Clueless Chapter 2: Rivalry


As Goku waited in the café for Vegeta, his thoughts drifted idly back to the short vacation they took a couple of weekends ago. Since then, he had not been able to get the prince out of his mind. He recalled the sleekly muscled form in the skimpy black briefs on the beach, the prince’s normally hard visage opened in a look of wide-eyed wonder when they were diving and his rare smile after that. He would give anything to have the prince smile like that more often; the prince had too grim a life. The tall Saiyan flushed a little as he remembered the prince dancing. Since that infernal dance, he had not been able to look at the older man in the same light again. He would find himself glancing at the prince often and his gaze lingering on the lithe body when he thought nobody was watching. Sometimes he wondered just where the prince had learnt to dance like that, and more importantly whom he had danced for. Goku fought down a rush of jealousy; the prince would never dance like that for him. Groaning, he closed his eyes in frustration. If only…

“Hn.” A nod was the proud ouji’s only apology as he slid smoothly into the vacant seat across Goku. Goku snapped his eyes open; he had been so preoccupied that he hadn’t even notice Vegeta’s ki. Smiling brightly, he signaled a waiter.

“Bakas. I am surrounded by bakas. ” Vegeta ranted a bit about his incompetent secretary. “He’s always hanging around me. If he wasn’t good at his work, I would fire him for irritating me. Everywhere I go, whenever I turn around, that baka is there fawning.”

Goku felt another sting of jealousy. He remembered that secretary; he had seen a handsome young man with longish blond hair always following Vegeta around when he had dropped by the CC offices. Goku normally wasn’t an astute fellow but even he could tell the young man had a crush on his good- looking employer. One of the many CC employees who thought the father of the president was one of the hottest creatures to walk the earth. There have been polls among the employees on who was sexier; the prince or his son. However, as sharp as Vegeta was on the battlefield or in the boardroom, he was surprisingly dense when it came to the admiring looks thrown his way. Vegeta had snorted derisively when Trunks had teased his father about his blond secretary, convinced that the young man was only bootlicking for a promotion.

 

Just as they were about to dig in hungrily, a deep voice spoke up. “Son Goku! Vegeta!” They looked up in surprise. Android 17 stood next to their table, smiling as he flicked his sleek shoulder-length hair back. Dressed in khaki pants and a black shirt, he looked older, more mature than the teen they had first fought many years ago. Although as an android, he would not age and indeed his skin is as unlined as a youth and his glossy hair remained jet-black. The android had hung around after the battle with Cell for 18’s wedding and later the birth of her daughter but later announced that he was bored and flew off. They have not seen him since.

 

“I’ve not seen you two for a while! May I sit down?” Vegeta raised a quizzical eyebrow but signaled the waiter for another chair.

 

“So what have you been up to?” Goku looked at the android curiously, in between mouthfuls of food. Friends used to laugh at the way he shoveled his food messily into his mouth but it wasn’t until he moved into the CC that he really felt self-conscious. Next to the prince, who ate almost as much as Goku but much more elegantly, Goku felt like a country bumpkin. Now he paid more attention to his food and manners, managing to eat more neatly and not embarrass himself.

 

“Oh, here and there. I decided to literally see the world.” 17 took a bite of his sandwich. “It was interesting and fun, I would spend a few months in a country, maybe a year before I’m bored.”

 

Vegeta listened idly to 17’s humorous adventures as he recounted how he got into quite a few predicaments because of some misunderstanding about the country’s culture. Although the young man appeared physically unchanged, he has a more worldly and sophisticated air about him now. No longer the taunting, rebellious youth they first met, 17 spoke and acted with a maturity that belied his youthful face.

 

“So what brings you back here?” Vegeta wiped his mouth with the napkin neatly and leaned back, arms crossed.

 

“I was bored of wandering, and I wanted to see how 18 is doing. See what you guys have been up to as well although you two were the only ones I saw so far. I just flew into town today and happened to feel your ki’s as I walked past.” 17 laughed. “So do tell. What have you both been up to since I left?”

 

17 studied the Saiyan no ouji surreptitious as Goku talked. Vegeta was as reserved as always, while Goku remained his loquacious self. His ice-blue eyes raked over the flashing obsidian eyes, fringed by surprisingly long sooty lashes before running down his high cheekbones and strong jaw. 17 noted dryly that considering the number of bloody battles Vegeta had been through, his aquiline nose remained straight and smooth. The prince was really a handsome male, but more than just strong features, he radiated a confident, assured even arrogant air about him that was highly seductive. 17 licked his lips lightly and reached for his glass of water. Oh yes, the proud oiji was really a delectable prize.

 

Goku hadn’t missed the assessing and predatory looks the android had been directing at Vegeta. He suddenly felt very possessive and had to fight down the urge to growl and punch the good-looking android. He silently heaved a sigh of relief as 17 stood up, excusing himself.

 

“Well, I’ve to go. Perhaps I’ll see you two around?” Smiling, 17 directed a meaningful look at Vegeta who did not seem to have noticed.

 

-----

 

“DAADD! Phone!” Trunks yelled out from the living room.

 

Vegeta picked up the extension in the kitchen, swallowing his mouthful of rice hurriedly as he grunted. “Yeah?” The ouji obviously did not believe in flowery greetings.

 

“Hmm, why? So?” Long pause. “Hn. Why not. Ok, thursday is fine.”

 

Goku looked curiously at Vegeta as he resumed supper. “Who was that?”

 

“17.”

 

Goku swallowed nervously. “What did he want?”

 

“He asked me out to some show.” Vegeta was intent on his food and if he had looked up, he would have noticed Goku’s left eye twitching. “And you agreed to go?”

 

“Why not? Show sounds interesting. Something about aliens and conspiracy theories.” Vegeta sniggered. As an alien himself, he had always found such shows hilarious.

 

“17 sounds like he’s asking you on a date.” Goku ventured tentatively. He wondered with trepidation if Vegeta was put off by male attention; that was one of the many questions that have been bugging the infatuated Saiyan.

 

“So?”

 

“And you don’t mind?”

 

“Why should I?”

 

“But he’s a male!”

 

Vegeta stopped eating for a while and looked straight at Goku. “Hn. I forgot about the curious conventions Earthlings have, especially against homosexuality. Back on Vegetasei, same sex parings were common.”

 

The words echoed through Goku’s head as he lay in bed that night, unable to sleep. One of the reasons Goku did not pursue his attraction was that he had thought the prince was straight. After all, Vegeta had been with Bulma all those years. Then again, Goku had also been married to Chi Chi, yet found Vegeta highly attractive, so why should he find Vegeta’s bisexuality a surprise?

With a groan, he flopped his arm over his forehead. Yet the biggest problem now was 17. He can deal with the admiring looks thrown at the prince as the prince usually had little patience with such things. Yet Vegeta agreed to go out with 17. Did that mean he liked 17? He remembered the following replies to that question.

 

“So… you don’t mind 17’s attention? You would not mind if he pursued you?”

 

“17’s probably not interested in me in that sense.” Vegeta gave a shrug. “It’s just a show. Maybe he’s bored for company. Why read too much into it?”

 

Gah! Goku mentally screamed. Vegeta can be so dense! It is so *obvious* to Goku that 17 had shown *definite* interest back in the café last week. And Vegeta did not say he did not like 17. That does not mean he likes 17 then… does it?

 

Goku sat up in bed, his blanket pooling around his lap. Dropping his face into his palms, he despaired silently. What if he were to lose Vegeta to 17? He felt his chest constrict painfully at that thought. NO! He cannot! Already living with the prince, so physically close and yet so untouchable, it was agony. Yet Goku had been content to keep silent for fear of losing the prince’s friendship, so hard-earned after many years of an antagonistic relationship. Initially the proud prince had hated him with a passion, wishing only to kill the Earth-raised Saiyan. Then over time, that loathing had gradually faded into grudging acceptance. It took many more years to build that into a comfortable friendship. He had not dared jeopardize that friendship even though he secretly desired something much more.

  

If Vegeta were to get together with 17… Goku realized that if he does not show his intentions now, he might never get the chance ever again.

 

-----

 

“Goten, where’s my father?” Trunks poked his head into his best friend’s bedroom.

 

Goten looked up from his martial arts magazine. “Um, I think he’s out with my dad?”

 

“Again?” Trunks stepped into the messy room and Goten scooted over to make space on his equally unkempt bed. Trunks flopped down on his back with a snigger. “Have you noticed that my father seemed to have a pretty active social life lately?”

 

Goten grinned. “Yeah, if he isn’t out with 17 for a show, he’s out with my father for a meal.”

 

“Just the other day, 17 dropped by the office to pick dad out for lunch but he had already left.” Trunks laughed.

 

“And you should have seen the whiny face ‘tousan had on when he wanted Vegeta to follow him grocery shopping.” Goten made mock puppy-dog eyes and the two boys broke out in raucous laughter.

 

“And did you notice where they have been sparring lately?” Trunks gave a naughty grin. “I noticed their ki’s at the mountains behind our house once, you know the snow-covered ones? And by the forests at the base of the mountains. I seriously doubt it was my father’s idea.”

 

“I think my father likes your father.” Goten announced dramatically. ~ Like father like son. ~

 

Trunks laughed so hard he was almost crying. “Oh god, this is too hilarious. This rivalry over my *dad*. And the worst thing is, my father’s still clueless!”

 

“Are you surprised? I mean, half of the office is drooling over your dad.” Goten pointed out. ~ And the other half, me included, is drooling over you. ~

 

Trunks stifled a pang of jealousy. “So do you think my father is hot?”

 

“Well yeah. Remember that night at the club?” Goten noticed Trunks had stopped laughing. “What’s the matter?”

“Um, nothing.” Trunks forced a smile. ~ I wonder if you think I’m hot. ~ “Just wondering whether I should enlighten my dad.”

 

“Nah.” Both boys concluded after a moment’s thought, grinning madly.

 

-----

 

Goku left Vegeta’s bedroom door ever so slightly ajar as he scurried out quietly, taking extreme care to mask his ki. Hiding behind the door, he peered in.

