The room was packed with people, all of whom were laughing, and drinking an eating. It was a scene Bulma had missed, and it nearly brought tears to her eyes again. Goku was talking, bragging about Gohan's progress, and about Goten and Trunks' victory against Freeza and how they finally made the ascension. He was laughing and talking about how they hadn't had a chance to show off at all. It made Bulma beam with pride, as she ran her fingers through her son's hair. Trunks sat at her feet, next to Goten who was sitting next to them, by his own mother, who was clinging to him like he might vanish at any time.
Vegeta hadn't joined them for a long time. He had left to 'be alone' a few hours ago and had not returned. Part of Bulma knew she should have expected it, but the rest of her heart ached, having hoped to have him back finally. She and Trunks had had a very long talk, which was mostly comprised of Bulma apologizing for not telling him the truth sooner. Though Trunks said he was too relieved to be home, to care about that, and insisted he forgave her. It made her wonder how she had done without him for those years. She smiled down at Trunks, who was now talking with Goten, both of them describing what being a Super Saiyan had felt like, and how strong they would be if they became Gotenks and made the transformation then. Bulma didn't like the idea of Trunks leaving to train, or to fight any time soon, but there wasn't a force in the world that would stop him.
The other members of the Son family, the newest additions, that being Raditz and Bardock, were standing against the wall, simply observing, though there was a small smile on Bardock's face.
She smiled and looked up as they all talked, and ate, and made up for so much of their lost time. It certainly felt good. However it all came to a halt, like a record scratch, when the door opened. Everyone turned to look over to Vegeta, who was walking through the door. He halted, noticing everyone was looking at him. He frowned and folded his arms, turning away.
"I've instructed the Saiyans to all head towards the ships. We'll be leaving this planet shortly."
"We?" Bulma stood up, frowning. "You're going with them?"
"I have to." Vegeta said, looking over at her. "Cooler and King Cold are still out there. They'll be looking to finish what Freeza started. I have to gather what Saiyans remain. With all of them spread so thin, we, along with the planets they occupy, will be no match."
Bulma frowned and nodded a little bit, speaking quietly. "I understand."
"Saiyans are strong, Vegeta." Goku said, leaning forwards. "Surely it can wait a while longer."
"No, Kakarot, it can't." Vegeta said, eyeing him. "With planet Vegeta destroyed there's no way we'll win this war. Though we're a warrior race, and therefore will go out as such."
Raditz removed himself from the wall. "I'll go with you then."
"Uncle?" Goten looked up. "You're leaving?"
"I'm not staying here. No offense, but it's far too peaceful for me."
Goten stood up and ran over to Bardock. "You're not leaving too, are you grandpa?"
Bardock put a hand on Goten's head and ruffled his hair. "Probably, runt."
"No!" He grabbed onto Bardock's hand. "You guys just got here! You'll see, it's really not that peaceful! We get attacked all the time! Really!"
"I'm sorry, Goten. But we're a bit out of place here."
Goku stood up and cleared his throat. "Sorry, but um… You think if Planet Vegeta was back then maybe you'd win the war?"
Vegeta looked over at Goku, and folded his arms. "No maybe about it, Kakarot. We would win." He held up a hand. "However, in case you haven't noticed, the planet is GONE. It's space dust."
"So… there would be no problem if it was back?"
"What are you getting at?"
"Well, would you promise to leave our planet, and the other planets you invaded alone if we bring your planet back?" Goku took a step forwards.
Vegeta rolled his eyes and folded his arms. "Yes, Kakarot. I promise to do JUST that." He said, dropping his arms. "But the planet is GONE."
"We can just wish it back."
"Oh yes!" Vegeta threw his hands in the air exasperated. "And if we're all especially good of heart, and we hope enough, we can all become magical creatures who can cure wounds with our tears. What is wrong with you, Kakarot? Why are you all looking at me like that?"
"And you didn't tell me about these things before?"
Vegeta looked down at the set of golden orbs on the floor and reached down to pick one up and turned it over. Bulma walked over to him, and folded her hands behind her back. "Well, you were evil then."
Vegeta looked up as Goku walked up to him. "We didn't want you using them to… well be evil."
"And they'll bring my planet back."
"Yep." Goku nodded. "But just once, so don't get it blown up again." Goku said, taking the orb from him. They had brought him up to this hovering platform—or very thinly suspended one—and rather bluntly told him about their magical balls that could grant wishes. Well, Vegeta had seen stranger. Okay, that was a lie, no he hadn't. But he wasn't going to just tell them that.
