Thank you all so much!
Disclaimer: Bardock: *glares at Brenda* Remind me again why I'm doing this? I thought I only signed on for Wish For The Past! I'm not even IN this story, so why the hell am I doing the disclaimer?!
Brenda: Bardock, mind your language! There are chibis present. And you're doing the disclaimer because I'm tired and because I said so.
Bardock: Chibi Vegeta doesn't qualify, woman! You and I both know he's an adult in mind, if not in body!
Brenda: Vegeta's not the only chibi involved in this story, Bardock. *points to Trunks, Goten, and a few others who may or may not show up in the story* They're here, too!
Bardock: Okay, okay, I get the point! No swearing in front of the kids. *snorts* Which reminds me... I'm still upset with you for-
Brenda: Would you just shut up and do the disclaimer already?! You know, I could easily add you to this story if I wanted... *threateningly*
Bardock: *pales* Don't even think about it! *quickly turns to the audience* Brenda doesn't own DBZ, so don't sue her. *scowls at Brenda* There, I did the disclaimer. Can I go now?
Brenda: Yup! ^_^
Bardock: Good! *stalks off*
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! "Abanooot!!!" Vegeta howled in outrage, shoving the offending garment away from him whenever Bulma tried to hold it up to his body to see if it would fit. If he could have, he would have ki blasted the thing until there was nothing left except for a pile of smoking ashes, had in fact tried to do just that... and failed. He'd held out his hand and concentrated on bringing all of his energy into one point in the center of his palm, and nothing had happened. Nothing. No beautiful ball of blazing energy, no burning ray of heat and light, no dazzling sparkle of ki gathering in his hand. There hadn't even been a flicker of light to chase away the tiny shadows in the creases of his skin! It was as though he no longer had command of his energy! Either that or he simply didn't have enough energy in his body to use for such a purpose, but that was something Vegeta patently refused to believe. He knew for a fact that when he was a baby, he'd had more energy than some adult Saiyans could achieve in a lifetime, and they could certainly use it to form attacks. So why couldn't he?! He had the knowledge and the power, so why couldn't he use it!?
"Oh, come on, Vegeta. Hold still!" Once again, Bulma tried to press the outfit against Vegeta's body in such a way that she could imagine what he would look like with it on. It was a shame the store wouldn't allow her to actually try the clothes on him, but she understood the policy. After all, if they allowed mothers to actually let their infants wear the clothes before they were bought, some baby might spit up - or worse - on them, making it improbable that they would ever be successfully sold off. "It'll only take a second!"
But Vegeta would have none of it. Scowling with determination, he suddenly grabbed the hanger and a fistful of cloth, tugging with all his might in an effort to pull it from Bulma's grip. Apparently this change in tactic worked, because the blue haired woman was startled into loosening her grip on the clothing just enough that Vegeta was able to pull the thing from her fingers. With a triumphant gurgle, the chibi prince hurled the disgraceful object onto the floor, then glared up at his mate. I will not allow you to buy that... that... thing!! And don't you even dare think about making me wear it!! "Nodda badat! Donna da bamakame wadit!"
"Honestly, Vegeta!" Bulma harumphed with annoyance, picking the falling clothing up off the floor. "This isn't a difficult thing to do, you know! Just hold still and let me see what you look like in it!"
"Umm... mom?" Trunks hesitantly dared to interject. Looking at the outfit in his mother's hands, the eight year old shuddered and muttered a grateful prayer to Dende that he was not the one Bulma was trying to buy clothing for. "Maybe dad just doesn't want to wear a dress..."
Damn right, I don't!! I am the Prince of all Saiyans and I am a male and I DO NOT WEAR DRESSES!!! "Danadon! Ama pinnasans an amama ana donna waddassas!" Waving an angry fist in the woman's direction, chibi Vegeta tried his best to growl warningly, but failed to produce anything more than liquid gurgle in the back of his throat. Much to his dismay, this attempt not only met in failure, but it also caused a small trickle of drool to spill out of the corner of his mouth and trail down his chin.
"Nonsense, Trunks. He's just a baby," Bulma denied absentmindedly, suddenly overcome by the urge to giggle at her husband. The sight of him drooling was just so funny, especially considering that it was Vegeta who was drooling! Damn, I wish I had a camera! That's just so cute! I'll have to remember to buy one while we're here. "Babies don't care what their clothes look like. Vegeta's just being fussy, that's all. There's a good baby," she cooed, using a corner of his shirt to wipe the drool off his chin.
