Drabble, 500 words. Mrs Briefs has a habit of triggering minor revelations.
When Bulma came in from the rain dripping, cursing and fraying, Mrs Briefs waved the newest knot at her.
‘Bulma dear, you should have worn one too! Then you might have remembered your perm.’
‘I did remember, but that idiot left the parts out there. There was no way I was going to let the rain ruin them.’
Her mother smiled and handed her a length of white ribbon.
‘This way you won’t get so many terrible split ends,’ she said.
Bulma knew no amount of silk was going to save the sagging bird’s nest her perm had been reduced to, but it wasn’t worth arguing. She took the ribbon and wrapped it around her forearm. When she pulled her sweater on over her sodden clothes, the baggy sleeve covered it up altogether.
Grumbling, she ranged through the house. Her hair might be wrecked and the pistons probably were too, full with rain water because some stupid deliveryman hadn’t bothered to knock, but a shower would sort the rest. She hoped.
‘What in hell’s name happened to your head?’
Her head snapped to the corridor on the left, not that she needed to look. No one else could infuse eight words with that much disdain. She wasn’t going to dignify Vegeta with a response. She was going to sneer and move on.
Well, that had been the plan right up to the moment she saw his injuries. He must have been coming back from the infirmary; a new gauze pad was taped over his shoulder; lengths of bandage coiled around his chest and arm; and a row of stitches marched from his eye to his jaw.
‘What are you doing?’
He was wearing his training gear; the answer was obvious.
‘Watching ugliness reach new heights.’
‘There’s a storm out there, Vegeta, the gravity room’s not safe–’
‘I do not require your mechanical crutch to train.’
‘Fine. There’s a storm out there, Vegeta, and you’re too injured to train in that–’
‘Still you cling to the ridiculous notion that you can tell me what I cannot do.’
He made to pass her and she raised her arm to block him; her sleeve drew back; he grasped her wrist to push it aside; and for a second the white silk ribbon around her forearm was juxtaposed against the coarse bandage around his.
‘Know that I will not allow rain to get in my way.’
‘Huh,’ she said and blinked.
Vegeta had already rounded the corner. No doubt he had pushed aside her objections just as easily as she had disregarded her perm. She tightened the knot in the ribbon around her arm. She would keep it for a while, to remember a simple thing she could easily forget: the bull-headed dedication she shared with one saiyan prince.