So yeah, I've had half of this sitting abandoned on my computer for a while now. Oh well. School is trying to kill me. I won't say this is the most fabulous chapter in the world, but I do like some parts of it.
Disclaimer: Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum da-duuuum, dee-dee dee-dee dum.
Song Prompt: Way Home ~ Ed Sheeran
Chapter 6: Getting Used To
He opened his eyes, and of course, saw nothing, but he also felt something soft against his lashes, and his cheeks. Frowning, he ran his hand over the material, and slowly breathed in the scent of his surroundings. It smelled slightly stale, as though no one had been present for a while, but he also smelled his own scent in the slightly disturbed air.
That's right…he was at that woman's house. Bulma.
The female had made an attempt to show him around his room so he wouldn't bump into anything, upon which he had promptly shut the door in her face and begun to look about on his own. There were two dressers of smooth wood, about as tall as he was, a large closet that even Raditz could move around freely in, a nightstand, and a startlingly large bathroom with a giant tub, separate shower, and a rather impressive stock of soft, thick towels.
But his favorite part of the room, if he were to pick, was the bed.
It was enormous; he'd almost been unsure of what it was even with his Ki sense, because he had not slept in one, or even been near one, in many years. Startled and unsure of whether or not this could be a trick of some sort, he had stretched out his hands until they met the soft material of the comforter, and carefully climbed into it. The mattress was absolutely heaven, as though it was stuffed with down feathers, clothed in smooth linen sheets and laden with oversized pillows.
He had climbed into bed almost immediately after taking an unnecessarily quick shower.
He stretched out his legs and yawned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he sat up, the blankets piling around his waist. That was the best sleep he'd had in ages. He purred contentedly as he stretched his arms over his head and listened to his joints pop softly, then climbed out of bed. The carpet was warm and fuzzy underneath his feet, and he curled his toes in pleasure. This, he decided, was how a prince should live.
He glanced toward the doorway, and decided that he would put off training for this morning. He'd only just gotten here, after all, and none of the Saiyans, humans, or otherwise would be a challenge for him. It'd be such a waste to get up and beat those morons into the ground, especially since he wasn't feeling particularly grumpy this morning…
His tail flickered happily as he sank into the steaming hot water. The rectangular tub was styled so that water was constantly spilling over the edge like a waterfall, filled with bubbles from a few tiny motors in the side, and was big enough to entirely swallow his form. He sighed and slipped underneath the water, and when he surfaced, his hair fell down his back.
Heaven, absolute heaven.
Bulma yawned as she walked down the hallway, knocking on doors and muttering quick sentences to whoever answered. The only one she'd yet to rouse was the prince, who's door her hand hovered currently hovered over.
"Prince Vegeta, breakfast is ready," she called.
Frowning, Bulma knocked again, and harder this time. "Prince Vegeta?"
Still no response.
She turned the knob and opened the door a crack, and was stunned to find the bed empty and clearly slept in. Curious, she opened it wider and took a step in. "Prince Vegeta?" she called again loudly.
"What?" came a sleepy voice from the bathroom.
"Oh…um, breakfast is ready."
"Bring it up to me."
Bulma put her hands on her hips, even though he couldn't see her. "We don't eat in the bedrooms unless it's a light snack," she informed him. "Breakfast is far too messy of a meal to be bringing upstairs."
A growl came from the same direction as before. "Very well. I will be down shortly."
Bulma sighed and left, shaking her head. Was this how every conversation with this guy was going to go? He spoke in such clipped, abrupt sentences! How was she supposed to develop machines for him if he wouldn't speak elaborately?
"Goku, I'm going to kill you," she muttered as she went down the stairs and sat at the table.
"Hm?" Goku asked, just sitting down himself.
"Oh, okay. Morning, B-chan."
"Gosh, I'm starving," he chirped, rubbing his growling stomach. "I smell pancakes."
Bulma sighed. "Yes, I imagine Mother has been up for hours cooking. She still won't let me or Dad build her robot chefs to help her out."
"I'm sure she just likes to do things on her own," Goku shrugged. "Bunny loves cooking."
"I know, but with you guys around, especially those Saiyans, it's going to be a helluva lot of work for her."
Goku became quiet. "You know…B-chan…they said I'm like them."
Bulma blinked. "Is that bad?"
He scrambled for an answer. "It…well, I…I didn't know I was an alien."
Bulma nodded understandingly. "Well, it'd be a shocker to anyone. That's understandable."
Goku squirmed. "Yes, but…it's…nevermind."
"What's the matter? Finish what you were saying."
He shook his head. "It's nothing."
It wasn't really nothing, but he'd have to make it that way, especially since the two largest Saiyans were coming into earshot. They came lumbering down in their armor, much to Bulma's surprise, although the handsome one that turned out to be Goku's brother (Raditz?) seemed much more at ease than the one with no hair (…Nappa?).
