Part 7: The Circle Continues
When they arrived at Capsule Corp. Everyone crashed, except Goku, who cleaned out the fridge and then crashed. Bodies were found everywhere, living room, dinning room, and even some of the guest rooms. It just depended on where they finally gave out.
They had lain Krillin in the infirmary and placed a sheet respectfully over his body. Vegeta had also taken Bulma to her room to rest. It was several days later before everyone had recovered and the gathered to inform the recently resurrected guys about the events of the last few months.
Bulma and Vegeta didn’t act like there was anything special between them, but everyone knew it was there; they’d seen it surface in times of need.
They told them all about training and their battle with Frieza. They conveniently left out Trunks story one, because it really was a need to know basis anyway, two, because Gohan was in the room, and three, they probably wouldn’t understand anyway.
They were baffled by such a tremendous story, and it was obvious that Yamcha was jealous and upset about Bulma being "married" to Vegeta now, but he got over it quickly. Everyone decided to stay at Capsule Corp for a while until it’d been a year since the last wish and they could wish Krillin back.
They trained mostly. After Chichi arrived Gohan studied a lot, but snuck out to train every chance he got.
As soon as Bulma got her strength back her and Vegeta were back to their old games. Everyday they’d fight like cats and dogs in their own competitive way, and every night they would show the love and passion that they really felt for each other. Bulma got really well acquainted with Vegeta’s tail, and she had a hard time keeping her hands off it while they were training, but she practiced her discipline and didn’t embarrass them in front of all their friends very often. They tried to be quiet during all of their escapades at night, but it wasn’t long before Piccolo was taking his large green ears somewhere else at night.
Trunks had the hardest time after the battles. He missed Krillin and Bulma. She still acted like they were still the same close friends, but he knew things had changed between them. Vegeta, for one, didn’t like the closeness that they had, and let Trunks know about it. Trunks tried to keep his distance as much as possible.
A few months later Bulma and Goku were sparing in her gravity machine. They had risen early so he could show her a few techniques before Vegeta was up, and she was having a hard time. It wasn’t that Goku was so much stronger then her, but she just didn’t feel right.
She was trying her hardest to get a hit on the Super Saiyan Goku, and he was blocking even her best shots. She was sweating more heavily then she should have been, and her breathing was labored. She threw a kick at Goku’s head, but he just raised an arm to block and then landed a punch in her exposed stomach.
She choked and gasped for air for a second before dropping quickly to the floor to turn of the gravity and run for the door. Goku looked concerned, he didn’t think he’d hit her that hard.
"Hey, Bulma, are you ok?" He shouted and flew after her. She hadn’t gone far, in fact, she was just out side the door empting her stomach onto her lawn. Sometime during her retchings, Vegeta appeared looking worried. When he saw Goku standing near by he ran to him and grabbed him by the collar.
"What’s going on, Kakarrot? What did you do to her?" He growled into the taller man’s face.
"I…I…we were just sparing." He wasn’t scared, just surprised and at a loss for words. "I didn’t think I hit her that hard, Vegeta, I swear.
Vegeta roared and attacked Goku going Super Saiyan himself. Goku did all he could to defend himself , but the noise their fighting made brought everyone out to see what the commotion was.
Poor Goku was on the ground holding his stomach and Vegeta was powering up for a large ki blast when Bulma stopped him.
"Vegeta! Don’t! You can’t blame Goku for my being sick." Vegeta froze and looked at her, his eyes still blazing with anger. Bulma looked ok, now, though so he lowered his attack and joined her on the ground.
Trunks and the others looked suspiciously at the strange look on her face. It was almost angry, but not quite. Something about her eyes told them there was something up.
"In fact, this is all your fault, Vegeta." She gave him a smug look and waited for him to catch her drift.
Trunks heard her words and felt the air knocked from his lungs, but not because of their meaning, which he also understood, but because of the memory that came flooding back to him.
~~~~ Trunks was talking to his mother over the instacom, one of the few times he got to do that, but there was something different about this conversation. Trunks was distracted, and Bulma could tell that he had something else on his mind.
"What’s wrong, Trunks. You seem a little distracted." She queried through her mask, her eyes the only visible part of her face.
"Well, mom," The young Trunks was only about four or five, but his speech was very mature. "I was wondering if you could train me to fight like Gohan. I was looking at some books and I know I could learn. Then I could help with the evil androids…" His babbling was cut off by his mother’s gasp.
It was her worst nightmare, the day she’d known was going to come, but had been putting off as long as possible.
