Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z, or any of the characters featured therein; they belong to Akira Toriyama and whoever he's decided to share them with.
At the time I first introduced them, Gure's people had no official species or planet name. Trust me, I searched high and low. I've been calling them greylings from planet Grey. I've recently learned that they are called tech-techs and are from planet Tech-Tech. You probably don't care all that much, but I've edited past chapters to conform to this and will henceforth be referring to them as such.
This chapter has been edited to conform to FFN's ratings policies. The full version contains some K/18 and B/V gettin' down, and can be found on mediaminer or AO3.
Last Time: Krillin taught 18 how to walk like a girl, Vegeta did some research and got mad about stuff, and Bulma and Gure bonded over SCIENCE!
Yul closed the door to the dingy little hole in the wall that she'd shared with Sabriya and Mink for the last time. The bag at her feet contained everything she owned, and the petty thief who called himself her landlord was in for a surprise when he came to check the place out. She and the other two girls had come in to a furnished "suite" but Yul had torn the place apart and pawned everything that wasn't nailed down. She'd sold most of her possessions as well, and everything the other two had left behind. They were dead, they wouldn't need it. Besides, Mink's collection of exotic dildos alone had – to one very sad, sick client – been worth enough to buy Yul a ticket on the next long-haul transport.
She was getting the fuck off of Harbour Colony.
Frieza's men were thick on the ground now, and nasty sons of bitches. Yul could handle a bit of pain for the right price, but they were cheap beggars too, and no way was she letting herself get smacked around for anything less than prime credit. A girl had to have standards.
There was a wad of cash in her bag, carefully hidden within the jumble of clothing, and another between her middle pair of breasts. The balance on her credit chip was not astronomical, but it would be enough to get by for a little while. She'd found a secret cache of jewelry hidden in Sabriya's mattress, which had given her finances a needed boost. Most of it had gone straight to the pawnshop, but she still carried a few pieces that could be sold or traded later.
Hell, maybe she'd keep them and find some backwater planet somewhere and set herself up as a high class courtesan. The jewels certainly looked like they'd belonged to someone worth a lot more a lay than Sabriya had been.
Yul fought the cheap, stiff lock one last time, and then shoved her keys back under the door. The landlord would come along eventually, wondering why the rent hadn't been transferred to his account, and he'd find them there. It was the least she could do.
Feeling oddly light, Yul shouldered her heavy bag and set off toward the nearest transport station. From there she'd catch a tram to the lower decks, where the ships docked. She checked her pocket for what must have been the thousandth time that morning, just to assure herself that yes, she had her ticket. She'd managed to secure a berth in a shared cabin; it might not have sounded like much to some, but to Yul, the extra splurge seemed like the height of luxury. Last time she'd been off-colony, she'd been thirteen years old, crammed into a standing-room-only cargo bay for thirty-six hours straight, surrounded by strangers.
It was no wonder she hadn't left Harbour Colony since then; the experience was one she hadn't wanted to repeat, even if she could have scraped enough cash together to buy a ticket. But this time she'd have her own bed, in a women-only cabin, with her own private locker to stash her stuff. No need to worry about pickpockets, no need to stand constant vigil against the clumsy attentions of men who thought they could get a little something for nothing. And after that, she'd be free to start again.
Yul wasn't happy that Mink and Sabriya were dead, but she wasn't so sad about it, after all.
Sixteen sat quietly in his chair, feeling oddly tense. His eyebrows bent low and the barest hint of a frown graced his lips as he concentrated on the page in front of him. Across the table, Chichi sat on the edge of her chair, body rigid as though braced for battle. Goku was beside her, jumpy and nervous, though he dutifully clasped his wife's hand. Her iron grip was likely the only thing that held him there.
"It's not good news, is it?" Chichi's pale skin looked almost sickly in the bright, harsh light of the infirmary, and Sixteen worried for her. He could not change the data on the page before him, much as he might want to.
"No, I'm afraid it isn't," Bulma said, and her voice was so much gentler, so much more comforting, than Sixteen could ever have managed.
"I knew it. There's more needles, aren't there?" Goku asked, looking suspiciously about the room as though someone might jump out of any corner and jab him. His grip tightened on Chichi's hand.
