Anything But Innocent

(AKA Anticipation )

(AKA Betrayal)

Alone at last. This is what I've been thinking about; obsessively does my mind scan over every detail of my surroundings, excruciating and exquisite alike, even though I shouldn't. I should be thinking about your husband waiting for the cue to run out and try to beat me to a pulp for doing what I'm about to do.

I'm about to try to make his wife love me, and I'm sure he knows. He's on to me, even though I'm not sure exactly how. That's how Vegeta is, I guess. That's one of his skills, reading people. I can't help falling in love with you, I guess it was inevitable that he would as well, and now he's waiting to make it clear that you're his, because he's primitive like that. Neither of us could resist your charms, as it turned out, but I wonder if it makes me bad to hope you're not as happy with him as you seem when the lights are out and you're left to your own thoughts.

I'm watching you even though I shouldn't be. I'm watching you very carefully, the curve of your lips and the way they part and open when you sigh. I watch the arch of your eyebrow and the way it twitches when your husband says something irritating. He's kind of mean, sometimes, isn't he? I wonder if it's just an act and really you have finally decided that you need more in life than what he's been giving you.

Water drips from the sky, heavy, pooling at the ground but first soaking leaves, and grass and soil, making branches of trees slouch under the excessive weight. Summer rain, from the sound of it you would think it'd be soft and light. I love the trees, all with different shades of green, both subtle and majestic in their silent wisdom. In reality, it's really pouring out there. My sentimental heart makes this all slow and quiet.

It's a pleasant little rhythm, the pitter-patter of the rain on concrete. I think it's more abrasive-sounding than the way rain sounds in the forest, but it's a preference. Maybe Bulma likes abrasive things. Maybe she likes the harshness of it.

Three black birds fly off overhead, and they disappear in the bright grey sky. It almost hurts to look up. I hear you laugh from behind a cigarette. I wonder why you do that, smoke. It's kind of a bad habit. We all have bad habits even though you laugh and tell me I'm flawless from time to time. You're a bad habit.

If everything was so flawless about me, I wouldn't be standing here considering you with a smile on my face like I don't know what men and women do at night, like I'm so pure and good and innocent, like I'm so far away from you.

"Goku, what are you doing?" Your voice is playful and light, half full with a laugh, like you don't understand that I want you. Like it's not so obvious that Vegeta is probably fuming somewhere right now and why.

I heard him stalk off away from you a few moments ago, when you two thought you were alone.

"Kakarotto is not always who you think he is. His games and jokes are all a ridiculous façade; they are designed so that his opponents don't take him seriously and you fall for this mindless charade without hesitation!"

"Vegeta, I don't know what you're talking about." she replies with innocence in her voice that made me tingle. An astonishing thing: Bulma Briefs with innocence in her voice, when considering me. "I'm not one of Gokou's opponents, I'm his best friend. What is it that you're getting at?"

Vegeta is frustrated, because he tried to tell her as gently and discreetly as possible and still her faith in me was so undying that she didn't understand the meaning of his words at all, because he probably hates me right now, and most importantly because he is torn between seeming like he gives a damn and staking claim to what is his now but what was undoubtedly mine first. "Don't worry about it, you're obviously too stupid to understand." His words were callous and harsh but I could detect the hurt lingering in his tone that she did not.

"Vegeta!" she calls his name out, putting her hands on her hips but he's gone and I skip out to the patio where I was supposed to be and wait for her. She scoffs and calls him a jerk.

I could hear Bulma's heels tapping on the stone flooring as she followed me out to stand under the awning, watching the rain fall.

Don't you understand why we're here? How does this not make sense to you? You're a genius, Bulma. I need you to figure this out, because it's going to be really hard for me to just come right out and say it. There's so much I want to do with you.

"I do have to say, Goku," you said with your arms crossed over your chest, "I was surprised when I heard you made a deal with a god like that. Why exactly was it that you offered me up to kiss the Kai?" Her voice is amused, and yet she's also ready to start yelling at me because that's what best friends do. I smile into the tone of her voice, because I love it, because I love her but don't tell anyone, alright?

