Author's Note: Hi everyone!This chapter just may be among my favorites; you'll find out why soon. It's ultra long as a Happy Holidays present to all of you! Lots of stuff happens here, so kick back, relax, take your time and savor the flavor of this chapter

On a more serious note: Please heed the R rating for this fic. Expect swearing…a lot of swearing. There is also other mature content (no lemon, but as close as I could get to it, LOL). In addition, there's a rape occurrence, but it's very brief and not very graphic. IF you would like to skip over that part, please do NOT read the paragraph that begins: "He'd taken her once…" all the way up until you reach the part that starts: "She felt dirty…unclean…contaminated." It's a short section and you won't be missing out on much by skipping it, but I want to be considerate to those who've been violated.

Disclaimer: I, Bulma16, do solemnly swear that I do not own DBZ or any of its characters. That honor belongs to Toriyama-sensei…I do, however, own the rights to all the other weirdoes, like Anyla, in this fic (lucky me…).

Dedication: This chapter is dedicated to several people: the Haters of Freeza, Fans of angst, Lovers of romance, and to those who've been begging me to give the stubborn, dumb-asses a break. I love you guys most of all.


Learning to Love: Chapter Fifteen

Vegeta could feel her pulse accelerating beneath his fingertips so he knew she was feigning sleep for one reason or another. He laughed softly. This woman was an enigma wrapped inside of a riddle, wrapped inside of a puzzle shrouded in a mystery, and gods damn it, it was taking all of his patience and then some to keep himself from strangling her. He pushed loose strands of hair from her face, surprised by his own actions. As he looked down at Anyla, Vegeta found himself thinking, she looks so…fragile. And yet I know her to be as strong a woman as any Saiyan.

At that moment, the King was swamped by feelings he had never felt before…and he found their effects to be as intoxicating as the sweet smell of Anyla. What is this I'm feeling he wondered as he watched the slow rise and fall of her breathing, mesmerized by the sweet innocence he saw in her faceHe felt protective of her, especially after the security incident a short while ago. As Vegeta silently gazed down at his mate lying safe from harm in their bed, he found himself moved to plant a kiss on her lips. Why, he didn't know, but for some reason, it just felt right…

Their coupling had been exhilarating and, in Vegeta's experienced opinion, one of the best lays he ever had. There had been nothing false between himself and Anyla; it had all been based on primal instincts and untainted by ideas of greed, duty, or manipulation.

Vegeta hesitated as he put on his gloves. There was something about Anyla that made him want her again and again. Even as she had been furiously speaking out against him, he'd found her outrage in some way, to be arousing. Perhaps it was seeing how passionate she was or how beautiful and intelligent…

"Because…I love you and I don't want you to leave," Anyla said softly, her face so full of earnesty that he was taken aback. "Kami knows I fought it every step of the way but there's no denying how I feel anymore." Anyla smiled at the look of surprise on his face. "I know you can never truly love me as I love you, and I can accept that."

Wait. That can't be right, a small part of King Vegeta's mind insisted.

But who else would it be Vegeta? That other woman? She's the one who betrayed you! The one you love is me

"Anyla," he croaked; the first words to pass his lips in hours. Is she the woman whose words are stuck in my mind? Who claims to love me even if I can not ever return her feelings? Is she the one whose will I hope to fulfill, Vegeta wondered, slowly rising from the depths of his unconscious mind. Every memory I have is of her. And the only desires I have are…to be with her and to please her.

But things couldn't possibly be as simple as that for Vegeta. Deep within his faulty memory, he had a fleeting recollection of another woman (with blue eyes? Hair? Skin? He couldn't remember which) but that very insistent voice in his mind told him that she was not one to dwell on. She wasn't a part of his new mission; she was against him and subsequently, a trivial concern at best.

As Vegeta fought to regain consciousness, several thoughts rushed through his mind at once. One was: the pain in my head is gone, followed closely by: Where is Anyla? I must go to her.


Bulma tried to swallow past the lump in her throat as she watched the man she loved more than life itself stir on the medical cot at long last. She stood, mesmerized by the steady rise and fall of his chest as she strained to hear any other utterances from her unconscious mate. All she heard was a loud snapping noise. She looked down to discover that her ballpoint pen snapped cleanly in half within her grasp and she realized with mild astonishment that her fists were clenched in anger.

Hearing that conniving bitch's name from Vegeta's lips had infuriated her more than she thought was possible at a time like this. Jealousy reared its ugly head and could have very well taken control of her completely if she didn't she quickly quash it. I'm a genius scientist and a Queen. Jealousy is not a word in my vocabulary, damn it! So don't make a fool of yourself Bulma, she told herself calmly, fighting the urge to cross her arms over her chest in an unconscious imitation of her mate's defensive posture.

Queen Bulma glanced at the monitor at Vegeta's bedside. He was still perfectly stable. Funny thing was, he'd been perfectly stable throughout this whole ordeal. She'd ordered several tests to rule out a number of disorders, and they all came back normal. In desperation, she'd taken a CAT scan only to find that there were a number of peculiar electrical impulses surging in one area of her mate's brain…more specifically, the area of the brain responsible for long term memory. Other than that, he was in perfect health.

I wonder if I'll be meeting Amnesia Vegeta again, she thought, a wry smile on her face as she wiped the blue ink from her hands with a wet wipe. Well, it'd probably be smarter to try to figure out why this is happening to him. Could this have been brought about by the antidote? No, we tested that extensively. Maybe it's a…no, it can't be. But…what other explanation is there?

Just then, she heard Vegeta growl something under his breath that sounded like, "My life is yours." But there's no way in hell he'd ever say something like that. I must have been imagining it, she told herself, dread filling her heart as she watched him slowly coming awake. He groaned once, his head turning to one side, his eyes still shut.

I better remove those IV's before he decides to rip them out, she thought, feeling a stab of love in her heart for the seemingly vulnerable looking Saiyan as the sheet she'd draped over him slid from his body onto the floor, baring his nearly naked body. Thank Kami, he's waking up, she thought, a tender expression on her face as she walked to his bedside, her hands jammed into the pockets of her lab coat. I want to touch him. I want to kiss him, I want his arms around me, she found herself thinking with a flush of embarrassment. But something told her she couldn't; not yet. Bulma removed the IV's from his arms, ignoring the velvety, tantalizing warmth of his skin as best she could.

Much to her surprise, she saw a blur of motion and then the next thing she knew, Vegeta was sitting up, holding her wrists in his hands, an expression she didn't readily recognize on his face. "You," he growled angrily, leaping off of the bed and forcing her to take several steps back. "What the fuck do you think you're doing here?" he demanded angrily, his lip curled up as if the sight of her was repulsive.

Bulma frowned in irritation as she tried to figure out exactly what the effects of this new affliction had on her mate. "Let me go, Vegeta," she said evenly as she recognized the expression-or lack thereof-in his eyes. He looked empty. Blank. Like an android. What could have done this to him? She wondered, looking over his shoulder and into the security camera. Please Kami, let someone see this and get help, she thought, knowing that the chances of that were slim at best. She'd ordered everyone out hours ago insisting that they were in her way.

His grasp tightened considerably; any other woman would have cried out at the pain, but Bulma Briefs merely met his gaze, her expression never changing in the least. In the back of his mind, Vegeta felt as though he should feel a certain way over this woman's stubbornness (proud? Amused?) but trying to remember made the old pain return, so he settled for being annoyed. "Bitch, you've got balls, I'll give you that," he rasped, forcing her back several more feet

The switch! Bulma thought, hiding her uneasiness. If I'd had that damned emergency switch Kakkarot and Bardock kept insisting I have installed just in case of something like this... I wouldn't be in this mess alone. "What's wrong with you Vegeta? Don't you know who I am? Who you are?"

For a moment, uncertainty was on his face as he tried to remember exactly who this woman was, but that quickly disappeared as the voice comforted him. She is of no consequence, Your Highness. She is our enemy but we can not kill her yet. We have more important things to do first.

Vegeta sneered at her. "You are nothing to me," he told her as he slammed her back against the wall.

She scowled at him, ignoring the tiny urge she had to beg him to remember her. "Then kill me you fucking asshole!" she ordered him bitterly, spitting in his face.

It was the fire that burned in her eyes and surprisingly, not the voice's orders that gave him pause. For a split second, he wanted to take her there against the wall; to feed off of the fiery heat she radiated until both of their bodies were ablaze with passion, but then he remembered…the mission. I have no time for carnal desires. I have a mission now, he reminded himself as he wiped the spit from his faceHe pushed her arms over her head, a smirk on his face as he noticed her sharp intake of breath as he cupped her face in his hands. "It is not yet time for that bitch. But I swear to you that when she says that I can, I will have you beg me for it."

I can just guess who that "she" is! Bulma bared her teeth at him, a growl of rage escaping her throat. "Get away from me!" she screamed angrily, kicking out at his groin.

