A Dragon Ball fanfic that starts off right from the very beginning including an altered version of the second part of the prologue for Dragon Ball Super: Broly, by Primordial Vortex who also wrote The Emerald Phoenix, The Black Emperor and Supernova.
The major plot point is that Goku knows his birth name of Kakarot due to the fact that his parents, specifically his mother Gine, rewrote the Planet Baby programming to avoid his brainwashing, destructive instincts from coming forth as well as basic ki training, thus he never hit his head and forgot about his Saiyan heritage. This change snowballs that leads into several different changes on how characters interact with each other, especially Bulma.
Like most of Primordial Vortex's recent fics, it is well known for being a Doorstopper right from the get go with the first chapter already having more than 40,000 words due to it encompassing the entirety of the Emperor Pilaf Saga.
Can be read here.
This fic contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Badass:
- Bulma is well on her way to becoming one; first she starts doing meditation to learn how to access her ki for the sole purpose of learning how to fly without assistance. Despite her effort, she remains unable to access it because of how little Ki she has. She then shows some light Determinator tendencies and doesn't quit, even gritting her teeth and doing some physical training with Goku. She also forces Oolong to teach her (and Goku) the transformation technique and later has Puar help fix the problems that the pig's teaching created, including the time limit. Despite her favorite form being a Falcon and capable of flight, she still doesn't quit trying to access her Ki. Eventually, a moment of rage allows her to harness it for the first time in order to fire a ki blast. Doing so totally wears her out as she lacks the stamina for it, and yet she continues working on it with even more tenacity now. She takes out one of the Rabbit Mafia goons by herself with a Spirit Gun that does tire her, but not lay her out with exhaustion. By the end of the first chapter, she actually manages to fly for a little bit, accomplishing what had been her early goal.
- Goku is also one even compared to his canon counterpart. He is already capable of flight and ki blasts. He also learns the transformation technique but admits that Bulma is better than him.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Goku's tail is red rather than brown, as is his fur in Oozaru form. Similarly, Goku's ki is red rather than blue.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Since he never got brain damage, Goku is more ignorant than stupid and is quick to point out the flaws in Bulma's original wish.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Bulma is less of a Spoiled Brat than she was in early Dragonball canon. That in combination with some Character Development and some inklings of self doubt over her wish means she happily agrees to help Turtle get back to the ocean rather than complaining about the detour.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: For Want of a Nail doesn't begin to cover how much the characters relationships with one another have changed and may require it's own page in the future.
- Due to Goku having somewhat better people skills than his canon counterpart he is able to gain a better rapport with Bulma, even giving a better reason as to why her wish for the ideal boyfriend is wasteful. While it doesn't initially convince her, it does create a chink in her armor that eventually does grow into a minor Heel Realization as to how petty she is being with that kind of wish. Especially when Goku remarks how he would wish to know his birth family.
- The events of the Oolong episode, while not going too differently, ends with Bulma forcing the pig to teach her and Goku on how to use the transforming technique; because of this, they part on antagonistic terms with Oolong, with the pig even stealing most of Bulma's clothes and leaving her what can only be described as fetish wear.
- The Yamcha arc goes rather differently. During their first meeting, Goku wasn't hungry and as such was able to fight the bandit without any trouble and completely busts up his face. All the while, Bulma was doing meditative exercises. As such, her first encounter was actually when Yamcha was trying to sneak in their camper and accidentally peeked on her while she was showering. This in combination with his comically injured face - with her internally thinking he may actually have been handsome before Goku got though with him - obviously colored her thoughts about him. She considered him nothing more than a pervert and she blasted him through the window with her first ever Ki blast. Safe to say, she isn't considering a relationship with him any time soon.
- And most importantly, throughout the first chapter, her relationship with Goku went from traveling companions to that of close friends to the point that she wishes to Shenron, in order to stop Pilaf's wish, that she were more like Goku. The dragon takes this wish at face value and changes her into a Saiyan.
- Age Lift: Goku is 14 at the start of the series rather than 12. Bulma is in utter disbelief since she thought he was around 7 or so.
- Almighty Janitor: Downplayed; but despite being a simple kitchen worker, Gine is shown here to be a prodigal engineer as she is able to disable the Attack Ball's Rocket Baby programming and install information about the Saiyan race as well as teach him Ki techniques through sleep learning as well as disabling the scouter's tracking and trasmission functions. Bardock lampshades this and asks why she does so and Gine gives him a snarky response:Gine: Someone had to keep you meatheads alive.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Goku hears Bulma's plan to wish for the perfect boyfriend, he pokes several holes in her idea, including that it seems wasteful to use a magic wish on something you can get yourself. His final question is what truly stops her when he asks:Goku: I mean, even if the dragon grants your wish... what if he doesn't like you back?
