May 765 A.D.
Chiasa awoke in a sour mood, glaring at the calendar as if by doing so it would disappear. She did not go downstairs for breakfast and shortly after, she sensed both Vegeta and Bulma coming upstairs. They tended to handle her together now, for some reason, and she was beginning to feel more and more like a child. Bulma knocked on her door, Vegeta would have just barged in, and Chiasa yelled they could enter.
"What's wrong with you, brat? You're late and you know what that means," Vegeta snarled, glaring at her. Chiasa merely sighed and ignored him, which was so completely out of character that the Prince felt his anger fade to shock.
"Chiasa," Bulma said more gently. "Are you sick?"
"No," came her muffled reply. She had buried her head under a pillow. "It's our birthday."
"Oh," Bulma said softly. "Well, Happy Birthday." She turned to glare at her mate who merely grunted.
"Just because it's your birthday doesn't mean you get to slack off," Vegeta snapped. "You had one last year, why is this one bugging you?"
Chiasa shrugged. "I guess I just miss Gohan. It's stupid."
"You are right, it is stupid, so get up, get dressed, and get outside," the Prince ordered and Chiasa nodded.
"Actually," Bulma said. "I wanted to tell you both something." She paused dramatically. "I'm pregnant."
Chiasa's eyes widened and then she grinned, rushing to hug Bulma. Before she could reach her, Vegeta grabbed her hissing, "Carefully."
Slowing her movements considerably, Chiasa hugged Bulma with an exaggerated care that had her Prince rolling his eyes. "Congratulations, Bulma."
Bulma grinned and then glared at Vegeta. "You don't seem very shocked."
"Why should I?" He demanded. "I've sensed the brat for weeks."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Bulma raged, her face turning red.
"It's not my fault you're a weakling who doesn't understand your own body."
Bulma took a deep breath to calm her temper and Vegeta smirked. "I wouldn't bother woman, the further along you get the more volatile you'll become. I'm rather looking forward to it."
Right then Chiasa considered taking a long vacation. Under normal circumstances Bulma was easily riled. She did not want to be here for the next 9 months. Slipping into the hall as the two began to argue, Chiasa rushed downstairs and into the kitchen where Bulma's mother was happy to cook her breakfast. She could get ready later. She had no desire to get in the middle of a spat that would probably end with lots of kissing. It was pretty much per normal for her Prince and his mate, but that didn't mean she had to watch.
She had finished breakfast when her Wei Tai sauntered into the kitchen. "Brat! I told you to get dressed."
Chiasa did not even bother arguing. She booked it upstairs, changed, and was back down in record time. Outside, Vegeta immediately jumped into a sparring position. For the better part of the morning they fought…or rather, Vegeta fought and Chiasa struggled to defend. She was making progress, but Vegeta was the second strongest Saiyan on the planet. The sun was high in the sky when they finished, but instead of kicking her out, Vegeta made her sit.
"Brats are born all the damn time, but for whatever reason the woman is concerned about this whelping. It is your duty to be at her beck and call. Whatever she needs you will do. I can't be bothered with her during the day so for now, we are ceasing your training. Just until the brat is born and then we will continue."
It was a mark of how far Chiasa had come under Vegeta's tutelage that she refused to show the rage simmering inside. She wanted to scream and rant at him as she had her father, but the Prince would have no problem beating her senseless. Unfortunately, Vegeta knew her like the back of his hand.
"Remember, brat, you pledged allegiance to me. This is a royal command, so don't disobey me. I don't have the same kind of restraint that Kakarot wields."
Chiasa nodded firmly. "May I be excused, Wei Tai?"
Vegeta waved her off and she flew back to the house. She could not believe that just because Bulma was worried about some stupid pregnancy she could not train anymore! It was ridiculous and she knew Bulma would think the same thing, but she knew also without Vegeta saying that if she told his mate her new assignment her life was over. Bulma would be offended that Vegeta felt she was so weak, and the Prince would be angry that his mate knew he cared. Deciding to never, ever mate, Chiasa headed for the labs. Sure enough, Bulma was hunched over a desk, studying some book.
Looking up, Bulma adjusted a pair of glasses and smiled. "What's up, Chiasa?"
"I was just wondering if you needed anything."
"Nope, I'm pretty involved in this new tech manual actually. Did you need something?"
"No," Chiasa said slowly. "But I think I'm going to go home for the afternoon. To see Mom and Gohan."
Bulma's eyes crinkled in concern, but all she did was nod. "That's fine, sweetie, be careful and call me if you decide to stay the night."
