Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Tempt of Fate ❯ Can I Keep You ( Chapter 10 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Tsuyoku: OMG, I cannot believe that I’ve let myself go so long without posting. So many things have happened with my life that I would never have believed I’d be in a completely different place than this time last year. But alas, things have changed, and I know I’ve neglected you, my dear readers. That’s why I’ve been writing this on computer paper during my spare time at work and jotting some parts down through my notes during class (hope the professors don’t notice!) But here it is, definitely wrapping up this portion of the fic, but who knows, I think I see a little bit more plot here. In that case, there are going to be more chapters than I had originally thought.
Enough of this, please scroll to the good stuff!
Tempt of Fate: Chapter Ten
“… the wife of the Lord of Men, he confirmed his resolve to take her by force, and with that consigned himself to death.” ~ Ramayana.
Atrono knelt to the ground, breathing and panting as he was held in place by a very forceful hand. Vegeta kept his rage in check for the moment, reveling at the fact that the weakling was finally within his grasp. He noticed how Atrono’s light, graying hair threaded through his tan hand which pulsed with energy. He could feel the sparks hover around them, crackling like static before a storm. For now the man was alive for one reason: the woman, his woman. She was the one to decide what happened to him as much as it pained Vegeta to think that she would let the weakling live out of the kindness of her heart.
“Even if you’re not with me, I’m with you, Woman. I have to do this.”
Bulma’s mouth opened and closed a few times, unable to say what she wanted. Did Atrono deserve to die at the hands of Vegeta’s wrath? The blue-haired woman couldn’t be sure. Could he be forgiven for shooting her, taking her life, and threatening to kidnap her son? She realized that no matter what she wished of Atrono, Vegeta was going to destroy the frightened King because he had dared to hurt her, Vegeta’s mate. Bulma didn’t know what to say. The thought of Atrono did nothing but bring back the pain in her abdomen, pulsing and throbbing as he looked at her. His eyes had the audacity to plead for his life, especially since he’d recovered from the initial shock that she was once again alive due to the Dragonballs. It infuriated her that she still held pity for him.
“I don’t belong to you anymore, Atrono, and neither does Trunks. I don’t know if we ever did. You’ve done harm to me, promised to take my child from me, and threatened the very chance I have here on this planet with the one man I have ever loved. How I can still feel sorry for you is completely beyond me.” For a moment everything was still and silent. Bulma looked at her lover, at the weakling he held in his grasp, and at Trunks and the others that stood near the wall behind her. When Trunks had found her, Bulma had been so overjoyed that he was alright that she’d almost forgotten completely about searching for Atrono. But when her son had told her that Vegeta was on the war path, she found it her duty to search the halls and find them before any battle ensued. And when she’d finally found her mate, he’d been poised to kill Atrono and anything that tried to stop him.
“Is there anything you want to say, Atrono?” Bulma had just been trying to buy time. She wasn’t sure Atrono should die, but as well she wasn’t sure if having him alive was that great of an idea either.
“Only this, you traitorous woman: I may be about to die… but I can sure as hell take you with me. And if I shot you again there would be no magic balls to bring you back.” His hand that rested on the floor near his ankle reached up above his boot and grabbed a small, but effective looking old-fashioned pistol. It was a mistake on his part, for daring to point a gun at the mate of the Saiyan King was condemning oneself to death.
Atrono hadn’t time to even squeeze the trigger before Vegeta let loose a stream of energy through the back of the King’s head that was enough to shoot the life out of him. His limp body fell to the ground, and before Vegeta could think to disintegrate it all Lynna gently grabbed his arm with her soft hands and announced that a body was needed for the kingdom back home. No matter, Vegeta was satisfied that King Atrono was no more.
All the while Bulma was still shaking and staring at the warm spot on the floor where Atrono had knelt. He’d pleaded with his eyes for mercy which in the end she hadn’t granted him. It was the second time that day a gun had been pointed at her with intent to kill, and for that Atrono died a coward and a murderer. “Vegeta,” Bulma whispered as the King turned to her and enveloped his mate with large arms. He looked into his eyes, asking that she understand his unspoken request.
