"So, you've finally chosen a mate, Vegeta? I'm curious to see who caught your eye."
"She's not a Saiyan, Ackbar."
"Really? All the better! What is she then? That Zafrite?" (This is referring to one of the women of Zafra, a planet of beautiful, yet deadly warrior women. They were much like humans except for three things: the unnatural color of their hair, either bright red, bright green, or dull pink, their unbridled passion that went above and beyond that of almost any other race, and their extreme competitiveness in ALL things).
Vegeta shook his head slowly, "No. She's an earthling."
"I see." Ackbar set down his drink lightly, "And how did you choose her from amongst all the other females on that over-populated mud-ball?"
"You'll see shortly." Was the King's curt reply and he turned his attention to the doors that Bulma would have to walk through. He tensed slightly as he sensed her approach.
The doors opened and the Queen stepped through, looking around and becoming accustomed to the darkness in the room before finally settling her gaze on Ackbar and completely ignoring Vegeta.
Annoyed, Vegeta rose with Ackbar, "The Queen of Vegetaseii."
Bulma did not acknowledge Vegeta, "Please, call me Bulma." She said beaming at the alien, and curtseying slightly, and painfully.
Ackbar's red eyes shone in approval, "Ah Bulma. Vegeta does you an injustice. He never told me how stunningly beautiful you are."
Bulma glanced quickly at the fuming Saiyan before turning back to the ruler, "Then we have something in common, for he hasn't told me either, Your Highness."
The ruler of the Surmfs roared in laughter, "Smart too. What a catch Vegeta! Please my dear, all of my dearest friends call me Ackbar (no, Vegeta and Ackbar aren't friends. He just refuses to call the Surmf by his proper title). I would be most honored if you would sit next to me at dinner tonight, so that I may bask in your beauty."
"The pleasure would must undoubtedly be mine." Bulma answered him, smiling winningly and placing one of her small hands into his large blue one.
Vegeta fumed angrily as Ackbar led Bulma to the table then held her chair for her. As Ackbar made his way around the table and to his seat, Bulma shot Vegeta a smirk.
The three were silent as two slaves came into the room with their dinner and placed it before them, bowing on their way out.
"So, Vegeta. How long have you been joined with this delightful creature?" Ackbar said into the silence.
"Long enough." He ground out, stabbing his food viciously with his fork, and placing it into his mouth. And then some...
Bulma grinned wickedly, "Maybe even too long. What do you say Vegeta?" All she got was a growl in answer, so she shrugged at Ackbar. "My mate is one with few words. It's always nice to talk with someone more social and who will be able to hold their own end in a conversation. I've found the only difference between talking to a brick wall and Vegeta is that the brick wall is not as cold and unresponsive."
Ackbar grinned, "She's got you there Vegeta. I've noticed that you aren't particularly social."
A murderous glance was given to Bulma before Vegeta answered, "What my mate failed to tell you was that during the few seconds she shuts her big mouth long enough to take a breath for air is all the time I'm allotted to speak. Those are precious few seconds indeed."
Bulma's sapphire eyes flashed with anger but she controlled her emotions, tilting her head delicately to one side and leaning in closer to Ackbar, "I want to know all about you Ackbar. What are you here for? Business or pleasure?" She purred suggestively, licking her lips, and smirking as she noticed Vegeta stiffening in anger.
The Surmf grinned at his hostess; "I came here in hopes of signing a treaty with your mate, Vegeta, so that in times of crisis, we could count on receiving the Saiyans' help."
"I see," Bulma said, ignoring the increasing anger she could sense from Vegeta, "And what will Vegetaseii receive in return? Surely yours is not a warrior race? What does your planet have to offer this one in return?"
"No, no; we are not warriors. But we are farmers and traders. I hoped to set up a trade route that would aid the Saiyan race. In return for aid, this planet would receive products from us and from other planets across the galaxy."
Bulma nodded, liking the idea, "Have you ever been to earth on your trade route?"
Ackbar's eyes red eyes flared for a moment, "Yes." he answered reluctantly.
She spoke urgently in English; "Can you understand me?"
Ackbar's eyes widened, but he answered her in the same language, "Yes."
"Vegeta forced me to join with him. I'm begging you to take me away from--"
Vegeta's hand came down on hers, not enough to hurt her, but enough to shut her up, "That's enough of that! You will speak so that I can understand you now." he demanded in the SL.
"Why? I was just asking Ackbar about earth." she replied, innocently.
"For some reason, I don't trust you woman." he answered lazily.
