Disclaimer: I do not own Shakespeare or any of his works, including Venus and Adonis. Akira Toriyama has not yet adopted me, so I also hold no claim to any of his Dragonball Z characters or stories.

Authorís Notes: Text for characterís thoughts. Text for excerpts from Venus and Adonis. (Some of the bardís words are just so perfect!)

Part 3

Her sorrow lasted well into the night. She did not know when she fell asleep, but the call of the lark announced the dawn of a new day. She could see Krillin begin his daily ascent and called out to him.

"Oh god and patron of light! There is a mortal that needs a clear bright day. Lend him your light!"

She then called her horse and hastened to a grove where she knew Vegeta would be hunting. She strained her ears to hear from him or his hounds, but the morning was filled only with the sounds of the awakening wildlife.

After what seemed like hours but in fact, was only minutes, she finally heard the sounding of his hunting horn. She swiftly dismounted and rushed toward the sound. As the goddess hurried along, she found herself pushing aside bushes and branches. Some scratched her arms; some scraped her face and neck. Vines circled around her ankle, trying to hold her back. She thrashed wildly, breaking all that detained her.

The sounds changed, indicating the hounds were at bay. Bulma realized that whatever the dogs were chasing Ė a boar, bear, or lion Ė was now surrounded. Again, she listened for the sound of his horn.

Suddenly, the dogsí cries intensified, and the sounds indicated the animals were scattering in different directions. The goddess stood in fear, wondering if they were behaving like soldiers that had lost their captain and were abandoning ship. She tried to cheer herself, telling herself that these thoughts were childish.

In truth, the dogs are afraid. Thatís all it means.

She snapped her head around at the sound of something crashing through the brush. Her breath caught in her throat as she found herself face-to-face with the hunted boar. Its mouth was frothy and red, like milk and blood being mingled both together. In only a second, she acted on her fear and ran away from the injured animal.

When she could no longer hear any indication of the creature following her, Bulma stopped to catch her breath.

Enough of this Ė I need to find Adonis! After all, I am immortal; I can do away with the animal if I encounter it again.

With newfound courage, she turned and retraced her steps. Shortly after passing the point of her encounter with the boar, the ground started showing the ravages of a horrible battle. At first there were only clumps of blood, then tufts of fur and small body parts. Soon, however, Bulma came across the full remains of a hound. She skirted around the pitiful creature and tripped over another one that was licking a fatal wound.

"No," she cried to the dead and dying. "This cannot be! Your lot in life is to protect your master, not lead him to his death!" She turned and continued along, following the bloody trail.

The next creature she came across was most definitely a man, although bereft of any life force. His stomach was torn open, and a few entrails poured onto the blood-soaked ground. Bulma picked up the pace.

"You ugly tyrant," she screamed at Death. "Earthís worm, what do you mean to stifle beauty and to steal his breath? If he is dead, the Destinies will curse you, for you plucked a flower when you were only to crop a weed! Loveís golden arrow should have struck him, not your black dart!"

Faster and faster she ran, always following the bloody trail. As she dashed along, she noticed that the normal sounds of a forest were no longer present, and the silence that hung in the air screamed for vindication of a crime she did not want to see.

Finally, she could see the familiar outline of Vegeta up ahead. From a distance, it appeared as if he was simply resting under a tree. As she drew closer to the hunter, it was apparent that he had been seriously injured.

Bulma rushed to him and slipped in the pool of blood that surrounded him. She quickly righted herself and crawled to where he sat, fighting for each breath. Loud sobs broke from her throat as her pale hands reached down in futility to cover one of many mortal gashes. The exposed tissue skin was already a pale pink from lack of blood. A low moan brought the goddess back to her senses and she leaned toward the face that was miraculously void of even a scratch.

"Bulma," he faintly whispered. Bulma could hear the gurgling sound of lungs filled with blood. "I should have listened to youÖ should have stayed with you last night instead of meeting up with my friends."

"Hush now, sweet prince," she murmured, softly kissing his face. "All will be right. You are strong and can survive these cuts."

He chuckled and coughed, weakly reaching a bloody hand up to caress her cheek. "You know I love you, donít you goddess?"

"Yes, my love," she sobbed, placing her hand over his and rubbing her cheek over the palm. "And you know I love you, and I wonít let that love die. You have ruined me for any other, not that Iím complaining."

He gave her a smile and although weak, it was pure and true. And then he breathed his last.

He could not die! He is not dead!

"Alas! Poor world," she cried to the heavens while she cradled Vegetaís corpse. "What treasure have you lost? What face is left that is worth viewing? Whose tongue is music now? The flowers are sweet, their colors fresh and trim; but true-sweet beauty livíd and died with him."

Bulma laid the body back on the ground, her face stained with his blood. His lips were pale, his hands were cold. She whispered into his ears and told him of her undying love for him. She lifted his eyelids but the light in his eyes had gone out.

She threw her head back and screamed the scream of eternal grief. Again and again the hills echoed her sorrow and anger. Nothing dared to comfort her.

"Since you are dead, I now foretell that hereafter, love will not be without sorrow. It shall be cursed with jealousy. Love will have a sweet beginning, but unsavory end; and all loveís pleasure shall be nothing compared to itsí pain. It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud. It shall be raging mad, and silly mild, make the young old, the old become a child. Love shall be the cause of wars, of dissension between fathers and sons, and mothers and daughters. Since Sith in his prime Death did my love destroy, they that love best their love shall not enjoy!"

She hung her head and the tears now flowed freely, mixing with Vegetaís blood. When she was able to compose herself, she found herself alone. The princeís body was gone. In its place, purple flowers, splattered with white* grew. Bulma bowed her head to smell the new flowers, comparing them to Adonisí breath. She pulled one and tucked it within her bosom. Where the stem had been broken, pale sap appeared, which she compared to tears.

"Poor flower, you are a sweet reminder of your sweeter father. Know this, that itís just as good for you to whither in my breast as it is in his blood. For my breast was your fatherís bed, and since you are of him, itís only right that you should take his place. The beat of my broken heart will rock you, and I can continuously kiss my sweet loveís flower."

Then she lay down in the ever-expanding patch of flowers, and sobbed for her loss.

* * * * *

*The flower is called the Wood Anemone.


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Part 2
Part 4