The Sailor Bet
by Cheshirecat101     More by this Writer
Trunks would never cheat when Gohan's involved--unless it's at cards, that is. One hand of cards and one deal later, and he's on a ship with Gohan forced to cater to his every whim. Only when night rolls in, it's a reward for them both.

It wasn’t cheating. Technically, well, it was, but Gohan was never going to know and that was the key here. It’d started innocently enough, anyway, this was just the necessary conclusion to an unnecessary game or at least Trunks thought so. His smile simmered as he looked at Gohan from behind his cards, fanned out and hiding the lower half of his face from view.

Gohan’s brow was furrowed in concentration, those dark eyes on his cards but they lifted for a moment to Trunks’s baby blues, taking him in.

“Come on, old man,” Trunks teased lightly and Gohan gave him a look before he hesitantly—oh, so very hesitantly—placed down his cards. And Trunks grinned, because he knew he’d won.

It was a small victory, in the grand scheme of things, but a victory all the same. While their wager hadn’t been something major, it still felt good to win it, to know that he was going to get a prize for his bad behavior. He’d done enough good in the world, though, and this was just his reward, wasn’t it?

Besides, Gohan would never know that he’d cheated at cards just to earn a vacation with Gohan working as his servant. Trunks preferred it that way, shifting where he sat so that the cards he’d smuggled in wouldn’t be visible.

“I win,” he said simply, dropping his hand of cards down on the bed and resisting the urge to crow about his victory, instead limiting himself to a wicked grin as Gohan looked with disbelief between their hands.

“No, that can’t be—”

Trunks shook his head, cutting him off. “Nope, we said whoever won this hand would win and I won, fair and square.” A slight tinge of guilt with those words but only slight. Honestly, any guilt that he felt about this was going to be mitigated by seeing Gohan in short, short, short, sailor shorts, and already the thought was making him grin while Gohan stared, dumbfounded, at the cards lying on the bed. Victory was that much sweeter when it surprised his usually unshakeable beau. A vacation, just him and Gohan, out on the sea with nothing but the ocean around them and Gohan entirely under Trunks’s rule. King for the day or rather for the week, it seemed or two weeks, or however long he could stretch this out, perfect.

***

“Hello, sailor.”

The words were purred out and Trunks was sure that Gohan would be giving him a look if that didn’t somewhat-but-not-quite violate the terms of the arrangement. He wasn’t allowed to give Trunks any attitude about the tasks that he was given or complain about any of this. He had to just follow through and endure, and at the end of it all, Trunks would make sure that he got his reward. Well, that part was unspoken but they both new that Trunks wasn’t entirely cruel, and while he was going to take advantage of the situation, of the power he’d have over Gohan, he wasn’t going to be too mean. Though, really that depended on your definition of too mean.

“So, where do you want me to start?” Gohan asked and Trunks grinned wickedly, tapping his index finger against his lips as he pretended to think.

“Well, first off,” he started, and could have sworn that Gohan somehow rolled his eyes without actually rolling his eyes, “I think there was a bit of attitude in that and I don’t like attitude. Secondly, you’ll address me as ‘sir’ and better not forget it. Otherwise…” He let the word trail off for long enough that Gohan looked at him quizzically, then finally asked, “Otherwise?”

“Otherwise, this is gonna happen,” he said, and before Gohan could properly protest, picked him up and threw him directly into the ocean. Well, directly into the ocean several miles away, more accurately.
He leaned against the railing of the boat to watch as Gohan surfaced, spluttering and no doubt cursing him out in every language he could think of, and laughed as he watched his partner begin to swim back to the boat. Cute, especially considering that he’d outfitted Gohan in the smallest shorts that he could find, as well as a cute white sailor’s hat that had landed on the deck when he threw him into the ocean. Trunks picked it up now, turning it in his hands and smiling to himself. This was going to be a lot of fun.

