******************************* The Disclaimer: blah blah blah... DRAGONBALL Z... yadda yadda yadda... copyright of all characters... blah blah blah... the great, all-powerful Akira Toriyama... yadda yadda yadda... C'mon an' get me ya lousy Feds!... HAH! ******************************* A DRAGONBALL HONEYMOON © 2003 Darke Angelus Prologue


Bursting through the upper canopy of white cumulous clouds, Gohan emerged into a dazzling blue sky and released an excited shout of pure joy. It was the official first day of summer and the calm day was perfect for paying some old, dear friends a visit. His sudden appearance startled a flock of seagulls and they hastily got out of his carefree path, squalling their displeasure in a flurry of feathers and bird shit. Passing them a little apologetic bow, the boy fell back into the clouds again and sped a lackadaisical course that was roughly taking him towards the Western Capital.

It wasn't long before he sensed the deliberate pulse of a ki he immediately recognized. Slowing his course, he waited for the other person to catch up. "Hi Piccolo!" he greeted cheerfully when the huge warrior dropped out of the clouds beside him.

The alien was wearing his trademark turban and cape, that didn't surprise Gohan. Piccolo didn't sport much of a wardrobe, or much of a fashion sense, for that matter. However, the usual tension in his emerald features appeared to have eased over the months of peace and he appeared much younger than his substantial years. He gave the boy a once-over and passed him a congenial nod. As ever, he was never quite successful in concealing his pride and admiration that he felt towards the powerful lad. Despite his efforts, he was soon smiling in the boy's presence. Gohan's pleasant nature, so much like his father's, was infectious.

"Your mother finally freed you from a day of studying, I see," he rumbled. "How is the babe?"

Gohan moved a forelock of thick hair away from his eyes and released a laugh. "All Goten wants to do is eat. He's constantly crying for a bottle, day or night. Mom said that he's a perfect miniature of Dad."

Piccolo nodded in accord. The few times that he had visited Gohan he had caught sight of the newborn and been amazed at the resemblance. At only five months of age, the boy was already sporting the unruly mane of his father. It was as if Gokou had known of his impending doom during the Cell Games a year before, and managed to pass on a living reminder to his wife in their final coupling. The thought held an odd measure of comfort to him and it was obvious that Gohan had finally made his peace with the loss at long last. The anniversary of the hero's death had come and gone three weeks ago and the boy appeared to be thriving.

"Everything's alright though," Gohan added. "Thanks to Mr. Satan's generosity we can afford anything he needs. Mom even put aside a portion of the money to cover college for us both."

Ah yes... Mr. Satan's benevolent gesture, Piccolo mused silently. He, along with the rest of the Z Fighters, had witnessed the fraud's contribution to the grieving Son family at the hospital. Everyone appeared to have bought into the charade, everyone with the exception of one skeptical Namek. Piccolo had noticed the absence of one particular individual and his suspicions intensified when he returned to the Lookout and conversed with Dende. According to the Namek youth, there had been a flare of Saiyan ki in the Capital a few hours before Mr. Satan's appearance. Mr. Popo mentioned a brief news bulletin he had seen on his television set about some minor explosion in one of Mr. Satan's dojos. He immediately winced from the incredulous stare Dende passed him. TV's weren't permitted on the Lookout. Ignoring the ensuing bickering over the issue, Piccolo's mind nagged over the meager scraps of information that he had: A poor family with limited means, an inexplicable 'explosion', and a suddenly remorseful human. Added to the mix was the sensation of Saiyan ki and there was only one pureblooded Saiyan left on the Earth.


It actually all made sense. The more Piccolo thought about it, the more amazed he became. In one brilliant move, the Saiyan prince had managed to find a way to get Chi Chi, Gohan, and the new baby out of Capsule Corporation with a scheme that satisfied everyone (with the exception of Mr. Satan that was- Not that the old blowhard would ever miss it). Most amazingly was that no one had been killed in the effort.

You surprised me again, Piccolo thought, submerging a chuckle of amusement. He wished that he could have been present to see the expression on Mr. Satan's face when Vegeta confronted him.

He was vaguely aware that Gohan was speaking and drew out of his reverie in time to hear; "- happened so fast that I never really got the time to say goodbye to Bulma and thank her for letting us move in. Vegeta, too. He and my mom... really didn't see eye to eye. Things were kind of tense there, near the end."

There's an understatement, Piccolo figured. "So you haven't been in contact with them since you left?"

