Chapter 5: Hatred
He could feel the gaze of the other man on him as he flew pathetically towards his home. His home? No..It wasn't his, it was Bulma's. He'd go back nonetheless, because it was the only place he could think of to go. The only place he was slighty accepted on this planet. Vegeta winced, breathing in through his clenched teeth, his entire body screaming out at him, expressing it's agony. It took most of his strength not to scream out about the injuries Goku had inflicted upon him. His body was nearly limp, his arms drooping down in the air along with his legs, and his head was bowed. 'Just don't follow me,' Vegeta prayed, his chest stinging as the warm flesh met the cool night air, biting the wound and chilling him. 'Please don't follow me,' thought the prince, forcing his arm up, holding his palm against his chest to apply as much pressure as he could to stop the bleeding. It was so hard to believe that Kakkarot would do such a thing to him.
No, maybe it wasn't. Everyone has their breaking point.
Everyone..has their...breaking point......
Pride. Honor. Fighting. Status. Why were these things so important to him? Pride. It wasn't truly pride. Pride was his outward expression of his conflicts, his arrogance; his pride wasn't pride, it was a representation of his self-respect. He forced himself to believe in pride, and honor. Honor was a way to protect his pride. Honor was a barrier, a shield he held up to defend his esteem. Fighting. Fighting was proof of pride and honor. It was to convince everyone else, and himself, that he was strong, that he was stable. Fighting was the only way he had ever known to do this..and when he wasn't the best.....he HAD to be the best, that was all there was to it. Status was a reassurane, just a reminder, just something he could lean against that had no true support. These things were important to him because without them...he had nothing. That was why he could not change. It risked ruining his routine, it risked losing all that he knew, and it risked destroying him completely. But what if he didn't lose these things but merely give up on them willingly? Then what? Then what would happen? Vegeta emitted a small noise, a bitter sweet smile pulling on his lips. He knew. But still, he wasn't satisfied.
'I am pathetic,' he reminded himself once more, gazing across the horizon for any sign of Capsule Corp. Nothing but landscape. Nothing but trees, rocks, and things of that sort. Every once in awhile he passed a city, but it was never the right one. 'I'm so tired...' he dully thought as he noticed his pace had slowed dramatically. His eye lids were half closed and he was stunned that he'd be able to sleep when he was so badly battered. He was used to uncomfortableness but he had never felt so drowsy when it was at such a high degree and intensity of it. A brief flicker of worry crossed his mind but he instantly crushed it without another thought. 'I will make it home,' he was stating a fact, not necessarily reassuring himself. Within a few more minutes he made it into open skies, away from the clouds and the dying storm. Moonlight bathed him, glowing radiantly, softly, and without knowing, Vegeta began to relax just a bit. The air and the night was still and the moon look ominous in the sky: large and grey with a tint of blue. Vegeta didn't even register the fact that he was not in his Oozaru form, after all, he had his tail and he had looked at the moon, but even still, he was too tired to concentrate on anything but flying. He approached Capsule Corporation slowing down considerably to give him ample time to prepare for landing. He let his feet touch the doorstep and he eventually let gravity run its course as he completely dropped his ki. His hand met the doorknob and he gave it an experimental turn, of which it did move. Odd..the door was never left open.
With great effort he pushed the door open and stepped inside. He shut it behind him, nearly gasping for breath because of the exertion. He was exhausted to say the least, the flight stealing most of the tiny bit of energy he had had. But as he turned to go upstairs and to his room, a sleepy voice rang through the air with surprise, "Dad, you're back!" Trunks rubbed his eyes, stepping closer towards his father. So that's why the door was open..Trunks was hoping he would return.. Vegeta would have most likely escaped if he could have, but he was too weak to make it now and so he only waited for the impending question. When Trunks' vision focused the first thing he did was blink. He sat for a few moments in a complete daze as if he was still dreaming, and then he began to look his father's wounds over one by one instead of as a whole. "Oh my god! Dad, what happened!?" Trunks nearly shouted, his voice thick with worry as he ran up to him and examined him closer. Vegeta took a couple breaths, trying to come up with a reasonable lie to feed his son, but nothing would come. "Dad, you're bleeding!" the young purple-haired man proclaimed, running out of the room only to return a moment later with a first aid kit, a hand full of towels and a bowl of water.
