Due to popular demand, I have decided to, in order to give you a bit more intimate look into affairs, make another personal point of view—Vegeta's. Oh, joy. I hope that you like the idea anyway . . . It's you who I'm doing all of this anyway.

Saying I had "calmed down" an hour later would be an overstatement. There was no "calm" in the head-splitting headache that the gods had bestowed upon me, just to shut me up. I could have gone on crying for hours if not for that . . . but then again I probably wouldn't have done that either, if even just out of pity for poor Yamcha's ears.

Yamcha . . . Every time I saw him or heard his comforting words throughout the entire agonizing hour of wailing and sobbing, my crying would increase all over again with renewed vigor. It was pathetic, how easily controllable I was by my emotions . . . it was pathetic how he still stayed by my side, even after all I had told him . . .

Yes, I told him everything. Every little gruesome detail, every little ugly truth, every little despicable feeling I had for the asshole . . . With each word, the look in his eyes became more and more distant, as I had expected. He looked at me differently, sheltering himself with a wall from my revolting self . . . Yes . . . I knew this would happened, and yes, I knew I fully deserved it . . . but as it happened, I couldn't help feeling the pain in my chest increase all over again . . . I was such a terrible person . . . I hated myself even more if that was physically possible . . .

"So . . ." he began in a shaken voice, "what are you going to do now?" He looked at me in the eyes, ready to tell if I would lie to him. He was such a wonderful person, so unselfish, so calculating . . . By simply looking into my eyes he could tell whether I was lying or not . . . because he knew me so well in that aspect . . . and yet didn't know a thing about me in general . . .

"I . . ." I looked away. "I really don't know . . ."

"We can't go on like this," he informed me, vocalizing the painful fact that stabbed me with another pang of guilt.

"I . . ." I couldn't bear hearing this even in my head . . . "It will sound terribly hypocritical . . . I know . . ." I wasn't going to say this . . . "I know I'm such a terrible person . . ." I lifted my eyes to catch his gaze. "It sounds atrociously hypocritical but . . . but . . ." He lifted his eye brows, sad gaze urging me on. What have I brought upon this radiant person? What am I trying to bring more to him? I couldn't! I couldn't possibly break the last of him . . . this attraction of his, it would devastate him . . . I couldn't say this . . . "Nothing, forget it." I shook my head and rose to my wobbly feet. Curse me for my damn weakness! Not now, not when I most need my resolve! "Just go home and forget all about this, and all about me!"

I tried to make my way towards the door but he caught my wrist before I could flee. I made a futile attempt to shrug or shove him off but he didn't budge. I turned around on my heel to look into his eyes, now full of determination and . . . hope? He wasn't serious . . .

"Finish what you were trying to say." There was an air of finality in the order . . . one that I have never heard in his voice before. He wanted to know, he wanted to hear . . . he knew he would hurt and still he wanted to hear it . . . Why? Why did he do all of this for me? Why was he so ready to sacrifice his own happiness just to relieve me? Why? I couldn't understand . . . I couldn't possibly comprehend this unselfishness of his . . . Why?

And, going against all that was left good in me, I heard myself saying it . . . the terribly egoistical and hypocritical words . . .

"It's disgustingly hypocritical but I don't want to lose you . . . I didn't want to befriend you because I knew how it would all end up . . . with me hurting you . . . I've never had any friends and it was better that way . . . because I'm a terrible person and I would've tainted them . . ." Oddly enough there were still tears left in my eyes which fell freely now as I looked up at him again. "But against everything I ever believed, against all my defenses you broke through and became such a vital part of my life that . . . I'm not sure what will happen to me if I lose you . . . I'm so sorry for saying all of this, Yamcha . . . I really need your friendship so much . . . just to know I'm still alive . . . It's an impossibly selfish thing to say, but I beg you . . . don't leave me on my own . . ."

Before I knew it, he had crushed me to his chest in a tight hug. My silent tears were in free fall once again as I clutched him closer to me. I didn't want to let go and yet felt filthier with each second that I clung to him. I was a terrible, horrible person . . .

"I won't let you become like him . . ." I heard him whisper while he caressed the back of my head. "I will never leave your side."

"I'll only hurt you . . ."

"Hurt me then, it doesn't matter to me, as long as you turn to me whenever you need someone," he retorted making me collapse to my knees again, yet never letting go of me as we both sat on the cold floor.

"I don't deserve you . . ." I muttered through my tears.

"You deserve to love and to be loved back, cheesy though it might sound to you." He probably expected me to laugh at that but I only cried harder. "I'll help you get back at him."

"Pardon?" I was shocked beyond belief. So much, in fact, that I immediately stopped crying to look at Yamcha's smirking face.

