First of all, Thank-u for all the reviews!! Secondly, I really hate this chapter! Just a warning to ya, I don't think it turned out well :(
Jeice: None of this fic has turned out well :b
Starkiller: *slaps Jeice upside the head*
Jeice: X_x I was only sayin' !!
The alarm's shrill ringing did not wake the sleeping Goten the next morning. When he finally awoke he realised he had slept in two hours late and that it was already 12:30
"Aw man! I've missed breakfast!" Goten groaned and fell back on his soft pillow. He ignored the sound of excited footsteps racing up the stairs, and closed his eyes.
"Pounce! Pounce!" cried an excited voice. It was the only warning he got before Pan landed square on his stomach.
"Ahh!! Panny!!" Goten wheezed and collapsed out of bed, severely winded. Pan stood before him, glaring angrily.
"Uncle Goten! It's half past twelve! You missed breakfast, and if you don't hurry you're going to miss lunch t-" Pan suddenly realised she was talking to air. The second Goten's ears picked up on the 'L' word he had raced out of the room so fast he nearly forgot to open the door on his way out. Pan smirked and followed him downstairs. Neither noticed the small white envelope which had slipped behind the wastepaper basket beneath the window…
Goten was already eating his weight in food and being none too polite about it either. Pan sat beside him and began munching on a piece of toast. All of a sudden Goten's dream came back to him and he turned towards Pan with a mouth full of rice. "Hey Panny, have you spoken to B-chan today?"
Pan shook her head. "Nope, but I'm planning on going round there later."
Videl winked at her as she sat down at the table. "No wonder with a handsome boy like Trunks in the building."
Both Pan and Goten made a disgusted face. "Mom! Trunks is an old man!"
Goten nodded in agreement. "Yeh! Exactly…hey!" Goten glared at his niece. "We're not old!" Videl chuckled to herself as she stood to answer the telephone ringing in the hallway.
Pan sniggered. "Why'd you ask about Bra anyway? Got a crush on her?" Pan asked, elbowing Goten in the ribs. Goten rolled his eyes and ignored her, turning his thoughts towards the young, blue eyed beauty in his dream. Now that the dark, secretive night had passed, his mind was not as fuzzy. There was no point in flying all the way to Capsule Corp. to check on Bra when he could just as easily pick up the phone and-
"Pan. Bulma's on the phone."
Both Pan and Goten picked up on the distressed tone in Videl's voice and gave each other a worried look. Pan walked towards her mother with a curious expression.
Videl took a deep breath. "Apparently Bra's gone missing. We think she may have run away. You haven't seen her have you?" Pan shook her head slowly and watched as her mother heaved a heavy sigh and walked into the corridor to continue her conversation with Bulma.
Goten sat still as stone at the kitchen table; fear and dread coiling itself around his heart like a venomous snake. In a flash, he'd shoved his plate aside and left the kitchen.
All of a sudden, he'd lost his appetite.
Three days after the disappearance of the Brief's daughter, FBI found a torn, cotton night-dress caught on the sharp, ragged rocks at the base of the Eastern White Cliffs …and a suicide note in her bedroom. No body was found.
A funeral was held two weeks after Bra's initial disappearance. Faces, old and new, arrived to mourn the young woman's mysterious death and comfort the Briefs. Or rather, Bulma. Vegeta completely refused to see anyone during the wake. Instead he hid himself inside the Gravity Room for the entire night. Not even Goku could rouse him from his sacred hiding place.
Bulma watched her husband train in the garden below her balcony. Her worn, pale face looked dead in the ghostly moonlight. It was as if she were wearing a mask entirely alien compared to that of her usual cheerful nature.
Vegeta had refused to speak to anyone in the past few weeks. Bulma couldn't even remember the last time he had trained for such a period of time. It broke her heart. Her parents and son, Trunks, stayed by her side but she needed a different kind of comforting, the kind she could only receive from her husband. Only now it seemed Vegeta had left her too. Bulma could feel herself slipping.
Bra glanced around, bewildered and confused by her new environment. She was surrounded by innumerable huge marble columns. A little farther on she could see there were large staircases and more exquisite pillars and terraces, all made out of the same sparkling white marble.
One thing which caught her interest was the fact that none of these enormous marble pillars were supporting a roof. Above, Bra could see the faded pink and blue morning sky.
How peculiar,Bra whispered in her mind. Even though the sky was bright and fresh as morning, she could easily make out thousands of sparkling diamond shaped stars littering the skies. But the even stranger thing was, the stars appeared to be suspended just a little way above her head. They reminded her of the delicate, crystal, Christmas decorations she and her brother would hang on their tree, except these sparkling stars hung freely in the air without a thread.
