..................................U N F A I T H F U L


Epilogue: Two Years Later





Magdalene stood, rather uncharacteristically, hiding behind a boulder bordering the beach. A few years ago, she would have never pictured herself hiding from anyone like a fearful coward instead of confronting the people directly. As a matter of fact, she would have laughed the prospect off before whoever had suggested it could finish the sentence. Yet here she was, spying on her son and the beginnings of a new royal family. She had been finding herself doing all sorts of strange things lately, so she shouldn't have been too surprised.

Like the previous night, at Nappa's birthday celebration, for instance. She had been sitting atop her throne, as usual, surveying the crowds as if she were above it all. Then, three goblets of wine later (which usually wasn't enough to even faze her), she had been shocked to find herself dancing with the rest of them, like some kind of noblewoman - behavior certainly not normal for a queen of the Saiyan people.

Another case where she had done something unusual occured just a few days before that, when Bulma had announced her sudden pregnancy. Well, perhaps not completely sudden, considering that Vejita had to have made the conscious choice to conceive - but Bulma perhaps was not aware of that. Instead of congratulating her son and new daughter-in-law on their baby in a fit of excitement, she had quietly slipped out of the room and dissolved into private tears. She had avoided unhappy or stressful situations since.

But even stranger than the other two occurences were the physical symptons - hot flashes, irregular periods, and general moodiness. Magdalene remembered hearing something having to do with the symptoms she was having, but she couldn't seem to place them, and due to lack of time and an excess of pride, she hadn't gotten around to asking anyone yet. Nor would she ever.

It seemed that her symptoms were there to stay. As Magdalene watched Bulma turn over for an even tan, while Vejita did nothing to hide the fact that he was thoroughly enjoying the display, she felt her chest tighten with emotion. Never could she have imagined that things would turn out so well! Much to her dismay, her vision blurred with tears. Frustrated and ashamed, she turned her back to the pair, waving her hands in front of her face frantically.


The Saiyan Queen froze, quickly regained her wits and wiped away her tears, then turned around to confront Bulma, who was retying the straps of her bathing suit around her neck. Her blue eyes questioned Magdalene gently, never pressing, never agitated. Magdalene didn't know how she could do it - at least she couldn't understand it at the moment.

"What are you doing standing over here all alone?" Bulma asked. Vejita approached them and stopped behind Bulma, his black eyes narrowed at his mother's suspicious behavior

Magdalene lifted her chin. "Actually, I was planning to join you, but upon seeing your choice of entertainment, I decided not to. If I wanted to see some kids drooling over each other, I would have gone and payed the courtiers a visit."

Bulma lifted a brow but said nothing. Vejita, however, was not so kind.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he demanded bluntly - he never had been one to dance around the point. "You've been going through more mood swings than the woman who's actually pregnant lately."

"Are you okay?" Bulma reached out to put a hand on Magdalene's forehead, checking for fever. She was still painfully beautiful, despite her slightly swollen abdomen and newly acquired suntan. "You've been acting an awful lot like you're going through a phase that women on Earth go throu-"

"Women on Earth," Magdalene pointed out, interuppting her. "There's nothing the matter with me, dear. I'm simply under a lot of stress at the moment." Her lie was blatant, as there had been peace for the most part throughout the past two years. "The plans for Bulma's baby celebration have been rather trying."

Vejita snorted. "I'd wager that you haven't lifted a finger to plan a damn thing besides the dress that you're going to wear - and perhaps not even that."

"Let her be," Bulma scolded Vejita. "She's obviously not feeling well. Let's go back to the palace - I think that I'm nearly sunburned anyway."

Vejita rolled his eyes, but reluctantly followed Bulma and Magdalene back towards the palace. Bulma's small hand rested on Magdalene's shoulder, expressing her obvious concern. To Vejita, it was a sickening display of needless emotion - he reached forward and gently pulled Bulma away from Magdalene and back to his side. His irritation was apparent in the tight grip he had around her waist.

"For Kami's sake, Vejita," Bulma complained, trying feebly to unwrap his iron grip around her middle. "I'm pregnant, not made of glass!"

