Bulma awoke to the sounds of birds chirping and the warmth of the sun on her face.
"Go away," she muttered, throwing a pillow over her head. "Where’s all the LA smog when you need it?"
"Looks like someone’s not a morning person," Krillin said to Tinker, who snickered at the woman’s grumpiness.
"She really should wake up," Goku said, flipping through channels. "She’s missing all the Saturday morning cartoons."
"Hey, switch back," Juu said, talking to Goku. "I think I just saw Sailor Moon."
"Cool, man," Zaria said when Goku turned back. "I haven’t seen this show in forever. Takes me back to the good ol’ days."
"What’s so special about it?" Rayven questioned. "It’s just like any other anime."
Jay shook his head. "I dunno about all that. I kinda like the idea of teenage girls running around in tight outfits, saving the world."
Chichi rolled her eyes. "How did I know that was coming?"
"We need hardcore anime in this world," Tien said, putting his two cents in.
"Yeah," started Picollo. "With ultimate fighters that have all these super powers."
"And ultimate super villains that always get beat," Launch said.
"Nah," Yamcha disagreed. "It’s no fun if the heroes win all the time."
"It’s better if the villains win all the time," Nappa said, trying to sound intelligent.
Chiautzu looked at him from his spot on the ground. "Then there’d be no show, smart-one."
Everyone laughed at the dumb look on Nappa’s face.
"Every show has to have a main superhero though," Yajirobe thought out loud, still holding onto his bowl of popcorn.
Goku nodded. "He would have to be noble and honest and everyone would love him and—"
Chichi laughed without humor. "Of course the superhero would be a guy. Typical."
Vegeta scoffed. "Not that I want to jump into your guys’ juvenile conversation, but the main superhero of this hypothetical show would have to be badass. The strongest fighter in the world."
There was a thoughtful silence as everyone pondered Vegeta’s statement.
"I bet my guy could beat yours," Goku taunted.
Vegeta snorted again. "Could not."
"Would you guys shut up already?!" Bulma burst, which was a surprise because everyone thought she was asleep.
"How ‘bout this?" she continued sarcastically. "They both go to a far away planet to fight some….super villain and they both die! And they don’t come back to life until some huge….dragon guy brings them back! Satisfied? Now shut up so I can get some shut eye."
"You know Bulma," Jay started, "That was a pretty good idea for an anime show."
By 11:00, everyone had gotten dressed and eaten the huge breakfast Mrs. Briefs had stirred up. One by one, they began to head home, thanking Mrs. Briefs for the meal, until Vegeta was the last person left in the kitchen. Bulma and Mrs. Briefs had gone to walk the others out.
He didn’t know how to act. Should he act like nothing happened last night? Or should he be a jackass and act like he didn’t’ give a fuck? And, in all reality, he didn’t care. Did he? Nah. If he cared about anything, it was the fact that a woman had denied him a convenient lay.
That was it.
So then, what was that niggling feeling in the back of his mind?
Vegeta’s train of thought was cut off by a vibrating in his pocket. "Hello," he answered when he grabbed the cell from his pants and put it to his ear.
"Vegeta Spencer," came a stern voice from the other end. "What time is it and where have you been?"
Vegeta held in a sigh. "Come on Celeste. You know how shit goes down during the weekend."
"You really need to do something about that foul mouth of yours. And what have I repeatedly told you about calling me that?"
Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Alright mom. Me and the guys slept over this chick’s house. I’ll be there soon."
"Another ‘chick’ huh?" she said, lightening her tone into a playful one. "Or is it the one you told me about? The Bulma girl?"
"I hope there wasn’t any sex."
"Celeste, one day you’re gonna have to come to terms with the fact that I’m not a virgin."
"Whatever Cassanova. Just be here in 30. Speedway’s been going on and on about you coming for the weekend."
Vegeta almost smiled. "Shit, Celeste. You’d think that with me bein’ all grown up, I could do whatever I wanted."
"Well, I’m glad you realize that you can’t." With that, there was a click on her end, indicating that she’d hung up. Vegeta chuckled into the phone, humored by his mother’s protectiveness.
He put the cell back into his pocket and looked up at the kitchen door only to see Bulma coming in and then turning back to make quick getaway.
"Didn’t know your specialty was avoidance," Vegeta said.
Bulma stopped in her tracks and turned back around. "I’m not avoiding you. I just didn’t know you were in here. Aren’t you supposed to be gone? Everyone else is."
