Pandora's Box: Chapter 5
aka Homicidal Suicide

"yes it's true that I believe/
I'm weaker than I used to be/
I wear my heart out on my sleeve/
and I forget the rest of me"

-Matchbox 20 "Stop"

Thoughts from the argument were freshly boiling around his mind, taunting him, teasing him, filling him with fury. 'People would say how good Prince Vegeta was in bed!!' Zarbon's words hurt him, though he wasn't sure why. It was a lie. He knew it. Zarbon knew it. Maybe it had hurt because of the fact that the others did not know it. They did not know the truth, but was the truth worse than the lie in this case?

And being as that he wasn't on such good terms with anyone, it was most likely they'd believe Zarbon's word over his own. 'Prince Vegeta, the easiest lay of the entire Frieza empire!' Vegeta let a growl escape from the back of his throat. That had been going too far. Zarbon was calling him a slut to his face, and there was nothing he could've done to defend himself. A choked sob worked its way up through his body, and he paused for a moment to compose himself. He was not that weak anymore.

Just because that bastard belittled him, it didn't mean anything. He was used to the jeers since he could remember, but..he could never face his ultimate opponent.

He and Zarbon had never quite gotten along, and that was putting it nicely. Though they didn't know each other that well, they seemed to clash to the extremity. The only reasonable explanation that the prince could ever come up with was that they were natural enemies. Just like with animals, their instincts told them to hate each other.

'Prince Vegeta who has no friends,' the brunette thought to himself, his eyes shutting tightly as he felt his throat tighten. 'Oh god,' he flew at top speed towards Capsule Corp, 'Oh hurts because it's true.' Nappa had been the closest thing to a friend he had ever had, but the man was much older than him - was completely brute strength with no brains, and simply unamusing. He had been expendable.

Other than that, Vegeta had had no one to spend his time with other than himself. Perhaps that was one of the reasons he didn't do well with people. If no one wanted to waste their time on him, why should he waste his time on anybody else? 'Fuck...why do I even care?' he asked, opening his eyes to see the large dome building he was so familiar with. A look a fierce determination came over the full-blooded Saijin, 'I won't care. I won't. It won't matter. It won't.' He touched down and slammed the door open.


Meanwhile, Goku's birthday party began to slowly turn into what it originally planned to be. People chatted back and forth, mentioning amusing stories that involved Goku. Drinks and appetizers were set out, though no one felt too hungry.

Trunks sat on the stairs overlooking the party, his mood still dim, 'I can't believe I just sat there...I should've said something to defend father.' He bowed his head, putting his face in his hands, 'But what could I say? How was I supposed to know if Zarbon was lying or telling the truth?' He shuddered at the thought, shaking his head, 'No. Impossible. He could've never..not with the way he reacted.' When Vegeta had "admitted" to Zarbon's accusations, Trunks had heard the sarcasm in his voice. He spoke the same way he had when he spoke of the androids coming. Cold. Dead. Painful. Uncaring. And something else that lingered...

'Yes, I killed billions of people. Yes, I had fun while doing it,' those things that Vegeta had said didn't seem like a lie. The way his eyes burned when he said that, the way the glow died when he spat out everything else, save for his hunger declaration. Trunks swallowed the horrible fact that his father was once a blatant homicidal maniac, who was now trying to turn his life around. 'No wonder he's an alcoholic,' the demi-Saijin thought, running his hands through his hair, 'If I had to resist the urge to kill people all the time, I think I'd drink a lot too.' His eyes lifted and looked across the room at the blue-skinned alien, feeling his body tremble with anger, 'Especially if I didn't have the power to kill him.'

His eyes caught a pair looking on him from across the room and he froze. Slowly the figure made his way over, extending a can of soda to him. "Uh...Thanks, Piccolo," Trunks said quietly as he took the drink. The Namek nodded and stood next to him for a few moments, both of them just watching the party.

