Disclaimer. (Insert sarcastic and witty comment about the stupidity of needing a disclaimer for a site labeled "Fanfiction" here)
He stared absently out through the broken window of the mansion. It was an old Victorian structure. Worn over the years, the gardens overgrown, he could still see his childhood in his mind's eye. Running with his younger brother through the rows of plants and flowers, sneaking up on his father and attempting to tackle him… They were wonderful days. But alas, they were long gone. Dead. Just memories to be held and cradled.
That was almost 200 years ago. And yet, he looked no more than if he were in his mid twenties or so. Of course. That was when he stopped aging. When he realized he was different. He didn't know why. His mind would lapse sometimes. The only thing he could remember from those lapses were aggression, blood lust, and the need to just tear something apart.
He never left the home. He never wandered outside of the gardens, past the gate and onto the dirt road. He knew that if he did, something bad would happen.
Yet, some days he would awaken, and find himself soaked in blood on the roadside.
It was never his blood.
He never remembered, and he never wanted to.
There wasn't much to do to pass the time. He grew a vegetable patch, plenty of fruit trees, and wild turkey or deer wandered onto the property often enough to be a meal for a few days, so food was no issue. He had read every book he could find a thousand times over. Sometimes, he would draw, but he was running out of paper, and did not know how to make it. He exercised a lot. He would run around the perimeter of the gates, just out of sight from potential passer bys. He would go over the kata he had learned as a boy. He climbed trees, swam in the pond, anything to keep busy.
But nothing he ever did could block out the clawing loneliness.
He talked to the animals sometimes. They would sit near him, almost as if they could understand his troubles, the thoughts, wants, grievances, and wonderings he experienced. But it wasn't sentient contact. It wasn't enough to be real companionship.
He was so lonely.
So very lonely.
He would chuckle sometimes when he remembered the days when his face would scrunch up with disgust at the mention of girls, their nasty girliness and kooties, or worst of all, the idea of falling in love. As all little boys, he found the notion repulsive. Why would he ever want to be around a girl? Why would he ever like one? They were so weird. They didn't like to wrestle, run, or play in the mud. The ones he met that did were usually downright mean and unpleasant to be around.
What he wouldn't give for anyone – even a girl, to be near him.
Some days, he would lose his sanity for fleeting moments. He would just lie in the grass and stare at the sky, wondering if anything was actually real, or if it were a dream, and he were asleep somewhere else with a family right down some hallway that didn't exist. He liked to get lost in his imagination. Pretend that the life he lived was fake; that he was someone else. Maybe he went to school somewhere, or a job. Maybe he was in love with some girl without a face. Maybe he had friends that would slap him on the back and laugh with him at jokes that were never told. Maybe he was married and lived in the clouds. Maybe he had children, though he doubted his potential as a parent. Perhaps, he was still a mere boy, dreaming of the future while snuggled up to his parents. Maybe…Maybe…Maybe…
But, even hours later, he would sit up, and he would still be there. Caged.
Sometimes, he tried to clean the mansion, but it always ended up dustier than before, and eventually, he gave up. Sometimes, he wondered what people on the outside of the heavy black iron gates were doing, how technology had advanced, how clothing, hairstyles, customs, and all around culture had changed.
He wondered so many things. Despite his curiosity, he dared not consciously leave the gates. Some invisible force prevented him. He knew he could leave, but terrible things would happen if he did.
Yes, as has been established, Vegeta Ouji was a very lonely soul. A very lonely and immortal soul.
And he never figured out why he lived forever, or why he would wake up coated with blood on the roadside.
She set the newspaper down as she sipped her coffee. 'Another murder…All of the victims were like mafia members or something. Weird. Some kind of vigilante maybe? I wonder if it's a guy, or more importantly, if he's cute.'
She stood up and shrugged her jacket on before stepping into her shoes. "Well, whoever it is, they must have some kind of vendetta to make them so mutilated." She shuddered as she recalled the report's detailed description of the condition the bodies were found in.
But it didn't really concern her that much. So far the murderer's victims were all known violent criminals. Plus, she was moving out of the city soon. In fact, this was her last day at the office before she was to head outside the city limits for the countryside. There, she would start her long awaited profession as an inventor and part-time author.
As she clocked out for the final time, she waved goodbye to Yamcha, her once upon a time boyfriend and co-worker. She was glad they'd broken up last year. Sure he was nice enough, but he didn't have the depth or maturity she was looking for.
When she got to her small apartment, she tossed her boxed possessions in the car and handed the keys back to the landlord. She hopped in and began her two hour long drive to her new home. As she left the city, she pulled onto a faded paved road that soon gave way to dirt as it winded seemingly aimlessly through the forest.
She pulled into the driveway of the small domed house. It was surrounded by at least ten acre of land, most of it thickly forested. She pulled out her pillow and blanket, deciding to unpack the next day and sleep on the couch she'd already put in the building. Soon, she fell asleep for the night.
Bulma Brief woke up the next morning with a stiff neck, but ignored it as she put her few possessions away. It was roughly four in the afternoon by the time she was done. Glancing at the microwave clock, she decided she had enough time to go exploring a bit more thoroughly.
She tied her long hair back in a ponytail and slipped into a hoodie and sweatpants. Opting to explore the neighborhood since she had all the time in the world to investigate her own backyard, she began walking down the road.
She was slightly surprised to find that after walking two miles, she had yet to see a single house. However, that wasn't the strangest of it. There were places she'd seen where it looked like there had once been houses, but only the foundations were left. As if they just disappeared.
Eventually, she was about to give up when she felt something land on her head. Grasping it gently, she saw it was a cherry blossom, and looking up, she saw a tree coated with the buds crawling over the tall iron fence. Directing her gaze forward once more, she noticed a lock. It was ornate in design and very heavy duty. Whoever it belonged to, they didn't want visitors. Staring harder, she saw a wall, and a roof. There was something back there. Bulma jumped when she thought she saw a shadow move behind the curtain, but assured herself it was merely the wind.
She could not get in. The gate was locked. But as she walked home to begin making dinner, she decided she would return.
His heart was pounding as he turned his back to the wall next to the window. After a few agonizing seconds, he dared to peek, and sighed when she was gone.
Such blue hair. He wasn't able to see her very well from his vantage point, or with the short time he had to gaze at her, but this was the first person he'd seen in a long time. His breath was stolen. As soon as she left though, he felt his loneliness returning. It was even more painful now that he knew. That he saw.
She was beautiful.
The next day, she came at the same time. And the day after. And the day after. Soon, two weeks had come and gone, and he was obsessed. In those moments when his sanity would lapse, he would imagine talking to her. He would pretend to know her. He devised name after name for her but none of them fit.
He grew fearful that one day she would stop coming, so on the next day, he let her see his shadow in the curtain again.
He never smiled anymore. He never cried. He never displayed any emotion whatsoever. Why would he? There was no one to take note of it. To see what he felt. Over time, he forgot. It didn't matter the emotion that tore at his heart. His face betrayed nothing. His eyes however…
They sang everything.
That same night, he removed his person from the pond after a late night swim and dressed, not caring that he was soaking his clothes. He tilted his chin back and gazed at the stars. He simply stood there for a moment. Just listening. Remembering…
His vision went dark.
The man laughed as he left the woman there bleeding on the ground. His boss had arranged a meeting and he didn't want to be caught late. He kicked her head one last time before stuffing his hands in his pockets and riding away on his motorcycle.
She could do nothing but sob in silence as she bled. She was violated. Broken. Dead but breathing. She cringed as she heard footsteps. Two eyes stared down at her. She stared back, pleading him.
The man left the corpse in the alley, not bothering to wipe her blood from his hands.
"As you know I've been doing some intelligence gathering on this guy. I took the liberty of hiring specialists. You know anything about this punk, you some straight to me, you hear. Other than that, you're all to keep going as planned."
