A/N: This story is the sequel to You'll Be the Death of Me, my "three year" BV get-together story. While it might be helpful here and there to have read that one first, it's not necessary. This story can stand alone. :)
I don't own DBZ nor do I make a profit from this. As always, I'm just doing this to have fun (and procrastinate, of course). Anyways, I hope you enjoy.
All of Vegeta's hard work, all of his intense preparation, the hellish training that had damn near killed him to achieve the legendary Super Saiyan transformation… it had all been for nothing.
He had failed, and failed miserably.
The Saiyan prince had his eyes closed and his head down, his face buried against his forearm in deep shame, his arm resting on his raised knee. He was sitting alone in barren terrain that was eerily reminiscent of where he'd first battled Kakarot. He hadn't noticed the similarity until he descended from his flight and looked around, and all at once he'd lost the strength to stand. Now he was sitting there, hours after Gohan had destroyed Cell, wondering where everything had gone so wrong.
His pride had damn near been the downfall of the whole planet. He had let his pride overwhelm all logic, his arrogance in his power blinding him. In retrospect, he should have destroyed Cell when he had the chance instead of letting the villain achieve his perfect form. He had wrongly assumed that he was strong enough to handle Cell alone, only to be beaten down like he was an insignificant piece of garbage stuck on the bottom of Cell's foot.
Then, as if his pride hadn't been severely wounded already, he was reduced to a mere spectator, not able to do anything except stand by and watch while Kakarot's child fought the battle of a lifetime.
Denied his glory in battle, shamed beyond belief over needing Gohan to save his life, and now robbed of his chance to face his archrival one last time.
And then to top everything off, he hadn't even been strong enough to avenge his own son.
Vegeta clenched his fists tightly, squeezing his eyes shut at the thought of what he'd seen happen to Trunks. He'd denied the boy so many times, both the future teenaged version of his son, and the infant version as well. The baby was easy to ignore. The older version of Trunks, not so much. Vegeta had yelled at him, ignored, cursed and berated him. He'd even struck the teenager on more than a few occasions in the hope that Trunks would get the hint that he didn't give a shit about him. To Vegeta's ultimate frustration though, the boy was just as stubborn as he was.
Reflecting on it now, Vegeta concluded that it must have been when they trained together in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber that the teenager had finally worn down his defenses.
That year had been long and grueling. Trunks had kept his distance 85 percent of the time per his father's wishes, but the rare times when Vegeta had actually tolerated his conversation and company, Trunks had leapt at the opportunity to get to know him. It was usually when Vegeta was exhausted from training and had already called it a day, that he'd sit and listen with barely suppressed disdain as the teenager rambled on and on like a broken record. It definitely showed that Bulma had raised him alone, all right. The boy was cursed with her relentless persistence in his pursuit for some type of closure with him, which only made Vegeta burn with resentment. Here he was, barely coming to terms with the fact that he had a son at all, only to find himself forced to interact with the full-grown version of that son. It was too in-his-face, and he hated that. Those times when he allowed Trunks to converse with him always ended the same way: with Vegeta losing his temper and berating Trunks for something (oh, and he always found something), and then stalking away angrily and leaving the boy alone. His resentment and Trunks' persistence made for a horribly tense coexistence that usually left them both drowning in frustration with each other.
It wasn't until the last month that things started to change.
Vegeta had reached a new level in his Super Saiyan strength, and he wanted to test his new power in a battle situation. There was no one else there with him except Trunks, and so Vegeta reluctantly concluded that there was no other way except to spar with the boy. He could still picture Trunks' shocked face when he woke the boy up early one day and told him to meet him in ten minutes for a spar.
