A Round Robin (20 - 23)
by Kiarene, Felix & Goten
The sky became overcast, bleeding to a dark grey.
"Get out," Goku growled, not moving a muscle.
The two lovers held completely still.
"GET OUT!" the black-haired man screamed, charging at the couple. It was apparent to Vegeta, however, that he was singling out the demi-Saiyan. The prince powered up and knocked him back in just enough time.
"KISAMA! YOU WILL NOT HURT MY MATE!"
Goku's expression fell at that, his eyes narrowing. Rejection. Again. "I tried so hard. I really wanted to show you that I wasn't just a third-class baka. I wanted you to know that I was more. I wasn't some brain-dead idiot that knew nothing of his heritage. You always thought I did not want to know, but you never made an effort to tell me. You shut yourself off from me! ...Bakayaro!! I could hear you in my sleep! For years you knew nothing as I had to deal with your insults every night!! Do you know what it's like? Being belittled every hour of the day!?"
"Feeling humiliated? You don't even know what humiliation is. But I will show you. I will show you its bitter taste. You will endure it. Just like I have."
"BASTARD! You know nothing of the pain I've had to go through! When your planet is blown up and your entire family is murdered, then you can speak to me!"
Goku slowly rose to his feet, "But my planet is destroyed. I come from Vegeta-sei. And my whole family was murdered, my father and mother by Freiza, and Raditz was my own doing." He smirked faintly, "Do you have any idea what it's like to kill your own brother? Ha..! Of course not. Little ouji was raised with all the benefits."
"I have lived a life without luxury, if you have not noticed! Calling me spoiled is pointless!"
"Say what you will, but you weren't sent off as a baby to a strange planet across the universe with no family or friends or even someone to take care of you. So maybe you should think about that. Maybe I wasn't sent to complete a mission, eh? Maybe I was so weak and such a trouble that they sent me off in my coffin. Ever think of that?"
Vegeta stopped to consider what the other man was saying. Goten tugged on his shirt, "..You're not buying into this, are you?"
Vegeta did not meet his gaze, but rather only stated, "It is true that many third class children either failed in their mission, or were never heard from again. A small percentage returned after a significant amount of years from being sent."
Goku nodded, "So maybe I didn't want to associate myself with a race that didn't want to associate with me."
"Wait a minute.." Vegeta growled low in his throat, suspecting something, "How do you remember this?? You've said you can't remember anything before you hit your head! Or so Bulma had told me."
"Hai, that is true. Except.."
"A few months ago...well, maybe a year or two now that I think of it, I had been training by myself out near Piccolo's waterfall. I was just performing a kata, I hadn't even powered up in the slightest.."
"What happened?" Vegeta spoke with a flat, dead voice.
"I slipped on a rock."
"Why didn't you right yourself?"
"I wasn't expecting to fall! You don't plan an accident, otherwise it's not an accident!! Would you let me continue for fuck's sake!?"
Vegeta snorted, folding his arms, "By all means.."
"I hit my head on the side of the cliff, and I became pretty dazed. Usually I have a hard head, but I think I might've fallen on my temple...So the next thing I know I'm tumbling down the slick mountain..."
"And yet you could've stopped yourself."
Goku was quiet for a moment, staring at the ground, "Hai."
The small word caught both Vegeta's and Goten's interest completely. Goten gave his lover a puzzled look and the ouji shrugged slightly.
"Hai," Goku repeated, sighing shakily, "I let myself fall." He trembled, his voice becoming hoarse, "I just remember I had felt so bad. I was sick of being so happy when I wasn't. I was so sick of being Goku. So when I slipped, I just went limp. I finally landed by the shore, but I had fallen on a jagged rock. I could feel the blood oozing from my skull, but I just sat there. Piccolo eventually found me, and he offered to take me to Dende's, but I refused." The taller Saiyan laughed bitterly, "I found relief in the pain. That's when it started."
"You began to remember," Vegeta filled in the blank.
