Rating: MA

Warning: Homosexual relationships, coarse language, violence, censored scenes, male-pregnancy( ? ) maybe, alternate reality, out of character.

Pairings: PrinceVegeta / Son Gohan

Beta: Vegeta-sire

Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ.

"Awakening"

Chapter 1

With a single black bag swung over his shoulder, Gohan glanced down one more time at the piece of paper clutched in his hand.

"C" He mumbled under his breath.

His eyes lifted from the paper and blinked at the imposing structure in front of him, and sure enough there was the letter C carved in the grey stone block above the large double doors. He could feel the butterflies dancing around inside his stomach with the uncertainty. He shook his head and pushed the lingering self doubt aside. He reminded himself that he had come this far. Let's rewind a little to a month ago when Gohan stood in the living room of his parents home on Vegeta-sei.

"Well?"

The powerful presence of his family's eyes' full focus upon him was lost. The boy's dark eyes danced quickly over the official black ink, a letter recently hand to him by his father. His heart was pounding hard against his chest, he couldn't breathe and his hands were literally shaking.

"Well, son what does it say?" The urgency and need to know was becoming overbearing for the adults.

Gohan's eyes lifted with an unreadable mask, until a small smile curled upon his lips. "I-I've been accepted … I have been ACCEPTED!" He shouted. Gohan couldn't believe it.

Overjoyed, his fist lunched in the air. "WOOHOO!"

The room quickly filled with cheers and claps of approval. Gohan was swallowed up from all sides in strong familiar arms. "I can't believe it!" He squealed excitingly, still clutching the letter in his right hand.

"Congratulations son." Goku pulled his son into a tight embrace. "Congratulations!" He cheered.

With a broad grin spread across his face, Bardock clapped a strong hand down on the boy's shoulder before pulling him into tight hug of his own. "There was NO doubt, in my mind, boy!" His grandfather crowed. "I knew you could do it."

"Congratulations are in order, nephew." Raditz grinned, proudly patting Gohan on the back. The boy's smiling eyes lifted up from his grandfather's shoulder.

"I can't believe it." The boy's voice cracked threatening to break.

All those nervous jitters he'd been feeling since he first applied for a place in the Royal Guards fled. The sleepless night's leading up to qualifications at the academy's arena where a hundred or so Saiyanjin teen applicants were put through the harsh assessments. Only a few would be accepted into the academy to be trained as the next generations of elite officers.

Gohan's grades and fighting skills had earned him a high place in Vegeta-sei's academy along side the rest of the males in his family. His heart felt light as he looked down at what would now play an important part in his future.

A chill danced over him and his eyes sprung up to see his mother, Chichi, standing quietly in the background. His heart sunk. His eyes met with her own disproving eyes … She turned her back, and walked away without a word. His excitement was lost as it sunk back into the disproving depths his mother has just thrown over him.

The enthusiasm slipped from his face and his chest grew heavy. His father, Goku, stood close to him wrapping a reassuring arm over his son's shoulders giving him a gentle squeeze. "Don't worry son I'll talk to her."

(Present.)

So there he stood, outside the building that was to be his home for the next four years. His sixteen year old handsome form stood there hesitantly, uncertain of what the future might hold for him inside the impressive walls before him. Taking a deep breath, he flexed his shoulders back, and took one quick glance up at the building before retuning his sights to the two large doors in front of him.

"Well here I go."

He stepped into the huge white tiled foyer, now crowded with a line of teenagers, all waiting to be assigned to their rooms. Gohan was quietly praying over and over again that he would get along with whoever he was signed with for the next four years. All the cadets were assigned to two to a room and sharing a common bathroom on each floor. Slowly Gohan worked his way down the line until it was his turn. He handed over his details. The gruff looking man looked up at him with raised brow. "Son Gohan?"

"Yes that's right. Is there something wrong?" The man lowered his eyes, shook his head.

"No …room 201. Top floor, on your left."

