Written by Nezune Otoki & the Last Flowerchild
**we own nothing but the idea for the story**
Tien let out a sigh; after a long day of training, he was exhausted. He went into the room that he and his best friend, Chiaotzu shared, and threw himself onto his bed. He was so damn tired, but he didn't mind. Being tired was a good sign, it meant that you were improving as a warrior, and that's all that he cared about. What did it matter if he got a few broken bones or wounds in the process? As he turned over onto his back, he grimaced. Perhaps he'd trained too hard after all. His whole body screamed as he moved. Perhaps he should just try and sleep it off…just as his mind began to wander, Chiaotzu entered the room, a discouraged and worried look on his white face.
" Tien are you ok?" Chiaotzu came closer to the taller warrior and examined his sore body trying to see if there were any fatal injuries on his older friend.
Tien struggled for the breath to speak. It seemed as though it was taking all of his remaining strength to just stay awake. "Y-Yes, Chiaotzu, I'm fine. Don't worry about me." He tried to sit up to prove that he was really okay, but this only ended in him falling back into the soft mattress with a pained groan. "I'm just a little tired, that's all."
Chiaotzu still held a worried look on his face as he watched Tien struggle to even sit up. Chiaotzu ran from their room to the kitchen and came back moments later with a medical kit. Tien watched as Chiaotzu placed the medical kit on the bed next to his feet first, then watched Chiaotzu climb up on the bed. Chiaotzu sat next to him and began applying medicines and bandages on Tien.
"No, really," he insisted, trying to shrug off his friend's act of kindness, "I'm fine; not hurt at all." Chiaotzu gave him a look of disbelief and shook his head as he continued his work. Tien laid back down and temporarily submitted himself to his friend's will. "You never listen, you always worry."
Chiaotzu flashed Tien a saddened smile in apology as he wrapped up his injured, taller friend. "…..I can't help it Tien….you're hurt…..I want to help…and be useful…." Chiaotzu continued aiding Tien with a worried smile. Occasionally he'd come across a very bad wound, and be careful to apply a little more medicine with gentle fingers on it. Every time Tien would give a sign of discomfort, Chiaotzu would wince also and try to be even gentler with aiding that wound.
Tien just watched him with a slight, affectionate smile on his face. Chiaotzu really did worry about him too much, but what could he do? "You worry too much," he said, placing a protective hand on his friend's head. "I can take care of myself." Still, he didn't resist when the small warrior continued to treat his injuries. This almost made him feel weak; real warriors only depended on themselves. Then again, Chiaotzu depended on him just as much, so he supposed that this really might make them both stronger. He let out a little hiss of pain as Chiaotzu pressed down a little too hard on one of his wounds.
Chiaotzu swiftly pulled back a bit now even more worried that he caused his friend more pain, and pressed even softer on that same wound. "…Sorry Tien." Once done with the medicine Chiaotzu started to dress the now clean wounds. He made sure that he was careful about wrapping the bandages on Tien's really sensitive cuts and bruises, but also made sure that they were tight enough to hold in the blood. When Chiaotzu finished he smiled at his accomplished task in making Tien feel a little better.
"You did good, Chiaotzu. I'm impressed," he said, giving his friend a gentle smile. Chiaotzu was the only person in the world who was ever gifted with Tien's gentle side. In truth, the warrior had trouble trusting people and opening up to them; Chiatozu was the only person in the world who he had ever been able to open up to. He knew himself that if the shorter warrior were in his spot, he would've done the same thing. Anything to keep Chiaotzu happy and healthy, he would do. He'd go to the ends of the earth for his friend—he had done it before. Tien never really said just how much he cared about him aloud, though. That he couldn't do, but it seemed as though Chiaotzu saw through his every action and knew the love that was buried deep within his heart.
Chiaotzu's smile grew at the praise he received from Tien. He wanted to hug the taller warrior,but resisted the urge on a couple of points. 1 Tien probably wouldn't approve, and 2 it would hurt Tien even more. So Chiaotzu settled with a tiny peck on Tien's head. The peck came and went quickly along with Chiaotzu running out the room.