"We have isolated the problem and think we have discovered the source." Sixteen said, as Chichi calmed her jittery husband. "It appears to be a viral infection of the cardiac muscle."
"Goku is suffering from something called myocarditis." Bulma handed a thin sheaf of stapled papers to Chichi, and turned back to a bewildered looking Goku. "The tissue that makes up your heart is swollen, which disrupts the transmission of the electrical signals that regulate your heartbeat. The swelling is also causing vasoconstriction – it's interfering with your heart's ability to move the blood through your body."
"Well, now you know what it is, you can fix it, right?" Goku asked, grinning, though his typical optimism seemed tainted. "There's nothing you can't fix, Bulma."
"Judging by the condition of your heart, you have been carrying this virus with you for some time now. Years, probably. The damage is…significant." Sixteen spoke as delicately as he knew how. Beside him, Bulma seemed to shrink in her chair. "At this point, there is nothing we can do to repair it."
"We can manage it, for the moment," Bulma blurted suddenly, trying to soften the blow. It still hadn't really sunk in yet. Goku had always been strong as an ox. Despite everything that he'd gone through since his arrival on Red, the idea that he was so ill seemed preposterous. "We think we can prevent further damage while we try to figure out a cure for the virus itself. Sixteen and I have worked out a regimen of vasodilators and steroids that we think will work on you, though it might be a bit of trial and error until we get the dosages just right. We'll have to make a supply run soon but Sixteen has a small quantity in stock so we can get you started right away."
"How did this happen?" Chichi asked, bewildered as she tried to take in the information. "Goku has never been sick a day in his life. Not even the sniffles! All of a sudden you're telling me he…his heart is failing?"
"The immune system of a healthy saiyan is unusually strong," Sixteen replied in his textbook voice. "We have determined from the translated medical files that severe malnutrition in an adult saiyan can alter the body's defense mechanisms drastically. They call this the wasting; among other things, Goku's immune system shut down in order to preserve more critical life functions. We have concluded that Goku probably picked up this virus in the slaver camps."
"From what you and Piccolo have told us, Goku," Bulma picked up when Sixteen stopped speaking, "you were drastically underfed. Sleep deprivation, dehydration, even a lack of proper exercise…" She broke off and took a deep breath to try to calm her shaking hands and rising voice. "The files in Tarble's computer tell us that all of those are potential contributing factors." Bulma stopped abruptly, not really sure why she was still talking. What more was there to say?
"But he'll get better, right?" Chichi asked, and Bulma's heart broke to look at her friend's stricken look. Chichi had only just gotten Goku back. After three excruciatingly long years apart, they were finally putting their life back together. Chichi had even been talking about maybe trying for another baby, once the turmoil with Frieza was over. It wasn't fair.
"We do not know," Sixteen said, bluntly. "The first step is to minimize further damage to Goku's heart. This we can do. Once his condition is stable, we will begin the process of trying to rid his body of the virus. After that, we expect to see some improvement, but it is impossible to tell at this point if full function can ever be regained. The damage is significant."
"Can't I just go in the regen tank?" Goku asked.
"Believe it or not, we thought of that. To get any long term benefits, you'd basically have to live in there." Bulma sighed and rubbed at her eyes. She was tired – exhausted, actually. She'd lost track of how many hours she and Sixteen had spent poring over the translated medical reports. "Going in after your last attack helped reduce the inflammation in your tissues, but it was a band-aid at best. Regen tanks can heal wounds, but they can't kill viruses or reverse the process of scarification." Bulma paused, considered her words, tried to find a way to simplify the complex condition they were dealing with. "Part of the problem with your heart is that there's so much scar tissue built up already. If this were an external problem, we could cut away the scar tissue, pop you in there, and the affected area would be good as new. But we can't exactly go cutting up your heart. And even if we could, the virus would still be active in your body."
"Damn," Goku said.
Damn, indeed. "We're going to figure it out, Goku," Bulma insisted. She reached over and took his free hand, the one Chichi didn't have in a death grip, and gave it a squeeze.
"I know you will, Bulma," Goku responded with his beautiful, innocent smile, and Bulma felt panic bubble in her chest. He was trusting her to take care of him, just like he'd trusted her all those years ago, when she'd swooped down out of nowhere to pluck him from his forest home and the only life he'd ever known.
