FOR THOSE WHO ARE READING FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Welcome! I'm glad you've decided to read my story. I would appreciate it greatly if you would review. Reviews give me inspiration and motive. In fact, a review of this story had encouraged me to get off my butt and do some work on it. This story is a completely revised and refurbished part of the original, which I created a while ago before my writing technique had blossomed to its current level. I hope you enjoy the story!
FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE READ ALTER EGO BEFORE:
Well, I said I would revise the shit out of this thing, and I have. Or at least, I've begun to.
Basically, Alter Ego is going to be an entirely different story with the same basic plot. Please don't comment about missing scenes. If a scene is missing, then I have dismissed it because of personal hatred for it. Some scenes (probably quite a few) will no longer exist in the story. I have hated how this story was written for quite a while now, and even though you guys may love it, I can assure you that newer, much better scenes are coming. It will be longer and better thought out, with more regularly lengthened chapters and much less filler. The OOCness will attribute only to Majin, because he is for the most part an OC with a personality that I designed. I do encourage you to read this over, because it will be much, much different. Hope you like it!
Summary: They both want the Dragon Balls, him to repay a debt, and her to find her perfect man. She will go the distance, he will fly it. Amidst crowded streets and loud festivals, Bulma Briefs will meet two men; one with the blackest of hair and one with mane that shines golden like the sun. Twins they say, so much like her best friends in some aspects, but likenesses can only go so far…and after all, 'Peter Parker is never around when Spiderman is'…
Disclaimer: Dragon Ball Z and all of its characters belong to Akira Toriyama, Toei Animation, Fuji TV, etc.
Song Prompt: Split Personality ~ P!nk
Chapter 1: Alternate
If a tree falls in the middle of a forest and no one's around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I sat in the tree, my tail thumping the smooth bark, my eyes a little under half lidded with boredom and my lips turned slightly into a frown. It was the usual look that donned my face; I didn't much no how to express anything else, besides fury and hatred. Arrogance had once been a part of my character, but perhaps that was gone now too. I couldn't say. The only reason I knew anything of the change was because Kakarot had mentioned it to me. Otherwise, I'd have simply though that life here on Earth was dull.
I have been here for some time now. It has been about 2 years since the defeat of Frieza. I smirk a bit, I nearly chuckle, because Frieza made such a mistake…he kept me as his pet, and neglected to finish off an escaping infant. And then, both had ascended into the thing he feared most, both of them together more than enough to destroy an army of Ice-jinn, prepared and willing to deliver to him his fate, his head, on a silver platter. The thought amuses me, especially since I did not ascend until after he had killed me. The anger (the first righteous anger I had felt in a long time, or perhaps just the most pure of such that I have felt) forced the power to the surface. I still look back and snicker at the look of shock on his face. Still…
The event wasn't nearly as fantastic as I had thought. The glory that I had longed for was tainted somehow, and not only because Kakarot had become a Super Saiyan at the same time as I. Something about sending that last beam through his heart (Lord knows Kakarot wouldn't finish him off) was disappointing. Not only was he too weak to be a threat to me even had I had my hands bound and my eyes blindfolded, but I had to share the victory.
What's more, my lifelong quest was over. I could have anything I wanted, and yet, I had nothing. I did not want to rule the empire any longer. I did not want to waste that skill on something that was gained so dishonorably. It felt wrong to try to rule over anything that I had not gained by my own hand (planets people like me were sent to did not live, so it'd have been none of my work), especially when my kingdom would consist of no Saiyans.
So what did I do then? I had nowhere to live, no place to go. There would not be a planet that would let me exist the way I pleased. Saiyans were social creatures; I did not want to live in a place that I had been forced to eradicate simply because I couldn't get a moment's peace. So what now?
Come to Earth, Kakarot says. Live with me and my family, he offers. It would be safe there, he explains, because no one knew about us.
I told him that that was a very stupid idea, and that Earthlings were idiotic creatures if they had never heard of Saiyan might, especially with him living there. And yet, here I am. Sitting in a plum tree. On Earth.
Bored as hell.
Kakarot's harpy was not pleased. I was perfectly fine (I preferred) to find my own place to live, but Kakarot insisted. The raven-haired female could pass for a tailless, muscle-less Saiyan, but the way the woman screeches is enough to burn a man's eardrums clean though. Good food, though.