He growled under his breath at her, and she quit her complaining. "What do you think is wrong with her?" he asked quietly, pulling Bulma closer so that Magdalene could not make out his words. "You mentioned something about a disease that women get on Earth."

"Its not a disease at all," Bulma corrected him. "Its something that every human woman of an older age go through. They experience mood swings, hot flashes, and just generally strange behavior. Its called menopause." She smiled wickedly, a trait she had picked up from Maylene. "You know, when I reach that age, I might go through the very same thing."

He resisted the urge to push her away, gritting his teeth. He didn't know if he could handle any more strange female behavior. Between Bulma's pregnancy and Magdalene's apparent 'menopause', he had had his hands full for the past couple months. He made a mental note to raid his stash of imported vodka (ironically, from Earth, where all his problems began) when they returned.

Ahead of the couple, Magdalene frowned. She had heard every word that Bulma had said, and she could guess Vejita's words from the way that she had answered. Menopause? Her fists clenched in frustration, because she knew very well that Saiyan women suffered much the same thing, just at a later age. Which would make her a prime candidate. Her blood boiled in anger.

They reached the outskirts of the city, which were filled with crowds shopping at the market. The crowd parted before them, which only fed Magdalene's anger - she wanted to push somebody around.

An unfortunate old man in front of a fruit stand couldn't get out of her way quick enough. Magdalene smirked.

"Move it!" she shouted. "I'm the Saiyan Queen, Kami-dammit - I shouldn't have to jostle you around to get by!" When the man didn't move immediately - thanks to his shock and feeble old age - she simply shoved him out of her way. Her anger receded a bit, and she sighed as she continued towards the palace. Hopefully nothing was too badly broken.

It was people like him that made menopause feel a hell of a lot better.






Maylene stood with Bulma and Chichi in her dressing room a few hours later. She held a pink, lace-trimmed wrap in front her of lingerie-clad body, examining her reflection in her enormous dressing mirror. She sighed, turning to see the wrap from a different angle, then gestured to her handmaiden.

"What is this trash?" she ranted, tossing the garment at the servant forcefully. "When have I ever worn pink? I said that I wanted to look sexy, not like a fucking second grader! Find something else - preferably black." She watched as the girl scurried out of the room in search of something else, then turned back the mirror and sighed. "I thought that the servant master would have chosen better help for me after I sent the last girl back - apparently I was wrong."

Bulma smiled fondly at her friend's reflection. "You aren't the easiest woman to please, Maylene. You've sent every single servant you've had back. Don't you think its time to lower your standards?"

"Lower my standards?" Maylene repeated incredulously. "I don't care if you're a Saiyan Princess or not - why should my help be so inferior to yours? I order more people around than you do! Besides, if you had to live for so long on Earth without any luxuries, you'd want superior service, too."

Chichi rolled her eyes at Maylene's little speech. "Neither one of you have room to complain," she reminded them seriously. "Try living in the third class neighborhood."

Maylene felt a small pang of sympathy for the woman, who had miscarried her child shortly after returning to Vejitasei those two years ago. She had been slightly bitter ever since, and Kakkarott had reacted much the same. To add to their troubles, Vejita had refused to allow them to move up in the Saiyan heirarchy as they (and Bulma) had hoped. Then, shortly after refusing their request, he had returned the power to his mother, and the issue had been dismissed ever since. While Magdalene was sympathetic, she would not make a mockery of her son's power by undoing his orders. Maylene was just grateful that Vejita had allowed her to become a first-class citizen (on Bulma and Magdalene's insistence, of course) and remain one.

"I'm sorry, Chichi," Bulma said. "There was nothing that I could do to convince him to change his mind."

Maylene grinned mischeviously. "Oh, I'm sure that you two could have come up with something. Actually," she glanced at Bulma's slightly protruding abdomen. "it looks like you already did. Do I have your baby to thank for my status?"

"Most certainly not," Bulma assured her with a smile. "You have Radditz to thank for that. He really wanted you to become first class so that he could brag to his soldier friends about courting you."

