Chapter 1: Chapter One
From the moment after she had jumped through the portal, Buffy knew she wasn’t on Sunnydale anymore. The landscape was much harsher then she was used to; it was nearly barren with almost no vegetation and she had managed to land face down in the dirt.
She knew without looking up that the portal had closed shut behind her, however, she hadn’t expected to land near people. She lifted her head up and saw two strange-looking guys staring at her. She rolled over onto her back and the guy with the black spiky hair leaned forward to give her a hand up, while the other one just stared at her. She took Spiky’s hand and thanked him as she caught her bearings.
“Is she a friend of yours, Trunks?” Spiky asked.
“Buffy? Is that really you?”
Buffy whipped her head around to look at the one Spiky had called Trunks and asked, “How do you know me?”
Trunks could tell that from the way she was eying him that he had better explain—and quickly—or fists were going to start flying. He spoke calmly and said, “I was just telling Goku that I was from the future—twenty years in the future to be exact—and that there is a great threat on the horizon. Two androids will appear in three years from now on a small island and will destroy everything in their path. Nearly everyone here,” he pointed toward a group of people standing a couple of hundred yards away, “die when they first appear.” He took a deep breath and pushed a hand through his hair. “You originally showed up on my mother’s doorstep a few years from now.”
Buffy let out a weary sigh. She couldn’t even land someplace without landing into some sort of trouble. She squared her jaw and said, “As awful as these androids sound, they’re nothing compared to the day I’ve had today. I beat up a hell-god, I jumped through a portal to save my sister, and crash landed in the middle of who knows where.”
Goku placed a friendly hand on her shoulder and said, “Gosh, I guess you have had a bad day.” He grinned at Buffy and said, “If it would make you feel any better, we could spar to help you blow off some steam.”
“I don’t know how much that would help her, Goku. She doesn’t like to fight and train all the time like you do.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow at Trunks before she turned back to Goku. “Although Trunks knows a version of me in the future, he doesn’t really know me. Maybe blowing off a little steam might help.” She grinned at Goku and assumed a sparring stance.
Across the crater, Krillin asked, “What’s going on here?”
Vegeta growled before saying, “The tiny blonde woman is going to fight Kakarot, you idiot. I don’t know why though; Kakarot will easily beat her.”
“I’m not too sure guys,” Gohan said. He inhaled deeply and searched the blonde’s ki. “As strong as my dad and that guy are, I think she’s stronger.”
“It’s starting,” Piccolo said, returning everyone’s attention to the scene before them.
It was slow at first as Buffy and Goku got a feel for each other’s fighting styles, and then it sped up rapidly. Goku seemed to have the upper hand at first, with Buffy blocking his blows and kicks while she waited for an opening. When she found it, she sent a quick right hook into Goku’s nose. While he was stunned, she followed it with a quick roundhouse kick to his head and dropped to sweep his feet out from under him. She paused long enough to grab for the stake held at the small of her back, landed on top of Goku, and placed the stake on his chest, where it rested above his heart. She grinned and said, “That was too easy.”
She climbed off Goku and grabbed his hand to help him back up. Goku looked at Trunks and asked, “How well does your Buffy do against a Super Saiyan?”
Trunks blushed and said, “She still kicks my ass.” He shifted closer to Goku and said, “You know our sparring match earlier? Even when I’m at full strength, she acts as if it’s nothing.” He pulled out the heart disease antidote and handed it to Goku. “Don’t forget to take this,”
“No problem.” Goku turned to Buffy and said, “If you need a place to stay, I’m sure either Chi-Chi or Bulma won’t mind.”
“I think I’ll wait until I meet everyone before I make up my mind.” She looked around, searching for Trunks, only to find that he had disappeared. “I wonder where he went,” she said to herself as she followed Goku’s line of sight and saw him looking at a craft in the sky. She shaded her eyes and saw Trunks smiling and waving at her and Goku. She glanced back at the group starting to cross the small canyon. One of the first ones to reach them was a shorter man with black spiky hair.
The first time she heard him speak, she had felt the overwhelming urge to punch him in the face.
She couldn’t explain it, but something about the tone in his voice and the arrogance in his stance almost reminded her of Spike at his worst. She took a deep breath and attempted to make sense of what he was saying.
“It’s preposterous that she could have beaten you so easily, Kakarot! She’s nothing but a tiny blonde woman who looks like she couldn’t even hurt a fly! Why, I bet you let her get the better of you—”
His tirade was cut short by Buffy driving her fist right into the center of his face and breaking his nose. She quickly pulled away and blushed, slightly ashamed at losing her temper so easily. She looked over at the angry little man (and she could get away with calling him a little man as he was only an inch or two taller than her) and said, “Apparently I’m stronger than I look since I was able to break your nose so easily.”
He glared at her for a quick moment before he popped his nose back in place. Buffy gave a small wince at the way he had been able to shrug off the pain, never taking her eyes off the man in front of her. She had a feeling that if she did, he wouldn’t hesitate to attack her.
“Vegeta, leave her alone!” The blue-haired woman who had been standing apart from the group walked up to him and gave a tug on his very pink shirt. “She’s obviously had a hard enough of a day and she doesn’t need to take any crap from you!”
Vegeta turned his gaze to the woman and yelled, “This is none of your business, woman!” He turned back to Buffy and said, “I’m not sure if this newcomer would appreciate you meddling in her affairs.”
Buffy took two steps back in an effort to make herself more comfortable, only to have Vegeta to take the two steps with her. She glared at him and took another two steps, and somehow found herself in a pissing contest with the Saiyan. When he stepped into her comfort zone again, she said, “You need to back off or I’ll do something you’ll regret.”
He smirked at her and took the last steps needed to stand directly in front of her. “Make me regret it.”
Buffy didn’t say anything, she simply snapped. She planted her right fist in his face again, re-breaking his nose, before she kicked at him. Her knee impacted his abdomen and she heard the whoosh of breath he exhaled before she continued her assault. Several punches and kicks later, she finally knocked him to the ground and backed away so she wouldn’t be compelled to continue her attack.
For a few moments, there was nothing but silence before Goku said, “I think you may have broken him, Buffy.”
There was a weak chuckle that came from Vegeta. He sat up from his previous position and rolled his shoulders. “That wasn’t half bad. Too bad I’ve been hurt worse.”
Buffy planted her hands on her hips. She couldn’t believe the arrogance of this man. She cleared her throat and said, “I could have hurt you worse.” She waited for Vegeta to turn his gaze toward her and showed him her unhurt hands. “See? No scratches, no bruises, no broken bones.” She then invaded his space, forcing him to look up at her. “I’m sure if most people punched you in the face, their hands would be all torn up with as hard as your head is, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. Before I fell through that portal, I had just beaten the hell out of a hell-god and then I was able to take you out without injuring myself further, so I’d be careful if I were you.”
He was quiet for a moment before asking, “Are you able to use energy blasts?” He took her silence for conformation that she couldn’t, then said, “I won’t worry until you are able to then.” He collapsed backward and stared at the sky. He heard the talk about the androids coming and it would be the end of the world. He had already talked to Bulma’s father about building him a simulator that he could train in. Now he had three goals: become a Super Saiyan, defeat the androids, and beat the little woman at her own game.
Buffy had been unsure about what Goku’s reaction would be about asking to go to his place, but he just shrugged it off and assured her that it would be okay. Apparently, he had forgotten to make sure it was alright with his wife first. Buffy almost covered her ears to ward off the high pitch of Chi-Chi’s voice, but figured the other woman would feel insulted.
“Goku! I realize that you’ve been in space for a while, but the niceties can still be observed!” Buffy winced as Chi-Chi smacked Goku in the chest, and then watched as the other woman’s demeanor changed. Chi-Chi gave him a big smile and said, “I missed you and worried so much about you.”
Goku smiled down at his wife before he pulled her into his arms and planted a kiss on her forehead. He inhaled her scent and made a small contented noise. “Well, we are going to have a problem.” When Chi-Chi looked up at him, tears brimming in her eyes, Goku quickly explained about the Androids and how Buffy had appeared, before he told her about his upcoming disease. “We have an antidote, but it won’t work until I get sick.”
Buffy cocked her head to the side and asked, “Didn’t that guy say that we should be hearing about it on the news soon?” When Goku nodded, she said, “Well, we’ll just expose you so you get it out of the way and you can be in fighting shape by the time those Androids come.”
