The Briefs family welcomes a third baby who looks just like a certain Saiyan Prince...
*** So, this happened...
A long time ago, I got some anons on my Tumblr talking about the possibility of a third Briefs child who looked just like Vegeta. Then I recently got some asks again, and one message in particular made a little idea pop in my head.
This was supposed to be a much shorter, fluffier story while I keep working on "Yellow Roses", but it evolved into something a bit different and I chose to explore it.
I don't know if I made the idea that I had in mind work, but I hope you guys like it... ***
Anonymous asked: In fact I headcanon that whenever a Briefs baby is born with Vegeta's hair Bra and Trunks, who are normally so proud, start crying, hugging each other and going "he's just like papa!" "So sweet!" "So cute!"
"My goodness! Will you look at this cutie?" Chichi cooed with a silly smile on her face when the black-haired baby boy clutched one of her fingers with his tiny hand. "Well, aren't you the cutest thing? Strong too, uh?"
"Woah!" Goten exclaimed in awe, peeking at the newborn from above Trunks' shoulder. "He looks just like your dad!"
Trunks couldn't help but chuckle at the irony in that comment. "So do you!" He retorted in a half-whisper, his eyes never leaving the baby blue bundle in his arms.
"Uh? Uh, oh, yeah…" His best friend replied with that trademark goofy grin on his face, so identical to Goku's that the resemblance was uncanny. "He really is cute though… Look at those little bangs…" Goten commented absentmindedly. "Why did your dad get rid of them? They look so…"
An imposing clear of the throat boomed across the room, the ominous sound announcing that this particular conversation was over, and there would be no further room for argument here.
"Uh… Sorry Uncle Vegeta…" Goten mumbled sheepishly, awkwardly rubbing the nape of his neck as he gave the older Saiyan a timid side-glance. Goku's youngest son had never truly feared him, but he'd always known that the Prince's commanding presence could and should never be disregarded.
Vegeta merely offered the boy a curt nod, remaining completely silent as he closed his eyes leniently, choosing to focus on the tot's astoundingly impressive ki instead.
He'd already been through this whole experience during his daughter's birth before, this asinine human ritual where every single acquaintance would show up, wholly uninvited, into their home after the child's delivery, passing the little brat around like something out of a carnival.
At the time, the Prince hadn't fully understood what all the commotion was about. In his home planet, the only thing that really mattered after a new child had entered this world was his power level, which would instantly determine the infant's fate with no exception whatsoever. Nobody would have wasted any valuable time fawning over superficial matters like the child's hair or eye color, or on whimsical nonsense such as their 'adorable little hands' or their so-called level of 'cuteness'. But, much to his shame, some of the earthlings' ridiculousness must have unwittingly rubbed off on him over the years, and that was the only explanation he could muster for the surreal mayhem of slushy emotions which had stirred inside of him the moment he'd set eyes on his third child, a familiar, sentimental turmoil he'd already experienced for the first time when Bra had been born. The circumstances surrounding the birth of both babies, however, couldn't have been any more different.
Vegeta could still recall the outlandish levels of concern he'd experimented during Bulma's second pregnancy, a pregnancy he'd encouraged himself, after gathering the courage to bring up the subject to his wife. Even though, through the years, the warrior had managed to create a surprisingly profound bond with his primogenital, there were times when he still found himself deeply overwhelmed with an unsettling guilt, the remorse of a father who knew that he hadn't showered his oldest son with the love and affection that a half-human child needed and deserved. Even so, and in spite of his own emotional shortcomings, Trunks had grown up to be a fine young boy, a child who possessed his father's inherent skill and talent for battle yet a remarkably sincere and pleasant nature, a kind warmth which could only emanate from one creature.
The beautiful earthling possessed a heated temper, a fiery spirit that matched his own, but there was also a gentleness in her, an innate kindheartedness clearly alive in Trunks' soul. That very same generosity which had made her invite him into her home when he was nothing more than a destitute genocide, a former assassin with no place in the world.
His wife had been the one, the one who'd slowly but irrevocably changed his heart. And she'd done so in her own quiet way, with no pressures or concessions, respecting him for who he was and patiently allowing him to be the one to figure out who he wanted to be, and what kind of a life he wished for himself.
It'd been a bumpy road, that was for sure. A brutal quest of self-discovery, a journey filled with paradoxes, the violent clash of the cold-blooded mercenary he'd been groomed to be and the serene, loving home he'd unexpectedly found along the way. For years he'd battled a silent conflict, a vicious struggle within his soul, and he'd done it knowing that Bulma would be there, and the profound conviction that she always would be, a warm, reassuring presence constantly keeping his wounded pieces together, stopping him from falling apart.
But then his old nemesis had been brought back to life for a day, igniting a wicked fire within his heart, a sinfully dormant spark he'd thought dead long ago. That familiar, ancient yearning for death and revenge which had always made his Saiyan blood sing with unrepentant fury.
Only when he stood on a desolate wasteland with his son in his arms did he recognize, once and for all, just how pointless his resistance had been, the absurd foolishness in refusing to surrender to the best thing that ever happened to him. It was only in the face of a selfless sacrifice that he found an odd sense of peace and acceptance, making the noble choice of giving up his own life for the sake of a family he'd never dreamt of having, the family who'd become the sole reason for his existence.
His second resurrection had come as a genuine surprise, the unforeseen opportunity for a new life, a new beginning, the chance to make amends and to become the husband and father that Bulma and Trunks truly deserved.
"You really mean it?" She'd whispered in the dark, the night he'd finally dared to confess his desire for a second child.
They'd been lying on their bed, completely spent after a night of passionate lovemaking, those long, sleepless nights which had become so common ever since they'd been reunited, drowning into each other in a desperate attempt to forget the turbulent nightmare they'd all barely been able to survive to intact.
"I do…" He'd replied almost inaudibly, his fingertips carefully sweeping her tousled bangs from her delicate face.
