Just One Confession

V.

And so preparations for getting them into space commenced. Pan was quick to show her despair over not being able to go with Goku, but Videl kept telling her that it was too dangerous for her. Of course, hearing this only made her want to go even more to prove her mother wrong.

Shenron stocked the ship with food, toiletries, and other useful items, but we still had to get the clothes they would need onboard, and Trunks and I had to configure the control system that would take them to the west galaxy. Getting everything together reminded me of the time Krillin, Gohan, and I went to Namek all those years ago. Ah, what a pleasant…horrible time.

After I was confident that Trunks had everything under control, I walked through the ship to the room that was to be Goku's, walking in on him doing handstand push-ups. Pan was in there also, no doubt trying to get in a few last minute training techniques from him before he left. When she saw me, however, she didn't hesitate to get to her feet and walk out of the room, mumbling how she should leave us alone for a little. I knew she was still a little mad at me…but I assumed we would get close again during the time Goku, Goten, and Trunks were away.

* * * * * * * *

"But why do I have to go?!" Goten yelled at Gohan, both of them in Goten's bedroom. Gohan had been telling Goten to pack for the last half hour, but finally decided to do it for him since Goten refused to.

"Because you're the only other one besides Trunks that's best qualified to go with Dad, Goten," Gohan was getting tired of explaining this to the man that was complaining like a ten-year-old.

Goten pointed at Gohan, "But what about you? You're way stronger than me and Trunks combined…why don't you go?"

Gohan sighed, "Don't insult your power levels like that…you can be just as strong as me when you put your mind to it," he paused before continuing, "Besides, I have a wife and daughter to take care of."

"C'mon, Gohan, that's a lame excuse! Pan's eighteen now and Videl's no pushover! They'll be fine! I'll take care of them if you're really that worried!"

Gohan finally stopped packing and looked at his younger brother. He just couldn't understand why he was making such a big deal over leaving with Trunks and Goku. Sure, he knew that Goten was getting serious with Paresu, but he still only saw that girl three or four times a week. He didn't think Goten would mind leaving her behind for a week…two, at max.

"Why are you complaining so much, Goten? Trunks isn't complaining…and besides, don't you want to rescue Bra?"

Goten crossed his arms and looked away, "That's because Bra's his real sister…of course he's not complaining about going."

"Goten!" Gohan yelled, suddenly outraged at hearing the words coming from Goten's mouth, "Just because you just found out that you're not directly related to Bra is no excuse for you to all of a sudden deny her! Nothing has changed; we're all just as much of a family as we've always been!"

Hearing no response coming from his little brother, Gohan hoped he got through to him. He never thought that Goten would take Trunks's position as the "problem child".

*****

Outside in the spaceship, Goku had yet to come out of his handstand, even when Bulma sat down on his bed. She watched him for a few minutes, simply enjoying being in his presence and watching as his muscles rippled over themselves every time he lowered and raised himself with his pushups.

He was counting aloud, but stopped when he let his neck drop so he was looking behind him, looking at Bulma upside down. He grinned when she giggled softly.

"Oh Goku…you look so cute like that," it made her almost sound like a sixteen year old schoolgirl again.

"Heh, you look cute upside down, too," Goku commented, missing Bulma's blush when he stiffened his neck to look at the ground again. He did a few more pushups before gracefully lowering his legs so come to a perfect stance in front of her. He put his hands on his hips, tilting his neck from side to side.

Bulma kept her spot on his bed, looking up at him with a hopeful sparkle in her eyes, "Are you excited to travel into space again?"

He nodded, "Oh yeah! And I'll be traveling much further this time, so it'll be even better! And don't you worry, Bulma…I'll bring Bra back safely."

Bulma smiled softly, her eyes shifting to the floor, "I know you will, Goku, I'm not worried about that at all."

"Then what are you worried about?"

"Who says I'm worried at all?"

"I do. I can tell," When she didn't respond, Goku sat down on the bed next to her, offering her a huge smile, "But stop it, okay? It's not healthy…and it'll only give you more wrinkles."

This made her look at him again, her fists clenched and her eyes narrowed with anger, "What do you mean by more wrinkles?!" She only became more outraged when Goku laughed, "Are you saying I look old?!"

