General Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Dragon Ball Z and do not claim to. I make no profit and this story is the product of a twisted mind and an empty pocket only.
Rating: Technically a PG-13 but it could turn into an R, so keep an eye on the rating if you're a kiddie. Not that it would really stop you.
Warnings: M-preg, allusions to sexual situations, profanity and one or two moderately strong themes. I prefer fewer readers to flames, so if squicked easily, leave now.
Reader Disclaimer: I'm new to this fandom, painfully so, so please excuse any OOCness and buggering up regarding terminology as, despite having done my best, I'm pretty sure I've gotten a few things wrong. A few things to say now to ward off flames and to show that I'm not completely ignorant:
I've used 'ki' to mean aura as well as the glowy thing the Saiyans gain when powering up. I've also gone on to presume that they can sense each other with it, and I could be right or wrong with that. They can sense general power levels so I figure why not sense individuals and locations too? Suffice to say, artistic licence has been utilised.
The senzu beans seem to come in bags with several inside from on-high, so I've manipulated it in a way that unused senzus are kept at Capsule Corp. as a sort of emergency supply. Nothing else to say about this.
Tails and Super Saiyan Two. Likely fudged but I've used m-preg as an excuse so you can't really come down hard on me for any mistakes here.
I know there's a hospital, but there's an infirmary at Capsule Corp. in this fic. Don't be alarmed.
A/Ns: I've read a fair number of Vegeta m-pregs and wanted to try my hand at it, but also have a go at a far slower and more methodical pacing compared to what I've read and what I usually write. So this is a bit ponderous but hopefully you won't be bored to tears. The stars, as was pointed out, don't show up on ff.net, so '''''''''s will be used to break up scenes, Vegeta's POV, third person perspective and time, but sometimes they're just there to present a visual break that reflects something in the chapter. Trunks is about thirteen in this and Bra is a toddler, although I have no real idea of what their age difference is.
As It Seems
I used to hate the dark. Or at least I'm quite sure I did. I don't remember any specific nights as a child where I was afraid, or any events that would make me fear the absence of light –although I soon learnt that there was plenty to fear and to grow strong against. There was just a generally pervading feeling that I used to hate it.
It's turned into something useful though. The dark conceals and offers time for seeking one's own solace, something I certainly need tonight, needed for the last few nights. You don't need sight to find someone in the dark though; that's why my ki is shoved down as much as it can be.
Still, it's a starless and moonless night thanks to the clouds, I'm a good depth into the planet's crust at the bottom of this crevice and I've put pretty much a planet between myself and the one I have slipped from. It isn't cowardice that has driven me to this; I will correct that right now. It was a mixture of irritation, frustration and a general desire to sort out my own head before moving onto the considerably daunting task of doing the same to Kakarrot.
Not that he had the sense to just let me go as I had wished. No, he had to play true to his infuriatingly sensitive and protective nature and confront me before I got a mile away from him. I played true to my nature in turn, making doubly sure he didn't have enough sense to work that Instant Transport trick of his to catch up with me. Then it was just a case of flying low, fast and as inconspicuously as possible. Not an easy task with my dark temper demanding more of the same, but when night fell and I finally landed somewhere quiet it settled.
That was two days ago and it's not remaining as unobtrusive anymore. I am no closer to a solution to my original predicament, although I have successfully found the humour in it. Actually, my sleep-deprived and starved mind is finding more humour in it all than anything else. After damning/scorching/blowing up everything around me I couldn't focus on the seriousness of it all for a little while.
I'm not thinking straight anymore. Haven't done for most of today actually. The deep ache of hunger that hasn't quelled in as long vocalises itself as I contemplate if it's just from staring at these same rocks for hours that has pushed my sanity too far. Lack of food has a larger hand in it though. I'll either have to hunt something and build a fire soon or fly back home. Neither option really appeals. Most of my muscles have gone stiff and standing let alone chasing something will be utter agony, and the woman is at home still.
The woman. That's where the humour of all of this was first found. She knew before me and although she's got nothing to do with it she's the only other person who knows. All right, it's not hilarious, but it had made me smirk at the time.
Eight days ago I locked myself in my gravity room and put my body through its paces. I demanded excellence from it, perfection as opposed to the weakness that was starting to creep in at the edges. No one else had noticed, I'm sure, but for a few days my body hadn't been responding as it should have. Every move felt sluggish, my mind struggling to focus and gravity seemingly changing its mind every few minutes leaving me disorientated and unbalanced, especially in the air when trying to throw energy blasts.
