One Stormy Day

Chapter 1

Rainy Day Blues

Disclaimer: As always, I do not own DBZ or any of its characters. I would love to though so if anyone knows some way that that could be arranged….just let me know. ^_~

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The rain poured down outside her window in a solid sheet of water. It turned the roads slick and cars zoomed through large puddles, causing waves of muddy water to fly into the air. The young woman sitting behind the wheel of what would have been a shiny, brand new looking car if the sun was shinning, hardly noticed.

The view outside her windshield was blurred by more than the rain as streams of tears ran down her pale cheeks, first pooling in her eyes and making the weather's attempt at ruining her vision seem superfluous. The day had started out mundane enough for her, but it was soon evident that this day was not going to be her best.

The engine of her car sounded loudly in the silence; an ominous crash of thunder was drowned out by the vehicle.

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The headlights flashed over the edge, bringing the drivers' attention to pieces of glass and twisted metal caught against the broken railing. Walking slowly down the slippery and treacherous ledge, he shined his flashlight along the dripping brush, looking for any bodies thrown from the crash. He was halfway down the cliff face, digging his boots into the muck for extra balance, when he first heard the far off screams of the sirens. The foot of ground that he had gained by the time that the emergency vehicles reached the ledge had given him nothing more than a crumpled bumper hanging off the branch of a tree.

Daniel finally reached the floor of the canyon and cast about with his light. It was worse down here than on the side of the cliff, with his feet sinking into the mud. The water was falling down, rising slowly above the small brush along the bottom. With the torrent of rain still pouring from the sky, the water would reach knee level probably before he got out of there. He could faintly hear the shouts of the officers and paramedics rushing as quickly as they could down the slope. He tuned them out as he followed the pieces of damaged metal to the hulk of what must have once been a gorgeous car.

The wreck was lying on its side, the passenger door missing, and a tree limb stuck through the shattered windshield. Daniel climbed as quickly as he could up the side of the car to look through the passenger side. Lightning flashed behind him, throwing the interior of the car into light before he could even shine his flashlight within.

Once he fastened his light on the slumped figure that the lightning had revealed to him he signaled the paramedics. He stood staring into the car, looking for some sign that the young woman was still alive. A tiny rise and fall of her chest assured him that, for the moment at least, she was alive. His quick sweep of the area revealed no other bodies and he felt relatively certain that she had been alone. The rescuers were finally drawing upon the ruined car and so Daniel backtracked a little a ways to give them room. He was anxious to know how the young woman faired, since he had witnessed her crash through the railing.

The paramedics worked quickly, climbing carefully inside the car and pulling the woman out. Her neck was already strapped into a protective brace and the paramedics strapped her down on a board so that they could move her up the hill. As the paramedics carried her past him the left side of her face came into view for the first time. Bloody water ran down her face mingling with the blood still seeping from the jagged gash that ran from her jaw to her chin. Her hair was plastered to her head with the rain and matted with dry blood, although more blood welled out of the cut that slashed across her temple.

The blood made such a ghastly contrast to the woman's pale beauty that Daniel felt physically ill just seeing her. She was really going to hurt when she woke up. He started to follow the stretcher and paramedics but was hailed by an officer. As the only witness to the woman's plunge over the side, it was up to him to describe what had happened.

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He slammed the door to the house open and strode quickly into the kitchen. No one was there. A quick search of the rest of the house showed that no one was anywhere to be found. How like the annoying woman to be missing just as soon as he needed her, although he thought that 'need' was a rather dubious word to use. After all, her cooking could poison a cockroach. Still, he was hungry and he expected his meal to be there when he wanted it.

He would have gone over to the main complex to join her parents meal but he vaguely remembered the woman mentioning tonight being a 'special occasion' and that her parents would be out. Come to think of it, she might have told him that she would be out as well.

"But she said she'd be back in time to make my dinner. Damn that woman! She needs to have a watch taped to her wrist."

Once he realized that the only way he would be eating would be to fix something for himself Vegeta yanked the door of the refrigerator open, accidentally taking it off its hinges in the process, and started grabbing food. He hated making food for himself, it was a waist of time he could spend training, which is why he expected the damn woman to make his meals for him. But did she consider that? No, she was off gallivanting with that idiot of hers, never stopping to think about him and his meals.

Once he finished his food he stormed back to his training, immersing himself in his workout so that he could forget his anger at the forgetful, worthless human girl.

