Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Tempt of Fate ❯ Say My Name ( Chapter 7 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Tsuyoku: Wow, this is a heck of a chapter, a little complicated, but a ton of things happen. I would like to a) apologize for this chapter taking so long to get posted, college started back and things have happened, and 2) I wanted to dedicate this chapter to some very young ladies I know that recently lost their lives in a car accident, this is for you – and to the rest of you out there reading, please be safe.

Now on to the good stuff... :-)

Tempt of Fate Chapter: 7

Bulma stepped into the small stall and instantly felt the warmth of a scalding shower relieve a cold chill along her skin. The icy feeling had set in as she read page after page of the Vegeta-sei biography, turning each page with a vigor that surprised even her. Her hands thrust into her hair, letting the water cascade through the strands and give her a relaxed feeling that only a true shower could. Not that this was a true shower, she was in the bathing stall of her ship, which sailed along continuously on a red-eye trip towards the warrior planet.

She still couldn't shake the depression in her mind, which had set in as she learned new things about Vegeta's life. The Royal Family, it seemed, had it's share of scandal. Apparently Vegeta's mother had been unfaithful to his father and was executed along with her lover. The King Vegeta had never been the same after his wife was put to death, but it was necessary to make an example that betrayal of any kind was not acceptable on this planet. It hadn't really gone into detail about the previous King before, but Bulma suspected that he hadn't always been so cruel.

"Maybe the reason Vegeta-Sei's ways are so forceful and unmerciful now is because the former king had lost his love, the woman he had made his queen, and that was a hard blow... Could that be why Vegeta acts so inhuman sometimes?” Her mind wandered over the possibilities such effects could have on her love that Bulma hadn't noticed if she'd washed her hair or not.

A beeping suddenly knocked her out of the reverie, and she peeked her head out the stall. 'Shit,' it didn't matter if she'd washed or not, Bulma scrambled to turn the water off and hurriedly sprinted towards the control room still wrapped in a towel. 'Just as I thought, we're in range of Vegeta-sei. How did I let time get so away from me?' Bulma dressed in some pants and and a shirt with jacket – and that jacket had plenty of pockets.

After securing multiple capsules in the hidden areas of her clothes, Bulma felt she was prepared for this as much as she ever would. She pressed a few buttons on the monitor panel and Chi Chi's face appeared, a serious look on her face as she said, Are we all ready??h

Bulma only replied, I'm in range, please begin.?h Chi Chi just nodded and the screen went blank. There was no time to talk when the King was involved... at least not when you were involved in technical treason against the King.

On the warrior planet, in a small room of the palace's living quarters, the black haired woman turned in her chair to her husband, Goku, let's do this.?h

The responding man only nodded and exited towards the villages.

Chi Chi giggled; this was fun! But her smile slowly faded as she realized that she couldn't be so light hearted about this. If they were all discovered, if Vegeta knew Bulma was here to take the Dragonballs they would all be in major trouble, no matter what Vegeta felt for Bulma.

From what her friend had told her about these balls, Chi Chi figured that it would be a conflict of his love for his woman and his quest for total power – or whatever he'd wish for in th end.

But instead of worrying about it, her part was done here, so she rose from the chair and ran a bath... that had been easier than she'd thought!

Goku walked slowly down the hallway, he didn't want to bring attention to the fact that he was hurrying about. The tracking feature on his headset showed Bulma's ship just minutes from docking. That meant he needed the King out of the building and fast.

"Kruno, do you have an AP on the King?” He was in the throne room, as usual, which was right next to the docks. He'd notice her ki as soon as she exited the ship, if not before. “Go ahead and throw the stone.”

It was done.

Of course, the people fighting weren't really going to be an uprising, they were just having some fun fighting each other. But the King didn't need to know about that. When he finally reached the throne room, Goku opened the door, attracting the attention of the King and all the other people that usually crowded the room.

"My Lord, we have a situation.”

Just in time, for Bulma's ship was just pulling into the planet's orbit.

And so was the plan that allowed Bulma to get on the planet unnoticed. Sure, it seemed a little over the top, but she was taking every precaution. If Vegeta knew what she was up to, who knows what kinda shit would hit the fan?

Not to mention she wasn't exactly in the most secure of situations, emotionally at least. She had the man's child for heaven's sake! And Bulma didn't want to face him – how do you tell a man that, 'Hey! These past six years, I've been raising your son and haven't told you!'

Hell no.

This was a get in, get out situation that would ultimately save the world from whatever he was going to wish for.

But Bulma was really curious as to what that would actually be.

What would Vegeta wish for? She knew he'd wish for something, no one can resist that power. And what if she happened to run into him in her short trip here... would she have to tell him about their son, would there even be a choice? Bulma couldn't decide what was worse anymore: not seeing the love of her life or getting the chance to see him once again and having something so heavy on her conscience... it was a hard call.

Through clouded eyes filled with her own personal frustration, she watched as the ship docked and hoped that Vegeta was outside the palace doing something else at that moment. But a small part of her wanted him to be there; she wanted something to go wrong so that she'd walk out and there he'd be.

