Disclaimer: Dragonball Z and its characters are owned by several people, including Akira Toriyama, Shonen Jump, Bird Studios, Toei, Viz, and Funimation. In other words, it doesnít belong to me. No money was made from the creation of this story, and in fact money was lost from the use of utilities needed to power the laptop I work on.
Darkness embraced the world. Stars, like diamonds, glittered softly against the midnight velvet of the sky. The greatest of the nightís jewels hung heavy and ponderous over the shrouded world. The newly restored moon gleamed brightly, bathing the world in its pale luminescence. It was a night for poets and lovers.
Bulma Briefs hadnít seen a full moon in over fifteen years. She didnít realize how much she had missed Earthís satellite until it was finally restored. Ever since the reappearance of the moon two weeks ago, the media had been reporting the progress of the moons phases as well as the scientific communities theories over its reappearance. Bulma knew how it had been restored, but that was a secret she was keeping to herself.
She had watched the moon move from a gleaming sliver of silver to the glowing pearl that now rose slowly over the horizon. Tonight, she was sitting on her balcony, legs dangling off the edge with a half-empty wineglass at her side, gazing at the white orb moving slowly across the night sky.
Trunks was at Son-kunís, and her parents were spending the weekend with some old college friends. Only she and Vegeta remained at Capsule Corporation. She wished that Vegeta were sitting with her, but he was training. She continued to gaze at the moon-bathed world below her. The trees cast eerily graceful shadows and the entire world appeared to be leeched of color. Finishing her wine, she rose and walked back inside to refill her glass. After pouring herself the last of the crisp fruity demi-sec, she went back outside and leaned lightly against the railing.
It truly was a beautiful night. The air was cool and dry and even with the moon shining brightly overhead; the stars were clearly visible. A few stray wispy clouds meandered aimlessly through the inky blackness. Behind her, she heard the door to the bedroom slide open. Soft footfalls walked over to the doorway and a deep voice pierced the darkness. "What are you doing out there woman?"
Bulma didnít turn around. "Iím watching the moon, Vegeta. I havenít seen it for years and I missed it," she replied honestly.
The Saiyajin prince grunted non-committly and turned away from the balcony, intent on showering before he slept. Her voice stopped him.
"Vegeta?" she called lightly
"What?" he grumbled.
"Come out here and be with me."
He considered ignoring her request, but something made him reconsider. Pulling the towel from around his neck and setting it on a chair, he walked out to join her on the balcony.
The crisp coolness of the night air felt good against his sweaty skin. The woman was clad in a simple ivory chemise and a silk robe of the same color. The robe was unbelted, signaling that she had thrown it on for warmth rather than modesty. Even now after nine years and a child, she was still stunning. She possessed a body to make a priest renounce his vows of celibacy and Vegeta was no priest.
He moved to stand behind her sitting form. She turned and looked up at him, giving him a small mysterious smile.
"Sit down, Vegeta, and enjoy the moon," she said invitingly.
"Why?" he asked, harshly. "I have seen moons before. Yours is ugly and grey. Why would I want to look at something else that is ugly? I have you to fulfill that need for me," he stated, deliberately baiting her.
Bulmaís eyes flashed with azure fire. "Fine! I asked you nicely, you lamebrain, but youíre obviously too stupid to take a hint! Well, thatís not my problem!" she raged. "Iíll just be going, Your Highness, so you donít have to look at this ugly thing!" Grabbing her wineglass, she stood up intent on storming past him into the bedroom.
Smirking, Vegeta moved to block her path. Bulma growled and tried to force past him, but that proved to be an exercise in futility. Taking a step back, she tried to spot an opening, even though she knew logically that escape was unlikely unless Vegeta decided to let her go. She glared at the Saiyajin prince, who only continued to smirk at her in that infuriating way of his.
"Vegeta, move out of the way!"
"Listen, you misbegotten son of a monkey, you get the hell out of my way, now!" she shrieked, punctuating her statement by hurling her half full wineglass at him. Negligently, he swatted it over the side of the balcony, momentarily taking his eyes off of the raging woman in front of him.
