Crimson Love

AU Dragonball Z Fanfic based on Fyrefly-san's AU fanfic "Baka Shoujo" [By the way…Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu!! Happy 16, Fyrefly-san!] - I got permission to write this! Arigatou, Fyrefly-san! Anyway, this explores what could have happened between Chapter 6: Birth of a Radish and Chapter 7: Forever and Always of "Baka Shoujo." Focuses a lot on Toma and an original character, but there's quite a bit of Baddacu/Umeko fluff. Yay!

* Prologue *

Despite the almost overwhelming naivety of the Yasu-jin, they had an immense impact on the way Baddacu saw things on Bejita-sei. It was rather odd, indeed, that after little over two years he could find so many flaws in what had once been his unconscious home. Truthfully, there were few things he could truly say were special in his memories of Bejita-sei. Most of the special 'things' weren't things at all: Radditsu's birth, the day construction had been completed on the new palace, the day Furiiza had stormed out of the old palace in a blind rage, infuriated by Baddacu's sly maneuver to protect the Yasu-jin and their beautiful desert planet. And the first class warrior Toma, who was more a brother than a friend.

A small hand, slender and woven of spun gold, touched his shoulder gently and he glanced across at the silver-haired figure of his wife: Umeko, in all her unearthly beauty, large blue eyes shaped like almonds, and an elegant, if small, aura about her. "Radditsu is asleep," she smiled up at him, once again managing to relax his mind. He smiled back, a smile void of malicious intent or sadistic thoughts. It was almost pure, his smile.

"Ah," an amused voice broke the dreamlike spell, one that was lightly masculine. "Perhaps I should leave you alone with the lovely Umeko-san?" the voice continued in a teasing tone and Toma, in all his leanly muscled glory, grinned from the arching doorway of glittering diamond ice he was leaning against, eyes slanted abnormally for a Saiya-jin, accented by the rare shade of silver-flecked brown few on Bejita-sei could boast of having genetically. His eyes were only one of few genetic abnormalities that set the high-ranking soldier apart from others.

"Hello, Toma," Baddacu returned, the faint signs of an amused smile tugging at the corners of his lips. "Do you want to talk?"

"Not with you," Toma said, rolling his eyes dramatically. "Why waste my time talking to you?" At the death-glare launched at him by the much more muscular scientist, he sighed loudly. "Fine, gomen, gomen. I do need to talk with you." His eyes flickered over to Umeko and he inclined his head respectfully. "Konnichi wa, Umeko-san." Turning militarily on his heel, he all but marched out of the room, top of his hair brushing against the archway's highest point.

"I will be back," Baddacu promised, squeezing Umeko's hand gently.

"Don't destroy too many objects," she kissed his cheek, tone light. "You know how mischievous Toma can be."

"I heard that!" came the young Saiya-jin's indignant response. "I'm not mischievous! I'm…rambunctious."

Baddacu raised an eyebrow and reluctantly let go of his wife's hand, walking quickly out of the room. Umeko brushed a hand through her hair and glided across the floor to the playpen constructed out of a block of glistening ice, smiling lovingly down at the curled-up form of almost one-year old Radditsu, his spiky black hair already reaching well past his shoulders. "Hello, darling," she whispered, reaching down to carefully pick him up along with a thick woolly blanket, tucking it about him as she rocked him gently in her arms. The baby wrinkled his nose and yawned in his sleep, curling up closer to the body heat of his mother, lulled deeper into slumber by the steady rocking and the soothing warmth.

*

Baddacu knew, from the instant he saw the way Toma held himself in the glittering corridor, that whatever his childhood friend was going to ask was, no doubt, a very serious subject.

Growing up with the younger Saiya-jin had been a very unique experience, hands down. Toma had been born prematurely and was the bastard son of an incestuous affair. Silver-flecked chestnut eyes set in a dark-skinned face, he was one of a small percentage of Saiya-jin who did not have the trademark ebony spikes. His hair, trimmed unevenly, was loose and limp in patches, spiky in other areas, giving him an unbalanced sort of look. Being a prankster from the day he learned how to walk, his posture of rigid formality was eerie.

"What is it you wanted to ask me, Toma?" Baddacu asked slowly, mind whizzing through every possibility he could think of to explain his foster brother's sudden seriousness. Whatever it was, it could -not- be good.

