I had planned on this being a oneshot, but after realizing that I was already at +3000 words and not even close to getting to the good stuff, I decided to make it a threeshot. So there.
This story was inspired by a dream that ImaginaryInk had recently, which we discussed for a good two hours straight and still talk about periodically throughout the day in similar intervals. Upon hearing about the dream, my brain kinda did this FIIIIIZZZTTT thing and I got inspired to write this.
So yeah, enjoy. Or cry, or whatever it is you guys do when you read stuff like this.
Disclaimer: All characters and concepts present belong to Akira Toriyama and the respective DBZ Publishers. Plot belongs to ImaginaryInk.
Song Prompt: Sleeping to Dream ~ Jason Mraz
I'm dreaming of sleeping next to you
and feeling like a lost little boy in a brand new town…
Chapter 1: Blessed Mistake
He was twenty years old when he made perhaps the stupidest mistake of his life, and it would come back to kick him in the ass a while later. Of course, at that time, he wasn't concerned with matters such as these. He was concerned with getting laid.
He didn't really pay much attention to the girl's face, and looking back on that, he probably should have, but again, that was not his prime concern at the moment. All he really paid attention to or noticed was the fact that she had dark hair and a really great body.
He hadn't been with this particular harlot before; she was young and a bit shy, and if he didn't know any better, he'd suspect that she was relatively new at this. Her skill, of course, said otherwise, even though she really couldn't have been more than 19 years old.
She was nicely Saiyan-like, and didn't have any special features from what he could tell other than her pretty, fair skin and sharp nails, and when he looked he'd see her pointed ears. She was slim but slightly muscular, a trait he liked, and he suspected that she was slightly taller than he was, but again, this was not his prime concern.
After she'd done her job (he refused to call it love making, even though whores often insisted that this term be used), they just laid in the bed and dozed, because they knew that, silence aside, no one would disturb a customer like Prince Vegeta of the Saiyan Race. She tried to talk to him a few times, to which he answered curtly or not at all, and finally she just became silent and lay still. In the morning he would get a message from his scouter that ordered him back to the ship, and he left after paying but without tipping her.
He of course had never thought to ask her name, because he rarely used the same harlot twice, so there was no need for it. If they didn't know who he was, that was no concern of his, although he had yet to meet a person who didn't know of his…dangerous job.
So he went about his purging and his screening, and conquering planets in the name of a man he very much hated, and occasionally he would finish early and get the chance to stop by a brothel planet with his comrades. Perhaps a year later or so, when he was twenty-one, he got to return to the same planet (it wasn't one of his favorites, but it was closest and that, at this point, was his main concern) and because he didn't really have time for exploring, he decided to go to the same tavern. The harlot, of course, was different; he hadn't used this one, but he'd seen her, although that, of course, was one of those things that fell under the category of the least of his concerns.
So she pleasured him most of the night, and then he slept until perhaps four in the morning, upon which he was roused by his scouter demanding that he come back to get a new mission. Scowling, he got up and dressed himself, kicked the harlot awake, and stormed downstairs. He went to pay for his night, and the man tried to charge him extra, saying that he had to raise prices for everyone and he swore he wasn't trying to cheat the Prince, but Vegeta's temper quickly ran short.
He took the man out back to show him what happened when you tried to cheat the Saiyan Prince, but he found himself too tired and irritated to play with the old coot as he normally would, so he settled with a quick disintegration. Scowling at the scalded spot on the side of the rundown building, he spat in the dirt and turned to leave as he had come.
Then he heard a baby cry.
Irritated at the sound, he scowled again and sought out the source so he could destroy it, and around the other side of the building he came upon the body of a young woman, and a baby near her.
He recognized her immediately, even though he shouldn't have. He remembered the last time he was on this planet. His brows knitted, and he cautiously stepped closer. He scrutinized her, saw finger marks around her neck, and he knew she'd been strangled, probably during out of her "jobs".
He glanced towards the bundle that laid on the ground beside her and saw a child's round cheeks sticking out from underneath swaddling blankets. His brows knitted further, and he stepped over to it cautiously, as though it had a disease. Peeking into the pile of blankets, he saw his own face, flushed red and scrunched up with fitful cries.
He paled, and felt like someone had punched him in the stomach. Immediately, he knew it was his child –who else could have such a face? – but still, just to check…
He decided that if it wasn't his child (and looks be damned, there was only one true way of finding out) he would just leave it there and go on about his business. Actually, it would probably be better for him to just kill the kid; brothel planets weren't the best places to be born in, and with its mother dead, he figured he'd be doing the brat a favor.
