It didn't take long for the saiyan prince to give his fellow partner a good ripping. Placing the ship on autopilot, Vegeta stood and blocked any chance for Gohan to escape from his seat.
"Ground rules. I make the rules. You follow them. Don't and I'll fry your ass." Vegeta growled and pridefully strutted away. Gohan could hear the sound of one of the doors sloshing open then closing again. Vegeta was likely in the training room. Gohan sighed, this was going to be a very long trip. For now, he'd let the saiyan prince have his way. There was absolutely no reason to rile his temper up any more than it already was.
Hours felt like days as Gohan occupied himself with various activities to keep his mind off the main issue at hand. As he was studying a star chart and comparing it with their current course, he suddenly realized something VERY important. After making several calculations to verify his theory, he immediatly sought Vegeta with the information.
Vegeta of course, was busily doing some reps with some of Bulma's specially made floatbots. They could fly with agility and shoot some strong stinging lasers at their adversary.
The sound of Gohan's yell distracted the saiyan prince momentarily. One of the floatbots zapped him in the ass.
"Umph, this had better be good whelp!" Vegeta growled as he rubbed his backside.
"If we continue along this present trajectory, we're going to smack into an uncharted star in roughly two hours."
"Stop with the nerdspeak and simplify that."
Gohan grew impatient at Vegeta's stupidity. He knew the prince understood what he had said. Vegeta wasn't Goku afterall. With a sarcastic snort, Gohan translated. "Star-not-on-charts. Crash in 2 hours."
Vegeta smirked. "Oh, is that all. You interrupted my training for such a petty thing."
"Petty? At our present speed, if we don't correct our course, we will be drawn in by that star's gravitational field in mere minutes."
"On the contrary son of Kakarrot, that star is known. It's not on the maps on purpose."
"Saiyans routinely leave bits of systems off the maps. We aren't exactly a race with many allies. In fact, we had no allies. All were enemies. The stars off the maps are stopping points for rest, supplies, and so forth. Many, such as this one, is a strategic striking point." Vegeta commented smugly.
Gohan digested Vegeta's brief
lecture. It made sense. Saiyans were a hated and despised race.
It would be difficult for such types to rest in leisure with entire
bits of the universe out to kill you.
"I'm sorry for interrupting you. I didn't think--"
"That's right, you didn't. You've been doing that alot recently."
"Hey!" Gohan protested sharply in defiance of being called an idiot.
"Gonna do something about it?" Vegeta challenged. He could always use some rounds with a moving punching bag.
"Look, I know you don't like me on this trip, but like it or not, I'm here."
"And now you want to kiss and make up and get along eh? Pathetic rubbish. You and your father are too damn innocent for your own damn good." Vegeta spat venomously.
Gohan grew angry at Vegeta's insults. He didn't mind them being aimed at himself, but against his father was a different story. "Lay off Vegeta. I mean it."
"Or you'll do what? Spank me? I don't give a rat's ass what kind of power level you have attained, your do-good, righteous self will do nothing about it."
Gohan growled and for a moment considered the small ki ball forming in his hand. Breathing deeply, he sighed and calmed down. Fighting would get neither of them anywhere soon. He turned and walked away without another word.
"Turning you back on an adversary is a fatal mistake Gohan."
While walking down the hall, Gohan stuck his middle finger up without even giving Vegeta a second glance. He could hear Vegeta growling, spitting, hissing, and doing whatever else the saiyan prince did when insulted. It made no difference. Both of them would have to get it out of their systems and the sooner the better. Both were going to have to respect each other once again if their mission was going to succeed. Unfortunately, neither of them wanted to make the first step towards it.
Vegeta was showing his dominance as a man and leader. But, Gohan was out to prove his worth as a man as well. He no longer wished to be considered a boy. He wanted his place within the adult ranks now and it meant earning their respect and taking a stance against others already there. One's place had to be earned. It wasn't assumed for a new entry to the ranks meant potential competition.
Elsewhere in space...
Veleet landed her ship on a remote, somewhat shapeless moon. It was uninhabited and it reeked of sulfur from its many volcanoes. A primeval piece of rock to her, but it made for a safe haven for a weary saiyan to rest. She sat with the ship's door popped open and lulled within her own thoughts. She rolled the canister in her hands gently. Uncertainty gripped her as she mulled over the various options she had available to her. A strange feeling of guilt also tugged at her brain. Thoughts of the young man who risked much to give her that canister began to pull at her moral senses. It was a better deal than a one-night stand with the boy, but it seemed so much more cold-hearted this way.
A volcanic rock landing upon the top of her ship snapped her out of her thoughts. Looking at the steaming carcass of molten rock as it rolled off her ship and onto the ground below, she realized who she still was...a saiyan, and a royal one at that. Saiyans weren't supposed to have feelings of guilt or remorse. They were cold, calculating conquerers of races and planets. She, most of all, knew that. It was the pride her race thrived on.
Placing the canister in a storage compartment, Veleet stood and entered the steamy, stinky environment of saiyan serenity.
On Earth, Bulma's residence...
Videl was preoccupied with trying to babysit Goten and Trunks as Bulma tried to comfort ChiChi. It took her a while, but she had fully come to grasp with what her oldest son had done and why he wasn't at her side now. She wasn't taking it well. She had tried to remain strong and understanding while he was there, but now, without his presence, she was a wreck.
Goten wasn't helping matters at all. He was coping with his brother's absence by being an annoying little brat. He didn't want to listen to anyone. He was mad that his brother left him alone. He was tired of being left alone by everyone and his mother wasn't giving him the comfort or attention he wanted at this time of need. Trunks was the only other who paid attention to the youngest son of Kakarrot.
"Goten! Trunks! Stop that now!" Videl yelled in vain as the two half pint half saiyans ran yet another loop around the room. They had gotten into Videl's journal and were trying to get away long enough to read some of it. Videl cursed herself for being stupid enough to bring it along, but she wanted to add an entry and share some of it with ChiChi, to comfort her. She knew that Gohan's mother wanted them together and as time wore on, Videl found out that she wanted it too. Perhaps their sharing of memories and thoughts would comfort them both while trying to muster his absence.
Trunks stopped and stuck out his tongue at the teenage daughter of Mr. Satan.
"Trunks, that is rude."
"Not as much as this." Trunks said as he turned around and dropped his pants revealing his bare butt to a shocked Videl.
"You need a good spanking." Videl shot back.
Trunks pulled his pants back up and gave her a look that stopped her in her tracks. The look revealed something of a seductive understanding, but at his age, he shouldn't even be concerned with such things. Videl made a mental note to run it by his mother later.
Meanwhile, Goten had the journal and was safely out of Videl's reach, at least for the time being. He began to thumb through the pages, but as he found one that would read quickly, Trunks took it away from him.
"TRUNKS! I was gonna read that!"
"No time. Run." Trunks replied as Goten instinctively followed his friend. Trunks had managed to see an opening to the door that Videl had blocked...until this moment.
Videl realized her mistake too late. The two brats were past her and out the door before she could return to her post at it. "I really need hazard pay with these two." she muttered to herself as she ran down the hall after them.
Back in space...
Gohan plopped himself back into a seat in the cockpit. Before reaching it, he had stopped at a storage compartment and grabbed a notebook out of his bag as well as a nice size package of potato chips.
His thoughts turned away from anger at Vegeta and began to loom towards those he had left behind. He began to write in his notebook as he sought to expel his thoughts onto paper as a way of never forgetting the huge mistake he had made recently.
to be continued...