Disclaimer: I don't own Dragon Ball Z, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Note: Finally, I've planned out a new story. In my bio section I tend to have a picture that goes with my current story. Oh and I now have a webpage (shameless plug). I'll try to write a new part every 2 weeks (most likely sooner) but don't like expect anything tomorrow. Shout out to Michika for making me feel guilty and to Kukyu for always giving me the honest truth. Oh and Vegeta is 4 years older than Kakarotto and a year older than Bulma.
My Pleasure My Pain
A lone spacepod drew nearer to its destination. Inside lay a baby boy, no more than a year old, with wild hair and a furry tail. His race: Saiyan. That very word sent tremours of fear throughout the galaxy. The warrior race that conquered whole planets and was known to send out its newborns on sweeping missions. This was one such newborn, on a course to the class M planet known as Chikyuu. His mission: purge the planet of all life to prepare for the next inhabitants – the highest bidder!
* * * * *
An old man looked up at the sky as something streaked across it in the night. The object was headed toward the forest and the old man decided to investigate. After an hour of searching, he finally found it. "It" happened to be a spherical object that had burrowed half of itself into the ground. The old man got in for a closer look. He noticed what seemed to be windows and peered inside, shocked to see a sleeping baby. Taking his cane, he pried open the door.
The moment the door opened, a beam of light shot out. The elder looked up. "Odd, I don't remember a moon being out tonight." He turned his attention back to the infant. The old man picked him up, waking him as he did. The baby boy started crying but the aging man started to soothe him. He thought he had gotten through to the child, for he had stopped crying and opened his eyes.
But the Saiyan newborn wasn't staring at the elder; he was looking up at the light behind.
* * * * *
~Part 1 – Hold Me~
* * * 1 year later * * *
Dr. Briefs was in a panic. He was in the process of transporting people underground to the hollowed caves and mountains outside the city. He had created a masking signal that would interfere with the ki readings of those damn scouters. While humans had little to no ki to speak of, when amassed together in a group the size of a city, ki would definitely be noticed.
Dr. Briefs had kept in contact with the other towns of the region. The populations were already in the mountains waiting for the group from West Capital City.
"Nanden!" Dr. Briefs called out to his friend. "Where's Bulma?"
"The last I saw, she was with your wife." He pointed down the corridor from which they came.
"Thanks. You know where to lead these people. I'm going back."
Dr. Briefs maneuvered his way through the crowd, calling out the names of his daughter and wife. He finally made his way to the back, but there was still no sign of them. He started to worry, Bulma had been adamant about not leaving her home, she might have gone back.
The scientist started to run through the caverns, tripping every so often, as the flashlight was hardly a suitable guide. Grimy and muddy, Briefs came to the hidden door that separated himself from Capsule Corporation. He keyed in the code at the secret panel and the door slid open, revealing his wife, 4 year old daughter and 3 very angry Saiyans.
The largest of the 3 stepped forward and grabbed the scientist by his collar. "So this is the famous Dr. Briefs? My King has plans for you."
Dr. Briefs glared at the bald Saiyan, mustering enough courage to defy him. "I will not betray my people to obey your King!"
"A pity!" The Saiyan nodded his head to the one holding Mrs. Briefs.
Before the very eyes of her loved ones, Mrs. Briefs was disintegrated, leaving no trace of ashes.
"Mama." The little girl started to wail. Her screams were loud and high further irritating Nappa.
"SHUT HER UP!"
"NO WAIT! Fine, I'll do whatever you want. She is all I have left, please don't hurt her."
A sinister smile crossed the face of the Commander. "A wise choice Briefs, but before we leave for Vegitasei you must reveal the location of the hiding humans."
No, he couldn't do it. Betray the remaining survivors of his planet? He didn't care what his fate was if he refused, but he looked at his little Bulma. She was supposed to have this long, wonderful life ahead of her. She already proved to be quite bright and who knew what her potential was? She was his pride, his joy and all that ever mattered to him. It was his duty to save her and keep her alive.
"They're heading underground to a fortress in the mountains just south of here."
* * * * *
Dr. Briefs laid back against his cell wall and sighed. Bulma's small form was asleep in a nearby cot. He hoped, for her sake, that in time she would forget what happened in the past year.