Goku nodded, sitting down on the ground and hugging his knees, "I began having dreams too. Dark dreams that silenced your voice, a voice that had for so long faded into the background."
Vegeta was curious, "Why did it fade?"
The black-haired Saiyan was hesitant, "Because you didn't care about me anymore. Not the way that you used to. Your hate was so strong, but it diminished, and as it did, you lost interest in me." He steadied himself for a moment before he cried out, punching the ground, "It wasn't fair! My son was not supposed to have you! It was unthinkable!"
"You were jealous!" Vegeta retaliated in surprise, "But why?"
"When you get to know someone, you can't hate them anymore."
"You hated me?"
"At first, for what you had done."
"But then you stopped hating me?"
"I could feel you sometimes, not just hear you. I knew that you weren't evil. I knew you had good redeeming qualities, even though I could never get you to reveal them to me. We were allies, but we had so much in common, more than you realized."
Goten was beginning to get agitated by his inability to join the conversation. He also noticed where the current topic of discussion was heading and he didn't like it one bit, "So now you're going to spout out about how you and Vegeta are perfect together, right?"
Goku shook his head in disagreement, "Perfect? No. But I did often think we were compatible. I never chased after him, I never thought Vegeta would accept me." He sniffed loudly and rubbed his face, trying to calm himself. "So I gave up before I began, because I thought that our Saiyan no Ouji would hate me again if I tried for a relationship. After Bulma died, I didn't want to intrude. I thought I'd only make it worse, because Vegeta has never looked upon me in good light. I could do nothing but mourn too. But it wasn't like I openly realized how much I felt for him. I just knew how much he meant to me and I wanted for us to be closer."
"Maybe it's time you should go."
(Felix is a very chattery person..)
“Kakarot I don’t think we should leave you here alone,” Vegeta said back over to the bunched up Saiyan.
“I’ll be fine, I’m used to being on my own, don’t worry yourself over me, you never have before,” Goku lifted his head and looked at his son, “isn’t that right Goten?”
Goten’s head snapped up to look at his father and began to open his mouth to protest, until two fingers pressed to his lips. His brows creased and he looked over at his side to question Vegeta, until the ouji shook his head. “It’s okay, koi.” Vegeta turned back to the other Saiyan and sighed deeply. “Look Kakarot I don’t know what you want me to say that will make this all better. I don’t hate you. I’m upset that you butted into my relationship, not my life, I don’t mind seeing you on occasion, we could spar, if Goten doesn’t mind that is.”
Goku ran a hand through his hair and ruffled it in frustration, as he fixed a hard glare onto his son. Vegeta wrapped an arm around his slim waist and pulled him close to his side, letting his fingers play along his spandex clad hip. Goten began to shift around, his arousal becoming uncomfortable. “Wake up, wake up,” the demi-saiyan began to whisper to himself. He just wanted to get out of this dream world and get back to being with his mate in reality so they could get closer together.
Vegeta growled and Goten looked over at him in confusion. “Don’t even think about it Kakarot, I’ll blast you before you can even get a centimeter closer to him,” he said deadly serious, staring Goku straight in the eye. “Kakarot hurting Goten will not help anything, and believe me if you so much as scratch him I’ll will make you pay.”
Goku stayed silent and watched as Goten blushed slightly at Vegeta’s protectiveness for him. The larger man stood up and stood tall, making Vegeta prepare himself for a fight to protect his lover. Goten leaned back a little fully expecting his father to throw out some vicious attack on him but to both the lovers surprise Goku just turned on his heel and began to walk away from them.
/Vegeta I know I’m out of control right now so I have to go away and sort myself out, I’ll return when I’m ready/
Vegeta received the message and nodded to himself then felt the body next to him begin to stir. “Dad wait a second,” cried out Goten as he tried to pull himself out of Vegeta’s tight grip. “Vegeta let me go I have to talk to him!”
