Barracks

BY : chayron
Category: Dragon Ball Z > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 18981
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Ball Z – it belongs to its respective owners. This fan fiction is not a commercial project, and I am not making any money from writing it.


Saiyanstardust: Usually I don’t write cliffhangers. I mean, over 6000 words a chapter is enough not to end a chapter in the middle of a scene. But this time it just seemed appropriate to split the chapter there as the rest of the scene was still pretty long.
Well, the thing about OCs is that they shouldn’t overshadow the main characters and overtake the plot. This is a fanfic, so the main characters should probably still be the ones from the anime. Well, I don’t usually stick to this rule, but keeping it in mind does help to avoid original characters running havoc and confusing everyone.


Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Ball Z – it belongs to its respective owners. This fan fiction is not a commercial project, and I am not making any money from writing it.
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Yaoi (male x male). Goten x Trunks and vice versa. Other pairings.

Barracks

by chayron (lttomb@yahoo.com), beta-read by quatreofdoom

Part 21

“Shh, it’s me.”

As the words were uttered, Goten was pulled upright and backwards into a body behind him. At this point, the muffled words meant nothing to Goten as he was more focused on the pain in his ribs, but before he could headbutt the attacker’s nose off his face, his own nose deciphered the familiar scent.

The shaii’s hand left his mouth and he let go of Goten as soon as he felt the hostile tension ease away from the younger man’s body. Goten turned around to face him, but the prince said nothing, just put his finger to his lips and moved closer to the edge of the roof. Two of the thieves were waiting for the third, who was locking the door. The shaii turned back to Goten and nodded swiftly, then he turned back to the thieves.

Goten had no idea what the nod meant, but his apprehension grew tenfold.

“Drop your weapons and surrender!”

Goten jumped back to avoid being fried. Just a split second later, a large piece of the roof near where he had been standing rocketed off and fell noisily to the ground. He could not believe the man had just done that.

“Are you out of your friggin’ mind?!” Goten yelled at his commanding officer, ducking and then sprinting forward. “Why don’t we just walk over there and ask them to shoot us?”

“These are the rules. I can’t just shoot them on the spot!” the shaii hissed back at him while both of them were half running, half flying along the roof.

“And why the fuck not? I wouldn’t have told anyone anyways,” Goten growled under his breath, boiling with anger. He hurtled off the roof onto the shoulders of the lookout standing below, dropping onto the man like a ton of bricks. The lookout's head slammed into the asphalt with a sickening crack. He didn't even have a chance to open his mouth as he was unconscious in an instant. Goten soothed his ribs with his hand, then stood up quickly.

The shaii was already stealing a look from behind the corner. The three thieves were just a couple of meters away from them. Goten took a look as well. He nearly jumped back, frantic because of the proximity. He had no idea what to do as they could not blast the men and risk the armory and their own lives. He thought about calling for help, since they had already exposed themselves anyway, but then his attention was caught by a glimmer of light.

Goten’s eyes widened as a streak of ki appeared from the prince’s finger, embedding itself in the forehead of the lead thief. There was a soft click and then the thief's head exploded. Goten recovered from his shock just in time to see the other two aiming their guns at the shaii. Just then, the entire dream came back to Goten in a rush. This was when the prince was going to die.

The shaii yelped as Goten shoved him aside so hard that he rammed into the asphalt face-first. Just before that, he had felt a burning sting in his left arm. Slightly dizzied, he raised his head just in time to see Goten’s palm connect with one of the attacker’s faces. Amidst a flash of blue ki, Goten’s foot connected with the second man’s stomach, tossing the man onto the ground like a rag doll. He was broken and bleeding, very likely dead. Another, now headless, body slid from under Goten’s right hand and slumped onto the asphalt.

The shaii staggered to his feet. He touched his face where it hurt from hitting the asphalt, then looked at his hand. There was some blood. He raised his eyes to stare at Goten’s back.

Goten had just bulldozed those men, simply bowled them over, going through their protective ki-shields as if they weren’t even there. The third-class was still glowing with overwhelming ki. Now he was standing with his back to the Saiyan prince, obviously intending to protect him from further danger. The prince tensed when the third-class’s burning eyes set upon him – they were hard, calculating, dangerous.

“There’s still one lookout left,” Goten informed him.

