Chapter 2 - Three Years
(Before the arrival of the androids)
"Grrrrrr -- Get back here, you overgrown pork chop!!!"
Furious footfalls can be heard echoing through the hallway. Yamucha tears through the house, desperately trying to escape from the enraged Saiyajin in hot pursuit.
"I told you to stay away from my wife! How dare you let her kiss you like that?!" The mental image of Chichi, innocently placing her lips on the lecherous porcine snout, in blissful ignorance of his true form, causes his fury to redouble in intensity.
"Aha! I've got you now!" Goku lunges for the small black pig, but comes up with only an armful of air. "Why you little--I'm going to save myself the trouble and just fry you," he threatens, powering up a ki blast, energy crackling on his fingertips.
Yamucha looks even more frightened, if such a thing is possible, and frantically increasing his efforts to achieve the relative safety of the kitchen...
"Does the word 'bacon' mean anything to you--" Goku is abruptly cut off by a frying pan to the face.
"Baka! I told you to stop bullying P-chan!" Dark eyes flashing in anger, she places her hands on her hips and glares. "Honestly, being jealous of a pig!" The strongest warrior on earth cowers before her diminutive form, for reasons no one has yet been able to fathom.
Nestled in the shelter of Chichi's arms, the pig in question sticks out his tongue.
"Get back here, you ungrateful jackass! I spent an hour making this!" Bulma stands in the doorway, plate in hand.
Vegeta continues moving toward the gravity chamber. "Woman, there is no way in hell I am going to eat that!", he sneers over his shoulder. "I wouldn't wish that kind of slow, agonizing death on Kakarot!"
"Why you arrogant, irritating, pompous--" She frisbees the aforementioned plate of death at his head. It doesn't even come close; she's a scientist, not an athlete.
He still looks irritated by the attempt, however laughable it was. "Quit bitching at me and let me train, woman! For Kami's sake, I've been to more planets than you have pairs of shoes, and you are by far the loudest, ugliest, most annoying creature I have ever had the misfortune to encounter!" That said, he turns around and resumes walking.
"Oh yeah? Well you're....SHORT!!!" Bulma compensates for her less-than-witty comeback by turning the garden hose on him. This, of course, does not make Vegeta happy. Now female, and sopping wet, she emits a very un-feminine bellow of rage and lunges at her hose-wielding attacker.
Shortly thereafter, Piccolo arrives and is treated to the view of two lovely, completely drenched young women rolling around in the grass. Too bad he's an asexual Namek and the image is totally wasted on him. Well, he does get something out of it; he whips out a camera and starts snapping pictures, staying out of their line of sight. Why pass up an opportunity like this?
Vegeta quickly pins Bulma, sitting on her stomach. It takes five full seconds longer than it should have, because she isn't used to the shorter reach of her female form, and the water makes them both a bit slippery. "Baka human woman! I'll teach you not to mess with a Saiyajin!"
Bulma's mother steps into the yard. "Oh, my!" She tilts her head inquisitively. "Am I interrupting something?"
Vegeta scrambles off of Bulma as if the taller woman had spontaneously burst into flame. "Don't be ridiculous!"
"Mom, as if!" Blushing furiously, Bulma stands up and tries to brush off the wet grass stuck all over her clothing. Vegeta strips out of her tank top and wrings it out.
Bulma's jaw drops. "What are you doing!? Don't you have any modesty at all?"
Vegeta looks down and frowns, clearly having forgotten that females did not go shirtless in public on Chikyuu-sei. Then she shrugs. "Nothing you haven't seen before, I believe you said at one point." A twisted grin appears on her face. "I can see why you'd be ashamed to show your pathetically endowed human body in public, but female Saiyajin are obviously--"
Screaming in fury, Bulma tries to kick her, but Vegeta is a quick study, and has learned by now how to dodge the uncharacteristically skillful attacks the violent, blue-haired woman is capable of, when really pissed off. Most of the time. Dropping the shirt, she amuses herself by evading the increasingly more furious attempts on her life.