By the time that Gohan made it back to the boat, Trunks was lying out on a deck chair and sunbathing and he didn’t even have to open his eyes to know Gohan was there. His presence was given away by the sound of water dripping onto the polished wood of the deck and the cold radiating from his skin, obvious to Trunks from even this distance. He shaded his eyes from the sun as he opened them, finding that yes, indeed, that was Gohan, and he looked none too pleased, aww, the poor dear.

Trunks offered him a towel, giving him a smirk at the same time and Gohan seemed to swallow down his pride, accepting it and beginning to towel off. Trunks not so subtly watched, admiring the lean, clean lines of Gohan’s wet muscles as they glistened in the sun. For all his teasing that Gohan was an old man, it really couldn’t be farther from the truth, but that didn’t mean that he couldn’t still indulge in some good-natured teasing. Sarcasm was a friend, as was just poking a bit of fun. Besides, he usually couldn’t help himself, honestly.

“So,” he said as Gohan was almost done drying himself off. “Ready for your first task?”

“Yes, sir,” Gohan said, and a pleased smile unfurled over Trunks’s lips as he heard the tone or rather lack thereof. Gohan’s voice was perfectly primped and polished, not a hint of attitude to be found anywhere and wasn’t that just delightful? Trunks sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the chair and looking up at Gohan.

“The deck is dirty,” he said, and nodded to the closet by them. “There’s cleaning supplies in there, and I’m sure you can figure out how to swab it properly. I want it spotless.”

“Yes sir,” Gohan answered, a hint of something in his voice, though it was less like attitude and more like a touch of grumbling but Trunks let it go, watching him as he moved to the closet on deck to find the supplies he needed. But oh, this was just the start and Trunks had quite a bit in store for them both.

“Oh, and Gohan?” Trunks called, a playful lilt to the name, and Gohan turned back to him again. Trunks beckoned him in close, closer, closest, until they were a hair’s breadth from each other, their lips almost brushing. For a moment, he didn’t do anything, letting his eyes roam between Gohan’s eyes and lips as the air grew thicker with a tension he knew Gohan could feel. Just as it reached its peak, Trunks knowing he wouldn’t be able to resist much longer, he dropped the hat on top of Gohan’s head, pulling back from him and giving him a grin.
“Don’t forget your uniform,” he said, and Gohan opened his mouth to speak, protest, no doubt, but snapped it shut at one look from Trunks, and headed off again towards the closet so he could mop the deck.

While Gohan was otherwise occupied, Trunks was going to make the deck as dirty as possible. By the time that Gohan was ready to mop, the area around Trunks’s chair was coated in a thick mixture of sand and suntan lotion, which had all combined to form an almost sort of glue on the deck that Gohan was going to need to scrub off with a brush on his hands and knees, which Trunks was definitely looking forward to.

“I want to be able to eat off the deck,” he said, lazily flipping through a magazine as he subtly watched Gohan from the corner of his eye, waiting to see if he’d behave in a way that would get him another bath in the sea. But oh, Gohan was so good at this, wasn’t he? So good at following orders, at just going along with things, and Trunks was looking forward to testing the limits of that patience, of seeing exactly how far he could go with this charade before Gohan began to push back. Either way, it was a win for Trunks; either Gohan obeyed and made a perfect little servant for the trip (which would be boring but fine) OR he rebelled a little bit, and Trunks got to have even more fun with him. No matter what happened, it was going to be a fun vacation, Trunks was sure of it. He no longer felt any guilt over cheating in the card game.

And even if he had, that would have evaporated the moment he saw Gohan on the deck on his hands and knees, scrubbing away at the mess Trunks had made as his sweat-slickened muscles gleamed in the sun, tensed as they were used to try and return the deck to its former glory. He surreptitiously watched the whole thing, pretending to read his magazine when his eyes were, in fact, glued to the line where Gohan’s Speedo ended and the tan of his thighs began, the blue of the fabric contrasting pleasantly with his skin tone and clinging to the subtle muscles of his gluts. Oh, he was going to have fun with him, alright.

“Gohan,” he said when the sight was getting to be too much and Gohan looked up from his work, Trunks’s magazine strategically placed across his lap. “I’m thirsty, make me a drink.”

