Last time:

"I feel two Saiyan ki's. But I know one of them is Vegeta. It's unmistakenable. I KNOW his signature."

"Maybe he…" Piccolo didn't want to finish a sentence that had already worked its way into their minds. Maybe he'd found a new partner to aid him in destroying the Earth, to finish the job he'd started years ago, to finally live up to the promises he'd been making since he first set foot before them.


Bulma's face was pressed against the window, her waist held securely by Vegeta so not to fall onto the buttons of the control panel. And as the tiny blue planet got bigger and bigger, she felt his hands tighten around her waist.

"Is someone nervous?" she laughed, turning around. He pulled her from the control panel with ease and set her on the floor.

"We need to get strapped in."

"Fine," she sighed. "But one of these days, when I ask, you're going to have to tell me what's up."

"Sure, woman," he said with his characteristic smirk. "Now sit."

He pulled at her straps, as if they weren't tight enough as it was, and grunted when they didn't budge any further. She could tell by the look in his eyes, for his mind seemed only focused on the belt, that his main concern was her and the child's safety. When he stood and looked down at her, for the first time, she saw hesitation in his eyes, and she knew it was because they were landing.

"Please tell me," she whispered as the ship began to shake. He strapped himself in and frowned, ignoring her completely. When the ship finally entered the Earth's atmosphere, Bulma nearly squealed. Finally, FINALLY, she was going to be home. She could hardly keep herself seated, her hands automatically going for her straps and holding them tight. Just a few more minutes…

The ship landed with its usual shakes and thuds, sending Bulma's stomach into her throat and her head spinning in all directions. When she felt stable enough, she glanced over at Vegeta, who sat, unstrapped, waiting for her signal. He walked slowly over and undid the belt, his fingers lingering above her chest.

"When we get inside," she whispered in a voice she knew would only drive him crazier. "Now, before we get off the ship, you tell me, what's bothering you?"

"Your stupid friends are outside," he grunted. "They've been there for hours I imagine, waiting to attack me when we get off the ship…Morons…"

"Well the solution is simple enough. I'll go first and tell them I'm fine, yadda yadda. Ok?"

Vegeta only nodded, his frown etched deeper within his features.


"Oh yeah!" Goku cried, as soon as his eyes fall on Bulma, her smile broad and her hands resting on her stomach. She descended the ramp and was instantly in her mother and father's arms, sharing hugs and kisses and the inevitable tears. When she finally reached Goku, he scooped her into a great bear hug, and whispered, "Congratulations," in her hear, leaving her confused as she went onto the next person. Yamcha. But before she could get within five feet of him, Vegeta appeared on the ramp, catching everyone's attention. "Welcome back friend!"

"I'm no friend to you," Vegeta sneered as he made his way to the grass, meeting Mrs. Briefs, who chanced a quick hug. He ignored her and glared at Yamcha, hard and cold, as if sizing him up for a fight. Bulma feared that that's exactly what he was doing, and rushed to his side.

"I…" She hesitated before stepping near him, though stood a safe distance away. "Vegeta and I are…no longer enemies," she said, her voice firm and steady.

"Then what the hell are you?" Yamcha spat. He shoved through the crowd and came within inches of her face. "You're lovers now, aren't you? Months in space with that ape and he seduced you and stole you from me! And I've been worried sick down here, wondering if I'm ever going to see you again, wondering if you're alright, if that sorry excuse for a warrior was beating the life out of you at any moment! How could you!"

"You're making an ass of yourself, Yamcha," she said quietly, though loud enough for the others to hear. "Everyone knows how badly you treated me, and yet, here you are, accusing me of doing the very things you once did." She took a few steps back, away from his angry breathing. "And, to answer your question, I don't have to answer it. It's none of your business, and even if we were something, I wouldn't tell you about it."

"So you are?" he groaned, crossing his arms. "Are you actually blind enough that you would be with him? Open your eyes, Bulma, he's a murderer. He KILLED me!"

"I did her a favor," Vegeta chuckled, more to himself than anyone.

Without thinking, Yamcha lunged at him, though made it only inches before he was knocked to the ground. When he looked up, Bulma was standing over him, her fist still clenched, her breathing labored.

"Do NOT touch him! I will not have this kind of foolish behavior at my home! I just spent seven months in space, and this is not the FIRST thing I need to deal with when I come home. And just because Vegeta and I no longer hate each other does not mean you can assume other crazy scenarios. Grow up!"

"What now, Vegeta?" Yamcha continued, as though Bulma never spoke. "Is your slave protecting you now?"

"I do whatever the hell I please, Yamcha. And as partial owner of this property, I'm ordering you off of it. Don't come back unless I call you."

He gave the group one last fleeting look before taking to the sky and speeding away. When Bulma turned to address everyone, she noticed Vegeta was no longer with them.

