The space pods were right where Raditsu and his team had left them, sitting sedately at the bottoms of their respective craters like olives in large earthen bowls. Raditsu and the others did not descend immediately, at their leader's insistance that they say farewell to the Earthlings and thank them for their services.
"You ARE getting soft, son," Bardock said disapprovingly, his expression stiff. "Until you came to Earth you would never thank anyone."
"Quiet, father," Raditsu said. "These people have helped us, so it's only right that we thank them."
"Whatever you think is best, son. By the way, your hair looks absurd."
"I rather like it," Raditsu grinned. Courtesy of Bulma, his hair was now cut like that of the impetuous Prince Vegeta, spiked and with a peak in his forehead.
Krillin, the short and bald warrior, was the first to receive thanks from Raditsu. "We couldn't have done it without your help, baldy," the Saiyajin said honestly. "Thanks."
"Aw, shucks," Krillin laughed, blushing a bit.
"You've got potential. Keep it up." With a nod, Raditsu moved on to Oolong, who was cradling his mystical panties lovingly. "It hurts to admit it, but we owe you one, pig," Raditsu told him.
"Naw, the panties more than made up for the inconvenience," Oolong giggled, cuddling the panties to his right cheek. "My lovely panties."
Finally, the farewell came that Raditsu had been waiting for. Bulma.
"Thank you," he told her simply. "For the haircut... and for giving us a hand without putting up a fight."
"And thank YOU for saving our planet," Bulma replied, blushing a little.
"Listen. Keep this." He opened her hand and placed a small Saiyajin coin in her delicate palm. "As a memento of sorts. And as a reminder that there are other people out there."
Her large blue eyes widened. "Rad... Thank you."
"Don't mention-" He didn't have a chance to finish, as she practically threw herself into his arms and planted a firm kiss on his lips. Oddly enough, he didn't mind the soft feeling of her lips against his.
And just as suddenly, Bulma pulled away with tears in her eyes, fleeing across the grass. Raditsu didn't follow her, but a strange feeling of longing settled over him.
"Why does HE always get the chicks?" Kakarotto complained.
"Don't ask me," Kiwi shrugged. "But don't feel too bad. I'm not exactly a babe magnet either."
"But I'm dead sexy!"
Despite his best efforts at self-control, Raditsu burst out laughing.
"I don't see anything funny," Kakarotto griped.
Raditsu laughed even harder.
The Doctor scratched his beak as he watched Jeice float in the healing tank. What kind of force could have defeated a Ginyu warrior? If he'd known that there was such a force out there before, he wouldn't have defected to King Vegeta's faction.
A readout caught the Doctor's eye. Good; the arm tissues were beginning to rebuild on Jeice's stump. It wouldn't be long until the arm completely regenerated. The red-skinned warrior would soon be up and about again.
But the Doctor couldn't help but feel a little afraid. Again, he found himself asking: What kind of invincible force could so easily harm a warrior like Jeice?
The unlikely source of the Doctor's fears was, of course, Krillin. The little bald man sat and watched as the four space pods blazed skyward, but his mind raced as he went over Bulma's last action. Why had she kissed Raditsu? Did she have some sort of crush on him? THAT was a crazy thought.
A strange thought occurred to him suddenly. The Saiyajins had been remarkably similar to humans, save for the tails. What if - no, it wasn't possible.
"I love my panties," Oolong giggled from somewhere off to one side.
"Oh, shut up," Krillin muttered as he rose into the air and flew towards the horizon.
Koola sat upon a large rock among the cracked wastes of Vegetasei. Everything was going according to plan. Soon, he would rule the entire galaxy.
And there wasn't a thing that anyone could do about it.
Koola couldn't help but chuckle to himself as he looked into the reddish sky, watching the pale orange clouds roll by. He was easily impressed by his own cunning - and now was no exception. He had REALLY outdone himself this time. And it would net him the universe on a big silver platter.
It was a dream come true.