Goku grabbed her up in a bear hug and swung her around the room. He planted a kiss on her forehead as he set her down and said, “I knew it was a good idea to bring you home with me.”
When Buffy looked over at Chi-Chi and found the other woman smiling at her. Chi-Chi took Buffy’s hand and said, “Well, let’s make you up a room. I’m sure that Piccolo will be along before too long and all of you need to get training.” Buffy opened her mouth to protest, but Chi-Chi stopped her. “I know this isn’t your fight, but we need all the help we can get; especially if what Gohan managed to tell me is true.”
Buffy blushed for two reasons: one being Chi-Chi’s hospitality, the other for how she had acted around Vegeta. She really needed to get a hold of her temper before she did something really awful to someone who didn’t totally deserve it.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
One month later, Vegeta was smarting at his defeat at the hands of a small blonde woman. He had already broken the simulator several times already and found it hard to restrain his anger, especially around women. Bulma had been getting on his nerves, especially when she started harping about how he had treated the other woman. Vegeta knew the other woman could handle herself; after all she had apparently had no problem putting him in his place. He growled to himself as he returned his attention to the bots Dr. Briefs had built for him, it wouldn’t do for him to be distracted by thoughts of her while he was busy training.
He was several hours into his training when he felt a surge in ki so strong that it almost made him lose focus. He quickly powered everything down and stepped out of the simulator. He found an inner focus and searched for the strong energy; he was only slightly surprised that it came from the direction of Kakarot’s home, what did surprise him is that it didn’t feel like anyone he knew of. Curious, he walked back inside the simulator and activated the communication device. When Bulma answered, he asked, “Woman, did the little blonde woman go to Kakarot’s place?”
He heard the irritation in Bulma’s voice when she said, “My name is Bulma, you moron! And yes, Buffy did go with Goku, that way she didn’t have to put up with you!”
Vegeta pushed the button to end communication and exited the simulator. If he hurried, he could see for himself if this Buffy was as strong as her ki promised.
“That’s very good, Buffy. Now if we can just get you to control that energy, we can start the flying lessons.”
Buffy huffed impatiently. She had been working for a few days now, attempting to tap into her energy—ki Goku had called it—and when she was finally able to, it seemed to surround and attempt to take over, but she had been able to quickly contain it. Ever since she had unleashed it from the box it had been put in, she could constantly feel it humming under her skin.
“Okay,” Goku said as he helped her to her feet, “now try to push that energy toward your feet and try to lift yourself up, only using the energy inside you.”
It took a few minutes, but Buffy was finally hovering of her own volition. She blocked out the sounds of Gohan and Piccolo sparring, Goku’s words of encouragement, and even the sound of her own breathing, and in that moment of absolute stillness, she was able to find her center and took off into the sky. She wasn’t even sure where she was going, but she knew she was being drawn toward something. She opened her eyes and stopped, surprised to find Vegeta only a few yards away from her.
“So, Kakarot has been teaching you how to harness your ki? How interesting.” He crossed his arms over his chest and smirked at her.
Buffy kept a wary gaze on Vegeta. She knew from talks with both Goku and Chi-Chi that he was considered an ally, but just because he was their ally didn’t mean he was hers. If anything, he was an enemy until proven otherwise. She gave him a tense smile and said, “He thought it would be more effective if I could fight in the air and not be stuck on the ground in case things get dicey. Can’t say as I disagree with him, but if I’m stuck here, I may as well help instead of hinder.”
Vegeta was about to ask something when Goku suddenly popped up in-between them.
“Oh, hi, Vegeta; I guess you came out to investigate what was going on with us when you felt Buffy power up, huh?” Not waiting for an answer, Goku turned to Buffy and said, “I’m impressed you managed to get this far on your first try; normally just a light hovering is enough to tire someone out.”
“Well, I think you might just have to zip me home because I think it’s starting to kick in,” Buffy said as she started to waver where she was floating. After a few seconds, everything went black and she felt herself falling toward the ground.
When Buffy woke up, she felt like she had been asleep for days. She sat up and looked around to find Gohan keeping watch over her. She stretched and asked, “How long have I been out?”
Gohan looked up from his studying and said, “At least a day and a half.” When Buffy gaped at him he closed his book and added, “Don’t worry, my dad’s still out. Apparently wherever you flew to had the heart virus my dad was supposed to catch.” He watched Buffy throw the covers off her legs and try to stand up, only to see her collapse back on the bed. “If you want to wait a minute, I’ll help you into the dining room. I have to make sure everyone is awake anyway.”
Buffy took a few deep breaths and began stretching what muscles she could with out getting up. She stretched her arms over her head and let out a small sound of pleasure at the feeling before she continued. After a moment she looked toward the door and was surprised to see Vegeta standing there. She completed the stretch she was doing before she bade him good morning. When he didn’t reply in kind, she asked, “What are you doing here?”
He smirked and entered the doorway. He reached his hands out to help her up, but Buffy stood on her own. She was a little shaky, but she was standing on her own with out any help. He scowled at her for rejecting his offer of help, but didn’t comment on it. “You overexerted your energy and I caught you. Kakarot started grabbing at his chest, so I brought the two of you here.” He watched her watch him and found himself amused that she was wary in his company and since it amused him to do so, he was overly courteous. He pulled her chair out for her at the table and once she was seated, he took a chair next to hers and attempted to make small talk while they waited for breakfast.
Feeling that he was trying to pull one over on her, she gave him monosyllabic answers and kept scanning the doorways for someone to come through and save her from Vegeta. When it had been at least five minutes, she asked, “Where is everyone?”
Vegeta scowled at her, but tried not to lose his temper when he answered her. “Gohan was called out to complete some quick training with Piccolo and Chi-Chi was checking on Goku. I’m sure someone will be around shortly.”
Buffy returned his scowl with a glare while she asked, “You never fully answered my question; why are you still here?”
He thumped his fist on the table and said, “That’s none of your business, Woman!”
Feeling the adrenaline start pumping through her veins, Buffy stood and moved so the table was between them; she hoped a barrier between the two of them would stop the violence from escalating. She took a deep breath in an effort to calm down before she answered him. “Since I’m the only one who can do you serious damage, we might want to calm down and talk to each other like adults.”
Taking only half a moment to process what Buffy said, he said, “We have yet to see if you can beat me since the last time we met; it would be easier if you quit seeing me as your enemy when I am your ally.”
She cast a fleeting glance at the window and tried to calculate how fast she could make out of the house to where Gohan and Piccolo were training. When she decided that she wouldn’t be fast enough, she turned back to Vegeta and saw something in his eyes snap. Before she had a second to think about it, he was up and over the table and had pinned her to a wall. She struggled for a moment before she realized that she wasn’t strong enough to break away and that Vegeta apparently thought their verbal sparring was something akin to foreplay. She looked him in the eye and said, “You wonder why I have trouble seeing you as an ally when in the three times we’ve met, twice we’ve come to some sort of a physical confrontation.”
He leered at her and relaxed slightly as he scanned her body. While he had gone for the heavier type before, he found something very appealing in her slender and athletic form. He all but growled at her, “Maybe we connect on a more physical level. Ever think of that?”
She watched as he pulled away from and stalked out of the door, hopefully to go back to wherever he had been staying. She felt her legs give out and she slid to the floor. She didn’t move until Chi-Chi came out and started making breakfast. After a few moments, she stood and said, “I think I need to start training harder,” before she headed outside to join Piccolo and Gohan.
Once Goku recovered, the months passed in a blur, with Buffy quickly catching on how to control her energy and not letting her self get to the point where she drained herself dry. She vowed she would never be caught unaware by Vegeta again. While she tried to push him out of her mind, there were a few times he would creep in when she least expected it, but all it did was strengthen her resolve not to be the damsel again.
Vegeta had flown back to Capsule Corp with his metaphorical tail between his legs. He holed up in the simulator and steadfastly trained to become better, faster, and stronger; then he did his best to block Buffy from his mind. He was even stupid enough (in his opinion anyway) to slake his desire in Bulma one night in an effort to erase Buffy from his memory, but all it did was reinforce that Bulma wasn’t Buffy and couldn’t be a substitute no matter how hard he wished it.
When Bulma told him she was pregnant, all it did was reinforce his stupidity.
