“This is not a dream,” Radditz asked as he lifted a hand. “Is it?”

 

Vegeta stared at him, dazed and shocked and horrified. The air was molten, dragging heavily in Vegeta’s lungs as he struggled for words.

 

Radditz’ hand drifted down to settle ever so slowly over his upper arms, almost as if he were trying to trap a wary animal. Vegeta panicked momentarily when he realized that his arm was caught, but then the moment passed when he realized that that was the least of his problems now. Radditz’ large hand had closed easily over Vegeta’s thinner arms, the grip light but firm, and strangely enough, Vegeta didn’t feel trapped.

 

The air was charged and taut between them; Radditz looked as if he were ready to pounce if Vegeta even twitched, his earlier lazy mood gone. His expression was intent, thoughtful; his demeanor changing, sharpening. Vegeta could almost see the flame of realization flicker in his eyes as the dark pupils widened, and then the flame flared, heavy brows drawing down determinedly. 

 

Now Vegeta panicked. He knew then that he was well and truly ensnared.

 

Not by physical force; nothing as simple as that. He was stronger than Radditz and if his ki suddenly spiked dangerously, troops would be breaking down the door to his apartment in minutes. No, he was trapped in a snare that was ironically, embarrassingly all his fault.

 

He felt like looking down, away, anywhere but at that searching gaze. What could he do; what could he say?

 

Instead, he lifted his chin defiantly and stared back.

 

For a long time it seemed, neither moved. Their breaths puffed faintly in the quiet room. Then Radditz’ expression softened fractionally, but his grip tightened a little as he shifted closer. ”Vegeta?”

 

It might have been a contest of wills, to see who could hold out longer, but Vegeta already knew the outcome. He knew that Radditz would wait all night if he had to and that Radditz would follow him relentlessly if he tried to run, especially now that Radditz knew. Vegeta narrowed his eyes, trying to dredge up some resistance, but it was weak and false, faltering even as his lips turned further down in a sneer; he knew he would give in first, he knew he was already cracking. 

 

Abruptly, he looked away, shoulders sagging in defeat as he said in a small voice, “Let me go Radditz…” and when he heard the other’s intake of breath to protest, he continued in a reluctant whisper, “I won’t run.”

 

To his surprise, Radditz released his arm immediately. Vegeta glanced up, betraying his shock, and then he looked away again. How was he to explain… his presence? His actions? He didn’t even – fully – understand why he had been doing what he had been doing.

 

Truth. Just tell the truth, he decided. There had been too many half-truths and deceit between them, each afraid of the other; it was shameful and cowardly and stupid, and it got them nowhere except in trouble, nothing except heartache. Really, how much worse could it get? 

 

But, how could he start? Vegeta wetted his dry lips nervously. “I… You… you were right. This isn’t a dream.”

 

Something furry brushed past the bared skin on his calf and he started. “So…” The tail coiled around his leg as Radditz leaned forward, his voice carrying the faint glimmer of hope. “You came to me.”

 

Vegeta flushed, but he could not deny it. He gave a curt, mortified nod.

 

“But, I thought… I thought…” Radditz asked in confusion, tailing off. Then, “How?”

 

The tail around his leg tightened and Vegeta focused on its bristling fur as he spoke. A simple question. It helped if he didn’t face Radditz. “Mild sedatives.”

 

He heard a grunt and the rustling of bed linen as the tall guard shifted. “Why?”

 

“Why?” Vegeta echoed, his hands clenching hard. Oh, a hard question.

 

Radditz waited patiently.

 

“I’m not sure myself… It’s…” Strangely, even though he had no idea what he would say, what he could say, once he started talking, the words just spilled out. “I don’t know why, I don’t know what you did, if you did anything or maybe I’m just going crazy, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. About what happened.”

 

“The,” Radditz asked hesitantly, “….sex?”

 

“Yes, no… I don’t know. Maybe, yeah probably.” Vegeta shook his head. Shrugged his shoulders helplessly as his own tail started lashing in frustration. It sounded so tawdry, so cheap, but what other reason could there be? He was uncomfortable with the alternative, with the possibility that it could be something deeper, something …unknown. An excuse as base as physical urges could be more easily dealt with, more easily controlled. He was a teenager – he knew all about base urges.

