This is a Chaotzu fic. If you don't like Chaotzu, don't read. I've worked really hard on this. It will be five parts when it's finished.

Reviews = Greatly Appreciated!



Vanilla Wind
By: Laura

"It is better to be hated for what you are, than to be loved for what you are not."
-Andre Gide

01:Scented Breeze

Sleep can be a funny thing, and in the confines of sleep, almost anything is possible. Sleep can bring rest, pain, dreams, nightmares... There is no limit to what one can experience when their body is resting. In sleep, the mind is more active than the body, the minds takes over... Dreams, whims, pleasures... all become something tangible that can not be broken...

Chaotzu was sleeping peacefully, his small body wrapped in a warm flannel blanket. Outside the cabin he shared with Tienshinhan, a blizzard raged. Winds caused branches to whip violently against each other, as the ground was pelted with an intense snowfall.

Life outside of the small home was engaged in a dangerous waltz. Fiercely low temperature threatened to kill everything it came into contact with, the normally beautiful snowflakes were at the mercy of nature's urges.

But, inside, the final embers of a warm fire spread the last threads of warmth to it's occupants. In one room, a large, bald, three-eyed warrior tossed and turned, gripped by the throes of a nightmare. A few months had passed since the fateful day of the Cell Game, but like so many others who had been there, Tien found himself haunted with nightmares.

Curled into a fetal position, the large man was trembling, but not from the drastic temperature. His blankets were pulled around him, but they couldn't shield him from his inner demons.

In the other room, the form of a tiny man, with the appearance of a mime-like boy, slept on his stomach. His small arms encircled the fluffy pillow, hugging it to his cheek. A small smile was on his face, showing that unlike his large friend, this small man was not plagued with terrible dreams.

Within the labyrinth that is the human mind, Chaotzu's dreams wove a tapestry.

-- -- --

Pushing back from the table, he rose from his chair, standing to his full six feet in height. His home was modest, on the outskirts of the city. Apple blossoms littered the front lawn around the base of the large tree they had fallen from. The spring sunshine streamed through the open windows, as a warm breeze wafted the smell of flowers through the kitchen.

From where he stood, the man watched a woman at the side of the house. Her face concealed by wisps of russet coloured curls. She was kneeling in front of a small vegetable garden, a gardening tool resting beside her sneaker-clad foot. He watched her, his heart filling with emotions. Love, pride, gratitude, they all mixed to leave a warm feeling inside of him.

The scent of vanilla filled his nostrils as she turned to look at him, the curls falling away from her face...

-- -- --

Chaotzu sat up in bed, sweating despite the cold. He could hear Tien in the kitchen, and wiped at his eyes with small fists. Dressing quickly, the small child-like little guy joined his larger friend in the kitchen.

"That was a really nasty storm last night, Kept me awake." Despite his suspicions that Tien wasn't being entirely honest about what had disturbed his sleep, Chaotzu began helping him prepare breakfast.

They ate in silence, as had become the routine recently. Tien silently warring with his demons, and Chaotzu contemplating many things. The storm that had attacked the area over the night was gone, but it's effects lingered in the broken branches and amount of snow littering the ground outside. Much of their day is spent like that, sitting silently with their thoughts.

Sometime after dinner, when both Chaotzu and Tien were watching the fire, the shrill ringing of their phone startled their thoughts.

Tien looked at it, puzzled. It was very rare that anyone phoned them. Shrugging, he picked up the receiver and held it to his ear. "Hello?"

Chaotzu watched the conversation with interest and was able to discern a couple of things. First, the call was Yamcha. Second, he wanted to come and visit them, and third, he'd be coming by sometime next week to stay for a few days. Once Tien had hung up the phone, he related the information back to Chaotzu.

Yamcha didn't feel like spending the holiday season alone, and wanted to come and visit them. Apparently he was scared to death to go see ChiChi, since she was even more violent when she was pregnant. Although they never said anything, he didn't really feel all that welcome at Bulma's anymore, and Krillin had plans, with Juuhachigou of all people!

