The Light to my Darkness

BY : SaiyanPrince541
Category: Dragon Ball Z > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 5250
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN DRAGON BALL Z, OR ANY OF THE PRIMARY CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY!! THOSE ARE ALL TORIYAMA'S!! THIS IS A NON-PROFIT, FAN-MADE STORY!!!

Chapter 36: Rude Awakening

Bulma exited the hospital room, to prepare dinner for Vegeta and herself, when her bright blue eyes caught sight of a very familiar figure, sauntering in her direction, observing the numbers on each door he passed.

"Y-Y-Yamcha." Her heart rattled. She hadn't expected him to be here until at least tomorrow afternoon!

"Bulma?" The scarred warrior turned towards her in surprise. A beatific look graced his ardent features as he ran over and captured her in a tight embrace, for the first time in a very, very long time. "Bulma! I'm so happy to see you!" He practically cried. Oh how he'd missed her the feel of her petite body against his. Intense waves of pleasure swooshed over his burly frame.

"Uh- yeah- likewise." She rasped. "Can I please breathe?"

"Oh sorry." Yamcha chuckled, loosening his hold a little, but keeping it firm nonetheless, never wanting to let go, no matter what. For what felt like eons, he'd eagerly awaited the reunion with his beloved soulmate! They were truly meant for one-another! Things would be work out for the best! He just knew it! He drew his face back and smiled lovingly at her. "You look beautiful, Bulma."

"Th-Thanks." She mumbled, furtively looking between her toes and trying to cover the culpability in her voice. The heiress felt terrible. She'd never seen him this happy before, which made it all the more difficult to tell him the truth! How could she ever tell him?! It would destroy him and everything between them, likely forever!

"What's wrong babe?" Yamcha asked, gently tilting her head up, with a folded finger. He closed his eyes and moved his face towards hers. The heiress turned aside and the ex-bandit frowned, as he made contact with her cheek, rather than his intended target: her lips. "B-Bulma?"

"We can't Yamcha." She said quickly, sighing in dejection. "We- We broke up, don't you, remember?"

The scar-faced fighter immediately let go, gawping at her incredulously, his heart slowly plummeting down to his stomach.

"But- but Bulma, I- I don't understand, we- we always broke up." He argued, voice shaky. Perhaps she was just a little overwhelmed by his abrupt appearance, that's all. Yes that had to be it! With renewed confidence, he gave her a tender smile. "We can make this better, I promise! It'll only be the two of us! I love you Bulma! I can't possibly tell you how much! Let's just-"

"You don't understand, Yamcha!" She frowned, heart heavy and laden with layer, after layer of unadulterated guilt. Tears streamed down her eyelids, as self-condemnation flooded through her. Here he was pouring his heart out and yet she was refusing him, again and again! Yamcha was willing to give her everything and hadn't the faintest idea that she was in love with another! "It won't work! Don't you get it?! We'll just end up regretting it, for the rest of our lives! We'll be miserable! I know it hurts now, but we'll save ourselves a lot of pain in the future, if we just end it!"

The scarred fighter's heart submerged lower and lower, into a deep, dark and secluded ocean, with each word of his beloved. The mere thought of life without her, made his gut clench. Every moment spent in King Kai's world, he had envisioned his return to Earth, with her leaping into his arms and weeping joyously, as she professed her undying love! But- it had been over a year since he'd seen her and in that time, she slowly, but surely, drifted further away, while he'd naively been expecting, the exact opposite! Why?! Why did the Universe have to be so cruel?!

"Bulma- I- I know we haven't had the best history, but things can be different now!"

"Can we not talk about this, please?!" A few tense seconds later, her expression softened and she smiled, placing a hand on his cheek. "We'll always be friends. Nothing will ever change that, so let's just forget about all this. Look, why don't you stay over for a while and we can-"

"What's the real reason?!" The scarred warrior hissed icily, brows scrunched, as he kept his tears at bay. "Tell me!"

"I already told you-"

"Not everything!" His eyes shifted towards the room labelled 47B, wherein he sensed another Ki. He gently moved Bulma aside, walking over to it, fists clenched, all the while. Maybe he'd finally get some answers! Who was it that had captured her attention all this time, so much so, that she wasn't even there to greet him, when he arrived?!

