Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z.
AN: This is my first M/M fic. Nothing too raunchy; just some heavy petting. Goku might be slightly out of character, but it is kind of hard to picture how he'd behave in this kind of situation. Enjoy.
It was a strange sequence of events that brought Goku to his even stranger current circumstances. It had been quiet in Heaven, a little too quiet for his liking. Training by himself just didn't have the same thrill it usually did. The old wanderlust had been stirred, and he chose to obey it. This led to a spurious decision to take a small excursion to Hell. His reason: he wanted to find his brother. He wanted to see him again, talk to him again now that their battle was long since over. He wanted closure, and confirmation of a deep rooted suspicion: that if Vegeta could be redeemed, why not Raditz? The idea had seemed brilliant at its conception.
Which brought Goku back to his current circumstances. The main flaw in his plan was that he no longer remembered what his brother's aura felt like. So while he could transmit into Hell, he wouldn't be able to go directly to Raditz; he'd have to take the time to look for him the hard way. That didn't bother him, he loved a good adventure. So he had happily teleported into Hell. But then came the catch: he had needed a target for his instant transmission, and had whimsically selected the strongest power in Hell, not even thinking about the possible consequences of such a choice. He was considering those consequences now, though, with the strongest of the damned before him, perched nonchalantly on a rocky outcropping.
"So, what's a holy angel like you doing in a pit of damnation like this?" Cell quipped impishly once he'd gotten over his initial shock of a former opponent appearing out of nowhere, not even bothering to get up.
"Hey, Cell. I was looking for my brother, actually," Goku replied with some amount of wariness, shifting his stance to one more conducive of fighting. The only reason he didn't adopt a full combat stance was because the chimera was maintaining a relatively non-threatening position.
"Were you?" came the almost disturbingly cheerful reply. "Can't be of much help then. I haven't seen him myself."
"Well, thanks anyway." Goku turned and prepared to take flight. "I'll see you around I guess."
"Don't see much of anyone really," Cell continued on as if the Saiyan had never spoken, making him falter a little. "Aside from the occasional mismatched pack coming to give me a standing ovation, no one comes around here."
"Standing ovation?" Goku puzzled, turning to look at his former opponent, his little quest effectively sidetracked. "What for?"
"I don't know," Cell answered, shrugging. "Maybe it's because I finally broke that bubble Frieza had situated himself in. Or maybe it's because I 'stick it to the man', as it were, just by existing. These are feats no one else has accomplished, and both probably deserve some recognition."
The chimera turned to make eye contact with Goku then. For a moment, both were silent, before Cell started to speak again.
"If you are serious about trying to find Raditz then your best bet is probably to stay right here and wait for him to find you."
"Okay, I may be a little naïve, but that doesn't make any sense." Goku narrowed his eyes at his former enemy as he once more squared himself against him. The chimera remained unperturbed.
"You're more than a little naïve, but that's not the point. It doesn't make any sense to you because you're not from around here," Cell explained. "Hell is a big place, always changing, always expanding. I've got to be one of the few people here that isn't nomadic."
"Oh…" Goku vocalized, feeling slightly deflated. This situation was far more awkward than anything he could have imagined.
"If you went out there to try and find Raditz the old fashioned way, it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack," Cell continued. "It could take you years, especially since said needle is also moving around. And as your sudden appearance a few minutes ago indicates you can't track to his aura."
"So how, exactly, does staying put help?" Goku couldn't help the slight suspicion in his voice; awkward situations with enemies always made him edgy.
"Okay, I'll give you a hypothetical to help you picture this." Cell straightened his posture and turned to face the Saiyan, bringing up his hands to help in his explanation. "Imagine putting two people in a large room together. Both people are blind and deaf. The odds of them finding each other are much greater if one of them doesn't move at all. You see, like this."
The chimera then began to pantomime with his hands, first moving them both randomly out in front of him, then holding one as a closed fist while the other one continued its random movement; his hands made contact quite a few more times in the second little display. Goku's eyes light up with understanding.
"Oh, I get it now. Thanks, that really cleared it up."
