Yeah, I know. I have some explaining to do. I have been busy lately with everything that has been going on in my life and I have only recently been figuring out things about myself that I should have known from the beginning- Like I'm ADHD.
Yeah. That explains a lot- like why I can't finish anything. I'm getting help with working around the problem, so I was able to finish writing this chapter. I hope I was able to keep Vegeta in character, but I think I might re-edit the end a couple times before I call it good. But I think with the relationship that Goku and Vegeta share in this story makes him more willing to deal with Goku.
I hope that I got Popo's speech pattern right. I'm not sure. I'll try again if I didn't get right.
As LPphreek had requested, a little bit from Bulma's side of the story. Not much, but I hope it relates how Bulma is feeling. By the way, if you haven't already, go read Homeless Boy by LPphreek. It's seriously awesome. Sometimes I feel like I'm a precursor compared to her writing! ^_^ Read Rediscovering Honor as well. They get a little dark at times (there are chapters I have to skip, srry) but so far, the ending of Rediscovering Honor was pretty good.
If you want to read other stories I thought were pretty awesome, look them up in my community. I've read a countless number of stories and those are the ones I thought were either written well or had a great story plot without a lot of OOC.
This is all experimental and all feedback is wonderful. PLEASE tell me what you really think.
Please, ask questions if you don't get it. I answer those that have a penname that I can pm the answer to.
Give me input on what you'd like to see, and maybe you might see it in this story or a different one depending one where I think it'd best be used. (And I give you credit for it in the story) Thank you all for helping me so far and I have considered a lot of what was offered, but I haven't made a total decision just yet.
Read and enjoy.
The silence was thick. Everyone could feel the tension of their decision and were all nervous- except for Launch, but the blonde was use to violence. Bulma wasn't that into hurting people, but she did enjoy a good fight. Whenever she could, she had always enjoyed wrestling with Goku, despite how easily he could overpower her. She withheld a sigh as she stared out the front window while Yamcha piloted the plane towards where the Red Ribbon Army's base was. It was nerve wracking really. They were moments away from battle and the only thing she could even think about was him.
HIM! Of all the times she had to think of him, it was right now, right before heading into a battle she might not make it out of. She could hear all his rants about how she should be at home where it was safe, where he knew she wasn't in danger. Because she was just one huge magnet for danger and going towards it didn't help her chances.
She shook her head to clear it from his words and voice that wasn't really there. The child's image disappeared as she forced Goku's image into the front of her mind. That was what mattered right now! Goku! He was in over his head and they were going to help him!
And plus, she couldn't turn back now if she wanted to! Not only was there just one small plane of them, but they had already gotten past a heat seeking missile and that crazy woman piloting the other airship! There was no way to turn back! No!
She glanced around the room to take in the expressions of everyone that was in the plane. Krillin, Roshi, and Launch were much calmer than the rest of them. Oolong was acting like the coward he was, Yamcha was taking everything very well (but the two of them already had fought about coming earlier), and Puar looked like she was lost in her own little world.
She couldn't blame the cat. She was still having lingering doubts about coming as well, but she was fearful for Goku's life. The boy was gullible, friendly, and very forgiving, unlike him. She was scared that he wouldn't see through a lie or maybe forgive the bad guys just to turn around and get stabbed in the back. Goku was almost everything to her right now in her life.
Yamcha was nice and all- don't get her wrong- but she sometimes felt insecure around him. She always felt foolish or not pretty when around him because even though he told her he loved her, his eyes wandered and he even had a fan club at his school. They would constantly tell her that she was a hag or unfit to be Yamcha's girlfriend.
What was worse was Yamcha never did anything to make her believe as if they were just lying to make her feel bad. Most people thought she was vain and difficult, but it was because all her life she had been teased about her looks. Only he had ever made her feel like she stood above the rest and he left with middle finger raised as soon as he could.
It had honestly devastated her. If it hadn't been for Yamcha being around, she probably would have never recovered from it. It was so hard too. She had to go around pretending everything was okay with her parents. Her recent mood swings had everyone on edge, particularly her parents since it seemed to have come from nowhere.