"I'll help you get back at him, or I'll help you make him see you. Whatever you want to do, I'm in it with you." I stared at him as if he had just said he'd jump off a cliff. "After all, that's what friends are for! And I sure as hell would like to flaunt it to my buddies that I match-made my best friend Bulma Briefs, the one and only."

I must have looked hideous as it was, with my terribly red eyes and swollen from crying face. As though it wasn't enough, I couldn't help my face fixing into a grimace of utter nonplus.

"Why are you doing this? Why do you insist on doing all these things for me if they hurt you so? Why are you smiling so gleefully after those atrocious things I said . . . ? Why are you being friendly with me after I caused you so much grief with my monstrous betrayal? Why are you pushing yourself so, for hopeless revolting me?" I felt absolutely lost. This person . . . how was he able to give so much to me, such an ungrateful little whore? Why . . . ?

In spite of my puzzlement he just grinned. But this time there was a pang of pain, a twitch of a grimace on his handsome features, if even for a single moment.

"You're the first person to have made me realize some trivial truths that I have before written off as clichéd . . ." He looked into my eyes and cupped my cheek tenderly. I was repulsed . . . repulsed with my own impurity, with my own gruesomeness . . . with my soul's hideousness as he did so . . . I couldn't bear to look at him in the eye—I was so ashamed. "You're a much better person than you give yourself credit, Bulma . . . Please stop blaming yourself for everything."

I shook my head curtly and inhaled shakily, stopping my endless irritating tears. I noticed then that Yamcha's face became stonily serious once again.

"Bulma, tell me just this," he began uncertainly. It definitely gathered my attention though. "Did you do . . . anything . . . you know," he looked into my eyes as he said that, "with him . . . while we were together?"

I'm almost certain my face described the horror I felt in my heart at the prospect of what he was implying.

"I could never do that terrible a thing to you, Yamcha!" I retorted, if a bit too harshly and sternly than I had intended at first.

Yamcha, on the other hand, just smiled that sad way again, caressing my damp tresses of hair.

"I'll be going on my way now, as it's getting rather late and you're probably tired and want to be by yourself for a moment . . ." He got up from the floor and took off for the door.

Being left by myself was the last thing I would've wished for . . . but I'd be damned if I let myself make a sound of protest or the slightest attempt to stop him. Right then, the person suffering the most was him . . . He, who tried so hard to make me feel the same way he did . . . how wonderful it could have been if only he had succeeded . . . I'm sure that his happy-go-lucky attitude would've been the ray of light that could've broken through the thick clouds that have settled over my troubled heart . . . but I guess it just wasn't meant to be . . .

With a last lingering glance at the threshold, he said upon his depart, "You know . . . it would probably sound insane if anyone heard me saying it . . . but I think I would've preferred that it was just your body that had betrayed me . . . because when it's just the bodily desire, it is easy to forgive and forget . . . yet when your heart belongs elsewhere, there couldn't possibly be anything I can do to make it mine . . ."

I . . . I . . . I hate myself so much . . .

Vegeta leant further on his desk, the hand supporting his head becoming looser while he sighed in boredom. Piccolo was on again about the entrance exam of the Orange Star University, how difficult it was going to be and blah, blah, blah—all of his usual shits that the spiky haired boy rarely cared enough to actually listen to.

With a side glance to his left, Vegeta noted the absence of his desk-mate for which time that day he couldn't possible care less to keep count of. To be rather frank, he expected such a thing. Lately she had been looking about to collapse and, being the stupid and feeble woman that she was, she most probably did, coming down with a cold the previous day or something ludicrous like that. The odder thing to the onyx eyed male, however, was the fact that her lackey showed up at school that day, looking as careless and idiotic as ever. Vegeta snorted angrily—probably got laid, he deduced.

His time for brooding was yet again interrupted when something light whacked his head and bounced down on the ground. Irritated and ready to kill, his eyes whipped around the room to spot the molester only to find Goku pointing his finger to the object thrown. Why that babbling buffoon better know what's coming to him once class ended . . .

For the time being though, the temperamental teen decided to collect the, as it came out, crumpled into a ball note from Goku and he judged he might as well check what it said. He wasn't curious or anything!

Hey, Veg', any idea where B is? The girls were wondering if she was alright and everything . . .

Gritting his teeth and balling his fists, Vegeta let out a low growl inaudible to anyone around him. Why that imbecilic fool . . . ! It was probably just himself worrying over the woman—the girls were just another excuse to veil his intentions! He was so see-through, especially after being befriended to him for all those years—hadn't he figured that out yet?

Grabbing his pen, the flame-haired teenager scribbled something viciously in almost as illegible shrift as his fellow class-mate's and crumpled the paper sheet with enviable vigor before throwing it malignantly at the other boy. He smirked in content when he heard Goku's muffled groan of protest when the thing collided with his head.

