Disclaimer: Not mine! All hail to those wonderful people who brought it into our mundane lives; the people at Bird Studios, Toriyama, etc.
Note: To understand this story, you really should read ‘A Million Times Over’ beforehand. (If you can’t be bothered, or can’t find it, basically it tells the story of Mirai Bulma. Only, at the end, when Trunks changes the time, she sorta becomes part of this time’s Bulma. Also, parts in italic are Bulma’s thoughts.)
Warning: Lemon! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The sun rises on another beautiful day. Or am I biased? Is every day beautiful when you’re in love? If love songs and poems are anything to go by, then yes. Of course, those are the poems that don’t talk about the heartache love can bring also: I could write books and books on those. But why complain; things are good now. Not perfect, but good. And considering how bad I know things can get, I’m happy for now.
Of course, things would be much better if Vegita were actually here this morning. Something about taking Trunks out to train…I suppose I should be grateful he pays any attention to our son at all…especially after all the ‘gentle encouragement’ I gave him.
Bulma rolled over in her bed, resisting the little voice in her head reminding her that there was a multi-million dollar company to run and people to haggle. A typical morning; nothing worth getting out of bed early for. She looked over to her bedside clock, to see exactly how late she really was, only to find it had been…dislodged…by last night’s activities. A small, wicked grin crept across Bulma’s features at the thought.
Then she was reminded of something and concentrating, mentally reached out to the clock. It twitched on the ground for a moment, then lay still.
Come on, come on. I need to prove my theory here…
Bulma reached out mentally again, focusing so hard she thought she was going to burst a blood vessel in her brain. Then it happened, as it had happened half a dozen or so times before. The clock flew into the air and, with a slight wobble, reasserted itself on to the bedside table.
Exhausted but satisfied, Bulma collapsed back onto the bed.
She had first suspected that she had telekinetic powers one day last week when she was sitting in a board meeting. She had casually thought how much she would like a glass of water while the Public Relations Manager droned on when suddenly the glass she had her eye on slid across the table towards her.
Luckily, everyone was either too bored or too asleep to notice. But since then, Bulma was intrigued by her own growing abilities. So much so that, when no one was around, she would try them out, forcing herself to work harder and harder each time. Though it seemed that moving heavy things was not as difficult as moving smaller things with accuracy.
Her first scientific explanation for what was happening was that it was a result of her fusion with Mirai Bulma 2 years ago. As the two separate minds began to smoothly become one, her powers grew. But she told no one. She couldn’t until she could be sure the effects were permanent and harmless. Then she would show all those macho Saiyans what Bulma could do.
So is this like training? she wondered as she lay on the bed. It was exhausting. Which led her to wonder how Vegita and Trunks were doing…
"Come on boy! You call that a ki blast!" Vegita cried, his voice echoing around the gravity chamber as he dodged another of Trunks’ attacks. He had hoped that, even at only 7, Trunks would have enough skill to put up a decent training session. But even to Vegita‘s eyes, not attuned to human emotions, the boy’s mind seemed elsewhere.
"You know," he said as Trunks fell to the chamber floor, leaning heavily on his sword, "if I wanted a fight this easy, I could have picked one with your mother."
Something quick and indistinguishable passed across Trunks’ face. A face which, despite its human colours and no matter how his mother might protest, was quite the spitting image of Vegita’s. Vegita often watched his son’s face in sleep and was grateful that the boy would probably never have to endure what he did when he was that young. Unlike what the other Z warriors thought, Vegita had a fatherly instinct as all father’s did and would rather die himself than let his son fall into the hands of one such as Frieza.
That did not mean, however, that he was going to be soft on the boy. Nor was he going to smother him in soppy human emotions. Strength was what had made Vegita the person he was today, it was what had kept him alive more often than not and he would be damned if Trunks was not going to follow in his footsteps.
"Okay, father," the boy replied, pushing himself up with the aid of his sword, almost twice as big as he was. "But you have to promise me something."
"If I win this fight, you must answer a question I have. Honestly," the boy said.
Vegita tilted his head to one side. "And if I win?"
"You may ask of me whatever you like."
Out of curiosity more than anything, Vegita said, "Alright."
"Do you promise?"
"I swear by my title, by my honour."
Trunks nodded, that was enough for him. He knew so little of his father, of what secrets hid beneath those layers of ego and independence. Yet he knew there must be something there, some feeling. Otherwise he wouldn’t be alive. And he also knew that if his father swore by his title then nothing could break his oath; being who he was seemed all that Vegita cared about…never mind who he could be.
"Well? I would like this to be over before nightfall," Vegita said, breaking Trunks out of his reverie.
"I’m ready," Trunks said, picking himself up off the ground with a certain weariness out of place in a 7-year-old. He sheathed his sword and stood back in a fighting stance. But Vegita could easily see that the boy was far from up to it.
"This will be no challenge," Vegita said. "Use your sword, if you think that may help you."
Gratefully, Trunks took up his sword and stood, ready to fight his father.
On any other day, Trunks would never have stood a chance. Vegita was larger, stronger and more experienced, even with only his bare hands. But today, Trunks was fighting for something, a very personal something which pulled at that hidden part of himself from which the fighting spirit truly came; his heart.
Vegita may deny it, Goku would swear by it. Trunks did not know who he could believe, but he slowly discovered as he blocked ki attack after ki attack that his heart truly was his greatest weapon.
Startled by his son’s sudden recovery, Vegita stood back a moment.
"Either you have more of my spirit in you than I thought," he said, "or this question is very important to you."
Trunks held his head up higher, flicking a lock of lavender hair out of his eyes in the process. "It’s very important. I won’t lose this time, father."
"We’ll see." And with that, Vegita changed tactics, lunging this time with his bare hands.
For a moment, Trunks seemed frozen in surprise. Then Vegita’s fists made contact with his armour plate and Trunks was thrown back against the walls of the gravity chamber, losing his sword in the process.
As Trunks slumped to the ground, eyes closed, Vegita lowered his energy level and stood over the boy.
"I’ll give you credit, boy, you put up a better fight than I thought you would," Vegita said. "But you were hopelessly outclassed."
"Really?" Trunks asked, suddenly very much awake. "Are you sure?"
Vegita didn’t like the tone of voice Trunks used; confident and knowing. He liked it even less when saw Trunks’ sword slide down the gravity chamber walls to the boy’s waiting hand. It had all been a bluff. Damn the boy; he had his mother’s cunning.
Before Vegita could react, Trunks was in possession of his sword and calmly holding the point to his father’s neck. Vegita was beaten. Torn between his anger and his pride of the boy’s inventiveness he remained silent.
"Now for my question," Trunks said, in the same low tone his father often used to convey his seriousness on a situation. In fact, with his brows low and his jaw set, Vegita couldn’t help but see himself in his son’s eyes.
"If you must continue with this," said Vegita, wary of the sword blade at his throat, "then at least be quick about it. I don’t have until forever."
"Exactly. You don’t. None of us do. That’s why I have to ask…why?" Trunks was fighting back the urge to yell.
"What on Chikyuu are you babbling about?"
Trunks sighed. How was it that he was the child and his father, the adult? "Why don’t you just tell her already? Why don’t you just tell mother how you feel?"
Vegita raised one eyebrow in confusion. "What brought this about?"
"I was thinking…about Son Goku. Gohan told me that before his father left for the Cell Games he made sure Chichi-san was happy and knew how he felt about her. Just in case."
"That’s not hard to believe," Vegita said mockingly. "Kakarott was a bigger sap than you are. Surprisingly, for a Saiyajin."
"At least he could admit it! He could admit to Chichi-san that he…he…" Determined not to do something so pitiful as cry in front of his father, Trunks jumped up, pushing his father back with the point of his sword angrily. "Come on, father! If Goku-san can do it, why can’t you?"
