Chapter 11 – Surviving Together
A hand struck hard across Radditz's face the moment he sat up in disbelief to have his life back. "Atae?" he blinked in confusion before the back of the hand that he had just been struck with hit his other cheek.
"Bulma, you sick freak! My name is BULMA!" Both hands this time shifted towards him, their clear destination around his neck. Grasping her wrists before she could touch him, he tried to hold her wrath in check.
"What's going on? How am I alive?" He gave her a slight shake, demanding an answer to his question before all else. And he got it, though he would have preferred a reply somewhat less belligerent.
"This is retribution, Radditz." She retracted her hands, and then intertwined her arms tightly across her chest. "So that when you leave my home, I will feel absolutely no sense of debt towards you for bringing me back to life. When we part ways, I want no lingering connection to you. I never want to see you again."
Swallowing wholly, Radditz felt a slight smile pull at his lips; however, there was no joy behind the expression, merely understanding. "You have your memories back." It explained the hostility perfectly. After all, not only was she now perfectly conscious of every single lie and deception he had weaved throughout her life this past year, she knew him for the years of Freeza's reign, she knew him at his most depraved. No wonder her sparkling blue eyes were engulfed by fury. "You might not believe this, but for the record, I did—I do love you. And I would—I gave my life to protect you. You must believe that."
"You would not have had to give your life if you had not lied to me in the first place, Radditz." Her tone was somewhat softer as she leaned exhaustedly against the table his body had been laid out upon. "And if you loved me, Radditz, if you truly loved me, you would have let me go to the man I truly wanted instead of trying to kill him." Her eyes narrowed as her face turned to lock with his. It seemed his assault on her true mate had been her dominant quarrel with him; that, however, he could defend himself against.
"I will not apologize for my vendetta against Vegeta, but damn it, A—Bulma," he found it difficult to correct himself. An entire year of calling her by another name, the name of the woman he loved, had made the correction difficult. "Do not tell me my love is false simply because I refused to part with you. No man in his right mind would willingly stand aside and watch you walk into another's arms!"
"Vegeta has." Her head lowered as she quietly admitted, "He made the order that you be brought back just so I could choose who it is that I truly want. He is willing to let me go if it means making me happy; that, Radditz, is love." She allowed him a moment to decipher what she was saying before bluntly admitting, "I do not love you. I did not love you during the year I spent at your side, and do not love you now, especially now that I know all your trespasses. You kept me from my son, my mate, my life for an entire year; you deprived my daughter of her father and—and I can not even hate you for it." Her voice trembled as she bit her bottom lip, trying to control her emotions.
"Then you do care for me," a shining hope welled in his eyes. It took no more than a moment for it to be dashed.
"No, Radditz, I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry because I know there is a part of you that is inherently good, but you went the completely wrong way about bringing it forth. I cannot care for a man I cannot trust, and you, Radditz, I do not trust." Silence, it filled the room for an excessive amount of time, Bulma having clearly felt her peace had been spoken, and Radditz feeling lost for a response.
"If that is how you feel," Radditz finally responded stiffly as he rose from his bed. Keeping his back to her, he decided not to waste his time arguing with her, trying to change a mind he knew he had no control over. She did not care for him, did not love him, so be it. He was surely not entitled to her love after the lies he had told, but even as bitter and angered as he should be about her rejection, he was not. Knowing that she was alive and well, and that some part of her, regardless of what she insisted, had been concerned for him enough to have his life restored, proved this was not the end for him. Hope was perhaps still left for an honest mateship, not built on lies or deception, but on those softer emotions he had barred for so many years, emotions he now realized were very precious to him. "But know that I will never stop caring for you."
As he left the room he did not want to think about where Bulma was to go next. He did not want to think of the two lovers rekindling their relationship now that she had all of her memories back. He simply wanted to make way to his ship and get the hell off the planet before he lost anything else.
"I told you she was not worthy of you," a feminine voice caressed Radditz's ears as an arm boldly circled his waist.
