I lay in the dark. AIl I wanted was to be alone with my grief. It had been the longest day of my life. I'd been working, trying to keep my mind off of what had happened, but it kept coming on me like a wave. Goku. Goku's dead. For the rest of my life, Goku, my first real friend, is dead.
It wouldn't have been so hard if I had could've worked alone, but today was one of the days when I was assigned to be the overseer. My father still owned the company, but I was second-in-command, and when he was busy elsewhere, I had to go to Capsule Corp. headquarters and make a personal appearance. So soon after Goku's death, this had been a very difficult thing to do. I have never been good at hiding my feelings, and my body and emotions were tense the whole day. I spend hour after hour inspecting everything. It was not something I could just show up for and then say "Ta-ta!" after fifteen minutes. Capsule Corp. is a huge company, and not only did I have to go down there today, but the rest of my week was booked for more of the same thing. My dad was busy with an enormous project that he had been working on for the whole year, and now he was almost done. Being a fellow scientist, I knew what he was going through Towards the end of a long project, we scientists get a little driven (a.k.a. crazy) and nothing, not sleep, food or a hot bath can stop us from finishing. I suppose this is why I understand Vegeta when he pushes himself too hard.
Vegeta... I hadn't seen him for so long. Thankfully, my lovesick phase vanished and I was now more practical about us. I wasn't needy, trying to get his attention all the time. I knew that that would make him hate me, so I pretty much left him to his own devices. I just wished that he would reward me for it once in awhile by acknowledging my existence.
Thinking about all these things in the dark warmth of my covers, I felt overwhelmed. My need for solitude disappeared, and was replaced by a deep kind of wanting. What was it I wanted? I couldn't think of anyone I wanted to be with. All my friends were grieving their own ways, and I would leave them to it. I couldn't imagine calling Krillin or Yamcha on the phone and crying out my feelings to them. It would just seem too awkward. And the only woman I could be with was Chi-Chi. But her loss was much different than mine. I'm not sure if it was deeper, since I'd known Goku as much as she did, but there was no way I'd been anywhere near as intimate with him as she had. I just couldn't compare notes with her. I did know what it was like to be with a Saiyan, though.
I curled into myself. Both of them were on my mind, and I felt like it was an invasion. Leave me alone, I thought. There was nothing I could do, so I pressed my head deep into the pillow and started crying. I wanted to scream too, but I didn't have enough strength for that right now, so I just sobbed softly. I don't know how long I cried, but I was on the edge of sleep when I heard it. The door opened. It was so gentle, I thought it was either my mom or my dad. I welcomed the thought. Being able to cry on them would feel great... However it wouldn't feel good enough. Neither of them knew Goku like I did. They couldn't understand the magnitude of what losing him was like. They didn't know that he was Earth's hero, and that he had given his life to save us.
Who else could it be, though? Who else would slip into my room so late, and so quietly? With a glance, I checked the baby monitor on my nightstand. It showed a picture of Trunks's room. Empty and quiet. I braced myself on one elbow, trying to get up. I felt more tears fall, uninvited down my face. Whoever it was, I didn't want to cry in front of- Suddenly there was the pressure of a hand on my back. The hand strong, warm and not very big. It didn't span a very big area of my back like Yamcha's or Goku's would have done. But there was no way that it was... It pressed me back into the pillows, not roughly, persistent. I yelped, startled that the intruder didn't want me to get up.
"Shh. It's only me." The voice was raspy and laced with irritation. I felt my eyes widen in the dark. Vegeta? As soon as his hand left my back, I bolted up in bed and flicked the lamp on.
"Vegeta, what are you...?" His back was turned to me, and he slowly shrugged out of his shirt. My question faded as I studied his toned back. He was slightly hunched over, and his shoulders were relaxed, almost stooped. Was he just tired? No, if he were tired, he'd be in his bed, asleep. My clock read 2:24 a.m. Was it really that late? No wonder everything felt so deathly quiet. How long had I been laying here thinking about Goku? And what was Vegeta doing here? We didn't share the same room; we never have. I didn't think it was safe to actually sleep with him, considering how violent his dreams were, and frankly the thought of being alone in the room that long with him made me nervous. Not that I was afraid of him or anything (I had gotten over that a long time ago) but we didn't really know how to act around each other unless we were being physical. I wanted to ask what he was doing in my room (I could count the number of times we had sex on one hand) but the way he sat down on my bed made me close my mouth. He went down hard like he was defeated and a little lost. I felt something in him that I didn't know existed. Sadness. He sighed then, a deep restless sigh that caught in his throat. Then he ran a hand through his hair. I just sat there, transfixed. He had let down his guard, and I was seeing something that no one else would see. Vegeta, in despair. He kept his back to me, and sat there, his head tilted towards the floor. He was silent for what seemed like hours, and when he finally spoke, he startled me.
"I am the last. There is no one else. Only me." The final two words were whispered so softly that I could barely here them. I crawled over to where he sat on the edge of the bed and placed my hands on his bare shoulders. His body heat seeped through me, soothing me. I worked my fingers into his skin and I felt his muscles relax completely. He submitted to my touch, sighing.
