Revelations

Revelations

 

Trunks affixed the postage stamp to the last envelope with a satisfied sigh, leaning back in his chair and allowing a pleased, secretive smile to cross his lips. Videl and Grandma Briefs had wanted to send the invitations in the traditional way, even though Trunks could have simply flown around and told everyone about it, and now all that was left was to put them in the mail. After that... Well... There was another small task left.

Getting up from the table, Trunks wandered out to the mailbox, absently placing the letters inside and raising the small flag as he pondered the best way in which to approach this last obstacle. He chewed thoughtfully on the inside of his cheek, frowning and smoothing stray hairs back from his face as he returned to the house. There really was no good way to plan a strategy for this quarry, he would just have to go with his instincts.

Extending his senses, he located Vejiitaís ki, rather predictably, in the general direction of the gravity chamber, but when he arrived the warning lights were off and, glancing in the windows, he could see that the room was empty. Lifting an eyebrow in mild surprise, he began a quick search for his father, circling the hallway around the gravity room.

It wasnít long before he came upon the prince, but, when he found him, his eyes widened slightly. Vejiita was bent over an open control panel, some small tools laid out beside him, his dark eyes narrowed in concentration as he carefully adjusted something inside.

Faintly alarmed, Trunks stepped toward him warily. "Ah, Dad? Do you need any help?"

Vejiita grunted in response, and Trunks felt a smile pulling at his lips in spite of himself as the prince unconsciously held his tongue between his lower lip and teeth as he attempted to perform whatever delicate procedure he was working on. Still, he quietly approached, ready to leap to the rescue if his stubborn father accidentally touched off something dangerous.

A harsh, guttural word suddenly escaped Vejiitaís lips, one Trunks didnít recognize. A moment later more unintelligible speech followed as the prince apparently mumbled to himself under his breath. Suddenly he paused, pursing his lips for a moment, then straightened, setting his tools down and closing the panel.

Moving to the main controls, he flipped several switches and punched his code into the keypad.

"So... Whatís wrong?"

Vejiita glanced toward the monitor displaying the chamberís power levels before responding.

"The gravity wasnít engaging. I came up here to see if I could fix it. It was just one of the circuits in the command interface was shot. The generator itself seems to be working fine, they simply werenít communicating, so I replaced one of the circuits."

Trunks eyebrows had shot up in surprise as Vejiita had spoken, surprised that the prince seemed to actually have some idea of what he was doing and wasnít simply trying to solve the problem out of pride.

Vejiita punched a few more keys, and the screen displayed a SET GRAVITY prompt. His eyes narrowing slightly, the prince typed in Ď100í, entering the command. A moment later there was a rumble and the red warning lights lit up around the perimeter of the gravity chamber, the display above the door reading Ď100gísí.

Vejiitaís lips curved in a smile as a low growl of satisfaction escaped him.

Trunks was dually impressed. "Wow, Dad, thatís pretty good. I didnít know you knew how to fix stuff like this..."

Vejiita shrugged, wiping his hands on his pants before bending to gather his tools. "You donít use one of these for twenty years without learning something about it," he replied, straightening.

Trunks was beginning to ask Vejiita about what else he knew when he paused, shaking his head at himself. He would let himself completely forget what he was here for if he didnít stay focused.

"Anyway, ah... Dad?"

Vejiita lifted an eyebrow at him, waiting.

"I was kind of wondering, well, if you might..."

The prince folded his arms over his chest. "Spit it out, boy."

"Well, you see, Gohan and Videl are having this party, and everyoneís invited, and so I... Youíll come, wonít you?"

Vejiitaís other eyebrow shot up to join the first. "A party."

"Yeah... You know, we havenít all gotten together for a while, the whole group, and so they wanted to have everyone over for dinner... and stuff... this weekend."

"Theyíre inviting me to their home." Vejiita said, looking at him strangely, as if he could not believe such a thing.

Trunksí heart clenched slightly. It had been so long since Vejiita had first joined the Earth fighters, in name at least, and even still he could not quite seem to accept that they actually wanted him to be part of their circle.

