~Part 2 - The Wedding~
Vegeta was very flush. He had spent the past 2 hours screaming at his father. 'How dare he?' Vegeta never really cared who his mate was to be, in fact it was supposed to be arranged, but the idea that his father was planning - no - plotting behind his back infuriated him. Vegeta hated following his father's orders but he had to, his father was King and Vegeta didn't want his position just yet. So Vegeta was now on his way to choose a woman who would bear his assassin. Of course, when that assassin was to be produced was all up to him.
He stopped outside the holding cell, nodding to the guard to open the door. He stepped inside and looked around. About 30 females were huddled together looking very tired and hungry. The moment they saw the Prince they started whimpering, fear evident on their faces.
"When are we getting out of here?" someone demanded. He didn't see her but definitely recognized her voice. She suddenly stood up and walked forward glaring at Vegeta. 'Such fire in those blue eyes,' he thought. 'She would make life interesting.'
"You, woman, will not speak unless told to! Don't you remember my warning from last time?"
"Just let these women go. Do whatever you want with me just don't harm them."
"Oh aren't you the noble one. But you are in no position to bargain. I already have you AND them."
"If you hurt any of us my friends will make you pay!"
"Ha! Woman, you amuse me, so fine, I'll let these women go. You have paid for their freedom. In fact you have bought the freedom of Chikyuu. You will become my mate and your pathetic planet will become part of the Empire's protectorate."
Bulma was shocked, was this some sick form of a marriage proposal? She tried to keep her voice even, "And if I refuse?"
"I was not asking a question but I suppose if you want to be difficult and resist, I'll destroy Chikyuu."
Bulma gulped. "Will Chikyuu remain free?"
"You ask too many questions woman but yes, if that is what you want, it will. You will be Vegitasei's Queen after all so you can deal with Chikyuu however you wish."
Bulma closed her eyes. 'Hmmm Queen Bulma, now there's a tempting thought. But what about my friends, my family . . . Yaumcha.' A tear rolled down her cheek, 'but it's because of them I have to do this. I guess it was only a matter of time, considering who my friends are, that it would eventually be my turn to save the world.'
"If you agree to my conditions, then yes, I will marry you."
Vegeta scowled. He looked around the room for someone who'd make a less troublesome mate but all he saw were simpering females with hollow eyes, trembling in fear. He sighed, "Fine woman, but they better be reasonable."
* * * * *
The Saiyans had landed their ship. To avoid public panic they went to an isolated region that had a deserted castle suitable for them and the Prince. It was to be their home for the next 2 years because Bulma did not want to leave Chikyuu right away. She also had the planet's interest in mind when she drew up the Treaty of Chikyuu. Though part of the Empire, Chikyuu was to remain free and no Saiyans were allowed to roam the planet inciting fights or forcing themselves on anyone. The King readily agreed to many of her demands. Mainly because he wanted to make sure his son's heir would be the strongest and because he was thoroughly pleased that his son chose the smartest woman on Chikyuu to marry. What a Saiyan his grandson would make!
Communications lasted a couple of hours, concluding with the King telling Vegeta that the ceremony would take place in a couple of months - he would be sending another shipload of Saiyans to attend it as well as slaves to remain after. With that all out of the way Bulma now focused on what she would be telling her friends and family.
She didn't have to wait long because Goku and the rest of the Z team landed before her and the other Saiyans.
"Bulma," said Yaumcha. "We sensed that you were here. Why are you with these Saiyans?"
* * * * *
It had been hard explaining to them what had taken place on the ship. Yaumcha took it the hardest when she told them about her upcoming marriage. However, the others understood. No way could they defend the planet against a whole Saiyan army, the alliance was the only way to survive. The newspapers had gotten wind of it and most of the population welcomed the treaty with Vegitasei (of course it was failed to be mentioned that Vegeta had threatened to blow up the planet if he didn't get what he wanted). Articles were written on the upcoming marriage, saying how it would be the greatest social event of the year.
