Hey...thanks Gie. I appreciate the effort.




Bulma stood next to Raditz, three syringes of the virus in her hand, staring at the unstable woman that stood defiantly across from her. He'd locked her in a windowless room a week ago, giving her only enough of the bare essentials to survive on, with no way out until now, when Raditz had brought her--more like dragged her-- to the lab that Bulma had been working in. Bulma had found it most fitting, this Saiya-jin way of treating their prisoners, especially the more reviled ones. Bulma had not argued for the backstabbing wench, not even when she had seen Raditz toss the bitch around. She had felt no sympathy, no movement to speak out in her defense at all. No one had, not after what she had done. Bulma had to fight back the rising urge to scream out, to do anything to express her feelings of rage and despair to this woman, to make Parisia feel the smallest amount of pain that would ever equal what Bulma was going through right now. She stared at the vial wordlessly, trying to take in the full scope of all that had happened: Vegeta had been infected and he'd been infected by this woman in an attempt to save her, to keep her from harm. A certain death sentence. She blinked once, willing away the moisture that threatened to spill forth, the brutal testament to all that she had lost in a matter of a day and all due to the selfishness of this insane creature, and hardest of all, the testament to all that she--Bulma-- had to fight to regain. Quite possibly the fight of her life. She looked back up at her, blue eyes meeting black, knowing what Raditz wanted from her, but unsure she was ready for the task. As Vegeta's mate, she was next to lead this band of Saiya-jins and that they respected her even with Vegeta gone heartened her a bit. They had become her family, her adopted kinsmen, though Raditz still remained a mystery to her, but he seemed disinclined to go against his father who had insisted she come here and pronounce some kind of judgement on Parisia in place of Vegeta; that it was her right and due stated so by Saiya-jin law and custom. So what did one do with a treacherous, insane bitch? Should she just validate what they wanted to do, which was drag Parisia out and kill her, or was there a bigger reason to keep the woman alive? Some key to Frieza or the virus or what of the information she had of her mother, the mother that Bulma had just found out she had. She'd given no thought to any of that, concentrating instead on the shock of losing Vegeta and trying to cope with the overflow of brutal, raw emotions. The past few days had passed in a blur of heated emotions and whirlwind activity, anger, despondency,and aching, driving lonliness--the kind of lonliness that could only be driven away with exhausting, brain clearing activity. So with that thought, she had turned immediately to the virus, spending the past few days on tireless research. She had started immediately, breaking down the vaccine, working all night, trying to find anything that might clue her in to a cure. Bulma had come to the belief that she needed to take samples of blood and more specifically, she needed Vegeta's blood. He was not human, so his reaction would be different, and until she knew how, she was not going to be able to help him. Trouble was, how did you help a man who had flown off with the wind, refusing to allow anyone to help him or even see him? Vegeta had even distanced himself through the bond they shared, and that hurt more then anything else in the world. That he could just deny it existed, forget they shared everything no matter what, that the bond went so much more deeper then happy times, was a painful reminder of just how quickly Vegeta could shut down and turn away, something Bulma had never even considered he would do with her, but it was obvious that she had been wrong. Didn't he understand that what he wanted, what he claimed he wanted, was a lifelong commitment? That meant they shared equally in the good and the bad. She had not gone so easy on him, wearing her pain and anger, and any other emotion that swirled within her bright and readable, wanting him to know--to feel--and in the end, to come back. Kakkarot had not reported back at all in the week since this had all been set in motion, and Bulma could only hope now, that he would find Vegeta and talk him into coming back.

Bulma thought about all of this as she stared at the woman who'd been brought before her, who had been responsible for it and whose future she now held in her hands. She was used to this, having grown up a Princess on a planet where the King made the final judgment, though they had police and security details and everything else you could imagine. Her father--if she could still call him that--had been the accused's last chance at salvation and now here she stood, being forced to do the same thing, the only difference being was that she wanted this woman to die, wanted it with a passion that she had not dreamt possible in her and was not so inclined to hide that feeling from anyone. It scared her a bit, this vengeful streak she had discovered within herself, but Bulma would not run from it. Parisia had earned it and had earned it in full. She almost smiled maliciously in the face of the woman who dared to stare at her with such open contempt and hatred. How dare the bitch, after all she had done, stare at her that way. "Do you know why you're here?" Bulma congratulated herself on keeping her voice calm and cool, giving no signs of the emotional wreck she was inside, no she had given none of that away, something that surprised her and pleased her all at the same moment. Maybe she was learning something from Vegeta.

"Why should I care?" Parisa's voice rang out in a hateful defiance that nearly drove Bulma over the very thin edge she was walking on--so thin that if she stepped off, she would fall headlong into her maddening desire to do something awful to this woman. Almost unconciously her hand clenched the syringes again, feeling the smooth coolness of the vial.

"You might want to care, considering it's your life we're all here to talk about."

"You have no authority over me, and you're too much of a coward to kill me yourself." Parisia's grating voice drove another nail into her brain, another step closer--one perilous step--to that hazardous edge.

"She has every right to judge you," Raditz surprised her. Bulma hadn't thought he cared. "You have brought harm to her mate, the Prince of our race, and now in his place she judges you." He scowled unpleasantly, setting the handsome lines of his face in a harsh silhouette.

"What happened to Vegeta is your fault, Bulma. All you had to do was die, just die, or turn away, but you refused to go; you had to hold onto him and keep him from being the man he was destined to be: with me."

"The man he was destined to be? Do you even hear yourself?" Her voice was rising higher and louder, filled with incredulity at this woman's steadfast belief that she and Vegeta shared some grand destiny. "The man he was destined to be is gone, destroyed when Frieza took him and destroyed his planet. As for me leaving, never in a million years unless he wanted me to leave. And Vegeta won't let me go. He wants me; he does not want you; he has never wanted you...you stupid, selfish whore! You have taken everything from me, but you will not take him--I swear it. So give it up. I am his wife. I will always be his wife and so help me God I will see that you suffer in the farthest pits of Hell for what you did to him. I hate you. I hate you with every fiber that is in me, for everything you've cost me and for what you have done to him. I will save him...I..swear.." She felt light headed after the angry, hateful tirade, stumbling back; numbly feeling Raditz put his arms around her and lead her towards the door. She must have lost it completely, she could hear him calling for his father, his huge body, blocking her from Parisia's sight. "Raditz, no, I have to go back..."

"Later, Princess. You are not up to this task right now. She won't go anywhere, I will make sure of that." He turned back and smiled coldly at Parisia, menacingly, his expression dripping with menace. Bulma squeezed the syringes of virus tightly, wanting to argue, but knew he was right. Everytime she looked at Parisia, she lost a little bit more of her mind. All that had happened over the past few days kept jumbling round and round in her head, until she thought she would explode with the weight of it all, and there was no one--no one to help her. She felt herself being picked up; Bardock, she knew his arms, remembered the feel of them from Hell.

"She's exhausted. She hasn't slept in a week..." She could hear the voice through the fog of her mind...murmurring...something about Trunks and Chi-Chi...No, she didn't want to sleep...she had to find something to save her mate. Bulma struggled to sit up, to go, but the arms held her steady, refusing her exit.

"Please, I have to go...have to help Vegeta." She was so tired and heavy--why was her body so heavy?

"No, Bulma, you need some rest first. You are not going to get anything done like this." Bardock's soothing voice seeped into her brain, rendering her incapable of all thought, lulling her into a state of complacency.

"Please, Bardock..." her voice caught on a sob, deep and agonizing, pushed down since the first day she'd been back; when her father had stood and told her he was not her father; when she'd seen Vegeta stabbed in the leg with that virus and looked into his heartbroken eyes, seen the terrible loss that shone in them as he realized what had happened to him; before he had rocketed away from her sight, refusing her comfort and aid--all these emotions held at bay with only the sheer force of her will and now even that was gone, opening a dam of pain and hurt so deep she wasn't sure where the end was or if it was merely the beginning.

"Bulma, it's alright. You're just tired, you need to sleep." He was laying her down, smoothing her hair away from her face, brushing a cool, damp cloth over her forehead.

"I need Vegeta, please; I just want Vegeta." She curled up into a ball, wishing he were here to hold her, to keep the pain at bay, but he wasn't and she was going to have to get through this alone, she just didn't know how.

Bardock scowled. "He's not here, Bulma, but we'll find him. Now rest. When you wake up this will all be a dim memory." He stood and watched as she drifted off, murmurring Vegeta's name even as she slipped into her disturbed, tormented slumber. There would be no peace for her, not for awhile. He turned. He would go and seek out Kakkarot, and then they would find that damnable Prince of theirs and get him back here. She needed to be with him and judging by Bulma's rapid, mental deterioration, it needed to be soon.



Kakkarot stood on the high cliff plateau, face turned towards the sun, absorbing each and every ray, letting it wash the despair he felt out of his system. He'd been looking for a week, missing Chi-Chi, desperately, hoping she was alright, worrying about Bulma and Vegeta. He felt out for Vegeta constantly, searching for any ki trace, but there had been nothing, almost as if the Prince had fallen off the face of Chikyuu. He had given thought to the idea that perhaps Vegeta had rocketed off the planet, but dismissed it. He would never leave Bulma and Trunks alone to fend for themselves. He'd want to stay close, wouldn't he? He just didn't know anymore. Before Bulma had entered his life, Kakkarot would have laid odds down that no woman would ever get the Prince's full attention, that he had no love to offer, but Bulma had dropped on him like a bomb, leaving Vegeta open and vulnerable, finally meeting someone who could equal him in just about everything. It just gave credence to that universal saying, 'There was someone for everyone.' He almost smiled as he recalled the first time Bulma and Vegeta had met. He'd seen it then, and he still truly believed that Vegeta had known it as well, running from it as fast and hard as he could, but in the end, unable to escape it and not wanting to even try when all had been said and done. He would have liked to smile, if the situation wasn't so deathly serious. He had to find Vegeta, get him to come back, for Bulma, if not for his own health.

He closed his eyes as the sparkling, luminous rays beamed down on him, attempting once more to stretch out, to sense the energy that Vegeta was holding so closely to himself; concentrating arduosly on any small strain of energy that might float his way. He had sought this place to put him at ease, to bring him peace, hoping it would have a calming effect on his sense and his soul and allow him to reach far enough out that he could somehow touch Vegeta's energy and find him. His eyes opened slowly, contemplating everything that he was feeling, sensing--something--some very low, trace of energy that could almost be Vegeta, but yet might not be either. Vegeta was doing his best to mask his ki; eventually he would have to let it out if he wanted to survive. Kakkarot lifted up slowly into the air, turning in the direction that he had sensed the faint ki--he had to check it out, he couldn't afford to let any lead go, no matter how small they might seem. This was his chance to atone to Vegeta for the mistakes of the past, for forcing him to desert his beloved on a planet meant for death, for the violation of the trust that had been such an integral part of their existence on Frieza's ship. He would find him; talk some sense into him; convince him--for Bulma and for his small group and for the ultimate goal. He needed to come back home and let whatever was meant to be...be.



