[ Contents | Chapter 25 | Chapter 26 | Chapter 27 ]

Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic

Part III. Jinkousei


Chapter 26

"You're not supposed to be here!" Raditz glared at Nezumi as he hauled himself to his feet.

"That's one opinion," Nezumi snapped. "It's not mine!"

The big Saiyan staggered, and caught himself against a wall. Exhaustion dragged at him; Raditz felt as if he were working out against a hundred gravities. He shook his head and staggered toward the ladder leading up to the bridge.

"You can't come with me. I'm taking you back."

Nezumi gritted her teeth. Screaming at Raditz would not get her point across. "Why? I hardly think your mission is so secret that I can't even be along--and are you really going to go to all the trouble of landing, tying me up--because I sure as hell won't cooperate in being left behind!--and re-playing this whole take-off and getaway we just went through? What happened to all the urgency of getting to Jinzo--Jinko-whatever?"

"It's too dangerous for you," Raditz growled. "I'm not risking it."

"EXCUSE ME??" Nezumi bristled, clenching her fists at her sides. "I AM NOT A CHILD!" She blushed and forced herself to speak normally instead of shouting.

"I am an adult, and can make my own decisions! It's my life to risk, not yours!" Nezumi pointed an angry finger at the long-haired Saiyan who towered over her, scowling. "You can just wipe that scowl off your face, mister, and sit down and shut up!"

Raditz swayed, squinting to force the black spots out of his vision. Short and fiesty, wouldn't take 'No' for an answer--Rings and Moon, she reminded him of 'Aunt' Celipa! And she did blow up Enforcer...Treating her like a child insulted her honor. But Nezumi was weak, she had to be protected!

"I'm too tired to argue," he growled softly as he pulled himself up the ladder, one rung at a time.

"You're not going back!" Nezumi swarmed up after Raditz.

"We'll see... but I still have to get this thing moving. Sitting in the middle of a field of angry robots does not top my list of 'clever things to do while napping'." Raditz dropped heavily into the main command chair and started pressing buttons. His tail hung limply over one arm of the chair.

He set up two flight plans, one to take the ship out of the system, and an alternate course that de-orbited the vessel and vectored it in to a landing at Capsule Corp. Raditz stared at the two courses on his display, his finger hovering over the button that would select one. Which way to go? Nezumi should go back to safety, but the insult...

I've changed, Raditz thought wryly. Must be Kakarott's fault. Thirty years ago, my only worry about this weak Earth woman would have been that the second it took to kill her would delay us in filling Frieza's quota. Now I'm torn between protecting her and respecting her honor as a warrior. Why?!? She's no Saiyan, she doesn't even have the strength of humans like Kulilin!

...like Bulma. And look what trouble that caused! Raditz growled to himself and his finger stabbed down--

"ARRGGGHHH!" Pain, blinding, tearing pain radiated from his tail, paralyzing the big Saiyan before he could finish. He slumped against the console and rolled out of the command chair, sending fresh waves of paralyzing, weakening pain from the root of his tail.

"Oh no you don't!" Nezumi snapped, squeezing Raditz's furry tail with both hands. "I said you're not going back, and I meant it!" She shifted her grip on Raditz's tail, clamping down with the left hand as she reached over to the console with her right.

Click. Click. "Course selected. Compression field activated," the ship's computer chimed.

"Please..." Raditz whimpered, his fingers clawing weakly at the deck."Please stop. You can do whatever you want! PLEASE!"

"You promise you won't try to take me back against my will?" Nezumi asked, still holding Raditz's tail firmly.


"Hmmph!" Nezumi opened her hand, letting Raditz's bruised tail slip away.

Raditz leaped to his feet, rage lending him fresh strength. "Fool woman! Do you have any idea what you just did?" He trembled with anger, the blood pounding through his veins. He wanted to grab her and smash her across the room for insult and pain she'd just given him. But... he didn't dare touch her. She would break if he touched her.

Nezumi stepped back abruptly as the furious Saiyan loomed over her. Raditz's brows furrowed angrily; his fists clenched and the veins at his temple stood out. His tail lashed angrily, out of reach.

She stared back, angry herself. How dare he try to bully her!

"Yes," she snapped. "I got you to take me seriously!" Nezumi put her hands on her hips and glared up at the infuriated warrior.

"Take you seriously?!? Woman, do you have any idea what you are all alone with? Do you take me seriously?" Raditz's eyes widened slightly, and his fists unclenched. His tail slowed its angry lashing; it switched back and forth behind him.

"Hmmph! If I didn't take you seriously, I wouldn't have grabbed your tail!" she said emphatically. "You're just bull-headed enough to go right ahead and deliver me back to Capsule Corp, in spite of what I wanted." She folded her arms, and continued to glare at Raditz.

"You're a stowaway! Woman--"

"The name is NEZUMI, or have you forgotten that already?" she snapped.

Raditz gritted his teeth. "Nezumi," he growled, "I am going into danger, and you are too weak to survive."

"Oh really? Were you planning to walk home from Jinkousei?"


