Vegeta stood over the crib, looking down at the child that lay sleeping. Though only a few months old, the boy's true nature was beginning to show. His strength was not surprising, considering he descended from royalty. However, Vegeta couldn't bring himself to show any emotion. He should feel happy, proud, or at least some form of paternal love for his son. What no one knew was that Vegeta did feel these things, but he could never show them. The harsh lessons he had learned as a very small child prevented him from doing that; and old habits were hard to break after all. As he stood looking down at his son, the past came flooding back to him. He began to remember all that had happened to him all those years ago...
There was a time in his childhood that Vegeta felt emotions, and was able to express them easily. He showed admiration, even love, towards his father and the few he had come to regard as not only his trusted friends, but his family... until it was beaten out of him. His father, a very powerful Saiyan king, soon became ashamed of his son's weakness. If his son were to be king and rule the planet, he must be cold and ruthless. No one would follow a weak leader. He must find some way to teach his son to be a warrior. He took drastic action. At the age of 5, Vegeta was torn from his mother and thrown into a never-ending world of violence. If he showed any form of weakness; tenderness, compassion, or even mercy; he was beaten senseless. After the beatings, he was constantly told the same thing. "You are destined for greatness, my son. Not only will you rule the planet, but as a Saiyan Elite, you will have a power like no other. You will be a Super Saiyan! With that power, you could rule the entire universe!!" Convinced his son would not be able to access this power with his emotions holding him back, King Vegeta's cruelty increased. He subjected his only son to constant physical and verbal abuse. Vegeta was never congratulated for doing a good job; only told he should've done a better one. On and on it went until finally, at the age of 7, Prince Vegeta was as cold and unfeeling as they came. Be it man, woman, or child before him, he showed no mercy. King Vegeta was sure that his son would rule...until the day someone else noticed the Prince's cruel nature, and decided he would be of use.
As far as evil tyrants go, Lord Frieza was the worst. His specialty was taking over planets and selling them to the highest bidder. He was highly powerful and had the strongest soldiers in the universe. Then one day, he set his sights on the planet Vegeta. However, upon seeing how incredibly strong the Saiyans were, Frieza struck a bargain with King Vegeta. The Saiyans would serve under Frieza to strengthen his army, and Frieza would leave the planet in peace; leaving him on the throne. Knowing this was the only way to protect his people, King Vegeta made the deal. He kept his son's power level a secret though, because he was the only heir and could not rule the planet if he were constantly away in battle. But, as with all secrets, it could only be kept for so long. A paid informer told Lord Frieza about the strong prince, and how he had power unheard of before. Intrigued by this news, Frieza paid a guard close to Vegeta to wear a scouter and record the boy's training. Seeing the boy's power level for himself, Frieza realized his army would be unstoppable with the young prince on his side. Frieza went to see King Vegeta immediately. He told the king of his thoughts, and asked him to allow his son to join the soldiers. When the king refused, Frieza tried bribary. When that failed, he finally demanded that the boy be allowed to join his army. King Vegeta, furious at this, refused once again and said his son was a future prince and that Frieza had enough common thugs to handle any enemies. Furious at this, Frieza left the palace fuming. King Vegeta, thinking he had won, laughed with his soldiers.
Vegeta scoffed as that memory came back to him. His father should've known better. No one ever said no to Frieza. Sooner or later, the vicious tyrant always got what he wanted. Not long after that discussion, some of Frieza's men had somehow broken into the palace and kidnapped the young prince in the dead of night. Frieza then sent a message to King Vegeta saying he had his son and would kill the boy if the king refused him again. With his son held hostage, the mighty king was powerless to refuse. Vegeta was inducted into Frieza's army that night. If the training under his father had been horrible, then the training under Frieza had been a living hell. Vegeta walked to the window and stared at the stars as more horrible scenes from his past raced through his mind.
Frieza's first order was that the young prince was too soft and needed to be toughened up. He put Vegeta up against his top fighters. Knowing Vegeta could easily handle them, Frieza ordered him not to fight back, under the guise of teaching him discipline and obedience. In reality, it was to see how much damage the boy could take before falling. If Vegeta ignored the ruling, he was beaten into unconsciousness for being insubordinate. If Frieza thought he fell too soon, he was beaten nearly to death and made to watch as a friend or pet of his was killed before his eyes. Slowly, the young prince learned not to make friends, or even acquaintances, so they could never be used against him. Later on, Frieza would bring small children from other planets before him. Vegeta would be ordered to execute them. If he refused, he was beaten and forced to watch them die anyway. He was beaten a lot during the early stages of this part of his training. Then slowly, his sense of right and wrong, his sense of self even, began to disappear. King Vegeta was forced to watch it all, until finally he could stand it no longer. Realizing his son's pride was slowly being stripped away, King Vegeta had finally had enough. He marched himself into Frieza's throne room and demanded that his son be returned to him. Frieza only laughed at him. King Vegeta, enraged by this, ordered his soldiers to attack. They, however, were afraid of Lord Frieza and did nothing. "COWARDS!!!!" he screamed as he charged Frieza alone. Vegeta watched in horror as his father, the mighty king, was struck down before his eyes. With his dying breath, King Vegeta addressed his son. "Vegeta, you come from a strong bloodline, and you possess the potential power to join the Super Elite of all Saiyans. Never forget where you're from and train very hard, my son. Because if you've proven yourself worthy, you will become a Super Saiyan." With that, the once mighty king's head slumped to the side and he was gone from the world. Seeing the tears in the young prince's eyes at his father's death, Frieza ordered he be beaten once again. It was then, at the age of 8, that Vegeta vowed to one day end this horrible tyrant, and to never again endanger anyone by showing he cared for them.
With that thought, vegeta walked over to the crib once again and looked down at his son. Perhaps he felt something for the boy after all, he realized. This child was the heir to the throne of the planet Vegeta. The future ruler of the Saiyan Race. At that moment, pride coursed through Vegeta's heart. He did care for this child. He couldn't say he loved him, because Vegeta wasn't sure he could even feel love anymore, but he did feel a strong need to protect this child; his child. The only way to do that was to keep his distance emotionally and protect him from afar. That way, the boy could have a chance at growing up. The boy's mother would see that the child got all of the love, support, and attention he needed. Vegeta appreciated the way she cared for his son, always putting the boy's needs ahead of her, or even Vegeta's, needs. This meant a great deal to Vegeta, and gave rise to feelings that were as close to love as he thought he would ever get again. But, of course, he could never tell her that. He had to act towards her with the same cold and unfeeling attitude he used with everyone else. That way, she would be safe as well and, should something ever happen to him, there would always be someone around to care for his son. He would give his last breath to protect what was his, but he would do it in a way that they would never know he cared, and Bulma and the child would be safe from harm at the hands of his potential enemies.
Seeing that the child's blanket had slipped from around him, Vegeta used his Saiyan senses to make sure he was alone before reaching down to cover the child up once more. He stroked the purple hair on the boy's head, and found himself repeating the same words his father had once said to him. "You are destined for greatness, my son. Train hard, and never forget where you came from." Feeling an urge to protect this child that was far too strong to ignore, Vegeta pulled a chair close to the bed. "Sleep peacefully, my son. I will watch over you and make sure no harm comes to you. I will always protect you." With that, Vegeta sat next to the bed, making sure he was between the door and the crib where his son slept. Soon, he fell asleep in the chair, knowing he could both prevent any harm that might come and be gone before anyone had known he was there. Maybe it was because he was so drained from reliving his past, maybe it was because she had kept quiet and suppressed her energy like Goku had once taught her; but for some reason, he had failed to sense Bulma hiding just outside the door. She had come to check on her son, but hearing Vegeta speak to him, she had hidden and listened as her mate spoke words of love and comfort to their son. She smiled to herself as she thought about what she had just heard. "I knew he cared", she whispered to herself. She turned and walked back down the hall to her room. She could sleep peacefully. She knew her son would be safe tonight.