Storybooks full of fairy tales
Of Kings and Queens
And the bluest skies
My heart is torn
Just in knowing
You'll someday see
The truth for lies
The Dark Truth
Early morning sunlight broke the dark sky, and the stars faded out one by one. The pale blue curtains in the master bedroom started to glow with the dawn. The clock read 6:15, and his eyes fluttered, then opened all the way. He sat up slowly, stretching his muscles and feeling the familiar dull ache from all the tension on them the day before. He ran a hand through his thick, tousled hair and caught a slight movement on the other side of the bed. His dark eyes flicked over to her, and she sighed in her sleep. There was a hint of a smile on her lips, and she rolled over on her belly. He couldn't help but smile a little as he watched her. Bulma. His heart squeezed painfully in his chest as he watched her and thought about how much their little daughter looked like her mother. They both looked so similar in their sleep; so peaceful and unaware of the world around them. This time Bulma was a few inches away from him. She was usually a lot closer. She would wait until she thought he was asleep and then she'd wrap her body around his with all of her limbs, tying him up like an octopus. Sometimes he would breathe deeply on purpose, fooling her into thinking he was asleep, then he'd wait to see what she'd do. If he was lucky, she'd touch him or run her fingers through his hair. Of course, he did allow her to do some of that while he was awake too. She was his mate after all. She knew how to make him feel good, and sometimes it surprised him. Bulma always seemed to care how he was feeling, and if he was unhappy, she did her best to make his dark thoughts disappear.
Lately, he was skulking around and scowling more than he normally did. Bulma asked him at least once a day if there was anything wrong. He was having a hard time telling her.
Vegeta crawled out of bed quietly, trying his hardest not to wake her. He was a very nimble fighter; he could twist and bend his body all kinds of ways, but when it came to getting out of bed without Bulma noticing, he just couldn't get it right. He snorted to himself. Sometimes he swore up and down that she had some sort of built-in alarm system that screamed "Vegeta's awake, and he's going somewhere!" into her head every time he moved a few inches towards the foot of the bed. Most of the time he just had to use the bathroom. Hmph, but that woman, she'd freak out over anything. He'd shouldn't have got into it with such a drama queen. Oh well, it did make life more interesting.
He had almost made it off of the bed when he felt her shift. Damn. She hadn't been like this before he had died, but then again, he hadn't really slept in the same room with her then either. He started pulling his pants on, and just when he thought that she might wake up, he heard soft footsteps outside and a timid knock on the door. He yanked his pants up the rest of the way and opened the door slowly. Through the crack he could see his daughter's tiny face. It was streaked with tears, sweaty, and slightly pale. Her hair and clothes were all messed up. She stood there trembling, her eyes wide as is she had seen something horrible. He opened the door the rest of the way and she took a few steps toward him.
"Papa," she whispered, "I-I had a bad dream. I'm scared…"
Vegeta nodded and lifted her off the ground. She held tight to his neck with one arm, gripping his hair with her other hand. He closed the door quietly and walked down the hallway.
The little girl felt so small and fragile; he had to be very careful with her. But she also had a strength in her that she got from her mother. She was no push over. Bulma would say that she got it from him, but he didn't like to think about little Bulla that way. He wanted her to be more like her mother, and not like him at all, if it could be helped. She was too young and too innocent to have picked up any of his nasty characteristics.
With Trunks, it had been different. Trunks was a boy, and any bit of stubbornness and pride he could see in the child made him smile inside. He had wanted his son to be like him, because back then, he had admired himself.
Vegeta would never admit to anyone that he had liked who he was, because it wasn't true. The reason why he had put on so much bravado and had had so much confidence was because he didn't have a genuine love for himself , or anyone for that matter. Even Bulma hadn't fooled herself into thinking he had loved her back the. She had only to see that spark of interest in his eyes, and then she took what he had given her. But she never expected him to love, or even care about her. She was like a snake charmer, and he was the deadly viper. She had been bit countless times, but she was immune to his poison.
Since Bulla was born, Vegeta didn't strike out nearly as much as he had, but sometimes Bulma would provoke him on purpose, being the kind of woman that liked to play with fire. And he could still be fiery or poisonous to her or anyone else, save one. His daughter.
The moment her saw her tiny wet face on the day she was born, he felt tamed inside. She was like a fire extinguisher in the form of a child. Oh, he still had plenty of the fire, but around Bulla he kept it very low.