Rubbing his head, Goku unfolded the paper.

I'm not her damn personal secretary. And stop being childish, you imbecile! Hiding behind others as an excuse is already far too old!

Goku pouted indignantly, readying his hand with the pen over the note in order to send back a reply when another, harder, thing made impact with his head.

"Ouch!" he grumbled while rubbing the sore spot. "What's the big idea, Ve—?" but before he could finish he noticed the murderous gaze the teacher who was now staring right at him was giving him.

"Dear goodness, I think I have been mistaken for somebody else," Mr. Piccolo said sardonically. "Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Son" Goku swallowed audibly. "How would you like to share your concerns written on that piece of paper with the rest of the class?"

At this point, Vegeta was getting seriously bored of the entire affair. He watched with indifferent eyes as Goku explained dully how he had asked Vegeta whether he knew if something was wrong with Bulma as it was—quite obvious—that she was missing that day.

"Nice try, Son, but next time try to sound a bit more convincing when you lie." Goku stared dumbfounded at his mentor. "You bunch of miscreants couldn't possibly fool me with such petty explanations."

"But I'm not lying," he tried to clarify. Naturally, the bell chose that most convenient moment to ring.

"Hn, saved by the bell again, Mr. Son. Now scram you scoundrels, I have better things to do than deal with you in my only free time in this dump." It was a very disturbing manner in which the teacher always talked to the class but once you saw them in action during the recesses, you knew he was absolutely right. Class 12-C was one of the worst you could come across in the school's entire history. Most of them were violent, a bit too ambitious—bordering the aggressive even—and far too loud and cunning for their own good.

However, for better or for worse, until you got to know any of them better you had no such observations because all you could see was a bunch of noisy excited teenagers chatting with each other during the breaks between classes.

"Now that you mention it," Juuhachigou began as she leant on the free place on Vegeta's desk while the rest of the gang gathered around, "where is Wonder Girl? I never thought I'd see the day miss Perfect Score would skip."

"You're right. It's really not like her to play truant . . ." ChiChi mused as well.

"I think it's best to go check on her after school. Maybe she needs a shoulder to lean on or has some trouble because of which she can't go to school," Goku added.

"That's why she has Romeo to aid her, remember?" Krillin pointed over his shoulder at Yamcha who was now chatting with his sister.

Vegeta was idly sitting in his seat, listening to those buffoons spewing nonsense and idiotic musings. He wasn't well known at all for his infinite patience—quite the contrary. For that reason their little tirade became a bit too much for him to take much too soon. He slammed his feet on the ground as he sat up.

"You don't know her but you're discussing whether it's 'like her' or not to skip school. You're making stupid conjectures and deciding things by yourself when you know nothing of their validity. It's so ridiculous! All of it!" He then made his way for the door; though not before hearing ChiChi call after him,

"At least we know how to get befriended and care for other human beings."

The flame-haired guy made no retort as he stormed off.

As the gang watched Vegeta's back disappear out the door, ChiChi snorted in a quite un-lady-like way.

"Aw, Chi, that was a bit harsh, even if it's Vegeta we're talking about," Krillin said while adopting a pitiful expression on his face.

"Serves him right, that jerk! The least he could do is act concerned!" the raven haired girl complained, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Now that you mention it, he has for a fact been a bit more withdrawn lately than the usual . . ." Goku's eye brows narrowed in concern as he said that. Although he and Vegeta might not get along well all the time, the happy-go-lucky teen believed they had a special kind of bond between the two of them . . . if only just because they had lived similar lives.

"The next thing you know he'd have a thing for our bright genius girl." Juuhachigou smirked at the prospect. ChiChi gasped at that.

"Don't even joke about those things, Juu!"

"Vegeta having a crush? Brrr!" Krillin mocked a shiver at those words, making his two female companions laugh a bit.

"Okay, guys—that really crossed the line." Goku gave his friends a scorning expression, not looking amused in the least.

"Lighten up a bit, Goku—you know we're just kidding!" ChiChi said, although not really convincingly.

"Yeah! You know we all love Vegeta, don't you?" Juuhachi mocked, making Goku roll his eyes in defeat. He never wanted to be on the bad side of those two girls . . .

"Anyway, it would be tough choice—Don Juan or Vileness Child? Which is the better of those two evils, I wonder?" Krillin laughed at the attempted joke, eliciting a cruel laugh from both girls.

"I'd hope, if it came to that, that Bulma wouldn't choose Vegeta over Yamcha." Goku stated scarily seriously, making his friends look stunned at him.

"That coming from you, whoa . . . Some friend you are." Juuhachigou gave a sly smile.

