This is a Christmas present for ImaginaryInk, since I have no money to buy her anything. It's inspired by her story Fight to Survive. She made me cry over it so this is more revenge than a present.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.


Because I could not stop for Death -

He kindly stopped for me -

The Carriage held but just Ourselves -

And Immortality.

-Emily Dickinson

It was quiet, and the air seemed still and lifeless. Her blue eyes opened slowly, the dust that had settled on her lids making them feel dry and caked. The green sky was piled high with clouds above her that were gradually migrating back to where natural winds would take them and smooth them back over the blank spots caused by shockwaves.

It was quiet.

She sat up carefully, slowly, wincing as her body protested the movement. The dirt felt loose underneath her fingers, the blue grass worn and dry. She stood up shakily, and feeling sluggish and dizzy, she leaned against the rocks that she'd hidden herself behind hours ago. The silence made her uneasy, and paranoia made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. She looked around and saw nothing until she peered over the rocks, and saw the remains of Goku's ship lying in the distance. The sharp sounds of battle no longer filled the air, or the grunts of pain that followed heavy hits or parried blows.

It was quiet. Too quiet.

She told herself not to panic. Just because the fight was over didn't mean they'd lost. The silence could mean any number of things. Her friends were probably looking for her right now -

Her ears picked up the sound long before her mind could identify it, and it grew progressively louder until she realized that "louder" mean closer and "it" meant spaceship. The sound roared in her ears and shook the ground underneath her feet. Wind rose up out of nowhere, and she ducked, covering her head as Frieza's ship soared over her. The force of the wind it created knocked her to the ground, and in seconds it had cleared Namek's atmosphere. When she looked up, the ship was gone.

And that was when she knew it was over.

She didn't know she was crying until the first of her tears rolled down her cheeks, and then she was curled up in a ball, sobbing and wondering how it was possible that this had happened. She had always believed that Goku could fix anything. She had always thought of him as undefeatable. She told herself that he had given Frieza a run for his money, that he hadn't been completely and utterly outclassed, and yet, the silence was so perfect, so complete, with not even a scream of rage from the tyrant, she knew it wasn't true.

She cried herself to sleep on the ground, not ready to search for the bodies of her friends, assuming there was anything left to find. When she woke up, she almost hoped it would be raining, like some kind of cosmic sign that the heavens mourned for them with her, but the sky was still a soft green, though slightly more dead than usual.


By high noon the next day, Bulma realized that she would probably die in a short amount of time. There wasn't much to survive on here. She had no food source, no water that wasn't filled with salt, and no way to get home. Goku's ship was in pieces, hers had been destroyed by lackeys, and Frieza's was gone. If there were any pods on the planet, she didn't know where they were, or how to fly them. She did not know how to hunt, nor did she know what kind of animals were on Namek other than frogs and giant crabs. Crab sounded great right now, but she didn't really know how to prepare them, or if they had any poisonous glands she might have to watch out for.

So yes, she would probably die very soon. It was an inevitably undisputable fact, and frankly, she wasn't entirely positive that she wanted to live anyway. Yes, she wanted to go home, but to what? Goku was dead; little Gohan was dead. Krillin was dead, Yamcha was dead…her beloved, rocky as that love had been. Tien was dead, and Chiaotzu, and although inconsequential to her, Piccolo was dead. If Frieza didn't destroy the planet, then some veterans from Red Ribbon would rise up and to take over the world again, or Pilaf would rouse the gang and begin terrorizing people (that is, assuming he was capable of such feats). Her parents, whom she loved very deeply, would miss her, and she them, but in a few years they would grow even older than they were and pass on, leaving her with no one. She'd be all alone, for who knows how many years.

Perhaps it was better to die here. Then, at least, she wouldn't have to go home and hear Chichi cry.

Bulma survived off of what little fruit was left of the villages around Namek. However, as they were mostly separated by vast amounts of water, she was confined to a part of the planet with only two villages, and so she'd run out of food again soon. Namekians didn't eat meat, so she would have to fish on her own, but her survival tools were limited. She made a crude spear and fishing rod, but still caught no fish. Her death would be slow.

