Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z or the characters that are attributed to the series
Part Three: With Finality
"Captains among the ghosts, heroes
among the dead"
"Bulma!" Vegeta came awake with a gasp of air, her name wrung from his lips, crying out in shock at the smiling face of Bulma’s mother who leaned over him.
"Vegeta, dear?" Mrs. Briefs handed him a glass. "Here take a drink. I could hear your yelling, over my Tom Jones album, all the way down the hall."
Vegeta grabbed the glass, gulping it one swig, promptly spewing it back out in disgust, drenching the woman in the process. "What in the hell was that?" He rasped, trying to rid his mouth of the horrible taste.
"Oh my," Mrs. Briefs giggled, wiping her wet shirt off with her kerchief. "That was one of my vodka spiked Shirley Temples. Didn’t you like it?"
Bulma! Vegeta gasped, remembering with startling clarity the dream he had just woken up from. She had died in his dream, she had been his mate and he had let her die. Heart pounding, he looked down and saw her, chest rising and falling with every breath she took. He had really dreamt it. It had all been some sick dream brought on by too much time on this damn planet, or perhaps her mother had managed to slip him some of this horrendous tasting vodka in something. The detail of the dream however had left him cold. It had seemed so real, as if they were really living through whatever had happened to them.
"Leave us." He ordered Mrs. Briefs who had stood back to watch him expectantly.
"Are you sure there isn’t something I can get you dear? You seem terribly shaken."
"I’m fine." Vegeta watched as she left the room, leaning back against the headboard once she was gone. Shakily, he reached out and touched Bulma’s face, stroking the pale, smooth skin gently. He had dreamt of her death, had felt the last breath leave her body as she had given up her life for him, in the process, invoking feelings that he had never dreamt possible for him. Certainly it had been only a dream, but he found the feelings had not lessened with waking. He loved her, not just a little affection, but a deep, all consuming love that had embedded itself in his very soul. And he would never be able to tell her.
Leaning down he kissed her almost desperately, the feelings and images from the dream still very much in his mind. He wasn’t entirely certain that he would ever forget them.
"Good…" A strange voice echoed through his head, startling him.
Who in the hell was that? Vegeta pulled back from her face, watching as two cerulean eyes shone back at him.
"Oh Kami, Vegeta, I had this dream and I—" He broke off her with a kiss.
"Don’t talk woman. Not now." He wasted little time in divesting her of her clothes, pleased that she seemed to desire the same physical touch. He allowed her to undress him, lying back as she explored with her hands and her mouth, moaning with desire, as she grew bold, leaving no part of his body untouched.
Desperately he rolled her over, the need to have her too great to waste time with long drawn out foreplay right now. Thrusting into her, he almost collapsed with the feel of her against him, the feeling of being one. Pushing the images of her death from his mind, he moved deep within her, opening himself up to the rush of sensations that washed over him. He had almost lost this, had almost lost her. Moving faster and harder, need overruling every sense, desire rolling through every part of him, he growled deep in his throat, urging her to meet his every move, the feelings sweetened only by the fact that she felt the same way, that she needed to be as close to him as possible. Clasping her bottom, Vegeta pulled her closer, reveling in the sound of his name as it left her mouth repeatedly. Thrusting one last final time, he felt her come, before he climaxed after her, hoarsely crying out her name as he spilled himself deep within her.
Vegeta came back to himself quickly in the aftermath, staring down at the passion-flushed face below him, wondering what in the hell had just happened. Shakily, he brushed a wet strand of blue hair from her sweat-streaked face, watching as she slowly popped open an eye.
"Wh-what just happened?" Bulma asked him quietly, moved by the feelings that had just entered her body. It had been more than a mindless coupling; it had been something far beyond that—like a joining of the souls. She studied the black depths of his eyes, searching for some kind of answer. She'd long ago learned to look there for his soul.
"What do you remember?" He asked, gently rolling off her. He brought her with him, positioning her so that he could look up into her blue eyes.
"I remember a dream." Bulma pulled away from him, clear blue eyes shading to dark as painful memories filled her brain. "Oh Kami," She exclaimed. "I remember fighting with you, and a battle and... Frieza, Frieza was there and he was going to rape me to get back at you, but I stabbed him… and then he stabbed me. You were there and you held me against you as I—" She gasped hoarsely. "Oh Kami..." Her breath caught again on a sob. "I died and you were there and it was as if you were a million miles away and I couldn't reach you."
Bulma bolted from the bed, hand pressed tightly against her mouth, breath coming in short, gasping sobs as she recalled the pain and suffering and loss... there had been such unimaginable loss.
"It was another's life memories, Bulma." Vegeta followed her across the room, his own mind troubled with the profound knowledge of what it had cost him to lose her. He had literally snapped and gone mad at the end, he could well remember the feelings as they had coursed though him. For them both to have had the same dream…he was certain it was the doings of some other force, something beyond this world. He had no knowledge of warfare on this planet beyond what he knew of it now, yet he had dreamed of things that he had never heard of, of a lifetime that he had never been witness to, only it had been filled with the nightmares of his past, not Chikyuu’s. Vegeta shook his head, thinking again of the pain of his loss.
Looking at the shaking tear-streaked face that turned to face him, he found himself filled with a profound sense of just what the woman meant to him. He also knew that whatever had happened, whatever words he had said to her in the end, he had meant them, from one warrior to another.
