Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ or the characters.
Hey everyone! It was my turn to do the monthly challenge, and it's a really interesting one. I had to write a story about Vegeta arriving on Planet Earth without Nappa after the Red Ribbon Army was defeated. It was kind of difficult to think about, but then I got an idea. It'll be a one-shot only because this month is the month before finals and next week is going to start the craziness at the end of the semester. The next challenge will belong to Super Vegetarott. So, without further ado, let's reflect.
It was a quiet day on Earth, peaceful even, after the defeat of the Red Ribbon Army. There had been some celebrating, but mostly the planet's inhabitants were enjoying the newfound peace. Peace was usually something short-lived with the Earthlings, and today marked the end of that peace. Something was about to happen, and by the end of the day, no one would know what caused it.
A single, silver space pod struck the planet in a location far away from civilization. A young man, about seventeen years of age, stepped out of the metal sphere and took in his surroundings.
Peace. That was all he could gather from his current location. He sneered in disgust when he observed the peaceful meadow. Animals were frolicking, there were birds chirping, and the sun was shining down revealing the meadow's beauty. He hated it.
The teen was not very tall, only around five feet more or less, and he possessed hardened features. His dark eyes complemented his tanned skin, his hair was jet black and flame-shaped, and his jaw was set in a firm frown. It would have been obvious to anyone that the teenager had been through more than anyone could ever imagine. He also held a regal stance as he crossed his arms and looked across the grassy plain.
A bushy, brown tail uncurled from around his waist and thrashed around as he grumbled in irritation, speaking in a foreign tongue. He then hit a button on an eyepiece he wore causing a series of whistles and beeps to be heard as he started scanning the premises in all directions. He appeared to be searching for something, and that something happened to be a little boy.
It all started back on the mother ship. The teenager, a prince of an alien race, was fighting with a comrade, another young man who was twenty-two and had long, black hair. The fight had been one-sided as the young prince pummeled his comrade into the metal floor of the ship. He had done more damage than he had intended, but scoffed at his current rival's weakness. The elder alien had been brought to the medical team. Although they deemed the injuries harmless, the pain was too much for the man to handle and he was given painkillers for the first time in his life.
No one knew how a Saiyan would react to painkillers, but the doctors paid no mind to the injured. They left the prince alone with his follower. While he would have rather continued training, the desire to preserve what was left of his race was always present, unless they were to disgrace their fallen species in any way.
Regardless, he was left to watch over his comrade, and it was then that he learned his secret. "I have a brother," he muttered in a dream-like state over and over again.
The prince was both startled and shocked by the revelation as the man had never before spoken of his brother. Vegeta would have focused on that had he not grown leery to the fact that a Saiyan could be interrogated when drugged. After a second of mental berating, he went back to the task at hand and questioned his unconscious teammate.
After more prying, the prince found out that his comrade, Raditz, had been sworn to secrecy about his brother's whereabouts; by whom, he had no idea. He knew he would have to confront Raditz at some point and punish him for the secrecy, but for now knowing that another Saiyan was out there was enough for the young prince. Now he just had to find him.
He enlisted help from one of his master's new scientists to get a location and he tracked the boy's pod to planet called Earth. After disposing of the scientist, the prince took an unmarked pod and left the ship. His master, Frieza, could not know where he was going or what he was doing, but the prince wasn't really thinking too deeply about that. He didn't know what he would do with the boy when he found him, but this was not the first- nor would it be the last- time he did something rash. Still, he had the sense to leave while the rest of the ship slept.
Why was he looking for a young boy? Well, not only had his race dwindled to three, but he along with the other two remaining Saiyans were enslaved by a vicious tyrant. They were sick of working for the sadistic being, even though they would have been doing the same work for their own empire. The prince refused to believe this was his fate. He was meant to rule and any Saiyan help, whether from a third-class warrior or not, could be enough to take the tyrant down after some more training. Then the young price would take his place as ruler of the universe, and the Saiyans would become terrors in their own right. One day, he would be able to succeed in his own mission of universal domination.
So, here he was standing in the field of a planet he expected to be barren. He glared at the deer and birds as they moved around freely while seething with anger. The brother of his comrade, Kakarot, had failed in his first mission, to purge the planet of all life.
