She showed nothing as she saw him, only contained, pleasant joy and excitement. She cried when she hugged her son, but for the husband who'd been torn from her, she gave but a smile, a wink, and a raise of her thumb – even though inside her heart was melting. He had been dead, and now he was alive. He had been lost, and now he was found.
But such was the marriage of Bulma Brief and Prince Vegeta – so mild, so silent. He was a man of amazing talent, but a hard, unreachable man who she had come to accept she could never truly be close to. She watched her beautiful, violet haired son hold his father's hand and her many friends celebrate victory and life. That was the most she had expected out of this moment.
She drifted back from the chatting, giving Goku and Trunks many hugs. That was when she suddenly felt his hand grab hers from behind. She turned around and looked into the eyes of a proud Saiyan prince, his expression the embodiment of sternness and shielded from emotion. Then…he spoke her name and she stopped, watching him. His eyes shifted slowly, seeming to make sure all attention was away from them before leaning close, cupping a hand by her ear.
He whispered three words. Three words she never thought she'd hear in his voice. Three words she'd waited what felt like a lifetime for him to say. Tears flowed from her eyes as he leaned back again, a smile so small on his lips. His thumb ran over her cheek, wiping her tears away and she hugged him. His arms held her, watching over her shoulder as Goku spun with Goten.
It was in that moment that she knew that the old Vegeta was dead. But a greater one had been reborn in his place; her husband, Vegeta Brief.
It was an ordinary day in the city. Cars zoomed past each other. Mothers walked their babies in strollers down the street. Birds flittered from rooftops and power lines. And in the kitchen of the Capsule Corp Mansion, a Saiyan sat dressed in brown coat and jeans, eating his lunch. He'd made it himself. It was terrible. He ate it anyways.
He'd fought the toughest foes, he'd trained under the hardest conditions, he'd twice felt death's embrace…but to Vegeta, all that felt like nothing compared to adjusting to domestic life. He didn't know what to do with himself half the time. Of course, Bulma usually found little chores for him to do if she ever caught him bored. Then there was his training, he still kept that up, but for now that training lacked any real destination.
Vegeta stared down at his burnt steak. It was strange…he'd spent his entire life based around over coming something. For most of his life, that goal had been destroying Frieza, his master and overlord. After Namek, it had been surpassing and defeating Kakarot. Neither goals had ever come to fruition and in the conflict with Buu, he'd come to realize how pathetic and futile both pursuits had been. Old doors had closed. Now he waited for new doors to open, while figuring out how the hell to navigate a grocery store, what clothes didn't go in the wash, and—
"Vegeta, come quick!"
Vegeta dropped his fork with a choking grunt, darting through the house panting. No! It couldn't be time yet, could it?! He burst into the living room with wide eyes…and found Bulma staring at him, a spoon in her mouth, a little sauce dripping down her chip, and a tub of ice cream balanced on her swollen belly.
"I…spilt some…chocolate sauce on the floor?" she blinked. Vegeta stared back at her, his mouth hanging open slightly, then growled with embarrassment. Bulma blushed happily and touched her mouth, giggling. "You thought it was time again, didn't you? I still got a month or so to go, Vegeta. Really, you can stop looking at me like I'm about to pop all the time."
He growled again, turning aside. "Well…you shouldn't make such a fuss over chocolate sauce!" he accused.
"It's gonna stain the carpet! Just get a towel and clean it up, will you?"
With more grumbles he did as asked, returning with a wet towel and dropping on a knee next to the couch to clean up the spill. Bulma watched him with a smile, wiping the ice cream off her chin.
"You're so cute whenever you help around the house," she encouraged, playfully punching his shoulder. He glared at her a bit and she laughed.
"Insufferable woman." He tossed the dirty cloth over his shoulder. "There. Do you think you can manage to keep your food in your mouth now?"
"Have some!" she chirped, shoving a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth without warning, causing him to choke.