 

Vegeta stepped out from his steaming bathroom, not bothering with a towel as he flared his ki to dry himself. Goku watched wide-eyed as he drank in the smaller Sayian’s lean muscled form.

 

Vegeta frowned as he stepped out. Roses? He caught a whiff of a sweet scent and widened his eyes in surprise as he saw a single perfect rose of the deepest red, its petals still closed in a bud, lying on his bed with a small note attached. Picking up the rose, he read the note.

 

            From somebody who loves you.

 

His heart suddenly fluttering, Vegeta sat down on the bed. He fingered the crimson soft petals lightly as his thoughts raced. Who? It has to be somebody who knows him, who knows where his bedroom is. Somebody who is familiar with his routine, who can get into the house. He knows of only two possibilities; Kakarotto and 17. Trunks or Bra would definitely not be interested in him and he can write off Goten as the culprit as he knew the black-haired demi-Saiyan had a thing for his son, even if the young prince didn’t realize it. He chuckled amusedly at that thought before drawing his attention back to the rose in his hand.

 

What if it was 17? He ran the idea over in his mind. The young man was good-looking and intelligent, with a wicked sense of humor. As an android, he would live indefinitely, matching the Saiyans’ long life span. Kakarotto had once asked him how long Saiyans live. He was about to reply when he realize that he didn’t really know. To the best of his memory, he had never seen an old Saiyan, then again Saiyans lead dangerous lives, just the way they like it. Yet while he may be flattered, he cannot imagine 17 as a mate. He enjoyed the android’s company, yes, but there’s no spark, no attraction.

 

But with Kakarotto… there definitely was a spark. As the last two survivors of their proud race, their fates had somehow been entwined as they were drawn together again and again under circumstances beyond their control. He remembered their numerous battles, against each other and together. Lately they had been drawn together by mutual tragedy and duties as widowers. He cannot deny the challenge the larger gentle Saiyan pose him, nor that he was somewhat attracted physically. As a mate… Kakarotto was handsome and strong, his body honed to perfection by years of training. His third class status doesn’t really bother the prince; it hadn’t for many years although he still uses that insult more from habit than anything else. Though Kakarotto can be a baka at times. Still, he seriously doubt if it was Kakarotto who placed this rose. Kakarotto had been clearly in love with his wife, even if she was a shrill-mouthed harpy, and the ningens had curiously rigid notions of homosexuality. So he best put that thought out of his mind.

 

Sighing, Vegeta stood up to place the rose carefully on his dresser and moved to get dressed.

 

Goku slowly moved away from the door, deep in thought. Vegeta’s reaction had been … favorable, or at least neutral. He looked quite stunned but not repulsed. Goku smiled happily. He had been so frustrated when Vegeta appeared not to realize his intentions when he wanted to spend time with the prince so he hit upon the idea of leaving a ‘secret admirer’ gift, to let the obtuse prince get use to the idea that somebody out there likes him. He had been a little worried that Vegeta would jump to the wrong conclusion though, and either treat it like a joke or conclude it was 17. Now for the next part of his plan.

 

-----

 

Goku surveyed the scene critically. The table had been laid out with the fine silverware, and roses and candles sat as the centerpiece. The lights had been dimmed and slim white candles had been placed along the walls, their softly flickering flames giving the small dining room a cozy glow. Soft music was playing in the background. With his sensitive Saiyan senses, he could easily smell the heady scent of roses from the bouquet on the table. A lavish dinner had already been prepared and waiting in the kitchen, and all that remains is for Vegeta to get home. With a setting like this, the prince *cannot* mistake Goku’s intention. The tall Saiyan had dressed especially for the occasion, in his best emerald silk shirt and soft black slacks.

 

Wait, he forgot the wine! Goku went to the kitchen to look for a bottle but the rack was empty. Cursing, he hurried down to the cellar.

 

Vegeta stepped in through the front door and removed his long coat. He *hated* shopping but he unfortunately required new shirts. Dropping the bag carelessly on the floor, he walked over to the dining room, hoping Kakarotto had dinner ready because he was ravenous.

 

Stepping into the dining room, he stopped and blinked rapidly in surprise. What’s all this? He caught the whiff of roses again and moved slowly towards the table.

 

17 came in through the front door that had been left ajar. He had hoped to ask Vegeta out for dinner tonight. Heading in the direction of Vegeta’s ki, he entered the dining room and was pleasantly shocked. Seeing Vegeta facing away from him amidst an obviously romantic setting, he came to the logical conclusion.

 

“Vegeta! I’m so happy!” Vegeta whirled around in surprise. “All this for me?”

 

Before the prince could say anything, 17 had stepped forward and enveloped him in a hug, pressing his lips against the startled prince’s.

 

Vegeta’s mind raced. Did 17 do this? Set this up? Surely…

 

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of shattering glass. The two men jumped back startled. Goku stood at the doorway, an expression of pain, hurt and shock, a broken bottle of wine lying by his feet.

 

Onto Clueless Chapter 3

 

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