Offering a regretful shrug, the boy said, "Things have been hectic with Goten, and studying, and farm work. I've been really busy and mom refused to call just in case Vegeta picked up the phone. Bulma hasn't visited either. I imagine she's got other things on her mind," he finished with a smug grin.

Piccolo's emerald brows furrowed in concentration. It had been five months since Goten's birth and no one had detected so much as a ripple of destructive ki from Vegeta. The Namek knew that Bulma possessed some manner of control over the Saiyan but he found the inactivity distressing for no reason that he could put into words.

Gohan summed up his concern to perfection when he innocently asked, "You're going to Capsule Corporation check up on him too, aren't you?"

"I most certainly am not!" Piccolo snapped, baring his fangs in warning. Sniffing in disdain, he turned his head away and stated, "It's been a year and the Dragonballs are now fully charged. I figured that I'd retrieve the radar from Bulma and collect them."


"To wish back Ivory City and all the people that Vegeta killed."

"Oh... right," Gohan said, momentarily forgetting the carnage that Vegeta had wrought while suffering from the affects of memory loss. For a brief period of time, he had reverted back to his prior evil persona. Over 30,000 people had been slaughtered on that day and the media was still speculating over the cause of the destruction. He passed Piccolo a shrewd glance and persisted, "Seeing how Vegeta was doing never even crossed your mind?"

"We're just wasting time with this nonsense," Piccolo said shortly and flew on ahead. Laughing to himself, Gohan shook his head in amusement and quickly followed his former sensei.

In an effort to avoid any more conversation that might reveal his true motivations, Piccolo sped a direct course to Capsule Corporation that had Gohan struggling to keep up. It wasn't long before they landed in the courtyard where Dr. and Mrs. Briefs were babysitting Trunks as they had an informal picnic out on the front lawn. The boy was presently stalking his grandfather's cat, which was hiding in one of the rosebushes as protection from the aggressive youngster. When Piccolo and Gohan appeared, Trunks' attention was momentarily diverted, and the black cat finally streaked away to safety.

Angered that his hunt had been interrupted, Trunks scampered back to his grandmother and eyed the intruders warily. He made an odd sound in the back of his throat that Mrs. Briefs always dismissed as an endearing purr. Her husband wasn't so naive. The boy was actually growling and the elderly man slowly edged away from him, trying not to be obvious about it.

"Gohan! My! How wonderful it is to see you!" Mrs. Briefs gushed. "It looks as if you've grown a few inches. And Piccolo! What a special day this is!" The blonde got to her feet and greeted them with her usual exuberance. Trunks reluctantly trailed along after her, scowling the entire way.

"Hello Mrs. Briefs. Dr. Briefs," Gohan said politely. "We've come to visit Bulma and Vegeta. Are they here?"

"Oh! You missed them! If you had come just a few days before you could have seen them off. It was such a wonderful ceremony. Just buh-beautiful-" The woman dissolved into a confusing barrage of tears but she was laughing in delight while she wiped her eyes with a handkerchief. Watching his grandmother with alarm, Trunks focused his accusing blue-eyed glare at Piccolo and angrily stalked forward.

Dr. Briefs knew what that meant. "Trunks- NO!"

"Well, look at you," Piccolo rumbled as he looked down at the toddler in amusement. Damned if the boy wasn't assuming a fighting stance that was immediately recognizable. "Vegeta's been training him already?"

"He's just been teaching him a proper kata," Dr. Briefs said. "The boy watches his every move and learns quickly. Watch out, Piccolo."

"This kid can't hurt me," Piccolo responded in amusement as he towered over the diminutive hybrid. He put his taloned hands on his hips and leaned forward until their noses were almost touching. "Can you Trunks? Take your best shot."

Practically snarling now, the boy yelled, "Bad pickle-man made gramma cry!" and latched himself onto Piccolo's leg with blinding speed. He bit through the fabric of the Namek's gi and ripped out a chunk of green flesh with his bare teeth.

Releasing a shout of surprise more than pain, Piccolo reached down and gripped the back of the boy's Hulk t-shirt. Pulling him away actually took some effort but he did it as quickly as possible and held the youth up so they were eye level.

"Oh yeah, you're Vegeta's son, all right," he muttered, observing the thrashing boy with a mixture of emotions in his dark eyes. The Trunks he had met from the future had been raised primarily by Bulma and trained by Gohan, and he had adopted both of their peaceful natures. In this timeline, Vegeta was now the dominant influence in the boy's life. There was no telling how Trunks might turn out from such warped tutelage and his current antics were not an encouraging sign.