“No, I took care of that one,” the shaii said. Unable to hold the intense gaze, he lowered his eyes and checked his lightly stinging arm. There was an open stripe in the sleeve of his uniform. He stuck his fingers in to spread it out. There was a burn across his arm, but the skin hadn’t been wholly cut. “Nothing serious,” he said when he raised his head and saw Goten looking at him questioningly. Something shifted in the younger male’s eyes. Goten exhaled the breath he had been holding and suddenly his ki nearly dropped to zero.

“That technique was amazing, sir,” he said. “A bit slow, though. What’s it called?”

The prince relaxed somewhat as Goten was back to using honorifics, his demeanor going back to normal. It had been very unnerving when Goten had powered up with a clear intent to kill. This was the first time he had seen the other male like that.

“You need a bath,” the shaii resumed.

Goten blinked at the sudden change in topic, then looked at himself. He was covered in blood, brain, dirt, soot and hell knew what else. His face contorted in disgust and he started tearing at the buttons of his shirt, then retched. The shaii watched him bend over and get rid of what was left from his dinner.

“This is your first kill, isn’t it?”

“Y-yeahrghh,” Goten retched again, nearly tearing his shirt off. He tossed it to the ground.

The seizure was over in a minute and he wiped at his mouth. He turned around and caught the shaii still watching him.

“You okay now?”

“More or less, sir,” Goten said, hardly paying any attention to him. He lifted his right hand, the one he had used to eliminate one of the thieves, and smelled it. “Oh gods,” he shuddered, his face contorting.

“Just go take a shower and go to bed. I will see you in my office at five in the evening.”

Goten’s eyes cleared somewhat. “I have a day off, sir?”

“I think you have earned it.”

“Thank you, sir,” Goten said, looking at his shirt on the ground. He didn’t want to touch it. “Can I just leave that here, sir?”

The prince shrugged. “Sure.”

Goten lifted his head. “Sir?”

“Yes?”

“That was a very stupid thing to do, sir.”

The shaii opened his mouth to retaliate, but closed it at the sight of seriousness on Goten’s face. He nodded in agreement. Still, rules or no rules, he didn’t think he could have simply shot them without any warning. But maybe Goten meant a different thing. He certainly did. Goten had no qualms about pointing something like this out, even to his superior.

“I’d have put on a protective shield,” the prince explained.

Goten gave him a skeptical look. “It would have been too late for that, sir,” he calmly denied.

“Of course, it wouldn’t have!” the shaii declared vehemently but with a failing conviction. He wasn’t certain why he hadn’t moved out of the way. He had known he had to move away. He had perfectly seen how the guns were turned towards him. He had simply not been able to lower his arm. For some reason he had not been able to move. He had not been able to lower his arm. It had felt…as if something had been forcefully holding his hand. He would have… He would…

The shaii staggered away from Goten, his eyes scanning the area frantically. Yes, right there, he could see himself lying in a puddle of blood. There he was, right on the asphalt. There…his body.

And then both realities melted into one – he was dead and alive at the same time.

“Sir!”

Goten shot forward as his superior collapsed to his knees. He was trying to keep himself upright, but his hands were shaking. Squatting down and gritting his teeth in pain, Goten grabbed the senseless man and steadied him. It was half-light out, but he could see that the prince was ghastly pale.

“Are you hurt anywhere?” Goten questioned, his fingers already ruffling through the prince’s hair, feeling his head and looking for injuries. Not finding anything, his hands slipped lower and started to tear at the prince’s uniform, the buttons scattering and rolling over the asphalt. “But I didn’t see any blood.”

“N-not hurt,” the prince stammered out. He had to close his eyes for a moment as everything in his sight started glimmering. “Something’s…” he swallowed loudly. “Something’s…not right in general.”

There were no wounds under the shirt, not that Goten could see. He patted the prince lightly on his face. “Hey.”

“I’m f-fine,” the shaii said, pushing Goten’s hand off his face. “But…”

“I’m getting you to the med-bay this instant,” the third-class said, shifting his hold and standing up, pulling the prince up. “Fuck,” Goten grunted in pain as his ribs protested at the additional weight. The other man could hardly keep his footing. Goten rose into the air and headed towards the medical bay.

ooOoOoOoo


Goten returned from the medical bay at a quarter past four in the morning. The fire in the armory had been put out over an hour ago and he had been walking through the empty base, smelling of smoke and heated rubber, but tranquil. Slowly, so as not to wake his roommates up, he opened the door. He went to the wardrobe and found a bar of soap and his sponge. With this, not bothering to look for clean clothes, he went to the showers. He scrubbed himself clean, until his skin ached, then dried himself and wrapped a few dry bandages around his healing ribs.

