Dragon Ball Tenmei Z by Son Goharotto
Welcome to Dragon Ball Tenmei Z, the sister story to DBTZ. This is a 'what if' story based on the idea: "What if Goku hooked up with Bulma?" It will follow closely to the canon plot, with key differences, eventually spiraling away into a new stories.
DISCLAIMER: As much as I might wish it otherwise, DBZ does not belong to me. It's the property of Akira Toriyama, TOEI, FUNimation, et cetera ad nauseam. I'm not trying to make any money off of this and it's just a way for me to show my love of all things Dragon Ball. Well, except maybe GT. Bleah. I is teh poor, so don't sue me.
WARNINGS: As a whole, this series contains mature language, graphic violence, brutality, mature situations (non-lemon), and a touch of angst.
"'Layered Voice, a la Fusion'"
Thoughts, Memories, and Telepathy
Volume I – The Saiyan Saga
Episode 02 – The New Threat From Deep Space! A Momentous Occasion!
It started as a fairly ordinary day for Clem Brown. He got up early in time to greet the sunrise and donned his favorite pair of denim overalls, the ones with the burn hole in the seat.
As a younger–though no less corpulent–man, he'd sat on an ash tray that some less considerate patron left on the diner booth's bench. A still-smoldering cigarette lit the younger Brown's pants and he was saved when a beautiful waitress doused him with some coffee. That was how he'd met his future wife and Clem always wore these overalls when he was feeling lucky.
He ate a hearty, country-style breakfast of ham, eggs over-easy, and a fat stack of buttermilk flapjacks. His wife's cooking was reputed to be the best in the Eastern Territories, so despite being self-employed in a profession of vigorous physical labor, Clem was still sporting a 48-waistline.
Mr. Brown was the proud owner of an expansive cassowary ranch. The flightless birds didn't eat much, but needed a lot of room to stretch their long legs, so the portly shepherd found himself still paying off the bank loan after over a decade. It made for a comfortable living, though Mrs. Brown had taken to nagging him about having children again. Keeping an eye on these damned birds was a full-time job and Clem was too exhausted by the end of the day to do anything other than plop down next to the radio with a cold beer; why didn't she understand that?
All the same, the rancher smelled a freshness in the wind and embraced the new day with vim. The cassowaries were antsy to get moving. He released them from their night pen and pink blurs swirled around him as the rare, valuable breed set out at a run. They were usually more laid-back in the morning; had something spooked them? Clem piled into his beat-up old pickup truck and gave chase.
They eventually calmed down and stopped to rest not far south of the Browns' quaint home. An individual cassowary might amble out to follow a particularly tasting-looking insect, but they always kept within sight of the flock. Satisfied that the birds weren't going anywhere for a while, Rancher Brown lit a cigarette and got to work. He pulled a pitchfork from the flatbed and started loading the truck with straw from a previously gathered pile. The cassowaries bedding needed to be changed on a daily basis, or else their precious pink feathers might get too dirty and start to discolor.
After nearly an hour, "Just a little bit more now," Clem said aloud, fanning himself with his straw hat. Then he heard something odd and tilted his head, curious. There was a strange keening sound coming from...who knows where? It seemed to be everywhere out on the open plains. The rancher looked around for the source.
Several minutes later, he could discern a crimson dot in the clear blue sky above. The keening grew louder and louder. The cigarette tumbled from his mouth as it expanded into a flaming orb of light. It passed overhead and drew a fiery slash in its wake. Awestruck, Mr. Brown watched as it crashed into the verdant green plains not a kilometer away. The impact sent a plume of dirt into the air and it shook the ground, scaring the cassowaries into a panic. They scattered, running pell-mell around the relative safety of the rancher's familiar form.
"W-what was that just now!" Clem cried, trying to regain his balance. "A meteor! A UFO!" The flightless birds soon settled down and joined him in watching the curls of black smoke rising from the impact site. "How's about I go look?" he wondered aloud, willing himself to relax.
