Title: Silent Watcher.
Genre: Angst. Drama. Gen.
Word Count: 1311
Characters/Pairing: ??Goten, plus itsybitsy hints at Piccolo??. Main pairings revealed at the bottom.
Rating: PG, but only 'cuz I refuse to rate something of mine with a "G".
Disclaimer:DBZ, its characters, places and themes belong to Akira Toriyama, Bird Studio, Shueisha, FUNimation, etc.. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings: MxM pairings.
A/N: Muses are strange creatures sometimes.
Summary: Someone watches Goten from a distance, refusing to believe he's doing it out of either love or lust.
High on the hill where he is sitting, the air is cold and moist. The ground he stands upon is slimy; it feels soft and spongy under his feet, unpleasantly so. Iciness seeps through his bones, makes his fingers numb, his cheeks sting. But he doesn't care.
Down below, the valley is brimming with the pink-orange light of sunset. Petals are falling from the canopy of leaves above; the grass is slick with rain, and give off glints of pale-to-brilliant gold. People are bustling about, moving to and fro among the trees. Gesturing animatedly, spreading blankets on the ground, lining down a number of pots and occasionally stirring theirs contents, be they ale, or soup, or slices of fruit. There where the trees open out slightly, a fire is burning, throwing pale shadows all round. Meat is roasting above it, dripping grease into the flames, making them leap higher and crackle, and sending a delicious aroma drifting on the breeze.
Three smaller shapes — one blonde, one black-haired, and one with stunningly blue locks — are playing tag, swishing and zooming around the adults' legs. Even from a distance, he can see their hands and lips are stained red and blue with the juice of berries. Their laughter rings high and clear in the fragrant air.
A little further away, where the land drops suddenly and the grass gives way to white sands, two people are sparring. Dodge, punch, kick, dodge, par, blast, and again.
It is those two, he is watching.
It is the way the evening light catches Goten's face, turns his skin into gold. The way his naked torso glistens, sleek with sweat; how his muscles ripple, his hair sway, as he fights, fights, fights, fights.
He is young still, and oozes enthusiasm and freshness and ardour and confidence and battle-lust, and has a grace about him, as though he is not only meant for fighting, like all Saiyajin are, but he is the embodiment of fighting incarnated. He finds joy in combat, and radiates the feeling with such seemingly effortlessness. It erupts from him in a golden aura and engulfs those who watch, like waves or wind.
He is, without even knowing it, the more Saiyajin of all the Demi – in looks and spirit both. The best suited for combat, the one that relishes the art of fighting the most. Fire, such is what he is. Beautiful, untameable fire. Fire that leaps, sneaks, coaxes and seduces. Liquid fire that moves and breathes and suddenly hops, skips, turns, and, in a stunningly acrobatic feat, knocks Goku off his feet, brings him down on the floor and pins him there, panting, stunned, pleased.
The older Saiyajin holds his palms up in surrender, as surprised as he is proud to have been, for once, mastered by his youngest. He congratulates his son with a smile and a pat on his shoulder, and Goten… oh, you should see it, his face. It lights up from within, as a smile spreads across his mouth. His cheeks flushed with exertion, his eyes sparkling, the hair falling onto his face, droplets of mixed sweat and water tracing sinuous lines down his face, his neck, his chest…
"You are watching him. Again."
The watcher starts slightly in response to the sudden intrusion. Clenching both hands into fists he retaliates: "I most certainly am not," but does not turn around.
The newcomer approaches him, expels a short, derisive snort. His steps are slow and measured, and they make no sound.
"Aren't you? Don't deny the obvious. It's cheap and suspicious, and a clear sign of cowardice."
Down below, where the air is warmer and the light softer, people are gathering around Goten and Goku. Some cheer, others frown, shaking their heads. Goku's wife is the only one who is able to pull off a look which is at the same time proud, worried and affronted. A smile hovers at the corner of her lips, though, when Goten leaps, catches her by the waist and spins her around, laughing with glee.
"Why would I watch him?"
"Why, indeed? By the look of it you're one step away from leaping at him and rip his clothes off."
"I have no desire to mate him!"
A scream. His ki spiking out of control, blood boiling, teeth grinding together.
Just like Goten caught his mother before, someone else is catching him now from behind, lifting him and her both in the air. Chi-chi screeches, which prompts Goku to leap from his mock faint and take her into his arms. Goten trashes against his captor, closes his hands around the arm restraining him, kicks his legs about, still laughing.
His attacker but buries his head in Goten's hair, chuckling, unmindful of his squirming. A fight does not broke out, as one would expect. In a matter of moments, Goten struggling comes to an end, and the two are leaning in an embrace, back to chest, cheek to cheek, fitting together like two halves of a whole.
"I do not feel… anything, for him," says the watcher.
"Is that the lie you have been telling yourself? Then stop. It's time to open your eyes."
Piccolo – for it is he who dared interrupt the watcher on his silent stand - gestures with one hand towards the clearing where the get-together is taking place. Maybe, his eyes linger on someone in particular longer that they should. And maybe, just maybe, there is a flicker of pain in his eyes. Then his eyes settle, not on someone, but rather something. The silver band shining on Goten's right hand.
The watcher's eyes follow Piccolo's own as if after their own volition. They find the ring, watch it, take it in, and then move to the matching band worn by the one who's still holding Goten to him, the both of them swaying gently now, as if moving to a remembered music.
"Because," the Namekian resumes, "soon enough it will be too late to admit the truth. And then you'll have to live your life in silence, keeping a burden that will only grow heavier and heavier with each passing day. Why don't you take the chance now, and just tell him?"
The watcher clenches his fists, nails digging into the palms, hard enough to send a jolt through him, hard enough to bleed. His lips are pressed into a tight line. His eyes are on Goten's body, still. They ever are. They watch. Watch the flush on his cheeks, the sparkle in his eyes. The flash of white teeth and pink tongue as he laughs, head thrown back, eyes closed in bliss.
Not expecting an answer, Piccolo gives a grunt and turns around. His message has been conveyed. He will ask for — and do — nothing more. It is no business of his, after all. Pointedly, he strides back to the engagement party, heading for the one person beckoning to him with a smile and a wave.
The watcher is alone once more on the hill. The air seems colder now, as it touches his cheeks. It stings. It crawls into his bones and hurts; it creaks and moans and tears him apart, like claws or knives. The light seems to have dimmed. He is alone in the shadows, and the fire around which the array of humans and aliens is gathered seems as distant as a star.
In the leaping firelight, Goten leans over for a kiss, and Trunks meets him halfway, moving to him like metal to magnet.
With a roar, the watcher shots in the air, lets his rage carry him afar. As the rushing wind stings his face and eyes, he rages and rants and screams:
"I'm not infatuated with my son's chosen mate! I'm not! I'm not! I'm not!"
But he is.
And there's nothing Vegeta can do to change it.
(inches her way sloooooooooowly towards the door ) I mean, yeah, I like Trunks, and I like Bulma as well you know? and I like Bulma with Vegeta, and Trunks with Goten, and I'm grateful Bulma and Vegeta got together, because if the hadn't, then we wouldn't have Trunks, but, but, but… Goten is GOTEN, and damn it, but I like him with Vegeta, too. (bolts for her life)