This was the opening Bulma was waiting for. She darted to one side, attempting to make it to the relative safety of the bedroom. However, she only managed a few steps before she felt a muscular arm snag her around the waist, lifting her feet off of the ground. Twisting in her captorís embrace, she swung one clenched fist at his head. Vegeta blocked her blow effortlessly, taking care not to harm the struggling woman.
"Let me go, you ass!" Bulma yelled, trying to worm free.
Vegeta chuckled, feeling her squirming against him. "I will not let you go, wench. I enjoy you far too much to let you escape," he stated, fully aware that his words had a double meaning.
Bulma stopped her struggles and turned her face so that she could look into Vegetaís eyes. What she saw there entranced her. For the first time in all of her years of knowing him, he was allowing her to see into the Vegeta buried under his harsh exterior. She saw pride reflected there, of course. Pride in himself, but also pride in her. She saw his desire for her there as well. But then again, she knew that he desired her already she could feel evidence of that against her thigh. And she saw a myriad of other feelings as well in those black orbs, all pointing to one undeniable fact. Vegeta cared for her, loved her.
Unable to tear her eyes from his, Bulma reached one slim hand up and tentatively touched it to the side of his face. She felt him lean almost imperceptibly into her hand and an upwelling of emotion threatened to overcome her. In that instant, she knew the full extent of the power she had over him and it scared her because she knew that he had the exact same power over her.
Vegeta leaned his head forward so that their brows were touching and Bulma slipped her arms around his neck. She didnít know how long they stayed that way, each drinking in the otherís presence. She felt Vegeta shift subtly, bringing his other arm up to stroke her back. She sighed and moved her head to rest it against his shoulder.
Breaking the silence, Bulma asked the question which had been plaguing her thoughts. "Why, Vegeta?"
The hand stroking her back stopped. "What do you mean, woman?"
She placed her hands on his shoulders and pushed herself backward to look at him. "Itís hard to put into words. Iím sorry," she said softly. Bulma wriggled in his embrace indicating that she wanted to be let go. For once, he accommodated her. She reached her hand up once again and stroked his face, but was saddened to see that Vegetaís guarded expression had returned.
Walking over to the edge of the balcony, she placed her hands on the rail and looked up at the sky to collect her thoughts. The moon was higher, she noted absently. Drawing a deep breath, she started to speak. "I think Iím asking why to a lot of things, Vegeta," she murmured. "The first in my mind is ĎWhy me?í Why did you pick me out of all of the females in the Universe?" she queried half in frustration half in confusion. "The second is ĎWhy did you choose to stay?í You could have left after the Cell Games, but didnít. Why? I never understood that, because you certainly hadnít stuck around before." Her voice began to rise in pitch and tempo. "The third I suppose is ĎWhy did you kill all those people at the tournament?í and that spawns another of ĎWhy did you have to die?í" her voice caught, tears filling her eyes. "Do you know how much that hurt? It was like a piece of me had been ripped out! I never want to feel that way again. But I guess the biggest why is ĎWhy do you treat me the way you do?í The insults and the contrariness along with the neglect. Just, Why?!" Tears streamed down her face as she drew to the end of her speech, and she angrily swiped at them with the back of one hand.
Vegeta stared at her for a minute, unable to form an answer to all of her questions. Slowly, he walked over to stand beside her at the rail. He did not turn to look at her, but instead stared at the moon for several minutes.
When he did speak, the words that came out of his mouth seemed oddly subdued. "Why are you humans so attached to your moon?"
"Youíre avoiding the question Vegeta," she stated flatly.
"No, I am not," he retorted. "Please tell me why you are so attached to your moon?"
"I donít know!" Bulma said, exasperated. "I guess because itís always been there." She paused, tilting her head to gaze at the white orb in the sky. After a moment, she turned her head to face Vegeta and found that he was watching her. In a quieter tone she continued. "Then, suddenly it wasnít there anymore, she paused. It was like a big part of our global identity was gone. Now that itís back, I guess that we appreciate it more because we know what we felt like not to have it anymore."
"There. That is the answer to most of your questions, woman."
"Huh? I donít understand."