He realized her target in the nick of time, backing away from her, his eyes narrowed in vexation. "Bitch, you--"

"Don't fucking talk to me! I'm not afraid of you Vegeta! And I never will be!" she interjected, menacingly taking a step in his direction, her eyes blazing with all of the intensity of the fires of hell.

Vegeta withdrew a step without even realizing it, eyeing the incensed human woman with much the same wariness as one would eye a rattlesnake poised to strike. Her indignation and refusal to be intimidated unnerved him. The voice had said that this woman would be an easy kill, and yet he found himself wondering if maybe she was somehow masking an immense power level in an effort to catch him off guard with her attack. A woman of her courage can't possibly be as weak as I detect her to be. "You are the first person to ever speak to me like that," he said slowly. "And you'll also be the last."

The hairs on the back of Bulma's neck stood up as energy seemed to swirl around her mate. He's powering up to kill me, she thought numbly.

And then-at last!-help arrived in the forms of Kakkarot, the Lieutenant, and Lord Vegeta as they burst through the lab doors.

"Your Highness," the royal guard said, uncertainly looking from Bulma to Vegeta.

"What's going on?" Bardock asked, a slight frown on his face as if he already knew what was going on and didn't like it.

Vegeta turned to face the three of them, his face vacant of all emotion. "Well, well," he said softly.

Bulma disregarded him as she tried to fill the three men in. "He's not himself! I think that bitch, Anyla, has something to do with this."

The brainwashed King whirled to face her, an odd expression on his face as he repeated what she'd just said. "'That…bitch…Anyla.'" Why did those words sound so familiar?

The Queen jumped on this opportunity, taking his sudden spacing out as a sign of him trying to remember something about Anyla. "Remember Vegeta? She was your fiancée before I came here! You had her banished from Vegetaseii for betraying us to Freeza!"

Lord Vegeta cursed beneath his breath. That fucking whore. I shouldn't have convinced the boy to spare her life, he thought angrily what a time to develop a sense of morals. He watched his son curiously. The boy didn't seem to be listening to what his mate was saying; his head was cocked to the side slightly and it almost looked as though he was listening to something none of them could hear. Lord Vegeta glanced at Bardock. The Lieutenant's lips were folded tightly as he met the former King's gaze. The father of four nodded, indicating he'd come to the same conclusion. She's using some kind of mind control on him…

She's a liar, Vegeta. I have been with you since the beginning, trying to help you see the truth my love. But this woman tricked me; she fooled us all with her innocent act. And now that you can see the truth of things, see how desperate she is to fool you again?!

The funny thing about that statement was that the blue haired woman didn't seem at all desperate to him. She seemed terribly sincere; as if she believed what she was saying with all of her heart. But any fool can convince themselves into believing anything if the will is strong enough, he told himself, ignoring the small part of him that told him that the voice was wrong. The voice couldn't be wrong. Her voice was all he knew, and if that one thing wasn't true, well, what did he have to live for?

"She's talking to you now, isn't she Vegeta?" Bulma guessed, her voice devoid of the anger and jealousy she felt building up inside. "Inside of your head?"

He met her gaze, his eyes as blank as before. "And so what if she is? It is our bond. A sign of the connection fate has made between us."

She felt as though he'd just ripped out her heart and squashed it underfoot. A…bond? But…that's permanent for Saiyans, isn't it?

As if he could read her thoughts, Vegeta spoke five words that nearly drove Bulma to tears. "Till death do us part," he said absently.

The Queen was so grief-stricken that she could no longer look at him. Seeing him standing there speaking so highly of the woman who had nearly brought about the destruction of their planet…it was nauseating.

Lord Vegeta was just as disgusted as Bulma, but he couldn't take his eyes from his offspring. Strange. The boy looks as though he's trying to tell us something.

And indeed, it looked as though Vegeta was fighting some kind of internal battle. His eyes looked like they were back to normal as he spoke, his voice firm with his conviction. "Do not try to interfere. Do not try to stop me. Protect her from…" he trailed off as if he couldn't bring himself to finish.

That voice with actual inflections. It was the voice of the man she had joined with. The man she'd come to love. Bulma turned to face him, her clenched hands shoved into the pockets of her lab coat to hide their trembling. "V-Vegeta."

Her voice seemed to have a negative effect on him. He snarled at her. "Bitch, what the fuck did you do to me?" he shouted, reverting back to the callous stranger he'd woken up as mere moments ago.

"Sire," Kakkarot said loudly in an effort to capture the outraged and-evidently brainwashed-Saiyan's attention.

King Vegeta exhaled deeply before turning to face them, a much more neutral expression on his face as he faced the men who knew him best. "Do not stand in my way," he told them simply, walking past them. He paused for a moment in the doorway, a gloved hand resting on the door frame. "I'll be back to kill her. And when I do come, there will be nothing any of you can do to stop me," he told them softly without even bothering to face them again. And with that dark prediction said, he was gone.

"Damn it all," Lord Vegeta cursed, pounding his fist in one hand. "As much as I hate to admit it, he's right."

Bardock crossed his arms over his chest, shaking his head in disgust. "Not even if the three of us were to fight him at the same time. Damn, that Anyla has really got us over a damned barrel."

The King's guard moved to Bulma's side. "You okay, Your Highness?"

She waved a hand as if to banish his concern. "Don't worry about me, I'm fine," she said calmly. "Actually, I'm about to start work on a new project, so if you guys could…" she smiled pleasantly to make the request seem less harsh.

"Just a second," Bardock told her, impressed by her composure but persistent on his point. "We have to talk about this."

"Should we go after him?" his son asked, his brows furrowed.

The Lieutenant sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. "We should but we won't. The King gave us a direct order while he was in what I believe to be his right mind, and we have to follow it."

Bulma cleared her throat. "Listen guys, I was thinking…well, maybe we're no match for Vegeta physically, but I know we could figure out a way to outsmart Anyla."

"Now there's an idea," the former King said, rubbing the hair on his chin thoughtfully.

The Lieutenant sat down in one of the chairs near Bulma's desk. "We should probably keep an eye on him 24 hours a day," he suggested.

"En-San could help us with that," the Queen added. "But in the mean time, can you guys think where Vegeta would go in his current state?" she asked, her voice somber.

Lord Vegeta grimaced as he tried to think of some of the places on Vegetaseii where Anyla could be hiding out. "Considering who else is involved in this fuck-a-roo, I have a feeling we don't really want to know."


Morose Street

(About 620 km from the castle)

She stood motionless in the doorway staring at him in astonishment for a good 30 seconds; the genius and effectiveness of her ploy momentarily surprising even her.

"Vegeta," she murmured, taking a half step toward him.

"Anyla," he said simply.

The red strands in her black hair seemed to glow in the light of one of Vegetaseii's suns and she wondered if he was feeling the same stir of desire as her at that moment in time. Hmm, I never imagined I'd still be attracted to him after all he's put me though, she thought, a small smile on her lips as she surveyed her prize.

What she loved more than anything else about him were his new eyes. She was used to seeing those expressive black orbs brimming with aversion or spite whenever she'd been with him in the past. But now they were full of beautiful emptiness. Completely devoid of hatred or any other emotion. Why, he was as good as being her puppet as he was now! He would go so far as to slit his own throat or even castrate himself if she told him to—but of course, there was no way she was going to let him off so easily.

Anyla smiled and held her arms open in way of an invitation. "You came."

Vegeta, the brainwashed King of all Saiyans, swept a woman he had formerly referred to as Vegetaseii's most dangerous enemy into his arms in a tender embrace, pressing a gentle kiss to the top of her head. "I am here with you, at last," he said softly.

The shrewd woman felt the urge to fornicate with him then-Kami only knows how many times she'd dreamed about it after her banishment—but she dismissed the urge as quickly as it came. "Vegeta, we must leave Vegetaseii…now. We have much to do, you and I," she practically purred, easing out of the safety of his arms.

Vegeta nodded once. "I am already looking forward to our travels together."

Smiling, Anyla dragged him inside of her humble abode. "You don't know how it delights me to hear that," she told him. And you don't know how much it'll 'delight' your little whore to hear you say that, she thought, laughing.


Planet Vegetaseii: The Queen's laboratory

(Two and a half weeks later)

"Damn it, damn it, damn it!" the irate female swore as all of her research documents fell to the floor.

"Need some help?" a voice asked her from one of the empty cots.

Bulma shook her head at Kakkarot's inquiry. "No, no I got it," she reassured him as she got on her knees and began picking up the papers.

He went back to his magazine. "All right, then."

She hid a smile at his relaxed manner, a part of her relieved. For the first week or so, the king's guard had been so on edge around her that she'd begun to dread his presence. But for the past couple of days, he had begun to act more like a person…Thank Kami.

The scientist sighed as she finally got all the papers up. Now I'm going to have to put all this crap back in order, she thought, her brows furrowed in irritation. She put them in order automatically as her mind wandered to other things…like Vegeta. Heh, it seems like I'm always thinking about that asshole, she thought, a rueful expression on her face. I wish I could do something to help him. I feel so useless sitting here with my stupid inventions. So lost in her thoughts was she, that the distracted Bulma didn't even realize that she sighed aloud.