"I wish to request permission to be sent to join the firewall around Yasu-sei."

Immediately, the overprotective instincts of Baddacu's Saiya-jin blood swamped his senses and he almost deafened Toma with his echoing, ear-blistering, "NO!"

Toma blinked his waifish eyes and promptly fell to his knees, clasping his hands tightly together pleadingly. "Oh, please, Baddacu? I can't sit around this damn palace doing nothing any longer! General Usulo is driving me insane with his stupid chores and I can't have any fun because no self-respecting Saiya-jin woman would be seen, dead or alive, with me, the inbred freak." He scowled. "Besides, I want to kick Furiiza's ass."

Somewhere along the line of Toma's rushed speech, Baddacu had managed to regain at least partial control of his reactions and he said, in a much calmer voice, "No."

"Oh, hell." Toma stood up, brushing his hands on his armor pants, cheeks sucked in gauntly in an expression of self-righteous anger. Lifting his chin up proudly, he bowed quickly and stiffly in remote respect of Baddacu's higher rank, red armband growing taut around his upper arm as the muscles under it tensed. "Sayonara, Baddacu-san," he spoke icily, voice crisp and cutting.

Baddacu narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. The only other time Toma had used that tone was when he had learned that Ukargou had been lying about his parents: they hadn't been killed like Ukargou had always told him, they had lost all of their honor and been exiled to spend the rest of their lives on Liya-sei, separated eternally from their prematurely shamed son.

"I envy you, 'Neesan," Toma said suddenly, his back bent and facing the man who was his only semblance of family, using an old nickname he hadn't used in years. "You've got Umeko-san." Slowly, he turned around to face the larger Saiya-jin, eyes thick and clouded. "You know that I've said she makes you more. And I'm jealous." He laughed dryly, another unusual thing for the lighthearted Toma to do. "I want someone to make me more, to complete me. But nobody cares about a stupid," here he paused to deliver a swift kick to a wall, cracking the first layer of dense ice, "inbred," another kick shattered the second layer, "bastard." The third kick punched a small, perfect hole in the wall, creating a new hole for air circulation in the next room. He looked up at Baddacu, who was watching with a carefully neutral face, and grinned with his normal rakishness. "Besides, I figured if -you- could somehow get an off-world woman as gorgeous as Umeko-san, then -I- certainly could."

"Are you insulting me?" Baddacu growled, bristling.

"Maaaay-be," Toma rotated his head from one shoulder to the other, then back, eyes tilted upward innocently as he drew out the first syllable. Then he was serious again, locking his waif-like eyes with Baddacu's harsher ones. "I'm not asking you as a soldier now, but as a younger brother."

"So, basically," continued Baddacu, evading the last sentence, which weakened his resolve considerably, "you're doing this to get a woman."

"Naw," grinned Toma almost ferally. "That's just a delicious bonus. I just want to get the hell away from General Usolo before the dickhead drives me to committing painful and gory suicide." He rolled his eyes meaningfully. "I just want to throw one decent ki ball at him, then I can die happily."

Struggling with his protective instincts, Baddacu finally conceded. "Fine," he crossed his arms over his chest, voice gruff. "You may go to supervise land troops."

"Finally," Toma spoke cheerily. "Ja mata, Baddacu!" With that, he turned and darted down the hallway before Baddacu could change his mind.

"Kami-sama help me," he uncrossed his arms and covered his face with his hands. "I don't want to kill the Yasu-jin…"

"Not funny!" hollered the quickly receding figure of Toma.

*

"Okaasan," Fuuko set her crescent shaped bowl down on the low-lying table, shifting slightly on the cushions she and her parents were kneeling on, "I have heard that Umeko-chama and Baddacu-san have had their first child."

Caia's face, lined with wrinkles of wisdom, crinkled into an overjoyed smile and the woman was fairly beaming with joy. "Ah! The child must be beautiful with Umeko-chama as the mother! And Baddacu-san is a very handsome Saiya-jin."

Ling sipped at his tea, reaching across the table to brush a strand of light gold hair behind Fuuko's shell-pink ear, a fond look of fatherly love on his face. "Their child is as beautiful as our own Fuuko," he said gently.