"Hn," Vegeta snorted, a wry smile coming to his lips. "I expected as much." At Bulmaís glare, he continued. "Let me explain. Your first question is easy and you should already know the answer to it."
"Well, I donít, since I asked the question, you idiot."
"Obviously," he said derisively. "I chose you, because you are the best match for me. You were not intimidated by me, despite your pitiful fighting ability," he paused, giving her a searching look. "Also you made me aware of something that I was missing, but did not know I was lacking. I missed having a home. When I met you, I had not had a home in over twenty-five years. Nor did I want one. I considered it a weakness. But that did not banish my instinctive desire for one. I fought fist and fang from forming an attachment to you and the brat. That is why I acted the way I did before Cell," Vegeta explained. The prince stopped, clenching and unclenching his fists as he attempted to collect his thoughts. He was uncertain how to explain the next part, since it dealt with thoughts he rarely acknowledged. But he looked down into Bulmaís eyes and saw that underneath the shock, she truly wanted to hear his explanation.
He dropped his eyes from hers to stare at his hands. "Then, I watched our son from the future die before my eyes. And I was helpless to stop it." He heard her gasp but ignored it. Eyes intent on his hands while he relived that horrible day years ago. "I watched his blood soak into dry, dusty ground and felt something I have only felt once before while on Namek. I felt regret," he paused drawing in a deep breath. "I regretted not spending more time with the boy. I regretted not being alive in his time. I regretted leaving you alone to fend for yourself and our son. I regretted so much, and it hurt. I foolishly attacked Cell in my blind rage and had to be saved by Kakarottís brat. After the battle, after Trunks had been revived, I made the vow that I would not be forced to face that same regret again." He lifted his head to look at her. "That, is why I stayed."
"Vegeta . . ." she began.
"No," he interrupted. "Let me finish. You wanted to know ĎWhy?í So I will tell you. Remember when I asked you about the moon and you said that ĎIt had always been there but when it was gone, you realized that you missed it?í" Vegeta watched her nod her head, her eyes full of confusion. "Before I came to Chikyuu, I killed without impunity and I reveled in it. I was not a good man, Bulma, and I deserved to go to hell when I died the first time. But after a few years of living on Chikyuu with you and the brat I realized something. I missed my old self, the me who lived only for blood and battle. I was not happy with the man I perceived I had become. I felt by caring for you and the brat, that I had become weak. And when Babidi offered me the chance to become stronger, I seized it with both fists. I reverted to the evil man that I had been. I challenged Kakarott. But during our fight, we noticed a power full of great evil."
"Buu," she murmured.
He nodded. "Correct. Buu. When I sensed that overwhelming evilness, somehow it brought me to my senses. I realized, unlike you humans, that I did not need the thing I had missed. That it was a part of my life that was now past. I knocked out Kakarott, ensuring that if I fell in battle that he would be able to protect Chikyuu. I arrived in time to save the brat and his friend from the pink monstrosity. But I was not strong enough to destroy him. I thought that maybe if I focussed all of my power into self-destructing, that I could obliterate Buu and save you and Trunks at the cost of my life. It seemed like a cheap price to pay. So I did it," Vegeta paused, an expression of anguish crossing his features. "And I failed. And because of my failure, I was unable to spare you from death."
"Vegeta . . . I didnít know. I . . . I donít know what to say." Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Reaching out with one arm, he drew her to him. His other hand reached up and gently smoothed away the wet streaks from her face. "There is nothing to say, woman," he said gently. "I have made my choices and if given the option I would make the same choices again." He wrapped his arms around her, turning her so that they faced the same direction. "I discovered that I am stronger because I care and that strength allowed me to fight even after death. What I had perceived as a weakness was the thing that gave me the chance for redemption." His arms tightened about her. "I brought you back, woman. Just like my death injured you, your death injured me. You are a part of me, and though you may never hear it from my lips again, I care for you." He felt the shock at his words radiate through her body. He planted a kiss at the nape of her neck and slowly moved his lips over her skin until they rested against her ear. "I will stay with you," he murmured. "I will protect you. I will pleasure you. You are my mate. This is how it should be."