Gohan nodded and thanked him. He turned and thought he felt the man's eyes on him. He turned and sure enough the guard was looking at him before averting his eyes back to the teen in front of the desk. Strange.

Standing in front the partly open door that led to his room, he could hear someone moving around inside. He stretched a hand out, pushed the door open and stepped in. As turned the corner he was confronted with a boy, he could only presume to be his roommate, stretching trying to reach the top shelf of their shared robe.

"Hi. Do you need any help there?"

Startled the boy jumped back and tripped over a bag, falling back and hitting his head hard against the wall behind him. The clothes he was trying to put away cascaded down around him.

"Owww!"

Standing stunned, Gohan blinked a few times before his senses came back to him. "Hey, are you all right?"

The boy looked up rubbing his head furiously. "Yeah yeah I'm fine. Do you always creep on people like that?"

Helping the boy back up on to his feet. "Sorry."

"Hey, no big deal. No broken bones so don't sweat." Gohan noticed the boy was a few inches shorter than him, and more slender. His black hair was short, stopped at his nape. There were two stray bands that almost covered his dark eyes. Gohan thought he was quite cute in a way, a boyish charm, but he dared not mention it. He didn't want to make an enemy on the first day.

The boy looked up and down at him curiously before holding out his hand. "Alvis"

Gohan raised a single brow. "Sorry?"

"My name is Alvis, but I don't like it, so just call me Al." He commented with his hand still stretched out for Gohan to shake.

He was met with a firm grip. "Okay Al. I'm Gohan."

"All wise."

Gohan cocked his to the side. "Sorry?"

"That's what Alvis means. All wise."

Gohan nodded. "O-oh okay, mine means rice."

Al looked at him in disbelief for a minute. "Gee, that's gotta be tough."

"What do you mean?"

"Well for starters you're a 'mix' right?" Gohan raised a brow not sure what he meant. Al pointed to his waist. "Half-breed with the missing tail and on top of that you're named after food. I bet you get a lot of crap thrown at you with that." Gohan's eyes narrowed when Al put up his hands in defence. "Hey, it's cool. I have nothing against mix-blood. My uncle was one. So you're cool with me." He said with a cheesy lopsided grin.

Gohan's face softened into a grin. "That's good. I don't really know anyone here."

"Well you know me, now." Al said still grinning. "Welcome roomy"

"Thanks!" Gohan smiled broadly, this was a first since he arrived here on his father's home world. He couldn't wait to tell his dad. The first time in a year that he had made a friend on his father's home-world. "Let me help you."

Al smiled. In an hour of unpacking and talking with Al, Gohan realised how easy going the other boy was. He knew they would become great friends. They both had similar likes and dislikes. Their friendship was growing with the passing hours.

"So, is your family coming to the swearing in this afternoon?" Al asked now sitting on his bed leaning against the wall, his tail unwinding and laying on his lap while he groomed it.

Gohan was lying on his back with his arms folded under his head using it as pillow. He was staring up at the ceiling, lost in thought, when a sad expression of hurt washed over his face. "Well, everyone except my mum."

Al looked over at the boy opposite him. He could hear the hurt. "Why's that?"

"She doesn't approve. She thinks it's barbaric and a waste of my intelligence." Gohan snorted. His head shifted to look over at Al who was still grooming his tail affectionately. "I miss that."

"What?" Al said looking up from what he was doing.

"Having a tail."

"So you did have one?"

"Oh yeah, I was born with one, but it had to be removed." Gohan chuckled sadly to himself as looked back up the ceiling. "A few times."

Gohan didn't see the wince in Al expression. "That's gotta hurt." Al brought his tail closer, towards him as if to protect it.

"To be honest I don't remember. I was young when it happened." Gohan shifted onto his side and smiled at Al who was patting his tail affectionately.

"There there don't let the bad boy, scare ya." He purred to his tail.

Gohan chuckled and rolled back again, his brow knitted together. "Grandfather says it was criminal to have that happen to me. He's not at all happy with both dad and I losing our tails the way we did."

