A/N: Thanks for the reviews. All plot questions will be answered as the story progresses. As to it having a darker feel, that's the point with this particular story. I'm trying my hand at a new style of writing. Yes, the humans are perma dead as of this point in the story, though Piccolo and Kami are alive, as per the events on Namek in the Manga.
Another restless night. Once more, at his side, laid the woman that almost always did, back to him and facing the other direction. The human concept of intimacy was completely foreign to him. Saiya-jins fucked for procreation or fun, never for any idealistic notion of being close to another person. He had made as much clear their first night together, when she had tried to embrace him.
With a grumble he gave up on trying to sleep, and after a short shower found himself standing outside, gazing up at the moon once again asking himself what the purpose of his life was. His vengeance had been denied, his rise to power shot down and his revenge against the man responsible impossible. What was there to do from this point? How could he prove himself stronger than a man who died after besting the strongest monster the universe had ever seen?
A small smirk crossed his features as he realized the answer to that question.
By killing a stronger monster.
If he could best someone that even Kakarotto at his strongest couldn't have handled, than he was confident that he would be free of this rut he had found himself in. He would prove himself the strongest, and take that title with his own hands and erase the blow to his pride by simply being handed it. And somewhere along the way, he would find the secret to the legendary transformation.
But that wasn't enough. No, there was something else that he had to do. One other mater that would have to be dealt with.
From his meditations, Piccolo felt the sudden jump in power and suspected the time had come. He had felt Vegeta's power many times before during his training, but it was empty and without meaning. This time, he could clearly feel purpose behind the power, drive in the Ki. From the time they had gotten back to Earth, Piccolo had been wary of Vegeta's presence, but had felt confident that he wouldn't destroy anything until he got what he wanted from Goku. When they had learned that Goku was gone for good, his worry had magnified tenfold. There was no one strong enough to stop Vegeta, and nothing giving him any reason not to destroy the planet.
But instead of blowing up the planet as he had suspected, Vegeta had fallen into a depression. Living the life of a Ghost, of a man already dead, Piccolo had felt a little more comfortable, but suspected that eventually that phase would come to an end. He had, much against his own pride, approached Kami with the intention to fuse so that they could stop Vegeta, but Kami had refused. He had simply stated that Vegeta had changed. While he was still a monster that wouldn't hesitate to vaporize a planet full of life for any reason, he would no longer do so for no reason.
While Piccolo recognized the difference, he didn't trust the fate of the world, and Gohan's life in particular, on such a small hinge.
But he had resigned himself to simply monitoring Vegeta and spending time keeping his pupil sane. Most people usually only had to lose their father once. The half saiya-jin boy had to deal with the death of his father twice now, and each time it had fallen to Piccolo to deal with it. As much as he didn't like to admit it, however, he was quite a bit softer this time around. Thought he fact that Gohan could just fly back from whatever wilderness he decided to drop him in this time probably helped stay his usual methods.
He had settled on sparing with the boy. Desire to stay close to the memory of his recently lost father had somewhat woken up his Saiya-jin instincts. Coupled with his mothers refusal to restrict him any longer led to him truly following in his fathers footsteps. Through his own training, and Piccolo's guidance, he was quickly gaining power. If he could get Gohan to master that explosive power of his, Gohan could surely inherit his father's will and protect the Earth from anyone...including Vegeta.
Realizing that Vegeta was headed right for Gohan, Piccolo powered up to his fullest and flew off to intercept the Saiya-jin prince.
A few miles to his right, closing quickly to being in his way, Vegeta felt a familiar power approaching. In normal instances, a smirk would have crossed his face as he prepared to relish in crushing someone for getting in his way, but even he found himself somewhat different than he had been before. While he would enjoy destroying the Namek, he had things to do. The Namek would take time to beat and little would come from his defeat.
A few moments later and he dropped to a stop, crossing his arms over his chest and waiting for the Namek to arrive. He didn't have to wait long as Piccolo stopped in his previous path.
"Your in my way." He said after a moment. "I've killed for less."
Piccolo took up a similar position with his arms crossed his chest, seemingly trying to stare the smaller warrior down. "If your going to kill Gohan, you're going to have to go through me first."
Vegeta laughed darkly. "I wouldn't let my words flow so freely Namek. If I was going to kill the brat, I would have already done it. No, I have business with him."
Piccolo seemed slightly shocked, but quickly covered it. "What kind of business?" His voice was dry, skeptical.
"The kind that's none of your business." Vegeta replied quickly, dismissing the Namek. "But if you must know, I'm getting off this blasted rock, and the brats coming with me."
Piccolo didn't bother hiding his surprise, or defiance, this time. "I'm not letting that happen."
Vegeta's power began to slowly and steadily rise, as though a warning. "You have a choice... Either you willingly get out of my way, or I blast you into oblivion, take the brat, and then vaporize the planet. With the fool gone, someone has to make sure the half-breed turns into a proper Saiya-jin."
The Saiya-jin prince watched as the Namek weighed his options before powering up and blasting past. He didn't need to wait for an answer. The Namek wasn't stupid. Resistance would lead to his and the planets demise.
When Vegeta landed outside of the Son home, Gohan was standing outside, waiting for him with a bag sitting on the ground beside him, already packed. Behind him, in the darkness of his house, his mother stood looking on. She had tried to talk him out of it when he explained, but he had reasoned with her. No one on the planet was strong enough to even try to stop Vegeta right now. He would have to do as the prince asked.
She had said something about how much like his father he was, and had seemed to float off into her memories for a moment before coming back. She had taken a few minutes to pack his back before kissing him on the forehead and demanding that he come back alive and to make sure he pick up some Senzu beans for the trip. He had stepped outside, and Vegeta had landed a few seconds later.
