Except for one or two moans Goten laid silently in my arms, snuggling closer to my body heat instinctively. He looked so fragile, so broken. It made my heart bleed.
Supporting him with one arm, I fumbled in my trouser pockets for my keys to open the door to my apartment. He was so light, it was no problem to carry him at all. Apparently he must not have eaten right for quite the period now.
Dark claws were clasping around my heart. Didnít he know how extremely unhealthy and dangerous it was for a Saiyan to not eat right? Or did he just not care?
After I shut the door again I brought the precious bundle to my room and down on the soft sheets of my bed. He rolled to his left side and pulled the blanket close to his shivering form instantly.
Frowning I bent down to touch his forehead lightly, wondering if he had fever.
I withdraw my hand immediately, feeling his head burning up, and ran out of the room to get some piece of cloth.
After wetting the fabric with cold water I hurried to my best friend again and laid the moist material on his skin.
He shifted his weight slightly, but else showed no sign of recognition or awareness.
He slept through the rest of the day without waking up. And although I knew, that it was only natural to do that in his state of exhaustion, I was also worried about the meals he was missing again and the fever that just didnít want to wear off.
It was in the middle of the night, when Goten finally stirred and opened his lids halfway, trying to make out his suroundings. His eyes stopped moving when they locked with mine.
"Trunks..." His voice was muffled by the pillow in front of his face and consequently barely a whisper. I doubt it would have been anything else, even if there wasnít a pillow in front of him.
I smiled at him reassurely, glad that he had finally awoken.
"Do you want something to eat, Goten? You must be starving right now."
He closed his eyes for a moment, struggling to speak. Then he answered my question with the same tired tone, shaking his head lightly. ĄNo... no thanks.ď I could tell that he wanted to say something else, but then decided different and kept silent.
His manners concerned me to no end. Where was the Goten I knew? The Goten, who would jump at the mere mention of food?
"Are you sure? You look like you havenít eaten for-"
I stopped when I saw Goten move his head franctically.
"What are you looking for?"
Hunted eyes met mine. Something was definately wrong. I just couldnít put my finger on it.
"How late... is it?"
Surprised at his question I glanced at my watch and told him the time. Half past two. He made no move to explain his reasons for asking.
"Why?" I brought out after a minute. Didnít he want to be here with me? I couldnít actually blame him if he didnĎt.
He let his head fall back on the pillow and looked up at the ceiling.
I smiled weakly. "Donít worry, Iíve informed your Mum, that youíre staying here with me for the night..."
He chuckled softly and raised his hand to his forehead to remove the cloth on top of it. Then he looked at it strangely. "Thatís not it... but thanks anyway..." After a moment he added in a whisper, "for everything."
And just seconds later he was asleep again, the smooth fabric still in his hands.
I considered waking him up again to ask him about his weird behavior, especially about the last answer he gave. But my rationality and concern surpassed my curiousity and I decided to let him rest. He needed to gain strength after all.
I donít know when I slept in myself, but the weariness and blurring I felt told me that my rest couldnít have been long. Yawning lightly I turned my head around to Goten to see what woke me up.
My friend was tossing and turning on the bed, his face was covered with a sticky moisture. Wet strands of hair stuck to his lips and skin, his mouth opened as if he wanted to say anything. Only a whimper escaped him.
"Goten?" I didnít know what to do. I was never confronted with sickness before. Saiyajins get rarely sick. So I went to his side again to look if his fever increased. Just before I could close the distance between us, his eyes jerked open widely, his breathing becoming a game of uneven gasps. He raised his waist slightly, his fingers were clung into the blanket.
I put my hands on each side of his cheeks and watched him anxiousely.
"Goten?" No reaction. "Goten!" Finally he focused on my face with half lidded eyes.
"Goten, whatís the matter?" A silly question, I know. But it was the only one that came to my mind at that moment, and considering the circumstances I was actually proud to get it out.
"T-Trunks..." Dear Dende, his voice sounded so small. "I hear.... my... my... blood pulsating..." His eyes left mine and he focused his attention on the ceiling before whispering again.
"Faster... faster... faster... fa..." A forcefull attack of choking interupted his senseless blabbing. Oh shit. Oh shit.
I lifted him up to support him.
"Suff.... Suffocate..." he croaked, fighting a new wave of coughing.
"Calm down, Goten. Calm down." I told him reassurely, trying to keep any hint of panic out of my voice. It didnít seem to work though.
"Iím... Iím... suffoca... my lips... and my throat... they... feel so hot..." he gasped. His stomach heaved uncontrollably. Dammit!
I swept him up immediately and carried his trembling form to the toilet. He struggled for a moment, then lost the battle and threw up, while I stroked his back softly, still trying to suppress the shock that this was indeed the person which I spend my youth with. I was torn out of my thoughts when I heard him mumbling again. So quiet, that I was unable to understand it, not even with my Saiyan hearing.
"Better?" I asked him after a while and he nodded weakly. I looked at his slumped form for a minute, then fetched some toilet paper to wipe the vomit from his face.
"Iíll get you something clean to wear." I told him. Had I looked back at him, I would have probably seen the blind horror in his eyes. But I didnít.
When I came back with a t-shirt and shorts, I found him crouched in the corner of the small room and raised my brows.
"What is it, Goten?" His odd behavior intensified my worries.
He just shook his head. I was pretty sure that he would have run out already if he had the strength to do so. But why?
Focusing on reality again I went up to him and tugged at his dirty sweater. He didnít help getting out of the clothes, just sat there with... tears forming in his eyes?
What is the meaning of this? What am I missing?
Then a certain spot on his exposed body draw my attention and I slowly took his hand in mine, moving his arm closer to take a better look. He tried to jerk his arm back, but was way too feeble to accomplish anything.
He sobbed now openly and struggled more and more to get out of my grip. Probably out of my life. Probably out of his life.
I leaned my head against the wall and closed my eyes.
"Youíre on drugs."
Part Nine |