Chapter 2 – The Proposal
Eight years had come and gone. Spring was just beginning, leaving the warmth of the sun beaming into Bulma’s cozy room in the east wing of the castle. The princess sat on the stone sill of her balcony as she wrote in her most private journal. Bulma had taken a few minutes out of her everyday life to inscribe at least a sentence of reflection since the day she moved to Vegeta-sei. Her journal allowed her the freedom to express the few thoughts and emotions she wished never to share with anyone. Horrid memories to improper feelings were kept hidden in the pages of her journal. Words she would never speak and emotions she would never express. All were tucked away for the last eight years. All destined to be blown open by the coming winds.
I don’t have much time to write for I promised Kakarrot to go riding with him this afternoon. He has told me that he needs me to discuss something of the utmost urgency with him. I haven’t the faintest idea what that may be, but he has piqued my interest nonetheless.
Of course, I do not wish to write about my activity with Kakarrot. No, I have much more exciting news to write about as Vegeta has finally returned. I cannot express in words the joy it brings me to have him back. Four months is far too long for him to evade my presence… I sigh as I write this. To be honest, when I came to live here I never anticipated that I would see so little of Vegeta. He travels quite often for ‘royal’ matters that he must attend to. In the past few years his trips have increased almost three fold. I frequently wonder why that is, though I try not to let the reality affect me too personally. It is not as though the man is purposely trying to avoid his own home.
He informed me that he returned only for the assembly these next few days and then he must return to his business afterwards. I tried to act indifferent to the news, but I think he noticed my depression in hearing it. He could always read me so easily. I suppose my attempt was doomed to failure in the first place. I have never been able to hide anything from him… well… almost anything.
But I am still happy to say the least. I shall not dwell on his leaving, but focus more on his presence. He has agreed to escort me to the assembly tonight. Though I know it is for selfish reasons, I am looking forward to it nonetheless. I hope to steal a dance with him even though he, along with the rest of the Saiya-jin population, deplores the futility of dancing. I am sure I can challenge him into one.
I smile now as I write. I cannot help but think back to the first time we danced together. It was the evening of my twentieth birthday celebration. He had been away on business again. I was so hurt he failed to show the simple courtesy of at the very least sending word of his regrets for his absence. I had my pen poised to write a nasty letter expressing my disappointment in his blatant disregard when that leather pouch floated onto my desk. I quickly dropped my pen as I opened the pouch. I had never seen a piece of jewelry as exquisite as the necklace that shined before me.
I will never forget that arrogantly knowing smirk displayed on my gift giver’s face as I turned around to thank him. I hugged him affectingly in gratitude before I excitedly handed him the necklace and spun around for him to attach it for me. I remember feeling so weak as his breath tickled my sensitive flesh. My eyes slid shut as he kissed the back of my neck with his soft lips, whispering how perfect the jewel looked on me. The moment seemed so perfect before he broke from me; explaining that he had to be leaving once again, that he had only stopped by for these few minutes to bestow my gift and then leave.
Knowing my temper, a fight erupted between the two of us. I have to say sometimes our arguments are even more exciting than when we are civil. He may possess the only temper that could ever match mine. The argument ended with harsh words that brought me near tears. Though I wish not to dwell on the crude insults exchanged, the fight resulted in his staying a few minutes longer. His guilt had gotten the better of him, making it easier for me to get him to do as I asked.
That was when we danced. As an unspoken apology he agreed to my request for one dance before he left. He seemed surprised by the appeal; yet he walked me out onto my balcony and wrapped his warm arms around me nonetheless. I nestled my head in the crook of his neck as I rested my hands lightly atop his shoulders. I am not sure how long we stayed like that, swaying in the calm of the night. But when we stopped I remember feeling dazed. He kissed my forehead and said goodnight before he left me once again. I wouldn’t lay eyes on him for another two months. By then I was certain our night was long forgotten. At least by him...
But why dwell on the past? ‘It is a futile way to spend your precious time’ as Vegeta so adamantly believes. I have too much future to look forward to anyway.
Oh drat, speaking of the future, it seems time has escaped me. I must go meet Kakarrot now. I am sure to write again after tonight’s assembly. I am certain to have something worth noting.
