Just a Ride

The Start of Something

Bulla Briefs is sixteen, and life is great.

She's got money, brains, and beauty- the world is her oyster.

She's on top of the world, but life happens, and she doesn't get to stay there long.

Bulla Briefs is sixteen years old when she gets her first taste of real sadness. It's around the same time her grandfather's genius mind begins to slip away that she begins suspecting the fragility of her own. It would turn out that discovering the secrets to time travel came easier to her mother than finding the cure to Grandpa Briefs' ailing mind. He forgets more each day and Bulma is frightened when he forget's her name.

Times running out.

Her mother grows desperate.

One summer morning, before walking out the front door, she hears a scream followed by the shattering of glass. She follows the noise to her mother's basement laboratory. She peeks through the corner to see her mother crumbled on the floor with broken equipment and glass strewn around her. Her father has beat her there. He crouches beside her mother, and before he places a hand on his wife's shoulder, sends his daughter a look that makes her scamper back up the stairs.

It's the only time she's ever seen her mother fail. It frightens her to think there is a problem her mother or magic cannot fix.

But her mother is determined. The next day, with a member of the Galactic Patrol at her side, Bulma Briefs takes off into space searching for a cure.

She won't realize it until she's a little older, but when she thinks back on her teenage years, it's not only the memory of her mother's failure that stands out with crystal clear precision but also the events that would take place on the day her mother would return from space, happy and victorious.

What had started off as just another innocuous summer afternoon wound up being (for better or worse) life-changing.

She's in the pool, lounging on a float and sipping on something tropical while scrolling through the messages on her phone. She's just received a message from a boy in her honors physics class, and she's smiling like a fool. She's doing her best not to think of her awful morning- of the bewildered expression on her grandfather's face when he asked her what she was doing in his house or of the snappish dismissal her brother gave when she offered to help him in the lab. She's thinking about the university party happening later tonight- of the older boys and the booze and the fun she's about to have. The people at school don't know who she really is. Equipped with a black wig and bold makeup, she dons a persona to avoid the tabloids and becomes someone else.

She's already got two undergraduate degrees under her belt and working on her third. At sixteen, that sounds impressive, until it's compared to the Briefs' achievements that came before her. Her mother and brother, both prodigal wonders, had already earned doctorates by the time they were her age. Everyone in her family was just so extraordinary.

With her grandfather out of commission, her mother was officially the most intelligent person on Earth. Her father was one of the strongest mortals in the entire universe. To her chagrin, Trunks was a mixture of both.

Other than a decent knack for engineering, all she seemed to inherit from her family was her mother's flawless aquamarine features, her grandmother's figure, and an appetite and strength that, while not remarkable, were most definitely not human.

But that's not something she likes to think about.

She's got a smile on her face, and as her fingers quickly swipe a response to the boy she plans on kissing that night, a blur of orange appears in front of her. Surprised to appear over water, Goku lets out a scream as he flails around, and then as though suddenly remembering he was capable of flight, he rights himself with a small burst of ki. The water becomes turbulent, and she lets out a shriek before her float capsizes. By the time she reaches the surface, the older saiyan is standing at the edge of the pool. Goku simply gives her an awkward laugh in apology and walks towards the gravity room without giving her a second glance.

The universe's strongest mortal had always been a stranger to her. Someone she knew existed, and who up until this point was merely Son Goku: Earth's protector, family friend, and father to her #1 crush.

She didn't really know him, and it's not like she wanted to- he was so old.

By the time she scrambles back onto her float, a pair of coughing saiyans emerge from the now smoking gravity chamber. Her father is absolutely livid at Goku for messing with the control panel.

With her phone water-logged, she lounges on the float and silently observes the only means of entertainment available. She may not be capable of controlling her ki, but as long as divine energy isn't being used, her vision is sharp enough to keep up with their movements. Deep down, she's always enjoyed watching the saiyans fight. It's her pride that's kept her from admitting it.

She's sixteen, and her hormones are raging.

Her brain conveniently blocks out her father's presence, and her eyes trail over the marvel that is Son Goku's body. Suddenly, she isn't thinking about the cute twenty-some-year-old boy she's going to see later.

This isn't the first time she notices how handsome Son Goku is, but this is the first time she really looks at him. Kami, has he always been this marvelous? His body is nothing like that of his youngest son. Sure, Goten was cut and aesthetically pleasing, but his father's body was carved from raw, brutal strength. His muscles were so much bigger and defined, and what really drew her attention was the map of scars carved across his skin.

In her mind, she sees a flash of something beautiful:

Goku with his clothes in tatters and his body outlined in a flame of ki; his fists bloody and lips pulled back in a cocky grin as he towers over some faceless opponent.

Though she's heard nothing but praise sung about the older saiyan her entire life, this is the first time she's ever really acknowledged his strength. At that moment, she doesn't see him as a family friend or an old hillbilly from the mountains- she sees him as a saiyan warrior. One gifted with the strength to defeat space tyrants and gods, and the thought is enough to invoke a curious ache from between her legs.

Done with parrying blows, her father phases in front of Goku, and with a well-timed attack, sends the younger saiyan plummeting to the ground. He falls with the grace of an asteroid crashing to Earth, sending a warm gust of air to once again upturn her float, sending her splashing back into the water. She surfaces from the water sputtering, and by the time she swims to the edge of the pool, both saiyans have touched ground, moving their sparring match dangerously close to her grandmother's prize-winning marigolds.

A silhouette of energy snaps around them, and when she sees their matching smirks, she braces herself. She can't sense ki, but the warm gust of air blowing her hair back and churning the water in the pool is a clear indication that the saiyans are creating large amounts of it. With his eyes fixed on her father, Goku lets out a yell as raw power erupts from his body, charring the grass around him.

A chill runs down her spine.

She's never been able to sense ki, but she can sense this.

A powerful current of energy floods her body, and for a quick passing second, she feels invincible. The confused glance Goku suddenly sends her makes her wonder if he had felt it as well.

That lapse in attention is all her father needs to get a good hit in. Goku falls backward, and when he hits the ground, her grandmother's prize-winning flowers explode in a burst of yellow petals and dirt. Laughing at the saiyans's antics, she pulls herself out of the pool and wraps a towel around herself. She walks away, oblivious to the momentous impact of these seemingly unimportant minutes.

Later that afternoon, the ground begins to shake. Expecting to see Goku and her father engaged in another reckless brawl, she lets out a gasp of surprise when she peers out her bedroom window and sees a spaceship.

Her mother's home!

She runs to the tarmac, and her emotional greeting is cut short when she catches sight of the short, portly pink alien walking out of the ship. The alien is pink and bald with spikes on its head, and even in the lime green labcoat it is wearing, still manages to look menacing.