Bulma pulled her hand away angrily and turned away from Ackbar, ignoring the growing smirk on her mate's face.
Ackbar watched the two somewhat uneasily. He had a good idea of what was going on here. There was some Saiyan myth about making the ultimate fighter by mixing their breed with that of a human being. He wasn't too surprised to find out that Bulma had been forced to join with Vegeta; not many outside of the Saiyan race found this idea appealing, (considering the famous bouts of temper the king was rumored to posses). Unfortunately, most of the Saiyans on the planet had spent years building their bodies and raising their power levels, and completely forgot about their minds. Vegeta was the smartest and strongest Saiyan on the planet, no doubt about it, yet this female clearly made up for what she lacked in strength with personality and brains. They were indeed a perfect match and would produce the ideal heir.
King Ackbar knew Bulma was using him to get to Vegeta. He didn't mind. As a matter of fact, he rather enjoyed Vegeta being in the hot seat. It made him less formidable and made him appear more like a person, rather than a vicious animal. Also, he knew he didn't have a chance with the beautiful Queen. She was quite exotic by the Surmfs' standards, even to the Saiyans. He was sure she was the kind of woman who only liked particular things, and who would remain in her race; not daring to mix her bloodline with an 'alien'.
The rest of the dinner went by in relative silence. Vegeta wasn't much for small talk, Bulma was angry at Vegeta for thwarting her attempt at escape, and Ackbar was nervous as to what Vegeta may do to him, for being so friendly with his mate. Bulma didn't speak or eat but played with her food, much to Vegeta's increasing annoyance.
She stood up just before Vegeta finished so she'd be the first to their room, "Excuse me gentlemen, but I am extremely tired. I'm going to retire." She smiled and said farewell to Ackbar just in case she didn't see him before he left on the morrow.
Bulma rushed to Vegeta's room, her mind in a whirl. I was so close to getting off of this planet. Damn Vegeta's bad timing. "Open." She walked quickly into the bedroom, "Lights on." She yanked her boots off and tossed them in the general direction of her wardrobe as she heard the door, and yanked her zippers down. Darn it. I'm too late. Remember Bulma, it is no big deal to him so it shouldn't bother you. She opened the doors to her wardrobe and hesitated briefly as she sensed Vegeta come into the room. She sensed no further movement from him and continued to ransack the wardrobe. She gave up, turning from the wardrobe to raid the chest of drawers once more, and gasped as she
saw that Vegeta was standing in the doorway leading to the main room, watching her.
"And just what were you trying to pull back there, woman?"
"I wasn't trying to pull anything. Haven't you ever heard of being polite to guests?" She said defensively, her heart pounding faster as she imagined what Vegeta would do if he knew what she had really been saying to Ackbar.
Vegeta crossed his arms over his chest; "You weren't being polite. You were throwing yourself at him to spite me, weren't you?"
Bulma forced a laugh, "Don't be ridiculous, Vegeta. While you may be hideously ugly, your presence is somewhat tolerable if taken a little at a time. Why would I try to 'spite' you?" Lying on both counts Bulma. Vegeta isn't ugly and he isn't tolerable either.
Vegeta raised an eyebrow at the insult, "Ugly? Is that the best lie you can come up with, woman?"
"It's the truth. I can hardly stand to look at you without feeling sorry for your poor parents." Bulma held her breath at this; I might have gone too far. She glanced over at Vegeta who was still watching her with one eyebrow raised.
He disappeared and reappeared in front of her. The Earth woman gasped, and took a step away from him. Before she could take another, Vegeta grabbed her wrist and pulled her against him.
His dark eyes looked into her startled blue ones, "Trust me. The feeling is definitely mutual." He practically purred in her ear. Bulma jerked away from him in surprise.
"Stay away from me." She said, panic creeping into her voice.
"Why? Do I scare you?" He smirked; looking pleased at the possibility.
"No! I just can't stand you being around me." She shuddered.
Vegeta shrugged, "Get over it. As long as we share the same quarters, there are going to be times where I have to get close to you, and I'll hate it as much as you, if not more so." he said mockingly. "Besides, you can't leave here without having my son first, remember?"
"I remember." Bulma snapped angrily.
Vegeta smirked at her, "So the sooner the deed is done, the sooner you can leave."
Bulma felt as though she was going to be ill as what the young ruler was insinuating sunk in, "I know. Just...just give me time to get used to the idea. I'll let you know when I'm-I'm ready."
