Author's Note: Best. Pairing. Ever-er.
"So," Chi-chi looked at Bulma oddly. "You seem…different."
"I think I'm in love with Vegeta!" Bulma gabbled.
Chi-chi put the coffee back on the shelf. "Oh boy."
Bulma slammed her hands onto the table, making the plates rattle. "It's not like I meant to or anything! That man is so stubborn-!"
"Not to mention evil."
"Yes, evil. And so insensitive. He doesn't even seem to be grateful that I'm letting him stay in my house out of the kindness of my heart."
"Your father's house."
"Chi-chi, that's not the point!"
Chi-chi sat opposite her friend and let her play with the ornaments on the table for a bit before venturing:
"Do you think he feels the same way?"
Bulma snorted. "Do you think he feels?"
"I don't even fully know how I feel about him really. I mean, I know it could never, ever go anywhere beyond some harmless flirtation."
"Of course." Chi-chi said.
"But still, I should probably see where he stands on it all. That stupid man."
"Well," Chi-chi said. "Valentine's day is tomorrow."
Bulma froze and looked up at Chi-chi slowly. "You…you think he'd give me a Valentine?"
They both tried to picture Vegeta's idea of a Valentine in their heads and began giggling uncontrollably.
"He'd probably give me a real heart." Bulma groaned.
"Well, I guess it is Vegeta," Chi-chi said. "It's hard to imagine a tender side to him." She leaned forward. "Say, Goku and I are going to that big Valentine's Day event that they're having. Want to come with us?"
"Oh yeah," Bulma said. "They found a flower in the shape of a heart growing on the moon and everyone's taking it to be a big Valentine's thing." She sighed. "I don't know...I just can't get into a romantic mood."
"Well, take Vegeta along with us and it'll just be an opportunity to find out how he feels about you."
Bulma agreed, but was a little anxious. She had a bad feeling about this.
Goku, who had been minding his own business planting the radishes that Chi-chi wanted him to, looked round. "Vegeta?" He was stunned. "What's up?"
"I…" Vegeta began, but the words seemed to get caught in his throat. "I need your…I want…" He searched for the best phrasing. Finally, he got it. "Yes, I demand your advice."
Goku brushed dirt off his knees. "Um, mine?"
"Yes, yours, fool!"
Again, Vegeta seemed unable to continue. "The…ridiculous Earth woman who lives in my house."
"You mean, Bulma? I think technically it's her house, Vegeta-"
"Anyway, I demand that you tell me what I should do."
"I want to know if that woman has any special powers."
"What?" Goku laughed. "Bulma?"
"It's not funny!" Vegeta bristled. "This is serious! It's like…I…I can't answer her back! She's so stubborn! She's like a spoilt child!"
Goku didn't think it would be a good idea to mention how they both resembled each other in that respect.
"Wait," Goku smiled slyly. "You're not…in love with her, are you?"
Vegeta flinched and reddened, especially at the word 'love'.
"What? No! That's ridiculous! I'm a warrior!" He folded his arms and looked in the other direction. "Even so," He growled. "I am still a man. It's in a man's nature to wish to possess a beautiful woman."
"Beautiful?" Goku blinked.
Vegeta glared at him. "Well, you've seen her! She's gorgeous!"
"Aww!" Goku cooed.
"I swear, I will blast you to high heaven if you-!"
"Calm down," Goku laughed. "I completely get it, Vegeta."
Vegeta scowled at him suspiciously. "You do?"
"Yes," Goku nodded. "After all, I have Chi-chi. I know what it's like to fall in love."
"It's not 'love', you idiot! It's just-!"
"I know exactly what you should do!"
That silenced Vegeta for a moment. He waited.
"Valentine's Day." Goku finally said.
"Valentine's Day?" Vegeta repeated slowly. "What does that mean?"
"It's a special day we have here on Earth when we give gifts to the people we're," Goku chose his words carefully. "In…manly, warrior-like…lust with."
Vegeta nodded approvingly. "Right. So it's another bizarre Earth custom."
"Pretty much." Goku laughed. "But I'm sure if you give Bulma a Valentine then all your problems will be solved."
Vegeta shook his head. Earth women…so complex.
"Right," Vegeta glanced at the forest. "I'll get her…a tree."
"A…tree?" Goku repeated.
Vegeta shot him a look. "What's wrong with that?"
"Um, well…I don't think Bulma needs a tree."
Vegeta looked unconvinced.
"Have you ever seen her use a tree?"
Vegeta sighed irritably, conceding that he had indeed never seen that.
"Well then," He thought. "She made hamburgers once. Should I get her a spatula?"
"You're…starting to get it." Goku lied. "But Earth women prefer thoughtful presents."
"Thought…ful?" Vegeta looked confused by the word.
"Like," Goku glanced around for inspiration. "Oh! Like, right now I'm planting radishes for Chi-chi."
Vegeta stared at him. "Why?"
"Because she asked me to."
"So I want to make her happy." Goku said. "Don't you want to make Bulma happy?"
Again, Vegeta flushed and looked away. "Of course I do, you idiot! That's why I'm here!"
