Title: The Making of Me
Premise, or Lack Thereof: Vegeta finds himself being asked about the birds and the bees
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization.
Vegeta froze in mid-punch, hoping that he didn’t hear what he thought he heard.
“Where did I come from, Dad?” Trunks repeated. “Tell me.”
Bulma had warned Vegeta that one day he would be asked that question.
“Be honest,” she told him, “but be tactful.”
“Because he’ll probably ask you that question at an age when he’s not ready to handle a straight answer.”
“Then why the hell would he want to know?”
“Children are—well, curious. They want a sense of identity, of belonging.”
“And I have to explain to him how—” Vegeta gave Bulma a meaningful look; she nodded. “How am I supposed to do that?”
She threw up her hands. “I don’t know! Just think of something. Anything.”
“And you’re sure he’ll ask me.”
Bulma sighed. “Probably. And soon.”
Vegeta did not look forward to the inevitable conversation with his son.
“Come on, Dad.” Trunks insisted. “Tell me.”
“Well,” Vegeta began, not quite knowing what to say.
“Your mother and I,” Vegeta paused again. What was he supposed to tell his son? “We—” Trunks waited, expectant. Vegeta closed his eyes and massaged his sinuses, trying to find the right words.
“Dad, you’re stalling.” Vegeta felt his anger rising. He was the Prince of the Saiyans and the greatest warrior in the universe—next to Kakarot, of course—yet his own son rendered him speechless. He gritted his teeth, suppressing the urge to throw Trunks into the gravity room and beat some sense into him.
“Your mother wants me to be ‘honest but tactful’.” He muttered in his native language. “How the hell am I supposed to do that?”
“What did you say?” Trunks asked, perplexed. His father seemed to be making a strange growling noise, and saying something he couldn’t understand.
“Huh?” Vegeta opened one eye and looked at his son.
“I said, ‘What did you say?'”
Then Vegeta remembered that Trunks did not speak the Saiyan language. He should have taught the boy, but never bothered to. He sighed. “Nothing of importance.”
“Well, you still haven’t told me where I came from yet,” Trunks pouted.
“Couldn’t you wait a while?” Vegeta pleaded. Like a few years, maybe?
“No; I want to know NOW.”
For a moment the tension between father and son was palpable.
“Tomorrow,” Vegeta pronounced one syllable at a time, so as not to shout. “And that’s final,” he added when Trunks began to protest.
“He asked me today,” Vegeta announced to Bulma as she was changing that night.
“Did you tell him?” No answer. “Well?”
Vegeta lost his patience. “What the hell do I tell him? I can’t exactly say that—”
“—you screwed my brains out about a million times and one of those times I got pregnant?”
Vegeta raised an eyebrow. “I can give you an exact number, if you wish.”
Bulma rolled her eyes. “Only a pervert like you would remember something like that.”
Vegeta chuckled, but grew solemn again. “Seriously, though, why can’t I just tell him?”
“He’s only eight years old!”
“So? I knew long before that!”
“Human children don’t handle things like this as well!”
“Trunks isn’t human,” Vegeta reminded her.
You’ve got that right, Bulma wanted to say, but thought better of it. “He’s half human,” she pointed out instead. Vegeta didn’t reply. “If it’s really that hard for you, I’ll tell him.”
“You’re a regular life-saver.” Vegeta’s tone was not quite sarcastic.
That night Vegeta, no matter how hard he tried, could not fall asleep. He didn’t understand the conflicting feelings within him: half of him wanted to tell the brat the whole story and get it over with, but the other half wanted to protect his son—his only son. He couldn’t see what harm it would do to tell the boy his origins; then again, Vegeta was reluctant to tell Trunks what happened between him and Bulma to produce the purple-haired wonder. Not that he didn’t know, of course; not only did he know how Bulma got pregnant, he also knew when—down to the minute and the hour. Perhaps that was why Bulma warned him to be—what did she say?—”tactful”. Vegeta ground his teeth in frustration.