Her mother says, "This is Dr. Duduria, and she knows how to help your grandfather."

Never one to deny her children an opportunity to learn, her mother allows her to follow them to the medical ward. Dr. Duduria conveniently speaks the standard language, and for hours she listens to the alien doctor lecture her mother and the group of scientists and doctors huddled around her. In great detail, the pink alien describes the delicate process involved in repairing the nervous system's damaged tissue. The alien explains this kind of neurological deterioration is beyond what can be repaired in a regeneration tank- it's not necessarily structural.

Everything this peculiar alien is explaining is just so fascinating to her. In her mind, she sees the chains of DNA open up like blooming flowers and envisions each part of the brain working as a whole. It's all axions and cellular structures, and it's all just so exciting.

Within hours, a biopsy of her grandfather's brain is supplied. The human's privileged enough to witness such groundbreaking science watch in awe as the alien doctor projects her microscopic work on a large screen. Once the appropriate dosages are applied, she sees her grandfather's brain heal in real-time, and for the first time in her life, something makes sense. This isn't groundbreaking physics, but it's pretty damned close.

She can't channel her ki or engineer groundbreaking tech, but maybe- just maybe she can do this. She thinks she'd be good at it.

Hours pass, and it's late into the evening. The ring she's pilfered from her brother's room conceals her ki, and she's ready to have a good time; she's got her black wig on, and beneath her coat, she's wearing something short and tight. She's about to make a dash out the front door when her grandfather calls out her name. He's standing there in his pajamas with his black cat dangling off his shoulders and a clarity in his eyes that's been missing for a long time. She's got tears in her eyes because when Grandpa Briefs tells her to have a fun night, he remembers her name.

The night starts off strong.

Half an hour later, she's got a bottle of something sweet and alcoholic in her hands, and the boys she's flirting with are way too old for her. If they were to see her now, she's sure her father and brother would never let her leave the house again.

A voice as sweet as poisoned honey cuts through the music.

"Hey there little girl, are you lost?" There's a bottle of Jack dangling from the blonde girl's fingers and a slyness in her smile that promises trouble. "Does your brother know where you are?"

It's the first time she's run into Marron outside of their family's get-togethers, and in this environment, they click instantly. In a world where everyone is capable of flight and other inhuman feats, they can't help but gravitate towards each other's normalcy.

The blonde girl lights Bulla's first cigarette, and they dance like the floors melting from under their feet.

The blonde takes a long drag of her cigarette and exhales a ring of smoke into the chill night air. "I'm thinking of applying to med school next semester," she says, and Bulla thinks it must be serendipity. Bulla will later learn that being born to a half mecha/half organic mother would be what sparked Marron's interest in the workings of the human body.

That night she drinks way more than she ever has. She drinks until the world is spinning, and when the older boy kisses her, she feels the echo of something wonderful. He slides his tongue in her mouth, and his hands venture up her skirt, and from within her veins, she feels the thrum of his energy, pulsating and alive.

Her legs tremble, and that night she cums harder than she ever has before.

She's eighteen and finishing up her last year of medical school at West City University.

Her mother's over the moon that she's finally found her scientific niche. To the displeasure of pharmaceutical companies worldwide, in her excitement, Bulma Briefs has decided Capsule Corporation will venture into medical research. Her father does not share her mother's enthusiasm- he thinks her career choice trifling. Later, when he discovers it is what his rival's wife had once desperately wished Gohan had done, his opinion changes (but only slightly). Her brother is indifferent. He ruffles her hair like she's ten years old and tells her good job.

Despite her achievements, the most prominent change in the last few years has everything to do with Son Goku.

Some days he follows her everywhere.

It's a flicker of something, a tiny beacon constantly pulling her thoughts to him, and other days, she feels nothing. She yearns for the absence of his presence as much as she longs for the pleasure of his touch. One day, during a stretch of weeks in which she is free of perverse, unwelcome thoughts, her brother and Goten stroll in to the kitchen, sweaty and bruised. Recently, her brother's sparring sessions with their father have become more frequent, and then when he turns to his friend and says, "I'm sick of getting my ass kicked, when's your dad supposed to come back Earth?", Bulla is struck by a wave of panic.

Weeks later, her theory turns out to be correct. For some unfathomable reason, she can sense when Goku returns to Earth.

It's early morning, and she's still lounging in bed when a trickle of static runs down her spine. It was then she understood that little flicker of something would remain, lingering in the recesses of her nervous system like a dormant virus, and awaken when he stepped back into Earth's stratosphere.

Yet as terrible as this imaginary lure may be, nothing compares to the moments she is forced to endure his close, physical presence.

The closer she is to him, the stronger the pull.

Whenever he shows up at Capsule Corporation, she wants to die.

She feels like she's going crazy. The older saiyan has never done anything to encourage this perverse longing. She knows she isn't even a thought in his head (as it should be), but that doesn't stop the sickness from taking root.

What began as just a silly, passing thought of, wow, he's cute, has mutated into an unwelcome obsession. She wonders how his bronze, battle-worn skin would feel beneath her fingers, and suddenly the boys from university lose their appeal. Don't get her wrong, they're still cute, but they're also just so fucking weak.

She clings to the girlhood crush she's had on Goten like it's a lifeline. At night, when she slides her fingers where she is wet and wanting, she does her best to pretend it's the youngest Son she's imagining.

She thinks herself a wretched, depraved thing and does her best to push the sick, unwelcome thoughts out of her head. Of course, she rebels and tries to find a boy capable of making her forget. She discovers the right kind of sex combined with lots of booze helps, and it's only thanks to the ki concealing ring she's pilfered from her brother's room that she's able to get away with any of it.

She's nineteen, and on the outside, life is picture-perfect.

She's wealthy, beautiful, and it's only her first year of residency, but she's already running circles around the other medical interns.

By this time, she's also undoubtedly 100% certified insane, but she likes to think she hides it well.

Over the years, her maddening obsession with Son Goku has grown and grown. In a household of keen minds, it is the pitifully, predictable opinion they have of her that ends up being her saving grace- but she's getting worse. She knows it's only a matter of time until her luck runs out. She worries that one day when Goku arrives, she will not make herself scarce fast enough, and either her brother or father will notice her erratic response to his presence. She can't conceal the way her heart races or the embarrassing scent of her desire from their sharp senses. She could care less if they found out she found Goku attractive. She's more worried about them discovering just how deep her obsession runs.

It's getting worse, and during those years, she is pained to realize he spends a lot of time on Earth.

Some days her desire is so strong, it feels as though she is about to burst from her skin. On those days, she drinks and fucks until she's numb and the world goes black. Days like that happen at a pace so rapid she cannot find respite between them, and eventually, they string together, and her body is left vibrating from a ridiculous desire to melt against Son Goku's skin.

