Chapter 16: Hero

Although Vegeta appeared outwardly emotionless, he was a raging turmoil of emotions on the inside. He could feel the leers the guards had thrown his way as they were escorted in, and his skin crawled in disgust. He stood there rigidly, keeping his head bowed like a docile slave as Zarbon made a flowery introduction and a fawning speech.

To keep his mind off the upcoming ordeal and to alleviate his feeling of humiliation, he thought about his mate. Years of memories passed in a matter of seconds, slowing down as he recalled the past few years when they had finally discovered each other. Hate had changed gradually to acceptance and love, harsh words to tender murmurs. Kuso! He missed Kakarotto so much, he could almost smell him! His nerves tingled, and it was as if his mate was in the very same room.

Tonight it’s very clear
As we’re both standing here
There’s so many things I want to say
I will always love you
I will never leave you alone

Vegeta could just make out the amused glint in the ice-jin’s crimson orbs as he leaned forward in his throne and gave the command for the performance to begin. Zarbon moved quietly to stand in the shadows as a sultry beat started. Taking a deep breath, he looked up with a sexy smirk on his face as his lithe body started to sway liquidly to the beat. He imagined it was Kakarotto he was dancing for, and in actuality, he was only doing it for Kakarotto. He might have never spoken those actual words of love, but he would show it in his actions.

Sometimes I just forget
Say things I might regret
It breaks my heart to see you crying
I don’t want to lose you
I could never make it alone

The sexy prince spun and undulated gracefully to the pounding music, his lushly furred tail trailing his every move like an afterimage. The spotlights shifted erratically to the music, occasionally throwing the lithe figure in momentary darkness as he slid between the circles of light. Mercurial glints could be seen at time from the matte silver bands, suddenly drawing attention to the delicate arch of his neck or washboard abdomen. As he twisted around again, the shiny and matte buckle encircling the base of his tail glinted brightly, abruptly highlighting the taut ass cheeks below it. The sheen from the light oil on satiny skin caught the shadows among chiseled muscles that rippled enticingly as he moved.

Elegant fingers trailed seductively up gleaming muscled thighs and lingered along narrow hips. Lean fingers splayed out and caressed a tight ass, playing lightly over the deep cleft in his flanks as the dark prince twisted his body to the side, a come hither smirk playing at his lips, and his russet tail curling invitingly.


Vegeta was glad that the rest of the room was dark – he did not wish to see the leering eyes. He already felt totally humiliated at having to do this in front of the ice-jin. As he continued to twist liquidly, he imagined it was Kakarotto he was dancing for. He gave the sexiest smirk in his arsenal as he rolled and ground his hips, his fingers smoothing over his flanks. Want this? C’mere…


He spun away, flipping his head back with abandon as his hands continued their skillful ministrations up his sides before lingering at his chest. The lean, strong hands crossed over his pectorals, stopping briefly to toy with his nipples before moving to caress his shoulders and then his neck.

Arching backwards into a series of liquid flips that ended in a sensual roll, the prince spread his lean legs into a deep spilt before stretching out almost lazily. Rolling over onto his hands and knees, the lithe Saiyan arched up erotically, his fluffed tail waving sinuously. Flexing his body, he brought his legs up into a handstand, then a spilt before arching his back to curve one leg back down until he was upright again. A reddish brown furry length played enticing along his flank, curling around his thigh and swishing gently against his tight ass all the while.

Goku was watching wide-eyed; this dance was even more sensual, if possible than the one he had seen Vegeta perform that night at the club some years back. He had never been able to get Vegeta to dance like that again though, the gruff prince shrugging that performance off as a lapse in his judgment due to his inebriation. He felt a hot wave of jealousy; yet Vegeta was willing to dance like that now? Stifling a groan, he brought his hand down to rub his burgeoning erection, hoping to ease his discomfort, but the friction only served to excite him further.

As the music sped up, the lithe dancer’s movements became wilder and more exaggerated. He was practically whipping through the air now, spinning like a top and executing perfect flips. Many fighters rely on a little burst of ki to help them through aerial leaps and maneuvers, but the athletic prince showed no such dependence. His tail slashed through the air in counterpoint, providing a counterbalance. Vegeta landed noiselessly and went into a series of fast rolls and splits on the floor, stretching impossibly. A thick furry coil slapped tight cheeks whenever they reared up enticingly and raised faint reddish marks.


The prince’s movements became more languid as the music slowed down, and he uncoiled gracefully from the floor. Vegeta spun slowly to a stop, his tail coming to rest around his waist again, as the music faded. He resisted the urge to cross his arms in his familiar habit but kept his arms hanging loosely by his side and his head bowed submissively.

