Author's note: Hello, I originally made two one shots last year but since joining the Bulma/Vegeta writing community on Livejournal I decided to continue and make it a full story. Basically the idea is Vegeta getting used to Earth's strange (to him) customs and Bulma getting used to him. I try to keep the characters as close to canon as possible but I hold by the belief that it's impossible to write a 100% in character Vegeta in a romance so I'm going for a side of Vegeta that only Bulma gets to see.
Disclaimer: Dragonball Z and all of its character belong to Akira Toriyama. I do not own these characters nor do I claim to.
Chapter 1: Summer Fun
"Ah, the evening air is so wonderful," Bulma said aloud as she opened the window to her room. It was the beginning of June and the weather was perfect to start all of her summer activities. "No more work for me tonight, it's time to have some fun." She turned back to the room to find the perfect clothes to start off her summer right.
She tossed aside clothes left and right until she found the new swimsuit she had just bought last week. The bright red bikini contrasted perfectly with her china doll complexion and brilliant blue locks. She giggled at her personal description of herself.
"So what if I'm not humble? I'm gorgeous, intelligent, and rich so I've earned the right to be proud. If anyone has a problem with it they can just tell me."
Changing into the suit, she checked herself in the mirror to make sure that it was still as wonderful as when she first saw it. She smiled as she confirmed that it looked great but her smile quickly fell as she remembered why she had gotten it in the first place.
Looking back out the window she saw that the sun was just starting to go down over the tall buildings in the distance. Focusing on one building in particular she thought of her on again off again boyfriend, Yamcha. This morning he had declared that he needed some room so that he could train properly and decided to move out of the compound to his own apartment across town. She had interpreted it as him wanting to break up with her again so he didn't have to feel guilty about staring at other women while he worked out at the public gym or when his baseball fans tried to flirt with him. He had tried to deny it but in the end they had both decided that it was best to call it quits, at least for a little while.
Bulma huffed at the thought. "Sooner or later Yamcha will get bored of his little floozies and come crawling back like he always does," her eyes dropped to the floor as she added, "And I'll probably take him back since I don't have the time to find someone else who doesn't simply want me for my money, my looks, or my business."
Despite that thought she felt that something was different this time, like the sun setting behind his apartment building across town was symbolic of their relationship ending for good this time. The thought scared her a little but also left her feeling a little exciting at what awaited her in the future.
Shaking the thoughts out of her head, she forced herself to smile. "No, tonight it's all about me having fun, not about stupid ex-boyfriends that choose to miss out on fun. I'm going to swim until it gets dark and then I'm going to break out some simple fireworks to play with before the big show starts at nine."
She grinned at the thought of that. Every year at the beginning and the end of summer, the city turned off all its lights and her company had a huge firework show the set off in the hills on the edge of town. This year promised to be bigger than ever as her father had used his connections to set up a competition between the biggest firework makers in the world. Bulma, being a very prideful woman herself, knew what a motivator pride could be to be known as the best and if these people were a fraction as pride-driven as she was then they would only bring their best.
"Speaking of pride," Bulma rolled her eyes, "I better warn his majesty about tonight's events before he decides that he's under attack." Deciding not to walk across the compound in nothing but her tiny bikini, she pulled on a short baby doll tee that showed off her mid-drift and some cut-off shorts and made her way outside to the Gravity Room where she could hear the Sayian Prince still training vigorously. "I can't imagine how hot it is in there," she said before knocking on the thick metal door hard enough to hurt her hand.
She was still shaking her sore hand when the door opened and a very sweaty and very ticked off Vegeta stepped out. "What do you want, Woman? "
Frowning at his given name for her, she looked him up and down, disgust clearly written on her face. "I don't know how you're able to work out in there. It's already about 90 degrees out here so it must be upwards of 100 in there."
She was slightly shocked when instead of yelling at her Vegeta just folded his arms over his sweaty chest and gave her a look over, her look of disgust mirrored in his expression. "Do all women on this planet walk around it such an indecent state or are you just incapable of properly concealing yourself?"