"Yeah, it's punishable by death if someone removes a tail. My dad's cousin went into a battle and lost his. Everyone treated him like a cripple after that. They found him a few weeks later dead. He had killed himself. Dad said he was a real happy go lucky person before that."

"That's terrible! I wouldn't do anything like that."

"Well, here on Vegeta-sei it's different. A tail is worn with pride, a symbol of the Saiyanjin race."

"Yeah, so I'm finding out."

"Are they giving you a hard time, then?"

"You could say that."

"Hey, you said your tail was removed a few times?"

"Yeah it was."

"I have never heard of that before, though I never seen a mix-blood before. My uncle died when I was little … Hey maybe it will grow back."

"I wish it would."

They were both startled with a loud tapping at the door. Al turned to Gohan who shrugged his shoulders in reply.

"Coming!" Al jumped of the bed and opened the door. There stood an older boy, tall with long hair braided behind him.

"Tollis is my name. I'm your friendly SV (supervisor) for this floor, until you test my patience that is." He grinned and handed Al a piece of paper. "Here's everything you need to know, rules and sorts. Be downstairs in the forum room by three. Don't be late!"

"Okay." Tollis nodded his head to Al and over his shoulder to Gohan before disappearing again. Al closed the door he turned to Gohan and raised the sheet of paper. "More rules." He sighed handing the paper to his roomy.

Gohan stood up and looked over the rules. "Well, it feels like home already." He grinned at his disheartened friend.

"I know, and it sucks!"

Gohan laughed and wrapped a friendly arm over his friends shoulder. Al looked up at him with a cheesy grin. They both started to laugh, and went to get ready for the ceremony. They needed to be in their formal uniforms when they pledged allegiance in front of an assembly of people, families, and friends. Not to mention being surrounded by their commanding officers, and most importantly the king.

Gohan, with the rest of his floor, piled downstairs, all in their new cadet uniforms. In royal blue spandex and white armour plate with symbol of the royal house of Vegeta-sei, red/gold crest, placed over the heart. Not to forget white gloves and boots. Gohan noticed how their commanders all wore their long red capes buckled to their armour, similar to the one his father and family do, as it was for the higher ranking officers only.

Al and Gohan both were leading all the other cadets to the great hall where, the whole academy was to congregate for this special ceremony. They were to pledge their obedience in front of everyone.

Gohan knew his family would be here, somewhere just as Al knew his would be. Nervously, they all made their way down to their seats. "Hey, have you ever seen the king before?"

"Never." Gohan replied.

"Me neither."

"I suppose he doesn't get out much what with running the empire and all." Gohan said thinking about it.

"Probably not. Though, I hear his son, the crown prince, is always on missions." Al said.

"Yeah, so grandfather tells me." Gohan explained.

"He's said to be really mean. Has a bad temper and would kill you on the spot."

"He doesn't sound like someone, anyone I'd like to meet." Gohan said looking around to see if he could see his family anywhere.

"Me neither." Al agreed with sidewards smirk.

Both boys stopped at the row of seats that they had been directed to. Gohan looked over to see, a few seats across, angry eyes staring back up at him. Al nudged him and whispered to him as they approached the girl. "Friend or foe?" He sniggered. Gohan looked back at him with a devilish grin.

"I don't know. How about you sit there?"

"Not likely." Al chuckled.

Hesitantly Gohan took his seat next to the girl. Feeling uncomfortable with the hostility he was sensing from the person next to him he shifted nervously in his chair. Al leaned over pointed to the girl and pulled a face. Gohan couldn't help but snicker in return getting the girl to glare back at them. When she turned back , both boys tried in vain to hold back their laughter.

She turned back with hard eyes. "Grow up! They are about to start!"

Composing himself, Al nudged Gohan in the ribs and leaned over and whispered. "She's one too."

"One what?" Gohan asked not quite understanding.