I frowned more sharply as I slowly sank my teeth into the soft, savory flesh of the fruit, the saccharine scent of it floating to my nose as I inhale deeply, my tail thumping softly against the tree. The sweet, delicious fruit reminds me of something from my home, my planet, but I can't place it. I can't remember.
Despite my impeccable memory, it has been 21 years since I have last seen my home planet, my parents. The sights of Vegeta-sei have long faded from my memory, everything besides the rust-colored sand and the blood red sky with its two burning suns. My parents faces have begun to fade as well…I can just barely remember them at all. The closest I ever get is my father's bearded mouth, smirking proudly at me, and my mother's teasing red lips. She had a smart mouth, my mother did. They were both powerful, both strategists, two traits that I proudly inherited. I remember my father's spikey hair, a near perfect match to mine, albeit a shade lighter. I remember my mother's long, unruly hair that she always kept in a wild ponytail, the darkest of black coal.
I remember these things because I know them to be facts, not because I can see them in my mind. I don't remember their eyes much. Some piece of their faces always seems cloudy to me.
Mother used to sing old Saiyan hymns to me as a child. She had a strong voice, steady, alto. There was one in particular that she enjoyed singing to me, though I had often insisted that I was too old for lullabies. She would often give me a reason to sing it anyway…learning culture or some such nonsense. I can't remember any of the words, but I know it had something to do with our braves coming home safe from war.
My mother was such a sap.
Nappa was a sap too, sometimes.
I frown, more deeply this time. I think, perhaps, that I…no, I don't regret anything. I am Vegeta, Prince of Saiyans. I do not have regrets. Never.
But (maybe), if I could go back, I would not kill him a second time.
I was never particularly fond of Nappa. He had been my guard for as long as I could remember, a sort of 'nursemaid' when I was an infant. Still, he had never given me any reason to enjoy his presence. After a certain point in his age, he became seemingly more stupid. He was a reckless fighter that relied on brute strength. I often wondered if he suffered brain injury in battle, for he used to be a very skilled General.
Or perhaps the madness that is – was – Frieza just got to him. It wouldn't surprise me.
The reason I am thinking of this is not remorse. Remorse and regret are things that I long ago gave up. I do not feel them anymore. I am thinking of this because he saved my life once. An eye for an eye, they say, a tooth for a tooth. I had given him a tooth for an eye, I think, because teeth grow back and eyes do not.
Suicide wasn't the most brilliant plan I'd ever had. I was young and foolish, frightened. I had never admitted it (nor will I ever) that Frieza terrified me. My image would simply not allow me to convey it. Defying him was the only way to keep my pride. He did all sorts of things to me to make me yield, but I would have none of it. Not until he broke my tail.
I was certain I was done after that. Despite the fact that the healing chamber had fixed it, something in me had changed.
I thought it would be easier (cleaner) if I did it with a gun. I didn't really know if it would kill me or not. I had my defenses down; perhaps a shot through my temple would have killed me. I never got to find out, clearly. That big buffoon stopped me at the last second, picked me up like a baby and put me to bed. How old was I, six? I could have walked.
Prince Vegeta, please don't…
It all worked out anyhow, with Frieza dead and all…but still.
An eye for an eye; perhaps I should have spared his life, if only to repay my dept. I don't like depts. Dying by my own hand was stupid and cowardly, and in hindsight, I appreciate that he stopped me.
An eye for an eye…
I inhale deeply again and press my lips together as I exhale through my nose. The sun has climbed high in the sky; Earth summers have a heat like my own planet did, though more humid, more smothering. I don't know if I prefer humidity or dry heat. Actually, I do not prefer heat at all. To my dismay (since the wretch I served for years was unnaturally fond of it), I prefer the cold.
Another part of me likes the heat.
Something happened to me on Namek. Kakarot says someone called a Kai explained to him that such things happen during emotional trauma, but seeing as I went through that for most of my life without interruption, I do not know if this is true.
I have something that the Earthlings call an alter ego.
I frowned as I felt a sort of shift in the air. I rise from the floor, where Gohan was playing, and head for the backyard.
"Goku?" Chichi asked, seeing me go.
"Hm?" I ask, stopping.
"What's the matter?"
"Nothing. I'm just going to check on Vegeta."
She frowned, glared. "Is he causing trouble again somewhere?"
