Author:              Kiarene?

Published:         9th April 2004

Pairings:           Vegeta/Goku, Vegeta/Radditz

Disclaimers:      DBZ is not mine… But this story is, even if it’s not intended for profit.

Archive?            Please ask first

 

 

Chapter 8: A Memory Confronted

 

 

 

“Unhand me!” Vegeta snarled as Saiyan and Ice-jin tumbled to the floor in a tangle of limbs and tails. Twisting around, he caught sight of the green window they had fallen out from rapidly winking shut and lunged desperately towards it.

 

His fingers managed to just hook onto the moving edge …and then the portal closed around his curved fingers with a fizzle of crackling energy. Vegeta swore sulphurously and whirled towards the smaller figure beside him. “What is the meaning of this? This is …abduction!”

 

Icenia stood up, smoothing out her dress carefully. “Trust me; this was definitely unplanned. I am no more pleased about this than you are.” 

 

“In that case, bring me back to that clearing immediately,” Vegeta demanded.

 

Icenia hesitated. “No.”

 

“Why not? You lying, back-stabbing witch – you planned this from the start! You claim a truce, a treaty, but this is not part of the agreement!” Vegeta yelled himself into a fine fury, his ki rocketing as he ascended. “I should have never listened to you from the start. You Ice-jins are all the same — untrustworthy liars and manipulative bastards!” 

 

Icenia backed away warily as he stepped towards her, gesturing aggressively. Without warning, the enraged prince attacked. Icenia leapt back with a gasp, eyes widening in fear, just a tad too slow. The punch would have surely connected, it should have — but it didn’t. To his shock, Vegeta found himself pulling back at the very second before impact.

 

This was absurd! He had never felt the need to hold back, even if it was a weaker female. Perhaps some chauvinistic males with archaic notions of chivalry or feelings of condescension might have, but that kind of naïve attitude would get a cub — what mercenaries called a newcomer — killed in his first fight. Vegeta knew that; he fought to win, to survive.

 

He paused but only for a split second. Growling, he rocked back smoothly, shifting his weight onto his left foot, and lashed out with his right. And once more, he fell victim to the same hesitation that held back his previous blow, his knee bending just a bit more such that his foot barely missed her.

 

The hell…?

 

Vegeta ground his teeth in frustration as Icenia suddenly threw back her head with a throaty laugh. “Oh my, I had forgotten about this!”

 

~ Nobody mocks me! ~ His hands shimmered as energy gathered. “Are you so frightened of your death that you’ve completely lost your mind, bitch?”

 

She ignored him, shaking while her peels of laughter gradually died down. “This is so wonderfully rich! Who would’ve thought — the famous Saiyan prince, the so-called Ice-jin executor — at my mercy…”

 

“What are you prattling on about?” Vegeta started to feel a stab of unease. The events of the evening, ever since he had met the Ice-jin, had been rapidly spiraling out of his control and he didn’t like that at all. He had thought the smaller female weak; he had been gleefully surprised when he realized that her power levels were not even anywhere near Freeza’s and certainly not near his, but so far, she had managed to stay a step ahead of him.

 

“Do you remember our agreement?” Icenia crossed her arms with an insufferably smug look.

 

Although he really couldn’t see what that had to do with the current situation, Vegeta cast his mind back in irritation. “That I would aid you in your fight against Tundra, in return for a favor.”

 

Her smile cracked a little higher, a tiny action that incensed Vegeta because it showed her utter lack of fear of him. “And how exactly would you aid me?”

 

~ Annoying female. ~ “We won’t attack you and we will allow your troops unmolested passage through certain sectors of our space, you may buy supplies from… “ His voice trailed off. Something clicked.

 

We won’t attack you.

 

Radditz has been brought back. Icenia had fulfilled… tricked him such that she fulfilled her side of the agreement! He didn’t want it. No wait, that was not true. He did want it – he did want Radditz back, just not under such circumstances. Vegeta cursed at his stupidity. But that’s not important now; the fact remained that Icenia had brought Radditz back and he was now bound to uphold his side of their agreement.

 

But… was he? His mind raced. There had been no written contract, no legal document — if he reneged on his part of the agreement, would anyone know? If he killed her now…

 

Apparently she knew what he was thinking. “It is binding — the agreement that is,” she sneered. “Foolish male. I cast a spell — a minor one as it only bound you and I — that bound us by the stated terms of our agreement, and that magic is more irrevocable than any legality.”