A slow clapping started, and the ice-jin started to walk towards the still figure. “Wonderful! You have not exaggerated the talents of your dancer!” He stalked slowly around the slight Saiyan, leering openly. “I look forward to enjoying more of his talents later… Come!” The ice-jin turned towards his quarters.

Vegeta followed the ice-jin into the saurian’s lavishly decorated bedroom. Though he could not see Kakarotto anywhere, his mate’s scent hung heavily in the air, along with the musky scent of sex, the sour stench of fear and the metallic tang of blood. His lips curled in rage, and he had to fight down the growl that was threatening to break forth from his chest. Stay calm… at least until I’ve found Kakarotto… His fingers clenched in eager anticipation of what he would do to the ice-jin then.

“Stay here until I call for you.” Coolant tapped the entry code to his pet’s room. Hm, it might be amusing to see the two Saiyans perform together later… But for now, the Saiyan dancer’s sizzling performance had left him with a ‘hard’ problem and since he was under contract not to damage the dancer…too much… He now has a need for his pet.

Vegeta could barely control his gasp as he stepped into the small room. Kakarotto’s scent hung the heaviest here, and there was no scent of sex, which meant this must have been the room Kakarotto was kept in! He barely heard the heavy metal door hiss shut behind him as he walked dazedly towards the bed. Picking up a soft pillow, he inhaled deeply. Yes, his mate had slept here… His sweet spicy scent was everywhere. Vegeta smiled for the first time in weeks since his mate was taken; the plan was working better than he expected. When Kakarotto was brought back here, he would break the both of them out. He sat down on the bed to wait.

Minutes went by, agonizingly slowly as Vegeta tried to calm his nerves with a meditative technique. Suddenly, he heard a soft muffled shriek through the thick door. His eyes shot open with fury as he recognized the voice, and with a howl, he powered up rapidly with a speed that he had never achieved before. His hair exploded back into his trademark flame as his eyes blazed teal.

Vegeta shot his hand forward and blasted the thick door outwards. The scene in the ice-jin’s personal bedroom horrified and enraged him. The tall saurian was raping his mate!

Lunging at the startled ice-jin, Vegeta delivered a ringing roundhouse kick that sent the saurian crashing into the wall.


His primal howl continued to tear from his throat as he rapidly ascended through the super saiyan levels until with a final burst of his golden aura, the furious prince stood in the middle of the room, his red fur rippling with barely contained power that emanated from him. The delicate leather straps that crossed his chest had been shredded away during the transformations.

I am a man who would fight for your honor
I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of
We’ll live forever knowing together
That we did it all for the glory of love

After sparing a quick glance at Kakarotto who lay curled up, he strode furiously to ice-jin, who had now quickly recovered and was crouched in a defensive stance. Vegeta spared no mercy as he slammed blow after blow into the ice-jin who could not muster any defense, cursing fluidly all the while.


He looked down on Coolant who lay in a broken bloody heap on the expensive cream carpets with vengeful, cold eyes. Death would be too quick and merciful. Instead, he proceeded to meticulously shatter every bone in the screaming saurian’s body, working from feet up. He placed a hand on the body part, simultaneously squeezing and directing a small controlled burst of ki, which rippled through the flesh, tearing tendons and shattering the bone. What made it all the more terrifying was the flat running commentary as Vegeta noted detachedly which bone he was breaking, and what he would do next.

Terrified crimson eyes met icy onyx eyes for a moment after the Saiyan had broken his femur. Vegeta smirked cruelly as he lifted his hand and blasted the ice-jin between his legs. “And that is for raping MY mate.”

It was quite an ironical twist of fate actually. Kakarotto had killed Freiza, the ice-jin who tormented him for a large portion of his life, a fact that angered the proud prince at first because he believed that revenge was his to execute. Now he was exacting similar revenge for his mate.

Vegeta looked down at the shrieking heap at his feet, frowning. As much as he would have loved to really prolong the ice-jin’s demise, his first priority was Kakarotto. Otherwise, the prince would have been capable of inflicting exquisite pain for hours without killing, especially with the precise use of pressure points. Sighing almost regretfully, Vegeta placed a booted foot on the slobbering ice-jin’s head and reached down to grab the thick tail firmly. With a hard yank, he pulled the spine and flung the bloody bony column to the floor. The ice-jin gave a last burbling shriek before convulsing.

Vegeta ran over to Kakarotto, who lay curled in a fetal bundle quietly sobbing. Quickly, he wiped most of the blood from his hands and body before reaching over to embrace his mate. The broken Saiyan stiffened for a while before abruptly turning to clutch desperately at the ouji. With a snarl, Vegeta tore the ki collar off, and their bond flared up. Trembling and vacillating between concern and fury, Vegeta embraced his mate fiercely, murmuring soothing sounds as he tried to reassure Kakarotto through their bond. He could feel Kakarotto’s tangled and raw emotions, and it brought hot tears to his eyes.