The next morning was not a usual one: Trunks was eager to get up. Any other day Bulma had to pry him out of bed and rush him through breakfast so that he would be ready to leave when Goten came to pick him up. Today, though, Trunks was already wolfing down a bowl of cereal when Bulma walked into the kitchen.
“My, you’re up early today,” she observed.
“Asleep.” For the first time in Bulma’s life, it seemed, Vegeta was not awake before her. He was dozing fitfully when the alarm clock rang, but didn’t stir—not even when Bulma got out of bed.
“Dad sleeps?” Trunks facevaulted. He, too, had never even seen Vegeta show any indication that he needed rest.
“I had no idea that he did, either,” Bulma laughed.
Perhaps because Trunks was up so early, he was quite hungry.
“More, please,” he held his bowl out to Bulma for a seventh helping.
“You’re going to eat me out of house and home, Trunks,” Bulma prepared him another serving. She would have to go shopping again to stock up on supplies. She wondered if Chi-Chi would be free to go with her; shopping in pairs always seemed more pleasant.
“I’m full,” Trunks declared with satisfaction after two more platefuls.
“Good. Go get your things and put on your shoes; for once don’t let Goten-kun wait for you.”
“But, Mother—” Bulma gave him an ‘obey-me-or-else’ look. Trunks didn’t want to find out what the ‘or else’ was; he got everything ready in a flash.
“Go outside and wait for Goten.”
“Mom—” Trunks gave her a pleading look. Dad promised! He wanted to shout. He said he would tell me today!
“Hurry up, or you’ll be late.”
“Aww, Ma—” Trunks protested. He knew he could never argue with his mother, but today was different: he just had to find out what his father was so unwilling to tell him.
“Goten’s almost here,” Bulma shooed her son out the door.
Vegeta opened his eyes and tried not to let the blinding light squeeze them shut again. He couldn’t remember when he fell asleep—or if he fell asleep at all. He groaned as he forced himself out of bed; he felt as if he were in the practice room with the gravity turned up all the way. He staggered into the bathroom, where he splashed some cold water on his face to wake himself up. He picked up his razor, then put it back down. Was the stubble on his face worth all the trouble of a shave? Stroking his face and looking into the mirror, Vegeta considered growing a mustache. All he had to do was remember how stupid Nappa looked to decide against one. He filled the sink with water, lathered his face with shaving cream, picked up his razor, and began to shave, being careful not to cut himself.
Bulma was still cleaning up after her son when Vegeta walked out of his room.
“You’re finally up!” She exclaimed. Vegeta ignored her and went to the refrigerator. “Don’t bother; Trunks ate almost everything this morning.”
“That’s all right; I haven’t eaten wolf for a while anyway,” Vegeta joked. Bulma shuddered.
“Ugh. Please don’t remind me.”
“At least I’m not a picky eater.”
“No, you’re not,” Bulma put the last dishes into the cabinet. “I’m going shopping. Care to join me?”
“If Kakarot’s mate isn’t coming.”
“You still mad at her for breaking up your little sparring session?”
(A few weeks ago, Vegeta had taken Trunks and Goten into the gravity room to ‘train’. Chi-Chi, furious that Vegeta had dared to interrupt Goten’s studying, had stormed into the room and almost rendered him deaf with her tirade.)
“That woman thinks that she can ‘civilize’ her half-breed son.”
“Well, it worked, didn’t it?”
“For Gohan, maybe. But Goten is not as obedient or studious as his elder brother.”
Bulma picked up the phone. “I’ll just call her to see if she’s available,” she dialed Chi-Chi’s number. Even though the Son house was in the middle of the woods, where Goku used to live as a little boy, it has all the modern conveniences: water, electricity, and most importantly, a phone line. “Hello? Chi-Chi, this is Bulma. I’m going shopping for some food. You want to go?” She paused for an answer. “Oh, really? Too bad. That’s all right. See ya.” She hung up and turned to Vegeta. “Get dressed, Vegeta. Chi-Chi can’t come today.”
In reality, the sole contribution Vegeta ever made on these shopping trips was to carry the tremendous amount of food necessary to feed the family. Most of the time, he just followed Bulma around and sulked. Until a while ago, he would even refuse to try on any clothes that Bulma picked out for him.
