Chapter Three

The next day came soon… Much too soon than I would've liked it to…

The persistent shafts of light kept prodding through the thick curtains of a room quite alien to my swimming eyes, my mind still buried in dreams and reveries of the semi-conscious state I had been in the entire night. Alcohol definitely had bad effects on me—that much was (head-splittingly, if I may say so myself…) quite clear… Even at that time I knew I'd hate hangovers all my life. And to think I hadn't really drunk that much… I was such a wimp…

After all those years of resenting my sister's guts, imagine how pleasant it was to wake up right next to her, the first thing you see in the morning her porcelain-skinned face right in front of yours. Well, obviously at least she had had a better night's sleep than I had…

I blinked several times in a futile attempt to wish her away—what a silly action in itself… trying to wish someone away. I hadn't done such a thing when I was a little kid, yet I was doing it when I was a high school student—is there even a logic explanation to such a thing? Nevermind the senselessness of the entire situation, what mattered was that the vision of her pale expression did not disappear, regardless of the constantly rising amount of times my lids closed over my eyes. Could it be labeled strange that I deduced it would not disappear, no matter how many times I wished it away?

I jolted up from the bed and let the surroundings sink in. I had been awake for about ten minutes and it was then for the first time that I realized that it was not my sister intruding in my private space, using my bed and getting in my way but myself in her room, on her bed and sleeping right next to her for the entire night. I stopped dead in my tracks. When had that happened? However drunk I could have been, I was sure I would have never, under no circumstances, ended up using the same bed to sleep as her.

I shook off the subject and, as subtly as I could, I started for the door and, once I made it safe to my own room, threw myself on the bed's spring flower scented covers. I needed to sleep over the stressing fact of how dangerously close proximity I have come to with my dear sister

I had been lost in a reverie again… I can't remember whether it was a nice one or a bad one… In a second it didn't really matter at all as a very important part of my brain switched into full gear, awaking my sleeping mind which only registered a word—food.

My eyes opened to the sight of my room the way I had left it the previous day. Groaning in annoyance as I sat up I reminded myself never to sleep with my clothes, regardless of the state of tiredness I had reached. It was then that it truly hit me. The splitting headache, the horrible numbing blare of the silence and the dryness of my entire mouth came at me all at once, making it a futile battle to lead. I collapsed back on the bed feeling like I was swallowing sand with each vain gulp.

My nose though, for better or for worse, was working quite fine and I could still smell that beauty in the air. I wasn't hungry, I was thirsty! That's what my mind screamed at me, begging for some common sense, trying to drive me towards the bathroom that was right next door. When my stomach objected with a loud rumble though, another battle was lost. Whatever my sister had cooked was just too much not to go and check upon.

I have no clue how I had made it downstairs in one piece as the stairs are quite steep and the railings aren't much of a help when they reach below your waist but I did it. I saw her standing by the stove, stirring some soup and humming barely audibly to a barely audible melody playing on the powerful stereo in the adjacent spacious living room.

"What are you doing?" I heard my voice terribly hoarse, conveying how drained I myself felt. I hate it when my voice or expressions betray my mood…

"I'm trying to play a good house-wife." I was thankful she had her back to me at that time because otherwise she would've seen me flinch visibly as all my defenses seemed off due to the fatigue caused by the hangover. Somehow putting the words "house" and "wife" next to each other concerning my sister bugged me greatly, for some reason… "Are you hungry?" She looked at me over her shoulder. I think I nodded absent-mindedly and supported myself against the door frame leading to the kitchen. The head ache was killing me…

I had just noticed it at that moment. Her voice was softer than the usual… trying not to worsen my head ache? How noble…

"Ah, right, I almost forgot." She turned on her heel around to face me making an expression that had surely been quite short of fueling her sudden spark of enthusiasm. Still, she prodded on; "You must be very thirsty," hitting the absolute jackpot. It wouldn't be bad if she would do something about it too, I thought. However, when she actually did, I was left with no sarcastic remarks to think of. "Here!" she said and gave me a glassful of something of suspicious pale yellowish colour. "Drink this—it works like a charm."

