Quick Note That If You Don’t Read You Won’t Be Allowed To Flame Me Later:This one is an A/U. Vegeta is the newly crowned Saiya-jin king, and Bulma is the daughter of a rival king that Vegeta’s father had done some ‘shady’ business with. In this fic the Saiya-jins are still warriors, but not the way they are in the series. The Saiya-jins are a chivalrous people without super strong ki. Yep, that’s right, no flying, no energy blasts, and no Super Saiya-jins. BUT, they still fight, only with swords, and are much stronger than the average being. On the flip side Bulma’s people are very weak, but very society oriented. So those are the basics, you will learn more as you go along, I just wanted to give a few general explanations to avoid immediate confusion. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy!
The newly crowned King of Vegeta-sei acknowledged the nauseating man’s presence. "We have business to discuss."
"Of course." The timid King of Azauve-sei agreed as he followed Vegeta into the conference room. The moment Aclon heard of the former king’s death in battle, he knew he’d have to suffer this day. Old King Vegeta was the type of ‘friend’ he liked, brainless and therefore easier to manipulate. The new King Vegeta, however, was a very different story. Even at his young age of twenty-five the former prince was years wiser than his father and seemed to already hold a particular distaste for the Azauve-sei king. Aclon knew he had his work cut out for him. "I assume you wish to deal with the conflict I held with your father. Now before you--"
"I am not interested." Vegeta interrupted. Raised as a warrior, he was not much of a diplomat. He had no patience for an egocentric man who wished nothing more than to satisfy his own greed. "You accepted a series of favors from my father in exchange for supplying my people with technological advances, yet you have produced nothing."
"So far." The king was quick to add. The former King was much easier to finesse; Aclon had to think quickly if he was going to avoid surrendering the technologies he never intended to cough up in the first place. "The technology your father and I agreed upon--"
"Is more than overdue." Vegeta said coldly. "I never supported my father’s treaty with your people. I do not intend to see it through. You will provide ample compensation for all that my father has done for you, with interest, before you leave."
"But Vegeta." Aclon cleared his throat; he would rather sell his soul than pay interest. Stalling was his only choice; he clearly needed a better option. "I do not have the finances at this point to support your demand. Perhaps if we could find some--"
"Are you claiming that you failed to profit from the aid my father gave you?" Vegeta asked, his temper flaring.
Aclon cleared his throat; he had collected quite a few million Dienor from the aid, but he’d be damned if he’d let the king know that. "A few meager funds I suppose."
"You are trying my patience." Vegeta hissed as he moved dangerously close to the king. He could spot a liar a mile away. This man was far from fooling him. "Let me make this perfectly clear for you. I am not my father. You have two and only two choices here. Either hand over all the funds you acquired or I will take that which you owe my people out on your ass. Which will it be?"
"Please Vegeta." The man tried to control his fear. The prince’s notorious temper was known to be even worse than his father’s. "There must be another solution. I am sure we can find something you desire more than some added financial wealth. I know you Saiya-jins are more interested in material things. Things you can get your hands on, things you can receive immediate pleasure from." The King ventured this with a suppressed smirk as a brilliant idea fell upon him.
Vegeta thought a moment before he chuckled wickedly. He grabbed the small man by the throat and hoisted him against the wall. "You are right. I much more enjoy the hands on rewards. Rewards like pounding the life out of you!"
"Wait!" Aclon shouted. This was not where he intended the conversation to go! "I think I have something you can receive more pleasure from than the compensation you wish by pounding the life out of me." The man offered quickly.
"You have three seconds." Vegeta said with little interest for what the man was to say; he already knew the King would not part with any of his gains.
"My daughter, Sir." Aclon said in a confident manner. "She is young and chaste. I believe that is what your people enjoy in the fairer sex. She can be yours. Think about it; as the new King, you are clearly in need of a wife. It will be more than a worthy match." The king finished with a smirk. He thought this a perfect solution, getting rid of a plague of a daughter while keeping his life and wealth.
