The trip to Namek had been uneventful. Arda had to use the instant transmission, since Goku had passed out and turned back to his base form, and had been nearly dead from ki loss. Everyone who had died was back, but only the z warriors and their friends had retained their memories. The people of earth, as Goku so often said, didn't deserve to remember the horrible things that had happened to them.
Now, the entire group were gathered on the front lawn of capsule corporation. It was two days later, and Arda had just said that he was leaving.
"Are you sure?" Bulma asked kindly. "You helped us defeat Morgoth; you can stay at capsule corp. as long as you want to."
The vampire smiled warmly. In the morning sunlight of a summer day, he looked almost human. "I appreciate the offer, and believe me, it's tempting. You guys are all great, and I will definitely be back. But there are other things I have to take care of."
Goku put a hand on his shoulder. "Take care of yourself. Remember, you're welcome back anytime."
Still smiling, Arda put two fingers to his forehead, gave a quick wave, and vanished.
They wouldn't see him again for over a decade.
The only person who noticed the lone figure on top of capsule corp. was Vegeta, and for reasons only he could understand, he chose not to disturb the intruder.
Osiris gazed down at the small group as they said their brief farewell, a grimace plastered on his face. Centuries ago; well, millennia now, he had thought that he never would have come across someone who he hated as much as he hated Arda. But he had. Son Goku.
The strange mixture of feelings was the same. He respected Goku, probably the only being he respected. But he hated him for it, because his ego somehow told him that if he respected someone, they must be better than him, and that was something he had trouble digesting.
But he hated Goku mostly because he had shown him that power and hatred were not the only things to live for. He had awakened feelings that time had frosted over. Those feelings were not pleasant to feel; they almost demanded a complete revision of his entire outlook.
"Oh, this is maddening." The vampire whispered to himself. "How am I to go on with this, now that I've seen a man like this exists."
In fact, all the z warriors made him feel this way. The boy Uubu, so willing to fight for the honor of his sensei, and Gohan, who had faced him fearlessly even when he knew that he was hopelessly outclassed. Trunks, for fighting because he believed Osiris had killed his friend. And Vegeta, who had many of the same feelings he himself felt about Goku, yet was able to understand and even care for the other saiyajin all the same.
It was indeed maddening. And now, what was he to do with himself? Somehow, going back to that ship full of planet destroying robots would feel like sacrilege, after fighting so hard to help save this planet, even if he had been more than half only fighting to save his own life. How could he go back to that old life of drifting through space, stopping on random planets and killing the inhabitants until they gave him what he wanted.
Going through that would be horrible. He felt like he was in the middle of some strange transition, and to go back to that old life would be to destroy something that he had been working at, perhaps without his knowledge, since he had arrived here.
But staying was out of the question. Even if Goku would allow it, Vegeta and Gohan would not. And he really didn't want to. How could he live among people he had killed? It just wasn't right. He had to get away, find somewhere…
"Somewhere for a long sleep." He muttered to himself.
The Long Sleep was something every vampire did at some point. They would find somewhere to lay quietly, usually a ship floating in space or some deserted planet, and go into an almost comatose state for anything from months to centuries. It was the ancient vampire's way of coping with time. Osiris had had two Long Sleeps, once for a year and a half, and once for two centuries. It was like renewal. He hadn't always been a monster, but he had woken up this way from his last Long Sleep. Perhaps another would cure this strange feeling of being trapped between two states of being.
And he felt so tired. Yes, it was time.
With a flare of sinister power that wasn't ki, he launched himself off the domed roof and directly up, up into space. Before long he could see his ship, a small battleship like the kind Frieza's empire would have used, orbiting the planet.
He could sense someone inside.
The airlock hissed open, and the vampire Osiris stepped into his ship, looking quickly back and forth with eyes so tired of life that they almost shut on their own, looking for the offending presence.
Arda sat at the control console, his feet propped up as he read out of a large leather-bound book that looked older than either of them. When Osiris stepped in, he glanced up and grinned slightly.
"So, you're back."
For a second, Osiris seriously considered flying at the older vampire, tearing him limb from limb, ripping his head from his body and flinging it into space so that it could never be reattached. But he was too tired for a fight; far too tired to combat someone as skilled and as strong as Arda. And the whole thing just seemed so pointless, such a waste. Why would he do it? What would be the purpose?
"Old friend." Osiris muttered, not knowing what to say, feeling utterly hopeless. "I'm so tired. I need rest."
Arda stood, closing the book and setting it carefully down on the console. He didn't look surprised at being called 'old friend', nor did he seem to be at all alarmed at the other vampire's strange manner. He had seen it enough; they all got that way every few centuries or so.
"Come on." He put his hand on Osiris' back, leading him through a door into another room, a bare room with nothing in it but a chair, and a few strange lines on the floor.
Arda walked over to the wall and pressed in a spot that appeared not to have any difference from the wall around it; but when he touched it, the lines on the floor shifted, and a panel about seven feet by four feet slid away, revealing a hollow in the floor that was lined in red velvet, a pillow of the same at the head.
Osiris crossed the room in one quick motion, laying down in the hollow with something that looked like gratitude. He cast a grateful glance in Arda's direction, and the panel slid closed over him. But just before it shut, he muttered something.
"Do you know why they all hate Son Goku? The evil ones?"
Arda shrugged. "Why?"
A faint smile graced Osiris' face as the metal slid over it. "He is the lamb in the lion."
The panel shut.
The red haired vampire stood for a second, simply gazing at the strange set of lines on the floor with a completely unreadable expression. Then he left the room in a flash, and sat back in his chair by the control panel.
He picked up his book and began to read.