Vegeta held a tighter grip and pulled Goten back against him, shaking his head. “He has to think things over Goten, just let him go.” His father began to disappear from his vision and he only thrashed around more in his lover’s grasp until Vegeta gave him a hard pinch on the cheek.
The next thing Goten knew he was in his room, well what was left of his room. He looked beside him and saw the grinning face of his mate and he smiled back at him. The older man rolled over on top of his younger mate and began to nibble and lick at his parted lips. “The best thing of a fight, is making up afterwards,” he purred as he licked and suckled lightly on the marking on Goten’s neck.
The demi-Saiyan began to moan and tossed his head back at the pleasurable sensation that washed over him, sending his mind into a state of bliss. He soon forgot about the dream he had just shared with his mate and father and only concentrated on his mate, who was here with him right now. A furry length began to run in teasing strokes over his side’s making him laugh at the ticklish feeling it sent through him. Vegeta pinned his arms down and began to tickle at his side’s with his tail, watching with a smile as his younger lover wiggled and laughed beneath him. “V-Vegeta please!” he begged, as he pulled in strangled breaths of air.
Vegeta pulled his tail away and released the wrists, then laid down on his side with his head prompted up on one of his hands. He contently watched his mate try and catch his breath then look over at him with a flush washed across his cheeks. Vegeta licked his lips, his lover looked so hot at the moment, and he couldn’t stop the wave of images and positions that flashed through his mind. With a wicked grin he began to scoot towards Goten, who scooted away slightly, wondering what he was planning.
“Vegeta, what are you doing?” he question curiously.
“Koi, how long can you do a hand stand?” he purred out, before pouncing on top
of the demi-saiyan with a growl.
Goten laid in Vegeta’s arms, sleeping soundly after the hours they had spent in the most creative positions he had ever been in his life. He had to admit though, it felt amazing to be taken by his lover so many times, and he was feeling very good about their relationship now. Before he fell asleep Vegeta whispered a few sweet things as well as naughty, dirty things to him, which was nice. He guessed it was all right to know that leather on him was one of the ouji’s biggest turn on’s.
The ouji held his sleeping mate tightly and let his eye slip shut, he was completely exhausted as well, although he didn’t want Goten to know that. The last few hours had been so intense and the pleasure was indescribable. He curled his tail protectively around the demi-saiyan’s slim waist and kept him close, so no one would ever be able to take him away. Although the ouji was completely content at the moment he couldn’t help but wonder at the last thing the larger Saiyan said to him before he left. He wondered where the Saiyan was going, bit it was true he was out of control and he needed to find out how to control his rage. He was a big danger to his youngest son mostly. Vegeta knew that he was upset of about Goten being with him so intimately but he also knew that he would never purposely hurt his son. The ouji fell into a deep sleep and for once in a long time Kakarot wasn’t in his dream.
Some how Vegeta felt a little uneasy at the other Saiyan’s loss of presences. It went on for weeks and Kakarot was still not showing up in his dreams, it was beginning to haunt him. Vegeta had tried countless times to get in touch with Kakarot through their link but it had been cut off and he was blocked of all the larger Saiyan’s thoughts. Goten would often ask about his father’s where abouts but the older man would tell him that he didn’t know about anything as to where he was. He hated telling the teen that he didn’t know where his father was and he had to lie to him many time’s.
One day while Goten was sitting at his desk with an open book laid out in front of him as he studied for a test. He read line after line of the history book and began to grow bored, extremely bored. His head snapped up to look at the window as Vegeta made quiet a bit of noise as he was climbing in. “Hey koi,” he said, placing a kiss on the younger demi-saiyan’s offering lips. “I have a surprise for you.”
(Pushes keyboard away and runs outside for some sun)
(Kiarene lies on her side smiling bemusedly as she leans over the pool and dips her finger in, swirling lazily…)
“Surprise? What surprise?” Goten was almost bouncing up and down in excitment.