Hearing a growl Gohan turned only to find him face to face with girl. He looked wide eyes at her large blue eyes that burned into him. "He means … I'm a half-breed like you. Now will you both be QUIET! I want to hear what they have to say."

Both boys turned to each other wide eyed before shrugging their shoulders and returning their sights to the front not at all bothered by the girl's sharpness towards them.

It wasn't long before a huge bald head guy walked on stage. He had introduced himself as Nappa a high ranking instructor of the Royal Guards. He talked about what was expected of them and what they should know before the king arrives.

Gohan found it difficult to listen. His mind kept wandering to the girl next to him. Curiosity came into play. She was a half-breed like him and the first he had known. His eyes kept sneaking glances her way, trying not to be caught, but he failed miserably. He squirmed a little under her icy blues that glared back at him. Okay maybe not the friendliest girl, but at least he knew there were others like him out there. This could turn out to be an interesting four years, he thought.

He turned his attention back to the stage, and listened to the rest of the droning speech. Once it was over they were all told to stand. The thunderous sounds of shifting feet flooded the hall as everyone stood. Gohan watched in awe as the King's bodyguards spilled onto the stage, their faces masked in stone. He was sure they were void of all feeling.

The next thing he knew a command boomed across the room. Thousand's of fist pounded against breast plates as the king strode onto the stage, his red long cloak swayed with importance behind him. Gohan, with his own fist clenched at his chest plate, bowed his head. He glanced, unnoticed, at the hard face of their sovereign. Definitely not man you would want to cross, he thought.

As everyone's heads snapped up, his eyes were glued firmly onto those of their ruler. His commanding voice boomed, demanding respect over room and sending a shiver through Gohan. He never felt so over powered by a single person before; not like this man that stood tall in front of him. A king, that controlled an empire that matched no other, though there were many fools that tried to plot against Vegeta-sei.

With their fists still firmly pressed over their hearts they repeated an ancient ode of loyalty to their king, a commitment to the death. The room echoed with the drumming of the powerful pledge. Even the adults that had long ago passed through these same walls decades ago chanted those same words over again. Words, which were now, tattooed into their hearts and souls.

It was a proud day for all to see their sons and daughters repeat the same words in front of their King. Many shed a hidden tear. Even the hardest warriors couldn't hold back the pride that swelled in the great hall at that moment.

In the far top corner, Gohan's family carried the same pride at seeing the youngest family member carry on the proud tradition. Bardock turned to his son, Kakarrot, with the same pride, rejoicing he had his youngest son return to him and the bonus of finding out he has a grandson to continue their family line.

Puffing out his chest with pride he looked down at the sea of cadets standing below him. He knew the boy wouldn't let anything stand in his way; not when he had come this far.

After the oath and the King had left they were the last to leave. All the cadets started to pile steadily out of the hall. Gohan, with Al beside him, shifted forward slowly as all the cadets made a beeline for the door. "Maybe we should have waited." Al chuckled.

Gohan had to agree with him. "I think you're right. Hey, do know what that girl's name was? The one sitting next to us?"

"Miss grumpy!" Al said matter-of-factly.

"Really?"

"No, but it should have been. I passed her mother and her as I arrived here earlier this morning. I think it was her anyway. I think her name was infidel, fur-ball something like that."

"Gee, if that's true I think maybe she should stick with Miss grumpy." Both boys giggled Al nudged his arm.

"Hey, I'd hate to share a room with her. All those icy glares can't be good for you." He chuckled. Gohan grinned back, enjoying the friendship he had with his new found friend.

Eventually both boys made it outside and started searching through the crowd for their folks. "I can't see them anywhere!" Al said as he craned his neck up as far as it would go looking for the familiar figures of his parents.

"I can't see dad or grandad, neither." Gohan eyes scanned around the sea of warriors and families.

"Ah, there they are!" Al jumped up and waved and yelled at the top of his voice. "DAD, PAPA!!" Gohan was taken back and his face didn't hide any of it. Al turned to him with his usual friendly smile only to have it slip a little, confused. "What?"