"Do I look like everyone else?"
"So…what? You’re just gonna stay here?"
Vegeta shook his head, exasperated. "Whatever woman," he said, grabbing his jacket. "I got better shit to do."
"Like what?" she asked his retreating figure. "Screw some random chick?"
It was Vegeta’s turn to stop in his tracks.
"Well, I gotta get somethin’. You know, the after effects of a certain blue-haired dick tease."
Bulma’s eyes raged with anger. "Don’t even go there, Vegeta."
Vegeta dropped his jacket and stalked over to her. He grabbed her roughly by the waist and pulled her body up to his.
"Look, woman. Let’s just squash the subject. I’m over it. But next time, you’re gonna be begging for me to come inside you."
She wrapped her arm around his neck for support, feeling her legs grow weak as he pulled her closer so he could whisper in her ear.
"Next time you won’t be able to stop. There’s no telling what will happen then."
He released her forcefully and turned, picking up his jacket and leaving the kitchen.
Bulma watched him walk out of the kitchen and she flinched when she heard the front door slam.
"Papa!" Chichi yelled into the house. "You up?"
"I’m in my room Chichi!" came his reply, followed by a series of coughs.
He was lying in bed, flipping through channels.
"Papa, what did I tell you about leaving these windows open?" she reprimanded, closing them herself.
"It’s hot, Chi," he whined. Daymond Mau was a big man. His vastness had long ago earned him the name "Ox".
"Did you get any exercise today?" she asked, hands on her hips.
"Well, I got up to get the remote a few hours ago," he joked.
"That’s not funny, Daddy. You know what the doctor said. Come on, let’s go take a walk."
"I don’t feel like it," he refused stubbornly.
"Papa, please don’t be hard headed. What’s going to happen the next time you have a heart attack? You know we can’t afford the bills. It’ll take me a while to pay off that last one."
Ox heard the frustration in her voice and realized that there was no reason that he should be so insensitive.
"Wait for me outside honey. Let me just put on some sandals."
The smile on her face was worth it.
"Would you turn that shit down, Juu? There’s only so much I can take of ‘Air force ones.’" He kept his eyes on the road.
"Temper, temper, Jay," Juu teased. "What’s ailin’ you?"
"Jay’s just mad ‘cause he can’t afford a pair of air force ones." Zaria teased from the back seat in.
"Funny," Juu said sarcastically. "I don’t remember anyone inviting you into the conversation."
"Lay off Juu," Jay warned.
"Geez, I’m just havin’ a little fun. Unless homegirl back there can’t hang."
They drove into a residential area.
"I live right….here," Zaria said, pointing to a modest two story.
When he stopped the car. Zaria opened her car door.
"Finally," Juu started again. "Getting rid of the excess baggage."
Zaria hesitated before stepping out of the car.
Jay gave his sister another warning look at which she shrugged her shoulders. Jay got out of the car and caught up to the green haired woman.
"Hey, I’m sorry about that. My sister can be a bitch sometimes."
"No shit? I didn’t notice. That was sarcasm by the way."
"Can I get your number?" he asked suddenly, as if he’d been wanting to ask for a while.
"Well…yeah sure," she answered, blushing. "But are you sure Juu would approve? She seems to hate my guts."
She hates all the girls I date. Not that I date a lot of girls…or that we’re dating…I mean, unless—"
"If this is the suave Jay I’ve been hearing so much about, I can’t wait to meet the shy one."
She dug a pen out from her pocket and wrote two numbers on the palm of his hand.
"That one’s my cell. And that one’s my home number. If my brother picks up, hang up quick."
"Would you two hurry up already!" Juu yelled from the car. "Places to be! Things to do!"
"Better get going," he said nervously, walking away backwards. He stumbled over a rock, nearly tripping. Zaria tried hard to contain her giggles.
"Smooth move, Jay," he mumbled to himself when he got into the car. "Way to impress."
Zaria waited until they peeled out. She grabbed her cell phone and dialed in a number.
"Hello? Yeah, it’s me. I need you to come pick me up. I got them to drop me off at some random place." She read out the address. "Why are we doing this again? Of course. Well then why do I feel so guilty? I can’t believe I let you talk me into this. Whatever, just be here in 10."
"What the hell was that all about Juuhachi?"
"What are you talking about Juunanagou?"
"If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the girl stole your makeup or something. Juu rolled her eyes.
