Most people were lazy and bummed around on their first day off in months. Bulma Briefs, however, was not most people.
She had her entire day planned right down to the minute, showing the efficiency that had everyone speculating that she would soon step up and take over as the new president of Capsule Corp. Bulma needed it too, because her task for the day wasn't to run the most successful company on the planet – it was to throw a spectacular engagement party for Gohan and Videl.
The young couple had only gotten engaged several weeks prior, but with Videl and her high profile father, the media had already caught wind of the engagement and were running the story into the ground. Out of the whole group, only Bulma and Hercule were equipped to handle the media blitz. And between the two of them, it was obvious to Bulma who was capable of throwing the more kickass party. If there was one thing she could do well, it was plan a damn good party. Now the day had finally arrived, and she had a million and one things to do to give Gohan and Videl an evening they would always remember.
But before she got down to business, she had to start her day right, the best way she knew how.
Vegeta's breath was hot against her skin, his face against the side of her neck where her smell was the strongest and most intoxicating. Bulma was panting as she ran one hand down his hot, sweaty back until her fingers ran into the lazy tangle of sheets at his waist that they were still wrapped up in.
Their sex at night was always good, but first thing in the morning, before sleep had fully left them, was her favorite time to enjoy her prince. His guard was always lowered, his touch more tender, his pace slower. Words weren't needed during mornings like this one, not when everything that could ever be said between them was communicated through heat and touch.
Bulma pushed the sheets as far down as she could to expose as much of his skin as she could, clutching him closer to her, her nails digging into his lower back. Shuddering, Vegeta moved his forehead against her bare shoulder as he braced both hands on the mattress on either side of her head. His hips stilled with him deep inside her, his arms flexed rigidly with tension, only the sounds of their heavy breathing filling the room. It was then that Bulma realized how close her fingers were to the small stub on his lower back where his tail used to be.
She moved her fingers closer, massaging him right around the stub, making Vegeta's jaw go slack from the stimulation as he shuddered again. He closed his eyes, and after a few seconds of her touch, he resumed a slow rhythm. But when Bulma increased the pressure her fingers were applying, he grunted and started picking up the pace.
He snarled in surprise when she grabbed a fistful of his damp hair with her free hand, roughly yanking his head back up for a heated kiss. Vegeta immediately reached up and grasped her wrist, pinning her hand down on the mattress over her head, though he did nothing to remove the fingers still on his lower back. Bulma realized this in surprise; normally he would've taken both her hands off him by now and resumed complete control. She smiled a little into their kiss and put pressure around his stub with her nails while she drew in his lower lip between her teeth, her panting mixing with his.
Her nails introduced a flash of pain and blinding pleasure, and that was as far as he lasted. His whole body jerked and then tensed as he groaned in ecstasy against her lips. Finally, the prince went limp on top of her, exhausted, panting, and very satiated.
Bulma smiled in triumph as she gently ran a hand through his hair. In all their years together, she could count on one hand the amount of times she'd made Vegeta finish first. To crack a man with his endurance and self-control was always an achievement, and the rare moments always seemed to happen in the morning. Another reason why it was her favorite time.
The bright light of the sun was peeking in around their curtains, an unfortunate reminder that she couldn't stay in bed with her husband all day, no matter how much she wanted to. She snuck a look over at the time, and was pleasantly surprised. Not only were they still on schedule, but she still had twenty minutes to spare before she was scheduled for a quick shower. More than enough time to get hers.
Not wasting another second, Bulma pushed back against the prince on top of her. Still in a haze, Vegeta rolled off his wife, sprawling out on his back with a weak grunt. She followed his movement, sitting up and straddling his waist, making the Saiyan beneath her groan.
"Woman, don't you have a thousand things to do today," Vegeta mumbled, eyes half lidded as he gazed up at her.
"I do," she confirmed, playfully walking two fingers from his stomach, slowly up to his chest, relishing in the heat his body was giving off. "But a girl's gotta start her day right. Just cause you can't keep up with me this morning doesn't mean you get to leave me hanging."
His eyes focused, his glare hard. "Don't get things mistaken, female. Just because I let you have your fun doesn't mean you can keep up with me."
"Blah, blah, blah," she drawled, purposely leaning over him so that her bare breasts were right in his face. Vegeta's eyes darkened. "You're all talk this morning, and no action-"
The word had barely left her lips before she abruptly found herself pinned face down on the mattress, with Vegeta's heat trapping her from behind. A bright golden light exploded in the room, only his impressive discipline keeping the ki from burning her skin raw. Bulma's heart was racing as she felt the heat of his transformation behind her. Twenty minutes? With her husband ascended, she wouldn't last two.
"Best cancel your schedule, woman," Vegeta whispered in her ear, his breath heavy again and giving her chills. "You're not going anywh-"
He stopped and turned his attention to the side as Bulma's cell phone started ringing on the night stand right next to them. Bulma recognized the ring tone and buried her face against the mattress, whimpering in defeat.
"Goddamnit," she groaned.
"Forget it," Vegeta breathed, his lips already on the skin of her back.
"I can't, I have to take it, it might be important."
He growled in frustration, "Just call them back-"
"That ringer is for Trunks' school, Vegeta," she explained in exasperation. The prince scowled and leaned up enough to let her move. Bulma reached out and grabbed the phone, instantly answering it.