"It's probably better that you didn't say anything," Piccolo stated casually, his gaze elsewhere as he folded his arms. The demi-Saijin looked up at him, quite shocked.

He opened his can of soda and took a sip, "I, uh....Yeah, you're right. I probably would've only made things worse." Trunks looked down at the ground, his thoughts simmering.

"But just because your reputation might go down, doesn't mean you shouldn't do what is right," the Namek pointed out, his gaze finally falling upon the purple-haired teen.

"So are you saying..I should've said something?" Trunks asked in confusion, taking another gulp of soda.

"No," Piccolo said, "I'm saying that when the time is right, you had better act upon your instincts. Follow your heart, as Goku would say." Trunks gave a nod, drinking some more of the soda. "Your father is a very interesting person, Trunks," Piccolo whispered to the demi-Saijin, "But he is none of my business. Do you understand?"

Trunks looked up in wonder, "Are you saying you like Vegeta?"

Piccolo turned away as he inhaled deeply, "I do not know Vegeta well, but I find him a..unique individual, and a good ally. And, I would not like to see something bad happen to him. I guess it's because I see part of myself in him. ...Like him? I don't know...Trust him? More than Zarbon, that's for sure."

Trunks nodded swiftly at that remark, "Even though my father isn't as powerful as Zarbon, I would rather place my bets on Vegeta."

There was a small breach in a nearby conversation and Goku looked over at them. "Oh hey, Trunks! Hi, Piccolo!" Goku said happily, "I'm glad you both came! We've come a long way, huh, Piccolo? And you, Trunks..even though we've just met I can tell you're going to fit right in." Piccolo nodded, a small smile on his face.

Trunks cracked a smile as well, "Thanks, Goku. You make me feel right at home."

Goku's expression became serious and he turned to the Namek, "May I speak to Trunks alone?"

Piccolo nodded, walking towards Gohan, "Sure, no prob."

Goku sat down next to Trunks, whispering, "Now, Trunks..can you tell me what's wrong with Vegeta?" He was confident that the younger man would explain and confide in him.

Trunks glanced around to double check that no one was eavesdropping, and then he whispered back, "Zarbon and Vegeta got in a huge argument. It was really bad, Goku. I mean...There was times Vegeta started to..cry..."

Goku's entire body tightened like a bow and he took a few deep breaths before hissing, "He made Vegeta cry!?"

Trunks motioned for him to keep his voice down, his stomach trembling, "Yes...after that, Vegeta flew off, as you know."

Goku looked down for a moment, his hands clenching into fists, "I'm going to go see Vegeta."

Trunks blinked a few times before leaning over to have a better view of Goku's face, "What? Are you crazy? This is your party! People will notice if you're missing!" Goku stood up, silently going up the steps. Trunks stood and followed. Goku opened the door at the top of the stairs and stepped inside. Trunks came in, being as quiet as possible.

"Trunks, this Vegeta may not be the same Vegeta that was your father," Goku began, his eyebrows knit together in a weird mix of emotions, "but as any kai as my witness, the Prince of Saijins does not cry without suffering severe emotional trauma."

Trunks swallowed hard and licked his lips, "Alright...I agree with you. Go check on him, please." Goku nodded, pressing two fingers to his forehead. "Goku!" Trunks called out before the taller man disappeared, " him!" The Saijin gave Trunks a promising look before he was gone.

The half breed walked downstairs and Krillin looked up at him, "Hey Trunks, where did Goku go?"

Trunks looked the fighter in the eyes, "I don't know."


Goku reappeared in a dimly lit den, where it looked as if a tornado had ripped through. Furniture was tossed all over the place, damaged in all sorts of degrees. Pictures on the walls were broken or nearly falling off. Glass bottles, broken and intact, littered the area, as well as a few crushed cans. There were cigarette burns scattered all about, the butts of the objects still on the ground, leaving the smell of smoke lingering in the air.

