A/N: I don't own DBZ or the characters, that honour belongs to Akira Toriyama. I use British English spelling.
He breathed her in, burying his nose in her hair to soak in the smell of her strawberry shampoo. Bulma's deep, even breaths indicated she was asleep, so Vegeta took the opportunity to study her in the light of breaking dawn leaking through the curtains. Even though he'd done it many times before, he still found her fascinating. She was all soft curves and smooth skin, and so unlike his hard edges, scarred from years of battles and abuse.
He ran a hand lightly down her side, intrigued by the dip in her waist and tempted to wake her and convince her to couple with him again. But she slept so peacefully next to him, he couldn't bring himself to rouse her from her slumber. Pushing down his growing frustration, Vegeta forced himself to rest next to her, enjoying the warmth of her body, and the way it fit perfectly against his.
He didn't know what exactly she'd given him to bring him back from the dead, but he felt… different. The heaviness he'd been afflicted with upon awaking had vanished, leaving him with an urge to escape the confines of the room and fly as far and as high as he could. He could imagine bursting into the sky towards the outer reaches of the atmosphere until he tasted the bitterness that came with a lack of oxygen on his tongue. His ki fizzed with a different kind of energy at the thought, bubbling just below the surface, begging to be set free.
In that moment, Vegeta knew that if he wished, he could have battled Kakarot and won. He could fight Gohan right now, and defeat him. He could leave this planet, take on the universe, and rule it.
Bulma had been right when she'd told him that without the bloodlust, he could make any choice he wanted. Before, he hadn't wanted to make a choice, because that would have meant allowing himself to believe the possibility that he could actually be free. Vegeta gazed at Bulma's sleeping form next to him and finally made up his mind.
For the first time since arriving on Earth he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
Bulma stretched drowsily, blinking at the orange sunlight peaking in through a crack in the curtain. Last night had been incredible. She smiled to herself at the memory. It was like something out of a dream. The only other time Vegeta had come close to being that loving during sex was when he… when he was about to leave for space.
Bulma gasped and patted the other side of the mattress. Warm, but empty. She turned on the lamp and stared at the indent beside her in the bed. Vegeta had just left.
Her heart leapt to her throat. But left to go where?
A terrible sinking sensation hit the bottom of her stomach and she climbed out of bed, pulling on her dressing gown as fast as she could.
She ran through the house and burst out the front door, speeding across the damp grass with bare feet, not caring about the cold air. The lights for the spaceship were on. He was leaving.
Vegeta glanced at her when she stormed into the ship. He stood in front of the comms screen, a pen in his hand hovering over a piece of paper on the desk in front of the screen. The screen showed a man with dark red hair, the colour of blood. He'd clearly noticed Bulma and started grinning, then spoke to Vegeta in another language.
Bulma's breath hitched as she recognised the man. He was older now, but definitely the same man from the photos she'd seen on Vegeta's chip. Kami, he was really leaving. Vegeta had reached out to his contacts across the universe to find somewhere else to go. Somewhere not with her or their son.
Vegeta said something back to the man, then cut the communication. He stared at her, his dark eyes revealing nothing.
"Bulma…" he said finally, his voice unusually soft.
"No," she said, tears finally spilling over. "Don't." She ran from the ship as fast as she could.
Vegeta tried Bulma's door handle, but it was locked. "Bulma! Let me in."
"Get out!" Bulma called out, her voice slighty muffled. "If you are going to leave, just fucking leave, you bastard. I don't want to see you."
Vegeta scowled and pounded his fist on the door. "Open the door or I'll break the damn thing down!"
"Go to hell!"
"In case you'd forgotten, I've already been there!" Vegeta growled under his breath, and went to kick the door in, but stopped when he felt other ki signatures approaching.
He leaned his forehead on the door with a sigh. "Please let me in," he said through gritted teeth. "We are about to have an audience."
"Good! Then everyone can know what a world-class asshole you are."
"You're jumping to conclusions, woman. Besides, you told me it was okay for me to leave," Vegeta reminded her. "You said I could make whatever choice I want."
"I didn't think you'd make the wrong choice, you jerk!" Bulma's voice rose exponentially, and he realised she was right on the other side of the door. Great, he couldn't even kick it down without hurting her.
"You're not listening to-"
"No, you listen to me, buddy," she snapped. "You can't give me the best sex of my life and then fuck off to outer space, never to return."
Vegeta closed his eyes and groaned, sensing Gohan, Bulma's parents, and his son in the hallway. There was no way they hadn't heard that. His face heated up, and he stayed resting against the door, too mortified to move.
"I hate you right now," he hissed, just loud enough for Bulma to hear, before finally turning around to face the intruders.
"It's good to see you up and about, dear," Mrs Briefs said cheerfully, bouncing Trunks on her hip. "We were all so worried."
"Er… yes, glad to see you are well and not still trying to kill everyone," Dr Briefs said. "We should ah… leave them to it." He pulled on his wife's arm, but she just grinned widely at Vegeta, refusing to budge.
