Hello everyone! So I just finished my exams for the semester so that was why I haven't updated in a while :P I'm done for the holidays now so I'm hoping to finished up the story by the end of the break.

I'm sure you all noticed that the last chapter was a bit off in terms of how in character Vegeta was. I got some reviews about it and re-read the chapter myself and I kind of agree. That's not really the feel I was trying to go for so I decided to re-write the chapter and I've posted it again (this one) and if you all like this version better then I will replace it and this one will be kept in the story. Now, it is still a bit different than how Vegeta has acted in previous chapters but keep in mind that I believe Vegeta and Bulma would interact a bit more intimately in private (besides sexual intimacy XD). I tried to not make it as blatantly sweet coming from Vegeta.

Anyways, please let me know if you like this version better and if it seems more in character. Sorry I didn't post a new chapter, I just really felt like this one needed to be revisited and resolved you know? It is a crucial chapter in my opinion so I want it to be perfect before I continue with a new chapter! lol

PS: I also think this is one of those chapter that you wont get the real feel for and understanding of until you read it from Bulma's POV too :D

Chapter 17

Vegeta came in through Bulma's balcony window which she had left open for him. He entered silently and looked over Bulma's sleeping form. She was sound asleep lying on her side facing the window. The moonlight illuminated the soft features of her face. She truly did look like a rose.

He walked over to the other side of her bed and sat gently so as not to wake her. He leaned over her sleeping body and stared down at her for a few moments, taking in her intoxicating scent. He rested his hand gently on her enormous belly and slowly moved the ki from the centre of his body down his arm, through his finger tips and into her body. She moaned satisfactorily in her sleep and shifted slightly to get more comfortable.

When Vegeta was finished he took his hand off of her and turned himself back around so his back was facing hers. He sat on the side of the bed, slouching, debating. He needed to speak to her, yet he couldn't bring himself to wake her from peaceful slumber.

He sat there for what seemed like hours. He just sat, not thinking anything in particular. He let his mind go blank and let his surroundings take hold of his senses. The silence and her smell were very calming. He found it rather easy to fall asleep when he was in this room with her. He wondered if he could just lie next to her and fall asleep. Would she wake up and kick him out? Or would she curl up next to him and let him sleep?

"Mmm..." she stirred and finally awoke.

Vegeta sat still and waited for her to notice his presence. She turned under the covers and stopped suddenly. She had noticed. She didn't speak and neither did Vegeta. He wanted her to be the first to speak; he had not yet prepared what he would say first. She laid there not moving for a few seconds just watching him. He heard her relax on her pillow and breath lightly.

"Have you noticed that we always refer to our baby as a he?" she asked with wonder.

Vegeta knitted his brows together.

An odd way to open up conversation...

"Why wouldn't we?" Vegeta replied, a bit confused by her question.

"Well, I mean we don't even know what the sex of the baby is yet but we seem to keep assuming that it's a boy." She explained. Vegeta could hear her lightly moving her hand over her stomach.

Vegeta looked over his shoulder at her, "I do not assume. I know it is a boy."

"What?" she asked and half smiled, her aqua eyes staring up at him, "How do you know?"

"In all of Saiyan history there has never been a first born that was female. Every first child of a Saiyan is guaranteed to be male. It's the way it has always been." Vegeta explained and looked back in front of him.

Bulma paused before responding, "I kinda had a feeling that it was a boy."

Vegeta ran through the thoughts in his mind, sifting through the ones that he needed to voice, and the ones he could leave unspoken. He tried to sort out the thoughts in a logical order so they would make sense. He just needed to figure out what to say first.

"So...I guess you decided you wanted to talk after all?" she asked hesitantly, but with a hopeful tone.

"I came to inform you of something." Vegeta stated. He wanted to make it clear that he was not having a discussion; he was telling her what would happen next.

"Ok..." she said and waited a moment.

How do I word this? How should I go about explaining it so she will not be compelled to throw things at me? Do I mention that I am leaving the planet first? Or do I mention—

"I know that we technically have all night, but do you think you could grow some balls and tell me what you came to tell me?" she asked with humour in her voice, "I didn't see you as the type to chicken out so easily."

