Author's Notes : This is an idea I've been kicking around for a while. (Yeah, I know, bad me for writing something else while in the middle of a huge epic. Ah well.) ^_^ It will contain Hurt/Comfort, A/U tendencies, extreme oddness and non-permanent damage to main characters.
Author's Notes (pt. 2): I thought I had come up with a reasonably original idea with this fic. However recently it came to my attention that a ff.net author by the name of solange channonix (userid=222410) wrote a story called "Everything is gone" which starts off nearly the same way as my fic does. *cries* So after much bemoaning the fact that eveything I do, no matter how original I think it is has already been done/will be done, I decided to cope and post my fic anyway. It appears that our fics are decidedly different after the first couple of chapters, so it's all good. :)
Oh yes, and I write, for the most part, with the English Vegeta. I only recently started watching the subs of Dragonball Z and have come to realise that the Japanese Vegeta AND the Japanese Goku are very different than their English counter parts. That in mind, any OOCness on the character's parts are probably the Japanese versions of the characters creeping in, and their actions in both the sub and the dub combining themselves in my mind. O_o
It wasn't often when he had the chance to spar with Vegeta, and Goku relished the opportunity. Especially recently
It had been over twenty years since he had met and defeated the great prince Vegeta for the first time. The space of years alone had done much to wear the prince into something just a little more palatable. At least he had changed a bit from all those years ago, when their one on one fights had been a matter of life and death and he was sure that Vegeta would have killed him, given the opportunity. Now their sparring sessions, though they were still as intense as all Saiyan fighting should be, had lost the bitter and deadly edge that was usually caused by Vegeta's awesome pride. Instead their sessions were opportunities to safely spar within the acceptable bounds of a near friendship. Not only that, their sparring was something he relished and he was sure, deep down, Vegeta did as well.
After all, why else would he smirk as he did?
Granted things still got rough from time to time. Vegeta was occasionally prone to tricking him into turning his back or letting his guard down, at which point he would pound Goku into the ground in a very devious fashion. After Goku had picked himself up again and voiced his complaints, Vegeta would laugh and lecture him on his all too trusting shortfalls.
Little did Vegeta know that very soon he would have to place his complete trust in the long time hero. That day something truly strange was going to happen before they even had the opportunity to fight.
The prelude started off innocently enough Goku had shown up at Capsule Corportation, Vegeta and Bulma's home, to collect his son, Goten, for the day. His wife Chi-chi had sent him. Even though his wife had been much more lenient on their second son when it came to studying, she seemed to think that he really should be preparing for his high school entrance exams as opposed to "hanging out" with his boyhood friend Trunks.
However, as he landed outside of the house with the intention of making his way towards the door, a certain person named Vegeta came out to meet him. Folding his arms across his chest, the shorter Saiyan let out a colourful array of insults at him.
Goku took no offence. Being called a third class idiot for not saying "hi" was usual for him. In fact, being called a third class idiot for anything was usual for him. He knew that throwing random insults at him was Vegeta's way of telling him that he wanted something. Goku knew exactly what that something was.
The first blow was casually exchanged. Soon they were both in the air, not far above Capsule Corp. More blows were exchanged before Goku stopped and considered. He knew Chi-Chi had demanded that he retrieve Goten immediately, but he *really* wanted the workout. There was something about sparring that sent his blood humming and could make him happy for days on end. After a moment or so, he decided that he'd go spar instead. After all, he reasoned to himself, Goten probably wouldn't mind the opportunity to "hang out" for a couple more hours. He'd make it short and get the both of them back home before dinner. He couldn't miss that!
He silently accepted the prince's invitation to spar with the slightest inclination of his head. Turning in an eastwardly direction, he motioned for Vegeta to follow him. They would relocate to a more desolate place where they would have no fear of harming any loved ones with a stray energy blast.
They had been in the air for less than a few seconds when something happened to the city behind them. Though Goku hadn't been paying attention because he was flying away from the city, whatever it was it happened fast. So fast in fact, that when everything was done Goku had a hard time figuring out the exact order of the events that followed.
It also didn't help that it happened when Goku blinked. For the microsecond before he blinked he thought that the clouds in the sky in front of him had changed. It was extremely particular one instant he was looking at a cloud, the next the cloud had doubled. There appeared to be two clouds where there was once one, and one was slightly unaligned with the other. With alarm he glanced at the ground, and saw the same thing a double the over lapping ground slightly out of alignment with the other, just like the clouds. It was like how objects looked like out of eyes that suddenly do not wish to look any longer and defocus to produce a hazed double. That was when he blinked wondering if perhaps the trouble was with his eyes.
