Chapter Four

In no time at all a whole two weeks had passed Bulma by. She had spend most of it finishing a light amount of work and relaxing for the most part. But even though there wasn't anything to cause her stress she was still filled with worry. Sitting at the dinner table she looked back and forth between her mother and father and knew she wasn't the only one concerned. Vegeta sat across from her like normal and also ate down his meal like it would be his last, this also perfectly normal. What had her and her parents so worried was Vegeta's eyes looked blood shot with dark bags hanging under, his normally tan skin was also appearing more pale in color. If she wanted to guess Bulma could say the Saiyan prince looked sick. Even his normal brash attitude had soften to the point where he barely spoke at all let alone snap at her like usual.

Sipping a glass of diet root beer she could feel her parents want to sigh out loud, Bulma also wishing to do the same. Part of her wanted to just yell at the man but she knew that was not the best course of action, or was it? A fork dropped on an empty plate and Vegeta gave a small grunt of thanks while standing. Silently he walked away with Bulma internally thankful that he was heading towards his room and hopefully to bed. Minutes passed in silence as they waited for their houseguest to be out of his powerful hearing range. Their eyes watching the door way in case he did decide to come back.

"Mom, Dad. What are we going to do about him?" Bulma finally spoke.

Her father turned toward her and settled into his chair more, "Not sure pumpkin. He's been working himself half to death and it's starting to show. Could we ask him to take a day off?"

Shaking her head she sighed, "No, there's no way he would allow himself to miss a while day with out training. We could try shutting it down and tell him we need to make some adjustments."

"Poor Vegeta," Bunny sighed. "Maybe I should make him something special for breakfast, you know, start the day right."

Sipping from his cup a coffee Dr. Briefs pushed his finished plate away. "We could do that but what ever you come up with dear you know I'll be more than happy to help."

Bulma smiled, "Thanks Dad, I think I'll try speaking to him like an adult first. With him clearly not feeling well he might just listen to what I have to say for a minute or two before chewing me out."

Her father chuckled while Bunny cleared the table, Bulma stood up to help as her father watched on smiling warmly. After taking over the work of rinsing the dishes Bulma loaded them into the washer and leaned back against the cabinets to think. The kitchen now empty with her parents off doing their own thing the house held a soft silence. Every night Vegeta had been sneaking out and training at all hours of the night, how the hell he also kept up with his normal daytime schedule did not need an explanation. After all he was a hardheaded Saiyan and sleep was nothing more than a distraction to him. There was one side of her that was happy he was worn down, happy to know he was in pain and hopefully suffering. She would have been an idiot not to still be angry with him for all the things he's said and how she had been treated so far, she should be kicking him out truthfully.

With all of the rage and hate she could muster it would never tip the scales in her heart. That with all the Saiyan had done and said she could not over look some one suffering. This was something she knew both of her parents had instilled into her. This was why so many animals of all shapes and sizes had a home too at Capsule Corp. Growing up with orphan dinosaurs and dogs missing a leg was a normal way of life for her. Any time her parents came across a creature in need they opened their home to them and loved each one as madly as the other. So really in the end she had done the same, she saw a homeless Saiyan with nowhere to go and had opened her home to him. As long as he lived with them he was her responsibility, one she took quite serious.

Blissful silence filled the bedroom of Vegeta, lying down on his bed he stared up at the ceiling with the lights still on. His eyes would grow heavy and then droop but he would shake it off, his pride reprimanding him for being weak would start the cycle all over again. A growl started in his throat and rumbled up to his mouth, grabbing a pillow he pressed it to his face. The need for sleep was eating at him but soon as he was asleep Vegeta knew it wouldn't be long before his mind woke him yet again. If he could only get it to shut up, to be silent so could get some damn rest.

A knock at his door had the pillow flying across the room, "WHAT?!" he snapped.

Bulma sighed then took a deep breath in to steady her wits. Opening the door she peered around it and saw him lying down now dressed in black shorts and a grey Capsule Corp shirt. Vegeta must had taken a quick shower and changed right after dinner. Sitting up he pushed the pillow he was holding behind his back, propping himself against the headboard of his bed.

"Can I talk to you?", Bulma asked while keeping her voice soft so not to aggravate him even more.