You keep me standing tall
You help me through it all
I’m always strong when you’re beside me
I have always needed you
I could never make it alone

“Kakarotto? Sshh… I’m here… Everything’s going to be fine.” Vegeta tried to sound confident and comforting but the state of his mate worried him greatly. Ever since he had met Kakarotto, the tall, strong warrior was always confident and cheery. However, his larger mate now seemed especially broken and vulnerable in his arms. Kakarotto had lost some weight during his ordeal, and his hair and tail hung limply. What really distressed him was that though their link was now wide open, he sensed that the previously open Saiyan was now hiding from him. He wasn’t very good at that though, and hints of shame and feelings of helplessness leaked through the mental barriers. 


This is not the place for this. Frowning, he concentrated.

The pair reappeared in the control room of their ship ‘Hope’. Zarbon was already there, and as soon as he saw them, he started the take-off sequence. As the ship took off, Vegeta laid Kakarotto on the floor tenderly.


“Hold on.” Vegeta gave Zarbon a meaningful look, and Zarbon nodded in understanding.


The ship hovered, just within the stratosphere as Vegeta appeared outside. Still in his level 4 mode and scowling, he started to gather his ki and brought his glowing hands together. The ki ball that formed in his cupped hands was only the size of basketball, but the tremendous energy contained within was extremely focused. Finally, Vegeta released the blinding white sphere of crackling ki before he disappeared back in his ship. The ki ball flew downwards at a moderate speed, giving the small ship enough time to get clear out of the detonation range when the planet exploded.


Vegeta carefully carried his larger mate to their bathroom and stripped off their clothing. With the space and water constraints, a shower on board the ship was the only efficient choice. He regretted the lack of a bathtub now. All the while, Kakarotto clung to him tightly, as if afraid that Vegeta might be suddenly taken away.


Slowly, they started to wash each other, starting with their hair. Kakarotto cracked his first smile when he noticed the red dye coming off and staining the white foam as he worked his fingers through Vegeta’s now limp locks. They kept silent, content to bask in the cozy moment after the ordeal and just enjoy the feeling to being reunited again. After rinsing off the shampoo, their hands roamed slowly and intimately over the other’s body, re-discovering contours and memories.


Kakarotto stiffened as Vegeta’s right palm started to move towards his left hip and immediately, Vegeta stopped, worried. “What’s wrong koi?”


The taller Saiyan started to cry upon hearing that term of affection, something Vegeta rarely used. “Nuthin’…” He pushed the smaller palm away, hoping to wash that region himself.


“Kakarotto…” Firmly, Vegeta pushed the hand away to see what he was trying to hide.


Kakarotto closed his eyes in shame and waited for Vegeta’s disgusted reaction. To his surprise, he felt Vegeta caressing the scar tenderly.


“Koi, look at me. I’m not disgusted at you.”


Kakarotto opened his eyes slowly but kept his gaze down. “How can you stand it? To know that your mate was branded?”


Vegeta gave a reassuring smile as he raised his fingers to tilt his mate’s chin up. “Because I know how you feel.”


“How do you know?” The question came out a little sullenly. “You were not branded.”


“I was…” The proud prince sighed. It was an aspect of his past that he was reluctant to reveal.


His startled mate looked him in the eye. “But you have no scar!”


“I had… I managed to remove it.”


“How?” Eager hope lifted the brawny Saiyan’s voice.


“I’ll show you tomorrow.” Vegeta rubbed the hated scar reassuringly as he leaned forward to kiss his mate.


Just like a knight in shining armor
From a long time ago
Just in time I will save the day
Take you to my castle far away



“’Geta?” A head lifted drowsily from the bundle of blankets where the two lay entwined. They had lain in bed quietly after their bath, content to just cuddle each other. Vegeta would have liked to do more, but he knew that he could not push his mate now.


Hearing a mumble from his sleepy mate, Kakarotto continued softly. “Aishiteru.” After a while, he had almost drifted back to sleep when he heard a muffled reply from Vegeta. “Nani?”


When Vegeta gave a louder mumble, Kakarotto asked again insistently. The gruff ouji flushed but twisted his head slightly towards his mate.


“I said Aishiteru, dammit!”



Chapter 17: Fusions & Berries

“I’ll be training with Goten if you need me.” Trunks nodded politely to the other two Saiyans, but it was obvious that he couldn’t wait to get out of the meeting room.

“Restless brat…” Gion grumbled a bit, then relented and broke into a small smile. “Maybe I’ll join you myself. All these administrative meetings are going to turn me fat.”

Momo trilled merrily. “Gion, you will *never* be fat.” She jabbed an elegant finger into his side. “Look, it’s like poking a rock! Any fat you have is probably under your fingernails!” It was true; the older warrior was all whipcord and sinew, the faint network of old battle scars that criss-crossed his bronzed skin only serving to make him look even more dangerous and battle-hardened.

The two males broke into laughter at her comments. Momo hooked her arms through the two males, grinning. “C’mon, I think we all need the exercise.”

The weeks following Vegeta’s departure after his captured mate had been somewhat of an anticlimax after the exciting battle for the snowy planet. Once the defense matrix was set up, life on the bases had settled into a more placid routine of eat, train and sleep. At least for most of the other rebels.

After both Vegeta and Zarbon had left, Gion had been left solely in charge. The hard-bitten Saiyan took his duties seriously, sometimes too seriously and came across as a little stuffy. Momo and Trunks had been working together with him; Momo because she was the head of the scouts, and Trunks because he felt it was his duty as a prince.

Initially the two older Saiyans were a little skeptical of the younger prince, especially after they found out that he had little battle experience. To their surprise, the lavender-haired prince was as quick as his father and even more amazingly; he had the patience to sit through all the boring administrative meetings.

On his part, Trunks was glad of his experience as president of Capsule Corps, though he was starting to realize that this was quite a different ballgame from running a company. More was at stake here; a mistake on his or any of the other leaders’ part could result in casualties and not just a drop in the share prices. He grinned ruefully to himself; well, he had wanted adventure, and he had wanted to do something with his life.

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Good news – My father contacted me last night. He said he caught up with Coolant and rescued Goku.” Trunks smirked. “Knowing dad, there probably wasn’t much left of Coolant after that.”

“That’s all he said?” Gion raised an eyebrow.

Trunks rolled his eyes. “I’m even lucky he bothered to contact me. You don’t know my dad; he hardly explains himself. I’ve no idea what he’s saving his words for.”

Goten notice the three as they entered the gym and walked over, grinning happily.

“How’s the training going?” Trunks asked curiously. Goten had taken to training the other fighters while Trunks was involved with his own duties. The two demi-Saiyans had also taken to wearing a mixture of leather and spandex that the rebels wore.

Goten raked his hand through his hair, combing out the unruly spikes so much like his father’s. “A little slow; there’s only one of me.”

“Why don’t you use that split technique your father taught you? The one he learned from Tien?” Trunks suggested.

A classic Son grin broke over Goten’s face as he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “Oh yeah. I forgot.”

At Gion’s and Momo’s puzzled experience, Trunks explained. “It allows one to spilt into two or three bodies, and each body is able to move independently. The only drawback is that one’s power level is spilt as well.”

“Then what good is it?” Momo asked curiously.

“Oh there are many uses for it… It’s good for solo training…” Trunks grinned naughtily. “And Goku tells me my father *really* likes it as well…”

Eyes widened for a while before they all broke out into raucous laughter. Even Gion was trying hard to contain his grin as he huffed. “Young man, show some respect for your ouji.”

The other three continue laughing even harder at that remark.

Finally they managed to compose themselves. Goten concentrated and crossed his forearms across his chest. As he opened his arms, his image shimmered a little, and two other figures slid out to his sides. The other fighters watched openly amazed.

“Wow, do you have any other interesting techniques?” Momo wondered.

Trunks cocked his head to his side for a moment, thinking before breaking out into a wide grin. “Oh yes, we know of one which will be very useful in battle.” He turned to Goten. “Chibi, recombine yourselves. Let’s show them Gotenks.”

The three Gotens gave identical grins as the three figures coalesced back into one body. Before the two demi-Saiyans moved into positions for their fusion dance, Trunks explained briefly. “This fuses two fighters together. If properly done, it will result in a warrior with the combined power levels of the two fighters, but the two have to be very similar in build and power levels for best results.”

When the bright flash of light from the fusion subsided, the fighters stared in wonder at the fused being that stood there. His features were a combination of the two demi-Saiyans, and his black spiky hair was streaked purple down the sides. Even his clothes were different; he was dressed in that vest and gi bottom ensemble that the fusion warriors seem to always wear.

“I am neither Trunks nor Goten – I am Gotenks!” The fusion fighter announced in a strange dual tone and struck a dramatic pose. The watching rebels sweat-dropped.

“So how much more powerful are you?” Gion couldn’t help asking.

Gotenks grinned cockily as he powered up. “Trunks or Goten could only reach level 2, but I can break level 3!” With a loud yell, his already golden hair exploded into the characteristic waterfall mane, and his eyebrows disappeared into ridges.

“Gion, do you get the feeling that Gotenks seems to be a different entity all together from Trunks or Goten?” Momo remarked. “More … cocky?” Gion nodded solemnly.