"Hello?...yes, this is she," she said, as Vegeta sighed behind her. He rolled off her again, laying on his side and observing his wife, hoping this was just a quick interruption and they could resume where they left off soon. But when Bulma turned around and sat up, yelling, "He did WHAT?" – Vegeta knew that no one's plans were going to be followed that day.
He laid back down on his back, rubbing his forehead as his eyes and hair darkened again. "Yes, we'll be there soon," Bulma sighed, before hanging up, tossing the phone back on the bed and getting up.
"Now what did the idiot boy do?" Vegeta grumbled, watching as his wife started gathering up her things to get ready.
"I'll tell you what your son did," Bulma snapped, angrily disappearing into their closet to pick her outfit for the day. "He went and got himself into a fight at school, and now he's been suspended for a week!"
"Suspended?" Vegeta asked, raising an eyebrow. "Like from the ceiling?"
Bulma walked back out of her closet a moment later, arm filled with clothes. She fixed her husband with an incredulous stare, wondering if he was being sarcastic. At the genuine confusion on his face, her features softened.
"No, hon. He's not physically being suspended from anything. It just means he's not allowed to go back to school for a week, as punishment."
The confusion in his eyes disappeared, quickly replaced by irritation. "Why are they punishing him? Shouldn't they leave that task to us?"
Bulma sighed, heading over to the bathroom. "Look, we can talk about it more on the way there. I need to take a shower and so do you, and then we need to go pick up Trunks because they want to talk to us both, and then I have a lot of other things-"
"Who the hell said I was going?" Vegeta scoffed, sitting up. He slowly rotated his neck while he stretched his arms. "You handle it. You're his mother."
Bulma whirled around, lifting one finger up in warning. "DON'T start, Vegeta. Our 9-year-old kid just got suspended from school, and now my plans for the morning just got killed to go deal with his principal and teachers, and on top of that, I didn't even get my freakin' orgasm, okay? So you're coming with me, and that's final!"
"Coming with you?" he playfully asked, flashing her a maddening smirk. Bulma blinked a few times, and then gave him a withering stare that would've made most men lose their spines. It only made her husband's smirk spread in amusement.
"I married a smartass," she muttered, going into the bathroom and slamming the door shut behind her.
"Best thing you've ever done."
"You better shut up because I'm contemplating a divorce right now!" she shouted back, before he heard water running. Vegeta chuckled and got up, walking over to the bathroom door and letting himself in.
"Woman, please. No other male on this planet would put up with your shit like I do," he informed her, going over and opening the shower curtain. She turned to glare at him, scrubbing shampoo into her hair.
"Excuse me! Any man on this planet would kill for a dinner with me!" she shot back at him. Her lips pursed in frustration. "What are you doing? I thought you were going to take a shower after me. We don't have time to mess around, Vegeta. I've got-"
"Lots of things to do, a schedule to keep, I know," he deadpanned in disinterest, even while he hungrily took in her dripping wet body. "Precisely why we should shower together - to save time, of course."
"Uh huh. You're not fooling me, buddy. You're not here for a shower," Bulma knowingly said, though she had to admit, his persistence was flattering. But then again, she wondered with a sigh, who could blame him? She was gorgeous and completely irresistible-
"Well?" he demanded, bringing her back to the present.
There was only a brief moment of deliberation, before she reached out and grabbed him by the hand, pulling him into the shower. Vegeta yanked the curtain closed behind them, and then instantly backed his wife against the tiled wall. Bulma wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing him closer, the heat in the shower suddenly spiraling.
"Make it fast," she whispered against his smirking lips. "And you BETTER deliver this time, jerk."
Taking her words as a direct challenge, deliver he did.
Even though he had an excellent start to his morning and had been in a relatively good mood during breakfast, that good mood all but vanished when he stepped foot in his son's school less than an hour later. It was only the second time he'd ever been in the building, the first time being when his son "graduated" from Kindergarten, a ridiculous tradition that had Bulma threatening to castrate him if he dared miss. After another mother's infant vomited on his shirt while they sat in the audience that day, the prince swore he was never coming again.
And yet here he was. Back in hell, which reeked of chalk, crayons, and dirty children. Vegeta's nose twitched in agitation as he followed his wife to a small, empty office.
"Please wait here Mr. and Mrs. Briefs, the principal will be with you shortly," a chirpy young secretary said, beaming as she stepped aside to let the couple through. Bulma politely thanked her, but Vegeta ignored her entirely, less he kill her on the spot.
"Hopefully this doesn't take long," Bulma sighed, checking her cell phone for the time while she took a seat. Vegeta sat down in silence next to her, arms crossed firmly over his chest while he glared straight ahead. Bulma looked over at him and rolled her eyes in exasperation. "You know, I actually have things to do today for Gohan and Videl, and all you're missing is your early morning training session, so quit your sulking already."
"I am not sulking," Vegeta growled, glare fixed on the window behind the principal's desk. "Neither of us should be here, as far as I'm concerned. The boy didn't kill anyone, so I fail to see what the problem is."
"The issue is that YOUR son-"
Vegeta scoffed, "Oh, so now he's only MY son, is he?"
"Well he sure as hell doesn't get that supernatural strength from me!"
