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Pillow Talk

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They fell back against her wrinkled sheets, basking in the wet silence for a long moment. This was the moment Bulma had been waiting for; if she waited too long he'd just get up and go to his room wordlessly like he'd been doing for the last month.

She hadn't minded that at first. Their first time had been the result of a huge argument over him yelling at her father over the Gravity Room. It was incredibly fun, but when it was over she felt pretty awkward. She hadn't known what to say and was relieved when he just left. Honestly she'd been surprised when he came back the next night looking for more.

During the day not much had changed between them. They crossed paths occasionally, snipping at each other or managing to be civil. No one knew he snuck into her room for about an hour each night, and neither of them seemed keen on divulging the information.

Still, a full month of one night stands was weird. She was fine with staying casual but… she was starting to feel a little used. He'd show up, take what he wanted, and bounce. Well, it wasn't like he left her high and dry. He was the only man she'd been with who not only made sure she finished every night, but seemed to take it personally. One night she'd been more tired than she expected and decided to fake one, and he'd known immediately. He'd narrowed his eyes at her, dragged her to the edge of the bed, and did things with his tongue that she didn't even know were possible. She came hard that night, twice for good measure, and then he'd left afterward with a smirk on his face.

But now she wanted more. It's not like she wanted a relationship or a commitment, just a conversation would be nice. She felt him shift and knew he was getting ready to leave.

“What are you saying?”

He froze. “Hmm?”

“During sex. You start talking but I don't speak the language. What are you saying?”

He shrugged. “It's Saiyago.”

“No shit, Sherlock, I didn't think you spoke Portuguese or something. What's the translation?”

“Pointless things. You're one to talk, you chatter incessantly when you're being fucked.”

She snorted.

“What?”

“Wow, what a sweet-talker. You couldn't use a more romantic word?”

He raised an eyebrow. “You mean 'fuck’? That makes you uncomfortable? You didn't seem uncomfortable with the concept ten minutes ago when you were bent over--”

“Ugh, nevermind, I don't know why I wanted to talk to you.”

“Why did you want that?”

“It's what people do, Vegeta,” she rolled her eyes. “You have sex and then you talk to each other in bed.”

“That sounds ridiculous. Unless you're comparing notes to make the next time more enjoyable.”

She sighed, crossing her arms. “Just go. I'll see you tomorrow.”

He got out of her bed and stretched, pulling his sweatpants and tank top back on to head back to his room. He paused with his hand on the door knob, and then turned back to her. “On Vegetasei, after a rut, two Saiyans would wrap their tails together from end to end.”

She stared at him. “Uh...so? Sorry, Buddy, I don't have a tail.”

He snorted. “Neither do I, anymore. That's not my point. It was a sign of respect -- not necessary for the act itself, but appreciated. Is that what this bed discussion is for humans?”

“It’s called pillow talk,” she said, “and, yeah. I guess. Otherwise it's just wham-bam-thank you, Ma'am. It means you have more in common than just being physically compatible.”

He considered this for a moment. “Does it make the sex better for you?”

“Not this time, but I guess it makes me want to do it more the next time.”

“Very well. I can stand a few minutes of banal conversation after fucking if it means you want to continue our nightly arrangement.”

“Can you just say sex? All the 'fucking’ and 'rutting’ bullshit makes me feel like an animal.”

He smirked. “Isn't that part of the fun? Goodnight, Woman.”

She nodded dropping back to the pillow. Hey, progress was progress.

-------------------------

 

Cora te'lo” he moaned, his fingers tight around her hips as she rode him. “ Kasesho!”

She wondered vaguely what that meant, but didn't much care at the moment. She was supporting herself with her knees as she ground down onto him, one hand rubbing herself as she approached the edge.

Kasesho!” He repeated. “Faster!”

Ah, now that she could work with. She picked up speed and he groaned, muttering unknown words under his breath and running his hands up her body. The switch flipped and she cried out, riding out her peak. When he was sure she was done he rolled them over, taking only a minute to reach the end himself.

He dropped down next to her, taking a moment to get his breath steady. “Okay, Woman. Talk.”

“What a charmer,” she rolled her eyes.

“I assume you have extensive experience in this, and I do not. So if you want it to happen--”

“Excuse me?” She spat. “Did you just call me a slut?”

“I don't know what that word means, so I'm fairly sure I didn't use it.”

“The hell do you mean, ‘extensive experience’? You think I've had that much sex?”

He seemed to consider that carefully. “I believe you've had more partners than me.”

She crossed her arms. “What do you know, I'm all ‘bed-discussioned’ out. Get the hell out.”

“You are the first I've taken to bed.”

She paused, waiting for him to laugh at his joke. After a long moment the anger on her face melted. “Are you serious?”

He grunted, looking a little annoyed. Embarrassed? “I believe I've made up well for my lack of experience, if your constant moaning is any indication--”

“No, you've been great,” she cut him off. “That's why I don't believe you. I mean, ‘badass deadly space pirate’ is the main character of like four romance novels I've read. How could you be a virgin when you got to Earth?”

“I've been a soldier in Frieza's army since I was six. Did he strike you as the kind to permit personal recreation time?”

“No shoreleave for planet destroyers, huh? That sucks. Still, there had to be some funny business going on around that ship, you don't just convince hundreds of beings to stop having sex just because they work for you.”

“Of course, there was plenty of fraternizing.”

“But not for you?”

“Did you see anyone appealing among Frieza's henchmen?”

She cleared her throat, deciding not to mention how she'd been attracted to Zarbon before he hulked out on them. “Nah.”

“Besides, I'm the Prince of All Saiyans. Everyone on that ship was beneath me.”

“And I'm not?”

He looked her over appraisingly. “Your father is well respected and wealthy. You seem to be the closest thing to a princess this planet had to offer.”

“Aw, that was almost a compliment.”

“Take it as you like. In any case I've enjoyed our arrangement. You're more attractive than Dodoria, that's for damn sure.”

She laughed. “For the record, two. Two men, counting you. I'm no Casanova either.”

“And you engaged in ‘pillow talk’ with the other male as well?”

“Meh. Yamcha and I really only did it a handful of times, we were always breaking up and getting back together, or he was off training alone. He usually fell asleep right after.”

“He made you come to his chamber? Classless human.”

“No, we were in my room usually.”

Vegeta looked confused. “You mean he fucked you and then slept in your bed? Where did you sleep?”

“Uh, next to him?” She answered. “Where else?”

He raised his eyebrows, scoffing. “Humans are strange.”

“It's strange that we slept in the same bed? Why?”

“You're most vulnerable while asleep. Saiyans sleep alone.”

“Always?”

“Whenever it's an option. If you're in a combat zone of course you need to find a close ally to watch your back, or you stay awake until you're in a safe place.”

“Oh. Humans sleep together sometimes. Especially after sex.”

“Why?”

“Intimacy.”

“I don't know that word, either.”

“Shocking. So, 'cash-say-so’. That means faster?”

Kasesho. You're butchering it. But, yes.”

“Cool. I'm going to learn an alien language, dirty hooked-on-phonics style.”

“I understand most English, but only about eighty percent of what you say. You speak strangely.”

“I've had that complaint before,” she admitted.

He yawned, sitting up. “I need sleep. I will see you at breakfast.”

“Goodnight,” she nodded, feeling less annoyed than before to see him go. So, Saiyans never slept with their partners. That made her feel slightly better; now she knew it wasn't her personally that sent him running after he finished, that was just normal to him. She slept a little easier.

-------------------------

 

Bulma had been creating a file in her mind titled ‘things I know about Vegeta’, and compared to other things she'd studied it was a quick read. Saiyan Prince from a blown up planet, killed a lot of people, doesn't particularly care if the Earth is destroyed… pretty damn good in bed. Tonight she got to add a new piece of information. If he felt challenged during the day, then when night fell he liked it hard.

She didn't think it had mattered that much to him, to be honest. The Z fighters all gathered together around noon to discuss the androids on their way and to compare how training was going. That had quickly turned to wanting to prove how training was going, and they'd started sparring. Naturally Vegeta wanted to go up against Goku. Their match was cut short when Chichi showed up, demanding her husband and son get home from what was supposed to be a quick meeting. In the short time they did get to fight...Goku was clearly winning. She'd seen the rage and frustration build in his eyes and he left the compound to be alone, but he still showed up in her room at their normal time.

She was bent over on the bed with him behind her, holding onto the mattress for dear life while he slammed into her. He was muttering more alien words she couldn't catch, with the occasional curse in English. She was moaning louder than she meant to, screaming really, and that just seemed to fuel him more.

Kaza’ti nos krovos, Bulma,” he growled out. Then in a voice she thought he probably didn't know she could hear, “fucking mine.

She ignored that; she'd said some weird things in the heat of the moment too.

When they were finished he laid next to her, obviously still in a bad mood but calmer. She wasn't really expecting a discussion tonight, not with his anger still burning so hot she could feel it, but he spoke anyway.

“Are you still fucking the Weakling?”

“Yamcha?” She asked. “No. We broke up a few weeks before you and I did it the first time.”

“Good.” He paused a long time. “I am not currently seeking out any other females.”

“Okay,” she said slowly, trying to understand his point. 

“I would prefer it if we kept it that way.”

“You're asking me not to have sex with anyone else?”

“And I would reciprocate. I've no way of knowing what diseases you can catch from Earthlings and have no desire to find out.”

She thought it over. “Alright. It's not like I had any plans on jumping anyone else in the near future.”

“If you decide to take a partner just give me warning so I know our arrangement is over. I'll do the same.”

“Deal,” she nodded.

He grunted approvingly. “Besides, if you bear any children I'd want to know with certainty that I was their sire.”

She blanched. “Uh, happy on birth control, Buddy, thanks.”

He frowned. “You have control over your children's birth? Do all human women?”

“It's a pill. Medicine,” she clarified. “I take one a day and it stops me from getting pregnant.”

“Oh,” he said. He hid it well but she saw the slight look of relief on his face.

“What? Why do you look like you just got a stay of execution?”

“I thought perhaps I was incapable. We've been fucking for two months and you still have no child, so it was most likely a failing on my part. I'm relieved to hear that's not the case.”

“Failing? You wanted a kid?”

“Gods, no,” he grimaced, “but I did not know there was another option. There was no 'birth control’ on Vegetasei. If you give in and take a woman there is a chance you will make an heir you have to provide for until they're grown. I've given in...several dozens times now, so I assumed your pregnancy was inevitable.”

She shivered. “I don't plan on bringing some poor kid into this mess, what with the androids coming.”

“That's wise of you.”

“You know...you were doing well today. I know Goku--”

“Goodnight,” he snapped, sliding out of the warmth of her bed to leave for his cold one.

--------------------------

 

“But what is it?” He insisted, turning the card over in his hand.

“It's a celebration,” she said, sitting up against the pillows. “Let me guess, ‘ Saiyans don't waste their precious time with useless celebrations’” she growled out in an imitation of his gravelly voice.

“We celebrate victory. Life and death. Did someone die, or succeed in battle?”

“No, you dork. I mean, we celebrate life and death too with funerals and birthday parties, but humans agree on a few days out of the year to just celebrate because we want to. They're called holidays, and Christmas is a big one.”

“I am not human, I've not agreed to it.”

“That's why Mom sent you the personal invite, probably. She's a little scatterbrained sometimes, but she likes you and wants to include you.”

“Seems pointless.”

“To you, maybe, but not to her. Can you just show up? I know it'll make her day.”

“You're asking me to come? As a personal favor?”

“I suppose so.”

“Very well, but I get to collect on that favor when it suits me.”

She rolled her eyes. “Figures. Few months in and the kinky stuff comes out.”

He chuckled. “Perhaps. I haven't decided yet.”

The snow falling outside her window had become more persistent than it was before he came into the room, and the wind blew louder. She crawled out of bed and went to close the window, pausing to grab her robe off a chair on the way back.

“Don't cover yourself,” he frowned. “I enjoy looking at you, afterwards. Your skin stays red and blotched for hours, it's a pleasant sight.”

“Too bad, it's cold in here and you're not the cuddling type.”

“What does cuddling mean?”

She shrugged. “You know, it's when you press all close against each other afterward.”

“For body warmth?”

“That can be part of it, I guess.”

“That's agreeable,” he said, lying on his side and holding out his arms.

She looked at him warily, slowly setting her robe back down and crawling into bed. She curled up against him and leaned her head down on his bicep. His thick arms wrapped behind her back, pulling her tight against him.

“There. Are you warm?”

“Getting there,” she muttered against his skin. He was more comfortable than she had expected. Where she expected hard muscle there was soft give, and she was getting sleepier.

“I wish I still had my tail,” he murmured. His voice was low, as though he thought she may have fallen asleep and didn't want to wake her.

“Why do Saiyans care so much about their tails? I know they help you turn into giant monkeys--

“Oozaru,” he huffed indignantly. “And they are more than that. They are a sense of identity. They indicate social status, age, emotions, and a thousand other things humans wouldn't understand.”

“Goku got rid of his. He said it was a weakness.”

“Kakarot is not a real Saiyan. I'd bet he held his tail out like a small child and left it vulnerable. They're incredibly sensitive.”

Bulma fought with an idea, then decided to go for it and let him be angry if he wanted to be. She slid her hand down his back and found the stub where his tail had been, massaging it firmly.

He jumped and she heard the the beginning sound of a protest spring from his lips, but then he paused. A deep throaty sigh rumbled from his chest, almost a purr, and he held still for her hand, eyes closing blissfully. “That's pleasant.”

Bulma rubbed the rough spot for him, closing her eyes and letting herself drift a little. A low rumble came to her ears after a few minutes and she looked at his face. The normally harsh lines were smoothed out and peaceful, and his breath was slow and even. She closed her eyes again, letting herself fall asleep pressed against him.

When she woke up hours later he was gone, and her bed was cold.



Chapter Text

“What about this one?” She asked, running her finger along the long healed scar over his shoulder.

“Sword. I had a shield in my other hand and deflected most of the force or I'd have lost the arm.”

“Why were you swordfighting? Can't you hit people with energy from a distance?”

“I was eight years old at the time.”

“Oh. I'm sorry.”

He frowned gently, looking down at where she lay wrapped in his arms. “Why? I won.”

Bulma avoided the large scar across his chest; she knew where it had come from. She'd been filled in on what she missed on Namek, she knew Frieza had blasted him through the chest. More importantly, she knew he'd wept and begged Goku to kill the tyrant for what he'd done to him. She'd already made the decision not to mention it, ever. She skipped over it and landed on a jagged line on his abdomen.

“This one?”

“I ate some bad fish in a bar near Beetleguise and its spawn burrowed out of my stomach.”

She stared at him a long moment. “You're fucking with me.”

He chuckled. “Yes, I'm fucking with you. I don't remember that one.”

“Why are you in such a good mood tonight?”

“I'm close to Super Saiyan. I can feel it. It shouldn't be long, now.”

“Good,” she muttered. “Then maybe you can chill out a little.”

“Meaning what?”

“Meaning all you do is train. I see you twice a day if I'm lucky.”

“I'm always here at the agreed upon time.”

“Well...maybe I'd like to see you during the day sometimes.”

“I don't understand.”

“It's not like I expected flowers or anything but...do you know what today is?”

He considered it. “...Tuesday? Maybe thursday, I get them mixed up.”

“It's Valentine's day.”

He waited.

“It's an Earth holiday where--”

“Good gods, another one?

“An Earth holiday,” she said loudly, “where you get a present for your… for someone you're fond of.”

“Oh. How could I possibly be expected to know--”

“I'm not saying you should have known, but now you do. So if we're still at this in a year you have no excuse.”

“Excuse? I do not see a present from you.”

She pulled open her top drawer and slapped something cloth against his chest. He picked up the gloves suspiciously, looking them over.

“What are these?”

“I noticed your gloves are always tearing or needing washed constantly. I made new ones with water resistant microfibres. They should be thin and lightweight but harder to cut through than your other ones. Happy Valentine's day. Dick.”

He tested the material, stretching it and seeing if it would tear until his grasp. When he was satisfied it wouldn't something close to regret passed over his face before being replaced with annoyance. “I still don't see how you expected a gift from someone ignorant of the holiday.”

“I didn't really,” she sighed. “I just thought maybe I'd get to see you, but you've been busy all day.”

“Yes, busy training to save your mudball of a planet.”

“So you've decided not to destroy it after you beat Goku?”

“I've decided nothing because it doesn't warrant my attention,” he snapped. Then the anger fell from his face. “Fine. There. That's your gift.”

“What is?”

“The Earth. I have the power to destroy it which means I own it. I give you the Earth. You're welcome.”

She snorted. “You can't be serious.”

“Does it make you comfortable to lie in bed with a man who may choose to destroy everyone and everything you know if he gets pissed off?”

She shrugged. “I guess I don't really think about that.”

“That's a terrible attitude for a queen.”

“A queen ?”

“What part of ‘you own the Earth’ alludes you?”

“The androids are coming, so, I essentially rule a dead planet. That kinda sucks.”

“I know,” he said with a grimace.

She winced, having forgotten he knew exactly what ruling a dead planet felt like.

“Would you like the actual title?” He asked with a raised eyebrow. “I'm fairly certain whatever government rules this place could be overthrown in an afternoon. Assuming there is a throne I could have you on it by tomorrow evening.”

She laughed nervously, unsure if he was serious. “Hey, no alien invasions on my planet.”

He smirked. “Very well. I'd hate to stain our diplomatic relations.”

“Say, if I'm a queen does that mean I outrank your princely butt?”

He scoffed. “Hardly. I am prince of the greatest warrior race ever thrust upon the universe, and you rule over some mud and weaklings. You're essentially a child with a fortress made of twigs and bushes.”

“Hey, this 'child’ just saved the Earth by guilting a Mighty Saiyan on Valentine's day. Not bad for my first act as ruler.”

He laughed. “Cheating Havestia .”

“What's that mean?”

His smile faded. “It...it means a woman whose cunning charm is equal to her immense beauty.”

“Oh,” she blinked. “...thank you.”

He scooted away almost imperceptibly, but she caught it. “It's not really a compliment. In the Saiyan legends of old Havestia were the villains set on trapping a warrior with their wiles and their bodies until they lost themselves. They were feared temptresses to avoid because...they distracted from what matters. The mission. The enemy… Getting stronger.”

He untangled himself from her and grabbed his pants off the floor. “It's late, and I'm training early. Goodnight.”

---------------------------

 

Vegeta let out a deep laugh. “You hit him with your vehicle and shot him?”

“Repeatedly.”

He laughed again.

“It was freaky! Some weird bulletproof kid all alone on a mountain with a giant fish? I thought I was caught in a bad horror novel. Or a really bad romance novel.”

“I don't know how you can stand those trite works of implausible fiction.”

“Hey, don't knock it until you try it.”

“I attempted to read the one you gave me. ‘Lonely Spaceman’ I believe. It was complete drivel.”

“You actually read it?” She asked, surprised.

“I had trouble sleeping, I thought it may bore me unconscious. It was worse, it annoyed me so much I had more energy than before after attempting to make it through the first chapter.”

“Hey, Lonely Spaceman is my favorite.”

“You cannot be serious. The inaccuracies in the first chapter alone--”

“What inaccuracies?”

The explosion from the escape pods reached their ears and they knew they were the only ones left alive on their station.” He quoted. “Space is a vacuum. You can't hear shit.”

She rolled her eyes. “Okay Mr.Armstrong, so maybe the science is off, the story is great.”

“Why would two people who hate each other suddenly decide to procreate without any dialogue indicating they could stand the other’s presence? It's unrealistic. They just went from enemies to unwilling parents all of a sudden, and the reader is given no warning.”

“I thought you only read the first chapter?”

He scoffed. “Perhaps I skimmed through a bit more.”

“You don't get it. Figuring out how they fell in love is why it's my favorite. It's a love story and a mystery all wrapped up in one, and you get to decide your version of how it happened.”

“Call it what you want, I say it's just lazy writing. The pages it's printed on would be better used for toilet paper.”

“All right, what's your favorite book then?”

“I don't usually waste my time.”

She hummed. “You look like a Hemingway man. Or how about Moby Dick ? It's about a man in a position of power who becomes obsessed over taking revenge on an animal and let's his pride blind him to do insane things. You'd love it.”

“Is there as much sex in that one? Because Lonely Spaceman had quite a lot of sex.”

“That's just...the icing on top,” she said firmly. “What Great work of Saiyan fiction do you have to put up against it?”

“Saiyans create only children to carry on our legacies. We destroy everything else.”

“That’s ridiculous. You had a whole planet, you clearly had a culture, a language --”

“Stolen, from the peaceful race of Vegetasei my ancestors overthrew. Our armor was Frieza's, our music and banquets prepared by our enemies beaten into submission. A Saiyan does not create. They take.”

She grumbled. “I'll prove you wrong one of these days.”

“Why bother?”

She blushed slightly. It was getting harder not to admit that a lot of her day tended to revolve around him -- what he was doing, where he was going, when he'd next sneak away to lie next to her. “It’s a hobby. I'd be doing Earth a favor if I take you down a few pegs.”

“I'd like to see you try, Runt.”

----------------------------

 

“Mine!” Vegeta grunted out again. He had her bent over the bed, moving behind her and holding her down easily with one hand. “Say it again! If you want me to keep going, say it!”

“Yours!” She cried out, not really caring what came out of her mouth at the moment.

Cora te'lo. Do you like how that feels? Say my name.”

“Vegeta!”

A harder thrust. “Prince!”

“Prince Vegeta!” She moaned.

“That's fucking better,” he panted. “I can feel you getting tighter. Are you going to come around me?”

“Yes.”

“Louder!”

“Yes!” She gasped out as it crashed over her. She heard him groan and he followed quickly behind her.

She felt him pull away and take a step back for her to climb into bed, and after a moment of hesitation she did. He flopped down next to her with his hands behind his head, face calm as he was clearly still basking in the afterglow.

She waited a minute. “Well? Are we going to talk about that?”

“Talk about what?” He muttered sleepily.

That. Today. The elephant in the room.”

He glanced around, fairly positive that was just one of her odd figures of speech. “I have no idea what you're referring to.”

She crossed her arms. “Okay, so Yamcha hit on me. In front of you.”

“I said nothing to him about us, per our arrangement.”

“True. But then we get in here tonight and you go apeshit on me.”

“I don't know what that means.”

“You never talk like that. Well, I guess you might, but not in English. What the hell does 'mine’ mean? You made me agree to it like four times.”

“Are you having sex with him? Or anyone else for that matter?”

“No.”

“Then I don't see the problem. Until such time you choose to stop me, I own your body. I have your permission to be the only man who fucks you. That gives me a right to be territorial.”

“The hell it does, you don't own me.”

“That's not what you said three minutes ago.”

She opened her mouth to protest, but her phone rang. “This isn't over, Buddy,” she said at him, searching for the phone. She checked the caller ID and sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

“It's him, isn't it?”

“That's none of your business,” she snapped, answering without looking up at him. “Hello?”

With his sharpened senses he could hear the other man's voice as clearly as if he were sitting in bed with them.

Hey Bulma, it's me, ” Yamcha said. You could hear laughter in the background and she wondered if he wanted her to hear how much fun he was having. “ I just thought I'd call and see if you really didn't want to just come out with us for a little while. I know you said you were busy, but--

“Uh, sorry, I'm working on a new project for the company right now,” she lied. “I just can't slip away.”

Well, that's okay. You don't have to come out tonight...you don't have to come out at all. Can I come see you tonight?”

“Yamcha--” she started with a sigh.

I know, I know, we're broken up. Again. Don't you think it's time we stop this constant back and forth thing we have going?”

“Yeah, I do. That's why I broke up with you. For good.”

Oh, come on. You know you don't mean that. ” His voiced dropped a little lower so the people around him couldn't hear. “ You know you miss my mouth on you.

She felt Vegeta stiffen beside her and she cleared her throat awkwardly. “Not particularly. I'm good.”

I know you're still single,” he teased. “ If you had a new boyfriend you'd have told everyone by now. How long can you go without it? It's been months for me.

Vegeta rolled over on top of her, and she was afraid for a fleeting second. Then his hot mouth came down and captured her nipple, hands travelling down to caress places that were still sensitive from her release.

She let out the beginning of a moan but slapped a hand over her mouth. Yamcha misunderstood.

That's right, Bulma. I know you miss it. Let me come over tonight. I can make you feel better than anyone else could.

His mouth traveled down her body, rough hands pulling her thighs apart as he dove his tongue into her possessively. She said nothing, but her breathing hitched.

I can be over in about an hour, I'm just gonna finish my drink with the guys--”

Vegeta growled and raised up on his knees, ripping the phone from her hand. “She's busy fucking me, get lost.” He tossed the phone over his shoulder and she was relieved to see it land on the soft couch across the room.

“Vegeta! What the hell!”

“He was in my way!”

“We agreed not to tell anyone we were having sex! That was part of the 'arrangement’ as you keep calling it, and as I recall you suggested that--”

“What is a boyfriend? I assume it is different than a mate?”

She paled. “Well, what's a mate?”

“You choose a person to stay with forever and make it publicly known that they are off limits to anyone else. You know, a mated pair. Like your parents seem to be.”

“Oh. We just call that married.”

“Call it what you like, what is a boyfriend?”

“A boyfriend is...huh. That's kind of hard to explain. It's like you're saying, ‘I might marry this guy, but maybe not’.”

“And that's what the Weakling was? You chose not to take him as a mate?”

“Essentially.”

“What privileges are afforded to one?”

“Uh, they have sex with you, and sometimes live with you--”

“We do both of those things now.”

“Well, yeah, but I thought we were keeping this casual.”

“What's the difference?”

“A boyfriend you're romantically involved with. Publicly. It's not a secret.”

“But it's not as final as being mated -- married? And if you have one other men stop trying to have you?”

“Right.”

He thought it over. “Fine. I wish to ascend to that status. What's required of me?”

She blinked. “ What?”

“What's required? To be a potential mate on Vegetasei you'd kill a large beast and leave it on your intended's property. Is it the same here? Or I could kill the Weakling, competing suitors were also fair game--”

“Don't kill anything!” She said quickly. “All it takes is two people agreeing to see each other exclusively.”

“Very well, I agree, do you?”

“Uh…” she stammered. Was she really doing this? Agreeing to date Vegeta publicly? All her friends would think she was insane. Maybe she was insane. Right? This was crazy, he clearly must be misunderstanding the subject.

He smirked at her wickedly. “Do you need convincing?”

She gulped.

His mouth was back against her body, so desperately you'd think he was trying to devour her. She laid back against the pillows, trying to remember why this was not a good idea.

He paused, looking up at her. “Do you agree, Woman?”

She growled. “Ugh, fine. Yes. I agree. But...look, I don't know about the whole 'public’ thing.”

 

“Why not?” He said, looking annoyed and perhaps slightly offended.

“It's no one's damn business what I do. Or you know, who I do. All of my friends are just going to ask what the hell I'm thinking, then ask what the hell you're thinking. I...I like being with you. A lot. So let's not ruin it by bringing other people in.”

“How is that different from what we're doing now?”

“If someone asks me out I'll tell them I'm seeing someone. If they ask who, I'll tell them to put their head back up their own ass and keep it out of my love life.”

He sighed heavily, sinking down next to her. “I believe I would do the same. There's no benefit in admitting you have a weakness. Of course, I did just tell the Weakling. Loudly,” he smirked devilishly.

“He won't say anything. He'd have to admit it's over between us to do that, and he's too pig-headed. I certainly have a type. I have a condition, though. I get to request something from you.”

He went on guard. “What is the request?”

“I want to sleep next to you. At least one night a week.”

Why? ” He spat.

“It's an official boyfriend task. You don't have to do much to get the title but you have to maintain it. Don't be an absolute bastard to me all the time , stop yelling at my father, and sleep next to me once a week. Those are my terms for now.”

“And in return?”

She rolled over onto him and kissed him and he leaned into her touch. “I'll let you keep calling me yours without arguing. And if Yamcha comes back around I'll let you yell at him.”

“Agreed.”

 

Chapter Text

“Dammit, this thing was expensive!”

“It was in the way,” he shrugged without remorse.

Bulma held up the thoroughly destroyed silk, wondering if they gave refunds for wild animal attacks because she could probably get away with it. “Well, did you like it or not?”

“I hardly see the point of putting more clothes on your body. It's just another barrier for me to get through, you look better naked.”

“You know, most men appreciate lingerie.”

“I'm not a man, I'm a Saiyan.”

“So what, you'd be more turned on if I came to bed in battle armor covered in the blood of my enemies?”

He paused and raised an eyebrow at her approvingly.

She dropped her face into her hand. “Oh gods. I'm dating a psychopath.”

“You honestly mean to tell me humans don't find battle arousing at all?”

“Blood and death? No, doesn't really do it for me.”

He rolled over and took her chin, looking her in the eyes. “Imagine, the androids have come, and I have achieved Super Saiyan. I arrive at the island slightly late because no one rushes a prince. You have decided to idiotically follow me to battle. Kakarot and his pathetic crew have been beaten into the dust by the time we get there. I destroy both the androids with my bare hands alone, and then turn to you covered in sweat and blood. Do you want me, or not?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “That's cheating.”

“That's what I thought, Woman.”

“It's cheating because I already think you're sexy. That's like saying, ‘I’m holding a pizza, do you want me?’ and then deciding I must be attracted to pizza when I say yes.”

“I've made my point,” he insisted resting back against his pillow and folding his arms behind his head.

“Ugh,” she winced, wrinkling her nose. “Go take a shower.”

He grimaced, keeping his eyes shut. “No. Humans bathe too often, I'm just training again in the morning.”

“Yeah, but tonight you're stinking up my bed.”

“You weren't complaining about my smell a short while ago.”

“Well, now I am. Use soap.”

“If you want me to sleep here then get used to my scent on your belongings.”

She crossed her arms, but then smirked. “Do I have to wash you myself?”

“Like a servant? I had imagined you above that, but if you insist.”

“I mean let's go shower together.”

He frowned incredulously. “Why the hell would we do that? Is that another human thing? I could see it saving time but--”

“Imagine,” she copied him, “I'm wet, naked, and soapy, trapped in an enclosed space with you--”

“Let's go.”

----------------------

 

“So then the dragon opens its mouth and the Lonely Spacemen walks out and tells me he's been real the whole time and he sweeps me up into his arms to carry me bridal style into the sunset and we have sex under a willow tree.”

He stared at her. “That's it?”

“Yep.”

“A wet dream about a fictional man lead you to develop the technology to find the dragon balls?”

“I had my Prince Charming for one dream and it was awesome . So, I decided to go find the perfect boyfriend. The dragon balls seemed to be the easiest way to do that.”

“You live on a planet full of human males. Why not just grab one of them off the street?”

“The guys around here bored me. Still do. I need some excitement in a romance, a little danger. There's been a thief I found in the desert, and you. That probably says something about me that only a psychiatrist could explain. I was sure the dragon balls were the way to go, so I made the dragon radar to find them. What, you never followed a crazy dream?”

“My dreams were about killing Frieza. Always.”

“What about now?”

“I still have the same one occasionally. I see myself killing him or...him killing me on Namek. Sometimes they're different. I dreamt about my mother last night.”

She looked up at him. “I didn't know you had a mother.”

“Everyone has a mother,” he scoffed. “She died young. My father was fond of her. They were a mated pair…” he seemed to suddenly realize what he was speaking about and the warmth on his face slid back to a stern glare. “King Vegeta was a great Saiyan warrior.”

“I had a dream about you the other night.”

“Hmm? What was I doing?”

She grumbled something sheepishly.

“What was that?”

“I dreamt I met you on the mountain all those years ago instead of Goku, and we had to find the dragon balls.”

He frowned disgustedly. “You put me in Kakarot's place?”

“If it's any consolation you were nothing like him, you were a little asshole who kept hitting on me and told Yamcha to shove a cactus up his ass.”

He laughed, his hand tightening around her waist. “Good. If the Weakling’s in your dream I expect you to conjure me up as well.”

“I can probably promise not to have sexy dreams about Yamcha, but I can't promise I won't have another about the Lonely Spaceman. That one repeats every few months.”

“I dreamt about you once.”

“Really? When?”

“A week ago.”

“What was I doing?”

He grinned mischievously pulling the covers off her. “Let me show you.”

---------------------

 

Vegeta let out a long string of what she suspected were curse words, closing his eyes tightly and leaning his head back into the pillow. She grinned, swirling her tongue around his tip again to get the same reaction.

Gods, Woman. Do that again.”

“When your hard dick's in my mouth I think you can manage to call me Bulma.”

“Do it again, Bulma.”

She complied and he let out a low groan.

“Why so sensitive? Did they not do this on Vegetasei either?”

They may have. I didn't. I was six. Again.”

She shook her head. “No, I've got more to show you.” She took him into her mouth and slid a hand behind his back, finding the spot that had once been his tail and pressing on it. He let out a startled cry and tried to lean into both points of contact at once. She'd been confused about the spot at first; how could it be both comforting and arousing for him? But she was quickly learning it was all about his mood and frame of mind. In a battle it would hurt to be touched, during sex it felt good, and then afterward it was calming. Based on some of the stories he had told her she realized it had many other 'modes’ from infancy to old age, and although she knew it was necessary at the time she regretted his loss of it. If just rubbing the stub could make the great warrior moan out her name, what could she do with the whole tail?

“Bulma,” he gasped out, “more.”

She hadn't realized she'd gotten distracted and decided to make it up to him.

There was a knock on the door.

They both jumped and she grabbed her robe from the bottom of the bed, quickly wrapping it around herself. He pulled the sheets back over himself while she cleared her throat. “I'll be right there, Mom, just give me a minute.”

“Bulma?” A voice that was definitely not her mother answered. “It's me. Can we talk?”

Her eyes went wide, but Vegeta's narrowed. He threw the sheets off himself and rose.

“Don't--” she started to whisper.

“You gave me permission to yell at him,” he whispered back. “I sleep in your room, more than once a week I might add. I'm civil with both you and your parents. This is my perk. Allow me to enjoy it.”

She covered her face. “Fine.”

Yamcha knocked again and Vegeta grinned evilly. “Hey, Bulma? I know you tried to get rid of me with that joke the other day but--”

Vegeta strutted to the door naked and pulled it open. “The only joke here is you.”

Yamcha let out a strangled gasp and jumped back.

“Can we help you?”

“You -- what are you doing here? Does Bulma know you're in her room?”

Vegeta turned towards her. “I don't know, Bulma, do you know I'm in our room?”

She rubbed her temple and came up behind him in her robe. “Hey, Yamcha. You really should have called.”

“I -- I tried to call. Your phone's off.”

“Whoops.” Vegeta said flatly. “Now, if you could go fight children or training dummies or whatever you do, we were clearly busy.”

“Bulma, how could you stoop this low?” Yamcha spat. “I mean...we all make mistakes when we're horny, you know I have once or twice but--”

“We're not fucking, she's mine. This is one of my boyfriend perks. Goodbye, Weakling,” he laughed, shutting the door.

They waited until they heard his angry footsteps retreat down the hallway, and then Vegeta laughed louder. “That was worth the requirements.”

--------------------

 

“Tack-over-shin,” she repeated.

He shook his head. “ Taikoversin.”

“Tai-cover-sin.”

“Closer.”

“What's that one mean?”

“The weight of an enemy’s skull once removed from his body.”

“Ew,” she scrunched up her nose.

“You wanted words that don't exist in English. Most of them are bloody.”

“I was looking for useful words and phrases I might recognize, like 'my girlfriend is incredibly sexy’.”

A’metshone .”

“Seriously? There's a word for that?”

“It's not a perfect translation, more like 'adored’ or 'attractive’ than sexy. And it works for all genders.”

“A-met-shone-ay.”

“Not bad.”

“And just why haven't I heard you moan that while we're going at it?”

He shifted uncomfortably. “It would be unfitting for us.”

“Why?”

He frowned, suddenly looking guilty. “This type of...interaction did not exist, or at the very least it would be looked down on. Two beings are enemies, family, allies, or mates. There is no in-between.”

“What type of interaction?”

He stared at her for a long moment. They knew what type, but neither would say it. He sat up and faced away from her as the room grew cold.

A shadow fell over her face. “Are you ashamed to spend time with me? You sure didn't seem ashamed to hop into bed with me the moment you got the chance.”

“Sex is physical, it is a basic need and allies did it often so long as they weren't mated to another. I...I allowed a line to be blurred that should not be in an attempt to pacify stupid human customs. It's my own damn fault.”

“If you don't want to be here then go,” she snapped coldly, turning away from him. “Don't let my stupid human customs hit you on the way out.”

“If I wanted to go there would be no issue,” he muttered so lowly she had to strain to hear it. “It's my desire to stay that makes it shameful.”

She didn't turn around. “Do you like being with me?”

A long pause. “Yes.”

“Do you think about me when we're not in bed together?”

“Yes.”

“Then stop talking about Saiyan bullshit and come hold me,” she said quietly, finally looking at his back.

She saw him hesitate. He slowly laid back down and gathered her into his arms, pressing his nose against the top of her head. “Cora te'see. Blasted Woman,” he muttered against her hair. “What have you done to me?”

A'metshone ,” she whispered against him.

His hand caught the back of her head and then his mouth was on hers, hungrier than before. His large hands gripped her as he moved over her, molding their bodies together as close as he could. They didn't scream or yell this time, they moved together slowly in the dark. His rough voice whispered unknown sentences against her skin. The only word she recognized was her name, over and over again.

------------------------

She woke with a start and reached for him out of reflex, but he was not next to her. It took her a moment to figure out what had snapped her awake so suddenly.

Rocket engines.

She stood at her window and watched his ship disappear into the sky.



Chapter Text

It was after midnight when her door opened. She was turned away from it, and although she was awake she did not move. She heard him come into the room and recognized the sounds of his armor being pulled off. The other side of her bed depressed, and she gritted her teeth, trying not to enjoy the return of his scent that she'd missed. One of his large hands slowly started to wrap around her middle.

“I think you're lost. Your room was down the hall,” she snapped.

She heard him snort and his hand retreated but he didn't get out of the bed. His eyes bored holes into the back of her head while he waited in silence. He finally grunted, “Out with it, Woman.”

“Two months. Where were you?”

“Training. Alone.”

“And?”

The room lit up with golden light, but she refused to look at him.

“Congratulations, you got what you wanted.” She left it at that.

“It was necessary. I could not ascend on Earth. There were too many distractions.”

“Bullshit. All you did was train, eat, sleep, and me.”

“And once I left that pattern, I achieved Super Saiyan.”

“You didn't even say goodbye,” she sighed. “You left me alone to deal with this, and you didn't even say goodbye.”

“The Android's aren't due for another year--”

“I'm pregnant.”

He froze. “I--”

“If you ask me if it's yours I will punch you in the face and break my hand, and then I'll be pissed off at you for that, too.”

“I was going to say, 'I I thought it was impossible.’ You said you were on medicine that--”

“I know. It's not one hundred percent foolproof. I didn't miss any pills, but maybe you being alien had something to do with it...I don't know. I've had a lot of time to think about it. Alone.”

After a long moment a tentative hand fell onto her side. She tried to shake it off, but she had no hope of moving his grip unless he allowed it. “I...would have reconsidered my methods if I had known.”

“No, you wouldn't have. You care about being stronger than Goku. If you thought going to space would get you there you would've left me regardless.”

He considered that. “You're right. I would have left anyway. But I came back.”

“Father of the year. Pick up your mug on the way out of my house.”

“My ascension was necessary for your planet's survival.”

“You don't care about Earth!” She snapped.

“That’s true. But I came back anyway. There is no reason for me to stay here until the androids come. No other reason. So tell me to fuck off back to space if that reason is gone as well.”

She said nothing for a few minutes. He snorted and let go of her, heading towards the door.

“Get in the goddamn bed, Saiyan. But if you think you're having sex anytime soon you're out of your mind.”

He folded in behind her, pulling her more firmly against him. She allowed it. “I can't believe you didn't say goodbye. Did you really think I'd stop you from leaving if I knew it would save the Earth?”

“No.”

“Then why didn't you wake me up? Why didn't you tell me you had to leave?”

He refused to answer her, and she eventually fell asleep.

--------------------

 

“I stayed with Goku and Chichi for a few days. I didn't tell them why, I just couldn't sleep in this bed right away with you gone. It felt…”

“Incorrect,” he finished stoically. “It used to be nothing to sleep alone on the ground. I found it...more difficult this time.”

“I had work to do. We only have a year until the androids are here, I'm working on stronger armor and learning what I can. So I sulked for a few days, and then I got back to work. Goku asked about you...you didn't tell him about us, did you?”

“Why would I ever speak to Kakarot about you? Why would I ever speak to Kakarot about anything?”

“It's just...he asked how we were 'getting along’ and I swear to the gods he winked at me. I've never seen him wink in his entire life, it's like watching a dog do algebra.”

“I said nothing.”

“Huh. Maybe Yamcha said something. Goku and Piccolo have both been--”

“Can we stop talking about Kakarot'?” He snapped.

“Oh, come on, you've made it to Super Saiyan. He's not that far ahead of you.”

“I don't understand why you're all so damn impressed with him.”

A slow grin pulled across her face. “Oh my gods. You're jealous of Goku.”

He snorted. “Hardly. There's nothing he has that I want. I will prove my superiority when we fight.”

“I didn't mean jealous of his strength,” she giggled. “I mean you don't like it when I talk about him.”

He growled. “Why would I possibly be annoyed to hear my woman spent part of my absence under another Saiyan's roof?”

“Aw, was that sarcasm? You finally got the hang of sarcasm, I'm totally taking credit for that.”

“Don't avoid the question.”

“What question?”

“Has there ever been anything...like us between you and Kakarot?”

Her mouth fell open and she laughed loudly.

“Well?”

“Are you kidding me? Goku's like my kid brother! Now, I won't pretend I've never thought about it, especially when he came back from the lookout looking all... grown , if you know what I mean. But that was at the martial arts tournament, and he was engaged to Chichi by the end of it. Besides, he's like a puppy and a five year old fused together in some adorable accident. I swear, I'll never know how Gohan even got here. Chichi must have the patience of a saint.”

“His priority is fighting, like any Saiyan,” Vegeta muttered.

Bulma slid her hand up his chest. “Seems like you have a few different priorities than he does.”

He caught her hand and used it to pull her over him, moving toward her lips, but she turned her head away. He groaned and released her. “It's been three days,” he grumbled. “When does this punishment end?”

“Well, you left me for two months,” she huffed, sitting up away from him.

“You can't be serious. You're going to make me do penance for two more months?”

“I think that'd be fair.”

He growled, covering his face.

“You made it to thirty without sex, I think you can make it a few more months.”

“That was before . I couldn't miss something I hadn't experienced. I've had you almost every night for more than half a year, and now nothing. It's been months since I've touched your body.”

“And whose fault is that?” She asked, turning her nose up. “My body was right here in our bed, you were the one who was off on some dumb asteroid sleeping in the dirt.”

“You mean to tell me you don't miss our physical bond at all?” He asked with a sneer.

“I guess I just have more self control than you,” she said curtly. “That and some romance novels that are just as good as the real thing.”

“But you didn't read Lonely Spaceman , did you?” He smirked.

“I couldn't find-- hey! Did you take my book to space? What the hell, you said you didn't even like it!”

“I didn't want you reading it and dreaming of another man while I was away, even a fictional one. It made a useful pillow seeing as it's all fluff and filler.”

“You dick,” she grumbled. “What'd you do, toss it into the sun?”

He waved to the bag on the floor. “It's in my belongings. I thought if I came back without it I'd catch more hell than I was already prepared for.”

“You'd be cut off for like a year instead of a couple months,” she agreed.

“Mmm, about this punishment,” he remembered, suddenly rolling her onto her back. “I think perhaps I can change your mind on its necessity.”

“Really?” She asked defiantly, ignoring the increase in her heart rate. “How's that?”

“Because you want me.” She snorted, but his devilish grin just deepened. “I can smell it on you, Bulma.”

She paled. “What?”

He tapped the side of his nose. “Heightened senses, remember?” He leaned down to whisper in her ear. “I can always tell when you're wet for me, and you're fucking soaking. Tell me I'm wrong.”

She gulped as his hands slowly tracked down to the hem of her short nightgown, sliding it up inches at a time. “That...that doesn't matter. I'm still pissed at you.”

“Then tell me to stop,” he dared. “I will.”

Her jaw set but she said nothing. He bunched the fabric up around her collar bone, taking in the sight of her for a minute before catching one of her nipples into his mouth. She cried out and he moaned softly around it. “I missed your taste.”

She still stayed silent, and he got a little braver. He kissed down her middle gently, remembering absently that his child was growing inside her already. His fingers hooked around her thin undergarments and he started to ease them down her legs when he heard a soft sob. His face snapped up to see her and he was shocked to see she was crying. He'd never actually seen tears in her eyes before. She groaned and yelled and wailed and complained when she wanted her way on something, but real tears? He let go of her quickly, like she was made of fire that he suddenly realized could burn him.

“What's wrong with you?”

She turned her face away from him.

He crawled over her, nose nearly against her wet cheek. “What, Woman?”

“Promise me. Promise you'll never just leave me like that again.”

“No.”

“Then get off me.”

“I refuse to make an oath to you I do not intend to keep. If I found out tomorrow that leaving again would make me stronger I'd go, no question. I am a Saiyan warrior, and that will always be my priority. However…” he paused. “You seem to be most angry that I left without informing you of my plans. If you need some vow to welcome me back to you, that's one I have it within my power to give. I swear never to leave without telling you where I'm going and why.”

“You'll say goodbye?”

“Yes.”

She sighed. “That's the most I can hope for isn't it? But I mean it, Vegeta. You break that vow, and this...whatever it is, is over. I'll just… we'll just move on without you and you're not welcome back.”

“I understand,” he said, nodding once. “Your terms are fair.”

“Good. Don't forget it. Now fuck me.”

He ripped her panties away instantly, not even pulling his pants off all the way before pushing inside her. He let out a shuddering moan. “ Finally .”

She wrapped her legs around him and pulled him down, capturing him in a kiss deeper than they'd shared since before he left.

Cora te'lo,” he mumbled against her hair. “ Cora te'see.”

“One of these days, I'm going to make you tell me what that means.”

He grinned, catching her lips again. “Never.”

----------------

Chapter Text

Trunks?” He scoffed. “You cannot be serious.”

She crossed her arms indignantly. “One hundred percent. I'm making the baby, I'm naming it.”

“That's the stupidest name I've ever heard in my life.”

“And what would you call him?”

“A Saiyan name. Obviously. The tradition is to name the first born after his father.”

“Ha!” She spat. “And my name is weird? I don't think so, there is no way I'm naming my baby ‘Vegeta’. I'll tell you what, you can name it if it's a girl.”

“It will be male. A full Saiyan's first child is always male.”

“Really? Trunks it is, then.”

He sighed, shaking his head.

She turned thoughtful. “Hey, do you think… Aw, nevermind.”

They laid in silence.

“Well?” She asked.

“Well what?”

“Aren't you going to ask me what was on my mind?”

“You said I could disregard it.”

She rolled her eyes. “That means drag it out of me. I was going to ask… Do you think you'll talk to Trunks like you do with me, or like you do with everyone else?”

Vegeta fidgeted uncomfortably.

“Look, you're not Mr.Social, I get it, but I literally didn't know you could smile without doing something evil until we'd been sneaking around for months. You still act like a royal dickhead most of the day. People don't get why I keep you around, and they don't even know there's anything happening between us. You're a different man outside this room. If I have to put the baby's bed a foot away from us in here his whole life just for him to get to really know you, I'll do it.”

“A Saiyan’s first duty to their children is to train them to be great warriors, and I will do that with the boy.”

“That's not what I asked. Does he get to see the real you?”

“You're a fool if you consider this imagined persona of yours is the 'real me’. I have destroyed more lives that you could ever come to meet in your lifetime. What the others see is accurate, a being who cares little about humanity and wouldn't bat an eye if you were all nearly wiped out. You just appear to be strangely blind to it. Perhaps you lack the basic survival instinct in your brain that stops you from approaching things that want to kill you.”

“Sounds like me,” she admitted, “but you're full of it. I don't care if everyone else thinks you're an asshole all the way through. I'm not afraid of you anymore.”

He scoffed offendedly. “Then you're not just a fool, you're a fool with a deathwish.”

“Oh, scary,” she said dramatically, climbing into his lap. “Watch me run in terror.”

“If I had gotten ahold of you on Namek--”

“Save it, I've already had that fantasy.”

“Fantasy? About Namek ?”

“Yeah. Usually starts with,” she dropped her voice to imitate his, “ give me the dragon balls, Earth Girl! But I don't have the dragon balls because Krillin took them, and you're so pissed off by that you decide to take something else as payment for me wasting your time.”

“You're insane. I would've killed you.”

“I like my version better. I like you...which is why I'm leveling you up.”

“Excuse me?”

“Um...you're ascending. To a new boyfriend level. With new perks.”

He looked at her suspiciously. “And new requirements?”

“Maybe…”

“Out with it.”

“I need a date this weekend.”

“A date ?” He blanched.

“There's a gala in honor of Capsule Corp's newest line this fall. I'm not going to be the only one who shows up without a date.”

“Well I'm not going.”

“Fine,” she huffed, “but then someone else has to take me and you can't be jealous.”

He narrowed his eyes. “What? Who?”

“I don't know yet, you're the first person I asked. If you won't go with me I'll just have to run down my friends list. I'll call Krillin or Tien or Goku or… Yamcha.”

His grip on her hips tightened. “You're my woman. Don't these ‘dates’ end in sex?”

“Sometimes, or at least that's the Hollywood version. You've been watching too much TV. You know it's all fake, right?”

“It's still a window into Earth customs I don't know, and every ‘date’ I've seen ended with the two in bed.”

“I'm not threatening to cheat on you, I'm not that kind of girl. I'm just saying, I'm not going alone, so if you're not coming--”

“I'll attend the damn gala. Don't expect me to enjoy myself in any way or speak to anyone.”

She pumped her fist. “Yes! No more 'oh, Bulma, all alone again this year?’ Get stuffed, Miss Kensington, you bitch. We have to buy you a tux. I bet you look good in a tux.”

“And if someone asks who I am? What will you tell them?”

She turned a little red. “The truth. This is Vegeta, he's with me.”

He grumbled concedingly. “What 'perks’ do I get from this deal?”

“Oh,” she said, suddenly thoughtful. “Well, what do you want?”

His eyebrow raised. “Do you still have that little yellow number you wore on Namek…Earth Girl?”

Finally, I thought you'd never ask. I'll grab it, put your armor on.”

--------------

 

“Shit, do you think anyone heard us?” Bulma asked struggling to find the string to turn on the light in the small closet.

“You weren't that loud.”

You were.”

“Who cares? No one at this function is significant in any way.”

She slapped him gently on the chest. “Can you try to be pleasant?”

“I haven't threatened anyone.”

“You haven't said a word to anyone but me all night, and that word was 'now’ when you pushed me into the closet.” She found the string and pulled it, but the light didn't turn on. “Crap, I need to see my face in my mirror to see if you smudged my makeup.”

He pulled energy into his hand and it lit up the small space.

“How do I look?”

He smirked. “Ravaged.”

“Ugh, great,” she muttered, pulling out her mirror and a tissue to fix her lipstick.

“Why does it matter? If Greg asks what happened tell him you were bored by his trivial ‘small talk’ and went to have sex instead.”

“Oh get over it, he's just my assistant and he was trying to be friendly.”

“He asked me if I liked the weather 'out there’. The weather. And he looked at your ass when you went by.”

“Well, my ass looks amazing in this dress, that's its function. If no one looked I'd return it. But I'm taking this company over soon. They have to respect me, not think I'm some slut who can't get through a gala without banging her date in the coatroom.”

He frowned. “You need these people to respect you so you can lead them? You hadn't told me that.”

“What difference does it make? I told you tonight was important.”

“I thought this was 'fun’ for you,” he waving his hand dismissively. “I was ready to declare you insane and hope it was just your condition affecting your judgement.”

“Yeah, about my 'condition’, keep it quiet for now. If it gets out I'm pregnant reporters might start asking questions again. They got bored of the spaceships in my yard after a week, but give them an 'out of wedlock’ story and they'll descend like piranhas.”

“What is your plan?”

“What plan? For the baby?”

“No, for the evening. How will you make them fear you? If you've warned me against doing it you must have something effective. Will one of them die tonight as an example?”

“I said respect, not fear.”

He stared at her blankly.

She rolled her eyes. “Let me guess, they mean the same thing in Saiyago.”

“I wondered why you had so many words for valhasha.

“They just need to know I'm in charge. Not deadly... just in control.”

“Then you should stop fixing your face.”

She stopped with the tissue against her lip. “Okay, I'll bite. Why?”

“You own this company? It's your kingdom?”

“Yes. Well, I mean--”

“Then their opinions mean nothing to you. At least, that's what you should be showing them. If you wanted to strutt out there naked and covered in blood they would have to stand there and allow it because the room belongs to you. Go out there and make it very obvious what you were doing. Make them aware that they are standing in your domain.”

She slowly lowered the tissue. “This barfing first thing in the morning stuff must be making me sleep deprived, because that makes a crazy amount of sense.”

He straightened her dress slightly and then pushed her to her full height. “Put your hands on your hips.”

She did.

“Now think, 'everyone here serves me’, and walk. They'll see it.”

“Is that what you do?” she teased.

“No. I truly could murder everyone out there with a flick of my wrist and they're smart enough to know it by looking at me.”

“Okay.”

“Good. And then fire Greg.

“Leave him alone.”

-----------------------

 

Vegeta turned the page silently while she snored next to him. He couldn't sleep tonight, but the woman had never had insomnia in her life. He'd snooped around the room -- reconnaissance, he preferred to think of it -- and found the album shoved behind her dresser. He hadn't been told not to look through it, but he was fairly certain she'd attempt to take it if she woke up and saw he had it.

Most of the pictures were of her and her family. The same young blonde girl kept popping up, so often he assumed it had to be Bulma's sister. He decided not to ask about that, because then she would ask after his siblings and he didn't want to talk about Tarble.

All of Bulma's early pictures were of a small baby with bright blue pufts of hair, and he wondered if their child would be born with human or Saiyan hair. He should be able to tell immediately by the color. What other human weaknesses might his son inherit? That question had haunted him since before he'd even taken the woman to bed the first time. Was he dooming his child to be weak by choosing a human as his…

His what? He knew she'd just throw out the word ‘girlfriend’ if he asked, but to him those titles meant almost nothing. The only point of them was keeping her as his own, making sure no one else was allowed to touch her the way he did. But things were different now, she was having their son. The blur between ally and mate bothered him more now than it had before.

He turned the page and snorted. Bulma stood in the frame in a long flowing dress with a plastic crown. The picture was engraved with 'Princess Bulma, age 7’. Surely she'd forgotten about this or she would have teased him with it already. He decided she wouldn't miss it, and quietly slid it out of the plastic and into his bag on the floor.

His father would be ashamed of him for his actions with this woman. Not because she was an Earthling, he would understand the importance of continuing their genetic line, even if it meant diluting it. Not because she wasn't a princess; his mother had been high born, but not royal. He would chastise him for the title he'd allowed her to give him, for the 'gray area’ he'd allowed himself to embrace. Family, enemy, ally, mate, those were the options.

He steeled his resolve, making the decision before he could change his mind. He laid one hand over Bulma's head, softly so he didn't wake her. “ Cora te'see. Te seyut see a'met, illium, Bulma.”

She snored away and he let go of her head. There. It was done. No more indecision, no more questioning his honor as a Saiyan. By the laws of Vegetasei she was his mate.

There was no reason for her to know that.

 

Chapter Text

“Are you eating again?” She asked incredulously.

“Yes,” he said around a mouthful of meat. “Fucking you worked up my appetite. Is there more of the white things?”

“Marshmallows,” she reminded him, pulling one out of the basket behind their heads and popping it into his mouth. She folded her arms behind her head, staring up into the sky as the cool night air turned a bit cold.

“Are all picnics this late at night?” he asked.

“Mine always have been. I used to like to sneak out here a few times a month. It's peaceful after midnight, no one's awake on the compound and the city calms down a little. I want to get out here as much as I can before Trunks is born,” she said, sliding her hand down to her belly. There was a significant bump now, and the story had finally appeared in the press. As she'd expected they threw a huge fit over it, but Vegeta was so rarely seen in public that no one had made the confirmed connection that he was the father yet.

“I like it,” he said decisively. “No socializing, lots of food, outdoor sex, and dessert afterwards. I can do picnics.”

“I like the stars,” she admitted, trying to find the constellations. “I quit picnicking at night after Namek because I was so sick of space. It wasn't what I was expecting.”

“What, you thought you'd find your Lonely Spaceman waiting for you on some distant planet?”

“Well, I did, didn't I?” She teased. “Too bad I didn't get to make my wish on the dragon balls when I was a teenager. I would have asked for the perfect boyfriend, maybe you would've been transported to Earth instantly and we could've skipped the whole thing.”

“I would have been seventeen years old. You really want to see adolescent hormones added to my normal personality? I'd have killed everyone on Earth on principle.”

“Nah, I could've handled you.”

“Oh?” He snorted. “Just how the hell--”

“I would have already known how to feed you and that your tail was sensitive because I hung around with Goku back then. So, you'd be a seventeen year old virgin, suddenly free from Frieza, and with nothing to lose. I was knowledgeable about Saiyans, horny as hell, into bad boys, and I liked to wear tube tops. I would've had you naked and begging in one night, guaranteed.”

He snorted, trying to decide if she was right. He got distracted, looking up into the sky. How many world's had he destroyed since seventeen? Several, probably more than she would guess. She wouldn't feel so at ease next to him if the blood he'd spilled had stained his skin. If she ever found who he truly was, surely even her survival instincts would kick in, and she'd run from him.

“What's the Saiyan word for space?” She asked.

Illium. It doesn't just translate to space, it means 'forever’. In a single life you will see neither the end of space or the end of time, so they are treated the same in language.”

“Aw, that's probably the prettiest word I've heard in Saiyago.”

“I prefer polshika. The knowledge that your enemy has no hope left within them.”

“Do you think Trunks will be born with a tail?”

“It seems likely. Kakarot’s brat had one,” he remembered bitterly.

“I wonder if he'll be as strong as you. Gohan is pretty strong for his age. Guess we'll find out in four months.”

He frowned. “Five months.”

“Uh, four. I know how long I've been pregnant. I was there when it began.”

“So was I,” he rolled his eyes. “If it was the date I've been thinking of then we are halfway through the waiting period.”

“But you said...how long are Saiyan pregnancies?”

“Ten months.”

She growled. “Oh come on! I have to go an extra month? This is bullshit!”

He chuckled. “I know what condoms are now. If you really didn't want a child you should have insisted on them.”

“How could I have known birth control doesn't work against a Saiyan?”

“Tough shit, Woman. Too late to complain now.”

“If I'd known there'd be so much work involved I wouldn't have fallen in love with a fucking alien.” She froze.

They lay in silence for several minutes, the unspoken word hanging above them like a blade on a pendulum. She sat up, looking both guilty and embarrassed, but determined nonetheless. “Yeah. Screw it. I love you. You don't have to say it back, but there it is. Loved you for a while now.”

He didn't speak. She waited for him to look at her, and when he didn't she just scowled and started to pack away their picnic.

“I don't entirely understand the definition of that word,” he said suddenly, making her jump. “I've seen enough Earth media to know it's not meant to be taken lightly.”

“What does cora te'lo mean?” She asked again.

He frowned, deciding to give her that much at least. “Hard to translate. It means I want or need or enjoy this thing very much.”

“So, cora te'see , what does that mean?”

“You know what it means.”

She thought about arguing, but finally she just laid her head down against his chest and focused back on the stars. “Show me where you've been. Don't tell me what you did there...just tell me how it looked when you got there.”

He agreed, pointing towards the different spots in the sky he knew and how the planets had looked when he arrived, leaving out the blood.

-----------------------

 

“I'm gonna kill you three times,” she informed him bluntly, tossing the bloody bandage to the side. “First for allowing yourself to get hurt, then for not telling me right away, and lastly for getting blood on my sheets. Do you have any idea what my thread count is? This shit's not cheap.”

“You can afford to replace them,” he murmured against the pillow. “We have plenty of money.”

“We?” She asked, snorting. “ I have plenty of money, and a spoiled boyfriend. You're lucky I had these flannels in my closet.”

“I don't like them,” he said. “They're too rough. Buy more silk ones tomorrow.”

“I’m no sugarmama. Get a job and buy them yourself. What happened to being perfectly content to sleep on the floor?”

“What's a sugarmama?”

“A rich woman who buys her boytoy anything he wants in exchange for sex.”

He smiled. “Hmm. Well, it's your fault I've grown accustomed to Earth luxury anyway. Soft beds, hot showers, cooked meat; I allow you to provide them for me.”

“It doesn't, like, insult your Saiyan pride to be financially dependant on a woman?”

“A royal does not pay, his subjects furnish him with an expensive lifestyle. It's expected.”

“Oh, so you're not even going to be grateful? You think it's just my place to pay your way with nothing in return?”

“I did not say that,” he said, sliding a hand up her thigh.

She slapped his hand away. “Cut it out, your back is still bleeding. This is going to sting.”

“I think I can handle it, Wom-- ah, seayaka, ketoli te’lo! The fuck was that?”

“Disinfectant. It stops the injury from getting an infection.”

“I'm a Saiyan, I bleed. It'll heal fine on its own.”

“That kid from the future said Goku dies from a heart virus, so Saiyans aren't immune to human illnesses. Stop being a baby.”

“I don't see why you're concerned with an insignificant flesh wound.”

“It's deep. I didn't know my bots could even do this. I might have to dial back their intensity--”

“Don't. It was my own fault for turning my back too soon, they function adequately.”

She pressed the bandage against the deep cut and wrapped it tightly. “I still say you need stitches.”

“It'll be mostly closed by morning.”

“Does it hurt?”

“Not when a silly human isn't pouring liquid fire into it.”

She ran a soothing hand down his sculpted back, eventually find the dark spot that had been his tail and rubbing it softly. He didn't protest or speak, he never did when she touched him here. It was like he was afraid breaking the silence would make her stop. Still, she heard his soft moan against the pillow and she felt the goosebumps raising up across his skin.

She'd been holding onto a theory in the last few weeks, and she decided to explore it. In all diagrams of vertebrate animals she'd ever seen, the tail was just an extension of the spine. It might be true for Saiyans as well. So if his tail was that sensitive when when touched directly…

She pressed down against the spot firmly, and then slowly slid her fingers up the bones of his spine. His moan turned into shocked yelp and she froze.

“Keep...keep going.”

She continued up his spine and he moaned into the pillow, shivering. Once she reached the base of his skull she switched directions and traveled back down. “Are you falling asleep on me?”

“Not even close,” he said huskily.

Oh. That kind of moan. She let go and he let out an annoyed grunt. “Sit on the side of the bed.”

He obeyed without protest, which was rare enough to make her snort. She knelt behind him, returning the pressure along his spine and reaching around him to take his hard length into her hand. He cried out and she heard the flannel sheets rip under his fingers as his grip tightened on the mattress.

She giggled, pressing a kiss to the back of his neck. It was always fun to watch the headstrong Saiyan lose control under her touch, and this seemed more effective than anything she'd done before. He bucked up into her hand and leaned back against the other.

He let her work him for a long moment, mumbling out words she didn't know and a few she did. “Kasesho.”

She knew that meant faster and she complied. He soon caught her wrist, pulling her around and into his lap effortlessly. “That's enough teasing. I want you, A'met.

She eased down onto him gently, reminding him to be careful because of the baby. He pulled her forehead against his, taking a moment just to feel her before they started moving. The words he whispered against her neck were starting to sound familiar.

When they were done and she'd checked to make sure he wasn't bleeding through again, they rested. She laid in his arms as always and watched his breathing grow more even and peaceful. “Vegeta?” She finally whispered. “What does A'met mean?

He was already asleep.

------------------------------

 

Bulma was asleep in her hospital bed when she heard her window slide open. In the dim light from the monitors she could see his silhouette step inside. “Took you long enough, Asshole.”

“I was busy,” he said simply.

“Too busy to see your son?”

“I'm here, aren't I?”

“Yeah, ‘thief in the night’ style. You're on my visitor list. You could've just come in through the lobby.”

“The less humans I have to interact with the better. Where is he?”

She gestured to the plastic bassinet next to her. “Here. Asleep. If you make him cry, you're putting him back to bed.”

Vegeta leaned over the bassinet, taking in the sight of the sleeping boy. He reached in and took the baby by the ankle, lifting him up to get a better look at him.

“Vegeta! You have to support his head!”

He scoffed. “Saiyan babies can hang from their tails minutes after birth. His head is fine.”

“He doesn't have a tail,” she protested, but not sharply. Trunks certainly didn't seem distressed, he'd just opened his eyes curiously and looked at the upside down room.

Vegeta pulled the small hat off him to look at his bright hair and winced. “He seems well formed. Except for his hair and lack of tail.” He pulled the infant to eye level and started to gently flick it's cheek. Trunks fussed, wriggling in his grasp.

“What are you doing?” She snapped.

“Pissing him off.”

Why?

Trunks started crying, then reached out and slapped his father's face sharply. Vegeta stopped flicking him, touching the spot on his cheek the infant had hit. “Hmm. Not a terrible power level. I felt that. Oh, you'll live, Boy, I didn't hurt you.” He said, rubbing one of Trunks’ hands until he stopped crying.

“Give me my baby,” she sighed. He set Trunks into her arms and she smiled at the boy. “You just ignore your weird-ass alien daddy, Trunks. Your hair is perfect. Looks just like your grandpa's. You remember Grandpa, he's the man who was actually in the room when you were born.”

“You really wanted to deal with me and childbirth at the same time?” He asked.

“I guess not. If you'd have held him like that in front of the doctor and the nurses we may have had to answer some uncomfortable questions.”

“When will you come home? Our bed is cold.”

“Maybe tomorrow. I need to heal up a little.”

“Why? Wouldn't you be more comfortable in your own room?”

“I'm taking my doctor's advice over yours, Vegeta.”

He grumbled flopping down on the couch against the wall.

“You're staying?”

“Tradition says I am required to protect you both until you heal from the birth. If you insist on staying in this healing place I'll stay as well.”

“You're supposed to 'protect’ me huh? Then where have you been the last eight hours?”

“I told you I was busy,” he argued, closing his eyes. He didn't want to think about how much grief she'd give him if she knew he'd been standing hidden outside her window for much longer than eight hours.



Chapter Text

“Woman, wake up,” he said simply.

She jumped awake, surprised to see him already dressed in his full armor with his bag over his shoulder. “You're leaving, aren't you?”

“Yes.”

She nodded. She'd expected this sooner or later, the androids were only a few months away. “How long?”

“Until I've killed the androids. I need to spend some time training alone to focus.”

“Kiss me first.”

He leaned against the mattress and caught her lips against his for a long moment. “Goodbye.”

“Are you going to say goodbye to Trunks?” She asked.

He raised an eyebrow. “The boy is an infant. He does not understand language.”

“He'll still miss you.”

“That's ridiculous, he won't remember my absence, and if I were to die he would not remember my existence. I will return before it is time to train him.”

She sighed. Vegeta had not held his son since they brought him home a few months before. He didn't appear unkind or annoyed by the child, but he acted as though his presence was just an obligation they were required to handle. She hadn't expected baby talk or mollycoddling, but he was right about Trunks probably not noticing his absence. “I'll see you afterwards, then. Good luck.”

“I don't need luck,” he scoffed. “I--”

“I, Prince Vegeta, have ascended to the level of the legendary Super blah blah, I know, you say it often. Be careful anyway.”

He nodded. “ Horshana te'see, A'met.”

I will return to you, A'met , she translated easily. All except that last word. He refused to tell her what it meant. “You better.”

-------------------------------

 

“Woman, we--”

She threw the book in her hand hard at the door as the Saiyan opened it. He ducked easily and the book sailed past him, ineffectually hitting Trunks behind him.

Bulma gasped and hopped up, running to fuss over her unphased son. “Oh gods! Sorry, Trunks, I didn't mean to hit you. I was aiming for that jackass,” she growled, crossing her arms at Vegeta.

The teen laughed nervously. “Uh, it's fine, Mom.”

“What are you on about now?” Vegeta asked, dropping onto her bed and folding his hands behind his head. “We've come for sleep and a decent meal. At least I have. I don't know what he's doing here,” he said, waving dismissively at his son.

“Oh, it's late,” she worried, dusting off Trunks’ jacket. “Come on Trunks, I'll get you something to eat and find you a guest room. I'd put you in your own room but...I'm guessing you don't want to share with a baby.”

“What about me?” Vegeta called. “I could eat.”

“Starve,” she spat.

“What's your problem?”

“Well, shit, I don't know, maybe my son and I almost died in a midair plane explosion two days ago while you did nothing.

“You shouldn't have been there in the first place! There was literally one dangerous place on Earth for you to avoid and you chose to fly directly there with your infant in your arms--”

“Oh, my infant? Last time I checked we were both in this bed fourteen months ago--”

“And it's hard to believe you'd want to put that much time and work into an heir and then try to get him killed for a better view.”

“The explosion didn't kill us. What would have killed us would have been crashing into the ground while you, who can fucking fly, just sat back and watched.”

“You're alive, aren't you?”

“No thanks to you! Ugh!” She stomped, turning to the very uncomfortable Trunks. “Trunks is the one who saved us. Is he being a jerk to you, Honey? Huh? I'll fucking kill him.”

“Uh...we've just been...training.”

“I've been training. He's been wasting time following me around like a child.”

“He's a baby!”

“I'm...twenty,” Trunks said.

“Is Goku going to be alright, Trunks? Do you think that medicine you brought will still work?”

“Who needs Kakarot?” Vegeta grumbled.

“Apparently you, seeing as how the Android's kicked your ass yesterday,” Bulma sneered.

He growled, but she ignored him “Come on, Trunks, I'll get you all set up and you can fill me in on everything. You ,” she snapped, pointing back at the Saiyan, “get the hell out of my bed.”

He huffed indignantly but she ignored him, pulling Trunks away from the room. He crossed his arms and settled harder into the mattress, fuming. He'd assumed she be a bit upset, but not this upset. He'd stayed focused on his mission the way a good warrior should, it was her own stupidity that put her in danger. If anything she should apologize for putting his battle in danger by butting in! And what was all this bullshit about her wanting him out of the bed? It'd been two months, he expected a welcome, food, and sex. That's what a Saiyan mate would greet him with after battle. Of course, she didn't know what would be expected of a Saiyan mate, and she didn't even know he'd declared her as his.

A new danger presented itself in his mind. What if she didn't want him back because of that stupid incident with the car? She did not know the finality of the declaration he'd made, or that he'd even made it. His vow could be said once in his lifetime -- Saiyans mated for life, with no exceptions. Even the death of your mate did not release you from the contract because they believed you would be reunited if both died in battle. You could still have sex with allies, but the bond was unchangeable. If she were to truly demand him to leave for good, his only mate would be separated from him with no hope of ever making that kind of connection again.

Maybe...an apology? No. His pride burned hotly below his skin. She was just as much in the wrong as he was, putting their heir's life in danger for shits and giggles. Perhaps...an explanation. That was slightly less awful to stomach.

Eventually she was back in the doorway alone, and he heard her growl. “I told you to get lost.”

“Piccolo said Trunks’ name before you arrived. I knew immediately that he was our son. Purple hair, from the future, able to go Super Saiyan, it was the only logical explanation.”

“So?”

“So I knew he would save his former self from an early death. It's simple self preservation. I highly doubted he'd save himself and let his mother die. That left me available to find Gero. I was correct, he caught both of you, and if he had not gotten in my way I could have caught--”

“You think that makes it magically better?” She asked, narrowing her eyes. “Get. Out.”

“I'd like to see you move me,” he challenged.

“You just don't get it!” She yelled. “I thought we meant something to you. Apparently, we do not. Fuck me, Yamcha was right.”

His eyes turned hard. “Then call the Weakling when your pathetic mudball needs saving.”

“Fine. Go fight the androids, go fight Cell, or leave Earth if you want, I don't care. But don't expect to come running back to me afterwards.”

He set his jaw. “Fine.” He brushed past her and slammed the door on his way out, making his way to 'his’ room, which had been left empty and cold for so long now that he barely recognized it. The Spartan furnishings that had once been perfectly adequate were now eerily hollow, like the room had been abandoned centuries ago.

Good. This was better, in fact. No more distractions. No more 'requirements’. He was free again. Free to do whatever he wanted in a universe that was powerless to stop him. So he'd never have a mate, what difference did that make? He'd never intended to take one anyway. He'd never intended to find someone he'd consider permanently linking himself to. He never intended to…

He grabbed the dresser from his wall and tossed it across the room. It broke into several pieces, jagged chunks of wood flying past him. He did the same to his desk and bed, roaring as he destroyed the space. He shattered the mirror under his gloved hand and was vaguely aware that if she had not made him tougher gloves, his hand would be bleeding. That made it worse. He owned almost no possessions, but there were reminders of her all over his skin. Places she'd touched, places she'd kissed and held and taken from him. Hell, even his scars, his proof of victories, belonged to her. She'd traced them with her fingers, drawn out the stories behind them, and kept them with her.

She'd absorbed him from every angle, and he'd allowed it. Why? He couldn't stay here. Not even to rest. He threw his bag across his shoulders and flew from the window into the night.

------------------------

 

Bulma felt the second presence in the room early the next morning. She had never been able to sense energy, but she'd been feeling more and more like perhaps she could, so long as it was a high level. There was definitely a tingle in the back of her brain when someone strong was nearby. She buried her face deeper in the pillow. She didn't want to to talk to him. She felt the presence grow closer to her and stand over her bed, leaning in for a closer look.

“Fuck off, you Saiyan jackass,” she grumbled.

“Huh? Oh, gee, sorry, Bulma,” he said, quickly backing away.

She jumped, making sure her thin nightgown covered her. “Goku? What the hell?!”

He blushed. “Uh, I was looking for Vegeta. Is he around?”

She crossed her arms. “Wouldn't you be able to sense if he was?”

“Well, yeah, I guess I must've just locked onto Trunks and assumed they'd be in the same place. Now that I think about it … whoops, I think I followed baby Trunks instead of big Trunks. I kinda just thought Vegeta would be here anyway--”

“Wait,” she said, her face lighting up, “Goku? Oh my gods, Goku!” She squealed, jumping up to hug him. “You're alive! When I spoke to Chichi she said you were still unconscious upstairs at Kame House!”

“I just woke up this morning,” he smiled. “Gohan and I are going to train on the Lookout, and we want Vegeta and Trunks to come.”

She plopped back down, setting her jaw again and crossing her arms. “Well, they're not here. Mr.Personality took off last night after he trashed my guestroom like a rockstar on crack. Trunks followed him early this morning.”

“Oh. Okay, I'll find them,” he said, setting his fingers against his head. He paused. “Say Bulma...Chichi was pretty mad at me for a little while this morning.”

She laughed dryly. “What else is new?”

“She told me to take Gohan to train anyway. Because she knows...she knows we're not exactly the same. She knows I don't understand some human things that she thinks I should, and that's just who I am. I guess she puts up with a lot of weird things. She didn't know she was marrying an alien, after all, but she's patient with me when I can't be human enough for her.”

She stared at him. “Are you saying I should--”

“Bye, Bulma!” He said cheerfully, disappearing.

Bulma sat open mouthed on the bed, trying to wrap her mind around Goku giving her relationship advice.

---------------------

 

If anything in this place was going to drive him insane, it was the ticking of that infernal clock. Six months now he'd been in this chamber surrounded by infinite whiteness, cold and heat and training and pain. Alone.

Well, not as alone as he would have liked.

He frowned at the ceiling of his canopy bed, knowing the boy was asleep across the room in his own. The older version of his son was the worst part of this voluntary prison. He couldn't believe now that he'd ever not known who the boy was, it was painfully obvious. He looked like her. He acted like her, too, if maybe slightly nicer. It was like being followed by her ghost everyday, being taunted and shown a glimpse of what he'd lost. He was certain he'd taken that out on him a few times during sparring recently, during the rare occasions he agreed to train with him.

He ran his hands over his face trying to think of anything else. He was certain he wouldn't be this bad off if he wasn't in this chamber, but in here there were no distractions at all. As long as he ignored the boy his mind was free to wander all day, and it always came back to the same subject. If he thought about it too hard it was like he could hear her next to him.

Hey, Tough Guy, where the hell is my book? Did you take it again? Her memory teased him.

“Yes,” he whispered.

You don't even like it! Why'd you steal it?

“To piss you off.”

Nice try, Buddy. Because to me, only a day has passed since you left. I probably won't even notice it's gone. You took it because you like it. Come on, admit it, you took my book and picture and--

“Shut up!” He snapped quietly.

Are you talking to yourself? Yikes, that's not a good sign. You might want to watch out for that. Do you miss me, Vegeta? You know, it's probably not that hard to get me back. Just apologize. Admit you were wrong and beg for forgiveness.

“Never.”

Stubborn Saiyan. Don't you want me? Aren't you dying to get your hands on me? I'm your mate, and you've left me all alone. Do you think some other man will come sniffing around in your absence? Maybe you'll return and I'll be pregnant with Yamcha's son. He was right about you, after all, I owe him --

“Shut up!” He said too loud.

He heard Trunks snort awake. “Dad?”

“Get up if you want to train. I want to punch something,” he snapped.

--------------------------

 

What a difference a few days could make. The world knew about the Cell Games, now, and it was falling apart. Riots, screaming, sudden cults and conmen taking the opportunity to make a quick buck. It was the apocalypse, coming very slowly over the coming days. And Bulma was alone. Of course she was. Because there was something broken in her brain that drew her to the worst possible men and made her decide she loved them.

Vegeta had come back that afternoon with everyone else to watch the news on the television. He hadn't even looked at her. She thought she was owed at least acknowledgement, but he brushed past her like she was nothing. All he cared about was taking down Cell, who he had intentionally allowed to become perfect. It was clear where his priorities were, and it wasn't with her or their baby.

She heard the door to her room click open.

He stood in the hall, staring at her. She didn't hide, she kept her eyes open, watching him at her doorway. “What?”

He stepped inside, closing the door behind him and approaching her slowly. “I have had time to think.”

“Really? Had much meditation the last few days? Was that before or after you doomed Earth for fun?”

“I've been in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.”

“The what?”

“It dilates time. The twenty-four hours before I arrived here has been one year, relative to me and the boy.”

She blinked. “A whole year?”

“Yes,” he mused. She saw him gulp and noticed his eyes weren't exactly trained on her face. “It's been torture. I need you, A'met.”

She rolled her eyes and was about to tell him where he could shove that 'need’, but he was suddenly on top of her, desperate mouth against hers. She was going to protest at first, but it'd been more than two months for her, and his weight felt so good on top of her.

His lips finally released her so she could breathe. “I...I'm still angry,” she gasped out. “What you did--”

“Was wrong,” he spat out. “I followed a hunch that could have killed both you and the boy.”

She stared at him. “Are you... apologizing?”

He snorted. “No. I'm recognizing a plan of mine was flawed so I don't repeat it in battle.”

She sighed.

His hot mouth kissed down her cheek and made it to her ear. “Please, A'met ,” he whispered roughly. “I need you.”

“Tell me what A'met means.”

“Mate.”

Her eyes went wide. “ Mate? But...you've been calling me that for months--”

“I'll discuss it with you,” he swore. “I'll translate any damn Saiyago you want. Afterwards. I need it, Bulma. Can't you feel how hard I am against you from one kiss? I've spent a year imagining little else.”

Mate?  She thought. That was crazy. Didn't he equate mating with marriage the last time they'd talked about it? She spent a moment lost in thought, and then grabbed the back of his head, pulling him in for another kiss.

He wasted no time. He ripped her nightgown away, hands immediately starting their quest to touch every inch of her. He kissed sloppily down her body, and when his tongue finally reached its destination they both gasped out.

Fuck , you taste good,” he mumbled. His tongue made firm circles around her sensitive bud, and he slid his finger along her wet opening. “Do you want me, A'met?”

“Yes,” she gasped out. “I want it. I want you. Stop teasing me, I've been ready for you for weeks.”

He was over her again, mouth catching hers as she felt him slowly pushing into her. They both cried out, and she heard a deep rumble in his chest. “ Cora, te--”

“In English,” she ordered. “I want to hear it in English. Tell me what you normally say.”

He hesitated for only a moment before nodding, setting a steady pace as he moved into her. I need and want and enjoy you, My Mate. My mate is radiant. She takes me deep inside her tight body and I do not want to leave it.”

She cut him off kissing him again. “I love you, Vegeta.”

“Her body belongs to me,” he continued. “My body needs hers as well as my mind. She is mine, illium.”