The prince saw red as he raised his open palm up to eye level. Teenager or not, he was a ruthless warrior, and he was going to see Kakarot's mission through. A purple sphere shot out of his hand, and the field instantly went up in flames. The teenager grinned sadistically as he took to the sky and continued firing blasts towards the fields and surrounding wooded areas. He never felt more alive as when he was wreaking havoc. He admired the sound of death around him as he heard the screams of those living outside of the city. This was going to be a good day for him.
It took some convincing, since Goku still had to search for the last Dragon Ball to help his friend Upa, but his friends managed to talk him into a short party if only by promising the young hero a large dinner. That was the surefire way to convince Goku to do anything, and really he deserved to celebrate. The twelve year old had single handedly taken out the strongest army in the world, an impressive feat to be sure.
"I still can't believe he did it," Yamcha stated as he watched Goku and Krillin sparring for a little bit while the food was being prepared. He was leaning on a wooden table next to Bulma who was sitting down and working on the Dragon Radar. Her concentration was on the small device, but she picked up on Yamcha's comment.
"I can't believe it either," she agreed. "To think he's only twelve years old. The papers would go nuts with that."
Yamcha chuckled at her statement. "Yeah, they already went nuts when he fought in the WMAT. That kid is something. Hard to believe he's only human."
"So Goku, how exactly did you do it?" Krillin asked mid-spar. He was dodging Goku's punches, but it took all he had to do just that.
"You mean find six Dragon Balls?" Goku asked completely clueless. "I just used Bulma's Dragon Radar. You know that."
"No, I meant, how did you fight off the entire Red Ribbon Army?" Krillin clarified, but before Goku could answer him, Krillin received a swift kick and got knocked into the ground. "Never mind," he muttered into the ground. He kind of already had his idea. Goku was just freakishly strong.
Not too long after their spar, the food was ready and Goku ate enough to fill two of the Red Ribbon Army's headquaters. His friends watched him curiously, wondering where he put it all. Normally they wouldn't be thinking too much into it, but their young friend was just incredibly impressive and it made them curious about him more so than before.
"Hey guys, you might want to see this," Oolong called from the den of Roshi's home. Everyone moved inside to see a new broadcast of a burning sector of Earth. The newscaster had no information on what caused the widespread fire, but he could say that it definitely wasn't natural.
Goku was out the door in seconds. That fire was way too close to some of the villages he had been to and he was concerned about his friends and also the animals that lived in the area. Ignoring the calls of his friends, he shouted out for his Nimbus Cloud and took off towards the smoke rising in the sky.
The prince was standing in front of the flames, admiring his handiwork as trees and animal carcasses were disintegrating. He had managed to hit a few homes as well. There would be no way that this fire would go out until there was nothing but dirt left remaining. The sky darkened slightly, making the prince frown again. He hoped it wouldn't rain, for it might weaken the flames. Then he smirked realizing that if that happened, he's get to repeat his onslaught. Maybe the rain wouldn't be so bad.
His eyepiece started going crazy as he looked up to the sky and saw a bright orange cloud heading his way. His brow had risen exposing his unspoken curiosity, wanting to know why he was getting an unusually high power level reading on the ball of fluff. When the cloud started falling out of the sky towards him, he realized that it wasn't a cloud at all.
A young boy jumped off the cloud. He was small, but fairly strong considering he was an Earthling. The prince took time to study the child from his black, spiked hair, to the brown tail. The prince's eyes widened slightly when he saw the resemblance between the boy and his deceased father, Bardock. That and the tail gave the boy away. This was Kakarot; the prince had found him.
"Who are you?" Kakarot shouted at him, making the prince smirk.
"Prince Vegeta," the prince responded.
"Vegeta?" Kakarot asked, his face perplexed as he tilted his head. "You mean like vegetable?"
Vegeta glared at the boy. He was starting to wear on the prince's patience. Sure, this was their first moment meeting, but failing in the most simplest of missions was not something he was going to overlook. Ignoring the boy's idiotic comment, he walked over to him, not missing a step.
"You have a lot of nerve showing up here now, after I've caught you in failing your mission, Kakarot," Vegeta stated darkly. "A just punishment would be death, but I'm feeling merciful today. We'll finish this and then we will leave."
"Who's Kakarot?" the boy asked making Vegeta mentally double over. "And what do you mean mission?"
