Slipped Away

A/N: I appreciate the reviews guys, so much. For those of you who asked, Bulma's cause of death will be explained more in the next chapter when I finally get to the part of how she died. So yeah, you'll just have to wait until the next installment - but this one is also pretty good. I'm sure you guys will enjoy it and as always, feedback of all kinds is always welcome and appreciated!


VEGETA'S PLEA


The once successful former President of Capsule Corporation was laid out in her casket for all the world to see. Her friends and family were all gathered in the large funeral home that her husband had picked out to have her wake. It was originally against his own moral fiber to even have a wake for his wife but Goku had insisted that this is what she would have wanted and he had given in to the younger saiya-jin. He had talked the funeral plans over with his children and Kakarot. Vegeta had been asked to stand in front of the room next to his wife's body during the wake but he refused. There was no way he could even be remotely near her without breaking down. He would not allow himself to show weakness in front of all her friends and family. Instead he opted that Yamcha stand in his place. It had taken him a lot of convincing to do it but the younger warrior had chosen to honor Vegeta's request.


Flashback.

A loud ring resounded throughout the small apartment of the former baseball legend. Yamcha wearily rubbed his eyes as he looked at his cell phone and decided to answer when he noticed Bulma's number pop on the screen. Knowing that his former girlfriend was dead, he figured that it was either Goku or Trunks calling about her funeral arrangements. Without much thought, he answered, "Hello?"

"I need a favor," the raspy voice of Vegeta asked on the other end.

"Vegeta?!" Yamcha said in shock. "Are you alright?"

"No but that's besides the point. I need a really big favor from you."

"Whaddya want?" He asked suspiciously.

"Will you stand in my place on the day of Bulma's wake?"

His jaw flung open in shock for a second at the question. It took him moments to form an answer and he responded, "I don't know if I can do that, Vegeta. You're asking an awful lot from me."

"I understand this but I can not trust anyone else in that spot besides you. You are the only other person on this entire backwater planet who has had an intimate connection with her. Trust me, I would stand in that spot if I could but I do not have the emotional strength to endure such torture."

"Vegeta, I don't know if I can--"

"Please," The saiya-jin said close to tears. "You and I may have had our differences but it was only because I was threatened by you. You had her before me and I hated that fact. I'm begging you, Yamcha. Please do this for me."

The human warrior paused for a moment listening to the sincerity in the saiya-jin's gentle tone of voice. He sighed with some reservation and replied, "Alright, Vegeta. You have my word. I will stand in your place."

"Thank you," Vegeta replied softly before he hung up.

Yamcha listened to the click of the phone as the other line was cut off and whispered, "You're welcome, Vegeta."

End of Flashback.


Now the elder saiya-jin sat in the back of the room. His obsidian depths intently focused on his wife's casket. Shivers running down his spine. This place unnerved him. It was worse than being on Frieza's ship. It reaked of death causing him to get an upset stomach at the thought of putting that word with Bulma's name in the same sentence. She deserved a phrase that was more like, 'The angels took her home.' He knew she wasn't fully dead, as long as he loved her, she would always be alive in his heart. The way he had always envisioned his planet to be alive - safely tucked away in his heart. Nobody else would ever take her place.


ON THE OTHER SIDE


Across the room stood Bra, Trunks, Yamcha, and Kakarot. They all formed a line at her casket. Bra was directly next to her mother and Trunks was by her side. Yamcha had taken the place of their father who would have been first in line but they found it more appropriate to place Yamcha third in line. Goku was at the end of the line because he had been the one to know her the longest and Vegeta found it appropriate for his longtime rival to stand there.

Bra and her mother had never really gotten close until after she got married. They had spent many Sunday nights together for family dinners and the latest gossip. Growing up, the young woman had been more of a Daddy's girl than anything else. She had spent many arguments defending her father's actions and escaping many punishments because of her father which her mother used to get furious about. She realized now that her mother was only trying to raise her into the responsible young lady she should have been. Having children of her own had changed her perspective on life and realized so many things. Her mother had only been trying to protect her from the cruel hands of the world. The worst part was that she never got to say thank you. She stood up next to Bulma's coffin with her head held high, proud of who her mother had been, with tears streaming down her face for the loss of the most amazing woman she had ever known.

Trunks had always been a bit of a momma's boy. Only because he had not really known his father until he was almost four years old. Vegeta had wanted nothing to do with him up until the time he found it was time to train him. Even then he had never been much of a father to their purple haired son. Yes, they had taken trips to the park together but Trunks was never given enough time to really play with the other kids like most normal children do. Most nights he had cried to his mother wondering why his father treated him so coldly. Then he toughened up around the age of six and started to become the mischievous demi saiya-jin that seduced Goten to wreak havoc with him. Even then he had always spent more time in the presence of his mother than his father. Until the day his father had sacrificed his life for him. Then the two started to develop more of a relationship. The proud President and CEO of Capsule Corporation stood with the firm composure of Vegeta in his younger days and refused to let his weaknesses be shown. Although everyone knew that Trunks loved his mother unconditionally.