He glowered at her as she laughed again. Pregnancy. He couldn't wait till the whole affair was over, he could hardly stand it. He never knew what to expect out of her with all the mood swings and her food cravings were beyond antagonizing. He'd found it best to address the whole matter with cold patience. His gaze shifted down her to stomach where another of his heirs grew. Like the first one, it hadn't been planned. But he'd found himself more of a passionate husband since his return to life and one way or another the child had come about. Though he did his best to keep it a secret, he had high hopes for this one. He was proud of his son, but Trunks was more like his mother than he'd like. He'd be pleased to have a true Saiyan for his second child, powerful, fierce, and tailed.
"Hey," Bulma poked him with the spoon, "You're staring at my belly all intensely again. Relax, Vegeta."
He grunted, standing up and shoving his hands into his pockets. "Perhaps I could if you didn't refuse to reveal anything about the child."
"I didn't take any sneak peeks with Trunks!" she admonished, "Besides, you know me, I love surprises." He started to walk away and she grabbed his hand. "Hey, come here."
"Just come here, will you?" She pulled him down and he kneeled next to her again. She patted her belly. "If you really want to know something, give 'er a feel. Come on, don't be shy."
He gave the protrusion a hesitant look. She nudged him a little more and finally he gave in. He touched her stomach, lowering his brow, trying to sense the infant's power level. He didn't get much results from that so finally he followed her lead and pressed his ear to her midsection. He could hear the churning of her womb and the tiny heartbeat of his offspring. He hummed. Something thumped against his cheek. He gasped softly. It struck again. Vegeta slowly smiled and threw back his head in a proud laugh.
"He is fierce!" he declared. Bulma laughed loudly. "Did you feel how he struck me from within the womb?"
"I did!" she chimed, "I bet we got a tough little guy on the way. Or maybe a girl." She stuffed the spoon back into her mouth. "I really hope it's a girl this time." She played with Vegeta's flame-like black hair. "A pretty girl with a…nice long tail? I know you've always been jealous of Gohan with that."
Vegeta grunted thoughtfully, standing up again. "The potential is slim, it depends on how strongly the child takes to the Saiyan blood. But then, I can't say I know a great deal about Saiyan half breeds. They were fairly common among the low class warriors, but rarely spoken of. You can imagine why."
"Yeah. But hey!" She tugged at his shirt tail. "Don't worry about all that, that's a past that's far behind us. Our little royal family is the best that ever was!" She patted her stomach again and winked. "Plus one."
He cracked a smile at her. "You have an exceptional talent for flattery."
She laughed and grinned. "Well you have to when you're married to the Prince of All Saiyans…speaking of which, do you know what today is?"
Vegeta froze and gritted his teeth. Damn it, not one of these! Today must be one of those stupid important days that she always kept track of and he had no clue about.
"Don't start sweating, I didn't think you'd remember," she teased, "You never do. It's our anniversary."
He frowned. "Anniversary to what?"
"Anniversary to the day we got married!" she snapped, glaring at him, "You know, nine years ago? Some asshole walked into my room and gave me a glove?"
"Yes, yes, I remember," he snorted, "Sorry."
"I'm sure you didn't get me anything, just like Valentine's Day." She tugged at his collar playfully. "But this is the first anniversary we've had since you came back from the grave so it's kinda special. I'm cooking up a surprise for you, you're gonna love it."
"Oh really?" he asked skeptically. He didn't share Bulma's enthusiasm for surprises.
"I'm serious!" she insisted, "If I can get it to work, that is. I've been doing a lot of research, we'll have to see." He glanced off with disinterest. "Oh! Which reminds me!"
Vegeta started and tensed as abruptly he felt a lock of his hair yanked out by the roots. "Ah!" he cried, grabbing the sore spot, "What the hell, woman?!"
"Oops, sorry, should have warned you first," she smiled shyly.
"Have you gone mad, what the hell?!"
"Sorry, sorry, must be hormones or something again." She innocently fanned herself.
"Rrrmmm…" he growled deeply, glaring away, "Earthing women…"
"It's not like you'll miss it, you've got so much!" she admonished, looking at the black strands pinched against her thumb, "A little too much, to be honest. I really wish you'd reconsider changing styles, I would love to give you a haircut."