Bulma's reaction to his humble request had been glorious. Those bright blue eyes shining like sapphires, an old sparkle he'd thought long gone swirling again in her stare. That old flicker he'd witnessed so long ago, when their first son was nothing more than a lively toddler crawling all over the place and Bulma had shyly hinted at the possibility of giving Trunks a little brother or sister he could grow up with. It was Vegeta's pathological fear of commitment, even at a time when he'd seemingly entirely embraced his new life on Earth, the reason why his wife's prudent offer had gradually faded away into nothing, the real reason why Bulma had reluctantly acquiesced to things always staying as they were in their little family.
She'd pressed her lips against his with maddening tenderness that night, gladly accepting his hopeful request as she sealed her promise with a binding kiss. The Prince would never find the way to express the euphoric relief that his woman's forgiveness had instilled into his heart, his ego bursting with enraptured pride and expectancy at the idea of a new start, a fresh chapter in his new life as a family man. But, in her faithful kiss, he'd also tasted a shamefully veiled anguish, the unspoken fear of a woman whose heart had been shattered more times than her pride would be willing to admit, and by none other than her husband, the man she'd fallen deeply in love with against all odds.
Never again would he be so foolish, so incredibly naïve as to allow himself the luxury of taking his wife, his son and his peaceful existence on his family's magnificent planet for granted anymore.
The Prince had made a promise to himself, an unwavering vow of protection, to remain by his woman's side and care for her and their son come what may. He still lived with the strong suspicion that he'd never be able to become the affectionate man that his Bulma was truly worthy of, but he also knew that his wife's generous heart would always forgive his pathetic emotional limitations, seeing beyond that carefully constructed mask of indifference and making up for his pitiful flaws.
It was during Bulma's second pregnancy that he finally had the chance to demonstrate his merit as a partner, and the experience had proven itself to be quite exceptional indeed.
True to his word, Vegeta never abandoned his wife, witnessing in silent wonder the extraordinary changes her body and mind went through as she prepared to bring their daughter into this world. Her small frame bloomed, like an enticing flower blossoming under the bright rays of spring, and her character mellowed, at times immersed in a quiet serenity, at times as weepy as a silly little girl, but always preserving her characteristic cheerfulness.
She'd been particularly understanding during those rare but daunting moments in which she'd notice his intense nervousness, that all-consuming guilt he'd sink into whenever he'd blame himself for his negligent absence when she was carrying their first child. The irony of their circumstances had not been lost on the warrior. He was the one meant to be a supportive, caring presence at such a crucial moment in her life, yet his Bulma would always be the one heartening him instead, her warmth enveloping him like a cozy, comforting blanket, reassuring him, letting him know that he could do this, that they could do this together, and that he'd make the greatest father any child could ever wish for.
Vegeta's agitation had reached unbearable levels as the announced date approached, wholly steeped in in the creation of this new life, and discreetly collecting as much information as he could about his wife's fascinating metamorphosis. Learning that Bulma's age would make this adventure more fraught with danger than her earlier pregnancy with Trunks had done nothing to dissipate his most visceral fears but, as usual, his woman had been there for him, softening his spirit and vanishing his doubts like the figments of a dream.
In the end, all his extensive research and preparation had come to nothing when, on the eve of a new impending threat looming on their Universe's horizon, his daughter had ultimately been delivered by an Angel. Even though a secret part of Vegeta had felt oddly curious about the prospect of being present for a natural birth, his wife's manifest joy and liberation at how unexpectedly easy the experience had turned out to be had placated his worries at last.
When Bulma had mentioned to Whis the possibility of his assistance in the future should the couple decide to expand their family, the Prince hadn't thought much of it, considering such an idea as nothing more than one of his wife's many occurrences but, as it often happened when it came to the intrepid heiress, he couldn't have been more wrong. On the night of Bra's fourth Birthday, his fearless mate had been the one to confess her private desire for a third child and, in spite of his still deeply-rooted insecurities about his abilities to be a good father, Vegeta had gladly chosen to indulge his wife again.
The warrior's main concern at this point had been Bulma's age, but the earthling had downplayed the issue, and seeing her completely unperturbed by it had once more brought him an uplifting sense of calm. Vegeta had never taken the chance to inquire any further, knowing that the topic of his wife's youth had always been a tricky one, but he'd long ago suspected that she must have taken matters into her own hands at some point. The woman appeared to be aging like a Saiyan in recent years and, as far as he was concerned, her own self-confidence was all that truly mattered.
In this occasion, as their son's due date had gotten closer, the couple had barely felt the uncertainties from earlier times, having faith in the almighty Angel reappearing and helping Bulma at such a critical day, making things a great deal easier for her. But, much to everyone's dismay, when the moment arrived, Whis was nowhere to be found.
Words couldn't describe the havoc of delirious emotions coursing through Vegeta's head as the chaotic events quickly unfolded. All he knew was that Bulma's tenacity had been the one to save the day, stopping him from losing his mind and promptly taking control of the situation, bravely making peace with the fact that their child would have to come to this world the traditional way.
Throughout the years, the Prince had been present in innumerable battles, an endless array of bloodshed and destruction, of sanguinary wars in merciless combat, but nothing could have prepared him for what he was exposed to as he'd sat by his wife's side, in the privacy of their own bedroom, with the only assistance of the head doctor of Capsule Corp.'s medical team.
Vegeta had held Bulma's hand, watching in absolute bewilderment a rite as old as time itself while the woman fought the battle of her life. Never-ending hours of grueling struggle, of literal blood, sweat and tears, a litany of cursing and foul profanities that would have made any warrior blush in mortification but which sometimes made him have to refrain from smirking in cocky satisfaction. He'd always known that his woman was as strong as they came, but never had he been prouder, never more honored of having her as a life partner than when he saw what that apparently fragile body of hers was actually capable of.