Vegeta was not impressed.

"Insatiable harlot." He hissed under his breath but he knew Bulma heard him, "I came to tell you that it is my responsibility to protect you. To ensure your safety, as well as the child's."

Bulma fell silent, listening intently to what he had to say.

"And not just because you carry my child, it's...just because of you. You are technically my mate. I have an obligation to you." He quickly added in before she could reply, "I have never in my life felt the need to protect anyone other than myself. For the first time since Frieza took me from my planet I have something that can be taken away from me. I don't know how to deal with that; this foreign need to protect something when I have never had a something before, nor do I wish to deal with it frankly– however I find that I must. I had to understand and by doing so I have come to the very strong conclusion that this is a problem."

"Problem? How is you caring about me a problem!?" Bulma cried as she sat up abruptly. She sounded almost insulted, "Vegeta there is nothing wrong with—"

"Do not misunderstand woman. I care about protecting you." Vegeta corrected and gave her a very serious glance over his shoulder. He couldn't afford telling her that there might be more, not when he had yet to find confidence in his own feelings, "and yes my concern for your safety is a problem."

She looked confused and saddened by his correction, "But...I don't understand. Do you have a problem with wanting to protect someone other than yourself? To protect me?"

Vegeta looked back in front of him.

"Yes Bulma, I have a problem with that. It is not as if you become compliant with the fact that for your whole miserable life you've only ever had to worry about yourself to suddenly having to worry about a mate and child without even realizing it. The moment I have someone other than myself to worry about is the moment I have something to lose. I am having problems with this revelation, yes, seeing as how I have never had anything to lose for most of my life. That is what has kept me alive, that is what has ensured my triumph, the fact that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

"However, things are different now. I thought that you being my mate was irrelevant because in no way does it affect my desire for revenge against Kakarott. I thought that you bearing my child was also irrelevant in my grand scheme. I suppose it still is irrelevant. The only thing this changes is that I have something rather than nothing when I finally defeat Kakarott. Because I have something there is the potential to lose all of it; you and the brat. I cannot have that. I was never given the chance to fight for my planet, which was all I had. I have the chance now seeing as how this is all I have."

They sat there is dead silence. Vegeta lost himself in his thoughts and wondered if he had spoken too long, said too much. There was really no harm in it. He was in private with Bulma, and she was the only person that he would divulge anything to he supposed, seeing as how she was his mate and mother of his child. He also wondered if he would ever eventually tell her the real reason she bore his child. He had to commend himself though, he was a damn good liar. She would never be able to read anything real about him. That was the way he preferred it.

"I...don't fully understand. You're basically saying that you never expected to mate with anyone, especially a human I'm assuming, and you never expected to have a child, and these are things that you didn't want but now that you have us you don't want to give us up because you've never had anything to give up before and because you lost your planet you don't want to lose anything else ever again?" She asked slowly, making sure she covered everything.

Does she have to put it in such..sappyterms!? Damn wench.

"Isn't that what I just said?" Vegeta snapped irritated.

Hearing it from Bulma's mouth made him uneasy. He could not believe the situation he had gotten himself into. He couldn't believe what he was saying. He hated all of this. A part of him wished he had never figured his father out, that he could still be in the dark and live his life in ignorance like he was. Why did he have to discover that he didn't need to have all of his emotions and feelings tucked away in a locked box forever, kept away from everyone? The trouble now was figuring out where he hidden that locked box, if he ever decided he wanted to open it.

"Besides your apparent lack of genuine emotion for anyone and your obvious fear of sharing yourself with someone, I don't know what you are so worried about? I already promised you that I wasn't going anywhere just like you promised me after we decided to have this baby. Maybe that makes me stupid since you clearly think you're stupid for having let yourself have something-other-than-nothing, but how do you think you're going to lose us?" she asked, "Unless you push us away by being a jackass of course."

Her voice was stronger, more confident, and she spoke with slight attitude. He detected another tone however. He couldn't quite place it. He wondered if it was a hint of humour? Playfulness maybe?

"When the androids arrive, what should happen if you or the brat get caught in the cross fire? If they try to use you against me?" he suggested, "In order to gain leverage?"

