Shocking, I don't own Dragon Ball or its characters.
The Perfect Monster:
Chapter 3: Last Moments
If Bulma was tired before, she was exhausted now. Even waking up in the middle of the day, nearly a full day after things with Vegeta had started. Whatever the Hell got into him couldn't have been so bad after all. Half smiling to herself and with a sore groan, Bulma managed to half sit up in bed. Pulling some of the sheet up around herself, she immediately noticed that for the first time, well, ever, Vegeta was next to her.
Anytime they'd ever slept together before, Vegeta always left afterwards. There was always something else for him to do, or he just wanted to sleep alone. But right now he was laying there on his side, sleeping. It was... unnerving. It wasn't unappreciated of course, the idea he'd stayed with her after all that made butterflies appear in her stomach, but at the same time...
It wasn't something she ever expected Vegeta to do. Reaching out her hand, she gently brushed the side of his face, as if trying to see what was going on in his mind. His eyes seemed to tighten for a moment, but he relented within seconds. Shifting over to get closer to him, Bulma careful let her arm fall over his shoulder. Resting down on her side next to him, she carefully moved one of his arms around her, before leaning into him, resting her head against his chest. He didn't seem to budge at all, he made no signs of being alive beyond breathing and having a pulse.
For the first time in years, as Bulma lay there next to Vegeta, she almost felt like she had a normal relationship. Vegeta finally shifted in his sleep, sliding more into her, making a small, irritated noise for a moment, before sighing contently.
There was something about being held. There was no way she was going to fall asleep again, not after that much sleep, but she was still sore and worn out. Right now, all she wanted to do was just lay there next to Vegeta.
"You are my ultimate creation."
Vegeta's eyes looked about quickly, trying to find the voice in the darkness.
"Soon you will be unleashed upon the world."
Seeing finally that wretched old man, Doctor Gero, in front of him. He wanted to lung out, strike him down, destroy him as he had the other one. But all that was there was the doctor, grinning at him.
"Of course Doctor Gero," Vegeta's voice responded. Only it wasn't his, it was deep, raspy, alien. Something was completely wrong. He couldn't turn his head, he couldn't move, he was totally powerless.
"Now then, the first thing you must do is find the others, and obtain your-"
Finally, his eyes burst open.
Blinking, the Saiyan noticed what he was waking to. Bulma was trembling in front of him, his hand having grabbed her shoulder so roughly it was about to break. Releasing right away and forcing himself up, Vegeta quickly placed his hand to his head. What the hell had that been about? Doctor Gero? That old fool was dead, and even if he wasn't, he was a weakling. Worse, he wasn't his creation? It was all just some maddened dream as far as he was concerned.
What was he doing in Bulma's bed?
Like a wave, the events from the previous day washed over him.
What the Hell got into me?
Looking over, he heard a whimper as Bulma held her shoulder. Bruisers were already forming where his fingers had been. Reluctantly he looked away. Why he felt guilt at harming others he'd never know. Why'd he even sleep in this bed after all that? Harming her arm hadn't been her own fault, for once. With a frustrated noise, Vegeta turned his head.
"Your arm will be fine," his voice seemed... deeper?
"No thanks to you Vegeta! What was all that? You were so peaceful and then out of nowhere you tried to rip my arm off," Bulma said quickly, her voice still laced with pain, and her eyes brimming with tears.
Not answering her, Vegeta pulled himself out of the bed, looking for his discarded clothes. It was strange... he felt almost taller for a moment. The world had somehow shrunk... in fact it'd become almost tiny.
I must be imaging things, grown men don't grow. I must just be feeling off still.
Looking back towards Bulma after he'd secured his pants, he noticed the look in her eyes. Something was wrong.
What the Hell is going on?
Vegeta was a giant.
She'd not noticed it in bed, but now that he was up, there was no way he was the Vegeta who barely made eye contact with her. He must have been almost as tall as Piccolo. It just wasn't possible, grown men don't get up one day and grow two feet. Actually no one just grew two feet in an evening, that just didn't happen. Ignoring the pain in her shoulder, Bulma immediately got up, not caring about getting dressed as she tried to look Vegeta over, who was already trying to leave the room.
"Vegeta wait! People don't just grow two feet, please let me just take a look at you," she urged. "I'll get you to the lab and we can figure this out, please."
