Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ or the characters.
And I'm back! I know, I know. I said I'd write another chapter once the New Year started, but technically it's still the "new year" so I broke no promises! XD Anyways, I'm sorry it took so long. I seem to be in a writing kick every other month now. One month, I update a bunch of stories and then the next month I'm lucky if I write at all. I don't get it. *shrugs* Eh, well, it's whatever. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter. It starts a new chapter of our favorite couple's lives…parenthood.
But before that, reviews! (BTW, ALMOST AT 200! THANK YOU!)
VBSaiyan Princess: Thanks. I'm glad you've found the story interesting. :3
SaiyanPrincessBB: Welp, I can't say right now, but as a Magic 8 ball would say, signs point to yes. XD
xSapphirexRosesxFanx: From experience, I can say most dads do…sigh
Vegeta ki Deewani: Belated Merry Christmas to you too (like really belated ^^'). I hope it was a good one.
animelover4242564: It shall keep going. Lol
Warm hugs: Hahahaha, well, seeing as that was the plot for one of my other stories, I will NOT be going that route. I think the Crossroads series did that well enough XD As for what I have planned, well, you don't get to see yet XD Right now, we must have fluff.
VxB Lover: I don't know if you caught up yet (seeing as you reviewed Chapter 1), but I hope you did and I hope the story itself cleared up details about the past.
"So, this is where you go during your business class."
Bulma had come home from her class knowing that Vegeta had had a class and Kakarot needed to head out for his own that would start in fifteen minutes. They had found ways to coordinate who would be home to watch Sara during the day.
Vegeta chuckled having been caught. "I only had an exam today. I finished early. Those classes are starting to get easier."
"Well, that's good," Bulma said. She went to their room quickly to put her stuff away before returning to the living room and sitting next to Vegeta on the couch. He took her in his arms, both of them watching their daughter playing with her various toys. Some random children's show was playing in the background, but the teenagers' sole attention was on Sara.
"She's been very good," Vegeta told Bulma.
"She always is," the woman answered. "I missed her so much."
Vegeta nodded thoughtfully. He had only known Sara for a short time, a month to be exact, and he was already attached to her. Bulma had been separated from the child for months before they had gotten married. He couldn't even fathom how she managed when she had been the child's mother-figure since birth. "We should go out tonight," Vegeta suggested. "Just the three of us."
Bulma smiled and nuzzled against her husband. "I'd like that," she said. "Besides, I'm too tired to cook and you had that test. I think a peaceful night out is warranted."
Vegeta's cell phone went off as soon as they made their plans. He grinned when he saw the name. "Hello, Ronda, what's going on?"
The woman on the phone laughed at how relaxed Vegeta had sounded. "I take it you've had a good day. Married life must be treating you well."
Vegeta chuckled making Bulma smile. Ever since he had let go of his worries regarding his father, Vegeta had been able to feel more comfortable around Tarble's adoptive parents. He saw them as his family too. "How is Tarble?" he asked side-stepping her teasing.
"He's doing well. Actually, that's why I was calling. Robert and I have his office party to go to tonight. His boss told him last minute. I was wondering if you could take Tarble for the night. He's off from school tomorrow. Parent-teacher conferences. We were also wondering if you'd like to come. We scheduled time for when you're out of class."
Vegeta felt a warm feeling. After everything that happened and how it played out, it always amazed Vegeta that Tarble's parents were willing to let him play an active role in Tarble's life. They were beginning to include him in more aspects. Schooling was one of them. Tarble was going to be starting middle school soon and, since there were so many in the area, a choice had to be made. Tarble had told them all he didn't mind where he went to school, but he didn't want to stay in the school he was in. He was a tough kid, but others still teased him for being adopted. All Tarble wanted was a change in scenery.
Now the Swifts were including him in school functions which Vegeta had never expected. He was just content spending time with his brother, especially on the holidays. Part of him wished his mother was still alive so she could see that Tarble was okay and happy. He would have to continue to act for her when given the opportunity. "I would love to come," Vegeta told her. "Let me just see what everyone's schedule is tomorrow. I'll let you know when we pick up Tarble tonight."
Vegeta hung up after he said his goodbyes and met Bulma's questioning eyes. "We have an extra person with us tonight," he said. "And tomorrow I'm going to Tarble's parent-teacher conferences with Ronda and Robert. Do you think your dad can watch Sara?"
Bulma grinned at him and shook her head. "No, he's working, but my class was cancelled tomorrow, so I can take her. Maybe we'll steal dad away for his break."
Vegeta loved it when Bulma had that smile on her face. It reminded him how much she cared about her father and how much he cared about her. She had been a daddy's girl as a child, and then she had to deal with the separation. The fact that he had been able to reunite them as well as continue to see their bond flourish again was something he could take pride it. He had a feeling he would be learning about that soon with Sara. "Sounds like a great day," her murmured as he moved to kiss his wife. "Now let's go get Tarble and get something to eat. I'm sure you're hungry."
The next day, Vegeta drove with Tarble to his school. Since he and Bulma had gotten back to town, Vegeta had purchased a car for himself for days like these where one of them had Sara or was visiting someone else among other errands. Today was one of the days he was thankful for his decision.