Bulma's jaw dropped. Never in her life had anyone ever said anything bad about her looks, especially any man. "Indecent? I'm perfectly covered."
Vegeta shifted his stance, his expression showing more boredom than disgust now. "So it's just this planet's obscene fashion sense then." Though it was a question he had stated it like a fact.
"Look mister, you may be from another planet so you wouldn't know anything about fashion but I'll have you know that men and women alike on Earth rave and gossip about how wonderful my fashion sense always is. There's nothing wrong with a woman using clothes to her advantage to show off her beautiful body and features."
Vegeta stretched his arm out and at first she thought he was going to touch her but he only gestured to her cleavage and her midriff. "Where I come from, women who show off these features are wanting to make some extra currency, and not through methods that could be called good-natured. No male would want the woman he owns or desires to walk around for every other male to see."
Bulma blushed and her frown deepened. "While there are some people like there here Vegeta, people don't instantly believe that every woman that shows a little skin is wanting a one-night stand for a little pocket change." She tossed her head to the side once again looking off at the sunset figuring if she would have any time left to swim before dark with the pace this conversation was going. She was so caught up in the thoughts that she didn't even notice Vegeta's eyes quickly drop down as the motion caused her chest to bounce slightly since he just as quickly looked back up as she turned back to him. "And besides, Men on this planet don't own women and are more than happy to see what they desire show off a little bit."
"That's because the males on this planet are completely pathetic. Why would they be okay with their female showing off to the world what should be reserved for their eyes only?"
"Look Vegeta, if you ever get a woman that'll what to put up with your all-mighty male attitude then you can comment about how she should only show off for you but until then, this is the norm so I suggest you get used to it. In any case, we're completely off topic from what I came to talk to you about. Tonight there's going to be a large fireworks show so I don't want you to do anything rash. Also in about 30 minutes all the lights will be turned off so that the sky is dark enough to enjoy the view better so you won't be able to train during it."
She expected him to argue with her about his precious machine being denied to him but instead he just gave her a confused look. "What are 'fire works'?"
Bulma shared a confused look when suddenly she realized that just because fireworks were well known throughout the world didn't mean that they were used at all in the universe. After all, when you could shoot lasers and ki blasts, what use would Black powder be? "Ah, well, fireworks are a type of pyrotechnic used for entertainment at night shows. They're really pretty and fascinating and the fill the sky with all different colors and shapes."
Vegeta cocked his head to the side, looking even more confused, "Pyrotechnic?"
'Kami, it shouldn't be possible for Vegeta to look this cute.' She shook that thought from her head as quickly as it came in. 'If I had known I'd be questioned like this before I would have figured out more about the making of them beforehand.' "Um, it's a low level explosive made with black powder."
When Vegeta's look changed from confusion to shock Bulma knew Vegeta was already coming up with some weird explanation to make sense of what she had told him. "I never expected such a peaceful planet like this to set off bombs as a form of entertainment. What bizarre customs this planet has."
"What…bombs? They're not bombs, Vegeta, they're just… well okay they are pretty much bombs but not the kind you're thinking of. Nothing is going to blow up except the firework itself, okay? They shoot up in the sky and explode filling the sky with lights and colors and that's it. You don't need to try to put some kind of violent twist into it. It's just a fun tradition that has been done for years."
Bulma was so caught up in her rant that it wasn't until after she was done that she realized that Vegeta was watching her with an amused expression. She blushed again and turned away walking towards the pool. "Like I said before, when the shows starts, don't cause any trouble. Now if you don't mind, I'll be in the pool. I want to swim a little bit before the sun sets and the show starts. The power will be turned off soon so you might as well take a break. You're free to join me if you want, it'll be a much better way to work out without overheating in there anyway." She continued on her way not bothering to see if he was coming since he'd probably just go back into the gravity room and train until the power forced him out.
'That was so embarrassing. Why did I let him get me worked up like that? If it weren't for the fact that Vegeta was from another planet I would have believed that he was just trying see me make a fool out of myself. Bizarre customs indeed. I bet his customs are way more bizarre than mine, not that I'd want to get inside his head and see how things work for him.'