When Goku had shown up with the promise of adventure, she was all for leaving and being with someone who truly didn't judge her and listened to her and played with her. That was something she missed greatly. Yamcha didn't like wrestling with her, he said it was unfitting for a girl like her to fight or act like a little brat- even though it was fine that he could fight and train… She wasn't allowed to in his books. It was his place to protect her, he would tell her with a warm smile, but that didn't make her want to learn any less.
In fact, he didn't like how she couldn't cook, how she always had her nose stuck in a book, how unruly she tended to be, and the whole fact that she was smarter than him. Of course, he never flat out said it, but the way he would look at her when he didn't approve or the way he lectured her told her all she needed to know.
The only other relationship she had that made her feel better was the relationship with Puar. She always had a way of brightening her up, encouraging her that everything was going to be okay. In fact, she knew all of Puar's secrets that not even Yamcha knew- like how she danced all night at a club. Puar was a sweetheart and truly her only girlfriend in the world until she met Launch at Roshi's house during her stay there.
Launch was a strange one, having two personalities that clashed, but both were really nice once you got to know them. The blonde Launch had to be her favorite though because she acted the way she wanted and others be darned. She didn't care what anyone else had to say and Bulma longed for that kind of freedom. If anything, it was an painless reminder of him.
Her mind was pulled from her thoughts when Yamcha announced their arrival and began to land the aircraft. The landing was rough, but they made it safely on the ground. Bulma bit her lip, thinking of that one last lecture she would have received from him if he had known what sort of danger she just put herself into.
"Alright," Yamcha said as they headed out, pulling the sword from the sheath on his back, "Let's get in there and help!"
"Help with what?" Bulma asked, "We hardly know the situation going on and we have no battle plan."
The only reason she had even called Yamcha was because they had no type of aircraft back at Roshi's. She was still not officially over how he had behaved at the amusement park and something inside her felt as if she could do better than him. But he was there… and what was she suppose to do? Love someone younger than she by at least eight or nine years? That just screamed cradle robber and 'cougar' in the making.
"Well do you have a better plan?" Yamcha snapped back at her, not liking the way she questioned his authority, "You're the one who dragged us all here to help the kid! He got in over his head and now we're dragged into it!"
"Hey guys," Krillin whined, seeing where this was headed, "We're suppose to be fighting the bad guys, not each other!"
"Hey! Look!" Puar cut in as she pointed to something in the sky.
Bulma stopped her bickering to look into the sky, smiling brightly as she saw the golden nimbus cloud flying high above. "Goku!" She shouted happily, waving her arms in the air to flag him down.
The cloud suddenly swerved, coming closer to the earth and Goku was on board, smiling and happy. His clothes were slightly tattered, but nothing too terrible.
"Bulma!" Came the delighted reply as the boy launched himself out of his cloud and hug tackled the girl.
She caught him, barely able to balance herself and gave him a 'ooph' at the impact, but immediately began to laugh at his happy embrace. Bulma hugged him tightly. To her, it felt wonderful to be loved like this. Goku let her hold him, wrapping his tail around her waist and snuggled happily into her embrace, his arms around her neck.
"Goku!" Krillin shouted, running up to the two. He too was happy to see his friend.
Goku pulled away, looking down with a blink. It was as if he hadn't noticed anyone else in his excitement of seeing Bulma. He didn't exactly hop down or pull away, instead he just rested his head on Bulma's shoulder as he now looked down curiously at his friend.
"Oh! Hi Krillin. What are you guys doing here anyways?"
In all honestly, he hadn't noticed the others. He had just heard Bulma's voice and after learning about everything she had been through and all the lies she had received, he knew that she needed some care and affection- even if she had yet to really realize this. She seemed content to just hold him. If she wanted him down, she'd drop him and tell him so.
"What are we doing here?" Yamcha asked, unbelievingly, "We're here to help you fight the Red Ribbon Army, Goku! What were you thinking heading out to fight something that large by yourself?"
"The Red Ribbon Army?" Goku repeated, a little confused, "I didn't need any help. I already beat them. They weren't too tough, especially since that Mercenary Tao guy was already killed. He might have taken me a while if I had done it."