It hadn't been a good idea then, but she sure as hell hoped she'd do a better job this time. There were no dragonballs, no miracles that would fix her mistakes and save the world again.
Bulma could see Chichi watching her, and realized too late that she was too tired to pay attention to what her own face was doing while she entertained negative thoughts. She'd been too focused on Goku, who was essentially blind to social cues. "We'll figure it out," Bulma said again, but this time more firmly, to Chichi.
"Of course," Chichi nodded. She inhaled deeply and shut her eyes for a moment, and when she opened them again they were clear and resigned. Chichi's life had never been an easy one; this was just another punch to the gut. She'd catch her breath, and keep on fighting. "Well," she said briskly, "sitting around won't do anything. What do we need to do to keep this under control?"
"Medication," Bulma said, gathering herself. She pushed another piece of paper across the desk. "Here is the outline we drew up, though naturally we'll be tweaking it as we go, depending on how your body reacts, Goku. Sixteen will prepare what he has available, but we'll need to send someone out on a supply run soon, if we can't source all of the necessary ingredients from the Tech-Techs."
"You will need to limit your physical activity," Sixteen added. "I will work with you in the coming days to design a plan of moderate exercise that will keep you active without unnecessarily taxing your systems.
"The key word is moderate," Bulma added. "That means no marathon spars, and for now, no gravity room."
"No buts. Your heart is working hard enough as is. I suspect we'll be able to okay you for up to ten times Earth gravity, but only after we've had the chance to see how your body reacts to the medication regimen."
Goku slumped in his chair like a petulant child, but nodded along as Bulma and Sixteen continued to talk about all the new rules he'd have to follow. Chichi asked questions, and Goku barely registered the responses. It wasn't fair. He could feel himself falling further and further behind the other saiyans. Even his own son had to go easy on him.
He was happy for Gohan, proud to see his boy had grown so strong. But it was bittersweet, a feeling that Goku had never experienced before Earth's invasion, and had rapidly come to know in his time on Red Station. Before Earth's destruction, life had been simple. There was good and bad, happy and sad. He'd never really felt conflicted about anything, never had to look too far beyond the surface of a problem or think too deeply about his own behaviour. But now… The slaver camp had taken that all away, replaced it with a bone-deep ache and a strange, broken rage in his empty stomach.
He'd mistakenly assumed that things would go back to normal on Red Station. It was better, he was happy, but his naïve trust in the universe was shattered, and for the first time in his life, Goku saw things in shades of grey.
Gohan was so strong, that was good. But Goku's own weakness in comparison was bad. Two sides of the same coin, that he didn't know how to reconcile. His feelings were all mixed up in one another, and his pride was stained with jealousy.
Goku had fully expected his son to surpass him one day. Even as a timid young child, cowed by his mother's insistence on scholarly pursuits, Gohan had carried the potential. Goku recalled their sneaky training sessions, and his joy at seeing his son master the fluid movement of his first kata. He'd always known that Gohan would grow stronger. After a life of fighting, getting tougher, beating enemies, Goku would reach his peak and know it, and Gohan would keep leaping while Goky looked on, proud . That was the way it was meant to be.
This was different, completely unexpected and all wrong. Goku was not accustomed to being weak.
"So, do you think I'll ever live that down?" Krillin asked, as he watched Nappa hurl Piccolo into a wall. "Like, I mean, she'll still think of me as a man, right?" He was trying to sound casual about it, but couldn't help the anxiety creeping into his voice. Showing off his catwalk skills had either been a stroke of brilliance, or the proverbial killer of lady-boners everywhere.
"Nah, you'll be fine, little dude," Radditz bared his teeth in that wolfish way that passed for a grin among saiyans. They were sitting beside each other, catching their breath after a short bout on the training mats. "She totally wants you. And hey, some chicks get off on a little role play, you know? Lets them indulge in those naughty co-ed fantasies. You know, girl's dorm pillow fight an' all that."
"Eighteen has never been a college girl," Krillin pointed out. "I'm not sure she even knows what a co-ed is." Sexual experimentation between barely-legal women was a universal male fantasy, it seemed.
"All the more reason to indulge her fantasies," Radditz replied, totally missing the point. He was silent a moment as they watched Piccolo rebound and drive a fist into Nappa's gut. "She seemed to like the girly walk. I say go with it, you know, put on some fishnets and a pair of panties. Get some of them spiky heeled, fuck-me type shoes, and see where that gets you."
