Well, hello again everyone! Here's Jack's attempt once again to write a halfway decent one shot, though I don't think I'm capable to...O.o Thanks to Melly-chan for beta-ing my fic for me! This is the sequel to 3 Days in Rome, btw, so I suggest you read and review that first! Thanks a bunch!

Disclaimer; I don't own DBZ


/*-I don't know why, I care so much
Know the best off my fingers
lick the stem of the letters...-*/

"I'm sick, Trunks." He doesn't move, but I don't know this from looking at him. It's hard, to look a loved one in the face and tell them that your....that your gonna die. That's why I'd choosen the easier option, looking at the floor. Using my hands, I put myself back into full upright position. He's gonna have a lot of questions, and it'll take awhile to answer them.

The silence remains on his end. I suppose that would make me the initiator of conversation in this, which sucks because my stomach is killing me. The edge of vision blurs a little as I shift, but it goes away, leaving me none the less for wear. Kami, why does this have to be so hard?

Looking up, I see his face and my heart drops. He's at the window of our home. We'd remained in Rome as it had been his birthplace. It held a special place in his heart, though he would never admit it. My Trunks had never been super emotional. He'd only told me he loved me a few times in the past ten years we'd been together. That didn't matter to me though. His actions, his expressions... He didn't exactly try to hide it.

Smiling isn't the most appropriate mannerism at this time, but too fucking bad. If I die, I don't wanna be going through a great depression before hand.

/*-love is the point of no return
just like thou were bound for life
star crossed on a starless night-*/

The day was bright and in it's halfway point. Our lawn was impressive, large and green. We'd bought it a few years after our marriage to accomidate what we'd planned. Our two little plans, Gavroshe and Fontine, were playing out there. The window was open and the sounds of their innocence and childhood rang through the air.

Sighing, my hands run through my spiky black hair. It was much shorter than I'd worn it earlier in my life, bangs in the front. A little had changed though, and you could blame Trunks for this. He'd made me grow a the lower half of my hair out and wear it in a braid for everyday since our wedding. He'd had me wear it then, and I dunno..it just fit.

He still hasn't moved, his blue eyes clear but distant. I wonder what he's thinking about... I don't think I could even begin to imagine.

/*-we belong in a pipe dream, a paint box
we belong somewhere the sun cant bleach us
after all these years we're still worth something
like fine fine furniture-*/

I can't believe this. Goten's words ring in my head. 'I'm sick, Trunks...' Maybe I'm making to big of a deal about this. He could just have a cold, or the flu, or some foot fungus. Isn't it a little negative for me to just *assume* it's something that he could..I swallow. Die from.

I don't have to look over to see him. My peripheal vision had always been quite good, and his face is so lost, yet reminiscent. It's almost too much for me to handle.

Why is this affecting me so much anyway? I mean, sure, I've been with him for ten or so years, raised children with him, but that doesn't constitute anything, does it? Straight marriages are just the same. We have a...companionable love, that's it. Even if he did die, why should I care? I'm not this close to him. I'm not close to anyone.

Fontine's cry pierces the air, followed by the mischievous laughter of Gavroshe. They're personalities were anticipated by the both of us. Ever since we'd adopted them, each of them only a few weeks old, it was obvious they'd turn out this way. Gavroshe had always stolen her blankets, and she'd cry until Goten came and gave her a new toy.

Hm. Now that I think about it, Goten always was a major part of their lives. Very much so in comparison to myself. I'd never been the real father figure to them anyway. Kids weren't my thing, you could say. I cared for them to death, but, there's just a void in that area that only Goten can fill for them.

Goten...why did it have to be you?

/*-I don't know how, but I remember it all
like it was yesterday, like it was tomorrow-*/

It would be lie to say that our relationship had been easy. My lack of total emotional connection really did wear on us at times. Like when his father died from colon cancer, and his brother in a car crash and I just disappeared for a week. Most people thought it was because I didn't care, but the truth was I hated myself because there wasn't a way for me to help him. To protect him, just like I want to know...And just like I still can't.

/*-you try harder than anyone I know
you left and I left too
back then I didn't know how to hurt you-*/

No matter what happened, whether I'd disappear, or he'd leave in the middle of the night because of a fight, it was always him who'd bring it all back together again in the end. He had so much more will power than I did. I suppose it's one of the reasons I wrote about him. Sure, I'd done it hundreds of times before, but I'd never given anyone that key...or sent them the book. But he was different...

He still is.

I must admit that at first I had my reservations about starting a relationship with him. I'd never been close to any of my 'expeditions' with tourists, so the idea of having him return and that he did was a shock to my state of mind. When he started to get more serious and thought about moving out here, I'm not afraid to admit I was scared. Who wouldn't be? I'd never had that large of an affect on anyone before, and then to have him be willing to shift his whole life to be near me. It was a total mindblow.