Meanwhile, Piccolo is furiously snapping away at the half-nude redhead. 'Heh. These could come in handy.'
Gohan and Goku suddenly land right behind Piccolo. "Hey Piccolo-san, whatcha doin'?" Piccolo quickly shoves the camera under his turban.
Looking over Piccolo's shoulder, Goku hastily puts a hand over Gohan's eyes. "Oy! Vegeta! Did you forget we were supposed to spar today or what?!"
Vegeta actually almost blushes. But she quickly recovers and pulls herself up to her full 5'2". "Of course not. I--" The rest of the sentence is lost as her dripping tank top smacks into her face with a wet *sploosh*
Bulma smirks. Her aim was spot-on, the second time around. By the time Vegeta extracts herself from the suffocating white material, she is almost inside the house.
The Saiyajin no Ouji--Oujo? glowers at her. The blue-haired imp grins wickedly and waves. Ignoring the sopping wet outfit clinging to the harridan's every curve, Vegeta silently plans her slow and painful demise.
Goku sagely observes, "You two aren't very convincing as a couple."
"Shut up! I'm going to change, and then we can train."
Goku nods, but then suddenly thinks of something. It does occasionally happen. "Hey Vegeta, did you ever think that maybe we should train some in our cursed forms?"
Vegeta looks like she'd rather chew off her own foot. Hurriedly, Goku continues, "I mean, it could rain during a battle, or you could get thrown in a lake...I don't know about you, but I'm definitely not used to the way my body feels as a panda..."
Piccolo looks thoughtful. "He's right, you know."
Scowling, Vegeta growls, "Fine. Whatever. Let's get started, I don't have all day!"
Later that week...
"Will someone please get that?!"
"I'm not your answering service," Vegeta mumbles around a mouthful of cereal, not bothering to look up from the crossword puzzle.
"Aaaargh! You are such a worthless--" A sopping wet Bulma storms into the kitchen, wearing only a towel. She snatches the phone up in mid-ring. "Moshi, moshi...Briefs' residence..." She notices Vegeta's eyes wandering a little and lets the towel drop a little lower. "Oh, hey, Krillin, what's up?"
Vegeta is now furiously devoting all of his concentration on the corundum laid out before him on the table. A six-letter-word for 'mammary glands'--
"Oh cool, a party..." Bulma laughs and leans back a little, revealing a few more inches of leg. Vegeta makes a choking sound and crumples the newspaper in a tightly clenched fist.
"Sure, we'll come. Should I bring anything? All right, well see ya then." Vegeta continues to cough.
Hanging up, she smiles sweetly at the scowling Saiyajin. "Need some help with that? I'm good at puzzles..." She winks and leans in closer. Vegeta retreats, leaning away from her and falling out of his chair in the process.
"Back off, woman!"
Bulma dissolves into uncontrollable laughter as he storms out of the room, trying to look regal in spite of having to first pick himself off of the floor.
Later, at Master Roshi's, the gang has all gathered, minus Chichi and Gohan. Even Vegeta is there, lured only by the prospect of free food not prepared by Bulma's hand. He doesn't hesitate to remind her of that fact all night long, as he intermittently tosses back shots of tequila. Apparently it's the only chikyuu beverage worthy of his royal palate. According to him, Earth beer tastes like "fermented torujin ass sweat". (Torujin are big, hairy aliens with trunks. Think of Snuffleupagus, but different.)
Chou Tzu, Krillin, Goku, and Bulma are playing Twister, the playing field leveled a little by a few mixed drinks. Bulma, however, is still losing every game.
"No fair! Goku, you're not allowed to levitate! That's cheating!"
"But Bulma, it isn't in the rules..." He flips over the box lid to show her. "See?"
"Of course not, you moron! You freaks are the only ones that can do it!" Hands on her hips, she pouts and seeks reinforcements. "What do you think, Yamucha?"