Threatened even more by Trunks’ challenge than the sword itself, Vegita bridled. It took only a thought for the flames of energy to encase Vegita’s body and another to turn his eyes that telltale aqua colour and his hair gold. Nervously, Trunks stood back, sure that this time he had pushed his father too far.
"They say it is wrong to speak badly of the dead…" Vegita said, in that low tone his son had used earlier. "But Kakarott was a weakling fool and so are you - to presume to know how I should and should not behave towards others. And why does it even matter?"
Trunks pushed himself up, using the gravity chamber wall for support. He was still a few feet shorter than Vegita, but at least if he had to fight, he was on his feet and ready.
"I…I told her," Trunks said, trying to make his voice defiant and strong. Inside, however, he was trembling with the knowledge that he would be treading on very dangerous ground by continuing. "Yesterday. I told mother. I told her that I loved her, and that I would always protect her. I didn’t ask her if you ever told her that but she knew that’s what I was thinking. When I left the room, I heard her start crying and she…she called your name, father."
For a long minute, Vegita just stared down at his son. He could do nothing else; the image Trunks had painted for him had frozen him in place. The image of Bulma, such a strong and vibrant woman, reduced to tears because of him stung Vegita deep inside. His Saiyan mind wasn’t sure why that should mean anything to him but day by day, with each moment he spent with Bulma and his son, Vegita was becoming human and now he felt a pain which was unfamiliar to him…which was not completely physical.
Why didn’t you try to save them, Vegita? The voice of another Trunks in another time seemed to question Vegita as this one did now. As if, in seven years, he had not improved at all; Trunks was still asking of him the same thing.
"Father?" the sound of Trunks’ voice seemed to come from a long way away. His anger dissipated, Vegita powered down and Trunks took that as a silent sign to get out while he still could.
He was halfway out the door when Vegita asked, in a voice so barely audible Trunks was only half-sure he’d heard him, "Why did you tell her yesterday? Of all days?"
Trunks sighed heavily, convinced that his attempts to save his mother‘s heart were in vain. "It was her birthday."
Vegita didn’t see Bulma again till that night. He was standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom while Bulma showered. From the corner of his eye he could see her figure through the steam; as perfect as it always was. It often puzzled him that if someone had told him, back when he was in Frieza’s service, that he would one day fall for a fair woman with blue hair and even bluer eyes, he would have called them crazy. Now, whenever he saw her, he could feel his blood heating up, his body turning to fire…all out of desire. For her.
After a while, though, he felt like a pervert and turned back to his reflection. Normally, Vegita didn’t stare at his own reflection too long - it was too easy to see beneath the surface. And dislike what he saw. Beneath that perpetual frown of distaste at the world he saw a man with no past to be proud of and a future that was cloudy at best. He saw a man who had no concept of loyalty, of compassion. Yet, in the times before Kakarott died, he was beginning to recognise and almost admire those qualities in the only pure other of his kind. For a moment, Vegita’s ego receded into the background and he questioned what he’d ever done to deserve the life he had. Hell, even the way he was acting now was enough to justify it being taken away from him. Trunks was right; none of them had till forever.
Bulma stepped out of the shower, wrapping a towel around herself. To her amazement Vegita was still standing in the bathroom, staring in the mirror.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Does Vegita love me, at all? At all?
For a moment Bulma stood still, studying him. After all this time he still hadn’t changed in her eyes; he was still as handsome and mysterious as ever. A sculpted prince carved from stone. And his mysterious nature was even more noticeable when he was silent, as he was now.
There was a time, earlier on, when she’d almost convinced herself that all she felt for him was lust. That would make things so much easier to explain; rejected by Yamucha she had fallen for, and slept with, a man whose heart could have been non-existent, much less belong to her. Then things changed. After Trunks was born there was no denying that Bulma hoped for something permanent with Vegita. Though that was the same as hoping for Goku back or for the planet Earth to be left in peace. It just wasn’t going to happen - not on it’s own, anyway. And now, nearly a decade later, she was still in this relationship limbo with Vegita. He would not take them forward and she had lost too much of her heart to go back now.
