Pairing: Vegeta/Goten Rating: R Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ nor do I have any rights to the characters. Archive: Ask and it's yes.

Convincing Vegeta "It'll never happen," Vegeta said with disdain.

Goten replied with a confident smile gracing his young features. "We'll see." His smile widened. "We will definitely see."

"See what?" Trunks asked as he entered the room and looked from his friend to his father. Vegeta's scowl only deepened, and he glared challengingly at Goten. With a laugh and a nod Goten was suddenly pushing Trunks back toward the door.

"Let's see what's in the fridge," Goten said. "I'm hungry." Trunks allowed himself to be pushed from the room as his father scowled after them.

It was a week later when Trunks walked into another cryptic conversation. "Give it up. You are only wasting your efforts. Your energy would be better used on other endeavors."

This time Goten glared at Vegeta before responding. "I'm not done trying yet, Vegeta. You'll-" Goten was cut off when Vegeta backhanded him across the face, his head snapping to the side and knees folding from the unexpectedness of the blow. The younger man stared in mute shock as Vegeta turned away from him, but his face quickly shifted into a smile of understanding when he saw Trunks.

"What's going on?" Trunks asked, obviously concerned and puzzled. He hurried to Goten's side but the younger boy waved him back. Vegeta snorted then and walked away, leaving Goten to explain as best he could.

"It's nothing." Goten smiled happily, half distracted. "I just don't know when to give up I guess."

There was another almost inaudible snort behind him and Trunks turned in time to see his father's leg disappear as he finally left the room. When he turned back, Goten was gazing at the door with a goofy smile still plastered on his face. He looked a bit surprised when Trunks waved a hand in front of him, but he recovered quickly. With almost lightning speed Goten grabbed Trunk's wrist and started jabbering excitedly, not giving Trunks enough time to ask another question. However, all of Goten's endless chatter couldn't stop Trunks from thinking that something weird was going on.

Early the next morning Trunks discovered he was right to be suspicious. Awakened by a slamming door, Trunks's curiosity wouldn't allow him to go back to sleep until he discovered what was happening. That's how Trunks found himself sitting on the floor behind the couch at five in the morning, listening to his best friend and father argue.

"Are you trying to get me killed, boy?" Vegeta asked.

"No," Goten answered. "If anything I want you to stick around." Goten paused. "Since when was my spending time with you something that would get YOU killed anyway?"

Vegeta's tone didn't change, but Trunks could tell that Goten's comment pleased the prince from his expression. "Your father would probably try to kill us both. You're too young to die because of me."

"So, you're afraid of father." Goten didn't ask, he made it a statement - a challenge and double insult. Trunks felt his father's ki spike sharply and prayed that he wouldn't be in the way of any stray ki blasts.

There was a loud thump and Trunks could hear Vegeta growling something at Goten. "Your father is unwilling to fight me." There was a grunt. "Maybe I should kill you myself, save Kakarott the trouble."

"He doesn't have a reason to kill me.yet," Goten said. "But you could at least give me what I want before you kill me, you know, make my death worth it."

Deciding it was far too early in the day to be issuing death threats whatever they were for, Trunks stood up from his position behind the couch. He was composed, concern foremost on his features, but he visibly braced himself as he confronted Vegeta. "You can't kill him," Trunks told his father as he finally took in the scene.

Vegeta held Goten pinned to the wall with a knee between the young man's legs and an arm across his chest. Goten was offering no resistance, his free arms hung limply at his sides. He was completely focused on Vegeta and the imminent response.

Vegeta glanced at his son briefly before turning back to Goten. "I'm not willing to share, even with you." The jealous amusement in his voice was yet another piece in the puzzle.

Trunks didn't know whether Vegeta was talking to him or to Goten so he remained silent. He realized his mistake when his father turned to glare at him again; this time Vegeta was unmistakably waiting for Trunks to do or say something.

"Um, share what?" Trunks ventured, genuinely puzzled. For all his eavesdropping, he still didn't know what was going on.

Goten slumped to the floor when Vegeta released him. "None of your business. Go back to bed." All of this was said as Vegeta stared down at Goten, his arms folded across his chest.

Well, Goten didn't look worried, but still. "I'll go back to bed, but only if you promise not to kill him."

A moment later, when Vegeta looked at Trunks, he was frowning impatiently. "He won't die by my hand. Leave. Now."

