His Beautiful Mind
The Novice Apprentice
Disclaimer: I don't own Dragon Ball Z. If I said I did, who'd believe me anyway?
A/N: Thanks a million to my beta reader Cat Alex.
Bulma peered out of the window of the Capsule Corp. She was determined to understand, to get into the inner psyche of the short-tempered Saiyan as she stared and listened to the insistent hum of the gravity machine. She had counted three hundred, eighty-seven minutes and sixteen seconds as she set her coffee on the window sill. Vegeta and Trunks had been training since dawn in preparation for the world martial arts tournament. Bulma knew that he'd never let up on Trunks' training; if anything Vegeta would want Trunks to compete with the adults instead of the children. A tiny smirk graced her lips as she remembered how her once three year-old son would wrap his arms around her neck when she carried him. Now he was a muscle-bound eight year-old with an attitude that rivaled his father's. Usually kids his age would still possess the prominent belly that was a natural part of childhood, whereas Trunks was sculpted better than a body builder. Bulma shuddered at the thought of soon having to chase girls away. She wrapped her sweater around herself tighter as she shivered from the air conditioning. Vegeta had been obsessed with keeping the house at what he called an optimal temperature. That was easy for him to say, both he and his son could warm themselves using their ki. Bulma was left to layer herself in fleece in the middle of summer; temperatures would peak at over one hundred Fahrenheit. She smiled at herself and rubbed her palms together for warmth. As far as she was concerned he probably wouldn't be back inside unless it was to eat.
Bulma made her way back upstairs in search of something to warm her hands with. Now that she had taken a short leave of absence from work, she didn't really know what to do with herself. She blew her warm breath into her palms and clenched them tightly. Vegeta! He was seldom caught without wearing a pair of gloves on his hands. She held the handle to his door. Both Bulma and Vegeta agreed on a separate sleeping arrangement for him should he ever come out of his capsule too late. She didn't like to be woken up from dead sleep to him tossing and turning in order to find a comfortable position on the bed. Bulma entered his room and instinctively surveyed her surroundings before walking around freely. Okay Bulma, just a quick in and out. She knew how he felt about his personal things being touched. As a matter of fact, he hated it. He didn't have many possessions, but the few he had must have been of relative importance to him.
Bulma threw down her blueprints for the gravity machine on the ground in anger. Her calculations were not optimal and she was frustrated at the prospect of herself being incorrect. What was wrong with her? The circumference of the gravity machine always ended up being uneven. In order for her to maximize the power and usage of the machine, there could not be a falter in a single calculation.
"Well can you build it or not?" Vegeta asked peering over her shoulder as he twirled a wrench in between his fingers.
"I can, but I need your old space pod for measurements, where is it?"
Vegeta reared his head back and shot her a sour look. "What, are you an idiot?" he spat.
"Basing my research on something intangible is far harder than if I have something tangible to work with," she rebutted, "If you want this finished, you're going to have to cooperate, so for once in your pathetic life, please help me out a bit. I know that my mind is too valuable for you to kill me, so there's no use in threatening me, it won't work. Now step to it asshole!"
She watched Vegeta flinch under her command and fold his arms. "I'm not going anywhere. I could care less whether or not I need you, but I don't need anybody else on this property. So unless you do as your told woman, I will kill each of your employees one by one. By the time I get to your parents, I will execute them in front of you. If you want to call my bluff, I won't stop you. Just bear in mind the consequences of your actions." He pointed his nose to the ceiling in victory and awaited her compliance.
Instead her open palm met with his cheek catching him somewhat off-guard. He was actually taken aback by the force that she managed to muster in that single slap. "Damn you Vegeta, Damn you and your arrogance. This is planet earth, and I am Bulma Briefs, I will not give in to your little temper tantrums. Results will not show every time you rear that ugly shaped head of yours. I will go and get your pod, but not because you threatened my parents, it's because I want you out of my house!"
Bulma opened the first drawer of his armoire and peered inside. Nothing but spandex shorts that he used to train in when he didn't want to wear a jumpsuit. 'At least he's neat. Definitely a night and day contrast from Goku. I don't know how Chi-Chi continues to watch after Goku as if he were one of her own children.' Bulma pulled open the second drawer, more spandex shorts neatly folded at the crease. Wow, Vegeta sure is anal about keeping his stuff in exceptional condition. She shut the armoire and curled up on his bed.