The full-blooded Saijin looked around for signs of the prince, having been unable to get a specific lock on Vegeta's ki. He thought about calling for the prince, but thought better of it. He turned and followed a trail of broken glass and empty bottles which lead towards the back door where the laundry room and bathroom were located. He felt Vegeta towards his right - in the bathroom. Walking swiftly over he froze in place, surprised that the bathroom door was wide open.

His eyes locked onto Vegeta's form which was consuming something from a bottle. Vegeta didn't seem to notice him; his eyes were closed. Goku's eyes curiously moved up to see what it was that the brunette was drinking and they instantly widened. Goku quickly backhanded the bottle out of Vegeta's grasp, the prince nearly getting knocked over in the process. "What the fuck is wrong with you!!" Goku screamed in avid anger and combined horror, "You...You....You can't drink that!! What were you thinking!?"

Vegeta looked at him under slightly clouded eyes, showing that he was a bit tipsy at most. He licked his lips, slowly assessing the situation, "Hn... The bottle said it contained alcohol."

Goku felt himself shaking from such an odd mixture of emotions, "For god sakes, Vegeta! It's a cleaner; it's toxic!!"

The prince eyed the younger Saijin for a moment before calmly replying, "You think I didn't know that?"

Goku inhaled a few shaky breaths before saying, "What...?"

Vegeta's eyes cleared, leaving those dark fathomless pools for Goku to gaze in. "I'm just doing what I should've done a long time ago," Vegeta stated with no emotion, "So don't worry yourself, Kakkarot."

Goku blinked a few times, "W-What are you talking about?"

Vegeta snarled, pushing past the younger man in disgust, "Clueless as always! ..Idiot!"

Goku spun around, confused and still mad as Hell, "Hey! Damnit, Vegeta! Don't walk away from me!"

The prince spat back over his shoulder, "I'll do whatever I want, and you can't stop me!"

Goku caught up to him as Vegeta headed towards the bedrooms, and he grabbed the brunette's arm to halt his progressions, "No! Stop! Explain yourself!"

The prince's eyes flashed dangerously before he ripped himself away from Goku's hold, "No, I won't! I don't have to explain myself to anyone!"

Goku paused, watching Vegeta's tail move in odd, sporadic motions that seemed completely unnatural, "How much did you drink?"

Vegeta scoffed, turning away from Goku, "You stopped me about a quarter of the way through." Goku gave a sigh of relief, knowing that with a Saijin's digestive system, a quarter of a bottle wouldn't probably do much damage other than perhaps a slight stomach ache. "Oh, you're happy about that?" Vegeta nearly screamed, "Well, fuck you too!"

Goku's expression turned into complete shock and exasperation, "WHAT! Vegeta, what...Where the Hell did that come from!?"

The prince shoved him backward, standing up defiantly towards the other Saijin, "You're so stupid! You have no idea! They didn't tell you, did they? All those things I did? All the people I've killed! You're such an idiot, Kakkarot! You're so incredibly moronic I can't even begin to describe it!"

Goku's nose flared at the sudden onslaught of insults, "Vegeta, you better calm down. You're not acting yourself."

Vegeta pushed him again, his tail bristling and looking like it had its own set of spikes, "Not acting myself!? Oh, Kakkarot! Don't make me laugh! I told you you were stupid, but you just won't believe me, will you!? You see, I am acting myself. Do you think I'd ever let anyone see me, like this? Do you? Do you think those other pathetic warriors would ever even fathom the idea of being an ally to a complete bloodlust lunatic!? I am Saijin, Kakkarot! And you are nothing more than a no-brain third-class little shit nobody!"

Goku felt his pent up frustration cause him to snap, and he screamed at the prince, "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!?"

Vegeta seethed with anger, his eyes showing an inner turmoil, a whirlwind of emotions. "What the hell is wrong with me?" the smaller Saijin mocked, "I'll tell you what the hell is wrong with me! My entire race is dead, Kakkarot! My family is dead! My home world is destroyed! Everyone is gone except for you! Everyone is gone and I'm stuck here, where I'm not even welcome!

