We'll see how people like this and if it's well received I will post more. Don't own. Don't want. Enjoy. Anything in italics means we're speaking Saiyan. Yes, it is an AU so don't bitch.
A stray breeze blew softly, tangling the long strands of hair that had escaped the loose braid. Fingers, long and graceful, brushed them aside in a futile gesture and focused intently on the scene below. Two combatants faced each other, bodies stiff in their beginning poses. With grace born of being a different race, the warriors moved in an ancient rhythm that had long since disappeared. The air thrummed with tension as each motion intertwined to create a dance few could follow.
Vegeta had claimed it was a ceremony of sorts and as his mai doi, chosen child, she could not deny him this right. It was a test of control, of strength, and that her future mate could prove his worthiness. If he slipped and struck the Prince, Vegeta could demand his death. She knew Vegeta would, too, because when it came to matters of the Saiyan race the Prince was stringent on traditions being followed. She was too, but in the matter of her heart, it was difficult to surrender to Fate.
It was believed that if the match was fated to be then her mate would be able to succeed. If he failed then the relationship was doomed from the start. Never mind that so few Saiyans existed that to find another was a gift beyond the Gods. He could be so infuriating, but she would have him no other way. It had been his idea to have the ceremony and Vegeta had whole heartedly agreed. As in most matters, she had deferred to her mai fei, chosen father, despite Bulma and Chi Chi's protests. Her true father had not been there to protest. He was dead, had been for the majority of her life, and no longer shared any right to question her decisions. Gohan had stepped in for him, but she had ignored him. Though he had earned her respect as a fighter long ago, the fact that he had so clearly let his talent go to waste had created a chasm between brother and sister. It was why she had long ago chosen Vegeta as her mai fei despite the Prince's own protests.
The path to her current situation had been a long and tangled one, beginning with Vegeta's return to earth and an angry child desperately aching from a father's absence. Even now, the pain of those years was a distant hurt held at bay through years of practice. As she watched the dance below, Chiasa remembered, and the memories wrapped her in a cocoon, hiding her away from the present.
"What is it?"
Bulma looked up from her study of the eyepiece to stare into the wide, strangely accented eyes of Goku's daughter. The twin of Gohan was pretty in a cherubic way with a potential to be gorgeous hinting in her tiny frame. Her dark hair was pulled away from her face in a tight braid and hung to her waist. She wore a simple smock dirtied from being outside. A smudge of something marred one cheek and Bulma wondered what trouble the little girl had wriggled her way into today. She was mischievous despite the angelic front and intelligence lurked in her unassuming eyes. Chiasa was clever, far more so than Gohan, but lacked the ability to apply her smarts. Chi Chi, at her wits end, had sent the girl to Capsule for the day while she tangled with her husband and son over the coming trip to Namek. Bulma, not accustomed to dealing with children, had left Chiasa to her own devices in the depths of her lab. There were plenty of experiments for the girl to examine without causing any significant damage.
"What is what?" Bulma finally said, when the girl asked again. Blowing irritably at a strand of blue hair, she tried to remember to be patient with the child. Chiasa was familiar with Bulma's temper, having seen it, but she had never been on the receiving end. There was no way that the beautiful scientist was going to be accused of making a little girl cry, especially one that belonged to Chi Chi.
"That," Chiasa said, pointing to the eye piece. Bulma looked down and frowned slightly. She was not sure how much Chiasa knew, but she wasn't in the habit of lying to anyone even if they were kids.
"I think it's a scouter. At least, I think that's what the big guy said."
"What's it do?"
"Well," Bulma said as she expanded on her new favorite toy. "So far I've learned it measures power levels. There's a lot more information stored in here, but it's difficult to translate and even harder to get past all the security to even access it."
Chiasa looked hard at the alien equipment, and Bulma wondered at the concentration. Why was this so interesting to her?
"Will you be able to figure it out?"
Bulma laughed arrogantly. "Of course. I'm the smartest woman in the world, probably the universe. They haven't invented a technology that I can't decipher."
"Can I help?"
Frowning slightly, Bulma shook her head. Gently she said, "I don't think so, Chiasa. This is pretty high tech stuff and you haven't even started school yet."
"Momma home schools us," Chiasa informed her. "I'm farther ahead then anyone my age. At least that's what the tests I have to take say."
