Disclaimer: I own nothing recognisable in this fic, be it from Dragon Ball Z or Whedonverse.
A/N: This is AU after Vegeta sacrifices himself against Maijin Buu. After Vegeta blew himself and Buu to kingdom come, that was it for that saga (Vegeta's sacrifice worked, Buu was dead dead dead with no regrowing pink things), and then he was brought back to life along with everyone else with the Shen-Long wish. The events of this story are set about a month after those events. Just go with it for me, k?
In terms of the Buffyverse, this is set after the TV series, but without really taking the comics as more than the vaguest guideline. Since the sinkage of Sunnydale, and after the death of Spike, Buffy has decided to go on a slaying sabbatical, and has been travelling around the world looking for baby slayers and badthings to thump. Xander and Faith are doing similar things in Africa and the US respectively. Willow decided to go to university abroad (Brazil for all you diehards out there), Giles is in England creating the new watcher's council. Oz has meanwhile been chilling out with the Buddhist monks in Tibet, because they showed him how to make peace with his inner wolf, and thus start to maintain control.
The moon got blown up by Piccolo, and the Saiyans felt a mysterious burst of energy just before seemingly hundreds of teenage girls started showing up in martial arts contests and kicking the tar out of men three times their size.
Okay, everyone caught up?
On with the story then.
Chapter 1: A Bad Day
Vegeta was having a bad day.
It was not the worst day he had ever had- being orphaned and losing almost the entirety of his race, and his planet effectively trumped pretty much any other shit that fate could throw at him.
Watching his his future son be killed by Super Perfect Cell, before being defeated himself and saved by the son of his rival was a close second.
The time that Frieza killed him, only for him to wake up alive and on a backwater planet surrounded by Namekians, having been resurrected by his enemy who had also managed to defeat Frieza was probably third.
The day he realised that no matter what he did, he was never going to beat that brain-damaged Third Class Kakarrot in a fair fight came close after that on the list of damned awful days he had had.
Then came the years that he had lived under Frieza's command. In order to survive, the arrogant child he had been had become nothing more than a savage attack dog, leashed and collared until the next time that Frieza wished to engage in a little genocide. To call those mere "bad" days would require the scope of the word "bad" to be stretched far beyond the understanding of most of the humans who lived on his current planet of residence, Earth.
So truthfully, Vegeta told himself firmly, this day did not even make it into the top fifty of the worst days of his life, let alone the top 100. He had survived those, so he should be able to survive anything.
Standing arms folded on a rock in the remotest mountains he could find on short notice, (a voice that sounded suspiciously like Trunks' reminded him that they were the Himalayas, but honestly, Vegeta could give less of a shit about what humans named their geography,) Vegeta brooded.
Bulma had kicked him out.
Well. That wasn't entirely accurate. No human woman could force the Prince of the Saiyans to leave anywhere where he wished to stay. But she had organised things so that if he had made such a decision, he would be living on her begrudging charity like some sort of pathetic unwanted pet. She had, damn her, relied on his pride to make him leave. There had been times when she had used it against him that had caused him to feel some grudging, (affectionate, his innermost weakness admitted) respect for her.
But this was unforgivable.
She had called Kakarot over to "make sure that Vegeta didn't do anything he might want to take back later". Ridiculous. Vegeta never regretted anything. Considering the atrocities (yes, he knew that they were atrocities, he could hardly consider the deaths of entire races and destruction of planets that he had participated in to be completely unlike those that had been committed against his own,) that he had committed in the past, there lay madness. Anything he ever did, he did because of the situation that he was in and the information that he knew. Even if his actions had been impulsive, (such as killing Nappa,) they were never ill-considered. If things later turned out not for the best, then it was a what if, and Vegeta had long ago stopped letting himself think about those.
Hypothetical circumstances of things about to happen, yes. It was important for a warrior to know tactics and strategy, and to paraphrase a certain clever Earthling, a well-informed, well-prepared warrior could win a battle before it had even been fought.
(Yes, Vegeta had read Sun Tsu. Trunks had given the slim volume to Vegeta as a father's day gift when Trunks had only been 5, otherwise he might never have bothered, but with a title like "the Art of War", Vegeta had read it first with mild, if vaguely doubtful interest, before realising that Sun Tsu had nicely summarised a great deal of what Vegeta had learned through experience, and at times reminded Vegeta of one of his instructors before the destruction of Vegetasei. To this day it was one of the few possessions that Vegeta kept in part for its sentimental value, because to him it was proof that his son at least understood him. It was also one of his few concessions that perhaps not everything produced by Earthlings was pathetic.)
Hypotheticals of things past however? No.
