~Part 3 - In Death Do They Part~
Bulma awoke 2 days later. One day had been spent in the regeneration tank and she slept the other day in her personal chamber. Her parents had been allowed to come to see her and bring her belongings. Her parents had already left by the time she woke up but a computer and mini-lab had been set up.
A servant entered the room. "My Queen, you're awake."
"I'm not Queen yet." Bulma corrected.
"Of course, well, would you like anything to eat?"
"Oh please, that would be great. Could you just bring it and leave it here. I'm just going to go for a walk."
The servant hesitated. "I can bring the food here but the Prince doesn't want you wandering around without guards."
'Since when is he concerned about my safety?' "Oh I'm just going for a stroll, I won't leave the grounds. Now, what's your name?"
"Amalia, your Highness."
"Oh, just call me Bulma. You're not Saiyan are you?"
"No, the Saiyans have long since conquered my homeworld of Trelia. They saw us as hardworking and so spared us. We were made their slaves. You have no idea how lucky Chikyuu is."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"Don't be. It happened over 50 years ago. I'm just glad I'm serving you and not Melanzana. It's a miracle you survived her. With her status and power, she was to be Prince Vegeta's original mate, before the King got the notion of his son marrying a human."
"So Vegeta knew her?"
"Yes, the were . . . close."
"But he killed her without hesitation."
"He either never really cared for her or he accepted you as his mate. Saiyans are very protective of their interests, but they are raised to be cold and detached. In order to be King he'll one day have to kill his father, so I don't think killing Melanzana affected him in any way."
"The cold bastard! He could turn on me."
"On no, Saiyans never kill their mates, something to do with honour and pride. In some circumstances a bond could be formed."
"I don't know much about it. It's so rare, that I've never known any Saiyan to have had one, but I've heard stories. There's some sort of mental, spiritual link with some sort of deep affection for each other. Some curse it, others embrace it. I don't know all the details."
"Who would have thought that Saiyans could be capable of such a thing. Hmmm I wonder if Son Kun has a bond with Chi Chi?"
"Oh, never mind." Bulma got up. "I think I'll take that walk now."
"Ok, I'll get your food." Amalia exited.
Bulma dressed in black pants and a blue tank top. She pulled her hair back, grabbed a white sweater and went through the door.
She wandered the great stone halls. She saw a corridor that led to an outside terrace. Bulma breathed in the fresh air and looked around. She heard strange noises coming from below and so she looked over the balcony.
Vegeta was sparring with Nappa and another guard. Bulma gazed in wonder as she tried to follow the movements of her . . . "husband." Any normal human would have just seen blurs but growing up with Goku and Yaumcha, Bulma was used to it. Nappa and the other guard looked quite ragged while Vegeta had hardly broken a sweat.
"Come on," Vegeta sneered. "Give me some sort of competition."
Nappa wheezed, "I'm sorry Prince Vegeta, but we're no match for you."
"Feh!" Vegeta then felt he was being watched. He looked up. "So little weakling you're finally awake."
'I don't now what I hate being called more, Woman or little weakling,' Bulma grumbled to herself. "Who are YOU calling little? Anyway, I'm just going for a walk."
Vegeta floated up to her, letting the insult slide - just this once. "Why are you alone? Where are the guards?"
"I told Amalia that I didn't need them."
"Amalia? You plan on learning all of the slaves' names? No matter, she will be punished for disobeying me."
"WHAT?! You will not harm her in any way. It was my idea to walk around and I wanted to be alone. If you dare hurt her or anyone else on my account I'll . . . I'll . . ."
"You'll what? You can't back up any threat, there's no way you can hurt me."
"Argh, you're such an evil jerk!"
Vegeta flashed his teeth and crossed his arms, enjoying the flustered look on Bulma. "So?"
Bulma couldn't stand Vegeta's smugness anymore. She raised her hand to slap him.
He didn't even flinch.
"AIEEEEE! You broke my hand!"
"Woman I did no such thing. You brought that on yourself. Chiko, take her to the infirmary."
The second guard who had been sparring flew up and led Bulma away.
Nappa, who had been listening the whole time, came up to Vegeta, "That servant girl who disobeyed you, should I take care of her?"
Vegeta chuckled at the thought of seeing how angry Bulma got if Amalia was killed. "No!" he said to Nappa. "I don't think I would be able to put up with the woman's bitching if you did."
* * * * *
Lucky for Bulma her hand wasn't broken. She spent the next month working on various projects, including creating servant robots. Although she knew that one of the reasons Saiyans had servants was so they could exert power over them, she would not have slaves serve her if she could help it.
The past month hadn't been totally uneventful. In all of their time preparing for the Saiyans, a major something had been forgotten about . . . the moon. The full moon had occurred shortly after the wedding and well, thank Dende all Saiyans were in a remote area. Not that they couldn't control their transformations they just wanted to party. It was a good thing Piccolo (in his distrust of the Saiyans), would always fly by each night, thereby promptly destroying the moon at the sight of the rampaging oozaru. There's nothing like a party pooper and any Saiyan who didn't already dislike the Namek, hated him now.
Occasionally Bulma would see Vegeta, like during some meals, or when she went for walks. Their meetings were always the same: she'd try to be polite, he'd insult her, she'd insult him back, they would fight, then she'd storm off back to her room.
This evening she was really pissed. Vegeta knew she was working on some projects with the help of Amalia and some other servants who had volunteered. To purposely annoy her, he kept the other servants busy so she couldn't complete her work.
"Your Highness." Bulma whirled around to face the guard at her door. It was Omato, the guard who was stationed outside her room.
"Prince Vegeta requests your presence at dinner tonight."
"Oh he does, does he? Well you can tell your Prince that he'll be eating alone tonight. I refuse to see him until he frees my workers."
"But the Prince gave an order."
"You can tell him I don't give a damn about his orders and I'm not going to see him unless he apologizes. Now get!"
Omato swallowed and left with a nervous look on his face. He did not look forward to explaining to Vegeta why Bulma wasn't coming to dinner.
Back inside her room, Bulma was trying to fix some equipment that had shorted out. She was too busy cursing Vegeta that she didn't hear her bedroom door open.
* * * * *
Vegeta was sitting in the dining room pondering what else he could do to get Bulma mad. Ever since she got out of the regeneration tank, she had been constantly busy with her stupid machines. Vegeta never saw the point to what she was doing, he wasn't very technical, but he didn't like the fact that she was always busy. He didn't know why this bothered him so much. Maybe it was because it just seemed boring when she wasn't around. None of his guards could give him a decent physical challenge and nobody dared talk back to him . . . except for her. He must admit, those verbal sparring matches were fun. The way her eyes would set on fire and the colour rushing to her cheeks; her tongue was almost as quick as his. Vegeta smirked slightly to himself - yes - he truly enjoyed making her angry. He had never met anyone who infuriated him so much yet at the same time intrigued him. He let that thought linger a bit, then dismissed it.
Omato entered the room nervously and Vegeta looked at him.
"Well, where is she? You were supposed to escort her here."
"Um Sire, she didn't feel hungry."
"So? She was told to come."
"Er, she said . . . she said she didn't want to see you unless you apologized."
"WHAT?! I ordered her to come here."
"I already told her that. She still refused."
"Damn woman!" Vegeta stood up. "I'm going to set her straight once and for all."
* * * * *
Bulma was scared! The dark stranger had almost caught her off guard. She hadn't heard him enter but had caught his reflection from one of her machines as he snuck up behind her. She grabbed the closest thing - the servobot - and swung it at him as she whirled around. He had merely blocked it, but was obviously surprised. He was also very angry at being discovered and backhanded Bulma across the face. She went flying into the stone wall by her door. As she raised herself from the ground, she got a better look at her attacker. He was dressed all in black, his face and head also covered. He almost looked human except his eyes didn't seem right. They were red! Completely red, there was no pupil or anything.
"You must be destroyed! The Saiyans must not be allowed to get any stronger!"
He walked over to Bulma. His arms and hands started to glow. He grabbed her by her arms and she started to scream!
* * * * *
Vegeta was already outside Bulma's door when he heard her scream.
He burst in to see Bulma being held up by a figure, engulfing her in a red glow. Vegeta rammed into the stranger, causing him to release Bulma. The figure stumbled back but regained his composure. Vegeta finally got a good look at him.
"You are Rentauri! Your race is practically dead. Who sent you?"
"There is no contract. This is revenge for what you did to my people."
Vegeta looked over to Bulma, who was groaning on the ground. He smirked, "You are weak Rentauri. You can't even kill a human woman!" As soon as he said those words, he charged the Rentauri assassin, punching him in the face, kneeing his back, then bringing an incredible amount of force down on his chest. The Rentauri didn't even stand a chance. He was dead on the second blow.
Vegeta turned around and saw Omato helping up Bulma.
"What the Hell happened? Why was there no guard outside her room?"
"I-I'm sorry Sire. I just left to see you. I didn't think that . . ."
"YOU DIDN'T THINK?! She is NEVER to be left unguarded. She almost died today."
"F-forgive me Sire," Omato pleaded. "I will make amends."
Vegeta growled, "I'll deal with you later. First, move all of her things into my chambers. The woman will stay with me from now on."
"Hey, don't I have a say in this?" a groggy Bulma spoke up.
"Woman, this is not a good time to argue. Obviously the Baka guards can't protect you for me, so I'll have to do it myself. I am a powerful warrior. I will not be made the laughing stock of the universe by not being able to protect my own mate."
"It's so nice to see your concern for my well being," Bulma said sarcastically.
"Will you shut up! Do you realize how many enemies I have? They know they can't possibly defeat me so they'll come after you. It's considered an incredible insult to have your own mate murdered in your own home, especially when you're present."
"Is your pride all you care about?"
"I WILL NOT BE MADE TO LOOK WEAK! Now go to the infirmary and then return to your new quarters."
"Hmph! Yes your HIGHNESS!" Bulma hissed. Her movements caused her great pain to the burns on her body. She felt dizzy, then fainted.
Vegeta sighed, "That's 3 times in one month she's had to be healed. Looks like dinner will have to wait." And so, he picked up Bulma and took her to a regeneration tank.
* * * * *
Bulma slowly opened her eyes. She still felt woozy as she looked around her. She was in her nightgown, lying in a huge king sized bed, set in the middle of a large, bare chamber. The sun was starting to set as she looked towards the window. She noticed that two doors opened on to a balcony and a figure was just standing outside it. The figure, noticing Bulma was awake, came back inside.
"It would have been a full moon tonight," Vegeta said wistfully.
Bulma just stared at the Prince. For a moment they both were quiet, then Vegeta quickly remembered who he was. "Woman, that bed can hold 4 Nappa's and you insist on lying in the middle? Just choose a side and get some rest. I myself would like to sleep."
Bulma's eyes widened, but she slowly moved over to the left side. "Woman, don't look at me like that. I have no intention of giving my father the satisfaction of making him a grandfather so soon. Now go to sleep, you're still weak from that attack."
The blue haired beauty just breathed a sigh of relief and laid back down. But before she turned her back to him she said, "Fine, but you better not be a kicker!"
A growl was her only response as she giggled before drifting off.
* * * * *
It was the middle of the night and a noise woke up Bulma. She sat upright, thinking it was another attacker and looked to the sleeping Vegeta. What she saw disturbed her. The sounds were actually coming from him. He was mumbling in his sleep, restless and sweaty. He seemed to be having a nightmare, so Bulma slowly made her way to his side of the bed and gently tried to wake him up.
To no avail.
She dared to get closer and softly stroked his temple. She had no idea what possessed her to do this but the action seemed to calm him a bit. She noticed he was still very rigid and his temperature had risen. After awhile, he started to relax and his breathing slowed down. Bulma turned to go back to her side but he became restless again. She sighed and went back to him. When he had calmed once again, she took the time to study his features.
He looked so peaceful as he slept 'and handsome! Oh Dende, where did that come from?' But she had to admit, Saiyans knew how to work their bodies. She admired his bare chest and reached out to touch it, surprised by its softness.
Vegeta shifted and Bulma was afraid she had woken him. But no, he was still asleep. She turned to move again but found that she couldn't. She looked down and saw that Vegeta's tail had wrapped itself around her waist.
'Uh oh!' She looked at Vegeta who was still slumbering peacefully. 'I can't wake him up now, he'll be wondering what I was doing. It'd be too embarrassing. Hmmm, but if I go to sleep, and he wakes up first, he'll think it was his fault. Bulma you're brilliant!'