"Dad, come here...?" Trunks requested, hoping his father would listen to him. He was about to say please when Vegeta gave in, taking a seat at the kitchen table. Oh, how good it felt to sit down....The prince's eyes blinked slowly, tiredly, and he gave a silent yawn, somehow restraining the pain it caused. The first thing Trunks did was remove Vegeta's clothing so that he'd have better access to the wounds. Vegeta hissed out in protest on more than one occasion but Trunks knew he had to take care of the injuries. Interesting enough he found something else because of this. "Father! Since when have you had a tail!?" Trunks questioned, staring at the appendage in awe as it twitched every so often. Vegeta made a low sound in his throat, a threat almost in a way, but a threat he wouldn't be able to back up. Even still, Trunks decided not to push further on the subject. He dipped a towel into the bowl of water he had gotten, steam rising from the clear liquid. "Can you tell me what happened?" Trunks quietly asked as he began to run the fabric over Vegeta to clean him of blood and dirt. He watched his father's muscles tense under the touch, and even though it was gentle, the contact caused his skin to sting. "I..I..." Vegeta stumbled and then hesitated, "..I'd rather not." Trunks continued his washing, his eyebrows knit together in worry, "Well....okay." He didn't want to give in but he knew how stubborn his father was and pushing him would only make it worse. When he moved to clean Vegeta's chest he could only gape again. The damage was astounding, but what seemed even more miraculous was the fact that Vegeta was able to move around with it. "Dad, this wound is really bad..." Trunks looked up into Vegeta's face, biting his lip nervously, "I think we better take you to a hospital." Vegeta took a couple breaths before replying, "No..." Trunks seemed shocked that Vegeta would refuse, especially in his condition, "But dad-" The Prince of Saijins suddenly yelled out, "I SAID NO TRUNKS!"
The young man nearly fell backward and he shakily gave a nod, "Al..Alright...at least let me wrap it." Vegeta paused for a minute as if regaining the breath he had lost from the outburst, "Whatever." Trunks grabbed the firstaid kit, opened a small plasic bag from the white box and extracted the contents. "Hold this?" Trunks asked, extending the end of the ravel to Vegeta, and with a low grunt, the Saijin took it and held it to the spot indicated by Trunks as where he wanted the starting point to be. It took a few minutes but Trunks was able to thoroughly cover the chest wound with a roll of guaze. "I told Bra," Trunks informed lowly as he removed some bandages from the kit and began to cover some various cuts on his father's body. Vegeta paused before replying, "She wasn't at the funeral?" Trunks nodded slightly, "She was out of town on vacation..I don't know, I just thought it'd be better to tell her after she got back, I just..." Trunks sighed to gather his thoughts, "She's really upset but other than..that...she's been doing okay." Vegeta looked down giving off a small noise of understanding. "Dad, you're going to be okay, right?" Trunks asked innocently, "I know...I know this is hard. I miss mom too. I know...a lot of changes are going to happen but it'll be alright, okay? Just don't worry." Vegeta said nothing; he only stared into space. Trunks sighed, finishing his duties, and decided it was time to begin cleaning up, "Get some rest, dad." Vegeta managed to pull himself to his feet and walk to his room, even though it took a considerable amount longer than usual.
'Damnit. Why couldn't have Kakkarot just killed me? Damn him...' the Saijin thought, cursing Goku's ways again as he dragged himself over to his bed. He left out a deep sigh and fell onto his bed, moaning into the mattress as his wounds experienced movement and pressure. He breathed for a few minutes with his cheek pressed against the pillow, just waiting for the flare of his injuries to die down. But then with the submission of the physical pain, he was forced to focus on the other..things..that were bothering him. Everything came at him inside of his head at once and he felt as though he was spinning into an endless abyss. He closed his eyes as his body lurched, the taste of stomach acid lingering in the back of his throat as he was barely able to resist the urge to vomit. So disgusting. Everyone and everything. Even himself. Disgusting. Revolting. Undeserving.
He released a bitter sigh, glaring at the barren wall next to his bed. "Fuck," he whispered for no reason at all, glaring harder. A vision of Goku laced Vegeta's mind, annoying him that he could not remove it. It was as if the man had imbedded his image into him..a thorn in his mind. He attempted to growl in his throat, more annoyed with himself than with the other Saijin. Yes..what was this? This feeling he felt toward Goku..?
Ah yes, he remembered. Quickly he spun himself over so he gazed at the ceiling. Pity. When was the last time he pitied someone other than himself? Shit..what did it matter? He pitied him and that's all that mattered. Wait, why did he pity him again? Oh, that's right, he decided to let him live so he could bother him later. That among other things. He sighed again.
What a fucked up life.
Humans had no idea how lucky they were to live out normal lives. Normal lives where they had to worry about what to buy at the store, or what type of job to get, or making sure the trash was taken out on the proper day, or mowing the lawn. Normal life..Bulma had attempted to have one. But he would always train and push her away. And now she was gone. He closed his eyes. What a goddamned awful night. He choked on some air, a heat stinging his eyes. No. Fuck that. There was no more of that. No more pity for himself. He was disgusting. He was revolting. Just like everyone and everything around him. This entire existance was so utterly warped he wondered if the gods themselves where truly such holy, divine creatures. The gods. They disgusted him too. Kakkarot...
Confusion overwhelmed Vegeta and he felt dizziness flood him again and he brought his hands to his head in an attempt to feel better. Kakkarot did not disgust him...? Why, out of the blue, did he not feel the hatred that had plagued him for years? Why did he not want to sneer at the mere mention of the man? Why did he not want to turn his head and look the other way? He lightly rubbed his temples as he felt a headache coming on. After a few minutes he opened his eyes to stare at the ceiling. He didn't want to turn his head and look the other way because that was not what Kakkarot did. He did not want to sneer at the mere mention of the man because he found nothing to sneer at. He did not hate Kakkarot because his hatred was now redirected, and in his opinion, it was now focusing on the correct target which also happened to be the source: himself. His head began to pound in synch with his heart beat. Thump, thump, thump...it felt as if blood pounded in his ears....thump, thump, thump... He closed his eyes as dizziness came over him once more; his hand rested on his chest and he noted that his skin made contact with some moist cloth.
