Dégager: The Saiyajin Pet
AU, Gk x Vg
Rated R for some explicit sexuality
DBZ and all DBZ characters property of Akira Toriyama and official licensees
A/N Okay, now this is a major AU– it's supposed to take place in "the real world–" and this is technically a crossover (WAIT DON'T LEAVE! Let me explain!) of Pet Shop of Horrors and DBZ. Basically it's a Dragonball fic told like a Pet Shop story. There's only two recurring characters in Pet Shop and they'll only appear at the beginning and the end; it's overwhelmingly Goku and Vegeta, trust me. Prior knowledge of Pet Shop of Horrors is NOT necessary. It's very different, give it a try! Please R+R
Dégager: The Saiyajin Pet
Chapter 1: Contract for an Exotic
Plumes of smoke rose from the damp streets of Chinatown, the night illuminated by an eclectic multitude of lights, by street lamps and headlights and neon signs and the occasional softer glow of a decorative lantern. The pavement shimmered from recent warm rains, heralding the return to warmer weather and greener days. Many people bustled among the maze of streets that night, attending to their usual evening business, but the lights cast strange shadows upon the stern features of one man in particular.
Vegeta Oujisama walked alone, his long overcoat billowing and designer dress shoes clacking on the ground as he strode purposefully toward his destination. Turning off the main thoroughfare onto a side road, he spotted the address. Ahead of him lay a small and unobtrusive storefront, with a simple hanging wooden sign that only read "Count D's." He was just in time to witness a customer leaving, a man with a satisfied expression who carried a clear plastic bag full of exquisite, tiny tropical fish, the likes of which Vegeta had never seen before. They danced within the bag, glowing like radiant, precious gems.
So they do sell exotics, he thought. Promising...
The store's proprietor greeted Vegeta as soon as he stepped inside. "Ah, welcome, sir! I am Count D, manager of this store while my grandfather is abroad on business. You are just in time, I was beginning to shut down for the night. How may I be of service?"
Vegeta eyed him coldly. The man was tall, fair, and slender, his face and hands effeminate and delicate. A curtain of chin-length silky black hair framed his face and shaded his mismatched eyes, and he wore an embroidered and brocaded traditional Chinese cheongsam. Everything about him spoke of high breeding and expensive tastes, as reflected by the elaborate waiting room they stood in. Vegeta determined that the only way a pet shop owner could maintain such luxuries was the trafficking of black market, illegal animals.
"Yes, well," Vegeta began. "I don't really know what the hell I'm doing here. Lately I've had the crazy notion of buying an animal."
"Wonderful sir, then you are in the right place. We supply creatures from all over the world– the rarest of the rare is obtainable, for the right customer." The count appraised Vegeta in turn. He had heard much about this man, as a merciless CEO and as a highly arrogant and unfeeling personage among the echelons of the wealthy. His family had such power and influence that they could almost be considered royalty.
"You are Vegeta Oujisama, are you not? Businessman and heir to the Oujisama family fortune... and recently estranged from your lovely wife Buruma?"
Vegeta's eyes widened in shock at the shopkeeper's audacity, his infamous temper flaring. "Wha– and how the hell is that any of your business?!"
The manager gave a small bow but did not back down. He chuckled inwardly at how this was obviously a sore spot to the man. "Forgive me sir, I meant no offense. But many of my clients are from elite circles, and they are quite familiar with you and your social life. You are perhaps looking for a pet to occupy your thoughts, to distract you from your wife's absence?"
Vegeta bristled and fumed, enraged by the strange man's uncanny perception. "Hrrr... you're too forward for your own good. But I'll admit, you're partly right. And I don't want a damn 'pet,' I want an animal to keep. Something unusual."
"And what other qualities do you wish in this creature?"
Vegeta stared at the walls thoughtfully and began to pace the floor. "Something... wild...and beautiful. Something dangerous and powerful and predatory like a panther or a tiger, something forceful and masculine, an animal to complement a man like myself. But it should still be very well-trained...will listen to me, you know?"
D's eyes narrowed in scrutiny. "Something intelligent... that will take instructions?"
"Yes... In a manner of speaking," Vegeta replied in a guarded manner. He felt as though the man was reading him, peering into his innermost spirit.
The manager's face darkened with satisfaction, his fingers lacing together in front of his face to hide the broadening, secretive smile.
"I believe I have the perfect companion animal for you."
The count turned briskly, then led Vegeta through a side door and down a dimly lit hallway lined with other closed doors, all carved and meticulously decorated. He walked with leisurely, measured steps, giving Vegeta time to ponder his surroundings. This place was like no pet shop he'd ever seen. The air was thick and sweet– no offending odors at all– and the raucous noise of animals was strangely lacking. He began to wonder if someone was playing a bad joke on him. But then, no one else knew he was there. He had recently overheard about this place from another wealthy business associate who fancied exotic pets– had pretended not to hear him discussing his latest purchase with a friend.