Bunny came into the dining area, where they would sit now that there were so many guests, and started spreading plates about. They were piled high with syrup-doused pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage. Goku nearly drooled at the sight of it, and the Saiyans weren't much different.
Chichi came down the stairs next, carrying Gohan, who also looked excited at the prospect of breakfast. She sat down beside her husband and smacked his hand when he reached for the food, scolding, "Goku, wait till everyone's here and all the food is laid out."
He frowned, but did as she said.
"Morning, Chi, Gohan," Bulma said, still yawning.
"Good morning, Bulma," Chichi replied.
"Hi, Bee!" Gohan said. The one-year old had already given her this nickname upon the discovery that he couldn't say her name properly.
"What are we eating?" Raditz demanded suddenly, eyeing the strange food.
"Pancakes," Goku answered, his eyes wide. "Haven't you ever had pancakes before?"
Raditz raised an eyebrow and cocked his head at the plates. "No."
"Oh my God," Goku gaped. "You are uneducated in the wonders of food. I will have to teach you."
Raditz looked offended. "I'll have you know, I've had some quality food in my lifetime."
Nappa snorted. Raditz glared at him. The two looked like they were about to start bickering, but suddenly fell silent.
Goku looked up, feeling a massive power level in the doorway. The blind Prince stood with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed as though he was scrutinizing them all, his tail wrapped loosely around his waist, his pose regal.
But perhaps the thing everyone noticed first was the fact that he wore no armor, only his blue spandex suit.
Goku gritted his teeth, his brown eyes narrowed to slits. The message that Prince Vegeta had given was received and read loud and clear; they were no threat to him. He didn't need protection, and while this was true for all three Saiyans, by not wearing his armor he had taken the fact and rubbed it in their faces.
Warm Ki floated over the room, then faded until there was barely a speck of watchful energy over everything. Satisfied, Vegeta walked into the room and took his place at the head of the table. Goku gaped at his arrogance, and almost spoke up to say that Dr. Briefs always sat there, but thought twice and remained silent.
Bunny put the last of the plates down, saying, "Your father had to go to work early," to Bulma, and sitting down on the other end chair beside her daughter.
"Again?" Bulma sighed. "He's going to work himself to death."
Bunny chuckled. "Well, he certainly passed on the gene."
"Can't we eat now?" Goku begged.
"Sure, hon, go ahead," Bunny chirped.
Goku greedily reached for his food, but a low growl stopped him in his tracks. Everyone looked up; Prince Vegeta was glaring at Goku with his teeth bared and his tail bristled, his hands palm down on the table and his hackles raised.
Raditz stared at his younger brother until he caught his attention, at which he looked pointedly at Goku's outstretched hand and swiftly shook his head.
Confused, but thinking that he had possibly received the message correctly, Goku decided to test it. He reached for his plate again, and Vegeta's growl deepened. His lip curled viciously over his sharp canine, and his tail uncurled from his waist to lash furiously at his side.
Goku put his hands in his lap.
The Prince calmed immediately, returning to the previous 'you-are-so-not-a-threat-to-me' demeanor. Goku looked at Chichi and raised an eyebrow, and she shrugged questioningly.
Prince Vegeta pulled his plate closer and sniffed it's contents, as though checking for poison or some such nonsense, then reached for his fork and cut some of the pancake loose. He raised it to his mouth almost slowly, and appeared to be thinking as he chewed. He swallowed and quickly reached for more, upon which Raditz and Nappa began to eat.
Goku blinked and reached for his plate, and received no growl. It struck him then; the Saiyans behaved like animals as much as they did like people. He couldn't even begin to count how many animals had certain eating rituals, some of which involved the Alpha to eat first…and he was fairly certain that primates had that ritual.
He sighed. Well, Chichi had always wanted him to have some control around food, and now he'd have to learn it.
Prince Vegeta finished his meal and gave a please smile (actually, it was more like a smirk), and a rumbling sound came from his throat. Anyone who knew Goku for longer than five minutes would recognize it as a purr, which he often did after stuffing himself with food. The Prince rose from his chair and abruptly left, not bothering to say 'excuse me', pick up his mountain of plates, or push his chair in. Bulma nearly jumped up to yell at him, but Goku cried, "B-chan!"
She stopped. "What?"
"I…well, erm….I'm sure he wasn't trying to be rude…he's a Prince, you know, he's probably used to servants and all that –"
She sighed and waved him off, stopping his stuttering rant. "Yeah yeah…he could at least say "thank you for the meal" or something. Sheesh. And what was with the growling thing?"
Raditz cleared his throat and spoke up. "The Prince always eats first. He's royalty."
"You guys seriously do that Alpha wolf thing?" Bulma asked incredulously.