The dirty blue pickup careened over the unpaved plain. Could the mysterious object be one of those secret government satellites his wife's dirty papers kept talking about? If so, he might get some kind of reward for recovering it. Perhaps even hush money? The promise of an easy profit sounded very appealing. Never the less, more than once Clem found himself veering away from the dust cloud and had to correct his course. Nothing to be afraid of, he told himself. It was his lucky day, right?
Cresting a hill, the edge of a crater came into view and came to a screeching stop. Clem grabbed his rifle off the rack, just in case, and practically fell out of the truck. He inched forward and peered into the depths of the crater, blinking in surprise. It had to be a good fifty meters across, maybe more, and the rich earth appeared to have been blasted by extreme heat. It was compacted, like fired clay.
At the bottom of the crater, nestled in the middle like it had always been there, was a strange white globe. "That's no meteor! What in tarnation is it?"
A curved seam ran around it, not unlike an oversized baseball. It didn't look like it was made of any material that Clem knew of. There was also a dark, red window on one side. The object was more than large enough to hold one person comfortably and sure enough, the rancher spotted a shadow of movement within.
Suddenly, a mechanical clank and the hiss of venting atmosphere sounded as the windowed side–a hatch–opened. Out stepped the most fearsome looking fellow Clem had ever seen. It became obvious that it must have been a tight fit in the white pod. He was nearly twice as tall as the rancher and heavily muscled, with a long man of raven black hair that reached to his knees. Aside from his foreign clothes that looked like ceramic armor, the man appeared to be quite human.
A scowling face turned up to face Mr. Brown and he swallowed hard, watching in shock as the strange man rose off the ground. He didn't jump, nor did he appear to be wearing a mechanical flight device. The strange man just floated up as easily as a dandelion seed floats on the wind.
Raditz set down. He was not happy. "So, the inhabitants of this planet are still alive after all, eh?" he sneered. "That miserable Kakarrot!"
"W-who are you!" Clem stuttered. His shaking hand jerked the rifle's lever, loading a bullet.
The Saiyan, his name and nature unknown to a simple rancher on this backwater planet, did not answer. He tapped button on his Scouter. The device attached to his ear beeped and came to life, flashing foreign letters and numbers across the eyepiece as it took a reading. "Your battle power is...5? Pathetic!" He took a threatening step.
Clem aimed the rifle, but could not steady himself for a decent shot. "D-Don't come no closer! I-I'll shoot!"
Radtiz's Scouter analyzed the weapon, identifying it as a primitive projectile-firing device. Slower and weaker than even the lowest-tech beam gun, the Saiyan had nothing to fear from it. He smirked and took another step. Clem, scared out of his wits, stumbled back and pulled the trigger. BANG! A blur passed over Raditz's face as his hand came up, faster even than the bullet, snatching it out of the air. Always one to take a bit of pleasure in spooking the locals, Raditz held it up between thumb and forefinger for the fat man to see.
All thought of luck or money fled the rancher's mind. The strange man flicked his thumb, sending the bullet back at Clem thrice faster than was possible for the rifle.
The next few moments happened in slow motion. The bullet struck Clem's raised rifle at the breech, splitting the firearm in half and continuing on. It plowed right through his rotund torso, drilling through flesh and bone to explode out the back. The rancher's body was flung away like a rag doll, colliding with the truck only moments after its hood popped open, a gasket blown by the bullet's impossible power.
Clem Brown was dead before he hit the ground.
"Hmph! What a fragile people," Raditz said. His Scouter beeped again as a new energy signature appeared, aiming the way with an arrow and reticule. "There's somebody with significant power around. Range, 4880. Is that you, Kakarrot?" the Saiyan growled. He pushed off the ground and took flight, blowing past the few brave, remaining cassowaries and disappearing over the horizon.
