Yayness, Bulma and Vegeta get together! Good stuff. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it (and that you don’t get half the headache I did). Drop me an email and tell me what you think of it, will ya? Otherwise I’ll be sad. You don’t want me to be sad, do you? ^.^
Bulma hissed as the fabric bunched around her feet caught in yet another prickly bush and she jerked her legs free. Armed with only a heavy stick, whittled to a point by her teeth and hardened in a meager fire, it was slow going in a forest where every shadow was a sprite waiting to spring and every step might bring you onto a patch of ground that would move you to an unknown location. The first thing she wanted to do when she found Vegeta was give him a hearty pounding with her makeshift staff for leaving her as Kakorrot had left Chi-Chi—lost, defenseless, and infuriated.
She stopped, panting, and leaned against the nearest tree, her head on her arm. She’d given up on crying long ago, but the utter absence of any sort of hope was quickly wearing down her natural defenses. Snorting, the noble forced herself away from the tree and glanced around once more. A path seemed to wind through the forest to her right and she hesitated. The last time she’d followed such a thing, she’d lost her lover to a woman she trusted all her life. Blue eyes hardening, she gripped the walking stick until the wood creaked. There was nothing left to lose this time.
Kakorrot groaned as he felt a familiar presence behind him, even in his entranced state. Dragging himself out of meditation took conscious effort, and he shook himself, gritting his teeth as his cramped legs were stretched out in front of him. He glanced over his shoulder, hearing each and every vertebrae in his neck pop into its proper configuration and smiled. Bulma was framed by the vines suspended from nothing, looking as if she didn’t know whether or not to venture further into the oasis. The Saiyan rose, patting most of the sand from his lower body before slowly approaching his friend.
"My lady," he commented nonchalantly, a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as she turned to face him. "Welcome to hell. Would you like to join me?"
"Goku?" He nodded, taking her hand and leading her to the water. "Where... are we?" She knelt and splashed water over her heated skin, glancing at the deeper portions of the pool as if she didn’t know if she wanted to drink from it.
"I don’t rightly know," he admitted, waiting for her to cleanse her face before offering a hand to aid her to her feet. "Maybe one of our noble class will be able to inform you." Bulma followed his outstretched arm to see Chi-Chi curled up directly across from her behind a group of crisscrossing ferns, and Vegeta stretched out to her left in plain sight. "But that is doubtful as well."
The noble scowled and eased her palm out of Kakorrot’s hand. "Excuse me." He watched with a raised eyebrow as she moved toward the other Saiyan, kneeling by him. She suddenly stood, swinging the staff over her head and bringing it down with bone-crunching ferocity on the duke’s face. Vegeta roared, sitting up so quickly she didn’t see him move and was on his feet before she’d taken a complete step back.
"Explain yourself, woman!" The red welt stood out on his pale skin like a beacon. Kakorrot had never seen the Vegetasei lord so enraged at a woman before, and didn’t quite know what to do about it.
"That was for leaving me!" She aimed the point toward the one place no man ever wanted to be struck and scowled. "And if you desire children then may I suggest you stay where you are, my lord." Vegeta knew he had more than enough strength to overpower her, but her speed matched his and he wanted to take no chances. Expecting another attack, the Saiyan wasn’t prepared for Bulma to step close and press herself firmly against him. She grabbed the back of his head, forcing his lips to hers. The noble finally pulled away, seeing her lover’s dazed expression and suspecting it wasn’t all from passion. "Tell me you want her now my lord and you will never see me again."
Vegeta felt something being peeled from his dry eyes as he blinked the itchiness away. Glancing down at the hand that had unconsciously caught whatever had fallen, he could see several scales—yellowed, as if aged—that winked in the light starting to filter into the sky. "The Namek," he muttered, crushing the magical items in his fist. "He was behind this all from the beginning."
"It is not important, woman." He let the pieces fall and pulled her closer in one smooth motion. "And what have I told you about your kisses?" Bulma’s face reflected confusion, anger, and relief. He lowered his head once more to show her what she’d been lacking before.
Piccolo finished his last circle, sealing the spell and gazed down at the two sleeping couples. The last senzu had been used to send the mortals into quiet slumber for Kami would send them to the border of the Forbidden Lands so they could complete their quest. The sprite shook his head, transparent in the growing light of day. While he wasn’t proud of his blunder, these four had provided him and his fellows with a full night’s worth of entertainment. He didn’t regret his error. In fact, the other sprites that had witnessed the bulk of the conflict even encouraged more—deliberate—actions such as this.