The count suddenly stopped in front of a narrow door, revealed to be a small linen closet, and pulled out a black silk scarf.
"Here, sir, you must wear this."
"What? What the hell for?"
"As a potential buyer for this creature, you must cover your neck when you see him. If you decide to take him home, I will explain the need for this precaution more thoroughly."
"Absolutely not! I'll look like a damn fairy with that on."
The count only grinned and moved to tie the scarf around his neck.
"It is necessary for viewing of the animal. You can tuck the ends inside your shirt, if that will make you feel more comfortable."
Vegeta grabbed the scarf away from him. Hrrn... Fucking fine! He's the only person here and I guess there's no harm in looking like a fairy in front of one, Vegeta thought, his hate for the count growing exponentially. Who does this guy think he is? How pretentious, calling himself a count– he's Chinese! They don't even have the title of count there. And trying to sound mysterious with that "D," as though he's too cool to give his real name, what a phony! Mocking me with that smile and those affected, impeccable manners; probably gets a kick out of screwing with Westerners. I ought to walk out of here right now, I–
"Here we are."
Vegeta barely realized they'd resumed walking. The count stopped them in front of a thick mahogany door at the very end of the hallway, opened it a crack and looked back at him coyly.
"Please wait here a moment while I prepare the creature." And with that D slipped into the room leaving Vegeta standing outside, seething and impatient again as his imagination and rage ran away with him, imagining that beyond that door were several dozen rough-looking guys with guns and clubs waiting to jump him.
After several minutes, the door opened wide and Count D, standing to the side, greeted him with a welcoming smile, motioning graciously for him to enter. The once dark room was dimly lit with orange-shaded lamps, and by this glowing light Vegeta took in his first glimpse of the waiting creature. Vegeta's jaw dropped, his scowl transforming into a look of shock and disbelief.
Against the opposite wall, lounging casually upon a small, cushioned dais, was the creature– or more appropriately, person.
Upon the dais sat a huge being that could have almost passed for human. Broad-shouldered and wide-chested, powerful muscles graced his form, and despite his size every small movement spoke of grace and control. A spiky mane of shining black hair fell over his shoulders and extended halfway down his back, shading piercing golden eyes that bored holes into his visitor. He wore only a pair of boots and loose yellow pants in the style of traditional Chinese fighting gear. A short reddish pelt covered his arms and back, leaving the face, neck, hands, pectorals, and abdominals bare, revealing the smooth fair skin underneath. Most remarkable, perhaps, was the long, reddish tail that snaked slowly through the air behind him. A smirk of supreme confidence never left his features; however, he studied Vegeta with great interest.
Vegeta gawked and choked in shock, unable to find words to make sense of the scene before him. His natural cynicism and indignation quickly resurfaced though, in a more muted way.
"What– I– What the hell is this? This is a... man– isn't it? Some sort of trick... What is he supposed to be?"
Enjoying Vegeta's discomfort, Count D walked leisurely over to stand beside the animal, and offered it his hand. The beast nuzzled his palm in a gesture of greeting.
"This," he said plainly, "is a Saiyajin. His name is Kakarot. Until recently he lived in the jungle, in the cloud forests of South America. There is only a handful of his kind left in the world, and of this particular breed, he is the very last. They are majestic, powerful creatures with savage instincts, yet are highly intelligent, patient, and resourceful. You may come closer to inspect him, sir, he will not harm you."
Vegeta suddenly realized that he'd been keeping his distance and subsequently strode up to within ten feet of the beast. Scowling, he shook off his initial discomfort from the saiyajin's penetrating stare.
"This is crazy, I've never heard of anything like him, no one has! There's never even been any monster sightings by backwoods inbreds or old legends of something like him, I–"
Vegeta's brow furrowed as he remembered the wonders Hollywood could do with makeup and latex. "How do I know that isn't some elaborate costume– and that this isn't some prank for an asinine TV show– putting one over on the rich twit?!" he shot at the manager, wonder giving way to fury in record time.
"I assure you, sir, there is no trick," he said, feeling slightly insulted. "My shop is the most respected in Chinatown, as is my reputation. Come and examine him up close, please, to allay your concerns. Here."
