Pandora's Box: Chapter 10c
aka The Rochatiev-atatu

"Well, I don't know why I came here tonight/
I got the feeling that something ain't right/
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair/
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs/
Clowns to the left of me; Jokers to the right/
Here I am; Stuck in the middle with you"

-Stealers Wheel "Stuck in the Middle With You"

Goku appeared in the dark room, careful not to make a sound. He had wanted so desperately to see how Vegeta was, after being away from him the entire day. He hadn't been able to even speak to him in person really, but he blamed himself for that. He would've been able to if he had woken up earlier, but he was pressured for time and merely left his message with Dende.

He felt a bit..giddy..though. He had accomplished all he wanted to do within the day except see Vegeta. And now he had teleported himself to the man without thinking twice. Almost thankfully, he had come into a pitch black room, and almost even better was the fact that steady breathing filled the air, which meant Vegeta was asleep. 'Thank god he's getting some rest,' Goku thought, daring himself to sit on the edge of the bed. Once he completed the act, it suddenly seemed like such an intimate thing to do. He dared not to move. It bothered him that he was intruding like this, but it made him feel good to know that Vegeta was relaxed and sleeping.

Tomorrow was going to be a long day, he thought. Not just for him, but for Vegeta has well. It was full of uncertainty, perhaps a bit more-so than regular days. Well, who was he kidding? It wasn't just "a bit more"; it was "a whole lot more". It simultaneously thrilled and terrified him. Yet, there was no use in wasting valuable sleeping hours. With hesitance, he stood - carefully - and put two fingers to his forehead. Then, he was gone.

He returned, however, in mid-morning. He had dressed differently, choosing to leave his normal gi at home. He always wore it, and frankly he felt like he needed a change in his life. So, digging through the closet, he had found a pair of dark grey sweatpants and a black A-Shirt. He slipped the items on before putting some socks and tennis shoes on as well. Goku acted quickly and quietly, He stuffed some other articles of clothing he liked in a duffel bag, and grabbed his wallet before using the Instant Transmission.

When he arrived, he set down the bag and once again took up the position on the bed. This time, he sat next to the prince, and wondered if he should wake him or merely let him rest some more. The choice was made for him when Vegeta rolled onto his back and opened his eyes. Blinking a few times, Vegeta focused on the figure above him. In shock, the brunette backed away slightly, "Kakkarot?" He had clearly been disturbed by the notion that someone could come up beside him in his sleep and he not realize it.

Goku laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand before replying, "Uh...yeah.. I was just about to wake you up!" He didn't want Vegeta to think..well, he wasn't sure what he didn't want Vegeta to think. After an interrogating stare, the prince sat up and stretched. Goku watched his tail fluff, curl, twine, and untwine. The odd dance it performed made him want to hold it in his hands and feel its silky essence. Oddly, a shiver ran up his spine just at the thought. Then, a strange type of uncomfortable silence came about, and Goku decided to stand. Vegeta got up and took a shirt off of the dresser, slipping it on. He then grabbed some socks before sitting on the edge of the bed, putting them on as well.

His shoes were next and he finally decided to speak up, "Where are we going?"

Goku picked up his duffel bag and slung it over his shoulder, "I thought you might enjoy a nice one on one game."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow, putting his hands in his pockets as he stood, "What kind of one on one game?"

Goku was forced to pause as his perverted mind had to grin at the question. "Racquetball," the black-haired Saijin was able to squeeze out in a normal voice.

Vegeta nodded slightly, approving the idea. He said, "Okay."

Goku smiled as he walked up to the prince, "This'll be fun, I swear." He placed his hand on Vegeta's shoulder and they were gone from the lookout.

They reappeared inside of a locker room, which was thankfully empty. Goku found a locker and stuffed his bag in there before turning towards the door. Vegeta followed with the assumption that the younger man knew where he was going.

Goku led him through two sets of doors, which brought them to the workout room of the gym they were at, but he ignored the equipment and turned down towards a glass wall which showed an empty room inside. Nearby was two racks, one which held tennis rackets, the other, a set of rubber balls. Goku grabbed two rackets and a ball. He tossed the extra racket to Vegeta.

The prince was a little bit confused - for he had seen what tennis was, but this..he wasn't able to figure out. Goku smiled at him and opened the glass door, and after they were inside, he closed and locked it. "How about...every time the ball hits the opposite wall it earns a point. That sound good enough?" Goku asked, gripping his racket comfortably.

The prince approached the other side of the court, "Yeah, that sounds fine."

Goku waited till Vegeta looked as if he was ready before bouncing the ball on the ground. "Here it comes!" he shouted, lightly tapping the ball, bouncing it over to Vegeta easily. The brunette tapped it back, realizing that Goku had intended to warm-up. They exchanged the small sphere a few more times, each time attempting to make it more difficult for the other to hit it and bounce it back.

Soon enough, all out warfare had begun, a loud smack emitting each time the ball hit a racket and launched its return. The two Saijins were sweating, moving faster and faster after each fluid motion of a swing. They leapt into the air, motions becoming a blur as the flew up and down, left and right. It was unspoken knowledge between the two that whoever scored first would finish the game and end it, merely because the game would last too long otherwise. Already they'd been in there for a few hours at least, and the intense game of concentration was starting to loose its grandeur.

'This is taking forever,' Vegeta thought to himself, grunting as he had to stretch a bit father than he should have to prevent a miss on his part, 'We're too evenly matched. Neither of us will score for a long time.' Realizing this, it made the brunette rather irritated, and wishing for the game to be over with, he made his decision.

With a brief bit of effort he pushed his ki up to max instantaneously. His hair flared to life, moving much like the upswept mane would do if it were true fire. Goku instantly faltered for a fraction of a second, which was the intended plan. With a good holler, Vegeta smacked the ball as hard as he could. Goku moved to counter, but the ball simply tore through his racket and continued on through the glass wall, ricocheting a few times before deciding to hit someone on the head, instantly rendering them unconscious. Vegeta blinked at the end result of winning the game and instantly began to laugh.

"Vegeta, he could be seriously injured!" Goku scolded, though sporting a small, almost shy, smirk. This merely made the prince laugh harder, however. Goku tried his best to look upset as he dragged the prince out of the room and back towards the lockers. Once they were alone, the black-haired Saijin spoke again. "That wasn't funny," Goku attempted to state, because Vegeta interrupted him with more laughing.

He let the prince laugh for two reasons. One was that he knew whatever he said now would probably only make Vegeta laugh even more, and his anger would probably only amuse the prince further. Two was that Vegeta rarely got to laugh and he needed all the happiness he would get, not only because it was good for him, but because he deserved it. After a minute or so, Vegeta began to calm down and Goku spoke softly to him as he opened up his locker to get his things, "You might want to power down."

Vegeta hadn't realized he was still holding his Super Saijin form, and he slowly decreased his ki, his hair fading colors as he did so. This truly interested Goku, but he forced himself not to look at the other Saijin as he pulled his things out. 'How come when he turns Super Saijin his hair changes like that instead of flashing solid like mine?' Goku thought while he set down his duffel bag and opened it, 'And he doesn't seem to have difficulty changing. I had difficulty at first. ..I just don't get it!'

As he pulled out his change in attire, he managed a sideways glance at the prince, noting his now solemn expression. The brunette had his arms folded as he leaned against the lockers, his gaze focused downwards with a distantness in it. "I'm..going to take a shower before we go," Goku announced, feeling slightly awkward as he began to strip, not because he was stripping, but merely because he had decided to state his course of action. As he pulled off his shirt, Goku looked over at the prince, wondering why the other man hadn't given a response. Vegeta's eyes met his, and Goku sensed something strangely..mysterious in the black depths.

Vegeta replied as Goku untied the knot on his sweatpants, "Alright. I suppose I'll take one as well." Instead of removing his clothing, however, Vegeta turned and made his way towards the showers. Goku sighed silently as he watched Vegeta go, the cotton pants sliding off of his form and puddling on the ground. He picked up the pants, his eyes still locked on the figure of the Saijin prince who was moving farther and farther away from him. Only a moment later did he realize that he was staring intently at Vegeta's tail which swung back and forth with each step. Goku blinked, his eyes refocusing as his hands jammed the workout clothes into the bag . His line of sight switched from the tail to other assets and instantly the black-haired man felt a swarm of heat flood his body. He looked away, hastily zipping up the duffel bag, 'I've got to stop doing that.'

He grabbed his things and made his way towards the showers, hearing the patter of water on tiled floor. 'He must already be in,' thought Goku as he rounded the corner, passing the bathroom. As he turned around the last corner, his suspicions were confirmed when he saw Vegeta's clothes piled onto a countertop. Goku set his bag up there, as well as his change in attire. He moved towards a random stall and slipped inside, turning on the hot water, and closing the curtain. The liquid poured down on him and he grabbed the complimentary shampoo, lathering it partially in his hands before massaging it into his hair. He gave a deep sigh as he worked in the soap, his throat instantly bursting out a purr.