Vegeta couldn't conceal his shock, his mouth hanging open as he tried to find the words to speak. Did the boy not know who he was? It made Vegeta curious about the rumors that always spread about young children on Planet Vegeta. "Boy, did you ever hit you head as a child?"
"Me?" Kakarot asked while pointing to himself. He took his hand and placed it under his chin as he tried to remember. "I remember a time where I woke up and grandpa was really happy and told me I had been asleep for a few weeks after an accident. I didn't remember the accident, though. Did I hit my head then?"
Vegeta closed his eyes and shook his head. The scowl he normally wore was plastered on his face yet again despite his joy of destruction. If he had hit his head, then all knowledge of his mission and heritage would have been lost to him. Vegeta should have realized that the boy was not at fault, but even so…
"You idiot, how could you let that happen?" he snapped. "You were supposed to wipe all life from this planet." That was his second rash moment of the day.
"W-What?" Goku asked in shock, his face falling at the news before he became serious and glared at Vegeta. "No. No, I wouldn't do that. Earth is my home. I have friends here. I don't know who you are, but if you're the one who caused this, then I'll-"
"You'll what?" Vegeta scoffed, crossing his arms. "Believe me, boy; I am much stronger than you. You would have been stronger had you completed your mission and trained with us."
"What 'us?'" Goku replied, his glare unyielding.
Vegeta rolled his eyes at Kakarot's attempt to be threatening. "The Saiyans," he answered with authority, "a powerful, warrior race; your race; our race."
"No," Kakarot whispered to himself. "No, that can't be," he said more forcefully. "That's impossible."
"Believe what you want, but I can see in your eyes that you know it's true, Kakarot," Vegeta countered as he unwound his tail from around his waist. Kakarot's eyes widened as he looked at his own tail. He didn't want to believe it, but the evidence was there. He couldn't deny his heritage, but he still wouldn't give in to Vegeta.
"Even if it is, I'll never join you," he said with finality.
"If that is your answer, then you will die along with this planet," Vegeta replied. He was getting sick and tired of Kakarot's attitude toward the truth, child or not. "I do not tolerate weaklings or traitors, and right now you are both."
Vegeta was expecting the boy to cower at his statement, but instead he dropped down into a fighting stance, nearly flawless but not quite, and challenged him. "Bring it," he stated seriously. Vegeta couldn't help but smirk at Kakarot's Saiyan nature. Even with the memories gone, it was still there somewhat. Perhaps he wouldn't kill him along with the planet. He was still at an impressionable age, and a few weeks of Saiyan-style training and being on Frieza's ship would surely change him. Kakarot would be the Saiyan he was meant to be, even if Vegeta had to beat him into it.
So he crossed his arms and waited for the boy to attack. Kakarot's power level was barely over a hundred while Vegeta's was currently in the early thousands. Any attack from the twelve-year-old would feel like nothing more than a bug bite.
Goku charged at the Saiyan prince, which Vegeta easily countered as the small boy's fist collided with his chest. Vegeta simply elbowed him, knocking him down to the ground. Goku grabbed his head, shaking off the pain and then glared at Vegeta. "That wasn't very nice," he grumbled.
Vegeta was flabbergasted. Since when did he give Kakarot the impression that he was going to be "nice?" He came to Earth to take him away, planned on destroying the planet as well. He decided that Kakarot was a delusional child, a quality he would correct him of later.
"Kid, I am much stronger than you are," Vegeta told him. "There's no way you are going to win this."
"I don't care!" Goku shouted as he charged up his ki energy in his palms. "Kamehame-HA!"
Vegeta was taken by surprised at the power behind Kakarot's attack. He had obviously been training, but Vegeta didn't know that he would have learned to control his ki energy. Where Saiyans could control their ki at a young age, they usually needed someone to train them to handle the force of their ki. It made Vegeta curious as to who had been teaching the young Saiyan. For now, though, he needed to focus at the task at hand. Kakarot was still being stubborn and insubordinate. He smirked again. Kakarot was going to fit right in after the kindness got knocked out of him.
However, getting lost in his thought for the moment, Vegeta miscalculated the actual speed of the attack. The power was still fairly weak, but it was stronger than his first hit. Vegeta managed to dodge it, but still got slightly hit in the face, causing a small burn that would go away eventually. The Saiyan prince watched as the attack hit a large rock formation, causing an explosion that managed to blow some of the forest fire away.
