Yamcha, at first, found Mrs. B. to be a bit… unsettling. She flirted with him more openly than her daughter did, sometimes with her husband right there in the room; she was always trying to feed him, sometimes even when he'd just eaten; and she didn't seem to be capable of opening her eyes all the way.

But she called him a handsome boy, and made it her personal mission to fatten him up from what his admittedly poor bachelor diet had done to his physique, and she never, ever implied that he was unwelcome in her house, which was more than he could say for his girlfriend.

All Yamcha could remember of his real mother was a brief impression of long black hair and a low, throaty voice, but when that memory faded to nothing, replaced by blond curls and a piercing soprano, he found he didn't really mind very much.

Puar had a great relationship with his family, but he owed Yamcha a life debt, and besides, the boy needed someone to look after him, and Puar did that duty with cheerfulness and gratitude, even as it drained him to be responsible for such an insecure, emotionally fragile boy.

At first he saw Mrs. Briefs as competition; Yamcha was getting a lot of attention from not one, but two beautiful females, and while the constant overexposure to women was helping his complex, it was also threatening to tear him away from his lifelong friend. But when Mrs. Briefs sat down on the couch across from him one day and began chattering amiably at him about how Yamcha probably missed him while he was off shopping with Bulma, Puar couldn't help feeling grateful to her. It was no life debt, but he was able to begin to see how her presence helped Yamcha too, and that deserved nothing but the highest admiration.

Her exquisite cakes certainly didn't hurt matters, either.

Vegeta has one very solid, very precious memory of his mother. He has many more of the stories Raditz would tell about his own mother. Nappa never mentioned his family, but he did talk a lot about Saiyan life, as though to remind them all of where they had come from.

So he knows what a mother is supposed to be like. She is to be hard where a father is soft, and soft where he is hard. She teaches her children to fly, and to manipulate ki, and she gives up her own meat for them when necessary, which a father may or may not do. She teaches her daughters how to get a man, and her sons how to please a woman, and she tolerates no disrespect, where a father might simply laugh at childish antics. She is the enforcer of discipline in the family, and it is she who goes to pick up an infant that has destroyed his own space pod as he purges his first planet.

Mrs. Briefs, therefore… disturbs him.

Yes, she feeds her family, as a mother should, and she obviously taught her daughter everything she knows about getting a man. But she allows Bulma to speak to her in the most disrespectful way imaginable, without even seeming displeased by this. She flirts shamelessly with other men (namely, often, himself), and is furthermore the most oblivious person Vegeta has ever encountered. She either does not understand who he is, or does not care, and neither possibility speaks well of her intelligence. She smells at once of baking bread and peroxide, and her damn eyes never seem to open all the way. He does not know what to make of her.

Nevertheless, he basks in the food she brings him, and begins to see her patience with Bulma as simply a clever survival trait in living with such a headstrong woman. Her protectiveness of her stray animals is strange, but fierce, and he wonders, a few years after Trunks is born, if the fierceness she feels for them is simply redirected from what she wishes she could feel for Bulma, who would never allow such over-protectiveness. She is, he begins to understand, the only mother he has really known.

The idea leaves a bad taste in his brain at first, but after a while the bread/peroxide scent loses its strangeness and he accepts it simply as fact.

Bulma thinks of her mother as a complete airhead and is convinced she has nothing in common with her.

The woman does know how to rock a pair of high heels, though, she'll give her that.

The Briefs' first child was named Boxer, and he lived for thirteen hours and seven minutes. His grave is in the small town where Dr. Briefs got his undergraduate, and until Bulma was sixteen years old, they went every year to lay a bouquet of flowers on the tiny grave. They always told Bulma they were vacationing in the Bahamas, and she always believed them.

Goku definitely turned out as handsome as the rest of Bulma's many friends, but Mrs. Briefs still remembered clearly the wild boy who wandered around the compound with a tail and a red staff. He always seemed… distant to her, somehow, not like Yamcha, who always got the cutest blush on his face whenever she gave him a compliment, or her son-in-law Vegeta, who seemed perpetually baffled by her. Goku took everything in stride and let nothing touch him, and so while Mrs. Briefs would always gush over his muscles and offer him food, she understood that Goku was a breed apart from the rest of them, and she never tried to tie him down. She didn't understand it, but you didn't need to understand something to know what it needed, and what Goku needed was to be free, the way a bird needs to fly, without even knowing it was a need.

She always wonders, though, especially seeing how hard his seven-year absence was on everybody, if maybe he could have used just a little taming.