A "Romance" in Seven Acts
a story by Dot

How Bulma and Vegita got together must be the most worn-out topic for a fan fic by now...but I just couldn't help myself. I'm a hopeless romantic. ^^;
This story, then, tells part of the untold story that Toriyama so conveniently left blank (THANK YOU, Toriyama-sama! :), with a bit of a twist. You see, things didn't go the way most people think, at least not IMHO...
It gets slightly lime scented, but nothing actually happens. Don't look so disappointed. :)
(Finally finished per intense reader request :)

Act One: Yamcha's Declaration of Independence

Yamcha took a deep breath and knocked on the front door of Bulma's house.

"Yamcha! Its about time you got here!" Before he could say anything, Bulma dragged him into the kitchen and poured him a mug of coffee. "So you wanted to talk to me?" She asked, sitting down as well.

"Yes..." Yamcha fingered the mug. "About us."

"What about us?" Bulma prompted. At long last...Yamcha's going to propose to me! Yamcha saw the hopeful glimmer in her eyes and took a deep breath, weighing carefully what he was about to say...

"I can't do it."

"WHAT?!?" If Bulma's grip had been any stronger, she would have crushed the table.

"I. Can't. Do. It." Yamcha repeated one word at a time. "I'm sorry." He sighed. "Maybe I've been a bachelor too long and can't stand being bossed around; maybe I'm not ready for commitment. But whatever the reason may be, I just can't imagine spending the rest of my life with you." Bulma opened her mouth to speak, but no sound came out. She was simply too shocked to say anything. "I have my own life...I'm an adult who can make my own decisions. I've really tried to respect you, but you've never done the same for me. You just tell me what to do and expect me to do it. I can't keep doing that. I--" Yamcha never got to finish, because Bulma slapped him.

"You want your own life, do you?" She barely kept her voice low. "Then get out; the door's right there." She pointed towards it.

"Bulma, thats not what I meant--"

"Get out. GET OUT! I never want to see your face again!"

Yamchas face darkened. "You won't." He stood and walked out the door. "Good bye."

Bulmas journal, later that day:

Yamcha and I broke up today. We had our old fight about getting married, and he walked out on it. Usually, he always came back, apologized, and we were a couple again...but this time as I watched him leave, I somehow knew that he would never come back.

Sometimes I envy Son-kun: he had a wife waiting for him and didn't even know it. And me? What good did it do for me to be rich, young, and pretty...but with no boyfriend? I was very tempted to look for the Dragon Balls again, but I was too busy learning how to take care of the company after Dad retires.

I should have wished for the right man when I had the chance...

Act Two: Vegita, and What he was Doing at Bulmas House

"I want a gravity room," He told the inventor. "One that goes up to 300 g."

"What?!?" Dr. Briefs nearly swallowed his cigarrette. "300 g?!?"

"Yes...Kakarrotto trained in 100 g before; I want be better than him three times over."

"Impossible! If you weighed 60 kg, under 300 g youd weigh 18 tons!"

"I know that! Im not that stupid, you know!"

"I mean, that would kill you!"

But Vegita wouldnt listen to such talk. "Build it. And be quick about it."

Dr. Briefs was quick about it, all right: he had the gravity room built in one week. Vegita began training right away, but he found doing so under merely 100 g, even though he had trained under increased gravity before, was extremely difficult. He persisted, though, and kept training. In fact, Vegita was such a regular guest that Bulmas mother offered him a room to live in, but he refused; he was not about to live under Bulmas 'hospitality' again.

One day, as Vegita wrapped up his training, he heard yet another heated argument between Bulma and her wimpy excuse of a boyfriend, Yamcha. He watched with amusement as Bulma chased Yamcha out of the house.

"Fine! Leave!" She was screaming. "And don't come crawling back to me, you hear?!?" She shook a fist at the retreating man.

I would never let a woman push me around like that... Vegita thought. Indeed, while he had stayed at Bulmas house, he made it clear to them that he was only a temporary guest, although he had eaten enough of their food to qualify as a major dependent, as Bulmas father once joked. But Bulmas overbearing presence was impossible to ignore; she was everywhere, and tried to tell Vegita what to do whenever she got the chance. No one ever ordered Vegita around; he had only submitted to Freeza because he had found destroying planets interesting.

He was not about to follow the whims of that human woman.

Act Three: Not Quite Love at First Sight, and Not Anywhere Close

Foolishly, Bulma waited for Yamcha to come back. She kept convincing herself that he wasn't gone for good and that they could go back to the way they were before the argument. So she kept waiting, and turned down all of the men Bulmas mother tried to hook her up with. But she really never saw Yamcha again.