What inviting Kakarot meant though, was that Bulma had requested for the man that Vegeta considered his greatest rival to witness one of Vegeta's greatest embarrassments. It was an action that Vegeta knew he would never forgive his now ex-wife for, as it had effectively rubbed salt and vinegar into an unexpected wound.
The reason for Bulma's decision was the part that really burned though.
Apparently, she didn't think that Vegeta "treated her right". So, she had started seeing that pathetic loser Yamcha behind his back.
Hadn't treated her right. So having a son together, training hard and trying to become the most powerful warrior in order to protect his family didn't count as "treating her right". Being devotedly loyal, and putting up with her constantly changing whims, strange priorities, and outright insults to his dignity was apparently not "treating her right".
So he had been "rude" to her in the past. So what? She was just as rude to him. HFIL, she called him a "jerk" all the time. It was normal for Saiyan mates to fight. Fighting was what Saiyans specialised in as a species after all. His own mother and father had sometimes fought each other so much that the servants had a weekly betting pool concerning numbers, reasons, locations and insults.
So there had been that time that Dr. Gero had tried to kill Bulma and Trunks, and he had done nothing. Had said that he had "more important things to worry about than that foolish woman and her blasted child". He hated that she didn't understand the context in which he had said that. At the time when he had said that to Mirai Trunks, it had been only partly out of spite. He was furious that the Namekian and Kakarrot had both found out that Mirai Trunks was actually his son before he had, and telling him that he had trusted him to want to save his mother and past self seemed too much like stating the obvious. Besides, admitting weakness like that would have been against every Saiyan instinct that he had. No true Saiyan spoke admitted regard for (or even the existence of) their family in the field of battle. It was only asking for them to become targets. The fact that his future son didn't understand this and had demanded Vegeta explain himself in public had been a rude shock, and he had blurted out an instinctual response before he could reconsider it.
But despite Bulma's ranting, the "friction" in their relationship wasn't all his fault.
What, Vegeta wanted to know, was "right" about her going to another man, (especially one who was so weak, so pathetic, he had been killed by a Saibaman for the love of Vegetasei!) for comfort? What was right about the constant jibes she had made against his honour and dignity? What was right about her trying to distract Trunks from his training? What was right about inviting Kakarot to witness his shame?
Vegeta resisted the urge to crush the mountain beneath his fist. This was one of his favourite places on Earth. It was quiet, unpolluted, and refreshingly free from humans, apart from the very rare climber who came up this way. If he strained his ears, he could hear the chanting from the Buddhist monastery a good day and a half's travel as the human climbed below. It would not do to make this bad day worse by removing one of his few sanctuaries in a fit of pique.
Since he was alone, he sighed.
At least she had not been able to turn his son against him, despite her best attempts, although apparently, she was going to get her lawyers to deny him "custody". Bulma had told him that she thought he was a danger to her, and a danger to her son.
Ridiculous. He had never laid so much as a finger on her in anger the entire time they had been together. The only times he had ever hit Trunks had been in training, and considering how good he was getting, (and the fact that Kakarot's brats went through similar treatment, so there Bulma, and at least Vegeta had always been around whilst Trunks had been growing up,) it had never hurt him.
Sure, he hadn't hugged Trunks until he was eight, but then Vegeta wasn't demonstrative like a human...
Suddenly, it made sense.
Vegeta slumped. So that was it. Bulma hadn't come right out and said it, but now that he had had the chance to stop and think, it was obvious. There were only two things that Yamcha could give Bulma that Vegeta couldn't give to her. Though Vegeta might be able to snark that the first was cringing obedience, the second was that...
Vegeta gritted his teeth.
The second was that Yamcha, being a soft Earthling who hadn't been mostly raised by warriors and conquerors as a prince, then a slave and attack dog, was comfortable with being affectionate with his loved ones. Even as a free prince, Vegeta's father had told him that showing affection was showing your enemy where to strike you first.
But here on Earth, where babies were born rather than decanted, (and that right there had been a startling thing to discover,) and there were sayings such as "don't get between a mother and her young", "friendship first" and "I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich"... these were sentiments that weren't completely alien to Vegeta, but expressing them so bluntly, so forwardly, and so freely, was.
It had only been in more recent years that he had managed to feel like maybe, just maybe, he could humour his son and wife with a few moments of affection, but most of these had been very much in private, and Bulma had always acted startled, before frowning and telling him that he didn't need to butter her up if he wanted something.
That hadn't exactly encouraged him in his fumbling attempts.
He had thought Bulma understood. She had known what he was like, and had told him she loved him. Even though he had admitted to her that he was a killer, who in the bad old days had thought nothing of destroying an entire race before lunch, and pillaging all that they had before dinner, when Frieza would often blow their planet into so much space dust.