That spar quickly spiraled into an all-out brawl, a fierce and violent battle for survival that lasted almost an entire day. Vegeta held nothing back, and neither did Trunks, both of them unloading their frustrations on the other. They had practically mutilated each other that day, both of them bloody and broken messes after that fight, both barely able to stand when Vegeta finally said that was enough. The prince had barely managed to trudge to bed, where he'd passed out cold from exhaustion for two whole days while Trunks did the same. Vegeta woke up first, and immediately went to wake up his son so they could fight again.
That became their routine, and Trunks never once complained about it. Deep down, he was determined to earn his father's respect.
And earn it he did. Vegeta couldn't help but be impressed by the teenager. Still, decades of battle experience let him see the weaknesses in Trunks' technique. The prince taught his son how to remedy those weaknesses the only way he knew how: by viciously exploiting them and making Trunks pay dearly each time he slipped or his concentration lapsed. Trunks had gotten the message quickly and Vegeta had watched in approval as the boy never once repeated a mistake. There were even a few times when Trunks returned the favor, and Vegeta could only look at him in amazement as Trunks shot him a cocky smirk, before Vegeta would snarl and charge him to start it all over again.
Slowly, like true Saiyans, they had bonded – even if Vegeta hadn't realized it at the time.
It wasn't until Vegeta saw a lethal beam of energy impale Trunks' chest that he finally realized with painful clarity how much he truly did care about his son. It was horribly reminiscent of the brutal slaughter of his mother that had happened before his very eyes when he was only four years old. Only this was exponentially worse, which he never thought was possible until his son's death was unfolding right in front of him. All traces of sanity inside of him had died with Trunks, his survival instincts shot to hell as he charged Cell in a vengeful and blind rage that would have surely resulted in his death if Gohan hadn't intervened on his behalf.
The dust had settled now, and that rage had long since disappeared. Now the only thing Vegeta was left feeling was profound regret over the way he'd treated Trunks. The boy had only wanted his acknowledgement and Vegeta had been too proud to give him even that. Something so simple, so fucking trivial, and he hadn't thought it worth his time.
Not only had he failed miserably as a warrior and shamed himself on the battlefield, but he'd also failed as a father.
A roar of thunder brought Vegeta out of his thoughts. He raised his head from his arm, blinking wearily, for the first time realizing that it was raining. He squinted up at the dark night sky, watching as lightning cracked, letting the rain run down his face and through his hair. He didn't know much anymore, but he did know one thing.
For better or worse, things had to be different with his infant son. He refused to fail the child like he'd failed his teenaged son from the future.
That meant scratching his plans of leaving Earth. He couldn't take Trunks away to space with him. For one, the boy was far too young, nothing more than a cub. Not to mention, he had nowhere to go. The universe was large, empty, and cruel. Though Vegeta was more than capable of surviving on his own and even thriving in that cruelty, he couldn't drag his son into that. The teenaged version of Trunks had suffered enough in his dark timeline, and Vegeta thought it was high time to end the suffering.
Plus, Bulma was here, and his son wasn't going to grow up without his mother like he had.
Vegeta buried his face into his forearm again at the thought of the genius and beautiful heiress. She came with the deal as well, as unfortunate as that was for him. There was no way he could be a part of Trunks' life and not be a part of hers as well, which naturally begged the question:
Where did Bulma fit into this?
He refused to see her as anything other than the woman who bore him a son, but he couldn't just avoid her. What would she be to him then?
Ludicrous. Vegeta wasn't staying for her, he was staying for Trunks. She was just another person to deal with, like her parents. She would be nothing to him except an occasional reference for Trunks.
He sighed into his forearm, deep down wishing that beam from Cell had killed Krillin instead…
Trunks leaned back, eyeing Bulma warily. She wasn't exactly the same as his mother from his timeline, but damn if she wasn't equally as intimidating. Especially when she was wielding scissors in her hand like she currently was.
"I don't really think it's necessary, to be honest."
"What are you talking about? It makes you look so much older!" Bulma insisted, looking at the teenager's shoulder length lavender hair with critical eyes. "Come on, just sit down and I'll make this quick."