Vegeta’s eyes widened slightly as he watched the sadistic look cross the man’s face. He felt the affliction in his thoughts. ‘His daughter? The man would rather sell his fourteen year old daughter than lose his financial status?’ Vegeta felt even more inclined to kill the man after such an offensive offer, but he couldn’t help but feel pity towards the girl. His mind suddenly left the coward he still held by the neck as he remembered his first encounter with the young girl.
Vegeta-sei was a planet covered mainly by forest. Easy to be lost in if you weren’t raised to memorize every tree and cave. The private forest beginning along the outskirts of the castle was acclaimed to be the most beautiful. Vegeta, since childhood, had loved to practice his swordplay on the unsuspecting bushes. He was doing so when he heard the faint but disturbing sound of whimpering. Curious, he followed the sound until he reached a quiet lake where he laid eyes upon a shaking figure. It was a young girl from what he could tell. She had long sapphire hair that fell wet around her shoulders. The creature was clad in nothing but her water drenched bra and underwear as she sat at the edge of the lake with her legs tucked into her chest and her arms hugging them tightly. She was a pathetic sight to say the least. Her back was various shades of black and blue and the paleness she held from the cold made her look like death itself. Vegeta grimaced as he walked closer to her. He watched as the girl failed to stop shivering or sobbing as he approached.
Vegeta stopped just a few feet away from her, where he couldn’t help but express his agitation. "What has happened to you child?"
The sound of an unfamiliar voice startled the girl and her head shot up from her knees and turned, her eyes quickly locked with the intimidating figure behind her. "Please… Don’t hurt me…" She whimpered, clearly frightened as she inched away from him.
Vegeta frowned at the girl’s reaction before he reached around his neck and detached his cape. "I am not going to hurt you." He tried to sound less threatening as he approached her slowly. The girl’s eyes showed terror as he moved closer to her, but once she realized what his intentions were, she relaxed slightly as she allowed him to wrap the warm cape around her trembling body.
Her eyes closed slowly as she tightly clutched the garment around herself. The new warmth excited her too much to even notice that her rescuer had taken a seat next to her, bringing her frozen body into his lap. Her eyes shot open, surprised by the act as she immediately tried pulling away.
"Calm down." He ordered, still trying to suppress his normally harsh tone. "Your body temperature is dangerously low for a creature like yourself--relax so I may help you raise it."
The girl nodded slowly, as the man wrapped his arms around her and tenderly began rubbing her frozen limbs. Bulma closed her eyes as she suddenly felt a soothing heat begin to encompass her body.
Vegeta gently warmed the girl in his lap. He was careful not to be too rough with her as the bruises on her body looked incredibly painful for a creature as weak as herself. Surprisingly however, she didn’t wince in pain once. He watched as she instead almost sleepily cuddled into his chest.
Once the girl’s lips had turned from a frozen shade of blue to a crimson red he assumed her body had warmed to a less dangerous level. He slowly stopped his caresses as he watched the girl open her eyes, sporting a disappointed look on her face. Vegeta watched as she slowly turned her head to meet his ebony eyes with her azure ones. "Thank you." She smiled.
"What happened to you?" Vegeta again asked his original question as he shifted the young girl so she was face to face with him. The bruises on her body were more disturbing than the frozen sight she held. He wanted to know exactly where they originated.
She frowned as her eyes focused on the ground. "It was my fault." She sniffled. "I was stupid; I should have never gone for a swim. If I had known those Saiya-jin boys were watching and were going to take my cloths before I got out I would have never--"
"What boys?" Vegeta asked, startled that there would be any adolescents in his private forest, even less so ones that would attack the young girl.
She sniffled again as though she was hiding tears. "I don’t know them. One had long spiky hair, and the other had shorter hair." She described what could have been any number of Saiya-jin boys.
