Not Who She Expected


Disclaimer: Characters and settings are the property of Akira Toriyama, I'm just borrowing them because Vegeta is too tempting not to borrow.

Bulma Briefs, inventor, adventure and the heiress to the Capsule Corporation stepped out of her sporty little hovercar. She was tall and slender, her aquamarine hair was piled on top of her head in a crown of curls. Her red miniskirt was tight and not an inch longer than good taste demanded, the matching top left her shoulders bare. Her face was marred by a sulky frown as she re-capsulized the car and tucked it into her purse.

The reason for her frown; her boyfriend Yamcha had cut his hair short again. Sure she'd been the one to make him do it the first time but the current 'in' style reminded her of the unfortunate haircut Chichi had forced on little Gohan before they left for Namek and well-

Bulma sighed. She'd sworn she'd never get back together with Yamcha after he cheated on her the last time, but when Yamcha had been getting ready for the Saiyan's arrival he'd stopped worrying about his appearance and let himself go back to looking all wild and dangerous. The long, out of control hair and darker attitude had just reminded Bulma so strongly of the bandit boy he'd been when he became the first love of her life, there was no way she could have resist giving their relationship just one more chance. And then he'd died just as they were heating up as a couple again. When he returned from the dead months later Bulma felt it was a minor miracle that she'd resisted the temptation to jump him on the spot.

But now that there wasn't a crisis on the horizon Yamcha was switching back over to the person he'd become after she brought him home that first time. With his hair cut fashionably short he looked like everyone else. Bulma smirked, well not like everyone else, Yamcha had a ruggedly handsome face even with the unflattering haircut and he had a body to die for. When she'd first seen him Bulma had thought Yamcha was the dreamiest guy ever. But as the years went on he'd slipped out of first place when it came to having the best body. Goku had grown-up into one hot guy in Bulma's opinion, even if thinking about innocent little Goku like that weirded her out. Goku was like her little brother. And of course there was the other Saiyan who was now living on Earth. There were a lot of bad things you could say about Vegeta, none of them pertained to his body.

Speaking of the devil, Vegeta stalked across the driveway. "Woman! You're out of those roll things."

Bulma scowled. There was nothing wrong with Vegeta's body, as for the rest of him... "If we're out of the 'roll things' it's because you ate them all."

"Why haven't you gotten me more?" Vegeta demanded with his signature glare.

A small part of Bulma felt like she should be afraid. Vegeta was the most powerful being on Earth at the moment since Goku had elected to make his own way home rather than allowing himself to be wished back. Vegeta was evil, he spent most of his life purging planets and he hadn't even been sorry when he told the Namekians that their missing village hadn't come back to life with the rest of them because it had been him who killed them rather than Frieza. But he'd been the one to tell them how to bring Goku back when they thought he'd been lost forever. Vegeta could have been the strongest in the Universe, but he chose to give them the key to bringing Goku back rather than celebrating the stronger fighter's demise. Bulma was certain Vegeta had his own reasons for doing what he did, but she wondered if, underneath it all, there might be a decent person lurking inside Vegeta.

Logic told Bulma to be afraid of Vegeta, to give in when he tried to intimidate her but her heart wasn't afraid and her pride wouldn't let her back down. After all Vegeta was a guest in her home and he could damn well act the part. She glared right back at him and actually closed the distance between them to force the shorter Vegeta to look up to maintain eye contact.

His nose wrinkled in disgust at her proximity. "What did you do to your hair woman?" he said. "It smells -and looks- like something crawled on top of your head and died there."

Her new perm, Bulma realized with a touch of annoyance. Well to be honest she could still smell the harsh perming chemicals, it was only natural that they'd offend a Saiyan's more sensitive nose.

Bulma primped her new curls and smiled sweetly. "It's my new arrogant ass repellent," she said. "I'm glad to see it's working." Then she sauntered past the glowering alien prince.

Once she made it to the privacy of her room Bulma plopped down in front of her vanity to study her new hairstyle critically. Sure it was all the rage but so was Yamcha's haircut and hadn't she just been thinking that he looked better when he did his own thing? Bulma sighed and looked at her reflection with fresh eyes. Vegeta was right she decided with disgust, the perm looked like something her mother would wear. What had possessed her to do that to herself? She couldn't even respond to Vegeta's taunt in kind, his flame-like shock of black hair and sharp widow's peak suited his surprisingly delicate features perfectly and it was almost certainly just the way his hair grew.

Bulma shook her head. Yamcha could change his clothes and cut his hair and the dessert bandit became just another hot guy for all the girls to swarm over. But Vegeta was always Vegeta. Even wearing something like that silly pink shirt he radiated danger and power. He'd never be just another guy. Bulma thought about the difference and decided it was desire: Yamcha wanted to be just another guy, he wanted to fit in. When she first brought him home with her he'd been so cute in his worries about being rejected by her high school friends but after a few months Yamcha could hold his own in the popular cliques. He was one of the jocks and the girls all wanted to date him and Yamcha loved every second of it. Vegeta had no interest in fitting in, he expected the universe to adapt to him.

'And who was she?' Bulma thought as she studied her reflection again. She was Bulma Briefs, she inherited her father's brains, her mother's looks and a hard edged practicality form Kami only knows where. She was friends with the World's -hell- the Universe's greatest martial artists. She'd been into space and had visited an alien planet. She'd met Kami and helped bring him back to life and had seen the devil reformed. When she'd still been in High School she'd gone on a quest for the stuff of legends and even though she hadn't been able to make a wish on the Dragonballs that time she came out of that adventure with exactly what she wanted: the best boyfriend ever. Or at least that's what she thought about one third of the time; the other two thirds of the time were evenly divided between wondering if Yamcha really was the best boyfriend and wondering if he were really hers.

Vegeta would have laughed at their concerns about fitting in. And how did you explain peer pressure to a man who didn't see himself as having any peers. He didn't need anyone else's approval or support. Even though his planet and his race had been wiped out he was still Vegeta, the Saiyanjin Prince. Bulma wondered if he ever got lonely being that unrelentingly self-sufficient.

Author's Note: I know Vegeta did celebrate Goku's death in the anime; then attacked Gohan, got backed down by Piccolo and flew off, which is completely ignored when the next episode starts; Vegeta is back where he was standing before reacting to the news of Goku's death in the previous episode and this time he tells them how to arrange their wishes to revive Goku and Kuririn. In the manga Vegeta's reaction isn't reset and so that's the version of cannon I prefer for that scene.