Buffy was feeling a little out-of-sorts at Capsule Corp, but she was having fun with her new friends and she had already decided that Vegeta wasn’t going to ruin her day. Trying to be nonchalant, she asked Bulma where Vegeta was.
“Oh, I have no idea where my baby’s father is. When I told him I was pregnant, he flew the coop.” She placed a hand on her belly and absentmindedly rubbed small circles. “Can’t say as I blame him, after all it was only a one-night stand and I wasn’t looking to get pregnant.” She hung her head and added, “To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I was the one he really wanted to be with.”
Buffy blushed but didn’t ask what she really wanted, so she changed the subject. “How’s Yamcha been?”
Bulma smiled at the topic change. “He’s handling it a lot better than I thought he would. He’s helping me set up a nursery and has been talking about how this has made him realize how close he came to actually losing me for good.”
Buffy was glad that it was turning out for the better. She was about to ask Bulma a few questions about something she thought the woman would be able to help her with, when one of the other guests screamed, “A man just landed on your lawn! And he wasn’t using a capsule!”
Both Buffy and Chi-Chi rushed to see who it could have possibly been. Maybe it was just Goku or Gohan and they had forgotten about the baby shower. Unfortunately, Buffy wasn’t so lucky; in the front lawn stood Vegeta in all his Super Saiyan glory. She swore under her breath, but gave small thanks that if she needed to take care of herself she could because she had started sparring with Goku in his Super Saiyan form a few months ago.
She heard someone say, “My God, he’s gorgeous,” but she tuned them out because something told her that he wasn’t here to see Bulma. She kept her eyes on him, clearly remembering the last time she had taken her eyes off him had ended up with her feeling utterly helpless. Not taking her eyes off him, she slowly backed away from the window and inched her way toward Bulma, hoping he wouldn’t make a move with an audience.
She was wrong.
She was only half-way across the room when he came through the window at her. She managed to dodge him and landed somewhere closer to Bulma. She could feel the power flowing off of him, but she couldn’t let it frighten her. And if Goku had been holding out on her, she was going to kick his ass when she got out of this. She quickly rolled to her feet and put herself between Vegeta and Bulma, feeling more like her old self in a long time. She could take him, but she needed to keep Bulma safe.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Vegeta?!” She screamed at him, trying to break him out of his trance. When that didn’t work, she quickly raised her power level like Goku had taught her to show him that she wasn’t afraid of him.
Apparently that had done the trick because he had stopped glaring at her like she was the cause of all his troubles and was staring at her in awe. She quickly powered down, but kept her guard up. When he finally seemed to snap out of it, she asked, “Were you too busy achieving your goal that you forgot about Bulma and your baby?” She walked up to him and slapped his face. “You need to pull your shit together; you’re going to be a father soon.” She turned to Bulma and said, “This was a lovely baby shower, Bulma, but I think it’s best if I go.”
Chi-Chi was right behind her. She handed Bulma the gifts they had brought and said, “You just let us know when that baby arrives so we can come see him.” She turned to Buffy and said, “I’m ready to go whenever you are.”
As Buffy and Chi-Chi exited the room, Buffy could feel Vegeta watching her the entire time. She just followed Chi-Chi and didn’t look back. Once they were outside, Buffy asked Chi-Chi if she wanted to use a capsule or just have Buffy fly her home. They both agreed that flying would be faster and if Vegeta happened to follow them, the men could help if Buffy needed it. When they safely landed at home, Buffy sought Goku out.
“He managed to do it.” Buffy knew that there was a small amount of fear in her voice, but she and Goku had already planned for this eventuality. “He showed up at the baby shower and came right for me. He didn’t even care about Bulma or the baby.”
Goku furrowed his brow and thought about what may be going on in Vegeta’s head. He nodded to himself before he said, “I guess we up your and Gohan’s training.” He looked up in the sky and yelled for Piccolo and Gohan. When they both came down he asked, “Are you ready for some real training?” He grabbed Buffy around the shoulders and said, “I think it’s time for us to see if there is any limit to Buffy’s power. Every time we start training, she seems to pull more power out of a bottomless well and I think we’re only scratching the surface.”
Piccolo grinned and said, “I guess we better get started.”
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
The last chapter dealing with the prompt Enemies.
The days and months passed until it was finally time to meet up and fight the androids. That morning Buffy had woken early and had gotten herself ready before either Gohan or Goku had woken up. She prepared herself some coffee before going outside to join Piccolo in some meditation before they had to leave. When she felt she was as ready as she would ever be, she headed inside to get a quick bite to eat. The morning was mostly silent, the only noises being the sound of food being chewed and the occasional sniffle from Chi-Chi.
When Goku finally stood up and left the table, Buffy and Gohan followed suit. It was time to go. All three gave Chi-Chi a hug good-bye, and then stepped outside to meet Piccolo. Goku used his instant transmission to get them as close to the site as he could and they flew the remainder of the way. When they finally got to the island, Buffy ran up to Bulma and gave her a big hug.
“It’s been too long!” She leaned down to look at her friend’s baby and inspected him to see which of his parents he had taken after. She smiled at Bulma and said, “He looks like he’s a healthy blend of you both.”
“Well, I’m glad you think so. Mom and Dad say he looks just like me and Yamcha says that the stubborn look he gets in his eyes is all Vegeta.” Bulma laughed and held her son up and said, “Those silly people are just crazy when they don’t see both of us in you, huh? Seems only Buffy can see it.”
Buffy smiled as the baby babbled on. “While it’s good to see you, why are you even here? You or the baby—you still haven’t told me his name, by the way—could get hurt.”
Bulma seemed to get ready to pout, but said instead, “Trunks was restless and I thought flying out here with Yamcha could help him calm down, and it did, but I’m going to wait until you guys get going so we don’t get caught in the middle.”
“Oh, is that your baby, Bulma? Who’s the dad? Is it Yamcha?”
Bulma looked over to the newest arrival to the group and said, “Oh, it’s just you, Krillin. To answer your questions: Yes, this is my baby and his name is Trunks, Vegeta is the father, and Yamcha is okay with it.”
Krillin looked skeptical, but kept his thoughts to himself. He knew better than to make Bulma mad. He turned toward Buffy and told her he was glad to meet her again. She returned his smile with one of her own before she turned her gaze to the horizon. He kept an eye on her out of the corner of his eye, and when he felt Vegeta approaching, he saw her visibly stiffen up. He asked her, “You alright there, Buffy?”
Buffy nodded her head, but turned to watch Vegeta heading in their direction. “Saying that Vegeta and I don’t get along is an understatement of epic proportions.”
Krillin could agree with her. “Vegeta doesn’t get along with anyone, but Bulma can keep him in line longer than the rest of us.”
Buffy rolled her eyes at his statement. “Even she’s managed to lose that edge the rest of us have.”
The group watched as Vegeta touched down on the outcropping they were waiting at. He nodded in greeting to everyone except Buffy; he openly leered at her. “Glad to see you could make it, Buffy. I was half afraid you would have been scared and left for your world.”
Even though Buffy really wanted to punch him, she settled for glaring at him. “I guess you were never told then. I can’t leave. Shenron isn’t strong enough to grant my wish.” She cracked her knuckles and stretched her arms about her head, beginning to limber up. “So, your troubles are now my troubles.” She walked up to Vegeta and stood only a few inches from him. She lowered her voice and added, “Since I’ve been training with Goku, I realized something and I think you should know it. You step one toe out of line, I will not hesitate to beat you down.” She walked away from him and resumed her skyward vigil.
Vegeta felt the heat infuse his blood and realized that his infatuation with the blonde had turned into an obsession to test her limits, his limits and to find out what it would feel like to feel her under him. He knew that if it had been only him and her standing here, he would have forgotten about the androids and just focused on her.
The group looked to where Buffy was pointing and saw two figures flying above the city. It was hard to see what they looked like and in a flash they had disappeared into the city.
Yamcha turned to Buffy and asked, “How did you know they were there?”
She turned to him and said, “Slayer senses; seems they didn’t dull when I crossed into your world.” She turned to Goku and said, “Although it might be faster if we split up, I have a bad feeling that if we do someone will get hurt; and since I can sense them, maybe we can split up into small groups with you, me, Piccolo, and Gohan as leaders, so when I raise my level, you can lead them to me.”
“Sounds fine to me; Krillin, you can go with Buffy, Tien and Chiaotzu can go with Gohan, Yamcha can go with Piccolo and Vegeta can go with me. Sound good?”