"Mer… Mercenary Tao's dead?" Roshi stuttered as he stepped back, "Who killed the man?"
Goku blinked, looking at his master confused, "Yeah. He was attacking us, so Neko-san had no choice but to kill him. Tao almost killed Bora and was threatening to kill all of us. So Neko-san had to kill him."
"Neko-san?" Bulma blinked, cocking her head to the side, "I don't think I've ever heard you speak so formally."
"It's what everyone else calls him." Goku smiled, "You should have seen him, Bulma! It was amazing! He jumped in the way when Tao was about to kill Bora with his own spear and shoved the bigger man out of the way, taking the blow instead! Then he got back up and fought Tao with a huge gut wound on his side! If it hadn't been for Neko, Bora would have died and Uppa, Bora's son would have been very sad!"
"Is Neko-san alright?" It was Puar who asked first, breaking the surprised silence that had taken over the group. She had just seen him a few days ago.
"Oh, he's fine. Up and about again, it was about a week or so ago, before I climbed Korin's tower."
"Wait a minute," Roshi threw his hands up to pause, "Are you telling me that you climbed Korin's tower! And received the Sacred Water?"
"Yeah. I just came from there. I would have come to beat them earlier, but I spent a day with Bora and Uppa and Neko-san before I left. We sparred all day. Neko wanted to make sure I was well prepared to fight an army." He paused, thinking, "Korin was tricky, but I got the hang of it after three days."
"Th-th-three days!" Master Roshi stuttered. "It took me three YEARS!"
"Yeah." Goku nodded, "Korin told me that. Thought I didn't beat Neko-san's record. He figured it out within two days."
"Two days!" Roshi's jaw dropped.
Never before had he thought something would be possible. He use to pride himself that he had been able to accomplish the feat in three years. After all, he had been the only one in for three hundred years. But apparently this generation had a few pups that could not only accomplish the very task, but faster than him.
"Yep. Neko-san's really strong, but he's really nice once he warms up to you." Goku assured them, resting his head on Bulma's shoulder. He suddenly felt sleepy.
Bulma smiled as she saw his eyes droop and watched him snuggle a bit closer to her. But she couldn't help but tease him, "You look tired, Goku. I thought you said that the Red Ribbon Army wasn't that hard."
"Yeah, they weren't," Goku let out a yawn, "But Neko-san and Bora are pretty strong. I'm still tired from my spar with them."
"Then you go ahead and take a nap," Bulma cooed at him, rocking him slightly in her arms.
"That sounds great, Bulma. I missed you."
Bulma blinked in surprise, but her heart fluttered happily at the open acknowledgement of their friendship. She hadn't received something like that in a while and it made her smile as she pulled him into a tighter hold, "I missed you too, Goku."
Goku gave her one last smile before falling completely asleep. Bulma looked up and around to where everyone was just staring at her and Goku. Yamcha didn't seem too pleased, Roshi still looked like he was going to go into shock, Krillin looked utterly jealous, Launch watched curiously, Oolong looked ready to leave, and Puar looked at conflict with herself. Bulma would have addressed it at that moment, but she knew Puar didn't like to worry Yamcha with her problems, despite how silly that was. Yamcha was suppose to be Puar's best friend, he wouldn't think that it was petty of her to share, but Puar was dead against troubling him with her problems. So, Bulma decided to address it later.
"Well, guess we can leave," She shrugged, starting to walk back to the ship.
"You're just going to let him do that?" Yamcha's voice called out to her, pointing at the boy that cuddled her as he slept on her. "You do remember that he's thirteen now, right?"
Bulma blinked in shock to the bold statement. No, she hadn't forgotten. Though she had been surprised when he had revealed his age, she had gotten over it. Goku was like her little brother… though it made her wonder how old he had been. It would make sense about his strange perception of what was proper and not proper for her to do around him. But she still wasn't sure how much older he had really been. Maybe he was around Goku's age. Maybe younger.
"It's not like he's going to grope me, Yamcha. He's like a little brother, chill out." She snapped, before rolling her eyes, "Men. You're so territorial, aren't you?"