"Where did he go?" she asked, glancing around. "He was just—"

Goku pointed towards the house, which happened to be the entrance to the kitchen.

"Makes sense," she mumbled to herself, and turned to face the others, their faces still beaming, despite the ripple Yamcha had caused. And to think, they never thought they'd lay eyes on her again.

"So?…" Goku began, but it was Chi-Chi who blurted out the question that was on everyone's mind.

"What happened??" she all but demanded, surprised when Bulma ran back into the ship and didn't return for several minutes. When she came back, she held a thick folder of papers and a tin case of dino caps.

"The documents should explain a lot of what happened to me. I…" She looked at each person before she continued. "I got sick while I was there."

"How sick?" Dr. Briefs asked, taking the folder from his daughter.

"Can we go inside? I'll tell everyone over some coffee. I'm starving!"


Empty pizza boxes were stacked all over the dining room, their contents bare save for a few crumbs. Before Bulma had persuaded everyone to come inside, Vegeta had taken it upon himself to clean out the refrigerator and cabinets, leaving only cans of beans and corn, hardly a meal Bulma, in her condition, craved.

And, as they crossed the threshold into the large cooking area, the room scattered with plastic packaging and empty boxes, Bulma only let out a hollowing laugh, surprising everyone but Vegeta, who only gave her a sharp glare then continue with his binge.

"We ran out of food, sort of," she informed the group when they were seated in the dining room, the pizzas on there way. "By the time we were a week away from Earth, we only had a week's worth of food for one person, one normal person, not a Saiyan bottomless pit. So, we had to ration. He's been starving for a week, poor guy."

"Wow," Chi-Chi sighed. "It sure sounds like things have changed. Seven months ago you would have said he deserved it…It's just weird is all. Sorry."

"No, not at all. I understand. It's still hard for me to get used to. I don't expect all of you to get on board right away. Take it gradually. It's a strange thing, being forced to spend so much time alone with someone you thought you hated."

"How did that happen anyway, dear?" Dr. Briefs asked, giving his mustache a scratch. Everyone seemed to go rigid at the question, their eyes fixed on Bulma, who really couldn't have looked happier. No one could know the joy she felt right now as a result of spending all those months alone with Vegeta. No one…

The words ran through her mind, and suddenly she felt ill, though not in the way the half-Saiyan within her caused. Now everything was beginning to make sense, all those unanswered questions were beginning to come clear. That dark feeling she had looming over her now made perfect sense. No one would EVER know the kindness and gentleness and lovingness that Vegeta showed her on their trip. All his assistance with the Eskes, and the heroism he showed with Furto, and the Geranomes, everything, it would all fade into the backdrop of Bulma's life for the simple reason that he didn't want others to know. She didn't need to ask him to know that. Nothing with him required words anymore now, and, with a heavy sigh, she looked back at her friends and family. The pizzas had arrived, and Goku ran to retrieve them, returning only seconds later, already having finished three slices.

Bulma closed her eyes slowly, no longer hungry, as her life suddenly seemed to come into focus.

Forgive me.

Not now Vegeta.

"I was fixing the ship for Vegeta's take-off," she said, opening her eyes, steadying her voice. "It was raining that night, really heavy. You know, the kind of rain you can't see two inches into. I was done and about to go inside…" And on the story went, through all its twists and turns, right up until Bulma's first Eskes attack, at which point everyone's eyes left Bulma and fell on a new focal point.

"She had no idea what she was dealing with," came Vegeta's monotone. "Stupid woman. I told her not to go outside alone, and especially not far from the ship. But can she listen to a word I say? No, of course not."

"You wouldn't show me a damn thing on that planet," she hissed, playing up the little scene for the others, though all along, deep inside, she felt the old tingles. "How could you have expected me to stay cooped up in that ship all that time and not explore?"

"I told you the planet was barren."

"Boy was that a lie. We went to the damn ocean. That's not what I call barren."

"Compared to this place, Fewskm is barren, woman."

"Whatever. Let me continue my story. I was just about to tell them when I got Denj-sa."

"So that's what it's called," Dr. Briefs cut in, thumbing through the folder Bulma had given him. "I couldn't decipher a thing from these notes, dear. It's all in an alien tongue."

"Oh yeah," she laughed. "I forgot about that. Fewsks speak well…Fewsk. It's not hard. I learned it in what…a week?" She then turned to Vegeta, and in Fewsk said, "It's so hard not to tell them everything. I'm going to need your help."

"Why do you think I came in?" he replied in the same language, his voice greatly contrasting from what the other's were used to hearing. Were they actually having a decent conversation? "And don't bother asking, you're not going to understand. It's nothing Earthlings could grasp."

"You know I would try. But hey, what do I say when I come to the part about the baby? I mean, sooner or later they're going to notice my stomach is growing. They're not going to think I just got fat. And besides, wouldn't 'others' be able to sense it too?"

"We don't have to tell them a thing if we don't want to."