The King shrugged his shoulders uncaringly and proceeded to undress. Bulma turned away from him, and continued looking for a nightgown. In exasperation she turned to Vegeta, who was taking his armor off, "Do you know where my nightgowns could be?"
Vegeta pulled his boots off before answering, "On the second night after joining and every night after that, you aren't expected to ever wear clothes to bed again. It'd be a waste of time."
Bulma caught the meaning behind that and blushed, "Oh." She pulled the pins holding her hair up and let it cascade down her back a minute before brushing the blue strands and tying them into a low ponytail. She crawled under the covers of the bed and got into her corner. A few minutes later Vegeta got in, "Lights out." Bulma called, turning her back to the King.
She nearly screamed as she felt his arm drape over her, "What are you doing? I told you that I'd let you know when I'm ready!" She panicked.
Vegeta gently pulled her toward him for his own selfish reasons; "I'm not doing anything, so would you stop your damn screaming, woman? It'll be easier for you if you don't have to go into the whole thing at once." He said gruffly.
Bulma lowered her voice, "What if you roll over in your sleep? You're going to suffocate me! You're much heavier than I am." And since when do you care about making things easier for me, you lying ass wipe.
He decided to ignore her protests and do nothing. He soon fell to sleep, snoring lightly.
Bulma sighed in defeat. This is not good Bulma. You're trapped in a bed, with the man you utterly despise, in your underwear, in a very compromising position. Things can't get much worse than this.
She was wrong. She woke up the next morning with her arms wrapped tightly around his chest and her head resting on his stomach. Praise Kami, he's still sleeping. She thought, scrambling out of the bed. If he was awake, I'd never hear the end of it.
She showered and changed and walked into the kitchen expecting to see Chichi making breakfast. She was wrong again. She walked out of the kitchen and back into the bedroom, expecting to see Vegeta getting dressed. She was wrong for the third time. He was still in the bed, lightly snoring. Bulma laughed down at him. Ah, the king of Saiyan, snoring and looking positively adorable in his sleep. Too bad I hate his guts. She moved closer to the bed and stopped, trying to decide if she should wake him up or not.
Before she could decide, he spoke with eyes still closed, "What do you want woman? Why are you staring at me?"
Bulma frowned at him, "It's time for you to get up, Excellency." She said the last word with a great deal of sarcasm.
"As you wish, Your Grace." He sneered, copying her tone, sitting up and putting his feet over the side of the bed.
Bulma shot him a dirty look before turning and going to the kitchen to eat breakfast, "I'm not waiting for you to finish getting ready, Vegeta. I'm eating my breakfast now." She called as she sat down.
Vegeta walked into the kitchen, still in his boxers and sat down across from her, "I can't let my breakfast get cold now can I?" He said in a matter-of-fact tone.
Bulma scowled angrily at him, but ate her breakfast silently, refusing to spare him a glance. The serving wench blushed as she realized the King was in a state of undress and scurried from the room after giving them their food.
Bulma ate another bite of the cheese and meat omelet before leaving the table. She sighed and sat in the main room. This really sucks. Maybe I should do as Vegeta said, and hurry up and get the dumb mating thing over with. No! I can't, but what if I do, and he does that bonding thing Brocco was talking about? Then I'd be emotionally attached to that a-hole forever. She sighed again and crossed her feet at the ankles as she unconsciously crossed her arms over her chest. Ackbar was really my only hope of escape. She glared down at the beautiful blue and gold rug, "That asshole has totally ruined it all for me." She muttered, not even aware that she said the words aloud.
"Let me guess. I'm the 'asshole' who ruined everything for you?" Vegeta asked, coming into the main room from the bedroom, where he had been dressing.
Keeping her eyes on the rug, Bulma snapped back an answer, "Do you know any other assholes that have impacted my life as negatively as you have? My parents are dead because of you, as well as my best friend and his whole family. Not to mention all of my other friends." And Yamcha, I lost Yamcha because of you, you bastard.
Vegeta seemed to hesitate; "You're wrong woman. I specifically told Nappa not to kill anyone, but to only take the slaves and leave."
"Well maybe everyone doesn't fear you as much as you like, because all those people were killed before my very eyes! I could never forgive you for that." She said angrily.
Seething, Vegeta didn't really hear her. Nappa is going to pay. No one disobeys one of my orders and lives! He strode angrily to the VAP machine and called Brocco, "First Commander Brocco. I need you to arrest Nappa immediately." (Author's note: no that wasn't a typo. By calling Brocco 'First Commander', he's letting her know that Nappa is history, and she's promoted).
"As you wish sire." Brocco replied bowing low before the screen, before signing off.
