I apologize if the Goku that appears in this fic is OOC. This is my first time writing the fic with scenes that are not in Bulma's POV. I'm worried that I may have done a little Naruto in his character…and yea…Vegeta is probably a bit OOC as well. Sorry. Also, this was originally supossed to be posted around Christmas...yeah, I have procrastination issues.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Bulma tried very hard to concentrate on the soft, almost soothing choir song through the headphones. She tried to concentrate on the soft cadence of the altos and the almost demure, higher pitch of the sopranos, as they sang through the chorus of 'Holy Night'. She tried to do anything possible to fight against the urge to give into the trembling of her lower lip and letting tears fall down her cheeks. She glanced down at her swollen belly. It was protruding all the more as her pregnancy progressed.
In other words she was fat.
He would never call her fat, of course. Even Vegeta, for all of his Saiyan arrogance knew better than to call her fat. Of course, he didn't really make such comments about her appearance. He didn't seem to care about something as superficial as that and more than once she had heard his muttered comments over how long she spent in the bathrooms on some mornings.
Bulma had never regretted moving out of the rooms her parents had for her in their house at Capsule Corp. Despite how spacious the house was, it really wasn't fair to her parents to have them deal with the noises that were a result of their nightly activities.
Besides, there was a certain bit of freedom of being able to arrange her kitchen and living room in a manner that suited her.
The condo was roomy enough that she could have easily purchased a decent size Christmas tree to decorate, but when she mentioned the idea to her erstwhile lover his black eyes went comically wide and he had forbidden her from doing any such thing.
Now anyone who knew her knew that Bulma was not the type of woman that one just ordered around, Saiyan prince or no, but the softly muttered comment about how her lifting such a heavy thing (because she was very capable of lifting her own Christmas tree, thank you very much) might harm the baby had stilled any possible arguments that she could have had.
She would never do anything that would harm the well being of the precious life form inside of her.
Bulma had never planned on having children. Just like her, her mother had been born an only child. Both her mother and grandmother had suffered through many miscarriages and tried nearly every conception technique available, but were never able to give birth to more then one. It hadn't really been that much of a surprise that despite the many times they made love (really he was insatiable) it had taken so long for her to come to term. She had started working longer hours at Capsule—and Vegeta was so obtuse—to take her mind off of the disappointment. It was finally after she had collapsed (and caused her lover quite a worry) that she was able to go through the joys of an expectant mother.
Frankly, those joys were nearly non-existent.
Oh, it had certainly come as a rather pleasant surprise at the sudden, unexpected attention that she received from time to time from the Saiyan prince. He was spending more nights in her apartment now, and she especially loved the way his hands would just roam over her curves in an almost awed sort of wonder.
It seemed that the newness of the situation was starting to wear off, however, and tonight she knew that she would be forced to spend another cold, lonely night in her bed. She certainly couldn't begrudge him of the fact, since it was his very nature that Son-kun would be of the foremost importance in his life, and he cared about her, she knew that much at least. Nonetheless, it still hurt and the fact that he had dared deny her the one pleasure that she had been looking forward to this holiday season (she certainly couldn't afford to drink), had her feeling more than a little weepy.
It had her feeling more than a little resentful.
Goku was hungry and really didn't care to be in this particular part of Metro. Chichi was still trying to convince him to take that silly driver's test (and he really didn't understand why, after all zipping through the air was hardly a draining task), and people were giving him really strange looks. Like that woman over there with the pink hair and the red dress (he could almost hear his wife complaining about how horribly those colors clashed) who was watching him, and the way that the man next to her (where those eyes red?) was giving him a rather unpleasant glare.
Hostility was never one thing to bother him too much, after all, he had encountered it many times in his life, especially as a child; with a wife like Chichi he couldn't help but encounter it daily.
What did bother him was that she had somehow forced him to travel the dark streets of downtown Metro looking for the person who was really more of a headache than anything else.
How his wife had known that Vegeta was in one of the bars of most ill repute of Metro City—or so she had all but shrieked at him, he really didn't see what the big deal was—he would never know and considering how red Chichi's face had been he hadn't dared to ask. Still, even though the Saiyan prince seemed to have toned down considerably since coming to Earth, it was surprising that he could stand to be in an establishment that was almost suffocating with the pure body mass that was enclosed in the cramped establishment.