"What the hell is this?" I grumbled after smelling it. Let's just say it didn't have the aroma of something that made you salivate…

"Sauerkraut juice, from the lady next door," my sister explained vaguely, as if saying that would make my confused expression brighten with recognition. It did not. Moreover…what the hell? "Well, don't just stand there, looking at me like that! Drink it!" she scorned me, turning to the stove again. "It's not as if I had poisoned it or something."

"Sauer… kraut…?" Wasn't that German? It felt odd on my tongue… "How's that supposed to help my head ache?"

"Vegeta, you're really quite inadequate when you first wake up…" She laughed subtly to herself before turning off the hotplate. Well excuse me for not being a happy-go-lucky person when I wake up to a hangover! "It's a remedy for hangovers that works one hundred percent on anyone after any kind of hangover."

"And since when do you know so much about hangovers?" I cocked an eye brow while looking at her. She made that noiseless laugh again. Was she just tired really?

"The fact I had never got drunk doesn't mean I hadn't heard things in school, you know…" She was back to stirring the soup yet again and I took another distrusting look at the sauerkraut juice—was it—in my hand. Shrugging, I figured it couldn't possibly get any worse than it already was and washed all of the contents of the glass down my throat.

I then set the empty glass on the counter deciding there was enough time to do my dishes after I got my strength back.

"Mom and Dad said they won't be back for another week because the deal didn't quite come out the way they wanted it to so they're staying there until things are smoothed out. Since Mom isn't here and we'll have to feed sometime, I figured that the sooner I made something, the better. Here, try it—maybe it can still stay on the stove for a while longer." She then turned to me with a large wooden spoon in hand, full of the hellishly nice smelling liquid that had allured me downstairs and out of my dreamless land in the first place.

"I'll pass," I muttered and made my way to the couch. Was it just me or my head had started to feel slightly better?

My sister wouldn't leave it at that though. She looked at me as if I had done something terribly wrong, with that look full of hurt in her cobalt eyes.

"You still detest my guts, don't you?" she inquired suddenly, catching me quite off-guard (not that I could possibly have any guards up at that moment…). I looked at her as if she had just grown a horn on her body.

"I refuse to eat any of your soup and you… somehow deduce that I can't stand you? Do elaborate," I glared accusingly at her with a carefully weighted amount of skepticism in my gaze… although when you think about it, it had to have been a very inadequate gaze with my eyes swimming as they were…

"It's just the kind of vibe I get from you, I guess…" she looked at her feet guiltily.

"Go get your vibe-receiver fixed then," I concluded, sidestepping her and taking a sip of the soup anyway. The smell was too nice to continue being stubborn about. And after tasting it I knew it wasn't just the smell. My sister could make a terrific cook… but hell if I would tell her that at any point in time. After pleasing her whim, I made my way back to the couch and sat myself back with a low groan, enjoying the comfort the soft couch provided my aching body with.

Bulma was soon to follow, draping her whole upper body over the back of the couch, looking at me over her crossed arms.

"Then why do you still act kind of cold around me if you don't hate me?"

"You ask too many questions on topics you shouldn't push your nose too much into—have mother and father told you that lately?" Couldn't she tell soon I would get very annoyed? Was it that hard not to notice the tone of my voice changing ever so slightly with each pointless question?

"I'm just perplexed is all! I'm sorry, I just don't know how to act around you anymore…" There she was, apologizing again without actually saying those words. It made me want to grab her and hit her against something very hard, repeatedly, until her brain fell back into its place. She was acting like on thin ice whenever around me! You have to understand how annoying that was, as if I would jump her and tear her limb from limb any given moment!