He stood over the child hesitantly, unsure of how to pick it up, because of course the Prince of all Saiyans had never done such a thing as holding a baby. He scowled tried to think back to the last woman he'd seen holding a baby, and he remembered on the planet he'd just purged that a woman had been running with her hands supporting her child's head and backside on her arm, so he awkwardly dropped to one knee and scooped the child into his arms, blanket and all. The baby wailed and screamed, so loudly that he had half a mind to drop it. Scowling at the child, he unwrapped the blanket – it was a boy – and a furry tail uncurled and stiffened with distress.
His eyes grew wide; the child was Saiyan. He was a father.
He had a son.
Despite the fact that the boy had been born to a harlot whose name he had neglected to find out, he felt a sense of pride and joy wash over him as he carried the baby back to his pod. He was slightly irritated that he'd had to slow his flying as to not suffocate the boy, but at the same time he didn't particularly mind it.
Of course, the longer flight back to his pod gave him time to think, and that's when the panic set it.
What the hell was he supposed to do with a kid? He didn't know how to take care of an infant, for God's sakes! He refused to let Frieza know of the child; that was asking for things to end badly. And he sure as hell wasn't going to just drop the kid off on some planet for it to get purged without his knowledge, and even if it wasn't destroyed, who would raise the boy? He wouldn't trust anyone but a fellow Saiyan to give his son a proper upbringing, but Nappa and Raditz weren't exactly qualified to take care of a baby either…and what would the kid eat? How old was he anyway? Was he weaned or did he still need a mother's milk? Was he potty trained? He knew nothing about taking care of a baby. Nothing.
How did he keep his son out of Frieza's clutches?
Just by being born to the Prince of Saiyans, this child had been condemned to a life of slavery. There was no other option for him. Nowhere in the universe was safe for a young Saiyan. Subconsciously, he pulled the boy closer to his chest and buried the little bundle in his arms. The baby had quieted upon feeling the new sensation of flying, and every so often he would look up at his father with wide black eyes.
He could not let Frieza have this child.
Vegeta bit the inside of his lip, his tail curling around his waist so tightly that it nearly hurt. He made a decision that he really had no choice in anyway; his options were basically nonexistent.
He'd just have to hide the child in his room.
Now, how would he sneak the boy into base? Rumors spread like wildfire on the mother ship; if any single person saw Vegeta carrying a baby, Frieza would hear of it in hours. Finally, he stopped in midair and came up with the lamest but only possible solution, and upon thinking of it he flew back to the room he'd used in the brothel and stole a giant pillowcase.
He was much calmer on the second flight back to his pod, figuring that at most, someone would think he'd just found some trinkets from some planet instead of guessing that there was a baby inside. That of course, would only work if the baby was asleep and not moving…he'd have to activate stasis sleep, just in case. He doubted it would wear off on the baby as quickly as it did him.
He climbed into his pod and messaged Raditz and Nappa, who responded almost immediately, and the three launched into space. The child never left his arms, and whenever the little ship jumbled he would shield the kid further with his body. The baby cried sometimes, but hushed after Vegeta spoke to him in his - their - native language and made a poor attempt at rocking him. After a while Vegeta turned on the stasis sleep, and both he and the baby slept for the rest of trip.
When he awoke, he saw the mother ship coming into view. He tucked the child into the pillowcase, making sure he wouldn't suffocate him by accident, and slung the bag over his back as he climbed out. Nappa and Raditz looked at him strangely, asking what it was that he had, to which he promptly told them to shut their traps. The two said nothing more and decided to play along with whatever their devious prince was planning, and no one really gave Vegeta and his bag of "trinkets" a second glance. It wasn't unusual to bring back souvenirs, anyhow, and even if Vegeta rarely did so himself, it wasn't enough to cause a scene. For this, he was grateful.
The halls of the ship were vaguely empty, save for a few wandering soldiers, but that didn't stop him from walking at an unusually fast, nervous pace. Raditz and Nappa had to lengthen their already long strides to keep up, both of them passing suspicious glances at each other and their prince, all the while staring curiously at the strange, bulging pillowcase he carried.
Raditz blinked, and he could swear he saw something move from within the bag. He elbowed Nappa and quietly pointed to it, and they saw something move again. Nappa's eyes became almost comically wide, and he mouthed to Raditz, Something's alive in there!
Vegeta was starting to walk faster, feeling the baby moving against his back. His room was close…they just had to make it to his room –
A guard hollered at them, asking what that thing on Vegeta's back was and demanding to be shown what was inside, or else he would report them to Frieza. The guard apparently didn't know who he was talking to, and Vegeta whirled around and blasted him on the spot. When the smoke cleared, there was nothing left of the man but soot, and even Raditz and Nappa were surprised at this sudden outburst. But then, the guard did ask for it.