The only person in the whole wide universe that knows her secret is Marron. For everyone else, she continues playing the same song and dance expected of her. Only when she thinks back on it, she finds herself unable to recall the exact melody or moves, and when she tries, the soupy mess of memories always brings a pang of heartache. She will endearingly refer to this time in her life as the Forgotten Years: a blur of drunken debauchery and flawless work ethic. Between the pristine recollections of clinical rotations and interesting cases, her memory is filled with holes.

For most, this would probably be a valid reason to get their shit together- this should have been rock bottom, but not for Bulla Briefs.

Rock bottom comes for her on the evening of her mother's twentieth thirty-fifth birthday. Out of everything that may have happened those few years, it's a particular cruelty that it is this memory that her brain has chosen to clearly retain.

The night air is filled with laughter and the sweet smell of barbecued meat, and she's stone-cold sober. She's laughing and smearing cake all over her brother's face as Goten cheers her on. It's around this time Goten begins to see her as more than Trunks' little sister, but by now, her crush on the youngest Son has already fizzled out. Goten looks too much like his father for his presence not to leave her flustered, so when he tries to save her brother by smearing frosting on her cheek, she blushes terribly.

Just because it's her mother's birthday doesn't mean he will show up. He comes and goes through his family's and friend's lives as he pleases. Everyone's already been here for hours, and just when she lets her guard down, he appears somewhere behind her.

She doesn't even need to see him; she knows he's there. The dread hits her stomach like heavy lead, and in the background, she hears his cheerful voice.

She does her best to maintain a happy facade, but on the inside, she's screaming. Trunks removes a glob of frosting from his cheek, and her laughter sounds harsh and manic as she tries to escape the cake aimed for her hair. It's been a while since she last saw him, and his presence is so overpowering, it's clawing at her throat.

She doesn't understand how nobody else can feel it.

Clumps of cake fall from her hands onto the cement, and she's just staring at the back of his head in slack-jawed horror. Even though he's standing there with her mother and his wife on either side of him, she wants to fuck him so badly she's practically trembling.

A reel of her most depraved fantasies assault her: she's on her knees, spine arched in pleasure and he's got her long, blue hair wrapped around his fist as he whispers the most disgusting things into her ear; she's screaming his name- his saiyan name into the abyss as he fucks the only virgin hole she's got left.

In that startling moment, her imaginings are so vivid and revolting, they feel more like memories.

She hates that Goku has never done anything to encourage this unwelcome, all-consuming need.

This madness is all her.

She's all nerves after that, sick with headaches and her stomach in knots. Using her family's name and zeni, she pulls the unthinkable and manages to get Marron and herself transferred to an equally prestigious hospital across the sea. A scholarship courtesy of Capsule Corporation, including not only a full ride but also swanky apartment on both sides of the Southern Sea, turns out to be enough to convince Marron to join her.

She moves to Beach City to finish up her last year of residency.

She doesn't wear her wig anymore- she's Bulla Briefs again, and on this side of the sea, no one really gives a shit. He's been off the planet a lot this year, and when he is on Earth, the ten thousand kilometers between them is enough to keep her obsession at a light simmer. It's even better when the distance between them can be measured in light-years, but at this point, she's just content his presence isn't jarring enough to make the teeth in her head rattle.

She's twenty-three, and he still visits her in dreams.

She's in her mid twenties now, and feeling foolish enough to miss home and brave enough to believe herself capable of facing her madness with her head held high. She tells herself that she's older now, a little wiser, and that this time things will be different.

The sunlight bleeds through the window, stinging her fair skin. She glances out the car window at the tall buildings and bustle of city life, and after her experiences with unassuming summer afternoons, thinks it a particular kind of irony that she would return home on one. The car turns a corner, and in the distance, behind a cluster of buildings she can see a familiar dome shaped building.

The car winds it's way through the front gates of the corporation, and the massive dome shaped building in the horizon doesn't look so distant anymore. Suddenly her heart is racing. When the car rolls to a stop at the entrance of her family home she has to remind herself that this is temporary. It's only at her mother's insistence that she's returned home for the summer, and in a few months, she'll return to the little life she's carved out for herself on the other side of the sea.

She thanks the driver and in a few steps she is standing outside the large, glass doors. The security tech recognizes her instantly, opening the front doors with a soft, mechanic whirr. She takes a deep breath and walks into the home she hasn't dared visit in years.

Her every step echos loudly in the empty home.

If her grandparents still lived here, she is sure she would have had a small welcoming, but after her grandfather's scare, Grandma Bunny dragged him out of the corporation with all their pets on a worldwide, years-long birdwatching adventure. When she steps into the living area, her attention is captured by a photo displayed on the built in shelf parallel to the fireplace. Beside a childhood photo of her at the zoo, flashing the camera a toothy smile, there is a photo that nearly sucks the wind right out of her.

After regaining her bearings, a small smile pulls at her lips. It was a picture her grandmother had taken at one of the company parties a few years ago. Goku stood in the middle, boyish grin stretching across his face and his arms outstretched, embracing both his sons. Her father stood to the side with that trademark scowl adorning his face as Trunks forcefully pulled him into the picture. She can't stop herself from running her fingers across the glass, over his smiling face, and immediately, those old emotions resurface. It doesn't help that since arriving to West City, his presence was louder than it's been in years. She shakes her head and forces herself to stifle the emotions threatening to spill out of her.

It was much easier to forget about all of them when they were an ocean away.

A gruff voice comes from behind her, startling her out of her thoughts.

"You were expected a week ago."

Her father sneaking up on her when her thoughts were wrapped around a certain other saiyan was enough to make her blush, but she recovers quickly.

"What have I told you about sneaking up on me?" Bulla asks, propping her hands on her hips and doing her best to appear peeved.

"It is not my fault your hearing is so pathetic," her father says, and even though his tone is rough there is a twinkle in his eye that is reserved for her alone. "You're just as vulnerable as your mother. It's a miracle you've managed to survive this long on your own."

It's been a long time since she's stood face to face with her father, and her heart swells from how badly she's missed him. A peal of laughter echoes off the walls as she launches herself into his arms. "Don't tell anyone, but I missed you the most!" Bulla tells him after landing a big kiss on his cheek.

No matter how old she got, he still made her feel like a little girl.

Her father scrunches up his face and as she watches him try to scrub off the lipstick she left on his cheek, she can't stop herself from thinking how disgusted he would be if he were ever to learn the real reason she moved away from home. He was especially opposed to her leaving West City, but her mother laughed it off, saying that she just needed to get away for a little adventure of her own. Her brother told her it was her father that took her absence the hardest. It was unsettling for him to not know where she was or how she was doing while she was studying on the other side of the planet. It was not due to her less than impressive ki that he was unable to locate her- he could sense the energy signal of his family anywhere- it was due to the ki concealing device that after years of sneaking out of his room, Trunks had ended up gifting her.