After what had felt like a boundless eternity, the couple welcomed the third Briefs child, a healthy little cub with ten tiny fingers, ten plump toes and a fluffy tuft of raven locks, shaped with the unmistakable outline of the hair from his childhood days.
"Well… I guess we already know what we're calling this one…" Bulma whispered with airy amusement as soon as she'd held the infant in her arms for the first time, looking absolutely besotted with the child already.
The Prince had remained silent, waiting meekly until they'd been left alone to sit on the bed, folding a strong arm around her shoulder and bringing her closer to him. He'd then gently brushed a damp lock of hair away from her face, laying a tender kiss on her temple, tacitly letting her know that she'd earned the right to name their child in any way she pleased.
"Aw, look…" She muttered again, a light giggle echoing in the room. "It looks like there's a little bit of me in there, after all…"
A pang of curiosity made Vegeta give the little brat another glance, finding himself unable to restrain the pure, honest to Gods smile curling in his lips at the sight of a pair of luminous blue eyes staring innocently at him, those very same eyes he so loved to get lost into whenever he was alone with his gorgeous wife, and which every single one of their children had inherited, after all.
That was three days ago and, without any Senzu beans available for at least another week, Bulma had no other choice but to allow her body to heal naturally. The Son family and the rest of her motley crew of friends had finally visited them today to meet their baby boy, and even though his wife had been a remarkably good sport, playing the role of the welcoming hostess as well as only she could, Vegeta had been tracking her ki through the day, clearly sensing her extreme exhaustion, and inwardly hoping for the day to be over so that his woman could get some much-needed rest. In the end, it was his son the one who luckily gave the couple a window of opportunity to get rid of their well-meaning but irritating guests.
"Aw, sweetie…" Bulma sighed tiredly, already extending her arms to her oldest son, who kept holding his crying baby brother in his arms, totally enamored with the child. "I think he's hungry. Will you please bring him to me, Trunks?"
"Uh?" The teenager mumbled distractedly, his eyes still locked on the infant. "Sure, Mama… Here…"
Trunks cautiously placed little Vegeta in the arms of his fatigued mother, holding his head with great care, just like his parents had taught him when baby Bra was born. He'd learnt quite a few things about being a big brother back then, and one of them was knowing that his father wasn't too enthusiastic about the idea of having a crowd of people hanging around for lengthy periods of time, especially with an infant in the house, so he decided to lend a hand by taking the initiative.
"We'll leave you alone for a bit, right guys?" He asked the rest of the gang, already walking to the door and earning a knowing smirk of approval from his father in return. "I'm sure Grandma will have some snacks ready..."
The young man didn't need to ask twice and, after quickly saying their goodbyes to the infant and the drained mother, the guests soon followed right behind him, eager to wallow in the feast that they already knew was awaiting them.
"Finally…" Vegeta groaned surly, joining his wife's side by the bed the minute their oldest son closed the door, providing the couple with the intimacy they'd so been wishing for.
"Oh, honey… I know they can be a handful, but they mean well…" Bulma calmly explained, never taking her eyes off the child as she smiled in satisfaction, glad to see that she was now able to feed her baby with little trouble. "They just wanted to meet this cutie pie, that's all…"
The Prince said nothing, internally biting his tongue so as not to upset his wife. He'd long ago learnt of the overtly friendly, almost intrusive nature of all of these earthlings, but having them close meant so much to Bulma that he'd pretty much accepted and embraced the fact that their home would be an anarchic muddle most of the time. In the end, it didn't matter all that much anyway, he'd be a happy man as long as he got to enjoy some alone time with his woman on a regular basis. And the heiress had always been brilliant in that respect, just like in so many others, cleverly reserving little moments here and there exclusively for her husband, those special times he'd come to cherish so much, when his wife would make him feel like the greatest man in the world.
Bulma gingerly leaned her head on Vegeta's broad shoulder, humming in bliss when her man readily spoiled her, wrapping his arm around her and nuzzling her feathery hair in loving response. They sat that way for countless minutes, savoring the stillness in the room, a quietude only slightly disturbed by the soft suckling sounds of their new baby boy, his healthy appetite already a solid proof of his proud Saiyan heritage. It was a beautifully rare sense of calmness, a serenity they both knew wouldn't last long seeing the incredibly fast pace in which their children were growing up, and that the couple wished to delight in for as long as they could before life would eventually take it away from them.
"Vegeta…" Bulma whispered, turning to her husband as she frowned in confusion, abruptly interrupting the hypnotizing trance they'd both been immersed in. "Where's Bra?"
It took the Prince a second to contemplate his wife's startling question, and his eyes widened all of a sudden when he realized with chagrin that he'd lost track of the little girl's whereabouts a while ago. He'd been so absorbed in monitoring his wife and newborn's ki signal all through the chaos taking place that day, that he'd made the big mistake of failing to pay attention to their only daughter.
His sharp eyebrows knitted together, his fingertips tensing a tad on his woman's shoulder as he closed his eyes and focused his finely tuned Saiyan senses in search of Bra's mysterious location.
"She's in Trunks' room," he quickly concluded, his agitation intensifying, wondering just what in Heaven's name was the little rascal doing in her brother's bedroom all by herself.
The uneasiness swimming in Bulma's bleary eyes told him that his genius wife was clearly sharing his concern.
"Could you go and get her, please?" She asked wearily, not even bothering to conceal her state of worriedness. "I think it'd be good if she spent some time with the baby…"
Under normal circumstances, Vegeta would've tried to resist a direct demand from his wife for a bit, choosing to tease her instead, engaging in one of those lighthearted quarrels they both secretly loved so much. But today, Bulma's distraught tone and plain enervation left no time for discussion and, given how peculiarly their little girl had been acting ever since his wife had announced her latest pregnancy, something told him that the scientist had been right when she'd warned him about the unhappy emotions their daughter may go through when she discovered that she no longer would be the youngest child in the Briefs household.