It didn't take either of them long. Release crashed over him, easing the need that had clouded his mind for his entire stay in that godforsaken chamber. He searched his mind for regret. A Saiyan Prince, begging for sex, admitting a fault, he expected at least some anger. None came.

He laid down next to her and she pressed against him. They intended to talk, but it had been so long, too long, and they were both exhausted. It was enough to lay here in silence, because their presence said enough.

She was almost asleep when she heard his raspy voice. “I will have to leave in the morning. I will re-enter the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and take another year of training, alone this time.”

“I thought it was torture.”

“I thought I would never have you again. That was the worst of it. I will train at every possible moment in the coming week and I will destroy Cell. The only thing I can give you is the planet you were born on. I know the value of such a thing.”

She nodded. “We're still going to have to talk, once this is all over.”

He nodded. “I know.”



Chapter Text

Three days. It had been three days since Goku died. She was trying to not be sad, he'd made it clear this was his choice to keep the Earth safe. Still, she'd known him since he was a kid. And poor Chichi and Gohan. She couldn't imagine how much harder it was going to be for them.

They'd assured her Vegeta was alive after Cell was gone, but they didn't know where he had gone. She hadn't seen or heard from him since he'd left to re-enter the time chamber days before. The world was celebrating, the threat was gone and it had left everyone with a new joy to be alive and with their families. She felt like the spoiled kid at the birthday party who wanted another piece of cake.

She slept fitfully, keeping Trunks in his bassinet close to her. Where was he? He'd seemed so sure when he told her he was coming back that she'd believed him, but she was starting to feel foolish. Maybe he was just horny after a year of training and would have said anything to get into her bed. She didn't want to believe that of him, but surely her friends would be certain that was what had happened if she told them.

She woke up again around four, glancing ruefully at the empty pillow next to her. She reached into the bassinet to rub Trunks’ back, but her hand grasped at empty space.

She panicked at first, jumping out of bed to look into the bassinet. He was gone, but a small folded note lay on his pillow. She took it and unfolded it with shaky hands.

We are outside.

-V

Her heart beat faster for an entirely different reason. She ran to the window and peered into the inky darkness. She could see the outline of his back far from her window, seated on the grass.

Bulma threw on a warm robe and ran downstairs. The night was quiet, and as much as she wanted to call out to him, she couldn't bring herself to disturb the silence. It was reverent, hanging over the grounds like the stillness of a church during prayer.

Vegeta sat on their picnic blanket, turned away from her. She heard soft cooing and saw that Trunks was laying on the blanket a few feet in front of him. The child didn't appear to be upset, just confused as he looked up at the sky and the father he did not know very well. Trunks grabbed at own feet and giggled slightly when he saw her approaching them.

She didn't speak, but she knew he was aware of her presence. She sat down next to him, daring after a moment to look at his face. It was mostly blank. He stared down at their son and just watched him live.

After a few minutes she leaned against him, and he did nothing to stop her. “I heard about what you did for Trunks. The older one I mean.”

“I did nothing for him.”

“I heard you went ballistic when Cell--”

“I did. I gave him everything I had, and it did nothing. I had to wait and assist Kakarot's child in his victory. My tantrum did nothing for Trunks.”

“You're wrong. They told him what you did. He went back to his future knowing his father cared about him. That's not nothing.”

“Kakarot died for his son. No hesitation.”

“He died for the Earth.”

“The planet was incidental.”

She frowned. “Do you...miss Goku?”

He snorted. “Defeating Kakarot was my only plan. I have nothing now.”

“Um,” she scoffed, leaning away, “nothing? What the hell are we?”

“Killing Frieza was my entire past, and Kakarot took that from me. Defeating Kakarot was my entire future, and he took that from me, too. You and the boy own my present. I have nothing.”

“You're no prisoner here,” she huffed. “Leave if you want.”

“I don't mean it like that, Woman. I mean you've stolen my desire to leave. I could have left Earth at any time in the last several days, but there is nowhere else I'd like to be. A warrior without an enemy is pointless.”

“Are you happy with us? Or are we just...what's left?”

He sighed. “Why do you even want me here?”

“Because I love you and your stupid Saiyan face.”

Trunks had managed to roll himself over and scoot towards the edge of the blanket. Vegeta lifted him by the back of his onesie and pulled him back to the center of the blanket. “I cannot translate that word.”

“How did it feel when you were in the time chamber without me?”

He considered it. “Infuriating. I wanted you next to me and you were not.”

“Do you care what happens to me?”

“Yes.”

“Do you want to stay with me?”

“Yes.”

“Would you ever want anyone else?”

“Impossible. You're my mate.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. Why did you start calling me A'met ?”

His eyes darted away from her.

“Vegeta?” She asked dangerously.

“Because it's accurate. I took you as a mate while you slept.”

Her eyes went wide. “You did what ? Isn't that like...getting married?”

“That seems to be the equivalency, yes.”

She gaped. “You married me? When?”

He shrugged. “Before the boy was born. Sometime after the gala you dragged me to.”

“That's a huge window. You didn't even check the date?”

“It's not an Earthly ceremony, who cares what your calendar said?”

“I care! I got married and didn't even know it...hey, why didn't you ask me? Who said I wanted to get married anyway?”

“Do you?”

She blushed. “I...I don't know. No one ever asked me before.”

“The Earth way is completely inconsequential to me. You are already my mate. If you want to be married tell me, otherwise I'll assume it is unnecessary.”

“Wow, congratulations, worst proposal ever. That's a discussion for another time anyway, were talking about you performing some kind of ceremony on me while I was asleep? What are we talking about, goat's blood and chanting?”

He rolled his eyes. “Humans complicate things. I simply said my vow and it was over.”

“You said a vow?” She asked sadly. “I didn't get to hear it.”

“That's unnecessary. It is only required that I say it with a clear mind.”

“Well, if you want my permission for this, I want to hear the vow.”

He scoffed. “I'm a royal, if I say my vow we are mated, your permission does not factor in.”

“But isn't your life just a hell of a lot easier if you have it?” She warned with a smile.

He groaned. “It can be said once, and I have used it.”

“Well, just repeat--”

“No. It's forbidden. Once.”

“You said it in Saiyago, right?”

“Yes.”

“Then...could you say it in English?”

He considered it. “If I had said my vow in such a primitive language it would not have been seen as valid so...I suppose it can be said in English. But just the once.”

She crawled into his lap. “Then say it. If you don't want to say you love me, I need to hear it in your own words.”

He grimaced, but relented. “I said, I want and need and enjoy you. I take you as my mate, forever, Bulma.”

“Okay. I can live with that,” she smiled. She leaned forward gently and they were kissing, softer than normal, for once not out of pure lust or need.

He broke away suddenly, looking around. “ Seayaka, where's the boy?”

She jumped up. “Trunks! Trunks? Oh!” She breathed a sigh of relief, catching sight of him scooting away on his belly several yards from them. She scooped him up quickly, poking him once in the middle and making the boy laugh. “You sure are a fast little guy. Did Daddy get you all worked up at three in the morning? Well, he's about to learn his first lesson about raising a baby. Yes he is!” She cooed, making him giggle again.

Vegeta raised an eyebrow tensely. “Lesson? What lesson?”

Bulma dropped Trunks onto his arm and the boy grabbed ahold of it. “When the baby is asleep, you don't wake him up. Mommy's going to bed, have fun, Trunks!”

Vegeta gaped at the child, pleading with her silently not to leave him alone with him, but the heiress was fast. He grumbled in annoyance, grabbing the child by his ankle and holding him up at eye level. “How old are you now? Four or five months? Do you understand language yet?”

Trunks stared at him blankly.

“Hmm. Well, you're fast at least. Keep it up. If you can walk, you can train. Well, I want to go have sex with your mother now. Sleep.”

Trunks laughed.

Vegeta frowned, turning the boy around automatically to take his tail. There was no tail. Not even a stub where one should be. He'd forgotten. Without a tail, how did you make an infant sleep? Vegeta turned white. Shit.

--------------------

 

“I think I'm going to build a Gravity Room inside the house,” Bulma said, running her fingers along his abdomen.

“Mmm? Why? The ship's Gravity Room works just fine.”

“Yeah, but it'd be nice to have you closer. If I need you I'd just have to knock instead of going all the way out there.”

“Seems like a lot of work for little benefit.”

She grumbled. “I've gone from studying Gero's androids and dismantling and repairing 16 to doing nothing. I have to build things occasionally. I'm bored. I need a new challenge.”

“Is it like an itch that grows worse the longer you go without an accomplishment?”

“Pretty much.”

He hummed. “If it was aimed at fighting, you may have made a good Saiyan.”

“Oh, hey!” She grinned, sitting up to look at him. “Since we're officially 'mated’ or whatever, and you're a prince, does that make me a princess?”

“No.”

Her face fell. “Aw. Why not?”

“You would have to be a full Saiyan to be considered a royal. An allowance would be made for Trunks, since he is a firstborn, and his power level is high, but you could not be called a princess.”

“So I'd get nothing? I'm just still some girl you know?”

“No, your official title since Trunks’ birth would be ‘Royal Consort’. You'd be provided for in the palace, because of your royal son. Since we are mated you would be my only one, but if we were not I could have a maximum of ten consorts. More than that and you were just greedy.”

She snorted. “Ten? I have trouble keeping your attention now. I don't share, if you--”

“Oh, stop your complaining. I already said you'd be the only one now. Mates were sacred, if I were to take another to bed while you lived I would be stripped of my title in shame and she would be killed.”

“Oh. Good. Hypothetical bitch had it coming. Besides, I don't care about traditions. I'd announce I was Princess Bulma and anyone who disagreed could fight me. Uh, fight you.”

He chuckled. “But you're Queen of Earth, remember? It'd be a conflict of interest for you to be Saiyan royalty as well.”

She smiled. “That'd make Trunks a double prince, though. Does that mean he'd be twice as pig-headed as you? Because yikes.”

“A Prince without his kingdom has only his honor. I will teach my son to protect his.”

“He's a baby. A half-human baby. Don't go stuffing his mind full of Saiyan pride bullshit.”

“We have seen a future version of him already. I can clearly trust him to train well and reach Super Saiyan at a young age, so I will expect nothing less. The other Trunks was nineteen when he defeated Frieza, probably ascended a few years before that so...maybe sixteen at the most? With my instruction I bet I can knock a few years off that. He'll be stronger than Kakarot's brat in no time.”

“You make sure that's something he wants to do,” she warned him. “Fighting's not all there is. Maybe he'd be happier as a genius engineer, like his Mommy.”

He scoffed. “Give it a short time and you will see him start to fight with no direction from me at all. Battle is everything to a Saiyan. I can simply teach him how to direct his bloodlust more effectively.”

“But if he wanted something else?”

Vegeta snorted. “Pointless to speculate. I am teaching him Saiyago as well. He needs to speak it, read it, and write it. I have to write the words to the vow he may make one day so he can memorize it himself.”

“You're not weaseling away from this answer, Saiyan,” she warned. She rolled to pin him to the bed, which with her weak arms was a funny enough sight to make him laugh. He stopped laughing when she took hold of him, slowly stroking him until he was hard under her hand.

“I want to hear it,” she warned him. “I want to hear you say that Trunks can do anything that makes him happy. You're going to be a good dad if I have to beat it out of you, Vegeta.”

“Fighting is clearly in his blood,” he mumbled in protest. “We've already met his future self, albeit one without my guidance.”

“That Trunks had to fight. He grew up in a war zone. Our baby is growing up in peacetime. Say, ‘Trunks can do what makes him happy’.”

Vegeta growled. She kissed down his neck, his chest, his abdomen, and stopped there. Her breath slid over him and he leaned himself toward her mouth impatiently. “ Locae, A'met.”

“Don't you 'now, Mate’ me. You heard what I said.”

He rolled his eyes. “ Fine. The boy can do what he likes.”

She ran her tongue along him and he hissed in a tight breath. “Was that so hard?”

Havestia.”

“Damn straight.”

Chapter Text

Vegeta was always the most peaceful when he slept, and on the rare nights like this one when he fell asleep before her she liked to watch him. With the harsh lines of his brow smoothed out and his mouth slightly open he looked sweet and innocent, two words she'd never use to describe him when he was awake. It was her favorite sight to just lay back and enjoy.

He mumbled something she couldn't make out, but she wasn't sure if it was gibberish or Saiyago. She smiled and scooted a little closer, and his arms came around her automatically. All she could hear was the spin of their fan and his faint heartbeat. Peaceful…

Their baby monitor crackled to life with an angry wail. Vegeta woke with a start and then a growl, pulling the pillow over his head. “ Ketoli te'lo! Herak to posha hesta--”

“Oh calm down, I've got him,” she grouched, sliding out of bed to go grab the boy across the hall. She plopped back down in their bed with the crying infant, trying to comfort him.

“Trunks, stop wailing immediately!” Vegeta yelled from under the pillow.

“Little louder, Vegeta, he'll definitely understand you this time.”

“How the fuck do Earth babies work ? Children are supposed to fall asleep when you squeeze their tails, surely there's some equivalency.”

“Just rocking and music,” she shrugged. “I'm no singer, but if you want to go for it--”

“He screams like someone is disemboweling him. This child is broken, Woman. Let's just throw him off a cliff and make a quieter one.”

“He's not broken, he's teething. It hurts.”

He lowered the pillow. “What does that mean?”

She raised an eyebrow. “His teeth are coming in.”

“From where?”

She rolled her eyes, pointing at the baby's sore gums. “From here, Dumbass. They're not being shipped from Paraguay. You had to have noticed he doesn't have teeth.”

“I assumed humans could retract them.”

“Um, what ? Have I ever retracted my teeth?”

He raised a suggestive eyebrow.

She sneered. “I'm just careful. Can Saiyans do that?”

“No, but the babies are born with a full set of teeth. I'm working on limited data here, you're two are the only humans I've examined closely.”

“Well, he's got teeth, but they're up in his gums. At about five or six months, the teeth start to come down and rip through the tissue until they're fully grown in.”

Vegeta stared at her, looking more intrigued than disgusted. “Good gods, that's barbaric. I want to see.” He reached for the child and took his ankle, holding him up to peer into his mouth.

“I wish you would stop holding him like that! You're going to hurt him.”

“The boy doesn't mind, I don't see why you should.” He said dismissively. That much was true, Trunks did not seem perturbed by being held upside down. He'd stopped crying and his eyes just watered pitifully. He just reached forward and tapped Vegeta's face curiously while the Saiyan peered into his mouth.

“I see no teeth. Are you trying to fool me again like the time you told me human women must receive a massage during menstruation or they die?”

She laughed. “They're in there you just can't see them yet. Here, feel his gums,” she instructed, running a finger along them. “Right here on the top.”

Vegeta's finger found the bump where the sharp canine was trying to break through and he raised an eyebrow. “Hmm. Their own bodies attack them. You'd think human children would be much tougher after such an experience.”

“Well it's not like he's going to remember it.”

He looked at her, frowning. “Why not?”

She blinked. “Um, because babies don't remember being babies.”

“Oh. Saiyan ones certainly do.”

“No way they can do that. You're messing with me to get me back for the massage thing.”

“Of course they can. Well, obviously not if they suffer a severe head injury like Kakarot did, but a normal one remembers everything. How else would they know to destroy a planet once they arrive on it? Their ship speaks to them while in transit and then projects a fake moon to help them transform into Oozaru once they arrive.”

“So you're trying to tell me you remember everything from the moment you were born.”

“Well, things blur together the same way adult memories do. I could tell you what we talked about yesterday but not quote the conversation verbatim, but essentially yes. I was born on Vegetasei, kept in the planet's nursery for six months, then given to my father. I only met my mother the once. Nice woman.”

She shivered. “That's creepy.”

“When do humans retain memories?”

“I don't know, five or six?”

He snorted. “Gohan was younger than that when I fought him the first time. Surely you don't think he was too mentally feeble to form memories by that point.”

“I guess...I forget how young he is sometimes.”

“He remembers like a Saiyan. It's likely Trunks will as well. He may very well remember the conversation we're having now.”

“But when you left you said that if you died Trunks wouldn't remember you.”

“Because I purposely avoided him for the first few months. No use forming a connection with a child when you may die in battle soon.”

She took the child and held him up in front of her. “Trunks? Can you understand me, Buddy?”

Trunks started crying again, wriggling in her hands.

“He can't speak, he's an infant. That doesn't mean he can't hear and remember.” He took him back by the ankle. “He will simply remember pain and hearing noise come from our mouths.”

The boy stopped crying and Bulma narrowed her eyes suspiciously. She took him from Vegeta experimentally and he cried again. She handed him back and he stopped. A grin spread across her face. “Looks like this one is Daddy's job.”

“You're not going to make a habit of this, Woman,” he snapped.

“What do you want from me? He wants you.”

“Probably because he can sense you're too weak to deal with whatever is causing the pain. For all he knows his mouth is being attacked by small  enemies.”

“Don't care about the reason, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. You hold him, he doesn't cry, I get to sleep.”

When Bulma woke up again she was relieved to see it was already morning and she hadn't been woken up by the hypersensitive baby. She rubbed her eyes and looked over to the other side of the bed.

Vegeta was asleep again, lying on his back, mouth open slightly. Trunks was asleep on top of him; he wasn't holding the infant, but his chest was wide enough for him to lay comfortably without rolling off. She covered her mouth. Okay, new favorite sight to just lay back and enjoy.

-------------------------------

 

“I'll fucking kill you.”

She heard him mutter the threat and opened her eyes, wondering what slight inconvenience had annoyed him. She'd heard that phrase before directed at anything from a malfunctioning can opener to a television character he didn't particularly agree with.

Vegeta wasn't awake, but something was off. His normally peaceful expression while slumbering was tight and filled with rage. His hair had gone bright blonde.

She jumped out of the bed like she'd discovered a snake between the sheets. The energy radiating off him was hot and intimidating -- she'd never been this close when he transformed before.

“Fight me, coward!” He spat, venom dripping from his voice.

“Vegeta?” She asked nervously.

He growled.

“Vegeta?” She got a little closer, slowly reaching out to tap him.

The Saiyan roared as he sat up, fist flying towards her face. She screamed and flinched, knowing one full force punch from him would kill her easily. The pain never came, and when she opened her eyes she saw his fist inches from her face. He was staring at her with wide, shocked eyes, breathing heavily.

“I think...you were having a nightmare…” she stuttered out.

He pulled his fist back slowly and ran his hand over his face, getting out of bed and heading towards the door.

“Vegeta? Where are you--”

“None of your goddamn business!” He shouted back.

She shrank back, watching him disappear around the corner. Hurt turned to anger quickly and she considered going after him, Super Saiyan or not. She was just about ready to get up and follow him when she heard his bare feet coming back down the hallway. He stood stoically in the doorway to their bedroom, not looking at her.

“Gravity Room.” He said simply. Then he turned on his heel and left again.

The anger defused. He wasn't leaving, wasn't abandoning her and their son. She wondered who he had been dreaming about. It definitely wasn't her.

She fell back asleep alone. It was early morning when she felt the bed depress on the opposite side, but she didn't move. She feigned sleep for a long moment, waiting to see what would happen.

“Are you awake, Woman?” He whispered quietly.

She said nothing.

He slowly wrapped his arms around her and pressed flush against her back. When they got up for breakfast neither of them mentioned the incident.

----------------------------

 

“Harder!” She cried, her fists twisting against the blankets.

He complied but laughed softly. “If you keep yelling you'll wake the boy.”

“Who cares?” She moaned, arching back to meet him. “Come on, is that as hard as you can go?”

He grunted. “For your information it takes a concentrated effort on my part not to straight up kill you. You don't want to see ‘as hard as I can go .’”

“Then just a little more. I just need a little--” she cut off as he finally reached the pace she wanted, shivering as she dropped against the bed.

He laughed again behind her, plunging his cock deep inside her at a speed he'd always worried could injure her. “Is that more of what you needed, A'met?

“Yeeeeess,” she groaned out.

“I don't know, sounds like it's too much for you,” he teased. “Should I stop to let the Queen of Earth collect herself for a moment?”

She whined against the bed. “ Ka... kashesho.”

He gulped and obeyed without question -- her speaking Saiyago in bed always did something to him he couldn't quite explain. She came hard with a shout and he let himself come with her.

He pulled out and tugged the condom off himself, hating it silently. They'd easily agreed not to make another child, but seeing as the pills hadn't worked with him they had to resort to a physical barrier. He'd grown to detest the damn things in a short period of time, but it was better than the earful he knew he'd get if he got her pregnant again so soon.

Bulma stretched out on her back. Her face was red, but not from their actions. He shook his head disapprovingly as he crawled in next to her, but he was smirking. “That was dangerous. Do you always get suicidal when you're drunk?”

“Nah,” she mumbled pleasantly. “Just really horny.”

“You have my attention.”

“I don't know why, ” she shrugged. “I just get that way when I've had a few. I remember one time with Yamcha--”

He made a disgusted and annoyed sound with his throat.

“Oh, right,” she said, shaking her finger loosely. “Jealous Saiyan boyfriend...or mate, or whatever the hell I'm calling you now, doesn't want to hear about Yamcha's sexual failures.”

He paused. “Well damn it Woman, now I'm interested again.”

She mimed pulling a zipper across her mouth.

He snorted. “If only it were that easy. I'd say you had more than a few. If Krillin was desperate enough to call me to come collect you then --”

“Issa’ celebration,” she slurred. “Chichi's pregnant! You could've come too, spoil sport. We had to have a drink. Well, she didn't. The rest of us did. Hey, we deserved to let loose after all the Cell bullshit. How could they possibly think Mr.Satan defeated Cell? Huh? Are the people on this planet all morons?”

“That's been my experience, yes.”

“They're throwing him parades, Vegeta. He doesn't deserve a parade. Gohan deserves a parade. Gohan deserves a medal and the world's gratitude and his dad back. But he's too much of a sweetheart to insist on any of it. Just like his father, doesn't care about admiration, doesn't want it if it's offered. Damn perfect kid. Let's get him a pony.”

“A pony?”

“I don't know, that's what eleven year old girls want. What do eleven year old boys want?”

He pointed at himself. “Me? A new gun, more respect, and a girl, if I recall.”

She hummed. “Well, he deserves something.”

“You said he is going to have a younger sibling.”

“Oh, yeah,” she smiled. “That's something I guess. I hope the baby's just like Goku.”

“Great,” he grumbled.

“Hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “That's a brand new half Saiyan for you to fight when he grows up.”

“Mmm,” he murmured. “Good. And one near Trunks’ age for sparring.”

“Essacly” she slurred.

“You really are plastered, Woman.”

“Lil’ bit,” she admitted. She rolled over and straddled his hips. “Again.”

He snorted. “ Again?

“Come on,” she teased. “Where's that Super Saiyan stamina?”

He chuckled, pulling her down to kiss him. She broke away a moment later, using his shoulders to steady herself. “You really wanna marry me?”

“It means nothing to me.”

She huffed.

“From what I've seen on television, mating is more final than marriage. It would be redundant for us.”

She leaned down against him. “Yeah, I guess.”

He sighed. “But I would be annoyed if you achieved marriage and then refused to be mated. So, I would not refuse the Earth way.”

“Still an awful proposal, but I'll take it,” she laughed hard, shaking her head. “Holy shit, my friends are going to think I'm fucking insane .”

“Very well, let's get it over with. Is it a sensible vow you can say or am I required to participate?”

“What?”

“Do it now, and we'll have more sex afterward.”

She raised an eyebrow. “How am I supposed to marry you right now?”

“I don't know, it's your planet. Don't they teach you?”

“Someone else has to marry us.”

He frowned. “Why? That makes no sense. Are they part of the union as well?”

“No, they just make it official.”

He snorted. “That's ridiculous, it is no one's business but our own.”

“Wow, you're really not gonna like it when you find out what a wedding is.”

He narrowed his eyes. “Wedding?”

“Basically we throw a great big party where we're the center of attention and we get married in front of our family and friends.”

He gaped at her. “Why the f--”

“Hey, Earth tradition,” she warned him. “You said you wanted to follow my customs too. You had to have seen a wedding somewhere in all the television you've watched.”

“I thought that was a joke, ” he spat. “As in, ‘look at these silly humans inviting other people into their private union and making a mockery of their bond.’ You're saying that's the norm here?”

“Yep,” she said, popping the 'p’. "I mean some people just go down to the courthouse and do it really fast but...if we're gonna do it I wanna to do it right. I don't know about you but I only intend to do it once.”

He scowled, but nodded tersely. “I'll attend. Don't expect me to be pleasant among a crowd.”

“I never do,” she teased him.



Chapter Text

“It's not funny!” She insisted. “You played a part in this too!”

He laughed harder, sitting back against their headboard and flipping casually through television channels. She'd finally agreed to put one in the room after he refused to come to bed before midnight for a week straight to see the end of his reruns. “Yes, it is. It's your fault entirely, he barely heard me speak until a few months ago, and I don't blather on the way you do. I can't have had much of an effect.”

“I'm a terrible mother,” she sighed, adjusting Trunks worriedly on her lap.

“The boy is fine. Stop making such a big deal out of it.”

She glared at him seriously. “Vegeta, our baby’s first word was 'fuck’.”

He laughed again. “Well he dropped his cookie, that had to be very stressful.”

“I can't believe we've said it that much. We have got to start watching our language around him. Gods, what am I going to tell Mom when she asks what her grandbaby's first word was?”

“Oh, it's not his first word. He's been making those sounds you insist mean mother and father for weeks now.”

“He can barely manage 'Ma’ and ‘Da’, but 'fuck’ came out clear as a bell.”

“Maybe you heard him wrong.”

“Fuck!” Yelled Trunks happily.

Vegeta laughed harder. “Well, at least he's learning English first, like you wanted.”

“Trunks, no,” Bulma said sternly. “That's a bad word, we don't say it.”

“You said it four times before breakfast this morning.”

“Shut the f-- oh. Shit. I mean shoot! Damn it, this is hard!”

“So the boy swears, why does it matter?”

“It's not polite for kids. Besides, he can't talk like that in school, he'd get kicked out.”

Vegeta scoffed. “You can't honestly be intending to send Trunks to one of those child prisons I've seen on television.”

She took the remote and switched the television off. “Okay, you're grounded from TV. Seriously, you believe every stupid trope there is. School can be fun, and he needs to learn somewhere.”

“He will learn to fight with me. He's already beginning to walk, we should start any day now.”

“He can learn martial arts, but he has to learn regular stuff too. He's going to be living on Earth, he needs an Earth education.”

“Kakarot's brat doesn't go to school.”

“That's because Chichi has the time and patience to homeschool him, I do not. If you want to read a million lesson plans and homeschool your son be my fucking guest.”

“You said it again.”

“Shoot!”

Trunks giggled as Vegeta flipped him over and held him up to his face. “Da.”

Vegeta tapped his own cheek and Trunks slapped him hard enough to hurt a human. “Not bad. We start tomorrow.”

“No way!” She frowned. “He's not even a year old. He's not ready.”

“If he slapped you like that you'd lose a tooth.”

“Then maybe stop teaching him to slap people?”

“All the more reason to begin training. The first lesson is what to attack. I'm guessing you would not be thrilled if he were to rip your father's cat in half trying to test his strength.”

She grumbled. “You better be nice to him. I've heard how Piccolo trained Gohan.”

“You're referring to the boy who was able to destroy Cell at age eleven when two fully grown Saiyans could not. His methods seem to be effective and justified.”

“I will be watching. If he looks upset or scared--”

“He might be confused for a few minutes, but he'll enjoy it. Just like when he was learning to walk.”

“He was stubborn like you even then,” she sighed. “He wouldn't let anyone help him back up when he fell.” She fell silent and a thoughtful look came over her face.

“What?”

“The other Trunks, the one from the future, he was really strong but he was a very sweet boy. The world he grew up in was so different from this one, and now our Trunks has you. I wonder how different they'll be when he's grown up?”

------------------------------------

 

“Don't you go to sleep on me!” She shouted at his back. “We're not done arguing.”

“I am,” he shot back.

“You go let him out right now or I swear I'll --”

“You'll what, Woman?” He asked, rolling over to challenge her.

She growled down at him, then suddenly smirked. “I’ll let him out myself, and whatever happens after that is up to fate.”

He glared at her. “You would put yourself in danger just to spite me? You can't be that stupid.”

“Don't underestimate me, Saiyan.”

He threw the blankets off himself. “You're insane. I do not see why you want him released.”

“He's just a human, Vegeta, and he wasn't trying to hurt anyone.”

“He was snooping around, casing the house--”

“He's a reporter. Remember, he kept shouting ‘I’m with ZTV’ while you dragged him through the halls?”

“He was in the bushes. Near the bathroom. You were showering,” he narrowed his eyes. “I have a right to protect my property.”

She crossed her arms. “I'm not your property, Buddy. Besides, I looked through his camera. They were all just PG-rated window shots, mostly of you.”

“Surveillance,” he spat.

“Paparazzi,” she countered. “I'm the wealthiest woman in the world, Vegeta, sometimes I deal with publicity. Word’s out that we're getting married, of course they want a picture of you to run.”

“He was skulking around my property where my mate and child are, he's lucky I didn't rip out his spine in the spot. The only reason I didn't was I thought you'd bitch at me about it. If I had known it would happen anyway I wouldn't have bothered to spare him.”

“Great, he's alive, now let him go. You know it's actually illegal to hold a human against their will?”

“I only set the Gravity Room to ten times Earth's, if he weren't such a weakling he could have escaped by now.”

“If he's such a weakling, what are you afraid of?”

He had her up against the wall faster than she could perceive. She was just suddenly pinned there, legs  hitched up around his waist and his intense face an inch from hers. “I am not afraid. I am pissed. You are mine, Bulma. No man gets to see you the way I can. The Weakling is damn lucky I haven't plucked his eyes out.”

She blinked a moment, trying to remember why he was wrong and ignoring the hardening flesh pressed against her. “Don't go all possessive on me, Saiyan. I do what I want, same as you.”

“I could care less what you get up to in your free time, but this,” he said, hand grabbing her in a way that made her gasp, “is mine.” He pushed away the thin fabric easily and slid a finger along her vulnerable skin. She heard him chuckle. “For a woman who hates the idea of being owned you certainly are very interested in being in this position.”

“Say that you'll let him go,” she warned.

“Or what?”

“Or no sex. Or...less sex. Or I'll at least delete your damn reruns.”

He growled against her hair. “ Fine. But I will inform him of exactly what will happen if he steps foot onto my property again.”

“Great, then I'll have to bribe him not to file charges,” she muttered. “Don't think this argument is over.”

“Is it ever? You'd argue with a tree until it relented.”

“A tree would be more sensible than your thick skull--”

He slid two fingers up into her suddenly, cutting her off. “You're so wet for me, A'met. Just me.”

“Just you,” she admitted.

He used her own wetness to coat her, slowly teasing her swollen bud. It wasn't until she leaned into his hand that he finally started giving her the firmness she needed. She felt him undoing in his pants while his mouth traced a line down her neck.

“Condom,” she reminded him.

He growled. “Not this time, A'met . I'm reasserting my claim. You're going to take all of it.”

She considered protesting, but then he was finally pressed against her entrance and she gave up on the issue. He pushed inside her and she felt a shiver run up his back.

“I almost forgot how good you feel raw,” he whispered against her neck.

Still a bad idea , she thought to herself. She had stayed on her pills at least for regulation, but they hadn't worked last time. Maybe it was a fluke? His lips caught hers as he moved inside her and she forgot what she was worried about.

“Kaza’ti nos krovos, Bulma,” he moaned, taking her chin and pulling her face to look into his eyes. “Mine.”

“Yours,” she agreed.

He thrust faster, his hand sliding slowly down to touch her again. She came before he did, and he made her look at him while she rode the wave down. At the last moment he pulled himself out, releasing against her thigh. They panted together, taking a minute just to savor their bodies pressed so tightly against each other.

“Go let him out, Vegeta.”

The Saiyan grumbled and set her down, barely bothering to dress himself before he stalked off down the hall to release the terrified human.

Chapter Text

“So, apparently, Goku hated condoms.”

Vegeta coughed, part of the cracker in his mouth spitting out across their bedspread. “What? Woman, I am eating !”

“Yeah, in bed, again. I'm tired of shaking crumbs out of the sheets, you do laundry next time.”

“Why the fuck would I want to know that? Why do you know that?”

“I was talking to Chichi today. Goku hated condoms because they didn't feel the same, and she was too nervous about taking pills to get on birth control. So most of the time they just pulled out or took the chance. They weren't really trying to prevent  another baby but--”

“Why are you explaining? What part of my reaction said 'tell me more about Kakarot's dick?’”

“I mean, she's pregnant now, but the way I hear it they were having crazy amounts of sex before the Cell Games because he'd been in the time chamber a year and she was afraid they were all going to die. He jumped her the minute Gohan went outside to play.”

Stop.

“So it seems like Saiyan/human fertility is normally pretty low. I think we pretty much got lucky with Trunks. I think as long as we pull out most of the time we won't have to worry about having another baby anytime soon, so I'm okay with ditching the condoms.”

“Oh. Good. I wondered where the hell you were going with that. That was far more information than was necessary.”

She paused. “Also he loved giving oral.”

“Fuck you, Woman!” He snapped, grabbing his snacks and leaving the bedroom.

“Next time don't bring goddamn crackers into my bed!” She called after him with a grin.

-----------------------

 

Bulma was draped across the bed on the phone, and from his position on the floor Vegeta could easily hear both sides of her conversation. He wasn't particularly paying attention; he was doing last minute push-ups before bed. Lately he'd spent so much time trying to teach the boy during his training time that he worried he might lose his edge, so he'd set an absolute minimum amount of reps for each exercise daily and insisted on reaching those targets.

Trunks could stand without assistance now and walk slowly. His balance was improving, and he could stand in one spot and slap Vegeta's hand without falling over. He'd been forming the child's hand into fists but he didn't yet understand that he was supposed to keep his fingers in that position. He had time, he boy wasn't even a year old.

“Absolutely bring her,” Bulma insisted into the phone.

“I guess, I mean...I really like her, I just didn't want to upset you,” Krillin's voice said.

“Do I sound upset?” She laughed.

“I know she was on the wrong side of the last fight, and she hurt people. I thought she might make everyone else uncomfortable.”

“Krillin, the groom tried to murder all of us and blow up the planet.”

Vegeta snorted.

“Oh, uh, that's a good point. Okay, if you're sure then I'll ask her as soon as she wakes up, I hope she likes weddings.”

Bulma raised an eyebrow. “Wakes up? Krillin is Eighteen there now?”

“Uh, I've gotta go, Bulma, see you next Saturday.” He said quickly as the line went dead.

Bulma giggled but Vegeta rolled his eyes. “Oh, lighten up, it's cute. Don't be pissy just because she kicked your ass.”

“That was before the Time Chamber,” he snapped. “I could destroy her now.”

“Well, don't. You two should get along great; kinda quiet, really strong, wanted to kill Goku, you've got a lot in common. Honestly it'd make more sense for you to marry her than me.”

“If I wanted to fuck a toaster I'd get one that didn't backtalk so much.”

“You love my backtalk,” she accused.

He didn't argue. “Perhaps.”

“Are you almost done?”

“I would be if your son didn't take up so much of my time.”

She crawled out of bed and laid on the floor so her face was beneath his. He paused, clearing his throat.

“You're in my way.”

“Just come to bed, it's late.”

“Go to sleep if you're tired.”

“Who said anything about sleep?”

He smirked and lowered down, catching her lips against his. She felt him wince and he jumped back, covering his mouth and cursing. “Good gods, Woman!”

“What?” She frowned.

“It tastes like an animal died in your mouth. What did you eat, a rotting carcass?”

She crossed her arms. “I had the same dinner you did.” She saw a shiver run up his back as he wiped at his tongue. “Oh, what a drama queen.”

“My senses are stronger than yours. I taste more vividly, so warn me the next time you decide to rub literal shit all over your mouth.”

“What are you talking abo -- oh,” she said, eyes going wide.

“Oh? You suddenly remember which animal's ass you licked to get that taste?”

“Wedding planning is stressful. I had one cigarette, sue me.”

“Cigarette. I've heard that word before on television. It's the little white sticks they set on fire. I hadn't grasped their purpose.”

She shrugged, sliding a pack out of her robe for him to inspect. “They calm me down. I quit years ago, before Namek, but with everything going on I just thought...screw it, might as well.”

“You've spent years expecting your planet to be destroyed by androids but planning a wedding was enough to break you?”

“Imminent death I understand. Marriage, not so much.”

He opened the package and smelled it, then winced. “Ugh, they're disgusting. Don't put them in your mouth, they ruin it.”

She snatched the pack away. “I'll smoke if I want to.”

“Then don't come looking for a kiss. I'll just fuck you from behind so I don't have to smell that.”

“You're going to lecture me about bad habits? I can't get you into a shower after training unless I join you.”

“You've already got me in the damn thing once a day before bed.”

“Yeah, so you just smell like sweaty man funk for half the day.”

“I smell like battle. Those smell like shit. I still don't understand their purpose, is there some nutritional value to them?”

“Ah, no. Once you're used to them they're relaxing.”

He smirked, sliding over her again. “Then they are unnecessary. I can relax you. You certainly seem calm after that thing I do with my tongue.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck. “So what, when I'm stressed I'm just supposed to drop all my work and yell 'hey Vegeta come fuck me’.”

“Ideally, yes.”

She laughed and leaned up towards him but he caught her face and pushed her back down. “After you brush your teeth, perhaps.”

-----------------------

 

“Can I take this ridiculous garment off now?” He grumbled, tugging uncomfortably at his suit jacket.

“There's one more thing you have to do.”

He growled. “Son of a bitch! What?”

“Just help me out of my dress, Grouch. I can't breathe in this thing.”

“Oh,” he muttered, starting to unfasten the long row of buttons at her back.

“And thank you.”

“For what?”

“For not being as big of an asshole as you could have been.”

He grunted. “I do not dance.”

“Did I ask you to dance with me?”

“The Harpy made it sound like I'd insulted all of Earth by refusing.”

Bulma laughed. “Chichi got used to Goku. The idea of a Saiyan you can't talk into doing things is weird to her. I knew you wouldn't dance, it doesn't bother me. I had fun dancing with Gohan, I even pulled Piccolo out once.You weren't jealous were you?”

“Of an eleven year old and a genderless slug man? Not particularly. But then the Weakling--”

“I turned him down.”

“I know.”

“You thought about murdering him, didn't you?”

“I didn't go through with it.”

“See? Not as big of an asshole as you could have been, she repeated, sliding the silken white fabric off her shoulders.

“Now?”

“Yes, take it off.”

He struggled to get his arms out of the sleeves -- the tailor had apparently not believed his own measurements when fitting the tuxedo and scaled everything down just slightly, convinced no one was actually built like the Saiyan. Vegeta had been complaining about it the entire day, but not as loudly as he could have. She wouldn't tell him but she really didn't mind the error. Everyone got to see the outline of her new husband's muscles through his clothing as they stood under the wedding arch, and she wondered how many jealous articles she'd see from the various reporters who'd crashed the ceremony.

“How expensive was this?” He snarled.

“Several thousand Zeni if I remember--”

“Whatever,” he snapped. He powered up instantly, hair going bright as wind whipped around the large hotel suite. He pulled it back moments later, leaving the tuxedo torn to shreds around him. He stretched his arms and neck out luxuriously and she heard his bones cracking.

She shrugged. “Well, at least we got pictures. You're not smiling in any of them, but they exist.”

“What comes next? Do all your friends come here to open presents after we change? I assume that's why you wasted your money on such a large room when we have a perfectly good home.”

“It's our honeymoon, Doofus.”

He stood still. “And? What is expected of me?”

She smirked wickedly. “Do you know what a honeymoon is Vegeta? You had to have heard it in all the TV you've watched.”

“You've thrown the word around. I assumed it was like the ceremony or reception.”

“It's for sex. Basically you've got me alone in this big ass room with a Jacuzzi and champagne for two days. Everyone knows about it, it's like the only time it's not awkward for your friends to know you're getting laid.”

He narrowed his eyes suspiciously like he thought she was teasing him. “And where is the boy during this supposed two days?”

“Chichi's got him. If he starts swinging because someone has been showing him how much he loves to punch, Gohan can hold him until he calms down.”

A slow grin was spreading over his face. “And this is an official part of a wedding?”

“Most of them, yeah. I didn't invent it.”

He slid a hand up her bare side. “And no condoms?”

“Right.”

“And why did you not tell me about this sooner?”

“I wanted to see the look on your face. That one, that look. Worth it.”

She felt her feet lift off the floor but wasn't worried. She knew she'd land on the bed.

Chapter Text

“So we're sitting there trapped in this weird underground cell. The ceiling is all glass to amplify the sun because Pilaf is going to cook us alive. And this stuff is thick, I mean I already thought Goku was as strong as anyone on Earth at that point, and he couldn't even break through it.”

“And where is the underwear at this point?”

“Would you forget the underwear?”

“I just can't believe the pig wasted a dragon's wish on undergarments.”

“I think he was wearing them on his head. We're pretty sure we're dead now, it's just a few hours until dawn and then we're barbecue.”

“So who got you out? Surely not the Weakling.”

“Yamcha could barely even look at me. He used to be super afraid of girls. That's why he wanted the dragon balls in the first place.”

Vegeta looked like he'd been given a gift. “The Weakling sought an ancient dragon's wish to stop being a bitch ?”

She nodded grimly and he cackled. “Turns out he didn't need the wish. He sure wasn't afraid of women for long, I can testify to that.”

Vegeta’s smile faded. “So you've indicated. How did you know he'd been fucking other women?”

She sighed. “Honestly I'm not sure he ever did. It wasn't like I found him in bed with anyone. There were a few caught-in-the-act kisses, a lot of flirting, some bimbos he just never told to get lost. Looking back I guess it just never felt like he was committed to me, he was always running off to train and… he never told me where he was going.”

There were both silent a moment, thinking about her only real rule for him. The hotel room was in shambles by this point; they had only one more night alone together for their honeymoon, and until now they'd made every second count. The white dress hanging across the room reminded Vegeta she was not only his mate anymore, but considered his ‘wife’ on Earth. Up until now he'd held the position Yamcha had once occupied, and it was with a deeply ingrained satisfaction that he reflected that he had now ascended higher than the other man ever had.

Bulma finally shrugged it off. “Well, I can't blame him too much. I was always on the lookout for something better too, and I wasn't subtle about it. If he wasn't such an incredible douche I would have done some nasty things to General Blue. Hell, I was technically still mourning him and desperate to bring him back to life when we all made it to Earth after Namek, and it didn't stop you from looking hot to me.”

He scoffed at her. “You can't be serious.”

“Aloof, sexy, bad boy, literal Prince, bragging about how many of us you'd destroyed and could destroy if you wanted to...yep that checks all my boxes. I took you home, didn't I?”

He rolled his eyes. “You meant nothing to me that day other than a place to rest while I plotted my next move.”

“I know. I like a challenge. Married your ass, didn't I?”

He shrugged in agreement. “So what happened when the sun came up?”

“We were out before that. It was a full moon.”

It took him a second. “And Kakarot still had his tail. You're lucky to be alive, it isn't wise to be so close to a child when they transform.”

“I know. It killed Goku's grandfather. Poor kid had no idea. I'm not sure if it ever clicked for him. That's not going to happen to Trunks, is it? I don't want my headstone to be 'killed by angry toddler in the form of a giant monkey.’”

“Not without a tail.”

“Good,” she stretched out against him. “Why don't you ever tell me any stories?”

“You wouldn't like them. Death and battle do not interest you.”

“What about the times in between? It can't all be bloody.”

She saw his brow furrow slightly. “I believe you seriously underestimate the amount of lives I have taken. I am not positive you would still be… comfortable here if you had an accurate number. Not that I know the number. I'd have to know the population of a lot of places that no longer exist.”

“But you regret doing it, don't you?”

“No.”

He sat up and looked at him, frowning. “What? How can you not--”

“I regret allowing Frieza to keep control over me for so long. I should have focused harder and grown strong enough to defeat him before Kakarot. But war is war. I do not regret the blood. I only worry it might change your thoughts towards me, otherwise I lose no peace over it.”

“You're full of it. I know you've changed. I know you have nightmares.”

He paused. The air around them grew heavy, like an execution he'd been waiting on had just been announced. “You lie to yourself, Woman. You have deluded yourself into believing I am a good man. I don't know why. Maybe you have to believe that in order to come to bed with me each night. I've hidden nothing from you, you knew who I was the first time we gave in to each other. I have no guilt, and I have no mercy. Nothing would stop me from returning to my old life if I was not willingly tethered to Earth.”

“You saved the Earth. You fought hard against Cell, you helped Gohan save so many people--”

“If each life is equal to another, that was only a small fraction of the red in my ledger. I stopped Cell because my mate and my son live here, and we may as well stay here. I've already lost one home, I won't lose another.”

She stared at him. “So, what, you don't give a shit about any of us? Humans just mean nothing?”

“You and Trunks. I... care about the two of you. Your lives matter to me, and I know you would be angry or even leave if I were to continue killing. So I will not. As long as you live.”

She slumped against him. “I suppose that's good enough. For now. But I'm going to prove you wrong. I'm not the crazy one, Vegeta. You are a good man. You just don't know it yet.”

He wrapped his arms back around her and let her believe that.

“There's got to be a few good stories. Tell me one.”

He grumbled. “Space is mostly empty. There's not much to see.”

“Come on.”

“I...I saw a planet once that was covered in gold. It's rare on almost every planet, but not this one. It was littered across the ground like gravel. When the suns came up it glittered against the ground like you were looking at a city from above. The beings who lived there didn't even look at it. They didn't know what value their planet held.”

“That's better,” she said, curling against him. She didn't ask what had happened to the planet after he left it.

---------------------------

 

Trunks thought he was very stealthy. He was not. Vegeta woke up to the sound of the boys crib rocking in the other room around two in the morning. Bulma didn't stir, and he briefly wondered how much the Trunks from the other timeline had been able to get away with while his mother slept.

He slid quietly out of bed, walking stealthily down the hall after the sound of his son's slapping feet. As he'd expected, the boy made a beeline for the kitchen. He leaned against the doorway watching the child stretch to his full height to reach the door to the fridge and pull it open.

Trunks felt along the bottom shelf until his fingers found the soft pastry he was looking for, then he scooped up a large handful and shoved it into his mouth. Vegeta rolled his eyes, giving the child a minute. It was his cake afterall.

Bulma had insisted on the fanfare for Trunks’ first birthday. She'd invited over her friends and decorated the house like a holiday. She had mainly let Vegeta avoid the guests, only pulling him in when she insisted it was time for a picture and to blow out the candles. She'd asked him to help Trunks while she worked the camera. There were some confused faces when he hauled the one year old up by the ankle and held him near the cake.

Trunks did not care about his position or the candles; he'd just started scooping frosting up with his hands. Bulma screeched that he was ruining the design and Vegeta had to hold the boys hands until the fire was out.

She'd far underestimated how much cake a one year old half Saiyan could eat. Trunks’ development was more rapid than that of a one year old human child, and his appetite had kept up with his growth. The boy was still whining for more after his second piece, but she'd said something about feeding everyone and too much sugar and had refused his third. The boy stopped fighting, apparently because he'd had another plan.

Vegeta gave Trunks a minute to enjoy his victory, then cleared his throat. Trunks immediately let go of the cake, laying down on the floor and closing his eyes. Vegeta stepped over him. “You can't honestly expect me to believe you are asleep, Boy.”

“Sleep.”

“You weren't just shoving your greedy face with sugar?”

“No cake.”

“Do not lie to me,” he snarled.

Trunks went silent for a moment before peeking up at his father. “Cake?”

“Your mother said no. Do not get out of bed again or it'll be the last dessert you have this week. Understood?”

The boy nodded once and Vegeta lifted him from the ground, carrying him down the hall. Trunks hung down by Vegeta's knee, looking around thoughtfully. “Da? Hit?”

“No, we're not training now. If you have extra energy because of your sugar consumption it's your own damn fault.”

He set the boy back into his crib, looking him over. He frowned, rubbing the blanket over the boy's face to erase the evidence of blue frosting from his mouth. No doubt the woman would want to know why he'd waited so long to catch the boy, and he didn't feel like discussing it.

“Ma?”

“I will not tell her, but if you crawl out again you'll get it from both of us.”

“Kay,” Trunks said warily, looking a little confused. He'd expected a much harsher consequence.

Vegeta left him at that, closing the door behind him. Bulma had bugged him the whole day about what he wanted to give Trunks for a birthday present. His response of 'my continued tolerance of his constant presence’ had not amused her. She'd showered him with useless trinkets and childish toys he'd seemed to enjoy for a few minutes apiece. Vegeta smirked. This was better; the knowledge that one of his plans had lead him to victoriously eat a third piece of forbidden cake wasn't likely to fade. An incentive to push boundaries could be good for the boy; it'd make him push his limits in other areas as well, like with his training.

Vegeta slipped silently back into bed. Bulma hadn't moved an inch, and he was positive she was out for the night. He was about to drift off when he heard the crib moving again. He scowled. Once was a present, twice was a revolt, and he wouldn't stand for it. He was about to go drag the boy back to bed and teach him a lesson about disobeying direct orders when he heard the door to their bedroom click open. Trunks toddled across the floor and took hold of their blankets, easily crawling up the side of the bed.

The boy crawled up between them and ducked under the covers, falling asleep quickly. Vegeta pretended not to notice.

 

Chapter Text

Vegeta didn't particularly like it when the Z Fighters and their families came over, but at least they already knew him. He didn't have to speak much at their gatherings, and if he did they knew his history and disposition. He could casually threaten everyone in his home and they would not pay him much attention; they knew as well as he did that the hell he would catch from Bulma kept him from following through on much.

But this was much worse. Occasionally some of Bulma's other friends would stop by. They were rich ladies whose names he had never put effort into learning. They'd arrived early this morning and we're still perched in his kitchen, monopolizing his mate's attention. Bulma hadn't forced him out to say hello, so he'd been avoiding the group as well he could. Sometimes one of their high pitched laughs rang through the house and he had to cover his ears. It was getting late, but he knew if he made a show of wanting them to leave before the woman wanted them gone then he'd hear about it tonight. He'd been wanting to get her alone and naked all day as it was, if he pissed her off now he'd probably have to wait another day.

Eventually he was hungry enough to make his way toward their loud voices, bracing himself and heading straight for the fridge. Three unfamiliar women sat around the table with his wife, and they giggled when he came in, waving at him.

“Heeeey, Vegeta,” the redhead with the flat ass snickered, wiggling her fingers at him in a way he was sure she thought was enticing.

He grunted, scooping a bowl of leftover beef tips into his arms. If he moved quickly maybe they wouldn't try to engage him.

“Hey, Vegeta?” Bulma said gently. “Planning on watching that news program on ZTV tonight? I thought it looked cool.”

He smirked at her, nodding. The program she was talking about came on in an hour, she was trying to tell him these harpies wouldn't be here too much longer, and he appreciated the message.

A very bored Trunks sat on the table looking annoyed, his cheeks red from pinching. When he'd seen his father come into the room he'd sat up excitedly, and now that he was looking at him he waved.

“Da hit?” Trunks begged.

He grimaced, wanting to eat in peace. The boy looked pathetic though, desperate to be saved from his mother's gaggle of ladies who kept poking and prodding him. He nodded as he walked by. “Very well. Come.”

Trunks crawled off the table and into his mother's lap, and then jumped down and went running after him. Vegeta glanced at him once they were out of earshot. “Do you actually want to train, or were you just trying to escape?”

Trunk frowned. “Loud.”

“Very. We're going to train anyway. Just give me a few minutes to scarf this down.”

He had the boy dressed for work and in the Gravity Room shortly. His balance had improved greatly, and he rarely fell over while he hit Vegeta's outstretched palm. He was starting to grasp the concept of keeping his hands curled into fists, and about every third hit or so was with his knuckles. Vegeta thought for a minute, then held up a second hand to stop him.

“I am going to attempt something. Stay on your feet.”

Trunks nodded.

Vegeta walked over to the control panel and upped the gravity only slightly, to about double Earth's normal amount. The boy fell over immediately, clearly surprised. “Da!”

“We're working in your resistance. I won't hit you back until I see some ability to take rough treatment. Does it hurt?”

The boy considered it. “No.”

“Good. Then figure out how to stand and we'll continue.”

Trunks nodded, struggling to lift up his head, and then working his way to his shoulders.

Vegeta watched him struggle, leaning against the controls. Saiyans weren't known for indulging or obsessing over their young, but watching them get stronger was probably the closest thing they had to a 'cute’ pastime. Vegeta trained in at least 150 times Earth gravity, always, and here Trunks was struggling to sit in only double his normal. He knew the child would get stronger eventually and be able to handle much more.

How much gravity could a human handle, he wondered? A thought sprang into his mind, and a slow grin spread across his face. He checked on the time and saw that Bulma's negotiated hour was nearly over.

Trunks finally made it to his feet, unsteady but with a firm stance. “Well done,” Vegeta muttered. “Bed time.”

The boy slumped. “Hit?”

“We will continue training in heavier gravity tomorrow,” he announced, switching the machine off. “Go get into your night clothes.”

Trunks frowned but obeyed, short legs carrying him towards his bedroom as his father followed him.

Bulma was rinsing off the dishes from dinner when she felt his large hands curl over her hips, his lips descending against her neck. “They’re gone?” He muttered.

“Yes. They stayed longer than I intended. Thanks for not being a dick.”

“They are incredibly annoying. Trunks does not like them either.”

“Honestly I think I might be outgrowing them, too. I wasn't interested in any of the things they wanted to talk about. I don't care about Rebecca's affair with her tennis instructor. If she's sick of Frank then she should just divorce him already, gods. Maybe you're just rubbing off on me, because they got on my nerves. I had to just about push them out of the door, they wanted to drink wine all night. Carol said you have a nice ass.”

“Is she the one with the severe overbite or the uneven breasts that don't move when she does?”

Bulma snorted. “The breasts. They're crazy, right? She should get her money back.”

“Money?”

“Oh, they're as fake as Mr.Satan's autobiography. How did you not notice?”

“I didn't examine them closely. Why would she buy fake ones?”

“To be sexier. She thought no one would notice she went from an A cup to Double D's overnight.”

“It's unpleasant. They look like they have no give at all. It'd be like sleeping against rocks.”

She laughed. “That's it, Buddy, you're getting laid tonight.”

He placed a slow, sloppy kiss against her pulse point the way he knew she liked. “Do you remember my first Christmas on Earth?”

“Sure, it wasn't that long ago. Few years I guess. Why?”

“I agreed to attend your mother's Christmas rituals despite my hatred of socializing and human sentiment.”

“Yeeeeaah?” she asked suspiciously.

“In return I asked for a favor I could collect in the future. I know what I want.”

“That's definitely expired,” she giggled.

“Bullshit. We never discussed an expiration date.”

“You were nice to my friends today,” she admitted. “I suppose you deserve a reward.”

----------------

 

Bulma took deep steady breaths. This was unnerving. The ground was very solid against her bare back; they'd figured it would be easiest if she started off naked. Vegeta stood at the controls easing up the knob incredibly slowly.

“This is eighteen times Earth's gravity. Try again.”

Bulma struggled against the floor and slowly lifted her arms. He slowly turned the dial up and her arms gradually fell back down. When they touched the floor he released the dial immediately.

“Can you breathe?”

Her muscles tensed to nod at him, but she didn't have the ability. She rolled her eyes and just muttered a difficult 'yes’. Her mouth had lolled open past around ten times Earth's gravity, and she had trouble moving it to speak.

He smirked, slowly stalking over to her. Her heart beat a little faster as she suddenly felt like prey under a predator’s calculated gaze. She'd known from the start that Vegeta had a thing for control. Hell, he was a dethroned Prince held against his will as a soldier for decades, how could he not get off on being in charge? He'd been enjoying making her say she was his long before they'd actually formed any commitment between them. She knew instinctively that this was one of the reasons they were so physically compatible. She was too strong headed to give in to anything without a fight, but not strong-willed enough to stop him from convincing her to submit for short bursts. If it were easy, he'd be bored by now.

The heavy gravity had no effect whatsoever on him. He lowered himself to his knees next to her, slowly running a hand from her neck down her body. The feather-light touch wasn't fair; she couldn't lean into it now matter how hard she tried.

“This is what I like to see,” he muttered lowly. “My mate spread out before me like a meal.” He lowered his tongue down to her navel, licking a path up to her breast and capturing the tip between his lips. She fought against the moan that tried to escape her throat, and he noticed. So maybe he wasn't the only one who had a thing for being in control.

He grinned wickedly, pushing her thighs apart and sliding a finger up and down the outer entrance of her folds. “Does this make you uncomfortable, A'met ? Knowing I can do whatever the fuck I want to you with no interference? Did you think I'd just throw your legs over my shoulders and have my fun? You should know me better than that. I've got your body and your mouth in my possession for the night, and I don't intend to waste that opportunity.”

She grumbled unintelligibly, but he just chuckled. She'd already agreed to this ahead of time, and she knew he wouldn't allow her to be hurt. He continued to tease her while he stripped himself of his clothes and she felt her body responding to his gentle touch. His mouth was back at her breasts, and the tip of his finger pressed forward to really touch her. When he felt how wet she was she saw him smirk in satisfaction before he moved up and caught her mouth against his.

He moved quickly and she saw him kneeling between her legs. He pulled her lower back up off the ground and set her thighs against his shoulders, burying his mouth against her.

She didn't stop her moan this time. The increased gravity had her adrenaline up, and she felt every inch of his long tongue as it probed her tight entrance. He supported her easily with one hand and used the other to reach completely around her hip, massaging her swollen clit with a steady pace.

She cried out, wanting to buck against his mouth, ask for more, join his teasing hand, but… she still couldn't move. He felt her frustration and he clearly enjoyed it. He looked her in the eyes while he worked her with his mouth.

“You need more, A'met ?”

She tried to say ‘yes’ again. He lowered her down and lined her up with his hard shaft, slowly rubbing the tip against her. She made an unclear but annoyed sound, and he knew she wanted to yell at him to do it already.

He pushed inside very slowly, feeling her muscles wanting to squirm under his hands. Another low moan escaped her throat. He took hold of her hips, wasting no time before thrusting hard into her.

His unforgiving fingers never stopped their vicious assault against her body, and it was almost no time before she felt herself approaching the edge. When she came she spasmed around him tightly and she saw him take a moment to enjoy it before he pulled out of her and gently rolled her over, setting her on her knees and lowering her head and shoulders to the ground. He held her hips up at the right angle and thrust in again, and she heard him let out a low groan.

She'd finished once already, so he let himself pound into her much harder now. She felt his grip on her hips tighten just a little too much. She'd have light bruises tomorrow, it wasn't the first time and she didn't mind much. Something about knowing she could make him lose even that much control was thrilling.

He cried out her name when he reached the peak, his release taking on a strange weight inside her due to the high gravity. He took a moment to come down, and then gently lowered her to the floor before going to switch off the machine.

As the gravity returned to normal she hopped up and stretched out, feeling like she'd just been unbound by invisible ropes. “Okay. Not your worst idea,” she admitted.

He snorted. “Perhaps your friends should come over more often.”

Chapter Text

“Why do you shave your body?” He murmured, sliding his hand under her robe absently.

“Are you complaining?”

“Not particularly. I thought it was strange, at first. Many things you did were strange.”

“Like what?”

“Like the strong scents you coat yourself in. I could not sense you coming towards me for the first weeks because your smell was always different.”

“I like to mix it up with perfumes,” she shrugged.

“So I learned. You also cared little that I had just been your enemy, and I thought you must be an idiot. Your behavior was alarming as well, by Saiyan standards.”

“My behavior ?” She asked, crooking an eyebrow at him.

He smirked. “Well, you did propose to me the first time we spoke on Earth.”

“Um, what?”

“When we arrived from Namek. You came up to me unbidden and asked me to come live in your father's dwelling.”

“You had nowhere to go.”

“That was no concern of yours. An invitation to live with you at your father's home, on Vegetasei, would have been a proposal. You essentially asked me to say my vow over you then and there.”

She laughed. “Holy shit, no wonder you looked so freaked out. Why did you come with me if you thought I was trying to marry you?”

“Certainly not to take you up on the offer,” he scoffed. “As I've said, I needed a place to plan my next move. Of course, when we arrived you continued your insistence by offering me food and clothes and a bed. I'd never met a more forward woman in my life.”

She laughed harder. “When did you figure out I was just being nice?”

“That night. You never came to my chambers.”

“You thought I was going to have sex with you the first night?”

“It would have been the next step in your courting of me, yes. I laid awake a long time, unsure if I would turn you away. Eventually I realized you weren't coming.”

“You considered it?”

“It's not like I was accepting your proposal. Sex was often casual so long as you weren't mated to someone. You are attractive. And, as you love to point out, I was a virgin at the time. Can you blame me? I realized customs must be different here when I saw that you had done the same kindness for all of the Nameks. Then you continued talking about getting Yamcha back with your friends, and I assumed my perceptions were incorrect. Eventually I decided to take the ship and leave to train. But I'd spent that whole damn night imagining you naked and willing beneath me. The image had branded itself on my brain, and now I wanted your body. Damn woman.”

“So you came back.”

He grumbled. “Seems I always do.”

She rolled to lay on his chest, raising up to look at him. “What would they think of me on Vegetasei? I know they'd have to respect your vow, but would they like me?”

His face did not stir, a sign he had considered this before. “You act like a Saiyan woman, but without the power level to back your bravado. If many had heard I was considering claiming you as my mate, they may have killed you. Easy competition to get into the royal family. As their prize for victory I would have had to at least consider them as well.”

“I'd like to see them try,” she huffed.

He was about to answer her when they heard their door squeak open. Vegeta rolled his eyes. “You're supposed to be asleep, Boy.”

Trunks didn't answer. They heard a soft, wet sound, and Bulma reached over to switch on her bedside lamp. The boy was standing in the doorway facing them, frowning deeply with tears running down his face.

“Ma?”

“Oh, Trunks!” She gasped. “Come here, Baby!”

The one year old walked over as quickly as he could without looking desperate to reach his mother. She lifted him up onto her lap, pulling him against her tightly.

“What's wrong Trunks?” She asked, petting the back of his head.

The boy glanced apprehensively at his father. Vegeta knew the look well; it covered the sting of wounded pride. The boy was clearly afraid and deeply ashamed of taking refuge in his mother's arms. Vegeta frowned slightly. The boy was young. Probably too young to feel guilty over needing comfort, even for a Saiyan. That had to be his doing, somehow.

Vegeta cleared his throat, and the boy jumped. “What did you dream of, Boy?”

Trunks’ lip trembled. “Monsters.”

“What did they look like?”

The boy struggled with his limited vocabulary. “Scary. Big.”

“Bigger than you?”

He nodded.

“Become stronger. Then you will not have to fear those larger than you.”

Bulma smacked him in the chest. “He means , monsters aren't real and they can't hurt you.”

Vegeta snorted. “That's absurd. Of course monsters are real, and you're likely to fight them.”

Bulma growled at him as Trunks buried his face in her shoulder with a startled cry. “Vegeta! What's the matter with you?”

“It's the truth. What was Cell? What were the androids? Depending on your definition of monsters he will likely encounter many. If you mean 'an inhuman being that has caused harm to humans’ the list is even larger. Number Eighteen, Piccolo--”

“You!” she snapped at him, then clapped a hand over her mouth.

Trunks looked up at him, an unfamiliar expression on his face. “Da?”

Vegeta grimaced at her unusual expression of regret. She sighed. “I shouldn't have--”

“Come here, Boy.”

Trunks hesitated, which was unlike him. Bulma nudged him gently and he crawled onto Vegeta's chest carefully. Vegeta did not move to grab the child, he kept his arms folded behind his head, regarding him thoughtfully.

“Do I look like a monster, Trunks?”

The boy shook his head.

“Then you're imagining them incorrectly. I am a monster, by definition. And I am larger than you. Are you afraid of me?”

“No, Da.”

“That's because you can tell I do not intend to hurt you. There are no monsters, there are only allies and enemies. Of your enemies, there are those who are weaker than you, and those who are stronger than you. Once you surpass the more powerful ones, you will not fear them. Do you understand me?”

Trunks nodded but sniffled once, wiping his eyes.

“Good. Lay down if you're sleeping here.”

He clearly meant for the boy to sleep between them, but Trunks surprised him by laying down where he sat on his chest. He was going to protest, but the boy was still shaking slightly, and he decided to let it go the once. He was only a year old, there was time to teach him to be less cowardly. He shut his eyes, not wanting to discuss the conversation with Bulma. He felt her pull the blankets over them, and she dropped a furtive kiss onto his shoulder before they fell asleep.

----------------



Goten ?” Vegeta scoffed again, looking down at the child. “What a ridiculous name.”

“He's adorable,” she cooed at the child, touching his spiky black hair.

“He looks like Kakarot.”

“That's what I meant,” she snapped, but there was no malice in her voice. “He's got quite a set of lungs, too. I heard when he starts screaming the walls shake.”

“Then why is he in my bedroom?”

She rolled her eyes. “Chichi is all alone with this, she needs a night off. She's barely slept a wink since last week. Gohan says she's so high strung she's exploding at every little thing. Piccolo offered to help but she's a little paranoid right now and the last time he got ahold of her young child he kidnapped him so...it's best for him to keep his distance until she gets some rest.”

Trunks sat not far away on Bulma's knees, trying to peer over the blankets. “My room?” He asked again.

“No, I'm going to keep Goten here in your old bassinet,” she reminded him. “You're not old enough to take care of a baby, Trunks. You are a baby. You should go get to bed. Do you want me to tuck you in?”

Trunks crossed his arms in annoyance, not answering her. She rolled her eyes and set the newborn in Vegeta's arms, picking Trunks up to carry him to bed.

Vegeta grunted in surprise. “What are you thinking, Woman? I don't want to hold this child! I don't want to hold our child--”

“Stop being a baby, I have enough of them to deal with tonight,” she called over her shoulder as she carried the fussing Trunks away.

Vegeta snarled, holding the child up to examine him. “Scrawny arms. Small hands. You're not going to be much of a challenge.”

The baby blinked at him, studying the Saiyan's face carefully.

“Hit me then, let's see where your power level is.”

Goten ignored him.

“Child, hit me,” he ordered. He gently started flicking the boy's cheek to annoy him.

Trunks had understood the day he was born to swing when someone pissed him off as a defense, but apparently this boy had not been born with that Saiyan instinct. Instead of striking him back, Goten threw his head back and started screaming. The cry was piercing and shrill, echoing sharply around the room.

“Good gods, ” Vegeta winced, trying to hide his ears from the relentless assault.

Bulma was back quickly, scooping the baby from his arms. “Damn it, Vegeta, what did you do?”

“I was simply testing the child's power!” he said defensively. “I can't be blamed if Kakarot's offspring are weak!”

“Gohan literally saved the Earth. I'm sure Goten will be just fine, as long as he's not being harassed by his asshole Uncle Vegeta,” she called loudly over the child's cries.

Vegeta scoffed. “This child is not connected to my bloodline!”

“Too bad, you're his uncle.”

“Says who? The Harpy?”

“Says me. Goku is gone and we're going to pull our weight to help Chichi.”

Vegeta grumbled angrily, holding a pillow over his head. “He's so loud!”

“I warned you! Chichi says he's inconsolable when he gets like this.”

He growled. “ Asaya!

The boy stopped crying, eyes still glaring with frustration but sobs turned calm and quiet. Bulma froze. Vegeta peeked up front under the pillow. “Finally.”

“What did you say? In Saiyago right now, what was that word you said?”

“I said ‘silence’.”

“Do you think...did he understand you?”

He frowned, looking at the child closely. He tapped his own cheek. “Goten, akatecho.

The baby reached out and slapped Vegeta's face. The Saiyan's eyes went wide. “He knows Saiyago.”

“That crazy. That's crazy, right? I mean, even Goku didn't know how to speak like a Saiyan, and Trunks wasn't born with that ability. Newborns don't know language.”

He let out a long string of Saiyago at the child, but Goten ignored him again. “He doesn't 'speak’ the language. Perhaps some deep-seated instinct compels him to follow simple commands in it.”

“Tell him to go to sleep.”

Rekavat'see.”

The baby slumped in her arms, quickly falling into a deep slumber. Bulma grinned. “Oh my gods. Chichi's going to get some sleep after all.”

Chapter Text

“Please tell me this is not an event you intend on participating in.”

Bulma pushed his shoulder. “Don't be a grouch, we're going.”

“Like hell I am.”

“I go, Mama?” Trunks asked. He lay on the end of their bed facing away from them to watch the television.

“Of course you're going, Trunks. You're the Ringbearer.”

“Kay,” he said simply.

“We're all going,” she said threateningly, shaking the invitation at her husband.

“Woman, he's marrying a toaster.”

Trunks giggled without turning around. “Daddy's funny.”

“Daddy is not funny,” Bulma warned. “We don't repeat anything Daddy says, right Trunks?”

“A-teen’s a toaster.”

“Trunks, no.

Vegeta snorted.

“That's not nice to say, Trunks. If I hear it again I will delete all your Barney from the TV.”

Trunks looked horrified and nodded in understanding, but Vegeta scoffed. “Good gods, let's do that regardless. If I have to hear the infernal song one more time I'll destroy the blasted machine myself.”

“No, Daddy,” Trunks insisted, shaking his head.

“Don't give me orders, Boy,” Vegeta muttered, pushing the child off the bed with his foot. Trunks just laughed when he hit the floor and climbed back up into his spot, getting lost in the TV again.

“For your information, Eighteen is at least half human, which is more than I can say for some people around here.” Bulma said, crossing her arms. “Dr. Gero forced all the upgrades on her and her brother. I've gone over the schematics. Almost everything important is still in place,” she said with a wink.

“Disgusting,” he grimaced. “Why do you insist on detailing your friend's sex lives to me?”

“What's ‘sex life’?” Trunks asked.

“What did your mother tell you about repeating me, Boy?”

“Not ‘ta,” he admitted.

“I did not want to attend our wedding. I've no desire at all to attend theirs.”

“Then why don't you do it as a personal favor for me?” She asked with a sly smile.

He faltered, glancing at the boy. “The kind of personal favor I get to collect on?”

“Yep.”

“Can I collect on this favor ahead of time if I swear to attend?”

She considered it. “Yes.”

Vegeta kicked Trunks off the bed again. “Get lost, Boy.”

Trunks laughed again. This time Vegeta got up and lifted him from the floor by his ankle, carrying him off to his room.

-------------

 

“Well that was...acrobatic,” she laughed breathily.

He was still panting slightly, a sheen of sweat across his forehead. “Yes. You were too loud. We probably woke the boy.”

“You were the one demanding I call out 'Prince’.”

“Say it, don't scream it.”

“I didn't hear any complaining at the time.”

He just grunted which she usually took to mean she'd won. Her hand traced along his arm as they relaxed, and her mind wandered.

“Hey, I've got a question,” she said.

“You always do.”

“Why aren't you the king instead of a prince?”

She felt his body stiffen up. “I...I was never coronated. A prince is a prince the day he is born, but a king is crowned.”

“But, like, crowned by who ? With Goku gone there's only you left as a full Saiyan, plus the three half Saiyans. You already call yourself Prince of All Saiyans, why not just upgrade to King of All Saiyans?”

“I would never disgrace him like that.”

“Who?”

“That's enough, Woman!” He snapped, rolling away from her.

She was annoyed, and about to give him a piece of her mind, but realization dawned over her. She placed a soft hand on his shoulder, and he ignored it.

“Your father was named Vegeta, too,” she said flatly. “He would have been called King Vegeta. It would make you uncomfortable to be called the same thing.”

He didn't speak.

She thought a moment about all she'd come to know about him. “No, it's more than that. Frieza killed your father. His death should have stripped him of his title, but as long as you don't take it, it's still his. You don't want...you don't want to take his power away from him.”

“Don't presume to know me,” he spat.

She curled up behind him, wrapping her arms around his uninviting body. “He'd be proud of you.”

“You did not know him. I've failed at almost everything I set out to do on this damn planet.”

“Were you proud when you saw how strong Future Trunks was?”

He did not answer.

“Trunks didn't win either, but you knew how hard he worked to go Super Saiyan. You said you'd get there, and you did. That doesn't sound like failing.”

“Are you going to prattle on all night, Woman? I'll go sleep in the guest room if my bed is going to be so loud.”

She huffed at him but relented, falling asleep pretty quickly. He did not sleep for a long time.

---------------------

 

“Frieza.”

Bulma jolted awake at the sound of her husband's rough voice. She wasn't sure at first what he had said, and she rubbed eyes to check if Trunks was in the room.

“Vegeta?” She whispered.

“I'll kill you,” he growled dangerously, teeth pulling back in a harsh snarl.

She hopped out of bed, recognizing his nightmare immediately. At least she was earlier this time, he hadn't powered up. She had the opportunity to put the protocol she'd developed in motion.

Bulma Briefs could admit she did not have the best taste in men. She was excited by danger, evident clearly by her choice in a husband, but she wasn't stupid. Far from it; she was probably one of the smartest people in the world. She had some sense of self-preservation, enough that the idea of taking the risk of being killed during one of Vegeta's nightmares was enough to spring her into action. He didn't know she had prepared. He hated to talk about his occasional terrors, and she'd respected that by installing her system in secret.

Bulma flipped a switch next to their bed and several lasers came out of the wall, all targeted directly at Vegeta. They weren't that powerful, even if she fired them all it wouldn't do lasting damage to him. They'd wake him up, though. If the nightmare got worse, she didn't have to worry about touching him to wake him up, and therefore had less of a chance of taking a full Saiyan punch to her very breakable face. They were the last resort, though. She'd try to help him with her voice.

“Vegeta,” she called firmly. “Wake up. You're dreaming.”

He moved slightly, but still clearly unconscious. “Frieza. No. No!”

“Vegeta!” She called a little louder.

“You can't!” he barked. “I'll kill you!”

She growled in frustration.

“Let her go!”

She paused. “Excuse me?” She muttered. “Who is 'her’ and why is my husband dreaming about her?”

“She's mine! No!” The room lit up as he slipped into Super Saiyan. “Bulma!”

Her heart beat faster. This had to be a cruel joke. He was definitely wide awake, teasing her. There was no way she was focus of this nightmare. His face was contorted in pain, his hands clenched painfully in the sheets as he writhed like he was being tortured. As she slowly let herself believe his words she wanted nothing more than to run to him, to take that pain away. So she shot him.

She only fired two lasers, and they bounced ineffectually off of his skin. Still it was enough to jar him, and he awoke with a start. His breathing was ragged as he quickly took in his surroundings, lasers and all.

“What's the meaning of this, Woman?” He asked, but his voice was too breathless and confused to sound angry.

“It's a defense system,” she said quietly. “I had it installed to wake you up in case you had a nightmare.”

He rubbed his hands over his face as he powered down, sitting up on the side of the bed. She flicked the switch and the lasers retreated, leaving the room oddly empty in their wake. She approached him slowly, sitting on the bed next to him.

“Did I speak?” He asked.

“No,” she lied. “Just a lot of screaming.”

He nodded.

“Do you need to go train to calm down?”

“Not...not tonight. It wasn't that bad. Let's just go back to sleep.”

She agreed. Perhaps if she hadn't heard his earlier words she wouldn't have noticed the tight way his arms slid around her as they settled under the covers. She may not have thought anything of it when he suddenly moved over her, crushing her against him and eventually moving inside her slowly. She didn't tell him that she knew why he whispered Saiyago into her ear, words she knew and some she didn't. When they finally drifted asleep she resolved to never talk about his nightmares at all, so long as he sought solace with her when they were done.

Chapter Text

By the time Bulma pulled her car up to the side of the road Krillin was already outside, waving sheepishly. Trunks called ‘hello’ to him from his carseat; she couldn't find a babysitter this late. Her parents still lived at Capsule Corp, but had taken to staying on the Southside to give them some privacy, and she didn't want to wake them at this hour.

“Stay here, Trunks,” she warned him. “I'm not wrangling both of you tonight.”

He nodded while his mother got out and stalked over to Krillin, crossing her arms exasperatedly. “What happened?”

“Thanks for coming,” he said nervously. “He just kept talking about flying home and...I really don't think he could do that right now. If he ran into a building or something he could hurt somebody.”

“Vegeta doesn't drink,” she said. “He tried a shot of vodka at our wedding and didn't like it, he said it blurred his focus. Why would he get plastered?”

“Well...Yamcha's here.”

She groaned. “I thought you said Yamcha couldn't come? I never would have pushed him to go if I knew they'd be stuck in a bar together.”

“He had a game scheduled, but they cancelled due to weather so he surprised me by showing up. Then he started drinking, noticed Vegeta wasn't, muttered something about Saiyans not holding their liquor…”

Bulma rolled her eyes. “And Vegeta had to prove him wrong.”

“Yeah. He won, at least. Yamcha passed out about a half hour ago. Tien's going to help me get him home later.”

She smiled apologetically. “I'm sorry, Krillin. This is supposed to be your bachelor party and my jackass of a husband ruins it to prove a stupid point.”

Krillin laughed. “Oh, I wouldn't say that. Drunk Vegeta is pretty entertaining. I like him way better than normal Vegeta.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Why?”

Krillin just gestured to the entrance. “I'll keep an eye on Trunks.”

The bar was fairly busy, but it was easy to find the group as they sat under a banner that said ‘Congratulations Krillin’. Yamcha was slumped over the table, moving occasionally but clearly no longer up for conversation. Piccolo nodded to her as she approached, but he was the only one who seemed to notice her. Tien, Chiaotzu, and Roshi sat in rapt attention listening to...Vegeta. She didn't believe her ears at first and tried to reevaluate the scene in front of her, but that was definitely her husband’s voice talking fast.

“So these weird fucking caterpillar-looking things start swarming us, and this -- yeah, this is after the earthquake, had to be, because they came up outta the ground. There's huge ones and smaller ones, and one of them is on Nappa's head. You remember Nappa? Hey, Little Bald Not-Krillin One, do you remember Nappa?”

“Yes,” Chiaotzu grimaced. “I blew myself up trying to kill him.”

Vegeta laughed. Despite his quick words he still sat as still and stoically as always, arms crossed casually as he leaned back against his chair. “I forgot about that. Stupid decision. Anyway, one of the caterpillars is on Nappa's head, and he's bald anyway so it looks like he's wearing this long drooping green wig. I'm already laughing pretty hard, then there's one caught in Raditz's hair and he's too goddamn weak to shake it off. That's about the time we realize they can spit acid at us and -- Woman? What are you doing here?”

“Krillin called me to come get your drunk ass.”

He scoffed. “I am not drunk. The Weakling is drunk.”

Yamcha groaned against the table.

“I warned him not to challenge me. I do not need your assistance. Sit down and have a drink.”

“No, one of us needs to drive. Trunks is in the car, we've got to go.”

“Trunks can have a drink, too.”

She rolled her eyes. “Babies can't drink on Earth, Vegeta.”

“Oh, little Trunks, right. Big Trunks left. I like big Trunks. He'd have a drink with me.”

Tien leaned forward cautiously and spoke quietly to Bulma. “He's been like this for an hour. Just...talking. I swear I've heard a hundred words from the guy ever before tonight, but he just can't stop.”

“Hey, Triclops,” Vegeta snapped. “Don't flirt with my wife!”

“I wasn't!” He assured him quickly, a deep blush running up his cheeks as he held his hands back. “I wouldn't.”

“Why not? What's wrong with her?”

Tien sputtered, trapped. He looked to Bulma for help but she was enjoying his distress.

“Yeah Tien, what's wrong with me?”

“Her breasts are real, you know,” Vegeta said. “I know that's optional for Earth women, but they are.”

“And not bad either,” Master Roshi cackled.

Vegeta's glass shattered in his hand. “How would you know old man?”

Roshi paled, leaning back. “Uh, well, I mean, I don't--”

“It was Oolong's fault,” Bulma said honestly, trying to push the blame onto someone who wasn't in close proximity. “You know how he shapeshifts? He flashed him my breasts once while pretending to be me.” She ignored the one time Krillin had pulled her shirt down.

Vegeta grumbled. “Stupid pig.”

“It was definitely you when you flashed me the rest, though,” Roshi snickered quietly.

Bulma had a hand on Vegeta's shoulder, and when he tried to stand she managed to push him down because of his lack of balance. “Are you trying to die, Old Man?”

“He's not going to remember this in the morning anyway, when else would I get a chance to piss him off without repercussions?”

Piccolo snorted. “Just remember to give Krillin Kame House in your will.”

“Explain!” Vegeta barked.

Relax. I was just trying to give him a peek of my underwear in exchange for a dragon ball. He wouldn't have seen anything, but I didn't know Goku had taken them off earlier--”

“Kakarot? I'll kill him!”

“He's already dead.”

