Disclaimer: I donít own DBZ and I never will.
This is based off of the song "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen (covered by Dune). I was going through some very difficult times when I wrote it and it became a catharsis for me. This story was it.
Thanks to Mia Skywalker for betaíing this.
* = Song Lyrics
Who Wants to Live Forever
*Thereís no time for us*
"Ms. Briefs, I have the results of your mammogram and yearly physical. Iím afraid the results arenít good. Iím sorry but you have cancer."
"No. Itís not possible. Iím perfectly healthy," Bulma denied in a stunned voice.
"I know you feel that way now. But the results are clear. You have a malignant growth in your left breast. We can try to perform a lumpectomy but the growth is very large and may have already infected the surrounding tissue. We may have no choice but to perform a mastectomy."
Bulma blanched. "Is there a way to find out if it has spread first before . . . before you take my breast?"
"No, I donít think that there is. But I am just a family practitioner. I am going to refer you to an oncologist, a Dr. David Sharp. He will know more about this than I do. Heís here in the same building, so you can probably bully your way into see him."
Bulma smiled at this, "You know me too well, Mark."
Mark Yamamoto returned the smile, "Well I was Gohanís roommate while at University so I heard a lot of stories. Iím just sorry that I had to do this to one of his friends."
"I am too."
"Here let me walk you down. Itís the least I can do."
"You got that, buster!" Bulma replied getting off of the examination table. She was in shock and she knew it. All that she could think of were the awful words "you have cancer." How was she going to handle this? How would her children handle this? Oh God, how would Vegeta handle it?
Just as Mark had predicted, she bullied her way in to see the oncologist. David Sharp was a heavyset man in his late fifties with salt and peppered curly hair. He was a surprising jovial man considering his profession, but Dr. Sharpís diagnosis anything but jovial.
Looking at the results of the mammogram and physical, he ordered a nurse to join them and told her to remove her shirt so he could perform an examination. He quietly probed her breast with sure fingers, feeling for the lump he knew was there.
"Does this hurt at all?"
"Itís tender on the inside of my breast, not the outside."
"Hmmm. Thereís some dimpling there. I agree with Dr. Yamamotoís assessment. You do have breast cancer."
"But how is that possible? Iím healthy and there is no family history of breast cancer," she said in a slightly dazed voice.
The doctor sighed and motioned for her to sit up. He handed her a smock to protect her modesty and started to talk in quiet voice.
"I know the statistics say that if your family doesnít have a history of breast cancer then the chance of you contracting this form of cancer is very rare. But statistics are just that, statistics. There is a 10% chance of a woman with no family history getting this cancer. But unfortunately Ms. Briefs, you are in that percent."
"But what did I do to get this? I mean I followed the rules. I donít smoke. I only drink socially and I avoid the sun."
"Breast cancer isnít like other cancers. There are no known causes. We only know that women with a family history have a higher chance of developing this cancer than other women."
"What can I do? What treatment do you suggest?" Bulma asked in a shaky voice.
"Well, I am going to start you on Prednisone to try and stop the spread of the cancer. And I recommend a mastectomy. Preferably a double one, the growth is on the inside of your left breast and may have spread to the right. Then, if you go through with the operation, we are going to schedule you for some radiation therapy. If you choose not to go through with the mastectomy, we can try a lumpectomy and then heavy radiation along with intensive chemotherapy, " he paused for a breath and continued, "Those are the two options. Both of them involve an operation, we have to remove that growth.
"If you choose to the first option, your chances for survival are probably better and we can have plastic surgery done to restore your breasts later after the cancer has gone into remission. If you choose the second option, your chances for survival do decrease but you will retain your breasts and there is a chance of forcing the cancer into remission. However, you will be in a great deal of pain and you will be more susceptible to disease because the chemotherapy and radiation will lower your immune system. But it is your choice."
"Can I have some time to think about this?" Bulma asked.
"Yes. But I want you to start taking Prednisone now to inhibit further growth of the cancerous cells."
She nodded absently her mind was racing.
*Thereís no place for us*
She stumbled in the door, a dazed look on her face. She wasnít sure how she managed the drive home. She had stopped by the pharmacy to pick up her prescription.
Now she had to tell her family. She was fairly sure how her children would handle it. Trunks would bluster and try not to cry and Bra would be shocked into silence and then start crying softly. Vegeta was the unknown. She had no idea how he would react. Would he belittle her for her weakness or would he try to comfort her or would he stare at her in icy silence. She didnít know and she was scared. Thankfully she didnít have to tell her parents. They had died a year ago when their aircar malfunctioned. But she wished that her mother were here so she could cry on her shoulder.
Bulma looked at the clock in the hall. It was 5:00 p.m. now. Bra would be home from classes at 8:00 p.m. and Trunks should be home from the office in about a half an hour.