"Stupid son of a bitch, who the hell does he think he is? Ugh, I swear that this guy is on a power trip everyday in order for his over-extenuated ego to grow even bigger than his receding hairline." She whipped her capsule at the ground and watched as the dust cleared revealing her vehicle. She began to massge her temples rigorously. 'Calm down Bulma, keep a clear head,' she thought. "I believe they fought in the Kenti Desert North of Goku's house. I'll park my car at his house and continue in my aircraft." She smiled and pushed the button to start the engine.
"Gohan, you're not going to get anywhere by the way you're studying!" Chi Chi hollered at the top of her lungs. "I already explained to you how to figure out the slope of the tangent, but once again you're not listening to me!" Chi-Chi began to scrub the laminate off the table in anger. "My baby is going to grow up to be just like his muscle head father," she cried.
Gohan turned his attention to his parking lot as he watched Bulma hop out of her car. 'Maybe she'll take me out for a bit,' he thought. A light knock at the door was enough to snap Chi-Chi out of her crying spell. She wiped her eyes with her apron and rushed over to the door.
"Hey Chi-Chi, I'm actually going to leave my car in your driveway if that's alright with you. I'm looking for Vegeta's old spacepod. Hopefully once I get that I can begin the production of the gravity machine, and then he'll be out of my house," Bulma spat in one gasp.
"Oh yeah, he lives with you. How's that going?"
"Please Chi-Chi, do not remind me of that. I'm trying to correct my mistake by building this machine for him. Hey how about if Gohan tags along with me. I sure can use the brawn. Come on kid!" Bulma called out.
Gohan's face lit up as he dropped his pencil on the desk. "Oh no Bulma, Gohan has to study. He's going to Orange Star Private School next fall, and nothing is going to mess up that chance!"
"Come on Chi-Chi, I'll tutor him if you need me to! Let's go Gohan!" Bulma turned on her heel and threw the capsule for her aircraft on the ground. "He'll be home before the sun goes down Chi-Chi," she said as she started the machine and hopped in. The wind it created made the dirt fly into Chi-Chi's face before she had a chance to protest.
Gohan flew alongside the aircraft in search of the pod. Icarus appeared out of the clouds and began to fly circles around Bulma's ship. "Gohan!" She shrilled. "Get that thing away from me before I crash!"
"Don't worry Bulma he's on our side," Gohan reassured. It didn't keep Bulma from wondering the worst, like if the purple dragon nicked one of her wings by accident. "Look Bulma," he shouted pointing toward the crater in the ground.
"Nice work kid. That wasn't very far from your house!" She said landing her ship next to the crater. "Do you think you can grab that for me? I'd do it, but I don't think I'd be able to climb out of there myself."
Gohan smiled and slid down the crater. He hoisted the pod over his head and threw it.
"Gohan have you lost your marbles! What if you hit me with that thing?"
Gohan held the back of his head and cackled. "I guess I didn't think of that!"
"Here," she said as she headed to the back of the aircraft. "Place it in the back for me please and thank you."
"Go on ahead without me Bulma, I'm going to catch dinner tonight for my mom and I."
"Okay Gohan, but hey, how's your mother holding up, I mean with Goku gone and all." Bulma called out.
"She's hanging in there. I do my best you know. I don't like to see her cry. I haven't fought in a while. I don't even train because it makes my mother upset. I just want to make it easy on her you know," he said with his head down. "I'm sure when my father gets back home, she'll be happy again." He lifted his head and smiled from ear to ear.
"Take good care of her Gohan, she means well. I'll meet you back at the house okay."
"You let him do what Bulma?" Chi-Chi screamed at the top of her lungs. She jumped back and began to bite her nails fearing the worse. "I've already lost Goku, and I won't be able to live my life if my son weren't with me either!"
"Geez calm down Chi-Chi, he's Goku in a boy's body. He can take care of himself you know." Bulma said as she un-capsulated her car. A large blue fish fell out of the sky and Gohan landed on top of it beside Bulma's ship. "Gohan, what did I tell you about throwing large objects?" a visibly shaken Bulma asked him as she grabbed her chest.
He chuckled before turning towards is infuriated mother. "I brought dinner mother," he said shyly. Chi-Chi said nothing as she clenched her teeth in shock.
"Well I think that's my cue to leave," Bulma said while hopping into her aircraft. "Thanks a lot Gohan, I wouldn't have been able to do this without you." She tossed him a bag of zenni making sure his mother wasn't watching. Even though she was the wealthiest woman in all of West City, her friend refused to take what she called handouts from her.