It's not like I knew, this whole time. I had a kid and a wife when the light finally came crashing down on me. How could I hurt ChiChi? How could I abandon Gohan? No one explained love to me, Bulma. It was something I didn't figure out until I was almost thirty. Sorry, slow learner. We're not all as quick as you.

Forgive me for taking so long, I have a reputation to uphold. Underneath, you and I are connected on a level that no two other people could possibly be.

An image of you standing before me with a dress similar to the one you have on now, but much younger, chained to a red platform, has conjured itself up in my head. I bite my lip a little bit and you raise a brow at my hitched breath. Should I have done it then, when it could be against your will, when you had no choice but to accept my advances? Why didn't I think to take you at the time, instead of saving your life and returning you to your family and boyfriend?

Why didn't I just act like Vegeta? I'm scanning my thoughts, trying to remember how I felt about you every time I've ever rescued you from something, or sheltered you from a blast, or held you in my arms. No matter how innocent the encounter was at the time, I'm searching my memories and consistently I sense something I haven't exactly been able to explain well throughout my life when I think of Bulma.

Now I understand, clearly, and I am here.

I'm standing just a little too close when I start laughing, resting my hand on the back of my head. "Come on, now, Bulma." I said with a smile playing on my lips, "You're the sexiest person I know. And I also knew you would suit an old pervert's whims if it was for the sake of the universe."

Thunders cracks and the sheets of rain come down heavier and louder and it's probably for the best because my breathing is getting harder. I have never felt this nervous around ChiChi, or any other woman, or any other person, in my entire life.

"I guess." She said, "Vegeta's kind of sore about it."

I bet he's pretty sore about it. I love it that I can say it, how gorgeous you are. Sexy. That's the word we all keep using. I've grown to enjoy your vanity. Don't ever change, Bulma. Stay sexy and smart and outrageous.

"Really?" I asked, lifting a brow like I couldn't possibly understand why in the world her husband would be upset.

Heh.

"Yeah, it's weird." she says, "Typically he's not really the jealous type or anything, and it was, truly, just an old man but still." Bulma laughed, lowering her voice as if telling me a secret, "Vegeta made noise about it for a few weeks."

I crossed my arms over my chest, looking at her through the corner of my eye as I stepped forward, "Hah, that's kind of funny." I looked up, trying to pick out the individual rain droplets in the sky, "I didn't think that would be the case, though."

"How do you mean?" she asks, confused.

"Well, I always sort of assumed Vegeta would be the possessive, jealous sort of type."

"Not at all." Bulma said, shaking her head, "In fact, he mostly does his best to pretend he doesn't care what I do as long as he doesn't perceive me to be 'spoiling' his son too badly." She crossed her arms over her chest, looking bitter for a moment. I saw an in and I took it, breathlessly without thought.

"If I were your husband, I'd try to keep you away from everyone."

Bulma's eyes sort of widen, before she settles into a look of confusion like she misheard me. She didn't. "Well," she says with a sort of a laugh, because I know I just made her a tiny bit nervous, "ChiChi is lucky that her husband cares so much."

About someone else. About you. Her husband cares an awful lot about you. Bulma, I want to wake up naked next to you. I want to get married to you, live with you and eat with you all the time. I want to go on trips with you and listen to you ramble about your inventions to be obnoxious when you know I have no idea what you're saying. Use your science to make that go away. Make me good again and make me love no one but my sons and my wife, I would rather be unfulfilled than hurt anyone.

Science my feelings away and we'll never tell anyone about this ever.

I can't help but watch the cigarette float from her lips and back again. It's erotic and now the image of your mouth on mine is burned inside of my head.

Do you know how long I've wanted that?

"You're a great guy, you know?" She says with a melodic hum, shrugging a little bit as she says it. The words are nothing to her. They're casual and meaningless and I put so much thought into everything I say to her.

A great guy. Is that all? Is that all you have to say, about me and about us? When you look at me do you still see a little boy? When you consider me are you still thinking about a child? Don't you see I've grown up? I've grown up a lot.

I was right to think of you as a witch. That's what you are to me. Your magic is of a different sort. It's charming and stunning, captivating and blatant and true. You don't hide who you are, like I do. You don't wear a mask; you just demand that people accept you.

Please, look at me and see me. Please look past this, the mask and the smile. Please understand. I'm asking you, not telling you, but I need it so much. Maybe I should tell you to see it; maybe I should demand it of you.

Is that what you want? Is that what gets your attention, some arrogant jerk, bossing you around? Should I swear at you and berate you if I want your love? Why do you want to be treated badly? Why is that exciting for you?

Should I act like him? I could do it, you know. I've known enough bad guys to know how they act. I remember the things that Yamucha would say that were rude and cocky that would put a blush on your cheeks even when you didn't want them to. I remember the passionate gazes Vegeta would send you after you've sent him into a rage. I've watched, but you've made me lose all of my confidence.

"Is that how you think of me, Bulma?" I said, fixing my gaze on her. My tone is more telling than I would have wanted it to be. Her eyelashes touched her cheekbones and then flew upwards again. Bulma Briefs is trying her very hardest to not blush at my words and I find this to be, in a word, adorable.

She's constantly putting that thing to her lips. Oral fixation, is that what you call it? She's always putting something to her lips, her fingers or her glasses or a cigarette.

It's too hot out here.

"What do you mean?" She says, avoiding my gaze. She shifts a little bit, transferring the weight from one leg to another. I pull a chair for her and she sits.

I looked around. I swallowed, and when I realized I couldn't do it, I decided to change the subject. "Why do you smoke so much, Bulma? That stuff is bad for you."

"Every second I spend in this world is another one just a little bit closer to death." She sort of shrugged, flicking ash off to the side, "I'm committed to enjoying myself. There may come a time where I'm gone and even you can't bring me back."

"So you're telling me that you want to spend your whole life justifying making yourself sick?" I asked, frowning.

Bulma rolled her eyes, "That's not what I'm doing."

I couldn't do it. I knew that there was something inside of me that wanted this, and my desire was growing, but still I didn't have it in me to hurt my family. Bulma ran a hand through her hair, a little absentmindedly and I barely knew what to do.

"Well, are you here to stay for lunch?" Bulma asked, leaning forward over the table at me, seemingly unaware of the cool wind and little droplets of rain coming from the storm above.

I shook my head, "Actually, I was hoping to see if you wanted to go look for the Dragon Balls with me." I said it suddenly. It wasn't the intention, I just felt like we needed to do something, something that we would have normally done. More than anything I needed to be united in something and removed from everything else with Bulma Briefs at my side.

Bulma blinked a bit, "Do you need to wish for something, Gokou?"

I can't have what I would wish for. I smiled a little bit, shrugging, "Well what else is there to do?"

"I don't know… I wonder if it's a good idea to just take off on Vegeta…" she said, looking uncomfortable. In an instant, her eyes have darted back to the direction of Vegeta's Gravity Chamber, and I know that I have to get her away from here, away from her husband and her son, if I have any hope of getting through to her how good we can be together.

ONE

"If I fall, will you catch me?" She asked, grin on her face. I frowned in distaste. She's balancing on the side of a cliff, leaning over to whistle at the body of water below. I'm nervous for her, a little bit, but I also know that I'd love for her to fall as much as she would love to collapse into my waiting arms.

I would never let anything bad happen to you, and you know it. So you put yourself into these situations, where you know I have to prove that to you. You really want to see me jump through hoops for you.

"You're kidding, right?" I raised a brow, amazed at Bulma's arrogance still.

Bulma whined, looking over at me, "Come on Goku, I can't swim." She pretended to slip and fall over, eyeing me the whole while to see if I'd move.

Instead I rested my chin in my palm, examining her as I roll my eyes at her, "I'm pretty sure we've gone swimming before a million times."

She coughed, looking the other way as she said, "In my old age, I've forgotten."

"How do you forget how to swim?"

