Chapter 22 – Duels and Solace


Fumbling her way down various corridors, it took Bulma several minutes to arrive outside of an unconsciously chosen destination. Taking a few moments to calm her breathing, she slowly raised her hand to knock on the door. After a brief moment of waiting, the room’s occupant pulled open the door. Grazing her eyes over the partially nude form of the man she now stood across from, the only thought that crossed her mind was to drown all of her pains as she had tried to the afternoon she had found out her secret love had once been, and now apparently still was, married.

Extending her arms to wrap around his neck, she pressed her lips upon his as she pushed her body flush against his. There would be no rejection this time. Kicking the door closed behind her, Bulma intended to finish what she had started a few nights ago.

Taking several steps back, Radditz could do little besides experience the gentle sensations her lips were eliciting from his. Logical thought evaded him as he felt her soft fingers caressing his exposed chest. Closing his eyes, he allowed his body a few moments to bask in her compliance. Wrapping his arms around her chilled back, he pulled her into his warmth, deepening the kiss for the coveting princess. "Saiai," he finally managed to address her as he broke from her lips. As his hands had been caressing her face, he had felt moistness on her cheeks that could only be the result of tears. He knew something was wrong.

"Radditz, please do not ask," she tried to distract him by running her lips down his neck to his shoulder. "I do not want to think, I just want to feel." Removing her arms from his body, she slid them up to her own, until reaching the tie behind her neck that held her dress up. Unraveling the binding, she allowed the dress to fall in a puddle around her feet. "I am yours, Radditz."

Blinking several times to make certain he was not in fact dreaming, the suddenly bashful guard snapped back into reality. He had no idea what had happened, but he knew it had to be something grave for his saiai to be acting in such an irrational manner. Turning his back to her briefly, he grabbed a sheet that covered his bed, and then pivoted back around to swiftly cover her body. "What has gotten into you?" he gave her a light shake as he directed her now fully covered body to take a seat upon his bed.

"You, Radditz," she reached out to touch his face. "I want you," she continued to insist as she attempted to place another kiss upon his lips. She only felt a cold burst of air as he twisted his face to avoid her invasion.

"No, saiai, you do not want me," he was firm about the all too embittering truth. "You want Vegeta."

Shaking her head violently, the young onna tried to suppress her tears as she disagreed. "No, I do not want Vegeta! I cannot want Vegeta! He is a married man!" her voice dropped as she whispered the truth. "He is bound to another."

Raising a questioning eyebrow, Radditz tried to piece together the elements he was missing. "Saiai, if Vegeta were married, the entire Saiya-jin population would have known about it. You must be mistak—"

"I am not mistaken!" she cried while running her hands over her face to try and calm herself. "She is alive," Bulma stopped her hands in the messy knot her fingers had entangled in her hair. "Vegeta’s wife, Juunanagou’s sister, Juuhachigou, is still alive! Which makes Vegeta still married, and my ridiculous hopes of being with him just that!"

Radditz, shocked by her confession, attempted to make sense of what she had just told him. "But, that does not make any sense. Juuhachigou was killed ten years ago. She can not be still aliv—"

"But she is; I saw her!" Bulma maintained; she had to make him understand this was not simply one of her overly emotional false assumptions. "I spoke to her. She never died, Radditz, she faked her death to get away from a crime she believed Vegeta had committed against her. But now she is back, and she wants her marriage to Vegeta to be recognized! She wants her title, and power back, and will not leave until that happens. She will not give Vegeta up without a fight, a fight that I do not think she will lose after hearing all of the events surrounding her departure!"

Taking a long breath, Radditz took a heavy seat next to the princess as he nodded, "ok, saiai. Start from the beginning, not leaving out a single detail. And then we will try to sort out this mess."


"That was one of the strangest Sakuritsu's I have ever been to. And what about these rumors that Vegeta was supposed to take part in the marital part of the ceremony? And was it I, or did you hear Bulma’s name be spoken by several different suitors—" Chi-Chi halted as she turned towards her seemingly distracted mate. "Is everything all right, Kakarrot?"