“Dammit, he's still one step ahead of me!” he jumped to his feet but swayed dangerously, looking very confused as to why the room was shifting to the left.

“Okay, come on, we're going home so you can sleep this off.”

“I don't want to. I'm not tired. I was telling a story to my new friends.”

“I am not your friend,” Tien muttered.

“Oh fuck no, I meant Piccolo and the bartender. Krillin's okay, he was useful on Namek. I can't stand the rest of you.”

“How did I get dragged into this?” Piccolo asked.

“You haven't spoken to me all night. I like that.”

“I said now, Vegeta,” she said, crossing her arms.

He growled, downing the last of Yamcha's drink. “Fine, Woman.”

Tien flicked his wrist and made a whipping sound.

“What does that mean?” Vegeta asked narrowing his eyes. “That means something, I saw it on television.”

“You do whatever Bulma tells you to now?” Tien asked with a smirk.

“I do what I please!” He snapped. “You know what I want to do now? I'm going to go have sex with Bulma. Nobody at this table--” he paused, frowned at the sleeping Yamcha, and then pushed him off his chair onto the floor. “Nobody at this table ever got to do that.”

She tried to pull him away by his sleeve, but it was like tugging on a wall now that he had his balance. “Vegeta! Now!”

He allowed her to drag him away, flipping one last middle finger up toward Tien as they went.

She apologized once more to Krillin, who assured her it was fine. She promised him that Vegeta was not allowed to drink at the wedding, and she'd make sure of it herself. She got in the driver's seat and hollered at him one more time to get in.

The Saiyan flopped into the passenger side of her car but it was cramped, so he tried to readjust it. He pulled the lever too hard and the seat went all the way back, essentially leaving him laying half in the front and half in the back.

“Hi, Daddy.”

“Hello,Trunks. Are you grown yet?”

“No, Daddy.”

“Well hurry the hell up. You would be fun to drink with.”

“Kay. You stink.”

Vegeta frowned. “You have purple hair and still wear diapers to bed. What's your point?”

“Don't antagonize my baby,” Bulma warned him. “Are you going to sit up?”

“No. This car is clearly malfunctioning, the roof is moving back and forth.”

“No, it's not.”

“Don't question my senses, they're sharper than yours. I can feel the movement of the Earth at this moment. We are going about...thirty miles an hour.”

“That's the car, Moron, I'm driving.”

Trunks giggled. “Silly.”

“Silence, Boy. You're as mouthy as your mother.”

“Daddy is silly, Trunks. If Mommy ever has to drive your drunk butt home like his I'll kill you as soon as you're sober.”

“I'm not drunk, Woman,” he insisted. “I may be...slightly impaired.”

Trunks seemed to be intrigued by this. “Daddy train?”

Vegeta snorted at him. “Nice attempt, Boy. Well planned. Always try to fight your enemies when they are at a disadvantage. I, however, am too smart for that because I'm the Prince of...something or other.”

“Prince of All Saiyans,” said Trunks, who'd heard that phrase much more than a handful of times in his life so far.

“Yes, that,” he murmured, eyes closing.

“You are officially cut off. No getting drunk without me there, because apparently you need a babysitter. Vegeta? Did you hear me?”

“Shh, Daddy's sleepy,” Trunks said as the sound of the Saiyan’s snores slowly filled the car.

It was impossible for her to drag him from the car to their bedroom, so she had to wake him up. After several attempts to shake him awake failed she unbuckled Trunks and held him over his father.

“Trunks, punch Daddy as hard as you can.”

Trunks was used to this game and did so immediately, but normally the Saiyan was ready for the blow. His small fist caught him hard under the eye and whipped his head around, causing the man to gasp and wake up cursing.

“Good boy,” Bulma said, kissing the boy's cheek. “Go get ready for sleep.”

“I'm not tired,” Vegeta muttered.

“I meant your son.

“Oh.”

Bulma helped Trunks to bed and dragged her husband to the bedroom, still shaking her head at him. She pulled his button up off and undid his pants and he smiled at her sloppily and winked.

“Don't even think about it.”

“I want you.”

“You'd fall asleep on me halfway through.”

“Doubtful,” he smirked. His hands easily pulled her up his body and he caught her in a messy kiss.

“Ugh, your breath!” She winced. “I'm not really in the mood.”

He wasn't paying attention. His lips wandered down to her pulse point and sucked hard on the delicate skin there. “Need my mate. A'metshone.”

“Don't try to sweet-talk me in Saiyan, I'm still mad at you.”

“Shall I say it all in English, then?” He whispered against her ear. She felt an involuntary shudder run down her spine. “My mate is radiant. We are one being, cruelly forced to live as two. We will make empires together--”

“Lay on the stupid bed.  Do not fall asleep.”

Chapter Text

Vegeta groaned into the pillow, hiding his eyes from the soft morning light that filtered in through their window.

“Morning, Drunkass. How's that head feel?”

“Woman, if you don't lower your voice, I will kill everyone you've ever met and burn this house to the ground.”

“How much do you remember?”

“A true Saiyan’s memory is unphasable,” he muttered.

“That's not what I asked.”

“I know that the old man must die, but I can't quite focus in on why.”

“That's probably for the best. You owe Krillin an apology.”

“Do I?”

“Yes. You and Yamcha decided to turn his party into a drinking contest, and you both lost.”

“I won,” he insisted. “That much I remember. I stayed conscious enough to have go home and have sex with my wife, he had to be scooped up from the barroom floor by the Triclops.”

“You both need to apologize to him. I'll yell at Yamcha too. In fact I probably should call him before he nurses his hangover.”

“Woman, who do you think poured the shots? That party was boring until Krillin suggested that Yamcha could outdrink me and bought the vodka.”

Her jaw dropped open. “That lying little bastard.”

He chuckled, then winced, regretting the movement. “How long does this last?”

“You need water and greasy food, that helps some.”

He shivered in disgust.

“Some people say you should have a drink to take the edge off a hangover.”

“No fucking chance, I'll not be touching it again. I barely remember the sex last night.”

She giggled. “You were really sweet. All in English, too.”

“Nonsense, you're misremembering.”

My mate shines like a star, searing my flesh, yet I crawl ever closer--”

“Enough!” He snapped, and then grabbed his temple painfully. His eyes went wide as he heard his son's footsteps slapping down the hall. “ No,” he whispered.

Trunks burst into their room and ran across the floor, flinging himself up into his parents’ bed. “Morning, Mama! Morning, Daddy!”

Vegeta growled and threw Bulma's pillow over his head, too. “Boy, I will eat you.”

Trunks giggled.

“You think I won't? I've eaten cuter beings with less provocation. It would not be difficult to start from scratch with a quieter child. I will be put you on a stick, roast you over a fire, and eat you.”

Bulma scooped up the unapologetic boy in her arms, ninety-nine percent sure Vegeta wasn't going to make him into a meal but figuring it was better not to take the chance. She slapped his butt on the way by. “Don't stay in bed all day.”

He growled.

“Bye, Daddy!” Trunks yelled.

The Saiyan winced, muttering something into the mattress about leaving the boy in the woods.

------------------

 

“He's getting on my nerves,” Vegeta called to her from the shower.

Bulma laughed in the mirror, combing out the last of her hair before bed. “It's cute and you know it.”

“It's a nuisance. All week, no matter where I go or what I do, he's three steps behind me! I try to train and he's knocking at the door to fight me, I try to eat and suddenly he's hungry. Yesterday I just stood in the living room doing nothing to bore him and he stood six feet away, staring at me. We were there for an hour.

“It's just a phase. I've been tracking his progress in the parenting books. I know he's only about to turn two, but he operates more like a three-year-old. His language patterns, motor skills, it all seems pretty consistent, if a little early.”

“So?”

So , all the books say three-year-olds are just realizing they are individual beings. He's trying to find his identity.”

“Well, he's not going to find it up my ass.”

“He wants to be like his Daddy. It's cute, so shut up. Gods know why, though. He should pick me over you. Maybe we should get him around Gohan more, that'd give him someone a little closer to his own age and, you know, species to copy.”

“And have him end up a carbon copy of Kakarot? I'd rather not.”

There was a small knock on the bathroom door and Vegeta cursed, thumping his head against the shower wall.

“Your shadow's back,” she whispered at him as she went to open the door a crack. “Yes, Trunks?”

“I need ta’ shower,” Trunks said confidently.

“Oh, really?” She asked in surprise. “Why's that?”

“I stink 'cause fighting.”

“Hmm, I see. Well, how about I run you a bath instead?”

He shook his head, glancing thoughtfully towards the door where he could hear Vegeta's water running. “No, I need ta’ shower.”

“How about if I put bubbles in it and we pull out your toys?”

He bit his lip. The boy really loved bubbles. “Okay, Woman.”

Bulma cleared her throat. “What was that?”

“Okay, Mama.”

“That's what I thought you said. Why don't you go find some pajamas and I'll come help you start the water?”

“Kay,” he said, running to his room. He got everywhere running lately.

Vegeta went to step out of the shower but Bulma blocked him. “You better shape up, Saiyan.”

His eyebrows drew together. “What are you moaning about now?”

That. My son is watching you, so you better watch yourself. It wouldn't kill you to be nicer.” He scoffed but she held up a finger to stop him. “I know. Compared to three years ago you're like Mary Fucking Poppins. But Trunks looks up to you, especially now. Do you want him to be all gruff and antisocial when he grows up?”

Yes. I'd finally have someone slightly Saiyan to talk to on this damn planet.”

“You liked Future Trunks, and he was nothing like you, so don't give me that. He needs to see you be nice to me. If my son ever calls me 'Woman’ again I'll murder you both.”

“I am nice to you,” he grumbled so quietly she barely heard him.

“Not when he's around. Not when anyone's around. Would it kill you to kiss me in front of your son?”

He blanched, drying off quickly. “Yes.”

She huffed at him.

“Our dynamic is no one's business.”

“Except. For. Trunks.” She said firmly, tapping him on the chest.

He rolled his eyes as he pulled his sweatpants on. “Whatever.”

“See, that's what I'm talking about. You really want a sarcastic teenager running around here one day like ‘ whatever Dad’ acting like he knows everyth--”

She cut herself off when Trunks opened the door to find her, holding pajamas. He stopped when he saw Vegeta standing there. “What you doing, Daddy?”

Vegeta rubbed the bridge of his nose. “I'm going to bed.”

“Oh. Mama, I don't need a bath, I'm gonna go ta’ bed.”

“Okay, Trunks,” she smiled.

Vegeta growled in annoyance. He reached out and grabbed Bulma by the waist, fisting one hand in her hair and kissing her deeply. He released her after a long moment and brushed past them towards the bedroom. “ Goodnight, Woman.”

Trunks blinked after his father a moment before holding his hands up to Bulma. She fixed her hair, clearing her throat as she picked him up. Trunks kissed her quickly on the cheek and hugged her. “Night, Mama!”

“Night, Honey,”

He wriggled down and ran to his room.

----------------

 

Vegeta's eyes were screwed shut, his hands gripping the headboard behind him. His breath was ragged but carefully controlled, mouth hanging open as occasional gasps escaped his throat unbidden.

“Need a break there, Buddy?” Bulma teased him, pulling her mouth off of him for a second.

He grunted. “Don't be ridiculous. I can win this easily.”

“Of course you can,” she rolled her eyes, circling her tongue around the ridge of his tip. Her other hand slid behind his back, rubbing hard at the tender spot that had been his tail. “You're clearly in control.” She slid down as far as she could go, taking him deep into her throat.

He gritted his teeth, a small whimper escaping his carefully guarded mouth. His fingers dug into the wood, breath coming faster. Her challenge had been simple, he thought. “Let me do whatever I want to you for two hours, and you're not allowed to use your hands.” Then, if he won, she'd owe him another favor. He'd laughed; what a ridiculously easy challenge. He'd never admit it, but it was only ten minutes into the game that he knew he'd made a grave mistake.

A small moan fought its way out as he danced on the edge. He felt her smile around him, and then she pulled away completely, leaving him hard and dripping. Again.

“Goddamnit!” He screamed.

She laughed. “Better calm down, Vegeta. You've only got… forty more minutes.”

He growled, the wood splintering under his grasp.

She crawled over him, running her nails over his skin. He was hypersensitive, and even that much contact made his eyes roll back. Nearly an hour and a half had passed then, most of it spent forced right against the edge of orgasm with no release. Just a little while longer.

She finally took hold of him again and he sighed, leaning into her touch. She eased down over him, teasing his head against her wet entrance. He tensed, trying to push up into her but she pulled away.

“Now!” He ordered.

“Now what?” She asked innocently.

He glared at her. “Sit on my cock. Now.”

She sank down around him and he gasped, shuddering, but then she slid off him again, giggling at his roar of frustration. He stared her down a moment, and then smirked.

“What?” She asked.

His hands left the bedframe and he grabbed her hips, rolling over her too quickly for her to see. She was pinned beneath him, his face less than an inch from hers. “You win.”

He shoved himself inside her suddenly, slamming into her. “ Fuck, Bulma.”

Bulma tried to focus on her victory, but two hours of teasing him was two hours of teasing herself. She'd already brought herself relief twice, part of the fun was him watching what he couldn't have. She knew how desperate he was, so she just let herself enjoy it while he pounded into her. She'd have time for gloating later.

He screamed her name again when he finally finished, shivering. His euphoria lasted a few long moments, and then he scowled at her, dropping over to his side of the bed. “Damn.”

“Told you so,” she bragged.

“There's no way you'd last as long as I did.”

“I didn't say I could, I said you couldn't , and I was right. You know what that means?”

He closed his eyes, ignoring her.

“That's right, you owe me a favor. I'm going to have fun with it, too.”

“What do you want?”

“Not sure yet. But it'll be good.”

Chapter Text

Trunks giggled shrilly, trying to wiggle away from Bulma's hands. “Mama, stop!”

“No mercy,” she cried, tickling him into his mattress.

“Stop!” He insisted. His small hands took hold of hers and held them away from him while he caught his breath. He smiled at her warily like he thought she'd push back and continue her assault at any moment.

Bulma had a good poker face, and it came in handy now. There was no reason to tell Trunks she hadn't actually chosen to stop tickling him -- he was just stronger than she was. His small hands were like vice grips on hers, not painful but completely unmovable. She knew he'd surpass her physically one day, being half Saiyan, but he hadn't thought it'd be at barely two years old.

“You're right, enough playing,” she said, covering his physical victory. “It's time to sleep.” She kissed him once in the forehead, reaching for his light.

“Mama, can I have a story?”

“A story, huh?” She crossed her arms. “That wouldn't be an elaborate attempt to stay up later, would it?”

He blinked in a way he probably thought looked innocent. “No, Mama.”

She snorted. “A short one. You want to hear about the beautiful girl who wanted to wish for the perfect boyfriend again?”

“No.”

“How about the strange boy who fell from the sky and his grandfather?”

“No, new one.”

“Hmm...okay…” she thought. “How about a story called... The Grumpy Prince ?”

“Like Daddy?” Trunks asked, seeing through the title easily.

“Of course not, it's completely original,” she insisted, leaning back and crossing her legs. “Once upon a time, on a distant planet, a grumpy little prince was born.”

“Daddy.”

“Shush, it's not Daddy. His name was… Joe.”

Trunks scowled. “Joe?”

“I know the boy's name, stop butting in. Joe was a strong prince, but he was also kind of an assh-- not a very nice boy. But he was like that because an evil dragon had stolen all of his favorite toys when he was very young. That made him angry, and he thought that to not lose all his toys again he'd have to assume everyone was trying to steal from him. His bad attitude stopped people from taking his things, but no one wanted to be friends with him and it made him sad.”

“What was the dragon's name?”

“Uh...Freezeya. Because he was an ice dragon.”

Trunks nodded.

“Then one day Joe met a beautiful girl who thought he was kinda cute. She liked him for a lot of reasons, but he thought she just wanted to make him sad like the dragon had. So he let her play with him, but was always careful that she didn't get too close because she might hurt him. The girl wanted to be his friend, and he liked her too, but he was too afraid. Then on her birthday, the girl got a brand new doll. She loved her doll, it was bright purple and small and cute and a lot of fun to play with. Joe liked her doll too, but he didn't ask to touch it because he thought if he played with her doll, he'd have to share his, and he didn't want to do that. So you know what the girl did?”

Trunks shook his head.

“She let him play with her doll anyway. She said 'here you go, Joe, this is our doll, and we can both play with it.’ That's when the prince learned what sharing was, and that just because he let someone get close to him did not mean they were going to hurt him.”

“So the prince learned to share with everybody?”

“Well...not right away. He was still very sad about the dragon, but he learned to share with the girl. He let her borrow one toy, then another, and then he pushed all their toys together and they both had twice as much fun as before. And they lived happily ever after. Now sleep.”

Trunks crossed his arms and leaned back. “Okay,” he huffed. “Next time I wanna hear a story about Daddy.”

She smiled. “Deal.”

------------------

 

Chichi yawned at their kitchen table, pushing a bit of hair out of her face.

“Another cup of coffee?” Bulma asked sympathetically.

“Yes, please,” the woman sighed. “I think I have more coffee in my veins than blood.”

Bulma laughed softly, pouring the woman her third cup. Chichi's crash course from Vegeta in Saiyago after Goten's birth had worked perfectly...for about a year. She'd just holler rekavat'see and he'd pass right out. Unfortunately, shortly past his first birthday Goten had suddenly stopped following the commands, and now did not even seem to know what the words meant. That left her with a loud one-year-old with no concept whatsoever of what 'bedtime’ was as she'd always just told him to sleep before. As a result, her home hadn't had a full night's rest in a month now. Even the normally calm and reserved Gohan was starting to snap at people.

The nearly thirteen-year-old sat next to his mother now, but he was slumped over the table in a deep sleep. Bulma had offered to move him to the couch but Chichi assured her they could sleep anywhere now.

“Well, Goten is definitely staying with us tonight,” Bulma announced, earning a relieved look from Chichi and an annoyed grunt from Vegeta.

“You're going to ruin my slumber just because Kakarot couldn't keep it in his pants?”

“We've talked about this Uncle Vegeta, ” Bulma warned. “And if you don't have anything nice to say why don't you go train or something?”

“Would that be me doing you a favor ?” He asked with a smirk.

“No, it would not be. If anything I'd be doing you one, Chichi and I are just going to talk about Krillin's wedding next week. If you want to gossip feel free to stay.”

He grumbled, grabbing his food from table and stalking off down the hall. He did not like the idea that he owed a favor to his wife. If she always took her rewards in the bedroom like he did that would be one thing, but the woman was more devious than that. She could ask him for anything at any time, and he would be obligated to comply. He could say no of course, but that opened the possibility that she may start turning his requests down when he was owed, and he wasn't willing to risk that.

He was so lost in thought that he didn't hear his son's voice until he was right outside his room. Trunks was speaking quietly, which was suspicious enough on its own,and he knew they'd sent Goten to play with him. Vegeta crept quietly to the door, peeking inside.

Goten was seated on the floor, happily examining a toy dinosaur. Trunks stood in front if him in a fighting stance, looking very annoyed.

“Goten, fight.”

Goten looked up in clear confusion, but smiled and held the toy up for his friend's inspection. Like Trunks, he too had progressed more rapidly than a human child, but the older boy still had a year on him. “Trunks, dino.”

“Uh huh,” Trunks said, taking the toy gently. He set it down next to them and then gently pulled Goten up to his feet. Trunks tapped his own cheek. “Goten hit now.”

“Hit?” Goten frowned a little. “Game?”

“Yes, it's a fun game,” Trunks promised. He patted his cheek again.

Goten reached out and touched his cheek, but that was clearly not what Trunks was after. Trunks sighed in annoyance, bending down and grabbing Goten's ankles to flip him upside down. The other boy giggled as Trunks tried to lift him up to his face to convince him to hit him the way Vegeta had, but he was far too short to accomplish it. He set Goten back down, gears in his mind obviously turning as he tried to figure out how to explain.

“Hit like this.” He punched Goten in the shoulder.

Trunks didn't have much experience controlling his strength and the force of the blow knocked the boy to his butt. His bottom lip stuck out and his eyes watered.

“Don't cry!” Trunks said quickly, hugging the boy. “I'll be in trouble. Here, hit Trunks.” He took Goten's hand and made it into a fist, then bumped it hard against his cheek.

Goten was still pouting, but he seemed to understand what Trunks was trying to get him to do. He pulled his arm back and smacked Trunks in the cheek with his fist. Vegeta was surprised to see how far Trunks fell back; perhaps Trunks was exaggerating, trying to encourage the child by acting more injured than he felt. There was no way the boy was that strong with no training.

Goten stared at the other boy, and then at his fist, mouth open a bit in wonder. Vegeta was vaguely aware that if he had been a different type of man, he may have found it cute. There was nothing more important to a Saiyan that battle, and Goten was clearly only just being introduced to it. A traitorous smile forced its way to the surface for a fraction of a moment, and then was gone.

Goten stood, toy long forgotten on the floor. He held his fists before him, unskilled but certainly willing. “Trunks fight Goten?”

Trunks nodded enthusiastically, coming to stand across from him. “Yeah! But 'member, it's a secret. Shhh.”

“Shhh,” Goten agreed, holding his small finger up to his mouth.

Vegeta nodded to himself. They were probably right. It was best that their mothers did not know they were training together, but it was vital Trunks get to fight someone closer to his skill level to be able to see the progress of his strength. He decided not to argue about having the brat over again, seeing as how he was sure the two of them would be fighting 'in secret’ as much as possible.

He peeked his head in a few more times during the afternoon and always saw the two sparring. Whenever he saw Bulma or Chichi coming down the hall he cleared his throat loudly, and he heard them scramble to pick up toys and act busy.

That was the first good night of sleep Goten had, with many more to follow.

 

Chapter Text

She didn't always catch him when he had a nightmare. It was rare for him to wake up screaming, so she assumed they came only occasionally. She was wrong. Hardly a night passed by without one anymore.

That hadn't always been the case. Before her, before Earth, he'd slept just fine. He could use a pile of bodies slain from own hand as a pillow and sleep like a child, completely dreamless. Even after he'd finally given in and taken her to bed he'd return to his room on the compound to dream only of his coming victory.

Then she asked him to stay with her, and for reasons he wouldn't or couldn't voice, he had.

They always started differently, innocuously, that's how they tricked him. Usually he just talking to Bulma or training with Trunks, things he wouldn't question the reality of. Tonight it was the later. He thought he was in the Gravity Room, and the boy was doing well.

“I'm strong, Daddy.”

He just grunted in agreement, not looking at him.

“I'm real strong. Not stronger than you, though. No one's strong enough to stop you.”

He frowned, glancing up at the boy and then jumping backwards, eyes wide. Trunks was still smiling, but he was covered in blood, his skin turning rapidly paler.

“Trunks?” He asked, grabbing hold of the boys arms. He was cold. “Where are your wounds?”

The boy raised a hand to his chest and he could see a deep gash form there. There was a sudden weight in his palm, and he looked away from Trunks' to find a sharp sword in his own hand. He dropped it and it clanged loudly against the floor in the increased gravity.

“Trunks, I didn't--”

He looked up and the boy had changed. He was older, dressed in the armor they'd worn in the Time Chamber. The wound on his chest was still open, and the young man sank to his knees. “What...what did I do wrong, Father?”

“You didn't do anything,” Vegeta heard himself say. “You don't deserve this.”

“Did I?” It wasn't one voice that spoke, but so many millions (billions?) said it at once that the sound blurred together into a single shout.

The Gravity Room fell away and he was alone, suspended high in an inky blackness. Fire lit up far below him, and standing unharmed in the flames he saw them. Their howls of fury filled his ears and he could no longer think. The millions reached for him, desperate for retribution. No. Justice. His eternal suffering would be only the attempted balancing of a scale that could never hope to become equal.

The gravity slowly increased around him, and he started to descend toward their waiting hands, knowing that once he reached them they'd tear him limb from limb and never cease. He set his jaw, deciding to go down with dignity. Saiyans did not regret.

“Vegeta?”

He heard her voice and looked up into the blackness. Bulma was there, falling next to him. She was smiling as she reached out and took his arm. Didn't she see the fire? Didn't she know what was going to happen when they reached the bottom?

He heard the screams of his victims cry out in protest. Why did this foolish woman cling to the demon they sought justice from? Why should he be allowed this moment of softness and kindness before execution? They were not offered anything of the sort from him.

He tried to tell her to go, to get away from him because they would pull her down, but no sound came from his mouth. She just smiled and kissed him, and he felt the first fingers grabbing at their feet--

He woke with a gasp, managing not to jump and wake the woman sleeping next to him. He took deep breaths to slow the rapid beating of his heart. There was an added pressure against his stomach and he moved the blankets slowly to see what it was. Trunks had managed to slip into bed with them, buried under the covers with his head across his father's stomach and his legs up on his mother. He touched the boy's chest. Still warm, not soaked in blood or destroyed by his negligence.

Vegeta folded one arm behind his head and put the other one around Bulma, careful not to wake her up. He stared at the ceiling and waited for the sun, unwilling to take another round tonight.

--------------------------

 

“You're actually wearing that, then? In front of others? Purposefully?”

Bulma frowned at the mirror in their bedroom, turning back and forth. “As bridesmaid dresses go it's not really that bad.”

“You look like the bastard from Trunks’ damned dinosaur program.”

She chortled. “Shut up, I don't look like Barney.”

“Well he has a tail instead of a giant purple bow on his ass, but other than that--” She tossed the hangar at him which he caught effortlessly and casually dropped.

“I've worn worse.”

“Like what?”

“Once I had to wear this weird bunny suit for days, ears and all. It was the only thing Oolong had that would fit me. Roshi sure loved it, the perv.”

He raised an eyebrow. “The man was charmed by a rabbit costume?”

“It's kind of...you know what, nevermind. I'll find it for you some time and you can just see for yourself.”

He rose from their bed coming up behind her to inspect the outfit. He turned her around and brushed away the fabric from her breasts, leaving them exposed. “The top half is acceptable, easily moved aside, but the bottom is unwieldy. How am I supposed to fuck you in secret at the reception with this monstrosity on you?”

“You're not, ” she warned, slapping his hands away. “This isn't some silly gala, this is Krillin's wedding. I'm in the bridal party, they'd miss me if I disappeared and we could get caught. No sex.”

He smirked. “Right.”

“I mean it. If you come up to me trying to get me into a closet or something I'll tell you to fuck off and maybe kick you in the balls. My answer is no.”

“Is that a challenge, Woman?”

--------------------------

 

Bulma gasped, the bottom of her thick purple dress crushed between them and pressed back against the green bathroom stall. Her legs were off the ground, wrapped tight around his hips. She bit her lip, arching into him but frowning in annoyance. “I said a quickie, Vegeta, speed it up.”

“You'll take what I give you,” he breathed into her ear, continuing his leisurely thrusting.

“They're going to notice I'm g-- ah!” She gasped as he changed his angle.

“There, A'met?

“Yes, but faster, come on!”

“Because you want to get back or because it feels good?”

“Both!”

He laughed against her neck, sliding his hand underneath her dress to circle her clit. “I'll get you there, be patient.”

“Bulma?” Chichi's voice echoed into the bathroom as the lockless door swung open.

They froze. Bulma held a hand over her mouth and checked to make sure they were concealed in the stall. “Your feet,” she breathed in his ear.

He lifted silently off the ground, carrying her up the stall wall with him until his feet were hidden.

“Bulma?” Chichi called again as she began knocking on stall doors. “They're getting ready to cut the cake, are you in here?”

They heard more footsteps following behind Chichi. “Any luck?”

“She's not in here, Eighteen. I don't know where she could have gone, I'm sorry.”

They heard the android's heels clack against the floor as she crossed to the mirror. “Whatever,” she said casually, unperturbed. “I can wait ten minutes. She should be back soon.”

“You know where she went?” Chichi asked.

“No, but how long could they take?”

“Huh?” Chichi asked.

Eighteen snorted. “Chichi, if you hadn't noticed, Vegeta's missing too.”

“But Trunks is still playing on the dancefloor with Goten. They wouldn't just go home and leave him.”

There was a pause.

Chichi stuttered, her voice dropping to an embarrassed whisper. “You don't mean… You think they snuck away for sex?”

“Duh. Bulma's getting some for sure. They're probably in one of the coat closets, or maybe out in her car. She should've just told me I would've covered for her.”

Vegeta smirked at her in their hiding place and she held up a finger to warn him to keep quiet.

“People don't really do that sort of thing,” Chichi sputtered. “Not in real life.”

“Are you kidding me? Krillin and I did it at their wedding. He's compact as hell, as long as we find a space I can crawl in he can usually still at least crouch and take me from behind--”

“Eighteen! Stop!” Chichi begged clearly mortified. “Your...dalliances with Krillin aside, I seriously doubt Vegeta has any interest in that. He's a Saiyan.”

“So?”

“I was married to a Saiyan for almost thirteen years, I know how they operate.”

Vegeta smiled wickedly at Bulma. She felt him readjust inside her, pressing his head directly against her g-spot before silently but firmly slamming into it. Her mouth opened and her fingers tightened in his suit jacket. He continued the merciless movement, watching her struggle not to cry out in pleasure.

“They just don't care about sex,” Chichi continued, whispering the last word conservatively. “They only think about fighting. I think in our whole marriage Goku initiated it maybe twelve times. I mean, he never turned me down, but it just wasn't on his mind. And poor Bulma has Vegeta. He's so proper and standoffish, I bet they've hardly done it at all since they made Trunks. I'm glad she's happy and all but… you know, they're not like a real couple.”

With one final pinch to her clit she convulsed around him, biting her tongue to keep herself silent.

“I think you're underestimating him,” Eighteen shrugged, heading back across the floor. “If you get past the whole 'evil alien’ thing he's kind of sexy. Oh, don't look at me like that, I'm a happily married woman. Maybe I just have a thing for short guys.” They laughed and the door swung shut behind them, leaving the hidden couple alone.

“Finally,” Bulma breathed, moaning slightly as she came down from her peak.

“Why does everyone compare me to Kakarot,” he growled, speeding up. He held his hand against the wall and froze as he came inside her. He lowered them to the ground, setting her on her feet.

“Damn, you ruined my panties,” she grimaced, picking up the torn cloth. “Hand me some tissue.”

“Don't bother, my come running down your leg is the best part of that outfit,” he smirked.

She slapped him on the chest, pushing him out of the stall and closing the door behind him. “Get out of here, but be subtle. You shouldn't be in the ladies’ room anyway. I'll find you at our table in a few minutes so more people don't figure out we were together.”

“Don't take too long.” He adjusted his suit in the mirror.

“Oh, and Vegeta?”

“Yes?”

“I have a favor to ask you.”

He stopped, peering into the mirror suspiciously as she opened the stall and came to fix her makeup next to him. “Ask it, then.”

She set a hand against his arm. “Dance with me tonight.”

He scoffed, shrugging her hand off of him. “Don't be absurd.”

“You owe me one. One dance. I'm tired of people thinking we aren't a 'real couple’. I'm not asking you to declare your love and become Mr.Romance. One slow song, I'll lead, and if anyone tries to give you shit about it I'll scream them down later.”

He thought a long moment, and then growled softly. “ Once. And then my debt to you is repaid. Next time I get to tease you , and if you fail I'll take two favors. Do you accept my terms?”

She pumped her fists, pulling him into a kiss. He allowed it for a moment and then pulled away. “And none of that out there either. Now let's go. I want cake.”

Chapter Text

“What would you wish for if we had the dragon balls?” Bulma asked quietly. They were lying together in bed, and Trunks’ lavender hair poked out of the bedspread between them.

“Certainly not a boyfriend or a pair of ladies’ underwear.”

She snorted. “Shut up, I'm serious. They must be usable again by now, we could find them if we wanted to.”

He thought for a moment. “My first thought would be my tail, but you've found an acceptable work around.”

She smiled and reached around his back, pushing into his spine. He shuddered. “That's not relaxing at the moment, so if you'd like to continue we have to get the bed to ourselves.”

She giggled. “Nah, this is nice, I don't want to ruin it.”

Vegeta raised an eyebrow at his son. “By the way, when did this become a thing we allow? It seems like he's in our bed more than his own.”

“He likes to sleep next to his family, it's adorable.”

“And what about this one?” He asked, pulling the covers back further to reveal Goten sleeping there, snuggled up next to Trunks.

“Well, we're not going to make poor Goten sleep alone when he visits. He's not bothering you, leave him alone.”

“Don't be fooled. His limbs extend like a starfish while he sleeps, and I end up on the edge of my own bed by morning.”

Bulma giggled. “He gets that from Goku. So if not your tail, what then?”

“Did you have something specific in mind? You know I hate trying to guess your thoughts, they're nonsensical and random, it'd take a lunatic to trace them accurately.”

“Nothing specific, no. It just seems like a wasted opportunity. We have all of the power of the eternal dragon available to us, and all we'd have to do is gather the very findable dragon balls. Why not go for it and get a wish?”

He considered it. “I want nothing.”

She rolled her eyes. “Of course, Mr.Stoic Saiyan can't ever admit he wants anything or needs anyone's help--”

A'met, ” he said firmly, catching her eyes. “You misunderstand me. I want for nothing. I've no interest in the dragon balls at the moment.”

She waited a moment, trying to understand the strange look on his face. She smiled. “Oh. You're happy here. With us.”

“I said no such thing.”

“No, of course not, that'd be too sweet to come out of your mouth,” she said, trailing a hand down his arm. “But it's true anyway.”

“Think what you like, it has no affect on me.”

“Whatever, Saiyan.”

Goten grumbled in his sleep and kicked the man in his side, earning him a deadly glare and a laugh from Bulma as the boy continued to snore away.

-----------------

 

At least Trunks had the decency to look contrite. He sat on the edge of the sofa cushion, head down and hands on his knees; the instinctual pose of a child in for a scolding. His father just leaned back casually on the couch and had the nerve to reach for the remote.

Bulma snatched it away, crossing her arms again as she glared down at them. He scowled, clearly more annoyed than ashamed. “Turn the television on. That show I like with female warriors is airing soon.”

“No Charlie's Angels for you, Buddy. Not until I get a goddamn explanation from someone. What happened?”

“You'll have to be far more specific.”

“Okay, what happened before I had to BAIL MY HUSBAND AND TODDLER OUT OF JAIL?” She shouted.

“We weren't arrested, Woman, stop exaggerating. We were simply asked in for interrogation.”

“How the hell did this happen?”

“Well, I believe someone asked me to take Trunks to the park so she could work in her lab. None of this would have happened without that, so this was your fault. Now move, you're blocking the view.”

Bulma took a deep breath, turning her steely gaze on the male in her family who was significantly more afraid of her. “Trunks?”

“Yes, Mama?”

“What did you do today?”

He glanced nervously at Vegeta. “Uh, I went to the park with Daddy.”

She waited for him to continue.

“And...and I got to play on the swings.”

She stared at him silently.

“There was a girl by the swings, and she was mean.”

“She was a banshee demon-child from hell,” Vegeta nodded.

“Uh huh,” Trunks nodded. “Her name was Carmen, and she wanted my swing.”

“What have I taught you about sharing, Trunks?” She asked, hands on her hips. “Don't you remember the story about The Grumpy Prince? We share our toys.”

“You're right, Mama.”

“Bullshit,” Vegeta spat. “Grow a spine, Boy, tell her about the swings.”

Trunks shifted uncomfortably. “There was three swings and I was only on one of them.”

“Meaning there were two open swings the she-beast could have used but she insisted on taking Trunks’ seat. He still got off and moved to another and then she wanted that one. It was clearly psychological warfare.”

Bulma sighed apologetically at her son. “Trunks, sometimes little girls tease boys when they like them.”

“I don't think she liked me, Mama. She said I was tiny and my hair was stupid and made me look like a girl.”

She crossed her arms. “She said what about my baby? And just what were you doing about this, Vegeta?”

“I approached the swings and told Trunks to stop being a coward. Then the little bitch punched me in the balls.”

Bulma snorted, covering her smile behind her hand, but he still scowled at her. “Why didn't you dodge it?

“She was a two foot tall human girl, I want expecting a physical attack, and my eyes were on Trunks at the time. Stop your snickering, Woman!”

“So Daddy picked Carmen up and held her away from him so she couldn't hit him again.”

“Then her horrible mother came running at me, screaming about me 'manhandling’ her angel.”

“She had too much makeup and her boobs were fake.”

“Trunks!” Bulma said sternly. “Where did you learn that?”

“Daddy said it,” he said, pointing to Vegeta.

Vegeta held up his hands innocently. “It was obvious. Kakarot would have been able to tell, hell she had them half out anyway.”

Bulma rolled her eyes. “Okay, so Carmen's mom is yelling at Daddy. Then what?”

“Well, she wasn't mad very long. She yelled until he turned around, then she got all silly.”

“Silly? Silly how?”

“She kept flipping her hair around like this,” Trunks said, tossing his hair back with his hands. “Then she smiled and got all close to him and kept blinkin’ real fast.”

“Oh, did she?” Bulma said, glaring at her husband.

“Yeah, and then she said he doesn't wear a ring and she likes single dads.”

“And what did Daddy say?”

“I said nothing,” Vegeta spat. “She was not worth my time or attention.”

“She made me mad,” Trunks said, crossing his arms. “I said 'hey, my Daddy is married to my Mama, go away you hussy’.”

“Trunks! Where did you learn that word?”

“That's what you called that blue-haired lady Marron when she showed up to Krillin's wedding.”

“Oh,” Bulma blushed. “Well, that's not a nice word. We don't say that word.”

“We sure do say a lot of words we don't say around here,” Trunks grumbled.

“What was that, Boy?”

“Nothing, Daddy,” he said quickly. “So she called me a brat and Daddy told her to mind her own business and take her crazy daughter with her. That was when Carmen's Daddy got there.”

“Pathetic weakling.”

“And Carmen's mama told him that Daddy had flirted with her and hurt Carmen, and he was mad.”

“That's when some coward nearby called the police, I believe. The poor bastard actually tried to hit me, so I let him.”

Trunks grinned here. “It was so cool, the guy hit Daddy in the face and all the bones in his hand all snapped like 'crack!’ and he started calling for help. Carmen tried to hit Daddy again so I got off the swing and pushed her, then she kicked me so I threw her up a tree--”

“You did what ?”

“You told me not to punch humans, so I threw her up a tree. Then her mama started screaming about monsters and tried to climb the tree but she fell and hit her elbow. Then Carmen's Daddy got real close to me and started yelling at me…” his smile faded and regret settled in again.

Vegeta was grinning. “So Trunks hit him with an energy wave that sent the jackass back about twenty feet. We haven't even practiced those yet.Damn impressive, Boy.”

Trunks was smiling again. “Thanks, Daddy.”

“So that was why the police thought there was a bomb involved?”

Vegeta grimaced. “Yes. They accused me of assaulting the adults and throwing the girl up the tree because they didn't believe Trunks could do it. Then they said Trunks must have had a pipe bomb because witnesses saw the 'explosion’. So we were asked to come in for an interrogation. And what did we tell them?”

“Not a damn thing, Daddy.”

“That's right, boy.”

“So, let me get this straight. The little girl insulted my baby, the mother hit on my husband, and the father yelled in Trunks’ face.”

“Yes,” they said in unison.

“Oh. Well then, screw them all,” she tossed the remote at Vegeta. “Trunks, let's go get ice cream.”

“Yay!” Trunks clapped, hopping up.

Chapter Text

“How long do Saiyans live?” she asked against his neck.

“That depends on their skill in battle. You're more likely to live a long life if you happen to be adept at avoiding a sword in your gut.”

“I mean, what's the life expectancy?”

“You can expect to live about as long as you can avoid your death.”

“I'm serious.”

“So am I. If you're asking at what age we get old and die like humans I have no idea, because no Saiyan would allow themselves to die so disgracefully. We die in combat.”

“Oh. Well, how old was the oldest Saiyan you knew?”

He thought a moment. “I remember hearing that my father's friend had just celebrated his hundred and fifth birthday. He was past his prime by then, definitely starting to show age.”

Starting ?” She blanched. “Am I really going to look that much older than you? Stupid frozen Saiyans.”

“We're not frozen,” he argued. “We've simply evolved to age more slowly to aid us in battle. I will continue to grow for the next several decades. I may end up significantly taller than you. With any luck,” he grumbled.

“Will you ditch me when I'm an old lady?” She teased, running her hand along his stomach.

“It seems unlikely. That would require me to find someone else, and I can't stand most of this planet.”

“Aw. I'm gonna pretend that was sweet,” she said. “Everyone's going to think I'm a cougar.”

He frowned. “The animal?”

“It's slang for an old lady with a young sexy husband. You know what, maybe this won't be as bad as I thought. Everyone will just think you're a gigolo.”

“I will not care.” He paused. “So long as the sex does not stop.”

She laughed. “Don't worry. I expect you to hit this when I'm eighty.” She grew quiet, and he thought she had fallen asleep. “You know, it's kind of sad.”

“Hmm?”

“When we were waiting for the androids, I thought we didn't have a lot of time left. That's probably one of the reasons I… No offense, but any port in a storm. Then we survived, and we get all this time but… things still have to end someday. One of us has to die and leave the other one alone.”

“That's how life works, no sense in complaining. Whining will not make you immortal.”

“But it's me. I've gotta try,” she smirked.

He snorted. “If anyone could argue with death, I believe it would be you.”

She tightened her grip on him. “I get to die first, understand me? My life is shorter than yours, you can wait sixty years before you die in battle and come join me.”

He didn't respond, and she eventually fell asleep.

-----------

 

Trunks and Goten had long since figured out that Vegeta did not care if they beat the crap out of each other, so long as their mothers didn't find out. The two-year-old and three-year-old had been left behind while the women went into the city to do some shopping, leaving Vegeta the babysitter by default.

He was spread out on the sofa, flipping absently through channels as the two half Saiyans fought in front of him. It was a little annoying as they kept getting in his way, but the urge to fight other children in front of an adult for praise was very Saiyan, and he wasn't going to stifle it.

Trunks almost always won, but to be fair his two-year-old friend had only really just gotten his balance down and did not train as often as he did. The younger was holding his own today, he hadn't been pinned.

Finally the two were exhausted, panting against the carpet with no clear winner. Trunks rolled his head to his father. “Daddy, can we have ice cream?”

Vegeta nodded a quick assent and Trunks hopped up. “I'll bring you some, Goten.”

“Kay,” Goten said, rubbing his face. He was laid out flat against the floor, staring at the ceiling. His friend went padding out of the room and the younger boy turned his attention to Vegeta.

The Saiyan shifted uncomfortably; he hated being stared at and this strange child had made a habit of it. He'd complained about it to Bulma only a few days before and she'd assured him it was just a phase, and he should be flattered that the boy found him so fascinating. “What do you want, Boy?”

“Geta, you a Saiyan?” Goten asked.

“Obviously.”

The boy nodded, clearly lost in thought, but still staring at him.

What? ” He snapped.

“Geta, you look like my Daddy?”

He froze. “No. I do not look like Kakarot.”

The boy frowned. “Goku?”

“That was his ridiculous Earthling name,and I refuse to use it. His Saiyan name was Kakarot.”

“C-carrot.”

“No it's -- whatever, it makes no difference.”

The boy thought a moment. “He big like you?”

“I suppose.”

“Strong like you, too?”

Vegeta eyes darted to the door, making sure Trunks was not back yet. He gritted his teeth painfully. “At the time of his death… stronger.”

Goten's eyes went wide. “He fight?”

“If he did not, we would all be dead.”

Goten nodded thoughtfully, then struggled to his feet. “Goten fight, too.”

Vegeta nodded. “Naturally.”

Trunks came back in with two big bowls of ice cream, knowing his father would not check to see how much was in each bowl like his mother would. Goten dropped into a fighting stance. “Trunks fight!”

Trunks held up the treats. “Let's eat before it melts.”

“No, Trunks fight Goten,” the boy insisted, holding up his small fists. “Get stronger.”

“After we eat, Goten--”

“Trunks,” his father said firmly. “Fight him. The ice cream will not melt over the course of one match.”

Trunks shrugged, confused, but he set the bowls down and held up his fists, nodding to his friend.

------------

 

Vegeta would not look at them. His large hands covered his face as he sat silently at the kitchen table. Bulma sat next to him in a robe, drumming her spoon against the table as her hot chocolate grew cold. Trunks sat in the third chair, looking between them and waiting for one of them to speak.

Bulma finally cleared her throat. “Okay, we have to talk about this as a family.”

“No,” Vegeta said, quickly rising. “I'm going to sleep, speak with your son if you have to.”

“Vegeta, sit, ” she snapped. “He's going to have questions for you and you're going to be a good dad and answer them.”

“You're putting words into his mouth, he doesn't have questions for me.”

“Yes I do,” Trunks said bravely.

“Silence, Boy! This is your fault. What have I told you about sneaking into our room in the middle of the night? This was bound to happen.”

“Why were you hurting Mama?”

Vegeta sputtered, his cheeks a deep red. “She...she pissed me off. By asking too many questions .”

“Cut it out, Vegeta, don't lie to him,” Bulma scolded. “Daddy was not hurting me. In fact, it's the opposite. What you saw is what people do when they love each other.”

Vegeta growled. “This conversation is over! Everyone go to bed! In their own rooms!”

“Sometimes Mamas and Daddies do a special private exercise, like a hug. When you walked in Daddy was just showing me how much he loves me.”

“Why were you yelling his name?”

She bit her lip. “We don't have the time to take you to the therapy that an answer to that would cause you to need. What's important is that you know he was not hurting me.”

“Why were you dressed like a bunny?”

She blushed deeply and Vegeta crossed his arms. “Yes, Mama, explain that one.”

“Look, this is just the three-year-old version of this conversation. Someday a long time from now Daddy will sit you down and explain all of this to you the right way.”

“The hell I will!”

“You're his father, Vegeta, it's your damn job.”

“It's unnecessary! No one had to explain shit to me.”

“And how did that work out for you in your twenties?”

He growled. “It's mostly self-explanatory! Only an idiot would need it spelled out for them. Are you an idiot, Boy?”

“Ignore Daddy, Trunks. He doesn't know how to express himself like a big boy so 'embarrassed’ always comes out as 'angry’.”

Vegeta moved like there were insects in his hair. “I am not-- how dare you! None of this would have happened if you knew how to lock a door, Woman! Trunks, just find an infuriating Earth woman you can stand and ask her to explain it to you.”

“Explain what ?”

Bulma held a hand to her forehead. “Uh...romance. Let's call it romance.”

“Ew,” Trunks winced. “Like girls and stuff? I don't care about that.”

“See? The boy doesn't care. Now everyone go to bed.”

“You'll care one day, Trunks. And your father will explain some things to you, or I'll do it and be extremely detailed, scarring both of you for life.”

“When will you talk to me Daddy?” Trunks asked.

Vegeta looked anywhere but his son. “When you find a damn girlfriend mention it to me and we might talk, depending on whether or not your mother has realized she is wrong.”

He considered that. “But what if the girl I like one day has a boyfriend already?”

“Murder him.”

“Vegeta!”

“What?"

---------------------------

Chapter Text

“Vegeta!”

Bulma could scream like a banshee when she needed to, and her cry reached his ears even inside the Gravity Room. He ran down the hall looking for the woman, but didn't see her anywhere.

“Vegeta, get out here!”

Outside, then. He burst out of the front door, unsure what enemy might be waiting for him. Instead he found just his wife, looking terrified, but standing alone.

“What's wrong?” He asked, slightly annoyed he had nothing to fight off. “Is it another insect? Woman, you are outside. If there's a spider here, go ins--”

“Vegeta, look!” She cried, pointing up far above them.

He turned his gaze upward, and then he pinched the bridge of his nose. “How the actual fuck? Trunks! What are you doing?”

“I don't know! Hanging on?” Trunks called down. He and Goten were hanging from a flagpole by their arms, several stories up.

“Don't sass me, Boy. How did you get up there?”

Trunks attempted to shrug but found it difficult with his arms extended above him.

“Bullshit. Goten, how did you get up there?”

“Uh, I dunno,” he said, following Trunks’ lead.

“Fine, then get yourselves down,” he spat, turning slowly to goad them into answering. The two-year-old broke first.

“No, I'm scared!” Goten yelled. “I held onta’ Trunks!”

“Goten, shut up!” Trunks grumbled.

“What did I tell you yesterday about practicing flying without me, Trunks?” Vegeta called.

“Vegeta, now is not the time for a lesson!” Bulma snapped. “Get them down!”

He rolled his eyes and lifted off the ground, flying easily to where the two were suspended. “You flew up here, Trunks?”

The boy pouted guiltily. “Yes, Daddy.”

“Why bring Goten with you?”

“He was sposed'ta pull me down if I went too high.”

“A brilliant plan, considering he's barely more than half your size.” The Saiyan reached out and grabbed the back of Goten's shirt, pulling him off the pole. The younger boy reached out and clung to his arm, not looking at the ground. Trunks reached out to grab his father's other arm, but the Saiyan flew backwards a bit. “No. You flew up here, fly down.”

“But Dad, I can't!” He whined, kicking his feet. “I don't know how I did it.”

“Flying is not done accidentally, it takes a concentrated effort to push your energy against the Earth. If you did it once you can do it again,” he said, flying down and setting Goten on the grass.

“I don't think so,” Bulma gasped at him. “You are not baby-birding my toddler. You know what happens to baby birds, Vegeta?”

“They fly.”

“Or not. There's dead birds all over the place! Sometimes they fly, and sometimes they bounce off the pavement like rubber balls.”

“He's a Saiyan, serious physical injury would only make him stronger.”

“Are you insane ? Get him down!”

“No.”

“Vegeta, I want my son on the ground, now!”

He grimaced, flying back toward Trunks. “Fine.” He pulled the boy off the pole and held him over the ground. “Fly.”

“No!” Trunks winced, shutting his eyes. “I can't.”

Vegeta let go of Trunks’ shirt and the boy screamed, falling quickly toward the ground. He held his hands over his face, waiting to hit the ground, but the impact never came. Trunks opened his eyes to find himself floating in midair, unaided. Vegeta stood a few feet below him, a hand raised to catch him if he failed.

His father grinned smugly. Bulma was smacking the Saiyan on the back for scaring her, but he clearly couldn't feel it. “There, now you can fly.”

“Woah!” Goten said, looking up at his friend. “Cool!”

Trunks laughed, flipping around in the air. A strong hand caught his arm and pulled him to the ground. “I said you can fly, not that you may. You are to stay on the ground unless otherwise instructed. Are we clear?”

Trunks nodded enthusiastically, beaming. “Am I gonna be able to do everything you can, Daddy?”

He shrugged. “Perhaps.”

-----------------------



“Daddy, can I get this?” Trunks asked holding up the bright box of cereal.

“I don't care ,” he grumbled, rubbing the side of his head. Stupid woman needing to work in her stupid lab and leaving them without food in the house… He hated food markets on this planet. The lights above them buzzed at a pitch that he could have sworn was specifically designed to drive Saiyans insane. It was always full of humans who drug their feet from product to product, circling back around and ruining what had the potential to be an efficient process. Go in, buy food, leave. What was so damn difficult to understand?

“Geta?” Goten asked, holding up a different box of cereal.

Vegeta snorted. “Isn't that the same thing Trunks had?”

“No, I like the puffs and Goten likes the flakes,” Trunks said as though it were obvious.

“What's the diff-- I don't care. Just put it in the damn cart.”

“Yay!” Goten cheered, handing the box to Trunks because he was too short to tip it into the cart.

Something about this building made Trunks act strange as well, and since they had Goten over for the weekend he was coming to understand that it was all children who fell under its spell.

“Where's the meat?” He grumbled.

“That way, Daddy,” Trunks said, pointing toward a counter in the back.

Vegeta headed towards the section, and the children followed after him at a distance, occasionally grabbing brightly colored things from the shelves to try to sneak into the pile.

The small woman at the counter smiled at him as he approached. “Can I help you, Sir?”

“Meat.”

Her smile faltered. “Um, yes, what can I get you?”

Trunks tugged on his pants leg. “Dad, she wants to know what kind of meat. Like what animal?”

He grumbled, glancing over the meager selection. “All of it.”

“One of everything?” She asked.

“No, all if it.” There looked to be less than fifty pounds in front of him, and half Saiyan children ate the same amount as full blooded ones.

“Um...I'm not sure I can...do that…” she stammered.

Vegeta opened his mouth to tell her what she could do, but Trunks spoke up quickly. He knew his father well enough to know when his patience had worn thin.

“Can we get half this meat and half of the frozen stuff?” He asked her.

She nodded nervously, eyes still fixed on Vegeta. “Yes, right away.”

Vegeta simmered down a bit, deciding what choice words he was going to have for his mate later for forcing him to endure this personal hell.

A throat cleared behind him. “Hello, Mr.Vegeta.”

Vegeta smirked, turning his head slowly. “Hello… Greg.”

Bulma's former assistant stood behind him, looking a bit sheepish. The young man had quit his position only weeks after their wedding ceremony, and though Bulma had only mentioned it in passing, Vegeta knew it was because of him. The fool had continued to hold a torch for her long after their engagement had been announced, but apparently seeing her actually go through with it had been enough to shake him off her. He'd beaten this human without even trying. Not at combat, but it was a victory nonetheless, and his bad mood lifted slightly to see his defeated enemy regarding him so nervously.

“Free samples!” Trunks cried, spotting a man holding a deli tray who had no idea what was about to hit him. “Daddy, can we go get free samples?”

Vegeta waved his hand and the boys went running to descend on the unsuspecting employee. Greg shifted, clearing his throat again as though he expected the other man to speak. Vegeta chose not to, just enjoying the sight of the man's discomfort.

“Is she in her lab again? Hard to get her out of there if you don't know how to handle her,” Greg said cheerfully, then paused. “Not that you don't know how to handle her! Or not that she needs handled… I'm sorry, this is a bit weird.”

“I see nothing odd about the situation,” Vegeta said with a smug smile. “Two men approached one woman with the intention of keeping her. One was turned away, and one was taken to her bed permanently. It's not a difficult story to follow.”

The man smiled at him for some reason. “That's a really mature attitude for you to have. Thank you for being so reasonable.”

Vegeta's smile faltered. Sarcasm? It didn't sound like it, but otherwise his words didn't make sense. The Saiyan had won their battle for the same woman's affections, so why did the other man's smile look so… apologetic?

“Listen,” Greg continued, “I know she told me not to approach you, that she'd talk to you and smoothe everything over herself but… it's been weighing on me the last few years. What I did was wrong. I knew she was married and I shouldn't have grabbed her like that.”

His blood went cold, and then instantly boiled into a searing rage. “What?”

“I knew I would take the opportunity to apologize to you, man to man, if I ever ran into you again. Everything just happened so fast. I mean she brought you to that one gala and then it comes out that she's pregnant and nobody knew about it for months. Then, boom, the baby is born and now she's engaged and no one had said more than twenty words to you… I just thought maybe she'd been too swept up in the whirlwind of it all to really think about her actions. She made it very clear it wasn't going to happen again--”

He was cut off as Vegeta's hair burst into a bright blonde, the shockwave shattering the case to the meat counter behind them. There was a scream somewhere, and he heard small steps as the children came running back to his side. He had the human by the neck, suspended off the ground with no real intention to do so beforehand.

“Did you fuck my mate?” Vegeta snarled, his voice dangerously calm.

Greg sputtered, hands grabbing at the deadly grip on his throat. “I -- N-no! It was just a kiss!”

“Do not lie to me. You're going to die regardless,you may as well do so quickly with a clear conscience.”

“Daddy, no!” Trunks cried, pulling on his leg.

“Wait outside, Boy!” Vegeta barked, shaking him loose.

“We don't hurt humans, Daddy. Mama said so.”

“Please!” Greg cried. “I thought you knew! Bulma said she'd explain! I only kissed her once, a week after the wedding, and she pushed me away! Let me go!”

“I've killed much stronger men for looking at me wrong. For being in my way. Because I was bored. If you think I will allow you to--”

“Daddy!” Trunks insisted. “You're scaring Goten.”

“He should be outside with you!” Vegeta snapped.

“You're not a monster anymore!” His son said, grabbing his free hand.

Vegeta froze, looking down at the hand his son touched like it had been dipped in acid. He growled up at the ceiling, tossing the limp human in his grasp down the aisle into a pyramid of cans. The stack fell around the man, probably leaving him well bruised, but alive. Alive against his better judgement. Alive even though his hands had been on his mate months after his ceremony. It was a disgrace, a bold insult to even a third class, much less an elite. Honor demanded the interloper be killed, and then his mate be reclaimed to him. But this wasn't Vegetasei.

“Come here!” He snapped at the boys. Both children approached him cautiously and he scooped each of them up by an ankle, flying quickly from the store and out into the sky.

Neither boy asked where they were going, because they knew the direction of Capsule Corp. He landed hard on the front lawn, still in his Super Saiyan form and dropped them onto the grass.

“Stay out here,” he barked, stomping past them into the house. He headed straight for Bulma's lab, already growing harder as he thought about reasserting his claim over his mate. Fine. If the first part of his restoration to honor was forbidden, he'd have twice as much fun with the second part.

 

Chapter Text

Almost everything was capsulizable, but gas was tricky. I wasn't that they didn't have the technology to condense it like everything else, it was the moral and legal ramifications of doing so. Normally people could capsulize whatever they wanted and the company had a team of lawyers posed to argue their technology was a tool that people could abuse at their own risk. For instance, if someone used their technology to sneak guns into a bank prior to a heist, it could be argued that in order to sue Capsule Corp you'd also have to sue the gun manufacturer.

Gas was different because of its high lethality and special properties. If someone were to fill a capsule with large amounts of something like cyanide they could do a lot of damage to a population, and it could be argued that the act wouldn't be possible without a capsule. So it was in their best interest to make it impossible to keep certain gases in capsules. How the hell did they do that? They had no idea, which was why they essentially threw the problem at Bulma and ran.

After the androids and Trunks’ birth she hadn't had much time do anything but keep up appearances in the company. Now that things were settling down it felt nice to be able to throw herself into a project for days at a time, even if it did annoy her husband a little bit. She figured it was a taste of his own medicine; if he could train as long as he wanted to she could work as long as she wanted to, and he'd just have to deal with it.

Her best idea was to coat the inside of all capsules with a substance that made it impossible for poisonous gas to stay inside, or one that neutralized it. She was fixing the end of the equation on her white board when he slammed into her, pinning her there with his chest from behind.

She laughed. Maybe she was missing some survival instinct in her brain like he sometimes teased her, but she was never afraid when he had her trapped. She knew his scent, those hands, the slide of his breath on the back of her neck, and she leaned into all of them happily. Maybe it was time to take a break.

Cogti'see te oleksa heskaza pusteka te A'met?”

She leaned into his chest, just listening to the tones of the strange language she'd become familiar with. She was far from fluent, however, and only recognized the words 'I’ and 'mate’.  “Hmm? I couldn't translate that?”

“I said,” he ripped her skirt and panties from her body, making her jump, “did you think I would not find out another man had his lips on my mate?”

For a moment she was genuinely confused, then her eyes went wide. “Greg. What a moron. Vegeta, it's not what you think--”

“Really? What I think is that an idiot suitor of yours tried to steal you from me after I'd already claimed you as mine, and you got rid of him because you know that you belong to me.”

“Okay that… that's actually what happened, yeah. I didn't think you'd believe me.”

“You defended my claim over you without my presence,” he murmured against her neck. His hand slid down and started to tease her with touches too soft to do what she wanted. “You deserve something for that.”

Her breathing hitched as two of his fingers pushed inside her. She bit her lip and moved back against his hand, but then it was gone.

But, you did not send me to kill him immediately. You hid it from me. You're going to pay for that transgression.” He spun her around and then he had her on her knees, eyes tilted up to his. “Do you have an explanation?”

“I thought you'd kill him.”

“I would have.”

“I told him to quit or be fired, and he took the easy way out. I also told him to stay away from us. Both of us. Is he dead?”

He growled. “No. Because of your son. I'd planned to have this conversation while holding his head in one hand and touching you with the other, but he lives.”

“Thank you.”

He growled again, pulling himself from his pants and pressing against her lips. She took him in immediately, not feeling the same urges he did but understanding them. His hand tangled in her hair, but gently.

“This is supposed to be simple, you know. The only point of mated pairs on Vegetasei was to create offspring. You find a mate, say your vows, and defend them from other suitors. The end. You complicate everything, Havestia. You turn others away but keep it secret -- how am I supposed to deal with that? Deeper.”

She complied, taking him further into her throat. He groaned from his chest.

“So I'm going to let you pick your punishment. I'm going to have you repeatedly, regardless. Either you don't come today, or you do.”

She looked up in confusion. Was that a joke? How were either of those a punishment? He pulled himself from her mouth.

“Answer me.”

“The second one,” she laughed.

He smirked and her smile faded. Wrong choice.

-------------------------

 

She was splayed out on her desk, research forgotten and crumpled beneath her. He picked up her legs when they fell from his shoulders weakly and set them back in place, never pausing his movements as he snapped his hips into hers. She bit her lip and stifled a gasp.

His hand came down to her ass with a smack, enough to to sting but not to bruise. “Trunks is still outside, no one can hear us. I will not tell you again not to hold back your reactions.”

She cried out as she came around him again, her body clinging to the shockwave but protesting at the same time. It was too much, and had been for a while now. At least he got to rest whenever he finished, but his hands never did, working her back up to a peak again and again with less than a minute to catch her breath in between. She slid back and forth between feeling nothing and feeling everything, going numb and oversensitive in fast intervals.

“I can't...I can't…”

“I'm not done with you,” he informed her. “Say it again, in Saiyago.”

Corpukei'te nos A'met, Prince Vegeta.”

“Again, in English.”

“My body belongs to my mate, Prince Vegeta.”

He pulled out of her and stroked himself, finishing against her stomach, panting now. Breaks aside, he had to be getting tired. Saiyan stamina was impressive, but how many times could he go? He dropped down to his knees, drawing her swollen nub into his mouth again.

“I need to rest,” she begged.

“What did you do wrong?”

“I didn't tell you about Greg kissing me.”

“What will you do if someone besides me touches you?”

“Stop them and tell you. Please . No more.”

He released her and took a shaky step back, leaning his hand against the desk. “And if Greg approaches you again?”

“If that idiot approaches me again I think I'd let you kill him.”

He laughed softly, pulling on his clothes.

“Where are you going?”

“I was hungry before all of this. I'm going to eat some damn meat.”

“Maybe don't go back to the same store full of employees that you terrified?”

“Fine. I will find a restaurant and eat their entire stock.”

“And take the boys.”

“So they can watch me eat? Cruel.”

“You definitely scared them. You need to apologize. They're half Saiyan, buy them some food and they'll love you again.”

“Why does Kakarot's brat need to--”

“Just do it, Saiyan.”

-----------------------

 

Thunder cracked furiously against the sky again as the rain beat mercilessly into the ground. She'd pulled back the curtains to their room to watch the storm; it'd been a while since the last rain, and nature apparently wanted to make up for lost time. Vegeta wasn't looking, he was flipping idly through channels. She never knew just what he got from that; he never actually would settle on anything for more than a few minutes. Education, she supposed. Occasionally he'd run across a scene of some Earth custom that had escaped him during his time there and ask her to explain it.

“Did it rain on Vegetasei?”

“Yes.”

“Was it beautiful?”

He paused, looking at her skeptically. “I am not attracted to precipitation.”

She rolled her eyes. “I didn't ask if it was sexy, I asked if it was beautiful.”

He thought a moment. “I believe there's a language barrier there. I hear no difference in the words. Something is desirable or it is not. Battle is beautiful, victory is beautiful, my mate is beautiful. Weather is not.”

“You think battle is sexy?”

“Yes.”

“Figures. Beautiful can mean other things. Like, something you can appreciate, something you could watch for hours just because it's… right.”

“I don't understand.”

“Nature is beautiful. Trunks is beautiful. I used to love to watch him for hours when he was a baby. You remember when you came back from the fight with Cell and just watched him? That's what beautiful is.”

He nodded thoughtfully. As if on cue they heard a small knock on their door, and the Saiyan rolled his eyes. “At least he learned not to barge in.”

“Come in, Sweetheart,” Bulma called to the door.

Trunks came in with eyes mostly closed, walking sleepily to their bed and crawling to lay between them. “It's loud outside.”

“You're both crazy. It's pretty,” Bulma insisted. “The clouds look like they do when the Eternal Dragon is called. Trunks, tell your Daddy rain is beautiful.”

Trunks grumbled his annoyance, burying his face in the pillow gap between them. “No.”

“I'm with the boy.”

“What a shock,” she huffed, pulling Trunks’ hair back from his face with her fingers. “He's a tiny you when he's tired lately. The dragon was beautiful,  too. What do you think, Trunks? If the dragon were really here and you could have any wish you wanted--”

“I'd wish everyone would stop talking so I could sleep.

Vegeta snorted appreciatively, but Bulma whacked the back of the child's head. “Don't talk to your mother like that. If you want quiet go sleep in your room.”

“I sleep better here,” the half Saiyan whined softly.

“A true Saiyan prefers to sleep alone,” Vegeta informed him, switching off the TV.

“Is that why you get grumpy when Mama gets up early?”

“That was one. You get one. Next time you backtalk I'll toss you outside into the mud and you can sleep there.”

“Yes, Daddy,” he mumbled sleepily.

“Petrichor, too,” Bulma mused after a long silence.

“What?” Vegeta asked her, eyes already shut.

“The smell of the Earth after a fresh rain. That's beautiful.”

“Are you still on about that? Go to sleep, Woman.”

Bulma crossed her arms. “This is my bed. I'll talk as long as I want to.”

“It hasn't been yours for years. Go to sleep or leave.”

“Yeah,” Trunks’ muffled voice agreed.

She scoffed. “I'd like to see you make --”

“Trunks, push your mother out of the bed.”

The boy rolled his body to the side without opening his eyes and pushed at his mother with his feet, easily sending her softly to the ground. She balked at them, finally rolling the boy back over so she could get back under the covers. “ Fine , we'll go to sleep. Beautiful assholes.”

Chapter Text

Bulma was working in her lab when she heard the two boys talking very fast. By the time Vegeta made it to the room it became clear they were both just repeating, “Sorry, sorry, sorry!”

The scowling Saiyan carried Trunks in one hand and Goten in the other. He dropped them unceremoniously to the ground and pointed at his wife. “Confess.”

Goten opened his mouth and took a big breath but Trunks slapped his hand over it. “Confess to what, Daddy?”

Vegeta narrowed his eyes. “You know what. Out with it.”

Trunks and his father held eye contact, a silent battle raging. “I don't...know for sure...what you mean…” Trunks said carefully. “Can you be more specific?”

Vegeta growled. “Boy--”

“Hey, confused Mama,” Bulma said, waving her hand. “What's going on Vegeta? What did they do?”

The Saiyan didn't break eye contact with his son. After a long pause he spat out. “I don't know.”

Trunks and Goten visibly relaxed. “We don't know what he's talking about, Mama.”

“Why do you think they did something?” She asked.

“Because I can sense guilt, and they reek of it. They've done something. I saw it on their faces the moment I passed them in the hall.”

“We were nowhere near the --” Goten started, but Trunks stopped him again.

“Can we go outside to play?”

“Confess your crimes or I will roast you alive.”

Bulma rolled her eyes. “After putting that punishment through the Saiyan filter, it means that if you did do something and we find out about it you're grounded for a week. That means no outside, and no Goten.”

“And training all day long with me in the Gravity Room,” Vegeta warned. “No mercy.”

The boys glanced at each other nervously.

“Something to say?” Vegeta asked.

“It was Trunks’ idea!” Goten said loudly.

“What was?”

“Playing outside!” Trunks said, shaking his friend's shoulder. “Playing outside was my idea! And since we didn't do anything we're going to go do that. Come on, Goten.”

The two ran from her lab as Vegeta stared after them suspiciously. “I'm telling you, Woman, I know guilt when I see it. They did something.”

“Obviously,” she shrugged, “but we can't just punish him on a vague hunch.”

“If I could just get the small one alone I could break him.”

She laughed. “Leave Goten untraumatized, please. Chichi would kill us.”

He huffed. “Fine. I will be training.”

“I figured,” she waved him off.

It was less than a minute before she heard the scream.

“SEAYAKA! FUCKING SON OF A -- TRUNKS!”

She jumped up, running down the hall to see what was wrong. Vegeta barely glanced at her on his way to the front door, just pointing back toward the Gravity Room. “I'll be back after I murder your son!”

She turned the corner and her jaw dropped open. The floor to the Gravity Room was covered in squashed food. Eggs, juice boxes, fruits, what had once been a gallon of milk, and a dozen other things from their fridge were scattered across the floor like an woven rug.

She made it outside in time to see the small dot that was Trunks, flying high and fast into the sky, and the larger dot that was Vegeta flying after him, still cursing in Saiyago. Goten stood alone with his hands behind his back, looking up at them.

Bulma bent down to his height, sighing softly. “Why?”

“It was a ‘spirament.”

“What kind of experiment?”

“For how much gravity breaks a egg. Itsa’ lot. Like 20 gravities.”

“What about all the other food?”

He shrugged.

She blew the hair out of her face and picked the two year old up. “Let's get you home.”

“Is Geta gonna kill Trunks?”

“Only a little.”

“Kay.”

----------------------------



They laid together afterward in silence, but she heard it all. There were words she knew she'd never hear from his mouth. His vow, for one, had only been said once in each language, and she knew he'd refuse to say it again. Yet in these long moments where he said nothing but made no attempt to sleep, she sometimes felt she could hear it again. The way his arms curled around her in the dark, still lips pressed against the column of her neck, there was a wordless poetry to it.

He finally moved and the spell was broken. He settled back against the pillows in the way she knew meant he was ready for sleep. She wasn't.

She cleared her throat, cheeks going just a little red. “Uh, hey Vegeta?”

“Hmm?”

“Tukoshivo'te Saiyago.” I have been practicing Saiyago.

He raised an eyebrow. “Hessa?” How?

She paused a long moment, setting up the sentence structure. “Lotup’te see. Hukiva.” Observing you. Writing.

He hummed. She wasn't bad. Her accent was terrible and the words were occasionally in the wrong spot, but considering he'd never made the conscious effort to teach her any of it he was impressed. “Shotei?” Why?

She stumbled a bit. “A'metkoshentka.”

He looked at her in surprise. That was a difficult word, especially because it was not directly translatable. It meant to have a deep respect for your mate, a desire to connect in way you don't understand currently. “Cogit’see?” You understand what that means?

Cogit'te lotup’see TV . Shone'see cogit sei'te Trunks. ” I think it's the reason you watch TV. You want to know the world Trunks and I come from.

He thought a moment. “ Gapsho.” Perhaps.

She smiled, closing her eyes . “Kastalepseno, A'met.”

He nodded, his small smirk hidden in the dark. “Be well rested by morning, My Mate.”

----------------------------

 

“The boy is fine. Just drop it.”

Bulma snorted, sitting up to look at him. “Not likely. I don't see the point in waiting.”

“You said we had until he was five. He's only just turned four. I have another year to train him.”

“But he's so advanced for four. Even if he started school tomorrow he'd probably already have to be moved up a grade because he'd have nothing in common with his classmates. He can already read--”

“In English. His Saiyago is abysmal.”

“And as we all know, all children should know an alien language fluently before starting kindergarten.”

“The point of school is education, yes? Then I don't see the point of him going at all if he is so 'advanced’.”

“It's not just book learning, it's about learning how to socialize.”

“He gets along fine with Kakarot's boy.”

“Yeah, his one friend who happens to also be a half Saiyan. He needs to practice getting along with humans his age.”

“Five year olds on this planet shove writing utensils up their nostrils. What would Trunks have in common with them?”

“It would be good for his confidence, too.”

“He is confident.”

“He has an ego, there's a difference.”

“If you are the most powerful one in the room I see no issue with making it known.”

“Yeah. I know. Where do you think he got the ego? Future Trunks wasn't like that, and he grew up with me, so it's not my fault.”

“I need this last year,” he insisted. “There are some fundamentals he is sloppy on. You can see his kicks coming five minutes before they happen. He needs to learn to read Saiyago so I can teach him his vow. He will go at the appropriate age, and then if he needs to be 'moved up’ as you said they can move him up then.”

“Aw,” she rolled onto his chest. “Would his Daddy miss him if he was gone all day?”

Vegeta scoffed derisively. “Please. If anything I'd be able to focus on my own training again. I'm growing weak waiting for this child to improve.”

“Whatever you say,” she teased. “Fine. He can wait one more year, but I tell you he's going to graduate early. Next thing we know we'll be buying his first car.”

“The boy can fly.”

--------------------

 

“You're nuts, Goten,” Trunks argued, arms crossed.

The younger boy sat in the grass with a determined look on his face. “No. Gohan is the strongest.”

“My daddy could kick Gohan's butt.”

“How come he doesn't?”

Trunks sputtered. “Gohan's not worth his time.”

Goten rolled his eyes.

“He's busy. Daddy's a prince.”

“What's that even mean?”

Trunks blushed. “It means he does… prince things that I can't explain to you.”

“Like watch TV?”

“Like training! What's Gohan do besides studying all the time?”

It was Goten's turn to blush. “He does other stuff. Plus Mommy said he beat Cell all alone.”

“Daddy was there, too. I heard everyone was there. Even Mr.Satan was there, and he's a weakling.”

“Yeah, but Gohan did all the work.”

Trunks snorted. “Your mama's probably lying to make him sound cooler.”

“Nu uh.”

“Yeah huh. My daddy trains every day. He's the strongest there is.”

“Vegeta told me my daddy was even stronger than him.”

“No way.”

“Yes way!”

“He was not!”

“Was too!”

“If your daddy was stronger than everybody then where is he?”

Goten frowned and crossed his arms.

Trunks winced, looking down at the ground. “I'm sorry, Goten. That was mean. I heard Mama say once that your daddy died to save everybody. I bet he was really strong.”

“It's okay.”

“Do you miss him?”

Goten shrugged his small shoulders. “I don't know. I never met him. I have Gohan and Mommy.”

“And me, too.”

Goten nodded, smiling. “You too.”

“You can borrow my daddy if you want.”

“I don't think Vegeta likes me.”

“Sure he does. You'd know if he didn’t.”

Goten looked a little uncomfortable. “Can I tell you a secret?”

“Uh huh.”

“Mommy says Vegeta is not a nice man. She got really mad when she found out he threw that man at the store. She said I couldn't come over anymore but then Gohan made her calm down.”

“He told us the man at the store was a bad guy. He didn't even hurt him that bad.”

“I know.”

“Your mama's wrong. Daddy's like a superhero.”

“So's Gohan.”

“Whatever,” Trunks rolled his eyes.





Chapter Text

It was a bad one tonight. He woke with sweat pouring down his face, the stings from Bulma's laser defense system peppered along his chest where they'd struck. She stood across the room, waiting for him to get his bearings.

He nodded to her and she came to lay next to him, expecting to hold onto him while he fell back to sleep. He surprised her by getting out of bed and pulling on a tank top.

She frowned. “Do you need to train?”

“A short while. Don't wait for me. I'll return before morning.”

She nodded, and he felt her eyes on his back as he walked out. He closed their door behind him, but didn't head towards the Gravity Room. He stood still for several minutes, long enough he thought for her to fall asleep, and the crept across the hall to the boy's room.

Trunks was asleep, as usual. Not bleeding, not pale against the dust of a doomed planet as he was in his father's dreams. The murderer often changed; sometimes it was Frieza, sometimes Cell, often it was himself and he'd only realize it when he found the weapon in his hand. Sometimes he was a boy and sometimes he was a young man, but Vegeta was always too late.

Vegeta walked quietly across the room, folding his large frame into a chair and sitting quietly. The boy breathed deep and even, oblivious to his father's presence or distress. That was the way it should be, he decided, at least for now. Someday his son would know. Somehow all of his acts would come to light and the boy would understand what kind of man he was, and if he had any sense it would be the day he wanted nothing more to do with him.

His dream had been different tonight. Worse. They didn't want him. They wanted Trunks.

It was only fair justice, the millions argued. He had taken so many lives but had only one to give them. It was only fitting that the sins of the father be atoned by the son as well.

He'd tried everything. He denied knowing him first, and then insisted the half-breed meant nothing to him when they did not believe him. And Trunks heard it all; he heard him say his son was an accident, a being that had never been wanted or planned before his conception. He heard him say that Vegeta would only acknowledge a full Saiyan as an heir, and that the bastard child would never carry his name. And that still didn't work. They drug him down anyway, into the flames and the bodies and the blood. They didn't even tell him why.

Vegeta heard another's breath, and he looked up to see Bulma at the doorway with a small smile. She padded silently across the room and he let her crawl into his lap. She set her lips against his ear, speaking in a breathy whisper.

“Training?”

He did not respond, but his grip on her tightened slightly.

“He's okay,” she breathed, and then paused, deciding to cross a line. “Was he in your nightmare?”

He sighed, but she could not discern the emotion behind it. “Yes.”

She laid her head against his shoulder. “The wars you fought are over. There's no one coming to hurt us.”

“I do not...I do not dream of coming enemies.”

“Oh,” she said, a little surprised. “Frieza, then?”

“Less often now,” he admitted.

“Then who do you dream about?”

“Trunks needs to know who I am,” he said, ignoring the question.

“He knows who you are.”

“I mean--”

“I know what you mean. Look me in the eye and tell me you are the exact same person you were before Earth. You're different. You might not win any personality contest anytime soon, but you've changed. Trunks knows who you are.”

He didn't argue, but he didn't agree. “Who I was, then. He deserves to know. He should not be the only one who thinks I am a good man.”

“Firstly, you are a good man and I'll fucking fight you on that. Secondly, he's four. His Daddy is his hero, it's normal.”

“It's incorrect. I am not innocent. If something were to happen to make us fight on opposite sides he needs to know what I am capable of.”

“You would fight Trunks? For real? What could possibly make you--”

“Goddammit Woman, I don't know. Something like Captain Ginyu when he took over Kakarot's body. Kakarot did not prepare his son for the possibility of fighting him and he suffered for it. I do not show mercy on the battlefield, and if Trunks were to expect it I could…” he trailed off.

She looked up at him. “You think you're going to kill Trunks. Gods. No wonder you're having nightmares. Vegeta you would never--”

“Death is my gift. There are parts of the universe where my name is synonymous with it. A Saiyan does not create, he only destroys.”

“You say that, but look at that boy. He loves you to death--”

“I've told you children do not count. We procreate to continue the race.”

“Bullshit. You didn't just make a child. You made a connection to him. You didn't have to do that. Hell, you could've kept seeing me after he was born but ignored him, but you didn't do that either.”

He snorted. “You think you would have allowed that?”

“I don't know, but that doesn't matter. What matters is you love your son, and you would never hurt him.”

He was silent a long moment. “You think too much of me, A'met.

“One of us has to.” She decided to be bold. “You told me once you don't regret anything you did. Is that still true?”

He rubbed the side of his head. “I will accept my fate after death without protest.”

She nodded, knowing that was the best she would get. “Come on. Let's go to bed.”

She took his hand and led him from the room. Behind them Trunks lay in bed, eyes closed but very awake.

----------------------

 

Bulma waited outside for Chichi to pull up in her car with Goten. The three-year-old was staying with them for the weekend and Trunks was bouncing excitedly by her feet, babbling quickly about everything he wanted to do with him. She'd just vetoed his idea of 'playing in the Gravity Room’ when she saw a small dot in the sky, growing larger. She knew the shape of the Flying Nimbus when she saw it and she waved up at it.

Two people waved back at her and she covered her eyes to see them better. She froze, her mind trying to make sense of what she saw. Goku? It couldn't be, he'd been dead almost four years. Someone was definitely on the cloud though, guiding an excited Goten down to the ground.

They got closer to the grass and Goten hopped off, running quickly to tackle Trunks to the ground. The tackle quickly turned from a greeting to a match, and she rolled her eyes as they started wrestling. She turned her attention back to the young man she now recognized.

“Gohan? Is that really you?”

The teen blushed, smiling and grabbing the back of his neck. “Uh, yeah. Hi, Bulma.”

Gods he looks like his father when he does that. What happened to you, Kid?” She narrowed her eyes. “You're not like, Future Gohan or something are you?”

He shook his head. “No, it's just me. I kind of had a growth spurt last month.”

She smiled bittersweetly. “You look just like Goku did when he came back from the Lookout. I guess he was about your age when he went up there to train.”

“That's what Mom said,” he shrugged.

“Gohan's giant now,” Goten said happily from where he'd temporarily but pinned Trunks to the grass. “He can definitely beat Vegeta.”

Gohan rolled his eyes. “Goten we talked about this. I don't want to fight him.”

“He'd hurt him too much,” Goten whispered to Trunks. 

Trunks stuck his tongue out and pulled out of the headlock.