"I am not in the mood, Keila." Radditz kept on walking, not pushing the female away, but not fully accepting the gesture either.
"Your ship is waiting for you, Captain, we are all so glad you are back with us." Her deep eyes penetrated his, the intimacy of her suggestion a surprising comfort. Yes, perhaps he was not a lost cause. After all, hell froze over once to redeem Vegeta, why not a second time for him?
"I am glad to be back," he uncrossed his arms and stretched a muscular limb around the thin female. "Let's get the hell out of here."
"So let me get this straight," Trunks shifted his sister in his arms as he glared at his father. "You not only had that piece of sh—" he stopped himself before his sister had to be exposed to his colorful language, "brought back to life, but you basically gift wrapped Mom and handed her to him!?"
"This has nothing to do with you, boy. Take your sister to Garock. The two of you are to watch her for the evening." He did not want to talk about the vital decision he anticipated his mate would soon be delivering to him. Regardless of what this interlude with Radditz meant, he was not going to allow it to hurt his children. "Go."
With a half frown, Trunks seemed about to object, but then his expression suddenly softened. Walking over to his father, he used his free arm to wrap around Vegeta's torso as he scrunched the trio together in a tight hug. "We still love ya, Dad. I'm sure Mom does too." Pulling away from the awkward parent, Trunks then lifted his sister's arm to wave goodbye to her father as the pair departed from the room.
Once the door closed, Vegeta felt an atypical smile grace his lips. If someone had told him twelve years ago that he would have a son and a daughter that he adored and a mate who he loved so deeply that he was willing to see her part to another man if it meant her happiness, he would have told the idiot he was a out of his mind and then put him out of his misery with a blast through his chest.
But here he was, The Legendary. He had defeated Freeza and Cooler, claimed their territory, and brought honor back to the Saiya-jin name. His life had reached a perfection he could have never in his wildest dreams imagined. Save for one element, the most important element, one that he had continually failed to keep consistently in his life, his mate, Bulma. She was all that was missing, an essential he feared he would have to learn to live without.
Not that it would be such a change, more years than not he had adjourned to an empty bed. Those blue eyes had only shined upon him a handful of times with devotion and adoration before a day fell in which he proved unable to protect her. But for all the time they were apart, his soul had always been filled with her. There was never a day he would awaken without seeing her face, without reliving every moment of bliss they had shared. She had pulled him through his darkest moments and brought him every pleasure in his life.
They had survived too much to lose each other now, but he would not fight her if it was what she wanted. The first promise he had ever made her was that he would never force his desires on an unwilling woman. If this final tragedy had brought about her disinterest in him, so be it. At least she was still alive. Trunks had his mother once again and Vegeta now had a second child, a daughter, the perfect image of her mother.
After so many years of fighting, the former Saiya-jin prince was not a fool. He knew when to walk away. After all the grief he has caused the poor woman, he should have walked away from her before Cooler had a chance to hurt her. But that was all in the past now, all he had control over was the future. And when it came to Bulma, the only woman he has ever and will ever want, he would offer up his resistance for the sake of her needs. To stay together or to part, the choice was hers.
"Vegeta, open this damn door right now!" An incessant pounding followed the crude demand. It seemed the woman of the hour was ready to speak to him, except he could not decide whether the belligerency in her tone was a positive or negative sign. Taking a short breath before reaching the handle, he threw open the door. A part of him hoped she would run into his arms and begin confessing her undying love, but that part swiftly died as the little hellcat tackled him. "You idiot!" she screamed, pounding her fists against his chest, the sheer shock of the attack knocking him to the ground. "What the hell is wrong with you?!"
Taking a moment to regain his senses, Vegeta grabbed her wrists to try and stop her from struggling against him. Of all the reactions she could have had to getting her memories back, this most certainly was not one he had anticipated. Rolling the two of them over so her body was restrained under his, he used his weight to subdue her.