“No, I will go with Buffy.”
The group looked in surprise at Vegeta. Buffy just sighed and said, “Whatever, you guys figure it out. I’m going after those androids.” She took off into the sky and headed toward the city. She wasn’t unsurprised when Vegeta joined her, but she ignored him as she began searching out the androids. She landed in the center of town and felt something pulling her toward the north.
“Are you sure this is the correct way to go?”
She growled at him under her breath. “If this isn’t the right way to go, then you are the most pleasant person I’ve ever met.” She continued on her path and stopped in her tracks when she spotted two ‘people’ who looked woefully out of place.
“Why did you stop?”
Buffy pointed in front of her and said, “Those two are the androids.”
“Are you sure?”
She whipped around to face him. “What is with you always questioning me? Those ‘people’ don’t carry themselves like people: their body language is all wrong, their clothes don’t fit in with the other people we’ve seen so far, and the sun is reflecting off the white one’s forehead. Do you need any other examples?” By now she was seething, and really needed to take her anger out on something. She powered up and waited for the rest of the group to meet up with them.
Vegeta stood in awe as he felt the power rolling off her in waves. He managed to look behind her and saw the androids look in their direction. He turned her around so she could see them and said, “I think you’ve caught their attention.”
The one with a big hat and long beard moved in Buffy and Vegeta’s direction. “You there, girl; where did you get all that power? You are not in my database.”
Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and said, “Didn’t think I would be. Something like me is rare in my world, and unheard of in yours.” She looked him up and down, assessing the situation. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she had a bad feeling about this. “I’m thinking whoever had created you has never heard of a Slayer.”
The android looked puzzled and turned to other android. “Nineteen, what were you able to uncover from her power level.”
“She should not cause us any trouble, Twenty. She read only slightly lower than the data on Yamcha.”
Vegeta smirked at the androids and mimicked Buffy’s pose. He said to her, “I think their sensors are broken if they’re saying you’re weaker than that Earthling.”
Buffy shrugged and said, “Apparently they aren’t able to sense the depth of my power, only what leaks out onto the surface. What I learned from Goku and Piccolo is that while those that can sense power levels can begin to see the depths to my power, if I don’t expend the energy, it doesn’t register on sensors.”
“Good to know that the enemy will underestimate you. I think we need stall while the others arrive.”
“There is no need to wait, we will face you now.”
Buffy could see that Vegeta was beginning to lose his temper, so she said, “Why don’t you follow us to that island out there. We,” she pointed to Vegeta and herself, “don’t feel the need to sacrifice other people.” Buffy didn’t wait for the android to answer; she took off into the air, expecting everyone to follow her. When she was some miles away she touched down and waited for everyone else.
Vegeta was the first to arrive, quickly followed by the androids, and a few moments later, Goku popped in with everyone else using his instant transmission. He grinned at her and said, “I see you couldn’t wait for us.”
Buffy rolled her eyes at him. “From what I’ve heard, you’re the one who runs headlong into trouble.” She turned her attention back to the androids and asked, “So, how do we decide who goes first? Back home it was, ‘Buffy, you go first,’ since I was the least breakable and all.”
“We could do rock, paper, scissors and eliminate people that way,” Goku suggested.
Buffy turned to the androids and said, “This will only take a sec, and then we’ll get down to it.”
Android Twenty folded his arms across his chest and said, “Fine; hurry up before I lose my patience.”
They quickly paired off and quickly played. It was best two out of three and was quickly whittled down to Buffy, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Tien. Buffy squared off against Tien and had lost rather quickly. She had a feeling that Chiaotzu had given him a hand, but she knew it would be poor sportsmanship if she brought it up. Then she saw one of the strangest things, Vegeta deliberately lost; to someone paying attention, he had been going all out until Buffy lost, then his gaze lost some of his intensity and he lost to Tien. Piccolo gave her a small nudge to let her know he had noticed too, but, thankfully, he didn’t voice his opinion out loud. The last thing she needed was for the Namekian to voice what was going on in his head.
Tien squared off and began battering away at Android Nineteen. The android kept giggling this mad little giggle every time Tien hit him. After a few minutes of not making a dent in the android, Tien unleashed a ki attack. This time the android’s eyes widened and he put his hands up like he was going to block the blast, only to absorb it into the jewels in his hands.
Buffy could only shake her head in disbelief. It was one thing to fight seemingly unbreakable androids; it was another to fight seemingly unbreakable androids that were energy sucking as well. She turned her gaze to the other android and was unsurprised to see the smirk on his face. She motioned toward the one called Twenty and said, “I think Papa Smurf was expecting this.”
Goku turned to the look at Twenty and said, “I think you’re right, Buffy.” He turned back to Tien and yelled, “Tien, don’t use any ki blasts!”
Buffy looked at Goku and said, “Way to state the obvious.” She turned to Vegeta and asked, “Do you have any practical ideas?”
Vegeta just crossed his arms over his chest. “If he can’t figure it out on his own, then he deserves what he gets.”
Tired of all his antics and his bad attitude, Buffy had had enough. She glared at him and said, “If you aren’t going to help, then go back to Capsule Corp. Now.” Vegeta just stood there, staring at her blankly as if he had never heard someone talk to him that way before. Buffy huffed and started feeling her anger begin to boil over. She looked over at Tien and saw that he was starting to have a hard time. Nothing major, but she could tell that he was starting to tire out. She hollered at him, “Mind if I tag in, Tien?”
Since it hadn’t occurred to anyone else to step in while Tien was clearly tiring, he looked at her in surprise. He gave her a tired smile and said, “Sure, if you want a turn, be my guest.”
She walked up to where he was standing and said, “Thanks,” before she planted her right fist in the middle of Nineteen’s face. The android flew a few feet and managed to skid to a stop only a few feet from where Twenty stood. When he stood, there was an obvious dent in the middle of his face. He charged at Buffy and she stood her ground, ready to give him a surprise. Picking a spot in his abdomen, she slammed her wrists together.
Buffy didn’t pay any attention to Goku as she completed her Kamehameha Wave. Making sure to keep control on her energy output, she aimed for the area just below Nineteen’s outstretched hands. As fast as she had let the attack fly, she quickly snuffed her power and surveyed the damage. What was left of the android didn’t look very pretty.
The remaining android’s eyes were wide in horror. He pointed a finger at Buffy. “You should not have been able to cause this amount of damage. Your power level is lower than Yamcha’s!”
Knowing that her anger had caused her to go overboard, Buffy settled for glaring at him and said, “Apparently, you have never heard the saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Just because your sensors say I’m weaker than Yamcha, doesn’t mean that I’m weaker than Yamcha.” She turned away from him and looked at Goku. “I’m sorry I did that, but he was pissing me off.”
Goku gave her a smile and was about to say something when he noticed that Twenty had fired a blast in Buffy’s direction. He started moving in her direction, only to see that Vegeta had already tackled her to the ground. When he turned his attention back to where the android had been standing, Twenty was long gone.
As Buffy lay on the ground and struggled to catch her breath, she could feel Vegeta checking her over for any wounds. She could have sworn that she heard him murmuring to himself about how she had better not be hurt because he had plans for her. She finally managed to pull in a lungful of air and began coughing. She looked into Vegeta’s eyes and said, “Not so hard next time, okay?”
Vegeta’s eyes raised skyward, as if he was thanking some deity that she had been unharmed, before he grabbed fistfuls of hair on either side of her face and slammed his lips to hers. Buffy struggled for a moment, but relaxed against him as his hands loosened in her hair. It felt like a few minutes had passed, in truth it was only a few moments, before Vegeta pulled away. He scowled at her and said, “Don’t do that to me again,” before he let go of her and distanced himself by standing and moving a few feet away.
Buffy stayed where she was, completely confused as to what the hell was going on. She and Vegeta had never spent much time together and he had never given any inkling that he had any sort of positive feelings toward her.
She just stared at Vegeta and while she tried to collect her thoughts, Trunks flew in from wherever he had been hiding and asked, “Where did that android go? He wasn’t one of the ones I warned you about.”
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
First of 3-4 chapters based off the prompt #2: Middles
To say the group was surprised would be putting it mildly. Vegeta ran up to Trunks and grabbed the lapels of the young man’s jacket. Shaking Trunks, Vegeta began yelling, “What do you mean those weren’t the androids you warned us about?! They were right where you said they would be!”
