Title: They Shall Be Comforted
Plot, or Lack Thereof: After Bulma dies, Vegeta is reunited with her, in a fashion.
Reason for Banishment:Weak characterization, shameless self insertion.
Almost half a year has since Vegeta took my offer to give him cooking lessons. He was a brilliant student: after learning how to make a dish, he improvised and improved on it. He was even starting to get better at it than me. (I was never that great of a cook in the first place.) Trunks had made it through college in one piece (more or less), and Vegeta watched him walk across the stage to receive his diploma. Bra, who had yet to experience the college life, had a much easier time dealing with the loss of her mother. Everything was just fine.
Everything, that is, except for one thing.
I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but then I realized what was missing from the picture of a possibly happy family: Bulma. No one, especially not Vegeta, had gotten over her death. Of course, I didn’t expect them to, but it was heartbreaking to see the loneliness and grief that they showed on their faces. (It was on Vegeta’s face, too, but most of the time he did a pretty good job of hiding it.)
In the other world, the one where Future Trunks came from, the situation was the same, except the person being missed was Vegeta.
(I had come across the time machine Cell used to go back in time in the disaster area known as Bulma’s workshop and twiddled around with it whenever I was bored. After I put it back together, I sat in it, set the destination to Trunks’ timeline, and pressed the ‘launch’ button just for the heck of it. Turns out the thing worked. Bulma—the one in the future—made some improvements on it so that it was much more energy efficient, and I have been going back and forth between the two worlds ever since.)
I could tell that it was more than the stress of rebuilding a destroyed world that wrinkled Future Bulma’s face; even after all this time, tears would still form in her eyes whenever she talked about Vegeta.
I could never find the right words to comfort them; being the blunt person that I am, (even more blunt than Goku, sometimes,) I usually ended up saying something useless or stupid.
Once, frustrated at the failure of my efforts, I said: “I wish there were something I could do to help.”
“I appreciate that,” Bulma replied. “But nothing can be done; the past can’t be changed.”
“Yes, but the present can.” I stopped.
Then a crazy idea hit me head-on.
I excused myself, returned to the other timeline as fast as I could, and went to consult Dende, my voice of reason.
“Hello!” Dende greeted.
Dende rolled his eyes. “For the thousandth time, you can skip the formalities. So what brings you up here?”
I smiled. “Don’t you know already?”
“Your mind is too unpredictable for me to read, so please enlighten me.”
“Well,” I took a deep breath. “I’ve been thinking.”
“Tsk, tsk.” Dende shook his head playfully. “You should know better.”
“I can’t help it,” I shrugged. “Anyways, I was thinking that since in this world Bulma died, but in Future Trunks’ world Vegeta died, so…”
“So you want to play matchmaker for the two widows.”
“You could say that.” I grinned, feeling sheepish. “Is this another one of my really bad ideas?”
“I don’t know.” Dende furrowed his brows. “It’s too early to predict the consequences of your actions. However,” He smiled at me. “I think you should at least ask the people involved before you do anything.”
Future Trunks raised an eyebrow in a way reminiscent of Vegeta.
“Bring the ‘other’ Vegeta here?”
I nodded. “Yep.”
“Have you told my mother about it yet?”
“No. I wanted to get your opinion first.”
Trunks grinned. “This is the first good—no, great—idea you’ve ever had.”
Bulma tightened the grip on her mug. “V-Vegeta?”
“The one from the timeline Trunks saved,” I explained. “In that world, you were the one who died. It’s up to you, Bulma.”
She looked at me; I had never seen her so happy. “When will they be coming?”
“Bulma.” Vegeta muttered, lost in thought.
“There’s a way to bring Mom back?” Bra leaned forward.
“I’ve always wanted to meet the ‘other’ Trunks.” Trunks turned to his father. “But you have the last word about it, Dad.”
“Does ‘she’ know about this?” Vegeta asked, meaning the ‘other’ Bulma.
“Yes…” I replied. “And she wants to know when you’ll be coming.”
Vegeta traced his finger across the picture of Bulma’s jaw, forever tilted upward to receive his kiss.
“Well?” I prompted. Vegeta put the picture on the coffee table and stood up.
“Let’s get packing.”
“Trunks,” I introduced. “Meet—uh—Trunks.” The two Trunks’ shook hands.
“Wow! I’ve never shook hands with myself before.” (The just arrived) Trunks joked.
Bra looked at her brother (or should it be ‘brothers’?), pretending to be confused. “So, which Trunks is which?”
“For now, let’s go by ‘Trunks #1’,” I pointed at Future Trunks, “and ‘Trunks #2’.” And then at the other Trunks. ‘Trunks #2’ was not very happy with this arrangement.
“Why do I have to be ‘#2’?” He complained.
“I said ‘for now’,” I explained. “We’ll work it out later.”
“Just shut up and get inside already.” Vegeta commanded, annoyed.
Bulma and Vegeta just stared at one another.
“Hey, Trunks—both of you? And Bra?” I inched towards the door. “Help me unpack.”
Vegeta was the first to speak.
“Bulma.” He called. Bulma didn’t respond. She couldn’t. She had thought she was prepared to meet her husband again for the first time after twenty years, but instead found herself too overcome with emotion to speak.
Vegeta moved forward, so that they were now only an arm’s length apart. He sat them down on the sofa. Hesitant, he reached out and brushed her lavender hair, not caring that it was now streaked with gray. He touched her face, smoothing out her worry lines. He ran his finger across her jaw, this time a real one, not frozen in time on film. He pulled her close.
“Bulma.” He repeated.
Bulma wanted to say something, anything,but all she could do was collapse into Vegeta’s arms and sob. She felt his arms wrap around her; she did the same.
“The ‘reunion’ is getting along rather nicely,” I observed.
“Wow.” Trunks #1 said. “Dad’s changed a lot.”
“Twenty years of living with your mother will do that to a man.” I replied. Both Trunks’ smiled. “Well, since there’s no longer much of a point in me staying here, I’ll be going.” I checked to see if I had taken all of my belongings. “Oh, and Trunks #2? Don’t forget to tell the little story behind ‘The Picture’ sometime.”
“What’s ‘The Picture’?” I heard Trunks #1 ask as I walked out the door.