Chapter 27: Awakening
Agony. I had never hurt so much just waking up. My body was sore and my head was throbbing. Nausea and chills both hit.
I opened my eyes and saw darkness. I couldn't move, though I tried, I was just too weak. It was then that the memories hit. Zarbon's death, the Super Saiyan transformation, killing Frieza and tasting his blood, and killing Cell all came back.
Tears slid past my weak defenses and rolled from my eyes toward my ears and into my hair. I closed my eyes again and sighed, feeling the air go into my lungs on its own.
Throughout all my life I had never felt so weak. My senses were dulled to half, at least, and I was fully conscious of my breathing. I opened my eyes again and noticed I was propped up. I looked around the room, my room, not a hospital room, and for that I was grateful.
I remember… the power… I can never let it out again…
The slight sound of snoring caught my attention. Any other time it could possibly keep me from sleeping, but for now it was barely audible. The light snoring was coming from the corner, and there was Vegeta, propped in the corner in a chair, his arms crossed as usual.
"Thank you, Vegeta." I whispered, lids closing against my will as I slipped back to sleep.
"Thank you, Vegeta."
Vegeta opened his eyes and looked around. It was only him and Rina. Did she just wake up and say that, or did he imagine it?
Vegeta stood up and walked across the room, looking down at Rina. She was sleeping soundly. Perhaps she had said thank you, then fallen back to sleep? Or perhaps she said it mentally and he heard her, but it didn't matter.
Vegeta felt himself cringe. Rina was so pale and her face was thin. Her eyes were very dark, as though she had two black eyes. Bulma said that would happen after such a surgery. Her skin was like old yellowing paper, and the bandage around her head kept her hair back from her face. Even her hair seemed dull.
"Well… if you really said it or not… you're welcome, Rina."
Vegeta stood there for a long time, watching Rina sleep. Doctors came in every few hours, but Rina was too far gone to wake up from whatever they were doing. Machines were attached to her, but Vegeta remembered how she reacted in the hospital room over a week ago, and decided this was the next best thing to the animal house for her.
Bulma came in, Trunks trailing behind her. It was very early in the morning, so both looked tired.
"Vegeta, you should go to bed."
"I told her I would stay with her. I will not break my word."
"Fine, stubborn. She'll be able to go into the rehab-tank as soon as she regains consciousness." Vegeta turned to face Bulma.
"Good… I wonder, though… how she healed on her own for so long."
"It was her will to live. Isn't that what you first told me? So she could rescue the Saiyans from Frieza?"
"Yes… but… even I had difficulty when I was on Frieza's ship, and he had rehab-tanks by then." Vegeta turned back to Rina to see Trunks curled up next to her. He couldn't help but smirk.
"Leave him be." Vegeta said, "I think they'll be fine."
"Well… alright. I'm going to bed. I guess you're staying here?"
"Yes. Until she is fully healed and out of the rehab-tank, I'll be here for her."
Dreamless sleep shattered by sunlight. That was my awakening. The sunlight felt so warm. I wasn't cold anymore, I noticed.
I opened my eyes and realized it really wasn't very bright yet. My senses were returning to normal, and I immediately noticed the lavender-haired lump to my left. Trunks was sound asleep, curled up next to me under my top-most sheet. I had three sheets covering me, thus why I was so warm. It felt good after being cold and fevered for nearly a week.
But when the pain hit, I felt myself moan more than heard it. Flaming black hair bobbed in my vision as I closed my eyes, willing the pain to go away.
"Rina?" though the familiar, hoarse voice as very soft, it sent shocks through my skull.
"Ve-Vegeta?" it hurt to talk as well.
"How are you feeling?"
"That'll change soon. We have a rehab-tank prepped for you."
"Kakorot… and yourself?"
"We're fine too."
"And is Zarbon… really dead again?"
"I'm afraid so."
"My head hurts…"
"Try to rest." Vegeta said, walking across the room. I closed my eyes from the pain, and heard Vegeta's voice. I had no idea what he said, but it was something to the fact that I was awake and that I was ready for the rehab-tank. Vegeta was next to me, I sensed.
"How… does earth have… rehab-tanks?"
"That's due to me. I convinced Bulma to build a few."
"Vegeta… I am sorry… I could not go back and stop Frieza… because the wormhole collapsed… we are the last."
"If you had stopped Frieza, I would have never met you. And neither would Trunks."
"So… I have a real family now?"
"Yes, you do."
"And… I can stay here?" I asked, feeling tears well up.
"Yes, as long as you want. You can finally be who you're supposed to be."
I am who I am supposed to be. I'm no longer rogue, and I no longer fear emotion. I am Rina Jinn of the Red Wolf clan. I am also considered Rina Jinn of the Tiom line, thanks to Vegeta. But I still don't understand earth contractions…
The end… or is it? Sequel time! Yay!