Gotenks pranced around a little, showing off to the younger rebels whose jaws were dropped. Whether in awe or disbelief was open to interpretation.

“More childish as well.” Gion stated dryly.

“Gotenks!” The golden fusion warrior bounded over curiously at Gion’s call. “So how do you unfuse?”

“Oh, there’s a 15 minutes limit.” Just after he spoke, a line started to appear down the fused warrior like a crack, and with a bright flash of light, Gotenks separated back into his two halves.

Gion raised an eyebrow. “Interesting. So do your fathers fuse, too?”

“Yeah, and Gogeta is like unbelievably powerful.” Trunks grinned. “But for some strange reason, my dad absolutely hates to do it. He says the fusion dance is very baka.”

Gion coughed as Momo remarked sarcastically. “I wonder why…”

“Still, that technique is very interesting! Teach me?” Momo smiled winningly at the two demi-Saiyans.

“Sure!” Goten beamed. “Now all you need is a partner whose build and power level complements yours.”


“Not to insult you, but our power levels are quite different.” The older Saiyan shook his head vehemently. “How about Koron over there?”

The tall brawny Saiyan scout also declined amusedly. “Our sizes are too different. How about Kon?”

The young Saiyan guard gulped and backed away as Momo advanced on him. “Uh… How about…” He tried vainly to pass the buck.

“Kuso!” Momo hissed at the sweating Saiyan. “What’s the matter with all you males? What’s wrong with trying this fusion technique with me? Well??” She glared furiously at the young Saiyan who was back peddling rapidly.

The unfortunate guard tried to stutter an explanation as his eyes kept flickering nervously down her front. Trunks broke into loud laughter when he realized the reason for the young Saiyan’s hesitation.

“What’s so funny?” The angry female now turned on the laughing lavender- haired prince.

“Hahaha… He doesn’t…” Trunks collapsed against Goten who stared at him in puzzlement. “Haha… Because… hahah… I can’t… Kami…” Laughing too hard to speak properly, he pantomimed certain curves over his chest.

The furious Saiyan female erupted in indignation as she turned back on the now crimson young Saiyan. “WHAT?? You don’t want to do it JUST because of my boobs?? What’s wrong with my chest, HUH??”

“Nothing’s wrong with them…” His eyes trailed down to linger on her heaving chest for a long moment, then meeped in embarrassment when the outraged female cuffed him. “What are you looking at?”

The other males roared in laughter as Kon gave a frightened squeak. “It’s just that … The fused warrior would…” He fumbled for words as his hands made curving motions. “Well… You know… And then down there… EEP!”

The poor young male turned and ran as Momo lunged furiously after him. “COWARD!! Come back here!!”


“Are you still mad at us?” Trunks flashed a dazzling smile, the one that had all the girls swooning back on Earth, while Goten mock-hid in fear behind his bolder mate. Momo glared back, and Trunks immediately realized his mistake, switching instead to a whipped-puppy look with wide shining eyes and quivering pouty lower lip. Momo could not hold her indignation long at that look and gave in giggling.

It had been a few days since the demi-Saiyans had shown off the fusion technique, and the other Saiyan males still refused to attempt the fusion dance with her. Most of them kept passing the buck, the favorite scape-goat being Kon. Momo had been extremely miffed.

“Nah… I’m just a little pissed at those pansies. I mean, I don’t mind having an extra appendage down there – It is only for 15 minutes, but they act like their very masculinity was threatened or something!”

The two demi-Saiyans laughed at her rant, and Trunks brought out a small container. “Yeah. Anyway, we came to cheer you up… How about some fun?”

Momo opened the container curiously. “What’s this? Dried berries?”

“Not just any berries – We came across these berries during our trip here from Earth.” Trunks grinned slyly. “They’re quite powerful aphrodisiacs.”

“How do… No, wait, on second thought, spare me the experimental details.” A mischievous glint lit up the smirking female’s eyes. “So, where is Kon no baka?”

“I saw him walking out of the gym.” Goten supplied helpfully. “He’s probably on his way to the kitchen.”

“Perfect!” They hurried quickly to the kitchen.

Kon looked up from his sandwich when the trio entered, and gulped when he realized it was Momo. “Uh, are you still angry at me?”

Momo pretended to consider his question seriously, distracting the flustered young Saiyan while Trunks quickly slipped two small berries in his sandwich. “Nah, silly boy.” She reached over and pinched his cheeks. Kon blushed crimson and hurriedly finished the rest of his snack.

When he got up to leave, Goten pulled him back down. “What’s the hurry? Stay and chat.”

The three watched the poor victim closely as they talked. Trunks was, as usual, holding his audience captive with humorous stories of life back on Earth.