"Dang it, Vegeta, this is all your fault." She cursed under her breath, but Trunks heard.
"Who’s Vegeta?" He’d asked curiously.
Bulma shook her head and scolded him. "Sorry, Trunks, that is a bad word, and I never want to hear you say it again, okay? Promise me." Trunks complied right away.
"Ok, mom, I promise. But can I? I want to learn, please?" He begged, her statement forgotten.
Bulma looked terrified for a minute before she gave in. "I guess it’s inevitable. Fighting is in your blood, and it’s wrong of me to hold that back from you. I’ll talk to Gohan and see if I can get him to do some holovids and send them to you. There are also some books on the top shelf in the V section. I hid them there until you were ready." She’d know that eventually he’d ask about fighting, and that she’d be helpless to stop him. She’d never told him about Goku or his father or any of the other fighters in attempts to deter his learning about martial arts or ki manipulation, but the day had come, and way too soon for her.
Trunks looked ultimately pleased. "Thanks, mom! I promise to work extra hard, and it won’t take away from my other studies, either." He was so exited that he didn’t notice the sad look in her eyes.
"Alright, Trunks. It’s time for bed. I’ll send you what ever I can get as soon as I get a chance, ok?" she blew him a kiss and disconnected the transmission.
Another memory flashed quickly.
~~~~ When he pulled Bulma from the wreckage of her air car he thought that she was very beautiful, but when she had opened her eyes, and looked at him with those blue orbs he fell in love. ‘Her eyes are so much like mother’s.’ He thought.
The sudden meaning of the memory hit him like an atomic bomb.
Around him the world continued to turn.
"What are you talking about, woman? I didn’t make you ill." He crossed his arms and frowned. Chichi smiled and clapped her hands together. Bulma’s mother also grinned. All the male members of the group were confused, except Trunks, but he was off in his own world.
Bulma arched an eyebrow and gave Vegeta a look that said, ‘Oh, really. Just think about it for a second, you’ll get it.’
Vegeta frowned and then it suddenly hit him. "What! It’s not possible!" He dropped his arms to his side and stared at her.
‘-On the contrary, it was most probable, considering.-’ She smiled at him and ran to throw her arms over his shoulders.
‘-I wasn’t sure, until now, but I think it’s the only possible answer.-‘ She hugged him fiercely and said "Your going to be a daddy, Vegeta." Just for the benefit of the still confused guys watching.
"Oh, I get it." Goku smiled. Congratulations, Bulma; you too, Vegeta. Being a father is a great honor." He dropped down and shock Vegeta’s resistant hand. Everyone muttered their congratulations and then went back to where they had all come from. Everyone except Trunks. He flew off with his thoughts tumbling around in his head.
He was kicking himself for not realizing it in the first place. It all made perfect sense once you thought about it. He figured that he would be born approximately four to five years after the time that he’d arrived. Gohan was only five then making him only nine or ten. Not old enough at all to be his father. Plus the fact that he didn’t look like Gohan at all, but his resemblance to Vegeta was striking. Why none of them had noticed it before was beyond him.
‘Because they had no reason to look.’ Trunks thought with self-loathing. ‘You told them Gohan was your father and they all believed you. But you were wrong. And now, somehow, you’ve changed things more drastically they you hoped. I’ve become some kind of monster!’
If he was right, and Bulma was pregnant with him, then it was earlier then in his time line by two or three years. Helping Bulma make the ki enhancers must have changed the way the battle was fought. Bulma would never have gotten involved, or gotten her ki messed up, and thus never bonded with Vegeta. But somehow, he’d come, he’d stayed and they’d found their way to each other. Not being forced into each other’s arms only made things take a little longer, but they were always destined to be.
When he and Bulma had almost…when she had stopped them, it was because she’d sensed something wrong. She’d felt that it was wrong for them to be together like that because she was meant for Vegeta, and he was going to be her son.
‘I’m in love with my mother.’ Trunks froze in mid-air with the awfulness of that thought. ‘I must have know it all along, but I was too confused with my feelings, and mixed family love with passionate love. This is my own fault. I’ve ruined everything. I can’t stay here. I have to leave.’
Trunks turned and zipped back to Capsule Corp and fast as he could. He flew straight to his room and gathered his meager possessions, only the things he’d arrived with. Then he flew towards the hole in the earth where Dr. Gero’s lab had existed.
It didn’t take him long to find the spot where he’d buried his pack. It was only a few dozen yards from where the scars from Bulma’s crash were still visible. He’d just finished burring it when he’d seen her go down. Now he wished he’d never seen anything at all. He wished he’d blown himself up, along with Dr. Gero and his terrible creations.
