Love’s Labour Lost

Love’s Labour Lost
a story by Dot


Ever since Bulma and I had been going out, she made it very clear that she expected us to get married someday, and I was fine with that.  But the more time I spent with her, the more I realized that she was trying to control every aspect of my life.  She was especially sensitive on the issue of other women: she always accused me of trying to cheat on her when I had no such thoughts—most of the time, anyway.  Once, when I suggested that she was just jealous, we had an argument that would have put several wars to shame.  Still, we kept up the appearance that we were a couple; both of us were afraid that if our relationship didn’t work out, we would remain single for the rest of our lives.  Not to say that fear was the only thing that kept us together, of course: there were times when the whole arrangement felt so perfect that it seemed like we were married already.  But those times kept getting fewer and fewer.

When I was resurrected by the Dragon Balls, Bulma had crushed me in her arms; sobbing, she told me over and over how she never wanted to lose me again.  The result of that was her becoming even more possessive: when I was around her, she seldom let me out of her sight.  Citing my desire to train as an excuse, I kept away from her as much as I could.  Of course, this only made her even more suspicious of me.

Finally, the years of festering emotions boiled over.  It was quite a sight: the two of us hurled whatever we could lay our hands on at one another.  Whoever first said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” never had a girlfriend like Bulma.  She dug up every little incident of what she considered my infidelity; her accusations cut deep into my very being.  To be fair, though, I have to admit that I said many things I shouldn’t have as well.

The fight ended when Bulma screamed for me to get out of her house.  An almost inhuman calm washed over me when I realized that our relationship was over as well.  “I will,” I told her with resolve.  “And I won’t come back.”

Shocked by my unexpected boldness, Bulma just stood there, staring, as I turned and left.  As I walked, I had no desire to return; I didn’t even want to look back to see the expression on Bulma’s face.

I almost kept my promise; I went back to live in the desert for almost a year, staying busy so that I wouldn’t think too much.  At night, exhausted from my activities, I would fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.  The regiment worked—until, that is, I felt an enormous burst of ki in the direction of the Capsule Corporation.  Almost without a second thought, I flew to Bulma’s house as fast as I could.

When I saw Bulma cradling the unconscious Vegeta in her arms, it felt like I had been shot: my heart seemed to stop beating, and it hurt to breathe.  It had never occurred to me until then that I loved Bulma, even if it was only for a moment.  And it broke my heart when I realized that I had truly lost her.  But enough of that.

About three months after that, I went to Bulma’s house again on the pretext of needing Dr. Briefs to fix something for me.  While I waited in the living room for him to finish, I picked up a magazine from the coffee table and began flipping through it.

“Yamcha.”

Bulma.  My heart skipped a beat.  It took everything I had to stay seated.  “Long time no see,” I greeted without looking up, pretending to read the magazine.

“I need to talk to you.”

I kept my eyes glued to the pages.  “I’m listening.”

She must have heard the hurt in my voice, because she sat down next to me and took my shoulders in her hands, forcing me to look her in the eyes.  “Please.”

I fought hard against my old instincts.  “What’s the matter?”

“I—I’m pregnant.”

It took a while for the words to sink in.  “You’re what?”

“I’m pregnant,” Bulma repeated.

My heart nearly stopped.  “Vegeta,” I choked out—a statement, not a question.  Bulma nodded.  “When?”

“I don’t know.  I just found out a few days ago.”

“Have you told him yet?”

“No.  He’ll find out soon enough.”

“He’s as responsible for the baby as you are,” I reassured her.  “He better take care of it.” As if I could make him do anything.

“But what if—” She composed herself.  “You’re right.  I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have bothered you.”

“I wasn’t bothered,” I lied.

{ Lost }

I tried to visit Bulma as often as I could; by about her fifth month, it became obvious to everybody else that she was pregnant, and support poured in from all sides.  Vegeta was absent during the entire time; I had a feeling that he was avoiding her on purpose.  Bulma completed the illusion that Vegeta didn’t exist by not mentioning his name at all, but I knew that not a moment went by without her thinking about him.

Once, did I try to ask Bulma what her plans were for the future.

“So, um,” I began, trying to be as gentle as I could, “What happens after the baby is born?”

Bulma gave me a look of dignified offense.  “Raise it, of course.”

“By yourself?”

“If I have to, yes.”