Trunks pulled away for Vegeta and gave him a disgusted look. He turned to Goku and said, “I didn’t know that by coming back I would alter the future this much.”
Buffy, still reeling from Vegeta’s unexpected kiss, asked, “What are they supposed to look like?”
As Trunks described the androids they were looking for, Buffy found herself watching Vegeta, searching for any sign of the emotion she had felt in his kiss. While his face seemed expressionless, his eyebrows gave him away. They would turn down in the corners or would quickly arch up, before he could school his face back into showing no emotion. He stilled for a second, then turned and looked at Buffy. She quickly looked away and felt herself begin to blush. The man was going to drive her insane!
When Trunks finished describing the androids Seventeen and Eighteen, Buffy asked him if he saw the way that Twenty had gone. Trunks pointed toward a rocky outlet and Buffy took off flying in the general direction, hoping to feel the strange feeling she had felt when she first saw the androids earlier.
Trunks watched her fly off then turned to Goku and asked, “What’s wrong with Buffy?”
Goku grinned and said, “I think you should ask Vegeta, Trunks.”
Vegeta stared at Trunks and mouthed his name. He shook his head and said, “You can’t be my son. My son is just an infant.”
Trunks crossed his arms over his chest. “You better believe it. I’m from seventeen years in the future.” He smirked at Vegeta and asked, “So, Dad, what did you do to Buffy?”
Vegeta looked toward Goku and growled at him. “If you want the boy to know, you tell him.” He then took off after Buffy.
Just before he was completely out of earshot, he heard Goku yell, “He saved her form the android and then he kissed her!”
Vegeta knew that sooner or later he and Goku were going to have to fight it out again and because Goku had yelled that just to make him mad, he was going to break the other man’s nose.
Trunks looked at Goku and asked, “Was that the truth? Did he save her and kiss her?”
Goku looked at the young man he cared about like one of his own and saw that he was heartbroken. “You love her, don’t you?”
“More than I can ever tell you.” He looked in the direction that his father and Buffy flew off in. “Did you know that she ages even slower than full-blooded Saiyans do? She looks the same as she does now in my time.”
Goku placed a hand on Trunks’ shoulder. “Does your Buffy know about your feelings?”
Trunks pulled away and shook his head. “She looks at me like her cute little brother.” He took off in the same direction as the other two had gone.
Goku looked at Piccolo, Krillin, and Yamcha as if they could fix Trunks’ heart. Piccolo shook his head, Krillin shrugged his shoulders, and Yamcha said, “I’ll be teaching our Trunks that older women are bad news, especially those that his father is interested in.”
Buffy could feel Vegeta close in on her, but kept herself open to feel for Twenty. She could feel the strange, almost metallic feeling race down her spine and knew she was flying in the right direction. She looked behind her and saw that Vegeta was on her heels—almost literally—and slowed down a fraction to let him catch up. “Wanted to make sure you didn’t miss anything?”
“No, I didn’t.” Vegeta almost smiled, but didn’t. “I want to know how you managed to learn how to manipulate energy so fast.”
She concentrated on the feeling for a moment before she answered him. “I guess because as a Slayer in my world, I manipulate energy there. It’s the same principles, just a different application.”
She stopped for a second and felt the energy shift. Now it was heading northeast of their current position. She headed in the new direction, knowing Vegeta would follow. As she started off, she felt a different energy come towards her. The moment she realized that it was Trunks coming toward them, she lost the general uneasiness Twenty’s energy signature gave her, and knew she had lost him. “Damn it!”
Vegeta watched her angrily speed off and was hot on her heels. He couldn’t sense the android, but knew that she could and that Trunks closing in had caused her to lose track. He was surprised when she suddenly stopped and realized they were near a mountain range. “Having problems?”
Buffy looked at him to see if he was being serious or being a smart-ass. Since she couldn’t discern either way, she decided he was being serious. “If you could lower your power level, that would be great. I’m having trouble isolating the different feelings.” She felt Vegeta pull his energy inward and began searching for Twenty’s energy again.
Trunks stopped a few feet from Vegeta and Buffy, wanting to see how they interacted. Vegeta had his arms crossed over his chest and was watching Buffy; Buffy was staring off in the distance, looking like she was searching for something. Trunks watched the sunlight glint off her blonde hair and made a low sound of longing in his throat.
Vegeta looked behind him to see the source of the noise and saw his son hovering a few feet behind them. The look he saw in the young man’s eyes made him want to grab Buffy and take off, but he was slowly getting to know the woman and knew he would end up with his nose broken again if he tried something like that. He settled for glaring at Trunks and hoped that Buffy wouldn’t notice what was happening behind her. He returned his gaze to her and found himself quickly having to follow her as she took off toward one of the mountains.
Trunks followed behind them, making sure to keep his power level low so as not to distract Buffy again. As they slowed down, Trunks could make out an indentation in one of the mountains. Their small group came to a stop and Trunks could feel power radiating off Buffy in waves.
Buffy raised her power level like Piccolo and Goku had taught her to should they ever get separated. After a few moments, the rest of the fighters had joined her, Vegeta, and Trunks and was waiting for her to fill them in. She pointed to the crater and said, “That’s where he’s hiding. I couldn’t begin to tell you what is going on in there, but if I had to guess, he could be booting up the other two androids.”
“What are we waiting for then?! They will kill us all!” Trunks shoved Buffy out of the way and sent an energy blast at the door, hoping that it would vaporize the androids inside. As the smoke cleared, he saw that he had failed.
Seventeen smirked at the group. “Well, are you throwing a party for us, Doctor?”
Eighteen flipped her hair over her shoulder. “If he is, I would say that this is a piss-poor turnout. We deserve more than nine people.”
“Would you two just shut up?! The little blonde woman killed Nineteen in a single blast!”
Seventeen assessed Buffy and his right eyebrow quirked upwards. “A single blast? I must say that I’m quite surprised. I would have assumed that he would have used his energy absorbers and simply absorbed it. How did she hit him?”
“I aimed for a spot below where his arms were outstretched.” Buffy folded her arms over her chest and attempted to suss out what made these new androids tick. From what she could tell, they were more human than Twenty and seemed to be mostly human to begin with; maybe they only had a few extras? She leveled her gaze at Trunks and asked, “Are they really as strong as you said?”
Trunks nodded. “At times it seems they will never stop.”
Seventeen took the opportunity to snatch the control out of Twenty’s hand and smashed it to the ground. “You will never put us to sleep again!” He then leveled a blast right at Twenty’s face and blew the other android’s head clean off.
Eighteen looked at the group and said, “I guess this is where you run.”
“Please. You haven’t shown me anything that I need to be afraid of yet.” Vegeta motioned in Buffy’s direction. “I’m more afraid of what she could do to me and she’s an ally.”
Eighteen smirked at him. “You and me then. Let’s move down the mountain and I’ll show you that there’s a reason you should be afraid of me.” She flew out of the crater and landed at the bottom of the mountain in a fairly flat area. She flicked a strand of hair out of her face and said, “I’m waiting.”
Vegeta flew down to meet Eighteen and landed right in front of her. He assumed a fighting stance and powered up to a Super Saiyan. “I won’t be going easy on you just because you are a female.” He punched at her face and growled when she dodged out of the way. He took a few more swings at her and got more and more frustrated when she only dodged out of the way. “Stay still, damn you!”
Eighteen smirked at him. “Too bad you’re too slow.” She stopped dodging and taunted, “I’ll stand still and you can have a free shot. Hit me as hard as you can.”
Vegeta’s nostrils flared as he growled at her. He was unwilling to let a free shot just go by, his pride be damned. He powered up and hit her as hard as he could. He was gobsmacked when she didn’t even budge under the force of his blow. “That’s impossible!”
“No, the good doctor simply calculated that you might be stronger than he thought.” She took her left hand and swept it down her body. “It helps that he had such good source material to work with.” She lunged at him and stopped right underneath his nose. She sniffed in his general direction then looked at Seventeen. “I think I smell fear, brother.”
Buffy watched the entire exchange with an air of boredom. She didn’t care much for this one-on-one posturing and cared even less for the android. The blonde annoyed her more than Spike did at his worse; it was saying something that Vegeta no longer fell into that category. Either the blonde was that much more annoying than Vegeta could ever aspire be or something had happened to dramatically shove him into the friendly column in her brain. And it had happened before the kiss this afternoon.
