debbiechan fanfiction

Always A First Time

by debbiechan

Disclaimer: I can make no claim to owning DBZ, yet I have a masochistic compulsion to tell this damn story.

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A/N: Thanks to LisaB for fangurl wisdom, guidance and support, to King of Braves for helping make fandom fun again, to Elenek (who’ve I’ve now met in RL!) for straight honest feedback, and to Makota for one of those reviews that made my face hurt from all the smiling.

Any reference made to a “bond” in this story comes from the most conventional use of the term, not from B/V fanon. The Toriyama canon does imply, however, that close couples had some sort of “sense” between them; that’s all I’ll work with in this story. dchan 5.30.05


Chapter Nineteen: I Just Feel It

“What’s this? My heart is trembling. It can’t be--Vegeta?” Bulma, episode 238

Bulma smiled big, and a camera flashed.

“Looking good, Ms. Briefs!” fawned the photographer. “Twice as pretty as Sweet Sixteen!”

“That would be thirty-two, darling,” Bulma said. “I’m only thirty today. Make sure the society page gets that number right.”

“It’s an eternal twenty-nine if you say so.” The photographer caught another shot--this time of Bulma pretending to take a sip from her champagne glass. “There will be no one prettier on any page of the paper tomorrow.”

Sweet-smelling bubbles tickled Bulma’s nose and reminded her about other parties in this room, of evenings that she had let the waiter fill her glass over and over.

No more hangovers for me. Strangely enough, that idea itself was effervescent and mood-uplifting. No more all night partying, no more silliness and morning-after mortification. It was as if having a baby was liberating her from her girlhood. Bulma felt composed, grown-up, deeply happy.

How could she have possibly told Yamcha only a few months ago that this wasn’t the time to bring a child into the world? For days now, Bulma’s optimism had been growing along with the embryo in her womb. She had no doubt the androids would be vanquished, and carrying Vegeta’s child seemed to fill her with a resolve and purpose no lab project ever had. It seemed right. It seemed like simple fate.

Fate. Because sometimes being with Vegeta had felt like… whatever was happening between them was as strong as a third entity. His urgency, her ecstasy, and something else that had more solidity, substance, meaning. Love was too broad a word for this thing, though. Bulma knew that she was in love with Vegeta; she knew that he needed her somehow, but love--no, her relationship with Vegeta wasn’t quite that. Not the selfless unerring phenomenon she’d read about and wished for all her life.

But with this child…. Bulma already loved the promise of Vegeta’s child like she had never loved anything before.

“What rosy, rosy cheeks,” squealed Bulma’s mother as she swished by in a taffeta gown. She took Bulma’s chin between her thumb and forefinger. “If I didn’t know any better” (she winked a grandiose wink) “I’d say you’ve had too much to drink, my sweet girl. Your face looks like a sugar plum!”

“It’s a little early for a significant increase in blood volume and pressure,” Bulma said. “Maybe it’s just hot in here.” She fanned herself with her hand. “I over-dressed, I think. Papa said we’d be going to a formal dinner. He didn’t say anything about dancing.”

“Where’s Yamcha? I haven’t seen hide nor hair.”

“Yamcha’s not coming. Got a ring from a few moments ago. Too much spotlight on the press expecting him to be my boyfriend.” Bulma smiled fondly. She felt glad thinking about Yamcha’s recent support of her pregnancy. “What I think is that he really doesn’t like to dance. He’s being a good friend, Mama. We’re alright, we really are.”

“Where’s Vegeta? Your papa said he invited him.”

“Oh you know Vegeta. If he comes at all, it will be to sneak in late after everyone’s left to have a go at the buffet leftovers.”

Still, Bulma surveyed the room, hoping against hope that she would see that dark flame of Saiyan hair among the revelers. Papa had invited well over two hundred people, mostly CC employees and business associates. A wan crowd, over-dressed and dancing uninspired steps on the large shiny dance floor. The swing band seemed so young, incongruously hip. None of Bulma’s friends were here.

Bulma’s mother leaned closer and whispered, “You haven’t told him yet, have you?”

“Not yet.”

It had never been the right time. Bulma had known for two weeks now that she was pregnant. The visit uptown to Dr. Tsuki had confirmed it, and when Bulma returned to Capsule Corporation, she had hurried to Vegeta’s room only to find him sleeping so soundly she didn’t dare wake him. He had been training madly for days; she didn’t want to tell him if he was cranky and ill-rested. Bulma had gone to bed in her own room, extraordinarily tired….