"Thank goodness for that, the boy has inherited more than enough from you, nothing good might I add."
"Yeah? Well clearly, he didn't inherit his common sense from me, or we wouldn't be here, now would we?" Bulma snapped, poking her husband hard in the arm. "You keep teaching him to punch first and ask questions later, and we're going to be doing this for a long time, buddy."
Vegeta's eyes narrowed. "There is nothing wrong with defending yourself if need be. It's not our son's fault that all these human children are weaklings-"
"Mr. and Mrs. Briefs, thank you both for coming, I apologize for the wait," a flustered, balding middle aged man in a worn suit announced as he hurried into the room.
"Apology not accepted," Vegeta sneered, earning an uncomfortable look from the principal as he sat down. There were numerous urban legends about the mean-looking man married to the most powerful woman on the planet, none of which were good. Sitting across from the man now, the principal now fully understood (and believed) a good deal of those legends. He gulped a little and pushed up his glasses as Bulma elbowed Vegeta in the arm, shooting him a warning look.
"Don't mind my husband, Mr. Banks," Bulma smoothly said, breaking the tension in the room. Vegeta reclined back and stared off to the side away from both of them. "We just had a busy day planned. I'm sure you've heard about Videl and Gohan's engagement party tonight? Well, I am running the logistics for it, and it's going to be an amazing party," Bulma smugly announced, making her husband lean his head back and inwardly groan. "Of course, I would've preferred planning it for a Saturday night, but a Friday night is just as good, don't you think? Besides, it's the only time when-"
"Quit your pathetic rambling already, woman!" Vegeta snapped, startling the principal half to death. "No one here cares-"
Bulma whirled on her husband, "Excuse you, you jerk! I was just explaining how busy our day is!"
"Right, of course." Mr. Banks cleared his throat, shuffling through the mess of papers on his desk. "We're all quite busy, so let's keep this brief…um, no pun intended," he said with a forced chuckle. Neither Bulma nor Vegeta looked amused, however, making Mr. Banks' cheeks flush red. "Apologies," he sheepishly added, taking a deep breath to gather his thoughts while he organized some paperwork on his desk.
"Let's get to the real reason why you were both called in today. Earlier today, your son got into quite the physical altercation during recess with a boy a grade below him. It's not clear which of the two boys started the fight, but they are both being suspended for a week."
"Who finished the fight?" Vegeta demanded. "Better have been Trunks, or we are disowning the boy-"
"Vegeta, would you quit it?"
"Woman, it is a legitimate question."
Mr. Banks wiped some sweat off his brow, silently musing to himself that he wasn't paid enough for this. "Well, sir, the boys didn't stop fighting until one of the teachers threatened to call their parents."
"The other boy wasn't badly hurt, was he?" Bulma anxiously asked. "We'll cover any medical expenses he might need-"
"No, both boys seem to be fine. They're both waiting to be picked up by their parents."
Vegeta looked off to the side for a moment, easily picking up on his son sitting in another office. It didn't take him long to pick up on the other boy either, but once he did, he couldn't say he was surprised. The prince exhaled through his nose in frustration, unsure which boy he wanted to kill first for ruining his morning.
"Goten," he grumbled to his wife, much to the shock of the principal in front of them.
"Goten? Trunks got into a fight with Goten?" Bulma exclaimed, turning around as though the boys had walked in. When she didn't see anyone, she turned back to her husband. "But they're best friends, they'd never-"
"Never what? Fight? They're boys," Vegeta countered gruffly, leaving the important words unsaid: they were boys with Saiyan blood. How many times had he himself picked a fight just for the fun of it when he was their age? Though admittedly, those fights had always ended much differently.
"Look, Mr. Banks. I'm very sorry about Trunks' behavior, and if there was any property damage, we'll handle it. We'll also be sure to have a talk with Trunks to make sure this doesn't happen again," Bulma stated, making her husband roll his eyes. "That said, don't you think a one-week suspension is a bit extreme?"
Mr. Banks pushed up his glasses, readying himself. Parents never took this well, but the two in front of him were not the typical parents he was used to dealing with. "No, it's a standard punishment for anyone involved in a fight-"
"Punishment?" Vegeta slowly echoed, his eyes narrowed and hard. To the principal's credit, he didn't break eye contact, though he did start to break into a cold sweat. "You're punishing my son by letting him stay home, which is what the boy would rather do than come to this pathetic institution anyways? On what planet does this shit make sense?"
The principal gawked, flabbergasted and at a complete loss for words. Bulma sucked at her teeth, before calmly turning to the Saiyan next to her.
The prince abruptly stood up, turning on his heel and leaving the office altogether before his wife could get his whole name out. Just when he thought he was starting to understand human culture, something like this happened that made no sense at all. He imagined himself at Trunks' age, being "suspended" by Frieza from his Galactic Army for picking a fight that resulted in no casualties, and nearly snorted from the absurdity of it. His son was a decent kid, he hadn't killed anyone, so he failed to see the point of any of this.
Vegeta stepped outside of the office area, into a deserted corridor painted a dull yellow, with crude drawings taped up over the walls between classroom doors. He looked down and to his left, where a nine-year-old lavender-haired boy was sitting on a folding chair, arms crossed firmly over his chest, a scowl firmly on his face. Vegeta looked over to the right, where another half-Saiyan boy was sitting on the other side of the door, pose and expression matching Trunks perfectly. Vegeta exhaled through his nose.