Vegeta sat slumped against a tree, bleeding from several cuts and wounds. He had been training, fighting himself, in an attempt to get closer to the level he wanted to, and to drive the thoughts of Bulma and the look of pure desolation that had masked her beautiful face as he'd pushed away from her and left her. God, he would never be able to forget it as long as he lived and knew his own face must have mirrored hers, probably imbedding it into her mind as well. He pounded the ground in fury, cursing the fates and the Gods and everyone else that had put him in this position. Had he been so terrible a person that some God was trying to punish him? Yes, he realized sadly, he had been the worst kind of person, killing in Frieza's name with no mercy, offering up no compassion or even any sign of impunity. Yet, he had been handed Bulma, entrusted with something so pure and beautiful it dazzled him with its brilliance. Was that his punishment, to be handed something precious and to have desires and longings awoken within him that he had not given thought to in his entire life, just to have it taken away the minute he thought he might be able to have some true joy? Why had he listened to Kakkarot in the first place; why had he not struck that stupid woman down the moment he had seen her walking towards him like he had wanted to--and damn Frieza to hell.

He rubbed his hand over his weary eyes. He hadn't slept since he'd left her arms, had been unable to without her to hold; he estimated that was about a week ago. A week without her, without her touch and warmth. How had he survived the previous seperation without losing his mind. How had he managed to convince himself that he would be able to up and leave her to train, to not touch her, to sleep away from her. He wanted nothing more then to go to her now and allow her caresses to soothe away his pain and the deep ache that filled his soul. Soothe it with her touch, with her mere presence, the merest touch of her hand. He shut his eyes heavily, conjuring up the memory of her skin sliding across his; her hair, soft and silky, brushing against him; her mouth, God, what she had been able to do with that mouth, whether she was kissing him gently, or using it to pleasure him in ways he had never known before. He groaned softly as he thought about it. What did weakness matter now that he had been handed a death sentence and the need--the overpowering need--to go to her and let her touch him, make love to him, and to have her ease away the deep, all-consuming terror that resided in him; the terror that he could never admit to; that he fought to beat down, to hold at bay. He was Vegeta, the Saiya-jin Prince--nothing scared him. But this did--the thought that his death would be something of nightmares, that he would die alone, and painfully, but worse that he would leave her alone. Alone with their son. He felt a tremendous shame at this knowledge, that he should fear anything was more then he could tolerate so he had trained his heart out in this god forsaken valley that only he knew about, pushing himself further and harder then he had ever pushed himself before, driving himself as if he thought that by raw, brute strength he could burn out the shameful fear that resided deep within him, the shameful, choking fear.

Absently he fingered the gash that slashed across his chest. He'd been reckless and let himself get hurt, not to mention that he had raised his ki, possibly alerting people to where he was. He couldn't let them find him, not like this; he couldn't go back to Bulma either; he couldn't let them see the fear, the need, in his eyes--she couldn't see that. That would just be giving in to his own weak desires and he could not do that. He could not be weak. He stood shakily, attempting to not keel over and fought, with every step he took, not to rocket off straight to Bulma and let her purge all thought from his brain. God--the last night they had been together, the second time after their fight; the way she'd touched him...as if her whole body burned for him, was attuned to him, the way she had looked at him, as if it would never be enough, no matter how many times they were together. And it was never enough; he never grew tired of any part of her. Her body, her smile, her incredible, all-too-clever mind. He managed to stumble to the small creek that ran through the valley he had chosen to isolate himself in. He'd picked it for its locale and its terrain, most specifically for the full moon that would be rising four nights from now. He had only been on Chikyuu for a handful of full moons and had not allowed its rays to awaken the beast that slept within him; afraid that in his mindless rage over having lost Bulma, he would lose control of his Oozaru form and destroy everything that they needed; the very place that he now had to call home. Now, though, now...he needed the release, the primal raw power surging through him, the pure joy of letting go. He needed it--longed for it--and planned on taking it, out here where he would be unable to hurt anything important to him.

He half-fell into the water, using his tired hands to splash the cold droplets up over his wounds, washing the blood--he paused a moment--his contaminated blood. It wasn't even healthy. He fought back the urge to scream his fury to the heavens, to cry out at the fate that had forged this destiny for him, instead of the destiny that should have been his: the universe, his mate, training his son. Who in the hell was going to raise the boy up to be strong, a leader to be proud of and a leader worthy to ascend the Saiya-jin throne? His mother certainly couldn't, though his mind would be sharp as a tack. He staggered a bit as he thought again of the possibilty Bulma might be pregnant, the fear he had before he had left. For all his words to the contrary he had done nothing to protect her from that possibilty and how many times had he taken her, their last night together--several if he recalled right--the first time being the bonding of their minds and souls...God, what if she was pregnant? He splayed his gloved hand wide, looking at it, remembering laying it just this way across her flat belly, wondering if the worse had occured and he had impregnated her. Her softly spoken words to him, 'Nothing would make me happier than to bear your children, Vegeta.' He could feel her out now, open the link of the bond ever so slightly, maybe enough so she would not feel him or the fear and pain that he held so deeply in him, perhaps he could feel something that would give him a clue. He lowered the wall he'd erected in front of his emotions in small, slow increments; listening for her, feeling something sharp...something he recogonized easily, the feeling slapping him in the face with the strength of ten Super-saiya-jins. Pain. Raw, undisguised pain and lonliness. She was hopeless and alone, attempting to keep it together and thinking she was failing miserably, losing her grip on her own emotions. He clamped down on the bond, unwillinging to hear anymore, knowing that if he did, he would be on his way back--and that was impossible now. He staggered to the ground and fell over--finally--in crushing, bone weary exhaustion, his body able to go no further, slipping into an uneasy rest, empty and alone.


Kakkarot had finally gotten a much greater sense of Vegeta's ki, rocketing off before he could lose the strong signal. What had caused such a dramatic rise in it? It wasn't too much further, it was almost as if Vegeta was fighting, but with whom? He sped up as fast as his body would go, feeling the normal rush of air that sped past him, not surprised when the ki signal disappeared almost completely. He'd probably sensed him coming, but it was too late. Kakkarot had a fixed point and unless Vegeta ran out, he would finally reach him. He swooped down into a valley, forbidding-looking in its isolation, yet strangely beautiful with its barren panorama. What had possessed Vegeta to choose this place? He came to a rest by a winding small creek, in front of a very bruised and bloodied Prince, who was lying face down in the dirt. What the hell had happened? He knelt beside Vegeta and rolled him over, taking in the torn battle suit, the nasty cuts, one of which was bleeding profusely. He sighed and yanked off his glove, reaching into the breastplate of his armor, pulling out a tiny little package that held an emergency senzu; he pulled one out and pushed it into Vegeta's mouth, finally forcing him to swallow. He watched as the bean worked its magic, blinked, and watched as two very black, piercing eyes shot open and stared angrily into his own; noting that this scene seemed familiar. Hadn't they been in this position before, with Vegeta beaten beyond belief and him attempting to get him to the nearest regen tank? "Are you alright, Vegeta?"

"Kakkarot," the voice that spoke was harsh and hoarse, projecting strongly; Vegeta's unyielding desire to see him go. "What are you doing here? Get away from me, now. I don't want you here."

Kakkarot sat back, but didn't retreat. There was going to be no more retreating, at least not now. "You ought to be grateful. You'd feel a lot worse if I hadn't shown up."

"Fine, you helped me, now go." Vegeta was getting desperate. He had a very thin hold on his emotions right now, and Kakkarot was not going to see him break down like a coward. He sat up, scrambling to his feet, averting his face and crossing his arms over his chest, hoping that Kakkarot would get the message.

"I am not going anywhere just yet, Vegeta. Bulma sent me out to find you and bring you back, and I am not going to go anywhere until that occurs."

Vegeta risked looking at the other Saiya-jin. "Bulma? How is she?"

Kakkarot almost smiled but refrained. "She's not well, but then I guess you would know that. She needs you, Vegeta; she doesn't need you to run away from her."

"What the hell choice do I have? Do you think I want to be seperated from her? This virus has made me a danger to her, I can't be around her." He had learned harshly how much he did want her and how foolish he had been to even consider training away from her. He wouldn't have lasted a night. The only thing keeping him here now was the painful knowledge that he could hurt her in some way.

"You don't know what this stuff is going to do, Vegeta, and you have to give her a chance to work on it. Bulma is smart--smarter then anyone I know. If anyone can come up with something to fight this with, it is her. "

Vegeta snarled. "What happens if I give the virus to her in the meantime?"

"Do we even know if it is contagious? For all we know, the only way we can get it is through direct infection. Why do you always have to assume the worst, Vegeta?"

"Don't talk to me that way, you third class loser, not after all you have done to me. We are enemies now and as soon as Frieza is dead, the last thing I do before I die will be to end your worthless existence." Vegeta attempted to scare him away, before Kakkarot actually talked him into going back.

"I'm not going to be easy, Vegeta. I have a mate now, and a child. Do you think I am going to let you kill me?" He laced his words with as much derision and scorn as he could, deliberately provoking the Prince into a fury, knowing full well it was the only thing that would heal them.

Vegeta turned hatefully towards Kakkarot, smirking cold and arrogant. "A brat, huh? I'll be doing the little bastard a favor by killing you. Let someone strong raise it up, maybe she'll go back to her Chikyuu-jin friends and let one of them claim it."

Kakkarot growled angrily in response, knowing exactly what to say to send the Prince over the edge of no return, knowing very well. "I should have let Nappa kill Bulma--why did I bother to save the woman of a man who could care less about anyone but himself? I would have done her a favor.."

It worked better then he had expected, barely having time to defend himself as Vegeta came hurtling towards him, fists cocked to draw blood, teeth set in an angry, snarling visage.

"Where were you, Vegeta? Huh? Where were you when your mate needed you?" Kakkarot barely dodged the flying fists, grunting when one managed to connect with his stomach. God, Vegeta was getting much stronger and faster, almost more then Kakkarot could handle. He was going to need to train hard.

"Damn you Kakkarot, what are you talking about?" Vegeta swung out with his leg, connecting solidly into Kakkarot's back, sending the Saiya-jin flying forward.

Kakkarot flew straight into a tree, knocking it over in the process. He whirled and faced Vegeta, who had lowered himself to the ground, awaiting an answer. "After you left, Nappa was going to kill her, he had his blast ready, but I killed him first. Bulma almost died, Vegeta. If I hadn't been there, Bulma would have died." That was the final push over the edge and Kakkarot knew it. He watched the play of emotions flit across Vegeta's hard face, finally settling into a furious, all consuming rage, that he quickly clamped the lid on, yet the rage remained, embedded in the glittering black eyes.

