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.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

A/N: If there are no major power outages during hurricane season here, I’ll be updating this story faithfully from now on. Thank you for your patience while I wrote the B/V one-shot “Not the Last Time.” B and V hadn’t seen any interaction in this story for seven chapters, and I needed to throw them at one another. They’ll be interacting in this story soon enough as well. ^_^

As always, thanks to LisaB for beta-ing. dchan 7.7.05

Chapter Twenty-four: My Son

“This small thing? No! This is the baby from you and Vegeta?”—Yajirobe, episode 132


Vegeta awoke.

He reached out with his senses and tried to find human energies in the house, but either no one had returned yet or everyone was asleep, manifesting little ki.

He sat up in bed. He was still wearing the bathrobe he had thrown on before confronting the human worm in Bulma’s bedroom. He felt starved for food, any sort of food, even those tasteless breads the blonde woman kept in a basket. Apparently his lack of appetite earlier had been some sort of anomaly; Vegeta still needed calories to support his body in its non-Super Saiyan state.

Desire itself tasted good. It was familiar to feel driven to satisfy an urge.

He tied his bathrobe securely on the odd chance that the blonde woman was in the kitchen (the one time that he had shown up for breakfast with an unfastened robe he’d caught a squealing earful) and bolted in bounding leaps down the stairs towards food.

Vegeta didn’t even bother preparing sandwiches. He ate the meat slices straight out of the clear bags. He ate waffles out of the freezer without heating them. People had been here; there was still some of that vile liquid called coffee in the pot. After he finished drinking a few cartons of juice, Vegeta calibrated his senses in the direction of Capsule 3 and sure enough, there was the feeble ki of the old man.

Good. The quicker he’s done repairing the control panel, the sooner I can go back to space.

It would only slow Dr. Briefs down if Vegeta went to the spaceship to check on the old man’s progress, but….

He can tell me where everyone is, if Bulma—

Curiosity drove Vegeta out the kitchen door, onto the lawn, towards the spaceship. He stopped wondering why he was walking in broad daylight wearing a dumb human bathrobe and just walked. The grass felt wet under his bare feet, and birds sang loudly in the Capsule Corporation palm trees.

When Vegeta entered the spaceship, Dr. Briefs burst into a wide smile. “Why there you are, my boy! You look well-rested. The Mrs. left a box of pastries for you. Did you find them?”

Vegeta honestly didn’t know. Hadn’t he eaten some items in a cardboard box? He couldn’t remember why he was standing before the old man.

“You haven’t heard any of the news, have you?” Dr. Briefs set down his wrench and looked unnaturally giddy. “I checked your communication data and saw that you didn’t open any of my messages while in space.”

Vegeta folded his arms. “Why should I have had any interest in Earth’s affairs while training in space?”

Dr. Briefs scratched the back of his head. “Well, son, I told you that Bulma had some news for you, and then you had to tear out of here the night of the party.”

Vegeta had forgotten all about the “news.” He had assumed it was nothing. A sense of foreboding filled his chest.

“I take it you met Dr. Schroedinger? He told you about the baby?”

Vegeta could only stare. He felt himself nod.

“Oh! Alright then.” The old man hesitated. “Well, I suppose I should tell you that Bulma and baby are doing well.” He spoke guardedly, as if it weren’t his place to reveal such information. “It’s a healthy baby boy, Vegeta.” He was smiling but looking somewhat nervous.

The old man hadn’t looked that way around Vegeta in so long--did he think that Vegeta was going to blast him for some reason? I don’t care about the worm and Bulma; doesn’t he understand that?

“It was a very short labor,” the old man went on. “No sooner had we all gotten at the hospital than the little fellow was born.” The old man burst into another foolish grin. “We wanted to stay around, but Bulma insisted everything was fine and sent us home. She should be back today with the baby, but the doctors are all hovering about and making sure everything is copacetic. The Mrs. is back up there this morning to be with Bulma for the tail-removing procedure. We were assured that it was a simple--”

“What?” A tail?

“Oh, it’s a simple operation--nothing at all to worry about. Your baby had a full brown tail. There was no telling if he had your Saiyan capability to instigate a transformation, but Bulma was taking no chances and wanted it removed.”

“My--?”

Vegeta felt as if he had always known the truth. He had not wanted to face it.

“Now Vegeta,” the old man continued in a placating tone. “Perhaps a Saiyan baby born to Saiyan parents was no threat at all in Oozaru form, but you have to understand our human fears here. At this point we don’t know how Saiyan the boy is. We just don’t have the biological information or the technology yet to fathom his potential.”

“My son,” Vegeta said softly. The words came out of his mouth without his urging them. “My son,” he repeated.