"You're both idiots," he gruffly announced, moving his gaze from Goten to Trunks. "And now both of your mothers are going to be even more insane than usual as they finish preparing for the party this evening, because of the time you've both cost them this morning."
"Tch," Trunks muttered under his breath. "Whatever."
Vegeta's eyes darkened dangerously, and both boys briefly forgot their irritation with each other when they felt the prince's ki rise in anger. Even braced for it, Trunks couldn't move out of the way before Vegeta's strong hand was grasping the back of his neck, practically hauling him up out of his chair. Goten gulped, but he wisely remained seated; he had enough to deal with when Chi-Chi arrived to pick him up, and didn't need Vegeta's anger added on top of that.
"Let me go, Dad! What are you doing?" Trunks cried angrily as Vegeta forced him towards the exit. He tried to shrug out of his father's painful grip on the back of his neck, but the only way to break the hold was to ascend. And with the way his father's ki was practically simmering, he didn't dare do it.
Finally, Vegeta shoved a metal door open and practically threw his son outside. Trunks regained his balance before he could fall on the concrete, and whirled around to face his father, equally angry and his hands balled up into fists.
"You better watch how you talk to me, boy. I'm not Goten," Vegeta growled as he stepped outside. He paused when he noticed the tense stance his son was in, and then raised an eyebrow in curiosity. "Oh, you want to fight me now too, do you? We can, if you'd like, but know this, Trunks. If you want to fight me like a man, be prepared to be treated like one, because I will not hold back."
Trunks' nose twitched a bit, but he knew that his father was no liar. It would be better not to test him, lest he not live to see his tenth birthday. After all, no matter how angry he got, he knew that Vegeta could always get angrier. Forcing himself to take a deep breath, the boy relaxed his stance as he calmed down. Turning slightly away from Vegeta, Trunks brushed at his nose, unable to hide the wince when he did. Goten had landed a good, hard punch square to his face, and he was still feeling it.
Trunks flinched when he felt his father's hand on him, this time cupping his chin. He gulped as Vegeta forced his head back, but while it wasn't exactly a gentle touch, it wasn't the hard grip his father had used moments ago, and he finally started to relax.
"Hn," the prince grunted, forcing his son's head to the side while he examined him. "Nothing broken, it seems. Nose will be bruised in an hour or so. Your mother will love that," he sneered, releasing Trunks and crossing his arms over his chest. "Now are you going to tell me what happened, or would you rather tell your mother?"
Trunks cringed. Neither option was good. He brushed his bangs out of his face, and then turned slightly away from Vegeta as he dwelled on the fight he'd gotten into that morning and what triggered the whole thing. He shook his head and went to speak, but he never got the chance before a shriek cut through the air.
"Trunks Briefs!" Bulma yelled, startling both her husband and her son. They both looked over as Bulma stalked up to both of them, and she was not in a good mood. Trunks shrank back a bit, suddenly wishing he'd taken Vegeta on instead as Bulma stood in front of him, her hands on her waist. "What in the world has gotten into you, young man? Did you forget our conversation last year about you not picking fights in school?"
"Welllllll…" Trunks drawled, closing his eyes and forcing a wide smile for his mother while he sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. "You said not to fight with the other human kids, and I didn't, Mom. I fought with Goten, and he's not human, he's half – OW!" he hollered when Bulma smacked him in the back of the head, immediately clutching his head as though mortally wounded, much to Vegeta's immense disappointment.
"I know what Goten is, thank you very much! You're suspended for a week now, a whole week! What were you thinking?" Bulma demanded. Trunks rubbed his head, frowning when he replayed that morning's events and what had set him off. "Well?" Bulma prompted him when he remained silent. "What happened?"
"Ah, it's nothing," Trunks dismissively replied, turning away and wearing a look on his face that Bulma recognized all too well. That was a look of pure stubbornness and brooding anger that the boy had not inherited from her side. Bulma looked over at her husband, who scowled at the look she gave him.
"What now?" Vegeta peevishly demanded.
"Like father, like freakin' son," Bulma mumbled, reaching into her purse and digging for her shades. "Look, I've got a lot I need to get done and things I still need to buy, so Trunks, you'll just have to come along."
"What?" Trunks whined; of all the punishments his parents could bestow on him, going with his mother on a shopping trip ranked among the worst. "But I don't want-"
"Save it, I don't even want to hear it," his mother interrupted as she put on her shades and started heading towards their hoverjet. "You sure aren't going to go home by yourself just to play video games until the party tonight, so you're coming with us, and that's final."
"Oh, so Dad's coming too?" Trunks asked, trying not to sound too hopeful.
"No." "Yes." – came the simultaneous answers from his parents. Bulma and Vegeta exchanged a glare, with the prince's lip curling up in disgust. "Woman, I did not agree to this."
"Um, yes you did, this morning in fact. Don't you remember?"
"I-" the prince paused, blinked, and then recalled the reason why they had spent longer than a few minutes in the shower that morning. She had made a request, and he had blindly accepted it in order to enjoy their passion for a while longer. His eyes darkened. "You did not tell me you were planning to go shopping today."
"I said to come shopping with me next time, and you said yes, and guess what? It's next time now."