Since they were alone, her father indulged her affections, and after a final squeeze she pulled herself out of his arms. "So, where is everyone? I sent mom a message letting her know I was going to be home this afternoon," Bulla states.

"This morning your mother said there is something urgent happening at the corporation. I wouldn't expect either her or your brother anytime soon."

Bulla sighs in relief. "Well, I guess that means mom won't be making a big deal about me coming home?"

"Your lack of awareness in your surroundings truly disappoints me." Vegeta quirks an eyebrow and scoffs, "Did you fail to notice all the vehicles parked outside the corporation? All the event and catering vehicles? You know your mother enjoys planning her little events for everything."

Bulla throws her hands up into the air and groans, "I just got here- I at least wanted to lounge around in my pajamas for a week before having to play nice with other humans."

Her father simply shrugs. He turns, about to leave, but halts his steps at her next comment.

"I don't even see what the big deal is. Residency is to be continued. I'm leaving again once summer is over," Bulla sighs flipping her long hair back and doing her best to ignore the scowl on her father's face.

"Didn't mom tell you?" Bulla asks, giving him a look of genuine curiosity. She took his silence as a negative, and with a soft smile explains, "In the fall I'm starting a surgical residency. Only the best get in, you know? It's kind of something amazing."

While she may not have the capability of sensing energy like the other saiyans, when there was a patient bleeding to death on a gurney or open on the operating table, she could swear she could sense the life coursing through their veins. She wanted to be the best damned surgeon West City would ever see and help research and develop new tech for Capsule Corporation's biomedical branch. She wanted to make a name for herself and make her family proud.

"Why was I not made aware of this?" Vegeta growled, turning his face away, to conceal his irritation. She had a feeling he wouldn't like the idea. That was why she had hoped her mother had broken the news.

She didn't want to leave home, but that invisible lure is stronger than it's been in a long time. If she were to stay, she'd undoubtably go insane.

"Daddy, it's okay. It's nothing you need to get so worked up about," she laughs, forcing a smile and trying to lighten his mood. She walks past him and in the playful wink she throws over her shoulder, Vegeta sees a reflection of her mother. "It's sweet of you to worry, but don't forget, I'm a big girl now. I can handle myself just fine."

As Vegeta watches her walk down the hallway his scowl deepens.

He doesn't believe her.

She is woken up by the persistent ringing of her phone. A hand emerges from the pile of blankets she is buried in, blindly reaching for her phone on the bedside table. Her clumsy fingers end up pushing it to the floor.

With a curse, she pulls herself out of bed. Phone momentarily forgotten, she staggers over to the window, and when she pulls back the heavy curtain, she is surprised to see the sun already beginning to set. She hadn't expected to sleep for so long.

The event trucks her father had mentioned are parked in the corner of the compound, and as she observes the people bustling about, a wave of jittery energy hits her. She had a feeling he would eventually show up. She hasn't seen him since her mother's birthday all those years ago, and she's terrified she will respond the same way.

No, she reminds herself, this time will be different.

She runs a frustrated hand through her long blue hair and walks over to the purse she had tossed on the ground earlier. Feeling stressed, she rummages through the bag for a lighter and pack of smokes.

She peeks her head out of the balcony doors to ensure the lights to the gravity chamber are still on. After breaking the news of her eventual departure, she isn't so sure she'd want to further disappoint her father. She steps outside and pulls a cigarette out of the box with her teeth. She lights it and after her first drag, she hears a voice behind her.

"Looks like you've picked up a few vices of your own."

Bulla whips her head around to see Trunks grinning at her with arms crossed against his chest. "Isn't it kind of hypocritical for a doctor to be smoking?", he half-jokingly asks, eying the lit cigarette between her fingers. "Was cracking open ribs stuffed with tar hardened lungs not enough to put you off?"

"Only quitters quit," she says with a grin. To prove her point, she takes a heavy drag and blows a plume of smoke in his direction. Trunks scowls and when he wafts the smoke away with his hand, Bulla laughs, "Kami, I missed you." She walks up to him, and with the cigarette perched between her lips, reaches up to ruffle her brother's pale, lavender hair. She exhales the smoke up into the orange sky before passing the cigarette to her bewildered her brother.

This is the first time he's seen her smoke, and the big brother in him disapproves. Knowing who her best friend (and family) is, he knows he shouldn't be surprised. He cringes to imagine her partaking in the kinds of things he did when he was her age.

"You really shouldn't be smoking," he grumbles before taking a drag. She quirks an eyebrow and he sighs, "Not for your health or whatever- dad would lose his shit if he found out his sweet, little innocent princess was a chain smoker."

He's only partially lying.

"At least I haven't slept with half the women in West City," Bulla retorts playfully.

"If you had I think we would have a whole new set of problems," Trunks laughs, flicking the cigarette off the balcony. Trunks follows Bulla into her boutique sized closet and props himself against the door frame.

With a snap of her fingers, the virtual home A.I system shuffles through her playlist and music plays through the speakers concealed throughout her room. She's flipping through a row of dresses and gently swaying her hips and in time with the music, and as Trunks watches her, he can't help but think she grew up when nobody was looking.

Trunks does not approve of the nude colored dress his sister pulls off the rack. It's only a few shades darker then her pale skin and though the sleeves are long and the neckline modest, it looks ridiculously short and tight. She walks up to the foot length mirror with the dress held up against her and says, "So, Marron told me mom invited everyone."

In an attempt to find common ground between this new version of Bulla and the young girl who packed her bags and left Capsule Corporation years ago, he teases, "If by everyone you mean Goten, then yes."

A blush blooms on her cheeks and she scowls at him through the mirror. "That crush ended before it could even really start. Will you never let it go?" she huffs, feeling the need to grab the nearest shoe and throw it at his annoying face. She wonders if Trunks would still be laughing if he knew the real reason her crush on Goten was snuffed out.

She thinks as long as he never realized the severity of it, he would even find it funny.

"Yeah, right. I wouldn't be surprised if you turned into a blushing, stuttering mess the instant you see him," her brother laughs, remembering how all throughout her adolescence, Bulla would become flustered in his best friend's presence . Everyone (including Goten) knew about her little crush. Their father found it unbearable, their mother adorable, and he found it to be a constant means of entertainment.

Since arriving at West City, a nagging awareness hooked itself into her consciousness, and in that split second the lure pulling her attention westward flares. A few teasing words shouldn't leave her this rattled. She's feeling a little unhinged and knows she should just shut her mouth, but she's feeling petty and mean.