"Then you or Goku will save me. Blow their heads off or something." she said simply, "It's not like I haven't been in that situation before."

Vegeta snorted in disgust, "I do not operate in the way that Kakarott does. He keeps the things that he can lose too close to him and as a result he has far too many variables to consider and pay attention to when he should be concentrating on the enemy. He may be able to put up with leverage being used against him however I cannot afford to have that happen. My focus needs to be entirely on the fight at hand, not worrying about you."

"Well, then I'll stay here with the baby while—"

"Feh, I know you better than you think woman. You won't stay put, not if you feel like your presence is needed, which you always do." Vegeta replied and could tell Bulma was scowling at him, "It is not so simple as to make sure you stay out of sight. If you are discovered than I need to make sure that I do not need to worry about you."

"So...what are you suggesting?" Bulma asked hesitantly, "I can't just disappear when trouble comes knocking on the door!"

Vegeta paused for a moment this time.

"I need to act like you don't matter." Vegeta said strongly, "It isn't good enough if I act this way in front of enemies alone...It needs to be for everyone to see so no one would suspect you are something that can be used against me. They need to assume that you don't make a difference. This must be the same for the child."

He could hear her mouth open in shock, or maybe it was anger. He couldn't tell. He could feel her ki slightly elevate but he didn't know for what reason. It sounded as though she were trying to speak, to say something in response.

"You must understand. This is the only way I can be sure that no one will ever think to use you as a weapon against me. I will not yield nor surrender because of a cowards tactic." Vegeta almost growled at the memory of how Frieza gained control over his people.

"So...you want to act like nothing has happened in the last 2 years? That this baby just kinda popped up and that is the extent of it? That as far as everyone else knows, we slept together once for no reason and I got pregnant from that one time and that shit just happens?"

Vegeta looked over his shoulder at her. He lied better when he made eye contact.

"Isn't that the gist of how it happened anyway? We slept together for no particular reason other than primal desires. The child was a random consequence of our actions. Neither of us intended for it to happen. Our entire situation just happened. We didn't want any of this to happen, but it did. Shit did just happen. That's all anyone needs to know anyway seeing as how it's really none of their business how we interact behind closed doors."

His intent was to shock her. To show he had even less regard for emotions towards her. Instead of a pained or angry face he found the blue haired vixen trying extremely hard to suppress a grin from the corner of her pink lips. Vegeta frowned.

What the hell is she grinning about? What the hell is wrong with this Earthling?

"Ok well what if that doesn't work? What if some enemy tries to hurt me or the baby? Are you just going to—" Bulma started.

Vegeta turned around to slightly face her on the bed and looked into her mesmerizing eyes with a strong, confident face.

"In the event yours or the child's safety becomes compromised, and it is certain that no one will be able to reach you first, then I will protect you. I will save you." Vegeta said with the upmost honesty.

He would not make the same mistake his father made. Vegeta would never let his bluff be absolute if he had the slightest inkling that Bulma would become hurt anyways.

Bulma looked up at him with sparkling eyes, "Do you promise?"

Vegeta pulled himself out of the hold her eyes had on him to respond, "On my honour as a Saiyan Prince—"

Bulma shook her head violently, "No, I don't want your royal honour."

Vegeta looked deep in her eyes, wondering if his gaze was reassuring or more frightening to her. He had always thought his general demeanour was frightening but clearly not for this woman.

"Promise me." She asked confidently and more of a demand rather than asking "Say that you promise me."

Vegeta frowned. He didn't understand the meanings Earthlings put behind certain things such as promises.

For a genius she's quite daft. A royal honour is a promise. Asinine human customs...

"I promise you." Vegeta finally replied after a long hard gaze.

Bulma slowly raised her lips into a soft smile as she truly looked back into Vegeta's own eyes. He wondered if she could see past his facade, his rough scarred exterior, his deep eyes of darkness. If she could he wondered what she saw.

"You understand?" Vegeta asked.

She nodded sweetly.

"Then the last thing I must do is leave the planet." He announced.

Her eyes went from soft and loving, something Vegeta was not used to, into hard and questioning, something he was all too familiar with.

