Second Best - A Vegeta/Bulma Story
A Dragonball Z Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah
Written October 10th – 16th 2000, Revised March 27th
Muffled sounds, shouting voices, seemed to seep through mud into his ears. His eyes opened and light filtered in, blotchy and in grey colors. His head throbbed.
“Uhnnnn...” he moaned and lifted his arms to investigate. A sizable lump had already begun to form. As his vision and hearing cleared, his headache grew. Someone was standing over him and shouting at him.
“Oh! If you only listened to me the first time I wouldn’t have had to hit you! Don’t you see? Blah blah blah...!”
“Ugh! Shut up!” he shouted and winced at the pain it caused him. “Your blathering is making my head pound!”
There was a beat of silence then the same nagging tone of voice took up right where it left off. “My frying pan is what made your head pound!”
He squinted up at the noon-day sun to see the silhouette of a woman holding a rather sizable and strangely misshapen frying pan.
“Look what you did to it! It’s ruined!”
“What?!” he moaned and stood up. The woman scowled at him and he scowled right back. “You?!” he shouted. “You hit me with that!?”
Chi-chi frowned deeper and shook the pan for emphasis. “I certainly did! You have absolutely no respect for your sons’ education and I’m getting tired of it!”
“What?! Have you gone completely insane, woman?! What do you care about my son?”
Chi-chi gawked. The pan fell out of her limp hand. “Wha... wha… what do I care...?”
“Must I repeat myself?” He rubbed his head. Every word he said made it pulse and ache.
“Buh... buh... but Goku...” Chi-chi blinked. “Are you sure you’re all right?”
He snorted at this. “You have gone insane. Do I look anything like Kakarott?”
To his surprise, she nodded. “Goku, honey. I think you better come in and lie down for a while. I’ll call a doctor.” She approached him and made to take his arm.
“Get off!” he shouted. “What is this, some kind of joke? Why don’t you go bother someone else, you ridiculous little woman.”
Chi-chi’s eyes welled up and she fell at his feet. “Goku! I’m so sorry I hit you! please come to your senses!” her tears vaulted from her eyes and she clung to his leg.
“Ugh! Get off!!” he yelled and looked down at the pathetic, crying human. Her tears were getting his pants wet. His orange pants.
“What the...?!” he gasped and took in the entirety of his outfit. The pants which matched the top of the gi were a bright, red-orange color with a dark blue, weighted undershirt. The logo on the front jumped out at him. Unmistakably, these were Kakarott’s clothes, but what the hell was he doing in them!?
He shook Chi-chi off and looked around frantically. He saw the little house nestled under the mountain just behind him and ran for it. After searching in several rooms, he finally found what he was looking for.
His own, familiar face stared back at him in relief from the mirror. “Thank Kami, I’m me!” he held the thing out at arms length and took in the full picture. “But she thinks I’m Kakarott...”
“I do not think you’re Kakarott! Goku, what’s happened to you!?” Chi-chi wailed from the doorway.
“I am not Goku!” He threw the mirror against the wall and it shattered to atoms. Chi-chi screamed in terror and fell to the ground. “What the hell is going on!? Why am I in his clothes? Who put you up to this? Was it Bulma? If this is a joke it’s not very funny!”
“Buh Buh.. Bulma..?” she sobbed. “No! Goku, please!”
“For the last time! I am not Goku. I am Vegeta! Prince of the Saiyans!”
Chi-chi stopped shaking and looked up at him. “What...?”
Rather than repeat himself, Vegeta gave her and icy glare.
“Oh... oh my God... That must be it...” she got to her feet and approached him. Her eyes were soft and caring. She stretched out her hand to touch the bump on his head, but he pulled back. “You must have... Oh no...” Chi-chi shook her head. “Master Roshi said that you hit your head when you were a baby and that’s what made you so sweet...” she sat down on the corner of her bed. “Oh, Goku... Have I lost you?”
“I think you’re the one who’s lost it.” Vegeta removed the top portion of his gi and dumped it on the floor. The orange was getting to him. “So if I’m here... Where’s Kakarott?”
“He’s at The Capsule Corporation, of course,” Chi-chi monotoned. “He lives there.”
The Prince blinked at her. The pieces floated together. “You think I’m Ka... Goku, and Kakarott lives at capsule?!” He growled and clenched his fists. “I don’t know what the hell’s going on, but I’m going to find him and beat him to within an inch of his life!!”
Chi-chi leapt off the bed for cover as Vegeta powered up and burst through her bedroom window. She cried in the corner of the ruined room and waited for her sons to come home from school.
The domes appeared on the horizon and Vegeta came to an abrupt halt. Everything looked normal from the outside, but his skin crawled. He lighted and walked around to the gravity chamber.
The door was open and the machine was vacant. His anxious feeling was not shaken by this discovery. He held his breath and listened for anyone who might be hiding somewhere nearby, watching him.
Vegeta shook his head. “What am I doing walking on eggshells! This is my house!”
With a false sense of security, the Prince folded his arms and walked toward it. Laughter caught his attention and he looked to the door it was coming from. Bulma nearly skipped out of the house, giggling. Vegeta rolled his eyes.
“Hee hee hee! Oh! You are absolutely incorrigible!” she shouted back into the house. Something about the way she was acting made his blood boil with jealousy. He was about to ask her what was wrong with Chi-chi when she noticed him.
“Oh, hi Son-kun! What’s the occasion?”
Vegeta stared at her blankly for a beat. “What!?”