"No, if you don't want to. I want them to know everything. You're the one…Oh, whatever. I'll figure something out when the time comes."

"Bulma?" came Goku's voice through the silence that had fallen. "What was that all about?"

"Sorry," she laughed. "I've gotten so used to switching between languages that I forgot. My friend, Furto, he's a Fewsk, he had a real hard time with Japanese. He knew the language and all, but the pronunciation, it was really hard for him, and most other Fewsks. So I decided to learn the language, seeing as Namek wasn't all that hard."

"It seems you have quite a story to tell us," Dr. Briefs laughed, his mustache curling as he smiled.

"I have seven months worth of stories to tell you!"


It was well into the night when Bulma finished her story. Vegeta had long since left the room in annoyance, only to return several times and add his two cents, each time having a small side conversation with Bulma in Fewsk. Unbeknownst to them, the others were forming their own assumptions as to what had really happened on the trip, though none wanted to say for fear of being wrong and angering their friend, and the always-angry Saiyan Prince.

"Is it too much to ask that you come to my room?" Bulma asked when they were finally alone at the top of the stairs, her eyes barely open. "I just want to sleep beside you."

"Right. And then have your mother walk in and see us there? Forget it. I know your plans."

"Whatever happened to not caring what others thought? What about holding me from behind and kissing my neck in front of them all if you wanted?"


She sighed and rolled her eyes. How could she have no seen it coming?

"Look. No one comes into my room unless I let them in. Everyone knows that. You're safe there. Besides, I'll lock the door, and you have that super sensory hearing. You could fly out the window if you thought you heard someone coming."

"Fine," he growled. "But I'm not JUST sleeping beside you."



Bulma stood, naked, in front of her full-length mirror, her stomach just beginning to look bigger. Anyone knowing what to look for would have noticed the slight bump, but, with all the work she'd been doing in the lab to make up for lost time, no one could tell under her baggy work clothes.

She sighed, her fingers fanning out across her soon-to-be enormous belly. But, as her eyes fell on her reflection in the mirror once again, all she could think about was Vegeta. Where had be gone this time? Was he alright, all alone, in space? Was he becoming stronger? Was he still alive? Kami, how was she to endure his absence with no one to talk to about it?

"Well, it looks like the lab again little guy," she said, giving her stomach a little pat before heading for her closet. When she returned, she noticed the light on her answering machine was beeping. "I don't remember a message," she mumbled, pressing the button.

"Hey Bulma, it's me," came Yamcha's voice from the small box on her nightstand. How badly she wanted to throw it against the wall. Or was that a mood swing? "I…Well, I'm just really sorry about how I acted when you came home. And I know I haven't even tried to call you since then—what's it been? Two months?—but I really thought you needed time to cool off, and, apparently, so did I. It's just that I had this whole…I don't know…big plan for what was going to happen when you came back. I didn't even consider that you could have gotten over me while you were away." There came a slight pause, in which time Bulma reminded herself that smashing the answering machine was not a good way to deal with her anger. But the things he was saying! Didn't consider that she could be over him!? How can someone be so blind!? "It's of course obvious that you are, and that I was never really a factor in your life from the time you ended up on that ship. My guess is you barely thought of me, if at all, and now that I've given myself these few months to think about it, I realize that it was completely wrong of me to assume that you could ever love me the way you had before, if you even did in the first place…I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's your call to talk to me. I won't bother trying to contact you again. I won't ask stupid questions or make stupid assumptions when and if you do decide to speak with me. All I want is maybe an outline of what happened. I don't know. I don't expect anything, and I'm wrong to even expect that you'll listen to this, but if you've gotten this far in the message, then well, I count myself lucky. Bulma, you were nothing but great to me and I, well, I was the worst thing for you. I can't make up for it and wish it never happened, because that'll get me nowhere…Oh, Kami…I shouldn't have even called you. You don't care what I have to say. You're probably crossing your arms and tapping your foot and waiting for me to stop rambling. Ok, I'm done. Well, just one more thing. When you came back I…I was going to ask you to marry me. I finally realized in your absence how much you meant to me and that I need to settle down and that you're the perfect person to be with. I…Damn…Why am I even telling you this? What do you care? I should never have called. Sorry. No…Just…Bye."

And then the message cut off, and Bulma found herself unable to move, her entire form shaking slightly all over. Did she care enough about reconciliation that she'd consider speaking to him? Once glance at her abdomen told her that she did. And without thinking, she picked up the phone and dialed the most familiar number she knew.


As she took a seat in the booth, Bulma couldn't help the tiny smile that was pulling at her lips. It wasn't that she was glad to see Yamcha, the source of many of her woes, but that the situation felt familiar in a way that only he could bring about. No one else would ever consider coming to this diner with her, a place she and Yamcha frequented in their relationship.

