May 12th: The Day Hope Died

A Dragonball Z Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah

 

Written December 7th 1999

 

Note: Another fanfiction called “Dragonball Super Z”  inspired me to write about Future Bulma.

Click here for the Radio Play version of this story: May 12th 15.5mg .mp3 and also the goof reel with the voices of Vegeta and the Narrator: Goof Reel 749kb .mp3 produced July 2001 in Studio Z.

 

     Bulma shuffled into her bedroom and sloughed off her clothes. She crawled into bed and was asleep as soon as she tucked her comforter under her chin. Her peace didn’t last long however. The baby monitor pinged on.

     “Uhnnn..” she moaned and reached up blindly for the intercom. There was no sound. At first she was relieved. ‘False alarm,’ she thought. Then mother’s paranoia kicked in. She sat up and pulled the vid unit out. She clicked around till her son’s room came up. It was lit by a soothing, blue light and in the dimness she made out the shape of a man. Bulma gasped and stared in horror, but as the man walked to the window, she saw his silhouette and sighed.

     ‘Christ, Vegeta, you scared me to death!’

     As she watched him she noticed that he was pacing slowly in circles. She zoomed in and turned up the tint. He was holding Trunks in his arms.

     Her features softened as she watched him bounce the baby lightly, lulling him to sleep. She bit her lip and smiled. She hadn’t seen the Prince in months, and here he was; caught in a moment of tenderness towards his son. She could hear him mumbling something as he paced. She turned up the volume, but the hiss only served to further obscure his words. Little did she know, she wouldn’t have been able to translate them anyway.

     Suddenly she jumped out of bed. If he could be like that with Trunks, maybe he’d be like that with her! Maybe he DID care! He must! She ran down the hallway. By the time she burst into the room, he was gone. She tapped on the lights and went to the crib. Trunks was sound asleep, oblivious and drooling. She stroked his fair purple hair and sighed. “What did he have to say to you?” she whispered.

 

     Two nights later, she went through the same paces. She laid the baby down finally and collapsed into bed. A few hours later she was awakened by someone gently nudging her shoulder.

     “Wake up, Woman,” he said softly.

     “Huh, what are you doing here?”

     He frowned deeper.

     “I mean, I’m surprised to see you. Aren’t you training or something?”

     “Or something..” he snorted.

     “Well, you’re obviously not right now,” she came back but dropped her usual, bitchy tone. This room was the only place she let it slide. She couldn’t get angry with him. He had gone out of his way to come to her. She sat up in bed and beckoned to him.

 

     In the wee hours of the morning, Bulma woke again; this time as Vegeta was climbing out of bed. He was trying to sneak away without waking her.

     “Wait,” she murmured. “Please, don’t go yet.”

     He was obviously shocked to hear her say this. He turned to her and gave her a puzzled look. She climbed out, still naked and put her arms around him. He didn’t refuse. She was doubly shocked when he put his arms around her.

     “You promise me something,” she grit her teeth and whispered in his ear. “Come back.”

     “What?” He pulled back to look her in the eye.

     “When you’re ready, when you’ve got whatever’s going on in your heart worked out, come back home to me, you got that?!”

     “But..”

     “PROMISE ME!!”

     He was taken aback. She wasn’t just giving him an order to obey; she was telling him that she cared about him in a way that he could understand and accept.

     Bulma quivered with anticipation, waiting to see what his response would be. She was not expecting to be kissed, but that’s what he did. He furrowed his brows in a way she had never seen him do and drew her closer while levitating up a few inches. His lips met hers, not quite sure what to do. She let him figure it out. He kissed her gently for a whole minute before he spoke.

     “I promise.”

     The Prince released her and flew out the window. Tears ran down Bulma’s grateful face. She went to the window and watched as he disappeared into the sunrise.

    

     May 12th:

     As the sun began to reach its apex in the sky, Bulma put down her project and turned on the TV. Her favorite soap opera was pre-empted. She growled and grabbed the remote. She changed channels, but soon realized that every channel was broadcasting the same breaking story.

     “..At this time, it is uncertain as to whether these invaders are from another country or another planet. They are destroying everything and everyone in sight!”

     “Oh sweet Kami,” Bulma’s heart sank. “What the hell’s happening?”

     “I can see that there are what appear to be.. super heroes.. fighting these monsters..” The camera panned over the carnage and sure enough, Bulma could see that the reporter was right. Eight ‘super-heroes’ were battling it out with two strange-looking men. The picture snowed out as the reporter lost contact. The anchor took up where he left off.

     “..There is no word yet from the nearby air force base, either they have not yet been alerted.. or it has been decimated as well.”

     Her mother and father watched with her, her mother holding Trunks as their friends were slain. They saw what looked like Yamcha, Tien, Krillin and Chaozu go down. 

     “No.. no no no.. this can’t be happening! If only Son-Kun was alive! he’s show them!” Mrs. Briefs cried.

     “Vegeta’s even having a tough time with them, this is nuts! What are those two!?” Dr. Briefs asked the TV.

