|Fatherhood: Vegeta Style!
Author: fireblazie PM
It's Trunks's birthday! So what does a Barney costume, a closet, and good hair have to do with it? A Vegeta-Trunks father-son fic.Rated: Fiction K - English - Vegeta & Trunks - Words: 4,783 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-20-04 - id: 1921763
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own not DragonBall Z. Or Barney.
I really do love my son.
Okay, I know that I don't exactly show it the way most fathers would, but how could you expect the Saiyan Prince to demean himself to the status of those idiot humans, going about hugging and loving each other? It doesn't work, it doesn't fit. The Saiyan Prince doesn't do things like that. I'm a prince, for crying out loud. Princes don't take orders from anyone, much less humans, or --
"Come down here for a sec, will you?"
And that would be my wife. Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and I wonder why in the name of hell I ever married that woman.
"No," I yelled back, "you can come up here!"
"Do you want breakfast or not?!"
That annoying, pesky woman. Of course, as we all knew this would happen, I walked -- Bulma calls it strutting, but I beg to differ -- in a deliberately slow pace down the stairs, down the hall, and into the kitchen.
Where there is absolutely no sign of breakfast.
"Breakfast?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"Later," Bulma replied dismissively.
"Where's my breakfast?!" It's not wise to keep a Saiyan from his breakfast. And there's something missing. A lack of crying, a lack of some nasally, bratty voice. Bratty? Oh. That would be my son who's missing. "And where's that brat?"
"I ran out of eggs," Bulma explained.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. Women don't make sense to me.
"There's bread, and didn't I just buy some bacon?" Yes, two days ago, I went on my third trip to the grocery store. I think, that after that experience, it will also be my last. [If you really must know, it involved an old lady, the manager of the store, a butcher, and one of those self-checkout counters] And that reminds me, she still hasn't answered my other question. "Where's the brat?" I repeated.
"That's what I called you down here for," Bulma said.
Instantly, a thousand thoughts ran through my mind? Had he run off? Had he been kidnapped? Had he gotten into some fight? Had he gone and gotten himself killed? Had he gone and beat the crap out of Kakarot's brat, Goten? Because I'd probably buy him all the candy in the world for that.
But, the more rational part of me noted that if anything so drastic had happened, my wife would probably be shrieking and hyperventilating. Not to mention, she would not have wasted five minutes staring at me and talking about food supplies for breakfast.
Then there is that horrid sound of kids laughing and playing, coming from the living room. I warily craned my neck around the dividing wall and saw a glimpse of light purple hair, and a flash of dark purple and green.
"He's watching Barney?" I sounded utterly appalled. This was worse than any of the fights I'd ever been in -- hell, this was worse than spending twenty-four hours trapped with that bumbling idiot, Hercule! My pride as a father was on the line here. I was not about to raise my child, the son of a Saiyan prince, to be watching video-tapes of some singing purple dinosaur! "What does he see in that -- in that --"
"Oh, but honey," Bulma tried to soothe me, and I assure you, it did not work, "it's Barney. Everybody loves Barney. I watched him too, when I was a kid."
I couldn't resist. "And look how you turned out."
She glared. "As I was saying -- do you even know what day it is tomorrow?"
I've been married for a pretty long time. With women, if they ever ask "what day is it today/tomorrow/next week/next month/etc?" it's usually either, a) their birthday, which I quickly crossed out of the list, because it had just been my wife's birthday a month ago, and I can never forget it because she maxed out all of my credit cards which she had made me get and I thought that since I was a Saiyan prince I needed to have credit cards so that I could flaunt them for it was the one thing I had that Kakarot didn't, b) our wedding anniversary, which was also not the case because I remember getting married in the middle of winter, since I figured it made perfect sense, gloomy weather for a gloomy occasion, and it was not winter right now, c) something to do with our child. I opted for c.
Okay, so this had something to do with Trunks, then. But what?
Was it his first day of school? Obviously, no, because then he wouldn't be sitting in the living room watching Barney. What else? What else? Birthday? Birthday? Maybe.
"His...birthday?" I tried.
One for Vegeta, zero for Bulma. She looked shocked, and for a moment, I thought she might faint. She steadied herself, one hand on the fridge, the other on a nearby wall. I braced myself, preparing to catch her if something drastic were to happen.
"Yeah," she managed, a little breathlessly.
I scowled. I mean, I was already scowling because Saiyan princes always scowl, but it got worse. "What's with the gasping and out of breath look?"
Bulma managed a sincere smile. "I never thought you would remember! You're a better dad than I ever gave you credit for!"