With all the attention and the publicity, Vegeta and the rest of the Saiyans retreated back to the castle, annoyed with all humans. If one more microphone was stuck in their face . . . well, disaster would be inevitable.
Bulma spent the next few months with her family and getting ready all things she would be needing for her move. She seldom saw Vegeta. Sometimes he would just fly over to the Capsule Corp. to give her information on Vegitasei and her mom would invite him to stay for lunch. He would just grunt, but eat the food, and then take off for Dende knows where. Bulma thought that at times she could swear that Vegeta would stare at her but when she looked up, he was looking somewhere else. Yes, he wasn't much of a conversationalist, not to say that they didn't talk. But when they did talk they usually ended up fighting.
Then there was Yaumcha. Poor, sweet Yaumcha. It all came as a shock to him, and for a week after he had found out, he didn't talk to her. He eventually came around and they tried to spend as much time together until the fateful day. Needless to say, he and Vegeta did NOT get along.
And so that was life for the next 5 months, until one day the other Saiyan ship landed and a new life for everyone was about to begin.
* * * * *
She sat alone on the beach, watching the tide ebb as the moon started to rise. This was her last night of freedom. What would her life be like after tomorrow? She couldn't even imagine. Married to a heartless prince of a race that murdered billions for fun. She tried to convince herself that what she was doing was for the greater good. By having this alliance through marriage she will be saving Chikyuu and can try and change things from the inside. Oh Dende, that will be hard. How can she do anything, convince anyone, if Vegeta barely acknowledges her? Some marriage this will be . . . a marriage in name only. She dreaded the day Vegeta "deemed" it time to "produce" an heir. She doubt that it would be for awhile, Vegeta showed no interest in cavorting with a "weak, pathetic species" and from what she learned, Saiyans don't like to have offspring until much later in life. That's another thing, she will age much more quickly and die before Vegeta even reaches his prime. Maybe that's why he wasn't as upset as she. He sees her as a temporary setback to whatever plans he may have . . . although she doubted he saw marrying for love in his future . . . could he even love?
Love . . . she always thought that she was destined for a great romance. To be with the one she loved, that was all she ever wanted. Not even her money could get her that. But then came Yaumcha. She sighed. They had their problems but she believed they loved each other . . . they were supposed to live happily ever after.
Startled, Bulma turned around but smiled happily when she saw who it was. "How'd you know I was here?"
"I went by Capsule Corp. and talked to your parents." Yaumcha sat down next to Bulma, putting his arm around her as she rested her head on his shoulder. "Why are you doing this? It's not too late, you can still back out," Yaumcha started.
"I can't! I have no choice, so much rests on this."
"But it's so unfair. We belong together."
"I know Yaumcha . . . I know." She sighed. She changed the subject. "Remember the old days when we were in the desert and you were still a bandit?"
Yaumcha chuckled, "Yeah, I know there's one day I'll never forget . . ."
~12 years ago~
"I'm telling you Puar, those dragonballs will help me rid my fear of women."
"I don't know Yaumcha, how are you going to get them away from that kid?"
"Easy, he just left the trailer, we'll just sneak in and steal them."
"Fine, I'll be on the lookout."
Meanwhile, inside . . .
"Oh that feels much better," Bulma said as she stepped out of the shower. She yawned, "Maybe I'll take a nap while Son Kun is out."
Back outside . . .
"Okay Puar, if you see anybody, alert me and stall for time." Yaumcha snuck into the trailer and began rummaging through drawers and bags. He noticed stairs and thought that maybe the dragonballs had been hidden on the second floor. He climbed the stairs slowly and quietly. When he got to the top, he quickly scanned the room. Something by the window caught his eye. A sheet was covering two round objects.
"Hehehe, I bet I know what's under here," Yaumcha said as he reached for the sheet.
Yaumcha's scream could be heard throughout the desert.
~Back to Present~
Yaumcha and Bulma were laughing hysterically.
"I bet that was the first time you ever saw a naked woman," teased Bulma.