Of course I'll catch you if you fall. Being close to you makes me feel both amazing and a little short of breath. I've expressed my love to her and still she cruelly takes most of her clothes off in front of me, ready to jump in the lake, ready to have me save her from whatever nonsense she's about to get herself into.

When a giant fish thinks she's bait after she swims around aimlessly for a few minutes, I jump in, take her by the waist, and grab the Dragon Ball from between the sea beast's teeth.

I don't know if she was grateful that I saved her life or not, but we both laughed about it on the rocks outside of the beach. I watch the dribbles of water run down her stomach, over her breasts until they dry one by one in the sunlight.

Bulma noticed, but maybe she didn't care. Maybe she really was a witch, ready to finish casting her spell over me.

TWO

In a cave, I could not stop laughing when Bulma tripped over a huge rock and fell face-first into the niche holding the two-star Dragon Ball.

"Shut up, Gokou!" Bulma hissed, tossing the ball into her bag.

THREE

"So," she said, looking around, "you haven't really spoken about Gohan or Goten or ChiChi."

I shrugged a little bit, swallowing a bit. "I don't know. We're all, you know, fine."

Bulma looked over at me and frowned, "You're a great guy, Gokou," she says, "but sometimes I think you can be a little bit selfish."

I blinked, "How is that so?"

"Well, I don't know. Vegeta trains here at home. I just wonder why you don't make more of an effort to be closer to the boys and ChiChi."

I blinked again. She's chastising me, isn't she? I need to get away from the topic of my family, and fast. "Speaking of, I kind of heard Vegeta laying into you earlier, what was that all about?" I asked. I tried to seem innocent, but Bulma frowned a little bit.

"I don't even know. It was about y-"she stopped herself, although I don't know if she knows why she did it. She looked at me, with sort of wide eyes and I smiled at her.

"What?" I asked, looking at her innocently, "What was Vegeta warning you about?"

Bulma flushed, "Uh… I mean, it's not really all that important."

I look over at her, and on impulse I press on, "That's not true, Bulma." She looks up at me, and I know I have to rationalize my logic, "Well, you're pretty upset about it."

She grabbed her arm, looking to the side, "It's just… how did you know he was warning me about something?" She asked with a stiff look on her face.

I grinned at her, "Just a hunch."

Bulma stared at me.

"What was Vegeta warning you about?" I asked again, forcing her to match my gaze. She shivered at the tone of my voice. This is what you want, right Bulma, someone brash and harsh and unwilling to accommodate you? Do you want someone to challenge you, Bulma? I've never lost a battle in my life. I'll win this one too.

Bulma bit her lip, "Vegeta was warning me about you." Her words are quiet and yet powerful.

I breathed out a smile. The words fell into the air between the two of us so comfortably. Now it was out. Was she getting it? Was I making any sense? "Do you know why?"

Bulma shook her head, "He just said that you were pretending."

I nodded. She suddenly seemed a little alarmed, so I added, "It's nothing bad, at least not really. He doesn't like it, the way he didn't like the whole Kai thing." I shrugged a little bit. The last thing I really want to care about at this exact moment is how Vegeta feels about Bulma and me spending time together. Trying to make her understand still, I finally said, "I just feel like I never stopped waiting for you."

She took a step back. I took a deep breath, knowing that I was about to take a huge chance with my sanity, heart and life. I took her into my arms the wind is suddenly blowing through her hair. She didn't even have time to squeak. I needed to take her away from the cliff. We needed to not worry about Vegeta.

She's trembling against my chest, but I am cool. Somehow, I feel safer in the air than I did on land. We're alone, at last. It's private, finally; just the two of us. I wonder if she feels me shiver when instinctively she tightens her grasp over my neck. I wonder if she realized that I smiled into her hair when she finally was able to emit a sound of distaste and shock. I wonder if she could sense my earnest, desire and nervousness, because the three seem so apparent to me it's ridiculous.

She's flirted with me before, openly. Was it only jokingly? Did I misread the invitations?

"Look, here's how it is: I really, really like you Bulma." I say these words quickly, and they stumble out of my mouth into the air. I feel clumsy, and surprisingly very… young, shuffling before Bulma Briefs in mid-air.