Only in his underwear and boots, he returned to his room half an hour later. Being as silent as he could, he closed the door, lowered his dirty clothes and his toiletries onto the floor next to the door, and tiptoed across the room to the window where his bed was. He sat down on it and started pulling his boots off.

“Where the fuck have you been? And where the hell is your uniform?”

Startled, Goten looked at Kyon who had pushed the covers off himself and sat up. “Uhh…”

“Don’t bother,” Kyon said, motioning at Goten’s boots. “We are getting up in about ten minutes anyway.”

“I have the day off,” Goten said, bending down again, taking his other boot off. “Well, at least until five in the evening.”

In the near darkness, Kyon’s face got very serious. “What the hell happened?”

“There was some trouble at the first armory. Someone set the second one on fire to use it as a decoy and then went to rob the first one.”

“Errr…what?”

“Someone set the second one on fire to use it as a decoy and then went to rob the first one,” Goten repeated patiently.

“Yes, I heard that, but…”

“Will you shut the fuck up already?!” Roland yelled, leaning down over his bunk, grabbing and throwing his slippers in the general direction of both first-years. “We are trying to sleep here, you morons!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Goten snorted, grabbing the slippers off the floor from where they had fallen. He launched them back at Roland. “As if you have any right to complain with your ultrasonic snoring!” He lifted his feet off the floor and wriggled further into his bunk. “Alright, talk to you tomorrow. Well, today, but you know what I mean.”

Kyon sighed. “Whatever,” he muttered, lying down as well.

Goten yawned loudly. Two minutes later, the sirens started blaring. He listened to his roommates getting up and dressing, then finally the door stopped opening and closing and he hummed into his pillow contently.

While he had been at the medical bay, for a moment, he had thought that he could forget about his day off. Luckily, the shaii had regained his senses soon after being carried there. He had also regained his bossy tone and started ordering everyone around. First, he demanded to see the provost marshal. Second, he wanted to interrogate the lookouts he and Goten had knocked out. In the end, the prince had nearly gotten into a fight with the head physician, then he demanded to know if the fire in the second armory had been extinguished.

It all ended with the taisa coming and the prince getting a compulsory shot of sedatives to keep him down on the bed. Goten didn’t remember much of what happened after. The prince had been the one to do the talking, at least until he fell asleep. After that, Goten was given a piece of paper and had to write an exhaustive report on what had happened. In the end, they let him off and told him to rest for the day.

ooOoOoOoo


During his sleep, Goten had awoken several times as his dreams were filled with blood and death and body tissues. Finally, he completely woke up around one o’clock. Enjoying the pleasant warmth and the free time he knew he had, he was in no hurry to get up. He snoozed for about half an hour, tossing back and forth in his bed without managing to fall asleep. Obviously, his body had enough of sleeping already.

Without rushing, Goten rolled off the bunk and went to the wardrobe to get his spare uniform. He had already lost count which number it was. He hoped that somebody had picked up his jacket off the ground and had washed it. Nonetheless, he realized that this was just wishful thinking.

After taking a refreshing shower and dressing in clean clothes, Goten set off for the canteen. Lunch was over but he knew every corner in the kitchen and nobody minded him when he started going through the pots, checking for leftovers.

After eating, he washed his dishes, then left the kitchen and stood outside in the shade, observing the movement on the base. He still had two hours left till his appointment.

It suddenly came to Goten that he didn’t have many things he would like to do on his day off. His friends were in lectures and he simply didn’t know what to do with his free time. The realization made him feel pathetic. He might as well go and attend today’s lectures; he would have to copy Kyon’s notes anyway.

Sighing, Goten pushed himself off the wall and walked into the sun. He rounded the kitchen and passed the spaceship hangar. He walked forward until he reached the spot where the recent events had taken place. The door was locked and two guards were standing at either side of it. Goten looked at the ground. No bodies, no jacket, nothing. If not for a few stains of caked blood on the asphalt, nobody would think that there had been three people killed there early in the morning.

Goten returned to his barracks, took his pen and notebook, and went to the lectures. He managed to get into the hall unnoticed and took a free seat at the very back of the rows. The lecture was over in about twenty minutes. Most savars filed into the corridors to stretch their legs while Goten remained seated. He had somehow missed his friends leave. Right now, he didn’t feel like spending the entire break explaining what happened to him at the first armory, thus he decided not to look for them. Besides, they would think he was an idiot for coming to the lectures on his day off.

Goten had to leave half-way through the next lecture. This time, the lecturer noticed him and wanted to know where he was going. After hearing the reason, he just motioned for Goten to go. Goten noticed his friends looking at him from the front rows.

When he reached the shaii's office, he found it locked. Unsure, Goten poked the door handle. He could probably just return to his lectures or his barracks, but something was telling him that the prince was expecting him to keep his promise. He had to go to the medical bay.

To his surprise, it didn’t take long for Goten to convince the reception desk that the prince was waiting for him. He found the correct ward, knocked, and the prince’s voice called him in. The shaii was up, his hair tied into a pony tail, wearing a white bathrobe and standing at the window. He had obviously been looking out of it at the training field. He nodded.

“Goten.”

“Sir.”

The shaii moved away from the window and started walking towards his bed. Goten could see bruises on his nose and right cheek. He remembered that he was the one responsible for them and was relieved to note that they were healing already, getting yellowish. The prince was pale, but it was hard to tell if he was ill or if this was his natural color enhanced by the white walls of the ward. It didn’t seem like there was something wrong with him otherwise. Except that maybe he seemed to be somewhat moody.

“So how is your day off?” the prince asked, kicking his slippers off and sitting down on his bed.

Goten watched him bounce up and down a few times. The mattress was obviously brand new. The prince was also alone in the ward. Goten had never had such comfort, it was reserved only for high-ranking officers or royalty. Goten suddenly felt bitter and jealous. He recognized the feeling instantly and it made him feel both surprised and uncomfortable by his reaction.

“Uneventful, sir,” Goten answered, lowering his eyes to the floor, wondering what was wrong with him. He suddenly realized one more thing – it was going to be unbelievably hard when he had to return to playing the part of a third-class. He had so many more liberties as a second-class – he had friends, he had respect, and he could do practically whatever the hell he wanted.

“The best day off there could be. Don’t just stand there, sit down,” the prince said, motioning at the chair near his bed. He seemed to be aware of Goten’s evaluating stare, but took no heed of it.

“Thank you, sir.”

No sooner had Goten sat down than there was a knock on the door. The shyu entered the ward. He was carrying a stack of files. He gave a dismissive look to Goten and walked over to the shaii. After becoming so clearly visible on the base, Goten had become absolutely insignificant to the officers; Goten believed that most of them probably thought of him as the prince’s lapdog. He could not say for sure that he wasn’t, either.

“Here are the documents you have requested, sir.”

The shaii took them and, in no time, Goten watched the shaii’s bed turn into a mess scattered with paper as the man delved into the documents. The shyu, who had read the documents earlier, joined him and was pointing with his finger at the most important parts. Carelessly forgotten, Goten leaned back into his chair. He listened in on what soon appeared to unravel into a motive for the events at both armories: somebody had owed somebody else a huge amount of money, so they had resorted to stealing the guns. The two lookout men, who had been taken into custody, were still not very talkative and there were no names yet, but this was going to change. At least the shyu was convinced of that.

Goten turned to the door which opened without any warning. The head physician entered the ward. At once, his finger angrily pointed at the stacks of paper on the prince’s bed. “Sir, you’re supposed to rest. Instead, you’ve turned the ward into your office!”

“I’m perfectly fine. I told you plenty of times already!” the prince snapped at him. “I have work to do! Just discharge me and that will be that.”

“Nobody is going to discharge anybody until it’s clear what happened,” the head physician said. “I’m responsible for your health, sir. Just let me do my job.” The head physician advanced towards the bed. He grabbed a stack of documents that the unsuspecting shaii appeared to be particularly interested in. He waved the papers in the air. “I’m confiscating this, sir.”

“On what grounds?” the shaii asked, crossing his arms in front of his chest. He could not believe the doctor had just done that.

“On the basis of your questionable health condition, sir,” the doctor said calmly.

“I’m in absolutely perfect condition,” the shaii protested. Uncrossing his arms, he peered around the bed for his slippers.

The head physician snorted. “You could hardly stand, sir!”

The prince put his slippers on and stood up, so now his and the doctor’s eyes were at about the same level, the prince coming up somewhat shorter. Using this opportunity to the fullest, they were sizing each other up for a few seconds.