After a while, Kon was starting to feel quite warm. Strange… I’ve already cooled down from my training, and this planet is like a fridge. He removed the fluffy white towel around his neck.

The others had not missed his movement or his slightly flushed cheeks. Smirking, Trunks started to work dirty jokes into his storytelling.

Kon fidgeted uncomfortably. His pants were feeling quite tight, and he had realized a while back that he currently had a raging erection. On one hand, he wanted to just run off to the nearest empty room and relieve the pressure; on the other hand, he was too embarrassed to get up. His hand crept down furtively to readjust his pants. The sexual jokes Trunks was telling wasn’t helping the situation any.

Momo was enjoying herself tremendously, watching the poor young Saiyan shifting uneasily. The mischievous female had quite a sadistic streak in her.

Kon was starting to feel more than a little horny now. The two handsome demi-Saiyans were seated adjacent to him, and their proximity was quite a turn-on. With his sensitive Saiyan senses, he could just make out the masculine scents of the two males. And the very faint tell-tale musky hint of sex… And the fact that Trunks’ scent was on Goten and vice versa… His mind started to wander… The two kissing… Touching…

Argh! Don’t go there!

His eyes fell on the cleavage opposite him. Her thick jacket was open, revealing a low-cut tank top. He could just make out the creamy swell of the tops of her breasts…

By now, the conversation had dried up, and the three were watching Kon amusedly. Momo leaned forward, shrugging so that her jacket slipped back, almost to the verge of falling off her shoulders. Kon almost drooled, and a cute blush was deepening across his cheeks.


Kon started violently as his scouter, which he had left on the table, beeped loudly. Oh shit, what the fuck was I doing? Did they catch me staring? He fumbled with his scouter, finally managing to clip it on.

“Er, I gotta go… Important meeting… ” He stood up nervously and practically ran out of the kitchen, trying hard to hide his burgeoning erection.

“Damn. Almost had him.” Momo swore. “Thought he was going to cum in his pants right here.”

The wicked trio broke out in raucous laughter.


Chapter 18: Scars

Vegeta awoke the next morning before Kakarotto did. A tiny smile, not a smirk, broke across his countenance when he realized the warm body in his arms was his mate. He tightened his arms slightly and leaned forward, burying his nose into the fragrant, spiky locks of his mate.

“’Geta?” Slowly, Goku came awake. He hadn’t felt this good…this warm in weeks… At first he was reluctant to wake, afraid that it had all been a dream. When the warm, comforting arms encircling him and the spicy, musky scent did not go away though, the hope that maybe it wasn’t a dream became stronger, and he raised sleep-dusted eyelids warily.

“Mmm?” A muffled rumble replied from somewhere in the depths of his hair.

Goku turned such that he faced his mate, and Vegeta drew him in for a sweet kiss. “Morning koi…”

Goku smiled happily against the kiss, pleased by Vegeta’s sudden tenderness. The two kissed and cuddled in bed for a while more until the insistent rumbles of the bottomless pit commonly known as a Saiyan stomach became too loud to ignore. The two pulled on matching black boxers and made their way to the kitchen, their tails looped around each others’.

After Goku cleared away the empty plates, his mood became withdrawn for a moment. “’Geta? Yesterday you said you could remove that scar…”

“Hai.” Vegeta got up and led the way to the medical bay. “The most common method is laser surgery, but since we do not have such facilities on board, you will have to do it the way I removed mine. That was one of the first few things I did when I returned to Earth after Namek; I bugged the onna for a bean and final flashed that scar.”

He opened a drawer and withdrew the container containing the senzu beans. “It will probably hurt like hell…”

“I don’t care.” Goku frowned. “I just want this off me.”

Vegeta handed a senzu bean to Goku before replacing the container. “I’m going to burn off the scar. The scar from the brand formed because the healing was slow enough that a scab formed. [1] Do you want to do it or…?” He looked at Goku questioningly.

Goku turned to the side and dropped his boxers, gritting his jaw. “You do it…”

Vegeta lowered his brightly glowing hand quickly to Goku’s left flank, searing off a good portion of his flesh. Goku flinched, but the agony was over in a second. He popped the bean into his mouth and chewed, twisting his head around to look down at the same time. The healing was almost instantaneous; the new skin reforming quickly. No scar remained, only a patch of skin slightly paler than the surrounding flesh.

Goku blinked rapidly. Just like that, one of the problems that had been troubling him was resolved. However, he knew that was also the easiest.

Vegeta watched worriedly as Goku pulled up his boxers silently. The Earth-raised Saiyan he knew would have leapt up with a wide Son grin and made some cheery if inane remark, but the tall warrior in front of him was uncharacteristically quiet. Vegeta may have continually complained about his mate’s baka-ness, but he would give anything now to hear a flippant comment.

“Kakarotto? Are you ok?”