Then again… wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Although I did not do it in a physical way, all her recollections of me are of times I mocked her, or teased her, or called her names. She probably felt intimidated by me and respected me as an older brother in the same time… I couldn't help but notice the tiny pang of guilt sneaking into my mind through some hidden back door. I couldn't even squish it like I liked to do with any other pang of guilt… It just wouldn't go away as long as her pure sapphire eyes were locked with mine…

"I'm yet to get used to your presence… and to the fact that I'm no longer that spoilt brat who went on slapping labels on people before he even got to know them." Her smile that moment… It unsettled me how it seemed to make something inside my chest stir. Before I could muse over it any more though, she leant over her support and kissed my cheek lightly before jumping back to her feet.

"Now that wasn't very difficult, was it? Thanks for the explanation; I'll refrain from pushing you from here on, I promise." She made her way towards the sound system. "I'll leave the soup on the stove for now. I'm going out for a bit." She turned the melody off, turning around to take off.

I was still in partial shock when I heard myself calling her back…

"Yeah?" she waited patiently for what I wanted of her.

"Don't turn it off… it doesn't… bother me…" It was odd how wonderful and careless everything felt and how this coziness that engulfed me made me struggle with my words. I now noticed my headache was completely gone. I absent-mindedly pondered whether Bulma would understand what I was saying… She didn't even know me even though we were close siblings… She wasn't obliged to attend to every whim of mine after all…

Through what seemed like a thick fog the accords of the gentle lulling melody started again, barely reaching me. So… she had indeed understood… my way of saying what I liked…

When I opened my eyes next, I was lying with my back on the couch, something soft covering my whole body. It took some time for my eyes to get accustomed to the semi-darkness of the room. I looked at the illuminated pad of the DVD system below the large TV screen—five thirty or so. Why was it so dark then? I shrugged the topic off with not-so-surprising indifference and brought myself into a sitting position on the sofa.

Ever since I had been a child, I had been able to control what I dreamt about. However, this time the case was different. I had had neither control over my dreams nor did I remember what I had dreamt about. Then again, I didn't much care what I dreamt about any other day, so why was I still thinking of such a nonsensical topic?

My eyes suddenly darted on what seemed their own accord and glued to the blanket that had been covering me the entire time I slept. It was just then that I noticed there was a pillow as well. I couldn't help the appearance of my frown. Why had she come back to do that, I thought she had said she was leaving?

Why was she so caring towards me in the first place? Family or no family, no Briefs ever bore than kind of treatment from anybody… so why did she? She's just as much of a short-tempered person as I am, and just as proud for that matter too—I could tell by the simple gestures of her body. So why the hell was she always so careful around me, why did she insist on doing things for me? What did she care about how friendly our relationship was? So what, there are other families in which brothers and sisters really can't bear to stay in the same room together for more than a few minutes. What was that to her? I had been a selfish little brat to her my entire life and yet, here she was, trying to redeem for my mistakes.

It angered me, to be quite frank. What drove me so crazy with fury, however, wasn't the fact she was going all girly and sisterly on me after so many years—I didn't really care much about that. What mattered was that she made me feel guilty—guilty for the way I had treated her, guilty for the way I avoided her eyes, guilty for the way I still couldn't get used to her presence in my life as something other than a nuisance. What infuriated me even more was that she excused herself, with gestures and body language, every time she did something that didn't seem to quite suit my whim… making me feel terrible for not apologizing for something far more horrible I had done to her repeatedly—terrorizing her throughout her entire childhood. It made me disgusted with myself… it made me feel like a villain…

I had always hated it when people like her use my own thoughts against myself… It was probably one of the reasons I had always despised her. It was perhaps something in the way our parents always stood up for her, even if it meant going against their own son. Why couldn't they see that she was the real manipulator, whether she did it on purpose or not? She manipulated them her entire stay here and she manipulated me now!

Something rather heavy hit the windowpane but I decided to ignore it. Capsule Corporation was the hugest company on Earth; it was only normal for inferior's children to come around and try to play pranks on us. How revolting lower classes were…

I hated her but at the same time I couldn't possibly hate her… She treated me as if she idolized me, as if I was some sort of higher existence on whose approval her life depended on. It felt so weird and so goddamn nice at the same time… knowing that someone looked up to you, even though all your bad deeds to them in the past. It was so odd… I couldn't understand a thing about that girl.