The streets were empty. Everyone had gone to bed. His breathing was labored. He had to kill something. He had to feel dominance. Feel power. He turned the corner, and found exactly who he was hoping to, though he knew next to nothing about the man.
His eyes were practically glowing as he pointed at the rapist. The man started asking questions, babbling nonsense, but it didn't reach his mind as he advanced on him, his arm still extended, still pointing accusingly.
"The fuck is wrong with you?" He finally pulled a knife and ran at him.
He side-stepped with ease. "You… Unworthy… Die now." His voice was more of a growl than anything.
The man flung himself at the man who was more like a demon, and surprisingly, he hit his flesh, grazed it multiple times. There were cuts across his chest, his arms…
And the man with a flame of black hair hadn't tried to avoid any of them.
The demon man merely stared at him with his face devoid of any emotion as he raised his hand to lick his blood off his hand.
The rapist screamed with pure terror. He was silenced by a strong and tightening hand on his throat. "Now, now. You wouldn't want to wake the children here, would you? That would be so impolite."
"I didn't do it! I swear! I just saw her and she was already like that! Don't kill me!"
"You're a pathetic liar. And either way, I don't care about what you did or didn't do," he whispered. "I…just…want…to," he gently took the blade from the stranger's hand. "Kill."
That night, mothers rushed to comfort their little ones, wondering whose muffled screams echoed through the rural part of town. The police, even with all of their experience, gagged at the sight of the body.
She couldn't sleep. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get over her excitement at seeing the shadow once more. She knew there was someone there! She just had no idea who. Deciding that rest would not come that night, she went to sit on the porch and listen to the nocturnal animals when suddenly she heard a scuffling.
Bulma sat upright when her ears detected panting, and forced steps on the gravel road. She ran down her driveway after grabbing a flashlight, and stepped onto the road.
What she saw made her heart stop for a moment.
Leaning against a tree was what had to be the handsomest man she'd ever seen. He was covered with a thin sheen of sweat. His hair was like a flame. He was well muscled, with his shirt clinging to his chest.
And he was terrifying.
Glaring at her, he was coated with blood, applying pressure to a wound on his stomach. But the glare only lasted a second before his teal eyes seemed to fade to black and roll to the back of his head as he collapsed to the ground, dead to the world.
She gasped. She dragged him into her house. She figured out that his shirt was actually white. Not red. There was so much blood to have come from just a few shallow cuts. She would ask him when he woke up.
For some reason, she didn't call an ambulance.
It was about an hour later that his eyes cracked open. He stared at the plain ceiling for a moment before she noticed. She rushed to his side as he sat up. He closed his eyes once more and put a hand to his head, trying to get a bearing on his surroundings, he looked around the room. There was a fire place, couch, kitchen through the door to his left.
Maybe everything really had been a dream. Maybe this was his real life. Maybe he was finally waking up.
He looked at his hand, and frowned with deep sorrow when he saw the same mark on his palm. Anchor like. It had not been a dream.
"Hey, are you okay? Who are you?" His eyes widened as his onyx eyes landed on her. She was the same one that came by every day.
Frantic, he stood, grabbed his damp shirt, and backed away from her. She was confused and worried; he could see as she got up as well and reached out for him. "I'm not going to hurt you. It's safe, really!"
He shook his head. "You weren't supposed to see…" He found the door and made a beeline for it, never taking his eyes from hers. "You can't see me!" He turned the knob and ran, and almost immediately was soaked by the rain that had rolled in. Not that he'd been particularly dry to begin with. He started running in the darkness. He had to get back. She couldn't know. She couldn't.
"Hey! Wait!" She ran after him, glad she hadn't removed her shoes as she chased the stranger in the rain, wearing her cotton pajama bottoms and "Rock Out" t-shirt. He was a great deal faster than her, even while injured. Still, she kept him in sight until he stopped and started to climb a fence and vanished over the other side. She halted where he had gone over and listened to his squishing footsteps and finally a door slamming shut. "He lives here?" she whispered to herself, finally noticing the same ornate lock she visited daily.
