Real Men Don't Make Sandwiches by An English Education is a Dragon Ball fan fiction featuring Vegeta, Krillin, and a whole lot of sandwiches. A week after Trunks warns everyone about the Androids, Vegeta is searching for one of the Briefs' cooks and finds Krillin instead. Krillin ends up making the best sandwich Vegeta has ever tasted, and Vegeta somehow gets roped into answering Krillin's questions to keep eat them.
What occurs is a series of hilarious meals between the two that give a surprising amount of world building and depth to both characters.
The series can also be found on Archive of Our Own here.
The tropes appearing in Real Men Don't Make Sandwiches are:
- Ambiguous Situation: Discussed in regard to the 'Last Man's Meal', with Krillin questioning whether or not any of the survivors of such situations actually went through with the ritual.
- Anger Born of Worry: Bulma expresses this towards both Vegeta and Krillin.
- Avenging the Villain: Averted due to Pragmatic Villainy. Vegeta mentally observes that Cooler is extremely unlikely to come after them, as he'll be too focused on continuing to run their empire in his fallen father's place.
- Ax-Crazy: Can definitely be used to describe Vegeta, who thinks about killing people a lot
- Berserk Button: Any mention of Goku seems to be one for Vegeta. Vegeta also seems to be triggered by the training chamber's gravity simulator.
- Big Eater: Vegeta. He eats at least six sandwiches a sitting, if not more.
- Bullying the Dragon: Krillin's starting not to become all that afraid of insulting Vegeta.
- Butt-Monkey: Both Krillin and Vegeta seem to be the universe's butt monkeys.
- Child Soldier: Vegeta.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- When Vegeta left the kitchen with the sandwiches after Krillin suggested the trade of sandwiches for answers. Vegeta now feels honor bound to answer them.
- Krillin also severely underestimated the impact of his decision to go off the grid for a while.
- Dark Comedy: The fic draws its humor from some pretty morbid sources, including cannibalism and casual murder.
- Exact Words:
- The terms of their deal is that Krillin makes sandwiches for Vegeta, then can ask him questions while he eats. When Vegeta has questions for Krillin, he's reminded that that was what they agreed on. So Vegeta drags Krillin to a pizzeria and attempts to make him a sandwich so he has to talk.
- After learning just what's been going on with him, Vegeta then insists that he promised not to tell anyone that he was there, not that he wouldn't say anything at all about him.
- Foreshadowing: Krillin's been living on an empty stomach for two weeks despite living with the richest people on the planet, he mentions how easy it is to leave the place without anyone noticing, does his shopping early in the morning, and Bulma never mentions him. Krillin is actually squatting at Capsule Corp without Bulma's knowledge or consent.
- Lack of Empathy: Vegeta doesn't realize anything's wrong with Krillin even though the narration has pointed out... something is wrong several times.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Krillin attempts to declare following their disastrous night out.
- Literal-Minded: When Krillin comments on saving the favor Vegeta owes him for a rainy day, Vegeta blankly wonders why it would have to be raining.
- Lost in Translation:
- Vegeta's universal translator chip causes some confusion here and there. For instance, when Krillin tries to explain the meaning of Deus ex Machina, Vegeta gets annoyed at how he's apparently repeating himself.
- Vegeta also gets hung up on the literal meaning of the word 'affair' as in 'an event', leading to Krillin spitting out his coffee when he keeps insisting that yes, they had an affair last night.
- Mathematician's Answer: After Vegeta answers several questions with "Terrible. Next.", Krillin questions whether 'Terrible' is his actual answer, or if he's calling the questions terrible. Vegeta, naturally, replies "Yes."
- Meatgrinder Surgery: Vegeta seems to believe that all surgery is like this, and clearly barbaric and outdated compared to the clean efficiency of healing pods.
- Mistaken for Gay: When the two try going out for a night on the town, they get mistaken for a couple. Vegeta's attempt to clear matters up by insisting Krillin is his pet instead doesn't help.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's eventually revealed that the whole reason Krillin's there in the first place is Goku broke the water main at the Kame House. Why? Because he's afraid of his best friend potentially dying again and is trying to force him to move closer to him... and give up fighting for good. Rather than deal with that, Krillin ran away, and has been trying to avoid the others ever since.
- Off with His Head!: Krillin observes that Vegeta tends to make a habit of this.
- Overly Long Name: Vegeta's full name and title is 'Cucurbita Paaya Vegeta of Tribe Un Ookairani, Two-Hundred-and-Second of His Name; High Prince of All Saiyans; Heir to the Gut Blood of Rikaa the Destroyer; The Untrodden; Low Prince of the Cold Empire; and The Last Saiyan Son.' When Krillin comments on this being longer than he expected, Vegeta adds that Frieza and Cold's full titles each took at least twenty minutes to get through.
- Planet of Hats: Following some Furry Confusion, Vegeta comes to the conclusion that Earth must be a Planet of Pets, with the softhearted Kakarot having adopted the whole lot of them.
- Proud Warrior Race: The Saiyans, at least as Vegeta describes them.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Krillin's the sensitive guy; Vegeta's the manly man.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: The two seem to be developing this.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Part Two opens with Krillin waking up in a bed he doesn't recognize. Though he quickly recalls the events of the previous evening, he desperately wants to forget. Vegeta's literal-mindedness regarding the whole affair doesn't help...
- You Do Not Want To Know: Krillin warns Vegeta of this when he asked what kind of wishes Bulma made - or wanted to make - on the Dragon Balls. He repeats this when Vegeta then expands that to what people in general have attempted to wish for.