She moved to the back window and peered out. The light on the Gravity Room was on signaling that someone was training inside. She smiled to herself. Even though there were no more enemies and no Goku to fight, her husband still trained diligently.
She sighed to herself. There was no use in telling them separately so she would have to wait until Bra came home. And she didnít want to ruin dinner for her Saiyajin family, so that meant after dinner. So now she knew the time. Now she needed to find the place.
It had to be someplace where she was comfortable and someplace where all of them could sit. She also acknowledged that it needed to be a place without breakable objects or else they might get destroyed in the wake of Trunksí temper. She walked around the house assessing and rejecting rooms. She walked past the back door again and looked out and found her spot. Out on the lawn, beside her motherís rose garden were several chairs and a table. She could draw strength from her motherís legacy and not have to worry about mass destruction.
She sighed again. Now she just had to distract herself long enough so that she wouldnít give away too much before she told them.
Maybe the best thing to do would be to go about her daily routine. Although this day was hardly routine.
*What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away from us*
Something was wrong with the woman. Vegeta could feel it. They were bonded and the bond enhanced his ability to sense his mateís emotions.
And right now his mate was in a state of turmoil.
He stopped his training. He had better go see what was wrong before she came storming in interrupting his training anyway.
He entered the house to see the woman, his woman he thought with pride, making dinner. Vegeta smiled. Bulma was a tolerable cook but she was nowhere as good as Kakarotís mate. But she was prettier and smarter, and that more than made up for it. He cleared his throat and she jumped, startled.
"Whatís wrong, woman?" expecting her to reply with a flippant "Nothing." Instead Bulma paused and looked at him, her eyes troubled.
"Iíll tell you later. After dinner," she responded quietly.
Vegeta was troubled but accepted her answer. He knew from experience that if she didnít want to tell him then she wouldnít and she would only get angry if he pushed her.
"When will dinner be ready, woman?"
"Eight-fifteen. I expect you to be here on time and showered do you understand me, your royal pain in the butt," Bulma replied trying to be her normal self and falling flat.
"I will be here," he responded without his typical insults about her cooking.
He left the kitchen and returned to the Gravity Room to continue his training. But his heart wasnít in it. He was worried about his woman. But still, the two and a half-hours passed quickly. The brat came home and joined him in the Gravity Room. Sparring with his son distracted him from the woman.
Vegeta and Trunks cleaned up and joined Bra and Bulma in the kitchen for dinner. The brats didnít notice their motherís silence during dinner, but Vegeta did. It was further evidence that something was wrong since she normally talked endlessly about her projects. Bulma cleared her throat, interrupting his speculations.
"After dinner, I want us to go outside. I have something to tell you," she said quietly.
"Sure Mom. Whatís up?" chimed Bra.
"Iíll tell you after dinner. You can leave the dishes though until later. Iíll do them tonight," Bulma replied.
"Woohoo!" crowed Trunks. It was the bratís week to do them and he hated doing the dishes.
"Is everyone finished?" Bulma asked tremulously. It looked to Vegeta that she half wanted dinner to be over and half wanted it never to end.
"Yes," growled Vegeta forestalling any arguments from his brats.
Bulma looked at him sharply but nodded and said, "Letís go outside then."
Bra and Trunks looked at each other and shrugged. Vegeta could see that his brats were as confused by Bulmaís behavior as he was. However, they followed their mother out to the edge of the rose garden.
The woman motioned for them to sit down. Vegeta refused as usual but Bulma shook her head.
"Please Vegeta. Just this once."
He looked at her sharply trying to sense what was wrong with her through their bond. Her mind was walled up, so all he could detect was a sense of turmoil and despair.
"Get on with it, Woman."
Bulma took a deep breath and started, "I went to the doctor today for my annual check up and he found something . . ." she paused and took another deep breath.
"I have breast cancer."
"No!?" cried Bra and then she sat back in her chair stunned. Tears started streaming down her cheeks.
"What!?" yelled Trunks at the same time. He stood up violently knocking his chair over and started pacing. "How did this happen, Mom? Youíre only fifty-seven!" His voice cracked and he tried to speak again but couldnít manage words.
Vegeta spoke quietly, "What is this breast cancer?"
Bulma looked shocked and then started laughing. "You know, I predicted how Trunks and Bra would react and I was right. But I didnít expect you to ask this."
Vegeta looked a little hurt but repeated, "What is this breast cancer?"
Bulma took a breath and answered, "I donít have a good explanation. The simplest is that it is a disease. Cancer is when certain cells in your body start growing uncontrollably and if unchecked they spread to other parts of your body and you die. The kind I have started growing in my breast."
"Can it be cured?" Vegeta asked flatly.
"It depends. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no."
"Can you be cured?"