Vegeta's eyes darkened in anger as he looked back over to Kakarot, as a flash of lightning shooting down from the dark clouds that had gathered above the area. He turned to face the boy, a menacing look adorning his face as he marched over to him fists clenched.
Goku normally was not afraid of his opponents. Usually he was fighting for fun, or fighting people like in the Red Ribbon Army to protect or help his friends. He had never faced someone like Vegeta, and with the dark expression, along with the ambiance of the fire burning the forest to cinders and the rain storm that had just appeared, his opponent looked even more menacing.
The rain started to put out the fire, leaving only smoke and debris. It almost looked like a desolate graveyard, dark and dank. Vegeta's eyes had reflected the red of the remaining flames as the lightning cracked behind him. "You asked for this, Kakarot," he said calmly. When he spoke calmly, that was when his prey really needed to start worrying.
Before Goku could reply to Vegeta, he felt his body being thrashed around. Vegeta didn't know what had come over him. Saiyans fought; they injured each other; it was all a part of training. But when Kakarot's attack struck him when HE was the one who should have been paying attention, something snapped and he was now viciously beating one of his own. Even as he was telling himself this, he continued, not caring if the boy had screamed out in pain or not. It was as if all his senses had grown numb.
Goku got smashed into another rock formation, his clothes torn and his body bruised, bloody, and broken. Vegeta landed down in front of him, holding up his hand, ready to attack Kakarot the same way he had destroyed the forest and homes. His face betrayed no hint of emotion, though his brows were scrunched together. Although his body was telling him to attack and destroy the traitor, his mind was trying to take control. His hand shook as he looked at the body of the unconscious Saiyan in front of him. He growled and shot a ki blast, quickly changing his direction and breathing heavily.
After the blast had left him, heading to the blackened ground, he regained himself and lowered his hand, letting the rain cool him down. He let out a breath he hadn't even realized he had been holding and looked back over to his downed opponent. All he could think was, What the hell happened?
Yes, he had wanted to toy with the boy, make him think he was going to die, knock him unconscious, and then take him with him after he completed his mission and destroyed all life on the planet. He hadn't meant to actually kill him, which would have happened had he not regained control of his body. Nothing like this had ever happened to the prince before. When he killed, it was his choice. When he tortured the life out of someone, he relished in it and had complete control.
Seeing Kakarot lying there like he had when he had been tortured by Frieza once as a child left a bitter taste in his mouth. Vegeta was a monster; he knew that; but he wasn't Frieza. He would not let himself be anything like the tyrant, not until he was the one to take over, and he would not destroy one of the last of his race. But unfortunately, this was a wakeup call. He had left Raditz beaten, but not dying, so he had no regrets, but this little boy made him regret coming to Earth.
Another thing that worried Vegeta was, if he could do this much damage to Kakarot not being at full strength, what would Frieza do to him? Yes, he came wanting to bring another Saiyan to take Frieza down, but he did not want to lead him into his death. Vegeta didn't know why he was getting so sentimental about this, but maybe it was the desire as a prince to preserve what was left of his race.
Vegeta scoffed at his sentiment and then told himself it was because he didn't want to give Frieza anymore ammunition to insult the Saiyan race, and Kakarot's weakness would definitely something that would lead to more ridicule. It was then he decided that maybe if he left Kakarot there, he would train himself more and be at least strong enough to assist them in dealing with Frieza when they themselves would also be much stronger. It was a long shot, but again, Vegeta was known for his rash decisions.
But Kakarot wouldn't help in the future if he remembered what he did. Vegeta didn't regret doing it either, but he wouldn't want to have the kid being even more stubborn when he came back for him. He was still a young Saiyan, so getting hit hard enough in the head would still take away at least a small part of his memory, so Vegeta raised his hand again, and smacked the boy's head with the side of his hand. It didn't wake him up as he was still weak from the beating.
The eyepiece Vegeta wore started beeping again and he looked to the opposite direction. Whoever it was would probably be looking for whoever caused the damage. Vegeta didn't care about being caught by them, but if he wanted his plan to work, Kakarot could not remember him, or anything else that had happened.
