Like Father Like Son

BY : Herpb4uDerp
Category: Dragon Ball Z > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1364
Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from any of the characters in this fic nor any part of the Dragon ball Z/GT/Super universe created and belonging to Akira Toriyama.

Bulma's death was sudden but not surprising. She was a risk taker, a hard charger, and she was getting older. Regardless, everyone agreed it was still far too soon. She was hardly past middle age, not yet completely grey and contributing daily to the world around her as a revered scientist. Death and sickness claimed her all the same because despite how often she promised, it was never her last pack.

 

Her husband stands at the podium. He looks around knowing he's supposed to say something, but he doesn't know what. He knew his wife was famous, beautiful, desirable, even at her age, brilliant, a pioneer; truly to the end, she had been royalty of this planet. But he never expected this many people. Most of them he doesn't know except for the front row which is reserved for family and her closest oldest friends. He spots Chi Chi among them. She sits alone.

He didn't come?

Vegeta tenses and begins to power up as he searches the pews for him. He doesn't mean for the air to crackle around him, but emotion is quickly over powering rational thought. His head snaps down in anguish. The wooden podium begins to splinter beneath his fingertips. A hardly audible muffled, "Fuck" echos from the mic and a ten year old Trunks musters the strength, with Gohan and Goten's help, to pull his father off stage to mourn in his Saiyan way, somewhere else.

Hours later, everyone is gone. The memorial is over. The kids are in bed. Vegeta is quiet, composed, standing in front of the coffee machine, counting each drop when he senses him enter the room.

"Where were you?" He asks solemnly without turning around.

"I was training."

"You missed her funeral to train?" He carefully punctuates each word as the the counter cracks under his grip and his composure begins to crumble. "Training!?" He roars, "It's a funeral! Bulma's funeral! What about your kids? Your friends? They needed you! Fuck! I-" he stops himself and closes his eyes exhaling sharply,  "She was your childhood friend for Kamisake!" He whips around with a furious glare burning holes through Goku's thick skull.

He struggles to meet Vegeta's gaze, "I- I didn't think it was right...because of..." The silence was deafening. Vegeta's eyes search Goku's face for some shred of regret but he had never been good at reading others and he doesn't know what to look for.

"You're right, you didn't think. How can I be mad at you for doing something so-" he gestures rudely at Goku's face, "so typically 'Goku'! Always the lovable idiot! Aren't you Kakarot?"

"Hey! That's not fair, how did you expect me to react?! When was the last time you talked to her about something other than improving your training, anyway?!"

Vegeta could only respond at first with a frustrated sound caught halfway between exasperation and rage. "H- how dare you! You have no idea what she meant to me! She was my wife! My- m-"

"So!? what am I?"

"What are-? Oh fuck you! We are not having this conversation right now." He turned back towards his coffee.

"Then when?"

"Never!"

"Great." His anger was met by stone silence, "Fine. It'll only be a matter of time before you come running back to me for a spar anyway to improve your training since Bulma won't be able to do it for you anymore." He spits venomously.

 

The sound of skin on skin resounds through the building. If Goku had been human he would have gone through the wall of the house. But he was a saiyan. He stood still as a statue except for his head which was now cocked sharply to the right. His eyes stung, not from the pain, but the regret, all the strange angry feelings this conversation, this day, this whole week, had created inside him. He doesn't meet Vegeta's dark hateful stare. He couldn't. He doesn't want to acknowledge the pain he knew was there. If there was pain, it meant he missed her. If he missed her, it meant he loved her. If he loved her...

He always worried he was just a convenience, that Vegeta was living the best of both worlds, when Goku couldn't seem to get the best of one. He worried he was just someone strong who could take the rougher fight fueled fucks they both needed so badly. He worried it was all superficial. He constantly wondered if Vegeta felt the same way, when they woke up next to each other: satisfied, content, if a little sore, and warm. Or if he didn't feel at all.

AAAAAHHHhh! He didn't care about the damage. Capsule Corp could afford it. He didn't care that he had to blast through four floors. He left and he left with a bang. He could hear Vegeta shouting angrily, furiously, after him as he flew away, but he doesn't follow. And so Goku doesn't come back.

 

Neither of them knew there was a small eight year old woken up by the raised voices. They were too wrapped up in their anger to notice his ki, his small half saiyan spikes peeking behind the wall separating the kitchen from the living room. He didn't understand then what was happening; didn’t understand their conversation and so at first he blames Vegeta for his father leaving and the mild mannered child began to hate him for it, but never as much as he hated his father for not returning.

 

It is a surprise to everyone and a huge relief to Chi Chi, how easily Vegeta steps into the sole parent role for three half Saiyan children. Three because despite his new found hostility toward Vegeta, it becomes more frequent when Vegeta goes to wake Trunks for school, he finds Goten there as well. Sleeping on the floor. Although sometimes he found him in the kitchen. Regardless of where he showed up, Chi Chi often finds herself quietly thanking Vegeta for all the things he does that he never did.

 

"It's great isn't it?" She sits across from him at the kitchen table.