Krillin turned beet red, as usual. He should have known better than to talk to Radditz. "I said I wanted her to think of me as a MAN," he spluttered. "How would putting on women's underpants help the case?" he demanded, ripping his attention from the spar on the mats to look at the big saiyan.
Radditz turned, locked eyes with the little earthling and said, as though he felt sorry for Krillin, "You're missing out, man." Krillin was beginning to realize he'd made a big mistake. "A pair of thick, toned thighs in tights, leading up to a big, hard dick straining all wet and hot against a lil' pair of pink panties." Radditz licked his lower lip and then bit down, drawing it into his mouth with a low sound like pure sex. It was like someone had sprayed concentrated male pheromones right in Krillin's face. He scooted back an inch or two as he watched the saiyan's nostrils flare.
"You're a weird guy, Radditz," Krillin said, but it didn't seem to register in the other man's brain if the glassy eyes and faraway look were any clue.
"Yeah, with like, some frilly bits on 'em. But so tiny that they hardly hold anything in," Radditz continued as though Krillin hadn't even spoken. "Like, maybe just the balls, and the dick is hanging out the side, all rock hard and veiny." He paused, unabashedly adjusted the growing bulge in his miniscule black workout shorts, and groaned. "I have to go find Puar. Bye."
"Have, uh, fun I guess." Krillin waved weakly, and tried not to think about which one of them would be putting on the stockings. Radditz's retreating back disappeared behind the doors to the training hall, and Krillin turned back to watch the fight, half heartedly. He'd been unable to think about Eighteen without feeling a fat rush of embarrassment since that hip-swaying fiasco, and since he thought about Eighteen approximately one thousand and forty two times per day, he was walking around in a constant state of agitated shame.
Eighteen was obviously preoccupied with the masculine/feminine dynamic, if she was so concerned about learning to walk "like a girl". So then what had Krillin done, to his own image in her mind, by being the one to show her? He groaned and rubbed a hand over his bald head. Some women would think he was cute and fun; that was the act of a guy who was comfortable in his own skin. Krillin knew his appeal on Earth had been all charm – a streak of self-depreciating humour with a backbone of confidence in himself and who he was, that had always worked with the sort of friendly, bubbly girls he liked. Eighteen, however, was the exact opposite of every single chick he'd ever dated back home, and every moment spent trying to figure out her thoughts was driving him a step closer to madness.
Krillin heaved himself up from the floor and did a quick stretch to combat the ache that was settling in his muscles. He was so distracted, he didn't think more exercise would do any good. What he needed was to find a nice, quiet place to empty his mind and meditate for a while. Maybe wank in the showers first. He turned toward the locker rooms, not paying attention, and stumbled back as his face bounced off a pair of soft, small breasts. Oh god.
Eighteen flicked a strand of hair out of her eyes and watched Krillin trip over his own feet, nearly fall, catch himself, and then fall anyway. He sprawled on the floor at her shoes, and she stared down at him, wordlessly, with the most oddly intense look he'd ever seen on her face. It was like she either wanted to kill him or…or… He felt his dick twitch to life and thanked his lucky stars for the loose fit of his training pants.
"I need you to come with me," Eighteen said, reaching down to haul him up to his feet. She kept hold of his hand and dragged him, stumbling, along behind her toward the door.
"Where are we going?" Krillin asked, and she stopped for a moment, as though not sure of the answer.
"My room," Eighteen replied after a thoughtful pause, and Krillin felt the blood rushing downward from his head.
Don't get too excited, he told himself, it's not what you're thinking. This is Eighteen, she wouldn't. Would she? His cocked jumped within the confines of his underwear and his cheeks felt hot with the force of his imagination. Eighteen let go of him only as they climbed the ladders between decks, reaching down to give him a hand he did not need as he followed her up, thus claiming his increasingly sweaty grip again.
Her room, when they reached it, was surprisingly messy. There were clothes and shoes everywhere, and every surface was covered with the detritus of her life. An array of cosmetics and hair products at the vanity, a snarl of belts and haphazard stack of books on the desk. Her dresser was home to a wrench and two mismatched screws, a book of matches, three empty cups with dried-out cocoa inside and a pile of magazine clippings.