"Great choice of places," she commented as she grabbed a menu. "Ick! Nothing looks good. I need some fried mushrooms and tomatoes. Ooo! With ketchup! And melted cheese!"

"Excuse me?" Yamcha asked, forcing him nose not to wrinkle in disgust. Who ate that kind of stuff?

"Sorry," she laughed. "On the trip I became accustomed to strange foods," which wasn't a complete lie. It was, after all, on the trip that she became pregnant. "Which is why you called me, right? About the trip?"

He nodded and waved the waitress away.

"Well, what do you want to know? How I got there? What happened? What took so long?"

"No," he sighed gravely and looked at his hands. How could he put this into words? "I know most of that. I mean, well, some. Goku told me bits and pieces, and I heard a lot from Puar, 'cause she was there when you told everyone. But, well, I guess what I want to know is how can you be…civil with Vegeta after all that's happened?"

She nodded and suppressed a smile. She was prepared for that question.

"Well, doesn't Goku act civilly towards Vegeta? He tries time and again to be friends with the man."

"Yes, but to have Vegeta be civil back? I don't understand."

"You think Vegeta is civil with me? You obviously don't know what you're talking about. We fight just the same as usual. Possibly more. Well, when he was still at Capsule Corp. He went off into space again, you know, to train without distractions."

"What distractions did he have before?" Even he was shocked by his question. He'd promised himself not to push her into saying anything she didn't want to.

"Me," she said as if it were the most normal thing to say. "I contracted a fatal disease while I was there and luckily he knew a thing or two about it and helped me to recover."

"He actually HELPed you?" Yamcha balked. "But…Wait…"

"He dragged me to a stranger's home and made them care for me. That's what I mean by helped. And since the cure for the disease was on another planet, we had to do a bit of traveling while we were there. Took up a lot of time."

"I see," was all he could think to say. But there was so much more he wanted to know. But at the sight of Bulma's twisted expression, he lost his thoughts completely. "Good Kami, are you alright? You look terrible."

"Thanks," she laughed. She tried not to think about the pain that was ebbing away at her insides. What the hell was that half-Saiyan doing to her! "I'm fine. Just cramps, you know."

"Yeah," but he didn't believe a word of it. Something else was going on, and he didn't think he had the courage to draw it out of her. "But you look really sick. Shouldn't you see a doctor or something? Or at least take some Midol it that's the problem."

"I can't take Midol!" she snapped, before she knew what she was saying. Damn her mood swings! "I…don't have any," she added, face flushed with angry, though mostly with herself.

"Bulma, I'm going to ask you a question. I don't care what you say; I'll never ask you again after this. And you don't even have to answer me if you don't want to, I'm not entitled to know anything about you, other than what you want me to know." He took a deep breath, then whispered, "Are you pregnant?"

"Yes," she said, to her own surprise, her face completely calm. "Damn, that was easier than I thought," she laughed. "I thought I would lie if you ever asked me that. I'm getting braver in my old age. Ha! What'd'you know?"

But the other side of the table was silent. He hadn't expected her to answer, and if she did, he hadn't expected confirmation to his worst fears. She was completely and utterly untouchable now, and while that was true before, there was still that tiny hope that he could still have her.

"You can ask more questions," she encouraged. "That was supposed to be the hardest and I answered it like that. Go on. Ask me something else."


"Who's the father?" She knew that was next. But as she went to answer, she wondered why in Kami's name she was telling the biggest secret of her life to her ex-boyfriend when her parents weren't the wiser. "You're going to hate me," he mumbled. "It's Vegeta. Vegeta is the father."

"I expected that," he said before he could stop himself. "I mean…Well…With you two being so close…I mean, me and you were great friends before anything happened, I just figured it could happen the same way with Vegeta."

"Well it didn't." Kami! What am I saying!? Am I going to tell him every detail of how me and Vegeta got together? And what about the man in question? Kami only knows what he'd do if he knew this conversation was going on. "We were never friends. In fact, I hated him, more or less, up until we…conceived."

"Then how the hell did you end up in bed with the guy? It doesn't make any sense B. I just don't get it. Why…Why him? Why not—" But he couldn't continue.

"Why not you, you mean?" Suddenly she wasn't so sure she was one hundred percent ok with him. "I don't know, maybe it was the constant flirting, or the coldness, or maybe, just maybe, it was the cheating and the lies that went along with it and the fact that you made me feel this small—" She held her fingers in his face to emphasize her meaning. "—throughout our entire relationship and he has been the only person to help me recover from it! Maybe that's the answer you were looking for, maybe not. But you know what? I don't really care much for what you want, because I love him Kami damn it. Yes! That's right! I said I love him, and he may not love me back, but he's as good a guy as I am going to get and there is no one—NO ONE—I will EVER love more than I love him, you got that? And before you go with your ramblings about how unhappy I'll be and how he'll hurt me, let me just tell you that with him, it doesn't matter that he's cold and distant and doesn't want others to know this baby is his, because I knew he was that way before I ever went to bed with him and I still managed to love him. And he's never told me a single petty lie! Not one! You'll never understand what happened on that trip. Something changed in that man. Something came through that was never there before, and I saw it!" She pointed frantically at her chest, uncaring at the eyes that were on her. "I saw something good in him, if only for a split second, and I've been holding onto that ever since. And that, Kami damn it, is love, Yamcha! Not the drooling, sniveling, weepy kind you lavish upon me! But real, deep, and honest love!"

