BY : Felix_McKraken
Category: Dragon Ball Z > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1872
Disclaimer: I do not own Dragon Ball Z or any of the characters. This was made purely for entertainment purposes and no profit is made off of it.

Nowhere: 25

“Wow, Goku,” Bulma says, her tone abruptly shifting to affronted.

I glance over at her while digging my boxers out of the warm pile of clothes, “What?”

“I thought you weren’t this clueless,” she goes on, “or do you just strip down in front of everyone?”

“Not everyone,” I protest with a pout, “I’m not the same kid I was, you know.” I have spent time and effort to improve on my manners as well as my education. Mostly for Chi-Chi’s benefit, but I’ve found aspects of it satisfying as well.

“You don’t act it.”

I could point out how I don’t feel the need to stand on occasion with her. Before I have the chance, her eyes betray her, and I catch her in the act. I call her out on it, “The same could be said of you.”

I catch the hint of pink on her cheeks before she quickly faces away, “Touché.”

I give her a chuckle, but don’t tease her any further. The easy banter between us warms my heart. I don’t know why I don’t notice how much I miss people until we have a reunion. Either way, this break from my training actually feels good. I feel like it’s going to give me a chance to gain perspective.

“What kind of projects are you workin’ on?” I continue our small talk even as I finish getting dressed.

“Oh,” she replies, pleasantly surprised, “I stand corrected. That’s probably one of the most considerate and adult questions you’ve ever asked me.”

Have a changed that much over the past few years? I shrug, not really knowing what kind of reaction she wants from me.

Bulma accepts it with a smile and starts explaining the various designs, prototypes, and whatnot that’s been keeping her occupied. I don’t always get the tech stuff, but she does her best to explain it to me in layman’s terms. I’m able to follow the general gist even as I follow her back to the other side of the house.

The closer we get to our destination the more I’m aware of an odd sensation in my stomach. It’s sort of like how I feel before a serious fight. I know Vegeta isn’t going to attack me though, so I’m not sure what’s brought this on. By the time we’re in the last stretch of hall the tension is distracting me. It causes me to jump at the next hint of a pause. I quickly interject, “Thanks for humouring me, Bulma. We should talk more later, ‘kay?”

It must have been her natural stopping point anyways because she looks and sounds content when remarking, “I’d like that.”

I open the door and the ball of apprehension promptly vanishes. (Apprehension, that’s what it was!) I can’t help but grin in reaction. Although I realise belatedly that maybe that expression may not be the most appropriate. Vegeta never seemed to care too much for smiling.

“Hey, Vegeta,” I try to restrain myself and greet him in friendly moderation, “You wanted to see me?”

He doesn’t immediately reply. Instead, he looks past me to Bulma and practically barks, “Woman, kindly fuck off.” Ouch. Not nice. I can feel the anger in her aura like a crushing cataract of harsh shapes and angles. The door shuts loudly as she goes.

I’m definitely not grinning anymore, so mission accomplished on his part? “Do you really have to speak to her that way?”

His brows crinkle for a moment before he relents, “I suppose not.” There’s a pause, and I guess he expects me to say something, but I’m as clueless as usual. His bossy voice comes back, “I’m not infectious. You can come sit down.”

That’s the closest to an invitation I think I’ve ever gotten from him. Which is nice. As I sit, another little ball makes its presence known. It’s different though. I know this one well. It’s anticipation. This is a chance for us to interact outside of combat. And as much as I thrill for the day when we clash again, there’s something almost equally exciting about this opportunity.

“You look like a fucking clown,” his words catch me by surprise.

Out of all the things he could choose to discuss, I didn’t think my choice of attire would be one of them. I can’t help but laugh at the brutal honesty while simultaneously thinking this whole situation is weird. I’ve always chosen my gi for its fit, comfort, and sentimentality rather than the color palette. Bright orange could be considered too jovial for battle, I suppose. I get his reasoning, so I agree, “Yeah, I guess I do.”

He doesn’t speak for a second time. He gains that furrow in his brow when he’s contemplating so I let him be. “Are you going to tell me what’s happened or what?” his voice snaps at me, more critical than anything else.

