THANK YOU: Skip. Worship Skip. Without Skip, this chapter would've taken even longer to write. Pay homage to the almighty Skip. I do. ^___^

Pandora's Box: Chapter 11
aka Retreating to Regret

"Fake, you're a counterfeit, fake/
You know that we figured you out/
And I'm sick of you too/"

-Limp Bizkit "Counterfeit" (Lethal Dose Extreme Guitar Mix)

He once again made the slow transition between blissful sleep and consciousness. It was unlike other mornings where he was accustomed to experiencing a pounding headache, painfully heavy eyelids, and a brutal ache in his entire body. There only existed a pleasant well-rested feeling and a dull soreness in his muscles. He unraveled his tail from whatever it was wrapped around and stretched it, fluffing the fur out before letting it smooth back to normal. Finally deciding to leave his subconscious, the prince inhaled deeply, opening his eyes.

Immediately he froze, his stomach twisting in intricate knots. His eyes locked onto the figure next to him as shock coursed through his veins. Vegeta felt his cheeks burn as the memories of the previous night came flooding back to him. It was then he was all too aware of the heavy scent which hung in the air like a perfume - the overwhelming mixture of perspiration, and another which the brunette would thereafter be able to recognize: sex. It was also then that he noticed that the arm of his fellow Saijin was around his waist. Vegeta scrambled back out of the bed, watching as Goku made a slight noise of disappointment and continued on sleeping. His tail wrapped around his waist as, for the first time in a long time, he felt completely terrified.

His eyes darted around, looking for something to ease his panic, and he spotted the doorway on the other side of the room. Vegeta silently raced inside, shutting the door carefully as to not awaken the black-haired man. He shivered as the cold air finally began to effect his body. He spun around and examined his surroundings.

In an instant, he was in the shower, cold water cascading over his skin. He grabbed a washcloth and bar of soap and began to lather up, scrubbing away the evidence of the act he'd participated in. He kept washing and re-washing until the water scoured him, and even then he did not stop. 'What have I done!?' he asked himself over and over, ignoring his hair as it fell in front of his eyes, 'God..What have I done!?' He remembered the way Kakkarot touched him, how it had been in all the same places his kidnappers had touched him..but with Kakkarot he hadn't felt the instinctual need to escape, the taintedness of it all. With Kakkarot it had felt...

Vegeta could no longer support himself, and he fell to his knees, his arms wrapping around himself. His stomach trembled violently as he recalled what happened after the touches. Kakkarot had been intimate with him - more intimate than Vegeta had ever experienced, had even thought of experiencing. He'd never even once considered that someone would want to be with him in any type of relationship, and so he had never wished to be in a relationship.

But the current situation had changed rapidly between the two Saijins, and Vegeta had to wonder why he'd done anything with the other man. His willingness to Goku surprised even himself. And Goku's bewildering desire had also been unexpected. And now he had had sex with Kakkarot. Now, his virginity was gone. Bitter, hot, shameful tears built up in his eyes, his muscles tightening, the soreness taunting him and his grave mistake. He'd given away the last bit of innocence he'd retained and he'd never, ever, get it back. He felt humiliated, again, and the tears came, and for the first time ever, he let them.


Goku yawned and stretched his entire body. He inhaled deeply and spread himself out across the bed. Vegeta wasn't present, but he heard the shower running and told himself not to worry. He stared up at the ceiling, letting his throat burst out a content purr. God, he felt so good... Vegeta's scent wafted around him, causing the events of the last night to repeat themselves in his head. He closed his eyes as a look of bliss crossed his face. Having sex with Vegeta was like a dream come true. To be with a partner that wouldn't break easily was pure joy. Sure there was the pressure to please, but he was pretty sure he had done well for how Vegeta had been screaming and moaning his head off. His purr turned enthusiastic, his vocal chords itching for use. He felt as if he could sing, but he couldn't think of any song off the top of his head.

His head was rather one-tracked at the moment and it was revolving around his prince. He rolled over onto his stomach, letting his purr calm into a quiet rumble. He blinked as he realized what he was staring at: the back board of the bed. Two of the bars were bent and slightly indented. He knew instantly that Vegeta had done it the previous night and he probably didn't even realize he'd done it. His lips upturned into a smile as he remembered the relaxed features of Vegeta's face as he slept. He then blushed as he remembered the flushed face of the same man, screaming his name in ecstasy. Goku inhaled deeply, sharply, trying to restrain his body.

