A/N: Here's a piece that had been floating inside my head for a while. I finally dare to write it. Hope I made the right choice.

Without Bulma

Anniversary and Birthday

Ten years. Ten years had passed since that day.

His life had been turned upside down and inside out. It was an understatement to say he had lived through hell. The fiery pit of fire and the endless agonizing torment were probably a better option compared to the last ten years. Even reliving the demeaning torture from Frieza sounded more appealing.

On the day he first met her, he could already tell she was cunning even measured against Saiyan's standards. She was manipulative and had always gotten what she wanted. He had been a prime example of her shrewdness. He, the prince of all the Saiyans, had been entrapped by her wicked ways before knowing what had hit him.

Ten years ago, she had once again worked her shrewd trickery.

She left, leaving him with a promise, had forced a promise from him, binding him to the words he had given. She had challenged him, daring him to forsake his pride and run away like a coward.

Promise could be broken, but his pride was sacred to him. He could lose the world, the universe, but to lose his pride was just asking the prince of Saiyans to perish, to disappear from this world. She had gambled on that Saiyan's pride and won.

Ten years. For ten years, he had held onto his end of the bargains. He had almost given in, had come very close countless times. To hell with the promise. To hell with his pride, he had thought almost every day of his miserable life. Who the hell did she think she was?

In the end, he had prevailed.

She knew she could bind him to this world, but what she did not know was binding a Saiyan would come with unimaginable consequences.

Vegeta smirked. If only she was still alive to see his creation. He bet his pride she would curse him for eternity. He felt like laughing, felt like roaring so she could hear him in the afterlife. He wanted to scream that he won the challenge she had put forth. He was the winner and she had lost in every possible ways.

He took a step forward and felt the soft soil caved beneath his feet. "Woman, if you can see the future, you wouldn't have dragged that promise out of me," he said, his voice low with a hint of mockery and disdain. In front of him was a large stone with delicate inscription of two dates and some carefully picked words of how one would remember her by. He snorted. It had been up to him, the words on that stone would be something much more befitting of that cunning woman. "Now, I shall make you see the results of your foolishness," he said as a smirk form, feeling almost as malevolence as he did when he first arrived on this planet.

"Come, show your mother the new you," Vegeta said as he tilted his chin toward the stone.

A girl appeared beside him. He dropped his eyes downward and the smirk grew deeper, drawing a harder line along his cheek. Standing beside him with her arms crossed in the same manner as his, was his second born, dressed in a one piece blue gi with a light white shirt underneath, completed with a pair of white boots and gloves. He brought his eyes up to her head and paused. A true masterpiece, he mused.

The wind gushed by. Just like him, she stood still, impassive to the violent flapping of her loose gi. She nodded and replied, "Yes, dad."

There was shuffling from behind. Someone was making his way through the tall, dry grass. The shuffling stopped. There was a thud and then plop. Finally, he heard a sharp inward breath.

The boy finally arrived. Turning back, he saw Trunks with wide eyes, staring in disbelief at the one standing beside him. Beside the boy's feet were some spilled items. Roses and strawberries. He rolled his eyes so hard, the boy could no longer see his dark pupils. The same crap again. He swore the brat did not have a single creative bone in his body. That woman had always loved drama. The least Vegeta could do was to create one. Oh yes, he created one alright. That woman should be dancing in her grave right about now. He snickered.

"Bra! What happened to you!" his son cried out as he rushed to his sister, crouched down slightly so he was more or less eye level with Bra. The boy reached the area around her shoulder and grabbed what should have been hair and now replaced with nothing. "Your hair..." his brat muttered.

Trunks snapped his head up and shot him an accusatory glare and narrowed his eyes in suspicion, "Dad? What did you to Bra?"

"Stop being a drama queen. She looks perfectly fine to me," Vegeta retorted as he curled the corner of his lips, completely enjoying the reaction from his brat. Served the boy right for leaving the youngest alone with him. Any sane person would never leave a kid with him, ever.

"Don't you think I look like dad, Trunks?" His youngest smiled while sweeping her hand from the back of her neck up to the middle of her head and then rubbed it in a full circle.

The boy groaned. "Short, I can still understand, but the color..." Trunks turned to him again. "Really, dad, is this some kind of sick joke?"

If his son reacted so strongly to the new look, he could only imagine what the woman thought of his little gift. She had wanted a girl so she could dress her up with frilly, frizzy and lacy stuff. He wondered now what she thought of this daughter of hers. He grinned. Revenge was sweet. He almost laughed out loud but managed to stifle it, holding his composure so the boy did not think he had lost his mind.