“I agree,” her eyes downcast for a moment and she sunk into his embrace. “We need to talk about a few things alone right now.” Bulma was lifted up, and as fast as she’d ever gone before, Vegeta rushed her to the King’s wing of the palace and into his room. She stood in the center of the room, and Vegeta fell to his knees and burrowed his face into her stomach. He hugged her close with all his might and whispered into the almost pitch dark of the room, “Bulma, don’t you dare die on me again.”
Her hands enclosed his head, threading them through his hair and held them while she heaved the air slightly and tried not to break down and cry. It felt like so long since she’d been so personal with her King, so long since they’d had a moment… The strength left her legs and instead of holding her up, Vegeta let her slide to the floor and sit with him. Bulma was surprised since she’d never seen Vegeta so affectionate, so tender with her. Even when they were making love he had never been so caring with her or delicate. Did he think she was going to shatter?
“I’m not a figment of your imagination, my King. I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m not going anywhere.” Her hands guided his face to look her in the eye, worried at his out-of-character behavior. “Please, Vegeta, say something.”
“You’re never going to leave me. Never again will you leave this planet, leave my side.”
Bulma’s heart skipped a beat. That was precisely what she wanted to talk to him about. “Anything but that. Don’t say that. I can’t stay…” His face took on an angered expression. “With Atrono gone, I’m in control of my kingdom. There’s no one else to take control, and I have no choice but to go back.”
He immediately rejected her grasp and stood from the floor. Even though her eyes had adjusted to the dark, Bulma wasn’t able to make out the expression on his face from so far away. It worried her. She wasn’t going to lose him because of her duty to her country, was she?
“You must understand; you’re a King. What if you were in my position: standing by as your kingdom lost its control…?” Bulma was almost too afraid to ask. Her hands wrung themselves, nervousness taking over her body.
“ If I was in your position, Woman, I would take our mating bond more seriously. It’s a greater force than you can imagine, for no Saiyan bond is stronger.” It was his self-righteous attitude again, one thing about the man that Bulma was not so fond of. Was he trying to set her off?
“No, Vegeta, I don’t believe you.” She stood up trying to be on his level, but failing as still had a height advantage. “You wouldn’t do it, leave your kingdom without any leadership. I don’t know much about this mating bond that we have between us. All I know is that I can feel it. I can feel it pull me to you wherever you are because it's like a gut instinct to me now. But you you need to understand that my gut's also telling me that I have a responsibility to my people. And if that means I have to deny that feeling in my heart pulling me to you for however long it takes me to straighten things out, then I'm afraid I have to.” She teared up, heaving the air once again and hoping that Vegeta might see how she felt. “You mean the world to me, there's nothing I wouldn't do for you, but-”
“Silence. You say there's nothing you wouldn't do for me, but you insist on denying me your presence when I ask. I've lost you once to that planet, twice to that King already. Many times I have let you go hoping inside with every piece of me that you return to my side, and yet you still maintain this responsibility to something else...” He walked right past her toward the window, staring at the piece of ground where he'd caught her after she'd leaped toward her death. She had tried so hard to prove that he loved her no matter what, did that mean nothing to her now?
Without turning he said, “You are in this bond as well. It cannot be broken, and I will not allow you to leave me once more.”
“This bond?!” Bulma shouted without thinking. “Vegeta, this is a bond that I never asked for... It came about when you seduced me in the hallways; it came from out lust for each other. I love you with all my heart now, but when I found out that we were mated to each other for life, I felt robbed, lied to, betrayed...” He remained still for all she could see from the back, and if anything his muscles became a little more taught but no reaction. She took one step toward him tentatively, testing the waters so to speak, but nothing. Two steps and still the King had yet to react to her words, motions, anything. “Vegeta-”
Bulma froze. One step back, two steps. “What?”