Bulma Briefs admired herself in the mirror. Twenty-eight years old, she'd long since shed the sort of petite cuteness of teenage girls and taken on a woman's full, voluptuous form. Long legs, a generous bosom, and between them, an ass that wouldn't quit.
Perhaps the only flaw on Bulma's body were the calluses on her hands; evidence of many hours spent poring over meticulously-designed mechanical contraptions. The daughter of a scientific genius as well as heiress to a successful global corporation, she was possessed of her own intellectual talents. At risk of sounding egocentric, which Bulma was one never to fear being viewed as, she knew herself to be quite the catch.
And she'd finally been caught.
The beautiful woman that faced Bulma on the opposite side of the looking glass wore a pure white wedding gown. Certainly, she had quite a bit more fashion sense than to go with something stuffy and traditional. It was more a mini-dress than anything else, extravagantly cut and trimmed with satin and lace. Silken stockings and arm-length gloves sheathed her supple limbs. Her aquamarine-hued hair was done up in an intricate plait, interwoven with strings of pearls.
"Oh, sweetie!" cooed Bulma's mother, a former model from whom she'd gotten her looks. Of course, Mrs. Briefs was also a bit of an airhead. "You look stunning!"
"I do, don't I?" her daughter shamelessly agreed. She kept putting on and taking off different veils, comparing the overall effect with her gown. "Do you think I should change the earrings, mom? Diamonds are nice, but turquoise matches my eyes better."
"Ooooo! Yes!" Mrs. Briefs rifled around in a jewelry 'box' that was big enough to be used as a study desk. "These are set in beaten silver. That would look so very lovely." She took a supreme delight in dressing her daughter up like some pretty little doll. Stepping back, the matronly blond observed her handiwork. Pride swelled in her heart. "Honey, I'm so proud of you!"
"You probably shouldn't be, mom," Bulma responded wryly. "It's not like I'm doing this because I want to."
"Don't say that, dear! You love him, don't you? He's such a nice boy..."
"Well, sure. And I know he's nice. Real nice," she added with a girlish giggle.
Mrs. Briefs shook her bouffant'd head. "Then what's the problem, cupcake?"
"No problem!" Bulma insisted. "But neither of us particularly like being tied down, you know?" She turned to examine her backside, enjoying the way the gown's provocatively short layered skirts accentuated the flare of her hips. "But it's almost worth it just to wear this dress. It's fabulous!"
"Isn't it, though? I really lov–ah! Bulma, what about your–"
A child burst into the room; a young girl with messy, plum-colored hair and dark eyes that were round and defiant. The bow in her hair was tied around Suushinchuu, the Four-Star Dragon Ball. She bound across the room and cried, "Mommy!" in a clear tone of objection. Bulma caught the tiny body flying at her with the ease of practice. "What is this?" she demanded, picking at her frilly clothes disdainfully.
Bulma laughed, amused by the child's whining the way only a mother could be. "Umeko, that's your flower girl dress. Don't you want to look pretty for my wedding?"
"It's pink!" she countered, as if that explained everything. "I want to wear normal clothes! Daddy's wearing his training uniform," Umeko added.
Bulma's smile flickered. She never really saw herself as a mother, but had found herself excited at the prospect of raising a dainty little princess. It was with no small amount of chagrin that Umeko seemed to take predominantly after her father, inheriting a stocky frame and boisterous, tomboy nature. Though she'd gotten used to it, there were times–like this–that she really had to put her foot down.
"Is that so? Well, young lady," she continued, carrying Umeko across the room, "I suggest you go tell your father to get his butt into a tux right now." Bulma threw open the second story window and chucked her daughter outside. "Hey, Goku! Catch!"
Mrs. Briefs shrieked in fright. Down by the hor'dourves table, the spiky-haired martial artist looked up from his conversation with an elegantly-dressed Tenshinhan and spotted Umeko sailing through the air. The girl, to her credit, was clearing enjoying the flight. Goku gave a great leap and caught the cheering girl in mid-air, then landed clumsily, falling with Umeko atop his chest.