So she laid back down, nestling into his side, her head on his shoulder. The moment she laid down, his arms automatically came up and pulled her to him. Bulma was shocked but she didn't complain. In fact, she was extremely comfortable. The heat radiating from the Saiyan Prince made her feel drowsy, but she remembered thinking how she had never felt safer in her life.
* * * * *
Bulma woke up - alone. She looked at the clock, 8AM. Vegeta had long since woken up, probably not even wondering how she had gotten into his arms.
'Oh well,' thought Bulma as she got up and changed. She left the room, nodding to the guard at the door (Omato was never seen again) and went for her usual morning walk. As usual she passed by the sparring grounds and could hear Vegeta working out. She stopped and watched.
Vegeta sensed her but didn't acknowledge her. He was still thinking about earlier that morning. Lately he had been having disturbing nightmares and wouldn't get proper sleep. Then, this morning, he woke up marveling at the incredible rest he got, and found HER in his arms. He didn't know what to make of it, so he just left her to sleep. He had noted however, that she was incredibly beautiful when her big mouth wasn't open. He smirked at that thought and continued to train.
"So when can I have my helpers backed?"
Vegeta turned towards her, scowling at the term "helpers". "Woman, can't you see that I'm busy?"
"Well, I would like to do something too. It's so boring without my work and I need them to help. There's nothing else to do around here. I would plant flowers but they would just die on me."
Vegeta sighed, "Fine woman, do whatever you want, just go."
Bulma was surprised; she had expected more of an argument from him. He had basically given in to her. But, not looking a gift horse in the mouth, she left.
* * * * *
Later that night Vegeta entered his bedchamber. Bulma was already asleep, so he noiselessly changed into his boxers. Normally, Saiyans found such articles of clothing for sleep useless, but humans had this thing about modesty. He pulled the covers over himself and laid back.
It was no use, he couldn't sleep. He turned to his side and gazed upon a sleeping Bulma. She had turned in her sleep and now her form was facing him. Her long, silky, blue hair was strewn about her pillow and the covers had been thrown off her shapely figure. Vegeta unconsciously reached out to touch her.
Her eyes popped open.
Vegeta couldn't move, he had been caught. Never had he been in a situation like this, shown such weakness and now he found himself staring at her for what seemed like an eternity. In reality it was only a couple of seconds, but then Bulma did something totally unexpected. She slowly made her way to Vegeta, put her head on his shoulder and . . . and . . . fell asleep. Vegeta was shocked; his mind was racing with incoherent thoughts. Slowly he calmed down and began to understand. He encircled her in his arms. She needed to feel safe, he needed to protect.
And that was how they lived for the next few months. In the daytime came the usual bickering and rude comments to each other (though not as common or hateful) and at night they would sleep in each other's arms. Never a word was spoken from sunset to sunrise. They would hold each other silently, a mutual understanding between them.
Each had a need and the other seemed to fill it.
* * * * *
It was Christmas! Bulma was so excited. She had been waiting for this day for a long time. Of course all the Saiyans were clueless as to why their future Queen was especially happy but they had been noticing the subtle changes in the way she and the Prince interacted.
That morning Bulma had gotten Vegeta alone in her workshop.
"I have a gift for you," smiled Bulma. Vegeta just arched an eyebrow. She led him to the training grounds in which there stood a domed building that had a bow on the door.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS!" laughed Bulma.
"Say what now?"
"Merry Christmas!" said Bulma. "It's a special human holiday. One of the customs is to give presents to each other."
"Well what is this then?"
"It's a gravity room to help you train! You're always complaining about how Nappa and the others don't give you a decent workout so this is to help you out."
Vegeta was speechless. Never had anyone done anything so thoughtful for him. "But I have nothing for you."
"That's Ok, you didn't know. Hehe, this is why I needed all my helpers, to help me finish this on time. You know, a really excellent gift would be to allow me to spend Christmas with my family and friends. It's practically tradition to have a party at the Capsule Corp. Can we please go?"
Vegeta looked at her hopeful eyes. "Fine woman, go be with your family. I have something to do, but return tonight."
Bulma smiled at Vegeta. "Thank you, now shall I show you how to use this thing?"