"Yes," Yaumcha admitted as he regained his breath. "You stole my heart that day."
"Yaumcha please don't start this again. Besides you seemed to have gotten over your fear of women over the past few years." Yaumcha winced as she recalled his cheating ways. "I'm sorry Yaumcha, please let's not fight. Not tonight. Let's just sit here in each other's arms and remember the great times we've had."
"I love you Bulma."
". . . I love you too."
Unbeknownst to them, a lone figure hovered behind the trees watching them. His coal black eyes burned with anger and hatred, his mouth twisted into a scowl. 'Pathetic humans' he thought. 'Emotions are for the weak.' Somewhat unsettled by watching the pair before him, he took off, flying back from where he came.
Bulma looked up; "Did you hear something?"
"No, I didn't. Must be your imagination."
"Right, I guess so. Oh yeah, before I forget, I have something for you."
"Really?" Yaumcha looked with interest.
Bulma took the dragonball radar from her pocket and gave it to Yaumcha. "Here, look after my parents and our friends. I can't keep this, who knows what the Saiyans would do if they found out about the dragonballs. Vegeta would probably wish to be immortal or something."
"Don't worry," Yaumcha said. "I'll keep this safe."
"Thank you." Bulma looked into Yaumcha's eyes. He leaned forward and kissed her. She held on to him tight wanting to savour, treasure this moment. She feared she would never be kissed like this again. They stayed like this for hours and when it was time Yaumcha gathered her in his arms and flew her home. Bulma fell asleep in her bed. Her last night of freedom was spent dreaming of Yaumcha but as her sleep got deeper, his face changed and she stared at the man with the cold, black eyes.
* * * * *
Bulma looked at her reflection in the mirror one last time. 'Well this is it. I'm really going through with this' she thought. Mrs. Briefs walked into her daughter's room.
"Oh, my dear you look so beautiful," she gushed. Bulma would have been the envy of any bride. Her long blue hair had been curled and loosely pinned up around a crown of flowers. Her bodice fell of the shoulders and hugged her figure nicely, while her long satin skirt swirled around her legs. The only thing missing was a smile.
"Thanks mom, though I doubt Vegeta would say as much."
"Don't worry dear, I'm sure he'll come around."
Bulma snorted. "Yeah, when pigs fly."
"I guess I'll keep an eye on Oolong then."
Bulma cracked a smile. "I'm going to miss you mom."
"Don't talk like that, it's still going to be a number of years before you go to Vegitasei."
"I know but do you really think Vegeta will let me come and go as I please? I will be Queen one day, so more than likely the only contact I'll have with other people will be with the guards. I doubt I'll even see my 'husband' around until it's time to bear an heir."
"I'm sure you'll think of something to do, you always do."
"Are you two ready?" Dr. Briefs called, interrupting the mother-daughter conversation. "We don't want to be late. I get the impression that Vegeta is a very impatient man."
A slow smile crept across Bulma's face.
* * * * *
Vegeta stood in front of the seated crowd looking quite regal in his royal Saiyan armor. He looked over at Nappa who seemed equally uncomfortable. 'Where is the woman?' Vegeta thought angrily. 'She should be here by now!' The only reason Vegeta found himself in the position he was in now was because Bulma refused to do the Saiyan Joining Ritual unless they could also do a Chikyuu Marriage Ceremony. It was one of her conditions. Vegeta frowned, it seemed he was making a lot of concessions to the blue haired woman lately. Vegeta snapped back to attention as soon as he heard the organ music.
As the long procession of bridesmaids and flower girls walked down the aisle, all Saiyans (less Goku) simultaneously thought 'What a stupid custom!' Vegeta's anger was starting to show just as the music changed. The aisle cleared and at the end appeared the bride. Flashes of cameras went off from friends, family and the media. Everybody stood and Vegeta unconsciously sucked in his breath as Dr. Briefs walked his daughter down the aisle. When Bulma got to Vegeta, he muttered, "You're late!"