"He's fine," Kakkarot said simply, never looking up from his magazine.

Bulma laughed. It was kind of uncanny how he knew when something was bothering her. Chichi had told her once that this was why among Saiyans, Kakkarot was considered to be a freak. And the explanation for the difference? Well according to her best friend: "He had an accident when he was young and hit his head. That's why he's not like the rest of them."

"I know, I know. I just wish I could do more. I feel so--"

"Useless?" he supplied.

She nodded mutely, clearing her throat as she felt an annoyingly familiar urge to cry.

Kakkarot sighed as he put down the combat magazine Bulma had bought him. "I know what you mean. I'm the King's guard. I feel like I should know better than anyone exactly what to do. But…well, here I am, sitting on my ass, doing what any new recruit could do," he said, with the slightest trace of bitterness in his voice.

Rather than feel insulted by his words, Bulma felt herself sympathizing with the young man. "I know, I know, I'm no prize to be around all the time. But maybe Bardock chose you for what they all believe to be such an important job because he trusts you more than anyone else."

Chichi's mate shrugged, a small smile on his face as he noticed some of the melancholy leaving her. "Okay, I guess I'll buy that."

Bulma smiled back at him. "Good. Now stop worrying. We're all doing all that we can…" she trailed off as she realized what she was saying.

Kakkarot nodded at her, satisfied that she'd gotten the point.

The Queen shook her head in bewilderment as the guard went back to his magazine. That boy is not as stupid as they-or more specifically, Bardock-think he is.

As she looked down at the data from her inventions latest test run, she nervously chewed on the end of her pen (a habit her father had absolutely hated when they'd worked together). According to this readout, experiment XJ12 currently lacks the proper structure to carry out its function properly. So maybe if I was to design it a little more like this…and the trigger here…and a safety, of course…and voila! I better star working on this first thing tomorrow. But now…she glanced down at her watch. "Oh damn it! Kakkarot, I'm about to run over to your place. I told Chichi I'd come visit her over an hour ago."

He eased off of the cot, the magazine still clutched in his left hand. "I'm right behind you."


"I told you not to worry about it Bulma! For cripes sakes, I fell asleep and lost track of time myself, so I'm not angry at you!"

The blue haired woman sighed in relief. "Good, because I really need someone to talk to," she said as she sat down across from the eight months pregnant woman.

Chichi raised her dark brows raised in suspicion. "Another one of your secrets?"

Bulma crossed her legs slowly. "Not really…"

"Tell me, tell me!" her friend chanted excitedly.

This is harder than I thought it would be, she thought, wringing her hands in her lap. "Well, you know how I've been really…um, I guess the word is 'composed' about all this? How every time one of you ask me how I'm coping and I say 'fine?'"

"Yeah."

"I've been lying," she admitted, her eyes bright with unshed tears. "I feel like I'm dying inside. I want to throw a tantrum like a two year old that's had their candy taken away. Make fun of me if you want, but I miss him so much!"

The pregnant Chichi put her hand over Bulma's, a wry expression on her face. "Now why would I laugh at a woman who's doing everything in her power to help the crazy man she loves?" she asked, the smile on her face showing she was only kidding.

Bulma tried to swallow past the lump in her throat. "But this is totally unlike anything I've seen before. He's being controlled by that-that devil woman! How on earth do I stop something like this?" she cried.

"By believing in yourself for one," her best friend advised her, her tone much gentler than usual. "I understand you feel like crap right now. I'd be worried if you didn't. But you are Bulma Briefs; the Queen of Vegetaseii and one of the greatest scientific geniuses in the universe. You have to be stronger than anyone else, because in this time of crisis, we all look to you."

"Y-you're right Chichi," the blue-haired Queen said slowly, standing up with a look of determination on her face. "I'm not going to sit around and sulk. I'm not going to rest until I have that bastard where he belongs: right by my side!"

"That's the way."

Bulma smiled at her pregnant friend. "I'm so grateful Chichi. Is there something I can do to repay you?"

"Well, my feet could use a nice rub down, and since Kakkarot isn't here…" she looked at her friend pointedly.

Bulma blanched. "How about something that won't make me nauseous."

Chichi threw a magazine at her and the two of them laughed, and for a while at least, Queen Bulma forgot the gravity of the situation they were in.


Somewhere in space

(About a week later)

"Vegeta; it's nearly time," Anyla told him softly, her face alight with excitement. They were finally there! They'd spent a couple of days on some small planet stocking up on supplies, having some technological problems taken care of, and refueling Anyla's ship in order to make the long journey. And now, at long last, they'd be able to complete their first mission.

This will bring me one step closer to being able to kill that bitch, Vegeta thought, his lips curved upwards in something that resembled a smile "Yoshi; I'll get started then." He tossed her his scouter, a sexy smirk on his face as he saw the confusion mirrored in her eyes. "Wouldn't want to miss the show, would you?"


Planet Freeze

"Incoming message, Lord Freeza. It's Anyla. She says it's urgent."

Zarbon looked up from the lifeless body of the gourmet chef his master had just killed for burning their afternoon meal. "Anyla," he said breathlessly.

Freeza snorted disdainfully as he stepped over Pierre's dead body, his eyes narrowing behind the green glass of his scouter. "That sleazy Saiyan bitch." Once the sleaze in question appeared on the screen, he crossed his arms over his chest. "This had better be fucking good," he growled out, still in bad spirits.

Anyla smiled. "Oh, yes, Lord Freeza, this is better than just good news. It's great news. I have captured Vegeta."

A hiss of surprise and disbelief escaped Freeza's lips upon hearing this announcement. Zarbon heard what she said but since he didn't particularly hate the King of the monkeys as much as Freeza did and since he was busy marveling at Anyla's body, which was if he remembered correctly, so flexible and firm, he didn't react at all.

The lizard with all the heart and soul of a brick wall quickly recovered from his surprise. "Where is he? Bring that little shit here," he ordered, his fists clenched at his sides in excitement.

Anyla's smile only grew bigger and—to those there with enough wits about them to notice—more treacherous. "I have one more gift for you, Lord Freeza. One even better than the first," she said alluringly.

"L-Lord Freeza," one of his techies interrupted. "T-There's some unidentified object--" His eyes glazed over as Freeza's laser beam went into his left temple and out through the right.

"No interruptions!" he shrieked at all of his cowering underlings. The indignant ruler turned his frosty glare to the oh-so-smug Anyla. "I demand you send it here this moment!"

Zarbon frowned as he wiped his brow with the back of his hand. He was sweating. And he wasn't the only one; Freeza, the simpering minions…everyone. Strange. Planet Freeze never goes above 21 degrees. What the hell is going on?

The Saiyan woman's smile could not possibly get any bigger. "Vegeta is sending you the gift as we speak, my lord." She laughed as she saw some of Freeza's techies attempting to sneak out of the communication tower. "It's much too late, you fools. Make peace with your makers while you still can."

"Wh-what?" Freeza said, his voice full of disbelief as he felt a cold chill of foreboding events go down his spine.

Zarbon felt a terrible sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach as for the first time, he looked past the pretty face and pleasant sounding words of his former bed fellow and got a good look at the expression of pure evil on Anyla's face. Oh fucking shit. We're done for.

The grim realization on Zarbon's face was what she'd been waiting for. Anyla blew them all a kiss, her face shining with triumph. "Enjoy hell, Freeza." And with that she was gone.

Freeza could not ignore his whimpering techies or the sudden increase in heat any longer. "What the fuck is it!?"

"S-sire, there appears to be an unbelievably large ki blast headed straight toward us. It-it's going to envelop the entire planet!"

For the first and last time, Freeza's eyes shone with terror. Everything seemed to be moving in ultra slow motion. "I-impossible! My scouter w-would have…" And yet, even as he checked his scouter, an extraordinarily powerful and highly concentrated ball of destructive ki was found about 9 miles away. H-how-how did he…I can't—this can't be happening.

"It's Vegeta, Lord Freeza," Zarbon said quietly as a blinding blue/white light flooded through the large glass window of the control room causing some of the techies to cry out and cover their eyes. "He hid his power level. He outsmarted us."

The lizard-like creature hissed angrily, beads of sweat gleaming on his brow and coursing down his face like tears. "That is not possible! No monkey could ever outsmart me!"

The glass seemed to pulse for a moment just before all of the windows shattered, raining large, thick chunks of what had once been ultra-durable glass down around them.

Freeza's eyes bulged in his head as something told him he needed to move, and fast or else. But damn it, Freeza was a man of rational thought processes, he didn't act on instinct. Why, that would make him no better than those shit eating monkeys of Vegetaseii! So the great ruler looked up, his knees trembling with terror and his heart skipping a beat in fearful anticipation. His mouth (which had but 10 minutes ago emitted orders for the extermination of millions) opened slowly in a silent scream as a particularly lethal chunk of glass cleaved him into two nearly symmetrical pieces which remained standing for an instant before they toppled to the floor, trampled by the feet of terrified techies rushing for the exit.