"Don't mistake—Vegeta is really my closest friend and I appreciate him. And that's exactly why I could be the one to say those things, because I know him best. Yamcha might be a player but at least he's nice and warm-hearted . . . while everything Bulma can get from Vegeta is hurt and loneliness. I don't want my friends getting down each other's throats—it would create meaningless tension within the gang . . . don't you think?" In the next moment, his seriousness faded when a thought occurred to him. "Hey, twenty-minute recess already? Gotta go, guys!" and with that off he went for lunch . . .

His friends stared after him for quite some time before speaking again.

"No matter how many times he does those instant changes, I can never grow used to it . . ." ChiChi said with a sweatdrop.

Juuhachigou and Krillin both agreed with a slow nod of the head with her.

Later that day, the gang—save for Vegeta who took off before anyone could see him go—decided to go visit Bulma at home and see if she was alright. Of course, it was transparent whose idea it was but it was a quite nice one—and every once in a while the whole gang could be nice at the same time as well.

However, the "host" of their visit was neither eager to be visited, nor was she in any condition to welcome any visitors.

Cautiously, Goku probed the door handle to the room which he guessed was Bulma's by the rather obvious "Bulma's Room" written with large friendly letters on a child-like coloured sign, like the ones little children are keen to make for themselves when they see them on TV.

To his surprise, Goku and company had found the front door—or was 'gate' a more accurate word for the occasion—very much open for anyone to enter. And when he saw the land mistress with her back towards the door, clutching something like clinging to a lifeline, it became quite clear that Bulma wasn't in the mood to be interrogated or bugged with anything whatsoever.

For all his stupidity in school subjects, the boy had incomprehensively excellent people skills. It was probably that quality of his that had at first attracted ChiChi to him, as well as all of his friends. It was also the reason why he could befriended with practically anyone.

"Hey, B," he began in a calm tone, hoping against all hope that she wasn't asleep. When the bundle on the bed snorted in greeting as well, his shoulders slumped from their tensed state into their normal one. With a characteristic goofy grin, he approached the bed on which his friend lay. "I thought you'd want to know that your door was unlocked."

"There isn't a single object worthy in this house of locking the door for," a throaty voice croaked from the bed. Obviously she hadn't been out all day, or used her voice at all . . .

"Now that's a bit cold," Goku complained while sitting on his knees right in front of the bed. "I like your door sign." He grinned at her still turned back.

"My mother made it against my will when I was three." She made a pause during which she snorted. "I think it's the only keepsake of her that I still have."

'Another touchy subject,' the spiky-haired teen thought cringing. Today was definitely not her day for conversing . . . He was starting to understand why she hadn't come to school. As if reading his thoughts in the exactly same instant, she grumbled out something from the bed, clinging a bit closer still to whatever she was holding.

"Is that all you came for—to hear a few teary stories about my precious mother?"

"We were just wondering how you were doing and we came to see you." He clarified with a kind smile.

"I'm fine. I'll come tomorrow. If that's all you had to say you can leave now." Something like that would've certainly made a normal person pull back, if anything from indignation—it was what Bulma had said it for as well. However, what she still didn't realize entirely was that Goku was no normal person and things like that were not even close to insulting . . . otherwise he wouldn't have been able to be befriended with Vegeta for as long as he had been.

"We were worried about you, Bulma."

"I'm touched." She tried to sound as cold as she could . . . but her tears were threatening to fall down her face all over again and she had to try her best to keep her voice steady and her face straight. "You can go now."

"If there's anything we can help you with, you know you can always count on us, right?" the teen asked while he rose to his feet. He noticed a faintly familiar black garment in the possession of Bulma's arms. "We're your friends after all, right?"

This time the phrase really needed the best of her restraint to keep her from crying out loud. She wanted so badly to tell someone how she felt, to receive some understanding, to get supported, to escape the hollowness and darkness of her mind in which she had thrown herself for a whole day straight. She needed her friends—for the short time she had known them they had all become such a vital part of her life. Their support was priceless . . . and yet when she most needed it . . . she couldn't find the words to say, the voice to speak to them . . . It was pitiful, it was pathetic . . . and it was so goddamn painful . . .

But instead saying all those things she wanted so desperately to, she just nodded to herself, knowing Goku would see her.

"Yes, Goku. Thank you. Now please leave me alone . . . I need to have a bit of rest."

"Get better soon, Bulma! We'll be waiting for you tomorrow!" He smiled warmly from the threshold and waved good-bye, although the blue-haired heiress couldn't see that. "See you in school!"