"Bra, you're old enough to think for yourself, what in the world possessed you to listen to dad of all people," Trunks chastised, acting like it was the end of the world.

Vegeta rolled his eyes again. It was a shame he couldn't do more. Maybe next time, he could try those colored contacts, he smirked.

"I like it, Trunks. It's much better than long hair. Don't you like the spike?" Bra asked as she brushed the tip of her hair.

Another groan escaped from the brat. "You're a girl, Bra. You should start acting like one," Trunks said and sighed.

He scowled, not liking Trunks' tone. "And what's wrong on the way she acts?" He questioned, daring the boy to answer incorrectly. "She has more Saiyan's blood in her than you, brat."

"Yeah, Trunks. I happen to like this new style. It's so me," she said as she spun around, showing her brother her full transformation. He, too, found this style more fitting on his youngest. The less she looked like that woman, the better.

The boy slapped his head, unable to form a counter argument. Ever since that woman left, Trunks had started to become more and more like a nagging old lady, always complaining, always pestering him with stupid insignificant worries.

Bra moved next to him and crossed her arms again. Both father and daughter stood side by side, looking almost like an exact replica, from the outfit right up to the flamed dark hair, saved for the eye color. Sure, the hair was not exactly like his and it took many cans of those foul substances to hold it up. In the end, he ended up chopping it all off out of annoyance. Even though it was not identical, it was close enough. He thought he did a rather commendable job.

Both father and daughter had their nose in the air, staring down at the defeated Trunks. He could get used to this, he mused. Next time, he would focus on bringing a golden brat.

Trunks sighed, shaking his head. He should have seen this coming. One month. He had left his cute little sister with his dad for one month and already she was shaped, bent, twisted into his dad's little shadow.

The harm was done. Thankfully, it was only a superficial change and soon enough, her appearance would be back to normal. Trunks straightened and moved back to where he dropped his offering for his mother. He bent down and started to scoop all the blue roses back into a nice tidy bundle and proceeded to pick up the nicely weaved basket. One by one he dropped the strawberries back in.

"I'm leaving," said his father.

"Me, too!"

"Bra, did you say hi to mom yet?" he said as he walked over to the only family he had left in his world.

His sister shrugged before turning to face his mother's tomb and clapped her hands together in front of her chest. Closing her eyes, she hastily said, "Hi, mom. I hope you're okay wherever you are."

He heard his father snorted while moving further and further away. His sister snapped open her eyes and rushed to his father. "Dad, can we train now?"


"Are you going to teach me your special move this time?" his sister asked, getting more and more excited. Her voice became more distant as his dad and sister continued their path into the field of golden weeds.

Trunks returned his attention on the grave. "Hi, mom. We survived another year," he greeted as he carefully set the roses against the tombstone. Brushing the dirt away from the square cemented altar, he continued, "Can you believe it?" He paused, feeling a lump forming behind his throat. He cleared it and waited a few more minutes before continuing. "Don't mind dad, he's still coping with you not being with us...in his own way. Yeah, I know, it's immature, but hey, at least he's not threatening to destroy the world anymore."

It had been a long, hard road. It had been bumpy, filled with cracks. On some days, the road even felt impassable. They had stumbled. They had fallen into crevices small and large. Though, eventually, they learned, learned to patch those fractures a little at a time.

"Bra is ten today."

Ten years ago on the same day, his mother left.

Ten years ago on the same day, Bra was born.

There had been many times he wished Bra was never born, maybe then, his mother would still be here. But that was all in the past. He had been young and a brat as his father always reminded him. Now, he could never imagine his baby sister not being around.

"I still wish you're here with us, but I think I'm okay now. You don't have to worry about us, so enjoy your time in heaven."

He pulled out a small box from his pocket and squeezed it in his hand. This was a present he bought for Bra, but he didn't give it to her along with the other nine presents. Maybe next year, he could sincerely wish her a happy birthday.

"Happy Birthday, Bra." he whispered before his mother's grave.

Maybe next year, he could say it so Bra could hear it.

A/N: The reason I was scared to write this piece is because I'm afraid that I can really ruin Vegeta's character. To me, Vegeta cares for his family, but I don't think he actively or willingly participates in raising his kids. So how will he raise Trunks and Bra all by himself? I hope I get it right. =)

Well, let me know what you think of this piece so far. More to come...

Thanks for reading!