"No," I answered. "He's in the plum tree." He's always in the plum tree. "I think he's different again."
She knows what I mean, and her glare softened.
I hopped out the back window, pretending not to hear Chichi yelling at me to use the door. I ought to kill Vegeta for bragging about Saiyan hearing. I have to find a new excuse now.
Vegeta has been…strange, since Namek. Not that I knew him well enough to compare, but even so, something about him seems different. He hasn't killed anything other than game since he came here, and I was really expecting some type of fight with him. But no, nothing. He's simply hunted, trained, and sat in that plum tree, always thinking. I've caught him once watching Gohan play, and I really wonder what he thinks kids normally do, because he always stares at my son like he's grown an extra head.
The plum tree isn't far. It's on the very edge of our large backyard, facing down the mountain and towards the West. It's a beautiful place to watch the sunset. I often went there before Vegeta came here to watch it, but I don't do it much anymore, not from the plum tree. Sometimes, though, when I just want some plums, I'll sit at the bottom and scarf some down while he sits in the branches and (very unenthusiastically) chews his own. He never says a word to me.
We used to spar in the deserts sometimes. We would go Super Saiyan and train, but he was always silent. He would simply scowl at my taunts and swing punches or kicks, or throw blasts, but he doesn't get involved in the bickering part of it. I was surprised; Vegeta was a professional trash-talker in our first battle. Anyway, we don't spar in deserts anymore, because Vegeta doesn't like the heat. Even when we do spar, it's for short periods of time. He always wants to stop when he gets hot. It surprised me at first that he suddenly had something against heat, especially since I knew Vegeta-sei was a desert planet.
I stepped over the tree roots when I reach them; the tree is relatively young - no, it's in it's prime maturity - as far as grown trees go, but the roots are thick and the trunk is tall. "Vegeta?" I called up.
Something shifted in the branches, and a small, lithe shape suddenly fazed onto a branch maybe 30 feet away, eyes glowing soft golden yellow before they fade to pale teal.
"He's not here," came a smug, sly voice.
I frowned a little and cocked my head. "Uh huh. And when did you get here?"
"Just now," the voice said, sounding slightly devious. The shape reached out and grabbed a higher branch, swinging his legs up and over until he disappears into the leaves again.
"Hey, would you come down here for a second?" I called.
I pinched the bridge of my nose. Chichi often calls me immature, but sometimes Vegeta makes me look like a very wise man. "You're behaving like a child," I said.
"Aren't you worried about being 'dignified'?"
Silence, then, "I think I was a pretty dignified kid." The statement is thoughtful.
I rolled my eyes and put my hands on my hips, as if I really am talking to a little kid. "You never were a kid, you know," I reminded him sternly.
He swung in front of me suddenly, hanging up-side-down by his knees with his arms hanging down limply. His blond hair glimmered as it fell, a bit too slow for his quick movements, and his teal eyes glittered with mischief.
"I know," Majin said, grinning.
"Something wrong, Bulma-chan?" my mother asked.
I sighed again, puffing my blue bangs out of my face. They land perfectly on the side of my head, right where I want them. "I'm just lonely, Mama." I only call her that when I'm particularly depressed. "My life is so boring right now." I leaned my cheek against my hand as I say this, my elbow resting on the arm of the patio chair that I have on my deck. Mama has brought me up milk and cookies, which I always say I'm too old for but eat anyway. I've been sitting here for an hour, my PC in my lap, on but un-used.
"Oh dear," Mother said, smoothing her blonde hair, "I know how much it takes to keep you busy. Why don't you call up Yamcha, dear?"
I scowled heavily, something like a low, dangerous growl rising slightly in my throat. My shoulders hunched, and I sank down a little bit further into the plush cushions of my chair. "I dumped his sorry ass a week ago, Mama."
She puts a hand on her breast dramatically, her lips forming an 'o'. "Oh my! I forgot. What has that handsome young man done now, sweetie?"
"Making eyes at other women again!" I raged, blowing my fallen bangs out of my eyes once more. "That little pervert…makes me sick. 9 years of faithfulness, and this is what I get? And then on top of things, I check his phone once and he's got a text from some girl! No wonder he kept missing my calls, with his phone on silent to hide those messages! Ugh!"