Trunks forced a smile, "Really, my hair is fine-"
"Now don't argue with your mother, Trunks."
"Well, alright…" Trunks finally conceded, slowly sitting down as Bulma lifted up some of the strands of his hair, trying to see where to begin the haircut. She much preferred his hair cut shorter, and figured that her future counterpart probably felt the same.
"So are you ready to go back home tomorrow?" Bulma asked, starting to snip his hair.
"Yeah, definitely. The androids shouldn't be a problem now, not after all the training I've done in this timeline," Trunks said, his eyes flicking over to the kitchen window next to him. It was pouring heavily outside, and he couldn't help but wonder where his father was. The rest of the day had already passed since Cell's defeat with no sign of the prince. Bulma's parents had already called it a night and the infant version of himself was tucked away in his crib, sound asleep.
As for himself, Trunks had decided to spend the night and leave in the morning in his time machine. He'd only ventured downstairs to get some water, only to find Bulma in the kitchen reading over a scientific magazine. The next thing he knew, she was eyeing his hair with a look he recognized all too well.
He knew from experience that there was no arguing with that look.
"Oh, I bet. You'll take them on, no sweat," Bulma told him with a smirk as she continued snipping away at his hair. "They won't even know what hit them."
Trunks smiled. "Thanks."
"You're welcome," Bulma said, humming softly as she focused on her work. Trunks glanced out of the window again out of the corner of his eye.
"It's really late and it's pouring outside," he commented. "Where do you think my father is?"
Bulma sighed a little. "Who knows. Vegeta kind of comes and goes as he pleases. Plus he wasn't really living here the last couple months before the androids came. He was out on his own."
"Oh, I didn't know that."
"Yeah, but don't worry about him. I'm sure he's fine, wherever he is."
"I know, it's just, I kind of wish I could've talked to him about what happened today," Trunks said with a sigh of disappointment.
"What happened?" Bulma asked curiously.
The pride was ringing clear in Trunks' voice when he answered, "He defended me after Cell killed me. Yamcha said he went ballistic and attacked Cell head on. It almost got him killed, but he did it anyways."
Bulma stopped mid-snip, her blue eyes widening in shock. She blinked a few times in disbelief, wondering if she'd heard correctly. Finally, she found her voice again.
"Vegeta attacked Cell to avenge you?"
She was speechless for a few seconds, digesting the information. Finally, a slow smile crept over Bulma's face, before she slowly shook her head.
"Well I'll be damned," she marveled softly. It turned out Vegeta did care about their son after all, just like she'd always suspected. But to have it confirmed in such a dramatic way was beyond surprising. Vegeta's reaction could have easily cost him his life, and Bulma knew that the man was a survivor through and through. He always put himself first before anyone. As always with Vegeta, though, his actions spoke louder than his words, and he had spoken loud and clear today.
That man never ceased to surprise her sometimes.
Bulma slowly continued cutting Trunks' hair, her mind solely on the proud Saiyan prince. She suppressed the hope that was struggling to rise in her, the voice saying maybe Vegeta would want to stay on Earth instead of leaving like he'd always sworn he'd do. After all, if he cared about their son from the future, why wouldn't he care about the present day version of their son?
She didn't want to get her hopes up though. Knowing him, he could easily say that his attachment to Trunks had nearly gotten him killed. It could have given him the ammunition he needed to leave Earth forever just as easily as it could have enticed him to stay.
Still. She took a quick glance out the window when lightning flashed across the night sky, and easily made up her mind.
If Vegeta came back to Capsule Corp, she was going to try her damndest to make sure he stayed at Capsule Corp.
It was past three in the morning when Vegeta finally flew back to Capsule Corp. It was still pouring, and he was completely drenched, but he barely noticed. The earlier battle was finally catching up to him; his body was hurting, and there was a dull ache in his head left over from Cell viciously striking him down. Add in the emotional toll the day had taken on him and his lack of sleep in the days leading up to the Cell Games, and it was taking almost all his energy to fly.