It all happened so quickly. The first reports no one took seriously – who could believe a giant monkey was going around destroying towns? But then it hit a major city and all Hell broke loose. The beast – oozaru as the Saiyans called it – would systematically destroy everything it came across. Mass panic was caused as people tried to escape, but there was no where to hide.
That is, until Dr. Briefs found the spacepod. Six months after the first sighting, Dr. Briefs was able to assimilate all the information he needed. He studied their technology and discovered that the oozaru was a were-being and in its normal form, save for a tail, could pass as human. His most important finding, however, was that the oozaru could locate living beings through its scouter. A scouter the good scientist was able to deceive, thereby saving thousands of lives. But he was unable to do anything about the billions already lost and could do nothing to prevent the arrival of the other Saiyans.
Dr. Briefs had been shocked to discover that the one responsible for the near genocide of his race had been an infant. He wasn't able to fool the adult Saiyans so easily. Through various torture methods, the Saiyans were able to discern the location of Dr. Briefs' hideout from unlucky civilians.
Just under a million humans left and because of him, all future generations will be born into slavery. Dr. Briefs let out a laugh. The irony of it all – it was because of him they were still alive, yet with barely a second thought, he had sentenced them to what he thought would be certain death – all in the name of his daughter.
But he didn't regret it. He would do it again if it meant saving her. The future is uncertain but Dr. Briefs will do whatever he is asked as long as Bulma is kept safe and alive. She's all that really matters and she will survive. He will make sure of it!
* * * * *
It had been a long journey to Vegitasei; Dr. Briefs lost track of time after the first month. He was still unsure as to what will happen to him because the Saiyans wouldn't talk to him. He would sometimes be allowed to roam the corridors freely and Bulma always found something to occupy herself with. He never left her by herself though; he didn't trust the Saiyans. But today was the day he knew his fate.
The ship entered the planet's atmosphere. Briefs looked out the window, not surprised at the ugliness of the oranges and browns of Vegitasei. He watched as the ship slowly descended to a docking port attached to the end of a huge palace. He went over to Bulma who was just waking and picked her up. Two guards came to the door and ordered the two to follow them.
They were led down the bare hallway and stopped just outside the ship's doors. One guard grabbed onto Briefs and told him that unless he wanted to be crushed by 10G's of force, he was not to try and run. The guard then flared his ki and they stepped onto the planet's surface.
Bulma's eyes widened as they walked to the palace. She was in awe of the contrast to Chikyuu. Everything was so barren, so dreary. The maroon sky gave the air a hazy and thick feel. The world reeked of death and destruction and Bulma buried her head into her father's shoulder.
They entered the palace's great doors and the guard powered down his ki shield. Inside was completely different from outside. Vast tapestries akin to velvet lined the stone walls as they walked along the richly coloured rugs. Everything was lavish and extravagant, just what you'd expect a king to have, just not Vegitasei's king.
The guard noticed Dr. Briefs' puzzled expression as he looked at all the art and said, "Vegitasei hosts many dignitaries from around the universe. The King believes in taking good care of them in order to gain their trust. Other wings of the palace that are only open to Saiyans are not quite as extravagant."
Briefs just nodded as they continued down the halls. Eventually they came to two double doors stamped with a gold encrusted symbol. The guards on either side opened the doors for them and revealed a long purple carpet that led up to a massive throne.
Perched on the throne sat a well-built man with flaming hair and a goatee. He had on the standard spandex suit, though it was black, and a heavy red and white cape with long shoulder guards. Flanked on either side of him were two guards. The bald one Dr. Briefs had encountered earlier and one he didn't recognize; though he had a bandana around his head.
Nappa bent down and whispered something to King Vegeta.
"Dr. Briefs I presume?" The King's powerful voice echoed throughout the chamber.
"Y-y-yes," stammered the doctor.
"I hear you were causing some problems for my men on Chikyuu."
"SILENCE! Even though you delayed the mission somewhat, I am still impressed. We had thought that nothing of value was on that blue rock. How would you like to work for me?"
"What makes you think I would do such a thing?" questioned Dr. Briefs.
"I would make you my Royal Science Advisor. You wouldn't be a slave Briefs, you could live quite comfortably, provided you are loyal. Besides, Nappa tells me that you don't want anything to happen to your little brat. I can guarantee her safety around the palace as long as you do as I ask."
The doctor bit his lip. This was turning out better than he expected, though he wasn't sure he could trust the King. But he was confident that as long as he proved himself indispensable, no harm would come to Bulma.