"I'm sure you are, kid, but this is genius level stuff."
"May I watch then?"
Shrugging, Bulma nodded, not seeing any harm in observation. "Sure, kid, just don't pester me with any questions. I've got to concentrate so I don't mess anything up."
Taking a seat next to her, Chiasa quietly watched Bulma work. The blue haired scientist had always fascinated her and, ever since she had met Bulma, Chiasa had found ways to invade Capsule Corp. It had been difficult at first during Gohan's year of training, because Chi Chi had been very controlling of her daughter's time. Luckily the wife of Goku recognized Bulma's intelligence would be a decent influence. There had been frequent visits in which Chiasa lurked quietly in the background, taking in everything and storing it away in her head. As she did now, Chiasa missed nothing.
Her intent concentration used to freak Bulma out a little. She was not accustomed to seeing a child so capable of sitting still. Normally they were in constant motion, demanding attention or causing spills. Chiasa was able to sit for hours appearing to stare into space. Once, Bulma had recited an old legend while working. It had surprised her that after she was finished, Chiasa had quietly questioned her on the details, showing she was aware of all that happened around her despite her seeming inattention.
A ding at the video screen interrupted Bulma's thoughts and she glared at the person in irritation until she recognized her father's droopy features. "Bulma, dear, I need you in the Benson Project room for a moment."
"Sure thing, Daddy, I'll be right there." Her father's face disappeared and Bulma sighed. "Chiasa I'll be right back, don't touch anything if you value your life!"
The girl nodded and watched as Bulma swept away. Chiasa waited a few minutes and sure enough, she saw Bulma peeking through the door. Remaining still finally convinced Bulma that the girl would stay true to her word and the scientist hurried away. Chiasa waited a few more minutes before carefully picking up the scouter. It eye piece was heavy in her hands and she bounced it up and down a little. It was sturdy, which made sense if warriors used them daily. With sure hands, Chiasa studied it for a moment longer and then put it over her eye. It was not difficult to adjust the scouter to fit and she pushed what she had assumed to be an "on" button.
There was a soft whirring noise and then a digitized female voice came from the scouter. Chiasa jumped a little, not aware that the scouter had audio capabilities.
"Scanning in process. Race Saiyan, race unknown, sex female, age 7 standard years."
Saiyan. Chiasa had heard the odd name before, but had not connected it to her own race. It made sense as the invaders had been Saiyan, and according to Gohan, had demanded their father join them in a crusade with their Prince. She could not remember his name.
"Explain Saiyan," Chiasa said hesitantly. She was not sure how Bulma had programmed the scouter to speak their language, but was certainly not going to complain.
"Saiyan, bi-pedal race from the planet Vegeta in the Cortosa System. A warrior race of immense power capable of transforming into the Oozaru. Employed by Lord Freiza to clear planets for later acquisition. Immeasurable strength as species is capable of constant advancement through training and recovery from injuries. Life span is unknown. System of government is monarchy with each monarch assuming the name, Vegeta. Class system separates warriors."
"Chiasa! I told you not to touch anything! What are you doing? You could have damaged this!"
Reluctantly parting with the scouter, Chiasa wondered why Bulma could not hear the audio and assumed it had ceased when she had removed the piece. The angry woman examined the scouter minutely, scowling all the while.
"You are so lucky this isn't damaged. I would have been furious."
Chiasa said nothing. It wouldn't be right to apologize for something when she felt no regret.
"You're mother is waiting upstairs so I suggest you go now," Bulma snapped a few minutes later when she noticed the younger girl still there. Chiasa nodded and left immediately. She was sorry that she had upset Bulma and hoped the scientist would let her come back. Chi Chi was waiting upstairs with a sullen Gohan in tow. Chiasa did not know why her brother was so upset. He was getting what he wanted by going to Namek, but he acted like the world was ending. The guilt that their mother was so skilled in utilizing easily found a target in Gohan. His twin on the other hand was not so susceptible and often found herself on the receiving end of Chi Chi's temper. Though Chiasa loved her mother, and was generally well behaved, she was far more volatile than Gohan and Goku. Her temper tended to feed into the physical rather than the vocal and she had destroyed the walls in their home on more than one occasion.