"Did they leave the bruises that cover your body?" Vegeta asked. He felt himself suppressing anger, strangely annoyed as he lifted the girl’s chin to force her to look in his eyes once again. He wanted to know exactly who had hurt her. There was no excuse forever laying a finger on a female…ever.
She shook her head in response. "They just laughed at me and took my clothes. I guess they thought it was some big joke."
"Then I suppose the bruises just magically appeared." He asked, assuming she was lying. "You need not protect them." He explained very clearly. "I can see to it that they pay tenfold for what injuries they inflicted upon you."
The girls face turned rather numb as she looked away to the pond where she began to stare absently. "They are just old injuries." She whispered. "I was thrown from my horse a little while back."
Vegeta knew better than to believe her lie. He unfortunately knew from experience where bruises like the ones she sported came from. ‘Never again.’ He remembered promising himself as he looked down at the girl in his lap. Whatever had happened to her she was clearly too numb to talk about it. He decided to ask an easier question instead. "What were you doing here?"
The girl winced as he asked, but she quickly answered nonetheless. "My father is taking care of some business with King Vegeta. He said I always get in his way so he told me to ‘get lost.’ I was just going to walk when I saw the pond and wanted to go for a swim. I didn’t think anything like this was going to happen."
Vegeta blinked as the girl finished. "You are King Aclon’s daughter?"
The girl looked up in confusion. "Yes, I am Princess Bulma. How did you know? The meeting between my father and King Vegeta was supposed to be kept quiet."
"It has been." Vegeta agreed. "I only know because my father is the one yours is meeting."
"You’re Prince Vegeta?" She said utterly astonished. "But, my father said you were an asshole. You don’t seem that bad."
The fact that the girl openly admitted her father’s stupidity astonished Vegeta, but the innocent manner in which she spoke made him strangely pleased. "Is that what your father said?" He asked with a curious smirk. "And what does he claim of my father?"
Bulma looked up at the sky a moment as she contemplated the question. "My father calls him a ‘dumb ape,’ and says he couldn’t tell his tail from his arm. Of course my father calls everyone terrible things. You shouldn’t be shocked." She admitted depressingly.
"It seems you like your father as much as I do little one." He whispered in a strained tone. His mind couldn’t help but wonder back to his few encounters with Aclon. The man was a bastard indeed; cold, selfish and ruthless. He looked down at the girl in his arms. She seemed nothing like him. He had to wonder why that was.
Bulma sighed as she looked down. "It doesn’t matter what I think of him. I will be married soon so I won’t have to deal with him much longer."
Vegeta blinked. He couldn’t believe a girl of no more than thirteen would soon be married. Under Saiya-jin customs a person was not even legally of age until their eighteenth year, and then taking a formal mate is not typically done anytime soon after. She was being taken already at thirteen. He felt his body unconsciously shiver at the thought. "Why is this?"
Bulma sighed yet again as she continued to focus on the ground. "I am worth more as the wife of a wealthy prince or king than as an annoyance of my father. At least that’s what he tells me. He says he is merely waiting for the highest bidder."
"And you accept this?" He asked. Her tone seemed much too tolerant.
"I have no choice." She whispered as she finally wiggled out of his lap, still clenching the cape tightly around her slim body. "My father has always been disappointed that I was born of the ‘wrong’ gender. As punishment I must accept my fate as a bargaining chip. I have been taught this all of my life."
Vegeta cringed unconsciously as he couldn’t believe how conditioned the child was; he suddenly liked Aclon even less. "Wait here child." He ordered as left the girl a moment. When he came back he had his horse with him. He mounted the beast and then extended his hand to Bulma. "I will take you back to the palace."
"Alright." She nodded rather sadly as she accepted his hand and sat sideways in front of him. Vegeta noted that the girl made no open sign of fear towards the horse as they took off. Most children fear riding after being thrown, but she offered no reaction. Vegeta’s lip twitched; he felt even more infuriated by that confirmation.
