[Author’s Note: You know, I never quite meant this to go the incest route, but it’s starting to look that way…hrm.]
* * * * *
I must have lost consciousness, as I don’t remember anything from Trunks fleeing to my brother taking my chin in his hand, saying my name over and over. “Raditz. Raditz, wake up! Can you hear me? Raditz!” Oh, Gods, I wished he hadn’t done that…every single breath I take in burns horribly, my entire chest is tight with agony. I want to cough, and I brace myself…but the weak hacking is even more painful that I imagined it would be, and the muscles in my body tighten in sympathy.
“I’m…I’m awake, Kakarot. Stop yelling.” I wonder if he can even hear me, I haven’t the strength to raise my voice above a hoarse whisper. My entire mouth feels sticky, thick, with dried blood, mucus, and spit.
“What happened? Who did this to you?” Finally, I open my eyes, stare up into that face that is clotted with rage. I wish I could do something to direct that rage, but I’m not that stupid. Last night-and it was last night, because I can see some weak sunlight filtering in a window, incongruously cheery-was a lesson in self control. Don’t use it, get hurt. Pretty simple, even for me.
“I can’t tell you.” I think my brother might sense a lie, and I’m in too much pain to think of an effective one anyway.
“Vegeta? Was it him?”
I shake my head slowly, the nausea rising in me at the movement. I know I can’t afford to vomit, I haven’t the strength to turn myself to the side, and aspirating on my own bile is not the way I would choose to go out. Kakarot narrows his eyes as he looks down at me, but he seems to accept this, and he shakes his head, as though freeing himself from distractions.
“We don’t have time for questions,” he mutters, running his thumb lightly over my lower lip, frowning at the crust of dried blood. “How long have you been lying here? No, never mind, right. Okay, I’m going to take you where we can get you some help.”
“Kakarot,” I rasp out, “I don’t think I can move.”
“You don’t have to,” he replies grimly, before lightly gripping my upper arm, and touching his free fore and middle fingers to his forehead. His eyelids close down in one blink…and suddenly we are no longer in a wrecked spare bedroom, but in the middle of a large room. My vision is blurry, I can make out little of the details, but the room is open to the air, and I can hear the wind singing by rapidly. Moreover, it’s bright and sunny here. The tiled floor is cool on my back, and my brother lightly pats my shoulder.
“Hang on, okay? I won’t be far.” He stands, and moves out of my line of sight, hollering as he goes. “Korin? Korin! I need you!”
I lay my head back as I hear him hurrying down a flight of stairs, closing my eyes. I wonder how long it will take him to figure out who did this to me? After all, it's a fairly small group of people he has to pick from, unless he assumes some enemy from my past showed up, nearly killed me, then ran off, and for some reason I’m too embarrassed to tell him.
“Who the hell are you?” The voice that interrupts my thoughts is raspy, and slightly nasal. Is it worth the effort of actually opening my eyes to see who it is? Oh, might as well.
A short, heavyset man in a loose, brief robe stares down at me, frowning. His thick eyebrows hang rather menacingly above deep-set dark brown almond-shaped eyes, but the effect is rather ruined by the roundness of his face. He has got a sword, but I can’t bring myself to feel threatened by him. Maybe it’s the fact that he holds a chicken leg somewhat casually in his right hand. Maybe it’s the bush of long black hair that reminds me of a twisted version of myself. I don’t know, but the guy inspires a snorted chuckle more than anything else. Not that I can laugh right now, I think it’d break me in half.
“I’m Kakarot’s brother,” I manage to leak out, and he scowls even more furiously, if possible.
“Who the hell is Kakarot?”
“That’s me, Yajirobe.” My brother’s voice is a welcome respite, and I watch the small man look up, surprise smoothing out his features, and looking so much more appropriate on that moon face.
“Goku? What are you-oh.” He looks down at me again. “He needs a sensu bean, right?”
“Yeah, Korin’s getting me one now.” I can feel him back at my side, kneeling down, and I take the effort to turn my head his way.
“What?” I mouth at him, trying to raise my eyebrows in an expression of puzzlement, but failing.
“You’ll see. It’s too hard to explain.” He brushes some of my hair carefully from my forehead, and then I hear more footsteps, these peculiarly soft, and accompanied by the tap of a cane.
“Here you are, Goku.” This voice is older, much older, it sounds like. I just let my eyes drift closed, when I feel my brother’s fingers at my lips again.
“Eat this.” He slips something into my mouth, something small and hard. Ah, the old man must be some sort of healer, and this is medicine. Though how I’m going to keep it down, I have no idea. Still, I trust Kakarot, so I chew dutifully, crunching the pill…or was it a bean? Hadn’t that fat guy said something about a bean? It does taste sort of vegetable-y, in a bland way. I swallow, wincing as the little hard bits scrape down my throat.