It was several hours later that he came out of the GR again, this time to take a quick shower and grab his few hours of sleep. The woman was probably long since home and in bed, where she would sleep until far later than he thought should be necessary for a creature that did no actual hard work all day long. As he walked past her room to his own something made him pause. Either the woman had stopped breathing in her sleep or she wasn't in there. The first would be a great inconvenience to him, since he would have to start pestering her father to repair his training equipment if she died and the second one…..worried him slightly…well, maybe not worried, just cause some slight concern, since she had said she would be home hours ago.

The door creaked slightly as he opened it, slipping into the darkened room with no other noise. He didn't want the woman to wake up and question why he was in there. But even inside he couldn't hear any sound of breathing coming from where he knew the bed was located. Unless he had lost his hearing, which was proved impossible by his ability to hear her creaky door, then the woman was simply not in her room. He flared his ki slightly, allowing a tiny bit of light to brighten the room enough to look around. Amazingly enough the room wasn't incredibly messy, which is how he knew she usually left it. The only room she bothered to keep spotless was her lab and when he asked her why that was she had explained that her experiments required her to take precautions with them. At that point he had tuned out but he still remembered her rambling on about things catching fire and blowing up.

So, the woman had decided to spend the night at her idiot's place. It wasn't an uncommon occurrence, it was just that when she said she was going to be some where, she was there, even if she usually arrived late.

He supposed he could have gone to her parents and ask if she had called…but that would make it seem like he cared about the woman and her ditzy mother already thought that they had a 'thing' for each other. He didn't want to encourage the blond woman's delusions on that point.

Vegeta retreated from the room quickly and dashed into his, taking his shower and dressing as fast as he could, which was, of course, very fast. He walked back down the stairs and sat down on the couch, facing the door, his arms crossed and his perpetual scowl splayed across his face. As soon as the woman came in he would make sure she knew he was not pleased with her. She wouldn't forget to make him his food again if he had anything to say about it. Which was, again, dubious. The woman seemed to enjoy disregarding his orders to her and pissing him off.

Sometime around two in the morning; he dimly remembered hearing the large grandfather clock that stood against the wall behind him, chiming; he drifted off to sleep. Before he even knew it he heard a high-pitched giggle right next to his ear. He jumped up from the couch and glared at the blond woman standing in front of him.

"What is it?!"

"Oh Vegeta dear, I'm sorry, you just looked so cute asleep like that. I was going to call Bulma down and get her to agree with me but I can't seem to find her. Do you know where she is?"

Vegeta snorted and turned his back on the older woman.

"How should I know? I don't keep tabs on that woman. If you want to know where she is then build a lojak in her ass."

The blond woman's eyes widened at that, a feet Vegeta had never managed to achieve before and he was shocked. The woman was oblivious as a brick wall and as dense, he didn't think anything anyone said could ever get through that thick mass she called a brain enough to startle her.

"Vegeta, now that's not nice. Now, I wonder where she could be. She went out with Yamcha last night but she was supposed to be back and she didn't leave a message saying she would be gone. Did she tell you anything when she came home to make your dinner?"

"The woman never showed up last night."

"Oh Vegeta!"

Vegeta winced at the high squeal that the woman let out of her mouth. He hated being around her, he risked damage to his ear drums every time he went near her.

"You poor thing! You didn't get any dinner last night? I'll go into the kitchen right now and make more food. You must be starving!"

Vegeta blinked in surprise after the woman as she walked out of the room. She thought he hadn't eaten? She thought he couldn't fend for himself if she or her daughter weren't home. That aggravated him, and he would have said something about it but the prospect of a lot of food made him keep his mouth shut. He could just say something after he ate.

He stood staring at the living room for a few more minutes. He knew that the woman couldn't have come home last night, since her entry would have awoken him. Besides which, if she had come home that late then she would still be in her bed sleeping until the afternoon. Something must have happened to her if she hadn't even contacted her parents, but he couldn't suggest that to anyone, they would think he was worried about the woman, which he wasn't. He didn't worry about anyone, because he didn't care about anyone. He just wondered what was keeping her and what trouble she could have gotten herself into this time.

She probably had just gone to her idiot's and forgotten the time. She was probably curled up in bed with the moron even as he stood their worr…wondering about her. Vegeta just shook his head and walked into the kitchen. Dr. Briefs was sitting at the table, watching as his wife stood at the stove, a frying pan in one hand and the spatula in the other.

"Oh, well, I just thought that maybe she was there. When did she leave? That soon? No, she hasn't been home that we can tell. Vegeta says she didn't come home at all last night. It's not like her at all not to call us, or to just disappear like this."