When they did get to Vegeta's room, the Prince practically lunged inside and slammed the door in his comrades' surprised faces. Too curious to let something this mysterious slide, the too simply waited there, figuring that he'd let them in eventually.
Inside, Vegeta tore the pillowcase off the child and cradled him tightly, relieved that they'd made it inside without being caught (or at least, caught significantly). The baby stared up at him with those wide, childish eyes again, fully awake and confused about his surroundings.
Vegeta looked back at him, a slight frown on his face. His heart was racing and his hands were trembling; fearing he'd drop the child, he put his back against the door and breathed a shaky sigh, sliding down to the floor.
What was he going to do with this child?
He leaned his head back and hit it against the door quietly, closing his eyes and exhaling through his nose. Could he even trust Nappa and Raditz not to say anything? Sure, they were undyingly loyal, but were they intelligent enough? Could he hide the baby from them anyway? They'd be bound to pick up the extra scent at some point; even they weren't that stupid.
A knock interrupted his train of thought, and Raditz's voice called, "Prince Vegeta?"
His grip on his son tightened possessively, and he barked back, "What do you want?"
There was a pause, like hesitation, then Raditz asked, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Go away."
Nappa said bluntly, "What the hell were you carrying?"
Raditz hissed, "Nappa! Be quiet."
"What? It's a legit question."
Vegeta rolled his eyes at their banter; most conversations involving these two ended this way, mostly because Nappa was stupid and Raditz was so low class that he would kiss Vegeta's boots if prompted to.
He growled to himself, and the baby's mouth popped open at the sound before his eyes lit up with delight, but Vegeta held a finger to his lips and shushed him before a giggle could come out. He looked around his room and saw no good place to hide a baby, so finally he got up and just tore open a drawer in his one dresser, ripped out most of his clothes and put the baby inside. The dresser was short but deep, so it wasn't like he'd crush the kid or suffocate him in the short time it took to open the door…or so he told himself.
He closed the drawer with the baby inside, and the child gave a muffled giggle. Vegeta tried to scowl at the seriousness of the situation, but he found his lips twitching. One of his comrades knocked again, effectively stopping that emotion in its tracks. He scowled fully now, dismayed that he was slightly nervous, and he felt his palms sweating underneath his gloves.
When he opened the door to his room, Raditz and Nappa stared down at him suspiciously – this was why he hated being short so much, because it made these two look menacing and him look like a child – both of them with their arms crossed and their tails wrapped tightly around their waists. Their raised eyebrows and set jaws were not lost on him; both were irritated and impatient to find out about this secret.
He, of course, was not one to stand for this show of intimidation, so he folded his own arms and puffed out his chest, narrowing his gaze at them. Their strong postures almost immediately deflated at his regal stance, which he noted with great smugness. "Was there something you wanted?" he asked.
"We wanted to know what's going on, that's what," Nappa said.
"Loudmouth," Raditz muttered.
Vegeta glanced around the hallway and saw it to be empty, so he stepped back and quickly ushered the two in before he shut the door and locked it. They stared at him quizzically, and he shooed them out of the way of his dresser – goddamn, he hated how tiny this room was, especially with those two in it – and hesitated before he carefully opened the drawer.
His son yelped with laughter at the movement, blinking as light flooded his eyes before he grinned a fairly toothy grin and reached for his father.
Nappa and Raditz stared open mouthed, and Raditz pointed at the baby. "W…wha…where the hell did that come from?!"
"Why do you have a baby in your bedroom?" Nappa demanded, shocked.
Vegeta shrugged and picked the boy up, putting him over his shoulder somewhat clumsily. "He's mine," he said, and as proof, the baby's tail flicked back and forth curiously.
The two gave him a blank stare. Finally, Raditz said, "When did you take a mate?"
"I didn't," Vegeta corrected. "Apparently Creepaun's Flask doesn't have as many barren women as they claim."
Nappa blurted, "He's a whore's son?"
Vegeta growled. "My son. Watch your mouth."
"Apologies, Prince," Nappa said quickly. "I was just…startled."
Raditz peeked around Vegeta's shoulder to look at the baby. "He looks just like you, Vegeta," he said.
It was true; the baby's skin tone was slightly lighter, favoring his mother, but he had Vegeta's straight nose and slightly slanted, onyx eyes, and black hair that stood up like a flame. He had scruffy bangs too, as Vegeta had when he was younger. However, like his mother, the baby had slightly pointed ears, and his little nails seemed sharper than they should be at such an age.