“So I hear you are still using the emergency room as your cafeteria,” the shaii’s voice hummed dangerously after he had proved he could stand on his feet without any difficulties.

The doctor looked shocked. “Me, sir? What a blatant lie!”

The prince rolled his eyes. He stepped forward and held out his hand. “Give me back the documents.”

The head physician moved backwards. “Sir, the only thing I’ll give you is another shot of sedatives if you don’t return to the bed right now.”

The prince nearly spluttered in indignation. Nobody had ever talked to him like this. The shyu also looked aghast. This was humiliating. He turned to Goten and suddenly became aware of the third-class trying very hard to suppress his grin. What the heck was the asshole laughing at? His icy glare was probably speaking volumes because Goten’s smile vanished as if it had never been there. Good. However, as soon as his attention returned to the head physician, he could swear he heard a suppressed snigger.

Goten was going to regret that.

The prince turned to the head physician, who was securely holding his trophy above his head. “Give me back the documents,” the prince demanded. He was surely not going to lower himself to resorting to violence against medical staff. Nonetheless, his patience was wearing thin and he turned to the shyu as the doctor didn’t show even the slightest intention to obey him. “Take the documents away from him.”

The shyu looked at the doctor, who then threw him a challenging look. The shyu shifted from one foot to another. “Sir… I think that the doctor might be right… Besides…”

The shaii shook his head in outright disbelief at his stuttering shyu. “You’ve just disobeyed my orders.”

Unhappy, pinned by the icy glare, the shyu chewed on his lower lip. “Sir…” he drawled desperately. “Actually I have already disobeyed the taisa’s orders. Sir, you were to rest and not to be disturbed under any circumstances. Your health is our preference.”

The prince threw his hands up. “Fine. Just fucking fine. Get lost, all of you! Not you, Goten. You stay.”

While the shyu and the head physician were leaving the ward, angrily, the prince shuffled over to his bed. He cursed inwardly, kicking his slippers off and climbing onto the mattress. He could not believe that had just happened. Next thing he knew, they might start trying to spoon-feed him! In addition, Goten had seen the entire exchange. This was simply too much. He was going to skin them alive as soon as he got out of here.

Goten laughed inwardly at the prince’s expressions. He could guess his thoughts. “Sir, they are just worried. It’s understandable. I get the same treatment from my friends every time I get myself into med bay.”

The prince’s lavender eyebrows rose on their own accord. “Do I seem like I need your pity?” he demanded. “And your getting into the medical bay daily is nothing to brag about!”

Goten deflated and sagged in his chair. “Yes, of course you’re right, sir,” he said, scratching the back of his hand idly. So this was his punishment for having found this situation funny. It was somewhat…childish.

After one glance at Goten, the shaii knew that the savar was prepared for at least a five-minute-long preaching session. He had seen many similar facial expressions on youngsters who know that there is a long boring speech to come. He was also certain that Goten’s brain had already retreated into the back of his skull and now he would only able to spout out conversational gems like: ‘of course, sir’, ‘absolutely, sir’, ‘I’m very sorry, sir’, ‘certainly it’s my fault, sir’. The prince gave this some thought and came to the conclusion that – if extremely bored – Goten might offer some sarcastic spice, such as ‘you don’t say!’, ‘I wouldn’t even dream of it, sir!’, ‘I’d have never come up with it myself, sir’, ‘this is the best idea I’ve ever heard, sir!’.

“Are you alright? Had any nightmares?”

At first, Goten frowned in confusion then, realizing what the prince was talking about, brightened. After that, engulfed by unpleasant visions, he frowned again. “Yes, sir, I had some,” he said, shifting in his chair awkwardly. “But I’m sure it will pass in a few days, sir,” he added.

“Hmm. Yes, it should,” the shaii agreed. It really didn’t seem that Goten was traumatized or preoccupied by thoughts about the killings. Every warrior had to go through this. Everyone had their own ways to deal with the tension.

“I’m sorry about this, sir,” Goten said, circling his finger around his nose and cheek to indicate the injuries on his superior’s face.

Reminded of them, the prince gingerly touched his own face. “Ah, yes. I was wondering. I saw your report and you said these were caused by the thieves. Why exactly did you write that?”