Vegeta only threw a wink over his shoulder as he turned back to fly out the window. Eagerly, the dark-haired lad followed his mate, his history book forgotten. As they headed across the city and further into the forested areas, his curiosity grew. However, the prince only gave him a playful smirk when pressed for details.
Suddenly Vegeta dropped out of his flight path towards a clearing by a stream. Goten landed softly beside him and looked around, almost bursting with curiosity by now. There was nothing here of interest. His question was partially answered a few seconds later as Vegeta began digging the dragonballs out of the ground, where he had obviously buried them only a short while back.
Vegeta did not answer but summoned the dragon. Smirking, he made his first wish. “I wish for Goten’s tail to regenerate!”
“DONE!” As the mythical dragon’s voice boomed over them, Goten felt a hot searing pain shoot up from his tailbone. The pain quickly faded though and when he craned his neck around, he saw a long furry tail in rich chocolate, streaked with ebony. It was slightly longer but not as lushly furred as the ouji’s own fluffy auburn appendage but beautiful nonetheless. So delighted was he with his newest limb; he never had a tail before – his mother had it removed when he was born and it had never grew back since, that he almost missed Vegeta’s second wish.
“WHAT IS YOUR SECOND WISH?”
“I wish for the bond between Kakarot and myself to be removed.”
There was a long silence, then the mighty Shenlong replied. “I AM SORRY BUT THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE.”
“Nani?! Why?” Both Vegeta and Goten asked simultaneously in shock.
“IF THE BOND WAS ONE-SIDED, I MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO. BUT A MUTUAL SAIYAN BOND IS VERY POWERFUL AND BEYOND MY ABILITIES TO REMOVE. MAKE ANOTHER WISH.”
The two could only stare wide-eyed at the huge dragon, which was starting to twitch a little impatiently. “WHAT IS…”
“Uh, we do not wish to make another wish today.” Vegeta hurriedly replied.
“FAREWELL THEN.” Ancient Shenlong then paused and looked down at the lovers, and with a raised brow and a breathy whisper, “GOOD LUCK.” The glowing dragonballs rose up in the air and scattered.
Goten turned to the ouji, who had slumped down onto a tree stump in shock, holding his head. “What did he mean that it’s a mutual bond??” The demi-Saiyan was deeply hurt and almost screaming at Vegeta. Did his mate return his father’s affections? Was he attracted to the other full-blood?
“I..I’m not sure…” Vegeta whispered, utterly stunned. “A mutual bond means that both parties have accepted the bonding.”
“I thought you love me??” Goten was almost crying by now.
“I do! You can feel our bond!”
“But how can you also accept my father’s bond then? I though you said he forced it onto you?”
“He did! I did not want the bond, I did not accept it…” Vegeta closed his eyes in confusion. Did he? A memory sprang forth.
‘Do not reject me… please…’
To his joy, those soft lip parted and arms came up hesitantly to wrap around his own torso. Goku gave a low groan from the depths of his throat and eagerly took the offering, drinking from those wondrous lips like a parched man. A purr sprang forth from his chest. His arms tightened around the ouji’s lithe form, one hand moving down to run gently over the slim hips. When a furry appendage coiled itself around his wrist, he did not think but moved his hand to ruffle the soft fur, eliciting a soft moan from the smaller form and an answering purr.
Vegeta raised his head and looked into his younger mate’s tear-stricken eyes. He opened his mouth to speak but no words came out, and from the devastated expression on the demi-Saiyan’s countenance, he could tell that Goten knew. Without another word, the teen turned and flew off.
Guilt flooded him and Vegeta thought about following his mate, but he realized that he needed to sort his own feelings out first. And he needed to sort out this problem of the dual bonds. He groaned in anguish, sinking his head into his open hands. ‘Why me?’
He racked his memories for what he knew of Saiyan bonds. As far as he could remember, he had never heard of any Saiyan having more than one mating bond at a time… But that does not mean that it was not possible. And apparently, as he could personally testify, it was possible. The question now was what was he to do with them? He could not break them, and searching his feelings, he realized that somehow, he did not want to break them. Even the bond he had with Kakarot. He did have some sort of feelings for the big lout despite his vehement protests.