It's Trunks' turn to get upset.

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm not a teenager anymore," she says heatedly. Her previous embarrassing responses to Goten had nothing to do with girlish pining and everything do with how identical the youngest Son was to his father, and she's irrationally upset at her brother for making her remember.

An unformed, impulsive thought seeds in her brain.

Goten is the spitting image of Goku...

She raises an eyebrow and there's something about the hint of mischief in her voice that makes Trunks uncomfortable. "I'm not a kid anymore," she repeats, slipping on a pair of golden, sky high stilettos before going back to model the dress in the mirror. When their eyes meet in the mirror, her lips curve into a challenging smirk. "You know, men actually consider me a pretty good catch? And I don't just mean for our family name. I mean I know you're my brother- but come on look at me. I'm fucking gorgeous. You have no idea how many guys I've got falling at my feet, and they want me so badly they'd let me rip the skin off their backs if it means I won't leave them." He doesn't doubt her- the confidence in her eyes doesn't let him. In that moment he feels like he is looking at a stranger. His imagination wanders into dark places and he hopes with all his might that this isn't karma for all his nights of reckless sin.

"I know you've always preferred the lithe, model type, but what about Goten?" Bulla asks with an air of mock innocence. He doesn't understand what game she's playing. The smile on her face doesn't fool him, she reeks of fear and anger. "Do you think Goten likes-" she begins, pausing to press the dress tightly against her obscene curves, and his gut sinks because yes- Goten is a sucker for a big rack and pretty face.

"Do you think Goten would like this dress?" she asks innocently, turning around to face him.

Goten wouldn't dare.

Trunks barely manages to hold back a shiver of disgust. It would be like him chasing after Pan (who was way too tomboyish and similar to his best friend to ever get him going).

But Bulla is not like Pan.

Simultaneously, he feels a burst of disgust and panic.

Her crush on Goten was just supposed to be a joke. Something not grounded on reality. Not only was Goten his best friend, but he was also old and the embodiment of the kind of guy he never wanted his sister involved with.

"You're hilarious, Bulla," Trunks says, feigning boredom. "Goten's only ever had one serious girlfriend, and trust me you're not his type."

Bulla turns around to face him. "Are you sure about that?" she asks, eyes sparkling mischievously.

Tired of her bullshit, Trunks throws his arms up in irritation and groans, "Just leave Goten alone!"

When her brother slams the door shut behind him, her bravado falters.

She tosses the dress over the back of the closest chair and walks over to her bathroom to begin getting ready. She takes a quick shower to wash the smoke out of her hair, and when she steps out and meets her reflection in the humidity streaked mirror, she sees her mother staring back at her. Whenever anyone looks at her, sometimes she feels as though that's all they can see.

She smears her hand across the mirror, clearing up a puddle of glass. Her face may be identical to her mother, but her body sure wasn't. Needless to say, it had not been Grandma Bunny's intellect that drew her grandfather's attentions. In her youth, Grandma Bunny had been a centerfold model famous for her generous proportions, and to her father's displeasure, it was painfully obvious from whom she inherited her physique. Her body is soft, nubile perfection. She trails her hands down her neck, over her generous breasts and down her flat stomach to run a finger across the only obvious imperfection. During those blurred years, before leaving to Beach City, ovarian cysts were removed and the light, horizontal scar adorning the top of her pubis was left behind.

Tired of being compared to her mother, Bulla makes little changes to her appearance that are all her own. Because her mother's always seemed to prefer keeping her's short, Bulla has grown her's out inconveniently long and where her mother's never really had the patience for wearing anything other than a light coat of lipstick, Bulla has continued her grandmother's tradition of bold, winged eyeliner and dark, wine stained lips. She checks her make up one last time in the mirror and walks to her closet wearing only the towel on her head.

She slipped into the flesh colored dress that she had lain out on the chair and steps into a pair of shimmering gold pumps with signature red soles. She feels sexy. Dressing up was a nice change to the white lab coat and professional attire she had become accustomed to donning during residency.

A soft knock on the bedroom door snaps her out of her thoughts.

"Come in," Bulla calls out, already knowing who stood on the other side of the door. In her family, only one person knocked.

As expected her mother steps in, already dressed to the nines and looking as radiant as ever. Her mother's eyes brim with happy tears, and she raises her hands, cupping her daughter's cheeks in awe. "My baby- you look divine!"

Bulla can't help but smile- as much as she disliked the constant comparisons, there was no denying her mother's beauty. "Of course I do. I look like you!"

"I missed you so, so much, sweetheart! And I'm so ridiculously proud of you!" Bulma pulls her daughter into a tight embrace and mumbles against her hair, "It feels so good to have my whole family under the same roof, even if it's just for the summer."

Bulla wants to complain about how inconvenient and inconsiderate it is to have planned such a big event without allowing her a chance to settle in, but when her mother pulls away she can't find the words. The happiness in her mother's expression is enough to make her swallow her complaints. It would have made more sense to treat her to a private dinner at a posh restaurant on her return; not to throw this ostentatious gathering not even twenty four hours from her return, but then again, Bulma Briefs was not known for doing things small or quietly.

"I always knew I'd have smart babies, but I really outdid myself!" Bulma laughs, stepping back to look over her daughter. "A tech-savvy businessman and a soon to be surgeon- my prodigal children. Chi-Chi must be so jealous. She always wanted Gohan to go into medicine."

The little box on the bedside table catches her mother's eye. Bulma quirks a brow at her daughter and says, "So, I see that you not only inherited my good looks, but my bad habits as well."

Her mother saunters over to the bedside table and taps her nails against the box. "Your dad hates these things," Bulma says, with a teasing smile. "Hopefully, you didn't inherit my questionable taste in men as well."

If only you knew, Bulla thinks.

Her mother pulls two cigarettes out of the box and to Bulla's shock, lights them both right then and there in her bedroom. Her mother winks and passes her a lit cigarette. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone if you won't."

Bulla eyes the light cigarette between her mother's fingers and half-heartedly protests, "I can't. I just showered."

"If your dad asks, just blame me," Bulma grins. "Everyone knows I could never quit for too long. I'll take a chance and break my nicotine sobriety for a chance to share a smoke with my daughter. It's not like these are going to kill me- the dragon balls already made sure of it."

To Dende's disdain, Bulma Briefs had a penchant for abusing the dragon balls to grant the most frivolous wishes. They made excellent gifts- for instance a few years back on the day of their fiftieth anniversary, the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Briefs had woken up fifty years younger, and of course being the vain woman that she was, not only tied her life to her husband (with certain, specific conditions of course), but once it became too tiresome to keep wishing five years off her appearance, wished to physically not age past her prime.