Finally reaching the pool, she pulled off her top and shrugged out of her shorts quickly. Normally she pulled off her outer clothes carefully to make sure that nothing got exposed but at the moment she was too angry with herself and her houseguest to care. Adjusting her bikini, she jumped into the pool and completely submerged herself. The cool saltwater instantly cooled her temper and she closed her eyes to better enjoy the feeling of it gliding over her skin. Aimlessly swimming for a bit she finally came to the surface for a breath of air and opened her eyes… only to see Vegeta looking directly at her with that shocked look from before.
"Ah! Vegeta what are you doing," she screamed as Vegeta's expression went from shocked to bored as he looked away, "trying to give me a heart attack?"
"I was under the impression that I could come and swim until the explosions start," Bulma blushed as she remembered that she had, in fact, invited him to come, "and once again you show your indecent side with that scrap of fabric you're swimming in. I take it that this is another completely acceptable custom that your people practice."
Not even wanting to fight it anymore she just sighed, "Yes Vegeta, this is called a bathing suit and everyone wears one when they go swimming though there are styles that cover more skin than mine."
"So you're just choosing to be more obscene than others with your choice of garment then?"
"I have a nice body Vegeta and I'm confident enough to show it off so I don't need to hide it. Besides there are swimsuits that are more 'obscene' as you put it. At least my covers everything without showing anything that really is private." She'd be lying if she said that Vegeta's words didn't bother her. She was a confident woman, but the way Vegeta talked about her clothes like she was nothing more than a cheap hooker made her wonder if he truly didn't like the view.
Vegeta just shook his head before a small smirk made its way onto his face. "And what about the way you just rip everything off before publicly adjusting yourself?"
'Am I ever not going to blush tonight?' Bulma thought bitterly. "I was angry about the conversation we had is all. Me ripping my clothes off in a hurry was entirely your fault so don't…" the rest of her statement was cut off by Vegeta's dark chuckle and she froze at the sight of the grin that spread on his face. 'I've seen that cocky look a thousand times before. Why is it affecting me like this now of all times?' She felt trapped by that look but strangely not in a terrifying way.
"I'm flattered, Woman, that I was the cause of you needing to rip all your clothes off and cool yourself."
Vegeta's words made her realize exactly how what she had said could be taken. Once again she dove underwater needing the cooling effects even more than ever. 'Forget tonight. I'm going to be blushing for the rest of my life.'
Hearing another splash she knew that Vegeta had also dived in. 'I'm not going to let him bother me anymore. This is supposed to be a nice night for me and he's not going to ruin it.' She braced herself as he swam by but he just passed her. She quickly realized that he was doing laps and that meant that she could enjoy herself without anymore teasing.
After about twenty minutes, Bulma looked over at the horizon and saw as the sun finally set leaving only a faint amount of sunlight touching the city. Making sure Vegeta wasn't watching her this time, she pulled herself out of the pool and toweled off slightly before walking towards the house. Going inside, she looked through some of the smaller fireworks to see which kinds she wanted to do tonight. Deciding that sparklers would be enough in the short period of time before the big show started she quickly jogged back outside.
"What are you doing now, Woman?" She jumped and looked over at Vegeta, his arms folded on the edge of the pool as he watched her intently.
"I'm going to do a few fireworks by myself before it gets completely dark." Pulling out one of the long sticks she moved it up to the lighter and watched as it started to emit blue sparks. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed that Vegeta was still watching her but she decided not to acknowledge him this time. 'If he wants to think I'm crazy for playing with a sparkler then so be it. He wouldn't know fun if it bit him in the butt.'
She started moving the sparkler through the air in front of her, the sparks leaving a trail of light in their wake, a pleased smile creeping to her face as she embraced the nostalgic feeling it gave her. Starting off with simple patterns like circles and stars she danced across the lawn making the light and smoke follow her every move. Noticing that the sparkler was nearing its end, she finished with a large heart.
Looking beyond the heart, her eyes met with Vegeta's and her smile instantly fell. No longer merely analyzing her, he was now glaring as if something was about to attack him. Opening her mouth to question what was wrong, she suddenly noticed that Vegeta was no longer in the pool but less than two feet away as he knocked the still sparking stick from her hand. "What the hell is wrong with you, Vegeta?" she yelled, clutching her hand to her chest trying to ease the pain.
