Bulma watched quietly from the doorway as her alien houseguest meandered around her room, looking at her belongings curiously. She wasn't quite sure how he hadn't noticed her, between his heightened sense of smell and his ability to discern even the smallest of ki readings, but sure enough, he hadn't so far. Or at least he hadn't let on that he had. She had seen him disappear up the stairs and followed him, only to watch him tiptoe almost guiltily into her own room instead of his own.
The blue haired heiress was leaned up against the hallway wall, and was just barely peeking around the doorframe. Vegeta had just passed by her dresser, and was flipping through an old photo album she'd had from her childhood. No doubt there was an innumerable amount of embarrassing photos of her in there that he could use against her somehow. She thought she saw a ghost of a smirk dance across his lips before disappearing just as quickly as it had come.
He moved on to the bookcase next to her dresser, full of her many science and engineering texts, blueprints that she knew he'd find utterly boring, more framed photos and random knick knacks. The Saiyan Prince picked up a snow globe she had bought as a souvenir at a theme park a handful of years ago, and seemed genuinely surprised when the "snow" floated up. He gave it a bit of a shake, and watched as it fell.
Bulma couldn't help but smile at his innocence in those few moments, discovering things he knew nothing about, and in the case of her old photos, perhaps things he could have lived without. She had to stifle a giggle.
Next, he was drawn inexplicably to an old lava lamp that she'd had since she was young. Bulma had always loved all things science, that was unmistakable. He reached out to touch it, and seemed surprised, likely at its warmth. He bent down to peer at it evenly, it's blue liquid displaced each time a green bubble popped up from the base and another cascaded down. Another giggle had to be suppressed from her lips as he turned it 180 degrees, and peered at it even closer. Noticing the cord, he flipped the switch, and the lamp turned off. A "tch", then he flipped it back on, and turned it the remaining 180 degrees back into its original position.
Bulma wasn't sure how long she would go unnoticed, but she was willing to take that chance. This was just too good to pass up. Once Vegeta had thoroughly investigated the lava lamp, he pulled out a few books from the shelf. The first was a large textbook on quantum physics, and while he seemed to be somewhat curious at first, that one quickly lost his interest and was flung onto the floor with a thud. The next one he pulled out was a geology book, specifically on rocks and precious gemstones. He set the edge of the book on one of the shelves, and turned a few of the pages, with a look of relative disinterest on his face.
The third book he pulled out was a giant, special edition National Geographic photographic journal, with large pull out poster pages. It was one of those books that cost far more than it should have been worth but usually supported a good cause, and Bulma remembered buying it in support of the National Oceanic Foundation, a group dedicated to keeping the oceans clean and healthy. In particular, this book was full of colorful photos of fish, crustaceans, sharks, corals, and more.
For whatever reason, it momentarily captivated the Saiyan Prince's attention, and he dropped down to a crouching position, setting the book on the ground. He thumbed through the pages, opening a few of the large fold-out posters, displaying large undersea photos of coral reefs, deep, dark depths, and various other sea life.
One of the fold-outs was of a large jellyfish, that took up quite a bit of real estate on the poster. It was a rather simple image, the darkness of the water behind and the flowing blue-white of the jellyfish front and center, it's wispy tentacles overtaking the page. Vegeta paused on this particular image, staring at it.
He turned his head sideways a bit, and then turned the image itself sideways, almost as if trying to make heads or tails of the creature. In all his space travels, Bulma assumed a jellyfish probably wasn't something he'd seen at any point. Eventually, he closed the fold-out, and kept thumbing through the book, peering at images of large sharks and whales, colorful whip seaweeds, and even a bright red lobster.
Bulma couldn't contain the swell of feelings she had bubbling inside her, she knew it was probably so different for him here on Earth. And here she was, privy to his secret learning experiences in her own bedroom. A smile broke across her face once again.
When the blue haired heiress had followed Vegeta upstairs, twilight had just begun to fall, and now full darkness had settled upon the Capsule Corp compound. The Saiyan Prince had just carefully put away the few books that he had looked through, and turned toward the sliding door leading out to Bulma's private balcony. He stared for a moment, and then turned back toward the room. Bulma quickly leaned as far into the hallway as she could, so he couldn't see her. She was amazed that he hadn't spotted her or sensed her. Either that or he was very good at not letting on that he had.
His behavior tonight was peculiar. Bulma couldn't understand it. Vegeta spent most of his time bickering back and forth with her anytime they conversed, and it was usually regarding a demand for sustenance or repairs on training materials. Conversation with any substance was typically sparse. Why he had any desire to peruse her room was beyond her understanding, however, she couldn't deny it was intriguing to watch. He was gruff and wore a constant frown, his angry demeanor wafting off of him like a cologne. But, seeing him here in her bedroom, it was like seeing him in a different light. One where that gruff layer faded away, like it was just an outer shell encasing an inner being, a lost one, trying to find his way in a new place.