The tapping on the window continued but I still did a great job ignoring it.

I know people said sisters were a strange kin but this went beyond my imagination. It was perhaps some sort of worship that I would never understand… or was it plain respect for someone older and stronger than you? That was another concept I didn't quite comprehend, for—sure—I respected my father but had never felt much intimidated than him after graduating from elementary school. I had never even needed his guidance nor protection throughout most of my conscious life… I felt him too much of an enemy for siding with my sister on every goddamn issue.

All this thinking was getting me nowhere… I still wasn't sure how I felt towards my sister and still had no ideas how to act around her. Being uncomfortable around someone was alien to me and things which were alien to me annoyed me terribly. And when I got annoyed, things got really out of hand once I lose my temper…

With a feral growl I launched myself for the window to see who was bothering me. I was just getting ready to beat some sniveling kid to a bloody pulp when I noticed how dark the sky was… and what huge ice pieces were falling from it.

It was raining cats and dogs outside. The violent gale disturbed the trees' rest and carried some of their more unendurable leaves in fascinating whirlwinds. The hailstorm was something quite normal for a summer in this part of the globe and our hailstorms were usually quite hostile.

But when you're safe inside a dome in which no burglar could possibly break into, you didn't much care about hailstorms. So, shrugging the topic off, I made my way for the sound system and turned my music on and turned the volume up so the irritating tapping would be drowned out. I'm not sure what I would've done if those ice cubes had broken a window but I'm sure I would've gone very mad.

I walked towards the kitchen in a mission to find something drinkable to appease my thirst. I was surprised to find the soup my sister had cooked still on the stove. Stupid girl… She had time to cover me but didn't have time for her own work?

Speaking of my sister… where the hell was she? Why were all the lights in Capsule Corporation out? There wasn't a chance of her still being outside… right?

Suddenly, like an unwanted guest another alien emotion crept in my chest—it was what people probably called dread. If you were a petite female like her, one of those ice cubes hitting your head would be enough to knock you out. What if she really was as stupid as I had always claimed her to be and was roaming around now, unaware of what could happen to her? What would mother and father say if they came back home to find their precious little "pumpkin" on a sick bed? I didn't want to find out what their reaction would be…

Grabbing my jacket from the hanger by the door, I went out and looked around, taking in my surroundings. Perhaps she was somewhere on Capsule Corporation grounds…

Sure enough, my luck started working for me, the gods probably smiling down at my senseless worry. The storage building's lights were on and I could almost see her there, sitting on the threshold with her head on her hands, staring at the sky. Taking an umbrella was useless—it would only ruin it and it would serve as no help at all. That's why I took off my jacket and ran through the storm with it as a shield for my head.

Bulma looked surprised to see me there once I stepped over the outer sliding doors.

"Vegeta? What are you doing here?"

"Why are you out?" I scorned immediately, feeling the urge to vent some of this weirdly bred anger. "Didn't you see a storm like this coming from a mile?"

"Dad told me he needed me to do him a favour and fetch his cat's special food once the other packet is gone. I couldn't just not do it! I'd be a disappointment!" I tried to ignore the other clench of my chest her words had caused.

"You'd be an even greater disappointment if they found you lying unconscious in your bed! Is a stupid pet's special food that important?" She looked weirdly at me.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm the one staying under solid roof until the storm passes and you are the one racing here with nothing but your thin jacket. Am I wrong?" I didn't retort to that but I felt a bit stupid. She was quite right. Why had I gone there in the first place? I had seen her secure under the protection of the solid storage building's walls. Was I—gulp—worried she would go off somewhere while I wasn't watching? I noticed her laugh. "Vegeta, you're really so weird. I can't believe I made you blush with just that!"

My mouth hung open at that.

"You did not!" I objected, sitting next to her, looking outraged.

"Am I the one who sees your face or you?"

"Am I the one making faces or you?"

"You hate to lose an argument, don't you?" she asked with a foxy grin. I glared intensely. So what if I did?

"I have lost none to you," I clarified, crossing my arms over my chest.