Vegeta was surprised to see the saiyajin calmly extend an arm for inspection. He approached warily, and realized as he stood before him just how large the creature really was. The sensation was similar to observing tigers on television, and then appreciating their true size at a chance to see them up close. Vegeta peered closely at his smirking face and yellow eyes, inspected his arm and hand where bare skin met fur, then pinched up a fold of furred skin on his forearm and tugged hard, reminiscent of a child tugging on a department store Santa's beard. The saiyajin gave no indication of pain except for a slight narrowing of his eyes.
Vegeta straightened slowly, overwhelmed. "Shit. He... he does seem real. That's– that's un-fucking-believable. But–"
Vegeta froze as he suddenly realized the saiyajin's tail was coiled around his neck. The creature drew him closer, up to his face, until their noses were millimeters apart. Then he began delicately sniffing the whole of his face, hair, neck and shoulders. Vegeta could feel the moist heat of his breath, smell the exotic musk of his pelt and skin. He quickly came to his senses, however, breaking out of his wide-eyed stupor and jerking away from Kakarot in a huff. The saiyajin sat back, his eyes and smile much more gentle and welcoming now. He finally broke his stare to throw a look at the count, grabbing his hand briefly in the process. The shopkeeper tittered in amusement.
"You inspected him, so that was his turn to inspect you, it's only fair! You are quite fortunate sir; the saiyajin seems quite taken with you. I would not be able to sell him to you otherwise."
Vegeta puffed with his usual arrogance. "Of course he likes me. An animal like this respects power. But just how can you tell what he thinks of me?"
"A simple matter sir. The saiyajin himself told me as much."
"Wha? You– you're saying he can speak?"
"Not vocally as you or I do sir, but through a kind of mind-voice. All you need do is take his hand, and you will be able to converse with him. Please, try it."
Kakarot offered his hand, which Vegeta gingerly accepted. He felt a strange extension of his being, what could almost be described as a road suddenly materializing out from his mind to connect with another, and a smooth tenor voice sounded in his head.
:: A good evening to you, Master Vegeta. Will I be traveling home with you tonight? :: he chuckled mentally.
Vegeta jumped back in shock. "Holy shit! He... he can talk! Holy fuck, that's amazing. So, he really is more like a person than an animal." That mental speech is unnerving, he thought to himself.
"I told you, the saiyajin are very intelligent, a 'people' of their own. Keep him happy and he will do whatever you wish; he will want to please you. I'm sure you will find many uses for him, besides companionship and entertainment. This particular saiyajin has the strength of twenty strong men– and an appetite to match," he sighed, hanging his head in mock despair. The saiyajin grinned hugely at his comment. But what Vegeta noticed were the lengthy, sharp canines.
"Ah," Count D continued, "our wild one has one last trick you should see. Kakarot, will you please show him your second state?"
Kakarot, who had resumed staring at Vegeta, turned back to the count with an annoyed glare.
"Please, my good man, just a brief demonstration. You want to impress the interested party with your talents, don't you?" he pleaded sweetly.
The saiyajin frowned, but complied. Tossing his head, a cool yellow glow sparked over his body, and suddenly Vegeta found a handsome young man in the saiyajin's place. He had shrunk somewhat, the hair shortened and tamed, and the red pelt had vanished leaving only flawless pale skin. But perhaps the most dramatic change was in the eyes, which now shone a soft black. His appearance was so innocent, so different from the feral persona of the saiyajin before.
Vegeta had to drive a fingernail into his cheekbone to make sure he wasn't dreaming. "My god, that's amazing! Just like... magic! Shit, this all can't be for real, I must be on something," he blustered, though he had decided to believe the moment he touched the creature. "He looks completely human, he could pass for one in any crowd."
"Well, not quite completely," the count corrected, pointing out the now light brown tail that still twitched behind him.
"Oh, yes... well, all you'd have to do is hide that and he'd be golden, you know?"
"Yes, very well. Now you see why no one has ever heard of the saiyajin. Most of them look so human they can easily blend into human society. Now only Kakarot retains the more bestial form of the race, and he can shed it whenever he pleases in favor of the human form. But, as you can see, he greatly prefers the more animalistic look." He motioned toward Kakarot, and Vegeta noticed that he had already gone back to his original form.
"He feels most comfortable in this body, so you should not ask him to assume the human form often."
Count D fell silent for a moment and walked over to stand beside the creature, who nuzzled his hand. "So Mr. Oujisama... do you wish to acquire him?" The saiyajin finally stood, and Vegeta was chagrined to find he barely came to the animal's shoulder. "Beautiful, is he not? That long, thick tail, his strong build, that lovely soft fur... One cannot set a price on such beauty and rarity... though I am sure we could work something out..."
"Y... yes, of course." There was no other possible answer. The creature had to be his; he was marvelous, like the fanciful denizens of Medieval bestiaries. All Vegeta's previous plans fell by the wayside, taking a backseat to simply owning this miraculous, one-of-a-kind animal.