“How’s Chichi? How's studying?”

“Mom's good, studying is good… but I'd kind of like to go to real school in a couple years. You know, if I'm thinking about college I want to see what it's like to go to an actual class.”

“I'm never going to school,” Trunks informed them.

“Oh yes you are, Buddy,” Bulma said, crossing her arms. “I don't have the time to homeschool you.”

He shrugged. “Dad says I don't need school. He didn't go to school and he's just fine.”

“He's ‘just fine’ because his rich wife pays for everything so he doesn't need a job.”

“Doesn't that mean I'm rich too and don't need a job either?”

“You're going to school, Trunks. End of discussion.”

“Mommy makes me study already, Trunks,” Goten grumbled. “It’s awful. You'll hate it.”

“Daddy's making me learn Saiyan. It's worse.”

“Really?” Gohan asked with wide eyes. “That sounds cool. Bulma, do you think Vegeta would teach me Saiyan?”

Goten winced and Trunks smirked, whispering. “I think your brother might be a nerd.”

“Is not.”

“Is so.”

“He could still kick your butt.”

“I'd like to see him try.”

Goten opened his mouth wide and yelled. “Hey Gohan, Trunks want to fight you!”

“I didn't say that! He's lying!”

“Chicken.”

----------------------



“But I don't get it,” Trunks insisted.

“I don't see what's confusing,” Bulma shrugged innocently at her desk as she scribbled in her notebook. Please don't ask, please don't ask, please don't ask--

“You said it's good to ask questions. How did the baby get inside Eighteen? Are girls just always pregnant and have to be married to have the baby?”

“Uh, yeah,” Bulma stammered, tapping her pencil on the desk. “Yep, that's how it works.”

Vegeta snorted from his seat on the couch.

“But that doesn't make any sense. You and Daddy weren't married when I was born. I remember because I was at the wedding.”

“You remember that?”

He shrugged. “Well yeah, I was there.”

“Just how far back can you remember?”

Trunks paused like he'd never considered this. “I remember you yelling a lot, and Daddy showed up late.”

“Late where?”

“To the hospital.”

“I got there,” Vegeta argued.

She paled. “Your birth? You remember your birth?”

He shrugged again. “Things get a little choppy for a few months after that, but yeah. I think Dad was gone a while. I remember Goten's daddy was big, like, really big, but I was pretty small at the time so maybe I'm remembering wrong.”

She shivered. “Damn weird-ass Saiyans.”

“But then how did you have a baby without being married?”

She was a genius, she could think on her feet. “Uh, well, remember there's different types of marriages. I was already married to your father the Saiyan way when you were born.”

“Oh, I forgot about that. That makes sense.”

Thank the gods. She heaved a sigh of relief.

He paused. “No, but wait. Goten's daddy was dead when he was born. How did that work?”

Vegeta growled, turning up the television. “Oh for the love of all-- Enough of this! Trunks babies come from--”

Bulma cleared her throat loudly. “Four and half, Vegeta. He's four and a half.”

“If he's old enough to question us incessantly he's old enough to know.”

“I knew it! I knew you guys were hiding something! Where do babies come from?”

“From fuc--”

“Vegeta!” She warned. “I said no!”

He rolled his eyes. “From kissing and bunny costumes, is that what you want to hear, Trunks?”

Trunks blushed. “Ew, kissing?”

“Uh… yes,” Bulma landed on. “Kissing makes babies. A whole lot of kissing.”

“Yuck,” he winced. “Dad, you kissed Mama so much that I was born?”

“Whatever, sure. Let's go with that.”

“That's gross. I don't ever want to get married.”

Vegeta nodded. “Good. Avoid it, it's a goddamn headache.”

Bulma threw her notebook at him.

Chapter Text

“I'm sorry, Chichi,” Bulma said again, handing her a towel to clean up the tea the woman had spilled. “I really didn't mean to startle you.”

Chichi was blushing deeply as she wiped the drink from Bulma's table. “No, it's fine, I just… Wasn't expecting that question.”

Bulma laughed softly. “I was just curious if it was just Vegeta's personality or if it was deeper than that. There's no one else on Earth who would know what it's like to be married to a Saiyan, so you're the only one I can ask.”

“Right, I understand,” Chichi nodded, still not meeting her eyes. “Um… yes.”

Bulma's eyes went wide and she chuckled. “You're kidding me. Goku was possessive in bed?”

Chichi nodded meekly. “Not at first. Or, I mean, not when we would start to… but once he got, you know, going , yes. He always wanted me to…”

“Let me guess, say his name and tell him you belonged to him?”

She nodded.

“Huh. I just figured it was Vegeta's control issues, but it must be a Saiyan thing.”

She smiled softly. “I was always embarrassed about it afterwards and told him not to say those kinds of things next time, but it was like he couldn't stop himself. He'd just give me that big goofy smile and say 'Sorry, Chi, I didn't mean to’ and I'd get over it. I miss that man.”

Bulma repoured her friend's tea. “I don't want to be rude, Chichi, I'm sure you know this but… It's been four years. You could, you know, find someone else? You're still so young. You've got to be lonely on that mountain with just the boys for company. I'm sure he'd want you to be happy.”

Chichi shrugged. “Goku was the only boyfriend I ever had. I don't think I'd be interested in anyone else. Who else could measure up?”

Bulma snorted.

Her friend paled. “Not like that Bulma! You are so vulgar sometimes. I just mean he was a hero, and a sweetheart. He's been dead once before. I guess part of me believes he'll come back.”

Bulma didn't answer, trying for a comforting look but worrying it came off as pity. Goku had chosen to stay in Other World, and she couldn't see him coming back after all his time. They heard the loud feet of their ungraceful sons wandering in, and she knew the tense conversation was over.

“Mama, can we have a snack?” Trunks asked.

She gaped at him. “Lunch was forty minutes ago.”

“Yeah,” Goten nodded. “Forty whole minutes.”

Chichi sighed and Bulma waved them towards the fridge.

“Well, I'm sorry Goku won't be with you for Valentine's Day,” Bulma said, ignoring the half Saiyans grabbing all of her food behind them.

Chichi laughed. “Like we ever celebrated that silly holiday anyway.”

“I know it's a little commercial, but I still like it,” Bulma shrugged. “It's romantic.”

Trunks frowned behind them. He nudged Goten and nodded to the door. The boys carried their plunder away from their mothers and laid the fruit and cheeses out on Trunks’ bedroom floor, digging in.

“I think Mama is going to be sad,” Trunks said, grimacing around a mouthful of cheese.

“How come?” Goten asked.

“Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.”

“What's that?”

The four year old rolled his eyes. “You're such a baby, Goten.”

“Am not.”

“Don't you ever watch TV? It's a holiday where married people get all mushy and gross and kiss and stuff.”

Goten winced. “So?”

“Mama likes that kinda stuff, but Dad doesn't. She's gonna be all sad when he doesn't do anything sweet for her.”

“You wanna ask Vegeta?”

“No way. Dad's too cool for that stuff, he's an Elite Saiyan Warrior and a prince, not a mushy human.”

“That's too bad,” Goten said with his mouth full.

“I don't want her to be sad,” Trunks said, tapping his knee. “We should do something nice for her.”

“Like clean your room?”

“No, like something from Daddy. She'll think it was him and be happy.”

“Won't she know it wasn't him? He'd tell her.”

Trunks considered that. “Then we'll tell her it's a secret and she shouldn't ever talk about it.”

Goten nodded. “Kay. I'll help you.”

---------------------

 

“What the hell were you thinking?” Vegeta snapped, opening the window to clear the smoke from the kitchen. “You know you're not allowed to use the stove!”

“Sorry, Daddy,” Trunks said, head down.

“We didn't mean to,” Goten said. “We were just hungry.”

Vegeta grumbled, looking at the burnt attempt of a cake. It resembled a manhole cover. “Eat what is already prepared or go hungry.”

“Yes, Sir,” they said in unison.

Vegeta huffed, stalking back toward the Gravity Room he'd been training in before the boys came to him for help to put out the small fire.

“Huh, he didn't even ground me,” Trunks said thoughtfully when they were alone. “He must be in a good mood.”

“That's a good mood?”

“Yeah. What're we gonna do now? Mama's gonna be home in a couple hours and we ruined her special cake.”

Goten shrugged. “You think we should try again?”

“Uh, no. One fire gets me in trouble, two will get me killed again.”

“What else do girls like?”

“I think like, chocolate and balloons. That's what they give them on TV.”

“But we don't have any money. We could ask Vegeta for some.”

“He'd want to know what it was for. Oh! I have an idea!

It didn't take them too long to find flowers, the grounds at Capsule Corp were well maintained and they knew where to look. The only obstacle was Trunks’ grandmother.

“Hi, Sweetie!” Panchy called as she saw the two boys wander into her garden. “What are you doing out here?” She was dressed up to work with her flowers; she was very protective of her plants and they knew she'd never let them cut some out. So they had a plan.

“Hi, Gramma,” Trunks said. “I came to wish you happy Valentine's Day.” Normally he ran the other way when she made that face, but he held his arms out in offering, wincing as she scooped him up and started kissing his face.

Goten quickly crept behind her, pulling some daisies from the flowerbed. Trunks pointed to the petunias and Goten nodded, stealing some of those too. Trunks endured the assault another minute until Goten had run a good distance away.

“Okay. I gotta go, Gramma. Bye,” he said, wiggling out of her arms.

“Aw, what a sweet boy,” Panchy cooed, turning back to her gardening. “He must get that from his father.”

--------------

 

“Are you done yet, Trunks?” Goten asked, peeking around the living room corner to make sure no one was coming.

“Give me a second, this is hard.” Trunks grumbled, writing slowly.

“Even I can write, Trunks.”

“It's gotta be in Saiyago. You wanna try to come translate an alien language into a love letter?”

Goten made a face. “Nah.”

“Plus it's gotta look like Daddy's writing, and he connects all his letters with swoops. I think I've got it. 'For Bulma. I like you very much. Don't tell anybody though, even me. From Vegeta.’ That should do it.”

“She's coming!” Goten whispered.

Trunks tied the note to their small bouquet and put the present directly in the doorway so she'd have to see it. They hid behind the couch and held their breath.

Bulma almost stepped on the gift as she turned the corner. She raised an eyebrow and bent down to pick up the flowers that had been tied together with a small red ribbon she recognized from her bedroom vanity. She opened the letter and read the scribbled Saiyago, her hand covering her mouth. They saw a smile behind her hand, and she glanced around the room as if looking for someone. She wordlessly turned around and left, but they heard her laughing softly.

“We did it!” Goten whispered excitedly.

Trunks nodded. “Cool. It's not Mama's fault Saiyans don't do Valentine's Day. Now she'll be happy and Daddy won't have to worry about silly Earth holidays.”

“I'm gonna give the leftover flowers to Mommy,” Goten announced.

“I don't think she'll believe they came from your daddy.”

“I know, I just think they're pretty.”

Trunks shrugged. “Whatever. Let's go fight before Gohan comes to get you.”

--------------------

 

Soft candlelight lit their room, casting dancing shadows along their bodies. The only sound was the soft slide of the sheets against their skin. Her small hands rested on his back, occasionally wandering over his spine and pressing down on his vertebrae. They never moved this slowly together on any other day of the year.

What they were lacking in force he was making up for in his angle, making sure that on each slow pull out of her he dragged his skin against her clit. There was no race tonight, no rush to make it to the end. Their lips met again, and she felt his fingers curling behind her neck.

He trailed slow kisses down her cheek until he could breathe into her ear. “Cora te'see, A'met.”

“I love you,” she breathed back.

She heard his breath starting to come in ragged bursts. “I need…”

She nodded, wrapping her legs around his waist. “More. Harder.”

He sped up, grunting against her neck as she moaned. His gentle fingers tightened as she clung to him. His slow movements had created embers of pleasure under her skin, and now that he sped up to give her what they needed the sparks burst into fire. Her mouth opened wordlessly as it broke over her, and she heard him gasp as she pulled him over the edge with her.

They did not move for a long time. Eventually he gently untangled himself from her limbs long enough to move to the side and gather her into his arms. She glanced over his shoulder and laughed again, catching sight of the small bouquet of what had to be her mother's daisies and petunias. Above them in a vase sat a large bouquet of red roses tied with a custom ribbon adorned with the symbol for House Vegeta on it -- what he'd gotten her every year after missing their first.

He glanced at the two bouquets and rolled his eyes. “The boy is strange. Signing my name. Blatant forgery.”

“It's adorable,” she argued again. “He wanted to make sure I had a present.”

Vegeta huffed indignantly, inclining his head to the larger bouquet.

“Yes, I know, they're beautiful, but he apparently doesn't think you'd do something like that.”

“Good. It's no one's business. His Saiyago is awful, by the way.”

She laughed again, rereading the letter. “Ke Bulma. Ketoli'te see. Asaya. Wa Vegeta.”

He chuckled. “‘Dear Bulma. I don't like you. Silence. Vegeta.’ I sure hope that wasn't the intended message or he has failed to understand the holiday.”

She snorted, tucking the small bouquet in with the roses.



Chapter Text

Vegeta and Trunks sat on the wooden bench with their arms crossed, neither wanting to be there and happy to let everyone know it. Children walked past them towards classes after the bell rang, walking in wide paths around them like they carried their own forcefield.

“They look like soldier ants. This is dumb,” Trunks grumbled.

Vegeta grunted in subdued agreement.

“Then why are we here?”

“You remember when I told you not to get married? This is why.”

“So what, you just do whatever Mom tells you?”

“Watch it, Boy. Strike one.”

Trunks groaned and leaned his head back against the wall. “I don't need school, Daddy. Don't you want me to fight like you? You don't need a degree to punch people.”

He grunted again.

“Did you ever have to go to school?” He asked, unsure he'd get an answer.

“I was taught what a prince needs to know prior to my… leaving home.”

“Like to boarding school?” Trunks asked quickly. It wasn't often that his father was willing to talk about his past and the boy jumped on the opportunity.

“No. But after I left I was expected to educate myself in my down time.”

“I could do that. I can read English and Saiyago--”

“Like hell you can. English, perhaps, but--”

“I know, I know, I need to study Saiyago more. You think I'll get to do that here? No way! They'll make me stick to Earth subjects and I'll never get to study Saiyan stuff again. You want me to be a boring Earth kid who doesn't train? You want me to be Gohan, Dad?”

Vegeta grumbled. They heard the clicking of Bulma's heels down the now empty hallway before they saw her. She smiled and waved at them and she plopped onto the bench between them. “There's my guys. Sorry I'm late, meeting ran long.”

“About damn time,” Vegeta griped. “We've been sitting here doing nothing for twenty minutes. What a waste of time.”

She scowled at him. “Oh, I'm sorry. Did I interrupt your very busy schedule of eat, train, TV, sleep? You can spend a few hours focusing on your son's future, Vegeta.”

Vegeta balked. “What the hell do you think his training is for?”

“Mainly? Your egos.”

He sputtered.

“I let it happen, don't I? And why are you in your armor? I told you to dress nice, this is a high end school! Do you have any idea how lucky we are to get this interview? I had to pull a lot of strings with my family name, and we still might not get in. Can't ask you to do one thing for your son's education--”

“Stop harping, Woman, I'm here!” He snapped. “You described this meeting as a kind of battle, this is what I wear to a battle.”

“I was being metaphorical.”

“Dad doesn't do metaphors,” Trunks rolled his eyes.

“Strike two, Boy.”

“Knock it off, both of you. We're going to go in there and be a nice, normal family with a gifted 4 year old.” She glanced at her husband and grimaced. “So, let me do all the talking. If they ask you something just answer in Saiyago, we'll tell them you're foreign but supportive of Trunks’ education. The diversity angle might actually help us.”

“Why am I even here if my input is not required?”

“It looks better on the application if both parents are involved.”

He scoffed.

“Do I get a say in this?” Trunks asked.

“No,” his parents said in unison.

“This is bullshit.”

“Trunks!” Bulma snapped. “Vegeta, strike three him!”

“Why? He's right. I won't punish him for accurate assessments.”

“Watch your language, especially in front of the admissions officer,” she warned him. “Or I'll ground you myself. Until you're twenty.”

He groaned and slumped against the bench.

“And start behaving like a mature young man.”

“I'm four.”

“You know damn well you're further than four mentally, and we have to prove it today. If they see you sulking I'll give you something to sulk about.”

Trunks grumbled as the door next to them opened. A tall man in an olive green suit smiled tightly down at them, and Trunks did not like him. He tried to catch his father's eye in solidarity but the Saiyan was glaring at the floor. Bulma hopped up to greet him.

“Hello Mr.Ingram! We spoke on the phone.”

“You must be Mr and Mrs Briefs,” the man said, reaching out to take Bulma's outstretched hand.

The Saiyan grumbled. “Vegeta.”

“Hmm?” The man asked.

Bulma shot a look at him. “My husband comes from a far away country, and they prefer to only go by their first names. Say hello, Vegeta.”

He stood and smirked. “Ayago, Sispelo. Cogit'te herakmis setayan'see.” Greetings, Weakling. I believe my very young heir could defeat you in battle.

Trunks snickered and Bulma pursed her lips. “He says it's a pleasure to meet you.”

The man shook his stiff hand and led them into his office, offering them each a chair across from his desk. “So, you must be Trunks,” he said, opening a folder.

“I guess so.”

“Your mother says you are quite advanced for your age. Most of our students begin reading well around seven years old, but she says you can read quite well at four. That's very impressive.”

“Maybe your students are just stupid.”

Vegeta snorted.

Bulma cleared her throat. “Sorry, sometimes Trunks speaks very bluntly because he's copying his father's language and just translating it into English. He's fluent in both, you know.”

“Oh?” The man raised his eyebrow. “And what language is that, Mr… Vegeta?”

Saiyago, ” he said before Bulma could stop him.

“I haven't heard of that language before, I'm sorry. Where do you hail from?”

“He's from the North,” Bulma said, cutting off the Saiyan. “Actually he's a distant member of the royal family there.”

“Really? You know I thought I detected a hint of the aristocracy. I'm a related to a Duke on my father's side, actually.”

Vegeta smiled. “Te regala'see.” I outrank you.

“Yes, it is somewhat interesting to people when they find out,” Ingram said, misinterpreting. “But enough about the adults, we are here to talk about you, young man. I see excellent scores on your admissions test, and we even gave you the second grade version at your mother's request. I believe we would be starting you ahead of your peers, certainly. What's important to me is what drives you to learn. Why would you like to become part of the Milford Academy family?”

Bulma caught her son's eye in silent warning and he sighed, regurgitating the line she'd taught him. “Because my future is important to me and a good education will help me have more opportunities.”

Mr.Ingram laughed. “Very true. And what is your favorite subject, Trunks?”

“Subject?”

“What do you like to study?”

“Fighting.”

Mr.Ingram's smile faltered. “Hmm, has there been a history of violence, Mrs.Briefs?”

“Oh no, nothing like that,” Bulma said quickly. “He just likes to wrestle with his Daddy. Vegeta wouldn't hurt a fly either. They're both great big softies.”

Vegeta growled and she put a warm hidden hand on his thigh, reminding him why he'd agreed to this in the first place

Mr.Ingram pulled a file from the folder. “I was going to ask about this incident, anyway. Most of our students do not begin school with a criminal record.”

Bulma frowned, taking the paper. “What are you talking about?”

“There was an incident at a park involving a possible pipe bomb?”

“Oh! This silly thing, there was really nothing to it. No one was arrested, they were just asked in for questioning. You'll see the police did not find any evidence of an explosive.”

“I see. Trunks, did you have a pipe bomb?”

“No,” he said truthfully. “I just hit him with an energy beam.”

Bulma laughed loudly. “He is so creative! What an imagination.”

“I see another charge here that concerns me,” he said, pulling out another paper.

“Another charge?” She asked, looking at her son and husband. They both looked away from her. “What other charge?”

“It appears that a certain hotdog vendor was assaulted on third avenue--”

“That guy was a dick!” Vegeta growled.

“Vegeta!” Bulma snapped. “What the hell?”

“It's true, Mama,” Trunks said quickly. “He started it! He dropped my hotdog and said I did it and Daddy called him a liar and he called Daddy a scam artist and Daddy called him a motherfucker and then--”

Bulma slapped a hand over his mouth. “Well, clearly that was an isolated incident.”

“I see. I thought Mr.Vegeta couldn't speak English?”

“I speak English fine, it's stuffy assholes I can't understand.”

“Please ignore him, we're here to talk about Trunks,” Bulma said.

“Yes, well, that's my concern. In my background checks I saw plenty on you and your family, but I did not see much about Mr.Vegeta. The only things I have seen have been police reports about scattered incidents, twice involving Trunks. You've been involved with Trunks since his birth, right Mr.Vegeta?”

The Saiyan narrowed his eyes. “Yes. He's my son.”

“We at Milford strive to maintain a standard of academic and personal integrity. I worry about the influence Trunks has been exposed to up to this point.”

Vegeta started to argue but Bulma cut him off. “Excuse me?”

“As I'm sure you know, the adults a child is around in their formative years tend to have a large influence on how the child conducts themselves later. If we were to admit Trunks I would want to make sure he starts on a probationary basis. Any delinquency by your son would be swiftly dealt with by--”

“Delinquency? Trunks hasn't done anything,” she said.

Vegeta knew the telltale signs of his wife reaching her breaking point. That vein in her temple was growing, and her well manicured nails started to rub together. He smiled wickedly. It was new to see her temper aimed at someone other than himself.

“Not yet, but seeing as he is a high risk applicant--”

“High risk?” She asked, suddenly standing. “Because Vegeta hit some stupid humans who clearly had it coming and weren't smart enough to avoid him?”

“This man's influence is obviously affecting your son negatively. You are a smart woman, I've done my research, so you must see why allowing a criminal to shape your prodigy's worldview has been damaging to him.”

Bulma's hand shot out and grabbed Mr.Ingram's tie, pulling him across the desk. “You listen here, Asshole. Vegeta is a damn good father, and there is nothing wrong with my son! Your joke of a school would be lucky to have him.”

Mr.Ingram sputtered, somewhere between horrified and shocked. “Well! Perhaps it's not his father the boy has been poisoned by.”

“So now I'm a bad mother?” She asked, pulling on the tie. “I should pull the stick out of your ass and shove your bald head into it! How dare you?”

“Mrs.Briefs, I will have to call security--”

“Don't bother! Your school doesn't meet our standards, we are out of here!” She shoved him back into his chair, storming out with her sharp heels clacking along the floor. Her husband and son flipped the admissions office off in unison, following after her.

“Most ridiculous excuse for a school I've ever seen!” She hollered loudly enough for students and teachers to hear through the classroom doors. “I've half a mind to buy the whole place just to shut it down. What an idiot. Trunks, you're learning from a private tutor at home and that's the end of it. I don't want to hear any arguments!”

“Yes, Ma'am,” Trunks grinned as they followed her out to the parking lot. “That was so cool, Mama!”

“Violence is not cool, Trunks. You will do as I say and not as I do, is that clear?”

He nodded enthusiastically.

“Boy, fly to Goten's house,” Vegeta said suddenly.

His eyes went wide. “Really? By myself?”

“You know the way, don’t you?”

“Yeah!” Trunks said, lifting off the ground. “This is the best day ever!”

Bulma frowned as she watched her four-year-old floating away. “Vegeta, why did you--”

He grabbed her, shoving his mouth against hers and backing her up against the wall. Her eyes went wide and she pulled away from his lips. He buried his face in her neck and she laughed. “Vegeta, what are--”

“You've never been more Saiyan,’ he mumbled against her skin. “Tell me more about what you want to do to that weakling.”

She snorted. “Gladly.”

 

Chapter Text

“I knew that staying on Earth would lead to my death. It was inevitable. I regret nothing. Make sure the boy does not neglect his training like Gohan did after Kakarot's death. You may remarry, but if you choose Yamcha I will claw my way out of hell to destroy him.”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh my gods, just take the fucking medicine you giant Saiyan baby.”

He scowled against his pillow. “Woman I am dying, you'd think you could be pleasant until I am in the ground!”

“You. Have. The. Flu.” She stated bluntly, pausing after every word.

“Asaya! Yan'te tisero--”

“I don't care how many times you've 'stared death in the face’, I've dealt with the flu before. You know, like two weeks ago when Trunks had it? Or a week ago when I had it?”

He laughed coldly. “You honestly think the boy's sniffles are connected to my death?”

“Do you not understand what germs are?”

He rumbled in a way she knew meant he did not understand but did not want to admit it.

“Goten was sick first, there were incredibly small animals called viruses that attacked his body until his immune system got rid of them. Those animals passed to Trunks and then to me, and now it's your turn.”

Vegeta stirred groggily, looking at her. “I am under attack?”

“On a cellular level, yes. How did you think people got sick?”

“Weakness. How do I fight them?”

She shook the medicine cup at him. “With this.”

He waved it off and buried his face back in the pillow.

Take it. It's like… A weapon. It helps you fight. You'll feel better and I won't have to hear you bitch for as long.”

“Earthling medicine is primitive and untrustworthy.”

“A'metoselani.”

He looked at her carefully. He'd taught her the gravity of that word before, and doubted she would use it lightly. 'To have blind faith that your mate seeks to do you no harm.’ He took the cup from her warily and downed the liquid, wincing at the taste.

“Disgusting!”

“It's supposed to be cherry flavored. Trunks didn't like it either.”

He paused a moment. “Lying woman, I feel the same! To invoke a sacred word for--”

“I didn't say it was instantaneous, Dumbass. It's just the weapon, you have to fight the war.”

“How?”

“Sleep and fluids. And no training.”

“Woman, I have no desire to train. I believe Krillin could defeat me at the moment.”

She frowned at the admission, running a hand over his forehead. “You're burning up.”

“You've come to terms with my death. Good. Shoot my body into space afterwards.”

“Aw, that'd be kind of beautiful if you were actually dying.”

“Forget beautiful, it's nice and cold there and this room is a million degrees.”

“Come on, let's get you into the shower.”

He groaned. “Very well, but you'll have to do all of the work, I can't move.”

She rolled her eyes again. “Not for sex, to lower your temperature.”

“Then no, I'd rather die in my own bed.”

She tugged on his foot in vain. “I can't carry you, get up.”

“Leave me.”

“I will fill a bucket with ice water and pour it over you. Then you'll be uncomfortable and have to wait for me to dry the sheets before you can lay back down. Is that really worth it? Just get in the shower.”

He sighed loudly. “Dammit, you're insane enough to do it.”

She smirked. “Yep.”

He allowed her to pull him to his feet and she pushed him into their bathroom, setting the water and shoving him inside. He yelled loudly, cursing about the temperature being too cold.

“It's just because of your fever. Do not change the heat.”

“I am going to murder Trunks for passing this along. And Goten for his complicity!”

“Blah, blah, blah, murder the kids later.”

“Useless woman.”

“Do you want me to make soup and rub your spine or not?”

He grumbled lowly. “Yes, I would like that.”

----------------------

 

Trunks wrinkled his nose. “ Cora te--”

“What did I just say, Boy?” Vegeta snapped, cutting him off. “You are not to speak the phrase aloud!”

“Oh, right. I forgot. How come?”

“It is done privately, and you are the only one required to hear it. If you were to practice it then it would hold no meaning to you when it is said.”

“Well, can you tell me what it means in English?”

“It's an easy phrase, if you can't even understand--

“I think I know what it means, but if it's so important then I should be sure right?”

“Too bad, I have said in once in both languages. I cannot repeat either.”

“You said them to Mom?”

“Obviously.”

Trunks raised his eyebrow as he reread the phrase, certain he must be misreading it. He couldn't see his father saying anything like this. “Why?”

He made a sound similar to a choking cat. “What?”

“Why did you say them to her? You said being married sucks.”

He glowered. “You… may understand one day.”

“Understand what? Why would I want to hang out with someone who gets on my nerves?”

Everyone gets on my nerves. Including children who ask too many questions for their own good.”

“Then why did you Saiyan-marry Mom?”

“It's called taking a mate, and it's much more significant than the Earth customs surrounding marriage. For instance, be warned that once it is said it cannot be taken back. The person you've said it over is your mate, no exceptions, no time limits, no divorces. 'Marriage’ is breakable, but you get one mate, even after death. So you better choose carefully and be damn sure of yourself.”

“You didn't answer my question. Why did you choose Mom?”

He was tapping his finger against his knee in frustration. “She… she annoys me less.”

“Less than what?”

“Less than anyone else. I'm even occasionally… not annoyed.”

Trunks grinned. “Aw, you love Mama, don't you?”

“Strike one, Trunks.”

“Sorry.”

“Just study the phrase. I will ask you to write it out for me in a few days, first correctly and then phonetically so I can be sure you know how to pronounce it. But do not practice it vocally. Understand?”

He nodded. “Yes, Daddy.”

---------------------

 

Vegeta hated the telephone, to the point that the few humans he allowed to have contact with him knew not to try to call him. Aside from occasionally ordering food when Bulma was out (which he usually made Trunks do now anyway) he never touched the thing. That was why when he heard it from the Gravity Room he just let it ring. Bulma could answer the message when she returned for the day, or not, it made no difference to him.

The third time the ringing started and eventually stopped he started to get annoyed. Clearly she wasn't home, redialing wasn't going to make her answer. He heard the small feet in the hallway and knew Trunks and Goten must have come back inside from playing.

The ringing started up again but quickly stopped. Good, the boy had picked it up. He breathed a sigh of relief but then grumbled when he heard Trunks knocking on the door. He slammed it open.

“What?”

Trunks blinked up at him in confusion. “Uh, it's for you.”

Vegeta frowned. “Who is it?”

“Gohan.”

Vegeta grumbled as he took the receiver. Normally he'd tell him to inform Kakarot's son that if he wanted to speak with him he could drag his lazy half-breed butt to Capsule Corp, but Bulma had gone with the teen this morning. He was interested in joining “real school” in a few years and wanted to look at his options, and she was trying to get him to do to choose her Alma Mater.

“What?” He snapped into the phone.

Gohan started carefully. “The first thing I'm supposed to say is that she is alive and does not need help, she just doesn't want you to catch it on the news before you hear it from us.”

His grip on the phone tightened dangerously. “Explain.”

“We were touring East High, and some guy recognized her and decided to mug her--”

“And where the hell were you?”

“I was there! I was watching the tour guide, she called my name, I stopped the guy. He's in custody and nothing was stolen.”

“Then why call me?”

“Before she called my name she tried to fight him herself. He uh…He broke her elbow.”

“Where are you?”

“Were at the police station, she's giving her statement, but she says you don't need to--”

He crushed the phone and tossed the remnants against the wall, heading for the front door.

 

Chapter Text

Gohan was nervous, and he believed he had every right to be, thank you very much. Could he take Vegeta in a fight?...Maybe. He'd definitely been stronger than him during the Cell Games, but the teen had been neglecting his training for the last few years and Vegeta had not.

Honestly he still had trouble believing Vegeta would care as much as Bulma seemed to believe he did. In the years he'd known him the prince had seemed very focused on himself and his victories. Would he really be upset to hear Bulma had a slight injury? He'd fought for Trunks when Cell shot him, and he seemed to be generally civil with Goten, but Gohan had not seen anything to indicate he cared the same for the woman.

But then… there was that dance at Krillin's wedding. That had complicated things for a lot of them. Until then they imagined Bulma's home life as basically still being single. Maybe she occasionally remembered she was legally married and dragged her antisocial husband to events. Everyone knew they only stuck around each other because of Trunks. Then right in the middle of the reception hall they'd shocked everyone by going out alone to slow dance. Why bother with that? For Trunks? For appearances? Yamcha thought so, he'd been pretty vocal about it. Gohan was less sure. Maybe there was something there the rest of the fighters turned a blind eye to.

Bulma had insisted that Gohan had nothing to worry about anyway, that he'd done exactly what he was supposed to do and come to her rescue. He knew better. If he was being diligent then she would not have gotten hurt, which meant he was partially to blame. Whether Vegeta cared or not, Gohan did.

He was shaking slightly as he sat alone on the bench on the police station, but he knew it wasn't from fear. It was the fight. It was having to get his hands dirty again for the first time in years , and liking it more than he cared to admit. Hell, part of him was hoping Vegeta would take a swing at him so he could fight back with a clear conscious to get… get what? What weird thrill did he get from fighting? He supposed it could be adrenaline, but it felt deeper than that. Probably some messed up Saiyan thing, he supposed.

Sometimes he missed the terror before a big fight, and as he thought it over he couldn't help but compare this moment to the last time he had anxiously awaited Vegeta's arrival, unsure of what would happen when he got there. He'd been only five at the time, and a lot had changed since then.

The front door slammed open, garnering some annoyed glances from around the room and a shout from an officer. Gohan stood as Vegeta stalked over to him, unsure if he was preparing to defend himself verbally or physically.

“Where is she?” The Saiyan barked.

“She's still giving her statement.”

“What about her injury? Are they making her wait to fix it?”

“No,” Gohan shook his head. “We went to the hospital first, after they arrested the guy. I tried to call you. They splinted her arm and put it in a sling. They told her she could go home and give her statement later but, you know, she's kind of stubborn. She wanted to do it now.”

“And him. Where is he?”

Gohan shifted uncomfortably. “He's in custody.”

“In this building?”

“I'm not entirely sure--”

Vegeta growled, taking a fistfull of Gohan's shirt and pulling him forward slightly. “Stop playing with me, Runt. I have not forgotten your involvement in this.”

Gohan nodded. “I should have been paying closer attention to her. I'm sorry, I didn't think it was a dangerous area.”

Vegeta sneered. “You cannot predict the presence of an enemy in peacetime. I'm pissed about afterwards.”

“Afterwards?”

“The bastard is alive. Why?”

Gohan stammered. “He's just a human. I didn't have to kill him to stop him.”

“How exactly did her elbow break? Surely she didn't manage it by punching him.”

“No, she was hitting him with her other hand and had her purse locked around her elbow so he… snapped it backwards on purpose. Korin is working on senzu beans, but--”

He saw a shiver run up Vegeta's spine. “And you let him live. You're a disgrace of a Saiyan.”

“You leave him alone, Vegeta!” Bulma snapped behind them. They turned to see her stalking toward them with an officer following her. “Gohan didn't do anything wrong. He means thank you , Gohan for helping out his wife. He's just too pig-headed to say it himself.”

For a moment, Gohan saw it. The mask on the prince's face slipped. What he thought he knew about the Saiyan in front of him clashed against the concern on the man's face. Vegeta's eyes darted up and down Bulma's body -- an inventory maybe? No other injuries stuck out. This all happened in a split second, and then the outrage was back. Gohan gaped at him, unsure what to say.

“Don't put words in my mouth, Woman! I mean exactly what I say. You in the uniform, take me to the dead man who did this.”

The young officer stared blankly. “Excuse me?”

Vegeta stared him down, walking past Bulma without looking at her again. “The boy said you have him in custody. I am here now, she's my mate. Release him to me.”

Bulma rolled her eyes. “That's not how it works, Vegeta. They're not holding him for you, they're holding him to prosecute him.”

“Execute?”

Prosecute. We have a system in place to punish criminals.”

He snarled. “Humans overcomplicate everything. Fine. Do we at least get to watch his death?”

“They're not going to kill him for a mugging.”

What? Unacceptable!” He grabbed Gohan's shirt. “Why would you allow them to apprehend him? We do not need humans to settle our problems!”

“Vegeta, stop. It's not that big of a deal. I want to go home,” Bulma grumbled.

He looked ready to protest, but when he looked her over again he reconsidered. “For the moment.” He held his arms out to her and she raised her eyebrows. “What, did you think you were driving home with that elbow? We're flying. No complaints.”

She sighed, but wrapped her good arm around his neck to let him pick her up. Gohan stared openly, still trying to understand the two. How could they go from fighting to her laying in his arms so quickly? He knew his own parents had fought occasionally when he was younger; well, more like Mom had yelled and Dad had found a way to get out of trouble, but they were never like this immediately afterward. It was like the two were in a constant fight but took breaks every few minutes. Not that he knew much about marriage, but it seemed odd.

“What are you staring at, Boy?” Vegeta snapped. “I have half a mind to come after you too after I kill the other--”

Bulma put a hand over his mouth, earning her a deadly glare. She smiled politely to the officer. “Oh, this man and his sense of humor. He wouldn't do anything like that, ever. Right, Vegeta? Tell the nice police officer that you aren't making death threats.”

He mumbled something angry around her palm, unable to move it because he was still holding her.

“Exactly. We're going to go now, tell Chichi I'll call her tomorrow, okay?”

Gohan nodded numbly, watching as Vegeta carried her out and lifted from the ground slowly not to jar her arm. Maybe his impressions of him had been wrong, but he doubted that. It seemed more likely that this was new, something that had come over the man in his time on Earth. Vegeta had changed. He wondered if the Saiyan knew that.

----------------

 

“It's sore, I don't want to move it.”

“I don't need you to move it,” he argued. His voice was stern but his touch was gentle as he undid the sling around the splint. “We'll keep it steady. I just need to see it.”

She sighed, not understanding why but allowing him to continue. It was dark by now, Trunks had stayed up to check on her, but once he knew she was okay he'd passed out quickly in his room. They sat in their bedroom with her arm resting on her vanity as he slowly pulled away the wrapping.

Her splint was mainly made of supportive straps and thick material to keep the bone in place while it healed, though they hoped the Senzu beans would be able to do that once they were ready. Through the gaps in the material Vegeta could clearly see the swelling and the deep purple bruise.

“They had to reset this,” he muttered without question. He knew physical injuries.

“Yes. It was pretty far out of place.”

He stared at the bruise for a long time, and then slid the sling back into place.

“What did that accomplish? You knew it was broken.”

“I wanted the image in my mind when I slaughter him.”

She paled. “Vegeta, no. We talked about this--”

“You talked. I said nothing because I had nothing to say. The man dies.”

“You don't need to--”

“Don't tell me what I need! I let you influence me far too much as it is.”

“What? Influence you? You do whatever you want all the time and don't pause to think about your actions! You can't risk getting locked up, you have a family now.”

“I am well aware!” he snapped. “I am well fucking aware that I am a shadow of my former self. I don't need reminding.”

“What's that supposed to mean?”

“Bulma, I'm considering it. A man snapped my mate's arms on purpose for greed and I am considering sparing his life just because you ask me to. That's absurd! A thought like that sure as hell didn't come from my mind so it had to come from yours.” He held a hand to his forehead like he was in pain. “You're worming your way into my brain, all of you! I'm so goddamn tired of being asked for mercy! By the laws of Vegetasei I have allowed dozens here to go free who should have by all rights died under my hand.”

“Dozens? Like who?”

“The Weakling, for one. It would be expected of me to kill your past affairs. Fucking Greg. That hotdog seller who insulted my son, the family in the park who attacked first, Kakarot's children for his insubordination, that prick from the academy-- the list goes on! All would have been my right to kill but I do nothing like a coward because you prefer it. Not this time!” He pounded on the vanity and mirror shook. “Give me leave to murder him for what he has done!”

“It sounds like you don't need my permission,” she spat. “Why ask for it?”

He snarled. “I prefer to have it. How sick is that?”

She laid a hand on his burning flesh. As always it was like a cooling salve that quelled his rage, but he fought against it this time.

“Vegeta,” she said softly, “there's no shame in showing mercy. You're a good man.”

He stood and pulled away from her. “You seem to believe you are complimenting me when you say that. You are not.”

He left the bedroom, making his way to the living room to sit alone. When he sat with her things got too muddled. She could convince him of the impossible. Mercy, cowardice, victory in defeat, all were absurd concepts she liked to pour over him like oil, soaking into his skin and corrupting something at his core.

He had the television on, mostly for noise, when he heard her name on the news. He shouldn't have been surprised he supposed, she was famous enough that a run in like today's was bound to be reported on.

Bulma Briefs, heiress to Capsule Corporation injured in an attempted mugging by city resident George Saunders.’ There was a video from someone's phone. He heard the snap of her bone. Then he saw the man's face.

Enough waiting. He marched into the bedroom, ready to refuel their argument with the images seared into his brain. She had to agree with him now that action needed to be taken. She was already lying in bed with her back to him when he got there.

He sighed. Fine then. Her permission was just a formality anyway. He turned on his heel.

“A'met?” She asked softly.

He froze. He had heard that hitch in her voice very few times in the past, and he remembered clearly what it meant. She was crying.

He was on her in an instant, hands against her wet face as his lips found hers. He hovered over her, careful not to put weight on the sling. After a moment he freed his mouth. “What is this? Just because we fought?”

“No. I lied,” she sobbed once. “Today was a big deal. I hated it. It hurt and I hated it and I wished you were there. I still don't want him dead.”

He growled low in his throat but she put a comforting hand on his cheek. “But kick his ass for me. That's where you were going, isn't it? To find him?”

He nodded once.

“I figured. Let him live, but break his arm for me.”

He tried, but he couldn't refuse.

George Saunders was found in his cell the next morning, very much alive. The bars had been bent open during the night, and no one was sure how it would have been possible for someone to do that without attracting attention. What they knew for sure was that George himself had not done it, because why would he break all four of his limbs on purpose? They tried to get him to confess the name of the man who had entered his cell in the night, but George refused to answer, always looking over his shoulder as though the culprit may somehow still be watching him.



Chapter Text

“You remember when I slammed my finger in the car door a few years back?” She asked him.

He didn't pause his work as he rubbed the lotion over her shoulder where her sling had been resting. “Yes. What of it?”

She sighed contentedly into the pillow. “You weren't that nice then. You sure didn't do stuff like this. I must be a good influence on you.”

He snorted. “That injury was caused by your carelessness. This one was taken in battle. That makes it my role to tend to it. I would expect the same treatment from you.”

“Battle? Hardly.”

“You fought for your honor. You lost, but the injury was well earned. Be proud of it. It's a shame there will not be a scar. It'd be pleasant to look at.”

“I was fighting for my purse. It's designer.”

“Which means nothing to the richest woman in the world. Your credit cards can be easily cancelled, your phone was in your pocket, and the cash inside was negligible. You fought him because it was yours and he had no right to it. Honor. Perhaps I'm a good influence on you.

She scowled. “Yikes, there's a terrifying thought. For the record I was a bit of an asshole long before you got here. Did I ever tell you what I did to Oolong when we first met?”

“No. Tell me.”

“This village thought he was some terrifying demon because he kept kidnapping all their girls. Goku and I were trying to find the dragon balls--”

“We're talking about the pig, right? About two foot high, annoying, lives with Master Roshi for reasons I have not been able to ascertain?”

She laughed. “Yeah, that's him.”

“And they thought he was a demon?”

“Well, he can shapeshift, remember?”

“Oh, right. I've never actually seen that.”

“He can only do it for five minutes at a time, Pu'ar is better. But anyway, he wanted to kidnap this girl so we dressed Goku up to look like her. Would have worked too if he didn't whip it out to pee everywhere. I swear that kid was always eating, peeing, or fighting.”

He chuckled low in his chest. “That sounds like a Saiyan child.”

“Sounds like Trunks now that I think of it,” she grimaced. “So Goku kicked his butt and he returned the girls, and I thought he could be useful so I convinced him to come with me. He tried to escape so I fed him this ‘vitamin’ that makes you have to shit if someone yells 'piggy’. Boom, instant ally.”

“Instant slave, you mean.”

“Hey, I needed his help,” she frowned, turning to face him.

His face was still calm and a lazy smile tugged at his lips. “It wasn't an accusation, just an observation. You identified a useful resource and exploited it. That's reasonable.”

“Did you ever have a 'slave’.”

“I was one.”

She paled a bit. “Oh. I'm sorry, I forget sometimes.”

He shrugged. “I have had servants, some of which were not there by choice. I suppose that qualifies.”

She thought a moment. “I don't think I'd do it again. In the same situation, even if I knew it'd be helpful, I wouldn't make someone obey me like that.”

“Don't go weak on me now. I was just marveling at how Saiyan you were before we even met.”

She smiled as she rolled over gently, settling in against his chest. “I suppose I was, a little bit. Do you believe in destiny?”

“Define it.”

“It's the idea that everything that happens was meant to happen. Like, maybe we were always going to meet and end up right here, right now, in this bed at this moment.”

“Oh. Then no. That's a dangerous way to think. Nothing is guaranteed, and anything can be taken at any time.”

“Then maybe it was destined to happen that way. Maybe our story's been told again and again and we always reach this same conclusion.”

“You are young to believe we are at a conclusion. Why does it matter?”

She shrugged. “I keep feeling like… this can't last. Like something bad has to happen. My life isn't usually so calm. There's always something coming. It's like we're living with a time limit but don't know when it runs out.”

“Pointless thinking. There's nothing you can do about it.”

“Maybe I can do something. Will you teach me how to fight?”

He raised an eyebrow at her.

“I mean I'm clearly never going to be a fighter. I wouldn't want that anyway. I'm not talking about fighting Cell here, but a human like George Saunders? I think the Queen of Earth should be able to kick that kind of guy's ass.”

He shrugged. “As you wish.”

She narrowed her eyes and rolled over him, sitting on his hips. “Where's my fight? Why are you in such a good mood?”

He huffed. “Am I not allowed to be calm?”

“Allowed? Yes. Capable? Not usually.”

“Well, enjoy it then. It's not likely to last. Infuriating woman.”

“It's because you got to break that guy’s arms and legs, right?”

He smirked. “Perhaps. I miss inflicting real damage. It's satisfying.”

There was a knock on their door.

Bulma rolled her eyes and got off of his hips, calling through the door. “Trunks, we talked about this, you're getting too big to sleep in here.”

“You may for the night boy, but bring your own damn blankets I'm not sharing,” Vegeta called.

They heard a cheer and then the sound of small feet running towards Trunks’ room. She put her hands on her hips.

“I thought you said five was too old for a ‘Saiyan Warrior’ to sleep with company.”

“I mainly said that because he's large enough be a nuisance. As you said, I'm in a good mood. Unless you want more sex tonight, then the boy can take a hike.”

She smiled wickedly. “No, I'm good. But I think you may have forgotten something.”

He frowned. “What?”

“Goten's sleeping over.”

Vegeta had enough time to look regretful before their door burst open and both boys came running in with their blankets, hopping into bed and wrapping themselves up like burritos. His good mood didn't last the whole night.

-------------------------

 

“Keep your thumbs outside of your fists unless you want them broken,” Vegeta said for the third time.

“Right. Damn. I forget that part,” Bulma said, shaking her head.

“I've noticed. Your opponent will as well, if they have two brain cells to rub together. Now punch me in the face. You can't hurt me and I need to see your techni--”

Apparently the explanation was unnecessary as her fist collided with his cheek before he'd finished talking. As predicted it did nothing to him, but he smirked.

“Little anxious to hit me there.”

“I love you, but yes, occasionally I do want to hit your stupid face.”

“You're hyperextending your arm, it leaves you vulnerable.” He took her wrists and moved them closer to her body. “Keep your arms back for defense, and don't forget to follow through.”

She nodded.

“Again.”

“Can I hit your chest instead?”

“Why?”

“Because I don't want to admit how much your face hurt my hand.”

The door to the Gravity Room slid open and Trunks’ face popped in. “ Please!

“I said no, Trunks,” Vegeta shook his head.

“I’d be really careful, like holding a baby.”

Bulma huffed indignantly.

“You may not fight your mother. You have poor control and would injure her and we'd have to get another damned senzu bean.”

“I have great control.”

“Why does Goten have a black eye?”

“Not on accident, he broke my scooter so I punched him.”

Bulma crossed her arms. “You did what?”

He rolled his eyes. “He got me back,” he said lifting his shirt to reveal a deep purple bruise.

“Bring me an egg,” Vegeta said to him.

Trunks raised his eyebrows -- there was a strict No Eggs rule in the Gravity Room because of him.

“Just do it.”

Trunks ran to the kitchen and back, handing the egg to his father. Vegeta raised his fist and punched it gently, and it rolled across his hand. “Now you try.”

Trunks took the egg and nudged it with his fist. It broke immediately, egg yolk oozing through his fingers.

“See that? That's your mother's brains if you try to fight her. Understand?”

He grumbled but nodded.

“Your tutor should be here soon anyway,” Bulma said, pointing to the door. “Go get cleaned up.”

Trunks hung his head and slouched toward the door.

“Boy,” Vegeta said, stopping him. “Wait a moment. I have something for you.”

Trunks stopped and watched the Saiyan cross the room, pulling something from beneath the control panel. This was unusual to say the least. Trunks didn't get presents from his father, and he knew it. Sure, all his birthday and Christmas presents said they were from both parents, but he knew Vegeta had about as much say in them as he did. He looked to his mother for an explanation but she just shrugged, as confused as he was.

Vegeta knelt in front of Trunks. “You are being given a great deal of trust. Do not abuse that trust, or the responsibility will be taken from you. Here,” he held up a key to his son.

Trunks’ eyes went wide. “Is this a key to the Gravity Room?”

“Yes.”

“I don't… I don't have to wait for you to train anymore?” The room had been secured with locks shortly after he and Goten had 'experimented’ with it a few years before.

“It does more than that. It enables the gravity adjuster and the training bots. Don't take on more than you can handle, if you are seriously injured I will take this until you're older.”

Bulma looked nervous. “Vegeta, are you sure--”

“Yes. Real training is done alone. The Trunks from the future achieved Super Saiyan by his teen years, perhaps if you work hard you will even edge him out by a few years.”

“You mean when your hair gets all yellow? You think I can do that too?”

“Yes.”

“Wow! I've gotta tell Goten!” The boy exclaimed, running to the door.

Vegeta paled and called after him. “Goten is only allowed in here when I am here as well. Did you hear me Trunks? Trunks? Damn.”

Bulma giggled, punching him in the shoulder. “Come on, you. Fight me. Unless you're chicken.”

He smirked at her, checking to make sure Trunks was far away before dead-bolting the door from the inside. “Fine, but when I win we try a different exercise.”






Chapter Text

Kame House was well decorated, they just had to wait for Eighteen to get back from Marron's checkup. The party was almost put together and most everyone was there; Chichi was bringing Trunks and Goten later after their lessons, and Bulma and Vegeta had decided to skip it to take advantage of having an empty house. That had led to their discussion.

“I'm telling you guys, it's just reverse Stockholm Syndrome,” Yamcha said, shaking his head sadly. “One day she's going to wake up and realize she let a psychopath waltz into her house, knock her up, and marry her. I just hope she can face the consequences when that day comes.”

Krillin patted him on the back. “Bro. It's been six years. Get over it.”

Yamcha rolled his eyes leaning back on Master Roshi's couch. “I am not still pining over Bulma. I've moved on, I have a career and a life outside of you guys, you know. But I still care about her, we were together for over a decade. I mean you get what I'm saying, right? There's no way this thing with Vegeta is going to last. He's like half evil. And as asshole.”

Gohan shrugged from his seat on the floor near Piccolo. “I don't know. I don't think he's so bad.”

Tien raised an eyebrow. “Can you remember when he first came to Earth? I know you were young but--”

“I remember,” Gohan nodded. “That was a long time ago. People change. I mean, no offense Tien, but weren't you kind of a bad guy once?”

Tien laughed hollowly. “Well, I guess you could say that.”

“Dude, you snapped my leg for fun,” Yamcha grimaced.

“I said I was sorry.”

“Did you?”

“Oh...shit, sorry Man.”

“That's what I mean,” Gohan said. “From what I hear almost everyone my Dad ever got close to started off as kind of a bad guy. Tien and Chiaotzu were scamming people. Yamcha, you robbed people in the desert with Pu'ar. Oolong kidnapped a bunch of girls. And Piccolo…”

“Gohan is right,” the Namek nodded. “We all have done things we're not proud of.”

“Except Krillin,” Number Eighteen said with a small smile, surprising them by walking through the front door with a small girl in her arms. “He's an angel.”

Krillin jumped up. “There's the birthday girl! Hi Marron!”

The girl squealed as Krillin picked her up. “See?” Eighteen said. “An actual angel. It's almost aggravating.”

“I was kind of jerk, actually,” Krillin blushed. “When I first met Goku I didn't like him because I thought he'd get in the way of my training. I warmed up to him. How could you not? He was a good friend.”

“So I'm just saying, maybe we should cut Vegeta some slack,” Gohan shrugged. “You guys should have seen how upset he was when Bulma got hurt. I think he really cares about her.”

Piccolo put a hand on his shoulder. “You could be right, Gohan. People change. Even if they're not entirely human.”

--------------------------------

 

“When I was fifteen I was injured severely,” he said suddenly.

She paused, setting her head on his chest. They'd been just lying together for a long while, and she thought he was asleep. “Oh?”

“You asked, earlier, what I was thinking about. That's it. I was thinking about that injury and how long it took to heal.”

She nodded, knowing him well enough not to press for details. To her surprise he spoke again.

“We were taking the Planet Exala. It was relatively small, not a very fierce race. It took us a week to get them to bow to Frieza. On the day before we returned to the ship there was a revolutionary who attacked me from behind. He tried to pierce my heart. He missed and hit a lung.”

She traced a finger over a deep scar on his breast and he nodded.

“He ran me through. Nappa killed him without much difficulty, but I couldn't be moved. There were healing tanks on Frieza's ship, but no way to reach them. They had to force the medics of Exala to treat my injury, and they weren't gentle about it. They ripped the spear out and performed surgery on my lung. Their anesthesia was incompatible with Saiyan DNA, or so they claimed. I asked Nappa to knock me out manually and he did, but I woke up a few times. I thought I was dead when the spear hit. I wished for it during the surgery.”

“Gods,” she mumbled, laying against his chest.

“We were stuck there for two months until I was able to move. No pain medicine, no training, and only Nappa and Raditz to keep me company. That was the only time, before you, that I considered taking a mate.”

She frowned. “Who was she? Do I have to fight some Exala bitch?”

“There was no one. It was just the desire to have one that came over me. I knew that it was a mate's duty to tend to you when you were injured in battle, and I was feeling sorry for myself. There were no…” he paused to run a hand down her side, “ moments like this in my life until Earth, and I wanted them, though I wouldn't admit it. It started as a whim, but I had nothing else to do so it grew into an obsession. Nappa occasionally wheeled me out of my room for fresh air at my request, and I started searching among the people there. I found no one that interested me. Not for lack of trying.”

“I wish I'd have been there.”

He laughed. “I do not. I wouldn't have given you a second glance, I believe, and you could have been killed in our initial assault. I'm not looking for sympathy, I deserved the attack at the time and shouldn't have let my guard down.”

“Then why tell me?”

He shrugged. “A'metkoshentka.”

She smiled. “Well I like our moments too,” she teased him. Even if no one would believe how sweet you can be when you try.”

He snorted derisively.

“Grumpy-ass Saiyan.”

“I meant what I said when I was sick.”

“What did you say? That was a while ago.”

“When I die, you may remarry and create these moments with someone else.”

She frowned. “Um, didn't I already tell you you're not allowed to do that? I die first. A long time from now.”

“I'm serious. I want no misunderstanding on this subject. You are my mate and will stay so after I have died, but the human marriage bond means little to a Saiyan and I'm fine with you killing time with some other man until you come to me. Trunks may protest it and I want him to be clear on my thoughts on this as well. When I am gone--”

“Cut it out! You're talking like you have a death wish.”

He was silent.

“What, you want to die?”

“No.”

“Then what the hell? Why are you making me think about this kind of stuff? I don't like it.”

He looked at her. “I had trouble, understanding why Kakarot did what he did.”

She blinked. “Goku? What does he have to do with this?”

“I told you then that he did not save the world. He was saving Gohan. At the time it was so foreign to me that I could not process it. Now I would… I would do the same. If I had to.”

She slid a hand down his chin. “You'd die for Trunks?”

“And you. Without regret or hesitation. As you've said, peace cannot last. With Kakarot gone and Gohan neglecting his training, I will be the strongest Earthling available to fight.”

She leaned forward and pressed her lips against his softly. “You’ve never called yourself an Earthling before.”

“Clearly an oversight. I meant Saiyan.”

“Sure you did. You're still not allowed to die. I'll March into the Other World and drag your ass home. Not getting away from me that easy.”

“Just agree with my plans.”

“No. If you die you have to come back. No arguments.”

“Gods you're stubborn.”

“That's what you signed up for.”

----------------------

 

“Hey Trunks, can I tell you a secret?” Goten whispered.

“We're outside. Alone. You don't have to whisper.”

“You're supposed to whisper when you have a secret.”

“That's so people don't hear you.”

“Oh. Well you wanna hear it or not?”

“Sure.”

Goten grinned, sitting up on the grass. “Mom's been training me.”

“Really?” He asked skeptically. “You mean Miss Chichi? Are you confused again? This isn't like the time you told me your shoes were haunted and it was just because they stink, right?”

“My feet don't smell like pineapples and my shoes do, Trunks, that's still a mystery. No, I'm sure, she takes me outside to fight her when Gohan is studying.”

“Woah. Weird. Is she any good at it?”

“Uh huh, my Mom was a fighter too a long time ago. Dad asked her to get married at the  World's Martial Arts Tournament.”

“What's that?”

“It's like a big show where a whole bunch of fighters go to hit each other and the winner gets money. My Dad won that year,” he beamed. “He fought Mr.Piccolo, then he married Mom, and he put out a fire from the underworld with a fan and patched up a boiler with my Great Grandpa Gohan.”

Trunks shook his head. “I think you're mixed up again. That all sounds crazy.”

“Mom said that's how it happened.”

“Maybe she was just telling you a bedtime story?”

“Well your Mom said you came back from the future and you believe her.”

“I did!” He argued. “And I helped Dad beat Cell.”

Gohan beat Cell.”

“Gohan helped too.”

“So why did future you come back?”

Trunks blushed. “Mom changes that sometimes. Last week she said it was so he could tell her I needed to eat more vegetables, but I have my doubts. I think he was real, though, Dad wouldn't go along with it if it was some made up thing like Santa Claus.”

“What about Santa Claus?”

“Uh…” Trunks winced, thinking quickly. “He doesn't really like cookies, grownups made that up so they could eat them.”

“Oh. That makes sense.”

“But the Martial Arts Tournament might be real. I'll have to ask Dad. If it is I want to win it some day.”

“You'd have to fight me for it,” Goten warned with a smile.

“Good. Hey, Ten, you wanna hear one of my secrets?”

“Yeah.”

“I'm the one who poured pineapple juice into your shoes to mess with you.”

“Bulma!” Goten hollered, running toward the house.

“Shut up, Goten! Mom he's lying!”





Chapter Text

Having spent twenty years as a private tutor, Janette Perry had dealt with her fair share of rich kids. She knew there was a very specific type of family who did not want their 'precious angels’ taught in either public or private school. There were a few variations; there were the kids who actually needed special attention because of health reasons, the dumb or lazy spoiled brats who wanted to only learn when they felt like it, and the delinquents that schools did not want. Trunks Briefs was hard to get a read on.

The boy was intelligent, certainly, to the point that she did not really believe he was only five. She'd never taught someone as young as they claimed he was; she was usually brought in around the third grade mark. She would suspect they were lying about his age, but there was really no reason to. Everyone knew he'd been born before the wealthy heiress and her husband were married; they'd brought him to the ceremony.

She did her homework before accepting a job, and she knew he had been denied from the Milford Academy for 'delinquency’, though the man who'd filed his denial had refused to speak with her about it to explain further. She didn't see how he'd been able to be delinquent before even being enrolled.

She usually only saw the boy; his mother spent her mornings working for Capsule Corp. She'd expected to run into the boy's father occasionally, but the only indications he was even in the house were usually loud thuds from behind a metal door that Trunks referred as the 'Gravity Room’. She'd seen the man once or twice and he was usually wearing athletic clothing, so she assumed he had some kind of home gym he used to stay fit to keep his wealthy wife interested.

The child himself unnerved her. He mainly slumped against his small desk they shared in his room, listening to her with a bored expression on his face. That intelligence was weird enough on its own, but what was stranger was the oddness of his answers. There were gaps in his knowledge where there shouldn't have been. She'd briefly covered elementary physics with him a few weeks before. He'd appeared very interested at first as she explained the basic of wind resistance and aeronautics. She showed him diagrams of bird bones and why they were capable of flight, then he'd asked an odd question.

“Miss Janette, do I have hollow bones?”

“Hmm?” She'd asked. “No, certainly not.”

“Then how come I can fly?”

She shook her head disapprovingly. “Trunks, human beings cannot fly.”

He'd just shrugged and slumped back against his desk. “Maybe you can't.”

Did the child have mental problems? Maybe that was why they chose not to enroll him in traditional schools. He could just be lying, but the way he never pressed the delusions or whatever they were bothered her. He'd just inform her she was wrong and move on. Statements like 'nothing can live in the vacuum of space’ were just met with a snort and a 'wrong’, but he didn't explain.

But on some things she simply would not allow arguments. The speed of light was the hill she chose to die on. Normally she'd never try to teach something so advanced to such a young child, but he'd been asking more questions about space recently and she wanted to oblige the interest.

“So, if someone could one day travel the speed of light, you could get to the end of our solar system in only about five hours! How amazing is that?”

He didn't light up the way she thought he would. “Seems pretty slow. Is New Namek in our solar system?”

She blinked. “What? What's New Namek?”

“Well I guess that's not it's official name, but I don't know what it was called before the Nameks relocated there. How about Yardrat? Is that in our solar system? I think Gohan said his Dad could have Instant Transmitted to Yardrat too, and it sure wouldn't take five hours.”

“Trunks,” she said firmly but sympathetically, “those are not real planets.”

He rolled his eyes softly. “Wrong.”

Her grip on her pen tightened. “Trunks, you are incorrect. I would be a bad teacher if I allowed you to continue to believe that make believe planets are real and that you can magically transport yourself to them. Having an imagination is fine, but--”

“I said Instant Transmit, not magical transport. That's just silly.”

“Who is this Gohan? Is he an older boy putting crazy ideas in your head?”

Trunks snickered. “Gohan's cool and all, but he's a nerd. He'd definitely know more about planets than you.”

She turned her book around and pointed to the section on the speed of light. “Look, Trunks, the answers are right here. I think Gohan has been pulling your leg about things like 'Yardrat’ and 'Namek’ and people flying.”

“The book is wrong. Besides, Gohan only told me about Yardrat. Dad told me about New Namek. It's where Goku got Dende from.”

“Dende? Is that a disease.”

“No, he's God. He's still kinda young, though. He seems like a nice guy.”

She frowned, laying a concerned hand on his shoulder. “Trunks, does God talk to you often?”

“Uh, no. He's older than me and we don't have a lot in common. He's fine though, he hangs out with Mr.Piccolo.”

She paled. “Piccolo? Like the evil king who held us all hostage?”

He frowned. “I never heard about that. That doesn't sound like him.”

“Trunks, where have you heard all this?”

“About Dende? I met him with Dad.”

“Dad again, eh?” She asked, starting to look suspicious. Maybe it was time to meet this elusive gymrat who was filling her pupil’s head with crazy ideas. Perhaps he was ill himself and a bad influence on the boy. “Trunks,” she said, putting on her best no-nonsense face, “I would like to officially meet your father. Right now.”

Trunks smirked, glancing at the clock. “It's only eleven, and he doesn't break for lunch until noon. I wouldn't bug him, he'll be grumpy. You should wait a few hours until Mom gets home.”

“I said, right now. I think he can stop lifting barbells for ten minutes to discuss his son's well-being.”

Trunks was grinning. “Kay, but I wanna watch.” He hopped off his chair and took her hand, leading her through the halls. He stopped in front of a metal door and offered it to her, still smiling. “I'd knock if I were you.”

She cleared her throat, adjusting her tight brown hair bun. She rapped gently on the metal door.

“You'll have to be louder than that.”

She frowned at him, then knocked harder on the door. She was considering knocking a third time when it finally swung open. Before her stood a muscled, shirtless man with a scowl. He wiped some sweat from his face and looked her up and down.

“Who the fuck are you?”

She stared at him, unexplainably afraid.

“I told you he'd be grumpy,” Trunks said.

“Oh,” the man said, shooting a look at his son suspiciously. “You teach the boy. What's he done now?”

“Nothing,” Trunks said quickly, holding up his hands.

“What's he done? We'll replace whatever he broke.”

“He...he hasn't done anything per se,” she stuttered out. “I just believe the two of us need to have a conversation about some of the strange beliefs he seems to hold.”

“His mother will be home in a few hours.”

“It was you that I wanted to speak with, Mr.Briefs.”

“Vegeta,” he grumbled. “Fine. I will eat early. You can follow me if you want to speak.”

“Yay, early lunch!” Trunks cheered. He crawled up Vegeta's back as the man stalked through the halls, ending up on his shoulders.

Janette followed them to the kitchen, feeling a bit awkward as the man wasn't looking at her. “I was just concerned because it appears that Trunks is having trouble separating fantasy from reality. He indicated that perhaps you had told him some of them, and I thought you may be able to help him ground himself by explaining that you were joking.”

“What kind of fantasies?” He asked opening the fridge.

“Oh, some things about space and far off planets, mostly.”

Vegeta looked up at his son. “You should be good at that, we've discussed it.”

“I am, Daddy. Can I have the cheese?” He pointed.

Vegeta handed him a block of cheese and took out a huge packet of deli meats and mustard, tossing them on the counter and looking for bread. “What planets has he been getting wrong? We haven't talked about the Triangulum Galaxy yet, but he should know a decent amount about the nearby ones.”

“I -- um, he was talking about something called New Namek? And Yardrat?”

“What did he say about them?”

She started to pity him. Clearly this man was either mentally ill or badly educated himself. “Mr.Briefs, those planets do not exist. Even more distressing, he is talking about people being able to teleport to them instantly.”

Vegeta pulled the boy off his shoulders and set him on the table as he started to make his sandwiches. “Teleport, Boy?”

“Nu-uh, I said Instant Transmit,” Trunks insisted.

“You better have. I don't know where you're getting your information, Woman. If New Namek doesn't exist where did all the damn Nameks go? They aren't still hanging around here.”

“Mr.Briefs, I believe your… strange ideas are impacting your son.”

“Have you been off of the Earth?”

“Certainly not.”

“Then I know more about it than you. Aren't we paying you quite a bit for his education? Do you not intend to cover other planets at all? I don't have time to teach him all of them, I thought that was your job.”

She sputtered. “Excuse me?”

“I'm asking if you intend to teach my son any useful information. Is she always like this?”

Trunks shrugged. “Sometimes. She doesn't think I can fly either.”

“That's quite enough, Trunks!” She snapped. “Humans do not fly.”

Trunks crossed his arms in a pout and floated up off the table.

Miss Janette screamed as she ran from them. They heard the front door slam and he sighed, shoving one of the sandwiches into his mouth. “Damn. That's the fourth one. Your mother is going to be pissed.”

Trunks shrugged. “She wasn't very good.”

“You realize if we can't keep a tutor you'll go to public school, right?”

Trunks pouted. “It's not my fault they're all boring and don't know important stuff. Since I get the day off can I go see Goten?”

“No. It's still school time. You'll train in the Gravity Room with me after we eat.”

“Didn't Mom tell you not to speak to any of the tutors anymore?”

He paused and narrowed his eyes at him. “Are you attempting to blackmail me, Boy?”

Trunks shook his head. “No, Sir.”

The Saiyan growled. “Fine. But if your mother asks the woman fell from a high shelf, you flew to her aide, and she panicked over it and quit on the spot.”

Trunks nodded enthusiastically, hopping off the table and grabbing a bunch of sandwiches for the trip.

Chapter Text

They stood in an open field not far from the Son home. They'd picked a beautiful day, worried that any weather interference could lead to arguments from the losing side about slipping in the mud or wet grass. Goten and Trunks sat up on a tree above them, waiting impatiently.

“I still think this is a horrible idea,” Gohan said nervously to the Saiyan standing next to him.

Vegeta was grinning. “They are adults and can make their own decisions.”

“I feel like if Dad was here he'd--”

“Kakarot would be right here next to us watching this battle, trust me.”

Gohan grimaced, blushing. “Oh, no, ew, is this like--”

“I'm not missing this, let's leave it at that. Besides, this is necessary for her confidence. She needs to fight someone closer to her level to know she has improved.”

“I kind of want to punch you.”

“Calm down, I could care less about your mother. I just want to see my mate hit someone. Is that too much to ask?”

“They could get hurt.”

“Well go ahead, then. Tell your mother she's not allowed to fight by decree of her fifteen year old son.”

Gohan dropped his forehead into his hand.

“Exactly. This was Bulma's idea and my 'forbidding’ it would end about the same. If I wanted to forbid it, which I don’t. I want to record it but she hid the device from me.”

“Bulma could get hurt, you know. Mom was a finalist in the 23rd World's Martial Arts Tournament.”

Vegeta's grin widened. “That sounded like a bet.”

“It wasn't.”

“Two thousand Zeni on Bulma.”

“Twenty thousand!” Trunks called down from the tree.

“Yes, twenty thousand,” Vegeta nodded.

Goten nodded excitedly, hanging down off the branch. “Do it, Gohan! Mom's gonna win!”

The teen shrugged defeatedly. “Fine.”

“Let's go!” Trunks called loudly to the two women stretching the field in front of them.

Goten nodded. “Fight already!”

Chichi frowned at him from the ground where she was stretching out her legs. “You always stretch before a fight. I've told you that, Goten.”

“I don't know, Chichi,” Bulma teased from her own spot across from her. “Maybe you're stalling because I'm going to kick your butt.”

Chichi smirked at her. “That's it Dear, keep up your confidence. Then maybe one day you'll be a real fighter like me.”

“Oh, are you talking about the tournament you lost? You know, before you gave up fighting to be barefoot and pregnant?”

Chichi laughed good-naturedly as she got to her feet. “Vegeta's going to have to carry you home on a stretcher.”

Please put the boxing gloves on?” Gohan begged. “Nobody needs to bleed or break a bone.”

Chichi rolled her eyes and pulled on the thick gloves Gohan had begged them to use, and Bulma did the same.

Goten tugged on Trunks’ arm. “Hey Trunks, who's that lady?”

“What? Who?” He wasn't paying attention to him, he was too wrapped up in the women's taunting.

“Back there,” Goten said, pointing some distance away from the field. “With the weird glass ball.”

Trunks barely glanced over his shoulder. “I dunno, Ten.”

Goten shrugged, still curious but not wanting to miss the fight.

Bulma and Chichi dropped into fighting stances as they slowly approached each other. Vegeta nudged Gohan's shoulder. “See the way she uses her stance to cover her torso? She's small enough to hide behind her arms and she knows it. She just got that down about a month ago.”

“She's only been training since the mugging. Mom's been at this for years.”

Chichi threw the first punch. Bulma dodged away well and managed to jab her in the shoulder at the same time. Chichi stumbled back a little, obviously surprised at the power behind the swing.

“Yeah! Get her, Mama!” Trunks called.

Chichi pulled back again, repeating the move. Bulma went to dodge again but Chichi suddenly changed her attack, swinging from the opposite side. This time she connected with Bulma's ribs, knocking her back.

Goten cheered and Trunks pushed him out of the tree.

Bulma was back at it quickly, approaching her in more of a crouch. Vegeta frowned slightly, shaking his head as he muttered lowly. “No, don't try to sweep her legs out from under her. Her stance is better than yours and it leaves you vulnerable.”

Chichi seemed to have noticed this move as well. She left herself open for Bulma to try to kick her legs, arms posed to swing down on her when she got too close. Bulma went towards her like she was taking the bait, but instead of swinging her leg she shot her fist forward, catching the other woman hard in the stomach. Chichi coughed and bent over and Bulma took the moment to elbow her in the face, snapping her head back.

Vegeta slapped his hands together. “Fuck yes! Strategy!”

Gohan winced. “You're enjoying this too much.”

“Come on, that was beautiful. She tricked me.

“Mom, is your nose bleeding?” Gohan called.

“Mom's busy, Gohan,” Chichi hollered, spitting a bit of blood into the grass. “That was a good warm up. Now you want to see why Goku married me?”

“You mean besides you tricking him before he knew he had options?” Bulma asked with fake innocence.

Chichi laughed, then launched herself toward Bulma catching her hard in the middle and taking her to the ground. Bulma struggled against her weight, and Chichi used one arm to pin both of hers, punching her once on each side of her face before jumping off.

“No reason to knock you out too soon,” Chichi teased. “I'm having fun.”

Bulma growled. “Don't go easy on me! I don't need your help, I'll beat you on my own!”

“You're a bad influence on her,” Gohan whispered. The other man laughed.

Bulma went on the offensive, this time actually sweeping Chichi's legs out from under her. Chichi grabbed her feet and pulled her down with her, and they rolled on the grass, each trying to get the high ground.

“Don't let her pin you, Mama, she's a lot bigger than you!” Trunks called.

Chichi looked up at him in shock. “Excuse me Young Ma--”

Bulma took advantage of the distraction to punch the woman in the chin. She fell back with a grunt and Bulma jumped up from the ground.

“Hey, that's cheating!” Goten whined. “She was distracted.”

“Yes, she allowed herself to be distracted,” Vegeta sneered. “That's not Bulma's fault. No mercy, A'met ! Destroy her!”

Gohan chuckled. “It's not to the death, Vegeta.”

“‘Destroy her’ sounds better than 'hit her kind of hard’.”

Bulma surged forward to try to pin Chichi, but the other woman kicked upwards, throwing her back. Bulma hit the ground and Chichi was up again in an instant, kicking her hard in the stomach. The heiress gasped, the wind knocked out of her. Chichi reared back for another but Bulma pulled a glove off and held up a hand.

“Okay! I know when I've had enough. You beat me, Chichi.”

Goten cheered and Trunks cheered with him just as hard. Chichi smiled and helped Bulma to her feet, laughing softly. “I'm glad some of us know better than to fight until we're almost dead.”

“Hey, I did better than I did against the mugger.”

“Well done,” Vegeta said, suddenly directly behind her.

She jumped a little, turning around to smack his chest for scaring her. “I lost.”

“George Saunders was weaker than Chichi. He could not best you again.”

She smiled softly, then whispered, “Stop grinning at me like that. You look like you want to jump me.”

“I do,” he muttered lowly.

“Behave.”

“We won the bet!” Goten cheered. “Let's spend it all on dinner!”

Chichi scowled. “What bet? Vegeta, are you gambling with my children?”

He grimaced. “And she's harping again. I swear the woman is only agreeable when her fists are moving.”

Chichi smirked at him as Goten crawled up into her arms.

---------------------

 

Goku laughed loudly. Swinging his fists as though he were the one fighting. “Alright Chi! Can I see that part again, Baba?”

The short Fortuneteller nodded and rewound the scene in her crystal ball, replaying the moment when Chichi first pinned Bulma to the ground and punched her on each side of her face.

Goku cheered again, watching with rapt attention as the rest of the fight unfolded, ending with Bulma calling for its end and Chichi graciously helping her up.

“She's a little rusty, but still good,” he chuckled. “Too bad you can't see Gohan from this angle. Is he okay?”

Baba smiled sadly. “Yes. He's gotten tall, and looks a lot like you.” She'd made the decision not to tell Goku he had a second son. His decision to stay in the Other World to protect the Earth had been bittersweet enough, and she didn't see what good it would do to make it worse when he couldn't do anything about it.

“I miss her. Thanks, Baba.”

She nodded to him and he went on his way back towards the Kai’s training grounds. She watched him go, thinking back to when she'd first met the young Saiyan. She'd had his grandfather with her so he could see him one last time. A grin eased onto her face. It might take a little while, but it was about time she start preparation for Goku's day-pass to Earth.




Chapter Text

Vegeta wanted to go straight home after the fight, and everyone over the age of seven knew why. Chichi just rolled her eyes and asked Trunks if he'd like to come to dinner with her and her sons, which he jumped on of course. Chichi waved the other adults off, mumbling something about ‘all Saiyans being the same’, earning a horrified look from Gohan.

They'd only just made it inside their front door when he was on her. She cringed when he pushed her against the door, kissing her neck and tugging  away at her clothes. She looked down at the outfit she'd worn to fight Chichi.

“Can I have five minutes? I need a shower.”

“Absolutely not. I wish Gohan hadn't been so insistent about those damn boxing gloves. You'd have blood on your hands.”

“Ew, Vegeta. Did you get your eyeful today?”

“Don't pretend you didn't enjoy battle.”

She snorted. “Battle. Sure. She kicked my butt. Why did you even bet on me?”

“Twenty thousand Zeni means nothing to you. It was a passing whim.”

She smiled at him. He'd deny it if asked and she didn't feel like ruining the mood, but she thought perhaps the excited look on Goten's face had something to do with her husband's sudden ill fated bet.

Vegeta dropped to his knees, ripping away the fabric from her legs. He grabbed her thighs and tossed them over his shoulders, supporting her against the door. She gasped as his tongue started over her, gentle at first and growing rougher. She giggled, threading her fingers through his wild hair.

“If this is what I get for fighting maybe I should do it more often.”

“You should,” he murmured against her.

“Don't try to Pavlov me into being more violent.”

“I don't know what that means. You talk too much,” he said. He pushed two fingers up into her roughly and her mouth fell open wordlessly. “Oh, look, you can be silenced.”

His tongue went back to work and she let herself get loud because they were alone. She watched him below her, seeing his hand occasionally dropping low and realizing he was already stroking himself. That wasn't normal for him; he much preferred her hand to his own. He only touched himself when he was desperate -- when she'd kept him waiting for far too long.

Why keep them both waiting, then? She tapped his shoulder and tried to climb off of him. He growled gently, thwarting her attempt easily and pushing into her faster.

“No. Come on my mouth.”

She struggled to remember why she'd wanted to get away from that mouth at all. “Why don't we--”

“You first. Battle. I will not last long,” he panted in that gravelly voice. His focus was blurring, she could see his hand moving faster on his shaft while we worked to push her over the edge.

Bulma understood then, rolling her eyes but not arguing with him. She'd been the one in battle, so in his mind she had to finish before he got what he wanted. Well, that wasn't the worst Saiyan trait she'd had to deal with.

Her husband knew her, knew exactly how much pressure she wanted and how to touch her. In minutes she was breathless, legs tensing against his back while she began to implode around his fingers.

There was movement too fast for her to follow, but then she was on the floor and he was inside of her. She was still coming down, and his ruthless pumping into her made it last longer than it would have. He was pressed in tight against her, face buried in her neck while he slammed into her -- no teasing, not now, he needed her desperately and had managed to wait an unbearably long time out of respect for her fight.

He grunted roughly against her shoulder, not coherent enough for his normal moaned Saiyago. She tangled a hand in his hair, understanding. Hell, if one fight really did this to her husband maybe she could keep training. She shuddered to think what he'd be like if she actually won.

“Fuck, fuck ,” he gasped against her ear, reaching his end quickly. He panted against her, taking a moment to come back to reality.

She held him there. With Trunks and Goten around so often it had been a long time since they'd done anything out of the bedroom, and the foreignness of lying just past their front door finally nagged at her. She kissed the side of his forehead, hinting that he should let her up. “I'm going to go get dressed.”

He chuckled darkly. “No. You are not.”

She frowned. “But--”

“It will take that pathetic restaurant hours to fill the bellies of three half Saiyans. Until they are about to return, you go nowhere. Now tell me what it was like to have your short term strategic moves succeed.”

She rolled her eyes, knowing she was in for a long night.

----------------------

 

Trunks allowed himself to be dragged across the grounds of Capsule Corp, getting more annoyed the further his friend took him. “Come on, Goten. What is it? Isn't this far enough?”

“No,” the five year old insisted. “A little further.”

By now they'd reached a wide open field with no one around. Goten stopped and looked around then, making sure they were alone. He dropped into a fighting stance. “Okay, Trunks. Fight me here.”

Trunks’ mouth hung open. “A fighting game, Goten? That's why we had to come all the way out here? We could've just fought in the Gravity Room!”

“No. I wanna fight here,” Goten said, grinning.

Trunks looked at him suspiciously. “Okay, Weirdo.” He got ready to fight, lowering himself and raising his fists. “You can lose out here, I guess.”

In seconds they were trading blows the way they always did, the way they had since they were old enough to walk. At first, years before, Trunks had always won because of his age and his constant work with Vegeta. That had changed some since Goten had gotten older and began his training with his mother. Now most of their bouts had about a fifty-fifty chance of ending with either of them as the victor.

Trunks was on his game today, and he could feel Goten's lead slipping. “Looks like a location change didn't really give you the edge you wanted, huh Ten?”

The other boy was still just smiling at him as they fought, and it was starting to unnerved him.

Finally, Goten held up a hand. “Okay, Trunks. You remember how strong I am now?”

Trunks frowned. Remember? They'd only just fought yesterday. “Duh.”

“Okay. How strong am I now?” Goten asked. Golden light lit the field in gust of wind as Goten's hair flared into a bright blonde.

Trunks’ mouth dropped open. “You… You went Super! How? When?”