Vegeta went behind a rock formation, staying close. He would determine whether or not he would have his fun with the fighters and kill them, or if he would leave them be. A tall man with black hair, and a bald child landed a jet nearby and got out before running towards Kakarot.
"Goku!" the child exclaimed.
"W-what the heck happened to him?" the other man asked in worry. Vegeta watched him kneel down beside Kakarot and try to shake him awake. "Hey, Goku, wake up, kid."
The bald child looked around at the damage left by the fire and fight. "Whoever did this is gone now, I hope," he said absentmindedly.
"Hey Krillin, he's waking up!" the taller fighter said in relief.
Goku blinked his eyes opened, cringing at the light that was now beginning to peak through the clouds. "Hey, guy," he said hoarsely. "What happened?"
"You tell us, Goku," the man replied. "We found you here. You must have been in a fight with whoever attacked here. Who was it?"
"I…I, what are you?" Goku started to ask before he sat up and groaned while grasping the side of his head. "I don't remember. I don't even remember coming here, Yamcha."
Vegeta smirked and nodded. His plan worked. Kakarot would not remember him. Then he frowned again, annoyed with his attitude towards the boy. He had never acted the way he did with anyone, let alone children. It was something he did not understand.
Yamcha picked Goku, and he and Krillin brought the boy and lied him down gently in the jet. "Don't worry about it, Goku. You're going to be okay."
The twelve-year-old had already passed out again, making both Yamcha and Krillin sigh with worry. They knew that whoever had taken out Earth's hero had to have been strong, but it didn't explain why he hadn't stuck around. Whoever it was had caused so much destruction and then left, just like that. No one knew who the individual, or individuals, responsible was or what their motive had been.
Vegeta waited until they left before he took off for his space pod and set the coordinates back to Frieza's ship. He was sure the lizard wouldn't be too happy with him going AWOL for a few days, but that just meant getting to see him infuriated again. The teenaged prince couldn't help but release a small, rebellious chuckle.
The door of his pod closed and it took off into space once more. Vegeta cast one last glance at the planet and rolled his eyes. He'd be back one day, without a doubt, and next time he wouldn't be so merciful. In fact, by the next time he would set foot there, he'd be even more ruthless and cut-throat than he thought himself to be presently. After all, he wouldn't be back for another thirteen years. We'll meet again, Kakarot, Vegeta thought before the stasis activated forcing him into slumber.
Ironically, the spot where he had left Kakarot had become the wasteland where they were to battle upon his second arrival. The one thing the Saiyan prince had been right about was that Kakarot's strength would have increased by that time. The only problem with his idea was that Kakarot was still as stubborn and reluctant to take his place among the Saiyans. A traitor child was understandable, but an adult traitor was inexcusable. Vegeta had definitely planned on killing him on that day, even if he had forgiven his insolence when he was just a boy.
He had always wondered if it was a mistake to let him go. When he had arrived on Earth the second time, it was clear to the prince that it gave the third-class warrior the chance to grow stronger. Kakarot had humiliated him, avenged a race he had disgraced and knew nothing about and became their legendary. It had always angered Vegeta that he had had the chance to take his life and didn't.
As the years went on, Vegeta's anger started to fade, his hatred for the once weak fighter gone and replaced by respect and a, dare he say, brotherly type of bond. The two rivals, once enemies, now fought together side by side, or literally as one for a short time.
Now, Vegeta found himself in the doorway of the Capsule Corp. living room staring at his wife and his young son sleeping on the couch. Trunks was leaning on Bulma's shoulder and the woman was holding their baby girl. Vegeta walked into the room and took the sleeping child from Bulma's arms holding her close to him.
As Vegeta look at his family, a family he thought he would never want or have, he realized the past didn't matter anymore. He had considered telling the jovial Saiyan on numerous occasions, but it wouldn't change anything between them. Maybe it was a mistake to let the Earth-raised Saiyan live and remain on the planet, but Vegeta also received something in return. Not only was he gifted with a beautiful mate and two children, but he also had a rival and friend that pushed him to better himself. Vegeta smirked slightly at that fact that he had once been stronger than Kakarot, but he knew that he would take that secret to his grave. Yes, it was a mistake to let Kakarot go, but it was the best mistake he had ever made.