"Later Bulma!" he called out after her before mouthing thank you.
Bulma reached the Capsule Corp. by dusk. Her mother was entertaining Vegeta by the barbecue as she landed in the yard. Bulma hopped out and made her way to her lab.
"I did the dirty work by getting the pod. Now you can carry it to my lab," she ordered. Vegeta opened his mouth to counter, but just as he did she held up her hand. "The sooner you comply with me the faster I will work. Argue with me and I'll work slower. I already know how important it is for you to get to the Super Saiyan level. Now chop chop."
"What do you want me to chop?" He asked reluctantly through clenched teeth.
"Huh?" she asked in confusion.
"You said chop chop, now what do you want me to chop?" he screamed while the ground shook under him.
Bulma pondered what he said for a while before throwing herself to the ground in laughter. "Vegeta that's-that's just a...a saying," she cried in between words. She held her stomach and began kicking her feet. "It means hurry up!"
"Get out of the fetal position woman or you will feel my wrath!" he threatened.
"Do your worst to me," she cried turning red in the face.
Vegeta lowered his ki and ripped open the back of Bulma's aircraft which sent her into an immediate frenzy. "Where do you want me to put it?" he asked with a smirk.
"Follow me," she said as she led the way.
Vegeta set it down beside her table and left. "Geez Vegeta, there's no need to take everything so seriously," she called out after him.
"It's not possible for me to keep my temper under control around you woman. Every time you open your mouth I want to rip out that unruly tongue of yours," he said with his back still turned to her.
Bulma bit down on her tongue and refused to address him. 'He can win this battle,' Bulma thought, 'The score is a touch lopsided in my favor.'
"Hey, wait how do I open this?" She looked up and saw her door swaying back and forth. "Fine, I guess I'll have to do this myself." She extended her palm cautiously on the black plate and made contact with it. The sound of the hydraulics startled her as the door began to open. "That wasn't so hard," she mused.
Bulma emptied all of his belongings on her workstation, eager to pick them apart to find out information. There were three scouters, two of which were to calculate power levels but one was different. She held it up and noticed 5 other buttons on the scouter marked with symbols. She concluded it to be Saiyan and meant to ask Vegeta what they meant later. She pressed the regular button that was used to read power levels but instead it ejected a tiny chip about two centimeters long. Bulma would have missed it had it not made a sound once it fell out. She carefully inserted it back into the scouter and set it down. She reached over to the black necklace and dangled it in the front of her. What an odd color for a necklace, she thought. Bulma put it down on her desk and shone the light over it. She quickly concluded the black to be dirt and readied a pail of hot soapy water to soak it in. Bulma swirled it around before she removed it gently with a pair of tweezers and patted it dry with a cloth. The coloring of the jewelery slightly took her aback. The necklace itself was pinkish-gold in nature and shimmered in the light. Bulma whipped open the drawer and reached for her magnifying glass. She set it down and trailed the magnifying glass to the charm. It was engraved with a woman's face, and from what Bulma could initially tell, the woman was gorgeous. 'I wonder who that is... or was?' Bulma turned it around and studied the symbols, they were the same as the ones on the scouter. She allowed the piece to adorn her neck and smiled at her reflection on her glass desk. 'Bulma Briefs if you weren't wealthy, you would have this appraised and sold. I have to show this to my mother,' she thought.
Bulma ran to the yard, stumbling on her father's pets on the way. She slowed as she saw Vegeta turn the corner and eventually came to a halt. He allowed his eyes to pass over her and bore his fangs. He walked closer to her and visibly showed his displeasure.
"Why aren't you working?" he spat, his glare enough to send anybody to an early grave. He folded his arms and began to grill her with his eyes.
'Bulma, why didn't you turn down the hall as soon as you saw him?' She squirmed under his glare and turned her head. "I was looking for somebody and found you instead. And since you're not who I'm looking for, I should be on my way." She moved away from him and returned back from the way she came. Stupid idiot monkey. Bulma turned back to check if he was still watching. "What a creep," she said aloud. She turned back and stopped in her tracks wide-eyed and began to shake. Bulma quickly composed herself glared at him. "You're in my way." She tilted her head to the side and tried to look past him at her destination.
