A/N - Hello - This is just my take on the 'three year' gap between Frieza and the androids.

Looking back through this story, I can see quite clearly how many niggly mistakes there are with grammar, tense, spelling AND SO ON.

It's embarrassing, OK? *sniffle*

I'll try and clean it up myself but I have LOAAADSSS of uni work to do; so in the mean time, I send you my condolences for what you're about to read!

This chapter has been Beta read by Teldra :)

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.


Touching a Naked Flame

Chapter 1
Painful Beginnings


Bulma was sitting on the floor, adjacent to the full length mirror in her room, cursing to herself as she attempted to pluck a stubborn stray hair from her eyebrow. She enjoyed putting effort into her appearance, not that she needed to. Heck, her eyebrows didn't even need shaping, she'd only had them done a couple of days prior, but she was utterly convinced that the fiendish hairs were growing back already.

The truth was, she was doing anything to keep away from her own thoughts; desperately needing a distraction. Her mind was all over the place recently. She couldn't put her finger on it but, what she did know was she wasn't happy and she was extremely bored. Ever since the announcement of the androids, all her friends were too busy training and Chichi simply had too much on her plate with Goku, Gohan and Piccolo. Bulma cringed at the thought of the 'Chichi method' of discipline.

Sure, she did have Yamcha but things just weren't the same as they used to be. She was, well...Bored. The same routine: go out to eat somewhere fancy, go catch a movie, and go back to his place where they would spend hours on end 'making love. Because frankly, they had nothing else to do. She wasn't sixteen anymore, but she wasn't entirely ready to settle down. If her time with Yamcha was how a decent relationship was supposed to be, then she felt obliged to take a step back and reflect.

Was this really what she wanted in life?

She stopped plucking and absentmindedly glanced around the room until her eyes settled upon the glass vase on her dressing table. It had a bunch of rather wilted and clearly neglected red roses in it, and a label attached to one reading 'To B, my girl always. Love Yamcha.' A deep sigh escaped her lips.

What was wrong with this picture? He was her first love.

Was.

Maybe that's as far as it goes. Was it supposed to be like this? Surely it wasn't.

Suddenly, a violent vibration in Bulma's pocket startled her causing her to jump and instantly fumble around until she produced her phone. It was a call from Yamcha - again. Staring at the flashing screen, she sighed again and her eyes began to glaze over until the call ceased, allowing her to loosen her shoulders and relax again. It wasn't like she was purposely ignoring him. It had been a stressful day with Vegeta constantly complaining about the most trivial things, and Yamcha endlessly calling her. She had just grown irrevocably tired. No amount of coffee could cure this lethargy. Not only was she physically tired, she was mentally exhausted. She stared at the tiny phone in her hands and calmly watched the screen fade to black.

A sudden violent quake threw Bulma off balance and onto her hands and knees, launching her phone into the wall in the process. Before she could stand up and compose herself, she winced as the strong, putrid smell of burning plastic filled the room. Gagging uncontrollably, Bulma whisked up her phone from the floor and ran out to the balcony for some sweet oxygen. Her mind was irrational at this point, gasping for clean air which she couldn't find. She almost threw herself over the railing, her eyes widening when she followed the thick trail of smoke from the top to the bottom. Scanning the area, she found what she was looking for. The catalyst. The almighty prince. The asshole, more like.

Bulma took a step back, cocked an eyebrow and stared at the man beneath her in disbelief. Why was he just standing there? Did he enjoy blowing things up...? Okay, stupid question.

Vegeta was standing proudly, his arms across his chest and a...smirk? Bulma forcefully tore her eyes away from him to take a look at the growing destruction and the looming smoke. That's the third time this month he'd blown up the training capsule. It was getting way out of hand. She focused her attention back to the smug Saiyan, still standing amongst the wreckage; only this time their eyes met. She stared at him; perplexed before realising she should be extremely angry at this point. Her blue eyes began to water against his dark, emotionless ones and she began to realise that the staring contest was becoming too intense, so again, Bulma ripped her eyes away from him before they imploded. She clasped tightly on to her mobile and tried dangerously hard to suppress her rage; only to realize it was useless. Whatever this man was doing, he was treading way too close to the point of no return; he was on her list.

"WHAT?" she bellowed, shaking as she glared furiously at the cocky prince.

He remained still for a fraction of a second, seriously wondering if she was actually using that kind of tone towards him, before he blinked back into focus, turned around and sent her his most deadly frown to date.

Bulma rolled her eyes, hating the way he assumed she wasn't worth replying to. Well, if she wasn't worth speaking to, then he wasn't worth wasting any more time over, so she turned on her heel, only to freeze in shock when she heard a gruff voice from below.

"Do something useful," he spat, causing her to stop and look back down at him. Damn wench thinks she can turn her back on him. "Fix me a new ship!" he remarked with a sly grin on his face. That ought to piss her off.