     Bulma was mute. ‘Vegeta. Come on, you can do it.’

     They flicked channels and watched as much as they could before all the reporters were lost. Bulma got up and began pummeling the set. “NO!! Come on! I need to see! I need to know!!”

     “Why don’t you try the radio, punkin?”

     “I NEED TO SEE!!” she ran out of the room.

 

     The sun was low in the sky as her air-bus landed in a clearing in the middle of what once was an island city. Bulma ran out into the ruins, shouting for her friends. Bodies and rubble filled the streets. She climbed over chunks of asphalt and cement,  looking for someone who was still alive. There were no cries for mercy. There were no survivors. After the first hundred or so mutilated corpses, she was no longer nauseous, just dazed and even more insane to find someone, anyone still breathing. Soon she came to the place she had seen on the news; the place she knew some of them would be. There was Tien, his head crushed. Chaozu was crumpled up into a ball no bigger than a grapefruit at his side. Yamcha was impaled on a street lamp a few meters from them. Half of Krillin was on the hood of a car, the other half stuck out from under a large piece of sidewalk. Bulma walked between them, pausing for a moment at each as if to say ‘I’m here,’ even though she was too late and too weak to have helped them at all.

     She stopped dead and gasped pitifully as she saw a white cape blowing in the breeze. One of the Namek’s arms was to the left, another to the right. His legs were sticking out from under a car. She prayed that he had regenerated, but gave up such folly, when she almost stepped on his head.

     “Piccolo..” she whispered. “Oh no.” Her eyes glazed over. She continued on through the rubble. ‘Two more,’ she thought. “There’s still two more..’

     The sun was setting. Bulma put her hand up to her eyes to see better. She didn’t care if it got dark. Those monsters wouldn’t be back here. She’d stay all night if she..

     “Vegeta..” she mouthed the word as she saw his body sticking out from under a smallish Capsule car. She leapt over rubble and ran to him. Without thinking she grabbed hold of the auto and pushed. With adrenaline on her side, she hefted the compact off of him. Bulma gathered him up into her arms.

     “Vegeta! Vegeta, please! wake up.. oh Kami please wake up..” she stroked his blood-stained face. He was unresponsive and cold. She opened his eyes. The pupils were dilated. She reached down to check his heart and finally realized he was dead. Her hand went into the hole in his chest. She pulled it out slowly and looked at it. His blood was all over her. “No...” she shook her head. “No, you bastard!”

     Her tears rushed out finally. “You bastard! You Promised!!!” Bulma wrapped her arms around his body and rocked back and forth on her knees sobbing. “You promised.”

     A hand on her shoulder made her scream out like a little girl with terror. She turned quickly and saw a pint-sized Saiyan looking down on her.

     “Gohan..” she sobbed. “You’re alive!!”

     “They’re all gone..” the boy answered, he was is rough shape, but still standing; his face as grey as stone.

     “I know.. I know..” Bulma hiccuped.

     He looked up into the sky. The setting sun silhouetted him in orange. He looked a great deal like his father in that moment. “We will have our day yet.”

     Bulma believed him. She had to. They were gone. He was gone. She was alone and afraid. She thought as she looked at Gohan that this must be how Chi-Chi felt.. twice.

     “Let’s get out of here,” he helped her up.

     “But..” she protested, motioning to Vegeta.

     “Go bring the air-bus closer. I’ll take care of them.”

     She nodded solemnly and did as she was told.

 

     The craft neared the outskirts of the city. Bulma hadn’t blinked for a good twenty minutes. She navigated the bus through the air like a robot. The domes of Capsule Corp. loomed on the horizon: the smoking horizon.

     “NO!!!” she shouted and floored it.

     “Bulma, wait! They could still be there!”

     “I don’t care!!”

 

     She ran out of the ship without turning it off and charged through the dilapidated corridors of the house. She rounded the bend to the nursery. It was in ruins.

     “TRUNKS!!!” she cried out. “Trunks!! Gohan, help me!!”

     The boy flew in and began lifting segments of wall and ceiling out of the room. Soon, crying was audible. Bulma laughed through her tears with relief as Gohan handed the unharmed baby to her. She sat on the floor and cradled him, staring into his eyes. She went to stroke his hair, but stopped when she saw how encrusted her hands were with his father’s blood.

     “Bulma.” Gohan returned from a short reconnaissance. “I’m sorry, but. I can’t find any other Ki.”

     She didn’t look up. “They’re dead?”

     His silence was her answer.

     “I’m gonna go..”

     “You’re gonna go home,” she stood up.

     “Huh?”

     “I said go home. Now! Your mother needs you.”

     He didn’t argue. “I’ll come back later.”

     She nodded slightly and turned away as Trunks finally cried himself to sleep. It began to rain. The small droplets were cold and made her look up where the hand-painted, starry ceiling had once been. The sun set and washed the clouds in bright red. Bulma wound her way to the still in-tact lab in the eerie light. Before ducking in the door, she faced west and wiped the tears from her face with the back of her free hand. She silently vowed then and there to her sleeping child that she would never cry again.

 

END


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