"This ship isn't nearly as tough as you are. If it's that dangerous, you'll lose this ship. Is this a suicide mission?" Nezumi stared into Raditz's eyes, not glancing away.

"No! And I don't plan to lose my ship!" he snarled. How had she put him on the defensive?

"Good! I'll stay with the ship, and I'll be safe enough. Now that that's decided, you go to your bunk before you collapse." Nezumi poked the air with an emphatic finger.

Raditz blinked. How did she do it? When he came up here, he'd meant to land the ship and haul Nezumi off, no matter how much she fussed. After all, she had no more chance than a kitten of opposing him...

...yet to do that would insult her unforgiveably. She was an adult, and a warrior of sorts. To treat her like a child, to attempt to shield her from harm, was a mortal insult to any self-respecting warrior. Doubly so for a potential mate--


Raditz's tail switched furiously. "Safe enough? You will be trapped in this small ship with me, for weeks, perhaps months..." His scowl changed to a smirk as his gaze took in her small, shapely form.

"Oh, bother! You are really reaching, mister!" Nezumi turned abruptly as Raditz swayed slightly, then staggered back a few steps. "Right now you can barely stay on your feet. That's it, end of discussion!" Her right hand came down and slapped the big red button labeled "ENGAGE MAIN DRIVE".

The ship's engines rumbled and roared, sending the starship careening into the void on a course for Jinkousei.

* * *

A little while later, Nezumi sank trembling into the command chair. Raditz slept the sleep of utter exhaustion in his cabin; he'd barely made it there, collapsing across his bunk without bothering with particulars like undressing or even kicking his boots off.

Nezumi trembled; reaction set in. What had she gotten herself into? Any sane, sensible person would have stayed home! No one expected her to come along on; she had stowed away. Not exactly, she rationalized to herself--Raditz hadn't actually forbidden her to come in the first place. He'd just assumed she was staying on Earth.

Why had she come? Nezumi told herself that Raditz needed someone to handle things with the ship, to watch his back. But she couldn't fight his kind of enemies! She'd just be in the way, something for Raditz to worry about, a distraction.

But... if she stayed behind, he'd journey off into space, alone, and be gone for weeks, months--perhaps forever. Nezumi squeezed her hands together. What if he died out here, all alone? She shivered.

So she'd come, in defiance of all sense and propriety. Mom's probably having a fit, Nezumi thought. I just abandoned her in a strange city, and disappeared into danger. She absent-mindedly brushed mouse-brown bangs out of her face. That was so rude of me! I should send a message back to her...

... but then I'd have to explain what I'm doing here. I'll never be able to reassure Mom about this. Nezumi cringed inwardly; it was easier to just avoid talking to Mom about upsetting topics than to face her. At least I left a note for her and Lina.

* * *

Lina read the note for a third time. "I don't believe this! Nezumi just... just ran away with Raditz!" She glared at Dr. Briefs. "You knew about this, didn't you? What am I going to tell her mother?"

Dr. Briefs blinked. "Not to worry? The ship is in good shape," he said as he petted the small black kitten that accompanied him everywhere, "and Raditz knows how to handle it quite well. He understands machinery a lot better than Goku. Nezumi even studied up on it herself at the last minute."

Lina sighed, thinking about Nezumi's attraction to the big, very masculine Saiyan. "I don't think that's what 'Zumi's mother will be worried about..."

* * *

Raditz woke up with a groan. He ached all over; the hard outer shell of his armor poked him in all the wrong spots. He sat up and slowly dragged off the outer shell and kicked off his boots,

His stomach growled; Raditz closed his eyes and bowed his head, waiting for the faintness to pass. He needed food! His battered, exhausted body had healed while he slept and now needed replenishment.

The big saiyan stood, shaking his massive mane out behind him. He growled under his breath and kicked the armor pieces aside, stalking barefooted down the corridor to the ship's small galley.

Nezumi sat there, at a small steel table that was bolted to the deck. She held a steaming cup of coffee, both hands wrapped around the mug as if to warm them. She looked at Raditz, but continued to sip her coffee in silence.

He frowned at her, then stalked over to the refrigerator and yanked the door open. Hunger gnawed at his stomach and he grabbed the first thing to hand--a jug of milk--and drank it down. From the top to the bottom, he emptied the refrigerator, not bothering to cook any of it.

After tossing the larger bones in the general direction of the disposal, Raditz took the last bottle of juice from the cooler and finally poured himself a drink. In a glass. He glanced at Nezumi, who stared back at him, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

"Want some?" He waved the bottle at her.

"Uhh, no thanks. I've got coffee," she said, holding up her mug. "I knew you had a big appetite, but I don't think there's enough rations for a year of eating like that!"

Raditz glanced back at the empty cooler and grunted. "Remind me to haul some stores out of the deep freeze and re-fill that." He shook his head. "I only eat like that after a fight. Takes a lot of calories to blow things up."