“You can’t go around wearing the same outfit all your life!” Bulma had exclaimed when Vegeta objected for the umpteenth time.
“Why not?!?” He demanded.
“What will you wear when I do the laundry?” She countered. “A loincloth?”
Even though that didn’t seem like a such a bad idea, Vegeta had given in—with great reluctance—but seldom accompanied Bulma when she went out. At least this time, they were just buying food.
“There isn’t enough time for me to go home and make you lunch,” Bulma said, glancing at her watch when they had made it to the checkout line. “Why don’t we try out the new restaurant that opened last week?”
“I don’t want to eat the place out of business.”
Bulma laughed. Son-kun did that once, she remembered with a fond smile. Poor Master Roshi had to use all of his prize money to pay the bill. Taking a look at her own bill, Bulma was glad she was the richest woman in the world; how else could she pay for food enough to feed several small nations?
Vegeta did not eat the restaurant out of business; in fact, he ate very little at all—that is, compared to how much he ate otherwise. He picked at his food, only putting a little into his mouth every once in a while.
“You must be really worried, Vegeta,” Bulma noted. “You’ve hardly touched your food.”
“I only have another four hours or so to try to think of something to tell Trunks. Of course I wouldn’t exactly be starving right now,” Vegeta answered, feeling testy. Wiping his mouth with the napkin, which he considered to be another unnecessary task forced onto him by Bulma, he stood up.
“Where are you going?”
Bulma knew what that really meant: both of them were to leave. “You sure you don’t want any more?” She asked pointing to the leftovers. Leftovers?
By the time Vegeta finished helping Bulma put away all of the food, it was two o’clock in the afternoon. As Bulma was storing the leftovers from lunch, and still not believing what she was seeing, he sat down in the living room for a while, then got up and began pacing.
“Will you stop that?” Bulma crossed her arms. “You’re starting to make me nervous.”
“Good,” but Vegeta sat down nonetheless. A few moments later, he got up again. “I can’t stay in this house for another minute.”
Bulma gave a start. Vegeta was not the kind of person that would run away; he must be concerned about what to do.
“Wait! When will you be back?”
But he was already gone.
Hours passed; Vegeta still hadn’t returned.
“I’m home!” Trunks announced, kicking off his shoes and dumping his back pack onto the sofa. No one replied. “Dad?” Trunks called. “Where are you?” Still no answer. “Dad! You promised!” Trunks ran through the house looking for his father. Instead, he found Bulma, reading a book in her room. “Mom!” He wailed.
Bulma looked up from her book. “What’s the matter, dear?”
Trunks told her the whole story. “He said he would tell me today. But I can’t find him everywhere!”
Bulma put her book down and looked at her son. “Do you really want to know where you came from?”
“Um-hmm,” Trunks nodded.
Bulma thought hard for a while, then smiled, knowing what to tell him. “A long time ago,” she began, pulling him closer. “Your father gave me a wonderful present. And that present was you.”
Trunks eyes opened wide. “Really?” He asked, amazed. Bulma nodded. “Cool! Thanks, Mom!” He shouted. “I wonder why Dad was so secretive about it.”
“You’ll understand when you’re older.” Bulma smiled again. “Now, don’t you have some homework to do?”
For a long time Vegeta just flew, not knowing where to go. Tired of wandering, he landed beside a lake in a forest. Before he moved in with Bulma, he used to come here to eat, swim, or just think. Picking a place where he would be in the shade, Vegeta sat down and leaned against a tree. He remembered the first time he saw the young man from the future that was his son. He wondered if that Trunks ever asked Bulma where he came from, and what she told him.
Your father? He was a pretentious bastard that was too proud to tell me that he loved me, and a stubborn fool who let his pride take him to his death.
The conflict within Vegeta’s mind still wasn’t resolved; he knew he should go home, but whenever he tried to get up another part of him forced him back down. The more he thought about it, the more he dreaded it.
