I hated him. I hated him with every fiber of my being. First, he came to Earth with the sole purpose of destroying it. Although his plan was thwarted by Goku, Gohan and the surprising hero Yajirobe, he did succeed in destroying me.
Then, the love of my life went across the universe to gather the Namekian dragon balls to wish me back, only to have her stolen out from under me, literally, by HIM. Oh yes, I hated him. Every time I looked at Trunks, knowing that he should have been MY son, I hated him. Every time I went to Capsule Corp to see Bulma or the kids, and he would walk around like he owned the place, I loathed him. He was in my place, with what should have been my wife and my family.
Then she died. The only person I had ever loved with all my heart and soul. Bulma died.
The day of her funeral, I got my first glimpse of the man under the mask. The stone cold, rock hard Prince of All Saiyajins cried. And not just a few tears; he sobbed. He broke down in front of us all, those of us who still remained after the masses of her adoring public had left. The Z Senshi were all that stayed behind. Videl had taken Bra home to stay with her family for a few days, and Chi Chi and Pan had gone with them. We were huddled around her coffin, those of us who loved her most. Trunks, Goten, Gohan, Goku, Krillin, 18, Marron, even Piccolo was there. And then there was Vegeta.
He draped himself over her casket and cried like a baby. His display made the rest of us lose our own grips on our emotions, and we all joined him at her casket, under the autumn sunset of the beautiful outdoor chapel, all holding on to each other and mourning the loss of our beautiful ray of sunshine.
Sadly, Trunks was the only one who even attempted to comfort his father. He was most likely the only one who wasn't surprised by his outburst. He knew what the rest of us didn't; that his father truly loved his mother.
All those years that I hated everything that he had stood for, I made myself believe that he only stayed with her out of convenience, or out of some perverse sense of responsibility. Even when he finally married her, just after she found out she was pregnant with Bra, I didn't believe that he cared for her. We all know how persuasive Bulma could be. I figured she had bullied him into it somehow, threatened to take away his toys or something. At the wedding, I looked away when the justice of the peace stated "You may kiss the bride." I had never seen them kiss before, and wasn't willing to submit myself to watching it then.
At the funeral, it all became clear. He did love her; he was capable of emotions. That was the day my hatred for him began to lessen. The Prince of All Saiyajins had a broken heart, and I was certainly the one man there who could relate more than anyone else.
The days after the funeral were bleak to say the least. It was like the light had gone out of my life, and I didn't see any chance of it being relit. Sure, I wouldn't have won any awards for boyfriend of the year when we were together, but I did truly love Bulma, and couldn't foresee anyone else taking her place in my heart. She had been with Vegeta for 20 years, but that fact never lessened my feelings for her. I loved her, and no one else. Ironic, isn't it? That the man whom I had harbored the deepest hatred I had ever felt toward anyone, the man who was my most bitter rival, would become the one person who could even come close to taking her place.
I'm getting ahead of myself, though.
When Bulma died, I found myself trying to replace her light with the next closest substitute, my god daughter, Bra. Now don't get any sick ideas, the girl was only 5! She was my little princess, and she had lost her mother. I was determined that she would grow up to be happy, and I would see to it personally that it happened.
Trunks was 19 at the time, and had his own stress with being thrown into running Capsule Corp by his mother's untimely death. He and Goten had moved in together the summer before, and they were completely wrapped up in one another. As much as he adored his little sister, Trunks was immersed in learning the ropes of the presidency of Capsule Corp, and went home to Goten for comfort after working long hours. He didn't come around the house very often, and neither did Goten, as he was bogged down with his first year of college. School work never came as easily to him as it did to Trunks, so it took all his time to keep up.
Videl tried to help out, taking her on weekends to spend time with Pan, but with her family living so far out in the woods, it wasn't possible for them to spend time with Bra during the school week. Pan was home schooled, and Bra was in kindergarten at Orange Star Elementary.
So that left me to take care of her, a task which I readily accepted. I continued working while she was at school, but would be at Capsule Corp by the time the school bus dropped her off in the afternoon. She was able to get herself ready for school in the morning, with some help from Vegeta, before he retreated to the gravity room for hours upon hours of training.
