Goten No Sakura

BY : saiyansecret
Category: Dragon Ball Z > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1036
Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ, & make no financial profit writing fanfiction.

***
Flashback
POV: Goten
-:-
The Winter break of Goten’s thirteenth year felled upon the land the most bitter cold it had known in several decades, causing most establishments and roads to close.

Luckily the blizzard had happened during break so that no school would be missed, the adults commented in resignation. Goten and Trunks did not share their opinions, as Christmas had been dull, and it put a significant damper on their families’ plans for New Years.  

One bleak, late December evening, the two demi Saiyans were riveted to their favorite sci-fi series on TV, the Briefs being among the lucky few to be equipped with a cable generator. They were careful to keep the noise level down, so as not to wake Bra in her nearby nursery. Despite the thick, sturdy walls of Capsule Corp, the blue-haired baby’s hearing was unusually sharp.

The teens were inhabitually subdued that night, without really knowing why. Like the other decorations, the large, elaborately colorful Christmas tree in the corner that perfumed the air with fresh evergreen and mulled spices appeared forlorn somehow. Something was just off. 

Bulma brought them another bowl of microwaved popcorn and hot chocolate, which she set on a low table before them. “Here you go, kids,” she told them in a dull voice of false cheerfulness. 

“Thanks,” Goten replied, watching her light a cigarette as she looked out a living room window at a few chickadees eating birdseed from a ball of suet on the balcony. He glanced at Trunks and frowned, both beginning to comprehend. She rarely smoked. “Is everything okay, Auntie?” he ventured. 

“Sure,” she waved off, heading back toward the kitchen, “Get yourselves ready for bed after your show,” she called over her shoulder.

“‘kay,” Trunks called back, but glanced questioningly at Goten. The former’s parents’ ki that came from the kitchen area were heavy and sullen, which explained the odd tension in the house. Both mentally shrugged and turned back to their series, deciding it wasn’t their business.

A few minutes later, angry voices were raised, becoming progressively louder until the baby inevitably awoke, crying.

The boys hurried to the nursery, and Trunks picked up his little sister, calmingly rocking her. “It’s okay, big girl,” he gently hushed.

Goten offered her the pacifier, which she refused. “Maybe she’s hungry.”

Trunks nodded, turning on a small lamp. “You mean she’s pissed off, but she does need changed,” he observed, adding in embarassment, “I’m sorry about this.”

“Don’t be,” Goten replied cheerfully, “You oughta see my parents.” He left, then snuck into a small antechambre between the nursery and kitchen to quickly prepare a fresh bottle. While it was warming up, he partially overheard what was being said, or rather yelled:

“…because you’re drunk as fuck!” Bulma was shouting, “Great example you set.“ 

“Don’t get your hopes up, filthy whore!” Vegeta seethed back in a slurred voice, and a loud crash of dishes breaking was heard. “An’ you’re one to talk about examples… you think I’m stupid!? Mirai Trunks was who you really wanted, and don’t deny your second affair with Yamcha! Or was it the third, besides the others? I can’t keep track!”

From the antechambre, Goten inhaled sharply. Was that true, or just a paranoid phase of alcohol?

“Like you’d actually care!” Bulma shot back caustically, “The only reason Bra was even born was because your heat cycle kicked in, and you damn near killed me in the process!”

“I gave you a senzu bean,” Vegeta retorted indignantly, “It’s not my fault you can’t handle it. And I don’t care, because Yamcha’s crap in bed.” He burst out laughing drunkenly at his own bluff.

Bulma was shocked to silence for a moment, before disgustedly sneering, “So, what I suspected is true. You’re a goddamn faggot!“ 

Goten cringed beyond the wall, but Vegeta sounded puzzled rather than offended. “I never understood why this planet considers that an insult. What difference'it make?” His voice had become difficult to understand, and his erratic, unpredictable spikes of ki were alarming.

“Oh, so I can’t satisfy His Highness because–” Bulma’s voice was masked by the sound of more breaking dishes, which she was hurling against the wall.

C'mon dammit, hurry! Beginning to sweat, Goten waited impatiently for the timer to sound, then rushed the bottle to the nursery. He handed it to Trunks, whose freshly changed baby sister had calmed. He glanced ambivalently behind him, and back to his friend.

