Rei and Vegeta discovered each other that night. They discovered themselves to, more than they ever thought they would know. They spent the entire night speaking to each other, learning each others pasts and most importantly they learned to trust each other. They learnt to love each other. They spent the next day with each other, and the day after that and the day after that and the days went by. Vegeta settled in and became friends with Rei's four friends, Usagi, Ami, Makoto and Minako; he hung out Usagi's boyfriend Mamoru and Mamoru's friend Motoki down at the arcade. He did all the things that he had missed out on when he had been younger. Days turned to months and Vegeta practically forgot that he didn't belong in this time, that he was from the past. He had a new life, and he didn't ever want to return to his old life, not when Rei was here. For the first time in his life Vegeta felt that he belonged, that he fitted in, he didn't have to pretend he was someone he wasn't. He didn't have to pretend to be cold and uncaring. He was just Vegeta, a new Vegeta, someone who cared and loved with the best of them. A year after his arrival Vegeta was whistling as he made his way to Rei's room. He had just gone shopping for a diamond ring with Mamoru and Motoki and now planned to ask Rei to marry him. He loved her so much; there was this feeling inside his heart. He felt alive; he felt…a sudden whirling of wind around his body and a figure stood before him, staff in her hand.
"No Pluto, no, for the love of all things holy, not now," Vegeta begged with naked humility and Pluto lowered her eyes to the floor sadly, regretting what she had come here to do.
"I am sorry Vegeta, it is time for you to return home," Pluto said and Vegeta felt his insides twist and turn horribly. No, not Rei he couldn't leave her, he couldn't. But the look in Pluto's eyes told him that he had to.
"Why did you bring me here? So I could learn heart break?" Vegeta hissed at Pluto and Pluto shook her head and stared at him directly in the eyes.
"So that you could see how you make other people's hearts break," Pluto answered him back calmly and Vegeta nodded in understanding, wishing that he didn't understand so well.
"Bulma," he said, having trouble saying the name. He had thought about her this past year, how things would have been had he allowed himself to love her.
"Yes, she prayed to my God and it was he who sent me to you," Pluto explained and Vegeta felt compelled to go and compelled to stay. He was so confused; his feelings were a mush of emotions.
"And so forces higher than us are rearranging our lives the way they like," Vegeta said bitterly and Pluto gestured to her surroundings slowly.
"You do not belong here," she reminded him and when Vegeta was about to argue a small figure stepped out from behind Pluto.
"She's right Vegeta," Rei said, her heart breaking. Pluto had told her why Vegeta had come here, Pluto had told her about Vegeta's wife, his two children, his whole other life back in the past and Rei knew she couldn't keep him here, she couldn't be selfish and destroy the balance between time and space. She had to send him away, even though it hurt.
"Miko, please, I don't want to go," Vegeta said rushing to her and taking her hands pressing her fingers to his lips.
"I know you don't, I do not want you to go either, but you must, I know it, I've always known it, and in your heart, you've always known it too," Rei said endearingly and Vegeta pulled her to his chest and buried his head in her ebony hair.
"I can't just leave you, I can't leave, not like this," Vegeta said and Rei pulled away from him and took his hand, pressing it gently to her heart.
"Vegeta you will always be here," Rei said and Vegeta looked at his hand on her heart as she added, "in my heart forever."
"Miko I don't deserve that," Vegeta said ashamed and Rei's eyes flashed with a temper that Vegeta knew so well.
"Yes you do, don't argue with me, Vegeta, you should know better by now," Rei said teasingly to him although inside she was being torn apart. She wanted so much to break down and beg him not to leave her, but this was the way it had to be.
"I'll miss you, I'll miss everything about you," Vegeta promised trying to pull her to him again but Rei resisted.
"Vegeta, just go," Rei said stiffly hating goodbyes.
"Miko, there's so much I want to say, so much I want to tell you," Vegeta said desperately and Rei leaned over to kiss him sweetly and gently both knowing this would be their last eternal kiss.