Bra soon found herself reaching for one particularly bright star that seemed to be but a breath away.
As she reached for the star, her hand was suddenly covered by another's. It was rough and callous, but at the same time warm and comforting against her cold skin. Bra turned her aqua eyes towards the stranger and gasped aloud.
"Oh!" Bra glared and blushed hotly.
The older man smiled apologetically. "I am exceedingly sorry if I startled you." He spoke politely.
"You shouldn't sneak up on people like that. It's rude!" Bra snapped, irritated. But as she studied the stranger's appearance she began to realise that he felt strangely familiar.
The young man was dressed in royal attire and cloaked in a magnificent maroon cape, pinned together by an elaborate silver brooch which glinted in the morning's golden sunlight. His shoulder-length blonde hair fell across his eyes-
-which were as pale as the milky-white stars above. He smiled softly and pushed her long blue hair away from her eyes.
"You seem troubled, my dear. Is there any way in which I can help?" He asked, staring deeply into her puzzeled eyes.
"How did I get here?" She asked, but the question sounded as if it were being directed more towards herself than the fair-haired, handsome stranger. "The last thing…I remember…" Bra trailed off in a whisper. Her vision went black as her memory returned. She could remember the stunning Eastern White Cliffs, then the fall into the hungry black sea and finally the enormous hand charging towards her and plucking her out of the sky.
Bra spun towards the stranger, eyes wide with shock. "Is this Heaven?!" She asked in a sudden panic.
The stranger's thin, pale lips curled back into a sinister smile as he took her hand. However, Bra seemed utterly oblivious to the cruelty behind his mask. "Of course not, my dear." He chuckled, leading her into the forest of marble columns. "Heaven isn't nearly as perfect."
The room was showered with tiny candles, their golden/red flames dancing in the warm glow of the fireplace. In the center of the modern, but elegant living room, stood a small coffee table, and upon it sat a bottle of very expensive champagne beside two tall crystal glasses and a little velvet box…
Paresu clasped her hands and squealed with excitement at the romantic display before her. Goten blushed and began to fidget with the back of his collar, a nervous trait he had picked up from his father.
"Oh Goten, you're such a darling!" Paresu giggled and skipped over to the bottle of champagne.
Goten grinned goofily and timidly took his seat beside her on the comfy couch. Apparently she hadn't noticed the little velvet box yet. Goten swallowed thickly. He had hoped Paresu would notice it right away and in turn, save him from making a blunder in his marriage proposal speech. Knowing his faults all too well, Goten knew he would end up stuttering throughout the entire speech and ruin the romantic atmosphere.
He watched Paresu as she popped the cork on the champagne bottle and merrily poured them both a drink. She could made him feel so nervous and uncomfortable at times.
"This is so cute! I can't believe you went to so much trouble, Goten-kun!" She smiled sweetly and nuzzled his nose affectionately, something Goten had never quite grasped. It seemed a rather odd tradition to him.
"You can be such a cutie-pie!" Paresu squeaked, then started rambling on about her long week and what had happened to her. Goten tried his best to concentrate on what she was saying but his own deafening thoughts and worries soon took over. He was about to ask the love of his life to marry him! The little velvet box, the very key to the next chapter in his life, sat in the glow of the fire on a little coffee table in living room of Trunks Briefs suave, polished apartment in Western City.
And he was too afraid to touch it!
Goten groaned and cradled his aching head in his hands. Paresu raised an eyebrow in concern.
"Goten, honey? Are you okay?" she asked, laying a heavily jewelled hand on his shoulder. Goten's head snapped up, suddenly realising where he was.
He cleared his throat and smiled softly at his koi. "M-me? Uhh, well…I-I, hmm, actually…" he paused. The heat from the fire and the nervous butterflies fluttering around in his stomach were causing him to sweat buckets. Goten glanced at his hand and his ebony eyes widened in shock. The entire proposal, which he had written on his palm, had been washed away by his sweat.
His head snapped back to Paresu again and he smiled nervously. "Actually I…I have a bad headache!" He announced triumphantly.
Paresu gave him a sympathetic stare. "Aw, my poor baby. Why don't you go to the bathroom and check if Trunks has anything there to help with the pain?" She said, stroking his cheek affectionately.
Goten grinned to himself. Thank-you Dende!! With the speed of lightning, Goten made a grab for the little velvet box without Paresu even noticing, then headed towards the bathroom in Trunks' apartment.