Vegeta broke from his daze as he remembered the horrified look the girl had when they arrived back at the palace. Aclon was more than displeased with the state his daughter was in. Vegeta could only assume what had happened that night when Aclon came to breakfast the next morning saying the girl was too ill to join them.
He always felt an atypical concern for the girl after that. He had gone out of his way to hold his temper around her and treat her with respect, which was clearly unfamiliar to her. Vegeta felt his fists tighten as he looked into the eyes of the beast that not only swindled his father, but seemed to be just as cold and ruthless with his own flesh and blood.
Vegeta dropped the king to the floor as he took a few moments to contemplate his options. He was clearly not getting financial reparations from the selfish bastard, not that he needed it anyway. He had no need or want of a wife, especially a fourteen year old one, and killing the man now would serve no real purpose other than his temporary enjoyment. He thought perhaps a fourth option was in order. "I have decided to spare you, Aclon."
"I thought you might." The king said with confidence. He was more than thrilled that the daughter he thought worthless was actually going to prove her worth in the form of the Dienor he will be able to keep. "Then you shall take my daughter as your wife."
"No." Vegeta said icily.
Aclon shook his head in confusion. "But you just agreed--"
"I shall take your daughter as compensation for the deeds my father did for you, but I shall not take her as my wife. She shall become my ward, and you will have no contact with her for the rest of your miserable life. How does that sound?" Vegeta explained what he found to be a victorious option. Not only would he never have to see Aclon again, but also his conscience could finally rest knowing he saved this young female before it was too late.
Aclon’s eyes widened in shock. He thought the man had to be mad to accept his annoyance of a daughter without at least getting a quality lay in return. "Are you serious? You merely want to become the girl’s guardian? Whatever for?"
Vegeta’s eyes narrowed at the man’s stupidity. "She is no longer your concern. When you leave tonight she will stay. Is that understood?"
"Yes, of course." The man swallowed hard as he wasn’t going to ruin a ‘good thing.’ Keeping the money he earned from the Saiya-jins aid and losing his bothersome daughter all in one deal seemed too good to be true. "Just give me the details, and I will be more than happy to comply."
Bulma had spent the last hour sitting alone on a bench off to the side of the throne room, hands folded and her head down with her legs crossed at the ankle, swinging slowly back and forth. She was awaiting her father’s news of his success or failure in besting the new king of Vegeta-sei. Though Bulma had continued to offer her father assurances that the new king would surely be no match for his ‘superior brilliance,’ she secretly wished he would fail miserably.
Bulma had always hated having to accompany her father during his ‘business’ meetings. He had made it clear to her that he didn’t like bringing her anymore than she liked coming but that it was necessary. She had a job. It was to entice the kings and princes into wanting her as their wife. Though Bulma hardly understood fully the consequence of taking on the title of wife, she feared it. The circle of Kings her father associated with were a particularly nasty breed of beasts, which was why she was so shocked when she met the prince of this planet, or former prince.
Never once in Bulma’s life had she met a stranger who would help her for no reason other than a selfless one. Her own father could care less if she lived or died and yet this man helped her. She felt a slight smile grace her lips as she remembered the first time they met, how nice it felt to be in his warm arms. How amazing it was to know, even if it was only for a few seconds, what being protected was like. She had never known safety in her life, yet a stranger offered it to her for no other logical reason that she could determine other than his honor.
Bulma grinned as she remembered their next meeting. It was in the forest also, strangely enough. She was picking flowers when she heard a horse’s hooves. She remembered being so terrified that she climbed up a nearby tree to take cover from the intruder. She would never forget the sense of relief she felt when she the horse stop and saw him dismount and walk right over to where she was hiding in the tree, almost as though he had known all along.