"Was it the samurai that Gohan talked about?" She whispered. "Was it his spirit using us?" Bulma sobbed, turning her face back to the window. "I would have been happy to go my entire life without the knowledge that they gave me tonight. It hurt, Vegeta. "
"Woman," Vegeta whispered into her ear, snaking his arm around her to caress the growing swell of her abdomen and taking heart at the strong ki he felt emanating from her womb. She carried his son, the son of a Prince, of the Saiyan no Ouji. "I..." Vegeta stopped; still feeling a bit violated himself at what had just happened, yet still reeling from the emotions that the whole experience had brought forth from within him. " It was more then them just using us. I understand his code of honor, he had unfinished business and so did she. They needed to see it done."
Bulma turned her face back to him, marveling at the strong planes and contours of his face. He was such a handsome man, so unbelievably strong and yet still so incredibly dangerous. That he could be so gentle in this one moment said more to her than anything else he had ever done. "What does this mean for you and I?" She murmured, half afraid to know the truth. "They left us before this didn’t they? I know that much, Vegeta. What happened... what happened was between you and I. Did it mean anything?"
"What do you think, woman?" Vegeta whispered huskily, forcing himself to stand beside her and not look away from the piercing sky blue gaze. "I would deny what was between us in a heartbeat, but even I can not deny that." It was a moment of startling honesty for him, a sparkling truth that not even he could hide from, yet he wasn't ready for this, for her. He had too much to accomplish, too much to prove. "I want you woman, perhaps I even have some affection for you, but I-I'm not ready for this. I..." He broke off in frustration, before beginning again. "I have things I need to take care of. My life has not turned out how it was meant to be and I..." Vegeta clenched his teeth in anger. His world, his heritage, his title all wiped from by the hands of a monster; being raised up by a sadistic creature whose only joy in life came at another's pain. "I don't know what love is, Bulma. I need time."
"I can teach you." Bulma whispered to him in the darkened room. "When you are ready, when all this is behind you."
Vegeta drew her back to the bed, desire rolling through him anew. "Why don't you start now, woman."
Later, much later, Vegeta slipped from the bed, pausing for a moment to look down at the woman who lay among the twisted ruin of silken sheets. His mate, of that he was positive, a Princess for his non-existent planet and he would have her; claim her and his son if he survived the artificial humans, if he attained Super Saiya-jin status and defeated Kakkarot. But he could not have her, not yet...
"You are mine." He whispered against the beating pulse of her throat, before pulling away and walking to the door. "Never forget that. I will be back woman, on my honor." What had that word been, the one the samurai had kept tossing around? With a smirk he recalled how easy it had been to taunt the man.
Bushido, that had been it, the way of the warrior. Vegeta closed the door as he left, not looking back behind him.
A week later, Bulma stood quietly in the garden, clinging to Goku’s arm.
"Are you sure about this, Bulma?" Goku turned gentle black eyes to her. "There are probably museums out there that would pay a fortune for something like this."
"What do I need with money, Son-Kun? This belongs here anyway, not in some museum." Bulma tilted her face skywards, smiling as the warm light of the sun touched her skin.
"It is a beautiful day out isn’t?" Goku smiled, tilting his own head back. "Would you like to get some ice cream after this?" He hated to see her looking so sad. He had asked her where Vegeta was and she had smiled sadly, telling him that he had gone to train in outer space. At first, he had thought it a permanent move, but she had grinned again, and shook her head no.
"He’s coming back, Goku. He swore it on his honor."
She had spoken with such faith in him, as if she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Vegeta was coming back to her, no questions. Goku himself wasn’t too sure. Vegeta was a fighter—a warrior, family life couldn’t hold that much appeal to him. Goku had remained quiet, however and hoped with all his heart that Vegeta kept his promise.
"Why Son-Kun, that is the best offer I have had all day." Bulma smiled up at him. "But first, I need to do this."
"Alright, well I dug the trench that you wanted, right where you said to put it." He pulled her along to a shaded section of garden, not far from the small bubbling fishpond her mother had just put in.
Bulma blushed at the memory of another pool of water; of the dream she had shared with Vegeta, remembering making love in the pool. His hands had been so gentle as they had massaged her body. It had just been so real… almost as if their consciousness had been beamed directly into their dreams. Had it been some strange phenomenon, had a spirit used them both? She would probably never know. All she knew that was something very odd had occurred to them both that day just a week ago and it had changed both of them forever.
"I read once, that a samurai believed his sword was his soul." Goku mumbled, taking the curved sword from her hands and laying it down in the dirt. He took the piece of fragile silk that she waved at him and wrapped it gingerly around the blade.
"If that’s true, Son-Kun, then may this soul rest in peace."
"You have done well, Masako." The Kami smiled at her.
"But we failed." Masako said sadly. "We managed to change nothing, nor did we guide anyone away from this path." She looked away from the Kami’s kind face, shutting her eyes as the memory of his touch drifted over her. Oh Koremori, it will have to last an eternity.
"But you did guide them, Masako, not just in their dreams, but in their reality. The choices they made, the pain the felt, changed who they were. I daresay that the warrior Prince has found some long-lost honor."
"Is no longer afraid to have faith in him. They are both strong minded and they have many years of trials ahead of them, but for now—things are good."
Masako was afraid to ask, but she had to know. "What of Koremori?" She held her breath, waiting his answer. "Has he been forgiven?"
"Why don’t you ask him yourself?" Kami nodded towards the tall figure that walked to them, back straight and proud.
"Koremori," Masako breathed, unable to give words to anything else. After all this time, it was over—they would finally be together.
"Masako," Koremori stopped before her, and took her hand. "I’ve finally come home."