It wasn't long until he spotted the mass of black hair that defied Earth's gravity even more so then his own, and as he got closer he was able to see just exactly why it was that Vegeta was able to stay in the establishment that stunk of too much spilled beer and was hot enough to give one a throbbing migraine.
Unsurprisingly there was a whole breadth of space that was covered with broken mortar from the wall and demolished barstools. A nearby cue stick was bent beyond recognition except for the blue chalk that still powdered its tip. The debris almost seemed to provide a barrier, as if protecting the rest of the bar patrons from a devil.
Which, Goku was quite sure, that this was what the Saiyan there must have seemed like to the rest of humanity.
Really, how did he get caught up in this mess?
Taking a deep breath Goku smiled broadly as he approached Vegeta. It felt fake and strained, but he knew that the prince would take no notice.
"Vegeta!" Grinning, he slapped his fellow Saiyan hard on the back, hoping to get some sort of snappish reaction. The Vegeta that was staring into his drink almost sullenly, only occasionally motioning for the nervous bartender to come closer to fill up his drink was unnerving. His beady, black eyes were emotionless, and his face hardly contorted in the manner that most of the patrons adopted as they threw back the liquor that was as strong as what the other Saiyan was drinking.
Goku frowned at this. He had never personally developed a taste for any type of liquor and his knowledge of the different types was limited to rum, schnapps (a favorite of Bulma's), and sake (a favorite of his father-in-law's).
"Kakarot…" Vegeta muttered his name in a way that almost sounded like a snarl, but that was hardly anything new.
The Saiyan prince slanted a look at his annoyingly cheerful and optimistic rival. He didn't really care to guess why Goku was there looking so out of place in his fighting gi, and he certainly wasn't going to ask. If he asked the idiot it could possibly be interpreted at the very least as if he had done something wrong and at the very worst that he actually cared. Vegeta fixed his rival with the fiercest glare, wondering if it would be asking too much for him to possibly take a hint and kindly leave him to his…
…well, he certainly wouldn't call it misery since he had nothing to be miserable about! This was all that woman's fault.
Goku cocked his head to the side as he watched an actual emotion cross Vegeta's face. He could only stare. He had never seen the man show any actual emotion outside of the battlefield. Vaguely, he recalled the words that Trunks had said to him six months ago.
He really hadn't kept with Bulma and her family (or any of the others for that fact) since the meeting with Trunks. There just simply hadn't been time with all of the training with Gohan and Piccolo. It was possible though that perhaps Chichi had kept in contact with her and that she had known that the prince had done something stupid. He winced inwardly at the aftermath he had to deal with due to his callous actions in the early part of his marriage.
Hell, he still had to deal with the consequences. It was almost impossible to tell what would and what wouldn't set her off.
"You messed up, didn't you?"
He had never been on the receiving end of a glare as ferocious as the one Vegeta gave him when he whipped his head around to look at Goku.
"What are you talking about?" He hissed.
Goku tried to look as innocent as possible. After all, he wasn't supposed to even know that the two were together.
"Why else would you be in a place like this, drinking—" He stared at the clear liquid, not really sure what it was, "saké? Didn't you use to say that such drinks were below you?"
The prince just stared sullenly into his drink, his shoulders stiff, and Goku knew that any further attempt at peacefully trying to extract any information would be little less than useless. Raking his hand through his hair, he sighed. There really wasn't much else that he could do. Still, if he didn't at least make an attempt then Chichi would let him have it. He would probably never know how she did it, but somehow she always knew whenever he messed up.
Suddenly he really wasn't looking forward to going home.
"Vegeta, make sure you head home."
Bulma leant her forehead against the porcelain edge of the toilet seat and tried to think past the nausea. Even if she couldn't have her tree to decorate, at least she could bake some cookies. She had made sure to get the ingredients that she needed for logs and seven layer bars. It had seemed like a good idea at the time but she had forgotten to take into account that lately, she could hardly handle the scent of anything sweet. She had only opened the bag of chocolate chips and punctured holes in the can of condensed milk before her stomach had twisted horribly in that that way that had long since become familiar.
