A/N: Just a little oneshot I was thinking about, just one of those urges to write something that has nothing to do with any of my stories.

Disclaimer: DBZ is owned by Akira Toriyama or whoever else owns it now.

Reviews make me happy, by the way.


The Monster's Beauty

Three years ago, before they came, if you told me that I would someday fall hopelessly in love with a short man with dark, flame hair, I would have laughed at you.

After all, Yamcha was tall, and his hair was long and wild, not resembling a flame in any way.

I was so happy with him for the longest time. I had never experienced love before him; no, I was no stranger to men, but I was a stranger to that warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach that came when I was near him.

Before him, I had been on a quest. A very important quest, in my mind. I was looking for the Dragon Balls, magic orbs that would give me anything I wanted.

I was going to wish for the perfect man.

Not just any perfect man, mind you. My perfect man. The perfect boyfriend, the One that I would someday marry. The key to my happiness.

Sometimes, I wonder that if I had made that wish, would Vegeta land in front of me?

It was foolish; I see that now. Just because I had to wait a little bit longer for him than the average highschool sweetheart did meant nothing. He was here now; all I had to do was get him to see that. To see me.

He hurts himself. Every day he comes out of the GR groaning and bleeding, covered with ugly scratches and bruises. All self-inflicted. He doesn't want me to bandage his wounds, but I do it anyway. I have to; it makes me sick. Not the blood itself; I have seen more than enough in my life to never fear it. What makes me sick is the fact that every time he cuts himself, no matter what part of the body it is, there will be a scar underneath it, old and permanent.

Battle scars.

I am curious, but I am also afraid to know what happened to him as a child. I couldn't imagine having the Earth blow up when I was only five years of age, or to see my parents killed by a demon.

I never saw Frieza. In retrospect, I don't think I want to.

The GR is broken. Vegeta was angry, and after having a very thorough verbal spar with him for twenty minutes straight, I decided I really did want to fix it. Problem was, the part that he'd so lovingly smashed into pieces had to be specially ordered, and wouldn't be here for another week.

So, while I suntan and read the newest issue of Seventeen magazine, drinking lemonade and eating strawberries, he trains outside.

Okay, so I'm not really reading. My sunglasses hide my wandering eyes, trailing over his sculpted body. He is fast; punches and kicks that I can't even see fly by, the only reason I know they even happened is the audible rush of air that follows each one a second too late. Every muscle ripples with power with every move he makes, and it's mesmerizing.

I was always fascinated at the way my friends trained; watching Yamcha and Goku fight just brought a smile onto my face. They were so amazing, so incredible in ways that I could never even hope to be, and what's more, they enjoyed it. They loved it; they didn't do it to protect the Earth, not really. That was just a fringe benefit. They trained and fought for the sake of fighting. It was as natural to them as inventing was to me. It was second nature to them, practically a hobby.

Vegeta was different.

He didn't care about Earth, that much was certain. He loved to fight just as much as Son-kun and Yamcha did, but his passion was different. Their passion was exercised with smiles and playful grins, whereas his was a scowl, his brow furrowed in heavy concentration. He fought for his pride, for his long dead people. He felt that his destiny to avenge both them and himself had been stolen by Goku, and he refused to rest until he had taken it back.

I think that was what got me to notice him. I mean, really notice him.

He is smart too. While I was panicking about Son-kun and Krillin being revived in the cold void of space, he just leaned against the tree, listening and thinking. I could tell by the look on his face that he hadn't meant to help us, not in the slightest. But his mind was whirring and gears were clicking, assessing the information and weaving it into a solution.

"You can wish them back to Earth's checkout station, can't you? That should be simple enough."

Of course it was. I felt silly for not thinking of it myself, but I was too happy to care. I called him a genius, and his eyes fell to his lap. His face held no scowl for once, just a dejected frown. I think it was then when I realized how handsome he was; though I still loved Yamcha at the time, somewhere in the back of my joy-clouded mind, I noticed that my scarred bandit paled in comparison to the magnificence of this broken monster before me.

I started inviting everyone over to my house, all but jumping for joy that the nightmare was over. I was home.

Then I looked over at Vegeta, and something in my heart wrenched. He looked sad; that classic, "what am I supposed to do now?" expression sewn on his face. He had nowhere to go.

"Hey, homeboy!" I called.