"Are you really going on about that again?"
"I can't help it." She twisted a lock of her blue hair, which she had started to grow out again. "Changing your look is an important way of staying fresh. It's a way of saying 'out with the old and in with the new!' Though, you Saiyans seem to never change. Not you and Goku much at least."
"Hmph." He leaned against the couch. "Not entirely."
"There is one feature that does change with time. As you know, we Saiyans preserve our youth so that we might fight longer. However, once we reach a certain maturity a male begins to grow facial hair."
"Oooh," she cooed with interest, "That's something I didn't know before. Huh…I wonder how long that will be? I hope Goku doesn't get a beard like Master Roshi or something." She shivered at the thought.
He grunted. "You and your concerns." He sniffed and was about to head back to the kitchen to finish his overcooked meal when they both heard the front door open.
Bulma perked up. "Hey Trunks!"
Their son came running in, his violet hair blown back and his yellow backpack bouncing. "Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad," he chanted, throwing down his stuff, "Guess what?! I came up with a new move at school today! Wanna see?"
Vegeta cracked a smile and turned. "Really?" He moved into a battle stance. "Well let's see it then."
"Ha-ha!" Trunks laughed, assuming a pose as well.
"Hey!" Bulma snapped, scowling at them both, "What do you two think you're doing? You know the rules, not in the house!" Both father and son chortled guiltily. "And where's my hug, Trunks?"
"Oh…" Trunk rubbed his head, "Sorry, Mom." Bulma heaved herself off the couch and Trunks gave her a hug before rushing back to Vegeta and grabbing his arm. "Come on, Dad!"
"You guys go have some fun," Bulma waved as Trunks lead Vegeta out to the yard, "I'll come by in a bit and watch you!" She listened to Trunks excited laugh as she turned away, slyly smiling at the stolen strands of hair as she twisted them between her fingers.
Walking while carrying a saiyan baby inside you had always been a challenge, but Bulma managed as she made her way to her lab. The hair was the last component for her formula she needed. She would have gotten it from him sooner, but she needed to make sure she had the right proteins first. Bulma turned on her computer and gave her final calculations a triple check. She grinned. If this really worked…boy, she couldn't wait to see the look on Vegeta's face! It would be the perfect anniversary gift for the bright future ahead of them. She pressed a button on one of her machines, the base chemicals pouring into a vial. She got up and stood over it, twisting her fingers together as she sprinkled Vegeta's hairs into it, watching them dissolve. She checked her readings, got a dropper, and added the final proteins to the cocktail, giving the vial a good shake at last.
"Perfect," stated, putting her hands on her hips, feeling mighty proud of herself, "Now to just get this baby in his system…" She looked at her stomach and laughed. "Well, not literal baby that is."
Tucking the vial away in her pocket, she casually made her way out to the yard, where Trunks was throwing punches at Vegeta at incredible speed. Vegeta laughed and caught one of them.
"Too slow," he grinned.
"Huh?" Trunks blinked and then cried out as he was flipped over on the ground.
"Your technique is improving, but you still have a long way to go, son," Vegeta stated, his arms folded and smiling wryly down at him.
"Right," Trunks said from the ground, getting up again. He clenched his fists excitedly. "But did you see my new attack?! Pretty cool, huh?"
Vegeta noticed Bulma and she gave him a look. "It was…yes."
"Yeah-ha!" Trunks laughed, the biggest smile on his face.
"Hey Trunks," Bulma called, "You know what today is?"
Trunks got that same terrified look on his face that his father did when she asked that question. "Umm…"
"It's your father and my anniversary!"
Trunks blinked. "Um…what's an anniversary?"
"Oh come on!" Bulma cried, throwing down her arm, "Doesn't anyone around here at least remember that?!"
"Oh leave him alone," Vegeta admonished.
Bulma sighed. "Oh whatever. Today's the day your father and I got married. You know what that means?"
"Umm…" Trunks swallowed. The last thing he wanted to do was make his mom mad, she was scary when she got that way.
