"You missed something, woman," he said, his lips curling into a smirk. He looked to Bulma quickly before saying another word. She nodded slowly, unable to keep from smiling. "We're getting married."
The room erupted with sound again, and Bulma and Vegeta couldn't help but laugh. They were finally together, finally happy…finally.
"You know," she said, wrapping her arms lovingly around his shoulders from behind, "I always knew."
"Knew what?" he sighed, shrugging her off.
"Vegeta Ouji," she half-yelled half-laughed. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. Did you really think information like this could get by me?"
"It was worth a try."
"You can't keep shutting me out." The sudden change in her tone caught his attention, but he didn't look at her. How could he? For so long he'd been shoving her away, sizing her up right in front of her, comparing her to other people and wishing, just for a moment, she were someone else. And now, the more he thought about it—though, of course, the thoughts would have lied dormant if not for outside persuasion—the more he wanted that gap to be filled in, somehow mended, and then their lives could move on.
As things stood now, no one was going anywhere.
"Give me time," he finally said in a low whisper, his head down, right foot already turning to leave.
"How's dinner sometime? Whenever you want."
He looked up into her soft chocolate eyes, unable to do anything but stare for a moment. And then, very slowly, he nodded and walked away.
"I'm seriously going to slap you, Vegeta," Bulma sighed, her brow knitted in irritation, an almost invisible smile gracing her lips. His actions had been cute and welcomed and hour ago, but she didn't want to spend the rest of the night lying in silence. She'd fall asleep if that were the case. "Do I have to send you to the living room?"
Vegeta groaned and climbed out the bed, veering into the bathroom. Bulma smiled; he'd never willingly sleep away from her. When he came back out ten minutes later, he smelled like mint and shaving cream. She pressed her lips to his cheek once he was settled next to her; Kami she loved how that felt; warm and smooth and damp.
"You're a horrible person," he said when she pulled back and got comfortable.
"Don't start with me. We've been together a week and you're starting."
Vegeta's deep frown made her laugh.
"I understand that you haven't really had time with…er…my belly, but I think I deserve some of your time." His frown didn't lessen in the least. "Oh come on, Vegeta." She grabbed his face and forced him to look her in the eye. "Kiss me."
Demand or not, kissing Bulma was something he would never get tired of doing. And he realized, as her fingers raked into his hair, that this was it, finally, and he couldn't remember a time he'd been so happy. Truly happy. All his life, even when his father was alive, he'd always had that deep-seeded anger lurking inside him. Now he couldn't locate it, even if he wanted to. Having Bulma in his arms was the antidote for all the pain life had thrown at him, and, even if they fought, he knew that once her arms were around him, or her lips were pressed to his, the anger could never hold its ground for long.
But then another, equally troubling thought entered his mind. He'd hurt her, cheated on her, and rubbed it in her face. For months he'd repeatedly made her feel lower than dirt, but now he's allowed to have her back? It wasn't justice, not for her, not for the woman he now knew he loved and had even before he screwed up. He'd loved her then and his fear had pushed him to bring her pain, a pain he knew all too well, the pain of being hollow inside, cold through and through. His entire being had been enveloped in that pain from the moment his father died, and he'd brought that to her.
He didn't deserve her at all.
"You make me hate myself even more," he sighed, turning away.
"I wish I didn't, but I knew I would, and I'm sorry."
"You," he said, almost fiercely, "did NOTHING wrong. Never apologize to me. Never. Nothing you can do could ever match what I did."
"Oh Vegeta," Bulma sighed, pulling his head to rest on her shoulder. "You don't need to keep beating yourself up for this. I've forgiven you. You obviously regret what happened, and as far as I'm concerned, that's all that matters…That, and that you love me. I don't need you to change your entire personality just to please me. I love you just the way you are. I wouldn't have you any other way."
"I am different though," he said, more to himself than to her, as if just realizing it at that moment, though it had been the reason for their break-up in the first place. He was changing and he feared that more than anything at the moment; now his biggest fear was not being everything for Bulma. "But I don't feel different."
"You're sure acting different." She pulled her head back and looked at him, searching his eyes. "Are you ok, Vegeta?"
He glowered at her and sunk into the pillows, closing his eyes. He knew he should talk to her, tell her exactly what was on his mind, down to every last detail, but there was just too much. She was under so much stress already, stress he caused the moment he got into bed with her; he wouldn't cause anymore. He might tell her some day, but tonight he was just going to give her himself.
He opened his eyes and looked over at her.
"Please tell me."