End of entry
"Faster, Hikari!" Bulma demanded of her flawlessly white horse as she raced deeper into the forest. She ducked under branch after branch as she tried to remain as unscathed as possible. The high shadowing trees of Vegeta-sei kept the forest rather murky in its scenery even under the bright light of the afternoon. Bulma had been trained carefully to adjust to the untamed dangers of the wild for the last eight years. In that time she had become nearly an expert on the woodland. "You shall not catch me this time!" She called back to the man who had been her personal guard since the day she had moved to Vegeta-sei.
"We’ll see about that!" Kakarrot called as he closed the gap between the two.
The pair raced another two miles before they reached the finish line, a popular stream that divided the woodland. "I win!" Bulma cheered as her friend finished moments later. "Better luck next time, Kakarrot."
"Hikari may be well trained when it comes to weaving through the forest." The Saiya-jin conceded of Bulma’s horse. "But if we were on a clear path Chibi Odango would have beaten you by a mile." He noted as he patted his chocolate brown stallion in reassurance.
Bulma chuckled as she felt pity for the animal every time she heard his name. "Kakarrot, only you would name your horse after your favorite food."
The man frowned as he thought Chibi Odango was a powerful name for a horse. "Well he likes it." The man noted in offense. "Would you rather I followed in our King’s example and named him something evil like Akuma?"
Bulma laughed. "No, I don’t think calling your horse Akuma no Kage, though fitting as it is for that horse, isn’t exactly an appropriate name either. But Chibi Odango? Is that truly the best you could have come up with for your new mount?"
Kakarrot shrugged, as he was more than pleased with the title. "My horse, my choice."
"Very well." Bulma accepted; she had other more interesting issues to press. "So are you going to tell me why you wanted to ride so far away to speak with me?"
Kakarrot coughed lightly before he nodded. He dismounted and walked over to Bulma to help her off her horse. He then guided her to sit on a rock across from the serene flowing stream. He took a long breath as he paced in front of her nervously before continuing. "I need your help." He admitted rather nervously.
Bulma nodded him on. "Help with what?"
Kakarrot cleared his throat, as he was about to admit to what he had hidden for so long. "I need you to explain to me the proper way to offer myself to a woman according to your culture."
Bulma’s eyes narrowed in confusion, lost beyond belief. "Kakarrot why would want to know the proper way to offer yourself to a woman of my race? I mean there aren’t any women of my culture here except me and Ch—Kakarrot you aren’t… I mean you and Chi-Chi… Is that who you are planning to offer yourself to?"
Kakarrot’s cheeks heated up some, as he knew how ridiculous the idea must have sounded. "Look I know Chi-Chi is fourteen years my senior and of a different species, but… But I know she is the woman I want."
Bulma bit her bottom lip; she couldn’t have been more overjoyed to hear such news. "Kakarrot this is wonderful! I mean, Chi-Chi has lived too many years without the affection of a man; I believe you and she would be a perfect match."
"Do you truly believe so?" Kakarrot asked a little skeptically. "I know how important propriety according to your culture is to her. Even in the time I have been courting her she has noted my flaws. How improper it is for women of your society to associate themselves with young men. How they are only suppose to join with members of their own ethnicity, and how--"
"Kakarrot." Bulma stopped him softly. "I know Chi-Chi is very devoted to our people, she was brought up that way. But that doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t be willing to bend the rules for a man as incredible as you. She would be a fool to pass you up, and Chi-Chi is no fool."
"True." Kakarrot noted, as he could see her point very clearly. However, Chi-Chi’s rejection was hardly his only problem. "But suppose you are right and she does accept me. Even then I am still not certain that we could join. Chi-Chi is above my station. She came as a royal guest of the King, and I couldn’t even consider asking for her hand without his approval. And we both know how our King feels about joining. He is sure to say no."
"That is easily dealt with." Bulma noted confidently. "Is that the only other issue holding you back?"
Kakarrot coughed as he nodded. "That… and, well, I suppose the actual… asking part."
Bulma smiled warmly at the nervous man. She could imagine how difficult it could be for a man with a dominant warrior nature to try and soften his words and heart enough to offer himself properly. "That I can help you with." Bulma offered humbly. "Why don’t you practice on me? Pretend I’m Chi-Chi and ask me as you would her."
"Alright." Kakarrot was more than up for the challenge. He shifted sideways as he took Bulma’s hands in his own and imagined he was now sitting next to his beloved. "Chi-Chi… I have something I must ask you."
"Yes." Bulma said in her best impression of Chi-Chi’s voice.