Like I did with Trunks, I wanted this weakness beaten out as quickly and efficiently as possible. So I trained. I trained harder and for longer than I had done in weeks, pride and determination shoving my body past its limits, which had –unbeknownst to me- already decreased over the last few weeks.
Eight days ago I started this gruelling act. Four days ago the woman dragged me out of the chamber and took the opportunity to poke and prod me until I regained consciousness. When that happened, she silently arranged me so that I was sat up against the wall, studied me for a few moments with her hands on her hips, and then put her hand across my face with far more strength than I thought she possessed.
Suffice to say it took a second to overcome my disbelief. There are very few people that know me and would hit me anyway. Those who do are either a close match to my own strength, stupid or have a death wish. Combinations of the last two are the most enjoyable to beat back down.
However Bulma is neither my match, stupid (for a human at least) and despite appearances, she doesn't have a death wish either. She was very angry. And I had to admire her gall for striking me for it.
Shock quickly becoming surpassed by anger, Vegeta's already overwrought muscles tensed violently as his expression turned furious. It hadn't hurt, but indignity and shock made the stinging very notable. "What the Hell do you think you're doing?"
That tone would usually bring about an unconscious step back but not with Bulma, and certainly not now. She's listened to this tone for years and it had lost most if not all of its effect. Instead, she got even closer to her husband, her mouth a thin line and her scowl matching his. In the hand that hadn't struck him was clutched a sheet of paper, thin with perforated edges and still warm from the printer. She had half a mind to make him eat it, but gestured with it instead.
"How could you?" she screeched, almost growled. "I put up with you, keep you, feed you, bear your children, and you do this!"
The tone more than the words kept Vegeta silent. There was clearly something he was missing here, namely what exactly 'this' was. He found his composure over again and opened his mouth to yell back but Bulma dived in first.
"Who was it?" Hysteria now. She didn't want to know the answer and yet craved it at the same time. Not that she would ever get it. Getting that out of Vegeta would likely be similar to trying to squeeze an ocean with a perfectly developed ecosystem out of a rock, let alone blood.
"Who was good enough that the great Vegeta actually submitted to them?"
Vegeta found himself cringing a little then. So she'd somehow found out about that. 'That' was a small incident between Goku and himself two days after Chichi's death several weeks ago. He had been positive it hadn't gotten any further than the two of them, yet Bulma somehow knew that he'd gone behind her back and ended up in the submissive position to boot.
He hadn't meant for it to happen, but if he were to be honest he had been prepared for it. People did funny things in grief. Seeking physical comfort of that nature was one of them. Goku didn't seem particularly pleased with what had happened, and moreso the 'who' of it, but at the time Vegeta could plainly see that it was something needed.
It had started as a fight; a lot of their interactions did. It got more brutal though; less energy and more physical. It became more about pushing each other; straining and venting frustration and pain and denial on Goku's part. Vegeta just relished the fight.
Then it mutated into something else, into becoming lost in the actions, the sensations, separating from the grief and just focussing on the present. And that's when it got really violent. Vegeta could have stopped what happened then, had several opportunities to and only contemplated it upon the first before dismissing it. Saiyan instincts carried him onwards and the fight had already riled his senses more than enough.
Neither had stayed afterwards, taking a moment to regain breath and senses before flying off in different directions, a mutual agreement silently in place that this was not to be spoken of. Vegeta had taken off first. He was the one that broke the connection. Goku had risen to his feet and stared at him as if to say something, grasping for words he couldn't find, something to explain what had just happened. Vegeta had stared back coolly before making things simple for both of them and rising into the air. Goku followed suit seconds later. The next time they spoke it was as if the event had been erased.
Yet Bulma knew of it. But she hadn't mentioned Goku's name yet. And she'd demanded to know 'who'. Now Vegeta was quite confused.
She didn't give him a chance to speak. "I shouldn't be surprised, with you being you. But you have two children already and you can barely tolerate them. What went through your head this time I'll never know," she exclaimed, her hands jumping into the air in exasperation before throwing the crumpled printout into his lap and storming towards the door. The air was almost warm in her wake.