He dug it up and looked inside for the object he sought. Pulling the small capsule from the bag he tossed the remaining items and the bag away. He had all that he needed. Pushing the button he watched the sleek time machine appear before him.
"Time to go home, back to where I belong." He said sadly as he climbed inside. Picking the time carefully he set the computer and pushed the button. In a flash the small vessel was gone.
"Hey, Trunks! Time for dinner!" Bulma walked into his room and looked around. No one had seen Trunks all day. He’d missed breakfast and lunch and that had Bulma very worried. For one Trunks wasn’t like the other guys who might take off with out a word to go train somewhere, and for another, it wasn’t like him at all to miss a meal.
His room was very empty. The white walls seemed to scream at her eyes and she could hardly look at the nothing ness there. Silence had fallen over the whole room like a furniture cover for a summer home’s sofa, only it had the foreboding feeling of permanency.
"Trunks, are you here?" She had to break the quiet. She’d searched to whole house, this was the last place he could be. She flipped on the light in his adjoining bathroom and found nothing. She looked in the closet, just out of a sense of curiosity. Clothes still hung there. She was about to shut the door when she did a double take and realized that the only clothes there were the ones she’d bought for him. His own things were gone.
He hadn’t even taken his things when he’d run off to Goku’s. ‘Something is very wrong here.’ Bulma’s head screamed.
‘-What’s wrong, woman?-’ Vegeta blurted in her head.
‘-Trunks is gone and he’s taken his stuff. I don’t think he’s coming back…-’ She was near tears. ‘Why would he just up and leave like that? What had she done?’
‘-Not surprising. He finally realized you were mine and gave up.-’ Bulma could hear his smirk, even in her head. She thought about that idea. She knew Trunks had never really gotten over her, but they were dealing with it. Things were better then that. In fact, she’d figured it’d only last until he met someone else.
‘-I guess,-’ She said, unconvinced. She turned her back to go. Her head was bowed in reverent sadness, and when she reached to door, she turned to back one last time to show the silent room her single tear. "Good-bye, Trunks. Be safe, wherever you are." She whispered and left.
Eight months later Krillin was wished back. Everyone greeted him with open arms and happy faces as they had all gathered at the Briefs residence for the wishing. To his surprise, he was also met by a very pregnant Bulma, but there was one missing from the crowd.
"Where’s Trunks? He wasn’t killed too, was he? Cause I didn’t see him…" Krillin looked around.
"No, Krillin. Trunks didn’t die, at least not to my knowledge. He took off, not too long after we beat Frieza. We haven’t seen him since." Her eyes were shadows of put-aside sorrows brought to the surface.
"Oh." Krillin nodded, not wanting to cause anymore pain for her. "So, fill me in! You’re pregnant? How long do you have, Bulma?" He changed to mood to cheery and Bulma smiled in appreciation and pride as she placed a hand on her enormous stomach.
"Only about a mo…" She stopped suddenly and cringed in pain. Lighting was shooting through her abdomen. "Oooh, that tingles." She tried to smile.
Vegeta was frowning. He’d felt the pain, to a smaller degree. "What was that, woman?" He almost put his hand on her shoulder, but he managed to restrain himself at the last second.
"Um, nothing, I hope." Yamcha, Tien and Piccolo bid Krillin farewell with a promise to catch up later. Goku and the others went inside to chat and get re-acquainted.
Bulma continued to feel the pains every few minutes, but she tried to ignore them. The darkening sky had grown even darker since the dragon’s summoning, and now waves of rain were tumbling out of the sky. There was always some downpour after using the dragon balls, as if the atmosphere weren’t able to handle the power of the dragon with our releasing some of its weight. Or maybe the heavens were weeping for the used up wish.
Soon Krillin, Goku, Chichi and Gohan all decided to leave. They wanted to beat the weather as much as possible. Bulma waved goodbye and went back inside to Vegeta as it started to sprinkle.
A few minutes latter she felt another one, only stronger this time. Bulma doubled over as much as her figure would allow her to. Vegeta growled and placed a hand on his stomach.
"Block your pain, I think this might take a while, and we don’t need two of us in labor." Vegeta wasn’t being very sympathetic.
"You think I’m in labor?" She asked from her hunch, shocked. Vegeta only looked smug and nodded. Bulma straightened her back and glared at her husband. "So, sorry your Royal Highness. I’ve never been in labor before." She put a hand on her back and gritted her teeth. "Do you want to help me, here. I think I need to get to the hospital." She started to walk towards the door. With a flash of lighting and roar of thunder the lights went out. Bulma let out a scream as another contraction hit her. It had only been a minute or so since the last one. Even she knew that was fast, way too fast. There was a splash in the blackness and Bulma froze. The bottom part of her summer dress was wet. ‘That wasn’t rain…’ She thought in alarm.