This wasn't a new sensation, for Goku had always known for a scalp massage to calm him, and he never minded to wash his hair because of the relaxing sensations it spurred. He grabbed the shampoo bottle and poured a generous amount in his hands, making a low sound in his throat as he attempted to work all of the substance into his hair. He leaned back against the stall, slowly moving his fingers around as hot water cascaded over his body, working against tightened muscles. His eyes opened slightly, two slits gazing into space as he felt like he could fall asleep standing up. He leaned onto the back of his stall for support, running his fingers through his hair before he let his hands fall to his sides.

He probably would have dozed off if it wasn't for Vegeta, however. Through some strange stroke of luck, his curtain was slightly open, letting him look outside of the stall. This wasn't the luck though; what was "lucky" about the situation was that his line of vision matched up exactly to a small gap between Vegeta's curtain and the wall of the prince's stall. His eyes widened and he froze in place, unable to look away from the small sliver of what he saw.

He gawked at pale skin that was wondrously toned and looked incredibly smooth to the touch. Vegeta shampooed his own hair, Goku noticing the way his hair fell back when wet, like his own did. His eyes roamed up and down, following the curve of the spine, the shape of the muscles, the sheer masculine beauty flanked with scars. His chest radiated another purr as he caught sight of the dark brown tail. His eyes hooded themselves back down to slits as he overviewed the prince, taking his air in by gulps.

He envisioned his hands wrapping around the wet, furry appendage. He imagined running his hands up and down it before finally taking the tip into his mouth and sucking on it, leaving his hands free to roam across that pale skin. He thought of feeling across the smooth expanses of the prince's chest, drawing concentric circles slowly downwards until he lightly trailed lower and felt slick fur. He dreamed of the soft cry his prince would release, and found himself biting back a soft cry of his own. Somehow, he shook himself out of his dream world, trying to pace his breath as he looked down at his erection in frustration.

He cursed under his breath as he stood up straight, mentally berating himself. He tried to make a decision over what to do, but the longer he thought the more painfully engorged he got. 'Go away,' he begged, 'Just go away.' His eyes closed again, trying to will away his arousal, though it didn't seem to be working. Giving up on yelling at it, Goku merely continued with his shower, ignoring all throbs from below the waist, no matter how powerful they got. He rinsed out his hair thoroughly, and quickly washed the rest of his body, turning the water temperature down just for good measure.

It finally did 'go away' as Goku had demanded of it, and he gave a sigh of relief. Pulling open the curtain, the black-haired man grabbed the nearest towel. He dried himself swiftly and vigorously as he wanted to get back into some warm clothes. Goku ran the towel over his hair quickly, but after getting most of the water out just decided to let it air dry. He tossed the towel to the side and grabbed his change of clothes. He slipped on a pair of black pleated pants and a simple matching black t-shirt which he left untucked. Hopping himself up on the counter, he pulled on his socks and began to put on his shoes when Vegeta came into view.

He pushed a strand of hair away from his face and tightened his grip on the towel around his waist. Despite the fact that Goku had seen much more than a bare chest, the younger felt his cheeks turn warm at the sight before him. Vegeta looked up at him questioningly, and Goku faltered for something to say. "I have some more clothes if you'd like a clean change," Goku spat out the first thing he could think of. Vegeta narrowed his eyes, as if examining him to search for motives.

"I'll see what you have," the prince declared, leaning against the counter.

After seeing the choices for clothing, Vegeta opted to wear Goku's clothes over his own, and even though they were larger, they were also clean. He settled for a pair of dark blue jeans, which barely clung to his hips, and a light blue, sleeveless v-neck. Like Goku, he chose not to tuck in his shirt, though he doubted it would look nice even if he did because of the lack of belt to hold his pants to their proper height. He also accepted a clean pair of socks, which felt highly comfortable due to the thickness of the cotton. "C'mon," Goku said as Vegeta was putting on his shoes, and he himself was jamming the prince's dirty clothes in his duffel bag, "I have something to show you."

Vegeta paused as he was obviously taken aback. He slowly replied, "Okay..."

Goku's lips upturned into a large, warm smile. "Let me just drop this off real quick," the black-haired Saijin gestured to the duffel bag. With a nod from Vegeta, Goku flickered out only to come almost instantly back, minus the bag. Without a word, the younger man then transported them outside, and from there, Goku took to the air. After a minute though, Goku heard the prince call out for him to "wait up". He immediately stopped his flight and looked back.

Vegeta slowly approached him, his face dark pink from a blush as he muttered, "I believe I need a belt." Goku glanced down, noting the way Vegeta had fisted his hands around the waist of his pants. He resisted the urge to laugh and knew better than to make a comment.

"Well, we're almost there," the younger Saijin announced, flying backward a bit as if to entice the prince to follow. Vegeta sighed and gave him a look. Goku gestured with a small toss of his head for Vegeta to come along, then he turned and continued in the same direction he had been heading in.

The two Saijins flew relatively low to the ground, heading farther and farther away from the city they had just been in. Vegeta glanced down, noting how Goku was following a two-lane road. He glanced ahead, seeing the road extend on to the horizon, towards another city. Instead of following the road more, Goku turned off, veering towards the right for a long while before spinning around suddenly.

"Close your eyes," Goku said with a huge grin on his face.

Vegeta instantly replied, "Why?"

Goku actually pouted, "C'mon..just close your eyes." The prince clutched the waist of the pants a bit tighter before slowly closing his eyes. His hearing instantly increased, picking up the slightest noise. He listened to his own breath for a few seconds, and then he wondered what was going on. He sensed something covering his eyes and he instantly tensed up. "No peeking," the younger man said, carefully guiding the brunette down towards the earth.

'What is going on..!?' Vegeta asked himself again, wondering what it was he'd have to face when they arrived. As they descended, Vegeta couldn't help but note the light scent from Goku's hands, and the earthly aroma that wafted in around him. He heard the rustling of leaves and knew that he was in a forest. Why were they in a forest? What didn't Kakkarot want him to see? The situation made him uneasy, and indiscreetly the prince slowly wrapped his tail around his waist.

"Almost there," Goku whispered as he helped move Vegeta around for about twenty more seconds until their feet touched the ground.

"Okay..what is it now?" Vegeta asked, wishing for his sight to be restored.

"Patience, patience..." Goku replied, sounding rather smug as well as..excited? Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows and frowned slightly as they began to walk. It was only a short distance before they stopped again. "Okay," Goku whispered, removing his hands, "You can look now." The prince opened his eyes and blinked.

He wasn't sure what to make of the situation, and he merely stood, blinking, "Er..."

Goku walked around him, glancing at the prince, "What do you think?"

Vegeta slightly tipped his head to one side, examining the small house before him. The architecture wasn't fancy, it appeared to be made out of some lighter colored stone, and it lacked outside decorations. Vegeta really wasn't sure what to make of it. In fact, he had no idea why the other Saijin was showing it to him. Goku looked back at him, an odd twinkle in his eyes, "Come look inside." He nearly ran up to the front door, and opened it for Vegeta, holding the door while the brunette passed through.

Vegeta looked around the entryway which held nothing exciting. The next room they entered was presumably the living room. He noted a bookshelf covered with various paper and hardbacks in the upper right-hand corner; a mirror on the wall was just to the left of it. There was a few various paintings spread out - most of them depicting scenes of battle, or a victory. There was a plush, navy couch which had a matching chair and ottoman. A big screen T.V. rested opposite of the couch, laying in an entertainment center, the other contents unknown because all the other panels were shut. A coffee table rested in between the couch and the T.V., made of metal and glass with a stack of cup rests to one side. Beside the couch, and the chair, was a small table adorning a simple lamp with a dark shade. The last large thing to notice was a cupboard of sorts on the left wall, which had its doors closed. Weaponry was part of the decor as well. A particular sword that was hanging reminded him of Trunks' own blade.

"Kakkarot..?" Vegeta finally decided to ask, "What is this?"

Goku turned to him, smiling brilliantly, "..Happy birthday, Vegeta."

The prince blinked a few times before his expression fell, "And how would you know when my birthday is!?"

Goku seemed taken aback by the prince's outburst, "Hey, calm down! What do you mean, Vegeta?"

The brunette growled while folding his arms; the tip of his tail puffed while the rest of the fur seemed to cling to the skin even closer than usual."You... You...toushtatae!" he shouted, so angry that he couldn't find the proper curse word in a language Goku'd know, "I don't even know when my birthday is!"

Goku was flabbergasted, "You don't??"

Vegeta sneered a bit and nodded, "So I don't understand what you're trying to do here."

Goku flushed slightly out of embarrassment, "Well...I do have..sources..you know. I have..friends in high places." Vegeta looked at him questioningly. "King Kai," Goku explained, rubbing the back of his neck, "I had him look it up. Although since you're from another planet with a different cycle, apparently your birthday changes from year to year."

Vegeta refocused his gaze as Goku took a step closer to him, "This though..." Goku regained the prince's full attention and he finished the thought, "This is..for you. I knew you didn't have a place to stay so I..."

Vegeta appeared to be surprised by the news, "Kakkarot, you really didn't....buy this place for me, did you?"

Goku flushed a deeper shade of pink, "Well...yeah. Is everything ok? ..Do you hate it?" The prince was torn. One half of him said he should be berating the third class for taking such a liberty, but the other half was very flattered at the notion and liked a constant roof over its head.

