What's wrong with him?!
Goku dodged another punch, another kick, dancing around Vegeta the way he had for the last couple of hours.
"We don't have time for this, Vegeta! That monster is free and it's our fault!"
Vegeta let this roll over him, taking advantage of an opening and axehandling Kakarot down into an underground cave. There was a mushroom cloud of smoke and debris and Vegeta followed his opponent down into the newly opened cave, only one beam of light violating virgin darkness. Kakarot was embedded into the ground, wind knocked out of him for now. Vegeta just stood there, eyes full of various emotions, no one emotion more discernable than another. Kakarot grunted and sat up, nursing a bruised diaphragm. He glared up at Vegeta, at that hideous 'M' on his forehead.
"I just don't understand you sometimes, Vegeta. Is wiping me out of existence that important to you? What did I ever do that made you hate me so much? All I ever did was protect my world from you, nothing else! But you just won't let it go and I'm tired of being used as a punching bag because you have so many godsdamned issues!"
Vegeta looked at him for a while, then dropped to his knees, still six feet away from Kakarot. He looked away at some point to his right. "It's not about that, Kakarot. I need...I need you to...to punish me. I need to make up for killing you seven years ago. And this is the only way I could think of doing it. I just want to prove myself to you. That I want to be strong enough to protect the world you left behind...because my own strength isn't enough. I had to steal strength, had to goad you into this; think of it as penance."
Goku blinked. Where the hell did this come from? "But...I thought this was about me beating you back then and revenge and all that stuff. You haven't stopped going on about how I disrespected you and all that."
Vegeta swung his eyes back to Kakarot's. "Just a farce to get you to fight me. I couldn't give my real reasons; you would have refused to fight otherwise. If I became a more immediate threat than Buu then you would take me seriously."
Goku shrugged. "Fair enough. And how exactly did you kill me? I made my own grave that time; it had nothing to do with you."
Vegeta shifted. Fidgeted with a tear in his pants. "Who allowed Cell to become perfect?" he asked quietly. Then Goku understood.
Vegeta swallowed. "I only realised this a week or so after you died, when the shock wore off. I really didn't think you had died...I hadn't gone up to the Lookout with the others to say goodbye, so I thought you were coming back. I guess I just didn't want to believe that I was going to be alone again. But when I asked the Namek...Piccolo...he explained to me that you had gone to Otherworld...that you weren't ever coming back. Then I asked him if I would ever get to see you again."
Vegeta shut his eyes.
"He explained judgement and atonement to me...and I know he tried to put it as gently as he could, but he told me that I wouldn't get the same treatment as you. My soul, when I die...I'll go to Hell to spend eternity reliving all the atrocities committed by and against me. In other words, that's when I truly realised that I would never ever see you again. I would never have my chance to say sorry, never prove myself, never say goodbye..."
Goku moved closer, rested a hand on Vegeta's shoulder. Vegeta leaned into his touch slightly.
"My mind was destroyed by that truth. For months and months...for six years I was insane with self-hatred...now it's just a dull throbbing ache in the back of my head. The guilt...killing you, all those people over the years, it seemed to multiply thousand-fold and my newly developed conscience couldn't withstand it."
Goku didn't know what to do with this. Vegeta was laying his soul before him, bare and fragile, and all that raw emotion poured into his head, making his skull feel too tight. So he did what he always did. He pulled Vegeta against him, wrapped arms around his muscled back and stroked his hair. Tried to comfort him in the best way he knew how. Vegeta curled his fingers into the remains of a tattered gi, face buried into Kakarot's neck. Goku spoke gently into the spikes below his chin, never stopping his soothing hands.
"Vegeta, I don't blame you for what happened. Krillin should have deactivated that android, Piccolo should have killed Gero when he had the chance. I had the heart virus so I couldn't help. You had all that power and nowhere to use it and I know what that feels like. When I turned super Saiyan and Frieza was no longer a challenge, not even a distraction, I got frustrated as well. Gohan shouldn't have played around with Cell and let him live long enough to cause trouble. You can't blame yourself for other people's mistakes and shoulder all the responsibility."