Chi-chi had never screamed like that. Chi-chi had never tossed her head back and forth. Chi-chi had never wrapped her legs around his waist, trying to participate. It had always been about her, her, her and how he was supposed to do everything for her. Sex was more of a chore than anything when he'd been with his wife. He sighed as he opened his eyes, staring blankly off into space. That was one way to get rid of an erection, he thought to himself. He then decided perhaps it was time to get up. He stood and stretched, running his hands through his unruly mop of hair. He needed a shower, no doubt, after all he'd been through since his last one, and he decided that joining Vegeta didn't sound like too bad of an idea...

..Until the prince came out of the bathroom, wrapped in a large towel that covered him from chest to knee, only being held up by the Saijin's hands. Vegeta paused and felt his cheeks flush slightly before he marched over to the dresser to get some clothes. Goku smiled and shook his head, merely trotting into the shower to see if any hot water was left. Hearing the water run, Vegeta was finally safe to curse in a variety of foreign languages. He threw open the drawer and grabbed a pair of underwear, not bothering to pay it any attention. He only noted that he'd grabbed a pair of briefs when he jammed them on, scrounging up an outfit from loitering various drawers. Only after he had finished slipping on a pair of socks did he finally notice he was nearly hyperventilating.

He cast a look over at the painting on the far wall, thinking, 'What would you think of me now?' His breath began to return to him as his mind raced, spitting out option after option, only to reject them all. He actually fancied the idea of running, but then Goku threw open the bathroom door, rubbing a towel against his ebony locks, apparently oblivious to his own nudity. Vegeta clenched his teeth and looked elsewhere.

The black-haired man finally opted to drop the towel and just shake his hair out. He paused when he felt apprehension from the brunette. He stopped, turned to him, and smiled, "Morning, Vegeta." The prince felt his lips curl back into a sneer, which the other man thought to be rather sarcastic and laughed at it. Goku approached him and Vegeta felt his tail coil around his own waist.

Leaning over, Goku simply placed a kiss on his cheek before grabbing the smaller man in an embrace. Vegeta was stunned as arms encircled him, holding him close. He stared blankly with his head resting on Goku's chest, just listening to the soothing thump of his heartbeat. "You're incredible, do you know that?" Goku whispered into his ear, sighing contently. Vegeta's face burned, his stomach trembling in pain. He begged to the gods for a way out of his situation.

And then the phone rang. Goku drew back and went to go answer it, Vegeta then noting the lack of the appliance in the main bed room. With the other Saijin out of the room, Vegeta found air rushing into his lungs. He leaned against the dresser for support, running a hand through his hair, pausing to tug on the strands. This all felt too insanely...okay.

This had to be stopped, one way, or the other..

As the prince listened to Goku happily chitter away in the other room, he made a decision. The familiar, ever-welcomed feeling rose within him once again. The maelstrom of humiliation brought upon the knowledge that this was his fault. He was careless, and now he was burned, and burned like he'd never been before. He had lost his family, "friends", allies, planet, innocence, life, pride, and now, his virginity as well. With this realized, he sadly came to conclusion that everything good inside of him was decaying or dead. He was tainted.

Now, the man who had started his obsession, the man who caused him to realize his failure, and the man who killed his pride, was the same man he shared something exceedingly personal and intimate, and he'd never, ever, be able to change that. And the back of his mind whispered, 'Do you know what he's going to do now?' Vegeta felt himself physically shake, his hands curling into fists so tight the muscles began to protest. Fuck the last how many years of his life. Fuck drinking. Fuck smoking. Fuck the Earthlings. And especially fuck Kakkarot.

Vegeta flushed as he noticed the poor choice in wording, but found that this only added to the burning desire that clawed at him, like it had so much recently. On Kakkarot's birthday, then a few days later at Kami's, then later still, the fight with Cell, and now, again. It made too much sense. Kakkarot was present each of the times he'd been consumed by the fulfillment. It was too coincidental. The hall seemed to echo, and then increase the volume of Goku's voice as he jabbered on and on with whoever it was on the line. With a glance towards his favorite, and most disliked picture in the room - favorite because it reminded him of better times, and hated for the very same reason - he thought, 'I have put my entire race to shame.' As he heard the one-sided conversation end, and footsteps approach the room, Vegeta did what he could to control his ki. He wondered what he would do; he had no idea how to act when the black-haired hero returned.

