Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Ball/Z/GT.


Been So Long

It was something he'd grown accustomed to very early in his life, his silence, though perhaps it bothered him now simply because it had been a while since last they spoke. Maybe.

Or maybe it was that he wouldn't meet his gaze. He wouldn't look at anything. He sat stone still, was he even breathing?

Trunks sat heavily beside him. "Hey, Dad."

The elder nodded, grunted softly, but still didn't look away. Turning slightly, he could see his wife in the distance, giving him a strange look. He motioned for her to go on and turned back to his company.

For the first time, he noticed how many gray hairs his father had accumulated over the years. His face barely looked a day over forty, but the collection of grays starting at his temples and widow's peak that stretched upwards proved otherwise; and that was saying nothing of the heavy creases on his face from his permanent scowl and furrowed brows. Still, Trunks envied his father's youthfulness and hoped – as Bulla did – that it was something they had inherited from him.

And yet, he said nothing.

"Did Bulla talk to you?" A nod. "So you heard?" A nod.

Bulla was pregnant, and well into her first trimester, it seemed. There had been a slight bulge visible earlier, and Trunks felt a hum of joy that made him feel guilty. Bulla had shared the sentiment, grinning when no one was looking and whispering the news to her mother excitedly. The siblings had shared concern on how their father would take the news, as the first time Trunks had approached him with the term 'grandfather,' it hadn't gone over well.

You're barely more than a child yourself, what the hell do you think you're doing with an infant at your age?

But he kept his stony mask with barely a flicker of emotion.

And still, he said nothing.

Trunks swallowed thickly. There was an impossible task set before him, and he had no idea how to tackle this challenge. He wished someone would tell him what to do, how to do it. He wished Goten would be of some help in this situation. Blue eyes stared at his father. Was he breathing?

Picking at the cuff of his jacket, he tentatively asked, "We – you know, the gang and us kids – were gonna go to dinner. Talk about old times, swap stories, stuff like that. They were wondering if you wanted to come."

No, Goku had approached him, said he needed to talk to his father, he was worried, but his father didn't really need to know that. He was pretty sure he knew what the answer would be, because Vegeta was shaking his head and mouthing words that wouldn't seem to come out.

"Dad? Are you alright?"

For the first time in what might have been days, Vegeta met his son's eyes; that dark gaze that had once pierced him, terrified him into submission, glistened in the stark daylight. "No, boy," he whispered, voice hoarse. "I'm not." He turned back to what he'd been staring at and took a deep, quivering breath. "I don't know what to do."

Trunks touched his father's shoulder; he stiffened at the contact.

Oh, Kami, I don't know what to do, Mom, what do I do?

"Go," Vegeta croaked after a while. "Be with your family. I'll be fine."

"But-"

"I can hear your son asking where you are," he cut off. "Go. I want to be left alone."

Sighing, Trunks stood, dusted off his slacks, and walked forward to touch the cold stone.

BULMA BRIEFS

Who was loved by all.

Age 733 – Age 803

At the base of the headstone was a series of strange symbols that Trunks hadn't seen before, that he didn't recognize. They weren't chiseled like the rest of the letters; it looked carved. Startled and confused, he looked back at his father, who was staring at the markings so intensely he worried they would combust.

"I never said it," Vegeta whispered, answering an unasked question. "But she did. Every damn day. Every chance she got, just so that I understood. And I did. I do.

"And she was loved. More than she knew."

In the shadow of his wife's monument and under the gaze of his son, Vegeta wondered when he would follow her to Otherworld.


A/N: This is not a one-shot. Please review. I'd really appreciate it, especially from all you guests.