The neediness of the older Saiyan completely threw Goku; was this the proud Prince who had never shown this much emotion before, except while dying?
"Kakarot, I'm sorry...don't hate me...I can't take being hated anymore."
Goku rubbed a hand down Vegeta's back. "No one hates you, Vegeta. I don't hate you, I never have. And Bulma loves you, and Trunks too."
Vegeta shook his head. "Bulma kicked me out years ago. I failed Trunks so many times; the gods know I tried to be a better father but I couldn't even be there for him. I'm a failure, Kakarot. I've failed everyone! You, Bulma, Trunks, my race...all the other fighters hate me and they all laughed when I nearly died from starvation a couple of years back. Piccolo found me and forced me to eat, but no one else cares. I've been training so that when I get to Hell I have a chance against Frieza and them. My whole life is a fucking mockery!"
Goku leaned back and held Vegeta's chin, looking into teal eyes darkened with all the hatred Vegeta had for himself. Vegeta tried to look away, but Goku held him firmly.
"Vegeta...you have to make peace with yourself. I can read you well enough to know that you have so much to give, so much that you want to give. I wish I could stay in this world if I knew that it make you feel better. You have never turned against the planet that rejected you; you could have killed those that scorned you, but you didn't. You are not so evil as you think."
Vegeta reached a hand up and trailed the tips of his fingers down the side of Kakarot's face. "Do you know what it feels like to be forsaken? That even through death I will be punished, hated and alone? That I'll never see my son again, see you again? After today...it'll be goodbye for good."
Goku felt an unfamiliar ache in his chest, something that he had never had occasion to feel before. Something called 'loss'. He felt a sense of loss. For Vegeta, for himself. Loss that he would never see this other Saiyan again, that Vegeta wouldn't see Heaven or find redemption from anyone except Kakarot. Vegeta leaned against Kakarot, ear against his heartbeat.
"I can at least be grateful that we had one, last good spar together and that I get to say goodbye this time. Closure is a good thing."
Goku felt his heart flinch with the finality. "Vegeta...we'll find a way out of all this. Somehow..."
Vegeta lifted his head up and rested a hand on Goku's lower back. He brushed his lips against Kakarot's and when he spoke, they almost touched. Their eyes found each other.
"No matter what happens, Kakarot...I'll miss you. And know that everything I do...it's for you. Goodbye, my friend."
Vegeta pressed his lips to Kakarot's as he shot energy right into Kakarot's vulnerable tail spot, making him black out instantly, no time to even cry out. His eyes rolled up into his head as he slumped, but Vegeta caught him and laid the limp body down before fishing out the last senzu bean. He ate it and bristled with the return of energy to his limbs. He knelt next to Kakarot and smoothed the bangs away from his forehead, a small smile on his face.
"It's time for my atonement, Kakarot. I let the monster out; I'll be the one to kill him. We'll never see each other again...and I only wish we could have done things differently."
And with a last press of lips, Vegeta disappeared.
Oh gods...my head...
Goku sat up, rubbing his lower back and holding his head with the other hand. He looked around and couldn't see Vegeta. But he could sense him quite far away and he put two fingers to his forehead, frowning slightly at the building of Vegeta's power. Everything around him went dark for a moment, and he found himself next to Piccolo and Krillin. For some reason, they had Goten and Trunks tucked under their arms, knocked out. Goku saw Vegeta powering up, a vortex of gold energy flaring around him and disintegrating rock formations with an ease that millions of years worth of erosion couldn't hope to achieve. A pink creature stood opposite Vegeta, laughing and squealing something about cheese crackers. Goku started flying closer.
"Vegeta! What are you doing?!"
But Vegeta couldn't hear him over the roar of his own power as he dragged out every last ounce of reserved energy. "Fool. I'm going to crush you...and throw you into the wind!"
Goku yelped as Piccolo grabbed the back of his gi and started pulling him away. "Hey! We can't just leave Vegeta! That thing has a huge power level, can't you feel it?! We've gotta go help him!"