How she wished she could get better soon . . . How she wished it could all get cured by the flick of a magic wand . . . How she wished it could all go away, all those heavy feelings that suffocated her . . . How she wished the painful memories could just evaporate in thin air and she could be the person she had always wanted to be, the person she knew she could have been . . . if only her life had not steered in such a wrong direction from the very beginning . . .

When the door slammed behind him and his radiance gone, Bulma felt her resolve crumble. She pulled her feet closer to her body in a fetus-like position, clinging to Vegeta's jacket tighter and wept herself to sleep, hoping that she would be able to bring herself together for the next day.

The next day a student entered the school edifice a bit later than everyone else. It was already halfway through the first class for the day but the person couldn't care less. She was much too much intertwined in her thoughts to have any attention to spare for tedious matters such as those.

She walked slowly up the alley leading to the main entrance, a sad distant smile on her adolescent features. It surprised her how much she could actually achieve if she simply set her entire being, body and soul, into it. She had first managed to overcome her mother's betrayal, and subsequently her father's for that matter, then had managed to skip a grade (and a very tough one, too) in the school that was famed as the one with most strict educational program in the country and now this . . .

She had never believed herself to be a strong person. She had never showed any strength. Her taut smile melted into a firm frown at the thought—she wasn't as strong as he was, and she would probably never be.

Her heart had become weak when her mother had started regarding her as a complete stranger. Her resolve had completely broken when the spine of their modest family, her ditzy, perky, but still kind and gentle mother had gone insane. Her world had narrowed down to the ugly little premise that she called her room. She had always hidden her feelings. She had always drawn a line between herself and people in fear of being rejected again and as a natural self-preservation instinct. She had never had any ambitions in life whatsoever because there was not a thing that this cruel reality could offer her that could actually spike her interest.

And then she had to meet him, the tough guy . . . Someone completely opposite to her. Someone who had seemed so lovely, so heavenly the first year she had attended . . . and then had so absurdly abruptly changed that it was incomprehensible. She had felt the will to live ignite in her again, drive her onward and onward, closer to him . . . although not in her wildest dreams would she have thought she would be able to become as close to him.

The bell sang its high-pitched annoying tune throughout the entire building, giving her a cue to enter the classroom. She didn't pay Mr. Piccolo, the teacher with whom the class had had homeroom just now, or anyone else for that matter, any attention before reaching her friends, who were by her side in a flash. Or at least they had intended to be, before Mr. Piccolo spoke up.

"I know that my Homeroom classes are probably not the most interesting thing to attend to so early in the morning for a so-called prodigy such as you, Miss Briefs—"

"If you know that then any further continuation to that question would be rather pointless, don't you think, Mr. Piccolo?" Bulma threw her teacher an icy glare over her shoulder.

If her words hadn't been enough, this certainly took Piccolo aback. He had never had this reserved student, who was truly living up to the subtle nickname for her that had spread throughout the class—Wonder Girl—talk back to him in any way, or stray from the path of a spotless record. True, when she hadn't been in his class, he hadn't even cared to get to know anything about her, even though she was the Bulma Briefs. Frankly said, he didn't care for any other students but his class—though he would never tell them that either—if anything, he didn't want them to get all arrogant on him. But now, here she was, talking to him, a representative of authority, as if she was better than him . . .

"Then please do remember this for the next time you try to pull such a stunt, missy—if you're absent from another one of my classes, I shall send a letter to your father or call him personally to a parent-teacher meeting, so he gets a little update on his daughter's character towards her superiors."

By the time her friends were worriedly looking at her, wondering if they should approach her or not. There was something rather scary in her eye . . . An evil glint, a distant shine that made them look so . . . mind-bogglingly cold . . . It was too unusual . . .

"Oh, please do try that—I would like to see if it results in anything," she muttered to herself while she turned her back to the teacher.

Being the person to let his temper easily get the better of him when having a student talk to him like that, Mr. Piccolo would have come up with another sardonic comeback to that if it hadn't been for Goku interrogating him something about an upcoming physics Olympiad . . . or something. He didn't even care enough to listen, as it was clear as a day to him that the fool was only trying to divert his attention from his friend, who was obviously getting deeper into trouble every second just by standing around her homeroom teacher. He smirked in a half-amused (because he was still half-annoyed too) matter—if anything, the little princess had managed to integrate herself in a class full of individualists and bind them together somewhat. It was truly fascinating how one person could change those around them so much . . . without even trying.

It was just as he was finishing that train of thought that the bell rang loudly, signaling the end of class. Mr. Piccolo snorted to himself, thinking how the damned thing had rescued those miscreants again but when he seriously considered it, he didn't care enough to punish anyone for misbehavior in the first place. They were a bunch of meddlesome teenagers, but they were his bunch of meddlesome teenagers. Besides, he was just dying to show that Mr. Kami that his class was better than the other man's.