"They are your parents? Those … those two men?" Gohan stumbled over his words, surprised about this new turn of events. He pointed to the two men approaching them, one with a wide grin, sprawled across his face it was the same as Al's. The other was a giant of a man, who you wouldn't want to offend any time soon - not if you wanted to find yourself imbedded into the planet's surface.

"What's wrong with you? I don't get it?" Al frowned.

"They are both men."

"Well yeah …O-oh I getya. Sorry, I forgot you probably weren't brought up here. Well, its cool here. Not common but still cool. Obviously where you come from it's not."

"But are they like … your real parents?" Gohan was finding this all a bit uncomfortable, but couldn't help but be curious.

"Well of course they-" Before he could finish what he was going to say, a smaller man swooped him up into a tight embrace.

"Alvis baby. Look at you. I was so proud. Weren't we Tab!"

"Yep, I can say I felt a tear." The giant man said, pretending he was doing just that, embarrassing the boy further.

"Ah dad, we're in public." He said his cheeks turning red from his papa's excessive display of affection.

"Well Alvis sweet, we're very proud." The man cooed releasing his hold from his only child. His eyes shone at Gohan. "Now don't you want to introduce us to your boyfr-"

"Friend! He's just a friend papa … so you can put away the wedding invitations."

"O-oh well …It's a shame. You're a real catch, you know that? Look at you. Tad look at the boy … turn around kid, let us get a good look at you." The smaller man raised his hand waving it in a swirling motion in the air for Gohan turn around.

"Papa, leave him alone. You'll frighten him off." Al sighed, desperately wishing his papa would be at least a little low key in public.

Al's papa acted mildly surprised, pointing to himself. "Me?"

Gohan's eyes widened, not knowing what to think or say. "Umm … look nice to meet you both. But I better go and find my dad. He'll be looking for me." He wanted to escape. Turning to his friend, "I-I'll catch you up in our room, late k?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Cool. Well I'd best go. Catchya later. Nice to meet you both …eh, Al's parents" Gohan backed away hastily with a nervous smile. He didn't want to sound rude, but this was all new to him and he needed time to get a grasp on this. One thing that he had learned very quickly was that Vegeta-sie was nothing like Earth and he had to stop comparing two planets.

"It's Tad and Da'son sweetie!"

"Oo-okay …bye." Gohan quickly turned and fled to the safety of the crowd.

"Catchya later!" Al waved with friendly smile.

"Aww Alvis … now he's just gorgeous! I hope you can find a decent guy like him."

"Yes papa." Al rolled his eyes and escorted his parents away before they could embarrass him even more.

"Gohan, over here son!" Goku called over the echo of laughter from families around him. He had the biggest smile on his face as he watched Gohan head his way in a light jog.

"Dad …gee am I glad to see you."

"What's this? Missed me already?" Goku chuckled placing a firm hand on his son shoulder leading him away from the crowd of families.

"Yeah, kinda." Gohan chuckled.

"How are you settling in?"

"Just fine. I share a room with this kid, Al, and he's great. You'll like him, though his parents are a bit-"

"Gohan!" Bardock's voice cut his sentence short.

"Granddad! Wasn't that just the best thing?"

"I'll say. I'm very proud of you son, another family member in the Royal Guards. Now let's go and find your uncle Raditz and have our own celebration before you have to go off to the palace tonight."

They made their way out through the academy gates leaving behind the massive building that housed and trained the next generation of warriors. It was bound on either side by the impressive high stone walls of the palace. It was grandeur at its best - standing proudly for all the citizens to see standing so dominant in the other wise picturesque landscape, so secretive. Not many of its people have dared to enter the walls uninvited.

The king of Vegeta-sie ruled with an iron fist. Beside him was his only son, the crown prince Vegeta. As the crown prince he carried the same proud name as the kings before him. It was an ancient tradition.