"Wonderful! Then let us retire to my office to peruse the details of the agreement," the shopkeeper crooned, bowing and striding to the door, holding it open. Vegeta followed numbly.
Smoldering golden eyes followed his every retreating step.
"Four million dollars!?! You've got to be fucking kidding me!"
The store manager was unflinching. "I will accept no less. I think this price is more than fair for such a unique and amazing beast. You will never find such a beautiful, intelligent, unusual animal ever again. He deserves no less. The saiyajin may become offended if he finds out you tried to bargain for him. But, if you decide he is truly not to your liking, we have another buyer also considering purchase," he lied expertly.
Vegeta knew this couldn't be true, knew it was the oldest salesman's trick in the book, but still it was the spark that ignited his competitive nature like flash paper. Unlikely as it may be, there was still a small chance that someone else might be interested in the saiyajin. Vegeta would never forgive himself if he let it slip through his fingers.
"All right, all right, you greedy bastard. I spend that much at auction in a month anyway." Vegeta decided he would consider this purchase the same as one of the expensive art pieces he relished buying at auction regularly.
"Very good. Now let me detail the proper care of the saiyajin, and the rules of the contract. The saiyajin is a nocturnal animal, meaning he is active during the twilight and nighttime hours. Allow him his sleep and do not bother him in the morning. They have an extremely long lifespan, so attention to his needs will be a lifelong commitment and will require much of your time.
"He is omnivorous, and will require a large amount of food– he'll let you know when he is hungry and when he is satisfied. Diet should be two parts meat and fish to one part everything else. He will need a large living space with greenery and natural elements, and once a week you will need to take him out to an isolated wood so he may run and get the exercise he requires to be healthy." The count looked up. "Can you provide these requirements for him?"
"Yeah, that's fine. Christ knows our budget can allow for a bit more food expenses, and I have a huge greenhouse right on the grounds that he can stay in. It used to be Buruma's pet project and hideaway. Lots of tropical trees and plants, some he might even be familiar with already. A few butterflies and birds too. You said he came from the rain forests?"
"Yes sir, South America. Though I am told," he said with the blush and giggle of a preteen girl with a great secret, "that his people are originally... not of this world!"
Vegeta rolled his eyes and chose to ignore that last comment. He had begun to grow quite relaxed, his senses hazed over by the thick, permeating scent of sweet-burning incense.
"Excellent! This sounds like an ideal arrangement. It seems as though you were meant to have him." Again, that secret smile. "Allow me to finish the last few terms of the contract. The Saiyajin must not be shown to anyone but you outside of his human form, for his own privacy. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, you must always keep all skin covered in the presence of the saiyajin, all but your face and hands."
Vegeta suddenly remembered the borrowed scarf around his neck and pulled it off. "Oh. What in the world for?"
"The saiyajin may... bite. And you may keep that, you'll need it for taking him home."
"Not even my neck can show, huh?"
"Especially the neck."
"Damn, what a pain in the ass. I hate turtlenecks. But if he's going to try and chew on me like a hambone otherwise, I guess I can abide by that rule."
"Very wise of you sir." The shopkeeper produced a parchment from his desk and handed him an ebony-encased pen. "Now, if you will just close our deal by signing here on the line, the saiyajin will be yours."
Vegeta stared blearily at the document for a moment, pen in hand, then remembered the need for discretion. "Wait," he said, "I can't have this on the books. I need to buy something else too, as a cover. Throw in a few birds for the greenhouse, about five or so."
"Very well sir. What kinds would you like?"
"Doesn't matter. Something flashy, easy to take care of. Not too big. He's not going to eat the birds is he?"
"If you keep him fed, he will not touch them. In fact, I daresay he would consider them 'his' and take them under his protection."
"Okay then. And you'd better not breathe a word of this to anyone, if you know what's good for you. I can have this store shut down and your ass shipped back to China with a word."
"I assure you sir, I offer my clients complete confidentiality, if they so wish," he ground out. "This transaction will appear both in my records and on your bill as 'tropical birds, and related items and services.'"
The owner continued, giving directions on how to pull his car around to the back of the store through the twisting back alleys to discreetly pick up the creature, while Vegeta struggled to listen to him and read over the contract through the hazy, heavy cloud of incense in his mind. He settled for skimming over the deed. I do willingly accept... the interested party... taking the saiyajin Kakarot into my home... agree to keep the aforementioned healthy and content... Whatever.
Vegeta left his chicken scratch in the space provided, then quickly filled out a check and handed them both over. An odd sensation of finality swept over him as he signed his name, that in that defining moment, he had changed his life forever.