One night, it finally dawned on her that her relationship with Yamcha was truly over. That night, she threw herself on her bed and cried, hating herself for being so damned assertive, and Yamcha for not standing up for himself until he bailed out. After she ran out of tears, she just lay there for a while. When she got tired of that, she opened her window, looked out--and happened to catch a glimpse of Vegita coming out of the gravity chamber.

She found herself unable to wrest her eyes away from his bare back, wich glistened with sweat, but to her seemed to be more perfect than the muscular figures she had studied in Sculpure class. After a while, Vegita, who was rubbing himself down with a towel, sensed her presence and glared up at her.

"What the hell are you looking at?" He demanded. "Never seen a half-naked man before?" Bulma hurriedly retreated and closed the window, blushing furiously.

When she looked back out again, Vegita was gone.

That night, Bulma repeatedly caught herself fantasizing about Vegita, and felt guilty about it.

How could I be thinking about him, a bad guy, like this? She reminded herself that just a little while ago Vegita had tried to kill Goku, and threatened to kill her as well. But damn...he's one good looking bad guy...

"Stupid woman..." Vegita mumbled as he flew back to the lake he had discovered and considered as his own. He remembered how she had stared at him like an idiot--eyes glazed and mouth slightly open--and shuddered with revulsion. "A man has no privacy around here..."

Act Four: The Rescue

Every day, Vegita pushed himself harder and harder, and got closer and closer to becoming Super Saiyajin--but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't break the barrier. Sometimes he wore himself down so much that he had to crawl out of the gravity room. He quickly struggled to his feet, though, whenever he saw Bulma watching him.

After the little 'half-naked man' incident, Bulma looked out her window every night. She didn't always see him, though, since Vegita practiced a lot later now--and, much to Bulmas secret disappointment, he always wore a shirt, no matter how hot it got.

He was not going to allow her to feel sorry for him, which he knew she did because once she asked if he was all right. As he trained, his frustration grew because he still couldnt bring his ki to anywhere near Kakarrottos levels.

Today, the goal eluded him yet again; this time, he was so close he thought for a brief moment that he had actually succeeded--but then his ki levels dropped to normal again.

No...I won't give up... Vegita thought resolutely. I refuse to give up! He was going to try again when he felt a little nauseated, so decided to call it quits for the day. After all, he had plenty of time left to improve himself.

The next day, though, Vegita felt even worse: he had to stop for breath much more frequently, and the nausea he had felt the day before became even more intense. When he went into the kitchen for a snack break, Bulma, who also happened to be there, noticed his unusually pale color.

"Are you all right?" She asked. Ignoring her, Vegita raided the refrigerator and walked back out of the kitchen. "Well, excuse me! Sorry for caring!"

Vegita went back into the gravity chamber and kicked it up all the way to 300 g. It was still quite hard on him, but he had made himself get used to it. After a few warm-up excercises, he began his usual regimen, ignoring the discomfort. After a few hours, he decided that he was ready to try to break the barrier again. He positioned himself and began to collect his ki. As it neared the critical point, Vegita felt ill again, but he decided that he was too close to succeeding to stop.

He forced his ki higher one notch.

The room spun dizzily around him and everything went black.

He passed out, hitting the ground face-first with a dull thud.

Bulma heard the thud but didnt investigate it immeadiately. Vegita had explicitly warned her not to interrupt his training; Bulma knew better than to go against that order. By late evening, though, Bulma was rather concerned because there was no sound at all coming out of the gravity room. Usually, even from a distance, she could hear Vegita swearing, bringing down curses of all sorts onto Kakarrotto. But now, the gravity chamber was absolutely silent--and this worried her.

Bulma shook her head. I can't believe I'm actually worried about Vegita! If I try to check on him, he'll probably just insult me and say he's fine.

But as midnight drew near, the "occupied" sign was still lit. Finally, Bulma couldnt resist her curiosity or her concern. She walked to the entrance, took a deep breath, then turned off the gravity and opened the door.

And gasped.

She gasped again when she touched his face and discovered how hot he was. She tried to lift him, with no success, so she ran inside, grabbed her box of all-purpose capsules, then ran back. She expanded the stretcher and somehow managed to roll Vegita onto it.

Vegita opened his eyes and found a wet towel on his forehead. Taking it off, he flung it aside and tried to get up, but when he lifted his head he felt dizzy again. He fought against it, though, and managed to sit up. He looked around, and discovered that he was in one of the innumerable guest rooms in the house, equipped with a small bathroom, a bed, and a television. On the table next to the bed were an emergency first-aid kit, a half-full pitcher, a glass, and a pan of water. He was wondering what those things were for when Bulma entered with a kettle of hot water.