Bulma watched him with unwavering eyes. She found herself engaged in a battle of the wits combined with attitude. "Oh, by the way," she started, "I found this in your pod. It couldn't have been of any relative worth to you since it was so dirty you couldn't even appreciate the beauty of it." She smiled and showed off her new necklace to him. "Honestly Vegeta, if I weren't the wealthiest woman in the world, no wait. Okay, if I were some sort of drug addict I would pawn this off for my next fix," she laughed, "That's because I wouldn't be in my right mind, as pretty as it is and all. And who's the woman on the charm, she's gorgeous." She peered up at Vegeta's face as his mouth fell agape. "Geez shut your mouth Vegeta, or a fly will get in," she joked. She brought the charm to her face. "And do you mind translating the back for me too?"
Vegeta's mouth closed and his face began to contort in rage. He squeezed his fists and took a step back. He had no words to express the fury that was running a marathon through his mind. He thought he was going to end her life right then and there. How dare she display such disrespect for royalty? "Where did you get that?" he rasped. Vegeta held his hand up before she could answer. He took another step back for he knew that if he touched her he would kill her. He held his head and let out a tribal scream as his ki began to resonate around his body.
Bulma ducked and covered her head as the glass to the picture frames against the walls shattered. "Quit it, you're going to ruin my house," she shrieked. Bulma uncovered her head and looked up. "I only asked you to translate it for me. Gosh, what's the matter with you?"
"Where did you get that?" he shouted sending Bulma into the fetal position. "Did I say your third-class filth can touch that? That necklace is worth more than your life. How dare you, how dare you speak of that necklace as such. I'm going to rip your head from your body and feed it to your father's animals!" The fire in his eyes burned her when she looked at him. Her father streaked around the corner and slammed into the wall.
"What happened?" he shouted.
"I have no further use for your daughter!" Vegeta hollered, "I can use you instead." Vegeta raised his glowing palm towards her.
"Oh no you don't Vegeta. I need her as much as you need me!" he said rushing over to his daughter's side.
"Give me that necklace," he screamed kneeling down and reaching for it. He pulled his hand away immediately before touching her. "Take it off of her now!" The doctor carefully removed it and handed it to him gently. "If I catch you near this again, I will take your life!" He blasted a hole through the wall and looked at her. "It says the crown jewel of Vegeta!" he said as he put it around his neck and walked away.
Bulma shakily rose to her feet and braced herself on the wall. Never in all of their arguments had he raised his ki in anger at her. Bulma knew that she upset him greatly and almost paid for it with her life. Bulma tried to focus on what her father was saying but soon pushed him away for some space. She had just unknowingly insulted his mother, and she was royalty to boot. She had to admit, that it was a pretty horrible joke, no matter how sarcastic she tried to sound.
"I will be in my lab, Dad," she whispered solemnly before walking away.
Bulma rose from his bed and shook her head from her thoughts. She knew that she didn't want to travel back to that time. There was no need to rehash such ill feelings toward him. She was on a mission and she was determined to see it through. Bulma rose from Vegeta's bed and reached into his night table. She pulled out a used glove and set it down on his bed, along with seven necklaces with carbon tags attached to them. Again those same exotic symbols that she was unable to translate were on each of them. There was no other explanation for them except that they must have belonged to elites that lost their lives in war. She respectfully placed them on his bed next to his glove. She reached in again hoping a pair of his gloves would magically appear next. For a man that had so many, they sure were hard to come by.
She pulled a scouter from his drawer and leaned back on his bed. It was the alternative scouter that she had found in his pod with the Saiyan symbols. Bulma placed it on her face and picked a button to press. Nothing showed up. Certainly this isn't dead, she thought to herself. She tried another button and the images on the screen began to fast forward. She immediately pressed another button and it began to play. Bulma removed the scouter from her face. It's a camera. The symbols...they must stand for stop, play, fast forward and rewind. She rewound the chip. Bulma knew that she shouldn't watch it without Vegeta's permission. They were private. But a part of her had to know, she had to solve the mystery of his psyche. Would he know? She placed the scouter on her face and pressed play.
"No, it's not in Japanese-Romaji," she said in disappointment. She pressed it deeper to her ear and felt a wire clamp on to her lobe. Bulma writhed in pain on the floor as the sharp pain continued to attack her ear. "Haj ie tava oned?" She said out loud. Bulma slammed her hand on her mouth. Realizing that it wasn't what she wanted to say. She pulled the scouter off her face and stared into the ear piece. "What have I done...What have I done?" She said it twice to ensure that she was speaking in her native tongue. Her eyebrow rose in sudden realization of what had happened to her. 'Did I just learn another language through osmosis...But the osmosis of what though? Genes? Brainwaves? Impossible, it doesn't seem dangerous.' She brought it up to her face to study it once more. 'This must be how he learned our language so quickly. This is a mind-breaking discovery. I must obtain permission to study the composition of this scouter,'she thought to herself. Bulma cautiously slipped the scouter over her face and sighed before bringing her hand up to the small button. Play.