I would be there to help her with her homework, get dinner ready (which consisted of programming a servo-bot), and to listen to her sweet chatter about all the events of her day. Vegeta would come in from training somewhere between 7 and 8 pm, and would get her ready for bed, and spend a little time with her. He did dote on her, don't get me wrong. He sounds like an absentee father, but he would be there in an instant if she had any real problems. I think his constant training was his way of dealing with Bulma's death. When he was fighting, he could forget for a time, and be at peace, as much as fighting could bring one peace. More than once I caught sight of him on the floor of the GR, obviously lost in grief when the training wasn't enough to force the memories away. Each time I witnessed his breakdowns, my heart softened a little more toward him.
As time went on, his training schedule lessened, and he would come in earlier, sometimes even joining us for dinner. At first, I'd go back home after we'd eaten, but when Bra had gotten over the novelty of having her father all to herself in the evenings, she began pleading with him to let "Uncle Yams" stay awhile. He never could say no to her, so we soon settled into a routine of retreating to the family room to watch TV or video tapes after dinner. She was getting older by this time, and would take care of getting herself ready for bed, leaving me with Vegeta. I'd stay until she came down to kiss us both goodnight, then would excuse myself and go to my own home, until I was back again when she got home from school the following day. Her weekends would be spent either with Gohan and his family, or Krillin and his, so mine tended to be lonely and boring. Sure, I had my own life, but I had no desire to date or even socialize much after Bulma died, truth be told, I didn't date much before she died, either. I spent my weekends working out, musing that my weekend training sessions were every bit as stringent at Vegeta's, only not done at 400 times Earth's gravity.
One Friday night, Vegeta began actually talking to me. He had been civil to me ever since Bulma's loss, I know he was grateful in his own way that I had taken over with Bra. As much as he loved his daughter, he was definitely not cut out to be a house husband. Surprisingly enough, he stopped calling me "pathetic weakling" all together, and seemed to accept the role I had taken in his family's life.
That night, however, while we were sitting in silence waiting for our goodnight kisses from Bra, he began speaking. He asked me if I'd ever stopped loving Bulma. I hesitated before answering him. I couldn't dishonor her memory by lying to him, and saying that I'd gotten over her, so I simply answered no. He was silent for a few moments before he spoke again. He began telling me about their life together, how in the very beginning they'd fought constantly. Trunks had been conceived the night of their fiercest fight ever. He said there was no doubt in his mind that she would have killed him if she'd had the power. Somehow, though, the passion of their anger turned to a different kind of passion, and next thing they knew, she was pregnant.
He admitted that he liked her, respected her, although they fought constantly in the early days. He admired the strength of her character. None of the strongest of Earth's fighters had the guts to stand up to him, but that weak little female wasn't afraid of him. She earned his respect when none other had.
He talked well into the night, telling me how he eventually fell in love with her when he never thought that he had the ability. Of course, his pride wouldn't allow him to say the words "I loved her" even though it was obvious that he did. Honestly, I think I sat there with my jaw hanging open most of the night. I was truly amazed at his words. Well, first I was amazed by the fact that he was even sitting there sharing so many of his memories with me, of all people. As the night wore on, I gained a new understanding of the man that I had spent so many years hating. He had a depth that I never thought possible. I think his confiding in me was therapeutic to him, I'm certain that he'd never talked about her like this to anyone else, not even Trunks.
Finally, he seemed to be winding down, and I glanced at my watch, shocked to see that it was almost 3 am. He looked at the clock on the VCR at the same time, and I think he was as surprised as I was. That was when he asked me if I wanted to spend the night. He took me to his old room, where he had stayed originally when he first came to Earth, before he had moved into Bulma's suite. It certainly was a regal room; you could tell that Mrs. Briefs had done the decorating in her extravagant way. It was decorated in royal blues, and had a four poster king size bed with soft draperies at the head. It had it's own attached bathroom, which I was certainly happy for, as I was ready for a shower before bed. He offered me some sweat pants to sleep in, and then retired to his own room.