Blinking at the closed door, Vegeta found his gaze dropping to the paper on his thighs. This seemed to have been what had set her off, so it would be judicious of him to read it. Pulling apart the heavy creases as gently as possible so as not to shred it, Vegeta found that the page contained little but numbers and several words. It didn't take much careful scrutinizing to reach the inevitable conclusion though. He'd seen something similar before.
I hadn't thought much of the first datasheet I saw during the woman's pregnancy with Trunks. I only bothered looking at it to learn the sex of the child, quietly satisfied to see that it would be male. I wasn't disappointed to learn that Bra would be female, but a male heir to the throne was something that was already imprinted deeply on in my being. I had to filter through a lot of information to get to that fact at the time though, meaning that I recognized the numbers and words instantly on this sheet the third time.
Just small things, but they had explained my body's condition. Changes in my blood and the like, clear indicators that I needed to eat more and train less. These were not things that I embraced.
Bulma left me alone for the rest of the afternoon in the lab, her experiments and machines unattended throughout the night as well. When I felt I could walk, I spent some time reading through the other printouts, spending hours steadily coalescing the data along with some hastily written notes about them until I fully understood what had happened.
It seems that this whole situation had arisen simply from life's uncanny ability to continue. Kakarrot and I are, as far as I am aware, the only remaining full blooded Saiyans in the universe. Our species is almost extinct. Our bodies are capable of what to others seem to be miraculous feats; our strength is almost unparalleled. Now, my body seems to have found a way of sustaining the Saiyan race without a female handy. I can only assume that Goku is capable of the same thing. It was just a twist of fate that I was the test subject.
Three weeks old and barely the size of my thumbnail, I had found myself carting around the next pure generation in my gut. At the time of this discovery I had been most displeased. When I made a good attempt to turn Kakarrot's head about on his shoulders I was still angry. Now, sitting in a crack in the planet in need of food and sleep, I'm quite bemused.
Looking back now, I should have realised that something was up when the morning after that night I woke with a new tail idly slapping my thigh. I hadn't thought too much of it at the time and hadn't considering connecting the two, despite the fact that it was anything but ordinary with the extended length of a good foot and ebony black fur that fluffed out into an odd little tuft at the end. Then again, no one really said anything about it.
Kakarrot didn't know when I left and I'm quite certain that the woman didn't tell him. The awkward standoff hours before I had finally left assured me of that much. She had been preparing lunch for Trunks and Bra and had told me in as so many words that she would keep to her own business if I kept to mine. Essentially, I was still a father here even if I was to become one with another, and she was still the mother of my existing children. If I tried to do anything against that, there would be Hell to pay. Not that I would. Not that I have the energy to.
Not that I care.
The blanket of clouds visible between the sheer cliffs of earth breaks apart and a slither of moonlight finds it way to the ground to my right. I sigh for no particular reason and begin to work the muscles in my legs, willing them back to life and shifting on the rock I have been sitting on for hours. Aches and stings flare up everywhere but I persist. I decided I'd return when the moon showed up again and it has done. I had nothing else to use as an alarm. Going back when I felt 'ready' would have meant never going back at all, so something more reliable had been required.
It doesn't bother me that I return to the questions and consequences tonight. It was going to happen in the end, and my mood is far more amiable now than when I left, so there's little reason to stay other than to avoid the confrontations.
After a few minutes I finally stand, a wave of dizziness accompanying the motion although I show no sign of it despite the fact that I am alone. I am used to it now and it will likely stay for some time. Yes, I decided that no harm would come to this child and that I would do whatever was necessary to keep it alive and raise is afterwards. That was one of the first things I knew actually. I knew it when I walked out of the lab. It was the shock and complete lacking of choice in the matter that had caused my outburst and need to leave.
Flaring my ki experimentally, I am pleased to feel that it has not suffered as my body has. I do not make any attempt to suppress it as I take to the air, flying at a comfortable speed over the rest of this continent towards the ocean. I need not speak to Kakarrot of this as he will only make this even harder, although he well be the one to seek me out if I don't see him soon. He will probably know that I am returning and confront me, demanding to know why I had attacked him and left just as violently.
And then, I don't know. We'll see. Knowing him though this whole ordeal will be as irritating as physically possible. At least I haven't had morning sickness so far.