Meanwhile, Bulma advanced towards her and Vegeta's desk, finding him staring directly at her. She returned the intense look with just as much ferocity. If looks could kill or talk, both would be dead by now or they would be having a very heated argument.

It was, of course, Bulma who broke the eye contact first, taking her backpack off on the desk, rummaging for something inside it. Vegeta, being himself, only raised slightly a dark eyebrow at her actions but nonetheless refrained from questioning her—he found it absolutely useless as it was evident she was looking for something to give to him.

Wordlessly, Bulma took out a neatly folded black jacket that seemed oddly familiar to the boy and she gave it to him.

"Don't look at it as if it's contaminated." She snorted angrily as she crossed her arms over her chest. "I washed it before returning it."

At that point, she begged God that he would say something. Anything, just so she wouldn't feel so uneasy around him. She hoped, too, that her resolve had improved since the previous day's stunt but there was no way to be sure . . .

"You were absent yesterday," he stated in that cold, chilling voice, making a shiver run several times up and down her spine.

"Getting better at stating the obvious, aren't we?" she smirked evilly and looked insistently at him but he didn't bat an eyelash. She was beginning to feel uncomfortable with seeing him return her glare like that. He was now proving to her how different he was when staring from the side and when facing head-on. She swallowed with difficulty. What was even more odd and uncomfortable, however, was the fact that he really waited for an answer. Being something that interested him . . . she felt another chilling shiver run through her body. Closing her eyes and making herself look haughty—or at least she hoped she was succeeding—Bulma walked over to her own seat and sat herself ungracefully. "What do you care where I have been? I don't owe you anything to begin with—"

"You were with him, weren't you?" He scrutinized her with that dark gaze of his, making something scratch against her lungs from the inside, begging to be freed.

Her eye brows furrowed, however she felt inside, and an angry flush rose in her pallid cheeks. Suddenly she had the untamable urge to slap him, just to feel better about all of this that had happened to her in the last couple of days, just to make herself feel better for turning Yamcha down like she had . . . and all of that pain inflicted on an innocent person because of this egoistic bastard! What had she been thinking, having those ridiculous dreams of actually putting up with this bastard's attitude all day long? She couldn't stand him!

"Although it is none of your business, as a matter of fact I was. And, before you waste your breath anymore, I think I'm going to see what the others are up to. Whatever it is, they are certainly better company than you." She huffed angrily and stomped off towards her friends who seemed to be giving them space at that moment but cheered up the moment Bulma advanced toward them.

When she turned her back to him, Bulma left behind a very puzzled Vegeta to deal with a torrent of new emotions. Among them, however, was one that he knew perfectly well—hatred. Oh, yes, how he hated that scar-faced rat . . . As he thought that, he gave Yamcha the evil eye and the boy caught the look, hastily finding an excuse for leaving his sister and the room. Oh, how he dreamed of making the little bastard sorry for ever laying eyes on his woman . . .

One of those days . . . One of those days he would reclaim his little possession and would make the idiot pay . . . One day . . .

"What's wrong, B? Another fight with mister grumpy?" Krillin joked, laughing whole-heartily afterwards, making his friend crack an uncertain smile.

"Yeah, somewhat . . ." she said indecisively, not really sure of what to make of her own little outburst. A try to make him feel jealous, was it? Or was it a subconscious attempt to make him angrier with Yamcha . . . ? She didn't even dare follow that kind of train of thought . . .

"Hey, Bulma, are you really all right now? Goku said that it looked that you have some pretty serious problems when we came yesterday and we figured . . ." ChiChi began, looking compassionately at her blue-haired friend. As if just coming out of a trance, Bulma laughed nervously and waved a dismissive hand.

"Of course, I'm great! Don't I look great? Oh, damn, and I tried so hard when dressing myself this morning. Don't worry over me so much, you guys. You're making me feel uncomfortable!" She forced another laugh but this time her newly found friends seemed a bit more convinced. She smiled at them but, inside, she felt terrible.

Once again, she was distancing herself from others. She wasn't even doing it consciously, but couldn't stop herself. However, if her pretending abilities finally found a decent place to kick in, if it was in order not to worry the only people in that world for which she cared about and which cared about her, she felt a bit better . . .

"You missed the fun, Wonder Girl—we had a surprise test in physics yesterday when you were absent." Juuhachigou informed her with a smug smirk.

Bulma made a despaired face. If she had missed the test that meant . . . more time with Mr. Piccolo so he could lecture her, let her have the test and grade it afterwards. Life was so cruel . . . The last thing she wanted was to be with Mr. Piccolo alone . . . especially after their little argument a few minutes ago . . . The guy probably hated her guts right about now . . .