All Vegeta wanted was to just fall into bed and sleep for days.
Hell, maybe weeks.
Vegeta landed awkwardly on the windowsill of his old bedroom. He grasped the windowpane to get his balance, and then slowly opened the window and climbed inside. He'd barely gotten his second foot in when a lamp turned on in the room. Vegeta flinched back in shock, not realizing someone was already in the room.
He cursed under his breath; how fucking out of it was he that he hadn't sensed anyone there?
Squinting, he looked at the lavender haired teenager who was slowly sitting up in his bed and rubbing his bleary eyes.
Trunks looked at his father, then at the time on the digital clock next to the bed, then back to his father. He had gotten used to waking up on Vegeta's approach from their hellish sparring sessions in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and this time had been no exception. The lighting from the lamp was dim, which he was thankful for, because he was wearing an embarrassed blush.
"I'm sorry, Father," he said sheepishly, tossing his blankets aside to get up. "The room I was in last time was painted and so my mom said to pick out any other one, and I thought this was just a spare room. I didn't know it was yours…"
Vegeta stared at Trunks through his rambling, not hearing a word the kid was saying. All he could process was the relief at seeing him alive. He gratefully allowed the sight of Trunks in front of him to replace the last image he had of him, hoping it would curb the nightmares to come in the next few days. It wasn't until Trunks started to get up that the prince realized what he was saying.
"It's fine," Vegeta said gruffly, giving a dismissive wave with his hand. "You can stay here."
"Oh," Trunks said, blinking in surprise, sitting back on the bed. Vegeta had one hand against the windowpane as he leaned against it. He looked worse for wear, and it made Trunks hesitate. "Are you sure? I mean, it's your-"
"What did I say, boy?" Vegeta demanded harshly, and Trunks' mouth snapped shut. He just betrayed a nod, and Vegeta instantly felt ashamed. Old habits died hard, he supposed. He sighed and briefly closed his eyes, before adding, "Don't worry about it. I'll go somewhere else."
Vegeta looked away and trudged over to the door, not wanting to go back outside into that rain. Trunks watched him for a few seconds, wanting to ask him about what had happened earlier, but finally decided that it probably wasn't a good idea. He laid back down and stared up at the ceiling, crossing his arms behind his head.
Trunks blinked and looked over at his father who was standing at the door. He propped himself up on his elbow. "Yeah?"
Vegeta stared at him for a while, before looking away. He cleared his throat, hoping he didn't look as uncomfortable as he felt.
"You fought well."
Trunks stared at Vegeta blankly, part of him wondering if he was actually asleep and dreaming this. Finally, a huge smile spread over his face, even though Vegeta didn't see it.
Vegeta tensed at the use of the different, more endearing title, but he only gave a heavy nod. He slowly walked out of the room and closed the door behind him, not giving the kid another look. The prince raised his forearm to his brow to wipe it dry, but his uniform was soaked which defeated the purpose.
Suddenly sensing someone moving, he glanced to the right, squinting down the hallway as he tried to place the ki.
Bulma. Vegeta cocked his head to the side curiously, wondering why she was up at this hour.
When his sensitive hearing picked up on their infant son wailing, he got his answer.
"Shhh, it's alright little guy," Bulma whispered tiredly, placing Trunks on the changing table in his room while he continued crying. "I know, you don't like being dirty. You're a clean little boy, aren't you? Yes you are," she cooed as she started changing him. She wanted her son to stay little as long as possible, but she'd be lying if she said she wasn't looking forward to him outgrowing diapers.
Bulma yawned, and then choked on that yawn when she heard a familiar gruff voice behind her say, "What's wrong with him?"
