~~~

Part 4 - End

It is nearly dawn when I arrive at home. For the first time since this all began I do not check to see where my family is when I go inside... which ends up startling me.

Trunks is in the living area as I walk by. He is sitting on the couch, staring at the blank holovid screen. His arms are tucked around his legs and there is a particular introspective look on his face. The heavy creases between his brows bothers me.

I stop. "Trunks." I say.

The boy looks up at me, startled for a second. Then he grins and unfolds, scratching the side of his head near his ear sheepishly. "Oh hey Dad..." He says.

I grunt. "What are you doing up?" I ask him.

Trunks stands and shrugs. "Nothing," He replies. "Just couldn't sleep."

I give him a once over, up and down, then turn to leave the room.

"Hey Dad..?" Trunks' voice follows me.

I pause for a second in way of invitation before continuing on out of the room.

Trunks obediently follows me down the hall. "Um, you know the other night when you sent Bra to her room?" He begins cautiously.

I raise an eyebrow at him.

He grabs a deep breath and swipes a hand through his hair quickly. "Uhh, well... I wanted something of mine back from Bra that night... so I went into her room..." He pauses again and coughs.

He's stalling. I turn around and face him. "What?" I bark.

He looks from one side then the other in a guilty like manner. "Well, I found uh, Goten in there with her..."

My blood runs chill... again. I'm fairly sure my face drains of all color, though from rage or horror I'm not sure. Either way it's enough to alarm Trunks and he takes a fearful half a step back.

I take a step forwards towards him to make up the distance. "What--?" I breathe.

He stares at me, wide-eyed, his hands held up in a placating gesture. "It's okay!" He says quickly. "It's okay... I kicked him out--"

"How FAR did they go??" I roar at him. At the same time several thoughts are running through my head, and all of them are bad. Did he have sex with her? If so is my 13 year old daughter pregnant? That and the completely wretched thought that everything I've done over the last week has been completely for naught... how can I protect my daughter from the one if another one is just as eager to take his place? SHIT! At least the youngest Son is a hell of a lot younger AND weaker than his father... usually I hate things that are weak, but when it comes to potentially harming MY daughter I'll take the weaker one. Even so I'm incensed at this turn of events, and Trunks can tell, especially since I start unconsciously powering up and shake the hall as I do so.

"Not far! They hadn't done anything yet!" Trunks says quickly, his eyes impossibly large. I begin to calm a tiny bit and the boy quickly continues. "I mean, yeah sure, they were in the process of... doing stuff... but I'm fairly sure Bra's still... ugh..." He rolls his hands through the air, searching for the right word. "Clean." He finally finishes awkwardly.

I glower at him darkly. "So Kakarrot's brat didn't mate with my daughter?" I demand to know. Even though I am beyond relieved, I can't help but to think that is-- odd. It must have taken a heck of a lot of force to convince a Saiyan in heat that he wasn't going to mate after he has decided he was going to...

Trunks winces and flushes beat red... though I am not sure if it is at my words or at the entire conversation.

"No Dad," He says after a moment with a bit of a sigh. He looks up at me, despite the flushed look. "Goten didn't have sex with Bra..." He looks away again and the embarrassed look grows.

There is a "but" there. "But--?" I question pointedly.

He shakes his head ever so slightly. "It's -- uh, nothing. Nevermind." He turns to walk away.

No, he's not getting out of this that easily. I dart forwards and grip the boy by the throat, then slam him up against a wall. That cracks the plaster. I don't care. "I suggest you tell me," I order. "NOW."

Trunks stares and grapples with my arms in alarm, letting out a small squeak of protest. After a moment he realizes that I'm not putting any pressure on his throat, merely holding him in place, and his hands fall away. He sighs, his head tilting to the side for a moment before he looks back at me. Intelligent blue eyes search mine.

"When I kicked him out of the house I followed him," He says. His voice and face are a picture of seriousness. I slowly release the grip I have on his throat as he continues. "And then we fought..." He stops and swallows audibly. "And I-- then I almost..."

I fold my arms across my chest and wait for him to continue.

He gives me a shamefaced look. "I almost did something I would have regretted." He finishes softly.

I know. Actually I knew the moment Trunks said he followed Goten, but that's besides the point. I look at him seriously and raise an eyebrow. "And did you?" I ask.

"No." He shakes his head vigorously. "No... he... he got away. And I didn't follow him."

There is more to this story. The guilt in his eyes told me he wanted to... badly... and it troubles him. Son Goten is, or was his best friend. I do not doubt that he had no intention of truly harming him, despite finding him with his sister...

"Good." I reply. With that I turn away.

As I do so I can see, in my mind's eye, the look of determination in my son's eyes. The look that says now that he's told me, it's okay if I walk away from him. It's a look that says he'll deal with it, alone... somehow.

I hesitate. I can leave him to deal with it... or I can help him. He was raised by humans after all. Even I had Nappa to tell me about my race. In fact I should probably tell them both... Bra and Trunks at some point or another about their heritage... and not just about mating... all of it. It's only fair.

Sighing, I turn back to my son. "Come," I grunt, beckoning him to follow me.

Trunks looks surprised for half a second before obediently trotting after me.

I wait until we're on the grounds and a fair bit away from the house to begin. The sun is starting to rise, bathing the lawn in an early morning glow. Dew sparkles on the grass. I place my hands in fists on my hips and tilt my head back, drawing in a deep breath. I stop, and Trunks does as well. He stands beside me casually with his hands in his pockets, waiting for me to tell him whatever it is I brought him out here for. I tilt my head back, inspecting the sky before I speak. "There are some things you should know about Saiyans, son..."

