I thought Goten was wrong. The closer I got to Piccolo’s location, the more firmly I believed that was true. But Goten believed in me so I went.

Piccolo was in his usual position, meditating, when I arrived. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence when I called out to him. Until I was practically screaming at him that is. Even then his only acknowledgement was a terse, “Is it important?” I almost gave up right then.

Somehow I managed to relay my request to him. I think the prospect of fighting again steadied my nerves somewhat. Perhaps it didn’t steady them enough though, because the first thing he said I should do was meditate to calm myself. And meditating, of course meant no moving, no talking, and no touching. Basically put there was no chance to see how he would act toward me. The entire day was like that.

When I made it home Goten was waiting for me. He had made a special supper for me. After we had both eaten I told him about my day.

“Sure we moved from meditating to training exercises, but they were meditative training exercises, and there was little talking and no touching,” I told Goten, in response to one of his many questions. His persistent grilling was getting to me. The food had perked me up, but, now that I was rehashing my day, I was becoming discouraged again.

“He didn’t touch you at all?” Goten asked.

“Well, right before I left I suppose,” I said. “Piccolo put his hand on my back and told me he would see me tomorrow.”

“Would he normally do that do you think?” Not knowing what Goten wanted I looked at him uncertainly. He tried again. “There was nothing different in the way he looked at you or in his voice?”

“Um, I guess I did find one thing a little odd. Before he removed his hand his eyes moved between my face and where his hand rested on me. Come to think of it, it seemed to rest there a little longer than necessary, almost as if he expected something to happen.” I thought about that for a moment. “But it was probably just my imagination. It’s not like he was doing it just to see how I would react or anything.”

I almost jumped when Goten’s voice interrupted me from my thoughts. “Gohan!” He said my name with such exasperation that I knew I had missed something. Judging from his expression it was something important too.

“What?” I asked. I couldn’t see what it was.

After some muttering just low enough for me not to hear, Goten started explaining. “Piccolo was probably expecting you to flirt with him. Did he seem at all upset today?”

The question threw me off for a moment, and I hesitated before answering. “Um, not really. Right at first I guess, but he was fine the rest of the day.”

I let Goten digest that information and was not disappointed when he said, “I think you did it.” He looked very happy at this announcement. “Gohan, there has been a change of plan.”

“Did what? Change how?” Those phrases were all I seemed capable of uttering.

They earned me another exasperated look before he continued. “I initially told you to show him that you love him, right?” He continued when I nodded. “Well, that was so you could get under his defenses enough for him to believe you when you told him you loved him. But now…now, you are already under them, and it is much sooner than I thought. You see, by acting normal and not flirting with him you enabled him to drop his guard. This is because without you acting on your feelings he has nothing to guard against. He doesn’t have your emotions or his response to push away. So, now that they are down I think a simple declaration would work just fine. This is Piccolo after all, so the direct approach just might work best.”

Goten was very pleased with himself when he finished. So pleased in fact, that I actually started to consider it. His confidence was contagious. The plan had its merits, that was true. Goten’s information also seemed to be accurate. “I suppose I’ll try it,” I said hesitantly. I knew it was the right thing to say when Goten threw his arms around me in a big hug.

“Good,” he said, “because now I have something to tell you.”

At his expectant gaze I took the bait. “What is it?”

He flashed me a radiant smile before he continued. “I am going to spar with Trunks tomorrow. He flew over today and asked me to join him. It’s been quite a while since our last session.”

My first thought was how odd Goten’s sense of time was. Him and Trunks had sparred only the week before. I guessed it was the saiyan in him that caused him to miss the fighting so much. My second thought was how wonderful that was. “That’s great, Goten. So what are you going to do?”

“Well, I think that tomorrow I will just see how things go, and then possibly the day after that I will tell him.”

I was surprised at first by his answer, but when I thought about it, it made sense. He always had such courage, my brother. His plan was probably the smartest way to go about it, too. I may have been the one who was book smart, but Goten had all the common sense and insight into others that I lacked.

The next morning I left early to train with Piccolo. By the end of my time with him I couldn’t decide if I should be more frustrated or less so. But Goten was waiting for me once more when I got home to help me work it out.

“So he did touch you,” Goten said.

“Well, yes, but I don’t think a punch to my hip was meant to show affection.”