"Where is Bulma now?" Vegeta's face was almost too serene, his voice low and dangerous, yet smooth and easy. He stood calmly, waiting for Kakkarot's answer.

"She's fine, though now I'm not sure you even care. I couldn't have left Chi-Chi to suffer and wonder alone, especially if she had no one left to care for her. It is just her now, maybe my father can stay with her, protect her. She deserves someone who isn't going to run off at the first hint of trouble."

Kakkarot watched in amazement at the furious man that came flying at him, screaming in rage, his ki growing higher and higher with every passing second. He never got a chance to put his fists up, Vegeta's fist caught him just under the jaw, knocking him back. Vegeta was on him in an instant, not allowing him the chance to defend himself at all, pummeling and hitting him, drawing blood more and more with each hard blow. God, he was strong. It occured to Kakkarot that he would not survive this if he didn't do something quickly. He couldn't leave Chi-Chi and his son...he wanted to meet his son...wanted to know him, to raise him. He roared in rage, pushing out with his arms, sending Vegeta back a few feet, powering up, basking in the pure power that was coursing through his blood. God, it felt so good, so right. He looked at Vegeta, who smirked. It was almost like their training times together, when things always had gotten out of control and they had destroyed the training chamber, nearly killing each other in the process. Kakkarot smiled back before launching himself at Vegeta, own fists prepared to draw blood, meeting Vegeta in the middle, punching and blocking and kicking. It was endless, though Kakkarot could barely keep up with Vegeta's speed and strength. His training was paying off--now if Bulma could just find something to cure him with. He swung out with a kick designed to knock the sense out of his opponent, to disable him for a moment.

"She is really alright?" Vegeta ground out the words, intent on blocking Kakkarot's blow, refusing to let him get one-up on him, swinging with his connected fists in a downward arc to send the third-class flying.

"Yes, and Nappa is dead." Kakkarot spun away, narrowly avoiding the hit, and hovered in the air, breathing heavily.

"What's wrong, Kakkarot? Are you out of shape?" Vegeta hovered across from him, smirking, waiting for the next challenge.

"Only if you are, my Prince." He smiled as he saw the anger those words had produced. How good it felt to be sparring this way, a way that neither had experienced since before they had initially arrived on Nafet some three years ago. He smiled as he launched himself at Vegeta. It might be a more productive day then he thought, and if he were lucky, maybe he would be back with Chi-Chi and in her arms tonight.


Frieza stood next to his father, smiling coldly. "Yes, father dear, we are preparing a mass invasion of Chikyuu right now. It seems that is where our little monkey Prince is hiding out and the girl with all the wonderful inventions is with him. She is the one responsible for this synthetic fuel. She will be a very nice addition to our technology-development division." He handed his father the absorber that Zuad had managed to clone off of the original left behind. "Just an example of what she can invent."

"She won't come willingingly, this Princess, especially if we do not take Vegeta first." King Cold's voice was arrogantly cool and condescending, grating on Frieza's every nerve; how he hated the bastard.

"No, but Dr. Zuad is taking care of that for me. A new development--a memory wipe. I plan on using it on Vegeta as well." Ahh yes, all the things he could convince Vegeta to do. It would be like a painter producing his very own work of art. "It simply erases their memories and allows us to replace them with whatever we want it to. Vegeta and his whore will soon forget about each other and they will forget why they were even fighting against me in the first place. I believe it will have very pleasing results." He laughed rancurously, spitefully; his father joining in, matching his tone. Yes, it was going to be his final, devestating blow to Vegeta and when he was done with him--if that ever occured--he would toss him, piece by piece, to his father to finish him off. Frieza wasn't certain one would ever be able to get their fill of such a magnificent specimen, the joy of that body and that face could be addictive and the thought that he was giving it to her...Frieza clenched his teeth, convulsively. He'd see her pay for that one as well, breaking her as he had been unable to before. As for Vegeta, well, one could break him and Vegeta would come to understand his fate very well, before it happened to him, everything he had fought against and detested, he would understand that it had been pointless. Frieza laughed harder at the thought of the Prince's face when he realized that he was going to do all those things that he had so eloquently refused to do before, and that he would be doing them willingly.


Bardock had felt the two ki from miles away. Both were elevated to unbelievable heights and he could easily identify them as Vegeta and his son. He flew faster towards the strong signal, knowing that the two were fighting, believing it had been inevitable. He just hoped his son could hold the stonger man off. He knew a moment of panic when both ki's suddenly blinked out, only able to breath again, when he felt them low and weak, but both there and both equal in intensity. He approached the valley that the two ki eminated, landing before two very beaten-up Saiya-jins, leaning weakly against a demolished tree trunk. "What have you two managed to do?" He crossed his arms and looked at the younger men with little compassion, almost laughing at the painful expressions that crossed their respective faces with each bone jarring movement. "Are you through beating the shit out of each other?"

Kakkarot looked up and grinned crookedly at his father. "How's Chi-Chi?"

Bardock snorted, "Fine the last time I saw her, moody as all hell." He fixed a hard stare at Vegeta. "I cannot say the same for your little mate."

Vegeta managed to straighten painfully. "What...what's wrong?" The words came out painfully hoarse and harsh, but under the harshness of his tone, Bardock could hear the quiet anxiety, the worry. He knelt beside the Prince. "Bulma hasn't slept in three days and I'm not sure she has eaten much either. She needs you to come back, if only for a little while."

"Where is she?" Vegeta could feel the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach, the feeling that told him he had lost the battle and needed to concede. He wasn't ready to go back, to face her, but he had to--to do less would be cowardly.

"Right now she is in her bed, hopefully asleep. She had to deal with Parisia today and that did not go well."

"Why in the hell is Bulma anywhere near that bitch?" Vegeta was furious that these fools would allow his mate anwhere near such an unstable, sick woman. Didn't they understand that Bulma was their queen, that they had to protect her with their life? He stood up shakily, knowing he was going back now, there would be no question of that.

"It is Saiya-jin law, Vegeta. You know that and that she is your rightful successor as regent for Trunks. It was her right to pass judgment on Parisia."

"How do you figure?" He sneered in anger. "She was the intended victim of the virus, not I. That Parisia attacked me should have guaranteed her automatic death the moment that you saw her, but Bulma..." he broke off, too angry to go on. He could feel his heart thumping hard against his chest with each beat it took, that she had even been in the same room as Parisia. God, what if that woman had more of the virus, what if she had injected Bulma with it? He had sworn to protect her, to look out for her and his son. Weren't those the very words that he had spoken to the boy? He should have at the least killed Parisia the instant that she had stabbed him, he'd just been too shocked. And Bulma's face, it had been so scared, mirroring his own terror at what had just happened to him, unable to fully comprehend...he hadn't even thought about it then. He clenched his fists in rage. He would go back now and finish the job. He would take out Parisia in the most painful way possible, then he would take his mate to bed and lay with her, even if it was only for one night, not make love to her, but simply lay quietly with her in his arms, a peaceful night's sleep for both of them. He would allow that brief comfort for them, before deciding what to do next. Being around Bulma would be too tempting, and until he knew what this virus was capable of, he would not touch her. He looked up at Bardock. "Fine. I will go back, but it is only temporary." He rocketed off into the air, giving no thought to his injury and not bothering to look back, hurrying to get back to his mate.

Kakkarot looked at his father. "Do you think he'll stay?"

Bardock helped his son to his feet and smiled. "After a night in her arms, I guarantee it."


Toma sat in the office, looking at the plans he had hestatingly drawn up for their first intial attack against Frieza. He had hoped that Bulma would get the mysteries of encapsulation figured out for him, but he had given up hope on that after what had happened. Bulma was in no condition to do much of anything right now, so the attack would have to be planned without any special modifications. He managed to get her energy absorbers mounted onto the ships and ready for a work out. They passed with flying colors. They also increased the production of their fuel, been forced to, really. Raditz had been working overtime, bullying the rest of the Chikyuu-jins into helping out. Yamcha had been particularly obnoxious, but Raditz had brooked no argument from him, and in the end he had helped out as much as his friends had, hating every single moment of it, but doing it all the same. He had another meeting with the Namekian...what had his name been? Piccolo. He had finally gotten it at the first initial fuel drop. He was ready to buy more. Toma didn't even want to contemplate where or what he was doing with it, but the amount he had asked for bordered on the extreme and coupled with all the other demands, Toma wasn't sure they had enough manpower or resource to maintain the supply. They had to get this attack off, to begin the onslaught against Frieza. It was time to fight. He'd mapped it all out carefully, setting the target for an out of the way planet that Frieza held. It was small in comparison to the other more populated targets, but this one was special for one reason, it was where King Cold, Freiza's father, held court. Frieza had not wanted to share his own court with his father, so he had settled him on a planet far removed, but vitally important to the mass production of Frieza's little toys...scouters, replicated Saiya-jin armor, ships..this was where it all happened. A veritable planet of factories. Frieza had become so self-assured that he had made the fatal mistake of putting all his eggs into one basket so to speak, and sticking his arrogant, self-centered father on its highest seat of power. Marstal...they would be unprepared and vulnerable, ripe for the taking, or in this case, right for the destroying. It would be a serious wound to Frieza's pride and while he was distracted by that, Toma would take the attack straight to another more important planet--the seat of Frieza's empire itself. He had grand plans of laying ruin to the royal palace, to laying waste to the whole of the city and what was even better was that Frieza's blood would boil, perhaps leading him to bad decisions, though Toma seriously doubted that. Coola maybe, King Cold definitely, but Frieza--Frieza was a master planner and would not be ambushed easily.

Toma sighed as he looked at the route he had marked out for the trip. It was a three month hop to Marstel. Three months...damn they needed that encapsulation. The fuel saved alone was well worth the time. He would attempt to speak to Bulma later, after she had rested, perhaps Bardock could get her to act, not that he wanted to push her, he just didn't really see what choice they had. They could not afford a three month trip in the JT 626, but if it were encapsulated, they could all hop onto the cargo ship, fighters safely encapsulated, and get them out only when they needed, perhaps even work undercover. It could be done, he had seen the plans on Frieza's ship years ago, taken from some scientist that Frieza had killed. His head snapped up in dawning realization, had that been Bulma's father? There had been thousands of casualties that one could lay on Frieza's door, but that was an odd coincidence. Frieza had never gotten it figured out, or at least Toma had never seen any sign of it while he had served. It would put them another step ahead of Frieza, and right now they needed all the steps they could get.