A few times, she slept in Namekian houses. There weren't many land creatures here that were specifically dangerous, so she was for the most part safe with or without shelter. Even so, most of the houses were destroyed or at least partly broken, or the windows were shattered. She ended up gathering all the blankets she could find and using them for warmth. Despite there being a distinct lack of night, Bulma always felt cold, and because of the distinct lack of night, sleeping was horribly difficult.

If she wasn't plagued with nightmares, sleep would have been horribly difficult.

Part of her wanted to find the bodies of her friends, so that she might give them a proper burial, but she knew she wouldn't be able to stand it. So far, she had remained numb, quieted, and part of her wished to remain that way, even though the other part of her felt dishonorable.

She didn't want to feel anything.

She was unwell.

Her grief had reached a point in which she was debating on killing herself. She had no way of reaching her home, and even if she managed to survive by eating and caring for Namekian crops, which was unlikely, she would never see another living soul for the rest of her life. It was bound to be a miserable experience, and it was one that she wasn't in favor of. Ending her life seemed to be the easiest way to do so. Now her only question was how she would do it.

She tried drowning herself in the Namekian waters, but she was a good swimmer, and her body reacted out of instinct. She tried to let one of the giant creatures under the water eat her, but most were too far down for her to reach before she panicked and swam back up for air. She thought about jumping from one of the high cliffs, but that required climbing, and although she wasn't afraid of heights, per say, she was terrified of the rocky terrain. She thought about killing herself with the Namekians' old garden tools, but each time she tried to stab herself with the sharp metal, it hurt too badly to do more than pierce the skin.

She was completely and utterly alone, and she couldn't even die.

She finally gave up trying to stay away. Her feet soddenly carried her to the broken battlefield, garden tools in hand, intent on burying her friends the best she could. Her heart ached with the thought of carrying their bodies to a poorly constructed grave, with the thought of seeing their pale, still faces and touching their cold hands. Part of her wished that she didn't have to bear it, that she could just leave them there, but she'd never forgive herself if she went on living and did nothing to give them tribute.

The smell hit her like a wave once she neared them. She looked over at Goku's body, saw the rotting flesh that had stopped bleeding days ago and smelled the odor it gave off, and she emptied what little was in her stomach. She crawled away from the ruined remains of a theater of wars miserable and in tears.

She'd been unable to help them when they lived, and now, even in the wakes of their death, she was completely useless.

It started to rain three hours later.

She turned away from the blood and the bodies and the stale stench and curled against a cliffside. Her shoulders hurt from the wracking sobs that had shaken her hours before. Now her tears were silent, her expressionless features stained with them. She licked her dry lips once and tasted salt.

The cliffside was cluttered with fallen rocks, some of which featured dark spots that had once been bright red. More of the color washed away with the same rain that fell on her head, but some of it would always be there, as far as she was concerned.

She looked away from the rocks, and her eyes fell upon the grass. The soft blue of the blades were dark and purpled with thick blood, an impossible amount of blood, and it was so prominent that she wondered if the plants had drank it like water. It would probably never fade, if it had sunk into the roots.

She glanced at the massive pile of upturned soil beside her. It had been packed down, but not very firmly, or perhaps it had shifted while the planet shook as the battle had been raging. Fingers encased in a white glove had surfaced from the broken layers of Namek, and through a tear in the material, she could see what had once been tanned skin.

Bulma drew her knees up to her chest and stared off into space, her tears mixing with the rain as she once again became numb. Something untouchable held her in place, and she remained by Vegeta's grave as the storm became heavier.

She wondered fleetingly why he should be buried while her friend's corpses rotted above ground before she decided that she didn't care. For now, even he seemed to be enough company.

She felt a sort of loss in her soul that she couldn't explain, and part of her never wanted to.

She was dead enough.

Yes, life can be a barrel of disappointment sometimes.

- Lorraine Hansberry