This was the very reason he had been irritated lately. When he was younger, it had been easier. He hadn't been around anyone that was genuinely good, so whatever horrific things he had done was all he knew, and no one could go against him and tell him it was wrong. He had felt no guilt then. But now he was constantly surrounded by good people who wouldn't even dream of killing anyone. Being around all these people who cared about one another and were kind and helpful made him feel black inside sometimes. He had actually managed to purge himself of most of this when he had given up his life to save the earth, but when Bulla was born…
The first time he held his daughter he had restrained himself so much that when he gave her back to Bulma, he had been shaking. He had never harmed anyone in his family, but with Bulla it was… It was as if she was a pure beam of light and he was an ugly dark shadow looming close by. He would tell himself that he was being ridiculous or too dramatic, but then Bulla would do something that didn't make any sense for someone of her character.
One day she flew into a rage, clenching her little fists and screaming, and then she had gone into her room and started breaking anything she could get her hands on. When Bulma has gone to spank her, Vegeta had went off by himself, feeling sick inside. He had felt like it was his fault, like something in his blood had tainted something in his daughter's.
Later, when he heard Bulma's mother asking her what had happened, Bulma had said that she wasn't sure, but maybe Bulla hadn't gotten her way, and then she had said, "How typical. Just like her father…" The two women laughed, and Vegeta was so disgusted that he went off to train just for the purpose of beating something up.
Now he was realizing that his little daughter was almost five years old, and she still had no idea what he had done in the past. He preferred it to stay that way, but it wouldn't be fair for her, and she would find out eventually from someone else, and then she would be hurt because he hadn't confided in her. Bulma had kindly offered to tell her, but Vegeta had never been one to go through other people to get things done. He had too much honor to do that, and he made up his mind that he would have to let her know that he had not always been who she thought he was now.
Bulla sat in his lap, wrapped in a blanket she had brought with her. It was a quilt that her grandma had made her, and a few of the squares were part of that blasted pink shirt that Bulma had made him wear.
Mrs. Brief had just cut off a strip from the bottom, and sometimes Bulma would wear it to bed. Vegeta had to admit to himself that it did make quite an enticing shirt on her. Though he was starting to have an inkling (blast it all) that the thing was probably originally designed for females anyway.
Bulma had started taking a pill that rejuvenated her and made her look younger, and she was growing her hair out again. If she dared to get a perm like the one had when they first got together, AND she wore that shirt… He might not be able to contain himself.
But Vegeta didn't mind that Bulla has part of it with her. Looking at it closer, he noticed that it also had parts of an orange jumper that Bulma used to wear, Trunks's baby clothes, and part of a blanket Bulla had when she was born. It was the same color of pink as the infamous shirt. He sighed and rolled his eyes. Old ladies could be so sentimental.
Bulla was starting to drift off to sleep to the sound of the TV that had been left on, when suddenly she jolted awake, her eyes wide. She started to shake again, and cling to him. He lay a hand on her silky little head.
"What could you be dreaming about that's so horrible? You're only a little girl," he said softly. Her face was pressed against his shirt, and she started to cry again.
"You," she said simply.
Vegeta's heart skipped a beat, and he hoped that she hadn't felt it. Could she have heard about him already? No, then she wouldn't be clutching him, she would avoid him. Wouldn't she? She was like her mother, and Bulma had ran to him like he was an angel soon after she had seen him blow away half of the stadium of WMA. That women loved him unconditionally. Maybe Bulla did too. He looked at her small face.
"Me? Why me? What happens in your dreams?"
"You…you keep getting killed…" She whispered. Vegeta was starting to feel apprehensive.
"Killed? By who? How does it happen?" He felt her shudder against him.
"I don't know who it is, Papa… But there's this pink beam of light, and it hits you in the chest. And Uncle Kakarrot's there, but he can't save you-" She was cut off as Vegeta jolted suddenly, put her on the couch, and stood up. He swallowed hard and forced himself not to tremble. How on Earth? That sounded like when Frieza… But how?! That had happened when she hadn't even been thought of yet! There was no way his daughter would know about…unless… The Saiyan race did have ways of connecting with each other's minds. When he had been battle partners with Nappa, he had been able to speak telepathically with him. Nappa would follow Vegeta's spoken orders when no one else had heard them. There has also been another incident when he heard from Gohan that Kakarrot had learned about the Ascended Super Saiyan when he was unconscious with fever. Vegeta had asked why, and Gohan said that apparently Kakarrot had "heard Vegeta's voice in his head" talking about the possibility of Saiyan ascension. He had believed what Gohan said. Kakarrot and himself and a connection that was stronger than the one he had had with Nappa.