Dr. Briefs smiled again. “Yes, yes, remarkable, isn’t it? It hardly seems real at first. Just wait until you see him. Looks just like you.” The old man seemed more at ease. He picked up his wrench and returned to his work on the control panel. “Now, I know you have lots to discuss with Bulma. She doesn’t even know you’re back yet. Didn’t want her to fret unnecessarily, you understand. She’s all emotional now with the baby, but I’m quite sure that she will be very happy to see you when--well, when she comes back in a couple days. Unless of course you want to go see her now, but I think that may give her a bit of a shock….”

The old man was still talking when Vegeta left the spaceship.

A tail! A tail! But Bulma had said that there would be no offspring?

Vegeta found himself standing ankle-deep in some muddy part of the crater around Capsule 3. The cloud of confusion that had always seemed to follow him on this wretched planet was now settling on his shoulders like a heavy shroud. Hadn’t Bulma told him that she was taking some sort of hormone to prevent pregnancy?

Maybe he had missed some information. The sound of Bulma’s voice in the dark bedroom wasn’t loud and demanding like her daytime voice. There had been mildness to her late night monologues that had sometimes lulled Vegeta to sleep--

He heard her voice again: “Vegeta, why are we doing this?” He saw her eyes and the plain emotion in them.

Damned woman!

Vegeta felt himself power up and blast into the sky.

**


“Let go of my arm!” Bulma shook off the nurse who was trying to help her into the aircar. “I’m not a fucking invalid!”

“But ma’am, you had a baby less than twenty-four hours ago.” The nurse’s voice was sweetly condescending. “As a scientist, you must know what that does to your blood pressure. You could faint.”

“Don’t call me ma’am!” Bulma clutched a blanketed bundle to her chest. “I’m younger than you are, and you shouldn’t be calling me ma’am! Now, get away from me. I’m going home.”

“Bulma-chan?” Mrs. Briefs placed a gentle hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “The nurse is coming to help us at Capsule Corporation. I hired her.”

“Oh no, Mama, you can just un-hire her this instant! Did you see what she tried to do? She tried to take my arm! I need both arms to hold Trunks!”

“I offered to hold the baby, ma’am,” the nurse protested. Her voice was sour now. She obviously entertained no hopes of keeping her new job.

“Bulma-chan snaps at everyone.” Mrs. Briefs patted the scowling nurse’s shoulder now and warbled an apology. “My girl is very used to having things her way. It’s why we’re leaving the hospital early. I know you mean well, but--”

“No way!” The nurse was angry now. She was pointing at Bulma who had settled into the front seat of the aircar, next to Yamcha. “She can’t sit with the baby like that! She has to secure the baby in a carseat!”

“Shows you what you know, moron,” Bulma said coldly. “I designed this car myself so I wouldn’t have to use a carseat with Trunks. I am a genius and you--you are know-nothing diaper-shuffler. Get in the car, Mama. She knows she’s fired.”

“Oh well, hmm, sayonara, I guess!” Mrs. Briefs smiled and waved and got into the back seat.

Yamcha sat with his hands poised on the steering wheel and waited for Bulma to adjust her blouse so she could nurse the baby. It seemed to take a lot of fussing and shifting every time she prepared herself for this intimate act.

“Just drive,” Bulma said. “Nothing to look at here.”

Yamcha could hardly believe that Bulma was a mom now. All the brief ride back to Capsule Corporation, he shot glances at Bulma’s breast, not for the usual view but to marvel at the baby there. It was such a tiny thing--not Saiyan looking, not even human-looking. As far as Yamcha could see, it was a living doll with flawless skin and a perfectly round head. The doctors said that it hadn’t been in the birth canal long enough to get the “conehead” look of most newborns--boy, Yamcha was glad of that! That sounded creepy! There was the tiniest tuft of hair on the round baldness and two heavy eyebrows over a nondescript babyish face. Purple hair! (Just like Dr. B’s in his youth, Mrs. B had said). Yamcha felt infinitely grateful that the baby didn’t have dark Saiyan spikes.

Bulma made a cooing, delighted noise at the infant in her arms and whispered something about the kid being “such a good eater.” Yamcha himself felt tired and hazy after the whole birth experience, but Bulma looked fresh as a daisy. She was approaching her new role with all the verve and confidence he had come to expect from the smartest girl on the planet. She had insisted on supervising the tail operation herself, annoying the doctor to be “damn careful” when sewing a skin graft over the wound. “My baby is not going to have a big ugly tailspot like his daddy’s!”

Yamcha hadn’t thought of it before, but yeah, Vegeta probably had a wound of some sort from when Yajirobe cut off his tail. The idea of Bulma knowing Vegeta’s body so… intimately made Yamcha blink furiously and shake his head.