Gohan was sitting on the grass and practically in hysterics over the hilarious scene. He watched his mentor set the boy back down on the grass and started laughing again when Trunks darted behind his grandmother's legs and stuck out his tongue. Piccolo could only sigh in annoyance. "If they're off together, that's fine with me. I just came for the Dragonball radar."

"Suurrre you did," Gohan snickered under his breath.

"It's not here," Dr. Briefs told him. "Bulma and Vegeta have it."

"They have it?" Piccolo couldn't believe his hearing, which- like the size of his ears- was impressive. "Why would they take it?"

"To search for the Dragonballs, of course," Mrs. Briefs scolded. "It was the only way that Bulma could get Vegeta to go."

"Go? Go where? What are you talking about?!"

"Go on their honeymoon," Dr. Briefs said calmly. He hesitated for perhaps one full minute before deciding to drop the bombshell. "Bulma and Vegeta got married three days ago."

Gohan made a gagging sound of shock on his throat and, for an instant, actually forgot how to breathe. Piccolo betrayed no outward sign of emotion but his antennae gave one convulsive twitch that caused his turban to fly off onto the nearby bushes. Trunks chased after it and ripped it to pieces. The Namek never even noticed. "Vegeta... and Bulma... married." He couldn't seem to wrap his stunned mind around the concept.

"Holy cow!" Gohan managed to get out. "Where did it-? Why-? How come nobody told us?"

"They're both very private people," the elderly man said. "Bulma wanted to keep it out of the newspapers so that they could travel without being bothered. She planned on telling everyone about the marriage when they got back."

Piccolo figured that it made sense. Bulma had done the same thing when she had been pregnant with Trunks and no one had been the wiser for it. In many ways, the heiress was as shrewd and calculating as her alien counterpart. It wasn't a thought that gave him any comfort and he had to submerge a rare shiver that ran down his spine.

"Wow," Gohan whispered in amazement. "I can't believe that Vegeta would go along with any of that. How did Bulma get him to do it?"

"It was Vegeta who proposed first," Dr. Briefs told him, not surprised by the incredulous looks he got back. It was an image that had greeted him in the mirror for weeks after it occurred. "He gave Bulma a diamond that was the size of a baseball. That man doesn't do anything ordinary, does he? It was the darndest thing I ever saw."

"They had a beautiful, little ceremony in the interior atrium of the Headquarters building," Mrs. Briefs explained. She wasn't crying yet but she was close to it. "We were there and Trunks, too, of course. He was adorable in his little tuxedo. Bulma wore this gorgeous designer wedding dress and Vegeta was sooo handsome in his Saiyan armor. Everything went simply perfect. Come inside and I'll show you the pictures! We hired a videographer but for some reason the tapes are blank sooo-" Gohan immediately followed after her as she went inside the Headquarters building, babbling in her usual endearing manner. Dr. Briefs scooped up Trunks who was still holding onto a scrap of Piccolo's turban as a prize. "Are you coming?"

"In a minute," Piccolo said.

"I know, it's a lot to absorb," the old man responded. He started to turn to leave but looked back long enough to say, "I wouldn't have believed it either. But I saw how they looked at one another when the minister pronounced them husband and wife. It was... amazing. They've both changed so much since they've been together and in a very good way. I'm very proud of them both." He coughed into his hand as his voice hoarsened with emotion and he passed the large alien one last smile and went into the building. Piccolo couldn't be sure but he thought that Trunks was trying to give him the finger before the door swung shut.

Tuning out all of the distractions of the city around him, Piccolo tried to rationalize this strange, new information. He supposed he should have been happy for the couple. Bulma had apparently found her long-awaited soul mate and Vegeta had actually allowed himself to conform to Earth rituals and make their union legitimate. As ever, the Namek rationalized the present situation with his usual pessimism: A brilliant human with an insatiable curiosity who thrived on adventure was now united with a homicidal alien capable of wielding incalculable destruction.

And they were out on their honeymoon, roaming the Earth for the Dragonballs. Piccolo didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After a long struggle, he finally regained his composure and reluctantly joined Gohan inside of the Headquarters building. Mrs. Briefs was setting out a dessert tray while she told them of the couple's very first day...

************************************** Next Chapter: Vegeta and Bulma's first day as husband and wife!