Summary of Last Chapter:
Vegeta is ecstatic that he would be able to train in peace with Bulma and her father gone for three days, and though everything appeared pleasant enough, it began occurring that his only housemate, the renowned Mrs. Briefs, was still there, distracting him and annoying him and, to a certain degree, scaring him. It was bad enough that she was always being so impeccably nice to him, but when she "surprises" Vegeta with fields of food covering his bedroom floor, he knew something about her just had to be a little off…
Day Two – 6:24 am
"Oh good god…" mumbled Vegeta as he stilled his spinning head and sat up from bed. He had a migraine the size of Bulma's mouth and for once, though he was always abject about drugs, Vegeta craved for some of those white pill things called aspirins. He recalled Loud Mouth mentioning one day that those tiny pills were miracle workers for killer headaches.
Why was his head spinning anyway?
The room was dark, for his bedroom curtains shut out any stray gaps of light, and when his eyes glanced at the digital clock on the night stand, he read 6:24. Was that six-twenty-four in the morning or six-twenty-four in the afternoon? In either case, what was he doing sleeping and mulling about migraines when he could be out training? Did he not fully understand that it was pivotal for him to exercise to his heart's content while certain members of this household were absent?
He touched his chest and felt his blue spandex. He felt his feet and touched his training boots. Obviously, he had neither showered nor changed clothes, indicating that the six-twenty-four could only mean one thing: He just wasted at least a good six hours worth of training.
He recalled what happened now. He had been pissed off about Son Gokou, then he had a brief conversation with that senile old woman, then he chewed on rocks called teriyaki, and then he came upon plates upon plates of really great food. He could not remember anything much after that, except that he started yawning during his large meal as if he hadn't had a wink of sleep for decades, and…
…And he must have fallen asleep. He had fallen asleep a little past noon. …Why had he been so sleepy so early on in…the…day…?
Vegeta sprang from bed.
Wait 'til he got his hands on that despicable woman! I don't care what Bulma says! She must have put sleeping sedatives into my food, for no way in hell could I have slept through six (or eighteen) perfectly good hours! She practically poisoned me without managing to kill me! I'm going to kill her!
Vegeta flicked on the bedroom lights and nearly shrieked at what his eyes betrayed him. Never mind the fact that the mountain of plates from his large (and poisonous) banquet was missing—for that could be explained quite easily—but the contents of his bedroom were completely rearranged. The wardrobe, which had once been sitting on the left corner, was now on the right. His mirror, which had been beside the wardrobe, was now on the opposite wall. His lamps were at the foot of his twin-sized bed (which was against the window when it had clearly been against a wall before) and the lampshades, formerly blue, were painted red. The carpet rug, which had been on the floor, was nailed to the ceiling, and when Vegeta looked for the hot fudge stain he had made, he found the stain vanished.
His head hurt.
Vegeta slowly walked out of his bedroom, believing that whatever Mrs. Briefs had put into the food was just playing tricks on him. Yet to his dismay, it was not just his bedroom that had been turned upside down, but the entire house.
Walls were painted bold red. White doors were black. Picture frames were hanging upside down (and slightly slanted). Plants were replaced with white marble sculptures of semi-nude men. Fluorescent lights were replaced with hanging chandeliers. Couches were draped in red sheets and placed in odd locations. The television was missing. The old-fashioned rugs were replaced by contemporary ones with bold splotches of red and yellow. Curtains shut out all traces of the outdoors. Huge murals of wild, indecipherable images covered the kitchen walls.
And candles… So many red candles…
Vegeta suddenly felt claustrophobic. His heart raced and his breathing quickened. Panicked that such a dramatic change could take place during a single nap, Vegeta wandered around aimlessly before deciding to seek out the one person who was liable to the responsibility.
"MISSUS BRIEFS!" he shouted, using her name for the first time in his entire life. "WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON!"
He quickly spun around when he felt a warm breath against his neck, only to find Mrs. Briefs, dressed in her usual flour covered apron, standing there with a bowl of beaten eggs in one hand and an eggbeater in the other. He took a step back.
"What's wrong, dear?" she asked in full concern over his half-flushed and half-drained face. She stopped beating the eggs and looked at him through her closed eyes. "Is something the matter?"
Vegeta burst out in mock laughter, incredulous that she had the gall to even ask such a ridiculous question.