Mother patted my head and bit into a cookie as she sat down. "That's terrible, darling," she said earnestly. "Dreadful." She looked prideful and confident all of a sudden, wearing an expression that normally doesn't fit her innocent face. "You're too good for him, that's what. You need someone who really appreciates you."
My scowl deepened. "I know, Mother, but I don't know anybody who would want me for me, and not my money. I've known Yamcha for years…it's different. And," I stated, raising my voice, "if he's willing to total our relationship on floozies, then that clearly shows he doesn't give a damn about money! He just wants a lady friend, and apparently I'm inadequate!"
"Language, dear," Mother sighed. "Some men are never satisfied, that's all. You're perfectly adequate."
"I know! I'm young, smart, rich, beautiful…he should be on his knees begging for me to take him back! He should be as loyal as a golden retriever!"
Mother reminded me that he had come back begging, and that I had just turned him down…which was the right thing to do. "You just have to move on, dear. Why, I'm sure there's a handsome Prince out there, just waiting for you to find him!" she gushed, clasping her hands.
I sighed. "I guess so." Sure, Mama.
She was quiet for a moment, biting her lip as she thought, a habit I've inherited. When deep in thought, I chew my lower lip and drum my fingers, another habit I picked up from Dad. "Why don't you call up Juuhachi-gou?"
Juuhachi-gou Gero, my best friend. I thought for a minute before I nodded. Mother handed me my cellphone – I raised my brow, wondering why she had my phone anyway – and smiled, stealing one more cookie before she practically danced out of my room. I sighed and bit into my own cookie as I dialed her number – Mmm, chocolate-chip, my favorite – being quick to swallow before she answered.
"Yeah?" She never answers with hello.
"Hey Juu," I said sullenly. "Want to go shopping?"
"Bout time," she muttered. "I'll be there in an hour."
Juu was there in exactly one hour, just like she said. Juu is never late. She is blonde, with shoulder length hair that's the same length as mine. Juu has ice-blue eyes, a shade lighter than my own, and petite features that makes a lot of girls jealous. She's my prettiest friend, which is one reason that I like to hang with her so much, because I know she's plenty gorgeous enough to not be jealous of me. What's more, her father is almost as rich as my father. There's no competition between us to be concerned for.
"About time you got up off your ass!" Juu said, half scolding. That's another thing I love about her; she tells it to me straight. "I've got to find you a boyfriend."
She doesn't have a boyfriend either, so I just smiled and shook my head. "I'm here to look for shoes, not men," I said firmly. "I'm tired of men. Let's go do something fun."
Juu grabbed my arm and started dragging me down the street. "Perfect! We're getting shoes, and I need a new dress, and you need a manicure –"
I laughed. Juu is crazy.
I examined my nails as we walked. They had just dried, and were looking much better than before.
"Better?" Juu asked knowingly.
I smiled and nodded. "Definitely."
"Good," she said, satisfied. "Now, I've got my dress, and you've got your manicure, so now we just need –"
"Shoes!" I cried happily.
"You think they still have that Coach pair I wanted in Vonmaur?" she asked.
"I hope so," I said earnestly, "and I hope they still have those high-heeled boots I wanted. Weren't they cute?"
"Those boots were hot," Juu agreed. "I was thinking about getting a similar pair."
"I thought you'd be totally against anything twinsie," I grinned.
She rolled her blue eyes. "Just because Jin is an asshole doesn't mean I can't have cute boots," she said stubbornly.
I giggled. "Yeah, I know." Jin, short for Jinzoningen Gero, was Juu's twin, and they were complete opposites and complete matches. They could both be stoic, though Juu more so than Jin, and they could both be cocky and arrogant. Both were smart, but Jin was a typical, car-loving guy and Juu was a typical shoe-loving girl. They were always certain the other was wrong, always certain that they were the smarter one of the twins. On top of that, Jin's hair was naturally jet-black (don't ask), and yet their eyes were so alike you couldn't tell one pair from the other. Jin was a bit more playful than Juu, though he's always cool and collected, and never yells about anything unless he is pissed.
"Hey," I said, "Let's get some accessories. My favorite pair of hoops broke." I pouted, remembering.
"Not those cute ones with the string of silver twined around them?"
"Oh, that sucks! C'mon, I see a jewelry stand. This one must be new, or I'd have seen it," she mused.