"Vegeta, where are you?
"Forget the hospital, woman, there’s no time for that." His hand came out of nowhere and he lead her to the couch to sit down.
"Forget the hospital?! Are you crazy?! That’s were the doctors and the drugs are…!" The last half of her sentence came out in a grunt as pain overwhelmed her. She let out another yell.
Vegeta’s voice was like a beacon in the dark, despite it’s gruff tone. "You don’t know much about birthing a Saiyan child, do you? I was expecting the child any day now, though I get the opinion you were thinking you had another month. When the pains start, it doesn’t take long before the child comes. If you wanted to go to the hospital, you should have said something earlier, when Kakarrot and the others were here."
"If you know so much about having a baby, maybe you should do it!" She yelled at him. A thin sheen of sweat had broken out over her face. Vegeta gently lifted her feet onto the couch and placed a pillow behind her back.
"Don’t be stupid, woman. Birthing is a female’s job."
"Oh, really! I don’t think this is really the time to be having a sexist argument." She was shaking violently as her whole body tensed and she braced herself against the hurt. Her hand squeezed Vegeta’s arm in the darkness.
"Not so hard," Vegeta growled lightly. "Now, push."
"Push?" She grunted. "I’ll show you push!" She tried to shove Vegeta away from her as hard as she could, but he remained solidly put.
"I’m not going anywhere. You are strong, and I am here, we will get through this." His voice was soothing and strong.
Another wave of pain hit Bulma and she started to push, her breathing was coming in short gasps. "You have to breathe, deep breaths." Vegeta instructed firmly.
"I’m trying!" She managed to get out as the contraction ended. She heaved in the air and laid her head back on Vegeta’s arm. His other hand was resting on her knee.
"Try and relax for a minute. You need to save you strength." Vegeta kept the worry out of his voice, but Bulma could feel it on the edge of her consciousness.
She took several deep breaths, and then another contraction started. She concentrated on her breathing and tried to push at the same time. Nothing seemed to be happening, and when the pain was dissipated she found her whole body still ached and her energy was almost gone. Exhaustion beat her down.
"I don’t know how long I can keep this up, Vegeta. How long did you say this was supposed to take?" She whispered into the dark room. Her eyes had adjusted a little and she could see the outline of Vegeta’s face.
"Several hours." His words preceded the feeling of hot pokers in her stomach and groin. She couldn’t help the scream as she buckled down and tried to push once again.
"Vegeta! This is your fault!" She felt the arm behind her head begin to retract as the contraction ceased. "Where are you going? You can’t leave me!" She gripped his shirt firmly in her hand.
"I’m just going to look for some blankets and a flashlight, woman. I’ll be right back." He tried to move away again, but her grip was firm.
"Promise me you’ll hurry, and you’ll come right back." She commanded, but the pleading in her voice was easily discerned.
"I promise, now let go." She released him and he disappeared from her limited sight. While he was gone she had another contraction, and began calling out into the darkness for Vegeta to return. A few minutes later he did with the items he’d gone for. He placed the blankets on the floor and turned the flashlight on set it on the end table next to the couch.
The light illuminated their faces and Bulma saw the heavy frown that creased his face.
"What’s wrong?" She asked him a little weakly.
"The phones are dead. I tired to call the hospital, but there was no tone." He explained.
"Oh, great. Perfect timing." She said sarcastically.
"We’re on our own on this one. When the next contraction comes, I want you to push with all of your might." Even thought they were firm and resolute Bulma still gained little confidence from his words.
"Ok," She took a couple quick deep breaths and prepared herself. Before it hit she grabbed Vegeta’s hand for support and squeezed gently. "I’m scared, Vegeta." The whisper was course and soft.
All she received in reply was a slight squeeze from his hand. She felt the contraction coming and started to push. She pushed and yelled and breathed and pushed some more. She could feel the baby moving, and the pain that that movement brought was enough to make Bulma stop pushing just for a second. Then she saw Vegeta in front of her, his hands on her bent knees. She gave him a desperate look, but he only yelled for her to keep pushing.
She buckled down and shoved with her muscles as hard as she could. It felt as if her whole bottom half was being ripped off. She threw back her head and screamed. She let out a wave of energy that broke the bulb in the flash light and sent it spinning to the floor, drenching the room in darkness again. With that last push, a small person had slid form her womb into Vegeta’s waiting hands.