"Well, for a while now, I have noticed that… Well… I have begun to feel some things for you." He took a long breath, just saying that much was more of a challenge than he would have imagined.
"Alright." Bulma nodded, hoping he’d do better than this. "Why don’t you try telling her exactly how your feelings have changed."
"I was getting to that." Kakarrot said offended that she had interrupted him. "Chi-Chi--"
"Look into her eyes when you stay that." Bulma snapped at him as he had a tendency to look to the ground.
"Oh… right." He coughed as he refocused. "Chi-Chi," He started again, this time holding her hands softly as he maintained eye contact. "I… I… I can’t do this!" Kakarrot gave up defeated. "I’m a warrior, not a poet!"
"It doesn’t have to be poetic, just honest." Bulma offered as she forced him to look at her again. "Tell me, what you think of when you see her." Bulma thought a little association game would help.
Kakarrot though a moment before a half smile crept across his face. "I don’t know… I can’t really describe it. I feel this strange excitement come over me whenever I see her. It’s like whenever she is around she can make everything more thrilling. She never fails to amaze me and I never bore of her. In fact I start to worry that she may become bored of me." It was upon that thought that Kakarrot finally knew what he had to say. It was almost as though his soul had opened up and every word he needed to say had come to him. He grabbed Bulma’s hands as he looked into her eyes and made a genuine attempt at the speech that would seal his eternal happiness or dash his hopes for an eternity. "Chi-Chi, I must express to you how I feel. I have tried to remain silent, but I no longer can. It hurts me too much to hide how I feel, and even if you chose to reject me I can at least take solace in knowing I attempted to win the most prized jewel on the planet. I know I have never been a man who was very successful with words, but for you I am willing to try. Actually, I have to try, because you have become so important to me since the day you moved here from Azauve-sei and changed my life. You turned from a friend to a woman that captures my thoughts more than I wished ever to admit. You steal my concentration and my focus. You couldn’t possible know how long I have suffered, wishing to hear you speak of me in the way I think of you… But… I am afraid I can offer you nothing, but my indisputable feelings. I wish only to have the chance to prove to you how much you truly mean to me, if you will have me."
Once he finished Bulma felt her jaw drop as she covered her mouth in shock. "Kakarrot, you are truly in love." She said utterly astonished. "No woman in her right mind would respond to a proposal like that with anything except--"
"No." A very cold and decisive response came from behind the pair.
"My King." Kakarrot gulped as he dropped to his knee. "I didn’t realize you were there."
"All the better that I was." Vegeta said angrily as he stepped in front of Bulma to glare down at Kakarrot. "You are a fool to make a proposal to someone so high above your status! You are a lowly guard and have no right to dare approach my ward as anything else."
Bulma’s eyes widened as she realized the king had only arrived in time to hear the end of the mock proposal. "Vegeta you mis--"
"Don’t defend him." Vegeta cut her off. "He knows better than to make such an offer. I have been clearly mistaken in ordering him as your guard, a mistake I intend to rectify immediately."
In less than the blink of an eye, Bulma watched in shock as Vegeta drew his sword. "Vegeta!" She screamed as she knelt in front of his target. "Drop your weapon right this instant!" She ordered before she turned to Kakarrot to whisper, "Go find Chi-Chi and say the same thing you just told me to her and you will be fine." She paused as she looked back at the clearly dumbfounded Vegeta. "I’ll take care of your other problem." She nodded for Kakarrot to leave, which he did with lightening speed.
Once he was gone Bulma rose in a huff. "Have you lost your mind!" She hissed. "You can’t just go around killing men because you think they have proposed to me. What is wrong with you!?"
Vegeta growled with anger in his voice. "He is below your station! It is an insult that he would even--"
"Practice what he was going to say to Chi-Chi?" Bulma cut him off quickly.
"Your governess?" Vegeta asked in disbelief. "Why on Vegeta-sei would he want to offer himself to that pushy wen—"
"Best friend of mine!" Bulma stopped his insults. "They are in love, and you," she paused to poke him in the chest, "had better give them your permission."
Vegeta shook his head. "Do you know what you are demanding? Granting the two most irritating people I have the misfortune of knowing to breed is one of the most frightening thoughts I have ever heard leave your foolish mouth!"
"Come on Vegeta!" Bulma put on her irresistibly sulky face. "They are in love. Can’t you let them be happy?"
"No." Vegeta said very quickly. "I prefer to be surrounded by misery."
