Hey Guys, Ruebo here. I'm sorry this update took so long. It seems like I've been traveling at least every other weekend for this and that. I hope you enjoy it profusely. Please, I'm begging, leave a review! Let me know what you're thinking.
The old king used to tell me, "The future isn't a mystery. The Gods are already there".
In my youth I never gave it much thought. Life was what it was. I didn't believe in such nonsense. I don't think my father truly did either although he met Beerus in the flesh. Did he actually know what would happen to our planet? I doubt it. He brushed the thought off like dirt from the heels of his boots.
Now I lay here in the dark wondering what they know that I don't. Did they know what would happen to you, Eschalot? Maybe. I question it—myself. I'm not so sure anymore. Coincidence is illogical. Then again, my brain is addled, tired from sleep. The noise was subtle, yet just enough. I recognize those yellow eyes in the doorway. Gage.
Its just like the afternoons that you sat on my patio with your feet crossed beneath the glass table. Bulma would fill your glass. You'd grin at the lemon slices floating in the sweet yellow water you turned your nose from, and your hand would rest on perspiring cup. Sweat marked your brow from your bout with me. You nodded your head and thanked her beneath your breath, but the glass would never come to your lips.
Politeness? Your tongue is as filthy as the grime beneath your finger nails, but I saw something different on your lips. Your face speaks louder than your mouth. Why didn't I have enough sense to ask then.
"I'll be blunt. I thought I would be disappointed," Beerus said.
"The saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover for a reason, Lord," Whis replied.
"The more I tasted it, the more I liked it."
Whis wrapped his finger with his starched, white napkin. He dabbed the corners of his thin lips. His fork and spoon came to rest by the cusp of his plate. He folded his hands in his lap, and tilted one knee over the other. He looked over his shoulder apprehensively, like he was checking to see if the stars were still watching from the sky. Beerus propped his elbows on the table, wrinkling the grey table cloth underneath. He scratched haplessly at the base of his jaw with his black nails.
"What is it again exactly,?" Whis began.
"It's called caprese salad," Bulma offered, "It's tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar and some spices."
"Its elegance is in its simplicity."
"Whis, we've been here for four hours. Drop the garb and lets go."
"What?," Bulma snapped.
Tension climbed her throat. Her brows furrowed over her steep frown. Vegeta leaned forward in his seat, sensing his wife's irritation. Timing would be everything if her temper ran away with her. The feeling was all too familiar. Whis and Beerus have been showing up at Capsule Corp for years for one reason or another. His nerves calmed over time. He grown accustomed to the verbal sparring matches between his wife and the God of destruction.
"Forgive Lord Beerus. He desperately needs a nap," Whis laughed and cocked his head over his shoulder, "Is Bulla home—"
"You and that girl," Beerus interrupted with a lazy sigh.
" I totally forgot. How could I not tell her you're here. She's downstairs."
"In the GR probably," Vegeta added.
"She'll be sweaty then…," Whis Grimaced.
"What are you going on about? Do you want to see her or not?"
"Vegeta…," Bulma scolded him beneath her breath.
"Like always, I'd love to. Don't be alarmed Vegeta. Fret not," Whis' face grew red with embarrassment, "I should have made a wiser choice of words. Oh," He began like he almost forgot, "Good, Gage is with her too. We won't have to look for him."
Vegeta released his aggravated breath. He uncrossed his arms, and pushed himself up from the table, diverting his black gaze from the God's attendant. The veins in his arms plumped up, pulsating beneath his skin. His face flushed from his bounding heart.
Vegeta's other worldly guests followed him at a leisurely pace. Bulma scrambled to clean the table as soon as Beerus was out of sight. She was eager to occupy her mind with something other than the frightening 'what ifs' that plagued her.
Vegeta stuffed his hands into his pockets as they stepped onto the garden path. Square manicured lawn stones grumbled beneath his weight.
"What are they, Whis?," Beerus yawned and studied the flashing pastel-green lights glimmering around them.
"Their glowing insects only native to Earth. I know you may be tempted, but don't try to eat one. Their entrails glow, swatting at them will leave a stain on your hand."
"Whis, Everyone in the universe doesn't need to know that!"
"Don't be so coy. Cats are a common species here on Earth. Vegeta knows that they play with their food—"
"Fine. Touchy, touchy. The more you talk, the more I think you need that nap. Have it your way then."
The orb of Whis' staff glowed in the night air. Vegeta paid it no mind although its blue halo drowned our the pale yellow hue of the paper string lights hanging above their heads. Three silhouettes graced Beerus' eyes. They stopped moving when the sounds of shuffling feet reached their ears.
"Oh, hi, Vegeta," Goten waved and ran his hand through his thick hair, "Are the steaks done yet?"
"Does it look like I came to get you for the steaks?"
"I dunno. I just thought—," Goten began while he stared at his bare feet in the grass.
"No. They're not done. Where's my daughter?"
"Oh, I didn't see you guys!," Goten filled the air with nervous laughter, "Long time, no see."
"Good evening," Whis greeted him after a quaint smile.
"Dad?," Bulla said, emerging from the dark lawn. Her shoeless feet grazed the scratchy patio stones.
"I thought you'd be in the GR."
"I took a break. The stars are finally back out."
"Whis would like to see you—"
"Whis!," her face lit up. She trotted across the patio. Gage emerged behind her.
"Hello, Bulla-chan!," Whis warmly said and opened his arms.
He wrapped his free arm around her shoulders for a short embrace. Bulla pulled away and looked into Whis' soft lilac purple eyes.
"How are you doing? Its so nice to see you," Bulla said.
"I think you're the only one who ever asks. We are well. The real question is how are you?"
Her voice was flat. Whis tightened his grip on his staff. Gage paced closer to the group.
"Are you still making over the ass-glow bugs?"
"All saiyans are just so charming," Beerus rolled his eyes.
Gage stopped. His voice ended with an awkward hush. He bowed at the waist and allowed his head to slump between his shoulders.
"Good evening, Beerus-sama, Whis-sama… Vegeta-Sama. Forgive me. I didn't see you."
"What were you three doing out here?," Vegeta barked.
"They were just enjoying the fire flies and the fair summer air," Whis soothed Vegeta's anger, "Anyway I haven't come to you empty handed. An invitation for you."
Whis plucked an envelope from beneath the breast of his cloak. He offered it to Bulla between his index and middle finger.
"What are you inviting me to?," Bulla said as she slipped the envelope from his long blue fingers. She tore it open and found a piece of crisp white card-stock inside.
"Not me. I just translated it. I brought it as a favor. I am an advocate of this universe after all. That's what I was created for."
"Yes, an extremely prestigious, formal one at that. The advocacy counsel formed by the allied nations has invited you to the Annual Preservation Gala."
"Wait, preservation?," Bulla said as she scanned the invitation, "This is a mistake. It's probably intended for mom and dad."
"Not exactly. They're welcome by all means, but this invitation was inscribed for you. They request a Saiyan male and female advocate. You're the only female in universe 7 who's at least half—that they know of. Bulma may be the queen, but you've got the genes; It's that simple."
"When is it?"
"Three weeks from now."
"Crap, that's so short notice. Dad, what are we going to do?"
"You're so prone to worry. I've planned ahead. I bring you a gift," Whis said grinning from ear to ear.
The end of Whis' staff burned bright, an iridescent blue glowed on the grass and handing plants. The sensation stole Bulla's breath. She felt stockings creep up her shins. The laces binding her back tightened. The buckles of her leather banded high heel shoes snapped in place. She was lost in that flowing red dress. She tucked up the edges of her gown, afraid she would step on them.
"Whis, it's incredible! How did you—"
"The sleeves, do you like them?"
She studied the black lace bands over her shoulders. The intricate lace paisley pattern followed the streamline 'v-neck' of the red flowing fabric. The smooth fabric fell over her hips, kissing the grass behind her feet.
"It suits you. You never were a 'strap-less' kind of gal anyway. It fits you like a glove, and the modesty speaks of your heart," Whis admired his work.
Gage swatted at the back of her gown, chasing away a fire fly that landed on the black ribbon binding her back.
"Gage, what are you doing?"
"I'm sure you don't want bug guts on your gown. This dress is probably worth as much as Lady Brief's car."
"We can't forget your escort," Whis said raising his finger.
"What?," Vegeta snapped.
Gage batted his eye. The blue light burned his pupils. He looked at himself up and down. He franticly looked over his shoulder, like he thought his backside might be different. A sharp black suit rested on his shoulders. A burgundy red tie squeezed his neck. Silver and onyx cuff links sat on his wrists. Gage tucked his sweating palms by his sides. He lowered his broad shoulders to Whis again.
"Come now. Stand up straight. You clean up nicely."
"Your blood is as pure as Vegeta's. The grand priest was so pleased at the thought. Who better to escort Bulla-chan than her servant? I insist. You would be required to accompany her anyway. Is there a superior way to graph you in so you don't needlessly perish? No. I'll come by to retrieve you both at 5:00PM sharp. With that, I think Beerus and I will be off."
"Finally," Beerus groaned, " No wonder you can reverse time by three minutes. You can't keep track of it."
"Come inside and eat," Vegeta turned to Bulla, Gage, and Goten, "Gage you'll escort me to the GR in two hours. Don't forget our date this evening."
Vegeta followed Whis and Beerus back down the garden path.
"It's been forever since I walked in heels," Bulla's voice echoed, "So, where did our other clothes go?"
The sound of her stumbling feet made Vegeta looked back at her. Whis paused mid stride.
"I know you're not happy about this, understandably."
"Don't worry. I assure you it's fine. You and Lady Bulma shouldn't lost a wink of sleep over that young man. Don't think of it as a date. Think of it as a formal occasion."
"Easy for you to say. You don't have to live with it."
"She'll be fine. After all, how do you think a young women learns to select a suitor?"
"I've had enough of your lecture."
"She'll watch how her father treats her mother, if she's lucky enough to have one."
Blush settled on the tops of Vegeta's ears.
"Have no doubt. It's a wonderful opportunity. Think of it as ambassador training. The worst that will happen are sore feet from her high heels. Trust me."
"And why should I do that?"
"She was assigned to me before conception, and before yours and your father and his father's father and..."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"That can wait until another day. I thought you said you were tired of my lecture," Whis covered his mouth with his palm and laughed.
Goten walked across the stones with his bare feet. Gage lingered behind with Bulla. Vegeta watched Gage's shadow creep to Bulla's side. He straightened his spine and turned his head to her blue eyes. He brought his fist to his chest, and presented his elbow. Vegeta bit his lower lip. Bulla looped her arm around his elbow. The palm of her other hand squeezed Gage's bicep.
Gage's words lingered in the garden, "…so you don't fall."
Why didn't I ask Whis about you right then, Gage? Was it just a glimpse of what's to come. Why couldn't I see. Why was I so shocked when I caught her straddling your waist in her bed.
Why are you staring at me? Surely you're not waiting for the sound of my voice. This baby, your son, stirs on my chest at the sound of your feet. His mother lies dead asleep, oblivious in my arms. I see the dark stains beneath your eyes. You've returned early just before the sun is due to rise. I knew you always show up a day early, sleep deprived and eager to find her—Bulla. The smell of fuel-cell exhaust covers your clothes.
You haven't even bothered to cast your uniform away yet. I heard the craft dock in the hangar in the south lawn. My bones rumbled as your tired legs climbed the steps. They draw you closer. Don't try to quiet your steps now. It's too late.
You brush Bulla's hair behind her ear, like I'm a figment of my own imagination. I can feel your breath on my chest before you pressed your lips against her head. Your hand is burning hot. I can feel the heat from your skin despite the bundled child on my chest beckoning your attention—not me. All it takes is the presence of your hand, and Esai, stops fussing. Even at this young age, he recognized the back of your knuckles brushing his cheek.
"Oh, Vegeta-Sama, you're awake."
There it is—jackass.
"So are you. What of it?"
"Did something happen?"
Yes. Yes it did. You and those other low-life galactic algae scum piles we call men.
An earthling would have insincerely asked if they had woke me. So passive aggressive. Why inquire that? The answer is clear. For this, you are worth something, but not much. I haven't forgotten the ancestors that we share. I wish I could. Your blood has saved you on many occasions, calling out to me from the tile in the GR. The red conviction painted on your face, pleaded for mercy when your lips were too proud and stubborn.