Vegeta examined the surroundings once more. It seemed to be in reasonable taste. Seeing the approval in Vegeta's expression, Goku made a motion, "Come on! Take a look around!" Vegeta paused for a moment, but when Goku began to walk off he decided to just go ahead and see what the black-haired man had done.

The hallway had tapestries hung on it. Deep colors lined with gold gave them an aura of age - navy, dark green, and maroon, mostly with intricate designs woven in. Finally, Goku came to a door, and he waited for Vegeta to catch up. "Here," the younger Saijin said, his smile returning in full force. The prince gave him a small nod and Goku opened the door revealing a light blue colored room.

The queen-sized bed was in the center of the room, pushed back against the wall - with what appeared to be an iron bar backboard. It had a navy comforter over the mattress and pillows, hiding the matching sheets below. A picture was placed directly above and behind the bed, an odd piece that consisted of sunlight breaking through an overcast sky into an ocean which eventually metamorphed into space by the bottom of the painting. A nightstand stood to the left side of the bed, a small copper colored banker's lamp adorning its top as well as a leather-bound book. To the right of the room was two dressers, one on the same wall as the bed, and a larger one to the right. The one that was in line with the bed only had two drawers, and where the bottom one should have been there was merely a shelf, filled with little trinkets. The top of it held a stereo system, though the speakers were placed in the upper corners of the room.

The other dresser had matching candlesticks on either end. They weren't very large, and they were made of pewter. They had carvings of mythical creatures on them, and, able to hold five candles, both adorned five dark silver candles. A table runner lined the dresser under the candlesticks, and it matched the tapestries in the hall. It was a deep blue with gold lined down it. Inside the gold outline was a paisley pattern made up of navy and black. The ends of the runner were pointed, with matching tassels. Windows were behind this dresser, a combination of a lighter blue and navy drapes hanging down on either side in front of the blinds. A door also was beside this dresser, apparently leading to an outside porch.

The wall to the left held two things: a picture and a door. This door seemed to lead into a bathroom, and the picture was a surprisingly accurate depiction of Planet Vegeta's natural beauty. It was a montage of scenes almost like that of Earth - with deserts, forests, oceans, and plains - the exception being that a red sky replaced a blue one, and some of the foliage definitely looked different from that of Earth's. The fourth wall had wooden sliding doors with almost gothic looking engravings upon them; he naturally assumed that these doors lead into the closet.

"How did you get this painting?" Vegeta immediately asked, pointing to the one in question - the one of their home world.

"I told you already," Goku said, breaking out into a smirk, "I have friends in high places... So, do you like it?"

Vegeta took a deep breath and held it for a moment. There was something about this place that made him feel..calm, but he couldn't place what it was. "It's..." Vegeta searched for the word, "...alright."

Goku merely took this as a green light and smiled in response, beaming with pride, "Then I am overjoyed, my prince." Vegeta shot him a look, but Goku missed it as he turned to sit on the edge of the bed. "Check the dressers," the young man suggested as he flopped back and put his hands behind his head. Almost cautiously, the prince complied. He knelt and opened a bottom drawer. He raised an eyebrow and pulled out a few pairs of pants, ranging in styles, colors, and fabrics. Most of them were jeans.

"Kakkarot, how do you know my waist size??" the brunette asked, heavily apprehensive now.

Goku tried to resist a blush, "A lucky guess? Um..that and judging by your swimsuit size.."

Vegeta glanced at the pants before stuffing them back in, "I see.." His tail began to swing back and forth and Goku's eyes instantly locked upon it. He zoned out, looking at the dark brown appendage in delight as it moved slowly and smoothly in the air. He nearly began to drool when a sudden outburst from Vegeta interrupted his train of thought. "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!?" the prince screamed, his cheeks bright red in contrast to his pale skin.

Goku felt himself get nervous and he nearly broke a sweat, "What's what..?"

Vegeta held up an article of clothing for him to see, "THIS!!"

It was a pair of boxers, but they weren't any ordinary type that Vegeta had ever seen. Goku blushed himself when he looked at them. They were black, but more importantly, they were see-through. "Hey, they must've come in a pack that I bought!" Goku defended himself, "See if there's anymore in there.." Vegeta grumbled as he dug through the drawer, finding a white pair and a grey pair of the same style.

"Here!" the prince yelled, balling up the boxer shorts and throwing them at Goku.

The younger Saijin laughed, "What? Do you want me to put them on or something?"

Vegeta froze, his tail bristling as it became stiff as a board, "W-What?" Goku chuckled slightly before slipping into the bathroom, muttering something that the prince couldn't catch. Vegeta took this time to see if there was any more bizarre clothing hiding in a drawer waiting for him. Luckily, he didn't find anything else too disturbing, and he moved on to the other dresser. The top drawer contained stacks of CDs, all of them unknown to him, though a few artists or titles sounded vaguely familiar. The next drawer down was empty, and the shelf of trinkets, Vegeta observed, were mementos from the various places he had visited with Goku.

"So, what do you think?" Goku's voice came through the air, startling the older Saijin. Vegeta turned to glare at him, but instantly his eyes widened at the sight. He was upset at the other man for catching him off guard, but surprised that he had actually switched into the horrible outfit that had been lurking in his drawer. He then began to blush as he realized what position they both were in - with Goku's briefs visible under the boxers directly at eye level, and himself on his knees.

Vegeta stood up instantly, growling low in his throat, "Kakkarot..you are an idiot. You keep those if you like them so much!"

Goku put his hands on his hips, "Aw..but Vegeta, I bought them for you!"

The Saijin prince's eyes flashed dangerously as he hissed, "You did what!?"

Goku's eyes widened as he realized what he said, almost instinctively taking a step back, "Hold up! That's not what I meant!"

Vegeta's hands balled into fists as his tail wrapped around his waist, "Oh really!? Then what did you mean to say!?"

Goku fumbled around for an answer, "All I'm saying is that they must've came in a pack with some other boxers of the same brand. Besides..these don't really fit me. I just want you to keep them, that doesn't mean you have to wear them."

Vegeta looked at him in silence for several moments before saying, "Take them off and put them in the back of the drawer then." Goku proceeded to do as told, watching from the corner of his eye as Vegeta looked away while he stripped himself of the boxer shorts. He took the three pairs and stuffed them in the back of the drawer as instructed and then began to replace his clothing once he retrieved the articles from the bathroom.

During this time, Vegeta had ignored him completely, choosing to approach the painting of his planet and look at it under close scrutiny. It was flawless and beautiful - almost like a picture of the real place from what he could remember. He felt both saddened and inspired to see a glimpse of his past again. A past that had been denied. He shook his head, enforcing his mental no, 'I cannot dream of things that will never be. I am the Prince of Saijins, and yet....' He closed his eyes, sighing silently, 'Preh Vegeta sha Saijin Jakaht uru Preh Proch.'

Interrupting his thoughts, the sound of the doorbell ringing echoed down the hall. The brunette looked over at Goku, but the black-haired man simply said, "Why don't you go answer the door?" Vegeta, growling a bit, stalked off down the hall and back to the front where he threw open the door. He froze when he saw who was there.

"Hello, Vegeta," said Piccolo in his normal voice, "May I come in?" Vegeta stared, not truly at Piccolo, but what he was wearing: khaki cargo pants replaced the dark purple outfit, as well as a black shirt that simply said in bold white letters "FUCK.". Black sneakers replaced the normal, hideously tacky, pointy boots that he wore.

Goku's voice piped up from the background, "Hello, Piccolo!"

The Namek nodded, "Hi, Goku."

Vegeta spun around, speaking through clenched teeth, "This was your idea, wasn't it?"

Goku clutched his hand to his chest, speaking with mock-innocence, "Me?? Why, Vegeta! Why would you even think that I would do such a thing? Really, now..." The younger Saijin turned towards the kitchen before he lost control of his ability to hold in laughter.

"Come on in," Vegeta said, extending his arm as a sign of invitation.

"Thanks," Piccolo said, stepping inside and looking around, "Nice place you've got here."

Vegeta nodded and folded his arms, speaking to himself, "This is all Kakkarot's fault, I know it." As Piccolo took a seat, Vegeta decided to bring up a topic, "So, why are you wearing those clothes?"

Piccolo pulled on the shirt slightly, "It was actually Go... It was Kakkarot's idea. He told me exactly what to wear."

Vegeta scoffed a bit, taking a seat on his couch for the first time, "Oh. I believe that all right. Do you know what that..that..that...."

Piccolo decided to help him out, "Kakkarot?"

Vegeta decided to just go with it, "...that Kakkarot is up to?"

His Namekian friend merely shook his head, "No clue. Sorry." Vegeta looked grim, his tail twitching rather quickly from a variety of emotions. Piccolo glanced at the appendage and instantly had to force down a blush.

'I still can't believe he thought I was Goku,' the green-skinned man thought to himself, 'but after all they've been through I guess it makes sense. I don't suppose Goku has touched his tail before...no, I'd know it in their attitudes. If Goku had..stroked Vegeta's tail and..caused him pleasure like I had, there would probably have been a fluctuation in their relationship - and a noticeable one at that. So far everything seems normal, so I guess it was just Vegeta having wishful thinking...'