"That doesn't change the fact you blushed a second ago."

"I did not!" I glared intensely at her as if she had just said something unforgivable. Well, she actually had. Vegeta Briefs did not blush— under any circumstance! It was insane even toying with the idea because it would not happen!

"You're right, you didn't." I stared at her as if she had just confessed how mad she was. "But you're quite flushed now that you're all worked up." She laughed when I let out another enraged primordial growl. Was she actually having fun pissing me off? She knew how short-tempered I was—didn't she know not to play with fire? It gave quite nasty burns and the fires of my temper were ones you would never want to truly provoke. Wait a second… we had just announced a truce after a decade of war and she dared to dance on my nerves just yet? Why I ought to… "Come on, don't be sour. It's been a while since I've had someone to really argue with." Now that she mentioned it, I too hadn't had a fight in a long time. Yet I would be damned if I informed her about that!

"You just don't know your place, do you?" I grumbled, lying on my back on the cold cement of the front of the building.

"You're right… I probably don't…"

It was just the start to an awkward half-hour utter silence…

There must be some trick to silence. There must be something that makes it so alluring, so comforting and absolute… There must be a secret to its soothing nature, a reason for it being the one thing you need when you're fed up with every one and everything.

"Vegeta! Vegeta!"

I revere silence and placidity more than anything else. It keeps me calm and stable. It prevents any mood swings on my part and provides shelter for my screwed up mind. It provided a refuge in knowing that there was no one else around, that no one was bugging me, that no one could find out how fucked up my mind actually was…

"Vegeta, come downstairs to dinner already!"

However with all this screaming my obnoxious mother was doing all my peace and quiet was quite lost. And, judging by the way this was going, she wouldn't stop any time soon if I didn't oblige with her wishes. Sometimes I can almost swear she's trying to enforce good habits upon me, as if I can't do it myself. It's not as if I need her to feed me—I can feed myself with the leftovers from their dinner. Does she just have to be so loud when she tries?

"About time you came down, honey. I was getting worried about you." She made one of those ridiculous expressions of hers that one can't quite place—it was something between parodied worry and slight concern. Purely ridiculous, as I already mentioned—couldn't anyone actually tell her that?

"You were getting worried that I hung myself by my wire lamp? Come on, mother, you're being ludicrous and you know it."

"Oh, my…" she muttered and put a hand to her cheek. I rolled my eyes, knowing perfectly well what was coming next after such an expression on her part. I sighed heavily. Three, two, one…

"Why that is no way to talk to your mother, young man!" Father paused reading his newspaper to scorn me. I refrained from retorting to that. I knew it would only get me in deeper trouble—why waste my breath then? They didn't understand. They would never understand. What was the use of trying to explain then?

"Vegeta, dear," gee, it certainly didn't take her long to forget… "We need you to go buy several things from the nearest sponsoring workshop. Your father is a bit short on material and he said he's making one of his best products yet, so you have to go buy the parts he needs, okay?" He always says he's working on his best project ever and the next one always ends up being better. I'm not sure whether I should be happy for him or if I should curse him for always using me to do his dirty work.

Sure, the real geniuses and celebrities never went out to do every day things and seeing Dr. Briefs in a workshop would probably be an outrage… but it wasn't as if he was constantly in the spotlight. In fact, if we have to be frank, he's one of the few people that are allowed to have their privacy and space in order to continue making people's lives easier. So—coming to the subject at hand—why was he making me buy his stuff?

"Yeah, whatever…" I muttered half-heartedly, still pondering how someone as smart as my father couldn't figure out why his own son was displeased with him while my mother passed me some things. By what I cared enough to listen to, it should have been several capsules to carry the parts in as well as some money to buy them with.

Dinner we mostly spent in listening to mother raving on and on about her flowers, how much of a disaster her latest tea party had been and such of the sort, things no one really cared about.

"Bulma, honey," father stopped my sister when she intended to excuse herself from the table. "Your mother and I need to talk to you about something after supper." Bulma looked puzzled but didn't complain and waited until our parents were finished with their dinner so she could hear them out.