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Something Goku explains to Bulma is that the Shenron may grant her wish using her Exact Words, thus while she may get the ideal boyfriend for her, she may not be his ideal girlfriend.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: When Bulma expresses disbelief about his age (not to mention his Age Lift), Goku explains that his young appearance is due to him being a Saiyan. They have very fast 'spurts' of aging and then spend long periods of time looking much younger than they rightly should, and don't start visibly aging (as in; old age) until they're around 80.
- Blessed With Suck: Subverted. Initially, while trying to meditate, Bulma learns that her vast intelligence means that she can't fully empty her mind due to all the ideas she has in her head so instead, she works around it by instead focusing on one invention and using that focus to gain the same results.
- Cold Open: The opening scene of the story is a dream sequence of Baby Kakarot being removed from his incubator by his parents, and then reluctantly sent off to earth by them. The scene is touching, with the gentle Gine trying desperately to change Bardock's mind about sending him away, and Bardock himself asserting that they would come for him if his premonitions all turned out to be false. It is Goku's one real memory of his parents.
- Demoted to Extra:
- Oolong doesn't travel with Goku and Bulma, instead stealing most of their dyno-caps and fleeing.
- Yamcha and Puar likewise don't travel with them and stay in the desert where they're first encountered. This is not from lack of trying, as they gave Goku and Bulma the bugged car like in canon, if earlier than they originally did. See Properly Paranoid below.
- Door Stopper: Right from the first chapter the fic was 40,000+ words long as the author did the entire Pilaf saga. And due to the length of the franchise itself, there's no doubt that like Supernova it will be doing that same thing thus having a high word per chapter ratio.
- Everyone Has Standards: Roshi quickly becomes uncomfortable when he realizes Bulma was underaged when he was perving on her.
- Freudian Slip: Yamcha makes a couple slips the day after he accidentally saw Bulma nude, such as saying he'd hoped to steal their stuff and make a "clean-shaven getaway" then insisting it was just a "slip of the tit".
- Happily Married: Gine and Bardock, as much as Saiyans can live up to the word, are shown to be this as in canon.
- Harem Genre: Explicitly stated in the story's summary that the fic will have a harem.
- In Spite of a Nail: Bulma stills spends a considerable amount of time dressed as a bunnygirl despite Oolong not coming with her and Goku, and the Pilaf Gang not managing to blow up their car. Instead, Oolong stole several of Bulma's dyno-caps along with all her clothes, leaving behind fetish gear instead. Bulma chose the bunnygirl outfit as it was the least risque.
- Ignoring by Singing: Bulma pulls this after Goku curiously asked what Yamcha (who had seen Bulma nude the previous night) meant when he said "Clean-shaven".
- Lonely Rich Kid: Along with Intelligence = Isolation and apparently being a Dude Magnet back in West City, has made Bulma rather separated from her peers. Most who befriend her are either after her money, body or both. Her female classmates also were petty and two-faced. This backstory does serve to somewhat justify her wish for the perfect boyfriend.
- Power-Strain Blackout: Bulma's first ever ki blast causes her to collapse from exhaustion shortly afterwards.
- Properly Paranoid: After Yamcha gives Bulma and Goku a new car as an apology for seeing Bulma nude the previous night, Bulma inspects it and finds a hidden tracking device. She removes the device, has Goku fly them in a completely wrong direction, and leaves it for Yamcha to find with a very rude letter before they resume their journey.
- Ship Sinking: Yamcha (accidentally) spying on Bulma naked then attempting to use his apology to track her down and (presumably) steal the Dragon Balls from her and Goku permanently kills any budding interest she may have had in the bandit.
- Shout-Out: One of the outfits Oolong leaves Bulma is a replica of Do-S's clothing.
- Wasteful Wishing: Goku lampshades how silly it'd be for Bulma to use a magic wish on something as mundane as a boyfriend, comparing it to him wishing for dinner rather than going and getting it himself.
- Wham Line: After Bulma makes a wish on the Dragon Balls to keep Pilaf from getting it, she passes out in pain and is brought to a cell to await her execution, when Shu notices something."Was that always there?" He asked as he pointed at the new appendage colored the same as Bulma's hair hanging limply between her legs.
- What Is This Feeling?: After getting The Talk, Goku begins to feel funny around Bulma, especially when he sees her in certain clothing, indicating that he's starting to feel a sexual attraction towards her.
- Wild Child: Goku, though it's downplayed as opposed to his canon self. While he still lacks a formal education, his social skills are better though he still lacked knowledge of the birds and the bees until an old lady from the village they helped gave him The Talk.
- Worf Had the Flu: Goku is considerably stronger than canon, including knowing how to fly and use ki attacks before meeting Bulma. However, when the Pilaf gang steal the Dragon Balls, they also steal almost all of Goku's and Bulma's supplies. By the time Goku and Bulma are captured in Pilaf's castle, Goku's only had a single sandwich to eat in the last day and a half, leaving him too weak to do anything after blasting a hole in their cell. As a result, Bulma has to save the day by stealing Pilaf's wish.