Vegeta sat down within the compound as the first faint strands of darkness began to slice through the air, intent upon seeing his mate, assuring himself that she was alright; then he would go and find Parisia and end the bitch's miserable existence. Something he should have done in that hallway on Nafet some three years ago when the first threat had ever left her mouth. They could have been spared all of this had he just acted then and he and Bulma could be sitting on the throne of Vegittasei, basking in their defeat of Frieza, perhaps even ascending an even greater throne as rulers of the known universe. Unconciously his fists clenched, and for a moment he almost started to trace Parisia's weak ki, to find her, ready to blow her away at that very instant of time, for all the poisonous viper had cost.The worst part was that she had poisoned him, poisoned his blood, effectively keeping him away from the one woman he did want to give himself to, the only woman that could make all his pain and fear go away. He stopped and stood, reaching out slowly, feeling for his woman's presence near to him and sighed. He needed her first, needed to go and see her and then he would find Parisia. She was not going anywhere. Bulma was more important right now. He followed her faint signature to its source, noticing that their son was with her. He stopped outside the door, leaning against the cool wood of it, his hand on the knob, afraid to go in, but unable to leave. Bulma would know, she would see him and know his fear, his weakness, that he was scared of what had been set in motion. He hated that, despised that she would see that, that he was such an open book to her. He would not have her think him weak, or helpless, yet the sanctuary her arms would provide--holding him, soothing his troubled soul--he didn't want to turn away from it either. Vegeta straightened, sealing the fear and uncertainty away from her, blocking it up in his heart as tightly as he could. He would attempt to keep it from her and hope that it worked, that she would be oblivious to it and allow him to keep his pride

Vegeta turned the knob silently, entering the darkened room like a cat. Bulma and the brat were asleep. He looked at the cradle and the small baby that lay securely within, snoozing soundly. He smirked, so like him. He wondered if his father had ever once looked down on him this way, had noticed the details that bound them so close together, marked them as father and son. Had he even cared? He certainly hadn't as far back as Vegeta could remember, but in the beginning, when things had been new, before his mother had screwed him up--had his father cared? He would have had to, wouldn't he? He had cared about her in the beginning, believing her to be his destined mate, had taken her as such, a mere lower class woman. Vegeta shook away the thoughts and memories, not wanting to dredge up old pains that he had long ago sealed away. He glanced towards the woman that lay asleep on the bed. Bulma would heal it all...if he gave her half a chance. She would have taken it all in and healed him, but he couldn't do that. He was too accustomed, to set in his ways, to deal with the pains of yesterday by himself, and alone. He did not have it in him to open them all up and share. It would be too much, for him and for her. He might be a drowning man, doomed to hell, but he would not take Bulma with him. He would take tonight and just simply hold her, let her feel his presence as he wanted to feel hers. It would be hell to go no further then that, the need for some kind of physical release was overwhelming and Bulma could drive him to such mindless states of passion, where there was nothing but them and their bodies and what was happening between them. Vegeta shut his eyes against the swelling tide of desire, and forced himself to breathe slowly, deeply. He pulled off his burnt, destroyed armor. He'd forgotten all about getting himself and his injuries healed. The gashes had stopped bleeding, but they would scar. He could live with that. Shrugging off the rest of his clothes, he pulled his weary, naked body into her bed, pushing himself against her, sighing at the cool contact of her own nakedness against his, wrapping his arms and legs around her, exhaustion slowly rolling through every part of his body. He could sleep now, unencumbered and undisturbed, blindly reaching out for the blankets to cover them with, falling asleep almost instantly.




Yamcha stared at the deserted building that Raditz had just left. How he hated the dirty, stinking Saiya-jins. All of them so high and mighty, and that Prince of theirs. He was the biggest bastard Yamcha had ever had the displeasure of meeting,. Yamcha had been the leader of this renegade operation before they had arrived; he'd been the one calling the shots against Frieza and now he was forced to take orders from all of them. He had heard what had happened to Vegeta, how he had been infected by some kind of killer virus, the same kind that other bastard had been carrying and that they had locked the woman that had done it in this building, awaiting some kind of judgement. How bad could she be if she had tried to kill Vegeta? He had certainly earned it as far as he was concerned, hell, all of the Saiya-jins had, destroying and purging, working arm-in-arm with Frieza. Chi-Chi had been stupid enough to take up with one, but Yamcha knew just how dangerous they were, what killers they could be, had felt it up close. He fingered the jagged scar that ran down his face, remembering the smell of his own fear as the hulking Saiya-jin had drug his family from their home, accusing them of treason against Frieza. Yamcha had fought with all his might, but all he had gotten was a severe beating, a scar and an orphaned, lonely existence. No, he could never trust a Saiya-jin again and he wouldn't feel safe until they were all dead and that included their half-breed brats. Saiya-jin blood was saiya-jin blood. All tainted as far as he was concerned, and he knew that on this compound Vegeta had his own mate and son. He'd heard talk of them. Yamcha shuddered not understanding how any woman could give herself to a barbaric Saiya-jin, most especially Vegeta, the pompous ass. It defied all logic as far as he was concerned. He stared at the building for a moment, unsure if he was doing the right thing. He had wanted to see this woman who had so openly defied the Crown Prince of the Saiya-jins, see what she had to offer him. She might be useful in getting rid of them. Yamcha was sure they were just as big a threat as Frieza, and he knew deep in his heart that once they managed to get rid of Frieza, they would turn on them all and simply replace him as ruling tyrants. He had no problem seeing Vegeta filling that role either. No, he had to find some way to nullify their control and keep them weak, and maybe this woman was the ticket to doing so.

He formed a small ki blast in his hand, blasting the heavy lock off the door. He couldn't believe they hadn't posted some kind of guard. How stupid were these Saiya-jins? He slipped in through the door, making sure to shut it carefully, ensuring nothing looked out of place. He could see absolutely nothing and he could not risk turning on a light so he called out quietly, hoping to get the attention of the room's inhabitant.

"Who's there?" A female voice floated up to him, intoxicating and light, yet hard edged. What manner of creature did they have locked up in here like an animal?

"I'm Yamcha. I came because we have something in common." He heard a soft clicking sound, then the light flooded on, blinding him with its intensity. He shoved an arm before his eyes, trying to aclimate himself to the light, squinting and blinking rapidly.

"What could we possibly have in common?" The softly worded retort was rife with sarcasm. He bristled slightly at her haughty attitude. He wasn't the one locked up now, was he. Yamcha managed to accustom himself to the light, seeing nothing but nebulous images, then slowly, and with more focus, a woman appeared before him. She was beautiful, yet there was a coldness, a distance. Something strangely offsetting about her. Was this the right course?

"A hatred of the Saiya-jins and Vegeta."

Parisia stared at him for a minute, taking in his appearance. He was dressed poorly, and his appearance was entirely too raggedy. Still he could be her ticket out of this hellhole and away from this place. If she worked him just right...that was really the key, working the bastards just right. Something she had a talent for. Parisia smiled seductively and sauntered closer. He really wasn't unattractive, better then Nappa by a far shot, she could do this easily. Soon he would be putty in her hand. "How do you know I hate the Saiya-jins?" She maintained as much innocence and sugar as she could.

"They have locked you up in here."

"I did something horrible to their Prince. I'm not surprised...though his bitch, has been cruel. She won't even allow me to eat." Parisia almost smiled at his look of disgust. It was going to be much easier then she thought.

"Why would she do that? Is it because she is Vegeta's woman? I wondered what type of woman would openly call herself that."

"Because she found out what he did to me, and she blames me, wants to punish me anyway she can--she's not sane."

"What did Vegeta do?"

"He raped me." The final nail in the coffin; he would be hers. Parisia managed to work up some fake sobs for him...nearly smiling at his horrified expression.

"That monster. I knew Vegeta was a bastard. That's why you gave him that poison."

"He wouldn't stay away from me...I had to do something..." More tears...she was incredible.

Yamcha moved forward, putting his arms, nervously around her shaking shoulders. Vegeta was a sick bastard. How could he rape a woman like this? How could he do that to a woman period? He watched as she tipped her head back, her deep black eyes were filled with tears. To rape a woman was as cowardly an act as Yamcha could possibly think of. He'd been right to come here, to help her.

Parisia leaned closer to him, moving in for the kill; pressing her body against his, attempting to put as much need in her eyes as she possibly could. Her lips parted and she noticed with no small amout of joy that he was leaning closer--he was going to kiss her. She kissed him back with all the skill she had, wondering for a moment what Vegeta kissed like. He had never kissed her, not once. She'd bet he was incredible, as incredible as everything else on the man. Her arms twined around his neck, somehow maneuvering him silently back towards the small cot that served as her bed. This had really not even been a challenge. Parisia smiled as he laid her back on the bed. A few well placed words, a romp, and she was out of here...


Bulma came awake slowly, contentedly. She had been so tired she had gone back to bed after getting Trunks from Chi-Chi, just wanting to sleep. She had certainly slept well tonight.Why did she feel so comfortable, so warm? She scrambled to figure it out in her sleep disorientation, gasping as she realized there were two arms around her and something around her waist.She placed a steady hand on the object, encountering soft fur...she jerked her head around and saw him laying next to her, sound asleep, his head against her shoulder. God, he had come back. Bulma forced herself to stay calm, to not leap out of the bed screaming for joy, to jump on him, to shout to the heavens. She wanted to do it all. Instead, she settled on a much more subtle way of talking to him, of conveying her feeling, one Bulma knew would definitely wake him up and get his attention.

She was touching his tail. Vegeta shifted slightly, allowing her better access. God that felt good, when she did it, so natural, so pleasurable, not like when others had touched it, trying to force a reaction out of him. He moaned and snuggled up against her, forgetting for a moment everything but the calmness of the room, of his sleep and of this very moment, feeling himself slowly rousing to her touch. His eyes snapped open as memory washed away the remnants of the dreamlike state he had been in. "No, Bulma...we can't, I can't." Vegeta jerked his tail away from her and leapt out the bed, breath harsh, heart pounding. God, he had almost forgot--what if he had infected Bulma?

"Vegeta?" Bulma sat up, sheet slipping down in the moonlight, the beauty of her pale skin luminous in the white light.

"I can't--I could infect you with this virus that I have." He leaned back against the wall, watching her carefully, maintaining a careful distance.

"You don't know that Vegeta, its a blood born disease, you don't know how it is spread or if it even can be. It might not be contagious at all. I spent a month in close quarters with my brother after he was infected; I haven't gotten it."

"Bulma..." he looked up at her with heartbreaking vulnerability, turning her heart inside out. Why had this had to happen to him? She fought down the urge to leave him and go and kill the person responsible. "Woman, I can't take that chance, not without knowing for certain."

Bulma admired his discipline, it was incredible to a fault. She had serious doubts whether she could have been as strong as he if the roles were reversed. Vegeta needed the comfort, the physical closeness, she could see that, had read it in his eyes just moments before, but he was refusing to allow himself that small pleasure. She stood, allowing her sheet to slip down to the floor, strolling naked to the moonlit window and looking out, presenting her back to him. "Why did you come back?"

Vegeta admired the fall of her blue hair, shimmering against her satin skin in the moonlight. He wanted to go to her, to touch her, but he was afraid of what that single contact might mean for his already wavering self control. The only thing that was keeping the clamp on his desires right now was the thought that he could infect her with something that would cause her endless suffering, something that would sign her death warrant. He refused to see that happen. "Bardock said you needed me..that you..had seen Parisia and it had not gone well."