"I don't know what a 'wolf' is, but he's certainly Alpha. Surely humans have some type of practice like that."
"We have Kings and such, and we toast to them and all, but we all pretty much eat at the same time. They just give the go to eat, so everyone knows the meal has begun."
"Toast them?" Nappa gaped. "You kill your King before every meal?"
Bulma started to laugh. "Of course not. It's like when you raise your glass in the air and clink them together with someone else's, and you congratulate them or whatever."
"What a strange practice…" Nappa murmured curiously.
"Kakarot," Raditz broke the silly conversation, "You'd best not try to do that again. Vegeta allowed it this one time because you're new at this, but forget it again and he'll take your hand off and burn it to a crisp. No magical beans are going to fix that. You understand me?"
Goku shrank under his brother's stern gaze, suddenly missing the days when he was an only child. "…Sure."
Raditz nodded. "Good."
It would take Goku nearly an entire hour to work up the nerve to knock on his brother's temporary bedroom door, and when he did, he flinched at the horridly loud sound his fist made against the wood. He'd been half hoping that Raditz wouldn't hear or wouldn't answer.
That, of course, was stupid to hope, because Saiyan hearing was a bit sharper than most, and even Goku knew that. Raditz opened the door almost immediately, his dark brown eyes staring his little brother down. The tall man towered over Goku by nearly 4 inches, maybe more, and his massive stature alone made Goku feel small.
"What?" he asked.
Goku looked sheepish. "I was wondering if you'd tell me about my past…a little bit."
"Yes. I got here when I was three, but by then I could already walk and talk and remember things…after the accident, I mean. I want to know what happened before that."
"You mean, you want to know why Vegeta was so angry you'd forgotten him," Raditz corrected, folding his arms and pursing his lips.
"I…well, yeah." Goku paused, then stuck his hands in his pockets and added, "I didn't mean to forget you, either."
Raditz's eyebrows lifted.
"Really, I didn't. I mean, I'm not sorry I didn't purge Earth, and I love my family, but I guess I wouldn't want to forget my own brother either, if it could've been helped. Really."
Raditz sighed and looked away. "I suppose it wasn't entirely your fault."
Goku brightened a little bit.
"I'll tell you what I remember, but keep in mind that I was often out on missions as a child. You'd have more memories of the Prince than you would of me." He sounded bitter.
"That's alright," Goku scratched the back of his neck awkwardly. "Just tell me about when you and I were kids, then."
Raditz let out a puff of air through partially closed lips, then stepped out of his bedroom and shut the door behind him. "Let's go for a walk. This is going to take a while."
"So, I look like Dad, then?"
"Like a clone of him. Except he had a scar on his left cheek. And his eyes weren't always so googly."
"Googly?" Goku cried.
"Yes, googly. He was very serious."
"Googly," Goku muttered, shoving his hands back into his pockets. "I do not have googly eyes. What about Mother?"
"Mother was…Mother was a badass."
"I mean it. Mother made a point to kick Dad's ass periodically. I suppose if he actually tried he could've blown her to smithereens easily, but he always let her smack him around anyway."
Raditz chuckled too, and ran his fingers through his hair. "She cut her hair when she had you, but before, she had crazy hair like mine. That's where I got it from."
"How do you fight with so much hair?" Goku asked dubiously.
"You could cut it."
The two were walking in the woods near Goku's house; occasionally, between questions, he would point some piece of the landscape out and tell the story behind it. Raditz wasn't sure if he found it interesting or annoying, so he just let his brother talk and then go back to questions.
"Hm. Did we have a sister?"
"Turles. He looked like you…too much so, if you ask me. You two switched places once for a whole day and nobody noticed until you told us. Well…Vegeta noticed, and I kinda thought something weird was going on, but I didn't really catch it."
Goku laughed. "How did I meet Vegeta, anyhow?"
"First of all…I'd call him Prince to his face, if I were you. Secondly, you were presented to him on his 3rd birthday."
Goku blinked, then frowned. "Presented?"
"You were going to be his body guard. It was tradition between our two families…the son that was closest to the Prince's age would become his guard. I was too old to be eligible for it by then. It's normally a younger guard, so he can learn from whichever prince he serves."
"Ah. So, I was just a bodyguard to him, then."
Goku raised an eyebrow. "No?"
Goku sighed. "And you're not going to tell me?"
"I'd rather he tell you himself."
"Like that'll ever happen."
"I'm sure he'll come around eventually. He's stubborn, is all."
"If you say so. Say, when's my real birthday?"
Goku smiled. The date seemed to fit him much better than the date he'd picked. April 20th…he rather liked the sound of it. It was a good day for a birthday. "Heh…I always thought it was May the Fourth. Or I pretended it was, anyhow."
Raditz stopped walking and looked at him strangely. "That's Vegeta's birthday."
