Note: This was originally supposed to be chapter nine because I had chapter eight as a notice of some kind, so our chapters are going to be a little off. Prepare for a little bit of confusion, LOL.
(Somewhere late in the third month...)
"You're pregnant, aren't you Bulma?"
Bulma dropped the glass she'd been holding and it shattered at her feet into a hundred uneven pieces. "What--what did you say?"
Rachel put her hands on her hips. "Don't you give me that innocent act Bulma Briefs! I invented that!"
Bulma held up her hands in mock surrender. "Okay, you got me." She quickly became serious. "But do you swear on your life you won't tell anybody, especially Vegeta?"
"Of course. But why the secrecy?"
Bulma flushed angrily. "Because Vegeta will assume it’s Yamcha's!"
Rachel nodded reluctantly as she recalled what Bulma had told her earlier. "You won't be able to hide the fact for long. I'd say you have two months before it starts REALLY showing."
Bulma grimaced. "I know, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."
** ** **
(Less than a week later...)
"Bulma, the ship is back," Rachel said excitedly when her friend opened the door to her frantic knocking.
Queen Bulma paled visibly. "I-I guess I better get dressed to meet Vegeta then."
Rachel was the only slave among the 100 Saiyans, but no one noticed her presence as they focused their attention on the ship as it slowly opened with a mechanic whir and hiss. The First Commander came down the ramp first, her face unreadable and everyone cheered but then silenced as she held up a hand as she prepared to speak to them all.
"The skirmish against the Solmivian barbarians was long and hard. The atmosphere contained highly flammable gases, so we were unable to use any ki beams." She paused for a moment as the audience gasped in surprise. She scanned the crowd until she found Bulma and spoke directly to her as she continued. "The Solmivians had millions of fighters; we could not blow up the planet from a distance for fear of an explosion that would wipe us out. We fought them in hand-to-hand battle. Many of us died. Most were just close to it." She stopped again, "Among those was our King, who never slept but fought every second, killing at least a million on his own. For this reason, I ask you not to celebrate our victory, in honor of King Vegeta's fighting spirit," she finished.
Bulma moved easily through the crowd, her head swimming. "And where is he now?" she asked Brocco quietly, a slight tremor in her voice.
Brocco looked away from the Queen's accusing eyes. "I'm sorry, Your Grace. But he's--"
That was all Bulma heard before the world around her turned black.
** ** **
She woke up in her bed with a worried Rachel, and a sheepish First Commander standing near her bedside.
"Are you all right Bulma?" Rachel asked her anxiously.
Bulma sat up. "Yes. It was just a fainting spell."
Brocco looked at the two of them confusedly. "What are you guys speaking?"
"English. It's all Rachel speaks," Bulma answered in the SL.
"Well, what I was going to tell you, Bulma, was that the King is in the regeneration tank."
"I could care less where the King is. Too bad he isn't dead," Bulma said getting out of the bed, a frown on her face.
Her two friends followed her to the main room; "You can't mean that Bulma," Brocco protested.
The Queen raised both eyebrows at this statement. "Let me assure you Brocco that I do. I fainted because I haven't eaten today."
"Why is that?"
"I've been busy making myself a new dress," Bulma said, only half-lying; she didn't faint because she hadn't eaten, but she had been making a dress.
Brocco shrugged, not willing to drag this argument out any further. "The King should be able to come here in about an hour. He's been in the tank for the last two hours. I have to go. I'll see you later Bulma, and don't skip meals; it's not good for you."
The Earth female waited until the door closed behind Brocco before speaking. "Rachel, you're going to have to go back to the slaves' quarters. But could you help me hide these baby clothes first?"
"Sure. We'll put them in this bottom drawer under all this stuff in the chest of drawers, okay?"
"Sounds good to me. Here's some extra food if you want it. If not, give it to someone who needs it."
Rachel nodded, smiling as she took the bundle. "Whenever you need me, call and let me know when the baby is born if I don't see you for a while." She waved to Bulma before leaving.
The exhausted Queen checked her appearance in the mirror. She looked only slightly piqued; her hair was down and framed her face, making her appear younger than she truly was. Bulma was intentionally wearing what she had worn the day of Ackbar's arrival. This will probably be the last time I'm able to fit into this tight thing, she thought ruefully. Bulma pinched her pale cheeks to give them some color, and sat down to wait for the arrival of her mate.
** ** **
Vegeta could feel his anger begin to rise as the team of doctors continued to prod him. He pushed past them impatiently a grimace on his face. The proud ruler pulled on a pair of pants and left, slamming the door to the lab, and ignoring the protests of the doctors. As he walked down the main hallway, he noted the way the Saiyans he passed looked at him with a new kind of respect. Blast that loudmouth Brocco. She's probably already told everyone. He wasn't angry with her, just annoyed. He didn't want everyone to know about his weakened state for fear they would have ridiculed him, but that was obviously not the case. Vegeta turned and entered the private hallway, pausing as he tried to determine if his mate would be waiting for him, and how she would greet him. He couldn't sense her for some reason, but he was pretty sure she was there. There's only one way to find out whether or not she's still around for certain.
The Earth female didn't sense him before she saw him for some reason. She stood up and smiled cordially at him. "Hello Vegeta."
He smirked in reply, and surveyed her appearance as he stood in the doorway. "Glad to see me?"
"Why did you faint earlier?" he asked, abruptly changing the subject.
The smile left Bulma's face and she swayed slightly on her feet. "Who--who told you that?"
Vegeta frowned slightly at her aversion to the question. "The dumb ass doctors in the medical ward. Now answer the question, woman," he growled, stepping into the room, the door shutting automatically behind him with a whir.