"I donít know. It depends on how the treatment goes. Right now I have to make a choice. I have to choose what kind of treatment I am going to pursue. With cancer, there are no second chances. If the treatment doesnít work, then I will die," she stated softly.
"Wh-what are the choices Momma?" Bra asked tearfully.
"I can have just the lump removed and undergo intensive chemotherapy and radiation. Or-or I can have my breasts removed and undergo radiation. Those are the only two things the doctor thinks will work."
Trunks stopped pacing. "Which one has the better chance for survival?"
"The doctor thinks the second option does."
"Then you have to go with that option, Mom! I canít lose you!" cried Trunks.
Bulmaís control finally snapped and she leapt out of her chair. "Itís not that easy! My breasts are a part of me. They are part of what makes me a woman! I Ė I just canít sacrifice my womanhood . . ." she broke off and sank to the ground sobbing.
Vegeta looked at his mate and then at his brats. The walls she had up earlier were down. He could see all of the indecision and fear that she had been hiding.
"Go inside, brats. Iíll take care of your mother," Vegeta ordered.
Trunks started to protest but his father quelled his words with a hard stare. Bra stood up and gave her mother a hug then grabbed her brother in a fierce hold.
"Momma needs to be alone right now, and I need to have someone with me. Daddy will make sure she is ok. Okay?" Bra told her brother.
Trunks looked at his motherís crumpled form and allowed himself to be dragged back to the house.
Vegeta made sure that the brats were in the house before pulling his mate into his arms.
"I- I canít handle this, Vegeta," she sobbed.
She looked up at the stars and took a few deep breaths. Her head leaned back against his shoulder. He could see the streaks of wetness that coursed down her cheeks. He could feel her trembling in his embrace.
"I donít know what to do," she continued a few minutes later, her voice more in control. "Part of me screams to take the option that has the greatest chance for success. But another part screams just as loudly that by removing my breasts I will no longer be a woman."
"You will always be a woman in my eyes, woman. Your breasts are just a small part of that."
"Hey are you saying my breasts are small, buster?" Bulma tried to joke.
"Hmph," he responded.
They stood there a few minutes longer in silence before she spoke again.
"Thank you, Vegeta. I needed this. I need you. I couldnít bear it if you deserted me now. I have to be strong for the childrenís sakes. But I canít be strong all the time."
"I will give you my strength."
She smiled and then turned so that they were facing each other.
"With your strength Iíll be certain to live forever," she whispered.
*Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?*
*Thereís no chance for us*
It had been five months since Bulmaís diagnosis. She had decided to go through with the double mastectomy and was now enduring bi-weekly doses of radiation. She was feeling weaker than she had before the operation and to make matters worse, all of her beautiful blue hair had fallen out.
She had taken to wearing interesting and unique scarves to hide this loss. She refused wigs because none of them were as beautiful as her own color. But even though she was weaker she was still active in Capsule Corp, and refused to let her illness prevent her from having a normal life. At least outwardly.
Inwardly, she had to force herself out of bed every morning. She hated her illness. It made her too weak to do anything remotely strenuous. This included making love. And ever since her mastectomy she needed reassurance that she was still attractive and desirable.
Vegeta was handling her illness surprisingly well. He was at the hospital when the operation occurred although he made the staffís lives a living hell. He also made sure that no one bothered her after her radiation therapy treatments.
Today was her three-month check-up. Hopefully the doctors would know if the radiation had worked and if her cancer was in remission.
However her hopes were dashed when she saw Dr. Sharpís face.
"Bulma, we didnít get it. The cancer has metastasized; itís spread to other tissues including your bones."
Her eyes widened in shock and she breathed, "What can we do now?"
"Nothing. We obviously failed to keep it from spreading and Chemotherapy or additional radiation will only make you weaker. I think it would be pointless to make you suffer and more prone to diseases like pneumonia. In your weakened state, they will kill you. So there is nothing we can do now. Iím sorry."
Bulma sat back against the chair heavily.
*Thereís no chance for us*
For the second time in her life, Bulma drove home in a daze. She had asked for a second opinion but that doctor had looked at her results and told her the same thing.
The cancer had spread and was now untreatable. Both doctors advised her discontinuing her radiation but increase her dosage of Prednisone.
Vegeta was waiting for her.
"It didnít work. The cancer spread too quickly and it has infected too many other areas," she answered hollowly.
"I see. What are you going to do?"
"Nothing except for try to slow the spreading. That will give me a little more time. But not much."
"How much time?"
"Six months to a year. Maybe more if I am lucky, but I donít feel very lucky right now."
Vegeta closed his eyes and asked, "What are you going to do now?"
"I donít know. Try to live life to the fullest I guess."
He gathered her into his arms. "How do you want to do that?"
*Itís all decided for us*
Bra and Trunks took the news well. Ever since Bulma had made her announcement, the two siblings had started to prepare themselves for the worst.