Rapidly, almost too quickly, Vegeta imagined Goku coming around the corner and seeing a Super Saijin holding a ki blast in his direction. How simple it would be to destroy this cretin when Cell passed away after three meager blows! Kakkarot was no match for Cell, and therefore no match for Vegeta - oh how blissfully easy it would be! He could nearly hear his throat bursting with an excited purr at the demise of his fellow Saijin. The sheer level of which the younger trusted the elder could only be described as complete stupidity, and - ho! It wasn't the prince's fault if the only way to rectify the current situation was to blow Kakkarot's brains out and make him modern art. In a half second, Vegeta stumbled, almost letting himself call upon that ability to transform. Memory called to him, spoiling him further: Yes, he was going to kill the last of his kind. And, oh yes, it was going to feel so good. The time it took to dream up the simple solution was near frightening to the brunette, and he pushed it away before he dwelled on it any longer.

And then, Goku appeared in the doorway, smiling brightly. Vegeta felt as if he was going to burst, until he noticed the smile just wasn't a smile in general, but a smile directed towards him. It was unnerving, and the prince refused to gaze at Goku any longer, especially since he was nude. "What's the matter?" the light voice asked in a concerned manner.

"Get dressed," Vegeta growled, folding his arms and letting his fingers dig into his skin. He hoped he wouldn't bleed, because then he'd really be pestered. And who knew what would happen if he was pestered.

"Oh, okay," was all Goku said in response.

He heard the dresser drawers opening and closing, and the rustling of clothes. He could envision that little voice, that little...past version of himself, tapping a finger against his cheek sarcastically while remarking, "What to do, what to do...low level moron not expecting revenge, what to do..." What to do, indeed, especially since the said moron wrapped his arms around him, purring like there wasn't a care in the world. Vegeta stiffened.

"What is it?" Goku asked, drawing back. The Prince of Saijins said nothing. Goku let his arms fall to his sides, and slowly, with a hint of sadness and disappointment he asked, "I didn't hurt you, did I?" Vegeta's first reaction was to laugh, but he held it down. Of course he had hurt him! He'd been hurting him for years! Goku was like a professional hurt machine, with his sole purpose to cause his prince utterly obsessive torture of which would never be neither forgiven nor forgotten. As he opened his mouth to say something, the gentle voice behind him persisted. "Oh god, if I did...I didn't mean to, I thought..I thought you were enjoying it too," Goku's voice edged panic, but he composed, "I wasn't sure what to do, I just....I'd never been know...I..."

For some reason Vegeta couldn't stand the tones; the soft apologetic murmurs that met his ears were simply too frustrating. That coupled with the fact that Goku was referring to their intimate session last night threw him off guard. "No! It only hurt for a little bit, but otherwise it was fine!" Vegeta spat out, not even paying attention to his own words.

He felt relief from the other Saijin, but the unguarded thoughts were mutely heard by the brunette, 'Only just fine?' He slammed down his mind at the dejection the other man had aimed at himself. Kakkarot, whether he liked to admit it or not, was right. It wasn't just "fine", it was.....

Vegeta forced himself to face reality, which he seemed to have been avoiding his entire life. Sex with Kakkarot wasn't just "fine", it was, in all honesty, the best damn thing he'd ever felt in his miserable putrid existence, and by god....he'd never admit it, but he'd wipe out galaxy clusters just to have his brains fucked out again. Then again, he'd destroy more than a few measly galaxy clusters to prevent just that from occurring.

Goku shrugged and announced, "Well, Android Seventeen's throwing a big party, kind of like an apology of sorts for wanting to destroy the world. So everyone's headed to Capsule Corp to eat, hang out, and watch Yamcha's baseball game. I think it'll be fun, not to mention free food. They'll be starting soon, so we better hurry!" Beaming, the other man went in search of his shoes, leaving Vegeta to come to grips with this chosen fate.

There was no "Would you like to go?", it was simply "We better hurry!". His entire choice and opinion in the matter had been revoked. The assumption that the prince would want to go wasn't only appalling, but degrading. What more, it was at Capsule Corp, and Kakkarot surely knew of his hatred of Zarbon and his blue-haired bitch. Vegeta suddenly found the reasoning behind all of his turmoil - he'd indulged, he'd partaken in the ultimate sin of taking innocence, while simultaneously losing his own. Yes, now it was too clear. The homage was too good for him.


"Hey guys!" Goku called out, waving to the group as he and Vegeta walked towards them.

"Goku!" Krillin replied, grinning broadly, "Glad you could make it!"

