Twice Upon a Time

Summary- All Vegeta wants to do is fall asleep and wake up to see his dead wife, Bulma, in the Otherworld. Instead, Vegeta wakes up rejuvenated over thirty years in the past to find that he's been given a second chance.

Disclaimer- Dragon Ball Z is owned by Akira Toriyama and Toei Animation

AN- First off, thank you for the reviews! I write not only for myself, but to make other people happy, and I'm so glad that I did that. Second, I may have made a mistake by allowing Bulma to have her body in the Otherworld since her body is still on Earth. For the sake of this story, just pretend that you can have a body created in the Otherworld and have one still on Earth.

Third, I don't usually promote other people's fanfiction (see my faves for that), but I found this older DBZ series that is so incredible! If you want something that is really well written and has B/V, Ch/Goku, Bra/Goten, and Pan/Trunks, then check out The Red Dragon Tetralogy by Lisalu. Sadly, the last story will never be finished, but the first three are complete unto themselves. If you need the link, ask me, but you should be able to find it by searching on google. FF won't let me include the address.

Just so everyone is aware of time, Trunks is about 7 months old now.

Chapter 38-

123 days. That was how long Bulma had been gone from the Earth. It rained in West City on the last day, and Vegeta stared out at the falling water blurs with an empty heart as he counted down the minutes. The dragon ball radar awaited him on a shelf in the lab, tuned-up by Dr. Brief, and freshly dusted by his wife. Every occupant in the home was restless, waiting for the clock to strike 6:00 pm, which was about the time Shenron had been called four months previously. Dr. Brief chain smoked, more than five packs, and paced back and forth from one end of the main floor to the next, occasionally pausing to mumble something in science jargon. Mrs. Brief kept saying, "Oh my" for some reason, as she mindlessly cleaned the entire house, which was unnecessary because they had bots for that. Even Trunks seemed to sense something going on, especially when hardly anyone paid attention to him all day.

He crawled up to his father, who still stood near the window, not training like usual. Trunks batted his father's boot and let out a baby noise that was equivalent to "Tell me what is different about today?" Vegeta glanced down at the small chubby child. Trunks babbled again.

The prince crouched to examine his son. Trunks lifted his head and gave him large blue eyefuls of curiosity. Vegeta touched his son's mop of lavender hair.

"Your mother will be coming home soon, Trunks. I'll leave this evening to search for the dragon balls."

Sometimes, Vegeta was sure that his son understood bits of what he said. Saiyan children were highly intelligent and met milestones early, that is, if you were not related to a certain third-class clown. This time, however, Trunks stared in confusion, as if mulling over the words. Then it hit him with a powerful blow to the chest that he'd spoken often of this woman called 'mother' but Trunks may not actually remember her. The Bulma from the future had taken care of him for a few days, but Vegeta wasn't sure that was enough. How long did infants retain information? He wasn't sure. Renewed anger and hatred rose up, snatching Vegeta's calm. Four months without Bulma could be something that he made-up, but the boy would have to relearn his mother's warmth and affections all over.

He left Capsule Corporation 6:00 on the dot, clutching the radar as if it held Bulma herself. The first dragon ball was found on the top of a mountain top, the second in a cavern under the ocean, and the third deep in the jungle. These were the ones closest to West City. With these in his possession, he returned home to place them in a safe place, which happened to be the diaper drawer. It wasn't the most ideal place, but it was safe. He fetched a capsule so that he wouldn't have to keep going back and forth. The fourth dragon ball was in a bird's nest, the fifth covered in a sand dune, the sixth in volcano ash, and the seventh in over a foot of ice.

Finally, Vegeta carried his prize back in triumph. He went to Trunks' drawer to retrieve the previous dragon balls to find only rows of Pampers and wipes. He stood up and snarled. The house was quiet and serene. He sniffed the air. No one had broken in. Dr. Brief made advances on the security system.

Trunks wiggled in the crib. Vegeta gazed down with a frown to spot his son, on his stomach, awkwardly batting the one-starred dragon ball with both hands. The baby pressed his mouth against the ball, tasting the smooth surface. Vegeta's lips drew back in a grimace of revulsion. The boy was acting like an animal. He reached down and snatched Trunks up by the back of his onesie. Trunks waved out, crying.

Vegeta eyed Trunks and then to the drawer. There was no way he could have opened it to find the new 'toy'. And where were the others?