Goku continued to laugh, but held up his hands in defense, "I was just kidding, Bulma. You look beautiful for your age."

"For my age?!" Bulma continued to fume, standing up when she didn't want to sit beside him any longer, "So you're saying that I look okay for sixty, but I'm not a sexy young thing anymore?!"

Goku slowed down his laughter, reaching out for her hands. He had to settle for her fists instead of entwining their fingers like she usually loved to do, "For one, I didn't say okay…I said beautiful. And two, you're not young anymore, so why are you trying to be something you're not?" When this didn't seem to get her calmed down, he made a quick decision to pull her arm gently so she would fall into his lap. Knowing that she wouldn't be able to get out of his hold, she merely crossed her arms and looked away.

"I told you a long time ago that I love you the way you are…and that even includes your body getting older. Why are you so ashamed of being human?" The question caught her off guard. She finally gave in and looked into the boyish face of her love, knowing that he was the reason she hated being human. Her hand brushed a few strands of his hair from his forehead, her eyes softening.

"Because you're not growing old with me," she answered, knowing he probably still had decades left on his life.

Though it sounded like a terribly depressing statement, his grin only grew, "Yeah, but you'll live on in Trunks and Bra…and even Gohan, Goten, and Pan. You're apart of all of them and I know I could never miss you when you'll always be everywhere around me."

Bulma's eyes watered. Even after all these years, she couldn't understand for the life of her how Goku managed to be so positive. That answer may have seemed acceptable to him, and though it was sweet of him to say it, rather he knew it was sweet or not, the concept still made her miserable. To her, he would be able to live long enough to see their kids grow even older and have kids of their own…and then maybe even those kids having kids. She, however, would not get to see all that.

Instead of arguing anymore about it, she placed her hands on either side of his face, wondering if he really saw her in the way his eyes were betraying. She finally smiled when she saw that his was not about to falter one bit.

What did I ever do to deserve someone so great…She leaned in and pressed her lips to his forehead, to his eyes, to his lips when she finally got his head to tilt upward. How I'm going to miss him while he's gone. Her arms snaked around his neck, pressing her body closer to his when his arms held her just a little tighter. Moaning softly in desperation and sorrow, she held out her one hand instinctively when Goku leaned back to lie on the bed, continuing to hold her atop him.

*****

"Hey-o, Trunks!" Pan yelled when she entered the control room, grinning at the man that was still at the control station.

He didn't even look up at her, "Hey, Pan."

"What are ya doing?" she stood on her tiptoes as she tried to peer over his shoulder, being her normal, nosy self.

"Just finishing up entering in the last bit of information we'll need," and to show that he wasn't kidding, he shut a little panel. Seconds later, a lot of yellow lights came on, a low humming noise filling the area. "Now we just have to wait a little bit longer for the ship to warm up and we'll be good to go."

Pan nodded, grinning sheepishly, "Everything looks really good, Trunks," she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, trying to keep most of her attention on all the lights, "You sure you have everything you want on the ship?"

"I think so…" he raised an eyebrow at her, knowing she was up to something, "But I guess…I should go double check to make sure." As he was leaving the main room, he looked over his shoulder, "Don't touch anything, Pan. Okay?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever! Like I even know what any of the buttons do anyway," she waved him off.

Trunks rolled his eyes but continued on his way to his bedroom, "Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of…"

It wasn't until she knew for certain that Trunks was gone that she turned back to the control panels, a deviant glint in her eyes. Sure, she wasn't lying when she said she didn't know what any of the buttons did, but she was pretty sure that big green one right in the center was the one that would make the ship liftoff. And she only had one chance…

Her finger lingered above the button, her hand suddenly shaking. Though her palms were covered by her fingerless gloves, her hand felt cold and lifeless. She could get in big trouble for this…but she wanted to go to space with Goku so bad! How could her parents tell her that it was too dangerous for her? Her!? The strongest female the earth has ever seen!

She knew Trunks said that the ship needed sometime to warm up, but…if she waited any longer, someone else was bound to come in and stop her! She would not let that happen!

