn!

She tried to scold her eyes into looking away, but seeing Vegeta at all was so completely unexpected that her brain very obediently disobeyed. The visual temptation of dress suit trousers and a crisp white shirt that hung so beautifully over parts of his body, and clung in exactly the right places on others, was just too much to refuse. Even under the loose fabric you could still see the latent power his limbs displayed, and the outline of where one muscle nestled next to another. If only the man underneath them were as beautiful, but then there were elements to his character that were strangely - enticing.

Gods! What was she thinking? Clambering her thoughts back into some kind of logical order she was somewhat alarmed to find he was looking at her just as intensely as she had been him, perhaps more so. Those fierce, coal-black eyes had wandered down her entire length and up again, and were now paying their silent intrusion directly to her face.

In ever growing need of stopping them, not especially liking the way they were beginning to affect her, Bulma turned away and back to the food, nervously piling the titbits onto her plate. The connection, fleeting as it was, was broken, much to her congratulations, and making sure it hadn't got a chance to regroup and work its evil against her, she snapped, "You haven't answered my question. What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you."

Bulma closed her eyes for a second, exhaling once to calm herself down. Damn him! That was precisely what she hadn't wanted to hear, no matter how reasonable or probable it was. It tauntingly left the million zeni question dripping from her lips. Why? Why the hell had he travelled thousands of miles to see her?

Unfortunately there was only one likely scenario, and she groaned in frustration.

"I told you, Vegeta. Maintenance on your training room will have to wait until after I've finished my holiday. There's no way you're dragging me back there because you've been stupid enough to break it when you were warned to go easy for two weeks."

"And you'd be able to stop me?"

"I'd find some way."

She hazarded a quick but meaningful glance over her shoulder, letting Vegeta know she was dead serious.

"Witch!" he snapped, "You almost make me want to suffer the indignity out of curiosity."

"Witch?" she said, smiling sarcastically. "That's a new one. How charming! I thought I was, Woman or, Whore."

"You're all of them." He replied flawlessly, "Now move out of the fucking way. I'm starving!"

Not having the beginnings of a chance to move, Bulma found herself picked up from behind by the waist and planted away from the table, giving Vegeta free range. Anger poured through her body like molten lava. Ugh! That man was really asking for it! She wanted to scratch the eyes out from his face, pound her fist into that smirk a thousand times for the indignity, only fuelled more as she saw his shoulders rise and fall in a deliberate chuckle. Unfortunately the only word to escape her lips was, "Hey!" said in such a petulant manner, that even she thought it sounded like it was spoken from a five-year-old child.

There was no response as Vegeta carefully filled the biggest plate he could find to overflowing, earning raised eyebrows from several of the kitchen staff, and the overawed admiration of the obese couple next in line. Shaking her head in disbelief Bulma turned away and returned to her table, knowing instinctively that Vegeta would follow.

The view from the dinning room window was quite spectacular. The last of the fiery sun was dipping below the mountains, setting the horizon in an eerie glow, which spilled up to meet the rapidly emerging stars. Bulma gazed in fascinated wonder as she nibbled elegantly on some variety of savoury French pastry.

The clunk of Vegeta's plate on the table was the noise that eventually managed to force her attention away. She looked up in time to see him pull the opposite chair out from the table and sit down heavily and uncomfortably on it.

"Look at the view," she said in a way to break the ice. "Isn't it spectacular? We never get anything so dramatic in the city. The way the sun is lost behind the mountains reminds me of the late evenings I used to spend at Son-kun's." Her heart became heavy under the spoken thought. "I miss him."

Vegeta didn't reply, but she hadn't expected he would.

"I'm sorry," she apologized, not knowing quite why. "It's just weird not having him around that's all."

"You and Kakarrot were…" he seemed to struggle for the right word. "Friends?"

"Yes… we met when I was sixteen. I was hunting for dragonballs and Goku happened to have the four star ball. We went on a huge adventure, travelled all over the world. That's when we first met Master Roshi and… I," she smiled, "I first met my boyfriend… Yamcha."

"Ten years," he replied absently. "A lot can happen in that time."

Bulma chanced a quick glance up, but Vegeta wasn't watching her, instead he had turned sideways on his chair and was looking out of the window as though it were an occupation of necessity.

"Yes… yes it can."

"How?" he asked, "How would it affect you if I told you I couldn't remember how many lives I had ended since my sixteenth birthday?"



"I dunno. I guess it makes me feel sad, not just for the people, the families, or their friends, but… for you. I'm sorry you knew nothing better, or kinder."

"And what if I said it didn't bother me, up until extremely recently, that I caused so many innocents to suffer?"