So, I did want I think anyone would have in my situation. I tried to convince him I didn't care or didn't want him to. Push him away like the cold-hearted bastard I was supposed to be. But things didn't work that way, though I'm sure that's obvious to you. No matter what I'd say, he was persistent which drove me insane and brought my feelings for him to a high. It was an attractive feature.

That's what I've always adored about my Goten. He's always been so perserverant and strong..

That's why it's so damn hard to imagine him sick, or maybe dieing, from something.

Pushing myself from the wall, I move to his bed and gather a smile.

"I told you not to go run around in the rain and now your gonna have a cold for another four weeks!" He laughed, though it wasn't pure and didn't reach his eyes as they looked into mine once again.

"I'm afraid it's a little more serious than that, Trunks..."

/*-we belong in a window, a shoe box
we belong somewhere no one can use us
did you know are still good underneath,
like fine fine furniture
like fine fine furniture-*/

I sighed as I remembered the look on Trunks face as I explained the seriousness of my illness. My mind wandered to that day a month ago as I read a book to our children..

* * *

"It's colon cancer, like my father had. My brother had it too, but it was caught so early it hadn't proved a problem. It's a hereditary thing from what I've been told."

"I see. How bad is it." I grimaced.

"It's pretty bad. You know how I hate doctors, and try to avoid checkups and such whenever I can. Guess it's finally bit me in the ass." It wasn't supposed to be as humorous as it sounds.

"What are they gonna do? For treatment or what have you."

"Well, they said there isn't much they could do. Not unless I wanted to spend the small span of the rest of my life in a hospital in another country, maybe another continent. It would prolong my life for say, another half a year, but I'd be so far away and wasting away on a bed without you or the kids. I just couldn't do it."

Silence overtook us as I waited for him to digest my words. Minutes past, though it appeared to me as though it were years.

"How long do you have." Swallowing, I look away. I'd been afraid he would ask me that question.

"Two months. Two and a half at the most."

"Jesus," he muttere, his voice strained as he closed his eyes and turned away. I was surprised he'd use the term so badly. It wasn't like him. But, to be honest, I didn't care because was all you could say.

* * *

"Daddy, what's wrong?" Fontine asks, blinking her eight year old hazel eyes at me. I notice a few drops of water on the plastic book and wipe away the few tears in my eyes, mustering a bright smile.

"No, kids. It's fine. Daddy's just fine."

Trunks watches us from the doorway. He thinks he's being sneaky, but I could always tell. The feeling of his gaze is so strong, it's hard not to. The cancer's been taking it's toll on me. I don't play with the kids as much, choosing to sit on the bench on our porch and watch rather than be in the game. My hair, which had always been thick and soft, had lost it's life, falling down to my face as though gravity were suddenly stronger than before. My skin was paler from my lack of being outdoors, and I know I've lost at least fifteen pounds. The kids seem to be unaffected, thank god. If they were worried, I don't know what I'd do.

The tiredness in my voice is something I can't stop no matter how much I try. This inner battle has succeeded in affecting my spirit. But I'll fight for as long as I can.

I hate to leave the children alone. I haven't even told them yet, though I get the idea they're getting suspicious. And Trunks.. God, I love him so much and I know how much this is affecting him too. If only I could take a way they're pain...

To keep them from them all from the reality of our situation. To give them a world without this illness where we, where I, could live and be together. This is my dream. And yet it can never come true.

I sniffle and turn the page.

"And then, the rabbit said.."

/*-I pray a little harder tonight
for the people that I love tonight
they're falling apart slowly
covered in brown-*/

My eyes squeeze shut as my back falls against the hallway door. He's trying so hard, but he can't stop it. My hand knots in my bangs. My Goten...

I'm angry at myself for caring, for giving into this crazy thing of love and getting so close. It was for the children, I tell myself. Who better to raise abandoned children than with Goten, I'd like to know! He was getting fits too...Out of nowhere, he'd cough and as it carried on, he'd choke as blood found it's way up his throat. It was so damn hard...

The children walk out of the room and forcing the grin upon my face once again, I join him on our bed. Holding him against me is so different than it used to be. His body is so much more frail against mine..

Tightening my grip, I nuzzle his hair. I'm gonna take advantage of this situation and keep him as happy as I can, even if I go insane in the process.

/*-we belong in a frame, a cigar box
we belong somewhere no one sell us
bless your heart, I'm still standing here
We belong in a hope chest, a locket
we belong somewhere no one can use it-*/

The sounds of sobs wakes me from my dreams a week later, and I roll to the other side to see Goten's face contorted as moonlight reflected on the tears streaming down his face. My sense went on immediate alert as I brought his face to meet me.

In one heart wrenching sound he was on my, arms crushing me beneath him as his tears soaked my chest and and his hair tickled my chin. Violent sobs wrack his body and he shudders, holding me closer. I can't think of anything to do, so I wrap my arms around his shoulders, waiting for him to relax.