Maylene rolled her eyes, taking the black and red wrap offered to her by her returned handmaiden. She held it in front of herself doubtfully. "Radditz can brag all that he wants - he already knows that I am courted by no man. Since when have I ever confined myself to one?"

It was true - Maylene was playing up her new status in Saiyan society to its fullest, and her many heated affairs were well-known and discussed around the palace. At first, her humanity had been a stigma among the Saiyan elite, but gradually both her and Bulma had come to be accepted and even liked by the other species. Besides, with her brashness and penchant for temper tantrums, Maylene could almost pass for a Saiyan herself.

"This will have to do, I suppose," she consented, tossing the wrap back at her handmaiden. "Have it pressed and ready for me in thirty minutes. And draw my bath!"

"Who's the lucky man tonight?" Bulma asked.

"Whoever catches my eye," her best friend responded. "I swear to Kami, Bulma, I've had the most awful time picking one man out of a crowd here! I don't know why it took us so long to discover Saiyan men, but I'm sure as hell glad that we finally did."

Bulma suppressed laughter at her friend's serious comment. Chichi rolled her eyes, being a Saiyan herself. "One of these days, one of your lovers is going to get angry at your infidelities and decide to take matters into his own hands. What will you do then?"

Maylene shrugged, her cherry lips pursed in thought. "I suppose I'll stand aside and settle for the man who is left standing. But I doubt that I'd reform so soon after that."

"Radditz is a bit over the top sometimes, but he's harmless, and a deserving man at that," Bulma scolded, half-seriously. "Don't you think its time that you stop dancing circles around each other and finally admit to your feelings?"

The other human continued staring at her reflection for a moment, her smile gone. "But you know that I love to dance," she retorted, moving towards her bathroom, where her bath was being drawn. "If you'll excuse me now, ladies, I have a celebration to prepare for - as do you."

The bathroom door slammed behind her, leaving Chichi and Bulma sitting on Maylene's bed. "I'll never understand that girl," Chichi said, getting to her feet. "I thought that we might have something in common back on Earth, when she was helping us find you, but she's changed much since then."

"She's like her old self again," Bulma told her. "And I rather like it. Don't worry about her and Radditz - they'll find each other eventually."

The two women exited Maylene's rooms and started down the hall. Chichi and Bulma had been spending more together as time went on, especially since Bulma's pregnancy, and Bulma had found that she enjoyed the down-to-earth attitude that Chichi had. It was a much-needed relief from Maylene's wild tactics and Magdalene's commanding presence, no matter how much Vejita disapproved.

"What are you planning to wear for the celebration tonight?" Bulma asked her carefully, knowing that Chichi had to be gently eased into any conversation about fashion. "Which reminds me - I'm so glad that you've decided to accompany Kakkarott for once! I shall be grateful for your presence, what with Maylene and Radditz continuing their ridiculous drama and with Vejita and Magdalene arguing throughout the entire evening." Not that she minded it particularly, it was just that even in times of peace, her newfound family could be a little trying.

"I haven't given an extra thought to it," Chichi said carelessly. "Probably my nicest wrap - something in a shade of beige, I guess."

Bulma resisted the urge to roll her eyes at Chichi's predictability. "One of these days, Chichi, I'm going to take you to the market and find you something spectacular to surprise Kakkarott with. And it definitely will not contain any shades of beige."

"Whatever you say, my lady," Chichi answered noncommittedly. They had reached the royal wing of the palace, where the two separated. "I should be getting back to my own home now, and out of Vejita's hair, as he would so kindly put it. I'll see you tonight."

Bulma watched her disappear around the corner, then entered she and Vejita's chambers.






Vejita was trying his best to contain his infamous temper and resist the urge to kill his pestering protocol adviser when Bulma entered the room. It was a lucky thing for the advisor, Renvyr, that she had chosen that moment, or else he might have been sipping wine through a different hole in his head at the celebration later that night. The man knew it, too, because he exhaled in relief when the princess arrived.

