Tsubuyaku Oyasumi  : Whisper Goodnight

A Dragonball Z Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah

 

Note: This story contains mature content.

 

Written February 5th – 16th 2001

 

     Thank you for making time to see me. I know you’re very busy, but you’re the best psychiatrist in the city. Sorry. Psychotherapist. There’s a difference? Oh, I see. Then that’s good. I’ve come to you because I need help. Well, I think I do. I’m not sure... What? Tell you a story? I thought you were supposed to ask me about my mother or something? Oh. I see. I can do that. You know, in hindsight I should have come to you years ago. Yeah. Well if hindsight is 20/20, foresight is totally frickin’ blind! I never in a million years saw this coming. All right, here’s your story.

    

     It was a Wednesday. I remember that because I wasn’t supposed to be back till Friday. I was gonna come home and have a nice long weekend before going back to the grind.

     This seminar I was attending was on South Island. I was speaking on Monday and Tuesday. My friends from various companies had me going out every night I was there. I was exhausted. I’m nearly 45, you know. I’m starting to feel my age. I can’t party every night anymore and since I don’t drink nearly as heavily as everyone else, I get tired.

     I arranged for my plane to leave Wednesday afternoon. Sometimes it’s great to be the most affluent person on Earth. You can decide when to take your private jet wherever you want.

     I got home at about two. The sun was shining, my son was at school, the house was empty. Or so I thought.

     Almost as soon as I got in the door I noticed a strange sound. At first I thought it was a television. I followed my ears and was lead upstairs. The sound was faint now, but it nagged at me. I started to get nervous, thinking there was an intruder in the house.

     No, I didn’t think it was my husband. He’s not exactly what you’d call a home-body.

 

     Like I said, I thought stupidly for a while that there was a stranger in the house, forgetting entirely that we have the most advanced security system available. Let’s just say, it’s always on and if you’re not in the system, you don’t get in.

     I crept down the hallway and stopped just before my bedroom door. Now I could hear faint whispering coming from inside. The door was open.

     My bedroom has four areas: the dressing room, the bathroom which is further inside, the bedroom proper and this little entryway which makes an L at the door. I tip-toed into this entryway and held my breath, listening.

 

     I should have made noise when I came in, or better yet I should have stayed at the bloody seminar! I should have done a lot of things, but I listened instead.

     I heard a man laugh. It was a soft, familiar laugh as if he found something both humorous and cute.

     Yes, intimate. It was exactly that. Intimate. I didn’t recognize the voice. I must have been holding my breath for about a half a minute, but I felt like I was going to die. Then I heard him speak.

     I don’t know exactly what he said because he was whispering, but he said a name. The name my husband uses for my best friend. No one else on Earth uses this name. My husband and my best friend were whispering in my bedroom. My heart started to crawl up my throat.

     I tried to shake it off, to convince myself that they just happened to be in my bedroom and up to something, maybe a surprise for me... but then I heard.. kissing sounds. You know? There’s no mistaking that. My brain switched into high gear. I listened to every sound: sheets rustling, soft moaning from both parties. I wanted to run out of there as fast as I could and never stop. I wanted to scream. But I didn’t. I inched around the corner.

 

     Quickly, I turned the corner and forced myself to look. By now my heart was in my mouth. I couldn’t scream, let alone speak. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to puke.

     There they were; completely naked in broad daylight on my bed. My husband was lying on top of him, stroking his face and staring into his eyes.

 

     Oh. I didn’t mention that? Yes. My best friend is a man.

     I don’t know what disturbed me more. That my husband was cheating on me, that he was having sex with a man, or that that man was my closest, most trusted friend. This man could do no wrong, and here he was, committing one of the Seven Deadlies, you know?

 

     My husband? Well, it’s not like this kind of behavior was a total shock. He’s sort of... evil. But... damn it... Do you have a tissue?

     Anyway. My friend... he saw me first. A look of total horror came over his face and the smile fell from his lips. He said my name. My husband turned his head and looked to me. He looked surprised, but didn’t do anything you’d expect a man in this situation to do. He leisurely got up, picked up his shorts and started getting dressed. My friend was the one who spoke up. He stuttered and tried to explain. I told him to shut up. My husband told him to leave. He apologized as he quickly put on his clothes and... er... left the room.

     I watched my husband dress and absolutely seethed with contempt. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to beat him. I wanted to know why... but I couldn’t say a word. Nothing made sense.

