Chapter 1: Nevermore
The woods were dark and still except for the occasional breeze of wind that tosseled his hair. He sat beneath a large tree, uncertain to tell it's type in the dark. The branches and leaves mostly blocked the moonlight from shining into the forest, but there were splotches of the dull bluish-silver luminance that happened to squeeze through. The night was cool but not uncomfortable, and with this experience mixed with the other factors around him it made him feel completely relaxed. He sighed deeply, letting his anxieties escape him as he leaned against the trunk of the tree, sliding down just a bit. He had all the time in the world to train now. The mere thought made him feel serene. He smiled before letting his mind and body fall into a comfortable slumber.
The Prince of Saijins awoke on the floor of his capsule that Bulma's father had made him. He stretched and sat up slowly, his muscles aching and stinging him as he moved, 'I passed out again...damnit!' He sighed, shaking his head as he stood, he couldn't stop just because his body was tired. Vegeta inhaled deeply before he started fighting an imaginary enemy once again, not breaking a sweat at first, but as his body demanded rest more and more he began to perspire more and more. Suddenly, the door opened to the capsule surprising the brunette, but upsetting him as well. Trunks stepped forward, standing the intense gravity as if it were normal. "What is it, boy?" Vegeta asked sharply, he hated to be interrupted. His son lifted his head, tears running down his face causing Vegeta to raise an eyebrow. Trunks choked on his words for a moment but he attempted to wipe away his tears, "I-it's...mom. S-she got in an a...accident." Vegeta felt his blood run cold as his muscles began to go limp, "W-what?" Trunks tried his best to refrain from sobbing, "S-she's at the hospital now, b-but-" Trunks wasn't allowed to finish, Vegeta flew by him at top speed. The initial shock hadn't worn off quite yet so whenever Vegeta attempted to think he only came up blank, the feeling that he should be with Bulma overriding all his other emotions. He found the hospital and demanded to be taken to see his wife. The doctors were hesitant but allowed him to stand by and watch.
His wife lay prone on a hospital bed, I.V.s inserted into her arms, a respirator was helping her breathe. There was a bandage around her head and blood had soaked through part of it in a spot. Her skin was pale which was unlike her, and her expression was rather blank, even with her eyes closed. Vegeta stood leaning against the wall, looking down at her with a worried expression. The beep of the heart monitor was reassuring in a way, but he rather hated hospitals. 'Damnit...if only we could have a senzu bean!' Vegeta hissed out loud, grinding his teeth together. This wasn't fair. Why did Bulma have to die? She was the only one who understood him and loved him. He loved her too, in a way, she was more than a friend, that much was true, but he felt like he never fully bonded with her. Even still, the pain from loosing her would be unbearable. But he could sense her slowly fading away. He wished he could do something. At some point or another Trunks joined him by his side. But he didn't find much comfort in the boy. No one could help him through this. No one. Bulma was the one he ran to if a situation went bad. Of course he'd deny it if ever questioned, but she was his solace. She was able to tame him, you could say. She was a lovely person no matter how often she annoyed him, and that much was evident because he stayed with her.
Vegeta swallowed hard and was immersed in a feeling of loneliness. He didn't want to be by himself when this happened. He needed someone. The Saijin turned to his son, pulling him into a hug that comforted them both. Then he was overwhelmed with another emotion, and he suddenly didn't want to be there any longer. Something bad was going to happen and he wanted to flee. And then Bulma's heart monitor informed of her drastically depleting life force. Trunks shouted something but Vegeta was stunned, so shocked the whole world seemed to be moving in slow-motion. He felt dizzy and nearly lost consciousness but he was able to stand until the doctor informed them that Bulma had passed away, making it impossible to tell how long he'd been there. Vegeta clenched his fists and teeth, he bowed his head in rising anguish and he opened the window and escaped before Trunks could stop him. He disappeared for only a few hours, Trunks finding him at Capsule Corporation in the room Bulma and him had shared. He was hugging the pillow that Bulma had slept on. He knocked on the door, snapping Vegeta out of the trance he was in and he quietly said, "Dad..." It could have been a question or a statement, Vegeta wasn't sure, but he didn't care either. He buried his face in the pillow, hiding his eyes which were red from strain, tears constantly threatening to escape, "I need to be alone right now, son." Trunks began to reach for him and he hesitated, but he nodded slowly in understanding, leaving the room and quietly shutting the door.