Bulma gawked. She was definitely not in the mood for him at the moment, or any moment for that matter. What the hell was this guy's problem? Without thinking she began to unleash the fury that was bubbling inside her, instantly lifting her hand up and launching her phone down at him; hitting him directly in the face.

Score! She did a small fist pump into the air, before making the decision to make an exceptionally quick exit.

Before he could react, she swivelled around and stormed back into her room.

He couldn't help but momentarily smirk at her pathetic efforts to inflict pain. When reality inevitably crept up on him, he frowned deeply, contemplating his future actions. How dare such a waste of life try to attack the prince of all Saiyans!

He balled his fists tightly, thinking about going after her and showing her what pain really feels like, before he heard a strange vibrating noise coming from below him, earning a slight wince from the prince. He glanced at the ground to see the woman's pathetic choice of weapon glowing on the floor. Before any immediate or rational thoughts could enter his mind, he picked up the object and held it in the palm of his hand; inspecting it closely. He frowned at the glowing screen, noticing the 'Incoming Call Yamacha' flashing repeatedly.

Damn weakling.

There was only one thing to do with the strange device; destroy it.

So he scoffed and neatly placed the object - what he assumed was some sort of communication device - on the floor. Without any hesitation he lifted his foot and placed it over the glowing object before crushing it firmly into the ground. The crunch - similar to the sound of human bones shattering - was more than satisfying to his ears.

Vegeta didn't have time to reflect on his recent achievement, as he was immediately broken out of his mental gloating by a piercing scream. He winced as he searched for the cause of the noise when his eyes, regrettably, landed on the woman's' insane mother, running over to him with a terrified look across her face.

Dislike wasn't a strong enough emotion for this woman...No, hate was much more fitting for this particular creature and her complete stupidity. So he decided to remain silent as she made her way over to his side. The only thing running through his mind was the formulation of an escape plan, but he was no coward, and so, forced himself to stay rooted to the floor.

As the blonde woman made her way beside him, his male perfection partially distracted her from the mass of smoke which was practically eating up the lawn. Trying to focus on the more important matter, Bunny's eyes widened in horror and she clasped her hand over her mouth in a panic.

"Did you do this, Vegeta?" She exclaimed before removing her hand away from her mouth and closing her eyes again.

He ignored her, remaining silent and continued to stare at the smoke covering the sky. The thought of a human being creating such destruction was preposterous.

He grunted in response, crossing his arms tightly and edging away a touch.

"Gosh! You're a strong boy, aren't you?" she screeched, placing a hand around his bare bicep causing him to flinch in horror and pull his arm from under her lecherous grasp.

What a disgraceful human!

He had to get away from her immediately.

"Hmph. Get it fixed. I need to continue my training," he ordered. He'll be damned if he can't reach the level of a Super Saiyan, when a third class dog such as Kakarot can do it! On that note he took to the sky, creating a huge gust of wind which sent Bunny landing on her backside.

Later that day, Bulma returned to the mess that was her room. Absentmindedly, she glanced around and past the broken vase and roses which were strewn across the floor. She sighed and carefully stepped over the disaster and to enter her own private bathroom. Just the thought of a steaming bath was relieving all the stress from the day's events. Relaxation didn't seem to come very easy for Bulma Briefs; she was always stressed even when nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Sure, there was the destructive, violent and aggressive alien living in her house and sure, she didn't know whether or not she loved her boyfriend anymore but other than that her life was pretty much the same. Lazily, she turned on the taps, then reached over the side to grab her favourite coconut bubble bath and poured more than the recommended amount into the shallow water.

Her bath would take about ten minutes to fill, so she wandered out onto the balcony; propping her elbows on the railing and watching the sun sinking behind the buildings. When Bulma looked out onto the lawn, she saw the burnt patch on the grass that indicated where the gravity capsule used to be. Bunny must have called someone in to clear that up, there was no way she could have tackled that mess on her own - no matter how much she would have liked to.

Bulma glanced up at the orange and purple sky and became entranced with the silver clouds, swirling and interlocking into different shapes. One of them always managed to look like Goku, which made her smile a bit. As the wind became cooler and delicately tickled her bare skin, Bulma shuddered and wrapped her arms across her chest. Something about the cool air made her feel completely alone and, funnily enough, that's exactly what she wanted. She wanted to feel free, but even though she didn't see Yamcha very often, she knew that he'd call and want to come over everyday, bordering on harassment. No, it wasn't that bad, but just the little things he would do were becoming irritating to her.

She walked back inside and headed for her bath. The intoxicating smell of coconut drew her in as she ripped her clothes off and dived in. As she soaked blissfully in the scented water, she couldn't help but let her mind wander. She remembered how she first met Yamcha and how excited she had been to be involved with a 'bad boy,' but that soon faded and now she felt like she was the strong one in the relationship. Yeah, he may have taken her out and bought her things but she didn't want materialism; she already had all of that. Yamcha was growing needy and attached – like a child. The spark between them just...died. Bulma's head began to ache from all the confusion, and slowly, she started to drift in and out of consciousness.