Eighteen shoved a tangle of clean laundry off of her bed and onto the floor, as Krillin looked nervously around. He leafed through the clippings, and they all seemed to be of female body parts. A plump pair of lips, a set of bronzy legs that went on forever with bits and pieces of the advertising taglines still attached.
"Take off your clothes," Eighteen said, and Krillin's fingers spasmed, clenching then springing open beyond his control, so that half the clippings scattered at his feet and the other half crumpled between his slick palms.
"W…what?" he managed, turning around just in time to watch Eighteen lift her t-shirt over her head. She dropped it on the floor and stood before him in her jeans and bra, and Krillin's knees trembled with the force of keeping his body up. He had seen this woman naked, and yet somehow the glimpse of pink nipples through a lace bra was unspeakably erotic. "What are you doing?" he asked, as she popped the button at her waist and pulled down the zipper. Her panties matched the bra, and he could see a small, neat thatch of blonde hair through them as she pushed the jeans down low on her hips.
"I'm taking off my clothes."
"I can see that," Krillin said, and boy, could he. She'd stepped out of the jeans and kicked them aside, and now stood frowning at him.
"Do you not want to have sex with me?" Eighteen asked, and Krillin reached one hand across his body to pinch the skin of his other forearm, hard. Nope, not dreaming.
"Oh, is that what we're doing?" he asked, dazedly. His head felt light and he began to worry that he might pass out.
"Okay," Krillin found that his fingers were already fumbling with the tight knot of his belt. They felt thick and clumsy, and with each passing second that the knot did not spring loose he began to have increasingly panicky visions that she might get bored and put her pants back on. A fleeting thought crossed his mind, that he should maybe ask why they were suddenly about to have sex, but then she was in front of him, small breasts in his face, lily-white hands pushing his out of the way so that she could deal with the belt herself. He gulped and surreptitiously pinched his thigh through the fabric of his pants. Still not dreaming.
The knot gave beneath Eighteen's deft fingers, and the loose, light fabric of his pants billowed and opened like flower petals as they fell into a bloom around his ankles.
He had the presence of mind to whip his shirt off (Marron had once told him that there is nothing less sexy than a man naked only from the waist down) and step out of the puddle of fabric, but Great Kami's Ghost, he still had his shoes on. Hurriedly, Krillin kicked off the cloth slip-ons, and then Eighteen did something he would remember till his dying days.
She picked him up by the armpits. And. She. Threw. Him. On. The. Bed.
Krillin sailed through the air and landed with a muffled "oof" on the plush mattress. His head bounced against Eighteen's mound of pillows and he tried to process his shock at being sprawled out like the innocent heroine of a bodice ripper novel. Eighteen stalked across the room, ditching her bra as she moved, like the quintessential lusty pirate about to ravage him. By the time she reached the bed, she'd pushed her panties down her legs and stepped clean out of them. Naked as the day he'd first met her.
"Eighteen…" Krillin gulped, scrabbling backwards on the bed as Eighteen crawled atop him. "Eighteen we-oh God," he gasped, a sort of half-strangled, half hissing sound as she straddled him, and coherent thought became impossible.
Krillin shot awake, the rumpled sheets falling to his waist as he sat up in bed, panicking. "Condom," he said, more to himself than to the dozing android at his side. One brief look at her soft, pale breast peeking out from beneath the covers and he was hard again. "Shit," he hissed, looking down at his dick, but it was unrepentant.
Beside him, Eighteen stirred. She rolled to face him, and Krillin felt guilt bubble up from his stomach.
"We didn't use a condom," he blurted, and when she simply blinked at him, he knew he was done for. "This is all my fault," he said, despite the fact that she'd given him little choice in the matter. "Of course you wouldn't know. I mean, of course it was your first time, and I'm the experienced one, and I should have said something, or stopped you. But I was so…I wanted…but now…I mean, you're just so…" He heaved a sigh. "But it's done, and I'll take responsibility if it turns out that way. I mean, I'd marry you. I'd love to marry you, who wouldn't, and sorry you'd be kind of stuck with me, but I love kids. I really do, I'll be a great dad. And I'm not the strongest, or the most handsome, but I'm a nice guy, I'll treat you like a queen, I swear it."
