Disclaimer: I don't own Dragonball Z.

A/N: If anyone has a vaccine against plot bunnies, I'm in desperate need of an immunization!

This is set around 2 years after the one-shot Rebel. If you haven't read that yet, I suggest you do before reading this one. It's only 1354 words long, so it won't take you too long.

I will probably end up writing in this 'Rebel' universe (as I think of it now) again. It all depends on whether I get hit with another plot bunny (it seems inevitable, but we shall see…)

This was written after the prompt 'red' put one of the scenes in my mind. Also, there are plenty of wonderful AUs out there that already deal with these ideas, but I just can't help trying my hand at them myself. :D

Blood Red

Bulma opened a capsule, her heart still thudding in her ears. "Are you boys on duty, or do you start work tomorrow?" she asked, half turning to face them, while her arm reached out to the small refrigerator door.

"What does it matter, Bitch?" Vegeta snarled at her, giving no indication that he had met her before today. Her eyes flickered nervously to the other two Saiyans, then back to Vegeta. He caught her movements, and his lips turned down even further.

So his men still weren't in on it, then.

Suddenly she was extremely thankful for the lanyard she wore around her neck, classing her as one of Frieza's valuable scientists. It gave the other Saiyan men a very good reason to keep her alive, despite the fact that they had found her on a planet they were about to purge. She shivered, her eyes darting up once more to the hulking giant that stood just behind Vegeta. The lustful looks in the eyes of the two Saiyan soldiers that flanked the Prince gave her the creeps.

"I was just wondering if you'd be having anything alcoholic," she snapped in reply, playing along with Vegeta's game. "Or do you soldiers drink on the job?"

The long-haired one- Raditz, if she remembered correctly- barked out a laugh, throwing his head back with mirth. "It hardly takes much thought to get rid of a bunch of weaklings like this," he replied, waving an arm in the direction of the settlement that sat in the distance. "A drink or two will do no harm. Pass one here, woman."

She frowned, lifting her chin. "My name is Bulma," she said defiantly, but threw the man a drink all the same. "You two?" she asked, looking back at Vegeta. The Prince nodded minutely, and she tossed a drink to both men, before taking a gosengberrysoda for herself. She pouted as she opened the can, suddenly longing for a Cola and relaxing days on Muten Roshi's island.

But those days were long gone.

"We start the purge tomorrow," Vegeta spoke suddenly, answering her original question. She looked up to realize that Raditz had somehow moved closer to her without even making a sound, and panic ran through her. Her eyes darted towards Vegeta, but he seemed to be taking in the scene as if it were an everyday occurrence, even as the Raditz' tail snaked out to clamp around her arm. She jumped, suddenly too terrified to move, a scream dying on her lips as she looked up into the leering eyes of the wolfish Saiyan who had her.

In an instant everything seemed to change, and she found herself thrown backwards as Vegeta landed solidly on Raditz, forcing the larger man flat on his back. A snarl ripped through the air, and Bulma watched, her heart racing now, as Vegeta's hand tightened on the other Saiyan's throat.

"Nice of you to ask your Prince for permission, low-class," Vegeta hissed menacingly. Raditz blanched.

"P… Prince Vegeta," he choked in reply, "I didn't realize you wanted the female. You can have her."

"Of course I can fucking have her!" Vegeta yelled back, the sheer volume of his voice making Bulma cower in fear. She watched as he rose swiftly, throwing the low-class soldier away as if the man weighed nothing.

"Get out of here!" he continued to yell, spittle flying from his mouth. "Go to your posts! I will contact you when it is time to begin, and until then, I don't want any trouble! Do I make myself clear?"

The two Saiyan soldiers nodded in reply, both shuffling backwards in fear.

"GO!" Vegeta screamed. Bulma covered her eyes as dust was kicked up by the departing Saiyans, who blasted off into the twilight. When the dust settled she stared at Vegeta's back, nerves still making her skin crawl.

"You do not need to fear me, woman," he spoke quietly, turning to match her gaze. She let out a shaky breath, his name forming on her lips of its own accord.

She allowed him to pick her up like a doll, his lips descending on hers with a ferocity that sent fires blazing through her from her head to her toes.

. . .

Much later she lay in his arms, her head fitting comfortably in the hollow of his chest. She closed her eyes, listening to his heartbeat, feeling her own body rise and fall with every breath he took. His tail traced a lazy path down her spine, tickled her inner thighs, making her hiss when it pressed firmly against her most sensitive area. She lifted her head with a sigh, pressing her lips lightly against his nipple as she locked eyes with him.

"I suppose we can talk later," she whispered, grazing her teeth over the hardened nub. His coal-black eyes burned with fierce passion.

As he flipped her over, driving into her with such force that her screams echoed off the cliffs around them, she knew she was in too deep. She wanted him, she craved him, and she dreaded their separation.

In their dangerous game of deception, though, such feelings could be deadly.

His eyes never strayed from her as he moved above, across, within her. They said more than words ever could, and she realized, as their desperate lovemaking continued throughout the night, that she would follow this angel of death anywhere.