She was probably completely insane for doing this, but she did miss her family. It had been a long time since the Son twins had been together on their birthday. Her mother would appreciate it if no one else did. The house she had grown up in appeared on the horizon and as she landed, she was unsurprised to see Gohan waiting on the stoop. He had probably sensed her.
Chiasa scuffed her boot. "Happy 8th Birthday."
"You too," Gohan said. "Haven't heard from you."
"I've been training with Vegeta. He keeps me pretty busy."
"Right," Gohan muttered. "This is so stupid, Chiasa, I'm tired of fighting."
"I didn't realize we were fighting," Chiasa said stiffly, crossing her arms.
He looked at her, eyes incredulous. "You moved out of our house, never call to check in, and completely broke Dad's heart. You thought we were getting along?"
Chiasa shrugged, his words tiny pricks of guilt in her heart. What did he want from her? Their narrow attitudes had forced her decision. It was definitely a mistake to come here.
"Wait," Gohan blurted. "Forget I said that, I'm just glad you're here. I miss you. I feel like a part of me is dead."
"I know what you mean," Chiasa said, and then tentatively moved forward to embrace her brother. He hugged her back and a tiny weight lifted from her shoulders. "Look, I know you don't agree with what I've done, but I had to. Can you at least understand that?"
"Yeah," he mumbled, releasing her. "Mom and I talked about it so I understand better now. Of course, Dad won't talk about it to anyone. I wish you would speak to him, or try. He's not perfect, but he's still our dad."
Gohan had been taking lessons from their mother in the guilt department and Chiasa found herself nodding. "Great, well, come on, Mom made tons of food."
The twins entered the house hand in hand. Inside the kitchen, Chi Chi turned from the stove and her eyes widened at the sight. "Chiasa! My baby! Oh, Happy Birthday!" Engulfed in the warmth of her mother's hug, Chiasa felt tears well and spill onto her cheeks. She had not realized how much she had missed her family until now. She would have to make time to see them now that she was no longer training. The bitter irony of the situation was not lost on her.
"Well, now," Chi Chi let her go, using the corner of her apron to wipe away tears of her own. "Let's get dinner finished. Gohan, help me set the table."
Chiasa heard her mother's unspoken words and went out back. Goku and Piccolo were sparring, but they paused when she stepped outside. "I'll be back later," the Namek grumbled and disappeared into the sky.
Goku slowly landed in front of his daughter, who stared at him warily.
"You've grown," Goku said softly. His face was somber and withdrawn. She had so rarely seen her father this way. Maybe he had some inkling of the pain she had felt over every separation. She doubted it, but for her brother's sake, for her mother's sake, she would try.
"I won't apologize for my decision," Chiasa said, cutting right to the heart of the matter. Vegeta had taught her to always go for the jugular and it seemed ridiculous to tip toe around the issue. "I still feel I made the right one. I am sorry for what I said to you. I should never have renounced you, that was wrong."
Goku gave her a tiny smile. "You can renounce me all you want, Chiasa, but I'll still be your father and I will always love you."
It was really the wrong thing to say, and Chiasa felt a well of defeat inside. "You still don't get it. You probably never will and I guess that's okay, because that's the way it has to be."
"Chiasa, I know you're mad that I left. I know you're mad I didn't come back right away, but Gohan understands, why can't you? Everything I have ever done has been to keep my family safe…to keep you safe."
Always the martyr, Chiasa thought viciously, but withheld the comment. "I…look; I'm just here to celebrate our birthday with the family. After that I'm going back to Bulma's."
"Your home is here," Goku said firmly. When she turned to go inside, he called out almost desperately, "I'll train you, along with Gohan."
Chiasa stopped and looked at him sadly, thinking of Vegeta's order, of her allegiance to him. Her father's concession was born of desperation. He had no true desire to train her, and she didn't want his charity.
"I'm sorry, but I can't. I have made oaths to Vegeta and it would be death to break them. He has my allegiance now."
Shock made Goku's mouth drop open. "When did this happen?" His voice was laced with anger, which was uncommon for her happy go lucky father, unless someone was threatening to destroy the Earth. That always seemed to get rise out of the perpetually happy Saiyan.
"When you refused to return to Earth after defeating Freiza, I became Vegeta's pupil, acknowledged him as my Prince. It was binding. I wasn't going to, at first. The price was high, but when you made your choice, so did I."
Eyes closed in pain, Goku rubbed a hand down his face. "Then why did you come home after I returned?"
"Vegeta made me. He said there was too much conflict for me to be of any use to him. If you had agreed to train me, I probably never would have gone back."