 

“I don’t know why I did it… Coming into your room at night that is. I… I wanted you…”  Vegeta’s head snapped up, eyes flashing in warning as Radditz’ expression became hopeful. “Don’t get me wrong. And yet, I don’t want you.”

 

Radditz ignored him and scooted closer, even as Vegeta leaned back warily. “What do you mean, you don’t want me?” A bit of his old, roguish confidence came back as he daringly laid his hand on the clearly skittish prince’s thigh.

 

Vegeta slapped the errant hand away sharply, though he did not move away. “Not this way, not like this.” 

 

Radditz realized he had pushed beyond the limit of Vegeta’s patience and did not try his luck again, though his gaze remained intent, his expression confused but patient, as if cajoling a high-strung wild animal. His tail crept ever so slightly further up Vegeta’s thigh, but the prince was too agitated to notice.

 

“I’ve been forced into things that I don’t want, or maybe I do. I. Don’t. Know.” Vegeta growled, crossing his arms. “I mean, us… we’re close, very close…” he trailed off as he floundered with words and worse, emotional words that were embarrassing to even think about, much less admit out loud to the focus of that affection. Hurriedly, he went on, “I mean that’s unavoidable; we practically live together, so it’s not strange that we’re close…”

 

Vegeta thought that sounded even more stupid and turned a dark red. But he couldn’t seem to stop now; the mortifying words just kept coming and the situation was careening wildly, rapidly, out of his control. He had carefully avoided thinking about such things for the past few days, repressing, excusing himself. It was strange how the mind could work sometimes – he wanted this: this intimacy and him, Radditz, in particular. Yet he didn’t want it as well – it was like a betrayal of his principles, like he was some slut that couldn’t get enough once given a taste, and it was all distracting him, tearing him apart, driving him crazy. So he carefully did not think about it.

 

But was that really all there was to it? Or could there be something more?

 

So he had locked it, whatever it was, away under the icy slopes of his towering anger, only now all that was calving away in raw, jagged glaciers; and he was caught, sliding and falling with the avalanche.

 

Yet, dare he…?

 

“…and I think that I have… I might have… deep feelings for you.” Vegeta realized, belatedly, that he was still babbling away. His eyes flickered uneasily to Radditz’ face and away and back again. “Maybe it might have sparked into something more between us…”

 

A gamut of expressions ran across the older male’s face as Vegeta spoke: delighted surprise, followed rapidly by a guilty wince and then, raw, hopeless pain when he realized the full extent of his folly.

 

“Maybe you coerced me, maybe not. Maybe, deep down inside, I wanted it too. Or maybe I didn’t.” Vegeta paused. That was a very uncomfortable point for him, one he struggled with reluctantly. Such drugs only lowered his inhibitions; thus, following that line of reasoning, he must have wanted it, even if only the tiniest bit.

 

Radditz shook his head fervently, his voice raspy, suddenly understanding. “No Vegeta, it….it doesn’t work like that.”

 

“Yes, well, the point is, I was never given the choice,” Vegeta snapped back angrily. There was a tense silence as Vegeta glared at Radditz while Radditz tried to hold the accusing look bravely and only ended up looking as if he was facing the death row, face pale and eyes defeated.

 

“And the point is, also, that what’s done is done,” Vegeta’s voice was rising in agitation now, his fingers tugging fretfully at the bedcovers. “It can’t be undone. I could go on blaming you, wondering at what might have been, wishing that it all never happened, but all that is moot! What use is this anger when I feel no better even after blaming you?”

 

He paused, breathing erratic and pupils dilated in a thunderbolt of amazement as he abruptly realized what he had said. Yet, the odd thing was he also realized at the same time that it wasn’t a sudden flash of revelation. He had probably known this somewhere along the way when he had let go of that fury and come looking for Radditz at night; it just hadn’t sunk in fully and he continued to be angry the next morning in a frustrating cycle.

 

A small part of Vegeta’s mind wondered irrelevantly why there wasn’t something dramatic to mark such moments where lives were supposed to change – some big bright light, fireworks, tears, laughter, orgasm. Whatever. 

 

Instead, the revelation came quietly, very quietly, and it softly stole over him like the realization of growing warmth. And he felt so much lighter, relieved, calmer, for it.

 

“So,” Radditz asked slowly, carefully. His eyes were wide, his posture still uncertain as he unconsciously held his palms out. “You …forgive me?”