Afraid of finding out what she meant by that, I decided not to probe any further.

{ Lost }

Babies being born must have the worst sense of timing in the world: they never come when you expect them to, and at the worst possible occasion—and Bulma’s child was no exception.

The call came at around two o’clock in the morning.

“Hrmm?” I mumbled into the receiver.

“Yamcha,” Bulma’s voice was breathless and fast, “I think my water just broke.”

All traces of sleep were blasted from my brain when I heard those words.  “Okay, I’ll be right there.  Just hang on.”

I dropped the phone, threw on some clothes, and drove as fast as I dared to Bulma’s house.  When I got to the door, I saw that Bulma was already standing there—or rather, leaning against the frame.  Her pale face glistened with sweat.  When she began to tip forward, I rushed out of my hovercar to support her.

“I’m all right,” she gasped, reaching out for my arms nonetheless.  Not wanting her to strain herself further, I practically carried her into the hovercar.  Then, I jumped into the driver’s side and sped off towards the nearest hospital.

As the medics rushed Bulma into the maternity ward, I held onto her hand.

“You can do it, Bulma!” I encouraged her.

Bulma, her teeth clenched in pain, couldn’t answer.

Not even finding out that Freeza was still alive could even come close to what I was experiencing as I watched Bulma go through her labor pains. She screamed at the top of her lungs, followed by several unmentionable swear words.  Her grip tightened as the contractions came closer and closer together.

“Here comes the head!” The doctor announced.  “One more big push!”

Bulma put everything she had into one last, mighty heave.  Everything suddenly went quiet as the Doctor held up the result of Bulma’s efforts.

Then, the sweetest sound anyone could ever ear: a tiny, piercing wail.

“Congratulations,” the doctor announced.  “It’s a boy.”

As the nurses washed the baby and cut its umbilical cord, none of them seemed to be disturbed by the fact that it also had a tail, and handed him to his mother.  As I looked over Bulma’s shoulder at the baby—whose few, thin wisps of purple hair clung to his forehead, and light blue eyes gazed at me through slits—I suddenly remembered the shy, quiet young man whom we met two and a half years ago.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  No way! That’s not possible! Isn’t it?

My thoughts were interrupted when one of the nurses thrust a clipboard into my hands.  I filled everything in without a second thought—that is, until I got to the question: “Relationship with patient”.  After several agonizing minutes, I put down: “friend”.  When I was finished with the paperwork, I went home and collapsed into bed, falling asleep even before I hit the pillow.

{ Lost }

I waited a week before going to see Bulma again: I thought she would want a few days alone to rest.  I drove up to the hospital in the late afternoon and asked if Bulma was willing to receive any visitors.  After an intense interrogation by the receptionist, I was finally allowed to go in.

“Hi,” I snuck my head tentatively through the door.

Bulma looked up from feeding her baby, and her face lit up with pleasant surprise.  “Yamcha!” She held the baby out for me to see.  “This is Trunks.”

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Trunks-san,” I said with a mock bow.  Bulma chuckled.  “Can I hold him?”

“Sure.” Bulma handed me the fragile bundle, which burst into tears as soon as it left its mother’s arms.

“I don’t think he likes me,” I observed.  I tried to stroke Trunks’ chin, but he grabbed my finger in a vise-like grip.  “Ouch.  The little tyke’s got some potential there.”

“That’s what Vegeta said, too.”

I nearly dropped Trunks.  “He was here?”

“I was rocking Trunks to sleep when he came in through the window.  He told me not to baby Trunks too much, or he wouldn’t be able to make Trunks a decent warrior.”

I scoffed.  “Figures.”

She shrugged.  “Well, it’s a better reaction than wanting to kill Trunks for being a ‘half-breed’ or whatever.”

Not even I had thought of that possibility.  “Point.”

“By the way, Yamcha, thanks for being around.  It was nice to have someone to talk to.”

“Well, yeah, no problem,” I muttered as I handed Trunks back.

{ Lost }

Six months later, I found myself standing next to Bulma again as we awaited the appearance of the Androids.  When Krillin and Gohan arrived, they expressed their surprise at seeing Bulma and Trunks.  The baby, of course, was received with the most shock.

“Did you and Yamcha get married?” Gohan asked with innocent eagerness.

“Bulma and I broke up a long time ago,” I answered with the slightest touches of bitterness.  “You’d never believe who the father is.”

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