Bulma smiled sweetly. "It means you need to give us some private time today, okay?"
"Oh," he said with relief, "Okay. Sure, Mom." He glanced back at Vegeta with a laugh and a wave, running back inside. Vegeta watched him go. Bulma smiled. He'd become such a better father since he'd come back. A better husband too, though he was still a complete ass.
Bulma cleared her throat and motioned to him. "This way, please." Vegeta raised his brow at her and followed.
When they got to the kitchen, she saw the burnt steak and scowled. "What, really?" she held the plate up and dumped it in the trash, "You really need to learn to cook, Vegeta, there's more to it than just throwing a piece of meat in the fire, you know."
"What is it you wanted?" he pressed, sheering at the steak a little as it entered the trash. Good riddance to the thing.
"Well since that's your idea of a lunch I'm gonna cook us both something." She opened a cupboard. "And…" She pulled out a bottle. "Anniversary wine!"
Vegeta took the bottle and inspected it, eyeing her suspiciously. "I thought you made it perfectly clear that you weren't supposed to be drinking while with child."
"Oh hush, one little drink isn't gonna hurt," she scolded, taking back the bottle, "Besides, this is a super saiyan baby! I'm sure they can handle it."
He grunted and at last shrugged. "Whatever you say then."
Bulma threw some steaks on the grill, humming as she added the spices, and then poured the wine. Making sure he was occupied with 'watching the steaks for her', Bulma slipped out the vial and carefully emptied its contents into Vegeta's glass.
Hopefully he won't notice the difference, don't want to spoil the surprise!
She turned around and offered the glass to him. "Happy Anniversary, Vegeta."
He took the offered glass, eyeing her as she clinked her glass with his and drank. He watched her slowly down the glass and – as she had hoped – mimicked her, tipping back and draining the entire thing. Bulma grinned behind her glass.
Now all I have to do is wait…sad it's gonna take so long. But it'll be worth it.
She returned to cooking the steaks, Vegeta standing at her shoulder, that subtle, pleased look on his face he got whenever he was enjoying himself. She cooked some veggies and potatoes on the side, pilling a large helping on his plate before joining him at the table with her own. They didn't talk much, it was enough to simply enjoy each other's company, the food, and another glass of wine. She was about to ask him if he'd like another steak when she noticed something strange: he was sweating.
Bulma frowned. "Vegeta…are you alright?"
He grimaced heavily, looking to the side. "Now that you mention it, I do feel a bit…" He tugged at his collar and grunted. He took off his jacket and tossed it in the corner.
Bulma went to his side of the table, touching his forehead. "My God! I think you have a fever!" A ball rose up in her throat. Oh no…was he experiencing a side effect from the formula? Her calculations had predicted it would enact perfectly natural processes!
"Fever?" he said with disbelief, feeling at his own forehead, "That's ridiculous, I never…" He froze, his face twitching. Bulma yelped as he abruptly stood up, crying out and clutching his back. "Ha…! Ha…!"
"Vegeta!" she grabbed his arm, "Are you all right?"
"There's something…! My back…!"
Bulma's eyes bulged. No! There was no way! It couldn't be happening this fast! The process was supposed to take months! He cried out again, falling against the table this time. Bulma continued to gape. There was no way! There was just no way! She heard something fall against the floor. Her eyes drifted down and she bit her lip hard as she about squealed. It was his stub, all dried up and shriveling into nothing. Oh God it was happening!
"I…think you need to lay down…" she wavered.
Vegeta hissed. "No, I'm fine…ah!" He gritted his teeth and held his back again. "I…perhaps you're right…ah…"
"Yeah-let's-get-you-laying-down!" she blurted, kicking the shrivel stub under the table before leading him rapidly out of the kitchen. Vegeta continued to hiss and grunt painfully as she helped him to their bedroom, the sweat very visible on his forehead. She laid him down and got a wet washcloth over his forehead, watching with horror as he curled into a fetal position, writhing.
Oh God, what have a done to him?! This isn't supposed to be happening!