* * * * *
Bulma had taken her aircar to her parents'. The party was in full swing when she got there. Everyone had been informed that she was coming and they all flocked around her when she entered. There was hugging and laughing and opening of presents. They had been celebrating for a couple of hours and then she saw him.
Bulma's heart skipped a beat when he saw her. A feeling was somehow reawakened inside by seeing her former love . . . her true love? Bulma didn't know what to think anymore. She was a married woman now and was finally starting to see a different side to Vegeta. Yaumcha came towards her.
"So where's the Prince?"
"He won't be coming, he had to take care of something."
"Oh." There was a long pause. Then Yaumcha took a deep breath and looked Bulma in the eye, "You're standing under mistletoe."
Yaumcha brought Bulma to him in a long, deep kiss. Bulma was caught off guard and even though she knew it was wrong, she didn't resist. After they parted, Yaumcha whispered, "I've missed you so much."
"I've missed you too Yaumcha, but let's go somewhere more private." When they were alone Yaumcha kissed her again. Bulma finally drew back, feeling guilty.
"No, Yaumcha this isn't right. I'm married now, Vegeta is faithful to me I should be faithful to him."
"But Bulma we love each other."
She hugged Yaumcha, "Nothing has changed since I've married, Yaumcha. We still can't be together. The only thing my staying will accomplish is both of us getting hurt" - 'and maybe one other.'
Yaumcha hung his head. "Then maybe you should go before I make an even bigger ass of myself."
Bulma smiled. She went over to Yaumcha and kissed him on the cheek, "I will remember our love." And she walked out the door.
* * * * *
Bulma was holding back tears as she drove back to the castle. She hadn't wanted to hurt Yaumcha but at the same time she couldn't hurt Vegeta. 'What is wrong with me? Why am I questioning my love for Yaumcha? He's all I ever wanted . . . right?' She couldn't answer that; she was afraid to. She just pushed it out of her head and dried her tears. Vegeta would only laugh at her weakness, and she wasn't in any mood for a fight.
She landed her car and entered the castle. She made her way to her room, wanting nothing but slumber to overtake her. She entered and gasped. She hadn't been expecting Vegeta to be there already.
"Well, woman, took you long enough, I've been waiting for awhile now."
"Sorry Vegeta, I just want to go to sleep."
"Wait!" Bulma looked up. Vegeta seemed to hesitate. "I got you a gift." He held it out.
Bulma gasped a second time. It looked like a rose made out of glass and obsidian. Colours would dance off it in the light. It was beautiful!
"You mentioned how you didn't like flowers dying so I made you this one. Is it suitable?"
Bulma silently took it in her hands, examining it. Then she put it on the table. Vegeta frowned thinking she didn't like it, but that thought was quickly abandoned as she flew into his arms and kissed him.
The passion and tension that had been building between them was released in that single kiss. Nothing else existed but them. Vegeta finally released his mate and picked her up. She marveled at his tenderness. He looked hungrily, questioningly into her eyes. She just smiled.
Bulma no longer wanted to sleep.
* * * * *
Bulma grinned as she awoke. She remembered last night vividly, it had been amazing. But once again confusion set in. She felt a bit guilty, doubts starting to arise. Yaumcha was sweetness, her first love, but Vegeta was . . . was . . . gone?! Bulma looked around for her husband but he wasn't there. 'If last night had meant anything, you think he would've stayed.' Great, now she didn't know what to think anymore.
* * * * *
Vegeta was in the gravity room and he couldn't get his "woman" out of his mind. He had never felt this way before and wasn't sure how to act. He had gotten up early as usual, though hesitating to leave her sleeping form. He then felt Kakarotto's ki and decided to spar.
Goku heard about what Bulma made Vegeta and after much convincing, Chi Chi allowed him to go visit them. He was in the process of beating Vegeta when he stopped.
"Kakarotto what are you doing?"
"It's Goku, and I'm stopping because you're obviously distracted."
Vegeta sighed. He must really be out of it to have it pointed out by a Baka.
"Is it about Bulma?"
Vegeta growled, "That is none of your concern. Besides you shouldn't talk about such things freely with your Prince."