"Well, it's about time. I don't have all day to wait on you, Chiasa. I have things that need to get done and they certainly won't get finished if I'm waiting on you and your brother."
Chiasa wisely said nothing, not in the right frame of mind to provoke her mother. The information on the Saiyans had intrigued her and she wished there was someway to learn more. As if thinking of the race triggered her extra appendage, Chiasa's tail twitched in its usual position around her waist. Her brother had returned missing his tail and had told Chiasa that Piccolo had severed it. They had later learned after the Prince's attack that they had the ability to turn into giant monkeys. After that fiasco had been hashed out among the group, Goku learned he had transformed several times in the past. Chiasa had remained quiet lest the adults look at her and remember she too bore a tail. Perhaps that was what the voice meant by the strange name Oozaru…it had mentioned transformation.
The ride home was silent save for Chi Chi's frequent mutterings. Both children were accustomed to such behavior and remained wrapped in their own thoughts. Gohan's disappearance had started a separation between the two that they were not able to breach and Chiasa felt the gap widening each day. With his impending trip to Namek, she knew the chasm would grow even farther. Once such a thought would have depressed her, but now she pushed it away. There was no sense in dwelling on what could not be changed.
She knew Gohan was handling their separation far worse and she assumed the sullen expression stemmed from that. Ever since his return, Chiasa had been cold when in his presence. The coldness was a result of nerves, more than jealousy, but she did not know how to explain that his sudden strength and attitude was almost more than she had been able to bear. He seemed an adult in a child's body. Chiasa knew she was mature for her age, but Gohan had pushed it to the extreme. He was now walking a path she had no idea how to follow.
When they arrived home, Grandpa was waiting to entertain them while Chi Chi started supper. Not wanting to suffer through her grandfather's attention, Chiasa escaped into the nearby woods. She and Gohan had often played amongst the trees and the forest was familiar. Her walk had a purpose and she soon found the old quarry her father had used to build their home. Several large stones littered the area and Chiasa headed for the smallest. It was easily twice her height and width. Bending low, she dug her fingers under the edge and tried to stand. She was surprised to not only stand, but lift the stone as easily as if it were a pebble. Shocked, Chiasa dropped it, narrowly missing her toes. Staring at her hands, she then formed a fist and punched. Her hand collided with the stone and sent a long crack up the face. Her fist did not even smart. How was such a thing possible? It boggled her mind and she punched with the other fist, pleasantly surprised when the stone split in half. If this was just a smidgen of the power that Gohan had discovered she clearly understood now his drive to train.
Brushing off her hands, Chiasa headed back to the house. She wasn't ready for anyone in her family to discover she too had the potential to be a fighter. Her mother would scream and faint, that reaction she was sure of, but she did not know how Gohan and her father would react. It would kill her if they forbid her to train so she decided not to mention anything. Ignorance was bliss after all.
Gohan was sitting on the front porch and Chiasa paused before moving forward to sit next to him. His eyes were on the setting sun staining the sky orange and red. Colors fascinated Gohan like words for Chiasa. He had the soul of an artist that would never see the light. His talents would be funneled into battle now, and Chiasa wondered if that bothered him. Gohan seemed far too peaceful to engage in fisticuffs. For a moment she wondered if this was some warped reality in a dream, or rather, a nightmare.
His voice disturbed the silence, but not as much as his words disturbed her inner calm. "You've changed, Chiasa."
She stared at him, wondering how long he had been wanting to tell her that. Gohan had never before minced words with her, but she sensed this question had been simmering for quite some time. She answered as honestly as she could, but as she spoke the words she felt they lacked her meaning.
"I haven't changed, Gohan, but you have. You're just looking at me through different eyes now."
"You haven't asked about Dad," he accused, a hint of the old Gohan appearing in his voice. Goku was the sun and moon to Gohan, once it had been so for Chiasa too. Her father's absence had created a wound inside her that she had carefully concealed. Now that he was alive, brought back from the dead, it seemed to her that nothing could destroy him. The wound was healing.
"Daddy is fine," Chiasa said. "He spoke to me a little before they took him to the hospital. If he could defeat death I'm not going to worry about a few battle wounds."
Perturbed by her words, Gohan sullenly kicked at a pebble. "Did you even miss me?"
"Of course I did," Chiasa snapped. "You're home now though, at least, for a little while."
