The Light to my Darkness

BY : SaiyanPrince541
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 5435
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN DRAGON BALL Z, OR ANY OF THE PRIMARY CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY!! THOSE ARE ALL TORIYAMA'S!! THIS IS A NON-PROFIT, FAN-MADE STORY!!!

Chapter 9: The Prince of Darkness

Soon after heading off, Gohan and Krillin had felt that cluster of high power levels headed the same way they were. They quickly took cover inside a nearby cave, as they watched them fly past. They took a good look at him, as he flew past: the white-purple lizard-like being hovering inside that strange dark throne of his, surrounded by his entourage. He was the most powerful of the lot. That must have been Frieza. As soon as they were out of sight, both Gohan and Krillin collapsed on the spot, panting for their lives. Sensing it from up close gave them a more accurate gauge of his almost horrific, godlike power.

"Gohan." Krillin panted, "Any ideas?"

"I'm fresh out." Gohan replied, but then thought for a moment, "Wait, no I'm not! What if we follow them?"

"Are you nuts, Gohan?!" Krillin chided.

"Hear me out Krillin." The boy said. "If we find out more about them, maybe we can catch them by surprise somehow, I'm not sure. But if they're headed for the fifth dragon ball, that means they'll only have two more to collect. We need to know exactly what's going on."

Krillin groaned, before sighing in surrender.

"Alright fine, but remember, don't do anything rash like before." He said in a firm tone. "I mean it Gohan! No matter what!"

"Okay Krillin." The boy complied.

The two followed the evil group, jumping from island to island.

XXXX

Bulma and Vegeta soon found a cave where she promptly set up a capsule house as their unofficial headquarters. Vegeta still felt thunderstruck upon seeing her materialize something out of thin air, as though it were nothing. This woman was truly something else, like no one he'd ever met before! Frieza would definitely be ecstatic at the prospect of laying his icy claws on someone as talented, bold and high-spirited as her, only so he could have his fun breaking her down inch by inch as he did him, but he would not allow it. She was his property and not the lizard's!

And so he made his way inside the Capsule House, hot on his captive's heals.

"You know, I wonder why my hair haven't grown." She mused, audibly.

"The stasis gas contains a substance called timoxidone, which inhibits hair growth." Vegeta answered.

"Oh wow." Bulma marvelled, "God, all this alien technology never ceases to amaze." She suddenly blanched at the implication behind those words. "Wait, does that mean my hair will never grow again?!"

"It's only temporary." Vegeta replied. "You've been in the pod for around a month, so the effects will last a mere few days, at the very most."

"Oh, thank God." She breathed a huge sigh of comfort, as the color returned to her face.

"It's customary for space pods to incorporate the substance, since certain species, for instance the Trigocians, grow hair much faster than normal." Vegeta added (A/N: Trigocians = Jeice's species).

"How fast exactly?"

"In their case, about 10 inches daily." He responded.

"Wow, insane!" Bulma gawked at him. She then mused for a while. "You know, Goku's hair never grew since he was a kid. I always wondered why that was."

"He's a Saiyan." Vegeta responded nonchalantly. "In the event that we happen to lose our hair, it only regrows back to level we were born with." (A/N: A lot of fics claim that Saiyan hair doesn't change at all since birth, but Mercenary Tao hacked through some of Goku's hair, yet it still reverted back to normal soon after).

"Really?" Her lips quirked up. She felt somewhat at ease, now that she was actually having a genuine conversation with him, as opposed to one involving death threats and what not. "Wow, now that's really amazing, Vegeta!"

"Enough of this!" The Prince grew agitated by this mundane chatter. "It's time I find the nearest dragon ball."

"Wait hold on." Bulma said. "Shouldn't we eat first? It's been a while."

"If you're asking me to go hunt, you can forget it." Vegeta declared resolutely, folding his arms.

"What?" She asked perplexedly, "Oh you don't have to. I have a well-stocked fridge here. You know, if you're hungry, we can both grab a bite, or in your case a truckload and then continue this little adventure of ours."

Bulma's face lit up into a smile, mid-sentence. Having a casual chat and seeing him so flustered, after driving her hover bike, really helped surge her mood, especially the way he'd latched onto her back then, as though he'd fall off at any moment! God, that felt empowering!

"This is no adventure!" He scoffed. "This is life and death!"