"I'll tell you what's wrong with me; I'll tell you what the hell is the matter: I can't live up to anyone's expectations, not even my own! I can never be a normal person! I love to kill, you fucking moron! I enjoy abusing people, but I'm so sick and tired of doing it! I'm at the end of my wits! I can't stand to be weak anymore! I have done nothing, I am nothing, and everyone else can fuck off! I'm so sick of all this bullshit called my life! I'm so sick of it and I'm not going to take it ANYMORE!!"

They stood there for an unknown amount of time. Goku stared at Vegeta mutely while the prince looked at him with burning eyes. The taller Saijin let his eyes close momentarily as he pushed away the older man's feelings, which were so openly exposed it was overwhelming him. 'I never would have ever thought it was this bad,' Goku thought to himself, swallowing the lump in his throat. Suddenly, Vegeta turned and began to march downstairs. "Where are you going?" Goku called out, starting to follow.

"Don't worry," Vegeta responded, his tone thick with sarcasm, "I'm a big boy and I can take care of myself!" Goku stood dumbly, watching with sad eyes as the brunette briskly went downstairs.

At the top of the staircase he shouted down, "Vegeta, I'm serious! C'mon, where are you going?" There was no reponse. A second passed by. "Vegeta?" Goku called out, fear beginning to overcome him - his instincts were screaming at him that something was off. Still no reply was given. And then suddenly, there was a small metallic clatter on a tiled floor.

Forgetting his technique, he rushed towards the sound, and was there in a fraction of a second regardless. He gaped in complete terror at the sight which greeted him in the kitchen. Vegeta was leaning against the counter, his body nearly falling out from underneath him as he tried to support himself. A large red spot was growing across the midsection of Vegeta's shirt, the prince's lips trembling.

The brunette gasped for air, a stupid grin on his face, "Wow, that didn't hurt as bad as I imagined it would."

His body shook and he slumped over. Goku caught him instantly. The grin was gone, and all that was left was agony - bitter, satisfied agony. "Goddamnit, Vegeta! What the fuck were you thinking!?" Goku screamed, trying desperately to think of something he could do.

Not expecting a reply, Goku was quite shocked when Vegeta spoke in a rather steady voice, "I was thinking, I was doing something for the good of everyone."

Goku looked at him in shock, seeing pain easily etched on Vegeta's features as he cradled him, "What!? By killing yourself!?"

Vegeta closed his eyes, his lips pulling into a smirk, "Ha...ha....exactly."

Goku shook his head to clear it, trying to think of what he could do. He knew Vegeta wouldn't be able to last much longer, especially if he didn't want to hold on. And then a thought came to him, 'Master Roshi's! There's a spare senzu in the upstairs bedroom!' They flickered out and arrived in the said location. Goku carefully set Vegeta down on the bed, the prince's body shaking as if he was cold. Goku went to the other side of the room, looking for the senzu bean.

Vegeta felt things getting hazy and he gazed down at his own hands that were covered in his blood, ' least I bleed red.....' His tail jolted as he twitched, and he heard Goku softly cursing.

He began to let his eyes close when he heard a small portion of what Goku mumbled, "...senzu! Where are you!? ..." Vegeta's eyes snapped open, his breaths ragged, though extremely quiet. Goku was going to make him live! How dare he... How DARE he! Who did he think he was!? Vegeta's eyes suddenly focused, his senses becoming keenly aware, as if he was in battle. The door to the room was open. A quick glance to his side and he saw Goku looking the other way. What a golden opportunity... With amazing speed, the prince was on his feet and running out the door.

"VEGETAAA!!!" the scream from upstairs caused everyone to stop what they were doing. A thunder of footsteps came from the second story. The prince nearly stumbled on his escape, Goku directly behind him. The white shirt was nearly half red by now, the fabric sticking to the wound as the crazed prince stormed his way down into the living area. His eyes scanned around the room in one amazing quick sweep and he ran towards the counter while Goku begged him to stop the whole time. The prince grabbed the item he saw and spun fluidly around. Goku barely moved back in enough time, earning only a graze across the cheek.