Bulma peered around the corner again, just in time to see him flop haphazardly onto her bed. Her eyes widened in surprise. Her bed was messy and unmade, but he didn't seem to care. Vegeta threw his hands behind his head, leaning against her fluffy bubblegum pink pillows, looking up at the ceiling.
For a moment, a wave of embarrassment flooded through her as she realized her childhood glow in the dark star stickers were still plastered all over, glowing lightly in the now darkened room, lit only by her lava lamp and a small lamp on her night stand. She thought how childish they might seem, but then she stopped, realizing that for many years, the stars were probably all he knew, traveling in space for so long. With that thought lingering, she doubted that they were childish to him. Perhaps they were comforting, even?
Vegeta let out an oddly forlorn sigh, and closed his eyes. Bulma couldn't get over how strange it was, seeing his small but muscular form lying on her bed, with her girlish comforter and pillows. It was a stark contrast.
Watching him lie quietly on her bed was almost like something out of a dream. She wasn't sure that it was really happening, just because it seemed so unlike Vegeta to be so calm. Bulma decided that she was going to take a chance, because damn it, she was Bulma Briefs, and that's just what she did.
She cautiously stepped through the doorway into her bedroom, and then walked quietly over to the glass doors to look out. The blue haired heiress gently cleared her throat to make her presence known, if he hadn't sensed her already.
"You know, it's a really pretty night. One of my favorite things about having a balcony and glass doors like this is being able to look out and see all the city lights and the car lights driving by." Bulma's words flowed softly, as she lifted a hand and rested it on the glass.
Behind her, Vegeta stirred on the bed, and she heard him move to a sitting position on the side closest to her.
"I'm not sure what you find so fascinating about the chaos of a city, but to each their own." His voice was low.
"Vegeta, what are you doing in my room?"
"You left your door open, and I was curious. If you wanted privacy, you should keep it closed."
Bulma turned to him, and he looked up at her with his dark eyes, as he sat on the edge of her bed.
"How long were you watching me for?" He asked, a hint of a blush creeping up on his face. "I sensed your ki a few minutes ago, but I feel you were probably there longer."
"Long enough to know that you've probably seen more of my childhood than I'd like." Bulma chuckled, reaching up and running a hand nervously through her hair. She was surprised he hadn't either yelled at her, or taken off in a fury.
"Tch. I did see one of you at a rather young age, naked on a coffee table with just a scarf of feathers wrapped around you. I think I might be scarred for life, woman. You humans are vulgar creatures." Bulma could have sworn she saw a smirk play on his face again, she wondered if it was the same smirk she'd seen when he was flipping through the photo album, presumably when he'd found that particular photo.
"Well, when we're young we do weird things." She laughed. Then a few moments of silence passed. "Hey, Vegeta, I bet it's really different here on Earth for you, huh? I saw you looking at my things and I realized you'd probably never seen anything like a snow globe or a lava lamp…and then, I wondered, did your home planet have oceans like Earth does? I can't imagine traveling across the universe like you have. It's probably been one hell of an adventure."
Vegeta steeled. "Woman, you don't know the half of it. Trust me. I wouldn't call it an adventure." His voice dipped toward the angry side, and he stood as if ready to take off out the door.
"Hey, hey, I didn't mean any harm. I just meant that everything's probably been very different for you. That's all." Bulma said, raising her hands up to concede and let him know she wasn't trying to fight. Another brief pause. "Don't go…not yet."
"And why should I stay?" Vegeta asked. His voice was even, and he looked at Bulma, and then stood.
"Because…I, uh…because I think it would be nice to talk to you more," she replied, in a tentative voice. They were both treading in new waters, and she was curious to explore more.
"Tch. Fine. But only because I have nothing else to do and I'm not tired. Show me something interesting, woman. This planet is a fascinating place." He eyed her up and down, and his request was seemingly a challenge.
Bulma racked her brain and wondered what she could show him this late at night. Briefly, she wondered about dragging him to a close by nightclub, just to expose him to the night scene, but she was sure he'd turn that idea down. Thankfully she was still dressed rather nice from a meeting she and her father had held earlier that day for business. "Are you willing to go somewhere?"
"Whatever, if you think it's worth it, woman." He grated. He was wearing a white tank, gym pants, and sneakers, and she figured that would suffice, because getting Vegeta to dress up was like trying to give a cat a bath.
"I think so. You want interesting, you'll get it. Let's go." She turned on her heel and was about to head out when all of a sudden he had her in his arms, and her glass doors had been thrown open. A moment later, they were hovering in the air just outside her balcony.
"No, we go my way."
"Vegeta! Kami, you just scared the shit out of me! Next time, warn me before you do that!" Bulma screeched, and pounded on his shoulder.
He laughed, and she couldn't help but smile at the sound.
"Alright woman, where are we going?" At that, she directed him through the air, despite the wind noise, to a crowded nightclub a few corners and blocks down the street. She instructed him to land in an alleyway not far away to avoid garnering attention. She brushed herself off and attempted to straighten her now horribly windblown hair, but, after not much success, she gave up.