Now almost a decade later, just after this latest fiasco with the Buus had died down it seemed that she had changed her mind. Maybe it was the fact that even though the wish to Shen-Long had revived all the people in the crowd that Vegeta had killed when under the influence of Babidi, this did not change the fact that Vegeta had been the one to kill them. Apparently being under the influence of magic was no excuse. Vegeta had been shocked when Kakarot had wanted to talk to him about things that he had said whilst under the influence. It had taken all of Vegeta's might to force himself to focus on defeating Kakarot instead of killing the brats, and it was only after defeating Kakarot that he had been able to claw together the willpower to seize back control and fight Maijin Buu.
And when even his best efforts had not been enough, and his son had had to save him from Buu's grasp, Vegeta had realised what he would have to do.
Knowing he was about to die, he felt no qualms about hugging his son. Where he was about to go, no one could kill his family to get to him.
And so Vegeta had used the Final Destruction technique, and blown himself and Buu to smithereens.
He had done it for his family. And, he had to admit, because he owed Kakarot. But mostly, he had done it for Trunks and Bulma.
And this was the thanks he got.
"You seem angry, friend."
Vegeta whirled around, to see a short red-haired man standing calmly a few paces away from him. Internally he was shocked. Had he been so deep in his musings that he had not noticed some clod-footed tourist climbing up the mountain?
Instead of answering the man, Vegeta merely glared at him.
To his surprise, the man seemed completely unfazed. He simply walked over to a nearby rock and leaned against it, watching Vegeta, apparently waiting for him to make the next move.
"Go away, human. I'm not in the mood, and crushing you into dust would take me less effort than you squashing a mosquito," Vegeta growled.
To his surprise, the man merely nodded. "Technically not a human, but since it's not a full moon, and hell, it's pretty unlikely to ever be a full moon again, unless I'm particularly ticked off, then close enough."
Despite himself, Vegeta had to admit he was somewhat intrigued by that comment.
"Why do you say that?" he demanded. "Did you used to transform on the full moon too?"
He had asked the question mostly in jest, but the red-haired man's eyes widened slightly.
"You're a werewolf?" the man asked.
Vegeta frowned. "I do not know this term 'werewolf' but before my tail was cut off, on the full moon I would become what you humans would describe as a Great Ape." Vegeta scowled darkly. "Not any more."
The human raised an eyebrow. "You've been cured of your transformations but you miss them?"
Vegeta snorted derisively. "Does being maimed by having one's tail amputated so that one cannot access a part of their natural state mean being 'cured' in your language?"
The human was silent for a moment, obviously contemplating Vegeta's response. "So you were always able to transform before the... amputation?"
"Yes." Vegeta wondered why he was even bothering to answer this impertinent human's questions, but then remembered something.
"You asked if I used to transform on the full moon 'too'. I take it then that you are a ...werewolf?"
The man winced.
"Depends on what day it is. Used to be a monthly thing, but then one day I wake up and there's no moon, and I don't mean the Deathstar was there instead. So now it's just whenever I'm sufficiently pissed off. I do my best to stay in control of it. Most days meditation is enough to subdue the Wolf."
Vegeta sighed. "For a moment there I almost hoped you were yet another half-Saiyan. Who would have thought that Earth females could bear our brats?"
"Huh." The human seemed to consider this. "So I take it you're not from around here originally?"
Vegeta chuckled darkly. "I am Vegeta, Prince of All Saiyans, Rightful Ruler of Planet Vegetasei," he said, sitting up straight-backed and head held high, but with a bitter self-mockery to his words. He sobered. "And of course, Vegetasei was destroyed almost two decades ago. As far as I know, there is only one other pure Saiyan left. The rest are his two brats and my one, and all of them are half-human. None of them have tails any more, not that it matters, with the moon gone and the only artificial moon I had lost." Vegeta hung his head. "I sacrificed myself to save humanity, giving up my life to kill a being that would have destroyed everyone I..." Even now Vegeta couldn't bring himself to say the words "everyone I love" to a perfect stranger. He forced himself to continue. "Everyone under my protection, but that apparently wasn't enough. Now I have been resurrected, even my human wife has deserted me for a particularly pathetic human, having called on my only rightful subject to bear witness and to restrain me if necessary, because of course he is more powerful a warrior than I could ever be." He attempted a self-deprecating smirk, but it only served to make him look more miserable.
"I do believe that in the words of humans, I have officially hit rock bottom."
There was a pause, as the red-haired human seemed to consider his words.
A/N: Should I continue? If I do, this will eventually be Buffy/Vegeta, because I can't help but think there would be a mutual respect there. Also, Buffy has always chased bad boys, and Vegeta is pretty much the Ultimate Bad Boy when you think about it. Let me know what you think.