Bulma shook her head, "I really don't know, Vegeta. I guess it doesn't excuse the past, but I'm glad that something has made you realize it was wrong now. Maybe… maybe if you'd be willing, now you're free from Frieza, you could make up for it."

He chuckled low, sitting forward, resting his elbows on the sill. "If it would make you sleep easier at night then you can believe that Woman, but I am too lost now for any of your pathetic human sensibilities."

"Vegeta…" She started, and his head moved a fraction to look at her. She wanted so desperately to find some way of trying to say that perhaps he wasn't as much of a stranger to the idea of redemption as he thought, but no matter how many ways she tried to word it in her mind, each one sounded as patronising as the last. She sighed, giving up. "Your foods getting cold."

He grunted in acknowledgement, and looking out across the slim expanse of water and yacht cluttered harbour, they ate their meal in silence.

Vegeta was the first to break it, wiping a napkin across his face and plucking it over his fingers. "In case you were wondering," he said, "The training room is working fine."


"I… Woman… the reason I cam here is because I think I may need your help."

Bulma stared in absolute shock. Vegeta was asking for help… from her? His gaze left the scenery for a moment, twisting to look at her, the fire of the sun tingeing his cheek a deep red, before he smirked and turned back, chuckling.

"I've known Amofian goldfish to hold their facial expressions better." He said with obvious mirth, "You heard me right."

"W… what do you need help with?"

"I want you to teach me compassion." He said, no inflection in his voice to give the words any warmth or true significant meaning.

"Compassion?" she repeated, not knowing what else to say.



"I believe it is the key to my ascension of super Saiyajin."

Bulma smiled, shaking her head, "I don't think it's something that can be taught Vegeta."

"Bollocks!" he snapped, "Everything can be learned if studied hard enough and with enough dedication. Kakarrot will be wished back in a little over a month. I've run out of time. Normal training isn't working. This is my last throw at the dice. I know from previous experience that emotion is a powerful weapon on the battlefield. You may think its bullshit, and so did I at first, but Kakarrot's father, Bardock, found a distinct correlation between fighting power and emotion. I was only a child at the time, but that discovery has had a defining influence on me throughout my life. My anger and hate have added a catalyst to my ki level for years now."

"So why don't you just get really, really pissed off instead, something tells me that you'd have no trouble with that… and hey… I'd be more than willing to help you out."

Vegeta smirked, "I don't deny you have ample qualifications for pissing people off, Whore, but anger isn't the emotion I need. I would have transformed well before now if that were the case. I'm at a stalemate. I'm not getting any stronger, no matter how far I push myself. It's been the same for months. I can feel super Saiyajin when I power up. It is all around me, but I'm missing the trigger that will push me over the edge. I have never experienced compassion before. It is a logical assumption that…." His lip curled, "… good emotions are just as effective as bad, and having fought Kakarrot…." His fists clenched, "I cannot blind myself to the possibility (as much as my pride would like to) that they could even be more effective."

Bulma wasn't quite sure what to say. What he was asking was impossible… wasn't it? How did you teach someone compassion? It was absolutely ludicrous, but then again, did she even want to help Vegeta. After all he wanted to become stronger in order to kill her friends and possibly even destroy her planet.

"Vegeta… I…."

The words fell silent, as she looked at the suppressed anger boiling under his skin and almost desperate features. His usual scowl was softened as he looked intently out of the window. Not the other day she had made her mind up. Despite the lunacy of it all, she viewed him as a friend, and all she could see was that her friend was suffering and was asking her for help. She sighed, rubbing a hand over her forehead. She had to try and help. In some weird way she felt she owed it to him, the very least she could do was try.

In fact, if she thought about it with a level head then it presented an opportunity that she had despaired of the previous day. Finally she had something that Vegeta wanted, and to a businesswoman that always meant increased bargaining power. It was a strange but ultimately intriguing and exciting prospect. If she could get Vegeta to agree then they might both be able to help each other out of their slumps.

"Ok," she said at length. "Here's the deal, plain and simple. I have no idea how to teach you compassion…"


"…But I am willing to try."

Vegeta didn't look at her, but dipped his head into a slow nod.

"But you, Vegeta, you have to help me in return."

Vegeta's features clustered into confusion, his eyes eventually leaving the window to face her. "How?" he demanded.

"I'll teach you compassion, if… if you help me get some excitement back in my life. That's the problem. I've figured it out. I like my work, I love my home, but I miss the recklessness I had when I was younger. Do you think you could help me?"

Vegeta studied her face as though she had just asked him to dance naked in the middle of Western Capital Arena.