"You are a prince, with no people." I blurted out. Then I gasped. I shouldn't have said that. It was like pouring salt in a gaping wound.
"I'm sorry, Vegeta. I shouldn't have-"
"Never mind. It's true, anyway." I took my hands off his shoulders and sat down next to him, laying my head on his shoulder. I took one of his hands in mine, surprised that he didn't try to snatch it away.
"Vegeta..." I said softly. I stroked the top of his dark hand with my thumb, noticing how delicate my own looked on his. He turned to me, his eyes dilated in the dark.
"What?" HIs voice was soft, and a little sullen, like it didn't matter what I said to him.
"Is it true that you aren't going to fight anymore?" He blinked, taken aback.
"What? Who told you that?"
"Does it matter? I just want to hear it from you."
He looked down at his hands, the one still covered with mine. A finger on his other hand twitched, like he almost wanted to lay in on mine, but then it was still. I studied his face, and noticed the muscle of his jaw leaping. He was silent for awhile, except for when he made a few irritated grunts. He blinked his eyes a lot, and I tried to figure out was his reaction meant. Then I realized that he was trying to hold back his emotions. I took his face in my hands then, and our eyes locked. His defenses were breaking, and I could feel his body shaking with the tension.
"It's okay," I whispered. "You don't have to-" He jerked his head away then, and stood up. I was going to say "you don't have to fight anymore" but I don't think he read it that way. He didn't make for the door, he just stood in the corner of the room where the light from my bedside lamp didn't reach.
"Vegeta." At the sound of my voice, he stood up straight and crossed his arms over his chest. His barrier was strengthening again.
"What?" This time his voice wasn't soft, and he sounded almost angry. I ignored it, relieved, because this was the Vegeta I was used to.
"Why did you come here tonight? Do you even know how late it is? Is there something you wanted?" I flinched inwardly at that last question. He couldn't be that much of an animal, could he? He turned around quicker than I thought he would.
"Kakarrot is really dead, isn't he?" I sat up straight, shocked. Goku was not one of the subjects I thought would be brought up between us. Suddenly I felt violated, like Vegeta had dirtied the pure relationship that Goku and I had shared. I got unexpectedly angry.
"Yes, he's dead! What else would he be? And it's Goku! His name is Goku, not Kakarrot! He's Goku! Son Goku! My best friend!"
"Kakarrot is his true-"
"I don't care about his Saiyan name! He wasn't a Saiyan to me! He was just Goku! The Saiyans are dead! Wiped out! There are no more-" I choked on the last word when I saw the look on Vegeta's face. His fists were clenched at his sides, and he glared at me. He opened his mouth to defend his race, but my face fell forward on the thick pillow in my lap. I blocked him out then, sobbing hard into the forgiving mound of silk and feathers. I continued to sob until I couldn't breathe anymore, and when I came up for air, my eyes met darkness. Had he left? Why was my light out? I looked around vainly in the thick dark for a moment, then I plopped down on the bed with a sigh. It was strange the way I didn't hear him storm out. That was when I felt his arms around me from behind. My body stiffened. Apparently he's gotten over it, I thought. He whispered in my ear.
"I didn't come here to talk." Outraged, I broke from his grip and rolled over. I sat up, glaring down at him.
"Do you think that you can just come into my room at two in the morning, and get whatever you want from me?" He glared back at me.
"You are a dirty-minded woman." My mouth gaped open. What a hypocrite!
"Well? What else would you want? I know you didn't come here to cry on my shoulder." He grimaced at that.
"No, I...I don't know why I came here, Bulma." I blinked at the usage of my name.
"I just didn't feel like being alone right now. I've been alone my whole li-" He stopped short and sighed in exasperation.
"On the other hand, maybe you should come over here and shut me up before I say something really foolish." I laughed softly and crawled over to him.
"Vegeta, I don't think we'll ever understand each other." He was silent and after awhile I felt his warm hands on me. I sought his lips, and we lost our thoughts in the physical realm.
Moments later, while he was on top of me and reaching his peak, I felt warm drops of water on my upturned face. At first I thought it was sweat, but when I brought my hands to his face, I felt tears. He gasped at the mixture of pleasure and pain, and I felt my own eyes burn. At that moment I realized that I loved him, and I wanted him to stay with me.
Afterward, when he lay his head on my chest, on the edge of sleep, I asked him what was on my mind.
"Will you stay with me? And with Trunks? Will you be his father?"
"Do I have a choice?" His voice was gruff. I closed my eyes and laughed a little.
"No, you don't." He drew his head up and looked at me.
"Fine. I'll stay." I smiled, giddy.
"Really?" He covered my mouth with two fingers and rolled off of me.
"Shut up, I'm tired."
I studied his back as he shifted one last time, and became still. Then I turned over too, hugging a pillow against my chest. I smiled again and a thrill went through my body. He was going to stay.
"I love you." I whispered. I heard him grunt, almost a laugh, and then he promptly fell asleep.