Chaotzu's small eyes widened at the last piece of information, but he refrained from commenting. "It'll be nice to have Yamcha here for a few days, won't it Tien?" He questioned, hoping to cheer up his friend.

"Yeah, I guess it will be nice."

"And, maybe he'll bring us presents!" Chaotzu laughed, kicking his small feet slightly. Tien watched silently, commenting to himself that sometimes Chaotzu could act like the child he resembled so much. But immature or not, Chaotzu's laughter caught on, and soon Tien was laughing with him.

Maybe the Christmas season would bring some cheer after all.

-- -- --

The man cradled the woman in his arms. Her face was buried against his strong chest, hiding her features from him. Her slim form was rising and falling softly with her even breathing. Gently slipping his arms from around her waist, the man rose, pulling on a pair of pants and walking into the bathroom.

Splashing water on his face he looked up into the mirror. Large black eyes on an incredibly pale face looked back at him. Rosy red circles donned each cheek and there wasn't a hair on his head, which sat on the muscled body of a fighter.

A soft melodious voice flitted into the bathroom. "Chaotzu... come back to bed."

-- -- --

Chaotzu sat straight up in bed, shaking slightly. The man... his dreams... the woman... They had all felt so real, and for the first time he realized something. "I-I'm the man in the dreams." He whispered softly. "I'm six-feet tall, and my voice is deeper, but it's still me."

Laying back against his pillows once more, he stared at the ceiling with open eyes. Everything he had experienced in his dreams had felt so real. He'd been having these dreams for days now. Dreams of a world where he was normal. Just a normal man, with paler skin than most and rather red cheeks... Okay, not normal per se, but anything was more normal than a little "clown thingy" as he had once been called. He dreamed of love, the love of a woman. Something he had written off as impossible in his lifetime. No woman wanted a small freak like himself...

But in his dreams... He knew the woman was beautiful. He could see her curly russet hair in his mind, hear her musical voice, feel her warm arms encircle him... And most of all, he recalled her smell. The smell of Vanilla. But, he couldn't remember her face, or her name, or where he had met her, or any of those details.

Pulling the blankets around him once more, Chaotzu searched for sleep.

-- -- --

"Tien? Can I talk to you?"

The three-eyed man looked up from the book he was attempting to read. It was getting late in the day, and Yamcha was due to arrive any moment. Setting the book aside he nodded. "Sure, what's bothering you?"

Chaotzu floated over to him. "I've been having these really strange dreams." He confided. "And they feel so real..."

Tien frowned. "What're they about?" He asked.

"Well, in these dreams I'm... I'm big. I'm not some little freak, I'm big like you and Yamcha. I live in a nice house, and I have a normal life and..."

"And?"

"And there's this girl." Chaotzu sighed. "She's beautiful, and wonderful, and... and she loves me." He looked up at Tien with large eyes. "I know it's stupid, but I feel like she has to be real! Even when I'm not asleep I can feel her. It's like we're connected somehow or something..." Chaotzu looked faintly embarrassed.

Tien wasn't sure what to say. He had driven out the woman he loved... His thoughts drifted to Lunch for a moment... He forced them back to his talk with Chaotzu. "Well... what's her name?"

"I don't know. When I wake up, I can't remember her name, or her face."

Tien shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "Well... Chaotzu, I know this may sound insensitive, but I don't think there's anything to your dreams. Dreams are the brains way of expressing fantasies, nothing more."

Chaotzu looked at him sadly. "I guess." He knew he'd get that type of response from his friend, he had just wished... He had wished that maybe Tien would say something to give him hope. Maybe he'd say 'Oh yeah, I know that girl... she's in love with you no matter how small you are'. Chaotzu floated to the ground.

Suddenly, they both turned their heads. A ki was approaching rapidly. Tien smiled slightly. "Looks like Yamcha's almost here." He stated.

"I'll go wait outside for him." Chaotzu covered his disappointment with his normal cheerful attitude. Flying outside, he ignored the cold sting of the wind and waited.

"Tien's right." He said softly. "I should just forget about these dreams, because that's all they are."

His nose picked up the faintest scent of vanilla wafting on the cold winter breeze... and he shivered.

-- -- --


To Be Continued...