She was breathing heavily, drenched, tired, but she could care less. There was something weird going on, and she was going to find out what. She would learn who this guy was if it killed her.
Her resolution made, she went home to do some research.
He leaned against the door, trying in vain to catch his breath as droplets of water dripped from his chin to the floor. Silently, he cursed himself. How could he have let himself be seen? How could he have been so stupid?
How did he get these wounds? They were bandaged neatly. He decided not to worry about them.
She…She saw him. She knew he was there, he heard her following. Yet, he could not bring himself to think all was lost. There was that strange comfort at knowing he was acknowledged.
For once, he didn't feel so alone in the world.
But what was he to do at this point? She might tell someone. She could do any number of things and unintentionally bring chaos to him.
She was beautiful. His only company in the world, even if it was one-sided. That had been his first time, seeing her so close. Her vibrant cerulean irises and matching hair. Her delicate features and womanly body.
He wanted to meet her again.
He wanted to tell her everything.
He wanted her to be his friend.
But he couldn't.
He couldn't and he didn't even know why.
He stripped and put on fresh clothes before crawling into bed. Things were becoming unnecessarily complicated. He was having more black outs more frequently. He didn't want her to know about that. He didn't even want to know about that. His mother sometimes told him that there were some things that were best left unsaid.
He couldn't agree more.
His wants were conflicting with logic, but what logic was there to constantly locking himself up? A sudden fury swept through him. Why was he doing this to himself? Because of a feeling? It was absurd! How dare anything think it could control him! He felt rebellious. He wanted to break free from his cage.
She learned many things and found many references thanks to the internet. That baffling mansion belonged to the Ouji family long ago. That was about two centuries before current times. The place and small family was shrouded with secrecy.
There'd been the head of the household, Vegeta Ouji, his wife, and his two sons, Vegeta (named for him), and Tarble. They'd been fairly normal albeit rambunctious, people until the eldest son turned 20. Within that year alone, four of their neighbors' homes had been deliberately burned to the ground.
Within the next couple years or so, one by one, all those around them began to vanish. Then…
The mother was murdered. The reports Bulma found claimed that the two sons found her first, her body wrapped with a quilt, her arm clean off and burning in the fire place.
The father was discovered by the youngest, hanging by the same quilt that made up the noose.
By the time young Vegeta was 25, their father had died a year earlier. Apparently, he'd been wandering the gardens, looking for Tarble.
He found him.
He was pinned to the shed with staples, beautiful, blooming red roses tucked into them. No one ever heard from Vegeta again after the funeral.
But that wasn't it. Not all of it. She went to a local art museum downtown from her old city the next day. After being granted access to the archives she found something. A faded family portrait. The oldest son…
And the man she'd helped the night before…
They were completely identical.
Well damn. She couldn't help but notice how, well, handsome he was. His flame of dark hair and seemingly endless ebony eyes were entrancing. She remembered how muscled he was from when she bandaged him, blushing lightly at the thought. His sharp features stood out. The man she saved the night before, she recalled, had a dark and sorrowful feel about him. He just seemed so tired. So…so…lonely.
Was he a ghost? No she could touch him, clearly feel his pulse. He wasn't dead. Maybe he was related to them somehow? Either way, she was pretty much at a dead end, so she snapped a picture of the portrait with her cell phone and left after thanking the elderly man at the desk.
When she finally pulled into her driveway, it was almost five. She tapped her chin in thought before grabbing a few things and leaving down the dirt road.
She took a deep breath as she gazed up at the glistening black gates, filled with anticipation and foreboding. She saw a familiar shadow from behind the second story window and knew. This was it. She was going to meet him. She was going to figure everything out.
A/N: Hey there. So, I'm planning on this being pretty short. Just a few more chapters at the most. I just sort or had the idea. I'm just cranking out the Aus here. I'm kind of worried I might not finish them all…