just gonna stand there and hear me cry

Anger is too simple a word to describe it. It burns ferociously under her skin, stings in the corner of her eyes, and it tastes salty in her mouth. It hurts in the worst kind of way and her chest feel like caving in.

Bulma pitches the stick into the garbage can. The plastic bag crinkles and she hiccups a sob, her face screwed up, as all her world dissolves into a stupid pink plus sign.

What did she think she was doing? What did she think was going to happen? She's the most brilliant woman in the world, she's forgotten more inventions than most top scientists have created in a lifetime, she's been to space and back, she's saved the world, and yet she can't fathom how she ignored the basics of the original complexity of life.

Ignorance, bliss. She sneers at herself and pushes her hands through her unraveling blue mane, cradles her face in her hands and squints through flowing tears at the tile under her bare feet. It was stupid. So stupid. To believe she was invincible; she's so used to escaping unimaginable dangers unscathed, huge titan heroes saving her at every turn, always another step ahead of the game. Could she really have convinced herself she was just as indomitable?

Bulma wonders if he knew. It's been weeks since he took off that evening. She's sure he thought she didn't know – but she was well aware of his hastily padding feet, the roar of the engines from the lawn below, and the immediate press of his distancing power. Is that why he ran away under cover of darkness? In all her years of knowing him, she can't imagine Vegeta running from much of anything. Though she must admit, if she had the chance to escape from any of the numerous obstacles she's encountered in her life, this (by far) would be the one she would choose to run from first.

She slides her hand over her smooth stomach and quivers a sigh. But there'd be no running from this. As she gets up from the bath tub's rim, Bulma thinks of Son-kun and her countless friends. How many challenges they've faced, infinitely worse than the kind she's unwittingly stumbled into – and they stared them valiantly in the face, stood their ground.

Stepping over to the mirror, she heaves another shaky breath and runs the pad of her thumb under each eye, smearing away trails of black that have collected there. She sniffles and fixates her gaze on her middle.

Only one of them had the luxury of evading this situation – and it certainly was not her. She'd have to be braver, now. With a set chin, she nods at her reflection.

"Heroes don't run away."

Author's Note: Okay, so, I don't know WHERE the hell this came from. Seriously. But I figured it applied to this story (which I have no idea where I'm going with it) so I slapped it up here. We'll see how it works out. And, obviously, this is Bulma finding out she's pregnant. I've always been a believer that Vegeta got outta dodge BEFORE Bulma found out she was pregant, and that he didn't come back until a few weeks before the beginning of the Android Saga. Which, if I ever finish this story, I'll try and illustrate.

Who knows, maybe this will be my prequel to "It Was"! :P