Apparently I should have returned home earlier than this, or at the very least eaten before now. I'm not flying at a speed that could possibly be considered strenuous and yet small black spots are steadily filling my vision, my sight becoming tunnelled as they build into a more and more dense mass. My limbs tremble and my head aches from the effort of staying airborne, my mind commanding my body to do as it is bid. I can feel that it's going to stop listening quite soon.
It's only seconds later that I'm proved right.
I don't lose consciousness as I had expected. I simply fall, my ki disappearing as if it was never there as my body decides that enough is enough and pulls the plug. I'm most displeased. At least I got within half a mile of Capsule Corp.
I only plummet a dozen or so meters before my fall is abruptly cut short, a strong hand grabbing the material at my back and pulling the fabric uncomfortably into my flesh. Ordinarily I'd resist the aid, twisting sharply to break their hold and then relaying my thoughts with a few well-placed slams. Not now though. Instead, I let whoever is clutching my clothing lower us both to the ground, moisture from the grass instantly seeping through to my knees. Dawn shouldn't be too far off.
The firm grasp releases and I watch as Piccolo comes about me, staring down at me from his admittedly impressive height. His silence continues as I stand, glowering as I do so, and his expression becomes one of great scrutiny as he seemingly searches me, or more precisely my ki. I don't bother suppressing it as pitiful as it already is right now although my tail twitches anxiously.
"Would you care to explain what that was about, or would you have me guess?" he asks smoothly, his arms crossed now and his head to one side. That burning gaze is still sweeping over me, and there's a sinking feeling in my gut that he's going to find out soon. I don't know why or how, but he'll see this. My ki has kept it hidden quite effectively but with it so low now I can't see how he'll miss it.
In answer to his question, I sneer and tip my head back, my posture now more befitting of my title as I quickly scan my surroundings. I know this area well. It's a short walk back and if I kept my pace steady I could walk it quickly without suffering in my weakened condition. So I begin to do just that.
Apparently I just needed to turn my back for my earlier prediction to come true. There's a rush of air as he gasps slightly and then he approaches me again. I keep walking, my eyes staring straight ahead. My stomach is all but gnawing now for food and the ache is beyond uncomfortable. My vision is normal now, but I have no desire to push my luck by flying again.
The Namek keeps the easy pace at my side. "You're-"
I cut off his hushed words with a grunt. I've only just acknowledged it to myself. I don't want to hear it aloud just yet. Kami knows how Kakarrot is going to find out. It's too wishful to hope that, if fate decides he must, he'll just notice asPiccolo has; he's far too dense for that. Perhaps I could just present it to him in five months and hope he sees the resemblance.
But no, he'd be too persistent for me to be able to totally avoid him for that long. A month I could get away with, two at a stretch and with great difficulty, but beyond that… I have no real idea of how this child is going to affect my body but I can make a few educated guesses. Obviously it's going to drain my energy quite effectively, throw off my center of balance when it's larger, and I can only imagine the fluctuations within my body I can look forward to. ki has a certain tendency to be tied into mood and if my Saiyan equivalents of hormones start to play up, even the gravity room isn't going to contain me.
I cast a quick glance at the tall Namek and feel my mouth twitch in a grimace. This is going to be a long few months, and apparently the aggravation is starting already.
Piccolo was silent after my non-verbal response to his last statement, obviously sensing that I'm really not in the mood, and rightly so. He persists though, as I had wholly expected him to. He's not going to leave me alone until he's satisfied, and there's no telling when that'll be. He can desire a seemingly minimalist amount of information about some things and mull out the rest himself, but sometimes he wants every scrap and detail he can get his hands on. I hope that in my case he'll be disposed towards the former, but I'm not that lucky.
There were very few things left in the universe that could really surprise Piccolo. He could remember the last time he'd been surprised and that was several years ago when a certain Kai had been pitted against him in a fighting tournament. Before that he couldn't think of another instance that had left him feeling like the planet he was on had just vanished beneath his boots. The sudden realisation that Vegeta was pregnant though… That just took the cake.
And the Saiyan Prince wasn't making any effort to deny it. Again, Piccolo was stunned. Making use of the rare opportunity to really look at Vegeta –who seemed to be letting him as they walked- he saw and understood just why he could sense the child. It was going to be powerful. Very powerful. It was already developing well from what he could sense, its own ki melting in with Vegeta's own quietly throbbing one.
