Chapter Ten: Revelations and Promises

Glass glistened, mocking the stars above.

The room was frigid, made even more so by the arctic breeze sweeping through. Tubes ran like crystal snakes, whipping in and out of loops and bends, sinking needle fangs in to the soft flesh of the hapless patient. The form underneath its shroud of white barely noticed the discomfort.

Eyes closed and chest slowly rising and falling, the form was nearly comatose.

A pale hand gently rubbed a single finger against a cool cheek, trembling slightly. The skin beneath jerked and the face pulled into a flinch. The hand pulled away, ashamed. The owner of the hand bit his lip, trying not to cry. Cropped auburn bangs lowered as the young demi salya jin kept his vigil over his fallen friend.

Three hours of surgery just to find ail the areas of internal bleeding

Another two hours setting broken bones and finding shattered ones.

And an hour and a half sewing up various lacerations and gashes.

How those got there, Gohan didn't want to know.

The end result was his former mentor ending up looking like a swathed blade of grass. Looking down at the lean form, he realized with a shock that his sensei had lost some weight and muscle mass.

He compared the figure on the bed to the once hale and unstoppable force he had grown up with. The difference rang a deathly knell in his mind.

A lot of weight.

The once fierce emerald fighter now resembled a glass figurine. Once vibrant jade skin was now a pale lime color. like watery light streaming in through a tinted window. He sat down before his shaking knees could fold on him. It was all he could do to contain his rage. Walking in on that had nearly destroyed any control he might have had. Then.seeing the blood everywhere.

Gritting his teeth he closed his eyes and lowered his head. It was enough to make him sick and even now, just thinking about it, his stomach cramped painfully. He turned his attention back to the lethargic form on the bed. Gently taking a slender hand, he cradled it in both of his. He sighed, thanking whatever gods and goddesses that came to mind that Dr. Mishu was out for the night. He didn't think he would take it to well to see one of his students fussing over a singular patient.

Especially if you happened to love that patient.

Gohan shook his head. He needed to tell Piccolo who he was so that he wouldn't run off at the sight of him, thinking the demi saiya jin to be just another tormentor. Kami knows he has had enough of them He leaned over and brought his lips level to the aristocratically arched ear.

'Piccolo san. I don't know if you will believe me or not. I can only hope that you do. You see, I am not just another one of these bloodthirsty monsters. It's me, Piccolo san. Gohan.'

Gohan didn't know if Piccolo could hear him or not, but it was worth trying. He sighed, tired and exhausted. Lying his head down on the bed beside the pillow, he closed his eyes. With in a few moments, he had drifted off into a light doze.

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Keen ebony eyes scanned down the multiple rows and columns of prearranged glyphs and almost indecipherable pictographs.

'Amazing. We have the advanced technology, superior warriors, and highly skilled leaders. and we are still using Old High Saiya jin pictographs?!' Vegeta shook his head as he strained his eyes, finally deciphering the thing.

All that work because somebody had to have horrible writing skills.

It was madness.

Add in the fact that an archaic writing system and modern technology didn't work. and you had a normal day in Intelligence. Muttering to himself, the disguised Saiya jin on Ouji hastily scribbled notes onto his LCD notepad, double checking it and then storing into the memory banks. "Finished! All that for nothing. Bah. If Broly had any kind of sense, he wouldn't go in and decimate the major capitals yet. He'd hold back and slowly intimidate them." he mused aloud, reminiscing.

He leaned back against the long marble table, resting his back from leaning over for so long, crunching coordinates and sectors. He was so lost in thought that sound of the door hissing open never registered in his awareness. The portal opened to let a spiky tressed warrior in. Laughing black eyes and a carefree smile were quickly plastered on the youthful face as the singular occupant in the room was observed.

Running a shaky hand through spiky locks, Son Goku observed the royal personage in front of him. Vegeta did not notice him, his mind still intent on the days work. Strong, gentle hands suddenly caressed his bare neck. Vegeta pivoted around, already in a defensive stance. Upon seeing Goku, he relaxed and let a small smile.