Grrr... will you stop treating me like I am nothing more than a mindless child!? Embarrassed by his involuntary and childish accident, Vegeta grimaced and pulled his head away from his mate's hand as soon as she had cleaned up any evidence that he had ever drooled. Waving his fist in protest, he added, I am NOT a baby, and I am NOT being 'fussy!' "Naba fuss!"
"Hmm... but you may be partially right, Trunks," Bulma suddenly conceded, holding the dress up to eye level so she could eye it critically. She abruptly hung the yellow and blue striped dress back on the rack she'd gotten it from - much to Vegeta's relief - and started pushing the stroller away. Thinking that his mate had finally given up looking at baby dresses, the little prince gave the offensive garment a final glower and settled into a more comfortable sitting position in the stroller, smirking faintly in contentment. Time to move on to the boys' clothing.
"Huh?" Trunks was confused. How could he be partially right? His dad either liked dresses, or he didn't. There was no in between! "What do you mean, mom?"
"I mean," Bulma replied, jerking her head back in the direction of the striped dress, "that maybe Vegeta just doesn't like that dress for some reason." A gleeful smile lit up the blue haired terror's face as her eyes focused in on a wall display containing shoes, socks, hair bows, hats... and more dresses. With a happy little cry, Bulma grabbed her son's hand and promptly changed course, heading straight for the deadly wall of girly delight.
Vegeta's expression immediately turned to one of horror and panic. No! Don't you even dare think about it, woman!! Do NOT go anywhere near that wall! I swear, if you take one more step in that direction, I'll... I'll... Vegeta stumbled mentally, brought up short by the realization that he couldn't actually carry out any of his normal threats. Destruction, torture and a painful demise were all well and good when you were one of the strongest beings in the universe, but just what did you use to command someone's respect when you were trapped inside the body of an infant?! Damn it, I can't even deny the woman my skills in bed! After all, he couldn't very well withhold something that was beyond his current abilities anyway! Tugging futilely at the seat belt of his stroller, Vegeta scowled darkly and finally resorted to the only threat he had left in his once plentiful arsenal. When I get my adult body back, I'm going to make you regret doing this to me, he sulked.
Oblivious to her husband's protests - all Bulma had heard was a string of nonsensical babbling - the lovely president of Capsule Corporation came to a stop right in front of the portion of the display that held the dresses. They were all beautiful dresses, with sashes and bows, lace and ruffles, made from materials that ranged from cotton to silk to leather and everything in between. It only took her a moment to spot a dress that, to her, was nothing short of perfect, and it was with a triumphant grin that Bulma snatched it off the wall and held it up for her son and her chibi husband to see. "Here we go!" she cheered. "He can't possibly have anything against this dress!"
Of course, clueless genius that she was, Bulma had no idea just how wrong she could be.
Vegeta looked as if he was about to fly into an apoplectic fit. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I WOULD EVER CONSIDER WEARING THAT ATROCITY!! he shouted at the top of his lungs. "Nowadava werdasee!!" So great was his outrage that words, no matter how articulate, were unable to express it adequately. So, he did what he would have done if he had still been an adult: he screamed. A wordless roar of fury that had never failed to make it clear to any and all around him exactly how he felt. Unfortunately for Vegeta, he had never been trapped in the body of a one year old baby, either. What was intended to be a vocal expression of rage became twisted and distorted by the unwieldy vocal cords of a child, so much so that when it exited his mouth, it did not sound anything at all like what it was supposed to. "WAAAAAAHHHHH!!!"
Clapping his hands over his sensitive ears in a vain attempt to muffle his father's piercing wail, Trunks could hardly blame the baby for his reaction. Just looking at the dress made him want to cry, too, although probably for different reasons. When his father had his adult mind and body restored, if he knew that Bulma had gone dress shopping for him, he'd likely explode, especially if he saw this dress. It was a frilly pink thing with a lacy white ruffle around the collar, pink and red roses embroidered around the waist, and silky red ribbons at either side made to tie in the back. All in all, it was beautiful, it was pink, it was feminine, and it was the most humiliating thing anyone could possibly think of to try to clothe Vegeta, Prince of all Saiyans, in.
"Oh, Vegeta, what's wrong?" Bulma asked, finally expressing some concern at her chibi husband's behavior. Not giving him a chance to respond, she smiled sweetly and rubbed his belly. "I bet I know what the problem is. I completely forgot that you're a Saiyan baby! You're probably starting to get hungry, aren't you? Well, don't you worry. As soon as we finish shopping for clothes, we'll get some baby food for you, then we'll go home and get you fed. I guess I should cut the shopping trip short, then, and only pick out a few outfits. We can come back on another day when we're more prepared."
