Just a Nightmare: Slumber of the Dead

Disclaimer: <Insert standard one here.>

Warnings: This teaser basically has only violence, mild profanity, and a mention of death. The yaoi comes later. There’s also a bad description of a sparring match. I just can't write them that well for some reason.

Pairings: (eventually) Goku x Vegeta, Goten x Trunks

Misc Information: This fic is in two parts. First off there's a get-together ficcy, then I get into the reason behind the title in part two.

Shameless Plug: I need more people to review Age of the Empire on Fanfiction.net. Won't go into all of the reasons, but let's just say that I've entered new territory with it. So far it's general :( but that'll change.

Just a Nightmare
(Part I: Distant Dreams)

Chapter 1

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 come to later associate with a different day. Just another part of the memory his mind made when Bulma 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 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, Bulma 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 Bulma's bedside. She turned her gaunt face towards him 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 her task of collecting 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 were always such a sweetheart." Bulma 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 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 out into hallway, back to the few people who'd gathered. There was Vegeta, of course, Trunks and Bra, ChiChi, Gohan, Goten, and Yamcha. 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; they always did.

Bra 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. 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 once again; this time at ChiChi's death. It had not been an illness to take the wife of Goku, but 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, approched the man who was stealing from the register and slapped him violently across the face. The thug 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 weeks.

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 family that surrounded them and said 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 was seven-thirty. Closing his eyes, he was close to allowing himself to drift back to sleep when the time made an impact. His eyes popped open and he blinked at the glowing red numbers. "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 rose to go 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 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 the proverbial cat who'd just eaten the canary.

They flew at a leisurely pace to one of several sparring grounds that had on that side of the world. It was secluded and strongly reminiscent of the desolate land where they fought their very first battle. Goku thought it fitting that it would be the place where Vegeta tasted defeat.

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 fighter, 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 with 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.

"Final Flash!"

As Goku twisted aside to dodge the yellow 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 knew that something wasn't right with the other Saiya-jin yet he 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, he 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 buring pain in his stomach and then he knew only darkness.



Stay tuned for the completion of this chapter and the rest of part one. At this point I'm on chapter five (about halfway finished, I think). How do you like it so far?