debbiechan fanfiction

Always A First Time

by debbiechan

Disclaimer: I can make no claim to owning DBZ, yet I have a masochistic compulsion to tell this damn story.

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Chapter Twenty-one: The Worst

A/N: A few of the Frieza flashbacks in this chapter are from my short story "To Savor You More."

I realize that Frieza's sexual abuse of Vegeta is a hotly debated topic in fandom. And despite the abuse being a cliche in many B/Vs, yaoi fics and some highly eroticized shota, I never doubted that it was implied in the canon and wanted to include it in this story. I suspect that my take on it is less disturbing that a lot of stuff out there, but be warned, this chapter does continue in the vein of the previous chapter and contains references to sex, non-consenting and consenting, with a minor.

Thanks to LisaB for editing this story and for caring about how I write Frieza. dchan 6.3.05

"When I got angry at myself, I woke up."--Vegeta, episode 129

Vegeta told himself that he would never become like his father. He did not want to be like his father.

The king had been an idiot, obviously. Why else had Vegetasei fallen? Vegeta heard the rumors for years on Frieza's ship--that King Vegeta had staged an attack the day that the prince was turned over to Frieza, that Frieza in his anger had blown up Vegetasei.

"The Saiyans were such impetuous beasts. Brave warriors, but their overconfidence was forever revealing their stupidity. You, Vegeta, have learned something of restraint in my service. A testament to the discipline of my ship, but I do know what a passionate little monkey you really are."

Vegeta lowered the ramp and walked out of Capsule 3 into a thin-aired, red desert landscape.

The planet was an unplanned stop. Vegeta had decided that he needed to get out of the capsule and touch solid ground.

The hallucinations had gotten worse. But why? Vegeta had withstood the strains of solitary space travel all his life; it was always landing planetside that had disoriented him--the noises and colors of busy worlds. What a relief it had been to purge a planet, to silence the babbling people, the spectacle of civilization, with Death.

Vegeta surveyed the unpopulated terrain. He had landed on a red and desolate rock. He welcomed the feeling of a slight, warm breeze.

Some king I would have made indeed. I hate people.

He could never have withstood the idiocies of his father's court. And he would have been bored out of his soul as the immortal monarch over all Frieza's star systems. Killing Frieza had been Vegeta's first goal, but the dream of taking over the Kold Empire had been its companion.

That dream had died along with the Vegeta who died on Namek. On that day, Vegeta had felt betrayed by his father a second time. On that day, Vegeta had put to rest a goal that was not properly his, that had been his father's all along: "One day, my son, you will rule the galaxy as the Saiyan King."

Where was there to go but away from the memories?

Had there ever been anywhere to go but headlong into killing and more killing? The moment he felt the shadows from impossible sources falling across his shoulders and across the red ground, Vegeta lifted his glove and looked at its whiteness. Even here? A faint image played on the white fabric of the glove. Vegeta heard his own voice from another time and recognized, with a start, that he must have trained himself to disguise the loathing in it:

"True." A dramatic sigh. "That dark glare of yours does make a striking first impression, though. I like my representatives to look both menacing and cultured. I had imagined that if Zarbon cleaned you up a bit, but..." Another sigh. "I suppose one can only dress up a stupid monkey, not change its bestial nature."

Frieza had not been serious about the port assignment. He had just been dangling the commission in front of Vegeta to taunt him.

Frieza had always wanted Vegeta to lose control, and so Vegeta had never lost his temper before his lord, never. Was that a small victory or was it another humiliation?

Vegeta closed his fist, dropped it to his side and kept walking across the new terrain. I am in control of my body and my mind.

He knew that he had the discipline and control of no one else--he doubted Kakkarot could match it. Years ago, as a child, Vegeta had taught himself to bite back his rage, to give an opponent no warning, to shoot first and scream later. He could bear any terror without crying out, even in his dreams. Too many times during the first year of the Eastern Spiral purges he had been awakened by his own screaming... to find himself in mid-air, and Nappa holding him by the shoulders. "My prince, you were killing in your dreams." The humiliation of that! So many campsites leveled because the prince had bad dreams!

He fought, he fought, and he fought. Vegeta took impossible assignment after impossible assignment. Combat made him stronger. So what if he took risks? Better to die than to never become Super Saiyan. Better to suffer one humiliation after another than to never become Super Saiyan.

And so he would wake up, bloodied, near-death, over Raditz's shoulder as the guard carried him to the regen chamber.

His men admired their boy leader for his insane bravery. Vegeta hated Raditz and Nappa for their admiration. Did they know? Did they suspect? That the only thing worse than waking up being backpacked by a soldier en route to med bay was waking up in Frieza's bed?

On the strange red and dusty planet, Vegeta lifted his arm, tucked his thumb against his palm and shot a Big Bang across the nothingness.

A spear of blue light flew across the thin atmosphere and then dissipated into meaningless sparks... sparkling confetti in endless black space.

I do not have enough power to kill Kakkarot.