"Yes, well, I should have seen her dead by nightfall, but I just...all I could see was her...was you being infected...and I just lost it."

"Bulma, I will kill her tomorrow morning before I go."

"Go?" Bulma cut him off.. "You're actually planning on leaving me again?" Vegeta could hear the wounded disbelief in her voice, tried to shut himself off from it.

"I can't stay here, woman. I can barely stay away from you right now as it is, not to mention that I will become unstable after awhile, I could prove dangerous to you and to Trunks." He looked pointedly at his son who slept soundly, oblivous to the tensions swirling about his parents.

"Did it ever occur to you Vegeta that if you stayed I might be able to find something to help you, to cure you? Don't you trust me to find something?" She sounded idignant even to her own ears. Well good, damn Vegeta and his stupid idiotic honor anyway.

"You can work on it with me gone."

"How can I do that when I might need blood, or some other kind of sample from you at any moments notice, or what if I find something, but you are nowhere to be found?"

"Kakkarot found me easily enough."

"I don't want to be alone, Vegeta. Don't you understand that? I have spent the past three years away from you, I do not want to spend anymore time..." She turned to face him then, face full of resentment, marching over to where he stood. "Damn you, Vegeta. I gave my heart to you and if you leave, you will rip it out." She jabbed a hard finger at him, ignoring the tears that were already spilling down her cheeks. She wanted to hit him for his stupidity, to scream it out to him, but Bulma knew him well enough to know that it would get her nowhere. She turned abruptly away, swiping fruitlessly at the tears that were falling. "Fine, go now and don't bother to come back. If you are so determined to die and to die alone, then go and do it. I am done with you." She squealed as she was grabbed roughly by her shoulders and thrown back against the wall, his arms descending on either side of her, pinning her snuggly into position.

"Why must you always be a brat, woman? Do you think this is easy for me? That I like having to do this, to separate myself from you? I am the one that is dying, I have to live with that knowledge everyday I wake up..." his voice broke off. "I don't want to be alone, Bulma, but I just don't know what else to do.." His forehead rested against hers. Slowly, delibarately, she wrapped her arms around him, holding his trembling body against hers.

"You don't have to be alone, Vegeta, you don't have to do this by yourself. Just stay, let me help you. I'll test this virus and see what it does and what it is capable of doing. Things might not be as bad as you think." She kissed him lightly, deepening it as she felt him respond to her, his own tongue sliding into her mouth. He could taste the saltiness of her tears on her lips, feel the desperatation in her touch. Could he stay? What if she found out something positive, like it wouldn't affect her if he made love to her. He groaned against her lips, he ached to be inside her, to touch her, to take all the comfort she was trying to give him. His hands fisted against the wall, his body moving closer on its own accord. Hers were sliding down his back, pulling him against her slender, willing body. He was losing the battle, his frustrated body was losing the battle, he was just inches away from her, inches away from taking her, in one swift moment Bulma could be his again and she wanted him. God, the expression on her face, one of such desire, of desperate need and longing, her hands stroking down his back, urging him closer, clutching at him, those passion-clouded eyes. He pulled his fists back, only to ram them into the wall on either side of her head, anger and anguish mixing together into a potent, dangerous chemical in his body, threatening to spew forth in a violent rage. Bulma jumped, torn from her passionate reverie, unsure what had brought on the change and frightened by the dark anger she could see in the eyes that seemed to burn right through her. She tried to sink down away from, terrified, but Vegeta refused her the exit, his hands grabbing her shoulders gently, pulling her back up to face him, his harsh breathing the only indication that his temper was about to blow.

"Dammit, Bulma, I told you I can't do this! Don't try to force me."

"Force you..." she half sobbed. "Is that what I'm doing? Forcing you to be close to me?" She looked away from his inscrutable gaze, trying to stem the tears that his words had brought out of her.

"God, Bulma, why does everything have to be so hard with you." The anger melted away from him, leaving him drained and empty, the forlorn look on her face doing him in. "I want you, you know that, but I can't...not until I know for certain that I won't bring you harm."

"Then stay and let me test you, let me test this virus. I can find a cure if you'll trust me." He pulled away from her and turned facing the window.

"I need to train, Bulma, to get ready for Frieza. He's coming, I know that, and I have to be ready. It might be my last chance to kill him. "

"Vegeta, I am not going to let you die, by this stupid virus or by Frieza's hand. You have to know that."

"How are you going to stop it, woman? By finding a miracle cure? Maybe, you're smart, I'll give you that. How? By killing Frieza yourself? Don't be absurd...." He stopped for a moment, a forgotten thought reentering his mind. "But you can help me."

"How?" She'd do whatever she had to, to ensure his safety. She would not let him die and she had meant that. She was finding that there wasn't much she wouldn't do to protect her husband and child.

"I need a gravity room, like the type Frieza had on his ships, one that would push my training to higher limits. Can you make one?"

"Only if you stay. I won't make one somewhere else or even attempt an encapsulation on one. I'll build one right here and you have to use it here." Bulma crossed her arms over her chest defiantly, eyes burning a hole straight through him;daring him to argue, yet hoping valiantly that her bluff worked.

Vegeta turned back towards her angrily. "How dare you try to manipulate me that way!"

"That is the deal, Vegeta. You stay and let me work on the virus and I can have a gravity room for you in a week. You leave, I won't build one. It's as simple as that.You don't even have to sleep with me, I just want you on the premises. I will find a cure...for you and my brother, and then you'll be sorry you ever doubted me."

Vegeta smirked despite himself. She was a brazen woman offering up a bluff he could quite easily call, she certainly was willing to go toe to toe with anyone. Perhaps that was what had first attracted him, a fiery spirit to match his own. He seemed to be backed into a corner as far as she was concerned. Could he stay? Yes. Could he sleep away from her? If he had to. Though he had no particular desire to do that, especially if she were nearby and available. As it was, he was close to damning the consequences and taking her now, his Saiya-jin nature was fast overcoming the strong sense of honor he felt towards this woman, the only woman he had ever seen fit to protect in such a manner. The change had rattled him, but he had accepted it. His jaw clenched--he couldn't, not yet--he had to stay in control for this woman. Perhaps being with her was the answer, instead of denying himself her company to spare himself the difficulty or her the pain. He stared at her for a moment, noting the turbulent, defiant light that lit her blue eyes. She was daring him to say no; well she wouldn't get the pleasure of that argument today. "Fine. I will stay woman, but don't push me and once the gravity room is finished I will stay in that until you can give me a reason not to." Vegeta almost smiled as her whole face infused with pleasure, but refrained, deciding it better to not give to much away, grunting as she threw herself against him. He was unable to keep his arms from sliding around her, sweeping her up into his arms and carrying her to their bed, laying her down carefully.

"First thing tomorrow morning Vegeta, we go and take some blood samples." Bulma pressed herself against him, oblivious to the look of painful desire that swept through his body. God it was going to be a long night. She propped herself on an elbow so that she could look down at him, her leg slid lazily over his, only adding to his torment. Her fnger circled lazy swirls around his chest, strangely erotic and relaxing at the same time. "I'll track my brother down and take some from him too, that way I can get to analyzing this stuff right away and see what I can find." She looked at him in anticipation. She was so sure she could do something and for the first time he found himself daring to hope, though he pushed the feeling down quickly. Best not to hope, better to prepare for the worst. Vegeta reached up and swept her hair back from her face, his finger tracing the curve of one fine cheekbone.

"The first thing I do tomorrow morning is go and end that miserable bitch's life."

"Vegeta, she knows about my mother. Do you think we could talk to her first?"

"Woman, Parisia isn't going to tell you anything. You already know she is on Frieza's ship, undoubtedly broken in mind and spirit. You would not want to meet her that way, neither would she wish you to see her like that."

"Are you suggesting I forget about her and leave her there to suffer?" Bulma stared at him increduously. Vegeta sighed, already knowing she wasn't going to let this one go, mentally cursing himself for choosing such a stubborn, pain-in-the-ass mate. A match for him. He smirked.

"No, I'm not suggesting anything like that, but you are not going anywhere near Frieza's ship. I will see what I can do--but only after I have trained, and only when I go to meet Frieza for the final time." His expression showed he would brook no argument and Bulma had no desire to fight with him, not now, though she knew there had to be something they could do sooner. His expression showed she would get no further with him tonight. She should be grateful she had talked him into staying, tomorrow would be a new day.

"I'll start on the gravity machine tomorrow afternoon, after I've gotten all the samples I need. It should take me a week to get one up and running for you."

"Two days." His deep, sensual voice sounded outraged and impatient in the darkness. Bulma bit back a smile, knowing he could see her clearly.

"A week, Vegeta. That is the best I can do, not with all the wiring and programming and building that are required."

He sighed. "Fine...but it had better be done in a week, woman. I cannot afford to waste anymore time."

She heard the unspoken words he would have said, but had chosen not to . Unless she came up with a cure his time was limited and if he didn't destroy Frieza in that alotted time, the universe's last, best hope was gone. Bulma laid her head on his chest, listening to the strong, steady beat of his heart, swallowing the sudden lump that had tried to burst forth. "I'll find something Vegeta." Her words were spoken softly, almost so low he did not hear them, but he did and her calm demeanor infused him with a quiet confidence that he had not felt upon coming to her. "I won't let you die." Maybe she would be able to figure something out. He could hope, though he had long ago learned hope was for fools. When he was with her, though, he found it hard not to be different, not to fill himself with those things he knew he should not.

"I know, woman, I know..." He closed his eyes and slept, exhausted in mind and body, leaving her to watch over him silently in the dark.


Parisia scooted along the wide expanse of the house silently, carrying nothing save the small tool she had taken, looking toward the shadows of the forest that stretched out ahead of her. She looked down at her hand, staring at the navi system she had lifted from the lab. This would give her an exact location and show her the way to the nearest town. There she could make a plan. She was not going to return to Frieza, at least not empty handed. Parisia would not go through that again, and she would not be a whore again, not to mention she still had some unfinished business with Vegeta, or more to point, with his whore. Perhaps she could entertain Frieza with a trade: Bulma, for her freedom. She smiled in the dark, clicking on her navi system and looking around covertly, making sure she was alone in the night. The fool she had slept with tonight, Yamcha, he had fallen for her act completely, believing her to be needy and vulnerable, believing her to be a woman in need of a hero. How funny and what was even better was that he now believed Vegeta had raped her...that would certainly make for an interesting discussion over mealtime, that was if they didn't kill him for letting her go. Parisia laughed lightly at her ingenuity. She would go ensconce herself someplace safe and when she was sure she had the opportunity, she would strike out and finish Vegeta and his bitch off completely.


"Where in the fuck is she, Raditz?" Vegeta was in a rage. Having come down to end Parisia's life, only to find out the bitch was gone and apparently running free.