“Yes, sir,” Gohan said, half a sigh in his words and Trunks debated throwing him in the ocean again just for that before deciding no, it needed to be a bigger offense. For that, though, he gave him a light swat across the ass as he headed off to make a drink, and Gohan cast a slight look at him over his shoulder. Trunks merely smirked, pleased with himself, with Gohan, with this whole situation at hand and watched the movements of Gohan’s shifting muscles as he wandered off.

Left to himself, Trunks picked up his magazine again, ignoring the half-hardness in his swim trunks as he willed it to wait, just wait a little while longer. He’d get what he wanted later, for right now he wanted to wear Gohan out, bring him down to nothing and then…well. Then, it’d get interesting, for certain because while Trunks didn’t have any complaints about their love life, it would be interesting to have this shift in their dynamic, to have Gohan so open and available to him in new and interesting ways. Usually they were so equal, and that wasn’t going to change now, exactly, it just meant that they were going to be trying something different, something interesting. And Trunks was all about interesting.

Gohan returned a short while later with a drink for him and Trunks smiled at him, accepting it and setting it down by his side without so much as taking a sip. Gohan’s eyes narrowed slightly at that, as if he suspected something, but he didn’t say a word, and Trunks gave a lazy wave of his hand, putting his sunglasses back on and returning to the magazine he hadn’t read a word of.

“Back to it, then,” he said and Gohan reluctantly got back down, beginning to scrub again while Trunks reminded himself that this would be made all the better if he waited. The anticipation was killer, though.

***

“I’m done, sir.”

The words came quite a while later and Trunks opened his eyes, realizing he’d slipped into a short nap. He removed his sunglasses, looking down at the deck—which was spotless—and then back up at Gohan. Continuing to make eye contact with him, Trunks reached over and spilled his entire drink on the deck, some of it ending up on his hand, the liquid trickling down his arm, chased by a pink tongue as he started to lick it off himself, only occasionally—just occasionally—checking to make sure that Gohan was watching. Oh, he was, and Trunks took his time licking off the liquid, making sure his hand was entirely clean before he turned fully back to Gohan, who was wearing those shorts that didn’t hide anything. Including the hard-on that he was currently starting to sport.

“Whoops,” Trunks said with a smirk and Gohan was clearly resisting the urge to groan. “That’s unfortunate, looks like you’ll have to clean it again.”

For a moment, he really thought that Gohan was going to retaliate, going to say something, going to do something, but oh, his boy was more patient than that and it was too early, honestly. If Gohan broke, it would be after quite some time with Trunks, not nearly so soon. So instead, Gohan ended up on his hands and knees again, scrubbing patiently at the deck, and Trunks left his sunglasses off, returning to his quiet nap.

He woke up to the sound of seagulls over the surf and the scrub of a brush over the wood of the deck. Gohan wasn’t finished, then. Trunks sat up and lazily stretched, the ocean air ruffling his lavender hair as blue eyes scanned the deck to find Gohan diligently working still on a spotless deck that wasn’t going to get any more spotless with time. It was nearing on evening and Trunks was getting hungry, so he wolf-whistled, drawing Gohan’s attention, and completed the look with a foxy smile. “Dinner?” he asked sweetly, and Gohan got up, rubbing at an obviously aching back before he began to put his supplies away, preparing to clean up so he could go make dinner.

Overall, Trunks was satisfied with how the day had gone so far and he wanted it to continue like this if he could. Still, he hadn’t quite tested Gohan enough, and was willing to wait a bit longer still. Things were going to heat up quite soon and Trunks had to say that he was looking forward to it. To all of the things that he could do to his loving partner, all the ways that they could have fun together. Because it was fun for Gohan somehow, it had to be. Through all of the repressed sighs and quelled looks, there was still something there, and Trunks fully planned to take advantage of that. In the nicest way possible, of course.

