Disclaimer: DBZ and all its pertaining characters, names, locations etc belong to Akira Toriyama.

A/N: Yes, Within Me is making an edited return! Well, more than that really. It's a complete re-write with new characters and a fairly different plot. The old Within Me has been renamed 'Fairytale'. It is a separate fic of sorts - completely different writing, which is why I'm keeping the original up on so's not to upset people. I hope you enjoy this fic just as much as the previous and I'd like to thank everyone for the incredible reviews and emails you sent me!

Full Summary: When the body of Bura Briefs is uncovered on a beach, Goten decides to investigate into her alleged suicide. A series of cryptic entries in Bra's journal will lead Goten to the truth, but nothing in his darkest nightmares can prepare him for what he is about to discover. For within the realms of the Higher Dimension, one corrupt official holds a terrible secret. And when Goten is visited by Bra's unlikely Shinigami, he realises that this secret has the power to destroy everyone he loves...

Within Me
Prologue

11/02/01

These dreams have been haunting my sleep for five weeks now; the images are vivid and flashing, like lightning but never incessant. I started this dream log as a means of fitting the pieces together during my waking hours, yet still, nothing makes much sense. What chills me are the voices; garbled tongues, guttering, choking, struggling – howling like starving dogs. The first night I heard them, I pitied their wretched cries. Admittedly, they frightened me, but I knew that logic dictated dreams are only the mind's interpretation of the day's events. Then they broke the barrier between night and day.

I hate them. I want them to quiet, to find whatever it is they're begging for and leave me alone. This isn't normal. Not even the most fertile imagination can cut flesh. But who do I go to? How do I explain this is not my doing? I know it's not, I'm not mad.

You more than anyone would know what to say, what to do. I wish you could help me with what's happening. But I've never feared anything as much as I fear myself right now. I want it all to end.

- Bura

oOo

The wind whistled through the bare branches of a large Oak tree, blowing dry the wet leaves and sending them off in a flurry of reds and oranges into a dismal November sky. A crowd of us had huddled together beneath the broad trunk, heads bent against the bitter cold.

The look on Vegeta's face was indescribable. His dark brow was knitted together as he scowled at a patch on the ground four feet in front of him. Bulma's face was ashen as she leaned ever so slightly into mums supporting embrace.

Trunks was no better than his father. I glanced at him, standing between myself and Bulma. He may have looked calm and collected, but the heavy bags under his eyes spoke for themselves. I offered nothing but silent comfort. I know him well enough to know that's all he'll ever accept. A bit of the old royal Vegetan blood still flows through his veins.

My niece, Son Pan, stood close behind him and offered the same silent comfort as I did. But as I watched, I noticed her fingers grip the threads of his jacket - the small sign of a bond strengthening.

I watched them all, one by one, the Zenkai Warriors and the next generation all clustered together in a semicircle around that one spot. I studied their faces; watched the grief and heartache swell with every breath, with the knowledge that my own face mirrored their expressions.

Pained, I turned away from these multiple mirror images, found myself drifting to another place - or more specifically, the night before it happened, when I had dreamt of her. I hadn't made much of it then and only flashes come to me now. She had been sitting at a table under one of those large umbrellas, sunglasses tangled in her long blue hair, casually sipping on a frappuccino which was dripping flavoured ice onto the pages of a book she was reading.

I watched myself in the reflection of her tinted glasses as I hurried towards her. The little street café was bustling with people and she had saved a seat for me. The glaring sun beat down on us, the white light changing her hair to starlight. I froze as she glanced up at me with her usual bright and breezy disposition. She looked older, more frail. Around her eyes deep lines had formed and the blues of her irises had lost their burning vitality. But still she smiled, though it seemed a struggle, and pushed the empty seat towards me. I remained standing, fixed in place by her appearance and the sudden chaos residing inside me.

She simply shrugged her thin, frail shoulders. An odd smile formed on her lips as she pondered, nursing her drink. Then she spoke. "I need to tell you something. Something very important." She looked at me, the same carefree nature evident in her posture, but her eyes now carried the weight of a heavy burden. "First, look behind the curtain."

The difficulty with dreams is that you can't control them and at that moment I woke, covered in sweat and heart racing, the same raging turmoil boiling up inside me. Like I said, a dream's a dream and I didn't think much of this one at first, odd as it was. I'm no dream psychologist; I don't go searching for hidden innuendos and meanings in every nook and cranny. But I know I've missed an opportunity somehow. I felt suddenly sick standing there, amongst her friends and family, knowing that there was a chance I could have prevented her death.

I took one last glance around. Everyone, apart from Trunks, Pan and Marron had left.

'The famous five has been broken', I reminisced.

When Goku, my dad, had left us, our families had lost contact for what could have been forever. Bra was the mediator, the glue and the elastic, which snapped us back together and held us in place. I have to wonder at what might happen in her absence.

The four of us stood silent for a while and gazed at the grave scattered with flowers; a vain attempt at cheer which inevitably resulted in having the opposite effect. The red and blue hues of the roses and violets brought the memory of that awful morning back to me like a swift kick to the gut: the rhythmic flash of the police lights; the shouts of the paramedics on the beach; the hiss of the water as it sluggishly lapped against the shore. Then, without really understanding what I was looking at, I'd jump at Trunks' anguished cry and watch him, bemused, as he ran towards that naked body on the sand.

And as I stand here now, before this cold slab, I'm still unsure at what I'm looking at.

Bura Briefs
Beloved daughter, sister,
and good friend to all who knew her
May she rest in peace


A/N: Reviews arevery much appreciated lol, I can't wait to hear what people think about MarronxBurter. Note for later - you're not going to get your own way by flaming me. If you don't like MaxB, sod you P