A hand rubbed over his tired face with a sigh. "Your talking now so just say what ever it is you came to say."

The door was shut behind Bulma but she kept her back pressed to it. Letting his hand drop away Vegeta gave her an annoyed stare waiting for her to talk. Taking a glance around his room Bulma was surprised to see it so neatly kept unlike her own room which was always messy. A chair near the bed drew her attention so she crossed the room and sat down.

"Vegeta, my family and I are worried about you. You've been pushing yourself too hard and it's starting to show. Even your skin is becoming pale, you need to slow it down a touch."

Slowly his head turned, black eyes staring intensely at her. "Slow it down? Bulma I don't have time for you or your family's pathetic human emotions. I'm a warrior, don't come in here and tell me how to train. I know damn well you or anyone else on this stupid planet doesn't give a shit about me so why don't you get your ass up and just leave so I can get some sleep in peace."

Bulma's hands balled into tight fists gripping around the bottom of her shirt. "So that's what you really think? That no one gives a shit about you? I really wonder why Vegeta? Maybe because you're an arrogant asshole who seems to enjoy in pissing everyone off? I'm here talking to you now because we are worried for your well being and this is how I get treated, like trash!"

Growling Vegeta ran a hand through his hair. "I don't care what you think, I can take care of myself and I don't need any of you interfering."

A finger shot out as Bulma pointed at him, her lips in a tight sneer. "Look! My family and I have given you a roof over your head, food, clothes, a gravity room along with cutting edge technology with what ever else you could want! So I think I damn well have some say about you and frankly you look like shit."

Reeling with anger, his own hands now formed tight fists. "You have no say in me, I am my own master and never will be told what to do by anyone else ever again!"

"Again?" Bulma mumbled confused.

Vegeta quickly looked away and knew in his fit of anger said too much. Bulma took a moment to ponder his last statement and the realization came to her quickly. At times it was easy to forget the brief history of Vegeta she got from Krillin after their time Namek and all about when Vegeta died. It really was no wonder why he acted the way he did but she also knew better, that it also wasn't an excuse for be a total ass.

"Look, I don't want to fight with you." Bulma spoke softly now. "You look sick and always worn down these past few days, if you're so worried about your training I really don't think you'll manage much progress if you become sick. Even I know you need to rest to get stronger, if your muscles don't get a break then all your hard work is pointless."

It was Vegeta's turn to point a finger at Bulma and did so with an almost shaking hand. "Your walking on thin ice woman, very thin ice. Daring to tell me how my own body works and what it can or cannot take! You are toying with your own life!"

"Would you just listen to me for once!" Bulma spoke a little louder now, cutting him off.

His body snapped around with his legs hanging off the edge of the bed, hands on his knees while his face was twisted into a dark snarl. Not backing down Bulma glared back at him causing him to rise. She had only an instant to stand before he was directly in front of her. Gasping as his face was only an inch apart from her own she took a step back and began to topple back over the chair behind her.

Vegeta's arm shot out and grabbed her around the waist, holding her still to keep her from falling any further. Blue eyes fixed upon his own dark eyes both frozen in each other's stare. She felt like Vegeta was almost holding her now in a dip one would do dancing, this image had soft blush blossoming on her face. Gently Vegeta pulled her back to her feet never breaking their stare.

"Woman" he spoke low and almost softly.

Without really thinking his voice had become a siren call and Bulma's body leaned more towards his, her face come closer but not touching his. Vegeta's eyes widen at the close proximity between them, her eyes closed half way but her stare looked electrified with something he couldn't name. Her lips moved even closer to his own but then pulled away suddenly, her gaze finally breaking dropped to the floor. Feeling uncomfortable Vegeta took a step back and looked away as well.

"Just… please think about what I said." Bulma spoke quietly.

"I will only if you leave me be." Vegeta took a glance up and saw Bulma now had her back to him, her gaze fixed out of his balcony door windows.

He watched her as she watched the twinkling lights of the city. Turning around she stared up at him then took a step closer to him, touching lightly a hand to his forearm. "Get some sleep, please."