Shouts of pain and screams of panic filled the communication tower and the planet down below as the massive ball of ki moved ever closer to the core of Freeza's once great empire, enveloping cities and magnificent architectural masterpieces as it progressed. Zarbon closed his eyes as the heat from the concentrated energy made his epidermis bubble and sizzle most unattractively. Heh. That asshole Vegeta always did like to overdo things, was his last thought before the ki enveloped the whole of the Cold empire.


About 78 miles away in space, Vegeta eyed his handiwork carefully. The Saiyan King made quite the image floating there in space in his black spandex training gi, his right palm splayed open before him, a look of focus on his face. He smirked and slowly closed his hand into a tight fist as he spoke the magic words: "Bang."

The great scourge of the universe's planet imploded with a muffled "whoosh/bang" and seemed to wink out of existence. There was little remaining debris since the blast had been so very concentrated and so very encompassing. Anyla's new partner flew around slowly in order to insure there were no survivors. Anyla wouldn't be happy if anyone had managed to make it off that planet alive, and he couldn't have her unhappy, now could he?


Back aboard the ship

(About 15 minutes later)

"Any survivors?" she asked, knowing that such a feat would be impossible considering how quickly he'd done away with the planet.

The brainwashed Saiyan shook his head. "Not a one."

Anyla nodded in approval. "Excellent work, darling," she drawled, raising her oddly-colored eyes to meet his. "What took you so long, though? You could have sent a much smaller ki blast that could have done the job faster and just as well."

The King's blank eyes and hollow voice made it seem as though he was bored with the subject. "I wanted them all to know death was coming. I wanted them to realize that there would be no escape."

The red in her eyes glittered in the lamplight and her knees quivered with desire. "You and I should never have been separated. We are much too alike to be kept apart," she proclaimed, sitting down before the controls, taking a deep breath to steady herself. And we won't be kept apart after I have Vegeta take care of a little something. "Are you ready for our next mission? I know you're just going to love this one..."


Vegetaseii

(One month later)

There was no existing Lifetime movie that could have ever prepared her for what she'd witnessed, and to tell the truth, Bulma had been much more shaken up than she thought she would be by the whole ordeal.

She'd stayed at Chichi's side throughout active labor, leaving once to bring the ailing woman some ice cubes to suck on and a second time to find herself something alcoholic to drink (she swore loudly as she remembered she couldn't drink and walked back into the delivery room, a look of grim determination on her face).

The raven-haired earthling had insisted on a completely natural birthing experience and things had seemed pretty bad at first. No matter how hard the tenacious woman pushed, her son seemed absolutely determined not to budge. The attending doctors were baffled by the lack of progress. The mother to be was fully dilated, there was no obstruction or anything preventing the baby from being born, he just would not be moved! Bulma had joked to the peevish woman that maybe her new son was shy and that was why he hadn't made his big debut. Chichi promptly told her to shut the hell up.

After about an hour of pushing, Bulma had warned her friend that the doctors might have to use forceps to help guide the stubborn baby out of the birth canal, but her equally obstinate friend had furiously replied that she'd be damned before she let those doctors use "salad tongs" on her baby. And so it was with a death grip on Bulma's left hand, a hasty prayer thrown up to Kami and to any other gods who might be listening, a stream of rather inventive and colorful profanities that made even the Saiyan doctors blush, and one hell of a push that Gohan was brought into the world.

Kakkarot was ecstatic…to say the least. Thanks to his enthusiasm, every palace employee knew he'd just had a son (8 lbs 4 oz), that his name was Gohan (his mate's choice) and that both of his parents expected great things from him.

Bulma had sent the new father home for the next few weeks with the reassurance that she would send for him immediately if something happened, and with a promise to have someone by her side with at all times.

But her confidence in her new invention was so great that she ignored his request. If the device did what it was built to do, she would be able take Vegeta down herself without having anyone babysitting her. But please Kami, please don't make me have to use it on him.


(About 2 weeks later)

It was a beautiful day outside. The sky had cleared allowing a rare glimpse at Vegetaseii's turquoise sky. As she threw her window open and breathed in the crisp morning air, Bulma should have thrown back her head and laughed out loud; giddy with the excitement of a brand new morning just full of new opportunities! Having never been a morning person, she slammed her window shut and drew the curtains shut with a sharp flick of her wrist. Where's the goddamned coffee, she thought, yawning widely as she shuffled into her kitchen.


Hours later, after she'd finished discussing finance with Lettuco, she returned to her room in order to change clothes before dinner. Normally, whenever she visited with foreign dignitaries, she had been nearly beside herself with excitement. But on that day, her self-confidence burned down to a barely visible glimmer as she felt the hairs on the back of her neck raise, sending a shiver down her spine. Something bad is going to happen, she thought numbly, biting her lip.

And something bad would happen. It always did when that cold, creepy feeling came over her. And it was always something really bad. She'd felt it for the first time when she was 10 and her only remaining set of grandparents were killed by a fallen power line, when her own parents had died, again when one of her jealous ex-boyfriends had attempted to burn down Capsule Corp as she was sleeping on the 3rd floor, and the last time she'd experienced the chilling sensation was when her beloved Yamcha had died. Maybe I should tell Chichi… she thought, rising from her seat at the dining room table, her hands anxiously clenching the scarlet folds of her skirts.

Don't be a dumb ass Bulma. You're just nervous because of your appointment with those Trotarians today. Nothing bad is going to happen, she chided herself, pulling her long white gloves on. But as she looked at her terrified reflection in the mirror she couldn't keep herself from bursting into giggles. I am a suspicious ninny, she thought, smiling as she rearranged the perfect ringlets that framed her face and cascaded down her shoulders to the small of her back. I'd be able to better cope with things if I didn't have to deal with this alone…this baby, my untraceable and brainwashed husband, all of Vegetaseii's affairs. That's an awful lot…

A somber looking Lieutenant opened the door to her rooms, bowing as means of an apology. "Your Highness, something has happened."

Oh no, she thought, her knees quivering unseen beneath her skirts. "What is it?" she asked, thanking her lucky stars that her voice sounded as firm and strong as she wanted and needed it to be right now.

Bardock cleared his throat as he looked up to see her still looking in the mirror. "King Vegeta and Anyla are on their way here."

The mention of her mate brought a million and one questions to mind but she merely voiced one, her voice as casual as that of one discussing the weather as she straightened the seam of her gloves. "How far off are they?"

"Their ship should reach here in about 2-3 days."

Bulma turned to face him, her features perfectly composed. "Very well. I guess I had better let the Trotarians know their stay here will have to be a short one." She raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Are they waiting for me in the dining room?"

He nodded, his respect for the disconsolate Queen growing as he sensed how much effort she had been putting into her composed front for the past couple of months. You can't tell by looking at her just how strong she is, he thought, a slight smile on his normally impassive face.

She noticed this and raised her other perfectly arched eyebrow. "Is something funny Lieutenant?" she asked in the cool, refined tone she used to jokingly chastise Lord Vegeta whenever his often times all too vivid recounts of his sexual escapades got out of hand.

He shook his head and offered her his arm. "Not a damn thing, Your Highness," he replied, matching her tone and turning up his nose haughtily without even realizing it

The Queen laughed as she took his arm, grateful for the older man's humor at a time like this. She was going to need to keep her wits about her at all times. Kami knows, Vegeta always shows up when it's least convenient. But I have to admit, I'm glad I'm going to get to see him again after being separated from him for so long! Even if he isn't back to normal, I just want to bask in his presence…


The Royal Dining Hall

(About 200 minutes later)

"Gracious me, I was never so fucking pissed off in my life," Victoria declared animatedly, a smile on her face.

Bulma and her not-so-merry men-as she once jokingly described Bardock, Lettuco, Nappa, and Lord Vegeta-all laughed at the Trotaria's Queen's narrative account. Business dealings had ended long ago-Bulma, much like her mate, preferred to get those things over and out of the way as soon as possible-and things were slowly winding to an end over half-full glasses of Vegetaseii's best wine (a half-empty glass of Perrier in Bulma's case).

Alexis, the good-natured King of Trotaria chuckled, his purple eyes meeting Bulma's. "I'm glad you aren't one of those prim and proper types who are offended when Vicky here starts cursing. You're really an amazing woman. Your husband is very lucky."

The blue haired woman nodded slightly, ignoring the reference to her absent mate. "Thank you. I feel that after your visit here, we are the lucky ones. You're both very charming and you've really made my day with your visit."

Vicky's orange eyes lit up with excitement. "And you've made ours. I hope you don't mind, but I am absolutely exhausted! Alexis and I were up all night fu--"

"That's enough Vicky," Alexis interrupted, red heat creeping into his cheeks.