So if he could not and would not break the bonds, could he live with both bonds? Vegeta swallowed nervously. That would mean living with *both* males as mates. A small smirk lifted his lips; actually, he could handle that. The smirk faded. The thing is, could his mates handle that? Would Goten accept it?
Could he live with both bonds, but just stay with one mate? He suspected not; all the stories he had heard about Saiyan bonds told of rejected mates pining away, even dying when the bond was one-sided. Guilt, this time about Kakarot, suddenly flooded him anew. And suddenly, he felt the urgent need to make sure that the brawny Saiyan was all right. For whether he liked it or not, the other full-blood was his mate as well.
(Kiarene licks her finger indolently, laughing evilly. “Was the tale headed towards resolution? I’m sorry…” )
(Felix just smiles at Kia-chan's evilness..)
As he took to the air he searched for the black-haired one's ki, only to find nothing. He searched through the bond, but then found that the bond was still desolate. He couldn't help himself, panic was starting to set in. How many days - weeks - had gone by? What if the other Saiyan was injured? Dead was not a possibility, for he would have certainly felt that, whether Goku tried to hide his death or not. But like the ouji had learned, there are things much worse than death; and with the erratic behavior and glimpses inside of his mate's mind, he felt like he did have something to worry about.
He stopped to breathe and calm himself. 'Okay, if I was an insane Kakarot, where would I go?' Vegeta pondered, 'To a former residence? A location which is personal? An old acquaintance? Off planet?' He racked his brains, trying to figure which option sounded like the most likely. The prince sighed to himself. He might as well try the places which could possibly be a lead.
He landed on a small island and hesitantly strolled up to the door, pausing before knocking. After a moment, the door opened and a very confused looking blond asked him, "Can I help you?"
Vegeta fidgeted nervously and finally he spewed out his question, "Android, have you seen Kakarot?"
Eighteen furrowed her eyebrows and shook her head, "No..None of us have seen Goku for quite some time. Is he okay?"
The brunette growled softly to himself, "Hai. Iie. I don't know." An uncomfortable pause ensued before Vegeta finally said, "Just..if you see him, make sure to contact me." He flew off before anymore could be discussed.
He landed outside of a rather nice looking house in a good neighborhood. Vegeta felt more relaxed now, but he was still prepared to answer questions that were sure to come. He rang the doorbell and folded his arms, waiting. Finally the door opened and a cheery voice called out, "Vegeta! What're you doing here? Um..come on it."
Gohan held the door open and Vegeta decided to accept his invitation, "I actually came by because I wished to know if you have seen your father."
Gohan scratched the side of his head, giving a thinking pose, "Ah..he dropped by a few weeks ago. Think it was about..three? Why?"
Vegeta smirked, deciding to let the situation into the open. He spoke very quickly and very clinically, "I am lovers with Goten and have been for quite some time, and then Kakarot found out and tried to keep us apart. Well, Kakarot and I had a fight and he bit my throat and created a bond between us, which is like a mental link, anyway, so I made a bond with Goten, but it didn't remove the bond I had with Kakarot, so Goten went to confront him but Kakarot lost it and nearly killed him, but he abruptly left and gave us a senzu bean. Then I went to confront him because he was haunting my dreams. He had his tail, we fought, and then inadvertently coupled. I grew my tail back. So I told Goten all of what happened and we spoke with Kakarot who ranted and raved and finally ended up leaving. Finally, I had gathered the dragonballs to wish for Goten's tail back, but also to remove the bond from Kakarot and I, but it's a mutual bond even though I didn't want it, and now I must find Kakarot to ensure he is not hurt and to settle this bond business once and for all."
Gohan did the only thing he could have possibly done - he fainted dead away. Vegeta couldn't help but smirk at the scene. At the sound of a large thump, Videl entered the room, "What happened??"