Goku blinked. "Oh."
"You remember a few things," Raditz said, ducking a branch. "You have to."
"I remembered seeing his eyes, but that was probably from looking at that picture so many times. I didn't even know it was his birthday…I didn't think it was really mine, but if felt familiar. That's all I get."
Raditz pressed his lips together and frowned. "I could hit you again to jog your memory."
Goku laughed nervously and stepped over a tree root. "Ah…that might be a bad idea. I do like this planet, you know."
"Hmph. I was kidding."
Goku blushed, embarrassed at having missed the sarcasm. He coughed, and after a while, said, "Gohan seemed to like you."
"Yeah? I'm not normally good with kids."
"Gohan's normally real shy around strangers."
"Do Saiyans have some sort of recognition sense? Maybe he recognized your scent or something."
"I doubt a kid could pick up on that, and as far as I know, you can only recognize the scent of people you know."
"Hm," Goku said after a minute.
"Hn," Raditz said at the same time.
They looked at each other, and Goku laughed. Raditz only smiled and shook his head.
"Dumbass little brother," he chuckled, and he smacked Goku upside the head.
"I'm your elder brother, get used to it."
Goku bit the inside of his lip. He still didn't entirely trust Raditz, and while he admitted that this conversation had gone very well, he still felt awkward about calling him brother.
He supposed some things would take a little getting used to.
He ran his bare fingers over the contents of the desk, his missing glove held tightly in one hand. Every so often, he'd find papers, but after examining them with his hands, he would discover soft dents in the paper, which meant it had been written on.
He explored the shelves upon shelves of books that the little library contained, frustrated that he couldn't read a single one of them, but he found no paper near the books, either. Growling softly in frustration, he rummaged through the second desk on the other side of the room, and was pleased to find that there was a large box-like machine that had a large tray full of paper. He gathered a huge stack of in his arms and a few pencils hat he'd gathered up as he went, and left the library as silently as he'd come.
Of course, he hadn't really noticed the cameras in the corners of the room…or more likely, he had, but hadn't paid them any mind.
Bulma, who'd been upstairs checking the cameras to see if they worked properly as she did whenever she had guest stay for more than a few hours (outside of the Z Gang, anyway) and was surprised to see the blind prince making a mess of the library. For a moment, the recording was screwed because of his Ki-wave, which she had felt earlier at the table but was too nervous to ask him about it. He gathered up a bunch of pencils and paper from her printer, then up and left as though he'd gotten whatever treasure he'd been looking for. Curious, she clicked the screen over to the camera of his room and prayed he wasn't dressing, and gaped at what she saw.
He couldn't be blind. It was impossible. No blind man could draw like that.
And yet, a face continued to be inked on the paper, similar to the prince's, but older and wiser. The Saiyan's tail flicked contentedly by his side, thumping against the bed as he sat on it cross-legged and drew, and even though his hands flew across the paper, his head ever moved, and he never blinked.
He really was blind.
Stunned, Bulma watched him complete the drawings, four others, and begin a fifth one, all of people with sharp features and crazy hair. After a while, Bulma forgot she was supposed to be checking the cameras. She watched him for a straight two hours.
When she realized what she was doing, and how badly she wanted to watch him draw again, she swore three things to herself:
1. She'd make sure her printer was regularly stocked.
2. She'd buy some good, quality art pencils and "accidently" leave them out on her desk.
3. She'd never, never, ever tell him there was a camera in his room.
She put her chin in her hand and braced her elbows on the desktop and watch him draw like it was a movie, remembering that once, as a child, Goku had told her how there was a twinge of hardly detectable Ki in the pencil lead on the old drawing he had. What an interesting way of drawing something.
She pouted when he finally put his pencil's away after creating seven simple masterpieces, all headshots, though some of them had more than one face on them. One of them was his companion's; a face-one shot of Nappa and a side view of Raditz and his crazy hair, two separate pieces with two men who looked like Goku but not quite, a man that looked like himself but with a beard, a woman with wild hair that cascaded down her back and another woman with stylish short hair, both of them donning almost sinister smirks. The last picture though, was what truly convinced her that the old drawing Goku held on to for years belonged to this surly prince.
It was a big picture, given its content, and took up almost the entire page. It was a single pair of faintly slanted eyes, smudged slightly so that the irises looked clouded and hazed.
Mkay, I don't really truly love this chapter…kind of awkward to write. It'll be better once everybody settles in. At least we got a little big-bro-little-bro moment with Goku and Raditz-chan :3 I love that big lug so much.
B-chan, you're such a stalker! Heh, but it's cute, no? I was about to die from not writing at least a little something for her. Geez…sometimes it's hard to remember that this is a Goku and Vegeta centered story. Sigh.
Anyhow, yous all knows the drill.