Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ or the characters.
A/N – Thank you all for the lovely reviews and emails. Fanfiction . net people – I owe you guys an apology! I thought no one here was reviewing, when in fact the auto-response bot just wasn't sending out notifications that people had been reviewing. So yeah, thank you :)
Now, this chapter is set to the amazing song 'The Day the Whole World Went Away' by NIN, the song that actually inspired this fic, can you believe? Thanks must go to David (although I doubt he reads this or remembers our MSN chats) and to Sally (Lady Daemon) for helping me sort my chaotic thoughts into a storyline back in 2002 when I first started writing this. I miss you both…more than either of you probably realise!
I want to give a shoutout to to n33k0luv for not only giving me some super-helpful feedback, but also for beta reading and for being so encouraging – you're awesome and a brilliant buddy. I probably couldn't have sorted the ending of this fic without you – I send you cyber squishes and hugs!
I'd listen to the words he'd say
But in his voice I heard decay
She hurt in ways that she had never imagined possible, and in ways that she never thought she would hurt again. The pain was physical and mental; the physical pain, although bordering on unbearable, was easier to bear than the mental anguish which she was struggling to wade through. She couldn't stop thinking about what Kakarot had done to her, and the more she thought about it the harder she cried and the worse she felt.
She had cried for hours, cried until she'd been physically sick, cried until her tears ran out and her mind went numb and still she'd cried some more. Vegeta had taken charge; bathed her, held her, taken her to bed and tried to comfort her the only way he knew how…but for the first time Bulma hadn't responded to him – it had only brought more tears.
He had left soon after, driven away by the tears he didn't understand and couldn't stop, and she hadn't cared. She hadn't even noticed. She didn't see anything except the film in her mind that replayed what Kakarot had done to her; replayed it over and over and over. She wanted to scream for it to stop, but her tears had stolen her voice, so she cried dry tears instead and hugged her pillow tightly.
Now, hours later, the tears had finally gone and she lay in her bed; exhausted. She tried not to think about what they'd done to her, but she couldn't help it, so she focused on all of the little things in greater detail. This helped to take her mind off the bigger picture: the way Kakarot's hand had felt over her mouth – his palm rough and callused from battling, how soft the carpet fibers had felt under her body, the way Vegeta's eyes had gleamed from the darkness as he'd watched them. Bastard. Bastard! BASTARD!
She clenched her teeth and closed her eyes even tighter. She wouldn't think about it. She couldn't stand to think about it. Right now she needed to be safe and clean and warm and to not think about Kakarot or Vegeta and what they'd done. She would think about them tomorrow or the day after or maybe the day after that…
Bulma knew she wasn't thinking clearly and knew that she was still in shock, but there was nothing she could do. She'd asked Vegeta earlier, while he'd been bathing her, if she could go to the medical bay, but he had shaken his head. He'd told her that she had to suffer through the after effects of her punishment and that it was the only way she would learn not to disobey him again.
He'd kissed her while Kakarot raped her…
No! She couldn't think about that yet. It was too much too soon. Too much to have to take in and process, especially when she was already so full of rage and hate and hurt and shock and embarrassment…How could they do this to her? She had nothing while they had everything. She was small; pathetically weak by their standards and had only ever been used by every single person around her; so how could they do this to her? Every time she started to feel secure or started to think that maybe she was more than just a thing someone would remind her of how pathetic her existence really was.
How could they do this to her?
Bulma lay curled in the middle of her bed – a pale shadow surrounded by so much darkness – and began to cry again as she opened her eyes again and glanced around the darkened empty room, realising for the first time how alone she really was. She was just a little girl with no friends. Who did she have to count on? No one – that's who. Brolly was dead, Ilandra was dead, Kakarot had raped her, and Vegeta…Vegeta was a monster.
She was in love with a monster.
The plastic face forced to portray
All the insides left cold and gray
Kakarot slammed his empty glass down on the bar with more force than necessary, shattering it and sending a spray of glass over the people around him. There was a murmur of anger but no one spoke up or confronted him. It was clear by his elevated power level, aggressive manner and tightly clenched features that this was a man who needed to be left alone.
It had been a night and a day since he'd fallen for Vegeta's little scheme and had hurt Bulma, and he had seen and heard nothing of either Bulma or Vegeta. He had been reassigned to a different platoon of guards, who had informed him that they were expecting to receive new orders any day that would see them guarding transport ships in the coming battle. Kakarot wasn't surprised. He had fully expected to be sent as far from the royal palace as possible. The message from Vegeta had been more than clear – he wasn't wanted or needed anymore.
Kakarot gestured for another drink and gulped it down quickly, savoring the raw burning feeling as the liquid slid down his throat like acid. If he was completely honest with himself, the only reason he was still hanging around on planet Vegeta was because he was desperately hoping to see Bulma one last time and beg her forgiveness…not that he expected her to forgive him, but he needed for her to know how sorry he was.