Grabbing his arm, Vegeta froze in place, he was breathing heavily. Only now he was so big it was able to be heard quite clearly. She needed to run tests, to figure out what was happening to him. Was this why he'd been sick the other day? It had to have been, there was no way around it.
Vegeta, please, please just for once cooperate.
"I feel fine."
The words were exactly what she expected. Her fingers trembled for a moment, gripping his arm. What was going to happen to him if he let this continue? There had to be a way to convince him to go with her. Even just some blood work, just anything to start to figure out what was happening. Looking up at him, Bulma couldn't help but feel small for the first time in Vegeta's presence. Shaking her head a second later, her eyes steeled at him.
"Vegeta! Listen! Whatever you think is going on doesn't matter! Please, it'll take me just a minute. I'm not going to take forever, I just want to take some blood. Please, just do this for me for once. I'm worried," she admitted, allowing the real fear she was feeling to bleed into her voice. "You were so sick the other day, and now this is happening. You're changing and I need to know why."
There was a battle going on behind his eyes, she could see it somehow.
... Is he fighting something?
"Fine," he finally growled, his voice deeper than she'd ever heard it before. "But make it quick, I don't have time for this."
Bulma didn't bother with much for clothes, quickly throwing on the pants from yesterday and a shirt, she rushed out the door with him. The fact she got him to agree at all was a miracle.
That cursed woman was much more trouble than it had originally anticipated.
She had managed to distract Vegeta for a sufficient amount of time, but her uses were quickly beginning to run thin. Vegeta was ignoring his impulses again, in favour of listening to this woman and her concerns. It had been a surprise that Vegeta's size increase first, his body was taking to the mutation far too easily. Soon he'd be ready for their metamorphosis. The thought of beginning it's new life was exhilarating. Nothing would stop it's goal.
First, it would finish the necessary modifications to this shell, and then it would begin the quest for what it was designed. Nothing this simple human woman did, and no protests Vegeta made would stop it! No, it would
It would achieve... Perfection.
Following Bulma was like pulling out teeth for Vegeta, every urge in his body told him to not go to the lab with her. But he was awake now, he was very awake. His hair brushed against the ceiling as he walked, a feeling he was certainly unfamiliar with. That sensation was enough for him to overcome not only the urge to flee the lab, but his own pride. There was something wrong, very wrong, with him.
For the first time in years, since he'd been on Namek preparing to meet his end at the hands of Frieza, Vegeta was scared. It wasn't a fear that had him trembling like some child left to the elements, no, it was a fear much deeper than that. At the core of his being he knew everything he'd been feeling had been twisted, changed. How much of even his own thoughts were his own anymore? Vegeta's blood ran cold at the very idea of it.
Those Androids must have done something to me. I need to know what.
That was the only answer. The last thing he'd remembered before waking up, apparently days later, was fighting that Red Ribbon Redneck and his cohort of misfit toasters. They should have killed him, only they hadn't.
"Don't go to the lab with her. Kill."
Almost freezing, Vegeta felt himself nearly collapse with the sensation. Something was driving his aggression towards Bulma. Trembling for a moment, he grabbed the wall.
"Hey, are you going to make it?" Bulma asked, her eyes flashing with concern again.
Glaring up at her, Vegeta scowled.
"I'm fine, just hurry up!" he ordered.
I am Prince Vegeta, I will not succumb to these primitive manipulations.
"Oh but you will, Vegeta."
For the first time, something very alien sounded in his mind. It was a voice he'd heard before... in the dream. It was the same gravely, deep voice. It wasn't just his imagination, he heard it, almost as if it'd been spoken only in his mind. Panic shot through him, even to his eyes.
"Get out of my head! I'll find you and kill you for doing this to me." Vegeta demanded and threatened furiously.
There was no response, the other side went silent. Quietly, his urges began to recede. Aside from being a giant compared to before he felt his emotions beginning to balance out. But he knew there was more to this than just his body changing, there was something there now. Something was underneath the skin, underneath his mind. Days ago, that itch in the back of his head felt amazingly similar to what had just occurred now.
Which meant whatever it was, it wasn't getting weaker.
Grabbing Bulma, he heard a yelp of protest, before blasting off down the hall, straight into the lab. Without her even asking Vegeta tore the sleeve off his training undersuit.
"Take it, take the blood now."
Oh Vegeta, I will not be detected so easily.
Blood was the easiest and quickest thing for this woman, Bulma, to take. And it was also the least touched aspect of Vegeta's body, so far. Without much effort, it began to redirect the microscopic biomachines in Vegeta's body as soon as the woman Bulma, trembling, brought up the needle to penetrate the skin.