Gohan glared at Vegeta, reminding his of Kakarot in the middle of a battle. "You're leaving?" He asked, breaking the sudden silence.
Vegeta wished his face didn't go bright red when embarrassed as it heated up even more. "I never said-"
"Because I thought you were different." Gohan stared at him with wide, dark eyes. "You didn't think my dad should have done what he did. Why are you leaving your family?"
"I never said I was leaving!" Vegeta shouted, his ki flaring around him.
The Briefs looked shocked, but Trunks just grinned and clapped his hands. "Yay, Papa!"
Vegeta took in a couple of deep breaths, then lowered his ki back down. "I never said I was leaving," he said again.
The door behind him opened a crack. "Then why were you in the spaceship?" Bulma asked quietly.
Vegeta dug into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. He handed it to her, then stepped back. She opened the door completely, then entered the hallway and stood beside her father. Vegeta shifted awkwardly on his feet, watching the Briefs and Gohan as Bulma unfolded the piece of paper slowly, a frown creasing her brow.
Bulma looked up from it. "What is this?"
"That is a list of everything I now own," Vegeta said. "I just traded everything I had before - the properties and shares in different businesses from around the universe - for everything on this paper."
"I don't understand…"
Dr Briefs looked over Bulma's should at the paper, his eyes widening. "Oh my…"
"I know, it's not much," Vegeta said hurriedly. "I sold everything at a horrendously low price because Elrik could do with the money he'll get from the properties to help rebuild Jalak. But the tech and alloys on this list could grow Capsule Corp exponentially so I..." He trailed off at Bulma's impenetrable expression.
"You're staying." She handed the paper to her father, who took it and read over it again, his normally stern face overcome with glee. "You're staying on Earth."
Vegeta's muscles tightened as he suddenly realised he'd been taking so long to make up his mind to stay, that he'd never considered the possibility that she could change her mind. Given her furious reaction to the idea of him leaving, he had assumed she wanted him to stay, but maybe he'd misunderstood. Maybe she was angry because she thought he was leaving without saying anything. Maybe she really didn't care if he left.
"I know the procedure only got rid of my bloodlust." An odd sensation of panic overcame him as he tried to read her normally expressive face, but for the first time he couldn't tell what she was feeling. She stood only a couple of arms lengths away from him, but they could have been a universe apart at that moment. "I am a Saiyan, not a human, and I never will be." She kept staring at him blankly. Shit, she was really going to make him say this in front of everyone. "I know I'm unpredictable, and angry most of the time, and I'm a terrible father and even worse… whatever I am to you. But I want to try this." He took a small step forward. "I want to stay," he said desperately. "If you… if you will allow it."
Bulma didn't move for a long moment, making Vegeta feel as though he might burst. Then she stepped forward so she stood just in front of him.
"If I will allow it?" she repeated.
"Uh…" Vegeta stared at her hesitantly. "Well…"
Bulma threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. He stiffened under the assault, all too aware of the four pairs of eyes staring at them, but after deciding he really couldn't be any more humiliated anyway, he wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her back.
"Is that a yes?" Vegeta asked uncertainly when she pulled back, wiping tears from her eyes.
"Yes!" Bulma grinned at him, but tears kept flowing. "Of course you can stay."
"But…" Vegeta glanced around the hall for the source of her sadness. Her family and Gohan were grinning like idiots, except for Mrs Briefs who wiped her tears away before setting Trunks on the ground. "Why are you crying?"
"Because I'm happy, silly," Bulma sniffed.
Vegeta reached out and touched her damp cheek. "Humans are weird."
Trunks ran over and wrapped one arm around each of his parents' legs. Vegeta glanced down at his son, and placed a cautious hand on his head. Of all the mathematical probabilities in the universe, entering into a chain of events that included coming to Earth, meeting Bulma, and having a child, when the only thing he'd been destined for three years prior was death and destruction… surely this had to have been the least probable outcome.
Vegeta leaned in and kissed the woman in front of him, forgetting about the people looking on as he realised that for the first time in his life, improbable or not, his life had finally all added up to something.
A/N: And that is a wrap! What a whirlwind three months writing this story has been…
If you read all the way to the end thank you. Seriously, thank you so very much for taking the time to bother with my writing! Please do leave a review if you made it this far, and let me know what you thought. Feedback good and bad is what makes us all grow as writers.
This started as an experiment to help me get over a severe case of long term writer's block. I am usually plagued with a perfectionist's dilemma, editing the same chapter over and over instead of just writing the next one. I'd never tried writing fanfic before, and this has really helped me in getting back into a regular rhythm. All your favourites, follows and reviews encouraged me to just keep going.
I may or may not write a sequel set in the Buu saga. I will probably write some one shots at some point. In the meantime, I will be focussing on my own characters instead of DBZs!
If anyone has any burning questions about It all adds up, make sure you are signed in if you put them into a review so I can reply, or just PM me directly. I'd love to hear from you!
Farewell for now! xo