He slammed his empty glass down again and motioned for yet another drink. The alcohol helped dull the feelings – feelings which he'd never felt in his entire life and which he'd never had to cope with before today; he felt guilty.
He had hurt a woman who he never should had become involved with. A woman he should have left alone – the prince's woman. But he hadn't been able to help it. He really hadn't. Something about Bulma had attracted him and he hadn't been able to keep away or stop himself from acting on his baser impulses. It was his own damn fault – he'd arrogantly assumed he'd be able to stay in control, to move Bulma around like a pawn in a game of chess, but he'd been stupid. Stupid and blind. The entire time he'd been telling himself that he would rat Bulma out to Vegeta if need be – to save his own skin – he'd been lying.
He couldn't have betrayed her trust, he knew that now. The human, that weak little kitten with her sky blue eyes, had somehow cast a spell on him. He loved her, and it was driving him mad. He loved her, he craved her, and he hated the way she made him feel. He'd never felt anything for anyone before, but he felt for her.
Yes. He felt for her.
There is a place that still remains
It eats the fear it eats the pain
It had been two days since he'd had Bulma punished, and Vegeta was finally starting to worry. Every time he went to see her, she seemed a little bit less – as though her life was slipping away bit by bit, and he couldn't do a damn thing about it. She wouldn't speak to him, she wouldn't respond to his touch, she wouldn't even look at him…she just lay in her bed and fucking cried.
He'd tried threatening her, he'd tried ordering her and he'd tried seducing her everyway he knew how, but all she did was look at him with those haunted eyes. It was as though she had fallen out of synch with the world; as though she was a second slow in her reactions to everything.
She was in shock, she was numb and she couldn't feel properly. He knew all these things because he'd seen them in his women before after a particularly rough night…but he also knew that she should have been recovering by now. She should have snapped out of it and been angry at him…been furious with him…been even a little bit closer to being herself instead of just being a pretty blue haired doll that just lay on the bed and looked at him blankly and cried and cried and cried.
Vegeta rubbed a gloved hand over his tired eyes and sighed. He was such a fool. Bulma had come out of her shell only twice. The first time was to ask to go to the medical bay, a request he had declined. The second time had been the night before, when she had asked him two questions; 'Why?' and, 'why Kakarot?'
He should have lied. He should have said something to make her think better of him…instead he'd still been angry at her and he'd told her a version of the truth, "Because I didn't like the way you looked at him and I didn't like the way he looked at you."
He had been playing with a lock of her blue hair as he'd spoken, and he had been struggling to keep his voice emotionless instead of letting even a trace of the rabid jealous show through. Because that was the real reason why he had made Kakarot rape her – he didn't know if they'd fucked each other yet, but the way they'd looked at each other had been enough to make him furiously jealous. Bulma had smiled at Kakarot in a way she'd never smiled at him…and he hadn't been able to stand it.
After he'd spoken Bulma had opened her eyes tearfully and half-sobbed, half-choked another few words, "Did you make him do that to me? Did you force him?" More tears had begun to form in her eyes and Vegeta had been irritated by them more than her question.
"No." He'd let the lock of hair slip from her fingers and he had taken great pleasure in seeing the hurt in her eyes. "I asked him if he wanted to and he said yes." He smirked down at Bulma's shocked face and felt a coil of lust work through his body as he remembered watching Kakarot hurt her. "I wouldn't normally have let another man touch my woman, but you needed to be punished in a way that would make you think twice about ever leaving me again." He had paused and then spoke the words he now regretted saying, words he had spoken partly because he was still angry at her and partly because he wanted to make her pay for smiling at another man. "Besides, you're only a whore and it was fun watching Kakarot fuck you while you screamed."
Bulma had stared at him in silence for a few moment before she'd said the words which were now haunting him; "How can I love someone like you?"
It was the look of revulsion on her face and the tone of hurt that bothered him the most, it bothered him even more than the fact that she'd gone quiet after that and hadn't spoken to him since. He shouldn't care that Bulma wasn't speaking to him, just like he shouldn't care that she wasn't eating or drinking or leaving her room, but he did care. More than that; he was worried because deep down inside of him he was starting to suspect what he'd done.
He'd broken her…and he didn't have a clue about how to fix her.
The sweetest price he'll have to pay
The day the whole world went away
A/N – Hideously short, I know, but I've had a really bad couple of weeks. Death, funerals, work stress…the fun never stops on my watch. Anyway, I'm not good at writing angst, so I wanted to get this chapter out of the way. The next chapter will have more lemony goodness in it! (The words 'hot saiyan sandwich' keep coming to mind, lmoa!)