Not wanting the scent of smoke to penetrate her carpet, Bulla steps out onto the balcony. In the distance she can see that guests have already begun to arrive.

"Have you seen your father, yet?" Bulma asks, looking in the direction of the gravity chamber. "I swear to Kami, if that man runs off with Goku into that damned training room tonight I'll eviscerate them both!"

"Yeah, I saw him earlier. Thanks for not telling him I was leaving in a few months. He was absolutely thrilled," Bulla sighs, sending ashes into the wind with a dainty tap of her fingers.

"Well, I didn't want to break the news and ruin his good mood. You know how rare those are," Bulma laughs, turning to face her daughter. "And, I want you to know, even though he never says it, your father adores you more than anything. You have no idea how many times I've had to stop your father from showing up unexpectedly. You're lucky I'm the only one with your address."

At high speed, her father was capable of flying across the earth in minutes. It appalls her to think if it weren't for his pride, her father could have shown up to her apartment anytime to possibly find her liquored up with some guy between her legs. ""Snoop on me?! Why would he do that? If he wanted to check up on me so badly all he had to do was call," Bulla says weakly.

Her mother's attention shifts. "Oh look! Chi-Chi is on her way!" Bulma exclaims, pointing at a green car winding towards the entrance of Capsule Corporation. Bulma tosses her cigarette onto the ground, and begins to pull her daughter inside. "Let's go! I haven't seen them in ages!"

Suddenly Bulla's heart is racing and a wave of uneasiness washes over her. In her state of shock, her mother's words jumble together and the minutes it takes for her to be dragged along the long underground hallway connecting the house to the corporation pass like seconds. It isn't until they're standing at the top of the staircase leading down into the immaculately decorated room below that Bulma notices the change in her daughter's mood.

"Sweetie, is everything okay?"

Bulla blinks a few times, forcing herself out of her stupor. She takes a quick glance at the guests below, reminding herself that this time, everything would be different. She would be in control.

A small, tight smile eases its way onto her red lips. "Of course, I'm fine."

Brushing off her daughter's unease as a small bout of nerves, Bulma nods her head before walking down into the sea of suits and dresses below. Her mother's presence demanded attention, and as she descended down the stairs, the room went silent.

Her stomach lurches, and in the back of her mind she sees Goku's smiling face. Bulla listens to her mother speak with her eyes clenched shut.

"I want to thank you all for coming out tonight. I do hope you enjoy yourselves as we celebrate this wonderful, brilliant woman I am so proud to call my daughter. She is a magnificent addition to the medical science community, already making groundbreaking discoveries in her field. I foresee a bright future in her, full of the kinds of advancements and research that will continue pushing our biomedical department to the frontiers of what is possible when it comes to treating the human body. Everyone, please welcome my daughter, Dr. Bulla Briefs."

After a deep, shuddering breath, Bulla opens her eyes to look at the crowd of people below. She lets out a sigh of relief, grateful that the majority of faces below were just a bunch of stuffy scientists and company associates her mother wanted her to get familiar with before her career would undoubtably lead her back to Capsule Corporation. At the same time the guests erupt into a sea of applause, that imaginary lure snaps.

He's here!

In that moment she feels disassociated from reality, but after years of mental torment, she's learned how to continue playing her part. She rests a trembling hand on the barrister and slowly makes her way down the stairs with a forced smile on her lips.

The applause begins to wane and a voice as sweet as a bell cuts through the room. "Hello, everyone. After years away from West City, it is so nice to see all of your faces again. I really do appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to welcome me back home." She reaches the bottom of the stairs with the grace of a silver screen goddess, lithely taking a flute of champagne from a server who happened to be passing by. Bulla raises the dainty glass into the air and before bringing the bubbly liquid to her lips, smiles. "Now enough about me, let's all just enjoy this wonderful evening."

When the crowd breaks out in applause, he turns in same direction everyone is facing. The guest of honor descends down the stairs, and she is so ethereal in her beauty, she takes his breath away.

She's so gorgeous it hurts.

He hasn't seen Bulla Briefs in years. There's no way this lovely creature could really be the same little girl who once had a crippling crush on him.

A pinch to the arm brings him out of his trance. "Shut your mouth before you start drooling! Shame on you, Son Goten! Where are your manners?" his mother whispers harshly beside him.

Goten's face flushes and turns to his mother with an apologetic smile. "Sorry."

"You're lucky Vegeta didn't see you staring at his daughter like she was a giant meat bun," Chi-Chi scolds, giving his arm a hard thwack. "I raised you better than that."

"Wow, look at her." Goten hears his father say from behind him. His mother's attention shifts to his father who just appeared seconds ago. "It's kind of creepy how much she looks like Bulma and sounds like Bulma. If I hadn't seen Whis pull her out of her mom's stomach I'd think she were a clone," Goku whispers not so quietly. "You know, like in that scary movie we saw the other day?"

Because he's still distracted by the flawless, busty blue-haired beauty, he flinches when someone lands a weighty pat on his back.

It's only Trunks.

"Not only does she look like mom, she's also every bit as loud and obnoxious," Trunks says, lips pulling into a tired smile. "Don't let that smile fool you."

"That's not a nice thing to say," Chi-Chi giggles.

Goten watches the Capsule Corporation heiress disappear into the crowd of people, and the appearance of a familiar energy catches his attention. "Damn! I can't believe your mom managed to pry Vegeta out of the G.R. for this!" Goten exclaims when he see's the older saiyan. Vegeta is standing as far away from the other guests as possible, watching his wife and daughter.

"Oh, and look at that! Vegeta's even wearing a nice suit," Chi-Chi says, fixing a small glare in her husband's direction. "Aren't you glad I made you dress up, Goku? You would have looked so strange showing up in training clothes."

Goku responds with a sheepish laugh, then turns his attention to his favorite rival. "Hey Vegeta!" he calls out, throwing an arm up to wave enthusiastically. In response, the saiyan prince turns his head sharply in the other direction.

"Dad never misses Bulla's things. Even when we were kids, he'd show up to her ballet recitals and spelling bees. It's no secret, she's the favorite." Trunks voice is light, but Goten can hear the underlying jealousy.

Goten tenses. This is a sensitive subject. The Briefs siblings each grew up knowing very different versions of Vegeta.

Trunks raises the glass of bourbon he had been holding up to his mouth, swallowing it in one gulp. He gives the Son family a forced smile, jabs his thumb in the direction of the bar and says, "I'll catch up with you guys later. It's time for a refill." Noticing the group of pretty girls near the bar, the Capsule Corporation heir grins. "Looks like I've got some new friends to meet. You coming Goten?"