"Yes, you," he replied, trying to keep the concern from his voice.

Vejiita gazed past him for a moment, apparently considering. "Everyone... will be there?"

Trunks nodded. "Yeah, weíre finally getting everyone together all at once."

The princeís eyes darkened. "I donít know... Iím not sure, I donít think-"

Trunks quickly interrupted him before he could compete that thought. "Please, Dad? Theyíll all be there. Gohan and Videl and Pan and Krillen and Marron and Goku," he said, wedging that name quickly between all the others, "Goten, Juuhachigo, Piccolo, Tenshinhan, Chaozu, Master Roshi... Weíll miss you if youíre not there..."

Vejiita snorted disbelievingly at that, his tone turning sarcastic. "Of course, because Iím always the life of the party..."

"Please?" Trunks pleaded, touching the princeís arm to return Vejiitaís gaze to him. He put on his best face for garnering sympathy, wondering vaguely if something like that could possibly work on Vejiita. "I really want you to come, Dad... Wonít you?"

The prince stared at him for a moment, his dark eyes unreadable. "Trunks, I..." He glanced at his sonís puppy-dog face once more. His last protest deflated on a sigh. "Oh, all right."

A huge grin brightened Trunksí whole face and he crushed his father to him in a brief, impulsive hug, still marveling at the changes in their relationship that allowed him to do so.

"Thanks, Dad! Iím sure Gohan and Videl will be happy to hear it."

Vejiita gave him a light, awkward pat on the back, then gently pushed him away, and Trunks glanced at him to see him flushing slightly.

"Oh, hell..." he mumbled, not quite meeting Trunksí eyes, "Just... get out of here, boy, and let me get started on my workout..."

"Okay," Trunks smiled, understanding his fatherís discomfiture. "Thanks again, Dad."

Vejiita grunted, waving him away, and Trunks headed toward his bedroom to call Gohan, still smiling. Mission completed.

 

Vejiita shoved both hands through the tall black spikes of his hair, then tugged sharply on his leather jacket, straightening it as he glared murderously at his reflection. How in the hell heíd let Trunks talk him into this, he didnít know.

"Stupid kid," he muttered under his breath. "Not fair to use emotional manipulation..."

Vejiita despised parties. Heíd inevitably end up standing in the corner, scowling and just wishing that the night were over, and tonight it would only be worse, because Kakarrot would be there...

"Kakarrot..." he growled, his tail lashing from side to side slightly. He was not looking forward to this encounter at all. Still hissing under his breath, unconsciously switching to Saiyago, he bent to pull on his shoes, quickly tying the laces and then straightening as he felt Trunks approaching.

The boy popped his head around the door and lifted an eyebrow, looking up and down. A low whistle slid from his lips and he grinned, moving the rest of the way into the room.

"Nice," he commented, "Pretty stylish, Dad." Then his smile widened and he reached into the back pocket of his pants. "Now, put these on and youíll look totally badass."

That said, he tossed Vejiita a small case, which the prince caught instinctively. Opening it, he looked inside to find a pair of pitch black, streamlined sunglasses, their reflective lenses making the eyes behind nearly invisible. They were clearly expensive, and he looked back at his son, lifting his eyebrow and wondering what the motivation for the gift was.

Trunks shrugged. "Happy birthday," he said, only half-joking. "I mean, I donít know when your real birthday is, so Iíve never gotten you a present or anything. Might as well start now."

Vejiita glanced down briefly, happiness and guilt flooding him all at once. He hadnít exactly thrown Trunks any huge parties, either, and he did know when the boyís birthday was.

Seeming to sense where his thoughts were headed, Trunks spoke softly.

"Try them on."

Carefully, Vejiita removed the sunglasses from the case, placing the black box in his pocket, then sliding the glasses onto his face. He glanced up, looking at his son in astonishment when he heard an almost-giggle escape the boy, and Trunks gestured for him to look in the mirror. Obligingly, the prince turned toward his reflection, and was immediately hard-pressed to keep a grin from his own features. The glasses completed the image to perfection.