"Goku, are you sure that this is how you want to do this?"

I smiled at her, brushing a few strands from her face. I didn't need to respond, but I could sense the turmoil in her eyes. I felt guilt.

"Goku, don't you think it's a little late for this?" she said it slowly, as if testing the words out. As if she was kind of unwilling to believe that this was real, that certain words of affection had just come out of my mouth and as a result now had to respond to them.

"Bulma, it may be too late," her little red dress is already soaked and soiled from our earlier adventures, "But I'm just trying to tell you the truth."

Bulma Briefs swallows. She looks around, and I kind of wonder if she thought for a second that Vegeta was coming. Her voice is hoarse when she says, "Don't you think that maybe you should have thought about this on your wedding day?"

"I think ChiChi fell out of love with me with she fell in love with Gohan." I said, a little more sharply than I'd intended. "Also… maybe Chi has interest in other people too." My tone is sour. I didn't mean for it to be. Her cerulean eyes are fixed on me and they spell out disapproval.

"You're kidding, right?"

"Yamcha seemed kind of keen on her, at the tournament," I offer with a smile.

Bulma laughed, shaking her head at me with sparkling eyes. Much to my surprise, she rubs her head as she says, in an awfully low voice, "Who could ever love Yamucha over you?"

"You did."

Silence.

"Well, what is it, Bulma, did you just only want the bad boys or something? Was it just implicit that because I was kind to you and respectful of you and didn't just try to make you sleep with me, we could never be together?"

Her face red like her lips, she snapped, "That's not fair!"

"You're not fair!"

"It's not like you didn't…" Bulma looks around, slowly, crossing her arms over her chest, and leaning in a little closer to me. She drops her eyes like she drops her voice and says, "You had a chance, you know. You're the one that ran off and got married."

I swallowed.

We were quiet for the rest of the way. I don't even remember who picked up the Dragon Ball, or where it was. Both of us had something seeming much more important on our minds.

FOUR

Somehow I knew that we would find the four-star Dragon Ball next, and with that would come some good luck. Bulma and I tried to make some sort of small talk, but in light of the fact that it was mostly forced and awkward, we remained silent. She almost even suggested flying in her plane, but with a roll of my eyes, I grabbed her and took off in the direction of the next Dragon Ball.

"Just because I like you doesn't mean that suddenly we can't function together at all." I didn't bother to look at her as I said it. Things seemed to be so bad at that point I had no clue they could potentially get much, much worse. We were mostly just trading off between yelling at and ignoring each other.

Suddenly:

"You had your chance! I thought you were so amazing when you came back, and you got engaged! What was up with that? From the moment that you showed up and gave me a hug I knew that you were something really, really special but you were the one that turned around and made yourself unavailable. What was I supposed to do, rush and throw you into a supply closet at the Budokai and declare love for you with my boyfriend and your fiancé feet away?"

"I would have liked that." I said in a tone I didn't recognize. Buma looked stricken, and in a softer tone I tried again, "I thought you loved Yamucha, you knew I didn't know any better! I've been able to trust that you know me better than I do since we were kids but you kind of dropped the ball on that one, Bulma,"

I'm not meaning to blame her for this all but my words do. She's watching me with wide blue eyes, like she's seeing me differently for the first time, a little shocked and appalled at how abrupt I am when I say, "Why didn't you tell me that marrying ChiChi meant giving up you?"

Bulma raised a brow, "It sounds like you kind of are the jealous type, Gokou."

I shrugged, "If that were so I'd enjoy my ever victory over Vegeta." I didn't want to think about Vegeta. I didn't want to talk about Vegeta. I think she only brought her husband up to drive me insane. There was a time before Vegeta, you know. There was a time where it was just Bulma and Gokou, and I've been trying awfully hard to bring her back there.

Bulma sent me a piercing look, "Now listen here, Gokou, don't tell me that you come and spar with Vegeta so you can have lunch with me because I know that's not true."

"What if it was?" I asked. It's not, not entirely, I mean.