He looked up sharply, his black eyes wide. "What? Homeboy?"

My grin widened at his confused face.

"You can come too, you know! I mean, I doubt you have cash for a hotel! C'mon, I'm a great host, and I've got lots of food! And if your appetite is anything like Goku's you're going to need it!"

Something inside me bubbled when I saw his cheeks darken. His eyes fell to his lap again, and he grunted quietly.

"Aw, c'mon Vegeta! Loosen up, see what life has to offer you! You're actually kind of cute!" I said.

His head snapped up again, his eyes wide with incredulity. "Wha – I'm not kind of – shut up!"

I laughed, and it struck me then that "cute" in my language probably meant "fluffy bunny weak" in his. His cheeks were dark again, which told me he knew at least part of what I meant. He came with me anyway, even though I had clearly embarrassed him, and given what I knew of him and had seen of him, that was quite a feat.

I didn't know it at the time, but as of right then, I was hooked.

He stayed with us for 130 days, until the Dragon Balls were active again. Then he found out Goku was alive, and stole my spaceship.

I wasn't angry, surprisingly. Yamcha was, though. After he was wished back, we'd been discussing the Prince, and my boyfriend of ten years wasn't particularly pleased to find that I admired the raven haired Saiyan.

Then he came back.

I shouldn't have been happy. I should have been like, "OMG we're all doomed!" but I wasn't. Instead, I smiled at him and poked his chest, somehow convincing him to follow me inside and get a decent shower.

He was angry at the clothes I'd given him, but I thought it was funny. He threatened to kill us for mocking him of course, but I knew he wasn't serious. I told him to stick around with us, and Goku would come to him, and he agreed.

Not out loud, of course.

The kid from the future looked like him, I think. Krillin didn't really see it, but I did. I'd seen Vegeta's face enough times to know it anywhere, even on a different person. It was strange, but hey, the kid's an alien. What do you expect?

These android things…they're supposed to be tough. Way tougher than Frieza, who that kid obliterated without trying. That's scary. I might not be able to sense Ki, but I know scary energy when I feel it, and if Frieza's was that bad…

The future kid told Goku that everyone had died. Everyone but Gohan. That means Vegeta died too.

I feel so confused. The whiney little girl in me says good riddance, but the rest? The rest of me says no, that cannot be allowed to happen.

So I built him a gravity machine.

And he went and blew it up. So I had to build another one.

It scared me. I had thought he was dead; that explosion could've killed anybody. But the jerk actually had the strength to pull himself out of the rubble and to his feet…for a minute, anyway.

I remembered how he'd tried to act all tough, like he hadn't just collapsed. His features looked clouded with exhaustion and pain, and even sadness. He had failed, in his mind, and this injury would only hinder him further. It broke my heart that he had to feel like that.

I fell asleep by his bedside while he was in the infirmary. I had been there for hours, listening to him murmur in his sleep, growling at a dream-Goku and hissing at who I assumed was Frieza in an unknown language. Sometimes he would moan or cry out, but he fell silent when I laid my cool fingers against his burning forehead.

When I woke from my nap, he was sitting up in bed, his head cradled in his arms and resting on his knees. He was staring out the window, looking a bit lost, and turned to look at me when I lifted my head from the table. He looked like he wanted to say something, but changed his mind, and I never pressed.

I snapped back to the present when I heard the "pets" shrieking in protest as Vegeta darts through the brush. His chest, bicep, and forehead are still wrapped in bandages from the explosion, and it amazes me that he can still train in his condition, though I told – demanded – repeatedly for him to rest. He fazes back in front of me then, still kicking and punching imaginary opponents. He draws back his left leg, striking higher in the air than his head. It's a beautiful kick, his calves rippling with corded muscles and flowing Ki. My breath escapes me for a moment, but he's gone onto other moves before I can even take it all in.

And suddenly, he stops. Strands of his black hair have fallen into his face, and he quickly brushes them away, panting. They fall right back though, and the corners of my mouth twitched in a smile.

Then he looks at me.

I nearly jumped, but I held it back. My magazine was still held up at reading level, and my shades were still on. There was no way he could know I'd been watching him.

I glanced up again, and my eyebrows lifted when I realized he was gone. I lowered my magazine, looking around the yard. Nothing.

"Are you watching me, female?"