I… wasn’t expecting that. At the very least, not in that particular way. “Uh, well, Bulma called me up and asked me to find you because she lost contact. It wasn’t easy, cuz you were really far away,” I explain how we got to our current status as succinctly as possible. Vegeta never held pussyfooting in high regard. His face of indignation indicates he may find my words themselves worse, so I do my best to make amends, “I know you like your privacy, but she doesn’t worry for nothing, so…”

Silence. For one so ornery it’s borderline disconcerting.

Well, to be fair, we only have really interacted under high stress conditions. Maybe this is closer to his normal personality. Although I’m not sure if that’s a good assessment either because I know who I am when I fight is still me, just a proverbial different side. There’re so many questions I’d like to ask, yet I know he’d be disinclined to answer. Observing the other Saiyan always gave me the best indications of his character so that’s what I do now.

He’s looking down, but his gaze shifts minutely while thinking. His skin is definitely paler than it was, but for one who likes to cover up so much he doesn’t have tan lines. Not that I can recall the last time I tanned either. The scars on his arms seem significantly outlined though which makes me think they’re relatively newer. I don’t think they’re from Earth or Namek, but then again I don’t know what impact repeated exposure to healing tanks would have on Saiyan physiology. Do the tanks do the healing or do they amplify our natural healing? I’d ask, but it doesn’t seem appropriate right now.

Since we’re barring interaction, the room seems a bit too stuffy, so I edge around the bed to get to the window. I pull the chain which draws the curtains, and I open the window just a crack to bring in fresh air. I take a deep breath of the garden scents which lightly course in. It’s evening already and the sky is starting to change colour even though the sun is still a good ways away from the horizon. The sky is still light blue to the west, but the purple clouds are dappled in gold. It’s no vista from the mountains, but it’s nice for the city. I peer around at the various flora Mrs Briefs has been maintaining as some flowers are in bloom and I rarely get to see certain types out in the wild. I don’t always take the time to look either. Feeling better, I turn to go back to my seat.

I freeze.

Vegeta’s crying. He doesn’t even notice my stare. He’s completely absorbed and soundless with tears trailing down his face. I feel a spike of adrenaline course through me because the last time I’ve witnessed this he was in the throes of death and pleading with me to avenge our race. What could possibly upset him so? His vision is completely fixated out the window, and I look to see if I’ve somehow missed something.

No. There’s nothing. Everything is normal.

Bewilderment is a good description for what’s happening. He just seems so fixated that it’s a bit unnerving. I don’t like it when people cry. I always do what I can to help, and I figure I’m gonna have to address it one way or another. The worst he can do is deny me.

“Vegeta…” I say as soft as I can manage. It takes a second for him to break away and acknowledge me. His eyes are sorta gentle, sorta passive. The expression takes me aback, but I recover almost immediately. I’m direct, “What’s wrong?”

His brows scrunch and his voice comes out hoarse, confused, “Wrong?” Hearing himself seems to make him more aware. He clears his throat before hesitantly lifting his hand to his cheek, first confirming the moisture before brushing it away. I don’t press him while he regains his composure. He can’t seem to help himself as he peers through the window again. A stray tear still creeps out from time to time, but he doesn’t seem to be as concerned as I am.

When he speaks next it’s not as gruff, “Nothing’s wrong.” It takes him a few seconds to expound, “It’s just been a long time.” It’s all matter-of-fact. As if whatever’s happening is obvious and basically mundane.

It’s not. This is anything but typical. I don’t know what else to do other than probe for information, “Since?”

“Since I…” his words taper off as he favours the view.

It’s evident he needs more time so I cautiously sit at the end of the bed to share the scenery. The minutes pass in an off-kilter ease. The colours transform leisurely before gradually fading away as we get into the last dregs of dusk. I know it must’ve taken about a half hour, but the atmosphere was so amicable I didn’t really notice.

Vegeta abruptly sighs and collapses back onto the bed, looking positively wiped out. His eyes are now closed and his face is dry.

I guess I’m likely to have his concentration if I try to for a discussion, “Vegeta?”

“Not now. Tomorrow.” He speaks bluntly yet mildly, “I haven’t decided if I’m dead or not.”

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