"You're asking me if 'something' is the matter!" he asked hoarsely. He waved his hands around, motioning first to the walls and then to the sculptures, and then to the unlit red candles. "What does it look like to you, woman! You have completely changed this house around! (How did you even manage to do all this on your own, anyway!) Are you blind? Do you truly not have any eyes?"
The woman smiled warmly—affectionately—at the bewildered Saiyan before her. Leaving the eggbeater inside the bowl, she led Vegeta over to the kitchen by his arm and urged him to sit down on a red stool with the word PASSION painted onto the seat in bold, gold lettering.
"What would you like to eat for dinner?" she asked, oblivious to the dumbfounded expression on his face. "I went grocery shopping while you were asleep and restocked the fridge. I hadn't expected you to wake up so soon."
"I slept for six hours!"
"EIGHTEEN! I SLEPT FOR EIGHTEEN HOU—(Pause)—DON'T try to change the subject with me. What have you done to this house!"
She appeared to be pleased, for a smile, bashful and giddy, curled at the corners of her small, pouty red lips.
"Do you like it? Bulma called while you were asleep and mentioned that she's bringing in one of those important business people when she comes home tomorrow. She wanted me to clean the house and, if I had the time, redecorate. Do you like it?"
"Well that's a shame…"
The smile on her face disappeared instantly, as if Vegeta's disapproval had truly gotten to her. Without another word, she turned around and began furiously beating the eggs again.
Vegeta stood up and shakily left the house, knowing that only exercise could calm his elevated nerves.
After a hard work out session, Vegeta sprawled across the lawn and stared up at the sky, which, as always during that time of day, was bright blue in color and infringed with poofy white clouds. By now, his system was just about cleared of the sleeping sedatives that had been running through his blood and the drowsiness in his eyelids and the pain in his temples were beginning to stop retarding his senses.
Tomorrow, Bulma would be home, and to his own amazement, he was looking forward to her arrival.
"Just wait until that girl steps into the house," he said to himself, the corner of his lips curling into an anticipating smile. "I am going to scream her ears off about her idiotic mother. Won't that be fun? I've done her a wonderful and generous favor, enduring these past several hours without beheading that strange creature. She owes me a better gravity room three times its strength and size."
Vegeta sat up as soon as his stomach growled. How his stomach could be so hungry after all the food he had consumed last night was beyond him. It had been twice in a row that he skipped his habitual breakfast meal, and as a man who was very anal about his physical well-being, it bothered him that twice in a row, he skipped the most important meal of the day because of Mrs. Briefs.
Boy… What a hoot. She was completely bonkers.
Honestly, cooking for him was acceptable (though the sleeping pills were not). Rearranging or buying new furniture would've been acceptable. Painting the walls could have been, perhaps, acceptable.
But explain to me the amount of food in my room! Explain to me the picture frames hanging upside down! Explain to me my topsy-turvy bedroom, for surely Bulma's guests would not even bother intruding into my sleeping quarters! I liked my room the way it was, and having the rug nailed to the ceiling is just plain ridiculous! This Bunny character is crazy—just absolutely crazy!
He frowned. She just had to be crazy.
Vegeta shook his head and re-entered his gravity room, deciding that it was best to starve and wait until dinnertime instead of crawling back to the Microwave Buddy teriyaki strips of yesterday. To his surprise, however, as soon as both his feet were inside the gravity room, his eyes fell upon the red tablecloth spread out beside the control panels, followed by a glass of red wine, a single lit red candle, and plates of steaming grilled steak and potatoes. Polished silverware was carefully placed on a decoratively folded white cloth napkin. Beside it was an envelope.
He wished that sixth sense of his would stop going all haywire on him. It was starting to get redundant.
Cautiously, after looking all around him to make sure that no one (particularly that woman) was around, he stepped over to the tablecloth of food and picked up the envelope without letting his mouth water too much. With nimble fingers, he opened the envelope and pulled out a letter that smelled of sweet perfume and vanilla extract.
I apologize for startling you with my redecorating the house.
I grilled this steak for you as a token of my apology.
At seven tonight, meet me in my bedroom.
P.S. I assure you that there are no sleeping sedatives (or any sedatives) in the food.
I swear I won't put anything in your food ever again.
Vegeta stared at the letter in disbelief. He had exited the gravity room and "sprawled across the lawn" only five minutes ago! Just when did that crazy woman enter his gravity room and set all of this up? And without Vegeta even smelling that delicious scent of grilled meat? Perhaps the sleeping sedatives had not entirely left his system, for surely something was retarding his usually sharp senses.
