A/N: As you come to the end of this tale, I'd like to note that I took several liberties with the return of the Z-Warriors' return to Kami's Lookout in episode 287 of the anime. Honestly, I just… God I was disappointed with it. So anti-climactic! So… I made it a little more dramatic.

I don't own any of these characters, nor the universe in which they reside (this credit goes to Toriyama-sensei), but I have already professed to loving them, and I take this liberty with all that love in my heart. ^_^ Enjoy the ending of my very first DBZ fanfiction, written over 10 years ago.

Chapter Eight

Vejiita ran his fingers along the rim of the Chi No Mizuumi, and then watched as the liquid dripped through his hand and back into the lake. This place…where he had spent the last year of his "afterlife", had become so familiar that he was wondering if his entire existence on Chikyuu had not all been some sort of morbid dream; an illusion created by his sick mind to make up for all the years he had spent in his own private torture. A light breeze washed hellishly hot air over his back and combed through his hair. Sighing, he rolled onto his back and stared up at the pink sky…wondering what she was doing at this very moment.

Figment of his imagination or not, she had been the only real thing he'd ever had as his own…the only person he'd ever considered a friend…a lover…his mate. Even as he thought of her, the intangible qualities of his illusory body would not respond. How fitting that it should be his punishment here in Hell. No body…and there was no one to really give a shit. Not even Bulma…the woman he would grudgingly give anything to see at this very moment. To touch…Vejiita growled and stood, began moving lightly through the terrain of Hell.

He thought of Trunks more often than he cared to admit. The boy surely must have grown quite a bit in the year Vejiita had been away. Gods only knew how powerful he'd become. A brief image of the mirai boy who had come to aid them during the Android and Cell conflict flashed before him. Taken aback by the heavy emotions the image stirred within his heart, Vejiita shook his head and recalled the real reason he was here…the reason he'd been sent to this virtual prison.

During the first week of his confinement, he'd been "sent" to the various planets he'd purged in the first half of his life as the (Mercenary) no Ouji…Furiza's lap dog. The screams and pain that had echoed in his soul as he watched the helpless thousands die over…and over again still brought a shocking pain into his heart when he thought of it. And then his first death, feeling that bloodless stab of embarrassment, that unbearable weakness as he lay at the mercy of Furiza stab through his mind over…and over. And then to have to watch that fucking idiot Kakarott take revenge on the monster who had destroyed his people as though he had any right to! As though he had any idea…any concept of what Furiza had truly been; the monster who had brought the mighty race of Saiya-jin to their knees using fear and trickery as his tactics.

Even now, when Vejiita thought of it he was infuriated—irate with the knowledge that he'd been unable to take revenge for a race who had worshipped him, placed all their faith and trust in a man they'd thought would lead them to greatness. And every time he thought of it…he was thrust to the ground with the force of the Demon King's fist. This was his punishment, to relive the horrors of his dreadful life as though he had never even tried to be a different man…because he'd believed-close to the end-that men can change…Saiya-jin can change.

The images that haunted him the most were those of Bulma…broken and crying each time he'd abused her verbally or refused her attentions. Each time he had scorned her or burned away her touch with his cold exterior was torture to relive. The macabre dance of Vejiita's ghostly past slid by him every waking moment. And to not be able to run away, to not have the ability to shield his nonexistent eyes—this was the essence of his hell.

A reverberating growl suddenly echoed through the thick clouds and into Vejiita's aching soul. He tried desperately to cry out, to make it stop. But it continued until all the beings of hell were subdued…and Vejiita knew what was happening.

"Saiya-jin no Ouji…bring yourself to my throne room. We have business to discuss."


The Demon King's antechamber was seething with pain and regret. It was as though the very walls had been built from the suffering and woes of the souls that inhabited his realm. He sat, enthroned on his great seat of bones, and pointed at Vejiita—then beckoned with his huge finger. If Vejiita had been able to feel his heartbeat, he would have been sure that it would have leapt from his throat. He stepped forward.

Since his body would not respond to his fear…it continued. There was a rush of heat and Vejiita felt the Demon King's hot breath cascade over the walls of the room,

"You have many names, Prince Vejiita…many faces and many names indeed." He flipped through a large book positioned on his lap, then shut it…the sound reverberated for what seemed to be miles around them. The book was handed to a smaller demon to the side of his throne. Ou-sama's eyes lifted from his lap, and their piercing red aura shot directly through Vejiita's own gaze. The Saiya-jin Prince felt a trail of cold fear stab him in what should have been his gut…but he would not falter. No, not here, even in the depths and clutches of evil itself he would not falter, "Tell me Prince Vejiita…which name would you give yourself?"

There was a gush of fiery air and blistering bitterness in the Demon King's voice, and Vejiita paused before answering. Finally, he found within himself the courage to speak.

"Is there a list of options, Ou-sama?" He regretted the spark of irritation and insolence in his voice, and hoped that the Demon King had not taken notice. But there was a deep growl from his throne, and he crossed his arms.

"If you'd like one…why, of course, I can give you a few to choose from." There was a long pause, and Vejiita waited patiently, wishing he could feel his own face fall into his characteristic smirk. The Dark King shifted in his seat and rested his chin in his hand. "There is of course the Prince you once were…the man whose people would have kissed the very underside of his boot if they'd had the chance. Or perhaps the crazed, psychotic murderer you became after surviving under Furiza's reign for nearly twenty years—?" There was another pause, and it seemed as though the King was studying Vejiita's reaction to his statements thus far. Finally, he cleared his throat.

"After which, you succeeded in becoming the single most self-absorbed creature I have ever witnessed…human or no. An uncaring friend, an insensitive lover, and of course let's not forget a neglectful father you had become. It was only in the last few years of your life, Vejiita-sama, that I saw any change in you…any chance for some kind of redemption. The real question here is not what do you call yourself…but rather—did you, too, see the change in your cold heart?"

Vejiita stood in plastered silence until he could register the thoughts raging through his long-tortured mind. He lifted his gaze towards the Demon King and filtered every thought through his voice.

"I fail to see the reasoning behind this little interview, Ou-sama…" Vejiita regretted his arrogance, but in all honesty could not prevent it. The Demon's eyes narrowed, "if it is to humiliate and belittle me, have no fear. You have succeeded in doing so for a year now. I feel I have more than begun to understand what it is I must do with my time in this wretched place. As per the answer to your question…of course I did…" Vejiita choked on his own uncertainty, ready to admit the things he had never admitted before in his life on Chikyuu, "There is no doubt that the man I was when I died the second time was not the same man I had been before. I had…changed in a way I did not understand…"

"And so you allowed yourself to become possessed by Majin Babidi so you could realize your own dreams…forgetting those of your loved-ones and your friends? I, Vejiita-ouji, fail to see the reasoning behind that." The booming inside the room stopped once the King had finished his tirade, and Vejiita squinted against the heated breath in his face. Reluctantly, he continued.

"My reasons for allowing the Majin Babidi to grant me power went against my better judgment. Regretfully, in a fit of anger and jealousy, I allowed his magic to course through me. You are aware I'm sure, Ou-sama, that I was not totally possessed by Babidi. This one part of my sanity, I kept. And, you'll recall that—that I sacrificed everything to atone for my sins. For my fa-family…"

Ou-sama chuckled heartily and nodded his head, crossing his arms over his massive chest once more.

"So you did, Ouji-sama! I commend you for that, at least. But, I must ask my previous question again, I'm afraid. You see I summoned you here for one purpose. Your soul is at stake, Vejiita.

"How would you like another shot at Majin Buu, Ouji-sama? We can send you back to Earth, in your own body! But you must use it for good, as you tried to when you died. What would you say to this, Prince Vejiita?"

"I would give everything in my power to give for this opportunity, Ou-sama!" Vejiita replied, without hesitation. "Though, I have little to give."

"Hah!" The Demon King burst into laughter. "Indeed. But you shall be granted the chance, nonetheless. It seems your people need you, Ouji-sama.

"Oh, and one last thing. Your friends and family are gathering the Chikyuu Dragonballs again, and they have one wish in mind; to bring back all those who died at the hand of Majin Buu, and the behest of his evil. Their stipulation? All reincarnated must have died with the support of an inherently good soul behind them. Even now, Vejiita-sama…the Kai themselves speak of your case. It seems the Chikyuu guardian Dende is in good spirits…he anxiously awaits your resurrection once this mess is all over. Provided you can help to end it for good."

Vejiita stood fixedly in position before the Demon King. So they were wishing back all the good-hearted fighters? Clever indeed…he wondered what Bulma thought about all of this. Millions of thoughts clouded his mind, and Vejiita could not find it within himself to think of an answer for the Demon King. Which name would I choose for myself? His soul staggered and faltered; if he'd have had the ability to form tears, then now—for the first time in a very long time, he would have cried.

I do not know…I do not know the name to give myself.

Kulsaa, Kantak. Sabent'ai…

Help me, Father. I am lost…

Vejiita lifted his eyes again and hoped that he looked more confident than he surely did feel.

"I have no name, Ou-sama. The Saiya-jin I was…and then the man I became were two different beings. If I were to be reborn, I know now that my life could not…would not be able to continue where it left off. I gave my life protecting the people I lo-love…" Vejiita lowered his eyes in response to the damnable emotion building in his voice, and then shook his head violently. His eyes rose again, "I am not a man of empathy!" He bellowed, "I never have been…and there is no way I can change that. But I do know that it is possible for me to c—to care. I cannot promise that I will always be the kind of man my mate needs, or the kind of father that my son deserves…but I know that I could never—never be the thing I was in the past. I have no name, Ou-sama. I intend to make a new one."

The Demon King's eyebrows rose indignantly, and he smiled very sweetly…or as close as his face came to the word.

"Very well, Saiya-jin no Ouji…I will speak on your behalf."


Bulma stood, watching the Chikyuu Dragonballs glow softly as though they had been lit with the most tender candle. She gazed into the hypnotic stars that decorated the orange ball and allowed a tear to release itself from her huge blue eyes. Kami's Lookout seemed bleak to her, despite the genial air that resonated from her friends. Buu was gone now, and his evil with it. And despite the cheer of joy in her heart, and her girlish declaration of love at the news of Buu's defeat, there was a sprinkling of doubt in her body – in her heart. A heart that ached for one thing – just one man.

Today was the day, and this was the moment. In fact, now that it was here, she could barely believe that she was standing here now—waiting to see the outcome. Bulma bit her lip and let her gaze travel to the group of people gathered around her. Nearly all those who were not fighters had been resurrected already. The only missing seishi who had not joined them at the Lookout were Son-kun, Satan, Dende, and… And-? There was one left who may or may not return, wasn't there? She knew he'd paid his due; knew it from the depth of her soul but…

Bulma still remembered the day the wish had been decided. Of course, it was a stellar idea Goku had reasoned. Once they had wished back those whose souls were truly good, what had they to worry about? No more incidents…specifically the events that had transpired after Vejiita had become possessed. Her heart still trembled, wondering if he truly was the man many thought him to be. He could not be… No! Not anymore.

Trunks, who had been revived during the first wish along with Goten, gripped her hand and smiled up at her. At nine years of age, he seemed so mature…so comforting. Shouldn't she be comforting him? Bulma squeezed his hand in return and smiled back, attempting to conceal the fresh torrent of tears that was threatening to flood over her eyelids any moment. The last thing her son needed was to see her cry. She was supposed to be confident - hopeful that Vejiita's past would not prevent him from becoming something else in the future. She was supposed to be reassuring Trunks that his father was most assuredly coming back, and that at the end of the day they could join the rest of the seishi in celebrating such happiness and victory.

And what was she doing? Squeezing his hand as though he were the one to be doing the reassuring, and gazing at him longingly as though he had the power to bring back her Prince—to set right the many things Vejiita had done wrong. And as Bulma gazed at Trunks, she thought that perhaps…just perhaps, he truly was the catalyst that had begun and aided Vejiita's slow but sure transformation. Perhaps it was looking at Trunks nearly every day for over nine years that had softened the ice that had become his heart…made red again the black blood that flowed through his aching veins….

"Bulma-san! It's Kibito-san, they're coming!" Chichi's voice shot through her half-conscious delirium of anxiety and brought her back to reality. Trunks's hand still clutched tightly in her own, she nodded slowly, stepped forward and gulped deeply. Trunks took this opportunity to scoot closer to her and rest his head upon the side of her hip. She held him closely, and tightened her grip on him as he gazed up at her.

"Kaasan…? Tousan will come back with Goku-san. He will. Don't be upset."

Bulma smiled through the new and hot tears that began to flow down her cheeks. She hugged Trunks closely to her leg.

"I know Trunks." Her hair blew back from her face as a great gust of celestial wind shot through the open arena of the Lookout. There was a great, unexpected rumble from behind Kami's Palace. One that no one had expected. The Dragonballs were flashing, and the light blended into the pulsars that exuded from the from them. The lights flashed once and then shot back inside the trinkets as though it had never been there.

Bulma gulped as her son hugged her more tightly and whimpered. The ground was shaking…and the eyes of Son Kun's wife darted around like those of a mouse. Her small son clawed at her much the same way Trunks was clinging to Bulma now. The world around them seemed to condense and separate with the power of life energy radiating from it. Bulma did not move…only held her son more tightly and shut her eyes again. With one great, long groan the earth stopped moving…and there was the silence of a dead man's grave.

ChiChi's voice was the first to make any kind of inquiry.

"What in Kami's name happened?"

Bulma opened her eyes and squinted against the gusting wind. Soon enough though, the rapidly shifting air had calmed, and a bright burst of light appeared. Bulma shielded her eyes and that of her son, only to see the vague outlines and shapes of men take form before her. Her tears blew from her cheeks as another gust tore at them, and she stepped back from the weight of it.

The intense light faded, and a great noise of celebration was heard as the many around her reunited with each member of the Z senshi. In her overwhelming joy at seeing Son Kun, Bulma let go of her son for a moment to embrace the large man by the shoulders, and he leaned into her ear.

"Bulma-san…it's so good to see you." His whisper was beyond comforting, and Bulma clenched her teeth together before letting out a gut-wrenching sob.

"It's good to see you too, Son Kun."

"Kaasan…I feel Tousan! I feel him!" Trunks' voice broke the air like glass, and Bulma brought her hardened eyes down to his lavender head and squinted, then licked her lips, shaking her head. But she watched as Trunks's own eyes studied the air thoroughly, as though he were searching for his father via his mind…his spirit. She saw him flinch, and his fist tightened around her fingers. Out of the corner of her eye, Bulma saw Son Kun's eyes dance and flash all at the same time…and Gohan's…and even Goten's. Kuririn-san clenched his fists and turned swiftly towards the center of the circle they had formed. Bulma's head twisted gently from side to side, and she felt her heart thump wildly in her chest as the sky above them turned dark once again…

A great sonic boom sent each person present crushing forward onto their knees, and Bulma grabbed her son to shield him from whatever was about to happen. Finally, the wind centered on the spot near the center of the circle, and a cry emitted from the hoarse and raw throat of some tortured being…but no. She knew that bellow…she knew it as surely as she knew her own self. The noise grew until it was barely tolerable…so powerful and full of weight that it sent her crashing to the ground so she was supporting herself with the palms of her hands.

An aura surrounded the maelstrom at the center of the circle and glowed with warmth and vibrancy such as she had never felt before. Trunks dived beneath his mother and gripped her wrists.

"That's him, Kaasan! It's Tousan!"

His words sent her mind reeling to the sides of infinity. Why wouldn't she believe it? She had to see him first…she had to touch him, to know he was real. As the wind concentrated itself around in the center, Bulma found herself able to stand, and she watched as the others did the same. Finally, the figure in the cloud was visible…and the image took her straight back to her knees. Trunks touched her shoulder and gazed off into the light…

The shouting was less intense…its echo faded to a sound not so far away, and the light show diminished to a gentle glow. And that tall flame of hair was visible…the small yet powerful frame of the man she loved more than life itself, more than she'd ever been able to understand. The tears fell now, more freely and more easily. Her throat throbbed and ached with the joy of seeing his form become reality before her. Every other person present was no more than backdrop now…except her son, the outward manifestation of their passionate meeting so many years ago—their love made flesh. Bulma sobbed aloud and threw her fist to the ground, cursing whatever force had kept her so afraid for so long…she should have known. Trunks was stroking her shoulder tenderly, reassuring her the way she wanted to comfort him. But the sobs would not permit it…her relief was so great.

The air around them became silent, and the only noise was that of the shifting bodies of the warriors surrounding them. Her body shook with it, and yet she did not lift her eyes. And Trunks's soft caresses stopped. The hard thump of a boot stopped right before her body, and she tensed, sobbing softly. There was a rush of essence as the figure before her knelt on one leg and breathed deeply…inhaling her own aura as though it was the only thing he needed to survive. When his hands came to her shoulders, she gasped, and Bulma was filled with the sensation that perhaps none of it was real…perhaps her mind was taking her far away from the grief she was truly feeling. But then hands worked their way to her neck, and forced it upwards until she was looking directly into his eyes.