Tien watched him leave with a smile on his face. Only after making sure that he wouldn't pop up again did he allow his face to redden. He let out an annoyed grumble and hid his face under the covers of the bed. He hated feeling like this—whenever he hung around Chiaotzu it was bound to happen, though. The little warrior had always had some strange, unknown power over him. Once his embarrassment had temporarily subsided, he allowed himself to sink into a deep, restful sleep, full of dreams of his past adventures with his best friend.
Outside of their room Chiaotzu was pressed up against the wall with a hand over his chest. He breathed heavily, but softly trying to not let the other know that he was still near their room. 'That was close….Tien almost caught me….why did I even do that.' Chiaotzu didn't even know what came over him when he kissed Tien's head. Instantly remembering this made the pale warrior's face streak red. Tien always has this effect on him and he didn't know why. Whenever he was around Tien his heart rate increased, his cheeks burned and turned red, and he'd get this urge to hug or kiss the tall warrior. Chiaotzu clung to his chest tightly; desparately trying to slow his heartbeat and even his breathing. After a few minutes of calming down Chiaotzu slid to the floor and tried to take a little nap.
A few hours later Tien awoke to find himself totally alone in his room. His stomach roared loudly, begging for food. "Damn." He thought. It was an odd thing, but the more that he trained, the more he thought—or prayed—that he was so strong that he was above the Earthly limitations of food or water or sleep. Whenever he gave into his baser needs he felt discouraged and weak. Would he ever surpass his pathetic human state? He wanted to be a match for the Siayans like Goku, but he knew deep down that this was impossible. His stomach began aching with hunger. He let out a sigh, tried to get up, but fell right back into bed. "Damn!" he cursed again, punching the soft mattress of the bed in frustration.
Chiaotzu woke up to Tien's cursing and immediately went back in to see what was wrong with the taller human. He witnessed Tien punching the mattress and couldn't help but laughing a bit. It must have been loud enough than Chiaotzu intended, because a frustrated Tien was now looking right at him. Chiaotzu tensed up a bit staying perfectly still. " Tien?...What's wrong?..."
He had to fight off the urge to blush again. When he dismissed this urge usually he just thought of unpleasant things, and this time it was easy. He focused on the pain he was feeling. Although his face remained solid and serious on the outside, in reality he was struggling against his crushing shame on the inside. Such a pitiful display of frustration, just like a child, he thought, angry with himself. "No, it's nothing, I'm just a bit hungry, that's all." He crossed his arms over his chest so that he wouldn't continue distractedly hitting the mattress.
" Is that it Tien? I'll get you something Tien." Chiaotzu said happily. Before Tien could complain Chiaotzu ran to the kitchen with a big smile plastered on his face. A few minutes later he came back with a bowl of miso soup just for Tien. With a smile on his face Chiaotzu held out the bowl for him.
"I…uh thanks, Chiaotzu." He said, taking the bowl. The smaller warrior helped him sit up and then took a seat at the edge of the bed they shared. He watched Tien eat with a satisfied look on his face. He took his chopsticks and began eating hurriedly, shoveling as much food as he could into his mouth. He'd never realized just how starving he was until food had been placed before him. He looked over and wasn't surprised to see Chiaotzu smiling a little; the small warrior began to giggle at his horrible table manners. Tien placed the bowl down on the floor next to him and said seriously, "Why are you laughing? I was hungry." He glared down at the covers. How easily he became embarrassed. Desperate to not display his emotions, he focused again on his pain and laid down. He still hurt, but somehow he was feeling a little better, thanks to Chiaotzu no doubt.
" oh, no reason Tien….." ' Except that I think it's cute when you eat like that.' He thought to himself. Chiaotzu then shifted on the bed, lying down at the foot of the bed on his stomach watching Tien. 'Poor Tien, he must hurt really badly, even I can see that he's trying not to show any emotions in front of me.' Something pushing on his tiny hand pulled Chiaotzu out of his thoughts, and looked down to see Tien's foot on his pale hand. Chiaotzu smiled and laughed as he poked at his friend's foot. Blood instantly ran to Chiaotzu's pale, white cheeks; illuminating them a brilliant red. As he continued to gush he grabbed Tien's foot and played with it.
"Stop—that—that…" he bit his lower lip, let out a stifled laugh. Don't you dare do it…it's not a warrior's place to do that sort of stupid, childish thing…don't laugh! "Chiaotzu, stop it!" but he didn't. In an instant Tien was laughing. His face reddened with the effort of it and the pain that was racing through his being at every movement that he made. The little warrior peered over at him, giggling. Obviously he'd never known that his friend was so ticklish. "I…I swear if you don't stop, I'll…" Do nothing. After all, he couldn't hurt him or even yell at him. He couldn't think of making Chiaotzu feel bad, so he just laid there, fighting off his laughter until he nearly passed out from the effort.
After minutes of Tien laughing, Chiaotzu halted his tickling torture. Chiaotzu then crawled up the bed and sat at the base of the pillow. He resisted the urge to lean on Tien, knowing very well that It will only cause the warrior pain and discomfort. Instead, the pale warrior nuzzled Tien's temple for a bit before sitting back up looking away from Tien. A blush made it's way to Chiaotzu's cheeks again from the close contact with his friend; the only person who made Chiaotzu feel warm and safe inside.
Tien was silent for a while. The beauty of their friendship was that neither of them insisted upon talking excessively; when there was a need for silence, it wasn't awkward. They'd been together for far too long for things to be awkward. Tien reached out to Chiaotzu and nudged him a little. "Thanks for the food. You're really good at this whole taking care of me thing." He paused and chuckled a little. Under his breath he added, "It's almost as if you like doing it."
Chiaotzu's eyes widened as his blush increased. ' I do like taking care of you….it makes me feel useful…and I like to because I have strong feelings for you Tien….if only I knew what these feelings meant..' Chiaotzu shuffled on the bed a bit before saying anything. "….I do…like taking care of…you." It came out as a whisper, but he was sure that Tien could hear him.
Tien gave him an odd look. Why was Chiaotzu acting so strangely? He didn't understand it. Clearly he'd said something wrong. He was an idiot. Why was the other warrior even his friend? Perhaps he could try and make up for his mistake. "Well, I like it when you take care of me; I wouldn't trust anyone else to do it." Chiaotzu gave him a hopeful look, as if he was waiting for him to say something else, something from the heart. Tien really didn't know how to proceed. How would he go about saying something heartfelt and compassionate? He had no clue. Instead of speaking he placed a hand on Chiaotzu's head and gave him a smile. He didn't know why, but just this simple act of coming into contact with the other warrior soothed him. Immediately he relaxed.
Chiaotzu's eyes closed as he smiled in contentment. He then laid down next to Tien and cuddled closely as much as he could without hurting the injured warrior. Chiaotzu's mind wandered to sort out these weird emotions that he has had for Tien for a couple of years. Chiaotzu and Tien have been friends for years, but these emotions only began to show up two years ago. He knew that he liked Tien a lot, but what does that translate to? A very strong friendship? Infatuation? Or was it something else. While thinking about this he didn't notice that his hand was now holding onto Tien's sore, muscular arm.
Tien felt a little bit of pain as Chiaotzu's grip on his arm tightened, but it wasn't enough for him to make the warrior let him go. He loved it when the other warrior gave him attention like this. He remembered the days of his childhood, when he'd been fresh in the Crane Hermit's training school, when he'd first met Chiaotzu. Even then he'd tried to monopolize the smaller warrior's time and attention, and he felt quite sure that as time went on, the other warrior had learned to look up to him quite a bit. He rested his hand on Chiaotzu's back, though this motion gave him much discomfort. The slightest thought of displaying any kind of emotion made him sick. He'd been raised by the Crane Hermit to never show happiness, sorrow, pain, or anything. Allowing others to know what was going on in your mind was a weakness. This made laying here with Chiaotzu incredibly puzzling for him—should he say something kind, or would he get rejected? Should he say nothing and risk making the other warrior feel awkward?
In Chiaotzu's mind he remembered the times he and Tien spent together; all the emotions that he had for Tien even back in training school. Even though he wasn't supposed to show emotions he couldn't help but admire and look up to the strong human warrior. He smiled in his thoughts unaware that Tien could see his face. Chiaotzu kept racking his brain for some kind of help to identify these feelings that plagued him. He then recalled a time where him and Tien were training with the namek and Gohan, he and Gohan sat and watched as the older two fight each other, while him and Gohan rested. Gohan had gotten really worried that the namek had gotten severely hurt and called out his name near tears. There was definitely something there like what him and Tien had, but Gohan seemed to have a whole new league of emotions too. "Why are you so worried about him?….he gets hurt all the time." Gohan had turned to him and answered straight out, "Because, I never want to see Mr. Piccolo hurt….i mean I know he's strong and all, but…I love him." The recall ended. ' Is this what I'm feeling for Tien? Love?...' Chiaotzu had spent lots of time with Gohan to know that he loved the namekian, but what is love? Whatever it was Gohan seemed to act like him when he was with Tien. ' Maybe what I'm feeling for Tien is love.'
Meanwhile Tien was contemplating some things of his own. He could tell that Chiaotzu was deep in thought about something; what it was exactly, he didn't know. Instead he focused his own thoughts on how he should proceed. He recalled a time when he'd been training. You're weak, Master Tao had told him repeatedly, you need to become stronger! Always stronger, do you understand, Tien?
Yes, Master, he'd responded, hanging his head low. He remembered the metallic taste of blood in his mouth; how many beatings had he received from his master? Always become stronger.
And never let your emotions get the better of you. Emotions just slow you down.
Yes, he had agreed, they just slow me down…
Then how was it that he felt such strong things towards Chiaotzu? Aside from the smaller warrior, nobody had ever shown him any kind of attention. He was used to people telling him that he wasn't good enough, that he was horrible and weak. He remembered the first time that Chiaotzu had spoken to him. It had been after training, and he'd been hardly able to stand up much less speak. This didn't matter, though, because their friendship began with a simple phrase—Wish I was more like you; you're so strong.
"Chiaotzu, I…" his voice broke unexpectedly. Whenever he thought back to the days of his childhood training, he always became depressed. He tightened his grip on the other warrior, pulled him even closer in an effort to bring him some kind of meager comfort. "I wish I was stronger for you." Maybe if I was then you wouldn't have to worry about me so much.
Hearing his name being called Chiaotzu opened his eyes looking at an emotionally confused Tien. Chiaotzu was about to nuzzle him again until he heard the next words leaving Tien's mouth. I wish I was stronger for you. This puzzled Chiaotzu greatly, yes he knew that Tien was always hard on himself and that the training school had pushed him to thinking that he was weak, but Tien wasn't weak he was strong, really strong. " But, Tien….you are strong….everyone needs someone to help them every once in a while Tien." Chiaotzu felt tears prick the corners of his eyes at the thought of Tien demeaning himself so much.
"No, not me. I shouldn't be like this…Master Tao raised me to be better than this." He let out a sigh of frustration and then cursed loudly, "Damn it, I wish I could be better for you. I'm tired of making you worry and take care of me…when do I get to pay you back? When I get to take care of you for once?" he closed his shimmering three eyes, trying to hold back tears of self-hatred. "I thought that I was better than this." Every time he lost his self control like he was doing now, or showed any sign of weakness, he was bringing shame to the name of his school, to the name of Master Tao. Although his eyes were closed, he could sense Chiaotzu staring at him. "Just…never mind. Forget I even said anything. You shouldn't even listen to an idiot like me."
Chiaotzu stared at Tien with tears slipping down his cheeks silently. " Tien you are strong you really are….master Tao doesn't know what he's talking about." By now Chiaotzu's hands were trembling and his grip on Tien's arm tightened even more. Chiaotzu just continued talking to Tien. "Why do you think you have to pay me back? Why do you want to take care of me?" Chiaotzu's tears blinded his sight as they spilled out like a river. Chiaotzu buried his head in Tien's neck while choking out " Why are you always so tough on yourself?"
"I wish you could see just how much I…" he stifled this thought and sat up with a grimace of pain. He pulled Chaiotzu into his strong, warm arms and held him there. The other warrior was so surprised by this sudden action that it took him a long moment to relax. Tien smiled to himself, despite his growing grief. He loved how the smaller warrior felt pressed against his chest. He was the perfect size. "Chiaotzu," he said, trying to voice the thought that he had abandoned before, "can't you see how much I care about you? I just want to make sure that you're happy." He pulled away and wiped the tears from his friend's face. This was an awkward movement for him to make, because he wasn't used to being gentle and delicate; he was used to being brutal and vicious. His instincts were for fighting, not loving or showing affection. This was something new to him. "You really do mean a lot to me, Chiaotzu; more than you will ever know."
Chiaotzu clung to Tien afraid that Tien will stop holding him if he let go. Chiaotzu loved being held by the tall warrior; so much that he'd play sick or tired to be picked up and be held in Tien's strong arms. " Tien you do make me happy….more than you'll ever know…." Chiaotzu then acted on his urges and hugged his friend tightly around the neck, while nuzzling it as well. His body shook from the sobs he was now producing, but hoped Tien wouldn't think any less of him for showing emotions. He wanted to be strong, but being in Tien's arms made him feel like he could drop down his guard and be himself.
As if reading his thoughts, Tien said quietly, "You don't have to pretend to be strong around me." And he kissed the top of his friend's head. He expected rejection, but got none. The smaller warrior didn't turn away from his affections and he didn't seem disgusted. Tien smiled to himself. This was good, very good. After years of pretending like he didn't care about Chiaotzu as more than a friend, maybe he could even… "I won't ever turn away from you, Chiaotzu. You should know that." He dared to press his face to Chiaotzu's. He always had loved his smell; it was sweet, and reminded him of the few happy times of his childhood. Perhaps that was because the only happy times that he could recall involved he and Chiaotzu being together…he tried to make the other warrior quit crying. "You know I hate it when you cry, so please stop."
Chiaotzu felt his tears subsiding as soon as Tien made contact with his face. Sniffling was the only thing that remained form the sobbing Chiaotzu had a few minutes ago. Soon Chiaotzu was now calm and he was now nuzzling Tien's cheek with his own softly. "O-ok Tien….thank you…." A blush spread across his face with heat radiating from him, and he knew that Tien could feel it, but he didn't care anymore. He wanted Tien to know what he meant to him, how much Chiaotzu cared for Tien, how much he…loved him. 'Gohan was right…I do love Tien….this is love, always wanting to be near him, to help him,to be in his arms and enjoy every time we are together….'
"I wonder what this is…" Tien wondered aloud. He wondered what it meant to be made happy by being with someone. He wondered about the warm, exciting feelings in him were when he and Chiaotzu were together. He wondered why he always wanted to be the source of the other warrior's attention, to be his best friend, and his…his what? What was it again—love? What did he always hear couples saying to each other? I love you? Was this love? He swallowed down his shyness and took Chiaotzu's small hand in his own. He observed just how much he dwarfed the other warrior, and he noticed just how happy and wholly content Chiaotzu was in his arms. Did he feel the same way? Did he think these same thoughts? Tien nuzzled Chiaotzu's cheek and laughed when he looked away and blushed. He's adorable…how could I have ignored my feelings for this long? He's perfect. "Chiaotzu, I think that I'm in love with you." He said this matter-of-factly that it didn't seem as though the smaller warrior had actually noticed; he just snuggled closer to Tien and smiled sweetly.
Chiaotzu snuggled into Tien more, but his eyes widened suddenly as he caught Tien's last words. ' I did hear that right, right?...Tien loves me?' Chiaotzu blushed at the thought of Tien loving him and smiled. He raised his head up to look at Tien and then softly said, " Tien…are you sure? Because….I love you too…" Chiaotzu didn't wait for Tien to reply, because he swiftly pressed his pale lips to Tien's soft ones. The kiss was soft and lasting, and Chiaotzu had no intentions of pulling away so he wrapped his arms around Tien's neck.
It all happened so quickly that Tien didn't really have time to stop it—not that he wanted to. He had no desire to quell the growing love that now swelled in his heart. He gently pressed a hand to Chaiotzu's cheek and ran his fingertips across the warrior's smooth, pale skin. Tien ended the kiss, a big smile on his face. For the first time in what felt like forever he was actually happy. "Chaiotzu, I…" he didn't know what to say, so he just sat there grinning and pressing his hand to the other warrior's cheek. Without restraint he leaned forward, kissed him again, and then looked away, blushing insanely. "I think that you're pretty much perfect..." He finally managed to say as he met other warrior's innocent, shimmering gaze. "…my Chiaotzu."
Chiaotzu blushed and smiled at Tien. "I am?...thank you Tien…Tien? You're perfect to me too." Chiaotzu leaned into Tien's warm hand against his cheek, and nuzzled it. Kisses covered Tien's hand along with plenty of nuzzles too. The pale warrior stopped, and kissed Tien's dressed wounds implying that he hoped that they would feel better. He then settled in Tien's lap, laying against his chest, then he grasped Tien's hand gently and played with it. Chiaotzu's giggling soon filled the air as he was content on being in the tall warrior's chest and arms, while playing with his hands.
He just grinned and turned the tables on the small warrior; he began feeling Chiaotzu's hands, playing with them and running his fingers along his knuckles. He felt the pain in his muscles subsiding greatly. Something was bothering him, though. Distractedly he glanced out of the window and asked, "Don't you want to go outside and play?" He didn't want him to leave, but he didn't want to make him waste his whole day, either.
" Huh? No I wanna stay in here with you Tien, it wouldn't be much fun without you anyway…I'm happy right here with you." Chiaotzu was now giggling smiling up at Tien. Chiaotzu then examined his bandages and got up. "Your bandages need changing, I'll be right back Tien." He scurried away to the kitchen retrieving the medical kit again. Tien smiled at his little warrior; now a little more confident about showing his feelings towards Chiaotzu. On cue the pale warrior came back with the medical kit in his tiny arms. This time Chiaotzu settled in Tien's lap to redress his wounds, but Tien noticed the slight blush Chiaotzu had on his cheeks.
"Be careful." He said as a gentle warning. The smaller warrior nodded and carefully began his work. Thru it all he remained calm. Chiaotzu never once hurt him. Tien gave the smaller warrior a smile, placed a hand on the smaller warrior's head and smiled down at him. "Thank you, Chiaotzu. I don't know what I'd do if you weren't here." Slowly his hand traveled down to Chiaotzu's blushing cheeks. The smaller warrior looked away, smiling meekly. Tien caught himself turning red and so he looked away.
Chiaotzu , still blushing, scooted closer to Tien. His head hesitantly leaning on the taller's soft stomach. Chiaotzu nuzzled Tien's stomach lightly and stretched out a bit in Tien's lap.
"Comfortable? Good…" he laid back on the bed and let Chiaotzu crawl up and rest on his chest. He closed his eyes and smiled to himself.
Chiaotzu's eyes closed as he sighed contently. A smile formed on his lips, as he cuddled his Tien closer. Chiaotzu's breathing became slow and even indicating he was asleep.
Tien kissed the top of the smaller warrior's head. "Goodnight." He whispered, closing his eyes. As he drifted off to sleep, he could still feel Chiaotzu's steady breathing. This was his sole comfort as he slept.
The Tien parts were written by the Last Flowerchild. Nezune Otoki wrote the Chiaotzu parts. Thanks for reading and reviews are love.