Dragon Ball Z: Pride Before A Fall

Chapter 2

To everyone in the Capsule Corp Mansion's relief, at long last Vegeta remained bedridden for a few days. No more waiting for something to explode, no more fear of having to scrap Saiyan guts off the capsule ship's floor. Everyone was at peace, except perhaps Yamcha, who every time he turned around found Bulma either at Vegeta's bedside or working on equipment to enhance his training. He didn't understand. Things hadn't always worked out between them, he knew that, but why him? Why the alien who'd been responsible for his death? Didn't she even care? Sadly, only Puar seemed to notice his pain and he drowned the rest in continuing his own training.

As for Vegeta, though he allowed his body to rest, his mind continued to remain restless. Nearly his every waking moment was filled with thoughts of Kakarot, the obsession was maddening. What was it? What was it that had allowed Kakarot to increase his power so immensely in such a short time? He had to know. He would know! He wouldn't stop until he'd uncovered that fool's secret and beaten him at his own game.

And there was something else – one little grain that manage to continually slip into his mind and disrupt his brooding: that strange blue haired human girl who seemed constantly at his side. She was yet another riddle that managed to confound him. She could be horribly annoying, and yet he found, in a way, he enjoyed her company. Her cleverness, her gall, her determination, he found it all oddly inspiring. And every time he rebuked her, she returned the favor with unstoppable zeal. She was…an enigma.

It was in all these ponderings, dwelling on Kakarot and drifting to Bulma, than an idea struck him. Perhaps, the answer to both these riddles lied somewhere between his opponent and this Human girl. After all, she had said on multiple occasions that she had known Kakarot – or "Goku" as she liked to call him – since he was a little boy. Could the answer have been staring him in the face this whole time? Could she know something that would reveal the secret to his nightmares?

By the third day, he was determined to find out. He felt his strength returning and refused to stay bedridden any longer. He wanted to return to training, but Bulma insisted she wasn't finished upgrading the ship for him. Fine. Instead, he would take this day to investigate.

Vegeta stood in his room, unwrapping some of the bandages from his arm and testing out his strength. He lifted a corner of his mouth. Turns out Bulma had been right, a few days of rest and he already felt immensely stronger. He tried a few practice punches and kicks, stirring the air so much it blew all of Bulma's tools off the desk. He chuckled victoriously and then frowned with frustration. Stronger, yes, but it still wasn't enough. It would never be enough until he'd obtained the legend.

"Oh there you are, Vegeta!" Vegeta's face turned into the embodiment of tightness as Bulma's airhead mother barged in, carrying a tray as usual. "Oh Vegeta, you simply must try these dumplings, they're to die for!"

"Gaah! No!" he steamed at her, clenching his fists, "I do not want dumplings!"

Mrs. Brief smiled warmly as he stormed past her. "What a decisive man. Bulma sure is a lucky girl!"

Vegeta ducked around a corner and waited for the aggravating woman to go away, not wanting to risk her spotting him again and causing him even more grief. Once she's hummed along on her way, his brow lowered and he gazed intently down the hall to where he knew Bulma's room was.

He slipped inside, growling softly as his eyes shifted around. "There has to be something in here that will give me a clue. One single blasted clue, that's all I need."

He stepped over some of her belongings and grumbled. Well one thing was clear, she was a complete slob. She had tools, bolts, and feminine bits scattered all over the place! He did his best to ignore this and began to search her drawers. What he needed was something old of hers, something from Kakarot's past. Anything that would reveal to him what about his life here on Earth had empowered him so. He leaned down and sniffed deeply, searching for anything that might possibly carry the faint odor of Kakarot's scent.

Getting frustrated, he shoved a pile of junk aside, snarling. It was then he noticed it – an old framed photograph. He hummed deeply, picking it up and narrowing his brow at it. It was clearly a picture from Kakarot's childhood, Bulma and him were on a roadside somewhere posing together. It was definitely him, even without the tail he would recognized that ridiculous smile of his anywhere. Vegeta stared at the young Saiyan's tail for a moment, a deep rumble emerging in his throat as he felt at the stubby bump in his pants that had once been his tail.

He didn't miss it as much as it stood as a constant reminder of how Kakarot had first brought him to shame and stolen his glory. It should never have happened, he'd always kept his tail protected, wrapped tightly around his waist and out of harm's way. No one had ever been able to lay a finger on it, not once had a single person ever exploited that natural weakness. And now it was gone. He tried to forget about it, but sometimes it almost felt like it was still there, mocking him. Child Saiyans could regrow their tails in time, but his would never return. But he'd make sure the same would never be said of his honor.