"It wasn't enough that I was willing to risk my life at the hands of Zarbon to save you, it wasn't enough that I gave my life to save you and our son from Cooler, no, you still have to doubt how much I loved you—you self-deprecating idiot! How, after so many fucking years, can you still not know my heart?" Her angry confession swiftly turned to tears as her fight lessened, and her body fell limp beneath his, one hand rising to cover her face. "Damn it, Vegeta, I have been in love with you since I was sixteen, what made you think I would not want you now?"
Anger, frustration, jubilation, disappointment, shock, and finally contentment filtered through Vegeta's volatile emotional state before the most essential admittance in her confession came to the forefront of his mind. She wanted him, no one else, never anyone else, only him. His lips crushed hers in a desperate expression of his passion. "How the hell was I to be sure?" He pulled her into his arms as he sat back on the ground, locking her in between his thighs as he did so. "After all I did to you," his lips moved across her cheek. "After all the time we spent apart," he found her ear and lightly bit the lobe before shifting his head so she could rest hers atop his. "It seemed too optimistic too believe you could still want me after all the pain I caused you."
Bulma's blue eyes blinked slowly open and closed as she lifted her delicate hands to circle her lover's handsome face. "Pain?" she whispered argumentatively. "I would be long dead right now if it were not for you. I would not have lived to see a day beyond life on Freeza's ship if it weren't for you. I would not have two beautiful children if it were not for you. I wouldn't, at least I still hope, have a man who wants to spend the rest of his life with me," she kissed his brow as she made the indirect request. "Vegeta, none of the pain I ever faced in life was because of you. Even in the days when you were selfish and cold, you always did right by me. So why is it that you insist on feeling so insecure about our love?"
"Because of what you just said," he was quick to respond as he trapped the gaze of the only woman he would ever love. "You admit you are alive only because of my doing. How do I know what you feel is not merely an overabundance of gratitude. When you had no memories, you were willing to stay with Radditz, even though you admitted you didn't love him, just because he saved your life. For all I know, you are confusing obligation with freewill once again."
"And what about you?" the sharp-tongued woman was swift to fire back, "How do I know your feelings are genuine? Perhaps you only want to stay with me because I bore you two children. Or perhaps you still feel guilty about our first night together? Or perhaps you are just drawn to the challenge of obtaining a woman whom you have continually had a difficult time holding onto."
His hands slid down her arms and locked around her biceps. In repressed indignation, Vegeta ground his teeth together as he hissed, "How dare you question me! Do you think me incapable of knowing my own feelings?! Do you think such pliable excuses as those would keep a man like me chasing after a meager creature like you!?"
"Then how is it any less insulting for you to challenge my sincerity?!" She shoved his hands off of her arms. "Do you believe me so feeble that I do not know my own heart? Do you think me so weak of will that I would succumb to a man who meant nothing to me? Do you think I would honestly prostitute myself off that way?"
Her words finally sunk in as Vegeta's entire expression paled from fury to shame. It seemed she was right. Who was he to doubt her while she could conjure just as many excuses to dispute the prospect of their feelings being just as strong as they were after so many years of struggle? Perhaps what they shared was not something that could be argued with logic; perhaps it was simply something that exceeded the boundaries of intellectual capacity. Perhaps they were simply two souls that were meant to be, and no force in the universe was strong enough to break them.
"We have survived so much, haven't we?" Vegeta whispered absently as he felt Bulma snuggle into his arms, her head lowering to rest on his shoulder as she circled her arms around his abdomen.
"And to think, our lives have still barely begun," her hot breath tickled his throat as she voiced the stunning reminder. They were still so young, Bulma in her late twenties while he had just barely passed the milestone of thirty. They had met one another when they were just children, both in desperate need for something to cling to, something to keep them going as they fought to stay alive. And they found that in the last place either would have ever imagined, in each other.
"What do you think the chances are that life will be peaceful for us from here on out?" his hand stroked through her long blue tresses as he tightened his grasp on her, willing her to never be parted from him again.