Is that supposed to make me feel good? I chose not to say anything.
"Anyway," she went on, opening the fridge and snatching a cart of orange juice, "I wanted to give Trunks a present."
Oh. Right. Presents.
"So..?" I failed to comprehend. I knew that every year I was forced into going to the nearest Toys R Us to buy some action figure thing for my son, but while Bulma went around the store, haggling and screaming at the other mothers to stay away from whatever it was she wanted to get Trunks, I would wander over to the video games and look at the latest gangster/mafia games and sneak one in for myself.
"Well..." Bulma walked over to the cabinets, taking out two glasses, "Trunks really wants to see Barney at his party."
"Party?" Oh. His birthday party. I usually managed to get away from those. Usually I'd challenge Kakarot to whatever game I'd managed to buy. Of course, I always won.
"Yeah. You know, the ones you always manage to mysteriously disappear at."
Damn. She'd noticed.
"And I've called the company," she continued, pouring orange juice in one glass. "but -- oh, do you want some juice?"
"Yeah," I replied. "And what?"
She poured more orange juice in the second glass. "They're all booked out. I've tried using my charm --"
"-- my innocent little girl trick --"
I quickly put down the glass of orange juice I'd been about to drink. It would be such a waste if it all ended up on the floor.
" -- and finally, my money --"
Ah, it seemed safe now.
"-- but still to no avail. No Barneys can come to Trunks's party."
I was steadily drinking my juice, and was now currently pouring another glass for myself when I noticed Bulma's eagle-eyed stare. Was I supposed to say something? "Ah.. how sad," I offered.
"They did give us this Barney costume," she said, "but we're going to need someone to get in the costume."
"...okay. Get your dad in it."
"Uh-uh." Bulma shook a finger at me. "Knowing Dad, he'll probably fall asleep in the costume, in the punch bowl. It happened before, remember, at Goten's birthday?"
Yeah, that had been a memorable one. "Yes.."
I drank more orange juice. This was not going to be enough for me. I might have to look for more food, maybe I could cook some of that bacon...
She's staring at me.
With this huge, awful, watery, starry eyes.
Unfortunately, the orange juice I'd tried so hard to keep away from the floor eventually met the floor anyway.
"Let -- me -- go --!" I wriggled in Kakarot's death-like grip.
"No can do," Goku, or I like to call him Kakarot replied, smirking, I tell you, smirking all the way. "Bulma told me I had to make sure that you didn't try to escape or kill yourself or ruin Trunks's birthday party."
"And why are you listening to her?!" God, this man had been training. I couldn't even get out of his hold!
"Because Bulma's my friend!" His eyes widened. "I've known her ever since I was little!"
"Cut the crap, what'd she promise you?" I glared angrily at him.
Kakarot grinned. "Food. A lot of it."
I, Vegeta, a Saiyan prince, was being held back by this bumbling moron who only had food on the brain. Do you have any idea how mortifying this is?
"Are you going to let me go?"
"All right." I smirked arrogantly, like I always do because princes always have to be arrogant. I called to all my power and I felt it surging through me -- I bet that moron wasn't expecting me to go Super Saiyan on him.
So why wasn't I free?
"Aw, Vegeta, why don't you just give up?" Steely, but still -- ugh, friendly aqua eyes met mine.
"Lunch is ready!" His wife, what's her name, Chi Chi, called.
"Ooh, boy!" Kakarot, still keeping that impossibly tight grip around my midsection, bounded for his house.
This is extremely embarrassing.
Twenty-four hours later, I was still trapped in the Son household. Between that idiot Kakarot, his two sons who are equally as idiotic, and his downright strange wife and that monstrosity she called a frying pan, I was ready to do anything -- anything to get out of that hell-hole. Yes, I would wear the damned Barney costume, even if I had to sing that "I-love-you" song. I had to get out of there. This was not just my ego or pride on the line -- this was my sanity I was on the verge of losing.
I prayed and thanked the heavens that Frieza was dead. If he was still alive and saw me, I doubt I would ever, ever hear the end of it.
"I will pay you," I hissed, a hand on Goten's neck, "anything you want. Enough for you to buy all the Barney tapes in the world. Enough for you to buy all the candy you want. Do we have a deal?"
Goten sighed. "I dunno, Uncle Vegeta. I mean, my mommy told me I couldn't."
"To hell with your mother!" I refused to acknowledge the fact that I was bartering with a kid three feet tall.
Goten sat himself down on the floor, crossing his legs. "But Mommy would hurt me."