It was clear that the Saiyan was exhausted and half-starved but the Namek knew far better than to make any verbal observations of that sort. He doubted Vegeta could take the strain of the ensuing fight. No, for now he'd just question, as the smaller man didn't seem to have the strength to fend off those either.
"How did this happen?"
Vegeta smirked thinly. "The usual way." At Piccolo's scowl he continued with a half shrug. "Saiyan thing. It shouldn't be surprising." It was only subtly obvious that Vegeta was lying through his teeth. Admitting that his body had suffered a mutation –especially of this kind- was not something he would do without a fight.
Piccolo frowned. "I didn't know about it."
A sigh followed by a quiet, rumbling sound as his stomach voiced its empty state once again. He really couldn't be bothered with this. "The gene for it has likely been in place for generations but I doubt it would have been common knowledge."
Silence fell between them for the rest of the walk, Piccolo's thoughts a frenzy that found themselves dancing about a single question: 'Who was the other father?' He had his suspicions, particularly based on recent events and the astonishing energy that the half-formed child was giving off now, which might have to be enough given Vegeta's disposition. The Namek remained at the Saiyan's side all the way back to Capsule Corp., primarily out of curiosity but also out of a sudden rush of protectiveness that under any other circumstances would be absurd. Vegeta was an accomplished fighter and more than capable of caring for himself.
However there was a deep and natural urge in the Namek to protect the weak and the young, and whilst Vegeta wasn't exactly weak right now, he was vulnerable and bearing a child. He needed to be watched, covertly of course, but definitely watched.
At the door now, Piccolo decided to throw caution to the wind before he lost his chance. "May I ask-"
"No you may not," Vegeta cut in instantly as if reading his mind. He turned away sharply and began making his way up the path to the front door, almost tasting the majority of the contents of the fridge.
Piccolo continued as if he had not been interrupted, recovering smoothly as he changed tact. "Does he know?"
Vegeta paused with his hand raised to open the door, his back still on the other but his head slowly shifting so that he gazed back down the path with one onyx eye. "Not yet. I don't know if he should do."
That had been unexpected. "Why not? Are you not going to keep it?" Piccolo doubted it before he had spoken. The child was clearly well established and if Vegeta had wanted it disposed of he would have gone about it as soon as possible.
A firm glare and a fair number of the muscles in his exposed back clenched at that question. "Of course I'm keeping it. I will not destroy a pure blooded Saiyan of my own lineage." Vegeta knew the second the words had left him that in his outrage at the thought of aborting the child he had just answered Piccolo's initial question regarding the second father, which was undoubtedly what it had been before he had altered it.
Piccolo's brows rose minutely. 'Pure blooded' had certainly confirmed his suspicions. And Goku didn't even know yet. This was certainly a difficult situation. There had always been a long-standing rivalry between the two Saiyans and obviously this child's conception had been the result of one-off event, likely caused by the palpable grief left after Chichi's death. Although the child's circumstances weren't exactly perfect, Vegeta already appeared to feel very strongly over it. He couldn't quite be sure what Goku's reaction would be when he found out, although shock was likely going to be a key constituent. He doubted he'd reject Vegeta or the child though. It just wasn't in the man's nature.
Vegeta tore his gaze away from Piccolo deciding that he'd said more than enough for one night and that if he didn't eat and rest soon he'd likely collapse. Tipping his head once stiffly, he let himself in and then took a second to lean against the closed door. So, Piccolo knew both about the child and Goku, bringing the grand total of people in the loop up to three, none of which were the second father. He'd have to start eating before he began laughing outright at the sheer absurdity of the whole damn thing.
This is ridiculous. I don't eat for days, have flown hundreds of miles, am sustaining another life and I barely manage a fraction of what I usually constitute as a meal. The food stock is hardly dented, but the warning swirl in my gut is strongly advising that I don't do anything to change it. And I won't. I refuse to vomit; refuse to adhere to the side effects of this condition, even if I have to do it by sheer force of will. The prince of Saiyans does not get morning sickness.
Oh, but it's creeping in. It's definitely morning now, the woman is in the lab and my son has not appeared to begin training –something I'm going to need to sort out swiftly- so it shan't be hard to slip upstairs and try to sleep off the feeling. It'll also be a means by which to avoid people for at least part of the day; I really couldn't stomach another meeting with Piccolo just yet.
