The Probe Saga
By: Lil Songbird



"Thanks for your help Yamcha" Bulma said sarcastically to the man standing behind her leaning up against a tree.

"From where I stood it didn't look like you needed any help handling him" Yamcha answered. He glared at his girlfriend's back. He wasn't going to try and hide the intense animosity he felt toward the alien who was busy at the moment terrorizing the medical staff of Capsule Corporation.

"You could of at least offered" Bulma snapped.

"Why should I even try to help him?" Yamcha answered perturbed " we'd be better off if he didn't live."

"Yamcha that's a terrible thing to say!" Bulma shouted planting her hands on her hips and glaring at him.

"It's not as if he cares what I think of him" Yamcha shouted back. "Why do you even care Bulma? It's not like he gives a damn if you do!"

"He is a guest in this house and I won't allow you to be rude to him even if he is heartless jerk" Bulma countered.

"Well, excuse me for making you take care of yourself for a few minutes" Yamcha answered not hiding the jealousy in his voice. "It's not like he'd give a damn that you've been sitting by his bedside for a week."

Bulma and Yamcha walked for the next few moments in silence. She hated it when they fought and it seemed to happen more and more often lately. Ever since Yamcha was wished back it seemed things really began to sour between them. "Yamcha" Bulma asked, "What's happening between us?"

"Huh?" Yamcha asked uncomfortably. He knew from Bulma's tone that this would be a pretty serious conversation. "What do you mean Bulma?"

"Don't tell me you haven't noticed that we've been fighting a lot more often lately," Bulma said. "I'm not sure why and I'd like to try and understand why I have the feeling that your angry with me all the time."

Yamcha really didn't want to admit what was bothering him. His mind drifted back to the scene that they had just left a few moments ago. They found Vegeta on the floor of the medical room trying to get up without success and Bulma had run to him in concern just as she had the day the gravity room had blown up. She managed to get him back into the bed and argue him down into staying there. Yamcha knew that if anyone other than Bulma had tried to touch the saiyajin or perform a simple act like pulling the bed covers up around him, as she had, that severe resistance would meet them. He knew that Vegeta, despite everything he said or did to make everyone think the contrary, admired Bulma. He couldn't blame him for doing so, there would be something wrong with any man who wasn't impressed by Bulma, but for some reason he felt threatened by the saiyajin's regard for his girlfriend. Any other man he wouldn't of worried about, but for some reason he feared loosing Bulma since the arrogant prince came into their lives.

The day he was wished back his reunion with Bulma had been soured when he noticed the saiyajin prince staring at Bulma. He tried to console himself with the fact that Bulma and Vegeta fought like cats and dogs when he was around (the other half of the time he went off to Kami knows where by himself) but his concern quickly returned one day when he noticed Bulma gazing wistfully at the prince. When he jealously pointed it out to her she had blushed and admitted it. He could still hear her words: "I admit I was admiring him. Yamcha, even you can't deny that he's pretty nicely built. Not to mention he's kind of attractive in a dark bad boy sort of way. Ha Ha! You should see your face Yamcha! Don't take it so seriously! It's just like someone would admire a painting or a sculpture. It doesn't mean a mean a thing!" When Vegeta returned the first time it was worse because he started living with the Briefs. He lived in fear that something would happen between Bulma and the saiyajin so he set out to try and prove that he was just as good a fighter and just as strong as the alien only to be humiliated time and again by Vegeta's superhuman strength, agility and awesome power. His fears multiplied when Bulma cared for the prince so tenderly after his gravity room accident. What was worse is that something had changed between Vegeta and Bulma since that incident. They still behaved the same way but he could just feel it.

Now, Vegeta had returned once again after another trip into space only this time he was all beat up, as was his ship, and barely alive. Once again Bulma had been sitting by his bedside worrying and fussing over him refusing to leave.

"Why would I be angry with you doll?" Yamcha said trying to steer the conversation off the vein it was taking.

"Don't pull that crap with me Yamcha" Bulma chastised him. "Why is it that every time I want to have a serious conversation with you try to avoid it? Can't you ever take anything but fighting seriously?"

"I take you seriously," Yamcha protested.

"No you don't and that's the problem" Bulma began to admit. "I've never told you how much it hurts me that you don't take our relationship seriously. You flirt with every woman you meet shamelessly even when I'm with you. Every time we have a few words or I can't go with you somewhere you take another girl out. Why just last night you were out with another girl."

"I asked you to go with me, remember" Yamcha said angrily "but you were too busy playing nursemaid to that alien!"

"I'm tired of hearing that excuse. If you just wanted to take a friend with you then why don't you ever take a guy?" Bulma asked. "Why is it always a female friend that you decide to take? Is it because you like being the center of attention? You like being thought of as a ladies man?"

"I can't help it if I have more female friends than male friends," he stated in an irritated fashion.

"I'd always hoped that some day we'd get married and now I'm beginning to wonder if I wasn't just fooling myself" Bulma continued. "Yamcha do you ever intend to marry me?"

Yamcha was shocked. "Sure I will Bulma" he answered "but I'm not ready for a commitment like that right now."

"I don't think you ever will be" Bulma said icily.

"Please Bulma. Calm down there's no reason to get upset" Yamcha began to protest.

"No Yamcha" she protested. "There is good reason to be upset and the fact that you don't recognize that makes it worse. Unless I see some evidence that you take our relationship seriously then I think we should go our separate ways."

"I don't believe this!" Yamcha shouted, "You've never had reason to doubt my sincerity before or is it that your just looking for a way out because you've found somebody you like better?"