“I'm not repeating myself. You have made your choice, and voiced that you no longer want this bond between us. And since you no longer want it, there's nothing I can do. You may break it if your feelings of disdain are strong enough.”
Bulma sighed letting all the air escape from her lungs. This tone... it was a tone he'd never addressed her with; instead he saved it for those idiotic diplomats that he absolutely hated dealing with. Bulma feared that she'd screwed everything up. “Vegeta, if you're just let me speak. I said it was only in the beginning that I was uncomfortable with this bond. I hadn't been told that it would happen; I hadn't been asked...”
Vegeta still hadn't turned around. In fact he had yet to acknowledge her words at all, but Bulma wasn't about to leave without him saying something. These could be the last words that hung between them before she left for her kingdom. Vegeta, however, was perfectly fine with the idea of her leaving then and there. He wasn't about to let her know how what she said cut right into him and left a scar that rivaled anything he'd experienced on the battlefield. “You see, Woman, the stipulation of this bond is that both people must have their hearts fully into it for it to ever manifest.” He finally turned his head to look at her before his whole body followed. “I don't believe that you weren't asked. You didn't need to be, Woman. Don't deny this between us. To deny it could be the end for us both.”
“What?” Bulma furrowed her eyebrows.
“To deny the... love... that you feel for someone, no matter whom you are,” Vegeta stared at her; his eyes glowed in the moonlight coming through the far window, “is stupid. What we have between us means something and if you try to deny it, we'll die.”
“But I'm not denying that I love you, Vegeta. I'll admit it to anyone. I love you, and I know that you love me just as much because if you didn't I'd have died on that grass out there.” She reached out her arm to caress his face but stopped halfway there. It would just make leaving for even such a short time harder on her. “I'll be back. I promise. Please say you’ll let me go do this; I have to do it for my people. And when things are settled, I'll be back in this very room to never leave your side again.”
The King turned away again. “Fine. Leave. I don't care anymore.”
“But I know-”
“Leave!” It almost echoed in the room, throughout the hallways, and in her heart.
Why doesn't he understand that I'm not leaving him for good? Has he heard a word I've said? Bulma backed up to the door. Maybe if she gave him some time to let off the steam everything would be back to normal once she returned. I love you, Vegeta. And I wouldn't—couldn't deny it at all...
“Guess I'll be going then...” She started for the door barely able to choke back a sob, but the last thing Vegeta needed was to see her cry. “Trunks and I will be leaving shortly.” She wanted to add once more that she wouldn't be long getting back, just as long as things went smoothly, but decided against it. She'd told him so many times already, but he didn't seem to hear a word of it.
“So he wouldn't even say anything as you walked out?” Chi Chi asked. She was infuriated at the King's actions, but then again Chi Chi had always been the type of woman to take things personally even if they didn't concern her.
“No,” Bulma sighed. She'd only stopped by to get Trunks and say goodbye to her friend before taking off, but she ended up spilling everything once Chi Chi asked her if everything was alright. What was it about that question that makes anyone on the verge of crying to suddenly break down and sob uncontrollably? Trunks wandered out of Goten's room with a sad look on his face. “Trunks, honey, don't look so forlorn. We're coming back soon. I just have to get everything settled there since Atrono's... Well, our kingdom needs a leader right now.” She rose and looked at Chi Chi, “I wish someone would respect that I have a responsibility there just as much as I have one here.”
Chi Chi nodded, “Vegeta will change his mind as soon as you come back.” Her hand appeared on Bulma's shoulder. “Here, let me walk you to your ship.”
Being in the ship was a blast to the past for Bulma. She hadn't been back on Vegeta-sei for very long, but it seemed like ages since she'd traveled as fast as possible toward the remaining Dragonballs. It was nice to have Trunks going with her. When Launch brought him to Vegeta-sei, she was worried what he'd gone through on the voyage, but Bulma was convinced that having him travel with her to their home planet was a good thing. It would give him a good idea of how their politics worked and how she would be able to wrap things up with it all.
