Chapter One: Out of my Depth
Gokuu landed gingerly, wincing when even the bottoms of her feet felt sore from her battle. Her friends jumped from out their hiding places, or landed themselves from their watching positions in the air. Her friends and one angry looking Prince, but she smiled at them all, "Heh, now that Freeza's finally done with ..." her smile became more tired looking, "it's nice to see all of you again."
Yamucha laughed, and patted her back, causing her to grimace in pain, "We've really missed you, Gokuu."
"Did you really have to be gone for two years?" Tenshinhan asked.
"Got any souvenirs?" Kuririn butted in.
"Got any last words?" Gokuu jerked to attention when Vegeta advanced toward her. The ex-desert bandit jumped back away from him as he stopped to stand directly in front of her, glowering at her form.
"... !" She smiled, her tired form feeling lighter at the thought of a good spar with him, "Hey! I didn't think that you'd stick around on Earth! Why are you still here?"
His lips curled up into a sneer, "I only 'stuck around' so I could finally crush you, Kakarotto."
Only smiling wider, she laughed, "What? Are you a Super Saiyajin now?"
She watched his left eyebrow twitch in that familiar way, and suddenly his energy erupted around him before he leapt into the air, blasting away to the horizon. Blinking in confusion, her smile died a bit when she realized that Vegeta obviously had not succeeded in achieving his goal of becoming a Super Saiyajin.
After informing her friends of her travels and showing off her new nifty trick, Gokuu flew with Bulma in her plane, the both of them planning on picking up Chichi, and going shopping with her.
"Gokuu-chan, it's been way too long," Bulma said for what must've been the third time that day, staring off into the sky that she flew in. "This is great. You killed the badguys again, and now we can just have fun like we used to."
... Wow, she's right. It really has been a very, very long time. "Bulma?"
"Yeah?" She asked, still looking ahead through the window.
Gokuu considered the friend that had been with her for the longest time. They had - so far - gone through most of their adventures together, and yet, here Bulma was. They were so extremely different from one another that it almost wasn't funny. Just how did people like them stick together so well? "Do you think there's something wrong with me?"
The ship seemed to slow slightly as Bulma finally looked at her, her mouth gaping open, "Wha-? What do you mean, Gokuu-chan?
She lowered her head, her mind attempting to formulate words and sentence structures to convey the strange sense of sudden isolation that she had, "I ..." With the thought of forming words, she went over what she had said already. Was that really the way she should have worded that? Yet, again there was Bulma. Happy, and she had a nice home where she lived with Yamucha, Puar, Mr. Briefs, and Mrs. Briefs. Bulma had everything that she had ever really wanted in the world. She was just as brave as Gokuu herself, if not braver for she was so very weak, but Gokuu had only her little home on the mountain, all by herself.
It was her nice quaint humble abode, and it really was all hers, but then shouldn't she have gotten so much more for all she had done? Nothing material because she was truly happy living there peacefully, however she was doing it all alone. I need a link too ... something that I can really belong to. Is that what the Yardratjin were trying to make me understand? Why did it take me this long to realize it?
Unable to word this sudden ache, Gokuu lifted her hand, and revealed four fingers, making Bulma ask, "Huh? Four? Four what?"
Licking her drying lips, Gokuu whispered, half to the floor and half to Bulma's knees, "It's been almost four years ... One year spent killing my niisan, Radittsu, training with King Kai, and fighting Nappa and Vegeta. Then, the next year all I did was heal, and train to fight on Namek. So now, this past year or so, I was training on Yardrat, and when I got back ... Freeza was waiting for me. I love fighting, Bulma, I really do, but even doing all of that, and getting so much stronger than I've ever imagined ..." She cocked her head to the side, trying to think around what she wanted to say next because it just wasn't so true. Gokuu wasn't alone for she had all of her friends.
"And no one could deserve a break more than you, Gokuu-chan."
Her eyes lighted up slightly, and she raised her head as she straightened. Did Bulma understand her? "Really, Bulma?"
"Really," Bulma's right eye twitched, and then she reached over to pinch her cheek, "Ze gods, you're just so cute, Gokuu-chan." She turned back to her sky, and sped up, "We need to hurry up, and pick up Chichi so that we can get you out of that fashion disaster."
"Hey!" Vegeta sneered at the female Saiyajin, watching her snap out of whatever trance that she had been in, and she looked up at him when before her head and eyes had been lowered to the floor while she walked in between the Amazon and the screaming siren. A few other people on the busy street stopped to stare at them, but Vegeta didn't give them much thought before he pointed at her, "Kakarotto! You better not forget that I'm going to defeat you!"
"Should've known ..." behind him, the scarred Chikyuujin muttered. He and the bald one had both followed him once they realized he was heading for Kakarotto's energy signature.
"I told you, Yamucha - he's got a one-track mind!"
This didn't register inside of Vegeta's brain though because all Kakarotto seemed to be doing was stare at him.
"Bug off!" The two Chikyuujin females snapped at him, baring their non-existing fangs, and jumping in front of Kakarotto as if they could protect her from him.
He began to see red. She thinks she can just hide behind these bags of poor flesh? How dare they get in the way of he and Kakarotto! "And you banshees think that you can make me?"
"What?" The black-haired cretin took a threatening step forward.
He wasn't quite clear on how long they bickered or how cue-ball and scar-face were dragged into the foray, but quite abruptly Vegeta noticed the absence of someone, "Where's Kakarotto?"