"So this is my fault then," Goku said, bitterness making his voice harsh. The resentment was so unlike her father it gave her pause. It seemed she did not have the monopoly on that emotion anymore. "You're punishing me because I made a choice for you to have a normal life?"
"I'm not normal," Chiasa snapped. "I'll never be normal. I'm half Saiyan, whether I want it or not and there is a need inside of me to battle, to push myself to physical limits and surpass them. You could never understand, because everything that was Saiyan in you is suppressed due to some stupid freak accident. You still feel the urge though, to fight, to train, to spar. Those are all Saiyan instincts."
Goku sighed and shook his head. "We are not ever going to agree, Chiasa. I give up. You do what you want."
He stepped around her and went inside. Chiasa refused to crumble, and she refused to let him drive her away. She was going to enjoy this afternoon with her family if it killed her. She did not need his approval, had never needed his approval…now if only she could actually convince herself this was true.
The next few months were a strain on the young Saiyan. Bulma's pregnancy was difficult, because her half Saiyan baby was powerful. His little kicks routinely bruised her ribs so she was on enforced bed rest. Chiasa took her duties to Bulma seriously, and the woman was grateful for the attention. Vegeta was completely useless as his temper grew more and more frayed with each passing day. He was no closer to ascending then the day that Chiasa met him and his continual failure made him just a volatile as his pregnant mate. She spent most nights outside, trying to continue her training as best she could with no partner. She was meeting with little success…like something was stopping her from advancing. It was no surprise that one of them snapped. It was unfortunate that it was Vegeta.
They had been screaming at each other, unintelligible insults that Chiasa rarely paid attention to anymore. That is until Vegeta landed a crushing blow.
"I care little for that stupid runt inside of you, woman! It will be completely useless until it can walk anyway! Pretty much as useless as you. I have no idea what possessed me to mate with you!"
There was a deafening silence and Chiasa felt cold inside. Bulma had confessed once how insecure she was about her relationship with Vegeta; as if she knew the Prince had merely settled when he had chosen her to be his Consort. While it was not her place to judge Vegeta's decisions, Chiasa could not help the sliver of pity for Bulma and anger at her Prince that suddenly flared inside.
A few minutes later she saw Vegeta rush by in a flash of color. Jumping up from her seat at the table, she left her unfinished breakfast to follow. He was heading for the space ship and at the entrance to the craft he paused, knowing that she was there. Chiasa could not see his face, but the tense stance and hunched shoulders told her more than looking at his face ever could. He was both angry and ashamed, at himself, at the world.
"You came to me to learn the Saiyan way. You are a fool. I am no true Saiyan, just a twisted mockery of our people created by Freiza to destroy worlds. There are no Saiyans left, just shadows of a once proud and noble race. Remember that."
"In any event," he interrupted. "Where I am going you may not follow. I may be disgraced, a failure, she does not deserve that, but I need you to watch her."
The words were jumbled, which Chiasa noticed happened when Vegeta was truly upset. Even though she was furious with him, angry that he had stopped her training, livid that he was leaving her behind, she could not ignore the hidden plea in his words. This time it was no order, but a request and she had to honor it. She could do no less.
"I will do so with my life, my Prince," Chiasa answered.
"Someday, maybe, I will be worthy, but until then…" His words faded and he entered the ship. Chiasa watched him disappear, waited until his ship was a dot in the blue sky, and then returned to Bulma. If nothing else made sense anymore, at least she had her duty to the heir of the Saiyans and his mother.
Late one bitter, cold February night, Bulma gave birth to the next Prince. It was a difficult, messy birth complicated by her frail body, but both survived. Weary, Bulma still had the strength to hold the squalling boy with wispy purple hair and a soft brown tail.
"What are you going to name him?" Chiasa asked, thinking he looked awfully more like a prune when Mrs. Briefs had said he was the image of Vegeta.
"Trunks," Bulma said. "Trunks Vegeta Briefs."
After Vegeta's disappearance, it had taken a long time for Bulma to come to terms with the wreck of a man she had 'married.' Chiasa, in her child's way, had done her best to help and she felt that the Consort of Vegeta understood better why her mate had left. Bulma had decided to spend her life with a psychologically disturbed warrior, because of those rare moments when the bloodlust disappeared and she was looking at the real Prince, underneath the anger and hate. Now she just had to keep that in mind whenever he did something completely insane and crazy.
"That's cool. Not very Saiyan, but fitting I think since he is half human. Should probably honor both cultures."
"Exactly what I thought," Bulma murmured, pleased that Chiasa understood. "Thank you for all of your help. I don't know how I would have handled everything if you hadn't been here."