The crown prince came with the reputation of being a fierce fighter. It was said that he was merciless when he was out on a mission and nothing stood in his way. There was nothing out of his reach. He just took what he wanted and only a few fools got in his way. He was feared among many, and misunderstood by all.

It was rare to see the prince at all. He made it his business to be where the action was, out among the stars. His father had recently been at him to find a mate and settle down to produce more heirs. It was an old argument and one that had lost its flavour long ago. When he looked around he saw nothing that sparked any kind of interest.

Everyone was so freely available to him that it made no challenge. But who would be foolish enough to dare challenge him, the crown prince. He scoffed at the thought that they wouldn't dare. He was the next ruler of an all powerful Empire, a warrior race. No one would have the guts to say no to HIM. Never the less, the King was losing his patience with his son's refusal to take a mate and was planning to take matters into his own hands. His son can't continue to go against his wishes. He was duty bound and the King would not permit any rebellion from him. Prince Vegeta had been grounded by the King from any more missions until further notice.

The prince was filled with rage at his father's decision as he leaned over his balcony that over looked the great City. Fists clenched, jaw hard pressed enough to break anyone else's teeth. With eyes set ablaze, he knew he was trapped here until his father told him otherwise.

His temper was hot and he knew if he didn't work it out soon someone would pay. He pushed off the solid wall to return, back inside. Be damned if anyone got in his way. The prince strode back inside.

"Blast this!"

Gohan changed into comfortable faded jeans and a blue shirt, with the cuffs left undone and turned back. He wore a chain around his neck, and leather band around his wrist. Back at his room Al loved his earth clothes. Gohan got mostly thumbs up by others on their floor that they had become acquainted with. Since this was a party that was held just for the cadets up at the palace by the king, the guys wore their best civilian clothes and were out looking for good time. They knew they were going to not have much time later for this type of freedom.

The looks Gohan received weren't so much from the clothes, but how good he looked in them. His stunning looks were set high among any other that night. Maybe it had to do with the more exotic look about him. His creamy skin, that looked almost silky. The way his rich dark hair hung over his face, softness that called to be touched by fingers that would curl those wondrous locks …so different from a full-blood. He nervously ran his fingers back through his hair trying to get it out from his face only to have it fall back over his eyes.

Gohan's confidence was slowly been replaced with a little awkwardness, but he refused to not be himself. He was here with his first friend on this planet and he was going to enjoy himself.

Al, or Ally as Gohan has been calling him, was looking just as impressive in his black pants with a large white cotton shirt with long sleeves, a tan leather tie, that criss-cross its way down the front. It was something his papa bought him. Whether the others wanted to admit it or not, the two were the most attractive teens in the room. Girls and guys alike knew this.

Al was keyed up with excitement. He pointed over to the massive banquet stretched out in front of them. "Kami, if this is what food is like at academy, I'm never leaving." He chuckled, rubbing his hands together.

"I'll say." Gohan's eyes roamed over the huge selection of foods. "I don't know where to start." He said in awe.

"Easy, we eat our way down the table. Grab a plate my friend, it's all free." Al smirked, shoving a plate in Gohan's hand.

"Here."

"What this?" Gohan eyed up the drink that was placed in his hand.

"Who knows lets try it." Al grinned, enthusiastically.

Gohan hesitantly placed the drink to his lips, before he took a sip he sniffed it and coughed "Gee, just the smell could knock you over."

"Yeah, I know. Isn't it great!" Al cheered. Gohan shook his head and turned back to the glass in his hand.

"Okay, but if I die it's your fault." With that he took a big swig. Coughing and choking, he felt his eyes swell with tears … "Bloody hell!" He choked.

"That good eh?" Al asked hesitated with a raised brow. He looked at his glass and didn't hold back. He took a swing for himself. Coughing as much as his friend, he still managed to hold his cheery grin.

"Fantastic, want some more?"

"Hell no!" Gohan laughed.