Her blue hair stuck to her forehead in small curls and she couldn't help but wonder if the feeling of utter awfulness was a result of something other than the baby growing inside of her. She let out a low moan and wondered where on earth her arrogant prince had got to. Wasn't the male supposed to be present during times like this?
The voice that had Goku stopping was sullen and low enough that he half suspected Vegeta had hoped that he wouldn't hear it. Stuffing his hand into his pockets he slowed down enough so that the proud prince wouldn't feel insulted.
Although considering all the problems he undoubtedly caused on a daily basis, Goku almost wondered why he bothered with that courtesy. Even now, several months later he still had trouble coming to terms with who the youth's parents where. Yet, despite that, the part of him that had traveled with Bulma as a child could see her being drawn to Vegeta.
In a way those two probably where the perfect match.
His eyes flicked over the mass of gravity defying hair that entered just outside of his own field of vision. Even though the silence was nearly choking in its intensity as they walked down the alley that stunk of cheap saké and beer, his dealing with Piccolo had taught him that speaking first would only bring forth more problems, and he really wanted to get back home. Chichi had promised to make hamburger steaks. The kind that she rarely made with the fried egg on top. She always complained that eggs were so expensive.
Yet, she was still insisting that they get an air car.
"Kakarot, what is the point of this foolish 'Christmas' thing?"
Even while a small voice in his head told him that it was a bad thing to do, Goku couldn't help it. He stopped and turned to look straight at Vegeta.
This…this whole thing, the whole reason why it seemed that the other Saiyan had been attempting to drink himself into a stupor with such weak alcohol was all because of Christmas?
Maybe it was because while growing up, despite his happy (if somewhat unusual) childhood, there had always been a sense of not belonging for him and he had never understood why his grandfather had always been so insistent about the need to celebrate Christmas and his place in their little family. He had never understood why, if it was a religious holiday, so many people celebrated it. Still, even if he didn't understand why, he was at least able to understand how joyous the holiday had been for Son Gohan, the first.
So he could understand, if things were indeed as he assumed them to be, why Bulma would be so upset.
Goku didn't know so much about the Saiyan home planet, but he knew enough that they didn't believe much in the way of a God figure. The fact of the matter was, if he made any such mention about a celebration of the birth of the son of God, then Vegeta was likely to turn around and very likely do something that could jeopardize Trunks' birth.
It really wouldn't do to lose a fighter like Trunks. Especially when he was looking forward to seeing how much the boy had been able to improve himself since they had last seen him.
So instead of giving the full story that his grandfather had drilled into him since he was a little boy, he decided to be specifically vague.
"I don't much about it myself. I do know that it is pretty important to a lot of Earthlings though." His brain scrambled to supply Goku with words that would provide Vegeta with the necessary information when he saw the rapidly darkening scowl on the other man's face. "It's a celebration of sorts where people share thanks—I think—and give gifts. They give gifts as a means of affection and to show how much they care." Goku made a note to buy Chichi something really nice this year as a thank you for always watching those silly Christmas specials. Vegeta's brows had smoothed from annoyance to one of contemplation.
"But it involves a tree?"
"Yes, it involves a tree." The taller Saiyan looked at the prince strangely, and wondered just what in hell had been going on at Capsule Corp.
For his part, Vegeta ignored him, his brow furrowed in thought. He really didn't understand what the hell a tree had to do with gifts, and he really didn't understand what gifts had to do with showing someone they cared, but ever since he had first heard the word Christmas his life had become increasingly more difficult.
He would never admit it, and certainly not to her, but a small (very small, almost molecule sized) side of him admitted that he looked forward to coming home to Bulma after his intense training sessions. Since she had moved out of her parents' home, that tension that he always felt around other people had all but disappeared. Ever since this whole Christmas thing started however, it had made him wish that he had another place to stay at times, but he would never belittle himself so much as to go to one of Kakarot's comrades for help.
Something about her had become almost…defeated, and he really didn't like thinking about it. It bothered him that her eyes didn't light up the way they usually did whenever he came home. (Bloody hell, when did he start considering that place home?) It almost seemed as if she was sulking.
Which he really didn't understand.