"Oh, he's fine," the prince assured, lifting the young man and carrying him towards where he guessed the living room would be, "He told me his father came by about three weeks ago. What did he say to Gohan?" With those words he set the demi-Saiyan down on the couch.
"Not much, just said something about being away for awhile and he'd be unreachable."
"Nothing I can think of.."
Vegeta sighed, rubbing his temple before standing up, "Well. I best be going then. Arigato." The showed himself to the door.
He spent the rest of the day unsuccessfully looking for the younger Saiyan, and despite his efforts, he hadn't managed to scrounge up one clue to where he might be. Finally, he returned to Capsule Corporation. For some reason he just felt like he couldn't face his hybrid mate, and he knew that Goten was hurt at the moment. He had to find Kakarot. The baka was the key to finding a solution to the whole mess. 'Or not so baka as he seems?' Vegeta pondered as he switched his attire into some sleepwear. A simply pair of navy silk pajamas which he made a tail hold for. He flopped down onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. He didn't bother with any covers, the temperature was comfortable enough without them.
His tail twitched lazily and he smirked softly at it. He was stronger now, but he'd have to be careful about the other side-effects, not that he couldn't handle them. He'd has his tail for a long time, and he'd dealt with the hormones more than Kakarot obviously had. Of course, his tail was gone before he truly started his "second puberty". Saiyans, like humans, usually started to develop in their teens, filling out completely by their early twenties; but immediately after the growth spurt, they hit a hormone rush unlike that of adolescence. Most hormonal drives in human males occurred in the ages between 16 and 23, as Vegeta could tell with Goten. And most women had theirs in their thirties, as Vegeta knew with Bulma. For full-blooded Saiyan males - thanks to the wonders of a tail - they had multiple uprisings. Roughly every decade they'd spend five years "normal" and five years "abnormally horny". In essence, Vegeta knew how to handle the urges and sensations far better than Goku.
He thought back to their first time together, feeling his cheeks burn. He wondered what it would have felt like if he'd opened the bond, like he did with Goten. Vegeta nearly shivered at the thought, reprimanding himself for even suggesting such an absurd notion. He rolled onto his side, hoping Goten was alright. 'What a fucking mess..' Vegeta concluded, 'I have two mates and they're both upset at me because of the other. Why did I have to get stuck in the middle? If only Kakarot hadn't of bitten me..' He felt anxious but he forced himself to relax. Eventually, he drifted off to sleep.
The land was barren, the ground hard, brown, and solid. Dry but not overly so. Hot wind blew around him and he looked around to see if he could find any distinguishing items. There was nothing around him. He spun around a few times, murmuring, "Kakarot..where are you..?" He chose a random direction and began walking. Within a minute he saw a vague splotch of color in the distance. Something dark, not light like a mirage would be. He squinted but was unable to see any details, so he tread on. When he was close enough he could tell that it was a person lying prone. He drew closer still and realized that it was not just any person, it was Kakarot.
He ran to his side and knelt down, examining the younger man. He didn't look in took bad of a shape physically, his clothes were torn a bit, but other than that he looked a little gangly, as if he hadn't been properly nourished as of late. "Kakarot?" Vegeta called out, looking at his mate earnestly. The Saiyan had his eyes open but somehow..the black orbs seemed sightless. He failed to respond to the ouji's vocalization. Vegeta tried again, louder, "KAKAROT?" No movement from the other except for the slow rise and fall of his chest. Vegeta, despite his attempts to stay calm and think rational, began to panic. The black-haired Saiyan was wasting away and if he didn't do something soon he would die.
Vegeta shuddered at the mere thought. He remembered Nappa telling him various horror stories about bonds gone wrong (unfortunately never mentioning multiple bonds or the issue of one-sided/mutual bonds), how if one mate died the often usually either quickly followed or went insane. Vegeta had scene this with humans too. When a life long partner or spouse died, the other usually perished within a year or so. One simply could not function without the other. If Kakarot died, would he take his own life? Would he simply become unreachable and meet the same demise as Kakarot a few years after? Would the bond with Goten be strong enough to save him? These were questions he hoped he'd never find out the answer to.