But then comes the other question of how she was going to do this. Vegeta was right to worry about her return. Bulma wasn't quite sure how she was going to go about putting someone else on the throne or if the Alliance was going to force her to take control of everything in her husband's absence.
How am I going to explain Atrono's disappearance ?!
Bulma hadn't even thought about that. But she supposed Lynna was going to have to help her think of something while they were on the trip back.
Meanwhile, said girl was helping Bulma gather Trunks and Marco into the ship while Bulma stood in the docking bay looking around. Yamcha hovered among the other ships, smearing grease on his pants and smiling sadly at her. He waved as he walked toward her.
“Miss Bulma, I'm sad to see you go.”
“Yamcha, I'm coming back. I don't know why everyone is taking this business trip as a permanent position. It's infuriating!” She sighed and leaned on the ship frustrated.
“Yeah, but who knows. The last time you left for years. Maybe everyone's afraid that you'll be detained there and won't be able to return? I don't know. But I agree that everyone has a little right to be worried. What about the Alliance? They won't be too pleased at having a missing monarch on their hands...”
“Don't remind me... But I'm going to deal with that when I get back and no sooner. For now I want to enjoy my last few minutes on Vegeta-sei before going back.” Bulma said nonchalantly while looking around the docking bay.
Yamcha smiled, “Don't fret, Bulma. He's going to show. There's no way that the King of Vegeta-sei would miss seeing his mate off of all people, especially when it's common knowledge around here that you two are fated together.” Bulma nodded as he walked back to work; she just hoped that he was right.
There was just something about his last words to her and the fact that there was still unfinished business between them that left her lacking. Bulma could feel the pull on her abdomen that lured her to Vegeta, and she knew he was somewhere in the same wing of the castle, but beyond that Bulma was drawing a blank. Why wasn't he there as Yamcha said he would be? Vegeta wasn't going to miss her takeoff was he?
“Oh, Lynna, where is he?” The young woman was just coming off the ramp of their ship when Bulma approached her. She sweat dropped. Seriously those two needed a good piece of time together. Vegeta and Bulma hadn't had a romantic moment together for some time, especially since Bulma's death. “I swear if he doesn't come say goodbye, I'll-”
“You'll what, Woman?”
The deep voice reverberated through her body, and the familiar pull in her abdomen produced a warm, fuzzy feeling. Immediately she stopped her thought. “Um, nothing...” Bulma resisted the urge to throw her arms around his neck and faced him all the way. He still had a partial scowl on his face which reminded her of their little disagreement earlier... but she was determined to forget about their harsh words and start over again. She bent her head toward his chest and lowered her eyes. “I'm glad you came, Vegeta.” She knew he would be the only one to hear her.
Vegeta was glad to see that she was putting their little tiff behind her, and especially proud of her observation of time and place when saying affectionate things to him. Bulma was just as much Queen as she was Woman; obviously she knew how to handle herself. Maybe letting her go perform her duties was the right thing to do. “I am,” he said lowly, “hesitant to let you leave my side. I've lost you to death. I've lost you to politics before... A King must be there for his Queen.”
Bulma touched his chest with her delicate hand and whispered, “Why can't it be 'A man must be there for the woman he loves?' Do you mean what you say about keeping me by your side?”
Vegeta looked at her oddly for a moment, raising his eyebrow at her question. “Of course.”
“Good.” She smiled.
“Are you sure about this, my Lord?” Goku asked. It wasn't like him to make such rash decisions, but then again the King had changed quite a lot since he met Bulma.
“You are the command in my absence, Kakkarot. I expect a full report when I get back, and should anything happen you are to report it to me immediately through any means.” Vegeta wasn't keen to being questioned about things, especially when his mind was already made up. Goku bowed as Vegeta turned and walked up the ramp to Bulma's ship. Chi Chi stood next to her husband and waved goodbye to the band of visitors and her King. She sighed inside; everything was going to be so quiet with all of them gone.
