Here's a little one-shot fic that I've been working on recently. It centers on Vegeta and his dislike of birthdays. The idea for it just came out of nowhere. I was sitting at the computer, and the idea kind of hit me. I had to write it. Anyway, enjoy the story and please review!

Vegeta and the iPod

Birthdays. There was nothing Vegeta detested more. He hated being reminded of the fact that, besides that fool Kakarrot, he was the only full-blooded Saiyan left with a birthday. Despite his tough exterior, having his past forcefully thrust upon him once a year was not something he looked forward to. It was on his birthday that Frieza had destroyed Vegeta-sei. The memories that welled in him on that particular day of the year never ceased to sting.

What had made him tell Bulma the date he was born was still a mystery to him. Maybe it was the fact that she had posed it as such an innocent question.

The conversation had happened years ago during the first few months he had resided on Earth. The "Woman" had come into the kitchen with an armful of groceries, a serene smile, and a brightly wrapped package. The Saiyan prince looked at the yellow clad parcel with disgust. What could humans find entertaining about such a repulsively packaged box? he had wondered to himself. "What is that, Woman?" he had asked her with a sneer.

"Just something for Yamcha," she replied with a contented sigh. Then, she added the question Vegeta wished he had never answered. "By the way, Vegeta. When's your birthday?"

"My what?"

"Your birthday, silly. The day you were born," she added seeing the lost look on Vegeta's face.

What harm could it do? It's not like she would actually remember, he thought to himself, and then told her. "Why?" he asked afterward.

Bulma had just shrugged, smiled, and walked out of the room.

Vegeta watched her go dismayed by the fact that she was so happy. That woman was never happy. She was always mad about something. The prince sighed and chalked it up to the fact that, for the moment, Bulma's rocky relationship with the Earth-man Yamcha was going well. He hadn't cheated on her for over a month. Go figure.

And that was how Bulma had learned the day of Vegeta's birth.

Several years later, Vegeta lay in bed on the morning of his least favorite day of the year. He was alone. Bulma, in an attempt to surprise him- Yeah right, he thought. She does the same thing every year- had snuck downstairs before he awoke to prepare breakfast. He sighed. He was not allowed to leave the room. I guess she doesn't want to ruin the 'surprise,' he thought with a grimace.

Vegeta heard a knock at the bedroom door. He sighed again preparing himself for what was to come. Here we go

"SURPRISE!!!" yelled both his wife and son in unison. Bulma entered the room, carefully balancing a tray with her husband's breakfast on it. Vegeta could smell the burnt toast and overcooked eggs. A seven-year-old Trunks bounced into his father's bed holding a small package wrapped in blue paper and a red bow in his hands.

"Happy birthday, Dad," Trunks chirped with a mischievous smile. This could be bad. "This is from me."

At that moment, Vegeta wished his Saiyan powers included X-ray vision. What he wouldn't give to know in advance so he could avoid the prank that waited for him to pull back the paper.

"Joyous, another birthday," said Vegeta sarcastically. "Woman, you know I hate this."

"Vegeta, until you give me a good reason to not celebrate your birthday, I'm going to keep doing it," she said patiently. "Now open Trunks' present."

Vegeta took the parcel from his son's hands and eyed it cautiously. Last year, Trunks had given him an exploding stink bomb made out of duct tape and a single egg- one of Trunks' favorite pranks to pull. As soon as he had unwrapped the box, the worst smell imaginable had discharged into the room. The Saiyan prince could still remember the distinct smell. Worse than Bulma's cooking.

Slowly, Vegeta pulled off the paper and uncovered a wooden box with an "Open Here" sign next to the latch. Vegeta took hold of the latch, prayed to Kami that nothing smelly waited for him, and pulled. For a moment, nothing happened. He wondered if there was anything actually in the box, so he turned it so that the opening confronted his face. Bad idea.

A mechanism snapped, and a fake mouse hurled itself at Vegeta.

"Ack!" stammered the prince as he ducked to avoid the object hurtling towards him. He was too late. The mouse met his face with a splat. Worse than just being fuzzy, it was wet.

"Ewww…" he groaned as he wiped the dripping phony rodent from his face. Rage boiling, he managed a controlled, "Thank you, Boy," to Trunks who smiled enthusiastically.

Bulma, suppressing a laugh, set the steaming breakfast tray down and unearthed another present from the piles of plates. "And this is from me," she announced handing the present to her husband.

Vegeta accepted the parcel. Bulma wouldn't put in a prank too, would she? Vegeta doubted he could handle anymore flying rodents. "What is it?" he asked suddenly curious.

"Open it," nudged Bulma. "I hope you like it." Really she expected Vegeta to treat it like any of the other birthday presents she had given him over their years together. To not care, and she would find it in the trash bin a week later.

Vegeta undid the wrapping to find a small electronic device staring back at him. "What is this supposed to be?" He eyed it from different angles with no idea to what the thing could be.

"It's an iPod, Vegeta. Please tell me you've at least heard of them," she added exasperated.

The prince frowned, trying to recall if he had ever heard of this "eyepod." He seemed to recall seeing a commercial during one of Trunks' cartoons with shadows and neon lights. He had assumed it was just another blinking toy that Trunks would want.

"Maybe… What's it supposed to be?" he asked.

"Here, let me show you," the techy in her excitedly coming out. "It's a digital music player. This is how you turn it on." She switched the "hold" button from on to off, and the device flicked to life. "I've already put a bunch of music on for you, see?" She scrolled through endless songs and playlists as her husband watched. "You can listen to it while you work out. I modified it to withstand up to 500Gs in the Gravity Room."

Bulma stopped, expecting…

"Thank you," Vegeta said dully out of habit forced on him by his wife.

"You're welcome," Bulma smiled. "Here's your breakfast." She handed him the tray with her homemade breakfast on it. Vegeta gulped holding his fork as steadily as he could in his shaking hands and began to eat.

Later that day, Bulma had gone shopping, taking a much protesting Trunks with her, leaving Vegeta in Capsule Corp. all by himself. He figured he could get some training by himself in before they arrived home, so he headed towards the Gravity Room. As he walked through the kitchen on his way to his training haven, he saw the iPod Bulma had given him sitting on the counter. He picked it up curiously. Maybe he would take it with him just to keep Bulma from claiming that he never used her presents. He stuck it in his pocket and proceeded towards the Gravity Room.

Once he got there, Vegeta undid the headphones wrapped around the device and stood with them in his hands. What was he supposed to do with them? After looking on the side of the iPod, he saw a miniature picture of the headphones and a hole under them. He stuck the plug into the hole, then flipped the device on like Bulma had showed him. Where was the stupid music? Wasn't this thing stupid supposed to play stupid songs? Vegeta could hear a faint riff coming through the ear buds. I guess I'm supposed to put them in my ears, he thought to himself. As soon as he did so, much too loud music ripped through his sensitive Sayain ears. Vegeta quickly ripped them back out again cursing.

"Confounded device," snarled massaging the side of his head.

With the ear buds still in his hand, Vegeta managed to figure out how to lower the volume. Now that the decibels were at a tolerable level, he stuck the earpieces back in. He had heard the song that was currently playing before. What was it? He didn't know, but the guitar riffs that were flowing through the headphones were kind of addictive. Vegeta stuck the iPod in his pocket, turned on the Gravity Room to 150G, favorite workout, and began warming up.

As the music played and the prince began breaking a sweat, he smiled. It was turning out that he was actually beginning to like this iPod. Maybe birthdays weren't so bad after all.

The End

I hope you enjoyed Vegeta and the iPod. Thanks for reading, and please review.