"I'll be right back," he breathed against her pale skin, kissing her forehead and inhaling softly, indulging in his wife's warmth one last time before leaving her side.
It was almost humiliating just how amazingly protective he always felt towards his wife and children, but during Bulma's pregnancies and the days following the birth of a new member of the family, he downright acted like a doting fool, and the only thing that made such an uncharacteristic Saiyan behavior tolerable was knowing that his woman loved every blasted minute of the sappy affection he only displayed in the privacy of their own sheltered home.
After giving his wife and son a final look, Vegeta exited the room, quietly closing the door behind him so as not to disrupt the peaceful scene taking place inside, and he walked across the long corridors of their luxurious house in search of his mischievous daughter. Bra was most definitely a sweet little girl with her mother's heart of gold, but as she'd grown older, the bubbly brat had surely developed a sunny personality and a taste for getting into trouble with dangerous ease. At first, he'd blamed himself for the child's silly antics, attributing them to her impetuous Saiyan genes but, through the years, the warrior had heard enough anecdotes about his wife in order to recognize that Bulma Briefs had also been quite a naughty child herself, whose crazy, humorous tales amused him to no end.
Relief flooded right through him as he approached Trunks's bedroom, sensing his daughter's presence inside. But that brief respite soon gave room to a new sense of concern as soon as he picked up on the evident distress in the child's ki.
"Bra?" Vegeta asked with reservation behind the shut door, opening it immediately without even bothering to wait for a reply. He stepped into the chaotic jumble that was his teenage son's place, following the girl's signal and gawking in sheer shock when he finally set his eyes on her.
He found her inside of Trunks' private bathroom, standing barefoot on top of the cluttered sink, a plastic comb in one of her tiny hands and a tub of that disgustingly gooey substance that his son sometimes liked to put on his hair in the other. She kept staring at herself in the mirror, an intense look of fierce determination in her innocent eyes as she combed her sticky hair in an upwards motion, as if she were attempting to make it stand straight with no success. Not only had she applied so much of the messy gel that her fine hair was totally soaked in it, but her naturally limp locks refused to follow the child's rebellious instructions.
"Bra…?" The astonished father cautiously asked, wanting nothing more than to yank the comb out of her hands so that she'd stop doing whatever the Hell it was that she was doing, but knowing that using the force with the child wouldn't work anyway. "What are you doing?" He inquired softly, standing right behind her and observing her reflection in the mirror.
The tenacious little girl seemed to ignore her father's question, choosing to focus on her enigmatic task at hand. Soon it became patent that, whatever her plan was, it definitely wasn't working, and her sad pout and almost teary eyes let Vegeta know that she knew it, and she was now getting ready to admit defeat.
"Bra," the Saiyan called again, gently taking hold of her minute wrist in a mild encouragement for attention. "What are you…?"
"No!" Bra yelled all of a sudden, pulling away from her father's grasp and bringing the comb and tub of hair gel close to her chest, looking as if she'd fight anyone trying to take such prized possessions away from her.
Vegeta took a deep breath, trying to remain cool for the sake of his visibly upset daughter, and of what was possibly a very worried Bulma awaiting them in their own room.
"Bra, look at me, child…" He demanded in a benevolent tone, his hands reaching for her petite torso, effortlessly lifting her up and turning her around so she'd face him. "What's all this about?"
The little girl sat at the edge of the sink's counter, pressing her knees to her chest protectively, stubbornly refusing to let go of her big brother's objects and to make eye contact with her father.
"Bra…" Vegeta muttered, picking up a small hand-towel and wiping off a few drops of the goopy stuff dripping across his daughter's small forehead. "I cannot help you unless you tell me what it is that you're trying to do here…"
After what felt like infinity, Bra agreed to look at her puzzled father at last, and the expression of pure misery in her blue gaze made Vegeta's heart constrict painfully inside his chest. Fewer things filled him with more dreadful horror in this life than the idea of his children, any one of them, being unhappy.
"Th-The baby… H-He…" The child finally spoke, her lower lip trembling, struggling to hold back her tears like only a true Saiyan would. "H-He…"
"Yes?" Vegeta carefully prodded, already dreading where this conversation was heading as his large hand delicately encircled the girl's chin. As it turned out, Bulma had been right all along, and Bra's sad emotions were connected somehow to her new baby brother.
"The new baby looks just like Papa…" Bra announced breathlessly, her chubby little fingers clasping her comb even tighter.
Vegeta scowled subtly, not fully understanding where the girl was going by making such an obvious statement. "He does. So…?"
"So, Bra…" She hesitated for a split second. "Bra wants to look like Papa too!"
His breath hitched in his throat, his lips pursing anxiously when he finally figured out where his daughter's fears were stemming from. Now that Bulma had given him a son who looked just like him, Bra was dealing with feelings of self-doubt, perhaps even jealousy, and having all of those blasted guests in the house passing the little brat around and fussing over how 'insanely cute' he was had only served to make matters worse.
The warrior knew just how deep his connection with his daughter run. Whilst his bond with Trunks had mostly been forged the Saiyan way, through hours and hours spent training together, it was with Bra that he'd discovered the small but unpredictably gratifying pleasures of a more human bonding. From the early days after her delivery, Bulma had happily taught him every single thing he needed to know on how to care for the little girl, from bottle feeding to night baths and bedtime stories. Small, menial chores that not long before the birth of Bra he would have found a complete and utter waste of time, ordinary responsibilities which were way below a Saiyan Prince like himself. Yet, much to his own surprise, Vegeta had grown to relish every single one of them, including the apparently unpleasant ones such as diaper changing, and he'd gladly agreed to share the great responsibility of raising the child with his wife, to the extent that he'd often arrange his schedule around his daughter's needs, and their times together had become practically sacred to him by now.