Vegeta took a seat toward the back of the ship and out of the way of his son and the nanny and that dweeb that once served Atrono. He preferred to be in his own space with Bulma close by and no one else. Once she was seated across the space from him, he sunk slightly (but not enough for anyone else to notice) into the plus cushion and allowed himself a moment to relax. “I never thought I'd be in the situation to follow a woman somewhere...” Vegeta said while looking out the window. He hadn't been in the black void among the space and stars in such a long time as he was used to politicians traveling to him when treaties were considered and not the other way around.
“But you're not following me, Vegeta. You're going with me; there's a significant difference. Besides, this way you will remain by my side most of the time.” Bulma smiles. She was ecstatic that he was going with her. Having a king such as Vegeta vouch as to what happened to Atrono would be all the more believed among the people, especially since they'd been on good terms with Vegeta-sei for some time now.
“True. Have you though much about what you're going to do when we arrive? That weakling will certainly be missed among the people.”
“I was just thinking of that actually.” Bulma rubbed her temples. She'd known that because of his actions, Atrono was going to die. Hell, she'd be lying if she said that it was her wish at one time as well. But what Bulma hadn't realized was how much it was going to be a pain explaining it. She couldn't very well walk off her ship with her husband's body and Vegeta in tow just to turn around and announced that he was the very person who killed the King. The would be a riot among the people... and as selfish as it was, she didn't want the citizens that she loved so dearly to think ill of her. “I guess it's just going to come down to what I can tell the people of my kingdom that they will believe. Atrono doesn't need to be portrayed in a bad light even after his death. Launch greatly injured Atrono when she took Trunks from the palace,” Bulma said noticing the scowl that deepened on the King's face, “so for all they know he could have passed away due to injuries sustained through that fight.”
“Won't the public want his killer brought to justice?”
Bulma nodded, “that's where you come in, Vegeta darling. You're going to be the big, bad King who rushed in to save the day and ended up frying the bad guy. How does that sound?” She smiled.
His eyebrow raised, “as long as you don't phrase it like that.”
“Promise.” Her hand raised in a mock swear.
They docked in the royal port after Bulma confirmed her identity over the communicator. She stood near the door getting ready for it to open up and reveal her home planet to Vegeta. She sighed as she looked at the hover cart for Atrono's body floating listlessly beside her, and before she could stop them, her eyes watered and mouth jiggled.
There was a person dead next to her because of her stupid, selfish actions. Sure, Atrono had not been entirely faultless in this, but Bulma knew that she'd held a portion of the blame. Had he not been a kind man to her in their marriage? Yes, he had been. Killing her, trying to take her son, and fighting for his pride on an alien planet had just been his last leg. It was something anyone would do when they realized they had nothing left... if they'd had anything before, that is.
The blue-haired woman couldn't really fathom why she was suddenly feeling like that. Of course, she would admit that it was the perfect time for her to show remorse: as she was about to play the sorrowful, widowed queen. How pathetic.
The doors of the ship unpressurized and opened before her with a hiss revealing a full posse of court folk and even an member of the council alliance, Vellutini. “My lady! We are relieved to have you back here. The absence of our King and Queen was felt by all within the castle!” one of the servants said as he took her hand and helped her down the ramp.
Once on ground level, the Vellutini walked over to her with an air of confidence and power, “Lady Bulma, I trust you traveled well.” He bowed slightly and looked behind her. Anyone else in the ship had yet to exit, but he waited for the King to come down the ramp as well. Bulma mentally shook her head. Now was as best a time as ever to get him alone and explain anything and everything that happened... whatever her story would be. Whatever it was, Bulma knew that she was covering her own ass on this one. “Where is the King, my Lady? I have much to discuss with him.”