Which will be never! growled Vegeta, shutting off his angered wail as soon as he realized what he was doing. When we get home, you are going to find a way to reverse the effects of that stupid wish, and then we will never come back here again! "Whibee ner! Nega oma goffin waddaver saffes sawish anava bakaga!" Glaring at Bulma, he tried to push her offending hand away from his stomach, despite the poor luck he'd had so far with trying to use physically force on his mate with this child's body. He was therefore somewhat surprised - pleasantly so - when this apparently convinced her to discontinue her humiliating actions. Bulma pulled her hand away from his tummy.
But he didn't have enough time even to smirk victoriously before Bulma suddenly thrust the frilly pink dress up against his chest. "I still want to see what he would look like in this dress," the blue haired woman stated with a giggle, oblivious to the mixed expression of surprise, horror, and outrage that flashed across Vegeta's face.
"Mooom!!" Trunks whined, embarrassed for his father. It didn't matter if Vegeta could understand what was going on or not, it was still humiliating to see his mother trying to dress shop for him! "Why are you even looking at dresses in the first place?! Dad's not a girl!" Sure, he'd asked this same question a half dozen times before, and received the same answer every time, but that didn't stop him from asking again.
"I know that, Trunks," came the calm reply. Bulma was starting to get tired of answering a question she'd already answered six times, but she knew that it was the prerogative of eight year old boys to repeatedly ask questions, even the same one over and over, until it made you want to tear your hair out. "But Vegeta's just a baby, so he won't mind, and I've never gotten a chance to dress up a little girl. How many more chances am I going to have to get to do something like this?" A small scowl briefly marred the beauty of the woman's face, and she added, "It's not like I'm going to have a daughter someday, not the way Vegeta balks every time I bring up the subject of having another child!"
That last sentence came as a surprise to both Trunks and Vegeta, since all the previous times Bulma had answered the question she'd stopped before coming to that. Vegeta glared heatedly at his mate, even as he kicked and squirmed uselessly under the humiliatingly pink dress. I am NOT a baby and I sure as hell DO mind, woman!! Get that ridiculous... thing... away from me! "Nodda bee! Shasahal domin! Gedar dicalsing waffama!" Still, he couldn't help but feel a little annoyed that he had indirectly been the cause of his own torment. To think that I could have avoided this whole thing if I'd just given in to the woman's wishes and conceived another brat...
"Hey, Bulma! Fancy meeting you here!" a cheerfully nasal voice called out from a couple racks away, drawing the trio's attention away from the issue of the pink dress. Vegeta only had time for a small groan before Krillen stepped into their aisle, followed by his femme fatale wife, android #18, and their three year old daughter, Marron, clinging tenaciously to the both of them. Taking in the scene before him, Krillen's eyes immediately went to the chibi in the stroller and his face lit up with delight. "Awww, what an adorable baby! Bulma, shame on you for not telling us you'd had a second child! We may live on an island in the middle of the ocean, but we do have a telephone, you know." The short man with poofy black hair leaned over the stroller a little, shaking his head in mock exasperation. "Hmph. It just goes to show: you think you know a person, and then they do something like this," he said to Vegeta, smiling fondly.
Dress momentarily forgotten, the one year old 'adult' scowled at the human and shook a fist in warning. What the hell gives you the idea that I'm the woman's child?! Vegeta griped out loud, even though he knew that his words would come out unintelligible. "Waddaha gadadee amans kal?" He was rather vexed that in his current state he actually had to look up to meet the short man's eyes, especially since Krillen had been one of the few Z-Fighters that he had been able to literally look down on. In fact, he couldn't even call the other man a weakling anymore! Not when he himself was a helpless infant! You're the second person to assume I'm her son! Well, I'm not, I'm-
"Hehehe," Krillen chuckled in amusement, interrupting Vegeta's mental tirade. "She looks just like her father! Poor kid even has his hair!" Gazing at the "girl" with pity in regards to her unfortunate parentage, Krillen couldn't help but ruffle her spiky hair affectionately. He had to admit, though, that the dress Bulma was currently checking her out in looked pretty darn cute on her!