"Well, everyone's gotta die sometime." She shrugged her shoulders, before moving over to a cabinet door and pulling out a set of large trays. "Might as well have fun and go out with a bang, don't you think?!"

Vegeta's lips quirked up slightly, as her back was turned to him. Now she was talking! He was really beginning to like that intrepid, daredevil personality of hers. She was so brazen, carefree and straightforward! She didn't grovel before him, as most would, Nappa and Raditz included! Now this was the companion he truly sought! Of course that didn't mean she was of any significance to him, but even then, someone with her genius and candor could prove to be a decisive asset, as he rebuilt the Saiyan Empire from scratch. He had to be circumspect about it though, since he was responsible for the deaths of her friends and she likely more than harbored a grudge against him.

"Alright, so I'm guessing the plan is to get a dragon ball and hide it from Frieza, right?" She asked, as she grabbed two marinated turkeys from the fridge, about twelve pounds each, carefully placing them atop two separate trays.

"That's right." Vegeta de-gloved and headed over. He was about to grab a bird, before Bulma slapped his hand reproachingly. "What're doing?!" He scowled.

"I need to cook them first, you moron!" She furrowed her brows in askance. "Seriously, were you brought up in a jungle or something?!"

"Mind your tongue, you little scullion!" He bared his teeth menacingly. "I am the mighty Prince Vegeta!"

"I am not a scullion!" She snarled at him, her voice rising an octave. "I'm the beautiful Princess Bulma Brief and even prehistoric cavemen know that meat has to be cooked before it's edible, Mr. Prince of savages!"

"I'm warning you, this is far as you go!" Threatened the Prince, holding a fist up menacingly. "You're only moments away from being blasted into oblivion!"

"Oh yeah?" She smirked, arrogantly folding her arms. "Who's gonna cook for you then?"

"Tch, watch this!" Vegeta scoffed, lifting up the turkey using Ki from his left hand.

"Hey what're you-"

"Shut up and watch!" The Prince placed his right palm half an inch away from the apex of the bird's chest and transferred a small amount of Ki into his hand.

Bulma watched in absolute awe as the bird began to sizzle midair, while its mouthwatering juices slowly dribbled. Within two minutes, it took on a rich dark orange-red hue.

"Give me a plate." Ordered the Saiyan.

"Uh- sure."

The Prince took a seat and voraciously attacked the bird, not wasting even a tittle, as Bulma gaped on, still trying to come to terms with what had just materialized.

After he was done, he made a move to grab the second turkey.

"Wow, that's a neat trick, Vegeta." The heiress beamed. "I've never seen any of my friends do that!"

"They've probably never had to." He replied, after swallowing a mouthful. "This doesn't taste nearly as good as bonfire though. I'm only doing it because I need to collect the dragon balls, posthaste."

Vegeta roasted the other turkey midair, as before, but this time he ripped off a good portion of the left hind quarter and offered it to Bulma.

"Here." He said, his tone impassive.

"For me?" She asked, dumbfounded.

"Well, you're of no use to me if you starve to death." He replied, tone unchanged.

"Wow, thanks Vegeta." She said after a brief pause, her face brightening up. The Prince merely scoffed. He didn't do it for her and certainly didn't need her thanks.

She grabbed the quarter, put it in a plate which she placed upon the counter and grabbed a couple of bottles containing various condiments, from a cabinet door.

"You can try some of these." She set the bottles on the counter. "Let's see. We've got tomato, barbeque, garlic, mustard, chilli and uh, ultra hot peri-peri sauce."

"Put some in my plate." Vegeta ordered.

"Uh, okay, which one?"

"Some of each."

"Right." She complied, knowing he must've wanted to sample each one. Bulma then began digging into her own meal. Boy, was she hungry!

To her utter surprise, it turned out that Vegeta's favourite sauces were garlic and ultra hot, same as hers. (A/N: Well, those two are definitely my favourites).

"You know this tastes pretty good." Bulma said through a mouthful.

Vegeta gulped down his morsel, before responding.

"What did I say about swallowing first?!" He berated.

"Oh sorry." Bulma laughed sheepishly.

"Hmph. And you call me a savage."

The heiress just rolled her eyes and continued enjoying her meal.

After eating his share of the second bird, the Prince headed over to the sink. After washing his hands and rinsing his mouth, his scouter suddenly came to life out of the blue. Something major was going down.

