DISCLAIMER: I do not own Dragon Ball Z.
WARNING: Profanity! As always my stories contain an element of grittiness that is not for children. Please be of age to read this, it does have adult content. Also be aware that although I use rape as a threat, this IS NOT a rape fic.
Free My Heart
"I won't do it."
Bulma was nearly bent in half by the force of the man bearing down from behind her. His thick arm was banded around her waist like an iron bar and his other hand was wrapped tightly around her fist, nearly crushing it. In her clenched hand was an electro-whip; a handle with several live, sparking wires flaring from the top. The sparks cascaded to the floor in a beautiful, but deadly shower of gold as the wires tangled around each other.
Before her knelt her most hated enemy. Vegeta was naked to the waist, dressed only in a pair of tight, ragged blue trousers, his bare feet tucked under him. His arms were held behind him by a steel bar that was threaded between his elbows and back, thrusting his chest forward, making him look like a hard, impenetrable wall of muscle. His ruddy skin, slick with sweat, glistened under the harsh interior lighting of the ship. There was a thick, metal collar around his neck, and a series of red flickers along the left side kept catching Bulma's attention.
He looked differently than he had through Baba's magic ball. His physique was thick with heavily defined, layered muscles, though he still looked lithe and agile, even bound the way he was. He wasn't nearly as small as she remembered. Though his malevolence still wafted off him like a bad odor.
He did seem more regal. As if time and time again he had been made to bow before his tormentors, but he refused to give way to them. His silent pride gave her strength that was both comforting and disturbing. He bore the bruises of an earlier beating around his ribs and jaw, but he still held his head up defiantly, daring her with dark, fathomless eyes to bring the whip down around his shoulders. She despised and admired him.
As she glared down at him, all she could think was she had never hated anyone more than he. Because of him, her world was a smoking ruin and all that she loved was dead. He was personally responsible for the death of her friends, for the murder of her lover, Yamacha. It was he, who had brought death to her doorstep in the form of a grinning lizard bent on total destruction.
Her arm quivered with the need to bring down the whip. To lash at him again and again until he bled rivers of blood, but she refused to do so. She was Bulma Briefs. A humanitarian. A believer in mercy. She was not a monster like the beast before her. She was better than him.
"Oh, c'mon. You know you want to. You hate him. He did this to you. He destroyed everything. We're here because of him." A silky voice whispered in her ear.
The green alien Zarbon had a face like an angel and a voice of a siren. Every fiber of her being that was trained to adore all things beautiful responded to him, felt the pull of his temptation. But where Vegeta wore his monstrosity on his face for everyone to see, showing the world what he truly was, Zarbon hid behind the beauty of his amber eyes and perfect kissable lips. He was a devil. Grotesque and terrible to the core, bent on breaking her down until nothing was left of her or her soul.
"I won't." Her voice shook but she strove to make it as loud as she could. She would not be made small. She would stand her ground and be tall in her convictions, even as her body was being trampled.
Her defiance was infuriating to the man and he whirled her about, the unused whip falling to the ground.
"You will or you'll regret it." To enhance his threat he backhanded her hard across her mouth, splitting her lips. She lost her balance falling backwards. She was able to twist her body around putting her arms out to save herself from a fall, but instead she collided hard with Vegeta who absorbed the impact with the steadiness of a well-rooted tree.
Vegeta felt the woman's blood splatter across his chest. Its metallic scent instantly flooded his senses, mixing with the salty tang of her tears. The sensation was strong enough to pull him from his own thoughts of self pity. He had been so close to achieving immortality. When he had heard Raditz conversation over the scouter, he had felt a surge of elation that was nearly over-whelming. For the first time in nearly a decade he allowed himself to believe there was a chance to redeem his race, and overthrow the evil Ice-jinn who enslaved him.
Unbeknownst to him, Frieza was having all of their communications monitored, and had set course for Earth just as Vegeta had. He arrived in time to watch as Vegeta blasted Nappa for failing to defeat the human warriors. From there Vegeta's easy victory turned to ash as Frieza immediately beat him for daring to deviate from his given mission and participating in mutiny. He was then sent to the bowels of Frieza's flag ship for an undetermined amount of time while he was taught why it was bad idea to ever think it was possible to be free of the lizard's rule.