Still, Vegeta did not despair. There was nothing left to face but the worst of his past. And would that make a difference? Would the rage fuel his transformation into Super Saiyan? How much more could he hate his father for turning him over to Frieza? How much more could he hate Frieza for having humiliated him?

Twenty years of servitude under Frieza. In that time "my precious boy" became "you stupid monkey," and Vegeta kept fighting, trying to outrun the day that Frieza would kill him.

Vegeta walked in deliberate, measured slowness across the red planet. What sort of challenge was here for him? No opponent, no significant gravitational pull, no threat in sight. Yet Vegeta felt as if he were being pursued; his breath deepened, and adrenaline sped through his veins, even as he continued to walk slowly.

Was the dream so close now that he did not have to race towards it? For so many years, Vegeta had been moving towards the dream of becoming Super Saiyan. It was the only thing that had been with him even longer than the pain.

That dream did not die, not even when Frieza killed him. Sometimes it was unreal to remember it: Frieza did kill him. But not before a slow torture that was like a re-enactment of their secret pleasures: a fist stabbing him over and over at the base of his spine. "Don't give up now, Vegeta. I need to savor you more."

Vegeta heard a strange pinging and looked up. The sky was raining fireballs. He was not certain if this red, whistling rain was real or not.

Did it matter? The only thing Vegeta knew how to do anymore was to fight. And so he fought the meteor storm.

**

"You don't have to wear the baseball cap anymore, you know." Bulma was smiling at Yamcha with sincere affection. He hadn't seen her look so relaxed in weeks, not since Vegeta took off. "Your hair's growing back nicely. In fact, you need a haircut. Maybe a new style."

"I don't know..." Yamcha looked away from her playful eyes and back into the clouds. The viewshield was crowded with big fat white ones. The aircar was flying through them at a leisurely speed.

"The cap, the bowl bangs--too young looking. You need a more mature look to face those androids, right?"

Yamcha laughed. "It's not a fashion show, Bulma." He glanced at her and saw that she had leaned her head against the backrest. She looked tired. Happy but tired. Good thing that he had offered to drive her to her doctor appointment. She was looking more fragile these days. Couldn't be an easy thing to carry the alien baby of some superstrong warrior race.

"Yamcha?

He could tell that a serious question was coming. "What?"

"You know when Son said that Dr. Gero hadn't done anything wrong yet and that was the reason we shouldn't kill him?"

"Yeah."

"Did you agree with him on moral principle or did you just want to go along with what all the other crazy fighters were saying?"

"Are you still sore about that, Bulma?"

"Answer me. Do you really want to fight the androids or don't you think it would be better just to find Gero's lab right now and prevent the killers from being made in the first place?"

"I don't know. Goku's always right about this sort of stuff. He seemed to think that the best thing to do was to fight."

Bulma snorted. "Always rallying around Son-kun. Didn't you ever even consider that I might have something to contribute here? What makes Son the authority on how to deal with saving the planet? I still say that preventing a fight is better than fighting it."

"Maybe so." Yamcha admired Bulma so much sometimes. She was so damn feisty. She was tired and looking all fatter now, but she was still so beautiful. It was hard to argue with her, but Yamcha had to make a point. "Killing Dr. Gero now, though--" Yamcha's voice was hesitant. "That's one tough order. Like Goku said, the man hasn't done anything wrong yet."

"Bullshit." Bulma narrowed her eyes. "The man's as evil as they come, you know that. I could make you a list right now of bad stuff he's done, and it would be a damn long list."

"Alright, you got a point there. I guess the whole Red Ribbon Army has done plenty evil stuff."

There it was--that old fire in Bulma's eyes. "So?"

"So what?"

"So say it was you who had to make the choice. Would you kill Dr. Gero yourself to prevent the destruction of Earth?"

"Bulma, you know I'm no good at these rhetorical whatevers. But it would be like--I don't know, assassination or something. That's really not my style."

Bulma eased back into her seat and looked out the window. "Right."

Yes, she looked pretty content. Her old genius brain was working again. He never understood it, but he could tell that the gears were spinning in there.

"Sometimes people have to kill, you know," she said in a softer voice. "Sometimes it's not a choice, like when you're defending yourself. But some people we think of as murderers..." Her voice trailed off. "Oh never mind. I'm so sleepy."

The rest of the car ride continued in comfortable silence. For some reason, though, Yamcha wondered if Bulma had been thinking about Vegeta. Hell, murderers...Vegeta. What else could she have been talking about?

**

Vegeta lay in a pile of rubble; the uniform Bulma had made for him was torn at the elbows and knees.

It should have been an excellent workout. Hours of dodging and blasting meteors of all sizes, all hurtling towards him and his ship from different directions.

Why was he so exhausted? Had he ever, for even one moment, feared losing his ship to the storm? Feared becoming stranded on this red rock?

I fear nothing.

Vegeta dropped his bloodied face into pieces of meteor on the ground.

I hate everyone.

He knew why, too. He only knew what hate was because, at one time, he had felt the absence of it. Vegeta had once admired, respected, cared for his father. No more. The king had thrown his own son away, tossed him to Frieza the way a weak hunter would throw meat towards a predator in order to distract the beast.