"Yamcha, wait!" She yelled, in panic. Too late. He opened the rouge door and his eyes widened, upon seeing a man he loathed more than any other, back leaning against the headboard. No, it- it couldn't be him! No way! He would've sensed his Ki from a galaxy away and even then, it would terrify the living daylights out of him! What he felt now was, by contrast, incredibly low!

The Saiyan Prince turned towards the door and his expression immediately hardened beyond description, as he saw that gawking, arrogant fool of a 'warrior' standing before him.

"What the fuck are you doing here, weakling?!" He growled, bitingly.

"You- y-you're- supposed to d-dead." The scarred fighter stammered.

"I could say the same thing about you." Vegeta fired back, then smirked as he figured it out. "Ah, those fools must've brought your useless behind, back to life." His mouth pressed into a hard line. "Tch, what a goddamn waste! Now get the fuck out of my room!"

"Y-Your room?" Yamcha shook his head and his lips curled into a ferocious snarl, as he took a few daring paces forward. "What the fuck do you mean, your room?!"

At that moment, Bulma walked inside.

"Yamcha, wait a sec-"

"Explain to me, what this bastard is doing here!" The ex-bandit seethed.

"Say that to my face, coward!" Vegeta challenged.

"Would you both shut-up and just relax?!" The heiress yelled over the two of them. She looked between her feet. "I- uh- well- you see- Vegeta was alive and we- um- wished him back to Earth." She slurred the last part of the sentence.

"You what?!" Yamcha practically roared. "Wh- Why in Kami's green earhole, would you ever-"

"What fucking business is it of yours, weakling?!" The Prince interposed. "She doesn't have to explain anything to you! You're nothing but a worthless scrub, a pansy-ass with no b-"

"Vegeta, lay off him, would you?!" Bulma grit her teeth at the Saiyan, in reprimand. She couldn't deny being a little flattered that he was getting all protective over her, but that was just a tiny bit overboard.

"I don't need you to defend me!" Yamcha seethed, cooly. Harrowing pain and fury coursed through his every vein. This couldn't be right, this just couldn't! How had things gone from terrible to nightmarish, in the mere blink of an eye?! The scarred man pointed a trembling finger towards Vegeta, eyes never leaving his former lover's. "Is- is he the reason you're breaking up with me?!"

"We broke up a long time ago, Yamcha!" She shot back. "He's got nothing to do with this!" The latter claim, of course, was a downright lie.

The Prince frowned at her, curiously. That was strange. Back on Frieza's ship, she'd categorically claimed that he made her 'betray' that pitiful excuse for a fighter (A/N: Refer to Chapter 21). But, if they were already separated, then why would she- Fucking hell! Why did he even care?! Their issues weren't his and he certainly didn't want to hear about it!

"Then why?!" The scarred man gnashed his teeth, an underlying despondence behind his indignant visage. "Why would you bring him here?! How could you, Bulma?! After all these years, I thought you'd at least have more decency than-"

"Shut the fuck up, already!" Vegeta roared, his patience now thinner than himself. "Go cry somewhere else, you miserable worm! This is my room and you're not welcome here, so flee!"

"Why don't you make me, you little freak?!" An incandescent Yamcha retorted. "And what the hell's happened to you, anyway?! You look like a fucking twig and your Ki's gone down the the toil-"

"Enough!" Bulma clamped a hand over her ex's mouth, glaring fiercely at him, then at Vegeta. "It's obvious that you two muscle-heads can't be in a room together, even for a few seconds! Seriously, you're like oil and fire!" She pulled her hand back, setting her eyes squarely upon the scarred warrior's. "Yamcha, go to the living room and I'll be with you, in a short while, okay?!"

"Fuck it!" He pushed his way, past her. "I'm leaving! I know when I'm not wanted!"

He didn't make it two steps, when he was shoved sideways, an unwavering Bulma pinning him against the wall with her forearm, on his chest.