His lips curved into a smirk as his outline disappeared, returning to his master. Mortals put too much stock in their emotions, he decided finally. Their hearts are too tender to withstand true trials, as this escapade had proven. In turn, they are nothing but trouble and headache. Piccolo’s dry smile turned true at that last thought. The pain in Kami’s head had yet to subside, mostly because of his slave’s indifference to the entire situation. The Namek glanced down once more as the scene swirled into nothing.
He would miss them.
Bulma moaned slightly as she stretched, both hands sinking into flesh. Her eyes popped open and she rolled onto her stomach, seeing with a mixture of relief and confusion that the still body at her head was Vegeta’s sleeping form. She could have sworn that she’d made him sleep farther off, but was grateful for his silent protection nonetheless. She pressed a kiss to his temple, smoothing it away with two fingers. His brow twitched in sleepy recognition, but didn’t awaken. The noble smiled tenderly, blinking as a hazy recollection of a sudden aloofness on his part surged through her consciousness. It tugged at her, then was gone as suddenly as it came. Passing it off as paranoia at being so vulnerable in a place such as the Forbidden Lands, she rose slowly, collecting her hair at the nape of her neck, tie in hand.
She felt her lower jaw nearly drop to the blooming green floor as she noticed that not only was she not where she had fallen asleep, Kakorrot and Chi-Chi slumbered not far apart from the other and only a few meters behind Vegeta and herself. The noble sighed, remembering that Kakorrot was after her hand, and was now close enough to do something to stop her from wedding Vegeta. Not wanting to wake any of her companions, she finished pulling her hair away from her face and made her way toward the edge of the forest. Bulma stopped suddenly, remembering the tendency the Forbidden Lands had of moving when she least wanted them to. Unwilling to be separated from her lover, she stepped back, away from the trail that disappeared around a bend and into the sunlight.
When Bulma turned back she found that Chi-Chi had rolled onto her stomach, head propped in one palm, elbow digging into the earth and a dreamy expression on her face as she stared at Kakorrot. The princess grinned, sitting up as her friend approached. "He reminds me of an infant when he sleeps," she whispered, obviously wanting to allow the Saiyan his rest. Bulma had to agree: Kakorrot’s fine features were handsome while he was awake, but while dozing all the weariness of the world was stripped from his face. He did indeed look angelic. "He is a loss worthy to grieve over."
"If he does not know what a fantastic wife he would have in you then he is worth nothing," Bulma replied, reciting her mother’s words. She almost winced, but realized that she spoke the truth and instead held her friend’s eye. The princess looked about to voice the same opinion the other noble had first thought, then sighed and lowered her gaze. Bulma was impossible to argue with in this state.
Kakorrot stretched with the lazy carelessness of a feline predator, all muscular grace and carefully controlled strength. His eyes opened as if he had all the time in the world, smiling up at the princess. "Fair morning, lady." Chi-Chi looked away without reply. Kakorrot’s eyes narrowed in confusion as he moved into a sitting position. Bulma shook her head, wondering how really simple her Saiyan friend could be as he placed a hand on the shoulder of his ex-fiancée. She glanced at him, and he took the opportunity to sweep his head close to hers, pressing a kiss to her lips. Chi-Chi recoiled in surprise, landing half-sprawled on the ground in a very provocative position.
Growling, she passed the back of her hand over her mouth. "What was the meaning of THAT, my lord?" The princess noticed as well that Bulma had conveniently ventured over to her own waking lover.
"Princess, I’ve..." Just before he ducked his head, she noticed his cheeks had reddened in embarrassment. Kakorrot’s fingers trailed through the grass that had been matted down by his weight before he clenched his jaw and locked eyes with Chi-Chi. His hardened resolve gave him courage to speak. "Princess, I’ve... made a mistake."
"If you want a pardon you must appeal to my father," she said firmly, starting to rise, dusting the knees of her breeches as if she wore a skirt. "I have not the power."
He wouldn’t permit her to slide out of his grasp that easily and reached up to take her hand. "I’ve made a mistake in allowing you leave." She raised an eyebrow as the Saiyan carefully got to one knee, his rough palm never leaving her own.
"You did not ALLOW me leave my lord," she hissed, pulling back. His grip held fast and her eyes narrowed: she would not cry in front of the man that had first stolen her heart then tossed it away without care, trying to win another for his collection. "You FORCED me away."
