A STORY FROM DRAGONBALL Z
Gardia laughed unmercifully as she drove blow after blow into the young
man's body. Her eyes lit up like firecrackers as she drove a final fist
into his stomach, and her callous grin widened at his pained gasp. He fell,
plummeting to the ground, and he hit it with a yelp. Trunks lay there,
whimpering like a lost dog, and Gardia sent a last beam down to put him out
of his misery.
Trunks' last thought before he hit the ground was: "How will my mother know
what happened to me and who will protect her?"
Vegeta had watched his only son's defeat without saying a word, although
his heart burned with each blow that connected with the boy. Although it
was widely know about Vegeta's selfishness, he found himself harbouring
guilt over this battle, and, on top of that, fierce pride over Trunks'
heroic efforts. Vegeta glanced up, just in time to see his offspring drop
to the ground, death written on his features. He followed the beam of
energy in disbelief, and as it tore through Trunks' body, Vegeta found
himself screaming along with his son. With eyes only for Trunks, he didn't
see Gohan leap at Gardia, or feel the rise in energy as Gohan blew her up.
Vegeta half ran the last few metres to his son's body, and clasping his
hand and demandingly shaking his shoulder, he finally elicited a response.
"I'm sorry I wasn't good enough for you, father," he gasped.
Violent spasms shook Trunks' form, and unconscious tears ran down his blood
stained face. Raspy sobs caught in his throat, and with his eyes still
rolling back into his head, Trunks gave a final jerk, and was still.
Goku and Piccolo stood behind the crouching Vegeta and heard the half
sayain's last words. They turned their pained faces to each other, trying
to gain solace in each other's gaze, but even then they couldn't block the
sound of Vegeta's keening cries.
"Trunks...not Trunks!" moaned Vegeta. He glanced down at his hands, and saw
blood, both real, and fictational. He stepped slowly away from Trunks'
broken body, shaking his head, teeth chattering with terror, face ashen
from shock. He felt a hand grasp his shoulder. He froze. Hesitantly, he
turned, and locked eyes with...Goku. Struggling to control the dam of
emotions that threatened to rupture inside of him, he pulled away. A heart-
rending howl escaped his throat, and Vegeta burst into ki flames and
blasted into the air. He was soon just a speck in the distance.
"I'm going after him," Goku informed the others. "I don't think he's going
to be ok if he's by himself,"
He couldn't take it. His life was too unbearable; he couldn't see a reason
behind his existence. Why? Why is it always me? Why does my heart always
feel like a thousand knives are stabbing it? He thought suicidally. No one
else feels my pain; no one else understands my sorrow. As a child, Vegeta
had been taught to ignore all emotions, to become hard and callous like
countless sayian ancestors before him. But now he couldn't obey his
troubled past. He wasn't like that anymore. Vegeta knew that killing
innocent people like he'd done for the first twenty years of his life was
wrong, and he had paid heavily for his mistakes at the hand of Frieza. And
now, he lived on Earth, and still his past followed him, a homeless dog
looking for scraps. More often than not, it fed quite well, thanks to the
remarks from people like Tien and Chioatzu. The sayain prince stared at the
darkening fields below. Dark as they were, none of them could match the
darkness in his heart. Tears flooded his eyes and he pulled up in mid
flight. Hiding his outburst of emotion beneath his hands, Vegeta didn't
notice when Goku crept up on him. Goku took his hand and gently led him
back to solid ground.
As soon as he felt ground beneath him, Vegeta felt a deep desire to run;
run away from his problems, just leave, as if nothing had happened. But he
also felt a trusting hand in his, and as Goku eased himself away, Vegeta
knew that running wouldn't help anyone, let alone himself. Sobs caught in
his throat, and he closed his eyes, ashamed of his pain.
Goku watched him through soft eyes. Wordlessly, his hands drew Vegeta's
body to his warm embrace, an understanding look on his face. Goku just held
him, rocking his body like a child.