"I said stay!" She ordered resolutely, radiant blue flames, burning fiercely inside her cerulean eyes. "You will go downstairs, sit on the couch and watch some fucking Netflix, are we clear?!"

Just like that, the ex-bandit's resolve evanesced into the winds.

"Y-Y-Yes m-ma'am." He muttered quietly. Well, at least she hadn't lost even a thimble of her assertive edge; no, if anything, she was more bullish than ever. He hardly knew whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

"Glad we've got that out the way." The heiress released her ex and he dashed out of the room, without delay.

"Tch, what a wimp." Vegeta remarked, derisively.

"And you!" Bulma walked up to his bedside, not the least bit impressed. She prodded his chest, with her finger. "You've got some nerve, talking to him like that! What did he ever do to you?!"

"His very existence, gets on my nerves!" Vegeta snapped. "His ugly face belongs in the dirt, right where my Saibaman put it!"

"Shut up!" She gave him a slap across the cheek, intended to scold him, rather than hurt him. The Prince gave her a warning growl, but she paid it no mind. "He's not ugly! He's my friend and you have no right to talk about him like that!"

"He's the one who trespassed, in my domain!"

"Our domain, not just yours, so quit being so territorial!" The heiress corrected. "And besides, he didn't know!"

"I could care less!" He scowled. "Just keep him away! His mere presence, makes me want to eviscerate him and shove his bowels down his throat!"

"He's not that bad, dammit!" Bulma argued. "You don't even know anything about him! He's one of the nicest people, I've ever met!" She placed her fingers on her eyes, sighing wearily. "But fine, I'll keep him out of your hair."

"Good." The Prince was irked that she took a stand on the weakling's behalf, but it didn't show behind his stony mask of nonchalance. "Now get me my damn dinner!"

"Hush, you!" She reproached. "Don't talk to me like I'm your maid! I'll be back with dinner when I'm good and ready, so just shut up and watch some television or something!" Bulma grabbed a peculiar remote-control device and pointed to a bizarre screen attached to the wall, opposite his bed. She pressed the power button and some mysterious exhibition about toucans, began playing out on the display unit. "Here!" She handed him the remote and left, slamming the door behind her. The Prince muttered a string of curses under his breath, but a few minutes later found that he was quite engrossed in the nature documentary, until-

"ARRRRGGGGHHHH! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!" He freaked out, almost falling off the bed, when a cluster of slimy, putrid worms suddenly materialized on the screen before him, accompanied with some commentary in the background about 'annelids'.

XXXX

Bulma walked into the lounge room, with a difficult smile loosely writ on her taut features. Her expression turned sour, as she noticed the opulent display on the television set.

"Aerobics?! Again?! Are you serious?!"

"O-Oh, B-Bulma!" The scarred fighter said in surprise and immediately pressed the power button to close the LCD. "I- I was just- uh- surfing through, you know and-"

"Spare me!" The heiress rolled her eyes, standing in front of him with a scowl, arms folded across her chest. "Honestly, Yamcha, what the hell?! After all this time, you still haven't changed one bit!"

"Why do you even care?!" The scar-faced man snorted. "Didn't you dump me, just a few minutes ago?!"

"Firstly, we were over long before that and secondly, that still doesn't mean you have to act like a depraved moron in my house, in the living room, no less!"

"You're the one who forced me to stay!" Yamcha ground his teeth together, exasperatedly. "Seriously, what the hell do you want from me?!"

"Well for starters, I want you to quit being such a jerk!" She seethed. "Honestly, one's bad enough! I don't need another!"

"Oh, would you, by any chance, be referring to the guy that had me killed, who just happens to be living under your roof?!"

"You don't even know the whole story!"

"Then explain!"

After a tense moment, Bulma released a sigh and plopped down on the sofa next to her frustrated ex. She set about recounting right from the very beginning, when she'd offered herself as a hostage to Vegeta, in order to protect the planet. Nothing new there. The heiress continued on, narrating the journey to Planet Frieza no. 79, conveniently omitting the part where she'd gotten a good, hard look at Vegeta's firm and exquisitely mouthwatering, behind (A/N: Refer to Chapter 7). It was then that she arrived at the focal point of the story: Namek. The deeper she ventured, the further her heart-rate spiked. And finally, she reached the tale's epicentre: the moment she'd gotten intimate with her captor.