Perhaps that was too quick of a transition.

"You mother-fucking bastard!" Bulma nearly screamed.

Bulma immediately started get off the bed, away from Vegeta, but Vegeta quickly hopped onto the bed himself and grabbed her firmly by the wrists to keep her there with him. She whirled her head back around to glare up at him.

"Calm yourself." He commanded.

"Fuck you! What, were you trying to butter me up so I'd be ok with you up and leaving!? So much for caring about anything!" she yelled, small tears starting to form in her big eyes that were made of the ocean, "You being an asshole to me in public would be proof enough to convince everyone that you don't care about anything, I don't think you putting as much distance between us is necessary! You know what if you're going to leave then you might as well stay gone for all I care! Don't worry about me or your son or anything, we'll take care of the androids without you!"

Vegeta held her firmly as she squirmed, yet not so tight as to actually hurt her. He removed one of his hands from her wrist and gently held her chin between his forefinger and thumb, tilting her head slightly upwards to look her in the eyes head on. And with a soft husky voice Vegeta said, "I'm coming back."

Bulma's heart slowed and her ki slightly declined. She looked into Vegeta's eyes to find the truth, to see if she trusted him. Her lower lip quivered slightly in her attempt to control her emotions.

"Then why are you leaving?" she snapped angrily.

Vegeta stared at her for a moment. What was the reason? It sounded so pathetic to him in his mind. He was leaving because he could no longer become stronger than Kakarott here, the planet where Kakarott was able to achieve his own strength. He wondered now if it were an insult to his own capabilities that he needed to train elsewhere, that he needed another planet in order to reach super Saiyan.

"In order to achieve the next level of my training so I can fight the androids. So I can defeat Kakarott." Vegeta replied, deciding to say 'defeat' rather than 'kill'.

Bulma blinked a few times as Vegeta released her chin, "You have to leave the planet in order to do that?"

Vegeta ground his teeth with frustration at the fact that he needed to and nodded a yes in response.

"When?" she asked as she slowly calmed down.

"I shall wait until the boy is born, then I will leave for the last year before the androids arrive. I will return in time for their arrival, and I will defeat them." Vegeta said.

Bulma looked pained at the mention of him being gone for an entire year. He had to admit, it would be hard for him too. Having become so used to her smell, her touch, even her affection, it would be hard at first to leave it all behind, which scared him. He would do it, he had to.

Bulma took a big deep breath and closed her eyes as she exhaled slowly. When she finally opened her eyes she tried to look strong and brave. "Ok." She said with a bubbly nod. If only it wasn't for her sad eyes that gave her emotions away.

Vegeta nodded and turned around to sit on the edge of the bed once more. He pushed his hands on the edge of the mattress to push himself up to stand when her small, soft, delicate hands touched his bare shoulders gingerly.

He felt her hot breath on his neck and for a moment he had lost himself in her touch. She brushed her lips against his ear with a feather like touch and whispered "Stay with me." with yearning.

"You should remain emotionally detached from me. It will be for your own good, for your own safety." Vegeta said as nonchalantly as he could, "It would seem a physical relationship confuses things for you."

"I'm not the one that's confused." She said and wrapped her arms around his chest and rested her head on his shoulder, "Let me worry about my own emotions and try concentrating on yours." She whispered.

He frowned. He was not trying to convey that he was very confused, if at all. We wondered if she could really see behind his walls, his lies. If she could she didn't seem too bothered by it. He decided to stop thinking. He was done thinking for one day. He just wanted to forget, to be numb. However, being surrounded by Bulma's scent would most likely be a better approach to achieving that than more training and Vegeta had missed her touch so much to the point that he had to comply.

He glanced at her and without saying anything slipped his shirt off, and his pants, and crawled into the bed alongside her. She faced him and curled herself as close to his body as her stomach would allow. She brushed her nose against his skin and took in his smell much like he was doing with her long soft hair.

Before letting her fall asleep he cupped her face with one hand and tilted it up to look at him. With that one glance he captured her lips with his tenderly in a kiss and held her there for that one moment which made him forget a lifetime of others. He knew then that he could never get rid of his addiction, no matter how hard he tried to convince himself otherwise