Throughout Vegeta's arm, the machines retreated from the main part of the bloodstream, connecting to walls and locking in place. They would not be found in the blood. Nor would Vegeta's blood show any kind of major tampering, beyond chemical imbalances in the the chemistry that made up the blood itself.
Within his body, it could feel the power Vegeta hadn't spent being stored away, deeper and deeper. It allowed his minions, the biomachines, to multiply their work, and to feed on this power to instill the necessary modifications to his organs. It'd not be long now.
You're all mine Vegeta. This body belongs to me. If only you could understand how fortunate you are to be the first step on my road to achieving ultimate power.
Her fingers wouldn't behave. The look Vegeta now gave her as she tried to find the vein was something she'd never seen in Vegeta before. He was Vegeta, so he was trying to look as controlled as he could, but she could see it. Vegeta was afraid. How couldn't he be? Something was changing him from the inside.
Finally, she managed to catch the vein, Bulma breathed a sigh of relief, carefully getting the needle to penetrate the skin. Drawing blood into the vial, she quickly pulled the needle out. Swabbing the small hole in his arm, before patching it, she quickly moved over to her computer.
"Well?" Vegeta demanded impatiently.
"Hold on, these things take a minute," Bulma quickly countered, her fingers hammering into the keyboard.
No, no this was all wrong. The fact it looked almost normal. His chemistry was way off, but there was nothing wrong with his blood cells, there was no signs of any contaminants. Why? There had to be something causing this. There wasn't even a high count of white blood cells. Frustrated, Bulma sat back, looking at Vegeta.
"Nothing is showing up. The entire sample is clean. Whatever is causing this to happen to you isn't affect you're blood at all. I want to take more tests," Bulma said.
The uncomfortable look on Vegeta's face told her the answer already.
No, no don't leave the lab.
Vegeta was already starting to get up. In that moment, Bulma felt like someone just walked over her grave. The way he looked in that moment, in that second, she thought she'd never see him again. Briskly walking in front of him, Bulma stood in front of the Lab's entrance.
With a scowl appearing across his face, Vegeta looked down at her.
"I have some Androids to find, woman," came the blunt remark. "Stand aside."
What was she going to say? She had to say something to him to get him to stay, anything.
"Vegeta, use that thick head of yours for once. This isn't going to go away."
It took several moments, but Vegeta seemed to pause, his eyes turning away from her. Crossing his arms a moment later his face twisted again into a frustrated anger.
What am I to do? Sit here and wait?
Helpless, he was absolutely helpless now wasn't he? Entirely dependant on the woman... Bulma. Despite everything she was still trying to help him. It was something he didn't know if he could ever fully understand. Was it because he was the father of her son? That had to be it.
The test had yielded nothing, he failed to see what running more tests would do beyond irritate him.
"No more tests."
Whatever this thing was, it wanted him to avoid having anymore tests, it was the same feeling he received before. No, he would stay for the tests, regardless of this irritating urge driving him insane. This was taking everything out of him however. Having to fight for everything he did was quickly becoming a task he was growing tired of.
"Do your tests woman, and hurry," Vegeta said, turning his head back to Bulma seriously.
"Tests or not, Vegeta. It'll make no difference. Cease this resistance at once... or I will kill the woman in front of you."
There was a pause in Vegeta as Bulma hurriedly went about preparing the lab for a battery of tests. Quietly, he let his eyes follow her, feeling a cold chill run through him. Kill her how?
"What makes you think this woman means anything to me at all?" Vegeta responded bluntly. "I hardly need her."
"I'm glad we're in agreement then, Vegeta. Enjoy the show."
Pain shot through his right arm before his fingers started to twitch uncontrollably, blue energy rippling between his fingers. The energy then shifted and turned to a dark purple. Trembling and beyond Vegeta's control, the arm pulled up, an energy wave forming in his palm. It was like fire shooting through his arm every time he tried to call the limb back into his service.
The warning came out just in time. Vegeta never called the woman by her real name, however in this moment the need was great enough to use it. Turning towards him, the woman seemed to be confused, until she saw him. She knew he was in so much pain he could barely stand. Her eyes widened, focusing on the blast. Just in time he saw her dive out of the way, the wave shooting past her and down the long laboratory, hitting the far wall. The wall blasted outwards, the entire building rumbling violently. Dust shook from all the ceiling tiles and glass shattered on multiple floors.