"Ok your Highness, I accept your proposal."
King Vegeta just smirked and motioned for a guard to lead the Chikyuu natives to their new quarters.
* * * * *
Bulma sat on her bed and sighed. She was bored! Her father had left early in the morning to see his new lab. He warned her that she was not to step outside the palace doors or something bad would happen to her. She believed everything he told her though he never mentioned anything about her leaving her quarters.
The palace was huge and ever since they entered it a couple days ago, she had wanted to see every inch of it. She went to the door, opened it and peeked out. Nobody was in the halls and Bulma giggled. She was going to go for a tour.
Darting in and out of the hallways to avoid being detected, Bulma stumbled across a glass door. Well, it wasn't really glass, but she could see through it, which really intrigued her because all other doors had been stone. She was delighted with what she saw inside. Flowers, trees, plants and more. She could tell it was a huge garden but the door didn't give much of a view.
Looking around, making sure nobody was there, Bulma went up to the security lock. She just barely reached the control panel as she fiddled around with wires. She had been watching her father work ever since she could crawl and by now, at the tender age of 5, she had picked up quite a few things. She was rewarded a couple minutes later as she heard the satisfying 'swish' of the door sliding open.
Bulma stepped in and gasped. It was even better than she imagined. She could hear running water in the background and was confronted with different exotic scents. She looked around. Everything was enclosed though it seemed like a massive forest. Flowers that she had never seen before lined pathways as she walked deeper and deeper inside. Bulma didn't know if these were plants that dignitaries brought as peace offerings or Saiyans brought after conquering worlds. Not that Bulma cared. It was absolutely beautiful, something she never saw the Saiyans as being.
She grew closer and closer to the sound of water and as she came out of the clearing, she saw a small waterfall that emptied into a lake. What caught her attention, though, was the small figure hovering by the water. Bulma grew excited. He was a child. There was actually another child besides her. Bulma didn't know what to do. Should she confront him, introduce herself? Hey, what is he doing anyway? She peered closer. It looked like he was just floating there with his eyes closed. She decided to just watch him for awhile.
Prince Vegeta had been meditating in his clearing when he heard the garden doors slide open. He had thought that it was Nappa or some other guard that entered but for some reason, they were just standing by the trees staring at him. Well, if they weren't going to say anything, he smirked, he'll just surprise them.
Bulma didn't know what happened. One minute the boy was there, and the next he had just disappeared. She then felt a sharp pain and cried out. Vegeta had phased in behind her and pinned her arm back. He was surprised by the shrill cry and let her go. He had not put any pressure on her arm, how could anybody be so weak? Then he got a good look at her and was once again shocked. Never had he seen another child before. Well there had been that newborn Kakarotto but this was different. For one, she was female and rarely had he seen any kind of female, Saiyan or otherwise, and second, she looked about his age, but he smirked, at least he was still taller. She had odd colouring too. Her hair was rather limp looking and a bright blue. Her eyes were blue too. Never had he seen such an odd creature. No - he wouldn't kill her yet, though she was so puny, she wouldn't be worth the effort.
"How did you get in?" The Prince demanded. "These are the Royal Gardens and as such only royalty is allowed here."
Bulma's eyes widened. "You're royalty?"
Vegeta gritted his teeth, annoyed and insulted that she didn't know who he was. "Of course! I am Prince Vegeta, heir to the throne of Vegitasei, destined to be the strongest Saiyan in the universe. And you, little girl, did not answer my question."
Bulma didn't know if she liked his stuck up attitude. "I just bypassed the security codes on your computer lock. Pretty simple really."
Vegeta raised an eyebrow, somewhat impressed. "At least you're not completely worthless."
Bulma pouted at what she thought was an insult. "I'm only 5. How old are you?"
After a pause, he answered, "6."
Bulma brightened up again. "Do you want to play? You're the first kid I've come across, we can have some fun."
Vegeta just crossed his arms and glared at her. "First of all, I am a Saiyan Prince. I don't 'play.' Next, as a Saiyan, I have fun by fighting and you're obviously no match for me."
The Chikyuu girl stuck out her lower lip trying to give Vegeta a puppy dog look. "But I thought we could play hide and seek."
The Prince just stared at her weird expression, then sighed. He was bored. His tutor and trainers had suggested he meditate but he thought it was useless. "Ok, what is this 'hide and seek'?"