She awoke instantly from the sound of a door slamming nearby. The water was cold as she sloshed about in it. Raising her hands to her face and seeing that her fingers looked like raisins, she came to the conclusion it was time to get out. Without thinking, she jumped out of the bath, grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her body; then grabbed an elastic and scrunched her damp hair up in to a loose pony tail. Understanding that the sound had been made by a certain angry Saiyan, Bulma sighed and sauntered into her room.

A door slammed again. This time it was much closer. Bulma winced at the loud noise, and instinctively grasped on to her towel. Does he not have respect for anyone but himself, she thought. She entered her room and grabbed the first item of clothing she could find, throwing the large pink t-shirt over her head and heading for the door to check out what was going on out there. Slowly, she cracked the door open and looked down the dark corridor and noticed a faint light at the end. Looking down towards the end of the corridor, she was able to make out the shadow of a spiky haired Saiyan on the wall opposite, standing straight and beginning to remove his clothes. The shadow was more than enough to notice each part of his body including his extremely large…

Bulma instantly shut the door and turned around, her back pressed against the door. She was completely shocked by what she had witnessed and slightly ashamed that she had looked at him longer than a second. Even a point of a second was too long!

She felt disgusted with herself as she made her way to the edge of her bed. As she grabbed the corner of the bed sheets she shook her head and smiled. "Who would have thought," she whispered to herself as her smile decreased slowly.

Just before she could lift one leg up to get into bed, an unnecessarily loud knocking on her bedroom door stopped her. She hesitated for a moment because she knew who it was. He couldn't have seen her could he? Oh God, no...Slowly, she inched over to the door.

"Who is it?" she asked sheepishly, as she gingerly placed her hand on the doorknob.

Of course she got no reply, so she huffed and proceeded to turn the handle. That was until the door flew open, smacking her in the face and sending her to the floor. The pain grew relentlessly around her face as red hot heat consumed her nose. She stifled a scream of pain with her palm. With her eyes closed and her nose pulsating, Bulma slowly removed her hand, opened one eye and sighed in relief at the complete lack of blood. Thank God for that. She leaned back a bit, ignoring the real problem.

Suddenly the light switched on, revealing an angry Vegeta standing in the door way, arms across his bare chest and wearing nothing but a pair of white boxer shorts. Bulma squinted as she tried to focus on the image in front of her. That's when the anger struck.

"You idiot! You could have broken my nose!" she yelled, touching her nose again just to confirm there wasn't any serious damage.

Vegeta merely stared at her in the eyes and scowled, gaining a look of uncertainty from Bulma as she shakily got to her feet again.

Why did he just stare like that?

"What do you want anyway, Vegeta?" she questioned calmly as she imitated his pose.

He remained silent for a moment while he looked her up and down in disgust, noting the lack of pants.

"What are you wearing, woman?" he cocked an eyebrow as he took in her slender figure. Almost instantly, he mentally chastised himself for the completely disgusting thought. She can't seriously want to walk around the house with nothing but a top on, exposing her underwear like that?

Catching on to his severe scrutiny, Bulma looked down at what she was wearing and found nothing out of the ordinary. Why was he asking her this? Besides, she can wear what she damn well pleases to in her own house! What's it to him? The jerk.

She looked back up at him before speaking. "I was about to go to sleep and I certainly wasn't expecting visitors," she said matter-of-factly and then turned her head away from him in the hopes that he'd get bored and walk away.

But he didn't. He just stared.

He shrugged casually, trying to focus on the more important issue.

"If I don't have some sort of training facility by tomorrow night, it'll be on your head woman," he ordered as he extended a clenched fist in her direction.

She laughed in disbelief as she looked at his fist. When the room grew silent and Vegeta's fist was still in her face, she realised that he was trying to give her something. Shyly, she walked closer to him and held out a reluctant palm. She was bewildered when he dropped shattered pieces of plastic into her hand.

"Wha...?" She was cut off before she could ask what the hell this was all about.

"Whatever has happened between you and that idiot will not get in the way of my training!" he stared at her crystal blue eyes, looking for a reaction. Bulma bit her tongue and clenched the pieces of plastic when she realised that they were what was left of her phone. Vegeta quickly turned on his heel and headed for the door. Before reaching the doorway, he turned his head to the side.

"Now get to work," he smirked.

Then he was gone.

Bulma bit hard on her bottom lip, trying her best not to scream. She felt the anger bubbling as she stood there, stupidly allowing him to just walk away from her. She brought herself back down to reality and rushed over to the door; slammed it shut and threw the pieces of plastic in the trash. No way would she bow down to any of his commands. This means war!

At least it would give her something to do...