"Probably slim," Bulma chuckled lightly as she closed her eyes and recounted all of the demons they had faced to be in this moment. "But I do not think it truly matters what fate throws at us," her lips lifted to kiss his throat, "because I am not giving it the chance to take you from me again." She continued a trail around his collar until she reached the juncture where his neck met his shoulder.
"And how do you plan on doing that?" Vegeta's eyes were already shut as he gave into the sensations she was invoking in his longing body.
"By making you mine," she whispered possessively before sinking her teeth into his flesh. The former prince's eyes flew open as he felt the sting of his skin being broken. Falling backwards, he felt Bulma cushion his head as it hit the ground. Her teeth never left their feast as she straddled his waist, greedily drinking well more than he had when he first bonded to her.
Selfish wench would not get away with that! Reclaiming enough of his wits, Vegeta lifted his head and sunk his fangs into his aged mark, reopening it, strengthening it. He felt a heavy moan against his skin as his mate felt his penetration, but it did not slow her intake in the least.
For countless minutes they consumed one another. Bulma was eventually the first to stop as she removed her teeth from her mate's neck, and began to lap up the excess blood from her lips as she awaited Vegeta's repletion. Once he too finished, his head thudded back onto the hard floor as he tried to calm his rapidly beating heart. "How did you…" His question was barely asked above his heavy breathing. But it was more than enough for Bulma to know what he desired to hear.
"You can thank Radditz, actually." Bulma rested her
tired head upon Vegeta's chest as she listened to his pounding heartbeat. "He
told me that when two Saiya-jins mutually desire to share the rest of their
lives together, they form a complete bond, which both have to partake in. He
also said that a complete bond means more than just an emotional connection, it
connects the bodies, so if one dies, the other will soon after follow." She
paused and lifted her head to look up at her new mate. "I assumed that was why
you wished not to complete ours before. You did not want me to share in your
fate, should you ever be killed in battle."
Her conclusion was confirmed with a short nod of
her lover's head. A smile immediately lightened across her features, "Then
it was fated that we did not bond then. Had we, you would have died with me, no
one would have defeated Cooler and Radditz would never have had any incentive
to bring me back to life. You see? We are meant to be!" Bulma twisted her
body so she was once again straddling Vegeta's chest. Wrapping her forearms
around his neck, she brushed her lips against his as she asked, "Hmm… May
I request something of you?"
"Yes, anything you want," Vegeta smirked proudly as he ran his fingers through the soft strands of blue that dangled from her angelic face. "Do you remember the first time we made love?" The hesitation in his expression immediately reminded her that she would have to clarify her statement, "Not the time in front of Zarbon… I meant our first real time, as two private consenting adults, not just providing one another with a physical release during a forced performance, but sharing our love for one another. Do you remember?"
"How could I forget?" Vegeta questioned with a slow pull upon his lips. Defeated in battle, no regeneration tank could have provided him with the curative she had, once he returned to their room. Bathing with her, basking in her, loving her had been merely a dream to him up until that point. He would never forget the first time she gave of herself freely to him, the first time he ever knew love.
"Do you remember what I asked of you that night?"
He did. As clearly as if the moment had passed between them hours ago, he recited her precise request, "You told me you wanted our mating to be real. You asked me to make love to you."
"Mmmm hmmm," she emphasized each passion filled syllable with a lusty blinking of her eye lashes and a breathy pant. When she felt her mate's body react, the corners of her lips rose as she slyly asked, "Now, I know that was more than eleven years ago and, of course, one must consider your having aged quite drastically over the years," she ran her fingers over the lineless contours of his face to elucidate her jest. "But I was hoping you might still have enough stamina in you to remind me of those younger days, when we were first in love and just learning how to perfect the art."
With mock indignation, Vegeta scoffed at her implication, "Are you saying I have lost my skill with a woman?" Pushing himself off the ground, Vegeta wildly carried his precious cargo over to his bed before non-too-gently dropping Bulma onto the mattress. Practically tearing off his clothing, Vegeta crawled over his prey, with an almost sadistic glint filling his eyes, "You should know by now never to tease a Saiya-jin, woman."
