Just a Nightmare: Distant Dreams
Disclaimer: <Insert standard one here.>
Warnings: Yaoi, violence, death, profanity, angst, alternate universe, lime, sap, maybe fluff and OOC. Lemony content, but probably not very detailed. Badly written sparring matches and battles. Just can't do them that well for some reason. There will be a happy ending... eventually. I'm not like those people who kill off everyone and leave them that way.
Pairings: Goku x Vegeta, Goten x Trunks
Ages: Trunks (20), Goten (19), Bra (8)
Misc Information: This fic is in three parts (was just going to be two). First off there's a get-together ficcy, then I get into the reason behind the title in part two. Three's sort of the conclusion of two. Since I have a lot of other fics in progress (as per usual), this might be neglected. If that happens, feel free to encourage me to write again. ^_^
Shameless Plug(s): a) My general story, Age of the Empire. Well, it's general now, but that'll change with part 5. You can find it at http://dbfl.gokugirl.com/viewseries.php?seriesid=3; b) My new slash archive. It has a few Dragon Ball shounen ai/yaoi and shoujo ai/yuri fanfics in it, but not many. The URL's http://oisa.gokugirl.com. I also accept shounen ai/yaoi and shoujo ai/yuri fanfics from other anime.
The sterile white walls, the antiseptic odor, the mundane
sentiment, the quiet sobs... Those would be the things he would always associate
with that day, things that he would also come to later associate with a
different day. It was just another part of the memory that had been created when
Buruma Briefs died.
The Saiya-jin no Ouji stood silent and even more taciturn than usual against the wall opposite the closed door of the hospital room. He had said nary a word since the doctor had announced Bulma's fatal disease yet Goku could see that he did not grieve. The thought curiously didn't puzzle him like he assumed it should -- he'd known for years that Vegeta's love for the ningen woman was a nonexistent thing -- and he felt that he understood the reason why.
Vegeta could never fully come to love anyone that could not accept him for who he was. In fact, if Goku hadn't seen evidence, he would have believed that Vegeta could not love at all.
On the day his oldest friend died, Buruma asked to see him alone. Goku left the others in the hallway, left them to their quiet misery, and took the single chair that sat at Buruma's bedside. She turned her gaunt face towards him, blue eyes still bright, and smiled.
"May I ask a favor of you, Son-kun?" she asked weakly, those few words nearly sapping all of her strength.
He moved forward as her voice dropped in volume, tears springing to his eyes. Goku could vividly remember that young girl he'd met so many years ago and how she went vigorously about the task of collecting the dragonballs to wish for the perfect boyfriend. The woman that lay before him was the exact opposite of that girl, but she would always remain beautiful and youthful in his eyes.
"Anything, Bulma. Ask anything."
She smiled again and moved one trembling hand forward to pat his cheek. "You've always been such a sweetheart." Buruma closed her eyes as a wave of pain passed through her. "Onegai, Son-kun, take care of Vegeta. He needs someone."
Goku sat with her until he felt her ki slip away, not truly thinking about her request until after she was gone. His eyes shot open as the full import of her words hit him. Take care of Vegeta? Just how was he supposed to accomplish that? The stubborn ouji wouldn't even look at him without glaring... How in the world was he supposed to care for him?
He went back out into hallway, back to the few people who'd gathered to keep silent vigil outside the room. There was Vegeta, of course, Trunks and Bura, ChiChi, Gohan, Goten, Yamcha, and Kuririn. Goku tried to look on the bright side of everything (at least his friend wasn't in pain anymore), but his facial expression gave his true emotions away -- as was usual.
Bura inhaled, a sharp, quick sound, and buried her face into her father's stomach. She was only seven years old and far too young to have to deal with the grief of losing her mother. Trunks remained silent and stoic, staring sightlessly at the door in front of him. His hold on his composure was tenuous at best, shattering into tiny fragments when Goten laid a comforting hand upon his shoulder. Then the tears slid down his cheeks at a rapid pace, absorbing into the cloth of Goten's shirt as the younger boy embraced him.
That had been a year ago. Since then, the surrealistic hospital scene had been played out once again, this time at ChiChi's death. It had not been an illness to take the wife of Goku, but, instead, a bizarre series of events.