With a final thought and prayer, her finger bent to the pressure of the button as it was pushed down. Right away, the ship began mumbling and groaning, the shaking causing her to almost lose her balance.

"Pan!" she heard Trunks yell from down the hall, her eyes widening at how close he sounded. She flew over to the door, pressing the button on the side to slide the door closed. She noticed that a button below the one she just pressed said "LOCK" and quickly pressed that as well, hoping it would keep Trunks out long enough to get them into space.

She heard the beeping of the button on the other side of the door as Trunks tried continuously to open the door from the outside.

"Pan, what the…I knew you couldn't be trusted!" Trunks yelled, banging on the door insistently. He thought about blasting it down, but didn't want to risk damaging any of the controls on the other side. If he broke or destroyed anything in the control room, who knows how long it would take to get it repaired and that would mean holding off on Bra's rescue.

Pan crossed her arms stubbornly, "Me? You told me you would talk to my dad about letting me go!"

Trunks groaned, "I said I would try, Pan! But you know Gohan, if he—."

"What's going on?!" Goku asked as he came running up to Trunks, his feet spread to keep his balance, "Why are we leaving already?"

Trunks pointed to the locked door with his thumb, "Your precious granddaughter thought it would be cute to leave now."

"How can you even use the word cute in this situation?!" Pan yelled through the locked door, "I'm pretty sure the word you're looking for is genius."

"Oh, no, no, no! I don't want to leave Earth again! It's going to be like Namek all over again!"

Upon hearing Bulma scream this, Pan uncrossed her arms and stared with wide eyes at the door, as though she could see the woman standing right before her, "Grandma?" She thought Bulma would have left the ship by now! She didn't think that she would take that long to say her farewells to Goku! Pan didn't feel the least bit worried when she first thought that it was just her, Trunks, and Goku onboard…but she didn't know how well Bulma would fare.

Instead of doing the logical thing and unlocking the door for Trunks to come in, Pan ran back to the control panel, looking at all the buttons. Nothing was labeled and lights were blinking erratically, causing her to panic. She couldn't just press any button! Before she could even consider guessing, however, the ship made another jolt, sending her off her feet. The ship was leaving the ground.

*****

Gohan, Goten, and Videl ran outside to see what all the noise was about, their eyes widening when they saw the spaceship quickly being lifted. In one swift moment, the ship was well past the trees and shooting up into space at lightning speed.

They all stared, stupefied at what just happened.

Finally, Goten chuckled and put a hand behind his head, "Guess this means they didn't want me to go after all, huh?"

Gohan glared at him, not liking the idea as much as Goten, "I have a feeling that liftoff was premature…someone pressed the wrong button." His eyes widened at the sudden thought of Bulma telling him she was going to go on the ship to say goodbye to Trunks and Goku, "Oh no, I think Bulma's on that thing!"

"Gohan…" Videl spoke up, her voice light. When her husband looked at her, she wrung her hands together, "Where's Pan?"

*****

"Wow…so this is the west galaxy, huh?" Bra swooned as she pressed her face against the cool window, watching planets and stars come and go.

"What do you mean 'wow'?" Vegeta asked, still slightly annoyed that she was still in his company, "It looks exactly like the north galaxy."

Bra whirled around with her eyes narrowed, "Well, excuse me, I've never even been into space before! I want to be in aw for awhile!"

Vegeta made an annoyed grunting noise as he leaned against the control panel, his arms crossed. Though his smirk should have held nothing but an evil underlie to it, Bra spotted amusement, "You'll be in aw when I open up the hatch and make you float in all that space."

Thinking that she should have felt offended, Bra was surprised when she matched his look, "Oh yeah? Well, I've been known to have a grip of steel so if I go out there, you go with me."

"You may think you're tough," Vegeta began, "But if you compare yours to steel, then mine is buckypaper."

Bra stared at him incredulously for a long moment. Before she could stop it, a small laugh escaped her lips. She covered her mouth with one finger, her opposite hand holding her elbow, "What? How do you even know about buckypaper?"

He glared, not appreciating her laugh, "I lived with your mother for three and a half years…I learned of a lot of crazy, scientific shit like that. She was always working with different materials to get her projects working."