He gave a small grunt and nod for a reply, Bulma smiled ever so slightly at him before slipping past. Vegeta watched as she went to his door, opened it and left with out another word. Glancing down at his fore arm he could still feel the ghost touch of her fingers, how soft and warm her fingers had been. Before getting back into bed he took a few moments to stare out side the window too, his mind wondering about what had just happened, how quickly the mood had changed between them. His mind replayed his reaction over a few times, she had been so feather light to hold so different for anyone else his hand had ever held.

Turning off the lights Vegeta finally crawled under his sheets, his eyes quickly adjusting to the darkness. Just a moment he was sure the woman was about to do something to him, something that he had not done in a long time. His mind tried to wrap around it, why was there a slight want in her eyes for him suddenly like that? In his younger days he had given in to such weakness but now his body no longer had such needs. Shutting his eyes he focused his mind on a still silence until sleep finally over took him.

Bulma sat in a chair outside on her balcony, her mind analyzing what had happened in Vegeta's room. Sighing she rested her chin on her hand, silently cursing herself at getting caught up in the moment. The way his arm had firmly held her around the waist had butterflies filling her stomach, his lips that had said so many horrible things to her had held her attention for a moment longer than she liked when he pulled her upright.

"I'm reading too much into it, I just know it." she mumbled quietly.

The night air was filled with the sounds of summer life, crickets chirping away while a chorus of frogs in the grounds pond sang out together in a night symphony. Capsule Corp was always lovely at night, a meeting of nature and science in the center of one of the world's largest cities. She felt truly blessed to have such a wonderful home and to have such loving parents as well. It was hard for her to think in three years it might be all gone in a blast that thousands would cry out in then go silent never to speak again. All because of a man's grudge against one of her dearest friends, men and their damn pride she cursed them all. Bulma could really almost hate them all because of it but her own heart never had the thick lining needed to hold in an emotion as powerful as hate for long.

Her inability to truly hate wouldn't stop her from fighting in her own way. She couldn't fight with her fists but she could help others with her mind. As much as they bickered Bulma was going to make sure Vegeta was going to be ready for the fight to come. Sure she would bitch and complain every time he needed something but she would do it, she would never let him down in that matter. Bulma had seen some of Vegeta's fight against Goku and was told about the rest later. Knowing full well the Saiyan wouldn't stay down no matter what they did to him, she hoped he would fight half as hard in the up incoming battle. As much as she loved Goku as a friend Vegeta was now her fighter to back. It was with her help that he would become stronger even if he would never admit it himself. A smile played at her lips while she rose from her chair, walking into her bedroom Bulma turned in for the night.

Vegeta sat up in a cold sweat, cursing his mind and stomach that were reeling from his nightmare. He fell back in a dead weight, he placed an arm over his eyes and sighed deeply. Would he ever get a full nights rest again? Slowly his senses drifted out over the house and felt not a soul was stirring expect for him. He could go out and train but he had told the woman he would rest. Growling his mind asked why he should listen to her but upon thinking about her bitching and moaning going back to sleep was looking more appealing by the moment.

Darkness held Vegeta close as another kind from his past took shape in his mind. His past came to visit him with a vengeful furry in his sleep once more, his body remembered how bad the pain was and shook before the nightmare had even truly begun. A younger Vegeta bowed bloody in front of Freeza, his mouth was drawn into a snarl as his blood dripped to the floor. He had been given no time to clean up before he was commanded to see Freeza.

"Filthy god damn monkey…" muttered the white lizard overlord.

Vegeta's eyes flickered to a corner of the room and awaited his moment to report. Freeza turned his back to the Saiyan and stared out over the landscape outside of the large round window. A vast expanse of dark almost black colored trees filled the view, all he saw was his to own and rule. The only sound in the room was the quiet dripping coming from a wound that wrapped around Vegeta's forearm.

"What happened?!" Freeza suddenly snapped, now turned around glaring at the Saiyan prince.

Vegeta's eye twitched slightly, "We were, miss informed sir."

Freeza's hand balled quickly in anger but he remanded still. "I don't care if you were told nothing at all. Seven days to take control of a planet is pathetic even for a monkey like you!"