Eighteen opened her mouth, but Krillin put a finger to her lips. "Don't say anything, I know this is probably the last thing you wanted. I get it, but I want you to know I'll be there every step of the way. For you and the baby, I would do anything, I really would. And I know this is a really bad time to bring a kid into the world, with Frieza after us, but Vegeta's strong, I can see it. Any day now he'll be ready to take that bastard on. And you know, I'm not sure what kind of universe it'll be after Vegeta's in charge, but we'll figure that out when the time comes. But I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm excited, Eighteen." He grabbed both of her hands in his, and knelt on the bed beside her. "I want us to have this baby."
"What baby?" she asked.
"Um…I mean…" Krillin realized that he'd been babbling. In a single breath, he'd invented an entire life story for them. "You know, we didn't use a condom. And sometimes when men and women make love, the man's-"
"I know how procreation works, Krillin," Eighteen interrupted.
"Right, of course you do! So I guess what I was trying to say is that if you're pregnant-"
"Well of course you might not be but we won't know probably for a while…" Krillin trailed off as Eighteen frowned at him.
"No, Krillin, I understand the mechanics of a human pregnancy. Probably in greater detail than you, as a matter of fact. But I assure you that you have not impregnated my womb. I cannot become pregnant unless I allow my body to do so."
"I cannot get pregnant by accident."
"Oh. Well." Krillin sagged back onto the bed, suddenly drained.
"Did you want me to?"
"No! I mean, not today. Not any time soon, of course. Unless you want to." There went his imaginary baby, and he was suddenly bereft. It would have been a boy, with Krillin's winning smile, and his mother's hair and height.
"I don't," Eighteen said, simply, and Krillin nodded, the fabric of the pillowcase rasping against his bald head. There went his happy life. Then, after a moment, "Did you propose marriage to me?"
"Well," Krillin squirmed in his embarrassment, "I thought you might get pregnant. I was trying to tell you I'd be there for you, do the right thing." He had no idea what she wanted to hear.
"So you don't want to marry me, then?" Eighteen asked, and her machine voice was so hard to read that if Krillin wasn't bald, he would have ripped his hair out in frustration.
"Eighteen," he sighed, "I would marry you in a heartbeat. Any day, any time, pregnant or not. Hell, if you wanted to, I would marry you this very second."
"Okay, what?" Krillin snapped, on the edge of hysteria. "What do you mean?" He didn't mean to be so demanding; ordinarily he'd have gone on in meek confusion for fear of upsetting her, but he felt like he'd just been on a roller coaster, the kind that twists and turns and goes upside down so that you feel like you might puke, but the second the carts stop, you're jumping back in line for another go. He didn't think he could handle any more of her ambiguity.
"Okay, I'll marry you. But not today," Eighteen said, narrowing her eyes as though daring him to protest. "I want a fancy dress."
"What are you doing, Roshi?" Oolong poked his head into the opening of the little leisure cruiser. It was the smallest of Red Station's contingent of ships and it had a full tank of gas.
"I was thinking you and I might go on a little joyride," Roshi said. "I'm bored as a walrus in the desert."
"A walrus would die in the desert." Oolong hoisted himself up through the doorway of the spacecraft
"Exactly! I'm going to die of boredom here." Roshi squinted at the control panel's display screen to check the line of text he'd entered. So far so good. "Where's the damn F on this keyboard?" he asked, focusing on the keyboard now, his two index fingers poised above it in search of the next key.
"Ugh, I can't stand to watch you type," Oolong grunted. "It's painful." He shoved Roshi to the side, laced his stubby fingers together, and cracked his knuckles. A pop and puff of smoke later, and Oolong was sporting the slim, elegant hands of a concert pianist. He set his long fingers to the keyboard and said, "What are we doing?"
Roshi demurred a moment, pretending to be affronted, but secretly relieved to be away from the devil-keypad. "I volunteered us for a supply run. The diagosticums need to be run."
"Diagnostics, you old coot," Oolong muttered, as he deleted Roshi's error-ridden command string and re-typed the proper sequence at the speed of light. "It's running," he added, when the speakers chimed.
"Great," Roshi rubbed his hands together, "sweet, sweet freedom, here we come."
