Slotted against his, Bulma’s mouth felt like his missing puzzle piece. Never could Vegeta have imagined that this single action could cause his soul to swell beyond his body. Her arms were still locked around his neck, holding fast as though he would evaporate and vanish, or worse, just keep running away from her forever. Bulma was preventing this with every ounce of her strength, but what she didn’t realize was that he couldn’t move even if he wanted to.
Though his body was frozen in place, Vegeta’s mind was a whirling dervish; torn between the primal urge to throw this beautiful creature over his shoulder and scream a victory cry, or collapse in the fetal position curled up against her and sob. It was leaning dangerously in favor of the collapse when she began to pull away from him. On their own accord, his lips helplessly trailed after her. Vegeta’s eyes opened to find Bulma looking at him, lips slightly parted and flushed, “You okay?” She breathed.
All he could do was stare at her, chest shaking with each gulp of air. Was he having a heart attack? Is that what that fluttering in his heart meant?
“Vegeta?” Bulma was starting to look nervous, “Was that too much? Oh God, I’m so sorry,” she stepped away from him, hands wringing nervously, “Damnit, I’m such an idiot.”
Bulma sniffed, wiping the corner of one eye, “I’m so, so sorry. I crossed the line. God, I hope you can forgive me.”
She was gathering her shawl. Now she was putting it on. Was she leaving? No! This wasn’t what was supposed to happen!
Her back was to him, head bowed as she picked up her keys from their place on the kitchen counter, “If you never want to speak to me again, I understand.” Her well manicured fingers were on the door knob, turning it and pulling the door open.
He should move. He should be running. Why wasn’t he? He wanted her. She in some capacity wanted him. The overwhelming feelings inside him must have short circuited something. Vegeta’s brain was screaming at his useless extremities to do something, anything, but before he could his apartment door was wide open.
She was looking at him over her shoulder in the doorway, sky blue eyes filled with tears, “Sorry,” she whispered again, and then closed the door behind her.
Vegeta was still as a statue, staring in quiet disbelief at the now empty place where Bulma had stood. Gone. She was gone.
And it was his fault.
He had fucked everything up.
Why didn’t he respond? Why didn’t he stop her? All it would have taken was a word, a kiss from him, anything…
An ache started in his jaw; he realized he was grinding his teeth together. Vegeta needed something, anything to set his mind straight. Almost robotically he picked up a discarded t shirt from his floor, snatched his own keys and stormed out of the apartment and down the stairs, scrolling with near desperation through his recent calls.
A ring came through the speakers, once, twice, three times before a sleepy voice answered:
“Kakarot, gym. Now.”
“Wha-now? It’s almost eleven…”
Vegeta hung up; he knew his sparring partner would come. He always did. The need to pound out his confused feelings was outweighing any other desire at this point, and he knew that before he faced Bulma, he had to face himself first.
The moment Goku walked into the gym he knew something was wrong.
Vegeta was throttling a punching bag, which in itself wasn’t that odd, but the blood smears across the surface of it gave the normally flippant man pause. His gym buddy always had a routine: be ten minutes early, drink a bottle of water, wrap his knuckles, and then do work. The fact that Vegeta had missed part of his ritual let Goku know that it was going to be a long night.
Instead of greeting the smaller man with a clap on the shoulder like he normally did, Goku walked to the opposite end of the bag and held it steady, giving a small nod and let Vegeta continue his assault. No words were exchanged for the rest of the session. Though Goku knew he wasn’t the smartest when it came to traditional education , he at least had the common sense to realize that whatever Vegeta was going through had him hot and bothered. And a hot and bothered Vegeta was a dangerous one. The lawyer had a reputation still, even though his teen years were long gone.
When they were younger, the two had run wild across the city together. While Goku had his grandfather to lean on and didn’t purposefully(that being the key word) get into trouble, Vegeta sought it out. Desperate, almost anxious for any kind of attention Vegeta had managed to get into more scrapes than anyone thought humanly possible. Goku had felt a certain responsibility to the older, flame-haired youth despite other people’s grumblings and curses. All had given up on Vegeta.
Except for Goku.
Or, ‘Kakarot’ as Vegeta referred to him. He’d always wondered why 'Geets never referred to him as the name he was best known by. There had always been the allusion that the smaller man knew more about Goku’s past that he let on. Maybe Kakarot was his birth name. Goku had known he was adopted from very early on and didn’t really care. His happy-go-lucky attitude had gotten him out of some tough situations and thrown into others. All the while the man on the other side of the punching bag had been by his side, either fighting alongside him or punching Goku in the face.
