An: new chapter out! Do forgive me; I know you probably hate me. I am working my best to get these out. Time is very limited. I apologize. Thank you for the support and enjoy! R/R

Disclaimer: don't own DBZ…I hate forgetting these!

Warning(s): AL, AC

The Sum of Us

"All right!" Ms. Briefs said cheerfully "glad to see we all made it here this early in the morning!" she added with a big bright smile. Four teenage boys glanced at her from the 10-person dining table, the tallest two with their eyes half-closed as they yawned with their chin resting on the palm of their hand. The remaining two, one with hair that stood straight like the flames of fire and the other one with a rather big scar on one of his cheeks, stared at the woman with perplexed expressions. The bounciness and energy in her was unbearable. Was she aware that the sun was not out yet?

"Well" she continued as cheerful as before "I have asked you be here at seven o'clock in the morning so we can go over certain 'house rules' and so we can sort out the tasks that each of you will be engaged in. Normal breakfast time will be the same, seven o'clock. You are to report to your duties between seven forty five and eight" she took a sip from the mug closest to her. Vegeta examined the cup carefully as she set it back down. The contents seemed to bear pretty fructiferous results; this woman could climb walls had this been what she was intended to do right now. He analyzed. Maybe he'd give the stuff a try

"Ok. First off: house rules" she handed each of them a sheet of paper entitled 'house rules.' They examined the document curiously listening at the same time as she read over it:

"Number one: no asking permission to make use of anything my daughter would otherwise use. As of yesterday, though not legally, you guys became my children. You are entitled to the same rights and will be treated like my children. Number two: you are to check in with the Orphanage at the end of every week (just so they can file a report on what you've been doing, you know, check that you are in fact doing something.) Number three: lights out at eleven o'clock. It is important that you get enough rest so you can work without tiredness the following day. Same goes for Bulma. Number fourhealthy food menus will be served each day for all three meals. Unless you are allergic to something on the plate (in which case Bertha will prepare something particularly for you) you are to finish your meals before carrying on with other things. I do urge you to try and write down everything you're allergic to beforehand so we don't come across complications as the days go by. Number five: California will get hotter as the months go by. I have filled up your wardrobes with summer clothes and such; your bathroom cabinets are full of all types of sunscreen lotions; your schedules will keep you out of the sun for the worst part of the day; please use all necessary precautions not to get sunburned. You don't want to deal with the stinging and the pain especially when you're to work here for three months. Refer to Bulma if you need a detailed experience. Number six: .NO partying. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Number seven: girls and boys are not to meddle with one another; they are to help each other. Any sort of kissing, flirting, hugging, excessive friendliness (may be taken as flirting,) closure, etc, is completely forbidden. No girls in boy bedrooms and no boys in girl bedrooms, period. I don't want to have to confront any of you for this. Bulma, you are to inform your friends about this particular rule

"I trust none of you have problems with these" asked Ms. Briefs looking up from the sheet of paper. The boys looked up nodding in agreement. She smiled

"Good. The rest of these we don't need to spend much time on. You can read them later on" she put the paper away "now for the tasks" she moved on "Some of the tasks will require more days and weeks than others. I found no better way to assign these tasks but to draw. It's as fair for one as it is for the other so…" she handed a plastic cup to Vegeta with four folded pieces of paper at the bottom of it "all of you please pick one from the cup" she said. Vegeta first picked smashing the cup on Goku's chest waking him up from a pleasant dream. Goku shook his head sleepily grabbing the cup pressed to his chest and grabbing another one of the pieces. He passed it on to Raditz who also awakened from a deep sleep, unsurprisingly enough. The tall male passed the cup with his task on hand, Yamucha left with the last bit of paper. Bulma's mother cleared her throat

"Vegeta?" she called signaling the paper as if waiting to hear what it said

"The porch" said Vegeta grimly

"The porch" Ms. Briefs smiled "you will be rebuilding and painting the porch. A month and a half should be enough time to get it all nice and done" she said. He turned away uninterested. She shook her head slightly. She was starting to feel powerless to do anything for him that would make him happy. Don't lose hope she kept reminding herself. With that her eyes fell upon Goku