Goku came out of the kitchen with a few bowls of food in his hands. He set down four bowls total, each containing a different type of snack food. Vegeta and Piccolo merely watched Goku set the food down before heading back into the kitchen and bringing some drinks out. A knock on the door broke the silence and Vegeta sighed as he got up to answer it. As he swung it open there stood Krillin and Gohan. "Happy birthday, Vegeta!" the bald-headed human said.

"Yeah! Happy birthday, Vegeta!" Gohan repeated, both of them smiling. Vegeta forced himself to smile back as he resisted the urge to slam the door in their face. It wasn't really a smile either, just an upward quirk of the lips. And it wasn't that he hated them, it was just that...kindness towards him was so weird. It made him nervous, even edgy. Both of them pulled out presents from behind their backs and held them out for him to take.

"Humans are so strange," Vegeta snarled lowly as he snatched the boxes away from them. He turned around, and when he didn't hear footsteps, he looked over his shoulder and said, "What are you waiting for? Come on in, damnit!" The prince was unsure what to do with the gifts so he tossed them onto the coffee table, "Hope nothing breakable was in there."

Krillin scratched the back of his head, "Don't worry, there wasn't.."

Vegeta sat down next to Piccolo again, "Hn."

Goku came out of the kitchen again, this time with plates of appetizers, "Hey! Krillin! Gohan! You made it!"

The monk nodded, "I'd never decline a request from you, Goku." Vegeta looked at Krillin first before shooting a glare at the black-haired man.

Goku saw the look and laughed nervously for a moment as he found places to set the food, "Geez, Krillin...I only made a suggestion, I never begged you or anything."

Krillin smiled and nodded, "And let's hope you never have to."

Gohan decided to speak up, "Piccolo, why are you wearing those clothes?" Silently the Namek gestured with his thumb in Goku's direction. "Ah...dad made you wear it, huh?" the half-Saijin said with a grin. Piccolo nodded in response. Gohan giggled a bit before mentioning, "Why did he make you wear a shirt that says 'FUCK.' on it?"

Krillin gave Gohan a disapproving glance and Goku said, "You shouldn't cuss, Gohan." In his mind he added, 'At least, not at your age.'

Gohan pointed to the shirt being discussed, "I wasn't! I was stating a fact!"

Goku sighed and gave a smile, "Alright. I'll let it slide....this time." He winked at his son before munching on some of the food he had brought out. As silence began to come about again, the doorbell rang once more. Goku stood, but Vegeta abruptly pushed him back in his seat.

"Don't trouble yourself," Vegeta sneered, "I'll get it myself.." Goku, feeling non-threatening vibes from Vegeta, merely grinned. Swinging the door open for the third time, the prince was shocked when Yamcha screamed "SURPRISE!" and threw confetti into the air.

"Happy birthday, Vegeta!" the desert bandit announced happily, patting the prince on the back while handing him what was obviously a bottle gift-wrapped. Trunks, who had been standing next to the human, started to laugh when seeing the look on his father's face, and not only that, but the confetti that settled on his hair made for a nice effect as well. Yamcha invited himself in, waving and saying, "Hi guys!!"

Krillin muttered more to himself, "I wonder if he came drunk..."

Piccolo shook his head, "I don't know..possibly..probably."

Meanwhile, Vegeta had turned his attention back to the purple-haired, young man. "I suppose you have something for me as well?" Vegeta growled, not looking at all pleased. Trunks shyly handed him two very neatly wrapped packages, his gaze focusing on the floor in front of his feet. "Come on in," the prince gruffly said, shutting the door the instant Trunks was inside. Approaching the small group, Vegeta placed the newest gifts with the others, setting down the bottle-shaped one carefully.

"So what kind of games are we going to play?" Goku suddenly asked, sitting up in his chair.

"How about spin the bottle?" Yamcha suggested innocently.

"Yamcha! We're all guys here!" Krillin instantly burst out.

Vegeta hit the human over the head, "Toushtatae! Suggest something like that again and you'll really regret it!"

Goku laughed at them before munching on some pretzels, "No, seriously...if we're gonna have a party, we need to play a game."

Trunks spoke up as he finished examining the room, "And music too."

Goku nodded as he got up, heading back through the hallway, "I'll be right back."

Yamcha rubbed the back of his head, wincing slightly, "Okay, okay...so spin the bottle was a stupid idea. How about um....limbo?"

Vegeta raised an eyebrow, "Limbo?"

Krillin sighed and shook his head, smiling lightly, "Well, it'd be interesting."

The prince blinked, wondering exactly what type of game "limbo" was. He knew of "spin the bottle" because of a few sitcoms he had caught on daytime television thanks to Bulma's mother. The room suddenly filled with a person's voice, emitting from speakers hidden in the corners, like the setup in the bedroom:

"Watch this...what it is here, with the way people dance now, ya know, you can just..is called doing whatever you wanna do. Just get up..the beat get to you, just get up and just throw your arms in the air, throw your arms in the air, throw your arms in the air, throw your arms in the air..."

The voice faded out as a steady beat flooded into its place. It was a nice electronic beat with a peppy feeling to it. Goku emerged again, looking rather proud of himself, "Hey, how's the..ah..grooves I picked up?"

Trunks laughed at the black-haired man's choice of words, "They're fine, Goku."

"So, did you decide upon a game?" the younger Saijin asked, looking hopeful.

"Limbo," Vegeta stated, "They said they wanted to play limbo."

Goku cheered, "Alright! This'll be fun! I'll go get a suitable stick." Vegeta silently hoped that it was used to beat something, like with piņatas.

"So, Vegeta.." Yamcha tried an attempt at communication, "..um..um.......How 'big' are you? If you know what I mean. Ha ha ha." The prince narrowed his eyes and promptly jammed his mouth full with chips, his cheeks bulging like a hamster's as he slowly chewed. Piccolo turned his head and coughed to cover his chuckle; he turned back, looking solemn once more.

Krillin stared with eyes wide, whispering to himself, "He's drunk. He has to be." Gohan tilted his head to the side, not understanding, but knowing better than to ask.

"I'm back!" Goku announced as he entered the room, carrying the handle of a broom, minus the brush end, "Who wants to hold the limbo bar?" Vegeta was going to nominate himself, but found that speaking with a mouth full can be quite difficult, and he instead decided to finish his food first.

"I'll do it," Piccolo offered, standing up from his position on the couch.

"Me too!" Gohan piped up, wanting to help his mentor. As the young teen approached Goku with Piccolo, his father passed the stick to them. They stood off to the side in an open space, Gohan raising the bar as high as he could to make up for his lack in height.

Goku stood and the start of the line, "C'mon, Vegeta! Krillin! Yamcha! Trunks! With just us competing, how hard can this be?" Hesitantly, the older Saijin stood behind him, followed by Krillin, Trunks, and Yamcha. When everyone looked prepared, Goku stepped under the bar and made his way around to the back of the line. Vegeta followed his example, with Krillin trailing behind - who made it through without bending in the slightest - then Trunks, and finally Yamcha. After the line completed, the bar lowered slightly, and the process repeated itself. When it started getting around shoulder high (for Gohan) was when things started getting difficult. Goku, Trunks, and Yamcha obviously had it pretty bad, considering they were the tallest of the five. Krillin had the height advantage, but Vegeta had the balance that outmatched the rest.

Yamcha was the first to fall at the increment after shoulder high. Goku was the next to lose, but his reason was a bit different - as he bent back, he also tipped his head, giving himself a nice view of Vegeta's crotch. He lost his concentration and hit his head on the bar as he passed, leaving Krillin, Trunks, and Vegeta to duke it out.

Waist high for Gohan was an interesting round to watch, and everyone in the room was cheering them on. Vegeta carefully made it under, followed by a nervous Krillin. Trunks tried his best to take it nice and slow, but halfway under he found that he couldn't hold himself up anymore and promptly fell to the floor. The bar lowered and Vegeta cautiously bent himself backwards, moving slowly, but smoothly, clearing the bar by just a bit. Krillin was able to bend himself, but on the matter of moving forward he found that the only way to do it was to hop, therefore, he kicked up his heels and scooted forward little by little - but in the end he bumped the stick and was disqualified.

"Alright, Vegeta! If you make this, you win the game!" Trunks said, grinning at his father.

"Oh joy," the prince said, not sounding at all thrilled. He repeated the process again, bending back slowly to the correct level as the bar was lowered again. He took deep, even breaths and let his tail find the most comfortable position as he tried to spread out his weight evenly. He slid under the pole, much like Krillin had done, but with tiny hops that didn't cause him to move as much. Finally, he emerged on the other side, standing up as the room erupted in applause. Vegeta growled low in his throat, quite displeased with the attention he was receiving, "Alright, already! It wasn't that damn spectacular!"

"Oh, wait!" Goku suddenly shouted, "I forgot!" The black-haired Saijin raced into the kitchen only to return with party hats.

"Oh no!" Vegeta instantly backed away, "You are NOT putting one of those things on me!" Goku shrugged, passing out hats to those who would accept them, which turned out to be everyone but Vegeta and Piccolo. It was amusing to see the warriors wearing them however.