“Yesterday when I was fighting Mom," the boy beamed proudly, but his smile faltered a little when he mentioned his mother. “I scared her a little, she called me a monster. But I'm stronger like this Trunks, I can feel it. Can you fight me again so I can see how much?”

Trunks gulped. “Uh, sure.”

Trunks knew what he was in for, and he'd predicted right. Against a Super Saiyan, the boy was no match. Goten had him flat on his back in minutes, hands proudly on his hips.

“That was great! Man, I can't wait to tell everybody,” Goten grinned.

Trunks’ face burned, but he didn't know why. Jealousy was not an emotion he understood well as he wanted for very little in his life. How did Goten go Super Saiyan before him? He was older than his friend, and had always expected to be first. After all, Dad had told him he was going to accomplish it young, just not this young. Trunks trained every day, just like his father, and he knew Goten only trained with Chichi while Gohan studied. He pictured Goten announcing to everyone that he had achieved this level already. Would Vegeta be disappointed? Maybe even angry that he hadn't been living up to his potential despite having every advantage over the others?

“Hey, Goten, it's really cool that you can go Super. But maybe you shouldn't tell people yet. Besides me I mean.”

He tilted his head. “Why?”

“Well…You said it freaked your Mom out, right? Maybe kids as young as us shouldn't go Super Saiyan. Maybe it's unhealthy and if you keep doing it the adults will make you stop fighting.”

Goten’s eyes went wide. “Oh no! I don't wanna stop fighting! Okay, I won't tell anyone else.”

Trunks nodded, but now he had another unusual feeling he didn't like. It felt like heat in the back of his neck and a rock in his chest, and he didn't like it. He sighed, not understanding that his conscience had just won but going along with it. “I take that back, Ten. I don't think it's unhealthy. Could you just… give me a little while to catch up? I promise I'll train really hard and reach Super Saiyan too, then we could show people together.”

“But why?” Goten asked, much more curious than bothered.

Trunks was still blushing. “I wanna… Show my Dad. Together.”

“Oh,” Goten said, considering it. Sometimes he didn't understand how Trunks felt about his Dad. Gohan had described their father to him before, he said he was a very nice man who would have played with him a lot if he was alive. He talked about long talks in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and how he was a good man who got along with everyone he met.

Vegeta didn't seem like a dad to him based on that definition, but Trunks liked him a lot. He'd never been mean to Goten, but he'd seen him be mean to others. Being a friend of the Saiyan, if that's what he was, was kind of like holding a lit match in your palm that never ran down. They'd feel the outside warmth of his anger, but never the pain it warned them of. Well, if this was important to Trunks, he could wait. It wasn't like he was in a hurry to get stronger. The boy just liked to fight.

“Okay, Trunks. I'll wait for you.”

The boy smiled sadly, pride still wounded. “Thanks, Ten.”





Chapter Text

He laid back on their bed with that smug smile on his face that usually made her want to kill him or kiss him. Bulma drummed her fingers against her arms, listening to the sounds of the Gravity Room being used in the distance.

“How are you not worried?”

“He's fine. You told him he could have one more hour before bed, right? If he disobeys, then I'll step in. Not before.”

“Vegeta, it's been a week. He never leaves the Gravity Room. What's gotten into him? Do you think he's avoiding us?”

“It's got nothing to do with us. This is normal.”

“Normal? For a six-year-old to drop everything and exercise for a straight week?”

“For a Saiyan, yes. He's had the moment already, earlier than I expected.”

“What moment?”

He sat up, switching on the light. “For young Saiyan children, fighting is a game. Battle is in their blood, and that comes out in wrestling, races, competition, most of what we see him doing with Kakarot's boy. They care to some degree who wins, but at the end of the day the whole activity was for enjoyment. At some point in childhood they realize that they want to win. I don't know when it hit Trunks, but it clearly has. Being strong is no longer good enough, he wants to be stronger than everyone else. The only way to do that is through training.”

Bulma sighed, dropping down onto the pillow. “Then you need to talk to him. Tell him he's just fine the way he is and he can slow down. He can't keep going at this pace forever.”

“I'll do no such thing. This will last exactly as long as it needs to. I suspect he wants to surpass Goten, and once he feels he has he will calm down. The change is permanent, though. That desire to win will stay. I'm sure you do not think so, but on Vegetasei this would be a proud occasion.”

They heard Trunks’ voice all the way from the Gravity Room. One loud, resounding, “Yes!”

------------------

 

Bulma made up her mind, loudly, as usual. “I think you're a Scorpio.”

Vegeta snorted awake, a hand going over his eyes. “What?”

“Oh. Sorry, I didn't know you were asleep. I thought you were doing that thing where you sulk in silence for like an hour.”

“What do you want?” He grumbled. “Sex? I'm up for that.”

She snorted. “No, you horndog. I wanted to talk about your birthday.”

“Sarcasm?”

“No.”

“Then fuck off,” he muttered, lying face down in the pillow.

“I mean it. Okay, we've argued about this before, I get it. The Saiyan calendar was way different from the standard Earth calendar.”

“Our current method works just fine. I've told you, based on the number of days in an Earthling year and the time I've been alive, I am thirty-nine. When your new year begins we assume I am a year older. There's no need to complicate it.”

“I want my husband to have a birthday. I think that's reasonable. We don't have to rip apart the star charts to figure it out, let's just pick a date.”

“It's unnecessary.”

“I want to celebrate it with you. Don't you want a present?”

He turned to her and the corner of his mouth turned up. “Like the ‘present’ you get on your birthday?”

“Yep. Essentially you get any favor you want without earning one.”

“Very well. Today is my birthday, then. Take your clothes off.”

She snorted, rolling to face him. “Today can't be your birthday. That'd make you a Libra, and, just no. You'd have to be all charming and sweet. That doesn't fit your personality.”

“What does my personality have to do with it?”

“We've got these star signs, called zodiacs, and they say people born under those stars display certain traits. It's mostly for fun, but some people swear by them.”

“I was born on a different planet, none of your stars apply to me.”

“Oh, just play along. So, like me, I was born on August 18th, which makes me a Leo. That means I like admiration. That's fair, I think. When you're a genius and incredibly beautiful, you want people to acknowledge it.”

He smirked, running a hand down her back. “What sign means ‘elite royal stronger than everyone else on this pathetic planet?’”

“See, that right there, that's what tells me you must be a Scorpio. Strong-willed, grumpy, smart, but possessive as hell. Fits you perfectly. Although, you're supposed to clash with Leos.”

“I am not possessive, I simply know what is mine,” he grumbled. His hand traveled lower and he grabbed her, pulling her flush against him.

“That puts your theoretical birthday between late October and the middle of November,” she said, ignoring his lips against her skin. “You want to call it November 1st?”

“Fine,” he paused, tone suddenly angry. “What the hell, Woman?”

“What now?” She snapped back, leaning back and preparing for a fight. She relaxed when she saw his face -- his voice was hard but he was still smirking at her.

“Shame on you, you've forgotten my birthday for the last seven years. By my calculation you owe me a hell of a present right now.”

She laughed as he rolled over her, grabbing her wrists in one of his hands and hauling them over her head. “How could I?”

------------------

 

“You're playing a dangerous game, Boy. You live in my home. I can toss your ass out into the snow at any time. Your mother is young. We can still have a good heir who respects his elders.”

Trunks glared back across the table with a wicked grin. “If you're scared, then just don't land on my property and you won't have to pay me.”

Vegeta snorted. “ Your property? You own nothing, Child.”

“Pretty sure I own Boardwalk and Park Place.”

“Yes, well, I own the bed you sleep in.”

“Really? I think Mom probably bought that. Or did you buy it with Space Dollars?” He asked, narrowing his eyes. Normally he wouldn't speak to his father like this, but competition brought out the worst in both of them.

Bulma sighed, resting her cheek against her palm. “Come on, guys, just one Family Game Night. That's all I wanted.”

“What does it look like we're doing?” Vegeta asked, stalling a bit as he shook the dice. “We are 'bonding' as you insisted. However, if I get a five I will murder your son.”

“Ha!” Trunks bristled. “Don't worry. If you land on Boardwalk I'll let you pay me back by just giving me all your railroads.

“That's absurd!” Vegeta snapped. “All four railroads are worth more than your stupid Boardwalk.”

“Nuh uh, with four houses you'd have to pay me almost 200,000 Zeni. The railroads are only worth 45,000 if you land on them. I'd be doing you a favor.”

“Their worth is more than their face value! You have to think about how many times people land on the damn squares.”

“You haven't even landed on them!” Bulma groaned. “Roll the fucking dice.”

“Don't rush me, Woman!” He growled, then finally released the dice over the table. They all held their breath as they waited until the pieces stopped rolling. “Ha! Yes! Six! Fuck you, Child!”

“Vegeta!” Bulma snapped. “You do not get to swear at my son!”

“I landed on Go so I get all of the money from the center.”

“Bullshit!” Trunks argued. “You get 20,000 Zeni for passing Go. You only get the stuff in the middle if you land on Free Parking.”

“Trunks!” Bulma balked. “You do not swear.”

Vegeta rolled his eyes. “Your mother is just upset because she only owns Baltic Avenue and Water Works.”

“I mean, come on!” She yelled, slamming her hands on the table. “How do I land on Chance that often? And what do they mean I won second place in a beauty contest? And I only get 1000 Zeni for that? What did first place get? A single steak dinner with Monocle Man? This economy makes no sense! Maybe we should just not play this game. Let's play Candyland instead.”

“I will not play The Candy Land,” Vegeta spat. “I was already past Princess Lolly when I got sent back to the goddamn Peppermint Forest.”

“It's been so long, ” Trunks moaned. “Let's just finish the game. If either of you land on the blues it'll be over anyway.”

“Fine,” both his parents huffed.

Ten minutes later a window opened and the board for Monopoly was thrown forcefully into the air. It exploded with a burst of energy, bits of colorful cardboard falling into the white snow below.

Chapter Text

The first five tutors had been accidents, really. Trunks hadn't meant to scare them off. However, when he found out how nice the week-long breaks were while his mother searched for the next one, he started to like getting rid of them. It became a game, and Mrs.Webber had been his favorite victim so far.

It took a few weeks to find her weak spot, but she'd slipped up in the end. He'd acted like a perfect student while he observed her to pull her into a false sense of security. His first clue was her keychain. When he caught sight of it being slipped into her bag he did not know why anyone would carry a severed rabbit's foot on purpose. It was too risky to ask his mother, and his father wouldn't know, so a few days later he'd asked Gohan.

The teen had just shrugged. “Some people think they're good luck.”

Trunks kept watching, and he did his research. He started to see other idiosyncrasies about his teacher. She peeked around corners before she walked into a room and checked under her desk before she sat down. She wore a necklace, usually hidden by her shirt, that as far as he could tell was covered in symbols from every religion in their region. The woman was secretly terrified of everything.

He formulated a plan, then eased her into it. She liked to give him 'free creative time’ for a half hour in the morning, so one day he picked up his red crayon and started drawing what he'd memorized. She watched him with a smile as she graded his math test, then at the end of the block asked to see what he'd drawn.

“Sure, Mrs.Webber,” Trunks said with a bright smile. He flipped the paper over to show her the bright red pentagram he'd drawn.

She jumped back with a hand over her heart. “Trunks! What on Earth are you doing? Rip that up!”

He blinked at her innocently, giving her his best six-year-old pout. “Why? Don't you like my picture?”

“Please,” she winced, “rip it up!”

He made a big show of being teary eyed as he ripped the paper apart and set them down. “What's wrong, Mrs.Webber?”

She placed a protective hand on his shoulder. “Oh, Trunks, Honey, where did you see such a terrible symbol?”

He tilted his head and blinked in mock confusion. “I was just drawing my father's tattoo.”

She blanched, fidgeting nervously. “Your father has that tattooed on his body?”

“Well, it's kind of a weird tattoo. It's all red and raised and bumpy, and sometimes it changes shape when he's angry.”

She stared at him, clearly trying to decide if this angel face was lying to her.

“Oh, it's okay. It's just because he's a prince.”

“A prince of what?”

“I'm not allowed to talk about it. Mom says it makes humans uncomfortable,” he said honestly.

He saw her shiver and mutter something under her breath, but he dropped it there, letting the curiosity fester. That night he subtly disabled some of the soundproofing in the Gravity Room after his mom left for work, and would replace it before she got home. It had the desired effect. Vegeta was loud when he trained, grunting and yelling as he turned up the gravity. Mrs.Webber kept pausing her lesson when his cries echoed through the halls, unfiltered today.

She'd finally had the courage to ask him. “Trunks, is your father… alright? He sounds distressed.”

Trunks darted his eyes back and forth. “We're not supposed to talk about my father when he is in his special room.”

“Special… room?”

“I don't know what he does in there, but we hear screams a lot. He doesn't like to be disturbed.”

Mrs.Webber drummed her fingers on the desk. “I believe I need to speak to Bulma.”

“I wouldn't do that if I were you.”

“W-why?”

He leaned forward to whisper with wide eyes. “Mom says Capsule Corp was going under before she met my father. She agreed to marry him and have his heir and then the business got better. We have to keep him happy, and she wouldn't want you to question her about it.” His voice lowered even further. “That's what the last tutor did.”

She leaned in close to him to whisper back. “Trunks, are you afraid of your father? I think he might be--”

Trunks had a whole speech planned, but he didn't get a chance to use it. By coincidence, noon struck and they heard the door to the Gravity Room open down the hall as the man's cries ceased.

Mrs.Webber almost tripped over herself as she gathered her things together, muttering something about not feeling well and being back in the morning.

The next day was going to be tricky. It was time for his teacher to meet his father, but he had to make sure Vegeta did not catch on to what he was doing. His only advantage was that Vegeta was terrible at knowing what conversations were appropriate for human company.

They went about their morning lessons normally, though she was jumpier than usual. Around eleven forty-five he mentioned he was pretty hungry, and asked if they could please have lunch early today. She was a bit surprised, they usually waited until about one to break for lunch, but she was pretty flexible on schedules and agreed. She had forgotten when Vegeta had lunch.

Trunks dragged his feet, putting together his lunch of leftovers slowly. In a short time they heard the Gravity Room open as Vegeta wandered toward the kitchen. Mrs.Webber froze at the table, realizing she was about to come face to face with him.

The Saiyan paused in surprise when he found them in the kitchen, but he quickly shrugged it off and dived into the fridge. “You better have left me some meat, Boy.”

“Yes, Sir,” Trunks said, bowing behind his father's back. “Of course.”

Mrs.Webber gulped, and Trunks saw her hands shaking in her lap as the two joined her at the table. “Are you hungry, Ma'am?” Trunks asked. “You probably don't want this kind of meat, but I could find you something else.”

She eyed their meals warily. Vegeta preferred his meat cooked rare, so it didn't seem strange to him that the woman wouldn't want it. She shook her head meekly.

Trunks just shrugged and dug into his lunch, acting casual. “Hey Dad, do you ever miss your tail? You lost it when you came to Earth, right?”

Her breath caught while the man looked down at his son. He shrugged. “Occasionally, I suppose. I don't think of it often.”

She placed a small hand over her mouth.

“Why do you think I was born without one?”

“Half humans seem to have a smaller chance of having one. I doubt it'll affect your power level much.”

“You think so? Would I be strong enough to destroy a planet one day, too?”

“If you had to,” he mused, more suspicious than his son expected. “I believe I was only slightly older than you the first time it was required of me.”

Mrs.Webber shuddered. “Beelzebub.”

The Saiyan frowned. “It's Vegeta.”

“Of course, Sir,” she shivered.

He raised an eyebrow at her, and Trunks finished eating quickly so they didn't have a chance to talk. When they made it back to his room she was almost hyperventilating.

“Trunks, we have to get out of here. Quickly, pack a bag and I will sneak you out of the front door. Your… unique heritage should not doom you. You seem like a very sweet boy.”

He blinked at her. “But, I'm not a sweet boy.”

She backed away. “W-what?”

“I am my father's heir, and it will be my job to carry out his work once he leaves Earth. That's why my education is so important. You can't go anywhere. I'll get angry.”

She covered her mouth, inching toward the closed door with her bag in her hand.

“Where are you going? I haven't said you could leave!” He snarled, slowly lifting into the air with his hands outstretched, electricity crackling in his palms.

Mrs.Webber screamed, turning on her heel and running to the door. She wrenched it open and Vegeta stood there, arms crossed as he looked over her at his floating son.

“Trunks! What did you--”

“I quit!” She screamed, ineffectually slapping his chest. “I will not train your demon spawn!”

He was clearly confused, but he stepped to the side and let her run screaming from the house. The Saiyan growled, glaring at his son.

Trunks laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his head. “Am I grounded?”

“Extremely. Get in the Gravity Room. If you survive against me until your mother gets home you can answer to her.”

Trunks gulped, hoping he didn't make it to three o'clock.

To his surprise, his lecture from his mother only lasted about twenty minutes. There were the usual questions. ‘What were you thinking?’ ‘Are you insane?’ 'Did your father have anything to do with this?’ Then he was super-grounded for a week, which felt way too lenient. He hated being super-grounded; it meant he was allowed only in his room, the bathroom, and the Gravity Room with Vegeta, and absolutely no Goten. Still, only a week? He was nervous, they had to have something up their sleeve.

He'd been pretty surprised when Bulma told him only four days later that she had a new tutor lined up for him. He just nodded, knowing he was still on thin ice and any complaining could increase his sentence.

Bulma stayed home on the first morning his tutor was going to come, like always. He waited quietly on the couch in his normal first-day-for-a-tutor outfit. He'd have to behave for this one… for a while. Eventually the heat would die down and he could start up again, he'd just have to be more subtle with this one.

Finally there was a knock on the door. He looked at his mother, expecting her to answer but she waved him towards the door instead. “Why don't you get it, Trunks?” She asked with a wicked grin.

He was in too much trouble to question her. He walked over to the door and opened it up.

Goten grinned at him, waving excitedly. Trunks’ face lit up and he jumped forward, hugging his friend. “Goten! I haven't seen you in forever!”

“I know,” the younger boy laughed. “How's being super-grounded?”

“It sucks,” Trunks shrugged. “But you better go, I'm not allowed to see you, and we're waiting for my new tutor.”

Goten blushed, and Trunks heard a car door close  a short distance away. The dots came together and his eyes went wider than Mrs.Webber's had. “No.”

“Yes,” Chichi grinned wickedly, coming up behind Goten with a stack of books in her arms.

Bulma stepped up behind him with her arms crossed. “From now on, you study with Goten. You'll be here on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and on Mt.Pauzo Tuesdays and Thursdays. You will behave. Thanks again, Chichi.”

Chichi laughed, a bit deviously he thought. “Of course, we could use the extra money anyway. It takes a special kind of teacher to deal with a half Saiyan.” She leaned down close to the boys. “Go ahead, Trunks. Try to scare me off. I dare you.”

He gulped.

 

Chapter Text

Goten frowned in disappointment. “That wasn't very scary, Trunks.”

Trunks scowled. “It's scarier because it's true.”

The other boy raised a skeptical eyebrow. “I'm not dumb , Trunks. You made that up.”

“No I didn't,” he argued. “Mom told me it and said it was real.”

Goten dropped his cheek into his hand. “So, an evil gang of bunny people turned her into a carrot?”

Trunks nodded.

“Then my dad punished them by making them make candy. On the moon.”

Trunks nodded again.

“Didn't Master Roshi blow up the moon? And then Piccolo after him?”

The other boys eyes went wide. “Oh. Shit. Sucks to be them.”

Goten rolled his eyes. “Whatever, Trunks.”

“Are you boys going to sleep?” Chichi called from outside their tent.

“Yes!” They both called.

“If you're still awake you could be studying,” she half-warned.

“We're asleep!” They called, laying down in their sleeping bags quickly.

The living room light shut off and the tent went dark as Chichi left. Trunks whispered. “This isn't real camping, you know. I don't see why we can't sleep outside.”

Goten shrugged. “She just worries. She says if she lets me I'll go ‘wild’.”

Trunks rolled his eyes, popping another untoasted marshmallow in his mouth. “At least we can tell scary stories.”

“Aren't we going to sleep?”

He grinned. “No way.”

“Cool, it's my turn,” Goten announced, sitting up and crossing his legs. “I'm going to tell a really scary one, the story of the Wild Half Saiyan.”

Trunks grimaced but nodded. Goten didn't have a history of being good at scary stories, but he was willing to wait for his turn again.

“Okay, a long time ago… I mean not too long ago, like a couple years. Or maybe like seven months?”

Trunks rubbed his eyes. “Goten. Come on.”

“Anyway, a while ago a wild half Saiyan grew up without a mom to take care of him. He was hungry all the time, just like us, but no one ever fed him. The end.”

Trunks blinked. “The end? That's it? He was hungry?”

“Uh, I take it back, that's not the end.”

Trunks slumped.

“Since he was so hungry, he had to find something to eat. So he ate--”

“Let me guess,” Trunks muttered. “People.”

“Uh, no, that's not what I was gonna say.”

“What were you gonna say, then?”

“Um…He was hungry for other half Saiyans. That was tricky, because there weren't too many around.”

“There's literally three of us.”

“That's why he was so hungry, he was a picky eater.”

“Okay, Ten. Good story. Now I'm going to tell one about androids.”

“No! I'm not done!” Goten shook his head, leaning in closer to his friend.

“Okay, fine. What's the end of your story?”

“Well, since there were only a couple half Saiyans for the Wild Half Saiyan to eat, he had to follow them real close and learn their schedules. He knew every time they left their houses without their strong Saiyan dads to protect them, and he'd creep after them real quietly. He learned their names, and before he'd strike, he'd whisper it like--”

“Truuuuuunnnks,” a voice slithered over the tent. The boy’s eyes went wide for a split second before a hand shot through the flap in their tent, grabbing him around the ankle and yanking him out.

Trunks screamed loudly against the hand wrapped around his mouth, and the figure laughed at him evilly. Well… maybe not evilly, but definitely amused.

“Shhh, Trunks, if Mom hears you we're all in trouble,” Gohan laughed quietly.

Goten beamed from the tent opening, arms crossed. Trunks stopped yelling and Gohan released his mouth, still chuckling a little. “I told you my story was scary, Trunks,” his friend teased.

Trunks blushed, clearing his throat. “Was not. You cheated anyway.”

“Thanks, Gohan,” Goten said, giggling.

“Alright, now go to sleep for real, or I'll tell Mom what you're up to and it'll be double math for both of you.”

-----------------



“Locae, A'met,” he called from the bed.

“I just… I don't know,” she called back from the bathroom. “I feel silly.”

“Are you going to break the sanctity or our favor system, Woman? I attended that pointless banquet. Five people made small talk with me and I didn't tell any one of them to fuck off. My reward is well earned.”

“It wasn't pointless, it was a fundraiser to help rebuild some of the infrastructure of East City. You know, the city you destroyed.”

“That was mostly Nappa,” he muttered again. They'd had this argument a few times. “Besides, we've done this before. Remember? The Namek fantasy and the helpless Earth Girl?”

“Yeah, I was playing as myself. That's not hard to do. You're sure you want this?”

“Yes. Let me see you.”

He heard her sigh, then she slowly eased around the corner. The armor had been custom made, similar to his but slimmer and more form fitting. It had the long royal blue sleeves and gloves running under the heavy white and gold breastplate, but hers ended in a skirt that came barely past her thigh. This was clearly not a set of armor made for battle.

“I look ridiculous.”

He didn't seem to think so. He grinned wickedly. “A'metshone.”

Really? This does it for you?”

“If we'd been mated on Vegetasei, and the proper banquet was held in our honor afterwards, you'd have been dressed in something very similar.”

“I don't make a very convincing Saiyan.”

“True,” he mused, folding his arms behind his head. “Saiyans stay youthful far past the human concept of middle age. You're pushing forty.”

She crossed her arms, a scowl falling over her face. “ Excuse me? Where do you get off, Pal? Yes, I am human , not some weird ass alien who stays young for some bullshit reason. Guess what, I am hot. You're married to a straight up milf . If you don't think so there's a hundred thousand men waiting at the proverbial door with flowers in their hands to bag a sexy, genius heiress with skin like a twenty year old.” She paused when she saw the smile still at play on his lips. Her mouth dropped open. “Oh, you bastard. Did you say that just to piss me off?”

“You look very Saiyan to me.”

“Shut up.”

Cora te’lo. Please.”

She put a hand on her hip, remembering just what he wanted. It wasn't exactly a fetish, she reasoned, to be turned on by the idea of having sex with your own species. That wasn't a possibility for him, there were no Saiyan women left. For a fleeting moment she let herself wonder if he would still choose her over a Saiyan woman, if the option was there, but she shook the thought off. He was hers, here and now, and had never indicated he wanted anyone else. It was hard to feel like second choice when his eyes were drinking in every inch of her, his naked body proof of exactly what she did to him.

She knew enough Saiyago to get by, especially those words whispered in the bedroom. “See’quere te, Saiyango?” You want me, Warrior?

“Ke,” he grinned. “See’topek te.”

She didn't waver, but that was the part she was having trouble understanding, though he'd tried to explain it to her. All Saiyans were warriors, regardless of gender. Apparently sex was sometimes preceded by a friendly fight, and the winner was in control. He'd never attempted these kinds of battles; there was no need to, her power level was so low it was just an assumed win for him. He had no problem with having control, hell his personality almost demanded it, but… he'd never had a chance to try it the other way. She never had full control over him, and he was curious.

The literal translation of ‘ See'topek te’ was simply: Use me.

It wasn't literal, he'd argued. It just meant take control, be in charge, or help yourself. It still unnerved her slightly. She didn't see the difference between this and the time she'd edged him for hours as a competition, but apparently he did. The outfit probably had a lot to do with that.

It didn't matter how strong a material they used to bind his hands, he could rip through the bedframe easily. Still, they hoped if he kept his power as low as possible the thick ropes might hold.

He had the ties ready; that was the part that was a game, his reward. They were going to pretend she'd already beaten him in combat and was set to take her prize. All she had to do was pull the ropes to tighten them around his hands, and he smirked as she did.

She slid a hand down his chest. “See hesha'tok,” she said to him in a voice more confident than she felt. You fought well.

“See hesha'nos.” You fought better.

She slid a hand into his hair to keep him in place as she climbed over him, resting her knees on either side of his face. There was a reason this skirt was so short. He leaned up into her before she could even get into position, hands already straining against the ropes hard enough to make the headboard creak. She laid her palms warningly against his biceps and he relaxed them, moaning softly against her.

Bulma held onto his arms, now more for support as he licked at her hungrily. She felt herself nearing the edge when she finally pulled away and he growled softly. “Asenshu te’lo.” I demand it.

She pulled his hair a little the way he'd asked her to earlier and was shocked to see him gasp and arch into her hand. “A'te nos sima.” On my own time.

He nodded, starting to return to his work, but she lifted off him, lowering herself down to his hips. She leaned forward and covered his mouth with her hand, and she felt his lips pull into a wolfish smile beneath her fingers.

He wasn't smiling long as she slowly lowered herself down onto him, only to pull away. He growled and she tightened her grip on his mouth, teasing him twice more before sinking down to take him to the hilt. He moaned against her hand, eyes rolling up and drifting closed as she started her pace above him.

She was oversensitive from his mouth, and watching the need cloud over his eyes proved too much for her. Her hand fell from his mouth as she rode out her peak, and she heard the headboard creak again as he fought his desire to guide her with his hands.

He panted out loud, eyebrows drawn together in what would look like pain to anyone else, but she knew his face better. It was too much, and he was trying to stop himself from finishing.

He whimpered once, and dropped the 'script’. “Fuck, I wish I had my tail. I'd want you to hold while you rode me.”

She couldn't do that, but she could do something. She bent over his chest as she rode him, sliding a hand down between his back and the mattress to the stub from his tail and squeezing it gently.

He came almost instantly with a scream and a shiver, the ropes snapping like rubber bands as his hands fell to his sides.

She kissed his cheek and laid against him, but soon worried the hard lines of her armor might be uncomfortable on his skin. She went to get off of him but he held her in place gently.

“Did you enjoy that?” He asked.

She snorted. “You certainly seemed to.”

He shrugged, not arguing. “I believe I prefer to be unbound. But this,” he murmured, running a hand down her armor and then along the bottom hem, “we are keeping this.”

She chuckled, shoving his hand away playfully to pull off the outfit.



Chapter Text

“Trunks, stop fidgeting,” Bulma said, nudging his knee under the table.

The seven-year-old tugged uncomfortably at the small bowtie around his neck. “I hate this thing. How do you stand it, Dad?”

Vegeta shrugged. “Formal attire on this planet is not that bad, so long as it is well tailored. Be glad you are not required to wear a cape and crown.”

“A crown would be cooler than this thing,” he muttered, still pulling at the tie.

Bulma gently slapped his hand away. “Both of you behave. I have to go say hello to the VP.”

Vegeta got distracted watching her walk away. The floor length navy dress she'd chosen for the night was surprisingly sophisticated. For years she'd enjoyed getting away with wearing the most scandalous-but-technically-fine outfits at Capsule Corp's events, partly due to his advice to her years ago about owning the room. Now when she chose to wear something actually room appropriate it made her stick out more because people expected the scandal. He smirked. It was a power move, and not one he'd suggested to her.

“Dad, why are you here?” Trunks asked suddenly, snapping him from his reverie. “Like, she can ground me. Why do you come to stuff like this?”

“Don't ask questions you don't want answered.”

Trunks looked confused for a second, and then stuck his tongue out. “Gross. More kissing stuff.”

“Eat.”

“I'm tired of appetizers. When is the food coming?”

“That is the main course, unfortunately,” Vegeta admitted.

Trunks stared at him. “This sucks.”

“Enough!” He whispered harshly. “I didn't think you required etiquette lessons, but I will be happy to tell The Harpy it needs to be included in your education.”

“But isn't all this stuff… humany? Too humany for us?”

“What is it about the concept of royalty that you and your mother have so much trouble grasping? Maybe a low-class warrior would have trouble at a diplomatic dinner, but not elites. Sure, there some differences on Earth, but the basic rules are the same. Sit up straight, speak softly, don't kill anyone unless provoked, and eat what's put in front of you so long as you are reasonably sure it's not poisoned. You mother may push socializing on you, but as long as you follow those you'll get no punishment from me, Prince Trunks.”

Trunks nodded, sitting up in his chair to mimic his father's posture. He lowered his voice. “Okay. But if I'm good can we get some real food on the way home?”

“Obviously, this is infant sized,” Vegeta mumbled back, poking the 4 ounce pork chop with his fork.

Trunks’ presence was new this year. Capsule Corporation held an annual gala event, usually a charitable affair, and of course Bulma had to attend as President. This year it was about some endangered species, he hadn't been paying much attention. He just knew that his family had personally donated several hundred thousand Zeni to saving it, or killing it, or whatever the hell the goal was. Trunks was finally old enough to be missed, and he'd been roped into coming along. At least it gave his father something to occupy his time with when Bulma inevitably had to hop from table to table to greet the correct people.

The Saiyan tended to go into autopilot when he was pulled along to these events. He let his mind wander far away and just made it through the night, knowing his presence was racking him up another favor to be redeemed whenever he felt like it. Tonight he was considering what he'd like to do with his favor when he began to feel the spiking of his son's power level.

He looked down in surprise. Trunks was still sitting very still, eyes unblinking toward his plate, but he wasn't eating. His eyebrows were drawing together a bit, a small scowl on his face that Vegeta recognized as his own. It was unnerving, seeing his own thoroughly pissed off face on someone else.

“Trunks?” He asked him.

The boy gulped and sat a little straighter and Vegeta nodded, understanding. He was incredibly angry, but trying to behave.

“Don't be obvious, but show me.”

Trunks reached up to his plate and rotated his fork so the tines were facing behind them. Up until now Vegeta had been ignoring the droning human voices, but he listened closer to the conversation of the table directly behind them.

“--not like she'd have ever been given any kind of power if she hadn't been born with the Capsule Corp logo on her ass,” a man finished with a throaty chuckle.

The woman next to him laughed along. “Dear, if she had a logo on her ass we'd have seen it by now. Didn't you see how low the back of her dress was last spring? She's fooling no one by pretending to be twenty. At least she had the decency to wear floor length tonight--”

“But no bra,” the man broke in.

“Oh, of course not. Gotta show the investors what they're paying for because it's sure not her business acumen. Then she brings that 'husband’ or hers--”

“Careful, Bunny, they're not too far away from us.”

“Oh, they can't hear us from all the way over there,” she assured him. She'd have been right if they were humans. “I mean I don't know who she thinks she's kidding. He must be, what, ten years younger than her? The kid doesn't even look like him. I wouldn't be shocked if she hired him to play baby daddy for the press and drags him out for arm candy a few times a year. It's not like they are ever affectionate. Poor guy looks bored as hell, and who could blame him? Now she's dragging the kid in too. Poor boy has no idea about his mother's reputation. The sooner he takes over from her the sooner we can buy him out and this place can start heading in the right direction again. You know I heard the reason Greg Anderson left was because she hit on him a week after her wedding--”

Trunks shifted imperceptibly to stand and Vegeta laid a warning hand on his shoulder, stopping him. “Do not.”

“I'm angry.”

“I know. What would happen if you took that anger out on them right now?”

Trunks was turning a bit red.

“Out loud, I want to hear it.”

“They'd blame Mom. But they're being mean to her, Dad. She's my Mama.”

“Your mother is a proud woman, and she knows how to run her business. There will always be those who seek to tear her down. She would be horrified to see you fight them because of their opinions of her. They do not matter.”

Trunks ground his teeth. “So what, we do nothing and just let them get away with it?”

“Did I say that? Who taught you about honor?”

“You.”

“So you tell me, Boy,” he said, talking a casual drink from his water glass. “If a direct attack is prohibited, what can we do?”

“We go in through the flank. Find your available resources and exploit them. And we don't get caught.”

“First education, then punishment.”

“I'm in trouble?”

“Not you. Them.”

Trunks grinned.

-------------------------

 

After Bulma returned she talked about the new fall line as she ate her supper. Their silence didn't seem weird to her; if anything it was welcome and she made a mental note to thank Vegeta as he'd obviously talked to Trunks about his attitude.

After dessert the violinists began and couples drifted towards the ballroom center. Vegeta tapped her hand and she prepared to argue with him that no, they absolutely could not leave early to beat the traffic. That's not what he asked.

“Would you like to dance with me?”

She blinked, and then cleared her throat. “Sorry, try again, I think I momentarily slipped into an alternate reality where my husband dances without being inescapably obligated to.”

“Do you want to or not?” he grumbled.

“Oh. Oh, holy shit. Yes.”

“And I'll go to the bathroom!” Trunks said too loudly.

He took her hand and led her away, and Trunks immediately hopped down, making his way nonchalantly to the couple he'd heard earlier. He stood behind the woman silently for a long moment until someone across the table told her there was a child behind her.

She turned to face him and jumped slightly when she saw who it was. “Oh. Trunks, isn't it?”

“Are you Mrs.Fenton?” He asked with wide eyes. They'd done their research with the waiters beforehand.

“Yes, I am.”

“I heard you made a big donation to the Archythosaurus Preservation Fund tonight. It's my favorite animal,” he said with his sweetest, most innocent expression. “Can I have a hug?”

“Oh,” she blinked. “Sure, I suppose.” She stood and awkwardly hugged him, patting him once on the head as he went on his way.

Trunks stuffed the checkbook he'd lifted from purse inside his small suit jacket, carrying the pen his father had given him in the other side. He slipped into the bathroom and then back out, remembering to slip it back in her clutch when she was distracted by the waiter. Luckily he was still short enough to stay mostly out of sight, which was why this was his job.

Vegeta had his hands full with his own assignment; trying to not look suspicious while doing something he hated without complaint. They were already catching some surprised glances -- no one here had ever seen them touch in public, much less dance.

Bulma was equally confused, happy to let him lead her along the floor but trying to figure out why he'd do it.

She leaned in closer to him. “You know you already get rewarded for coming tonight, right?”

“I am aware.”

She narrowed her eyes. “What do you want? Something really kinky? Kinky enough you have to butter me up first?”

“I can't just want to dance with my mate?” he asked. He kept glancing over her shoulder into the crowd.

“Not a chance in hell. You're up to something.”

He huffed, eyes still focused on something across the room. “Well fine, if that's what I get for making an effort--”

“No!” She said quickly. “I'm happy. Really. I love dancing.”

“Stop complaining, then.”

“I think I'm constitutionally incapable of that, but I'll try. It's just that--”

Something he'd been waiting for happened and he silenced her with a deep kiss, right there on the dancefloor. She forgot to even enjoy it, she was too stunned. When he released her the song had ended. He took her hand and started to guide her back towards their table through the crowd.

“Are you drunk ?” She asked.

“Slightly, perhaps. The wine was excellent. Let's see if we can bribe a waiter to give us a second meal. I'm still starving.”

“O-okay,” she stuttered, still in disbelief.

Vegeta smirked as they sat down, feeling the eyes of the guilty couple, the Fentons, firmly glued to their backs. There, now they'd seen he was a 'real husband’, whatever that meant by human standards. They'd taken forever to make eye contact with him, but was relieved when they had managed it before the song was over. They'd been educated on why they were wrong, and now they could be punished.

“There's little soaps in the bathroom, Dad,” Trunks smiled as they sat down.

Vegeta nodded, accepting his coded phrase that everything was on track. “I'll return,” he said, heading toward the bathroom. He walked behind Trunks and the boy passed the forged check to him silently.

The Saiyan took a detour, heading instead to the anonymous donations bin at the front entrance. The spokesman for the charity he still couldn't remember greeted him as he approached.

“Good evening, Sir. Would you like some information on the endangered Archythosaurus and our efforts to preserve their ecosystem?” The small bespectacled man asked.

He leaned against the box and forced a wide smile onto his face. It felt wrong and looked frankly painful, but he managed it. “No. Thank you. I just wanted to speak with you a moment.”

“Oh. I'm sorry, I'm in a relationship.*

Vegeta fought back the eyeroll in his soul. “I actually wanted to call attention to a few of our guests tonight. You might know my wife, Bulma, is the President of Capsule Corp.”

“Mr.Briefs! I'd wondered if I'd be meeting you or your wife. This charity is a passion project of mine, you see, and we were hoping your family might be willing to fund--”

“Mr. And Mrs.Fenton, I believe their names are,” he said, cutting him off.

“Oh. Yes, Sir. What about them?”

“Well, I heard through the grapevine that after the first round of checks were written, they came back up here and donated a second, very substantial amount. My family was hoping they could be recognized for it. They tried to be humble, but we want their generosity acknowledged.”

The man rubbed his chin. “Really? I hadn't seen anyone sneak back here. I'm pretty observant.”

“I'm sure they were stealthy,” Vegeta shrugged, popping the check into the donation slot while the man was distracted. “Just check the bin, I'm sure you'll find two separate checks from them.”

“I'll definitely do that, Sir. Thank you.”

Vegeta nodded, smile dropping from his face the moment he turned around. There, the work was done. Now the fun part.

It was about twenty minutes later when they heard the sound of a fork tinkling against a glass for attention near the violinists. The man from the Archythosaurus Preservation Foundation stood there with a smile on his face as the room fell silent.

“Ladies and gentlemen, something wonderful has been brought to my attention. One of our generous couples in attendance tonight has made a double donation, and tried to hide it from everyone. I understand this is an anonymous event, but I couldn't simply let such a generous offer be ignored. Not only did this couple give us a check for ten thousand Zeni earlier, but they then came back and donated another million Zeni to our cause. Please, everyone give a round of applause to the generous Fenton family!”

The room erupted in applause, none louder than Trunks and his father. The stunned couple sat frozen in their seats until someone insisted they stand and be praised. The representative called out over the crowd. “Because of people like this wonderful couple, the Archythosaurus may live another thousand years!”

The couple waved nervously, whispering furiously at each other. Vegeta leaned back, not giving a damn how they rectified the situation. Perhaps they'd eat the cost, or perhaps they have to awkwardly rescind the donation. In any case he considered them punished, and Trunks was grinning ear to ear in satisfaction.

“What are you so happy about?” Bulma asked the boy suspiciously.

His smile faded a little, but didn't disappear. “I just love the Archythosaurus. Love you too, Mama. You're good at your job.”

“Uh,” she said suspiciously, “thanks, Trunks. But I don't know why you love the Archythosaurus. It's just a worm.”

Vegeta blanched. “A goddamn worm? All this work for a goddamn worm? Disgusting!”

She shook her head. “I don't know what's gotten into you two tonight, but I like it.”



Chapter Text

There was a flash of black fur, and then the startled cat was racing down the hall to escape the two children chasing after him.

“Come back, Scratch!” Trunks called with a grin. “He just wants to pet you!”

“I'll be nice, Scratch!” Goten promised.

The feline either didn't trust them or didn't care. It slipped around the corner and disappeared.

“Aw,” Goten sighed. “I wasn't gonna hurt him.”

“I think he remembers the last time you pet him.”

“I was little Trunks.”

“I know. Hey, you wanna go see more animals?”

Goten's eyes went wide. “Yeah! Where?”

“The Southside,” Trunks shrugged. “Grandma and Grandpa have lots of animals over there. We just don't see them as much.”

“Why not? Scratch comes over here. Do they get on Vegeta's nerves?”

“Believe it or not, no. Dad's cool with all animals except worms. Sometimes he lets Scratch sit on his lap when he watches television, that's why he comes over here. It's Mom that doesn't like them as much. She thinks Grandma and Grandpa spend way too much time on the animals, and they get on her nerves so she asked them to keep them on the Southside.”

“Oh. There's more cats? Can I pet them?”

“There's all sorts of stuff,” he promised. “Come on, Grandma will definitely want to feed us too.”

---------------------------

 

“I wanna play, too,” Goten muttered unhappily. His legs and arms were crossed and he had the firm ‘everyone look at me pouting’ face on that almost all six-year-olds are masters of. His age was the problem, actually. The signup sheet for the community soccer league had stated that the organization had a strict 7 and up rule.

Gohan rubbed his brother's head, leaning back against the bleachers. “Next year, Buddy.”

The boy rolled his eyes. “Trunks won't want to do it next year if he wins this year. Once you win it's boring, and he's totally gonna win.”

“Darn right he is,” Bulma beamed next to them, then shot an angry glance at the empty spot next to her. “Not that his father will see it. I told him when to be here, where the hell is he?”

Gohan shrugged awkwardly. “Maybe he got tied up with something important.”

She snorted. “Reruns of Buffy are not more important than his son's soccer game.”

The players finally came out onto the field to get into their starting positions and Bulma cheered loudly, clapping with the other parents. Trunks glanced up at them, running his eyes over the crowd a long moment before he turned away. She frowned. She'd seen that hidden look of disappointment on his face, and his father was going to hear about it tonight.

As the game went on Goten forgot he was pouting and started to root for his friend; it was easy to do. Trunks was undoubtedly the best player on the team, and before long his side had a considerable lead.

Bulma started to notice Gohan growing increasingly uncomfortable. The teen finally reached over and tapped her shoulder. “Heads up, Bulma, I think you have some fans in the audience.”

“Oh?” She asked. Going out in public with the heiress occasionally lead to them meeting fans of her work, and although it was always a bit uncomfortable she ultimately enjoyed the attention. Still, she hoped they wouldn't make a scene to draw the player's attention. Today was supposed to be about Trunks.

Gohan didn't want to point, so he leaned in close to whisper to her. "Bottom row, there's some girls who keep looking up at you really closely. Let me know if you get uncomfortable, I could ask them to stop.”

She followed his gaze down the bleachers and saw the culprits. Two teenage girls and two soccer mom's were looking up their way, giggling a little and unabashedly pointing at them. Bulma fought the urge to laugh out loud. She'd been a teenage girl, and she’d been thirty and single before too. It definitely wasn't the heiress they were staring at with blushes and whispers.

The idea of anyone looking at Gohan like that made the mom in her want to start decking people, but she tried to see it from their perspective. She turned to try to look at the almost seventeen year old next to her with less Aunt-Bulma like eyes.

The day was hot, so Gohan had rolled up the sleeves of the long-sleeved white shirt he'd taken to wearing lately, showing off thick muscles that hinted at what the rest of his shirt was covering. Vegeta was always complaining that Gohan was neglecting his training but… That still left him pretty damn strong. Plus the stupid lucky kid had most of Goku's face, which had never been hard to look at either. Okay, she could see it. The ladies in the bottom row didn't see a sweet naive kid who still blushed when anyone said anything remotely dirty.

“I don't think they're interested in me, Kiddo. Do you think any of them are pretty?”

Gohan looked confused, then appalled when he realized what she meant. He blushed deeply, looking down, and she nodded in understanding. He wasn't ready for that yet. Aunt Bulma to the rescue.

She sat up a little straighter and shot them her best 'back off, ladies, he's too good for you’ look. She'd been practicing it for when Trunks got older, because she was pretty sure she'd be beating girls away from him with a stick too. They seemed to take the hint and stopped waving up at him.

--------------------------

 

“You should have been there.”

“I didn't see the point of it.”

“Gee, I don't know, cheering for your son maybe? He looked for you in the crowd and you weren't there. It hurt his feelings.”

“Did he say that?”

“No, he's as pig-headed at you,” she said. She sat her hairbrush down on her vanity and crawled into bed, but didn't scoot towards him. “Just because he doesn't complain doesn't mean he's not upset. He did great today.”

“Of course he did. He played a human sport against human children. He could take a dozen of them in combat without breaking a sweat. He knew he'd do well because it's not a challenge. To give empty praise for such an easy victory would only encourage bad habits.”

She scoffed. “Oh, you're so right, Vegeta. How silly, we enrolled him in the human child soccer league. Next year we'll make sure he's in the Saiyan soccer league so his victory means more. Oh, wait, that doesn't exist, and that's not his fault . He just wants to be a kid, he didn't ask to be so much stronger than everyone else. You're the one who's been training him since he could stand.”

“He's got Goten.”

“He needs more than one friend. Besides, it's not even really about the other kids, it's about you.”

“What about me?”

“He wants to know his Dad is proud of him, so he joined a soccer league with a bunch of kids who are technically his age but miles behind him mentally, goes to practice for weeks, and then you don't even show up to the game. Shame on you.”

“I never said I wasn't proud of him.”

“You think that's what he wants to hear? 'Hey, Trunks, I'm not completely unproud of you.’ That means nothing. Life is short, and kids grow up fast. Before you know it he's going to look just like Future Trunks, and at this rate he's going to have the same hangups he did.”

“I liked Future Trunks.”

“I mean don't get me wrong, he was my son too and I loved him, but damn he had some daddy issues. Just say to him, ‘Trunks you're my son, and I'm proud of you’. That's all he needs to hear. And it wouldn't kill you to hug him.”

He snorted.

“Fine. Goodnight,” she rolled away.

He sat up. “I thought we were having sex?”

“Well, I never said I wasn't horny. So you'll just have to wonder if I am or not.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously. It sucks having to guess how your family feels doesn't it? Goodnight, I don't not love you.”

He huffed and crossed his arms, grumbling as he rolled away from her.

Chapter Text

“Dear gods I love chocolate,” Bulma mumbled, popping another piece into her mouth as she settled back into her mountain of pillows. “Will you divorce me when my ass gets huge after I eat this entire box?”

“I would not object to your ass being larger,” he said, flipping through channels absently.

“You want a piece?”

“No.”

“It's got caramel,” she said enticingly, wiggling a piece in front of him.

He grimaced. “It's too sweet. Chocolate makes my mouth sting.”

“Oh,” she mumbled, popping the piece in her own mouth. “I guess I've never really thought about Saiyan taste buds. I guess we could eat the same thing but it'd taste way different.”

“I believe they are very similar to a human's, if a bit more sensitive. Like when you think you can get away with sneaking one cigarette before you come home from work on Fridays. You cannot.”

She shrugged. “Guilty. Huh. What tastes the best then? Meat?”

“You.”

“Come on, you perv, I'm serious.”

“So am I. You taste… exquisite. Just a little sweet but musky like fermented honey.”

She pushed his shoulder. “Fine Weirdo, what's your favorite food , then?”

“On Earth?”

“Uh, not necessarily. Anything, from anywhere.”

He thought a moment, then held his hands out in front of him like he was holding something. “I never learned its real name. It was a very light blue fruit, a bit larger than a watermelon but shaped differently. It was native to Vegetasei, so it was slightly acidic and tangy. I just called them the 'blue fruits’ when I asked for them. I kept meaning to ask what the proper name was but I waited too long, and Nappa never discussed native food. Raditz mentioned he remembered them but he only ever referred to them as ‘blue fruits’ too. Maybe they didn't have a name. It's possible we never bothered to give them one.”

She was listening with rapt attention. “Is there anything on Earth similar to it?”

He shrugged. “Not really. The closest might be cherries mixed with oranges, but that wouldn't be that similar. Earth food is fine. Saiyans eat too much to be picky.”

She laid against his arm. “Well it still sucks that you can't have it again. I wish Trunks’ favorite food was a fruit. He just had to be a chocolate fiend like his mama. You know what cake he asked me to get his birthday next week? Chocolate with fudge filling, chocolate sprinkles and chocolate ice cream.”

Vegeta snorted. “You said no, correct?”

“Not exactly.”

“You spoil him.”

“I'm running out of years to have big birthday bashes. He's already too cool to hold his mom's hand in public. Eight years. How? I could swear he called me ‘Ma’ just last month.”

He chuckled at her. “Are you crying ? Just because your child aged? You had to have seen that coming.”

“Oh come on. You're not even a little bit nostalgic for baby Trunks? He was so sweet, and he wasn't grounded every other month for being a little shit.”

“I haven't had to hear that infuriating purple dinosaur in two years. It's a fair trade off. He's more interesting to speak to now, anyway.”

“But his cheeks aren't as squishy.”

“You know what he's going to look like, Woman.”

“I know. Just...I'm not ready yet.”

“He's only turning eight. Complain again when he grows facial hair.”

“I will,” she sniffled.

“Would another child make you cease your caterwauling?”

She went silent for a moment. “What? What did you say?”

“Another child. Would you like one?”

She sat up to look at his face. “I… I hadn't thought about it.”

“Oh.”

“Had you ?”

He shrugged. “Occasionally.”

Occasionally? You've thought about having more children?”

“Why is that hard to believe?”

“I love my baby, but Trunks was an accident.”

“Of course he was an accident. There was no commitment between us when he was conceived. We were just rutting for fun.”

“Hey, you were my boyfriend by then.”

“A meaningless title I accepted mostly to keep The Weakling away from you. Now you're my mate, circumstances are different. I would not be opposed to another child.”

“I guess I just kind of assumed that wasn't something you'd ever be interested in.”

“You don't know me, Woman. You see what I allow you to see.”

She snorted. “Horseshit. We've been married seven years. I know you so well I might as well have built you in my lab.”

“Are you delusional?”

“I know you love your 'mysterious badass’ thing you've got going with the rest of the world, but it hasn't worked on me in a long time. I know you.”

“I've told you very little about my past.”

“Some things don't need saying. I've just been with you long enough to feel them. Like, I know the real reason you were a virgin when we met.”

His mouth dropped open. “Do tell.”

“It wasn't about being above Frieza's henchpeople, or about not finding anyone attractive. You were terrified of being close to any of them.”

Excuse me?

“Everyone there was in competition with you. You had to be the best, and getting close to any of them would give them the opportunity to emotionally fuck with you and take away your edge. It would have been like you hitting on Goku. The only reason you liked me at first is I yell like a Saiyan without the ability to ever challenge you physically. I was fun but not dangerous.”

“You have far too much time on your hands. Enjoy your fantasies if you want to, but keep them to yourself.”

She rolled her eyes. “Whatever, Dude. So, a baby? Do we start trying for one?”

“I don't care,” he grouched, still annoyed.

She sighed, settling in against his chest. “Fine. Be pissy because I'm right. We'll talk about it later.”

He laid in silence, and she soon fell asleep. After a long time he mumbled in a low voice. “You were dangerous, Woman. Look at what you've done to me. I was a warrior. What am I now?”

She didn't hear him.

-----------------------

 

Trunks was laughing loudly on the couch, and Bulma was glaring at him with her arms crossed.

“Vegeta, do something about your son!”

The Saiyan smirked. “Out with it, Boy. What did the outfit look like?”

“Dad, it's bright green with a gold buttons and a red cape. He looks like Christmas threw up on him.”

Vegeta laughed, earning another angry look from his wife.

“It's functional, ” she argued. “Gohan came to me for a disguise and I made him one.”

“And why exactly did you choose to make him look like an elf?”

Trunks cackled harder.

“He looks fine. Gohan liked it, he said it was perfect.”

“He wore a small copy of the Namek's outfit to fight Cell. He does not have a great history of fashion choices.”

“Coming from the man who wears bright gold white and blue to a battle. What happened to subtlety? Camouflage?”

“Camouflage is for a warrior who does not want to be found. I fear no one. For your information my armor is traditional for Vegetasei. It specifications were incredibly in style at the time of the planet's destruction.”

“That would be like thirty-five years ago? Talk about vintage.”

“They had trouble coming out with new styles, what with the horrific apocalyptic death toll .”

“Dad, I didn't even tell you about the helmet.”

Vegeta grinned. “Tell me about the helmet.”

“It goes all the way around his head like a motorcycle helmet, but with antennas. It looks like an ant’s head.”

“What were you thinking , Woman?”

“I am not a fashion designer! I am a genius engineer, but for some reason we never talk about that.”

“Sure, Mom.”

“Newsflash, Trunks, your dad only harassed me because I could fix the Gravity Room, and I get romantic when I'm pissed off. Without my technical skills, you don't exist, Buddy.”

“Mom! Ew!”

“You're over ten mentally, I'm done sheltering you. Piss me off and I'll scar you for the rest of your life.”

He shivered.

 

Chapter Text

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Chapter Text

Bulma really believed she was good at staying up late, and everyone else had given up fighting her on it. When she was younger she'd often pulled all nighters to work on projects until she dropped from exhaustion, but she'd stopped doing that years ago. Both her husband and her son knew that she'd be asleep before 1AM, always.

So, they hated when she wanted to have 'late night movie weekend’. She made it a huge production, buying lots of pizza and junk food and pulling almost every blanket and pillow in the house into the living room. She didn't want to start it up until midnight, and her film choice was always something she thought they'd like, but that they had no interest in. Still they let her make all her preparations throughout the day, and then by 12:05AM they were all sitting in the living room as the previews rolled. By 12:45 Bulma was asleep against Vegeta's arm.

Trunks was slumped in the recliner, head in his hand as he blinked dully at the TV. His eyes had glazed over, and he wasn't blinking.

“Are you asleep, Boy?”

Trunks shook his head.

“Your mother is. Turn off this drivel.”

Trunk let out a sigh of relief and grabbed the remote. “What should we watch?”

“I don't care. We just have to wait another hour and a half before I take your mother to bed or she'll know we turned it off. Anything but Barney.”

Trunks winced, flipping quickly through channels. “Nobody likes Barney.”

“You certainly did.”

“No way.”

He thought the boy was lying. “You have an excellent memory. You have to remember being obsessed with it.” He was surprised when he saw genuine confusion on his son's face.

“I was obsessed with Barney? Huh. Sometimes there's gaps in my memory. Not like big ones, like I never forget people's names or how to get places, but I don't remember some stuff.”

“What kinds of things do you forget?” Vegeta asked.

“I don't remember when I started training.”

He frowned. “That's a very significant event. That must be your human side.”

Trunks shrugged, finally settling on an unknown movie with more explosions than anything else on. He hopped down from the chair and handed the remote to his father, then crawled up onto the couch with them and laid across his mother's lap, closing his eyes.

Vegeta sat in silence for a long time, watching the movie Trunks had picked and then immediately abandoned. It didn't take long for Trunks to start snoring softly. Vegeta slowly pulled his arm out from between himself and Bulma and wrapped it around her secretly. Trunks stirred and grumbled in his sleep, scooting up a bit and ending up dropping his head against his father's leg.

His attention dropped from the movie, and soon he was unabashedly staring at them.

You don't deserve this, a small but insistent voice whispered in the back of his mind.

There was a question he needed to ask himself, had needed to ask for a long time, but he'd been putting it off. She'd asked him before, but he wouldn't entertain the idea long enough to really consider it. With the uninteresting movie droning on in the background, illuminating the stillness of the room, the thought crept forward from the back of consciousness until he could taste it on his tongue.

Do you regret?

He felt as though the hands of his victims were reaching up from his nightmares, pulling on his legs as he sat with this reward he did not earn.

Yes. I regret.

How many families like his had he killed? Millions? Billions? He'd acted as a soldier under Frieza's control but… he'd had free will. He could have refused, could have chosen death over genocide, but he didn't. He'd killed unashamedly, indiscriminately, men, women, and children as they got in his way. Yet for reasons he didn't understand, she didn't care.

Would Trunks? Would he someday understand the gravity of his father's sins and run from him in disgust? Or worse, would he try to follow in his footsteps as he did in everything else?

The second part of the question rolled over him. Would you do it all again?

He knew the answer to that.

Yes. But not for Frieza.

For the two sleeping against him, yes, he'd kill again. Gods help the Earth if some human ever killed either of them. He'd level it. Slowly.

For one more thing, too. His honor. It was decimated, no matter what the Earthlings thought. In saving his life and leaving him to live in peace, Kakarot had spit in his face. He'd trained as long and as hard as he could, and he was still ineffectual, just a footnote in the final victory of Kakarot's son. He wanted to hate the other Saiyan’s children for it, but he knew he didn't. Gohan was helpful in his protection of his family, and Trunks was too fond of Goten to ever get rid of him.

This wasn't about the children. It was about the Saiyan who'd upstaged him at every moment, ripping away his birth rights and leaving him in peace just to rub it in his face. Until he balanced the scales, his happiness was a gift from the other man.

He gave up on the movie and allowed himself to fall asleep against his family, hating how dearly he enjoyed it.

------------------

 

“I'm sorry, Goten. You're just wrong.”

“I am not! He's totally cool.”

“The Great Saiyaman is not cool. I'll give you Gohan, maybe Gohan is cool on his own without the outfit. It sounds like he was really strong against Cell when he was little. He's kind of a dork now , but--”

“My brother is not a dork!”

“Dude.”

“He's not, and the Great Saiyaman is a superhero. They're always cool.”

Trunks hopped up on the table and started making dramatic poses. “This. Is. Not. Cool. You need to know that now, or you could catch the lame.”

“Vegeta's not cool either.”

Trunks laughed. “See, just the fact that you don't know how cool my dad is makes me positive that you don't know what it means.”

“Well, Gohan's way cooler than you.”

“Gohan's seventeen and he doesn't even have a girlfriend.”

“He could have one if he wanted, he's just busy. Being awesome.”

“Remember when that girl asked him for directions after my soccer game? He couldn't even talk to her.”

“Who wants to talk to girls anyway?” Goten grumbled, crossing his arms.

“You're supposed to be able to when you're his age.”

“For your information , Gohan has a date tonight after school.”

“Really?”

Goten shrugged. “Yeah, but he didn't look very excited about it. He told me she's making him. You think you're going to go on dates when you're big?”

“Nah. Dad doesn't do dates, and it worked out for him. I'll just skip that part and get married.”

Goten narrowed his eyes. “I don't think that's how it works.”

“Humans overcomplicate things.”

“But what if the girl doesn't want to marry you until she dates you?”

He crossed his arms. “Dad says Saiyan Royalty doesn't have to ask to get married. I just say my vow and then we're married. That's how he married Mom.”

“Nuh-uh, I remember their wedding.”

He rolled his eyes. “That's Earth married, it doesn't matter.”

“Oh. Do you think my parents were Saiyan married?”

“I don't know, probably not if nobody taught Goku the vow.”

“Can you teach me the vow?”

He shook his head. “I'm not allowed to say it to anybody but the person I marry. Can you read Saiyago?”

“Uh, no.”

“Then I can't show you. Sorry.”

“Shoot. Maybe Vegeta would teach me.”

“Maybe,” he said, tapping his finger against his arms. “Hey Goten? You wanna go play superheroes?”

“Yes!” Goten jumped. “I get to be the Great Saiyaman, you have to be Mr.Satan.”

“No way! He's worse than your brother!”

-----------------------

 

Bulma knocked on the Gravity Room repeatedly, but he ignored her. He heard some cursing from the outside while she shut down the room manually from her phone, lowering the gravity to normal and then sliding the door open with a glare.

“It's after midnight. Come to bed,” she demanded.

“Woman, I'm busy. If you're lonely make Trunks sleep in our room. I don't have much time,” he was trying to sound angry, but he was still grinning slightly.

She sighed. “I get it. You're excited. I'm excited to see him too, but--”

“I'm not excited to see Kakarot, I'm excited to defeat him.”

“You're really going to enter the tournament? You said it was boring and pointless.”

“It was. Now, with Saiyans fighting, it's become enough of a challenge to be worth my time. I have an advantage over Gohan, he's been slacking, but there's no telling what kind of training Kakarot has had in the Other World. I cannot stop now. If I am awake, I need to be training.”

She winked at him. “Come to bed and I'll help you exercise.”

“Exercising in bed would be a terrible idea,” Trunks said, walking in behind her in training gear. “You couldn't get any leverage against the mattress. Plus your blankets would get all sweaty.”

“Trunks! What are you doing up? It is way past your bedtime.”

“Dad said I could stay up to train.”

She huffed at her husband. “He did what ?”

“I have what, three favors saved back? I hereby cash them all in for uninterrupted training time until the tournament for me and the boy. It's only a few weeks. He won't win , but he can beat Kakarot's children.”

“I could win,” Trunks smirked.

“Don't push it, Boy.”

“He has school.”

“This counts as his vacation this year.”

“Yeah!” Trunks agreed. “And it counts as a Christmas present, too!”

She hummed. “Sweeten the pot.”

“What do you want?”

“If Trunks isn't going on vacation with me this year, you have to. The two of us go to a tropical resort and do every cheesy thing in the brochure. I'm talking massages, biking, hot tubbing, hang gliding--”

“Hang gliding?  Woman, I can fly .”

“My terms are firm.”

He grumbled. “Fine.”

Her eyes went wide. She hadn't actually expected him to agree to her crazy proposal, she was willing to negotiate down. Vegeta was already back to punching the air and Trunks was taking his place behind him.

“Now get out so we can turn up the gravity again,” Vegeta said.

“Night, Mom!”

She sighed, shaking her head and letting the door shut behind her. As annoyed as she was, a smile still tugged at her lips. He was coming back. Not for long, but he was coming back.

Chapter Text

Vegeta stared at their ceiling, eyes still wide. “A Super Saiyan, Woman. At his age. Unbelievable.”

“I'm not shocked,” she shrugged. “My Trunks is amazing, duh.”

“He must be the youngest Saiyan in history to ascend. At least in recorded history. To achieve it at all in life was a pipe dream, but as a child?”

“He's clearly not the youngest. Goten is younger than him, and you said they could both manage it.”

He snorted. “Trunks is much stronger than Goten, not to mention better trained.”

“Aw, someone's a proud daddy. Did you tell him that?”

“There has to be an explanation,” he muttered, ignoring her question. “I myself could not ascend until my thirties, how did two children manage it? It must be the humanity in them. I thought perhaps Gohan's strength was a fluke, but perhaps humans genes combine well with those of a Saiyan.”

“Mmm….maybe,” Bulma hummed in a way he knew meant she had a better idea.

“You don't agree?”

“I've had some time to think about this,” she began, but he cut her off.

“Time? I only just told you they were Super Saiyans a few hours ago.”

“I'm not just talking about Trunks and Goten, I'm thinking of Gohan too, but the kids reaching it just gives me more evidence.”

“Evidence?”

“For my Super Saiyan hypothesis. Hear me out.”

He nodded.

“Frieza feared the Saiyans, right? That's why he had the planet destroyed, because of the Super Saiyan legends. But, that doesn't make much sense? There hadn't been a Super Saiyan in at least centuries. Let's say one was born and rose to power. That's still one Saiyan against Frieza's whole army. He had the rest of the planet under his bootheel. I think that fighting all the time was making the Saiyans stronger, and that made him nervous for some reason.”

“Of course. Powerful slaves don't remain slaves for long.”

“I don't think he was afraid of the Saiyans on planet Vegeta. I think he was afraid of their children. You'd been in 'relative’ peace until Frieza got there right? Whatever peace means to a Saiyan. Plus you mentioned the Royal Family was getting rid of babies if they were born too strong, so that weakened the population even more.”

“What are you getting at, Woman?”

“I think the strength of a Saiyan when their child is conceived affects the strength of the child.”

He gaped at her. “What?”

“Clearly, power levels are bullshit. They shift and change all through a person's life, so testing a baby's power is a pretty shitty way to know how strong they have the potential to be. Take Goku; he started out at a low level and raised it slowly through years of training. He was already the strongest man on Earth when Gohan was born, and it had taken him about twenty years to get there. Then he had to work hard with King Kai to fight you, and then train in really heavy gravity to go Super Saiyan. Meanwhile Gohan reached Super Saiyan at only like ten after a few years of serious training, and before too long he was even stronger than Goku. He had some kind of jumpstart.”

“You believe Gohan started with a high potential power because of how strong Kakarot already was.”

“Exactly. And Goten gives me more evidence. Goku was already a Super Saiyan when he was conceived, so Goten started even higher and ascended even younger. You were almost there when we made Trunks, so he got a boost, too. I think there were no Super Saiyans being born on Vegetasei because none of the people having children were strong enough to give their kids the boost up early in life, so it took way too long to achieve it.”

He grinned at her wickedly.

“What?”

“I am an Ascended Super Saiyan, now. Imagine how strong my next child will be. If I believe your crazy theory, that is.”

“One of these days you're going to learn to trust your genius mate,” she said tossing her hands behind her head and shutting her eyes. She felt his fingertips start to graze her stomach but didn't move or look at him. “Can I help you, Saiyan?”

“This tournament is a battle,” he said in a voice low enough to make her shiver. “I am wondering how my 'genius mate’ will congratulate me on my victory.”

She chuckled, remembering the way he'd pinned her against their front door after her fight with Chichi. The sound died in her throat as his mouth found hers, and then he was on top of her, pressing his weight on her gently.

“Tell me, A'met . Will you fall to your knees in front of me?”

She kissed him back. “First, I'd put you in a bath.” He made a sound of protest, he liked the idea of having sex while dirty from a fight, but she covered his mouth with hers. “A nice bath. Hot and steamy with bubbles, and I'll be in there too. I'll wash the wash the sweat and blood off of you with my hands and rub out your sore muscles. Doesn't that sound nice?”

He consider it a moment, and then nodded. “Go on, A'met .”

“We'll leave Trunks at Chichi's so we have the whole house to ourselves. I won't even put clothes on you, I'll just take you to our room where I'll have dozens of candles lit. I'll have a feast prepared beforehand, and you'll lay back on the pillow and eat meat and fruit while I suck you off.”

His grip on her was tightening and one of his hands slid her pajamas up over her thighs, pushing aside the flimsy material between them. “Keep going.”

“Afterwards I'll lay with you and we'll eat as much as we want. When you're hard again I'll--” she gasped as he started touching her, placing a hot kiss under her chin.

“Give me a taste to whet my appetite.”

“You have to win, first.”

The calm smile in his face slipped away and he shoved himself inside her, roughly. “I will win. I am going to defeat Kakarot, finally. By any means necessary. Do you understand?”

She moaned, grabbing weakly at his arm, unsure if she was trying to stop him or encourage him.

“Say it. Tell me I can win.”

“A’metkazat.” My mate will have victory.

He grinned at her grasp of his language and rewarded her swiftly.

--------

 

“Are you nervous to meet your dad?” Trunks asked. He knew his friend well enough to know the answer, but it was better to ask than assume.

“Yeah,” Goten said. They were laying outside, looking up at the sky. Vegeta was taking a break to eat and Gohan wanted to train alone for a little while, so they had a minute to themselves.

“I think he'll be nice. Everyone says he was. Is. Mom says he's one of her oldest friends.”

“Gohan said so, too. He said he's like an angel.”

“Then what are you worried about?”

“What if he doesn't like me?”

Trunks snorted. “Why wouldn't he like you?”

Goten took a long moment to think, trying to express himself right. “Trunks, what would you say to Santa Claus if you met him?”

Trunks smirked, humoring him. “Uh, thanks for all the presents, I guess.”

“Right, and then what?”

He shrugged.

“Exactly. Santa's a big deal, and you know he's great, so what do you say to him? Everyone's always telling me how great my daddy was…So he feels like Santa Claus. Too good and big to be real, so you don't want to get in his way.”

“But he's your dad, he'll be happy to see you.”

“He'll be happy to see Gohan and Mommy. I don't think he knows about me.”

“Oh. Well, he will soon, and he's gonna love you. Parents have to.”

“Does Vegeta love you?”

Trunks shrugged. “I guess so. Saiyans don't talk about useless stuff like that. He trains me because he doesn't want me to be a weakling, so he cares if I get hurt. That's good enough.”

“I hope he's not mad at me.”

“Mad at you? What for?”

“I never trained like Gohan. I mean, I fight Mom, but she's not that strong. If I tried harder I bet I could be a lot stronger. Vegeta would be mad if you neglected your training while he was gone. Maybe Dad will want me to explain by I haven't been working harder.”

“I really don't think he'll be mad at you, Ten.”

“Okay,” the boy said, clearly unconvinced.

Vegeta's voice called from the house and Trunks hopped up, ready to join him for more training. He'd do whatever he could to win with his family watching. The tournament was in only two days, and he knew nothing would be the same afterwards.

 

Chapter Text

His daddy was big, just like everybody said, with hair just like Goten's and a big smile. Goku hadn't been as scary as he thought he would be. He'd picked him up and spun him around when they met, and he didn't seem angry to see him at all.

Goku carried him while they talked about the tournament. It felt weird; he was already too big for Chichi to carry comfortably, and Gohan was usually busy with school, but he fit perfectly here, and his dad didn't even seem to notice his weight at all. He may as well have been a feather on his shoulder.

“What do you think, Goten?” The new voice asked.

Goten blinked, snapping out of his thoughts. “Huh?”

“I'm going to get something to eat before we head in for elimination. You want some ice cream?”

The boy grinned. “Yeah! Is anyone else coming?”

“No, we're not hungry, Goten,” Chichi said with a smile. “You go ahead with your father, we'll catch up.”

“I want some ice cream,” Trunks grumbled. Vegeta flicked him on the back of the head subtly.

Goku walked towards the food stands with Goten on his shoulders. “What's your favorite kind?”

“I like vanilla with sprinkles. Trunks says chocolate is better.”

“I like vanilla, too,” Goku said as he ordered for them, passing up the small cone to his son. They made their way down the hall towards the elimination zone, but stopped halfway, sitting against the wall to eat.

“So, Goten,” Goku started slowly. The man had never been truly embarrassed in his life, but he knew what it felt like to owe someone an apology. But how did you apologize for something like this? He didn't know he'd had a second son until an hour ago. Would it have changed his decision to stay in Other World? He wasn't sure. Gohan still needed him at eleven, sure, but he knew he was strong, strong enough to take care of himself and his mother. But here was another boy, very young, who looked so much like him it was like looking back in time. He gathered his thoughts. Focus on what's important. “Are you happy?”

“Yeah, I like ice cream. Mom doesn't usually let me have it before lunch.”

That wasn't really what he meant, but he decided to try to  get to know him as much as he could. “What do you like to do?”

“Fight. I like animals, too.”

“So did Gohan. When he was really small he'd wander after any animal that crossed his path,” Goku smiled, remembering.

“Gohan was as small as me?”

“Even smaller. You like to fight? Who do you train with?”

Goten lowered his voice. “I think it's a secret.”

Goku laughed. “That's okay, you don't have to tell me. Does Chichi make you study?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I study with Trunks. We fight sometimes too. He's really strong, I hope I beat him.”

“You'll do great.”

“I might not.”

Goku placed a hand on his head. “I lost my first tournament, and I was older than you.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I wanted to win, but I think it was good for me to lose. It made me want to be stronger.”

“Do you think you're even stronger than Vegeta? Can you beat him today?”

Goku laughed nervously. “It's hard to say. We agreed not to go to our full power today, so it's anyone's match.”

“What if you could go to full power? Could you beat him as a Super Saiyan?”

Goku leaned in and whispered. “Can I tell you a secret, Goten? It's a big one, I wasn't going to tell anyone, so it has to stay between us. You can't even tell Gohan.”

Goten's eyes went big and he nodded, crossing his heart. “I promise.”

“There's a step beyond an Ascended Super Saiyan. I call it a Super Saiyan Three, and to get to my full power I'd have to use it.”

“Can I see it?”

“Maybe some--” he stopped, voice halting as he realized his mistake. There was no 'maybe someday’ for him and Goten. There was just the one day, and this was it. “I would show you if I could. You and Gohan will reach it on your own.”

“And if you used it, could you beat Vegeta?”

“Honestly? I'd kick his butt. But don't tell him that.”

The two laughed and they heard footsteps approaching them. Goku waved at their friends as they approached. “Hey guys, Goten and I were just playing.”

Goten smiled at them, trying to hide this ‘I know something you don't know’ feeling that vibrated all the way to his fingertips. If his dad was telling the truth, they were the only two people in the whole world who knew about Super Saiyan Three. Gohan had the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and time that he'd never get, but he didn't have this. If Dad went back to the Other World without telling anyone else, he'd be the first to know something before it happened for once. Maybe he'd even reach it before Gohan if he tried hard enough.

He took Goku's hand as they went to the elimination event.

----------

 

Some part of Vegeta was afraid that perhaps the boy was not as strong as he thought he was. He knew Saiyan fathers were often accused of overestimating their children's ability on the battlefield, to the point that there was a known wisdom that a General should not command his own offspring. It was technically possible that he could be doing this with Trunks.

But he doubted it.

It was a shame that there was an age restriction this year. He'd been looking forward to watching the Earth's strongest fighters fall to his eight year old son. Other children were not a challenge, but as Bulma had mentioned after his soccer game, that wasn't Trunks’ fault. He seemed very disappointed that he wouldn't be fighting the adults.

Finally he was up, set to fight some kid named Idasa. He could hear Bulma cheering and then loudly arguing with some large woman in the audience about which of their son's were stronger. He fought the smirk that tugged on his lips.

Trunks strode onto the platform regally, confidently, and Vegeta tried to fight down his pointless swelling of pride. He had to remember to check himself, to not overestimate his son's power. The boy walking next to Trunks was twice his age and twice his size, but this was not a true test of his skills. That would come later against Goten.

It took two kicks from Trunks to send the boastful opponent flying. Trunks walked away before he'd even hit the ground, knowing that the boy wouldn't be getting up anytime soon. Vegeta snorted silently as the others admired Trunks’ strength. He felt the urge to inform Kakarot that his son could have taken that weakling down at four years old with a hand tied behind him, but he ignored it. There was no reason to brag when Trunks’ victory spoke for itself.

Goten did well of course, he was a half Saiyan fighting humans. When Trunks’ second opponent went down Bulma turned to look for her husband. He met her eyes and they spoke without words, with a crowd between them.

See how good your son is? Her smile teased.

He grimaced at her. Don't be overconfident.

She rolled her eyes, turning back to watch Trunks strut away.

Finally, the real fight started. Trunks and Goten took to the platform, teasing and daring each other. This was far from their first match, but it was the first in front of both of their fathers, let alone in front of a whole crowd, and he could feel how desperately both of them wanted this win. Goten waved up at his father and his brother who'd just joined them, and the two waved back. Trunks didn't do anything so casual, he kept his eyes on Goten and his face a calm mask of determination. It made his father smile.

They were pretty evenly matched, impressive considering the other boy's lack of formal training. Vegeta even got the impression that Trunks was holding back slightly, drawing out the fight. Why do such a thing? His eyes darted over to the other Saiyan. Oh. Yes, he supposed that was fair. Kakarot's son would never fight in front of his father again, let it be a good show. So long as he didn't get it in his head to throw the match entirely.

Before long Trunks had the boy in a tight grip, held imobile above the platform. It looked like the match was over. Then Goten cheated.

Vegeta's fist clenched. They'd all agreed not to go Super Saiyan, and Goten had blatantly broken the rule. He wished he could grab Trunks to speak to him for just a moment. Your opponent has broken the pre-established rules of combat. You win by any means necessary, now.

Apparently, he didn't need to be told. He was soon telling Goten how he'd take him down with one arm, getting into the other boy's head. Goten whined about Trunks’ use of energy attacks, but he gained no sympathy from the Saiyan. He cheated first, all deals were off. The unwelcome smile crept back to Vegeta's face. Trunks was done playing now.

Goten dived at Trunks and the older boy dodged, firing an energy beam at his back. Goten saw his mistake immediately, but it was too late. He hit the brakes, slowly sliding forward towards the crowd in the bleachers. There was a pregnant pause, a deep silence… and then the sound of Goten's shoes touching the seat. The laugh Vegeta had been holding back escaped his throat.

“Aw, darn,” Goku said, slumping.

“Oh, no! He lost,” Gohan said.

“Cheer up, Kakarot, there's always next year. There can only be one world champion,” he laughed with a hand on the Saiyan's shoulder.

He looked down as the announcer officialized Trunks’ victory. The boy found his eyes quickly, then the seriousness dropped from his face and he smiled.

Vegeta nodded at him in acknowledgement, still smiling. Okay, that was a victory he could give praise for. He made a mental note to tell the boy so tonight. There was no reason to chase him down now. He'd have plenty of time after he defeated Kakarot.

Chapter Text

I am not innocent.

He had seen the power first with Spopovich. Everyone who had seen him fight before mentioned how much he had improved this year as he pounded on Videl. There had to be some kind of explanation for it, and that explanation may help him to defeat Kakarot if he could discover it.

When he'd learned that the Supreme Kai was taking the others to fight some wizard he followed with hardly a second thought. No one was stealing his one day to fight his rival. He'd follow him all day if he had to, tournament be damned. He didn't need an audience.

I am not innocent.

It wasn't long before he understood. Spopovich was under Babidi's control, and it had increased his strength immensely. That wasn't the moment he made up his mind, though. That came when he watched Kakarot fighting inside Babidi's ship. The other Saiyan was clearly stronger than before, and for the first time he felt himself doubt his new strength. What if it wasn't enough?

He imagined making it back to the tournament, and failing. What would his mate say? His son? Worthless platitudes to make him feel better, probably. She'd try to reward him for battle without a victory. As if he was delicate. As if he needed to be comforted like a child.

All of that would only be half as humiliating as the shame he'd feel himself.

When the wizard started his assault on his mind, he resisted at first. Perhaps it was second thoughts, or perhaps it was just his instinctual reaction to someone invading his mind. It felt like being attacked in a small, dark room. He wanted to fight automatically, but there was no indication of where to swing.

He could hear the others, begging him to fight it. Don't let Babidi control you, you're not like this anymore, try to focus in your innocent side. His mind retreated from the assault by burying itself inside a fantasy.

He was lying in his bed with his Bulma pressed against him, not asleep but not truly awake. When she spoke, her voice was low.

“You didn't say goodbye.”

“I didn't expect to be gone more than a few hours.”

“That's a lie.”

“Then I'll say goodbye now.”

“I'm not really her.”

“I know. You aren't arguing hard enough.”

“You don't have to do this. Listen to Kakarot.”

“Kakarot is stronger than me in his current state. I can feel it. I need this power to defeat him. That's all that matters--”

“That is not all that matters!” She yelled as she pulled away, but it didn't feel like her voice. It felt like his own. “This matters. You told me once that Saiyans do not create, but look at what you've made!” He could sense Trunks sitting at the end of the bed, but ignored him. “You were not forced to stay here, you were no prisoner. Kakarot did not taint this life you have made.”

“He made it possible, and therefore it does not really belong to me. Not until I earn it. Not until I take my honor back from him.”

“Go home. Just return to the tournament, take your mate and your son, and leave.”

“I can't.”

“You could.”

“I won't.”

“Fight Babidi. Just look at me and remember. Remember why this isn't you anymore. Focus on your innocent side--”

“I am not innocent. I'm not one of you, A'met. I never will be. Perhaps Trunks could be,” he glanced toward the boy but his face was covered in shadows. “He is young, and there is no blood on his hands. Mine are drenched, covered with red iron so slick I can't hold onto you. Even if I could you'd be stained.”

“So what? You allow yourself to be evil again? You beat Kakarot, and then what? Destroy the Earth, and us? We'd have to fight you. Trunks would have to fight you.”

“I will not kill Trunks. If he comes to stop me, I will let him. He will know he is better than I am. Than I was.”

“And me? You might not ever see me again.”

“I hope I do not. If I am my old self you would be in danger.”

“I wasn't afraid of you then. Why would I be now?”

“You infected me the moment we met. It may have taken a long time to fester into this deep weakness I have for you, but you do not know me as the rest of the universe does.”

“I know you more. You're a good man. Please, don't do this.”