By the time Buffy was finished with her introspection, it was to realize that Vegeta had apparently developed a pattern of having his ass beaten by blonde woman. As he lay on the ground, bleeding, Buffy was surprised at how helpless she felt. She watched as Trunks flew at Eighteen in a rage and as everyone jumped in to save the two men. She shook her head at the mess, before joining the fray. She managed to land a few good hits on Seventeen, possibly breaking his jaw, when Eighteen seemed to come out of nowhere and landed a blow that knocked her unconscious. As she felt herself go out, she heard someone yell and the sound of flesh hitting flesh before everything stopped.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Second of 3-4 chapters based off the prompt #2: Middles
Buffy sat up suddenly and felt pain shoot through her body. She tried to stifle her cry, so as not to disturb anyone who may be in the room with her. She lowered herself back down on to what she assumed was a bed and slowly cataloged her hurts. She was pretty certain she had a minor concussion, a few healing ribs, and a strained wrist. She opened her eyes and let them adjust to the darkness of the room she was in. She looked toward her feet and was surprised to find Piccolo sitting on the edge. “Hi.”
Piccolo smirked at the hoarseness of her voice. “Glad to see you decided to rejoin the living.” He rose and brought her a glass of water. “You have been unconscious for three days. One of those idiots decided to give you a senzu bean.”
Buffy emptied the glass and handed it back to Piccolo for him to fill it up again. “I'm guessing that it was one of the others that joined us that day.”
He handed the full glass back to her. “Krillin thought he was helping. He had it in your mouth before Goku or I could explain what happens when you eat one of those beans.”
Buffy set the empty glass on the table next to the bed and drew her knees up to her chest. “I'm going to assume that everyone's okay and now knows about my 'allergy'.”
Piccolo snorted. “That's an understatement. When both Vegeta and Trunks found out who had caused it, Goku had to play peacemaker. I'm sorry you missed it.”
Taking a deep breath, Buffy slowly swung her legs around and tried to stand up. When she faltered for a moment, Piccolo wrapped an arm around her waist until she was able to stand on her own. She smiled at him and asked, “Why is it I have no problems being weak around you?”
“Because you and I know that I don't want to be anything more than friends.”
“That's right. Silly of me to forget.” She took a few steps toward the door before turning back toward her friend and asking, “Where are we, by the way?”
“We're at The Lookout.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow at him and took a few more steps toward the door. “I didn't realize it was bad enough that we had to come up here.” She remembered having conversations with Piccolo about Kami and her family back home. The Namekian had made it clear that a lot had to happen before he would willingly visit Kami again.
“I came up here to merge with Kami and he wanted to see how things played out. I brought you with me; there was enough tension going on between the Saiyans and I didn't trust them enough to leave you in their care.” He opened the door and let her exit the room first. As they moved to the main area of The Lookout, Piccolo slowly let Buffy attempt to walk without any help. Just before they were in the main gathering area, Piccolo spoke up. “I thought you would like to know that there is tension between Trunks and Vegeta concerning you.”
Buffy groaned and leaned up against a wall to catch her breath. “Please tell me that they're not fighting to see who earns my affections.” When Piccolo raised an eyebrow at her, she let out a shaky laugh. “Are they glaring at one another to see who will crack first?”
He smiled and answered, “Vegeta won that contest yesterday afternoon. Today's competition has to do with who will be the next one to continue keeping watch over you.”
She pushed herself off the wall and wobbled for a moment while she gained her footing. “I take it you won?”
“I simply walked out of the room and relieved Chi-Chi.”
Buffy doubled over in laughter at Piccolo's dead-panned delivery. She stood back up and walked into the room with Piccolo trailing behind her. She was quickly caught in Gohan's embrace. While the young boy held tightly across her waist, she stroked his hair and assured him that she was better. She didn't comment on the sniffle he made, she just hugged him back. She let him lead her over to a set of stairs and listened to him explain to her what the Hyperbolic Time Chamber was and what it meant for them.
Vegeta was glad to see Buffy walk through the door, but he wasn't going to let anyone else see it. He didn't like to see her weak because that wasn't the way he saw her. She was always strong and vibrant to him and when he saw how broken she was after Eighteen had taken mad delight in kicking Buffy when she was laying unconscious on the ground, he had nearly lost it. He didn't even want to examine how close to despair he felt when he found out that she had nearly died from something as small as a senzu bean. Anger was a better way to deal with things.
“Ready to go in now?”
Vegeta looked to him left and saw Kakarot sitting next to him. He frowned and asked, “When did you sit down next to me?”
“When Buffy came in.” Goku took a deep breath and seemed to wrestle with himself about something for an instant. “Are you planning on telling her how you feel?”
Goku chuckled when Vegeta flung himself as far as he could without making a commotion. “Vegeta, you shouldn't be surprised that I would know something about you like that. We have been friends for a while now.” He turned to gaze at Buffy. “She's the type of person that's easy to love. Gohan loves her like a sister, Chi-Chi and I love her like parents, and Piccolo loves her in his own way. You love her in a romantic way and I'm fine with that.”
Goku crossed to Vegeta and lowered his voice as he said the next part.
“If you hurt her, I will kill you, if she doesn't kill you first.”
Vegeta just stared at Kakarot and was suddenly glad that the other man never had any daughters. In that split second, he could understand what could make the usually gentle and affable man suddenly flip a switch and become a killing machine. Swallowing his pride for a moment, he said, “I don't think she would ever let me get close enough to hurt her.”
Goku smiled at him and thumped him on the shoulder. “Cheer up, Vegeta! Stranger things have happened.”
Trunks took a deep breath as he tried to steel himself to enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. He was relieved when Buffy and Piccolo entered the main gathering area and had tried not to see how his father reacted. When Vegeta's face remained blank, he knew that there was going to be trouble. His mother had told him once that the less emotional Vegeta seemed about something, the more invested he actually was.
He looked away in time to see Goku motioning him to the entrance of the chamber. He hopped down from the ledge he was sitting on and made his way over. Before he entered, Buffy stopped him and said, "Good luck. I hope you are able to break through to the next level." She gave him a hug then sent him on his way.
He waited for Vegeta and saw Buffy tell him the same thing. When she gave him a hug, Vegeta took the time to whisper something to her, and when she pulled away, she was blushing. She slugged him on the arm and when he only smiled at her, she said, "I'm definitely weaker than I thought if all I do is make you smile."
In that moment, he could see the man his mother had talked to him about and felt slightly jealous that Buffy was the one to bring it out of him. He cleared his throat and said, "I think it's time for us to go."
Both he and his father entered the chamber and as the door was swinging shut, he heard Buffy call, "If you two are even a minute late, I'll send Goku in after you!"
After the door clicked shut, Trunks turned to Vegeta and asked, "So how should we get started?"
Vegeta walked off the edge of the platform and frowned when he felt the gravity shift around him. After a moment, he adjusted to the change and punched the open air in front of him. He turned back to trunks and said, "I train alone."
Trunks watched him stalked off before he moved off to the side to begin his own training. He would surpass his father, even if it brought him to the brink of death.
"So, what do we do now?"
"You get to stay here and rest."
Buffy pouted at Piccolo. When he didn't even flinch, she turned to Gohan and asked, "Are you and your dad supposed to go next?"
"Yeah. Bulma's working on a remote to shut those androids down."
She turned to the other two men. "I've been meaning to ask, which one did all the damage?" When both of them stared her blankly, she continued, "One of them had to do enough damage to warrant using senzu bean."
"The blonde one."
Buffy nodded. She could see Eighteen being sneaky enough to blindside her. "Tell me I, at least, broke the dude's jaw."
Goku grinned. "If you didn't break it, I would be surprised."
Finally feeling tired, Buffy moved to a chair. She sat down and asked, "Why do we need to shut them down?"
Vegeta fell to his knees and watched the sweat dripped off his nose. He punched the ground in frustration and felt something crack. He could feel that he was at the edge of a precipice and just knew that final shove.
He had already lost track of the number of days since he and Trunks and entered the chamber, but he knew that Buffy would do wish she had said and send Kakarot for them. He very nearly smiled to himself until he remembered it was his fault she had been as injured as she had been because he had been too weak.
He rose and began again, the image of Buffy's battered and broken body the motivation to take the leap off the ledge.