Vegeta is avoiding me. Bulma set down her full champagne glass, and settled by herself in a plush chair. She knew Papa meant well, but without the urge of alcohol or the desire to dance, just standing around receiving well-wishes from mere acquaintances didn’t make her birthday any more special than it already was. I’m really too tired for someone not that far along in pregnancy. I could just go to bed right now.

Another person breezed by and told Bulma how beautiful she looked.

I’m beautiful, I’m thirty years old, and I’m pregnant.

Vegeta had not come to Bulma’s bed last night, but Bulma hadn’t given that much thought once the day and the birthday happenings started. First there had been flowers and powdered strawberries on a breakfast tray, a silly phone message from Yamcha (“You not getting older; you’re just gonna get fatter very soon!”), a collection of citrus-based French perfumes from her mother (“Lemon smells keep morning sickness at bay!”), and then Papa had delighted her with a notebook of scientific sketches Bulma had been coveting for months. Wolfie’s magnetic neuro-communicator! How Papa had managed to finagle the patent from Schroedinger Industries was beyond her! Bulma had spent so much of day in her lab entering new data into her android files that she was late for her spa appointment and already very tired when Papa announced the “simple formal dinner” plans.

When this birthday stuff is over, then I will be able to talk to Vegeta.

Bulma did not expect anything like a positive reaction from Vegeta to her news. All she knew was that he would react--he had to. Like the sunny afternoon she had unbuttoned his shirt and touched him in the dinosaur sanctuary, she would be giving him something, a challenge, a new experience that would evoke his most primal self.

Even if Vegeta freaked out and told her to get rid of it, even if he turned icy cold and turned away from her, Bulma was looking forward to the confrontation. Something has to give in this relationship, and this is going to make it give. Her deepest instincts told her that he would be pleased, that he might even be territorial and protective--it was his Saiyan seed, after all, that was in her body. Bulma didn’t expect smiles and acceptance, but somehow she knew: Vegeta and I are going to be bonded somehow by this. I just feel it.

Bulma’s hand flew spontaneously to her abdomen, and she smiled big, even though there were no cameras near.

**

Vegeta was dressed in his new armor. It was a prototype Bulma had designed some weeks before, in an attempt to replicate his old Saiyan uniform. The resilient properties of the fabric were perfect for combat; she was planning to make armor for all her friends to wear in the android showdown.

Vegeta had gone to Bulma’s lab and de-capsulated a lot of random projects before finding the suit. He’d even found his old battle armor, the chestplate splintered from the two mortal wounds he had received on Namek. The singed hole from the bald human’s blow was bigger, but it was the tiny hole above the heart that made Vegeta pause, filling with a familiar bitterness…. He could not kill Frieza. He would kill Kakkarot instead.

Vegeta was in the kitchen now. He threw a capsule to the floor. The blue smoke cleared to reveal a dozen or so bags of potato chips. Good. Vegeta grabbed some more of those capsules from the drawer. He knew how to de-capsulate but not how to re-capsulate, so he had left a messy trail of clothing, tools, and food behind him as he scavenged though the Capsule Corporation family compound.

The last time he had spirited himself away in Capsule 3 (the day the dragon showed up to reveal that Kakkarot was still alive and in outer space somewhere), Vegeta had neglected to take supplies. Food capsules were just practical. Vegeta did not want to be bothered with hunting or raiding space stations for food.

He was throwing the capsules into Mrs. Briefs’ bagel basket. It was a round, dark wicker container with a large handle. He lifted it with both hands and considered the preposterousness of carrying such a thing back to Capsule 3. He would have to store the capsules in the spaceship and then blast the basket. It was such a reminder of the females and their niceties, their high voices and solicitous attention…. The morning that Bulma had filled it with breads and little tubs of jams and cheeses and brought it to the bed so she could snack before….

Bulma.

The idea had made so much sense earlier: leave while the party is going on. Everyone would be too busy to make a show of trying to stop him, trying to wrestle explanations from him. Oh, and a stealthy exit would save him from Bulma’s emotional tirades!

But…maybe he could avoid a conversational goodbye and just take her one more time tonight. That last time was supposed to have been the last. And the one before that.

Hadn’t she and the old man said something about some “news?” Unless it was news about gravity machine upgrades, it was of no interest to him, and even so, he had no need for a new training machine anyway. Vegeta was planning to train in 400 G’s in space, no higher. Something else was going to have to push his transformation into Super Saiyan. A real battle. There were plenty old allies of Frieza’s at nearby outposts to harass.

Bulma.

He could sense her, in all her high-spiritedness, somewhere not far. The top floor of the business dome.

He would have one look at her before he left.