"Yeah, I can't wait!" Oolong's hands shrank with a "paff" and he rubbed his fat, stubby fingers together, before holding one hand out for a fist bump. "These magic fingers," he waggled ten little sausages in the air, "will soon be full of titties." He squeezed and ran his palms in crescents through the air, outlining the curve and testing the heft of an imaginary pair of breasts.
"Stop the presses!" Mrs. Briefs' shrill voice echoed through the hangar and into their skulls with all the sudden charm of an air raid siren. The sharp clack-clack-clack of her kitten heels against the steel flooring panels followed "Hold the music! Do NOT put the pedal to the metal!" She came into view, skidding around a corner, and jiggling her way toward the two bewildered perverts. By the time she ran up the loading ramp into the little spacecraft, she was out of breath and only able to communicate in wild, gasping gestures.
"We're just running a diagnostic, Mrs. B." Oolong gestured at the screen, as Mrs. Briefs put her hands on her knees to brace herself, and gasped for air. "Won't be taking off for a couple hours, probably."
"Oh thank goodness!" Mrs. Briefs exclaimed, between gasps for air. "I caught you just in time!"
"What's the matter?" Roshi asked, though his real attention was glued to the heaving of her tube top. "What can old Roshi do to make it all better?"
"Oh, nothing's the matter!" Breath recovered, Mrs. Briefs patted her lopsided hair back into place and clasped her hands together, eyes shining. "It's WONDERFUL news!"
"So spit it out, already," Oolong huffed. He had a bad feeling about this.
"The plans for the supply run have changed, boys! We need to go shopping, big time, because we're going to have a WEDDING!" She squealed the last word and bounced on her toes, before flinging her arms wide and throwing them around Oolong's head. She pulled him to her, burying his snout right in her cleavage, and wiggled from side to side in paroxysms of delight. "We're going to get Eighteen the most beautiful dress, and my gosh, we'll need a feast and a cake, and flowers and Krillin will have to wear a tuxedo, he'll look so handsome!"
"Krillin is getting married?" Roshi asked, at the same time as Oolong blurted "Eighteen is marrying Krillin?"
"There's no accounting for the taste of women," Oolong snorted, "but, you know, she takes what she can get. Poor girl just didn't have enough chest for me," he mimed a pair of big breasts, overtop of his own not-insubstantial moobs.
"I'll bake the most beautiful cake, and we'll have the reception in the garden," Mrs. Briefs prattled on, immune to the disharmony she'd caused. "And of course Krillin and Eighteen will have to go ring shopping.
"So does this mean I won't be balls deep in hot dancers any time soon?" Oolong asked, and Roshi, despite his own disappointment, found himself happy for the young man who'd become like a son to him.
Wedding plans were well underway, despite the protestations of the couple. Eighteen didn't give a crap what happened as long as she got to wear a gown, and Krillin just wanted to do what Eighteen wanted. He was still in a daze and lived in mortal fear that Eighteen would snap out of it and change her mind before she was legally shackled to him.
Vegeta couldn't wait until the whole fucking business was done, so that his ship could go back to being his ship. He lived in fear that whatever insanity had affected the women aboard might soon seep its way into Bulma's brain.
"You've been tense lately, huh?" Bulma's hands descended upon his shoulders, and he couldn't quite help the groan that escaped as she began to work at the bunched, knotted muscles. "Don't worry, the supply run leaves in the morning. We'll be at half capacity here for a whole week and a half, at least."
"Dawn cannot come quickly enough," Vegeta grumbled and behind him, Bulma laughed.
"Let them have their excitement," she said. "There's so much tension in the air. You know it, I know it," she pushed her thumb into a particularly hard spot at the base of his neck, "your shoulders know it."
Vegeta groaned again as Bulma hit a particularly good spot on his neck, but didn't respond to her. He dropped his chin to his chest, stretching out to give her better access to the tender spots at the base of his skull. He set down the tablet he'd been reading and breathed in, deeply. Bulma was fresh out of the shower and traces of floral soap still clung to her skin.
"It's coming soon, isn't it?" she asked. "The final showdown?"
"Yes," he said, and her hands fluttered and stilled against his skin. He braced himself for an outburst, but she stayed silent. Her fingers tightened like a vise, and he suspected that it might have hurt quite a bit if he'd been human. As it was, it felt kind of nice.