Bulma walked out and into the open docking area, not seeing Vegeta. She sighed knowingly, but immediately spotted a familiar face. “Yamcha?”

The long-haired man turned from the mechanism he was working with and saw her, eyes widening as he slowly wiped some oil off of his face. Yamcha walked slowly over to her and just stared, “You're back. What are you here for... oh, that's right. King Vegeta.”

"Yamcha, I'm not here for that... I just need to pick up some things. I'm not even going to see him if I can help it; he won't even know I've been here.”

"That's going to be a bit of a problem, Bulma. Even if you manage to avoid showing any kind of ki, you're still going to leave your sent around the palace. What are you going to do when he knows that you've been on this planet again? Because he's going to tear up the universe looking for you. You need to cover that up. I may not be Saiyan, but I can smell your scent from here,” he nodded towards her hair, noticing she'd taken a shower recently. “Spray some perfume on or something – otherwise he's going to know.”

"Yamcha,” Bulma began. “After what happened between us... why are you even helping me?” Yamcha shook his head and smiled at her.

"Bulma, I'm sorry about things that happened in the past, but I still remember talking to you in that library that day and the short time we were friends. I wouldn't want to do anything to ruin that again.” He nodded towards the double doors. “Now, go.”

Bulma smirked and ran towards it, placing her hand inside a pocket and grabbing some scented spray.

As soon as Bulma hit through the double doors into the actual palace, she ran into a hard chest. Raising her eyes, she spotted a mane of the darkest hair she'd seen in a while. But while her heart raced as she thought it might be Vegeta, her mind cleared and she was staring into a pair of kind eyes: Goku.

"You scared me, what the heck are you just standing her for?”

The Saiyan smirked, “Sorry, Bulma. I just wanted to escort you to the King's wing, therefore if someone comes near, including the King, I will sense them and we can get out of site.” Bulma looked at him for a moment. “I mean, if you're here, someone's going to see you and when it gets around the castle, Vegeta's going to know. So it's just best if only Chi Chi and I know about this.”

Bulma could only nod and start walking down the hall alongside Goku. He asks about her health and planet, and they talk about nothing much in general. Goku doesn't seem to concentrated when he was talking about him and Chi Chi. After a while Goku stopped in the hallway and turned to the girl. “Call me crazy, but there's something really different about your ki than last time. I've been trying to figure out what's off about it, but you're signature has changed.”

"What do you mean it's changed? I'm still me, I can't think of anything different...” Bulma figured where this was going, she just hoped that Goku was too dense to figure out just why it's changed.

"I guess it's just a different form... almost like Chi Chi's after she gave birth to Gohan and Got-”

"Don't say anything!”

Bulma's pleading eyes finally reached level with Goku's, who, even though being so dense, was aware completely of what she was confirming. Goku made no move to react in his normal manner; this was obviously something that she was being secretive about.

Bulma stood there, waiting for the inevitable outburst that would attract attention, but Goku just stood there, blinking and looking at her as if he knew somehow... did he?

But the Saiyan next to her just nodded and began walking along the hallway as if they'd never had the conversation. Once the two reached the King's wing, Bulma's heart had a tumble down into her stomach. Before her was the room that help so many memories... mostly good, some just saddened her. She saw a ghostly reflection of Vegeta trailing her through those same double doors years ago. Goku interjected by placing his hand on the small of her back to guide her, but then he removed it quickly as if he was somehow being watched by the man that possessed Bulma heart and soul.

As soon as Bulma walked into the doors, Goku paused. She turned back towards him and noticed he was very focused on the tracking device in the device he wore on his face. Something seemed to be wrong by the look in his eyes, but he just gave he a small smile and nod before turning to leave. “There's something that requires my attention. Be careful, Bulma. I hope you find what you're looking for. I'll still keep tabs on the King.?h His hand waved over his head as he trotted off out of the hall.

Bulma just stood there – she felt so naked. Not literally, but she had no one to tell her if the King was coming or not. But she wasn't going to stand there pondering while time was slipping away. Vegeta would be done fighting in no time, with his strength, and she wasn't going to be in his room when he returned.

Vegeta had heard the words and simple explanation Goku had provided and decided that this was great way to let off some steam while he wasn't thinking about his life and his missing love.

On the way down there, he could already spot the group of people just throwing punches in the middle of the village. This part of the planet was not the best part to be in when you weren't very strong – he would never let anyone like Bulma down here, for fear that she would let someone take advantage of her.

In the midst of the punches and small ki blasts that were being thrown around, Vegeta noticed that these warriors weren't being serious about fighting – this was a fight for fun and games, but it couldn't have come at a better time. Nevertheless, for his current activities occupying his mind, the King was oblivious to the events taking place in the palace at that very moment.

But fun or not, Vegeta began to fight more seriously, getting into the moods and powering up as much as he could to see if anyone was going to be able to take him. But as his power level started to rise, Vegeta felt a the beginning of something new, a new level of power he'd never seen before, it was just in his reach.

'Could this be the legendary Saiyan that they speak of? Will I reach it?' His thoughts, just as his power level, were on the border, however, just enough that they wouldn't be able to reach their goal.