Vegeta sat there until dusk. The setting sun dyed the sky and the lake magnificent colors, but he was in no mood to watch. When it got fully dark, Vegeta went hunting; he like he did at lunch, not even noticing or caring what he killed.
Even though Vegeta’s, Goten’s, and Trunks’ tails never grew back, everyone agreed not to restore the moon, just in case. The glittering stars provided very little light, and as Vegeta made his way back to the lake he bumped into someone.
“Vegeta? What are you doing out here at a time like this?” It was Fortuneteller Baba, the creepy sister of the perverted Master Roshi. She could predict the future and also bring people back from the dead for 24 hours by her arcane arts. In other words, not the kind of person one wanted to meet in the middle of the night.
Vegeta mumbled an apology and went on his way.
“Having a bit of family trouble?”
Vegeta stopped. “None of your business,” he snapped, and kept going.
“You can’t avoid the inevitable by running away,” she called, her voice carrying in the dark. “And you can’t run away forever.”
Vegeta stopped again. The crone was right was right; sooner or later he had to tell Trunks his ‘origins’, and if he didn’t, Bulma would, and heaven knows what she would say.
“Go home, Vegeta,” the old lady advised him. “Your wife is worrying about you.”
The house was quiet when Vegeta returned. Trunks was asleep—or at least seemed to be—a quick peek into his room would verify this beyond a doubt.
Even though Trunks’ energy signature was low and even, like it always was when he was asleep, Vegeta was still a bit afraid to open the door. Was his son waiting inside to ambush him?
Vegeta shook his head. The great Saiyan Prince afraid of his own son.
Still, when your son is a half-breed brat who can turn Super Saiyan without being angry—and Trunks had plenty reason to be angry—just the thought of what might happen can be quite unnerving.
Vegeta looked: Trunks was snoring. Before Vegeta could stop himself, a small sigh of relief escaped from his lips. It was strange, though, that Trunks would be willing to go to bed; not even Bulma could persuade her son to do a thing when he was in the middle of a temper tantrum. Vegeta was still wondering what could have happened when he went to his room.
Bulma noticed the puzzled look on his face.
“Something the matter, Vegeta?” She asked.
“Given what happened today—or, perhaps I should say, didn’t happen—he would be raving mad. But he’s sound asleep.”
Well, Bulma thought, he’s not you. “Since you weren’t there to tell him, I did.”
Vegeta’s jaw dropped. “You didn’t—”
Bulma shook her head. “I told him that you gave him to me, as a present. Which is true—to a point.”
Vegeta smiled. “Yes, you could certainly say so,” he frowned again. “But it’s not exactly the truth, either.”
Bulma shrugged. “It’ll satisfy him for the time being.”
Vegeta considered this. “That is not enough; I’ll have to tell him the whole story,” He decided. “When he’s older, of course,” he added, noticing the look of alarm on Bulma’s face.
The couple got into bed and turned off the lights. Vegeta turned towards Bulma and pulled her into his arms.
“I had no idea being a father would be so difficult,” he mumbled, kissing her neck.
“Well,” Bulma replied, squirming as Vegeta moved on top of her, “that’s what happens when you’re not careful.”
“Oh, I’m careful,” Vegeta reassured her, unbuttoning her nightgown. “I’m always very careful.”
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
I had written this story after I read the part of Katchan’s Saiyan: A Dragon Ball Withdrawl Whim (unfortunately lost to the depths of the internet) where Bulma discovers that Vegeta more or less made her pregnant when he wanted her to (which, in retrospect, is incredibly creepy, but at the time I was a dumb teenager so I didn’t realize the implications). Well, gears started turning, and out came this story. Looking back, I realized that I subconsciously made Vegeta quite human: feeling uncomfortable with telling Trunks about ‘the birds and the bees’, shaving (which, by the way, is a sneaky DBGT reference to Vegeta’s horrendous mustache), going shopping with Bulma, losing his appetite over worry, etc. I’d like to think that writing this story was what got me to thinking that Vegeta could be more than the jerk that he usually is. (Of course, later on I changed my mind again, but that’s another story.)