"Hm?" Vegeta stares into the coffee he has let sit too long.

"That they've found such good friends in each other." He sees their kids through the window outside doing Kami-Knows-what with the biggest smiles he's ever seen, "Yes. It is." He sees but isn't looking, his mind is elsewhere.

"God, they look so similar, don’t they?”

Vegeta doesn’t acknowledge her statement.

“Do you ever talk with him about..." she can't bring herself to say his name. She's still so hurt he hasn't come back, that he never told her he was leaving in the first place. She suspects Vegeta threatened him, fought with him. Something like that. She knows he was angry at him for missing the funeral. She knows he is still angry with her husband despite the passing years. She considers, he might even be angrier now. Strange, she thinks, how Vegeta adapted to earth and its customs. In the end, it was him who left.

"No." he finally meets her sad eyes with cold ones. "I don't."


 

They aren’t yet in highschool when Trunks’ best friend who has been showing up at Capsule Corp. unannounced for years, begins to stay for long periods of time. Chi Chi of course calls non stop worried about her little boy who’s missing school, who never comes home, who’s getting into fights… but Vegeta tones out her calls. He already knew all this, probably better than she did. He knew because Goten and Trunks were missing school together. He knew Goten never came home because he was always at Capsule Corp. And he definitly already knew that Goten liked to fight with everyone. Because he especially liked to fight with Vegeta.

 

Though recently Vegeta thinks he found a solution to Goten's behavioral problems. He had grown tired of blocking, of holding back just because he was a child. He was a Saiyan child. So Vegeta decides to use Saiyan tactics and one too many fights became a short efficient beating. The beating turned to training, and training became routine. There were no more fights. Just arguments. Followed by training.

 

Chi Chi almost panics at the word. Training. Sobbing and frantic she asks Vegeta to stop but he refuses. After a quiet heated argument where Vegeta vehemently denies Goten will become like his father if he trains because, ‘No, I will make sure he doesn’t! That is why I’m training h- I am done discussing this! He is Saiyan! He will train if he wants to!’ She finally reluctantly agrees and over the next few months, it is small but Vegeta is right, Goten improves though his situation at home still remains strained at best.


 

Goten is twelve when Trunks finds him in the middle of the night staring in the bathroom mirror with a sharp knife in his hands.

"My mother- she- She hates me." He says softly.

"What?"

"She must hate me. Because all she does… is tell me… that I’m just like him." he cracks the plastic handle of the knife in his hand, "and I'm- I'm not. I’m not him, I'm nothing like him! I’m nothing like him, Trunks!" He stares at himself, then at his friend for reassurance. “Right?” And Trunks, who has lately become a master at knowing how to allay the violent impulses of the other Saiyans residing at Capsule Corp., shakes his head, “Of course not.” before calmly asking what he could possibly do… with a knife.

 

It's the hair. He knows it. It doesn't grow like Trunks' and Gohan's. I must be more saiyan than them... because each spike is exactly the same as his father's and his father before him. He stands there in the bathroom staring at a reflection that would never belong to him contemplating how he should cut it. Trunks frowns at Goten’s reflection and convinces him instead to start tying it back. And so he does, because Trunks is right, if he screws up it'll never grow back.

 

Hardly anyone tells him how much he looks like his father after that. And he feels more confident in correcting them when they do. Chi Chi doesn't cry as often, and her constant reminders of who he resembles find a subtler way of expressing themselves. Even Vegeta scowls less at him, but he never lightens up on the training.

 

Goten is fifteen when he figures out for sure he isn't quite cut out like Trunks and Gohan. Maybe he's always known. Sometimes he admired Trunks a little more than a friend would. Sometimes he had thoughts about Vegeta when they trained that didn’t seem like thoughts he should have about Vegeta during training. Or at all. He certainly never looked at girls the same way Trunks did and he is nervous when he finally admits it to his best friend.

 

Trunks takes the news well and wastes no time in coming to the realization that they could safely compete for who could sleep with more people since there was no risk to their friendship, no overlap of interests. Goten smiles before admitting he was already at three and Trunks, with an arrogant smirk inherited straight from his father, brags that he was at five. It isn’t long before those numbers spiked. Saiyan appetites were insatiable and the pair quickly earned a reputation for becoming notoriously competitive despite having unmatched teamwork when they wanted.

 

Vegeta, however, was less than impressed by the dramatic increase in reckless behavior following Goten’s self discovery.

---
 

It is noon on a Saturday and the slapping of skin against skin fills the small run down apartment Goten has been in since last night. It slows to a dampened rocking of hips against hips.

"What's wrong?" The young man asks the dark haired half Saiyan at his back.

Goten stops completely and pulls out. "Put clothes on."

He snorts, "what?"

Goten throws a pair of torn pants at him. "I said put them on."

"A-are you serious?"

Goten who has made it to the bathroom sink and begun to clean off answers coldly, "Yes. Quickly." He struggles to get his feet through his own pair of jeans and hops one footed out of the bathroom before trying to to make his way to the door. But it's too late. There's a knock and a low dark voice.

"Goten."