Bulma looked over her shoulder in shock, not having heard him come in. Vegeta was standing right behind her, and the first thought through her mind was that he looked like complete hell. He was still dressed in his Saiyan armor, but it was dirty from the earlier fight and soaking wet from the rain. His left eye was badly bloodshot, and there was visible bruising already forming on the left side of his jaw.
"Vegeta," Bulma breathed out, her blue eyes instinctively sweeping over his battered frame. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," he growled. Truth was he was anything but fine, but it had nothing to do with how he felt physically. Bulma looked at him disbelievingly for a second before turning back to her still screaming son.
"Trunks is fine, his diaper is just dirty and it always wakes him up, that's all," Bulma explained, her hands moving expertly as she changed him. "Hopefully he won't be in them for too much longer."
She was met with silence from the Saiyan standing behind her, and gratefully, Trunks also started to quiet down. Vegeta hung back and watched her change the baby, scowling at the scene.
There was a third wheel here, and it was him. He didn't belong in this picture and felt horribly out of place just being in the same room with them. This wasn't his nature at all, and yet, he didn't want to leave. He closed his eyes, wondering if the blow Cell landed after his failed assault had done more than temporarily knock him out – maybe it had knocked some of his brains out too.
Bulma's soft, comforting voice felt like it floated over to him. He forced his eyes open with visible effort to see that she was now holding a sniffing, sleepy Trunks against her. Her blue eyes, shining in the dim lit room, were solely trained on him. He couldn't help but briefly wonder how it was that her eyes were always so bright.
"Why don't you go get some sleep? You look exhausted," she whispered to him, studying him with concern. He looked completely out of it.
Vegeta was about to defensively snap that he was fine, but he faltered at the last moment. The day had been draining on him, and he didn't want to fight with Bulma. It wasn't worth it. Not tonight anyways.
"The older version of the kid is in my room," he finally grumbled in annoyance.
"Oh," Bulma said softly in realization, rubbing the baby's back soothingly to lull him back to sleep. "Well, you can still crash in any other guest room we have. Plus, Trunks is heading back home to his timeline tomorrow, so you'll have your room back."
Vegeta just grunted. That was fine by him. As fond as he was of the older version of his son, there were one too many versions for his taste.
Bulma gave him a lingering look before turning to the crib. She gently pulled Trunks away from her and laid him back down. The baby turned onto his side, eyes closed and one thumb going into his mouth. Bulma grabbed his blanket and was putting it over him when Vegeta slowly came up next to her so he could see.
She continued on uninterrupted, trying not to show her surprise and excitement over Vegeta's sudden interest in their son, but it was very difficult. Vegeta had barely even glanced the baby's way since the first time he laid eyes on him. In fact, the Saiyan had developed a remarkable ability to completely ignore the baby as if he didn't exist at all.
But now here he was, standing next to her and gazing down into the crib at the little boy inside it. Bulma snuck him a look, her earlier concern coming back at the distant way Vegeta was looking at Trunks.
"Hey, are you sure you're okay?" she whispered, reaching out and touching his arm. She winced when she felt how cold he was after being out in the rain for so long. When he didn't flinch from the contact, she started rubbing his arm gently through his uniform in a friendly gesture of support. She'd never seen him look so distraught and defeated, and it didn't sit right with her at all.
Vegeta stayed silent for a long time, not drawing away from her touch. He was too drained to fight it.
"You raised him alone."
"In the future. You raised Trunks alone."
Bulma tilted her head a little, observing his profile as she read between the lines, trying to decipher what he was really saying.
"I raised him alone because you died in that timeline. I had no choice, Vegeta." When he stayed silent, she added, "It doesn't mean that I didn't need you. I'm sure I did. Hell, I need you now. Things could be different in our timeline, you know."
He hesitated. "I don't…"
…know how to be a father…
…think I can actually do this…
…want him to hate me…
Vegeta's jaw set stubbornly, his pride not allowing him to voice any of those thoughts, but he couldn't help but think of the future version of Trunks. He'd grown up to be a good kid and a strong warrior, and Bulma had raised him alone. She could say what she wanted, but Vegeta saw the results which spoke volumes. She had done an outstanding job once before. She no doubt could do the same in this timeline with their son.