Thinking, Goten lowered his hands to his lap and laced his fingers together. “I’m not very certain, sir,” he admitted. “I suppose I thought that it was better not to say that I was the one to hurt the prince’s face. The officers might have gotten angry, questioned me. I already had a hard time trying to convince them I had nothing to do with the robbery, sir.”

The shaii had figured as much. There was nothing wrong with Goten wanting peace, but this also meant that nobody would ever know what really happened that night.

“You probably saved my life there.”

Goten gave a confirming nod. “It is very likely, sir.”

There was simple truth in those words and in turn it made the prince smile lightly. “You have my gratitude.”

The prince was sincere but Goten wasn’t certain what to answer to that, thus he only nodded again. There was a spell of silence which lasted for a few seconds. The prince scratched his chin thoughtfully.

“Let’s return to your report,” he said, breaking the silence. He saw how Goten straightened, his face changing when he knew that now they were going to talk business. “You said that you went to the first armory because you suddenly assumed that if everyone was at the second armory trying to put out the flames, then there was a chance that someone was trying to get into the first armory. Is that true or did you have some information about the planned diversion?”

“No, sir, I didn’t.” Goten knew that this was the official part of the interrogation, and he knew that he was going to be questioned by other officers as well, but this made him feel somehow cheap. Goten cursed inwardly. Now he was the one who was being childish.

“Is there anything you would like to tell me about this case? I mean, personally?”

Speculating what exactly his superior wanted to hear, Goten held the prince’s eyes. “Sir, I can only repeat what I wrote in my report. I can vouchsafe for every word of it.”

“Except the part about me being hit by one of the thieves?”

Goten blushed thickly and lowered his eyes to his hands on his lap. He didn’t even try to defend himself. He felt that he had come across like a capable liar.

“Well, alright,” the shaii conceded, seeing the third-class’s embarrassment. He had only been teasing Goten, but it seemed that the younger male took it to heart. Sometimes Goten could be flustered by the simplest of things.

Goten raised his head abruptly, as if suddenly he had thought of something. “Sir?”

“Yes?”

“May I ask a question, sir?”

“Of course.”

“I was wondering how sir appeared there?”

The lavender-haired man shrugged. “I had exactly the same feeling as you, so I went and checked.”

“I see. Sir?”

“Yes?”

“My father said he was going to come in a week or less. He seemed to know what’s going on, sir.”

The prince turned around to fluff out the pillow behind him, then leaned it against the headboard and pressed his back against it. “That’s good to hear,” he said, nodding, settling comfortably. “You’ll have some answers finally.” Then he did a few calculations in his head. “When exactly did you receive the call?”

“More than a week ago, sir.” He accepted the shaii’s angered look as inevitable. He had probably deserved it anyway. The prince didn’t ask him why he hadn’t told him. He was just staring at him accusingly with those blue eyes of his, as if asking an entirely different question – why didn’t Goten trust him?

Goten felt his palms starting to sweat. He pressed them to his trousers to dry them. These bouts of self-conscious tension between him and the prince were driving him mad. He wasn’t certain what they meant. It was obvious that the prince thought that they had some kind of agreement on certain things. Just as now, instead of just reprimanding him furiously for the breach of his orders, the shaii just continued to silently stare at him while giving him a somewhat hurt look.

Goten kept his face neutral. He would have been alright with a punishment for a breach of orders. But this… This wasn’t what a superior did. What the hell did the prince expect from him? Did he think they were friends or something? He knew that the prince didn’t have much social contact on the base, he probably didn’t even have anyone to talk to, but this... The two of them had gotten closer than expected, but still, this wasn’t friendship no matter how you looked at it. They got along alright, but he was the prince’s little diversion from the boredom of his daily life. Maybe, out of desperation, the shaii had reached the point where he had convinced himself that there was some sort of camaraderie between them. On the other hand, Goten was very skeptical about this. True, he liked the man, even found him captivating, but the thing the prince liked was simply the source of constant amusement. As long as he was amusing, he was interesting to the prince. As soon as he stopped being amusing, the prince would find something else to play with. Something of better class, probably.

“I’m sorry, sir, I should’ve told you,” Goten said finally, having decided to simply agree with everything the prince said. He was engulfed by mixed feelings when the blue-eyed gaze softened. His stomach clenched.