Goten began with embarassment, “Uhm, Trunks, maybe I should… leave now–” He was interrupted by a much larger crash, followed by a ki blast. “Stay here with Bra!“ 

“But what–?”

Alarmed, Goten spontaneously raced toward the kitchen, overhearing more cursing, and Bulma yelling, “You know it makes you crazy! Put that bottle down at once!”

Goten got to the doorway to see Vegeta stand up unsteadily to yell back, “I live here, and I’ll drink as much as I goddamn please!” Electric sparks of ki surged dangerously from him, while Goten watched uneasily. 

Bulma snorted, then practically spat, “I should remind you that you live here only because we allowed you!” Contemptuously, she seethed, “Don’t ever forget, you’re in my house!”

His teeth bared, Vegeta flung the kitchen table across the room, which made a large hole in the wall on collision. A glowing ball of ki instinctively formed in one hand, a half emptied sake bottle in the other. 

“No!” Panicked, Goten rushed in and stood between them. 

Ignoring him, Vegeta flung the ki over his shoulder, precisely into a cabinet just a foot from where she stood. Satisfied with the result of her silent palor, he sneered back, “Alright, spoiled little rich bitch who couldn’t survive a day without your useless luxuries. You’re nothing to me… nothing! So keep your house!” Still clutching the sake bottle, he stalked to the door, staggering a little. 

Goten’s relief was short-lived. “Wait, Oji-san!” He tried to stop him, but Bulma blocked his path.

“You, stay out of it!” she hissed, glancing at the clock, “Your show is over, and I told you both to get to bed.”

Goten watched, perplexed, as Vegeta opened the door, an icy blast of wind blowing in. He was clad in only a tank top and sweats, not bothering to take his coat. “We can’t just let him go out in the cold!” He winced when the door slammed shut. 

Bulma rolled her eyes at his horrified expression. “I don’t think you understand,” she stated firmly in a lowered voice, “What you saw was nothing. He’s not the same when he gets drunk. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, Leave. Him. Alone. and I mean it. Now get to bed.“ 

Goten glared at her in a clear challenge, very tempted to give her a repeat performance, which only won him a sigh of exasperation. “Son Goten, for the last time…” she raised her voice in warning.

Goten’s glare was unwavering, but he thought fast. He himself disliked conflict, preferring to find more efficient solutions. “Fine,” he conceded, announcing crisply, “Bra was fed and changed.” He turned on one heel and left the room without another word. 
-:-
“Guess I overreacted,” Goten told Trunks a few minutes later, as they slid under the covers of their respective twin beds, “It was just a little squabble.”

“I thought so,” Trunks replied confidently, “Told ya, my parents are drama queens.”

“Yeah, I guess so,” Goten agreed lightly, with a theatrical yawn, “Didn’t realize I was so sleepy.”

Predictably, the yawn was catching. “Damn you, cut it out,” Trunks laughed, but it had indeed been a long day, and he shut off his lamp. “‘Night, then.”

“'Night.” Goten curled up on his side, feigning gradual sleep. Luckily for him, Trunks went to sleep quickly. When he was sure, he silently got out of bed, peeling off his long pyjamas that concealed his street clothes, stuffing them underneath the pillow. Sneaking to Trunks’ closet, he took out the other’s spare coat with a polar lining, along with an emergency blanket.

Bundling up in his own winter coat, Goten snuck out a different window, careful to block any drafts.

Outside, Vegeta was not difficult to locate, though his weakened ki was unsettling. He and Bulma had both said some mean things, and he was being stupid. His thoughts were also unclear, and he was putting himself in danger. Goku would not allow it, nor would Goten.

He found him seated on the frozen ground, leaned against the house, and seemingly oblivious to the biting wind and snow. The tipped bottle of sake was empty except for a last small swallow, making Goten wonder how much he’d drank to be in such a state. 

Cautiously, he knelt facing him, though the prince did not appear to notice him. “Vegeta-san.”

No response. Goten tilted up his face to examine with a pocket flashlight. His skin was palid, almost bluish, his halfway shut eyes unfocused. Not good. “I just brought you a coat,” he told him carefully, but his words did not seem to register. Quickly, he tied a scarf around his neck, and slid Vegeta’s arms into the sleeves, then closed the zipper and hood. He wiggled his limp hands into a pair of thick gloves, and draped the thermal blanket tightly around him.