***

By the end of the day, Gohan was exhausted. Trunks could see it in his face, in his movements, in the way that he nearly staggered towards the bed. His muscles must have been sore, stiff, and tense from all of the hard work that he’d been doing and the little rest that Trunks had afforded him. As soon as he was done with one task, Trunks had given him another, never letting him stay still for very long because that would defeat the entire purpose, after all. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if Gohan wasn’t worn out and wrecked by the end of each day, ready for a sleep that Trunks wasn’t prepared to give him just yet. Not before they’d had a little reward for the day. After all, his man had been so good, didn’t he deserve to have a little reward for his good behavior?

“Gohan,” he murmured in a soft sing-song, hands sliding along the well-muscled back of his partner, and Gohan groaned, face buried in the pillow on the bed and clearly intent on falling directly asleep and not dealing with Trunks again until the morning. That would have been just fun, had Trunks not decided that he was going to have a little more fun. That they were going to have a little fun.

“Gohan,” he tried again, lips following the path his hands had made, and Gohan’s shoulder blades shifted underneath his touch, his gentle kisses that trailed so easily along his skin. Say what you wanted about Trunks, about his treatment of his beautiful bed mate, but when it came to this, he was careful, considerate, and kind, well, for the most part. After all, there was another element to this, one that he was currently winding around and between his hands, toying with the fibers of the rope as he considered just what he wanted to do with it. And that was when Gohan cast a glance at him over his shoulder, catching sight of him and his intent. And immediately started shaking his head.

“Shh, it’s fine,” Trunks purred, slinging a leg over Gohan’s legs so he could straddle them, pinning him to the bed, just a bit. He could still get up if he really needed to, strong enough to push off Trunks in a second, but the hope was that he wouldn’t. The point was that he wouldn’t. He was just as interested as he pretended not to be, but the dilating dark pools of his pupils gave him away as he looked at the rope in Trunks’s hands, then began to push off the bed to get up. Trunks tutted in warning, and Gohan stopped, looking at him with something slightly…eager? In his gaze. Yes, it was almost eager, but not quite. More intrigued than anything, and Trunks was so glad that his partner hadn’t seen this coming. That he could have it remain a surprise until the last second.

“Hands behind your back.”

Gohan complied on instinct, it seemed, responding to the command in Trunks’s voice and Trunks smiled to himself as Gohan’s cheek pressed back against the bed, his hands behind his back with his wrists up, just begging to be tied up. And who was Trunks to deny them both that simple pleasure?

His work was quick and efficient, the sailor’s knot tied in a moment and he watched as Gohan flexed his forearms, testing the strength of the bond. But of course, Trunks knew what he was doing in this as he did in most things, and that knot wasn’t coming undone until he wanted it to. Gohan would just have to handle it for the time being, give up his careful control for a little while, in what Trunks thought could be a very healthy, refreshing exercise for him. Rejuvenating, perhaps.

The knot tied and Gohan’s hands effectively bound, Trunks turned his attention to the shorts that Gohan was wearing, those clingy little things that barely covered anything at all, skintight and all the better for it. After all, he’d already seen every inch of Gohan—several times over, he might add—and there really wasn’t much left to the imagination. Still, it was almost more of a tease to have him in something so exquisitely tempting and unable—mostly—to touch until now, to really get to what it was that he really wanted, for both of them.

And really, why shouldn’t he indulge? He knew that Gohan would enjoy it just as much, could already tell that he was by the slight hitching in his partner’s breathing as he pulled down Gohan’s shorts, the fabric clinging to his skin, reluctant to come off at all. But oh, he needed it off, needed that now, and he found his hands tugging quicker than he’d intended, Gohan making a soft noise as the fabric finally gave and came off, slipping down the well-defined muscles of his thighs and calves. Trunks, for his part, was only left in his own swim trunks, though they were marginally more modest and still did little to hide the erection that he was sporting, able to be felt through the thin fabric as he rocked forward, pressing against the cleft of Gohan’s ass.