“Gohan, that isn’t the point.”

“Then what is?” I retorted.

“How often has he touched you lately? Not you touching him, but him voluntarily and consciously touching you,” he asked.

“I fail to see what this has to do with anything.”

“You always fail to see, that’s why we’re having this argument. Now just answer the question. How often?” Goten was becoming irate.

“We are not arguing,” I replied petulantly.

“Gohan…” There was a note of warning in his voice so I decided to answer the question. He was trying to help me after all.

“All right, not very often. Happy?”

“No,” he bit out. “Not since you aren’t.”

I was instantly contrite. We had been arguing, and everything he was doing was for me. “I’m sorry.”

He let out a deep breath and said, “There’s no need to be. I know this is difficult for you.” There was a pause. “Now then, I wanted to know because I think it is important that he has started touching you more, again. Did you flirt with him today?”


“Okay. Do you think you are ready to just tell him how you feel? Remember, we decided yesterday, that would be the best route.”

“I guess,” I answered.

“Gohan, you can do this.” Goten’s voice was filled with confidence, confidence in me, and confidence in the facts. But it was also soft, much softer than I was used to hearing in our conversations. When I looked up at him I could tell he was tired. But something else was also there. “Goten, what is it?” I asked, knowing he would understand what I meant.

“Trunks invited me over to train in the gravity chamber with him tomorrow,” he told me. The significant pause before he answered had me worried over what, otherwise, I would have considered fabulous news.

“That’s great, Goten!” I said. At his tentative smile I asked, “Is something the matter with that?” It was at times like these, times when others were hurting, that I wished I were more perceptive.

Goten’s eyes were locked on his hands. His voice had grown softer. I had to lean forward to catch what he said. “I’m scared, Gohan.” He looked up at me, the uncertainty clear in his expressive eyes. They truly were the mirrors to his soul.

“Oh, Goten,” I whispered. My heart went out to him. I rose from my seat and went to him. His arms raised as I got closer and they slid tenderly around my neck as I bent over his slim form. My own arms slid around him in response and as I straightened I brought him up with me. My lips were even with the nape of his neck, and his body was pressed against mine.

He trembled as I carried him through the house and into my bedroom. We had been sleeping there together ever since we first found comfort in each other. I sat him on the edge of the bed and slowly undressed him, taking great care with each item I removed. I alternated undressing us both, removing first an item of his clothing, followed by an item of mine.

Soon I was kneeling over him, and we tasted each other, our mouths interlocked. While one hand remained on the bed to hold me over his warm body, my other hand blindly fumbled for the small jar of Vaseline I had placed on the night stand a few evenings prior. Finding it, I placed it next to the pillow and once more turned my full attention to my brother’s need.

My hands stroked him, igniting sensations in him and feeding my own desire at the same time. Our movements were relaxed and flowing, the comfort of having made them before guiding us. There was only a slight pause when Goten realized there was a difference in this night. But as soon as he hesitated he resumed moving against me, almost convincing me the pause had never occurred.

His movements were more eager now, and the feeling only increased when I guided his fingers into the small jar. I was still hungrily kissing him, wanting this, wanting to give him this comfort, this reassurance.

His gentle fingers stretching me were welcomed, even the discomfort they initially caused. It was because they were Goten’s, and because he loved me. I remembered how wonderful Goten had made me feel our previous nights together. I remembered his soft cries as I pushed into him. And most of all I remembered the reassuring feel of his presence, the sensation of his body pressed tight against mine, when we were through.

I wanted to give all this to him, just as he had done for me, and I found myself as eager as he was to complete this. I pushed down on his length from my position over him. The gentle exhale when he entered me was musical. It was beautiful, and the look on his face even more so. I could feel him seated within me, and I studied his expression as he gave me time to adjust.

For the first few minutes my consciousness centered on the slow push and pull of Goten’s shaft within my body. After that our movements became more intense than the previous caresses. There was a quiet urgency in them that spoke to my heart. I came before he did, in the muted light of the room, and Goten panted his completion soon after. The soft groan emitted from his lips as I finally collapsed on his chest was the last sound either of us made that night. We simply allowed our breathing to slow, and we relaxed in the warmth of each other’s arms. All troubles the next day could bring were forgotten as we slept.

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