     When he was dressed, he just stood there, facing the window, as if waiting for me to sentence him. I turned my back and the tears just poured down my face. I told him to get out of my sight. I didn’t move till he was gone.

 

     What? No. That’s it. I haven’t seen him since. This was three months ago. I haven’t seen Gok... er... my friend since then either. I don’t want to say his name. You may know it.

     An alias? All right. I’ll call him Kakarotto. That’s my husband’s name for him.

 

.x.

 

September 5,

     Dear Diary;

     I can’t believe I’m going to a shrink. I don’t think he’s helping me at all. I feel worse! If that’s even possible. Trunks keeps on asking where his Papa is... I don’t know if I can keep telling him ‘he’s coming back soon’ for much longer. Yesterday the doctor told me that I wasn’t angry. Well then what the hell am I?!

 

September 12,

     I know what I am now. The doctor forced me to describe how I felt about this. I was almost incoherent, I was crying so hard.

     I’m heartbroken. I’m still angry, but now I know. I love him. And he loves...

 

September 13,

     Ok, my shrink is a nutjob. He actually wants me to TALK to them! I can’t do that! I just can’t! What would I say? Could I even LOOK at either of them?

     It would be a lot easier to talk to Goku. About as easy as eating glass, anyway.

     Damn it. Why the hell is this happening to me? What did I ever do to Vegeta? Haven’t I been a good wife? I’ve given him a home and a son and he does THIS to me!? I can’t talk to him. I just can’t...

 

September 17,

     Something my doctor said this morning really actually made me think. He said that I was a strong person and that this weakness wasn’t characteristic of me. I just looked at him funny. He meant my unwillingness to go to them and work things out. It was like he was calling me chicken!

     It actually sort of worked.

     After I stormed out of the office vowing to never set foot in it again I came back here and just sat in the den for hours, not doing anything but thinking.

     He’s right. Nothing has ever held me back like this before. I’ve never shown weakness like this.

     Then I started thinking about Vegeta. I didn’t want to at first, but I gave in and thought. He’s the strongest person I’ve ever met. He never backs down from a challenge or shows even the slightest sign that he’s afraid. And here I am, terrified to even look at him.

     Tomorrow. I’m going to try to talk to Goku... tomorrow.

 

.x.

     Hi. I know. I sort of said that I’d never come back. I said that in the heat of anger, but you probably know that. Well... there’s more to the story you asked me to tell you now.

 

     A month ago, I called Go... I mean, Kakarotto up and asked him to come over. He sounded so serious when he said he’d see me right away that it made me even more terrified. I almost told him not to come. He was at my house in a few minutes.

     I had thought about what I could ask him for days before hand. But he wasn’t the one I needed answers from. I didn’t want to know how long it had been going on or what they felt for each other. Not from him. It would have been too hard to listen to him talk so seriously like that.

     So when he came in and stood there in my living room like he’d never even been in the house before, all I could ask him was....

 

     “ Where is he...?”

     He looked up from staring at his feet. “I... I don’t know.”

     I sat down on the arm of a sofa and tried hard not to look at him. “Do you know how to find him?”

     He nodded very slightly. It was like he was a little boy on the verge of tears. He looked so sad.

     “Son-kun...” I whispered. “I don’t know why you’ve done this. And I don’t want you to explain. I’m not angry with you. I’m just confused...”

     “You and me both, Bulma.”

     Our eyes met briefly. His eyes were so big and watery. He looked so innocent!

     “I don’t want to be confused anymore. I need to know. I need to talk to him. I don’t want to, but I need to,” I said. It took me a second to get the courage to look up at him again. “Take me to him.”

     He hesitated but then extended his hand to me. “Ok. You have to hang on to me. I’ll Shunkan Ido you there.”

     I was shaking. I... What? Shunkan Ido? Ok, you’re not going to like this, but please just accept everything I say as God’s honest truth. Shunkan Ido is ‘Instantaneous Movement’. It’s a technique that my friend learned... He’s a martial arts master, sort of... Yes. He can teleport. I know. Please bear with me.

 

     So I reached out and took his hand. I was totally shocked when he pulled me to him, wrapped both arms around me and hugged me. Hard.

     “I’m sorry, Bulma,” he whispered.

     “I know. You’d never want to hurt me. You must really love him to have done something this careless.”

     I couldn’t tell if he nodded. My head was pressed to his chest.

    

     When he let go of me we were outside. It was about six at night and the sun was just setting. Insects chirped all around us. I could hear a river flowing somewhere behind me. Kakarotto stepped aside and pointed towards the river.