Friendship was complicated.
After some pretty heavy sparring and about two hours later, Goku laid back on the mat and puffed out a breath of air, “I’m throwin’ in the towel. Chichi was already mad when I left. Any longer and I’m sure I’ll be in for it.” He raised his head, only to see Vegeta leaned back against the wall looking at the floor.
“Fine. Goodnight, Kakarot.”
Odd, Goku thought. No calling him weak for going home? “Hey man, whatever is-”
“Shut up.” Vegeta interrupted, crossing his arms, “just, don’t say anything. It’s nothing.”
“Doesn’t look like nothin’,” Goku said, rolling onto his knees, “but, whatever is going on, you can figure it out, ya’ know? You’ve had worse.”
Vegeta snorted, but at least he was looking at him now, “You’re an optimistic fool.”
Chuckling, Goku rubbed the back of his neck and picked up his gym bag, “Well, better to be optimistic than sulk ya’ know? Sulking doesn’t get ya’ anything. It just makes ya’ feel worse. At least havin’ faith gives ya’ something to look forward too, instead of deciding you’ve already quit. And you’re not a quitter, 'Geets.”
“Pfft.” Shaking his head, Vegeta smirked, “Like I said, optimistic fool.”
The larger man shrugged, slinging his gym bag over his shoulder, “Well, somethin’ has gotten’ ya’ this far hasn’t it? Anyways, see ya’ Tuesday?”
Vegeta nodded, picking up his cell phone from the top of his gym bag. After a few seconds of staring at it he grunted and put it back down. Goku smiled knowingly, “It’s that girl, isn’t it? The picture on your phone you’re always lookin’ at?”
Goku chuckled, “Alright, alright. Night.” And with a wave over his shoulder, he exited though the gym doors into the evening air, leaving Vegeta perplexed as to how someone so spacey could leave him feeling more grounded than anyone.
The apartment was dead silent when he entered, the air smelling of the food Bulma had brought over from the restaurant. He’d forgotten about it, and it sat tepid and abandoned on the coffee table. Vegeta swallowed, then turned down the hallway towards his room. He didn’t want to deal with that tonight. Maybe in the morning.
Showering with the water as cold as possible distracted his mind, but that only lasted for as long as the shower did. The moment he stepped out, the heaviness settled back into his thoughts. Maybe sleep would help.
After laying awake and staring at the ceiling for half-an-hour, he realized that it would only be her that occupied his dreams that night. And that made him uncomfortable. What were his feelings for her? Bulma was very pretty, so there was that, obviously. And she was smart. And kind to him, as he was to her. The fact that he’d never once turned her away made him realize that he was far more attached to her than previously believed.
His phone was charging on the nightstand beside him. She hadn’t text him. Not once. The two would normally text until she fell asleep. It made him feel hollow inside without that contact.
Vegeta reached for the phone and sent a quick text:
“I can’t sleep.”
Quickly, he put the phone back on the nightstand, tucking his hands behind his head. Why was his heart racing?
A minute went by.
He picked his phone back up, then opened his messages. It said the text had been read.
But she hadn’t responded.
Vegeta’s gut churned. Bulma always responded to his texts. Why hadn’t she? Was she angry with him? She had every right to be if he was being honest with himself. What a selfish asshole he was. She’d thrown herself at him, and what did he do? Gawked at her like some clueless, love sick teenager-
Oh. Oh no.
Then the incoming text bubble appeared. Vegeta inhaled loudly, sitting straight up in bed, completely transfixed at the silly gray bubbles. She was responding. Everything would be alright.
Then it disappeared.
And he waited, the minutes ticking by.
The clock on his phone hit three Am. An hour had passed.
Vegeta settled back on his pillow, eyes growing heavy, still watching that text screen.
When the sun began rising he was fast asleep, phone held tightly against his chest, just in case it vibrated against him.
First art of 2017! ✨ with my first anime crush and fave android twins (and the reason why 17 is my favourite number…..) Android 17 and 18!
One of my goals this year is to draw at least one thing every day - last year was a bit of a difficult time for me, and also a very quiet period in art, so I really want to try hard to turn it around in 2017! (this will probably just mean a lot more quick n messy sketches haha) Happy new year, and thank you so so much for sticking around!