The oddest sensation of heat rushes out from the center of my body, shooting down my limbs and into my head, leaving me dizzy in its wake. It’s such a nice feeling I almost don’t notice when the pain leaves. But when I open my mouth to moan slightly, I realize it’s not agonizing to use my vocal cords, and I stop in shock.
“Kakarot? What the hell?”
“Sit up, Raditz.” My brother smiles radiantly down at me, so I do. Painlessly. I look down at my chest. No bruising. I run my fingers over the skin…no pain, just a faint tingle. I stare up uncomprehendingly at Kakarot, and he offers me a hand up, which I take, climbing to my feet.
“That was a sensu bean. They heal you, and even increase your strength.” I feel amazing, fantastic. I flex my hands, clench them into fists, stare down at them, still speechless. “Korin grows them.”
I look over my shoulder to see a large white cat. A really large white cat. With a cane. “Oh.”
“Now maybe you can tell me who did this to you.” I look back to my brother, and that simple smile is gone from his face, replaced with something more complex: worry, guilt, and something like fury. Instinctively I step close, place a hand on his shoulder, dip my head in to murmur at his ear.
“I can’t, Kakarot. Please, trust me on this. Not now.” I find myself pressing up against him, bending to rest my forehead briefly against his shoulder. His hands automatically go around my waist, and I sigh into his neck. I’ve missed having a brother.
“Please, Kakarot. Please.” I feel weak, but at the same time…I won’t be the instrument of strife in Prince Vegeta’s family. Not now. And I don’t want my brother to get involved in this.
“Okay. For now.” I smile in gratitude, then realize he can’t see it, so instead I lightly kiss the dip where his shoulder and neck joins, before pulling back. He’s looking at me curiously, but says nothing.
“We should go back, if we want to get that early start,” I say lightly, giving him my smile now, and an eager flash brightens his dark eyes in return. I glance over at Yajirobe and Korin, both of whom are staring at us open-mouthed. As Kakarot waves his thanks to the cat, and touches his fingers to his forehead, I hear the human speak in a low tone to his companion.
* * * * *
We’re back in our room at Vegeta’s place, Kakarot’s bag packed and set on the bed, my own in the corner where I left it last night. “Do you still want to-“ he begins, and I interrupt.
“Yeah, I do. I just want to get out of here for awhile. What time is it?”
“Late morning. Vegeta’s probably been ready for hours.”
I nod in agreement, and am about to pick up my bag when Kakarot touches my shoulder lightly. “Raditz? I need to ask you something.”
“I told you, I don’t-“
“No, not about that.” He looks thoughtful, as though trying to find that right words, an unusual thing for my brother, so used to just blurting any old thing out. “It’s about…well, why do you keep touching me?”
I frown, not understanding. “What do you mean? Of course, I touch you, you’re my brother…”
“Yeah, but…well, you just kissed me back at Korin’s place.”
Oh, that human upbringing thing again. I keep forgetting about it. “Sorry, it’s just a Saiyan thing, I guess. I’ll stop if you want me to.”
“It’s not that. It’s just a little strange. You don’t touch anyone else like that.” I read between the lines; I don’t touch Gohan and Goten like that. “Neither does Vegeta.”
“Vegeta is an only child.” I sit down heavily on the bed, wondering how to explain this one. Maybe I should just hold some sort of class on Saiyan behavior for Kakarot’s family, because this could become very tiresome. “Look, on Vegeta-sei, it’s…it was considered pretty normal for siblings, cousins, same generational relatives to…uh, be so physical. I guess it’s an instinctual thing, though, because I wasn’t raised with you, and it still seems pretty natural for me to do that.” I raise my eyebrows at him as he considers that. “You didn’t seem to mind…”
“I don’t. I’m just not used to it.” He shrugs expansively. “I guess I have a lot to learn.”
“Vegeta didn’t teach you any of this stuff?
“No…I never really asked about it, either, though. I mean, he mostly just acts like a human, so it never really occurred to me.” I blink…is Vegeta modifying his behavior for these humans? I guess so. “So, are we supposed to have sex or something?”
I look up at him, startled. “Uh…well, not normally. I mean…” I’m a little hazier on this, as I didn’t grow up with a sibling, and it’s not really something that’s talked about. I couldn’t very well ask my friends, ‘Hey, did you screw your sister last night?’ “I’m actually not sure. It probably wouldn’t be considered that off, but then I don’t think it was a regular occurrence, either. Why?”
“Just curious.” His open expression gives truth to his statement, but still, it gets me thinking: Do I want to have sex with my brother? I can come to no conclusive answer as he scoops up his bag from the bed. “Ready?”
I nod, grabbing my own bag, and following him out the door.
Part Eighteen |