And with that, she headed back into the vehicle, waiting for the rest of them to follow suit. It was obvious to her that if Goku said he wiped them all out, then it was the truth. The boy didn't know how to lie. She chalked it up to a Sayian characteristic that he was unfiltered when it came to telling the truth. Though Goku was much more optimistic about the truth rather than him. He was always looking at the world with a pessimistic outlook, like the world- no, the universe- was out to get him. He told it like he saw it, never caring if it dampered the mood.
Tears were pricking at her eyes as she fought them off. It still hurt to think of him. To think of the betrayal, hurt, and confusion he had left in her heart like a festering wound… Why'd he have to do that? She hugged Goku's sleeping form tighter to her as she buried her face into his shoulder, holding back her tears. Goku was her light in all this. He never judged her, always had a smile on his face, wasn't afraid of anything, loved to laugh, had a playful nature that inspired her so, and so many other good qualities opposed to the others, but it didn't mean he didn't remind her painfully of the other Saiyan.
…Kami… I still miss him.
Goku hated it when he felt like he wasn't being truthful, but it couldn't be helped. He couldn't tell them the whole truth without Yamcha catching on or hurting Bulma even more. Vegeta had a plan which Goku knew none of the details about other than his need for the wish the dragon balls gave. Though it may be foolish of him, Goku was following the older Saiyan blindly without any further reason than the other asked him to trust him.
And so, he was going to do just that. Vegeta had never led him astray before, and he doubted the surely Saiyan would purposely do so without taking the brunt of the damage on himself. That's just how Vegeta was, so Goku was willing to follow. Plus, he wasn't a leader. Vegeta was a natural at leading while Goku was a natural at assisting. They worked perfectly together, or at least that's what he thought.
Looking around again, he made sure everyone in Kame's house was sound asleep. He had asked Bulma earlier about the radar, asking if it was broken since it wasn't showing the other ball, but nothing was wrong apparently. Goku shrugged it off, giving her a huge hug and 'thank you' before telling her not to worry about it since the Red Ribbon Army was no longer a threat.
So now he was leaving to ask Vegeta what they should do next. If the radar couldn't find it, then how else could they achieve the wish? He had already told Bulma that he would probably leave during the night- not trusting Yamcha to not make-up a lie about him too. He had mentioned needing to get in touch with a friend and that he'd be leaving in the early hours in hopes to meet back up with them in the afternoon or so. Bulma looked a little sad, but agreed. She was adventured out at the moment. Or so she said.
He thought she looked a little sad.
Anyways, shaking his head of the sadder thoughts, he needed to get back to Korin's tower in order to regroup with the other Saiyan. He was almost out the door with something in the living room moved.
"You're going to go see Neko-san, aren't you?" The high pitched voice he immediately identified as Puar's asked.
Goku turned around, rubbing the back of his head with a guilty grin, "Yeah. Looks like you caught me. I thought everyone would be sleeping still."
"I'm nocturnal, Goku." Puar informed him before gliding from where she had hidden and floated before him, "I want to go too."
Goku looked around. It wasn't in his plan to take someone with him. That was why he had gotten up so early to leave. Yamcha and Krillin had seemed interested in going with him and he wasn't about to let Yamcha figure out what really was going on. Ever since he had found out what Yamcha had done, he didn't feel like he could trust him. In fact, if anything, it was easier to see the deceitful aura around him now. Puar was Yamcha's best friend, so Goku wasn't sure whose side she'd take. She was a good cat, but her loyalty to Yamcha could cause her not to see the truth.
"I don't know… I don't think it's a good idea…"
"I've already met him." Puar stated, crossing her arms and looking at the little Saiyan firmly. "I need to talk with him again before anything else happens. I need to know what I'm getting into."
Goku blinked. "You mean, you know?"
Puar's expression saddened as she looked away, nodding. "I didn't want to believe it, but he was right. The other cats could testify his innocence. Now I'm just worried about Bulma. Please Goku. I need to talk to him."
"Alright." Goku sighed, "But when I take you back, you gotta come up with a reason for why I would take you and not everyone else. I don't like to lie. It's wrong."