"Goku?" she called

"The garage/pool" Goku said doubtful

"Oh yes!" said Ms. Briefs as if she suddenly remembered something "I hope you know how to work with tools. I need you to fix the garage door and I also need you to fix the pool filters and clean the pool when you're done. The pool house needs painting and the a/c isn't working properly so I need you to check on that too. Check all the light bulbs and see if they work. If they don't, tell me. I'll give you new ones to put on there. Very well" she smiled at him. He smiled back as she moved on to the third kid

"Raditz?" she called

"The backyard" Raditz said with furrowed brows

"The backyard needs a couple of things done. First, we have a nice colonial swing that hasn't worked for ages. I thought you'd be able to fix that. I know I have the instructions lying around somewhere" she scratched her head "well, anyway, that's that. I ordered a new lamp for the backyard which should be arriving in two days. I need you to mount it and please be careful with it. I'm pretty sure it's the last model of it since it's very old. Er…the lawn needs trimming. There are weeds all over the place so that will take some time to remove. The hardwood floor on the back porch is pretty old so you'll be replacing old wood for new one. Had you finish earlier than expected, though I doubt it, I shall give you something else to do" she said. He nodded once. Ms. Briefs looked at Yamucha now

"Yamucha?" she asked

"In-house painting?" said Yamucha

"In-house painting is nothing more than painting a couple of rooms that need fresher color within the house. I will show you to these rooms once we're done here. The painting materials are already in the rooms. All you have to do is get started. Vegeta" her eyes fell upon him. Vegeta faced her

"I trust it shouldn't take you three entire months to finish with the porch. I expect you to help Yamucha with the painting when you're done" she winked her eye at him. Vegeta narrowed his eyes and almost managed to let out a grunt in disapproval. Ms. Briefs seemed to ignore this. Her attention went back to the four boys now. She clapped her hands excited

"O-k. Now that the tasks have been assigned…let's eat!"

8AM

"Where are you going first?" Raditz turned to Goku as the four of them remained seated on the dining table having just finished the first meal for the day

"I have to work on the garage in the mornings and the pool in the later afternoons. That's what this says" he signaled a pink copy of his schedule which Ms. Briefs had handed to each of them no later than a minute ago. Raditz nod

"I see. This backyard stuff doesn't sound like fun at all" he complained

"We're not here to have fun" Vegeta joined the conversation "didn't you hear her yesterday? We're here to work our asses off" he said with his usual scowl

"We get to earn money" Goku pointed out trying to look at the positives

"Yeah" said Yamucha "that's better than the rest down at the orphanage" he added. Vegeta crossed his arms on his chest

"I say we get it done and get the hell out of here. I don't know how much pestering I can take from these women. It's maddening" he said

"I bet that's a real ordeal for you" Raditz snorted. Vegeta turned his attention to him

"They're beautiful, all four of them. Unless you're talking about having to work hard to keep our self-control, I find it's no torture at all having them around" said Raditz

"Yeah, man" agreed Yamucha "I wanna do the fandango with one of the blue haired chicks. Either one; I'll take either one" he danced on his chair. Goku and Raditz chuckled in unison. Vegeta only smirked

"We better get moving" Goku advised "we don't wanna be late on our first day" he stood from the table. The rest of them followed ready to begin the most peculiar summer of their lives…

The Backyard

"Great" Raditz muttered to himself "the backyard hasn't been touched in a hundred years" he whispered with irony

"Ow!" he heard a female voice say. He walked past the ancient swing, just around the back porch's corner finding himself with none other than 18 crouched over on the ground. She was pulling some bad weeds from the corners of the pavement that made up the back porch. Her hands were covered with gardening gloves. Her face bore dirt marks all over probably from clearing the sweat off her face more than once. Her hair was falling out of her high ponytail, some on her face and some on behind her ears. Her beautiful blue eyes locked with his reminding him that this woman was indeed beautiful despite the fact that she looked a total mess at the moment

"Oh hi" she greeted surprised standing from her bent down position. Raditz smiled nervously

"Hi" he waved his hand shortly

"Are you guys getting started?" she asked. He nodded as she wiped the sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand

"I'm just trying to get rid of the dallisgrass here" she smiled faintly

"Looks like nobody's messed with the yard in a while" he noted. She looked around embarrassed to see the shape that the backyard was in. Although limited in space, the backyard was full of all sorts of plants and weeds not to mention assorted colorful bugs. The lawn needed some serious mowing; the grass looked frail, unnourished, dead; the different plants had grown tall enough for any sunshine to get through. The environment was foggy and moist; there were water batches everywhere. The smell of humidity along with perhaps about fifty dead plants in here, all mixed up, was definitely the reason the air abided a strong rotting scent

"Yeah" 18 spoke apologetically "it was Dr. Briefs who used to take care of it" she said

"Dr. Briefs?" Raditz questioned

"Her dad. He's been working hard on a very extensive project. Research alone has taken about a year" she explained

"So he hasn't been here in a whole year?" asked Raditz

"Nope. Kind of hard on Bulma, not so hard on the mom; she's actually been ok" she said

"Well" Raditz examined the dallisgrass weeds "why not get started?" he moved about

"Sure" said 18 "these are your tools" she signaled behind her where a pair of rain boots along with a red box containing all sorts of sharp cutting tools, a mask to cover his nose and mouth and a different pair of gardening gloves lay all together

"You know what to do with all of these?" she asked

"Yeah" said Raditz walking over to the tools "yeah I've used them before" he picked up the mask to take a closer look. 18 joined him staring at the equipment

"We need to get rid of everything top surface then work our way to the bottom" she referred to the yard

"We?"

"I volunteered to help. Hope you don't mind" she said insecure. Raditz shook his head quickly

"N-no" he stammered clumsily "no, I don't mind at all"

"All right" she smiled "cause we have a whole three months to go…"

In-House Painting

"Ok" Marron picked up a rather sharp metal tool that was flat all the way to its handle

"This" she held it high "is a scraper. We're going to use it to scrape off the painting from the walls"

"I've used a scraper before" said Yamucha looking at it "I just thought the paint was off already. Its eight rooms. We'll never finish it in three months time!" he said

"Be positive" they locked eyes "I'm sure we'll finish and we'll have time to spare" she smiled proudly

"All right" Yamucha shook his head in disbelief "if you say so" he grabbed the rim of his shirt pulling the garment over his shoulders and head. Marron furrowed her brows horrorstruck

"What the hell are you doing?" she snapped. Yamucha backed away

"I'm taking my shirt off" he explained "what's wrong with that-?"

"You aren't supposed to take your shirt off!" she fussed turning her back on him as she was now blushing

"Why not?" she heard him ask behind her "it's hot in here. You don't suppose I paint all this fully clothed" he said as if it was ridiculous to think he could. Marron blushed even harder. Not only did she find him incredibly adorable; he was also very well proportioned for a guy that was only eighteen. His arms were broader than what she saw beneath the clothes. He looked slimmer in just the skin; his abs were very well formed

"I…it is hot" she faced him

"Yeah"

"But don't suppose I'm taking my shirt off just because you took off yours" she frowned

"I-I di-didn't-"

"Remember rule number seven" she added. He looked around as if trying to remember

"Rule number seven…hmmm…rule number seven…you know rule number seven-?"

"Boys and girls are not to meddle with each other, they are to help each other" she provided the information for him

"Oh" he chuckled "I wasn't thinking of bending any rules"

"Neither was I" she spoke quickly

"Good. I'm glad we've cleared that up" he spoke shyly

"Me too…"

The Garage

"Have you ever worked on garage doors?" Chichi asked as her and Goku opened the control box containing all the cables that operated the electronic door

"I haven't" he said "but it shouldn't be too hard" he pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket

"Here's the instructions" he gave her the paper. Chichi pulled back holding the page close to her face

"Goku are you sure these are instructions?" she asked looking over them uncertain. He turned away from the box

"Why?" he looked over her shoulder. He couldn't help but to notice that her hair had a very soft, distinctive smell; it was like walking through a fully bloomed field of white cherry blossoms

"Because the control box doesn't have any yellow cables, it only has green, red and blue" she said. She couldn't help but to notice just how close from her he was. His broad chest almost touched her bare back. She felt so warm in his invisible embrace; she just wanted to cuddle up beneath him and stay there the rest of the day