“Well, you don’t ever just drop by, Goku. You always have a reason. What’s up?” she smiled and walked up to him. “Nothing bad, I hope.”
He furrowed his brows and looked up at her. “Damn it, woman. Did that other silly female put you up to this?”
Bulma blinked at him. “Goku, are you feelin’ ok?”
“No!” the Prince shouted. “I am not ok! And I am not Goku!!!”
She stepped back a few paces. “Ok. Sure, buddy. I’m just gonna go back in the house now...”
Vegeta’s stomach turned. “Woman, no. Wait...” he tried to plead with her but she was already in the door and out of sight. “Woman?” he called as he opened the door.
“I’m the only one who gets to call her that, Vegeta,” growled a familiar voice.
He looked to his left, and sure enough, there he was. He was wearing a pair of jeans, sneakers and a Capsule Corporation tee-shirt. He was also wearing a fairly severe scowl.
“The one and only. You want to explain to me why you’re scaring my wife, or do I have to beat it out of you?”
Vegeta’s head spun. He looked past Kakarott and saw Bulma peeping out from around a corner. She was holding back a young boy who wore a matching scowl.
“Goku, what’s the big idea, huh?” the boy threatened. His hair was lavender, but it stuck out in every direction.
“Trunks, behave. Your father will take care of this.”
Vegeta locked his gaze back on his foe, on his dark, black eyes. “I don’t know what the hell’s going on, Kakarott, but if you want to try to beat it out of me... be my guest.”
One side of Kakarott’s mouth curled up and he chuckled darkly. “Now that’s the spirit, Vegeta. You’re beginning to sound like a Saiyan!” he laughed at him.
Vegeta boiled over. “You’d better believe it, I am your Prince!!!”
The other man seemed to be shocked at this. “You’re serious, aren’t you? You remember? How is that possible!?”
“Remember? Last time I checked it was you who was forgetful... and you who was married to that awful Chi-chi woman!” Vegeta shuddered, remembering her berating, and thinking that he’d rather listen to Bulma scream at him all day that one additional second of Chi-chi’s nagging. His train of thought jumped then to the bedroom, and the image of Kakarott doing ungodly things to his woman made his blood flow white-hot.
“You and me, Kakarott. Outside. Now!”
“My pleasure, your Highness.”
They flew only a few hundred miles away from the Capitol before choosing a place to fight.
“So, have you really come to your senses, Vegeta?”
He growled. “I should ask the same of you, Kakarott. I don’t know what’s going on. All I know is that I want to destroy you, whether you’re Goku or I’m Goku, it makes no difference to me.”
He tilted back his head and laughed at the Prince. “You’re delusional!”
“Look, I didn’t come here to talk!”
“Right. Then let’s begin.”
They started off by throwing punches and kicks on the ground and the fight escalated quickly. Then they were in the air, then super-Saiyan, then firing off power attacks. Vegeta wondered why Kakarott had not yet used the Shunkan Ido until it dawned on him. He smiled evilly and concentrated.
Kakarott blasted Vegeta point blank. He couldn’t believe he had left himself open like that. The blast shot through the empty air.
“Huh?!” Kakarott blinked. Vegeta re-appeared behind him and gave him the same treatment. Vegeta’s blast met its mark, and Kakarott plunged to the ground.
He didn’t let him recover. Vegeta rained a shower of ki blasts down on him. Kakarott lay on the ground, motionless, but still in super-Saiyan. The Prince knew better than to fall for that, but confidently allowed him to charge. He powered up to level two and was delighted to feel how easy it was. As he exchanged blows with Kakarott he concentrated on his power. It would take only a little more and… yes! He burst through to level three.
“Now Kakarott! It ends! Big Bang Attack!!!”
Kakarott looked stunned as the blast hit him from a distance of five feet away. He was forced back and buried into the ground at a 45 degree angle. Vegeta hung in the air, panting, not so much from exertion as from exhilaration. Kakarott’s ki was still there, but only faintly. He was alive, but defeated. Vegeta looked down on the scar on the Earth and began to laugh. “Hahahaha... I did it... I did it! I did it!!! Hahahaha!!!!”
His celebration was cut short as his vision began to blur. His head hurt. Vegeta raised a hand to the bump and winced.
‘Vegeta...’ his name echoed between his ears. ‘Vegeta...?’
The sun set in a matter of seconds. He fell out of super-Saiyan and floated in the air aimlessly. “What..?” he grumbled and touched down on the ground. Kakarott had clawed his way out of the hole and was lying on his back. “Vegeta... Vegeta?” his lips moved and the sound came from his body, but the voice...
Vegeta shook his head and instantly regretted it. The pain was so much, that he fell to his hands and knees, then those gave out and he lay on his back in the grass. ‘Vegeta...? Vegeta!”
“What!?!” he screamed to the sky.
It was pitch black. The pain was gone. His breath came in shallow gasps. His heart raced.
“Are you ok?”
The voice was so clear that it startled him. He sat up and looked to the source.
She clicked on the light. “You were having a nightmare, Vegeta.”
His eyes adjusted to the brightness and he gaped at her. “Woman...?” he asked tentatively.
“It’s ok,” she soothed and hugged him.
It took Vegeta a few moments to respond. He sighed and bowed his head into her shoulder. The smell of her hair, and the softness of her skin worked to erase the dream, but a strange feeling remained: a feeling of destiny and his place in the world.
Vegeta lifted Bulma’s chin up and kissed her, delicately on the lips. “If it means being second best...” he mumbled.
“What’s that...?” she whispered.
He reached over and turned off the light.