"So you aren't upset at all that I get to go to Namek and you don't?"
Exasperated, Chiasa huffed, "Do you want me to be? What do you want me to do, throw a tantrum? I highly doubt that will get me what I want and I don't work like that."
His accusing eyes told her the truth, though, and Chiasa frowned. Her temper tantrums were legendary. It made her wonder why she wasn't upset at being left behind. Maybe she had done a little growing up of her own during Gohan's enforced absence. Maybe she had changed.
"I don't really want to go," Gohan clarified. "I just think it's the right thing to do. Bulma misses Yamcha. It isn't right they all had to die because of us."
Chiasa shrugged. "Those names don't really mean anything to me, Gohan. I never met them."
"You know Bulma, though," Gohan said.
"Yes well, she doesn't talk about Yamcha. She doesn't talk about much, really."
Gohan laughed. "Dad said she normally can't shut up."
Shrugging again, Chiasa looked out at the sky. Evening was fast approaching as the sky became more purple than red. Soon the sun would set completely and reveal the myriad of stars that made up the sky. She wondered which star belonged to Vegeta and if it were even possible to see the planets glow from here. Glancing at Gohan, Chiasa refrained from asking his opinion on their heritage. He would tell her they were human, not Saiyan, and shared nothing but blood with the evil race. Her curiosity about her heritage made her feel suddenly alone in a crowded world. It was an odd feeling to be separated so completely and she did not like it. Standing, she shook off the emotion and went inside. Gohan would wait until the sun fully set before joining her. That was fine with Chiasa as the conversation between them needed time to settle.
Dinner was an awkward, stilted affair with Grandpa trying to maintain a decent conversation. Chi Chi was wrapped in righteous anger over her son's determination to ruin his future and Gohan was timid in his attempts to not garner his mother's wrath. The evening progressed slowly as the members of the family carefully revolved around each other's pain and silence. Chiasa was happy to escape to her room for the night. Her homework was finished and her room clean when her mother came in to say good night.
"Well," her mother said after glancing at the papers stacked neatly on the desk. "At least one of my children is taking her education seriously. I warn you right now, Chiasa, you will not be joining your father or Gohan on any crazy adventures. I promise that you will be successful no matter what I have to do."
After a perfunctory kiss, Chi Chi left and Chiasa heard her enter Gohan's room. The soft rumble of voices hinted they would be speaking for awhile and she blocked them out. It would not be difficult to listen, for her hearing was superb, but Chiasa felt invasive when she eavesdropped. Rolling onto her side, she instead thought of her father lying alone in some hospital. Goku had been a pillar of strength for his family, and when he had died, they had scrambled to keep the walls from falling in around them. Gohan's disappearance had further exasperated the problem until Chi Chi morphed into a stranger. Gone was the cheerful woman who had laughed with regularity at the antics of her husband and children. She had been replaced with a frazzled, temperamental harridan desperate to reclaim some portion of normality. Chiasa was unsure who to blame for the destruction of her family unit. It would be easy to fault their enemies, but from stories that Bulma had told, her father had a habit of saving the world.
It was odd feeling like a stranger in her own home, but she did. It would be even more awkward when Goku returned. Death changed a person, and it would only stand to reason that returning to life would change him even more. Chiasa was unsure if she wished for her father to have changed. There was appeal in having him return the same as she remembered, but to do so after death seemed shallow. No one person could remain unaffected.
A few days later found Chiasa and her family returning to Capsule. Gohan, Bulma, and Krillin would begin their journey to Namek. Gohan looked a little green next to her and Chiasa squeezed his hand in comfort. He returned the gesture and his color normalized after a moment. It had to be both exciting and scary to venture into the unknown and she admitted to feeling a sting of jealousy. She had half toyed with the idea of sneaking aboard, but had eventually dismissed it. Too many variables could cause problems with that decision and it was best at this point to wait. Eventually, Gohan would be home and life would return to some semblance of normal.
When they landed, Bulma immediately swept Chi Chi away to help her organize. Familiar with the structure, Chiasa made her way to the labs she had haunted on her previous excursions. Gohan, with nothing else to do, followed her.
"So, this is where you would hang out?"