“My decision is made. Goodbye, infuriating Woman. Cora te.... I love you, Bulma.”

He stopped struggling and the wizard's influence rolled over him like ice water. Power surged through his veins like electricity, and he knew he'd gained the strength he wanted. The pain in his heart lessened, but to his surprise did not fade. No matter, the deed was done and he could already feel its effects. He felt more like himself than he had in years. His life on Earth blurred out of focus. He may as well have just arrived on Namek, before Frieza's death at the hands of another, before he met her . He was free.

But it hurt. Gods, it still hurt. He wavered, wondering if maybe this wizard's power was not as strong as he'd thought. Why did he feel such emptiness? His love for his mate and his son faded as he'd expected, but like a nail driven through a post, the hole they'd created remained. There was a need now that he'd never had before Earth, a hollow ache that screamed to be filled.

He decided to fill it with blood.

-----------------

 

Something had to be wrong with him. She knew it was him, she'd know him from a mile away just by the way he carried himself. That was definitely Vegeta standing on the platform of the Martial Arts Tournament, demanding his fight against Goku. He knew where she was sitting in the crowd but hadn't even looked for her. He lifted his hand.

The beam of energy crashed into the bleachers full of people. A lucky few dived out of the way in time, but hundreds didn't. Gods, where was Trunks? She hadn't seen him in hours.

How could he do this?

He fired again, and this time closer to her. She felt the heat from the beam illuminate her skin. It was so close. Her friends were holding her up as she slumped against them, looking to her for an explanation, and why shouldn't they? Who knew him better than her? Who else would know what was going on in his mind?

A long-dormant instinct stirred in her belly, a primal thought of running, hiding, getting away to live another day. Survival. She was afraid of him for the first time since Namek, and she suddenly saw what everyone else did when they looked at him. A murderer. A monster.

But she loved him still.

Gods help her, she still wanted to run from the bleachers down into his arms. If she could just get her hands on him, catch his eyes and lips with hers, he'd stop. She was sure he'd stop this.

Then he was gone, leaving so many lost lives in his wake that her loss felt small by comparison.

He didn't say goodbye.

Chapter Text

It was all Kakarot's fault, as per fucking usual.

He was finally getting his fight, and he was holding his own. He'd had the other Saiyan immobilized once already, he'd broken away, but it showed how closely matched they were. Then they felt the surge in energy from far away.

It had to be Majin Buu. The energy from their battle had released him.

Kakarot tried to stop the fight, tried to insist they had to help them fight the new threat, and Vegeta refused. He was getting angrier, he'd finally got his fight and something was trying to end it early. Even now, he could see where this was going.

If the Supreme Kai was right about Buu's power, one of two things was going to happen. If he kept the other Saiyan here and forced him to keep fighting, the monster would destroy the Earth and everyone on it, including… He winced. Why did he care? This power was supposed to bring out the worst of him, make him numb to the thought of losing them, but it didn't. He couldn't let Buu destroy the Earth, not while his mate and son were on it.

Then there was option two, and it made his blood boil beneath his skin just thinking about it. He could let Kakarot go. The other Saiyan would save the world, again , probably with some noble sacrifice. Then he'd have to return home without his victory, even deeper indebted than he had been before.

He fought harder, both options seeming worse than the other. He'd have to pick one soon.

There was another surge of power, and Kakarot tried again to make him agree to put their fight on hold. Gohan's ki disappeared from their radar, something had happened to him. Vegeta still resisted, he didn't want to make this choice.

A third option occurred to him, one that hadn't before. He didn't have to go deeper in debt to Kakarot. Not if he stopped Majin Buu alone.

The two Saiyans were closely matched, who's to say he couldn't play the hero instead? To save the Earth would make it his property by his definition. Kakarot would no longer own the things he held dear. His home, his son, his mate.

He'd probably die. But he'd die truly owning what was his.

Deserving it.

Kakarot's worst problem had always been his naive nature. Really they had spent little time getting to know each other when the man was alive; he'd spent far more hours with Gohan in peacetime than he had with his father. Still, he should have known him well enough to be suspicious when Vegeta called for a stop to the fight to go take down Majin Buu together. It was child's play to knock him out from behind and take the last Senzu bean.

If he regretted anything today, it was Gohan. His ki signature was still missing, he was probably dead. He was a good kid, and he didn't deserve to die just before he got to live his life. Vegeta took a last look at Kakarot, lying unconscious in the dirt.

If he didn't owe him so much, he might even be able to like him, he decided. The man's children had certainly weaseled their way into Vegeta's life through his son. He decided to avenge Gohan. Hell, he'd even help the small one, if he could.

-----------

 

“What do you mean take care of Mom? You can do that too.” Trunks said again. The boy still didn't understand. Good. Maybe that would make this part easier.

Vegeta allowed himself a long look at the boy. He could tell that, if you didn't know either if them, it could be hard to see this was his son. The Trunks from the future resembled him very little, mostly taking after his mother's side. The Trunks he had raised was different. He was confident, so like his father in many ways but different where it counted. He carried himself like a true Saiyan. That couldn't be taught, but it could be learned.

He was happy, but this would not be a fond memory for him. He could still remember the sting of hearing his father was dead, and remembered what he wished had passed between them beforehand. Perhaps he could make this better for him, cut down on his future regrets.

What could he say to him? The truth seemed like the best option.

“Trunks...you are my only son, and yet I haven't held you once since you were a baby, have I? Come here, son.”

Trunks approached him with a confused stare, maybe believing his father was going to grab him by the ankle and haul him up like he had when he was small. He didn't. Instead he wrapped an arm around him, holding him tight to his middle.

If he were to say 'I love you’ to the woman, she would believe him. She'd be happy. Come to think of it he was pissed he hadn't said it before, her reward to him would've been legendary. Trunks was different. The boy was a Saiyan, and Vegeta believed he didn't need such platitudes and reassurances. But there was something else he did need, something Vegeta wished he'd heard from his own father.

“Trunks, there's something you must know. You've made me proud, my son.”

The boy looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back, then he swiftly chopped him in the neck, knocking him unconscious. Then Goten was on him, screaming and asking why. Dads weren't supposed to hurt their children, he chastised him, why did you do it? He let him rant a long moment, let him vent his anger, and then punched him hard enough in the gut to render him unconscious as well.

The Namek understood as he handed them off to him.

“Take the two boys as far away as possible.”

“Of course."

Of course the Namek knew. If there was one of Earth's fighters he could have been friends with, it was this one. He'd been here, almost exactly here, standing before the weight of his own sins and willing to die to protect someone he loved. Maybe he should have spoken to him more. Maybe he should have told Bulma more of his past. He stopped there. There was a list of ‘should haves’ on his tongue, and they were pointless.

He asked the Namek one last question as he turned to leave. Would he see Kakarot in the afterlife? Piccolo did not think so. He had no reward waiting for him. He'd be in hell by the end of the day. Well, no matter. He wasn't going to start fearing eternity now.

Buu returned, ready to face him. He smirked, ready. “Trunks, Bulma, I do this for you. And yes...even for you, Kakarot.”

------------------

 

Kaldamsansit meant to be alone, except it didn't.

Every now and then they would find a word he could not explain to her in English. It was not for lack of trying; he enjoyed being able to speak in his own tongue, and she found it fascinating. He'd sometimes bring up words that didn't usually come up in conversation, just to broaden her understanding of the language. That was how kaldamsansit had come up one night.

“It means to be alone now,” he'd said.

“Physically?”

“Not just physically, no.”

“So, metaphorically? Like, ‘no one understands me and I feel so alone’?”

He shook his head. “No. It's like…You are part of something, and then that things goes away, and you are left.”

“Okay,” she said, genuinely trying to understand. “So, like when Vegetasei was destroyed. You had been part of the population and then it was gone, so you felt Kaldamsansit.”

He shook his head again, frustrated at his inability to explain. After a moment he sat up and dug through his bedside drawer, pulling out a box of matches. He showed one to her, and then struck it against the box. The flame danced to life and he held it up it to her wordlessly, letting it burn down between them. The fire neared his fingers and he shook the match out and then held it back up to her. “Kaldamsansit.”

She smiled apologetically, shrugging. “Sorry. I don't get it.”

He tossed the match aside and snorted, laying to pull her against him again. “It’s untranslatable, then.”

She gave up at the time, not much caring what the strange word meant.

As they flew across the ocean in the direction Videl had told them the boys went, the meaning of the word hit her all at once. A deep pain shot through her soul, and she knew.

Vegeta was gone.

She felt like the match. She was once a small thing with lots of potential. Then she met the right surface and a beautiful fire blazed all around her, keeping her warm and being one unit. Technically they were two entities, fire did not really touch the surface of anything it danced over, but the two could not be apart and retain any of the beauty of the whole. The fire made her better, happy, changed her in ways she could not see through it's light. The fire was nothing without her, just potential, forever to remain unused. She was part of something.

Then the fire went out, and she was truly alone.

Bulma held her hands up and imagined they were charred husks, burned away by a fire she wanted back, but that could never return to her.

“Bulma?” Chichi asked. “Are you okay, Dear?”

Kaldamsansit , she wanted to tell her, but what was the point? Chichi did not know Saiyago, and she could never hope to explain the meaning behind it. In fact, she and Trunks were now the only people in universe who knew the language at all, she feared. It may as well have been gibberish.

She couldn't prove her fears. Maybe she was wrong, there were very few things in the universe that could kill a stubborn Saiyan prince. Logic said she was probably just imagining things, maybe she was still shaken from seeing him kill all those people today. She did what he loved the most about her.

She carried on.

Chapter Text

About thirty-three years before now, a young boy sat on an empty planet, chewing a food he had never seen before. It was a native dish, some sweet and sour, slightly spicy dough with indigenous vegetables inside it. This was the last time anyone would ever enjoy this particular food, because everyone who'd ever made it lay dead at the boy's feet.

He had asked for this assignment; Frieza's ship was boring and there was more he could be doing. He knew his worth, his father had made sure of it. At age six he knew he was as strong as the adults, and that someday soon he'd surpass them all. He had taken down every being on this stubborn, resistant planet in a day, without breaking a sweat. Someday when he ascended to the legendary status of Super Saiyan, he'd be strong enough to do whatever he wanted.

Strong enough to go home, even.

He allowed himself a mutinous fantasy, seeing himself standing over Frieza's cowering form as the Lord begged him for mercy. He'd give none. He'd kill Frieza personally, and all of the planet's under Frieza's name would become property of the Saiyan Royal Family by default. By the time he returned to his home, he'd be a hero as well as a prince.

The scouter over his ear crackled to life.

“Prince Vegeta? Do you copy, Sir?”

“I'm here,” he muttered, snapping out of his daydream.

“Sir, unfortunate news from Lord Frieza. Planet Vegeta was struck by a large asteroid today, and destroyed.”

Perhaps he'd heard him wrong? Or more likely, this could be a joke from Frieza's men at his expense. “You're sure?”

“Affirmative, Sir. Lord Frieza sends his sympathies, and regrets. As of now, you're the only known survivor.”

They weren't stupid enough to bring Frieza's name into a joke like this. The only survivor? That couldn't be right. Perhaps an asteroid could kill the lower class warrior of Vegetasei, but not the elites. Not all of them.

He thought about asking the question. What about the King? Is my father alive? It felt pointless. They knew who his family was. If the King had survived they would have informed him. Asking anyway would just make him sound like a child, and it was best they all forget just how young he was.

“Oh. Really?” He managed.

“Would you like to send a reply, Sir?”

A reply to who? Everyone was dead. To Frieza? What should he say, 'thanks for forcing me into your employ or else I'd be dead with everyone else I've ever known?’ No thanks, he had no intention of being grateful for his enslavement. “No. No reply.”

“Very well, Sir. Over and out.”

Then he was alone again, more so than before.

He wouldn't cry. Crying was for those who had no hope left in them, and he felt like hope was bursting from his pores. An asteroid, destroy Vegetasei? Possible, but unlikely. There was only one being who could have destroyed a planet of warriors, if it was foul play, and that was Frieza. If it was true, he had a purpose now. Revenge.

Part of him still didn't believe it. Beings died, but not his father. King Vegeta was powerful, worthy of his rank in every way. It couldn't happen to him. He couldn't be gone.

There was something wet on his cheek and he wiped it away like it was acid that could leave a conspicuous trail others might see. There was work to do and no time to be sad. If his father was really dead that would technically make him the leader of the Saiyans, although he was not coronated and would not be called King. That meant it was time to use everything he'd been trained for, just earlier than he'd expected.

He was six, and he felt alone.

-----------------------------



He was eight, and he felt alone.

Trunks was laying on his back in the small bed at the Lookout, staring at the high ceiling above him. He knew the feeling was incorrect. His mother was still alive, and his grandparents, and Goten. He had lots of family left. He tried to feel grateful, but it didn't work.

Dad couldn't be dead. He was the strongest, the best warrior in the universe. Well, at least that's what Trunks had believed this morning. Then he'd felt Goku's power… it was unreal. Earth shaking. Could Dad do that? He wasn't sure.

He should've known. He should've known that when his father hugged him and told him he was proud of him, something was wrong. If he'd been smarter he would've figured it out and been able to say goodbye, but he was too stupid . That needed to change, he decided. He'd get smarter, even if it meant going to regular school and putting up with their bullshit.

But that still wouldn't bring him back.

He tried to think about all the things that were different now. He'd been planning on talking about his victory at the tournament with Dad, and he couldn't do that now. He'd wanted to train with him in the Gravity Room to practice going past Super Saiyan, and he couldn't do that either. If he went to their room to sleep, something he hadn't done in months now, Mom would be the only one there. Dad wouldn't test his Saiyago, or have lunch with him while Mom was working, or lounge on the couch and flip through channels so fast it annoyed them. He couldn't be gone.

That was assuming he even got to go home. Buu wanted to kill him, and Goten, and Piccolo, and then probably the rest of the world.

Dad gave him one job. Take care of your mother. And he couldn't even manage that. He'd heard them talking once, about Future Trunks and how he'd grown up without Vegeta. Was this how he felt all the time? No, he decided, this was worse. The other Trunks just had to wonder what it would be like to live with his dad. Trunks knew what it was like, and now he'd never have it again.

He heard small footsteps and glanced over to see Goten crawling back into the bed next to his.

“Goten? Where'd you go?”

“To check on Mommy. She's sleeping.”

“Why?”

Goten went quiet for a moment. “'Cause she's all that's left.”

Trunks smiled at him sadly. “Was my Mom nearby?”

“She's okay, too. Hey, Trunks?” He asked, crossing his legs on the bed at looking at him. “Can you love somebody but be angry at them?”

“Totally, my parents do it… did it all the time.”

“Oh. I think I'm angry, then.”

“At me?”

“No. At Daddy,” he said guiltily.

“Why?”

He thought for a moment, embarrassed. Trunks heard a small sniffle but ignored it. “Yesterday I didn't have a daddy, but I had a Gohan. Then today I had both. Now I don't have either. It's just me and Mommy.”

“I know, Ten. Sorry.”

Goten's arm wiped over his face  “Do you miss your daddy?”

He thought about lying, but it was only Goten. “Yes.”

“The Buu Monster is going to kill everyone, even our mommies. What're we gonna do, Trunks?”

Trunks set his jaw, a hard mask falling over his face. “We get revenge. We make Buu pay. That's what Dad would do. We have to fuse tomorrow, Goten. Your dad thought we could do it. I think so too."

Goten nodded. “Okay. I'm gonna go to sleep.”

Trunks nodded, unsure if he'd be able to sleep peacefully ever again without knowing Dad was close by to stop the monsters reaching out to grab him.

Chapter Text

How had she slept before?

She tried to think back, back before Namek, back before even Yamcha. There was a time when sleeping alone had been her norm, she was sure. She couldn't picture it.

Then find someone to lay next to , his memory haunted her. But if it is Yamcha I will claw my way out of hell to destroy him.

She laughed joylessly, touching the empty mattress next to her. It was cold. Maybe she should go flirt with her ex, that'd make him get his ass back to her. Then at least he'd be here.

Today, when she heard the news, it felt like the world had fallen apart. She was a little insulted it hadn't. Her heart kept beating, her breath never stopped. She felt long dead, but wasn't. Mostly it was like falling, falling from a great height and having no idea where she'd land.

She heard small feet and closed her eyes, pretending to be asleep. It wasn't Trunks, she knew her son's steps. He walked like his father, purposefully and solidly. It had to be Goten; he walked more like a bumble bee, erratic and fast.

Chichi lay in a bed not far from her and the boy crept over to it to check on her. Poor Goten , she thought. At least I didn't lose a child today.

Tomorrow might be a different story.

---------------------



Bulma sat awkwardly across the table from the boy that was her son, but also wasn't. Gotenks was nursing his wounds; he'd foolishly gone after Buu without even going Super Saiyan, and he'd paid for it. There was no point in nursing their collective wounds, they’d just wait until the boys separated to assess the damage. Piccolo had told Dende not to heal them for now, they deserved to feel the pain a little while for bring reckless and insolent. Chichi said Goten was in for a hell of a spanking for going along with it.

“What's wrong, Mom?” Gotenks asked her in his doubled voice.

She considered not telling him. After all, she had not had a private conversation with her son yet because they were training so hard, and she felt awkward including Goten. But she might not get a ‘later’. The world was ending.

“You look so much like Vegeta.”

Gotenks immediately touched his hair. “I do? More than Trunks?”

She nodded, crossing her arms. “And I can guarantee that's where you get that attitude of yours, too.”

Gotenks was still feeling his hair. “Am I going bald, too?”

She huffed. “Your father is not… Was not going bald. He just had a widow's peak.”

“Come on. You think he was born like that?”

She snorted, then covered her mouth as the sound moved from a laugh to a sob. “Oh gods. Imagine him as a baby. Pointy little hair and those intense eyes. I bet he had chubby cheeks like Trunks.”

“Don't be sad, Mom.”

She wiped her face. “I know. We don't have time.”

The fusion frowned and rolled the apple he was eating under his hand. “I will miss him too.”

“When you say 'I’ do you mean Trunks or Goten?”

“I am one being. I will miss him. He was always kind to me. He spent time with me when others did not. He put me to sleep as a baby. He allowed me to rest in his bed. He helped me when I was in danger. I will miss Vegeta.”

She nodded, understanding. Her son couldn't really talk to her right now as himself, but all of those experiences were ones Trunks and Goten had both experienced, so their fusion could talk about them easier.

“He cared about you, too,” she said to him.

There was a flash, and then two boys sat across from her, both looking a little sad.

---------------------

 

The way he had figured it, hell could be one of two realities. Either it was an endless cold oblivion he'd float through, or it'd be a crater of fire surrounded by his countless victims. Of course that was what he had expected, physical pain. It had never occurred to him hell could be much worse.

“Trunks, you need to hurry up. You need to be at Chichi's in twenty minutes,” Bulma called from the bathroom to her son sitting at the breakfast table.

“I'm hurrying!” He called from around a mouthful of bacon. “Dad, did you want more meat? You haven't even touched your toast.”

Vegeta sat next to him, eyes cast down angrily to the table. He took slow, deliberate breaths, keeping his wits about him through his personal torture. “You will not trick me again. Leave me.”

“What's wrong, Dad? Not hungry? I'll eat your breakfast if you don't want it--”

“You are not my son!” He snapped.

“Well, that's kind of harsh,” the being said in Trunks’ voice. “Just because I'm a bastard, huh? That wasn't my fault.”

“Do you remember this day, Vegeta?” the being that looked like Bulma asked walking and grabbing the dirty dishes from the table.

“I am not listening.”

“This was the day of Trunks’ soccer game. The only day you could have seen him excel at a sport he enjoyed besides fighting. He was proud of his skill, too. He begged you to come.”

Please , Daddy,” Trunks’ voice begged. “We're playing the Mariners, they're a really good team but I think we can beat them if I try hard enough. Will you come?”

“Enough! I know what you both are! This is pointless, you have no power over me!”

“Then why are you crying?” Bulma's voice mocked him.

He dropped his head into his hands pulling at his hair. He didn't have a real body, but a thin spirit that looked like it. Hell was personal, as it turned out, and they knew on instinct from the moment he arrived what his worst punishment would be.

Failure.

He had no concept of time. Had he been here a day? A year? A hundred years? He hopped from one failure to the next, reliving them. He sat on an empty planet and heard his father was dead, he failed to defeat Kakarot and his young son during his first battle on Earth, Frieza killed him often and he got to watch Kakarot take the revenge that should have been his.

But these failures were worse.

He'd see himself leave her alone and vulnerable when she was pregnant. He'd ignore Trunks or yell at him when he was in a bad mood. Even if he tried to change the memory by acting differently they reacted as though it was the same, being hurt or angry. He was always determined not to let it get to him again, but it always did.

It was getting worse, because they were slipping in fake memories, and he was beginning to lose track of what was true and what was fabricated. They made him live out breaking Trunks’ arm in a fit of rage, which he was sure he'd never done. They escalated Bulma's kiss with her old assistant into a full-blown affair, made him think he'd killed the man out of jealousy. He found himself mumbling what had actually happened to himself again and again to stay grounded, but his control was starting to slip. Where was the fire? Torture he could handle, but not this.

Then there was the thing that they told him at the end if each scene, something he wasn't sure was true but that was growing in believability.

“Hey, Daddy,” fake Trunks said, “you wanna know why you beat Kakarot?”

He said nothing.

“It's because he let you. He has found the level above Ascended Super Saiyan. He could defeat you easily. You wanna know why he let you win?”

He said nothing.

“Because you wanted to fight him so bad. He let you win, because he pitied you.”

“Silence!” He screamed. “You are not Trunks!”

“Do you love me, Dad? You never told me.”

“Shut your damn mouth!”

The being opened his mouth to continue, but then paused, looking up like he was listening to something his victim couldn't hear. “What? Why? Ugh, no fair. This guy is fun, we've had him less than a day and he's like three memories away from his breakdown. He's got issues …. No, I'm not questioning your decision, King Yama. I understand.” He dropped his gaze and regarded Vegeta like a worm he'd been dissecting. “Lucky son of a bitch. I'm telling you, three more memories and you were mine .” He snapped his fingers.

Vegeta suddenly found himself in the dark. There was no up or down, no ground to move towards. He found he could move more freely than he had in the other place, his body was back. He screamed out in the darkness for someone to tell him where he was.

“Calm down, Vegeta,” a voice boomed over him. “This is King Yama. I have had you taken out of hell and placed in a holding dimension for the time being. I will call you when I am ready to speak.”

“Why? Why show me that kindness?” He yelled into the darkness.

“It is not kindness, it is strategy. You are one of the strongest fighters in the universe. I am keeping you here until I can decide if we need you to help the situation on Earth. You'd be no use to us if they drove you insane first.”

“What situation? Are they in trouble again ?”

He hesitated. “I will explain when we speak in person.”

“So what, I'm just supposed to wait here? In the nothing?”

“Would you rather wait below?”

A cold shiver ran up his back, and he stopped arguing.

Chapter Text

“Wow, this place is huge,” Trunks said again. Usually when he said something like that Goten would echo him, so he repeated himself. His friend didn't answer.

“Goten?” He asked, looking around. He found his friend already sitting in the white void, doing fast situps.

Trunks laughed nervously. “Slow down, Ten. Piccolo said we have weeks to train. Every minute out there is six hours in here.”

Goten didn't stop, he just stood up and started kicking into the air.

“Well -- wait for me!” Trunks said, running to join him.

They sparred for hours, but Trunks could tell something was wrong. Fighting was a game for them, it always had been. A few years ago they both had suddenly realized they wanted to win those games, and things had gotten more competitive. At the end of the day though, they fought for fun, because there was an instinctual joy of combat in each of them.

Goten wasn't having fun today.

There was an unfamiliar glare pulled over the boy's young face, and as he fought he watched Trunks as if he was a real enemy, as if his friend would really hurt him. Trunks fought well, but he could feel Goten trying harder than he ever had, especially after they went Super Saiyan.

He matched the boy's intensity for a long time, but he finally needed a break. “Hey Ten, let's stop for dinner, okay?”

“Go ahead,” Goten nodded, turning from him and continuing to punch the air.

“Aren't you gonna have something too? We've been at this all day. You've gotta rest sometime.”

“I was weaker than you when we started fusing. You eat and I'll keep training, maybe I'll catch up to you.”

Trunks fidgeted nervously, feeling like his mother. He'd seen this argument from the outside dozens of times. “Vegeta stop training and come to bed!” “I'm busy, Woman!” It usually ended with Mom giving up, but she did manage to convince him sometimes. What did she say that worked?

“You know, Ten, if you work past the point of exhaustion and keep going you could actually get less strong.”

Goten narrowed his eyes. “You're lying to me, Trunks. I'm not that gullible.”

“No, for real, Mom warns Dad about it all the time. She says the muscles need time to heal.”

Goten crossed his arms, clearly unsure he believed him.

“Why are you being like this? We have time to train, you don't have to freak out.” Goten glared at his friend and Trunks gulped. “What did I say?”

“You're a bad friend , Trunks!”

“Huh? No I'm not!”

“You are too! You only care about yourself and Bulma and Vegeta!”

“I'm a bad friend because I care about my parents?”

“You're a bad friend because you don't care about mine! Or my brother. You wanna know why I'm freaking out ? He just killed my Mommy, Trunks! He turned her into an egg and he squished her!”

Trunks went pale. “Oh. Right. I'm sorry. We've just… We've lost a lot of people in the last few days. I guess I'm kind of numb. We can get her back with the dragon balls--”

“Not if I don't beat Majin Buu. So I have to be stronger. I don't care how much time we have, I don't want to rest,” he said, rubbing at his eyes.

“Don't cry, Goten. We can share my mom.”

“I don't want your stupid mom, I want mine. And I want Gohan back. And Daddy too,” he said, dropping to sit on the ground.

“So we'll beat him, no sweat.”

“I don't think we can.”

Trunks thought a long moment. “Hey, let's fuse.”

“Why?”

“Because I'm sure enough for both of us. Maybe you'll feel better.”

Goten nodded and stood up, and they went through the motions. Soon only one child stood there, thinking carefully about how he felt.

“I'll train for twenty minutes, then rest,” he decided out loud. “And in a few weeks, I'll turn Majin Buu into dust.”

-----------------------------

 

There was no real nighttime, they just decided when they were too tired to go on and got ready for bed. There were two big four-poster beds available, but they decided to share one for ‘backup’, definitely not because they were scared to be alone.

They laid on the huge pillows, exhausted from hours of training but happy with the results. They fused perfectly every time now, and they had only been at it a day.

“I wonder who else has trained here,” Trunks yawned.

“Gohan did, with Daddy.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, for nine whole months.”

Trunks shivered. “I wouldn't wanna be here that long. I heard that Dad trained with the other me for a year once. I bet it was in here.”

“Maybe. Hey Trunks? I'm sorry I called your mom stupid.”

“I know, Goten. It's okay.”

“Bulma's nice.”

Trunks thought a moment. “Do you think dead people get to watch living people?”

“Maybe. I mean, Daddy didn't know about me, so he wasn't watching very closely.”

“I think they can. I hope Dad watches when we fight Majin Buu. Let's put on a good show for him.”

“What kind of show?”

“You know, like what they say your Dad did. We pretend we're not strong enough to beat him and then we can be all like, ‘Surprise! You're dead.’

“That sounds fun.”

“Yeah. We'll have to come up with some killer moves.”

“And we've gotta name them.”

Trunks nodded enthusiastically. “Definitely. He won't stand a chance.”

------------------------------

 

Damn him. Damn Kakarot and his knowledge of how to push the prince's buttons. It'd only taken two words to make him cave, make him agree to the disgusting notion of merging his being with other Saiyan's to defeat Majin Buu.

“Vegeta, Buu has absorbed every person we ever cared about. Krillin and Chichi, too! Even Bulma!”

Even Bulma.

Of course he knew that, on some level. Kakarot was still talking, but he'd stopped paying attention. It made sense that Bulma was dead. He just hadn't given himself the time to consider it. He couldn't face that right now.

Then Kakarot had just come out and said it.

Bulma was dead. Trunks too, probably. His sacrifice for them meant less than nothing.

“They can't even die!”

That sentence broke through too. No, that was unacceptable. So the Earth was over, and he was going back to hell. He could live with that. Bulma was probably in heaven, where she ought to be. But to be trapped forever in that monster was a hell in itself, and Trunks did not deserve that. He felt the hands from his nightmares all around him, clawing for justice. They wanted Trunks.

They couldn't have him. Not this time.

Kakarot tossed him the earring and he struggled to get it on. Even when the other Saiyan warned him that once fused they'd be stuck together, it didn't give him much pause. If that was the price, then so be it.

-------------



“I think you're lost. Your room was down the hall,” she snapped at him.

This wasn't like hell. He knew it was a memory this time, not one replayed to torture him, but one that stuck nonetheless.

He knew his lines as he watched her lying in bed, waiting for him. “Out with it, Woman.”

“Two months. Where were you?”

“Training. Alone.”

“And?”

He went Super Saiyan, but she refused to look at him.

“Congratulations, you got what you wanted.” She left it at that.

“It was necessary. I could not ascend on Earth. There were too many distractions.”

“Bullshit. All you did was train, eat, sleep, and me.”

“And once I left that pattern, I achieved Super Saiyan.”

“You didn't even say goodbye,” she sighed. “You left me alone to deal with this, and you didn't even say goodbye.”

“The Android's aren't due for another year--”

“I'm pregnant.”

“Wow,” a voice said from the corner. “This was when you found out about Trunks.”

Vegeta's eyes went wide and his head whipped around to find the intruder. “Kakarot!” he snapped. “Get out! This is my memory!”

The other Saiyan shrugged apologetically. “I'm sorry, I can't. I tried. I'm stuck here.”

Bulma just continued to say her lines, obviously ignorant to the the other's presence. She was just a memory, and could not react. But she was his memory, and he didn't plan on sharing. A second copy of himself appeared and answered her lines, climbing over her and promising to say goodbye when he left.

“Get out! You don't get to see her like this!”

“I'm trying , Vegeta! I'm not trying to intrude. Our minds are stuck together. You must have been thinking about her when we fused--”

“Of course I was thinking about her, my wife is dead!” He hollered back.

Kakarot's eyes turned grim. “So is mine.”

“And where do you think she is, mmm? Where is the Harpy right now? Heaven. Even if we fail, you will return to her there. Bulma does not deserve to be where I am going, and I do not deserve to be where she has gone.”

“I hadn’t even seen her in seven years until yesterday.”

“A trifling amount of time when compared to eternity.”

The other Saiyan frowned, and the room started to shift around them. Suddenly they were outside, and Vegeta recognized the place.

“The Martial Arts Tournament? This only happened yesterday. This must be your memory. Why are we here?”

Two beings appeared in front of him, hidden behind a wall from the others and whispering furiously.

“One day, Goku,” Chichi’s memory whispered harshly. “You get one day on Earth after seven years and you spend it fighting.”

The second copy of Kakarot, the one from his memory, tried to defend himself. “Gohan wanted to enter the tournament. I was coming back anyway, this way I get to see him fight.”

“And what about Goten?”

“I didn't know about Goten. You never told me--”

“Don't put this on me! You're the one who can call us with King Kai's help, and you didn't. Not for seven years .”

“I thought it would be worse if I stayed in contact. I didn't want you guys to feel like you were stuck waiting for me.”

“Well I did wait for you. And I always will. So I hope that annoys the hell out of you when you go back.”

“In seven years? You never--”

“Who could compare, Goku?”

“You could have dated. You could have found someone to--”

“Did you?”

“No. I didn't.”

“Then I don't want to hear it,” she paused. “Bulma told me something about Saiyan marriages.”

“Oh? I don't know anything about that.”

“I know. Apparently, when a Saiyan gets married, it's forever. There is no 'until death do us part'. That's what this feels like. It's like no matter how long you're gone, I'm still going to feel like we're married and I'm waiting for you to come home.”

“I still feel married too,” he said with a grimace. “I'm sorry. I thought I was letting you be free.”

“I don't want to be free of you.”

“I'm…Sorry, Chi. I want to come back to you, but I only get today.”

She wiped her eyes. “Twenty four hours, right? So until tomorrow morning?”

“Yes. Unless I use my ultimate form, that would cut down on the time. I will not use it.”

“Then today, your sons get you. Cheer them on, show them how strong you are, have fun. But tonight, you're mine. I get one night to hold my husband, okay?”

“I promise, Chichi.”

She threw her arms around him and he wrapped one arm around her waist.

Vegeta shifted uncomfortably. The Kakarot watching the memory with him was staring at the ground. “I wish you hadn't seen that.”

“So do I,” he shot back, but not as angrily as he would have liked.

Maybe it wasn't pity that had stopped Kakarot from using his Super Saiyan Three against him.

“Enough memories. It is time to fight Buu. He needs to die for what he's done.”

“About that. I have a plan.”

“A plan for what?”

“Before we kill Buu, were going to save our sons.”

 

Chapter Text

The concept of another being defeating him was not a foreign one. He'd known when he was younger that many of Frieza's men were stronger, which was why his continued training was so important. His power level had grown every year, and he watched as he personally surpassed each of his fellow soldiers in turn. So, no, not being the absolute best was not an unfathomable concept.

This, however, was new. It wasn't that Kakarot was stronger than him. It was that he always would be .

There was no amount of training that would bring him past the other Saiyan, and he knew that now. As he watched him go round for round with the strongest form Majin Buu had mustered, the reality settled over him.

He used to think that there some special advantage that the other Saiyan had over him, and that if he just found it they would be on an even playing field and he could crush him easily. When he looked at their lives after Future Trunks first visited, he assumed it was the man's family that gave him strength. Vegeta had no one in his life he would die for besides himself at the time, and he'd always considered that to be a strength, but perhaps he was wrong. He'd had no intention at the time of trying it himself.

He was wrong. He would happily die for Bulma or Trunks. Hell, he'd more than die. If either of them were on this battlefield he'd allow himself to be killed again, completely destroyed and erased from existence. It still wouldn't make a difference. Buu would still be stronger than him, and they would die.

Yet Kakarot had a chance. Not because of luck or circumstance, but because he was better than Vegeta. He was the best.

The most Vegeta could hope to do was help him. He'd get no fame or adulation, but he could help stop Majin Buu. He would most likely suffer his second death and be erased from existence, but when he considered the beings waiting below to mock him for eternity, that didn't sound do bad. Besides, one day Bulma was going to ask what happened to him, and Kakarot would have to tell her. Vegeta? He died a hero, again, even though his family was dead. To save the other souls of a universe far more innocent than he was.

You were right, Bulma. He was a good man.

So he stayed on his feet. No matter how hard Buu hit him, he got up to give Kakarot the minute he needed. He felt a rib crack. His arm popped from it's socket and hung uselessly at his side. He got back up. Blood ran down his face. There was nothing left to lose.

----------------------

 

The wishes were made, and now they could move onto the next phase of his plan to save Earth and the universe from Buu. It was about time the humans pull their own weight in their salvation.

“Hey, Vegeta, your halo is gone!”

At first he didn't realize what Kakarot meant. He had not wished to come back. He touched his skin, and it was warm again. There was a third wish due from the dragon, had they wasted it on him? That was foolish, they may need it yet to beat Majin Buu.

The other Saiyan laughed and nudged him. “Hey, they didn't wish the evil guys back. You know what that means? You're officially a good guy, now.”

What?

How? Why ? It was true he was trying to save the Earth, but after all of the lives he had taken surely an act that small meant nothing at the end of the day. He rolled his arm around and found it was better, the pain from before a distant memory. A punishment.

Paid in full.

It sounded too good to believe, but the evidence was there in the empty space above his head. The evil dead were not brought back, but he was.

A good guy. A good man.

Damn he hated when the woman was right.

-----------

 

She would have known his voice anywhere. The others had their doubts at first when that pleading voice spoke in their heads, begging the Earthlings to help save their planet. She didn't. Vegeta was out there, and he had something to do with their sudden resurrection.

He saved them. Somehow.

“Take your first small step towards being a warrior race.”

She laughed. He sounded like himself. Whatever beast it was that killed all those people at the tournament, it was gone.

They believed her more the second time he demanded help. “People of Earth-- Raise your hands now, idiots!”

Krillin laughed nervously. “Okay. You might be right, Bulma.”

It wasn't until Mr.Satan spoke to them all that Piccolo arrived, shortly followed by Gohan. Videl best at his chest, yelling at him for scaring her. Then came the sound she was afraid she'd never hear again.

“Hi, Mom.”

Her eyes watered as she looked down at Trunks, touching his face. They were back, alive. It was almost a miracle.

He just had to make it back.

-------------------------

 

Just fire the damn bomb, he thought. I never expected to live through this. You can send me back to hell. They're alive.

“Vegeta!” Kakarot yelled. “Forgive me! I can't do it!”

The fool. That spirit bomb had the energy needed to destroy Majin Buu, and he was holding it back. What a poor excuse for a Saiyan. The dirt beneath him was wet, and he touched his traitorous eyes to find it was from him.

He didn't want to die. Not really, not now. He couldn't help himself. He imagined his injured body lying in his bed at the home that existed again, his mate softly easing the pain.

You saved us all. I'm so proud of you, she would whisper to him.

And he wanted it. Gods he wanted it. He thought he was willing to give everything for the Earth, for his debt, but this piece of selfishness remained. He wanted to live.

Vegeta slipped in and out of consciousness. He felt hands on him and for a fraction of a moment thought they were hers, but they were not. They were larger, rougher, comparatively stronger but still weak. He opened his eyes groggily and wished he hadn't. He was thrown over Mr.Satan's shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

Stupid oaf. Why was he…? They were moving. Kakarot would have room to use the spirit bomb. A smile tugged on his lips. This could be it. They could win, and he might live.

--------------------------

 

They heard them before they saw them. Goku, Vegeta, and Dende rounded the corner together, with Mr.Satan and the good Buu in tow. They'd done it. Earth was safe, and they were alive.

She heard the boys crying out in triumph, but her eyes were on him. He smirked when he saw her. Trunks ran to him and grabbed his hand. “Hey!”

“Yes, Son,” he smiled, turned away from the others. She put a hand on his shoulder, saying with a look what they wouldn't say in front of others. He nodded, a promise of what was to come.

--------------

 

Vegeta had hoped saving the Earth, the universe, and his family in one go would mean a night of a thousand favors in their bed, but it was not meant to be. When they'd finally eaten and talked and made it home, it was late already. He thought Trunks would head off to his bed and give them some alone time, but the boy had no intention of doing so.

In the early hours of the morning he lay in his bed with his mate by his side, his son fast asleep holding tight to his chest in a death grip he was not sure he'd be able to shake if he was at full power. He didn't attempt to throw him off anyway. He wrapped on arm over the boy, securing him in place. He was determined not to wait until he met his next death to hug his son.

They didn't speak for a long time, but they knew they were both awake. She finally moved against him. “I missed you.”

“How was heaven?”

“Not as great as it's cracked up to be. I thought I'd never see you again. You were…”

“In hell. Yes.”

“What was it like?”

“A cold oblivion,” he lied. “I was barely conscious. It wasn't that awful, but I am glad I'm not stuck there anymore.”

“Well, I just found out heroes go to a separate heaven. Heads up, you're not allowed to go there. You come to heaven with me and Trunks next time.”

He snorted, but a small smile was on his lips. “You believe my next death will see me in heaven?”

“Duh. Look at what you've done.”

“Kakarot delivered the death blow.”

“Don't try to be modest. It's not your color. It was your idea, he couldn't have done it without you. You're going to accept the credit whether you like it or not.”

He chuckled and Trunks stirred slightly, gripping his tank top tighter.

Bulma pushed Trunks’ hair out of his face. “He missed you, too. He worked so hard to beat Buu to get revenge. He's so happy you're back.”

“I told him I was proud of him.”

“I heard,” she grinned, kissing his cheek. “I'm so glad things can get back to normal.”

“Things will never be the way they were before Buu,” he said solemnly.

Her smile wavered. “What do you mean?”

He pulled her closer. “I don't have to wonder anymore. You took so much of what I was, A'met , that I wasn't sure what was left. I didn't know what I was.”

“You're a hero,” she said, resting her nose against his cheek.

“I love you, Bulma.”

She sat up, her eyes wide. “You… you've never… Why would you…?”

“It's time I stop pretending I do not understand what it means. It means I'd die to protect you, and I'd do whatever I had to do to come back to you. I love you, and I love Trunks. Just... Let's not go telling a bunch of people. I have an image to uphold.”

“Love you too, Dad,” Trunks mumbled against his chest.

Vegeta froze in horror, and his mate laughed at him.

 

Chapter Text

Three days, that's how long it took to get Trunks off him. Everytime he thought he finally was about to get a minute alone with Bulma he'd feel a tug on his pants and find that his son had a tight grip on him again. He let it go for the first day; the way he looked it the boy deserved some leeway after the all they'd been through, but his patience soon wore thin.

He started off suggesting the boy 'go play’, and quickly devolved to 'Trunks, go away’ . The boy pretended not to hear him.

Bulma whispered in her husband's ear occasionally when she saw his annoyance reaching critical levels. “Just give him time.”

Chichi wanted everyone to come over for dinner that night, and they agreed. Vegeta took a quick shower, taking a few long minutes to enjoy the simple pleasure. He grabbed a towel and stepped out of the shower, nearly jumping out of his skin when he found Trunks sitting by the door, waiting for him. He'd reached his limit.

“Boy, what ? You haven't been this clingy since you were a toddler, you're too old for this. What good does it do you to be constantly on top of me? I'm done indulging you, leave me alone for five minutes.”

Trunks crossed his arms, eyebrows drawing together. “I'm bringing you with me.”

He didn't understand. “To Kakarot's?”

The boy rolled his eyes. “To heaven. Duh.”

“What are you on about? We're not dying.”

“We could. I found Mom when I got there and I asked where you were and she wouldn't answer me. I asked Miss Chichi and she got all weird and said she wasn't sure they had let you in. So when we die next time I'll take you with me.”

Vegeta rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Trunks, it's going to be a very long time before either of us die again.”

He shrugged. “Maybe. That's okay.”

“Alright then, let's both go jump off a cliff.”

The boy blinked at him. “What?”

“If your only activity in life is waiting to die then what's the point in living? Let's just go get it over with.”

“But I don't want to die yet.”

“Exactly. So leave me alone.”

The boy frowned and grumbled.

Vegeta sighed. “Trunks, we are alive. Part of being alive is not constantly wondering when you're going to die, because if you do it'll drive you mad. Do you understand?”

He nodded, uncertainly.

“Go get ready for dinner before your mother finds out you're behind schedule and kills us both.”

-------------------

 

Bulma had originally said no when he approached her and told her shaken Trunks off his trail and they could be alone for a few minutes. Chichi was nice enough to invite them all over for dinner; they should be visiting with their hosts, not sneaking off into the woods like teenagers. To her surprise, the other woman brought it up unprovoked while she was helping her prepare dinner.

“If you and Vegeta want to slip away for a little while, you can. I'm going to ask Goku to give the boys a bath, and it wouldn't hurt him to take one either.”

Bulma froze at the cutting board, peppers immediately forgotten. “When you say 'slip away'--”

“I mean, go say hello to your husband alone for the first time since he died. One condition, though. Take Goten with you when you go home tonight. He wants one hundred percent of Goku's attention, he wants his whole life story. It's adorable, but… seven years , Bulma.”

Bulma laughed, swearing the boys would have a sleepover at Capsule Corp tonight. “What about Gohan?”

“Gohan isn't as needy, and he's old enough to clear out if he hears things he doesn't want to. Besides, he'd probably head straight for Videl's anyway. Those two are always together, now.”

“Don't worry, Chichi, I'm sure they're being careful.”

Chichi jabbed the knife into her counter, spinning around with wide eyes. “Bulma! You don't think they're already--”

“Uh, probably not,” Bulma blushed nervously, surprised this hadn't occurred to Chichi before. “I mean, a super testosterone-filled half Saiyan seventeen year old with a brand new girlfriend he can fly anywhere with?... Nah, they're not having sex.”

“Goku!” Chichi called, her voice echoing so well in the house that her friend was fairly certain it had been custom built to do so.

She wasn't sure where Goku had been before, but he was probably wrestling with the boys if his muddied state was any indication. He transmitted to the room instantly, shooting her a half-smile.

“Yeah, Chi? Food done?”

Chichi crossed her arms. “Time to be a father, Goku. You missed something important when you were gone and I wasn't going to pick up the slack.”

“The slack for what?”

“You need to give Gohan The Talk .”

Goku blinked innocently, not understanding. “What do we need to talk about?”

She cleared her throat, blushing. “ You know. The Talk .”

He stared, shrugging.

“Chichi wants you to talk to Gohan about sex, Goku,” Bulma snickered.

Goku's eyes went wide. “What? Why?”

“He's spending too much time with Videl. We need to jump on this before he makes me a thirty-six year old grandma.”

“But, Chichi,” Goku balked, “you told me .”

“Yeah, on our wedding night . This is part of his education, the only part you're in charge of--”

“Can't Videl just explain it to him when they get married?”

“What if they don't wait to get married? Besides, Videl had to learn from Mr.Satan, if she knows anything at all. Do you really want to put the fate of your future grandchildren in that clown's hands?”

“Uh, yes?”

“Gohan, your father needs to talk to you!” Chichi yelled.

“Now?” Goku asked, incredulously.

“Yes. Now. Don't tell me you finally learned how to be embarrassed?”

Gohan popped his head. “Yeah, Dad?”

Goku slowly raised two fingers towards his head.

“Don't even think about it, Goku! You're going to stay right here and talk to your son.”

“Am I in trouble?” Gohan asked, looking confused.

“No, you are not,” Chichi assured him. “It's just important that your father talks to you in private. Right now.”

“Why in private?” Goku asked.

“How many times do I have to explain to you that you do not talk about stuff like that in front of other people, Goku? Did you forget everything while you were dead?”

“Gohan, just ask Videl how it works when you get married. It worked for me.”

“Ask her… What?” Gohan blanched. “Wait, is this… oh, no. Please no. You guys are about two years too late.”

Chichi screamed.

“Not like that, Mom! I just mean I've already had this conversation.”

“With who?” She put her hands on her hips.

“Piccolo.”

“Piccolo? Why would you talk to Piccolo about--”

“Dad was dead, we didn't know he was coming back. I had… questions. He gave me the whole spiel about being careful and waiting and everything. I'm covered.”

“And just what does he know about human reproduction? I swear to the gods if you think humans lay eggs I'm going to--”

“Well,” Bulma clapped. “That's about my limit. I'm going to find Vegeta.”

“Hmm? Oh, right,” Chichi nodded, waving her away. “Gohan, I'm going to need to know everything Piccolo told you so I can fix his errors…”

-----------------------

 

Trunks and Goten were wrestling on the lawn with Buu, diving at him only to bounce away ineffectually while the pink monster laughed jovially without throwing a punch. Vegeta was lounging in a lawn chair in Earth clothes; he seemed to be wearing those more often and she didn't want to jinx it by bringing it up. Mr.Satan sat next to him with his daughter, cheering on his odd friend.

Bulma slid up behind him and set her chin on his shoulder, whispering in his ear. “ Cogit'te allet. A'metcora.” I've changed my mind. I want my mate.

She felt his skin hum with electricity as he turned to face her with a wicked smile. He stood up and took her hand wordlessly, pulling her away.

“Where ya goin’?” Mr.Satan called after them. “We've got a bet on how long the boys can keep going--”

“Fuck off,” Vegeta called back, walking faster. It had been far too long.

They'd gone a short way into the trees when she tried to stop him, deciding no one would see them here. He shook his head and kept pulling her along. “No, further. I don't intend to be quiet.”

She giggled, but let him drag her further. They came to a river, the rush of it drowning out some of the wildlife around them. Apparently that was good enough, because he stopped in his tracks, grabbing her hips and hauling her legs up around his waist. Her hands threaded through his hair as their lips met, and she felt herself being pressed gently against the trunk of a large tree.

His hand came to the collar of her dress but she stopped him in time. “No, don't tear our clothes. We still have to go back afterwards, I don't want to go home in Chichi's pantsuit.”

He growled, pulling at the bottom hem to roll it up over her skin. “Then remove it.”

She slid the dress over her head while he shrugged his shirt off. She popped open the buttons of his pants, one hand diving in to grasp him.

He gasped and stepped back, and she paused in confusion. “Vegeta? What?”

“I… I'm not sure, it just…” he thought a moment, and then his eyes went wide. “When you all went to heaven, were your bodies destroyed?”

“I don't think so,” she shrugged. “Our legs were gone and we kind of floated, so I guess we were spirits. It felt the same though.”

“Mine was. Those in hell do not keep their bodies. I was a thin, shapeless spirit until Yama restored me to fight Buu.”

“So?”

“It's an excellent recreation. Everything looks the same, my scars are still here, but… it feels new.”

“New as in… Are you a virgin again?”

“Based on how it just felt when you grabbed me… I believe so.”

“Hell.Yes.”

He rolled his eyes. “It's not literal, Woman. We've been fucking for years.”

“Get back over here,” she grinned, hooking her finger at him.

He snorted, pushing her firmly against the tree and kissing her hard. She winced slightly, and he pulled back. “What?”

“Tree bark. Not comfortable.”

He nodded, reminding himself of how fragile she really was, like a line of smoke he could destroy with his breath alone. He laid her gently on the grass, mouth roaming hungrily across her skin to her breasts as he tugged her bra away, teeth grazing against her.

“There's not enough time,” he grumbled against her as he traveled back up to her neck, “not for what I want to do to you.”

She ran a hand down his spine and rubbed against the stub that had been his tail. “Aw. Yama could have given you your tail back.”

He wasn't paying attention to her words. His mouth hung open and his shoulders quaked as he suspended himself over her. She slid a hand between them and ran a finger against the fabric that still concealed him. He cried out and she cupped her palm around the tip.

“You're dripping through your boxers,” she whispered. “Enough waiting. Come on, I want it.”

He growled softly. “I won't last long. Not like this. I have to able to touch you or you won't get there.”

She knew his pride wouldn't let that happen. In a moment she was on her hands and knees, and he was pushing into her slowly. His arm hooked around her thigh and circled her bundle of nerves while he set a steady pace, snapping his hips into hers. His moans were louder than usual, and she felt his forehead drop against her back.

A'metshone ,” he whispered against her back. “ Usaknolo'te .”

The dual assault soon left her shivering against him, and he'd managed to hold back. Once he felt her reach her end he followed shortly afterward, grunting against her shoulder.

They laid on the forest floor for a while, saying more with silence than they could with words. She finally sat up and looked at him. “What is usaknolo'te? That's a new one.”

He looked slightly embarrassed. “It… It hardly fits our situation. Just meaningless moaning.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Didn't sound meaningless. Is it Saiyan for 'I love you’ or something?”

“You know damn well we don't have a word for that.”

“Then what does it mean?”

He smiled, enjoying having something over her. “To find out you'd have to use one of your favors. Since you stubbornly told me that the Buu affair has wiped our favor slate clean, you'll have to work to acquire one.”

“Dick,” she grumbled.

He chuckled, wiping a bit of dirt from her cheek.

Chapter Text

“Will you stop training, now?” She asked, stretching against their sheets.

He paused, turning to look at her. “What? Why the hell would I do that?”

“Are we not having the same conversation? You just told me a huge moment for you was realizing that Goku was the best. If you'll never beat him then what's the point of constant training?”

He grumbled. “I will continue. Perhaps… one day I will best him.”

She rolled her eyes. “I think you'll just do anything to avoid having to get a real job.”

He chuckled. “I don't need one. I married a rich woman on purpose.”

“Golddigger. I should have gotten a prenup.”

“I will continue my training, and Trunks’ as well. If a threat like Buu ever surfaces again, I plan to be more than a footnote in it's destruction.”

“Honestly? Thank the gods. It gets you out of my hair for half the day.” She ran a hand up his stomach. “And the results aren't awful either.”

He moaned softly. “Don't tease me when these little beasts are in the way,” he grumbled, looking to where Trunks and Goten were splayed out between them. “Goten is eating Trunks’ hair, again.”

Bulma gently rolled Goten's mouth away from her son's head. “I swear he thinks it's pasta. I don't know how these two survived in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber without supervision.”

“There's literally almost nothing to break in there. Well, except the door. Which they broke.

“The way I hear it that was Piccolo's doing. Besides, it probably got fixed when Earth was restored.”

“Excellent. Let's toss them both in there and wait until they're done with puberty.”

“Nah,” she said, kissing Trunks’ head. “We'd miss all the fun parts.”

--------------

 

Of all emotions his mate evoked in him, suspicion was not usually one of them. He trusted her in a way that was foreign to his being, in a way that caused him to run the first time it had reared its head. A'metoselani. The belief that your mate means you no harm.

But she was up to something, dammit.

He could hear it in her lack of speech, in the terse way she would say she was 'busy’. But what could it be? What would she have to hide from him? He knew he was being hypocritical, there was plenty he did not want to discuss with her, if only to spare her the carnal visuals she would not appreciate. But what could be so heinous she felt the need to hide it?

He knew most husbands, upon finding their wives were going to great lengths to hide something, would assume it was another man. He didn't really have that fear. For one thing, she smelled the same. There was a chance she realized just how sensitive his nose was and thought to clean up after an affair, but she carried his scent most times and it'd be hard to fake that. Beyond that, she had stopped Greg dead in his tracks when he'd approached her. He just couldn't see her actually betraying him, much less hiding it long term.

So what then? Should he ask her what it was? That would be giving up, admitting defeat. Not a chance.

He'd have to observe her more closely.

He was sitting in the living room flipping quickly through channels when the first odd occurrence happened. She bounced up to him, hand behind her back. “Close your eyes and open your mouth.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “Is this the beginning of a sex game? I'm on board but you should know Trunks keeps wandering in here.”

She huffed. “Just do it.”

He obeyed, and she stuck a mash of sweet goop in his mouth. He winced, backing away. “The fuck was that?”

“How'd it taste?”

“Disgusting.”

“Okay, but disgusting how?”

“It's sweeter than chocolate and has a hell of an aftertaste.”

She tasted a bit off the spoon. “Huh. I thought it was a bit bitter.”

“What’s it for?”

“A charity drive,” she said too quickly. “I'm tasting samples.”

He decided to play along. “Well, don't choose that one. It's awful.”

She nodded, the pencil behind her ear bobbing dangerously. He smirked; another clue. She only held a pencil back there when she was deep in thought on a project and wanted to be able to jot something down at a moment's notice.

So she was working on something, then. Still, why not tell him about it? She tended to ramble on when she was knee-deep in an invention, but she hadn't said a word.

The next morning something strange happened again. He wandered into the kitchen looking to make breakfast and found her waiting for him, food already prepared. Bulma Briefs did not 'make breakfast for her family’. Sometimes she'd vaguely toss a raw loaf of bread at a toaster, but that was her limit. If they had a big breakfast it was because Panchy cooked; Bulma just didn't have that energy early in the morning.

Yet there they sat, three heaping bowls of oatmeal and fruit. Trunks had no qualms at all; he snatched up a random bowl and dug right in, mumbling something with his mouth full that his father ignored to focus on the issue at hand.

Was his mate trying to poison him?

Probably not. Even if he had done something so egregious that she decided to kill him so soon after their revivals, she couldn't have known what bowl Trunks would grab. He was very sure she wouldn't poison her own son to get back at him. Get back at him for what, though?

He searched his memory of the last week, trying to determine what may have set her off. “Woman, did you change your hair?” He asked. She hated when he missed that.

“Uh, no. Not since last year. Short is always in. It's nothing like that puffball monstrosity I had when I was pregnant.”

He hummed. This was driving him crazy.

“How's your oatmeal, Vegeta?” She asked in a voice she thought was nonchalant.

He paused. “It is...good.”

“Just good? What kind of good? Like, savory, sweet, tarty--”

“Are you trying to murder me, Woman?”

“What?” She laughed. “Why would I murder you?”

He narrowed his eyes. “I have not quite figured that part out yet, but if you'll give me a few hours I'll just apologize for whatever it was and we can move on, no questions asked.”

She laughed again, kissing his head as she went to set her dishes in the sink. “I'm going to be working in my lab today. Let me know if my assistant calls, just buzz me on the intercom.”

“Perhaps I could accompany you to the lab,” he tested her. “You can explain your work in great detail and complain about other human women who get on your nerves while I compliment your technical skills.”

She bit her lip-- those were three of her favorite things. “Uh, raincheck.”

The lab. He had her now.

He waited until she was hard at work, assuming it would be easier to catch her if she was off guard. He stood as still as a predator outside the door, waiting as he heard her writing something furiously. Then he pounced.

“Aha!” He announced as he burst in. “What are you hiding, Woman?”

She'd quickly thrown a white sheet over her work. “Nothing. Fuck off.”

“What, am I not allowed in this room of my house suddenly? I wonder why.”

“You're allowed, but that doesn't mean I want you hanging around. How would you like it if I hung out in the Gravity Room?”

“Your deception is found out, A'met . Reveal your secrets.”

“No.”

“Bulma, now .”

She quirked an eyebrow up at him. “The last time you yelled in my lab like this you ended getting laid for the first time.”

“Do not attempt to distract me.”

She growled, balling up her fists. “Ugh, fine ! You try to do one nice thing around here and you catch crap for it.” She yanked the sheet away, revealing a bunch of spreadsheets that of course he couldn't decipher anyway.

He looked them over anyway, as though the meaning were going to pop out at him suddenly.

She sighed, anger chilling. “It's not finished yet. Because someone is impatient. I had hoped I wouldn't need your help at all, but I'm at a standstill anyway.”

“What is all this?”

She walked across the room and opened a thick glass container. Smoke gushed from it as she pulled something massive into her arms and carried it over to him.

He looked down at it, hardly believing his eyes. He touched, knocked on the outside, and then took it from her hands into his own.

“This… How did you possibly…It's my Blue Fruit.”

She shrugged. “Close to it, but not perfect. Like I said, someone interrupted me.”

He cracked it open and the tart juice hit the air. He took a deep breath, eyes drifting closed.

“Does it smell right?” She asked.

“It smells like…Home. But you've never even tasted it. How could you--”

“You told me what it tasted like. Oranges mixed with cherries but a bit different, more tart and acidic. I worked from there to engineer them. I mean it's a total Frankenstein, you can't grow other fruit from it you have to make them in the lab, but I was getting damn close. I just needed to test it on someone who'd tried it, but I didn't want you to guess what I was doing. I mixed it with some sugar to see if you liked the basic components of it, then I reduced the sugar when I put it in your oatmeal.”

“Why would you…Do this?”

She clearly hadn't expected that question. “You said it was your favorite food in the universe. It's October twenty-ninth.”

His eyebrows pulled together gently. “What does the date have to do with it?”

She rolled her eyes. “November first, Vegeta. We agreed it was your birthday.”

He snorted, a deep laugh echoing out of his chest as he shook his head slowly.

“Well, don't leave me in suspense. You already ruined the surprise. Take a bite.”

He tore into the soft rind of the fruit with his teeth, mouth pulling into a delighted grin as it hit his taste buds. “Nearly perfect. Maybe just a touch more acidic and you're there.”

She clapped her hands once, hard, then ran to write that down. He caught her hand with the pencil still in it, sliding up behind her and pressing himself flush against her body. “Right here, Bulma. I want you right here.”

She giggled, unused to the soft tone in his voice. “You didn't tell me it was an aphrodisiac.”

“It wasn't, before you.”

 

Chapter Text

“Can I try some?” Trunks asked, eyeing the Blue Fruit curiously. He sat cross-legged on their bed watching his father eat while Bulma did her hair across the room.

Vegeta shrugged and put a small piece in his hand. “Yes. But beware that you will have no more until I get my fill, and they take days to grow. Don't get hooked.”

Trunks popped it in his mouth and then scrunched up his face. “Ew. No problem, that's gross.”

Vegeta huffed slightly, taking another large bite. “Good. More for me.”

“You gotta open mine now, Dad,” Trunks said, brandishing a bright green package at him.

Vegeta took it and pulled the wrapping away. He turned the coffee cup over in his hands. “'World's Best Dad’? Which world?”

“Huh,” Trunks said, rubbing the back if his head. “Mom, which world?”

“Earth, you goobers,” she called, setting a bobby pin in place.

“That seems unlikely,” he said. “I would probably be the World's Best Dad on Selphirnos. The males eat their young there if given a chance.”

“Yeah you're better than that,” Trunks assured him. “You only threaten to eat me, you wouldn't do it.”

“What do you think happened to your older brother?”

The boy rolled his eyes. “That joke wasn't even funny the first time.”

“Poor Vegeta Junior,” Bulma agreed, tutting. “If only he had eaten all his vegetables and not talked back so much we wouldn't have had to eat him.”

“You guys are so lame,” he said, taking the mug back. “Do you have a marker in here?”

“I think there's one in your mother's top drawer.”

Bulma cleared her throat loudly. “Maybe Trunks shouldn't explore my top drawer?”

“Oh,” he said quickly, stopping Trunks’ hand halfway. He held a hand over the boy's eyes and grabbed it himself, avoiding an awkward conversation.

Trunks ignored the odd behavior; he was starting to get the feeling his parents were hiding things from him and he had no desire to find out what those things were. He pulled the lid off with his teeth and made some adjustments to the mug before spinning it back around. He'd crossed out 'World's’ and wrote 'Saiyan’ between Best and Dad.

“Ha,” Vegeta spat, taking the mug. “Suck it, Kakarot. That's what you get for taking a seven year break.”

“To be fair, he was dead,” Bulma reminded him.

“We've all been dead. It didn't take us that long to get back. Do you doubt my new title, Woman?”

“I think Gohan might have a thing or two to say about it,” she teased.

“It says 'Best Saiyan Dad'. Not ‘Best Namekian Dad’. He hasn't got a leg to stand on.”

She laughed. “You're in a good mood for once.”

“Of course I am. Because this is half of my present from Trunks. What's the other half, Boy?”

“I fuck off to Goten's for the day so you and Mom can do mushy stuff.”

“Correct.”

“Vegeta! I told you stop encouraging him to swear.”

“I thought I could swear on Dad's birthday?”

Vegeta shook his head. “No, you can swear on your birthday.”

No , he cannot,” Bulma chastised him with a smile. “Oh my gods, go back to grumpy, normal Vegeta. I can't deal with you like this. I'll be at the office for about an hour, then I'll came back and call Chichi to let her know you're on the way to you're campout, Trunks.”

The boy crossed his arms. “It's not a real campout. It's super fake. Chichi just lets us put a tent up in the living room.”

“Hmm. Well maybe now that Goku's back you guys will go on a real camping trip sometime.”

Trunks’ eyes went wide. “Really! Wow! Dad, you could come with us!”

Vegeta opened his mouth to protest, but Trunks was already jumping from the bed, a huge grin on his face.

“We can plan it with Goku tonight! A giant Saiyan camping trip! We can fish and fight and light a campfire…” His voice trailed off as he ran down the hallway.

Vegeta stared at his wife. “Woman, what did you just do?”

“It's a cute idea.”

“I'm not going.”

“Yes, you are.”

“I'm not .”

She put her hands on her hips, a scowl falling over her face. He knew this fight was far from over, and he was starting to doubt his ability to win.

----------------

 

He held out for four days.

“If I wanted to sleep on the ground I wouldn't have stayed on your pathetic planet. Earth has its downsides, but soft beds are not one of them. I'm not going,” he said firmly, laying back on one arm as he stared at the ceiling.

“Yes. You, are,” she huffed, arms crossed. “It's for Trunks, you can manage it.”

“It's pointless.”

“The boys are excited. That's the point. You know, we're only going to get a few more years of them being excited to spend time with their fathers. Pretty soon Trunks will hit the stage where he thinks you're lame and tries to fight you all the time.”

“That stage sounds fantastic, let's jump to that.”

“You're going because you love your son and you need time to bond.”

“Then I will take Trunks camping. Alone.”

“And leave poor Goten out? No way.”

“Fine. I will take Trunks and Goten.”

“And leave out Goten's family?”

I do not want to share a tent with Kakarot . The man probably snores like a buzzsaw.”

“Then we'll buy two tents,” she insisted. “Besides, knowing Goku he'll probably just sleep outside on the ground. He's always been able to sleep anywhere. I thought you two got along now?”

“I do not actively want to kill him.”

“Aw.”

“That doesn't mean I want to spend two days stuck with him.”

“Well, here's the bottom line. Goku, Gohan, Goten and Trunks are going camping. If you don't go Trunks will feel out of place, and he really wants to go.”

“As many times as we've taken care of his brats--”

“You know, Trunks already thinks Goku is really cool.”

He narrowed his eyes. “No, he doesn't. Trunks is smarter than that.”

“You taught him that fighting is everything, and Goku is really strong. After he went Super Saiyan Three he went up about a thousand cool points with him. I'm sure Goku’s going to have to tell a lot of stories about what Other World is like, and that's just going to make him more interesting,” she said, examining her nails innocently. “I just hope Trunks doesn't start idolizing him and acting like a tiny Goku. You know, in lieu of any other male figure he could be bonding with.”

“Goddamnit.”

Chapter Text

“I'm happy I'm back, don't get me wrong. I missed home-cooked meals, and home too. I just wish there were more challenging places to train around here. They had fantastic training equipment in Other World. I don't even break a sweat training in normal gravity. Plus there's nothing heavy enough to lift. I tried to use the house but Chichi got real mad because it broke all of her dishes--”

“Then train somewhere else, Kakarot,” Vegeta said through gritted teeth. Two hours into this ordeal and he was already rueing his decision. “You can transmit literally anywhere.”

He rubbed the back of his head nervously. “I think Chichi wants me home. She's a little sore about me being gone so long; she says I need to start working to pay the bills. Something about me being gone seven years really upset her.”

“I can't imagine why,” he said flatly.

“Right? She sure wasn't upset at first, she was super glad to have me back. Last time she paid that much attention to me was before the Cell Games, and that's why we have Goten,” he laughed, gesturing to where the two boys were flying ahead of them.

Vegeta shivered with disgust. “Kakarot, I have heard far too much about your sex life from our wives already.”

Goku's eyes went wide. “What? They talk about that kind of stuff?”

“They talk, and she tells me of all people. The Woman needs more friends if I have begun to look like an appropriate gossiping companion.”

“Dad!” Goten called. “That's a big open space, should we camp there?”

Goku hummed. “Let’s look for somewhere with a lake or a river so we can get some fish, I'm starving.”

“Kay,” he yelled back, retaking the lead with Trunks.

Goku smiled. “The boys sure are excited. When I was a kid camping wasn't a big deal. I just slept wherever I got tired. Trees, grass, sometimes a village if I made some friends. It's all fine” He paused. “Except snow. It's pretty cold in the north.”

“I also slept anywhere. These children are spoiled Earthlings to think sleeping outside is an event,” he agreed. He wasn't about to admit how much he had grown attached to his soft bed and how sorely he'd miss it tonight.

Both the Saiyans turned their heads back slightly as they felt an energy level approaching. “Ah, there's Gohan.”

“Why didn't he leave with us?”

Goku grinned. “Because of Videl, of course. It was hard enough to convince him to ditch her for a few days, they took forever to say goodbye.”

Vegeta rolled his eyes. “Fantastic. We get to spend our trip with a lovesick teenager.”

“I don't really get it, Chichi and I were never like that. Were you ever lovesick over Bulma?”

“Of course not! Full blooded Saiyans don't bother with such nonsense,” he said, trying not to think of his words from the previous night as he laid with her.

--------------------

 

Once the fishing poles came out they stayed out…for about an hour. There had been no bites, and these were not patient beings.

Goku had his hands up dramatically as Goten and Trunks vibrated with excitement, stretching on the bank.

“Alright, here's the rules. You guys get five minutes to catch all the fish you can and put them in piles on the ground. We'll judge the winner on the number and size of your fishes.”

“What's the winner get?” Trunks asked.

“The winner get to eat and the loser is eaten,” Vegeta said.

Trunks laughed. “I don't want to eat Goten. He'd be stringy.”

“Nuh-uh, I'm gonna eat you, Trunks.”

“Nobody's eating anybody, your moms would kill us,” Goku laughed. “How about winner gets to eat the biggest, tastiest fish?”

The boys nodded enthusiastically, neither really needing an incentive to try to beat the other.

“Alright… Go!”

The boys dived into the lake, immediately searching for fish. Goku plopped down next to their tents next to Vegeta and Gohan, rubbing his hands together as the first fish started to fly out. “Maybe now we'll get some grub.”

“I certainly hope so. We have eaten all of the marshmallows,” Vegeta said, tossing the empty bag away.

“I think those were supposed to be for tonight,” Goku admitted guiltily. “People roast marshmallows at night, right Gohan? Gohan?”

The teen jumped like he'd just noticed he wasn't alone. “What? Huh? Oh, yeah, you roast marshmallows at night.”

“Are you okay? You don't seem like yourself today.”

A slow blush crept up Gohan's neck. “It's nothing. Just got a lot on my mind.”

“Videl's pretty small to take up so much room in your head,” Goku teased him with a grin. “Can I help?”

Gohan laughed sheepishly. “I guess I just… I mean you're both…” he took a deep breath, obviously bringing something to the surface that had been bubbling beneath it a while. “Maybe you guys can help me. How did you… know you wanted to get married?”

They Saiyans stared at him for a long moment. Vegeta broke first.

“Are you insane ?”

“Probably,” Gohan admitted. “I just can't stop thinking about it.”

“That's great , Gohan!” Goku cut in. “When do you think it'll be? Your Mom was going to have me start planting next week but if you get married on the weekend she'll probably let me skip another--”

“Woah!” The teen cried, holding up his hands. “I didn't say I was getting married. At least not right this second.”

Goku shrugged. “Why wait?”

“Why wait?” Vegeta mocked. “He's a child! Are you even old enough to get married, Boy?”

“I turn eighteen next month, and Videl's a few months older than me. It'd be legal then.”

Goku rubbed his chin. “What if I signed something, could you get married earlier?”

Gohan gulped. “I can wait a few months, Dad.”

“Kakarot, why are you encouraging this? It's a terrible idea!”

“What? Why?”

“They've been dating for what, a month? Besides, they're too young. You shouldn't immediately commit to the first girl who smiles at you, Gohan.”

“How many girls did you date before you married Bulma?”

Vegeta growled. “I'm not on trial, here! I was over thirty, I had plenty of time to weigh my options.”

“I don't see the big deal, Vegeta. Chichi and I were that age when we got married. It's awesome, Gohan. There's a big party and a lot of food and dancing; I bet Mr.Satan would pay for that. Then you're married and you and Videl can live together all the time!”

“Mom said you proposed to her. How'd you do it? I can't even imagine how I would get the courage to ask.”

“Well… I proposed on accident, actually.”

“How the hell do you accidently ask a woman to marry you?” Vegeta asked.

“When we were kids she asked me if I wanted a bride, and I said sure… Because I thought it was a kind of food.”

“Oh,” Gohan said. “Well, I can't do that. How did you propose, Vegeta?”

“I didn't. Earthling marriage meant nothing to me as we were already mated. I told her if she wanted to get legally married I would not object.”

“Bulma's talked about that before. What does 'mated’ actually mean?” Gohan asked.

“I ‘married’ her in the Saiyan tradition. You say one vow and it's over. No ridiculous party is required.”

“Hey, can I do that?” Goku asked. “Chichi mentioned something about Saiyan marriages, I bet she'd love it to know we were married both ways.”

“I cannot speak the vow, so you'd have to learn it in Saiyago and understand it perfectly.”

Goku laughed nervously. “On second thought, I think I'll stick to the Earthling way. It worked out for me, and we've been married way longer than you guys.”

“Kakarot, in the twentyish years you've been married, how many years have you actually lived with your wife?”

“Uh…” he counted on his fingers. “Let's see, it was a year until Gohan was born, then I died when he was four. I came back for three years before the Androids and Cell…So, about eight, I think.”

“I have lived with the Woman since before Trunks was born with an occasional day or two away for training, so I don't want to hear about your ‘experience’. Don't rush into it, Boy.”

The two piles of fish on the bank had risen while they talked, and when Goku thought they were tall enough to feed the group he called for them to stop. Both boys popped out of the water and collapsed on the shore, gasping for breath and coughing slightly.

Goku stacked some logs together, ready to cook their meal, but the boys let out a whine of protest. “Wait, Dad, who won?” Goten cried out.

“Oh, right,” he said, forgetting it was a contest. “Well, why don't we say you both won? We all get to eat.”

“Oh come on, what a rip-off,” Trunks grumbled.

“Just be happy we brought you on this pointless trip in the first place,” Vegeta snapped.

“Yeah, we're having fun,” Goku said. “Who cares if Goten won a silly contest?”

“What?” Vegeta balked. “You must be joking. Goten did not win.”

“He clearly got more fish, Vegeta.”

“You said the competition was on number and size. Trunks’ fish are much bigger, he clearly went for quality over quantity.”

“That's right!” Trunks nodded.

“Even if they are larger fish, Goten's pile is bigger.”

“Bullshit!” Trunks and Vegeta said at the same time.

Gohan calmly covered his ears as the argument escalated. He could wait-- a little while at least. But he knew it wouldn't be too long. He smiled.




Chapter Text

They didn't have any marshmallows left, but at least they had enough fish to roast for a good long while. The night grew colder than they had expected, even gathered around their blazing fire. Trunks and Goten sat like they were glued together to stay warm, and they scooted closer and closer to Vegeta until they sat back against his legs. Vegeta grumbled slightly but didn't kick them away.

“Hey, Vegeta?” Gohan asked as the last pile of fish started to sizzle. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Mmm? What? Fine.”

“Did it get this cold on Vegetasei?”

The group went silent and all looked at him. A long moment passed, and then Gohan lowered his head apologetically.

“Sorry, it's just that you're the only one of us who was ever there long enough to remember anything about it.”

“Vegetasei did not get cold. It was warm or hot at all times.”

“Huh,” Gohan said thoughtfully. “Maybe that's why we get cold so easy.”

“Did it look like Earth?” Trunks asked.

“Not particularly. What is green here was red on Vegetasei.”

“Could have been some kind of mutated chlorophyll,” Gohan said.

“The legends said it was the blood of civilizations we slaughtered to earn our planet. I didn't necessarily believe them. Then again, I wasn't sure the legends of the Super Saiyans were true either.”

“It's weird to think we could have all lived there; if it hadn't been destroyed, of course,” Gohan said. “Do you remember any of it, Dad?”

Goku furrowed his brow, trying to remember. “ No, I don't remember anything like that.”

“How far back can you remember, Dad?” Goten asked.

“I remember Grandpa carrying me one day. There wasn't anything special about it, it was just a normal walk. I sat in a little pack on his back, and when we got home we had fruit and cheese for dinner. It was a good day,” he smiled.

“That's the brain damage,” Vegeta scoffed. “You're a Saiyan. You should remember further back than that.”

“Yeah, I can remember way back,” Trunks agreed. “I can even remember meeting you before you died. You knew who my Dad was already and Mom was surprised. Then you were sick for a while.”

“Wow,” Goku muttered. “I didn't know I was missing pieces. I guess that's a good thing though; if I didn't hit my head I could've done some real damage to the Earth. It's weird to think you were paying attention way back then, Trunks.”

“Yeah, it was weird. Mom was busy a lot, and I didn't really see Dad. I remember Mom and I were flying, and then I remember falling. It was okay, though, some guy caught us. He was kind of lame, he had this half-jacket with a popped collar and this bright purple-- Holy shit was that me !? Oh my gods no, he dressed like such a dork!”

Gohan laughed. “Don't worry, Trunks, I remember him better. He was cool.”

“Said the Great Saiyaman ,” Trunks grumbled, unconvinced.

------------------------



“And then we hiked up this really long trail early the next morning,” Trunks continued with a mouthful of food. “Then when we got to the top of the mountain we fused into Gotenks and got to fight Gohan for a while. I didn't get bit at all but Goten is covered in mosquito bites--”

“He's sweeter than you,” his mother interjected, tossing another sandwich in front of them. Vegeta sat next to him at the table, eating silently while still clothed in his camping gear. They'd been starving the minute they walked in the door; there simply weren't enough fish in that lake to feed two full Saiyans and their three, growing, halfbreed sons.

“And we ate all the marshmallows in the first hour,” he continued, wanting to fill her in on everything she'd missed. “And Gohan's going to ask Videl to marry him soon.”

Vegeta choked on his sandwich and Bulma's eyes went wide. “How do you know that?” Vegeta asked.

Trunks shrugged. “He told me and Goten after we fought. He said if he gets married soon we could be ring bearers, because he wants Piccolo as his best man.”

“So much for waiting,” Vegeta grumbled.

Bulma didn't share his reservations. “Holy crap! A wedding! Wedding planning , I didn't think I'd get to that again for another decade. Trunks, get married young.”

Trunks stuck out his tongue in disgust.

“Woman, he has a mother. You don't have to plan anything, just show up and eat. Or don't. Would we really have to--”

“Yes, we'd have to go to Gohan's wedding, you grouch. Chichi will still need my help, Videl doesn't have a mother so I an promoting myself to honorary mother-in-law.”

“Then you might want to stop Gohan from another part he has planned,” Trunks winced. “He wants to get married in his Saiyaman costume. Headband and glasses and all.”

“Over my cold, dead body. I'm on top of it.” Bulma promised. “Trunks, why don't you go put your clothes in the hamper and unpack your suitcase?”

“Okay,” he agreed, hopping down and grabbing his bag as he headed to his room.

Bulma slid up behind Vegeta when they were alone, sliding her arms over his shoulders. He leaned back slightly, closing his eyes. “Was it really so awful?” She asked.

“I was right. Kakarot snores. He sounds like a goddamn propeller.”

“You lived. And Trunks seems happy. He won't forget this, you know. When he's being a typical teenager in a few years and starts on about how you never do anything for him you can fire this trip at him like a cannonball.”

“That sounds good for the long term, but I prefer immediate gratification. What do I get from you?”

“A pretty hefty favor,” she promised.

“Good. I like being ahead of you.”

She rolled her eyes. “You know, you could just tell me what usaknolo'te means without a favor. Just to be nice .”

“Not likely,” he snorted.

------------------------

 

Gohan was studying in his room when he heard the front door slam open. His immediate instinct was panic, and he powered up almost immediately. Mom had convinced Dad to drive her to the store, and Goten was at Capsule Corp; there should be no one in his house right now. What idiotic thieves would come all the way up here though? He approached the entryway cautiously, ready to defend their home from whatever it was.

He did not expect to find the heiress of Capsule Corp standing fiercely by the door she'd just kicked open. He powered down quickly. “Bulma? What are you--”

“Is Chichi home?”

“Uh, not right now.”

“Good, she should get to hear the news in a better way than I did. You and I need to have a conversation.”

“News? What news?”

“Are you or are you not planning to pop the question to Videl?”

He blushed. “I mean, I was thinking about it…”

“Then we've got work to do. First things first; you are not getting married in your Saiyaman costume.”

“I just thought that--”

“No. Bad Gohan. No.”

“Can we compromise?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Compromise how?”

“I won't try to get married in my outfit, if you make one for Videl?”

She sighed. “ Why?”

She thinks it's really cool, and she wants to fight with me as Saiyagirl. Isn't she great.”

“She definitely is… right for you. Now how are you going to pop the question?”

“I don't know. I figured I'd just go to her house and ask her.”

She crossed her arms. “Just like that? No drama, no romance, nothing? Even Vegeta agreed to marry me outside on a picnic blanket under the stars. You can do better, Gohan.”

“Okay,” he laughed nervously. “Then how do I ask her?”

Bulma drummed her fingers on the back of the house. “We’re going to need to have a barbecue.”

 

Chapter Text

“I need a favor,” she said, kissing up the side of his neck to butter him up.

“You have none saved. I still have two pending.”

“Would you like three?” She asked, sliding her fingertips down his side.

“I suppose that would depend on the nature of the favor you're seeking.”

“I need you to help me by running interference to allow me to strategically deceive my intended target.”

“Out with it, Woman.”

“Distract Videl so I can steal Gohan for a few hours.”

“No.”

“Come on,” she goaded him. “It won't be that hard. She's a fighter. Just fight her. Tell her as long as Gohan is helping me the two of you should train.”

“I have no interest in training with Videl Satan, much less in doing it for hours.”

“Maybe not, but you have interest in me ,” she teased him, a hand gliding suggestively over the waistband of his sweatpants.

“Are you whoring yourself out for human babysitting now?” He smirked.

She shrugged. “Yeah, but only to my husband, so it's fine.”

His eyes closed as her hand wrapped around him. “I don't see why you're so obsessed with Gohan's love life.”

“I have to take care of him. I've only got three official subjects.”

“Subjects?”

“Well, I'm the unofficial Princess of All Saiyans, and also the Queen of Earth, and therefore humans. Gohan, Goten, and Trunks are mine, and to a lesser extent the rest of humanity are, too.”

“Leaving me with who? Kakarot?”

“It's not my fault you blasted Nappa.”

He snorted. “Fantastic. The state of my kingdom has never looked grimmer. Faster.”

She complied and he let out a low groan. “You have me, too,” she mumbled in his ear.

“Not to command. You do not respond well to orders.”

“Finally discovered that have you? I'm still here next to you, and I don't plan on moving.”

“You had better plan on moving. You need to be on top of me in less than a minute or I'll have to pin you to the bed and have you that way.”

She rolled over him, teasing the tip against her. “Just keep her busy for a few hours?”

He grumbled. “And I receive both you now and a favor later?”

She eased down over him. “Yep.”

“Fine,” he mumbled, reaching out to guide her hips. “You're a pain in my ass, Woman. Now ride me.”

---------------------

 

“Gohan! Videl!” Bulma gushed in mock surprise. “How lovely to see you both! What brings you to Capsule Corp?”

Gohan was not a great liar, and he looked very uncomfortable as he held a basket out to Bulma stiffly. “I am returning Mom's picnic basket, I mean your picnic basket that Mom borrowed, that is yours, because she doesn't need it anymore because she already had the picnic, which is the reason she borrowed it in the first place, to have the picnic, but it's yours.”

Bulma plastered a smile on her face; poor kid had his father's acting skills. “Well I'm glad to see you here. Vegeta was just saying he wanted someone to train with today. Maybe you could both spar with him.”

“That sounds great!” He said too loudly, taking Videl's hand. “Doesn't that sound great, Videl?”

She shrugged and nodded with a small smile, obviously happy to just spend the day with him no matter what he wanted to do. Vegeta grumbled in the background, slouched on the couch with his training gear already on.

“Oh, shoot!” Bulma said dramatically. “Vegeta was going to fly me to the store real fast to pick up lunch, but if he's training with you guys I don't have a ride.”

“Don't worry, we can wait--” Videl started, but Gohan jumped in.

“Hey Bulma why don't I run you to the store and Videl can stay here and start sparring with Vegeta?”

“That's a great idea, Gohan!” Bulma agreed, taking his hand and pulling him towards the door.

“I'll come with you,” Videl said, starting to follow them.

“No!” Gohan said quickly. “I mean, you don't have to do that. Just hang out with Vegeta, we'll be back soon,” he smiled, waving at her as Bulma pulled him away.

When they were gone Videl crossed her arms, clearly annoyed. She looked at the Saiyan and grimaced. “Have we actually… met?”

“We were both at the tournament,” he said. “Beyond that, not really.”

“Right, you're the father of the boy who beat Goten.”

He nodded.

She huffed. “Care to explain to me why my boyfriend just ditched me hang out with your wife?”

He wasn't being compensated enough to lie, but he decided to bend it a little. “He wants to buy you a present.” Technically true.

The anger faded to confusion. “What?”

“He's fond of you for whatever reason, and he asked for Bulma's assistance in buying you a present. You live too close to the shopping district and they were afraid you'd see them if they didn't leave you with a distraction. Which is me, apparently. I'm not good at it.”

“Obviously,” she chuckled, sitting down across from him. “Did you actually want to fight me then?”

“Fuck no.”

“Good. The big goof. He doesn't have to buy me things. As far as I'm concerned I'll pay for everything. It's not like we don't have the money for it.”

“He should enjoy that. So far marrying rich has worked out well for me.”

She snorted. “So what, you're like Bulma's alien trophy husband?”

“Isn’t that what you hope Gohan ends up being?” he mocked her.

She blushed. “I don't… I mean I do kind of but… but we've only been--” she stammered. “Dammit. Forget we had this conversation and I won't tell your wife you did a shit job at distracting me.”

“Agreed.”

“Do you have anything to eat around here?”

He smirked. Maybe the girl wasn't as annoying as he thought she'd be.

------------------------

 

“I don't know,” Gohan muttered, peering closely at the rings in the wide display case. “They're all so expensive, Bulma.”

She rolled her eyes. “I told you not to look at the prices, Gohan. I literally have enough money to buy this whole store as an impulse purchase. Just pick out what she would like.”

The sales associate helping them looked like she was going to have a heart attack, but Gohan shifted uncomfortably. “Bulma, I can't just let you--”

“Do you believe in Karma, Gohan? Do you know what it is?”

“I think so. It's the spiritual belief that whatever actions we take make corresponding energy that--”

“Do a good thing, get a good thing. You did a damn good thing, Gohan.”

He looked confused.

“Gohan, you literally saved the Earth at eleven .”

“Oh,” he laughed sheepishly, “it's been a while.”

“You really think it's a coincidence that Mr.Satan took credit for your good deed and seven years later your planning a proposal to his daughter? I sure don't. It's the universe balancing things back out, and I'm here to help it happen. Aunt Bulma, love expert. Now pick her a rock.”

Gohan mumbled another thank you, rubbing the back of his neck. “What would you like, Bulma? Did Vegeta get you a ring?”

“I bought my own ring,” She said, brandishing a large diamond. “I offered to get Vegeta a wedding band but he said it would get in the way of training. He offered to get a tattoo on his hand but that's bad luck so I said no.”

Gohan balked. “Vegeta offered to get a tattoo? Of what, your name?”

“No, it would've just been a mark around his finger. He said he assumed Earthlings wear rings after marriage to signify they are no longer on the market, and he was willing to get the tattoo to inform women not to approach him. I mean, he's not entirely wrong . I told him it didn't matter much to me and he dropped it. He can be sweet sometimes.”

“Okay,” Gohan said, clearly skeptical. “So the big diamonds are better?”

“Depends on the girl. Does she like expensive things?”

“Her family has boatloads of money,” he said. “But I don't think I've ever seen her wear jewelry before.”

“Hmm. Alright, forget Videl's tastes for a minute. What do you like?”

He looked over the display, giving it some serious thought. “Ma'am, can I see that one?” He asked, pointing at a dull grey band with a diamond inlaid in the top.”

“An excellent choice,” the woman smiled, already counting up her commission in her head as she set it out for him. “This is actually one of our most unique pieces. This is a four carat diamond with exceptional clarity, and the band itself is made from meteorite.”

Bulma grabbed his shoulder, gasping excitedly. “Meteorite! Space alien wedding .”

“I'm not actually an alien, Bulma, I was born here.”

Asaya , I'm formulating a theme. Oh, a wedding under the stars! With all of Mr.Satan's popularity I'm sure the guest list will be--”

“Can we just focus on the actual proposal? Because I'm still not sure how I'm supposed to ask her. What if she says no?”

Bulma shook her head softly. “Gohan, I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this. I like being sweet Aunt Bulma, not cougar Aunt Bulma. She's not going to say no because you're a complete babe .”

He stammered.

She laughed, nodding to the sales associate that they would be purchasing the ring and having it sized. “Trust me, Gohan. You have no reason at all to be nervous. The barbecue is in a month, and we'll have everything ready by then. She'll say yes, and you'll live happily ever after.”

“I hope so,” he muttered. He knew how his life worked. Anything that could go wrong, would.

 

Chapter Text

Vegeta finished his training about four that afternoon, a bit earlier than usual because he knew they were going out to eat tonight. That was a rare occasion for them; Bulma did not like to subject restaurants to her ravenous family without a lot of prior warning.

He was walking towards his shower when a very faint voice reached his ears from far across the building. It had been a while since he heard it, but he knew it well enough.

Yamcha.

“This is great Bulma, thank you so much!”

A primal jealousy shivered up his spine, but he pushed it down. Even he could admit the chances of Bulma betraying him with the old flame were slim to none. On Vegetasei, sure, Yamcha's very presence in his home would justify the human's murder due to his past relationship with his mate. This was not Vegetasei. Unfortunately.

Apparently on Earth it was acceptable to 'stay friends’ after a breakup, and Bulma had insisted on it. When she heard Vegeta grumbling she reminded him that she had dated Yamcha longer than she had even known the prince, so of course he was still a part of her life.

He did not enjoy those reminders.

At least he'd pass that mark soon. Yamcha may always have the trophy of knowing her the longest, but not fucking her the longest. Besides, she'd never deemed the Weakling worthy of marriage in all that time. That put his nerves somewhat to rest. It did not stop him from immediately following the sound of the unwelcome guest's voice.

He found them in the garage next to a cherry red sports car that Yamcha was still examining. The human slapped his hands together excitedly as that cat that followed him around hovered over the hood.

“Bulma, you're the best!” Pu'ar chirped.

“I know,” she shrugged nonchalantly.

Yamcha laughed and turned to wrap her in a hug. A deep, automatic growl rumbled in Vegeta's throat, alerting them to his presence. Yamcha jumped back guiltily, holding his hands up to show they hadn't been anywhere forbidden.

“Hey, Vegeta!” Yamcha choked out in strained innocence. “I was just thanking Bulma for being a fantastic platonic friend.”

Bulma rolled her eyes. “Relax, Vegeta. If I decide to run off to Jamaica with Yamcha you'll be the first to know.”

“Are you sure you won't let me pay for it, Bulma?” Yamcha asked. “I was just hoping for a little discount; I make plenty with the baseball team. I really wasn't hinting towards a free car.”

“I've missed a few of your birthdays,” she said to them both. “Let's just call us square. You're gonna come to my barbecue, right?”

“Of course! In this baby!” He laughed, slapping the hood.

Yamcha and Pu'ar waved goodbye as they drove away. Vegeta stood next to Bulma watching the pair pull down the driveway.

“That car is shaped like a penis.”

“I know,” she sighed. “I told him to pick any of my fleet and that's the one he wanted.”

“Why is it shaped like a penis?”

“I'm afraid he's having a little bit of a midlife crisis. That's when Earth men think they're getting old and they cling to immature things and cars shaped like dicks.”

“Is he compensating for something?”

“I'm still not going to tell you Yamcha's dick size, stop asking.”

“I will use up one of my favors here and now to know.”

She sighed. “He's about an inch and half smaller than you.”

He laughed loudly.

“Hey, that still doesn't leave him very small,” she reminded him. “Leave the poor guy alone. He had some fun being a manslut and now he wants to start over and settle down. I think it's good for him.”

Vegeta looked like he was about to raise an objection, but it stalled on his lips.

“What?”

“What is…What's with the cat? I thought after some time on Earth I would understand but I still don't. I have seen nothing on the television--”

“Just let it go.”

“What gender is it, even? Does it consider itself his wife? Best friend? Sibling? I don't--”

“I know that they have been friends a very long time. I don't think it's ever been romantic in any way, but Pu'ar treats him like a god. I can't explain it.”

“And while we're on the subject, Triclops and Little Bald Not-Krillin One--”

“You know their names.”

“What the hell is that? Is he his son? Brother? Pet? No matter where he goes it's just assumed Chiaozu goes with him, it's bizarre.”

“Stop making fun of my friends, Vegeta, I'm warning you. You're asking questions that just don't need to be asked.”

"Why doesn't Krillin have a goddamn nose! Earthlings must love to sit with wool over their eyes to ignore such--”

“Apes don't have tails.”

He paused. “Excuse me.”

“Oozaru. You call it Great Ape Form. Apes. Don't. Have. Tails. Monkeys have tails. If anything it should be called Giant Monkey Form.”

“I will kill everyone you know.”

--------------------

 

“Your proposal is dangerous, Boy. How do you intend to get away with it?”

Trunks slumped against the bench, fidgeting like he was being tortured. “I don't know. Maybe we pretend I'm sick and you have to fly me home?”

“We used that one last month. She has gotten wise to it.”

Trunks groaned. “Dad, I hate shopping.”

“Really? I'm having the time of my fucking life.” Vegeta said with a deadpan glare.

“Mom can ground me. Why do you stay?”

“She has ways of punishing me.”

“She's so weak. What could she do?”

“It's more about what she won't do. Stop asking questions you don't want the answers to or so help me I'll explain in graphic detail.”

Trunks shut up quickly. Bulma finally finished up in the boutique and came outside, handing them each another bag to carry. “There you guys are. You know, you can come inside the store. It's dogs they want kept outside, not Saiyans.”

“It stinks in there,” Trunks wrinkled his nose.

Bulma was going to tell him off but Vegeta jumped to agree. “Our sense of smell is more sensitive, Woman. That whole store is saturated in perfume so strong it could hide a battlefield after a slaughter. Can we go home now?”

She rolled her eyes. “No, we have to go to the jewelry store.”

“Why?”

“The ring Gohan and I ordered is ready. We have to have it for the barbecue next week. And hey, as long as I'm there I might as well pick out a bauble or two for myself.”

Vegeta gulped, imaging how long that would take. “The Boy is sick.”

Trunks threw himself onto the ground, groaning. “Ugh, I feel terrible. You better take me home, Dad. I think I have brontosaurus.”

“Bronchitis.”

“Yeah, that,” Trunks agreed, coughing into his hand.

Bulma rolled her eyes. “You guys could attempt to be original, or at least change it up. Why not let Vegeta be the one with the mysterious illness this time?”

“I'm dying , Mom,” Trunks said dramatically. “Tell Goten he can have all my toys when I'm dead.”

“Okay,” Bulma shrugged, pulling out her cell phone and dialing quickly.

“What?”

“Hey, Chichi,” Bulma said cheerfully. “Can I talk to Goten? Trunks is dying.”

There was a weary laugh on the other side of the line . “Again?”

“Yep, he wants to give away all his things--”

“Mom, no!” Trunks whined.

“Oh, hang on, he's made a miraculous recovery.”

“Amazing. What a miracle,” Chichi chuckled. “Be good Trunks!” She called as she hung up.

Bulma turned to say something to Vegeta about controlling his son, but when she turned he was gone. She blinked, immediately peering into the sky to see the tiny dot that was her husband speeding away from them.

“Vegeta! Get back here!” she called uselessly.

“Uh, what's that, Dad?” Trunks said cupping an ear and pretending to listen. “Uh oh, sorry Mom. Dad says if not in the Gravity Room in twenty minutes he'll kill me, so I better go with him.”

“Trunks, don't you dare--”

“Have fun at the jewelry store!” Trunks waved, speeding off after his father. She grumbled, carrying her last bag with her as she went on foot to finish her shopping.

---------------------

 

Bulma scooped Goten up as he ran by, holding him at face level with narrowed eyes. “Where is your father?”

Goten shrugged. “He had to keep an eye on some dinosaur eggs today, they're almost ready to hatch.”

Bulma growled, dropping the boy who immediately took off after Trunks. The barbecue was in full swing, and it was every bit exactly what you'd expect from Bulma Briefs. Bots floated around offering food and drinks to her guests. The gardens looked as lovely as ever, and people laughed and joked as they stuffed themselves with their personal favorites. Hell, even Vegeta seemed to be having a good time. He'd sprawled himself out on their old picnic blanket and had a small buffet to himself, and he didn't even gripe when Buu popped over and helped himself to some meat.

Everything was perfect. But where was Goku?

“It's okay, Bulma,” Gohan said, fidgeting nervously. The small box in his pocket felt heavier than the Z Sword, and just as dangerous. “I was being silly. He doesn't have to--”

“You were not being silly, Gohan,” Bulma snapped. “It is perfectly reasonable for you to want your father around when you propose. Your irresponsible deadbeat father.”

“To be fair, it's not like Dad knows we were planning this. He thinks it's just a casual get-together.”

“I have never done anything casual in my life and your father damn well knows it. Ugh, I could kill him!”

“Gohan!” Videl called from across the garden where she stood with her father. “Will you come tell Daddy what you told me about Namek?”

“Coming Videl!” He grinned, waving at her. “Maybe I should just go for it.”

“You wanted Goku here, so we're waiting for Goku. End of story.”

“Okay,” he nodded, wandering away towards Videl.

--------------

 

They were just about to let everyone go for the evening. They'd eaten, they'd talked, Chichi had… danced? At least she'd enjoyed herself. They all moved towards the exit, thanking Bulma for a wonderful time. Gohan met her eye and shrugged. Oh well, he seemed to say without words, maybe next time.

That was the moment Goku decided to arrive. Chichi chewed him out for being gone, as always, and he charmed her into forgiving and feeding him, as always. They didn't actually discuss drawing the barbecue out, everyone just seemed to agree at once. They could stay a little longer if it meant Goku telling them all about the dinosaur eggs he'd been protecting all day.

They all sat together while the Saiyan ate and talked about his strange day. Bulma glanced around, doing a headcount. His parents, Piccolo, Goten, Mr.Satan, and Videl. That was the crowd Gohan had decided he wanted around when he popped the question, and they were all finally here. She forcibly caught the young man's eye and winked, glancing around.

Gohan's face slipped from peaceful to panicking in seconds, and for a moment she questioned her decision to help him make this happen. Maybe he really was too young, just a scared teenager in love who'd learned from his parents to marry young and quickly. Oh gods, what if she did say no because it was too soon? He'd never forgive Bulma for pushing him into it.

But Gohan was nothing if not brave in the face of something that terrified him, and as soon as Goku's story was over he cleared his throat. The group looked at him, and Gohan fought the urge to cringe away.

“So, everyone important is here… I wanted to say that I care about all of you very much.”

Goku smiled and clapped him on the back. “You sure have grown a lot, Gohan. I wonder if--”

Bulma growled. “Goku, I swear to the gods if you do not shut your mouth right now I will tell Chichi to never make you chicken again and she'll agree. She owes me a favor.”

Goku blinked innocently, snapping his jaw closed and and confusedly mumbling an apology through his teeth.

“I care about you all… Especially you, Videl.”

The young woman's eyes went wide, and she blushed slightly. “Gohan, you big softie.”

“No, I mean it. You're really strong-- not that that's all that matters! You're really nice too, and sweet sometimes but scary at other times, which I like.”

“Saiyans like fiesty women, it's in our blood.” Vegeta mumbled from where he leaned against the wall. “It’s why I like the Woman and Kakarot stays with the Harpy-- mmhh!” He grunted out in protest when Bulma slapped a hand over his mouth.

“You were saying, Gohan?” Bulma encouraged.

Gohan was a deep crimson. “So, I like you a lot Videl. I… Wow, I'm really bad at this.”

Videl laughed and put a hand on his shoulder. “Are you trying to say you love me, Gohan?”

He nodded sheepishly.

“I love you, too, Dummy. I have since before I thought you died. I think everyone knows that, you don't have to be embarrassed.”

The group laughed softly and agreed. This was his chance, he could pretend that was his intention the whole time, just to tell the group he loved her. He'd get away with it. Bulma smiled at him understandingly; he could take this out if he wanted.

He didn't.

“That's not why what I wanted to say,” he said boldly, making them all pause. “I wanted to say that I love you, and I wanted to…” he fumbled nervously with the box in his pocket as he got it out and lowered down to one knee.

Chichi screamed. It wasn't in horror, or even encouraging, it was just an automatic reaction. She looked as shocked as everyone else that glanced at her, and she waved them away. “Don't look at me, look at Gohan!”

Her eldest cleared his throat. “If you want to, Videl, I was hoping you would marry me?”

She'd been quiet since the box came out, and now everyone was looking at her, waiting in silence. Her face was a mixture of excitement and confusion, and then she snorted. “Well, duh , everyone, stop looking at me like that. Of course I'll marry you.”

Gohan grinned and stood up to hug her. Their friends cheered, but Buu mostly looked confused, and Mr.Satan looked like he might have a heart attack.

“Are you okay, Daddy?” Videl asked.

He floundered. “Don't get me wrong, you're a good kid, Gohan. But you're both so young--

“Nonsense, they're exactly the age Goku and I were,” Chichi announced, beaming. “And my son had the decency to propose, unlike some Saiyans.”

“Hey, I proposed.”

“Accidentally doesn't count, Goku.”

“I meant at the Martial Arts Tournament--”

“Then where's my ring, Goku?”

He laughed nervously. “I didn't know about that part.”

“Speaking of rings,” Videl said, “do I actually get to see it? You never opened the box.”

“Oh!” Gohan said, showing her the box. “Yeah, here it is.”

He popped the lid open and silence fell again.

“Holy shit ,” 18 muttered.

Krillin sputtered. “You told me you don't like big diamonds.”

“I lied to make you feel better, Krillin.”

Chichi gawked. “Gohan, how did you ever afford--” she stopped, a scowl falling over face as she spun around to face her friend. “Bulma, you knew about this! You knew and you didn't tell me ? I'm his mother!”

“His mother who shouldn't have to worry about anything wedding related. I'm fronting the money for everything, Chichi, so all you have to do is sit back band enjoy the wedding planning.”

“I don't think so!” Mr.Satan snapped. They all looked at him nervously, and Gohan looked about ready to jump out of the window. “I'm paying for my baby's wedding, and that's all there is to it. I still think it's a little soon but…Well I did always say you'd have to marry someone stronger than me, and all the candidates that match that description are in this room. If you're gonna do this you're gonna do it right.”

“Aw. Thanks Dad,” Videl said, squeezing his arm.

Trunks nudged Goten. “Would you tell your brother to stop raising the bar for Saiyans? I don't want to ever have to do this mushy crap.”

 

Chapter Text

“It was not a terrible event,” Vegeta conceded as they laid together. “The food was decent.”

“Um, it was the best freakin’ party I have ever thrown. ‘Not terrible’ my ass. I would've been able to enjoy myself a little more if Goku wasn't so late, but at least the proposal worked out,” she giggled. “I can't believe Chichi said we should trade husbands.”

He shivered. “No, thank you.”

“Well, when you think about it, it really makes more sense. I mean I've known Goku way longer, since he was a little boy. It'd make for a cute little love story.”

“Stop it.”

“You could move in with Chichi, Goten already likes you. Trunks would train with Goku, and oh my gods between your guy's personalities I can't imagine how short-tempered your kids would be--”

“Enough!” He barked, rolling over her and pinning her to the bed.

Her eyes went wide. “Vegeta, I'm joking. Chill.”

“I know you're joking, and I can take the barest suggestion of it, but the idea of Kakarot of all beings taking you from me is not a welcome one.”

She laughed. “As if, Vegeta. You know he's like my kid brother.”

“He could, on Vegetasei.”

She cocked an eyebrow at him and he sighed.

“Kakarot is stronger than me at the moment . If he were an actual Saiyan instead of a buffoon, and he wanted you, there'd be little I could do to stop it. He never took Chichi as a mate, so you could both be his wives. It'd be his choice to issue the challenge that I either die fighting him or give you up willingly, and only cowards gave up without a fight. Technically, being the Prince should make me immune to those types of challenges, but he could argue there is no kingdom and therefore no monarchy. I would still be bound to you as my mate after my death, but what difference would that make if I'm in the ground and he's fucking you on Earth?”

“You know I respect Saiyan culture. I'll learn the language and the customs, hell, I even recreated your damn Blue Fruit. But everything you just said was fucking dumb and I won't support this fear.”

He snorted.

“First off, it's pointless. As you like to put it, Goku isn't a ‘real Saiyan’. He's definitely never heard of that custom, and he'd have no interest in it if he did. Secondly, you think Goku wants a second wife? I love Chichi, but he's got his hands pretty damn full with her. Besides, he barely has a sex drive the way I hear it, he couldn't even handle two of us. Thirdly, I want you to look me in the eye and tell me that if Goku killed you and took me that he would ever have another moment of peace in his life. I'd make it a living hell, he'd envy you for being dead.”

He chuckled softly. “I suppose.”

“Duh. There's a reason I was single at twenty-five; no one but you can take my shit without running.”

“You were thirty when we met.”

“That's impossible because I'm only thirty-five now.”

He narrowed his eyes. “You were thirty-five when the boy was four.”

“Don't question Earth women about their age, Vegeta.”

----------------------------



It was early morning, and Trunks was still sitting in his pajamas as he ate his cereal. He and Goten had started a local public school together on what the adults called a ‘probationary period’, meaning if they had one report of the two causing any sort of havoc they'd be pulled out and thrown back into homeschooling with Chichi. Vegeta drank his coffee black as always and turned up his nose at his wife's cappuccino.

“Why don't you just inject the sugar directly into your bloodstream?”

She smiled saccharinely. “It's this extra sugar that makes it possible for me to deal with your grumpy ass. Trust me, you want me to drink it.”

Trunks mumbled, wishing he could have some coffee but knowing he was strictly forbidden from it after last time. He liked to remind his parents that no one had actually died, and that house had been scheduled to be demolished anyway.

By their standards, it was a peaceful morning. Until Goku instant transmitted directly into their table, one foot landing in Trunks’ cereal bowl.

“Kakarot!” Vegeta barked. “What the hell are you--”

“Oh no, you're all still here!” Goku said with wide eyes. “You have to clear out! Bulma, go to work. Trunks, go to school. Vegeta… just run .”

Vegeta was up in an instant, fists clenched. “What's coming? Is it strong? Stronger than you?”

Goku nodded. “It's Chichi.”

Vegeta paused then snorted and sat back down. Trunks did not look calmer, and he stared at Goku with wide eyes. “What happened?”

“Well…It's hard to explain, but Gohan just told me she's coming, and she's on the warpath. We all have to run.”

Vegeta scoffed. “We will not be running from your woman, Kakarot.”

“Speak for yourself,” Trunks said, quickly hopping down from his chair.

He was too late.

They heard the front door slam open with a bang, and Trunks quickly stepped behind his father.

“Why are you hiding, Boy? What have you done?”

“I don't know yet, but I'm not excited to find out.”

Goku jumped down and backed away towards the counter as Chichi came in looking every bit a Super Saiyan herself. She pulled Goten along by a very red ear, and judging by his pained expression she'd had ahold of it for quite some time.

“Chichi?” Bulma asked. “What's going on?”

“I'll tell you what's going on!” Chichi yelled. “This morning Goten dropped a whole plate of pancakes on the floor. And do you know what he said? Goten, tell then what you said!”

He looked down guiltily.

“I said tell them!”

“I said ‘fuck’."

“Goten! What did I tell you about using that word!” His mother shrieked.

“You told me to!”

“You could have just said 'the f word’!”

“I did say the f word! Isn't fuck the f word?”

She twisted his ear a little, and then turned to glare at Vegeta and the boy cowering behind him. “So which one of you two miscreants was it? Who taught him that word? Bulma's got more restraint, and it sure didn't come from my sweet Gohan.”

All eyes turned to Trunks. “It wasn't me! I can get away with a ‘shit’ every now and then but Mom gets too mad if I say that.”

“And you expect us to believe you never say it out of our presence?” Vegeta asked.

“I’m half convinced it was you, Vegeta,” Chichi said accusingly.

“Are you asking if I swear? Yes, I swear like a goddamn motherfucker, but what's the number one rule for staying in my house, Boys?”

“Never repeat,” the boys said in unison.

“Aha! So it was you! Admit it, Goten.”

Goten shook his head. “I don't even remember Vegeta saying that stuff. He talks funny sometimes, I'm never sure what's Saiyago and what's bad human words so I just ignore it all.”

“Ha!” Vegeta snapped.

“Goten, you tell me who taught you that word right now!”

“No,” the boy said crossing his arms. “I'm no tattle tale.”

“Did you hear it at school? Because I will pull you right out--”

“No! I didn't hear it at school, don't make me come back home!”

“Then where did you get it from?”

Goten shook his head loyally. “I won't tell. Even if you make me leave school.”

Goku cleared his throat loudly and the room looked at him. He rubbed the back of his neck, looking incredibly guilty. “It was me, Chichi.”

“Nice try, Goku. I want a real name and I want one now, Goten.”

“Chichi, it was me. Goten and I were fixing up that old tractor, and a cap was rusted on. I had no problem popping it off, but I went too fast and cut my hand on the jagged edge above it, so I swore. It's my fault, don't pull him out of school.”

“Goku, in all of the years we've been married I've never heard you swear. Once. Do you honestly expect me to believe--”

“Fuck,” Goku said plainly.

Chichi's mouth dropped open and she let go of Goten's ear. “ Goku ! Where did you even learn that word?”

“Chi, I literally spent years of my life with Master Roshi. I know how to swear, I just don't.”

Chichi's face slid from shock to fury, and the Saiyan's eyes went wide. “What were you thinking, Goku! I know you've been an absentee father in the past, but you've never been a bad one.”

“I'm sorry, Chi,” he said, flashing a big smile.

“Oh, no, not a chance. You are not ‘cuting’ your way out of this one.”

“Would you get your marital dispute out of my kitchen?” Vegeta snapped.

Chichi stomped over to her husband, dragging Goten by the hand and then turning him over to his father. “First, you're going to take Goten to school. Then you're coming home, and we are having a long talk.”

“Sorry, Dad.”

“It's not your fault, Goten. I'll meet you at home, Chichi.”

“Darn right you will,” she grumbled as he popped out with Goten. She nodded to the family. “Nice to see you, then, I suppose.”

“I don't get an apology?” Trunks asked.

Chichi scoffed. “Look me in the eyes and tell me you never swear around Goten and I'll apologize.”

Trunks laughed nervously and ran to get ready for school.



Chapter Text

“Come on, Chichi, don't cry,” Goku laughed softly, an arm thrown around her as they stood at the bar. “I thought you were happy about this. You've been working so hard to plan with Bulma and Videl--”

“I am happy,” she insisted, sniffling as she talked faster. “It's great that my baby is all grown up and married and moving out and won't need me anymore and probably won't ever visit because why bother when he has a nice home and a wife who cooks and we only just got you back in the house and now we're losing him and it's all fine .”

Goku looked over the crowded reception hall (mostly filled with Mr.Satan's well wishers and hangers on) until he caught sight of his eldest son at the head table. He flared his energy a moment to draw his attention, and Gohan looked up from where he was talking with Videl. Goku waved and pointed subtly down at his sobbing mother.

Gohan winced and nodded, excusing himself and weaving his way through the crowd towards them. “Hey, Mom. Doing okay?” He asked once he was in earshot.

Chichi immediately pried herself off her husband's chest, wiping away her tears and smiling broadly. “Of course I am! Oh, Gohan, the ceremony was lovely. And Videl looks so elegant--” she choked up again. “And you look so grown up.”

“Say. I hate to ask, Mom, but could you help us with the photographer? He says he only does couple shots after the ceremony, or else he's going to charge us extra to get you guys and Videl's family.”

What ?” she snapped. “Oh, I don't think so! I already talked to him about-- ugh! That sniveling little… Goku I have to take care of this. Can you keep an eye on the boys… or, well, an eye on Goten?” Her eyes watered again. “I guess we don't have to watch Gohan anymore.”

“Definitely!” Goku said without the slightest clue where Goten might be at the moment. “You go give that guy a piece of your mind, Chi.”

She nodded fiercely and stomped away and Goku smiled at his son. There may or may not be a problem with the photographer, but nothing made Chichi feel better than handling a problem. Poor guy didn't know what was about to hit him.

“You alright, Dad?”

He waved him off. “Of course, I love weddings. I was gonna talk to you if I got the chance, though. You have a minute?”

“Yeah, sure, what's up?”

Goku leaned forward conspiratorially. “Did anybody tell you what a honeymoon is for?”

Gohan blushed. “Uh, yes. I know what a honeymoon is for.”

Goku relaxed. “Oh. Good! Nobody told me. Your Mom was really upset when I tried to go straight to bed--”

“Have fun, Dad!” Gohan said quickly, cutting him off. “I'm going to head back. Relax, have a drink.”

Goku laughed. “You know I don't drink." Chichi had made that rule years ago, but he couldn't remember why.

“There are plenty of drinks available without alcohol. Just grab a tea or something, Mom could be a while.”

Goku thanked his son as he headed back to the front and plucked a drink menu off the bar, searching for something he could drink.

-----------------

 

“Vegeta!” Goku said happily when he found the Saiyan sitting alone at a table. “Geeta. Geets. Where's Bulma?”

“Sulking,” he grumbled. “The Woman is at negative three favors and thinks she can bully me into a dance. It's not happening.”

Goku flopped down into a seat next to him, setting a tall glass on the table. “Then you should just dance anyway.”

“Why the hell would I do that?”

“Because you're nice and Bulma's hot and someone else will dance with her if you don't.”

Vegeta choked. “Excuse me? Is that a threat, Kakarot?”

“Huh? No. Just advice.”

“Well keep your damn advice to yourself!”

“Whatever, Geets,” Goku shrugged, leaning forward to take another drink. It took a few attempts to get the straw into his mouth.

Vegeta narrowed his eyes. “You seem… More buffoonish than usual. How many drinks have you had?”

Goku snorted. “I don't drink. I'm only having tea. It's great , I've had like five. Try some!” He insisted, sliding the glass over.

Vegeta pushed the straw away with disgust but took a sip from the glass. “Hmm. It tastes more like a soda. Not bad.”

“Right?” Goku grinned. “You want one?”

He shrugged noncommittally.

“Alright! Hey,” he said calling to the bartender a short way away, “we need two more Long Island Iced Teas.”

----------------------

 

“And it's like, we have a system in place, Woman. If I do something you want, you do something I want. If I keep letting you rack up favors with no plan to pay them back, what's the point of me doing the nice things? I get nothing out of it.”

Goku held up a pensive hand that accidently bumped into a glass; there were several empty ones now piled between them. “If I do something really good, Chichi makes a special dessert. Maybe Bulma can make a special dessert and that counts as a favor so you can get even again?”

Vegeta shrugged. “The Woman's not a great cook. Most of my favors are usually sex anyway, but she does that for nothing so I don't have anything in particular to request.”

Goku dropped his chin into his hand. “Why do you call her ‘The Woman’? You know her name, you've been married for years.”

“That's none of your business,” he muttered. “I've heard you change your wife's name too. You shorten it.”

Goku shrugged. “I call her Chi sometimes, but 'The Woman’ sounds mean. Like you don't like her.”

“It's not mean. Not for Saiyans.”

Goku perked up. “Really? What about Saiyans?”

“What’s that stupid food name the Harpy calls you? You know, when she's being sappy?”

“Honey?”

“Yes, that. It's like that. Everyone knows that if I speak about a woman I mean only the one specific one, which means she holds a public place of respect.”

“Aw,” Goku grinned. “Tha's cute. Does she know that?”

“It's none of her concern. Or yours… so why did I say it? I feel strange. Drunk. Did you poison me?”

“No way. We're friends, Silly. I don't poison my friends. Well, we poisoned Oolong, but that was mostly Bulma.” He snorted, laughing hard against the table. “Oh my gods, that was so funny!”

“You're different, too. More tolerable. Or maybe that's just me. I have almost no desire to punch you in the face. There's alcohol in this, I'm sure of it.”

Goku sniffed it, then grabbed a waiter on the way by their table. “Hey Miss, is there alcohol in this?”

She looked at the drink. “In a Long Island Iced Tea? Yes, they're full of liquor.”

Goku winced, letting her go. “ Seayaka . My bad.”

Vegeta shrugged. “It's not as terrible as I remember. I don't know why I ever stopped. What the hell, get two more.”

Goku clapped. “ Yes ! Chichi was just being a worrywart. I'm fine . She does that sometimes. I'll get more.” He stood to go get more and swayed slightly, but Vegeta caught his arm.

“Wait, what did you say?”

“I'mma get more,” he slurred.

“No, before that. You swore.”

“Whoops.”

“No, but you said Seayaka . That's a Saiyan curse word. Did you learn that from me? I don't remember saying it around you.”

He shrugged. “I dunno.”

Vegeta narrowed his eyes. “Kakarot, te cogit'see?”

“Yeah, I understand you just fine,” Goku said. “I want more tea.”

“Te’hab Saiyago.”

“What? You're not speaking Saiyan, you're speaking English.”

Vegeta shook his head excitedly, holding up an empty glass. “Kakarot, I think we've just found the cure for your brain damage.”

----------------

 

Trunks and Goten were under express orders not to go to the dessert table alone, so they decided to supervise each other. Trunks was shoving another cupcake into his mouth when he caught sight of his father across the dining floor, and he nudged his friend.

“Let's go hang out with dad so when Mom and Chichi ask where we've been we have an excuse.”

Goten nodded happily wiping a bit of incriminating chocolate from his mouth.

The first odd thing they noticed was that their dads were sitting together, voluntarily, and didn't seem to be having a terrible time. Goku was laughing hard at something Vegeta was explaining in detail, but certainly not in English.

“Uh, Dad?” Trunks asked as he and Goten slipped into seats and peered across all the empty glasses. “Why are you speaking Saiyago?”

Vegeta paused and grinned, slapping a hand on the other Saiyan's shoulder. “Trunks, meet my friend Kakarot.”

Trunks blinked. “Uh, I've met Goku, Dad.”

Vegeta snorted, grinning in a way that made his son uncomfortable. “This isn't Goku. This is Kakarot. I'm keeping him.”

The boys glanced at each other. Goku looked okay, just a little... unfocused. His eyes drifted half open and he smiled wide.

“Daddy?” Goten asked. “Are you okay?”

Goku nodded reassuringly and reached across the table to put his hand on Goten's head, but it took a few tries. “ Pasi’te, Goten . Ne see pokai. Te’nosaya Prince Vegeta.”

Goten frowned. “Why is he talking like that?”

Vegeta grinned wickedly. “Because he lost English about three drinks ago. He says he's fine, don't worry, he's just listening to Prince Vegeta. Because a real fucking Saiyan knows how to use my goddamn title.”

“Didn't...lose it,” Goku argued slowly. “Just...hard.”

“Then let's finish the job,” Vegeta said, pushing a full glass at him which he took gladly.

Goku smacked his lips. “ Mmm, cora te'lo. Prince Vegeta, see'kaza hesha?

Hell yes I want to fight you tonight. You're weakened, it's a perfect time for battle,” he slurred, forgetting his own drunken state.

The boys looked at each other and nodded wordlessly. Mom time.

--------------------

 

Bulma and Chichi approached the intoxicated Saiyans together with their young sons in tow. The men seemed to notice them at the same time, and raised their latest glasses at them.

“Woman,” they said in unison.

Excuse me?” Chichi asked, crossing her arms as she stood over her husband. “What did you just call me, Goku?”

He certainly didn't look worried or regretful. Goku smiled sloppily and tugged the woman easily into his lap, laying his head against her. “ Ne latska'lo , Chichi. Cora te'see .”

“Oh, not again,” she groaned.

“Again? He's been like this before?” Bulma asked.

“On my twenty-first birthday, way back when Gohan was a baby. We decided to have a few drinks to celebrate, and he got… weird. He was all handsy and rude, and even more into fighting if you could believe it. He kept trying to get our newborn to wrestle.”

“You're describing a proper Saiyan, ” Vegeta grumbled like a child who was being told it was almost time to leave the park.

She ignored him. “Then he started talking all this ‘coratezee’ nonsense like he didn't speak English at all. I thought he was having a stroke.”

“It's Saiyago,” Bulma said. “It means he loves you.”

“That is not what it means,” Vegeta rolled his eyes.

Chichi was already blushing. “Well, regardless, he promised he wouldn't drink again. What were you thinking, Goku?”

“Tea,” Goku said.

“What's that mean?” Chichi asked Bulma.

Vegeta scoffed. “It means tea . He did not know the Iced Tea he was drinking had alcohol in it.”

Bulma crossed her arms. “Vegeta, you're a happy drunk. Why are you being such an ass?”

“Cuz’ you're gonna drag him away and sober him up and he'll be boring and ‘humany’ again.”

“You'll live.”

Chichi tried to pry herself out of Goku's grasp, but of course that effort was doomed from the start. He held on. “ Ne. Chichi arreka'lo .”

“He says stay with him and have a drink. I agree. Everyone sit down and have a drink.”

“Okay,” Trunks said, reaching for a glass before Bulma slapped his hand away.

“Vegeta, the boys said you were thinking about fighting.”

Vegeta nodded and grinned. “Yes. We will battle after we drink, then we can go home after my victory and you can reward me in the bedroom.”

“You can't fight like this, Vegeta. Neither of you. One sloppy Kamehameha and the Earth is toast.”

The prince growled.

“I need to get this dummy home before he does just that, or worse ,” Chichi announced, still trying to free herself. “He could ruin the reception.”

Bulma tugged on Goku's arm. “Come on, let her go.”

Ne .”

“Hey Dad?” Trunks asked. “He was calling you Prince and all that. You think Goku follows your orders when he's like this? Maybe you could order him to go home.”

Vegeta's eyes went wide. As much as he did not want to lose his drinking buddy, the idea of ordering the other Saiyan around was too sweet to pass up. He pointed at the door. “Kakarot, go home.”

Goku looked up at him and slumped disappointedly. After a long minute he finally nodded. “Ke. Usaknolo'te.”

Bulma's mouth dropped open and Vegeta froze. The word, the one he refused to define for her when he whispered them against her skin, dangled out before her tantalizingly. “Goku tell me what you said right now!”

“No!” Vegeta barked. “Do not , Kakarot.”

Goku was already getting up, ready to go. He looked at Vegeta and kept his mouth shut.

“Goku, look at me,” Bulma snapped. “I am the Princess of All Saiyans, and the Queen of Earth, and you are in my domain. You tell me what usaknolo'te means in English and you tell me right now.”

He looked back and forth between them, deciding which one had more power, and made a choice. “Means… I serve you… Your Majesty.”

Vegeta dropped his face to the table and his wife grinned at him wickedly.

 

Chapter Text

“I can't let you do that!” Gohan said with a deep blush.

“Nonsense!” Mr.Satan said. “It's already done. All the plans are made up, and the builders started months ago. The house should be ready when you get back from your honeymoon.”

“Hercule, you've paid for so much--”

“Well what else is my money for?” He laughed. “I've got way too much, I've got to be able to spend it on my little girl.”

Gohan was going to start thanking him, but he felt two big arms suddenly wrap around him and squeeze. He panicked, immediately powering up and tossing the attacker off. He spun around, fists raised, but the only one behind him was his father. Goku had fallen from the defensive shove and looked confused.

“Oh! Sorry, Dad, I didn't realize it was you!”

Goku shrugged, hopping back up and crushing his son in another hug that could have snapped a weaker spine. “Gohan! See kepo tezaka! Te heraksata!

Gohan frowned. “Huh? Dad, are you okay?”

His mother came running up behind them with Bulma close behind. Bulma wrapped a hand around Goku's shoulder and tried to pry him off to no avail.

“Sorry, Gohan. He got away from us,” Bulma sighed. “We're trying to get him in the car but he said he had to see you first.”

“I wanted to say goodbye anyway, Honey,” Chichi said. “We have to head home.”

Gohan frowned worriedly. “Already? Why? Is Dad sick?”

She scoffed. “More like soused. Vegeta got him drunk.”

Gohan laughed. “Seriously? I've never seen him drink.”

“Yeah, there's a reason for that. He's a brute when he's drunk. It's how a proper Saiyan acts, according to Vegeta.”

Te heraksata !” Goku repeated excitedly.

Bulma laughed. “He says he's 'righteously proud of his heir.’ Pretty sure that's as close as Saiyago can get to saying ‘I love you’ to your kids.”

Gohan's eyes went wide. “He's speaking Saiyago? But… how could he possibly--”

“Let's figure it out some other time,” Chichi sighed, taking Goku's hand and convincing him to release Gohan. “It was all lovely, Honey. Tell Videl she was beautiful!”

“Will do,” Gohan promised, watching Bulma help his mother drag his father outside.

Damn. He'd been hoping to talk to his father sometime before… tonight. What he'd said earlier about making sure he 'knew what a honeymoon was’ made him start thinking, and now he was worried. It looked like Goku was definitely out of commission, though. Well, there was one other Saiyan around…

Gohan thanked his new father-in-law again and searched for Vegeta's energy signal. It wavered up and down as he tracked him, like the Saiyan couldn't quite keep it level. He knew he was close, but soon found himself having to step out of the backdoor of the venue into the quiet alley behind it. He looked around in confusion.

“Vegeta? I know you're out here, your power level is going crazy.”

“M'right here,” the Saiyan muttered. He blended in well with the shadows; the sun had finally set about an hour before.

“What are doing out here?” Gohan asked, walking over to lean next to him.

“It's too ‘humany’ in there. Next time you get married don't invite so many humans.”

“I had really only planned on the one time,” he said. “If it's so bad why don't you just fly home?”

“I tried,” he muttered.

Gohan looked up a saw a sizeable dent in the bricks of the adjoining building and fought back an amused snort.

“Do you want me to find Bulma? She could probably drive you home--”

“No!” He snapped angrily.

Gohan raised a surprised eyebrow. “Vegeta… Are you hiding from Bulma?”

Vegeta scoffed loudly. “That's ridiculous! I've no reason to hide. The Woman doesn't scare me! What do you want from me? Shouldn't you be inside being sappy and making a mockery of your union by publicizing it?”

“I was hoping to talk to Dad, but I heard you got him drunk, so--”

“What! I did not! He was half gone when he got to me, if anything this is his fault--”

“Okay!” He said, holding his hands up innocently. “Look can I just ask you a question?”

“About what?” Vegeta asked with narrowed eyes.

Gohan took a deep breath, glad the low light hid his face somewhat. “It's about… my honeymoon…”

Vegeta groaned. “What is it with Kakarot and outsourcing his damn children? Didn't the Namek already have this conversation with you?”

Gohan's blush deepened. “That's not what I meant, Vegeta. I talked to Piccolo a long time ago, but he's not a Saiyan, and doesn't have any… experience . I just wanted to know how to stop from hurting her. Videl is strong and all, but I'm…”

“A hell of a lot more powerful than her. Obviously,” Vegeta grumbled. “You're lucky I'm already drunk enough to put up with this. Just… don't grab her the way you want to.”

Gohan frowned. “I don't want to--”

“You will. Sex feels like a battle for a Saiyan, and it'll feel like if you don't hold on tight and speed up you won't get to finish. Remind yourself she is human, and not trying to challenge you. Treat her like a balloon; you can touch them, but squeeze too much and they pop. She may have some bruises until you get the hang of it.”

He sighed. “So I am going to hurt her.”

“If an oaf like your father managed to not kill your mother without even knowing he was a Saiyan, you should have some control.”

He nodded. “Uh, thanks.”

The back door opened again and Vegeta froze as Bulma popped her head out. “Gohan, Videl is looking for--” she caught sight of her husband and she smirked. “So this is where you've been hiding. We need to talk, Mister.”

Vegeta turned too fast in his inebriated state and swayed, grabbing the wall for support as he considered running.

Gohan quickly excused himself, slipping back inside. He didn't want to be in the middle of this.

Bulma sauntered up behind the Saiyan, laying a hand against his back. He jumped away. “Leave me!”

“Oh, knock it off,” she laughed, wrapping her arms around him. “I'm not going to tease you.”

He growled.

“I didn't tell anyone why I wanted to know what the word meant,” she promised.

“I don't believe you.”

She pulled him around to face her and he allowed it. “Look, I get it . Titles matter to you. I'm not going to punish you for probably the sweetest thing you've ever said. Basically any other man calling me ‘Your Majesty’ would sound cheesy as hell, but it's different coming from you.”

“I don't know what I was thinking,” he grumbled.

She slid her hand down between them, making him gasp and lean into her touch. “You know, they all think we're fighting out here. No one's going to disturb us.”

He grinned, pushing her back against the wall.

----------------



“Chichi,” he mumbled against the couch sleepily. “ Te laikatu ?”

“I still can't understand you, Goku,” she reminded, a bit less gently than the last few times. This was new. In the nearly twenty years they'd been married, she'd had to deal with a lot of strange things. He'd been dead, in space, and had become something far more alien than the man she thought she'd married. As always, she just had to roll with it. At least he'd be sober by morning.

“Goten?” He asked.

“He's at the reception, for the dozenth time,” she grumbled as she flipped the bacon. “He's staying with Trunks tonight. Do you want your snack or what?”

He was suddenly right behind her, smelling the cooking meat excitedly. A large hand wrapped around her waist. “Mmm…”

She moved his hand. “Ugh. You get so grabby when you're like this.”

Te laikatu Gohan? Goten?” He wasn't as smiley as before, and seemed to genuinely expect an answer.

“Speak English ,” she sighed. “Can you at least understand me?”

He nodded. “ Ke .”

“Well, good. It'll just be another minute, why don't you go sit down? You look a little green.”

“Piccolo?”

She snorted. “You look sick. That can happen when you drink gallons of alcohol.”

He wandered away. She pulled the bacon out and piled it high on a plate for him, sneaking one piece for herself. It didn't surprise her that he was still hungry, even after drinking for so long. Her Goku was good at a lot of things, but eating was his real talent. She laughed softly as she poured him a tall glass of water. Maybe hydration would ease his hard crash back to sobriety in the morning. It wasn't really his fault, after all.

Chichi carried the meal into the living room and was surprised to see he wasn't there. She set it all down on the coffee table, ready to give him an earful if he'd gone to bed knowing she was cooking for him. She stomped toward their bedroom, but found him in the hallway. He was standing very still, looking into Gohan's room.

“Goku?” She asked, approaching him slowly. The house was mostly dark, and now that she took a moment to listen she realized how quiet it was. Goten was just gone for the night, she could remind herself he was coming home. But Gohan… he was married now. He'd be starting a family of his own. He was a good boy, and he'd stay in contact… Maybe. She thought guiltily of how little they saw of her father in the first year of their marriage. They'd just been so busy building the house and discovering each other… and then she was pregnant and didn't want to travel far. The Ox King always had to come to them to visit.

She put her hands around his waist and laid her head against his back. “I'm going to miss him, too. Things won't be the same, but it's not goodbye.”

Goku still looked troubled. “Chichi… te laikatu Gohan?”

“I don't understand,” she reminded him. “Try English, I know it's hard.”

He concentrated. “Bad… Missed. Gohan.”

She took a moment, and then it clicked. “Oh, Goku, no! You are not a bad father.”

He didn't look convinced.

She slid around him, pressing her face against his chest. “You’ve been gone a lot, but Gohan has always loved you to death. We've only had you back eight months and Goten practically worships you. Bad fathers don't get that.”

He slid his hands around her waist, dropping his face to rest against her hair. “Mmm… A'metshone .” His hands slid a little lower.

She rolled her eyes. “Goku--”

He caught her off guard; she wasn't used to surprise kisses. In seconds she was being gently pressed against the wall while he sloppily kissed down her neck.

She giggled despite herself, feeling a little silly. This just wasn't normal for Goku. He liked sex, but he didn't seek it out. She had learned she couldn't be subtle either; if she wanted him she practically had to crawl into his lap to get his attention. He treated it like a flavor of food he enjoyed; he was always happy to have it, but he could go months without missing it. She had taken it personally at first, then come to realize that's just how he was. Later, when she learned he really wasn't human, she assumed all Saiyans must be like that. According to reports from Bulma, that wasn't true.

Could it really be the head trauma he'd had as a child? Vegeta claimed he acted more Saiyan like this. Now that she thought about, that one time he'd been drunk before they had ended up on the floor...

“Knock it off…” she complained half-heartedly, not pushing him away anymore. He had to work for it.

He tried to slide her dress from her shoulders, but the design was tight on her collar and he couldn't budge it. He grunted in annoyance and tore the dress off with a flick of his wrist, leaving her in nothing but her underwear. “Want.”

She opened her mouth to chastise him; that dress was expensive, dammit! The noise died on her tongue as she suddenly found herself laying out against the floor while he eagerly kissed down her stomach.

She didn't attempt to stop the giggle that slipped from her mouth. “Goku, that tickles.”

“Mine.”

“Hmm?” She had no time to ask what he meant before he shoved her underwear aside and tasted her.

She gasped, shots of pleasure shooting up her belly and making her cry out. The bun in her hair hit the floor and came loose but she couldn't bring herself to care. She could say what she wanted about Goku's sex life; he was a late bloomer, sometimes uninterested, etc, but she had to remember he knew how to use his tongue. This was his favorite part, sometimes more than the act itself. Much of their first year had been spent exactly like this, just so he could memorize her taste and see what made her squirm the most. He was a fast learner, and he treated her pleasure like a new technique until he mastered it.

In minutes he had her gasping his name, fingers tangled in his hair as she tried to pull him impossibly closer. He always entered as soon as she came from his mouth, and the anticipation had her weak. “Goku, please, I need--”

“Haga’see Kakarot.”

“Hmm?” She asked confused.

He playfully bit the inside of her thighs. “Haga'see Kakarot.”

“You… want me to call you Kakarot?”

He grinned and went back to work as a response.

“I don't know how I feel about that,” she muttered. “I married Goku, I didn't sign up for all this Saiyan-- ah!” She cried out as he added pressure, speeding her towards her peak on purpose.

Haga'see Kakarot , Chichi,” he warned, pulling his mouth away.

Fine , Kakarot!” she cried. “Just stop teasing me!”

He obeyed. She came hard against his mouth, vaguely aware she was being lifted from the floor. She realized she was on her feet again, bent over the back of their couch in the living room. He had moved them too fast for her to see, and now he stood behind her, a strong hand pressed against her back. His clothes were gone, though she didn't know if he'd taken them off or just ripped them away. She felt the firm pressure of his hard erection against her swollen skin as he eased himself inside.

At least he had the presence of mind for that. He was too big, and they hadn't really done it enough for her to become fully accustomed to it. She felt him shake with the desire to just take her hard and fast, but he took the time not to hurt her.

“Ah… Chichi… Cora te'see,” he muttered. “ Haga’see Kakarot .”

“Kakarot,” she agreed.

He was thrusting shallowly, but once his name fell from her lips he sped up. “Mine. A'met .”

She let out a low groan, and it only served to fuel his fire. His hands tightened almost painfully on her hips, and soon he was slamming into her with a drawn out, soft growl. “My Chichi.”

“Kakarot!” She cried out as he pushed her over the edge again; it was always easier after the first one. She thought he'd speed up to let himself finish as usual, but she was mistaken.

He pulled himself out of her and hopped over the couch, grabbing a handful of the bacon she'd left out and shoving it in his mouth.

Excuse me, we were busy,” she said incredulously.

He looked up at her with dark eyes and a smirk, and she felt a shiver run through her core. He was far from done. He patted his lap patiently, and she walked around the couch with shaky legs to join him. He pulled her onto his lap to face him, easing her down onto him. She thought she'd have to do the work from this angle, but she was wrong. He held her in one hand and bounced her effortlessly, groaning while his head rolled back against the cushions.

She knew him well, and when he started to get close she saw the signs. His jaw tightened and his voice dropped down to a repeating whisper of her name. She caught him in a deep kiss at just the right moment and he moaned into her mouth as he pulsed inside of her.

She sat still for a long moment, just enjoying their tight embrace. She caught her breath and laughed against his forehead. “Okay. Maybe we can lift the ‘no drinking’ rule. Just promise not to overdo it, okay?”

He didn't answer.

“Goku?”

A loud snore answered her and she sighed, shaking her head with a smile. Hopefully he'd be awake and sober before it was time for Goten to come home, because moving him was not going to happen.



Chapter Text

He tried to be patient when she rode him, but sometimes she just wasn't fast enough.

He sat back against the headboard, arms stretched out over the edge of the wood for balance while she moved over him. He'd had his eyes closed, just enjoying her tight body wrapped around him, but his eyebrows were starting to draw together. It wasn't enough.

Kasesho .”

She had her feet flat against the bed, and she used the leverage to try to speed up. He waited a moment, then shook his head, catching her hips and holding her still in the air just above him. “Let me do it.”

His hips snapped up against hers viciously. She quickly lost her grip against the bed, head falling forward to rest against his shoulder as he pounded into her. She wrapped her arms around his neck to support herself and he chuckled lowly against her skin.

“Do you like that, My Queen?” he breathed in her ear.

Fuck , Vegeta,” she moaned into his shoulder. “I'm close.”

He turned her head to look her in the eyes. He loved to watch her face when he pushed her over the edge, if their position allowed it. Her hands slid over his back, fingers gripping tight enough to hurt a human.

“Come for me, Bulma. Now.”

She cried out as the waves hit her. He let out a deep grunt, shuddering as he let himself fall with her. He relaxed against the bed and she laid her weight against him, not ready to move. After a minute she tilted her head up to kiss him.

Wait. Up?

She leaned back narrowing her eyes. The mild grin on his face disappeared. “What, Woman?”

“Are you taller?”

The grin returned. “Perhaps.”

She sat back on his thighs. “I mean it. We've been in this position a dozen times, and I never have to lean up to kiss you. Hell, I've had to lean down .”

He folded his hands behind his head. “I wondered if you'd notice. I passed you a few months ago.”

“What do you mean 'passed’ me?”

“I mean I grew faster than you and I'm now taller. Obviously.”

She stared. “Vegeta, your in your forties. What are you talking about?”

He looked confused. “What does my age have to do with it?”

“Forty-year-old men don't get taller,” she said.

He considered this. “Why not?”

“They just… don't. Kids and teens get taller. Then puberty is over and you're done.”

He snorted. “That must suck for humans. Saiyans do not have that weakness. You grow more in your teen years, but growth can continue throughout life. If you're not going to get any taller, it's safe to say my lead is secured.”

“Well, that's bullshit,” she mumbled, crossing her arms.

“It does not matter who's taller anyway.”

“Then wipe that smirk off your face.”

“No.”

------------------

 

Vegeta scanned over every item in the fridge again carefully, sure he had simply overlooked what he was looking for. No one could possibly be that stupid. Once he confirmed his box was gone he slammed the door shut, heading directly for Trunks’ room.

The boy's door was shut, but not for long. Vegeta kicked the door in, a deep scowl on his face. Trunks jumped close to a foot and snapped his laptop shut, staring at him in terror from his bed.

“Hi, Dad,” he said shakily. His father could hear his heartbeat from across the room.

Vegeta paused in his tirade, narrowing his eyes. “What are you doing?”

“Homework,” he said immediately, face painted with a glowing crimson.

Vegeta stared at him a long moment, then sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Did you eat my goddamn noodles?”

“Uh...maybe? I ate some noodles. Your name wasn't on them.”

“The box was clearly marked with a V.”

“Oh. I thought it was a checkmark.”

What ?”

He held up his thumb. “You know, like 'check’, this is fine to eat.”

“Bullshit. You are grounded for three days.” His eyes darted to the laptop. “Five days.”

“Okay,” Trunks agreed without question.

Vegeta looked away awkwardly. “And learn how to lock your door,” he muttered, shutting the boy inside.

Bulma caught him when he made it back to the kitchen. “I heard a door slam,” she said exasperatedly. “Did he steal your leftovers again?”

“Yes.”

“Do I need to call someone to clean up the body, or…?”

“He is grounded for five days,” he said, searching for a different lunch.

“Really? Five days over some noodles?”

“Three days for the noodles. Two days for the porn.”

Bulma blinked, her expression never wavering. “Sorry. I didn't hear you right. What was that?”

“You heard me perfectly well. I don't give a damn, really, but we both know he lied to my face, which is unacceptable. That's why he didn't dispute his sentence.”

Bulma’s eyes were wide, more horror on her face now than the near-destruction of Earth had ever managed. “So you didn't actually see any pictures or anything?”

“No. He slammed that screen down so fast it might have cracked.”

She breathed a sigh of relief. “You probably just misunderstood. Trunks is too young for that. He's not even ten.”

“He has been ahead of human children at every phase of his development. Why would this be different?”

She sputtered. “Trunks thinks girls are gross! He's a baby.”

“He's really not. What, were you expecting him to make an announcement when he decided he wanted to see a naked woman? Or, at least I think it was women. I didn't actually see the screen.”

“No. Nope,” Bulma shook her head. “This isn't happening. Not yet.”

Vegeta snorted, amused at her distress. “Relax, Woman. It's not like he's fucking. At that age he's just a dog chasing a vehicle. He wouldn't know what to do with it if he succeeded.”

“Oh shit ,” she groaned, grabbing her hair. She turned on her heel. “I'll go talk to him.”

“Good gods Woman, no,” he chuckled, catching her arm. “That would be a literal nightmare for the boy.”

“Then you talk to him.”

“No.”

“Vegeta!”

“He’s nine, it's not like he's going to get someone pregnant. I'll give that damn talk you insist on us having, but not for a few years.”

“Then what do we do ?”

“We do nothing.”

“How are you so calm about this? This could have been happening for months!”

“Because I've been a nine year old Saiyan male. I can't speak for human males, but if I had access to the internet at that age I would have sought out the same images. Besides, it can't have been that long,  he didn't even think to lock the door.”

You were a planet destroying child soldier. Trunks still likes it when I cut the crust off of his sandwiches. It's not the same. I'm putting child blocks on the internet right now . I am not just throwing him into the cesspool of the internet if that's what he's going to use it for.”

“Whatever, just don't bring it up. Unless he really fucks up. If we want a punishment that stings for years, then you can talk to him.”

She shivered. “We still have un-deleted Barney episodes on our Tivo.”

 

Chapter Text

“I want a boat.”

He jerked awake. “What?”

“I. Want. A. Boat.” She said, staring up at the ceiling.

“Go back to sleep,” he sighed, tightening his arms around her.

“A big boat. Like a yacht.”

“Whatever.”

“I'll call it the Princess Bulma.

“It's four in the morning.”

“Aren't you going to ask why I want a boat?”

“No. Rekavat'see .”

“My birthday is coming up. I'm thinking we have a great big party with all of our friends.”

“We just attended Gohan's wedding.”

“And it was fun. I'm good at party planning. I could go all out, lots of good food and bingo prizes that'll knock their socks off.”

Fine . Then buy a boat. Tomorrow. It's not like the cost matters.”

“I’m going to.”

“I don’t care.”

“Watch me.”

“I will throw you out the window if I am not asleep in five minutes.”

------------------------

 

“Why is everything in this building so goddamn small?”

“Because it's made for children. Duh,” she said, counting the room numbers.

“That's ridiculous. Isn't this place supposed to teach them to live in the world? The world is built for full-size adults.”

“Someone is just smug about finally reaching six foot,” she mumbled.

“What was that?”

“I said you're lucky because Trunks was one growth spurt away from being taller than your monkey ass a few months ago.”

“I’ve killed for less, Woman.”

“Oh, hey, this is it!” She said, pausing at a closed door to peek in through the frosted window. “Miss Waxtal, 204. She's with someone, we'll have to wait.”

“Shouldn't the boy be with us?” He asked, leaning against the wall.

“Kids don't come to Parent-Teacher night. It's right in the name.”

He snorted. “I happen to enjoy your temper, but why the hell is it pointed at me tonight? I am in human clothing, at a function I am not bound to by a favor, and have not threatened to kill a single person.”

She hummed. “You’re right, I’m just nervous. After what happened at the Milford Academy… Trunks likes it here and I’m worried we’ll screw it up. Why are you behaving, anyway? What do you want?”

He smirked, lowering his voice. “I want to play in the Gravity Room next week.”

She glanced around to make sure they wouldn’t be overheard. “Why wait? I owe you a favor, it’s a school night, and Trunks will be in bed by ten.”

“What I want would require you to do some modifications to the machines first. Difficult for anyone else, but I assume you’d only need a week.”

She opened her mouth to ask what he was planning, but the door to the classroom opened at that moment. “To be continued,” she mumbled to him. “You had better be good.”

Trunks’ teacher saw the last couple out and caught sight of the two of them waiting and immediately dropped her gaze to the ground. She was young, maybe twenty something with mousy brown hair but a nice smile that she flashed nervously.

“Mrs.Briefs and Vegeta?”

He automatically opened his mouth to correct her, assuming she’d called him Mr.Briefs, then paused. “Yes.”

“Please, come in,” she offered warmly, bringing them into her classroom. She shut the door behind them and gestured to two seats across from her desk. “I prefer to meet with my parents in a private setting whenever possible. I don’t see a reason the other moms and dads should know what’s going on in other children’s programs unless it affects their child in some way.”

“Damn straight,” Vegeta smirked.

She smiled as she plopped down across from them, but still didn’t look up.

“Are you okay, Miss Waxtal?” Bulma asked.

“Please, call me Benny,” she said, her cheeks burning. “I’m sorry, Mrs.Briefs. I’m not used to meeting famous people.”

Bulma laughed. “Call me Bulma. I’d hardly say famous . Maybe in the business and technology world.”

“I was amazed at your work with the capsulization of volatile gases,” Benny gushed a bit. “Thanks to that research we can transport fresh oxygen without worrying about poisons being released in dense populations. How did you account for the atomization of-- oh, but I bet that’s a trademark secret, nevermind,” she chuckled shakily.

“You sure know a lot about capsulization technology for a middle school teacher,” Bulma said. “No offense! I just mean I’m impressed.”

“I’ve followed Capsule Corp for years. It is so exciting to meet you, I'm such a huge fan. I was shocked when I found out you’d chosen our modest school and that I’d be teaching your son... But don’t worry! I don’t let that affect my work with Trunks.”

“Trunks seems to adore you,” Bulma assured her. “He doesn’t have the best history with teachers, but I haven’t had a single behavior complaint this year… right?”

“Oh, he’s an angel,” she said sweetly, “and he’s told me all about you two. Of course I already knew a lot about you Bulma, but he’s filled me in on you too, Vegeta. Trunks says physical education is very important in your house. I couldn’t agree more, I actually have several exercises we incorporate throughout the day to encourage the children to stay healthy.”

Vegeta nodded, looking around the room appraisingly. “So, is the boy failing or not?”

Benny snorted, then covered her mouth. “No, Sir, of course not. As you know, Trunks technically belongs in fourth grade, but we put him in the sixth when we saw his test scores. Unfortunately… and I hate to say this for fear of losing him, but I sometimes think he’s still too low, academically. I’m afraid my class just isn’t too much of a challenge for him. You have an incredibly bright son, which is no surprise, Ma’am.”

“Then when does he move up?” Vegeta asked. “The sooner he completes his schooling and can train full-time the better.”

She paused. “Unfortunately, there is a slight problem we should discuss.”

Bulma sighed. “What did he do?”

“He’s very well behaved in my class, and I talk to him often,” she assured them. “In fact, that is part of the issue. I speak to Trunks a lot, because he seems to have no interest at all in speaking to the other children. I understand he has a close friend in the third grade named Goten? Unfortunately the only time they have contact with each other is lunch--”

“That is not unfortunate,” Vegeta said. “That was planned. Any more time alone and we’d worry about the daily destruction of this building.”

She laughed, assuming he was joking. “They seem very close, joined at the hip, which is wonderful. However, he seems to feel he only needs the one friend, and he has made no effort whatsoever to get to know his classmates. I was worried they may be too mature for him because he is a few years younger, but that seems to be the opposite of the issue. He got in a bit of trouble a week ago. Tannor cried because he Marcus hit him, long story, and Trunks called him a baby.” She picked up a piece of paper. “Or, I suppose he actually said, ‘what’s wrong with you, I could take punches like that as an infant.’”

“He exaggerates. He was more than one before I swung back.”

She giggled again. “Though I see where he gets his sense of humor. So, if he was more comfortable socially, I might recommend he be placed higher. Right now I think he needs to work on developing people skills. Perhaps he could join an extracurricular? Without Goten, preferably, so he would have to venture out of his comfort zone.”

“An extracurricular? Like a sport?”

“Perhaps not. Trunks seems very gifted at sports, which of course should be praised, but it makes him stick out from the team. I’m thinking something that encourages him to work with others. I have been forming a science club that meets to do experiments and create inventions together, maybe he could try that? I’m sure science is in his blood, after all.”

“He’ll be there,” Bulma promised. “I think he’s just too used to dealing with adults all the time. He’s growing up too fast. Out of curiosity… how’s his language?”

Benny paused. “In my classroom, a potty mouth gets you immediate detention. So I’ve never heard him swear. The lunch staff have different reports.”

She rolled her eyes. “I figured. I’ll kick his butt when we get home. May I use your restroom?” she asked, gesturing to the small door in the back of the class.

“Um… It’s actually not working at the moment. There’s a ladies’ room just down the hall, though. I could show Vegeta Trunks’ school work from last week until you get back.”

Bulma sighed, grabbing her purse. She mouthed ‘behave’ at him and headed down the hall. Benny closed the door behind her and gestured to the art wall. “Would you like to see your son’s picture of fall?”

Vegeta shrugged and followed, struggling not to say ‘hell no’. If he offended this woman and she complained to Bulma his favor would be turned down.

“The assignment was to draw something that reminded you of fall,” Benny said, pulling him over to the brightly decorated papers. “Trunks’ was… a little unusual. He drew a man made of bubble gum and his friend. He must be very creative”

Vegeta snorted at the drawing of Gotenks punching Buu. “I suppose.”

“I just adore Trunks,” she said, stepping a little closer. “He speaks very highly of you. I can see why. It is so important for a young man to have a strong, dedicated man in his life.” She laid a hand on his shoulder.

Ugh, humans and their touching . He just grunted in nonchalant agreement.

“It must be very hard, being married to a woman who is so dedicated to her job. I bet she’s… barely ever home.”

“I need to time to train,” he said, eyeing the human woman suspiciously. Was she trying to gather information on his household? She didn't look like a thief, but her behavior was odd.

“I’m sure you do,” she said, blinking too much. “What do you bench, 300 pounds?”

“Is there something in your eyes?” he asked in confusion. He worried if she had some medical attack before Bulma came back she’d somehow find a way to blame him.

“Can you check?” she asked, leaning closer.

Vegeta leaned forward a bit to check her eyes, and Benny threw a hand around his neck, pulling him into a kiss.

He froze, then pushed her away. He managed to hold back enough not to toss her through the wall, but she flew back several feet. She caught herself against the desk, grinning at him. “You sure are a feisty one. A girl has to work for it, huh?”

Vegeta balked, staring at her in confused horror. He gestured vaguely to where Bulma had exited. “I… Bulma. Bulma and I. My Bulma. Mated.”

She sauntered closer. “I know it’s gotta be lonely married to a genius like that. I’ve read the magazines, they say you two fight all the time and barely ever touch. You don’t even wear your ring. I could be your Bulma. Just come back and see me, she doesn’t have to know.”

“I don’t…” he had no script for this, he’d never had to deal with it before. Normally, when Earth women realized he was taken they backed off. “No. I am not interested.”

“You mean you’re scared. Bulma has all the money, and if you left her you'd have nothing. But they reported on it when you got married; there's no prenup. You would get half of her money, or at least she'd have to pay you alimony. You don't have to be afraid.”

Vegeta took a step back, staying away from her. “I am not afraid.”

“Good.”

“No-- I mean I do not want to--”

The door opened and Bulma stepped back inside. Benny straightened up immediately, smiling at the heiress. “Find the bathroom okay, Ma'am?”

“Those are some tiny stalls,” Bulma laughed. “Ready to go, Vegeta?”

“I… she…” Good. Bulma was back. This was her job anyway. For any other woman to attempt to steal him on Vegetasei, they'd have to go through his mate first. He assumed it worked the same here. “Bulma, she--”

“Thank you again,” Bulma said, shaking Benny's hand. “Trunks has finally found a school he feels comfortable in, and that has to be because of you. I was actually afraid we'd mess up this meeting and you'd kick him out.”

Benny laughed along with her and Vegeta felt himself go pale. Shit. Could she really force Trunks out? Certainly she could if Bulma gave her the beat down she was entitled to.

“Lovely meeting you. Let's go, Vegeta,” Bulma said.

He followed after her slowly, still unsure of what to do.

“Oh, one more thing,” Benny called. “That science club, it is usually a father-son activity. The dads come to our big events and help the kids show off their inventions. If you'd rather not I'm sure Trunks would understand--”

“He'll be there,” Bulma promised.

Vegeta widened his eyes at her. “Bulma, I don't think--”

“You can put off afternoon training a few times for your son's education,” she insisted, then whispered. “Come on, aren't you trying to get me to help with your favor?”

He snorted, his favor far from his list of current concerns.

“I guess I'll see you next week, then, Vegeta,” Benny said with a professional wave.

He turned quickly, pulling Bulma through the door and walking speedily down the hall.

“Vegeta, what?” She asked, tugging her arm away. “That was rude, we were saying goodbye.”

“It… took too long “ he half-lied. He could still feel the strange woman's eyes on them from down the hall. He casually linked his hand with Bulma's as they walked back towards the parking lot, leaving her even more confused than before.




Chapter Text

Disgraceful . That was the only word for his actions tonight. There were certain things expected of a mate, rules you did not break. You did not steal from your mate, you did not cheat, and you did not lie . He was somehow managing all three.

A cold sweat had settled over his skin, and as they crawled into bed for the night a single word kept repeating in his mind. A'metoselani. The belief my mate seeks to do me no harm; a sacred word on which the whole concept relied. It could be argued he was lying for Trunks’ benefit, but his duty to his offspring were separate and had nothing to do with his vow.

It was Bulma’s right to do what she liked with the woman. His body was her property as well as his own. His only duty in the situation was to turn the interloper away and report the occurrence.

So do it, you coward.

“All right, spill,” she said, laying a hand against his chest.

His blood turned cold. She knew? “What?”

She smiled. “Your favor. What do you want me to do to the Gravity Room?”

“Oh. It is not important.” He did not feel like he was owed a favor. In fact, every minute spent in this lie felt like he was accumulating more debt than he could ever hope to crawl out of.

“Come on, don't tease me. What do you want?”

He gulped. “I wondered if perhaps the mechanism that increases the gravity could be used to decrease it as well.”

She considered that a moment, her mouth dropping open. “Zero gravity sex! Why didn't I think of that? You're a genius! Oh, I'd have to rewire most of… but yeah, about a week should do it.”

“You do not have to.”

She paused. “You have a fantastic idea for kinky sex and then don't want to do it? Are you feeling okay? You've been weird all night.”

“I just mean that you do not owe it to me, A'met . Consider my favors wiped clean.”

“Uh, why ? You love our favor system. You started it.”

“I do not like my mate owing me things,” he lied. Great, another lie that's not for her benefit.

She placed a hand against his forehead, frowning. “You really don't seem like yourself. Do you need to… talk about something?”

“What? Ridiculous. What kind of weakling do you take me for, Woman?”

“Ah,” she said, kissing his forehead. “There's my asshole. Goodnight, Grumpy.”

He nodded as she turned out the light, continuing to stare at the ceiling. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

The irony was not lost on him. Greg . When he'd found out the fool had kissed Bulma against her will he was furious at him, but bewildered by her. Why the hell would she hide the action if she had no part in it and turned him away? She'd done nothing wrong except for the coverup. Now here he was doing the same damn thing. The longer he waited the worse his transgression became. It didn't matter if Trunks was kicked out, that was Bulma's prerogative. It was her right as his mate to know her property had been infringed upon.

He had to tell her.

“A'met ,” he whispered.

She sighed softly, sliding closer to him. “Not tonight, Vegeta. I'm tired.”

He nodded. So his window of opportunity to be immediately honest had closed, and it was his own damn fault. Shit.

---------------------

 

“Dad, come on ,” Trunks complained, pulling his arm. “We're going to be late. I want to show you how my experiment works before people start coming around.

Vegeta huffed, already in a bad mood and dreading stepping foot into that classroom. Six days. He had gone six days without sex. He hadn't gone that long since the damn Hyperbolic Time Chamber. The worst part was that the punishment was self inflicted, technically. Bulma had offered as often as usual, but he kept pretending to be tired or grouchy. To have sex with his mate while lying to her was another level of insult he didn't want to reach if he could help it. He just had to spit it out.

But he hadn't. At first he'd worried she'd be angry he hadn't told her the first day, and every day after that had just stoked his panic. Now he was back at the school without saying a word. Now it was a secret.

Trunks pulled him into the classroom. At least they weren't alone, the room was full of other brats and their fathers collected around desks. Trunks ignored his class, pulling him over to a small clump of desks, and Vegeta balked when he saw who sat on them.

“What-- Goten! I thought the whole point of this was to make new friends. Are you even old enough to be in this club?”

Goten shrugged. “I'm not in the club.”

“He's my experiment,” Trunks explained.

“What?”

Trunks pulled opened a tri-fold cardboard poster and set it up. “My question is: How Much Electricity Would It Take To Force Goten To Go Super Saiyan? My hypothesis is: A Lot.”

“And your teacher approved this?”

“Oh, it's just boys being boys. They won't really shock him of course, it's just for fun,” she laughed, suddenly over his shoulder.

He froze like he'd been the one electrocuted.

“Nice to see you, Vegeta,” Miss Waxtal said smiling broadly at him. “How are you?”

“I'm wondering what the point of making Trunks join a club for socialization is if you're just going to allow Goten in anyway.”

“Oh, Trunks has made great strides in getting to know his peers this week. Isn't that right Trunks?”

“I guess so.”

“Vegeta, can I speak to you in private?”

“Am I in trouble?” Trunks asked.

She laughed. “Oh, no, Dear. It's just grown up talk. Why don't you get going on your ‘experiment’ and I'll bring Daddy back in a few minutes?”

Trunks shrugged. “Kay.

“Fine,” Vegeta said, setting his jaw and going on guard. This ended now.

As soon as they stepped out of the classroom she made a grab for him, and he stepped back several feet. “Is this conversation about Trunks or not?”

She smirked, pulling the bun from her hair and letting it fall to her shoulders. “Nope. You caught me. Now what are you going to do with me?”

He growled, rubbing his forehead. “Listen to me, stupid human woman. I do not want you. I have a completely adequate mate who meets all of my needs. This foolishness stops here, immediately, or I will inform her of your offenses. What happens after that is her choice.”

She rolled her eyes. “Why are you doing this to yourself? You obviously aren't close to her. You're allowed to make a personal connection with someone in your life. Come on. I know you want me.”

“You are mistaken. I sometimes forget other humans are even females. You all look the same, except for a select few I interact with often.”

She giggled. “Sure. And you weren't staring at my breasts the the first time you saw me.”

“I prefer not to look at faces if I don't have to, I don't know where I was looking. This is not a debate. I am informing you that you need to leave me the hell alone. I could break someone as weak as you like a toothpick if I wished. I will continue to come to this apparently pointless club if it is required for Trunks’ education, but we will have only the contact necessary for that.”

The lights in the school dimmed briefly and one of the fathers screamed. Vegeta yanked the door open and saw Trunks standing thoughtfully next to a giggling Goten with very frizzy hair.

“That kind of tickled, Trunks.”

“Trunks!” Vegeta barked. “What was that?”

“That was 50,000 volts, which is apparently not enough for a Saiyan.”

Miss Waxtal slid up behind Vegeta with a concerned look. “Boys, you obviously didn't really shock him. He'd be severely injured. I appreciate creativity, but this is science club. There's a time and a place.” She reached down grabbed a handful of the Saiyan’s ass, squeezing tightly.

Vegeta's mouth dropped open in horror.

The room couldn't see her actions, but Trunks noticed his father's face. “Dad?”

Vegeta took a step forward, freeing himself. “Trunks, take Goten and go to his house. Immediately.”

Trunks looked around. “Uh, the club just--”

“Do you actually enjoy this activity?”

“Not really.”

“Then go. If you leave without further question you may spend the night, assuming the Harpy allows it.”

“Cool,” Trunks grinned, dropping his jumper cables and gesturing to Goten to follow him.

Vegeta turned from the room, walking straight towards the front doors. He had an obligation.

----------------------



Bulma expected them to be gone for several more hours, so when she heard the front door open from the kitchen she was very confused.

“Vegeta? Trunks? Are you home already?” She called.

There was no answer. After a moment Vegeta made it to the kitchen without Trunks in tow. “Vegeta, what are you--”

He went straight for her without breaking his gait and dropped down to his knees. He pressed his forehead against her stomach and took one of her hands. “I need to confess.”

She blinked. “Um… what are you doing?”

She could feel his annoyance. “This is the appropriate way to confess a transgression to your mate. But fine, if you're going to mock it--”

“No! I'm sorry, I didn't know. What's up?”

He struggled. “I need to report an interloper.”

“An interloper? Like a trespasser?”

“Yes.”

“You saw someone sneaking around Capsule Corp? Why would you have to confess that?”

He grumbled against her. “Dammit, Woman. I have already explained the ownership principle of Saiyan marriage. We belong to each other, making me also your property.”

She didn't answer for a long moment, and he fought the urge to look up at her. Technically he wasn't supposed to look at her until she forgave him, but he was fairly sure she didn't know that. When she finally spoke her voice was slow, but steady.

“So when you say ‘interloper’, you mean someone touched you .”

“Yes... She kissed me. I did not kiss her back. I pushed her away and explained we were mated. This happened last week. Today I repeated that I was not interested, but she did not listen. She grabbed my ass, and I came straight here. Those were the only two incidents.”

She was silent again for long enough to make his heart pound. “Why didn't you tell me?”

Shit. Couldn't be helped. “The trespasser is Trunks’ teacher. At first I said nothing because I thought your revenge might get him kicked out of school, which is my real crime. That decision falls to you. Then the guilt built upon itself and I thought I could handle getting rid of her, but she is insistent.”

“Is this why we haven't had sex in a week?”

“Yes.”

She waited. “Is there more?”

“I am supposed to wait until you forgive me or tell me to go fuck myself to get up.”

“Oh. Forgive you for not telling me sooner? I mean… Greg. I can hardly be pissed, I didn't even tell you. You had to find out from him. Fine, you're forgiven.”