Vegeta fought against the pain, beside himself as to what was happening. He could feel pressure building in his lower back, increasing constantly with a desperate ache, followed by terrible throbs. Bulma bustled in out of the room, sometimes breaking out into random fits of tears, which only made the experience even worse. At least none of the rest of the family came around, the last thing he needed was his son or Bulma's parents fussing over him too. His fingers twitched up at the ceiling, refusing to give into this torment any further. Whatever it was, it would not beat him so easily! It carried on like this for a few hours, the pain and pressure increasing all the time.
Then, all at once, it stopped.
Vegeta panted, blinking with bewilderment as the pain, queasiness, and fever abruptly and swiftly faded away, the pressure instantly gone. He blinked a few more times and slowly sat up, removing the cloth from his forehead and staring at it.
"The hell just happened?" he wondered.
That was when he noticed it. He could feel something behind him. And the back of his pants was wet. The thing behind him moved. Vegeta's mouth opened and he slowly turned his head to look behind him, peeling back the bed sheet. And there it was: alive, long, and brown – damp with the embryonic fluid it had grown in – a tail. Vegeta's breath hung caught in his throat as he reached out and lifted it up, holding it in both hands. He tried moving it. It wiggled just as it should. It lifted up and waved at him.
"But how?" he gasped, watching it move, "It's not possible!" He took it in his hands again.
Bulma came bustling in as he held it again, throwing her hands over her mouth. "Oh my God, it worked! It really worked!" He stared at her. She held up her hands and waved frantically. "It wasn't supposed to happen this fast!" she protested, "Honest, I didn't mean to put you through all that! I must have over-stimulated the enzymes!" His mouth closed and he looked at the tail in his lap again. "You can't blame me, you really can't! Do you have any idea how hard it was to make that formula without telling you? I had to take a lot of DNA samples and couldn't ask any questions!" He stood up, his fists clenched at his sides as his raised his head, the new tail whipping around. "Now you're mad at me, aren't you?" She growled and put her hands on her hips. "Well fine! If you're gonna yell at me about it, let's hear it! I'm not sorry, even if I did screw it up! In fact, why don't you try thanking me, huh?"
His eyes shifted sharply at her. "Bulma."
"Yeah, what?" she snapped.
He walked over to her, grabbed her shoulders, and kissed her.
She blinked. "…Oh…"
He pulled back and gave her a scolding look, but smilingly slightly as well. "Stupid woman. I can suffer a little pain for a prize, so you can keep your head."
She relaxed. "Oh."
He turned from her and looked in their bedroom mirror critically, testing out different motions with his tail. "How did you manage this?"
"Because I'm brilliant," she answered, flaunting her puffed up chest, "Just a simple matter of building the right protein chains and having you ingest them." He glared at her. "It's called a surprise, Vegeta!" she glared back.
"What did I tell you about slipping your blasted experiments into my food?!" he shook his fist at her, "I'm not your damn guinea pig, woman!" He growled, but quieted as he looked at his tail hanging at his side. "But…all the same…you have my gratitude."
Her face went from defensive to pleased and she cheered, hugging him. "You like it!" She pulled back and grinned. "Happy Anniversary, Vegeta." He grunted and put his arms around her, wrapping his tail neatly over his waist. She looked down at it and frowned. "What are you doing that for? It looks like a belt now, I wanna see it in action!" She reached for it to unravel it and he pulled back. "Vegeta!" she complained.
"It's a tail, not a toy," he stated, "And this is where is belongs, not hanging out like some indecent fool."
"But that's boring!" she whined, folding her arms and pouting at him, "If you wanted a fuzzy belt for your anniversary I could have just gone to the store for that!"
"Erg, it's not that simple!" he shot back, trying not to blush, "A tail is a sacred asset to a Saiyan warrior and must be protected!"
"Protected from what?" she demanded, "Nobody here's gonna want to hurt it." She leaned in close with a sly smile. "Besides, it makes you look so handsome."
He growled, shifting his eyes away from her. "It's more than that. To have one's tail out is highly…licentious."