Out of indignation, Vegeta burned up the letter and tossed its ashes onto the ground.
"To hell with this! I don't care what she assures! I'd rather rot in hell before I eat her cooking ever again!"
He crossed his arms and stared at the tempting plate of food, never noticing the figure standing behind him until the stranger commented in a deep, throaty voice,
"Then can I eat it?"
Vegeta screamed and jumped in surprise. Wide-eyed, he whirled around, expecting to see Mrs. Briefs again, only to find that to his relief, it was only his greatest adversary, Son Gokou. Kakarot, with his index finger pressing his forehead (he must've used that Instantaneous Transmission thing), stood there with a grin plastered onto his face and his eyes plastered onto the plate of food. He was wearing the familiar orange gi instead of the strange alien attire the Saiyan prince had last seen him wear, which was when Gokou had returned from Yardrat-sei and Frieza had been killed by that future kid.
But never mind what the poor excuse of a Saiyan was wearing. What was he doing in the gravity room, scaring the bejeezus out of Vegeta?
"KAKAROT!" the shorter character sputtered, his eyes still wide and his heart still beating at the speed of light. "Wh-what are you doing here! …You fool! You nearly gave me a heart attack!"
There was a sheepish look on Son Gokou's face as he quirked an apologetic smile and innocently scratched the back of his head. No longer having that finger on his forehead, Gokou clasped his hands behind his back to keep them from fiddling and reaching out for the tempting slab of steak on the ground.
"Sorry," Gokou said with a smile, never noticing the scowl on Vegeta's countenance. "I didn't mean to scare you. I assumed you knew I was behind you."
"Well you assumed wrong!" The anger—and embarrassment—was evident in the proud prince's voice. "Next time, acknowledge me about your presence before you stupidly bark out your stupid comments to me behind my back!"
Gokou laughed good-naturedly and nodded in compliance, followed by a long moment of silence that was broken only when the Saiyan prince bellowed,
"So, Kakarot, what the hell do you want!"
That was when Gokou turned away from the steak and explained that before Bulma had left on her business trip, she had called him to ask a very important favor. Worried that without her presence keeping things in order, Vegeta would murder her mother and set the entire Capsule Corporations complex on fire, she had asked Gokou to make periodic check-ups and confirm that her worries were just being pulled out of thin air.
"I'm counting on you, Gokou," Bulma had said to her very solemn and serious Saiyan friend. "Vegeta's totally weird and I don't trust him enough to leave him alone with my mother. Be on the lookout for anything suspicious, okay? And call me if anything happens."
The Saiyan prince scowled and crossed his arms, annoyed that not only did Loud Mouth not trust him with her insane mother (though why her trust would even matter to him was beyond his comprehension), he now had to have that hateful Kakarot breathing down his back. The beautiful three days of peace he had been so happy about prior to all of the annoying incidents was plummeting into something less and less pleasant.
A hand touched his shoulder and Vegeta shrugged it off.
"Aww, c'mon, Vegeta," Gokou chided, his eyes still bouncing back and forth between his new friend and that tempting morsel of scrumptious food. "I won't bug you too much. I only came to check up on you and, I guess, check up on Bulma's mom, too. I'll leave right away."
"She'll need all the check-up she can get," Vegeta muttered, tightening his crossed arms. He looked away from the person he was talking to and glanced at the direction of the house, where he knew somewhere inside, the subject of his concern was probably cooking or cleaning again. "Something about her is not right."
"Why? What'd she do?"
That was when Vegeta explained the strange events that occurred ever since Bulma's departure, starting from the weird vibes he began feeling to the mountain of food found in his room the previous day to waking up from the effects of sleeping pills to the bizarre redecoration of the entire house and then finally to the letter he had recently found with the mysterious table cloth of wine glass and food. As much as he held contempt for Gokou, he could not help but feel that maybe the 'idiot' would help explain to him why humans possessed such abnormal behavior. As much as he hated to admit it, Vegeta was in dire need of someone to talk to.
"What did the letter say?" Gokou asked uneasily, feeling unnerved by Vegeta's careful and concise recollection.
"She apologized for flipping the house around and poisoning me with sleeping sedatives last night," Vegeta answered gruffly, and then hastily added after some hesitation, "And that I should meet her in her bedroom at seven."
Gokou blinked again, and then burst out laughing.