The black-haired Saijin gave his friend a pat on the back, "Me too! Sorry if we're a bit late, we slept in." Trunks, who couldn't help but let himself eavesdrop, instantly choked on his soda. "Trunks, you okay?" Goku asked as he heard the young man hacking. The teen nodded, excusing himself to go cough elsewhere. "So, what's the score?" Goku asked as he searched for the nearest snack item.

"Tied right now," Krillin said, retaking his seat.

Goku munched on a handful of cheese puffs, "Weewy? 'Oo. 'Amka 'ill sckike 'em ow."

The bald warrior laughed, "Man, Goku..hasn't anyone ever told you to not talk with your mouth full?"

Goku swallowed and smiled sheepishly, "Heh, yeah...Chi-chi."

Krillin chuckled, watching Goku grab another heaping handful, "Of course."

"Okay you carbon-based life forms," Seventeen said as he entered the room, "Here's the real food."

Vegeta's mind suddenly ensnared itself into a minor detail it had overlooked before, "Wait a second! Aren't you dead??"

That crisp, enraging voice answered him, "Well, while you were off getting smashed or whatever the Hell it was you've been doing - we've been doing some productive things here over the past three days."

...Three days was all it took to undo him. Three days to become what he denied and loathed. No more.

Growling, Vegeta turned and stormed down the hall, but he'd gotten no farther than four yards when a hand gripped him. "Vegeta, calm down," Goku said softly, his eyes begging, pleading. It was as if the man had no backbone at all, and was a spineless chicken shit Vegeta snarled as his most common companion forced thought aside as if it wasn't a necessity.

"Why should I? Give me one good reason!" Vegeta demanded, twisting himself out of Goku's restraints.

"Because we're at a party," Goku said simply, becoming exasperated by the prince's sudden defensive posture.

"Let's keep with tradition then, shall we?" Vegeta clipped his words, making them bitterly short. Goku sighed, having no idea what to say. So instead, he didn't say anything.

He dipped his head down and kissed him tenderly, "Look. You can be honest with me. Does this have to do with last night?" Vegeta said nothing. "Did I rush you?" Goku asked, his black eyes empathetic.

'Did I rush you?' Vegeta repeated the question in his head.

From the depths of his being, Vegeta couldn't deny the horrific answer that yes, this had to do with what occurred the previous night. He also could not ignore all the other accounts of calamity that had happened within the most recent year of his life. He was doing much better trying to see how many bottles of Jack Daniel's he could chug before he blacked out than when the others took an interest to his life. Things used to be so simple, and now they were so muddled up he couldn't tell the difference between left and right.

Goku placed his hands on Vegeta's shoulders, gently rubbing his thumbs across the clothed skin. "Please," he whispered, leaning over to look the prince in the eyes, "Tell me." Vegeta said nothing. "Phu Jakaht..." Goku released the phrase as a breathless whine. It was enough. It was one thing to be concerned for another to a degree, but this was just pathetic!

"I-" Before Vegeta could finish, or truly begin, a mouth sealed over his own, a tongue effectively silencing him. He reacted how he initially did when being kissed - he did not respond. Just then, an ear-piercing shriek stopped all activities in the house, especially the one shared between the two Saijins seeing as it was the shriek came from just down the hall from them.

"GOKU! Wh-Wh-What are you doing!?" Chi-chi screamed in absolute revulsion.

"Chi-chi!?" Goku only managed to say as he was caught red-handed. Vegeta took the distraction to his benefit and he backed up, away from everyone, especially Kakkarot.

"What do you think you're doing kissing him!?" his wife bellowed at the top of her lungs. This outburst drew a crowd, so instead of just one, Goku was going to have to answer them all. Vegeta expected him to make up some lame ass story and beg for forgiveness, but he was instead surprised when Goku talked in a calm, steady voice.

"Why does one kiss another, Chi-chi?" Goku more stated than asked. He paused, as if expecting an answer, then finally continued, "It is a sign of affection. Is it not?"

The young woman was mortified by the implications, and in a raspy voice she hissed, "You're..You're not having an affair with that man!"

Goku growled lightly in his throat, giving warning that she was starting to cross lines that she should not cross. "We might have a disagreement there," Goku mentioned before looking over his shoulder at his prince, "Right, Vegeta?" Black eyes stared at one another, and the silence that lumbered was too foreboding.