"Shit." He fastens the button and quickly begins to pull back his hair with a tight band.

The other man sits up, "Who the fuck is that? Do you have a psycho ex? How does he know where I live?"

Another knock. "Goten!"

Goten hesitates where he's standing for a few moments then shushes the other man as he walks to the door.

He opens it but doesn't unchain it. "What."

"Go home."

Goten frowns and attempts to shut the door on him but Vegeta pushes back and easily snaps the chain that held it in place and takes a step in.

"Hey! Who are you?" the human finally tugs the jeans on, "You can't come in he-"

"Shut up!" Goten crosses his arms and scoffs, "Go home" he mocks, "To which one?"

Vegeta hesitates in the doorway, "...Your mother... wants to see you."

"Yeah, well that makes one of us."

"...Is that your da-?"

"No!" they both snap loudly.

"Ok... What... what is going on? Who are you? I'm gonna call the police if you don't le-"

"Shut! up!" Goten turns back toward Vegeta, "I'm not going."

Vegeta clicks his tongue and puts his hands on his waist, "You are. I told your mother I would bring you home. So you're going home."

"No! I'm not! I hate that place!"

"Too bad. You're going. You haven't been to school in a wee-"

"So! What do you care!?" He begins to raise his fist, "You're not my f-" His back is half way through the drywall and there is a forearm at his throat.

"No! I'm not! I'm the one who puts up with all your shit you little brat, so put your goddamn hand down and save it for the gravity room."

Goten presses his feet against Vegeta's chest. "F-fuck you!" He rasps before kicking him off and through the door.

Violence and damage aside, something about the whole conversation seemed wrong, and makes the human hesitate before he pressed the call button for 911. "School? How... how old are you?" the human asks curiously.

"Sixteen." Goten says getting up after launching Vegeta away from himself.

"WHAT?! WH- You're- WHAT?! I-I-" he backs up into the headboard. "I didn't know that! Oh my god I fucked a- You lied to-"

"I lie to everyone, you're not special." He says gearing up for a fight as Vegeta walks back into the apartment and shakes some of the drywall out of his hair.

"Stop making this hard for yourself!"

"No! What the fuck do you care if I go home?"

"I don't! It's what your mother wants and-" He would too.

"She's a bitch! I don't care what she wants!" He begins to power up out of frustration. "I don't want to go home! You can't make m-" Gold begins to glow at the edges of his hair as he loses control of his emotions and he thinks he's going to cry as his irises turn blue. "You can't make me!"

Vegeta rolls his eyes and appears right behind Goten with a hard hit to the head that puts him out on the ground before he can get any further. Vegeta picks him up with a sigh and throws him over his shoulder. He looks around at the broken door he was sent through, then the cracked dry wall.

The human picks up Goten's shirt and phone and hesitantly hands it to Vegeta.  "Please don't hurt me- Is- is he ok? I... I didn't know he was only sixteen! I swear! I never would have- I didn't know! I had no idea-!"

Vegeta’s not quite sure why this human is still talking to him and interrupts, "...Are you hurt?"

"W-what? No..."

Vegeta frowns, "That is lucky. Saiyans at his age are not well known for their self restraint."

"I-I... what?"

And then they are gone.

 

Goten’s choice in company never made any difference to Vegeta but he decided it wasn’t his place to tell Chi Chi Goten's personal matters if he was declining to tell her himself which seemed to be the case since she was asking Vegeta to find him. Again.

 

"I don't know what to do with him." She cries into her hands, "He's always running off! Just like his father and I- I don't know what to do! I can't bare to lose my baby too!" She sobs harder. "What do I do?"

"...Stop... comparing them."

She looks up at Vegeta with a hurt look, "What?"

He stands, "This is the last time I'm doing this, Chi Chi. He fights me more every time."

She begins to dry her tears, "I know. I know!" a pained laugh escapes her, "I just... Let me know when he's at Capsule Corp.? He always ends up back there eventually... doesn't he?"

Vegeta nods, "Usually." and walks out of her small mountain home that still sometimes smelled like him.

 

He would go home that day to find his eleven year old daughter wandering around in the labs covered in the blood of another animal she tortured ‘for science, papa!’ He wipes the blood of her face as she excitedly tries to explain what she learned. Vegeta listens but doesn’t hear and responds by telling her she’s so smart, just like her mother, but that she also knows she’s not supposed to be down here without supervision. Her beaming blue face as she nods, absolutely pierces Vegeta and as a result she never gets reprimanded. She is able to run off smiling with bright red streaks still lacing their way through her blue hair.

 

….What the fuck am I doing wrong? He thinks as he sulks past his seventeen year old son who is passed out at 2pm with an empty fifth in his hand and a book over his face, toward the gravity chamber where he would train until a tendon in his knee snapped.

 

---


 

Because Goten is the only one who has kept up training religiously by the time he reaches his twenty third summer he is by far stronger than the other halves. Years of scheming and trouble making with the heir to the biggest richest company in the world has made him sharp too, much sharper than his father could have hoped to be (so everyone says), and a little bit mischievous, though that could always be the Oozaru in him.



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