"Of course it cleared it up; I know how your brain works." The chimera set his hands down before amending his previous statement. "Well, most of the time, anyway. You were able to throw me for a loop with your whole pseudo fit of madness routine during our match."
"Thanks." Goku chose to interpret that statement as a veiled compliment, like the ones Vegeta sometimes gave. "I try my best not to be too predictable."
Cell made a small sound in his throat and shifted again so that he was once more looking out over the hellscape in front of them. Surrounding the little island of golden-green grass that the chimera had apparently staked out was a sea of shifting, blood-red sand. Its movements reminded Goku more of water than a desert. Even the occasional boulders scattered across it seemed to be moving with it. He was starting to see what the other warrior had meant when he said that Hell was always changing.
"You can sit down if you want," Cell spoke abruptly, his sudden proposition almost surprising Goku.
"Hm, what?" The chimera looked at him like he couldn't have been any more absent minded, before reiterating himself.
"If you're going to stay and wait you might as well sit down," he rephrased. "I wouldn't mind."
"Oh… um…" Goku gibbered for a second before falling silent and plopping down onto the ground next to the chimera's rocky perch. For a long moment, they sat together quietly.
"I'm surprised you haven't asked me what I did to Frieza yet," Cell thought aloud, breaking the silence that had settled between them and become awkward.
"Hm, I guess I'm not that interested," came Goku's answer, his tone completely casual. Truthfully it was only in that moment that he'd realized that the chimera had done anything to Frieza.
"You sure? I'd like to think you'd at least be curious as to how I'd succeeded with him where you failed."
"And how exactly did I fail?" The Saiyan couldn't help but be a little defensive in his current, awkward circumstances.
"For all the abuse and humiliation you meted out, you were unable to break his spirit, to make him truly repentant," came Cell's calm answer. "I was. You drove him to crocodile's tears, and then relented when he begged. I didn't let up, not until I'd reached the point where he himself would have stopped."
The chimera glanced over at his companion and smirked at the almost disgusted expression he was wearing.
"Oh, don't give me that look, Goku," he scoffed. "You and I both know you are far too soft and forgiving for the harsh reality that is the vast majority of the universe. People will do anything to survive, especially take advantage of nice people like you. You got the exception so many times that you thought it was the rule."
The Saiyan opened his mouth to retort, but a strong, milky-white hand clamped over it before he could make a sound. Cell's gaze was stern, and Goku suddenly realized that he wasn't sure of their difference in power any more. True, he'd trained a lot since their last meeting, but he didn't know if the other warrior had done similar. So far his former opponent had been keeping himself at a resting state, his maximum effectively concealed.
"Don't bother trying to deny the facts, Goku," the chimera spoke lowly. "How many times have you shown someone mercy only to have them turn around and try to stab you in the back?"
And Goku found that he couldn't deny it; Frieza had just been the last of a long line of adversaries who had tried to take advantage of his kindness. Raditz had been one of them…
It was then that Goku realized exactly how close he and Cell had become. And how the chimera had jumped off his stone perch just to cover the distance. The hand still on his mouth was getting a bit too personal also. But as he reached up to grab his former opponent's wrist, the hand let go on its own, rotating to cup his face instead.
"You are far too soft," Cell murmured, running a light thumb over the Saiyan's cheek bone, a strange smile appearing on his face. "But that is exactly why you are loved by so many.
"Even me." Those last, low words made Goku's eyes widen in shock as the chimera finally pulled away to resume his former position.
"What?!" Goku sputtered as it finally sunk in. Cell gave him a tired look out of the corner of his eye.
"You heard me," he stated plainly, looking out over the expanse of red sand that made up the rest of Hell rather than his present company. "It's no use being dishonest with myself. Or you."
"…But… what… you…?" Goku continued his shocked, incredulous sputtering, gesturing wildly without realizing it.
"Think nothing of it," Cell interrupted, still not looking at him. "I accepted upon realizing it that it was a futile emotion that wouldn't amount to anything beyond the confines of my own mind."
"…But…why…?" More sputtering. It was starting to wear on the chimera's patience.