"You're right about that" he snatched the paper from her "let's see" he examined the instructions scratching the back of his head. She stared. Had the piece of paper not been between their faces she'd be able to feel his breath on her. Rule number seven. Rule number seven. Rule number seven she kept reminding herself

"Looks like I brought the wrong set of instructions" he looked up from the page "these are for the pool filter. I wonder where the other ones went" he put the instructions back on his pocket. Then they stood there for what seemed like hours staring into each others eyes, silent

"Maybe if I…" Chichi leaned forward and kissed him, something she had never, ever dared to do in her life. The only kisses she had shared with guys had been initiated by them, not her. She must've been out of her mind! They pulled away quick. She covered her mouth terrified as he stared at her confused

"I…" she started "I'm so sorry. I didn't…I'm sorry" she turned around but he pulled from her hand and had his lips crushed on hers before she could say another word

"This is what you wanted to do?" he whispered on her lips

"Yes" she smiled and they kissed again…

The Porch

"You should rebuild first" Bulma watched as Vegeta opened the first bucket of paint with a paintbrush on hand

"I'm painting" he said stubbornly

"It's just a suggestion" she said

"I don't give a shit" he locked eyes with her

"What kind of sick satisfaction do you get from being rude?" she asked with a frown. He smirked

"Pissing you off is priceless" he said

"You're such a jerk" she turned away enraged flopping down on the first step of the porch's set of steps. He turned away focusing on the painting part of his job now. Painting the wood while it was down looked like a much harder job than if it was already on. Perhaps the woman was right though he'd never admit to such thing. There had to be an easier way to paint the wood before putting it on. It was just a matter of thinking for a little bit…

"Hey brains" Bulma called from the steps. An hour had already gone by and Vegeta was still trying to figure out a way to paint the wood before putting it on

"Don't think too much, you might hurt yourself" she laughed. Vegeta grunted but said nothing. Bulma stood from her seating stance approaching him rather intrigued

"What are you doing?" she asked watching as Vegeta tried to make the pieces of wood stand on their own while he painted them. The wind blowing made them tumble one over the other

"Mind your business wench" he spat at her even more annoyed now that his idea was backfiring

"Look" she brought his eyes to her "why don't you just rebuild the porch first and we can paint it afterwards? I'll help you with the pieces. It won't take us that long" she suggested. He grunted disapprovingly giving her a look that could easily match up to the devils

"It'll be easier-"

"Forget it!" he frowned

"Fine!" she frowned as well "you wanna finish the porch in a year? Go ahead. Break a leg!" she stormed off to the insides of the house. Vegeta watched as she stomped angrily. He then turned to the pieces of wood. I'm painting first he assured himself beginning to settle the wood pieces in order to paint them…again…

Vegeta spent the rest of the morning trying to paint the wood pieces before putting them on. When called up for lunch everybody went except for him. Bulma's mother went ballistic when Bulma informed her about the arguments and communication issues that she and Vegeta were having. Not only did she want Bulma to apologize but Bulma was forced to bring his lunch up to the porch and sit there until Vegeta needed the help, thing she did not agree of at all. Aside the few death glares they gave each other from time to time, they shared no words throughout the rest of the day. Six o'clock began to close in sooner than they both expected…

Dinner

"Here" Chichi handed Goku some tissue "clean your mouth as much as you can. We can't let anybody know about…you know…"

"Kissing?" asked Goku

"Yes!" said Chichi exasperated "one person that finds out and we're dead" she lowered her voice as she heard footsteps approaching the dining room. Being the first ones to make it to the table they decided to check for any evidence that could potentially give them away. 18 appeared out the corner of the room and Chichi quickly stopped Goku from using the tissue to wipe his face

"Hey" Chichi's faked a tired face "how'd it go?"