That was the beginning of my gradual move into Capsule Corp. It came to the point that we would stay up talking every night after Bra had gone to bed. Once Vegeta starts talking, he just keeps going. I learned so much about Saiyajins, their customs, and his home planet in those talks. His stories always fascinated me, I could listen to him speak for hours, and often did. What surprised me, though, was his interest in what I had to say. He genuinely listened when I told him stories about my life in the desert, and the teenage adventures I'd been on with Bulma and Goku. He laughed when I told him about Bulma being turned into a carrot by a giant rabbit, and of Goku dressing up like a girl to defeat the fearsome Oolong. I'd always have an overnight bag in the car, just in case we talked too late into the night. Eventually, he made the comment that I should just bring some of my stuff from home, and keep it in the dresser in the room that had become mine, so I wouldn't have to bother with packing a bag every day. It was only a couple of weeks later that I gave up my lease on my flat, and just moved in all together.
One Saturday after breakfast, just after Bra had left for Pan's house, Vegeta told me that he was going to go visit Bulma's grave. He hadn't been there since her death, although I made frequent trips to keep the gravesite clean, and to keep fresh flowers on the headstone. I know that he wouldn't have told me if he hadn't wanted me to come along, so we silently got ready, and left for the scenic cemetery a few minutes later.
I hadn't seen him break down for several months before that day. I really thought he had finally accepted her death, and his emotions had calmed down, but the minute we touched down on the grass, his eyes began to water. Soon enough, we were standing shoulder to shoulder, both staring at her name engraved in granite, both of us with tears streaming down our faces. It had been three years since we had lost her, and we were both still in pain.
I don't think I had ever actually touched the man before that day, even with the fact that we had become close over the past three years. I couldn't help myself, though. I needed comfort at that moment, and I knew he did too. I put my arm around his shoulders, and he immediately turned himself toward me, burying his face in my chest, and letting go of his emotions. He wrapped his arms around my waist so tightly, that I had to struggle to breathe, and once again, my heart twisted with the memory of all the years I had despised this man, who was clinging to me for all he was worth.
I don't know what possessed me to do it; I had never in my life been attracted to a man. Straight as an arrow I was. But without knowing what I was doing, I found myself kissing his temple and stroking his hair as we swayed together there in the cemetery. His smaller body seemed to fit with mine perfectly; we melded together there, with the dry leaves being picked up by the gentle wind all around us. His sobbing ebbed as I pressed kisses to his forehead, and his body relaxed, his arms loosening their death grip on me. He pulled back from me slightly, and looked up at me with a confused expression. I'd never before seen him look so open…do I dare say he looked vulnerable? Heh. I certainly wouldn't dare say it when he could hear me, he'd blast me on the spot! He wasn't the hard, cold Saiyajin prince right then…I don't even know how to describe how he looked to me. Sweet. That's the closest word I can come up with. He looked sweet, like a small boy who wanted nothing more than love and acceptance.
He said in the smallest voice, "What are you doing?"
I couldn't even answer him, I had no idea where this feeling of needing to be close to him, almost a protective feeling had come from. What a joke, right? The weakest of the Z Senshi wanting to protect the fiercest fighter in the universe! I just shook my head, my eyes locked with his, and said "I don't know." The next thing I knew, I was kissing him.
I think I startled him. I'm sure I startled him, actually. He made no response for several seconds, and I was just waiting for him to slug me, or shove me to the ground and take off for home. Then he startled me. He kissed me back.
The kiss was tentative at first. It was certainly the first time I had ever kissed a man…I hadn't kissed anyone at all for several years, for that matter. He has since told me that it was common for Saiyajin males to take male partners, and I wasn't the first man he had been involved with. He'd had a relationship with Radditz when he was young, so he was certainly more experienced in that respect than I was, so it wasn't the fact that a man was kissing him that had startled him. I think he was taken off guard by the fact that I was attracted to him. I'm sure he thought, just as I did, that when Bulma passed away, he would never again feel love or affection. Maybe that's what drew us together in the first place, the knowledge that we were both lonely for the exact same reason.