"My goodness!" She exclaimed. "What do you think youre doing?!? Lie back down this instant!" She placed the kettle on the table and pushed him back towards the pillow with all of her might. Amazingly--to both of them--he was so weak that he had to allow her to do so. Bulma then picked up the towel from the ground, dipped it into the pan, and placed it back across Vegitas forehead. She also took out a thermometor from the first-aid kit and stuck it into Vegitas mouth.

"Mrph!" Vegita protested, and tried to spit it out, but Bulma held it firm. After about a minute--what seemed like forever to Vegita--Bulma took it out and looked at it.

"115 degrees?!? She nearly dropped it. "Boy, you are one sick Saiyajin!"

"I am not sick!" The moment that Vegita said that, however, he felt as if his stomach was about to jump out of his throat. He shot up, lurched forward--and out came part of the food he had eaten earlier. Bulma, who had the foresight to prepare another pan, saved Vegita from throwing up on himself.

"I hardly call that 'healthy'." Bulma put her free hand on her hip. "You are staying in bed until that fever goes down."

"Do I have a choice?"

"Oh...you can leave if you want...But I doubt you'll even make it past the door." Vegita was about to retort when he realized that Bulma was right, so he said nothing. Bulma poured some of the cold water from the pitcher into the glass and handed it to Vegita, who took it and drank it in one gulp.

"Just hand me the whole damned thing." Bulma did, and watched in amazement as he emptied the pitcher in a few seconds. "More," he commanded, pointing to the kettle.

"Hold on; this is still too hot. I'll be right back." Bulma left again, taking the pitcher with her.

Vegita lay back down and wondered what was the matter with him. He was immune, or so he thought, to the Earthlings viruses--and if he wasn't, they wouldnt bother him as much as this did did now--so he must have contracted something while he was in outer space.

Yes, that must be it, Vegita thought, closing his eyes. The added stress that he put on his body must have caused the virus to begin to wreak havoc on his immune system. I just need to rest for a while, then I'll be fine... A few moments later, he drifted off to sleep.

Bulma came back in with two pitchers filled to the brim. Seeing that he was asleep, she put them on the table, then proceeded to clear away the other objects. A moan from Vegita caused Bulma to pause and look at her patient, who was sweating profusely but also shivering. Carefully, as not to disturb him, she drew up the blanket at his feet and covered him with it; Vegita grabbed it and curled into a fetal position. Bulma suddenly found herself feeling sorry for Vegita.

"Even a Prince has his bad days, ne?" She whispered to herself, wiping away the sweat on Vegitas face. She examined his expression, always set in a scowl, and decided that it was rather handsome.

Goodness... Bulma touched her own forehead. I hope I'm not sick, too... She shook her head and walked out of the room. Just before she turned the corner, she darted one last glance at Vegita.

Act Five: Nurse Bulma

Vegita woke to the sight of a strange woman bending over him with even stranger instruments.

"Don't you dare touch me!" He roared, slapping the things out of the womans hands. It was only when the woman had removed herself as far away from Vegita as the room allowed that he recognized her as a doctor.

"Vegita, you idiot!" Bulma sighed as she picked the instruments off the floor. She turned to the doctor. "I'm really sorry about that. Hes been ill all day yesterday and hasnt been feeling well."

The doctor forced a shaky laugh. "I've lived through worse." She inched closer to Vegita and swallowed nervously. "Shall we try that again?"

Vegita was sorely tempted to tell this lady to go to hell, but he still felt awful from what had happened the day before. Additionally, Bulma was giving him evil looks that only made him want to laugh, but he decided to play along. "All right."

Vegita gritted his teeth as he suffered through the indignities of having his body poked and prodded by the doctor.

"Hmm..." The doctor muttered, peering down Vegitas throat. "Um hmm..." she checked his breathing next. "Um hmm..." she raised an eyebrow when she came across his muscles.

What am I, some sort of animal? Vegita thought angrily.

"Doctor?" Bulma probed hesitantly when the examination finally finished.

"Other than the unusually high fever and the nausea you mentioned, he's absolutely fine!" The doctor replied, putting her equipment back into a bag. "Just keep him in bed for a few more days and give him plenty of water and rest!" She pulled Bulma acrossed the room and whispered to her: "Just where did you find a guy like that?"

Bulma blushed a little. "It's a long story..."

The doctor raised her other eyebrow. "In that case...I won't ask." She smiled and winked. "Take good care of him, okay?"

Vegita, who heard every bit of this conversation, scowled. Women...