 

Vegeta paled, abruptly realizing the reason why he had not been able to attack her.

 

“Yes, according to our agreement, you will not attack me. You cannot attack me,” Icenia confirmed his worst fear triumphantly.

 

“This is an underhand trick on your part!”

 

“It is only fair.”

 

“You put this spell on me without my consent; how can it be fair?” Vegeta retorted hotly.

 

“Because the spell binds me as well,” Icenia replied calmly. “You would have attacked me, killed me without blinking, am I right?” She shrugged blithely. “I would have done the same; it is a brutal universe out there and we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t have gotten to where we were, if we were not even more brutal.”

 

“I would have upheld my part of our agreement,” Vegeta lied crossly.

 

Icenia regarded him in an unnerving scrutiny before replying slowly, “Perhaps you would have, perhaps you wouldn’t. You’re an enigma, Prince Vegeta. A wild-card. My reports told me that you were a cold-hearted, ruthless killer and that you would go to any means to achieve your goal. I have heard about how you were quite efficient at clearing entire planets in your youth.”

 

Vegeta remained silent as she spoke, crossing his arms angrily. He was furious; furious at himself for his oversight, furious at her for tricking him, for anticipating him, for everything! He had to admit, reluctantly, that she had read him well.

 

“Yet, you had a strict code of honor too. You obviously felt honor bound not only to avenge yourself, but your people as well. And all reports of Saiyans have mentioned their pride in their fighting prowess, a sort of honesty, if you will, in an age where many think nothing of cheating to win.” Ruby eyes were slit. “It was because of this so-called honor that I came up with the idea of proposing this agreement to you, and I’ll have to admit that it’s only because of your …martial honor that I would bind myself in such a spell with you.”

 

Something occurred to Vegeta. “Likewise, you cannot attack us.” His lips curved up in a predatory smirk. “Or, if I infer correctly; since the spell only bound us, we merely cannot attack each other. It does nothing in regards to others.”

 

Icenia smirked. “It isn’t that simple, Prince Vegeta. This spell’s an insidious one. Do you recall how you stepped in front of me when your mate attacked?”

 

“It wasn’t because of any desire to protect you,” Vegeta denied angrily. “I simply wanted to stop him from…”

 

Her smirk grew as he trailed off. “Are you sure?”

 

“It won’t happen again,” the prince growled. “The next time, I will let Kakarotto tear you from limb to limb.”

 

“You’re doing an excellent job of convincing me to bring you back,” Icenia deadpanned. “I’m sure you understand my hesitation in doing so. Besides, are you sure it’s safe for you to go back? An ex-lover… A new mate…” She smiled blandly. “I would say it’s quite a volatile situation. Wouldn’t you?”

 

Vegeta crossed his arms and tossed his head regally. “They wouldn’t dare. I’m their prince, their alpha.” But he didn’t feel as confident as he sounded.

 

“I’m sure you are,” Icenia drawled as she turned, walking away. “Come, Prince Vegeta. I’ll show you to your rooms. You must be tired and I am such a poor hostess. You are my guest, after all.”

 

Belatedly, Vegeta realized that they had appeared in a room. Scowling darkly at her sarcasm but having no immediate rebuttal, he looked around instead. There were no windows and nothing by way of furnishings, just a small, dingy room with a door. The floor was a dirty slate and there were a few footprints on the dusty floor. The room obviously did not get much traffic and he wondered just where they had ended up. 

 

“Coming?”

 

Vegeta jerked his head up, looking at the saurian who was waiting in the doorway blankly. An image of two certain burly Saiyans came to mind, loud and angry and emotional and messy, and he winced. And because he simply couldn’t come up with a better idea at the moment, he huffed in annoyance and ground his teeth, but in the end, he followed her out.

 

No, he really wasn’t avoiding them — he had no choice and he was also taking the opportunity to assess the enemy, Vegeta decided.

 

-----

 

Goku stared at his unconscious brother in consternation. Now what was he supposed to do? As much as he disliked the other Saiyan, he couldn’t just leave him lying here. And since he was the one who had knocked Radditz out, the responsibility fell to him. Goku took his responsibilities very seriously.

 

He looked around the clearing helplessly again, a small whine of pure frustration rising in the back of his throat as he realized that he couldn’t do anything about Vegeta’s kidnapping either.

 

Fuck!

 

Goku didn’t swear often, but right now, a few of his mate’s favorite epithets were running furiously through his head — over and over because he didn’t know all that many cuss words —as he bent down and swung the unconscious male over his shoulder, taking sulky delight in being just a bit rougher than he should.