Trunks reluctantly obeyed. He knew his father would keep his word, but something about the entire situation made Trunks uneasy. As his bedroom door clicked shut behind him, Trunks felt both his father's and Goten's ki's rise and then begin moving farther away. A quick decision and a broken screen later and Trunks was running after the two retreating figures, keeping his ki as low as possible. He was determined to decipher the puzzle of Vegeta and Goten's behavior. Technically, he'd done what he said he would so his father couldn't fault him for that. Trunks grinned and ran faster.

Slowing as he moved closer to the two Saiyans, Trunks maneuvered carefully. When he felt he was close enough, the young saiyan situated himself carefully before he began to listen. Once more the two were in mid conversation.

"Come on, Vegeta," Goten was saying. "You already told Trunks you wouldn't share. Did you really think I'd miss that? It was as good as saying you do."

'Do what?' Trunks thought.

"You're too young," Vegeta replied.

Judging from Goten's expression, and the way he rolled his eyes, this was a well-used argument. He didn't even bother to respond to it. Instead he jumped immediately to his next point.

"You know how I feel," Goten said softly as he stepped closer to Vegeta and carefully touched the older man's arm.

Vegeta didn't move away, but he did turn his head from Goten as he replied. "Kakarott would-"

"Goten interrupted. "Father would be happy if it was what I truly wanted, and it is." Vegeta was shaking his head in denial but Goten persisted. "Vegeta, I mean it when I say I love you."

Trunks's shocked gasp was covered by his father's angry ki blast. It narrowly missed Goten and instead cleared several yards of forest. Somehow it made everything more real, and as understanding dawned Trunks found himself looking and listening for more detailed information.

The youngest Son was undeterred by the prince's display. "I've caught you watching me, so you can't deny your feelings. Why won't you acknowledge them?" Goten asked, touching Vegeta once more.

After a long stretch of silence Vegeta finally replied, his face twisted with anger and an emotion Trunks couldn't identify. "And what would you do if I told you I loved you? Move in perhaps? Bulma would love that, I'm sure. Why, your mother would probably be very receptive to the idea as well, wouldn't she?" He was bitingly sarcastic and paused as if to let his words take effect. "There is no future for us, child." The last word was sneered as he leaned closer to Goten's face. Trunks saw his friend's eyes cloud with what could only be pain before answering Vegeta's hurtful comment.

"I love you." Goten's voice was firm and low as he spoke. His calm manner lent a certain inevitable quality to the words.

Vegeta grabbed Goten's arms and shook him. "Listen to me and listen well," Vegeta demanded. "'We' are an impossibility and the sooner you accept that the better off we'll both be!"

"You can't mean that. I've seen you-"

"Why are you making this so difficult?" Vegeta interrupted, nearly shouting. "All you've seen is my reaction to your hormones. So what if my body responds to yours. That isn't love.child."

For all his naïveté Goten refused to be swayed. And even though it was being disloyal to his father, Trunks silently cheered for Goten because he could see what Goten also saw: this was hard for Vegeta, too hard. Any true argument from the proud prince was cruelly arrogant and insulting, and while 'child' was no doubt insulting, it fell sadly short of his usual harsh insults, seeming to be more of a reminder to himself rather than a verbal weapon. The argument also seemed more self-directed, an observation missed by neither Goten nor Trunks.

"Are you trying to hurt me or yourself, Vegeta?" Goten asked challengingly. When Vegeta refused to answer, Goten continued, changing his approach. "Sleep with me Vegeta." Trunks just knew his father was as startled as he himself was, but to Vegeta's credit his face didn't show it. "I mean nothing to you, and you want me. Take me then; I'm offering myself to you. Prove to me that what I feel is only hormones by burning them away with your touch."

Vegeta didn't move, simply stared at the young man in front of him in shock.

"Damn you, Vegeta." It was whispered and Trunks barely caught the words. Goten said it again at normal volume, his eyes never leaving the man's across from him. "Damn you." His voice sounded frustrated and indescribably weary as he sat down, grabbing a gloved hand and pulling Vegeta with him to the ground. "What are you more afraid of, that I really do love you or that I don't?"

Vegeta interrupted, his answer automatic, his voice typically livid. "I am never afraid."

Goten's frustration was rapidly becoming anger. "I'm telling you that I love you because I know it's the truth. However, if you truly believe that I don't, then sleep with me now and prove it to both of us. Otherwise." Goten shook his head, never completing the though. "What's your answer?"