"Conniving female," he snarled.
"It's alright, you were distracted and not paying full attention. Who could blame you?" Bulma smugly asked, practically basking in her own beauty as she headed towards her hoverjet. "Come along, boys, we've got a lot to do."
"Do we have to go?" Trunks whispered to his father as they reluctantly followed.
"I suggest you keep your mouth shut, or I'll make sure you accompany your mother on every shopping trip until you're 30 years old," Vegeta growled back. Trunks' mouth immediately snapped shut; he would not tempt his luck with that one.
Still, it was hard not to whine. His mother had allocated two full hours to search for another gift for Gohan and Videl, and if there was an Olympic event for most stores visited in two hours, Bulma would've been a gold medalist. By the fourteenth store, Trunks was bored out of his mind. Not wanting to rock the boat when his parents didn't have him in their crosshairs anymore though, he didn't make a sound of complaint.
His father, however, had no such filter, and while he had accepted his fate (after all, that morning round in the shower was worth it), that didn't mean he couldn't offer his opinions during their little shopping trip. Which he did, readily and freely, much to Bulma's agitation.
"I don't understand how you've been planning this party for a two damn months, but you wait until the day of the actual party to decide on a gift," Vegeta snidely commented.
Bulma picked up a pair of intertwined, white gold based candlesticks that formed a heart. She rolled her eyes at her husband and sighed, "I told you, I already have a gift, but I just wanted to take another look around to make sure I don't spot something better. After all, the gift is from us, so it needs to be good."
The prince scoffed. "What do you mean, the gift is from us?"
"Well, we're a family, so of course the gift is going to be from all of us."
"If you're going to give a gift, say it's from you and the boy. Don't put my name on any of this shit."
Bulma put down a porcelain vase covered with hearts to give her husband an irritated look. "Vegeta, if you keep being a jerk, you're going to sleep in one of the guest rooms for a whole month."
The prince dismissively waved off her words, "Calm yourself, woman. I meant that I already have a gift that I am planning to give Gohan specifically to commemorate the occasion."
His words alone would've made her pause, but accompanied with the smirk spreading over his face, Bulma could practically feel the gray hairs sprouting. Her blue eyes narrowed, but she never got the question out before her son spoke up.
"Hey Mom, can I have a little brother?"
The needle completely scratched off the record as both Vegeta and Bulma turned to look over at their son in shock. Bored to tears, Trunks had wandered a bit from his parents into the next section of the store they were in, a section specifically for parents who were expecting. He proudly showed his parents a small blue shirt for infants, with the lettering "I love my big brother!"
"Look, isn't this cool?" he gushed. "He can wear this, so everyone knows I'm the best big brother ever-"
"Trunks, honey," Bulma gently cut in, "It's a cute shirt, but put it back, please."
Trunks' shoulders fell as he lowered the shirt, giving his mother a pleading look. "But Dad said we could buy a baby, and I know we can afford it, so why can't we buy a boy so I can have a little brother?"
Bulma looked over at Vegeta in bewilderment, but her husband had suddenly found the ceiling design incredibly interesting. "What is he talking about?"
"Nothing, it was an exchange over a year ago before the tournament," the prince curtly responded, crossing his arms firmly over his chest. "Kakarot's harpy fed Goten that garbage about buying infants, and the information was passed on. I simply didn't deny it."
"You're going to have to have the talk with him soon," Bulma informed him under her breath, making him scoff and drawing his direct eye contact.
"Woman, I don't think so. You're going to have that talk with him, not me."
"That's not how this works, you're his father-"
"Helloooo?" Trunks loudly interrupted, waving his arms out and drawing his parents' attention again. Now standing right in front of them, he frowned and put both hands on his hips, reminding Vegeta that no matter how strong he would become, he would always be his mother's son. "Can we buy a little brother for me, or not?"
"That's not exactly how it works, sweetheart," Bulma explained, before giving him a knowing smile. "Besides, you have to make amends with the brother you already have before we talk about bringing a new one into the picture."
"But Goten isn't my brother, he's my fr- well, we aren't friends anymore," Trunks announced, defiantly looking away. He tried to look as indifferent as his father usually did, but he couldn't quite pull it off yet and wound up sulking instead. "I'm never talking to him, never again, not ever," he added for good measure, lest his parents not take him seriously.
"Okay," Bulma easily responded, making Trunks blink in shock.
"Okay?" the boy echoed, unable to hide his confusion. Where was the lecturing? Where was the effort to convince him that he was wrong? "That's it?"
"Well sure, if that's how you feel," Bulma explained, affectionately ruffling Trunks' lavender hair. "If you don't want to talk to Goten anymore, that's fine…but you're still not getting out of a good punishment for getting suspended from school. Now come on, I think we'll go check out the furniture store, maybe look over the loveseats!"
Trunks looked over at his father who seemed disinterested in their conversation, and then looked back at his mother, but Bulma was a woman on a mission and was already ushering both of her boys out to make good time. He waited a while, wondering if either of his parents would mention Goten again, but minutes slipped by and his name wasn't brought up again. The lack of lecturing on the whole issue confused him, but on the flip side, the acceptance of his wishes also made him feel good. It was nice to know that his parents, unconventional and weird as they were, had his back no matter what-
"Do you hear me calling you, boy?" Vegeta shouted.