Sometime later they introduced themselves to a few others. Some were not so friendly, others friendly enough. Gohan noticed another figure lost in the crowd… a wall flower sitting at one of the table alone.

"Hey is that er … what's her name?"

Al turned to where Gohan was pointing. "Fur-ball?"

"Yeah, but I don't think it's her real name."

Al shrugged his shoulders. "Like she would tell us. She obviously doesn't want to be friends with us."

"We should make an effort, at least."

"Why?" Al grumbled.

"Come on!" Gohan grabbed his arm roughly, and dragged his protesting friend along with him.

Al couldn't see why they should waste their time when it was apparent the girl wanted nothing to do with them. Reluctantly he followed Gohan through the packed room, weaving their way to where they saw the girl. She was picking at her plate, and by the look of her she wasn't enjoying herself.

Gohan approached her in a friendly step, he raised a hand. "Hi" He said with soft smile. The girl's blue eyes snapped up, from playing with her uneaten meal.

"Whaddya want?" She growled.

Al rolled his eyes and tapped Gohan on the shoulders. "Can we go now?"

Gohan shrugged it off and kept his eyes on her. "I …" He glanced back over his shoulder to his friend. "We just wanted to have a chance to introduce ourselves properly. I'm Gohan and he's Al."

She raised a brow, clearly not all interested. "Now, that you have, goodbye!" It was abrupt, followed by her pushing her chair back and standing before quickly turning her back to them and walking away.

Al frowned and his hands snap to his hips watching her disappear back into the crowd. "How ruuuude!"

Gohan glanced at him and shrugged his shoulders. "No harm done. At least we tried."

"You did, but I don't know why you even bothered." He said turning around to go back to the banquet.

Gohan turned to where the girl had disappeared, with a heavy sigh he thought. Because she's the only one I know that's like me, a half-breed.

During the evening he couldn't help but think he was being watched. Not that he actually saw anyone looking at him, not in the piercing manner that he felt. He noticed it only grew stronger as the evening rolled on. Al frowned, watching his friend slowly scan the room again. Gohan's whole body was going in slow circle as his eyes searched the crowded room around them. His senses were on high alert.

"Hey what's wrong?"

Gohan spun around, so focused on what he was doing he forgot Al was standing there. In doing so he nearly knocked him over. "Huh? …er sorry! It's nothing…"

Al raised a brow not believing him. "If you say so, but you're really starting to bug me with the way you keep looking over your shoulder like that. It's annoying."

"Sorry, I didn't realize I was doing it." Gohan apologised still glancing around the room.

"Well you are." Al grumbled. He couldn't work out what his friend, correction, only friend was so jumpy over.

"I dunno … I just feel like I'm someone's prey …" Gohan said frowning

A cold shiver ran up Al's back, his face twisted with the hebe jeebies. "Creepy!"

"I'll say." Gohan couldn't stop glancing around the room. It was getting worse.

"It sounds just like that book I read 'Fatal Death' that was really creepy" Al shivered again, it had given him nightmares for a week.

Gohan stopped and glanced back at his friend with smirk. "Sounds it."

Al didn't see him. Instead he was involved in picking at the icing on his cake. "Papa doesn't like me reading them things."

"I can understand it." The smirk grew.

"He says they should be outlawed books like that."

"Really?" Gohan's cheeks drew up as his smile widened.

"Yep! He gets real mad at dad when he goes out and buys them for me."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah, papa thinks it's not healthy for me to keep read them-" Al frowned and turned around with glare, to see his friend smiling broadly at him. "HEY! Are you mocking me?"

"Yeah … but playfully." Gohan laughed.

Al's eyes narrowed. "Lucky for you or I would have to gotten real mean."

Gohan couldn't hold back anymore, and laughed. He didn't know whether Al was purposely doing this to lighten his mood, but it was working. And he was thankful for it.

Al looked around and sighed. "Do you want to leave? It's boring here."