Bulma's appearance never failed to cause Vejita to stare uncharacteristically for a moment. She had changed much over the last two years, but it only enhanced her beauty. Her blue curls had been allowed to flow loosely over her shoulders, a luxury that Vejita knew that at least he was grateful for, and her skin had been darkened to a light golden color, which was as dark as Bulma's naturally fair complexion would get. Her face usually carried a dazzling smile, and her blue eyes gleamed brightly on most days. However, her eyes were the only thing that sometimes gave her happy facade away, for if he looked closely, he could discern a shadow behind the cerulean eyes. The knowledge didn't sadden or anger him anymore, because he had come to accept that fact that Bulma would be a long time in recovering from her hellish former life. The important thing was that she was content and unharmed now, and robustly healthy carrying his heir.

"Renvyr, you may leave - or should I say, escape?" Bulma said to the servant humorously. "The next time you want to attempt to advise Vejita on fashion, I suggest that you send for me first."

The man nodded and scurried to leave the room, taking his measuring tape and samples of fabric with him. Vejita remained standing, arms crossed, where Renvyr had left him, his face held tightly in the expression of a petulant child. He did not like Bulma mocking this annoying situation, but he would allow it from her only.

"Where have you been while I was being subjected to torture?" he questioned irritably. "Shouldn't you be primping and planning like everyone else?"

Bulma smiled and went to him, wrapping her thin arms around his neck good-naturedly. He resisted returning her embrace for a full thirty seconds before giving in and uncrossing his arms. "I was helping Maylene to choose her attire for the celebration. Don't say anything, but I think that she's dolling herself up for Radditz tonight."

"The fool and that little harlot deserve each other," Vejita said, though Bulma knew fully well that he admired Maylene's boldness and appreciated Radditz's loyal service and friendship. "It doesn't seem right that she give up her little charade and allow Radditz to mate with her so soon - did you say something to her? Radditz was predicting that he would have to another couple months for her to submit."

Bulma stepped away from him and crossed the room towards her closet. "Don't let me catch you mocking my best friend like that again. Besides, Maylene submits to no one - if they do decide to stay together, it will be on her terms." She cast a mockingly seductive glance over her shoulder as she opened the doors to her enormous wardrobe. "Speaking of mating - is there anything in here that especially inspires you, Vejita-Ouji?"

Vejita rolled his eyes, but could not conceal a smirk of amusement. "I would prefer that we skipped the fucking party and celebrated alone, if you want to know the truth."

She had expected such an answer, and selected a wrap at random. After all, Magdalene had seen to it that they were all masterpieces when she had first ordered them made, and her stomach wasn't quite large enough to call for a new wardrobe as of yet. She held a crimson garment with the other imperial colors - black and gold - worked into the trim and delicate ribbon that tied it just below her breasts and low at her waist. Noteworthy was the slit that would expose one leg and up to her thigh. She braced herself for the sarcastic comment from Vejita that was surely coming.

He came up behind her, wrapping one arm around her waist, and looked at the gown closer. "Clever - a reminder for the court simpletons of your superior status, and a matching garment to my own choice. I couldn't have selected a better one myself."

"Is that all?" Bulma asked. "Usually you have at least a few more things to say."

Vejita smirked against her neck, his teeth grazing the mark he had placed there. "My thoughts on the cut of the garment are hardly necessary - I'm sure that you're already aware of what I think." He kissed her neck once, then stepped away to don his own armor. "If you're reluctant about the choice, my offer of staying here for the night still stands."

Her resolve hardened, she headed for her dressing room, where her handmaidens undoubtedly waited to assist her in getting ready. "You wouldn't be so lucky after your snide comments about Maylene," she retorted. "And besides, I doubt that you would want to miss an opprotunity to make fun of Kakkarott's dancing and table manners again."

Vejita could say nothing to that - she had a valid point.






Radditz arrived at the celebration for Bulma and Vejita's baby exactly ten minutes late, or what Maylene would have called 'fashionably late'. He knew that if Vejita noticed his tardiness he would be scolded immediately and publicly degraded, but he figured that after chasing Maylene for two years, he had to go to desperate measures. And if being 'fashionably late' impressed her, then so be it.

