"Catch me if you can!" His smile thrown over a bare shoulder, his body poised for a dive.
"As if I couldn't!" Standing, noticing the tapering waist, slender hips. Taut buttocks and legs tense, the other springs, diving deeply into the pool. Sudden, unnerving realization.
"Can't catch me!" as he surfaces in the middle.
A sudden urge - primal, savage, demanding. The shock of cool water. Fierce determination, surfacing behind the other, capturing him. Subduing him when he tried to slip free, not knowing that it is no longer a game. The fury, as the fight becomes real.
The water roiling with the fight, becoming tinged with blood. Dark hair becomes blond, the fight becoming more furious. A welter of half-formed thoughts. Delight with the battle, there is no holding back. The feel of his body. A savage ecstasy as he is penetrated, his despairing howl. The water reddens with his blood, the air fills with his screams and cries. Half-dragging him from the water, dominating him again as he pleads, beating him down. Leaving him there in a pool of his own blood.
He held the needle against his skin. A deep breath, another. No one would ever believe he could do such a thing to himself, that he would. Exquisite agony as he pierced the skin, found the vein. A moment later, he was done. He used a brief burst of energy to destroy the needle. No one must ever know.
His perceptions shifted. Yes, it was taking effect. The world around him blurred, then faded. He rested against the tree, content just to sit. Colors began dancing, resolving themselves into a form. He blinked. This wasn't supposed to happen! This was what he was trying so desperately to forget! Narrow waist, slender hips. "Catch me if you can!"
He fumbled the blue pill from his pocket, swallowed it. A shallow dive, the capture. "You have been neglecting your training. I will have to teach you a lesson." No, no, I don't want to see this! Twisting, fighting to be released. Domination. The vision dissolved into fractured colors, the memory finally subdued under the combined forces of the drugs.
Goku split the firewood mechanically. No yelling, no spinning. Just set up and split. Chi-Chi, watching from the window in front of the kitchen sink, wondered about the Saiyan's uncharacteristic action. Usually he made such a production out of everything, but lately…. She sighed. Lately, Goku just hadn't been himself. He hadn't argued about needing to train when she wanted him to do chores. He hadn't eaten everything in sight and still been hungry. She paused, a dish in her hand, staring at him. Now that she was actually thinking about it, she didn't think he'd done any training for awhile. Was her husband ill?
Another log split, firewood raining down in a neat stack. Goku paced along the pile, gauging it. There should be enough to last a few days, even at the rate they used it in winter. And with it being summer, they would certainly get by for awhile. He trudged to the garden, and began pulling weeds. Maybe a fishing trip after he finished this?
A shudder ran through him. Okay, maybe not fishing. Gathering, then. There were some apple trees and berry bushes that he could collect fruit from. That would keep him out of Chi-chi's way for awhile, and still give him something to do. He did not want to get stuck doing the laundry again.
"Vegeta! Vegeta! Oh, there you are." The tone was not agreeable.
Vegeta looked up at his wife. "What do you want?"
"You were supposed to go to the dinner party."
"Dinner party?" Face and tone both blank. "What dinner party?"
"The one to recognize my taking over the company from Father." Bulma tapped a toe, angrily, then shook her head. "You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?"
"None. I was training."
"You are always training! You have a family, you know! You could spend a little time with us!"
Vegeta returned to his contemplation of the clouds. "Doing what? The children have no interest in anything other than dating, which I have no interest in, and you never discuss anything but your work. The clouds are better company."
Bulma stared at him, too furious to speak. She wheeled suddenly, and went marching back the way she'd come. He dropped his gaze from the sky to watch her out of sight. "The clouds really are better company…"
He… I… This can't be! Can not be! I… I won't allow it! I'm the Saiyan prince! These kinds of things are not supposed to happen to me!!!! Vegeta sat up suddenly, gasping for air. His breath was quick, shallow; his body covered in cold sweat. He trembled, trying to contain the emotional bomb he'd become, struggling to keep himself under control. He groped for the glass on the night stand, knocking it over. It took him a moment to realize it.
"Damn!" He flung the covers off, snatching the glass off the floor. His progress for the connecting bathroom was somewhat unsteady. Between his training, and that damned dream, he wasn't feeling like being upright. He settled the glass on the counter, then found himself gripping it to stand.
Warm heat, slippery flesh. The conquest, the blood, the sound of bone breaking. He shook his head, dispelling the images of the dream. His hands shook when he filled the glass, slopping water when he lifted it to drink. "No! Don't! Stop, please stop!" The picture shifted, but the words were the same. He moaned, and slid unconscious to the floor.
He woke there several hours later. He stared at the tile beneath his nose, wondering how he came to be sleeping on the bathroom floor. Wondering why no one had noticed he was sleeping on the bathroom floor. He pushed himself off, heavily, then used the edge of the sink to pull himself to a standing position. He made his way carefully to the door, then staggered across the room to his empty bed. He gathered himself, and made his way to the GR, completely forgetting about breakfast. He wasn't hungry, anyway.