So why shouldn't he have a connection with his daughter? But if she could see those images in her dreams, what else did she see and know about him? It was almost too unbearable to think about. Her voice drowned out his remaining thoughts.
"Papa? Are you mad?" Her eyes were still wide and tearful. He stopped pacing and looked at her.
"No, I'm just a little…Have you had other dreams about me?"
"I don't think so," she sniffed. He sat down next to her.
"Good." He paused for a moment before he continued. "Do you know anything about what my life was like before I met your mother?"
"No, why? What was it like? All Mama said was that you've been to lots of other worlds. Oh, and she did tell me that you're a prince."
"Yes, well. There are quite a few things that you don't know. I'm not going to tell you everything Bulla, but you're not going to like what I do tell you." He tried to ignore the confused look on her face and thought of how he was going to make it easier on her to know that her father used to be a deadly killer, who went around exterminating various races from all over the Universe. This was going to be difficult…
When Bulma woke up, the room was very quiet. She didn't hear the familiar sounds of Vegeta sleeping. She had gotten used to waking up alone, but ever since he had been wished back to life for the second time, he had stayed with her later than he normally did. He didn't have anything really pressing to do in the morning anymore. They had both thought they were never going to see each other again, so they were around one another more often.
She noticed that it was a little after 7 'o'clock, so it was normal for him to be awake. Vegeta had always been an early riser.
When he first started living at Capsule Corp., he would get up at 4:30. Bulma remembered when she would wake up to use the bathroom, and she could see the faint glow from the capsule that he spent most of his time in. She would shake her head with a mixture of annoyance and admiration, then go back to bed and sleep until eight. She had been used to sleeping alone for most of her life, save a handful of times she had fallen asleep in Yamcha's arms. However, she stopped sleeping with him when he started saying other girls' names while in his dreams. But with Vegeta, the actual bedroom didn't come into play for awhile. They had just conveniently met at other places, so that they could easily part again. The first time she could remember him falling asleep beside her was just before he had left to train in outer space. They had spent all night together, and he had been unnaturally patient and thorough, like he had been trying to get something out of her. It was like he was playing some kind of game in his head, and then he left the next morning without a single explanation. A month later she found out that he'd left her with his child. What she found really amusing was that when he came back after Trunks was a few months old, he didn't seem the least bit surprised. She knew that he had planned it then, and she didn't have anything to do with him for awhile. He was too high from becoming a Super Saiyan, anyway.
It was only after Goku died that things started to change. Having nothing to do and nowhere to go, Vegeta came back to Capsule Corp. and actually gave an effort at raising their son. Bulma heard later from Yamcha that Vegeta had gone a little crazy with anger when Trunks was struck down by Cell, and she knew then that he cared about his son. Then, slowly but surely, he came to care about her too. By being around her more often, he got used to her, and it would make her day if he so much as smiled or laughed at her expense.
That was the beginning of when he started sleeping through the night with her. She would be asleep, and he would find her in the dark. Sometimes she woke up and they would get physical, but a lot of the times she found him beside her in the morning, sound asleep. That was when she would experience the sheer joy of knowing that he had just wanted to be there. She was especially flattered because he was the most vulnerable in his sleep, and he wouldn't let anyone else see him in such a weak state. She also knew that he was comfortable with her, as he slept very deeply most of the time.
Bulma got out of bed, and shivered in the cooler air. She slipped into a silk bathrobe and yawned. When she opened the door she heard voices, and she paused to listen closer. One voice was Bulla's, and she sounded upset. The other was Vegeta's, and it was softer than it normally was, almost pleading. The last time his voice had sounded like that was when he had been begging the people of Earth to submit their energy. Since then, Bulma had thought he would make a very good inspirational speaker. She especially liked the "Do it for your children" bit. She smiled at the remembrance, but was brought out of it when she heard a catch in his voice. She still wasn't quite sure what he was saying, but the pain was thick in his words. Bulla was crying, and her voice was starting to get frantic.
"But why? WHY?! How could you-"
"Because…that was who I was. See, you have me and your mother. You know that we care about you. I didn't have… There was no one who cared about me, so I didn't care about-"
"So? Uncle Kakarot didn't have anybody until he met mom. He didn't even know who his parents were and he didn't go around killing people."
In the shadows, Bulma flinched. 'That wasn't the right thing to say, baby.' she thought. 'Please don't get angry with her Vegeta… she doesn't understand.' But instead of getting angry, he sighed. However, it was a deep sigh, filled with frustration, and she knew that he was restraining his emotions.