Yamcha had been Bulma's first love and one of her lifelong best friends. He felt he deserved the spot that Vegeta had so freely given him. He was the only other person who knew Bulma in an intimate way that no other person would have ever known. He had seen her soul like Vegeta had. He knew what it was like to be cocooned in her warm and loving embrace. He knew what it was like to stare into her beautiful oceanic depths and be able to feel the magnitude of the love that she had to give. He knew what it was like to have her heart. Yes, he had hurt her on many occasions, times that he regret with every aching inch of his heart. Fate had shown him that she wasn't meant to be his and even though he had envied Vegeta for so many years - he felt that nobody deserved Bulma more than Vegeta. She had transformed him from a ruthless, blood thirsty monster to the softer, warmer, self-sacrificing man that stood before them today. The human stood next to his former girlfriend's body in tears for loss of one of the best friends that a man could have ever asked for.

Nobody in the room had known Bulma for as long as Kakarot had known her except for maybe her own family. They had been through so much together. They had faced the end of the world, side by side. They had shared many nights under the stars talking about their lives and discussing the problems of their own marriages and how to handle each situation. They had gotten in trouble together on numerous occasions and shared many exciting adventures together. They had become close enough that they considered each other to be brother and sister. Goku had loved Bulma with all of his heart and nobody could ever change that or take that away from him. One day they would be together again - he just knew it. Many of his friends had been taken away from him over recent years - Piccolo, Master Roshi, Oolong, and Puar. It was hard for him to lose another one - especially knowing that there was nothing he could ever do about it. This time he could only stand back and watch fate have its way.

The younger saiya-jin stood at the end of the line glancing down at his best friend laid out beautifully in the mahogany coffin sitting in the front of the room. Tears falling down his cheeks. "I can't just stand here and look at her like this! There has to be some way to bring her back from the dead! There has to be a loophole with the dragonballs somewhere!"

Trunks frowned and replied, "I know you want to make her well again, Goku, but you can't do that. You have to be strong and you know that she would tell you the same thing. We have to let her rest now, Goku. She's finally at peace."

"You're right," He whispered softly, "It's just so hard, you know?"

"I agree," Yamcha added to the conversation, "It is hard but for once there's nothing we can do about it. We just have to let it go. This is what she wanted or otherwise she would have told you to try and find a way to bring her back before she died, Goku. You know she would have. There is nothing we can do for her at this point except love her."

"I just don't want this to be the end."

"It's not the end, Goku," Bra chimed in to the conversation. "It's only the beginning. Think of when you die for the final time and you meet my mother in Heaven. It will be the beginning of an eternity to be together again. No matter what you will always be best friends, even in death."

The words that his best friend's daughter had spoken at that moment allowed him to stop and truly believe for that just a moment - Bulma was standing in front of him. The perception of life and death and the similiar appearance caused him to think that she was someone else for just a moment. He smiled proudly at the young female saiya-jin before clearing his mind to think of the day when they would meet again. It seemed her words had touched him on a level that gave him peace and reminded him to stay positive. She was right - it was not the end - one day they truly would be together again.

For eternity.


RELATIVES


An annoying blond haired woman who Vegeta recognized as one of Bulma's second cousins came up and sat next to him. He growled softly in his head before he calmly asked, "Can I help you?"

The woman who appeared to be in her thirties politely smiled and replied, "I just came to offer my condolences to you. I am truly sorry for your loss." She tried to be as formidable as possible but the saiya-jin could smell right through her act. She was drenched in the scent of betrayal. Her true intentions were to seduce the handsome man that was sitting beside her. She had always envied Bulma for marrying such a dangerously charming man. The blonde figured it was her chance to try and make him forget about the cousin she hated.

"Don't lie to me," Vegeta warned. "I know what your intentions are, Anetta!" He growled as he jumped to his feet.

"Why are you being such a prick? I was just trying to show you that Im here for you if you ever needed anything at all! Is it so wrong to be caring?," She tried to challenge the saiya-jin the way she had seen Bulma do it so many times at all of their family functions. She took a step forward to try and get closer to him but growled internally when she noticed him take a step back like she was diseased.

"You're a liar," He spat. "You don't give a shit that your cousin is dead. All you want is to get into my pants - I have watched you for years now. You reak of deceit. You will never be the woman that Bulma is. Ever."

"BULLSHIT!" She growled a little loudly even for her own liking. She dropped her voice an octave to draw attention away from them and snarled, "I am ten times the woman Bulma was. I'm smarter, I'm prettier, and I'm definitely classier! You don't know what you're missing, Vegeta. I could give you everything."

"No, Anetta," He began softly, "That's where youre wrong. I have everything. The heart of the most amazing woman in the world, two wonderful kids, plenty of beautiful grandchildren, and the best friends that I could ever ask for. You will never have even half of what I shared with Bulma. No one will ever love a liar like you. You'll be alone for eternity. You will never know what true love feels like. You'll be stuck inside your own miserable little existance never knowing what it's like to love somebody so much that you would give up your life for them. A thousand times over. So you see Anetta, it is you who doesn't know what they're missing and I hope Kami never gives you the chance to know."

That was all Vegeta said before leaving the blonde woman speechless by herself in the middle of the room.

After that statement, there was not a doubt in any of the Z warrior's minds that he truly loved Bulma.

For so many years they had all doubted that he knew what love was.

He had just shown to them the man that Bulma had made him become.

A man with a soul.


A/N: Yes, another short chapter. The next chapter will divulge more into how Vegeta and Bulma spent their last day as lovers together and I'm warning you now - it will be really heart wrenching so you'll want to hang on to your seats. Lol. Anyways, review and let me know what you think as always!