That put the devil in her. "Oooh…" she cooed, rubbing against his chest, "A licentious tail, huh? I like the sound of that…" He groaned, blushing as she grabbed his tail gently and began rubbing her cheek against it. "Ooh, and what a licentious tail it is!" She started kissing it. "Mmmwa! Mwa!"
"Would you stop that?!" he snapped, jerking it from her as she busted up laughing, "You are with child, this is not the time!"
"Don't you tell me what to do on my anniversary!" she challenged. She tried to make several more grabs for it, but each time he expertly moved it out of her reach. "Vegeta!" she turned away and snorted, "Jerk! You're boring! I should just go get the scissors and cut it off again." He glared at her. She tried to march off when something snapped over her wrist. She looked down to see his strong, brown tail wrapped around it. She grinned and turned back. "Oh…now that's more like it!"
At last the scowl faded and he grew a crooked smile, giving in and taking charge of the game as he reeled her in and wound his tail around her hips. He chuckled. "I must admit, I forgot how useful having a tail could be," he said as he touched her chin.
"Oh really?" she stated wily, "Why don't you impress me?"
"Well…" His tail tightened around her rear. "A Saiyan's tail is often thought of as a weakness…when in fact they are quite powerful as well."
"How irresistible," she giggled, stroking it, "You know, Vegeta, it has been a while…" She ran her fingers down to the base of his tail. "And I hear Saiyan tails are really sensitive."
"Oh very," he grinned back, "As well as being the most flexible part of our bodies. You might even say you're not a true Saiyan without one."
She giggled. "I think I'd like to spend some time with a true Saiyan."
"I think could show you a thing or two…"
They started kissing, the drying tail wrapped under her rear, her swollen belly pressed tightly between them. They passionately suckled on each other, Vegeta letting lose his joy to be whole again, Bulma the joy just to have him near. Everything around them disappeared, the child between them kicking excitedly.
"Ewwwww, GROSS!" Trunks cried, recoiling and sticking out his tongue as he caught sight of his parents.
"Ahha!" Vegeta cried, immediately letting go, his face red.
"Trunks!" Bulma shouted at him, "What did I tell you about giving us some privacy?!"
"Sorry, Mom!" Trunks protested, holding up his hands, "I didn't mean to! It's just there's…" He blinked over at Vegeta. "Hey…what's that?"
"Huh?" Bulma looked over her shoulder as Vegeta's tail looped behind him. "Oh! That's your father's tail, Trunks."
Trunks eyes grew wide. "Dad has a tail?"
Vegeta's embarrassed groan almost sounded like a whine.
"Of course he does, Trunks!" Bulma chirped, holding up a finger, "All Saiyans do! His has just been missing for a while, but now it's back!" She turned to Vegeta and smiled. "Back for good."
"Wow!" Trunks ran around Vegeta, bending over as he excitedly inspected the tail. "This is so cool!" He looked up at them. "Can…can I touch it?"
Vegeta opened his mouth to answer but Bulma beat him to it. "Sure you can, Trunks! Just be gentle, okay? Saiyan tails are real delicate."
Vegeta gave a scoffing laugh, passing his tail to his son's hands out of spite. "Delicate? Maybe a lesser warrior, but not the tail of the Prince of All Saiyans." He closed his eyes and smiled proudly as Trunks marveled over his tail, running his hands over it. "You forget I was once a super elite. As such, I was trained to resist my tail's natural weakness."
"Really?" Bulma blinked with interest, "Huh…" She casually grabbed the end of his tail and gave it a good hard squeeze.
Vegeta's eyes bulged and he cried out, dropping to the floor.
"Dad!" Trunks' gaped.
"You liar!" Bulma accused, "Some resistance! You're just as bad as Goku used to be!""I did not lie!" he roared at her, grunting on the floor, "It's just…been so long." He glared at her, his face twitching. "Tell me…could Kakarot do this?" He shut his eyes, focusing on his forgotten training, pushing the energy out of his tail and fighting against the drain. Bulma's mouth hung open as he slowly stood up.
"Wow!" she cried, "You're right! Goku about passed out every time something happened to his tail!"