"So what now?" Krillin asked, adjusting his hat into a comfortable position.

"MUSICAL CHAIRS!" Yamcha shouted as if he just came up with a revolutionary idea which would change the laws of physics. Vegeta felt himself starting to hate the human on the mere fact that he was just plain annoying.

"Hey Yamcha," Krillin decided to ask, "What did you drink before you got here?"

The desert bandit looked up in thought, "Hmm..not much. I had some wine coolers, a beer or two, a few rounds of scotch on the rocks..." The prince closed his eyes briefly, wishing for the drinks Yamcha was speaking of to be in his hands.

"Define 'a few' for me," Krillin requested as he took a seat.

"I dunno. I lost count after seven...teen," Yamcha explained happily.

"I see..." was all the bald man replied.

"At least I think it was seventeen.." he mumbled to himself.

"Musical chairs, huh?" Goku said, rubbing his chin as if he was thinking very hard about the suggestion, "Hmmm....."

"What's a seven look like again?" Yamcha asked, but wasn't heard. He tried again anyways, "Or what's a seventeen look like?"

Vegeta grit his teeth, silently hoping that the other Saijin wouldn't agree to the silly game. He wasn't sure what the game involved, but with the words "musical" and "chairs" together it didn't sound too promising. "I'm up for a good round!" Goku announced, sitting up, "We'll play with only one chair!"

Yamcha completely forgot about his math problem and cheered while puffing out his chest in pride, "See?? I don't have all stupid ideas!"

Piccolo retorted quietly under his breath, "Yeah, just mostly stupid.." Gohan heard this and tried not to laugh. Goku picked up the only chair in the room and set it in the widest open area.

"Do you know how to play, Vegeta?" Goku asked nonchalantly as he situated the piece of furniture.

"What the hell do you think?" the prince replied, folding his arms.

"Oh, well.." Goku cleared his throat lightly, "..It's really simple. Everyone goes around the chairs, or chair in the case, and when the music stops the person who is able to sit in the chair first wins. Get it?" Vegeta nodded, sighing silently and wishing that they could do something with piņatas and use Yamcha as the piņata.

"Now that only leaves the matter of the music," Goku announced, "So who'd like to volunteer BESIDES you, Vegeta." The brunette glared at him and turned away, his tail bristling.

"I'll do it," Piccolo offered again.

"Great!" Goku said before explaining, "You'll simply need to hit the pause button whenever you feel it to be necessary. I think everything's set up in here, lemme check..." The younger Saijin moved towards the cabinet on the left side of the room, opening up one of the panels to reveal more electronic equipment. "Yeah, everything looks good!" Goku confirmed, showing Piccolo where the pause button was. As Piccolo put his finger over the button, everyone else got into position, except for Vegeta. "C'mon, Vegeta.. Aren't you going to play?" Goku asked, noting the prince's position.

"No, I don't really intend to," the prince replied honestly, shooting the taller man a look over his shoulder.

"But the winner will get a priiIIiize," Goku said mischievously.

"Hip hip hooray," Vegeta said as blandly as possible, "I'm leaping with joy." A new song started and the players took this as their cue to start moving. Vegeta watched as they walked around and around, glancing at each other suspiciously and grinning like idiots. 'How this is fun is beyond me,' the prince thought, '..Humans are so strange.' Vaguely the brunette shifted his attention to the song which featured a piano and a horn of some sort:

"Was the lovin' baby, that ain't all.. I'd kiss her but the gal's too tall.. Young band rhythm got a hold of me too, I got a rockin' pneumonia and a boogie woogie flu.."

Vegeta corrected himself, 'Humans are so very strange.' Abruptly, the music stopped, and all Hell broke loose. The Z Warriors all leapt for the chair, so instead, they all leapt on each other, causing a fight to break out over it. Vegeta chuckled lightly at the amazing display of stupidity they were presenting, and decided to go ahead and play the game. Stepping over the others - who were still trying to fend off everyone else and make it onto the chair themselves - Vegeta easily plopped himself into the Lay-Z-Boy and said, "I win." The pile of bodies disentangled as they grumbled complaints.

"Okay, okay.. There's no point in being a sore loser," Goku said to the others before turning to Vegeta, "I'll go get your prize." The smaller man wanted to slap himself - for he had forgotten about that part of the deal.

"You won again!" Trunks mentioned with a laugh, "You're a natural party-goer, eh, Vegeta?"

The prince looked up at him and spoke in a monotone, "Yeah, right." He suddenly felt something being pressed against his head and he leapt up and away from it, "What the..?" When he was on his feet, he saw Goku on the other side of the chair, holding a silver crown. The interesting thing about it was that someone, obviously Goku, had taped a piece of paper on one side that had the words "Game Master" written on it. "I will not wear that!" Vegeta proclaimed firmly, stepping away from the younger Saijin, thinking it would be best to try to ignore the other man.

"Ah, but..royalty wear crowns, do they not?" Goku asked politely, "So it only makes sense...Game Master."

Vegeta's tail made small uncertain moves, "Do not call me that."

Goku shrugged before smiling, "Okay, so long as you put on the crown."

Vegeta shook his head in disbelief, "There's no way you'll get me to wear that..thing...!"

Goku shrugged again, this time larger, "Okay, that's fine. You don't have to wear it...Game Master."

Vegeta growled loudly before ripping the crown from Goku's hands and swiftly placing it on his head, "There!! Are you happy now!?"

Goku smiled, trying not to laugh, "Quite." He clapped his hands to draw everyone's attention if they hadn't already been watching, "OK! Next game, people.. Make it good!"

"Pictionary?" Krillin suggested as he adjusted his hat again.

"I don't think we have the paper for that.." Goku replied, looking up in thought. A few more suggestions were made, but no one seemed to be able to come up with anything spectacular.

An idea suddenly dawned upon Trunks and he looked up, "Twister." All eyes turned to him and he repeated his idea again, "Twister."

Goku stood up, cheering loudly, "TWISTER! Alright! That's brilliant, Trunks!"

The demi-Saijin laughed, partially out of astonishment, "You have Twister? Here??"

Goku nodded as he ran off down the hall, "I'll be right back!" Vegeta, however, was trying to remember what Twister was. The name did sound vaguely familiar but he couldn't place it. Goku returned moments later with a small box in his hands. He set it down on the arm of the couch to open it all the while mentioning, "Someone will need to spin the, um..spinner thing."

Piccolo wanted to see if three times was truly a charm, "I'll do it."

Goku waved his finger disapprovingly, "Nuh uh. You haven't played one game yet."

Krillin piped up, "Yeah, but Piccolo could cheat easily. He can stretch, remember?"

Piccolo growled slightly, "Are you saying I'd cheat just because I have the ability to??"

Krillin shrugged, grinning slightly, "I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm just saying..."

Piccolo folded his arms, "Yeah, I know what you're saying. Fine, I'll spin the spinner thing."

Goku handed him the object of discussion, and then he removed the game board and unfolded it. "Twister is really easy," the black-haired Saijin stated, flattening out the plastic board as much as possible, "You'll catch on, Vegeta. Everybody ready? Good; let's go." Noticing that Goku was looking at him, Piccolo spun the pointer and waited for it to stop. He paused for a moment before he held it up for Goku to see. "Right hand red," Goku explained, kneeling down and placing his right hand on a red dot. Trunks, Krillin, and Yamcha did likewise, leaving Vegeta the only one standing. "Vegeta?" Goku queried, raising an eyebrow. With a half-sigh, half-growl the prince knelt and put his right hand on a red dot as well.

Piccolo spun again, "Left foot blue."

This continued on smoothly for a few minutes, until bodies began to become tangled. Piccolo found that it was amusing to watch all of them bending in odd ways just to win, and he thought that this was the best game they had played yet. In fact, he almost wished he had played himself. "Right foot yellow," the Namek declared, smirking when a chorus of complaints and curses replied to his announcement.

"Ack! Piccolo!" Krillin waved his one arm in the air momentarily before he said, "I can't make it! There's no way I can stretch that far!"

Piccolo smirked and leaned back into the cushions of the couch, "Well, I guess you're just going to lose then." He spun the pointer, "Left hand green."

Krillin was exasperated, "No way! I give up!" The human promptly got himself out of the mess and sat down in the chair.

Trunks laughed at the older man, "Aw, Krillin..! You're no fun!"

Krillin shook his head and folded his arms, "I'm plenty of fun...when I win."

Trunks laughed again until Piccolo said, "Right foot green." The demi-Saijin blinked as he looked over his options. "Right foot green," the Namek repeated, sounding rather smug.

"Shit!" the young man spat, trying his best to maneuver around everyone else and put his foot in the correct place.

"Ha ha!" Krillin cackled, watching in delight as Trunks strained himself, "Now you know how it feels!"

The purple-haired youth smirked, shakily giving a response, "O-oh yeah..?" Concentrating his efforts, he was able to wrap his leg around his arm so that his toes touched a green spot, "HA!"

Krillin pouted, kicking the floor in defeat, "Damn.."

Piccolo shook his head and spun again, "Left hand red."