"Impossible . . . Fate can't be that cruel . . . Now I'll have to do the test alone, in the same room with Piccolo . . ." she muttered incoherently to herself.

"Oh, don't worry," Goku began cheerfully, making her raise her head in hope. "Vegeta will be doing it too—he was absent from that class as well."

A strangled cry tore from the marine-haired girl's chest while she collapsed in a boneless heap on Juuhachi's desk around which they were gathered. Now she knew that God was not love . . . otherwise he wouldn't have permitted such a thing to happen to her . . . Not with the two people she least wanted to see . . .

"Heaven despises me, I'm sure now . . ."

I have always . . . always lived on my own, ever since I can remember. I have had very few influences from my parents on my life, but what little they did influence me, it was always negative.

I'm not going to complain about the way my life has gone. I'm not like those pansies that are just looking for an excuse to make people pity them and use their past as a way to get understanding. If someone pities me, I beat them up—I neither need nor want their pity for me. I have done plenty in my life to prove that I am a person who doesn't need to be pitied. I don't need anyone's understanding either. Winning someone's approval has never been on my need-to-do list, and I have avoided it successfully thus far. It could be because few people know what kind of life I have lived . . . Maybe it's because they're too scared of me to ask . . . or perhaps it's because they're afraid to find out what stands behind my abnormally violent behaviour that keeps them away from me . . .

Hah, petty creatures. They know nothing of life; they know nothing of this world. But I do . . . and they have a right to be scared from me. I am a very scary person, a very dangerous person . . . And I am glad that they keep their distance, because people piss me off the most . . .

I'm not going to complain about my past. The past is just that—past; it's something that's over and done for. I have always despised those people who live with memories of yesterday, holding onto them like simpletons, wishing they can bring back something that's already long over . . . It's so stupid it's not even amusing. I don't complain and I don't boast about it. The past is something that I have no wish to talk about with anyone who is not directly involved or informed about it.

It is exactly because I don't want to become like that kind of person, a weak-hearted, weak-willed idiot, that I just set myself a goal, a purpose, and go for it with all I have. Sometimes I play quite dirty, but the ends justify the means. Is that a bad thing to say, coming from a teenager who should be building solid beliefs and values?

Actually what angers me when people go on to judge others is that they don't realize how narrow-minded their justice actually is. They go on, trying to enforce their own likings and beliefs on others, saying that one thing is "good" and another's "bad". Who decides those things? Every individual does for themselves, naturally . . . but they seem to forget that every time when they see me beating up some no good bastard who dares to pick a fight with me. Am I the wrong one, for beating them up, or are they wrong for picking a fight?

When was the time that I had begun thinking like this, in this lawless manner? I can't even remember that far back . . . It was before anyone would believe I was conscious of my existence . . . It was on the day when that whore, my so-called mother, left the house, with a bang, like she usually does things. It was on that day that she said all her puny little brain could come up with to hurt me, to destroy what little childish consciousness I still had, that I reverted to this kind of thinking . . .

Humans are deceitful creatures. They are egoistic and do things as it suits their whim, not caring what happens to others in the process. They lie, they don't obey the rules they set for themselves, and they abhor the peace that they strive for. They betray one another without slightest hesitation, whenever they feel threatened or not rightfully appreciated. They want to get more than they give, thus resulting in them forcefully taking what they don't get. They are ridiculous creatures that are worthy only being laughed at. They're despicable creatures whose few uses should only be exploited until one is fully satisfied.

That's why I hate them all . . . I hate the people I see on the street, I hate the people who live in my block, I hate the people who breathe my air and contaminate it with their idiocy. I hate everyone who tries to prove they're any better than me, because they aren't. Affection, compassion, friendship, love—all those are fabrications of people, sweet labels to slap on their impure intentions; excuses they use for exploiting each other. I don't believe in chimeras such as selflessness. There is no such thing as a person who isn't self-centered. No matter how pure a mind, there is no innocent person—not in this century, not in this country.

I can't help but laugh whenever someone mentions the word 'love' around me. It's so ridiculous it could make me die from suffocation with laughter. They say love is a selfless feeling . . . ? Then isn't it actually that you make someone else happy, if you know that it would make you happy too? Isn't it because you want some sort of gratification from that person that you're actually being nice to them? Isn't it because you know that they'll do whatever you wish them to afterwards that you act nice?

There is no such thing as love or friendship. Friends are only people who you think you can rely on but yet you doubt them easily if someone with as strong character as mine starts convincing you your friends had betrayed you. Trust—it's such a fragile thing . . . So fragile is this trust that it just begs to be broken and disposed of . . . !

I hate those hiding behind excuses to justify using others. I hate making up reasons for being with someone, saying they're 'friends', 'lovers' or anything imbecilic such as that. I find use for someone for my own selfish purposes and I don't hesitate using them. I don't consider others' feelings because they, too, are just temporary things; things you forget overnight after a good sleep. Emotions are things that lose intensity so easily that it's appalling. I cannot make myself appreciate the feelings of those who only serve as dolls, tools to achieve the goals I set for myself.

Those are the truths by which I live my life . . . These are, basically, the reasons why I behave like I do. I think that it's not necessary to be a rocket scientist to understand my reasoning.

People hate me because I hate them equally as much. People are scared from me because I am so painfully frank, as well as blunt and rather radical in my convictions. Because of my strong character, they avoid me, in fear that their weak resolve will result in losing themselves in the sheer solidity of my being. I hated the people in this shit hole of a school, people with so little backbone it wasn't even funny. Weren't those supposed to be the elite of the nation? They repulsed me, with their petty worries and interests. They were so narrow-minded and terribly prejudiced that it was enough to make me vomit if I considered it too thoroughly. They were like copies of each other; it was as if seeing the same person all over the place. People with no worries, people with no problems, people who didn't know shit about this world which they polluted with their very existence.

And yet, here, I found this girl . . . a girl so very different from the masses. She reminded me somewhat of me with the exception that she had let her past trample all over her and her resolve, weakening her spirit and reducing it to a pitiful state. I want her now . . . I want to have her. She is to be mine, even if it's the last thing I do.

When I had been with her, I hadn't noticed it because she was just another girl that swooned over me, however smart she might have been. It wasn't the first time that it happened to me.

But now . . . now she had thoughtlessly denied me! Me, of all people—Vegeta fucking Ouji!

Let me tell you this, I don't take rejection or denial well. But this girl actually managed to stimulate me . . . She stimulates me to get her crawling back to me . . . and when she does, humiliate her, hurt her like no one has ever hurt her before. I'll crush what little will she has left and then she will never be anyone else's again . . . And, if she actually manages to resist me . . . well, I'll have to admit that she's different than the others and I might just—mark my words, might—look at her with respect – a word which still holds little meaning to me now.

It excites me, the answer to my question . . . Are you worthy of my respect, woman? Are you strong enough to stand up to me?

Thinking that, Vegeta scrutinized the aquamarine-haired girl's back while she stood in the lunch line. Oh, yes, she would make her rethink turning him down ever again, or choosing anyone else instead of him. She would realize what kind of honour it actually was to have Vegeta Ouji interested in her . . . Yes, he would admit, he was interested. Interested in capturing her and crushing her. He chuckled darkly to himself.

Bulma, on the other hand, stood in the lunch line patiently, swallowed up in her own thoughts. However, it was when Juuhachigou pulled her out of her dream land that she noticed it . . . that feeling . . . It was the feeling of being watched . . . It was a feeling she was used to when she was somewhere out for, as screwed in the head as she was, she was still Bulma Briefs, the daughter of the accomplished scientist, Dr. Briefs.

It was an emotion familiar to her, but somehow it felt different than the usual . . . It was a protruding, calculating gaze that was boring into her, the gaze of a powerful, domineering character that was watching her. And, hell, did it suffocate her . . . She had the feeling that a snake was wounding around her, rendering her lungs useless, prohibiting her mind from getting enough air to think straight. It was the aura that the person exuded that choked her so, she knew . . . and she had a fleeting idea whom it belonged to, that strong gaze that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end . . .

She looked discreetly over her shoulder to indeed find the expected person staring at her, observing her every move, as if imprinting in his mind her actions, her appearance . . . as if trying to read her mind, force his way in so he knew how to manipulate her.

Looking away hastily, she swallowed inaudibly. Her heart had started pounding violently, in fear and raw excitement, stirred from the sort of adrenaline that you get when your life is threatened. Clutching to the front of her shirt, she begged God that the feeling would go away, that he would stop torturing her, that he would lose interest soon . . .

But she was wrong, terribly wrong. Vegeta was a person who held onto something tight when it grasped his attention. And, right then, she had no idea what she had got herself into when wishing to be closer to him . . .

AN: I'm sorry, it took me so long to get this chapter out and when I do it's such an uneventful one. However, I think that I did a not too bad job with Vegeta's thoughts. I hope they convey as powerful feelings as they should be. I'm sorry for the long pause and for the uneventful update but I think that I finally managed to find out where my plot is headed (yes, this actually has a plot, as surprised as you probably are, lol) and the characters' developments. From next update, I will start working even harder than till now on the way I present to you my characters.

Anyway, even though it was terribly uneventful and boring character, I hope that you don't hate me just now . . . There will be plenty of time to do that later, lol.

Yours sincerely,

Dark Hope Assassin.