"Woman!" Vegeta hollered. After a moment, he tried again, this time down the hall. "Blond woman!"

Mrs. Brief stuck her head out of the bathroom. She had a can of Kaboom in her right hand. "Yes, Vegeta dear?"

Vegeta grunted and set the baby down on the floor. Trunks scooted across the hall toward his grandmother on his bottom.

"I found a dragon ball in the brat's bed. What was it doing there and where are the rest?"

"Oh my!" she said for the hundredth time in the last 24 hours. She pressed her left hand up to her cheek. "What do these dragon balls look like?"

He felt the vein on the side of his forehead throb. "Are you telling me you've never seen one?"

She thought for a few seconds. "Well no, I don't believe so."

"Come hither," he demanded.

She was happy to drop the cleaning spray can and follow him into Trunks' nursery. He pointed into the crib. The orange ball with one yellow star lay near the pillow like nothing more than something made in China. Mrs. Brief giggled.

"I didn't know that is what they looked like. I found them while cleaning and thought they were pretty. Oops. Well, golly, I put the other in the den as a decorative piece. Hold on and let me get it," his mother-in-law said.

"Hold on," Vegeta snapped. "I am not touching that disgusting ball with slobber. Either retrieve it and wipe it with disinfectant or get my gloves."

She laughed again and then had the audacity to pat his bare arm. "I'll take care of it, honey, no problem."

As she stepped out of the room, his eyes widened. "Where is the third ball?"

"I'll take care of it," she said.

"Where is it?" He growled. This irritation . . . It was similar to that with his wife but instead of wanting to fuse it into passion, all he wanted to do was wring out her neck. He hurried after her, picking Trunks up on the way. The boy babbled nonsense in amusement at the adults' odd behavior.

Mrs. Brief handed over the five-star ball. Trunks giggled and tried to steal it from Vegeta. No way was he going to let the boy defile this one with his germs too. He deposited Trunks into Mrs. Brief's arms.

"For the last time, where is the other dragon ball?" His voice sounded like sand-paper.

Shyly, Mrs. Brief glanced away. "Well, it had four stars on it and I remember seeing a photograph of Gohan wearing it on his hat. I figured the poor dear lost it. So, I mailed it to him."

The woman flinched at Vegeta's face, probably scarily red with anger. "What!" He almost reached out to shake her but stopped as Trunks' lips wobbled. Vegeta hissed and pulled away, pinching the bridge of his nose. After decades of interaction, he could still be shocked at the idiocy of Mrs. Brief, Kakarot, and the Earthlings in general.

Vegeta took the dragon ball radar and made yet again another unneeded trip out. The radar beeped, zoning in on the dragon ball's location, moving East. He zipped through the air, the tip of his black hair whipping back, to catch up with the dot. Because Saiyans moved faster than vehicles, he spotted the black UPS truck within a few blinks. It rounded the curve of a lone back road. Vegeta touched down in front of the truck and the driver swerved off the pavement and into the grass.

A bald man with wire glasses rolled down the window and shouted out. "What the hell are you doing!" His eyes roamed around, as if trying to figure out where the other man came from.

Vegeta approached, a dark menacing scowl on his face. "I need a package that is in your possession."

"Look, buddy, I can't do that. It's policy. Once it is on route-"

Vegeta pried the door handle and the entire door came off. The man gasped, jumping back across the seat.

"What the hell, man!"

Vegeta reached in and thumped the driver on the cranium. He slumped forward into the steering wheel. Glad for quiet, Vegeta moved to the back of the truck and rummaged through the brown packages. Finally, he found the one in Mrs. Brief's scribbled pen. She even added a cute cat sticker on the front. Kami, to be so simple, as if everything were roses and sunshine. How could the doctor put up with her nonsense? She was as bad as that woman on tv. Lucy? He tore the cardboard to pieces to reveal the dragon ball. Having the four-star ball in his hand, he felt a shiver of relief and completion.

There was no way Vegeta was going to call back Bulma in public. Her family and friends would drag her away, partying it up. The scenario was so predictable. By the time she retired, she would be so exhausted (or drunk) that she would go straight to sleep. Call him a greedy bastard, but Vegeta demanded some quality alone time for their reunion.

The chosen spot was a secluded area in which Trunks and he once went camping (fifteen years in a future that never existed except in his mind). He selected it specifically because of the small cave with mossy green crawling up around its mouth. Preparations included decapsulating items and setting them up inside the cave. He laid down a thick, soft black blanket that resembled real fur. He set a fire and arranged dishes for a meal. He even went so far as to include a refrigerator, much like the mini fridge that Future Trunks kept soda in on his first trip into the past. It was thoughtful and took menial work, which was unlike Vegeta. He did it for her.