Bulma smiled sweetly, but said in a voice that was anything but, "I know."
The ceremony began and proved to be extremely short. The Prince and his guards had gone over the custom previously and refused to do the majority of it. The vows had also been cut short due to the circumstances.
"Do you Vegeta, Prince of Vegitasei, take Bulma Briefs to be your wife, 'til death do you part?"
"And do you Bulma Briefs, take Vegeta, Prince of Vegitasei, to be your husband, 'til death do you part?
Bulma paused. She looked at her friends and family then laid her eyes on a sad Yaumcha.
"Woman!" Vegeta hissed.
Bulma glared at Vegeta. "FINE! Yes, whatever, I do."
The Minister cleared his throat, "Well, um, good. I now pronounce you man and wife, you may ki. . ." The glares he got from Bulma and Vegeta cut him short. "Well, uh, I pronounce you married, you may go."
Vegeta practically grabbed Bulma and stalked off before the organ got a chance to play again. When far away from the crowd, Vegeta turned to Bulma, "You are more trouble than you're worth."
"Well, you're stuck with me." she shot back. Vegeta crossed his arms and stared at her. "Nappa!" he called, his gaze never wavering.
"Yes my Prince." he said as he landed.
"Take this woman and prepare her for the ritual. I don't want to see her until then." Bulma shifted a bit under his gaze but returned it evenly with hatred. "Oh, and Nappa, make sure she stays out of trouble." he smirked.
"Yes Sire," replied Nappa as he took hold of Bulma and flew off to the castle.
* * * * *
Bulma was led into a dressing chamber. Nappa left her with attendants to prepare her for the ritual. They made her put on a full length, dark blue, bodysuit that complimented her colouring nicely. Over the suit went a loose skirt with slits up both sides so that she had total freedom of movement. On her head they put a headdress that was similar to a veil but didn't cover her face and was stamped with the symbol of the Royal House of Vegitasei.
"You are now ready for the Bak Na," the attendant said. 'The Bak Na? I don't think I recall that part of the ritual. Vegeta never mentioned anything about . . .' Bulma couldn't even finish her own thoughts. Nappa came in, grabbed her, and dragged her down the hall. He stopped when they came to two large double doors.
"This is just a formality. Vegeta will be here soon, so try not to embarrass yourself too much." Nappa grinned evilly.
"What do you mean by . . ." Bulma was shoved through the doors into what looked like a small arena. 100 or so Saiyans were sitting around and stared at her when she entered. An elder Saiyan stood in the center and Bulma could tell from his uniform that he was the Official. Bulma walked up to him, trying to hide her fear.
He cleared his throat, "Now is the time for Bak Na, has anyone a challenge?" For a few minutes everything was quiet. Bulma was confused as to what was going on. Then someone broke the silence.
"I challenge the human!" Bulma looked up to see a beautiful Saiyan woman glaring at her. Her lean, muscular body was wearing the standard spandex Saiyan armour. Her long black hair had been swept back making her cool, black eyes stand out. The woman continued, "She is too weak for the Prince. She will disgrace us all. I, Melanzana, member of the Elite, daughter of General Cumber, should be his rightful mate. By way of the Bak Na, I challenge her to non-ki combat. The winner marries the Prince, and the loser . . . well the loser dies!"
Bulma's eyes widened. She looked at the Official, "What if I refuse?"
"You can't refuse. If you do, you can't marry Vegeta, Melanzana would kill you anyway and Chikyuu would be doomed."
"I wasn't informed of this. This is ridiculous."
"It is our way."
"Well, where's Vegeta?"
"It is not customary for the male to be present."
"Oh great, I'm practically dead either way," Bulma mumbled. To Melanzana she said, "Fine, I accept your challenge."
The crowd roared and the center of the arena was cleared of everyone but the 2 women combatants.
"I am so going to enjoy this," smirked Melanzana, and before Bulma could retort, she had phased out.
* * * * *
Nappa located Vegeta with his scouter. "My Prince," Nappa landed. "The Bak Na is underway, so we should be going soon."