His hands traced intricate patterns across her belly and he felt rather than heard her soft moan. He could feel his desire for her mounting, and he lowered his head to her shoulder to inhale her feminine scent. Trailing his fingers up over her breasts to her shoulders, he began to slide the ivory robe off.
The sudden loss of warmth brought Bulma to her senses. She had been caught up in the pleasures his hands and mouth had been giving her. And she quickly squirmed out of Vegetaís grasp, leaving him holding her empty robe. She fought the urge to giggle at the princeís surprised expression.
Still she couldnít manage to keep her lips from twitching with repressed laughter. With a growl, Vegeta tossed the garment to one side. Holding up her arm she motioned for him to stop.
"Iím sorry, Vegeta," she said with a smile. "I just realized that you havenít answered my last question."
"Who gives a hell about your last question?"
Anger suffused her features once again. "I do you, hormonal simian!"
Bulma watched as Vegeta began to chuckle, and then break out into a hearty laugh. "You want to know why I bait you woman?"
"Yes!" she said, stamping her foot.
"This is why," he said, reaching out to touch one cheek. "Your funny colored eyes flash like lightening and your cheeks become flushed with emotion." He trailed his hand down to the space between her breasts. "It is like watching a storm come to life. All power and beauty and just a little dangerous. And I cannot resist braving the storm. It excites me," he paused. "And, it excites you. That is why that pitiful scarred warrior could not hold you."
She stared at him in shock before recovering her wits enough to speak. "You mean itís a form of foreplay?"
He grinned, watching her temper rise up once again. Her mouth was moving; attempting to form words and her color was heightening. He knew that it would not be long before she exploded.
And he was right.
"How dare you manipulate me like that you . . . you . . . perverse alien," she raged, eyes flashing and arms waving. "My emotions are not your fucking vibrator to turn on at the flick of the switch when ever you feel the need for a little poke! Youíre sick. You know that. Youíre fucking sick, and wrong, and cruel. And if you think that I am turned on by this little trick, buster, you are sadly mistakóumpf . . ."
Vegeta drew an end to her tirade by passionately kissing her. She tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but he just tightened his hold. Her hands alternated between smacking and pushing at his chest. Grinning internally, he deepened his kiss, loosening his embrace slightly to allow one hand to explore the curves of her body. He felt Bulma shudder as his fingers traced the underside of her breast. As his hand reach up to cup her breast, she sighed and leaned into him. He opened his mouth and when he felt her do the same, he knew that she had surrendered to the passions raging within her.
With reluctance he tore his mouth from hers, to begin nibbling the side of her neck. She tilted her head up to give him easier access and opened her eyes.
Overhead she saw the moon continuing on its path across the sky and she experienced a sense of epiphany. "Vegeta," she began breathlessly. She felt him grunt against her skin acknowledging that he was listening. "Vegeta, I donít think I need the moon anymore."
He lifted his head from the valley between her breasts and chuckled huskily. Returning to his task, he lifted one arm and pointed a finger at the satellite orbiting overhead, and fired.
AN: Alternate Titles to this story, in case you care. ^_^
Moon or Death?
You, Me, and the Moon
New Moon Rising
New Moon Falling
The Man and the Moon
Confessions by Moonlight
Call Me Odd
Call Me Looney
Whyís and Whereforeís
Do You Have a Flag?
We would like to apologize for any confusion generated by the alternate titles list and inform you that those responsible have been locked up in "hug-me" jackets for their own protection.
Sorry about that folks. My beta reader, Rhianikki, had a little too much fun helping me brainstorm for ideas for a title. And yes we are Eddie Izzard fans. Because this story, unlike most of the ones I have written, started off as an answer to a fanfic challenge I posted two years ago. It was supposed to be a supernatural smut fic. It didnít stay that way. When I came back to it this weekend, I found that it wanted a plot and it was going to be difficult until I gave it one. So I did. And this is the result. I wrote the majority of the dialogue in one sitting in about an hour. The rest of the story, I filled in later. It is kinda exciting for me, since this is the first story I have written in total in over a year and a half. Life is a bitch like that!
I would like to thank Rhianikki, my roommate, for beta reading this for me. ^_^
Let me know what you think!