"So, this is your school, huh?" Vegeta asked as he parked the car. It looked like a standard elementary school.
Tarble seemed very excited to be there and quickly unbuckled himself. "Uh-huh," he said quickly. "Come on, let's go! I want you to meet my teacher!"
Vegeta chuckled as Tarble tugged on his arm. He pulled it away from him to take the keys out of the ignition and actually get out of the car. Being slightly overprotective of Tarble, Vegeta gently chided the boy when he was about to run across the street earning him a sheepish "sorry." Vegeta just shook his head at his brother's antics and took his hand as they crossed the street.
Inside the building, Vegeta found Ronda and Robert waiting for them. Tarble ran over to his parents and hugged them as Vegeta followed slowly behind. Ronda greeted him with a hug which he awkwardly accepted with a faint smile forming.
The three adults followed the happily running Tarble to his class and sat outside to wait for their timeslot. After a couple left the room, cautiously glancing back at Tarble's parents making Vegeta wonder what was up, a middle-aged woman came out to greet them.
"I take it you are Mr. and Mrs. Swift," she said to Tarble's parents who nodded. She then displayed a beaming smile to Vegeta. "And you must be Vegeta. Tarble has told me a lot about you."
"He has?" Vegeta asked, somewhat shocked that his brother had mentioned him in school.
"Why don't we all go inside?" she suggested. "Tarble, you'll behave out here while I talk to your parents and brother, yes?"
Tarble sat down on one of the plastic chairs and kicked out his feet. "Yes, Ms. Ryant. I'll be good. Promise."
The teacher smiled at her student and led the others into the classroom. She offered the three a seat and then took out a folder. "Tarble was very excited for today," Ms. Ryant stated. "He told me that you would be coming, too, Vegeta."
Vegeta looked over to the Swifts who were sharing conspiratory glances. It had occurred to Vegeta that they had planned on him attending this meeting for a while. They had been planning to include him in this much earlier than he had even known.
"So Tarble has told you about me?" Vegeta asked. "What has he said?"
Ms. Ryant smiled at him. "Mostly he talks about how you take care of him and help him with his homework, and that you have recently gotten married and adopted a little girl. Congratulations."
"Thank you," Vegeta replied.
"And Mr. and Mrs. Swift told me that they had met you randomly, and recognized your looks since you resemble your father whom they adopted from," she continued. "It's a small world, isn't it?"
Vegeta looked over to the Swifts again and he could tell by the looks they were giving him that that was the extent of Ms. Ryant's knowledge. All three of them intended to keep it that way.
"Now, I can honestly tell you all that Tarble's work is nearly flawless," Ms. Ryant told them. "His only weakness is in writing, and ever since you started helping him, Vegeta, his skills have gotten much better. He is also very well behaved in class, although he will act out in the normal ways a child does from time to time. The only true problem we've been having from his isn't really his fault."
"The teasing," Vegeta acknowledged.
The teacher nodded and said, "He used to take it harder before you had shown up, and he had gotten himself into a lot of fights he couldn't win. The kids were dealt with accordingly. Actually, the parents that just left were the parents of one of the boys that still gives Tarble a hard time. But Tarble has held his own. They used to say that the reason he was adopted was because his real family didn't want him, but ever since you came into the picture, he knows it's not true, because he has you."
Ms. Ryant slid a folder over to Vegeta and smiled. "Perhaps you should take a look at some of Tarble's work."
Vegeta took the folder, and he and the Swifts glanced at different assignments Tarble had turned in. What caught Vegeta's eye was a paper, an interview between him and Tarble that he hadn't remembered having. He did, however, remember a time when Tarble asked him many questions about their parents. Vegeta had done his best to give brief answers that seemed to settle the boy's curiosity.
"I met my big brother a while ago because my babysitter was his friend. My parents had recognized him instantly. We got to spend a lot of time together and I decided to use him for this interview assignment.
"He grew up with our parents and told me our mother loved us very much. She had passed away when I was really little and our father decided to put me up for adoption. Vegeta had wanted me, though, and had been willing to take care of me all on his own. I'm really happy we get to be together now. He's the best big brother ever."
Vegeta felt warmth consume him as he continued to read the paper. It was all about the advice he had given Tarble on many things and the different activities they did together. One thing he remembered especially was the camping night at Bulma's father's place that Tarble got to experience. It had left a lasting impression on Tarble, both the feeling of being wanted and the scene at the diner, and he even wrote about how Vegeta had been taking care of Bulma too. He painted Vegeta out to be some hero. It made Vegeta feel like all of the emotional suffering he went through was worth it. He had his brother, he had Bulma, he had a daughter, and he had a great family that he had chosen for himself. There was nothing more he could ask for.
Bulma had dressed Sara in warm clothes and gotten her set up in the car. She couldn't wait to surprise her father at work. Ever since she had returned to town and the semester started up again, she hadn't had much time to see him unless he was over watching Sara. She knew he was a workaholic so she was ready to give him an excuse to take a break.