"No," Vegeta said. Goku felt his stomach churn as all the negative emotions began to eat away at him. He thought, just maybe, Vegeta was, perhaps, referring to something else. He wasn't denying their relationship...was he? He gazed into the black eyes again when the world came into focus from its brief lapse. Where he had seen pain, despair, lackluster, grief - he had even seen warmth, contentness, excitement, and passion, but now there was no trace of those emotions.

Vegeta's black eyes smoldered with the fires of Hell, a look too familiar, yet so old, that Goku felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise. It was the same look in the eyes he'd seen when his body was batted around like nothing. The same look he saw when his legs were broken, and as he was kicked while he was down. The same look as his body was slowly crushed.. Then it was Goku's worst nightmare all over again - the smirk that came with those eyes was reborn.

"Did it ever occur to you," the prince drawled out, slowly folding his arms, "that this entire time you've been mistaken? And did you believe that this diseased-ridden person that I am, can so easily be swayed to join your chaste and saintly ways of life? Did you honesty have faith that your stupidity would impress me? Or did you hope to win me over with your stunning display of ludicrous trust?" Goku was frozen in place as his mind kept trying to wake itself, but each time it got closer and closer to realizing that this was really happening, that these words were truly coming from Vegeta's mouth, his adrenaline began to pump through his veins faster and faster.

"Either way, you're wrong," Vegeta stated, "You have been wrong, and you've always been wrong. I don't care about anything you've showed me on this pathetic little planet - not the ancient ruins of the long dead empires, not the types of sports earthlings play for fun, not the variety of food, and most definitely not you. The mere thought of you causes bile to rise in the back of my throat! To think that I willingly allowed your presence about me simply causes me physical illness! And no, this isn't merely about the fact that I am your prince, it is the fact that...that I am me and you are you. How could I have let you deceive me into thinking that this planet did not deserve extermination? Every sight, sound, smell - everything - about this mud ball disgusts me!"

Dark eyes narrowed and the thick sultry voice quieted, "Just as you do. I lied to you, Kakkarot. I played you for the fool that you are. Don't you see? My goal has been the same all these years: to gain more power, and conquer. As much as I hate to admit, I could not do this on my own. I was weaker and alone. I needed to bide my time, so I did. When news of the androids came, I knew that my chance was drawing nearer. If I could study you whilst training, I too could unlock the power of Super Saijin. And even better! You came to me, so that I could examine you when you were least suspecting it. I had to gain your sickening trust, though..which came all too easy. It wasn't long before I had figured out your secrets from your unguarded mind, but still, I had to wait. Wait till the perfect time to release it, so that I wouldn't cause any suspicion..."

Goku choked on words, "V..ah....grkhh...." Finally, stumbling free, he was able to exclaim, "Th-That's why..! On my strong!"

The eyes became near slits of concentrated triumph, complete with a matching smirk, "While you were busy fishing and camping, I was training under 500 times Earth's normal gravity." Vegeta allowed a respite to let the information sink in.

Then he added, "And now, you third class moron, my Super Saijin self will be leaving this mangy little planet. I might even consider sparing it and leaving it out of my section of the universe." Goku reached out towards him, but the prince hissed and backed away, "Do not touch me! You have defiled me enough, you lame-brain asshole! Just..go back to your wife and son, and live out the rest of your pitiful existence and be happy you have that!" As if to further the point that the conversation was over, Vegeta turned his back on him and headed towards the door. Goku's hand touched the shorter man's shoulder and it was proven to be a grave mistake.

As soon as contact was made, the brown hair flashed, thereafter burning like a pillar of gold. The move was instantaneous, so quick that no one present could follow it. All that was known of the action was to be assessed by the aftermath. There stood Vegeta, towering over Goku on the ground. "Orakara!" the prince roared, energy crackling around him as Goku tentatively cupped his bloody nose. The crimson liquid flowed like a miniature river, dribbling down Goku's lips and chin, and further still. As he looked up in shock at his assailant, he only saw that condescending glare. In a final act, Vegeta spat in his face.

Goku stayed silent and still as the door slammed open. With no more words needed to be exchanged, the "soon-to-be Lord of the Universe" took to the skies. After a few minutes of dead silence, there came the soft sound of bitter, irrepressible anguish. Then, with one last shuddering breath before he sobbed, Goku said, "He hates me..." And then, he only knew of pain.

SAIJIN SAYINGS: A List of Made-Up Words and Phrases This Chapter and Their Meanings
phu Jakaht- 'my prince'
orakara- (n) closest translation would be a higher degree of 'bitch'

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