"I can't believe you'd say that Yamcha!" Bulma said. "I love you and I've never loved anyone else. I've never been anything but patient with you and faithful to you. I've given you chance after chance but even I have my limits Yamcha. I don't want to be someone's girlfriend for the rest of my life. I want to settle down and have a family before I'm too old to enjoy it."

"Bulma I love you" Yamcha said "and when you love somebody you're willing to wait as long as it takes for things to be right. That's all that I'm doing. I don't have a steady job and I can't offer you security right now."

"You've never had a steady job as long as I've know you Yamcha and it never bothered me that you didn't" she answered " I have more than enough money to support us if we got married. It's not like I don't pay for half of your bills right now anyway. You always pull out the same tired excuses and I'm not buying them anymore."

"No matter what I do I just can't seem to please you Bulma" Yamcha finally snapped. "You don't think that I'm good enough for you, you never have. Your always making me feel inferior because you're smarter than me! You are the most selfish, proud and nasty person I've ever met! I don't have to stand here and take your insults."

"Don't ever bother coming back Yamcha" Bulma yelled after him as he stalked off. "Do you hear me?"

Bulma watched him drive away in a haze of tears. Maybe he was right. Maybe she was being selfish by not wanting to wait anymore but the fact remained that he was being selfish too. He never stopped to consider whether or not his words or actions hurt her. He was always hurting her and breaking her heart whether it was intentional or not.

"It's about time that I moved on with my life," she whispered allowing her tears to flow freely. She sat down beneath a tree and contemplated her life. She felt more alone at that moment than she had ever felt in her life, at least not since she was a little girl.

She never had had a lot of friends. In fact, up until she met Goku she hadn't had any friends. She had intimidated other children because she was pretty and rich. Not to mention that she was sent to more advanced grades because of her intelligence making her considerably younger than the other children. It was funny that her best friend had turned out to be a simple boy younger than she was. She found acceptance and learned the meaning of friendship from Son Goku and the odd band of martial arts fighters that she had shared countless adventures with.

She had never felt lonely from that day she had met Goku when she went searching for the Dragon Balls to fulfill her wish for a man to love her (that was after all what she had decided on after much deliberation between strawberries and love). "It's kind of funny that I'm still looking for the same thing as I was back then," she thought with a sigh. "All this time I was deluding myself that Yamcha was that man. Now that I finally have my head on straight maybe I'll find someone. After all Ba Ba did say that I was destined for a great love affair."

Bulma smiled as she recalled her visit to Muten Roshi's sister when she was a teenager.

"Please Ba Ba" she had begged for the 20th time. "I have to know. I need to know if anyone will ever love me. I'll pay you anything or do anything you want."

"Oh all right" the witch had grumbled "if it will get you to leave me alone I'll do it free of charge."

Bulma sat with baited breath as Ba Ba peered into her crystal ball and "hemmed" and "hahhed". "Well Bulma you will have someone fall in love with you and from what I can see he's a prince."

"A prince?" Bulma had questioned in awe. "You mean that figuratively. That I'll meet my prince charming, right?"

"It's hard to tell" the witch answered. "Magical implements tend to be rather literal most of the time."

"You mean that it's saying my dream man may be an actual honest-to-goodness prince?" Bulma questioned excitedly. "Can you be sure that it means it that way?"

"Sometimes the reading isn't completely accurate" Ba Ba admitted.

"What does he look like?" Bulma questioned excitedly "Can you tell?"

"I can only get so much but here goes," Ba Ba explained. "He's dark, handsome and incredibly strong. That's all I can see."

"When do I meet him?" Bulma excitedly prodded her to continue. "Or maybe I've already met him!" she exclaimed visions of Yamcha dancing in her head.

" That I can't tell" the witch said "but I can tell that once it begins it will be a great love affair. This man is your soul mate and the love of your life."

Bulma laughed a bittersweet laugh as she recalled how enthralled she had been with Ba Ba's prediction. "She probably made the whole thing up just to get rid of me," thought Bulma. At last she dried her eyes and tried to look on the bright side. "It might be good to take a break from romance" Bulma thought. "After all there's more to life than finding a man."

With new resolve Bulma rose and went inside Capsule Corporation to see how the medical staff was handling Vegeta. The first thing she noticed was that it surprisingly quiet in the building. Cautiously she poked her head into the room in which she had left him. Vegeta was by himself and fast asleep once again. She was glad he was resting both for his health and her sanity. She really didn't think she could handle an argument while she was feeling so emotionally vulnerable.

She paused a moment and studied his features. He appeared to have a bit of a smile on his face. "I wonder what you're dreaming about?" she wondered silently. "Are you reliving some sweet memory or do you have any good memories to dream about? Maybe you're just dreaming that you became a super saiyajin and conquered the universe." Bulma smiled to herself as she picked her brain trying to puzzle out what the saiyajin prince was dreaming. She liked enigmas and Vegeta was a living, breathing mystery. Maybe that was why she seemed to like him despite the fact that they couldn't say two words to each other without arguing. When he took off in the spacecraft without warning again everyone believed he was gone for good but she was glad that they were wrong because for some twisted reason she kind-of liked having the arrogant, short, ill-tempered prince around.

She took a moment more to study his countenace. "He's really not that bad looking without a scowl on his face," she reflected quietly to herself. "In fact, he's kind of handsome in a way and the rest of him isn't too bad either. At least having him around is easy on the eyes if not on my nerves."

"Welcome back Prince Vegeta" she whispered quietly into the room before leaving him to enjoy his peaceful slumber.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1