Vegeta turned his eyes to meet Nappa's, "Bak Na?"
"Yes Sire, the challenge."
"I know what it is, but what do you mean it's underway? It should only be mentioned, a formality. No human could possibly be expected to survive it. I specifically ordered that no one challenge her. Tell me Nappa, who defied me? Who initiated the challenge?"
"I believe it was Melanzana, Sire."
Vegeta growled, "Zana, I should have known!" And so he took off with a bewildered Nappa trying to catch up.
* * * * *
'I'm gonna die!' was all Bulma could think of as she lay against the crumbling wall of the arena. In fact, she was surprised that she wasn't already dead, as she watched Melanzana riling up the audience. Her opponent was specifically holding back her blows, wanting to make Bulma suffer a slow, agonizing death. Bulma gulped as Melanzana looked at her. She tried to return the gaze but her eyes were so swollen, she kept seeing double. Melanzana made her way to the freshly destroyed wall and picked up Bulma by her neck.
"I'm getting bored. Now it's time to finish you off," Melanzana said as she brought her face closer to Bulma's.
Bulma grew desperate. She had to do something; she couldn't die without a fight. She uselessly tried hitting Melanzana, who just laughed at her futile attempts. "That tickles," she said to the crowd, who all just cheered. Bulma took one last chance, and while Melanzana was distracted with the audience, Bulma reached for the appendage that would bring Goku to his knees.
Melanzana's painful scream silenced the crowd. Bulma had taken hold of her tail and was yanking with all her might, fueled by the fury inside her.
"First I am kidnapped, then told that I have to marry an alien to give him a strong son. I do it because it's supposed to save my world. I give up my life, my friends, my family and my love! I accept what I must do, and then you show up and want to kill me for something that wasn't even my idea. You BITCH!" Bulma screamed. "Yield and I'll release your tail."
Her only response was the female Saiyan's body writhing in agony on the ground.
"DO YOU YIELD?!!"
She howled, "YES!"
Bulma released her tail and glared triumphantly at the crowd. "You heard her, I win this challenge, now tell me, WHERE THE HELL IS VEGETA?!"
"WOMAN, MUST YOU ALWAYS BE SO DAMN LOUD?!"
Bulma looked towards the door and her eyes locked with Vegeta's. He smirked at her broken and bloodied body. Bulma tried to steady herself but felt her leg was broken. Vegeta frowned as he looked past Bulma at Melanzana, who was starting to get up.
"NO! I will not be defeated this way." She started to form a ki ball. "You will die human."
Bulma screamed as the ball of energy came towards her, but Vegeta jumped in front of her and deflected it.
"Zana, I'm very disappointed in you. You should know better than to oppose Vegeta." He slowly raised his right hand, pointing his index finger at her. He smirked, "Bang!" A steady stream of ki left his finger and pierced her heart. She was dead before she hit the ground.
Vegeta looked out to his fellow Saiyans. "Whoever else wants to challenge will fight me first!" A slight murmuring went through the crowd but no one stepped forward.
"Good." He picked up Bulma, knowing that she couldn't walk and looked like she was going to pass out. He said to the Official, "Well, what are you waiting for. She passed the challenge, she has proven her worth. Bless us now and be done with it. I have to get her to a regeneration tank."
Bulma was shocked. He had just saved her life and now was calling her worthy. Did he care for her? Did she mean something to him? She tried to look for the answers on his face but he was expressionless. He turned his head so that their faces were almost touching. "What the Hell are you looking at woman?" Bulma sighed, 'I guess not.' She then felt very tired and before she blacked out she heard the Official talking in Saiyago and the Saiyans breaking out into some sort of chant.
Vegeta smirked at the limp form in his arms. He gazed at her face and for a brief moment, something other than arrogance flashed in his eyes. "You surprised me today little weakling, and I am rarely surprised. No other human is as worthy as you . . . but I still say you're a troublemaker!"
* * * * *