He's tempted. Those girls looked pretty hot (nothing compared to Trunks' younger sister), but the look his mother shoots him makes him quickly shake his head.

He sighs, and looks over to his father. Goku is already sniffing the air, in search of the food.

"Hey dad, wanna go grab something to eat?"

It's been years since she felt this out of control.

A nervous energy buzzes within her body, and she forces herself to ignore it. To focus instead on what is happening around her. She wills herself to keep the glass in her hand from shattering as she smiles and laughs with the man standing before her. He's a good-looking foreign engineer with an ego even bigger than hers.

A pale, slender arm snakes it's way across her shoulders.

To Bulla's relief, Marron's arrival silences the man. Ice, blue eyes slide from the engineer to her best friend. "Hey buddy, don't you know who this girl is?" Marron asks, expression flat and serious. "The last thing she wants to do is hear about your mediocre accomplishments."

The handsome foreigner turns a very unnatural shade of red, and Bulla can't help but turn away to giggle. Before giving him a change to sputter out a reply, Marron swiftly ushers her into the crowd. It doesn't take long to realize where Marron is leading her.

"Thanks for getting me away from there," Bulla says. A server passes by and Bulla exchanges her empty glass for a full one. "It's like my mom couldn't wait a week to show off. I mean, we're going to be here all summer!"

"Oh, stop crying," Marron half-heartedly chastises. "Look at how amazing all of this is- and it's all for you!" Marron raises her arms at the splendor around them. The splendor of the bar in particular. Bulla rolls her eyes and slides herself into a barstool beside her friend. Before she had a chance to cross her legs, the bartender appeared in front of them.

"Damn, a bottle of that goes for thousands of zeni!" Marron gasps, pointing at the pretentious looking bottle of liquor sitting on the top shelf. "And at an open bar? I forget how loaded your family is sometimes. Let's get some shots." Marron says enthusiatically, eying the extensive display of alcohol behind the bartender.

The idea sounds tempting. Bulla so badly wishes she could grab the nearest bottle of something strong, and numb the electric tendrils writhing beneath her skin.

Through her peripheral, Bulla sees her brother abandon a group of fawning girls. He comes in from behind Marron to lean across the counter between them. Her head feels funny, and when she meets her brother's cold blue eyes, her chest tightens. Everything begins to feel strange. Being around all of these people who she hadn't seen in so long, including her family, suddenly feels like a dream.

All of these people were extraordinary, and it made her feel so small.

Her brother narrows his eyes in concern. "Bulla, are you okay?" he asks, reaching across the table for her hand.

Bulla startles at his touch, reminding herself that this is neither the time or place to have a breakdown. "Yeah, I'm great," Bulla says, flashing her brother a smile. She needs to be careful with him. Not only was he capable of detecting slight physiological changes, he was terribly perceptive as well.

Marron nudges Trunks with her elbow. "Shots?"

He turns to her with a grin. "Marron, you really are a girl after my own heart."

"And don't you forget it," Marron teases, signaling the bartender to serve some of that thousand zeni liquor.

Bulla rolls her eyes and gags. Since they were teenagers, the interactions between her big flirt of a friend and playboy brother were always like this.

Three small glasses of something clear and potent quickly appears on the counter. Bulla eyes the alcohol longingly. "Tonight, I think I'm just going to stick to this," Bulla sighs, raising the nearly empty flute of champagne in her hand. She needs to keep a clear head tonight.

Marron shrugs and grabs the extra glass. "More for me. Cheers!" Marron reaches out to clink her glass against Trunks. Without taking a breath, she raises the second to her lips. "Mmm, so that's what a thousand zeni tastes like," Marron says, licking her lips.

The smirk on her brother's lips stretches. He leans in closer to Marron, reaching a hand out to twirl a blonde curl between his fingers. "If you think that tastes good, how about I show you how amazing a hundred million tastes."

Marron gasps in feigned offense, and before allowing her friend to utter a crass reply of her own (they could go on like this for hours), from beneath the counter Bulla delivers a sharp kick to her brother's shin.

Bulla shoots him a sour look. "It's my party. Can you guys please just not," she grouses. "What are you even doing here? Did you already blow your chances with that little titillating trifecta over there?" Bulla points her chin at the girls on the other side of the bar batting their eyelashes at her brother. "Or better yet- why aren't you wreaking havoc on the buffet table with your boyfriend?"

Trunks hisses and makes a big show of rubbing his shin. "They're called manners, Bulla. I know how they elude you." Trunks turns to Marron with a waggle of his brows and says, "But if you must know, I came over here to give my hellos to Marron who I haven't seen in ages. Congratulations on your tremendous achievement, Dr. Marron." Bulla rolls her eyes when she sees her brother not so smoothly reach down for her friend's thigh. "I hope you enjoyed the congratulatory gift I picked."

With a sly smile, Marron slaps his hand away and says, "You've got incredible taste. I've only had that aircraft for a month and I can't even begin to describe the kind of fun I've had in it."

Bulla huffs. Marron was not lying about that.

For a moment, Marron pulls the breaks on their disgusting banter. Her ice, blue eyes soften and the smile she gives Trunks is sincere. Marron reaches for her brother's hand and gives it a gentle squeeze. "But seriously, thank you. I absolutely adore the car and appreciate the gesture."

Trunks eyes widen in surprise, and before being given a chance to recover from Marron's surprise display of real emotions, Bulla gives him another hard kick.

"What the fuck?" he hisses, pulling away from the counter.

"Where's my car?" Bulla snootily asks. She knows her brother only got Marron one because he's been trying to get in her pants since they were teenagers. "I only fucking synthesized an adaptive influenza vaccine capable of providing immunity against any present or future strains! Where the fuck is my congratulatory gift?"

It's Trunks' turn to roll his eyes.

Marron twists in her chair, props an elbow on the counter and grins. "Don't be jealous. Maybe it's Goten who'll be giving you the congratulatory gift of your dreams."

The dirty undertone of Marron's comment makes Trunks flinch, and he shoots his sister a look in warning.

From behind them, a muffled voice asks, "Are you guys talking about me?"

Bulla jumps in surprise, and to her embarrassment, the champagne flute nearly slips from her fingers. Hoping that Goten is alone, Bulla swivels around on the stool, and tries her best to ignore the hammering of her heart.

Son Goten is standing in front of her, looking every bit as handsome and youthful as she remembers. Bulla didn't think it was possible for someone to look so concerned while they were in the process of devouring a chocolate cupcake.

Goten brushes the cupcake crumbs off his jacket and looks up at the girl he hasn't seen in years. "Hey Bulla, long time no see." He gives her an easy smile and pretends to ignore the scent of fear rolling off of her.