Shaking his head, he turned back to his spouse with an embarrassed smile. "I am sorry, Chi-Chi. Did you say something?"

"Is everything all right?" she stopped him in his tracks before either could take another step towards their chambers. "You have been acting very odd since the break for dinner. Is there something going on that I do not know about?"

Wanting to set his mate’s worries to rest, he quickly countered, "Everything is fine, Chi." He placed a soft kiss upon her forehead. "I suppose I am just a little concerned. We have not seen Bulma or Vegeta since the conclusion of the first half of the Sakuritsu, and Radditz departed from our presence not long after, and did not return."

"Well, perhaps if you had not dropped your plate full of food on him, he would not have had to leave the ceremony to bathe and change," Chi-Chi and Kakarrot both laughed at the memory. Though the incident had been an honest accident, it was still thoroughly funny. "I am sure he simply took advantage of the situation and avoided returning to the noisy crowds. And as far and Bulma and Vegeta go, I would not be surprised to learn that they pursued some alone time of their own. After the way they have been acting around each other lately, I am really beginning to wonder about those two," the governess’s thought dropped off as she began some of her own internal musings.

"Well, I think it would be a healthy development if something did happen between them," Kakarrot decided to offer his own opinion on the matter. "They have each spent so many years of their lives in loneliness; it would be a pleasure to see them find solace in one another. And who knows, perhaps Vegeta-sei would soon after find itself with a very worthy queen."

"But it already has one," the sharp, amused voice sent a similar chill down Kakarrot’s body as it had Vegeta’s earlier. Turning around, Kakarrot felt his heart all together stop as his eyes fell on that of an onna he had believed dead, "Juuhachigou?"

Strutting over to join the bemused pair, she nodded her head in agreement, "In the flesh. It has been a long time, has it not, Kakarrot?"

"Juuhachigou?" Chi-Chi repeated the name while shaking her head in disbelief. "That is the name of Vegeta’s dead wife."

Chuckling heartedly, the queen responded all too readily to the elder female, "Actually, it is the name of Vegeta’s not so dead wife." Juuhachigou’s eyes never left Kakarrot’s as she spoke. "Have you nothing more to say to your long lost love, Kakarrot?"

"Love?" Chi-Chi immediately raised a suspicious brow. "Miss, I am not certain who you are or what you are after, but the only love in Kakarrot’s life is myself. You are clearly mistaken." Wrapping her arm around her mate’s waist, she further emphasized her point.

"Oh dear, Kakarrot," Juuhachigou could barely contain her laughter. "What is with you Saiya-jin men and lying to the onna’s in your life? First Vegeta with Bulma, and now you with your bed partner; honestly, aikouka," she used the term he had always affectionately referred to her as. "I am beginning to believe it is a genetic defect."

"Aikouka?" Chi-Chi was once more stunned by the romantic terms this female was using in regards to her mate. "What is she talking about, Kakarrot? Why does she call you such? You told me you were her guard, and that the two of you were set up to make it appear as though you were lovers. Is that what she is implying?" Questions of why or how this female was alive seemed irrelevant; her mate’s silent expression was much more frightening.

"Chi-Chi, I—" he found himself at a loss for words as he turned to face his mate, shunning Juuhachigou in the process. "I was her guard, and we were set up, but—"

"But, we were incredibly hot for one another well before that," Juuhachigou sauntered over to the muscular man to run a finger up her former guard’s arm. "We were each other’s first," she noted boastfully as she stared a now visibly shaken Chi-Chi down. "Come on, Kakarrot, why not send the old onna to her room, we have some pressing matters to discuss."

Batting the female’s probing hand away, Kakarrot swung around to glare at his queen. "She is not an ‘old onna,’ she is my mate! And I will not have you disrespecting her, or our union like this! I do not care if you have been divinely ascended from the dead, I will not stand for such disregard!" he shouted, finally finding his voice.