Bulma frowned, "I'm serious Vegeta. Do we have a deal? Compassion for excitement?" She stretched her hand across the table, "Deal?" she repeated.

He raked a hand through his hair, obviously thinking her proposition over. "Fucking hell, Woman!" he swore, "Do you have any idea what you're asking from me?"

"I think its only fair."

"Of course you do! You haven't got a clue what that would… how it tempts…Ugh! Forget it. It was a moronic idea anyway. We both want the impossible. I can no more teach you excitement than you can teach a cold-blooded killer compassion. It's a complete waste of both our time."

He stood up and was about to walk out, but Bulma wasn't in the mood to let him. With a speed she didn't know she possessed, she cut off his exit. "Hey! Wait a minute there mister, don't you dare walk away from me!"

"Get out of my way!"

"What the fuck is your problem, Vegeta? Do you know how much I don't want to help you? Do you?" Noticing a hush and the attention of everyone around them she lowered her voice slightly, but not enough to lose the sharpness. "I mean what exactly is going to happen when you reach super Saiyajin, huh? You're only going to kill the best friend I've ever had, and probably destroy the entire planet as well. Hell you'll probably kill me too, but because I'm completely insane and actually care about you I'm still willing to try and help you. So now you're just going to throw that back in my face? Well here's a free lesson in compassion bud, you don't shove people's help back down their throat. I don't think asking for a little excitement is too much in return for being a complete baka and betraying my own planet."

"Look, Whore. I…." He faltered, "I… appreciate that you have an issue with my objectives, but I can't… shouldn't… give you what you want."

"I don't understand, Vegeta."

"Of course you don't," he snarled. "You have no idea what you're asking, Bulma."


"Oh for fucks sake this is pointless."

"It is not pointless! I've told you, Vegeta, however much you might think its ridiculous, you're the only person that can help me… please."

He paused. Those disturbing and expressive eyes were furrowed deep in concentration, as though he were reconsidering.

"And you'd be willing to go along with anything I choose as a teaching aid?" he said at length.

She nodded confidently, "Yes."

"Intriguing," he whispered, so low Bulma had trouble hearing. "Perhaps… perhaps…" He looked up, his eyes scowling thoughtfully at her. "Fine!" he snapped. "If you really want this deal, then we will make it but don't say I didn't give you ample opportunity to back out." He pushed roughly past her, and towards the door.

"Vegeta!" she called after him, no longer controlling her voice, "Where are you going?"

"You want excitement?" He shouted over his shoulder.

"Ugh! You moron! What the fuck have I been saying for the last five minutes?"

"Well then," he scowled. "Follow me."

Throwing her arms up in the air in exasperation, and letting a guttural scream of frustration pass her lips, Bulma did as she was told, silencing the cheers and applause from the rest of the holidaymakers as she threw them a withering glare, and slammed so quickly through the glass doors they almost shattered.

"Look you…" she began to shout, but her speech was left hanging in mid-air. The hall was empty. She blinked a couple of times. "Where the fuck did he go?"

She turned quickly, looking back through the door just to make sure she hadn't been mistaken. Shit! He wasn't there. "Vegeta, I know you're in here somewhere. Stop messing around!"

Her voice drifted down the long corridor, but nothing answered.


Still nothing. She walked carefully along the plush red carpet, looking pointedly into the rooms on her way down. They were nothing more than staff rooms, the kitchens on one side, and the communal rooms on the other.

"This isn't funny!"



Her feet stopped mid-stride. Her heart sunk and she bowed her head. Asshole! He'd done a runner. It was the only explanation. "Fuck!" She'd known it was too easy. Ugh! She was a complete and total fool. What did she expect? This was Vegeta after all! He delighted in twisting her emotions, and flinging them mercilessly away! It was just like every other confrontation they had shared. If things got out of hand, if he lost his temper or she became too emotional then he would simply walk away, not caring about how much it hurt her.

Through the gloom of her disappointment Bulma heard the elevator 'ping' at the end of the corridor, and not wanting to go back to the table and eat her dinner being watched by fifty other couples in the hope of an encore. She picked her feet up, and sped along the hall in order to reach it before the doors slid shut.

She made it just in time. The highly polished doors were just about to close as she arrived, but by some miracle she managed to open them again by shoving her shoulder in the gap. Once inside she angrily punched the button for deck five, and kicked the lift wall just for good measure. "Asshole!" she repeated, falling back onto the mirrored surface, and allowing moisture to rush to her eyes.

