Love's Labour Lost
a story by Dot

Ever since Bulma and I had been going out, she made it very clear that she expected us to get married, eventually. However, the more time I spent with Bulma, the more I realized that she was trying to control every aspect of my life. She was especially sensitive on the issue of other women: she constantly accused me of trying to cheat on her, when I had no such thoughts--most of the time, anyway. Once, when I suggested that she was simply jealous, we had an argument that would have put several wars to shame. Still, we kept up the appearance that we were a couple; both of us were afraid that if our relationship didn't work out, we would remain single for the rest of our lives. Not to say that fear was the only thing that kept us together, of course: there were times when Bulma and I were so perfect together that it felt like we were married already. As time passed, though, the bad days gradually outnumbered the good.

When I was resurrected by the Dragon Balls, Bulma had crushed me in her arms; sobbing, she told me over and over how she never wanted to lose me again. Unfortunately, the result of that was her becoming even more possessive: when I was around her, she hardly ever let me out of her sight. Citing my desire to train as an excuse, I kept away from her as much as I could. Of course, this only made her even more suspicious of me.

Finally, the frustration and anger boiled over. It was quite a sight: the two of us hurled whatever we could lay our hands on at one another. Whoever first said "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" never had a girlfriend like Bulma. She dug up every little incident of what she considered my infidelity; her accusations cut deep into my very being. To be fair, though, I have to admit that I said many things I shouldn't have as well.

The fight--and our relationship--ended when Bulma screamed for me to get out of her house. Then--suddenly and inexplicably--an almost inhuman calm washed over me. "I will," I told her with resolution. "And I won't come back."

Shocked by my unexpected boldness, Bulma just stood there, staring blankly, as I turned and left. As I walked, I really had no desire to return; I didn't even want to look back to see the expression on Bulma's face.

I almost kept my promise; I went back to live in the desert for nearly a year, staying busy so that I wouldn't think too much. At night, exhausted from my activities, I would usually fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. The regiment worked--until, that is, I felt an enormous burst of ki in the direction of the Capsule Corporation. Almost without a second thought, I flew to Bulma's house as fast as I could.

When I saw Bulma cradling the unconscious Vegita in her arms, it felt like I had been shot: my heart seemed to stop beating, and it hurt to breathe. It had never occurred to me until then that I loved Bulma, even if it was only for a moment. And it broke my heart when I realized that I had truly lost her. But enough of that.

About three months after that, I went to Bulma's house again on the pretext of needing Dr. Briefs to fix something for me. While I waited in the living room for him to finish, I picked up a magazine from the coffee table and began flipping through it.


Bulma. My heart skipped a beat. It took everything I had to stay seated. "Long time no see," I greeted without looking up, pretending to read the magazine.

"I need to talk to you."

I kept my eyes glued to the pages. "I'm listening."

She must have heard the hurt in my voice, because she sat down next to me and took my shoulders in her hands, forcing me to look her in the eyes. "Please."

I never heard Bulma sound so frightened and unsure of herself; I melted. "What's the matter?"

"I...I'm pregnant."

It took a while for the words to sink in. "You're what?"

"I'm pregnant," Bulma repeated, in a whisper.

My heart nearly stopped. "Vegita," I choked out--a statement, not a question. Bulma nodded. "When?"

"I don't know," Bulma sighed miserably. "I just found out a few days ago."

"Have you told him yet?"

Bulma shook her head. "I don't know how he'll react to it."

Translation: she was afraid that Vegita would leave her when he found out. "He's as responsible for the baby as you are," I reassured her. "He better take care of it." As if I could make him do anything.

"But what if he doesn't?" Bulma collapsed into my arms, weeping. "I'm so scared!"

As I held Bulma in my arms, I alternatively hated myself for breaking up with Bulma, Bulma for going to Vegita, and Vegita for getting Bulma pregnant; I also vacillated between feelings of desire and revulsion. But, for Bulma, I just sat there and let her cry on my shoulder.

Bulma soaked my shirt through with her tears. Gradually her sobs subsided and she just lay on my chest. After what seemed like an impossibly long time, she stopped altogether and detached herself from my grasp. "Thank you, Yamcha," she whispered gratefully. I only nodded back.

I tried to visit Bulma as often as I could; she never mentioned whether or not she told Vegita of his impending parenthood; by about her fifth month, though, it became obvious to everybody that she was pregnant. Vegita was noticeably absent during the entire time; I had a feeling that he was deliberately avoiding me. Bulma completed the illusion that Vegita didn't exist by not mentioning his name at all, but I knew that not a moment went by without her thinking about him.

Only once did I try to ask Bulma what her plans were for the future.

"So, um," I began, trying to be as gentle as I could, "What happens after the baby is born?"

Bulma gave me a look of dignified offense. "Raise it, of course."

"By yourself?"

"If I have to, yes."

Afraid of finding out what she really meant by that, I decided not to probe any further.

Babies being born must have the worst sense of timing in the world: they never come when you expect them to, and usually at the worst possible occasion--and Bulma's child was no exception.

The call came at around two o'clock in the morning.

"Hrmm?" I mumbled groggily into the receiver.

"Yamcha," Bulma's voice was breathless and fast, "I think my water just broke."

All traces of sleep were blasted from my brain when I heard those words. "Okay, I'll be right there. Just hang on."

