debbiechan fanfiction

Always A First Time

by debbiechan

Disclaimer: I can make no claim to owning DBZ, yet I have a masochistic compulsion to tell this damn story.

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A/N: I’m still trying to keep to my weekly update schedule, and I hope to finish this story by the end of the summer. Thanks to all who are following this--it’s exciting to hear from you.

LisaB edits my work, and I couldn’t write fanfic without her.

Chapter Twenty-two: It’s Time

“It seems that mixing Saiyan and Earthling blood begets a powerful hybrid.”—Vegeta to Nappa, episode 5.

Bulma didn’t want Vegeta to come back.

She didn’t want him to see her like this. Dull-haired, bloated, round as the dome roof of any Capsule Corporation building.

Everyone told her that she was a beautiful, nimble pregnant woman. Wolfie had even said that her breasts had never looked more “stunningly manifest,” but Bulma missed her waistline. She missed her own gesture of planting hands on hips and thrusting her chin and pelvis forward in defiance. Her hipbones had disappeared in flesh months ago--how could she properly express defiance now?

Well, there was still the magnetic neuro-communicator. Defiance right here in the palm of my hand—Ha! To defy all the Z warriors and to save their stupid asses as well!

The metal oval in Bulma’s palm made a soft dinging noise every few minutes. That was the alarm that alerted her to any mathematical anomalies in systems being scanned. Bulma had reconfigured her birthday present to seek out other artificial intelligence systems, and Wolfie had programmed it to maneuver past any of Gero’s cybergentic encryption.

Ding! Bulma pulled up the data on another unusual bot. Looked like another measly government intelligence agent, but no matter--Bulma was thorough in checking out each and every mathematical profile.

Code-breaking was an exercise in patience. As was pregnancy. So, with her puffy feet elevated on a cushioned footrest, a cup of raspberry uterine-toning tea in one hand and the neuro-communicator in the other, Bulma had passed her days scrolling through data, searching for any clue that Gero had built a second android, for signs that the killing machine was communicating with its brother somehow.

There was an easier way; search for the dragonballs and get the Eternal Dragon to reveal the location of Dr. Gero’s secret laboratory, but noooooo, Son-kun wanted to fight.

Bulma huffed as she read through pages of data. All it would take is the proper wording of the wish (“Shenlong, cause Dr. Gero to become brain-damaged so he can not finish building the androids!”), and Wolfie wouldn’t even have to go forth to assassinate the evil scientist. That would spoil Dr. Schroedinger’s fun, of course, but Bulma was all about efficiency when it came to saving the Earth. Puffy feet or no puffy feet, she could have gone dragonball-hunting herself, but summoning the dragon would have darkened the sky and alerted the others to her scheme.

Stupid, stupid Son and Piccolo and the rest of them! They had to veto my idea! Idiots! It was the best plan!

Bulma closed her eyes and remembered herself surrounded by gung-ho warriors ignoring the most obvious way out of a big mess.

The day the Boy from the Future had come, Vegeta had stood in that pink shirt with his arms folded and said that he would kill Bulma if she summoned the dragon to find Gero’s lab.

He didn’t scare me then.

Bulma had known that fighting was more important to Vegeta than anything else. Krillen had whispered something about how having a common enemy united old foes, and how maybe Vegeta needed to concentrate his murderous instincts on the androids instead of humans. Murderous instincts? Bah! Bulma had seen that sort of single-minded passion for combat in Son-kun before. Maybe it was a Saiyan thing. Goku, however, was capable of love and attachments and family life.

Was Vegeta?

Bulma opened her eyes and fought the thought. As hard as it was to imagine Vegeta ever returning to her as a partner and father, that day in the plains when Vegeta had vowed to defeat the androids, who would have ever thought that he and Bulma Briefs…?

Bulma shook her head. Delusions.

She returned to her work. Yet, as she tried to think math, to make sense of the numbers before her eyes, she could not help but feel love. A dull hope persisted in her imagination: he will come back to me and our child. For days now, even though she pushed aside thoughts of Vegeta, she could not rid herself of the most visceral memories of Vegeta’s gentle moments. She hadn’t dreamed them, had she? Vegeta had held her close, grazed his lips across her shoulderblade, pressed his body against hers with a heat as tangible as the one felt right now, inside her womb.