"Vegeta, I swear she was here last night, I even double checked the lock..." Raditz trailed off in the face of Vegeta's fury, taking a step back even as the shorter Saiya-jin moved closer, a look of pure rage on his face, his fist clenched tightly in front of his face.

"The woman has contaminated me with a virus meant to kill me, she would like to finish off my mate and son as well, and you are telling me that you could not keep her locked away?" His deep voice was quietly menacing, scaring everyone within a ten foot radius who had heard them.

"Vegeta, this isn't Raditz's fault," Kakkarot had been examining the lock. He poked his head up and looked towards the Prince. "Look at this, the door was locked, but someone gave it a blast."

"Let me see." Vegeta growled and stalked over to the door, tail lashing violently behind him. He peered at the lock and cursed...someone had let the woman out. His fists clenched in anger. He would tear them from limb to limb. The psycho was free and running loose, undoubtedly planning her next point of attack against his mate. "Fuck." He spat in disgust. "Who in the fuck would let this bitch go?" He looked back to Raditz, who just shrugged.

"I have no idea. The only person she really associated with was Nappa, and he is dead."

"Kakkarot go over this place and see what you can find. I am going to go and warn Bulma." He was suddenly filled with a fear that he had not even considered. What if Parisia were laying in wait for Bulma right now, waiting for her to go the lab... He lifted off and flew the rest of the way, nearly taking the door off its hinges as he did so, causing a tremendous bang and scaring the rooms two occupants, stalking quickly over towards his mate and her brother.

"Good God, Vegeta! What are you trying to do, scare the hell out of me?" Bulma had nearly lost her grip on the needle that was sticking out of her brother's arm. She smiled at his blanched face, not sure what had scared him more, Vegeta nearly blowing the door apart, or having his blood taken. "I'm almost done, Britt."

"Thank God, I don't think I can take much more and with him breathing down our necks..." He motioned to a thunderous Vegeta who stood behind Bulma looking like he was going to kill something. Britoon shuddered. This was a new look, one that promised unforetold tortures, a look that he had never seen before, and he had seen the Prince angry, but this was an unbridled rage of proportions Britton had not seen, and for once, he was happy to say it, had nothing to do with him or at least he hoped not. Bulma glanced back at Vegeta, doing a doubletake as she saw his irate face, his jaw locked into a rigid position.

"Vegeta? What's wrong?" She drew out the last vial out of her brother's arm, sticking cotton over the small wound. "Put pressure on it, Britt, or you'll bruise." She turned back to her mate, looking at him with concern. "Do you feel alright?" She tried to feel his head, but he slapped her hand away.

"I'm fine woman, but we have a problem." He looked around every inch of the room, searching out any unseen ki's, and found nothing. He relaxed slightly.

"What?" her eyes were wide and full of concern. "Is Frieza coming?"

"He probably will be, but there is a more immediate problem, one much closer to home."

"What?" Her voice was a mere whisper. Whatever it was it was serious, for the look on his face seemed to portend trouble, and she knew Vegeta didn't get worked up over trivialities. "What's happened?"

"Parisia has somehow escaped." He spat out the words in disgust.

"What?" Bulma was already glancing over her shoulder, looking at her brother, around him, at the more dimly lit shadows, looking for the woman that would not leave them in peace. "How?"

"Someone apparently let her go." Vegeta hated seeing her eyes full of dread and that was really the only word that would fully describe what he saw in the blue eyed gaze. He vaguely noticed her brother behind her, standing up, putting his hand on his sister's shoulder.

"Who would do something so stupid?" Britton put voice to the same thing Vegeta himself had been asking repeatedly in his own mind.

"I don't know, but when I find out, they will feel my wrath. I can assure you of that." He smirked grimly and with little warmth, sending a shiver down Bulma's spine. She had seen his temper before, but this was a coldly calculating look, one almost evil by design. She shivered again, reminded that at heart her husband was a killer.

"My sister is in danger now. Parisia will come after her and Trunks."

"No, I will not allow her anywhere near Bulma."

"How are you going to stop her? She could sit back and wait for any moment of vulnerability, for a moment that Bulma is left alone."

"I will not leave her alone...do you think I would allow anyone to harm her if I could prevent it?" Vegeta was starting to get tired of the conversation, he shouldn't have to answer to a man that was not even blood related to the woman, no matter what they thought or believed.

Britton looked at Vegeta for a moment, a sharp pain beginning to knife through his brain..God he hoped she could find something soon...the pain was becoming unreal and it was harder to stay sane in the face of such long bouts with it. "I guess.." he gasped for air, "I will accept..." another long pause. He braced himself against the table, not noticing his sister who slipped an arm under his arm.

"Sit back, Britton, just relax." He sagged against her thankfully, tremors running through him, alighting his frayed nerves with an almost uncontrollable nervousness, setting him on edge. He glanced up at Vegeta who stood back, wearing an almost inscrutable look on his face, observing everything, saying nothing, yet his eyes, they were filled with something...something he could recognize because he had seen it in his own face so many times, staring back at him when he looked in a mirror--fear, dread--fear of what was to be. Britton almost snorted, but checked the action. The Prince was seeing first hand what he had to look forward to, of what his future was, unless Bulma found something. He would lose control and that was something Vegeta was not taking well.

"Vegeta, I want to take your blood now, the sooner I get this stuff the better. I need to know what exactly we are dealing with." Bulma had all but forgotten about Parisia, the reminder of the severity of the situation and the lives that were at stake had banished all thought from her head, save one.

"Later, woman, I need to go and find out what happened to Parisia."

"Vegeta, this is important and you promised." Bulma made no attempt to hide her irritation.

"Woman, this is more important right now. Get to work on the gravity room and later I will let you bleed me." Vegeta whirled and stalked out before she could respond, leaving her standing angrily looking after him.

"That damn bastard! Listen to the way he orders me around." Bulma turned and looked at her brother angrily, chagrined as she saw he was still attempting to master the sharp pains that lit his nerves on fire. "Britton, I'm sorry, listen to me go on about Vegeta. Come on, why don't we get you to bed." She attempted to help him up,but he pushed her away.

"No, Bulma, I'm going to stay with you until Vegeta gets back or sends someone here to watch you. I won't leave you alone with that murderous witch."

"Parisia is going to lay low for awhile, Britton. She'd be stupid to attack here and now. She'll need a plan."

"For all we know she has a plan and this is part of it, we can't take the risk. You might not be my sister in blood, but by God we aren't going to change some twenty years of believing it to be so." He paled as he realized what he'd said. "Oh, God Bulma, I'm sorry...I didn't mean to remind you of it..." He glanced away, then back, looking at her sheepishly.

"It's alright, Britton, we haven't really spoken of it. I suppose we should, though." Bulma examined a vial for a moment before turning back to him, painfully facing the subject at hand. "I just don't know what to say."

"It's alright, you don't have to say anything. I don't think there is much one can say. I don't blame you for being angry, you shouldn't have had to find out that way." He looked at her compassionately, but thankfully there was no pity in his eyes, something that made her extremely grateful, she couldn't have taken it from him.

"I guess you and I haven't really acknowledged it, have we? The truth about our relationship." She looked mournfully at him, wondering what he would say.

"What is the truth, Bulma? I spent twenty-one years of my life growing up with you, believing you to be my sister, being entrusted to look out for you. I can't just sweep it under the rug as if it never happened, just like you can't erase that mom and dad are the only parents you have ever known. Can you really look at him and stop calling him father?" He looked at her earnestly, waiting for her to answer. She stared at him briefly for a moment and looked away, answering him tersely.

"Of course not, but I can't just get over it either, Britt. He should have told me the truth."

"Yes, I should have.." Brennon's deep voice rang out through the lab, capturing her attention. She turned her head sharply towards her father, noticing the deep circles under his eyes. She bit her lip. He hadn't been sleeping...she forced herself to turn back towards her brother, unable to meet his eyes.

"Britton, can you give your sister and I a moment to speak. There are some things I would like to tell her before I go." She looked at him sharply again. Go? Where was he going?

"Alright." Britton slid heavily off the chair, and sauntered towards the door, whistling softly under his breath. Brennon watched his son retreat, before turning back to the girl that stood defiantly before him.

"What is it you need, Father? I have a lot to get done." Her words were cold and brusque, causing him to cringe.

"You called me Father."

"What else am I supposed to call you?" Bulma looked at him for a moment, a haughty look imprinted on her face. How often had he seen that look when she had been in trouble or denied something. Now he figured it was just there for a protection, a shield against her pain. He sighed, knowing he was a main cause of her distress.

"You're still angry." It was more a statement then a question, the truth was written plainly across her face, anyone could have seen it.

"Not really angry, disillusioned would be a better term.." Her eyes flashed blue fire at him.. "I thought I could trust you."

"Bulma I just did what..."

"Yes I know what you thought was best. You've already said that." She turned back towards the table, labeling her blood samples carefully, trying to maintain her tough facade for as long as she was able to, afraid that if she didn't, she would crack and everything would come pouring out and she just wasn't ready for that, not now. She could not afford a complete meltdown now, not when she had so much to get done. "Father, I just don't have time for this right now. I have about fifty milliion things to do and all of it seems to be life and death. Can we speak of this some other time?"

"Perhaps. I came to tell you that I am leaving, there's a chance I might not be back."

She looked at him again, her eyes narrowing slightly,what was he saying? "Father, I don't know what you have planned, but don't use it to try to garner my forgiveness."

"It's not so much forgiveness, Bulma, as it is absolution. Something I should have done twenty one years ago, but didn't. I don't want to live with it anymore..."

"What's that?" She hoped it wasn't what she thought it was, he wasn't a young warrior anymore.

"I'm going to retrieve your mother, Bulma, to take her away from the life Frieza made for her all those years ago. I owe her that, and I owe you and I have to go and do it."

"What if you get killed, Father?" She spoke angrily. "You aren't exactly going to do me any favors if you go and get killed. Eventually I imagine we'll figure a way through all this, what do I or Britt do if you get killed?"

"You don't need me anymore, girl. Look at you. You can more then take care of yourself, and there is Vegeta. Britt doesn't need me either."

"Funny, I'd say he needs you right now more then ever."

"I've already spoken of my desicion, he agrees it is the thing to do. He's not exactly happy with me either."

"That doesn't mean he doesn't love you or want you safe, Dad." She looked at him with growing concern, seeing that he was not planning on backing down.

"Bulma, I was doing this long before you were ever born. I served time with Frieza, I know his ship, him and how it all works together. I have planned it out. I don't anticipate failure."

"No one ever anticipates failure." She took a step towards him, her brows furrowed. "Dad, you have to be careful. I do still need you, so does Trunks and I know Britton needs someone now too."

Brennon put a gentle hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently, "Find a cure Bulma. Find a cure and cure him and your husband and have it done when I get back. Hopefully with your true mother."

She looked at him tearfully. "Dad, Mom...will never be replaced...you do know that, don't you?"