Vegeta crumbled under Goku's hug, falling to sobbing pieces under his
"Why?" he cried. "Why Trunks?"
Goku muttered soft reassurances, hoping to ease his grief-stricken nemesis.
"I couldn't help him..." lamented Vegeta through his tears.
"No one could," agreed Goku. "He choose this way for himself, there was
nothing any of us could do to help him, you can't blame yourself,"
Vegeta studied Goku's face closely. Seeing the truth and caring in his eyes
shocked the exhausted Prince, and he fell deeper into his embrace. Goku
gave a sad smile.
"There now," whispered Goku. "Hush, it's alright,"
He stroked Vegeta's hair reassuringly. Slowly, Vegeta cried his strength
away, and left him a shaking emotional wreck. Clinging to Goku's arm like a
leech left Goku watching him through worried eyes and with an anxious
"Vegeta?" murmured Goku tentively.
Vegeta sighed and pulled his face away from Goku's shoulder. He looked up
at his comforter, fearful of seeing scorn or rejection.
"Are you going to be ok?" he asked.
Biting his bottom lip, Vegeta nodded his head in a wordless reply.
Relief swept over Goku's features, but worry for Vegeta still nagged at his
"Do you to stay here tonight, Vegeta?" questioned Goku.
Vegeta nodded again and painfully pulled away. Goku put a hand on his arm.
"Ok, we'll do that, shall we?" he grinned.
Goku started to walk away, but a soft cry from Vegeta stopped him.
"Why?" Vegeta asked softly.
"Because I'm your friend," replied Goku, a secretive smile on his face.
Vegeta watched, again and again, as his son's body went limp. Gardia's grin
pierced the nightmare, and her lurid face turned to that of Frieza, and as
he stared, completely stunned, as Trunks turned into his father, and he
found himself scream;
"DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE AGAIN!!!"
Goku awoke with a start. He glanced bewildered over at Vegeta, who was
thrashing wildly in his sleep, yelping, "Don't leave me alone!" over and
over again. Goku sprang out of his heavy sleeping bag and rushed to his
side. He shook his shoulder frantically.
"WAKE UP, VEGETA!" he gasped frantically.
Vegeta shuddered and fearfully opened his eyes, as if he was afraid his
dreams had gained substance and would be there when he awoke. Goku whistled
through his teeth in relief. Vegeta felt tears coursing silently down his
cheeks, and a lump grew in his throat as he fought back sobs. Goku put his
hand on Vegeta's cheek. He leant down closer to him and whispered; "What
were you dreaming about?"
Vegeta whimpered and turned away from Goku
"I don't want to talk about it," he replied flatly.
Goku looked like he was considering something.
"Well, I want you to talk about it, you're my friend, and I can tell it
isn't just Trunks your mourning over, I think it's more involved than
that," voiced Goku.
"What do you know?" snarled Vegeta, sitting up quickly. At Goku's silence
he raised his hand, and as it continued, Vegeta grew more and more
"Tell me, what do you truthfully know about me?" he spat.
"That I'm you're friend," replied Goku easily.
How can he say that? Is their something wrong with me because I can't be
friendly as easily as him? Why? Why, why, why? He berated himself.
Vegeta threw off his blankets entirely. He stood, and marched over to sit
be the fire, nose in the air. Goku followed, and sat on the other side of
the embers, fiddling with the metal bar they'd used to poke at the flames.
Tension filled the nippy night air, so much so Vegeta felt like screaming.
"What?" he asked gazing fiercely over at Goku.
Goku threw his hands up innocently.
"Did I say anything?" he asked rhetorically.
Vegeta wrinkled his nose up in disgust. His lips curled.
"I'm not telling you anything," he spat venomously.
"I understand completely, Vegeta," Goku replied, still wearing an innocuous
look on his face.
Face clouded over with anger, Vegeta got up and stormed off, heading back
to his sleeping bag.
