"Would you like to say my real name for me, one last time?"
The golden armoured warrior whispered to the weakened Retearius. With a moan, he opened his eyes and looked at his friend and training partner for years.
The public shouted "Son Goku! Son Goku! Son Goku!" They named him after the Monkey King because of his speed and agility. The Samnite that lost his shield held with one arm his dark haired companion that leaned on him and with the other his short sword, ready to fight if it was necessary.
Vegeta closed his eyes.
"Kakarot… You need to do it… Let me die with pride.“
Both were all over covered in blood from the fight. At first they fought together like a two man unit and were able to defeat their enemies, but when nothing had been left, the crowed shouted for them. They wanted more and more blood.
Cesar Freeza looked upon them from his balcony.
"Gladiators… Fight for the honour of your Cesar!"
Kakarot looked with sadness at the older man who taught him some of the basics when fighting in the arena.
He had always been full of pride and trained with the younger one to become stronger and better until he could be free again and go back to his tribe 'the Saiyans'. He had been the son of their king and needed to go to Rome as their prince. That had been the law of Cesar Freezer. With the children of the tribes he tried to save their loyalty. A few years later Vegeta's father rebelled against the Cesar to save his subjects.
Vegeta got injured very badly as punishment and they threw him away like garbage, thinking he had been dead. But a rich roman woman found him. She liked his look. She cared for him and kept him as her slave. Some people even said that her son was not from her husband Patrician Yamcha's blood and that there might be another child of Vegeta on the way. Patrician Bulma could easily see that he was a warrior and wanted to be more independent. So she sold him to a Gladiator school to train for the circus, so he could fight, himself, for his freedom. Bulma visited him as much as she could and tried to see each of his fights. Even today she sat in the crowd and watched him with blurry eyes fighting against the younger man.
Son Goku was in good shape and could land some good hits. Vegeta knew his close partner very well. They had been training for some years and even shared some cold nights together. They trusted themselves blindly. Vegeta was still a good fighter and was in no way inferior to his protégé.
Kakarot reduced his attacks when he saw the Retearius getting slower and struggling. He caught him before he could fall down in front of all the eyes around them. Vegeta could barely hold his trident and net, but he definitely did not want to lose them.
If he needed to die, he wanted to die in glory as a warrior by the hands of his beloved one.
"Just… Just do it, Kakarot…"
"Tch… Still… too soft. So you will… never… become a legend and get back home to your family."
"Stay quiet, Vegeta. Save your breath."
"What is going on there, Gladiators?! I want to see a fight! The people want to be entertained!" The voice of the Cesar shouted at them. "I can't wait to see this filthy Saiyan dying after you weren't able to do the job, Senator Zarbon." He spoke with a dark grin on his lips.
The man, looking like from royal birth, sat besides Freeza.
"I am devastated, Cesar Freeza… It seems like Vegeta is not able to continue the fight. Maybe we should ask the audience to judge?"
Freeza pondered for a moment and ran a hand across his chin. He stood up and raised his hands. The crowd became silent.
"We all watched an exciting battle… But all good things come to an end. Now… I want YOU to decide for this brave Gladiator… Life or Death? Show me!"
Kakarot felt his heart bumping hard against his chest. Vegeta's breath became heavy. He tried hard to stay conscious. The audience pointed their thumbs to the throat. Freezer nodded and did the same.
"Death for the Saiyan Gladiator Vegeta!"
The Samnite narrowed his eyes and whispered, "I can't!"
"Yyyou… have to… please…" The shorter man said with a weak voice.
"NOOOO!" Kakarot screamed loudly.
Those present were outraged.
"How dare you!" Freezer yelled at him. "Guards! Kill them!"
Soldiers ran into the arena.
Kakarot still held his companion and gave them an angry look. He went into a fighting stance, determined to fight to the end.
"Vegeta… I won't let you be killed!"
He laid him gently on the sandy floor and plunged into the action with a scream. Fearless and with skill, he knocked down the soldiers one by one. He was so frenzied that he didn't noticed that the Cesar had entered the battlefield with more men.
The Cesar put a foot on Vegeta's bleeding chest, making him gasp and open his eyes in agony. Freezer bent down to him.
"Like father, like son. You Saiyans just don't want to die! I'll fix my mistake now!"
He rammed his sword deep into Vegeta's body. Kakarot jerked his head around when he heard Vegeta's breath, blood came from his mouth as he coughed.
"I could have loved you, Vegeta! But you Saiyans are just too proud and rebellious! Die as a slave to Rome!"
The Samnite wanted to rush to his beloved mentor, but the guards opposed him. He jumped fearlessly into the wall of men and blew them up with his sword.
Cesar Freeza was startled. How could a simple gladiator, a simple slave dare to stand against him. He raised his sword to fight.
"You too will die now, Son Goku!"
They bitterly fought their combat. Freeza was very experienced in many battles with which he had conquered numerous countries. The muscular man was so angry that he seemed immune to the copious injuries the Cesar inflicted on him. Finally, the mighty man lost his sword.
"Zarbon! Give me your sword right away!" The Cesar ordered desperately.
The senator of royal blood was about to pull it out of his sheath when a hand gripped his shoulder tightly.
"You won't give my brother your sword now, or I'll drop you off immediately after his death!"
Zarbon froze and watched the gladiator take a mighty final blow. Son Goku rammed his sword through the Caesarean body as deep as he could into the ground. He didn't wait for Freeza to gasp for breath, but ran to Vegeta.
He was holding his head.
A pitiful remnant, no more than a little hint of life, was still in the Saiyan's body. With eyes half open, just so that he could still catch Son Goku's face, he looked up at him. He smiled torturedly.
"You have to be careful, Vegeta!" The taller man said desperately.
He knew how bad the proud gladiator was but he didn't want it to be true. He held Vegeta's hand, trembling.
"Ka... Kaka... rot..."
Was all Vegeta could say before he closed his eyes forever.
The Samnite pressed Vegeta to him, crying. Only now was the tension of the fight releasing from himself. The floor around him had been soaked with blood. Freeza must have hit him more than once very hard. He slumped next to the other's body. It was difficult for him to keep his eyes open. The darkness flooded him and all he could see was Vegeta's smile, which he still had on his lips.