The Queen of Vegetaseii smiled at the King's embarrassment from his wife's frankness. A part of her wanted to be jealous of this couple's obvious love for each other, but she dismissed this feeling as quickly as it appeared. Now wasn't the time for feelings. It was time for rational thought processes. "I don't mind at all, Vicky. I'll have Nappa show you two to your rooms. Have a good night."

"Good night," they both called as they followed the bald Saiyan out of the Royal dining room.

Forcing a smile, Bulma looked at her not-so-merry-men. "That wasn't so bad, was it?"

Bardock shrugged, not really wanting to tell her that he'd thought. Nice performance, Bulma. You looked happy enough, but I can tell that underneath it all you're genuinely suffering.

Lord Vegeta grinned at her. "You did a fine job," he told her, voicing the Lieutenant's thoughts.

"I agree," Lettuco added, pushing his plate away from him.

Bulma forced a yawn, covering it with a white gloved hand, not wanting to tell them how she'd felt about her own dazzling performance. "I'm kind of tired," she told them, standing up and smoothing her skirts.

They all got to their feet at the same time, their chairs scraping against the linoleum floor. "Yeah, I better go make sure that idiot, Radditz, hasn't burned the place down," Bardock grumbled uneasily, unable to look at that sad little smile or listen to that forced laughter for another moment.

"See you all tomorrow," she called, as they went their separate ways.


An excerpt in the journal of ???

Just found out that Vegeta will be back on Vegetaseii in a few days. Well, I suppose that works out fine since we have been unable to locate him or that traitorous wench all this time. That's a frightening statement, I know, especially when he could have somehow gotten here and made good his promise to kill Queen Bulma about a million times by now. But trust me when I say that that human woman is being carefully watched at all times whether she likes it or not. The only time we don't monitor her is on a busy night like tonight where security is super tight around the whole palace. They even got that lazy good-for-nothing, Radditz to show up for guard duty. Our defenses are impenetrable, thanks in large part, to the Lieutenant's vigorous training sessions for the past month.

I'm a little concerned though. The king has been gone for a long time. I know that Bulma is holding up well under her added burdens, but how long can she keep it up I wonder? All that stress has got to be having some kind of effect on her…


The Royal Chambers

(About ten minutes later)

She sat before her vanity mirror, a custom-made silver brush she'd received as a gift in one hand and a smile on her beautifully made-up face. I've been smiling all day. No, not just today, but all the days before that, and the weeks before that… she thought, removing her gloves without looking away from the mirror. This fucking fake smile and fake laugh, and fake everything…I don't want to pretend any more. Atthe forefront of her mind all of a sudden was an image of Vegeta lying unconscious on a cot in her lab. That memory made her smile—which resembled more of a grimace now— dim considerably. Before she even consciously realized it, Bulma found that she had smashed the smiling image of herself, her fake smile disappearing as the glass of her mirror rained down on and around her. "Ouch," she said softly as she noticed her incensed demonstration had resulted in a rather deep and rather serious gash along the side of her left hand.

I should get this stitched up, a part of her screamed. But another part of her, the part that had made her smash the mirror questioned this action. Why should I? So I can smile like the fucking phony I've become and say, 'oops, silly old me. I had an accident giggle, giggle'? Bulma slid from her seat so that she was on her knees among the glass. Kami, please help me get through this with my sanity in check, she prayed desperately.

It was then she made out the sound of footsteps in her living room. Purposeful steps that drew ever closer with each passing second. Oh shit Bulma! Pick up the glass before they find out you're losing it! Her brain screamed at her. She began mechanically picking up the shattered pieces of her glass mirror, not realizing she was cutting her fingers as she did so.

The footsteps stopped in the doorway and she forced a smile as she looked up, preparing to make some kind of explanation for the mess and her injury.

"I--" she never had to make that half-assed excuse as her eyes met the sultry, fathomless gaze of the man that had been haunting her dreams and thoughts for so long. For a while she wasn't even capable of thought.

He smirked as he saw the blatant surprise on her face, and rapped lightly on the door with his white gloved knuckles. "Oh honey, I'm home."


Room #96

"Oh that's right! I forgot that I was going to tell Bulma what you told me."

"Hmm…?" Kakkarot said absently as he watched his son sleep peacefully in her arms.

Chichi smiled at him lovingly, adjusting Gohan's tiny cap that she'd knit for him herself. "I was going to tell Bulma about Vegeta arriving in a couple of days. I was hoping that would cheer her up a little."

The king's guard forced himself to concentrate on what she was saying. "Cheer her up? From what Lord Vegeta told me a while ago, she couldn't be happier."

"You haven't been paying close attention to anyone lately but little Gohan," she chided him gently. "But I've seen how sometimes she just looks so lost and sad…as if she feels all alone."

"That's dumb; she's got you and all of us."

Chichi rolled her eyes at her mate's simple deduction. "Goku, she's depressed. I know it's hard to tell from all the brave fronts she puts up, but she really does miss Vegeta."

Kakkarot nodded in agreement. "Yeah, well, he'll be here soon so she can put that little gizmo of hers to the test," he said lightly. I just hope to the gods Vegeta isn't coming to kill her like he promised he would. I don't want to worry Chichi, but something tells me that when he does get here, it's not going to be for some joyful little rendezvous .


The Royal Chambers

The blood-stained shards of glass she had been clutching in her hands fell down to the floor reflecting tiny, little pale Bulma's back up to her if she had dared look down. But there was no movement from either monarch as they stared at each other in silence.

Bulma wanted to get up and throw her arms around him, but that empty look in his eyes told her that would be an extremely stupid and suicidal idea. How ironic. I was just thinking about lying here until I bled to death a while ago, she thought, biting her lip in an effort to keep from laughing hysterically.

Vegeta made the first move, strolling languidly across the bedroom until he was looming over her. "Well, well, what have we here," he said, the low rumble of his voice putting a shiver down her spine. "Looks like you're about to save me the trouble of having to kill you myself," he told her, crouching down so that they were eye to eye.

Bulma couldn't look away, try as she might. "What do you care?" she growled at him, surprised at the raw emotion in her voice.

His expression never changed as he removed his gloves one at a time. "You're right, I don't care," he said, his voice and facial expression seeming to soften a bit as he took her badly injured yet slowly bleeding hand and examining it closely, his brows furrowing ever so slightly.

She held her breath her skin tingling where he touched her. Oh Kami, can he hear my heart beating? It's so loud! She thought wildly as her heart slammed in her chest.

He made a tsk, tsking sound as he completed his examination. "This is going to need stitches," he told her, his eyes returning to hers.

Her heart leapt into her throat as she met his gaze again. Vegeta? Is that him?! She could have sworn she saw concern—an actual emotion!—in those eyes. But how do I know for sure? It's not like I can ask him! Bulma could think of nothing to respond with so she maintained her silence.

"That was fucking stupid, woman," Vegeta scolded, putting an arm around her mid-back region and another behind her knees, sweeping her up and carrying her into the bathroom. He sat her down on the countertop, switching on the overhead light and rummaging in the cabinets beneath the sink until he found the first aid kit.

"You can probably do this better than I can," he said with a grimace as he held her hand over the sink and poured peroxide into her injury. When she didn't cry out, he met her gaze, a little impressed by her composure. She was staring at him, her eyes full of bewilderment. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you in shock or something?" he asked her sharply, putting the back of his hand to her forehead. "Normally I couldn't pay you to shut the hell up."

Bulma shook her head, her bottom lip trembling as she struggled to keep her emotions in check. It's really him. "I-I'm just glad you're here," she said, her voice low with repressed emotion.

He shook his head at her, a small incredulous smile on his face. "You stupid woman," he said lowly, cupping the side of her face in his hand. As she leaned unquestioningly into his touch, a part of his brain screamed at him to do something (he didn't know what exactly and to be honest he didn't really care) but he ignored it, concentrating on the faint circles he saw beneath her eyes. "What's been keeping you from getting a good night's sleep?" he asked, tracing the circles lightly with a fingertip.

"You." Damn. She hadn't meant to say it aloud but she was just so excited by everything that she'd lost her head for a moment.

Vegeta raised his brows at her, his eyes full of a mixture of amusement and surprise. "Me? The only people who should be up at night worried about me are my enemies, Bulma," he said mockingly, going back to her hand.

She bit her lip in order to keep silent. But I was your enemy. Or at least you seemed to think so. No, it wouldn't be a good idea to tell him that she decided, watching as he cleaned the blood off of her hand.

"So," he began casually; too casually. "Why'd you break it?"

The Queen tensed and stared down at the floor as she realized what he was talking about. She couldn't lie to him about that; he'd know in an instant if she did. "I-I don't know," she told him, not wanting to elaborate. I felt so stupid and useless, and phony that, well I wanted that version of me dead. But I can't tell you that. You don't seem to know what happened. And I can't let you remember.

"You seemed fine yesterday," Vegeta said in that same casual tone, putting a numbing agent over the wound.

Yesterday? You've been gone for over two months! "My dad always used to blame weird behavior like this on the moon."