Yamcha didn't take the news well, not at all. His wounded heart drowned inside an expansive body of stinging brine. He couldn't believe it! She'd betrayed him- for that fucking ruthless, genocidal barbarian! Anyone else and he may have forgiven it, but not him! He didn't want to hear another word! He stood up and trudged towards the door, taking labored breaths and pouring every ounce of effort he could summon, into restraining his tears.

"Wait Yamcha, where're you going?!" The heiress went after him and grabbed his arm.

"Don't touch me!" He yelled in her face, whereby she fell over, in shock.

"Y-Yamcha, I-"

"Save it!" He croaked, voice packed with heady venom, unable to keep his eyes from watering up. "Every day in Other world, all I could ever think about was you, while you were off sleeping with the bastard that killed me and then adding insult to injury, by bringing him here!"

"I thought about you as well, but-"

"Enough lies!" He roared. "I never even want to look at you again, ever! We're through, for good! Just pretend you never knew me!" He shot her one last glare. "Have a nice life!"

As he made his way towards the front door, he saw Krillin standing there, biting his lip, with an unmistakable look of guilt, across his face.

"Umm- Yamcha, I'm- uh- sorry."

The scarred man narrowed his eyes a few seconds, a nasty look about him.

PAF!

Yamcha backhanded his bald colleague, right across the face, flooring him.

"That's for keeping it from me, you fucking asshole!"

He promptly opened the front door and closed it with a hard bang that shook the very foundations of Capsule Corporation. He flew off towards his house, feeling more outraged, hurt and betrayed than ever! He imagined this to have been the very best day of his life! He was planning to propose to Bulma right there and then, but everything that he held dear was completely destroyed, all because of that fucking Saiyan scum! He had a sudden urge to murder whichever ratbag asked the dragon to lift his halo! He would've been a lot more content staying in Otherworld, training with King Kai for years on end, oblivious to the bitter truth that shattered his entire world and crippled his heart and soul beyond any possible recovery!

"Ow." An ugly bruise suffused on Krillin's cheekbone. "Guess he wasn't bluffing. He really has gotten a lot stronger. Hm? What's that noise?" The bald man heard muffled sobs and sniffles not far off and immediately dashed towards the living room, where he saw Bulma huddled against the recess of the sofa, covering her face with her hands. "Uh- Bulma?"

"Go away." She hissed, in a stifled voice.

"I-"

"You can't make me hate myself anymore than I do right now, so just go!" She shrieked, nearly sweeping him off his feet.

"Hey relax, that's not why I'm here." The bald man waved his hands defensively. Bulma sniffed and turned away from him, covering her eyes. She'd poured cold water over everything she'd had with Yamcha for so many years, all for a man who probably didn't even know the meaning of the word 'love', yet she couldn't hold it against Vegeta, only herself. She could practically taste Yamcha's hate and resentment towards her and it wounded her far deeper than she would've imagined, but she convinced herself that she deserved each and every bit of it, if not more. She flinched, upon feeling an arm gird around her shoulders.

"Come on, Bulma, don't cry." Krillin said soothingly.

"I'm not crying!" She seethed, averting her gaze. "Please, just leave me alone." She choked.

The bald warrior's chest tightened at the helplessness lacing her tone. This wasn't like her at all. He rubbed her shoulder up and down, in a comforting gesture. He was at a complete loss for what to say, so he just remained silent for a while, sighing dejectedly on occasion, surprised that Bulma hadn't shoved him away already.

"He hates me." She muttered, despondently.

"Who? Yamcha?"

"Who else?"

After a tense pause, Krillin spoke up.

"Bulma, I- I've known Yamcha for a long time, heck, I might even know him better than you." He said, smiling wistfully. She turned in his direction, blinking out her tears. "Believe me when I say this: Yamcha could never hate you, no matter what you do."

"You don't even know what I did." She frowned, casting her eyes aside.

"I know about you and Vegeta."

"Y-You do?" Bulma sucked in her breath.

"Come on, you make it sound, as though it's a big secret." He rolled his eyes. "We all heard what you said to him right before you died and now that he's here with us, you've barely left his side."

"Well yeah, but-" The heiress couldn't help but blush a little. "That still doesn't change a thing." She continued in a strained voice. "Yamcha trusted me and I betrayed him."

"You didn't betray him Bulma." Krillin shook his head. "The two of you weren't even tog-"

"It's not about that, Krillin." She sighed, despairingly. "He and I- well- even when we broke up, we never really broke up, if you get what I mean. It was always more of a time out, with us. We'd never been with anyone else before."

"Oh, really?" The bald man frowned. "Just how naive are you?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" She asked, brows creased.

"Well- uh- I swore not to say, but-"

"Tell me!" The heiress narrowed her eyes dangerously. Krillin let out a relenting exhale.

"Well, you know how we flew over to Yamcha's baseball game, right after Goku died?"

"Uh huh." She nodded.

"I saw a bunch of girls, touching and- uh- groping him and he was just laughing, letting them do whatever they wanted." He recounted. "I confronted him about it later and he admitted he had a few flings, after you, 'dumped his ass', as he put it."

"That- that jerk!" Bulma grit her teeth. "You should've told me, ass-face!" Here she was, loathing herself the entire time, while her ex was out, playing the innocent victim! But her outrage was hardly enough to alleviate the pain or guilt that beset her. She placed a hand on her head. "Still, that's a different story, altogether. All he did was spend the night with a couple of floozies. What I did was a lot worse. Yamcha died, trying to defend us and I disgraced his memory, by sleeping with the enemy."

"Is that really how you see Vegeta?" Krillin asked.

"No." She mumbled back. "But he does and-"

"Tell me something, Bulma and be honest." The bald man asked, looking her squarely in the eyes. "Do you regret it?"

"I- I don't know- I mean, I still love Vegeta, but-"

"Then stop hating yourself." He gave her an encouraging smile and massaged her shoulder. "To be honest, I still don't know if I condone what happened between you, but that's a whole other matter. What you had with Vegeta, wasn't necessarily bad." He paused a moment. "I didn't think it was possible for someone like him to change, not in a million years, but he did and it was because of you. No matter what anyone says, you were good for Vegeta and no one can take that away from you, not even Yamcha. After all, you're the reason he turned Super Saiyan and was able to defeat Frieza."

"Wh-What?!" She asked, eyes as wide as the sea and heart-rate mounting to new heights.

"No one told you?" Krillin frowned, taken aback. "You didn't even think to ask?"

"N-No, wh-what happened?"

Bulma perceived a hint of pride and veneration in her friend's tone, as he informed her of her Saiyan's legendary transformation, with great detail, recalling how he'd cried over her dead form and gathered her up in his arms, once he'd ascended. Here she was questioning Vegeta's capacity to love, but she should've known that for one such as him, actions spoke a lot louder than words. She no longer had any doubts that he did love her, albeit, in his own unconventional way. Of course, he'd rather jump inside a well of sulfuric acid than admit it, but that was besides the point. She barely resisted the urge to squee and make merry!

"Feeling better now?" Krillin asked, smiling benignly.

"A little, I guess." Her lips quirked up, slightly.

"Good." He stood up and stretched out his arms and legs. "Don't worry about Yamcha." Her face fell at the mention of her ex. "He won't stay mad at you, forever. Just give it some time. I'll go speak to him, okay?"

"You really don't have to any of this, Krillin."

"Hey, you sacrificed everything for us, Bulma." He smiled. "This is the least I can do. It'll take time, but it's all gonna work out eventually. Trust me."

The heiress looked at him a moment, before nodding.

"Alright, and- uh- if you don't mind, could you just- um- keep this between us- for now?"

"Sure thing."

"Thanks, Krillin." She smiled, in appreciation. "You're a great friend and I mean that."

"Don't mention it hehe." He laughed sheepishly, whilst mentally adding. 'Forever in the friend zone.' Sauntering towards the front door, his mind wandered towards his own ex, a Bulma look-alike, named Maron. Truthfully, he didn't find her quite as attractive as the former and on top of that, she was a total air-headed bimbo. He still liked her, nonetheless. She was incredibly animated and easygoing, without a clue or care in the world and had this constant cheery vibe, about her. Unfortunately, everything went downhill when she'd informed him that he was 'only' her three hundred and fifty seventh boyfriend and that she still had a few dozen others, whom she visited, every now and again. She equated it to eating a range of delicacies, depending on the mood and occasion, rather than tediously sticking with just one. He shuddered at that godforsaken memory. While Bulma was more than a bit fickle and flirtatious back in the day, she had a lot more self-respect than that. If only he could find someone like her: intelligent, strong-willed, driven, spirited and kind-hearted, when it truly counted. He sighed forlornly, as he zoomed towards Yamcha's house. He had a feeling, he wouldn't exactly receive the warmest of welcomes, but that was to be expected.

The heiress stood up, sighing wearily and proceeding back towards the medical wing, but not before stopping at the kitchenette, to prepare another meal for her famished and hot-tempered Saiyan.

'Hm, now what should I put together for dinner?' She mused. 'Dammit, if only Oolong was here. Vegeta could definitely go for some pork chops.' She giggled inwardly at her own joke. Eventually she decided upon mild beef needle soup. As she cooked, her thoughts meandered from one place to another, but for the most part, centred upon a certain scar-faced ex-bandit. What could she possibly do, in order to make this right? There had to be some way, there just had to be! In the end, she opted to mull over it over the course of the next few days. It was late, she had an excruciating headache and a broken heart, plus waiting it out for a while, would give Yamcha time to cool down. She prayed to whichever deity was listening, that he didn't perform seppuku, before then.

XXXX

"Wat tha f-uck do you w-want, c-c-cueball?!" A drunken Yamcha yelled, sloppily hurling an empty beer bottle aimed for Krillin's head. It missed by a long shot, instead shattering on a portrait of a scantily clad model, eliciting a series of sporadic laughs from the scarred warrior. "Hahahahahahaha, r-r-rite'n tha crotch! I got'er, rite in tha-"

"Yamcha, I really think you should tuck in for the night." An unsettled Puar meekly advised.

"Quiet f-f-fur-ball!" The inebriated man pointed an unstable finger at the hovering feline. "I- I- I'm tha only b-b-boss around-"

"Yamcha, would you calm down?!" Krillin exclaimed. "You're not acting like yourself!" The bald man tried forcing his scarred friend to sit, but he viciously resisted, much to the former's chagrin. Left with no other choice, Krillin landed a brutal low punch on the solar-plexus, causing the intoxicated Yamcha to double-over and barf all over the floorboard. Puar gasped, in shock and dismay.

"Sorry about this, Yamcha." He landed a knock-out blow to the nape and held him up by the scruff of his Gi, to keep him from falling into his own puke. Carrying him over to the bedroom, he gently laid out the unconscious man over his bed, Puar in tow.

"Will he be okay?" The drifting cat asked, solicitously.

"Yeah, of course." Krillin nodded, looking towards the feline. "Puar, maybe you shouldn't stick around here, you know, cause-"

"I'll never leave Yamcha!" She exclaimed, resolvedly.

"He's not himself." The bald man argued. "Look, just gimme a few days, so I can help him get sober."

"I'm staying right here!"

"Ugh- fine." Krillin's shoulders fell in defeat. Puar had always been loyal to a fault, constantly rooting for Yamcha at every instance, no matter what odds were stacked up against him. While that was truly admirable, it wasn't exactly the most fitting virtue, where self-preservation was concerned. He knew Yamcha would never touch a hair on his furry friend's body, but too much alcohol took its toll on any man. 'I guess that's why I'm here.' He thought to himself.

The next morning he called Bulma and told her about what had materialized the night before, only triggering her to condemn herself that much further. She suggested confronting Yamcha face-to-face, in order to straighten out this dreadful matter, but Krillin strictly forbade it, maintaining that the scar-faced man needed at least a few weeks to settle down and come to terms, with everything.


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