. . .

They dressed silently as the sky began to brighten, each twinkling star disappearing one by one. As the first of the planet's suns began to appear over the horizon in a blaze of red and orange, they sat down to watch, each with a drink in hand.

"Vegetasei had a red sky, didn't it?" she asked quietly, pointing to bright display.

He gave her the same look he always did whenever she displayed some knowledge of his previous life. For him, it was always odd to think that this woman chose to put all her faith in him, and all because of the legends that she adored.

"It was blood red," he replied quietly.

The silence that fell between them was not uncomfortable. She shifted closer, and he allowed to her rest against him, her chin propped on his shoulder, so that her bright blue eyes peered up at his face.

"I missed you," she said quietly. He didn't reply, and kept his eyes trained on the horizon.

"Have you been using the room I gave you?" she asked, her voice barely audible.

"When I can."

"I've built you some bots," she added, her dainty hand slipping into her lab garments and withdrawing with a miniature capsule. She passed it to him, her eyes following the capsule until it disappeared down the front of his armour.

When their eyes met once more, he asked the question that had been plaguing him all night.

"Did your ship really malfunction, or did you crash-land here on purpose?"

Her flushed cheeks and ill-disguised smile were answer enough.

"Fool!" he hissed. "What if we had arrived early, and started the purge? What if it had been Raditz who found you first, instead of me?"

"It worked out well "

"Well we'll see about that," he snorted, cutting her off mid-sentence. "I presume you're going to ask one of us for a lift back to base, given the state of your ship." He jerked his arm in the direction of her mangled craft, anger clear in every movement.

"I don't see what the problem is with that," she replied irritably.

"That Frieza will now know that we have met," he hissed. "You've drawn his fucking red eyes in our direction; now he'll be watching me twice as hard!"

"I think you're overreacting."

"Do you think I would save any old scientist who got in my way?"

She pursed her lips, scanning his face. "It's a punishable offence to kill one of Frieza's scientists," she said quietly.

"Do you really think that would stop the Prince of Saiyans?" He got to his feet, snorting at her shocked face. "What?" he snapped, as he grabbed her arm, hauling her up with ease. "Did you think I only kill when I'm ordered to, woman? Did you think I only do these purges because I have to; that I don't find them enjoyable at all?"

He laughed at her pale expression and her wide, fearful eyes.

"Foolish girl," he told her, throwing her into his open pod. "You don't know me at all."

He slammed the pod door in her face, before pulling on his scouter.

"Nappa, Raditz," he barked. "Let us begin."

. . .

From the tinted glass of the small pod window, Bulma watched as the twin suns rose higher and higher in the sky. By midday she was sweating bullets, and feeling more and more claustrophobic in the small round ship.

Still, it was better than being outside, she told herself. The pods were soundproofed, which meant she didn't hear the inevitable screams of the people as their world was burnt to the ground around them.

The screams of Earthlings echoed in her head, though. No matter what she tried, her memories were impossible to escape.

She curled herself in a ball, chewing on her nails as she thought of Vegeta. She felt as if she knew him, but...

Fires were raging in the settlement in the distance, and she could not ignore that he was the cause of it.

. . .

"You washed?" Nappa grunted, eyebrows rising in surprise.

"We have to transport the pathetic female back to base," Vegeta replied with as much distaste as he could muster, which wasn't that hard to do, given his present mood. "I didn't want to hear her screeching about me bloodying her clothes."

Nappa shrugged. "Women. Fucking's all they're good for."

Vegeta grunted in reply, even though he knew his woman was good for far more than just that.

. . .

When he opened the pod door she was awake, waiting for him. He climbed in silently, lifting her fragile body and setting her down on his lap.

She sighed against him as the door closed and the ship took to the air, turning her face to nuzzle into his neck.

"I don't want to fight with you," she whispered, when she was sure that the inbuilt communication device on the ship was off. No one would hear their whispered conversations.

Vegeta merely grunted, but she felt his tail tighten around her waist.

"You're the only person I trust in this entire universe," she whispered against his ear. "I had to see you again. The waiting was killing me."

"You are a foolish woman," he replied. "You will get us killed, one of these days."

"No," she replied, even as Vegeta began to program the sleeping gas. They would awaken again just hours from Frieza's base, and organize, in that short amount of time, their next rendezvous. They would go their separate ways, and continue to do what they could to bring down the Cold Empire, piece by tiny piece.

The sleeping gas began to hiss through the ship's ventilation. Bulma's heart thudded in her chest; if she didn't say what she had to now, she feared that she'd never get the chance again.

"You're wrong, you know," she whispered. "I do know you. You're a killer, yes... but you're so much more."

Their eyes met, and Bulma fought to stay awake. She wanted to drown in his gaze; she didn't want to sleep. Sleep brought her closer to their parting.

"I love you," she whispered.

His black eyes roamed her face. "You are a foolish woman," he said once more.

She curled against his chest, her breathing slowing down as she succumbed to the gas.

A smile graced her lips.

His eyes had said far more than his mouth ever would.