"I'm fine," he insisted, forcing a yawn. "Now come here. It's been hell sleeping without you."
Bulma sighed knowingly and obliged. Yes she had him, but getting him to open up completely was a whole different game. It would take time and energy, two things she didn't have enough of at the moment.
She kissed his closed eyelids tenderly and settled comfortably beside him.
"Tomorrow," she thought, just as sleep began to take her away. "Tomorrow he'll tell me…"
For months everything was calm; everything was quiet. Their lives were perfect.
And then it happened.
Bulma held Chi-Chi's hand tightly, holding them together with her other hand. Their breathing matched almost exactly; fast, sharp, heavy. Neither were in any condition to go anywhere. They were completely alone…and scared out of their minds.
"It's coming," Chi-Chi gasped, her free arm clenched around her belly, as if trying to keep the baby inside.
"It's about time," Bulma half-laughed, a small sweat breaking out on her forehead. "Almost two weeks late, Chi." She wanted so badly to be completely there for her friend, but, the truth was that she was feeling her worst today since getting pregnant. Her due date was in two weeks, but she swore the baby wanted out now.
"You're telling me," Chi-Chi laughed, her face tensing as a contraction came and went. "Where the hell is Goku!" she hissed, clenching her fist tighter. Bulma winced, but did nothing to lessen the pain.
"On a plane headed this way," Bulma said, trying her best to sound reassuring. Green Dragon had been in Kyoto on band business for the past month. Goku and Vegeta were, of course, ready to come home at a moment's notice should their fiancées go into labor. "He left the second I called."
"And a doctor! I'm not having this baby in your fucking living room!"
Bulma took a deep breath, reminding herself that her friend was going through incomprehensible amounts of pain.
"I called my mom. She's on her way. Just hold on."
"Your chauffer has arrived!" came Mrs. Briefs' cheery voice. Neither girl had heard her pull up or the door open.
Five minutes later the three women were in a speeding car, headed towards the nearest hospital. Mrs. Briefs ran as many red lights as Chi-Chi's heart rate could handle, and, in a matter of ten minutes, they skidded into the hospital parking lot.
"I'm not having this baby without Goku!" Chi-Chi snapped, clinging to Bulma's arm with her vice-like grip. Expertly, Mrs. Briefs detached the girls, eased Chi-Chi into a wheelchair, and pushed her to the receptionist's desk.
"Hello. This is Chi-Chi Mau. And she's ready to have her baby."
The receptionist eyed the three women almost suspiciously, then handed Mrs. Briefs a clipboard with forms that needed to be filled out.
"Are you her mother?"
"No, no. Her father will be here shortly, if traffic isn't too bad."
"And the father of the child?" She didn't even try to mask her disgust.
"On his way as well."
"I see…Fill those out. A doctor will be with you shortly…"
Chi-Chi was halfway out of her seat, ready to pounce on the nasty receptionist, when the Ox King came charging in, wrapping his large, warm arms around his tiny daughter. Bulma let out a deep breath and took a seat on a couch near the receptionist's desk. Hopefully things would go better now.
Goku kissed Chi-Chi's face over so many times Bulma swore he was trying to clean it. Two minutes ago he'd come running in, just as they'd eased Chi-Chi up on a stretcher, ready to wheel her into the delivery room. He was in such a hurry he didn't see anyone else in the lounge.
As soon as they were gone through the double doors, everyone let out a simultaneous sigh. Finally she could have her baby.
Bulma took one last look at the doors Chi-Chi had just gone through, then turned to take a breather while she waited. It was so quick, so absolute, that no one could have predicted it. She stared down at the liquid mess at her feet, her fingers trembling as she brought them to her lips. Her eyelids turned to lead, her mind completely blank, as her body fell backwards.
"Kami, woman," snapped a scared, yet slightly angry voice in her ear. "What's your problem?"
Vegeta set her gently in a chair, kneeling before her as she came to.
"My-My-My…" Fat tears rolled down her cheeks, connecting under her chin, before dropping off onto her chest. "Vegeta, I'm having the baby…now."
"Woman, what're you talking about? You're not due for another week. Kakarot's woman is having her baby."
"Vegeta!" She pointed angrily at the floor, a puddle of water her only evidence. "My fucking water just broke! And what the hell are you doing home!"
"You think I don't know you?" he sighed, easing into the chair next to her. "When Chi-Chi had her baby I knew you'd get emotional because you like being pregnant and don't want to have the baby yet…It's a good thing I came." He looked up, caught the receptionist's eye, and shouted, "Baby!"