Bulma squealed in joy. She explained the rules and then said she was going to hide first. After waiting a couple minutes, Vegeta put on his scouter and quickly found her.
"You cheater! That's so unfair. You're supposed to find me on your own. Besides it's more fun that way."
Vegeta sighed but agreed. He didn't want her to continue whining. Besides, this seeking her out without a scouter could be seen as a training exercise. Trying to sense out your enemy without a scouter might prove to be useful.
Just then two guards entered. Dr. Briefs had contacted them, asking them to find Bulma. They apologized to the Prince saying she wouldn't bother him again and that they were taking her back to her room.
Vegeta was surprised they hadn't killed her or were planning on it. "Do you have no punishment for this girl? She interrupted me during my meditating, not to mention that she broke in."
"She is not a slave but the daughter of the new Science Advisor. We have instructions not to harm her."
Prince Vegeta just nodded and they took the human girl away. Bulma peered from behind the shoulder of the guard who was carrying her and waved goodbye to the Prince. Vegeta just snorted, crossed his arms and turned his back to her. He went back to meditating but couldn't conceal his smirk any longer.
* * * * *
Vegeta had just finished training and was pacing in his chamber. Ever since he met that girl the other day, he found himself getting more easily bored. What was this 'playing' she was talking about? Could it be possible to even have fun without fighting? Obviously according to her, but she was a weakling. But even though she was thousands of times weaker than he, she showed no constant fear of him. How intriguing. Maybe I'll learn more about her.
Bulma was sitting on her chair holding a stuffed animal. Her father had been angry the other day that she had wandered through the palace alone. She wanted to tell him about Vegeta but he wouldn't listen. He just went on and on, lecturing her on the dangers of Saiyans. Bulma frowned. Her father was no fun anymore. He wouldn't allow her to go with him to the lab and expected her to stay in their quarters. A knock on the door, brought Bulma out of her contemplative state.
"Vegeta!" exclaimed a happy Bulma.
He frowned. "You will address me as Prince Vegeta." But Bulma wasn't listening, she was just pleased that she had a visitor.
"Why are you here?"
"I've been giving some thought to this 'hide and seek' game, and I thought it would be a good training tool if we did it throughout the palace….So how about it?"
She widened her eyes, "Are you asking me to play?"
Vegeta just scowled but nodded.
Bulma smiled, throwing all memory of her father's lecture away. "Yay, but you have to give me a head start," she said running down the hall and out of sight. Vegeta smirked, this should be interesting.
* * * * *
It didn't take Vegeta very long to find Bulma in the laundry room. She was so noisy and he heard her giggle as he walked by. It was then his turn to hide and he tried to make it easy for her. He went to the training room and sat behind a console, thankful that nobody was in there at this time. It took her nearly 45 minutes to find him, which irritated him. He told her that from now on, he'd just try to find her over and over again. He'd get more training in that way. Bulma readily agreed, seeing as how she liked hiding the best.
Vegeta gave her a longer head start this time. She was running down a hall she had never been before, when she heard a door open. She hid behind a rather plain tapestry and saw a Saiyan stepping out of a room. He walked in the other direction, and Bulma ran inside the room before the door closed. She smiled triumphantly until she saw what was in the room. She then ran to the door to try and get out but it was locked. She looked for the control panel but it was too high to reach. Bulma knew she couldn't scream because she'd get in trouble if anyone but Vegeta found her. She sat against the wall, held her knees tightly to herself and prayed Vegeta found her soon.
* * * * *
It had been over an hour and Vegeta was irritated. Where could she have hidden? She didn't have much time to go very far. He went back to the training room and started again. That's it! She can get into locked rooms, how could I forget? There was a whole hallway he had neglected because all the doors were locked with the highest security and he thought Bulma wouldn't even dare venture down there. But you must never underestimate an opponent, ne?
He stood at the head of the hallway, closing his eyes and concentrating. Nope, nothing. He went to the first door and entered his clearance code. The door opened, revealing several startled alien scientists who never thought they would get a visit from the Prince. Vegeta just nodded his head to them and left. If there are scientists all over, then maybe she didn't come this way. Then he felt something. It was only a moment and he didn't know what it was. It seemed to draw him, however, to the third door to the left of him. Stupid girl, she wouldn't go in there would she? Vegeta once again entered his code and opened the door.
