A/N: This will be a collection of drabbles, one-shots, and two-shots based on a series of 365 pictures that a Japanese B/V fanartist has drawn. I don't know who the artist is, but I am truly grateful that they've drawn such wonderful pictures, and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to write one-shots inspired by each picture. I'm not going to write them in any real order, so one chapter may be set after Buu, and the next before Trunks is even born.
If you're interested in the fan art I'm talking about, I've put a link to the website on my profile.
Returning Home (Picture #97)
Her first reaction was overwhelming relief; Vegeta was alive and well. Buu was dead, and they could get back to their daily lives; did anything else matter?
When she suggested that they take their plane back home from Dende's Lookout, he didn't complain at all. After seven years together in their (relatively) stable relationship, that alone was enough to make her think Something's not right.
And it wasn't. So caught up in being alive again, she had momentarily forgotten that her husband had, for the course of a few hours, reverted back to his old ways. And so, when her son grinned at her once more and called Vegeta a hero, it was a forced smile that made its way across her lips as she ushered Trunks into the plane. Exhausted, he fell asleep across the back seats almost immediately, leaving her alone with Vegeta in the cockpit.
Her palms grew sweaty as she steered the plane in silence. She stole fleeting glances at Vegeta, knowing full well that he could tell every time she did so. Still, he didn't speak to her, and didn't look her way. His eyes were trained on the sky outside the windscreen, though she could tell his mind was somewhere else.
As they passed over the ocean she found herself longing to get inside his head, if only to see his present thoughts.
But you might not like what you find. The thought came unexpectedly, and brought to mind other unsavoury thoughts. She remembered him standing in the tournament stadium, his hair gold, and his arm lifted towards the crowd in violence. What had he been thinking?
Why did he do it?
He had wanted to kill Goku. The idea seemed absurd, and yet part of her knew it to be true. All of these years, all of that training in her machines, and he had still had murder on his mind.
Perhaps she had deluded herself. Perhaps, she did not know Vegeta half as well as she had assumed.
She took a shaky breath, realizing suddenly that she was crying, the tears running silently down her cheeks. She glanced at Vegeta, and found herself caught in his gaze. He looked exhausted, concerned, and wary, but not guarded, and she half-sobbed, half-laughed in relief. He was still her Vegeta, and despite everything, she still loved him.
"You stupid man," she whispered. "You fool."
He looked away, his dark eyes focused once more on the clouds ahead. He seemed subdued, somehow, and she recognised it for what it was. He was sorry.
"Why did you…" she paused, licking her lips. She had intended to ask him why he had let himself be controlled by Babidi, but found suddenly that she didn't have the energy to go there. "Why did you kill yourself?" she asked instead.
He met her gaze, and she felt as if she would drown in his eyes. "Surely you must know," he answered cryptically.
She sucked in a deep breath, her vision blurring with fresh tears. "I want to hear you say it," she whispered, her voice raw with emotion.
She watched the muscle on his jaw jump, and knew he wanted to turn away. This was as close as they had ever come to talking about his feelings for her. He was a man of action, not words.
But suddenly, she needed the reassurance.
"I have to know, Vegeta. I have to know that you love me and Trunks more than… more than anything else." I have to know that we're more important than your rivalry with Goku.
He stood, extending his hand towards her. "Come here, woman," he said quietly. She looked into his face and took his hand, allowing him to put his arms around her. She melted against him, her arms wrapping around his neck automatically. The smell of his skin, the comforting warmth of his body, and the strong arms wrapped around her tight- it was this that made her feel safe, made her feel home.
She felt him press his lips to her hair, felt his chest rise and fall with every breath. The plane's autopilot beeped at her, but she ignored it.
"You know I do, Bulma," he whispered in her ear, and she felt as if her heart would burst.