"Mommy says you gotta get dressed up like me, or you're gonna be in biiiiig trouble," Umeko informed him with a mock-grave expression.
"I don't think I'd look too good in a dress," her father replied, clearing not understanding.
"A TUXEDO, YOU BONEHEAD!" Bulma shouted from the window.
"Bulma!" her mother protested, "It's bad luck if the groom sees you before the wedding!"
"Oh, I don't believe that in that superstitious nonsense," the bride dismissed. She peered into the mirror and brushed back an errant strand of blue hair. "Goku's here and his buddies are the strongest people on Earth. Short of Piccolo showing up for an ill-timed rematch, what could possibly go wrong?"
With that matter resolved, Bulma continued her primping, but her mind was no longer focused on the present. Nostalgia reared its ugly head and she thought back to a rainy morning some five years back, the opening day of the 23rd Tenkai'ichi Budokai, the 'Number-One Under the Heaven's' Martial Arts Tournament...
"What, you can't tell it's me with this wrapped around my head? Here, I'll take it off. Then you'll see!"
Bulma could scarcely believe her eyes as she watched the handsome young man before her remove his turban, revealing a head of characteristically wild raven hair. Everyone around her expressed sounds of surprise and disbelief.
Son Goku smiled sheepishly. "Well? Are you convinced now?" He paused, a puzzled expression on his boyish face. "Bulma! Did you and the old-timer shrink or somethin'?"
"No, you really grew up!"
"Now that you mention it," Goku replied, patting his head, "maybe I did grow a little taller, huh..." The changed youth blinked and leaned forward, dangerously close. "Bulma, your lips are red! Are you sick!"
The young woman blushed. It was hard to accept that the rambunctious little boy she'd known for the past seven years could have turned into such a hunk. Even now, with an innocent face and carefree personality that betrayed the relative hardships of his early life, Goku still seemed like a child, but with a touch of masculinity that made him somehow intimidating. Bulma felt a fluttering in her chest she had first experienced upon meeting Yamucha.
At the thought of her on-again/off-again boyfriend, the aqua-haired woman growled. She slapped Goku's hands away. "It's lipstick!" she corrected, perhaps with a bit more force than she intended.
The ensuing tournament had been an interesting one, to put it mildly. Bulma had been more than a little upset with Yamucha after their last argument during his training and the atmosphere was tense between them. Meanwhile, she couldn't get over how much Goku had changed and she'd found her thoughts drifting back to him during those few idle moments. The young woman considered on latching onto Goku, using him to make her sometimes-boyfriend jealous. But such ponderings in turn raised feelings of guilt, which only caused Bulma to reflect on her relationship with Goku all the more.
Muten Roshi and the others had found it highly amusing that Goku was the only one who didn't recognize Chi-Chi, who had pursued him over a childhood crush. Bulma, however, had felt herself growing hot with envy. An irrational sense of possessiveness drove her to convince Chi-Chi into backing down. It was quite the scene; a spectator getting in a shouting match with one of the combatants.
The bride now felt a bit flustered, thinking about the events that led to this day. She hadn't really meant to ensnare Goku the way she did, but the childlike martial artist was starting to show an almost shocking interest in–shall we say—adult matters, and their courtship bore fruit quickly. Bulma had no regrets, of course. Goku was the sort of man that she couldn't help but adore and had turned out to be a wonderful, attentive father. More importantly, he was reliable. Maybe not in the sense of a mature salaryman, but Bulma could always count on him to be where he was needed, whether that meant saving the world or just offering a shoulder to cry on.
With a satisfied sigh, Bulma finally decided on a veil. It was going to be a fun night.