He wore sleek black shoes which met pitch black, form-fitting jeans that clung flatteringly to thighs and hips. A white, ribbed shirt hugged his chest and stomach, covered by his leather jacket. His swept-up hair gave him a rakish appearance, and the sunglasses accented the whole effect. Even he had to acknowledge that Trunks was right. To use the boyís own words, he looked Ďtotally badassí.

Trunks moved to stand beside him, grinning with satisfaction at their appearances. Dressed in black khakis, black shoes, a gray, skin-tight t-shirt, and with his lavender hair back in a ponytail, a few rebellious strands escaping, the boy didnít look half-bad himself.

"Sweetness," Trunks laughed, grinning at their reflections.

He threw an arm around Vejiitaís shoulders suddenly, his smile turning conspiratorial. "Itís too bad weíre not going clubbing tonight, no one would be able to keep their eyes off us."

Vejiita felt his own lips finally dragged into an answering smile as an odd warmth filled his heart. There was something to be said for all that father-son stuff after all.

"You know," he said in a half-hearted last attempt to escape their destination, "we still could go out clubbing...." Even that was better than going to face Kakarrot.

"Oh, no," Trunks said with a slight smile, "Thereís always another time for that. Come on, Dad, weíd better get going before you chicken out."

Trunks headed out of the room, and Vejiita followed him, protesting irritably.

"I am not chickening out, Iím just saying that...."

 

Goku looked up, smiling warmly as he saw Krillen entering with Juuhachigo and Marron on his heels, the little manís face alight as he grinned and nodded in response to some comment from Gohan. Juuhachigo replied in her normal reserved fashion, though there was a small curve to her lips as well, and Marron blushed prettily as Gohan no doubt paid her a flattering compliment.

At the far end of the room Master Roshi was talking loudly to Piccolo, complete with animated gestures and exaggerated inflection. Goku felt his grin widen as he took in the long-suffering look on Piccoloís face, the Namek attempting to ignore the elderly human grasping for his attention. Yamcha was by the snack bar, talking about old times with Tenshinhan and Chaozu. Goten was standing a bit to Gokuís right with his new girlfriend, Christina, pointing to each person in turn and telling her a bit about them.

It really had been far too long since they had all gotten together. His grin faded slightly. Now that Krillen and family had arrived, the only people left were Trunks... and Vejiita. Some part of him badly wanted to see the prince, while a larger, more cowardly part hoped he wouldnít.

He probably wonít show up anyway, a voice whispered snidely, he hates parties. If he came someone might get the idea that he actually cares.

He frowned, immediately feeling guilty and reprimanding himself. He was hurt, and because of that he was being unfair.

He forced himself to smile as Krillen approached him and started a conversation, mumbling answers automatically during the pauses, only half-listening. And then Gohanís voice caught his attention as his son once more answered the door. Focusing through the continuous murmur of voices all around him, Goku caught the tail end of the new arrivalís response, voiced in low, unmistakable tones.

"...ahead, Trunks will be here shortly."

Slowly, forgetting Krillen entirely, Goku lifted his eyes to the doorway. And then the breath left his chest as his mouth went dry.

Vejiita looked simply incredible. After more than two weeks without so much as a glimpse of the prince, his eyes eagerly drank in the sight of him. From his feet to the tip of his hair, the other Saiya-jin was stunning. The deep black jeans he wore showed off rock-hard thighs and firm buttocks to every advantage, a perfect fit as they molded to his body, his chestnut tail curling lazily behind him. The white shirt he wore clung lightly to his chest and stomach, providing a faint, tantalizing outline of sculpted muscle as the black leather of his jacket wrapped smoothly around his arms and back, lending that odd sexuality that only leather could. Dark, reflective sunglasses covered his eyes, and Goku let his gaze wander over that face, following the familiar arch of elegant eyebrows, down the straight bridge of his nose, over the prominent cheekbones, and finally coming to rest on smooth, full lips. A slightly shaky breath slid from Gokuís lungs. Everything about him was undeniably and powerfully masculine, and the Saiya-jin prince radiated a dangerous sensuality.