Holding her smile, Bra lowered her finger to stare at Vegeta with a genuine softness. Though he had his life out in space where he was supposedly the king of his own planet, he spoke of his time on Earth with Bulma as though it was the highlight of his existence. And though she had only spent a few more hours with him since they left Earth and entered the west galaxy, he was quickly breaking down his barriers with her. She was sure he knew exactly what he was saying and the depth of it, and she quickly learned to not act overly interested. It was the only thing that, for some reason, made him shut down all over again.

"My mom sometimes tries to get me more interested in all that stuff," Bra started, looking out the window again, "but I guess it's just not my thing. Trunks has the brains, just not the patience."

Vegeta stared at the side view of her for a moment, "And it's safe to assume that fighting is not your thing either?"

Bra laughed and turned her head to him, "Not at all. Weird, huh? I don't take after either of my parents."

Whether she meant Vegeta or Goku made no difference in this situation. Vegeta couldn't even believe he was about to ask the question that was on his mind, "So what exactly is your thing then?"

Bra wanted to make a comment on how interested he was becoming in her. But she figured if she did that, he would dismiss ever wanting to know anything. She put that finger back up to her chin, pretending to think really hard, "Hm…well, I'm big into fashion. I always thought about being a fashion designer. Ya know, for the rich and famous."

Vegeta gritted his teeth, not sure why that answer was annoying him, "What…?"

"Yeah! And then I'll be able to make my own clothes and…and design dresses for special occasions!" Bra's eyes were suddenly sparkling with a desire to talk insistently about her obsession, "Like, Goten's been dating this girl, Paresu, for a couple years now. She's really nice, but somewhat of an airhead. But I told Goten I was happy he found someone that even he was smarter than. Anyway, she has the perfect figure for me to make a wedding dress for. I keep telling Goten that if I design her dress and save them all that money to go out and buy one, that he has to let me be the maid-of-honor. Of course, I know that it's actually up to the girl to decide that, but I know Paresu would want me to be when she sees the dress! And then maybe I can even get Pan to dress up a little. It's about time she gets out of her tomboy stage. Oh, and Mom! I always thought it would be so romantic if her and Dad renewed their vows and had an actual wedding. Because I think—."

"Shut up already!" Vegeta abruptly yelled, not even caring about the scared and pained look that quickly entered Bra's gaze. "You females are all the same! I ask one simple question and then you insist on going on and on and on! I don't care about all your empty thoughts!"

Bra felt her face heat up. How…dare he! She clenched her fists and felt a scream forming low in her throat. Basically, Vegeta made her feel like throwing a huge tantrum. He's the one that asked me what I was interested in! Can't he at least listen as I talk about dresses and weddings and…oh. As quickly as her anger came, it left. She didn't realize it when she was talking away, but it suddenly dawned on her that she hit a sensitive nerve with him. Of course, he never openly admitted to her that he loved her mother, but all the clues were there. She had no right to talk about Bulma and Goku getting married to him.

"I'm sorry, Vegeta…I didn't mean to—."

Vegeta's back was turned to her by now, but he interrupted her with, "I said shut up. We should be arriving at Eslia in about two more hours."

Bra rubbed her arms quickly, suddenly chilled, "That was fast…"

*****

"Come on, Pan! Open up already, it's not like we're going to turn around now just to drop you off," Trunks tried to reason with her on the other side of the door. By now, he was sitting on the floor, his back pressed against the door.

On the other side, Pan was sitting the exact same way, "Then why do you want in here so bad?"

"I have to make sure everything is working properly. In case you forgot already, the ship didn't have the proper amount of time to warm up before we took off," he paused, but continued when she didn't answer, "What'll happen if something's wrong and we don't fix it until it's too late?"

Pan bit her thumbnail out of nervous habit, "I'll only open the door if Grandpa is out there."

Trunks sighed, "He's in his room with Mom right now, trying to get her to calm down. I'm surprised you didn't give her a heart attack, Pan."

"No need to rub it in, Trunks!" Pan yelled, but finally stood up, "Fine. I'll unlock the door…just promise you won't hurt me."