"She'd be really happy with a gift you've put a lot of thought into."
Vegeta left, chewing over that.
How did you put 'thought' into something exactly?
"Vegeta," Bulma said, startling him out of his thoughts. "You've been awfully quiet tonight. Aren't you going to train in the Gravity Room?"
Vegeta got to his feet. "Of course I am, idiot woman!" He spat with a lot more venom than he had meant to.
"Oh well, excuse me, Your Highness," Bulma snapped, losing her own temper a little. "Unfortunately, I'm not psychic and I was just being nice!"
"Whatever." Vegeta walked off.
Bulma cleared the dishes off the table, pissed. Maybe she wouldn't take Vegeta to the Moon Flower Valentine gala tomorrow.
She already knew exactly how he viewed her.
Vegeta stopped as an annoying voice came from behind him.
He glanced round to see Yamcha standing there with clenched fists.
"You better not be getting any funny ideas!" He snapped.
"What?" Vegeta's voice was warning.
"I-I've seen the way you look at Bulma!"
"Huh," Vegeta smirked. "Shows how perceptive you are."
Damn. He's more perceptive than I thought.
"You stay away from here, you understand? She's mine!"
Vegeta turned round, still smirking. "Oh? And what if I decide I want her for myself? What do you plan to do? Throw your blue cat at me?"
"You meanie!" Puar squeaked from his hiding place behind Yamcha's shoulder.
"Listen, I've already decided that I'm going to take Bulma to the Moon Flower Valentine gala tomorrow so don't you even think about it!"
Vegeta arched his eyebrow.
Okay, I didn't understand at least four things said in that sentence.
"The what?" He demanded.
"It's a special celebration for lovers- the heart shaped flower on the moon symbolizes love growing in even the most barren places," Yamcha nodded proudly. "And Bulma will be my date."
Vegeta snorted and walked off. "Like I care."
"Hey, come back here-!"
"Yamcha?" Bulma opened the front door. "What's all the yelling about?"
"Oh!" Yamcha went red. "Hi, Bulma! I was just talking to-" He looked round to see an empty path. "Erm…Vegeta…"
Bulma rolled her eyes. "Don't even bother talking to that guy."
"Why?" Yamcha looked hopeful. "Are you guys not getting along?"
"As if!" Bulma snapped and slammed the door shut. Her voice could still be faintly heard ranting. "He's a big jerk!"
Yamcha couldn't help but sigh with relief. He looked at Puar. "Ya hear that? They hate each other."
"I told you!" Puar said.
"And you were right," Yamcha said. "Ha! What was I worried about? Like a relationship between Bulma and Vegeta could ever work!"
Chi-chi called at Capsule Corp at six at noon with Goku in tow.
"Chi-chi!" Her husband complained. "I hate wearing suits!" He tugged at the collar. "It's too tight!"
"Oh just save it!" Chi-chi yelled. "Everyone at the gala will be dressed up so just deal with it!"
The door opened and Bulma stood there, an absolute vision in a rippling purple-blue dress, almost the colour of the dusky sky above them. She had straightened her hair so it fell to her waist. The only flaw in her looks was the unhappy expression on her face.
"Bulma!" Chi-chi smiled. "You're stunning!"
Bulma nodded slightly. "Thanks." She said.
"I know, isn't she?" Yamcha came up behind her, wearing a suit. "Well, come on- we'll be late."
Chi-chi looked at Bulma sharply and the pretty girl avoided her gaze.
"Sure!" Goku and Yamcha began walking towards the flickering lights of the town. "I hear there's gonna be a big banquet! I can't wait…!"
As their voices drifted away, Chi-chi pulled Bulma close.
"Where's Vegeta?" She whispered.
Bulma sighed. "Not here." Her anger grew slightly. "Not even on Earth!"
"He took one of daddy's rocket ships and left!"
Chi-chi bit her lip. "Oh, Bulma…"
"I knew it, Chi-chi! I mean- it's Vegeta for God's sake! I should've known he'd be like this! That man doesn't have one loving bone in his body!"
After the outburst, it was obvious that Bulma wanted to move away from the topic so Chi-chi kept the conversation going on other things. But it was clear how upset this incident had made Bulma.
She didn't even smile when they reached the gala and Yamcha pulled a box of chocolates from his coat.
"Your favorites!" He handed them to her proudly.
"Oh," Bulma took them. "Thank you."
Goku was looking at Bulma oddly. "Did…Vegeta happen to give you anything today, Bulma?"
"What?" She looked up. "No. He…he left."
"Good riddance." Yamcha sniffed.
Goku sighed. "That guy…he's so impossible."
Chi-chi gave Goku a 'drop the subject' look as the announcer's voice came over the loud speakers and the large crowd of lovers around them fell silent.
"Ladies and gentleman, in just an hour we will be airing live footage of what we are hereby naming the St Valentine's Flower! So, hold onto your beloved!"
Yamcha grabbed Bulma's arm.
"Come on," Chi-chi said. "Let's go get a seat."