Now Gohan was leading Vejiita toward the living room, pausing when he entered and waving a hand to gain everyoneís attention.

"Well, everyone, Trunks is on the way, and, as you can see, Vejiitaís here, which means the party can really begin," he joked, grinning. Behind him Vejiita gave a low grunt and shifted his stance, no doubt rolling his eyes behind those dark glasses.

Glancing around the room, Goku noted each personís reaction to Vejiitaís presence, ranging from welcome, to neutrality, to real, if subdued, resentment. He also noted that he was not the only one to be struck dumb by the princeís appearance. He watched with a strange mixture of amusement and irritation as Christina stared at him, gaping openly at the prince. Then, in spite of himself, he felt a small smile tug at his lips as he wondered how she would react if she knew Vejiita was over fifty years old.

He watched assessingly as Goten gave Vejiita a wave that, if slightly hesitant, was completely lacking in any real fear. If anything, there was a slight friendliness behind his sonís black eyes as he called out, "Hey, Vejiita, come here! I want to introduce you to my girlfriend."

For a moment the prince stared at him expressionlessly, then silently made his way over to stand in front of the girl. Christina continued to stare at him, her eyes nearly popping out of her head.

"Vejiita, this is my girlfriend, Christina. Christina, this is Vejiita, Trunksí father."

The girlís jaw fell open again. "Trunksí father?! Holy crap, he looks more like his big brother, or something."

Goten laughed and said something else, Goku allowing the meaning of the words to slip by as he simply watched Vejiitaís interactions, the prince briefly exchanging greetings with most of the people at the party. At some point Trunks showed up, laughing and ready for fun as he made the rounds, catching up on old times and tossing occasional jibes at his father.

Suddenly aware of a presence at his elbow, Goku looked up to find Gohan standing next to him, looking at him with a strange expression on his face.

He offered his son a smile, raising his eyebrows questioningly. "Hey, Gohan, whatís up?"

"Arenít you going to even say hi to Vejiita, Dad?" Gohan asked with a small frown. "Youíre the only one who hasnít talked to him. Even Yamcha muttered some kind of greeting. Youíre usually the first one to welcome him."

Goku froze, his mind suddenly scrambling to come up with a plausible excuse for not speaking to the prince, cursing the bad luck that had let Gohan notice his behavior.

"Well, I- I guess I was- I mean I..." he stumbled, glancing to the side guiltily. After a moment he realized there wasnít any reason he could give to not speak to the prince. He attempted to flash his normal, cheerful smile.

"Sure, Iíll say hi to him, I was just... watching for a while..." he finished lamely.

Sighing, trying to ignore the apprehensive tightening in his gut, Goku pushed away from the wall and began to cross the room toward Vejiita. A surge of emotions tried to push its way to the surface, anger, hurt, betrayal, and love all struggling for domination. In the end, he mastered them all, his voice amazingly neutral as he spoke.

"Hey, Vejiita, how are you doing?"

He watched as the prince, who had been facing Trunks, suddenly went rigid, the change almost undetectable to anyone else. For the briefest moment there was a flood of jumbled emotions through their connection, but it was cut off before he could unravel any of it. Then, very slowly, the other Saiya-jin turned to face him.

Goku suddenly cursed the glasses that hid Vejiitaís eyes as the prince looked at him, wishing he could remove them to read the expression there. His stomach churned as he waited for the other manís response.

"Kakarrot. Iím fine." That said, the words flatly monotone, Vejiita turned his back on him again.

Goku was left standing foolishly in the middle of the room, his eyes closed and hard.

 

Vejiita repressed a faint twitch that wanted to pull at his cheek as he noted the seating for dinner. There were sixteen people present, since Christina had had to leave early, and Videl and Mrs. Briefs had divided them into two groups of eight. At Vejiitaís table there was himself, Goku, Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Videl, Krillen, and Juuhachigo. He was to be seated directly across from Kakarrot. The only way it could have been worse was to have the other Saiya-jin sitting right next to him, and even then he wouldnít have had to look at him the whole time. Silently, he blessed Trunks for giving him the sunglasses, suddenly grateful for small advantages.

The call came to be seated and dinner started well enough, as long as he looked at his food and not the man sitting across from him. Even so, he could feel it when Kakarrot looked at him, feel those eyes burning into him without ever raising his head. He closed his eyes for a moment, fighting it, fighting the rise of those feelings inside him that wished they were alone, that wished to feel the touch of his lips... He could not do this. He would not be weak.

"....Dad?"

He jerked his head up, blinking and looking at Trunks, who was seated to his right.

"What-" He cursed as his voice caught. "What is it?"

"Are you all right...?"

He glanced around the table to find that conversation had nearly stopped as they all paused to look at him. Carefully avoiding the pair of eyes opposite him, he lifted a shoulder slightly, forcing his voice to calmness. "Iím fine. Why wouldnít I be?"

Trunks frowned slightly, then shrugged. "I donít know..."

"So," Gohan said casually, leaning back in his chair, "Howís the sparring been, you guys?"

Vejiita froze, fingers tightening slightly on his fork. There was a moment of silence that seemed to stretch for far too long before Goku finally mumbled, "Fine. Itís good..."

"You two have been getting along for once?" Gohan pressed, lacing his fingers behind his head.

Vejiita, who had finally managed to get a bite of food into his mouth, choked suddenly, his grip tightening until he felt the silver fork start to bend. Setting it down, he instead grabbed his glass of water and swallowed some hastily, nearly spilling on himself in his distress. His only small satisfaction was gleaned in that Goku seemed to be having a similar difficulty swallowing, the other Saiya-jin pressing his hand to his mouth.

Then a sudden, terrifying thought crossed Vejiitaís mind. He knew that he had injured Kakarrot, on some level. What was to stop the other Saiya-jin from hurting him back?

The prince swallowed, feeling something close to panic constricting his chest. All Kakarrot would have to do was say that, yes, theyíd been getting along. In fact, Vejiita had even let Kakarrot fuck him. It would be worth any embarrassment for Kakarrot to see what Vejiita would suffer. He was the outsider here, not Kakarrot. He himself could have easily said something like that to a group of his own peers and thought nothing of it.

He could feel Kakarrotís eyes boring into him and frantically wondered how much of that fear he had let slip through their cursed link. Abruptly pushing back from the table, he rose to his feet, muttering, "Iím done."

Turning away jerkily, he retreated outside, bowing his head and bracing himself against the railing of the porch. He should never have agreed to come tonight. Again, the disgust rose in him, disgust at his own pathetic weakness and for the briefest moment he longed for the strength that had been his before he had cared. Before he had come to this place he would never have been in this position, tormented by foolish, meaningless emotions that threatened to bring him to his knees.

Meaningless... What I feel... is meaningless...

His eyes closed as he slowly lowered his forehead to rest against his crossed arms, hating the pain that lanced his chest, the weakness in his heart. Wishing he could die. No he didnít... Didnít want to die... Did he?

He curled his arms up to wrap around his head, his elbows still braced on the railing as he gritted his teeth against the pain, against his own cowardice. He spoke without realizing it, his voice rough and agonized, barely audible.

"God... help me..."

There was the soft sound of someone clearing their throat and he snapped upright, turning quickly to face the sound. To face him. Kakarrot stood there, limed in the welcoming light from the windows, his black eyes shielded as he met Vejiitaís gaze. And even still there was that warmth.

Kakarrot rarely looked elegant, never severe. Right now he was dressed in blue jeans, a comfortable fit, his feet clad in dark, scuffed shoes. He wore a light gray t-shirt, tucked in at the waste, laying smoothly over his shoulders and chest, and his dark hair was wild as ever, springing up rebelliously from his head and ruffling playfully in the occasional breeze. His face was open and direct, a mouth that smiled so easily, laugh lines at the corners of his eyes. Warmth. All around him, even now Vejiita could feel it brushing against his own coldness, pulling at him.

God, he wanted... Wanted him.

That silence stretched, stretched unbearably, and Vejiita drew in a slow breath, wondering what Kakarrotís purpose was, why he had followed him out here. Wondering what he had said, what he was thinking.

He almost started when the other Saiya-jin extended his hand, looking down at it and blinking. A dark brown bottle, damp with condensation, little sparkly droplets slowly sliding down the sides to drip onto the wooden planking of the deck below.

"I wondered if you might be thirsty," Kakarrot said quietly, still offering him the beer. He held another in his other hand, resting lightly on the railing as he waited for the princeís response. Carefully, Vejiita took it, so careful not to touch the other Saiya-jinís hand, not to touch that warmth.

For a long moment he looked at the drink in his hand, silence falling again as he heard the soft hiss of Kakarrot opening his own bottle and then joining him in leaning against the railing, gazing out at the night as he took a drink. Fireflies blinked here and there across Gohan and Videlís front yard, slowly going about their business, oblivious to the two Saiya-jins that watched them. Vejiita finally took a drink of his own beer, feeling the amber liquid bubble against his tongue, letting the strangely pleasant sensation fill his mouth before swallowing. It was something unique to the Earth he had found he enjoyed, the carbonation frequently found in their alcoholic drinks. Gently swirling the liquid in its brown bottle, he thought it seemed Saiya-jin. Something the Saiya-jins would have liked.

He could feel Kakarrot gazing at him from time to time, but the air remained still between them, neither speaking, having reached an odd kind of lull, a moment of stillness in which neither was sure when, or how, to act.

Behind his sunglasses, still on despite the darkness, Vejiita found his eyes drawn to Kakarrotís hands, loosely clasped around his drink, his forearms braced against the railing. Powerful hands, the strength in one finger beyond that of most humans, but yet they were gentle. No innocent blood, but rather countless lives saved, countless worlds preserved, a symphony of helpless souls, protected by those gentle hands. Those same hands had touched him, touched him with that unbearable gentleness. Touched him, embraced his darkness with that light, no matter how little he deserved it. Those hands had shown him ecstasy and held him all the way through it, and they were there to catch him when he landed. They had claimed him... made him their own...

No, I... I wonít... I wonít be possessed by him...

And then he couldnít stop his gasp as one of those hands lifted and touched his own, strong fingers curling around his palm, drawing it away from his drink and toward Kakarrotís chest. The other Saiya-jin paused when Vejiitaís hand was just beneath his chin, then dropped his head, his eyes sliding half closed as he began pressing warm, gentle kisses against each of Vejiitaís fingers in turn.

A tremor shook Vejiitaís body, and he could only breath shallowly, watching Kakarrot, struggling to remember why he needed to pull away.

"I wouldnít have, you know," Kakarrot said softly, moving from Vejiitaís middle to his ring finger with his kisses, his breath warm against the princeís skin.

"W-What?" Vejiita stammered, his voice a whisper, trying to pull his mind together.

Kakarrot turned his hand over, his beer left standing on the railing as he kissed Vejiitaís palm, lightly nipping the pad of his thumb before lifting his head to look directly at the prince.

"I wouldnít have told them whatís happened between us."

Vejiita drew back slightly without realizing it, embarrassed shame rising in him to know that Kakarrot had read him, but the other Saiya-jin did not release his hand.

"I donít know who you think I am, Vejiita," he said, his voice still quiet, and as he spoke his other hand slowly lifted, "but you have to know that I would never hurt you like that." Vejiita again flinched away slightly as that hand moved toward his face, and, still speaking, Kakarrot gently drew his sunglasses off. "Why canít you trust me...?"

At the end his voice was a whisper, folding the sunglasses and slipping them into the pocket of Vejiitaís coat, and the prince was frozen as Kakarrot released his hand, moving closer to him. He reached out, and Vejiitaís breath was becoming ragged as his fingers carefully hooked the low collar of the princeís shirt, drawing it to the side slightly to expose the scar. An uncontrollable shiver swept Vejiitaís body as Kakarrot lightly brushed his fingertips over it.