Who do you think tended her tears for all those years before you showed up. Who checked under the bed? It wasn't you. Who stayed awake with her until the early morn because she met real monsters. I was here first. Pick your battles. Your move, Gage.
No. No you don't get it. You won't until Esai becomes a man.
Hasn't my wife given you enough sheets for your bed? That throw was patched together by Bulma's mother, piece by piece. You better have washed your hands. I'll be damned if—
"She's always cold. Enjoy your rest, Vegeta-Sama. Thank you for keeping them for me."
Eschalot and the boy I understand, but me? You've covered the same feet that kick you.
"You expected less?"
Your presence has always been fleeting. From the moment you stepped foot in this compound your mouth keeps running, but you yield to me. You still won't even pick up a fork in my presence without seeing my spoon come to my lips first. I punish you over and over again for what you've done, and there's no end of it in sight. My wife has fed you and clothed you without abandon, yet you treat the linen with care, like it's on loan.
You act as a guest in my house before my eyes, yet held my daughter's bare form in secret. I've watched a sack of bones grow and turn into your thick frame and full flesh. I've heard the curses pour from your lips, scolding my Eschalot, yet you bare the bruises intended for her on your back. You were without a dime to your name, a slave in my house, yet you presented Bulla with a bundle of blooms, plucked from the field and bound with duct tape. They were so heavy, the stems threatened to snap beneath their weight. My only daughter, who is used to the finest of things, gave you her most generous smile. She chose orange lilies, worth a dime a dozen over— I can't believe I'm saying this—the roses sent by Kakarrot's son.
Well, shit boy.
I must be the gentleman now. Your shadow is long gone, but your foot steps still announce your presence. Bulla, how ironic, I carried you like this when Esai was still in your belly and the doctor begged you to forsake the steps. Now he's tucked by your chest. Where has the time escaped to?
Don't force me to raise my voice. Use those ears your blood line gave you, boy. Don't look so surprised to see me. Turn from the bedroom door and face me.
"Did I forget to lock the hangar again?," he whispered.
"You better not have…but never mind that. I'm turning in."
Take them. Don't just stare at me. You better listen, and do it well. I will not clear my throat for you again.
What are you waiting for? Your arms raise to the occasion with open hands, but your face is unsure.
"Take them. I give them to you. Go lay down."
Of course you would have to say that. Don't be so impatient. Now you look in my eyes with your empty outstretched hands. Get a good look before it passes. You aren't one to waste time. My nod was enough. Why are you so eager to snatch them from me. You've already stole her—idiot. Don't turn away from me just yet. Your bed can wait.
"Boy, I told her."
"I figured that would happen."
"I meant what I said. It's her choice. Not mine. Gage…"
I must take this ice pick from my heart. It's exhausting. It's not enough that I've spilled my entrails like a gutted trout—every tender writhing part.
"If she'll take you, I'll walk her down that aisle and pass her to you. Protect my only daughter and her son, for me?"
"Promise me, boy."
"While there is breath in my body, yes. It'll be an oath between us. I will."
I must beat the sun to my own bed. I turn my back to you. The hall is long and narrow just like the path I just took. There's no going back now. It disgusts me to admit it, but your record speaks.
"I know you will. You know better than to disappoint me."
"Vegeta one more thing…"
"Spit it out."
"I'm sorry. I have been since day one. I want you to know that if I could take it back I would."
Your actions speak louder than your mouth. I detest that you violated my daughter. I detest that the Kai chose to spare you and make you her permanent guard as punishment. I detest the volatile blood that runs through our veins for it makes you and I the same. I detest what they did to you on that fucking ship.
"Save it. I know. Thank you, Gage."
I pray you can't hear the tremor in my voice.
"I still expect to see you in the morning. Come at ten o'clock instead. You look like shit; sleep would do you good. Be sure to eat something too. No nonsense either. Help yourself, have your fill."
"Get out of my sight. I can't stand to look at you any longer."
"What ever you say."
That's right. Mind me and leave. I can't bear it. I detest you... because I can't bring myself to hate you, my daughter's fierce servant, my grandson's attentive father.
Damn you Gage—young man.
And that's all she wrote folks. Please let me know what you think. Comments are welcome.