Disclaimer: I am an almost fifteen year old girl from England, not a soemthing year old man from Japan. I am not Akira Toriyama, and I don't own any of the characters. I only wish I did. I have no money, and am not making any profit from this whatsoever. Happy? Good.

This is my first fic, so please reveiw, just don't flame me, my ego is fragile. I'm not sure how good it is, but even if it's crap, I'd still like to know. Thank you.

Who Was That?

Bulma stared down at the smoking hole in the stadium, the few charred remains of the dozens of people that had just been blasted into oblivion. Slowly, painfully, she turned her head to gaze numbly at the group that had appeared in the middle of the ring. Goku. Gohan. That strange lilac man that had unnerved Piccolo so much. But she stared straight past them. Her gaze was on the one facing them. The one who'd caused the destruction, the chaos.

Vegeta.

He was standing there, that arrogant smirk playing around his lips, golden hair straight up, as though it were being pulled toward the sky.

"Oh, he can't possibly be doing this, not now," she moaned, clutching the handrail. He couldn't. He'd changed over the past seven years. He was no longer the cold, cruel murdered he'd been when he'd first come to Earth. No longer the desperate, vengeful fighter he'd been battling Frieza. He wasn't even the cocky, self-centred warrior he'd been in the fight against the androids. He'd changed, slowly, morphed into something new.

The others hadn't noticed it, Bulma knew that much. She knew they still thought of Vegeta as cold-hearted and evil, and quite frankly most of them were at a loss as to why she stayed with him. Yamcha especially had often wondered out loud why she didn't just get rid of him.

But she couldn't. Because she knew he had changed. Because, despite the amount of times he called her 'woman', or insulted her cooking, or locked himself in the gravity room all day and then demanded she fixed it when he broke it, the fact remained that he'd stayed with her. Not the other way round. He'd opened up to her eight years ago, when they'd first conceived their son, and slowly, very slowly, she knew she was thawing him out. A warm flame battling its way through the ice that encased his heart.

But the most important thing was she loved him. She loved him with every fibre of her being. It wasn't the kind of thing she'd felt for Yamcha. It was something new. Something different. Something better. Yamcha may have been her first love, but Vegeta was her true love. And even he had accepted that.

She'd always found that strange, that Yamcha of all people understood better than anyone else. When she'd first gotten up the courage to tell him, shortly after breaking up with him, she'd expected shouts and anger. But all he'd down was to smile ruefully and say "what took you so long to work it out?"

"Help us, Mr. Satan!"

Bulma's head snapped up sharply at the shout, aimed at that fraud, Hercule.

"Yeah, what are you waiting for, help us out!"

She almost smiled at the absurdity of that idea of Hercule possibly being able to defeat Vegeta.

'He'd be lucky to bruise Vegeta's fist with his face,' she thought vaguely. The snivelling coward couldn't even defeat her son, and he was eight.

Oh Christ, Trunks!

'Vegeta, what about Trunks? Your son, Vegeta, what about him?' Bulma couldn't believe the man she loved could possibly have forgotten about that. She knew he cared about his son, even if he'd bever admit it.

'What am I supposed to tell him, Vegeta?' she thought pleadingly to herself, 'how can I possibly explain to him that his father's a murderer?'

But his father always was a murderer, a nasty little voice in her head reminded her. He always was, and you know it. Really, if you think about it, those people weren't even a blip compared to how many lives he'd destroyed before he'd even met you.

But the fact was, that Vegeta, the one who killed, was as foreign to her as Mars. She'd known he'd killed but the ones he'd destroyed were always just numbers. Nameless, faceless bodies, but now…now they were real. Now they were people.

She was jolted abruptly out of her thoughts by another loud, bright blast. It barely missed her, blew her hair around, made her arm fly to her forehead to shield her eyes from the heat and the debris sent flying. Spinning around, she looked down at Vegeta, lowering his arm.

"Tell me!" he was saying to Goku, "is it slavery when you get what you want?"

he was smiling, grinning maniacally, looking like the psychotic out of a horror slasher movie.

'Vegeta, you almost hit me,' Bulma thought, wondering vaguely why she was talking to him in her head, as though he could hear. Maybe because he never seemed to listen to her in real life.

'You almost hit me,' she thought again, 'maybe you don't know I'm up here. Or maybe…maybe you were aiming for me.'

Could that be it? She knew she got on his nerves sometimes, but it wasn't her fault if the gravity room broke so often, or the food didn't taste right, or if Trunks was getting under his father's feet when he was training. It wasn't her fault that she'd had his child, or that she'd, in his words, 'caused him to go soft'. But he often blamed her for these things in their regular verbal sparring matches, along with calling her names, or powering up slightly, causing the furniture to shake. She knew he just did it to scare her, to try to get her to back down, because he hated to lose.

He hated to lose. Yet he'd lost everything to Frieza when he was a boy; his home, his people, his dignity, and now he'd lost the one thing that sustained him throughout all that to her. His self-reliance. His certainty that he didn't need or care for anyone or anything. Because he'd suddenly found himself needing her.

So maybe he'd aimed for her on purpose. To kill her, destroy the one thing that made him weak. Could she believe he would do that?

The stadium was in pandemonium. People running away from the madman in the ring as fast as possible, scrambling over each other to get away.

Vegeta was shouting now, at that purple man. He was furious, waves of anger radiating off him.

"What do you know of meaningless?" he screamed, his aura flaring, "spend most of your life ruled by another. Watch your race dwindle to a handful, and then tell me what has more meaning than your own strength," he'd straightened up and was pointing a finger at the calm Goku, "I have in me the blood of a Saiyan prince. He is nothing but a joke, yet I've had to watch him surpass me in strength, my destiny, thrown to that wayside!" he threw an arm out, and for a terrifying moment, Bulma thought he was going to shoot another blast, but he was only gesturing angrily, "he's…he's even saved my life as if I were a helpless child. He has stolen my honour. And his debts must be paid!"

Bulma stared, opened-mouthed in horror as Vegeta delivered this speech.

'Meaningless?' she felt tears threatening to spill over her eyelids and down her cheeks, 'you think your life here is meaningless? You think…I'm meaningless?'

Due to her thoughts, she had missed the last part of the conversation, so when the four disappeared again, she had no idea why it was, or where they'd gone. All her friends were talking, shouting as to what to do next, but she could only stand there in horrified disbelief, staring the place Vegeta had been seconds before.

No. That wasn't her husband. That wasn't the monster that had come to Earth in search for the Dragonballs twelve years ago. It wasn't the vengeful warrior who's gone to Namek for the same reason. It wasn't the fallen prince who'd been mercilessly slaughtered by Frieza. It wasn't the arrogant man who'd met his son from the future and gone on to defend him in battle. It wasn't any of the Vegeta's she'd seen over the years. That wasn't any of them.

Who was that?