Peace at Last

Title: Peace at Last
Plot, or Lack Thereof: Bulma (of the Alternate Future) gets a little recognition for her work.
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization, random Japanese.


The letter from the Nobel Committee came in the mail today.  I was shaking with breathless anticipation as I brought it into the living room, where the rest of my family was also waiting to hear the news.

“Okay, the moment of truth!” Trunks created a mock drum roll by rapping on the coffee table as I tore open the envelope.

“Dear Mrs. Vegeta…” I read aloud.  “We are proud to inform you that—” I covered my mouth to keep myself from screaming with joy.

“What?” Bra prompted.  “What’s the rest of it?” I tried to tell her, but no sound came out of my mouth.   Vegeta Jr. (what the ‘other’ Trunks chose to call himself) came to my rescue by reading the entire sentence over my shoulder.

“We are proud to inform you that you have been selected to receive the Peace Prize for your efforts in rebuilding the world.”

“Yeah!” Trunks jumped up and hugged me; Bra and Vegeta Jr. followed suit.  “I’m so proud of you!” Trunks kept repeating, laughing and crying at the same time.

Vegeta was still seated, observing the celebration with his usual ‘stupid humans are always so sentimental’ face.

“Aren’t you going to say something, Dad?” ‘Junior’ teased.

“Congratulations.” Was the reply.  The voice was emotionless, but the glimmer in Vegeta’s eyes told me that he was proud of me, too.

“When’s the prize being presented?” Bra asked.  I  scanned through the rest of the letter.

“June 7th.”

“But that’s a month from now!” Trunks exclaimed, looking at his watch.

“A month?” Bra was disappointed that I couldn’t be given the prize right away.

“I’ll need some time to write my speech, won’t I?”

***

The doorbell rang; I opened the door.

“Mrs. Vegeta? We’d like to ask you a few questions.”

“Sorry, but no. I haven’t even thought of what to say at the awards ceremony yet.” I closed the door in as polite a manner as I could.   About five minutes later, the doorbell rang again.

“Mrs. Vegeta?” It was a different news agency.

“No.” I closed the door (not as politely this time).  Another five minutes later, the doorbell rang yet again.

“Mrs. Vegeta?” Someone thrust a microphone into my face.

“NO!” I slammed the door.  The doorbell kept ringing.  I leaned against the door and rubbed my aching temples.

“You don’t like the attention, huh?” Vegeta teased.  I ran into his arms.

“Make them go away.” I pleaded, tearing up.

“No problem.” There was a sadistic glint in Vegeta’s eyes that I didn’t like.

“Don’t hurt them or anything.”

He grinned even wider. “I won’t.” He reassured me.  As he went out I heard him add: “Much.”

I didn’t dare to look; the screams of horror didn’t sound too pleasant.

After they subsided, Vegeta came back in and dusted his hands off in satisfaction.

“Now, don’t you have a speech to write?”

***

“No! That’s not what I want to say!” Another crumpled sheet landed in the wastebasket.  I picked up my pencil and tried it again.  “I’d like to thank the Committee, and my family, and—ARGH!” This time I ripped the paper to shreds.

“Writer’s block?” Vegeta poked his head into the room.

“Go away.” I took a gulp of my coffee and lit a cigarette before I attacked my speech again.  “I’d like to thank the Committee?” Someone plucked the cigarette out of my mouth.  “What the shit!” I curled my hand into a fist, ready to knock the lights out of whoever dared to interrupt my work.

Vegeta blocked me with one finger.

“Vegeta? What on earth?”

“Don’t poison yourself with that crap.”

I haven’t touched another pack of cigarettes or a drop of coffee since.

***

“Hello, Your Majesty.” I shook hands with Her Majesty, the Queen of England, who smiled.

“There’s no need for formalities, Bulma; you’ve saved us all.”

“No, I didn’t.” I protested, and at once I know what to say when I receive the prize.

***

Vegeta squirmed in his three-piece suit.

“I can never get used to these things.” He mumbled.  I gave him a small kiss.

“Just a few more hours.” I promised him.

Those ‘few hours’ must have been the most nerve-wracking ones that I’ve ever gone through.  I felt my face grow redder and redder as the various heads of state lauded my accomplishments.  Finally, it was my turn to speak.

“I couldn’t have stood here before you without the support of my wonderful family.” I began, holding the plaque.   “And I thank you for giving me this Prize, but, the person who really deserves it is Son Goku.  He always stood up for what was right, and always protected the Earth from the forces of evil.  More importantly, he had an unbeatable optimism that allowed him to see the good in every one and the way out of every situation, no matter how evil the person or how dire the circumstances.  And it was because of this optimism that I fell in love with my husband,” (here, Vegeta’s amused grin turned into a full-fledged smile,) “and it was also the same optimism that gave me the strength to carry on.   So,” I took a deep breath and handed the plaque back to the stunned presenter.  “I’m very honored to be awarded this, but I’m not the true hero; Goku is.  All I did was follow in the trail that he blazed.” The hall was silent as I made my way back to my seat.  Then, someone began to clap, and one by one the entire assembly rose and gave me a standing ovation.

***

I refused the plaque again when they tried to give it back to me.  And on the mantle where Trunks had cleared out space for it, I put what used to be the 4-Star Dragon Ball in its place.

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