Bulma looked at him crossly as she could only hope he was being sarcastic. "Come on Vegeta, if you do this for me, I’ll owe you one."
Vegeta scoffed at the offer. "You’re already years in debt onna; I hardly need you ‘owing’ me anything more."
"Think about it Vegeta!" Bulma tried to reason with him. "If they’re married, I mean mated, they’ll be spending more time with each other, and less bothering you with their ‘annoyances.’ Doesn’t that sound appealing?"
"I suppose." Vegeta said shortly. "But if this becomes more of an irritation than it’s worth, I will kill the both of them."
"Aw, thank you." Bulma smiled as she gave the man a quick kiss on the cheek. "I knew you were a romantic deep down."
"Hardly." Vegeta huffed. "And you still owe me another one."
"Fine." Bulma conceded. "So, what were you doing out here anyway?" She asked, curious to know why he had been there to interrupt them in the first place.
"Looking for you." Vegeta explained quickly. "You where supposed to be back an hour ago. Did you forget that Vegeta-sei is hosting the assembly this year? All of the joint chiefs of the interplanetary alliance will gather in less than three hours, and knowing how long it takes you to do whatever it is you do to make yourself presentable, I thought it would be wise to provide ample warning."
"I’m so sorry." Bulma blushed; slightly embarrassed that she had forgotten. "I know you said this assembly was important. I promise to be ready on time."
"Right." Vegeta knew all too well that ‘on time’ really meant less than an hour late.
"This is formal, correct?" She questioned as she walked over and quickly mounted Hikari.
"Very." Vegeta said with slight irritation as he followed her lead and mounted Akuma. "I am hosting cultures that are similar to that of yours. That is why your attendance is required."
"I know." Bulma smiled as she dug her heels into her horse to get her to start moving. "You need someone who can deal with the conceited society types that you hate to deal with."
"Exactly." Vegeta smirked as he followed the young onna. She was wise well beyond her years. "Just remember when you are entertaining those irritating socialites that I allowed Kakarrot and the harpy to join."
"Chi-Chi." Bulma corrected. "And I promise to be a model distraction and see to it that those annoying kings leave you alone. Satisfied?"
Vegeta nodded as the two rode silently back to the castle. Vegeta stole a few glances at Bulma as he noticed her irritated manner. He frowned, as he knew what that meant. Vegeta had watched the once nervous introverted girl grow over the last eight years into the feisty passionate female that she was today. Without even trying he had picked up almost all of her quirks. The telltale signs of her hidden anger, her suppressed tears, her rare moments of absolute joy, and her even more frequent moments of brooding. Yes, if there was one thing the onna was excellent at it was letting the issues that bothered her well up inside her before addressing them. Vegeta knew all to well that if he didn’t ask what was bothering her now it would blow up in his face later. He sighed as he decided to take the wise route. "What is it onna?"
Bulma blinked in surprise as he looked at her as though he already knew what she was thinking. She decided to proceed with explaining to him her mood anyway. "Why did you act the way you did when you thought Kakarrot proposed to me? I mean, as I recall, you told me when I came to live here that you didn’t care about ‘frivolous’ things such as marriage. Has that changed?" She asked, curious to catch his response. Jealousy, interest, concern, apathy… emotions she was careful to look for as she hadn’t heard him speak of the subject in eight years. She was almost excited to hear it brought up.
Vegeta froze as he stared at the path, considering that question himself. He hadn’t even considered the fact that he was censoring her relations when he told Kakarrot how unworthy he was. To be honest he never even considered her possible joining. She had never shown any interest in the opposite sex for as long as he could remember her living there. She had all but told him that after her past experiences of treatment like a piece of meat before suitors, she was less than interested in beginning anything that resembled a relationship.
Vegeta tried to shake off his surprise as he concluded that his reaction earlier was simply out of ill preparation in dealing with the onna and courtship. "My feelings on joining are the same. I have no personal interest in such a union, and little tolerance for others who take part in it. Yet, I admit that my reaction was perhaps mildly improper." He cleared his throat. "I suppose I was surprised; I was under the impression you had no interest in joining. Least of all with one of the dumbest men to ever walk this planet."
"He’s not that bad." Bulma protested weakly. She was partially disheartened, yet relieved by his answer. She took note to explore her sentiments on the matter later. "But you are right. It would take one hell of a man for me to accept him. Otherwise I’d be perfectly happy to live my life without any companionship… Just like you." Bulma finished with a mocking smile.