At the appearance of the strange woman days later, and the ragged darkness of loss in her eyes, Vegeta could only assume the logical. Her world was a burning ruin, and all that she loved was dead. She had now joined the millions of people who suffered under Ice-jinn rule. One of the unlucky ones to survive the purge of her home world.
The woman steadied herself against him, leaning heavily into his chest. He could feel each individual press of her fingertips digging into his bicep, as if she was trying to burying herself inside him to hide from the agony that was sure to come.
For just the tiniest moment, he wished that he could absorb her. Take her inside him and protect her. The unexpected urge shocked him. She was such a small and delicate thing. So incomprehensibly fragile compared to him. That was why Zarbon and Jeice turned their malicious attentions towards her. The two lovers liked to play with small things. Watch them squirm and writhe while they poked and prodded. They spent a lot of their free time down in the dungeons of the ship, looking for new prey to excite them before they fell on each other in a frenzy of sexual excitement.
At the moment they had yet to turn their attention to him. Although the whip was posed over his head, it wasn't aimed at him. It was all for her benefit. They were breaking her down, forcing their will onto hers until she caved and became nothing more than a lifeless puppet. Somehow, Vegeta knew when she did cave, then she would be done. They could break her body and she would persevere, but if they broke her spirit, the very thing that made her who she was, then she would never recover.
Vegeta welcomed the vengeance in her blue eyes as she glared down at him, the whip raised over her head by another's hand. He was comfortable with evoking those sorts of emotions from people. Hatred, vengeance, anger, those were things he could feed off of and become stronger. What he couldn't stand was her reluctance to do him harm. Her refusal to lash out at him, even though she so clearly hated him. Mercy in another person only increased his rage at the universe. Mercy was a weakness that got you killed. In the woman's case, mercy was a weakness that was getting her tortured.
She was on her knees now, her silky hair brushing against his square jaw. Her wet face slid against the taut skin over his chest, leaving trails of blood and tears. He heard her ragged intake of breath, just before she exhaled. A rush of warm air feathered across his neck, raising bumps in its wake. She pushed away from him a few inches, her eyes downcast, as if she couldn't bear to look at him, even though she still held his bicep in a tight grip.
"Now, now, my dear. No hiding from us." Zarbon chuckled, looping his long, elegant fingers around her forearm to lift her to her feet. Bulma panicked and she leaned closer to Vegeta, griping his arm. He smelled of musk and sweat, and something indeterminately male. For just a moment, she felt infinitely safer next to the monster that came to kill her friends. At least tethered as he was, he could do her no harm, unlike the man who was pulling on her.
"Just do it," Vegeta growled at her in a rough voice that only she could hear. Her sapphire eyes shot up to his, and he felt an intense jolt of longing tug on his guts. In her gaze, he didn't see hate or anger, just fear; naked, primal fear, which for once had nothing to do with him. "It's not like it hasn't been down a thousand times before."
And it was true. He had been beaten numerous times in the past, too many to count. He was used to the electrical fire of the whip searing through his veins, or the bone rattling thud of a fist grating his ribs together. He could take a beating just as easily as he could breathe, but the woman could not. Her white skin was soft and smooth like whipped cream, unbroken and unmarred, except for the obscene smear of blood that spread across her cheek. He could see the dark beginnings of a bruise around her lips, and he couldn't stop the frown that pulled at his brows. Her eyes widen and she drew away from him, afraid.
"Get on your feet, slave," Zarbon sneered, pulling insistently on her arm. "I want to show you something." The evil salaciousness in his voice set every survival instinct inside Bulma screeching in alarm.
"No!" she shouted, and lunged towards Vegeta, breaking Zarbon's hold. She wrapped her thin arms around Vegeta's broad shoulders, trying to lock her hands behind him, but he was far too wide.
"What the hell."
Zarbon reached down with both hands, grabbing her under the armpits, and yanked. Hard. She slid away from Vegeta, her nails leaving deep grooves as she dug into his back. He didn't even flinch, and she never noticed the harm she caused, so panicked was she at the thought of what Zarbon had in store for her next.