"Brat. Get in here, it's time to train!" King Vegeta bellowed.
As the young prince ran over to his father he lost his footing and fell at his boot. His scouter went sliding across the room. The boy quickly composed himself and collected his scouter. He wiped it off with his cape and held it up to his face. His brown mane stood almost as tall as his fathers' and his scowl still matched the one he shot today. He placed it back on his face and stood to attention in front of his father. Vegeta came up to about his father's knee and looked up at him.
"Give me my assignment father," he yelped eagerly. The boy was obedient to his father's call and readied himself in his fighting stance.
"You will fight seven hundred and sixty-eight Saibamen today. The facilitator will be conducting things differently today, the saibamen will be coming in waves so do not let your guard down for one moment. If you fail, you will surely feel my wrath," he threatened. He ripped the cape off of his son and stalked out of the room.
The boy closed his eyes in concentration and awaited for the horde to surround him. He heard them beginning to crawl on the wall in front of him. He held out his small palms and released an energy ball with a force so powerful it sent him back a few feet. He powered up and shot himself into the air and kicked the little goblin to the ground. He turned around and caught a foot which he used to twirl the body around knocking each one away from him. He then proceeded to slam the body into the ground. He landed gingerly and batted an oncoming ki ball that was hurled in his direction into the group of Saibamen that emerged from the duct.
The young boy's suit was reduced to rags from being grabbed and clawed at numerous times. He was almost finished and the victory was slowly becoming apparent as he came to the last two goblins. He fell to his knees heaving. He looked up through his black eye and held his hand out to the oncoming enemy. "Final Flash!" he shrieked. The green monster disintegrated in front of his face before it could strike. 'One more and victory will be mine,'he thought.
"Behind you," she called out. The prince's concentration was broken as he looked toward the glass to see his mother pointing in another direction.
The last of the horde grabbed him from behind just before the beams of light began to emerge from its body. "No," he yelped as he used the last of his strength to break free and spin toward it. He held onto his wrist to steady his hand and released a blast. Wrong move. As the boy's ki met with the monster's, the room overflowed with light as the facility began to shake. As he got his vision back he descended back and stood on his wobbly legs.
"I did not fail father," he squeaked out as the burly man walked toward him. He looked at his son and raised his hand. The boy's weathered smile quickly faded to shock as his father's open palm made contact with his head. He fell to the ground and held on to his cheek.
"You were too distracted," he yelled pulling his foot back to kick him. The child held his arm out to protect his ribs but to no avail as he felt them crack.
"I did what I was told father, I beat all of them," he choked out. Water began to well up in the boy's eyes as his father continued his assault on his son.
The king grabbed him by the rags of his jumpsuit and pulled him up to his face. "If that had been a stronger enemy, your life would have been lost." The jumpsuit ripped sending Vegeta plummeting to the ground creating more pressure between his lung and his broken rib. The King grabbed the boy by his hair and hoisted him up to eye level once more. "Look at me when I'm speaking to you boy," he ordered. He used his other hand to force the boy's chin up. "There's water in your eye child," he rasped. The boy let a sigh escape his lips. "Do you want to cry Vegeta?" The boy shook his head as he desperately tried to force the tears back down from where they came. The King set him and down and knelt in front of him. "I'm going to beat you hard Vegeta... so that they won't beat you harder." He shook him violently with a force that could have broken his neck before once again dropping him to the ground.
The prince tried to stand up straight but doubled over in pain from his ribs. As he looked up at his father he closed his eyes in preparation for his oncoming fist. By the time the fifth punch to the boy's frame rolled around he had already been rendered unconscious.
"King Vegeta," she cried out running over to him. "You stop that at once!" She sprinted over and delivered a drop kick towards the king's chest before attending to her son. "Nappa quickly, ready the tank for him!"
The bald-headed Saiyan quickly exited the room and made his way over to the lab.
Vegeta rose to his feet and wiped his mouth. "You will pay for your insubordination!" he declared. "You were the one that distracted him." He looked upon her with contempt.