Vegeta raised his brows, but went along with her subtle change in subject. "The moon, huh?" He started to stitch the wound shut, a bored expression on his face.

Bulma smiled at him. "Weird, right?"

"I think quite a few of the scientists here would agree with that."

"Really?"

Vegeta paused, looking up into her eyes. "What are you trying to hide from me?" he asked her quietly.

Bulma looked away from him. "N-nothing. Please, I don't want to talk about it r-right now."

With a mumbled curse he went back to sewing her wound shut. Once he was done, he cleaned the site with some antibacterial spray.

"Thank you," she said softly, her eyes meeting his.

He met her gaze but said nothing and for a while the couple neither moved nor spoke.

This isn't right. Maybe I shouldn't hide things from him… "Vegeta, I--"

"Funny," he interrupted. "Something's telling me I don't want to know what it is you're about to say."

Bulma bit her lip to keep herself from shouting out confessions to him as he washed his hands in the sink. She turned slightly so that she could get a look at his face in the mirror. My imagination never does him enough credit, she thought, a content smile on her face. I wish I could just…her thought never finished as she realized her king had met her gaze in the mirror.

Vegeta turned to face her, a smirk on his face. "See something you like, woman?"

She smiled innocently at him. "Yes, actually." The human woman turned to the mirror again and pretended to admire her reflection in the mirror. He growled at her insult and she turned to face him, laughing. Her laughter died quickly in her throat when she saw the look in his eyes.

He wanted her just as badly as she wanted him. Kami only knows who made the first move, but in a split second, the two of them were all over each other, sharing fevered kisses and driving each other wild with touch.

It wasn't long before they began doing what they loved doing best: showing their emotions through actions rather than with words…


Oh gods, I'm pregnant, Bulma thought stupidly as she lay snuggled up against Vegeta's side about half an hour later. I've been so depressed and self-absorbed that I haven't thought about anything else. Not even once…which is weird. She put a hand to her only slightly protruding stomach, not expecting to feel the baby kick or anything, but merely as a maternal gesture. I won't dwell on it. Bad things happen when I dwell on things too much.

Vegeta lay still for a while longer. There was this weird pain in his head for a moment or two that he would have fought off, but it seemed to be dying down now by itself. He let his tail slowly wander up his mate's inner thigh until she turned to face him, her blue eyes full of warmth and content.

"You're awake," she said accusingly.

"Observant, aren't you?" he quipped, trying to find out where he'd thrown his damn clothes so he could have them washed.

Bulma frowned at him and sat up, her face serious. "Look at me," she demanded, a trace of fear in her voice.

That trace emotion didn't go unnoticed. Vegeta sat up and looked at her left hand. "What, did your stitches come out or something?"

"No, I just…I want that expression to be on your face forever," was her cryptic response.

His black eyes looked into hers with something that resembled confusion, annoyance, concern, maybe even amusement within their depths. "You've lost it completely."

Promise me you'll never leave me. Promise me you'll fall in love with me. Promise me I'm the only one you'll think of. Promise never to forget me. "Lost it?" she repeated, a light smile on her face as her thoughts filled with all she wanted to demand from her lover. "I haven't lost anything," she paused, giving him a haughty look. "Except for my interest in you."

Vegeta growled and pulled her to him. This woman was an eternal source of intrigue to him. The moment he thought he'd had enough of her he found he wanted more. Whenever he thought he knew everything about her, she showed him there was a whole other side he hadn't even scratched the surface of yet. "You woman, need to be taught your place," he told her, laughing as he saw the spark of indignation in her eyes

She straddled him, a sweet smile on her lips as she took him in. "I think I've found it thank you." She smiled at the look of incredulity on his face. "Hey, I think I like the view from the top," she told him as she lay across his body, giving him a brief teasing kiss.


Much later, as they lay exhausted side by side, their eyes locked on each other, Bulma felt herself trying to convey a message to Vegeta with her eyes, something she wanted him to never forget again: how much she loved him. Whether he received the message or not, she didn't know; at that point all she wanted was to be in his arms, to feel his touch, because at least then she knew that he didn't hate her


Royal Chambers

(0320)

Vegeta sat up, a slight frown on his face. He'd been sleeping far longer than he'd intended to, but a nagging pain in his skull had awakened him. The pain intensified then and he got out of bed, forcing himself toward the rarely used medicine cabinet. Vegeta, a voice in his mind said coldly. You have forgotten me already. You've tossed me and our love for one another aside after all I've done for you.

"All you've…who the fuck are you?" he asked quietly, not wanting Bulma to wake up.

I am your beloved Vegeta. Kill this stupid bitch and come back to me as we planned. She must have used one of her spells on you to make you forget about us; about me. Please try to remember

The voice was familiar but for some reason, he just didn't want to hear what it had to say. "Stop talking to me! My place is here."

The pain in his head quadrupled as a flash of electricity shot through the part of his brain responsible for his memory. Vegeta turned to face the human female, a strange expression on his face as he realized something. I came here to kill her. And then…I don't remember what happened after that. His brows came down in a scowl, though his eyes lacked the anger they would need to exude to make the image complete. And now…he walked over to the bed, not in the least bit self-conscious of his nakedness and jerked back the covers. She was just as naked as he was. So…through sex she made me forget who I am, did she? He grabbed her by her shoulder and shook her awake roughly.

Bulma opened her eyes and inhaled sharply the blank unforgiving stare of her mate made her wish she had been smart enough to take the gun to bed with her…but she'd been otherwise distracted. "It's you," she said evenly, knowing that for one, this thing liked fear and wanted her to be afraid of it and two, whatever this persona was, it wasn't Vegeta. It was basically Anyla's vindictiveness acting through Vegeta's body.

"Yes, it's me. Too bad your little spell doesn't hold me any more."

She sat up, pulling the sheet over her body. "Trust me, if I knew any spells you'd be long gone," she said bitterly. By you, she meant the cruel, unlikable version of her Saiyan lover.

His brows furrowed at her actions and he violently ripped the sheet from her grasp. "What are you covering up for? You got naked so that I might 'enjoy' looking at you, right? So stand there as you are," he told her bitingly, a sneer on his lips.

The Queen scowled at him. "I do hate you," she uttered in complete and utter loathing.

"Beautiful," he murmured, as he gazed into the face of her defiance. He dragged her from the bed and up close and personal. "Well, well, you're even more beautiful naked," he said reproachfully, though there was something else in his voice too now. It sounded like curiosity, though for some reason, Bulma immediately associated this as being a bad thing in her brainwashed mate "I wonder if those carnal desires…really are as good as they say…" he wondered aloud, his lips twisted in a malicious sneer.

"Fu--" her insult was cut short as his lips savagely claimed hers. She pushed him back with all of the power that was in her, but he was much stronger. If anything, her struggles only aroused him further so she soon stopped that.

The brainwashed Saiyan laughed against her lips as he felt her submission. "So, you've realized the futility of fighting me, have you?" he mocked.

She smiled at him then, a sexy, dangerous smile that gave him pause. "Oh, definitely," was her reply.

"What are you--" he realized a moment too late what it was she was smiling about. The knee she rammed forcibly into his groin made him momentarily lose his breath and he coughed, doubled over in agonizing pain.

Bulma's smile remained. "What's the matter asshole? Is one little human female too much for you? Maybe that's why Anyla can control you so easily; because you're weak."

If she wanted to piss him off she was going about it in the right way. "Biiiitttch," he wheezed, taking a half step in her direction.

The Queen laughed at him, suddenly not caring that she was playing with fire. "As long as you remain blinded by your own arrogance, you'll never be a match for me," she told him, turning to get her XJ12. If I can just get to the kitchen, then I'll have him.

"Bulma."

The fact that her name had been said in such a soft, imploring manner made her pause, her eyes widening in surprise Maybe something about the high stress of the situation has made Vegeta come back, she thought, going to him. "I-I'm so sorry Vegeta," she said as she knelt before him, a sympathetic expression on her face.

He looked at her with his empty eyes and grabbed her wrists, a vicious sneer across his face. "Not as sorry as you're going to be," he promised her.


About a day away from Vegetaseii

Her plan was going relatively well, and damn it, it would have been perfect if it wasn't for the fact that Vegeta overrode the bind her poison should have held on him. Anyla had been unworried about developments and had only checked in to see if he had made it there without detection only to find, much to her disgust that he was sleeping the first time. After searching his thoughts further, she found that he had just finished fornicating with her arch rival! That bitch is an admirable adversary, that much is true. But I'm afraid there can only be one genius in these parts, she thought, a grim expression on her face as she lay down.

Speaking into Vegeta's mind took a lot of effort; especially with him constantly fighting her off. If she hadn't been able to aggravate his mind with her poison, she doubted she ever could have him back under her thumb.

The Saiyan female sighed contently as she checked in on Vegeta's thoughts. He was going to make the human whore suffer before he killed her. Kami, I love this man, she thought, a smile on her face. A pity I have to use him like this.