"Kakarrot. . ."

Son smiled, even white teeth shining in an alabaster face.

"Hello Vegeta" He smiled. His face bright and innocent.

A pang of affection ran though the prince's spine. He still wondered how in the hell he had made it this long without finding his true soul mate. Blinded by his own pride, he had denied his undernourished heart and in doing so hurt and starved his spirit. Though he might never admit outwardly, he could not live with out his chosen mate now.

Stepping away out of his stance and stalking deliberately towards the other male, he smirked, taking in the lean and muscular form. The furred appendage behind him wove sinuously back and forth. Goku swallowed, finding himself entranced by the smaller warrior's movements. Ebony eyes widened and small sweat droplets began to form on his pale skin. The Saiya jin no Ouji took this to his advantage and stalked deftly past him, allowing his tail to curl briefly around the younger man's thigh in a caress then walked on, out the door. Goku blinked in surprise and then turned on his heel, determined not to let this morsel escape him without revenge. Armor glistening in the harsh fluorescent light of the hallway, his silent padding soon caused him to reach the other warrior, falling into step with him.

Vegeta stared straight ahead, his mouth quirked in a slight half smirk.

Behind them Vegeta's next shift ushered in to the main room to complete where Vegeta had left off. One, a young saiya jin gazed back towards the retreating pair and narrowed his eyes, muttering something to the wall in a rapid breath. Sneering he spun on his heel and entered the room as if nothing had happened, his murky brown locks hissing in the climate controlled air. The door shut with a sibilant hiss as he passed, encasing the occupants within in frigid metal and searing circuits. Goku frowned slightly as he turned his head slightly to gaze over one lean shoulder. Catching a young warrior's gaze briefly, he spun back around and faced forward.

"You do realize we are going to get caught eventually."

The shorter fighter nodded. "Hai ...but hopefully they will not find out until we all are safely off this stormridden hell."

Taking a right, they padded down another long corridor, heading for a sparring room, as was their usual routine. Goku nodded and lowered his head briefly, the quirked a curious gaze over at Vegeta.

"Hear anything from Gohan lately?"

Vegeta ground his jaw slightly and hesitated, not wanting to rouse Goku's ire prematurely. He dropped his gaze slightly and sighed, raising up to match his own onyx pools with the jet ones across from him.

"Yes"

"And?"

A sigh.

"He's found him, but not the way he wanted to."

Goku cocked an eyebrow, confusion evident on his smooth face. Licking dry lips, he swallowed, wondering if he really wanted the full measure of the news. Another sigh. Vegeta edged around another turn and continued padding towards the gym.

" I will tell you when we get some privacy. It wouldn't do to have a spy over hear us. I imagine Broly's underlings already suspect us to some extent."

"Suspect us as what?"

"Well being more than friends, obviously. But that was commonplace in Saiya jin society as well. That and Broly has a naturally suspicious nature. It would suit him well to suspect all he has hired."

"But that would mean thousands of suspects."

"Hai ...and hundreds of spies, keeping them in line..."

"Great... So how are we going to pull this plan off with such odds against us, Vegeta?"

"Hope Kakarrot. Hope... Its all that we have left and sometimes it is stronger than fate itself."

Goku sighed in tandem with his prince and continued padding faithfully at his side, never wavering in his step. "If you say so My Prince."

The Ouji didn't respond, but rather smiled slightly. The corridor widened as they reached the D section of the fortress, housing the indoor training facilities. Pressing his access code in Vegeta stealthily entered the room with Goku following.

Shedding his body armor, leaving only his body suit on to accentuate his lithe form, he turned to the Security official, a semi playful snide smirk on his face. "Feeling like getting your ass trounced Kakarrot?"

Goku sneered in reply and stripped his own body armor off, standing to his full height and stretching, lengthening corded muscle, the furry brown appendage lashing hungrily behind him.