Normally, he would never go to such extreme measures for a woman. Most Saiyan women, upon hearing of his association with Prince Vejita and job with the elite soldiers, would throw themselves at him without question. Maylene was proving to be a different story. She had shown interest in him when they had first met on Earth, and several occasions since then, but she shared her evenings with too many different men to keep track of. He respected her for that, of course - he loved strong women - but it was getting to the point where he felt that he was being made into a mockery. He didn't miss the dry smiles his friends shot him when Maylene was nearby, but he couldn't ignore them, either. It was time to officially make his move.

His hopes were temporarily crushed when he spotted Maylene across the banquet hall chatting with Bulma and Vejita. He would have felt comfortable approaching her with just Bulma there, with her naturally caring manner, but Vejita's presence was an entirely different matter. If Vejita caught on to Radditz's intentions with Maylene, he would never hear the end of it. So he waited.

"She would be far more impressed if you would just approach her now," a voice chimed in from beside him.

Radditz jumped - he was unaccustomed to being sneaked up on, and beheld the grinning face of Magdalene. "Your Majesty, you surprised me!"

"I won't let Vejita know," she assured him.

He was grateful for that. "I'm hoping to impress her in a different way - you know, one that won't earn me a lifetime of scorn from my future king."

"You'll catch her, one of these days," Magdalene said confidently. "I actually think that she's playing a little hard-to-get with you. Why would she bother with that, if she wasn't interested?"

"Because its funny as hell," Turles put in as he approached them. "You're like a pathetic, lovesick fool these days, Radditz. Snap out of it before she really gets to you."

"Until you've experienced affection for a female, I suggest that you shut your mouth," Magdalene snapped at him. "Now move along and harass somebody else!"

"You make it worse by protecting me like that!" Radditz groaned. "I'm completely fucked. I should just give up now."

Then, miraculously, Vejita excused himself from the conversation and wandered away towards another group of men. It was as if Kami himself was looking down upon Radditz. He hastily excused himself from Magdalene's presence and hurried across the room, elbowing important planet leaders along his way and not even caring.

"Lady Maylene," he greeted, coming to a rather ungraceful stop before her and Bulma. "Your Highness."

Bulma's mischevious smile closely resembled Vejita's own. "Well look at you, Radditz - you were rather late to my celebration. Were you simply careless or did you not care to celebrate the presence of Vejita's heir?" Maylene smirked along with Bulma as Radditz juggled inwardly to find words. Women, he decided, were the ultimate evil.

"I apologize for my lateness," he finally said. "Its not as if I missed the whole thing," he glanced at Maylene quickly, who watched him with mild interest. "I was just fashionably late."

There was a moment of silence, and then suddenly both women broke out laughing. If he wasn't mistaken, he saw a tear or two grace Princess Bulma's eyes. Feeling hurt and embarrassed, he turned and started to merge back into the crowds.

"Oh, for Kami's sake!" Maylene exclaimed. "I cannot believe that he flirts so blatantly with me!"

"The poor man loves you with everything he's got," Bulma scolded her. "Go after him - I think that we've all had enough of your silly games."

Maylene hesitated for a moment, then ran after Radditz. They both disappeared into the crowd, leaving Bulma looking after them. They would be together by the night's end, she guessed.

"She doesn't deserve him, you know," Bulma commented, when Magdalene suddenly appeared at her side. "Even if she is my best friend."

"They deserve each other," Magdalene corrected her. "You're forgetting that I've known Radditz his entire life. He's not the sweet fool that he makes himself out to be. I'm sure that he's done as much wrong as Maylene has."

Bulma was silent, remembering the parties that Maylene used to slip off to, in complete disregard of her social station and duties that went along with it. She had even gone to a few, and even though she knew that it had been wrong, she had never had such a good time. She never really realized how much she had missed their friendship.

Magdalene watched Bulma's eyes cloud over with memory, and said nothing to bring her out of the state. Bulma had seemingly made a miraculous emotional recovery over the past two years, but Magdalene and Vejita knew better. They had both noticed the shadow behind her sparkling blue eyes, always lurking but never overwhelming her. It had become a fact of life that Bulma would carry her sorrow with her forever. Magdalene, knowing how it felt to carry around sadness since her bad experiences with her husband, allowed Bulma her small moments of darkness. They were a necessary part of life, and she was willing to accept that. Vejita, however, was not so accepting, but was getting better about it.