Whatever the reason was, I found myself to be intoxicated by the man. Our kiss grew deeper as we stood there, clinging to one another, each finding solace in the other. The taste and texture of his mouth was driving me insane, I wanted more of him. I swear, the thought flashed through my mind that I needed to get my hands on those damn fusion earrings so that we could just be ONE. I wanted to be a part of him, and him to be a part of me. I just wanted HIM.
The next thing I knew, we had fallen to our knees, and were kissing so passionately that I knew my lips were bruised, but it didn't matter, because I couldn't get enough of him. Our hands were wildly roaming over each other's bodies; I have always been in excellent shape…about as perfect shape as a human can be in, even at my age I still am. But his muscles under my hands felt like I was stroking a Greek god. He was perfection in every way, and I wasn't worthy to be in his presence.
We pressed our bodies together fully, and it was then that we both realized that we wanted the other desperately. When our hips came in contact, and our erections clashed together, I saw stars behind my eyelids. We broke apart violently, staring at each other with lust filled eyes. Then it came to both of us what we were doing, and more precisely, where we were doing it. We had knelt in front of Bulma's grave.
He was gone in an instant. He moved so fast, that I couldn't even follow him with my eyes. I remained on my knees for the longest time, my hand resting on the cool stone of her grave marker. I traced the carved words there, letting my fingers dip and swirl over each letter as I memorized them. Bulma Briefs-Vegeta Beloved Wife, Mother, Friend June 28, 733-September 15, 785.
As I sat there, I felt a feeling of calm wash over me. To this day, I know that it was Bulma telling me that we had her blessing. I know she was contacting me in the only way she could, to let me know that she wanted us to be happy. Sitting there at her grave, I was happy. I knew that although I would never again see her beautiful face, that I was doing my best for her family; taking care of her baby girl, and hopefully helping her husband to love again. That was the first time the irony of it all hit me. There I sat in that cemetery, a 55 year old man who had spent almost four decades in love with a woman, only to fall in love with her husband after her death.
It was the next day before I saw him again. He walked into the kitchen on Sunday morning, he looked like he hadn't slept, he had dark circles under his eyes, and his hair was a mess. He didn't smell very good, either. He paused on his way through the kitchen, and just looked at me with his weary eyes. Neither of us said a word, and he continued on his way. Soon, I heard the shower start up, so I finished what I was doing and made my way upstairs to wait for him to come out. I knew he'd feel better after his shower, and hoped that it would clear his head enough to talk.
I went into his room, the one he had shared with Bulma, and sat on the end of the bed to wait for him. I know it was a bold thing to do, but I was afraid that if I didn't catch him, he'd evade me again, and I really needed to talk to him, to tell him that everything would be alright, and that we weren't hurting Bulma.
He came out of the bathroom wearing a black velour robe, and he was rubbing at his wet hair with a towel. He seemed to know I was there, because he wasn't at all surprised to see me. I guess he could probably sense my ki before he came out. He still looked tired, but at least he smelled good.
He came over and sat on the foot of the bed beside me, leaving almost an arm's length between us. I waited for him to speak, knowing he would want to be the one who initiated our conversation. He finally looked at me and said something that shocked the hell out of me. "She's ok with it."
I know my jaw hit my lap. Why it surprised me that she would have found a way to communicate with her husband, when she had communicated with me, I don't know, but it did at the time.
"What do you mean?" I asked him.
I don't remember his exact words after that, but he told me that he'd felt her presence visit him. He'd gone into the desert when he'd left me the day before, and had gone about destroying a few things. Leave it to Vegeta to reshape the landscape when he needs to think! He said he'd trained for hours out in the desert, his usual means of escape from his thoughts. He'd hunted a dinosaur for his dinner late in the night, and finally settled down to figure out his feelings toward what had happened between us after he'd eaten.