Vegeta sprawled across the bed, inhaling the scent of his wife. It was still hard to believe he was a Widower now. The white sheets were smooth and fresh and he ran his hand over Bulma's side of the bed. He missed her so much...her teasing, her compliments, her words of encouragement, her occasional selfish attitude, her ability to make him smile. If he would have called anyone his best friend, it would have been her. Filled with grief he didn't even consider his second option on that matter, all that invaded him was the fact that Bulma was gone...truly gone. He was barely able to bite back the tears that stung his eyes. He had given himself to Bulma and now there was no one to talk to, or turn to, or to be with. He was all alone. Again. "It's not fair," he said, his voice a mere whisper that cracked with pain. He wrapped the coverings that he and his wife had shared around him tightly, and eventually he fell asleep.
The next morning Trunks awoke him with a gentle nudge, "Father, breakfast is ready." Vegeta turned his face away from his son, "...I'm not hungry." The purple-haired boy gave a nod, deciding not to argue with him, "Okay. There's food there if you'd like it." The boy quietly slipped out of the room to leave him alone again. Vegeta sat in the same position for hours, merely blinking, thinking, and breathing. The saw the sun's rays travel across the room. The light faded dimmer as clouds would obstruct the path of the rays, but once the cloud was clear, the bright cheerful light would return. One phrase kept running through his mind like a record that skipped on an old phonograph, 'It's not fair, it's not fair, it's not fair...' Trunks visited again for two reasons, to inform him dinner was ready and that the arrangements for Bulma's funeral had been made. He talked for a few minutes, going into detail and wishing he could get his father to respond. But he didn't even look at him, he barely acknowledged his existence. Trunks reminded him once more that food was ready and Vegeta merely nodded in response. When sunset was closing in he sat up, a blank expression on his face. He stared at the window for a moment before opening it silently, effortlessly fleeing the place that had so many fond memories. He didn't care where he was going or when he'd be back, he just knew he couldn't be there anymore.
The next day was uncomfortable for Trunks. He had to attend Bulma's funeral without his father. It made him uneasy that his mother's love wouldn't even come to say goodbye. He knew that Vegeta needed his space and he needed time like himself, but this...this made him nervous. The procession ended and people said their goodbyes, solemnly walking away from Bulma Briefs' grave. Trunks was the last to leave, hoping that perhaps Vegeta would show up once the crowd was gone. But no such luck was given. He sighed and knelt down, speaking lowly, "Mom...I'm sure going to miss you." He paused to think over his next words, "Dad will to. I'm sorry he wasn't here. I think he's really taking this harsh. I'm worried about him." Another pause. Trunks licked his dry lips, "God, mom...why did you have to leave? We love you so much...please..never forget us." Tears escaped his eyes and trickled down his face as he kissed two of his fingers - his middle and index - and then placed them upon her gravestone. "Bye mom, I love you," Trunks said before forcing himself to turn and walk away. He began to cry, his bangs in his face.