"You don't what?" Bulma asked, resisting the urge to prod and press him, even though his lapses of silence were killing her. She wasn't a patient woman, but if experience had taught her anything, it was that patience was a necessity when dealing with the prince.
"Bah. Forget it," Vegeta grumbled, pulling his arm away from her.
He gave Trunks a fleeting glance before turning around to leave, almost tempted to look into the provisions on the space capsule after all, when Bulma stepped in front of him and put a hand on the chest plate of his armor. Vegeta stopped immediately and looked up, making eye contact with her.
"Don't go, Vegeta," she pleaded, studying his eyes closely, pinning him to the spot with her gaze.
His eyes narrowed at her words. Somehow, he knew that the message ran deeper than just leaving Trunks' room.
"I'll go wherever I want, human," he growled dangerously. "I don't take orders from you, and don't you ever fucking forget it."
Bulma bit her bottom lip, seeing that defensive anger sparking in his dark eyes. The walls were being put up in a hurry, walls that he put up for years to keep his emotions bottled up inside. He wanted to shut her out, but this time, she wasn't going to let him.
"Trunks told me what happened today," she whispered, and Vegeta's eyes widened in shock. His mouth moved as he struggled for words, but he couldn't deny it. He snapped his mouth shut, a hard scowl coming over his features. He glared at her angrily as she continued, "I think what you did was very brave."
"Foolish woman, you have no idea what you're talking about," Vegeta hissed, his face reddening in shame. He couldn't believe the brat had run his mouth to Bulma! Now she knew that he had failed to avenge his son, as if he needed that information spread. Would this humiliating day ever fucking end?
"Do you regret it?"
Vegeta blinked, before considering her words for a few seconds. Finally, he scowled and lowered his head in defeat. The question took the fight right out of him with its simplicity. His only regret was that he hadn't been strong enough. So much of his life was spent searching for power and strength, and when he needed to have it, he had come up short.
He shook his head silently.
"There's nothing wrong with caring about your son," Bulma told him gently, trying to make eye contact with him. "Stay with us, Vegeta. Your son needs you."
He shook his head again before squeezing his eyes shut, the motion making him dizzy. He wanted to stay, he did, but he was just so out of his element here. He reached up and gingerly massaged one of his temples to ease the throbbing ache in his head.
"…I do wish to stay," he reluctantly admitted, missing Bulma's smile of relief over those simple words. "But…"
Her smile faltered a little. "But what?"
Vegeta's face reddened even more as he continued massaging his temple, his eyes still tightly closed. As close as Bulma was standing to him, she had to practically lean into him to hear his quiet words as he spoke.
"I've hated my father since the last time I saw him, up until this very moment. He gave me away, knowing full well what Frieza would do to me. He was weak. A coward. And he is the only fucking example I have on how to do this…"
Vegeta frowned and shifted his gloved hand over so he could rub his eyes, which were suddenly burning for no good reason. He stopped when he felt Bulma's soft hand settle on his. She lowered his hand but he looked away, too ashamed to look her in the eye.
"Trunks won't hate you," Bulma told him, her tone full of conviction.
He scoffed bitterly. "You don't know that."
"I do know that, because I won't let him."
Vegeta looked back at her, his look a mixture of confusion and amazement. Instinctively, he searched the blue of her eyes thoroughly, looking for any subtle form of mocking or insult. He knew before he began that he wouldn't find any, and when his thought was confirmed, he could only nod numbly in acceptance.
"I know it's daunting," Bulma said patiently, trying to soothe that self-doubt that was dulling his eyes. "Trust me, I had no idea what I was doing the first few months. Hell, sometimes I still don't think I'm cut out to be a mother. But we'll help each other out, okay? Like a team. Maybe even take turns changing diapers," she joked lightly, knowing that that would never happen.