Goku looked up with a weak smile. “Ya… Why?”

Vegeta studied his mate in silence for a while. Physically, the brawny warrior had lost quite a bit of weight. His skin was pale and sallow, his tail limp and lusterless. Even his ebony hair looked duller, the spikes appearing to sag slightly. However, what was more distressing was his eyes and attitude. Kakarotto looks…withdrawn…defeated. His eyes had lost that innocent gleam; he looked older.

Vegeta decided that perhaps Kakarotto just needed some time to sort himself out. Maybe he would be back to normal after a few days of rest and good food. “Nothing. How do you feel?”

“A bit tired.” Goku slipped his hand into Vegeta’s as they walked towards their bedroom. “I think I’ll lie down for a while.”


Days passed and Goku slowly regained his health. However, he remained uncharacteristically quiet and spent much of his time either sleeping or brooding in their bedroom. He also made no sexual advances, other than kissing and cuddling. Vegeta was starting to get really worried.

Zarbon looked up as Vegeta walked into the kitchen. “Where’s Kakarotto?” He had adopted Vegeta’s habit of calling Goku by his Saiyan name.

Vegeta sat down in a chair opposite Zarbon. He wasn’t really hungry at the moment; he just felt an uncharacteristic urge to talk. Since his mate has been unnaturally tired for the past few days, he found himself in the company of Zarbon often.


Zarbon slanted a look at the frowning ouji. “You’re worried about him.”

Vegeta sighed, crossing his arms. “Dammit, he just isn’t his normal self.”

“Do you expect him to be unaffected by his experiences?”

“No… But this isn’t healthy either. He’s physically all right, but he still spends a lot of time sleeping. Or brooding.”

Zarbon finished the last of his sandwich and dusted his fingers neatly over his plate. “I think you should talk to him about it.”

“He doesn’t seem to want to talk about it. He’s withdrawing into himself.” Vegeta scowled impatiently.

Zarbon leaned over and jabbed a manicured finger into the prince’s chest. “Talk. To. Him. Tell him about your past, it’ll help him.”

“Since when have you become a shrink?” Vegeta fidgeted uncomfortably.

“Don’t skirt the topic.” A tense silence as Vegeta continued to scowl even deeper.



Goku was headed towards the kitchen for a snack when he heard the low murmur of voices inside. Immediately, he stopped, tensed and unsure of what action to take next. Somehow, he didn’t feel like interacting with people, especially Zarbon. While he was grateful that Zarbon had come to help rescue him, he was still quite insecure over the beautiful Readan and avoided the blue-skinned warrior whenever he could.

Slowly, he turned and trudged back to his bedroom. He sank back into the plush bed and closed his eyes wearily. He was eating and resting regularly now, but for some reason, he still felt just so tired! Vegeta had asked him if he wanted to resume training with him, but Goku had declined, pleading exhaustion.

The usually gruff prince had also tried to speak to him a few times about his health or ordeal, but Goku did not feel like talking at all. Kami! He just wanted to forget all that happened.. but he can’t. He shivered as he hugged a pillow and inhaled his mate’s scent.

The worst part was the fact that he was still uncomfortable with overly intimate contact. On one hand, he was desperate for Vegeta’s touch, and they now kissed and cuddled frequently. However, whenever his mate tried to move beyond that, he would tense up as unwanted memories intruded. He could see that Vegeta was hurt but complied with his requests anyway. He hated this…hated his frigidity… At this rate, he wouldn’t be surprised if he drove his mate away himself!


“Kakarotto?” Vegeta was leaning against the headboard reading while Goku was content to lie with his head pillowed in his mate’s lap.

“Ya ‘Geta?”

“Do you want to talk?”

Goku tensed slightly. “About what?”

“Anything.” Vegeta placed the portable electronic reader away. When Goku kept silent, he sighed. “Koi… I’m not going to get disgusted or ashamed of you because of what happened, I won’t reject you.”

“But that’s because you don’t know what happened yet!” Goku blurted out.

“I can imagine.” Vegeta collected his thoughts for a while. “This isn’t easy for me – I’ve buried these memories for almost three decades.”

“It’s a popular habit to brand slaves. The location of the brand often reveals information about the type of slave. You were branded on your flank – an intimate area. That means Coolant treated you as his sex slave.”

Goku closed his eyes in shame, his lips drawn in a thin line. So Vegeta knew all along.

“Nappa was a common fighter; he was marked near his ankle. Technicians and other support crew normally have a brand on their arms for easy identification. I was branded on my thigh.”

“What does that mean?” Goku asked in a curious whisper.

“It means that while I was a fighter, I also had … other roles. Remember the time I danced at the club?”

“You were a dancer?” Goku found the idea a little ludicrous.