Turning his head to address Bulma and congratulate her on the new addition to her family, Krillen was surprised to see that both Bulma and Trunks were gaping at him like fish out of water, looking so startled he could almost have sworn that someone had goosed them, except that there wasn't anyone behind either of them. The undersized warrior scratched his head in confusion and opened his mouth to ask them what was wrong, but was cut off before he could even get one word out.
I AM NOT A GIRL!!!! Vegeta screamed at the top of his lungs, his entire face turning a fiery shade of red that would put many a sunset to shame. "NADDA GAAAAAHH!!!!" Almost literally boiling with anger, so much so that he would not have been surprised if steam had starting pouring out of his ears, the young prince threw aside the pink abomination and lashed out furiously at the hand that that wretched man had dared to place on his head. Get your filthy hands out of my hair, you misbegotten piece of gutter trash! Every prince in the royal line of Vegeta-sei since time immemorial has had this hair, and you will neither touch it nor insult it!! At that moment, it was Vegeta's most sincere wish that he have the ability to blast the offending idiot into so many pieces that even the Eternal Dragon would have a hard time putting him back together. AND I AM NOT A GIRL!!!! he reiterated the most important of his protests, feeling it necessary to drive that particular point home. "NADDA GAAAAH!!!"
Needless to say, this reaction was not what Krillen was expecting from such a cute baby "girl," and he jumped a little in surprise when her tiny fists started batting harmlessly at his hand, accompanied by several piercing screams. "Great," he grumbled, pulling his hand away from her head. "She even has Vegeta's attitude. Yow!!" he yelped, clapping his hands to the back of his head where both Bulma and #18 had just whacked him. "What'd you do that for?!"
"You're upsetting the baby, Krillen!" #18 growled in annoyance. "And I for one do not want to listen to it screaming its head off!" Eyes flashing coldly, the blonde haired bombshell lifted Marron up to give her a comforting hug and a pat on the back, then added, "Nor do I want my daughter to start crying, and you know how easily she gets upset when she hears other children crying!"
"Not to mention the fact that that is not my child!" Bulma snapped, picking the dress up off the floor where it had landed. She wasn't so much angry at having someone mistake Vegeta for her child - on the contrary, it pleased her to think that other people still thought of her as young enough to have more children. She knew all too well that her childbearing years were nearing their end, that in other year or two at most she would wake up one morning and realize that she was officially an old woman. No, that wasn't what was making her angry. It was the stares from all the nearby shoppers, emotions on their faces ranging from concern to irritation, that was causing the heat to rise in Bulma's face. Nor did it help that Vegeta's crying was starting to give her a headache! And then there was the matter of exactly what Krillen had just said.... "And my husband is not a girl!!"
"Your WHAT?!" Krillen's eyes were practically popping out of his head as he gaped from the women to the baby in the stroller and back again. "What do you mean, your husband?! OW! Stop hitting me!!"
"I will when you stop making a public scene!" Bulma yelled back at him, fist raised and ready to strike a third time. She smirked in satisfaction when the shorter man cowered away from her, then folded her arms and glared threateningly at the small ring of spectators who had been attracted by all the commotion. The wealthy scientist's blistering gaze had the effect of scattering the customers like a flock of birds. "Yes, my husband," she clarified, nodding her head in Vegeta's direction. "Trunks and Goten managed to get their hands on the dragonballs and accidentally wished Vegeta into a baby."
"Fascinating," #18 commented in her normal monotone voice, arching an eyebrow as she looked at Vegeta speculatively. "If this is Vegeta, then why are you shopping in the girls' section? One normally shops for boys in the boys' section of the store."
"Yeah," Krillen piped up defensively. "It's not my fault I thought he was a girl! I mean, I didn't know it was Vegeta and it's not like I could tell what gender he is right away, especially with that dress on top of him! Speaking of which, why were you looking at dresses? Vegeta is a boy! Unless..." The vertically challenged man's eyes widened in an alarmed manner as a thought crossed his mind that was both seriously disturbing and unthinkably hilarious at the same time. Reeling with shock at the possibility, he gasped, "Bulma, the boys didn't turn Vegeta into a girl, too, did they?!"
"Of course not!" Trunks was indignant at the mere suggestion and made no secret of it as folded his arms and he glared up at Krillen. "I don't think even Goten would be stupid enough to make that wish, not even by accident! I know I certainly wouldn't!"
Bulma snorted in amusement. "Says the boy whose misworded wish changed his father into a baby!" Sighing regretfully, she hung the pink dress back on the wall display and turned to face Krillen and #18. "To answer your question, I guess you could say I was playing "dress-up" with Vegeta, wishfully dreaming of having my own baby girl. He's a baby in mind as well as in body," she added in explanation, "so he wouldn't mind."