Gohan turned to him feeling good. "I thought you were enjoying yourself?"

"Yeah, but there is only so much we can eat and do." Al said dusting the left over cake crumbs from his lap.

"True, I feel like I would burst if I tried another thing. Let's go." Al happily followed his friend towards the doors, when Gohan suddenly pulled up and glanced back over his shoulder with a frown. Al bumped into him.

"Owww… watch it!" He spat with a frown until noticed his friend's serious expression. "What's wrong? You got that creepy feeling again?"

"Yeah, it's probably nothing." Gohan frowned and with one last glance around the room he shrugged his shoulders before turning and leaving trying not to let it bother him.

Al, wanted nothing more than to leave in case the palace was haunted. His active imagination played out scene from the book he was reading, 'Corridor of Doom'. Too spooky for words. He shivered and literally pushed Gohan out the doors. Gohan smirked.

The two of them set off, back across the short distance from the palace to the academy. It was dark with just a few faint lights scattered along the pebble path they walked along through the garden. They chatted softly with the noise of the party becoming nothing more than a faint sound in the background leaving just the crunching sounds of their steps and their own voices reaching their ears.

They were slowly approaching the gates. Next to it was a stone building where the palace guards were on duty. One a big burly guard stepped out in front of them with his hand stretched out stopping them in their tracks. "Halt!" When a mischief smile curled on the man's face. "Well- well what have we got here? Psh! Cadets."

Both boys looked uncertainty up at him unsure how they should address him. "Err…yes Sir. Um…we just came from the party-" Gohan went to explain motioning over his shoulder.

"That's no way to acknowledge an officer." The guard growled while looking the two boys up and down, leaving both boys' feeling uncomfortable. He could see how stunning both boys were but something different about the taller boy, he couldn't quite put his finger on it. But he was definitely a catch.

Both boys stood at attention. "Yes sir! Sorry sir! We were just leaving-"

"Hold on a sec, you're not going anywhere. Have you got your passes?" The other guard in the background smirked to himself. He knew what his colleague was doing. He must fancy them.

Gohan's wide eyes locked with Al's, who shrugged his shoulders, shook his head. He turned back to the guard feeling less than confident. It was his first day and he looks like he already stuffed up on the rules. "Eh, no sir. We haven't received them yet."

The guards face twisted in such away that made both boys swallow nervously. He placed his large hand on Gohan's shoulder squeezing it tightly. Gohan winced under the firm grip. "Well then we seem to have ourselves a problem, don't we?"

Gohan glanced at Al who was also looking worried. What could they do? This guy out ranked them. "I think you should come with me-"

Gohan looked up hesitantly when a commanding, but composed, gruff voice sliced through the air, startling them all.

"Let them go!" Gohan watched as the guards face quickly paled looking off into the distance behind them. The firm grip on his shoulder was released as the guard stepped back.

"Y-yes …cer-certainly …ssssorry-" The guard had quickly turned into babbling idiot by whoever was behind them but, when Gohan and Al both looked around whoever it was had already disappeared. They were left with only the dim light of the guard's station, and the shadows of the trees and plants that surround them. The night was becoming stranger by the minute.

When they turned back around the guard was quick to let them pass, no questions asked. He quickly stepped back to his post with a fearful expression set on his face. Both boys raised a brow as they stepped past him and through the palace gate looking at the other with the same confused and uneasy expression.

Al shivered. "Creepy"

Gohan looked back over his shoulder, puzzled. "Very."

TBC…

A/N: A BIG thanks goes to my editor Vegeta-sire ;)

This story was written sometime ago (a few years I think) for someone. I apologies for not getting around to finishing it any sooner… It is still not completed but I have done a few chapters. Instead of deleting it I thought I would post it here and see if anyone is interested in seeing this story progresses. The first few chapters, like I said, have been done so the chapters that follow might have different writing style because I've changed since this was started… so yeah ;)

I hope it was okay, and someone gets some enjoyment from it ;)