She had been at the grocery store, buying the necessary items needed to restock the pantry at home, when a group of thugs entered the store and began to wreak the place. ChiChi, extremely annoyed that the cashier was halted in the middle of ringing up her purchases, approached the man who was stealing from the register and slapped him violently across the face. The thug had blinked at her through his pain for a moment before pulling out a long knife and sliding it between her ribs. The woman went down, but not before kicking her assailant hard in the groin. Her last thought before losing consciousness was that she was going to kick his ass so hard that he wouldn't be able to sit down for a month.
ChiChi lasted quite some time at the hospital even after she discovered that she'd lost too much blood to survive. She looked hard at the people that surrounded her, before focusing on her husband, saying a few last, albeit cryptic, words before passing on. "Don't stay alone, Goku-sa. It's not good for you."
The sound of knocking drew Goku away from depressing memories. He rolled over in his bed and peered at the clock. 'Oh, it's seven-thirty.' Closing his eyes, he was just on the edge of slumber when the time made an impact. His eyes popped open and he blinked at the glowing red numbers, stunned. "SEVEN-THIRTY?!"
"Kakarotto, if you don't get your ass up right now...!" Vegeta allowed the threat to trail off into nothingness as he pounded on the front door again.
'I was supposed to spar with him at six this morning,' Goku said to himself with a sheepish grin. 'Oops.' He yawned as he got up to let Vegeta into the house before he broke the door down. The short Saiya-jin stood on his doorstep, the frown on his face turning to something that looked remarkably like a cross between shock and embarrassment.
Vegeta adverted his eyes by focusing on a point somewhere near Goku's left ear. "Don't tell me that you're going to spar like that."
Goku blinked in confusion for a moment before looking down at himself. He realized his state of dress -- or, rather, the lack of it -- and blushed. "I'll go get dressed and we can head out."
"Don't take all day, baka. You're already behind schedule."
He grinned as he went back to his room. "Oh, don't worry, Vegeta. I'm eager to kick your ass again."
There was a moment of shocked silence, then, "What the hell did you say?!" His only response was deep laughter.
Once outside, Goku tilted his head back and breathed in the fresh air. It felt very good to be alive at the moment. Today would be the day he bested Vegeta -- there would be no tie. Maybe then the older Saiya-jin would finally consider him an equal instead of merely a "third-class baka".
Vegeta eyed the larger Saiya-jin with curiosity, wondering what the hell was going on with him. He seemed even happier than usual (if that was possible) and, for some odd reason, that scared him. A happy Kakarotto was a dangerous Kakarotto. "Come on," he said slowly, cautiously watching his opponent. While it was unusual for Goku to use underhanded tactics, Vegeta wanted to be prepared for anything. Especially when the other man was looking like he'd just eaten the proverbial canary.
They flew at a leisurely pace to one of several sparring grounds they had on that side of the world. It was secluded and strongly reminiscent of the desolate land where they'd fought their very first battle. Goku thought it fitting that it would be the place where Vegeta tasted defeat by his hands.
Without warning, Goku launched himself at Vegeta and threw a series of kicks and punches that only tested the defenses of the ouji. Vegeta frowned at this, knowing that his opponent was only playing with him. Before he could open his mouth to demand that Goku get serious, however, the mood of the spar shifted dramatically.
Suddenly Goku no longer toyed with him. For only a moment he lagged behind the younger warrior, but that brief moment cost him plenty. Goku now had the upper hand and he just couldn't take it away from him. Vegeta smirked to himself. He may be on the defensive now, but he wouldn't be for very much longer. Quickly hopping away, he powered up to Super Saiya-jin. Goku immediately followed suit.
The spar became greater in intensity as various ki blasts were mixed in with the physical attacks. Two hours passed by and Vegeta was becoming sick of being on the defensive... again. He, once again, moved away to transform, but Goku wouldn't give him the time.
"You will not win!" Goku fairly growled as he continued his powerful onslaught. Vegeta's eyebrows raised in surprise right before he executed one of his signature ki attacks.
As Goku twisted aside to dodge the yellow blast energy, Vegeta shot far above him into the clouds. Yet even the distraction his move provided wasn't enough as the taller Saiya-jin caught him in a bear hug from behind.
"Yield to me," Goku breathed in Vegeta's ear. The ouji shivered at the sensation even as he cursed himself. He'd known that something wasn't right with the other Saiya-jin yet had still consented to spar with him.
Vegeta leaned his head forward so that Goku's breath wasn't tickling him anymore. "Kakarotto, did you hit your head again and rattle what was left of your brain?"
"Iie, Vegeta. Why do you ask?"