"This, Vegeta, is what we call a nightclub. It's known for its music, neon lights, and costumed dancers. They've got some of the weirdest but at the same time, cool face makeup you'll ever see." Bulma dragged him inside, even though she could see his apparent apprehension. She knew he wasn't one for crowds, but if he wanted interesting, he was going to get it.
She paid the man at the front door, and they went inside. The bright laser lights danced across the darkened walls, creating a host of illusionary effects, mingling with the mist from a fog machine set up near a stage at the back of the large room. There was a bar set off to the side, and while the place wasn't full to capacity, it was rather busy. People were bumping into them and she could see that Vegeta was agitated. Bulma put her hand on his arm and leaned toward him. "It's alright, I know it's busy, but we won't be here long. I just wanted you to see. Let's go up to the stage area so you can see the costumes."
They made their way up, and the dancers were wearing full body suits decked out in full glitter and neon that glowed underneath the laser lights. One of the girls had giant butterfly wings, and another had wings like a bat. When they got closer, Vegeta could see their faces were adorned with gems and glitter, and makeup that also glowed beneath the neon lights.
"What is the point of such a display?" The Saiyan Prince queried, confusion all over his face. "I've seen somewhat similar things on other planets, but not quite like this. This…this is, absurd."
Bulma giggled. She knew he would find it odd. If there was one thing she'd learned about Vegeta over the short time he'd been on Earth, it was that he was a very simple man. His room was an example of that, both she and her mother had offered many a time to get him anything he needed or wanted to furnish it or decorate it, but he always refused. He had nothing but a dresser to store his clothes in, and the bed. He preferred to dress plainly, and overall, he didn't like anything to be fussed over. Bulma thought it was particularly odd, considering he was supposedly royalty, but she never questioned it. Perhaps royalty on another planet was different than royalty on Earth. From what she'd learned of the Saiyans, they were a simple, yet brutal warrior race.
"Well, Vegeta, you asked for interesting, does this count as interesting enough?"
"Tch. I guess so. It's not what I had in mind, but…whatever." He grunted. "Can we get out of here now?"
"Yeah, in just a minute. I'm ordering you a shot at the bar, and then we can go."
"A shot? A shot of what?"
"Alcohol, you dummy." The blue haired heiress laughed, playfully punching him in the shoulder as she dragged him over. He shot her a glare, but didn't argue.
She ordered two shots of whisky, one for each. The bartender brought it over, and she pushed one toward Vegeta, and picked up her own. He warily picked up his, sniffed it, and made a face.
"Ready, go!" Bulma said, as she knocked hers back. Vegeta's eyes widened, but he followed suit, and found himself coughing.
"Woman, that is vile stuff." He spluttered. "I've never chosen to drink alcohol much before, but the drinks we had on a few planets weren't quite that horrible." He bared his teeth.
"Oh calm down, Vegeta. It's not so bad. It'll loosen you up a little!"
"Alright, alright, let's go." Bulma said, with a smile. She didn't want to press her luck any further. She was amazed that he'd come out with her, and pretty much astounded that he hadn't taken off already. This was so out of his element, she thought.
The two made their way back out toward the alleyway that they'd landed in on arrival, and Bulma turned to Vegeta.
"Vegeta, why'd you agree to come with me? You usually want nothing to do with me, or you just want to argue. Tonight…everything has seemed so weird. You…in my room, this…all of it…." she trailed off and looked at him.
The Saiyan Prince wouldn't make eye contact with her, he was looking up at the sky. It was a few moments before he spoke, and his voice was quiet. Quieter than she thought she'd ever heard him speak.
"Honestly? I don't know. I just felt…alone. And curious." A pause. "You're right. Earth is much different from other places I've been." A furious red blush appeared on his face briefly, and faded not long after. "The universe is a vast place."
"Tch, don't pity me woman. I don't want it." The familiar grumpy Saiyan demeanor was back in his voice.
"No pity, Vegeta. I'm just glad you're here. I know it's not home, but I hope that you're comfortable with us."
Bulma took the chance and closed the distance between the two of them, and pressed her soft lips to his. It was brief, and she pulled back, her blue eyes meeting his dark. It wasn't long before he returned the kiss, leaning in and taking her into his arms, fervently kissing her and tangling his tongue with her own. But, it was over as quickly as it began. He stepped back, letting her go from his arms, and his eyes widened. He took off into the air, that furious blush peppering his cheeks right as he took off.
Bulma stood there, shocked, momentarily, before snapping out of it.
"HEY! YOU ROYAL ASSHOLE, YOU GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW, DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE ME HERE!" She screeched, but he was long gone, too far to hear her. She growled angrily, and popped a hover bike capsule out of her purse to make the short trek back to Capsule Corp.
With a feral growl, she climbed onto the bike and sped off. What a night it had been.