"You are so utterly absurd," Vegeta grumbled, shaking his head in disgust.
"So… you're staying then?"
He raised an eyebrow at her hopeful tone, before looking away and nodding.
"Whatever, woman. This is only for the boy, not you," he growled. "So don't you go getting any ideas," he added with a scowl as he reached up to massage his temple again.
"Come on, let's find you a room," she told him, eyeing him with concern. "I'll get you some aspirin and you can get some sleep. You look like hell."
"Fine," Vegeta relented. He might have picked a fight with her any other night, but sleep sounded damn good right about then.
As he followed her out of the boy's room, he admitted to himself that Bulma had set him a little more at ease about this whole thing. He still had a plethora of doubt about whether he was doing the right thing by staying and whether he could actually be a decent father, but he knew that he'd rather live with the nagging doubt than the sure regret if he left.
The thought that offered Vegeta some comfort was that he wasn't alone in this parenting thing. Bulma was there, and not only was she there, but she had already been running this ship a while now. She knew what to do, and that took some pressure off his shoulders.
She also hadn't laughed at him or mocked him when he opened up to her, and he had never opened up to someone the way he just had with her. His usual protocol was to isolate himself and mull over his thoughts in silence. Hell, he'd done that very thing practically all day.
But if there was anyone he could open up to… he supposed it was Bulma. Maybe he trusted her far more than he thought.
Well, either that, or Cell hit him way harder than he thought.
With the way his head was hurting, he was leaning towards the latter.
"Alright, you can crash in here," Bulma said, walking into an empty guest room and flicking on the light. Vegeta flinched at the sudden light and squinted behind her, but didn't make a sound of complaint as she went into the adjacent bathroom to make sure he had what he needed. He turned the light back off when she disappeared from sight.
"Oh, Vegeta, before I forget!" she called out as she opened a drawer. There were a slew of medications and bandages there, and she started digging for some aspirin. "Did you want to see Trunks off tomorrow?"
"What are you talking about now?" he demanded irritably.
"Trunks is going back to his timeline tomorrow. I told you that earlier," Bulma said with a frown, coming out of the bathroom with some Tylenol for him.
She blinked when she saw that he had turned off the light. Not even bothering to get undressed, Vegeta was lying in bed over the blankets on his back, his eyes closed. She walked over and took advantage of the moment to look him over. Aside from the bruising near his jaw, he seemed okay. Not sure if he had fallen asleep already, Bulma reached to him and patted his chest plate. She was rewarded with a low growl, before Vegeta lifted one arm and draped it over his eyes.
"Get lost, woman," he sneered.
Bulma rolled her eyes. "Vegeta, I know you're spent, but take a couple of these. They'll make you feel better and then you can get some sleep."
"Not hearing your annoying voice would make me feel better," he said dryly.
"Ugh, whatever then," Bulma snapped in exasperation. She put the pills on the nightstand next to his bed. "So that's a no to Trunks then?"
Vegeta grunted, before muttering, "Wake me before the kid goes."
"Okay," she said with a smile. "Good night, Vegeta."
Bulma got no response, and gave him one last lingering look before leaving him in peace.
Neither the late hour nor Vegeta's irritation could rid the smile from her face though. Not only was the Earth safe now, but Vegeta had made it out in one piece – and he was here to stay. Granted, he wasn't staying for her sake, but it still made her happy to know that Trunks would grow up knowing his father in this timeline. She had been ready to raise their son alone, but she was relieved that she wouldn't have to anymore.
And, of course, she had her own selfish reasons for wanting Vegeta to stick around. Her feelings for him hadn't died over time, and so she couldn't help the excitement of knowing that he was going to be living under the same roof again. She had sorely missed his presence and his company, as rough as it was sometimes.
Oh yes. Things were definitely looking up.