"Bra…" He spoke softly, struggling, as he always did, to find just the right words to sooth and comfort the little brat. "Your new brother looks just like me, but that doesn't… That doesn't mean that I care about him any… Any more than I care about you…" Vegeta gently explained, his palms caressing the child's pink cheeks as he looked her comfortingly in the eye, trying to make her comprehend that he loved every single one of his children equally.
"N-No!" Bra yelled, squeezing her eyes shut and shaking her head with an obstinacy that was secretly making her father proud. "Bra wants to look just like Papa! Just like Papa!"
Her small tears fell over the warrior's thumbs, making for a heartbreaking sight indeed. Deep down, Vegeta knew that his daughter loved both of her parents just as much, and he'd certainly seen her hanging around Bulma's laboratory more times than he could count, viewing the veneration in her eyes whenever his woman showed her one of her newest inventions, or narrated one of her old tales to her. But then there were moments when Bra's compelling admiration towards him reached such unusually high levels that he feared that the little girl's obsession with him would end up upsetting his wife. As much as he cherished the unbelievable adoration that Bra bestowed upon him, an adoration he hardly felt deserving of, he knew that this new fixation of hers would sadden his woman if she ever became privy of it.
"Bra…" He whispered once more, wiping the salty moisture off her smooth face with the back of his hand. "We need to get you showered. Your mother wants to see you…"
She brought her knees even closer to her chest, backing away from her father and shaking her head no, forcing the Saiyan to release her, exhaling a ragged breath as he pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.
Fatherhood wasn't for the faint of heart, that much he knew…
"Bra, your mother wishes to spend some time with you," he revealed slowly, trying a different approach in order to lure the little girl. "If you don't go to see her, you will make her very sad. Would you like to make your mother sad?" Vegeta asked, his voice filled with understanding.
Bra's face quickly softened, her anger soon morphing into a poignant look of shame at the thought of possibly hurting her mom. She shook her head in denial, her sparkly eyes still brimming with fresh tears as she kept staring at her diminutive feet. But, even though guilt seemed to be finally doing the trick, it simply wasn't enough for the Saiyan. He didn't want his daughter to spend time with Bulma and the baby out of guilt, he was hoping for her to naturally embrace the new changes in their family, and to truly understand that she'd always have a special place in everyone's heart, just as she always did.
Vegeta looked at the girl, deep in thought, for a moment, allowing the masterful tactician within him to ideate a new plan of action that would help him dispel his child's insecurities. After careful deliberation, the ghost of an idea began to take shape in his mind, an extremely sentimental idea that would probably end up with him making an utter fool of himself, but which may help to make his daughter recognize an essential truth about Bulma. If the Prince had to bare his soul in front of anyone, he might as well do it in front of his little girl, for the sake of happily keeping his family together.
"Bra," he said at last, kindly resting his big hands atop of her naked feet. "If you let me shower you and wash your hair, I'll tell you a secret…"
Her father's enigmatic offer soon caught the child's attention, for she coyly raised her gaze, looking at him through baby blue lashes, a sad frown still tainting her pretty face.
"A secret?" Bra asked in a shy voice, already wondering what that mysterious secret would be.
"A big secret," Vegeta assured, nodding lightly in affirmation as he adoringly brushed her frail ankles with his thumbs. "But you must let me shower you and wash your hair first."
The child's girlish scowl deepened as she rapidly blinked in curiosity. There was no one on Earth more annoyingly snooping than Bra Briefs, and the prospect of a big secret revealed by none other than her Papa was proving to be too hard to resist.
"A big…? A big secret about Papa?"
Vegeta's lips struggled to stifle a triumphant smirk.
"A big secret about your mother and me…" He answered, an exhilarating promise hiding behind his warm words.
This final oath seemed to appease the child's reservations, encouraging Bra to renounce to her original plans and follow her father's directions.
"'Kay…" She mumbled with naiveté, stretching her small arms and tentatively offering the objects she'd been clutching possessively in her grasp all this time. Vegeta took them off her hands without hesitation, inwardly sighing in relief when he saw that Bra kept extending her arms to him long after her hands were empty in a silent plea for him to carry her, announcing that he'd earnt her trust once again.
"Saiyan promise, Papa?" Bra whispered in Vegeta's ear once he had her in his arms, cleverly taking advantage of her father's continuously grand proclamations about his race's honor.
"Saiyan promise," the Prince vowed with solemnity, thrilled by the little girl's pride in her Saiyan heritage. He smiled fondly, that truthful, honest smile that he reserved exclusively for his family, tenderly brushing off the sticky mess that were Bra's bangs as he walked them out of Trunks' bedroom in search of his daughter's.
"Let's get you cleaned up…"
Roughly half an hour later he was stepping outside of Bra's adjacent bathroom and into her room, holding the freshly showered child, wrapped up in her peach colored bathrobe, in one arm and attempting to open one of her drawers with the other, looking for some clean pajamas for her.
"Which ones?" He asked simply, freely enabling her to take her pick. He had plenty of experience already with just how excruciatingly selective the child could be when it came to her odd choices of clothing, one of the few irritating qualities that she'd no doubt inherited from her mother.
"No, Papa! No!" Bra exclaimed stubbornly, clutching the neck of his shirt just a little tighter.
Vegeta couldn't hide his disbelief at her strange disapproval. Seeing how he was usually the one bathing her at night, he was used by now to their almost nightly routine, and carefully choosing her nightwear was always the next step in their cozy ritual.
"No pajamas?" He asked, lifting an eyebrow as he offered her a curious side glance.
"Nuh-uh! No, Papa! The secret!" She demanded, her tiny fists anxiously shaking his clothing with startling force. "The secret! The secret first, Papa!"