"Me? You're the one that has something wrong with you! Or did you want to lose a hand?"
"The only thing that may cause me to lose my hand is you hitting it, you moron!"
"You're the one holding an explosive that is about to go off!"
Bulma's fury finally exploded. "Sparklers don't explode! They just emit sparks and lights and smoke!"
If she hadn't been so angry she would have laughed at Vegeta's flabbergasted expression. "What's the point of making an explosive that only does stuff like that? There's nothing reasonable that it could be applied to."
"It doesn't have to be reasonable," she yelled out, her arms over-expressing her words, "it's just a fun tradition that we do here. We use them to make shapes and patterns and watch as the stay in the air well after the original source was there because…," she paused as she realized what she was trying to explain and who she was trying to explain it to. Closing her eyes, she decided to just get on with it despite knowing that it wouldn't help anything. "Look, it doesn't matter why we do it, okay? We do it because it's a fun thing to do. That's it!"
Finally finishing her rant with her arms dropping sharply to her sides she let herself calm enough to open her eyes and take in the intense blush on Vegeta's face. Looking down, she realized that she hadn't taken the time to change into her outer clothes when she had gotten out of the pool earlier. Meaning that this whole time, from jogging out of the house with the sparklers, to dancing around making shapes in the air, to intensely ranting at Vegeta, she had been in nothing more than her tiny red bikini.
'Oh kami, no wonder he was starting at me earlier. Wait a second…' in an instant all of her anger was gone, replaced with a self-satisfied smirk of her own. "For someone that complains a lot about my clothes being indecent, you went quite awhile without feeling the need to complain."
Vegeta's head instantly turned away. "You were the one dancing and jumping around showing off trying to make every male on the planet unwillingly ogle your body," he said as he turned back to her.
"I was just having fun Vegeta. I wasn't trying to make anyone do anything that they didn't want. And besides," she lowered her lashes giving Vegeta her best sultry smile, making the prince go completely still, "there was only one male around to ogle my body, and I didn't hear any complaints from him."
Vegeta's blushed deepened further than she had ever seen it. 'Is it wrong of me to enjoy seeing him so off guard like this? Nah, if anything it's revenge for all the times he purposely got me flustered.'
Just as he seemed to be forming some kind of excuse the loud sound of the compound's light generator being shut off interrupted their moment. Looking back towards the horizon, Bulma realized that the sun had finally set and the city lights were quickly going off leaving only the moonlight from covering the city in total darkness. She smiled as the apartment building that Yamcha was no longer visible. Once again she thought about how this particular sunset was symbolic to her in some way.
Hearing the first shrill whistle of the night scream out into the air Bulma turned away from the horizon to look towards the hills. With a loud bang, the firework exploded into the shape of a flower making crackling noises as it faded away. Two more followed in quick succession afterwards as the show begin to start, fireworks being set off from multiple places at the same time filling the sky with light and sound. It really was an amazing sight.
Looking away from the show, she spared her houseguest a glance to see what he was making of everything, the smile on her face spreading as she saw that he was once again observing the spectacle. As if sensing her eyes on him, he looked down to meet her gaze. "How is it?"
"I stand by my statement that the customs of this planet are truly bizarre, though the results are not always bad I suppose."
"That's one way to put it, I suppose."
"It's just an interesting observation, Woman, nothing more."
"From you, my dear prince, I'll take that as a compliment." She grinned at him before he returned to watching the dancing lights with a muttered 'whatever'.
'Just an interesting observation, huh? I'll have to admit, that I'm finding it just as interesting to observe you,' she thought as she finally turned her own gaze back to sky.
A/N: Thank you for reading, I hoped you like it. I'd love to have some reviews and constructive criticism is welcome.
If you're interested in more Bulma/Vegeta fanfiction and art or would even like to join yourself, feel free to join or browse the Blue and Black community on livejournal found here: http:/community[dot]livejournal[dot]com/bulmavegeta/