He pulled her off Vegeta, and she was forced to stand on her feet or else stay on the floor where she was more vulnerable. She kicked at him, screaming threats, as tears flooded down her face. Her once pink blouse, now nearly brown with dirt and sweat, ripped and one white breast popped free. She scrambled to cover herself, but it was too late. Jeice, who had been lounging in the background, indulging in some fruit while he watched his lover work, now he stood up like a beast on point.
"Goku will come. He will find his way home and he will destroy you all for what you have done!"
Vegeta felt something clench tight in his chest at her mention of the other man, but anger quickly burned it out. Goku was the savior the human warriors had crowed about as they faced off against him. Goku, the supposedly orphan Saiyan, Raditz had put so much faith in. If he had just taken his place in Vegeta's ranks then perhaps this could have all been avoided. If the stupid humans had just told him where the Dragon Balls were at perhaps he could have made his wish before Frieza had come. The word 'if' was Vegeta's bane. His entire life, was composed of 'ifs' and 'maybes', but never did fate play in his favor.
"That's a lot of faith to be putting in one man, little girl. But I can't blame you. Hope is addicting. It's a drug that you swallow down and savor, but the high wears off much too quickly. In the end it always leaves you begging for more, even as you are crying out for it all to stop. I don't want to see a beautiful creature such as yourself itching for just one more hit. No, that wouldn't be good at all." Zarbon brushed his fingers over her swelling cheek, smirking as she jerked away from his touch. "I'm just going to have to do my best to wean you off it. So whenever you feel the nasty sensation of hope rising up in that perfect, perky chest of yours," he dropped his hand to cover her bare breast, squeezing it painfully, " you just might remember that soon there will be no home for anyone to come back to. Earth is going to be nothing more than dust in space when Frieza is done. So I wouldn't go putting faith into something that can never happen."
Bulma went limp at Zarbon's words, and Vegeta could see a small glimmer of her light go out in her eyes. Zarbon was a master at all things sadistic. If there was a way to break you, he would find it. And by the look in her eye, he was finding it. Vegeta looked away, unable to watch anymore of their games.
Zarbon's face pressed against her cheek as she struggled, and she could feel him grin against her skin. She saw movement to her left, and she hunched her shoulders, trying to squirm away. Jeice sauntered towards them, his hips dipping with a feminine sway. Up until now he had been quiet, but the slick grin that spread across his lips made her stomach plummet.
"I know what you are thinking; my darling, but I have a more delicious idea." He leaned close to Zarbon, whispering in his ear. Bulma couldn't hear what he said and she didn't want to. She was leaning away from Zarbon, his hard muscled arm, pressing uncomfortably into her stomach. At her feet, Vegeta was looking away from her, his dark eyes focused on the wall. She felt his loss immensely. With his gaze he took her strength and she felt weak and afraid.
"You are too wicked, my pretty," Zarbon snickered, and shifted his weight so he could kick Vegeta in the side of the head. Bulma gasped at the unsolicited violence, but Vegeta barely blinked.
"Did you know that our most noble prince has never raped a woman? Some would go as far to say that he's never had a woman." Zarbon was speaking to her, but Bulma could see Vegeta's muscles ripple across his chest in response.
"Those people think that the prince is a eunuch, but we know differently, don't we, darling?" Jeice chimed in, his voice sickly similar to Zarbon's. The insinuation he slathered on every word was enough to make Bulma's skin crawl. She wanted to melt away and hide, but she couldn't escape this hell. And she was afraid that she never would.
"Oh yes, Vegeta entire package is definitely intact. Whether or not he uses it, is the real question. Vegeta thinks its beneath him to take a woman."
Both men giggled as if that was the most absurd thing they had ever heard. Bulma looked down at Vegeta, confused why he was continuing to stare at the wall as though he was embarrassed. As if the men's taunting were actually a defect instead of an honorable trait in Vegeta's character.
"Well, I think between the three of us, we can answer that question. Don't you think so?" Zarbon prodded, and Bulma felt her world shrink in on her. She couldn't breathe, she couldn't think, and she wished to God that she couldn't feel either.
"Now the real question isn't if he uses it, but how long it will take him."
Finally, Vegeta looked up to meet her eyes. While their two tormentors laughed in the background they stared at each other, both their gazes filled with equal amounts of trepidation and disgust.