"Are you sure we want to be doing this, Goku? How do we know they just wont keep killing people?" Kuririn was standing off the side, folding his arms. He shook his head, and sighed. "I mean, can we really trust them?"
"I trust Vegeta, Kuririn." Goku said, turning back to walk over to the other orbs, before looking back at the others. "And leaving it as is, is more dangerous than letting the Saiyans stay dead." He walked over to Vegeta, and frowned. "Vegeta, I can trust you, can't I?"
Vegeta stared at the Saiyan in front of him and turned his head. Being here, losing his people, his planet… It brought out a strange side of him. A side that had he had long since buried. He was trying to justify it away. He desperately tried to tell himself that he did not want to be like Freeza. Or that it was just a simple change of heart. But it wasn't. He had had a very long talk with Goku's father, Kakarot. Apparently, he had been against the idea of slavery since the beginning and he made a convincing argument for it. He had handed his pride, the pride of his kingdom, to the people who built it. Slaves. The very people who they were supposed to be walking on. And why? Because no Saiyan wanted to not being a warrior?
Still, Saiyans were a conquering race, but he was not opposed to finding alternatives. Bardock had been more than helpful in giving suggestions. The man was definitely a valuable asset.
Goku somehow seemed satisfied with his silence and turned back, and set the orb with the others, before nodding to his friends. "Alright, stand back." He raised his hand and held it over the dragon balls, which began to glow in response. Vegeta narrowed his eyes incredulously, he wasn't sure what to think of this whole thing, but his doubts were dispelled when the sky suddenly went black. He looked up horrified as smoke swirled about and the long coils of a dragon appeared in the clouds. He took a step back, and Goku looked up at the dragon. He smirked. "Shenron! We've come to you, asking for a wish."
"What is it you desire?"
"A planet was destroyed a while ago. The Saiyan Planet. Planet Vegeta. Can you bring it back?"
"This is a simple matter."
The dragon's voice was large and booming, and Vegeta would never admit how small he felt. He staggered backwards, looking upwards at the huge monster above him as his eyes began to glow, and a blinding light filled his eyes. He turned away and with the suddenness that it had begun with, it was over. Vegeta lowered his arm from his face and looked up at the sky, which was its usual shade of blue. He looked up at Goku. "And… that's it…?"
"That's it." Goku walked back over. "Your planet is back."
Bulma walked over too, looking downwards. "I guess this means you'll be going back?"
"It does." Vegeta looked over at Goku. "How do I know if it worked?"
Goku blinked and rubbed the back of his head. "What, don't you trust me?"
Vegeta was silent and shook his head. "Never mind." He walked to the edge of the platform he stood on and looked over the edge. He looked up and sighed, wondering if what Goku had said really was the truth. "I'm going to leave tomorrow." He said quietly, casting Bulma a glance.
Bulma smiled a little bit and walked over. "Sure." She said, nodding. "You can stay at my place." She said taking his hand.
"I didn't ask-"
"You were going to." She said, walking over. "Come on, carry me back."
"What? You came here in a car didn't you?"
"I don't feel like getting it out. Come on, just like old times." She looped her arms around her neck and Vegeta couldn't hide the blush that crept onto his face. He picked her up, bridal style and took off into the air. He would never announce it verbally, and he wouldn't even think about it, but he had missed the feel of her body against his. And it was nice to feel it again. They flew in total silence and Vegeta thought about his choices. He thought about his options, and shook his head, these were things best left to silence and stillness. Not midflight carrying the mother of his child. The two finally landed outside Capsule Corp where Trunks and Goten were sitting outside. They both looked up and Vegeta set Bulma down and walked inside, not saying a word. He noticed Bulma had stopped to talk to Trunks and soon after Goten left. She and the boy both walked in, and Bulma pulled him into a hug before sending him off up the stairs. She walked up to Vegeta and put a hand on his shoulder.
"Your room is still the same as ever, upstairs, do you remember?"
"Yes, I do." Vegeta sighed, sitting down on the couch, and folded his arms in front of his mouth. "… There's something I want to talk about with you, Bulma."
Bulma frowned and sat down on the table in front of the couch Vegeta sat on. "What's wrong?"
Vegeta sighed and steeled himself. He was no good at things like this, and it was not an easy thing to do for him. "I've made my mind up, you know. I'm leaving tomorrow."
"There's nothing that will keep me here."
"So come with me."