As the men dug into the all-you-can-eat buffet provided for the gala lovers, Bulma and Chi-chi sat at one of the love-heart shaped glass tables shaded over needlessly by a pink heart-shaped umbrella.
"You've hardly touched your food." Chi-chi said delicately.
"I'm sorry, I'm being a sulky kid, aren't I?" Bulma sighed. "I just…I'm just really…really…" She looked up.
Chi-chi was staring at something behind her. "Um." She said, pointing.
Bulma looked round and her mouth fell open. "V-Vegeta!"
The Saiyan Prince stood there with his arms crossed, glaring at them. He was in his Saiyan warrior battle gear to boot.
"You," He said. "Irritating woman. Come with me." He was looking directly at Bulma.
"Wh-what?" Bulma managed.
Vegeta snatched her arm and yanked her to her feet. "Quit your blathering and let's go."
Chi-chi could do nothing but wave as her friend was practically dragged away.
"Vegeta!" Bulma finally ripped her arm away as they crossed to the middle of one of the bridges over the river. It had been set up specially for this event with lights attached to it and floating lanterns set below them in the water. "What's this all about? You disappear for a day and then suddenly come back and you think you can just drag me away from my date-?"
"Date?" Vegeta frowned. "With who?"
Bulma flicked her hair back. "Yamcha."
Vegeta bristled a little. "That idiot?"
"He's not an idiot!"
"And he's a weakling."
"He is compared to me."
Bulma looked at him, conscious that she looked really good tonight and she was satisfied with the fact that Vegeta didn't seem able to take his eyes off her.
"So," She said, regaining her calm. "What do you want?"
"Huh," Vegeta crossed his arm and turned away. "I have simply been informed that today is the bizarre human day of custom: Vale-Val…Valo-"
"Valentines?" Bulma offered.
Vegeta drummed his finger impatiently against his arm. "Yes, well whatever. In view of this, woman, I have decided to give you a gift."
Bulma stared at him. "You…love me?"
Vegeta blushed. "What? No, woman! I do not 'love' anything! I'm a warrior!"
"So…" Bulma, who hadn't really expected to be swept off her feet with his answer, said. "Why are you giving me a Valentine?"
"Well, I-! Ugh!" Vegeta drew it out of the breast pocket of his battle gear and shoved it at her. "Just take it, damn you!"
"I told you, Yamcha!" Chi-chi said. "It's best if you just stay here for the countdown."
"Aw, it's okay, Yamcha!" Goku slapped his arm. "In a matter of minutes, Vegeta will offend her, she'll yell at him and she'll be right back here with us."
"I guess." Muttered Yamcha.
"Here it is, all you lovers out there!" The loudspeakers boomed. "The new symbol of Valentine's Day itself! The flower of love! Three, two, one!"
There was cheering and the massive screen suspended over the skyscraper crackled into life and the picture focused.
The cheers died down and a pause of confused silence swept the group.
Chi-chi and Goku looked at each other.
"What the-?" Goku murmured.
"W-where is it?" Chi-chi and everyone else at the Valentine's Day gala stared at the completely empty surface of the moon.
Bulma's jaw dropped.
The St Valentine's Flower, the symbol of love and hope that the world had found solace in was currently in Vegeta's hand, being held out for her.
"This…" She said.
"That idiot with the blue cat that you're so keen on told me how important this plant is. Apparently it's some kind of symbol thing for love or something growing in a barren whatever-it's-called." Vegeta said.
Bulma took the delicate flower. It was as red as wine and shone like a moonbeam in her hand, the single petal did indeed neatly curve into a love heart.
"Oh Vegeta." She said.
The symbol of love growing in a barren planet. Or, does it need to be a planet? Couldn't it be a person?
Bulma looked up at Vegeta.
He was looking straight ahead without even glancing at her but Bulma had learnt to read his feelings beyond the mask he showed to everyone.
He was nervous.
She bit back a smile.
"Well?" Vegeta demanded. "If you don't like it you don't have to keep it."
"I love it." Bulma said quietly. "This was a wonderful present, Vegeta."
"Huh. If you say so. It still looks like nothing but a plant to me though." He turned and began walking away. "But it means a lot to the Earth so it's a fitting present for the consort of a Saiyan Prince."
"Oh?" Bulma ran after him. "When did I say I was gonna be your consort, tough guy?"
"You-!" Vegeta turned on her, but Bulma leaned quickly forward and kissed his cheek.
"I'm kidding." She winked. "I'll definitely take you into consideration."
Crimson, Vegeta stared at her. "You…shameless….you-!"
"I know, I know," Bulma laughed, taking his arm. "Let's go back to Capsule Corp. You can think up all the insults you want there."
"Tch." Was Vegeta's reply.
But he didn't shake her off.
Behind them, Bulma was chagrinned to hear the disappointed cry of a million upset lovers.
She inwardly sighed.
Well, that was Vegeta.
With him, it was hard to take the love without the angst.
But she didn't mind.
She squeezed Vegeta's arm and he didn't protest.
The lanterns in the river guided them home along the gravel path.
No, she didn't mind at all.