"I understand." Puar nodded, giving him a small smile.
"Well then, we should get going then before anyone else wakes up. I can only take so many people on the nimbus and I don't even know if it'll let you ride."
"Well, if it doesn't, you'll just have to carry me," Puar smiled already heading out the door. "I mean, I can fly, but it takes a lot out of me if I fly for too long."
"Yeah, I noticed that," Goku nodded, quietly closing the door before calling for nimbus. He had asked the cloud to stick close by so he didn't wake anyone up when he called it, so he was quite glad when it appeared after the quieter summon.
After hopping onto the cloud, he sat Puar in his lap, not having to worry over her falling since he was holding on to her.
"Nimbus, can you please take up to Korin's tower as quickly as possible? I need to get there fast." Goku spoke politely to the cloud before it took off like a shot.
After a few minutes, Goku was curious again about the little cat in his lap.
"So you're really the one that Neko-san was talking about? I thought it was you, but why would you want to be a human, Puar?"
"You wouldn't understand, Goku," Puar sighed as she watched the scenery speed by, "You're already a human. You can go and do things that cats just can't do- aren't allowed to do. It's very hard for a cat like me, you know. Especially since I'm the only one of my kind that I have ever met."
"Oh. Well… I'm actually from an alien race called Saiya-jin. From what I've been told, our numbers are down to five or so. But then again, I do look like a human enough to blend in, unlike you. So I guess I wouldn't understand all that well. But if I couldn't fit in, I think I would be very sad."
"Oh I'm sorry Goku! I didn't know," Puar said with a sad gleam in her eyes.
"It's okay. I never knew anyone other than Grandpa Gohan before Bulma showed up. It's Neko that remembers everything and all that was lost. He told me that out planet was destroyed by meteorites. That's why I think he has a hard time losing Bulma. She was everything to him during his stay with them. Or at least, that's what I think."
Puar was surprised at the astuteness of the young Saiyan. Every other time she had seen him, he was gullible and innocent, but… was that just a persona he put up when around other people? She couldn't tell just yet, but it seemed to her that she wasn't the only one with a few midnight secrets.
The two of them were quiet for the rest of the trip, the sun barely on the rise when they reached a lone tower surrounded by acres and acres of forest.
"Usually I'd go say hi to Bora and Uppa, but we're going to go to Korin's tower. He can probably get us in touch with Neko since he lives even higher up." Goku informed her, gently picking her up and pushing her towards his back, "hold on, it will take a while."
The nimbus took them as far as it could go before Goku hopped off, surprising Puar as he began to quickly scale the large tower, never once slipping as he climbed up. It was a matter of an hour before they reached the top, where they were greeted with a quaint little living area.
"Master Korin!" Goku shouted as soon as he had set Puar down. She immediately began to hover as a force of habit as she continued to look about.
"Upstairs," came a call in reply and Goku smiled as he ushered the little grey-blue cat to the terrace above.
Puar was a little nervous as she followed, not knowing what to expect, but was clearly shocked when she laid eyes on the old white cat that stood before them with a staff in hand. He was rounder than her, but she could tell he was wise and crafty. If anything, he was another of her own kind.
"Master Korin!" Goku greeted with a bow, "My friend, Puar, and I need to get a hold of Vegeta. Do you think you can get in contact with him?"
Korin chuckled, but shook his head, "Nope. I'm a mind reader. It doesn't go the other way around too well, kid. The only way you can reach Vegeta is to go up to Kami's lookout yourself." He then glanced at the little cat, "Puar, is it? I haven't seen too many cats like you now days. Our kind are few and far between. It is an honor to meet you."
"And an honor to meet you," Puar agreed with a lady like bow. She suddenly felt a pang of guilt for her wish. By wishing herself to be human, she would lose kinship with such a kind cat as this one. No doubt also losing Soreya as well when she no longer could understand neko-go.
"You judge yourself to harshly, little one. Plus, if you make the wish properly, you'll still might retain your magnificent powers. Don't think too much into it, there is a huge amount of possibilities available to you if you do this." Korin interrupted her train of thought. He grinned as he rubbed the back of his head, "Forgive me for reading your mind, but you were thinking it so loudly it was hard not to hear it. I usually attempt to get permission before reading another's mind, you see."