I yelped, the hair on my neck standing up on end as his breath hit my skin. "What the heck, Vegeta!" I cried. "Why do you have to sneak up on me like that?" I demanded, whirling to face him.

He smirked.

Why is that look so Kami-damn sexy?

"So you can eye me like a stalker, but I can't sneak up on you?" he said smugly.

I blushed. I should have known he would have been able to see through my shades. Why wouldn't he? He is a Saiyan, after all.

I stood up, running my fingers through my hair. "Don't be such a jerk," I muttered.

His eyes quickly roamed over my bikini clad figure before he looked back at my face. He often bugged me about wearing "indecent" clothing, but I never missed the flash of crimson that was barely visible against his tan cheeks.

"Why were you watching me, Woman?" He asked again.

I bristled. How can the person I was just making googly eyes at make me so angry? "It's Bulma," I huffed. "And I was looking at you because I like watching people fight. I grew up around it and I can't do it myself, so watching is the next best thing. So there."

"Hn," he said. One thick black brow rose slightly, his mouth still turned up at one corner, and I knew he wasn't convinced.

"Whatever," I scoffed. I picked up my fallen magazine and started towards the door, but my flip flop caught on the crack in the patio…

I barely had a chance to fall before I was enveloped in big, heavy muscled arms. I gasped, and my sunglasses fell to the grass beside the magazine I'd dropped.

"Clumsy onna," Vegeta murmured.

I shivered as his lips brushed my hair, my own nearly brushing his chest. Was he hugging me? I'd be facing the other way if he weren't, right?

"Am not," I said.

"Tripping over one's own feet seems pretty clumsy to me."

"Not everybody is as coordinated as the mighty Prince of Saiyans," I said sarcastically.

He chuckled. "True. I am an elite; no one compares to me."

Ain't that the truth.

My eyes roam over his close flesh, taking in the battle scars that littered his skin. He has far more than Yamcha; no doubt, he has plenty of scars too, but Vegeta is covered in them. My fingertips lightly brush a scar on his arm, and he tenses slightly.

"Where did you get this?" I whispered.

He grunted. "A fight."

Duh. "Who?"


I swallowed. "How many –"

"Only half of my scars are from battles," he said, releasing me swiftly. I frowned. "The rest are punishments."

My eyes widened in horror. "That's awful," I breathed.

He shrugged. "Lots of things in the universe are."

I swallowed the lump in my throat, looking at his bandaged arm. It too was littered with jagged marks…

"Oh, you're bandage is coming undone!" I said, darting forward. He backpedaled slightly, then became perfectly still as I tied it again. When I was done, my hands still rested on his arm, a feeling of longing pooling in my stomach.

"Why?" he asked suddenly.

I looked up sharply. "Why what?"

"Why did you help me when the Gravity Machine blew? You could have let me die. You'd have been free of problems." His face is somewhat stern, serious. He genuinely wonders why I would help him.

"I couldn't do that," I said softly. "I…what kind of host would I be if I just let my guest die?"

He lifted my chin very gently, his dark eyes staring into my blue ones, searching for a lie.

I glanced away and then back at him, and before I could actually think things through, I stood on my tip toes and kissed him.

His eyes were wide as I pulled back. It took all my willpower not to jump him right there. He looked…scared, I think. This was uncharted territory for him, I realized; he would not be in control here, and that made him uneasy.

I blushed furiously. "Sorry!" I blurted, and turned on my heels to run.

His hand caught my arm, spinning me around to face him again. I collided with his rock hard chest, and before I could blink, his lips descended upon mine.

Vegeta, the killer of my first boyfriend, murderer of millions, the stoic, prideful Prince that I'd been fantasizing about for nearly a year and 8 months, is kissing me.

He is gentle, our lips fluttering together like whispers. There is no tongue, no forcefulness, and yet, at the same time it is heated and passionate, intense in a way that Yamcha never was.

We pulled apart simultaneously, slightly panting. I stared at him, and he stared at me. The birds chirped cheerfully in the background, like some soap opera romance come to life, but the silence between us was killing me.

Then he smirked. "You could have just told me you were infatuated with me, Woman," he teased.

"You're such a jerk."

He was a jerk. He was a jerk, and he was arrogant, and prideful. He was ruthless, cold, dangerous. He was a killer, and a warrior, but maybe someday, he'd be a hero.

My hero, at least.

But as of now, he was still a sort of monster. My monster…

And he was beautiful.