About that time, the fighting stopped and everyone that didn't need a regeneration tank headed to on of the bars and pubs to drink and celebrate that their fighting success. Vegeta, instead, wanted to return the castle to think about what just happened.

Had he almost gotten there? To that infinite power?

Bulma was currently working at the lock on the safe. Something this old was no match for her technology, and she got into the metal box in the wall easily. Vegeta probably hadn't noticed, but Bulma had seen the safe once before Vegeta had hidden it. They'd been in this very room, making love not an hour before that. Once again her head turned to Vegeta's bed, a bed she knew well, and the Queen allowed herself to reminisce.

Oh she wanted to dive into those covers and smell the scents like she did long ago. If only you could bottle Vegeta, she would spray that on her pillows and never come up for air.

But she was afraid of what else she would smell. Would Launch's flowery scent be mixed in there as well?

Her hands clicked the safe open and she soon was staring into the current object of Bulma's desire; The Dragonballs: the three, seven, and five balls were in there. They would soon join the ranks with the others in her capsule and then she would decide what to do with them later.

She stood there for one more second just looking at the alluring shine of the ball's mysterious materials. Bulma hesitated... she couldn't believe what she was doing. 'Vegeta's mother betrayed her husband and her son, how can I betray Vegeta just as I am now?

Her hand hovered over the Dragonballs. It's now or never.?h Bulma grabbed the three spheres before she could think otherwise and placed them in with the rest. When they were all laying next to each other, in order, Bulma felt a surge of something.

Now, Bulma didn't really have a sense for power levels or anything – she never knew what people were talking about when they sensed someone's ki – that was all beyond her. But when she placed the seven balls together, even Bulma felt something so strong in her senses that she wasn't able to explain it.

She did know that for her to be able to sense it, it had to be strong to every Saiyan on this planet, so she hurried to close the capsule and secure the small device into her innermost pocket before shutting the safe like no one had opened it at all. At last she turned to leave but thought the best of it.

She had shut the safe and left the space exactly like she left it – of course only missing the three Dragonballs, but what about her scent? Bulma did her best to neutralized the air, expecting that she would not be able to cover her scent at all. Thanks to Yamcha's comment about it, Bulma had thought better of leaving any trace that she had been there, and it seemed to be working.

"DS-549 Sub-Diplomat Ship, Vegeta-Sei – requesting clear to dock, I repeat: DS-549 Sub-Diplomat Ship, Vegeta-Sei.”

A fuzzy voice came over the communicator in the native language, DS-549, you're given clear. Please disengage all shields and surrender pilot chips until departure.?”

“10-4.” Launch looked at her co-pilot, Eighteen, turning off her communicator and smiled, “We're in.”

Their plan was to scour the city and get closer and closer to the palace. Once near enough to let themselves inside, the two would concentrate on finding that blasted woman and get the Dragonballs she possessed.

After the docking process, and of course getting through the gates (by giving up their pilot chips), the two ladies found their way to the center of the city, which presented the planet's Capitol castle encased by the city. It was a grand central to the surroundings, and unlike Vegeta-Sei, the whole set of nations on this planet were pretty developed.

But to admire wasn't what they were here for. 'We've sworn to get King Vegeta those Dragonballs, and I will stop at nothing to do so,' Launch had promised herself. Of course she had hopes of becoming the Queen of Vegeta-Sei someday, but that was a better laid plan for when she was in the King's good graces. The two young and agile women rushed through to the court outside the castle itself, which was buzzing with people.

Launch weaved about them towards the entrance, her android counterpart trailing behind her. “These people are annoying, Launch. Why can't we just force our way through them?” This earned an odd look from an old woman passing by, which Eighteen returned wholeheartedly.

"No, Eighteen, we're not going to cause a fuss in public like this. We are here to beat that woman silly and get our treasures back.”

It wasn't until later that Launch and Eighteen had gained access to the castle interior with great ease, much to their humor. By then the sun had past full mass in the sky and was rolling towards evening.

"Where is she?!” Launch and Eighteen walked slowly down the corridor, listening in on the conversations taking place in one of the large rooms off the hall.

"My Lord, the Queen said she had some important business to attend to at the moment and had to take a small trip.” The two girls felt a little sorry for the man who had to deliver the news to the King that Bulma had gone somewhere, but this new revelation interested them.

"And where was this trip?”

"She did not say. Lady Bulma took her ship and left two days ago, but she did say that she'd be back in a matter of days. My Lord, you may even expect her today,” he said in an attempt to get out of that room with his life.

"You may go.” He turned, and the man sighed almost inaudibly. “But I want to be informed the minute she returns and no later.”

"What does this mean, Launch?” Eighteen said in a whisper as the man left.

"This means that we're going to search her quarters for the Dragonballs, and when we don't find them, we're going to have to take something else.” They moved down the halls once more, “and if anyone gets in our way, we'll just have to deal with them.

It wasn't until a while later that the duo found Bulma's quarters and started tearing it apart to find the Dragonballs, but they found only some spare parts from some kind of thing Bulma had been working on.