Vigorously, he frictioned his back, limbs, and hands. “We have to get your circulation back to normal,” he explained, keeping his voice low and calm. So you don’t die of frostbite, he refrained from adding, but continued to calmly explain his actions. Vegeta said nothing, appearing to not see him. “You need to stay healthy to train,” he added, quickly running out of tolerable small talk. Still, the fullblooded Saiyan hadn’t said a word.

Goten fell silent as well, continuing his first aid ministrations. Vegeta wasn’t complaining, at least, but began to shiver. Wondering if the argument were the real reason for the sake, the former looked wearily at the empty bottle, then up, finally meeting his eyes. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Vegeta did not speak, but his expression changed, as though he were studying him. Then his face darkened, and he looked away.

“I guess it’s not my business,” Goten concluded, “But at least come back in.”

Vegeta shook his head, stubbornly pulling the blanket tighter around himself. 

“You’re gonna freeze to death,” Goten underlined firmly, he himself shivering, and bit his tongue to hold his impatience in check. “I left a window unlocked,” he appealed, “Nobody’ll see you.“ 

Vegeta shivered harder, but shook his head again.  

“Okay. Then I guess we’ll both sit here until we turn into icicles.” Goten sat with his legs crossed, and rubbed his back harder. Vegeta looked at him strangely, but remained silent.

The icy wind blew harder as though in agreement, so Goten gave up and held him tightly, thinking fast. His own body heat with the frictioning would work for now, but not for long. 

Vegeta had stiffened, looking puzzled, but gradually relaxed in his unexpected embrace. Goten was not judging him, he realized, only trying to warm him up. He’d heard what was said before Bulma sent him to bed, and it was unlike him to disobey. But his loyalty had been challenged, and the thought almost made him crack a smile. Without thinking, he loosened the blanket to wrap around Goten as well, his arms closing automatically around him. He was admittedly warm and comfortable. 

Goten’s eyes widened in astonishment, then closed at the warm thrills that caused his heart to swell and knock at his ribs, an elated giddiness making his head spin. Like Vegeta’s own, his hands slowed to a slow stroke. His senpai’s head rested lightly on his shoulder while he spaced out. 

Now, it was for Goten to look after Vegeta - not that he would dare to tell him that - instead of the reverse. He felt proud and needed, bringing to light in him a protective affection. Impetuously, Goten leaned down to kiss his cheek.    

Vegeta only looked at him curiously, and blinked. He was adorable. Wondering if his lips felt as nice, Goten lifted his face for a soft kiss. When he remained silent, he kissed him again, elated when Vegeta kissed him back as softly. Goten held him close, wishing he could do this all night. 

Suddenly realizing what was happening, Vegeta shoved him away, flinching back as though burnt. “What the hell am I doing!?” he exclaimed, bewildered, “I can’t think!” An unexpected flood of silent tears froze on his face, and he tried without success to stagger to his numbed feet.

“I’m sorry!” Goten blurted with a sharp stab of guilt, “I didn’t mean it that way.” Vegeta’s horrified look, caused by himself, was intolerable. “It was my fault… I won’t do it again. Please, don’t be mad.” His face turned pleading.

Vegeta slumped, avoiding his regard. “I can’t think,” he repeated dully. 

The slurr in his voice made Goten feel like an asshole, but his determination did not waver. “Because you’re cold, and you need to sleep,” he told him firmly. As he did not argue this time, Goten simply lifted him around the ribs, and flew them to the window he’d left unlocked. 

“Wha'the…"  Vegeta muttered, but trying to speak was oddly exhausting, and he sensed that the demi Saiyan knew what he was doing. His awareness was slowly fading again, anyway.   

Goten opened the window to let them in, locking it again behind them. It was next to Vegeta’s room, and they easily passed unnoticed. 

Goten brought his limp form inside, closed the door, and turned on a lamp. Vegeta’s clothes were wet and cold, he noted critically. He looked around, taking a set of towels and his pyjamas that were set aside, and went to work.

He set a towel on the bed and sat him down, quickly peeling off his clothes to vigorously dry him off. Satisfied, he slid him into his long pyjamas, then hung the damp clothes and coat on a radiator. He pulled back the bed covers, indicating for him to get in, but Vegeta was out of it again.