Bulma's body had been de-cryopreserved by her father, and placed in Vegeta's arms for safe-keeping, bright hope in his bittersweet eyes. Vegeta positioned Bulma outside against the stone of the cave. He cleaned her up and put fresh clothes on her, which included one of her favorite skirts and blouses. It felt more like preparing her for burial than for resurrection, his actions similar to a mortician. He discovered that his hands trembled as he made the final last touches to her shirt.

Because he'd never summoned the dragon himself, Vegeta wasn't sure exactly what to say. He'd never shown much interest in making wishes after Namek. The incantation had been written on normal college-ruled notebook paper in Dende's cursive writing. Vegeta struggled to read it. He filled in the blanks where he couldn't make out a slant, loop, or scribble. The seven dragon balls lay in the dirt outside the cave entrance, aligned from 1 to 7, lifeless, dead, and still. The prince cleared his throat and said the phrases which he thought sounded rather stupid and embarrassing.

"Eternal dragon, by your name I summon thee forth. Shenron. Appear and grant my wish." Where Dende put emotion into the incantation, Vegeta's tone was cardboard, but that didn't mean he was without sentiment. Beneath the surface, his heart pounded in anticipation. He waited a few seconds.

Nothing.

No . . . This had never happened before. He double checked the status of the dragon balls, counting. All seven were there. What were they, defective? Life hang in the balance. Not Bulma's, but his. Stillness floated in the air, empty and calm, and Vegeta felt like it choked him. He broke it by lifting his toe to kick the balls in frustration, but stopped himself. Instead, he raised his head and called out.

"Shenron, you fucking red-eyed dragon bastard, I demand you come forth!"

The seven balls flashed. Vegeta smirked. So, the balls needed some power in the words? The summoners had always shouted into the sky. His monotone incantation hadn't been enough to stir the dragon to life.

In a glorious display, Shenron sprang forth in a long and winding body, lighting the dusk with sparks. He loomed over the Saiyan prince and his fallen mate like the vessel of God's power he was. The green dragon eyed Vegeta with annoyance at being called so soon.

"You have gathered the seven dragon balls. I will grant you one wish. What is it you desire, Earthling?"

Vegeta's charcoal eyes bulged. "I am not an Earthling! I am Vegeta, Prince of the Saiyans! Do not compare me to these half-witted creatures!"

Shenron remained unfazed. His eyes were stern and impatient. "State your wish, Saiyan."

"I demand that you bring my mate, Bulma Brief back to life at once."

The dragon had a temper that could match Vegeta's. He swiped out with a fistful of talons. Vegeta smirked and jumped back, chuckling.

"I do not find your disrespect amusing, Saiyan. But since I would like to rest, I will grant your request," Shenron stated.

Vegeta crossed his arms, waiting. Shenron lowered his head. "Very well, it is done." With that, the dragon collapsed back into the balls, they turned to round gray rocks, and then they scattered, zooming in all directions.

When Vegeta turned, he found a wide-eyed Bulma still on the ground, arms supporting her as she sat up. She examined herself, taking it in like she hadn't seen herself in forever. "Oh," she murmured.

There were several times when Vegeta smiled a true, genuine smile. Once, was to Goku after they beat Buu. Another was given to Trunks when the boy apologized for not being strong enough; and as Vegeta disheveled his hair, he said, "You did great, Son, I'm proud." He also smiled when Bra was born. Sometimes he smiled in the shadows, where no one could see. Each smile was different. This one, the soft one he gave Bulma now, contained a mixture of relief and love. It was so potent that she cried, which, of course, broke his smile.

"Don't be so dramatic, woman," he said.

She brushed the tears away, smiling herself. "I'm just so happy," she gushed. "It sucks being dead. I was thankful that King Yemma created a body for me, but it didn't feel quite the same way. Not like this, the one that you claimed."

The words caused Vegeta to blush slightly. "You speak too much." He lunged forward and scooped her up with one arm around the waist. He carried her, her face towards the ground, making his way to the cave. She squealed and protested.

"Vegeta, let me down! Where the hell are you taking me?"

"Knock it off, woman! I'm not hurting you."