The Prince smirked perceptively at her. As it turned out, her bothersome pickiness when it came to choosing her attires was not the only quality she'd acquired from her ingenious mother. He'd learnt long ago that Bra was also in possession of the terrifying power to bend him to her will just as skillfully as Bulma could. A power he'd futilely tried to resist with all his might once upon a time, but which he'd agreed to become a victim to long ago with good grace. He may have tried to bicker or argue with his woman every now and then, just for the wicked pleasure of seeing her losing her legendary temper like in the good old days, but he'd also learnt, almost too late, that surrendering to those he loved was not a weakness but a strength, the truest test of courage and power that he'd ever faced.
"All right…" He sighed wearily, already moving towards the bed and sitting on it, right in the middle of a colorful mountain of stuffed animals. He placed the child on his strong thigh, pulling her closer to him in a shielding hug, overjoyed to find her much more relaxed after a warm shower.
"The secret, Papa…" Bra pleaded enthusiastically, playfully poking him repeatedly on his chest with her minuscule fists as her short legs swung in excitement.
"All right…" Vegeta repeated, trying to find just the right words in spite of already having the conviction that he'd look like a mushy idiot in the end, either way. "So… Remember…? Remember how I told you about my Space travels?"
The little girl nodded vivaciously at that.
By this time, Vegeta had already shared numerous stories about his exploits in Space with her. Innumerable picturesque tales about the many multi-colored worlds he'd visited during his time serving in his old Master's army. Needless to say, the Prince had expertly omitted the most gruesome details, choosing to focus on detailed descriptions of the vastly different planets and races he'd encountered instead. His daughter knew that he was a fighter, and a tremendously powerful one at that, but there was absolutely no need for him to expose her to the darkest side of the Universe yet. The warrior knew that someday, when Bra was mature enough to understand certain aspects of his character, he'd have to sit down and unveil a part of his existence which now felt almost like another life to him. But, until then, the warrior would fight with everything within his power in order to preserve his children's much treasured innocence for as long as he could.
"Good," Vegeta muttered in fatherly approval. "Bra, did I ever tell you about how many people I met while I was in Space?"
His affable question was met with a negative when the wide-eyed child shook her head at him, thoroughly captivated by her Papa's story.
"Hundreds of thousands of people, Bra…" The Saiyan gravely whispered, bringing his face near hers for emphasis, trying to make her appreciate just how many different beings he'd met during his tempestuous past life. "Do you know how many people that is?"
Bra remained silent for an instant as she tried to recall her mother's lessons. Bulma had already started to take care of her education, and even though the little brat's mathematical knowledge was still extremely limited, she had a really good idea of exactly just how many people her father was referring to.
"A lot!" She answered self-assuredly, looking pretty pleased with herself.
Vegeta couldn't restrain the hint of a proud smile invading his lips at the confident reply of his only daughter.
"That's right. That's a lot of people, Bra…" He stated softly, his strong arms narrowing around her, pulling her small body even closer and taking a deep breath as he mentally prepared himself for his confession. "And here's the big secret, Bra…" The Prince spoke in a confidentially low voice. "Out of all the people I've met in my life, your mother's the only one I ever chose to spend my life with. The only one for me…"
He waited patiently for his vital words to gradually sink in, hoping that Bra's young mind would possess enough awareness to discern the deeper meaning hiding behind them. Against all odds, and in spite of his utterly embarrassing inability to verbally express his emotions, the dazed child seemed to be smartly unraveling the importance of what he'd just revealed to her.
"Mama…?" She questioned timidly, tipping her head to the side as she stared at her father with childish astonishment. "Mama's the only one for Papa?"
"The only one…" Vegeta confirmed, his tanned cheeks unwittingly flushing crimson at the intimate implications of his confession.
"Mama's the only one…" Bra whispered breathlessly again, her little mouth curling into the most adorable "O", gasping in fascination when she finally made sense of her place within her father's revelation.
The only one.
In all of his voyages, out of all the inestimable amount of people her father had encountered in the countless, exotic worlds that he'd visited and described in colorful detail to her, her mother had been the chosen one, the only one good enough for him to share his life with.
"And Bra looks just like Mama…" The amazed child muttered in awe.
He run his rugged fingers across her still damp hair with doting tenderness, his hand so large in comparison to her minuteness, reminding him of just how vulnerable Bra still was, and always would be, in his paternal eyes.
"Just like Mama…" Vegeta whispered in agreement, gently petting her blue tresses as he gazed at her with painful fondness.
It was the truth.
His little girl was Bulma's living image in every sense.
Not only had she inherited that pair of ethereal eyes, her mother's mesmerizingly beautiful turquoise hair and that radiant skin that made them both look at times like exquisite porcelain dolls. Vegeta could see his wife's spirit in the child, in her charming mannerisms and innate thirst for knowledge, in the way they both smiled in pure bliss as they shared a bowl of their beloved strawberries while sitting in the garden, and in an already strong personality that hid a heart of pure gold beneath their gripping stubbornness. If there was someone who should inspire his dazzling daughter, the one person she should look up to and whose footsteps deserved to be followed, that was Bulma Briefs, without a doubt.
Because Bulma was his rock, the one who'd opened his stupidly blind eyes to a world whose existence had always been denied to someone like him. The only one who'd given him a chance when he was nothing more to the others than an outsider, a merciless assassin with nowhere to go. His brilliant wife had been the one to teach him the most valuable lesson of them all, that life was a journey not meant to be travelled alone, an odyssey infinitely happier when spent with someone walking by your side, a tough woman who'd stood by him through thick and thin with a firm hold in his hand, showering him with unconditional love even at times when he didn't deserve it, those hellish days in which he'd foolishly strayed from the right path until he'd seen the light, once and for all.
His old self, the smugly egotistical bastard who'd once held grandiose dreams of world domination and eternal life, would have adored having a child who looked exactly like him, another Vegeta to proudly carry on the bloodline of the Royal House of Vegeta. But the man that he was today was a different man altogether, a devoted father who loved nothing more than to see a piece of his woman's soul in every single one of his children. And, even though at heart he prayed not to ever lose the overwhelming esteem that Bra seemed to inexplicably profess towards him, he had no greater desire than for her to admire her mother above every other living creature, and to cherish and respect the unmeasurable value that her influence had in their lives.