Silence…and more silence as his dark eyes searched hers for the right words, the right gesture; as he had never been very good with words… Her sobs began to subside, and she watched his right eyebrow twitch slightly and arch upwards until he was smirking just so—. Vejiita removed one gloved hand from her shoulder and placed a finger delicately on her chin to tilt it up further. He opened his lips, breathed on hers ever so gently. More silence…until,

"Pathetic human emotions…"

The sound of his voice made frazzled strings of her nerve endings, and she burst into a heavy half-laugh, half-sob. His own brow unknotted and in one beautiful second, a smile (Kami-sama! A real smile!) grew on his mouth until it was all she could see…all she knew.

Goku grinned as Bulma threw herself at the Saiya-jin Prince, and he stood, spinning his blue-haired mate in the air as though she were the most prized possession on Chikyuu. He caught Trunks's eye from where the boy stood by his parents. Goku smiled, and the boy returned the favor, and then winked until his own body was lifted from the ground.

"Tousan!" The joyful voice echoed in the small field, and Goku raised an eye heavenward as his own wife rested her head upon his broad chest. Lifting an eyebrow, he could just barely make out the jubilant echoes from one very pleased Namek-jin boy.


"He told me to make a new name for myself…" Vejiita's hushed, low whisper came out of the darkness later that night. Bulma turned in his arms and faced him, shaking her head in slight confusion.

"What do you mean?" She asked, grazing a finger down one side of his handsomely angled jaw. The man before her shifted slowly in the bed and rested one palm on the small of her back, pressing her closer to his heated chest.

"I mean the Daima-ou…" he paused, traced a slow circle where his thumb was positioned, "for a year I saw what I had been. For a year I didn't know how to change it…but it didn't seem to matter as long as I was there, in hell. When he told me…about the Dragonballs I knew it had to change. But I'm…gods, I'm…" he stopped, and pressed his forehead to hers. I'm not sure how to do it…

The voices came again, and she realized they were the same voices from his past that had been there all along—the ones she had first heard so many months ago.

I'm not sure how to do it, Bulma…

You will find the way, my Dark Prince. Just promise me you won't give up trying.

I can't…not anymore. But I can't promise that I'll be everything you want me to be. I can't change in a matter of days.

Don't be in a rush, Vejiita…let the feeling come back slowly. Old wounds take time to heal—and you have many.

So do you…

Bulma closed her eyes and bowed her head, brushing her nose against the fiery surface of his chest. When she opened her eyes, he spoke aloud.

"Old scars never heal, Saiya-jin no Oujo…I wonder if you will always see them before you see me."

She lifted her head and brought a hand to his face. Vejiita leaned his head into her palm and kissed the center of it. Bulma fought back the tears threatening to spill onto their pillows. I cannot cry now…not now. She took a deep breath, it almost seemed like a gasp.

"When I see you, I don't see anything but your eyes…and they tell me so much more than the scars ever will. You should know that by now."

A short, heavy 'hmph' rumbled in his chest, and she grinned. In the darkness, she saw a blue light radiate from underneath the sheets. A small sigh exited her throat as his hand traced larger circles on her lower back now. The warmth of his ki enveloped her in a warm embrace that rivaled his arms. But as his limbs tightened around her, she knew nothing could ever equal them.

His mouth found hers despite the dark that surrounded them, and Vejiita wondered how he had existed so long without her beside him; without the soft, comforting blaze of her love to support him. A chasm that had broken his heart very long ago suddenly seemed to shrink, to close rapidly…though not completely. He crushed his lips against hers, hoping she felt his gratitude, and drank of the essence on which his entire existence depended.

His mate sighed against him and let her arms come around his neck. Vejiita held her closely and rolled to his back, bringing her soft form on top of him. He felt his body go numb to any feeling but that of her touches and strokes. The kisses became more reckless, his hands became less gentle, but he could not help it. Against his better judgment, he lifted his hands to the soft mounds of her breasts and stroked them tenderly. When she whimpered against his mouth, the sounds sent kinetic energy surging through every vein of his aching body. Vejiita pushed up from his back and lay her back down underneath him.

His mouth assaulted her neck as though it were his source of nourishment and life. Her skin tasted of fruit and summer breeze kissed by the sunlight. He imagined he were the sun…and she the soft sand of the southern beaches on Vejiita-sei that he remembered from his early childhood. As she stroked his back, a strange and unusual feeling of tightness surrounded his throat and took hold of it. Confused momentarily, he pushed it down and lowered his mouth to nurse upon her like a baby.

