Note: This story is one of fourteen that I am writing - companion pieces to my as-yet-unpublished-book, DRAGONBALL Z: AND THE GREATEST OF THESE. While the book itself fits accepted DBZ canon, these stories are meant to expand on themes not explored in depth in AND THE GREATEST OF THESE, or as in the case of "Twisted Timelines," are tales based on those two words of such promise… 'What if…'
Grunting with the effort, Vegeta continued training inside of the gravity chamber in his ship. The only thing that still really works on this wreck, he thought disdainfully, deliberately ignoring the fact that the reason it no longer flew was because he'd crashed it into the grounds of Capsule Corporation two years ago.
Over the hum of the gravitron engine he heard a tapping, and he glanced over toward the door of the capsule in irritation. Then he recognized the woman standing outside, and he slapped his hand against the controls to reset the gravity. Even through the walls of the capsule he could sense her energy, and something about it suddenly had his undivided attention.
"Simulation terminated. Normal gravity restored."
The door automatically unlocked and swung open.
"Don't you ever get tired of training?" Kurenai asked as she came inside, wrinkling her nose slightly as the prince approached.
"No. Now tell me what has you so wound up that you're practically shaking."
Her mouth fell open. "How did you know?"
"It's a Saiyan's job to know his wife's energy level as well as his own. So out with it."
He could tell she was dying to tell him, but that mischievous streak of hers would never let her just blurt something out. "So if you know so much about my energy level, then you tell me what it is, your highness."
Vegeta took a step back and assessed Kurenai carefully from head to toe. Outwardly, she looked exactly the same as she had when they'd first met two years earlier. Black hair tumbling to her waist, vivid blue-violet eyes, fair skin and slim build. No, there would be never any physical change in her, thanks to the immortality she possessed. She would never become ill, never age, never die… outliving everyone she knew, including himself.
He refused to let his mind dwell on those thoughts. None of that matters. What matters is that I have her for now, and that is the important thing. Our lives, our worlds, our energies are joined for this life.
Suddenly his eyes widened and dropped to her stomach.
Then they shot back up to her face, where even as he shook his head in disbelief, he saw her smile and nod.
Her hand rested lightly on her stomach as tears of joy sparkled in her eyes.
His whisper was soft and almost awed in the darkness where they lay in bed, spoon fashion.
Vegeta felt more than saw her nod.
"Yes… I could scarcely believe it myself. All these long years, I never believed… never dared dream it was possible."
He could understand that. For centuries, Kurenai had led a hunted life as a wandering immortal, never daring to stay in one place and settle down, but now with him, she'd found the peace and strength she'd been searching for all her life. Although he knew that he was not the first lover she'd had in her long life, never before had she ever conceived a child, and Kurenai herself had actually wondered if she had been barren even before she became immortal.
Vegeta felt her take his hand from where it had been resting on her shoulder and placed it flat over her belly. He concentrated hard, and felt the faintest flicker of energy. His energy, combined with hers, slowly growing inside of her body to become a new life all its own.
My God… he thought in amazement, the enormity of it all nearly overwhelming him. If ten years ago, someone had told him that he would marry a human woman and settle down, he would have either burst out laughing or killed him for the impertinence. But here he was, living on Earth, married to a woman whose lineage and power were nearly the equal of his own, and soon he would have an heir… a child…
"What should we name the baby?" Kurenai asked softly.
"Can you tell if it's male or female?"
"Not this early, no. Maybe in a month or two."
"If it's a boy…"
"Then we'll name him for his father, and yours," she said simply, and Vegeta smiled with pride. Yes, his wife knew him well.
"And if it's a girl?" he asked. "Would you like to name her for your mother?"
She shook her head, and he caught the momentary flash of anger that came from her. "No… even after all this time, I've not yet forgiven her… either of them. No, if it's a girl… I'd like to name her Keiki."
"Keiki," he echoed.
"Yes. It means 'chance.'"
"My God," he repeated, this time aloud.
Even after Kurenai fell asleep in his arms, Vegeta lay awake and stared at the ceiling.
It was almost too unreal to believe, but the proof of it all was right there beside him.
Kurenai stirred in her sleep and he glanced down at the sleeping immortal. Memories rushed through his mind all at once.
Meeting her for the first time at Capsule Corporation after Goku had rescued her…
Their first date, which she had won on a dare…
Making love to her for the first time…
Asking her to marry him after spiriting her away to their favorite place by the lake…
Yes, he thought, only she could ever have been his choice for a mate, for a wife, for his queen. Sole heiress of one of the Four Lords, daughter of the two most powerful sorcerers of the age, and immortal as well. Beautiful, wise, and loving, far more than he ever deserved, for that matter. Even if she wasn't Saiyan, she was by far the best match for the proud Saiyan prince.
Not for the first time did Vegeta wish that his father, the king, were still alive. He believed that King Vegeta would have approved of his marriage, but his formal acceptance and blessing in the traditional Saiyan manner would have made things even better.
And now Saiyan might and human emotion would be joined in a powerful union. Vegeta had seen that firsthand when he'd first met Gohan. It was as though all of the power of the Saiyans had been unleashed when combined with unlimited human potential. But now he would have a child of his own who would share that same incredible promise.
Vegeta fell asleep with a smile on his face.