Being the daughter of the man who practically owned the world had many advantages.

Unfortunately, knowing how to cook was most definitely not one of those.

"Ptui!" Vegita spat out a mouthful of soup--or, at least, what he assumed to be soup. "You call this crap 'food'? "

Bulma came dangerously close to clobbering Vegita on the head with her wooden spoon. "So I messed up! It's not like I've been cooking all my life!"

Vegita eyed the bowl distainfully. "Have you ever considered tasting your poison before you go stuffing it into someone else's mouth?"

"It's not that bad...is it?"

Vegita thrust the bowl back into Bulmas hands. "Find out for yourself."

Bulma took a tiny, careful sip.

"Nice purple color youre turning there," Vegita observed with amusement. "It matches your hair well."

Bulma was too busy choking to reply. Needless to say, Vegita was spared from the same fate.

Act Six: Someone to watch over me

Bulma locked herself in her lab and began tearing apart an unfortunate machine with relentless fury.

"That ungrateful little bastard!" She muttered to herself. The 'ungrateful little bastard' in question, of course, was her unwilling patient, who, after he was able to walk again, returned to his training without any word of thanks. In fact, he even insulted her, saying he didnt need to be babied, especially by an ugly woman who couldn't cook, or so he said. "The nerve!" She had wanted to punch his smug little face in; being unable to do that, she turned to venting her anger on an old invention of hers that she had kept rusting in her lab. In almost no time at all, all that was left was nuts, bolts, metal panels, LED displays, and silicon chips scattered in several piles on the floor. Her anger still bubbling, Bulma moved to dismantle another machine.

A large explosion sounded outside; the shockwaves shook everything in the lab and nearly knocked Bulma off her feet.

"What...?" She then remembered that the gravity chamber was located right next to her lab. "Oh, no!"

The gravity chamber was completely leveled, and rubble was everywhere. Lying half-buried in it was an unconscious and heavily injured Vegita. With great effort, Bulma managed to pull Vegita out and get him to the company's hospital.

Vegita opened his eyes and found himself wrapped up about as tightly as a mummy. His entire body was sore, and it even hurt to breathe.

Damn. I was so close... He had almost felt himself transforming, but just as he was about to cross that barrier, the room exploded around him, and the world went white. Vegita clenched his free fist. Damn...huh? Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a patch of purple, and turned his head slightly towards it.

Sleeping fitfully with her head on the desk next to Vegitas bed was Bulma; it was easy for anyone to see that she had originally been keeping vigil before her energy gave out on her. Vegita had never seen this side of Bulma, that behind the loudmouthed, bossy woman was such a fragile creature. Lurking somewhere deep within his subconscience was the other thought that she looked rather attractive when she wasn't being a bitch.

Once again, Bulma locked herself in her lab, this time not to wreck any machinery but to hide from Vegita. Unfortunately for the repair crew, he had recovered before the gravity chamber was back to working order. After a disastrous encounter with Vegita earlier, Bulma decided to stay out of the irate Saiyajin's way for the rest of the day.

Reaching over her head, Bulma tried to pull a motherboard out of the shelf above her, but it was rather firmly wedged near the bottom of the pile. Keeping a hand to steady the pile, Bulma made sure that she had a firm hold on the motherboard before giving it a hard yank. The pile wobbled unsteadily, and one of the pieces of junk near the top began sliding down towards her.

A gloved hand caught the offending piece before it could fall onto her head.

"You should be more careful, woman," Vegita told Bulma, who was currently gaping at him.

The next time Bulma saw Vegita, the insults 'clumsy' and 'stupid' were added to his growing list.

Act Seven: Close Encounters of the Weird Kind

Bulma poured herself another cup of sake and took a big gulp out of it, wincing as the bitter alcohol went down. Her head was beginning to swim, but she kept on drinking.

"Men are all the same," she muttered, her mouth awkwardly moving around the words, downing another glass. Of course, one certain man was in her mind when she said that.

Yamcha. She actually hadnt minded seeing him again, even if she had 'thrown' him out. Besides, that was weeks ago; now, Bulma was in a good mood again, and was ready to kiss and make up.

Yamcha ignored her completely.

Another mouthful of sake slid into her throat. "Shtoopid Yamcha," she groused. "Good riddansh! I don' need him anyweeiii..."

Vegita was returning to his room from his daily practice session when Bulma stopped him.

"Uh-uh, bo-ii," she drawled, wagging a finger. "You're not goin' nowhere."

Vegitas nose wrinkled when he smelled the alcohol on Bulmas breath. "You're roaring drunk, woman."

Bulma giggled. "Ishnot."