Goten moved him into place, then tucked the covers tightly around him. Ironically, he began shivering more, so Goten resumed frictioning his back. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to stay until you’re better,” he told him hesitantly. He glanced at a chair in the corner and bit his lip, hoping he still trusted him. 

Vegeta was silent again, and kept his eyes averted. After a few moments, his hand closed around Goten’s arm, which he pulled slightly, still looking away. 

Goten blinked, surprised. “You mean…?”

Vegeta made room in the bed, still lightly gripping his arm.  

“Uhm… okay.” Timidly, Goten kicked off his shoes and slid under the covers beside him, reminding himself not to creep him out this time.  

Again, Vegeta surprised him by pulling him closer. He was still cold, Goten realized. He reached to turn off the lamp, and carefully took him in his arms.

A few minutes later, he was warm enough to relax. One hand exploringly touched Goten’s face and hair, both incredibly soft, before his arm settled around him.

That was ridiculously comfortable, Goten thought, both purring softly as their heavy eyelids closed. He smiled in the darkness at how easily he could get used to this.
*
POV: Vegeta
-:-
The next morning, Vegeta groggily awoke to find himself unusually warm. It was probably a pile of cats, who knew that he allowed them to stay when the room was cold.

There was a draft from his window, of which he said nothing, as a big deal would be made of renovations. Being a creature of habit, he disliked disruptions.

It was still early, he sensed, and without opening his eyes, decided he could sleep some more. For once, he was glad for the cats’ presence.

Cats… he awoke again a couple of hours later, but there seemed to be many more furballs curled up there than usual. His eyes opened slightly, then wide, to notice his head on Goten’s shoulder, and the demi Saiyan’s arm draped loosely around his back.

“What—!?” He flinched away in alarm, and Goten’s eyes opened as well. 

“Good, you’re awake,” he observed calmly, “Are you feeling better, Vegeta-san?”

Vegeta blinked, but he was not dreaming. “What are you doing here?” he blurted, panicked to have no memory of the evening before, except for the bitter aftertaste of sake in his mouth. 

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to fall asleep,” Goten replied, which was not at all reassuring. Guessing the full-blooded Saiyan’s discomfort, he reached for a fresh bottle of water on the nightstand, and handed it to him, hesitating. “I guess you don’t remember much?”

Vegeta looked around in panic. Goten was still wearing his regular clothes, and he himself was in his pyjamas. “Gods, no!” he groaned, covering his face, then looked up wildly. “Tell me we didn’t– I didn’t–!”

Goten’s face was blank for a moment, before he guessed his thought. “No,” he replied quickly, “I can explain–”

“Explain what?” Vegeta demanded, “I don’t remember changing clothes!“ 

“Calm down a second!” Goten hurried to the radiator, and brought over his still damp clothing. “You drank too much and went outside. It was freezing out, so I brought you in and changed your clothes. I just stayed to keep you warm. You were kind of out of it, so I just wanted to make sure you’d be okay. Do you remember anything at all?”

Vegeta frowned and took a few sips of water, thinking. Indeed, he’d drank way too much, a practice of which he normally disapproved - a pounding headache confirmed that - an argument, for some reason he’d been out in the blizzard, and… His face paled, and his eyes darkened. 

“You see?” Goten prompted encouragingly, “That was all.“ 

Vegeta looked away. “Then why do I remember you kissing me?” he asked dully. And himself kissing him back, he refrained from adding, wholeheartedly wishing the earth would swallow him. 

Goten looked down at his turn. “Because I did,” he admitted with embarassment, quickly adding, “But I didn’t mean it that way. You told me to stop, and I did. Again, I’m sorry.“ 

“And how exactly did you ‘keep me warm’?” he asked tersely, dreading the answer. 

“You saw how.” Goten’s mouth tightened dejectedly. “Do you think I’m disgusting?“ 

“It’s not that,” Vegeta told him dryly, then hissed, “Think about it, jailbait!”

Goten looked as though he’d slapped him. “I’d never do that!” he exclaimed indignantly, clenching his fists in his lap.

Vegeta considered him, calming somewhat. “I know you wouldn’t.” He fell silent, becoming conscient of another memory of feeling his life beginning to seep from his being, only a moment before Goten had appeared. “Thanks.“ 

Goten looked up slowly, then back down. “It’s normal,” he waved off, replacing the drying clothes. He sat back down on the bed, and put his sneakers back on. He focused on tying the laces, when the door opened without a knock. 