Maybe if I asked him now…while he’s thinking…maybe I’ll get an answer…
"Vegita?" she asked carefully.
He did not turn, but replied with a customary grunt.
"Are you ok?"
"Of course I am. I have never felt better," he answered gruffly.
"No," she took a deep breath and stepped closer to Vegita’s body. "I meant…what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about us, maybe?" Do you ever think about us?
Bulma’s question hung in the air between them for what was, for her, a painfully silent moment. She didn’t know, of course, that her question was torturing Vegita too. He wasn’t sure how to answer her, not to mention that he wasn’t quite sure what it would mean when or if he did.
Just answer her! His mind cried at him. This is your chance.
Vegita opened his mouth, ready to tell her, when it occurred to him that it might not be such a good idea. Trunks had told him that the woman, Chichi, knew how Goku felt about her. Now he was dead, wouldn’t she be hurting more because of that knowledge? If he left Bulma with the knowledge that he truly cared, it would hurt more than if she believed otherwise. Perhaps, without him, she could move on…
"What is it with people today?" Vegita said, finally. "First Trunks, now you. Does it really matter how I feel? Of course not. And even if it did, why on Chikyuu should I tell you, woman?" He made sure his last comment was said with as much viciousness as he could muster, considering his throat was beginning to contract painfully. Lies, all lies, his mind accused him but he ignored it.
Until he saw Bulma’s face in the mirror. Her eyes, normally so alive and clear, clouded over with what Vegita could only define as shame. She seemed to retreat into herself, pulling the towel around her even tighter. And it almost seemed as if the heat radiating off her body earlier, driving Vegita to distraction, had now dissipated. If he hadn’t known otherwise, he would have sworn that he’d wounded her in some way. But he hadn’t even touched her.
Then Vegita heard her cry. For the first time in all the years he’d known her. At first, he could only tell she was from the way her shoulders shuddered and the way her head bent forward so her hair would shield her face.
As the first little sob escaped Bulma’s mouth Vegita had to bite his lip and close his eyes in order to block out the pain it caused him. It felt as if his heart was being wrenched out of his chest and fed to him on a silver platter.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Tell her now, dammit, forget about what might happen!
Then her first little tear fell and she was close enough to him for it to fall onto the sensitive skin near his shoulder blade. It melted through the ego, through the arrogance and went straight to the core of Vegita’s soul…where everything he ever felt about Bulma went. And Vegita knew he was lost.
"Bulma," he growled out, turning to take her in his arms.
She looked up, hesitantly. Gods, her eyes were even deeper when filled with tears. Gently Vegita lowered his head, kissing her on her forehead, her eyes. Kissing her tears away. A kiss, he thought, how can it be that something so…simple…can mean so much?
Bulma’s mind struggled to understand Vegita’s sudden change in mood. But her body had no trouble responding and she ran her hands up his chest and over his shoulders to bury them in the hair at the top of his neck.
"Vegita," she moaned as he moved his kisses to her collarbone. He’d never taken so much time before. Normally, he would kiss her on the mouth but only to indicate he wanted more. Bulma didn’t argue of course; Vegita was by all accounts an excellent lover.
But this time there seemed to be more to it; a desire not for her, but to please her. Maybe in was in the infinite gentleness of his kisses (gentleness Vegita didn’t normally possess) or the way his arms didn’t just hold her, but held her close, that told Bulma this time was different.
Vegita knew it too. He had so much to make up for, so many words he couldn’t say. What were words, though? Didn’t they lose their meaning eventually, anyway? For Vegita, actions had always spoken louder than words and this time he would show Bulma all he felt for her, how much a part of his life she was. This time, it would be all for her. Everything else in his life was already dedicated to her already, he realised.
