Author: Kiarene

Published: 28th April 2003

Warnings: AU

Pairings: Vejiita/Radditz

Disclaimers: DBZ is not mine But this story is, even if its not intended for profit.

Archive? Please ask first.

 

Bloodguard

 

Radditz straightened wearily, heaving shuddering breaths, hardly daring to believe that it was finally over. Looking down at the unconscious bodies littered around him, still high on adrenaline, he felt as if time had slowed to a sluggish flow. Streaks of rust and crimson stained the rough-hewn gray floor and unprepared plaster walls of the chamber, a testament to the savageness of the fight.

 

It had been a brutal, splendid tumble; just him and three others who had made it so far. Surprisingly, he couldnt remember much of it now.

 

Gleaming flesh and rapid fists, hard knees and pain; searing over the dull ache of bone-fatigued muscles, flashes of ebony spikes and ruddy smears And throughout it all, the desperate conviction that he couldnt stop till his last opponent lay stretched across the floor.

 

A voice spoke up above the crowds cheering, but he couldnt make out the words; it was all a dull roar in his ears. Out of the corner of his fading red-hazed vision, he could see people moving, blurred motion and smeared color.

 

The Ordeal was finally over.

 

He was now Vejiitas Bloodguard.

 

Well, almost. The longhaired Saiyajins spine stiffened proudly and his ragged tail curled shakily back around his waist as he turned around to face the speaker.

 

Very good. Nappa nodded, a gleam of respect in his eyes. A hulking, scarred veteran, the general was the Ous Bloodguard and as such, oversaw the Ordeal for the Oujis.

 

Radditz bowed deeply, trembling in his exhaustion. He had been awake for the past four, five days? He wasnt sure; the Ordeal took as long as was necessary to whittle down the candidates.

 

There had been trials of strength and endurance, tests of skill and knowledge, all designed to ensure that only the very best made it to the hallowed ranks of the elite Bloodguards. Most Royals would have one, sometimes more. A paranoid few did not trust any to get so close to them, for a Royal and his Bloodguard were almost as close and tightly bound as a Mated pair. In Vegetaseis history, where the tradition of Royal and Bloodguard was so old that records of the First were lost, some were Mated pairs.

 

And therein lay Radditz secret desire.

 

He had worked his way up from an ordinary soldier to one of the Oujis bodyguards. He had watched as the fiery young prince grew and came into his maturity, shaping well from a small-sized, pouty cub to a sleek youth of flashing dark eyes, razor wit and lean muscles, already showing the regal promise of his sire. And something within him budded and blossomed as well

 

When the Ouji announced that he would take on a Bloodguard, on the day he turned eighteen, Radditz had been the first to announce his candidature.

 

This way. Radditz started as Nappa called him, and he followed the larger warrior numbly into another smaller chamber, his steps weaving slightly in exhaustion. Following the Ordeal, the Royals Acceptance, and then the Binding.

 

The Acceptance ceremony was simply that; the Royals final decision, his by right. No Royal had ever Rejected an Ordeal winner, but Radditz was not comforted.

 

Vejiita was already waiting in the whitewashed chamber, casually attired in a simple sleeveless indigo tunic over cream pants. Neither furniture nor trappings adorned the bare room; there was no need. The subsequent formalities were brief and private.

 

At their entrance, he uncrossed his arms and turned to face them, his expression implacable. Flickering torchlight cast the fine features in sharp relief, highlighting the deep auburn in dark, upswept hair.

 

Radditz wondered if Vejiita was satisfied with the outcome of the Ordeal.

 

<The final Bloodguard candidate is presented.> Nappa rumbled in the formal dialect. <Do you Accept?>

 

Piercing midnight eyes impaled him uncomfortably for a few moments, and the bloodied guard paled, his heart pounding loudly in the buzzing silence. Surely Vejiita would not reject him now?

 

And then Vejiita replied in a clear voice, <I Accept.>

 

Radditz nearly collapsed in relief, but he held himself upright, his carriage strong despite the shadows of exhaustion and lines of pain that etched deeply into his face, as Nappa affixed the deep-red metallic band of the Bloodguards around his left forearm. The Ous Bloodguard himself wore a similar bracer, scratched and worn with years of faithful service.