She drove up to the police station where her father worked as an officer and detective. It made her wonder what her mother was thinking with lying to the court. Had her father looked into it more, he would have found out. But that was all water under the bridge now. They were all finally free from that woman and her family.
Bulma entered the station and went to ask the guard where her father was. The man had smiled at her, telling her that he had heard so much about her, and then gave her directions to her father's desk. The blue-haired girl carried her daughter into the back and stumbled across a sight that surprised her. There was a dark-haired woman standing at her father's desk, visibly flirting with him and laughing, while her father looked somewhat introverted and distant. Bulma didn't know what the woman was saying, but her father politely dismissed her and went back to work. She shook her head and decided it was time to confront her father on a very awkward topic…his love life.
Bardock looked up from his desk as he heard someone walking towards him. A large grin formed on his face when he saw Bulma and Sara. Seeing them had somehow mad his day. "What a surprise," he said warmly. "What brings you here today, princess?"
"Can't a girl visit her father for the heck of it?" Bulma teased playfully sticking out her tongue. "I was kind of surprised to see that woman with you. She looked pretty taken with you, dad."
Bardock sighed and shook his head. "Her name is Fasha," he told her. "She's new."
"And?" Bulma questioned. "What was she talking to you about?"
"Bulma…" Bardock muttered slightly.
Bulma took a seat balancing Sara on her leg. "Come on, daddy," Bulma said softly. "You know you questioned me about Vegeta back when we started dating. I know you were doing it to make sure I was happy. I'm just giving you the same courtesy. Was she asking you out?" Bardock nodded. "And?"
Bardock frowned and looked down at his desk. He knew that if he answered his daughter, she wouldn't like his answer. For years he had blamed himself for Bunny's attitude and, even though he knew that he had made a mistake, he was really trying to forgive himself and move on. He decided to settle for a small white lie to settle his daughter's worries. "I told her I'd think about it," he replied.
Bulma gave him a disbelieving look. "So no, huh? Dad, don't you think it's time to let go of the past? I'm not saying marry this girl. Just get a cup of coffee or something, but don't pass over opportunities. I speak from experience there."
Bardock smirked slightly and nodded. "I'll keep it in mind, Bulma. For now, though, I'd rather spend time with my beautiful daughter and granddaughter who took time out of their busy day to come visit me at work. I say I take an early lunch break and we go to this new restaurant I think you'd really like. How does that sound?"
Sara laughed making the two of them laugh. "I think Sara answered for me. It sounds great, daddy."
In an instant, Bardock stood up from desk and clocked out for his lunch break. Bardock and Bulma walked side by side, Bardock asking Bulma about her classes and how everyone was doing. Bulma gave him a detailed account on all of her classes and suggested Bardock join them for dinner sometime that weekend since none of them had any exams to study for. Their small talk continued even after they left the station, neither of them knowing they were being watched.
Nappa, the head of the precinct, fell like someone had hit him hard in the gut. He had never known that Bulma was the daughter of someone he worked very closely with. Now that he thought about his conversations with Bardock, he realized he never asked much about the daughter his partner kept mentioning. Likewise, Bardock had never mentioned the name of his daughter once.
He felt guilty, knowing now who Bulma was. Bardock had told the detective stories of his ex-wife and losing his daughter in a custody hearing. Most recently, the man had mentioned briefly the struggles his family was going through. That meant that Bulma was the girl who had run away from her vindictive mother and who had suffered from emotional abuse. He was also the girl who was found by "her brother's friend," which Nappa could only assume was Vegeta, and that they had been dating in secret since both Bulma's mother and Vegeta's father were watching them carefully. Bardock had told him about a month ago that his daughter had gotten married to the man that helped her through her strife before adopting her half-sister who had been left alone in a trashed house.
Nappa knew now that there was more to Bulma's and Vegeta's relationship than the family could have ever imagined. His friend had to have known more than he had let on, for he did know that he had dated Bulma's mother in the past. So many questions swirled in Nappa's head and his instincts as a detective were working in overdrive.
How much did Vegeta know? Did he know that his son truly loved the girl and hadn't just run off to marry her but had probably been thinking about being with her, or did he think it was some plot? His last conversation with the man had suggested the latter. He would need to confront his friend on this whole situation and explain what he knew. Unfortunately, if he didn't, he feared that something horrible was going to happen, if it hadn't been set in motion already. For the first time since his friendship with Vegeta, he had felt both guilty and responsible for letting his friend get away with so much. If this didn't stop soon, Nappa didn't want to think about how much worse everything could get.
A/N: So, I decided to do a little plot twist. Now Nappa is faced with a choice: let his friend off the hook again or risk the daughter of his employee get hurt…I'm sure everyone will guess what I'm going to do with that, but who knows. I may do something unpredictable. Haven't decided yet. Again, sorry it took me so long to update, but life has become kind of crazy (as if it wasn't already) and I have a sick relative. I'm now actively dealing with all the stress with that, but I have been both down and in need of distractions. Thankfully, fanfiction and videogames have been filling that role quite nicely, so you can expect more chapters for my stories soon. Thank you for all of your support!