Wow, he'd really blown it, hadn't he? He had a chance for a perfect life but he just chewwed up the idea and spit it back out at anyone or anything that dared to suggest it. Now that there was no way to ever reverse it, of course, he regretted it. Moron. 'Have you really always been this stupid?' he asked himself, his eyebrows knitting to form a glare intended for himself, 'How the hell did Kakkarot deal with you?' He attempted to think of a reaon why the other Saijin would of let him live but all he could find were reasons why he shouldn't have. He came to Earth to destroy it: Kakkarot let him live. He went to Namek to wish for immortality: he was killed by Freiza. Okay, so he had done some good there by buying enough time for Kakkarot to heal and looking out for his son and friends. But his intentions were selfish nonetheless, and so, it really shouldn't count for anything. When the Andriods arrived: he let Dr. Gero get away. When Trunks tried to warn him: he merely punched the boy. At the lab he demanded entrance: he blasted down the door. He let Cell absorb Andoid 18 and become complete: it was almost the end of them all, but Kakkarot still forgave him. Kakkarot gave his life in that battle because of him, because he was so determined to feed his ego he didn't care about anyone else. When had he ever made a positive contribution to a fight..or anything for that matter?
His mind came up blank, unable to think of anything.
There had to be something! There had to be some reason as to why Goku didn't kill him. Was it possible that it was just the younger Saijin's ways? Or did Goku see something about him that he himself did not see? Or did he silently enjoy watching him struggle and suffer? For some reason he could not imagine Goku laughing at someone else's misfortune, even on a mental level where no one could hear him. He sighed, perplexed, 'Maybe...maybe I can just take a peek without him noticing..' Vegeta closed his eyes and concentrated, searching for Goku, but not on the physical plane, but rather, a mental one. Carefully he eavesdropped over the Saijin's current thoughts, but all he could make out before Goku began to notice him was, 'Vegeta...'
'He's thinking about me?' the prince thought, confused for a moment, 'Hn. And why not? I just tried to kill him, I suppose if I was in his position I'd have nothing else better to do.' He glanced at the digital clock that was on top of the nightstand next to the bed. The glowing red letters indicated that it was around two in the morning. He looked back up at the ceiling and began to review everything that he could remember in his life. From his earliest childhood memories to what had occured hours before. He noticed that the more he thought about it, the less he..felt..toward himself and his life. He swallowed and licked his lips, taking slow, even breaths.
Goodbye pride. Goodbye honor.
He wondered how life would have been if he had been able to get his hands on the Namekian dragonballs and he had been able to wish for immortality. He'd probably be no better than that of Freiza, a psychotic tyrant who found no true pleasure in life. He probably would have killed Bulma without a second thought, and the whole Earth for that matter. Not to mention Kakkarot, he probably would have gone after him first. At least Freiza had never gotten his hands on the dragonballs, but, Freiza had destroyed him completely. After Freiza's beam had shot him, after he knew there was nothing left, that he wasn't going to make it, he just stopped caring. He let himself cry, and so what? So Kakkarot saw him cry, it wasn't like he was going to see him again... How wrong he was. They wished him back with the dragonballs. No. No, they would never individually wish him back, they knew better than to do something as stupid as that. But they did wish for everyone killed by Freiza back to life. Yes, he just so happened to be killed by Freiza that he too was allowed back onto the mortal plane of existance, it wasn't like anyone would have went out of their way to ensure he solely came back. It was luck. And since that day he wasn't able to surpass Goku's skills and only on occasion had he been able to match them. But it was for only brief times, and they never had been allowed to fight, to test to see who was better. Not like it was necessary because it was impossible to beat the other Saijin. The man had enough power, skill, and speed that if the entire Saijin race still existed everyone would tremble at his mere presence. A third class warrior was stronger than the prince.
Goodbye fighting. Goodbye status.
If Vegeta-sai still existed and everyone learned of Kakkarot and his power, they would probably honor him for all eternity, and Vegeta would just do what he always did: live in his shadow. Always striving to be better than the black-haired Saijin...what would he do when he finally was stronger? Kill him, and then what? Rule the universe? Even if he did get the power he certainly didn't have the..heart..to do such a thing now, no matter how tempting. No, some things were just impossible. Some things were best to give up upon. Some things were not worth their time. What was he to do with his life now? He'd always known pride, honor, fighting, status...without them, now what? Now what... The bitter sweet smile returned. His tail twitched, curling up on the bed beside his body. His breathing seemed to steady, his eyes staring at ceiling above him, his hand on his chest feeling the rise and fall of each inhale and exhale of air. He couldn't recall when he had last felt so relaxed in such a horrible state of being. His smile widened slightly and he closed his eyes.
Goodbye strength. Goodbye will. Goodbye ambition. Goodbye, Vegeta.
He suddenly wasn't afraid of losing anything.