"Yes, Bulma. I know that, but you deserve the chance to know the woman that truly gave birth to you, and she deserves to know you. I am going to make that happen." He drew her into a gentle embrace, bestowing a soft kiss on her forehead, then turned and left, walking out without a backwards glance, leaving Bulma standing and looking after him long after he had disappeared from sight, thoughts of her past and future converging into one as she hoped and wished him the best.



Vegeta hung in the air with Kakkarot, both trying to get some sense of Parisia and her whereabouts. They had been looking for awhile, leaving Bardock and Raditz to maintain a tight guard near Bulma. Vegeta was starting to get furious. It was as if she had disappeared off the face of Chikyuu. He had a vague sense of her energy feel from time spent around her. Long before this, his father had invited her to several Saiyajin functions, hoping to pawn her off on his son. He shuddered, thankful he had managed to escape that fate. The whole idea that he would have been forced to bond with her for life and forced to sleep with her...he shuddered again, fighting back the urge to throw up. It was bad enough that he had actually allowed her physical contact, that was something he would regret until his dying day. That she had even touched him. Parisia was a travesty of a human life, and he was looking forward to ending it, if he could ever find her. "Dammit, Kakkarot, it's like she's disappeared."

"Maybe she's off the planet. She could have gotten off by now."

"No, she's not that smart. She'll stay and come at Bulma again, she's lost any true sense of reality."

"Then maybe we should go back and begin laying a trap for her. Make her think it's safe to approach Bulma, then grab her when she comes around."

"You want me to use Bulma as bait?" Vegeta was incredulous that Kakkarot would even suggest it.

"It might be the only way to get her, especially before she runs to Frieza and grabs him. Bulma would be a lot safer this way, then if we drag this out and you can bet Parisia will find someway to contact Frieza over all this and bring us down."

Vegeta turned in the air, looking for any sign, any trace of the bitch. Dammit, when he found out who had let her out he would kill them. He had already dismissed any of the Saiya-jins, and that left only the idiotic humans, but which one would be that stupid or would even have a reason to let her out. His mind had already answered the question, he had just not yet digested it fully. Yamcha. The bastard was the only one who was that dumb, not to mention he detested anything Saiya-jin. Vegeta clenched his fists. It was time for payback. "Fine, Kakkarot, we'll discuss it later. Let's go back; there is something I need to take care of.

Kakkarot looked at him momentarily then shrugged, following Vegeta as he launched back towards the compound, wondering what thing Vegeta had to take care of and why that thing could bring such a murderous expression on his face. He sighed, this was going to be a long afternoon, he just had that feeling.

Bulma had managed to talk Bardock into giving her a blood sample, arguing that she needed to have an uncontaminated sample of Saiya-jin blood to compare to Vegeta's now contaminated one, though she had thought he was going to pass out, while she took it. She smiled, wondering how Vegeta would handle it. She had managed to get started on the initial wirings and base floor for the gravity room,setting it up in a sheltered area outside the main house, getting much more done then she had anticipated and had even started working on the encapsulation code with Evetta, to please Toma. He was right, encapsulation was the only key that made sense. They were too limited in fuel supply right now and that was only growing worse as the lack of fuel was becoming more and more noticeable, driving people into a panic and upsetting the economies of several planets. Frieza was going to have several problems to deal with, though she didn't doubt he would just bully them all into submission. Now all she needed was Vegeta so she could get his promised blood sample .Damn the man, didn't he have any concept how important this was. The initial tests she had done, had proven interesting, testing on Britt's contaminated blood and her own clean blood. She had looked at Britt's sample underneath a microscope and had seen right away the deadliness of the virus. It was devouring white and red cells as fast as his blood could make them, and with every blood cell absorbed or eaten, the virus grew, like a plague, taking twice what it had before. She had taken a small bit of her own sample and mixed some of the virus that Parisia had brought with her into it, so that she might see how rapidly the virus began a takeover, incubating it until later. She stood now, next to Bardock, looking out towards Toma who was training some more with the Chikyuu-jins who had opted to fly the JT 626. She woud have loved to flown one, to attack, but she had held back because of Trunks. She looked down at the boy who lay sleeping in his carrier, enjoying his mid-day nap. He had been awake for a good portion of the day, playing with Evetta and Chi-Chi, who had taken turns watching him while Bulma worked. Both women were now piloting the silver birds that Bulma had so lovingly designed.

"Why aren't you out there flying those, Bulma?" Bardock turned towards her, looking her in the eye with an appraising glint. "You are the best pilot I've ever flown with, and your brother mentioned you were excellent on this ship, so why aren't you out there, showing them how it's done?"

"I don't know." she shrugged. "I just design them, I don't fly them." Bulma plastered a fake grin on her face and hoped he didn't see right through her, but she should have realized he knew her much better then she would have liked for him too.

"On Vegittasei, the woman fought alongside her mate in battle. As Vegeta's Queen, you would be required to do the same thing."

Bulma raised a blue eyebrow. "Do you really think he will let me fight alongside of him?"

"He wouldn't let you in hand to hand battle, but he wouldn't stop you from fighting in something you have talent in."

"I don't know, it doesn't seem to me that he would be receptive to any idea I might have about fighting, and besides now, I have Trunks and I have to find a cure for this damn virus. Vegeta is going to die if I don't and my brother is already near his own death. I can't afford the time away from the place. It's of the essence now. "

She started as a tail wrapped around her waist, then relaxed. Vegeta was the only one who would do this, no one else would have the nerve. She turned and met his eyes, standing mere inches away from her, he still wore the murderous expression of the morning, but his eyes were soft as they met hers, and surprsingly lit with an expression that made her feel...hot.

"Take the boy and go back to your lab, woman. I will join you there in a moment to give you the blood you want." His voice was deceptive, arrogant and imposing--not the usual tone he used with her. What was going on?

"Vegeta, what's going on?" Bulma peered at him in concern.

"Nothing much, woman, just some unfinished business. I will join you shortly."

"But..." The look he shot her silenced her. She bent down angrily. "Fine, Vegeta. Whatever..."

"Bulma, " he murmured huskily, grasping her arm, pulling her back up to meet his eyes, "I will explain it all to you in a little while. Don't argue with me about this, I only want you safe."

"I am perfectly safe, Vegeta, but like I said, whatever. If you insist on treating me like a fragile doll then so be it." She yanked her arm out of his loose grip, grabbed her son and stalked off, leaving a frustrated Vegeta standing alone.

"Damn woman..." He turned back towards Bardock, who stood watching him, questions shining brightly in his eyes.

"What's this about?"

"One of the humans let out Parisia, we are all but certain of it."

"It couldn't have been Chi-Chi, she wouldn't have done it, and Evetta is loyal to Bulma and Raditz."

"No one is suggesting they did it. Kakkarot is sending them away right now as we speak. I have a definite idea of who actually did it, I only need find out if he acted alone or if they were all together."

"What do you plan on doing once you find out?"

Vegeta looked at him for a moment, his brow furrowed, heavy scowl scrawled across his face. "I had planned on killing him, though why I should answer to you is beyond my realm of understanding."

"Are you sure that is a good idea? These people are human, we are on their planet, shouldn't we deal with them in a different way?"

"Bardock, he released Parisia to go after my mate again. That has earned him a death sentence as far as I am concerned."

"Is that why you sent Bulma away? Do you not want her to see you kill in cold blood?"

"I am Saiya-jin, Bardock, the same as you. Are you telling me that you have not done the same or would not if it was your mate that was at danger?"

"No, Vegeta, I don't blame you and I can't say what I would do. Frieza took the opportunity of looking after my mate away from me years ago, but you are the leader, our Prince, King even if you would take the title; you have to be rational and just, and not like your father, who would strike people down for bringing him bad news."

Vegeta had not missed the haunted, painful look that had crossed over the older Saiya-jin's face at the mention of his mate and Frieza, wondering what had happened, but was not about to ask. He just needed to ensure that he didn't lose his own mate by Frieza's hands. He turned his head back to the Chikyuu-jin that Kakkarot and Toma were rounding up. "I will allow him to speak for himself, but that is all. They will know who the superior race is."

"Bulma is a human. Is she inferior to us?"

Vegeta shot him a perturbed look, not particularly wishing to discuss Bulma's merits with Bardock. "She is an exception to her race, though in strength she is far inferior to any one of us.

"I always got the impression with Bulma, that if she can't best you in brute strength, she'll find some other way to take you out." Bardock half smiled, thinking of conversations they had had on Hell.

Vegeta smirked. "She is an ingeniuos woman, but she is not infallible, especially where Frieza or Parisia are involved."

"She almost killed Parisia with her bare hands. Kakkarot and I watched her, right after you left, she turned back towards her in a fury I didn't know she possessed, and nearly choked her to death." He looked down at the ground in thought, still bothered by the all too void expression he had seen on her face. It shouldn't have been that way for her.

"What stopped her?" Vegeta couldn't believe Bulma would be so violent, or perhaps he could. Everyone reacted when something they loved or cared about was threatened. She loved him, maybe that had transformed itself into a rage deep enough for her to kill. He'd have to ask her, when they were alone, in the confines of their bedroom.

Bardock shrugged. "I don't know, she stopped herself, maybe she got overwhelmed and then Nappa was there, it all happened so quickly, I never really saw. She passed out after that. I think the shock had just been too much for her. It's good that you are here now. It's not good to face these things alone, not even for a Saiya-jin. You need each other, you shouldn't be turning away from that now."

"Perhaps..." Vegeta was loathe to discuss such deep, personal issues with Bardock. With purpose and strength, he strode forward toward Kakkarot and Toma, who had led the humans away from the ships and towards where he and Bardock had stood conversing.

"Vegeta, what in the hell is this all about?" Yamcha managed to brazen out, though he knew exactly what it was about. He had slept with the devil and now it was time to pay with his soul. So be it, Vegeta was the bad guy in all this, not him and not Parisia. He had raped her after all.

"I think you already know." Vegeta kept his voice purposely calm and unaffected. "Since you are the one that released our prisoner." He looked straight into Yamcha's eyes, allowing his eyes to communicate to the man his fury and barely leashed violent desires.

Yamcha swallowed hard, feeling a fear he had not felt since a boy, when his home had been invaded and he had been forever scarred, body and soul. Perhaps he had underestimated this Saiya-jin. He could easily read the dark, almost viscous-looking anger in the other man's eyes. He straightened himself up, determined not to show any fear. He had done what he believed was right. "Why don't you enlighten me, Vegeta? You seem to have all the answers now, don't you?" He sneered the words at the Prince, knowing it was dangerous, but he needed to show all these people just how unreasonable the Saiya-jin were, how dangerous when provoked.

Vegeta clenched his fists together, fighting down the urge to go and kill the man straight out. How dare he speak that way to him! He stalked closer to him, aware of the man's growing fear with each passing second. Good, let him be afraid--he wanted him to be pertified by the time he was done with him.