His head snapped up and Vegeta stared right into Freeza's red burning eyes, he could feel sweat start to pool at his temple. "It wouldn't have taken so long if we were informed of the other planet. We… we didn't expect such numbers of reinforcements, that they had a sister planet with that size of an army. The technology they…"

"ENOUGH!" Freeza screamed in anger. "You sicken me Vegeta, your complete failure is absolutely inexcusable! You come in here trying to give me pathetic excuses, well they fall on deaf ears you foul little monkey. For your failure you must be punished!"

Vegeta's eyes went wide as suddenly he was across the room being held up off the floor by the throat. Gagging his eyes locked with Freeza's, the rage on the overlord's face had him concerned for his life. Air no longer reached his lungs and moments before he passed out Vegeta was dropped to the floor in a heap. He only had moments to gasp before a leg kicked him to the other side of the room, a sharp crack ringing in his ears. His chest flared with pain, some of his ribs now were broken. Vegeta gasped for air again the pain was absolutely excruciating, his eyes started to fill with water and he held them tightly closed until he was sure he wouldn't cry.

Short pants came from the broken Saiyan as Freeza slowly walked towards him, carefully avoiding all blood on the floor now. "Stupid filthy god damn monkey, you want to bleed on my floors then lets see it."

Grabbing Vegeta by the hair he was yanked up with ease, his eyes focused out over the black forest and his mind started to wander in the few second before the next blow came. He imagined walking through that dark forest, his feet barely making a sound across the rust colored ground. Here the air was cool and felt good when it filled his lungs, it was nothing like the stale air of the ship. There was no pain there, no servitude, just a peaceful freedom. The sun glimmered through the trees and felt good on his skin. Inhaling he could smell and sweet and spicy odor of the trees, small round blue colored fruit bloomed and hung fat and lazy from their thick branches.

'If only' his mind silently thought.

Gasping blood dripped down from his lips, slowly his eyes turned downward as a hand flexed dripping with blood. A slurpy sound filled his ears as Freeza's hand withdrew from his chest, a new world of pain held him tightly stealing away any other sensations. A cold air blew through the hole as it mixed with warm blood, it felt strange as his mind tried to detach unsuccessfully from his body. The pain was only made worse as his faced slammed into the floor, his stomach wanted to purge everything right there but his pride wouldn't let it happen. Staring at the white walls and floor he could see the darkness trying to creep in, wanting to steal his life away.

His pride pushed back at the darkness now as well, refusing to let it take him. He wasn't ready yet, this wasn't his time to die. The door opened to the room and Freeza's voice now filled the room. "Take him to the regeneration tanks and then clean up in here before it starts to stink."

When a hand grabbed the back of his armor and pulled him the pain that filled him was too much, that was the first time he had heard himself scream like that. It was very surreal.

Vegeta awoke in a silent scream, a cold sweat running down his face and back. His hands shot up to his face clamping down over his mouth even though no sound was coming out. Shaking he pulled his hands away forcing his body and began to try and clam down. Slowly lting back down in his bed breathing deeply Vegeta focused on keeping his mind empty but bits of the nightmare would seep back in. Rolling over on to his side he ignored the cold chill running down his spine.

It wasn't long before Vegeta knew for sure sleep wasn't in his future any time soon. Tossing off the covers he quickly dressed and was outside walking across the damp grass. The gravity room's door hissed opened and he entered, his body begged and ached for rest but his mind wouldn't listen. Normally he had been training at one hundred and sixty times normal gravity but tonight he felt like pushing himself. At the control panel he turned it up to two hundred and twenty and groaned loudly as the pressure grew. It took most of his strength to keep upright, moving would be a whole other challenge as the first step had been brutally hard. Sore wouldn't begin to describe how he was going to feel after he was done.

A hum woke Bulma from her sleep like a buzzing insect. It took her a few moments to fully wake up but once her brain came to life she was burning with anger. Pulling her sheets back she hissed through her teeth knowing full well now where the hum was coming from. "That son of bitch."

Pulling on drawer harshly Bulma grabbed a pair of pajama bottoms and pulled them on quickly. At the door her robe was pulled on but left untied, she stormed down the hallway with it flapping behind her like a cape. Bulma didn't even bother with footwear and didn't care as her feet became cold and wet. Taking great satisfaction she entered a emergency power down code and steady herself for the angry Saiyan about to come storming out. Her hands resting firmly on her hips and eyes already in a perfect glare she was ready for him.