"I tried to warn him," she said hoisting him up gently careful not to irritate his little body any more.
"As soon as he is finished with that tank, he must come and see me," he ordered. "Do not go near that boy, I will not allow him to lose focus."
"I will be the judge of that Vegeta!" She pecked his forehead with her lips and made her way over to the laboratory.
The Queen removed his scouter and set it down on the lab table. She stripped him down to nothing and attached the mask to his mouth and closed the tank.
"Nappa give me his status," she barked.
"He's suffered a broken rib, a punctured lung, his leg was broken in two places as well my queen. Also he suffered multiple contusions on the face, but it shouldn't be enough to leave a scar," he reassured.
"Nappa, can I confide in you? I need your trust that you will not tell this to the king."
"At your order, my lady."
"You can relax with the formalities now Nappa," she said while pacing around the lab. He nodded in compliance and turned his attention toward her. "I-I'm afraid... I'm afraid that Vegeta is going too far in trying to harden our child. I've watched him deliver our son continuous beatings often until he was either out of strength, out of breath, or he simply became bored with the prospect. I'm often forced to bite my tongue on the matter and stay out of it. But you know, he is my son just as much as he is Vegeta's and I deserve to have a say in his fate." She hung her head and dismissed Nappa.
Queen Kelanna pulled up a chair and watched her son's tiny frame float around in the water. She sat before him and wept.
Bulma removed the scouter from her face and quivered. For a while she sat there, staggered at how everything that she thought she knew about Vegeta became uncertain. She looked down at the ground and wept in fury and indignation. How dare anybody have to live their life as her husband had done for so many years. She didn't really know him at all. She knew that he had led a hard life, but never really bothered with figuring out the details. Forget the gloves, she no longer wanted them. What she did want to do was continue to watch her husband's life story told from his perspective. She wiped the tears from her face and returned his belongings to the drawer. His mother, she was gorgeous.
"Woman!" The word snapped her back to reality as she forced herself to her feet. Bulma hurried down the stairs and took a quick glance in the mirror to make sure her face was clean. She sprinted to the kitchen and smiled at the two Saiyans.
"Woman, the brat and I are hungry. Where is our food?" he demanded.
"Vegeta, you should have given me fair warning so that I could prepare something. Now I have to rummage through the refrigerator, cook it, and then serve it," she said as she walked over to cup his face. Vegeta raised an eyebrow and backed away. "But you know I can just order something for you and Trunks if you'd like." She rummaged through the kitchen drawer for the menus. It had been something that they'd done often when she had no notification that he was coming inside to eat. She'd just hand him all of the menus to the best restaurants in town along with her credit card and allow him to order as much as he wanted until his heart was content.
Bulma turned to Trunks and tussled his hair. "How's training going so far?" She asked him. "Is your father working you hard?"
"Yeah," he panted, "The gravity machine's hard to keep up with when you're not super." He walked over to the tap and held his head under the pipe in hopes of quenching his thirst.
"Keep up your slack attitude boy and you'll never reach that level of combat," Vegeta spat.
Trunks smirked and continued to drink from the tap.
"What did I tell you about that, Trunks?" she squealed as she reached into the cupboard for a cup and slammed it down on the counter.
"Too late," he said. "I don't need it anymore."
"Woman I've made up my mind." Vegeta picked up a pen and began to write the quantities down on the paper. "Give me that plastic rectangle," he ordered.
"No, you only need that when they come here, you're not going to give my credit information over the phone."
Vegeta bore his fangs and held out his hand. Bulma batted it away and reached for the phone and contemplated the unreasonable numbers that he put down on the paper. Was it really necessary for three hundred bowls of every type of rice on the menu? She traced her finger down to the meat, seven hundred pieces of each type meat. Was he insane? She was absolutely positive that one restaurant couldn't possibly meet the demand of Vegeta's appetite. He wasn't necessarily a messy eater like Goku, but as neat as he was, he could sure back away the food in his small frame; and Trunks was no better. Bulma's eyes floated to the bottom of the list and she slammed the paper down. "Do you absolutely need to have six gallons of ice cream?" she hollered.
"That's for the brat," he spat as he ripped open the refrigerator door hoping something would magically appear that would tickle his stomach before the food arrived.
"I was able to perform four hundred and twenty-two push-ups under one hundred times gravity today," Trunks bragged as he stuck his nose in the air. "I could do more if I wanted to though."