Amazingly enough, the four participating Z warriors stayed off the ground for at least another good five minutes.

"Left foot blue," Piccolo said, watching the players move slowly and carefully.

"I can get it!" Goku announced happily, "I just need to roll myself over."

Piccolo ahemed and pointed out an important fact, "That's all and good Kakkarot, but your left hand needs to stay on red, and your right on yellow."

Goku suddenly realized all of the flaws in his plan, "Shit! Um..Okay..I can do that..." Moving as slow as molasses in winter, Goku managed to get his hands into the positions he needed them in for when he would finally flip over. "Yes! I got it!" the black-haired Saijin cheered himself on as he rolled himself over cautiously, placing his left foot on a blue dot. His eyes instantly widened and his face become bright red when he found himself looking straight at Vegeta's crotch. 'Oh my god,' Goku thought, closing his eyes to try to calm himself. He breathed deeply to relax, but found that this instead caused him to breathe in the prince's scent. Goku resisted the urge to purr, or do anything moronic at that point.

"Right hand green," he faintly heard Piccolo say. 'Right hand green,' Goku thought, trying to add structure to his scattered brains, 'Right hand green, I can do that.' But his self-assurance turned out to be incorrect, and when he reached for a green dot he felt his balance give out underneath him. Without really thinking, he felt himself first flail for balance, and then his instinct told him to find something to hold on to.

Unfortunately, there was only one thing close enough for him to grab, and before he realized what he was doing, it was already happening. As he lost control, his hands jolted up, clasping onto Vegeta's ass, which in turn pulled the brunette down on top of him, making Goku's face press against Vegeta's groin. There was a moment when he didn't think at all, and when he finally thought, the first thing that came to him was, 'Oh shit.'

Then he heard Vegeta yelling at him, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?"

Goku hesitantly released his grip, slipping out from under the prince, "I was going to fall so I just..I dunno! I grabbed onto you to stop my fall!!"

Vegeta, once let go, rolled over and sat down, "Try to use a little logic for fuck's sake! I'm spread out in an odd position, and even with my tail it's hard to balance! How in the hell did you expect me to support your weight when I could barely hold my own!?" Goku opened his mouth to reply when he saw the look on Vegeta's face. Something right then snapped, and instead of explaining himself, the younger Saijin began to laugh.

"I'm sorry, Vegeta," Goku managed to say in-between his laughter, "I wasn't thinking, really.." He laughed a bit harder, still attempting to speak, "But don't get so angry! You own the game, so you can always kick my ass later."

Vegeta nodded in approval at the notion, "Game, no. Kick you, yes."

"Are we going to finish this game or what?" Trunks asked, still holding his position.

Vegeta looked over at him and Yamcha and a smirk broke out across his face, "Yes. And I shall finish it." With ease, the prince lifted his foot and firmly placed it on Trunks' shoulder, pushing him effortlessly and forcing him into Yamcha so that both fell to the floor.

Trunks untangled himself, shooting Vegeta a vicious grin, "So you wanna play like that, huh?"

Vegeta gave a nod, his tail swaying back and forth, as if it was taunting, "Yeah, I wanna play like that." Without warning, Trunks suddenly leapt onto his father, tackling him to the ground with a mighty roar. Instantly, they were rolling around, wrestling each other in a friendly manner.

"Woo! Go, Vegeta!" Goku cheered, giving words of encouragement along the way. The party members chose sides, rooting on their fighter.

"C'mon, boy!" Vegeta said as they tumbled back and forth around the room, "Give it up!"

Trunks shook his head from time to time in an attempt to keep his bangs out of his line of vision, "Never!"

Vegeta laughed at his stubbornness, "Boy, I have an ace up my sleeve, I'll have you know!"

Trunks' eyebrows knit together in confusion, 'Is he telling the truth or is he just trying to break my concentration. If it's the latter, he's doing a good job!' His silent question was answered when he felt something soft touch his neck. "What the??" Trunks asked out loud, turning in an attempt to see what was happening.

"You lose, boy!" Vegeta declared triumphantly as he caught the demi-Saijin off guard. Holding Trunks' arms in place, he wrapped his tail around the demi-Saijin's neck. When the appendage was firmly in position, Vegeta released all other grips on him and promptly pulled Trunks down, slamming him against the ground.

Trunks gasped as his head hit the floor, not out of pain, but shock, "Holy shit!" He had noted his father's sensitivity to his tail, and had heard that it was the only weakness to the Saijins. Trunks knew now that it wasn't because the tail itself was weak, but that the tail was highly receptive to touch, which in turn made the pain more acute when damaged there.

Vegeta chuckled at him before picking him up and slamming him down again, "Mercy, boy?" Trunks' hands went to his throat, carefully trying to peel off the furry appendage. "No!" Vegeta shouted, shaking Trunks wildly as he made contact with his tail.

Being jostled around like a rag doll wasn't too fun, so Trunks decided to give in, "Alright, alright! Mercy!"

Vegeta uncoiled his tail and let the younger man fall to the floor, "Hn. You're pretty good."

Trunks gulped in air, rubbing his neck, "Yeah, thanks..." They looked at each other, both giving a smirk as a silent, mutual agreement of respect.

"Well, I think it's time for.." Goku trailed off dramatically, a grin slowly spreading across his face, "...CAKE!" There were murmurs of agreement, and the black-haired Saijin stepped away and into the kitchen. Vegeta stood up, removing his crown as Goku left the room.

"I wonder what kind of cake it is," Krillin said aloud, then asked, "What type of cake do you like, Vegeta?" The prince shook his head, taking a seat on the couch. As it was, he had no preference when it came to certain types of foods, like sweets. He didn't eat much of them simply out of habit.

After a minute or so, Goku's muffled voice sang, "Happy birthday to you..Happy birthday to you..Happy birthday..."

Vegeta wanted to clamp his hands over his ears, either that or leave the room, 'Is that idiot trying to embarrass me, or kill me with his tone deaf singing!?'

Goku nearly burst from the swinging doors, carrying a humongous cake, "...DEAR VE-GE-TAA!! ....Haaappy birthhhday toooo yooooou!!" All the brunette felt like doing at the moment was punching him in the face, and it was quite tempting when the others began to applaud him.

Goku set the cake down on top of the coffee table, to let everyone look at the delicious creation. It was a multilayered cake, but there was a number of interesting things about it: the first being that it was a cheese cake, the second that the layers were pentagonal instead of circular, the third was that normal candles did not adorn the top - but rather - one large oddly shaped one, and lastly was the writing, which proclaimed "Konav Rochatiev-atatu Vegeta sha Saijin Jakaht!". The prince had to admit it looked pretty impressive. "Well?" Goku asked while beaming with pride. He folded his arms and examined Vegeta's expression.

"Holy shit," the prince replied with half of a laugh. "You..You made this, Kakkarot?" he asked, his tone insistent.

"Well..I had help," the black-haired man admitted, looking a little sheepish, "King Kai read the instructions to me and he helped me spell too."

"What's that mean?" Piccolo inquired, gesturing to the candle and strange writing.

Vegeta cleared his throat lightly, translating, "Happy birthday, Vegeta. The candle tells..my age."

Piccolo raised an eye ridge, smirking slyly, "Oh? So what number is that?"

Vegeta turned his head to the side and shrugged, "The number? Why.. Hotakkei-eti-Oketerehcho, of course."

"Oh, of course," the Namek retorted with sarcasm and a smirk.

Krillin clasped his hands together, smiled warmly, and spoke up, "Well then, happy..hotaco-ehtye-okerecoth..birthday, Vegeta."

The brunette looked over at the bald-headed human as he attempted to speak Saijin. "Uh, Krillin..? There's no tacos involved," Goku corrected him, trying hard not to laugh, "It's ho..Hotakkei, not hotaco."

Vegeta nodded, feeling elated that the black-haired man was able to speak their native tongue so well, "And it's eti-Oketerehcho, not ehtye-okereco. You butcher the Saijin language into...names of Asian gas stations."

Krillin had to laugh at the analogy, "Holy shit! If I didn't know better I'd say you just made a joke!" Vegeta tipped his head down so he looked the monk directly in the eyes without the slightest trace of a humor on his face. "Right," Krillin said, "I'll just shut up."

Vegeta chuckled, "Actually..I was just messing with you. I don't expect you to get my language correct after hearing it only once. You did rather well, in all respect."

"Really?" Krillin looked up at him with hope in his eyes.

"It's just that.." Vegeta tried not to laugh, "What you did say in Saijin was nothing even close to a number."

"Oh?"

"Hotakoh. Et-tye. Okeraco. Elderly fish sideways, I do believe," the prince tried so hard not to laugh.

"What!?" the small man was befuddled, "How can that make that much of a difference??"

"It's the difference between better and butter for example. One letter is all it takes."

Goku decided to interrupt them, "Hey, Vegeta? Can you blow out the candle? It's sorta getting the cake full of wax.."

Vegeta sighed silently, sitting up and leaning over, "Oh, alright.."

Goku suddenly waved his hands frantically as the prince gathered in a deep breath, "Wait! Wait!"

Vegeta growled lowly, starting to get irritated, "Now what?"