     “Good luck.” He smiled sadly and put his fingers to his head again.

     “Wait...!” I cried out, too late. He’d disappeared into thin air.

 

     About 20 yards from where I was, my husband sat with his back to me. He looked over his shoulder, astounded to hear my voice. I could see his left eye, wide with disbelief. He turned his face back and continued to stare at the water.

    

     I tell ya, I’ve never felt so nervous before. Not even when my life was in danger. And it has been, many times. I shook so hard my teeth rattled.

     “Hi,” I managed to whisper. I knew he wouldn’t answer. “I need to talk to you. You don’t have to say a word. Just listen to me.”

     I took a deep breath and began. I didn’t know what I was saying, only that I had to do something to stop the hurt I felt inside, even if it hurt even more to do so. I began with my life story. I didn’t know why. Perhaps because we knew so little about each other. I wanted him to know me.

    

     “The world’s richest and most renowned scientist and a beautiful young woman, his wife had a baby girl almost fifty years ago. She was their only child and they gave her everything. But they were often too busy to play with her. She spent long hours alone in her room or in a laboratory. Since she could remember, her likeness had been printed in tabloids and played on the news whenever there was a slow news day. The media expected her to grow up to be smart and/or beautiful like her parents. Her parents expected nothing. They were content with whatever she would become because they loved her. But they were also oblivious to the impact these projections were making on her.

     “When she became a teenager, the media, and the world expected her to have a coming out party like all good debutantes and find a suitable husband. Instead, she found something interesting in her father’s basement and set off on a quest; to find her own boyfriend with the help of the Dragon Balls.”

 

     I then realized that I had been walking closer to Vegeta while I had been talking. He hadn’t moved a muscle or indicated that he didn’t want me nearer. I shook off an on-coming shudder and sat down on the cool grass.

 

     “I’m talking about me, of course,” I said and cleared my throat. “I didn’t make my wish, but I got it. I got Yamcha. We had fun for a few years, but once he discovered that there were easier, faster women in this world, his fidelity sorta slipped. I broke up with him for the last time... after we got back from Namek.

     “I met Son-kun when I was sixteen years old. He changed my life and has always been there when I need him. He’s my best friend. I know him very well. I know how big his heart is. I know he’s not the brightest bulb so it doesn’t really surprise me that he would do something like this without considering other people’s feelings. He had your feelings in mind, I suppose. He never thinks of himself.

     “But you,” I choked a little as I tried to talk more directly to him. “For a while I thought I had you figured out. You were alone, proud and evil. But you were also loyal (to a point), strong and you seemed to be able to put up with me, which is no easy task. But you know what? I don’t have a God damn clue. This just proves it. I don’t know anything. I don’t know who you are...” I really struggled not to cry. “And you’re my husband.”

     It was getting darker, and colder. I was wearing a sleeveless blouse and my arms got goose bumps all of a sudden. I hugged my arms and waited.

     All the while his body had been rigid; his silhouette unchanging. I was still staring at the ground, occasionally looking up for a reaction. As the moments passed in silence, his shoulders slumped. He bowed his head.

 

     “The king and his wife had but one son, almost a half a century ago...” he whispered.

     I almost had a heart attack, I just didn’t expect him to say anything, let alone begin a story like mine! I perked up my ears and listened intently.

     “When he was five, they gave him up. He was traded as part of a peace treaty; a hostage in an ongoing but silent war the King fought with Furiza so that the Saiyan race might continue to be ruled by the Vegeta clan. The Prince knew that it was only a matter of time before Furiza took total control and thought his parents weak for having given in to him.

     “They taught him a few things before he left. There were three values that the Saiyajin hold dear: Pride, Honor and Courage. Never let them break you, they said. Never let them disgrace you and never be afraid.

 

     “I was five the last time I saw my parents. They never told me they loved me. They never even said good-bye. They weren’t given the chance. Two years later, Furiza destroyed planet Vegeta, the Saiyajin and my hopes in one blow. I knew it would be years before I could become strong enough to destroy him. But I vowed one day I would.”

 

     I had never heard him speak like this before. I told you, my husband’s not an open guy. I don’t think he’d ever even said that many words in a row to me before! I was astounded. I grew more nervous when he went quiet, but I knew better than to coax him on. I waited.

 

     What he said next must never leave this room. The only reason I’m telling you is because you’re under oath not to, and if you do...