In the instant his eyes had closed, something lit up beyond his lids. The light was so bright that he thought he hadn't blinked at all, but instead turned his gaze to look directly into the sun. Except that it was far brighter then even that, and it startled Goku. He wrenched his eyes back open right away, staring back at the ground. The ground did not look like the ground that he had seen before he blinked. This ground had no color and seemed to be painted in sharp white and stark black. It was still doubled however, but as he watched it jerked rapidly and to his amazement the faint fuzzy over lying double sharpened and finally it was the main image that disappeared.
This was all very hard for Goku's mind to process. He wasn't used to ground looking different than ground or sky looking different than sky. "Uhh Vegeta?" He questioned out loud, very very confused. Usually when he was confused he could count on Vegeta to tell him, sometimes a bit nastily, exactly what was going on.
When he received no answer from the littler man, he tried to turn his head to ask him again. Only he found that he could not turn his head. Eyes wide, Goku realised that he was still flying forwards at a tremendous rate and under no power of his own. It was like an invisible hand was at his back and pressing him forwards. And downwards. He suddenly noticed that the ground was nearing at an extremely rapid pace faster than he would be going if he were Super Saiyan.
For a fleeting instant he wondered if perhaps Vegeta had attacked him from behind. Then he thought no more, as he suddenly had to focus everything he had in trying to free himself from whatever this attack was. He marshalled up a great deal of chi and tried his best to break free of the force. That did absolutely nothing besides maybe cushion his impact from being lethal as he hit the ground hard. He cried out. His battle was far from over with this invisible foe the moment he hit intense pressure seemed to want to continue pressing him into the ground. In desperation he howled and with a great deal of flaring chi, managed to fight his way free.
He scrambled for the cover of a small rock outcropping, faintly alarmed as he realized that the rock outcropping had been formed by the impact of his body against the earth. He gritted his teeth and used it as a shield, huddling against its inside wall.
It was as Goku sat against his rock outcropping that he became aware of a deep rumbling noise. It was becoming louder and louder, and it seemed to be increasing ten-fold by the millisecond. Goku clamped his hands over his ears. Even that did nothing to shield out the terrible growing noise. He closed his eyes and screamed... and could not hear himself over the din. The noise got louder still, and Goku realized that it was so loud that nothing he did could shield out or even make a difference against it. His ears hurt. They hurt and they hurt and finally silence descended upon him. Blessed silence. The world, which he hadn't been aware had been spinning until that moment, slowed to a halt. And stopped.
Goku stared at the opposite wall of the crater. It retrieved its color and now it appeared to be just everyday ordinary upturned earth. Cautiously he removed his hands from his ears. There was blood on them. Goku stared down at them uncomprehendingly. He stared for a long time, until he realized that he felt very weak. He could smell blood in his mouth and he felt like he was about to pass out. Even so he still could not process what the blood on his hands had to do with his slowly fading vision. Soon his eyes blurred completely and his head fell towards his lap.
Goku wasn't out cold for very long. He faded back into consciousness, and jerked his head up. He looked about, but he only saw the same overturned earth in front of him that he had seen before he passed out.
He blinked. He didn't understand what had just happened. His mind replayed his final memories but they just confused him further.
Though he wouldn't have put it past him, it didn't make any sense that Vegeta had been the one to attack him from behind. The attack had been much too powerful to be caused by Vegeta alone...
Vegeta! He paused. He centered his thoughts, and reached out with his mind. He "felt" for the small prince, searching for his distinctive chi signature. He was surprised and somewhat troubled by what he found. Vegeta's chi energy was very faint. What little of it he could sense felt--sick.
A cold thrill of fear touched him. Vegeta must be injured badly, He thought. Whatever had attacked him must have attacked the other as well.
If Goku had taken the time to feel for his own chi, he would have discovered the same "sick" feeling to it as Vegeta.
Instead of feeling for himself he felt out beyond Vegeta for the chi energy of his son and Vegeta's son.
He could not feel the boys at all.
Goku's innards turned to ice. The raw fear that now coursed through him wasn't a sensation he was used to. He was usually so confident in his abilities that "fear" did not occur to him often, if at all, and it left him shaken.
Slowly, the trembling warrior stood and made to climb out of the crater, mentally steeling himself for whatever enemy he would find beyond. As he moved he realized that he couldn't hear anything and the silence was awesome in its entirety. It made him even more wary.
He looked out over the rim of his crater and saw nothing.
Goku's mouth fell open in absolute shock. Nothing, never, in all the day's of his life had he seen anything like it. He had seen chi blasts that had caused considerable damage, and chi blasts that had taken out whole planets but nothing, nothing that could hold a candle to this. Not to something that was only up to a few minutes previous was "home"...