"Come with me, Bulma. I'm a prince, I have to rule my planet, but I want you to be there with me."
Bulma stared at him for a long time. Longer than Vegeta would have liked, and it was starting to make him nervous. He fidgeted a little bit and tapped his foot as she smiled at him finally. "Vegeta, I'm not going to be your concubine."
"No." Vegeta looked up suddenly, and spoke harshly. "No, that's now what I want." He sighed and lowered his head again. "You'd be my… My…"
Vegeta sighed and breathed through his teeth. "Yes."
Bulma's breath caught in her throat and he saw her face turn bright red. "Vegeta I…" He closed his eyes. Whenever she started sentences like that it always meant no. "I couldn't." And there it was. "Earth is my home. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else."
"I understand." Vegeta sighed.
"Besides, I don't agree with a lot of what Saiyans do."
"I know that." Vegeta shook his head. "Most of those things I plan on changing." He stood up. "Slavery for starters."
"Yes." He looked down at her. "My father handed over the foundation, the very building blocks of our kingdom over to slaves. They built my kingdom. And I'm going to take it back. Even if it means abolishing slavery entirely."
"Wow… Vegeta, that's great!" She stood up. "That's a very noble thing to do."
"I discussed it at length with Kakarot's father." He shook his head and turned to walk up to his room. He paused. "It won't be easy. Saiyans are stubborn and strong willed, and they're rather fond of slavery. It will take a few years for it to be fully abolished. It probably won't happen till Trunks is king."
There was silence. "What?"
"Well, Saiyans are loyal, but they won't dissuaded easily."
"No, not that. Trunks. Go back to the part about Trunks."
"What about him?"
"You said he'd be king."
"Of course he will." Vegeta said, turning around. "He's coming back with me."
"Oh no!" Bulma marched over to Vegeta raising her finger to his face. "I am NOT letting you take my boy back with you! You're not taking him from me again!"
"Woman, I named him my heir. He is the prince of all Saiyans now."
"I don't care what you did, Trunks is staying here! He just got home and you want to take him away from me?"
"He's my son." Vegeta took a step forwards.
"No!" Bulma howled, her face turning red. "He's MY son!" She wiped furious tears from her eyes and jabbed Vegeta in the chest. "I carried him! I raised him! I loved, named and protected him! You left us! You have no claim over him!"
"He bears my blood!"
"He bears mine too!"
"What's going on down here?"
As if their words had summoned him by saying his name too many times, Trunks appeared in the doorway. Bulma folded her arms over each other, over her stomach. "It's nothing Trunks. Go back to sleep."
Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Haven't you lied to the boy enough, woman?"
"Oh, you're gonna question my parenting skills? You're the one who left him and then bought him as a slave."
Trunks took a step forwards. "What's happening? What's the matter?"
Bulma opened his mouth but Vegeta beat him to it. "Trunks, you are a prince of Planet Vegeta. You are going to be king of all Saiyans some day. You will have the chance to change things in way my father, the way that I will never be able to. You can save more lives than you ever could by staying here living a life of peace. You could cripple the armies of Cooler and his father and end this cycle of tyranny. That is what you are destined to do."
Bulma looked over at Vegeta, her jaw dropped. She looked over at Trunks who was staring at both his parents. She sighed, and looked away. "Trunks, you…"
"I don't want to go."
"What?" They both looked at him. He was glaring.
"I just got home, and you want me to go back there?"
"It's not a matter of want." Vegeta walked over. "It's a matter of what you can do. How many people you can help. There are those who haven't gone home yet. I need you to help me."
Bulma sighed, and Vegeta could tell his words made sense to her. Trunks looked conflicted, and she walked over to him, putting a hand on Trunks' cheek. "… Whatever you choose. I'll be right there with you. Don't you dare think for a second that I'm going to leave you alone again."
Vegeta blinked and looked over at her. "Bulma…"
"Well, I'm not staying here, if he goes." She turned around. "It's like I said. You're not taking my son away from me again."
Trunks woke up in a cold sweat, sitting up and rubbing his forehead on the back of his hands. He glanced at the red clock at the side of his rather large and lavish bed. He rolled back onto his back and sighed staring up at the satin curtain, which hung over him. He shrugged and rolled onto his side, breathing heavily as if he had just run a marathon. He still had bad dreams. Still painful memories. And they still woke him in the middle of the night. The curtains were drawn, but he could tell it was light outside. He sighed and pulled his pillow over his head as there was a knock at the door.