"I'd protect you," I offered. Oh, what was I saying?!
Goten stood up and stared at me, as if looking me over. I frowned.
"Gee, I dunno. You don't look that tough. Mommy would beat you real quickly."
Okay! First, it was bad enough that I was begging for my freedom from a little kid. But insulting my fighting skills? And claiming that that woman kick my ass? That had gone two steps too many.
Seeing my doubting look, Goten shook his head. "You've never seen Mommy mad."
They'd locked me up in a closet.
That, I think, is extremely insulting.
I couldn't get out of the closet.
My pride has suffered too much.
"No, no, really," That Namek sounded thoroughly amused. And that guy can almost beat me when it comes to being unemotional and expressionless. "What happened to make Bulma so happy?"
That woman! I swear I'll kill her!
"It's true!" It sounded like Gohan. Darn brat. Just because he'd been the one to beat Cell, he's gone and gotten his ego inflated. "Vegeta is in that closet!"
"It's too bad he's so stubborn," Kakarot noted, "because if he'd just give up he could be sitting here with us, eating all this yummy food!"
Stunned silence, then Piccolo, whom I prefer to call That Namek stuttered, "it's true. His ki is coming from inside the closet."
"Told you so," Gohan said cheerfully.
"I can't believe it!" That Namek marveled. "Vegeta, that so-called prince, is stuck in a closet."
"I can hear you!" I growled, kicking at the door. My shoes made a loud clanging noise. What was it made of, anyway?
"So why is he in a closet?" Piccolo asked.
"Well, today is Trunks's birthday party," began Goten.
"And he wanted Barney -- he's this big purple dinosaur, very good role model if you ever have kids -- to be there," Chi Chi continued.
"But Barney was all booked-up," Kakarot said.
"So Bulma wanted Vegeta to dress up as Barney," concluded Gohan.
"And Vegeta's princely pride got in the way?" Now it was That Namek's turn.
I still can't believe it. Me. Vegeta. Saiyan prince. Trapped in a damn closet.
"Do you want some food, Vegeta?" Sounds like Kakarot. Muffled. Probably stuffed his face full of food again.
"He's in a bad mood," Chi Chi pointed out needlessly.
"Vegeta, it won't be that bad," Kakarot tried to reason with me. "You wear the costume for an hour, and then we can go back to playing on the PS2!"
"It's no use, Dad," Gohan said, "it's Vegeta. You can't reason with him."
"I wish he weren't so stubborn," Kakarot said, "he's really making this more complicated than it ever needed to be, you know?"
Nobody said anything. I crawled to the door, pressing my ear against it.
"He's a prince," That Namek stated simply.
"And he's Vegeta," repeated Gohan.
"Right," Kakarot said.
"Anybody want an hors d'oeuvre?"
"Five more hours," Kakarot announced cheerfully, rapping on the door.
Five more hours. It must be nine now. The party's at two. Five hours.
I don't think I can take it anymore.
I've tried everything. I've tried kicking the door. I've tried punching the door. I've tried blasting it with everything I've got. Has anything happened? No. Of course not.
Little did I know, Kakarot, Gohan, Goten, and now, That Namek, were all sealing the door so that I couldn't open it with all of their ki combined. Sneaky bastards.
"I will do anything," I growled, the words barely audible, coming from my tightly gritted teeth. "To get out of here." I was ready and raring to go to an insane asylum, I admit it. I mean, I'd always known that I'd probably end up there one day [why don't you try having Bulma as your wife?] but I didn't think I'd end up going there on account of a stupid purple dinosaur. I am definitely burning all of Trunks's tapes.
"No," Kakarot said, with the pride of a six-year-old, "I promised Bulma."
"Yeah!" Kakarot sounded oddly energetic. "See, it's actually a pretty funny story, but when I was younger, I promised Chi Chi that I'd make her my bride! But at the time, I thought that a 'bride' was something to eat, and then eventually I forgot about it and then she came and hunted me down at the next martial arts tournament, and --"
"-- in the end she tricked you and conned you into marrying her. I can see that," I interrupted.
"Yeah. But now I've got two kids, see?"
"I see," I said dryly.
"You've got Trunks. He's a good kid, isn't he? I mean, as good as five-year-olds can get?"
"Saaaaay, how are you at being a dad? I mean, this is your first time, right?"
He hit the target, right on the mark. I will never, ever figure out how such an idiot can be so damn smart at the same time.
"Of course it is," I snapped.