It wasn't me. It didn't really happen. It was just a dream. Just a really bad nightmare. A nightmare I don't want to remember! The needle slid into place, his relief would soon follow. This place, this familiar place, would soon be nothing more than a blur of colors and distorted sounds. He didn't mind. As long as it kept the nightmares away, he didn't care what happened.
Her husband, rigid beside her, still wide awake. He hadn't slept now for three nights, and only fitfully for the last few months. He told her he napped out in the woods when he found trees for their firewood, but his eyes didn't meet hers when he said it. She knew he was lying. "Why are you still up?"
"I'm not up."
"Awake, Goku. You're still awake."
"Oh." She had to wait. "I can't sleep."
"I don't know. I guess I'm just not tired enough yet."
"You haven't slept for three days, Goku." Her voice was getting shrill, and she leaned over him now.
He flinched. "I told you, I took a nap. I'm fine, Chi-chi, really. Don't worry. I'm just not ready to sleep yet."
"I want to know what's going on." Now she sat up, pulling the blankets off him to wrap around herself. "Tell me."
"It's nothing important, Chi. Give me back the blankets! I'm freezing!"
She stared at him a long moment. "Goku?"
"Go watch late night TV."
When would it end? Why couldn't he forget this? Why? He shook another pill out. Why had the other challenged him like that? Why had his reaction been so… so…. He couldn't even begin to describe it, didn't want to think about it. He swallowed the pill.
So many things lost to that nightmare. He couldn't train anymore, no longer had a well-matched sparring partner. He had lost a friend, as well. But why had it happened? He couldn't get his mind off it, so he popped another of the blue pills. One way or another, he'd forget.
"You belong to me now. Know that. You are mine." Watching as the other flew away, leaving him bleeding and broken. The ache in his body, his mind… the gaping wound in his soul - his innocence lost, ripped away. Struggling to reach his clothes, the senzu bean. Sweet relief as the physical wounds healed. Crying as he dressed, unable to cope with the horror he'd been through. Blocking it completely from his conscious mind.
But he couldn't block his dreams.
He blinked. Not again! How much would he have to drug himself before he would forget? Another needle and another pill had upped the dosage to the point he didn't think he would be able to recognize her if his wife came in. He certainly couldn't stand on his own, but he tried. His attempts to use the wall of the GR to pull himself up were half-hearted at best, and he slumped back to the ground.
Maybe he just had to remember. Maybe he couldn't forget.
"Why? Why did you do it?"
He examined the apparition before him, the other's form standing out from the blur around him. "So beautiful…" he breathed, even as he fumbled at the lid of the pill bottle. He shook it gently, scattering the blue pills across the floor in front of him. "I don't want to remember." He swept up a handful of them, had them almost at his mouth when his hand stopped moving. A tiny little frown appeared. "Why won't my hand move?"
Goku held Vegeta's wrist, too shocked to speak. He recognized those pills. He'd helped Bulma force them down Vegeta's throat more than once. Tranquilizers. Vegeta shifted, trying to get to his handful of pills, and Goku saw the needle lying on the floor. "Vegeta… what have you done to yourself?"
This was new. The dream never did this. Maybe this was absolution. Vegeta smiled, an uncertain hand reaching up to caress Goku's cheek. "So very beautiful," he slurred, "so very strong." Vegeta looked so different, a soft smile lighting the often harsh features, his body completely relaxed, except for the hand he was still absently trying to move. Goku tensed, eyes wide with remembered terror at his gentle touch. "I need more pills to forget."
"For… forget?" Goku swept aside the pills Vegeta hadn't picked up. "Why would you want to forget? You enjoyed it!"
A moment of clarity in the misted dark eyes. "Do you think I liked what I did? Do you think I enjoyed discovering that I was no better than Frieza, that I would take an unwilling Saiyan just to prove my power over him? I refused to do that on his ship, even though I received his special attention for refusing! And now, I've done it. He'd be so pleased. Do you think it was fun, reliving through you what I lived through under him? I want to forget. I want to forget it all." Vegeta tried again to move the hand Goku held. "I need those pills. I have to forget… if only for awhile. Why can't I take them?"
It was only then that Goku realized Vegeta didn't think he was really there. Vegeta would never be so open with him, reveal such truths about himself and his past. Especially that part of his past. Vegeta had beaten him savagely, breaking his arm and most of his ribs, striking viciously, making Goku scream in agony even as he was brought to a shattering climax. How many times had Vegeta been given that kind of treatment? "Vegeta…"
But Vegeta was lost to him, caught again in his daze. He continued talking, his words slurring again. "So beautiful… so strong. I wanted that beauty, the strength. And realized it - horrible. I do not feel such things. I do not allow such things. That is not the way I am. I am the Saiyan prince, I am supposed to be the strongest of my people. But you, you beat me, over and over and over, always the stronger.