 

“No. Maybe. I don’t know,” Vegeta said, brows knitting darkly. “Look, I’m still angry – very angry – at you. I still have my pride, I could still have my pride and anger…”

 

Which made for very cold, poor bed partners, he admitted privately. And suddenly, the situation seemed very simple, very clear, so very obvious to him, now that he had let go.

 

“…or I could accept this fucked-up situation. Make the best of it, move on,” Vegeta whispered. And leaned forward on an impulse, catching the startled guard’s lips in a clumsy kiss.

 

That felt just about right, Vegeta discovered.

 

Rapidly, he squirmed closer until Radditz fell back and he was lying half-draped over the taller male’s body.

 

“Move on,” Radditz echoed dazedly.

 

“Yes,” Vegeta breathed. It was a good impulse, he decided. “Move on. See if there’s something more.” And melted against the stunned guard.

 

The abrupt change of mood in the room was surprising. Or perhaps not. Vegeta couldn’t really care less now. He was occupied – much more pleasantly so – with Radditz’ lips.

 

After his initial shock, which perhaps lasted a couple of heartbeats, Radditz reciprocated eagerly. And then Vegeta really couldn’t think, only feel and touch and writhe. He couldn’t do much else really since his brains were draining into his balls and threatening to come out in his pants.

 

Radditz pulled back to peel off his clothing, a devilish grin dancing upon swollen and slick lips. “Oh, there will be,” he promised.

 

Vegeta frowned at such impudence. “This doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven you. I’m still mad at you.”

 

“I know.” Radditz nodded solemnly and kissed the prince soundly on the lips. “You have every right to be.”

 

“You’re laughing at me.” Vegeta cuffed him on the side of his head. But not that hard.

 

“Oh no, I’m perfectly serious my prince.” A softer kiss, and then Radditz reared up, resting on his forearms, his expression sober. “Believe me, this is no laughing matter. I… I love you.”  

 

Faint color dusted Vegeta’s cheeks and he shifted in slight embarssment. “I… Radditz…” Feelings and emotions were really not something a teenage male felt comfortable talking about.

 

“I know that I’m not the best – I’m just your guard and your parents won’t approve,” Radditz swallowed, faltering, his earlier bravado was gone. “But I…”

 

“But nothing,” Vegeta said firmly, laying a finger across the startled male’s lips. “I am the crown prince and by the time I have to decide, I will probably be king so I can do whatever I want.”

 

Radditz snorted at that arrogant and blatant lie, and Vegeta sneered. The irony was that restrictions increased in proportion with status and the royal family were literally, liberally bound. A guilded cage, but a cage nonetheless.

 

“I just don’t want to think about all that now, I don’t care about all that now.” Vegeta gave a sultry smile and his tail snaked out to trail meaningfully down the side of Radditz’ cheek.

 

Radditz’ breath emptied in a thin moan as the furry tip flicked across his nose, eyelids drooping and lips curling in a smirk. Turning his head slightly, he caught the tail between his teeth carefully. And licked.

 

Vegeta gave a tiny purr in response, and Radditz lowered his head to trap the shivering tail between them. An open, slow kiss. The juxtaposition of the sleepy-lazy glide of slick tongues and a thick, rough tail; it was all incredibly erotic. Arms wrapped around the other, pressing skin to hot skin closer, tighter.

 

“Fuck me now,” Vegeta demanded roughly when Radditz finally pulled back, his tail slipping down to lie limply on the bed, writhing shamelessly. His hands moved to cup Radditz’ buttocks – firm and just the perfect handful, he noted absently – and circled insistently. “Now.”

 

“Not yet.” Radditz grinned, easily pinning his wrists to the bed and the guard slithered down.

 

“Rad~ditz…” Oh fuck. Was he whining? His eyes crossed in pleasure and then he really couldn’t care less. “Oh yes oh yes oh fuck, Radditz…” 

 

“Still want me to stop?”

 

“You’re evil.” A long breathess groan, eyes fluttering close as he arched against the other, wanting more.

 

“Wicked,” he declared dreamily.

 

"Mmhm," Radditz agreed, mouth occupied, and Vegeta sighed wordlessly and let himself be touched and tasted and opened and owned.

 

~ ~ ~

~  ~

~

 

Vegeta paused as the Marquis shifted uncomfortably, yet again. The taller man’s pale skin was flushed red and he fanned himself agitatedly, yet somehow still gracefully, with the folded program. “Are you feeling all right?” he inquired politely.