Vegeta ‘hmphed’ as he looked away from her with a slightly pained expression on his face. "There is no comedy in the matter, onna. Your decision is wise. Feelings bring nothing but pain."
Bulma’s eyes widened slightly as he responded. "Is there something you aren’t telling me Vegeta?"
The Saiya-jin King never responded as he kicked Akuma to speed up. "You have three hours onna. Do not be late." He called before he took off ahead, leaving Bulma far behind wondering what had pushed him away.
"Yes!" Chi-Chi cheered in excitement as she wrapped her arms around Kakarrot and hugged him tightly.
Kakarrot released a long breath as he could only hope things went as well with Bulma clearing things up with the King. The last problem he needed was a ridiculous technicality halting his happiness. "Tonight then." He said excitedly as he pulled away from her and brought her hands into his. "I will claim you tonight, after the gathering."
"I can’t wait." She blushed slightly. "Um… but I should warn you. I, well, you see my culture… um…"
"Your culture what?" Kakarrot prodded, coaxing her into explaining what had her blushing so deeply.
"We save ourselves for marriage, or mating as you Saiya-jins call it." She cleared her throat as soon as she finished; rather nervous about his answer.
"You are untouched?" He suddenly felt his groin tighten at the mere thought. "Well, I might not be an expert when it comes to these things, but I can promise that I will be gentle with you." He offered, trying to sound reassuring.
Chi-Chi smiled as she thought she couldn’t find a more perfect man. "Tonight then." She whispered before she slowly brought her lips to his, kissing him sweetly.
"Chi-Chi!" A loud female voice called as the owner of it barged right into the room. "Oh… I’m so sorry." Bulma stopped herself, feeling incredibly guilty for interrupting the intimate moment.
"It’s alright." Her governess rose from her seat as she discreetly wiped the extra saliva from her lips. "We were just saying good-bye until the assembly this evening." Chi-Chi coughed subtly to the man still sitting on her bed.
Kakarrot soon picked up the clue as he rose from the bed and walked over to Bulma. "Is everything… um… cleared up?" He asked hopefully.
"Yes and your joining is completely acceptable." Bulma pointed out as she had already guessed by what she had interrupted that all had gone well.
"Thank you." He whispered as he kissed her hand lightly. "I owe you for this one." He said quickly before he gave his goodbyes to his mate to be and the young woman he looked upon as a sister these last eight years.
Once the guard was out of the room both women went right into expressing their joy. Chi-Chi explained her excitement towards Kakarrot’s offer, along with explaining, in detail, the words he used to express his affection. Bulma listened, delighted for her friend. She was more than thrilled to have two people she revered so highly find love with each other. She loved them both and could hope for nothing but the best from the union.
"He said he loved me! Love, do you believe that?" Chi-Chi said in an almost dazed manner. "I didn’t even think Saiya-jins knew what the word meant."
"They don’t." Bulma chuckled. "But Kakarrot learned for you."
Chi-Chi blushed again. "I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy. I mean, when I received the order to come here I though I was going to hate it! I mean, who would have thought I could fall in love with your personal guard. A Saiya-jin nonetheless!"
"I know." Bulma smiled rather distantly. "But if there is one thing I’ve learned, Saiya-jin men are a very special group of beings."
Chi-Chi smiled as she easily picked up the hint. "I don’t suppose you’re referring to your mystery love?"
Bulma blushed as she looked away. "I thought we were talking about you."
"Yes, we were." Chi-Chi noted. "But you had that dreamy look come over your face that you get whenever you’re thinking about him; whoever he is."
"He is a figment of your imagination." Bulma shook her head in fierce disagreement. "Now enough about men; we have to get me ready for the dinner tonight. I wish to look my best."
"Alright." Chi-Chi decided to leave the mystery alone for a little while as the young woman did have a point. "What are you in the mood to wear?" She asked curiously.
"Something eye stopping." Bulma smiled deeply. "Many of the royalty here tonight are men my father had dealings with, men who treated me like dirt. I wish to throw their insults back into their faces, by knocking their boots off."
"That sounds like a plan." Chi-Chi was more than happy to see the bastards Bulma was referring to taken down a peg or two. "I’m sure you will make quite the scene."
"Well, we will just have to see." Bulma smiled wickedly. "Now come on. Let us get ready."
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Translations:Onna = Woman