The blond was talking away on the phone thing, which was stuck between her bent head and shoulder. Apparently the idiot didn't know where she was either.

"Did something happen last night Yamcha? I mean, it's just not like her! Oh! That's horrible! Well, if you hear about her let us know. You will? Thank you dear. Yes, we'll see you in a while. Ja."

Vegeta leaned against the doorframe, his brow furrowed and a low growl emanating from his throat. The idiot was going to be coming over, and what was worse the idiot woman had gotten herself lost or some such thing. Now he'd have to depend on the father to fix his training equipment until the woman could be found, and it always took the father a long time to fix his things.

"What did Yamcha say dear?"

Mrs. Briefs didn't turn to look at her husband as she answered, but Vegeta could hear her sniffling so he assumed that she had started crying.

"She left at six last night. She was heading straight home, or so he thought. She should have been back long before we came home and she hasn't been here all night. Yamcha is going to call the others and ask them to keep an eye out for her. I can't understand it."

Deciding that that her not understanding something wasn't an uncommon thing didn't make him feel any better, since he didn't understand it either. If the woman hadn't been at her 'boyfriends' then where was she?

"That's it. I'm calling the police. We'll have them look for her as well."

"Oh! You don't think she was kidnapped do you?"

Dr. briefs stood and wrapped his arms around his wife, letting her cry into his shoulder. The mushiness made Vegeta slightly sick, but he hadn't eaten yet and there was still more to be found out about this situation, so he couldn't retreat from the room.

"No dear, but if she was…we'll get her back."

"But if she wasn't kidnapped….then…."

The air headed woman started crying again, in greater force now and clung to her husband. It took him several minutes to understand why she began crying like that but the realization didn't take long to hit him. The woman's mother assumed that the woman had been in some sort of accident. 'She might even be thinking that the woman is dead.'

Vegeta strode from the room, leaving the two parents to their grief and their search plans. He had other things to do.

The food on the stove began to burn as the two occupants of the kitchen proceeded to ignore it and the food on the table, which was miraculously still there, completely untouched and growing colder by the minute.

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Vegeta kept his arms crossed as he floated in the air, listening into the conversation of the other fighters. Everyone had been gathered quickly by the idiot and now they floated along discussing the best way to go about finding the woman. He had been invited to the discussion by his rival, who had proclaimed to everyone when they saw him and objected, that 'anyone can be helpful right now.' He had already begun to formulate his own plans to look for the missing scientist but he didn't care to share that information with the others. They took his standoffishness as his normal way of behaving, not as the fact that he had other ideas than them. This worked just fine for him, let them think that he didn't care about helping them, he didn't, and this way they wouldn't be getting in his way.

"Ok, so it's agreed. Yamcha will start looking through all the places that he usually goes with her and the rest of us will start scouring every store, restaurant, and hotel that she might be at."

The balding short fighter scratched the back of his head and brought up the one point that ruined his own plans.

"Umm…Goku, don't you think someone should check the…hospitals?"

Everyone looked at the ground and the smile that always lit his rivals face, although it had already been dampened by the plans they were making, disappeared entirely. So no one had wanted to think about that possibility? It was just fine with him.

"I'll search the damn hospitals. Although I think that woman is too much of a stubborn bitch to get herself in enough trouble to need to go there."

Yamcha and a few of the others glowered at him for his 'bitch' comment but it only made him smirk slightly. They probably didn't think it was appropriate to call her a bitch when she was missing and possibly seriously hurt or even…dead.

"Ok, fine. Vegeta can take care of that. Who's going to search the morgues?"

Everyone gasped and stared openly at Krillin for that question, as if he had just uttered the most unpardonable offense on the planet.

"What? Come on guys. You know it has to be done. I don't like to think of that possibility anymore than the rest of you, but it is a possibility and it has to be checked out. The sooner we get that part done the sooner we can rest easier."

"Unless of course she's lying in a ditch somewhere."

Now it was everyone's, including Krillin's, turn to look at Yamcha and scowl deeply at him.

"Sorry! I know, no one needed that thought right now…it was just…there on my mind…and I'm worried about her. None of us every bothered to teach her how to fight. Without us to protect her she's defenseless…."

"Listen Yamcha, you're right that she doesn't know how to fight, but I wouldn't say she's defenseless. I remember the last time I pissed her off. Ooh, my ears still hurt from that."

Kakarot rubbed his ears in remembered pain and Vegeta had to roll his eyes, although he agreed that the woman could just burst the eardrum of any assailant and she'd be safe. He also agreed with the idiot, though he wouldn't admit that out loud. The woman didn't have any clue how to fight, nor did she have much ki and anyone who could ignore her loud voice, which would be a rare find, would be able to overpower her easily.