That had been her Vegeta, yes. She could not remember him otherwise. Yamcha still considered the father of her baby a murderer, a genocidal maniac, a cold-hearted villain. Yamcha said that Vegeta would come back, but only for the fight, not for her.

A destroyer of worlds made love to me once, with such relentless devotion and—breathtaking?—yes, breathtaking control and such soft, soft hands.

Vegeta had scars on almost every part of his body except for his face and hands. She imagined that his heart was like that. Damaged but not ruined. Maybe something as fine and pure as his strength itself had saved it, kept it whole.

Ever since the day among the Nameks, when Vegeta had stood so silently outside the gathered survivors of the destroyed planet, Bulma had sensed something in him. Her eyes had met his more than once that day, and she’d seen nervousness there--a social awkwardness, twitches of being annoyed, intrigued, confused. All recognizably vulnerable, human-like expressions.

Vegeta may be a Saiyan, but he is also very much like a human too--the way Son-kun is. Maybe….

Bulma put the neuro-communicator on the end table. She couldn’t work right now. Her heart was too full. The doctors had said that insomnia was a normal part of late-trimester pregnancy, so she felt cloudy from lack of sleep. Maybe she could nap.

“I have no interest in human entanglements.”

Such a deep voice. Vegeta would say things like that while breathing his warm breath on her neck and running his hands through her hair. “I should kill you” spoken with his soft hands cupping her face.

Why were his hands so soft when the rest of him was so… hard? He had once mentioned that he never fought without wearing gloves. What were the stories behind all those scars? Would anyone ever know the stories? How much of himself could Vegeta give to anyone?

Bulma lay her hands on her large belly. This baby is a part of Vegeta. Proof that he did give me a little part of himself, once. But he’s gone now. Maybe he’s decided to save himself and never come back to Earth….

But Vegeta would never take the obvious way out of a big mess, would he?

Ding! Bulma had forgotten to turn the alarm off the device. She felt too fat and lazy to reach for the switch. But it wasn’t going to let her nap in her comfy rocker, was it?

She reached, with what seemed like monstrous effort, for an object only an arm’s length away, and in the reaching, she felt like she was ready to give up, forget any hope of ever finding Dr. Gero’s lab, of ever staving off the dire events predicted by the Boy from the Future--why is it just so hard to keep on keeping on sometimes? She just wanted to sleep.

Pop!

The sound hadn’t come from the gadget on the end table. It had come from somewhere deep inside her.

She knew what it was. It had sounded just like a balloon popping, if that balloon had been muted under a very, very fat tummy!

Wide awake now, she shifted her weight in order to sit up, and that’s when the warm water ran down her legs.

It’s time.

**

On her way back from lunch, Dr. Briefs’ receptionist saw Yamcha through the glass wall of the employees’ gym. The room was deserted, and the ex-baseball player was leaning against a treadmill console and browsing through a company fitness brochure.

Miaka poked her head through the door. “Waiting for someone?”

Yamcha looked up and smiled that winsome smile of his. Damn if his new haircut wasn’t super! It was spiked up with gel, looked almost like that Vegeta guy’s hair--definitely more macho than the old boyish bangs.

“Dr. B forgot me again, I guess. I was supposed to run him through his new fitness routine.”

“Oh I’m sorry.” Miaka was used to apologizing for her absent-minded boss. “Dr. Briefs had to dash to his lab. You weren’t on his appointment calendar or I would’ve called you. Do you want to wait a little longer? He may be back presently, but I can’t guarantee that.”

“No prob.” Yamcha tossed the brochure against the wall, and it miraculously flipped right into the hanging slot with the other brochures.

These marital artist guys! He meant to do that … Lucky Bulma Briefs.

“I’ll just wait here,” Yamcha went on. “Got to model the importance of maintaining a daily routine for Dr. B. You know, if he just does a little exercise everyday--just like he takes his morning cigarette--his heart will thank him for it.” And the tall warrior began to move into a series of slow, graceful fighting postures.

Miaka stared for a few seconds.

“You’ve been working out a lot lately, huh? You look…um… more muscular.”

That winning smile again. “Got a big match in a few months.”

“Oh… um….” There was something mesmerizing about the bright orange gi. “How’s Bulma? Seems like she due any day now, right?”

“That’s right.”

“You must be really excited about your baby.”

Yamcha stopped mid-kata, and a cloud passed over his face. “It’s not my baby.” He smiled, a little artificially, and resumed his forms.