"Its all there, in the kiss, you don't have to say a word," Rei whispered and Vegeta crushed her to him again.
"Rei…" he whispered and Rei pressed a shaking finger to his lips.
"Shh…you must go now, forget me," Rei said pushing him from her and Vegeta looked over at Pluto who was trying not to look like the scene before her affected her in any way then back to Rei who was pursing her lips so that she wouldn't cry.
"Rei I…" Vegeta said but Rei shook her head gesturing for him not to touch her again.
"Please Vegeta don't make this any harder for me," Rei begged and Vegeta took one look at her face and knew that if he touched her one more time he wouldn't be able to let her go.
"Very well," he said moving beside Pluto who created a portal to Vegeta's dimension.
"Let's go Vegeta, no time has passed since you left your time," Pluto told him and Vegeta stepped into the portal and turned around to through the jewellery case to Rei who caught it and looked at him questioningly. Rei opened it quickly then looked at Vegeta who was nodding and smiling and her mouth dropped open.
"I do," she mouthed and she imprinted Vegeta's elated smile into her mind as the portal began to close. Before the portal closed Vegeta yelled out,
"I love you my precious Miko!"
And then he was gone.
"I love you too Vegeta," Rei whispered as the portal closed and Vegeta was gone forever. Rei slowly sank to her knees as tears fell from her violet eyes and her body was racked with silent sobs. Rei let her hand slide affectionately down to her stomach and she smiled happily through her tears, "I do love you Vegeta and I love our son, a part of our love will live on."
Vegeta returned to his cliff and staring up at the moon he took a deep breath and walked back to his house. He entered through the back door and saw Bulma still crying, her back pressed against the door while she sobbed heart-wrenching sobs that pulled at Vegeta's heart. That was his wife crying; his wife, and he had made her cry. Vegeta cursed himself for his stupidity at not treating her right. He could not believe that a year ago he had been so callus and horrible to a woman that he had sworn to cherish till death do they part.
"Bulma, please stop crying," Vegeta pleaded as he entered to room and Bulma looked up deflated.
"Why, you don't care," she said dully and Vegeta walked quickly over to her and crouched down on his haunches so that he was eye level with her.
"Yes I do, I'm very sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm sorry for everything," Vegeta apologised and Bulma's sobs faded away to nothing as she stared at him open-mouthed.
"You…you've never apologised to me before," Bulma said in shock and Vegeta smiled kindly at her.
"And I should have," Vegeta said and Bulma suddenly reached out to touch his face like he was a dream.
"Are you really Vegeta?" Bulma asked like a child and Vegeta took her hand in his and kissed her fingers. A gesture of affection he usually only saved for Rei, but she was gone, he would never hold her or touch her again and Vegeta knew that it had to be that way, he was Bulma's husband.
"Yes, Bulma, yes I am really Vegeta," Vegeta assured her and Bulma studied him in wonder as she reached over to brush away her tears and the lock of hair that had fallen across her eyes.
"But your so different, the look in your eyes, its different," Bulma breathed in disbelief and Vegeta smiled wryly at her.
"We all change sometime," he told her and Bulma reach out to caress his face as though to reassure her that it really was Vegeta in front of her.
"I just didn't think…I never imagined that you could change," Bulma said and Vegeta smiled.
"I am human underneath all this Bulma, just like everyone else," Vegeta told her and Bulma was still not convinced.
"I know but…" Bulma began but Vegeta interrupted her.
"Come on, lets have dinner," he said and Bulma eyed him suspiciously.
"I thought you weren't hungry," she asked him and Vegeta rolled his eyes at her.
"I am now, come on," he said tugging on her hands so that she stood up and he turned ready yo head to the kitchen when the sound of Bulma's voice calling her name made him turn to face her.
"Yes Bulma," Vegeta asked and hesitantly Bulma walked towards Vegeta and took his face into her small hands.