Storm clouds began to gather and Trunks dully noted that it was going to rain; he returned home to find that his father had still not come back. He wondered how he was doing and hoped he was alright. But he wasn't alright. He was outside when it began to pour, the raindrops matting his brown spiky hair. He had made progress over the past twenty-four hours by coming down from the shock and then coming to terms with the fact that Bulma was dead. After that though, he had fallen into a downward spiral, going deeper and deeper into a depression. Depression, although, was not the only emotion that was dominating him at the moment. He felt anger as well. Anger that he couldn't - hadn't - protected Bulma. Anger that he was stupid enough to get involved in the first place. Anger that he'd never be that close to anyone like that ever again. Most of his emotions coincided with the other. He was confused and stuck in ambivalence. It wasn't fair. He screamed out, letting himself turn Super Saijin level two. He threw out random attacks, trying to destroy the scenery around him in an attempt to make himself feel better. He felt the intense desire to either receive or deliver pain, but it only upset him worse that he could not fulfill any of his wishes. He punched ferociously, breaking a tree in two; it toppled and fell in his direction and he broke it into smaller pieces with his knee, shredding the cloth that protected his skin. A bit of blood began to escape the scratches on his knee and he stopped attacking the area around him for a moment so he could think. With another cry he flew off to the area Trunks had told him about the previous afternoon. He passed the entrance which was a large iron gate.
The flashes of lightning helped illuminate the area and he cursed the weather because it made his mission all the more difficult. He was soaked to the bone, his hair slick and back falling to about the middle of his back and clinging to any skin in it's path. Vegeta searched the area slowly, silently floating by and over the many people at rest. There was so many names and so many dates. Young people, old people, children, those who had died within the year that they were born. Some graves were lonely, stark and desolate of any trace that people still remembered them. Though other graves were decorated with different objects of affection: some held flowers, wreaths, others had pictures, notes or letters, he couldn't tell which, and some even had small stuffed animals. There was something about this sight, something that he was absorbing slowly, but he couldn't tell what it was. In a way he was intrigued, interested, but in another he was cold, uncaring, and yet, in another he was afraid, almost skeptical. He pushed his feelings aside the moment his eye caught the fresh grave. His body froze in mid-air and his breath caught itself in his throat. He stared, swallowing slowly in an attempt to relieve his tight, scratchy throat. The involuntary need for air caused him to inhale and exhale even though his breaths were shallow. His form landed on the cold wet grass, his knees leaning into the mud. At first all he could do was stare. But then he fell forward, his gloved fingers digging into the soil, his dark hair falling to block his face. He inhaled deeply, holding his breath as he leaned into the ground his muscles tight and flaring, aching as he tensed them more and more. And then he threw back his head, gazing up at the clouded skies as he released a painful howl into the night. Lightning crackled across the sky, spreading outward to resemble a spider's web. Thunder boomed harshly, rivaling the Saijin's terrible cry. And eventually his lungs had no more air to release and so no more sound was produced.
Vegeta fell face first against the ground, letting the tears that he had so desperately tried to resist flow freely. Vegeta didn't notice the intense storm, he was too far into what he would call, venting. The tears flowed steadily for the loss of his friend. The only person who had understood him. The only person who knew why he did what he did. Not even his son knew, but at least he tried. No one else seemed to care. But Bulma had...even if she disagreed, at least she supported him. She was his...escape. He wouldn't want to admit it, but she had been his outlet for the emotions that he had been taught were either a sign of weakness or just plain wrong. Even when he tried to express them though, he held back. His sub-conscious mind kept him from changing on the outside as well as on the in. He let out raspy cries, slowly crawling across the grass, pushing forward half-heartedly with his knees. He finally reached his destination, letting his head rest on his the dark grey gravestone. His cheek pressed against the cold stone and his left hand reached up, lightly tracing the name of his deceased wife. His tears fell, trailing down the indentations as if following the lead of the rain drops. He curled up, partially because of the way he felt inside, and partially because he was beginning to get cold. His chest heaved as his sobs began to die down, but as he thought of the blue-haired woman's face again the sniffles and coughs returned again, just as hard as before. God, it just wasn't fair! It wasn't fair!! He screamed again, letting his body be surrounded by a golden aura, his hair glittering a rich blond. His fists clenched, his knuckles turned white, his fingernails dug into the palm of his hand. This hair spiked but because of it's dampness, it didn't return to it's normal vertical stance. He collapsed, still crying, sitting on hands and knees next to Bulma's resting place. It wasn't fair...
Part Two |