The baby squirmed in Vegeta's arms and tried to turn around, wiggling so much that the prince nearly dropped him. Vegeta groaned. "I don't know how to hold a baby," he muttered, trying to situate the boy.
"Can I hold him?" Raditz asked. "I had a lot of little cousins."
Vegeta looked unsure, but finally gave the baby to Raditz, who showed him how to hold a baby properly. The baby pulled on Raditz's long hair, and he winced. "Quite a grip," he chuckled.
Vegeta smirked proudly.
"What's his power level?" Nappa asked, still watching the child.
The smirk dropped from Vegeta's face, and he actually looked sheepish. "I didn't check," he admitted.
Both his comrades were surprised, and Raditz immediately looked down at the baby and pressed a button on his green scouter. Numbers flashed across the screen for a moment, then came to a stop with a solid beep, and Raditz said, "1006."
Vegeta blinked, frowning a little bit. "That's lower than I was at birth."
Raditz shrugged. "Be that as it may, you were born a pure breed royal, whereas this kid was born a half breed. Besides, he's still an Elite."
Vegeta seemed to think this over, and he took the baby from Raditz. "Yes, true. He'll be a fine warrior."
"What will Frieza do when he finds out?" Nappa asked quietly.
The three fell silent, then Vegeta growled. "I'll hide him until he's old enough to fight properly."
Raditz frowned and looked away. "That might seem simple now, Prince, but the kid's got to have some type of motherly care on this ship. If he was sent to a planet to purge, that'd be different...he could find food there and such, but there's no way you can have a child purge a planet without Frieza knowing, and he'd definitely notice if we pretended to take such a weak job."
Vegeta opened his mouth to say something, then shut it. Finally, he snapped, "I'll hire someone to take care of him while I'm away."
"Someone will eventually notice a person going into your room when you're not present," Nappa pointed out.
Vegeta's grip on his son tightened, and the baby let out a short wail. "I won't let Frieza have him," he snarled.
The two larger Saiyans looked away. "I don't know what to tell you, Vegeta," Nappa admitted. "I got nothing."
"But we'll help you hide him, if you want," Raditz offered.
Vegeta was quiet. As though sensing his father's uneasiness, the baby began to cry. The Prince sighed at the sound and pat the child's back gently, and the cries slowly started falling to hiccups.
It was silent for a moment, then Raditz asked, "What's his name?"
Vegeta blinked, then blushed. "I haven't…I haven't given much thought to it yet."
"Understandable," Raditz murmured, poking the baby's cheek. "Most parents take months to name their kid."
"I am not most people," Vegeta returned, turning his back to his comrades and thus halting Raditz's continuous attention-giving to the baby. "He'll be named within the hour."
Behind him, Raditz and Nappa looked at each other and shook their heads. "If you say so, Prince," Nappa shrugged.
Vegeta waved them off without passing them another glance. "Go on. You're dismissed. And not a word of this to anyone."
They nodded. "Yes, Prince."
When he heard his door close, he relaxed. The child was safe…at least, for now.
The baby cooed and reached for Vegeta's face. The Prince sighed and clucked his tongue disapprovingly at himself. "Hardly a few hours, and you're already making me soft, you stupid brat."
As if understanding his father's dismay, the baby grinned cheekily at him.
He sighed again and climbed into his bed, laying his son down beside him. The two stared at each other for a minute before the baby got bored and started playing with his tail (and eating it, much to both Vegeta's disgust and amusement). Vegeta found himself nearly smiling again, and he flicked his own tail in front of the baby's face. The child immediately dropped his tiny tail and made a grab for Vegeta's, missed, and spent the next hour trying to catch it.
Vegeta did not think of the child's name in an hour, as he had boasted he would. It took him nearly two, actually, but the time in which he chose his child's name was not his prime concern at the moment. By the time he had finally decided what to call his son, the boy was fast asleep, curled up at Vegeta's side after having finally caught his father's tail, which he used somewhat like a stuffed animal.
Vegeta brushed the bangs from the sleeping child's face, then pulled the baby closer to him and wrapped his arm about his son's tiny body protectively. If anybody barged into his room to take his son, they'd have to go through him first.
"Kenjin," he murmured, and he fell asleep.
And I'm so damn tired…
Alright, so there's chapter 1 of the three-shot. I am fairly pleased with it. Ink, I hope u like it ^^
Using Google translate for name puns, I typed in the vegetable 'sage'. The name it gave me was kenjin, although this probably means 'sage' as in 'wise, magical person', and after further research I found out that the name Kenji means 'wise, healthy child' in Japanese. So, works for me.