"You're my friend, Bulma."
It was as simple as that and now that Bulma was back on her feet and devoting all of her time to the baby, Chiasa decided to pay some old friends a visit. It was 766 and the androids' arrival was creeping around the corner. She felt that she had accomplished little in her training, life just loved to interrupt, but she was determined to use the rest of the time to work. Even though it had been over a year, she easily found Tien and Chaotzu's house. It was empty, and Chiasa figured they were out somewhere training. There was no bother in waiting and Chiasa used the time to meditate. Trunks had kept everyone in the house so busy she had not had time for this and she missed the calming exercise.
In less then a month she was going to be 9 years old. One year away from being a recognized adult in Saiyan society. Even though no one else knew, besides Bulma, the idea pleased her immensely. When Vegeta returned she would almost be an adult. Maybe he would allow her to use the gravity chamber. Bulma still would not let her inside even at lower levels. While she thought it was unfair, she did not push the new mother who was barely keeping a grip on her sanity.
She could sense Tien and Chaotzu returning and abandoned her pose to stand. When they arrived, Chaotzu seemed pleased, Tien indifferent.
"How nice to see you again, Chiasa! You waited too long to visit us!"
Grinning, Chiasa hugged the tiny man and merely nodded at the impassive Tien. "Bulma keeps me pretty busy at Capsule."
"Bulma? Not Vegeta?"
"That's right," Chiasa said, ignoring Tien's real question. It was none of his business what Vegeta did. "How goes the training?"
"Very well," Chaotzu said, entering the tiny home. "I think we'll be ready when the time comes."
"What of your training?" Tien asked. She was surprised he even cared and chose her words carefully.
"That's part of the reason I'm here. I would like to observe you train, if that is okay? I have been told by many you excel in handling ki and that your technique is surpassed by none."
Tien snorted. "Isn't that why you hang out with Vegeta? Have him teach you."
"He has taught me, I mean, is teaching me, but even he agrees that I could do with some variance."
Chaotzu was delighted, but Tien remained suspicious and when his friend disappeared into the kitchen, the tri-clops hissed, "I know you're lying, and I want to know why."
"It's none of your business," Chiasa whispered fiercely. "Either say yes or no."
"If I say yes I think I deserve to know the real reason behind this sudden request."
"I'm not at liberty to discuss that," Chiasa said stiffly. Tien had a funny feeling that even though this girl could not be more then 8 or 9 he was talking to someone far older. It was disconcerting as he always had the same feeling when he talked to Gohan. Something about these Saiyans…
"Well, then, I'm not at liberty to train you…or have you watch."
Glaring, Chiasa spent the next hour visiting with Chaotzu and pointedly ignoring Tien. He found it amusing that this little girl had so much verve. Maybe he would train her, just to see what all the fuss was about. On her way out, he grasped her arm and said, "If you are truly serious about learning, be here tomorrow at first light."
Chiasa nodded and left. Chaotzu smiled at Tien, knowing their mental conversation had convinced the tri-clops to give the girl a chance.
The next morning, after a semi-awful breakfast she'd had to fix on her own, Chiasa arrived at the little Capsule house by the waterfall just as dawn was streaking across the wide expanse of sky. Tien was waiting for her and gestured for her to follow. They flew to the clearing where he normally trained and Tien took a meditation pose. Chiasa followed suit knowing better then to ask questions. Vegeta had beaten the tendency out of her a long time ago.
"I want you to focus your mind's energy around me," Tien instructed. "We're going to unite our minds. It's difficult so do not be upset if you fail."
He had not been lying and as the morning grew into the afternoon, Chiasa felt her frustration mounting. She was able to focus her mind, but as soon as Tien tried to unite their energies she lost concentration and they would have to start over. Finally, after she had gouged the earth with her fingers in a fit of rage, Tien called a halt.
"Let's relax for a moment and think about why this isn't working," he suggested, stretching his legs out and laying back on the grass.
"Because I'm a failure at everything," Chiasa cried, indulging in a brief moment of self pity. Tien sat up, raising one eyebrow.
"Good, now, you obviously have skill with mental powers, I can tell you meditate often. Your problem is letting someone else inside."
"I let my Prince in," Chiasa protested, thinking he meant emotionally.
"Mentally? You and Vegeta practiced mental exercises together?"
Chiasa shook her head. "He taught me, but we never practiced together."
"Hm, let me think on this some more. Why don't you head back to the house? Chaotzu should be awake and he'll probably cook some lunch."