Shoving my partially cleared plate in the general direction of the sink, I rise from the table and begin to make my way to my bedroom. Passing Trunk's door, I pause and give it a hard slam with my fist. "Up now Trunks, and I want you six pounds lighter from sweat by this evening!" I'm satisfied by the flurry of movement I can hear from inside. That should keep him out of my hair for a while.
Reaching my room, I take a few moments to rid myself of my boots and gloves and flew my suddenly cold fingers, rubbing the pads into my palms as I become used to the feeling of actual touch for a few moments. The bed is too inviting to bother with a shower, and I haven't done anything strenuous so I don't particularly need one, so I drop down onto it without pause. Instantly my energy seems to dissipate entirely but I'm too tired to care. Working my way under the layers of sheets and blankets, I finally fall still by the sheer fact that my limbs have refused to move. Closing my eyes and sighing irritably at the cold feeling in my gut, I fully relax and embrace the dreamscape.
Vegeta didn't open his eyes immediately upon waking. He never did. It was a very old habit that he hadn't bothered trying to kick and would likely prove impossible to leave him should he ever try. He didn't like to think of himself as paranoid by any means, but he was certainly on his guard a lot of the time. Feigning sleep for a few minutes whilst he took in information with his other senses had been helpful in the past, even if whoever was there knew he was awake. It simply let the world in slower and in more detail, allowing him to digest the sensory information at his own pace without being bombarded by it all at once. One of the reasons he hated nightmares; he woke from those with a start, bolt upright and still half in it. He'd never get used to it.
He hadn't dreamt of anything this time though. No, it was the sound of voices that had awoken him today - or tonight, he couldn't tell. Eyes still closed and breath low and steady, Vegeta quickly discerned that it was several voices in the room, all half a dozen feet off to his right side. Bulma, Eighteen, Krillin and Goku. It took a moment to arrest his voice and ki at that realisation. Fortunately they were all in deep in conversation with each other, although the words were muffled even with his Saiyan hearing.
Vegeta could sense the tension in the room though, along with the individuals who weren't speaking. Trunks was close to him, and with an internal groan he realised that Piccolo wasn't far off either. It was starting to feel more and more like a circus in here.
The next thing that Vegeta took note of was that the bed he was now in was not the same as the one he had gone to sleep in. This one was a lot firmer, narrower and stank of that medical odour that always accompanied hospitals. Inhaling slowly through his nose, Vegeta did let his ki twitch as he realised that he'd been carted to the medical part of Capsule Corp. at some point whilst he was sleeping. He couldn't get a minute's peace around here.
A prick of hunger ran through Vegeta's stomach and he frowned at it as he finally opened his eyes. He'd eaten as much as his body would allow before sleeping. Just how long had he been here?
Tipping his head to the side, away from the voices, he found Trunks perched on a stool at his bedside, watching his face with wide, concerned eyes. When Vegeta said nothing for several seconds, the boy spoke in a hushed voice. "Dad? Are you all right?"
The voices hadn't broken off their furious triad behind them and Trunks seemed to be aware that they weren't going to any time soon. "I'm fine," he assured firmly, his strong voice asserting as much. His stomach clenched as he spoke though and Vegeta closed his eyes for a brief moment as the room tipped and rotated clockwise sharply.
"Lair," Piccolo stated gruffly from over Trunks' shoulder, staring down his nose at the smaller man. Vegeta glared darkly but chose not to respond.
"You've been asleep for three days, dad." Vegeta noted idly that that explained the hunger pangs. "You wouldn't wake up and we were getting worried," Trunks continued to inform him quietly, his eyes darting over to the four still debating before flashing back to his father. "Mum won't say what's wrong with you, and Goku's getting really mad."
Vegeta nodded slightly in acknowledgement and quickly considered his options. He could either continue to lie here like an invalid and wait to see what happened or he could get up and find some food. It wasn't that hard a decision really. Throwing off the sheet, Vegeta grimaced at the unnatural chill that came when he saw that he'd been stripped down to his boxers, but swung his legs over the side of the bed smoothly and rested his weight on them experimentally.
The room seemed to have decided to stay put for now so he stood entirely, ignoring the fact that the voices had gone silent and striding past the collection of people with single-minded intent. Naturally it was Goku who ignored Vegeta's body language, expression and ki, reaching out and grabbing his arm as he walked by him towards the door. The look that he got at the action threatened his immediate safety in great detail, the tail about Vegeta's waist tightening unconsciously.