“Oh! I’m sorry. Dr. Briefs mentioned something about you being her childbirth class partner, and I just assumed--”

“It’s alright. Everyone makes that assumption. Bulma and I broke up a long time ago. I’m just her friend now.”

Miaka was really dying to know more, but she didn’t want to appear forward. “I’ll be in the office if you need me. When you and Dr. Briefs decide on an exercise schedule, let me know, and I’ll put it on his calendar and remind him regularly of his duty to his heart.”

“Oh that would be great. Thanks … uh, Miaka, is it? You’re a real sweetheart.”

Once at her desk, Miaka pulled up the appointment book on the computer. Dr. Briefs was already double and triple-booked through the next three months, and her job mostly consisted of calling appointees to tell them her boss couldn’t make it and would they reschedule please?

It would be nice to see Yamcha in his orange gi every day after lunch. Maybe he was a free man? And wouldn’t it be tremendously ironic if she managed to snag a date with Yamcha! Wolfgang hadn’t called for weeks. He was a fascinating guy, but every single time they’d been out, a call from Bulma Briefs had interrupted.

In her four or five outings with Wolfgang Schroedinger over the past eight months, Miaka had learned that science took precedence over romance for the young doctor and that there were strange things afoot at Capsule Corporation. Before Wolfgang would dash off to some secret project, Miaka would catch some muttered reference about the end of the world or a caustic comment involving the Mr. Vegeta who had stolen a CC space vehicle the night of Bulma’s Briefs birthday… “The sorry technology-thieving bastard!”… “Oh, we’ll see what will defeat the androids, Mr. Vegeta—brute strength or pure intelligence!”…”Aha! My kung fu will TROUNCE yours!”

Miaka had not been sitting at her desk very long when Yamcha appeared, looking peculiar and…wild-eyed? Her first thought was that the Earth was under attack by aliens--what else could fluster a Z warrior?

“You need to call Dr. Briefs,” Yamcha said. His words were measured and soft, but his eyes looked like the world was about to blow up. “He’s not answering his comlink. Don’t you have access to his lab?”

“I’m sorry. That’s the one place Dr. Briefs doesn’t--”

“Listen to me, Yamcha!” The voice was muted and crackling with static, but Miaka would recognize the bossy voice of Bulma Briefs anywhere. Yamcha brought his comlink to his ear, and Miaka could hear the Capsule Corporation heiress’s every shrill word. “Don’t bother about Papa. The man always turns his comlink off when he’s in the lab. He’ll emerge eventually. It takes hours and hours to have a baby. I’m not even contracting heavily yet.”

“But you said--” began Yamcha.

“I know what I said, dumbass. I asked you to get Papa, but I thought he was WITH you. Just forget about him. Don’t you think you better get over here and drive me to the hospital? Or are you going to flip out like one of those useless husbands in the movies?”

Yamcha looked properly chided. “I’ll be there right away,” he said.

“Oh SHIT!”

Yamcha moved the receiver away from his ear at that outburst and then back again. “What’s wrong, Bulma?”

There was a long pause, and then Bulma spoke again, not so shrilly. “Well, damn this.” Her voice continued, softer but still bossy: “Don’t panic Yamcha, but amniotic fluid is supposed to be clear, and it looks like I’m bleeding. You better send for an ambulance, just to be on the safe side. It’s probably nothing but…. Yamcha, are you there?”

Miaka was already pressing buttons on her control panel. “I’ve got the ambulance. She’s in her room at the family compound, right?”

“Yeah.” Yamcha was gritting his jaw. “Bulma, we’re getting an ambulance. Just stay calm. We knew that things might go a little differently from what--”

“Don’t even go there, Yamcha. You know that Papa’s biograms showed that the baby was developing normally. Vegeta’s baby is not a freak.”

“That’s not what I meant--” Yamcha began. Miaka felt sorry for the guy. He looked seriously cowed.

“Just shut up and fly over here now, Yamcha,” commanded Bulma Briefs. “I’m going to have Vegeta’s super strong baby, and you’re going to help me--you hear me?”

And as Yamcha raced off, Miaka sent all the necessary emergency information to the hospital via computer. She typed quickly and with perfect calm. At least the world wasn’t going to be destroyed anytime soon. But … damn that Bulma Briefs! Vegeta’s baby! That woman gets ALL the men!

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