DISCLAIMER: Dragonball and its characters belong to Akira Toriyama
Bulma tore open the refrigerator. After shuffling through the mess of forsaken Chinese takeout boxes she finally unearthed what it was she so desperately needed―beer. After a satisfying pop-click she felt the cool sensation of amber foam dribbling over her fingers. With a violent thrust of the arm she took a thirsty swig. She would drink this one to him, the womanizing ass….
Staring at the silvery vessel in her hand, she realized it would take more than one to flush the disgusted taste from her mouth. So she stole away to her room with the remains of a six pack in toe.
She'd barely made it up the stairs by the time she'd started on her second helping. She was no were near as tipsy as she needed to be.
Television was no comfort. She'd long grown bored of late night sitcoms and amazingly found that she had very little interest in the daily trials of a naked mole rat colony. And so, with a click she banished the world of superficial dramas into the darkness and was again alone. She seemed to be on her own quite a lot lately, what with that bastard running off to pitch his lousy pick up lines to other women.
Bulma threw herself down onto the bed and hugged her pillow as if trying to suffocate some small animal. Despite attempts to occupy her thoughts with something, anything else, she found they still dwelt on him. Somehow that lovable idiot didn't seem so loveable when secured tightly in the arms of another girl―or three. Suddenly her pillow was in danger of being torn in half as she imagined that the thing in her arms was his head.
Bored of this angry musing, she cast off her pillow and wandered across the room, now breaking into her third can. Still sober enough to detail all the times he'd cheated in the last six months alone, she wondered if maybe all the years of building up a high tolerance for alcohol might finally have come back to bite her. What was the point of beer if you couldn't get hammered enough to forget why you started drinking in the first place?
She found a comfortable seat by the window and took another large swig. Sleep seemed impossible, so she saw no point in trying. What time was it anyhow? Her eyes drifted to the blinking figure of 1:33 am. At this point she should be the only one up. Then who was that standing out in the yard all alone? She squinted, needing little more than a brief glance to discern who it was; she'd recognize that radical hairstyle a mile away. Out brooding again was he?
Bulma wasn't sure what to make of him, and she was certain these perplexed feelings were reciprocated, if not to a larger degree, by him. With all the incessant boasting she often wondered just who he was trying to prove himself to. He could boast "Prince of all Saiyans" as many times as he liked, but it would do him little. It wouldn't change the fact that he was merely the last remnant of a dying race, nor would it revive the culture he was so proud to represent. He was an endangered species, nothing more. She also wondered what such knowledge meant to him. Did it dishearten him to know that all the traditions of his people would die with him? Or was he merely grateful to be without rival. It was impossible to tell; she doubted if even he knew.
Without any cause in particular, Bulma abandoned her seat by the window and crept away from her room. She was careful not to wake anyone as she took to the stairs. Then out the back door, she stole into the garden without a sound.
She hadn't noticed the full moon before, but apparently Vegeta had. He stood deeply engrossed in it, with an air of mourning, as though belittled by it. Bulma could see what it was that captivated him; the moon seemed closer tonight than it had in a long time. She remembered how entranced Goku had once become by the full moon, and the savagery that ensued. But she hadn't seen such a monster from him since, nor did she expect to see one on behalf of the Prince. He too had lost his tail, and though she had known the child Goku to be indifferent to its loss, she wondered what sentiment the one of Saiyan upbringing might feel for its absence. She could only make assumptions here, but something hinted very strongly toward its significance.
She noticed he wasn't wearing that pink monstrosity he so hated, in fact, he wore nothing from the waste up. The sight of such bare skin on a night this frigid was enough to remind her how cold she herself was. It was insanity, the things that man was capable of putting himself through. She supposed, with all of the extremes he must have endured in his days of service to the tyrant, that a slight chill must seem so trivial. Still, she wondered to what point he could push his body before it finally gave up on him.
She moved in a little closer. Perhaps it was the alcohol finally sinking in, but tonight he seemed less formidable somehow. Or perhaps those callous features truly softened some when their owner was dwelling on something other than his pride. Watching the sky he seemed dispassionate, almost sad. Was that why he'd failed to notice her so far? Was he so absorbed in thought that for once he'd let his defenses down?
"Mind if I join you?"
She hadn't quite found a reason to engage him, other than that he simply looked pitiful. So then was it pity that had driven her actions?
He didn't answer, though an acute jerk of his head let on that he'd noticed her. She didn't need an answer though, to make the decision to take up a position beside him. He tensed; she imagined something along the lines of "damn woman, what does she want here?" might be going through his head.