 

At ease youngling, Nappa murmured softly, and then he was gone, leaving Radditz alone with Vejiita.

 

To be frank, I had not expected you would win. Vejiita stepped forward, a jeweled dagger in his right hand. Reaching out, he grasped the taller males left hand, placing the cold, fine blade against the palm and paused.

 

Im impressed. Tell me, Looking intently into Radditz eyes, he continued softly. A couple others were stronger, but you fought like a Tsiijin possessed.

 

Why? Questions shifted and simmered and sought within the sharp gaze, and Radditz was sorely tempted to look away but dared not. What is your intention, son of Bardock?

 

Only to serve you, He replied immediately, quietly.

 

They all do. Vejiita was young but perceptive. What more drives you?

 

Radditz swallowed, jumbled glib replies immediately on the tip of his tongue but none seemed appropriate. He stared silently back into the level, keen gaze. And something within him shattered and fell away.

 

A moment, then few passed.

 

Instead of answering, Radditz twisted his left hand slightly, still cradled within the Royals smaller hands, and stroked the back of Vejiitas knuckles with his thumb daringly. Slowly, tentatively and sensually; leaving the young Ouji no doubt as to the intention of such a small gesture.

 

Simply you

 

The Bloodguards eyes glittered intensely with the answer he could not give, open and raw, vulnerable and yet unflinching. He saw the others eyes widen at the subtle implication and veracity within his own stare, and wondered if Vejiita would Reject him now.

 

Vejiita knew now, knew the secret he had tried to hide for so long. But was there still a need to hide? Maybe, just maybe, he could let his control slip; he could let his feelings show. No longer unworthy; a Bloodguard. Vejiitas Vassal. No higher earned honor.

 

Everything he had endured for so long could all be for naught; he was utterly at Vejiitas mercy now; his heart and very soul for the Royal to accept or reject. The Binding had not taken place yet.

Perhaps it was the lack of sleep and blood loss. Perhaps it was the adrenaline that still coursed through him like a drug. Perhaps it was as if he felt he deserved something for all his efforts.

 

He leaned closer; drawn, trapped by the youngers burning gaze. The regal mask finally slipped, leaving just a confused youth. Dark eyes blazed with a myriad of emotions; fury and uncertainty roiling topmost. Yet Vejiita did nothing to stop him.

 

Perhaps it was the ambrosial musk that wended around him, or simply the beguiling Royals presence.

 

Or perhaps he just simply needed to know

 

His eyes closed as his lips brushed Vejiitas, just a gossamer touch between two soft, warm and highly sensitive surfaces. He could feel the hot breath upon his upper lip, he could feel the slight stiffening of the lithe body in front of him and he wished desperately for the ephemeral moment to linger, even stretch into something more intimate. But he was not that foolhardy.

 

It wasnt even a chaste kiss, just the merest hint of one.

 

Pulling back regretfully, he opened his eyes with trepidation. Would Vejiita?

 

The Royals brows were drawn tightly, wide eyes glinting with poorly suppressed emotions over flushed cheeks; emotions he could not read. You overstep yourself.

 

His chest constricted agonizingly at that rejection, harsh and ringing, but before he could step back, Vejiita tightened his grip painfully and scored his hand. Swiftly, just as the sting started to register, the younger cut his hand as well and then clasped their bleeding palms together.

 

Radditz screamed silently.

 

His palm burned; a searing conduit as blood and minds mingled. His world stretched and spun in a kaleidoscope of foreign sensations and then splintered. Saiyajins possessed latent telepathy while lower classes could only manage a faint battle-useful emphatic ability, the Royals were rumored to be capable of much more.

 

He could feel Vejiita within him, a sudden flaring presence, as fiery and crimson as phoenix of lore, consuming and reviving him. The Royal took control of their tenuous Bond immediately, shoring and anchoring it. The fledging Bond would grow with time; strength varying from liege pair to pair.

 

It felt like hours, it felt like mere seconds. He only came to when his hand was finally released, and he opened his eyes to see Vejiita stepping back, royal front in place again. Come.

 

Radditz fell into step behind Vejiita, fingers brushing over his curving lips, tongue darting out to lap at his bloody palm, the cut clotting already. No, Vejiita hadnt rejected him.

 

For now, he was satisfied.

 

(1500 words)

 

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