Blood and hot ashes in his nostrils.

I hate you.

And Lord Frieza. Vegeta had admired him once. Frieza was the most powerful being in the galaxy. Power was everything. How could Vegeta have not admired him?

Vegeta breathed in heat from the pieces of smoldering meteor. He felt his brain fill with that heat.

"You say you hate me, and you fight me every time...but I am not a fool, Vegeta. You like this." Frieza's cold breath in his ear. "You want this." Frieza's cold hands on his shoulders. "I make you stronger. You want my power. You do not break beneath it, and I can feel you devouring it. Do you not want my power, Saiyan? You do. You want it. Give in, and I will share it with you. All of it..all my power..."

Had he leaned into Frieza's face that night? Had he? There was no hallucination playing, like military reconnaissance footage, in dull loop over and over; there was only the memory, clear as life...

"I make you stronger."

Vegeta had leaned into Frieza's face, into that intoxicating strength, into that seductive voice. He had been a boy still--not the little red-caped prince who Frieza could not batter into submission. Vegeta had been an older boy, one who could be seduced by violence. Thirteen, fourteen standard? Frieza's icy fingers holding his wrists above his head... a pain that slashed through Vegeta's doubt but made him stronger... and soon Vegeta's hips were moving, of their own accord--towards, away, towards, away, crushing against that monstrous pleasure.

Had it been only that one night that he had consented? Had there been other nights?

If Frieza had not come to him, would he have come to Frieza?

He had leaned into those soft black lips.

And the next morning Frieza had surprised him by grabbing him by the hair and, with no warning, tossing him out of bed. It had not been a prelude to more thrashing eroticism. The lizard was standing, dressed, at the door.

"What did you think? That I would love my precious boy so much as to give him an inheritance? Did you expect the Kold Empire?" A hearty laugh. "You are not so beautiful as Zarbon and you are not as strong as you think you are. Foolish boy. Who did you think I was? Your father? Your keeper?"

But Vegeta had never wanted to be like Zarbon--he had not wanted to be a simpering lieutenant. Vegeta had wanted... he had wanted to be... king of the galaxy?

"Get up. Wrap that wet, vile tail around yourself and go clean up. Never forget that you are my little whore."

Vegeta had pulled on his pants and was limping down the hallway when he heard Lord Frieza's last words--it was so unlike Lord Frieza to raise his voice! The phrase rang against the metal walls:

"You will always be a stupid monkey!"

Betrayal.

Betrayal.

Betrayal.

There, on the strange red planet with its hot breezes, among the smoldering rubble of the meteor storm, it hit him like no blow he had ever experienced. Who had betrayed him? Vegeta had betrayed Vegeta: he had simply been wrong. He had been too stupid to see those he admired for who they truly were.

The meteor chunks were cooling against his face and chest. Vegeta beat them with his fists. He expected bits of stone to pelt his face as he pounded and pounded, but the meteors were soft now and exploding into fine powder.

I was wrong.

Vegeta had been wrong to think his father valued a prince's life above all others. What was the sacrifice of one son--even though that son was the strongest Saiyan born--compared to what that idiot king thought was the salvation of the whole Saiyan race? Frieza too--how could Vegeta have believed that Frieza had any plan other than degradation for the Saiyan prince? Why had Vegeta not understood the true contempt for the Saiyans in Frieza's eyes?

His life had been one disappointment after another. Why? Because Vegeta himself had been too stupid, too blind to his own unimportance to those who had mattered to him.

A chorus of assurances arose. His father's voice: "Never forget that you are our prince. The blood of a thousand Saiyan kings runs in your veins..." The whispers of awe on Frieza's ship: "He is Saiyan, he is Saiyan, they say he is a Saiyan." Bulma's light and throaty purr: "I chose you, Vegeta."

Lies. Voices fickle as a woman's affections.

"My precious boy...."

Vegeta clenched his fists and the nails cut through his gloves, through his skin. He kept clenching his fists and felt them fill with blood.

I AM important, I matter, I am the Prince of Saiyans, and I will be the Legendary!

But what if that, too, was a lie?

Vegeta screamed. The rage burned his throat, and he could not rid himself of it. More fury flamed the more he screamed.

Was it the last lie? Super Saiyan. The only hope he had clung to all his life, and it was a lie? He was a stupid, small and disgusting fool to have believed in it so long.

Vegeta hated himself.

And in that moment, as the hate rose within him, surrounded him, engulfed him, in that moment, something happened inside. It was like dying. As if his heart and lungs themselves had torn and bled and something was pushing past them, tearing more of him open.

The pain shook him; his arms and legs spasmed. His mouth opened in a scream that was silent this time, because the rage had ripped him apart.

Then he heard his voice. A scream that knew no bounds.

And with a surge of incredible, incredible power--as a strange light blazed and strange noise roared--Vegeta ignited into a new form of himself.

He felt it. He understood it. He knew it.

And as he rose from his knees, pure joy devastated his anguish: I AM SUPER SAIYAN.

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