Trunks blinked and looked up, seeing that his parents were already near the closest mall exit to their hoverjet. His father was effortlessly balancing an enormous, black leather loveseat on one hand, to the shock of everyone walking past, and Bulma was busy yelling at someone on her cell phone. Not wanting to be a hold up, Trunks sprinted over.
"So that's a loveseat," Trunks commented as the three stepped out into the parking lot. "When I get married, will you guys buy me one too?"
"First you want a brother, now you want a wife and a loveseat. What next, boy? You want your own island?" Vegeta deadpanned, making Trunks' eyes widen in excitement.
"Oh man an island would be soooo COOL!" the boy shouted happily, earning a low growl of annoyance from his father.
"Vegeta, quit," Bulma said as she hung up, though she was smiling as she slipped her sunglasses back on. "Trunks, stop getting suspended and then we'll talk about buying islands for you. Now take the loveseat and capsulize it. There are spare capsules in the hoverjet. You can turn the jet on too, while you're at it."
"Alriiiight," Trunks sighed, shoulders slumping. Vegeta quickly flicked him over the loveseat with a jerk of his wrist, sending the loveseat flying towards his son at superhuman speed. Trunks had barely caught it when Bulma tossed him her keys too. It took a second for the boy to find his balance, before he sprinted off ahead of them.
"Surprised you didn't practically coerce the boy into making amends with Goten," Vegeta commented when his son was halfway across the parking lot.
"I wanted to," Bulma admitted, casually linking her arm with Vegeta's. The prince scowled in disapproval at the contact, his back stiffening a bit. He hated any kind of public affection, but he supposed this was tolerable as long as the woman didn't take it any further. Bulma noticed his discomfort, but ignored it as she continued, "But he had that look that you get sometimes, so I let it go."
Vegeta's scowl worsened. "The look I get?"
"Yeah, that stubborn look where I know that nothing I say will matter because I can't change your mind. He had the same look, so I didn't push. He'll come around…just like you always have."
The prince grunted in disinterest, looking away and missing the smile Bulma was offering him. He felt her hold on his arm tighten as she got just a little closer to him while they continued walking together. Neither said anything else as they crossed the parking lot over to where their son was impatiently waiting for them, but Vegeta's posture had considerably relaxed by the time they got there.
Over the years, Bulma had learned just how much to push her husband; that's why after they had a hearty family lunch, she told Vegeta he could leave and come back later once the party had actually started. She correctly figured that letting the prince go home for a few hours to be alone and recharge would be the best thing for everyone involved, since the party was going to run late. Vegeta didn't utter a word of protest, turning around and leaving before the words were barely out of his wife's mouth.
Trunks wasn't so lucky; he was stuck helping his mother with all the details for the party of the century, but Vegeta wasn't inclined to save him from that fate. After all, the boy had to learn to take his punishments like a man.
The trip home would've been necessary for Vegeta either way, since he had to pick up his own personal engagement gift for the couple. He had the gift tucked in one of his pockets as he walked into the reception hall later that evening. The prince's nose instantly crinkled in disgust; there were so many people there milling about, that he couldn't help but wonder how many of them actually knew Gohan and Videl personally. He certainly didn't recognize anyone.
He sighed and made his way through the dim-lit hall, trying to ignore the awful music that was playing overhead as he searched for the groom-to-be. The sooner he could give Gohan his gift, the sooner he could head towards the open bar-
Goku suddenly popped in out of nowhere, inches in front of the prince, startling the older Saiyan half to death. "Hey, Vegeta!" he cheerfully greeted.
"Goddamnit, Kakarot!" Vegeta hissed, trying to bring his blood pressure back down. He looked around, but no one seemed to notice Goku's sudden appearance. "How many times have I told you not to do that?"
"Not to do what?" Goku asked curiously, making the prince close his eyes and pinch the bridge of his nose.
"Where is your oldest spawn?" he finally demanded.
"Oh, Gohan? He's over there dancing with Videl, they're having a ton of fun! Hey, I bet you don't know how to dance, huh Vegeta?"
"Saiyans don't dance."
"Well, that's not true! I can dance! Chi-Chi taught me…sorta."
"May the gods help us all," Vegeta mumbled in disgust, making Goku laugh.
"Hey! Did you hear about that fight Goten and Trunks got into?"
"I'm aware of the situation, yes."
"Chi-Chi's mighty mad about it."
Vegeta snorted. "Mine wasn't pleased either."
"Do you think we should get the boys together so they can talk it out?"
"No. Let the two handle it themselves. They'll never learn otherwise."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Goku conceded, before he caught sight of someone in the distance and raised a hand to wave at them. "Hey, Krillin and Yamcha have a table just for us, want to come?" Vegeta shook his head. "Alright, but if you change your mind, you know where we're at!" Goku cheerfully informed the prince.
Vegeta opened his mouth to make a snide comment, but the younger Saiyan disappeared before he could. Years with that damn teleporting technique, and he still hadn't gotten used to it. The prince sighed, and was going to resume his search for Gohan, when luck broke on his side.
"Vegeta!" Gohan called out, immediately drawing the prince's attention. The prince turned around as the half-Saiyan jogged up to him. Gohan was wiping sweat off his brow with his forearm, his shirt starting to dampen with sweat from his dancing. "Hey, I'm really glad you made it! Bulma said you'd be in later, but I wasn't sure," he said, smiling widely.
"Of course I was going to make it," Vegeta responded, looking Gohan over. Amazing to think the man before him was the same kid who had cowered behind Piccolo so many years ago. Looking at him now, practically feeling how happy Gohan was, it finally eased his agitation with the party. After all the life and death battles they'd fought, beside each other and against each other, Gohan deserved this. He offered the closest thing to a smile that he was going to muster up that evening, putting a hand on Gohan's shoulder.
"Now kid, pay attention. You remember what I told you about marriage?"
"Huh?" Gohan asked, blinking as he tried racking his brain, but he drew a blank and wound up giving Vegeta a confused look. "When was this?"
"I take that as a no," Vegeta chuckled, releasing his grip on the half-Saiyan's shoulder to reach into his pocket. "I told you years ago that once you became a man and got yourself a woman of your own, you could have this. That time has come."
"Oh…thank you, Vegeta," a red-faced Gohan said as he took the ki-draining handcuffs that the prince was offering him. "Yeah, I uh, I remember now."
"Remember, marriage is about compromise."
"Yeah, ah, thank you for the uh, the gift. I'm sure Videl will, um...enjoy this."
"Hn," Vegeta grunted, patting Gohan on the shoulder again in approval.
Having completed his task, he turned around and headed over by where Goku was seated with his Earthling friends – only because Bulma had joined them now. He went over, noting that all of them were already having drinks and laughing it up. Without a word, Vegeta took the only seat available next to Bulma, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Hey stranger, you made it," Bulma teased, sliding a beer over to her husband. He grunted and took the glass, chugging it all in one shot. "Did you get your gift for Gohan?" Vegeta put the glass down and offered her a smirk, making her shake her head. "You know what, I don't even want to know."
They all laughed, all except for Goku, who was staring off at a boy across the party who was sulking against the wall. On the opposite wall was another boy, equally sullen. Turning back to the group, he mused aloud, "Guys, I think we should do something about Goten and Trunks."
"Oh yeah, I heard about that fight," Krillin chimed in, raising his drink. "We were here helping Chi-Chi get the tables and everything ready when she got that call. What happened?"
"I don't know, Trunks didn't want to talk about it."
"Neither did Goten," Goku confessed, looking directly at Vegeta. The prince met his eye and scowled.
"What? I told you to let them work it out themselves."
"They're both pretty miserable right now though."
"Good. They deserve it for being two idiots," Vegeta grumbled, reaching for another drink as Bulma rubbed his arm.
"Hon, maybe we should talk to Trunks," she whispered to him.
The prince gave her an incredulous look. "You were the one who suggested we let them resolve it themselves."
"I'm not saying we fix this for him, he needs to do that himself," Bulma clarified. "But I honestly didn't think they would make it this far into the party without talking. Maybe a little nudge is what he needs."
"Whatever," Vegeta gruffly responded, chugging his drink back. "Handle it then, female."
"It can't always be me dealing with every crisis, Vegeta." The prince looked over at his wife, making eye contact with her as neither paid attention to the conversation continuing at their table. "He's getting older, he's going to need to hear things from you more, especially when he gets to his teenage years. It can't always come from Mom, you know."
Vegeta subtly leaned in closer to her, under the guise that he couldn't hear her over the music even though he heard her just fine. It was true, perhaps 90 percent of the problems Trunks had were resolved by Bulma before Vegeta even noticed them. Still, even though he acknowledged his wife was right with his ensuing silence, he honestly didn't know what to tell Trunks regarding this issue the boy had with Goten. He'd never had "problems" with friends; hell, he barely had any "friends" to begin with. For all he knew, he'd make things worse.
"It's alright, I'll handle it," Bulma finally whispered to him, reading his discomfort perfectly. She rubbed his shoulder a little and went to stand up, when he stood up first.
"No," Vegeta said firmly. He reached down for a third beer and chugged all of it in seconds. Once he was finished, he put the empty bottle back down and nodded. "I will handle it. Heavens know you will only coddle the boy more," he mockingly added.
"He doesn't get that stubbornness from my side!" Bulma snapped as Vegeta turned away with an amused smirk.
That smirk quickly disappeared though as he weaved his way over to where his son was leaning up against the wall, arms crossed over his chest and a pissed off look on his face. Vegeta recognized that look, and finally saw what Bulma meant. Yes, he might not have been intimately familiar with the human issues that would come up in Trunks' life, but he was still his son and was starting to react to things just like the prince would have, once upon a time. Instead of filling him with pride over how much his son was starting to take after him, the thought almost gave Vegeta a migraine.
Going over next to his son, Vegeta easily mimicked his pose, leaning back against the wall and lifting one knee up to prop the bottom of his foot up on the wall too. Trunks eyed his dad out of the corner of his eye, wondering what the prince would say. But Vegeta said nothing, just stared ahead with an unwavering, intense glare that didn't seem directed at anyone in particular.
"Are you planning to do this all night, boy?" he finally demanded, getting his son's full attention.
"Huh? Do what?" a genuinely confused Trunks asked.