No sooner had the thought of the Saiyan been exorcised from Yamcha’s imagination than he spotted the crater on the far end of the Capsule Corporation grounds--and the shiny hull with a big black number 3.

“Oh great Kami!” Yamcha muttered.

Bulma had not lifted her gaze from the top of her baby’s head during the whole ride. She looked at Yamcha now. “What’s the matter?”

Things had been so much easier for me with that Saiyan gone from the planet. Yamcha felt his heart sink as the car flew closer to its destination, dropping altitude precipitously.

Bulma turned her face to the windshield and saw.

It was Bulma’s mother who squealed, though: “Surprise, Bulma-chan! Your Papa and I didn’t want to tell you right away, so you could rest, but I suppose it was meant to be that you hurried home! Vegeta has wonderful timing, doesn’t he?”

“Well, why didn’t anyone tell me?” Yamcha felt the old bitterness overtaking him. “How did Vegeta take the news that he’s a father?”

“Oh, I’m not sure he knows yet,” said Mrs. Briefs. “He was fast asleep in his room yesterday. Bulma-chan, you should see him--he’s as handsome as ever. I wanted to wake him to see if he wanted some cannoli, but your papa said it was bad enough that we’d disrupted the man’s privacy by coming to his room to check on him. Oh, Vegeta was so peaceful-looking! He had taken a shower, I guess, and was wearing this little white--”

“Mama, shh!” The baby was making little mewing noises in Bulma’s arms. “Trunks was just about to nod off!”

“Oh, sorry!” Mrs. Briefs lowered her voice to a whisper but kept right on talking as Yamcha landed the aircar. “I bought the cutest little nursing gown for you in the hospital giftshop….”

Bulma holding Trunks over her shoulder and rocking her upper body like she had been comforting babies all her life. Yamcha couldn’t remember if he had ever even seen her holding an infant before. Strange, but she didn’t seem like she cared very much about Vegeta being back on Earth at all.

**

In the clouds, Vegeta was hovering, breathing heavily after a frantic bout of airborne gymnastics. He saw the old man come out of the spaceship, wrench in hand, to wave at an approaching aircar.

Vegeta watched the aircar land and the occupants exit. Hadn’t the old man said that Bulma would not be coming home for a few days? Maybe nothing the old man had said was reliable at all! The blonde woman and the Yamcha creature were there with Bulma. No sign of the worm who Vegeta had presumed to be the father. Perhaps Vegeta had completely misjudged the human worm’s significance in Bulma’s life?

And then, with a start, Vegeta noticed that the bundle Bulma was holding in her arms had to be the infant.

Vegeta had never seen a Saiyan baby. He could not remember having noticed many newborn creatures in his life at all. Surely there had been humanoid infants at the fueling stations where Frieza’s ship docked. Was there not one species that carried its young in pouches of abdominal skin? He remembered some creatures carrying babies on their shoulders like articles of decorative clothing.

If there truly had been a full brown tail, like the old man said, then the baby was his.

He could not see it very well. It was wrapped in a blanket, but from the way Bulma was holding and leaning her face over it, he knew that the woman treasured it.

Bulma looked … was there no other way to describe her? She looked beautiful. Her hair was longer, billowing past her shoulders. She was wearing her usual outfit--shirt, shorts, and those big Capsule Corporation boots, but there was a new fullness to her body. Vegeta felt himself descending through the clouds to get a better look.

They were talking about him--he just knew it. The old man was smiling reassuringly at his daughter, and the blonde woman was clasping her hands in delight over who knows what. And when Bulma finally lifted her gaze away from the bundle in her arms, Vegeta saw her face--it was clean, unadorned, supremely self-assured. The Yamcha creature put his arm around her in a protective way, and she shrugged him off. Vegeta could not help but be amused. She was the Bulma he remembered.

How is this possible? Vegeta tried to name the feeling rising in him, and he could think of nothing else to call it but admiration. He still admired the woman.

And worse than that, despite all his confusion and unanswered questions, he felt a surprising pull towards the mother and bundle. He had fought all connections to the living and dead for almost thirty years. He had told Nappa and Raditz that their murdered planet didn’t matter, that the only thing of any importance in all the universe was strength, and that he didn’t care about the extinction of the Saiyan race.

Still, the idea of his own progeny, another living being who carried the blood of a thousand Saiyan kings was … not abhorrent.

How Saiyan is the boy? Had there really been a tail?

Vegeta waited until the humans entered the house, and then he flew down to the lawn. The old man would no doubt need to eat and rest, and there would be some time yet before the spaceship was ready for flight. In that time, perhaps … Vegeta could get a closer look at his son.

Back :: Next