He heard a silent sobbing and looked behind the door. There she was, with her head in her hands and curled up as much as she could against the wall. She looked up at him with tear soaked cheeks.
"Well, what's the matter with you girl?" He smirked, "Never been in a nursery before?"
Bulma stood up and glared at him. "Those aren't babies, those are monsters."
Vegeta looked around him, then reached out for Bulma's hand and dragged her to a tank. "Look, see they're harmless….for now. This is just where high-class babies are brought to grow. As a warrior, a female Saiyan doesn't need a baby in her stomach to worry over. It's also easier to deal with giving them up early and not when they have to be sent on their first mission." Vegeta couldn't believe he was explaining this to the blue haired girl, but it calmed her a bit and he didn't want her crying.
Bulma had dried her tears and was staring at the 'baby' in the tank. Vegeta thought it would be a good idea to leave now and asked Bulma if she was hungry. She brightened a little and the Prince took her back to his quarters. The guards in front of the Prince's chambers gave each other disapproving looks as they saw the human enter.
Inside, a vast array of dishes awaited the Prince and his guest. Bulma's eyes bulged. "Do you always have so much food?"
"Of course, girl, I am a Saiyan and we eat a lot. Now sit and eat."
Bulma did as she was told and picked at the plate of meat in front of her. Surprisingly it was pretty good, just a little rare. She could barely finish her plate though, but noticed how quickly the Prince was devouring everything. When he was finished, he grabbed some sort of roll and gave it to Bulma.
"Here, try this. We usually eat such things after the main meal."
"You mean like a dessert?" Vegeta was confused at the term but merely nodded his head. Bulma bit into it. It tasted rather sweet.
"Good isn't it? It's a Vegitasei dish." Vegeta said proudly.
"I guess it's OK, but I still think chocolate is way better."
Vegeta started to get angry that she would dare insult Saiyan cooking, when his stomach got the better of him. "What is chocolate?"
Bulma looked at him like he was stupid. "You mean you've never had chocolate? It's only like the greatest food in the world, I mean universe. I have some in my room, do you want to try it?"
Curious as to what kind of food would make the girl's face light up like that, Vegeta snorted, "It better be worth my time to walk to your quarters."
Bulma giggled, taking that as a positive 'yes' and went to the door. She almost got knocked over as an older Saiyan entered.
"Maizu, I'm busy now. My tutoring can wait until later." Vegeta instructed.
"But my Prince…"
"You heard me, now leave." Maizu did as he was told.
The two children walked the way to Bulma's quarters in silence. They passed by a number of other guards, who just gawked at the two of them. The arrived at her room and Bulma breathed a sigh of relief as she noticed that her dad wasn't back yet.
Vegeta sat down on one of the living room chairs as Bulma went to find a chocolate capsule. She came back out with an assortment of different chocolates. She also ran to get a glass of milk and set it in front of Vegeta. She sat patiently, waiting to see his reaction.
The Saiyan Prince picked up one of the bon bons and sniffed it. He put it in his mouth and started to chew. The richness of the flavour filled his mouth and senses while he gulped down some milk. He slowly picked up another piece and placed it in his mouth. He did that with each chocolate candy, as if savouring its sweetness. Sometimes he'd chew, other time's he noticed that it would melt. Bulma brought him 3 more glasses of milk.
When he was finished Bulma commented, "Told you it was good."
Vegeta snorted, he liked it but he wasn't about to admit it. "The chocolate was . . . not bad."
Bulma giggled, "It was better than 'not bad' Mr. Prince-who's-face-lit-up-every-time-he-swallowed-a-piece-of-chocolate. Oh and you still have some chocolate on your mouth."
Vegeta scowled as he wiped his mouth. "One of these days you'll learn proper respect. I should confiscate all your chocolate to teach you a lesson."
Bulma smiled, she knew what he was asking, he just had too much pride to say it out right. She went to her room and pulled out another chocolate capsule. She gave it to Vegeta and he just grunted.
Bulma's father walked in just then and got the shock of his life to see his daughter with the Prince. Vegeta eyed Dr. Briefs and nodded an acknowledgement. He smirked at Bulma then turned to leave.
When he was gone Dr. Briefs ran to Bulma and hugged her. "Are you alright?"
"Of course I am Daddy," replied Bulma as she kissed him on the cheek. She then went to her room.
Dr. Briefs was still puzzled as to the presence of Prince Vegeta. But he pushed it out of his mind. He sighed, At least she's happy.