Another soft noise, and Trunks smiled, settling against Gohan’s ass and lower back, running his hands along the sides of his hips. He couldn’t decide how he wanted this to go, whether it should be slow and sweet or hard and fast, or maybe something in between. After all, he always took a certain amount of care with Gohan, and this was much more careful than anything else they’d done. It required a certain level of trust and connection between them, a care that Trunks was happy to exercise. He just needed Gohan to trust him, and it seemed that Gohan was. After all, he’d already given up his hands, the freedom of mobility that he seemed to so enjoy when Trunks was involved. And Trunks had to say he missed the touches in return, but at the same time… At the same time, it was kind of intoxicating. To have this level of control, to know that someone trusted him enough to let him do this, give him free reign. But really, Gohan needed it more than Trunks just wanted it. He needed to loosen up a bit and trust, trust, trust, give up that careful control to someone else. And there was no better than Trunks, the man who loved him more than anything.

Carefully, Trunks reached over to the side of the bed, coming up with a bottle of lubricant that he simply set down for now, not ready to jump right into it. Where was the fun in that? Better to get them both into it, worked up and ready and interested and god he was getting harder just thinking about the things that he could do to Gohan. The ways that he could…tease. He’d been accused of it before, but it truly was something he was good at, and was that really a bad thing? He didn’t think so.

“We’re going to set up a few ground rules, first,” Trunks breathed, voice low and pressed against the side of Gohan’s neck, towards the corner of his jaw. His breathing was slow, calculated to be that way, and hot in a way that he knew was causing those little tremors he could feel in Gohan’s arms. Or that could have been the strain from the binding, but it was a bit too early for him to be feeling that, so breath it was. And Trunks delighted in the fact that he had this effect on him.

His fingertips trailed gently down Gohan’s arm, turning into the soft scrape of his nails as he reached the juncture of his elbow, light white tracks following the path of his nails down Gohan’s forearm. He could feel Gohan shifting underneath him and nipped gently at his neck, breath warm as he said, “First off, no moving unless I tell you to. Understood?” When there was no answer, he said, “And secondly, you’ll still address me as sir.”

“Yes sir,” Gohan said immediately, and Trunks felt a little thrill go through him at being addressed like that and so easily, as well. There wasn’t a moment of hesitation, of disrespect, and wow had he never felt this powerful before. It was…incredible. Maybe this could last longer than this one trip…

Or maybe he was getting ahead of himself. Okay, he was definitely getting ahead of himself, and forced himself back into the present, back to the feeling of firm, tanned skin underneath his fingertips and the gentle press of his hips against Gohan’s back, pushing him a little more into the small mattress, built for two. His hands trailed, dipped, explored, moving ceaselessly as he continued to speak, feeling every shift and shake from Gohan as he did so. “You’ll do as I say, and if you disobey…well. We’ll have to see how that ends for you. And if things get to be too much, then you can just say…tropical. Alright?”

“Yes, sir.”

Trunks smiled at that, rewarding Gohan with a kiss below his ear before his lips trailed down, along Gohan’s neck and then across the tight line of his shoulders, his fingers dancing along behind his mouth. He could feel Gohan tensing and relaxing beneath him, all the while shifting against the bed, his arms flexing against their bonds as if he could break free if he tried hard enough. He probably could but that wasn’t the point. The point was that he wouldn’t, willingly. Trunks was feeling a little high on control and he wondered if this was how all doms felt, if this was why they enjoyed what they did so much. Perhaps he could see the appeal in it now.

A tongue trailed, wet and hot, after the line his hands made along Gohan’s back, and there was an actual full body shiver from Gohan, who was clearly trying to restrain himself and failing miserably. That was just as well, because Trunks lashed out with a flash of teeth, biting down and sucking on Gohan’s shoulder, leaving behind a red mark that had Gohan crying out softly in pain. Trunks pulled back, licking his lips as he admired his work, poking gently at the tender flesh that would give way to a beautiful violet bruise in the coming days. And hopefully by then, Gohan would have a dozen more.