Vegeta was proud of his children. They were handling this crisis very well. But the Saiyajin prince wasnít. His heart was breaking, he didnít know how to deal with all of the emotions surging through him.
Grief - that his mate would be taken from him prematurely.
Anger Ė that there was no cure.
Despair Ė what would he do without her?
Fear Ė of the future.
He didnít know what to do to make Bulmaís and his last days together happy ones. He had missed so much of their life together that he didnít want to lose anymore. He didnít have anyone to turn to for advice either. Goku had long since left with Shen-long and he wasnít close to any of the other Z fighters. In desperation, he turned to his children.
"Ok brats, I need your help."
The two siblings looked at their father and at each other in shock. Their stoic, arrogant father never asked anyone for help. They were literally stunned into silence.
Bra recovered first, "With what Daddy?"
"We need to make your motherís last months happy ones and I donít know how to do that?"
Trunks considered this, "Well what does she want?"
"I donít know, brat. If I did, Iíd be doing it," Vegeta snapped.
"Donít have a cow, Daddy. I know one thing that would make Momma happy. Getting her breasts back," Bra said.
"Youíre right, Sis. Mom was really upset about having to lose her breasts."
"But how do we Ďget them back?í They were removed," stated Vegeta, confusion underscoring his voice.
"Silly Daddy, she can get cosmetic surgery."
Vegeta blinked at this, even after living 35 years on this planet he still didnít understand it. But he continued.
"Alright that is one thing. Anything else?"
"You could marry her," Trunks stated quietly.
"What? I am mated to her already. I do not need to re-mate her," Vegeta stated confused.
"You are mated to her. Not married. There is a difference, Father. On Vegeta, the bond you have would be enough. On Earth though, it is different. There is a ceremony involved. You never performed it with Mom and I know she wishes that you did," Trunk explained heatedly.
"I am the Prince of all Saiyajins, boy. I do not submit to stupidly redundant ceremonies."
"But it will make Mom happy."
Vegeta growled, "I will consider it. Anything else?"
"I know Momma wants grandchildren, Daddy."
"Well how are we going to manage that, brat?"
"Please Daddy donít call me that. I have a secret from you."
Vegeta narrowed his eyes and waited.
"I-Iíve been seeing Goten for a year now and he asked me to marry him a month ago."
"WHAT!?" Vegeta roared.
"I said . . ."
"I heard you! How dare you consort with that third-class idiotís son! He is not worthy of you. I forbid it. I absolutely forbid it! No royal Saiyajin blood is intermingling with Kakarotís spawn!" Vegeta raved.
"But Daddy I love him!"
"NO! And that is final!"
"But Daddy if we got married quickly, I could try to become pregnant. And Momma would have her grandchild."
"There is no try about it, girl. When a Saiyajin couple consummates their bond the first time, a brat is always the result. Why do you think Trunks was born nine months to the day after I took your mother as my mate?"
"Well then, Momma would get her grandchild then wouldnít she?"
"You are not mating Kakarotís brat!"
"Please Daddy, It would make Momma happy. It would make me happy. Please?" Bra pleaded using her ĎDaddyís little girlí powers of manipulation.
"I will consider it. IF. If I agree, you and Kakarotís spawn will live here. I will not have you away from your mother during this."
"Thank you Daddy."
"So boy, do you have any secrets that you have been keeping from me?"
"Um no Father. Nothing of importance, anyway," Trunks shrugged.
"Good. Keep it that way. I donít need anymore insults inflicted on the Royal House of Vegeta."
*This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us*
Vegeta looked pensive. He had cloistered himself off with their children and heaven only knew what they were talking about in there. All she knew was that he had not been happy about something.
She had been standing outside by the rose garden looking at the stars when Vegeta strode from the house with a scowl on his face. It had become a ritual for her. Whenever her self-pity threatened to overwhelm her, she would come outside and gaze at the stars.
"What happened in there, Vegeta?" she asked quietly.
"Your daughter has the gall to fall in love with stupid Kakarotís brat! And that brat has the temerity to ask a Saiyajin princess to be his wife!" he fumed.
"So Goten finally asked her. How romantic!" she breathed.
"You mean you knew! Woman how many secrets are you keeping from me?"
"Oh a few," she replied airily.
"So you approve of Kakarotís brat becoming our daughterís mate?"
She nodded and answered, "Vegeta, I want Bra to be happy. And Goten makes her happy. Not every girl is as lucky as me to have a Saiyajin prince for a husband."
Vegeta looked at her seriously for a moment. Then he scooped her up into his arms. She was lighter than he remembered.
"Come with me, Woman," he said as he began to rise into the air.
"Like I have a choice?" she responded wryly as she looked down at the rapidly increasing stretch of air between her and the ground.
"Okay, fine Iím game. Where are you taking me?"