"How can you say that!?" he finally retorted. "How can you sit there and say that to me? How can that be real love when he doesn't love you back? You're only fooling one person with your speech, Bulma, and it isn't me."

"He does love me," she declared boldly, not caring, for the moment, that she basically promised Vegeta she wouldn't say anything he didn't want known. For once in her life she was doing something for pride's sake. "And he doesn't need to tell me in a mushy poem or with roses or fancy dinners or any of that bullshit! I know when I'm with him. I feel that deepness, the kind of emotion you're clueless to because you've never experienced it! I know love, Yamcha. And I have love! And I don't care that I found that love in a man like Vegeta, because its real and I can feel it in every cell of my being! Can you say that about anything you've ever experienced? Your whores? Can you say that about them? Or, I'll go you one better. Can you say one TRUE thing to me? One fact? One small detail of truth?" When she eased herself back into the booth, he knew she was finished.

"I love you," he finally whispered, bowing his head. He didn't need to look up to know she was gone. It was exactly what he'd expected.

She'd asked for the truth…


"Oh, this is more than fun," Bulma groaned as she was pushed up into her car.

"You're the one that insisted on coming with me. I told you I would pick up the groceries. I know how busy you and your family are."

"Just drive and stop complaining, Yamcha," she sighed, easing herself into the passenger's seat, her belly too swollen to fit behind the wheel.

In the months leading up to her current state, eight months and two weeks to term, she and Yamcha had reconciled their differences and found a place in which they could both be satisfied with one another. While Bulma could have gone many more months without seeing the man, she recognized his love for her and the fact that he simply wanted to be a part of her life again. She told him that if he could help her out around the house when she needed him, when her belly wouldn't allow her to do certain things, then that was proof enough that he loved her and should be allowed back into her life. When questioned about her assessment, she said, "Well, if you're man enough to help me while I carry another man's child, then I think you deserve a second chance." And that was the last time they ever spoke of their differences, and from then—from the fifth month of her pregnancy—they'd been the closest of friends.

"What exactly do you need at the store that's not at your house? I saw your mom cooking when I got there, so there must be some food."

"Oh yeah, there's a whole pantry of food. Just not the kind I want right now."

"You mean you're already out of all those mushrooms and tomatoes that we bought last week? That was like a month's supply, Bulma!"

"I know," she laughed. "But what can I saw? The baby is hungry, and when he's finally had his fill, I get hungry too. Don't worry. In a few weeks everything will be back to normal."

"Right." This time it was his turn to laugh. "So normal with a half-Saiyan powerhouse running around."

"Well it's not like he's going to start walking when he comes out of me." She gave a small laugh, though her face seemed to drop immediately. "Oh Yamcha," she sighed, woefully. "I'm going to miss being pregnant. I can't think of what it'll be like to not have this big belly."

"Well, if you keep eating the way you've been, you'll never lose that belly." He patted her stomach gently, all the while keeping his eyes glued to the road. He wouldn't for the life of him put her and her child in danger by not paying attention to his driving, even if that child happened to be the spawn of the most foul being he'd had the displeasure of meeting.

Once they reached the store, and were well into shopping, the cart already overflowing with useless food items that Bulma probably wouldn't even eat, her tastes fluctuating from moment to moment—with the exception, of course, of her favorite meal—Yamcha decided it was the perfect opportunity to ask her a burning question.

"Hey B," he said over his shoulder as he reached on tiptoes for a box of sugar cookies she so desperately wanted at that moment. And to his mild surprise, when he handed her the box, she tore it open and began gobbling the contents.

"Yeah?" she asked around a mouthful of cookies, her eyes reflecting the bliss that the cookies brought. "They can just scan the box, you know. It doesn't matter if I eat it now, they'll still get their money."

"That's not what I was going to say."

"What then?" It seemed as though her mouth was stuffed to the breaking point, and still she managed to cram more generic cookies in.

"I've been meaning to ask you this since, well, since that day at the diner, when you first told me Vegeta was the father."

"I'm listening." Her head was cocked slightly to the side, and only as he began, did he notice she'd ceased her crunching to hear what he had to say.

"Does he know? About the baby, that is. Did you tell him you were pregnant?"

She gave him a blank look for a moment, then burst into peals of laughter, only stopping when she realized he was serious.