"Gee," Kakarot trailed off thoughtfully, "I sure hope you don't go around calling him 'brat' and 'kid' and stuff."
I. Hate. Him.
"I still find it hard to believe that he's a father," That Namek stated out of the blue.
"Ooh, remember when that Mirai Trunks showed up?" Kakarot reminisced. "I practically died when he told me that Vegeta was his dad. And that Bulma was his mom. Was that a shocker or what?"
When I get out of here, I am going to make sure that Kakarot dies a slow and painful death.
"But Trunks really likes his daddy," Goten protested.
Huh? For once, that kid -- whom I hate the most, just because he's an identical copy of his dad -- makes sense. And that's really scary because he looks like Kakarot.
"Does he?" Chi Chi sounded sceptical.
"Yeah," Goten chirped. "Because he's all strong and cool. And he's got muscles. And he likes his hair."
"His hair?" Gohan repeated weakly.
"Uh-huh." I could just imagine him bobbing his head. "He likes his hair. So do I. But I like mine best."
"I think my hair looks nice," Gohan suddenly said.
"Me too, honey," Chi Chi agreed, "remember that tangled heap I had to deal with before we decided to cut it?"
"I've had the same hair ever since I was little..." Kakarot sounded nostalgic. "Hey hey, Goten, will you keep your hair like that, even when you get old?"
These idiots are talking about hair.
"What about you, Piccolo?" Goten asked. "What kind of hair do you like?"
Rustling sounds. From under the crack of the door, I saw that That Namek had taken off his turban.
"I don't have hair."
An hour before the party, Goten was still crying and acting traumatized.
"I don't get it," Gohan said, sounding confused. That Namek had stopped talking long ago. "I mean, hasn't he ever seen Kuririn?"
"Oh, oh, it's time!" Chi Chi called, sounding breathless. "You can let him out now. But don't let him go."
"Got it," Kakarot said cheerfully, swinging open the door, revealing a very pissed off me.
"I am going to rip your internal organs out," I told him calmly. "And then I will feed them to the sharks."
Kakarot laughed nervously. "Oh come on, Vegeta, it's your son's birthday."
I took this into consideration. If I ruined Trunks's birthday, Bulma would ruin my life. Wait. She's already ruined my life. I doubt she could ruin even more than it's already been ruined. But we never know.
"After the party," I conceded. "I will rip your internal organs out and feed them to the sharks."
"Mommy!" Goten wailed suddenly. "Vegeta's thre -- thre -- th --"
"Threatening," supplied That Namek.
"-- threatening Daddy!"
Well, if I said I escaped from that skirmish unscathed, I would be lying. That day, I learned that frying pans are far more dangerous than any sword or gun could be.
I never thought anything like this would ever happen. I was wearing a costume of a purple dinosaur. As I looked around, I saw all sorts of little kids I'd never seen before in my whole entire life.
It wouldn't be easy, but as I looked around, I realized that I could escape. I might have to pay hell for it afterwards, but if I waited while that clown was doing his tricks and everyone was preoccupied, I could fly straight out of the roof and throw that damned costume down to the ground, never to be seen again. It would work. It would, it would.
Someone is currently tugging on my tail.
I whirled around, purposely smacking whoever it was with my tail. "What?" I growled out.
Oh, lovely. It's Trunks.
"Barney?" he asked, eyes wide.
I swallowed and prayed for strength.
"Yeah. It's me. Barney."
That's the best I can do.
"Wow," he gasped.
You know, I can admit that I'm not really that close with Trunks. Maybe it's because I never thought I would actually be a father. Sometimes, I still can't believe it. It's hard to be a father. You have so much responsibility on your shoulders. There's so much to do...so much to take care of.
"You know," Trunks said, crossing his arms over his chest -- and looking a little bit like me, which definitely caught me off guard for a moment, "my dad doesn't like you."
Oh boy, do I know. "Really? Why?"
He shrugged. "I dunno."
I nodded slowly. This costume is stifling hot. I hate it.
"I think that's why he's not here right now," he went on. His eyes are startlingly blue.
"Okay.." What do you say to that?
"I don't think he likes me much either," he suddenly said.
Something about that just caught me, and I found that I had to stop and swallow and try to breathe.
"Why do you think that?" I knelt down so that we were eye-to-eye with each other.
"Umm..." He trailed off, looking pensive. His tongue inched its way out of the corner of his mouth. "Well, he never shows up on my birthday. And he doesn't talk to me a lot. And he calls me 'brat' and 'kid' and 'you' and stuff like that."
"Then maybe," I said slowly, "he doesn't know how to show you that he likes you."