Bulma arched herself towards him slightly, enough to make him drag his tongue against the hardened tip of her breast, and savor the taste of it with every sensory function of his mouth. She moaned so quietly that he had to strain to hear the noise, and it sent his body lower…to delve into her body as he had wished to do for some time now. Her hips thrust upwards softly as he laid his lips on one silky thigh, and then the inner portion of it. Vejiita took a moment to inhale deeply as she spread her soft legs, causing a wave of her scent to send him into a near euphoric state of arousal. His eyes rolled back in his head for a moment, until he gained back his bearings and traced the tip of his finger against her. Bulma protested with a child-like sob of insistent desire. He wondered how much more she could…would react. His brows knitted together, and he let his mouth hang open just slightly as he pressed his fingers into her so slowly that he thought she would cry out.

Vejiita tilted his head curiously to the side and pressed further as she bucked towards him in a feverish fit of desperate need. Each moan she emitted caused more blood to flow to his throbbing arousal, and he closed his eyes…finally gripping the sheets and pushing himself up to meet her eyes again. They sparkled even in the dim light. Without stopping his ministrations, he pressed his forehead to hers again and kissed the tip of her nose. It was damp with the sheen of sweat already…

You know how I feel about you, don't you chibi onna?

Her voice giggled joyfully through the dark corners of his mind.

Should I?

Vejiita smiled widely in the darkness, then paused before he thrust his fingers into her very slowly once more. She gasped against his mouth, and his smile faded.

You are my sun…my moon, my very universe, Bulma-chan. My soul reason for living…you gave me what no other being has given me before…a reason to go on. You gave me a son; he made me see how life is not always hurt and pain. I love you, Bulma-chan…did you know…? Even if I can't say it aloud. Ursha men shitenkalai…

His mate's beautiful body trembled and shuddered with release as she cried out and pressed her hips against his probing hand. Vejiita drowned himself in the noise as he captured her mouth again, devouring all that he could of her. She caressed his face, drew him down into her with a terrifying sort of urgency that only he could understand…or feel in unison.

Reaching down, he brought her leg up to his shoulder and rested it there so that nothing would bar him, nothing could get in his way. When Bulma whispered his name, a thousand prayers for sanctity and safety were suddenly answered deep within his crying soul, and he pushed himself into her with a sob dancing on the corners of his lips.

The tightness in his throat returned, and he suddenly realize what it was. In nearly thirty years he had not shed one tear…not cried since he was a small boy. To cry was to admit defeat…and now, in the bright sanctuary of her body and her mind, he let the hot tears flow. Over his cheeks and onto her breasts, washing her in all the emotions he had not been able to give before…all the words he had never been able to say.

Bulma's opened-mouthed astonishment turned to hooded desire as he built up a slow and painfully affectionate pace of lovemaking. His warmth filled her, made her sense his own bliss. She wrapped the other leg around his waist, raked her fingers across the corded surface of his back, and pushed his face into her neck. As her own tears washed away the scalding pain of his old scars, she heard him sob once—hoarsely—into her shoulder. And his arms tightened around her to close any and all gaps between them.

Vejiita's pace quickened, and Bulma felt herself begin to burn upon the edge of more release. His words echoed in her mind…and the knowledge that he did love her…that she was everything to him brought her crashing over the chasm of control. Her body tensed for the second time and she cried out, closing herself around him until he was all she could feel, and all she knew.

His body reacted violently to her, and with a desperate cry he ground himself against her and finished with her in a storm of dream-like rapture. As he collapsed against her small frame, she brushed her lips to his neck soothingly.

Let the tears come now, my proud Saiya-jin Prince…there is no one to see them but me. And the words struck him so hard in the gut that he sobbed for a second time, then clenched his eyes shut and drowned his sorrows in the darkness.

An hour later, Vejiita took a deep breath and lifted his head from Bulma's shoulder. His face was streaked with wetness and his cheeks swelled slightly with the strain of his muscles. She touched him then, and the feeling was that of a cool breeze.

"You held that in for a long time…Ouji-sama." She whispered, kissing one cheek, and then the other. Vejiita squinted and grazed her lips with his eyes…

"I can't ever do that again—"

"I know," a pause that strained on the edge of his apprehension, "do you still want to be the way you were before?"

Vejiita lifted Bulma's chin and pressed his nose to hers,

"If you mean…before my heart turned to stone? Before the hatred of decades built a wall around my soul…before my life had become something that I will never be able to run away from-?" he stopped and leaned down to kiss her temple…

Yes, Bulma-chan. I want to be just like that.

~~The End~~