* * * * *
The next day, Vegeta came really early and greeted a barely awake Bulma.
"Good, you're dressed, let's go," demanded Vegeta.
Bulma couldn't get a word in as he grabbed her arm and dragged her down the corridor. Bulma was literally flying through the air as Vegeta ran. He stopped short suddenly, causing her to jerk and pulled her into a little nook. He placed a hand over her mouth so she wouldn't make a sound. A guard walked by and then Vegeta released her. Blue eyes looked questionningly at him.
"We're sort of playing hide and seek on the guards today. I purposely didn't go to training to see if they could find me. By keeping my ki real low they can't use the scouters to find me because I blend in with the other weaklings. So do you understand this game? The guards can't see us." Bulma nodded, then smiled.
"We're having fun," she grinned wider. The Prince just hmphed and dragged Bulma back the other way.
* * * * *
Bulma's arm was sore. She had spent the morning being pulled around by Vegeta. Currently they were behind a science console.
"Vegeeeta," Bulma whined, "can't we do something else now?"
He had grown used to the way she informally addressed him, so didn't reprimand her. Also growing bored of the ineptitude of the guards Vegeta hissed, "Fine girl! If you know of some way to create a diversion and get them off our backs, then we can play something else."
Bulma got a devilish smile on her face that startled even her Prince. She stood up and went to the front of the console. Vegeta watched curiously as she started pressing all these buttons.
"What are you…." Vegeta's sentence was cut off by a loud alarm. He grabbed Bulma and they ducked under the console. They could see the feet of running soldiers pass by. All were heading for the throne room fearing the king was in trouble.
Vegeta smirked, this girl was good.
"Come on." Vegeta grabbed the blue haired girl and they ran in the opposite direction.
Bulma was laughing, "Did you see their faces?" Vegeta just smirked in response.
He rounded the corner real fast and collided with someone. Vegeta stumbled back and released Bulma. They both looked up at the pink and white horned creature with rather feminine lips.
"Lord Freeza!" gasped Vegeta. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to . . ."
Freeza held up his hand. "It's alright young Prince." His eyes travelled over to the Chikyuu native, "And what have we here?"
Bulma shakily got up. Vegeta NEVER apologized. This alien had to be pretty powerful if he actually got respect from Vegeta. "We weren't doing anything wrong. We were just having some fun, honest."
Thin lips curved up in a sinister smile. "What makes you feel that I think you did anything wrong? Would it have anything to do with the alarms going off all of a sudden?"
Bulma's face went red and she could feel Vegeta glaring at her. She had said too much and they were going to get into trouble.
"Surely a little girl like yourself wouldn't know how to set off a complicated system like the alarms."
This time her pride got the better of her. "Yep, it was me. This little girl fooled all those soldiers. My dad is the Science Advisor and he taught me all sorts of things. He says I'm smart and gifted and he should know because he's a genious."
Freeza's smile widened slightly at the little girl's bragging. She's certainly got spunk. I seem to frighten little children and yet she is still shooting her mouth off. He looked over to Prince Vegeta. "I suppose your father will get wind of this soon and be quite angry." Vegeta merely nodded.
"Well, then I guess you should enjoy your free time while it lasts. You may hide out on my ship if you wish. It'll give your father time to cool down."
Vegeta's mouth opened in shock. He closed it quickly but was still amazed. Freeza was being . . . nice? Here was a powerful tyrant who used the Saiyans as his exterminators for inhabited planets and he was offering two children a chance to hide out on his ship so they wouldn't get in trouble. This wasn't right. Vegeta was about to reject the offer but Bulma had just volunteered an enthusiastic "yes."
Freeza held out his hand and Bulma latched onto it hesitantly. Vegeta followed behind the two, still suspicious of Freeza's actions. When they got to the ship, Freeza took them into a large room used to train soldiers. He sat back and watched as the little girl tried to explain the concept of "tag" to Vegeta.
Bulma was determined 'it' first and made Vegeta promise to go half his speed. He did, knowing full well that at even half his speed she would never be able to catch him. But then he thought of another way to annoy her. He slowly floated off the ground until he was just out of her reach. He hovered directly above her, taunting her to try and touch him.
Bulma kept jumping, reaching out with her arms, but couldn't quite touch him. She grew incredibly angry when she heard his arrogant laughter. "VEGETA!!! This isn't fair. I can't fly."