I dropped the phone, threw on some clothes, and drove as fast as I dared to Bulma's house. When I got to the door, I saw that Bulma was already standing there--or rather, leaning against the frame. Her pale face glistened with sweat. When she began to tip forward, I rushed out of my hovercar to support her.

"I'm all right," she gasped, reaching out for my arms nonetheless. Not wanting her to strain herself further, I practically carried her into the hovercar. Then, I jumped into the driver's side and sped off towards the nearest hospital.

As the medics rushed Bulma into the maternity ward, I held onto her hand.

"You can do it, Bulma!" I encouraged her.

Bulma, her teeth clenched in pain, couldn't answer.

Not even finding out that Freeza was still alive could even come close to what I was experiencing as I watched Bulma go through her labor pains.

"YEARRRGH!" Bulma screamed, followed by several unmentionable swear words. Her grip tightened as the contractions came closer and closer together.

"Here comes the head!" The doctor announced. "One more big push!"

Bulma put everything she had into one last, mighty heave. Everything suddenly went quiet as the Doctor held up the result of Bulma's efforts.

Then, the sweetest sound anyone could ever ear: a tiny, piercing wail.

"Congratulations," the doctor announced quietly. "It's a boy."

As the nurses washed the baby and cut its umbilical cord, none of them seemed to be disturbed by the fact that it also had a tail. They were probably either accustomed to seeing such strange sights, or just keeping a straight face for Bulma's sake.

Bulma became too overwhelmed to speak when the baby was finally placed into her arms. She just looked at me with the most magnificent look of awe, love, and a million other emotions I can't even begin to describe as she held the bundle of life. And when I looked at the baby--whose few, thin wisps of purple hair clung to his forehead, and light blue eyes gazed at me through slits--I suddenly remembered the shy, quiet young man whom we met two and a half years ago.

I couldn't believe my eyes. No way...that's not it?

My thoughts were interrupted when one of the nurses thrust a clipboard into my hands. I filled everything out rather quickly--that is, until I got to the question: "Relationship with patient". After several agonizing minutes, I finally put down: "friend". When I was finished with the paperwork, I went home and collapsed into bed, falling asleep even before I hit the pillow.

I waited a week before going to see Bulma again: I thought she would want a few days alone to rest. I drove up to the hospital in the late afternoon and asked if Bulma was willing to receive any visitors. After an intense interrogation by the receptionist, I was finally allowed to go in.

"Hi," I snuck my head tentatively through the door.

Bulma looked up from feeding her baby, and her face lit up with pleasant surprise. "Yamcha!" She held the baby out for me to see. "This is Trunks."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance, Trunks-san," I said with a mock bow. Bulma giggled. "Can I hold him?"

"Sure!" Bulma handed me the fragile bundle, which burst into tears as soon as it left its mother's arms.

"I don't think he likes me," I observed half-jokingly. I tried to stroke Trunks' chin, but he grabbed my finger in a vise-like grip. "Ouch. The little tyke's got some potential there."

Bulma suddenly got a very distant look on her face. "That's what Vegita said, too."

I nearly dropped Trunks. "You mean...he was here?"

"I was rocking Trunks to sleep when he came in through the window," Bulma continued, as if in a trance. "He insulted me and told me not to baby Trunks too much, or he wouldn't be able to make Trunks a decent warrior."

Bulma wasn't saying something. "And?" I prompted.

Only Kami knows how long Bulma stared into nowhere before replying: "And then he kissed me."

I exploded. "Dammit, Bulma, can't you see that Vegita's only using you?"

Bulma gave me a look that could have frozen the air between us. "Really? Then what do you call the joke of a relationship that we had?"

My anger deflated as I recalled my failures. "Okay, so I wasn't exactly the world's most perfect boyfriend," I admitted. "But what I don't get is what you see in Vegita. I mean, Vegita, of all people!"

"That's right: you won't understand," Bulma told me coldly.

I was overwhelmed with shock: this couldn't have been the same woman who was so terrified of being abandoned nine months earlier. Either Bulma knew something I didn't, or she was a very good actress.

"I guess I won't," I answered quietly. Trunks, who by now had exhausted himself with his wailing, only whimpered.

"Give me back my baby," Bulma ordered, still with that voice of iron. I obliged.

And then I went home and threw myself into my training, shutting out the rest of the world.

Six months later, I found myself standing next to Bulma again as we awaited the appearance of the Jinzoningen. When Kuririn and Gohan arrived, they expressed their surprise at seeing Bulma and Trunks, especially the latter.

"Did you and Yamcha get married?" Gohan asked with innocent eagerness.

"Bulma and I broke up a long time ago," I answered bitterly. "You'll never believe who the father is."

Yeah, yeah, another "How Bulma and Vegita Got Together" 'fic. But at least this one tackles it from a different angle. :)

And if Bulma seems a little OOC at times, that was deliberate: people act differently under different circumstances.

Did Vegita really kiss Bulma during this time? Maybe, but not necessarily out of love; he knew a little psychology and he might have been, as Yamcha 'said' in the 'fic, using Bulma. Or maybe Vegita did have some feelings for his wife; after all, he already knew Future Trunks identity when 20 attacked Bulma, so he could just stand by and let his 'son' do the job. He still has a reputation to keep up, you know. :)

Anyway, I'd like to think that Vegita is not always the coldhearted, selfish, egotistical bastard that we see in the anime, and that's why I put the kiss in there. Besides, it was a very apt way to end Bulma and Yamcha's relationship for good. :)

Copyright 1998 by Dot
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?