"Kakarot is a different person than I am. There are a lot of reasons why I did those things, and-"
"No! I don't believe you! You're lying! NO!"
Bulma gasped as she felt Bulla's power level go up substantially. Vegeta's remained submissively low. She peaked around the corner to see her little daughter standing before him, her baring like a queen, with a stubborn look on her face. Vegeta sat still, and she could tell that he had no idea how to defend his circumstances against her. She was not in an open mood to discuss it. She turned on her heel and walked away from him. When Bulma heard her go upstairs, she didn't hear her crying. It seemed like she was more angry than sad.
With Bulla gone, the atmosphere of the room felt like it feels after a candle burns out and you are left in the darkness. Especially after the TV blinked out and the remote control landed on the floor with a thud. Bulma might have been less worried if the remote has sailed through the air, or had been ground into the floor, but it only fell softly, like it had slipped from limp fingers. She was used to Vegeta being angry, but when he was like this, it was much worse. She knew what to do when he was angry, and that was to leave him alone. But when he didn't want to be alone, and couldn't admit it, things got tricky.
However, she didn't have to think about it for very long.
"Bulma," his quiet voice cut through her thoughts. She had been hidden, but she knew he had sensed her meager power level. All he had said was her name, but he would have ignored her and left the room if he had needed to be alone. She walked into the living room and sat beside him on the couch. Not too close, but close enough that to hear him breathing. She sat in the dark and watched his silhouette, waiting for him to say something. She knew how he worked; he usually wanted to be the first to say or do something.
"Did you see her face? I expected her to cry. I didn't think she would get angry like that. I wonder if she really thinks that I was lying to her?"
Bulma moved closer, sensing that it would be alright to do so. She placed her hand on his, feeling his pulse as their wrists touched.
"No…if she didn't believe what you told her, she wouldn't have gotten so mad. I think it was just her disappointment that her react that way."
"JUST her disappointment? That's the worst thing for her to feel. She's the only person who has been disappointed in me. Everything she thought I was is-"
"Shh…It'll be okay. She won't hold this against you. Not for long, anyway." He sighed and she cupped his face with her free hand.
"She's like me, and I forgive and forget. I'm not let down by you, Vegeta. I'm proud of you. You've come so far. You saved the Earth, and you used to want to destroy it. I don't care about the things you've done in the past. You're not like that anymore. I love you…" In the faint morning light Bulma could see that his eyes were closed. Whenever she would say that she loved him or she paid him any kind of compliment, he would close his eyes. She always thought it looked like he was indulging himself, letting her love sink in.
In response to her warm words, he drew her closer to him and kissed her. She felt his pulse quicken as she put her arms around his neck, and the idea of exciting him aroused her; it always did. Soon she was in his lap, and they got caught up in the sensations that they gave each other. Bulma started to untie her silken robe when she realized that it was almost 6 in the morning…
The light came on in the kitchen and she saw Trunks, his back facing them, reaching for the coffee canister. He was still a bit groggy and not tuned into his senses all the way. Apparently neither was Vegeta. He was still lost among her, his lips on her neck, moving down… She couldn't think of a way to make him stop, and she noticed that Trunks's back has stiffened. He must've just realized that he could sense his father AND his mom on the living room couch, and that there were no lights on in there. When Bulma saw Trunks hesitantly turn around, she let out a small laugh, which only made Vegeta grunt a laugh of his own, and now he was getting a little too playful with those hands…
"Dad!" The light nearest to them was switched on.
"Mom, what…? You guys are…this is supposed to be the family room!" Bulma blushed furiously and tried to get off of Vegeta's lap, but his arms were still around her. He looked at Trunks, his face perfectly calm, not a hint of embarrassment on his features.
"I didn't realize that we had an audience. Couldn't you sense us down here?"
"Well, no. I was-" Trunks stammered.
"I should think not. If you had felt our presence, you would have had enough common sense and decency to leave us alone." Trunks blushed and bowed his head.
"But Dad, in my defense, it IS the living room."
"What does that have to do with anything? Every room in this house belongs to us, and-"
"Vegeta, it's not Trunks's fault. It's not like it's the middle of the night." He had been facing Trunks, and when she said his name, softly but deliberately, he turned his head towards her and the spark in his eyes softened. He let go of her, but when she stood up one of his hands held hers for just a second, and he flashed a very quick smile at her. When he faced Trunks again, his expression was neutral, as if there hadn't been that warmth in his eyes. But Trunks couldn't be fooled. He knew what his father felt for his mother, and he smiled to himself.
"I'll make the coffee," he said.