As he kissed a trail down Bulma’s shoulders towards the edge of the towel she pushed against him, trying to get closer and cursing the layers of material separating them. She snaked a hand down from Vegita’s neck at an attempt to remove herself of any offending material when he grasped her hand suddenly, causing her to cry out in surprise.
"Let me," he ground out.
Bulma was curious, so she didn’t argue. She then resisted the temptation to collapse to her knees as Vegita went about the nerve-tantalizing job of removing her towel with his teeth and lips. As the material dropped to the ground, her skin was almost on fire simply from the feel of the roughness against her skin. Perhaps I have a thing for roughness..
Vegita’s mouth clamped around one breast and all other thought was pushed out of Bulma’s mind. All she could sense was him; he was touch and sight and sound and smell and taste. He intoxicated her.
Though she could have no idea that she was the same for him and then some. As he ran his hands over her he wondered if he’d ever really touched her; she’d never felt this way to him before. Not even on the first night, when his need and desire threatened to tear them both to pieces. When he’d found out just how amazing it was just to hear her cry out his name. Tonight, he would die if he did not have her.
That realisation, the realisation that she held so much power over him, scared Vegita. Which was why he never faced it. But at the same time, to know that his Bulma was the one to hold that power made him want her even more.
Not so much that he would rush things, though. No, tonight was for her. Which was why he took her into his arms carefully, briefly breaking the blissful contact between them, and carried them both to the bed. Before he lay down beside her he took a moment to stare at her from the half-light of the en suite.
Beautiful, his mind gave word to the thought, wondering if she’d been the first thing he could ever place that word to.
"Vegita," she whispered, nervously. It almost terrified her, the way he was staring at her. Possessively, hungrily. At the same time, it only served to build the wanton fire growing deep inside of her. If she didn’t have him soon, she was going to have to fight the desire to do something rash. Impulsively, she looped her arms around his neck and pulled him towards her. Bulma sat up a little and ran her teeth along the sensitive skin around Vegita’s neck, in a motion which was so primal it pushed Vegita past breaking point. Growling, he pulled his pants off and lay above her.
"Bulma," he whispered back. He didn’t wait for a response; the need to taste her, to touch her, was too strong. He needed her more than air.
As Vegita’s hands ran across her skin, grazing the most sensitive parts of her body, Bulma felt herself dissolve. And with that, any conscious thought as well. Damn him, now that he was taking his time, all she wanted was for him to hurry up. As he touched that most intimate part of her, the core of her body, Bulma arched of the bed. With a desire bordering on insanity, she threw her legs around him, pulling him inside of her. Grunting, Vegita could do nothing more than comply with her wishes, thrusting deep and hard.
And that was when their worlds collided into one.
As Vegita entered her, Bulma’s mind became his and his became hers. With almost painful clarity, and a detached scientist’s mind, she realised that she was experiencing the Saiyan bond; a bond so strong it went beyond the physical. It was a linking of souls. She cried out as the rush of bittersweet images flooded her brain; Vegita as Frieza’s prisoner, his pawn in a game of destruction. Vegita, killing and burning, a carrier of death. Bulma tried to close her eyes, but the onrush of images continued, showing her the heart and mind of her mate, the man she had taken as her own. She saw Vegita, fighting against the impulse to hold her or his child; to have them as his own. His family. Vegita, broken and dejected, climbing that almost impossible summit to Super Saiyan. She felt the heartache as Vegita realised it was a summit already conquered by his inferior. If he were not the greatest of what could barely be called a race, then why had he died trying to honour the memory of his people? The only thing he was truly sure of, his sovereignty, was shattered and along with it, the man he was. She saw, piece by piece, how all the hate he’d been drowned in, all the loneliness and defeat had built a wall around Vegita’s heart, keeping the innermost part of his heart intact. And here, she was the cornerstone of his soul. She was what made his life worthwhile.