~~~

That night finds me on the roof again... though this time I had to fight my son for the right to be there. I didn't tell him what has been going on at night between Kakarrot and I, but then I didn't need to. Trunks, thanks to his own experiences with Goten, has guessed what has been happening. Luckily the young man is still smart enough to respect me as his father. Needless to say, I won the argument.

Even so I'm sure he's down in the living room angsting about it all right now. I just hope I've instilled enough of that respect in him that he'll *stay* there...

The sun sets slowly and my mind wanders. I consider all the things I had discussed with my son eariler. Besides the fact that I had to tip toe around a couple of issues, talking to him was a surprising and welcome relief. In fact I am by far more calm now than I've been all week.

Now all I have to do is talk to Bra sometime soon... my eyes narrow. I won't be too harsh as it isn't really her fault, but I DO want to know how Goten got into her room AFTER she had locked herself in there...

I'm distracted back to the here and now by a swell of ki on the horizon. I nod to myself. Then I pause.

It's Gohan I sense... not Goku. Huh.

Either way, I'm not taking any chances...

I land on a cliff side in a mountainous region on the bright side of the planet. There I wait, almost nervously, for Gohan to come. For some reason, probably having a lot to do with memories of what exactly was in Gohan's head the day before, I'm apprehensive about this encounter. I also have not flown around the world a couple of times. This is because if it does come down to a fight I do want to have at least a little bit of a chance against him...

Gohan lands a couple of moments later about twenty feet away from me. I tense, then stare at his clothing. He's wearing a suit and a tie and his spectacles.

"I should of known you'd fly off," He says with a sigh as he walks towards me.

I eye him warily. I wonder, once again, where his father is... until something occurs to me.

I can't SMELL him.

I cock my head to the side and sniff the air just to be sure. Yup... I can't. It's finished. Finally. That would explain the lack of a Kakarrot...

The relief I feel is amazing. Letting out a small sigh of satisfaction, I relax visibly. Then I half grin, nodding my head towards the clothes. "What's up with you?" I ask mockingly.

Gohan blinks, then looks down at himself. "Oh!" He laughs, then shrugs. "I was going to put in a couple of extra hours at the office tonight," He explains. "To make up for the ones I missed this morning."

I raise and eyebrow and give him a condescending look. It's times like this that Gohan's pathetic in his human-ness... it's hard to believe that the man who can fight his father tooth and nail like he did the day before can turn into such a brain-numbing dweeb the next.

Gohan flushes slightly and chuckles nervously at my look, then deliberately changes the subject. "I wanted to thank you for saving me yesterday Vegeta," He says very sincerely. "I'm sorry that--"

"Don't be," I cut him off quickly. I wave away his surprised look. "Unless you want to apologize for being part Saiyan as well."

The surprise look doesn't fade, and I sigh. "Don't give me that look boy," I grumble. "You ARE half-Sayian." I give him an appraising look. "AND at your age, you've been through that before... at least once." I snort slightly and turn to the side, looking out over the cliff with my arms folded across my chest.

Gohan is silent for a long moment. When he speaks again his voice is soft. "It's never been that bad before."

I am silent. Gohan walks up to stand beside me, looking out over the mountains as well.

"How do you deal with it Vegeta?" He asks after a moment.

I shrug. "... control." I reply. "I know I'm not human. That HELPS..."

Gohan glances at me, a knowing look crawling across his face. "You're talking about Father aren't you?" When I don't answer he continues. "He doesn't remember you know."

I look at him out of the corner of my eye. There is a particularly troubled expression on his face. Like he can't figure out why that would be so, but it's more than that. Like Trunks this whole entire heat thing distresses him... I remember that he saw me and Kakarrot two nights ago. After being a witness to something like that I can understand why he would be bothered by the concept of his supposedly good and perfect father not remembering.

I'm not.

When I don't reply, Gohan gives me a worried look. "I didn't tell him by the way," He says. When I'm still silent he begins to babble. "Dende told me you didn't want him to know, so I didn't..."

I snort softly. "Good." I reply with a dead note of finality.

"Vegeta..." A very slight whiny tone enters his voice and I school a flinch. This 'conversation' is nearly over... I'm going to end it. "We've got to do something." Gohan finishes.

I turn and look him up and down deliberately. "We do nothing." I reply.

He looks shocked for a moment. Then -- "But Vegeta..."

"But nothing, Gohan." I return quickly. Then I sigh. "Go home." I tell him, exasperated. Then I remember his cloths. "Or go to work. Or whatever." I turn again and raise my self up into the air. At about twenty feet up I turn one last time and look down at the rather lost looking man. "You have about ten years to prepare for the next heat cycle Gohan." I give him a pointed glare. "I'm sure you have other-- more pressing matters on your hands right now." I don't mean anything by that at all. All I mean is that Gohan can stop worrying about me and go back to living his life. Like I intend to. With that I turn away from him, leaving him on that cliff alone as I make a steady and straight flight towards...

Home.

~~~