Goku smiled rather nervously as he noted Vegeta's lack of patience, "You need to make a wish. Oh! And don't say what it is, otherwise it won't come true."

Vegeta couldn't believe his ears, 'Earthlings have such strange traditions.' He decided that it would be pointless to argue so he paused for a moment to think up a stupid wish. If he was going to do it..might as well do it properly. Finally, he leaned forward and blew out the candle with ease. As the others clapped politely.,Vegeta shook his head and sat back, hoping that all the embarrassing ceremonies were through.

"Krillin, would you assist me?" Goku requested, resting his hand on his friend's shoulder.

"Huh? Yeah, sure, Goku," the monk replied, a bit confused as he entered the kitchen with the other Z warrior.

"So, do you like cheese cake?" Piccolo decided to ask the Saijin prince as curiosity got the best of him.

"Uh..." Vegeta really wasn't sure what to say in response, "..It's...edible." The Namek chuckled, reaching out and plucking the candle from the cake. A bit of cake came off and stuck to the bottom of the candle, which Piccolo licked off.

"Mm," the green-skinned man gave a nod, "Well, I think you'll like this."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow, giving Piccolo a sideways glance, "I'm not sure about that. Kakkarot, I would think, eats food better than he'd make it."

Piccolo set the candle down beside the cake, "Okay, don't take my word for it. I think you'll just be pleasantly surprised." Krillin then came back into the room, carrying a box that had paper cups and various bottles of beverages in it. He set the box down on the ground next to the coffee table; and as he began taking items out, Goku joined him with setting up, bringing paper plates and plastic silverware. As Krillin began to pour drinks, Goku carefully took off the top layer of the cake and placed it on a plate.

"Here you are, Vegeta," the black-haired Saijin said, handing it to him. Vegeta took the plate, admiring the craftsmanship that was put into the simple phrase on top.

Suddenly, Goku shouted out, "Eat up!!" The next thing Vegeta knew was that he had a face full of cheese cake and there was laughter all around him.

The prince sputtered with anger and wiped ivory cream away from his eyes, "Kakkarot!! What in the hell do you think you're doing!?" Growling, the brunette reached forward and grabbed a fist full of cheese cake. He threw it at Goku, beaning him right in the side of the face.

"Ah! No, Vegeta!" Goku laughed, wiping some of the stuff off, "Such a waste of good food!" The younger Saijin proceeded to eat the said food off of his hands, "Mmm!" Vegeta got a hold of Goku's shirt, his fingers grabbing the material tightly. "Uh..?" Goku made a questionative noise, a swarm of butterflies consuming his stomach as he observed the position they were in. Abruptly, Vegeta pulled him close, rubbing his face against Goku's spotless black shirt. The prince let go of the black-haired man, his face now clean, and Goku's shirt a mess. He smirked before kicking him to the side, Goku tumbling and crashing like a ton of bricks from the unexpected attack.

"Jerk," Vegeta chuckled, almost grinning, "Just for that stunt.. no cake for you."

Goku pushed himself up, "Oh c'mon! I made that cake!" Vegeta ignored him and reached forward, cutting himself another plate sized piece.

As he sat back and took his first bite, the prince said, "Don't let Kakkarot have any. If he tries to get some I give you the permission to stop him at all costs." Goku sat on the floor and pouted as everyone else got dessert. After a moment though, the black-haired Saijin got off the floor and disappeared around the corner. A light conversation started up as people ate, and the overall mood in the room was rather light. Vegeta was feeling a bit relaxed, and though he wouldn't admit to even himself, he was enjoying the company of others. Suddenly, Vegeta's plate was taken away from him by two hands from above. The prince looked up to meet the smiling face of his fellow Saijin.

"Time to open presents," Goku explained, putting a gift into Vegeta's hands and taking a large bite out of the piece of cake.

The prince took the item in his hand and looked it over for a moment. Carefully he found the edges, unwrapping it with great care. "Just rip it off," Trunks suggested, finding it amusing that for such an unorganized person, his father would chose to be cautious with wrapping paper.

Vegeta sighed before ripping it off in one good swipe, "Happy now? Oh goody, I got a box." The brunette couldn't resist the smirk that curved his lips.

"Open the box, Vegeta," Goku said, talking with his mouth full.

The prince stole the plate back, "I said no cake for you." He passed the food to Piccolo who secretly gave it back to Goku as Vegeta become preoccupied with his present. Lifting the lid of the box, the prince was greeted with a piece of black fabric. He lifted the object up to examine it and instantly he shook his head.

"What is it?" Krillin asked, unable to see what it was. Vegeta turned it around to show that - over the chest, in huge white letters - it proclaimed "FUCK?". Trunks burst out laughing, wondering if this shirt was worse than the pink one that had been given to him. "Brutal!" Krillin declared, taking a drink of his grape soda.

"Very nice," Yamcha said, holding up his glass as if he was toasting to the shirt.

"Well, I thought it was only fitting..." Goku trailed off with a grin crossing his face. "Because now we match!" the younger Saijin announced happily, removing his top shirt to reveal another one underneath. He had obviously slipped it on when he disappeared out of the room. Laughter and applause erupted as Goku showed off his shirt, which said, in the same bold white letters, "FUCK!".

"Oh god," Vegeta grumbled, snatching the nearest present and wishing to get it all over with as soon as possible.

"That's from Krillin," Goku mentioned, sitting on the back of the couch and looking over Vegeta's shoulder.

"Marvelous," the prince said, ripping the paper as he had been instructed to do so earlier. Inside was a small leather briefcase, and with his previous experience of items being hidden in other items, he unlatched the case and opened it. Instantly, he smirked as his eyes looked across the rows of cigarette packs, neatly lined and organized. Clearing his throat, Vegeta latched the case and put it to the side, "Hn. I approve..Krillin."

The bald-headed human perked up, "Huh? What? Oh. You're welcome!"

Vegeta picked up the next one, "From Gohan, huh?" The demi-Saijin nodded shyly as the prince tore away the paper. Free of the material, a book was presented to him.

"I know it's..nerdy of me," Gohan admitted with a slight blush, "But I thought maybe you'd find it interesting..? It's too difficult for me though..." Vegeta flipped through some of the pages, pausing every so often to look at the complex mathematical equations. Not exactly knowing the earth-standard, and having also noted that it (the standard) did vary in different regions, the brunette did come to the conclusion that one way or the other, it was an advanced book.

"The thought is appreciated," Vegeta spoke honestly, "and I will look at it closer later." Gohan flushed with satisfaction.

"This one's from me," Piccolo said as he pulled out a box from under the couch. It was obvious this was preplanned. Vegeta took the large object, his eyebrows knitting in curiosity and confusion. He repeated the process of opening it, getting more confused when something inside reflected in the light. Quickly, the prince disposed of the rest of the paper, his expression turning to one of shock when the entire object was uncovered.

The reflectiveness was due to the fact that the gift was made of metal. It was a statue, only two feet high at most, of an elderly looking Namek and a very regal looking Saijin. The brunette felt something strange compress in his chest as he let his hands run across the fine piece of art. "It's a representation of the friendship bond between the Namekian race and the Saijin race," Piccolo explained, "Dende and I made it. We thought it seemed right to use Guru, our ancestor, and King Vegeta, since they were both the leaders of our races."

Vegeta nodded, running his finger tips over the representation of his king, "Father had a beard though. Well, a mustache too, so I guess that makes it a goatee." He looked over the statue a final time, noting once more how Guru and King Vegeta clasped each other's wrists. The implications behind the scene was what mattered the most. Piccolo was basically emphasizing the friendship he felt with Vegeta, something that meant more to Vegeta than the statue itself.

Carefully, the brunette moved the object to the side, and he whispered low enough for only the Namek to hear, "Thank you, Piccolo."

Yamcha picked up his present and passed it to Vegeta, giving the prince a nod. Vegeta, curious as to what drink he exactly received, opened it to be pleasantly surprised with a high class brand of wine. Vegeta almost purred with delight. It was an expensive bottle, and he couldn't wait to open it up and try it - but he decided that right then was not the best time and he set it down for later, "Nice choice."

Trunks looked up at Goku and the black-haired Saijin gave him a nod. Hesitantly, the demi-Saijin nudged his gift towards his father, clearing his throat slightly. "Another one?" Vegeta asked, raising an eyebrow slightly. As he picked up the box, however, he instantly felt something was odd. Something inside of the box wasn't dangerous, but it was nagging at him. His eyes narrowed and he glanced between the gift and Trunks. The young man smiled nervously, and even went as far as to blush a bit from embarrassment.

Slowly, the prince peeled off the wrapping paper, keeping his eyes locked with the sky blue ones that gazed at him with uncertainty. Finally, he looked down at the small box which concealed whatever item Trunks was giving him. Vegeta lifted the lid and peered inside, gripping the cardboard a bit tighter as he did. His lips parted slightly and his eyebrows furrowed as he reached inside and pulled out a small object which resembled half of a bangle bracelet. The entire semi-circle did not look like a piece of jewelry though, but rather a high tech piece of machinery confined to a barely large enough space. "What..?" Vegeta asked lowly, holding the object up to look at it more closely.