 

His irritation at Radditz was quickly overshadowed by his overwhelming worry for Vegeta, and he ran over every aspect of the short incident as he flew back, but there were too many questions, too many gaps.

 

All too soon, he was back at the guest apartments and touching down softly at the balcony, and he still didn’t know what to do. The lights were off and the apartments were quiet. Radditz was still limp and out cold, and so as quietly as he could, he crept into the main room towards where he remembered the couch to be. Unfortunately, while he had remembered the location of the couch accurately, he had forgotten that there was also a small table in front of it and he tripped ass over head in a spectacular crash.

 

Goku groaned, his shin throbbing where it had barked against the edge of the table. Radditz moaned, stirring. Familiar auras flared into battle-ready alertness and the lights came on a second later.

 

“What the hell do you think… Goku?” Zarbon was standing protectively in front of Momo, arms akimbo and heedless of his nudity.

 

“Goku?” Momo blinked owlishly from behind her taller lover, equally bare and sleep-tousled. “What are you… doing?”

 

Goku groaned again, suddenly realizing the picture he must have presented and tried to ignore the snorts and muffled snickers. He had been carrying Radditz over his shoulder and when he tripped, he ended up with his face in his brother’s crotch… his brother’s bare crotch… and limbs askew and ass in the air.

 

Radditz had to choose that moment to wake up. He snapped upright with an affronted yelp, pushing Goku off as he scooted backwards. “Why you perverted little animal!”  

 

This was not his night.

 

-----

 

“All right, let me get this straight.” Zarbon rubbed the knotted muscle between his brows tiredly. After the initial furor, they all had managed to get dressed and settled down around the large dining table to make some sense of a confusing night.

 

He turned to Goku. “You woke up, realized that Vegeta was missing and flew after him. You saw Vegeta in a clearing with them…”

 

“No, just him,” Goku frowned at Radditz. “After I charged in…”

 

“Because Vegeta was kissing me,” Radditz added snidely.

 

“You’re not helping,” Zarbon muttered under his breath. Momo patted him on his thigh soothingly.

 

Goku ignored the interruptions. “After I charged in, then Icenia appeared. When I attacked her, Vegeta stopped me and then Icenia disappeared into this hole, pulling Vegeta in after her.”

 

“They …disappeared into a hole…” Momo repeated incredulously.

 

“It was a green hole that appeared in mid-air,” Goku supplied helpfully. “Like magic.”

 

“Like magic,” Zarbon repeated flatly.

 

Goku missed the sarcasm and Radditz just managed to hide his snicker as a muffled cough behind his hand. “Uh huh. And then the hole closed after them. I would have saved Vegeta but this clumsy idiot got in my way.” Goku.shot his brother an accusing glare.

 

“What?” Radditz spluttered. “I had already grabbed hold of Vegeta when you crashed into me, you buffoon!”

 

Goku couldn’t believe his sheer gall! “I was nearer to Vegeta, you liar! He was right in front of me; there was absolutely no way you could have gotten to him first!”

 

“Yeah, and if he was right in front of you, how come you couldn’t save him?” Radditz sneered. 

 

“Back off, guys….”

 

The two brothers ignored Momo as they hurled accusations back and forth until a loud slap on the tabletop silenced them. Three startled pairs of Saiyan eyes turned to see an extremely irate Readan. Zarbon growled. Both brothers closed their opened mouths. Momo looked impressed but privately thought that red did not suit her lover’s cerulean complexion.

 

“Back to the important point. Now Vegeta is missing, taken by Icenia,” Zarbon stated in clipped tones. “What do we do next?”

 

“We confront her of course!” Goku replied blankly as if it was the most obvious course of action. 

 

“Idiot!”

 

“What do you mean by that? What else should we do?” Goku turned on his brother in irritation. “You’re just arguing for the sake of disagreeing with me, aren’t you? Do you have a better plan?”

 

Radditz shook his head condescendingly. “We can’t just confront her; she has the upper hand here. What if she does something to Vegeta? We can’t get to him before she can.”

 

Goku had to admit — very reluctantly — that Radditz had a point. The room fell into a depressing silence.

 

“Well, let’s try a different approach then,” Momo spoke up after a while. “What can you tell us about how you came back, Radditz? I’m sure it’s connected somehow.”

 

Radditz folded his arms and leaned back, a thoughtful expression on his face. “I’m not too sure what happened myself.”