"Papa! Papa!" Bra exclaimed in exhilaration, folding her little arms around his neck in an infantile attempt at getting his attention and awakening him from his reverie.
"Let's go see Mama now…" She whispered merrily in his ear.
Vegeta glimpsed at his girl, absolutely ecstatic to discover the huge grin adorning her face and the eagerness in her voice.
"Good," he merely responded, securing Bra in his muscular arms as he stood from the bed, proceeding to stroll to the door.
"No, Papa! No!" Bra puckered all of a sudden, newly shaking up her already exhausted father.
"What now?" Vegeta sighed heavily.
Bra offered him another one of those beaming smiles, one of those which could illuminate an entire room, pointing to the drawer with a plump little finger.
Vegeta had half-expected his wife to be already asleep by the time they made it to her room, but he was taken by surprise when he found Bulma still awake, albeit barely so. She was sitting on the king-sized bed, right where he'd left her when he'd gone in search of Bra, and even though she was done feeding their infant, she was still holding the sleeping child in her arms, watching him through weary but enraptured eyes.
"Hey…" She whispered softly, smiling tiredly at her new visitors as soon as she noticed their presence. "There you are…"
The Prince deposited his delicate daughter at the foot of the bed, allowing her to crawl freely in her mother's direction, and he walked to the convertible couch situated on the other side of their bedroom, staggered to encounter his oldest son completely immersed in a deep slumber. Vegeta had sensed a while ago that their guests had parted from their home, and he was pretty sure that Trunks would have chosen to spend the night at Goten's as he often did but, as it turned out, the lavender-haired boy was positively becoming a young man with a greater sense of responsibility.
"He wanted to keep an eye on us while you were gone…" Bulma quietly explained, her heart melting at the sight of her husband lovingly covering up her sleeping son with a blanket. The boy was now taller than Vegeta, but the Saiyan had long ago welcomed that foreign emotion that made him feel is if his children would always be little brats to him.
"Mama! Mama!" Bra whispered excitedly, kneeling by her mother's side and literally throwing herself in her arms, making Bulma now struggle with carefully holding baby Vegeta in one arm while hugging her daughter with the other.
"Aw, sweetie… Come here…" The heiress mumbled against her child's wet hair, kissing it indulgently as she inhaled its freshly cleaned scent. "Did Papa wash your hair?" She asked in the sweetest voice, still keeping her arm wrapped around her tiny form, rubbing her back soothingly as she looked at her with adoration. Her smile grew when the little girl proudly nodded in assent. "That's nice… Your Papa is a really good Papa, isn't he?"
Bra grinned exultantly at her mother's affirmation. "Yah!" She happily replied, her small arms tightening around Bulma's neck. The child pressed her fleshy cheek against her mother's, finally taking a good look at the black-haired baby boy peacefully sleeping in Bulma's arms, and blissfully ignorant of the playful look of mischief that the scientist was now throwing in her husband's direction. For all of his grandiloquent speeches about his colossal strength and Saiyan pride, it was almost amusing to see the sheer embarrassment in the warrior's face whenever he was the recipient of any kind of compliment from his woman regarding his unpredictably impressive skills as a father and husband. He'd always close his eyes and frown irritatingly, blushing like a schoolboy who'd just been praised for something he didn't believe himself to be actually good at.
"Are you done feeding the boy?" Vegeta inquired in a husky tone, standing cross-armed by his wife's side. He'd been keeping a close eye on the debilitated woman ever since he'd taken care of Trunks, knowing that she'd most definitely been forcing herself to stay awake until he returned with Bra, concerned about the child's well-being.
"I am," Bulma quietly agreed. "I was just about to put him in his crib…"
"I will," Vegeta simply responded, more a command than a question at this point. The woman was putting on a brave show, but he could tell that she was about to fall asleep any minute now, and he didn't want her to make any unnecessary efforts.
He leant towards them, already extending his arms and ready to take the boy from his wife's hold, but her silky voice stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Bra, don't you want to give your baby brother a goodnight kiss?" Bulma whispered in her child's ear, noticing the unusual interest her daughter had been staring at the napping child with.
Bra's eyes met her mother's, her babyish reservations written all over her rounded little face. Ever since baby Vegeta had been born, she'd avoided to touch the kid in any way, the main reason being the abnormal surge of jealousy taking control of her, even before the child's actual birth, but also because he looked so small, yet so remarkably similar to her larger than life father, that she didn't quite know how to feel about him. But her Papa had finally appeased her doubts today, promising her that there was nothing to fret about, nothing to fear, so, after a few moments of childish deliberation and a tiny squeeze of encouragement from Bulma, Bra decided at last that the time had come for her to interact with her new sibling.
"'Kay…" She replied in a hushed sound. Her arms hesitantly let go of her Mama's neck, her warm breath hoovering over the newborn's face as she positioned her minute hands atop of Bulma's thighs. Bra laid a fond, lingering kiss on her brother's rosy cheek, even going as far as allowing herself to take a chance and run her short fingers all over the cute tuft of fluffy black hair in his head. Her gaze remained on him a bit longer, quietly analyzing him through those big, naïve eyes of hers. She then turned to Bulma in silent search for approval, instantly earning a contagiously bright smile from her more than relieved mother in return.
"Can I take him now?" Vegeta quietly interjected after having witnessed the emotional scene, fearing that seeing his only daughter interacting with a new baby in the house would turn him into a bigger sentimental idiot than he already was.
"Here, honey…" His wife uttered in compliance.