The fire left his arm almost immediately after the blast.
Trembling, he saw Bulma barely cling to a desk to pull herself up. She was shaking, almost uncontrollably.
"Aw, how disappointing Vegeta. I thought you said you didn't need her. I sincerely doubt you called out as an act of kindness."
"Vegeta?" Bulma finally asked.
I can't stay, not like this. Not while I'm unable to even control my own body.
Turning quickly, Vegeta stepped briefly into a nearby room to catch his breath. It was time to go. He would have to find... find...
All the thoughts slipped from him as he looked at his reflection in the window. It wasn't just how tall he was. It was his eyes.
Those weren't his eyes.
Replacing the once onyx sphere, was a slit down the middle of his eye. It looked like it had more in common with a lizard than it had in common with a Saiyan, or even a human. Walking over to the mirror, Vegeta moved his hand up and pulled the skin from his eyes as much as he could, looking in the mirror. Slowly, his jaw dropped with shock at what he was looking at.
"Leave. It's time."
Rushing into the room, Bulma grabbed Vegeta as quickly as she could. When he turned and looked at her, she froze dead in her tracks.
"Flee. We're almost there."
She was afraid. The woman was afraid for him, terrified. But after what had just happened, and now this, Vegeta knew it was time to go. Staying behind would only get her killed. At the very least it was a fate she didn't deserve. This was no time for words, it was only time to act, before she begged him to stay again. Whatever this was, he'd have to face it alone, as he should have done from the start. Then, he'd track down those 3 Androids who did this to him.
"Please, we can get the others, we'll figure something out. Vegeta, we can-"
The wall behind Vegeta exploded outwards as she spoke. It was a windy day outside, somehow that felt appropriate. Letting his aura explode around him, forcing Bulma back, he turned his head.
"I will solve this by myself, woman. Your assistance is no longer wanted, or required."
Launching into the air a second later, Vegeta didn't look back.
"Alone. We must be alone. Secluded..."
The sinister impulses returned as soon as he cleared the city, almost driving him to the ground right away. His control was lessening, slipping. Snarling defiantly, Vegeta pushed himself forward, this time transforming into his Super Saiyan form. A trail of golden energy blazed behind him, before without warning, all of his power was cut.
Hair turning black, aura disappearing, it felt as if everything shut down. Vegeta began to fall out of the sky like a sack of hammers being dropped from a plane. Bracing himself for impact as best he could, the Saiyan Prince collided with the trees below, snapping through several branches at first, before shattering through the middle of a massive oak, and then hitting the dirt below. Rolling several times, he lay on his back just breathing.
Within a few moments, he'd pulled himself up. It was like being behind his own eyes, but being unable to control his body as it moved. Half regaining control, but barely being aware, Vegeta felt the sweat returning. His body's temperature rising. His awareness of his situation diminished as his mind felt increasingly clouded.
"Here. We must gestate soon."
Suddenly, his skin felt heavy, disgusting even. His clothes felt obstructive. His armour felt tight around his chest, and his undersuit painful around his body. Snarling, he grabbed the front of his armour, tearing it off.
Must get suit off... warm.
The fever was almost overwhelming as he discarded his now torn suit. Looking down at his hands, he barely registered his fingertips had grown into near claws, and his fingernails black. The pain in his back returned, worse than it was before. Stumbling through the woods naked, Vegeta didn't know how long it was before he came across a dark, damp, half dead tree near the base of a cliff.
Somehow, his skin itched, feeling heavy again, like it was concrete over his real skin. The sweat was changing. Moving his hand through it, his eyes widened in the half aware shock that it was almost... almost some kind of thick ooze.
Instinctively, with little thought of his own, Vegeta slowly crouched next to this dying tree. Feeling his outside harden seconds later. Blinking several times, he only saw the forest ahead of him. Feeling his body shutting down.
The last conscious thoughts that barely passed through Vegeta's mind, before his sweat covered eyelids closed as well, were ones plagued by the new voice coming to the fore of his mind.
A/N: Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the long wait for an update. This story is very, very difficult to write, and it does take a lot more time to write than my other stories. I'm still working on Chapter 4 right now, I personally always like to be many chapters ahead before I post anything. Which means that The Perfect Monster may only be updated once a month, or whenever I get chapters done. It's just not an easy story to write for me. But it is a story I enjoy writing. :)