Puar blinked a few timed before giving him a grateful smile and bowing again, "Thank you for your kind words, Korin-sama."
"No problem." He laughed happily, "I just wish I could help you guys more since you came all the way up here, but the only way to reach Kami's lookout is if you can fly great distances or have the legendary power pole."
"The power pole?" Goku blinked reaching behind him to unsheathe the red pole from its container, "You mean this?"
Korin's jaw dropped for a moment before he cackled happily, "I shouldn't be so surprised that you have it, but I am! It's just like you to have some of the most legendary items on complete accident, but yes, that is what you need to get up to Kami's Lookout."
"Yay!" Goku cheered, throwing his hands up in the air as he laughed happily, "I was worried for a moment that it'd be a little harder than that!" He soon calmed down, looking at the old white cat, hands down at his side again, "So how do I use it to get us up there?"
"On the top of the roof is a round hole made just for the power pole to fit. Place it in there and tell it to extend. Not too hard." Korin shrugged, "When you get to the top, there will be a ladder available to climb to the top with. Someone will be there to greet you. Who, I'm not sure, but either Mr. Popo, Vegeta, or Kami himself."
"Thank you so much!" Goku bowed respectfully, "That really helps!"
"No problem. I don't mind helping, especially someone as entertaining as you," Korin chuckled. "Don't be a stranger, come back to visit me anytime." He paused and glanced at Puar before adding, "You too."
"Thank you," Puar bowed, before she and Goku began to climb to the top of the tower.
There, like Korin had said, was the niche where the power pole fit in perfectly. Without hesitating, Goku placed one end in the slot and grabbed hold of Puar before bellowing "power pole extent!" into the heavens, the pole responding quickly to the command.
Puar decided that she had never been so high before, as she stared around her watching the clouds turn from puffy white to dark storm clouds with lightning cackling inside of them. She had to look at Goku for the remainder of the time in order to keep herself from panicking. He, however, didn't seem afraid at all. In fact, he was watching with great enthusasim. His eyes twinkling at the lightning sparks that danced too close in Puar's mind.
"Does nothing frighten you?" Puar squeaked in disbelief as she clung tighter to Goku as one bolt nearly hit them.
"Not this. I don't know why, but I feel at ease when I look at this storm. It reminds me of something that I think I forgot before I met Grampa Gohan." Goku looked about one more time before speaking again, "You don't have to worry much longer, the storm's going away and I think I see the top. Or is it the bottom?"
"It doesn't matter," Puar shivered as one last bolt of lightning flashed right behind her with a deafening crack, "As long as we're not in the middle of this anymore!"
Goku just let out a humored chuckled before shifting his hold on the pole. Suddenly, just like Goku had said, the sky cleared and they were slowing to a stop. With a small click, the top of the power pole fit perfectly in the niche that had been made at the bottom of the place.
"Looks like we're here!" Goku beamed as he looked about, noticing the ladder that was placed there to get to the top of this- whatever this was. "Hold on a little longer Puar, and we'll be at the top!"
Puar felt like crying by the time Goku got them to the side. He had slipped on the way up and she was sure they were going to die had it not been for his tail grabbing onto the metal ladder again.
"That was fun!" Goku laughed as he pulled himself up onto the tiled ground and easily pried Puar off of him. "I'll definitely have to do that again!"
The poor little cat was too frazzled to say anything to the young Saiyan. She couldn't wait to find Neko-san if only to have someone sane between her and Goku for a little while.
"May Popo assist you two in any way?"
Puar instantly turned her attention to the speaker, shocked to see the black skinned man standing there. He looked like he was human enough, but his outfit as well as his black (literately jet black) skin made him seem more than just a human. He almost looked out of place, like he was from a different time.
"Oh, hello," Goku, as friendly as ever, greeted the man without a bat of an eyelash at Mr. Popo's appearance, "We were looking for Vegeta. Is he here?"