I glanced over and nodded; I hadn't seen it before either. We headed over to the stand, and the deceivingly friendly salesman who smiled warmly at us as though we were dear friends. He had dark hair and hazel eyes, and a small, fake smile that instantly irritated me. "G'day, Ladies," he said cheerfully, in a thick Australian accent, "What can I get'cha?"
"Just browsing for now," I said. Juu has already begun scouring the stand, looking over glass necklaces and ribbons to hang them on. Some baubles were already adorned with chains or ribbons and hanging on faceless busts, and adjustable mirrors were sitting by so you could hold up a necklace to see how it looked. Juuhachi-gou very much liked soft, sky blues and cheerful lime greens, but I preferred pinks and oranges. The stand was organized according to color, so I ended up browsing the side opposite her. I glanced over them swiftly, then glanced over them again. They were pretty, but nothing spectacular, even though I had money to waste. Suddenly, I realized I had missed one.
I gazed at it, shocked and awestruck. I blinked, swallowed, and then finally, it hit me.
I found it…
I snatched the necklace, an orb perhaps the size of a baseball, with a wide, silver-colored bellcap and chain. "How much is this?" I demanded.
The man looked smug. "That one was found and handcrafted by Yours Truly," he said proudly. "It's real silver, so…I'll take 400 Zeni for it."
"Done," I said immediately. The price is outrageous; an experienced heiress like me can spot fake gold or silver a mile away. I ought to have this man arrested. Had it been any other time, I'd have chewed him out and sued him dry. But he doesn't know what he's offering me, how underpriced it is. He doesn't know that he is giving me a piece of treasure far beyond any payable expense. He is selling me something priceless for the amount I sometimes spend on shoes that I'll only wear once.
He looked surprised at how easily I give in, and even more so that I don't use my credit card, but he pockets the cash anyway and put the necklace in a stylish silver bag with soft pink stripes. "There you are, miss," he said, handing it to me.
I took it greedily from his hands and walked around to grab Juu's arm, pulling her away before she has the chance to decide on her necklace. "Let's go!" I said sharply.
"Hey!" she objected. "I wasn't finished!"
"Oh yes you are," I said, continuing my march. "This is important Juu, believe me – stop struggling! – you won't regret it for a minute!"
She dug her heels into the ground and forces us to stop. "What has gotten into you?" she demanded.
The smile of absolute joy I'd been fighting bloomed on my face. "Look what I've got," I said, reaching into the little bag. I took the necklace out and showed it to her excitedly.
Juu stared at it quizzically. "B, I can see that to be used as a house ornament, not a necklace. What'd you by that for?"
I shook my head, trying to keep my composure since we were still in public. "Juu, do you know what this is?"
"No," she said slowly, looking at me as though I'd grown another head.
"This is a Dragon Ball. The Six Star Ball, to be exact, and it is one piece of seven that will grant us any wish we want."
Her ice-blue eyes widened, and she grinned too. She knows the legend.
"What will we wish for?" she asked. We're both trembling with excitement, on the verge of jumping and squealing, so I made our mission clear quickly.
"Boyfriends, of course."
Well? How was it? Much better this time around, yes? For those of you who are reading this for the first time, I hope you enjoyed it.
For new readers, here's what happened.
After the events of the Saiyan Saga, Goku and Krillin went to Namek. They managaed to get a hold of the Dragon Balls in a similar fashion to that of the canon, and Krillin wished Piccolo back and to Namek while Vegeta slept and Goku healed after the battle with Ginyu. Frieza showed up, and killed Vegeta and Krillin in the same way. Goku transformed. Due to Kami making a wish on Earth Dragon Balls, Vegeta was resurrected. His fury and humiliation caused him to transform as well, and the two defeated Frieza easily. The planet did not blow up, and the Namekians did not come to Earth. As a result of his transformation, and because he did not have emotions like love and friendship to balance him, his persona split, which he did not discover until he became too hot once he moved to Earth. More of this will be discussed in chapter two.
BEFORE YOU ASK, yes, Juuhachi-gou Gero is Android 18. Android 17's name, Jinzoningen Gero, was chosen because Juunana-gou is too similar to Juuhachi-gou.
AGES: *Note for those who read the original: ages are different*
Majin: Technically….2 years old.
Review please! You know what happens if you don't! *pats garbage can evilly*