"You'll win, won't you?" Bulma asked. Vegeta could feel her fingers begin to tremble with the strain of holding on so tight. He was silent and for a moment, Bulma actually thought he might admit to a sense of uncertainty.
"What kind of question is that?" he asked, finally. "I am stronger than I have ever been. I am the Super Saiyan. I will grind Frieza's skull beneath my boots."
"I don't know. Soon."
"Okay." Bulma rubbed the cramps from her fingers before settling her hands once more on Vegeta's shoulders. "I…" she began, and trailed off.
"Nothing to say? For once?" Vegeta sneered, mocking. He felt her flinch away, yank her hands from his skin, but he was too quick for her, caught her fingers in his and resisted her feeble tugging.
"I don't know why you have to be so cruel to me." Bulma stopped tugging, knowing she wouldn't win. Knowing she didn't really want to win.
"This is not cruel. You don't know cruelty." He drew her arm forward over his shoulder, pulling till her breasts brushed his back, and dragged her fingers across his lips. She wasn't wearing a bra and Vegeta could feel her nipples pucker through the thin cotton of her shirt.
"Yeah, I get it. You're so tortured and tragic." Her voice was breathy, pulse quick at her wrist. "You need a new shtick, Vegeta." Her words were tainted with acid, but he just snorted.
"Fickle creature," he said, and in one quick move, too swift for her eyes, he'd stood from his chair, twisted round, and picked her up. Before she could take a breath, they were across the room and she was being dropped on the bed. Vegeta stood on the floor between her splayed knees. "I have never met a woman so determined to be contrary," he said, reaching for the hem of his shirt and tugging it over his head. "So often in need of discipline. You're worse than the greenest soldier."
"Discipline, is it?" Bulma glared up at him. "I told you from pretty much the moment you set foot on my ship that I don't take orders from you."
"Believe what you want," Vegeta said, drawing a yelp as he grabbed her ankles and yanked her body close to the bed's edge. "If it helps you feel better about yourself." He knelt between her spread legs, and hooked her knees over his shoulders. She was ready for bed, wearing just a tank top and her underwear. "Look at you," he added, breath hot though her cotton panties, "you're soaking wet. You might not take orders well, but I can certainly tell who's in charge, here."
"Said the man on his knees," Bulma snapped, but shifted her hips and crossed her ankles behind his back, getting comfy. Vegeta inhaled deeply, burying his nose against the damp gusset of her panties with a groan. She reached down to his head, ran her fingers though his hair to the back of his skull, and slowly dragged her nails forward along his scalp.
"I have an extensive mental catalogue of all the times you have been on your knees before me, Bulma." Vegeta pulled away and hooked his fingers into the waist of her underwear. She lifted her rear so he could slide them down her hips, past her knees and over her ankles, to end up on the floor. He made his way back up her legs, pausing to scrape his teeth against the soft skin of her inner thigh. He stood and bent over her, reaching out to run his thumb over her bottom lip. "The sight of these lips, wrapped around me, is burned into my brain." Bulma opened her mouth, bit his thumb gently between her teeth, drew it in. Vegeta groaned, pulled away and stood between her parted legs. He reached for his own waistband, dragging it down inch by inch.
Bulma bit her bottom lip as she watched this slow strip. She'd seen his body a thousand times, knew how he looked naked before she'd ever even come to know him, and yet the sight of him never failed to excite her. She squirmed, waiting, as the deep v of his pelvis revealed itself between jutting hip bones, lower, lower, the thick root of his cock just barely visible.
"Vegeta," Bulma said, somewhere between a plea and a demand for him to hurry up. She tried to close her thighs together, maybe to relieve some of the pressure building there, but his body was in the way. Her voice seemed to electrify him and he jolted into action, pushing his pants the rest of the way down and kicking out of them.
"This is my favourite part," she murmured as he joined her again on the bed stretching out above her. She clutched at his shoulders, spreading her thighs to him in anticipation.
"My favourite part is when I come," he retorted, but waited a moment longer, allowing her to savour that skin-to-skin closeness.
"Charmer," she said, but she couldn't really disagree. Cuddling was nice, but coming was always pretty fucking fabulous, too.
You might be wondering how Oolong got so quick at typing. He honed his keyboarding skills by writing erotic All My Starsystems fanfiction under the penname "Hamboner69".