"It was about your father, wasn't it?" Goku spoke in a low voice, but it
carried over easily to Vegeta on the still night air.
Vegeta flinched like he'd been struck. He turned his bloodless face to
where Goku sat, still tending the fire.
"How did you know?" he croaked.
Goku frowned and put down his stick. He dusted off his hands on his pants,
and rose from his seat and began walking over to Vegeta.
"That's not important, but I see now why Trunks' passing brings you so much
grief; you never had a chance to mourn for your dad when you were younger.
That may just be why you never let death get to you, except now," he
"Maybe because you were powerless then, as you were today, it brought out
memories of your father,"
Vegeta absorbed this news with an uncomfortable look on his face.
"Kak...Kakorot?' he inquired. "I'm just going for a walk....I've got to think,"
Goku nodded understandingly. He walked right up to Vegeta and ardently held
his shoulder. His eyes burned protectively.
"You...just go clear your head, ok? But promise me you'll come back..." Goku
Vegeta put one hand over Goku's.
"Yeah, I promise," He gave a feeble grin before walking off into the
darkness. If it hadn't been so dark, Goku would have noticed tears flying
off Vegeta's face as he walked hurriedly away, from both Goku, and himself.
After about an hour, Goku started getting worried. He waited twenty minutes
more, before heading in the direction Vegeta had taken just over an hour
before. Half an hour along the forest path, he found Vegeta, who was curled
in a shivering ball just off the trail. Goku put one hand over Vegeta's
clammy ones, and his other on his burning forehead. Vegeta moved his mouth
feebly, searching for moisture to wet his lips that just wasn't there.
Vegeta turned his ghostly pale face to Goku's and whispered;
"I couldn't come back,"
Goku smiled weakly. He picked Vegeta's spindly frame off the ground: For
all his muscle, he was surprisingly light. Walking carefully back to camp
in the early hours of the morning, Goku had a bitter smile on his face.
Vegeta yet again walked through his dream world, but this one was happier,
brighter, and cheerful even. Little did he know that his dreams were
fevered, and his body's system was fighting a losing battle with a terrible
illness. Nor did he know that Goku held him all night, and took each blow
his red-hot hands inflicted on him during his feverish dreams.
Someone was rapping on the door. Go away thought Vegeta miserably. Then
Vegeta realised something. It wasn't a door; it was his head. He jerked
awake and sat up suddenly, but froze in the process and brought up his
hands to hold his aching head. Glancing down he realised Goku was leaning
on him, one arm flung wildly over Vegeta's stomach. Wait, think Vegeta, He
told himself. What happened last night? Hey, I remember! I got sick...and
someone must have brought me back here...Kakorot!!? Vegeta's eye's widened
with realisation as he stared at the child-like innocence portrayed on
Goku's face. And after all I said to him... His face fell in shame.
Goku slowly awoke as Vegeta stirred. Looking up at him with half closed
eyes, Goku realised Vegeta might still be sick, even after Goku had given
him some of his ki the night before. Goku sat up next to the shame-faced
"Are you feeling better?" Goku asked.
Vegeta was stunned for a second, and all he could do was open and close his
mouth like a land bound fish.
"Yeah," he gasped, blushing embarrassedly.
He looked terribly fearful as his eyes rested on Goku's face.
"I'm ahh, sorry Kakorot," he apologised humbly. "For what I said last
Goku looked surprised.
"No, its fine, you weren't yourself, I understand. But I wish you had told
me about your father..." replied Goku matter-of-factly.
Still looking hesitant, Vegeta told Goku about how he had missed his father
as a child, and how he felt guilty over his death. Goku understood, and he
gently pointed out how it was wrong to be guilty over something that wasn't
his fault. As they packed away the supplies, Vegeta realised that it didn't
matter that he didn't have a purpose, he had a friend, and that was more
Wednesday, 25 June 2003