Bulma scoffed, "Look, as much as I love your rippling muscles, I also love my husband's also rippling muscles and I think you should take me back down now, Gokou."

Well, at least I know she's attracted to me. If I really wanted something, I'm sure I could seduce her. I'm sure that if I came on to her, she wouldn't be able to turn me down. Still, I didn't want it to be just sex. I didn't want to start it out as just being sex.

She looked down. It was true: we were floating in the air. We spent a good deal of time just drifting around in some sort of embrace, caught up in our struggles. I was content with her in my arms, but she began to squirm some.

"So you don't feel the same." I said, looking over at her sadly.

Bulma Briefs bit her lip.

The Dragon Ball that we found wasn't the four-star ball. I couldn't help but feel like the only hope I had was in finding the four-star ball. Again, we were silent. Still attached, together, and even trying to mend things, but now something had changed.

Do you think I'm weak if I say my heart was breaking? A hero doesn't experience this, or any level of rejection. Everyone loves him. Bulma Briefs, love me.

FIVE

In order to get the fifth Dragon ball, we only had to look in a bird's next. I didn't mean to eye Bulma with desire as she climbed off on the branch, I just did.

She was the one that insisted on doing it, like she knew it would bewitch me. As she grabbed the ball, she slipped and almost fell to the rocks below.

I grabbed her, and again we were floating together, my arms around her and her hands thrown around my neck like I'm the only thing in the world she could hold on to.

I didn't mean to, but inspired by the sight of her, I leaned in a little bit. Our lips touched and it was light at first, but to my surprise her tongue slowly made its way into my mouth and I felt myself groan and lose control. When her eyes fluttered open, she looked afraid. "Wow…" she muttered.

She looked in my eyes and something like confusion was filled in them. "Can it be? Is it really you?" She asked, "And I thought I was the one that had a problem with fidelity."

"If you have a problem with fidelity then don't you think that means that you were meant to be with someone else?"

"With Yamucha," Bulma clarified, "I only had fidelity issues with Yamucha."

"You cheated on him to be with Vegeta." I said plainly.

"Because I was unhappy with Yamcha and Vegeta was something else."

"I'm something else, too."

Bulma shook her head, biting her lip nervously, "I'm starting to be afraid that you're going to be more of the same."

"How could you say that, Bulma?" I ask, cocking my head to the side, and saying, slowly, "You've never met anyone like me." I leaned in and smiled at her.

SIX

The four star ball fell out of her grasp and innocently rolled on the soil under the tree. Bulma Briefs' parted lips were my only concern.

"Stop doing what you're…" She murmured, her hands lost in my hair.

I brought my head back, watching her a little bit.

"Keep doing it," she whispers quickly, bringing my face back to hers.

I took off Bulma Briefs' dress finally, and we were one for just a while.

Immediately she recanted.

My eyes scroll over her body. Sexy, sexy, something I can never have, again I mean. Moments ago, so short that I can still taste her, something amazing happened. I trailed a hand over her body, from her hip back up again, and she flushed as if just being brought back to life.

"Gokou, what we just did was wrong."

"I think that you should use the wish to ask the Dragon to take your feelings for me away."

When I finally, silently nodded and I began to put my shirt back on over my chest, she looked to the side as she added, "I don't think we should find the last ball together, Gokou." I can reach out and touch her, but I can't put my arms over her sacred body in the way her husband may. Like she said, we're going to ignore my feelings and try to remember what it means to be best friends. We're going to wish my feelings for Bulma away with the Dragon Balls, just like she said, and make this all go away.

It's going to be washed over. I'll finally feel clean and light again.

Damnable red dress of hers, I swallowed when I saw her at the Budokai.

Sexy.

I'm sorry if I get kind of nostalgic. I've known Bulma my whole life. On her face I see our story. There are so many different things I remember. ChiChi made dinner and now Gohan's taking a bath and she's cleaning up. When I feel her presence, I don't say anything when I slip out the back door.

Bulma's smoking a cigarette outside of my house. After our eyes meet, she gives me a little smile and a little wave. Then she turns away from me, hand on her hip, looking around as if she was doing something important.