Yamucha assumes the classic hand-behind-head pose and laughs nervously. "Gee Bulma, I don't know..."
"You are all impossible!" she pouts.
"Ye gods, woman, just admit that you've lost and shut up! Your shrill voice is killing my buzz." Vegeta's words lack their usual venom, though, and he almost cracks a smile.
"I think you should have a two-drink minimum, you spiky-haired lecher! You're a lot more pleasant when I'm drunk." Not bothering to clarify her muddled statement, she plops down on the couch next to him.
As the game breaks up, Piccolo calls Tien over to the next room. "Hey, I have something you might be interested in..." He pulls out a stack of glossy 4 X 5's, showing him the top one.
"Ah, my beautiful flame-haired warrior queen! And with such a lovely companion, sparring in the grass! Where did you find these?" he asks, flipping through the collection. I must have them all!"
"Ooooh, ooooh, me too! Do you have doubles?!" Roshi pipes in.
Piccolo smirks evilly. "Of course. There's plenty to go around."
Well into the wee hours of the morning, the guests finally depart. Goku, Piccolo, and Yamucha head for the Son residence, the first one loudly muttering the whole time about a little black pig having an unfortunate accident if he doesn't decide to run away soon. Tien and Chou Tzu leave for the mountains, the larger figure clutching a stack of snapshots lovingly to his chest. Krillin and Master Roshi are passed out on the couch and the floor, respectively.
Which leaves Bulma and Vegeta, stumbling toward the door.
"There is no way I'm letting you drive me home, woman. You can't even walk straight."
"I can, too. I really didn't drink all that much."
"I know, but you sure as hell can't hold your liquor."
"I what?! Do you have to always be such a jerk? How do you propose that we get--"
She never finishes the sentence as the Saiyajin prince grabs her around the waist and takes off. "This will be quicker than puttering along in that archaic deathtrap, anyway."
"Vegeta! Eep!" She locks her arms around him frantically as the ground spins away. "Don't drop me!"
"Don't give me any ideas," he says calmly.
Her reply is lost as she takes in the scene around her. The cloudless sky permits the moon to shine brightly over the sleeping earth, illuminating the entire countryside with silver light. Nothing stirs, not even the wind, and the water below shines like a mirror in the semi-darkness. The temperature at that height is much cooler, but the burning heat generated by the well-muscled body pressed against her keeps the chill at bay. Bulma tells herself that it is only the reduced oxygen in the atmosphere that is making her breath come faster.
As they approach Capsule Corp., Vegeta chuckles darkly in her ear. "I still owe you for this morning, woman..."
"For what, I didn't do anything!" she says nervously.
He lets his grip on her loosen a bit, and she shrieks, "What are you doing?"
He bursts into full-throated laughter and hovers over the pool. "Having a little fun."
Bulma's eyes are as wide as saucers. She shrieks, "No, don't!"
"Have a nice swim!" he shouts, as he lets go. She plunges in with a nice, satisfying splash, and he heads for the balcony leading to his room.
He hesitates, glancing over his shoulder -- she should be yelling obscenities at him by now, but she still hasn't surfaced. What game is she playing at? But a dart of uneasiness hits him, telling him that this is no game.
He lets himself plummet toward the earth, executing a clean dive into the pool, blindly searching for her in the dark water. Hauling her up by the waist of her jeans, he pulls them both to the surface, and then flies out to the grass, watching as she coughs up more water than he'd ever thought one person could hold.
"You swim like a rock, woman. Why didn't you say something?"
"You didn't ask, baka," she coughs, weakly, shivering uncontrollably. "You're such an ass."
"Come here." For lack of any other source of warmth, he gathers her unresisting form back into his arms, flying toward her room. She stiffens, and he says, "I swear that I will never drop you again." It's the closest he is able to come to an apology. Somehow, Bulma senses this, and knows that he meant her no real harm. The warmth of him is intoxicating, disarming her common sense and leaving something else entirely in its wake. Touching down on the balcony, he releases her and turns away, but she stops him with her hand.