Goku smiled sheepishly as he put one hand behind his head. "I'm sorry Vegeta. I guess I'll go now, but I really think you should talk to Bulma."
Vegeta snarled at Goku's retreating form.
"Was that Son Kun?"
Vegeta turned, "Who?"
Bulma sighed, "Son Kun . . . Goku!"
He laughed, "How many stupid names can this guy have. And yes if you must know that was him. We were sparring."
Bulma looked disappointed. "I wondered where you had gone this morning."
"Well, woman you found me. I spar every morning, why should today be any different?" The moment he said that Vegeta regretted his words.
Bulma just got angry. "You're right, why SHOULD today be any different!"
Vegeta's tone softened a bit, "Listen, woman . . ."
He was cut off by Nappa's urgent message. "My Prince, we have orders from Vegitasei. Something is happening, we have to leave right away."
"What? No!" Bulma cried. "We still have another year and a half on Chikyuu."
"I'm sorry but we HAVE to leave."
"NO! This is too much. I can't just pack up and leave . . . I WON'T!"
"Woman don't be difficult, go calm down. You can still say goodbye to your family."
Bulma cried and started to leave. "Don't any of you follow me, I just want to be alone!" She ran off to her aircar and flew away.
Nappa looked at Vegeta. "Let her be, she just needs to cool off, now tell me what this urgency is all about."
* * * * *
She looked over the ocean, 'so beautiful. Can I really just leave this all behind, my friends, my family.' But she already knew the answer before she asked the question. Somehow, she knew all along what her destiny was. She had to tell him the truth though, she owed him that much. She looked at her rose, she had to tell him who she really loved. Bulma stood up, 'I have to tell him now.' She took one last look over the ocean and wondered where that strong breeze came from all of a sudden.
* * * * *
Something was wrong, he felt it.
". . . Bulma . . ."
"Excuse me your Highness?"
"Nothing. Get everything ready for departure, we leave in the morning. I'll be back as soon as I can."
Vegeta took off into the evening sky. He knew exactly where to go. 'Silly sentimental human,' he thought. He was sure she had gone to the beach, the same one she had gone to on the eve of their wedding . . . the same night he saw her with that fool Yaumcha. The very thought of that weakling made Vegeta angry. If he ever so much as came near his mate . . .
Vegeta landed on the sand. He couldn't see Bulma anywhere, couldn't even sense her ki. He looked around and saw a cliff that looked over the ocean. 'No doubt she wanted one last view of her precious world,' Vegeta smirked. When he reached the top there was still no sign of her. 'Kuso! Where is she?' He was about to take off again when something caught his eye. At the edge of the cliff was the obsidian rose.
On the rocks below he saw her still figure, the crashing waves rinsing away her blood. Panic overcame the Saiyan as he raced down and cradled his mate in his arms.
"Bulma," he whispered, trying to hold back his tears.
She moaned slightly, slowly opening her eyes halfway. Her breathing was erratic and she had lost a lot of blood. Vegeta tried not to pay attention to the way some of her limbs were in a position that they shouldn't have been in.
"V-v-vege . . . "
"Shh! I'm here. What have you done now you silly woman?" Vegeta's voice was soft, and he was beginning to lose his battle against his tears.
"T-t-a-ke me . . . " she coughed up blood, drops of tears running down her cheek. There was obvious pain on her face. She didn't want to but she had to tell him, she was running out of time.
"Take you where? I shouldn't move you. Try not to talk."
"Yaumcha . . ."
Vegeta's blood ran cold!
"I-I love . . ." Bulma exhaled her last breath and laid still.
'NO!' Vegeta didn't know what to feel. He couldn't . . . shouldn't . . . but he did. He loved her though he never admitted it and he had thought that she had feelings for him too. But here she was, dead, her final thoughts being of her former lover. But what happened? Was there an accident, or perhaps suicide? Would she really kill herself because she couldn't bear to leave Chikyuu . . . leave that weakling? NO! She wouldn't have done that, she was too proud and strong, but she betrayed him, her last words proved that. If only he told her his feelings, maybe things would have turned out differently. Vegeta squeezed his eyes shut, sadness and loneliness invading his body, his soul. He had never won her heart, but she had broken his. For the first time in his life, Vegeta, Prince of Saiyans, broke down and cried.
* * * * *