"Trunks?" His mother's familiar voice was at the door. He groaned and buried his face in his pillow before throwing his blanket off him and standing up, pulling his loose pants up tighter around his waist. He stumbled over to his dresser, pulling it open and rooting through the clothes to find a shirt. Another knock came. "Trunks, are you awake?"
"Yes!" He gasped, pulling a shirt over his head. "I'm up!" He ran to the door, hauling his shirt down, and opening the door. His mother stood there, with her hands on her hips.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" She asked.
"Yes, mom." He said, hugging her. "Sorry, mom."
She whapped him on the back, and stepped back, brushing the hair from his face. "Go get something to eat, you goof."
Trunks nodded and took off running through the halls. His mother was most likely going to go back and work on something else in her lab. He skidded around corner, nearly running head long into another person in the halls. He ground to a halt, bracing his feet against the floor and looked up at the familiar face that was glaring down at him. He smirked, and stood up straight, adjusting his shirt.
"Good morning, your highness."
The pain the words brought Nappa was never lost on Trunks. He made a habit of making it as hard as he could on the bald headed Saiyan, as possible. He knew it ate him up inside that he was working for Trunks now. Trunks smiled a little brighter and put his hands on his hips. "Am I in trouble?"
"You ought to be." Nappa shrugged. "You're late."
"It's just breakfast." He said, his face falling.
"You've got guests today."
Instantly he brightened. "Really? Great!" He turned to run again, and Nappa caught him, pulling him back.
"You're going dressed like that?"
"What's wrong with this?"
"… You're barefoot, and in your pajamas."
"Oh whatever, no one will care." He said, shaking his head. "Besides, aren't I the prince? I should be able to do whatever I want."
"Doesn't work like that."
"Well it should." Trunks smiled. "Besides, I know who it is, and we're lucky he's even awake today." He brushed Nappa's hand off him and ran towards the dining hall. It had been a year. One year since he and his mother had relocated to planet Vegeta. They had settled into the castle easily, but his mother and he still had serious bouts of homesickness. His father and his mother seemed to be getting along alright, but they seemed distant. Like they were getting used to each other's company again. There was no mushy romantic talk between the two of them, and for that Trunks was grateful. They did talk though. Quite a lot, actually. Trunks did a lot of diplomatic work, helping his father make the Saiyan Empire a… better one. It wasn't an easy job, but his half-breed status was more of a boon than a burden. Other species saw it as a step in the right direction. There were several sects of Saiyans who didn't like it though, and Vegeta had personally put down a few rebellions. Still, it was doing better. This hostile race.
Trunks arrived at the door, and pushed it open. He walked through and smiled at the three people who sat around the table. One of them jumped up and Trunks ran forwards grabbing him up into a hug. "Goten!"
It was indeed his childhood friend and his grandfather, Bardock. He stepped away, and laughed as his friend beamed at him. His father clearing his throat drew him out of the reunion. "You're late, Trunks."
"Sorry." Trunks sat down and so did Goten. "I slept in."
"Honestly, Trunks." Goten laughed. "You're worse than me, sometimes."
"Never that bad."
Bardock leaned forwards. "How's your job treating you?"
Trunks reached forwards and grabbed his share of food, bringing it closer. "Fine. What about yours?"
Bardock had returned to Planet Vegeta with Raditz and had been come emissaries as well as advisors to the king, his father. Goten and Gohan had come along, much to their dismay of their mother. Gohan and Goten helped the two deal with the slavery issue, which was still being addressed, but didn't plan to make it their permanent home. Goku visited often with Chi-Chi, using instantaneous movement. Trunks and Bulma had often suggested that Goku come and take them all to Earth to visit a few days, but the schedules remained tight. Vegeta had made promises though, to make sure they would visit it again soon. Trunks was shocked at just how much his father had changed over the year he had known him. He lifted his food to his mouth as Bardock described how well or badly they did on some jobs.
"So what about you, Trunks?"
"Hm?" Trunks looked up. "What about me?"
Goten laughed. "You're not even listening."
Trunks smiled and leaned into his hand. "What about me, then?"
"Are you happy?"
The question caught him off guard. He looked up and looked back and forth between his friend's faces. He looked over at his father, who was staring over at him, waiting for his answer. He smiled a little bit, crookedly. He hadn't really thought about it. This wasn't his home, and he had come to hate it, the years he had worked there as a slave. But now, things were different, and they were changing every day. He thought about it a little bit more and leaned into his hand.
"Yeah. I'm happy."