"You know...I think we'd be a lot more convincing as a couple if you'd kiss me."
"Wha--" Vegeta stared at her, more surprised than if she'd suddenly sprouted wings. Taking the initiative, Bulma kisses him instead, brushing her lips against his, marveling at their softness. Surprisingly, she is the one to break the kiss, long moments later, gasping for breath.
Vegeta's breath is no longer quite even, either. "I think, woman, that we need further practice."
She draws him into her bedroom, blue eyes flashing in the dark. "I couldn't agree more."
"No, no, and NO, woman! I am the Saiyajin no Ouji, and I do not change diapers!" Vegeta holds a violet-haired baby aloft by the back of his jumper, pounding on the bathroom door. The infant ignores his tirade and gurgles at him, drooling on the floor.
"Vegeta." Bulma's voice, from the other side of the door, is deadly calm. "I didn't complain, when you knocked me up and took off shortly thereafter, leaving me alone for months for your stupid little Saiyajin training trip, or whatever you want to call it--"
"Didn't complain??" he interrupts. "I believe the words were: horrible, lying, scum-sucking bastard son-of-a--"
"All right, I did, but not nearly as much as I could have, by rights. My point is, you have gotten off pretty easily so far, shirking all kinds of fatherly duties. But I have not been able to take a long, undisturbed bath in six months and I am not getting out to change him when you are perfectly able to do so!"
Vegeta lets go of what little rein he has on his temper, and blasts the door into miniscule splinters, roaring, "Woman!" as he does so. Bulma screams reflexively, and then beans him in the head with the soap. Living with him has greatly improved her aim.
"Ow. That got in my eye!" He storms over and hauls her out of the tub by her arms, his face scrunched up in a bad imitation of Popeye from the stinging forcing him to squint his left eye.
"You great big baby. Just rinse it out. And let me go!"
As he splashes his face in the sink, he mumbles, "I don't know how to do it."
Bulma sighs and hugs him from behind, ignoring the irritated growl that the embrace elicits. "All of the stuff is on the changing table. It isn't hard. Just cover the parts that leak." She kisses his neck. "I'll make it up to you later."
"You'd better," he snarls menacingly, "Although I can't think of what you have to offer that I could possibly want."
"Ass!" She smacks the back of his head lightly. "Just. Go. Do. It." Chilled and shivering now, she steps back into the tub.
Vegeta leaves, defeated for the moment. He'd lost the battle as soon as he saw her unclothed form, water tracing silver rivulets down every curve and hollow. He mutters darkly, "I have a weak, stubborn, irritatingly loud and culinarily challenged Chikyuujin mate, and a purple-haired brat that doesn't even remotely look Saiyajin. What did I do to deserve this?"
And then, too soon, the three years are up. The warriors gather at the appointed place, looking down over the city far below. Vegeta is absent, after having stormed off during a fight with Bulma. Bulma stands with the rest, a determined look on her face, ready to step in with a weapon of her own, if need be. It was her insistence on coming that sparked the fight.
They wait, and wait. Vegeta returns, standing apart from the group, aloof and unconcerned. He starts swearing in earnest when the sky opens and a downpour drenches the fighters, activating the Jusenkyou curses.
Goku chuckles grimly, (more of a "Growrf!" in his current form), and signs, *Good thing I suggested that we train this way, huh Vegeta? I'm so smart!*
Vegeta rolls her eyes. "Idiot. And you," she says, turning toward Tien, who has gone all starry-eyed. "Don't even think about it! Keep it in your pants, perv!"
Before we get to find out whether or not Tien is able to manage his baser impulses, four figures fly onto the scene, coming to a sudden halt with a booming sound. For long moments, no one speaks, as each side mentally assesses their opponents.
Then the lone female points a lollipop-shaped weapon at Goku and says, "Aiya! You I kill!"
End Chapter 2