"And what exactly are you doing in here?"

Vegeta choked and snarled, freezing and his eyes shifting tensely to the door, seeing Bulma standing there, goggles on her forehead and wearing mechanic gloves.

"I mean, it's good to see you on your feet again, but what are you doing in my room? Don't you know it's rude to go into someone's bedroom uninvited?"

His cheekbones turned red and he turned on her, teeth bared. "Gah! It's nothing! I can go anywhere I want, why do you always have to ask so many questions?! Grrr…"

She laughed and lowered her brow, meeting his challenge. "Nothing, huh? Then why are you looking through my underwear draw? I didn't take you for one of those guys, Vegeta."

"Guh-ah!" he cried, his face turning redder as he realized he had been. "What are you crazy?! No!" he screamed at her, "I don't care about your stupid panties!"

"And what do you got there in your hand, give me that!" She snatched the picture from his hand. "I knew you could be unbelievably rude, but I thought at least you would know better than to touch other people's stuff."

"What—did—you—arrgggghhh!"

"Hmph!" Bulma turned up her nose at him and then looked at the picture. "Oh…why would you be looking at this?" She smiled at it. "Gosh, those were the days. I mean, I had terrible hair back then, but what adventures we had! Goku always was pretty amazing, even way back then."

Vegeta grunted loudly, turning away and folding his arms. "Yes, so incredibly amazing," he stated sarcastically and bitterly.

Bulma looked at him. "Well he's not the only one who is. All you Saiyans are pretty amazing. Especially you, Vegeta."

"Oh really?" he challenged, "And how am I 'so amazing' to you?"

This time, it was Bulma's turn to feel her ears turning pink. Her insides were jelly again. "Well," she turned away, setting the photo down and putting a hand to her face, "I can't say I've ever seen anyone work even half as hard as you do. You're so determined, you know exactly what you want and you never let anyone stand in your way, even to the point of pigheadedness. And you're really sincere too, you just say exactly what you mean."

He lifted a corner of his mouth. "Hmph. Well…"

"And you never care what anyone thinks about you. Even me."

Bam! The redness hit his face again like a sucker punch. "Mmmummrrmmmumm…" he grunted, his expression staggering.

She turned around, leaning gently back against her dresser, letting her own light blush show. "Honestly…you're the most amazing guy I've ever met." Her big blue eyes looked up at him and he found himself choking down how much they startled him. "That's why I don't get why you let Goku bother you so much. There's no reason why you should be worrying all the time about him or anyone else being better than you. I mean, it's like you keep saying, you're the Prince of All Saiyans. Goku's not a prince and he never will be, that's you and you alone. You're incredible and you always will be and someday, I just know you'll be the best."

Vegeta continued to stutter and choke, staring at her. "You really mean that?"

"I really do," she insisted.

"How? Why?" he stuttered, "I don't understand."

Her blush returned and she moved to the side. "Well…I guess I could show you." Her hand nervously locked the door behind her back.

His brow narrowed. "Show me? Whatever could you possibly mean?"

"Well…" her lips quivered, moving awkwardly towards him, "I guess it's like this….I… um…." She grabbed him by his large ears and kissed him.

Vegeta's eyes bulged and without thinking he knocked her away with a swipe of his hand, making her collide with the back wall, adding a nice crater to the decor. "What the hell do you think you're doing, woman?!" he cried, his face a bright beet red.

"That was called a kiss, you dumb ass!" Bulma screamed back, flopped over in a heap, "What the hell do you think I was doing?!"

"I don't know, you tell me!"

"What kind of guy hits a girl after she kisses him?!"

"Gah! I don't know! What are you trying to do to me?!"

"Grrrr!" she screeched, getting up and pulling at her hair, "You are so stupid, you know that?! Now apologize to me, right now!"

"I don't have to apologize for anything! You're the one who grabbed me like that!"

"Well fine!" she shouted, crossing her arms and leaning into his face, "Sorry I disgust you so! You act like you've never been kissed before!" Vegeta's jaw snapped shut and he grunted uncomfortably, his eyes shifting to the side. Bulma's face fell. "Oh my God…you haven't. Why…you've never even touched a girl before, have you?"

"Mmmrmm," he growled at her, the red spreading over the bridge of his nose, "What do you think?! My planet was destroyed while I was still a child, as far as I know every female Saiyan is dead! And besides, I'm a warrior, I don't have time for such petty interests."