"Aren't you scared?" she whispered, hugging her swollen belly.
"Not more in my life," he said monotone, placing a warm hand on top of hers. "Are you going to be alright for a minute? My mother would murder me if I didn't call her."
Bulma only smiled and nodded. She had a good while before the contractions actually started. Her last moments of peace. Her last moments being pregnant. And then she was a mother.
After an hour of arguing, many threats, and much persuasion, Bulma grinned wide as she was wheeled into Chi-Chi's room and placed in a bed next to hers. Moments later Goku and Vegeta arrived, each going to their respective fiancées, whimpering baby boys tucked comfortably in their arms.
"Kami!" Bulma cried, as the light purple haired baby was lowered into her arms, her husband-to-be taking a seat beside her, having never looked happier in his entire life. "A mother. I'm a mother! A mother!"
"I think I know what you mean," Chi-Chi laughed, her beaming black haired baby asleep in her arms. "And I had to do it first. Gohan is a full hour and a half older than Trunks."
"I still can't believe they have the same birthday," Krillin commented, stepping up in between the two beds. "Two weeks late and two weeks early. It's crazy. Like you guys planned it…You didn't—"
"Krillin!" the girls yelled in unison, and 18 pulled him into a headlock, giving him a good hard noogie.
"I guess all that's left are the weddings," 17 said, his eyes instinctively going to Maris, and then Krillin, who smiled secretly at him. Several weeks back he'd purchased an engagement ring, asking Krillin to come along to help, seeing as he'd known Maris longer. He would have asked Bulma or Chi-Chi, but, honestly, he didn't trust their bond and thought they might excitedly let the information slip. So, figuring that he should get to know his sister's boyfriend better, he called Krillin. He not only agreed, but announced that he'd been planning on buying a ring himself, even had one picked out.
Now all that was left was for them to pop the question.
The cool wind swept through the small crowd, refreshing and soothing them. The heat of mid-afternoon had begun to take its toll on many of them, even causing a few people to faint. But, now that the sun was beginning to leave, and the air was turning cool, the mild complaining stopped and they were able to enjoy themselves much better.
In a breezy stonewalled room, Bulma sat with her hands in her lap, the faint smell of jasmine and lavender in the air. She couldn't remember a time she'd been this tense. Even when presenting a new project to the Capsule Corp. Board she wasn't this anxious.
She glanced in the mirror, making sure her make-up wasn't smeared by her nervous sweating. As her eyes drifted back to her lap, her ears perked at the sound of the door opening. She looked up and smiled. It was her girls, Gohan cradled in Chi-Chi's arms and Trunks in Maris's. 18 held a small box.
"I was wondering when you guys would show," Bulma laughed, trying desperately to mask her apprehension. Maris walked over and set Trunks in her awaiting arms, then leaned in and gave her friend a gentle kiss on the cheek.
"You look amazing," she said, stepping back.
"What's the box for?" she asked, blushing slightly at the compliment.
"A contribution gift," 18 said, handing it to Bulma and pulling off the bow so she didn't have to adjust Trunks to do it. Bulma looked down into the box, then back to 18, a wrinkle of confusion in her brow.
"It's a song. We've been writing it for months. It was Vegeta's idea."
Bulma touched the unimportant-looking pieces of paper in the ordinary box, feeling the weight of the day beginning to press on her. A single tear cascaded down her cheek, splashing on the first page of the song.
"When can I hear it?" she whispered, looking up and wiping her eyes.
"Today. We're going to play it for you."
"Here," Chi-Chi said, reaching into her blue silk purse, matching her dress perfectly. She pulled out a small package of travel tissues, setting them on Bulma's vanity table. "You'll need these. Me and Mar' did."
Bulma could only smile at the gesture, and lifted Trunks, giving him a loving kiss on the forehead.
"I'm so happy he could be here for this," she said offhandedly, just as the door opened again.
"Baby pick-up," Mrs. Briefs said, her face beaming with pride. She scooped Trunks into her arms, but not until giving her daughter one last hug and kiss. Mr. Mau stood in the doorway, little Gohan already in his arms, that same goofy grin on his face as always. Bulma wasn't his daughter of course, but she was close enough, and he was proud all the same. "I love you, sweety."
"I love you too mom."
And, just as quickly, she was alone again, and no less tense.
Would this day ever end?
"Nervous, honey?" Dr. Briefs whispered, as Bulma hooked her arm through his.
"Come on dad," she laughed, lifting her head just a little higher. "Am I ever?"
"Never more in my life."
"I know you won't regret this, honey."