Just one look.

**

Dr. Briefs’ young receptionist had not wanted an escort to the birthday party. She was an unofficial coordinator of sorts; she had planned to attend merely to give her good boss freedom from supervising caterers and band members.

But the strange scientist fellow given to poking in litterboxes with a ballpoint pen had asked her for a date. The moment she had handed him (per Dr. Briefs’ request) the invitation to the soiree, he had said, “I shall need a dance partner for a dance. Do you dance, ma’am?” So, what the heck--he was a decent date. Cute, apparently rich, and he seemed to have a radar for making important connections. Miaka suspected that Dr. Wolfgang Schroedinger was going to use her as an “inside guide” to Capsule Corporation society. That was fine by her. All Miaka was really hoping for was a glimpse of that fine-looking Mr. Vegeta.

Dr. Schroedinger was piling nothing but brownies on his buffet plate.

“Doesn’t your mother feed you?” Miaka observed.

“My mother is dead,” he said, and Miaka regretted her little joke.

“Red Ribbon Army.” Dr. Schroedinger continued blithely. “They didn’t get all the Schroedingers, though.” He considered a lemon meringue tart; his hand hovered over the pastry tray for a moment, and then he chose another brownie. “My brothers and I run the company, and we’re always looking to stick it to the R.R.…. Any Red Ribbon operatives here tonight, by any chance?”

What a weirdo. “I have no idea. Who did you think I was? CC intelligence? I just manage Dr. Briefs’ social calendar.”

“Do you know where Bulma is tonight?”

Miaka cast a look around the crowd. “Usually where there are the most photographers congregated is where you’ll find Ms. Briefs. Don’t worry, she’ll show up.” She picked a single pastel-colored petit four and placed it on her plate. “You know, Wolfgang, it’s not polite to be sniffing after another woman when you’re on a date.”

He smiled. Miaka considered that maybe he wasn’t altogether clueless.

“Ah. I only have a professional interest in Bulma Briefs. She’s totally out of my league in the dating department.”

“And I’m not?” It was fun, if nothing else, to see if she could break the strange man’s comfort zone. He seemed to be too perfectly blasé about everything. It was almost an attractive quality.

“Oh, I was quite surprised you took me up on my offer to escort you here,” Dr. Schroedinger remarked in a mild voice. “Thought it was worth a shot in the dark. I’m a man who doesn’t miss opportunities.”

“Is that so?” Miaka looked past the doctor’s shoulder and didn’t see too many men under the age of fifty in the room. “I take it that you’re complimenting me?”

“Oh, yes ma’am.”

Miaka froze. Whose silhouette is that in the threshold? “I’m not a ma’am, Wolfgang,” she managed to say while squinting in the direction of the banquet foyer. “I’m only twenty-one.”

“Oh pardon me. I was only trying to be respectful.”

“Oh my GOD!”

Miaka’s gasp was not loud but so sudden that Dr. Schroedinger almost dropped a bite of brownie from his mouth.

“There he is!” She lowered her voice to a less hysterical pitch but could not contain her excitement. “Vegeta. You know--one of those amazing flying muscular men always hanging around here?”

“Oh?” Dr. Schroedinger continued munching his brownie. “There are more of them?”

“At least two that I know of. Bulma Briefs’ boyfriend, the baseball player--he seems to know some sort of mystical martial arts--and this Vegeta guy, well--you saw him yesterday. He’s very--um, extraordinary looking. I suspect he’s an extraterrestrial.”

Miaka seemed to be having some difficulty breathing. Dr. Schroedinger stared at her for a moment then turned around to look at whatever was capturing her attention.

It was Vegeta alright. Not a large man by any means, smaller than Dr. Schroedinger remembered. Mr. Vegeta had been far more imposing on the window ledge. Tonight he was standing in a shadow, apart from the crowd but in plain view, arms crossed, heavy eyebrows frowning. Not too frightening-looking except for the fact that he was wearing some odd, dark, skin-tight clothing, and this slight-figured alien being had more defined musculature than Dr. Schroedinger had ever seen on any human alive.

“Oh I see,” said Dr. Schroedinger to his wide-eyed companion. “Mr. Vegeta has many female admirers around Capsule Corporation, does he?”

Miaka made a silly face. “I’ll say!”

Miaka was a petite brunette--quite pretty in Dr. Schroedinger’s opinion--although she looked younger than twenty-one at the moment; her professional composure seemed to have been completely flustered by the mere sight of the alien Adonis.

“I wonder….” Dr. Schroedinger narrowed his eyes and turned his musing inwards. I wonder if this strange alien man of exceptional strength has caught the fancy of a certain blue-haired human female of exceptional intelligence.