"Otousan," giggled Fuuko, her face shy and blushing.

"Aye," he nodded sagely, tapping her delicate pale nose with one finger, tiny scars marking the tip where he had cut the flesh whilst weaving the magnificent gold tapestries the decorated the kingdom. "You, my dear musume, are as enchanting and wise as the wind that blows over this world."

She and Caia left their soup and bread untouched, knowing when he was preparing to begin the story they all knew by heart.

"Once, only a year or two after Umeko-chama had been born, there was a comet so bright it brought noonday to the midnight sky…"

|*|

Ling ran over the sand, one among a countless number of Yasu-jin tugged to the dying flames that had, only minutes before, been bright enough to blind an unwary eye. The smell of scorched flesh and liquid metal tinged the air. Pulling his new bride, Caia, to a halt on a tall dune, alongside many others, he watched despairingly as the flames continued to eat away at whatever life might have survived the initial crash.

Hours passed as the enormous crowd of anxious Yasu-jin waited, until, finally, the flames had vanished completely, metal black in the rising sun's light. A minute ticked by, followed by another, and another, until the minutes blended into another hour. Still the Yasu-jin waited in hope.

And then, faintly, there was an infant's wail, weak and so very desperate.

Caia could no longer stand still and she broke free, skidding and sliding down the shifting dune toward the wreck. The others snapped out of their spell and tumbled down after her.

Cooling metal was thrust aside, lifted, until Caia, still at the fore of the group, matched eyes with the one survivor. A small she-babe, pale skin and soft, downy yellow hair with bright, inquisitive green eyes focused blearily up at Caia.

A wind rustled across the people and they fell silent, watching as the small woman reached down, raising the child up toward the sky, letting the warm wind touch the infant's bare skin. Gurgling, the infant smiled, enjoying the wind.

"We shall name you after the wind, fuu," announced Caia, attaching herself to the child almost instantly. "You are our Fuuko."

Ling smiled. "Ohayo, musume," he murmured, touching Fuuko's smooth cheek with one soft finger.

A resounding cheer broke out from the people and Caia tucked Fuuko into her arm, bending over to lift a small scrap of cooled metal that read, in a primitive language that seemed like a subtle variant of Saiya-go crossed with Liya-go, "NASA: Chikyuu Deep-Space Mission 01."

|*|

End Author's Notes: Whee! How was that for a prologue, Fyrefly-san? (You're my beta-reader now, okay?)

I'm not sure if you're happy with how I formed Toma, Fyrefly-san…is he okay? (Yup, he's the fic's genetic freak. Yay!) And do you like Fuuko so far? (These questions are for everybody out there! Review!!) I know she isn't as interesting a character as Hoshi (how many original characters ARE as interesting as Hoshi?), but she's special. Sort of.

Why Chikyuu-sei as Fuuko's home planet? Well, the Saiya-jin have to learn about Chikyuu somehow! (Yup. Corny plot device.)

Next time, on Chapter ONE (as in: live with this fanfic, damn it, there's going to be more chapters!): Baddacu and Umeko spend time with Radditsu (two or three pages of good ol' family love!), Fuuko has a frightening vision and begins to lose her eyesight (we also get to learn about her personality), Toma has a rather uneventful space flight, and Bob the Builder shows up. No, I'm just kidding about that last one. :[ Don't cry! Bob the Builder (can he fix it?…Yes, he can!) loves you! *giggles* Furiiza gets a decent paragraph of mad cackling and/or spilling of vital plot points. Betcha can't wait for the first chapter. *ducks heavy blunt objects thrown at head, which barely miss* Hey, I use my head! …Sometimes.

Pay attention, people. READ. FYREFLY-SAN'S. FANFICS. NOW!!! Just stop reading -this- crap and go read her literary works of art! NOW!!! (Especially "Baka Shoujo." I swear, if you haven't read that fanfic at least, this spin-off won't even make any sense. Seriously.)

And while you're reading her fanfics (*hefts rolling pin dangerously* Which you -will- if you have any self-preservative skills), take some time to review them. Then click on her profile and visit her WAC website (Women Against Cheeseballs). It's a joking website, but it's awesome. (And don't you dare flame her!)

Purple Mongoose/PallaPlease.

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