"I guess so!" Nezumi still looked slightly stunned. She knew her table manners weren't exactly fit for the royal table, but this! She wrinkled her nose slightly. "I really hope you aren't insisting I clean all that up!"

"Uh?" He glanced at the gnawed bones and other refuse piled near the disposal. "Oh, that." Raditz glanced slyly at Nezumi through half-closed eyes. "You are a stowaway... working passage is the best you'd normally get." He smirked. "Would be handy to have a deckhand to keep this ship in order. Heh."

Nezumi's eyes widened. "Raditz! You're not serious! ...Are you?"

He folded his arms and looked thoughful. "Well..."

Nezumi clenched her fists and gritted her teeth. If Raditz thought she was going to be his personal galley slave...!

"...no. I'll clean that mess up, and I said I'd refill the refrigerator." He stretched lazily, muscles rippling under his black bodysuit. "However, I don't cook. If you want something hot, you'll have to cook it yourself." He smirked, and his tail switched lazily to and fro. .

Nezumi's jaw dropped and she stared at Raditz in disbelief as the big Saiyan sauntered out of the galley without a further word.

* * *

The next day, Raditz's nose lured him out of the engine room to the galley, where the delectable smell of broiling meat tantalized the hungry Saiyan. He smirked at Nezumi, his tail switching to and fro as she slid the medium-rare steak from the broiler pan onto a plate.

"Lunch?" he asked, still smirking.

Nezumi glanced at him, with an odd smirk of her own. "Yes, I thought I'd make myself a bite." She nodded toward the counter. "There's some meat for you, if you're hungry."

Raditz's smirk abruptly vanished as he noted the still-frozen slab of beef there. He scowled at her and wrapped his tail tightly around his waist.

Nezumi shrugged and smiled pleasantly. "You said you don't cook."

"That doesn't mean I don't like good cooked food, woman!" the big Saiyan snarled.

"Hey, you with the hair! Doesn't mean I'll cook it for YOU, either!" Nezumi picked up her tableware and stalked out, taking the hot, juicy steak to her cabin.

Raditz stared silently after her, open-mouthed in disbelief. "'Hey, you with the hair'?" he muttered. He shook his head and scowled some more. "All I wanted was some hot food." He picked up the frozen beef and gnawed sullenly at it. "She even left the dirty dishes!"

Even more sullenly, he slowly cleaned up the mess Nezumi had left.

The next day, she baked a pie big enough for the two of them.

* * *

In the days that followed, Raditz discovered two things, one good and one... complicated. The good, nay, delightful discovery was that Nezumi was a truly excellent cook. He'd suspected it, but bowls of popcorn can be made by almost anyone, and one steak hadn't been enough to prove anything.

The complication: she desired him. Raditz could smell it in the air, most intensely whenever Nezumi saw him. He'd always wondered before; human women were so excitable. A well-muscled laborer with his shirt off, a handsome movie star on the TV, or someone's boyfriend dropping by the office had often been enough to evoke that musky scent from Lina or Nezumi or even Bulma--or for that matter, any woman who wasn't a crone. But now there was nothing besides him and the machinery of the ship--and Raditz was sure that the ship's controls weren't that exciting.

It was him. Raditz found it pleasantly exciting to be desired. And why not? He was a healthy, powerful Saiyan in his prime--past the clumsiness of youth, still distant from the decline of age. Wasn't he desireable?

Was he? He'd told her what he was. How could she still desire a mass murderer? Was that a reasonable desire, or was it merely because they were locked in together, with no rivals? Would she still be interested in him when they returned to Earth, where there were many handsome men who were not known killers?

Raditz... desired her. Nezumi's scent intoxicated him, but he dared not say or do anything. He was Saiyan, and powerful beyond her imagination. She knew that, knew he was a killer--anything he said or hinted at would be taken with that in mind. No matter how he asked, Raditz knew, that awareness of his power and ruthlessness would make any request coercive. Only if she made the first and last move would he know for sure that Nezumi truly wanted his attentions, and did not merely fear his power.

* * *

Nezumi peeked around the corner of her cabin door, watching for Raditz. I can't keep avoiding him forever, she thought to herself. Well, except over meals. He's just so interesting. I could sit and look at him all day.

We really need to talk, or something-- no, not 'or something'! Nezumi wipe fresh perspiration off her forehead. It's easier just to stay away from him--except that this ship is just too small. God, he probably thinks I'm mad at him!

So what am I supposed to do, tell him the truth? 'Hi, big boy, you turn me on and I want to make mad monkey-love with you, except I don't think my mom would approve, and I'd rather have a church wedding and all, but I'm not sure if you're the kind of guy I should marry and do you have an opinion on all this?' Sheesh!

Nezumi bit her lip. No, she'd have to play it cool--don't scare him off, but don't turn him off, either. See if he shows any interest. Then, maybe then, we can talk.

* * *

In the asteroids, the dim light of the sun glinted off metallic forms here and there. The fleet and the attacking force had been destroyed, but the factories remained. The machines rebuilt; soon, the command authority would be back online; soon, the next attack would begin.


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Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic