Closer to the Heart

* * *

A/N: This story takes place in the same universe as "Welcome to Hell, Son", "Why?", "Radditz's Return", and "Mythic Descent." Plese read them first, or at least know the general plot of those stories. They could be found in Dragoness' Lair, another part of this domain.

* * *

He was dreaming about her again. He ignored the fact that the dead do not dream. He had always dreamed of her, ever since Maya. Why should it be any different in Hell?

He stood in a darkened bedroom. The balcony door was open and the balcony was palely lit. However, none of the light dared to cross the threshold into the bedroom.

She leaned on the pale balcony railing, singing. He could not hear the words, but the melody haunted him.

It wasn't a completely Saiyan song, but she had never cared about such things. She wore alien clothes when she was at home, or at official court functions. Even her hair wasn't wild like a normal Saiyan's; years of brushing it every day had straightened the waist-length black hair.

He stepped out onto the balcony; the song finished, she turned to look at him. Green eyes met his black ones in a silent plea. "When are you coming back to me, my brave Marshal?" was all she said. It was all she ever said in these dreams, but now he was ready to return to her.

"Soon, my beautiful Easterner. Soon." Nappa said as he faded from the dream and back into reality.

* * *

Sitting down in his chamber, Nappa thought slowly, but well. There was no enemy around to cloud his mind with hate, and no Saiyan around to bring his duty out of its sleep.

There wasn't much use for the Gozu Oni Squad at the moment, so talking Bardock into letting him take leave wouldn't be very hard. However, if there was a problem that needed the Gozu Oni Squad, then Bardock would be in trouble. So, he really shouldn't be going...

Damn it, why was he thinking about his? He hadn't seen her since, well, before Vegetasei had been destroyed! Why did he care about what might happen while he was in Heaven? Bardock was more than capable of dealing with any problems that might crop up!

Because, whispered a voice in his mind, you know she'll be upset, and she was always the most dangerous when she was upset. Remember...

* * *

"The planet's going to be harder to take than we thought, Father," Diive yelled over the battle. The troops were starting to fall back from the fourth charge they'd made on the citadel in the last five hours. It shields had flickered twice, but still the damned thing kept repelling their charges and reflecting their ki!

"We'll have to call for reinforcements if this keeps up," Nappa said to the woman at his side. She just sneered.

"If you had bothered to wait until we could get someone who knew how to make those moon kis, then maybe we wouldn't have to call for reinforcements, Commander," she said grimly. "Or you could have waited, and let our son learn how to make one. Diive was going to be training under Bardock for a few days, if you'd waited."

"Eh. The scouting report said this planet would be easy pickings. Guess it was wrong. I'm going to have to find that idiot who filed the scouting report, and do some.. sparring with him," Nappa grinned at that prospect.

"The scouting report said that it would be easy pickings if you went oozaru. If you're going to quote things at me to make me shut up, then at least quote the whole thing."

He turned away from her and scanned the battle ground. They had only lost a couple of troops, but they had all been lost at this citadel. Something had killed them, when all this planet had for high-technology was the ki shields. His instinct was warning him that there was something with its own ki in there, something dangerous...

His scouter abrubtly clicked on, telling him that something was leaving the citadel. The something soon proved itself to be ugly. It was pale, thin, and hairless. It was also very powerful, if his scouter was working.

"I am Kouko, G'naak. Prepare to meet thy maker," was all it said before it attacked. It went straight for Diive, attacking with a massive ki blast. Diive blocked it with ease, but he didn't block the next one. He went down with a hole punched through his chest.

"DIIVE!" Power flared near him, as she flew up and attacked Kouko. Damn it! She wasn't powerful enough to take it down! Nappa did the only thing he could do in that situation.. he attacked Kouko as well.

The fight was fast, brutal, and deadly. Just the kind of fight he loved.

He barely noticed what the troops were doing, he was too busy making sure that for every attack of her's Kouko dodged, he landed a hit of his own on it. Kouko, deciding that he was the greater threat, turned to attack him head on.

Big mistake. She, angered that it had killed her son, only got angrier when Kouko turned its back on her. In her anger, she punched through his back and ignited a ki ball, something she'd never been able to do before.

"Idiot. Never turn your back on a Saiyan woman. We're a lot more dangerous than the men," she informed the corpse. Then she collapsed.

* * *

...Yeah, he remembered. Later, she'd found out that Diive hadn't been killed in the blast. But when Diive was executed, he thought that she would have been happier if Diive had died in that blast on Kirur...

* * *

They were standing in the hot sun of the Southern Desert, watching Diive's final hours. Or, he corrected himself, some of his final hours. She held up a calm facade up for the others to view, but he could feel that she wanted nothing more than to kill them all and then kill her son. He had lost everything this day; there was nothing else she could give him.

She was also getting close to cracking. He would have to take her away from all this. He had seen her kill men for harming her children; this was far, far too much for her.

Looking at her, he saw two tears rolling down her cheeks. He reached out to wipe them off, before one of the Opposition noticed.

She looked at him when he touched her face. "It is awful hot today, isn't it?" she said to him bitterly.

* * *

...No, she had never been quite the same after that. No one in their family had. His sons were bitter and took any reason to go off-world, so that they could lose themselves in the fighting. His daughter, Latta, grew to hate him even more after that. And his wife had taken an off-world mission, and had gotten killed. He remembered what it was like to feel her die...

* * *

He had been in open court on the day she died. The Opposition was making another move to get him away from the young prince. When the scene of her death washed over him, he stood there impassively, oblivious to all around him. She had died a warrior's death, fighting to finish the mission. She'd taken down the toughest opponent the mission had had with one of her favorite moves.. she'd punched into his chest and released a ki blast. But, something had gone wrong... Someone had taken her out while she was killing her opponent. The last part of the transmission was a single thought, We will meet again, my brave Marshal.

* * *

...Some people had managed to connect Diive's death with his sudden brutality, but few had made the connection between her death and his sudden brutality. The ones who knew him best said that her death so soon after Diive's was the cause. They were almost right, but it was the fact that he had only one real reminder of both his favorite son and her that he had changed. Latta was one of the ones who had challenged Diive in open court about that alien woman. Nappa had always known that Latta hated him, but before that he'd never realized how much. He didn't think that any Saiyan had ever hated another Saiyan so much; she was willing to have her favorite brother executed if it meant that the one she hated would die.

How could such a vicious creature look almost identical to the beautiful angel his wife had been?

When he'd finally come to Hell, he'd never expected to have the position of Captain of the Gozu Oni Squad. Of course, he'd never expected most of the things that he found in Hell. He wasn't surprised that Diive was in Heaven, or that Latta was in Hell. For all that Diive had died a traitor's death, the boy had been a good man.

He was very surprised to find out that she was in Heaven, though. By Saiyan standards, she was as loyal as he was, but Lord Enma had decided that she belonged in Heaven for some reason.

He smirked, remembering the fight he'd gotten into when he'd found out where she was. He'd tried to use the Stairway without permission, and had gotten the crap beat out of him by the guard demons. It had been the most fun he'd had since he came to this place.

After that... incident, he had been assigned to captain the Gozu Oni Squad. Since the late Captain of the Gozu Oni had quit, they wouldn't fight under anyone's command. The idiot demons wanted someone they respected to lead them. Heh. Just his luck to earn their respect by taking down half of them trying to get up the Stairway.

Now that you're done thinking about the past, Commander, the voice in his head whispered, would you get permission to go to Heaven, already? You've wasted a lot of perfectly good time.

Aw, shut up, he thought at it, I'm allowed to think about her when I want to. So thinking this, Nappa stood up and headed down for an audience with Lord Bardock.

* * *

"Nappa, no. We can't afford to have the only person who can control the Gozu Oni away for any amount of time," Bardock informed him without looking up from his paperwork.

"Lord Commander, all I want to do is spend two weeks in Heaven. There is very little that can happen in two weeks in Hell," Nappa said in a rare show of diplomacy.

"No! We have too many maras wandering around the borderland to have the Gozu Oni Captain leaving. We might need the Gozu Oni for a battle," Bardock looked up from his paperwork to glare at Nappa.

"Then put that kid Zarbon in charge. The Gozu Oni respect him too."

"Nappa, he's an ex-Frieza employee. He may have some uses, but putting him in charge of one of our more elite fighting forces is not one of them."

"He's also the only other person in Hell, besides the old Captain, whom they respect. The kid might actually be useful for something besides running errands, you know? Anyway, if he causes too much trouble, you can always ki blast him. I'm only going to be gone for two weeks. What could possibly require the Gozu Oni Squad at their peak performance in two weeks?"

"Fine. You can go spend two weeks in the Realm of Faerie. Here's the paperwork. Try not to get in too much trouble, Nappa," the Lord-General of the Legions of Hell said.

"Why not Heaven?"

"Nappa, you're a damned soul. Damned souls are not allowed in Heaven." Bardock glared at him.

* * *

The Realm was not what he expected of it. He felt her inside of one of the more interesting places there, a pale house. It reflected her tastes so well, he was sure she had designed it.

She always enjoyed large homes with towering pillars. That made her design the home they had spent many of the summer months in enjoying each other. The home had also given the Opposition an apoplectic fit when they realized she was the one who had designed it. She wasn't just a pretty face with a respectable power level to them, anymore.

Entering it, he noted the tapestries she had liked best in the palace had found their way into her halls.

The one above the stairway to the second level was unexpected. It was a bright tapestry with two.. unusual subjects. He was standing on an alien world holding her unconscious form. They were surrounded by bodies of aliens and Saiyans alike. Nappa placed it quickly. It was a scene from after the Battle of Kirur.

He continued to walk up the stairs after examining the tapestry. It was made by a Northerner that much was obvious, but who? She was from a minor tribe on the Eastern Continent. And she was damn proud of that fact. He grinned while he remembered the time when Kale had asked her if she was a Southerner at one of those parties. She had backhanded him across the room and started yelling at him about insulting a good Eastern girl.

Entering a bedroom, he glanced about. This was the same place as in his dreams, but she wasn't on the balcony singing. She was striding toward him from across the room.

"I was beginning to think that you had forgotten about me, Nappa," she murmured to him while he hugged her.

"How could I forget about my bonded mate, Rashi?" he said into her ear as they fell onto the bed.

The End