Bulma watched Vegeta from beneath her lashes, curious to see what he looked like when he was really mad. Surprisingly, Bulma could see no apparent outward change in Vegeta, he didn't turn red or scream, but a small vein stuck out on his forehead, he clenched a fist in anger, and he looked a little like the air had been knocked from him.
I can't believe he's going to have his only friend arrested. This guy is totally cold-hearted. But I guess I can see his dilemma. Sort of.
"I'm going out." Bulma stated.
"Who's going to take you? Brocco's busy."
The human female glared up at him from her seat on the couch, "Why do you care where I go? Don't you have some kingly crap to do or something?"
"You're mistaken; I DON'T care where you go. But if something happens to you then guess who looks bad?" He said angrily, ignoring her second comment.
"I hate you." she hissed at him, her fists clenched so tightly, her nails broke skin.
"I know." Vegeta said, in an exasperated manner "You've told me only about every four seconds."
Bulma ignored the softening in his voice, "I better decrease those increments and make it every two seconds."
"As you wish. You're only wasting your breath." Vegeta shrugged, going into the bathroom.
As she hastily rose from the couch, Bulma could hardly believe her good fortune. Vegeta must have forgotten that I wanted to go out. She contemplated leaving, but finally decided against it.
I don't want to have to listen to his bitching later on. It isn't worth the effort.
The Queen of Vegetaseii tapped her royal foot impatiently as she waited for Vegeta to get out of the shower. He finally emerged in a burst of steam with a towel draped over his shoulders. His normally expressionless eyes showed his surprise for a second before it disappeared just as quickly as it came, as he noted his mate waiting for him. He raised an eyebrow in question as he passed by her on his way to the chest of drawers.
"Vegeta, I'm bored. I need something to do."
"I can think of something--"
"Nothing to do with mating." She interrupted, anticipating where his thoughts would be.
Vegeta frowned, "Don't put words in my mouth, woman. I was saying that you should train. You could be much stronger than you are."
"No thanks." Bulma said, a little embarrassed at her wrong assumption.
"Listen woman, I'm not your activity coordinator. You think of something to do, I don't care what, as long as you keep in mind what I said." He replied, pulling a pair of black pants on.
"Well, then what are you going to do all day?" She asked in exasperation.
"I have the day off." He said simply pulling a black shirt on over his head. "I'm going nowhere."
(AN: Itís Vegetaseiiís special holiday in honor of all Royalty)
"I guess I could stay here and keep you company if you want." Bulma suggested, hopefully.
Vegeta frowned, "Your 'company' won't be needed or appreciated." He sat down in the main room and began to meditate.
Bulma watched him for a while, then quickly grew bored. How someone could sit there for hours doing nothing was beyond her. She lay back in the couch in defeat. All dressed up and with nowhere to go. Bulma thought, laughing at herself. Stuck here in a castle with a grade 'A' asshole that prefers himself over me as company. For some reason, I'd like to see Yamcha again. Even if it is only for a little while. She sat up as an even better idea set in; I'll go see how Chichi is. I'm sure Vegeta won't mind. She tiptoed past the Saiyan and left the room.
"What do you mean she's dead?" She screeched.
"Your Highness, please understand. We have hundreds of slaves living here. We certainly didn't know this particular one was one of yours." The guard at the female slaves' quarters whined; wincing as Bulma hit a high note on 'mean'.
"I want you to take good care of an American red-head by the name of Rachel Green. She is another one of mine." Bulma said angrily.
"As you wish, mistress."
"See to it that you overdo the care for her, or I will have the King all over your good-for-nothing ass. Do you understand me, you no good whoreson?"
The guard nodded fearfully terrified at the Queen's fury, pointed completely at him.
Bulma left in a huff. How could they be so stupid? The guards in the complex hadn't noticed the signs, or maybe they did notice and just hadn't cared. Chichi had taken her own life. Bulma wasn't as angry as she would have been two weeks ago. Chichi had been anything but her normal self previous to the time of her demise, and as far as Bulma was concerned, her friend had died with the rest of her friends on earth.
* * * * *
Okay, in the next chapter: Brocco looked uneasily from Bulma to Ackbar and then to Vegeta, who looked as though he wanted to kill his mate right on the spot. What does Bulma think she's doing? She's going to get herself killed if she doesn't stop that.
"You'd be wise to remember who she belongs to, Ackbar." Vegeta said quietly, an unveiled threat in his words.
Sounds like trouble to me! Until the next chapter, much love to you all! =)