On a windswept wasteland many kilometers to the east, a solitary figure stood atop a craggy plateau. A long white cape billowed around the motionless form of Ma Junior, spawn of the terrible villain Piccolo Daimaou. Five years ago, the reincarnated 'Great Demon King' had entered the Budokai, aiming to kill Son Goku and announce his return as the dark ruler of Earth. Incredibly, he was defeated and his life spared by the kind-hearted Goku. Cursing the name of his spiky-haired rival, Piccolo exiled himself to the wastelands, training and focusing on nothing more than claiming revenge.
But something had disturbed his meditations today. The demon warrior felt a terrible unease in the depths of his black soul. Sunken eyes scanning the heavens, Piccolo searched for the source of this disturbance...and found it. There! An oppressive force that grew closer by the second!
Piccolo whirled around, his dark visage clearly shaken. "W-what kind of power is this?" he gaped. "It couldn't possibly be...Son Goku?" Not even he, the victor of their battle by only the narrowest of margins, could compare to the immensity of ki that Piccolo now sensed. The demonic warrior was rooted to the spot in the way a deer gets caught in the headlights of a car, unable to do anything but await the arrival of whomever possessed such great power. His sharp vision penetrated the cerulean blue and whispy white, drawing a bead on the source.
Raditz dropped from the sky at a suicidal angle, coming up short just above the ground, experiencing g-forces that would have crushed a normal human. His muscular frame landed quite softly. The Saiyan stared down the new, cloaked figure before him. "You're not Kakarrot," he observed with disappointment.
"Who are you?" Piccolo demanded. His initial surprise faded and what remained was a guarded suspicion as he sized up the stranger before him. "What business do you have with me?"
"None," Raditz replied, his disdain apparent.
"Then why do you come before me? Do you wish to die?" the demon asked. Despite his bravado, it was difficult for Piccolo just to stand so close to the stranger. He didn't even look like he was ready to fight, yet a tangible bloodlust radiated from the armored man.
"You appear quite confident," Raditz chuckled. Another tap of the Scouter registered the green warrior's combat rating. "Ho! Battle power, 322. So there are folks like you on this mudball, eh? But you're still no match for me," he proclaimed boldly.
Piccolo didn't respond well to taunts. Fists clenched, he spread his stance. "You dare! Do you know to whom you speak, fool?"
"Not really," the Saiyan replied, his flippant tone only irritating the demon further.
Resolving to wipe that smirk off the stranger's pointed face, the demon gathered his ki. The muscles of his arm swelled and he thrust a hand forward, firing off a blast of energy that could vaporize stone. Piccolo's triumphant grin quickly slid off his face. Something was wrong. As the clouds of dust cleared, the stranger was revealed with nary a scratch on his foreignly-designed armor.
"That was a worthless technique, eh?" came a casual voice. "Is kicking up dust all it can do?" The Saiyan hovered a few inches off the ground, which was blackened and smoldering from the force of Piccolo's attack. The demon had no words, stunned into silence by the ineffectiveness of his efforts, so Raditz spoke again. "Now it's my turn."
Raditz raised a hand, preparing to do something suitably impressive and lethal, but his Scouter interrupted him by beeping loudly. "There's another great power around here," he muttered, reading the computer's alert.
Without bothering to finish his business here, the Saiyan vanished. Piccolo was only barely able to track the movement as the armored warrior stopped at a spot several dozen meters above.
"That way... Range, 12909. It's large...the largest power on this planet. This time for sure, it's Kakarrot!" Raditz rocketed away into the distance.
When the strange warrior was gone from his sight, Piccolo collapsed to his hands and knees. The tension was all that had been holding him up. Sweat poured off his green face as he gasped for breath. "This...this is insane!" the demon growled, furious with himself. "I-I was shaking so much, I couldn't move!"
In mere moments, his whole world was turned upside down. Piccolo seemed to be no more than a child compared to this strange new being and it truly frightened him. It had to be providence that the armored man was too preoccupied to finish him off. The shadow of things to come loomed over the demon like a storm cloud. Piccolo summoned the courage to do what he already knew must be done.