(A/N) well, is not letting me put up a new chapter, so I will write another one now :D
Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ etc.
Bulma sighed in frustration, whilst she had started in the lead, once the prince had picked up the game, his strategic genius had given him win after win, placing them on even footing for the past few games, with the two reaching stalemates multiple games in a row. Reaching across Bulma took out one of his pawns with her knight, thinking about Vegeta's strategic values: she noticed that he had a great understanding in the importance of sacrificing the weaker troops for overall victory not that that is surprising she thought, considering his past. Apart for him grumbling from time to time about the weakness of the king, Vegeta had a great understanding of the separate ranks and what was not needed in an engagement, and what needed to be protected. Throughout the game he had split his time between observing the game and watching her, as she made her moves and as he finished his, she could feel his eyes searching for any emotion or weakness as a reaction. Bulma was determined not to show any to him, she knew he had little tolerance for such emotions, and his face was a stoic as ever, the only thing ever showing was the faintest hint of amusement as he watched her moves or took a piece. He would be amazing at poker Bulma absently thought: she would show him sometime, perhaps she would get the whole gang round to play.
Vegeta's voice broke her plans as she looked down to the chess board to see he had sneaked his king around the side of her forces, his defences falling as he reached her king. Bulma sighed and rubbed her eyes, they had been playing for hours. Vegeta looked down at the board once again, before relaxing back to the bed and closing his eyes, surprisingly the much needed mental exercise had relaxed him, and significantly improved the respect he had for the woman, technical genius was one thing, but she had the strategic genius to keep her from being his bait, at least at the moment, though he was still working out strategy's in his mind for the game, he would be victorious.
Bulma took in his relaxed state, and decided that now he might be able to open up to her a bit more about a few questions she had about his past, and himself in general. Timidly she touched his arm.
"Vegeta?" He opened one eye and looked at her with a bored expression.
"I was wondering if you would mind if we-we talked a bit. About ourselves?" Bulma cursed the clumsy phrasing and considered her changes slim to none that Vegeta would agree, because, he apparently couldn't care less about her life. She watched as he seemed to close his eyes and consider this request before sighing and responding.
"Would this be a pathetic, exchange of personal information via questions woman?" Bulma cringed at his tone and nodded to his half-open right eye, seeing him growl in slight frustration before closing his eye. She braced herself for the onslaught of insults that would follow, but they didn't arrive. Vegeta merely grunted and relaxed his head against the pillow. Bulma was stunned and didn't say anything to the semi-relaxed prince, irritating him with her silence. Did she not want to talk? Blasted woman! Vegeta decided to vocalise his anger, as was often if not always the case.
"Well go ahead fool!" He once again grunted at her, his side clenching in pain as his anger rose. He did not know why he had agreed to such a dangerous situation, social interaction had nearly always ended disastrously for Vegeta, but for once he was, at least slightly at ease with his surroundings, and he thought absently Who knows, I may even extract something to taunt her with at a later date, though he was extremely aware that this worked both ways. Although, something was nagging him in the pits of his blackened heart, and disturbed by this, he quickly sought to destroy the strange feeling. Unaware of his inner turmoil Bulma recovered from her daze and was about to ask her first question when she was stopped by Vegeta raising his hand.
"Woman, if this goes somewhere I do not wish it, it will stop." With that threat in the air Vegeta relaxed and awaited her pestering. Bulma gulped and thought about this, she knew that Vegeta was none to keep about exposing his past, and would stop it when he thought questions where to sensitive in nature for him to answer. Right thought Bulma I will not screw up the one change I have to look into his life, thinking about this she considered her question before asking.
"Well, okay, why are you still a prince, surely you should be a king now?" She hoped that this was not do far as she watched his face twist into a grimace, considering her question. Vegeta struggled with his mind before relenting, it was not like it was important to anyone but him any more, he considered dully.
"When my planet was destroyed it is true my father was killed, making me the heir to the Saiyan throne." Vegeta started, carefully considering his words" but as my planet was destroyed, I could not receive the official ceremony, so I am not king." Vegeta finished with an absent wave of his hand, but Bulma could see the pain beneath his eyes, they stayed in silence for some time before Vegeta grew bored and, despite his better judgement yet again, he engaged the woman.
"So when did you realise your...above normal intelligence?" Vegeta finished, purposefully avoiding the term genius, no need to boost her already ample ego. She smiled brightly at the grudging compliment from Vegeta, and thought about it before quickly responding.
"Well my father noticed me when I took apart the electronics that he had given me, you know children's toys and such" Vegeta had a slightly interested look on his face.
"So, you where more interested in electronics from the start?" he mused, she had shown that that was by far her preferred scientific endeavour, along with engineering. Bulma didn't even consider this as she nodded.
"Oh yes, I have interests in all topics but yes electronics and engineering are the main ones, specifically I enjoys advanced physics such as astronautic design, sigh as the ship me and my father designed for Goku." She smiled as she finished, glad that she could talk about her passion, if only in a small way, even Yamcha barely paid attention when she started speaking about science, and Vegeta seemed to at least be paying attention slightly, even if it was only to mock her at a later date, sighing she considered her next question.
"So, you have been in space for a long time, you must know of advanced technologies?" Vegeta considered this and replied with another question.
