Your Hands Around My Throat
by Timaelan     More by this Writer
Your hands have been around my throat for years, since that day when you spared my life for no reason. Sometimes, you’ve loosened your grip to the point of letting me believe that I was freed of you, and some other times, you’ve clenched so hard that it was painful and suffocating, but you never let go of me.



Chapter 01
It’s cold today. I don’t mind, I’m still hot from my morning training. I’m standing still on top of the grassy slope, watching you coming my way. I have to squint because of the dazzling sunlight pouring down from the sky. You’ve just passed the half-frozen pond and you're now making your way among the wild bushes. Nature around is sparkling with frost and the sight reminds me once again the beauty of that place.

It's not what takes my breath away though. My mind and my nerves are set on you. I can’t believe you ended up showing up and I wonder if you eventually figured out. Deep down I suspect you did. Or you’re about to do. Why now, after all these years? Is it because of the loneliness? Or out of weariness? I can’t say. I don’t care. It just scares me.

You don’t hurry. I sense your confusion. You’re still hesitant and disbelieving. I know how it feels. I went through the same years ago and I've been torn apart ever since that time. I wish I were as clueless as you, but you were always the lucky one. Happy are the idiots, isn’t it what they say? You never pieced up these strange feelings twisting your guts. You never questioned them. You did well. They’ve been burning me all this time.

The woman helped me keep the fire at bay for a while and I bless her for that. I truly loved her, but she’s long gone now and my memories of her are fading away. It’s frustrating and disheartening. Even though I try hard not to forget her, I don’t remember her voice already and I’d be hardly able to recognize her scent. A lot of moments we shared slipped in oblivion too. As years flew by, her picture dies out in my mind, leaving me face to face with my yearning for you. It hurts. I truly loved her, but it doesn’t have anything to do with us, does it?

You’re closer and I can see your face better now. You look stern, but except for that, you didn’t change much. Just like me, you didn’t age. We’ve been almost Gods and Gods don’t age. I'm not even sure if they die. It sounds amazing, but what’s the point when everyone else does, huh?

I sigh. I don't know if I’m relieved, or nervous, or irritated at your slow pace.

As you’re nearing me, our eyes met at last. In normal times, you’d give that moronic smile of yours, but you don’t. I note that you’re not as bold as you used to be. You’re somehow fazed. For the first time in your life, you don’t know how to handle the situation. You don’t even wave at me in that childlike manner of yours. There’s nothing childlike in you anymore. Is it because you definitely figured out? Did the flames of that damn fire eventually find their way to your soul? I always thought I’d be happy the day it would happen, but for some reason, I just feel scared. I can’t explain.

I keep my composure though. There’s no way I’ll make it easy for you. I’ve suffered too much for all these years while your oblivious nature kept you safe. I prevent myself from joining you. I’m craving for your closeness, but I stand still and quiet. I’ve been alone for so long in that isolated place and all this time, I’ve been secretly hoping that you’d show up looking for me, needing me, but you didn’t. You kept going on without me, ignoring us one way or another. I hated you for that disregard and I still do.

You stop a few steps from me. You’re uncomfortable, I can feel it. I cross my arms wordlessly with my eyes locked on you. You eased off and you smile for the first time. It’s a shy smile though. Sheepish.

“Vegeta, I – It’s been a long time,” you stammered.


“Kakarott. What have you been up to?” I ask in return, my face as emotionless as ever.

As if we had any recent contacts. I haven’t heard from you in two years. Last time… Last time was too hard and made me understand that I had to stay away from you. Whatever. You're the one mastering Instant Transmission after all. And still, it’s been two years.

“Well, traveling up and there. Hanging around in other worlds. Then, I thought I should go back to Earth. See the family and all…”

Family and all… Moron. I feel like slapping you. At the same time, my guts are in fire and it asks me all I have not to grab your shirt and pull you to me. I just ball my fists instead.

“And so, you decided to come to visit me?”

You're shifting in unease. “Trunks told me about you living here. It’s beautiful. Huh…”

Small talk. You look around, your eyes gazing at everything but me. It seems you’re still fighting the flames. Do it as much as you want. As long as you want. Trust me, you won’t win. As things stand, you’ve already started losing. You wouldn’t be there otherwise.

“Do you have something to eat? It’s been a long trip up to your place,” you finally state.
A long trip, yeah. You could have instant transmitted yourself, but you were afraid to come, weren't you?