"I was weak from not eating. Really, I'm all right Vegeta. Brocco came here asking the same question," she lied, keeping a straight face.
The King decided to take her word for it. He walked into the bedroom and started digging through his chest of drawers; Bulma gulped nervously as she watched him.
"Uh, Vegeta, I made a new dress. Would you like to see it?" Without waiting for a reply, Bulma rushed to the wardrobe and pulled the loose red dress out and displayed it to him. "What do you think?"
Vegeta glanced briefly at the dress before looking into her expectant face. "Nice, but it's not really my color," he said, smirking as Bulma blushed.
"I made it for me."
"Selfish, aren't you?"
Bulma smiled as she hung the dress back up in the wardrobe. "And proud of it," she joked relaxing slightly. Maybe he won’t find anything…
Vegeta went back to his rummaging, opening the bottom drawer. Her heart stopped for a good ten seconds before it started again at an alarming rate. Vegeta stopped his searching and slowly stood up with a little pair of yellow-footed pajamas dangling from one gloved hand. "What's this Bulma?" he asked in a surprisingly calm voice.
"Looks like a pair of pajamas to me." she said softly, her eyes not meeting his.
"Pajamas. A little small for you, don't you think?" he sneered.
Bulma flinched. "I was just preparing."
"The child that I'm supposed to bear you."
Vegeta tossed the pajamas back in the drawer. "Are you pregnant Bulma?" he asked her calmly, a muscle in his throat jumping.
Bulma looked him in the eyes. "Do I look like a pregnant woman?" she said, trying to sound furious.
Vegeta shrugged. "When a Saiyan woman becomes pregnant, she stays indoors at all times, and the only people who see her are slaves and the doctor, and if they want, the family, so most Saiyans don't know what a pregnant woman looks like."
Bulma frowned slightly at this. "Well, a pregnant woman would be VERY hard to miss. I'd be about fifty pounds bigger, with a sagging bosom, swollen ankles, and I'd be about as round as a space pod." Now there’s some delightful imagery, she thought, somehow keep herself from laughing.
Vegeta's eyes lit in amusement at her statement for a moment before his gaze darkened once again. "Then why were you hiding the clothes from me?"
The Queen forced a smile unto her face as she quickly produced another lie. "I didn't want you to think they were an invitation to mate with me."
Vegeta's eyes cleared of the distrust and filled with something else that Bulma couldn't quite recognize on Vegeta's face. He stood in silence, his tail twitched from left to right briefly, before winding itself slowly around the King's waist.
Bulma looked away from the appendage and snapped out of her trance. "Vegeta, I've decided to start sleeping in a nightgown from now on," she blurted.
Vegeta only shrugged nonchalantly, going back to his rummaging. "If it pleases you."
Bulma felt as though a ton of bricks had been lifted from her chest. Just a couple of months left Bulma. Maybe you can get out of here before you have sex with that irresistible jerk again.
She changed into the one of the loose fitting nightgowns she made while Vegeta was gone. It was made to be VERY concealing; all the better to hide the weight gain. Bulma thought, grinning wryly.
She got in the bed and turned so that she was facing the wall. As soon as Vegeta got into the bed and turned off the lights, she closed her eyes, hoping that he was still too tired to try anything. He didn't make a sound as he draped an arm around her possessively before he fell asleep. Bulma wasn't bothered by this possessiveness. My body might belong to him, but he'll never have my love, she swore to herself.
** ** **
At exactly 0620, Bulma woke up and dashed to the bathroom. Afterwards, she went to the kitchen for a glass of water in order to get the bad taste out of her mouth. This had become a routine for her.
"What was all that noise you were making in the bathroom, woman?"
Bulma turned in surprise at the sound of the King's voice. He seemed irritated, and fully awake.
"I was feeling a little nauseous. I'm much better now," she lied, taking a sip of her water.
Vegeta eyed her skeptically. "I don't want you throwing up in my bed. Go to the medical ward. One of those doctors could give you medicine to--"
"No!" Bulma interjected loudly. She lowered her voice at the look on Vegeta's face. "Really, I'm fine," she smiled weakly.
Vegeta shook his head and went back to bed, muttering about baka Earth women who were too cowardly to take medicine.
The Queen sighed in relief, He still doesn't know. I'm so glad. I can't wear most of my old clothes; I guess I've definitely begun to gain weight. She walked softly to the bedroom and got into the bed carefully.
** ** **
Vegeta cringed inwardly as he heard Bulma throwing up in the bathroom again about 30 minutes later. Why is she so afraid of taking some medicine? He got out of the bed dejectedly and got dressed. There was no way he could sleep with all the noise Bulma was making. When she wasn't heaving she was cursing. It wasn’t as though he really needed sleep, but he enjoyed lying in bed and doing nothing but thinking, or meditating, at times.
He ate in silence, watching as his mate shuffled into the room and filled a glass with water. She downed it pretty quickly, and flopped gracelessly into her chair across from him at the table.
Vegeta watched her discreetly; she seemed miserable: her eyes were dull and sort of glassy, she had definite circles forming under her eyes from lack of sleep, she was at least five shades paler than normal and for some reason, Vegeta imagined that she was bigger. But that's impossible. She hardly eats.
He could feel her misery settling over him like a wool blanket in the summer, and he threw it off, trying to ignore the feeling. How did I miss this yesterday? Was she just acting? He got up from the table; "I'm going to train today. I'll send Brocco to keep you company since you won't be going anywhere."
Grateful for the company, but angry at how Vegeta ordered her around so casually, as if it was perfectly normal and expected, Bulma frowned after him as he left. Asshole. I hope he pays for all the suffering he's put me through. And I do mean ALL of it.
* * * * *