     All right. Thank you.

     What he said next floored me.

 

     “When I was ten, it started. He noticed how strong I was becoming. If I wanted to, I could have taken out several of his elite guard. This made him nervous and so he tried to break me.

     “He called me up to his quarters. He was prone to being extravagantly lazy so I didn’t think anything of it. When I entered, the door was barred behind me. There was a gallery of his minions seated against a wall to my left. Furiza himself was standing in the center of the room...

     “I was only ten years old. He didn’t care. It had been easy enough to bring Radditz and Nappa to heel, but I was different. I had been taught the Saiyajin way and would never convert to be a follower. He had to dominate me. And so he did. That night and many nights thereafter, I was brutally molested by that monster for hours on end.”

 

     I gasped. I couldn’t help it! This was the most horrible thing I’d ever heard! The idea that anyone could force Vegeta into anything was unbelievable. I was disgusted, horrified, nauseated... overwhelmed by pity and sadness.

     I had been concentrating on his words, but now I started to work on their meaning. Something about his infidelity began to make sense.

     He was still looking at the ground, his back to me. I was about ten feet from him and my hands gripped the grass around me, tightly. He went on.

 

     “My pride, my honor and my courage were tested to their very limits. When he had finished with me, one of the men dragged me off to the regeneration tank. Many of my ribs were broken and I had suffered a fairly severe concussion as well as burns and lacerations the like I had only ever known on the battlefield.”

     He lifted his head and watched the last bit of light leave the sky.

     “As I regained consciousness in the tank, I reached a psychotic sort of clarity. I knew that I had to stay alive. And even though fighting him had only made it worse, I could never give in. To do so would be like spitting on my peoples’ graves. I would not let him break me. I would not feel disgrace. And I would never fear him. One day, I would be the one... to destroy him for what he had done; to them, and to me.”

 

      I didn’t realize that there were tears pouring down my cheeks till he stopped talking. I was completely speechless. I knew by the rawness of the way he told it, that this was the first time he had ever talked about it. I wanted to reach out and take him in my arms and squeeze him tight as if he were our son woken out of his sleep by an awful nightmare. I wanted to tell him that everything was going to be all right. Then I remembered why I had come: what he had done to disgrace and dishonor me.

     I got angry for a moment. Then something clicked. You know that book you gave me, Doctor? The one about masochism that I thought was kinda weird? It makes sense! All his life, this man had been living with a terrible, secret humiliation.

     He had an obsession to be the strongest man in the universe and what’s the only thing standing in his way?!... my best friend, Kakarotto! So what does he do?! He dominates him the same way he was dominated by Furiza!

 

     It was like a light bulb exploded in my head. I wanted to jump up and yell ‘Eureka’! But guess what? He wasn’t done!

 

     Vegeta shook his head a little and sighed. I held my breath.

     “I’ve never told anyone what I just said. Not even myself. I have a hard time... dealing with it. It’s something that happened that I try to forget, but I can’t. I thought of it when I was with Kakarotto.”

     He paused for a moment, and my anger built back up again. My reason was losing the battle with my emotions.

     “When you walked in... I’d become the monster I hated. But all I wanted was...” he trailed off. A few intolerable moments of silence followed and I couldn’t take it anymore.

     “What?!” He hunkered down in reaction, almost as if he had expected me to scream. “You wanted Son-kun? Did you want to exorcise you demons or did you want steamin’ hot man-meat?!” I jumped up and without regard let everything that had accumulated for the last three months spill out of me.

     “For the last ten years I have not been with one single man except you. I have been a loyal and fairly dedicated wife. I’ve been there whenever you wanted me and I’ve even given you a son! What have you done for me? Nothing. Do I expect anything? NO! All I expected was that maybe, just maybe, you cared for me. Even in the slightest!

     “The thing that makes me the maddest about this whole thing, is the way you looked! Just relaxing, all soft and nice and... intimate! There’s that word! Intimate! You’ve never whispered like that to me! Never! Never looked into my eyes and laughed like the way you did with... with... Son-kun!!!”

     I lost it. The anger slipped into despair and I just bawled. He stood up and took a step away from me.

     “NO! Don’t leave!!” I pleaded. My poor brain. There was too much to think about: my pain, his pain. I was getting confused.

     Then I gasped. I watched my stoic husband retreating from me, back to the depths of his burning secret. I felt like an ass. I mean, this man had just poured out his soul for the first time in his life and here I am stomping all over it!