The door open and stormed Vegeta, his eyes snapping to Bulma with rage. He jumped off the ramp and landed only a foot away from her gracefully. "You better have a good god damn reason why I'm looking at your ugly mug right now woman."

"What do you think your doing?! It's two thirty in the morning and I thought we talked about this!" Bulma scolded.

He snarled at her as he took a step closer. "I said I would think about it! You talked, I listened. I can do what ever the hell I want now turn it back on!"

Rolling her eyes she scoffed at him. "You sound like a whiney child."

He took another step closer, now yelling at her almost nose to nose. "What did you say?!"

"You heard me! You need sleep Vegeta!"

Hands gripped Bulma's arms, his eyes boiling with rage. "I CAN'T!" he screamed, telling her more than he wanted to out of furry.

Bulma blinked at him confused, "Why not?"

With his mouth hanging open Vegeta mind raced with images of his nightmare and he roughly pushed her away. "Its none of your business." he quickly spat out and gave his back to her.

She felt him wince when her hand touched his back, gently coaxing him to turn back around. "If you need help I have some herbal tea that you could try."

His eyes snapped to hers. "I don't need any help, I'm fine!"

Bulma gave a swift kick to Vegeta's shin, her foot stung a bit and felt more on par with kicking a tree. "Don't give me that shit!" Bulma yelled.

"You kicked me!" He screamed back.

Giving her best glare she yelled right back, "Damn right I did!"

"You dare to kick the prince of all Saiyans! Woman, I'm going to enjoy choking the life from your weak body!"

The two soon were once more inches apart, "I do dare! You needed a good kick in the ass so why not turn around and let me give you one!"

"THAT'S IT!" Vegeta screamed before grabbing her.

Screaming Bulma felt her stomach drop to her feet as they went rocketing into the air. The wind whipped painfully against her skin chilling her to the bone and her whole body started to shiver wildly. Bulma didn't know how high they went but when she looked down she could see her feet freely dangling under her and the city very far below. Her head snapped up to Vegeta who was holding her up under her arms, his own arms out stretched and his face glaring at her like he could drop her at any moment.

"You have one chance woman to save your life." Vegeta darkly spoke. "Apologize and I'll let live."

"I wont apologize for..." Bulma started to speak.

A smirk played at his lips as he cut her off, "I gave you a chance."

The firm grip Vegeta had on Bulma's arms relaxed and she slipped away. Slowly Vegeta body's passed her by as his dark eyes watched as she fell back towards the ground. Tears filled Bulma's eyes as the wide chilled them, her body spun around facing the city that was rushing up towards her. Suddenly a hand gripped her ankle and brought her to a slow stop.

Struggling Bulma craned her face up towards Vegeta who held her once more in his firm grip. His smile was wide and dark, his face dimly lit from below. "Last chance woman!"

Her lip started to tremble, she really didn't think he would go so far but here she was, cursing for being foolish enough to forget he was a killer. His smile faded away as his eyes locked on to her own that were filling with new tears slipping off face and fell towards the ground falling like rain. Her next words could be her last and that thought had her body now shivering like a leaf in the wind.

"I'm sorry I was worried about you. Shall you have me atone by dropping me now?" Her voice was low but Vegeta heard it clearly shaking just like her body was.

A growl escaped his throat but suddenly he went silent and his head snapped towards another direction, completely forgetting her for the moment. All his anger was gone in an instant and was now replaced with Vegeta focusing on something, on what Bulma couldn't tell. Letting her head fall back down she stared out in direction he was looking in, seeing the world upside down but other than that nothing out of the ordinary.

Vegeta's hand gripped her ankle more firmly as he looked down at her. "Woman, give me your hand." he suddenly commanded.

Craning her head up towards him, his hand was now out reached to her. She took hold of his hand that was surprisingly warm, he pulled her quickly up to his body in one swift jerk. A gasp escaped her lips as she flew up past him and then fell back down into his waiting arms. Her eyes snapped to his face that was back looking off towards the distant horizon.

"What… what is it?" she asked frighten by his sudden change in mood.