Surprisingly, Anyla is not quite as stupid as she would have us believe. She has thought very long and very hard about the revenge she wants to exact on the Saiyan King and his human mate. And she has figured out many important things that would make her revenge particularly satisfying.

Number one: apparently, the Saiyan race took this foreigner in and accepted her like they had never thought to do for poor Anyla.

Number two: the human bitch actually had feelings for the King.

Number three: the King was beginning to take interest in the floozy (she wouldn't say he loved her—that was just going way too far).

If she could take the fact that the King had feelings for the humanoid and use that against him (for example, by making him kill the woman whose presence he so enjoyed), why that would make things all the better. In one move, she would be punishing the human bitch who had taken her rightful place, the race that shunned her, and most of all, the bastard King who had scorned her.

It was genius, pure and simple.


(Hours later)

He'd taken her body once. Twice. And then once more for good measure. Through it all, Bulma grit her teeth and kept her eyes glued to a spot on the ceiling. When he'd ordered her to look at him, she had refused, earning herself a slap across the face. She hadn't even winced and to be honest, didn't even feel it. It was as if she was outside of her body watching the events from above…she felt nothing and heard nothing. The fact that she was being raped didn't register in her mind…it couldn't possibly be happening to her.

Bulma was able to remain so impassive only because her mind kicked into overdrive, protecting itself during the course of these very traumatic events. No matter what, she knew that she couldn't look at his face or she'd see it in her dreams every night, in her thoughts every day. Instead, the courageous woman used all of her inner strength to concentrate on the one thing that never failed to lift her spirits: the contentment she felt whenever she was with her Vegeta. I'll see him again soon. After this is over... I'll see him again. I'm having his child and we're going to be happy together.

After his third shuddering release within her, he collapsed beside her on the bed with a grunt, rolling over so that their bodies weren't touching. Bulma sat up blinking slowly, wincing in discomfort as she surveyed her many injuries. Her wrists were blue and purple from where he had pinned them above her head more to humiliate her than restrain her since she did not fight him. She had bruises on her thighs, her breasts, and on her arms from where he had handled her more roughly than was necessary. Her skin felt cold, and was slick from sweat and his essence

She felt dirty…unclean…contaminated. But Bulma, it was Vegeta the first time you had sex tonight and it was Vegeta this time too, her mind told her. You're fooling yourself into believing that the man who just raped you is someone entirely different! The distraught woman shook her head in denial. "No, he's not him," she whispered, her body trembling in a mixture of rage, exhaustion, and self-disgust as she wrapped her arms over her bare breasts. "That wasn't the man I swore to be loyal to. Vegeta would never hurt me like this." But that bitch, Anyla...

Her cerulean blue eyes widened in surprise. I know what her plan is! She wants Vegeta to torture and kill me so that she can in effect, punish us both! And I bet her back-up plan is after making him do t-that to me, she hopes that I will be so heartbroken and upset that I'll kill him. Bulma put a hand to her mouth in surprise, wincing as the pillow that had been positioned beneath her hips fell to the floor. I swear before Kami that I will make Anyla pay for what she's done us. But that means…I can't do anything to stop him…no matter what.

The Saiyan male turned on his side to look at her, a raunchy grin on his face. "Ready for more are you?" he asked in that disturbingly hollow voice.

Bulma lay back down and turned her head, closing her eyes in anticipation. It was hard to be strong in a situation like this. True, her very life was in danger but how could she fight him knowing that doing so would be playing right into Anyla's hands? Lying there with her legs spread, her muscles tensed in apprehension of another painful invasion, she felt so tired, so weak, so stupid, so…I feel so helpless, she thought, a tear escaping from behind her closed lids and trickling down her face.

She felt the bed move as he scooted toward her and the next thing she knew, she felt warmth from his being on top of her again—though this time, strangely, it didn't feel as though he was getting ready use and abuse her. His body lying across hers made her think of a warm blanket and her breath caught in her throat as he said her name softly. But he'd fooled her once today and she wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of dashing her hopes again.

His touch was gentle as he turned her head to face him and her eyes opened slowly. "Vegeta," she breathed as she met his onyx eyes which were full of both confusion and something else she couldn't place. "It's you!" I knew he'd be back!

"Who else would it be?" he asked, a strange expression on his face as he saw several emotions take turns making themselves known through her facial features.

"Please," she whispered, her voice beginning to break as tears streamed down her ashen face. "Please don't leave me again. I don't think I could stand it."

Vegeta sat her up, a puzzled expression on his face. "I haven't gone anywhere!"

"You have, you have!" she sobbed, hugging her knees, her iron resolve crumbling a bit under the emotional strain. "You're like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and…I don't want to be afraid of you!"

Her mate was silent for a moment, unsure of how to respond to her claim. "Bulma…" he trailed off as he noticed all of the bruises on her once flawless body. "Did I…do this…?" he asked, his voice barely over a whisper.

Bulma shook her head vehemently. "No, it wasn't you! It was him! He did it."

Vegeta frowned as he attempted to detect the scent of any outsider in the room. The only scents he picked up were hers and his. "There has been no other man here but me, Bulma! Now, what in all the hells are you hiding from me!?"

The blue haired woman was silent for a moment, her tears already beginning to dry on her face. "It was you, but…but…"

"But what?" he snarled impatiently.

She continued, seeing his angry response for what it really was: a mixture of guilt and self-disgust. "It's not your fault, Vegeta! It's Anyla. She has some kind of hold over your mind. For the past 2 months you've--"

"Two months? Damn it, why didn't you fucking tell me this long ago?!"

Bulma looked away from the anger in his eyes. "Because I love you Vegeta; I-I would put up with anything for you."

He growled at her soft spoken words, grabbing her forearms and dragging her up against him. "Don't give me that sentimental shit! I could have easily killed you! You're lucky to be alive, you know that?"

The human female smiled weakly in the face of his fury. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, I did get one good shot in against you; right where it hurts."

Vegeta looked as though he wanted to shake her. "You're making jokes at a time like this?" he asked incredulously.

An exhausted Bulma rested her head in the crook of his shoulder, forgetting all of her pains as she leaned against the man she had just proved she was willing to die for. "I'm just glad you're here," she whispered, closing her eyes.

He held her in his arms in silence for a while as he thought something out, her small body fitting perfectly against his. Vegeta sighed as he looked down at his woman. There aren't words enough to accurately describe how the Saiyan king felt about the crazy wench at that moment in time. Respect was definitely something she'd earned a lot of from him tonight. Using his keen sense of deduction, Vegeta guessed that he—or the sick son of a bitch he changed into—had raped the frail woman repeatedly, leaving bruises all over her body…almost as if he'd left those marks intentionally. This is why you should have stayed away from her, he thought, a scowl on his handsome face. I just knew something like this could happen. But then again…this wasn't brought about by my lack of self-control this time. This was Anyla's doing. I'm going to need to come up with a plan in order to beat this hold she has over me. Who knows what'll happen the next time I change into that person again…

After letting him hold her for a while in pensive silence, Bulma looked up at the Saiyan king with interest. "Penny for your thoughts?"

Vegeta relaxed his hold on her slightly as her voice broke into his contemplation. "I'm trying to think of a way to prevent this kind of thing from occurring again or…" he looked away from her.

Or something worse, Bulma finished for him. She sighed, wrapping the sheet around her body. "It's weird. I've seen you, um, change from normal to the other one a few times..."

The naked Saiyan no Ou transfixed her with his penetrating obsidian stare. "And what brings about these changes?" he inquired, yet somehow Vegeta suspected he already knew the answer.

"Well, now that I think about it… it's always been something to do with me. The first time, you were telling Kakkarot and the rest to protect me, and then another time, I cut myself--"

"I remember that," he interrupted, his brows furrowed in concentration.

"And the next time was just now…" she blushed slightly as she considered what she was saying. I'm the one thing that makes him remember himself. Me. Maybe that means something…

Vegeta frowned as he quickly put two and two together, coming up with a logical explanation. "The connection would appear to be your wellbeing," he said lowly, his arms crossed over his chest. His eyes shone with mettle as he spoke again. "This might be hard considering…but I need you to tell me what I am like when I'm acting under her control."

Bulma paled upon hearing his rather bizarre request but complied. "What I've noticed most of all are your eyes. They look so lifeless…so empty. You're like a cold, unfeeling android whose only pleasure is delighting in others' pain. You refer to me only as 'bitch' and you claim that you live primarily to serve Anyla."

A look of disgust came and went over his face. "All right," he said, simply standing up and walking over to his bathroom.

Bulma watched wordlessly as the door shut behind him, and pulled the sheet more tightly around her as she tried to figure out what her mate could be up to.


(15 minutes later)

Vegeta opened the door to their bathroom letting a large cloud of steam out behind him. He stood there naked for about 5 seconds; his perfectly toned body nearly making her forget what she had decided she would say to him once he returned.

He could sense her anxiety as easily as if it was his own. Gods, that woman is distracting, the naked Saiyan thought, sparing her a fleeting glimpse as he crossed the room to his wardrobe.