"You're acting even weirder than usual." He squirmed and twisted in the other man's grip, suddenly feeling quite uncomfortable. "If you don't let me go right now..."
A moment's silence, then, "You'll do what?" The deep timbre of his voice made chills run up and down Vegeta's spine. It was starting to become too much for the older Saiya-jin and, in his panic, Vegeta soared upward to the next level of Super Saiya-jin.
The golden power was almost painful and Goku gritted his teeth as Vegeta renewed his struggle. He saw his dream slowly began to fade away with each twist of the smaller Saiya-jin's body. He wouldn't let it happen. He couldn't! With revived determination, Goku went beyond level two to level three and put a halt to Vegeta's movement.
"You will not win," he repeated slowly and the words finally sank into Vegeta's mind.
After a moment the ouji dropped out of Super Saiya-jin completely with an angry grunt. How dare the third-class baka even think that he would just let him win! He would have to be near death before the thought crossed his mind and even then chances were zero at best.
Goku released him, apparently coming to the conclusion from Vegeta's body language that he'd won the match. Grinning widely, he opened his mouth to suggest that they get a meal when Vegeta suddenly smirked and opened his hand. The next thing Goku felt was a burning pain in his stomach and then he knew only darkness.
Vegeta perched on a large rock, arms folded across his chest, as he waited for Goku to regain consciousness. He wondered why he wasn't out celebrating his miraculous, albeit sneaky, defeat of the taller Saiya-jin by consuming mass quantities of alcohol. Instead he was sitting beside Goku and thinking.
His damned conscience refused to let him enjoy his victory. He imagined a little chibi angel of himself perched upon one shoulder worrying him to death much in the way ChiChi had done Goku when she had been still alive.
"You really didn't want to hurt him, Vegeta. You know that you didn't. Why couldn't you be a good little Saiya-jin and allow him victory for once? When he wakes up, make sure you apologize."
"He doesn't deserve victory or anything else! Kakarotto's nothing more than third-class scum, not even fit to lick my boot."
Gentle laughter. "You're lying to yourself, Veggie. Remember, I know your innermost desires."
"N-nani?" Vegeta paled. No, he couldn't know....
"Of course I can."
Damn it, he did! Only one course of action in this case. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Denial is unhealthy, Veggie. Why can't you admit the truth? You love-"
His diminishing evil side bared its pointy fangs. A chibi devil Vegeta popped into existence and settled on the opposite shoulder. "Listen, you pansy, Vegeta has nothing but hatred for that baka. In fact, he will get up right now and put the bastard out of everyone's misery. Won't you, Vegeta?"
The ouji nodded. "Of course I will," he said aloud. Realizing that he'd done so, he quickly looked around to make sure no one had heard him. The area was completely devoid of people other than he and Goku. He hopped from the rock and made his way over to the still form, charging his ki as he did so. Just one blast and it would be over. Only one blast. Vegeta kneeled and placed his glowing hand to Goku's steadily moving chest. No more Kakarotto.
His hand was poised to do its work when Goku stirred and groaned. Vegeta quickly allowed his ki to vanish as he moved backward. When it came down to killing his rival he just couldn't do it.
"You love Goku and could never do anything to hurt him."
Vegeta frowned and silently cursed. Damn his conscience.
The first thing Goku was aware of was the ache in his stomach. It was similar to the time he ate too many oysters, but not very. This ache was more on the burning side as if his very flesh had been seared away, exposing the naked muscle underneath. At the thought Goku cringed and slowly opened his eyes. He really had no desire to see himself that way.
The next thing to catch his attention was a snapping sound accompanied by a gentle warmth. Why was there a fire going? Did he go camping in the forest? Goku merely listened to the soothing sound for a while until he noticed that he wasn't alone.
Then everything came rushing back to him. He and Vegeta had been sparring and he'd let his guard down. This was why he hurt so much: he lost the match.
Tears welled up in his eyes at the mere thought of Vegeta thinking less of him. Depression settled over him like a heavy wool blanket and he turned over in an attempt to return to the blissful oblivion of slumber.
'Iie, leave me alone.' Tears made silent tracks down his cheeks. 'I've failed and now you will never let me in.'
"Kakarotto?" Vegeta repeated, but in the form of a question. He wanted to say more but his stubborn pride refused to let him.
"What do you want, Vegeta?" Goku's voice made the ouji wince. Never before had he heard him sound so despondent, even when the odds were against him he'd always held onto hope. Now it seemed that there just wasn't any more hope to be had.