Vegeta grew quiet a moment, looking as if he were pondering something. "Would you like to?"
Confused, Bulma asked, "Would I like to what?"
"Fly!" With that, Vegeta swooped down and picked up the girl. He laughed as she screamed and he carried her up to the ceiling. He dashed all over the place, dropping, turning, soaring. Bulma was clutching on to Vegeta but soon relaxed. She was enjoying the ride.
"Faster! I want to go faster." Vegeta smirked at his friend and proceeded to grant her wish. Bulma screamed but soon was laughing.
Freeza looked up from where he was sitting. This is most interesting, most interesting indeed!
* * * * *
It was quite late and Vegeta had just finished sneaking Bulma back to her place. He quietly entered his chambers and was knocked to the floor. The light came on and Vegeta looked up at his father.
"You caused quite a stir today brat!" the King spat. "I don't know how you did it but I don't appreciate having the entire Royal Guard running into the throne room while I'm going over very important business. You'd think those morons would realized that as King, I am the strongest Saiyan and can take care of myself. You will go under more rigorous training this week. I can't have you causing more trouble while I deal with these matters. Nappa will be here to train you at 4am. I want to see a dramatic increase in your power level this week!"
Prince Vegeta lowered his head, "Yes father."
* * * * *
Bulma was restless. A week had passed since she last saw Vegeta and had ventured outside her room. This sucks, she thought, I want to have some fun. Then she remembered the Royal Gardens and brightened up again. She put on slacks and a shirt and left her quarters. Undetected, she made her way to the gardens, pausing only to 'unlock' the door.
She entered and ran to the clearing. She took off her shoes and ran to the nearest tree. Back on Chikyuu, she would love to climb trees. She loved being high above the ground, which was why she enjoyed her flight with Vegeta so much. For the rest of the day she climbed most of the trees in the forest.
Near the end, one massive tree caught her interest. It had an extremely round trunk that narrowed at the top. There were grooves at the bottom but smoothed out as it got higher. Bulma started to climb it, sticking her little feet in to the grooves. As she neared the top, she grabbed onto the smooth trunk and tried to step up. She lost her footing and slipped. Her hands grasped onto the trunk but it was so smooth and slippery that she let go and fell.
Stong arms caught her just before she hit the ground. Her eyes, which had been shut tight, slowly opened, and she saw a smirking Vegeta.
"VEGETA!" Bulma squealed and hugged him. "I missed you."
Vegeta allowed her to hug him for a of couple seconds, then shrugged her off by setting her down.
He crossed his arms and smirked, "You are such a weakling for falling little girl. Good thing I was here to catch you, I would hate it if you stained the grass with your blood."
Bulma fumed and stuck her tongue out at him.
The Prince just laughed. "Come, I knew you'd be here, being as predictable as you are, so I brought food. I figured putting up with you would be more interesting than learning Vegitasei's history from that Baka tutor of mine." He went to sit by a tree stump and laid back. Bulma sat next to him.
"If you're to become King, shouldn't you learn about your planet's history?"
"Bah. When I am King, I will make history not dwell in the past." Vegeta took a bite out of his dinner.
"Well, what will you do?" Bulma asked as she sipped her drink.
"I will be the strongest in the universe and everyone will fear my power. They will obey me or suffer the consequences."
Bulma shuddered. "That doesn't sound like much of a plan. But think of all the royal parties you can have. Ohhhh it would be so much fun."
Vegeta snorted in disgust and looked at her. "Parties??? I don't think so."
"Oh come on. There'd be a lot of food, I know you like that. Oh and I'm sure there would be a whole table dedicated to chocolate desserts. All you'd have to do is show up. The Queen can make the preparations."
"Queen? The only thing the Queen's good for is producing an heir. You are of more use to me than a Queen."
Bulma smiled brightly. "Really?"
The young Prince looked into her blue eyes and just hmphed. Bulma giggled then yawned. "All this food has made me sleepy." Her eyes slowly closed, and she nodded off, resting her head on Vegeta's shoulder.
Vegeta sat there, feeling a sense of calm wash over him. He stayed there a long time, listening to the quiet, but steady breathing of his blue haired companion. He thought back to their conversation, what will I do when I am king?
Vegeta yawned, it was time to go. He gently picked up Bulma, amused at how she curled up against his warmth. You are so fragile yet take risks like a Saiyan. You are the first to ever disrespect me and respect me at the same time. I want to keep you.