He didn't answer her right away and remained silent staring out towards the east. Below them she could hear the sound of dogs suddenly barking across the West Capital. Her mind became too preoccupied by the current mystery to really take in she that was currently pressed up against Vegeta with his arm snuggly around her waist but her body paid attention and drew itself closer to his.

"Look" he command but his voice was now much lower and not as harsh as moments ago.

Turning her head she could see as the city trailed off into the countryside, the lights of buildings and homes twinkled and blinked on and off suddenly. A rumbling sound followed by car alarms going off filled the night air. Bulma watched in awe as an earthquake shook the ground and all upon it. The lights twinkled and blinked on and off for a good twenty second before all became calm again.

A smirk played at Vegeta's lips. "Heh, just a tiny one."

Bulma's eyes snapped to Vegeta's who own where looking now at her. "How did you know?"

He left out a huff, his smirk only growing. "The Saiyans were born of a world that was very active. We can sense when one is about to happen."

Now she was in awe of such an ability, questions filled her mind on the how but when Vegeta's arm held her just a little bit tighter it was all quickly forgotten. Her eyes glanced down to her hands which were resting flatly on his chest. A blush covered her face as her eyes slowly met his.

"Are you still going to drop me now?" Bulma meekly asked.

One of his dark brows shot up. "Care to find out?" he said with a chuckle, his arm starting to let her go.

Quickly her arms wrapped around his neck and she held on to him tightly. "No, no, no! I'm good on letting that remain a mystery."

His arm tightened its firm grip back around her and he couldn't help but chuckle at her plight. His lips were ready to tease her but they remained silent along with the car alarms and the barking dogs that had grown quite. Even in the dim light her blue eyes glittered with life, her body warm and soft felt better than it should pressed to his own figure. When she didn't say a word either just stared at him he could feel the air grow thick and heavy around them. Her lips slightly parted as her face gaze at him with a slightly awe.

A soft breeze blew around them, filling Vegeta's nose with her scent. Slowly his head leaned closer to her as Bulma watched. His eyes narrowed with his nose now just a breath away from her neck he breathed in her in. Pulling back he could feel Bulma grow tense in his grip and was biting her bottom lip.

"Why do you care?" he asked in a low and penetrating tone.

Bulma licked her lips that went suddenly dry, her mind was screaming out not understanding what was going on but not wanting to stop either. "I told you."

Inhaling deeply he gave a slightly nod, "Right, your guest."

"Why do you ask?" she said praying her voice wouldn't start to shake.

His dark eyes searched her own glimmering blues for a few minutes, silence hung around them once again heavy and thick. "I need to get back to training."

Her eyes went wide before they grew sharp in anger. "No you need sleep!"

He growled deeply, "Don't tell me what to do woman!"

Bulma gripped Vegeta by his biceps, "I don't want to fight with you, just please try and go back to bed. You can't keep staying up like this, it's not healthy."

Vegeta turned his face away and scoffed. "Saiyans are not a weak race like you humans so don't even try and tell me what is and is not healthy."

"I know that!" she yelled cutting him off. "But I also know you need rest just like any other living being in the universe. Yes you might need less but right now you're not getting enough. It's all over your face and those dark circles that you seem to always wear now is the proof!"

Quickly his eyes snapped back to her own. "I do not have circles under my eyes!"

Bulma sighed, "Don't make me put you in front of a mirror so you can see. Trust me, you have them."

With his free hand he rubbed his face and sighed. "You're testing my patience again Bulma. Don't make me drop you because I will."

Her jaw shut tight and her hands once more gripped on to him firmly scared of falling like she had before. Feeling that the conversation was finally over Vegeta slowly started to descend back towards the city and ground. Bulma watched in awe as they passed by low floating clouds and the ground came up towards them. Once back on solid ground Vegeta left Bulma go right away and walked towards the doorway to the kitchen, she followed wondering if he was hungry now.

He didn't say a word as he entered the large building, Vegeta walked passed the kitchen and into the main hallway. Silently Bulma followed with a smile creeping on to her face, he paused by her doorway of her bedroom and glanced back at her.

"Goodnight" he huffed and continued on down the hallway towards his own room.

Now at her own door she smirked at the Saiyan, "Night."