"I know, I know. But—"
"But still, I know. It happens to us all."
A gentle stream of music issued from an organ several yards away. Bulma's entire form tensed and she looked to her father, as if he would have all the answers.
She took a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, then nodded. As the music picked up a little, Bulma and her father exited the grand white tent, all eyes on them and only them. For fifteen seconds the world slowed to a snails' pace. Each step Bulma took was small, but it represented so much more; her life, her future.
And then suddenly they were at the altar. Dr. Briefs kissed his daughter lovingly on the cheek and stepped to the side.
As they planned their wedding, Bulma and Vegeta had decided that neither could see the other before the ceremony. They also decided—and it was entirely Vegeta's idea—that they write their own vows.
When Bulma finally looked up at her fiancé she couldn't remember a time he'd looked more gorgeous, his slightly softened features accentuated by the stiffly pressed tux. He stepped towards her, slowly lifting her veil. It was considerably difficult for them both to not kiss each other.
Bulma could hardly hear the minister as he read from his bible only a foot in front of her. Her eyes were fixed on Vegeta, her heart pounding so hard it felt as though she'd just run for miles.
"I have been informed that you are reading your own vows," the minister said, turning to Bulma. She nodded, taking a lace-printed piece of paper from Chi-Chi who stood just behind her.
"Vegeta," she said, not taking her eyes off of him for a moment. "I don't know exactly when it was that I knew I loved you. The feeling came out of nowhere and I clung to it with a woman's ferocity." A small chuckle issued through the crowd. "And although our relationship didn't start perfect and isn't now and never will be, I know that being with you for the rest of my life is the only thing for me. Without you I'm not Bulma. I love you, Vegeta."
In the front row, Mrs. Briefs muffled her sobbing with her fancy handkerchief.
Now it was Vegeta's turn. He took his plain piece of paper from Goku and cleared his throat.
"Bulma," he said, his voice gruff and slightly shaky. "I haven't always been the best thing for you. In fact, I've been a downright pain." Again the wedding guests felt it was appropriate to laugh. "You were the only person who saw good in me and you helped me see that myself, through tears and pain and anger. I made rash decisions out of fear and confusion. I had never felt something so strong for another person before, and so I ran from it. I ran as far from it as I could, but you," he laughed almost sorrowfully, "you chased after me, and you caught me, and when I had you in my arms again I understood what I had been running from. You should have slapped me, but instead you kissed me and I knew that nothing in this world could ever keep me from you again. You are everything to me and, if you'll let me, I want to be everything I can for you…Bulma, I've lived my life too long without you. I love you."
For the longest second in history there was a perfect silence. And then the minister said, "Bulma, do you take Vegeta Ouji as your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I do," she whispered, her eyes welling with the sweetest of tears. "I do." And she slipped the ring on his finger.
"And do you, Vegeta, take Bulma Briefs as your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do," he said without the slightly hesitation, slipping the ring on her finger.
"Then by the power given me, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may ki—"
But they were one step ahead of him, their arms tangled around one another, their lips locked in the most passionate and memorable kiss to date.
"Woo!" 18 yelled from behind her, pumping her fist in the air. "You did it, B! You're married!"
"You bet I am!" Bulma beamed back as Vegeta scooped her into his arms and ran passed the minister. "This is the beginning of the rest of our lives," she said into her husband's ear.
Vegeta's smirk was the last thing she saw as they were submerged under the water of the crystal-clear pond in the oasis. A roaring cheer came from the crowd that could be heard even under water, and when the couple finally resurfaced, half the wedding party was in the pond as well.
"So," Vegeta said, kissing his wife's wet lips. "What did you think?"
"I think you're a genius," she laughed and splashed him ferociously. "Married in Egypt! I love you!"
He pounced on her, wrapped her up tight in his arms. Their clothes didn't matter; the tux was generic and Bulma had two wedding dresses; it was only when Vegeta carried her off and they plummeted into the pond that everyone finally knew why.
"Did I answer your questions good enough?"
Bulma raised a questioning eyebrow.
"In my vows," he said, rolling his eyes at her slowness.
"You are perfect," she whispered into his lips.
"And you are all I ever wanted. I love you Bulma Ouji…"
Well, I hope I didn't leave any loose ends. And I hope I didn't disappoint anyone. I know it took me FOREVER to finish this, but I've been unbelievably busy with schoolwork and such and I've hardly had any time.
Oh! And what did you think of them getting married in Egypt? And then jumping into the oasis they visited in the last fic? I thought that was mighty clever :P