"Buffy, we need you to meet some one."
Buffy stretched and sat up in the chair she had fallen asleep in after the plan had been explained. She was still dubious as to how it would actually work, but she didn't have much choice since she was still healing. She rose and moved to where everyone else was standing. Gohan was animatedly talking with a little green boy.
Once Buffy joined the group, Goku placed a hand on her shoulder and said, "I'd like to introduce you to Dende. He's the new guardian of the earth."
Buffy looked Dende over and thought that he was cute. She squatted down to his level, wincing as pain shot through her side, and bowed her head to him. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Dende. Goku, Gohan, and Piccolo have told me a lot about you."
Dende grinned at her. "Gohan was just telling me about you. Did you really break Vegeta's nose when you first met him?"
Buffy looked over at Gohan and watched him blush and turn away. "Yes, I did." She turned back to Dende. "Is a really such a big deal?"
Dende's eyes widened as he nodded. He stepped closer to Buffy and asked, "Can we see if I'm able to heal you?" He held his hands out and said, " If it starts to feel worse, just tell me and I'll stop."
"Let's give it a try, then." Buffy's said on her butt to make it easier if it started bothering her.
"It should feel warm," Gohan told her as Dende placed his hands over the crown of her head.
Trunks paused long enough to tie his hair way from his face before he resumed his training. A month ago, at least by his internal clock, both he and Vegeta had finally ascended. Since then, he had felt his strength climb exponentially and was gaining new ground every day. He had been initially worried about surprising Vegeta and wounding his pride, when all he desperately wanted was his father's approval, but overcame that when he remembered exactly what it was pride got you. An empty bed was cold comfort.
He pushed himself harder than he ever thought possible and then pushed himself further. He wouldn't let Buffy down again.
Chapter 6: Chapter Six
This is the last chapter based off the prompt Middles :)
Outside the chamber, time passed as normal. It had been disappointing to find that Dende's healing didn't work as well as hoped; Buffy was happy that she could breathe easier due to her ribs finally mending. After another few hours' rest, Buffy realized it was time to release Trunks and Vegeta from the chamber. After a moment, she turned her gaze to the door. She rose from her seat and walked over to the door. She debated as to whether she should do what she was thinking of doing and decided to just do it. She put her hand on the handle and was only stopped from turning it by Goku.
"I think you might enjoy this more, if you let me do the yelling."
Buffy started to protest, but Goku led her back to her chair. He moved it so she was sitting directly in front of the door. He then flung the door open and called out, " Buffy says your time is up!"
She smiled as Goku moved out of the doorway so she could see what was happening. Trunks exited first and Buffy was surprised at the length of his hair. He had muscles that she had been unaware of until that moment and had to wonder what was keeping her future self from acting. She then remembered that until he had entered the chamber he had been a minor and technically off limits. She made a mental note to send a letter to her other self when Trunks left. She gave her head a little shake and watched Vegeta exit. And felt a bolt of lust so strong it left her flushed. He was barefoot and bare naked from the waist up, and exuded an aura of power that would make any woman weak in the knees. She tried to take a deep breath, but remembered what he whispered to her earlier and felt her blush deepen. For the first time in a long time, she knew she was in trouble.
Vegeta was a little disappointed that Buffy had been the one to come get them until he remembered that she was likely still injured. He walked over to her and gave her half smile. "Glad to see you had no problem sending Kakarot after us."
She wrinkled her nose at him. "If Dende had been able to heal me more, I'd be herding you to the showers." Her eyes widened and she said, "What I was trying to say is that you need to get clothes on because... I'll shut up now."
Vegeta grinned at her. "Now tell me what it is you really want."
Buffy stared at him for a moment and shook her head. "I can't yet."
Vegeta placed his hands on the arms of her chair and boxed her in. He lowered his face to hers and watched her eyes flutter shut. He whispered into her ear, "I thought about that kiss a lot when I was in there."
Buffy opened her eyes and could see the outline of his jaw. She brushed her lips against his cheek. When he turned toward her, she paused for a moment to decide if she'd really did want to kiss him when she heard Piccolo call her name. She looked over at Piccolo and in that moment couldn't wait until it was her turn with him in the chamber so she could thump him.
"Don't you have something you have to do, Vegeta?"
Vegeta looked away from Buffy and looked at the Namekian. He raised an eyebrow and sneered at Piccolo. "I was in the middle of something."
Piccolo crossed his arms and looked at Buffy. "Until she's fully healed, I don't think anything should be going on." He grabbed Vegeta's arm and pulled him away so he can have a private word with the man. He could hear Buffy's laughing and knew it was both in frustration and at the sight Vegeta was making.
"What is the meaning of this? When will she and I be left alone to figure out things for ourselves?"
Piccolo growled at him, "The moment she has had time to heal and figure out things for herself." When Vegeta tried to pull away, Piccolo gripped his arm harder. "I know what Goku said to you before you entered the chamber. Allow me to repeat it as well as reiterate that she is special to all of us, so you better tread lightly."
Vegeta pulled away. "Don't worry. I won't let her down again."
"I think I know why the healing didn't go as well as it should have."
Buffy looked up at the freshly clothed Trunks. She stretched her arms and asked, "Why's that?"
Trunks sat down in front of her and crossed his legs. "Now, this is just a theory, but the fact you and your demon haven't synced yet might be the problem."
"What do you mean we 'haven't synced'?"
He cleared his throat and looked down. "I was thinking about it while I was training and I was wondering why eating one senzu bean would suppress your healing so much." He looked at her. "Not that they work in my world, but it doesn't completely suppress your demon. And right now I can barely sense your power."
Buffy sat still for a moment and thought about what Trunks had said and began looking for Piccolo. When she saw he was still giving Vegeta his death-glare, she rolled her eyes. "Piccolo! Come listen to this idea Trunks has." She turned back to Trunks. "Could that be why I'm feeling run down?"
Trunks shrugged. "It could be." He took a good look at her face and noticed the dark circles under her eyes and he knew that she had already pushed back her exhaustion several time already. Trunks quickly explained what was happening to Piccolo.
After taking a moment to process what Trunks said, Piccolo looked at Buffy and noticed how tired and lifeless she seemed. If he was pushed, he could say that the most animated she had been was when she had been interacting with Vegeta. He picked up Buffy bridal-style and headed to the chamber. He stopped Goku and Gohan and said, "We need to go ahead of you. If Trunks is right about what is going on, then we need to start as soon as possible."
Goku took a good look at Buffy and could tell she was slowly dying. If they waited for him and Gohan to go in, it was possible she might be dead before they exited. He stepped aside and said, "Of course. We'll keep and eye on things here."
"He's changing, Buffy. We can't wait for him," Piccolo gently told her.
"No, I need to see him before I go in."
Goku popped out, then popped back in, bringing Vegeta with him. When Vegeta began to protest, Goku said, "She wouldn't go in until she saw you."
Buffy unwrapped her arms from around Piccolo's neck and grabbed at Vegeta's armor. She pulled him towards her and said, "Don't make me regret this," as she pulled him into a kiss. She felt him thread his hands through her hair and she sighed against his mouth. She pulled away and looked into his eyes. "Don't get into any trouble while I'm gone."
Piccolo cleared his throat. "We need to go in now."
Vegeta stepped back and watched them enter the chamber. When he heard the door click shut, he pulled all his emotion inward and turned to his son. "Let's go kill Cell before she gets back."
Goku didn't think it was a good idea, but he knew that if he was to point that out to the other man, he would just get punched for his trouble. So he stayed silent as Vegeta and Trunks geared up and went after Cell.
Piccolo carried her to the edge of the platform and gritted his teeth when he heard her cry out as he stepped off the edge. He carried her until he was a few yards away and set her down. He sat down in front of her and began talking. "Buffy, remember how Goku taught you how to find and harness your ki? Instead of pushing it into a box and slamming the lid shut, you need to let roam free. Learn it's boundaries and learn to compromise." He folded his arms across his chest; he had planned on meditating while she worked through her problem. Before he started, he said, "To the thing that inhabits Buffy—there is a fight on the horizon. If you can learn to work together, I'll make sure you get a chance to fight."
Buffy watched him close his eyes and knew he would leave her alone unless she needed his help. She took a deep breath and began searching the part of her soul that contained her 'black box'. It stuck her as odd that it was easy to get to, but she would worry about that later. She imagined undoing the lock and opening the lid. She felt the energy spilling out and surrounding her.