"You let out the prisoner we had detained." He raised his hand. "By rights I should kill you now. Do you have any idea how dangerous she is to all of us? She is probably making contact with Frieza right now as we speak." He clenched his teeth in fury, but was grateful that he had managed to keep Bulma out of it. None of these idiots needed to know how affected he was by his mate, what hold she held over him. They might try to use her against him and he would not allow that.

"I'm beginning to wonder, Vegeta, who is more dangerous to us, you or Frieza?" Yamcha was trying his best to stir the pot, to get his friends to consider these things. They could take control over the Saiya-jin if they worked together.

"Do you honestly believe that we are more of a threat to you then Frieza?" Bardock could hardly believe his ears. "How stupid are you people! We can barely attack Frieza now as it is. Vegeta is your only hope to defeat Frieza. If he dies, so does our best hope to win."

"That's what you'd all have us believe, but I wonder if you even speak the truth about that."

"Enough of this insanity and pointless chatter, I'm just going to blast you where you stand." Vegeta raised his hand, preparing to end the miserable human's life. He noticed with a mixture of humor and consternation, that the other humans were coming to the defense of their friend. "Stand aside unless you want to die as well." He'd have no problem doing them all in.

"Vegeta, " Kakkarot's low voice broke through the tension that had suddenly surrounded the small group. "We don't even know if he's responsible for her release."

"The hell I don't. Look at him. He didn't even bother to deny it." Vegeta was growing more irate by the minute, furious with the smugly confident look on Yamcha's scarred face. He'd see that look wiped off.

"Vegeta, I know you're mad." The little human spoke up,what had his name been? Krillin. He had shown some guts among the ragtag group, but he was still irritating to Vegeta. "I don't believe Yamcha would have let her go and if he did it would have been for a good reason."

"Good reason?" Vegeta couldn't believe what he was hearing. "The bitch is insane. She's tried to kill my mate. What good reason could possibly have warranted her being let out?" Were all these Chikyuu-jin so stupid? He couldn't believe it.

"You raped her! There is that a good enough reason for you? She told me about you and all the things you had done to her. That's why she went after your mate, Vegeta. What kind of a monster would do that to a woman? A Saiya-jin one, that's what I say."

Vegeta stepped back quickly, the color draining from his face. Parisia had told him what had happened? She hadn't acted as if it bothered her at the time, she had enjoyed it. He looked up and saw Bardock's face through a hazy, surreal tunnel . Oh God, he had only told Bulma what had happened, only she knew, the rest of the people didn't. He saw some dawning realization on Bardock's face, some strange look in his eye, heard him snap something to Toma.

"Vegeta?" Bardock's voice came to him, attempting to bring him back to reality. "Vegeta, are you alright?" Kakkarot appeared behind him, both men, mirror images of each other, both staring at him with identical expressions. It was a strange affect. He could see the Chikyuu-jin dispersing, murmuring amongst themselves, looking back at him, going back to their training with Toma. Yamcha retreated with a look of arrogant triumph, making sure he showed it to the shocked Prince. Vegeta watched him, he could still blast the bastard. He raised his hand, smirking as he saw the man's stupid, smug smile turn to a disbelieving horror, but Kakkarot's hand on his own, pushing his down, stopped him, giving Yamcha all the latitude he needed to escape. He snarled at Kakkarot.

"Is my life not my own anymore, am I not still the Prince that I cannot end his miserable existence? How dare you stop me? I should kill you both." He sneered in anger at Bardock and Kakkarot, furious that they would dare to come between him and the idiotic Chikyuu-jin. He whirled away in rage, stalking off in the direction of the lab, needing to get away from all of them. He was losing control of his people and his life, the only stable thing he could lay claim to was Bulma, but even that was on shaky ground now that he had this stupid virus. What was happening to him?

"What was that about?" Kakkarot turned towards his father, looking at him, ascertaining what he knew.

"It's a long story and suffice to say, I don't know all the facts. It's safe to say Parisia manipulated Yamcha into letting her out, which makes him a fool at best, a naive one maybe, but not a criminal or a traitor. He was taken in by her charm."

"Charm..." Kakkarit snorted. "What charm? She's insane, a snake. Were we wrong to stop Vegeta from killing him?"

"No. If Vegeta had killed him, we would have lost the support of the Chikyuu-jin and right now we need every bit of help we can get, and that includes Yamcha. He may be foolish, but he is a good pilot and that is step one in getting to Frieza."

"Yeah, but he doesn't trust us. Doesn't that make him dangerous to us?"

"Perhaps...." he paused, "Time will tell boy, time will tell. Why don't we just pay extra attention to him? I assumed you know I am going on this first mission, to aid Toma."

"I had thought as much, though truth be told I am not happy with the idea of you going. Be careful."

"How is Chi-Chi with the idea of not going?"

Kakkarot snorted. "Not happy, but she would just be too pregnant by the time we got there. It wouldn't be safe, though she doesn't believe that."

"It's not unusual. How many breeding Saiya-jin women did you fight next to? It is better for her to be useful and contribute, not sit around and pine for things. Your woman does you proud, Kakkarot. She does our family proud. You picked well."

"What about Vegeta? Will it be safe to leave him here alone? I have heard tales of a legendary master who will train people in the arts of fighting with the mind and body. I had thought to take Chi-Chi and find him, see what he can show me."

"Bulma will be here. I'll speak to her. You go on your quest. I suspect Raditz will be going along on the mission as well. He has developed an attachment to Evetta. By the time we all get back, hopefully Vegeta will be ready to take on the whole of Frieza's army." He clapped his son on the back once, and strode off, seeking out Toma, leaving Kakkarot staring in thoughtful introspective over what was coming and how soon it would be here.



Bulma was staring intently at the small slide of Bardock's blood that she had just tested with the virus, her eyebrows knitted in consternation. This could not be right. When she had added the virus to her own clean blood, there had been no reacton at all, no evident signs of infection, nothing. Why had Bardock's blood practically started on fire when she had done the same, sizzling almost as if it was over a hot plate. The virus was almost acidlike in its breakdown of Bardock's Saiya-jin blood, literally decimating the cells in a matter of minutes. What in the hell... She slid the slide under the microscope, studying carefully, pulling away and biting her lip. This couldn't be right, yet how could it be wrong? She had done nothing differently in the preparations. Frowning, she glanced up towards the doors, trying not to think why Vegeta had sent her in here. What could possibly be going out there? She sighed. She wasn't even mad anymore, just disappointed. He seemed determined to protect her from everything at any costs. Frieza, Parisia, the virus. It wouldn't have bothered so much, but shouldn't he trust her to make her own decisions about her safety, to know that she was smart enough to get out when the trouble became too much. Just like the virus, everything she knew was telling her that she would only get it through direct infection, but he insisted on proof. Fine, she was going to give it to him, not to mention she would like to be facing these things with him, instead of him battling for the both of them. Hadn't Bardock said that was the Saiya-jin way? She might not be Saiya-jin, but they were certainly her adopted people, the few that remained. Shouldn't she set an example by following their most basic customs? She frowned again and glanced back down at the sample. Maybe she should put this in the incubator and see what it looked like tomorrow morning. Her hypothesis was by the morning, it would be literally gone. She didn't want to even consider what that meant for Vegeta, refused to even acknowledge it at this point. She would know more once she got his blood sample, and she might take Kakkarot's and Toma's for good measure. See if the reaction was isolated to Bardock, if perhaps he had reacted negatively to it, or if it reacted to the Saiya-jin blood that way in particular. She jumped as the doors banged open, revealing a highly irate Vegeta. She raised her eyebrows, , what was his problem? He was literally seething.

"Woman," he snapped, "Let's get this over with. I need to go and train." He didn't look at her, merely held out his bare arm, awaiting her to prick it. She almost smiled, but refrained. He could be so childish at times, like now, staring at the distance with such a petulant look on his face. She reached a hand up and gently stroked his cheek, biting back another smile as he leaned towards her slightly, face still averted. He wanted this, the comfort, he wanted it badly, but couldn't ask for it.

"I started on your gravity room, Vegeta. I got a lot further then I thought I would. It should be ready in a couple of days."

"Where is it?" He looked around, trying to see what she had done with it.

"I'm building it up behind the house. The hardest part is going to be the programming of all the equipment. That will take me a full day. I should actually have the rest of it built by tomorrow." She refrained from speaking of the virus. She didn't want to freak him out if she didn't have to, she didn't want to panic herself--not yet. She silently gathered the tools she would need for the blood taking, forcing herself to stay calm and unaffected around him. If he even suspected what she might have just discovered, he would be gone and she was not about to allow that to happen again. This made the neccesity for a fast cure all the more important. Question was, could she do it? She had to, there were no choices. Bulma carefully drew his blood, noting that he took it much better then Bardock had, merely stood looking bored and awaiting it to be over.

"You're brave." She smiled at him, noticing his shocked expression, almost as if he couldn't believe that she would suggest otherwise.

"Of course." He looked away again, obviously still troubled by whatever had set him off.

"Vegeta, what's wrong?"

He looked sharply at her. "Am I that obvious?"

"To me, yes, to anyone else, no." She drew out a second vial, pressing the cotton to his small wound.

"I don't want to discuss it right now. I need to go and burn some of this out of me first. I think I will go and see if Kakkarot wants to work with me."

"Will you be back home?" She looked worriedly at him, an infusion of fear and resignation on her face.

He reached up a hand, stroking her face, cupping the delicate curve of her cheek. "Didn't we make this deal? I don't go back on my word, woman."

"I know, I just can't help..." He silenced her with a kiss, gentle at first, deepening into a frenzied, violent attack that shook through him, into her. She clutched at him, desperately, pulling him closer, needing him.

"Have you found out if this virus is contagious through any other means, besides blood?" His voice was a harsh whisper, filled with longing and hunger. She could lie, she could lie to him, tell him she had, she was that sure of herself that it was a by-blood-only infection, that it had to be directly placed into the bloodstream. She sighed. No, he would know and she couldn't lie to him, something wouldn't let her.

"Maybe after you're done training. I might find it by then." Bulma tried not to cry out as he slowly pulled away, withdrawing from her embrace with something beyond regret, almost a despondency. She knew how he felt.

"Try." He spoke quietly, slipping away from her and sliding into the hazy afternoon light. She would find it, she would find what it was capable of by tonight, and she would have him in her bed tonight--she would be certain of it.


Parisia looked at the small ambassador, a direct contact to Frieza. All she had to do was feed him with the appropriate information and she would be on her way to making a deal. She could find a way to take out the bitch, then she would turn her over to Frieza. All Frieza had to do was let her go, peacefully, no more life of whoring for the troops, prhaps she could have her planet back...it was worth a try.

"I'm sorry, what did you say your name was?" The small balding ambassador smiled at Parisia, awaiting her reply.

"Parisia, and I have something that Frieza will be very interested in." She smiled. Yes, it was definitely worth a try.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 9
Chapter 11