"Vegeta, I think it's best that you stay put for now. You're not well, although someone won't actually say what it is that's wrong with you." The usually gentle-natured Saiyan's sarcastic tone held steel at its edge as he turned his sights from the prince to Bulma. The human simply huffed and put her hands on her hips, the picture of stubbornness.
For his part, Vegeta removed his arm from Goku's grip by means of wrenching it back and continued towards the door. It seemed that Bulma was going to continue to be something of a distraction whilst he ransacked the fridge.
A familiar presence appeared behind him and followed gradually closing distance as he traversed the corridors. Perhaps not then. Vegeta let Goku follow him, not seeing any reason to disallow it. His ki was strong again, easily masking the child's life signature, and he didn't intend on changing things between himself and the other Saiyan. Not now anyway. No reason to complicate the situation even more than it already was.
He was actually quite surprised that Bulma still hadn't told anyone, but then she was probably as embarrassed as he'd initially been. To have everyone learn that Vegeta had cheated on her was bad enough but to let them know that he was pregnant on top of it… He was quite sure that he could safely assume that she would continue to keep her mouth shut about his little 'ailment'.
"So what is wrong with you?" Goku finally asked when the finally reached the kitchen, Vegeta heading straight for the fridge and ignoring the question in his quest for food. The larger man's voice became notably gentler as he lowered himself into a seat at the table, his hands folding together on the worn surface. "Is it serious?"
A pile of various meats balanced between one forearm and his chest, Vegeta closed the fridge with his free hand and placed the bowl of rice that he hadn't finished last time on the table and eyed the spread dubiously. Once again, he found himself feeling half-starved yet nauseas at the same time. Deciding to start on the rice, he plucked the chopsticks out of the bowl as he finally answered Goku.
"No." He realised that he should have just outright denied any illness rather than saying that even as he spoke. There was nothing for it now though, so he simply set about finishing the bowl of rice. He ate slowly and deliberately, concentrating on the feeling in his stomach and throat as he swallowed. He didn't want to find that he'd eaten too much in a Technicolor fashion in front of the other Saiyan.
Goku noticed the unnaturally slow pace and it worried him immensely. Vegeta's face was tinged pallid and he seemed to be concentrating stoically on swallowing, as if he feared he wouldn't keep the rice down unless he was careful. "Are you sure? You've not been well for days, and when you disappeared before then your ki was sickly." He lent forward slightly, not really realising he had done so. "You look different as well; you're posture's changed or something."
"And you'd know the ins and outs of my body well enough to judge all that, wouldn't you?" Vegeta wasn't quite sure where that acidic remark had come from, but it had felt good to say it and it succeeding in silencing the other for a second as a surprised expression overtook his features.
Goku looked like he wanted to check about him for any of the others, to assure himself that they weren't being listened to, but he kept his gaze firmly on Vegeta's. "I don't know why you're angry about that all of a sudden. You haven't said anything until just now, and it seemed to be a mutual thing at the time."
He'd stopped eating now and his temper had flared suddenly, blood rushing past his ears as his brows dropped to frame his glare. "Not that you'd remember it well. You were so far gone in your grief over that harpy of yours, I doubt you were even paying attention to what I was doing."
That had obviously stung and Vegeta smirked thinly. It hadn't been like that, of course, but he was goading the other now, trying to make him angry enough to lash out verbally and leave him alone or to just storm off in general. He didn't want Goku near him at the moment, not when the nausea was creeping back again after half a bowl of rice and he was feeling decidedly pitiful. This was Goku's fault to a large degree and a corner of his mind, the bit that was smarting at the dent in his pride this whole baby thing had caused, was more than happy to place sole blame for this situation on him.
Goku wasn't playing though, his own eyes narrowing with barely disguised malice and his words sharp in their rebuttal. "I remember you being face-down for most of it, so obviously I had been paying some attention."
Vegeta realised that he must have taken a temporary leave of his senses after that remark for next thing he knew he had straddled Goku on his back on the floor whilst still seated on the chair, his jugular between the fingers of his left hand and his right fist pulled back far behind him, the muscles taut and trembling as he held onto the aimed strike. Breathing through his teeth, Vegeta found himself utterly unable to land the blow that he so desperately wanted to, something holding him back from hurting the other. Each Saiyan stared at each other with an intensity that almost crackled, Goku also finding himself struggling with the urge not to physically retaliate.