 

“Well, actually,” the Marquis replied, flustered. And shifted again. “No, no, I think I’m not. Perhaps I’m not used to the heat on your planet…“  His eyes suddenly threatened to cross and his next words spilled out in a hurry. “Vegetasei is lovely, simply gorgeous, and it has been especially delightful meeting you. But I am a tad fatigued from my journey and perhaps I should retire now. Shall I see you tomorrow to continue our conversation?” 

 

“I’m sorry to hear that. Tomorrow then,” Vegeta said graciously. He watched as the tall blond man bowed and left with a dramatic swirl of his cloak, a suspicion forming in his mind.

 

“Vegetasei is lov~er~ly, sim~ply gorgeous….” A voice simpered behind him, and he knew his suspicion was right.

 

Turning his head slightly, he acknowledged his bodyguard and jealous lover of some months with a small smirk. “What did you do to him, Radditz?”

 

“Me? What makes you think I did anything to him?” The tall guard’s eyes were wide and bright, almost twinkling, as he followed the prince. The pair left the throne-room as they spoke softly, turning towards the direction of the prince’s apartments. Their apartments. 

 

“Oh, so he really was feeling the effects of Vegetasei’s heat?” Vegeta’s eyes grew wide and earnest as well. “Poor guy, perhaps I should see to his welfare; he is our guest after all and …”

 

“And don’t you dare Vegeta,” Radditz growled possessively as he pushed the smaller figure against the wall. “I admit I did do something to him, nothing harmful I assure you, but he was hitting on you!”

 

“Oh?” Vegeta purred as he squirmed, loving the press of the hot, hard body against his.

 

“It has been de~light~ful meeting you,” Radditz fluttered his lashes coyly. And then made a retching noise. “What a ponce…no, a faerie!”

 

Vegeta threw his head back at that and burst out in laughter. “Faerie?”

 

“I mean, just look at him. He’s so pale and delicate, so.. so blond. It’s unnatural.” Radditz rolled his eyes. 

 

“And so pretty,” Vegeta agreed. Yes, the reference to the old folk legends seemed appropriate. The Marquis had looked just like one of the ethereal figures from his childish story books. “Just like a faerie.”

 

Radditz scowled. “You think he’s pretty?”

 

“Mmm,” Vegeta considered thoughfully. “Very, very pretty.”

 

“But he’s …” Radditz looked stricken and Vegeta immediately felt guilty. While it was amusing to tease Radditz when he got jealous, highly flattering really, Vegeta knew it was because the guard felt insecure.

 

“But he’s not my type,” Vegeta cut in firmly.

 

“He’s so effeminate, not a warrior at all,” Radditz added, frowning. “And… what’s your type?”

 

“Tall, brawny – he’s got to be defined,” Vegeta grinned. “Long hair, thick and messy and luxuriant hair, now that turns me on too.” He lifted a hand to Radditz’ chin and pushed the guard’s head from side to side as he spoke. “Someone rugged. With a certain roguish charm; someone who gets what he wants, by any means possible.”

 

Radditz flushed, leaning his forehead against the prince with a rueful laugh. “You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”

 

“Never.” Vegeta twisted his face away and nipped the other on the chin playfully. “If anyone asks me how we got together, I’ll say you used underhanded tactics. I’ll say you used a love potion.”

 

“Mmmm….” Radditz purred, a vibrating rumble of deep contentment. “Mine.”

 

“Mmmhmm…”

 

Finally, Radditz pushed away from the wall. As they started walking again, Radditz pulled Vegeta snugly against his side, draping an arm and tail over the smaller figure. “Even now, I still wonder how you put up with such an unreasonable lover.”

 

“You manage to distract me well with your other, more favorable, attributes,” Vegeta deadpanned as he patted the well-built guard all over.

 

“So I’m just a fuck-toy to you?”

 

“Yep.” A lingering grope, a smirking grin. And smoldering dark eyes that said what he really meant to say. 

 

Radditz became pensive. “Sometimes I wonder how we’re…”

 

“Hush. We’re still here, aren’t we?”

 

A silence. Then slowly, Radditz smiled. “Yes, yes we are.”

 

~

 

A laugh. “So tell me, what did you do to the Marquis?”

 

“…itching powder.”

 

 

 

~*~ The End ~*~

 

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