"When do we leave?" Gohan asked simply.
Vegeta raised his eyebrows in response, probably wondering how he knew. "Now."
Gohan nodded and picked up his bag, following after Vegeta as the prince lifted into the air and shot back towards capsule corps.
"Piccolo told me that you were coming." Gohan said from behind him, trailing a little. Vegeta lowered his speed so that the boy could keep up, albeit not without pushing himself. "Why are you taking me with you?"
Vegeta grunted. "You and I are the last Saiya-jins left. I'm going to earn the title of the strongest in the universe, and join the ranks of Super Saiya-jin. I'm going to need minions, and your the only person on this planet worthy of licking my boots."
Behind him, Gohan rolled his eyes. He wasn't a stupid boy. Quite the contrary, he was absurdly intelligent for his age. Vegeta, at no point in his life, had traveled alone. He had always had Nappa and Raditz at his side. Only after Earth had he been alone, and even that was short lived. More importantly, his company had always been Saiya-jin. As much as he denied it, the Prince found comfort in being with his own race. Without Frieza alive to plot revenge against, and without his father alive for Vegeta to devote his life to crushing, Vegeta had lost anyone he had to focus his victory at all cost will against. The fact that he was suddenly so active meant that he had found purpose again.
"Who are you going after?" Gohan asked, knowing that Vegeta's target would always be another being.
"The only person in the known universe stronger than Frieza." He paused for a moment, and Gohan noticed him spit off to the side. "The only living person, at any rate."
Gohan felt apprehension growing inside him. "Who could be stronger than Frieza?" He felt a power level spike a short distance to the side, knowing it to be his mentor.
"His father." Vegeta's gaze shifted in Piccolo's direction, apparently spotting it as well. "Go say your goodbyes and get some of those beans if you plan on coming back alive. If your not at the ship in five, I'll destroy the planet."
Gohan nodded and shot towards the Lookout, expecting Piccolo to follow.
He hadn't needed to go all the way to the lookout. Piccolo met up with him about half way there, a bag of Senzu's already in his hand. As Gohan approached, he tossed the bad to him. "I thought you would need these if you were going with Vegeta."
Gohan grinned. "Yeah. I didn't think that it would hurt." His smile died on his lips as he saw how serious Piccolo was.
"If we both attack him at the same time, we might be able to beat him. You've come a long way with your training."
"I'm getting better...but I don't think we can beat him. Even if we could, I don't think that dad would want us to."
Piccolo shook his head, getting ready to make some comment about his father, but decided that it was too soon. "Trying to be your father will get you into trouble if your not careful."
Gohan nodded. "Yeah, but this time I think its ok. Vegeta's been changing ever since dad beat him. It's slow...but in the past, he would have just taken me and blown up the planet anyways."
Piccolo nodded. He couldn't argue that.
"Well, I've got to go." He said, turning to leave. "If I don't get down there Vegeta might really blow up the planet."
A noise brought Vegeta's attention down from the ship that he was prepping for launch, but he already knew who it was before he turned around.
"And just what do you think your doing with my ship?" Asked the voice, a very slight hang to the words.
"I'm getting it ready for launch, what does it look like woman?" Vegeta went back to loading up supplies.
"I don't remember giving you permission to take my ship."
"And I don't remember asking." He said dismissively, looking inside to make sure that the console was warming up.
She marched up to him and jabbed a finger into his chest as he turned around. "Who the hell do you think you are?"
Vegeta glared at her, looking her in the eyes. "Oh, whats the matter? Poor baby about to lose the only other man in her life that means something?" He laughed darkly. "Sad that your nightly fuck is the closest thing you have to a relationship to another person at this point."
She slapped him, hard, resulting in a great deal of pain in her hand and none to the intended target. "How dare you?"
Another chuckle. "Oh. And your an abusive drunk. Lovely."
She held her injured hand with her other and glared at him. "Get that ship ready to go, and then get the fuck out. I never want to see you here again."
His eyes wandered to the side and hers followed, settling on Gohan who had just recently landed. He looked around and shifted awkwardly, only partially aware of what he had just stumbled into.
"Um...sorry." He stammered.
"Oh Gohan, I'm so sorry you had to hear that." She said running over to him. "Do you need anything? Is something wrong?"
Gohan shook his head. "No, actually. I mean, yeah, kind of. I'm going on a trip with Vegeta."
Another shocked look, which Gohan was starting to get used to. Behind her, Vegeta gestured towards the ship, telling him with a look to get his ass in there.
Gohan's response was a quick nod. "Um, bye Bulma." And then he was on board.
She turned around with fire in her eyes. "Over my dead body."
Vegeta held up his hand with a smirk, a blue glow starting to surround it. "That can be arranged."
She held up the resistance for a moment before suddenly looking very tired and backing up, leaning against a table. "Does his mother at least know?"
Vegeta let the Ki die down and shrugged. "I assume as much. I'm guessing the Namek let them know it was come with me or die."
She glared again. "Your a monster."
He chuckled. "And your sleeping with me. Whats that say about you?"
She knocked some things off the desk and turned to storm out of the room.
Vegeta, for his part, was stepping onto the ship and getting ready to close it up. "Also, if you want that parasite growing in your stomach to not come out deformed, you might want to stop drinking yourself stupid."
She turned back with confusion on her face as the door closed shut, blocking his view of her. He turned and walked into the cockpit, and hit a few buttons to start the ship up. One more sequence and it lifted off the ground, launching into the sky above.
"Where is Freiza's father at?" Gohan asked, looking over from his chair.
"He's supposed to have an empire somewhere in the western quadrant." He responded as he turned back towards the main section of the ship. "Get off your ass. We need to test the gravity chamber on this ship."