The lube was cold as it drizzled onto Trunks’s fingers, but he was quick to warm it up, hands always containing their own warmth that spread to the substance as he moved his fingers together, his free, clean hand moving along Gohan’s side and hip, nearly petting him like he would any good pet, and in this moment, that was what Gohan was. A pet, in some ways, and treasure in others or perhaps always both.

Trunks’s slick fingers pressed in the cleft of Gohan’s ass, moving gently there as he circled his entrance, one fingertip moving in slow, careful circles before slipping into him, and the hitch in Gohan’s breathing that awaited him was more rewarding than anything, Trunks beginning the slow process of preparing him, taking his time before adding another finger, and a few minutes later, another, crooking them gently and hearing a moan shudder through Gohan in return.

Everything was sort of a blur after that.

He couldn’t wait any longer, couldn’t resist, and simply went straight for it, removing his hand and settling in on top of Gohan, his weight pressed against his hips and bound hands, and for a moment, just a moment, Trunks relished the position. And then he sank into Gohan, and a moan unfolded from his throat that was positively sinful, velvety and rich and fuck did this feel good. Too good, almost, like he was taking a prize he hadn’t earned, but hearing the answering noise from Gohan reassured him that this wasn’t just about him. This was also about his pretty little tied up present.

Rolling his hips, Trunks shuddered as his hands ran along Gohan’s bound arms, toying lightly with the rope as Gohan strained against the bonds, feeling the contact and wanting, wanting, wanting to touch in return. But where would be the fun in that, honestly? Trunks chuckled, nails dragging lightly down Gohan’s sides to his hips, making his partner jump and twitch underneath his hands, only further pushing himself against the cock that Trunks currently had buried within him, and Trunks bit back a word, nearly spoken but stopped just soon enough. Instead a grunt made its way out, and he slowly rocked his hips again, lips parting as he sucked in a breath and focused, honing in on sensation. Not that he could really focus on anything else, considering how tight and hot and amazing Gohan felt around him. Fuck.

It was all the more rewarding to have Gohan like this, bound and desperate as he rocked back in small shuddering jerks against Trunks, alternating between trying to get more of him and trying to rut against the bed. But Trunks wasn’t having any of that, oh no, and expressed his displeasure with a light swat to Gohan’s hips, stopping his own hips completely.

“Trunks—” was started and abandoned as another swat fell onto his thigh, this one sharper than before, and he stopped, a soft noise of protest cut off in his throat. “Sir, please.”

Trunks hummed as he seemed to consider it, dragging blunt nails along Gohan’s shoulder where he’d left a mark earlier, the delicate skin catching slightly against the hard surface of the nails, and Gohan gasped, just gently, rewardingly. “I told you not to move,” Trunks said, drawing a circle with one nail, his index finger. The slight tremors coming from the body underneath him made it all the more rewarding. “And you disobeyed and bad boys get punished.”

If anything, he was pretty sure that Gohan got harder at that statement but it was hard to tell in the semi-darkness of the boat’s cabin, the only light coming through a window high on the wall next to the bed, the moonlight drifting in and making a lazy swathe across Gohan’s back and highlighting the curve of his spine. There was something simmering between them, a special kind of tension that usually didn’t exist when one party was already inside of the other. Somehow, though, it was there all the same, and Trunks was enjoying every sizzling moment, every searing point of contact.

But it was getting hard to make himself wait, and Trunks couldn’t force himself to for much longer. Slowly, he rolled his hips, causing Gohan’s cheek to drop back to the mattress, the other man going still again, as per orders. As if he realized that the only way to get what he wanted was to play along and obey, good boy. And so, Trunks decided to reward him. Though reward was a questionable term, considering he still wasn’t touching Gohan’s clearly aching member, but rather speeding up his hips, fixing his aim until he hit the point that had Gohan moaning again, something low and deep in his throat as he tried to rut against the bed again, then stopped himself, perfect.

“Wait,” Trunks panted out, and thrust in unevenly, bracing himself against Gohan’s shoulder with one hand while the other stayed against his hip. Gohan whined slightly, a half choked off “please” somewhere in there, and Trunks said again, breathing the words out this time, “Wait…”

And when the right moment came, when Trunks was on the edge, he finally took hold of Gohan, beginning to stroke him avidly, and whispered to him, “Come for me.”