"I'm sorry," Bulma suddenly said, shaking herself out of her trance. "I was just thinking of something that happened a while back..."

"Its alright," Magdalene interuppted. "You're entitled to a few memories, you know."

Bulma's look softened, showing her gratitude. "It doesn't matter how much Vejita complains about you, Magdalene - you're wonderful."

The Saiyan Queen just smiled and watched Bulma weave through the crowd (rather, travel through the space between as the crowds parted) towards Vejita, who sat on his throne, looking bored out of his mind. She thought of the moment that she would relinquish her power and hand the crown to Vejita, and suddenly she didn't feel so hot. She felt a hot flash coming on - dreaded menopause or simply anticipation of the strange days to come? She didn't know or care.

"Bring me another drink," she ordered a nearby servant. "I'm going to need it."






"I'm almost afraid to ask what you two were talking about."

Bulma rolled her eyes as she seated herself next to Vejita, who watched her expectantly. He was on edge a lot these days, not only because of their baby but also because of his eagerness to claim his place as king. She found herself excusing his sometimes rude behavior a lot more often as of late. This would not be one of those times, however.

"Nothing that concerns you," she answered him, relaxing back into the throne. "I don't know why I let you get me this awful wrap. I feel like a third-class whore."

"That would be Kakkarott's mate's job," Vejita said, watching Bulma closely for the angry reaction that was sure to come.

"And these shoes are pinching my feet," Bulma continued complaining, ignoring Vejita's comment and obvious intent. "I feel like I've gained a hundred pounds."

"I'd only say that you've gained ten or fifteen," Vejita observed coolly.

Bulma shot him an evil look that only a pregnant woman could muster, and he actually felt a little bit sorry that he had made the comment. But only a little bit.

"Hopefully you and Magdalene were talking about when she's finally going to admit that she's gone senile and is ready to give me the crown." He scowled ferociously. "I'm sick of waiting! I have a mate, I have an heir, and what does she do? Nothing! She throws me a fucking party." He angrily threw his wine glass into the crowd, causing people to scatter and head towards the other side of the room. It shattered in a satisfyingly loud manner.

"You must have patience," Bulma said soothingly, entwining her thin fingers with his. "Magdalene is not senile, and you know it. She's merely going through a phase. Your time will come."

"Not soon enough," Vejita growled, gripping her hand as tightly as he could without breaking the delicate bones. Bulma winced. "I've been ready to take over for years now, and my patience wears thin. I'm giving serious thought to overthrowing her again."

"She's a wonderful ruler, and she's ushered in a long time of peace. Let her be - she's a wise woman, and won't stop you from ascending any longer than necessary."

Vejita could not deny her logic, even if he didn't particularly want to hear it. He placed a protective hand on her abdomen, where he could feel his unborn child's ki, growing stronger every day. It was his version of consenting to her.

Bulma smiled at his gesture. "Is it healthy?"

He nodded. "Of course it is - its my child. I still can't understand why you won't allow me to tell you the sex - calling the child 'it' is hardly fitting for Saiyan royalty."

"Its another one of my 'silly Earth customs'," Bulma told him sternly. "Its one of the only ones that I'm holding on to, so you have no room to complain. I want it to be a surprise."

"Woman, you and the other human girl are the only people that do not know. We can all sense its ki."

"Leave me alone about it, or I'll give Magdalene another reason to hold onto the throne longer," Bulma warned half-heartedly, knowing that it would effectively shut him up. Which it did.

They sat in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, observing the crowd. In the far corner of the room, Radditz and Maylene were practically eating each other's faces, with the people around them shooting disapproving looks their way. Naturally, neither one cared and continued their reunion. Kakkarott was hovering menacingly over the buffet table, with Chichi chattering on next to him, putting some food back when he took 'too much'. Magdalene was nowhere to be seen, which wasn't entirely unusual considering her behavior lately. Across the board, there were reasons for contentment. Bulma sighed, and Vejita indiscretly watched her out of the corners of his eyes.