I, on the other hand, had better things to do, so I decided taking off right away in order to rid myself of the tedious task at hand was the best course of action. I collected everything mother had given me and made my way out.

I have no recollection of how much I had spent walking by myself. No more than ten minutes as I had passed just several blocks before a running Bulma caught up to me. I threw her a not-so-curious glance but upon seeing she was not in the mood to be interrogated didn't ask. It was none of my concern anyway—whatever they had told her was her problem and her problem alone.

"So we're going to Bardock's?" she inquired in a while, probably once her emotions had settled down.

"That's what we're doing." I'm sure I looked bored because I felt bored… I felt bored silly… bored out of my mind… and just so goddamn fed up with the old man and his radical way of doing things, regardless of what kind they were! He was just so… ugh! And then they go ahead and ask me why I'm looking at my parents as if they had done me some horrible wrong! Well, they have, you know!

"Why do we have to go do this when he can just send some of his robots to do it for him?"

"That's because you obviously decided it would be a good idea to tag along while I do as I have been ordered to." I glared at her from the corner of my eye. "And, no, I don't like to take orders but when it's them, I don't get a choice now, do I?"

"I wasn't going to comment on that…" I barely heard it as she grumbled it beneath her breath but I still caught it.

"Like hell you weren't…" I returned the favour.

"That still doesn't answer the question why you." Why, what would you know…? For the first time the two of us are on the same opinion. And namely—why the hell me?

"It's because abusing machines is no fun. Abusing your own children is much better."

She laughed at that—she actually laughed. It disturbed me… how much the sound stirred that strange thing in my chest… Was it the guilt of having tormented her up to this part of her life? I didn't know… but it made me feel awful for feeling it for some reason…

"Sounds fair enough," she deduced and took in her surroundings, giving me a chance to do so too. "Although dad didn't make me go buy parts for his inventions, mom didn't give me much rest while you were away either." There was an odd touch of sadness on her face. "They just go and order us around while they're rarely ever here… I hate that about them…"

I was a bit taken aback by her little confession. It was the first time I had heard her talking about such a powerful emotion like hate. Then again, I didn't know much about her in the first place and didn't know her to begin with, but that didn't really matter anyway…

"It's what they are. You've probably grown used to it already anyway; you just don't know it yet."

"There are some things you can never grow used to, no matter how often they repeat themselves." I would've liked to object to that… but I refrained from doing so as I would have had to exemplify my points by expressing some of my intimate and most private emotions… and although she seemed like a nice kid and there was the fact she was a sister of mine, I didn't trust her entirely. To me she was just a girl that lived in the same house—I didn't feel a bond between us of any kind – neither friendly nor a sibling one.

For I had grown used to feeling the flames of hate for the people I had a moral responsibility of loving for bringing me up. I should've felt bad for feeling that way but I had grown used to not having any conscience as well. I had grown used to the fact no one understood me and never would, or even wouldn't try to understand. Was loneliness one of the things she thought was impossible to grow used to? If it was, she was wrong again.

After a huge pause dedicated to simply walking in perfect tranquil silence, she finally spoke again. "Does being away from them change anything?" From her tone of voice I could tell she was being quite serious in her question. A serious question required a serious answer so I gave it some thought. Had anything changed while I had been away?

"It makes you see everything in its true colours, I would rather say."

"So… it's a good thing?" She was biting her bottom lip, like a child who had done something wrong and didn't want to get punished.

"Since when do you think of things in terms of "good" and "bad"?" I asked with a tone of amusement in my voice. The last time I could recall using those terms was… I can't even remember that far back, but middle school had certainly taught me a few things about "good" and "bad".

"Is it?" she insisted, making me roll my eyes.

"The reason only kids use these terms is because they don't understand how abstract they actually are. It depends on what you think is "bad" and "good"." I looked at her from the corner of my eye again to see her inhaling in order to object again. "However it certainly helps you find out more about yourself. If you want to get to know yourself better there is no harm in spending a few character building months, or even a year, away from this hell hole," I added before she could scorn me again for dodging her question. She submerged in thoughts again, adopting that weird look on her face again.