He carried his cargo into the dimly lit cave. The fire was about to go out, but he sparked it with a gentle zap of ki. Bulma lifted her head and eyed the scenery.

"Oh, Vegeta, this is so romantic! You prepared this all for us, didn't you? How thoughtful. This could be like the honeymoon we never had."

"Hmph," he remarked, thinking again how she spoke too much. So much pent up emotion existed that he wasn't sure how to deal with it. He'd planned this out, but now that she was here squirming in his clutch, he couldn't help his body from wanting her without taking time for comfort. The Saiyan animalistic nature took hold, begging to re-declare what was his.

A gasp escaped Bulma as Vegeta adjusted her by lifting her and positioning her against the cave wall. Luckily the surface was relatively smooth or her back would have ended up bruised. Once she recovered and recognized his desperate need, her hand fumbled down to the button of his jeans. He slid her skirt up, sliding his hands against her thighs. She shivered, grasping at his shoulder blades.

Vegeta ripped the panties from her crotch, which made her nails embed in his skin. A certain innate animalism took hold of her as well and she bit down on his earlobe. He grunted. When he entered her, both of them stopped, breath hitching, forming together, reaffirming each other's place. The sensation rose like a wave and Vegeta ran with it. He began to pump, taking in the tight muscles as she clamped, squeezing, and doing her job to build the growing, beautiful tension. Dancing in a fury of agony and honey, moaning, their heavy hearts grew lighter with each passing move in and out.

"Mine, mine, mine," Vegeta chanted.

"Vegeta . . . Uh . . . I'm here." She panted, swept away. "Uh . . . I'm here now." She touched his face, running fingers lightly, skimming against the fierceness of his expression as he continued his mantra of possession.

When his release came, they touched foreheads together, shutting their eyes in bliss, recovering from the chaos. Vegeta supported her buttocks with a strong grasp, his left arm up against the stone wall, curled. Bulma hugged his neck tightly, pulling him as close as she could. If someone were to stand outside, they would have seen a couple trying to mold together beyond the mere act of fornication. Their expressions seemed caught between pain and comfort, as if nothing could satisfy them.

Vegeta pulled back. "I didn't mean for it to be like this."

She stroked the side of his face. "It's okay. I understand." She eyed him with concern. "I'm not going to disappear. I'm solid and breathing."

"I know that, dammit, I . . ." He was not good with words.

"I love you," she said.

Ugh, she was so determined to use them. One declaration was enough to last a lifetime. Actions were what mattered.

He dumped her softly onto the blanket and she giggled. She slid against it, feeling the soft fur against the bare skin of her arms and legs.

He watched her for a few seconds before shifting slowly down. He crawled between her legs, wedging his body up between her breasts and to her face. Her breath sped up, hot against his temple as she pulled his head in. Vegeta nipped at the flesh of her neck, her pulse vibrant. Here, now, his wife was alive and well yet again. Hungry, needing to take her in, savor and know the miracle, Vegeta's eyes changed, and he drew his lips against hers. The kiss was both sweet and lustful, sucking, moving together; darkness and light playing as one. So much existed in their union of mouths. Her mood had changed from enthusiastic to quiet, serious, and thoughtful. She seemed to put everything into their touches. Vegeta himself, re-memorized the curve of her mouth. He would not make the mistake of taking anything for granted.

The Saiyan instinct had been sated and it was time to take her again the way he'd proposed. This would be an act for her.

"Bulma . . ."

"Gotta love Saiyan stamina," she said, her mouth turning up wickedly.

Vegeta undressed his mate slowly, taking care. He slid his fingers against the milky white of her curves and crevices, making her wriggle. She pulled at him, begging, and yet he paid attention to every detail. He knew what she really wanted. The woman pleaded but she preferred it this way. He played around before they were so bothered that they fell into each other with abandon. He smirked, noting that where he'd planned for a thunderstorm, the dirty vixen turned it into a hurricane. She missed him quite a great deal as well.

Tumbling down, entangled, Vegeta buried his face into the crook of her neck. Bulma held him, embracing his neck. She kissed his shoulder and wrapped her right leg over him. Never before had he sensed such ownership from her, as if there was some hidden unspoken fear that he might disappear, the same that he had for her. Both had tasted separation. The foul disgusting bile of it. They both vowed to never allow it again.

AN- The lemon scene was inspired by this really hot fanart I found on tumblr. I absolutely am entranced by the beauty of it. (post by fuckyeahvb). If you want the link, I can send it to you.