"Well of course I told him," she breathed, trying to no avail to calm her laughing. "I was still on Fewskm when I found out. He was right there in the room when Furto—remember he's the one who went nearly everywhere with me, Kami I miss him!—Sorry. Vegeta was right there when Furto showed me the vial that proved I was in fact pregnant. He's the one that told me it was a boy, and—" She stopped short, remembering the moments when he'd aided her while she was sick from the pregnancy. Kami, how she ached for him to return!

What was it that he'd said before he left? It was late at night. He slipped out of bed, very casually, the way he always did when he didn't want to wake her, though by then she was already awake. He'd kissed her forehead lightly, chastely, the way a mother kissed her baby, and then he'd said, "I'm coming back," in the most serene and definite voice that would make it impossible for her to not expect his return.


"Yeah?" She shook her head to clear her thoughts. No sense in thinking about him now. He'd return when the time was right, when the androids where coming. He was coming back. She knew he was.

"Are you alright? Do you want me to take you back to the car?"

"I'm fine. Please, continue. I know you had more to say."


"Come on. Ask me something more. It's on the tip of your tongue. Here." She grabbed a handful of cookies and shoved them into her mouth. "See?" A few crumbs sprayed onto Yamcha's chest. "I'm fine. Continue."

"I just wanted to make sure he wasn't abandoning you. That the androids weren't an excuse for him to run from his responsibilities."

"Trust me," she sighed, "he's not running away. You can be assured of that."

"But how do you know? How can you be sure? How can you…trust him?"

"Because I know him better than anyone knows him." She grabbed a can of carrots and tossed it into the cart, as they continued on through the store. "I know parts of him that he's never even hinted at. I know the roots of his being, Yamcha. I know. When he first wanted to be with me, when I was dying of Denj-sa, when he offered me to be his mate, as he called it, his main reason, at the time, was to 'obtain heirs'. Kids, Yamcha. He wanted kids. He's not running away. He wanted children, and besides, he wouldn't run from me. He told me he was coming back. He made sure I knew. He has far too much honor to abandon me and the baby."

"I stand corrected," he said, letting out a small hint of laughter. "Forgive my questions."

"Oh stop!" She slapped his arm playfully, and grabbed at the front of the cart, pushing around the corner and into the next aisle.

Her heart stopped.

Her breathing ceased all together.

She blinked, but the vision before her didn't leave. It was Vegeta, clad in human attire—black dress pants, white dress shirt, open at the collar, and a black suit coat—his arms crossed, his gaze steady and measured. For a brief moment she wondered where he got the clothes from, and why he was wearing them, and what he was doing there. But, in an instant, as his lips curled into their characteristic smirk, she forgot all questions and flew into his arms. She kissed his lips and cheeks and eyes hungrily. She hugged his middle. She grabbed his face and brought their lips together. She did everything but scream out in pure joy that he was there.

In quiet astonishment, Yamcha watched this from afar, as Vegeta allowed her to do these things. And he even let out a small gasp when one of Vegeta's arms came up and around her, and the other landed gently on her swollen belly.

"You came back," she whispered into the crook of his neck. No one could have mistaken her tears for anything but happiness. "I knew you would, but seeing you, kissing you, oh, you have no idea."

"I have some idea," he mumbled, monotone, his eyes on the bump that was between them. "The child will be out soon."

"I know. Two weeks is my due date. I'm prepared for him any day now, though. But come on. Tell me. How was your training?"

"Do I look like someone who's reached Super Saiyan?" he hissed bitterly. "The training was not sufficient. I came back to refuel."

"So you weren't very far away?"

"Not nearly as far as before." He looked around, as if suddenly realizing where they were. "What in Kami's name are you doing here? I come home and find you're not there. This place reeks of humans."

"I take it that we're leaving then, huh?"

He nodded, then turned and walked towards the store's exit.

Bulma, on the other hand, ran back to Yamcha, and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Thanks," she whispered, then ran after Vegeta, the love of her life, the only man she wanted to spend her life with, a man that wasn't Yamcha, who was helping her while she was pregnant, caring for her the way Vegeta should have been.

With a painful sounding sigh, he resumed shopping.


Anyone's smile would have paled in comparison to Bulma's, the corners of her mouth reaching far beyond the reach of normal, everyday happiness. Because she was a new mother, a tired and sweaty mother, but a mother all the same, holding her newborn infant in her arms for the first time.

"His hair is lavender!" she whispered to the indifferent Vegeta who stood at her side, though far enough from the rest of the group so not to appear social. And soon his presence was a mere shadow in the room, as Trunks, the tiny half-Saiyan, was passed from person to person, his chubby arms and legs wiggling in what appeared to be an attempt to get free. But the group was smaller than Bulma had imaged. No Goku. No Chi-Chi. No small Gohan with his big brown eyes. No Piccolo, or Krillin, or Tien. Only her parents, and Yamcha and Puar, and a few other family friends and close co-workers. But she figured it was all for the best. If they weren't there, then they were training, and training meant getting stronger, and getting stronger meant a better chance at beating those androids that were destined to come.