"Does it matter?" he all but bit back, still not looking at Goku except out of the farthest corner of his eye. "The emotion is a byproduct of brain chemistry so intricately complex that no one has it completely figured out. Mere physical attraction is only a small portion of it. I could explain that physical attraction if you'd like. Would you like me to tell you what I find sexy about you, Goku?"
More sputtering from the Saiyan, now with a blush added on top of it. The chimera smirked and finally looked his way again.
"My Saiyan blood makes me attracted to power and prowess in combat," Cell continued, his smirk morphing into a leer. "Both of which you've got in spades. My Icejian blood makes me attracted to smooth, supple features. You've got those, too."
The chimera reached out to touch him again, but this time Goku avoided his hand. He needed to leave, fast, before this got too out of control.
"But then, I suppose that if physical attraction was all there was too it then I would also have to say I was in love with Vegeta, Trunks, and Piccolo," Cell continued, drawing back his hand as if he'd done nothing. "Which I'm not; it's far more complicated than all that."
That hand snaked out again in a blur of sudden motion, latching onto the Saiyan's shoulder, pushing him over backwards even as Goku reached up to grip the offending limb. He was already on his back by the time he realized that the chimera's other hand was cupping his cheek. He froze.
"You don't even know how to react to me anymore, do you?" Cell teased, chuckling mischievously. "If I were trying to rip open your throat or claw out your eyes you'd already be blond and fighting back. But if I come at you without killer intent you don't know what to do."
The chimera's leer broadened as he leaned down closer, his cheek brushing his captive's as his lips neared his ear.
"This is exactly what I meant when I said that you are more than a little naive, Goku," came the low, seductive whisper that made the Saiyan shiver. "You are far too innocent…"
And then that mouth was on his in a bruising, dominating kiss. Goku arched against him, his eyes widening as he tried to push the chimera off of him. Cell relented at his shoving, but it seemed like he was merely humoring him.
"Do you really think you can resist me?" the chimera purred, smirking down at his captive. "I know how you think, and I know exactly what turns you on."
Cell proved his point by tracing two clawed fingers down Goku's exposed arm, the feather-light touches making his captive shiver.
"Yes, yes," he hissed as he got the response he was looking for. "That's it Goku, just relax and leave everything to me."
More than his compromising position and those gentle touches it was Cell's words that finally spurred the Saiyan into action. Summoning his strength, he pressed his hands against the chimera's chitin plated chest and shoved with a sudden flare to gold.
Surprised at the unexpected transformation, Cell did little to prevent himself being harshly pushed off his prey. He just reflexively flipped back onto his original perch, his eyes never leaving Goku's now teal ones. A moment of staring, before the chimera turned away and resumed his former sitting position on the rock.
"No need for violence," Cell sighed once his posture was none-threatening once again. "You could have just said no, you know. I would have stopped. Like I said: I accepted long ago that my feelings would mean nothing outside the confines of my own mind."
Goku startled at his words and froze in indecision. His confusion mounted, until he finally took the only option left to him: he lifted two fingers to his forehead and disappeared. He would forever tell himself that it was a strategic retreat to get his head together, but that would not change the fact that in his heart he knew that he had simply fled.
Cell blinked at the empty air that his former rival had once occupied, before breaking out into hysterical laughter. Goku may have been a fighting genius, but in social situations he was ridiculously easy to manipulate. Not that he'd been lying to him, mind you…
But never mind that, someone else was coming. Several someone's, for that matter. He squinted out at the rolling red desert, searching for his new guests. It wasn't too hard to spot the pair, and not too much harder to identify them. He almost burst out laughing again at the irony.
"Nappa! Raditz!" he greeted once they were close enough. "So glad to finally be able to see you in person."
The two Saiyans looked completely stunned that he knew who they were at a glance, but got over it fairly quickly. Cell turned his eyes to the slightly smaller of the two.
"Raditz, your little brother was just here looking for you," he addressed smoothly with a light smile. "He left already, but he's sure to be back at some point. Why don't you wait for him with me?"
The long haired Saiyan looked bewildered for a moment, then slightly thoughtful, while Nappa looked a mixture of indulgent and resigned, clearly willing to let his companion make the decisions in this situation. After a moment, Raditz smiled right back.