"Here.." Trunks offered, moving around the table to kneel before the brunette. "Sit up," the demi-Saijin instructed, taking the semi-circle and fiddling with it for a moment. Vegeta complied, watching Trunks every step of the way. The purple-haired man placed his gift near Vegeta's left hip, and after a moment, the circle was completed by a golden glowing band. Vegeta looked at it for a minute before running his hand through it, feeling a fuzzy sensation run over his skin where the glow touched him.

"It's ki," the prince stated out loud in astonishment.

"Yeah," Trunks agreed, starting to explain the technicalities, "I made...well, it's...it's a ki..blade hilt...you know..for your..sword."

Vegeta felt a smirk break out across his face which quickly turned into a grin, "This is a fine set up you have made here, boy. Very impressive combination of technology and inborn traits." Closing his eyes briefly, Vegeta opened them as he curled his hand into a loose fist, the royal sword appearing in the air. The brunette stood and tested his new present, finding it suitable to his needs. "Venashido," Vegeta proclaimed before dismissing his weapon and the hilt, "You have fine skills, Trunks." The younger man beamed with pride and happiness. It was also partially saddening that he would never be able to please his "real" father the way he had just pleased this one.

"Hey, what time is it?" Krillin abruptly asked, glancing around the room for a clock.

Yamcha took a glance at his watch, "About five-thirty."

The bald-headed Z Fighter shot up instantly, "Are you serious!? Oh, man! I have a date with Eighteen at six!"

Gohan spoke up as he finished off the cake on his plate, "And mom wanted me home for dinner."

Yamcha placed his hand on Gohan's shoulder, "Don't worry kid, I'll take you home. That way Krillin won't have to deal with more woman problems."

Krillin tried to look smug even though he blushed, "Well, I seem to be having better luck than you. You know..for a player you don't do that well, Yamcha."

The desert bandit shook his head and wagged a finger, "Ah, ah, ah... Just you wait, man..just you wait."

Vegeta cleared his throat as he stood again, "Well, I for one am relieved that you all are leaving. I want you out of my house before you disrupt its wonderful balance of organization. I haven't had a clean room in quite a while and I want to enjoy it before I fuck it up. So if you don't mind, Trunks and Piccolo, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

Trunks laughed at the statement, carefully backing away, "Hey. I think I know when I'm not wanted." The purple-haired boy waved towards Goku, motioning for him to join him outside. They stepped out into the forest a short distance from the house as Yamcha, Gohan, and Krillin went on their separate ways.

"Hey Trunks, what's up?" Goku asked as they stopped along the tree line.

As Trunks looked over Goku's shirt again he had to resist the urge to laugh, but he calmed himself for the conversation. He attempted to speak nonchalantly as he asked, "So, when are you going to make your move?"

The black-haired Saijin felt all the color leave him only to flood back and attack his cheeks, "Trunks, what makes you think-"

The purple-haired time traveler held up his hand, silencing the older man, "Besides the fact that you nearly drool over him? And the expression you made when you were buried in his crotch, you mean?" Goku suddenly felt like it was too hot for what he was wearing but he refrained from trying to cool himself off as his cheeks burned brighter. "Piccolo and I had a talk," Trunks explained, "He basically confirmed what I already suspected."

Goku managed to swallow as his gaze focused on the ground momentarily, "Yeah, well..."

Trunks placed a hand on Goku's upper arm, squeezing lightly, "Hey, it's ok. Don't be embarrassed. I wanted to tell you to go for it, in fact."

The taller man shot him a surprised look, "Trunks!"

The demi-Saijin winked, chuckling at the scene Goku was making, "Hey..I'm being pretty serious here. You and Vegeta have something really..special going on, and I think it's just about time Vegeta knew something about it. Other than that, I just wanted to tell you best of luck and I hope you have a wonderful night."

He turned to leave and Goku shouted out, "Just what did you and Piccolo discuss exactly!?" As Trunks lifted himself into the air, Goku only heard laughter as he faded off into the distance.

After Vegeta's son was gone, Piccolo emerged from the front door with brunette behind him. "Have a good night, Prince Vegeta," the Namek said, extending his forearm.

"Hn. Perhaps," the elder smirked, clasping Piccolo's arm as the green-skinned man did likewise to him. Piccolo waved to Goku who waved back almost absent-mindedly until his friend took to the air.

"Wait!" Goku called out, "What did you tell Trunks?!" The Namek looked back in shock before releasing a rich laugh and waving again, fading into the distance like Trunks had.

It was then Goku realized that he was alone with Vegeta. He felt the gaze of his prince and met it, offering a smile. Vegeta returned the smile but it soon fell. "What's the matter?" Goku asked as he approached the brunette.

"Honestly.." the prince said, thinking over his words, "I am uncertain of what to make of all of this."

Goku raised an eyebrow, "All of what?"

Vegeta lifted his hands, gesturing to the house, "This. All of this. I just...don't understand how..they could change their mind so easily. They hate me one moment and treat me like a friend the next."

Goku found himself feeling a bit defensive, "They never hated you, Vegeta."

The brunette looked up into the taller man's eyes before looking away, "Yeah, right..."

Goku slammed his palm against the door, trapping Vegeta between his body and the wall, "Yeah. Right." Vegeta's looked up in shock. "Now.." Goku spoke softly, taking his hand off of the door casually, "..let's go play some pool."

They went down the hall and into the guest room, which was a more interesting type of guest room than most houses contained. The walls were littered with street signs and neon lights advertising different alcoholic beverages. A small bar rested in the one corner, complete with a limited set of drinks ready for use. In the center of the room was a pool table, looking sleek and elegant under the dark green shaded lamp that hung directly above it. To the other side of the room was a large hammock, which was obviously for the guest to sleep on. Protruding from the wall next to it was a shelf, complete with an alarm clock and book light. Directly against the far wall was a remodeled computer desk that had a stereo system and a mirror.

Underneath the desk was a trunk that was large enough to hold a person's belongings, but small enough to open fully while staying in its current position. Matching couches faced the pool table - these older in appearance with a plaid design of browns and greens. Between the one couch and the bar stood a rack for the pool sticks, all of them different in design, but each expressing good quality. "Okay, to play pool you-" Goku began before Vegeta picked up a pool stick, interrupting him.

"I know how to play," the prince announced, sounding rather proud of himself.

"Oh, I see," Goku grinned, picking out a stick for himself, "Then why don't you show me how it's done?"

Vegeta proceeded to do just as Goku had tauntingly told him to, proving that when it came to certain subjects, Vegeta was simply better. He aimed and shot, breaking apart the triangle of balls, and even managing to sink two. Round after round, the prince showed that he was talented in this particular area, and Goku could of sworn he had to have been playing for at least a year with practice, but he knew this wasn't the case. There was also a very good chance that Goku's score would have been significantly higher if he hadn't let his concentration be broken by the alluring images of his prince when he leaned over to take a shot.

Every time Vegeta bent himself over, his tail would sway and curl without a sense of direction, making Goku's mind go hazy as he imagined many naughty scenarios involving the pool table. It didn't matter to Goku that the jeans that Vegeta were wearing were his, and certainly too baggy for the brunette. All Goku really knew was that Vegeta looked nearly irresistible in the soft glow of the room and the complimentary colors he wore.

That paired with the fact that occasionally the angle that Vegeta happened to lean over at allowed him to see down his shirt. Goku instantly blushed at the notion of looking down a man's shirt. It seemed almost absurd to him, even though he definitely liked what he saw. The constant distractions took their toll on the black-haired Saijin, and he found himself slightly amiss as Vegeta called left corner pocket, and sunk the eight ball. "Kakkarot, you are barely a challenge," the prince stated as he cleaned up his pool stick and returned it to the rack, "but you have excellent taste for one who lives out in the middle of nowhere."

Goku put up his stick as well, fiddling with it a bit, "Yeah. Yeah, I suppose..." He stared off into space, making Vegeta a bit curious as to what he was thinking about. "Hey Vegeta?" Goku suddenly asked, finally freeing his hands of the pool stick.

The prince raised an eyebrow before giving a response, "Yes, Kakkarot?"

The black-haired man smiled lightly, "Do you.... Would you..like to go on a walk with me? I really want to talk to you about some things." Vegeta's eyebrows came together as he merely looked at the other Saijin for nearly an entire minute straight.

Finally, the brunette replied, "Okay."

SAIJIN SAYINGS: A List of Made-Up Words and Phrases This Chapter and Their Translations
toushtatae- (n) a more offensive degree of the word 'bastard' [non-Saijin]
"Preh Vegeta sha Saijin Jakaht uru Preh Proch."- "I am Vegeta the Prince of Saijins, but I am me."
"Konav Rochatiev-atatu Vegeta sha Saijin Jakaht!"- "Happy Birthday, Vegeta (the Prince of Saijins)!"
Hotakkei-eti-Oketerehcho- the Saijin number that corresponds with Vegeta's current age
hotakoh- (adj) 'elderly'
et-tye- (n) 'fish' [the dash indicates that it is a two syllable word]
okeraco- (adj/adv) 'sideways'
venashido- (adj) 'magnificent'

Part Ten: d | Back
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