Misinterpreting his sister's distress as a sign of the crippling infatuation she had so strongly denied, Trunks breathes a sigh of relief. Good. He didn't have to worry about his supposed man-eater sister going after his best friend. Trunks calls out to the bartender and gestures to the same liquor Marron and him just had shots of. "Let me have two bottles of that." With a bottle in each hand, he turns to his sister and smugly says, "So much for being over it. Don't embarrass yourself, Bulla."

Once Trunks is gone, Bulla blinks away her horror-stricken expression, replacing it with a gentle smile. "Hello, Goten. It's so great to see you," Bulla says, reaching towards Goten to brush away the few crumbs lingering on the front of his jacket.

The half saiyan chuckles nervously at her touch. "Yeah, it's nice seeing you too, Bulla." Goten brightens up as the scent of her fear recedes. "I can't believe you girls are actual doctors now. That's so wild."

Ever intuitive, Marron can see the potential between the youngest Son and her best friend. After all, once upon a time, Bulla did adore him. Ignoring the sharp look Bulla sends her when Goten turns the other way, Marron slides out of her seat in search of Trunks and the exotic bottles of liquor.

Goten can tell her mind is elsewhere. "Are you sure you're okay?" Goten asks, taking Marron's empty seat. "You seem a little out of sorts."

For a moment, Bulla stares at the glass in front of her. She watches the condensation drip down the flute of champagne and gathers her thoughts. Goten is the spitting image of Goku. Bulla slips on her gave face and turns to Goten with her sweetest smile.

She runs a red lacquered fingernail over the rim of her glass and playfully laughs, "Yeah, I'm fine. I guess I shouldn't be drinking on an empty stomach."

For emphasis, Goten pats his stomach and flashes her that famous Son-smile. "I never have that problem."

The pull of his lips drags her mind into dark places. Goku. He looks so much like his father it's making her nauseous. To steady her arms, she quickly props her elbows on the bar and rests her chin on her palms as an excuse to turn away from him. "So how have you been Son Goten? Word around the street is you've been keeping yourself very busy."

"I try," he says with a shrug. He supposes it's a good thing that Bulla is still uncomfortable around him. It helps remind him who she is. That she's off limits, and most definitely serves to keep him from wondering how good it would feel to taste her red lips. "I own this dojo in the city. Pan works with me sometimes. The money's good and it keeps me busy."

Feeling a tad bit braver, with her cheek still propped against her palm, she turns to him and says, "Oh, don't be so modest. A little birdie told me, that not only are you a business man, but you're in charge of training members for Earth's Special Forces- that's kind of a big deal. You're doing well for yourself, Goten."

Even though her flattery makes him blush, he's glad to see a familiar burst of life in those big, beautiful blue eyes. "Well, I wouldn't consider myself a business man just because I own a dojo. I'm not exactly a suit and tie kind of guy."

"For not being a suit and tie kind of guy, I've got to admit, you look quite dashing," Bulla says easily.

"Thanks, Bulla," he stutters, eyes widening in shock. Is Bulla flirting with him? He had not been expecting that, but his experiences with the finer sex have him working on instinct. "You look really nice too. I think you just might be the prettiest girl here." Once the words leave him, he writhes in mortification. What the hell was wrong with him? Suddenly, he feels more like a teenager than a man in his thirties.

"Oh, thanks," Bulla gently says as she studies his face. For some reason, no matter how hard she tired, when she looked into his eyes she couldn't see Goten. All she saw was the saiyan warrior who ravaged her in dreams.

Ignoring the pang of guilt, Bulla decides right then and there that she's going to go through with it. She has faint, recent memories of Goten looking at her like this; with a hint of romantic curiosity, but never really with interest.

She makes a show of crossing her legs, intentionally allowing the short hem of her dress rise even higher. The movement catches his attention, he takes the bait. His eyes rove across her toned, alabaster legs, and by the time they run back up her curvy little body, the shame sinks in. This was his best friend's little sister, and here he was wondering how good it would feel to have those legs wrapped around him.

Kami, he was lucky Vegeta wasn't here to see him leering at his little girl.

Goten's reaction invokes a twinge of irritation. Yes, she wanted him to look at her like that, but for one irrational moment she wonders how differently things would have been if he had returned her affections when she was blindly in love with him. Would her affections never have shifted so severely to his father? In her frazzled mind, the impropriety of a relationship between a man in his late twenties and teenaged girl paled in comparison to the years of depraved obsession she silently endured.

Noticing Bulla's stern expression, Goten jumps off the stool, feeling terribly foolish. He can't explain why, but he doesn't want Bulla to see him the way everyone else does, and or the first time in his life, he is embarrassed of his string of one night stands. In a manner that only serves to remind her of his father, Goten rubs the back of his neck and grimaces. "Anyway- it was great seeing you again. I think I'm going to go look for Tr-"

She reaches forward and the touch of her fingers against his wrist silences him.

"It's my party, are you really planning on leaving me here all alone? " Bulla teases, intentionally dragging her nails across his skin as she pulls her hand away.

Goten shivers, and against his will, blood rushes to his cock. Unable to completely ease his shocked expression, the smile Goten gives her is puckered. It was a nice change to see that for once it was her making one of the Son men uneasy. In the back of her mind, she can faintly hear her consciousness telling her to stop. That Goten doesn't deserve this; that it isn't him she wants.

It feels like there's a swarm of hornets buried under her skin, and the imagined tether between his father and her is becoming harder to ignore. Never allowing her smile to waver, Bulla forces herself to ignore the unpleasant sensations roiling around in the back of her head, and decides she'd do anything to quieten the madness inside of her.

Even this.

The desperation within her is all consuming.

The doubt in his eyes- that flash of wavering weakness sends a new thrill through her. Finally, Goten finds his voice.

"Of course I'm not gonna leave you here all alone," he chuckles uneasily.

Bulla smiles, tapping at the empty seat beside her. "Have a seat, Goten. We haven't seen each other in years, and I'm dying to know what you've been up to."

Goten obediently sits down to face his princess, not knowing that his fate had been sealed. If Bulla couldn't have the father, then the son would have to do.




A/N: After having abandoned this fic for a while, I went back and reread it and realized the chapters written before 2020 are in dire need of revision. I couldn't stand the first chapter, so for coherencies sake and my sanity, I went ahead and revised it. One day I'll get around to cleaning up the rest, but in the end decided to just focus on updating or else this fanfic will never be finished. Thank you all for your patience in putting up with my erratic updates, wonky, unintentional tense shifts and loose interpretation of English grammar.

Gilded Blue, thanks for your fabulous fanfic writing, and for sparking my weird interest in this crackship. Heirlihy, thank you for creating some awesome Goku x Bulla fanart. I'm in awe of her talent. You can check her work out on Deviantart. It's lit.