He'd meditated for a few hours, searching his own heart to see if he was ready to start another relationship, or if he even wanted a relationship with me. When he finally came out of his meditation early that morning, he realized that he did want to be with me, but was too afraid that if we were together, it would somehow hurt Bulma; that it would make it seem that he didn't love her if he moved on. That's when she came to him.
He said he could hear her voice in his head, and wasn't sure if he was going crazy or what. She told him that she knew about everything, and that she wanted us both to be happy. She knew that I had moved into the house with him and Bra, and all that had gone on since she had passed away. She assured him that she loved him, and knew that he loved her, but she wanted him to be happy. She told him that to do that, he had to go on with his life and be with me, not to pine away after her.
I have to admit that I was a bit jealous that she talked to him, and only conveyed emotion to me, but he was her husband. By the time he had finished telling me the story, we were facing each other on the bed, and somehow the distance between us had closed. "So, what do you think? Where do we go from here?" I asked him.
Then, he surprised me again. He kissed me. It was a confident, full kiss. All the passion that had overtaken us the day before returned quickly, and before long, we had removed each other's clothes and were lying on the bed, our hands exploring the other's body like uncharted territory.
We spent hours making love that day, in every position we could think of. Like I said before, I had never been with a man, but this was the most fulfilling, most amazing sexual experience I had ever had. The passion that we shared, and the love that we both felt brought us both to tears more than once. Yeah, I know that sounds sappy, but it's true. I thought my heart would burst, I loved him so much.
When we were finally sated, we laid in each others arms silently. We had professed our love for one another over and over in the past few hours, me verbally and him physically. I doubted then that I would ever hear the words from his mouth, but I didn't need to hear them, I knew. We both drifted off to sleep, happier than either of us had been for a very long time.
It's been over 18 years since the day we came together. Surprisingly enough, I have heard him say "I love you"…twice! Both times were on the days that our grandchildren were born. Yes, I say "our" because I think of Trunks and Bra as my own children now. They both have accepted me as their father's "mate" as he calls me. It sounds rather National Geographic to me, but I go along with it to please him. Bra, of course, was thrilled out of her mind when she found out about us. She really doesn't have many memories of her mother…as far back as she can remember it was always me that took care of her.
We have three grandchildren, and Trunks and Goten are the best parents you can possibly imagine. Surprised? Well, Vegeta never had a problem with them being together, but he DID insist that the Saiyajin race live on. The boys also wanted children to complete their family, so they did the best that they possibly could. Bra and Pan both agreed to be surrogate mothers for them. Bra gave them twin boys, she had been artificially inseminated with Goten's sperm, and Trunks' sperm was used to impregnate Pan, which resulted in a beautiful baby girl.
Trunks has made Capsule Corp even more profitable then it ever was, and Goten stays home with the children. If you dare to call him "mommy" though, you'll get a ki blast to the ass! I know that from experience! They plan to train their children when they are old enough, so we all feel confident that the Earth will have strong protectors for many years to come.
Our little Princess has grown into a beautiful 27 year old woman, who is planning on starting a family of her own soon. She married her college sweetheart two years ago, and both work at CC.
Chi Chi passed away a few years ago, but aside from her, the rest of our circle of friends is still together. Now that we are all aging, we see each other more often, as we seem to have more time on our hands. Trunks and his family are at our house at least once or twice a week, the kids are growing so quickly, and we don't want to miss any of it.
Vegeta truly loves being a grandfather, although he'd be the first to deny it. You should see the way he plays with the boys and coddles Aiya. He's determined that the boys will go Super Saiyajin even younger than their fathers did, and I think he secretly trains them when no one is looking! They're only three, but he seems to think the earlier the better!
It's been 21 years since we lost Bulma, and we both still love her, but the pain of her loss isn't as strong as it used to be. We are a family together, and these past 18 years have truly been the best of my life. And it took the man who was once my most bitter enemy to bring me this happiness. Ironic, isn't it?
This fic is dedicated to AMCM74, who feels that there aren't nearly enough Vegeta X Yamcha fics in the world. It was written for the DBZ_Yaoi_Lovers Yahoo group.