"Big words Vegeta...for a soon to be floor mat. Why don't we place a small wager on this little fight?"

Vegeta quirked an eyebrow, crossing his arms and leaning back slightly, interested.

"Keep talking ...."

Goku widened his sneer, baring teeth. "I win... and I do what I want to you, for as long as I want to you and you can't complain... If you win, which is highly unlikely, then the same rule applies, only to your advantage. You do what you want to me, for as long as you want and I cannot complain either. Deal?"

The other full blooded warrior quirked his head, thinking it over. Ebony eyes narrowed, thin lips pursed and shoulders rigid, he continued to muse.

"Deal... I just hope you are up to it... You had better just concede the fight now... In order to save some energy" he finished with his customary smirk plastered on his aristocratic face.

Shaking his head the other fighter laughed.

" Then shall we My Prince?"

And with that final remark... the battle commenced.

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Booted feet hissed back and forth as the anxious owner paced frantically, trying to get his scattered thoughts in some sort of order. The normally alabaster skin flushed and cool eyes bright, Broly was not his usual calm self. Something had went horribly wrong.

He had lost control...

Growling softly to himself, he ran a trembling hand through rough spiked locks. Trying to get a distinct reason as to why that emerald fighter he had picked up as a mere plaything infuriated him so. It wasn't merely the physical thrill, though it certainly added to it. If it were only that then he could easily go into his own stables and pick out a bed mate.

No... It was something more.

Sighing, he sat down and held his head in his hands, clenching strong fingers into claws and gritting his teeth.

Control....

That was why he was so easy to pique. He had let it slip. If he had only managed to reign in his temper for a few seconds more. He would had the lean warrior right where he wanted him. Leaning back and releasing his head, he mused. The ornate bed frame glinted dully in the wan light. Due to the ever shifting weather patterns it was hard to discern time during the day using the sky alone... It could just as easily been midday as afternoon or morning.

He ran a thoughtful hand up one banister, stroking the smooth mahogany like wood. The warrior stood, balancing his weight carefully, like that of a hunting predator. Blinking slowly he allowed a singular idea form delightfully in the twisted convolutions of his mind. Stalking slowly to his cabinets, the leader pulled out several trappings, thumbing them thoughtfully. Laying them on the bed, the fighter quickly stripped, baring scarred muscle momentarily and then covering them back up. Pulling on the last bit of clothing and then stepping into his boots, Broly finished his toilette and stalked out .... leaving the rumpled indigo stained garments behind.

Forgotten. . .

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Bright. . .

Harsh...

Pain....

Glazed garnet pools blinked tiredly, squinting.

Aching all over, he tried to find out if there was not a part of him that wasn't broken, crushed, ripped or otherwise injured. Even wincing hurt. He sighed softly, cringing as the upheaval of chest muscles pulled at the bindings, scraping against still tender wounds. A familiar presence was next to him.

Puzzled as to whom it was, he fought against screaming muscles and protesting nerves and swiveled his neck ever so slightly to the left, trying to catch a glimpse of his companion Gohan started as the slight movement of the one next to him jolted him to alertness.

Snapping open his keen gaze he was riveted to the spot by twin garnet orbs, gazing back at him with a fatigued glaze. They young man sucked in a sudden breath and drove out the sharp pangs of pain in his chest. His lips curved up into a small smile of their own accord. Watching the swathed figure with every bit of his attention, the young saiya jin male was awash with tides of emotion...

Rage...

Pain....

Anguish...

Compassion...

Love...

Gripping the hand tighter, he fought back the tears that threatened to etch down his cheeks.

"Piccolo"san... It's me... You have to believe its me... It's Gohan...." his voice shaky, watching the garnet gems before him for a reaction.

'G g gohan?' his mind is whirling in circles...

This tall stranger couldn't be his former student... He was still a child.

Piccolo peered closer, vision still clouded. Pain... Pain was his world .... Nothing else mattered... Shadows, his only solace, were absent in this sterile place. All was illuminated... Nothing could be hidden. Narrowing his eyes, trying to focus his frail vision, he scrutinized the young male before him. He took in every single feature before him... Including the eyes...