The ouji frowned. "What the hell is wrong with you today? First you act so Saiya-jin during our battle I felt that there was hope for you and now you're acting as if your puppy just died!"
Goku sighed and sat up, the pain in his abdomen forgotten. "Just forget about it."
His words only caused Vegeta to do the exact opposite. Eventually giving up (for the moment, anyway), he motioned towards the meat roasting over the small fire he'd made. "Lunch," he said with a grunt.
They ate in complete silence, each immersed in his own thoughts. Vegeta was halfway through his portion of the meal when his little friend decided to make an appearance again.
"Why won't you let me be?!" he asked.
"I can't do that when I'm winning, Veggie," the angel laughed. "First you remain by his side, then you are unable to kill him, and now you make him lunch!"
"There are very good reasons for what I've done. I'm unable to carry Kakarotto home because the baka's just too damn big to do it comfortably, I can't kill him because then I would have no one powerful enough to spar against, and I cook him food because he needs his energy to fight me again."
The angel was silent for a moment as if seriously considering his words. "Whatever you say, Veggie. Whatever you say."
Vegeta could care less if the chibi angel believed him and was seriously starting to question his sanity. It just didn't seem normal for him to talk to the manifestation of the goodness within.
"What about talking to me? Do you find that odd?" The chibi devil moved lazily through the air before him.
"If the angel's my conscience then what the hell are you?"
"I represent the evil side you try to repress. You can never fully rid yourself of me; I will always be here." He chuckled evilly. "You don't indulge yourself anymore, Vegeta. Existence has become quite boring."
"Everything is as it should be for you!" The angel informed the devil.
He went on as if the words were never spoken. "Oh sure, your dark side bears it's bloody fangs once in a while when you fight the baka, but that only gives me mild satisfaction. I need blood all day, every day."
"Then you'll always be unhappy because you will never have that again," Vegeta said firmly and the chibi angel cheered. "I may not be the saint that Kakarotto is, but I am also no longer the murderer I used to be. I never want my children to know that side of me."
"You've gone soft, Vegeta. We used to have so much fun together! Allow me freedom for just one day and I promise that you won't regret it."
"What part of 'iie' don't you understand?" Vegeta was tired of arguing. "Look, just leave me alone, okay? I'm tired of talking to you."
"Fine," the devil pouted as he vanished.
The angel grinned at Vegeta. "Ah, it's good that's he finally gone."
"I meant you too."
"But why? I'm the good guy remember!" Vegeta's hard expression didn't waver and the chibi angel eventually disappeared as well.
Goku sat across the fire staring at the ouji's face. It went through a myriad of expressions ranging from annoyance to downright murderous. What was going through his mind? "You look like Piccolo does when he's speaking to Kami and Nail."
Vegeta blinked. "Nani?"
"The expressions on your face. When the other two Namek-jin give Piccolo unwanted advice, his face goes through pretty much the same expressions that yours did."
He'd completely forgotten that Goku had been sitting across from him as the conversation with the chibis wore on. What did the younger Saiya-jin think of him? Did he wonder if he'd lost his mind?
"Oh really?" Vegeta asked casually as he finished his meal. "Imagine that."
A few minutes later, Vegeta was ready to do something.... anything! Goku hadn't moved or spoken in such a long time, Vegeta would have thought he was dead if not for the ki signature he felt. The silence was starting to drive him insane (It had never done that to him in the past. The ouji personally blamed Bulma and his kids for changing him.), so he questioned his companion in a tactful way.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Okay, so maybe it was in a not-so-tactful way. Didn't matter in the end, though, as long as it got the job done.
Goku looked at him with dull, lifeless eyes. "I would think that you didn't care."
"I asked you, didn't I?" Okay, he was starting to unnerve him just a little bit. "Look, Kakarotto, you're not your usual happy-go-lucky self. If it has anything to do with my attack I, um..." Goku merely waited in depressed silence. "I apologize."
"See, Veggie? It wasn't very hard to do at all!"
"Will you shut up and leave me the fuck alone?!"
"Fine, Vegeta, I will." Goku rose and turned away. "See you whenever." Before Vegeta could even blink, the other Saiya-jin took to the air and flew off toward his home.
"Of all the dumbass things to do..." Vegeta muttered as he doused the fire. "Now I have to go after him!"
"Good to see you've finally realized that."
"You shut up. This is all your damn fault!"