"Launch, come here.” Eighteen pointed towards the metal pieces, “What does this remind you of?”

"Shit, she's made a tracking radar for the Dragonballs. It's has to be her that has them.” Launch turned to leave the ransacked room, “And now we know where she's going now. There are three balls she doesn't have, but Vegeta does. Let's head out, there's nothing else we can do here.”

"But how are we going to get them from her?” Eighteen walked with her partner. “She's not going to give them up, even in a fight.”

"Then we're going to have to have the upper hand on this one, now aren't we?”

"Who's are you...” A sleepy voice echoed in the small bedroom.

"Shh, we're going to take you to your mother. Just go back to sleep.” The young boy fell limp in the android's arms as Launch whispered to him. “Let's go.”

As they exited the doors, the two were oblivious of being watched by more than one person, one of which tried to intervene.

"And where do you think you're taking my son?”

"You must be the King Atrono, I've heard about you. We need to speak to your wife... but ti seems in her absence, your son is going to have to come with us. If you have a problem with that, I'll just kill you.”

Lynna watched from the cracked door off of Trunks' room. She laid him down for a nap, like any normal day, and now people were kidnapping them? What the hell was Bulma doing over there, she wasn't even supposed leave a trace that she was there.

She watched as Atrono tried to fight the blue-haired one, but failed. Lynna didn't know if he was alright, but at the moment, she didn't care. Trunks was who mattered right now, and as the attackers left towards the ports, Lynna followed behind.

She was going to sneak aboard and see just what Bulma was up to over in Vegeta-Sei.

After the Dragonballs pulsed, Bulma thought better about staying in that room for any longer and ran out the door towards the only place in this castle that she felt safe: Chi Chi's room.

When she arrived, Bulma kept face and knocked on the door, even though she would rather have walked right in to get out of plain sight. The Saiyan-like woman opened the door, glad to see her friend once more. When Bulma stepped over the threshold, she was suddenly encased in a vise grip of a hug, something so motherly and comforting that Bulma forgot where she was for a moment and allowed herself a peaceful thought or two. Even though it didn't seem to last long, for Chi Chi released her and welcomed Bulma into their small home.

Nothing seemed to have changed too much around here, although that couldn't be Gohan sitting at the table. He was such a small boy when she departed years ago. “This is Goten, my second born. I believe you only met Gohan for a split second when you were last here, but now we have two,” Chi Chi sat down at the table, which looked as if the two were having a meal when Bulma knocked. She felt slightly guilty, but knew that Chi Chi would have kicked her ass had she gone anywhere else.

Bulma leaned down to Goten's level and looked at his familiar features, “I know a boy just about your age that would love to play with you!” Goten's face changed to that of excitement, completely forgetting the food before him.

“Maybe you'll get to meet him very soon,” at Chi Chi's line, Bulma looked up at her with a kind of sadness in her eyes. But that wasn't all, it was fear. Why was Bulma so afraid to let Vegeta know the truth. But in a moment, Bulma looked back at Goten, her eyes now filled with a sort of hope, “Yeah, maybe.”

At first, time went slow as Bulma spent as long as she could talking to Chi Chi. She had to admit that woman could talk on and on, and as Bulma looked at the clock for the second time, she took a small gasp of air. “Um, Chi Chi, dear. I have to go!”

Vegeta had long been back from the distraction, and in that time, he kept contemplating what was happening in him. As he fought, it seemed something changed in him so, he felt empowered enough to reach that level, whatever it was.

But it hadn't been an accident, of that he was sure. If he was forced to name his one goal as King, and as a Saiyan, he would immediately speak of being the first in years to obtain the infinite.

He stepped from the shower, grabbing a towel and sauntering into his quarters noticing the moment that he walked in that something was off about it. In a state of pondering, Vegeta assumed that he hadn't sensed what was different about it, but now with a slightly clear head, his instincts took his right to the safe.

He placed his hand on the outside, hoping that they were still there. Up until today, when he felt the power in his veins, Vegeta's wish would be to have that status, to be the one. And if he reached it before they were all gathered on Vegeta-Sei, well, Vegeta hadn't really thought about a second wish.

He did his best not to just pull the door from the safe by strength and filled in the combination until he heard a click.

And when he opened the door, it was as he suspected.

“Launch...” She was the only one that would steal them, the only one that knew about them and where he kept them. She was unhappy about him pressuring her, so Launch had decided to take it in her hands to steal the Dragonballs, did she...?

That was the last straw.

He summoned a servant. “Get me Piccolo.”


It wasn't but an hour later after Vegeta had dealt with the Launch issue that he found himself walking along the hallways to nowhere in particular. It had become a pastime of him; he no longer just sat on his throne commanding people all day long – he just needed to get out and walk, as if there was something he was searching for throughout the labyrinth that was his palace.

This time Vegeta had the same feeling; it was a feeling that suggested that there was something waiting beyond every corner. And what Vegeta didn't know was he was about to find it.