"Kakarot, it's time to wake up," Vegeta laughed nervously, lightly slapping the younger man on the cheek, "Come on now, stop this foolishness." But Goku didn't suddenly snap out of it, he just sat there staring at nothing, not blinking. He grasped his shoulder's and shook roughly, "Kakarot!" A sudden noise interrupted him. An odd, unnatural noise that Vegeta was certain could belong to nothing less than a demon. He heard it again - a wet rattle.
He moved slowly, first sitting up, then turning his head in the direction of the sound. He swore his heart skipped a beat as he gazed upon something he somehow knew with purely unholy. He was petrified as he locked eyes with a creature of pure evil, it's form ever-changing, and therefore, ever-tricking to one's sight. Memory would not allow for him to remember its exact appearance, but he also realized this thing might not had a true definite form. To him though, its
hyde was dark, almost darker than black if it were possible, not breaking for anything save for the dirty talons on each for paws - hands? - and its sharp, jagged fangs that dripped with saliva. Again it made its noise. He stood and began to back away. He watched as it flexed, one paw reaching forth ahead of the other, taking a step.
Vegeta couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so afraid, so on a whim he turned and ran. The monster made a more terrifying noise, filling Vegeta with dread like one who hears a banshee's cry. After running for a moment, and hearing the thing rapidly gain on him, he abruptly realized he could fly and took to the air faster than he initially wanted to go. After a good distance, or what the prince thought was far enough, he stopped and looked. It sat below him making a different odd noise. He knew that it was irritated with him however. Who wouldn't be? He was its prey and he got away. He smirked smugly as the creature eventually gave up and began padding in the opposite direction of Vegeta. As the ouji was silently patting himself on the back for a job well done on the small triumph, he dully noted that it had halted in its tracks. When it held itself motionless for about half a minute, Vegeta began to wonder what it was doing.
It turned its head to one side, then to the other, then back again. 'What in the?' Vegeta wondered, and by the time he realized what the implications were it was too late. The thing pounced, and within two bounds was on top of Goku, tearing its claws deep into the Saiyan's flesh wringing cries of agony from the defenseless form. "KAKAROT!!!" Vegeta screamed, blasting up to Super Saiyan Level Two and charging the monster. He slammed his shoulder into its side and sent it flying through the air. It tumbled a few times before getting up and limping away. Or it would have if it wasn't for Vegeta. "FINAL FLASH!" the ouji shouted, removing the threat permanently.
With the danger gone he returned to his mate's side. "Kakarot! Kakarot, can you hear me!?" Vegeta asked, cradling his head in-between his hands.
Finally the lusterless eyes locked with his own, and Goku half-lip-synched, half-whispered, "You never cared."
Vegeta shook his head and nuzzled the other man, "No, no. It'll be okay now, Kakarot. I promise. I do care, really. Come on, you're hurt.." He did remember how injuries in this realm reflected themselves in the other, he had had a dislocated elbow as proof of that.
"You don't care," Goku repeated, looking away, "I don't care."
Vegeta could sense him slipping away, but he wouldn't have any of it if he had a say at all. "I do care, Kakarot, I do, damnit! We have a mutual bond!" Vegeta insisted, bringing his lips down to give the younger Saiyan a soft kiss. "Be rational, Kakarot..come on..You're hurt," the prince said, caressing the side of Goku's face, "Tell me where you're at. Please, Kakarot? We'll fix this together."
"Hai, Shenron said so."
A glimmer of hope sparked in the dead eyes, "Do you..like me..Vegeta?"
The brunette blushed, but knew he could not falter, "Hai."
Goku smiled, tears coming to his eyes, "I like you too..."
(Felix wanted to write more, but sleep demanded otherwise...)
Onto Chapters 24 - 29
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