Trunks wrinkled his nose. "I don't think so."
"That might be it."
Trunks puffed up his chest proudly. "My dad's too smart to not know something like that!"
Oh, boy. This might take more time.
"Well," I tried again, "to some people, it's really hard to show people that they like each other. Maybe it's the same for your dad."
He stuck out his lower lip. "Do you really think so, Barney?"
I nearly facefaulted at the name. I swallowed and prayed for patience, which I had never really been too good at.
"Yeah," I told him. "I think so."
"Vegeta," Bulma hissed, beckoning me towards her. It's sometime after eight, all the guests have gone home, and I am out of the costume. I had never been so happy in my entire life. I hugged and kissed Bulma. And I postponed ripping out Kakarot's internal organs and feeding them to the sharks.
For once, I walked to her without complaint. "What is it?"
"I think you should tuck Trunks in," she said.
I blinked. "Tuck him...in?"
I hate sounding stupid, but: "What's that mean?"
Bulma's hand instinctively went to her temple, where it rested for a good two minutes. "Oh, Vegeta, you have so much to learn about being a father."
This irked me. "I know that," I snapped.
"It's never too late to learn, though." Bulma stared at me defiantly.
She wouldn't look away.
"...ugh, all right, all right. What do I have to do?"
"It's easy," she reassured me, which, naturally, did not reassure me at all. "You just go up to his room, tell him nicely that it's time to go to bed. Then you just kind of watch and put the sheets over him and tell him goodnight. You should also tell him a bedtime story --"
She pouted. "-- but I guess we should start small."
"Yes." I then trudged up the stairs like a soldier about to go into battle that he knows he's going to lose. This "father" thing is just really too much for me to handle. I'm a Saiyan prince, have I mentioned that? Saiyan princes do not tuck their sons in. Their sons are old enough and mature enough to not need any tucking in.
I knocked on the door.
I sighed, and then turned the knob.
"Dad?" Trunks sounded incredulous, and I guess I can't say that I really blame him. I haven't exactly done this type of thing a lot, you know.
"Yeah," I replied gruffly. I looked around his room. Ordinary for a five-year-old, I guess. "I -- came to tuck you in."
"Oh!" He scrambled around, throwing something on the ground and not-so-subtly kicking it under the bed. "Okay!"
I felt awkward, and I looked awkward. I bit my tongue and let three short sighs escape my lips.
He hesitated, which caught my interest. "Just ask," I finally said.
"Do you like me?"
There was something in his eyes, his clear blue eyes which caused even my heart to start throbbing. He was hurt, and there were tears, unshed tears caught in his eyes.
I sat down at the foot of the bed.
"Sure," I answered, a little uneasily.
"You don't act like it."
This kid was what -- five? -- but he understood and saw these things. It must have been something he'd gotten from Bulma; she was good at things like that.
The words had formed themselves on my lips, "Sometimes, people are bad at showing that they like people."
His eyes widened in recognition. "Dad --"
"Get to sleep," I repeated firmly. Yeah, maybe it wasn't the best thing to say at this particular moment, but I didn't know what else to say!
"You were Barney, weren't you." He smiled. That same, slow, annoying smile.
I ignored him. "Shouldn't you be sleeping now?"
He looked at me eagerly. "Will you tell me a bedtime story?"
"Don't push it."
He sighed, lowering his purple-haired head. I'm still not sure how he got that hair color, to tell you the truth. And then I sighed, and did the first thing that came to my mind -- I ruffled his hair, avoiding his eyes.
It was the closest thing to a "fatherly gesture" that I could ever do.
"Goodnight," I told him with finality.
"Goodnight!" He chirped, sounding a lot happier. Was that all it took to make him happy? Just messing up his hair?
"...and, Trunks.." I trailed off, standing up and turning away from him. "Maybe...tomorrow morning... we could...train a little bit..."
I didn't have to turn around to know that he was beaming. "Okay! Goodnight, Dad!"
"Goodnight," I repeated. Tucking my son in was certainly a tedious job.
Oh, what now? "What is it?" I whirled around.
Trunks grinned. "I love you!"
I half-scowled, half-smiled.
"....shut up and go to sleep."
His face fell, but I think he understood what I really meant. He's a smart kid, after all. I strode out the door and shut it quietly.
Bulma was waiting for me, an exasperated expression on her face.
"What?" I scowled.
"You could have done a little better, couldn't you?" she asked.
"...." I didn't reply.
I still have a lot to learn about fatherhood.
-- owari: the end --