All knowledge had a place in the young doctor’s arsenal. He never knew what he would need to combat the Red Ribbon Army.

He finished his third brownie and watched Vegeta’s eyes. I’ll just bet that this very strong warrior has a weakness or two. Dr. Schroedinger might have to figure out how to get this exceptional creature on his good side, but first things first: the doctor had a hankering to get a look at that gravity machine. Dr. Briefs had promised a tour of Capsule 3 after the party, but maybe his daughter would accommodate him sooner. What genius wants to dance when there’s another genius in the room to talk to?

**


“They’re playing your song, dear.” Dr. Briefs was a little disappointed to find his daughter sitting down during an extended horn solo. “Didn’t I get it right? Isn’t you favorite swing tune Oh Lady Be Good?”

Bulma took the flute of sparkling mineral water her father offered. “Yes, Papa. I love the band. I’m just too pooped to dance is all. It’s lovely, though, just to hear the music.”

It occurred then to Dr. Briefs that carrying the child of an alien warrior species might be a greater strain on his daughter’s constitution than Bulma herself was on the Mrs. A Saiyan-human hybrid? That gestation would be worth documenting! Maybe he should invent a new ultrasound machine! Dr. Briefs was about sit on the arm of Bulma’s chair and begin asking about yesterday’s visit to the uptown obstetrician when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

“So here is where the scientific community is hiding.” Wolfgang had chocolate smears on the corners of his mouth. “I was looking for you and your daughter all over this banquet hall. Quite an impressive bash, Dr. Briefs.”

“Wolfie!” Bulma sprung out of her chair and threw her arms around the small man. “Thank you so much for the neuro-communicator!” She stepped back, put her hand to his face and rubbed away the smears of brownie with her thumb. “That’s better. Now you look ready to ask a girl to dance! I’ve never seen you in a tie before!”

Hmmmmmmm. Dr. Briefs considered that maybe his daughter wasn’t tired so much as she was bored. Maybe he should’ve called a technological summit instead of hiring a band?

**

Vegeta was puzzled by the Earth phenomenon of dancing. He could not remember having seen any dancing on his own home world, but Raditz had told him that Saiyan Southern tribes were given to wild stomping parties in commemoration of hunting seasons.

When soldiers on Frieza’s ship talked about dancing they detailed the elaborate courting rituals on many worlds that began with stylized dance steps and ended up in mating orgies.

What seemed to be going on in this large room was an unenthusiastic celebration of sorts. Males were dancing with females, but the ritual seemed to involve a lot of pitiful gymnastic moves in which these weakling males strained to lift the females no higher than waist-level. And the bandleader, in baggy striped pants and dark glasses, would call out “Swing that thing!” or “Bebop! Bebop!”

Then Vegeta saw Bulma.

She was wearing a bright red dress that fit snugly at the top and flared into a long, bell-shaped skirt to her ankles. She was walking onto the dance floor in her stocking feet, as apparently was the custom. Her stockings were so sheer that Vegeta could see her toenails painted red through them.

Then Vegeta saw that she was leading a man by the hand.

Then Bulma dropped the man’s hand, stood in the center of the dance floor, and appeared to pull off her shirt! The red sleeveless thing underneath bore some resemblance to the “lingerie” Vegeta had seen her wear in the bedroom.

The other women dancing aren’t shedding clothes.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” spoke the bandleader into the microphone. “Bulma Briefs has stripped to her camisole. Things are getting hot now! What do you want us to play, Ms. Briefs?”

“Oh please start with something slow tempo!” shouted the blue-haired woman in a red dress. Her face was radiant. Perspiration glowed on her bare shoulders. She gathered her long skirt and tied the hem into a large knot. “I’m going to teach Dr. Schroedinger to sugarfoot!”

The floor cleared, all save Bulma and the strange little man who, even if he was hiding his power, was not even as strong as the Yamcha creature’s smallest finger. The music began--a drowsy but buoyant tune. Vegeta could tell that mood was meant to be playful.
All the onlookers were smiling.

Bulma took the man’s hand in hers, and he put his hand on her waist. On her waist! Vegeta could see his thumb touch the hipbone through her skirt and his fingers indent into the shiny red fabric of the “lingerie.”

She is beautiful, she is intelligent, she is full of fire, and she is not mine to claim.

Vegeta turned around. He would not watch anymore. Bulma was fine and happy in her human world. Let her find another lover. Vegeta was the Prince of Saiyans, and he was going back to space to fulfill his destiny.

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