A New Start

Title: A New Start
Plot, or Lack Thereof: The widow and the widower get to know each other better.
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization.  (That, and Kiku did a far superior version.)


After a while Bulma’s sobs subsided and she just leaned against Vegeta’s chest, enjoying the warmth of his body.   Vegeta reached down, lifted her tear-stained face and kissed them away one by one.

And then he kissed her on the lips.

“I’m sorry.” He kissed her again.  “I should have told you how much I love you a long, long time ago.”

“What?” Bulma pretended to be horrified.  “You love me?”

Vegeta smiled.  “Stupid woman.  You thought I stayed around all that time because I wanted your food?”

Bulma also smiled at the old insult.  “I’m not that stupid, am I?” She went along with the game.

“You were smart enough to send your half-breed brat back to annoy me.”

“You’re welcome.” Vegeta grinned even wider.

Bulma sighed in satisfaction and leaned against Vegeta again.  “God, it’s been too long.” She wrapped her arm around Vegeta’s neck, and discovered a thin gold chain hanging there and two gold rings.  “Kore nani?” She asked, guessing what they were but too afraid to believe it.  Vegeta lifted one of the rings and pointed out the date carved inside of it: July 7, ’78.  He then reached behind his neck, opened the chain, took out one of the rings, and gave it to a stunned Bulma.

“You do know how to do this, don’t you?” He asked, expecting a positive answer.

“V—Vegeta,” Bulma stuttered, not knowing what to say.

“I know this isn’t exactly what you had in mind, but I don’t think we’ll be able to find a priest for a while.” Bulma still didn’t move.   “What’s the matter?” Vegeta teased.  “Got cold feet?” Finally, Bulma’s brain began working again; she took the ring and put it on the ring finger of Vegeta’s outstretched hand.  Then Vegeta lifted her hand and placed the other ring on the corresponding finger.  Bulma squeezed Vegeta’s hand, then looked up at him and smiled.

He smiled back.

***

Meanwhile, out in another room, the two Trunks’ were discussing a better way to call each other.

“What about ‘Yo Yong Ku’?” Mirai no Trunks joked, referring to the Chinese phrase for ‘Trunks’

The younger Trunks made a face.  “No way.” Then he remembered something.  “Mom told me that she and Dad had an argument about my name; Dad wanted to name me ‘Vegeta’, since all Saiyan princes were named that, but Mom wanted to name me ‘Trunks’,” He grinned.  “Guess who won.” Mirai no Trunks also grinned.

“So?” Bra didn’t get the point.

“So, one of us takes the name ‘Vegeta’,” Her (real) brother explained.

“But then you’ll just get mixed up with Dad!” Bra pointed out.

“Nope,” Mirai no Trunks shook his head, “the younger Vegeta will just be ‘Junior’.”

“So, which one of us would that be?” The other Trunks asked.

“How about ‘rock, paper, scissors’, and whoever wins two out of three gets to keep ‘Trunks’?” The elder Trunks suggested.

“Sure.” The two Trunks raised their fists and played three quick rounds.

The younger Trunks lost.

“Hi, ‘Junior’!” Bra greeted.

“I’m still your big brother,” Vegeta Jr. corrected.

“Darn,” Bra sighed in mock disappointment.

“All right,” Trunks said.  “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, tell me about ‘The Picture’.”

Vegeta Jr. smiled and took a deep breath.  “When it was Mom and Dad’s twentieth anniversary—”

***

Bulma and Vegeta just sat there, taking in each other’s presence, saying nothing.  Bulma felt that it was unnecessary to say anything at all; there were some feelings that just couldn’t be put into words.

“It’s getting late.” Vegeta noted.  Bulma looked at her watch and discovered that he was right.

“I’ll have to make dinner,” She said, but didn’t get up.  “But I want to stay with you.”

Vegeta smiled. “Then we’ll make dinner together.”

***

Bulma stared at the meat on the carving board and didn’t quite know what to do.  She wasn’t sure if it was because she was had been cooking out of cans for so long that she had forgotten how to prepare food from scratch, or that Vegeta, standing next to her, was slicing, dicing, and chopping away at the week’s supply of food that he brought.

“I could use a hand here,” Vegeta said when he noticed that she wasn’t doing anything.  “You remember how hard it is to cook for Saiyans, don’t you?”

***

Trunks studied the picture, impressed not only with Goku’s photographic skills but also with the tale that his other self just told him.   There was one small detail that bothered him, though.

“How did Dad get taller than Mom all of a sudden?”

“He levitated,” Vegeta Jr. answered.  “Mom said something about wanting to be kissed like that during the rehearsal, so.” Trunks looked at the picture again.

“She’s very beautiful in a wedding dress, isn’t she?” Vegeta and Bulma stood at the entrance to the room; Trunks couldn’t help noticing that they were holding hands.  “Dinner’s in the kitchen, if you’re hungry.”

***

Before everyone sat down to eat, Vegeta Jr. announced the change in name he took.  (Vegeta Sr. was not flattered.) Meanwhile, Trunks marveled at the food, which didn’t look special but promised to be delicious.

“Wow!” He exclaimed when he took the first bite.  “This is really good!”

“Dad, you made that, didn’t you?” Vegeta Jr. beamed with pride.  Trunks nearly choked on a drumstick.

“Dad cooks?” Trunks gave his father an incredulous stare.

“I had a family to take care of, so I took some lessons,” Vegeta replied.  “It wasn’t that hard, once I got the hang of it.”

“In the first week, Dad burned everything.” Vegeta Jr. whispered into Trunks’ ear.  “But of course, he always blamed that on the instructor.”

“I heard that.” Vegeta glared at his sons.

After dinner, Vegeta made his sons clear the tables and wash the dishes.

“This sucks,” Vegeta Jr. complained as he scrubbed through the impossibly high stack of dishes.

“Keep it up, Junior,” Vegeta called sarcastically.  “It builds character.”

***

Bulma, who had made her way into the guest room, saw the picture that Trunks left on the table.  She stared at it, and tried to imagine herself being kissed like that.

Vegeta, coming out of the kitchen, noticed what Bulma was doing, and guessed what she was thinking.

“It’s like this,” He pulled Bulma to her feet, levitated off the ground, and kissed her, wrapping his arms around her.

The rest of the evening was a total blur to Bulma; she remembered laying against Vegeta in the living room watching television, and a minor argument between Bra and her brother (Vegeta Jr.) over what to watch, but in general Bulma’s brain refused to function.   She was in this half-lobotomized state even as she changed into her nightgown.  Vegeta noticed this, and was annoyed.

“Hello? Earth to Bulma?” He tapped her lightly on the side of her head.  “What’s the matter with you?”

“I—I—” Bulma stuttered, forcing her mouth to make the words.  “I didn’t expect—”

“You didn’t expect me to be so different?” Vegeta guessed.  Bulma nodded.  “Idiot.” Vegeta said, this time without the earlier tenderness.  “I’m not him, so stop comparing me to him.”

“But I wasn’t─” Bulma began, but stopped herself when she realized that Vegeta was right: she had been comparing him to the Vegeta she knew, and expected him to be the same.  That was why she was so shocked when he wasn’t.   “I’m sorry,” She lowered her head.  “I guess I have to stop thinking of you as his replacement.”

Vegeta’s expression softened as he sat Bulma down onto the bed.  “Let’s start over.” He proposed.  ” Pretend you don’t know me.”

“All right then, stranger.” Bulma smiled.  “What are you doing in my bed?”

Vegeta chuckled and pulled her close.  “Naughty girl,” he bit her nose.  “I didn’t mean it that literally.”

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