"It's okay Goten..Just relax and tell me what's wrong."

"Trunks...I don't wanna die!" He whispers harshly into my chest. I freeze. Those words...they contradicted everything I've ever believed in for him. How I thought he was...

"I don't wanna die! I'm..I've got so much to live for, and so much to do! I don't want to leave so soon..." He sobs into my chest again, and tears begin to gather in my own eyes.

"I'm so sorry Goten...This isn't want you deserve.."

"There's no way, you could understand," he get's out between sobs. "You could never fathom what it feels like." His grip gets even tighter if that's possible, and I try to prevent the tears flowing down my face.

"What it feels like to know your gonna die, and there's nothing you can do to prevent it. That's it's just gonna end. You have to confront everything you thought could wait. It's just...It's just to much." That was all the coherence I was gonna get from him that night.

All I did was lay there and hold him till he fell asleep. That night I dreamed, and I was swimming in a sea of his tears. I didn't sleep very well.

/*-do you know you still belong to me
like fine fine furniture...-*/

It was another week before it happened. I'd been making breakfast on Sunday, pancakes and milk, his and the kid's favorites, when his yell sounded through the house. Dropping everything and letting it crash to the floor, I ran down the hall to our bedroom to see him on our bedroom floor, curled in on himself as a few tears came from the corner's of his eyes. Blood covered the left half of his face, his usually pale lips covered in red.

"Trunks..." My name just came past his lips before another roll of pain struck him and his face buried itself in the floor. I was there in a moment, pulling him to me as he rode the wave.

"Goten, are you okay?! What's wrong?!" He struggles through the tears and pain to open his eyes and speak to me. Red smears my shirt but I don't care. My focus was on him, only him.

"My..organs... I think they're shutting..down." My eyes widen, but I don't let myself panic. That wouldn't be good for either of us.

"That's nothing we can't handle, right? I can just get you to the hospitol..." I start to edge towards the other room with the phone, but he grabs at me.

"Do-don't leave me..."

"Okay Goten, I'll stay. Whatever you want.." My voice wavers but remains strong as his breath slows down. The brown of his eyes are half hidden by his eyelids. Blood covers more of his shirt as another fit hits. As it passes, his eyes flicker open and shut as he tries to focus on me.

"Trunks... I need to tell you something." His hand comes up to my face, and through the humility of the fact that I'm crying a river I place mine over his.

"I'm listening Goten, take your time." He shakes his head.

"I...I'm not a-afraid anymore, Trunks. I've..." he pauses to take a deep breath. "Been thinking and..I know, that when I'm..gone, I'll be able to-to watch over you." His finger strokes my face as he smiles. It's almost a grimcae but the brave act was breaking my heart. If he kept this up, I was gonna pass out.

"Oh yeah, huh? You don't think your going to hell?" I joked through the tears. He laughed, but sputtered and coughed for a moment, then relaxed once again.

"Nah...They'd be..too afraid I'd take over." He smiles at me, through the pain, the blood, and the tears. It overshines the whole situation and peace fills my heart. How could I be scared when he wasn't? The smile drops falls away and his hand drops to his side as his face returns to the horrid grimace. His body jumps every few seconds until it stops once again. He releases a sigh, before looking to me one last time.


"Y-yes Goten?"

"I'm sorry." Surprise rides through my body.

"What do you mean?"

"That...that this is what it's going to take to make you become you. The way... my love never could." He coughs as my world crashes around me. His words cut me deep inside. Had I really been that closed off? That emotionless, that..unloving?

"Oh, Goten. My sweet Goten," I sputter through the tears, brushing my lips on his forhead as his eyes slide shut.

"But your wrong. You made me love you Goten. That was enough."

The corners of his lips curled just the slightest, before one last breath escaped his lips, and his body fell limp in my arms. The doctors said later on that his stomach had failed and his body went into shock, but I don't care for doctors all that much. The fact was, he was gone, and at that moment, I make a vow. That those children will never EVER feel as I believe Goten had. That they will be loved, cherished and loved even more until the day I die. And they will know of this man, my Goten, the one who made the cold, unfeeling voyeur Trunks Briefs love.


O.o...It's kinda hard to explain...This whole 3 Days in Rome thing is gonna have three parts, but I'm putting them out in this order. 1,3,2. I don't know why... This fic was a test to see if I could actually write something sad. I'm pretty sure most people would think this is just a waste, and with it said by me, if you did think that you don't have to repeat it. ^.^ Let me know what you think, I'm sure I won't get all depressed. At least, I won't SAY I am.

Also! Just a reminder to everyone! I am holding an art challenge! The rules are simple! Just send me a picture that you've drawn or manipulated into a scene from any of my fics. It can be in any medium or style and should include a note saying what fic and what chapter it's from. ^.^ All submissions should be sent to jackvbriefs@hotmail.com before December 21! The prize is either a one shot, or a pic, drawn by moi! ^.^ Thanks!