Trunks rolled his eyes and stood up also, feeling this was the moment he'd been aiming towards for the past half hour, "What are you talking about? I just want to make sure everything is all right, like I've been saying."

Pan closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "Okay…" she warned, more herself than Trunks. Her finger slowly inched towards the "UNLOCK" button. She was surprised when the door slid open as soon as she pressed it, coming face to face with a very annoyed Trunks.

"So we meet at last," he said with a menacing tone, taking a slow step into the control room so she wouldn't close the door on him again.

Her eyes got wide as she turned to try to run as far as she could, but was cut short when Trunks grabbed her wrist and spun her around.

"Trunks, no! I'm sorry, okay?!" Pan yelled as she tried to wiggle her way free of his grasp, but knowing it was over once he got a hold of her other wrist. Either way, she still tried to break free, screaming when she was thrown to the ground. He pinned her hands over her head, his legs straddling her as he glared down at her.

"What were you thinking, Pan?! You could have put all of us in danger and broke the ship and then how would we ever be able to rescue Bra?!" Trunks criticized, being a little more dramatic than usual.

Being yelled at by him got her annoyed, her eyes quickly matching his glare, "What are you, my father?" With this, she rolled her eyes, "With how messed up things are around here, I guess I shouldn't dismiss the possibility."

Trunks groaned, "Come on, that's ridiculous. I just know Mom and Dad aren't going to yell at you and someone needs to put you in your place."

Pan continued to glare, not appreciating being treated like a five year old one bit, "Don't make me raise my knee, Trunks."

Trunks suddenly realized the position they were in, and how easily it would be for Pan to knee him right in the groin. A long time ago when Pan was still a little girl, he was sparring with her and they got into a similar position. Pan raised her knee right away, doing the only thing that came to mind since she couldn't go into an offensive position. She felt bad afterward, but Trunks told her that she could do that to someone that was actually attacking her, but to avoid it when sparring. Pan made sure to never do it again.

Trunks sighed and stood up, whispering out a, "Cheap-o…" before going over to the control panel.

Pan sat up and rubbed her wrists, "Grandpa's not mad at me, is he?"

He couldn't hold back his laugh at her question, "Him, mad at you? C'mon…"

She smiled gently, knowing he was right. Even when the rest of her family seemed annoyed and peeved at her, her grandpa was still right there beside her, smiling away and supporting her. As if on cue, Goku came in, his grin intact.

"Well, Bulma's calmed down a little," he laughed goodheartedly, "That was a good one, Pan. Though…if you really wanted to go, you could've just asked."

Pan stood up and dusted herself off, "Daddy would have never let me go. Trunks even tried talking to him."

Before he could get another word in, all of them heard Bulma running down the hall, coming closer and closer to the control room, "Goku! Goku!" Goku held his smile, waiting for her next complaint to come so he could try to come up with a solution for her. She made her appearance, her eyes wide with terror, her chest heaving in and out at a quick pace.

"What is it, hun?" He began to walk to her, but stopped when her outburst made him realize that he might not be able to help her on this one.

"I don't have any of my clothes!"

------------------------------

Hey everyone! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. As you can see, I tried to keep it along the real storyline of when Goku, Trunks, and Pan start their little journey. But, since this is still a Goku/Bulma story, of course I had to tag her along!

AND I JUST FOUND OUT SOMETHING!! It kinda made me happy…yet kinda made me disappointed.

I read about an article where a fan asked Akira Toriyama why he didn't have Goku end up with Bulma (back then, every fan wanted that to happen).Toriyama admitted that he wasn't a very good "romance writer", and after the fan explained the reasons (how their history together as the longest of friends, is what makes the best couples in anime, and several other things) he even commented that if someone had told him all that back then, he would've married Goku to Bulma instead.

Where were we, people?! WHERE WERE WE!?!?

Cause apparently, he didn't even have "plans" for Bulma anyway. He wasn't even planning on actually bringing Vegeta into the whole picture, but when so many fans seemed to take a liking to him, Toriyama decided to make Vegeta one of the "good guys" and just happened to get with Bulma.

So, again I say…OH WHERE WERE WE TO OPEN TORIYAMA'S EYES?!