“Well,” Bulma huffed, folding her arms, “I guess you finally saw reas–” At the sight of Goten sitting next to him and tying his shoes, she froze. “Vegeta, I didn’t think even you would stoop so low!”

Gods, no, Goten mentally groaned.

Vegeta looked up sharply. “What do you mean?” he demanded, aware of his residual anger.

”‘What do you mean?’“ she mocked him. “It looks clear enough!” she yelled, “You slept with him to get back at me. Goten, I hope it was worth it, because I don’t think your parents would agree.“ 

“Gods, you’ve lost your mind!” Vegeta snapped irritably, his attention caught by what seemed like a sudden hammering in his head. 

Goten glared at her, sensing his anger ready to snap. “Oh, you’re gonna tell on me, that I didn’t want my uncle to die of hypothermia? My dad would kick my ass to the moon if I did otherwise!”

Bulma shook her head sarcastically. “So it was fuck or die, huh? You'll have to do better than that, never mind that you’re illegal as hell. Either you’re as naive as your dad, or as manipulative as your mother.”

“Ooh, someone’s jealous,” Goten taunted back, “Is that the real reason you didn’t want me to help him? Big words, when you didn’t even care! I just brought him in since he was half unconscient, and put him to bed in PJs, but I guess that’s more action than you get.”

“You, get the hell out of my sight!” she seethed at Goten through her teeth.

“The truth hurts, doesn’t it?” Goten shot back, unphased. 

Over the resulting cacaphony of insults in stereo, Vegeta yelled, “BOTH OF YOU, SHUT UP AND GET OUT! My goddamn head’s going to explode!” He levelled his glare at Bulma. “For what you’re about to say, bring me that contract entitled ‘Separation of Goods’ or whatever, and we’ll see those exact details. To what you insinuated, I’m sure I’d remember that. Too bad he only saved my life. Now, everyone out!” He pointed a stern finger at his door.

Goten finished tying his other sneaker, and stood. “Ladies first,” he bade in sarcastic politeness to Bulma’s glare.

The latter stalked away, muttering to herself. 

Goten hesitated at the door to glance at Vegeta, who’d looked away. Quietly, he closed the door and left the suite, understanding. 
-:-
With a sigh of relief at the welcome silence, Vegeta swallowed the headache pills that Goten had left for him, and layed back down, rubbing his sore cranium. 

He kept his eyes shut until the pounding subsided, then stared incredulously at the wall. What in the hell was wrong with that woman lately, especially when she was the one having affairs left and right? He was beyond caring anymore, but she was downright sick.

Goten was only thirteen now. ’…And a half,’ he could almost hear him adding. How could anyone think… he could not bring himself to imagine it. 

Then what had he been thinking when he’d returned his kiss, even for a drunken two seconds? his mind insisted. Somehow, the demi Saiyan had hit a nerve. It had been innocent, meant only for him, and its distorted reflection sullied by another, sickened him.

Suddenly drained, he curled back up on his side to sleep off the lingering hangover, a brutal reminder of why he did not usually drink.
-:-
“I wondered where you went,” Trunks commented later to Goten, “But what’s Mom been yelling about, besides Dad getting drunk?“ 

Goten shrugged. “Dunno. They were fighting about something.“ 

“I know, but did you hear what they said?” Trunks asked curiously.

“Just cussing,” Goten replied uncomfortably, “I couldn’t hear anything else.”

“Me, neither. But why’d she get mad at you?” Trunks asked, puzzled, “Something sarcastic about ‘upstaged by a thirteen year-old’?”

“'Cause she told me to stay out of it,” Goten simplified with embarassment, not wishing for him to hear that. 

“Oh. Well, don’t take it personally. It’ll pass, like always,” his friend told him confidently. 
-:-
As Trunks predicted, the incident was soon forgotten. The blizzard had ceased, along with the collective neurosis of cabin fever, and routines slowly resumed.

Even a keen observer may not have noticed the trace of a small snowball, rolling down the slippery, rocky ledge of a rugged mountain that was, in fact, very unstable.
*
TBC in Chapter 2…


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