"You will see."
She sighed and shifted in his arms snuggling closer to him. She loved being held in his arms. It made her feel safe. Like nothing in the world could harm her, because he would protect her. She felt his body shift and the air rushing past her began to slow.
"We are here, woman."
She twisted her head to look at their destination. They were landing on a cliff that was overlooking the ocean on three sides. The land was grassy and covered in wild flowers. Below them she could see the water breaking up against the walls of the cliff.
"It is beautiful Vegeta . . "
"Wait," he commanded.
He set her down in front of him and turned her to face the eastern sky.
The sky was turning lavender with tendrils of pink and orange streaming across it. The few low clouds were bathed in a gentle glow of gold and crimson. Then the sun rose majestically over the horizon illuminating the water in rioting hues of vermilion, magenta, and yellow. The molten ball continued to rise slowly up into the sky and Bulma could feel Vegetaís breath against the back of her neck as he too watched the day begin.
When the sun had cleared the horizon, she felt him straighten up.
"Bulma Briefs, mother of my children and keeper of my heart, will you join with me and consent to be my queen?"
Bulma was stunned. She slowly tore her eyes away from the scene before her and turned to face him.
His heart was in his eyes and his guard was completely down. She reached up and cupped his face with her hand. He turned his head and kissed her palm. She continued to study his face in silence. Leaning forward, she turned his head back to face her. Before she captured his lips with her own she breathed two words.
*Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?*
Vegeta and Bulma agreed to have a quiet ceremony at home in her motherís rose garden with only their family and friends attending.
The wedding was planned for two weeks after Vegetaís proposal. The local justice of the peace officiated, but he was really only there in a legal capacity. The couple had decided to write their own vows and ceremony.
Vegeta escorted Bulma down the aisle. He was wearing his Saiyajin armor with the royal crest of Vegeta emblazoned on the right shoulder. She was wearing a simple ivory dress of silk with three-quarter sleeves and a hem that fell to just above her ankles. She wore a wreath of flowers on her head and her short blue hair could be seen poking through it.
That any of her hair had grown back was a joy to Bulma. She was looking forward to being able to style it but for now she was happy to have hair at all.
The couple reached the end of the aisle and turn to face each other. They clasped hands and Vegeta turned his head to address the assembled audience.
"I am Vegeta, Prince of all Saiyajins. I claim this woman as my lifemate. She is more than deserving of such an honor. She is strong enough to defeat the strongest of warriors. She has defeated me. Any who oppose my choice challenge me now or forever hold your peace," Vegeta declared in a ringing voice glaring pointedly at Yamcha whom he still hadnít forgiven for possessing his woman first.
He waited for a moment, then turned back to Bulma who was turning her head to address the crowd.
"I am Bulma Briefs, master inventor and super genius. I accept this man as my lifemate. He is truly deserving. For he has captured my most valuable possession. He captured my heart. Any who oppose me will face my wrath," Bulma proclaimed in a sure voice.
"I take you, woman, as the Keeper of My Heart and Queen. I shall honor, cherish and protect you from this day forward."
"I take you, prince, as the Guardian of My Soul and King. I shall honor, cherish, and care for you from now until eternity."
Vegeta drew a dagger from the belt on his armor and drew it across his arm.
"I swear this vow in blood so that none may break our bond."
Bulma took the dagger from him and repeated the gesture on her arm.
"I swear this vow in blood so that none may break our bond."
They clasped their arms together to let the blood mingle and form an everlasting bond. Then they leaned forward and kissed, ending the ceremony.
Trunks leaped out of his seat and started cheering. Bra had tears in her eyes and was looking at Goten with love in her eyes. The rest of the Z team and their families stood up and started clapping, even Yamcha.
Bulma and Vegeta broke their kiss and smiled at their guests.
"Go! Feast!" commanded Vegeta in a jocular tone.
They then walked over to the justice of the peace to sign the appropriate forms. There was some consternation over Vegetaís last name. But Bulma solved that problem quickly.
"Call yourself Prince. You are taking my last name anyway and I am adding your first name to mine so we are losing nothing."
Vegeta smiled. "Agreed. Do it man."
They signed the forms and then went to join their guests at the reception.
It was one of the happiest days of Bulmaís life and Vegeta had made it all possible. Even the cut on her arm was healing quickly because of the healing properties of Saiyajin blood.
If only it could heal her body, but it wasnít that powerful.
Vegeta stalked up to Goten and confronted him.
"You have asked my daughter, a princess of the Royal House of Vegeta, to be your mate."
"Yes, sir, I did," Goten responded nervously.
"You are hardly worthy, but you may prove your worth to me. You must fight a champion of my choosing. Do you agree?"
Goten gulped, "I agree."
"Good. You must defeat Bra in unarmed combat. But you may not hurt her, only subdue her."