He felt nauseous and dizzy for a brief second, then he righted himself and stared. Were there used to be the center of Satan City there was now nothing. Everything was stark, level and grey, leading right up to him. Goku looked behind himself. The level-ness extended for quite a ways behind him. After a while, far behind him gentle slops of hills started up again. In front of him, where the city once lay all he could see that added shape to the landscape were now the occasional very small rock outcroppings. But other than that the only thing that differentiated this landscape from, say, the moons or anything equally as alien was the odd cloud formation that welled up from where the exact center of where the city had existed. The cloud was very thin and went straight up. Goku turned his head up and followed it with his eyes. He could see that it blossomed into a somewhat rounded white fluffy top.
Goku was puzzled. He couldn't figure out what the cloud had to do with the complete destruction of the city and all of its occupants. All he could guess was there was some sort of enemy far above him in the atmosphere. He frowned and slowly clenched his hands into fists. Whoever it was, they would pay...
He could feel Vegeta's chi flicker, somewhere off to his right. It brought Goku's attention back down to the ground. The invisible enemy could wait, he thought. He should make sure his friend was okay first. It took a moment for him to realise that one of the blackened lumps against the stark and level ground must be the prince. He ran for it.
The odd shaped lump *was* Vegeta but he couldn't tell for sure until he was very close. The other Saiyan was lying on his back on the ground. He didn't rise to meet him, or even move as Goku neared him. His chi level was so low that for a fleeting instant Goku thought that he might be dying or nearly dead. An odd sickening feeling welled up inside of him as he gazed down at his sparring partner. He already *looked* dead. Vegeta's eyes were open, adding to the queasy unearthly feeling in the pit of Goku's stomach, and the smaller Saiyan didn't even blink as he stared straight at the sky. He was also bleeding and the blood seeped sluggishly from his ears and mouth. Eyes wide and horrified, Goku knelt beside him and touched his ears.
Vegeta started violently, proving himself to be very much alive. He turned his head towards the other Saiyan, but his eyes did not focus on him. "Kakarrot," He mouthed at the larger warrior, and then the corner of his mouth curled up into a snarl. Goku smiled at the very familiar Vegeta-like expression. He felt very relieved Vegeta was okay.
"What?" He replied, his eyes wide and amiable as he smiled. "I can't hear" He stopped. He could not hear himself, let alone Vegeta.
He rocked back on his heels, shocked speechless. While he reeled from that revelation, Vegeta struggled into a sitting position. The prince snarled out something else, but Goku could not hear him. Not even in the slightest. Goku stared at Vegeta's mouth as it moved soundlessly.
He was deaf?!
"Vegeta!" He snapped. "Vegeta can you hear me? I can't hear you!"
Speaking out loud confirmed what he already knew. As before he could not hear a word he spoke, and he only knew that he said anything at all by the fact that he could feel his mouth form the words and he put force of breath behind them.
Goku watched as Vegeta kept on speaking himself, his mouth moving silently. To make matters worse, when Goku spoke he didn't even flinch or show any sign of acknowledging him. Did that mean that Vegeta couldn't hear him either?
This wasn't good, he thought grimly. He had to get help. Even before he hunted for the bastard who had done this to him and his friends. Bulma and all of Capsule Corp he looked up, directing a mournful gaze on the ground where his friends' home had once resided. It looked like it had been completely obliterated. But maybe Master Roshii would be able to help him or Dende yes that's it! He'd go visit the young guardian of earth and get him to heal him and Vegeta before he faced his enemy.
Vegeta was shaking his head and his mouth moved to indicate that he was saying something, as he gazed off in the direction of the odd mushroom shaped cloud. Frowning, Goku considered for a second, then he did something that he *knew* would irritate the prince. Reaching out, he grasped Vegeta's chin and turned it towards himself. He needed to have Vegeta at least look at him, so that he could convey the "I'm going to go for help" message somehow.
As he thought, Vegeta found that irritating. He jerked his head out of Goku's grip the moment he touched him, his top lip curled up into another snarl. He snapped something at Goku, something that the other warrior couldn't hear, but could probably guess wasn't very kind. Goku winced slightly yes he knew Vegeta hated being touched, but he needed his attention.
He shrugged apologetically, and began to speak again. "I'm going to get--" He began, making elaborate motions in a direction other than the center of the non-existent city.
Vegeta wasn't listening. Obviously. As Goku watched, the other man shook his head slowly. He lifted a gloved hand, pressing it over his eyes. He removed his hand and shut those eyes, then opened them again. He repeated that motion again as Goku stared at him in confusion.
Vegeta's mouth moved again, repeating whatever it was that he said before Goku had the atrocity to touch his jaw. He shut his eyes, and pressed his hand to them one last time.
Goku realized what was bothering the small prince. It hit him like a ton of bricks. He hoped fervently that he wasn't right, then with a mild amount of trepidation he reached out and waved one of his hands vigorously in front of Vegeta's face.
Vegeta did nothing he didn't even react. After a moment he moved his head slightly away, staring off into the distance.
He couldn't see.