“Yes, indeed, you should have,” the shaii confirmed, watching the third-class closely. There was a lot of awkwardness in Goten’s posture, as well as a sense of rebuff. He could guess what it was and suddenly he felt hurt and annoyed – Goten was sidestepping his attention. Goten, obviously, knew that he was getting special treatment, and it appeared that the third-class wasn’t exactly happy about that. On the other hand, Goten’s reaction to his care bewildered the prince as he had believed that Goten liked him. Goten’s definite rejection confused him. Now the prince wasn’t even sure if he should feel annoyed, embarrassed, or just stupid.

Mostly he felt hurt though, and this made him realize that Ealdira had been right – this was serious. He wanted Goten to like him, felt the need to captivate him, wanted Goten to notice him and to respond. The realization shocked him. This was the first time that he had enough of an interest in someone to want to effectively pursue them. And it just had to be a lowly third-class. He was playing with fire here. Goten was right not to want to get entangled with him.

In his chair, Goten shifted nervously. The prince had been looking at him with a kind of glassy-eyed stare for a minute or two already. There was something very unnerving about that blank blue-eyed gaze.

“Sir?” Goten called softly.

The prince’s eyes lost the glaze and focused on Goten’s face. “Yes?”

“May I go now, sir?”

The shaii gave him a contemplative look which was clearly telling him that he may not. Contradicting the expression in his eyes, the prince shrugged. “Has your father told you anything else of interest?” he asked.

Goten shook his head. “No, sir. He said that it was not a phone conversation.”

The prince nodded. “I see. Then yes, you may go.”

Feeling the hair on his nape rise up, Goten closed the door and started walking down the corridor. He was glad to be out of the ward. The tension between the two of them made him want to flee as soon as possible. He stopped short on his way to the exit. Ah, right, the dream. He had forgotten all about it. Maybe he should have told the prince about it. But then…was it of any importance? He could hardly remember it anyway, only a few flashes and the exact instant where the prince died. However…would it really have happened just like his dream if he hadn’t interfered? He could only guess.

Through the window, the shaii watched Goten leave. Goten had clearly shown that he had some issues with the current arrangement between them. The third-class didn’t seem to have been bothered by it earlier. Maybe that was it. Maybe he hadn’t been bothered because there used to be nothing to be bothered about. Or maybe Goten became aware of what was going on only now; Goten could be a slowpoke at certain things.

Huffing in frustration, the prince left the window and returned to the bed and, after kicking his slippers off, climbed into it. Even if he would have liked to, he wasn’t going to court Goten; the youngster was giving himself too much credit. He was not worth the trouble which would start as soon as someone saw an elite and a third-class together, a prince and some sort of a mutated third-class, to be exact. Goten could be executed. He probably would be. The prince rolled his eyes at his own stupidity.

Despite the fact that, most of the time – and often through Goten’s own efforts – he came across as a simpleton, Goten wasn’t stupid at all. Goten did suspect that something was going on between them. He was alert now and very sensitive to everything that happened during their interactions. It suddenly became clear that, even if Goten ever admitted that he liked him, he was not going to act on it or accept any advances from him. The third-class had a keen sense of self-preservation, it seemed.

The shaii sighed. Goten was a proud, but rather paranoid, person. Of course, he could not blame Goten for being paranoid while he was the only third-class on the base, but there was also the matter of Goten being absolutely convinced that his brother was killed while he held not the slightest bit of proof. The problem with Goten was that he had been idolizing his brother, he still was. It was no wonder as the man had been his brother, father, and mentor all at the same time. However, another thing that the shaii suspected was that Gohan might have been Goten’s first love. He knew that he might be overanalyzing this, but there was something obsessive about the way Goten perceived his brother. There was a lot of admiration, but one could sense a lot of unsatisfied frustration as well.

Goten had never considered that it indeed might have been just an accident during training. He was simply looking for someone to shift the blame onto. To put it simply, Goten wanted revenge at all costs. Blindly, he was trying to bash through a brick wall with his head.

The prince could not say that it didn’t bother him because it did. The probability that Goten had been in love with his sibling didn’t bother him as much as the fact that he was desperately trying to find someone to blame for Gohan’s death. He wondered if Goten would ever stop, even in the face of evidence that it had only been an accident. With the power Goten possessed now, this could become very problematic. Questions would be raised, Goten would be exposed, a mess would start and, in the confusion, Goten might go on a killing spree. He would do that much if his life or freedom were threatened, the shaii was certain.

The prince leaned against the headboard. Whether Goten wanted it or not, he was going to follow the third-class’s progress for quite some time, even after he left the base. Just in case.

TBC


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