Goku watched the expression play over Vegeta's face with mild interest, but kept his silence. As much as he respected the man for his prowess as a skilled and powerful fighter, he had much difficulty whenever he tried to picture anyone getting into a relationship with such a prideful man. Of course, Bulma was hardly normal herself, but…
Vegeta didn't utter a word as his ki crackled around him and he took to the air, his mouth pressed thinly into a look of determination.
He waited until he could no longer feel the other fighter's ki before taking to the air himself. He could already taste Chichi's hamburger steak.
Bulma was seriously considering taking up cursing and vodoo as a new type of hobby. She glanced at the small stack of Christmas romance novels that she had borrowed from the library just a couple weeks ago. Usually those books helped when she had trouble getting into the spirit of things. She decided not to even bother to try and watch any of the Christmas specials because she knew that they would only make her worse.
She felt bad enough as it was.
It certainly didn't help that the Kurosakis, who rented out the apartment in a complex that was directly across from hers, were now putting up their Christmas tree.
This was the sole reason that she was convinced that the world hated her.
The complex that the Kurosakis lived in was large and rich enough that even she had been unable to afford even a one bedroom apartment. The amount of money Kurosaki-san brought in each month was so obscene that many of her neighbors suspected embezzlement. Because they had more then just a little money to burn the Kurosakis always went to some expensive resort or tropical island each Christmas and never even bothered to put up a Christmas tree.
Now, seeing them weave a string of colored lights around their tree made her want to hit something. Hard. Maybe with a sledgehammer.
It really wasn't fair. Why in heaven's name was Vegeta being so unbelievably difficult about a damn tree?! She hadn't mentioned anything to him about Christmas because she knew that he really wouldn't care to take part in something that he would only see as frivolous. It just wasn't fair. Even some of the most dysfunctional families in the neighborhood took the time to decorate their trees as a family. Why couldn't she have that?
Bulma laid her forehead on the kitchen table in defeat. Maybe this was what her mother had meant. She was thankful enough to have been born to such open minded parents, but even if they had approved of her choice of her lover, they had cautioned on just how vastly different he was from any other person that she had ever dated.
Vegeta was different and there were even times when she felt lonely, but…
Her hand drifted down to feel the firmness of the skin of her growing belly.
Even despite the loneliness and the fact that he refused to let her get a tree (the one thing she wanted! The one thing!) she knew that she could safely and confidently say that she was happy. She rubbed the tips of her fingers over her belly and marveled at the fact that there was a new life growing inside of her. She wondered what he would look like. She had asked the doctor not to tell her what sex her baby was and Vegeta hadn't seemed to care.
She didn't know if it was going to be a girl or boy, but something told her that it would be a boy. She didn't know how she knew, she just had that feeling.
Perhaps it was that Vegeta was so stubborn and took such great pride in his genes that there was no way it couldn't be a boy.
Smiling wistfully, no longer sullen at the thought that this was probably going to be one of the worst Christmases that she had ever had, she reached for the blue polish pottery mug and took a sip of the weak tea that seemed to be the only thing that could help settle her stomach.
This was how Vegeta found her as he reluctantly trudged up the stairwell, half dragging, half shouldering his burden. It would have been so much simpler to just come in through the balcony. Honestly, why did that woman always insist upon such useless things?
He turned the handle, half expecting it to be locked, and his temper at being forced to do such a menial task rose at the thought of having to reach for the extra key that she kept hidden in the door panel. He was quite surprised that the door was unlocked, and although it was something that he would never willingly admit, it worried him more than a little.
What he saw had him freezing in his tracks and he almost lost his grip on the rough bark.
He remembered now her saying something about going to the salon a couple of days ago before he had left from his training. Now he understood the reason. Her blue locks were no longer bound up in unruly curls on the top of her head. It flowed freely, only slightly wavy, down her back and spilled over the wood of the kitchen chair that she occupied. One hand was curled around a mug of what he hoped was the special tea that she had purchased to help her deal with her pregnancy (although he really didn't understand the point of that), and the other was curved over her growing belly. It was the expression on her face that captivated him.
If he cared to, the Saiyan prince could count the few times that he had seen that expression on her face. It had always been late at night, when the moon was half hiding her face in shadows, and it was always on the nights when she was particularly sensitive to his touch. An ideal moment of utter and absolute contentment, as if everything was right in the world.
It had been a long time since he had last seen that expression on her face.
