Author's Notes: This fic was inspired by (I can't remember the author's name) the classic book, 'A Little Princess.' This is not a very close fusion with
that book, but that was my inspiration, so it receives credit as due.
Category: Anime, Dragon Ball Z, Yaoi, AU
Warnings: not much here, but expect this to have angst in spades
Pairings: will be Goku+Vegeta, and more
A Little Prince
The building looked like some sort of shelled insect, half-buried in the thick grass that surrounded it. The yards were bare of the foliage usually seen
around such facilities, and the town had either crept away from the Center, or the Center had been placed on the outskirts. Even as the ship flew past the
last of the town's small huts, clear ground opened beneath it for nearly a mile before the building loomed up in its semicircular dome. The inside arc was
small, resembling nothing so much as pinchers on some mammoth locust, and the ship descended within those imagined claws. As it touched down on the
white platform, one figure shifted in a dark doorway, stepping forward to greet the newcomer with only the slightest curve of dark blue lips. Piercing eyes
locked onto the moving hatch before falling down and sweeping the length of the one who was revealed.
An indiscernible smirk passed over those small lips as he stared down at the boy. A small, slightly pointed chin raised, black eyes flicking to him in a
bored, yet haughty look and Frieza smirked again. The prince's small arms were folded over his chest, and his eyes were pulled down to the brown tail
wrapped about the boy's waist. If it hadn't been for that tail, and the superior expression, he'd never have believed this small boy was the heir to the
saiyajin throne. But he wasn't about to forget the visit he'd received from a strikingly similar man, one whose stance could be seen mirrored in the boy's
form. There was no doubt that this was King Vegeta's son. And judging from the way those black eyebrows drew together, the prince was getting irritated
by his silence. With long strides that belied his own short stature, Frieza crossed the small courtyard, his own tail twitching as he barely kept it from
mimicking the boy. Two feet separated them when he paused, meeting dark black eyes before he sank to one knee, bowed head hiding the return of his
smirk. Humor niggled in his mind and he knew to kneel to the child was to pay homage to the sire. That was the only thing preventing him from giving in to
his need to laugh at the boy. As it was, that small chin lifted again and a soft snort reached him before he rose again.
Thick eyebrows were nearly pressing together and Vegeta had to tighten his teeth in order to ease the force of his scowl. He simply couldn't imagine that
the smooth creature in front of him was supposed to be the strongest on the planet. It was true that he'd only been off Planet Vegeta once before, but
he'd imagined he was being sent to some terrifying warrior. His father had warned him that the training ahead would be vigorous and challenging, and
he'd actually been eager to meet up with someone capable of challenging him. But the creature looking at him didn't seem powerful at all. And its small
lips were pursed in such a way that Vegeta was hard pressed to even believe it was a male. Sharp eyes were watching him and his muscles flexed for a
second, arms tightening over his chest. Whether he wanted to believe it or not, this had to be Frieza.
The boy was still scowling at him and Frieza kept his own expression perfectly neutral. "You will understand if I don't address you as 'Your Highness,'" he
drawled softly, eyes tilted down as the boy was actually some feet shorter than him. "Your father-" One of those thick eyebrows twitched suddenly and
Frieza's lips curled in response, "King Vegeta," he corrected smoothly, amused by the boy, "has explained the purpose behind your presence here. It
wouldn't do for anyone to discover who you are. During your stay, you will be known only as Vegeta-san. The students will treat you accordingly." The
king had explained more than that, and Frieza was certain the boy would be insulted when he learned that to the other students, he was merely one of
them. Yes, he was obviously a first-class saiyajin. That much was blatantly evident by the tail wrapped about that small waist. But there were more than
one saiyajin still alive in that class. Despite their fierce nature, saiyajins had managed not to wipe themselves out completely. Not yet, Frieza smirked,
turning his body a bit so he could wave a hand toward the door he'd exited. The boy shot him a quick glare before striding past and Frieza gave in to his
smirk, eyes sliding over that dark-clothed back. The real reason for this ruse was because the saiyajins were once again waging war, against each other
As far as schools went, his establishment taught nothing more than how to destroy and survive. That truly made it a perfect place for a saiyajin. But there
were few of the race left, few enough that they rarely left their home planet for anything other than one of their frequent attacks on neighboring worlds.
They held their dominance over other species in a tight fist, but among themselves... Frieza had heard of the unrest long before the saiyajin king
contacted him. It seemed there were enemies within the first-class who wanted to usurp the king, and that made his son a target as well. He understood
why King Vegeta would send his son into hiding, but it really was amusing that the king sent the boy to him. After all, most saiyajins spent at least some
time in a school such as his. If the king's enemies were to really search, they would seek the boy out here quicker than in a less noticeable place. But that
had not been the king's concern and Frieza waved a hand at the ship behind him, dismissing it before following the young prince. As a saiyajin, the king
had admitted the need to hide his son somewhere away from himself. And as a saiyajin, he'd told Frieza how important it was that the boy not lose his
edge during that hiding. If the prince had to be hidden somewhere, then he might as well gain training and strength from the experience, at least until his
father could resume the training himself. Being a member of one of the strongest races beneath saiyajins, Frieza had been the best choice. With his
reputation, few intruded on the school, and fewer had access to what students attended the school. He had to admit, the king had made a good choice.
It was difficult to keep from hesitating in the doorway to his new home and Vegeta frowned darker, his eyes snapping to a teen who was walking down the
long hall. He'd never been inside the place, and he had no idea where he was supposed to be going. But he wasn't about to let Frieza lead him. No one
except his father walked before him, it wasn't done. The white-skinned creature moved to stand beside him and Vegeta lifted his chin again. If there was
one thing he couldn't stand, it was being so short. His father had told him it was the strength that garnered respect, but his father was much taller also, so
as far as Vegeta could see, the man didn't have room to talk. It was infuriating to have to look up to the smooth creature.
"Before you take your room, you will need to view the contract and sign it. Your-the King has already done so, as have I." The boy snorted again and
Frieza followed black eyes to where they had locked on a boy further down the hall. Even shorter than the young prince, the boy seemed much older than
he was, mostly due to the fact that he didn't have a single hair on his head. Wide eyes grew wider when Frieza looked at the small figure and the boy
turned quickly, hurrying off. "That's just a servant," Frieza commented, "we do have a few of those here." The boy didn't seem to be listening, but he
walked forward when Frieza made as if to proceed him. "Students who come here and for different reasons are no longer able to pay for their keep."
"If they can't pay," Vegeta said sharply, still glaring in the direction the short boy had gone, "they don't belong here." He wasn't about to forget how the
bald male had stared at him and the insult would be repaid. If he weren't a student, then Vegeta would simply have to find some other way to teach him not
to stare so rudely. It would have been simpler, and a pleasure, to smack the insolent one, not enough to injure him but enough to get his point across.
Unfortunately, the law forbid a student in training from attacking, or even challenging anyone not also a student. It angered him, but most of that came
from the fact that he knew his father would never have allowed such an insult. No one dared to stare at the King as if he were some new sort of bug, and
as the heir to that throne, Vegeta was determined to gain the same respect, *especially* from mere servants. He'd never gone to a place where he wasn't
known to all and respected, and feared, because of that. Maybe he couldn't tell people who he was, but he would ensure that they treated him as he
deserved, whether they knew why or not. Frieza was close to passing him and Vegeta stepped quicker, not quite shooting a biting glare. He decided that
he didn't like the way the creature looked at him. It wasn't the smirk. That expression was one he'd seen too many times on his father's face for it to
bother him. No, it was the fact that he couldn't read any emotions from the creature *unless* it was smirking. There was little give to that slightly glossy
"The law requires that they be allowed to stay," Frieza commented, noting that the boy was being careful to remain ahead of him. It really was horribly
amusing. "And they are useful. Who would expect a student to do menial tasks?" The prince glanced at him and for a second the scowl slipped, then that
dark head was turned away again and the boy gave a sharp nod. They had reached the end of the corridor and he waved a hand past Vegeta, noting
how those dark brows narrowed, eyes following his clawed hand. "My office is there." The boy turned and Frieza allowed him to enter the door first. He
couldn't help but wonder if the prince even knew what the contract contained.
When he'd first created the school, the law had been much more lax. Only the parent's signature had been required, with the children bound by that
agreement. But too many orphans were excluded, unable to enter into a contract without the permission of a parent, and the law had changed. Now, not
only did the parent, if one existed, have to sign, but the child as well. Frieza had yet to find a true problem with the new law, but he wondered what the boy
would think of the stipulations. The king had intended to hide his son until the war between saiyajins had finished, but that could take years. As far as
Frieza had heard, the only threats against the current king were overt at best. A full year could easily pass before King Vegeta even knew who his
enemies were. Because of this uncertainty, he'd agreed to hide the boy and complete his training in one fail swoop. That meant the young prince would
not merely be staying for a year or so, he would be completing the full term. And ten years was a long time. The ten-year-old boy in front of him would be
a man before he left the school. That was assuming, of course, that the boy signed.
The moment his eyes fell to the sheaves of paper, Vegeta knew something was wrong. The time agreed upon seemed to spring forward and his hand
curled, nearly ripping the pages to shreds. It couldn't be true, surely his father didn't expect him to stay away for so long. Even if the school *could* make
him stronger, three years would be too long. But ten? There was no way he wouldn't be able to match Frieza's strength long before then. His father had
told him that these schools taught students to hit their maximum power. And the king definitely expected his son to leave being much stronger than the
teacher of the school. But Vegeta couldn't understand why his father would think he'd need ten years to get that strong. Wasn't he his son?
He'd seen his father's strength on the rare occasions when he got to accompany him in a fight, and he knew that his own strength was fated to exceed
that. It was the saiyajin way, the son surpassing the father. That was how his family had managed to hold onto the crown for so long. And there was
nothing lacking in him, Vegeta knew that without a doubt. Then why did his father think he would need so long to train? Once he grew stronger than
Frieza, there would be no reason for him to stay in the school. If he signed, then he would have to stay, regardless of how much time he wasted. The
creature was watching him, but Vegeta couldn't control his facial expression, his fury rising even more as he picked up the pen. It would be a waste of
time, a waste of precious years from his life, but he had no choice in the matter. His father's signature glared up at him and he returned that glare, the tip
of the pen scoring the paper as he placed his own insignia on the line above it. If that was the way the king wanted it, then so be it. He'd just have to
return that insult once he saw the man again. And somehow, he thought that was probably just the thing King Vegeta expected from him when they met
* * *
The news was enough to nearly leave him in glee, a terrifying expression that Frieza rarely had the chance to wear. As he'd barely allowed himself to
dream, the saiyajin war was at full hilt. And the king was dead. It was too much. Two years he'd been forced to show respect to the brat, the demi-saiyajin
who, despite the secretly lax training, was steadily growing stronger. He'd had no choice but to watch as the small child became the leader of the school,
enforcing fear upon even the oldest students. His own position of dominance was barely held in the face of that saiyajin's unwavering pride. The students
often feared that boy at least as much as they had ever feared him. It didn't help that Vegeta had been as strong as even the strongest students when
he'd arrived. Watching a ten year old boy who'd never been officially trained beat his prize students with seeming ease had been a sore test of his
patience. But seeing how the prince mocked them all after each and every battle had been a thousand times worse. And now, all of his waiting had paid
It wasn't that he'd planned on the king dying from the start. In fact, he hadn't even let himself hope of such a thing. To be blunt, he'd known better than
refusing the man when he decided to place his son in the school. Whether he liked it or not, Frieza knew he was no match for the king of all saiyajins. So
he'd swallowed his anger at the impudent saiyajin and taken the spoiled child into his school. He'd stood aside and let the confident prince wreck havoc
over all of the other lines of dominance. The students knew who was stronger and they'd formed their own lines long before the young saiyajin arrived. It
took Vegeta three days to rip those until all the students were considered in the same group, beneath the saiyajin. But not now. Now, the boy was no
longer a student. Maybe he was still heir to the saiyajin throne, but to ever tell anyone would be to ensure his own assassination. The boy might hold
dominance in the school, but even a confident demi-saiyajin knew better than to try and fight people capable of killing the king. Besides that, he'd signed
the contract agreeing to a ten year stay. The funding was now cut off, but the contract remained as binding as any other at the school. It was the
underlining stipulation that no student be thrown out.
The laws were followed by him as carefully as by any other person on the planet. Things were actually easier that way. If they hadn't been, Frieza would
have dismissed such governing rules. But this made it easy to run the school, and it came in especially handy now. In one fail blow, the demi-saiyajin had
gone from the top student, to nothing more than another servant. He'd lost not only his rights, but his pride and position. And Frieza couldn't wait to tell
him, especially the details of the king's death. The most powerful saiyajin alive had died in his sleep. One poisoned blade and a long line of royalty
crashed down. It was as ironic as it was wonderful.