"Do you want to hold him, Vegeta?" she finally asked, once everyone else was out of the room so she could "rest", though they knew full well that Bulma would want time alone with her son and his father. "He is your son after all."

"I was wondering when you were going to ask me that," he replied, a smile pulling at his lips. "I watched him get tossed around this room like an Earthling's plaything, and trying to get away from those people. He knows who his flesh and blood are. Give me the child."

As Bulma placed her son into his arms, she couldn't help but whisper small notes of caution. "Hold his head," she nearly gasped. "Cradle him," and, "Don't let his blanket fall off. It's cold in here."

"Calm down woman. You act as those I have no experience with children."

"Do you?"

He nodded.


"You think Saiyans were never infants?"

"Well, of course they were. But when would a PRINCE handle a child, unless it was his own?"

"Saiyan women are different from those here. When they carry a child, they do whatever they please, and that, more times than not, means they engage in battle while with child. Sometimes, in the trauma of battle, or maybe its just time, the woman will have her baby. I just happened to be very close at hand during a few of these times."

"So, wait." She scratched her head lightly, then cupped her chin. "You're saying you've delivered babies before?"

"That's exactly what I just said."

"Kami. The things I learn about you everyday. But, wait, weren't you still a boy when nearly all the Saiyans were destroyed?"


"And the only survivors were men; you, Radditz, Nappa, and Goku."

"Yes woman."

"You're telling me you delivered a baby when you were a child yourself?"

"Do you not understand your own language?" he muttered. "Yes, Kami. I, Prince Vegeta, delivered a Saiyan child into this world at the age of seven. I, Prince Vegeta, was in battle at the age of seven. I, Prince Vegeta, killed at the age of seven. Is there any more you want to know about my childhood?"

"No thanks," she yawned. "That's enough for now. I'm a little tired anyway."

It would be a few days before Bulma was permitted to leave the hospital, and still another month before she was able to work in the lab again. The delivery, what with the strength of the fetus, caused considerable complications, leading to loss of blood and an extreme depletion of energy. By the time she had her strength back, it seemed, Vegeta was ready to leave again. They had one final—safe—night of passion, and then he announced he was leaving the following day.

"I really wish you didn't have to go," Bulma sighed as she lay back on the pillows, her eyes half shut. "It was hell the last time you left, as much as I hate to admit it to you."

Her response was silence, which she had guessed, though when she looked over at him, his face told an unreadable story. He looked as though he were in pain; his eyes were crumpled in, nose wrinkled, brow narrowed.

"What is it, Vegeta?"

Again he didn't say a word, though his face did seem to contract more, reveal more pain, more of the anguish he appeared to be suffering out of no where.

"Vegeta, please, please tell me. What's wrong? Are you hungry?"

"Shut up," he hissed, taking a deep, calculated breath, the kind most people take when they are fighting tears. But she knew him better. When did he just cry out of the blue? Never, that's when. There must have been something truly wrong though, to make him snap at her like that. True, he did all the time, but never when she was doing absolutely nothing to annoy him.

"Vegeta, come on. You know I'd do anything for you. Just tell me what the problem is. You look like you're fighting something. Just talk, let out your thoughts. Anything but those terrible faces you're making. It's unbearable to watch."

"This planet is unbearable," he snorted, the undertone holding nothing but pure and undiluted pain. What the hell was going on!

"I love you, Vegeta. I'm here to help you. Whatever is wrong. You need to tell me first though…Please…"

Silence again.


He didn't move, his squinted eyes focused on the foot of the bed. And then he spoke, and changed the world:

"We're over woman," he finally grunted, as he tumbled out of bed.

She only sat up, as if this were a play they were rehearsing and his angry line was expected.

"I said we're over."

"I heard you well enough the first time, Vegeta." She brushed a few loose strands of hair from her eyes.

"You're not annoying and upset," he observed as he tugged his crumpled shirt over his head.

"Yeah," she sighed, with a weary smile.


"Because I know something you don't."

"And that would be?"

She climbed gingerly off the bed and gave him a light kiss on the cheek.

"You're never going to learn, are you, Vegeta?" she whispered as she brushed passed him, in search of her own shirt. "I'm yours forever, and whether you're mine or not is not of my concern. I'd rather you figure things out for yourself before you commit to anyone else. I understand that you've had a hard and trying life that's left you virtually barren of emotion, and yes, it's a bit aggravating sometimes to be pushed and pulled by you so much that my head spins, but, in the end, I can endure it, indefinitely."

"Just answer my question," he forced out, his grip tightening on the boot he'd been holding. "I need to be on my way before some other inane human crisis rears its stupid head."