"You were barely able to do four hundred, I'm surprised that you managed to force another twenty-two out of your slack self," Vegeta scoffed in disgust.
"Yes hello, it's Bulma Briefs from the Capsule Corporation...Yes, yes, it's really me," she said rolling her eyes. She hated that whenever she called somewhere or someone that for some strange reason admired her, they would always tell her that she wasn't who she claimed to be. Nothing could possibly annoy her more. "I need to order from your restaurant and I hope that you have enough supplies to meet my demands." She began to pace back and forth with the list. "Please have a pen and paper ready, it's quite long." She stopped and twirled her hair in between her fingers. "Okay, I need three hundred bowls of every type of rice you have, and I need at the very minimum seven hundred pieces of each meat that you have. I also need two hundred bowls of every type of noodles in every flavour, and I'd also like every selection of meats that you have. And lastly I would like six gallons of chocolate and vanilla ice cream," she said. "Did you get all of that?" She stopped pacing the kitchen again and bore her teeth. "No, this is not a joke," she cried. "Grr- if I don't have this food at my house within the next three hours I will see that you lose your job because of your incompetence!" she screamed.
Trunks leaned on the counter and smirked. He found it quite funny when his mother would lose his temper and begin to threaten people. This was a trait that she so obviously picked up from Vegeta.
"When's the food going to be here?" Vegeta asked impatiently.
"Within the next three hours, when he comes, give him this, and make sure you get it back from him. I have some errands that I need to run," she said making her way back up the stairs.
Vegeta waved her off and turned to Trunks to discuss his fighting technique. Bulma ran back up the stairs and into their shared bedroom. She wanted so much to return back to his room and put on his scouter. It was an autobiography of his life as told by his own eyes and ears. She paced her room back and forth and threw herself on the bed burying her face in her pillow. She should ask him. But ask him and this whole situation would blow up in her face. Bulma was unsure of why she hid such information from her. Was it because he was afraid that she may think less of him as a man, as a father? Impossible, she would stay by his side regardless of what was revealed on camera about his life. She knew she would. She laid her head on her pillow for some rest.
"Mother, I'm going back into the gravity machine. Father said that he wants something to eat again at seven o'clock sharp," Trunks called out to her from downstairs.
"Okay, I'll see to it," she rasped as she tried to overcome her sleepy state . Bulma threw her feet over the edge of the bed and inched forward. She shook her self awake and ran over to Vegeta's room and peered out the window to make sure that he entered with Trunks. She was careful to not move the blinds in case he looked up. He had a knack for catching anybody that watched him from afar. It was most likely a trait that he'd been unable to shake since he were a child. She ran over to the night table and pulled out his scouter.
Prince Vegeta opened his eyes to his mother's concerned stare. He watched her drain the tank and offer him a towel as he stumbled out and fell into her chest. "Quickly my child - get dressed, your father wishes to speak with you," Kelanna chided softly. She watched her son shake his head violently. He uttered no words as he was leaning on his mother for support. He was still under the influence of the gases that kept him sleeping soundly in the tank.
"He will beat me again if I go," he said as he reluctantly rested his head on her shoulder, trying to fight his sedation. She held him close and stroked his black mane.
"Come," she said as she grabbed fresh clothing for him. "Give me your feet, she whispered helping him dress. The Queen hooked his cape to his armor and handed him his scouter. "Now go," she said embracing him before shooing him out the door.
The prince paused at the door before holding his hand at on the button to open it. He caught his breath and entered. The guards bowed as he made his way down the long corridor leading to his father's throne. The Saiyan elites stood at attention as he passed them by. The child held his hand over his chest and bowed.
"You requested to see me father," he said.
The king looked up and dismissed the elites before addressing his son. "You failed today," he repeated.
The prince held his head down and clenched his fists. "I apologize. I should not have let myself be distracted so easily."
The king's palm met with the side of his son's head. "You won't be able to apologize when you're dead," he rasped harshly.
"I understand," the boy said holding the side of his head.
"No, you understand nothing. You have no idea what your destiny holds for you," the king spat angrily, "I am preparing you for the harsh life you will have to live. Whether you like it or not, you will not always have your mother and I. You will be alone until you die. And until I beat that notion of 'family' Kelanna has poisoned you with, you leave me no choice." The king paced back and forth in front of the boy. "Forget everything that you've known regarding your family. You are your greatest asset, you are the only person that you will ever rely on. Remember these words boy, for one day you will thank me."