 

     “God damn it. Is this my fault? Do you have no idea? Oh no...” My shoulders slumped and I laughed through my tears at the ridiculousness of the situation. “Have I ever even told you...? Even once? No wonder... Oh no wonder.”

     He stopped and waited.

     “We’re both so obstinate. We’re both terrified of each other, aren’t we? Terrified the other won’t feel the same so neither of us says anything.” I tilted back my head a little and laughed fairly hard. “Well, here goes.” I spread my arms out wide and bellowed at him. “I love you!!”

    

     Finally, he turned around and looked at me. His eyes were wide, but also red-rimmed. Tears reflected off of his cheeks in the fading light. “What...?”

     “I. Love. You. Dumbass.” I laughed and sobbed. “I don’t care that you’re evil and nasty and snobby. It doesn’t make a difference to me what happened to you in the past. What does bug me just a little bit, is that you care about Son-kun more than you do about me.”

     “That’s not true.”

     “Isn’t it?”

     “No.”

     “Tell me. Tell me the reason you were with Son-kun.”

     He looked me right in the eye and whispered a name. “Furiza.”

     “But...?”

     “What you heard, what you saw... He was trying to get away from me. I was trying to make him stay. I had power over him and I loved it. When I saw you I thought I was going to die. Not of embarrassment, of... how do they say it...?”

     “A broken heart?” I whispered.

     He nodded slightly. “Bulma,” he practically mouthed my name it was so quiet. He had never called me by my name before. His face contorted. This man always looks angry or like his concentrating. His eyebrows are always slanted down. They moved... They went up! He sort of bit his lip as he looked at me. “Bulma... I have... I have been afraid.”

     “Why?” I asked quietly.

     “All this time. I feared that if you knew what had happened to me that you would think less of me. And now, I’m terrified that because of my indiscretion I have lost you forever.”

 

     He must have read something on my face that made him stop. I panicked. He couldn’t stop now! He was so close...!

     Now... I might want to mention that I’m a good three inches taller than he is. I noted the intimidation factor and flopped down like a sack of potatoes on the ground in front of him.

     “You’ll never lose me.”

     “No?” he asked incredulously. A single tear welled up and cascaded over his eye.

     “Never. I love you. That will never change as long as you love me too.” I stared into his eyes. “Vegeta, do you love me?”

     He nodded and slowly dropped to his knees in front of me. “Please...” he said. He was begging me! “Please forgive me. I love you.”

 

     I broke my composure and lunged at him. I wrapped my arms around him and hugged him tightly. I felt his arms cross over me and do the same. I felt his tears fall against my bare shoulder and his body shake with quiet sobs as I laughed and cried with him.

     “Take me home, Vegeta. Let’s go home.”

     He picked me up and we flew home as night fell.

 

     When I woke up in the morning, late, he was gone. For a moment I was unsure that any of the previous day’s events had even happened. I sat up in bed and tried to remember. We hadn’t made love. It was far too early to do something like that. But we had fallen asleep in each other’s arms. I remembered his warmth and intimacy. There it is again! That word! He was so close to me and his voice was so soft when he whispered ‘goodnight’... It seemed too clear to have been a dream. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something pink that distracted me.

     On my night stand, in the glass I use to take my pills with at night, was a single, perfect, unusual, pink flower. It was no dream. My husband had put it there in the wee hours of the dawn. He probably got it from some far off place. He had been thinking about me. This was his sign to me, to tell me without words that he loved me. I must have stared at that flower for hours...

     Since then, every night he’s away (and he still does go off on his own, sometimes. If I could fly I’d probably disappear occasionally, too!) I wake up to a different flower, and with it, his affection for me - without words.

 

     That’s it. That’s the story. I just felt that I needed to tell someone. Since you asked me to tell you a story two months ago, I figured that you’d want to hear the end of it.

     Well, you’re welcome, but thank you. You really are the best in the business. You didn’t have to do anything. Just listen. I needed someone to hear this. That’s what I’m thanking you for.

 

     What do I see in the future? Hmmmm...

     I see myself growing older beside my Prince.

     I see our son growing up loved and into the handsome, strong young man we already know he’s going to be.

     I see our daughter becoming a beautiful, smart young woman who will know how much her parents love her and know that she can do anything. Anything at all!

     What?

     Do I have a daughter...?

     Well... heh.

     Not yet.

 

     Thank you again, Doctor.

 

END

- for Audrey “LM”


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