 

Goku gave a snort and Radditz bristled. Momo kicked the two males under the table, glaring balefully, and they subsided. Tensions were running high in the room as everyone was worried, especially Goku and Radditz. Frustrated and helpless, they kept sniping at each other.

 

“As I was saying,” Radditz went on, “I was sitting in Hell playing a round of cards with some of the guards from the F’th Sixty-second —“

 

“Hey, I used to work with the Sixty-second,” Momo broke in with a grin. “How’s Tarcep and…”

 

“Dar~ling…” Zarbon drummed his fingers, a pinched look to his face. “Please.”

 

“Sorry.” Momo looked suitably abashed.

 

Radditz shot the frustrated Readan a smirk, clearly amused at the domestic changes in his old friend. “And then I felt this sort of tugging. I can’t really explain it well, but it felt like something was pulling me, stretching me. It was quite unnerving. At first I panicked and resisted, but as the pull got greater, I suddenly realized that it was Vegeta’s ki and that was when I let go. It felt as if I’d been snapped like an elastic band and then, next thing I knew, I was lying in that strange clearing and Vegeta was holding me.”

 

There was a strange sort of noise coming from Goku’s vicinity, sounding like an odd combination between the grinding of teeth and a muffled growl, but the others pretended they didn’t hear it.

 

“So you have no idea how you were brought here either.”

 

Radditz shook his head. “No, I think Vegeta is the one who has all the answers. Damn!” He suddenly slammed both fists down on the table and closed his eyes tightly in worry and anger. “I fucking hate this, I really do. I hate sitting here, helpless and clueless, while he’s in danger.”

 

Zarbon looked around the table. Goku, mild-mannered Goku who normally was the peacemaker, was facing away from his brother, arms crossed and tight-lipped. Radditz, whom he knew to be extremely protective of his prince when they were all under Frieza, was clenching and unclenching his fists in little cracking noises. Momo caught his eye and pursed her lips unhappily.

 

“Will you stop doing that?” Goku snapped. “Some of us are trying to think of a plan here and you’re not helping with all those irritating cracking sounds!”

 

“You’re coming up empty precisely because it is empty up there, you moron!” Radditz sneered, cupping one fist in the other and giving an extra loud crack. “Whether it’s quiet or not would not help.”

 

“Who are you calling stupid, you, you…” Goku spluttered as he leaned forward, hands slamming down onto the table. Zarbon and Momo groaned inwardly. That was one of Goku’s sore points.

 

“What? Can’t even think of something to insult me with, you dickhead? What a sorry excuse for a Saiyan. I can’t believe we’re supposed to be related, but I guess throwbacks to the evolutionary process occur occasionally.” Radditz leaned forward aggressively as well, almost nose-to-nose with his brother. Even seated, he was still taller than his younger brother and he used that to his advantage, rearing up and patting Goku on the head condescendingly. “Dad must have dropped you on your head when you were born, probably in shock at your ugly mug. Look, there’s still a flat spot between your spikes...”

 

“Enough!” Zarbon roared. Standing up quickly, he moved behind Radditz and pulled him back. “Both of you just shut up! You’re both squabbling like three-year old kids!”

 

Momo had stood up to place a restraining hand on Goku as well, though if Goku really wanted to go after Radditz, she couldn’t do anything to stop it.

 

Zarbon took a deep breath, calming himself momentarily. “What we’re going to do now is to go to sleep…”

 

“What? What about Vegeta?”

 

“How can you sleep at a time like this?”

 

“Because there’s nothing constructive we can do now! All you two numbskulls are doing is making the situation worse with your juvenile squabbling.” Zarbon eyed each brother in turn menacingly. “You will both haul ass into those rooms there, separately, and you will not come out until I feel better because you’re both giving me a headache, you wretched monkeys.”

 

He squeezed Radditz’ arm warningly and the tall Saiyan backed down sulkily. Momo moaned and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Crap! What about Trunks and Goten? Now that the Tournament is over, they’ll be expecting us to make contact and start heading home.”

 

Zarbon cursed – he could well imagine the uproar and pandemonium among the Saiyans should news of Vegeta’s abduction get out. And then he paled when he thought of the possible political consequences. “We cannot let them know about this.”    

 

“Zarbon…” Momo looked uncertain.

 

“No, absolutely not,” Zarbon declared firmly. “Not anyone.”

 

 

Tbc…

 

 

Onto Chapter 9

 

Back to Chapter 7

 

Back to DBZ Yaoi Series





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