Vegita scowled. "Get out of my way."

Bulma blocked Vegitas path, her body pressing against his in the narrow hallway. "I shaid, you not goin' nowhere."

Vegita scowled again as his nose picked up something else. Not only was she drunk, she was in heat, too. And the woman did not take no for an answer, not even when she was sober and hating his guts. "I don't have time for this. Move before I make you."

Bulma pouted. "Why, don you like me?" She traced her finger idly along his sweat-soaked shirt. Was her face red from the alcohol, or was she blushing for some other reason?

"Yes!" Vegita almost shouted. "I find you highly annoying-ing-ing..." he nearly lost his mental footing as Bulma let one stap of her top slip from her shoulder, giving him a good view of what was under it.

She wasnt wearing any undergarments.

"Liar," Bulma accused, her voice low and sultry. "Your body shays you wan' me. Bad."

Vegita gave himself the mental equivalent of a cold shower and pushed Bulma away from him. "I do not. You're ugly, nasty, and a damn nuisance."

Bulma undid her hair. The silky purple strands, still a bit curly from the perm she gave herself a few months ago, nevertheless cascaded down her back. "Really?"

Vegita squeezed his eyes shut. His instincts were screaming at him to rip her clothes off and have sex with her then and there, and his common sense and self-control were slowly eroding. "Yes yes yes yes! Now go away and leave me alone!"

Bulma shrugged, letting the other strap slip. "Fraid not, bo-ii. You have to get pasht me firshhht."

Vegita never ran so fast in his entire life.

--The next day--
Bulma rested her head on the kitchen table as she fought the pounding therein that threatened her sanity. The mug of black coffee she downed earlier didnt help much, but at least now the caffeine was kicking in and masking some of the effects of her alcohol consumption.

How much did I drink last night anyway? Bulma wondered, straining at her memory. The previous twelve or so hours were a complete blur; she could neither remember what she did, where she was, nor who she was with.

At this very moment, as if acting under the direction of some cosmic cue, Vegita entered the kitchen and began rooting in the refrigerator for something to eat, and Bulma began remembering what had happened.

Oh, God... she thought, horrified, as it all came back to her. She covered her hands. I can't believe I actually...God... she groaned. Now Vegita will never stop rubbing this in...

"Hey!" Vegitas sharp voice startled Bulma out of her self-deprecation. "I'm talking to you."

Bulma gulped and wished that she could disappear, or at least run very fast. "W-what?"

Vegita crossed his arms. "Are you deaf? I said, there's no food in the fridge and I'm starving!"

Dread turned into shock, which quickly gave way to anger. "So? What do you expect me to do about it? Cook?"

Vegita snorted. "I'd rather starve."

Standing up a bit too quickly--and nearly regretting it--Bulma stomped over to the cabinet, dug out a handful of packages, and threw them at Vegita. "Here."

Vegita frowned at the plastic-covered food. "What the hell is this?"

"Instant noodles," Bulma answered, unconciously mimicking Vegitas tone of voice. "All you need to do is boil water. That's not too difficult, is it?"

"What do you mean, 'boil'?" Vegita demanded suspiciously.

Bulma stared at Vegita as if he had sprouted a tail. "Boil. You know, put a pot of kettle of water on the heater and wait until steam comes up?"

Vegita looked back blankly. "You mean you don't just get hot water from a faucet?"

Bulma slapped her forehead. "Good God, where have they been keeping you? Dont you know the difference between water you use for bathing and water you use for cooking?"

"You should talk," Vegita shot back. "Last night you couldnt even tell the difference between me and that loser ex-boyfriend of yours."

Bulma flinched violently, as if she had been slapped--and indeed, she would not have felt any worse if Vegita had actually hit her--and deflated like a leaky balloon. Her headache now grew to a full-fledged throbbing, like a troupe of elephants doing ballet to the jackhammers that pounded in her ears. Wordlessly, she re-filled the kettle that sat on the table and turned on the range, then placed the kettle at the center of the coils. Next, she brought out a large bowl and set it on the table.

"The instructions are on the package," she told Vegita on her way out, her fatigue showing through. "Don't burn yourself, the waters hot."

I was actually going to cover the entire two-and-a-half year period between Future Trunks appearance and the arrival of the Jinzouningen, but I had already wrote a short story dealing partially with Chibi Trunks birth. Additionally, continuing this story, especially with that scene in Act Seven, would have very quickly turned it into a lemon, and I have no interest in doing that (writing a lemon, that is).

If someone really wants to write a "lost" Act Eight, though, write me privately and we'll discuss it.

Copyright 1999 by Dot
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?