"What did you find out about yourself, Vegeta?" she asked all of a sudden, startling me. I stared at her as if she had just committed an unforgivable crime in front of my very eyes. I considered for an evanescent moment in time telling her about finding out how selfish I was… how stupid and conceited I was… how much of an ungrateful brat I was… how I could care less about having no conscience at all… Instead I smirked darkly to myself.

"Only bad things are what I found when I looked inside myself…" I murmured to myself.

"What? I didn't hear you…" she said with a thoughtful frown. I shook my head. It's a good thing she didn't…

"We're here," I announced as I stepped over the threshold with a large stride, leaving her behind a bit. She pouted and scurried in after me, moaning and complaining all the while,

"Come on, Vegeta, what did you find out?"

"When I raced out of home I didn't suspect this child abuse business included such bonuses," Bulma said and laughed to herself while we sat atop a hill overlooking the entire city. It was a beautiful and calming place… one of those that made you feel oddly at home and comforted you whenever you feel like you need something…

I didn't honour the statement with a retort. Instead I just stared ahead, enjoying the subtle zephyr caressing my skin.

"You know…" she began uncertainly, glancing nervously at me ever so often while she struggled with her words. "What mom and dad talked to me about was…" She fumbled with the rim of her t-shirt. "They told me about this boarding school…"

Ah, boarding school. Don't we all just love it? Or more like don't we all enjoy the precious time away from parents that it provided us with?

"They said some acquaintance of theirs, someone very reliable, told them that it was perfect for what I wanted to study… It's just a tad bit better than this town's high school but still a bit better… and…" Was I doing something wrong? Was I getting in the way somehow? Otherwise I could see no coherent reason to be so nervous around me. "They asked me to think about moving…"

"And why exactly are you worried about that?"

"I wonder…"

Her depressed face was unbearable. I rolled my eyes in irritation.

"Which school are they sending you off to?" I hoped I was as good at feigning interest as I was in hiding my emotions.

"Silver High… or something like that…"

"It's a nice school." She looked weirdly at me. The fact I was a dysfunctional brother figure didn't mean I couldn't have my good moments, right? "Everyone who transferred from there was a smart person. They're just your type of people. You'll fit in in no time." I could almost visibly see her ears perking up at my words.

"My type of people, you say? And just what do you think are my type of people?" I stood up from the green grass, dusting myself off as I did so. She had to pick the most inapt thing to ask about… I had said that in a torrent—it didn't mean anything to itself. It wasn't intended as a sneer or as a compliment. She didn't need to make any sweeping generalizations about my opinion of her. Hell, I didn't have an opinion about her yet—I didn't even know her, for Christ's sake!

"Let's go back to that dump. They're probably getting worried about you after you ran off on them like that." I made my way down the side of the hill with the capsules heavy in my pocket. She looked swept before jumping to her feet and following me suit unless she wanted to get lost.

"How did you know I ran out when they told me?"

"It's just the kind of vibe I get from you when you talk about it." I smirked at her over my shoulder making her flush.

While we fought for balance down the hillside, she couldn't help her curiosity. "Come on, Vegeta, tell me at least that! What kind of person do you think I am? Vegeta… Vegeta! Wait for me!"

The next few weeks were much of a blur. I didn't manage to overcome the oddness of being around Bulma… and she wasn't helping by always bringing up her depart. She just kept asking me things… weird things… unconnected things. I felt strange every time she did but she wouldn't stop even if I tried to tell her discretely that I wasn't content with her endless questioning—that consisted of cutting her mid-sentence to tell her to shut up or in slamming the door after exiting the room which she presided.

However, one day, there was no letting go.

"I'm still not sure about Silver High…" I rolled my eyes in utter annoyance. Here it went again…

"That is entirely your concern."

"What do you think I should do?"

"Don't you have your girlfriends to do that for you? I thought that was what you girls were all about when you're together."

"My friends don't really care about those things…" She looked guiltily away after that, making me sigh away some of my irritation. This girl was impossible… Couldn't she get a hint?