"This. Standing back here, bitter and angry. That's something I do, and it's not worth imitating," Vegeta gruffly stated, shifting his intense glare to his son, who had to fight not to visibly shrink back. "What are you doing, Trunks?"
"That's exactly the problem. You're here, miserable. Your other demon half is standing over there, also miserable. Put both of yourselves out of your misery and make your amends, and move on with your lives."
"But he made me so mad, he…"
"Ah, it doesn't matter."
"If it doesn't matter, then why not make your amends and be done with this nonsense?"
Trunks searched for a way to make his father understand. Finally, he squared his shoulders back, and looked his father right in the eye, giving the answer that had been drilled into him since he was a toddler. "Cause I got my pride too, Dad."
Vegeta's eyes narrowed as he stared at his son for so long, the boy almost lost his nerve. To his credit though, Trunks didn't look away. Finally, after what seemed like a millennium, his father snorted.
"Yes, you do. As a warrior in battle, nothing is more important than your own pride," the prince conceded, looking straight ahead again as Trunks relaxed. Convinced that Vegeta understood exactly where he was coming from, the young half-Saiyan was completely caught off guard by his father's next words.
"But as a man, that's not the case. You can take my word for it, or you can learn the hard way, like I did. That's your choice, Trunks. I won't make it for you."
Without waiting for a response, the prince turned and walked away. Moments later, Vegeta was taking his seat again near his wife, who was currently chatting with a rich businessman who did work for Hercule. 18 and Krillin had already departed, and Yamcha and his new girlfriend, along with Goku and Chi-Chi, were accompanying Gohan and Videl on the dance floor. That alone had Vegeta reaching for another beer.
"Hey you," Bulma greeted moments later when the businessman walked away, looking over at her husband. She gave him a wide smile. "I see it went well."
"Hn?" The prince looked over, frowning when he saw that his son had moved from his sulking location. Glancing over, he saw that Trunks was slowly headed in Goten's direction. The prince snorted, looking back at his wife. "Of course it did," he arrogantly replied. "Did you expect anything different?"
Her smile grew as she leaned in and kissed his cheek. Vegeta scowled at her, wiping his face. "Woman, not in public," he growled. "Contain yourself."
"You're such a good dad, you know."
Vegeta's scowl turned into a look of surprise, and then suspicion as he surveyed the drinks spread over the table. "Are you drunk?" he bluntly asked.
Bulma's smile disappeared as she punched the Saiyan in the shoulder. "No, jerk, I'm not drunk. Geez! Can't even give a freakin' compliment around here."
"But seriously, you really are great with him."
Vegeta shrugged indifferently, uncomfortable with the praise as he went to knock back another beer. This time though, Bulma grabbed his hand to stop him. He raised a confused eyebrow as she scooted her chair closer to his, leaning close enough so their shoulders were almost touching.
"What do you think about what Trunks asked earlier?" she finally prompted, pulling his hand off the beer bottle to cradle it in hers.
"What?" Vegeta asked, thoroughly confused.
"You know, when he asked for a little brother."
Vegeta blinked, and then scoffed. "Tch, stupid idea. I am done with children." Bulma's face fell a little, and she was unable to hide her disappointment. He caught the look on her face and looked even more confused. "What? I thought you didn't want any more either."
"Well, we've never really talked about it."
"I think we did our talking when you refused to have sex with me after Trunks was born unless I wore a condom," he remarked, unable to hide the twinge of bitterness that seeped into his tone over the memory.
Bulma snickered a little. "A lot has changed since then, Vegeta."
"Oh? Like what?" he challenged, pulling his hand free from hers to grab his beer bottle again. There was a sudden round of applause from the hundreds of people in attendance as Gohan spun Videl around romantically on the dance floor, and Bulma diverted her attention momentarily to clap along while Vegeta chugged his beer. The prince could feel himself getting buzzed, and he pleasantly licked his lips to savor the taste as Bulma finally turned back to him.
"Well, we're married for one. I think that's a pretty big change."
"Bulma," Vegeta sighed, looking at her in exasperation. "One is enough and we are struggling to handle him as it is. I don't want more."
"I know, but it's just, I just started thinking after he asked that maybe it'd be better for Trunks not to be an only child-"
"Woman, are you not hearing me? I – don't – want – more – children."
Bulma sighed, seeing that look on Vegeta's face that she'd seen on Trunks' earlier. She nodded, accepting his position, knowing she should have anticipated his response. It had taken him a while to warm up to the mere idea of having a son, and they still used birth control on the regular. As much as she knew that Vegeta loved Trunks (even if he never said it), she should have known that he was still vehemently against fathering more children. She herself would have agreed, if it wasn't for the image of Trunks beaming and holding up a baby shirt that didn't leave her mind.
"Alright, it was just a thought based on what the kiddo asked earlier today," she relented, rubbing Vegeta's arm and forcing the image out of her head. "We've got Trunks, and he's enough, huh?"
"More than enough," Vegeta grumbled, looking over to his son who was now laughing with Goten, as though their fight had never happened. "Pain in the ass kid."
"If you think he's a pain now, wait until he's a teenager," she teased.
Vegeta shook his head in defeat and reached for another beer as Bulma laughed. The talks about a sibling for Trunks vanished as they enjoyed the rest of the evening in a party that would be talked about for weeks.
Still, Bulma held out a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, one day Vegeta would come around on this too.