"Oh, Kakarrot, how I have missed that fiery protective nature of yours," the blond bombshell continued with her flirtatious tone. "But are you really not the least bit interested in my resurrection from the dead?"

Narrowing his eyes, Kakarrot swiftly shook his head. "Right now, all I care about is my mate," he turned to offer her his apology, but was shocked to find that Chi-Chi was nowhere is sight.

"Well, she does not seem too fond of you right now," Juuhachigou chuckled ominously as she too turned to leave. "My quarters are next to my brother’s. When you want to know the truth," she stopped to send him a seductive glance, "or just want to have a little fun, my door is always open," she promised before disappearing down the hall, leaving Kakarrot feeling all hell had just broken loose.


"Now, how did I know you would find your way here?" The triumphant voice echoed through the war room Vegeta had adjourned to in a pathetic attempt at releasing some of his tensions.

"If I were you, Juunanagou, I would flee while you still have your life, because in the state I am in now, I may just say to hell with propriety and end your miserable existence," Vegeta flipped his sword in his hand and pointed it towards his enemy.

Juunanagou, excited by the possibility of the confrontation, removed his cape and armor. "Well, do not allow me to stand in the way of your desires, Vegeta." Walking over to the weapon altar, the king picked up a mighty blade, and then returned to meet his rival’s dare, "Take your best shot," he challenged while lunging towards the Saiya-jin.

Vegeta was quick to guard as he blocked the assault, and then thrust forward in one of his own. "So tell me," Vegeta began while he met Juunanagou’s attack, stride for stride, "what is in all this for you? I can understand you would set your sister up all those years ago, simply to inherit the fortune that was rightfully hers, but why bring her back to life now? Your stake in all this is the only component I can not seem to decipher." Feeling his back hit the wall, as he finished his thought, Vegeta twisted away from his opponent. While taking a few predatory circles around one another, Vegeta demanded an answer to his question.

"What is in it for me?" Juunanagou chuckled as he wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. "Merely the pleasure of seeing my dear sister’s life restored."

"Bullshit!" Vegeta disagreed as he lunged at his fellow king to commence with the skirmish once again. "You do not have an audience to patronize with your lies, so lay your cards on the table, Juunanagou. Tell me what you plan to achieve with this farce!"

"Is it not obvious?" the icy blue eyed king locked swords with Vegeta to force the two of them to make eye contact. "I want your ward," he admitted his intention as he pushed away from Vegeta, once again halting the battle to circle each other. "After that revolting spectacle the two of you made on her balcony this morning, I realized the fair princess was in desperate need of a rescue from her pedophile of a guardian. I mean honestly, Vegeta, what have you been thinking, attempting to court the poor onna? You have her vulnerable mind so confused with feelings of respect and admiration that you intend to take advantage of her gratitude towards your liberation of her. But, I cannot allow that. Bulma desires real love, the kind only I can give her, as she will give me, once we are wed."

"Have you lost your mind?!" Vegeta screamed in a near rage. The insults to his person were horrid enough, but to suggest that he would have Bulma was simply unforgivable. "I would never let you marry the onna, so whatever relationship I decide to pursue with her, is none of your damn business!"

"Oh, but it is," Juunanagou smirked as he lowered his sword. "Or have you not heard?" he questioned with excitement in his voice. It seemed he would be honored with the task of filling the king in on his ward’s impending engagement. "After we departed from your study, my sister and I went to the Enkaijou, and gathered the highest-ranking officials to publicly announce her reemergence into the hierarchy. We felt it was our duty, since you were too cowardly to correctly introduce her at the Sakuritsu. And then once sympathy for her situation was on her side, she took to announcing her first act of business as the rightful queen of Vegeta-sei. She announced a public contest for her ward; a reasonable decision, of course, considering that she is four years over the legal marrying age of a Saiya-jin. The leaders of the senate were more than pleased to spread the word that the fair and lovely princess Bulma is to be married before the end of the senate conferences." The king paused to bask in the look of horror that crossed the Saiya-jin’s face. "But do not fret, Vegeta. My sister has promised me first dibs, as is would be, for Bulma’s hand. So, you need not be concerned. I will take excellent care of her."