When she came down she remembered how considerate he was with her. Not as much in his demeanor or actions, which were always daunting and many times made her consider running in the opposite direction, but more in the way he spoke to her. He treated her not as a foolish child, a future wife, or an annoyance, but like she was a real person. Here he had just finished hunting and he actually allowed her to join him in savoring in some of the success of his kills. She had never been allowed to eat along side a man, and if she did, she hardly believed he’d take the time to speak with her. But he did. He asked about her, her father, a lot about her father actually, but she didn’t mind…she liked the attention. She even learned a bit about him. He wasn’t one to talk much though. When pressed he’d admit to a few things, but she could tell he was a very private person. She respected that and refrained from asking too much.
She remembered how every time after they met he’d acknowledge her presence. Even if it was only a nod, it was more than even her father had ever given her. After a time she almost grew to look forward to coming to Vegeta-sei. She liked getting the chance to run into Vegeta while their fathers dealt with business. She sighed suddenly as she knew all of that would be different now. Vegeta was now the man who held the meetings with her father. She would end up left alone again, sitting off in a corner gaining no one’s concern. Bulma sniffled as she wondered if she would even get the chance to say hello to him again.
"Bulma." Aclon coughed, interrupting the thought processes of his daughter.
Bulma looked up slowly as she saw her father and Vegeta had clearly finished with their business. She tried to hide her smile, as her question seemed to be answered. "Are you finished with your business, father?" She asked as she walked over to the two men, though she paid more attention to Vegeta than her father.
"No dear." Aclon cleared his throat. "I will be traveling home alone. You will be staying here."
Bulma blinked in disbelief as she looked up at her father for the truth. "What do you mean?"
Aclon looked over at Vegeta as if to ask permission to continue. After a short nod, he did. "Bulma dear," he started, almost sounding genuine. "I haven’t been the best father I could have been in your life. I wish I could have, or could still be, but the truth is I can’t give you what you need. And after a long heart wrenching deliberation I have concluded that it would be better for you if I relinquish my rights to you as a parent, and pass them on to someone who can take better care of you."
Bulma’s bottom lip curled as she fought back her tears. "You are marrying me off?" She asked what she assumed must have been where this sugar coated speech was going.
"No, you little fool." Aclon started in a harsh tone, but stopped himself as he heard the king behind him growl. "I am handing my custodial rights over to King Vegeta. He will serve as your guardian from now on."
Bulma blinked as she looked over at Vegeta to see if it was some cruel joke. She sidestepped away from her father as she walked in front of the man who was claiming to save her from emotional hell. "Is he telling me the truth?" She sniffled. "Are you really going to let me stay here and live with you?"
Vegeta looked into the girl’s needy blue eyes. He could almost feel the longing she held for this to be the truth. "Yes." He said simply and decisively.
Bulma felt a teary smile cover her face. "Thank you!" She cried as she threw her arms around his waist and buried her head in his chest.
Aclon yawned as he found the display less than interesting. "Am I done here?"
Vegeta glared at the man as he held Bulma protectively. "Leave." Vegeta hissed icily before the man turned, never to see his daughter again, yet looking less than distraught about this conclusion.
"Wait!" Bulma called before her father could leave. Aclon turned to the girl with a less than pleased expression on his face as he waited for whatever annoyance she was going to add. Bulma saw the hateful look her father held, so she decided to turn back to Vegeta to ask what she wanted instead. She rose on her tiptoes as Vegeta leaned down so the girl could whisper what she wanted into his ear. Once she finished Vegeta nodded in agreement.
"The girl’s governess will take the next transport here. She will stay with my ward." Vegeta explained in a tone that left no room for bargaining.
Aclon only let out a low growl before he turned and left. He was more than happy to never have anything to do with either of the pair ever again.
"Satisfied?" Vegeta asked as he looked down at the emotional girl before him. He could still see the tears flowing from her eyes as she recommenced hugging him with all of her might.
"I can’t believe you’re really letting me stay with you, and we don’t even have to get married!"
Vegeta frowned slightly as the girl was clearly in need of a new mind set. The sick obsession her father had embedded in her mind that she was only as useful as the husband she could attract was revolting. "You need to understand child, that from now on your life will different."
"I know." Bulma said with a deep grin. "I get to have a real life now."
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