"And I regret it," he answered firmly, as if exasperated. "Every sunrise I think of why I am not with you and remind myself that I AM stupid if I cannot see what was straight before me." He bowed his head again, closing his eyes and letting his hand slide away from hers. "I was afraid, princess. That is why we are no longer engaged."
Chi-Chi hadn’t shown any emotion until that point. "AFRAID? Afraid of WHAT, my lord? I thought that Sir Kakorrot, knight-lord of the king’s army feared nothing." Bulma flinched as she saw the pain wash through the faces of both her friends. She knew better than to interfere, however, and settled into the welcoming arms of her fiancé.
"I was afraid of the responsibility!" Kakorrot finally shouted, rising to loom over her. "I was afraid of failing you and your people as king! I was afraid I would cast Chikyuu into poverty or war or slavery! Does that satisfy you? I wanted YOU, not your station." He calmed suddenly as he realized he’d just bared his heart not only to Chi-Chi but to the silent couple watching the exchange. He raised his chin proudly, knowing that he could say nothing that would discredit him further. He looked again into the eyes of the princess. "I still do."
Vegeta nodded approvingly from his seat behind his lover, pulling her closer to his chest. She rested the back of her head on his shoulder, practically able to see the scene despite facing away from them. She felt him move behind her and assumed he’d spoken although she couldn’t hear the words. The taller man smiled ever-so-slightly as the duke’s message fell on his ears: "Well said, Kakorrot."
When Chi-Chi didn’t answer, Bulma grinned over her shoulder. "I think that this is where you accept."
The princess scowled at her friend, blatantly ignoring the man she’d given her heart to once. Kakorrot moved closer, pressing his thumb under her chin and lifting it so she could stare only at him. "I will not take ‘no’ for an answer."
"Finally, the boy acts like a Saiyan," Vegeta muttered in his future mate’s ear. Bulma rolled her eyes.
"And I will not tolerate the commentary!" Kakorrot hissed at his friend, making a smirk break out across the higher-ranking man’s face. Returning his attention to Chi-Chi, the bigger warrior released her face. "I mean what I say, my lady."
"How will you force me to wed you?" she demanded, crossing her arms defiantly.
Kakorrot smiled. "Rescuing the princess from the Forbidden Lands is worth at least part of the kingdom. If I asked for your hand as well, the king would give it to me wholeheartedly." Her scowl deepened as his smile broadened. "I also hear that it has been a custom in Chikyuu for centuries that the knight who rescues the princess will be offered her hand."
"I hate you," she growled, much resembling Vegeta when he was irritated.
"Minstrels will have work in the royal court of Chikyuu," Bulma shouted back to her friends. "There shall be a double wedding tonight!"
Whatever Chi-Chi had been about to say was drowned out by a collage of battle-worn voices from the edge of the glade. Bulma grinned as she recognized the twins—Kakorrot’s father and uncle who resembled him to the point of mistaking one for the other—hearing Chi-Chi’s sigh from behind. Vegeta rose regally, bringing his fiancée with him to stand before his father’s advisors.
"My lord," one of the newest members, a man Vegeta had yet to learn the name of, "we have been sent to fetch you bearing grave news." The Saiyan nodded once, never taking his eyes from the speaker. "Your father is dying, my lord, and wants to do you one last thing from his deathbed."
"What thing is this?" he demanded roughly. Bulma took his hand. She knew that while he wasn’t close to the old man, the prospect of becoming the next ruler of Vegetasei in the next few hours wasn’t thrilling.
"He wants you to choose, my lord." The man bowed and remained low until he heard Vegeta’s answer.
Something like a smile was on the Saiyan’s face as he replied. "He will wed my mate and I."
Bulma was the sole member in their troupe that had yet to step inside Vegetasei’s border, and her face showed it as they soared above her fiancé’s lands. While Chikyuu was all grassy plains and gently rolling hills, Vegetasei’s mountains struck the skies and the sands decorated the ground in the most stunning array of color she’d ever seen. The stark difference alone comforted her that remaining for five years would give her plenty to occupy herself with.
Vegeta tightened his grip, pulling her closer to him even as he sped up, twisting in midair, much to his future mate’s excitement. "Does it please you, my lady?"
"Very much so, my lord." She released her grip on his shoulders, placing her trust in his strength as she stretched an arm out to either side and leaned back, her head dropping toward the land below. The Saiyan felt strangely proud of that action, even as he allowed his speed to drop enough for the others to keep pace. "You know, I’m almost nervous about meeting your father."