'Hello, Slayer. I see someone finally made the connection and told you to set me free. I've been trying to get your attention for some time now.'
Buffy gasped. She had never believed that the demon inside her was sentient.
'I prefer to be called a spirit. I haven't been an actual demon for some time, girl.'
She took a deep breath, unsure of how to continue. 'What do I need to do?'
'Give me a moment to stretch. It's been a long time since any Slayer has listened to me and taken my advice. Is that stupid Council still in operation?'
'Yes, although my Watcher understood that I needed to do things my own way.'
'Should you ever return, you need to tell your Watcher about me. You would save a lot of girls. And tell Faith. It will help her a lot.'
'I will.' Buffy relaxed as she felt the power settle into her skin, hair, and bones. She felt all her aches and tenderness melt away and knew she had been wrong to fear this power all this time. She lay back and drifted off as her body fully healed.
Buffy bounced up and down on the soles of her shoes, excited to see how connecting with the spirit (the newly christened Seimei) had changed how she fought. After the initial contact, it had taken two weeks to learn how to reign in her power for every day tasks. She had to promise Seimei many times that it wasn't being stuffed back in the box forever, just until Buffy had gained control. Once she got comfortable, she decided to try sparring.
"Now, let's start slow. Let Seimei loose and try to suppress your power level without locking it up."
Newly familiar with working with Seimei, she didn't keep a lid on the 'box' anymore. 'You heard him. Let's see if it's possible.'
Buffy felt Seimei slowly stretch and settle along her skin. She took a deep breath and tried to suppress the power output. She felt the extra power leave her limbs and settle near her heart.
'That's interesting. I thought you would pull me back into your brain, not settle me near your heart.'
Buffy smiled. 'I've always been more likely to follow my heart instead of my brain.' She turned to Piccolo and asked, "Is it working?"
He tilted his head and searched her ki to see if he could assess her power level. "You suppressed it very well. I'm certain that if I was to put you in the middle of any crowded city, only those with intimate knowledge of your ki would know it was you."
Buffy let out the breath she had been holding. That was good news. "Let's see how hard I hit when I'm like this."
"Okay." He pulled off his cape and turban. "It's going to be like when you first arrived: no powering up, no ki blasts, and no aiming for the face."
'He's taking all the fun out of it.'
'I understand why he's being careful, but I promise, the first time Vegeta pisses me off, I'm aiming for his nose.'
'Good. I like when you show him who's boss.'
Buffy giggled. She turned to Piccolo and assumed a fighting stance. She smiled at him for a brief moment then punched his outstretched hand. She scowled when he grinned at her. She punched again and his grin grew wider. "What's so damn funny?"
"That only tickled."
A few weeks later, when they took a break from their training, Piccolo brought up something that had been bothering him. "I'm curious as to how you were able to hurt Vegeta in that first fight and how you managed to best Goku."
Buffy wiped the sweat off her brow and took a drink of water. "Really? I thought you had figured it out already." She grabbed something to eat and said, "I know that Seimei and I aren't quite where we need to be, but I'm close to where I was when I first arrived. And I'm still only at twenty-five percent." She took a few bites. "Neither of them were powered up and I had the element of surprise on my side. Why do you think I started training like my life might depend on it?" She quickly finished off her meal and added, "Vegeta pissing me off added to how badly he was beaten."
Piccolo nodded. "I had assumed that was what was happening." He held out his hand and asked, "Are you ready to start again?"
"You know it." She stepped off the platform and began warming up with stretches. She resumed the fighting pose and punched the air a few times.
Piccolo placed his hands out and grunted as she hit one of his hands. "Are you sure this is how strong you were when you arrived?"
Buffy shrugged. "Seimei seems to think so. Why?"
He shook his left hand. "You managed to hit hard enough to make my hand go numb."
Buffy grinned. "Good."
Piccolo narrowed his eyes at her. "Why is that good?"
"Because I was holding back on that one. I only used ten percent of my power."
Piccolo bared his teeth at her. "We might actually have you in fighting shape before we exit this place."
"Damn it, Buffy! That almost did permanent damage!" Piccolo growled as he dropped to the ground, panting. He was half certain that when Seimei was doing the heavy lifting, Buffy was almost bloodthirsty. She became almost as ruthless as Vegeta and had no problems exploiting his weaknesses.
Seeing that she had actually hurt her friend, Buffy powered down and went over to where Piccolo had collapsed. "Are you alright? Should we leave early?"
Piccolo shook his head. "While I'm glad that you and Seimei are almost seamless now, it's entirely too Saiyan for my taste. There is a reason they nearly became extinct."
Buffy sat down next to him. "I know, but right now we need to use every weapon in our arsenal if we just want to survive. Seimei and I were just trying something out to see if it would work."
"Did it have the results you were expecting?" Piccolo laid back to rest. After a minute of silence, he pushed at Buffy's shoulder. "Am I to assume you weren't expecting what happened?"
Buffy lay next to him and stared into the emptiness of the space. "What would you say if what Seimei and I did was the equivalent of a Super Saiyan?"
Piccolo looked over at her and asked, "You were a Super Slayer for that quick instant?"
Buffy turned onto her side and looked at him. "Yes, for that quick instant, I was a Super Slayer and I understood why Goku both shies away and longs for it at the same time. Knowing you have that amount of power can be heady and overwhelming at the same time."
Piccolo was surprised when Buffy threw herself into his arms and began crying. As she lay in his arms, Piccolo felt a surge of love for his friend and was happy he could spend time with her. In an effort to comfort her, he said, "I care for you."
Buffy pulled out of his embrace. Looking him in the eye, she asked, "Did you just admit to having feelings?"
Piccolo pulled away and sat up. He glared at her as she began laughing at him. "If you're going to be that way, I'll just leave you alone the next time you want to be comforted."
"Don't be like that." Buffy came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She planted a sloppy kiss on his cheek and said, "I care for you, too."
Piccolo reached behind to grab her, but she had already moved out of the way. He wiped the excess saliva off his cheek and mumbled, "The things I put up with." He rose from where he was sitting and dodged the ki blast Buffy had sent his way. When he looked at her direction, she made a face at him and disappeared. Back into familiar territory, he powered up and tried to see how long he could keep up with her new power.
"We have ten days to get prepared." Goku shook his head at both Vegeta and Trunks the looked at the door of the chamber. Buffy and Piccolo were set to emerge any time now and he wanted to make sure everything was set before they exited.
"Cell said he would find a way to let us know where it's to be held." Trunks kept anxiously looking between his father and the door. "Do you think we should—?"
Goku shook his head. "They will be out soon enough."
Mr Popo came around the corner. "They are getting ready to leave now. Once I replenish supplies, you and Gohan can enter, Goku."
"Thanks, Mr Popo."
Moments after Mr Popo went back around the corner, the door opened and Buffy and Piccolo exited the chamber. Buffy looked around and saw the troubled expressions on Goku, Trunks, and Vegeta's faces. She looked to Piccolo and said, "I think something happened while we were in there."
Goku took a few steps toward Buffy, but stopped when he saw Piccolo shake his head. Goku smiled and said, "Well, Vegeta and Trunks went after Cell and it didn't work out as good as we had hoped."
Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and began tapping her foot. "So the plan to neutralize the other androids wasn't followed? What happened to Cell?"
"He set up a tournament that is going to take place in ten days."
"We did it for you," Trunks said.
Buffy whipped her gaze to him. "Why? Because I was having problems?" When he stayed mute, she looked back to Goku. "I thought you knew better." She then turned to Vegeta. She walked over to him and shook her head. "I expected better from you."
He scowled at her and grabbed her left arm. He looked at her and said, "I didn't want to see you hurt again."
Buffy glared at him. "I was fixing that in the chamber." She pulled away and glared at the assembled Saiyans. "I don't know where you got the idea I'm helpless, but that stops now. Goku, I'm telling Chi-Chi, and, Trunks, I'm telling your mom." She turned back to Vegeta. "As for you, the only thing that seems to get through your thick skull is this." She balled up her right fist and punched him right in the nose. She then stalked further into the Lookout to make good on her threats.
Vegeta grabbed his nose and popped it back into place. He glared at Piccolo asked, "Why didn't you stop her?"
Piccolo grinned. "Because I know better."