"Yes, young Master Vegeta is here. He is currently with Master Kami. May Popo escort you two to them?" Mr. Popo asked them with a blank face.
Goku was just standing too close to the edge of the- whatever this was- hands on his head with a laid back look on his face. Puar figured that he hadn't understood what Mr. Popo had said to them, but almost hissed angrily at the child when the blunt question came out of his mouth.
"Why do you talk so funny?"
"Goku!" Puar chided as she shot him an angry look.
"What? I'm just curious."
Instead of being offended like Puar had thought he'd be, Mr. Popo just gave them an amused looked as well as light chuckle. "Do not worry, little cat, Popo takes no offense. Popo speaks this way because that is always how Popo has spoken."
"Oh. Okay. I guess that makes sense." Goku nodded, "So can you escort us to where Vegeta is now?"
"Yes." Mr. Popo said before turning around, "Follow Popo."
"Thank you," Goku beamed, before following him, leaving Puar dumbfounded for a moment.
Goku had never shown that he understood a big vocabulary. He spoke with simple words and never really used large words or metaphors, so Puar was a little surprised to see how much he really understood. She quickly shook off her shock and caught up to the two, following as Mr. Popo led them to the small palace building in the center of the platform.
There, in a small open sitting area was Vegeta in a meditative form while a tall old green man sat behind him with a hand upon the older Saiyan's head. The old man's eyes open as he looked at the two with a smile.
"Vegeta, it looks like you have some guests," a green hand pulled away from the lad underneath it, "I will leave you to your company. Your healing session is done for today."
Vegeta immediately opened his eyes, laying them first on Goku before looking at Puar. He then pulled himself up from his sitting position to quickly bow to the green man behind him as a form of respect and gratitude. The old man chuckled and, with the company of Mr. Popo, left to give the three privacy.
"You've already collected the rest of the Dragon Balls?" Vegeta asked, getting right to the point, "I thought that army would be a bit more challenging then that."
"Nah, they were pretty easy." Goku shrugged, "A lot of them ran away too, so it wasn't as fun as it could have been. I got their Dragon Balls… but I'm missing one and its not showing up and the radar."
"Then why is she here?" Vegeta glanced at Puar with a pointed gaze.
"Puar had some questions for you," Goku reported, nonplussed at the gruff attitude of his good friend.
"It can wait." Puar hastily, not wanting the be put in the spotlight with the callous Saiyan as her only audience.
"You believe me though," Vegeta pointed out with a small smirk as he sat back down into a meditative position, "Otherwise you would have avoided me entirely."
His eyes stared hard at her, but she didn't feel like he was casting cold glares at her, but merely watching her for sincerity. Unlike Goku, Vegeta was a skeptic. He didn't trust people right away and had more common sense then Goku seemed to have- though Goku seemed to have more than he let on. Goku was easy going, Vegeta was strict. It was almost humorous to see the two of them together and comfortable with each other.
"Yes," Puar nodded, looking down with a grim look, "Soreya confirmed your innocences to me. She said that you left after writing a letter and on good terms with the Briefs."
"Soreya?" Vegeta raised his brow at the name, "I am unfamiliar with such a person."
"Cat." Puar corrected, "Just because I can speak the human tongue doesn't mean I can't understand cats as well. I am a cat after all. Soreya is Scratch's cat name."
Vegeta nodded. Now Scratch was a name he recognized. So that little cat was as smart as he thought she had been. Since the first time he met the little black feline, he noticed an impressive decrease in the amount of cats that'd follow him. She would only on occasion leave Briefs's shoulder to cuddle with him, but he figure it a good reward for the cat that made the other cats back off.
He'd have to remember to pet her for a couple minutes for turning Puar's sympathies to him over her precious bandit. Onto other matters, however.
"You said the last Dragon Ball is no where to be found on the radar?"
"Yeah," Goku nodded, "I asked Bulma about it, but she said nothing was wrong with it. She also said something about maybe organic tissue is blocking the signal. By the way, Vegeta… what's organic tissue?"