Of course he would; the man never left Atrono alone. That particular council member had been on their planet and in their kingdom enough over the years to watch Trunks grow within her, be born, and grow five years. Why, he could probably document being with them around the time of every major even in the young boy's life. And beyond the faults of being a council member for the Alliance, Vellutini wasn't a bad man... when he wasn't disrespecting you for being a woman. “It is about my husband that I request to speak with you in private, Vellutini.”
His face immediately went into a mixture of confusion, anger, and shock. “My lady, what are you talking about?”
This was the part she dreaded the entire voyage. “I'm afraid the King has passed away.” The servants immediately began whispering amongst themselves, and Bulma had no doubt that the news would be all over the entire palace within the hour. Vellutini urged her to explain. The King couldn't possibly be dead, could he? “I'm afraid it is true, Councilman. I have his body with me on the ship.” She turned and nodded to the passengers.
Lynna and Marco rolled out the carrier with the dead King in it, barely making it down before she tripped herself and Marco did his best to catch her. They offered a smile to each other despite the mood in the air before returning to their seemingly depressed state.
They're solemn looks and the casket told Vellutini everything he needed to know... it was true. “We need to speak in more private surroundings, sir.” She looked at the servants who were escorting the body into the palace; it was enough that they knew he was dead, but to have them know about the “circumstances” at the moment wouldn't be wise.
“Yes, um... you're right. And who is 'we?', my lady?”
“I am recently returned from Vegeta-sei, Vellutini. King Vegeta or Vegeta-sei has left his kingdom to accompany me and vouch as to the details of his passing.” She could feel Vegeta come into view of Vellutini, and the man automatically bowed fully and respectfully toward him. Bulma's eye twitched unconsciously.
“A rogue agent did this to our King?” He slammed his hand on the nearby desk. “Why wasn't he properly protected; where were his guards?!”
“Do not address me with such a tone, Vellutini. You know as well as I do that Atrono never wanted the hassle of having guards and protection. He was all about his power and very arrogant about being able to take care of himself.” The man seemed to calm down after her statement, which was probably a good thing. Vegeta had been on edge to beat that councilman into submission for how he acted toward Bulma. Notably, any King's death would draw such a reaction on the Alliance and his kingdom, but that gave him no right to be so threatening toward his mate. Vegeta kept himself in check on the sole fact that Bulma could handle herself until it actually got physical. He was impressed, though he'd never admit it, that she wasn't intimidated by the men and their politics, rather she had a good hold at commanding attention from them.
Vegeta could pride himself in that fact.
“After his attack, Vegeta took care of the attacker, disintegrating him completely. But it was too late to save my husband.” She didn't see the twinge of hurt on Vegeta's face at her reference to “her husband”, but he would never let her see such weakness.
“And how are we going to explain this to the public?! They expect a King, and what do they get? Nothing. Dead King, even worse!” Vellutini was starting to panic. “What are we going to do?”
Bulma sighed, resisting the urge to rub her temples once more. She was going on little to no sleep in how many hours, and this was certainly not helping her energy drain. “This is what we're going to do, Vellutini. We're going to announce it to the public and have the traditional ceremony that's due to a King. Then I will take over all the responsibilities until any further arrangements can be made.”
“Arrangements? Yes, getting someone else on the throne will be difficult. No one can replace dear Atrono, but we must go on.” He motioned toward the door as he exited. “And of course there's always the case of what new leader are we going to have. If there is an eligible heir to the throne, it is pertinent that you be wed and we have a new King as soon as possible.” He left the room, leaving Bulma and Vegeta to contemplate what the councilman had just said.
“Vegeta, this is the part where I'm going to need some help. What should I do?”
Tsuyoku: Hey guys, hope you enjoyed it! I busted by behind trying to get this written and up for you. It's a little late and I've been typing away making sure that everything is in order, but if there are any minor mistakes, please disregard them. However, if you do notice anything out of order or whatever, let me know. Otherwise, I really hope you like it. Please R&R!!!