With each image, Bulma struggled to hold back tears. It wasn’t so much the pain involved with each one. When you love someone, truly love them, you can see to the darkest parts of their soul and still be willing to give up your all for them. What filled her with both joy and sorrow was the knowledge that now - having seen what lay inside Vegita’s soul, having seen infinite darkness and infinite light - she did not love him any less or any more. She knew now that her love for him was complete and perfect; it held no reservations. And she also knew, with a pain that threatened to override the unbearable pleasure brought about by the bond, that it could be that way with no one else.
Screaming his name, Bulma felt her body fall apart both inside and out, until she wasn’t quite sure she’d ever be able to pull together again. But somehow Vegita was there, still within her body and mind, breathing deeply, his dark brows furrowed over his closed eyes. Finally, with a sound that Bulma could have sworn was a sob, he came to his senses and opened his eyes.
Silence reigned for longer than either of the two could have known. Bulma lay beneath him, terrified and excited, her mind awash with emotion, with Vegita.
Vegita, meanwhile, felt as if he had both lived and died in one instant.
He was grateful that the tie of the bond was never so strong as it was in the first few moments, otherwise Bulma would have known the reason for his silence.
He had, as she did, seen into the depths of Bulma’s soul. Vegita had been falling past the scientist mind, past the mother’s mind, even past the woman’s mind, until he had seen what lay at the center of this creature he had had the foolishness to abandon more than once.
In the minutes after it began, the bond showed him each and every moment and sensation of love Bulma had ever felt, even ones he didn’t quite recognise, ones from a lifetime he didn’t even know of. A lifetime where he had died. It flooded into him, filling him with so much…there was no word for what he felt, it was too good, too pure…he almost laughed in spite of himself.
Then he saw it, the core of her soul. And just as his heart was light hidden in darkness, Bulma’s soul was darkness hidden in light. From it came voices, the inner voice of his mate. And it was accusing and bitter and empty and nothing like anywhere else in her mind; for this was where she hid her fears.
You’re a fool, Bulma, it cried. All this wealth, all this opportunity for love and you had to go and fall for someone whose heart may not even belong to himself. You sold yourself out girl, and for what? Nothing. Pain. Emptiness. You’ll always be alone, Bulma. You mean nothing to him.
You’re only his whore. Do you hear that? His whore.
Vegita felt so sick with the pain that resided there he nearly cried, something he would die rather than do. And he didn’t just see her pain; he felt it too. It was the curse and the blessing of the bond; what happened to Bulma happened to him too. And with the knowledge that he just felt as if he died, he could only come to the conclusion that, bit by bit, what he did to Bulma was killing her inside.
He had never meant for that to happen.
Suddenly, as if waking from a nightmare with the tears still on his face, Vegita was back in his own mind, looking down at Bulma. He looked into her deep blue eyes, so trusting, so loving and felt as if he were drowning. After all, that was what he deserved, wasn’t it? A most ironical punishment, to be tortured by the thing he needed.
"Vegita," she whispered hesitantly, gently running her fingers across his cheek, over his lips. "You felt that too, right?"
Don’t cry, Vegita told himself sternly. You’ve managed not to before. If you cry, she’ll worry. And you don’t deserve any more kindness from her than what you’ve already gotten. Gods, there aren’t enough lifetimes for me to make it up to her…
"Yes," he ground out finally. "The Saiyan bond. Many people try, but few can achieve it. It is the perfect joining of two…"
"Two what?" Bulma asked.
"I suppose the closest word in your language would be ‘halves’."
"Mmmm," she said, her eyes slowly drooping with sleepiness. She tried to fight it, forcing herself to stay awake. Just so she could watch him. Even though the image of his face was printed in her mind whenever she closed her eyes.
Vegita began to move off her, aware that he was still inside of her and probably crushing her with his weight. But she just clung on to him more tightly, wrapping her legs around his waist.
"Just…stay. Please," she whispered. "I don’t want to be alone."
Alone, you’ll always be alone. Bulma’s thoughts haunted Vegita as she fell asleep, still surrounding him. He held her close, warding off the darkness and loneliness, if only for her sake.
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