The fighters all finally agreed on their plans, with Piccolo agreeing to go search the morgues in case she showed up there, which everyone also agreed that they sincerely hoped she didn't, and they all took off to begin their prospective searches. Since he had already planned on searching all the hospitals this didn't detract from his plans in the slightest bit. As he flew away, Vegeta actually allowed himself the brief hope that she would be found by someone else, alive and well.

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Daniel sat outside with everyone else. Everyone in this room had a loved one they were waiting to hear about. Ok, so he didn't even know the girl, but he was still worried about her. From what he heard the car had exploded not long after he and the paramedics had left and whatever identification the woman had with her was incinerated in the fire. No one knew who she was and they couldn't call her family, so Daniel had decided to wait for her to wake up. Once she did he'd make sure her relatives knew where she was and that she was fine. He knew that they must be frantic by now if they had noticed her disappearance. He would be extremely upset if one of his loved ones had gone missing.

The person sitting next to him was there because his wife had gotten into an accident as well, but she didn't seem to have been hurt badly. Daniel had entered into a conversation with him and once the older man found out that Daniel didn't even know the woman he was waiting to hear news on and all the facts surrounding his presence here the man had temporarily gone into shock. He recovered quickly and started to proclaim loudly to the room about Daniel's kind heart, heroic tendencies and great consideration, which had made him blush profusely.

He didn't think that he was any of those things. He just did what he thought was right when he went down the cliff. And he just thought that if he was in the woman's position he would have liked someone to be there for him when he woke up, to relay to him what had happened and what was going on. The fact that no one could figure out who the young woman was made it worse in his mind. If need be he would stay there all day, he already had stayed there all night.

He was just thinking of getting up and getting something out of the vending machine located just outside the waiting room door when one of the nurses came in and beckoned to him. He got up to follow her outside. He had already met this nurse, a lovely young woman working as a nurse as she finished her medical school to become a neurosurgeon. She led him into the IC unit and right over to a door. He quirked one eyebrow at her when she did this and she smiled at him kindly.

"I know you're not family so you really shouldn't be in here, but you've stayed here all night and I think you're just the nicest guy for all you've done. Just don't tell anyone that I let you in here, I like my job."

Daniel smiled back at her and laughed slightly.

"You've got a deal. I think you're too close to your dreams for me to let your chances get ruined now. Thanks."

Margarite walked back to the nurse's station, leaving him to proceed by himself. He pushed the door open quietly and peeked inside. A swish of hair could be heard and he dimly saw a figure sitting up in the bed closest to the window. He crept inside, turning the light on as he went and saw two beautiful blue eyes blinking at the sudden light.

"I'm sorry. I just thought we might find it easier if the lights were on. I don't want to trip over anything."

The woman laughed slightly, her lips parting to show two rows of perfectly straight, perfectly white teeth. Daniel was really glad that he had helped save this woman; she was damn gorgeous! Not that he wouldn't have helped if she were ugly. Hell, he hadn't even known that she was this pretty.

Daniel walked over to her and pulled a chair up beside her bed, setting his jacket down into it and staying standing, studying her quietly. There was a long strip of bandage covering her jaw to her chin and a smaller one over the gash on her temple. No blood soaked through and he was glad to see that she wasn't still bleeding.

"How many stitches did you get?"

"Umm…they said about….twenty….fifteen for this one and five for the other."

She moved her hand gracefully over bandage on her cheek as she said that, making sure not to actually touch the white gauze. Her eyes stared thoughtfully into his while he watched her. She was more than just pretty, she was elegant and graceful, something he didn't see in trauma victims often.

"Well Miss Jane Doe, do you want to tell me how I can contact your family?"

At this pronouncement the woman's eyes clouded over with confusion and she wrinkled her brow, winding when that tugged on the bandages on her temple. She finally shook her head and closed her eyes, whispering something to him he almost didn't hear.

"Who?"

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AN.: Ok, here's the first chapter of 'One Stormy Day' This is my first non- A/U fic. ^_^ I want to know what you guys think. Do you think I started it out well? Do you think I should continue with it? Do you think I should make all my chapters at least this long instead of so short like I usually do? Go ahead and tell me. ^_^ Also, if you want to be on my mailing list for my dbz fics then go ahead and e-mail me at hibari_heza@fangirl.org or leave your e-mail address in a review and I'll add you to the list. ^_^ Thanks.