There was a sudden murmur in the crowd, which caused the two to sit up and look for the change. Magdalene had entered the room again, and she was accompanied by her royal guards. Behind her walked two servants, each carrying something wrapped in fabric of the imperial colors.

"What's going on?" Bulma asked as Magdalene stopped before the thrones. Vejita was silent beside her, his eyes fixed on the object that the servant carried. The rest of the party had gone silent, watching them. "Magdalene?"

"I think that it's past time I did this," the Saiyan Queen announced, gesturing to one servant, who moved up beside her. "This man carries something that has not been exposed to the public eye since the death of my husband, King Vejita. Yet even though it has not been seen or spoken of since his unfortunate downfall, it has remained in the minds of our people ever since."

Bulma glanced at Vejita, who seemed to know what was going on. He had stepped forward, and was smirking triumphantly, bordering on smiling. She locked eyes with Maylene, who had pulled Radditz to the front of the crowd. She looked as confused as Bulma, which made her feel a little bit better.

"Uncover it," Magdalene ordered the servant. The crowd leaned forward in anticipation as the servant pulled away the fabric and let it fall to the floor. Exposed now was a simple crown of a reddish metal, closely resembling the gold of Earth, which was encrusted with a small amount of blood red stones. Now Bulma guessed what was happening - Magdalene was handing over imperial control to Vejita at last. The crowd gasped in surprise at what was happening. "This is the crown that will coronate you as the King of Vejitasei," she announced needlessly. Then, she gestured to the other servant, who stepped forward and uncovered the other object. It was a more delicate crown, made of the same metal and gems, but in an unmistakably feminine way. "And this," Magdalene said, glancing at Bulma. "is the crown that will make Bulma the Queen."

Vejita seized her hand and nearly tugged her forward to stand before Magdalene. Bulma was grateful for his taking charge, since she hadn't the slightest clue what she was supposed to do. Magdalene took the crown from the first servant and placed it upon Vejita's head, which earned her a wicked smirk from the new king. Then, she took the other crown and put on Bulma's head, being careful not to muss her intricate hairstyle. She winked as she did so, and Bulma could not help but relax.

"It is done," she announced. Then, under her breath, "may Kami forgive me."

Vejita pulled her a few steps back from Magdalene, who bowed deeply, followed by the entire room. Bulma gripped Vejita's hand as strongly as she could to conceal her nervousness. She had been in this position before, but certainly not willingly or happily. This was an entirely new experience for her. She drew comfort from Vejita, who she had never seen more smug.

Thankfully, Vejita was distracted, or else he would have heard Maylene lean over and whisper to Radditz, "There goes the whole fucking empire."





Author's Note: And there you go - the end! The first happy ending I've written in... forever! It seems like this fic has become a big part of my life over the past year, as well as the people who have helped me along the way. I'm gonna thank a few...

My eternal gratitude goes to Debido especially, who helped me to write the entire last chapter, and many others as well. You've been a great person to talk to, whether its about my fic or about what love really is, and for that I couldn't thank you enough! You catch every single detail in every chapter, whether I listen or not, and that has been something that will ultimately make me a better writer, just for fear that you'll expose all the mistakes I've made along the way! Thanks sooo much, and I'm sure that we'll chat again soon!

I'd also like to thank all of the faithful reviewers who never fail to leave me a note, whether its short or a couple paragraphs long. Thanks to Noel (you know who you are!) for your thorough, e-mailed reviews, Sorceress Fujin for her reviews and chats, spontaneoushumancombustion, trunksgirl, Melina, Megami, The Rogue Raven, Ritty, and everyone else who reviewed and e-mailed! I'm sorry if I left anyone out - I'm in a rush to get this posted for y'all. Just know that I'm grateful for every single review!

About my next fic... I'm not sure what I'm gonna do yet. I will be within the next month, so keep on checking my profile for updates on that. And please feel free to chat with me if you see me online! I'd love to talk! Thanks, and good-bye for now!

--- Rhapsody