That was the way she stayed until another 'ping' brought her back to reality and the doors opened. Wiping the tears hastily away, she walked proudly out, not willing to let the world know she had suffered because of the baka no Ouji.

Her luxury cabin wasn't far. This part of the cruise liner was reserved for the ridiculously wealthy and every consideration to their needs was met, even if it meant having all the doors within a stone throw from the elevator exit.

It was with great trouble that she actually managed to open the cabin door. Her eyes were blurred, and the anger she felt made her limbs lose all coordination. It wasn't until the third try of the lock that she realized she'd actually been trying to put the card in upside down.

Wearily she kicked her shoes off and laid her handbag on the large iron and slate central table, expecting to hear the door lock closed behind her.

It didn't.

Curiously she looked over her shoulder, and almost fell in shock. Vegeta stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame, engulfed in shadow, looking truly regal, but ultimately and more importantly… dangerous.

"What… where the fu…?"

"Silence!" he scolded, pushing off from the door and kicking it violently shut.

Bulma backed nervously away. His eyes were drilling through the dark, and making her shiver in a way that sent her emotions into a quivering mess. It was so intense, so dark, and so completely… breathtaking.

Vegeta continued to stalk forward, and Bulma continued to creep cautiously back, until there was nowhere else for her to go. Her body hit the cool glass of the cabin balcony windows.

"Are you scared?" he enquired.


She couldn't lie to him.

"Why? Do you think I'm going to hurt you?"

"N… no."

He smirked, "Are you certain about that?"

He now stood directly in front of her looking down his nose, his arms crossed authoritatively over his chest, and illuminated by nothing more than the faint moonlight.

Bulma shivered under his direct scrutiny, but nodded nonetheless.

"Oh?" he taunted, a sardonic smile gracing his perfect lips, as his hand escaped to form a close grip around her neck, "Is that a fact?"

His hand tightened slightly, and Bulma started to panic. She felt fear, very real, very tangible fear. There was absolutely nothing she could do to stop him. If Vegeta had made his mind up to do something then he would do it, no matter how much anyone would try to persuade him not to. His implacable and resentful attitude was never made a secret of.

"If compassion is the key," he said, seemingly transfixed with the hand that forcefully, but not painfully squeezed her neck. "Then I would have options from this point onwards wouldn't I Bulma?"

She tried to reply, but was stunned into silence when his hold relaxed enough to make a jolt of something very natural but highly insubordinate jump down her spine. It was a spark of desire, and it settled warmly in her tummy as the soft texture of Vegeta's thumb brushed gently along her jaw, up and down in rhythmical strokes. Had it been anyone other than Vegeta then Bulma would have almost called it an affectionate caress.

"I think…" he continued, with a lower and less regulated voice than normal. "I think that you are right. I will not hurt you."

His face was so close to her own now that she could feel his hot breath panting across her skin. His hand had moved and he was now entwining his fingers in her hair, and grabbing a handful against her scalp. His other arm snaked around her waist pulling her body firmly up to his own. The rock hard muscles in his body moved beautifully against her skin and it took the breath from her lungs.

She looked questioningly up to those obsidian eyes of his, but before she had the chance to ask them anything, Vegeta had claimed her lips, pushing his own forcibly against them, and setting her senses on fire. His mouth moved insistently over hers in a wonderful mixture of power and restraint, demanding and ordering her into reciprocation.

Lost in the feel, the wonder and awe of the moment she did. All conscious thought was blown to the wind and Bulma, fed by nothing more than the instinctive feeling of being close to a man she had grown to care about, slowly, tentatively let her mouth meld with his. Wrapping her arms securely around his neck, Bulma gave in, pushing up against him with a need and desire that she didn't know she had, let alone could share with someone as distant and closed off to feeling as Vegeta.

There they stayed for a while, their lips locked in a dance of entranced exploration, two shadows moving under the curtain of darkness, experiencing something that neither had thought possible in the arms of each other.

Eventually, of course, it had to end… and it did. Much to Bulma's disappointment he pulled away, but their lips still quivered within an inch of each other's.

"Tell me, Bulma," he spoke eventually, so low it was only discernable as a whisper. "Is that the kind of excitement you were looking for?"

Bulma's head was taken up in such a daze of shock and confusion that she couldn't put words together in reply. It had been exciting… there was no denying that, but it also scared the shit out of her. Was it what she was looking for?

Vegeta didn't wait for a reply. His hand crept around to her bottom, and picked her from the floor, forcing Bulma to wrap her legs around his waist. Swept up in the moment she found her lips being sought again, and her own rejoining as Vegeta walked them both towards the room's large double bed.


Table of Contents
Chapter 8
Chapter 10