"I just don’t like the vibes I’m getting from her. And anyway, we don’t even know the chick. Yajirobe could have found her anyway."
"Like where Juu? Humor me."
"Fuck it. You’ve already made up your mind not to listen to me. So let’s drop the subject. I just wanna go home and crash."
Vegeta used his key to open the front door to his mother’s house. He’d been steaming with anger the whole way over here. Who the hell was Bulma to question him about where he was going. And even more, about who he was going to fuck? Was it even any of her fucking business?
"Celeste!" he called out into the house. "I’m here! Shit, where’s my welcoming committee?" He heard footsteps coming down the stairs.
"It’s about time you got here," his young mother scolded. "We almost began to think that you’d forgotten about us."
She gave him a hug (which he returned reluctantly) and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Vegeta wiped his cheek off. "You’re lucky nobody saw that," he said, seriously.
She reached up and patted him on his head. "Go upstairs. You know how happy your brother gets when you come home for the weekend."
Vegeta smiled at the thought of the hyper little kid.
"And don’t forget to say hi to Connor. He’s upstairs in the other room."
"What the hell is he doing here?" Vegeta wanted to know, angrily. "He didn’t spend the night, did he?"
Celeste sighed. "Please, Vegeta let’s not go through this again. It’s Saturday. I’m not in the mood for another argument."
Vegeta sighed shaking his head and went upstairs. He walked down the hall and knocked on the boy’s door.
"Come in!" a small voice cam from the other end. Vegeta opened the door, and before he could take a step into the room, he was tackled by the small child who was a carbon copy of Vegeta.
"Vegeta!" he yelled with excitement as he wrapped his arms around Vegeta’s legs.
Vegeta chuckled as Speedway grabbed his hand and led him through the room which was scattered with toy trucks and cars, talking a mile a minute.
Vegeta grabbed one of the Nerf footballs on the ground and plopped onto the bed, throwing the ball into the air and catching it. He listened intently as the 7 year old boy talked about the haps for the past week.
Vegeta had long ago decided that he would do anything for his family.
Even if it meant going against everything he was about. Ever since his father died, he’d taken the role of Man of the House. Shit load of responsibility.
"And you know that girl in my class that I was telling you about? Suzy?"
Vegeta nodded, tossing the ball up into the air. "The one that’s been after you?"
"Yeah. She kissed me on my cheek yesterday." The young boy’s face scrunched up in disgust as he relived the incident.
Vegeta laughed lightly. "What’s wrong with that?"
Speedway’s face turned from disgust, to surprise from his brother’s not knowing the obvious answer to that question.
"Well, I hate to break it to ya, Vegeta," the young boy said, before looking around the room to make sure no one was there, indicating that his next statement was extremely important, "but girls have….cooties!"
Vegeta laughed. "Is that right? All girls?"
"Every. Single. One of them," he said, matter-of-factly. "Except for Mom of course. But that’s it."
"You’ll have a girlfriend soon," Vegeta teased.
"No way!" He exclaimed, as if the very idea was hell itself. "I don’t wanna have all these girls like you do. And anyway, you only like them ‘cause they’re….what’s that word Jay uses?....oh yeah. Sexy."
Vegeta nodded with pride, grateful that the kid was learning such manly words at such a young age.
He decided to change the subject and talk about something that was actually relevant.
"How’s Mom been this week?"
"She’s alright. She’s got a new piece for the gallery. She said I inspired her. I swear, I don’t know where you guys would be without me."
And there was that inherited cocky attitude.
"What about Connor?" Vegeta asked, with a tinge of anger in his voice.
The boy’s eye’s lit up. "He’s cool! He took me to the park to play catch yesterday. And I think Mom really likes him."
Vegeta snorted, rolling his eyes.
They lay in silence for a few minutes, just thinking and looking up at the ceiling.
"You know why I don’t think Mom has cooties, Vegeta?"
"Because Dad loved her."
Vegeta pondered this revelation for a while.
"You know, kid? I think you’re right."
"Where’ve you been all night Goku?" Raditz asked, patting his brother on the back.
"I do have my own place, ya know."
"Yeah, but you’re scared to be all alone by yourself at night."
"I slept over at Bulma’s."
"I knew you two would hook up soon!"
"Ha ha. You know that undercover job we’re working on?"
"I know of it. Not sure about the details though."
"Yeah, well Vegeta’s crew decided to spend the night, so I just followed along."