Trunks, after hearing Goten intended on proposing to Paresu, had given his long-time best friend the keys to his private apartment and a thumbs up for success.
"Some success." Goten mumbled as he gazed into his reflection in the bathroom mirror. He splashed some cold water on his face then took out the little velvet box from his pocket. "I hate you." he hissed at the little box which sat innocently on the palm of his hand, staring up at him. He flicked the lid open and picked up the little silver band studded with glistening diamonds.
What am I going to do?He thought, sorrowfully. With a sigh he turned back to the mirror, and gazed at his reflection blankly. I wish you were here, B-chan. You always knew how to help me out…
A sharp stab of pain pierced his heart. His beloved friend had died three weeks ago today and he wanted her back more than words could tell. The dream, or rather nightmare, constantly flooded his mind. The last three weeks had been like Hell. He almost felt lost without her. How could he not have realised how important she had been to him? Now she was dead and he would never see her again.
Why do I feel so guilty?
"Bra…" Goten hardly heard himself whisper her name. He simply continued to stare, blankly forward, utterly oblivious to the thick, ghostly mist slowly gathering on the mirror's sleek surface. "Bra…"
The little room suddenly began to grow mysteriously darker as the thick grey mist inside the mirror grew thick and wild. Dark clouds bubbled angrily as the mist took a violent turn and roared in furious frustration. Looking through the mirror was like looking outside a window at a terrifying, raging storm. But Goten was not phased. His dark brow furrowed as he kept his mind on Bra and his focus on the howling storm gathering behind the mirror.
This felt right. Whatever this storm was, supernatural force, or magic…it felt right to him, as if it were all standard procedure. As the young demi-saiyan kept his lethal stare directed ahead, a brilliant white beam tore down the mirror, splitting it in half.
"Let me past." Goten commanded in a soft whisper, his tone deadly serious. The storm suddenly screamed in a thousand flaming voices and surged forwards, bursting through the mirror's restricting seams.
Finally, as if the last shred of reality inside him had fought and prevailed over the control of his body, Goten snapped out of his trance. He screamed in fright as he saw the hundreds of agonised faces trapped in the storm, screaming at him. The raging storm of many faces engulfed the little room, pulling and clawing viciously at the young demi-saiyan. And then in a sudden flash, as quickly as it had appeared, the storm was sucked back into the mirror without leaving a trace or whisper of what had just occurred.
Goten, who had his arms wrapped protectively around his head, was panting heavily. After a couple of minutes, he began to relax once he was completely sure everything had settled down. He turned cautiously to look at the little mirror, his feet glued to the ground.
Nothing but a little rectangular mirror hanging on a bathroom wall. But then how could such a powerful force appear from behind such a defenceless, little household object.
Goten shook his head in bewilderment. Was he really so nervous that he had created that awful nightmare? With another heavy sigh, Goten turned the cold tap on. After splashing some refreshing cool water on his burning face, the young demi-saiyan stretched and casually stood: his entire body froze. He wanted to scream in terror at what now faced him in the mirror, but his throat was so tight and dry he could barely breathe let alone cry for help.
His new 'reflection', the black hooded phantom, gazed passively at the young demi-saiyan from inside the mirror. Goten could feel the creature's hidden eyes burn into his soul, reading all of his many thoughts and fears. All of a sudden, the black phantom turned his cloaked head upwards, realising a high-pitched shriek before whipping towards the demi-saiyan with demonic, gleaming white eyes.
For a heart stopping second, Goten thought the terrifying phantom was about to step out of the mirror and into his world of reality. He staggered back, rubbing at his eyes furiously. His mind was in a turmoil. That creature was the one who kidnapped Bra, it simply had to be! And now it was back to take him too. Goten growled and clenched his fists in fury. No one attacked his friends. No one.
Cautiously, the young demi-Saiyan glanced upwards at the innocent little mirror hanging on the wall, ready to face the shadowed spectre again.
His mouth fell open in shock. There was no black cloaked phantom glaring back at him. Nor was there any raging storm, screaming for his soul. But there was something he recognised.
A long crack, running from top to bottom, now scarred the once polished, clear surface of the bathroom mirror.
Goten could only speak in a breathless whisper, "Déjà vu."
Starkiller:You'd have to remember the scene in chapter 4 (where everyone finds Bra unconscious in the bathroom) to understand the cracked mirror. Please tell me if there are any mistakes in this chapter!! I have flu and can't really…well.. see ^_^; So I know I did a really crappy job of editing this chapter…but I'm ill dagnabbit! *curls up in Jeice's hair & goes to sleep*