I actually think, given the personalities of these two characters, that there were moments, and even long periods of hell in that marriage that made the good times feel like life-rafts to cling to in the slow-motion storm of two maladjusted people who, having fallen in love, are now trying to co-exist.
Maybe it’s because I project my own relationship onto theirs, but between them Bulma and Vegeta possess many of the personality “quirks” (read flaws, as they are not very quirky when you live with them day in and day out) as me and my husband do - introversion, perfectionism, obsessive-tendencies, workaholism, defining oneself by ones achievements, inability to let go of goals, anxiety and depression. Between me and my husband we’ve got these bases covered, and it is no fucking bed of roses.
In my mind there were times when Bulma was just hanging on, not sure of any way forward or any path to happiness with Vegeta, and there were times when Vegeta couldn’t raise his mind or heart to his family over the dullness of his depression and dissatisfaction. I bet there were times when Bulma thought that the chances of them both making it to old age were pretty low. I bet there were days when she was wracked by anxiety and heartbreak and then told herself to just harden her heart an get on with things. And all those dark days made the times of ease and happiness feel drunk with joy - a magic not to be taken for granted. Off the top of my head I can only think of Springandbysummerfall’s fics that tread this territory.
There are not many fan fictions or fan comics out there that portray them struggling to achieve and maintain a normal, happy relationship. Most still conform to the romance-novel formula; the relationship is prevented by internal force A and external force B, and once these things have been tackled the relationship can continue in giddy happiness forever and anon. There are many cute and touching stories about what what their later marriage was like. I appreciate them, and many are quite realistic, but they are almost invariably absent any on-going problems or conflicts. They are slightly idealised visions of a marriage, but I do think that Bulma and Vegeta would have struggled to get close to “normal”, never mind the idealised. Probably people would rather dwell on happier speculations - their fictions after all are likely to be tinged with aspiration (I know mine are), and we all would like to imagine the best for ourselves and not think of marriage as a battle to the death on a rollercoaster that makes the participants laugh with relief whenever it’s not plunging to new depths or spiralling off the tracks. Still, a few stories about characters coming through dark times to walk in the light again wouldn’t go amiss for those on the same path.
Has anyone actually old enough to be married ever felt that way about Vegebul fan fiction, or even fiction in general? Perhaps it’s just me that does.
Well aren’t I in a grim mood today?
Oh man, I read this and completely forgot to reblog!
Okay, gotta say something. I had a revelation reading this, cause yes, the fluff is everywhere and I can´t deny, I like it as well and I write it as well and somehow it takes away SO MUCH potential!
But there is also something else… I once read a Fanfic that was more like what you describe here, Vegeta and Bulma were together but barely, it was as if they didn´t even know why and they completely lacked any ability to communicate with each other. It made me highly uncomfortable reading that but it was also incredibly intense.
I think I have to give it a try, writing something about how their relationship is not all love and devotion and endless bliss, but real.