The fretful Queen was sitting on the edge of their bed adorned in an emerald green nightgown, her legs crossed at the ankles and her hands folded in her lap. She met his gaze only for a brief moment and then her eyes quickly moved elsewhere as if she was too afraid to let him see what was mirrored there.

Vegeta was waiting for her to come out with whatever it was she wanted to say. It wasn't like her to be so tight-lipped and he hated guessing games. "What is it?" he barked impatiently as he got into a fresh training gi.

Bulma shook her head slowly, still refusing to look at him.

King Vegeta frowned to himself as he finished dressing, pulling his white boots and gloves on self-assuredly. "Listen, Bulma," he began his tone deadly serious as his black eyes locked onto hers. "There's no telling when or if I'll see you next. So if you have something to say, then come out and fucking say it already."

"Don't leave me alone here," she murmured, her eyes awash with unshed tears. "I don't care which Vegeta you are, just don't leave me here."

Vegeta scowled. Her tears made him angry at himself for being such an asshole and they invoked another emotion in him that he didn't care to identify at that point in time. "Don't be a damned fool, woman! You have a brat to care for. The last person you should be worried about is me." He put on his scouter (leaving it switched off), still intent on making her hear what he had to say. "I thought you were supposed to be one of the smart ones, and here you are, refusing to let someone who could just as easily kill you as look at you, leave."

The harshness of his tone made her cringe. "I do care about our child! It's just that I—"

"You're fucking selfish," he interjected, crossing his arms over his chest, the red glass of his scouter gleaming in the lamplight of their bedroom. "You're only worried about what you want and damn everything else; isn't that right?"

Bulma stood up quickly, her fists clutched in anger. "No!"

"You little liar."

The human female who possessed all of the courage of a Saiyan noble looked away from his accusing stare, her lip quivering as she spoke. "I-I do care. I just…I want you and I want our child and I want to be happy."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow at her statement. "Whether you know it or not, the game you're playing is all or nothing. You'd better be more concerned about keeping what you have now and not something you never had from the beginning. Isn't there an earth saying about a bird in the hand being better than two in the bush?"

Meaning I've never had your affections? She thought, slowly unclenching her fists as she walked up to the displeased Saiyan male. "Just stop it. I know what you're trying to do, Vegeta," Bulma whispered, putting a hand on his muscular chest. "You're preparing me for what you think you have to do off planet but you don't have to do anything! Please, just stay here and let me think of something," she pleaded.

"As tempting an idea as that is, I can't do it," he told her softly, pulling her body close to his and resting his chin on top of her bowed head. "Anyla was my betrothed. All that's she's done so far has been in an effort to hurt or get back at me. So I must be the one to stop her. You understand that, don't you?"

She gave a deep sigh, closing her eyes as she listened to the slow, steady beating of his heart. "All right Vegeta," Bulma began, her tone resigned. "I trust you. Do what you think you have to do. But no matter what happens…know I'll be here waiting for you along with your child. Please don't forget that."

Vegeta felt his breath catch in his throat. He was speechless. This amazing woman, (his amazing woman) had such a powerful hold on him. With those few words, Bulma had managed to not only make him believe in himself but she also forced him to recognize something he'd refused to admit to himself up until now. Gods…he thought in amazement, swallowing past the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat. Who would have thought…me of all people…Father would die laughing.

"Thank you," Was all he managed to say once he'd finally recovered from his initial astonishment.

Bulma had been tempted to look up into his face to gauge his reaction after her admission of defeat, but now she was glad she hadn't. It was so easy to imagine a loving expression on her mate's face to go along with those two words he'd spoken in a way she'd describe as being loving in anyone else. I must have been imagining that, she chided herself, tilting her face upward in anticipation of a kiss as she felt Vegeta's smooth, muscular hands cup the sides of her face, and then his warm breath against her cheek.

A low moan escaped her parted lips as she felt him leave a fiery trail of kisses from her collar bone to the area of her neck just below her ear. Vegeta had never done that before! Not that she was complaining. As a sign of encouragement, she put her arms around the back of his neck, pulling him closer to her, urging him to continue. Vegeta started again, beginning at the valley between her breasts this time and slowly, seductively working his way upward, making a brief stop as he captured her lips in a kiss that left her swaying on her feet.

His tongue teased her earlobe for a tantalizing moment and Bulma shuddered as she felt his hot breath against the sensitive flesh near her jugular. The Saiyan no Ou seemed to hesitate for a moment as his lips lingered over the rapidly jumping pulse and she tilted her head to one side in invitation, her eyes squeezed shut in ecstasy. "Don't stop," she begged her voice husky with longing.

Bulma's eyes flew open in a mixture of shock, delight, and pain as she felt his teeth sink into her sensitive flesh and she inhaled sharply, simultaneously arching her body against his as the sensations coursed through her body all at once. The pain lasted for only a brief moment and as she felt him sucking blood gently from the puncture site, the human female quickly caught her breath as she felt that familiar anticipative sensation low in her belly.

Vegeta looked at her enraptured face then and for a moment, Bulma almost thought her arrogant and know-it-all mate looked uncertain and almost vulnerable. A little voice in her mind told her that she needed to reassure him of something in some way. The blue-haired genius acted instinctively, her small canines puncturing Vegeta's muscular neck in the same area his had punctured hers. If she had been capable of rational thought at that moment in time, the dignified and world renowned scientist would have been shocked and bewildered by her own actions as she suckled at the wound greedily, a look of savage yearning on her normally serene face. Her mate seemed just as surprised as she by her assertive actions, but like her, he too was soon overcome by instinct and sensations at that point. Neither of them could think in terms of words any longer. Now all they knew were their feelings right then, and each other

Bulma's eyes flew open in a mixture of shock, delight, and pain as she felt his teeth sink into her sensitive flesh and she inhaled sharply, simultaneously arching her body against his as the sensations coursed through her body all at once. The pain lasted for only a brief moment and as she felt him sucking blood gently from the puncture site, the human female quickly caught her breath as she felt that familiar anticipative sensation low in her belly.

At some point, something told Bulma to stop and she raised her head so she could meet Vegeta's gaze, her own sapphire eyes clouded with desire. He growled low in his throat and the two kissed more passionately than they ever had before, groaning in desire. Their need was stronger than it had ever been. Suddenly, Bulma felt that she could never have enough of Vegeta. She needed him. Now. Always. And from the urgent manner in which her joined was exploring her mouth with his tongue and re-discovering her body with his hands, he felt the same way. Her need was so great she didn't have the presence of mind to wonder why she no longer felt any pain from her bruises or even to realize that somehow the two of them had ended up naked in their bed.

Bulma wasn't sure when she began to hear the drumming sound in her ears. It was as if suddenly, someone had switched the bass of two different songs all the way up in her mind. After a moment, the banging, pulsating noises quieted down and became one, slow steady beat. That's the sound of our hearts, a voice in her mind told her quietly. As utterly bizarre as this thought was, she found herself immediately believing it to be true.

The invigorated woman cried out his name as he held her, her nails raking down his as she helped herself to another taste of his lips.

"Bulma," Vegeta croaked against her ravaged lips, his breathing ragged as, they both reached the peaks of their desire almost immediately afterwards...

Their impassioned breathing simultaneously reached a crescendo as their bodies convulsed together in the heights of their shared passion. As Bulma Briefs' world slowly faded to black, she thought she heard three words that made a single tear course down her flushed face: "I love you." But that had to have been my imagination…right?


End of Chapter Fifteen

All right! I really love this chapter for a lot of reasons. Bulma realizes that she may have a long wait ahead of her before she can be truly happy with her "husband". Vegeta realizes that he (through no fault of his own) had become a vicious monster, and that a certain earthling actually means a helluva lot more to him than he ever knew before. I also love all of the loving banter between these two (aww). Let's also not forget that, Gohan is born, Freeza and Zarbon are dead. This chapter had life, death, love, hate, moments of clarity and insanity; basically everything but the kitchen sink (there was a bathroom sink, but that's not quite the same thing, LOL).

So, now you've read. The next step is to review! AND if you want the lemony version of this chapter, I'll be posting it on in a while Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or if you want to talk about parts you really liked (like the possible bonding at the end…) through your review or an email: ).

Till the next update; take care of yourselves and have a Happy New Year!

Claire/Bulma16

What to expect in Chapter Sixteen:

Anyla being…herself (in other words, a manipulative bitch with a streak of vindictiveness that would put any woman to shame). Will she discover anything amiss in her former lover?

Bulma: coping with the absence of her mate, her pregnancy, the workings of a Planet, and anything else that gets thrown at the poor girl.

Vegeta…struggling to regain control of his life and with his decision to bond with Bulma…just how is that going to effect them both when Anyla's poison kicks in?

The Not so Merry Men: preparing for the arrival of the ship they believe carries both Anyla and their king.

A strange being with mystical powers intent on seeing Bulma. Is this person friend or foe?