"Now that’s what I call ‘sleeping with the enemy," Raditz said, laughing at his own joke.
Goku shook his head. "Has anyone ever told you how lame you are?"
"Only you, little brother."
"In his room, working on this new case."
"Good. Maybe he won’t hear me coming in. I’m not really up to hearing a lecture about how disappointed he is with my choice of career. Where’s Mom?"
"Doin’ grocery. You know how much we Son’s eat."
Goku smiled at the thought of food. "Don’t you have your own case to work on?" Goku questioned as they headed into the garage to play their usual game of foosball.
"Yeah, but us lawyers gotta have breaks sometimes," he replied, taking his place on the other side of the table, Opposite Goku. "Anyway, what’s up with you and that chick? What’s her name again?" he snapped his fingers, trying to remember. "Chibi?"
"Chichi," Goku corrected, taking one of the little soccer balls and putting it into the middle of the table.
"Right. Chichi," Raditz amended, twisting one of the handles to get the first kick. "What’s up with you and her?"
"Nothing at all," Goku replied, blocking one of Raditz’s attempts at a goal. "I don’t understand that woman. In fact, I don’t think I understand women at all."
"Who does?" he asked, passing the ball to himself.
"Why can’t they be simple? Like a hamburger?"
Raditz quickly took his eyes off the game to give his brother a look that said ‘where the hell did that come from?’
"If you need advice from me about how to get the goods, I’m here for you."
Goku’s face scrunched up. "I don’t want to ‘get the goods’ as you so nicely put it. Not yet anyway. I wanna get to know her first."
"Of course you do."
"I do!" Goku exclaimed indignantly, launching the ball into one of Raditz’s players.
"What does Bulma think?"
"Bulma? She’s too busy getting chased by Vegeta."
"Our Vegeta? No!" he said, disbelief in his voice. "I know the guy’s a skirt chaser, but…if I couldn’t hit it, then he surely can’t."
"I don’t know about that. I think she maybe kinda likes him."
"I don’t blame her. The guy is hot. And, no, that wasn’t meant to sound gay."
"I wonder about you sometimes."
"And this, coming from you. That’s a bad thing."
"Whatever, man," Goku said, giving one of the handles a sharp twist. "And that’s a goal for me. Pay up hotshot."
"Double or nothin’."
"As long as you’ve got the cash."
"Mom. What do you do when you know you want something, but you can’t have it because of complicated circumstances?"
"Bulma, honey, what’s wrong?"
"Nothing. It was a hypothetical question."
"You need to water down your subtlety.
Bulma’s eyes narrowed at her mother, at the emphasis on wataer.
"You look a bit frazzled, honey. What’s the matter?"
"Nothing. I’m just gonna go back to my apartment. I need my punching bag."
"You really aren’t from my gene pool."
Bulma’s eyes widened. "Water? Pool? Mom, is there something you know that you’re not telling me?"
"Meaning…I may just know about a certain night escapade that took place in our backyard."
"Mom! I knew I could never have my own damn privacy whenever I come here!"
"Don’t yell, Bulma. It leads to wrinkles. And anyway, don’t blame me. I’m surprised you guys didn’t wake up the entire neighborhood with all your splashing. So…give me the details."
"Mom, I hate when you start acting like one of my best girlfriends."
Her mother gave her a look that said, ‘don’t change the subject.
"Okay, Okay. Vegeta was being the usual idiot and pushed me into the pool. The end."
"You’re not getting of that easy. I knew there was something about that guy. He’s just so handsome and rugged and I bet he has a—"
"Please stop," Bulma pleaded to her mom’s rambling. "I’ll just have you know, Mom, that I fully despise the guy. He makes me want to heave."
"Yeah, body fluids."
"And that’s the end of that discussion."
"Oh, come on Bulma, I’m just teasing."
"Yeah, well go tease someone else. Like Dad. Where is he anyway?"
"In Texas. He’s closing a deal with Dell."
"It’s the new millennium. You’d think the guy would use a phone."
"You know him Bulma. The man just gets so happy about his work."
"Whatever. I’m gonna go home now. I gotta call Goku, anyway. Talk about this new case we’ve been working on."
"If you’re going to start dating Vegeta, I suggest you tell him about you whole being a cop thing."
"Get over it Mom."
‘And besides, Vegeta’s the last person on Earth I’d share that secret with.’
* * * * *