"Horrible" said 18 "we spent the whole day ridding my hair from bugs. I hate plants and anything remotely linked to them" she took a seat aside Chichi letting out a sigh

"I'm starving" she added

"Me too! I'm famished!" said Goku who was seating to the other side of Chichi. 18 smiled at him

"How'd it go with you two?" she asked

"It was all right" started Goku

"Well more than all right" Chichi narrowed her eyes at him invisible for 18 to see. She turned to the blonde now

"We fixed the garage door and the a/c. We just need to pick up the pool house a little bit before we start off with the painting" said Chichi

"Where's Radz?" Goku asked

"He'll be out in a minute. He's got a bad rash on one of his arms. A weird flower squirted some white liquid all over his forearm" she informed. Goku became alarmed

"Oh but don't worry" 18 went on "Ms. Briefs knew exactly what it was. She's got an antidote for it" she said

"Should we get started without him?" asked Chichi

"I guess so. He has to take a shower after the injection to clean up the liquid" she said

"K. Then I guess we're waiting for Marron, Yamucha, Bulma and Vegeta. Where are they?" asked Chichi. Just as if she were attracting them by the mentioning of their names, Bulma and Vegeta appeared out the dining room looking very angry and tired. Vegeta walked as far away from Bulma as possible while Bulma narrowed her eyes at him every time he even attempted to look at her

"Hey, Bulma-"

"I don't want to talk right now" she took a seat across Goku with a frown. Vegeta left a seat between them empty taking a seat across 18. Goku beamed at the sight of Vegeta for he was the only other person on the table that he knew better than the others

"Hey Vegeta I was going-"

"Kakarot, can it" he cut off irate. Goku backed up

"O-k" he responded warily. Marron and Yamucha now entered the room

"Hey!" Marron greeted energetically

"How was painting?" asked 18 as the girl seated between Bulma and Vegeta

"It was…fun" she looked at Yamucha. Yamucha chuckled nervously taking a seat across from Bulma

"Yeah" he chuckled some more "yeah it was!" he scratched the back of his head timidly. Chichi furrowed her brows suspicious. Could it be that her friend Marron had also broken rule number seven?

"How much did you get done?" asked 18

"Just enough to pass on the first day" responded Marron. The maids made their way to the dining room carrying different trays of food. The conversation was put on hold as their plates became full with all sorts of different menus. No sooner than later had they begun to chomp food down their throats. Their plates were empty in no time. One by one they headed off to take a shower and call it a day…

Vegeta's Room

Bulma was walking down the hallway in nothing but a tank top and some boy shorts directed to her bedroom when she saw the door to Vegeta's room halfway open. She passed it, her head up high, wanting nothing to do with the bastard. Then curiosity got the best of her. Being incapable of restraining herself was an issue. Now vengeance on the other hand…

Bulma could hear the shower running once she entered the room. He's in the bathroom she smiled mischievously. Even wider her smile became when she realized the door to the bathroom was also open

"Time for a little payback" she whispered entering the bathroom as careful as to not let him know she was ever there…

She giggled to herself as she now took a hold of all of his sleeping clothes, his towel, any additional towels that were available in case his was missing, and an empty bottle of cat shampoo which she had poured in the shower gel bottle cautiously and without getting caught. She was debating whether to turn the bedroom light off or turn the temperature down… or both, when she came across a hard-rock surface. She hit it hard enough to fall back on her ass, the clothes and bottle flying everywhere as attempted to cushion the fall with her hands

"Ow!" she screeched looking up

"Going somewhere?" asked Vegeta. Bulma stood from the ground

"Vegeta" she smiled nervous "hi. I…uh…I was checking to see that you had everything…" she didn't fail to notice that the man she once thought she truly hated was now standing before her with just a green towel tied around his waist. His chest is…interesting her mind wandered off. Nice abs it continued

"Like what you see?" his voice broke her daze. She shook her head

"No" she returned to her usual self "I-I wasn't looking at anything in particular" she attempted to walk past him but he blocked the way

"Where do you think you're going?" he asked with a sly smirk

"I'm going to my room…now…that you have…everything" she didn't like the look on his face for he seemed to have realized something from the time he busted in on her until now

"What's this?" he reached behind her grabbing the empty bottle of the cat shampoo from the floor. Bulma shut her eyes closed. Busted, damn it!