In an instant most of Bulma’s pain disappeared and her body released its tension. She couldn’t see anything for an second, and then, mysteriously a small light appeared beside her. She turned her head to see Vegeta, a ball of energy in one hand and a baby in the other. His face was glued to the infant resting against his chest. He was frowning, but the look in his eyes was more questioning and judging.
The wet, wrinkled mass was letting out small cries and wails, stretching its small lungs and allowing them to take in air for the first time. Bulma tried to sit up more to see her child, but pain was still etched in every muscle of her body. She was content for a minute to just watch Vegeta look at his child.
"Let me hold…" She started weakly.
"Him," Vegeta said in answer to her unfinished statement. "It is a boy. You have given me a healthy son." He placed the boy cautiously in her arms and leaned back, holding the ball of light higher in the air so she could see. For a minute she just looked at the miracle in her arms with awe and wonder.
When she noticed the light hint of purple hair she frowned, and when the child looked into her face with almost identical blue eyes she was filled with a sudden sadness and realization.
"Trunks." Her voice was hushed in the quiet lightlessness of their surroundings. "We will call him Trunks, in honor of a good friend, a great warrior, and someone I love dearly." The finality in her tone silenced any objections her husband might have entertained.
The masked figure pushed the small door shut. Her skilled hands found and pressed the send button next to it. A sigh filled the dark crumbling shelter. It was a sound of defeat and surrender.
At long last, it was finished, and her part was completed. Now the rest remained up to her son, her only hope and the light in her meager existence. Her only regret was not being able to know him better. She would never tuck him into bed, or watch him graduate from high school. She hadn’t even been able to talk to him face to face for over three months.
She had never been the mother she wanted to be, but she felt she’d done all she could. Her only wishes now where a peaceful death and that he might find happiness in another time, another world.
Behind her the remains of the door opened with a squeal and crunch.
"Who’s there?" She asked in a harsh and muffled voice. There was no answer, only the sound of footsteps coming nearer. "I said, who’s there?" She sounded more firmly.
‘It’s those androids; they’ve found me at last. As long as they can’t get to my son, I welcome death.’ She stepped forward and swung a stick in front of her. "Come out, you cowardly freaks! I know you’re here. Stop hiding in the dark like the vermin you are and just finish me." She yelled as loud as her damaged vocal cords would allow.
A strong hand gripped her walking tool and forced her to lower it. She braced herself against the blow she knew was coming. When the hand brushed against the mask on her face she jumped, but the touch was gentle, and she froze.
A hand rested on her shoulder, while it’s partner held her cheek through the cover she wore.
"Who are you? What do you want?" She asked confused and frightened.
"I want to see my mother’s face." The tone was dead, but the voice was still familiar.
"Trunks?! What are you doing up here? What’s going on?" She whimpered.
"Shhhhh." He held and finger to where her lips where to quiet her. Then he proceeded to pull the hood gently over her head. When it slid off, she waited for the gasp of fear and revulsion she expected.
When his eyes fell on the band tied around her eyes, his hands went straight to removing it, then he looked at her. Her ears were melted to her bald head, only small holes let in the sounds she heard. Most of her hair was gone, with only a few sparse tufts of blue hanging loosely to her scalp. The skin covering her face was wrinkled and blistered, pink and red fought for dominancy of shin tone, while a few spots of white danced among their battle. Her lips were pulled into her sunken mouth and it appeared as though most of her teeth had fallen out long ago.
He could see now why she had worn the bandage on her eyes. They were milky white with newly formed cataracts that blocked out the shinning blue he knew he should be seeing. That was why she walked with a cane, and didn’t know who had entered. She was blind.
She was still holding her breath, waiting for his reply.
"You are so beautiful." He said sincerely, whispering quietly with awe and reverence. She almost broke out into uncontrollable sobs. "But what happened to your eyes?"
She put her hands on his face. "The radiation finally took my eyes a few weeks ago, but I managed to finish the time machine anyway. It was hard, but my hands knew the circuits well." She touched his face and neck trying to feel what he looked like, trying to know her son the only way possible now.
"No one should have to die alone. Come, sit." He led her over some ruble, his arm around her waist. "You can tell me of my father while we wait for peace to find us. We have much to talk about, you and I. I only hope we can discuss it all before night falls on both of us for the last time." Sadness seemed to almost fill the air like high humidity, but for a moment or two, the two of them were happy. It was time the son and the mother shared their love.