And, oh. Gohan was so good at obeying, wasn’t he?

***

Trunks had entirely convinced himself that he didn’t feel guilty about tricking Gohan into this by the end of it all. Not that it came to a quick end—no, they spent days aboard the boat in the same routine, day after day, and night after night. During the day, Gohan would work his fingers to the bone under Trunks’s directions, and at night…well. At night they would relieve all the stress and tension from the day together while maintaining their roles, or at least until Gohan fell asleep. Once he was asleep, Trunks would stroke his hair, massage his aching muscles from the day, watch over him for a while and return to him some of the care that seemed absent from their interactions during the day, when really, it was always there. It was in the water bottle he’d toss Gohan when he’d been in the sun all day or the towel he’d give him after tossing him in the sea for disobeying an order or giving him attitude. The soft touch to his hair at the end of the night, the gentle kiss pressed between his shoulder blades.

So no, he didn’t feel guilty. Right? He shouldn’t, at least, sitting on Gohan’s back while the other man did a round of push-ups, Trunks flipping through a magazine as they both counted down the minutes until this was done. Until it was all done. They had to return to real life eventually, to the real world, they’d always known that but the vacation had been nice while it lasted. The brief respite, the break from everything and everyone. And from their usual roles together, it seemed.

But still…it was nagging at him. At the back of his brain, a little thought that was sharp enough to poke at his soft gray matter and wouldn’t go away. He felt…bad.

“Oh, look at that. Looks like it’s 6:07,” Trunks said, checking his watch, and hopped off of Gohan’s back, who immediately collapsed to the deck of the ship. “Whoops, looks like we went past the time, a bit.”

He tucked the magazine under his arm and turned his attention to Gohan, who was panting against the deck, looking up at him with one hand shading his eyes from the sun that was hanging low in the sky, the day tripping on towards evening. And suddenly, he couldn’t lie anymore. He just couldn’t keep this from Gohan, couldn’t keep him thinking that this had been anything even resembling fair and he dropped to a seat on the deck next to him, folding his legs together and looking at his partner.

“I cheated at the game,” he said, blurting the words out in an abrupt rush now that the act had dropped and he was no longer the big bad man in charge, returning them both to their former positions. Equals, always and forever. “I won because I cheated.”

He bit his lip, biting back more words that wanted to come out but wouldn’t, and waited for a response, Gohan simply watching him for a moment before the older man pushed himself up, taking a seat across from Trunks. “I know,” he said calmly, and Trunks felt his heart throb unevenly. “I knew you did.”

“Then why did you let me do all this?”

Gohan smiled slightly, something almost rueful in it. “Because I wanted to,” he confessed, and Trunks looked at him for a moment before a slow smile began to unfold over his features, and he laughed lightly.

“Okay, fair enough,” he said, smiling at Gohan. “So you liked it, then?”

“Yeah,” Gohan said, running a hand through his charcoal black hair, sweat slicking it back slightly in a way that Trunks had to say was dashing. Not that he could ever convince Gohan to keep it that way for long. “Though we could work on a few things for next time, I think.”

Trunks placed his magazine down before getting up, offering a hand to Gohan to help him up. Gohan accepted and Trunks helped him up, pulling him a touch closer, as if for a kiss, but stopped just short. “Hold that thought,” he said, and Gohan’s brow furrowed as he asked, “Why?”

Trunks didn’t bother to answer, instead scooping up Gohan and tossing him back into the ocean, only a short distance away this time. Just far enough for him to get wet, and Trunks laughed as he surfaced, spluttering and shouting obscenities, and he yelled out to him, “I’ll get a towel for you!” before heading off to do just that.
He really did love that man.

Illustration(s) for this story by various artist(s)

The Ends Justify The Means The Ends Justify The Means Scrubbing The Deck Scrubbing The Deck 117 117
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