He mentally berated himself for staring at her so openly (after all it's not like he was prone to awestruck bouts of emotion—except for those few times when he knew that she belonged to him, even despite her connection to Kakarot). Picking up the tree, Vegeta walked past her and tried very hard to ignore the way that he could feel her watching him.
He distinctly remembered how sulky and depressed she had been lately and even though he had gone to the trouble of going to get clarification on the significance as to what a tree has to do with the stupid Christmas thing, he still wasn't quite sure that it would be enough to bring back his woman the way she was supposed to be.
He didn't like the silence that filled the small apartment as he set down the tree that Bulma's mother had assured him was a decent size. Turning, and half wondering why it felt as if he was—what was the human phrase again?—walking on eggshells, he prepared himself for the worst.
Her dark eyes had widened with something that he could only call shock, and the mug was on the table.
He really didn't care for the way that she looked at him, and he couldn't help but feel worried.
This probably was really stupid. Her complaints about the lack of tree hadn't really made that much sense to begin with. He should have known that this is what would happen when he went to Kakarot for help.
"Is that a tree? An actual—"
"Your mother said that a small evergreen is the type that you usually get." He muttered, his face heating up a little bit. He really didn't care for that suspicious sheen that started to gloss over her eyes. Then her lower lip started to tremble, and he remembered just why it was that he tried to avoid people on Earth as much as possible.
Stupid humans and their stupid contagious emotions.
Bulma blinked once, twice.
"It is…but it's so late in the season…how did you…?"
Vegeta snorted. Sometimes he just didn't understand her thought processes. "There are more then enough trees surrounding the city." He conveniently left out the part how he had nearly ripped apart half of the forest surrounding the city in an attempt to find a suitable one. Not to mention the numerous flights back he made to Capsule Corp. as he waited for her mother to appraise each tree.
There was no chance in hell that he was going to tell her any of this.
"If you don't want it then I'll get rid of it."
For some reason his face felt strangely hot. It was a feeling that only worsened when those horrid, crystalline tears started to fall down her face.
"Don't you dare." Her whispered, slightly choked tone was at complete odds with her words. "Don't you dare get rid of it."
A couple of hours later, after she finally managed to locate the tree stand that she had bought for her first Christmas season away from home and her lover set the tree up, they were sitting down in the kitchen eating their curry dinner. Well, he was eating curry. The smell alone was repulsive, and it had been nearly impossible to finish making dinner.
Curry was probably one of the last foods that she would have ever expected to be his favorites, and he demanded it at least once every week.
Bulma sipped her tea, taking small nibbles of her lightly buttered toast every now and then, her lips spread into a small smile.
What had happened a few moments ago was probably one of the first times that he had ever seen her when she tried to deal with the sickness that came with the pregnancy. He had panicked. It was something that she had never thought she would see before, but Vegeta had actually panicked when she had set the pot down in such a rush that she had nearly burned herself before rushing to the bathroom. His initial reaction had been typical. He had hovered over her, muttering nonsense about a possible attack despite the fact that he couldn't feel any ki, until she waved him away.
Once the nausea had ceased she was able to get him to calm down enough to hand her a cup of water to wash away the taste of acid. When she had softly explained that this was just a natural side effect of the pregnancy he had given her a rather strange look before carefully helping her to her feet.
Then just before they had sat down for dinner he had declared that he would be staying for a while since the snow was making training too difficult.
She had calmly accepted it as fact, and tried not to get too upset with him. She wasn't a fool. She knew that he was just like Son-kun. He would train no matter what the conditions were and he would enjoy it. That he was taking the time to rest from training because of her…
It meant more to her than him going to the trouble of getting her a suitable Christmas tree.
Taking another sip of her tea, Bulma looked forward to decorating the tree, since it appeared that he was going to let her do even less work then he had before. Although she was quite certain that it would be safe to say that she would develop a headache because of him over the next couple of days, she found herself looking forward to it. She was already on maternity leave so that meant that she would have seventy two hours with him completely to herself.
She could already imagine his hand covering hers as they felt the baby kick—she never would have guessed that he would find such pleasure in such a simple thing—while she rested curled against his form tonight.
In fact she was greatly looking forward to it.
Hope you enjoyed this. I'm not quite sure what I was on when I wrote this.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated.