I've always found it sort of embarrassing to wake up after having been knocked out. I don't know if it's because being unconscious means you've either lost a fight or done something really stupid, or if it just has to do with the fact that everyone looks like such an idiot when they first return to consciousness: blinking dumbly and asking where they hell they are.

I'm no different; everything is hazy as I stare stupidly at the white stippled ceiling, trying to figure out what the hell happened, and why I'm lying in bed. I bring my hand up to my chest slowly…nope, still dressed at least. My fingers trail lower, across the smooth silk of my shirt; I can't remember why I'm wearing it, and my best pair of jeans. Something to do with…Vegeta?

I hear the door open, and turn my head slowly, wincing as the room lurches suddenly and a sharp pain spikes through my temple. It's Kakarot standing in the doorway. Funny, he's a bit dressed up, too. Blue. Always looked so good on him, even when we were kids. Kids? Wait, I never grew up with Kakarot, he was sent to Earth when he was just a baby…who am I thinking of?

Not Vegeta. He looks good in dark indigo as well, but then he looks good in anything. Always did. I realize that my brother is just standing in the doorway, staring at me, and I frown at him. "Well, Kakarot. You gonna tell me what happened?"

~Bit disoriented, huh?~ he asks, and I nod, attempting to sit up. The room spins wildly, and I lean over, clutching at my head, hearing the answering yelp of pain from Kakarot.

"Always am, if I've been knocked out…who…?"

"Vegeta," he answers verbally, shutting down our link a bit and approaching the bed.

"Because…" the pain slowly subsides, as long as I stay very, very still. "Because I was…was I yelling at him?"

"Yup," Kakarot answers cheerfully, perching on the edge of the bed. The shifting aggravates my headache, and I squeeze my eyes shut until everything decides to stop circling.

"Shit. Why didn't you stop me?" I ease my eyes open again, to stare into a pair of dark orbs just like my own.

"Oh, I dunno. You looked like you were having fun there," my brothers grins at me, and I want to whack him one. I manage a weak smack on the back of his head, but I pay for it with another stab at my temples.

"Why does my head hurt so much?" I ask quietly, subdued for the moment.

"Oh, I think that was the fact that you went super Saiyan at the end there."

"WHAT!?" Wow, it's amazing how loud my own voice sounds in my head, especially when it's echoing off the walls of my skull. Still, I have no idea what he's talking about.

"Yeah. It was pretty impressive. I knew all those spars at the Lookout were making you stronger, but I didn't think you were ready to go super yet. We were all a little…surprised." Kakarot tilts his head to the side, like a dog, as I process this information.

"So I…shit! How come I didn't…?" I rub at my temples wearily, black hair tangling around my fingers. "Damn. I don't really remember…well, sort of. I thought you had to be really angry to go super, though? Like…well, you had been fighting Frieza, and he had killed Krillin, right? And Vegeta did this crazy training, and then sort of snapped mentally, stopped caring, or something like that. So what about me?"

Kakarot can't suppress a snicker. "Yeah, well, that's the way it works. I guess you didn't need anybody to die or anything. Vegeta's enough all on his own to piss you off enough."

I contemplate that dazedly. "Wonder if I can do it again?"

"Yeah, with practice, it shouldn't be a problem." Kakarot shrugs. "And we'll make sure you get plenty of that."

He's taking it far more casually than I can. Me, going super Saiyan? It's too strange, too off with my own self-image. I mean, I know I'm still nowhere near Kakarot or Vegeta's power level…but to most Saiyans, the concept of Super Saiyan is a myth, an unobtainable goal. I've always known I was strong…stronger than most Saiyans, strong enough to become one of the royal guard. But to become a super Saiyan? The concept is foreign, utterly strange and inexplicable.

"Yeah…" I mutter softly, and Kakarot rests his hands on my shoulders, wrapping his tail around my waist.

"I guess our family is just destined for greatness," he offers with a small grin, and I look up at him, returning his smile.

"Guess so. It's just…well, it's going to take me awhile to get used to it." I glance around at the unfamiliar settings and frown. My brother answers my unspoken question.

"Yeah, we're still at Capsule Corps. After knocking you out, Vegeta said he needed time to think about things, but that we could stay. He took off."

I have to smile. "He actually admitted that he needed to think about something? What, is he getting soft in his old age?" Kakarot grins, and he sends a wave of affection and amusement my way before his face turns suddenly serious.

"Do you really still want to do this, Raditz? I mean, it's not like he's going to change. Vegeta's always been stand-offish, even with Trunks." I consider it very carefully, and realize I haven't up until now. I've always seen it as a part of me, my dedication to my prince, my need for him. Can I really leave him behind, break off this relationship?

"Yeah," I answer slowly, "I do still want to do this. You're right, Vegeta can be a real pain in the ass, and somehow I doubt I'll ever get a declaration of undying love from him. But there's more to it than that…" I'm not sure how to express it in words, so I open myself up to my brother, let him see the pure complexity of emotions that Vegeta elicits from me.

Passion…the man is so passionate it's overwhelming, when he lets anyone see it. The depth of his emotions is staggering at times. His dedication to be stronger, his complete willingness to push himself harder than anyone, his strength of will are simply stunning. Yeah, he's a pain in the ass. But hell, I kind of like that. I don't think I would do well with someone who was easy going, not a challenge. There's a perversity in me that loves the thought of having to push, every day having to work to prove myself. I like the relaxed relationship between myself and my brother, but I crave Vegeta's touch, the speculative look in his eye when I surprise him with something, the lust he tries to hide.

"Do you understand?" I ask Kakarot quietly, and he nods slowly.

"I do. Vegeta is…well, he's worth waiting for." It's my turn to nod; he's gotten it perfectly. "Well, enough of all this serious stuff! I'm gonna go see if I can beg some food out of Bulma. You want to come with?"

I'm definitely hungry…but I can still feel a suspicious throbbing in my head, waiting for me to make any sudden moves. "Nah…give me a few minutes, Kakarot. I'll catch up with you." He stands up, lightly stroking my face with his tail.

"Okay. See you in a bit!"

I manage to sit, swing my legs over the edge of the bed, but I have to just sit there for awhile, letting my head clear. Damn, if it's this much of a headache to go super, I'm not sure I want to do it again! Then I have to snicker to myself…who the hell am I kidding? Of course I want to do it again, right now, if possible. I snort and I pull myself to my feet then stand there swaying for a bit.

I have to use to wall to lean on to make it to the door, but that's okay, because my head is finally clearing a bit as I make it there. Everything still seems a little off balance, and occasional pain like a band of hot iron around my skull makes me wince, but it's not as bad as when I first woke up. Regained consciousness. Whatever.

I can feel his ki before he comes into the room, so Trunks suddenly sticking his purple head in the door isn't a surprise. Much. Still, I blink at him for a few moments as he looks over at the bed, frowns, then scans right and finds me right next to the door.

"Raditz," he yelps, and my grin is cut off as another hit of pain reminds me why I don't like loud voices.

"Keep it down, kid," I grumble at him, and it's really like a hangover, isn't it? The pain in my head. He gapes at me a second, then nods tightly.

"Uh, yeah…are you-are you okay?"

"What do you think?" I sigh, rolling my eyes. Gods, sometimes I really hate teenagers.

"Uh, I didn't know. That's why I was asking." I catch a flash of irritation from him in his eyes, and I gather no one filled him in on what happened. Good, it's none of his damn business. Little snot's been going super since he was little, doubt he's ever felt like this.

"Yeah, I'm fine. What do you want?" I'm still leaning heavily into the wall, and he enters the anonymous room cautiously. I wonder distantly how the Briefs keep track of all these rooms…like some gods-damned hotel.

"I, ah, I was hoping I could talk to you?" His voice is hesitant.

"Uncertainty doesn't suit you, kid," I point out, and the irritation is back, stronger.

"Quit calling me kid!" he barks, and I wince again. Yeah, there it is, his dad is coming out in his voice again. And maybe his mom. I've heard stories.

"Whatever. Look, just…what did you want to talk about?" Is he going to apologize? How fucking trite. Of course, I find it much easier to contemplate forgiveness now that I'm (hopefully) soon to be fucking his father's brains out…

"Just…uh. I feel kind of weird about what happened before you left. You know?"

"You feel weird? Shit, you got a blow job out of the whole thing…I was the one left with a set of smashed ribs, a punctured lung, and a raging hard-on." He stares at me, still standing in the doorway. Not used to that kind of blunt talk, I guess. All these humans, wanting to be so damn polite about everything.

But he recovers quickly…he is Vegeta's son, after all. "Yeah. Okay. So I'm sorry about that." His voice is sullen, childish…like a boy who's mother is making him do something he really doesn't want to.

"Who put you up to this?" I ask him dryly, and he frowns.


"Who put you up to this? You look like you just swallowed something nasty, try maybe for more sincerity next time?" I grin lopsidedly at him, and he snarls.

"Look, Raditz, I really am sorry, and nobody put me up to anything, but if you're going to be that way about it…" I can't help it, I have to laugh. He stares at me, outraged for ruining his little moment, and my tail waves in delight behind me. Damn, but sometimes it's fun to fuck with people. I guess he was doing this on his own after all. Will wonders never cease? A spawn of Vegeta's loins apologizing…must be the human blood. I wave a hand at him dismissively.

"Shit, kid, it's okay…a lot of us Saiyans have had little accidents when we were you-" I cut myself off as I see the look he's suddenly giving me. He's gone from anger to thoughtfulness in about two seconds flat, and that new black tail is lashing behind him…belatedly, I realize that when I uncurled my tail to laugh, I must have started putting out musk again.

"You listening?" I ask him lightly.

"Mmmm…" he answers, his eyes definitely not on my face. No, they're roaming down my chest and heading lower. I have to fight the urge to preen, and prudently re-wrap my tail.

"Trunks!" I bark, and he looks up startled.

"Oh, man, sorry," he mutters. It's really, really tempting to have some more fun with him, make him pay just a little bit more, but a couple of things stop me. One, he did come here to try and make amends. That counts for a lot, that he could actually admit he was wrong. Means the kid isn't quite as immature as I gave him credit for. Two, it just is a bad idea all around to tease a Saiyan in heat. Especially when that Saiyan is stronger than you, and you're alone with him.

Trunks continues, pushing his hair out of his face in a little helpless gesture. His tail is waving, unrestrained, behind him in agitation. "I've just been feeling really weird the last week or so…since I got the tail. I mean, first it was the balance thing, and now…"

"Didn't your dad tell you what was going on?" I ask in some surprise.

"Uh…I was too embarrassed to ask him," he admits, his twilight eyes fixed on the floor.

"Shit," I snort, crossing my arms over my chest and glancing out sightlessly into the empty hallway as I think. I'm not sure I want to do Trunks any favors, but maybe…I glance over at him again, assessing.

He's still got his head down, that strange lilac falling down around his olive-gold skin. Well built, short, though not as short as Vegeta, and those amazing eyes. Yeah, he's definitely a pretty package, and not as much of an asshole as I thought a few weeks ago. And doubtless my nephew's going crazy, too…

"Have you seen Goten lately?" I ask abruptly, and he looks up at me, puzzled.

"Not for a few weeks, actually."

"Why not?"

"Well, he's been…well, he's sounded a little stand-offish on the phone. I think it has something to do with his mom and dad breaking up…from what I heard, Chi-Chi's not in good shape. She doesn't like me all that much, so I thought maybe it was better to stay out of her hair…" He's still frowning, thinking about it now. "Why, do you think I should go see him?"

I nod. "Don't you think he needs a good friend around right now?" I ask bluntly, and he nods.

"Yeah, I guess I didn't think about it that way…okay. So, uh, are we cool here?" He's got some of his hesitancy back, but I can see more of his usual brashness behind his eyes. Guess me not reaming him a new one has convinced him I'm gonna let things lie.

"Yeah. Do me a favor?"

He nods eagerly, relieved to be done with this awkwardness, and I gotta admit I'm glad, too. I guess I don't do grudges that well. At least not with one of the few remaining Saiyans…and…well, hell. I realize something abruptly…if things work out with Vegeta, and I'll damned if I don't make sure they do, then Trunks will be my bond-son. Not unusual on Vegeta-sei, we Saiyans are a rather promiscuous race, after all, but I wonder if they have anything like that around here? All the people I know except Kakarot are with their original spouses…

He's still staring at me expectantly, and I finish my interrupted request. "Find Kakarot and send him up here?"

I don't tell him why…I'm kind of sick of admitting my ignorance to this kid, but I'll be damned if I can find my way downstairs through this labyrinth without help. "Sure, Raditz!" he answers, and disappears down the hall.

Damn, but wouldn't I like to be a fly on that wall when Trunks goes to see Goten…the thought pulls a long laugh from me, and I remind myself to give my nephew a call tonight to check on him. Hmm, two boys in the full throws of adolescence and with new tails…nope, better make that tomorrow.