Her blue brow lowered at him again. "Huh! Well if you really want to know what the difference between you and Goku is, you got it right there. Goku always makes time for the people he cares about!"

Vegeta suddenly froze, his eyes growing wide with disbelief. "You're…right," he stuttered.

Could that really be it? Could it really be that simple? His mind flashed through all his memories of Kakarot, the way he stretched out his hand to his son during their encounter, how the cheers of his friends always urged him on as he fought. Was that really it? The thing that had allowed a low class warrior to surpass him…the fact that he had someone worth fighting for?

Vegeta's eyes slowly shifted to Bulma's accusing face. "I'm….sorry-I-hit-you."

"Duaaah!" Bulma's eyes spun circles and she fell backwards on the floor, her legs twitching in the air. "Wha…he…really…does…have a…sweet side…ehehehe…."

Vegeta snorted and rolled his eyes at her. "Well?"

Bulma got back up, a red ribbon running over her nose and he could almost swear he saw hearts coming out of the top of her head. "Well…" She pointed cheekily. "There's…um…a shirtless man in my room…hehehe…" Vegeta's eyes shifted to the side. Bulma's shoulders fell and she gave him a look. "There's a shirtless man in my room." His eyes shifted to the other side. Bulma clenched her fingers and growled. "Grrrr, oh just come here, you idiot!"

She jumped on him, tossing her goggles aside, throwing her arms around him, and beginning to kiss him. Vegeta stumbled back, his arms flailing about, unsure of what to do with them. Bulma ran her fingers up through his hair as she kissed him – oh that amazing, stupid hair of his! Saiyan hair was so coarse and thick, and Vegeta's was especially so, strong like horse hair.

Vegeta nervously cracked open an eye, looking down at the Human woman clinging to him so. He grunted, trying to figure out what to do with himself. Bulma giggled and kissed him repeatedly across his face. And then he felt her hand slip down, her fingers brushing across the bump that had once been his tail. Vegeta grunted high and loud, his brow shooting up. His mouth opened, something clicking inside him. Something feral in his Saiyan nature.

"Mmm…" Bulma sighed happily, leaning against his chest.

Suddenly, Vegeta's large hands seized her shoulders, making her yelp with surprise. He looked intensely down at her, half his face lifted in a grin and chuckling deeply. "All this time, I was trying so hard…and the answer was right in front of me…you…Bulma."

"Uh…ah…" Bulma swooned, all the blood rising her face and stars in her eyes.

Vegeta clenched his teeth as his chuckle darkened, his eyes full of plots, mischief, and excitement. Not only was this going to be incredibly easy…he just might enjoy himself as well. It was Bulma's turn for her eyes to bulge as he pressed her fiercely to himself and started kissing her, almost biting her really.

"Woah, wait!" she protested, flailing her arms around, "That's not how you're supposed to—ah! That one hurt!"

Vegeta didn't respond other than with more chuckling and beginning to grow, just about crushing her as he held and kissed her. Bulma felt her face starting to turn blue. Good grief! Was this what it was like with all Saiyans?!

"Vegeta!" she coughed, "That's too…!" Her brow finally lowered and she growled, slapping him across the face hard as she could.

It was like a feather bouncing off his cheek, but still he grunted and glared at her. "Oh now you're the one who's hitting?" he accused.

"You are crushing me!" she hissed at him.

He growled. "I don't need directions from you."

"Oh yes you do!" she shot back, "And you'd better listen up if you want this to go where I think it's going!"

"Mmrr," he rumbled, "Fine." Perhaps not quite as easy as he thought.

He loosened his grip but Bulma put his arms back around her. "There now," she smiled and winked, "This is your first time, so I'll go easy on you."

Vegeta blushed and let out several grunts. Taking instructions from a woman, how absurd. Still, he was determined to do this. This was the key. And if he had to put up with her prattling to ascend, so be it. Several passionate fumblings, abrupt arguments, and lots of vocalizations from Vegeta later, they ended up on Bulma's bed. Vegeta viciously shoved a pile of junk aside and held her beneath him, cackling as she started to unbutton her shirt. He pressed his mouth to her neck, eyeing the old photo of Kakarot intensely as he chuckled and growled.

This is it, Kakarot. I will make your old friend mine, and with her driving me, my power will increase immensely, far surpassing yours. Next time we battle, you will fall, and I will reclaim the glory that is rightfully mine.

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