"Bra!" Vegeta called to his daughter who was trying to eavesdrop on the conversation without being caught.
"You must battle Goten in unarmed combat. If he defeats you, he may take you as his mate. But you cannot submit to him. If I feel that you have given up on purpose, I will not allow the mating. Is that understood?"
"Good the battle begins now."
"WHAT!?" cried Goten and Bra in unison.
"You heard me. Begin, before I change my mind."
Goten removed his jacket and handed it to his brother who had walked over at the outburst. He then moved into a ready stance.
Bra kicked off her shoes and moved away from the throng of people to a more open location keeping her eyes glued on Goten.
Gotenís eyes narrowed briefly then he charged at Bra attempting to tackle her and pin her to the ground quickly. But Bra sidestepped him and pushed him off balance. She had lived with Vegeta and Trunks her whole life and while she was not a fighter she knew the basics. That and she often used to watch her father train in the Gravity Room so she was more versed in fighting skill than even she knew.
Goten got up and gave Bra a little salute acknowledging her maneuver. He then charged again but this time instead of trying to knock her down he phased behind her and wrapped his arms around her.
She screamed in anger. She should have expected that trick. Shifting her weight slightly she quickly elbowed him in the stomach and then snap kicked him away from her.
Goten rose again. He was going to have to turn it up a notch. He shifted into Super Saiyajin and walked toward her calmly.
"No fair!" Bra cried and looked to her father for a ruling.
Vegeta smirked and motioned for the fight to continue. He wasnít going to contest this move.
"Crap! Now what." Bra wondered aloud. She searched for an opening and found one.
As Goten got within arms reach. She quickly stepped into, him planted a kiss on his mouth, and shoved. Goten only took a few steps back but that was all the time Bra needed. She leaped into the air and hovered there.
"Tricky, tricky beloved."
Bra smiled ferally at him. This challenge was turning her on.
Goten leaped into the air and faced her. He released a flurry of attacks designed to push her back and eventually pin her against the wall of Capsule Corp. She was so absorbed by trying to avoid his attacks that she was unaware of her surroundings. She felt her backward movement stop abruptly. She had hit the wall.
She moved to the left but Goten had placed his hands on either side of her. She attempted to attack him with her fists but Goten captured first her right hand and then her left and pinned them. She tried to kick him but he pushed up against her smothering her so she couldnít move.
She howled in rage and began to power up unconsciously. Goten continued to hold her in place. She raged against him turning her head to try and bite his arm. He continued to hold her. She finally let loose a primal scream and her hair flashed from blue to gold. Her power cracked the wall behind her.
"Enough!" shouted Vegeta from below.
Goten released Bra and swooped his head down and claimed her lips.
"You have won the right to mate with my daughter, brat. You will join with her tonight. After you have borne your first child and heir, only then will I allow you to marry. Also from this day forward you will live here on these grounds."
"Yes sir, thank you sir," Goten said gratefully. He was in awe. Braís father had given permission. He was so happy.
But one person was not happy at this recent development.
Chi-chi stormed over and started to harangue Vegeta.
"What do you mean they will get married after their first child is born? That is not proper and my son wonít do it!"
Vegeta crossed his arms and glared at the woman, "He will if he wants to ever marry my daughter. He agreed to the conditions. You have no say."
"NO SAY!í Chi-chi screeched. "I am his mother and I wonít allow it!"
Bulma walked over and faced the angry woman.
"Chi-chi, Vegeta is following the laws of his people," she soothed, "They will get married. But he is paying me an honor by forcing them to do this. We were together for 33 years without a wedding ceremony. He wants them to realize that their relationship is based on love and respect, not on a ceremony in a church."
"Hmph. I still donít like it. And why do they have to live here? Why canít they live near me?" Chi-chi complained.
"Itís because I am dying. I have cancer Chi, and I will die within a year. Vegeta wants me to have my family around me during these last months," she answered softly.
"Bulma! Why didnít you tell me you were dying!" Chi-chi cried attracting everyoneís attention.
"I didnít tell anyone because I donít want pity. I want to live my life to the fullest and go out in a blaze of glory. But if I canít have that, then I want to be surrounded by the people I love for as long as I can."
Chi-chi looked away abashed. "Iím sorry Bulma. I didnít understand."
ĎThatís ok. Weíre still friends and now family. Besides, you didnít think I cut my hair this short on purpose?" Bulma teased.
"Well. . ."
"Wench! Iíll get you for that!" Bulma said mock threatening.
"Hey it still looks good, Bulma," Chi-chi laughed.
"Thanks. I just canít wait for it to grow longer. Now if you excuse me I have to prepare two wedding chambers for tonight," Bulma said as she walked towards the house.
"Iím sorry Vegeta. I didnít know," Chi-chi said after Bulma was out of earshot.
"Hmph," he grunted.