Vegeta peered up at his father and gave him a puzzled look. "You say that as if I'm going somewhere," he said rolling his eyes, "I will continue my training and I will be the strongest Saiyan that has ever lived."
"You won't be on this planet forever," the king said as he eased himself back onto his throne.
"Well you had better take care of my mother until I get back," he ordered.
Vegeta glared down at his son enraged. "Care for no one, for nobody will ever care for you!" He leaned out of his chair and tripped him over. "It is impossible for me to possess such feelings for you boy. You should feel the same towards me." The king stood to his feet and trapped the boy under his boot.
"Let me up," he screamed as he struggled under his father's weight.
"You're weak, boy. I must toughen you for the years ahead. Never entrust anybody to protect you."
The prince raised his ki and pushed himself to his knees. "Get off of me!" he screamed as the aura of his ki surrounded him. He pushed himself to his feet and glared at him. He batted away his father's oncoming fist and jumped back.
The king smirked. "Your fighting technique has certainly improved, boy," he said while expertly deflecting his punches, "Did you have an epiphany while you were unconscious?" The child aimed for his father's face. The king caught his fist and slammed him into the concrete creating a rift down the corridor. The boy rose gingerly and glared at his father. "Get back to the training facility boy," he ordered.
"Yes father," he said holding his hand to his chest.
"And, boy, stay away from the woman, or there will be consequences."
The prince nodded and left the room.
"Come on Nappa, surely you must be stronger than this," he piped as be caught his energy ball and threw it back at him with ease.
Vegeta was on the tail-end of his last training regiment for the day. He planned on taking an ice bath before retreating to his room for rest. He sure wasn't going to the regen-tank twice in one day.
"Let's go Nappa," he said as he began to power up again.
Nappa flinched as his scouter exploded on the side of his face. "Grr- you're going to pay for that, boy."
Vegeta glared at him with his obsidian eyes and curled his lips. "Fight me," he roared with eyes of fury.
The prince stood shakily on both feet with majority of his weight shifted on the left one. He lifted his arms in the air and repeated himself. A bloodied Nappa stood silently and refused him waving him off.
Vegeta stood infuriated as he wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth. "Come on," he said in attempt to bait him. Vegeta ambled over to Nappa and fell at his feet. With the strength he had left Vegeta tried to make him fall. Nappa flicked his foot sending the boy flying into the wall.
Vegeta opened his eyes and felt the sharp pain ambush his side. As he screamed the intensity of his pain increased. He looked up to the ceiling and muffled his cries with one hand while clenching his soiled sheets in the other. Why hadn't they put him in the tank? How long had he been out for? Had they left him to pool in his own blood while there were ample medical supplies that the scientists could heal him with? He swore loudly as father walked in basking in his own self-righteous glory.
He looked down on his son before turning his head away. "You will not always have the privilege of a regen-tank. Sometimes your wounds will have to heal themselves." The king leaned on the wall before addressing his son once more. Vegeta writhed in pain as he tried to focus on his father's figure. "Sometimes, you will be the only one left after months of fighting, and you must learn to take care of yourself."
The prince arched his back off this bed as a sudden wave of pain overtook his small frame. "Why are you telling me this? Out with it all ready, Father," he rasped through his clenched teeth.
"You are being sold, along with the children of other elites to Frieza where you will work under his rule." Vegeta turned his head away from his son and watched as Kelanna came through the door in a myriad of fury.
"This is wrong Vegeta. I am taking my son and putting him into the regen-tank!" she screamed as she wrapped him up in the soiled sheets. The boy was fading in and out of consciousness as his mother gathered him in her arms.
"We'll see how far you will get with him," he threatened. She glared at him and turned on her heel. Vegeta grabbed his Kelanna by her hair and pulled her back towards his chest. She grimaced in pain as he twisted her neck to the side.
The boy forced his eyes open and scowled at his father. "If harm comes to her by your hand, I promise you that I will kill you." The boy's eyes fluttered shut as he fell limp in his mother's arms. The king scoffed and pushed Kelanna away from him towards the door.
"You will pay for your insubordination, Kelanna." She didn't turn back as she concentrated solely on carrying her precious cargo to the medical bay.
Bulma pulled the scouter from her face and made her way to the window. She stared at the gravity machine that housed her husband and her only child. "Was this the only promise that you made?" she whispered to herself. "Well know this Vegeta, I may not be able to protect you physically, but I will do everything in my power to protect you emotionally. This I promise you my prince. Both you and my child."