Bulma offered the child to her husband, wholly trusting that he knew what to do by now. She'd always been attracted to his superhuman strength, his perfect body, and that inscrutable charisma that would take a lifetime to fully decipher, but never did he look more attractive to her, more deserving of her love than during those private moments at home where he'd let his guard down just for her and their children. Vegeta wasn't born a family man, he'd become one. And even though it'd been a sinuous journey indeed, a wild ride full of ups and downs, of decisive tests and horribly painful disappointments, joy had always overcome sorrow, and she wouldn't change the man she'd chosen to spend the rest of her life with, the father of her children, for all the riches in the world.
"Mama… Mama…" The little girl whispered again, her energetic fists lively pulling one of Bulma's sleeves, eagerly begging for some of her attentions.
The heiress was totally drained by now, but despite the fact that Bra seemed to be in greater spirits, she could tell that something big had transpired between the child and Vegeta. They'd both been gone for far too long, and she could have sworn that she'd caught a glimpse of her daughter's grief before she'd secretively disappeared from a room filled with people before, so she couldn't deny her little girl a few more minutes of her time tonight.
"Come here…" Bulma spoke, opening her arms invitingly and trapping her in a snug embrace when Bra keenly crawled on top of her, sitting on her thighs while her mother cradled her as if she were just as young as her baby brother. The scientist knew that her daughter was growing frighteningly fast, but she'd always be her little girl to her, a child who deserved to know how wonderfully special she was to both of her parents.
"Mama…" Bra susurrated zealously again, her eyes meeting her mother's as she brought her lithe body against hers. "The new baby looks just like Papa, right?"
"And Bra… Bra looks just like Mama… Right, Mama?"
Bulma briefly contemplated her daughter's words. It'd always been fairly self-evident to everyone just how unbelievably similar their appearance was, a similarity that went far beyond a purely physical one, but something in the expectant gleam swimming behind Bra's ingenuous gaze told her that there was a new meaning hiding in the girl's question, as if her future reply were of utmost significance to her.
"You do…" Bulma answered in a hushed whisper, playfully nuzzling her child's nose with her own. "Just like Mama…"
Bra's petite body vibrated against hers when she burst in gleeful giggles, sending a rush of pure joy to her mother's heart. If her Mama was the only woman in the entire Universe good enough to be chosen by her darling Papa, then sharing many of her qualities with her could only be something to be proud of.
"Bra," a masculine voice called right behind her, making the little girl turn around with nosiness, only to find her father sitting on the bed with both of them. "Come with me. Let's get you to bed…"
"Nuh-uh! Bra wants to stay with Mama!" Bra cried at once, hiding her cute little face in the crook of Bulma's neck as she greedily tightened her hold on her.
Vegeta let out a tired breath, proceeding to pacifyingly rub his child's back. It'd certainly been an intense, long day, and it was time for all of them to get some rest.
"Bra…" He pleaded meekly again. "Your mother needs to get some rest. Come on, let's get you to…"
"It's okay, sweetie," Bulma's calming voice interrupted. Her hand reached out to his, reverently interlacing her fingers with her husband's and blessing him with one of those smiles overflowing with warmth and understanding, one of those he never even knew existed until their paths crossed. His woman didn't fully comprehend the reason behind her daughter's enigmatic elation, all she knew was that she didn't want this oddly magical moment to end.
"Bra can stay with us tonight. She'll be really quiet while Mama gets some rest, right Bra?"
As soon as their child nodded in acceptance, the Prince assisted his wife in lying down comfortably on the bed, joining her by her side and covering them all up with the thick duvet, settling their daughter right between them and switching the bedside lamps off. Bulma rolled on her side facing him, smiling with pleasure into the night when little Bra curled up against her, grasping a handful of her silk pajamas, unconsciously clenching and unclenching her fists while her breathing gradually slowed down as sleep overcame her.
"Mama's the only one…" Bra whispered drowsily in the dark, clear enough for Bulma to hear her mysterious statement and for Vegeta to thank the Gods that his wife's weak human senses were unable to notice the flustered blush reaching up to his ears.
The Saiyan brought his calloused hand to his woman's cheek, affectionately caressing the warmth that was Bulma. She blinked dozily in the dark, her languid smile never leaving her lips even when they found the palm of his hand, placing a painfully tender kiss on it before her heavy eyelids slowly shut down and she finally lost her rowdy battle against exhaustion.
Vegeta got even nearer to his two favorite women, draping a solid arm around them and bringing them close to his heart. He closed his worn eyes, a tight knot burning in his throat, that chillingly familiar feeling that always engulfed him when nighttime came and he embarked on his singular nocturnal ritual, focusing his senses all around him as he made sure that his loved ones were completely safe from harm.
He sensed Trunks sleeping soundly on the couch. A fine young man who was almost an adult by now, a son who'd made him proud more times than he was willing to admit, his ki burning bright and strong, almost as strong as his own, a brave boy with an untainted heart who would surpass him someday in more ways than one.
He felt Bra sleeping right beside him, her light body small and balmy, her assuaging scent permeating his senses, so much like her mother's that it hurt. She smelled of hopeful dreams and something golden, an unspoiled purity that needed to be preserved at all costs.
He picked up on the tiny child dreaming in his crib, familiarizing himself with his essence, a new life, a gentle sparkle of faith and glowing optimism.
And above them all, he thought of her.
The woman who'd changed it all.
A resplendent, guiding light who'd brought meaning into a life where there used to be none, the one who was both sweetness and zest, water and fire, the only one with the power to stand in front of a thousand possible paths and always choose the right one, the one who'd made him have trust in a new existence.
The Prince took a deep breath and surrendered, letting himself go and willingly joining his family in the land of dreams.
Yes, parenthood wasn't for the faint of heart, but having a woman like Bulma Briefs by his side could make a man believe that he'd make it…
So, there it is!
I love writing about Veggie as a father, but I wanted to give Bulma some love as a mom too.
I hope you enjoyed it and thank you so much for reading, as always!