Bra, who had remained silent with Goten during the previous exchanges, piped up, "That means ĎItís okayí in Vegeta-ese."
"I guessed. Welcome to the family, Bra honey."
"Thanks Mrs. Son."
"Call me Mom."
"No. I have my own. But if you let me, I will call you Chi-chi."
Vegeta smirked and walked away. His little girl had everything in control. He could now go and spend some quality time with the beautiful woman who had consented to be his wife.
*Who dares to love forever?
When love must die*
Bulma was getting worse. Her strength left her more quickly and was harder to regain. She no longer could travel to and from town by herself. She even got winded climbing the stairs to her and Vegetaís bedroom.
But most disturbing was that she kept getting sick. The mildest cold would leave her bedridden for days.
But she was happy. Bra had announced two months after her mating with Goten that she was pregnant. Trunks had finally admitted that he was in love with Marron, Krillanís daughter. And Vegeta was ever attentive. He was still gruff most of the time but he stayed with her. He trained while she was sleeping during the day and rejoined her soon after she woke.
But it was now 7 months since her wedding and she knew that she didnít have much time left. Dr. Sharp confirmed this.
"Bulma," he told her when visiting her for a check-up, "you donít have much time left. I am going to stop the Prednisone treatments since they leave you open to infection easier. Instead I want you on a steady regimen of vitamins and minerals. And you need to get as much rest as you can. I know you want to see your grandchild before you die and this is how you are going to do it."
"Thank you David. Iím sorry that I couldnít be one of your success stories."
"I am too. But we are going to cure this disease so no more families have to go through what yours is."
"I wish you luck, Doctor. I donít think I will see you again."
"If that is the case, then let me prescribe you some pain medication. I donít like to do this since it is highly addictive."
"I donít think we will have to worry about me fighting addiction for long," Bulma laughed grimly.
Dr. Sharp looked at her. Her face was very thin and her blue hair had been cut into a stylish bob. But her eyes were bright and full of life.
"I think you are right on that score Bulma."
He packed up his case and from the doorway said, "Send me a card when your grandchild comes."
"I will. I will."
*But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today*
Bra was due at any time and Goten was more anxious than the mother-to-be was. Bulma had been confined to her bed, but she still held court over her family.
Much to Vegetaís consternation, their bedroom had become the family room. A couch and several chairs graced the room. There was even a small table that had an unfinished puzzle on it. Next to Bulmaís side of the bed was another small table with blueprints, notes, tools and half completed inventions. A TV was placed in one corner so that one could see it from any angle in the room and their bed had been moved so that Bulma could see out the doors of the balcony to the grounds below.
Bra waddled into the room and sat next to her mother on the bed.
"I am really getting sick of being fat and clumsy. How did you stand it Momma?"
"I didnít," replied Bulma ruefully, thinking back on her pregnancies. "I hated being pregnant for the same reasons you do. I felt fat, ugly and undesirable. And unlike you, in my first pregnancy I didnít have my husband around to reassure me. In fact, when your father saw me pregnant with Trunks, he demanded to know how I had gotten so fat!"
"But Daddy changed though."
"Yes he did. But not right away and not overnight. Even after I had given birth to Trunks, he barely acknowledged me or his son."
"You are exaggerating, Woman. I acknowledged you as annoying all the time," Vegeta interrupted from the balcony doorway where he was leaning, arms crossed.
"Whatever, vegetable brains."
"What your mother is not telling you is that I was training to fight those androids your future brother told us about and couldnít be worrying about a brat at that time."
"That is still not a good enough of a reason!"
"Quiet, woman. It is in the past, and the past is gone."
"I know, Vegeta. But it still makes me angry," she glared at him, "If you start acting like that again, Iím going to slug you one," she vowed.
"And I would let you. Now you need rest."
Bra gasped suddenly and clutched her lower back.
"But I donít think our daughter is. Is it the baby, honey?" Bulma asked.
Bra nodded biting her lip in pain.
"Vegeta, go get Goten and call Dr. Yamamoto."
Bra gasped again.
"Are you sure you want to do this here, baby? You can go to the hospital if it would make you feel better . . ."
"No, Momma," Bra replied slowly as her first contraction passed. "Goten and I decided a long time ago that I would have the baby here. We want you to be the third person to hold our child, after Goten and myself of course."
"Okay, honey. But next contraction, try to breathe deeply. It will help with the pain."
Braís labor progressed through the natural stages - from silent endurance to shrieking obscenities. Poor Goten didnít know what to do about the banshee that was his mate. But Vegeta stood back against the wall by Bulmaís bed chuckling. He was enjoying watching Kakarotís bratís discomfiture. Dr. Yamamoto and his nurse were trying their hardest to soothe the mother-to-be and the anxious father while making sure that the labor was proceeding smoothly.