"Have I claimed you, Vejiita?" he whispered, so close now that his breath fluttered over Vejiitaís cheek. "Iíd like to... Iíd like to have your consent this time..."

He had tilted his head now, his lips nearly brushing Vejiitaís as he spoke.

"And Iíd like you to stay when itís over. Vejiita, I love you."

And then Kakarrotís mouth took the gasp from his lips, capturing them completely. There was no hesitation this time, no tentativeness, the kiss deepening almost immediately as Kakarrotís arms slid around him, pulling their bodies together. Vejiita jerked, an almost agonized moan escaping into the other Saiya-jinís mouth as he felt Kakarrotís body against his, and he was kissing the other man just as deeply, leaning into him, eyes closed. His hand came up, slid against the solid reality of Kakarrotís ribs to his back, his fingers curling into the material of the other Saiya-jinís shirt. He drew Kakarrotís tongue into his mouth, meeting it with his own as he felt the other manís arm slide up to wrap around his shoulders, drawing him even closer.

Vejiita could feel his heart racing, his fingers trembling where they were clenched in Kakarrotís shirt. His tail curled up to wrap around the back of Kakarrotís leg, pulling their thighs together, and Kakarrotís hands stroked down his back through his jacket. He found himself wishing to get rid of it, rid of the barriers preventing him from feeling the other Saiya-jinís hands against his skin as he brought his other arm up to wrap around Kakarrotís back, still holding the forgotten bottle.

Oh God... Want him... Want to be with him...

And he suddenly realized that it was true, realized that he wanted to be with the other Saiya-jin, didnít just want him. That was part of it, certainly, but so much of it was just wanting to be in Kakarrotís presence, to listen to him talk, hear him laugh, to witness the true miracle of his unfailing goodness. He wouldnít even mind any of those foolish things Kakarrot did so often.

He gasped for breath, keeping his eyes closed as the other Saiya-jinís lips slid from his mouth, kissing down his cheek, his jaw...

I think I... What I feel... feel for him, I...

He felt Kakarrotís tongue run over his neck lightly, then more kisses, and he tipped his cheek against the other manís ear, his lips parting.

"Kakarrot... I..."

His head fell back slightly as Kakarrot nuzzled his throat, his body feeling weak and exhilarated all at once. He sagged against the other Saiya-jin, and as he did so, the bottle slipped from his fingers.

It smashed loudly against the boards beneath their feet, shattering into a thousand fragments, and the sound struck Vejiita like a pail of ice water, whatever spell had been cast over him melting away, letting the voices in his head in again.

What the hell are you doing you fool?! You are Saiya-jin royalty! How dare you give yourself up to anyone, much less this worthless nobody! You can never be with him, and he could never love you, with everything youíve done. You donít need love anyway, heís just using you, and youíre letting him control you.

A sudden, violent shove removed Kakarrotís touch from him and Vejiita staggered backward, his eyes wide and glaring, filled with anger, confusion, and panic.

"Get the fuck off me, Kakarrot!" he said harshly, still backing away, nearly tripping in his haste. Kakarrot was staring at him with absolute disbelief written across his face, his black eyes screaming with hurt.

Doesnít matter, doesnít matter, heís fooling you, heíll hurt you. Stay away from him.

Vejiitaís back connected hard with the railing surrounding the porch and he clutched it to keep his balance, still looking at the other man.

Then he abruptly twisted, vaulted over the railing and was gone.

 

Gohan backed away from the window, his eyes wide with shock, and sat down heavily on his bed in the darkened room. He put his hand to his mouth, trying to process everything he had just witnessed.

Shortly after his father had gone outside, he had slipped away from the party and gone upstairs to observe from the second-floor window of his bedroom, determined to discover what was wrong with their fathers.

What he had seen... was not what he had expected, to say the least.

For a long time, the young doctor sat quietly, pressing his hands together and holding them against his lips as he braced his elbows on his knees, carefully contemplating the implications and consequences of the scene that had so recently occurred.

Some time later, he got up to find Trunks.

 

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