He slumped in relief, standing up and stretching. “Fuck. That was awful… Bulma?”

She wasn't looking at him. She was looking at her fingernails, rubbing two of them together almost absentmindedly. Her expression was unreadable, which was unnerving for him because she normally wore her emotions proudly and loudly. “Hmm?”

“What are you doing?”

“Thinking.”



Chapter Text

Benny Waxtal led a pretty predictable life. She lived on the third floor of a lovely apartment complex, though she often wished for more. Benny had a nagging feeling, a long standing belief, that she was meant for more than the modest life she had been born into. She was intelligent, after all, and pretty attractive by most standards. At least she'd never been turned down. Until a week ago.

Every morning Benny woke to her alarm at 6:30 to get ready for the day. She walked from her apartment to the little bakery down the street to get her morning coffee and a donut. Then she took the 7:15 train to the south side of the city, leaving her a few blocks away from the East City School complex. It was a large public school serving Kindergarten through eighth grade, with high schoolers in a different location altogether.

Benny taught her class from 8:15 AM until noon when they went for lunch. She'd go to pick up her usual meal from the cafeteria, and she'd eat the modest salad alone in her office. Class ran again from 12:30 until 3 PM, and she usually did paper work for another hour before heading home.

Benny did not belong to any social clubs. She didn't go out with friends or make plans with coworkers. She had a hobby. And it took up most of her free time.

Her hobby was Bulma Briefs.

It had started just before college as a genuine appreciation for the woman's work on capsulization and other custom feats of engineering she had managed at a very young age. She read book after book on the Briefs family, always comparing her life to that of the genius heiress. When she ran out of books, she read the magazines, and then the tabloids. As she went through article after article, the same thought kept occuring to her, growing into a burning resentment that left her blood boiling.

I'm better than her.

Benny understood the science behind all of her inventions, and knew she could have made them herself if she had the resources. The only difference between the two of them was where they were born. Benny was born to middle-class parents who'd split when she was a teenager, and Bulma got a lavish life with doting, permissive billionaires. If they'd been switched at birth, she was convinced she could have made everything Bulma had so far, and done it better.

That was all before Bulma's mysterious houseguest arrived. Magazines tried desperately to report on the man, but it was incredibly hard to get a picture of him. There was even a legend that an unlucky journalist had been briefly kidnapped for trying to photograph him, and then paid off to keep quiet about it. When she finally saw a real picture she was in love immediately. Poor man. There was no way a woman that self absorbed would appreciate him.

What a surprise, now Bulma had a baby and a sexy, reclusive man who looked like he'd been ripped from a romance novel. Because of who she was. Because of what she'd been given , without merit. Benny deserved that life more, and she was going to get it.

It was a dream come true to find out Trunks was coming to her classroom. What were the odds that a kid from such a rich family would need a public school, and that he'd need to be a few grades ahead due to intelligence? She decided to keep him there no matter what, because he was the first step.

Getting Trunks on her side probably wouldn't be too hard, she figured. Bulma probably neglected her ten year old, and he'd be desperate for a strong woman in his life. She'd been extra nice to him, letting him get away with basically everything. She told him he was probably not going to have much in common with his peers, so he may as well not try to connect with them. She needed a reason to keep him in her class, after all.

To her surprise he didn't immediately cling to her, but he seemed to like her well enough. Then she just had to wait until Parent-Teacher night. She would meet Vegeta, he would see she was a much better candidate than his wife, and their illicit affair would begin. Then, with her husband around one finger and her son around the other, she'd take what by all rights should have been hers.

But Vegeta said no. After all of her planning, after her careful work, the man wasn't interested? Ridiculous. Bulma clearly had a closer hold on him financially than she thought. She'd make another move. It would just require more thought. She knew she was a better tactician, she'd always be one step ahead.

There was only one warning sign of what was to come. The day before, Trunks was not in her classroom. At first she assumed he was sick; there was always something nasty being spread from child to child, so he could easily have a cold. When she went to make him absent, he was not in her system at all.

She went to the office during lunch and asked about the issue. The receptionist immediately looked away from her at the question, suddenly very busy with whatever she was typing.

“Trunks Briefs has been moved up to seventh grade.”

She blinked. “What? My recommendation was--”

“It was taken into consideration. The principal chose to move him up to seventh grade.”

“Did they say why--”

“Have a nice day, Miss Waxtal,” she smiled sternly, nodding to the door.

Damn. She wasn't going to take this lying down; they always followed teacher recommendations. She scheduled an appointment to see the principle the next day and went back to work.

When she woke up the next morning, it was not to her alarm. A shrill, piercing bell startled her awake, and she sat up gasping. Fire alarm. She grabbed her alarm clock, groaning when she saw that it was only three in the morning.

Soon she and the fifty other residents of her building were standing outside in their pajamas, waiting for the fire department. No one had smelled smoke, and it could just be a false alarm, but it was better safe than sorry. An hour passed before the firefighters arrived to check the scene. When asked why they had taken so long to get there, they gave no answer. They simply went room to room in the building, clearing them to go back inside. The alarm, however, stayed on.

“An electrical issue,” they were told. “That's why it went off in the first place. We'll have a man out here to fix it shortly.”

Benny stomped angrily back into her apartment about 6:15, still covering her ears to ward off the head-splitting peal. She shoved cotton balls in to help somewhat, and got ready to take a fast shower.

The hot water was out.

What the fuck ? In the three years she'd lived here they had never had an issue with hot water. She washed up as fast as she could, shivering by the time she went to put her makeup on. It was a bad morning. Rotten luck.

At 6:45, already late, she ran down the street towards her little bakery. She heard the fire alarm finally stop and rolled her eyes, glad it would at least be off when she got home.

She thought maybe there was a street performer outside, there was such a large crowd gathered. It wasn't until she was much closer that she realized it was a line. The small, locally owned business was packed, a long line of hungry customers spilling out of the door.

She blinked. This place was never busy; that's why she liked it. She saw the owner's son coming fast up the sidewalk with a box and quickly flagged him down.

“Tolane, why are all these people here?”

The young man smiled. “Isn't it great? I guess we got featured in some high profile magazine yesterday; we had no idea! Dad's crazy busy, I had to go get more ingredients. It'll take a long time to make more donuts, but they're willing to wait!”

She smiled hollowly. Great. There was no way she'd be able to get her breakfast and catch the train to make it to work on time.

She did without. She went straight to the train station, making it there with only four minutes left to spare before her train was supposed to arrive. Ten minutes passed before she sought out the help desk.

“The line is down for maintenance.”

What ?” She asked incredulously. “Was this scheduled? Why were there no warnings or announcements?”

The man shrugged. “I just know the line is down.”

“I need to get to the south side.”

“That's nice,” he muttered, sliding the window closed.

That was her first moment of suspicion. Something weird was happening today.

She had to take a cab to work, which cost way more than she'd planned on spending this week on transportation. She forked over the Zenni with an annoyed grumble, finally making it to work about twenty minutes late. A poor office manager had been wrangled into trying to keep control of her class in her absence, and they were all yelling and running around the room when she made it in. She thanked the manager for trying, and spent the next few hours calming the class down to get them back on track.

She hoped lunch would be the turning point. She'd have a while to sit down and eat and just process everything that had happened today. She took her usual journey to the lunchroom and asked for her boxed salad.

The server looked at her in surprise. “Ma'am, we didn't save you a salad today.”

“Um… may I ask why?”

“Because you told us not to? You sent us an email changing your order.”

“I most certainly did not,” she snapped, already in a bad mood.

The server pulled the message up on her phone. “Yes, Ma'am. From your school email. ‘Please do not make a salad for me today. I am requesting only three bottles of water, because I am an incredibly thirsty woman’.”

She groaned. “Is there anything I can eat?”

“It's ham balls today, Ma'am.”

She blanched but nodded, taking the school lunch and heading back to her classroom. When she tried to catch the principal for their scheduled meeting, she learned he was out for the day. Not sick, not busy, just 'out’.

When her class was over for the day she happened to pass Trunks and Goten in the hall. She waved at them, but they looked down and did not wave back. She was starting to feel like there was a black mark on her forehead, warning people away.

At least the nightmare was over. She could go home and just relax. She called a cab company to take her home and waited in front of the school. She got antsy after half an hour, and after forty minutes she called again. They said she had called back and canceled her cab.

By the time she made it home, the sun had gone down. Her building looked peaceful at least. The elevator was out of order, so she had to walk up the stairs, but she wasn't surprised. Whatever chaos god had it out for her was incredibly thorough.

Her door was unlocked. It shouldn't have been. Her heart beat faster. The lights were off in her apartment, but she could feel that she was not alone. Outside the street lamps casted little clarity on her situation, but she was afraid to turn on the light. What lay at the end of the worst day of her life?

Her eyes adjusted slightly and she saw the sharp contours of his hair outlined against the wall next to the window.

She shut the door behind her, a smile creeping across her face. She took a slow step forward. “Vegeta. It's you, isn't it?”

“Yes.”

She slid her jacket off, throwing it over the recliner in front of her. “So much for your wife 'meeting all your needs’. If that's true, what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to watch.”

“Watch what?”

Two claps rang out and the lights in her apartment came on. Bulma sat against the arm of her couch with a fiery smirk. Benny jumped backward; she'd been only feet from the woman and hadn't noticed.

Bulma tilted her head. “I had the clapper installed today while you were at work. More dramatic. You're welcome.”

Benny struggled. “Mrs… Mrs.Briefs. How are you?”

“Better than you, looks like,” Bulma said, looking at her nails. “The way I hear it, you've had the day from hell.”

“What--”

“Fire alarms and train delays and all sorts of odd coincidences. It's almost like… people have spent all day fucking with things that belong to you . I wouldn't know what that's like. No one has ever been stupid enough to try before now.”

She gaped, unsure what to say at first. Bulma waited. “Ma'am, I don't know what you've been told, but I won't press charges against Vegeta. He came on to me and it was inappropriate, especially in a school setting, but--”

Bulma laughed loudly. “Oh my gods, you actually tried that. Lady, if you knew my husband you would know he's never come on to anyone in his life. Any ability he has to flirt now came from my hard work, and I'm the one who reaps the benefits. Not some cheap ass wannabe who thinks she can get away with whatever the fuck she wants because she can read a couple magazines. Looks like you know quite a lot about me, based on the the bullshit I found all over your internet history, but I barely know you at all. And you know what? I don't want to. Just the research I did for today showed you're incredibly dull.”

“It was you,” Benny said, taking a step back. “All day. How could you--”

“You know what I did all day? I went to the spa. It was nice. I've been working too hard and I thought I needed a rest. I made a few calls this last week, that's all.” She stood up, suddenly much closer than Benny had expected her to get. “It took me almost no effort whatsoever to throw your whole life out of whack.” She leaned closer, voice dropping, and Benny looked down. “And do you know why I did it?”

Benny gulped. “Why?”

Bulma smiled sweetly. “Because I want you to know how easy it would be for me to wreck your entire life if I wanted to. I don't even have to try . You're a fucking ant to me, Miss Waxtal. I don't even have to touch you. But I will.”

Benny had enough time to look up, and then Bulma's fist collided against her cheek with a sick fleshy crack. Benny sat back hard in her recliner, hand covering her cheek as she cried out in shock.

Bulma flexed her fingers. “Let's go, Vegeta. And wipe that damn smirk off your face. Your punishment is next.”

He pushed off of the wall wordlessly, following after her. Benny looked down as they passed, face burning with embarrassment and the bruise forming under her eyes.

“We fucked on your bed, by the way,” Bulma called back to her, closing the door behind them. She heard the man's deep chuckle echo down the hall.

The next day, Benny's life went back to normal. She moved anyway.

 

Chapter Text

It was about three in the afternoon when Bulma opened the door to the third floor apartment. She walked in without hesitation like she'd lived there for years, tossing the copied key onto the coffee table and flopping down on the couch. Vegeta walked in behind her, glancing over the modest living space.

“Is this how other humans live? It's small.”

She snorted. “I knew you were a gold digger. Would you have not ended up with me if I lived in a place like this?”

“I doubt that if your dwelling was this small you would have invited a hundred Nameks and myself to live with you.”

“Well, maybe I would have just invited you. Considering you already thought I was proposing, that may have looked pretty slutty.” Her phone buzzed. She pulled it out and smiled slightly, shaking her head. “Aw, she's trying to take a cab home. Surprise, you're walking Honey.”

“I thought the point of coming here was to confront her?”

“It is, but not yet. I'm not done.”

He nodded.

She walked into the kitchen casually, popping open the fridge and pulling out a soda to sip. She made a face at the taste and poured it down the sink. When it was empty she left it on the counter, and emptied another for good measure.

“What are you doing?”

“Making sure she knows we were here for awhile and did whatever we wanted. By the way, we're having sex before she gets here.”

He pulled his black tank top off and threw it to the side, quickly working to get rid of his pants.

She looked at him suspiciously, walking over to him and taking hold of the hem of his pants. “What's with you today? Since when do you follow orders?”

He shrugged. “This is your battle, not mine. It was your pride that was questioned. A weak willed woman would just allow the actions to go unpunished. Clearly you are not.”

“Are you enjoying this?”

“It's been a week, Woman. Am I enjoying watching you wield your power? Yes.”

“In the bedroom. If she wants you in her bed so bad we'll make it happen, she just doesn't get to see it. But don't think you're completely off the hook. After the punishment you gave me after Greg I can't just let this go.”

“Later,” he nodded, pulling her to him and kissing her hard.

“Wait,” she paused, turning back to the kitchen. “I want to make a mess. I have an idea.”

------------------------

 

She let out a shaky breath as his tongue slid up the underside of her breast, but she caught his slight grimace. “What?”

“It's too sweet.”

She turned the can of whipped cream upside down over her mouth and sprayed it in. “Tastes okay to me,” she mumbled out.

“You could eat a small mountain of sugar and enjoy it. I could not. How about mustard? I enjoy that.”

“Ew, no way are you covering me in mustard. I'd suggest the chocolate but you don't like that either,” she sighed. “Oh well.” She sprayed some around her body and rubbed it into the bed. “It's served its purpose. Come here, then. We're going to do it rough, and you're cumming on the sheets.”

“No,” he muttered, returning to her breast. “I didn't say I was done tasting you.”

“What happened to me being in charge?” she teased.

“You demand it on this woman's bed? Fine. Let me work out the details,” he said kissing up towards her neck.

“Demand it, huh? As if you don't want to.”

He paused, breathing against her pulse. “ Usaknolo'te .”

She giggled. “You're just sucking up so your punishment won't be as harsh.”

“Was yours really so terrible?”

“Too late to beg, I already know what I'm doing.”

“Really? Do tell.”

“Working on the gravity room this week made me start thinking,” she grinned. “Wouldn't it be great if I could localize gravity distortion to a single point. Like, say, a wearable bracelet that could turn up to thousands of times as heavy Earth's gravity without affecting the space around it?”

He hummed. “I could train anywhere and still get some of the benefits of the room.”

She snorted. “Maybe later. That's not what they're for.”

----------------



He could hear his heart beating, but that was the only sound given to him. This was not the first time he'd been held down, but it was the only time he'd actually lost the ability to move. The cuffs around his wrists and ankles were heavy , heavy enough to keep him truly immobile. Those metal cuffs, ear plugs, and a blindfold were the only things he wore as he knelt on their bedroom floor with his knees on a pillow, struggling to stay calm.

She got to choose his punishment, it was only fair. She couldn't know how much this terrified him.

He had never really felt pain in this room. They'd shove or bite or even slap at each other in the heat or passion of a moment, but with her powerlevel he felt none of it. Pain was no stranger to him, but never here.

He couldn't see her, couldn't hear her, had no way of knowing what was coming. His only saving grace was her energy signature, which really only assured him she was in the room with him. That was something. He knew she hadn't just abandoned him here.

Trapped. Completely at another's mercy. A slave. He had sworn he'd never end up like this again.

He had seen a lot of tools before the blindfold went on. Whips, belts, rods, candles, he had no idea what she actually intended to use, and without his senses he couldn't be ready for it. But for the love of the gods, use them already . The waiting was the worst. It had been ten minutes since the restraints were put on, and he'd had nothing since. He felt the click of her heels on the floor as she approached him.

He jumped when he felt her lips on the back of his neck and was caught by the restraints. She laid a hand on his shoulder to remind him to stay still. He nodded.

Leather touched his back. Not sharply, not hard, just a slow, sliding exploration of his muscles. Looking for weak points? His back tensed, bracing itself for the sting.

I didn't come. A slight tug to his hair came as she exposed his neck to her. For what? A bite? On Vegetasei she'd be well within her rights to want him to bear some kind of mark after what that woman had attempted. Her mouth closed on his skin, but her teeth did not. She sucked on the flesh there, and he felt the leather something slide around to rub against his stomach.

Until now, he hadn't been hard. The constant expectation of pain saw to that. His body knew hers, though, and reacted as it always did to her touch. He winced as he hardened, willing himself down. If he wanted her when she struck him the pain would be worse.

“Sure you can take this?” She'd asked him before. “Of course ,” he'd lied. “I'm a Saiyan warrior. I'm not afraid of a little pain. Do your worst.”

Fuck. It was no use. He was hard and ready for her, long since too conditioned to rise to her prompting to resist. A hand slid down his stomach and he tried to brace himself, unsure what it would do once it reached its target.

She took him into her hand, stroking slowly at first the way he liked. He felt the involuntary groan leave his throat, but he could not hear it. He hissed in a breath when the second hand found his balls, but released it when she did not twist or hurt him.

She kissed around the back of his neck, then started in on the other side. Both hands gripped him now, pumping him firmly. He was nervous to let himself enjoy it, but he gave in. She could be edging him again, letting him get right up to the edge before she denied him.

Faster and faster and more . He felt his moans silently escape, that hint of danger tainting everything but making it just a bit more sweet. One hand kept up the brutal pace and the other came up to his head. She pulled out one of his earplugs, and whispered as she threw him into bliss.

“I would never hurt you.”

He came hard against the floor, pulsing in her hands as she worked him through it, peppering soft kisses against his shoulder.

A long moment passed, and he didn't speak. She reached forward to take the blindfold off. She froze when she felt that it was damp.

“Oh, shit, Vegeta?” She asked, trying to turn his head towards hers. He held it still, away from her. “I didn't mean to… are you mad at me?”

“No. I am not,” he said, his voice quieter than she was used to. “You were never going to…?”

She pressed her forehead against his shoulder. “No, you dork. You didn't do anything wrong. I couldn't hurt you if you did. I love you.”

She felt his shoulders move, and for a terrifying moment thought he was sobbing. When she listened closer she heard his breathless laughter.

“Cora te'see. Te seyut see a'met, illium, Bulma.

She blinked at him. “You're not supposed to say your vows twice.”

“Well I did, Woman, what are you going to do about it?” he huffed, turning to her with a smile that looked out of place on his face. “Fuck, Bulma. Look what you've done. I would do anything for you.”

Chapter Text

“Why have we not had a second child?” The question came with no warning, and it hit the air like thick cement.

She paused. She'd been talking about her full schedule for Monday, and he'd just thrown that sentence at her. She'd been busy, busy enough to decide to delay her big birthday bash by another year. She sat up in bed, frowning. “I don't know.”

“Did you start taking those pills again after the situation with Buu?”

“No.”

“And you said that you have a chance to conceive a few days a month?”

“Basically.”

“Then we should have another child by now. We have sex constantly.”

“I don't know what to tell you. Goku and Chichi--”

“I am tired of being compared to Kakarot.”

“They're the only other couple like us. They may not do it as much as we do, but they've still been married for decades and only have two kids. Saiyans and humans just have low fertility rates. We got lucky with Trunks. We might get lucky again.”

He grumbled in annoyance.

“We should be grateful,” she told him. “The odds of our species even being compatible are ridiculously low. That makes Trunks a hybrid, he could have been weak or sick a lot but he's not. What bug crawled up your ass tonight?”

“If I want a child with my mate I should be able to create one.”

She rolled her eyes. “Is this a masculinity thing? Oh, wait, it's you. It's a pride thing.”

“What further steps can we take?”

“We wait. And we hope I'm not too old when it decides to work.”

He scoffed. “ Wait? I remember you once telling me there were 'options’ of some kind if women wanted a child on Earth.”

She sighed. “I mean yeah, stuff like in vitro exists, but I don't want to go that far. Look, I have Trunks, and he's perfect. I never intended to have kids in the first place. I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, I'm just going to be grateful I got to have my own child with you. If it happens again, great. If not, okay.”

He growled.

“You really want another child that badly?”

“I cannot make an army of one child.”

She rolled onto his chest. “Bull. You just like kids and Trunks is getting older.”

He scoffed.

“He practically worshipped you when he was little, and he's growing up. He hasn't slept in bed with us for like a year.”

“You're absurd. Fine. We wait.”

“Would you want a little girl this time?” She asked. “One of each?”

“Gender means nothing to me. A warrior is a warrior.”

“Yeah, right. A little girl would wrap you so tight around her finger you couldn't see straight. I did.”

-------------------



He caught the wrench before it hit him, of course, and glanced up at her from the couch. “What, Woman?”

“Where's my book?”

“What book?”

The book. The Lonely Spaceman.”

“How should I know? I don't even like that book.”

“Right, and you didn't like Titanic either.”

“It was predictable.”

“You yelled about her scooting over to let him on the floating door for half an hour.”

“They could have at least taken turns! It may have brought her chances of survival down but his were at just about zero. If we were in the same situation I'd expect you to--”

“You can fly , Vegeta. You'd just fly us to land. Hell, you could have just picked up the boat and flown that to land as soon as they hit the iceberg.”

“I'll keep that in mind if your Princess Bulma goes down.”

She smiled at first, then immediately switched back to suspicion. “Hey, don't distract me! Where is The Lonely Spaceman?”

“I don't know. I did not take it.”

“I know I left it on the shelf because I alphabetized my books a month ago. You've taken it before.”

“On journeys. I have no desire to read it here.”

“Bullshit. You took it just to mess with me.”

He growled. “I said I didn't! Now go away, I'm watching that show where weak humans try to impress weaker humans.”

“American Ninja Warrior can wait. Where did you put it? Mom doesn't like to read and Dad doesn't like smutty romance.”

He paused. “I will… keep an eye out for it.”

She rolled her eyes, heading back toward her lab. “Sure. Whatever. Thief.”

Vegeta sighed and walked straight to Trunks’ room. The door was not locked, but he knocked anyway.

“Come in,” Trunks called. He found him sitting at his desk with real homework in front of him, with his television blaring in the background. “Yeah?”

Vegeta leaned against the door frame. “Your mother is missing a book.”

Trunks’ poker face was excellent, but he heard the boy's heart speed up. They'd have to work on that if he was going to try to deceive people in battle. “What book?”

Vegeta didn't break eye contact. “A book that is inappropriate for those under a certain age, and the cover makes that clear. Because it is inappropriate, she has accused me and considered your grandparents. It has not even crossed her mind that it might be intriguing to someone who should not be reading it yet. Though I suspect the idea will come to her if she keeps thinking about it. She is very intelligent.”

“Huh. She loses things sometimes. It'll turn up eventually,” Trunks said quietly.

“If this theoretical pubescent dumbass did take that book, it would be a poor choice because it happens to be her favorite, and she will turn this house upside down to find it. Every room in this house would be searched thoroughly .”

Trunks gulped.

“So I certainly hope she finds the book back on it's shelf. Perhaps she just missed it the first time she looked.”

“She...probably missed it. I'm sure it's there. She'll find it when she looks again.”

Vegeta nodded gravely. “How long until you're eighteen?”

“I turn eleven next month.”

He sighed. He could feel it coming, the talk he absolutely did not want to have. Not today. “They are more fun to deal with when they are small,” he muttered, shutting the door. He certainly wouldn't admit that to her.

Vegeta went back to his show. A few hours later Bulma walked by and kissed the top of his head once. “Thank you for putting it back. Now admit that you like it.”

“No.”

“Ass.”

Chapter Text

He was used to floating in the air, but she was not. It made her slightly dizzy, and she kept grabbing him as an anchor point.

He chuckled at her. “You can't believe you're going to fall. You understand the concept of zero gravity, you've been to space.”

“We had artificial gravity on the ship on the way to Namek, and the dragon wish sent us back instantly. No floating necessary. Sometimes one of you flies me around, but for the most part my feet stay on the ground.”

“Then we'll have to make your first experience in it pleasant,” he said, looking just above her head.

She looked up. “What?”

“Your hair. It's enormous in this environment.”

“Yours looks the same,” she snorted. “I swear it's already gravity resistant.” She touched his hair. “Is that the secret? Do Saiyans have space in their hair? Why didn't Trunks get that?”

He shrugged. “Our hair grows away from our faces so that it does not block our view in battle, and it does not grow after a certain age. All of the human half-bloods seem to have hair that continues to regrow, and Trunks did not get the advantage of it angling away.”

She thought about that. “So… his hair is purple. Would his tail be purple if he had one? If he could transform into an Oozaru would be a great big purple ape? Like Grape Ape?”

“I don't know , Woman. My tail was brown and my hair is black, they don't always match.”

“Oh yeah. I guess Goku's was brown too. It could still be cool if he--”

“We are naked and floating. Can we not discuss our son?”

She laughed. “Sorry.” She kissed him, and he slowly moved them against the wall, trapping her between his arms. She slid her hands down his back, catching the nub of his tail and massaging it to watch his eyes roll back.

“Turn around,” he breathed.

She did, using him as a ballast. He nipped at the back of her neck gently, using the lack of force to slide himself easily down to run his teeth across her back. He grabbed her hips and pulled them towards him.

“Brace your hands on the wall.”

She pressed her hands against the cool metal, making the mistake of glancing at the ground. She jumped slightly, but felt his hands tighten on her.

“Even if the gravity returned, I would hold us up. You would not fall.”

She nodded. “I better not.”

“Your mind is still wandering.”

She shrugged. “Kind of. I was thinking about you, and space. There's still so much I don't know. When was the first time you--” she gasped loudly as he entered her in one hard thrust. Her legs went back, curling weightlessly around his.

“Are you paying attention, now?” He asked, beginning a slow but firm motion.

“Gods, I love it when you do that,” she shivered, pushing against the wall to meet his hips. “Harder.”

He obeyed. “Keep speaking.”

“I love you. And I love your hard cock, Prince.”

He growled, speeding up instinctually. She didn't speak as often as he did during sex, and if she did it was usually in response to his prompting. ‘Say my name’, ‘tell me when you're going to come’, and ‘say it in Saiyago’ were some of his most common requests.

“Hold on,” she warned him. He was confused at first, but she quickly pushed hard on the wall, sending them towards the ceiling. He went with her easily, and soon her palms were flush against the top of the room. “Now. Come on, I need it.”

If direction mattered in a weightless space, he would be lying flat on his back in the air. He turned so he could watch her face, and then he was buried inside her again. He sat up slowly between her legs until they were facing each other, using a bit of his flying ability to keep them anchored to the spot without ceasing his rough assault.

“Do you know what training is going to be like for me in the following weeks?”

She blinked, unsure why he wanted to talk about training now .

“Whenever I have you in here, your scent seeps into the crevices between the metal. I can't ignore it. I've tried. I attempt to keep my mind focused on getting stronger, but all I can think about is pinning you against the floor. I relive it for weeks. That's fine with me; battle and sex are closely linked for a Saiyan. My adrenaline is never higher.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck. His movements felt sweeter, and there was a tightening in her body like a cord being pulled to its limit. “I'm close.”

“I can tell. I can always tell,” he smiled against her hair. He stopped moving.

“Vegeta,” she whined, trying to push against him but having no leverage to do so. “Why did you--”

“Beg. I want to hear it when I picture this.”

Please ,” she said, squeezing his shoulders.

“Please what?”

She grabbed his hair hard enough to hurt a human. “Make me come. Please, Vegeta, make me come on your--”

Her voice failed her as he gave in, slamming into her. A loud moan escaped her lips, and she would have floated backwards if he wasn't holding her still. He came shortly afterward, and they just floated in space for a long moment.

“I was three.”

“What?” She asked, trying to come back to her senses.

“My first time in weightless space. I was three.”

She smiled. “Thank you.”

-----------------



Goku knocked hard on the front door, and Vegeta had it open before he was finished. Vegeta moved out of way of the other Saiyan's fist, avoiding being punched accidently. Goku held up a magazine with wide eyes. “Did you see--”

“Of course I saw it, you idiot,” Vegeta snapped, pushing him away from the door and closing it behind them. “Keep your voice down!”

“Is it true?”

Vegeta rolled his eyes. “Are you serious? Do you believe everything you read?”

“No, but Chichi gets this magazine every week and it's usually pretty good.”

Vegeta shot an annoyed look at the rag. “Of course it's not true. They've been after Bulma for years. The bastards have obviously decided Trunks is a better target.”

“Did Trunks read it?”

“I told him not to but there are copies all over the city. I'm sure he's gotten ahold of one.”

“Wow. Poor Trunks.”

He scoffed. “My son has thicker skin than this.”

“There's some pretty bad stuff in here, Vegeta. What does Bulma--”

“She doesn't know. Do not tell her. Trunks and I don't care but this will absolutely mean war if she sees it. Trunks does not want to change schools due to this, but if his mother murders someone that will likely be required.”

“How could she not see this? It's everywhere.”

“She is in her lab on a binge with some contraption. I hate to say this… I could use your help. If you see this filth, destroy it.”

He nodded, ripping up the magazine. “But did he really--”

“Kakarot, my son is eleven. Do you honestly think he got a teacher pregnant?”

Goku laughed sheepishly. “No, I guess not. Goten says the part about him is a lie, too.”

“No shit. We obviously have never --”

“What the fuck ?”

The Saiyans froze as Bulma's voice reached them floors away, somewhere inside the building.

“Uh, I've got to go,” Goku said, quickly raising his fingers to his temple.

“Kakarot, you coward!” Vegeta called after him. “If you hadn't distracted me I would have known she was out. How did she even see it, I've destroyed every copy in the house--”

“Dad,” Trunks called out of a window. “It's on the TV!”

“Son of a bitch ,” he snapped, stalking quickly up the stairs.

Trunks sat on the couch, looking very uncomfortable. Bulma stood fuming in front the television, still clothed in the stained coveralls she wore when she was elbow deep in the physical side of her job. The damned announcer continued to explain.

“Further on in Z Magazine’s scathing tell-all interview about the young heir to the Briefs’ fortune, their source goes on to explain just how he is allowed to get away these heinous activities. The direct quote is: ‘Mommy writes a check. Any other boy with his history of violence and illegal activities would have been thrown in Juvenile Detention long ago.’”

“That's complete horseshit!” She bellowed. “I have never written a check to get Trunks out of something! He hasn't done anything.”

“It's just a slow newsday. No one believes this drivel.”

She narrowed her eyes. “I want to see that magazine. Now.”

“We received one copy and I destroyed it.”

She turned to her son. “Trunks, you're as obsessive as I am. I know you kept a copy.”

He squirmed.

“I want to read it, Trunks.”

The boy guiltily reached underneath his cushion and slid a copy of the magazine out, handing it to his mother.

“Dammit, Boy! I told you to get rid of it!”

She ripped the magazine from him and studied the picture if get son on the cover, then yanked it open. “Assaults… property damage… they think you got a teacher what ?”

“It gets worse,” Vegeta grimaced.

She paused, reading silently. Her mouth dropped open.

Trunks cleared his throat. “That part… that's not true, is it Mom?”

She threw the offending column against the wall and knelt down, taking his hand. “Of course not, Honey. None of it is.”

“Well, some of it is. Milford Academy didn't want me because of my record.”

She sighed. “That's how these vultures work, Trunks. They find a kernel of truth to work with and then make a whole bullshit story around it. I've been dealing with them since before you were born.”

Trunks was still looking down at his feet. “So… it never happened?”

Bulma sighed. “Look at me, Trunks. I promise, we have never paid Goten to be your friend. Ever . He's your friend because he likes you.”

“Okay,” Trunks said firmly. He still looked disturbed by the thought. “I'm gonna go to my room.”

Bulma watched him go. Vegeta could feel the anger radiating from her skin. He approached her slowly.

“They hurt my baby.”

“He's fine.”

“He is not fine,” she spat. “I am going to sue the shit out of the whole magazine.”

Vegeta nodded solemnly.

“And you need to talk to him.”

“What would that accomplish? If he's truly allowed this to bother him then I certainly would not help him to speak to me.”

“No, I'm going to help with that. A magazine just accused him of getting someone pregnant. People are going to ask him about it, and he needs to understand what they're talking about. Tomorrow you have to talk to him about sex.”

Vegeta growled, covering his face. “Dammit. This is Kakarot's fault.”

Chapter Text

Trunks was sitting on his bed watching TV when Vegeta kicked his door open. The boy jumped and almost dropped the soda in his hand, frowning at his father. “Dad? What's going on? Am I in trouble?”

Vegeta swung the door shut behind him, dropping heavily into the chair at the boy's computer and spinning it to face him. He was grumbling under his breath, something about 'that Woman’ and 'unnecessary.

“Are you hiding from Mom again?”

“I have never hidden from your mother!” He snapped.

Trunks winced. “Jeez. Okay.” He was a little surprised; the man had been in a good mood earlier. What set him off this time?

“Give me the remote.”

“Can't you watch TV in the living--”

“Now!”

He tossed the remote to Vegeta and he turned it off, dropping the device onto his desk. Vegeta's face was serious, intense, and it sent a dangerous shiver down Trunks’ back.

“Dad? Is everything okay? Is there going to be a fight again? Are we in danger?”

“Silence! I need to speak with you, apparently .”

He waited, but his father didn't continue. “...Okay?”

Vegeta sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “ Your mother says we need to have a conversation about sex.”

Trunks’ eyes went wide with horror. “No.”

“I agree completely. Unfortunately, she does not, and if I don't get this out of the way, she will talk to you instead.”

Trunks’ face was burning. His voice dropped lower. “This is not happening.”

“Don't be a coward, Boy. Let's face this with pride. Let's be clear. We talk about this today quickly and we never bring it up again . I know that you know that I know you're looking at porn.”

Trunks groaned.

“It's not unusual for most young boys. Admit it and move on.”

“I mean… I guess…”

“Good, that's out of the way. So what kind of porn is it?”

Trunks choked. “What?”

“I need to know if you're attracted to men or women presently. They are different conversations.”

“Holy shit , Dad,” Trunks winced. “Sorry.”

“You are allowed to swear in this conversation. I sure as fuck will.”

Trunks nodded. “Fine. I guess… both? Kind of?”

Vegeta groaned.

“Is that bad?”

“Obviously. It means our conversation will be twice as long.”

“But it's not,” he shifted uncomfortably, “weird?”

Vegeta shrugged. “No. Not for a Saiyan at least. I do not know about humans.”

“Saiyans like both?”

“Some.”

“Even you?” he asked, feeling bold.

He rolled his eyes. “I am interested in your mother only. I had never intended to marry at all.”

“Right, but I mean if Mom had the same personality but was a guy--”

“Then children would have been biologically impossible for us and I wouldn't have to have this fucking conversation. Drop it.”

Trunks nodded.

“Your internet history suggests you understand the basics of what sex is, correct?”

He shrugged.

“Speak, Boy. I want this over.”

“I think so. People do it to make babies, right? How does that work?”

Vegeta cleared his throat. “The, um… when a man… fuck. Okay. I know that due to your accelerated Saiyan development you are farther along than human children your age, but I don't know… how far along. When a grown man… finishes the activity, a fluid is produced. Do you understand?”

He nodded.

“The way Bulma explained it, there are several million living organisms in that fluid--”

Trunks made a horrified face.

“I know. Disgusting. If the man is currently having sex with a woman when it happens, those organisms swim and have a chance of becoming a child.”

“Does that hurt?”

“No. It does not,” he said clearing his throat. “It's not supposed to. It can be very satisfying, like eating after being incredibly hungry.

“Why do the women let them do that?”

“They enjoy it as well.” He pointed at him seriously. “Sex is not over until the woman also… is satisfied. Their process is more subtle than a man's and can take a bit longer, but it is not that hard. If you ignore their enjoyment you're selfish and they're unlikely to want you back in their bed.”

“But what if I don't know how to--”

“Then fucking ask. It's not like it's a boring process. There are very few achievements more fun than watching them come undone due to your actions.”

He nodded solemnly.

“There are options on Earth that did not exist on Vegetasei. The little I heard of this topic from Nappa was that if you had sex, you might have a child. That was that. If you create a child, you are responsible for it. You have to feed it and protect it until it is able to do so itself. Apparently you are also obligated to have ridiculous, unnecessary talks like this. So wait to take the risk, you are far too young to take on that sort of responsibility. However, on Earth there are some ways to prevent the woman becoming pregnant. She can take a daily pill, or you can wear a condom. They are awful, but better than making a bunch of bastards.”

“Love you too, Dad.”

He snorted, amused. “Yes, you were clearly an accident. That's another thing, you should know Saiyan fertility seems to be low with humans, and we are not sure if the pills work against us. Don't get anyone pregnant. Including teachers,” he mocked.

He rolled his eyes. “Okay.”

Vegeta tapped his finger against his knee. “As for males, most of what I said still applies except that neither of you can get pregnant. Use a condom anyway to prevent the spreading of disease unless you know the person very well and are certain that is not a possibility. Once again, sex is not supposed to hurt, so make sure you both take… measures to prevent that. I'm not going to spell it out, look it up on the internet.”

“Alright.”

“Lastly, you should be aware that battle and sex are linked for a Saiyan. That may be your instinct, but you need to ignore it. Humans don't often fight each other during sex, and if you are too rough you may seriously hurt them. Remember that speed is not required, and control your emotions. There, are we done? I think we're done.”

Trunks held up a hand to stop him. “Wait, if this is the only time we talk about it, can I ask a couple questions?”

Vegeta nodded in agreement, already halfway to the door. “Fine.”

“Is there other kinds of sex? I saw one video where this woman--”

“Yes “ he cut him off, looking more uncomfortable if it was possible. “There are other things two people can do. Figuring them out is a learning experience. Just listen to the other person.”

“There was this one where a female cop and this guy--”

“Porn is not real, Boy. The images may be, the situations are not. More importantly, the reactions are not. They are acting, so don't go thinking watching inappropriate things is somehow practice for the real thing.”

“I understand. But why act like that? Why dress up and pretend they're someone different?”

He shrugged. “It can be fun to try something new after a long time. Sometimes women wear these silken things that are… pleasant. Don't go suggesting that immediately, you'll likely be smacked.”

Trunks started to agree, but paused. His mouth dropped open and he shrank back.

“What's wrong with you?”

“When...when I was little… I walked in your bedroom… Were you guys--”

“Yes, and it's your fault I didn't get to finish you little shit.”

Trunks screamed, covering his face with a pillow. “What the fuck ? She had on a bunny suit! What is wrong with you guys?”

“We've fucked in the Gravity Room too. And the living room. The kitchen. The dining room table--”

“Stop.”

“Against the front door. On the couch. In the hall closet--”

“Why are you doing this?”

“Because you've been preventing me from having all of the sex I would like since you were born and I'm due this revenge. Essentially pick a surface in this house and I've made your mother orgasm on it.”

“Dad, go away!”

“You were conceived when your mother was handcuffed to the bed. Sleep well.”

 

Chapter Text

“Trunks, what are you doing? Eat your breakfast, you're going to be late for school.”

“I...I'll eat it over here.”

“Sit down, you'll make a mess.”

“I'm good. I feel like standing.”

“Vegeta, tell your son to sit down.”

“Sit at the table, Boy. Unless there's some reason you don't want to touch the table?”

“Are you okay, Honey? You look a little sick.”

“I'm fine, Mom.”

“Vegeta, what did you do to him? Is this about yesterday? What did he say to you, Trunks?”

“Nothing! We didn't talk about anything.”

“She knows we discussed sex, Boy, it was her idea.”

“I just asked you to educate him.”

“I did.”

“Then why won't my son look me in the eye?”

“Look, I'm fine. I'll finish my Frosted Flakes and get to school, don't worry about me.”

“I imagine he's a little squeamish because he now knows where in the house we have fucked. Which is everywhere.”

“Vegeta! You didn't!’

What ? You wanted him informed, he is informed.”

“Oh, Honey, don't listen to him. I'm sure he exaggerated.”

“I certainly did not.”

“I’m not hungry, I'm gonna get to school!”

“Trunks, come back! Oh, look what you did, Jackass! And I suppose you're going to pay for the therapy he'll need after that?”

“He was far more disturbed by the repressed bunny costume memory that surfaced.”

“What memory are you…. Oh. Oh no .”

“Yes. If he ever ends up on one of those couches I doubt it'll be father issues he talks about.”

---------------------

 

“So then Miss Jana our swimming instructor said that even little babies can hold their breath underwater. Did you know that, Dad?” Trunks asked.

“No,” Vegeta sighed, ripping off a piece of his burger with his teeth.

“Uh huh,” Goten said through a mouthful of food. “Human babies anyway. We asked about Saiyan babies and she didn't know. Do you know?”

“No.”

“Then we got to jump off of the high dive,” Trunks continued, “but it was kind of a let down. It's only like twenty or thirty feet up. I asked if we could just fly real high and cannon ball into the pool but she thought I was joking and I didn't want to get kicked out so I didn’t.”

“And then she taught us doggy style.”

“Doggy paddle , Goten.”

“Whatever, what's the difference?”

Vegeta snorted. “Yes, Trunks, what's the difference?”

Trunks blushed and took a big gulp of his milkshake.

Vegeta drummed his fingers against the table and wondered how he had been roped into this. The damn kids had four parents and a brother and Piccolo between them, how did he get stuck with them for the day?”

“Because Chichi and I need a break, and Goku's gone again,” Bulma had insisted the night before.

Gone again. Off to King Kai's planet to train, to get even stronger . To leave him in the dust.

He should have reached Super Saiyan Three by now. He trained every single day, as long as he could. Perhaps family life had slowed him down. It didn't feel that way. He thought he had a good balance struck between training and this life he had created on Earth; is anything he often ignored them to spend more time in the Gravity Room. When he'd been in hell they had made that painfully clear.

Had he slowed down since hell? His all-encompassing urge to be the best was still there, pushing him forward, but was he giving it the attention it deserved? Kakarot was somehow managing to constantly improve with two children, why couldn't he manage it with one?

Because he doesn't fucking take care if his children. He thought bitterly. He leaves it up to the rest of us.

“Vegeta, can I go buy another milkshake? These things are small,” Goten said, looking at the enormous empty glass in front of him.

He considered telling the boy to go find his damn father if he wanted another milkshake, but he just nodded and slid a few bills across the table. Goten cheered and grabbed the cash, running to the counter.

“I want one too!” Trunks called, following after him. “You always put strawberry sauce on both and I don't like strawberry…”

So maybe he had gone soft. What the hell was he supposed to do about it? He had no interest in going to King Kai's planet, he could train in much heavier gravity at home using the Gravity Room. He rubbed his forehead. He wanted to punch something.

He would need to leave. Not immediately, perhaps, but it was coming. He couldn't go Super Saiyan around Bulma the first time, she was too much of a distraction. His next leap forward would require an absence. Now he just had to figure out how to tell her.

--------------------



It all started with Trunks’ stupid video game. Bulma was always nagging him about spending more time with the boy outside of training, so when he brought home a video game that didn't look mind-numbingly boring he jumped at the chance to appease her without having to listen to them prattle on about something humany.

“This plastic is the sword?” Vegeta said, holding up the unconvincing toy.

“Yep,” Trunks nodded, starting up the console. “You hold it in the real world and the sword in the game cuts the enemies to pieces. Make sure you put the wrist strap on. You want to start on easy?”

“Tch,” Vegeta scoffed, testing the weight of the dummy weapon. “No. I have killed entire populations with far more dangerous weapons. I will take hard mode.”

Goten laughed on the couch. “That's really tough, Vegeta. Even Trunks can only last a minute on hard mode.”

“Just start the game,” he smirked, holding the plastic up to his shoulder in preparation.

Trunks hit play and jumped onto the couch with his friend to watch. The title scene went by, and then there was a warrior with a long sword waiting for them on the screen. Lightning flashed and the warrior yelled something in a language they did not recognize as hundreds of ninjas came pouring over the walls of the arena in which he stood.

Vegeta wasted no time. He swung the plastic sword, cutting down several ninjas at a time. Trunks and Goten sat wide eyed as the Prince of All Saiyans defended his virtual honor.

“Wow!” Trunks grinned. “Dad, you're really good!”

“Obviously,” he said proudly.

“We've never been this far!” Goten agreed.

“Then you have been slacking with your training. Their techniques are predictable and follow clear patterns. This isn't nearly as challenging as a real battle.”

The music got louder as the enemies swept down in greater hordes. The boys jumped down from the couch and hopped at his sides, cheering him on. The lightning flashed again, and the game rumbled.

“This must be the final boss!” Trunks cried.

Over the wall of the arena rose a dragon, and Vegeta's eyes went wide. The dragon paused a long moment and then dived toward the screen with a roar. Vegeta flinched back, instinctually defending himself… by throwing the fake sword at the dragon. There was a loud crash as the plastic went straight through the screen of their enormous plasma television.

No one said anything. The boys looked at each other, then at the Saiyan who was staring blankly at the broken device. Trunks opened his mouth wide.

“Mom!”

Vegeta grabbed him by the shirt, hauling him up to eye level. Goten ran down the hall, looking for a good place to hide until it all blew over. “What are you doing?”

He yelled his explanation without stopping for air. “Mom always yells at me to wear the wrist strap and if she finds it broken she's going to think it was me or Goten and she would make him go home and could ground me for life ! Plus I'd have to give up my allowance like forever.

“Then we don't tell, Mom,” Vegeta growled. “What were you thinking?”

“You said to look out for your own squad first, Dad. Sorry. Mom! Dad broke the TV!”

He covered the boy's mouth. “Silence!”

“Vegeta!” Bulma yelled from the doorway, taking in her destroyed appliance. “What did you do?”

He cleared his throat, dropping the boy. Trunks went running to find Goten. “I was simply spending time with the Boy.”

“By wrecking my TV?”

“The video game is to blame. It entraps warriors into acting on instinct.”

“Didn't Trunks warn you to use the wrist strap?”

“He may have mentioned it.”

She growled. “You know, I told Trunks if he broke the TV he'd pay for it out of his allowance. You have to pay for this.”

He scoffed. “Sure. You want me to write my check using the company checkbook? Or our shared account? It just seems simpler for you to order one.”

She growled. “Keep pushing, Vegeta! One of these days I'm going to make you a get a damn job.”

He chuckled. “Woman, imagine me in a service industry for a moment.”

She sighed. “I'd rather not.”

Chapter Text

“Are you sure about this?” she asked, pulling away from their kiss.

“It's your favor, Woman. Do you want to do it or not?”

“I do, but I'm not forcing you.”

“I did not say that you were.”

“No, it's just…”

“What? I've never seen you so hesitant about sex.”

“On Earth, there are men who would not do this.”

He paused, raising an eyebrow at her. “Why?”

She shrugged. “I don't know. Dumb reasons, I guess. Like… feeling unmanly.”

“Because they're having sex with a woman? I don't understand.”

“Sometimes I love being married to an alien. It's like… a power thing. Some guys wouldn't even consider it.”

“We have experimented with power before. We pretended you beat me in battle, which is of course ridiculous. The only thing I do not understand is what you get from it. Why make this your favor? You receive no pleasure from it.”

“What do you get out of giving me oral? You love doing that.”

He shrugged. “Fair point.”

“Have you ever tried anything like this before?”

“No.”

“But you're not nervous?”

“I am... willing to attempt it.”

She nodded. “Okay. I'll go slow, and we'll use a lot of lube.”

He rolled his eyes. “Woman, I have fucked you in the ass dozens of times. I know how the process works.”

“But you've never been on the receiving end before. Just remember to relax--”

“I am a warrior. What you think is painful, I do not even feel. This won't be challenging.”

She snorted. “Well, alright. I won't be so gentle,” she lied.

“It would be pointless,” he shrugged. “Get the damn thing on and let's get on with it, then.”

She pulled open her drawer and took out the new toy she had ordered, hopping up to slip it on. “I think it'd be easiest if you were on your knees on the bed.”

He nodded and moved to do so. She popped open the lube and coated her fingers, feeling a blush creeping up over her face. This was the dirtiest thing she had ever suggested, and she had basically expected him to say no.

She thought he would stutter and stammer and offer her an extra favor in exchange for getting out of it. That had not been the case. She brought it up at breakfast a few days before, after Trunks had left for school, and he was not the shocked mess she had envisioned. He just shrugged, nodded, and took another drink of his black coffee. He didn't seem excited about it, but he certainly wasn't appalled.

Then it was her turn to be nervous. She knew from her own research that human men could enjoy this, but her husband was not human. Maybe he wasn't built the same way?

“Get on with it,” Vegeta muttered.

She gathered her courage and pressed the tip of her finger against him. He jumped slightly, but said nothing. He was right; they had done this before, albeit the other way around. She eased a finger in and he hissed slightly.

“Are you okay?”

“Obviously. Continue.”

She eased the finger the rest of the way in and she saw him breathe a small sigh of relief. “There. I told you. The thing was no obstacle at all. I don't know why you made such a big deal about--”

“That's just my finger.”

“What?”

“I told you I would go slow,” she said, gently starting to work him open.

He didn't respond.

“Vegeta?”

“How large is it?”

“Smaller than you by a few inches.”

He nodded.

“Do you want to change your mind? You can.”

“I am no coward.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. I'm going to add a second now, alright?”

He agreed and she worked another finger inside, adding more lube when he flinched. “You've got to relax.”

“I am perfectly relaxed,” he lied.

She got an idea. She brought her other hand up and rubbed the nub where his tail had been. He let out a small gasp and a shiver ran through his body. She felt him relax a bit, and she pressed on.

“That is cheating, you know.”

“It's working.”

“Why are you moving them so much? I usually just stretch you first.”

“I'm looking for--”

He let out a sudden cry of surprise, the sheets bunching in his hands.

“That,” she smirked.

“What… what is that?”

“Human men have a sweet spot you can hit. Apparently, so do Saiyans.”

She heard his breathing speed up slightly as she worked the spot with one hand and his tail stub with the other. She waited a long moment, then slid her fingers away. “I'm going to put it in, now.”

“Fine. Whatever,” he said, attempting indifference despite the slight breathiness of his voice.

She angled her hips behind his and pressed the head of the strap-on against him, pausing to cover it in lube. She pressed the tip in.

Fuck ,” he hissed.

She laughed softly as she eased it a little further.

“Silence,” he grunted. “That is not smaller than me.”

“It is. Thinner, too.”

He grumbled but stayed still as she pushed into place. Finally, her hips were flush with his. “That’s all of it. Does it hurt?”

“It's not pleasant.”

“Can we try for a minute?”

He nodded, and she eased back, beginning shallow thrusts. After a moment he didn't feel quite so tense. “How about now?”

“It's bearable.”

“I'm going to try to hit that spot.”

“Yes.”

She knew when she found it because he jumped again, this time dropping from his hands to his elbows. “Does that feel good?”

“Yes,” he said quietly. She barely heard him.

She got a bit bolder, pulling back a little more every time before she thrust back in. She thumbed absently over his tail stub, slowly building up speed.

He moaned.

The both paused a second, equally surprised to hear the sound come from his throat. They said nothing at first.

“Keep going,” he encouraged her finally.

She slid the toy almost all the way out before pushing back in, angling it the way he'd liked it. He let out another low noise, breathing faster.

“Touch me,” he ordered.

She leaned over him and wrapped a hand around his erection, pumping it in time with her thrusts.

“Son of a bitch ,” he spat, pressing his forehead against the mattress.

“Is it--”

“Kasesho.”

She sped up, pumping him harder and slamming the toy into him. His breathing became more ragged, and he grunted into the sheets. She felt wetness against the hand around his cock. “Are you coming?”

“N-no,” he gasped against the bed. “Soon.”

“Oh,” she said, eyes widening as she realized he was dripping with precome. She saw the muscles in his back tense as he pushed back against her, forcing the toy in just a little harder.

“Fuck!” He cried out as she felt him throb in her hand. “Fuck, fuck, fuck….” He groaned, shaking slightly he came down.

She eased out slowly, then unhooked the toy from her waist. Honestly, she expected him to grab her and throw her to the bed, working to make her finish to catch up to him, but he didn't. He stayed leaned against the mattress, slowly catching his breath.

She sat down next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “You okay?”

He didn't look up. “That was… good.”

She glanced down at the puddle of semen that had landed on her sheets. “Looked like it.”

“I was not expecting that.”

She chuckled at his exhausted expression. “Do you want to do it again?”

“Perhaps. Not often, but… occasionally.”

“Let's go to bed, you look ready to drop.”

He scoffed. “Don't be absurd. Power is fine to play with, but now I get to take it back. I'm going to make you scream my name until you're hoarse, Woman.”

Chapter Text

“The five star ball was a lot easier to get than the three star,” she muttered absently, tracing the lines of his abdomen. “Five was just sitting in a marketplace. I paid hundred thousand Zenni for it, and the guy was thrilled. I feel a little guilty to be honest, they're worth way more than that. I mean, what's the monetary value of a seventh of the required materials to make any wish you want? What would you give for it?”

He didn't answer.

“Hello? Earth to Vegeta?”

“I have to leave.”

“Why?” She whined. “You trained plenty today, and you're warm.”

“I do not mean our bed. I mean Capsule Corp. Probably the planet. I have to leave. For a while at least.”

She sat up. “What? Why ?”

He sighed. “I am not progressing. I feel no stronger than when I fought Buu.”

“Then increase the gravity.”

“I have plateaued. I do not believe higher gravity will help me to push past it.”

“Then get over it,” she snapped. “If you can't get stronger here, then you can't get stronger anywhere else either.”

“I was unable to achieve Super Saiyan in your presence.”

“You ran off to an asteroid to have a temper tantrum. Have a tantrum here. I'll make you a rubber room with lots of stuff to destroy.”

“I do not believe that was the key.”

“Oh? Then what was the ‘key’?” She sneered.

“It's you. You're a weakness.”

She moved away from him and sat on the opposite side of the bed, fuming. “Fine, then go.”

“I didn't mean immediately.

“I do. If you still think I'm holding you back after all these years… I really thought you were different.”

“Woman, you’re the one who wanted to be told when I was thinking about--”

“Go!” She snapped. “I don't care where. Space, the Gravity Room, your old bed, just get out of--”

“It's a compliment, Bulma,” he growled, getting annoyed.

“How is me holding you back a compliment?” she spat back.

“I'm fucking happy, okay?”

She didn't respond, didn't turn to look at him. He pressed on.

“I enjoy this life. I like eating as much as I want, sleeping in a bed, not having to constantly look over my shoulder, having a son…. you. I've been on Earth nearly fourteen years now, and in your bed for thirteen of them. I don't want things to change, so they are not. There is no danger to this existence, nothing forcing me forward. Before the androids I had a fight to look forward to. After Cell I believed the Earth was vulnerable because Kakarot was dead, and then later I had the possibility of defeating him in the tournament to drive me. What do I have now? Just a vague wish to beat him someday remains, and the gap keeps getting wider. You know what I am. I can't let that happen.”

He pretended he could not here her hidden sniffle. She clearly did not want him to see it. “When?”

“Soon. Not immediate.”

“You’re staying for my fucking birthday party tomorrow. I've been planning it forever.”

He sighed. “I have no interest in--”

“I didn't ask if you had interest in it,” she grumbled. “I want people to see I have a husband before you just become an empty chair again. If you're late I'll send my assistant after you. Goodnight.” She laid down without facing him.

He considered reaching for her, but decided against it. He sighed, plopping down on the pillow and trying to get comfortable. He would have to get readjusted to sleeping without her in his arms anyway. Not tonight. But soon.

-----------------

 

They had not spoken since their argument the night before, other than her yelling at him over the phone in the Gravity Room to get to her party immediately. He thought perhaps it would be better not to go, to distance himself a little before he left, but she wasn't having it, apparently. She was casual when she found him by the pool at least, if a bit cold.

Honestly, he hated fighting. Arguing was different. Let her scream and rage and tell him he was a jackass, that was normal for them. He could fire back as good as she could, and eventually they would wear themselves out and usually end up in bed.

But when she was truly angry or upset she didn't fight with words or fists, she fought with silence. She fought by turning away, refusing his touch, acting like the connection they had forged was nothing, like he was still a stranger in her home. It was infuriating, and even knowing such a punishment had any effect on him at all made it worse. He knew very well that the man he once was wouldn't have minded the silence, hell, he would have welcomed it.

He walked sullenly around the corner, already in a foul mood and unwilling to socialize with anyone. He froze.

Two figures stood on the deck, and his instincts recognized them before his mind. His heart sped up. A hand shook. He had seen this being before, those beady eyes set back in purple skin, looking for all intents and purposes like an Earth cat stood on its hind leg. He barely listened while it asked about a 'Super Saiyan God’, whatever that was. Who was this?

Pictures. Memories he tried not to focus on, despite their clarity. They hit him hard, and all at once. He knew this being's name.

----------------------

 

“It is Beerus the Destroyer, My Lord,” the bowing Saiyan said in Saiyago, kneeling in front of the throne. The king frowned deeply, rubbing his forehead.

Vegeta watched with vague interest. His father had assigned him a place to sit during audiences shortly after he learned to talk. “Practical experience,” he'd explained. “One day you will be King of All Saiyans. Watch closely.”

Now he was three, and he tried to sit as straight-backed on his small chair as his father did. The formal armor he wore was heavy, but he was strong for his age. He was very used to this activity; lesser Saiyans brought his father news and concerns, and he heard and mediated them. On lesser cases he would even let his young son do the work, more learning opportunities.

This however, was different. He had never seen his father afraid.

The king waited a long time to respond. “How long will it be until he arrives?”

“Not long, My Lord. His companion is incredibly fast. We have less than an hour.”

“What does he want? Vegetasei?”

“It is impossible to know, Sire.”

The king rose, and the court bowed. Vegeta stood with him as always, not really knowing why they were getting up. There were clearly still cases to hear.

“Everyone is dismissed,” the king announced, stepping down from his pedestal and gesturing to his son. Vegeta followed after him wordlessly, confused but better trained than to ask.

They walked from the court towards the family's personal chambers. Some part of Vegeta's mind knew this was a memory, not happening right now, and it protested. It didn't want to go through that door. It didn't want to see who was on the other side.

It was so much easier to lie, to himself and anyone else foolhardy enough to ask. ‘She died young’, that was his line. 'I met her once.’ Sometimes he even believed it.

He could pretend, usually. Not today.

When they entered their lounge, the king's shoulders fell. He'd explained that to his son before-- a leader must be bold and confident in front of his subjects, always. There would be time later for self doubt, and that time was now, apparently. Their chambers were lit dimly, a small fire burning int he hearth. A woman looked up from a chair.

The king knelt before her, tightening a hand over her knee. “A'met. I am lost.”

She touched her mate's hand. “What has happened?”

Vegeta had to see her, had to remember. The Queen of Vegetasei was a frail slip of a Saiyan, now. If it weren't for her position as a royal she would be shamed for her weakness. Weakness that was his fault.

The king laid his head against her knee and sighed deeply. “It's Beerus. He's coming for us. Again.”

“What?” She paled even further. “Why? We gave him everything he--”

“Boredom, most likely. There is no method to his destruction. If he wants us dead… there will be nothing that our army can do.”

This surprised his son, who had truly believed until this point that the armies of Vegetasei were unstoppable.

“Well, I have no choice then,” his mother shrugged. “I'll have to fight him myself.”

The king chuckled quietly. “I am sure you would give him a run for his money, A'met.”

“Just watch me. What an inconsiderate ass he is. He doesn't even send a messenger of his own ahead of time. That's just rude. I'll slap him myself when he shows his face.”

“Please do not,” the king sighed. “On the off chance he does not seek to destroy us I would hate to have to declare war on him after he killed you.”

She looked at Vegeta, and it hurt. Gods it hurt to see her face, knowing it was a memory, knowing he had blocked her out. She smiled. “Don't be afraid, Vegeta.”

“I am not, Mother,” he said. She took his hand. Her skin was cold.

His fault.

Leika had been a strong warrior when the king spoke his vows over her. She had many battles to her name, enough that no one else even attempted to challenge her right to marry into the royal family. A strong woman, they they all said. She will make a strong heir.

Pregnancy had been difficult. She was sick, very sick, but she'd poured every inch of her self into having her son. She'd nearly died at his birth. As an adult, it was easier to imagine she had.

She lived, but barely. She was bedridden for the first year of his life, and he head the whispers. “Look how the great Leika has fallen,” they said. “Let us hope her son is strong enough to make up for what he has taken.”

It was easier to pretend she died immediately. That he hadn't watched her decline in health for years. The she hadn't loved him dearly while he saw the result of his gestation in her frail form.

And now she was pregnant again. She would not survive it this time, and the three of them knew it. The baby might, but with a mother as weak as she had become, its chances of being a warrior were slim to none. It would be sent away.

The king closed his eyes, and Vegeta waited in silence. When the time came, he followed him to listen to the Destroyer's reason for coming.

A pillow. That was what Lord Beerus asked of them. The most comfortable pillow in the universe. The king raged in his chambers while his mate and son watched. Why? Why use nearly infinite power just to mock the universe? He had no choice but to honor the ridiculous request. He sent his troops out far to ask, to test, to find the best pillow they could. It was humiliating, and Vegeta saw it all.

It took a few weeks, and then they called the destroyer back. Vegeta stood aside, he'd been told to stay out of the way, but watch the deity. He may one day see him again, and he needed to know what he was dealing with.

The king presented the pillow to him, bowing lowly. “We have acquired this pillow, My Lord. I hope it suits you.”

Beerus took it. It was made of a very fine silk, made on a planet quite far away, one of a kind. It would have cost a lot if his father had not simply ordered the creator to be killed and robbed.

Beerus turned it over in his hands. He looked at the King. “You're lying.”

King Vegeta had enough time to be confused before the destroyer had him easily pinned to the floor, holding his head down with one foot.

His son was in shock. This was impossible. It wasn't right. The King of All Saiyans, head against the floor in supplication, in pain. Humiliated. His young body shook with rage.

He ran forward to attack, but did not make it far. The deity's power was too great to even approach. He fell to his knees long before he even reached them.

“Your son has some nerve,” Beerus said, more amused than annoyed. “More than his lying father.”

“I did not lie, My Lord,” he spat against the dust.

“I may not be able to read your thoughts, Saiyan, but I can sense them. This isn't the best pillow in the universe. It's the second best. You've kept the best for yourself, you greedy bastard.”

“It is not true, My Lord.”

“I felt it,” he insisted. “As you handed it over to me, you thought, 'this is not the best pillow in the world. It is mine’. Or something similar. Don't deny it again, I'm getting annoyed.”

The king sighed deeply, pushing aside a monumental pride to try and save his planet. He muttered something against the ground.

“What was that, King Vegeta?”

“I said,” he spoke up, “I was not thinking of a true pillow.”

“Oh? What then.”

He closed his eyes. “I was imagining my mate's knee. I find it to be the most comfortable place in the universe.”

“Oh,” Beerus sighed, suddenly disinterested. He released him. “That's not nearly as interesting as I had hoped. Very well. I'll take this one for now.”

The young prince had to dodge out of the way of that huge tail as it swished past him. The destroyer looked down and caught his eye. A chill ran through him.

-------------------

 

He knew him. Beerus the Destroyer, now on Earth. On the planet his family called home.

He saw Bulma come around the corner.

 

Chapter Text

He'd been near death before. Hell, he'd been dead twice. But not like this. This was a certainty.

No one could claim he hadn't tried. He'd acted like a weak servant since the God of Destruction landed on the boat. Fetching things, cooking, bowing low. They narrowly missed catastrophe with the wasabi roulette, and the damn kids had managed to spray him with water, but he'd held it together. He'd figured it would be Piccolo or Buu who pushed them over the edge.

It was Buu. Buu and the damn pudding .

Now they were all going to die.

He wondered where he was going. If he'd never died before, he'd just assume he was on the way to hell. But when that wish brought back all the good people who fell on the day of the Martial Arts Tournament, he'd been brought back with them. Who made that call? He had no idea. Yama may make the final call, but he clearly wasn't the top. He would go first this time, and wait for his family to join him. A personal death in battle against a destroyer. At least it was an end worthy of a Saiyan Prince.

He thanked him for his noble death. He closed his eyes.

He felt her coming more than he heard her. He waited for her touch on his back. He should tell her to stay back but… what was the difference? At least a blast from a destroyer would be fast and painless.

But she didn't come to him. She walked right past her husband and approached the god. Vegeta looked up in shock. What was she doing ?

He'd seen that look on her face many times before, more than a few times directed at him. She was pissed . Her hand drew back, and then connected hard with Beerus’ cheek.

She slapped him. His insane mate had actually slapped Beerus the Destroyer.

“That's it!” She growled at the God of Destruction. “I'm trying to be a gracious host and all but I'm really tired of you ruining my party when you weren't even invited okay? I want you off this boat right now!”

No. He didn't want this. The deity could make her last moments an eternity of pain. “No. Bulma, no!”

Beerus sneered at her, growling mildly.

“Don't grumble. If you've got something to say, then just say it!” She spat at him.

He felt his pride attempt to stop the words spilling from his mouth, but for once it had no hold over him. Anything. He would do anything to spare her the fate she had just incurred. He'd even beg. “Beerus, please have mercy!” He heard himself say. He could take the punishment in her place. “Whatever you plan to do, do it to me! Don't hurt her!”

The god didn't even glance in his direction.

“Don't hurt her!” he cried out again.

The back of Beerus’ hand hand connected with Bulma's face with a sick smack of muscle on feeble flesh. It felt like Vegeta had been stabbed. Time slowed.

She flew backwards. Trunks and Goten dived to catch her. “We got you, Mom!” Trunks said, eyes wide.

Vegeta stared at her. Her eyes were closed. She wasn't moving.

“What have you done?” he heard his own voice gasp out. “How could you?”

Beerus was unbothered. Bulma meant nothing to him. She was just another meaningless life. He didn't know who she was. What she was to him.

He had to pay for that.

“What did you do... to my Bulma ?!” Vegeta roared. Power flowed through him, more than he'd ever felt before. It wouldn't be enough to kill the deity, by it might be enough to make him bleed.

“Mark my words, Beerus. Mark them well. You're going to suffer for what you've done!” he spat.

The god looked amused.

He couldn't win.

He fought anyway.

----------------------

 

“Ow,” Bulma winced, shrinking away from the gentle cloth. “Is that really necessary?”

“You are the one who said human need disinfectant when their skin breaks at an injury sight.”

“It's not that bad. I've bled more from a papercut.”

He grumbled slightly. “It's bruising. It needs attention.”

She sat still on their bed and allowed him to attend to the mark on her face. He cleaned it dutifully and rubbed a soothing salve over it. She had to admit, it wasn't pretty. The mark that eventually surfaced resembled a badly skinned knee, and she hoped it didn't leave a scar once it healed. Once he was done he began to trace over the area with bare fingers.

She narrowed her eyes. “Wait, are you getting off on this? Is this more bullshit about ‘honorable battles’ and all that?”

“It's beautiful.”

She snorted. “You're kidding.”

“Not many human women could wear a mark from a battle with a God of Destruction. Hell, not many Saiyan women could have.”

“It was hardly a battle.”

“I'm trying to pay you a damn compliment, Woman. I would wager you may be the only being who has ever dared to slap Beerus. You're definitely the only one who's ever lived to tell about it.”

“Well, he's a dick,” she grumbled.

Vegeta smirked. “My mother said nearly the same thing.”

She frowned. “I thought--”

“I lied. I knew her. She was a great warrior, once. She took down her enemies with both her fists and her words. In her prime, I believe she could have taken Piccolo down. She never reached Super Saiyan, but no one had in years at that point.”

“Was she on the planet when…?”

“No. She was dead by then.”

“I’m sorry. From what?”

The smirk disappeared, and she knew that he'd reached his limit. She decided not to push.

“So…” she stretched out on the bed, “that was probably the most romantic thing you've ever done. It was definitely the most romantic thing you've ever done in public--”

“I don't know what you're talking about.”

“My Bulma!” She screamed loudly.

“My Bulma!” They heard Trunks and Goten scream through laughter down the hall.

“I'll kill them both,” he growled, but she pulled him back to the bed, still giggling.

-------------------

 

Kakarot was a deity.

Not anymore . It was temporary, and his power was borrowed, but he could feel that some of it had stayed in his body. The other Saiyan had a taste of more power, and now he was on another level entirely. He was being left behind.

Vegeta stood on the cliff, straight-backed and determined. It'd been two days now, and he had not moved. The sun burned him, the rain beat his shoulders. He didn't budge. He was raising his energy, slowly, to figure out exactly what he was capable of.

A lone Saiyan, gathering his power. He would persevere. He would endure.

He heard her footsteps behind him.

“Holy shit, Dude. Are you still doing this?”

He stood in sullen silence.

Bulma sighed. “What's the point of this again? Like, you've seen your power before? If you have to stand really still for days why not do it at home? Under a roof ?”

He would not let her ruin his concentration.

She lowered her voice and made it rougher, imitating him. “Back off, Woman! I am the Prince of All Drama Queens! You're ruining my pointless pout about how Kakarot is stronger than me even I refuse to just let them give me the exact same powerup that he had! Blah blah Saiyans, blah blah pride, something something, curse words in Saiyago.” Her voice went back to normal. “Is that about it?”

He didn't respond.

“Fine, Jackass,” she sighed dropping a basket behind him. “I made you some sandwiches. Eat if you want.”

She left him standing there. He fought to keep a smile from his face. Damn distracting mate.

 

Chapter Text

“It's sweet and all,” Videl said, blushing slightly. “I guess I just wasn't expecting him to be so… attentive?”

“What do you mean?” Bulma asked, sipping her coffee.

“I don't know. Like, he says I shouldn't have to cook dinner right now because I'm already working so hard to grow the baby. Were Vegeta or Goku like that?”

Bulma and Chichi stared at her blankly from the sofa. “No,” they said together.

“I mean, in fairness to Vegeta, he didn't even know I was pregnant for the first couple of months,” Bulma shrugged. “He was off on some stupid asteroid whining about wanting to be a Super Saiyan. He wasn't awful when he got back, but he sure as hell wasn't ‘overly attentive’. Of course, he was different back then. He's changed a lot.”

“He has?” Chichi asked.

“Oh, knock it off Chichi. You like him. I haven't forgotten you defending him when Piccolo said he didn't have a good enough heart to help turn Goku into a deity.”

“I suppose,” Chichi shrugged. “He was probably better than Goku. He did not understand pregnancy. I asked him if he wanted kids and he was on board, but he wasn't sure how we got them. His grandpa found him in the woods, and he just kind of assumed that was how it worked. I told him kids came from…” she blushed, “ sex, and then he was really confused because I had explained it as a private exercise… it was just a mess. He was excited to meet Gohan but I swear he thought I was messing with him until the day he was born. An hour after the birth he asked me what I was making for dinner. That's the closest to permanent death he's ever been.”

Videl laughed. “So he didn't learn it from his dad, then. I'm not sure what's got into him. It's nice, though. Not that he wasn't a sweetheart before, but--”

“Hold up,” Bulma said. “We need specifics. You're saying that your Half-Saiyan husband is a sweetheart? Like, all the time?”

She shrugged. “Well, yeah. You know, when he goes on conferences he brings home flowers, he washes the dishes, when we're alone he--” she paused and glanced at Gohan's mother. “Um… he's… thoughtful. In a lot of situations.”

Bulma hummed. “No offense Chichi, but… how? Why is he like that? That wasn't exactly role modeled to him when he was young. Where did he learn that?”

Chichi shrugged. “I don't know. Piccolo? It's usually Piccolo. I swear I'm lucky he didn't end up brooding in wastelands. That's not a viable career path.”

“I think Piccolo's good for him,” Bulma said. “He loves Goku to death, but Piccolo is around more. Co-parenting.”

“I agree,” Chichi nodded, “but I doubt he learned relationships from a genderless alien with no concept of romance.”

“Well, he didn't get it from Vegeta,” Bulma said. “I get flowers once a year on Valentine's Day, and don't tell him I said that or he'll deny it's ever happened.”

“What does he give you for your birthday?” Chichi asked, taking a drink of her tea.

“Kinky sex.”

Chichi choked on the drink and Videl patted her back worriedly. Bulma winced.

“Sorry, Chichi. I forget how embarrassed you can get--”

“No,” Chichi said, waving her hands. “I am determined to stop being so squeamish about… sex. I can do girl talk. As long as Videl agrees to pretend she got pregnant by immaculate conception.”

“I've never even seen Gohan naked,” Videl lied solemnly. “We kissed once, at the altar. We played checkers on our honeymoon.”

“Thank you, Dear. But we still haven't gotten to the bottom of why Gohan's such a good husband. I would have killed for that kind of treatment from Goku. I mean, when I got married I was only eighteen, and--”

Bulma gasped. “Oh my gods. Eighteen. Krillin.”

“Krillin!” Chichi smiled. “That explains it.”

“Did he really see Krillin a lot as a kid?” Videl asked.

“He did,” Bulma nodded. “Honestly, he was probably around Krillin just about as much as Piccolo. And Krillin has always been a sweetheart in relationships. You should have seen how good he was to his awful gold-digging ex. She did not deserve him. I'm so glad he found Eighteen.”

“What was her name?” Videl asked.

“Uh… Maron.”

“Like his daughter?”

“No, she's Marron,” Chichi explained. “Eighteen liked the name, and she wasn't going to let some tramp stop her from naming her baby whatever she wanted. Have you thought of names?”

“Just one,” she admitted, “but it's supposed to be a secret.”

“Oh, come on,” Bulma prodded. “We won't tell anyone else.”

“Well… we're thinking Pan.”

Chichi squealed. “My grandbaby has a name!”

“Why Pan?” Bulma asked.

“Well, it fits the whole 'food’ theme, and also… it's a flute.”

“A flute?”

“You know, like a pan flute. Gohan wanted a name that went with an instrument.”

Chichi's mouth dropped open. “For Piccolo ?”

“Yeah, but remember, don't tell him. Gohan wants it to be a surprise.”

Chichi huffed slightly. “And I suppose he gets to be called Grandpa Piccolo? I'm not looking to share my grandbaby with any more people than I have to. I barely want to share with Hercule and Goku.”

“We're thinking Uncle Piccolo.”

Chichi hummed. “I swear, if he ever tries to take Pan out into the wilderness for training I'll kill him. With a frying pan, for irony.”

“We have bigger worries than that,” Videl mumbled quietly.

The other women frowned. Bulma set a hand on her shoulder. “What's wrong, Honey?”

“I guess… I'm just nervous. We're bringing a baby into a world that was almost destroyed a few months ago because some god was bored. What if he gets bored again?”

Bulma agreed. “I know what you mean. It's like we're just…”

“Helpless,” Chichi finished, nodding. “It's not a pleasant feeling.”

Bulma leaned back, a thoughtful expression on her face. She tapped her nail against the coffee cup. “That guy Whis. He seemed to have some kind of influence over Beerus. Maybe not control , but… he's got more power than we do.”

“What are you thinking, Bulma?” Chichi asked.

Bulma glanced at the snacks on the table. “I'm thinking if Saiyan brutality isn't going to keep him at bay, some human hospitality might do the trick.”




Chapter Text

“Stop scarfing down your food,” Bulma chastised gently. “At least let it touch your tastebuds.”

“I am,” Trunks insisted through a mouthful of pasta.

“What are you in such a hurry for?”

“I'm going to Goten's house.”

“Uh, no, you are not. It's Sunday night, and I know for a fact you have homework.”

He rolled his eyes. “It's nothing, it's super easy. We were going to fight before it gets dark.”

“It's not nothing, it's an essay. How much of it do you have done?”

“Like...half?”

“It's five paragraphs, so show me what you have done.”

He grumbled. “It’s not really written yet. I just know what I'm writing about. It won't take long. Do you have to talk to Mr.Hane so much?”

“So help me, Trunks, you're keeping your grades up or you will be grounded from fighting.”

He groaned. “It'll be easy.”

“Then get it done now so you can goof off later.”

“But--”

They heard heavy footsteps down the hall, and Vegeta slowly trudged in. Bulma crossed her arms.

“What a surprise, look who decided to be done with his wasteland tantrum just in time for dinner?”

He muttered something, dropping into a seat and scooping some pasta onto the plate she'd set for him just in case he decided to show up. Trunks saw his opportunity.

“Dad, can I go train with Goten or do I have to do my homework first?”

Vegeta waved his hand at the door and Trunks ran, ignoring the protest from his mother. She growled, turning on him.

“Are you kidding me?”

“What?”

“I just told him he had to do his homework.”

“I didn't know.”

“Yeah, you wouldn't, because you've been off standing on a cliff.”

“I'm training , Woman. I always train--”

“Yeah, here . Call me crazy, I want to know where my husband is. It's been three weeks since Beerus left and you only come around here for food and a nap before you're back out there.”

“I warned you I would have to leave to advance,” he said, shoving pasta into his mouth.

“Then go ,” she sighed. He frowned and went to argue, but she shook her head. “I don't mean that I want you to leave. I love you. I just hate this revolving door bullshit you've got going on. I'd rather you be gone for a while and get this weird isolation thing over with than be in and out. If you were here earlier I would've told you Trunks has had three weeks to write an essay and he's put it off until the last minute.”

He shot a surprised look at the door Trunks had fled from. “What? Since when does he neglect his homework?”

“Since Dad isn't around a lot to occasionally threaten to kick his ass. He's almost a teenager, he's testing his boundaries. I can ground him and all but… he's really strong. If he didn't want to listen to me, he wouldn't have to.”

“I'll kill him.”

“Good,” she said, dropping down next to him. She sniffed. “Ew. When's the last time you bathed? You need a shower.”

He snorted, smirking.

“What? You want to smell like sweat and dirt?”

“You said something very similar the first time I returned here. Just before we met the other Trunks, you put me in that god-awful pink shirt.”

“Oh,” she said smirking slightly. “I almost forgot about that.”

“Bathe with me, then, if you want me clean,” he said, sliding her chair up against his.

“Is this some weird Siayan ‘sweat of hard work being washed by your mate’ kind of thing?”

“It's more of a, ‘I've been training and meditating for a week in the wilderness and the thought of you naked and soapy is appealing’ desire.”

“You've got some nerve,” she grumbled half heartedly as she let him kiss across her collarbone. “Disappear for days and think you can just waltz back in here like a sailor on leave.”

“You are as spoiled as I am. Don't pretend you haven't given The Lonely Spaceman a few reads in my absence.”

Fine , we'll take a bath. I'll get the big bath on the third floor started with bubbles and candles, but you have to go take a shower first.”

“You want me shower before we bathe? Why?”

“Because we both know damn well I'm going to end up sitting in your lap, and I don't do that want mud on myself or the tub.”

“Very well,” he nodded, quickly eating the last of the pasta. He headed towards their master bath while she passed, headed up to the third floor. “Oh, Servant Woman, bring me a drying cloth.”

“That's not funny.”

“I am speaking to you Bullmoose--”

“I will dye all of your armor pink don't test me!”

---------------

 

Trunks Briefs

Mr.Hane

Fourth Period Eng.

 

                            Someone I Respect

 

I think someone I respect would be my Dad. There's a lot of reasons to respect him. He's the Prince of All Saiyans, which makes me and Mom royalty too. He is also very strong. He's one of the strongest guys in the world.

But he's not the strongest. I have an uncle who is even stronger than him. That's not the reason I respect him. I respect my Dad because he never, ever gives up.

He wasn't always a good guy. People think I don't know that, but I'm not stupid. I think he did a lot of bad things before he met Mom. What's important is what he does now. Now he's a hero, and he stops bad guys from destroying the world. Even when he knows he can't win, he fights anyway.

He's a good dad, too. Even when he can't be around, I know he's trying to get stronger. He took us to a family resort a while ago, and even though he didn't stay I know he had fun. He doesn't treat me like a kid when we fight, but he still makes sure I don't get hurt. I'm never afraid that things won't work out somehow.

I think my uncle motivates Dad to be better. I would rather be second strongest and keep fighting than be the best and be bored. I hope I'm a lot like my Dad when I grow up. Mom says I'm already too much like him as it is, but I don't think that's a bad thing. She must not think it's that bad either, because someone the things I have seen her do with him will make me need therapy for years.

 

                                       Trunks

 

Chapter Text

Bulma muttered under her breath as she watched him shove his possessions in one bag, and load up another with cup ramen.

"What, Woman?" He snapped over his shoulder. "Isn't this what you wanted? I'll go and train with Whis and get it out of my system. I'll return stronger than Kakarot and stop having to leave for days at a time."

"I still think it's stupid. But fine. Run off with another