"I like this new you, please don't ever change again," she said and Vegeta bent his head to seal the promise with a kiss.
"I promise," he swore to her and Bulma suddenly began crying again, but this time tears of joy streamed down her face and Vegeta was happy to wipe them away.
A few years later Vegeta was sitting comfortably in his armchair when Bulma appeared at the door carrying some letters in her hand. As she went through them on her way to the kitchen to begin coking dinner she paused by Vegeta.
"Mail for you Vegeta," she said and Vegeta looked at her in surprise.
"For me?" he asked in disbelief. He rarely ever got any letters.
"Yes, from a Hino Rei, here you go, isn't it funny, Rei is the name Pan plans to name her little girl," Bulma laughed and Vegeta thought back. Yes now he remembered, Goku, who was Vegeta's old rival, had two sons, Gohan and Goten, and Gohan's daughter Pan was pregnant. They had received news last week that Pan would be receiving a little baby girl she planned to name Rei. The news had struck Vegeta hard and it had taken him a while to get over the fact that Pan was naming her daughter after the one woman who had taught him to love, taught him to be human.
"Thank you Bulma," Vegeta said graciously and Bulma felt his forehead worriedly.
"Are you alright Vegeta? You look like you've seen a ghost," Bulma asked and Vegeta stood up.
"I'm fine, I just need to go for a walk," he told her tucking the letter into his back pocket and Bulma shrugged then handed her husband his coat.
"Okay, don't forget your coat, its cold outside," Bulma said and putting on the coat Vegeta wandered to the cliff where is real life had begun, that day that Pluto had taken him to the future.
He slowly opened the letter and pulled out a few photos and a letter. Firstly he studied the photo and he saw her, his Rei. In all the photos she was with a little boy who seemed to grow in age as the photos went on. But his features were all the same; you could see he was Rei's son. He had the same black hair, but his eyes were a strange colour, much like Vegeta's. In fact the boy had the same hairstyle as Vegeta and even began posing like him in some of the older photos. That's a little strange, Vegeta thought to himself looking at the boy fondly. He felt a special connection to the boy. With great trepidation he turned his attention to the letter. Ignoring all else he opened the letter and read.
It took me a few years but I finally convinced Pluto to let me send you a letter. Special delivery, through the gates of time. *Here most people would laugh* By the time this has reached you I assume you will have found out that I am the daughter of Pan, the great-granddaughter of your rival, Goku. Ironic isn't it? I only discovered this after you left. I was searching through some boxes and found pictures of all the Z-warriors, just how you described them to me in an old photo album of my great-grandmothers. So now I have pictures to remember you by; as if I could ever forget. But everyday I see your face and it isn't in a picture. Vegeta you gave me the greatest gift anyone ever could. You gave me our son, I named him Vegeta, after his father and he reminds me of you. I have enclosed some pictures of him. He is fifteen years old right now and he is exactly like you, so proud and always getting into fights at school, but he always wins. I wish you could have met him. Sometimes he asks about his father and I tell him that his father was a sweet dream that I knew couldn't last. Someday when he is older I will tell him all about you, but until then he believes you are a dream too and dreams of you in his sleep. I often hear him calling daddy in his sleep and I almost cry. I just wanted to tell you that I love you too and no matter what, the time I spent with you was the happiest of my life. I don't want to drag this letter out; I can only imagine how painful it is for you to be reading it, just like it is painful for me to write it. This is hello, and goodbye Vegeta. Ai Shiteru and arigato my love, you are in my heart always.
Love forever and a day
Rei Hino – Your Miko Doll
Vegeta smiled to himself as he folded the letter and returned the photos and letter into the envelope. He then stood on the cliff for the longest time and after an hour Bulma came out and joined him. After a few minutes Vegeta put his arm around her shoulders and allowed himself to be taken back inside the house leaving the envelope on the cliff.
A slight wind blew past and the envelope blew over the cliff…and it was gone…