"Dragon radar, now." He ordered.

"Hm? Okay." Bulma replied. She'd just now finished her sizzling hot meal and went ahead to wash her hands, before drying them with paper towel and handing the radar over to Vegeta.

"Just as I thought." He said knowingly. "Frieza's onto his fifth dragon ball already and is about to slaughter a village of Namekians, as we speak."

"He is?!" Asked an alarmed Bulma, feeling her heart wrench at the thought. She didn't know what the Namekians were like, but no one deserved to be slaughtered by a group of nasty, murderous, alien invaders the way her friends were. "Well, what do we do now?!"

"I'm going to collect the ball nearest them." He replied and then smirked evilly to himself. "I can sense a group of weak and helpless power levels in that same spot, probably more Nameks."

He strutted towards the door.

Bulma bit her lip, her heart hammering in her chest as the full weight of his words sunk in.

"Wait Vegeta."

"What?!" He demanded, offhandedly.

"Don't tell your gonna," She paused a moment before continuing. "Do what I think you are."

The Prince smiled maliciously at her, knowing exactly what was preying on her mind.

"What? Kill every Namekian I find? Of course I will."

"But, you don't have to." Bulma countered, walking towards him and attempting to mask her emotions, though she failed miserably.

"Tch." The Prince smirked. "That's where you're wrong woman."

"Look, just hear me out." Bulma requested.

"I don't live by your moral restraints, never forget that!" Vegeta growled, beginning to grow impatient.

"That's not what I'm asking, just listen." She objected. "What if you allied yourself with them?"

"I don't need a bunch of weak, snivelling cowards at my side!"

"Look, I want Frieza dead too, but you said so yourself, he's too powerful!" She argued, gently placing her hands on his shoulders and trying to persuade him as best she could. "You need all the help you can get!"

Vegeta roughly shoved her forward, making her land ungracefully on her rear.

"Don't ever touch me!" He snarled, shades of the ruthless Prince that had killed Bulma's friends, beginning to reemerge. The heiress glared daggers at him.

"If you kill people indiscriminately, then you're no better than Frieza!" She yelled. The Prince scoffed.

"I never claimed I was." He replied stoically.

"But you can be." Bulma looked at him imploringly, tears brimming her scintillating pools of sapphire. She noticed a hint of emotion flicker through the Prince's charcoal orbs of endless ebony, only to vanish as soon as it came.

"You know nothing!" He said brusquely, before flashing her a smile so sinister, she felt as though molten lava ate away her flesh from the inside. She could've sworn she saw his pupils dilate a deep and bloody crimson for just a flitting moment, making him look like the devil reincarnate. Just as quickly, Vegeta bolted out of the compound, out of the cave and out of sight, dragon radar in hand, still keeping his power level suppressed to a bare minimum, in order to avoid detection.

As he was travelling, he made sure to listen intently to the conversation playing out on his scouter, between the Frieza crew and their Namekian victims to-be. His thoughts went back to Bulma's plea.

'Silly female!' He thought to himself in rage. 'Who the hell does she think she is?! I am the Saiyan Prince! Once I destroy Frieza, I'll turn this entire Universe into a cesspool of blood and bodies that will put even his darkest deeds to shame! Then she'll know the real me!'

XXXX

Bulma felt her heart constrict, as Vegeta took off. Despite the short time they'd shared together, she was beginning to grow on him. Only now did she realize that in his presence she began feeling less and less like a prisoner and more like a companion, even a friend of sorts. He'd protected her from Frieza's soldiers and later, Cui and she couldn't deny enjoying their verbal sparring matches and the casual talk they'd had, as though there were no hostility between them. Somewhere along the line, she'd gotten acquainted with Vegeta and saw in him, a person other than the murdering beast who'd taken away her dearest friends, who'd taken away her Yamcha.

But now the beast had returned, if it had ever left in the first place and it seemed more wild and euphoric than ever, frenzied at the prospect of sinking its razor-like fangs into the flesh of innocence and relishing deeply as the screams of its victims reverberated through air that was flooded with the foul, yet intoxicating stench of death and gore. Her heart continued to throb as unruly tears streamed down her face in fine rivulets, not just for the natives of Namek, but for the Prince of Darkness, she'd come to befriend.


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