For a while, neither spoke. She allowed the silence to strike up a conversation for her as she was certain it would eventually agitate the Saiyan. She had surmised correctly, and soon the silence was broken by a husky voice inquiring, "What is it you want, woman?"
Bulma couldn't help smiling, though she managed to suppress a giggle. What was the point of this attitude of his? She supposed he must have thought it made him seem intimidating, though in her eyes it served only to make him seem like a child. After all, deep down was he really much more than just a spoiled little boy?
"You seemed lonely, that's all."
He grunted his disapproval and turned his head away, "I require no company but my own."
There they were again, those child-like defenses. He truly seemed a hopeless case at times like these. Bulma shook her head at this.
"It's a lovely moon tonight." She resumed after another bout of silence.
Again he scoffed at her, "There is little value in beauty. There is more purpose to the full moon than to be admired by silly girls. It is a symbol of power."
"Maybe to you," she challenged him, "but I've always seen the moon as something peaceful." And after a thought she added, "Power isn't everything you know."
"I wouldn't expect a simple Earth woman to understand the significance of true power. " He said dismissively, "None could but a Saiyan."
Bulma couldn't swallow her laughter this time. The sound of her girlish giggle was not received kindly by Vegeta.
"What is so entertaining, Earth woman!" he snapped, "Do you mock the Saiyans!"
"You make it so easy," Bulma chortled. She saw the familiar glint of rage in his dark eyes, and was unfazed. Whenever he glowered at her like that he only made that much harder to take him seriously. Did he really think fuming like that would frighten anyone? Some people perhaps, but not her. She'd long since learned to hold her own in a man's world; nothing seemed to scare her anymore.
She heard him muttering some obscenity as he turned his back on her. He wasn't used to situations like this. For all his experience in the martial world, he was naïve. She doubted he'd even spoken to another woman in his life, let alone one with same gall as herself. She was every bit as proud as he was, and equally as vain. When she looked at it in this light, they seemed perfect for each other.
Perfect for each other―just what was she thinking? He was monstrous, a pure bred killer. But she didn't see him that way. He's just like a little kid. She could only assume that a person such as this had never known his mother. After all, no mother would let her son grow up to be such a foolish young man; tactless, ungrateful―but not stupid. No, he was quite intelligent, no doubt, another contribution to his pride. For what was the purpose of all that muscle without a brain to put it to use. He of all people must have understood this.
"Chill out!" Bulma poked him between the shoulder blades, giggling. He went stiff again, turning on her with those eyes again. He just didn't get it; the angrier he got, the more she would laugh at him.
"Don't be that way. You'll give yourself an ulcer." She tried to drape her arms over his shoulders and immediately he backed out of reach.
"What? Do I scare you?"
Bulma was feeling more confident tonight. Maybe three cans of beer had done the trick after all. She'd forgotten Yamcha, he didn't matter anymore. All that did matter was figuring out just what made the Saiyan prince tick. He was uncomfortable, that much she knew. But she would have liked to know why. She couldn't put her finger on it, but she placed it somewhere in the vicinity of his naiveté. And then there it was again. She felt sorry for him.
It must have been pity that made her do it. What other reason would she have to kiss his cheek? She didn't say a word, but move in closer and pecked the side of his face. His expression was much what she expected. Briefly he stood in shocked silence, but once recovered, returned to his angry self. Then again, no, it was more than just anger this time. The way he spoke in a hasty garble, he sounded a little panicked.
"What are you doing?" Again he backed away.
Bulma moved again to close the distance. She'd cornered him. "You seemed like you needed it, that's all."
More hasty words, "I-I don't understand you, woman! You're insane!" He seemed more and more like the little boy Bulma pitied.
"Why don't you run away?" she asked, hardly a foot from him. "Or better yet, blow me up?"
"Run away? Why should I run away from you!"
Bulma smiled, "Because you're scared." She kissed the other cheek.
She expected he'd tell her that he wasn't "afraid of a silly woman", but he didn't say a word. She looked into his face, and saw that he wasn't looking back at her. He was perplexed.
So this was his weakness―affection. It must be so foreign to him, if even a small sign of it could break him down this way. It was possible he might have never known any at all, considering the world he came from. Power―that was all that he knew; power, pride, and the adrenaline of battle. What was affection but an obtuse idea? It was useless to him. Even now, did he recognize it for what it was?
It seemed time for her to take her leave. She'd done all she could here, the rest was up to him. She'd leave him to his musings, and maybe, just maybe he'd come out of this with some useful realization. But even that was hard to say. Before she left him, she decided she'd give him just one last thing to consider. She leaned forward to kiss him on the lips.
"Smile sometime." She said as she went away.