Bulma was eagerly awaiting the moment she was able to board her ship and be done with it all. She wanted to see the man, that she wouldn't admit to herself. But he was someone special to her, someone so significant in her life that, if she didn't take advantage of a situation like this, Bulma realized she go insane from pure feelings of want and need.

She paused for a moment, leaning her arm on the wall and feeling slightly lightheaded. There was a corner right up ahead, and beyond that corner were double doors that led to the carrier room, where she'd find her ship paused and ready to go, as Yamcha would have it prepared for her should she walk through those doors at any time.

But something else was drawing her to turn the corner, something more instinctual and feral. She couldn't place her thumb on it, but was going to step forward when she stopped.

Footsteps. They echoed through the hallways, tough and commanding. Bulma knew those footsteps, and she would have fainted had it not been for the fact that such an act would draw the attention of King Vegeta, who was approaching her corner as she hid behind it.

She breathed quickly, knowing it was inevitable that he would notice her there and come after her. But Bulma wanted to know how she'd react before it happened.

Vegeta had been immersed in his own thoughts about the missing Dragonballs until something so sweet and familiar pulled him from them. The scent in the air was different, nothing he'd smelled before, yet the ki--

The ki that was hiding behind that corner was the unmistakable trace of the woman that had plagued his mind for half a decade: Bulma.

He stopped, and knowing that she'd been discovered, Bulma took a step by step path until she rounded the corner and allowed herself to drink in the image of her … her mate. The one she was meant to be with. It seemed that he was thinking and feeling the same thing as they both looked the other over to find differences and similarities compared to their past counterparts.

“Vegeta...” Bulma whispered his name, but that sound was enough to power his legs; they walked, stronger than ever, to her. When he was in reach of Bulma, his hands grabbed her shoulders and pushed her up against the wall to ravage her mouth with his own.

No words were exchanged between the two, just motions of body against body contact.

And they followed each other to a wing of the castle where things seemed to have frozen in time, and still neither one said anything.

“It's about damn time, I'm ready to get off this ship and onto some land!” Eighteen leaned back and stretched as they were closing in on Vegeta-Sei. Launch remained silent in the pilot's seat, even now and then glancing at the young boy that sat behind them. He was wide awake and staring holes in the backs of their seats as if he knew they had nothing of his best interests in mind.

He could smell greed when he was near it.

But the young boy didn't say a thing. He was waiting for them to land before he made any moves. Their power level was weak, but he needed their access into the planet. His parents were in there, and there was something too fishy about these women for him to ignore the fact that his parents might be in trouble.

Trunks was only half correct: they had access, but it wouldn't get him far.

He'd been taught to respect his elders at a young age, and the power level of the man that met them as they docked the ship was high enough for Trunks to listen to what he had to say, which wasn't much.

He just remembered being dropped off with a harpie of a lady and her son, and Lynna joined them not too much later. Trunks was very confused, but he would do something about it once that Chi Chi woman left him alone for five minutes...

Piccolo had seen the resemblance of the boy to the King of the Warrior race, and he'd have to be a fool to ignore the power level radiating from the kid. But it was best not to involve him in his own affairs, Piccolo had a job to do, so he left the kid in trusted hands.


'I have to tell him. I have to.' Hundreds of things were crawling through Bulma's mind at the moment, but when she was laying there in bed with him, the current problem at the front of her mind was to tell him that he was a father.

She turned her whole body towards his, looking at his face , eyes closed, knowing that he wasn't asleep. “Vegeta, there's something very important that I need to tell you.” With her words, his eyes slowly opened and he fixed his gaze onto her face. It was like time had stopped and they were once again in their romance that had occurred almost seven years ago. He slowly sat up, the blanket shielding his natural state sliding down his body and hers.

"What is it, Woman?” Bulma slightly smirked, that word 'Woman', once she had taken it as an insult. But these days, she knew that coming from him it was now a term of endearment.

"When I left here, years ago, I found out that --”

There was a hard, pounding knock at the ornate doors to his suite before she could continue. Vegeta let a small growl escape his lips at being interrupted, but instead rose and opened the door, not caring that he was naked. Bulma figured that in a warrior race that wore such revealing armor anyway, all the males were used to seeing each other in the nude.

A young Saiyan stood there, unwavering even staring into Vegeta's bare figure. Bulma tried her best to lower herself behind the pile of sheets. Vegeta's large bed was perfectly aligned with the door, she only had to make one small move and that young man out there would see a naked woman in the King's bed. She'd probably be mistaken for a whore again! How embarrassing!

So Bulma kept stone still and listened to the murmured conversation as best as she could.

"My lord, the bounty hunter you sent for. It seems he has already completed the bounty and wishes to collect his reward.”

'Bounty hunter, what for? For Launch?' Bulma slightly leaned forward, noticing that that light emitting from the open door gleamed on her alabaster skin. 'Vegeta couldn't be serious, putting a bounty on Launch's head because she stole the Dragonballs?' The blue-haired woman had to correct herself; Vegeta's mind had seemingly been on it all day that even she was convinced of Launch's guilt, though Bulma knew much better.