"I will not allow this!" Vegeta lashed out with his sword as he began pacing back and forth aimlessly. This simply could not be happening. "Bulma is my ward, not Juuhachigou’s! I will not allow her to choose a suitor, especially you, for the onna! No way in hell!"

Releasing a long sigh, Juunanagou shook his head in disappointment as he headed towards the pile of his armor and cape. "Hope for whatever you like, Vegeta. But, I will have Bulma. She will become my queen. She will carry my heir. And it will be me, and only me, that is inside of her, night after passionate night. And it is all thanks to you, Vegeta. You must love the irony, do you not? You spent eight long years fostering the blissful growth of the young princess, only to hand her over to me when she is ripe for the plucking. Your loss will truly be my gain," he finished wrapping his cape around himself on cue. "Now if you will excuse me, I have to go inform my fiancé of the blissful news." Turning on his heel, the king departed with the slamming of the war room doors behind him.

Once Vegeta was again in solitude, he screamed a violent echo of hatred for his enemy. Throwing his sword to the ground, Vegeta grabbed the garments he had earlier removed and sped out to find his ward. He had to vow his protection of her, before Juunanagou’s plot could be taken at its fearsome value.


"Have you lost your mind!?" Radditz found himself shaking his head in utter disbelief as Bulma finished informing him of her recent encounters. "You mean to tell me that Vegeta actually admitted that he wanted to pursue a relationship with you, and in response you left!? Are you trying to sabotage your own life!??!"

"Of course not!" Bulma cried as she raised herself onto her knees, careful to keep the covers wrapped around her as she did so. "Radditz, do you not understand this?! He is married! We cannot start a relationship now! I would merely be opening myself up to heartache! And I can not take any more, not now, not ever!" her voice dropped off as she sunk back down. "I am just not strong enough to keep getting my heart broken."

With a sigh, Radditz extended a comforting arm to wrap around Bulma’s delicate body, as he lifted her to rest comfortably in his lap. Gods, how he missed the feel of her in his arms. Trying to clear his impure thoughts, he rested her head in the crook of his neck as he explained. "I know how you feel; to have the one you love finally offer themselves to you, but only to find out they are not truly free to be with you. I agree that anything you and Vegeta started now would be tainted by this development, but do not push him away as you feel you have to. Judging by how he acted, and spoke to you, he is probably just as hurt and confused by all this as you are. I believe he was trying to reach out to you as a means of comfort. Much like you are doing with me now," he tried to offer a clarifying analogy, "how would you feel if I told you to leave, that I would not support you in your suffering because your heart belongs to another?"

Shamefully lifting her eyes to lock with her guard’s, Bulma felt her cheeks rouge. "I guess you have a point," she admitted embarrassedly. "Why does everything make more sense when you say it?"

"Because you are not in love with me," he admitted with a heavy hint of regret. "Your feelings for Vegeta blind you to the truth, just as they have for him on several occasions," he thought back most specifically to when he was banished. "That is why you come to me for a reality check," he pulled a stray hair back behind her ear as he admitted the facts somberly. If her friendship was all he could ever attain, he would surely relish it.

Lifting her hands to encircle her guard’s face, Bulma smiled lovingly. "You know, I can not help but wonder how much easier life would be if I could love you the way you deserve to be." The honest regret in her voice brought a smile to her guard’s lips. "Probably a lot happier," she concluded aloud as she brushed her lips against his in an experimental kiss. It was not like their earlier, forced ones, this was much more pure. Sliding her arms around his neck, she pulled her body closer to his as they pecked at one another’s lips like two inexperienced children would.

It was a tender, affectionate moment meant to be shared by two consenting friends, but unfortunately, the scene had to be ruined as one icy blue eyed king burst into the room to find the visibly naked pair wrapped together in the guard’s bed sheets. Before a word of explanation could be voiced, the warm moment turned hot with violence.

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Aikouka - Lover

Table of Contents
Chapter 21
Chapter 23