It really wasn't a suggestion so Chiasa stood, bowed, and then flew towards the house. The smell of food made her stomach growl and she pushed away the frustrations of the morning. Chaotzu proved to be the perfect distraction and by the time they finished cleaning up lunch, Tien had returned and Chiasa was her normal self again.
"I think I have it figured out," Tien said, eating slowly from a bowl of rice Chaotzu had given him. "Your mind is resisting me because it does not want to feel subordinate, so, since I don't have that problem, when we try again, you're going to enter my mind. This way you'll be in control of our melding."
"That makes sense actually," Chiasa said. "So I'm not a complete failure!"
"Of course not," Chaotzu snapped, glaring at Tien. "Did you call her a failure?"
Chiasa laughed loudly at the comical expression on Tien's face. "No, no, Chaotzu, I called myself a failure. Sorry, it's a left over side effect from being trained by Vegeta."
Chaotzu appeared mollified, but Tien seemed perturbed and set aside his half finished bowl. "Let us continue."
Glancing at the clock, Chiasa shook her head. "I will have to come back tomorrow. I promised Bulma I would be home for the afternoon. Tomorrow morning?"
"Very well," Tien agreed. Waving goodbye, Chiasa launched into the air and turned for home. She took care of Trunks in the afternoon so Bulma could have some time to relax and she found herself growing fonder of the heir every day that passed. At first she had wanted to blame Trunks for driving away Vegeta, but slowly the innocent joy of the child eroded any ill will and now she knew she would devote her life to keeping him safe. Her logic stank of her father, but she ignored that idea. She did not want to even imagine they had something in common.
Trunks was sitting on the living room floor when she entered, throwing toys around. It was not as harmless as it seemed as every time he threw a toy it left a hole in the wall and Chiasa quickly stopped the game.
"Silly Prince! Don't throw your toys!" Chiasa spun him in fast circles, which left him laughing and waving his arms in glee. He did not smile unless Chiasa took him flying or spun him around. He loved the speed and danger like any good Saiyan. Trunks was very much his father's son, and Bulma seemed to love him even more for it.
She entered then and laughed at the antics. "One of these days you're going to drop him on his head and he'll end up like Goku."
"Never!" Chiasa said in mock horror, snuggling close to the baby. In response he whacked her on her head. Bulma smiled, fixing earrings and smoothing her dress.
"Where are you going?"
"I have a meeting with some investors interested in stock. Boring stuff," Bulma grimaced. She was both the intelligence and the face of the company, which meant she was busy all the time. Chiasa had no idea how she managed to run the business and take care of Trunks.
"Well, while you hang out with boring grown ups me and Trunks are going to have a blast…er, not necessarily a big one of course," Chiasa said looking around the nearly destroyed playroom.
Bulma took her son and gave him a big hug. "You be good for Aunt Chiasa, Trunks!"
Although Trunks was growing in leaps and bounds, he still slept quite a bit so it was no surprise that soon after Bulma left he passed out on his blanket. Chiasa watched him sleep and wondered where Vegeta was now. Was he thinking of them? Of his son? He had been so sure it would be a boy. He would be furious about the name, of that she was certain. It almost made her smile.
Fiddling with a loose string on her pants, Chiasa thought about Tien and his reasoning behind her failure to meld with him. She did not think of him as subordinate to her, at least, she didn't think so. Maybe it was something subconscious? It made no sense, Tien was way stronger then her. Everyone was…even Chaotzu. Maybe all she was fit for was a glorified babysitter. She could be Trunks' bodyguard, Bulma's bodyguard. She knew she had the potential to be strong, she could feel it inside, but she only seemed to get weaker. By now, Gohan was probably well on his way to becoming a Super Saiyan. When they had met, on their birthday, she could tell an obvious difference. Maybe female Saiyans were broken?
In the next moment she shook her head. No, if that were true Vegeta would have never trained her. It was so confusing it made her head ache. People were so confusing. Maybe that's why Tien and Chaotzu lived in the mountains. They did not have to deal with day to day life. All they did was train.
Trunks gurgled in his sleep and Chiasa smiled, wondering what he was dreaming about. No, she would never be able to leave her family. Take the good with the bad, the difficult with the easy. Like Father. Squeezing her eyes shut, Chiasa grimaced. He was in her thoughts more and more these days and she couldn't help but feel as if she had been too hard on him. Maybe he had been trying the best he could. They could talk later. When they all met up for the androids, she would talk to him again, and maybe figure something out. Until then, she would have to find some way to deal with the guilt that simmered beneath the surface. She was positive that was linked in some way to her inability to ascend. Tired of thinking, Chiasa closed her eyes and simply relaxed.