He trapped the fragile creature beneath him as he pinned her arms above her head. "When I am done with you," he ran a thin line of ki from her neck to her groin that slit all of her garments open, "your voice will be so hoarse from crying my name that you will not be able to speak for a week." She kicked off her shoes and lifted her pelvis to help him push her pants off of her legs. "Your fingernails will be ragged from raking them down my back." She arched her own back to allow him to push the rest of her tattered shirt off of her chest. "Your eyes will be swollen from weeping in pleasure." She bent her knee to allow him better access to the last of two garments covering her body, her socks. "Your skin will be parched after you sweat for hours beneath, atop of, kneeling before me…" She lifted her other leg, moaning as he ran his fingers down her thigh before getting to the final stitch of clothing she wore. Once he pulled it off, she welcomingly spread her legs, begging for his invasion. "Oh, when I am done with you, little one, you will be so sated with pleasure that you may very well slip into a passion induced coma for a month."
Her white teeth glistened through the lusty haze encompassing her features, as Bulma coyly asked, "Those are some hefty promises. What makes you think you can fulfill them?"
Bulma felt the tip of her mate's desire tease her entrance as he pretended to contemplate the answer, torturing her as he tempted and then pulled away. "I know I can, because I know you," Vegeta finally answered her question with pride, "I know how desperately you need me."
"Ah, well that's nice to hear," she reached her fingers down to stroke his. Succumbing to her invitation, Vegeta released her wrists, but only so he could interlace his fingers with hers, still keeping them above her head. "Vegeta, please," she offered what she knew he wanted to hear in between the teasing kisses he tormented her with, "Make me scream, cry, sweat, I want you to do it all." She bit onto his lower lip, trying to keep him close to her before he had another chance to pull away. The amusement that flashed across his eyes made her stomach flip.
"Why the hurry, Bulma? We have our entire lives ahead of us, and be certain that I intend to spend most of that time with you, making love to you." His words were soft and gentle sounding, nothing like she was used to. His hands tightened around hers and she knew all playfulness had vanished from his demeanor. He wanted her to know she was more than just a female body that excited him, more than just the mother of his children, more than just a creature to cling to in the wake of hopelessness. She was everything to him. Perhaps no one in the universe but Bulma could truly understand the veracity of that sentiment, because she felt the same way.
"Then just make love to me," she lifted her hips towards his, "just love me." Her lips followed suit as the two connected in everyway physically possible. Their arms, their legs, their lips and their cores completely entwined; a physical coupling that could only be matched by the spiritual connection it wrought. They were truly one as they moved together, cried out together and touched ecstasy together.
It no longer mattered what horrors their past had held, what anguish tomorrow would bring; they had one another in the here and now. If they were meant to live in unadulterated bliss for the rest of their existence, they would welcome it. If they were to suffer separation and danger yet another time, they would not fear it. Their connection ran deeper than any force the universe had to offer; they were meant to be together. And no matter what was to come for them, they could face it together; they would keep on surviving together…The End
Author's Note: It's the end. I cannot say I am happy about it being over, but the time has come. This story (in its entirety) has consumed the better part of the last almost three years of my life, and now it is time to move on. And move on I have, with my newest fic: Unwanted. If you would like both a summary and a clip from it, go to my author's page and read my bio, it is all posted there… Now go and review! I would love to hear some thoughts on this story, and the entire saga as a series. Feedback, particularly of a well thought out and articulated variety, goes far in helping a writer improve their work. Any longer comments/complaints/criticisms or privates thoughts you would like to speak to me about, feel free to drop me an e-mail at LavenderGoddessV@aol.com. I thank all those devout fans that have stuck with this story from the very beginning! I hope you will all come back for my new fic, so far, I am pretty proud of it, and I think you shall all enjoy it… Until then… Happy reading!