"It's my cat's shampoo-"

"Is it really" he cut off with sarcasm "what is it doing here?" he further interrogated

"I…don't know, Vegeta. Maybe Bertha gave him a bath last week and-"

"Do you honestly think I'm stupid?" he cut her off again staring into her eyes, amusement sparkling on his

"What do you mean do I think-I don't think you're stupid I-"

"Sure" he reached behind her again grabbing the shower gel bottle which was curiously dripping the dark contents of the same cat shampoo bottle. He turned the cap and breathed in

"Smells like cat shampoo to me" he looked at her. Bulma was so busted she couldn't hide it anymore. There was only one thing to do…

In a swift movement Bulma was bent down on the ground. She crawled fast through the side of his legs attempting to get as far away from his grasp as possible. Vegeta embraced one of his strong arms around her hips

"You're getting it" he said carrying her over to the large, Jacuzzi-like bathtub effortlessly "trying to be sneaky, are you?"

"Let go!" she kicked and screamed "asshole! Let go of me!" she let out another high-pitched scream. Her scream, however, was cut short when she landed square and whole on the bathtub. Her hand was grasping the towel on his waist so tightly that not only did it detach when she was pushed into the bathtub but she dragged a naked Vegeta along with her. Now both of them lay on the bathtub…

"Please tell me you're not naked" Bulma covered her red face with both hands hoping she really hadn't done any of it. Why couldn't she just keep walking? Nothing would've happened if she had. Nothing…

"What do you expect? You were so desperate to see me naked-"

"As if! You are so full of yourself-"

"Stop covering your face, idiot, there's nothing to see" he commanded. Bulma split her middle and index finger to see in between them. She looked down at the water realizing that he was in fact telling the truth. She dropped her hands slowly. Then the stare down began. Although the water reached above their chests, neither she nor he could get over the fact that they were in a bathtub together. The water was cold but it felt a thousand degrees inside Bulma's body. The silence was killing her. She couldn't stare into his eyes without saying a word anymore. Those beautiful black eyes that could hide the darkest of truths; that held so much passion; that longed for compassion and affection and…

"What are you looking at?" his rough voice, again, ruined it for her

"What do you care?" she spat back "it's not your business to know"

"Like I actually give a shit" he said uninterested

"You asked, didn't you" she said cleverly. Vegeta only grunted

"Not only did you have to get the towels wet but you had to push them as far away from the bathtub as possible" complained Bulma

"If you hadn't been trying to see me naked in the first place-"

"Would you stop saying that? I am not interested in seeing you naked at all" she snapped at him

"What the hell were you doing in my bathroom then?" asked Vegeta

"What were you doing walking around in just your towel when the water was running?" asked Bulma

"I asked first" he signaled

"I swear you are the most difficult person I have ever spoken to" she threw her hands in the air

"Really?" he asked with irony

"Really" she asserted

"And you think your god's given gift?" he asked with a raised brow

"Yes" her chin high up in the air she responded

"You're shitting me?" he snorted

"You're a jackass" she narrowed her eyes at him "has anyone ever told you that-?"

"Vegeta?" a male voice called

"Finally" said Bulma "in here!" she called. Goku entered the bathroom startled to see the position they were in

"Hey Goku" said Bulma with shame "this is not what it looks like"

"S-sure" he stammered

"We fell in the bathtub" explained Vegeta "we need towels" he said. Bulma explained how to get the towels carefully catching on the fact that Goku wasn't exactly a great listener. After much struggle trying to explain to him how to get to the hallway closet so to get the towels, he finally came back with only one on hand

"It's mine" Bulma called quickly

"Don't care" Vegeta shrugged his shoulders

"I'll bring you another one" she said but he seemed to ignore her last words as he stared blankly in front of him never flinching as she stepped out of the bathtub

"See ya, Goku" she bid her goodbyes walking out in a split second. The whole scene had been embarrassing enough…

-&-

"So you and Bulma" started Goku seating on the toilet close to the bathtub

"Me and the woman what?" asked Vegeta

"You know" said Goku "it's ok. I broke rule number seven too" he said

"I haven't" replied Vegeta "not yet…"

End of Ch.2. I'm excited to be back! Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter Thank you for the support.and aren't too busy to review. I'd appreciate it Read me later!

Love

PL