"Let me see the letter, Vegeta."
"I don't have it anymore."
Gokou wiped a tear.
"Where is it?"
"I burned it."
"I was pissed off, stupid! What do you think?" He thought about uncrossing his arms to throw a swing at his rival's face, stopping only because of the mental image he had of this man transforming into the legendary Super Saiyan. He was still very unnerved about that and therefore did not want to provoke the stronger Saiyan…yet. "Stop laughing, fool, and answer me this one question—" Gokou coughed his last laugh. "—Was she always this strange?"
Gokou chuckled and responded with a question of his own: "Vegeta, are you feeling okay?" Yet when the stronger and taller Saiyan caught sight of the darkening glower on his adversary's face, he immediately ceased his laughter and explained in exasperation that yes, Mrs. Briefs was somewhat out of the ordinary, but no, she had never done anything as incredibly bizarre as nailing a rug to the ceiling or slipping drugs into peoples' food. When Vegeta asked for a word of affirmation, Gokou immediately affirmed with a solemn nod.
"Vegeta, personally, I think you're nuts," Gokou bluntly said with a slight raise of his brow. "Maybe having you reside on Earth wasn't such a good idea. You're not going crazy, are you?"
"You don't believe me!" Vegeta exclaimed, astonished. "You don't believe anything I said about the rearrangement of the house or the food or anything! You imbecile! Do I look like the type of person who'd hallucinate or make stories up! Do I!"
"Well then!" Vegeta uncrossed his arms and marched out of the gravity room in complete fury, expecting the lower-classed Saiyan to follow. When Gokou emerged from the gravity room, Vegeta spun around and barked, "I'll prove it to you! I will prove to you that the old woman is insane! I will show you the red walls and the statues and the rug nailed to my ceiling! I will show you!"
Gokou followed the prince inside the house, hoping to witness all of these things so that he could deny the sudden ridiculous notion that Vegeta was a walking, talking nutcase…or a very convincing comedian. Nevertheless, he made sure to keep the doubt unwritten on his face, for this Vegeta, homicidal mass murderer who never laughed or joked except at the faces of his dead victims, appeared to be as serious as he was in battle.
However, to the dismay of both men, upon entering the living quarters of the Hoipoi Capsule Corporations, neither Vegeta nor Gokou saw anything particularly odd or out of place. The red walls and the statues and, when Vegeta flew into his room, the rug on the ceiling…were gone. Chandeliers disappeared. Picture frames were upright again. Candles—oh, those many red candles!—were missing. Even the PASSION stool had vanished and the television was back in its usual spot with the dust still present on top of it.
Amidst the mass confusion came the question from a disappointed third-class Saiyan: "What red wall?"
Vegeta's eyes could not be any wider. He was going crazy. He was crazy! …Was he crazy! The mere idea that the great and powerful prince of Saiyans was losing his mind was incredible enough to make his head spin. Confused and completely baffled by the sudden normalness of the house, Vegeta's legs gave away and he plopped down on the nearest chair.
"I…I don't understand…" he rasped almost inaudibly. "It…it was all there. I know it was all there."
So stunned was he that he neither noticed nor cared to notice the grave expression on Gokou's face and the quiet mumbles about being late for his wife's lunch as he vanished with an index finger on his forehead. All Vegeta could think about was the un-rearrangement of the house and the quality of his own mental state. It was not until he told himself to breathe that he turned around and looked at Mrs. Briefs, who was standing behind him with a cheerful smile on her face and a bowl of eggs and an eggbeater in her hands.
To Be Continued…
Sorry if the length of this chapter is shorter than the previous two. I just thought it was a good place to stop. I'll try to make future chapters a little longer. Also, I get the feeling that I kind of rushed through the last seven or so paragraphs. Oh well.
SO LET'S SEE NOW… Hmm. Poor Vegeta. He's now depicted as someone who's losing his mind. What exactly is going on? Was the redecoration of the house the real deal? Or was it just a figment of Vegeta's imagination? Or the after effect of Mrs. Briefs's sleeping pills? And what about Gokou? Will he go on believing that Vegeta's psycho? Or can he be convinced that it is Mrs. Briefs, the seemingly innocent and sweet little old lady, who is the psychopath?
Wouldn't you like to know? BWAHAHAHA! Leave your paw prints on my review page, ladies and gentlemen! It'd be greatly appreciated! (And I apologize for the lateness of this chapter!)