"Push honey," Goten pleaded.
"You fucking push. Youíre the asshole who got me into this mess. Goten, I swear by all that is holy that I will never let you lay another finger on me," Bra yelled between contractions.
Goten looked stricken so Bulma called, "She doesnít mean it. All women feel like that."
"Yes I do mean iiiiiiiiitttttttt!!!!!" her voice rose in pitch as another contraction hit.
"Bra, I need you to push when the next contraction hits," Dr. Yamamoto told her.
She nodded and began panting in preparation for the next wave of contractions.
When they hit, Goten raised her up into a crouch and Bra held her breath and started to push.
"I can see the head!"
Bra glared but said nothing but continued to push.
"Itís away!" cried Dr. Yamamoto as the baby slid from Braís womb into the world. He handed the child to the attending nurse who proceeded to clean out the infantís throat and begin the Apgar test.
"What is it?" Goten asked from his position beside his mate.
"You have a very healthy little girl with a tail, Mr. Son," the nurse replied with a smile.
"A little girl. We have a little girl, Bra! I am so proud of you!"
"That ni. . ." Bra started but another contraction hit her.
"What!" cried Goten.
Dr. Yamamoto examined Braís cervix and smiled.
"Mr. Son, it looks like you are about to be the father of twins!"
"WHAT!?" Cried Bra and Goten in unison.
Vegeta couldnít contain his amusement any longer, "You mean, you idiot, that you didnít sense him? I've been feeling ki from both of the brats for months," he laughed
"Itís a boy?" asked Goten stupidly.
"Of course it is. Now help my brat in birthing him!"
The birth of her second child was much quicker than his twinís. After the afterbirth had been born and disposed of, the new additions to the Briefsí family lay nestled in their grandparentsí arms.
"What are you going to name them, baby?" asked Bulma looking down at her grandson.
Goten replied for his wife, "Well, I thought that we would name them after their grandparents."
Vegeta predictably misunderstood, "No descendant of mine will ever be named after Kakarot!"
"Not Goku, Daddy," Bra laughed. "You and Momma. Meet Bulma and Vegeta Son-Briefs."
Bulmaís eyes watered, "Thank you, honey."
Vegeta leaned over and kissed away his wifeís tears.
"None of that now, woman. Look at your legacy. They are true warriors."
Her grandchildren were two months old. Her wedding anniversary was a month away and she knew that she wasnít going to make it until then.
She had pneumonia and she could feel her lungs filling up slowly. She could hardly breathe and coughs were wracking her body. But she had one more thing she wanted to do before she died.
"V ĖVegeta," she croaked.
"Can you," she managed before her body was convulsed with coughs. "Can you take me to that place, one last time?"
Vegeta regarded her for a moment. She had grown so frail. Her body was little more than a skeleton. Her hair had paled from its aqua color to the color of the summer sky. But her eyes, her clear blue eyes, were as glorious as ever. He knew what she was asking from those eyes.
She didnít want to die in a bed. She wanted to die has she had lived, free and adventurous.
He couldnít deny her last request.
Gently, as if cradling a feather, he picked her up into his arms and floated out of the balcony doors. He flew unerringly to the place he knew she wanted to go: the cliff by the ocean where he had proposed to her.
It was nearing sunset and the sky was beginning to cloak itself in color.
He settled her in his arms so she could watch the sunset unimpeded.
She was wracked by another coughing fit before she spoke. "Thank you, my love. Thank you."
She watched the sun slip beneath the waves illuminating the sky in vibrant hues and she felt herself fading away along with the light of the sun.
Vegeta felt her ki slipping away from him. He tried to hold back his tears, but found that he couldnít.
She felt something wet upon her cheek and looked up to see him crying silently.
She feebly raised her hand to his cheek and breathed, "Shhhhhhhhhhh. . ."
He clutched her hand to his face and kissed her palm.
"Forever, Keeper of My Heart."
She smiled weakly, "Forever. . ." and her voice trailed away. Her arm fell limp and her ki faded.
Vegeta leaned over and whispered in her ear before the last of her ki dissipated.
"I love you."
Her ki vanished and her eyes closed. Vegeta felt a part of him leave as well. He looked up at the heavens and saw that the sun had slipped beneath the horizon.
"Farewell. I will join you in time, my Queen. Until that hour, wait for me."
*Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today
Who waits forever anyway?*
~*~ End ~*~
When I wrote this story in April of last year I had been going through some very difficult times. My mother had skin cancer (thankfully it was removable) and I had just lost one of my aunts to breast cancer.
My family has battled with this deadly disease many times. We have lost some battles and won others. I dedicate this to all of the victims of this hideous disease everywhere. This includes the victims themselves and their families and friends.
And this story is dedicated to my own family both the survivors and the fallen.
To those of you gone: We will miss you. To those of you still fighting: We are with you.