"Why?" He was genuinely surprised, and Bulma opened one eye to look at him. "If he doesn’t approve of you the most he can do is refuse to wed us."
"I know it’s silly, but I want him to accept me. I don’t know how to explain it."
They were silent for a moment before Vegeta pulled up short, easing Bulma into a more upright position. Shifting her to one hand, he used the other to point below. "That is your new home, woman." As would any Saiyan male bringing his mate under his roof, he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Welcome."
The wedding was unlike anything Bulma had ever seen before. Thirty armed guards bore witness to the interaction between father and husband, while the equivalent of a priest merely sealed the promises made. However, modifications had to be made. Only five guards attended, as the duke’s room would be rather crowded, and Lord Briefs remained in Chikyuu. Chi-Chi finally used her station to give Kakorrot permission to act on the behalf of Bulma father, to which the Vegetasei duke reluctantly agreed.
Kakorrot smiled and took Bulma’s hand, turning her to face a stone-faced Vegeta. "I give you this girl, that she may bring children into the world within the bond of wedlock." The blue-haired noble scowled as she saw the implications she was there only to produce heirs. Barbarian customs, she muttered silently.
Vegeta smirked, knowing what would have upset her so. "I accept her."
"I agree to provide a dowry of..." Kakorrot seemed at a loss and glanced at Bulma. She shrugged, and the Saiyan closed his eyes. "67 talents with her."
"Where did you come up with THAT number?" she muttered under her breath. From the look on his face it was the first that had popped into his mind. She rolled her eyes.
Vegeta shook his head almost imperceptibly. "I accept that as well—with pleasure."(1)
The duke coughed and held his hands over the edge of the bed. Bulma and Vegeta each laid their fingers on a palm, looking at the elderly Saiyan. "May you go and be fruitful, rule this land wisely and without error, and may your descendants continue on forever." One the ritual words were spoken, he noticed Bulma’s scowl. The duke smiled slightly. "My son has chosen well. He will never be bored." Bulma curtsied, albeit a bit awkwardly, and allowed her hand to be placed in that of her husband. "Go now. I am finished."
His words turned true two hours later when the duke and duchess of Vegetasei were informed that Vegeta’s father had passed into the greater realms.
"This way, my lady." Bulma, caught off-guard by the sudden velvet voice, tightened her hold on the charm at her throat. Vegeta smirked and took her hand, leading his mate down a side corridor she would have missed even if she’d been leaning against the wall. She was jerked around another unseen corner, then up a spiral stairwell that seemed to have no end.
When his fingers slipped from hers, she felt her throat lock with fear. She couldn’t find her way out of the castle any more than she could out of the Forbidden Lands, and it was just as unlikely that anyone would come to the duke’s rooms. "Vegeta?" Her voice echoed off every stone from there to the end of the hall and back, but received no answer. She took the last step into the corridor, nearly colliding with the strangest being she’d ever seen. Arlian, she remembered suddenly, having noticed them around the courtyard and thinking they were mere statues or decoration. This one was living, breathing, and obviously very upset that he’d nearly knocked his new mistress back to the ground floor.
He kept muttering something, but the only word Bulma could understand was "lady." She hadn’t learned much of her husband’s language, and that put her at a disadvantage with the entire country because they rarely knew anything else. "Standard?" she questioned, seeing the relief wash through the creature’s eyes.
"Yes," he answered in the language she’d suggested. "Many apologies, lady. I did not see you."
"The fault is mine," she assured him, firm tone and acid glare almost daring him to contradict her. "I was looking for my husband. He seems to have vanished on me."
"He has gone ahead to prepare the room, lady. He will return for you when he is finished." The Arlian punctuated his words with a short bow.
"Thank..." He was suddenly gone and Bulma felt a chill travel down her spine. I... didn’t imagine him... Did I?
All of her worries were cast away as a pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her to a hard form. Vegeta’s lips fell to her neck before he whispered, "Forgo the servants, my lady. There is something more important that you seem to have forgotten."
"Have I my lord?"
Vegeta smirked as he let his kisses travel down her shoulder. "Indeed, my lady." He pulled away, allowing her to turn and face him. "‘Tis our wedding night." He smiled wickedly as her finger trailed down his chest and scooped his mate off the floor, cradling her to him as he strode purposefully toward their chamber. While the full moon had already risen, there would be no dreams this night.
And so their tale comes to an end
Blessings to them, and you my friend.
(1) That dialogue is actually how they used to do things in Athens during the time of Pericles. Just in case you wanted to know. ^.^