Instantly, he checked for her energy signal, seeing her walking down the sidewalk, and holding the hand of a little girl who was sniffling tears. Barely the next moment after gaining the others' attention and seeing Kakarotto, he pointed in the opposite direction that she was heading, "She's over there!"
As one the four Chikyuujin called out her name, heading down where Vegeta had directed them. None of the warriors even thinking about sensing her out. Vegeta counted himself a genius for thinking so quickly.
... What a bunch of morons. That was too easy. And so he followed Kakarotto, just behind her enough not to alert her to his presence, but it was just close enough to hear her conversing with the little girl with black hair.
"So you said you saw your mommy around here last?"
"Uh huh, she was shopping for-" she whispered something, but Vegeta didn't catch it.
The female Saiyajin laughed lightly, "Well then, I know where a few places like that is around here. So do you have any favorite TV shows?"
"Yeah! My favorite Sailor is Usagi!" She bounced, excited at the concept of talking about something she enjoyed.
"Yeah?" Kakarotto smiled down at her, "I like Kino Makoto." Vegeta was almost grateful when she changed the subject. "Your shirt's so cute." Almost.
"Thanks! Mommy got it for me on my birthday."
"Oh, yeah? How old are you?"
Vegeta gritted his fangs, hearing them grind within his mouth, Super Saiyajin? This pathetic example of my race? She should have died on Namek! His eyes watched a rock pebble that he idly crushed as he walked, Oh, what a proud prince I am now. Outdone by this third-class pauper! Well, not anymore!
They turned just then, walking into a store, and Vegeta moved to follow them inside, waiting a moment for others to walk in before he did so. He didn't think to check what type of store it was before he entered.
As his mind began to fizzle, a stores person - a young woman - walked up to him, asking pleasantly, "Welcome to Victoria's Secret, I'm Tetsuko-"
"It should have stayed a secret," he said faintly, and turned right around to exit.
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
Stupid kid! ... Why are you stopping in every single lingerie shop that you see? His mind numbed with the sudden thought of a previous lingerie store that wouldn't allow the child to enter. And with good reason too! That blue-haired woman would have fainted too, and that's an understatement what with how many times she parades around in her underwear! ... He paled slightly, At least, I hope she'd have enough sense to faint from all of those ...
"Huh? A boyfriend?"
Shutting his eyes momentarily, he thought, Why am I bothering with following her?
"Yeah. A guy you kiss, and hug, and hold hands with, and eat ice cream with, and ..." For some reason the girl giggled, and squealed, "Or are you married already?"
"Uh ... What?"
She tilted her head to the side, "What's wrong? You do have a boyfriend, right?"
Gokuu tried to make sense of all the new information that had been thrown her way. Something about hands and ... ice cream? Well, I like ice cream ... and I could really pack a lot of it down too! She smiled briefly to herself before she blinked from a sudden thought, I wonder why no one else eats like me. Is it because I'm a Saiyajin ...? Does Vegeta eat like me?
The thought of him abruptly brought awareness of him to her as well, and she looked over her shoulder at the glowering Saiyajin Prince walking only a few meters behind them.
"No, I have a stalker."
What the-? His head jerked up to see Kakarotto glance back at him, and grin.
She looked back down at the little girl, "If he's not a boyfriend, then he must be my stalker."
What the hell is Kakarotto getting off on? Ruining a perfectly good meal by making me want to hurl ... Idly, he looked her up and down, raising a thick eyebrow when he thought that he saw her pant leg move oddly, and then shook it off. Where's she getting such stupid, insane ... - her eyes looked back to meet with his, and he felt his face heat up slowly, even when her eyes were gone - wild ... thoughts ...? Eyes went back down to where he thought that he had seen a queer movement, but they trailed up her smoothly muscled legs to a sweet, full ... No! Bad!
Seeing the other Saiyajin stop and hand over the little girl to another older woman, Vegeta leaned back against a wall, Damned Kakarotto is only teasing me anyway. I shouldn't think too hard on it. He felt her energy signal start toward him. But ... why was she smiling when she saw me earlier? Was she glad to see me? "What the hell do you want, Kakarotto?"
"Oh!" She jumped when Vegeta glared at her, "I ..." The words failed, but then she tried again, "I ... was ..."
"What the fuck is your problem already?" Grabbing her shoulder, in one swift motion, he slammed her up against the wall of the building, "Spill!"
This foolish, stupid girl. How can she get on my nerves like this? So she's a Super Saiyajin now. Who cares? I could do that! The dumb bitch won't know what hit her once I ... once I ... His chest heaved from the effects of his distraught mind, and his gut twanged, catching the scent of something primal. He squeezed her shoulder harder, watching her gaze up at him unflinchingly, Why are you so otherworldly, Kakarotto? Why ... ?
She turned her face away from his, and Vegeta shook out of the lust-induced frame of mind, taking a step back from her, Where the hell did that come from?
"Gokuu-chan! Vegeta!" All of a sudden, he was thankful for scar-face's existence, and then grimaced at him and baldy. "Uh ..." he laughed, "do I even want to know?"
The short Chikyuujin frowned softly, and stepped up, "I do! What were you two doing?"
"Sorry," at last she spoke. "I got to go now."
"What?" With a strange blur, she disappeared. "Wait!"
... Shit, he recalled that strange movement from beneath her pants. When she had flown away, a wave of her scent had hit him straight in the face once more - only this time, he had the sense and frame of mind to be able to determine the stench. Kakarotto had her tail back.