"You, Prince Vegeta, are one of the most arrogant men I've ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes on. You have no more manners or respect than a rabid mutt. Yet, the mere thought of you sends those familiar little-girl-dream chills down my spine. I love you and nothing you say or do can change that, no matter how many times you will hurt me, and there will be plenty more."

"What are you suggesting?" he hissed. He finally found the sense to pull his boot on and grab for the other one, hurriedly jerking it on before she could answer and distract him once again.

"That this—" She motioned between them. "—is FAR from over. In fact, it will never be over. I am permanently in your life—also remember the bond, hard to break I hear…So just remember this conversation when you come crawling back to my doorstep and ask to come in, to be taken back, to be welcome in my bed again. I promise you that I'll say yes, and accept you, flaws and all, into my life again, even when I know full well that I'm only being set up to be hurt again…and again…and again."

"Then why put up with it?"

"Because silly," she laughed, glancing at Trunks' baby monitor that just emitted his wailing cry. She pulled on her pants, that had been crumpled next to the nightstand, then headed for the door. This would be the last time he laid eyes on her before his take-off. The last image he would have in his head, that would haunt him for countless nights, was her casually walking out the door, only stopping for a moment to say the inevitable words over her shoulder, then disappear into the hall. "You love me."


"You're a Saiyan, Kami damn it!" he howled into the hollow of space, blood seeping from his cuts and gashes, the product of rigorous and brutal self-disciplined training, and, of course, the jagged rocks of the giant meteor he was now stationed on. "You should be a Super Saiyan!"

He pounded his fists into the ground, dust flying in all directions, clogging his nose and stinging his eyes.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he whispered, as if speaking to his torn and bloody hands. "Why didn't you tell me it would feel like this? Damn you!" he roared. "I hate you! I hate all that you've done to me, you insignificant, foul, unruly woman!"

Just then, as it seemed his last breath came, his sharp Saiyan eyes caught the glimpse of another meteor headed straight for the one he was on. He struggled up a steep include, clawing at the gravel and rocks and dust, until he reached the top, seeing the meteor in full view, and not caring.

"It's not worth it," he sighed, glaring up at the giant rock that was hurling towards him. "It doesn't matter anymore. Nothing matters. I don't care…" he whispered. "You hear me Kami!?…I DON'T CARE!!!"

And suddenly, in a burst of light and energy and all that strength is made of, his entire form seemed to stretch and expand and glow. His hair was stripped of its jet black and replaced with golden yellow; his eyes shined brilliant blue. And with his new and renewed strength, he blasted the meteor to pieces, blasting those pieces into bits, those bits into dust, until it was completely gone.

And then he collapsed, his last thoughts a mixture of senses: her smell, her taste, her touch, her voice, her love…her.

"You love me," her words seemed to ring in his ears.

He struggled to remain conscious, to feel those things again, the things that she had once given him out of the pure love in her heart, a love she surrendered to completely, and all for him, a man who only left pain in his wake.

"Kami…" he moaned.

And then there was only her, standing before him, her shimmering aqua hair swept up in the wind.


And the simplest pleasures came to him in that moment: her soft kisses, her innocent smile, her complete trust and devotion.

"I do…"

Unbearable pain. Unbearable suffering. Unbearable loss.

"I love you…"

And then she began to slip away, her image fading into the forever-black sky.


And then there was only darkness.


---Chapter 36—THE END!!! WoooooooooooooooooHoooooooooooooo! What'd'you think about that? Damn! Oh yeah! Yes! Woooo! Yay!!!!! The end! The end! The end!!!

REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Reviews=Happy Author)

Note: Well, I hope you all enjoyed the long and painful ride with me. I know I sure as hell did. And please, PLEASE, don't be mad at me for ending it the way I did. There's a perfectly good explanation for why I did it that way, and that is simply that that's the way I think it happened, that the actual show suggests that it's a very real possibility, and that they didn't REALLY get together until after the Cell Saga, which is long after this story takes place. I think it's a good estimate of what could have happened. I mean, it's not a total loss. Vegeta realized completely, undeniable, and irreversibly that he does love Bulma, that he should be with her, and that he made a horrible mistake in leaving her. And they do eventually get together, so I believe my ending the story this way is justifiable. If you don't agree, then give me your input; I'd love to hear what others think.

I'LL MISS YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

READ: Well, a lot of you have asked for a sequel to this story, and while I would absolutely love to do one, I don't know if I have the time, or patience, or creativity. LOL! I do want to though, and if I find time, I promise I will. It won't be so long, probably half as long, and will take place between the Buu and Bebi Sagas, and Bulma, Vegeta, Trunks AND Bra will all travel to see Furto and Jemalin and all the rest. A happy sequel, I suppose, though, of course, I'll add my twists to it. You know me :P I just hope I can have time for it.

One last thing: In my haste to get this final chapter out, I may have missed a few things. I'll go back and re-read it once more, and then make corrections.