"You SON OF A BITCH!" Vegeta screamed in fury, "You dare interfere!? I'LL KILL YOU!!" He lunged the knife towards the younger man, but Goku caught his wrist. Both tried to push in the opposite direction, causing a stalemate.

"Vegeta, you have to stop!" Goku said sternly.

"Fuck you!" the prince retaliated, "One of us is going to die!" At that moment, Vegeta let his arm go slack. Goku's eyes widened as he suddenly realized what it was that Vegeta had done. He threw the knife to the opposite side of the room in rage.

He felt betrayed, and without thinking, he slapped Vegeta, "Damn you! How could you make me do that?!"

Vegeta smirked, examining the second stab wound he now adorned. He heaved in air, a taunting smirk curving his lips, "It was simple, Kakkarot. I told you, it was either you or me."

Goku grit his teeth for a moment, 'How do you stop a homicidal suicide!?' Vegeta suddenly swung his fist around, hitting Goku square in the jaw. All this being unexpected, Goku stumbled to the side. 'My god he has so much energy! Where is it coming from!?' Goku thought briefly in awe before the prince kicked him into the nearby wall. He shook his head to clear it, but a fist met his stomach. His reflex was instantaneous - Goku swung his fist around, punching Vegeta in the side of his head, sending him sprawling. Goku went to tackle him, thus beginning an all out fist fight. Vegeta, surprisingly, held his own with grace, and what appeared to be ease. With a powerful kick, Vegeta sent Goku reeling back onto the ground.

'That's it,' Goku thought to himself, 'I'm going Super Saijin.'

Vegeta triumphantly cried out, "Prepare to die, Kakkarot!" He was gathering a large ki ball in his hand, a strange maniacal laughter rising in his throat. Yes, he was going to kill the last of his kind. And, oh yes, it was going to feel so good. Goku, expecting a blast to be heading his way, was stunned when nothing happened. Vegeta gasped for air, his lips trembling, the ki ball fading. "Ha..." Vegeta said, coughing harshly, blood flowing from his mouth in a stream, "I...I beat you to it...." His eyes fluttered before his body fell backwards with a large thud.

Goku scrambled over to the prince, "Vegeta! VEGETA!" He slapped the prone body a few times but there was no indication that the older Saijin would be waking up. Hastily, Goku reached into his pocket and pulled out the senzu bean. Opening Vegeta's mouth, he forced the bean down the prince's throat. "C'mon...Vegeta..." Goku whispered, "Don't leave me now, Vegeta.... It's not supposed to end like this."

The figure made no indication of movement for many moments. And then, Goku's chest heaved. He grasped the form of his friend and sobbed heavily into Vegeta's shoulder, "Oh god, Vegeta, why...?"

This hurt more than any other time a friend of his had died. He had always been strong and composed. Sad, yes, but always in control. Now, without Vegeta...he felt hysterical, emotional, uncompossed. "No, Vegeta, no..." Goku whispered more to himself, nuzzling his face against the smaller body. He couldn't cry. He'd forgotten how to so long ago. He made himself forget. But he wanted to..he wanted to release the anguish. He wanted, more than anything, to save Vegeta.

After a moment, however, he felt a steady tickle of heat washing over his neck. His breath hitched and he pulled back, his eyes meeting infinite black ones. "Vegeta..." Goku whispered, a small relieved smile cracking his lips. The prince blinked and did nothing more. After many minutes, he gently pushed at Goku's chest. The taller man obliged, allowing the brunette to get upon his feet. Goku stood as well, and they stared at each other for a moment. Vegeta suddenly looked down, turned, and calmly walked towards the door. The screen door protested as he carefully pushed it open, and the prince left, intent on never returning again.

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