The eyes...

A jolt of realization screamed through his mind... The eyes...

He leaned in as close as he could without hurting himself any further and stared deeply into the coffee hued orbs before him. They were the same... He was telling the truth... He is Gohan...

'O gods... And he is seeing me in this state?!'

Rather than feel elation at perceiving the presence of his young student, shame permeated his being, causing him to wince and turn his head away from the young man. He swallowed back the bile that threatened to rise up out of his throat. The constricting bindings rubbed painfully against his abused body. Gohan sighed, watching the garnet gems disappear and close, the jade hued face turning from him. He continued to squeeze the hand he held in his, trying to lend what comfort of presence he could to the tattered soul before him.

" I have missed you. We all have... You have been gone so long, Piccolo san." Gohan started, trying to fill the silence and get his teacher to respond in some way.

Piccolo blinked... Gone long?

Its been only a year or so, by his reckoning.

Gohan should only be about twelve or thirteen now, still being a child...

Instead a young man has taken his place... Piccolo knew he wasn't lying about his identity. The eyes... they never lied. Appearances could be altered, but the expression in the eyes could never lie. Licking dry lips and turning his head painfully to stare up at the monochromatic ceiling, he tried to force his voice out of his ragged throat but succeeded in producing only a whisper, like dead leaves skittering across an abandoned parking lot.

"How... how long?"

Gohan's gaze shot up at the question, his entire being clenching briefly, then relaxing... The voice was a husky whisper, not his usual strong baritone that Gohan missed so keenly. Licking his own lips, Gohan coughed and looked back down.

" A long time Sensei... Too long..."

Piccolo grimaced slightly. Gohan was hiding something, and he endeavored to drag it out of him.

"Gohan...how..long..was...I gone from Chikyu?"

The demi saiya jin paled, his already alabaster skin becoming a pale marble... The next words hit with the force of a hurricane on a crowded beach.

"Eight years." Piccolo found that his breath would not enter his chest.

Eight years...

Eight years?!

How could so much time have elapsed since the fight?!

He hadn't been on this planet that long. Gohan watched as Piccolo's eyes widened impossibly, the dark pupils more evident in the garnet irises. His brow furrowed and a question tried to form on his lips, but died as weariness took over. The computerized monitor system chirped as incoming messages from it's patients vital signs were analyzed.

The sedation fluid sped down towards its intended victim, along the plastic tubing and into the body beneath.

"I will tell you later, Sensei...When you are healed... It is a long story."

Piccolo sighed and nodded, weary... His eyes closed, lethargy stealing over him once again. His last thoughts before oblivion claimed him were on his student.

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Vegeta snarled at his opponent, eyes narrowed and brow furrowed. Tail lashing vigorously, hair golden, and body tensed, he circled the other warrior.. seeking an opening. Goku grinned ferally, his own hair the same hue, body tensed as well, breathing slightly heavy but within the normal levels of a fighter of his species.

Flipping out in a flying crescent kick, Vegeta managed to land a point on the wary saiya jin warrior. Rebounding from the force of the kick, Goku attacked with a punch/jab/uppercut combo, then finishing with a side kick. Shaking his head, Vegeta flicked a trickle of blood away from his nose.

"You are improving Kakkarot...Perhaps in time you might actually become a true warrior." he smirked, his voice playfully snide.

Goku sneered in response. "Thank you ever so much sense! for the compliment.. after all the teachings of the master are reflected by the actions of the student."

Vegeta chuckled, crouching down In an offensive stance once more. His compact, lithe body was tensed in battle stance, his sympatic system readying his adrenal glands for flight or fight. The other warrior circled him warily, his own system reacting to the obvious clues given off by his opponent. The younger saiya jln's keen orbs were narrowed, catlike. A slow rumble issued from his throat, not unlike that of a tiger humming to itself, before striking its prey.

He pounced...