In the bushes, Trunks silently cheered Goten on. He kept his fingers crossed and prayed that, just this once, his father's pride would play into Goten's hands.

"What, there's no second option?" Vegeta mocked. His voice was laced with scorn. "You don't even know what you're asking."

"Then show me," came Goten's calm reply.

There was only a moments warning when strong hands unclenched. Trunks held his breath as Vegeta tugged roughly at Goten's clothes. His father's features were hard, a frozen rictus of anger and determination. First Goten's shirt was ripped off, up and over his head, his face slightly sad as he lay there unresisting. His pants swiftly followed the shirt, and then Vegeta was pinning him none too gently to the ground. Releasing the breath he'd been holding, Trunks anxiously awaited his father's next move. Several breaths later and still they remained motionless. Goten just watched Vegeta, silently accepting whatever he did. Vegeta, on the other hand, was obviously torn, his conflict evident in his eyes, but what the conflict was Trunks didn't dare think about.

Finally, Vegeta made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat and pushed himself off Goten, stopping only when he had put a good distance between them.

Neither said a word but a minute later Goten was pushing himself up as well and walking over to Vegeta. The older Saiyan looked genuinely surprised, almost uncertain, to see Goten standing in front of him. He glanced down then quickly up again and a pink blush spread across his cheeks, as if he were ashamed of Goten's nakedness and therefore by what he had almost done. Then Goten's voice was bridging the gap between them.

"It isn't lust Vegeta. It isn't only your body aching for mine. If it was, you would have taken my body when I offered it." Goten became silent, and my father and I once more waited in the silence. I could hear my blood pounding in my ears, each second that ticked by was its' own eternity, and I knew that for father the time passed even slower. All three of us were perfectly aware there was nothing my father could say.

Goten asked another question. "Would you accept if I offered myself to you for love?"

It was only a second before Vegeta answered. "I have nothing to offer you in return."

"Vegeta," Goten said softly, his heart in his eyes and his voice.

"No, Goten," Vegeta continued, cutting the young saiyan off. "This isn't the fight which I thought you were preparing for and it never was. If it was I could have taken what you so willingly offer without the slightest bit of remorse. But you want more than my body."

"You would kill me," Goten began.

"Never!" Vegeta shouted. He looked as if he'd just been grievously insulted. Goten just kept talking.

"You would kill me rather than make yourself vulnerable because of love, Vegeta! Why can't you just admit it? I would gladly die for you and you won't just say three little words!" Anger had gotten the better of Goten and he glared at the prince.

"Maybe that's why I won't say them!" Vegeta shouted after him, his outburst causing a grim smile to form on Goten's lips. When Vegeta saw it he realized what he'd revealed.

"Vegeta." The name was a tender whisper of longing. Goten moved forward and gently brushed the older man's chest. "Vegeta, whether or not you say those words won't change how I feel for you or what I am willing to do for you." Inching closer, Goten took advantage of Vegeta's immobility. His hand, no longer hesitantly touching, was splayed against Vegeta's chest. "I'll never give up so you may as well accept it." And then Goten's lips were pressed to Vegeta's, and Vegeta's eyes were sliding closed.

Trunks knew he should look away, that this was private and special and just between them, yet he couldn't. His father didn't move anything after his eyes closed, either allowing it or making Goten do all the work, Trunks didn't know which. But he was letting Goten kiss him and that was surely something.

When Goten ended the kiss Vegeta shifted back and crossed his arms. "Bulma will tell your mother you'll be staying for a few days. That should give us time to work something out."

Goten stood there with a radiant smile on his face and said, "Thank you, Vegeta," so there was no doubt how sincerely he meant it. Vegeta shifted his weight again and grumbled faintly before uncrossing his arms. He looked expectantly at Goten before glancing away uncomfortably and scowling. Still, he was ready when Goten threw himself into his arms. They wrapped tightly around the younger Saiyan and Vegeta buried his face in Goten's neck.

Surely, Trunks thought, now would be a good time to slip away, and he started to slowly work his way backwards. His timing proved to be good as, only a few moments later, a naked, smiling Goten was released and Vegeta's clothes were lovingly removed. At Trunks's last glimpse Goten had lowered himself to his knees and was kissing his father's thigh. Perhaps Trunks would be the one telling his mother to call Chichi tonight, buying them more time before they had to return. After traveling a respectable distance away he flashed his ki then took off for home, knowing his father would correctly interpret the situation.