"You mean he doesn't realize what's going on?" Krillen asked incredulously. "I mean, he isn't aware that he's an adult, or a prince, or anything? Does he even remember anyone?"
"Not that I know of. It's hard to tell, since he doesn't know how to talk, but I'd be willing to bet that the wish made him exactly the way he was when he was a baby the first time, memories and all." Bulma shrugged. "He hasn't given any indication that he remembers anything beyond that."
Yes, I have! You just haven't been paying attention, stupid woman! Vegeta sulked. Inwardly, he was relieved to see the pink horror go back in the display and safely away from him. Now if only his mate would leave this section of the store....
"For a woman whose husband has just been turned into a baby, you seem to be taking this pretty well," #18 observed dryly, setting Marron back on the ground. Marron immediately toddled over to the stroller and peered curiously at the chibified Vegeta. Vegeta simply scowled and waved his fist in an attempt to shoo her away. Get away from me, brat. Oblivious to any meaning behind his gestures, the three year old girl laughed and grabbed his hand.
"Look, mommy!" she chirped as she held up her prize, earning a smile from her mother. Vegeta glared and yanked his hand away.
Grinning at the interaction between the two children, Bulma replied, "Well, it's not like this is going to be permanent. I am a genius, you know, so it shouldn't be any problem for me to invent something that will change him back. All I have to do is create a machine that will age his body and restore his memories - nothing I can't handle, I'm sure - which will take a week, maybe two. I can deal with that. It's not like it'll be any different from taking care of him as an adult! All he ever did was train, sleep, and make loud demands for me to get him something to eat. Except for the training, that's all a baby ever does, so it won't be much different than before."
#18 arched an eyebrow. "You seem pretty confident. What if you can't change him back?"
"Nonsense," Bulma scoffed, folding her arms in a way she must have learned from her husband. "Once I put my mind to something, nothing can stop me! It's only a matter of time before Vegeta's back to his bad old self, trust me. Until then, I think I'm going to enjoy taking care of him as a baby." Smiling fondly at the black haired baby, she reached down and tweaked his nose. "And he's a lot cuter as a baby, aren't you, Veggie-chan?"
Don't call me that! "Docamma da!" Vegeta protested angrily, pulling his nose out of his mate's hand with a twist of his head. Actually, his ire was somewhat diminished by his mate's confidence that she could restore him to his former self. While he had doubts that she could have found a way to restore his memory, that wasn't a problem in this case, since he still had all his memories intact. The fact that Bulma thought she could create something that would age him was reassuring because, though he'd never admit it, he actually had a lot of faith in his wife's ability as a scientist. When she said she could do something, she usually did it, and often times with better results than she had projected.
At the use of such an endearing - or insulting, depending on your point of view - nickname, the situation finally hit home in Krillen's mind. "You mean to say that, for the time being, Vegeta's completely helpless, and oblivious to anything we do to him?" A large and mischievous grin spread slowly across the former monk's face, making him look like a cat who knew it was about to get into a carton of cream. "This is gonna be fun."
First off, let me thank Sabrina for the suggestion about bringing Krillen and #18 into the story. I had intended to bring them in eventually, but for some reason it just hadn't crossed my mind that they could come in NOW. *grins* Of course, this changed my plans for the shopping trip, but that's okay. I think it turned out for the better anyway.
Let's see... oh, yes, Bulma. I hope this chapter adequately explained why she isn't exactly alarmed by Vegeta's condition. Of course, I hope that I don't need to remind my readers that in a torture fic such as this, nothing ever goes right for the victim. *smirks* The only thing I'll say in regards to Bulma's plans to invent a solution is this: Pride goeth before the fall.
I THINK I got everyone who asked to be on the mailing list, but I might have missed someone. If you didn't get notified (or if you wish to be on the mailing list) let me know. Be sure to give me your e-mail address! DON'T refer me to your profile, because my computer is having glitches right now that makes it so I can't view the e-mail addresses in ff.net profiles. Seriously.
I really can't think of anything else to say at the moment, so I'll just shut up now and hope for reviews. ^_^
Author Note (12/23/03):
THIS STORY IS ON HIATUS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
No, I'm not giving it up, and I'm not relegating it to the humungous pile of never-to-be-finished stories. I just won't be updating for an unknown amount of time.