"What makes you think that I care?"

"I don't know…" She was toying with the rim of her clothes again. Oh, no, I wouldn't be manipulated again. Not this time, sister—I was beyond that now. Who did she think she was, anyway?

"What do you want me to tell you every time you ask this? "Please, don't go"? "I want you to stay with me"? You think that our brother-sister relationship is that strong? Hell, I don't even know you. What do you want me to say to a complete stranger?" She stared vacuously at me with that meaningful cerulean gaze of hers. Then she stood up, gathering that book she had been writing into—her diary?—before she made her way for the door.

"I don't want you to do anything… nothing at all…"

And she left me there, to myself and my thoughts, wondering if I had gone a bit too far…

Slowly but certainly, the summer days crept to a close. The grass was slowly losing its bright greenness, the trees' leaves were adorning with different colours… and the time came for my sister to finally leave for Silver High.

It was weird how most of the time it was just one of us staying in Capsule Corporation with our parents… Maybe it was fate, I had deduced, for us never to get to know each other. And perhaps it was for the best, I had tried to assure myself. And I had believed that, until the very last moment.

"Everything's in the cab, dear," father announced and hugged and kissed her. "Have a safe trip now and be a good girl for daddy, alright?"

"Sure…" she muttered absent-mindedly. Mother was brushing her teary eyes with a napkin. It was all so uselessly melodramatic… It wasn't as if she wasn't ever coming back. She was going to be back in less than a year for the next summer vacation, God damn it! They acted as if they would never see her again!

Once she was done saying her good-byes to our parents, her cobalt eyes bore into me. When our gazes met, I felt something surge through me and stab me in the chest. This time I was sure it was guilt and pity… as the subtle torment I met in her eyes could only beget such emotions. What made me feel even more uncomfortable was the fact that the reason for that grief written in her gaze was not only caused by her departing… There was another reason which I couldn't quite see… a much more important reason, a much serious reason which had reduced her to this quiet, reserved shell of her former self. Thinking that it could've probably been my fault for her being this way, another lance of guilt shot through my chest but I shook the regret off.

No! It just wasn't meant to be! We weren't supposed to be close siblings! Not now, not ever—we were just too incompatible!

Her last lingering glance my way, however, left me under a spell while she climbed in the back seat of the car and told the driver where to go.

Was this really alright…? Just leaving like this… without saying good-bye to each other…? Was it really alright being separated again before we even got to know each other? Was it really not meant to be…? Or I was just looking for a reason to pardon my awkwardness around her… and the fact that I was somehow… ashamed of speaking to her… thinking that my parents would chastise me if I tainted her purity in any way—with my words, with my views on life, with my presence… Was it really alright to hide behind false pretenses in order not to make sure whether someone so important to your family would like you or not…? Was it really okay… to be such a coward like me…?

In a yellow automobile, far away from the Breifs family now, a teenage girl sat in the back of a car, her petite body raked with sobs and her ears mute to the driver asking her if she was alright. All she could do was hiccup loudly and gasp for air while she rubbed the tears that endlessly fell from her eyes. She just couldn't stop them for some reason… she felt as if she had just lost something very precious… that as she had driven off, she had left a part of her within Capsule Corporation's walls…

Taking off her sandals, the girl pulled her knees to her body and hugged herself by her shoulders, burying her head between her knees and arms in order to stifle the wails that she couldn't help. She cried and cried until emotional emptiness was all she could recognize…

I am so terribly sorry about the lateness of this update. I was really buried with work. I hope that the length of the chapter and the contents make up for it. Next chapter I'll try to make a bit better still though. I hope someone would still read and review… I'll do my best to write the next chapter sooner. Please try to understand and don't hate me too bad for it. Thanks in advance!

I hope the story managed to convey Vegeta's feelings of Bulma at the current stage of their relationship. It will be a very complex thing from here on but I hope you're curious enough to stick around and find out! I promise you won't be disappointed! I mean it when I say this is the best fic I will have ever written!