"Yeah," Chiasa said, her eyes scanning the room. She was looking for the scouter, but figured it would be a long shot for Bulma to have left the priceless artifact lying around.
"Are you looking for something?" Gohan inquired, noticing her eyes minute movement. Chiasa glanced over at him and shrugged casually.
"Just looking for something to entertain me until departure."
Footsteps garnered their attention and Bulma smiled as she rounded the corner. "I figured I would find you guys down here. Showing Gohan around?"
Chiasa nodded and watched Bulma open a safe on one of the work stations. She pulled out a box and turned, handing it to Chiasa.
"I feel kind of bad we're leaving you behind so I got you something. Open it when you get home, though, ok?"
Nodding, Chiasa felt a glow of happiness. Despite the fact that Bulma was somewhat selfish and arrogant, she was inherently a nice person and very generous with her time, money, and friendship. "Thank you."
Bulma waved her off. "Don't worry about it. Are you ready Gohan? It's time to launch."
He swallowed visibly, but nodded bravely and the twins followed Bulma to the launch pad outside. Chiasa took her place next to their mother who was tearfully bidding her son goodbye. For her part, Chiasa hugged him and wished him luck. The diminished family watched until the ship was a speck in the sky before returning home. It was a mark of her mother's distraction that she never noticed the box her daughter carried.
Once she was tucked away in the safety of her room, Chiasa opened the box and was shocked to see the scouter nestled inside. A small note accompanied the eye piece written in Bulma's bold strokes.
I finished examining the scouter and got everything I needed from it. Figured the thing would keep you entertained until we get back. Have fun taking it apart.
Pleased beyond words with the gift, it took quite a bit of willpower to put the scouter away. She would need to wait until after bed to use the equipment. Chiasa did not want to give her mother any excuse to take away the alien technology. Settling at her desk, she started on next week's homework, hoping the obvious dedication to her schooling would calm her mother's frazzled nerves. The report on the current Emperor kept her focused until dinner. Chi Chi was pleased to find her daughter studying when she came to fetch her and the evening progressed smoothly. Luck was with her when her mother advised her she was staying at the hospital for the night and that Grandpa would be staying. Dutifully Chiasa kissed her mother goodbye, her grandpa goodnight, and then rushed to bed.
The scouter was waiting where she had hid it and Chiasa carefully placed the scouter on her head, pressing the same button as before. The digitized voice repeated the same species information and Chiasa felt her heart jump slightly when it identified her as Saiyan.
There was a pause as the scouter processed her request and then the voice filled her ear with information. "Oozaru, a giant primordial ape capable of immense destruction. Transformation is enabled by a full moon and the tail of a Saiyan. Only elite warriors capable of maintaining control."
The voice ended and Chiasa wondered what else the scouter could tell her…or show her.
The screen in front of her eye ran numbers up and down for a moment before flipping to a picture of a giant ape. Chiasa studied the form carefully taking in the massive body and musculature. It gave her thrill to imagine transforming into such a beast and only the warning of losing control kept her from experimenting.
"Explain Saiyan strength."
"Saiyans are among the strongest race in the universe. Capable of lifting thousands of tons, the Saiyan easily outclasses any opponents. The more fighting a Saiyan encounters the stronger they become. The strongest Saiyan is King Vegeta, followed by his son, Prince Vegeta."
"Show Prince Vegeta," Chiasa commanded, interrupting the voice.
There was a pause and then a picture of the Prince was before her eye. He was regal in bearing, his face a cold mask of indifference. Black hair was swept upwards as if a flame and his onyx eyes were strangely accented. Chiasa gently touched her own and realized Gohan and their father had the same eyes. This picture revealed his tail coiled tightly around his waist. According to Gohan the tail had been severed in battle and Chiasa felt a wave of pity at the loss. She could not imagine the indignity of losing her tail. He was handsome, but it was a deadly, ruthless beauty that spoke of the difficult years he must have faced. Chiasa wondered what the scouter had meant when it said the Saiyans were employed by Lord Freiza. She was about to ask when a yawn interrupted her words. Suddenly tired, Chiasa removed the scouter and returned it to the hiding place. She would have plenty of time to ask more questions. Bulma thought the entire adventure could take months. Curling onto her side, Chiasa felt for the first time that those months would pass swiftly and she once more thanked Bulma for such a great gift.