“Baka!” Vegeta cuffed his mate irritably, then rubbed the crease between his brows in an effort to relieve the tension there. “Gomen… I didn’t mean to snap at you; it’s just that this is hard for me. I’ve not told anyone of this… All these events took place more than three decades ago.”

Goku kept quiet as Vegeta continued. “I was an entertainer.” His voice dripped with distaste. “Of sorts. Frieza had developed an…interest in me… I would be…required…to dance, sing, perform…” His voice trailed off bitterly.

Goku slanted a blank look at his mate, and Vegeta inwardly cursed his mate’s lack of acuity. “Frieza no chikushoume found it amusing to see us…couple with each other… Sometimes he would take us as well…”

Goku couldn’t believe his ears; was Vegeta trying to say what he thought he was saying?

“Shimatta! Baka! You were not the only one raped!” Vegeta’s face darkened in anger and embarrassment.

Goku sat up in bed and twisted around so that he faced Vegeta. “Oh, ‘Geta…”

“I don’t want your pity baka!” The proud ouji barked harshly. “I only told you this so that you know that I understood what you went through.” He averted his face, staring at some spot on the wall. “I’ve never planned to tell you about…that part of my life… I didn’t want your pity. Don’t offer me any foolish platitudes.”

After a long tense silence, during which the two stayed as still as statues, Vegeta finally turned to look at his shocked mate’s face. “However, I wasn’t a sex slave. Those ordeals did not take place often; I was one of Frieza’s elite fighters after all, and he could not afford to have me broken. Subdued, yes. Humiliated, certainly. But a totally broken solider is a useless one. So in that sense, my experience was different from yours.”

Goku scooted forward and sat on Vegeta’s lap. “How could you stand it?” He asked softly, leaning his forehead to touch his mate’s.

“Unlike you, I tried to cover my humiliation with anger. I trained incessantly, and I took out my rage during missions. I was a stubborn bastard – The more the ice-jin tried to break me, the more I was determined that he wouldn’t. His purpose of such torture, aside from his own sick amusement, was to make us submissive, and that was the one thing I refused to become. Of course I wasn’t stupid; I wasn’t openly defiant. I just bided my time for the time when I could kill him. But I had let that rage and hate overwhelm my life, something I’m not very proud of. I was angry at everybody, at everything. I hated Frieza with a passion, and when you defeated me, I was absolutely furious at you. It took me a long time to come to terms with it. I can’t really say I’ve gotten over it; I don’t think it’s something I can get over that easily. I still have a lot of anger in me, I know, but it’s not the main focus of my life now.”

Vegeta pushed Goku away gently to look deeply into his eyes.

“I may or may not have made peace with it, I like to think I have, but I’ve at least come to terms with it. It’s a part of my past, there’s nothing I can do to change it. I’m certainly not going to whine about it and use that as an excuse for anything else that goes wrong with my life. In my opinion, shit happens. Just accept it, learn from it and move on. If you let it get to you… If you let it rule your life… If you cower in fear, then he would have won. But you have to face up to it, even if you don’t like it, even if it scares the shit out of you.”

“I’m not going to pity or coddle you; I KNOW you are stronger than that. I… I just want to help you… If you want…” Vegeta’s voice fell into a harsh whisper.

Goku fell into a thoughtful reverie. The hard-bitten prince was right; he was running away from his problems. He was becoming too withdrawn, too fearful. Vegeta had come after him tenaciously and doggedly despite the weakened bond, even setting aside his own shame to seek entrance into the ice-jin’s compound and finally accepting him even after what had been done to him. Yet the ice-jin still might succeed in breaking him, in driving a wedge in their relationship if he did not confront his fears.

Yet why was it so difficult? Goku knew he wasn’t the type to think too long or hard about anything, his life so far had always been simple and carefree. Even when forced to fight enemies to save Earth and the ones he loved, it had been very clear-cut and straightforward. Fight or die. This was different… Wasn’t it? With a start, Goku realized that this was actually a fight for his life as well, much like any other fight in his life. The way he was now, he wasn’t really living.

You keep me standing tall
You help me through it all
I’m always strong when you’re beside me
I have always needed you
I could never make it alone

“Help me koi…” Goku’s voice shook slightly as he leaned forward to brush his lips tentatively against Vegeta’s.

A/N: *cringes a little…hopes it wasn’t too sappy* So now we catch a further glimpse into Vegeta’s mysterious past. Umm… more to come in later chapters; it’s unlikely that Vegeta would suddenly reveal all. Here’s my take on his personality and how he reacted to what was done to him in the past; I hope it’s quite in character and also quite believable. I know a lot of fics out there portray him as a victim but I really think that he isn’t broken; he’s definitely a survivor. Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to achieve what he has, ne?


Onto the next part!


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