"As strange as it may seem woman, and as my skill in your board game demonstrated: I am certainly not lacking in intelligence, so you will need to be more specific. What type of technologies?" He asked in a bored tone, he had been expecting questions like this from her sooner to be honest, considering she was an addict to new technology. He could see her eyes lighting up at the prospect of discussing advanced science, in which his knowledge, whilst not as extensive as hers, was more than enough for him to be able to understand the contraptions he used. Bulma fired her question off as soon as he had finished.
"Oh anything you can tell me! I would love to know about the propulsions systems that you use? What about your medical systems? Goku said you had some sort of regeneration chamber?" Vegeta smirked at that, he had spent his fair share of time in those chambers, but his smirk fell as he made sure not to open the many doors that had bought him to those memories of pain that still haunted him.
"Well the regeneration chamber is quite simple, and considering your technology on Earth I am surprised your medical knowledge has not advanced beyond your primitive methods for such a fragile species" Bulma glared at him, but his voice was only tinged with malice, mostly his voice simply spoke the truth of his belief, since he was never one to sugar coat anything.
"Well I suppose we never had the need to do that, we have not warred since our major advances in technology, so we have had no real reason to focus on healing. I suppose Earth lives a mostly peaceful existence compared to the rest of the universe." Vegeta scoffed at this, it was an understatement, most of galaxy was barbaric and still under the command of Frieza's generals who had enough power to stop any competition, now the Saiyans and Frieza's top men had gone. Not to mention the remaining member of the cold family, cooler, who was just as bad as Frieza, just with a different degree of class. Bulma considered the technology of his race for a moment.
"Where the Saiyans more advanced than humans then?" Bulma felt silly for asking considering he had said they where, but somehow she thought there could be something behind that.
"We gained most of our advancements by taking over other species to my knowledge" Vegeta said, trying to drag up the lessons he had with Nappa as a child. "We where not naturally a scientific race, though some did have a knack for the subject. Kakarot's father was skilled and smarter than most Saiyans for example." Bulma giggled at this, considering how much the role had been reversed, Goku was amazingly strong, but lacking in common sense. Vegeta glared at her, but relented when he realised what she had been laughing at, insulting Kakarot was good in all situations.
"So we only advanced in areas of any particular race, unlike you humans we did not generally take time to advance our entertainment systems, instead using more traditional methods..." Vegeta finished with a wave of his hand. Bulma thought about this
, Humans did spend a lot of their time and money on entertainment...'well usually' Bulma thought sourly, as Yamcha had hardly gone out with her recently, whilst she accepted their relationship was rocky at best, he always used to have time for her, even at the start of his training, after a month anyway. Pushing this aside for later, she returned her attention to the handsome Saiyan in her bed 'wait handsome?' stifling another giggle she took another look at her house guest, even in bed with his multitude of scars and and a bloodied shoulder, he still looked all the prince that he was destined to be. 'the lost prince' she thought sadly, never to reclaim the throne that lay in the dust of his home-world.
"Could you show me one day princey?" Bulma cooed, suddenly having a rush of bravery against the imposing figure on the bed, she pinched his cheek like a baby. Vegeta was stunned into silence, but found himself unable to get angry as a bashful blush spread across his cheeks, quickly turning he attempted to control the embarrassment he was feeling.
"Aww is my little prince afraid of a woman's touch?" Bulma laughed, having caused one of the most powerful, and seemingly evil men on the planet to shy away from her.
"Silence your tongue woman, I am not afraid of anything, least of all you" Though his glare was harsh as usual, his voice had not yet regained its usual malice, Bulma hoped it wouldn't for a while, when not threatening her he was kind of sexy" 'ahh bad thoughts, I love Yamcha...don't I?' Once again she pushed away the thoughts of her boyfriend, only to finish her last thought. That, 'hell, he is even sexy when he is insulting me' The bad boys had always been her type after all. She was brought out of her ponder by Vegeta's aforementioned voice, in a quieter tone, almost as an afterthought.
"Maybe one day I will deem you worthy to learn about my race...or rather about the heritage of an extinct race." Bulma heard the pain that he had held on to all his life echoing through his words, ad he set his head to one side and seemed to consider his own words. Bulma place her hand on his arm and looked into his shocked eyes as he faced her.
"Well you would be doing them a service to pass on their customs and knowledge. Besides your not extinct just yet Vegeta." He smiled hollowly at this and Bulma was disturbed at how empty his eyes where now, lacking even the shield he erected around his soul, just a hole remained.
"No, not gone yet" He rested his head to one side again and in a whisper said something that she would not have expect from him of all people.
"Maybe it would be best if I had gone with them" Closing his eyes she took this as her signal to leave, still reeling in shock of the admittance that Vegeta even considered his life to be worth so little as to be better lost as a child, than suffered through to the end. Could it really be that bad, his life with Frieza had been no party, he had said so himself, but was it enough to crack the resolve of the proud Saiyan prince? Her thoughts whirling with images of Vegeta ending his own life, Bulma slipped into bed, where she tossed and turned for much of the night, unable to be at peace because she feared for his mental state.
(A/N) and a nice depressing end to a longer chapter :) tune in for more, and more reviews = more chapters :P