A rush of footfalls from the doorway and then a weight landed uncomfortably on Vegeta's back. The air rushed out of Goku from the suddenness of it, Vegeta twisting violently against the hand that had snapped across his collarbone and rested a thumb firmly over a pressure point there. He found he had no trouble in flinging Krillin across the room and into the cupboards above the sink, watching with satisfaction as the smaller man dropped directly onto the tap before rolling down onto the floor.
He was back up on his feet within a second, but by then Vegeta had already gotten off of Goku and moved close enough to land a series of lightning-quick punches into Krillin's face. The nausea increased tenfold with his sudden movements but he'd be damned if he let that hold him back.
"What on earth is going on in here?" Bulma suddenly demanded loudly from the doorway, staring in outrage at her disarrayed kitchen and at what seemed to be the start of a rather large fight. "Get away from each other right now!"
Krillin still had his hand resting at the curve beneath Vegeta's sternum. "He started it!"
Vegeta's snarled and directed an accusing hand at Goku who was still on the floor, although now in a squat having untangled himself from the chair. "He incited me."
Bulma dived in before Goku could finish opening his mouth to pitch in his own contribution. "I don't care who started it; I will not have fighting in this house. Now all of you out, except for you," she ordered, pointing now at Vegeta with a matching glare. "You stay right here."
Goku and Krillin complied, scowling as they did so, leaving Vegeta standing exactly as where he was as he crossed his arms and continued his level stare at the woman. Bulma rounded the table and visually scanned him over, taking in the red marks that would not bruise and the light tremble of agitation that haunted his shoulders.
"Just what were you thinking?" she finally hissed, disbelief replacing anger but leaving the outrage in her tone. "You can't get into fights now, even if you are provoked. I don't know if you realise it, but this is a dangerous situation you've somehow gotten yourself into, and I'm not going to let your thick headedness get you killed and leave me and the children alone."
She took a long breath, glancing away from Vegeta although her mouth remained a thin line. "I'm even less happy with all of this than you are, but I'll be damned if I let you make an even bigger mess of it. I've disowned this for the most part and short of keeping you healthy I'm not going to help you, so you'd better start taking some responsibility for your actions.
"And believe it or not, Goku came here worried about you. He's your friend whether or not you want to see it, so you'd be wise to start accepting that, because he's going to find out about that baby and he's going to want to help even if it's none of his business. That's what he's like. So you'd better sort out that temper of yours around him before there's an explosion that even a senzu can't patch you up after."
Vegeta was quite sure she wasn't referring to any physical injuries he himself could sustain just then. Staring at her mutely with an iron-control on the urge to shout back at her, he nodded once stiffly and looked away to the side. This was already turning out to be more trouble than he'd expected.
Satisfied with his silence, Bulma's face softened marginally and her hands dropped from her hips. "Now the reason you were asleep for so long is that you'd exhausted yourself. Even before all this you never slept enough, so you need to start resting more and obviously training less." At his incensed glare she merely raised a brow. "I doubt you'll be in any condition to fight at all in a few months time, so you might as well accept that now."
Gesturing to the remarkably undisturbed collection of food on the table, she continued on with her tone firmly locked in 'lecture mode'. "Also, you're going to have to start eating more to keep up with that child as well as your normal metabolism."
That struck a tender nerve and Vegeta threw out his hands in exasperation. "Damnit woman! I've can't even stomach what I normally eat!"
Bulma looked unperturbed at his outburst, her tone almost patronizing. Not completely though as this was still Vegeta in front of her, regardless or not of being his wife. "Well then you're going to have to break it down, eating regularly and in small amounts."
Nodding sharply at his grumbling acquiescence, Bulma glanced at the downed chair pointedly before turning on her heel and striding back to her lab. Even as a human she couldn't miss the heated glare that Vegeta bore into her shoulder blades as she left, and she smiled thinly to herself. Carrying a demi-Saiyan had been nightmarish, the baby unnaturally strong before birth, and she couldn't help but feel some satisfaction at Vegeta's condition. As she walked through the empty corridors, she mused to herself that this might teach him not to cross her behind her back.
Next chapter in a few days. Please leave some sort of feedback, as I'd appreciate any and all responses.