"And then you challenged me. I felt the surge… a rage too intense for words, a desire too much to be born. I could not… could not control it." Again, he reached to caress Goku. "And I don't wish to remember. I wish to forget."
"Not this way, Vegeta. Not these pills." Goku pried them from his hand, flung them to the other side of the room. A brief flare of energy ensured their demise. "It never happened. It was all just a bad dream." A bit of IT, and they were in the prince's room. Goku settled him in the bed. "You'll wake up, and you'll know it was just a bad dream." Goku kept repeating that, hoping that the drugs the prince had taken would help with the lie.
He waited until he was sure Vegeta really was asleep, and went home. He curled on his couch, shivering convulsively. He hadn't been dreaming. It had been real - he'd been reliving what he'd actually gone through. He hadn't coped well thinking it was just a dream, what was he to do now?
Vegeta woke slowly, drowsily taking in the comfort of the bed he laid in. The morning sun was barely over the horizon, lighting the room with the pale pink blush of dawn. Almost, it reminded him of home. He sat up, stretched languorously. Then he frowned, remembering with startling clarity the dream? of last night. It had been a dream, hadn't it? He'd been in the GR, not in his room.
Needle tracks. If it had been real, there should be some proof. But examination of his arms showed nothing. He checked his pockets, there were no pills. Why in the world had he gone to bed in his clothes? He shed them hastily, moving to the bathroom. A shower was definitely in order.
No marks. None anywhere on his body. Had it truly been a dream? He shampooed his hair, rubbing furiously. Perhaps he should go visit Kakarot. That would certainly tell him something. If he truly had raped the other Saiyan, Kakarot wouldn't greet him as he normally did. Would he? "Not this way. Not these pills. It never happened. It was just a bad dream. You'll wake up, and you'll know it was just a bad dream." The words rose from his memory, Kakarot's voice shaky, yet still compelling.
Vegeta dressed quickly, leaving a vapor trail behind him as he shot away from Capsule Corp.
Goku's face froze in sudden terror as he felt the pulse of energy approaching, and he choked on the egg roll he'd been munching. He should have known Vegeta would come. He should have! He coughed a few times, then polished off the egg roll. He must act naturally.
"What are you doing here?" Goku's face swiveled towards the door, eyes wide. He'd totally forgotten about Chi-Chi! A shiver coursed through him at the growled response. "Well, too bad. Goku has chores he needs to do. Go away."
"What's going on, Chi-Chi?" he called.
"Nothing to worry you. Just an unwelcome caller."
There was nothing polite about the angry snarl that followed that remark. "Hey, is that Vegeta?" He hopped from his chair, swinging Chi-Chi away from the door. "Hey! It is you. Long time no see. What brings you here? Want to spar?"
Vegeta stepped inside, examined the younger Saiyan. Dark circles indicated the loss of sleep Goku hadn't realized he'd need to hide. The effervescent greeting sounded a bit forced. Besides, Kakarot would have recognized him long before he'd gotten to the door. His eyes swung toward the table. "You left food to ask me a foolish question?"
"Well, you sounded a little mad. I didn't really want you to get all that upset with Chi-Chi," Goku grinned, then grimaced as his wife elbowed him. She was on a tirade that neither Saiyan paid any particular heed. "You hungry? There's some left." Goku forced himself to turn to the table and his unfinished plate.
"No." Vegeta turned to silence Chi-Chi, when her words suddenly registered. "He's been what?"
"I said," she snapped, "that he's been doing his chores instead of training all the time. I don't intend to let you mess that up."
Vegeta looked away from her, directly at Kakarot's suddenly still form. "Kakarot?"
"I… ah… haven't really felt much like training?" Goku picked up an egg roll, took a bite. A small bite.
"Really?" Vegeta paced slowly up to him. Goku shivered uncontrollably, tried to hide it by taking a drink. "I don't believe you."
"Well, aren't I entitled to a few off days? I train all the time, Vegeta. I'm just… taking a vacation."
"From training? When it might save the world someday?"
"Vegeta! Even I have to take a break sometime!" Goku complained around a mouthful of noodles.
Vegeta stalked closer. He reached out, his hand settling on the other man's shoulder. He saw Kakarot flinch, felt him tense. "Kakarot…" His voice faded as his grip tightened. "You should not have neglected your training. It seems I must teach you a lesson now."
Kakarot went chalk white, the chopsticks falling from his hand. Vegeta could feel him trembling even as he raised frightened eyes to the prince. "No… please… no…"
Vegeta dropped his hand, spun on his heel. "Perhaps not. I have better things to do."
Vegeta measured out the dosage carefully. He must not make any mistakes this time. He must not see Kakarot this time. He must not feel him, hear him. He had been so ready to believe it had all been a dream, but the other man's fear of him-fear the great Saiyan had never shown-had proven all too well that he had not dreamed what he had done.