He grunted. "Like I said…" He snarled. "Now would you please let go?!"
"Oh!" She let go and he wrapped the tail around his waist again. "Sorry."
"I don't get it," Trunks said as Vegeta straightened up again, his strength returned.
"It's a natural weakness," Bulma explained, "If a Saiyan's tail gets squeezed too hard, it drains the power out of them."
"But," Vegeta added, "It also allows us to transform into the mighty oozaru."
Trunks made a face. "Ooza-what?"
"Giant ape, honey," said Bulma.
"A giant ape?" Trunks laughed. "That's silly."
"Oh," Vegeta replied darkly, "You wouldn't say so if you saw it."
"Earth doesn't have a moon anymore though, so we've got nothing to worry about," Bulma assured.
Trunks stared at her. "Um, moon? What's a moon?"
Vegeta gave Bulma a look. "You never taught him what a moon was?" he accused.
"Well it's not like he's got one to look at at night anymore!" she snapped, nearly bumping him with her belly, "Which is your fault, I might add! Besides, don't you dare criticize me! You had to die before you started teaching him anything useful!"
"Ah! That is not true!"
"Teaching him how to hit things doesn't count!"
"And what did you teach him, exactly?! How to do his hair?!"
"How dare you, Vegeta?!"
"Uh…guys?" Trunks interjected, causing his quarreling parents to pause, "Don't you want to know why I came in here in the first place?"
Bulma blew out a breath and softened. "Of course, Trunks, what is it?"
"Nothing much," he shifted, "It's just Goten's mom called and she said she wanted to talk to you—"
"Chi-Chi?" Bulma squeaked, "Oh that's wonderful, it's been so long since she called! Is she on the phone right now?"
"Uh-huh," Trunks nodded.
"Well let's not keep her waiting any longer!"
Vegeta looked over his shoulder. "Bulma."
"Hmm?" she paused in the doorway.
"There's something I must know." He turned to her. "In all these years we've been together, you've never done anything like this for me. So why now?"
Bulma smiled sweetly. "I told you. Change is a way of saying hello to the new you. And you have changed, Vegeta. So much since we met. I wanted to give you something that would always remind you of that." She waved. "We'll celebrate more later, I gotta go see what Chi-Chi and Goku have been up to these days!"
Vegeta's expression flattened as she left and he turned to look at himself in the mirror. Had he really changed that much? It didn't really seem that long ago since he'd first come to Earth seeking the dragonballs and immortality. He ran his fingers through his hair and unwrapped his tail once again, letting it rise up and stretch next to him. A new Vegeta…he didn't see one. In fact, right now, he looked more like his old self than ever. In his reflection, he could see a scouter and Planet Trade Organization standard combat armor, a leaner man too magnificent to get his hands dirty, eyes filled with cold, world-consuming fire. Vegeta put his hands on the mirror and leaned in close and this other man leaned in close as well, grinning viciously at him.
He turned away from the mirror as Bulma returned, holding the phone by her ear. "Guess what? Chi-Chi, Goku, and Goten are going to come visit tomorrow and have a picnic with us in the park!"
Vegeta grimaced and snorted. "You mean Kakarot wants to have a picnic."
Bulma waved him off. "Oh don't worry, Chi-Chi and I will make sure to pack enough for everyone. Come on, Vegeta, we haven't seen them in months! I know Goku still annoys you but—"
"It's fine," he grunted.
Bulma smiled and put the phone to her ear. "Vegeta's good with it, Chi-Chi, told you he'd be! Trunks will be so happy to see Goten again! I can't wait to see you all!" She glanced between Vegeta's tail and her stomach. "And…we might have a few surprises for you!" She laughed.
"Really?!" Trunks piped, appearing behind her, "I get to see Goten? All right!"
"Yes, yes, he's very excited," Bulma chuckled, touching the top of Trunks' head, "All right, Chi-Chi, see you tomorrow! Say hi to Goku for me!"
Vegeta faced the window as his wife and son laughed with excitement, his eyes direct up at sternly up at the sky.
Little did he know that in that moment, something else was looking back down.