“Sure,” I growl. I shouldn't be so welcoming, but I can't help it. The wait for you has been too long and too lonely. I just turn around and walk away. I don't check on you, but I sense you in my wake. You don't speak. I feel your silent staring at me and I try to imagine what you're thinking of. Are you realizing the reasons why you came? Are you trying to deny them? Let me know how it goes.

“Are you still training?” your voice asks as we climbed down the slope to reach the path leading to the wood.

“What do you think?” I huff at the idiotic question. As if I had any choice. What am I supposed to do with that overwhelming energy eating me away?

“Sparring?” you carry on.

“In case you didn’t notice I have no sparring partner here,” I mumbled absently while heading for the wood.

We’re soon surrounded by high firs and spruces. The trees hardly allow the daylight to reach the ground. That’s why I set up my home at the entrance of the wood. It’s a small, round Capsule home. An old basic model, but I like it.

As I open the door, I realize you're not following me anymore. You're standing a few steps from the house, staring at the building with a puzzled face.

“Bulma had the same house when we first met. She took it everywhere…” you murmured.

The name of Bulma is like a stab in my guts. She’s been gone for years, but still, I can’t stand being reminded of her. I still can’t deal with the emotion. I just gaze away and step into the house without a word.

Of course, you sense my pain anyway. “Sorry, Vegeta, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I didn’t think that… It’s been so long since…” you stammer sheepishly again.

“Shut up,” I utter in a growl. I busy myself at building up a new fire. I try to focus on the hearth, cleaning the ashes and piling up new logs in an attempt to get my mind off of the woman. Your presence behind my back is enough to send me back to other concerns. “There’s food in the closet next to the kitchen,” I say.

I hear you rummaging through my pantry.

When the fire flares, at last, the smell of stew floats in the air. I stand up and walk to the part of the living room used for cooking. You’re giving me your back as you take care of the pots. I lean my shoulder against the wall and study your acting. It seems you learned how to deal with food since your woman died. I guess a kind of survival instinct pushed you to do so.

You know I'm staring at you and you pause all of a sudden. You give me a questioning glance over your shoulder. “Are you hungry too?”

A foolish question to ask. I nod even though I have no real appetite for food. You grin.

“Let me take care of the meal. I improved myself a lot since the last time we saw each other,” you claim.

I can’t help a smirk. Do you really believe that I would do such a thing as cooking for you?

I sit at the wooden table while you cope with the pan. You’re frying eggs and heating the rest of my stew. It’s not much really, but even so, I can feel it makes you proud and happy. You’re still smiling as you rest the dishes on the table. You serve me with a plate and sit in turn opposite of me.

You wolf down the food in no time. Your face is displaying the joy of filling your stomach as it has always had before and I wonder for an instant if you really changed that much. Did you become aware of our curse? Or did you just drop by without much thinking?

When you’re done, you eventually find out that I didn’t eat anything. I’m sitting motionless, watching you in concern and all the joy withdraw of your face in a blink, giving way to worry.

“Is there something wrong? Are you still mad at me?” you ask in a sad tone.

“I’m not mad at you, Kakarott,” I sigh, “I was just wondering why you showed up.”

You wipe your mouth with the back of your hand while your eyes let me know that you’re thinking hard of the answer. “Well… I thought… We haven’t seen each other for a long time and I wanted to see how you’re doing. This place is really isolated, don’t you ever see people?”

“Trunks comes to see me sometimes, fix up some stuff in the house and I go to the town down in the valley every month or so, but in general I like it better to live on my own. See, I’m fine.”

You rest your spoon as your eyes scan the room. The decoration is quite raw. The bare walls were once white, but they’ve turned greyish and the furniture is getting old. It’s not much anyway, a sofa, a table, and chairs. Since I don’t have enough shelves and cupboards, most of my things are packed on the dusty ground up and there. I’m no good at cleaning.

You think that I’m not so fine. I can read it in your eyes and it gets on my nerves.

“Do you mind if I stay a couple of days?” you ask eventually.

I didn’t expect that. Actually, I don’t know what I expected, but somehow, I had thought that you would be back wise and knowing. Instead of that, you’re still the same clueless moron. It makes me mad.

“Vegeta?”

Your voice is low and soft, but it sounds like a threat.

“I don’t give a damn. Do as you wish but you’ll have to sleep on the couch,” I spit.



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