Puar waited for Vegeta to roll his eyes and ignore the question but was surprised when he kept his patience and answered in steady voice. "Organic means living substance, like you or me. We are organic beings. Tissue also refers to a living substance. It is material that makes up things like organs and other parts of the body. There are several more meanings for those words, but in this case, that is what organic tissue pertains to."
"Oh. Okay." Goku nodded and beamed at Vegeta with a huge smile as his tail waved back and forth, "So it could have been eaten by an animal thought it was food?"
"Yes," Vegeta conceded, but sighed wearily, "But that means we have to wait or look for whatever might have eaten it- if it was eaten. That could take forever."
"Is there another way to find it?" Goku asked. "Maybe that man with the silly hat or the green person can help us."
"Mr. Popo or Kami?" Vegeta mused, "It's worth a shot. Perhaps the Namekian would know."
"Namekian?" Goku tilted his head in question.
"The green person- Kami. He is the Guardian of Earth, perhaps he knows where to find it." Vegeta reiterated for the boy.
He wasn't usually a patient person, but he'd rather answer Goku's questions than have the young Saiyan pup grow up ignorant and stupid. It wouldn't reflect well on the Saiyan race if people thought that they all were like Goku would have been. The younger Saiyan held great promise, however, at learning, as long as the person was patient enough to answer all his questions.
He got up, and began to lead them to where he knew the Namekian would be at the moment.
"What's a Namekian?"
"Alien from Namek. Genderless. Telepath, healer, very in tune with ki in everything." Vegeta explained vaguely.
"Oh. So not a boy or a girl?" Goku continued his questioning.
"The Nameks prefer to be identified as 'he's' than 'its'." Vegeta snapped back.
Puar followed silently, watching as the two walk down the different halls of the small looking palace, now out of the courtyard. However, instead of the inside being a few rooms, it was practically a maze of halls and rooms. Puar wondered how it was even possible to have this many rooms in one tiny palace unless there was some strange force at work.
"What about Mr. Popo? Is he really a human? I've never seen one that black. And what's that thing on his head?" Goku kept questioning.
Puar could see Vegeta's jaw tighten and his fists tighten for a second before answering. "He's a Djinn. The 'thing' on his head is a turban. It's a hat."
"A Djinn?" Puar asked in shock, "But those are just mythical creatures from Arabic legends."
"Some myths have factual base." Vegeta lectured as he continued to lead them, "Though there are but a few that remained here on Earth after the humans figured out how to seal them and keep them as slaves, the Djinn did exist in the Ancient of the Old World's Middle East. He's a Jann. The weakest kind of Djinn."
"Wow," Goku's tail was wagging excitedly as he listened, "So what's he doing here?"
"He was brought here by a past Guardian of Earth. He has been here as a spiritual servant ever since then. Djinn are as close to immortal as a race can get." Vegeta finished up before opening a door and letting the two smaller beings through before entering it himself.
Inside, sat Kami, pulled up to a table. The room was filled with many strange objects- like statues, pottery, books, and the like. Kami's eyes were closed as he concentrated on a bowl of water that was placed in front of him. He looked up with a gentle smile when he noticed his company.
"You have a question for me, boy?" He asked knowingly.
"Yes. It seems that something is blocking the energy signal of the last Dragon Ball that has yet been collected." Vegeta explained.
"And you were hoping I could find it." Kami chuckled with good nature, "You have already collected six. But the one star Dragon Ball remains hidden from you."
"What! How did you know I was missing the one star Dragon Ball! Did you read my mind?" Goku asked rather surprise. He was the only one who knew which ones he had.
The Namekian chuckled again, "I did not need to read any of your minds. I can sense them in your backpack without any trouble. They tell me of your journey and deeds you have done for others."
This was the first Vegeta had ever heard of this either, "You can communicate with the Dragon Balls?"
"No," Kami shook his head, "I can communicate with the essence of the dragon that sleeps in them. He and I are not too dissimilar."
"Dissimilar?" Goku cocked his head to the side.
"Different." Vegeta reiterated for him. "And how, Namekian, are you and the dragon not so 'dissimilar'?"
The old Namek laughed again before looking at all three of them with great amusement dancing in his eyes, "because, Vegeta, I made him."