He exited the gardens and made the way back to Bulma's quarters without being noticed. Vegeta knocked on the door and a very worried Dr. Briefs answered. Wordlessly, Vegeta handed over the girl he was cradling into the arms of her father. He then turned and left a speechless scientist behind him.
* * * * *
For the next couple of weeks, the pair would meet on and off, playing and causing trouble. This didn't go unnoticed, however, by a certain being.
One day, they were playing hide and seek, and Bulma decided to hide in the throne room. Vegeta had gotten pretty good at finding her, so she was given longer head starts.
At the moment, King Vegeta was having a very heated discussion with Nappa. Bulma couldn't hear what they were talking about but it ended with the King ordering that the Prince be brought before him.
Bulma gasped because that meant that Vegeta would definitely find her. The King heard Bulma's exclamation and discovered her behind a curtain. He picked her up by her neck and ordered a guard to call for Dr. Briefs.
Just then, Vegeta entered and he saw Bulma.
"No fair, no fair! I get a do-over, your father is the one that found me," she yelled.
The King looked at her and then at the Prince, whose face was growing quite red.
"Is she the reason why you've been missing training and tutoring?" He shook Bulma by the collar, "Have you gone weak boy? ANSWER ME!"
Vegeta said nothing.
Dr. Briefs then entered and the King threw Bulma at his feet. "You will keep your brat locked in her room her else," he directed at Briefs. "Now GO!"
Bulma started to cry and Dr. Briefs picked her up. Not wanting to anger the King anymore, he leaves immediately.
"Now you BRAT," he turned his attention back to his son, "are NOT to see her again. She has distracted you from your training long enough and I will not have my heir be a weakling. Is that understood?"
Vegeta numbly nodded, then turned to go back to his quarters.
* * * * *
Vegeta woke up early the next morning to train. He let all of his agression towards his father out on his sparring partners. Nappa, satisfied that Vegeta was becoming more like his ruthless self, told him to go meditate for a couple hours before tutoring.
The Prince rushed to the Royal Gardens hoping that Bulma was there. He was rewarded as Bulma had also snuck out of her room. They met in the clearing.
"Because you had to go hide in the throne room, we'll have to be more secretive about our meetings. We can't see each other every day because I have to train to become strong."
Bulma breathed a sigh of relief. Vegeta still wanted to see her, though she was sad because it wouldn't be as frequent. She then smiled wickedly as she scooped up water at the bank of the lake and splashed Vegeta.
"Oh you are going to pay little girl." Vegeta smirked as he picked her up by his tail and tossed her in the lake. He then removed his boots and gloves and dove in to splash her some more. The two laughed as they had their water war.
Hidden among the trees came the blinking red light of a recently installed camera. In a security room elsewhere, two figures watched the two children playing.
"You see King Vegeta, more drastic measures must be taken place to rid your son of this weakness."
"And I suppose you know how to deal with this problem?"
"Of course," Freeza smiled, "just leave it all to me."
* * * * *
The next day, Vegeta once again rushed to meet Bulma after training. After their swim the previous afternoon, he told her to meet him in the gardens the following night. He arrived at the clearing but there was no sign of her. He sighed and sat down to wait. He waited a couple hours then dozed off, only to wake in the morning.
"Something must have happened," he muttered to himself.
He left the gardens and headed towards her living quarters. As he got nearer he noticed that there were an absurd amount of guards in the corridor. He asked one of them what was going on.
"My Prince, there has been an accident. One of the scientists had brought to his quarters an experiment he was working on. There were some very volatile chemicals and they exploded in the middle of the night, killing the scientist and his daughter."
Vegeta paled, he knew exactly who the scientist and daughter were. He also knew it wasn't an accident. This was the work of his father. He had ordered their deaths, that had been the girl's price for befriending him – a grisely murder. And he never even knew her name.
So this was what it was like to lose someone you…care for, Vegeta thought. Did he really care for her? She had been annoying, loud, rude and bad tempered. But yes, he liked her. I feel so weak. I don't like this, I don't want to feel this way again. So friends are weaknesses? Then there is nothing else to do but get strong. I will become the strongest and defeat my father. He may have shown me the error of my ways, but I will make him pay for hurting me like this. From now on, I will not show weakness. I vow never to get close to anyone again.
* * * * *