"It has nothing to do with the fact that you live here, I was scouting some valuable property for a new Capsule Corporations building."

"Is that so?" I asked, trying to fight the smile coming to my lips.

"It's uh, off over there." She points in the first direction her mind can think of.

I smile at her. So you've finally come back.

A long, long time ago:

"Aw, Bulma! Come on, keep up!" I said, laughing as she panted, following me. Why is it all of my best memories are of you and me, laughing alone together? We went out in the woods together, because you wanted to even though I told you that you wouldn't like it, and we had a great time.

She was chattering about, and I wasn't getting annoyed with her for it, but I had since managed to tune her out. It wasn't until she insisted we come to a stop that she started talking about truly significant things. I, of course, didn't know this at the time.

She leaned back against a tree trunk and closed her eyes, "You know, we always look for the Dragon Balls together. It's weird that you did it with ChiChi."

I shrugged, "That's not really true, Bulma. I mean, Krillin's looked for the Dragon Balls with us, and Yamucha, and sometimes I even go alone."

"Yeah," Bulma said, a bright smile coming across her features, "I guess I didn't think about it like that. But still, I'm the only girl."

I blinked and shrugged again, "Yeah, girls are always the worst to go on adventures with." Turning around with a grin as I laced my fingers behind my head, I said, "They don't keep up because they talk so much."

"Hey!" Bulma snapped. I laughed at her, but I slowed down a little bit to allow her to get caught up. We were silent for a while. Bulma was obviously uncomfortable with this, because at first she started to whistle, arms behind her back. Then, strolling beside me, she started looking around a lot.

"So you're getting married." She didn't ask it, because she knew this was true. She just wanted something to talk about. I wasn't one for love or romance. I couldn't talk to her about my relationship with ChiChi any more intelligently than I was able to my relationship with her.

"Yeah…" I trailed off slightly, looking at her out of the corner of my eye, "So?"

Bulma bit her lip. I could tell that she thought my innocence was callousness. Maybe I even wanted to hide from such a big decision. I didn't understand that I was in love with Bulma. The concept, truly, didn't occur to me on any level. They were words and expressions without gravity at all.

"Am I losing my best friend?" she asked, lacing her fingers together nervously. She was watching them awfully hard. I should have known. I should have known that she was trying to say something, that she was saying something.

"Aw, Bulma, I'm just getting married. Everything will be just the same, except I'll live with ChiChi now."

Bulma looked over at me for a long moment. I should have known better and I didn't. "Of course," she said, finally.

SEVEN

Bulma looked up at me with wide blue eyes before saying, "Maybe we could… find the last Dragon Ball together." She gazed off to the side, sighing a bit, "It wouldn't hurt, would it? We're still friends, right?"

Oh, blazing encouragement.

She came back: this was all I could register. She came back because she loved me, despite what she'd said. It made plenty of sense to me, and I knew what I had to do.

When we went searching I could sense something else, something different. Vegeta was trailing us. He'd been doing it since we had sex for the first time. I suppose he's been pretty curious about what I've been doing with his wife the past couple of days.

I knew we had to be quick. She managed to grab the seventh Dragon Ball. I savored the feeling of her in my arms, and I'm sure I was not mistaken when I detected a certain level of comfort that she'd taken in my embrace. She trusted me a little, even though she knew now that I was watching her in a different way and appreciating her in a forbidden manner.

Vegeta was flying closer now, shouting something, a curse and my name but I couldn't make anything else out. Bulma's eyes were wide open. As soon as the Dragon appears I think she realizes what's about to happen.

He's calling something out, but they're both too late.

"I wish that I'd married Bulma instead of ChiChi."

And you may ask of my wife. Would it be cruel to label her as a fleeting thought? Would it be too late to say that I didn't exactly know what it was I was bargaining for?

I didn't fall out of love with ChiChi I just never fell in love with her in the first place. The woman I've always been in love with is staring at me with huge cerulean orbs and cherry lips parted in shock and horror.

-GB