The King spoke in hushed tones as he gave some order Bulma couldn't understand and then turned as the door closed once more. Vegeta crossed back to the bed, remembering fully that Bulma had something she wanted to tell him, but he was face with what seemed like more important things at the moment.

"I must go to the main hall. There are some important business matters that I must attend to.

Bulma tried to stop him, but decided that if he had important business awaiting him, Vegeta was going to go no mater what she had to say. However, Bulma decided to tag along, the curiosity getting the better of her. Vegeta had known she was trailing behind him on the way to the main hall, and finally he turned around and said, “If you want to come with me, Woman, then make an effort to not look so sneaky. It's childish.” Bulma almost smiled, and joined his side in the walk to the throne room.

When the couple arrived, the room was bare of it's usual inhabitants, which made the space look as large as her entire castle hollowed out. The lonely feeling entered her bones once more just thinking about what she'd left behind in her home even when compared to what was always waiting her here.

The first person she spied was Piccolo. Oh yeah, Bulma had definitely heard of this guy. There he was, one of the most defiant criminals ever put behind bars: and now he was working for them, a bounty hunter on his own time and his own circumstances. He was one of the best, she'd heard. Piccolo didn't look so harmful, but still his glances and stares were a bit creepy as she glanced him over just imagining what he could do.

Bulma's eyes shifted to the right to spy his 'guests'. Launch and her friend, Eighteen were standing next to him. Neither one was bound, but Bulma figured if she was in the situation to be captured by Piccolo of all people, trying to escape would be as futile as trying to bribe him to let them go.

Launch spoke first, “I see the wench is with you.” Vegeta openly growled at her defiance.

“You are charged with theft. Do you have anything to say.”

“Theft of the Dragonballs, I assume? My dear King, you are barking up the wrong tree.” Her smooth voice was still intact, Bulma noticed, even though she was a captive of one of the most brutal races among the system. Launch nodded towards Bulma, “She is the one you seek, for her interest in the Dragonballs is much more intimate than mine.”

“Launch, you'd do better to choose your words wisely or seal your mouth. I will not tolerate such slander.”

“I guess I should have known better than speak the truth around you. That woman, that whore of a girl, has tamed you, my Lord. I thought you a stronger man than that.”

Bulma fumed from the shadows, and if it hadn't been for Vegeta's grasp on Launch's neck, Bulma knew that her hand would be in that very spot trying to choke the life out of her. The captive woman tried to speak with the pressure of Vegeta's constricting tendons on her throat, but barely could whisper the rest.

“What else... what else don't you know?” Vegeta released a bit of the pressure, a sign for her to continue. “Has she t-told you (gasp) about her s-s-... s-”

“Her what! Speak up!”

“Her s-son!” Launch barely managed to get the air out of her throat to form the words. Vegeta's hand released her neck in a surprised instant, and Launch backed up as much as she could with Piccolo now behind her. She coughed and held her damaged skin as she met Vegeta's eye once more. Vegeta didn't dare look back at Bulma just yet; he wanted to hear just what Launch had to say.

“A son, you say...” Vegeta paused. Bulma started to panic – not because Vegeta was going to find out – but because Launch knew about Trunks. How did she know? How could she know? Had she seen Trunks?

Oh no. They had seen him, which mean that they'd been in her home. What happened to them? Atrono, Trunks, Lynna, what was going on?!

“Yes... a son,” Launch had trouble speaking, but that didn't mean that she was going to pass up a chance to let out Bulma's secret. “A young boy that we brought back with us from her planet. Guess she hadn't gotten around to telling you just yet.”

“Where is he?!” Bulma screamed through the hall, feeling it echo on the ceiling and back.

Piccolo spoke for seemingly the first time, “I left the boy in Lady Chi Chi's care.” His deep voice hadn't even stopped reverberating through the hall that Bulma ran out towards Chi Chi's room. How could she have been so blind? She'd left her son at home while she pursued her own ambitions, and now look at everything.

She'd put Trunks in danger.

This time, Bulma failed to knock on the door, choosing instead to just burst into Chi Chi's quarters. She immediately spotted Trunks and his surprised caretaker sitting on the floor and sat to scoop him into her arms. “I'm so sorry, baby. I'm so sorry....” She rocked her son in her arms, repeating her sentiment to him over and over until her tears had subsided.

It was when Bulma calmed down that Chi Chi, who had witnessed the whole event, scooted next to her and spoke in a soft tone. “Bulma, what's wrong?”

“Everything, Chi Chi! Do you know who brought Trunks to this planet?”

“Well, Piccolo dropped him off.”

“Yes,” Bulma finally got out. “The bounty hunter! And do you know what his bounty is, perhaps? Launch! Freaking Launch and that robot side kick of hers. They kidnapped Trunks from my planet, and brought him here, probably in an attempt to get the Dragonballs from me. She knows; I know she knows.”

“Bulma...” A voice echoed from one of the bedrooms. Bulma rose her head in answer.

“Lynna? Are you alright, did they take you too?”

“No, I saw them take Trunks and sneaked onto the ship. But I have some news about Atrono.” Lynna took a seat on the floor next to her friend and drew a breath. “I don't know if he's alright. He tried to get in their way when they came for Trunks. Launch attacked. But I was so worried about Trunks – and getting on that ship with them – that I didn't get to see if he was alright.”

Bulma shook her head, “I'm just glad that Trunks wasn't alone when they took him.” Trunks tried to say something though it came out mumbled with his whole head pressed into her chest. Bulma released him a little; she'd been so glad that he was sage that she didn't realize she'd been cutting off his oxygen.

“Mom, I'm fine. Like I told you, I'm not a baby – and I can take care of myself. If I need to, I'll defend you and Lynna no matter what.” Bulma just looked at her son, knowing that he was smart and wise just like his parents, but at the same time she couldn't shake how young his voice sounded. He was her baby, he would always be her baby.

“Trunks, I know you're going to be a big, strong man one day. But right now you're young, and I'm going to protect you as much as I can. There's something that I want to tell you,” she paused, only for a second to contemplate just how she was going to put this. “As you're mother, you know I'd never lie to you – but I haven't been completely honest either. As you know, Atrono isn't your father, and as you have expertly guessed... you are the only son of a King, but it is the King of Vegeta-Sei, the planet we are now on.”

Bulma stopped. She didn't know where to go from there, in every sense. What else could she tell Trunks? Vegeta would be on his way to see Trunks in a moment; she was certain that being left alone with Launch had shown Vegeta a few more revelations than he'd expected in their small reunion. But after that, she was stuck. Was she supposed to stay there with Vegeta, let him get to know his son? Or was she going to be forced by her husband to go back to their planet and reign once more as its queen.

At that moment the door behind her opened, and she didn't have to turn to ind out who it was. Nevertheless she did anyways to give Vegeta the benefit of the doubt. He was alone, no doubt having left Launch and Eighteen with Piccolo. Who knew what the girls' fate would be eventually?

He seemed out of breath – very unusual behavior for a Saiyan – and stood there as still as stone.

She picked up Trunks from her lap and sat him on the floor, unfolding her long legs from under her and stood up to look Vegeta in the eye. Well, it would have been in the eye had he been looking at her. He was outwardly staring at his son, you could tell in his eyes that he just knew who Trunks was the moment he laid sight on him.

“You're...” His breathy voice ran together, but he wasn't able to get out the words before Bulma just bolted from the room. She knew Trunks would be fine, but she wouldn't be. Things were falling apart all around her, and she was being buried under the rubble.

'Please, please, Vegeta...' Bulma imagined as she escaped. 'Vegeta, don't follow me, let me alone for now...' All Bulma could think to do was run to the suite she stayed in six years before and collapse onto the bed exhausted.


The King searched for Bulma, finally spotting her ki on one of the above floors of the palace. She'd been avoiding him for a whole day now, not even pausing to speak to or look at him. But he wanted to know – needed to know – the answers to some of the questions plaguing his mind. After seeing Trunks and then watching her flee the room, he'd had the sense to let her be for the day, hoping she'd come around sooner or later. But it wasn't, by tempt of fate, going to be that easy between them.

He took the steps upwards two at a time, headstrong and determined to get down to the truth...

Vegeta found his mate sitting upon a marble bench that dotted one of the balconies. The King noticed that this particular balcony sprouted from the building so high, that he could see land from most of the surrounding counties. The height also added to the amount of breeze that flew through the air. It passed through each strand of hair on both of their heads, an Vegeta watched as it tickled the back of Bulma's neck. She hadn't turned to acknowledge him yet, but he was certain that she was aware of his presence: she always was.

“We have a lot to talk about, Woman.”

Bulma tried to nod her head, but it just wouldn't respond. “I know, Vegeta. I'm sorry that things had to happen this way. I tried... I was going to tell you about him, but there didn't seem to be a right time to suddenly say, 'Hey, you have a son.' I'd waited six years, what was one more day?” Bulma finally swiveled around to face him, and Vegeta saw the confusion in her expression.

“There is no right time to say something like that. But you should have told me about him the minute you figured out he was my son.” Bulma almost smiled at Vegeta's words. 'My son', it was endearing.

“You're right. I messed up.” She turned once again to look out at the scenery, “but what can I do. I did what I thought was necessary for Trunks to have a normal life.”

“He would have had a better than normal life from the beginning had I been in the know.”

“How's that, Vegeta?” She stood to face him now. “How would he have had a great life? Having his parents on two different planets, being split by not only space but culture as well. That's not a good life for a child, King Vegeta.” Vegeta frowned at how formal she was starting to sound.

“Well, he's obviously old enough to know and understand. You may leave him here and be on your way, if you must.” Bulma blanched. That wasn't what she had expected him to say. Was he turning her out?

“I'm not leaving Trunks here.”

“You don't have a choice.”

“I believe I do. He's already the heir to one nation, there's no changing that. Atrono doesn't know.”

“So, I'm not the only on you've lied to.” Vegeta started to pace along the width of the balcony. “I'll bet Atrono still thinks you love him.”

“Atrono knows that I've never loved him.”

Vegeta found himself in a situation. He couldn't take betrayal like this, not again. He had to stop it now, to let her go and separate them both from further harm. But he was going to have to do something about Trunks. The boy was his son, he was Vegeta's chance to erase how his own father turned his back on him after his mother's infidelity.

“I can't go on like this. It seems that the passion we had for each other has faded, at least on my end.” Vegeta turned to leave, as he was walking he threw words over his shoulder, “In my impartiality I will allow you to leave and take the boy with you for now. But, Woman, don't think I won't fight you for him should it come to it.”

Bulma felt crushed. What was he saying?!

"You mean to tell me that you don't care for me anymore... after something like this?” Bulma stood as still as she could, her heart piling onto the ground as if her mind had no use for it any longer. Bulma had hoped that when Vegeta found out about Trunks and her hiding it from him, he might see through it and forgive her since they had something so strong between them. But it seemed that he wasn't going to be so merciful.

Vegeta stood still for a moment, unable to speak; the words weren't going to leave his mouth lest his throat close up and never let him breath again. He did love her, would always care for her most in the world, but she'd betrayed him just like his mother had done to his father. Maybe not a carbon copy of the situation because Bulma had never cheated on him with another man, of that Vegeta could be sure. But Bulma knew she'd kept too many things from him: the truth about the Dragonballs and his son, both of which were a shot through the heart that he would never be prepared to take... a betrayal threatening to drive him down the road of destruction that his father had chosen, a place Vegeta was going to stay as far away from as he could.

He just nodded. But Bulma didn't believe it. She wouldn't accept the lie; she couldn't accept such words.

Bulma was going to prove that he did love her, still loved her, and always would. She still felt the strong wind pounding at her back, the building currents brought in by the sea air. It was fresh, crisp, it calmed her, and Bulma decided that he was going to admit that he would never forget his feelings whether he wanted to admit it or not.

She smiled at him, not the smirk that she'd developed over the years, it was a simple, sweet, and slightly sad upturn of the lips as she started walking backwards. The end of her dress fluttered in the strong winds and flew around her feet as she turned and ran for it.

Bulma leaped off the balcony.

For a moment, Vegeta couldn't even feel the wind against his skin, the instant numbness of his skin a result of what he'd just seen.. Just the image of her feet disappearing over the ledge was enough for his mind to shut down into autopilot and jump after her.

Bulma stared up at the balcony railing, which was, it seemed, quickly ascending into the sky as she fell further and further. 'He's not coming,' ran through her mind for a split second before she saw a figure pounce off the edge after her. With the sun in her eyes, Bulma couldn't make out Vegeta's features, just the outline of his muscular physique. She silently thanked whoever that the balcony she'd been upon was many stories from the ground as Vegeta's hand wrapped around her wrist, gripping it tightly as he pulled her into his grasp.

The feeling of falling so freely was amazing, Bulma had thought. But there was nothing compared to the lurch her stomach gave as she was pulled into gravity defying arms as if she weight no more than a feather.

The blue-haired girl didn't dare look up at her savior, knowing that his eyes probably burned with a thousand times more passionate anger than she'd ever seen him put off. He was possibly fuming.

'I'd be happy that he loved me enough to save my life if it weren't for the fact he might be mad enough to do the job himself right now,' Bulma almost giggled at the thought, but knew better. Vegeta landed his feet on the soft grass of the garden they'd been overlooking not minutes ago, and he turned his head to stare up at the bottom of the balcony to see how far she would have fallen.

When Bulma tried to struggle out of his grasp, Vegeta lay her on the ground softly, delicately, and put his hands in either side of her head. “Bulma, what the hell are you doing! You could have been killed if I hadn't saved you. Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

She just stared at his eyes, liquid pooling at the base of her own. He'd saved her, come for her even though he swore never to love her again. But that wasn't the best part.

He'd said her name.

Sure, Bulma was certain that he'd thought her name before, and definitely heard it, spoken it when not in her presence. But to her face, he'd never called her by her own name... and that was a big step for the Saiyan prince. Of course she didn't call him out on it, for if she did, Bulma knew she would never hear it leave his lips again.

Instead, her hands flew upwards and grasped the sides of his face as well before she hugged herself to his body. Vegeta returned the gesture, knowing full well that she was just happy she'd proven him wrong. Sitting here on the green just outside the palace, Vegeta swore to himself that he would never let her fall, ever.

Tsuyoku: Haha, wow. This chapter has been the worst to write, I've just had a hard, frustrating time with this one... arg. There are things presented in this chapter that will be further explained in subsequent chapters, especially the theft of the Dragonballs and what Vegeta and Bulma are going to do about Trunks and their relationship. And who is going to go Super Saiyan first, and why? If there are any holes in this chapter, or things that don't seem clear, forgive me and let me know. It's been a long, gruesome process. I know that this isn't going to be the last chapter, but I'm assuming that there will be only a few more, but we'll see how these go. I only write the outline of these chapters and then fill in the rest, so it ends up being pretty different from the original thought. Anyways, R&R please – keep going, I write better when I get feedback. ^.^