But Piccolo kept dragging him away, looking back over his shoulder at the fighting Saiyan. "He's already made his decision, Goku!"
With a roar, Vegeta detonated, exploding his energy outwards with unprecedented force, rising in the middle of the dome of gold light. Goku fought frantically, Piccolo wrapping his arms around the younger Saiyan's waist and holding him back.
But it was too late, and Piccolo had to haul Goku out of the radius of the explosion, the heat of it on the back of their necks, Vegeta's life force chasing them away. By the time the light faded and there was nothing but a crater and a stone statue that was gone in moments, Goku had gone into hysteria, fighting Piccolo.
"He can't be dead! I won't believe he is! We've gotta go help him! Let me go, dammit!"
Piccolo hissed through clenched teeth, trying to pin Goku's flailing limbs. "Goku, he killed himself! We can't change that fact and he knew what he was doing! You've got to understand that!"
"But I can't just leave him there! Maybe he survived! He could have held back some energy, right?"
But the absence of ki drove it home and Goku's frenzy tapered off, the desire to fight evaporating and leaving behind a numbness that would ease the blow for now. Piccolo hesitantly drew his arms away and Goku just...floated.
"No matter what happens, Kakarot...I'll miss you. And know that everything I do...it's for you. Goodbye, my friend."
He knew exactly what he was doing...he did it knowing that he would still go to Hell, knowing that we'll never see each other again. And he'll miss me...oh god, Vegeta...
Kakarot threw his head back and howled at the sky.
* * * * *
That day passed. In his rage, a super Saiyan three Goku utterly destroyed Majin Buu, trying to find some sort of revenge for Vegeta. His transformation had shortened his time with his family but he said his goodbyes and left, not feeling too sad because he knew he would be seeing them again. But as he followed Baba back to the land of the dead, his heart felt heavier than a concrete slab.
She turned her crystal ball around to face him, old, wizened face peering at his. He floated in mid-air, hands behind his back and eyes downcast.
"Would...would it be possible for me to visit someone in Hell? You see, a friend of mine is down there and I wouldn't want him to be alone for all eternity, so..."
Baba added a few more wrinkles as she frowned. "I don't truly know...Yemma might have some rules around that but I don't see a reason why not. Although I can't imagine you having an evil friend, Goku."
Goku scratched the back of his head. "I wouldn't say he's particularly evil...well, he hasn't been for a while now. Just a case of bad circumstances and upbringing. I guess I should go ask Yemma now about it. Thanks for organising a day on Earth for me; it opened my eyes to a lot of things."
Namely how cruel everyone was to Vegeta...
"It's no problem, Goku. Oh, here we are: the check-in station. You take care now!"
Goku floated down to the front entrance, waving at Baba. "Will do! Bye!"
Baba waved and zoomed away on her crystal ball, black robes flapping. Goku turned his attention to the queue snaking out the door and sighed. So many had been wiped out so quickly by Majin Buu; he guessed that Bulma and that crew hadn't finished collecting the dragonballs yet. He went inside, and decided to take advantage of Yemma's distraction. The pink giant was stamping forms frantically, his sophistic streak wailing at the chaos in his office.
"What is it, Goku? I'm rather busy at the moment!" snapped the Lord of the Underworld, re-inking his stamp. Goku stood on the edge of his table, looking cuter than a fluffy puppy.
"Can I pretty please visit Hell?"
Yemma snorted, stamping yet another form after skimming the details. "Another for Heaven...yes, do what you want as long as you don't cause trouble! Use your little instant transmission trick and go! I'd love to talk but I'm up to my tie in paperwork."
Goku grinned and floated off the desk. "Understood, sir! Thanks, bye!"
Before Yemma could look up in acknowledgement, the Saiyan had gone and had reappeared twenty miles below the office.
Goku brought his fingers down from his forehead and looked around. He saw shadows milling over the dry, barren landscape, and watched a medical team carry someone by on a stretcher. The craters and moans of the injured told Goku one thing quickly enough; a battle had come and gone here. He supposed that Vegeta had had a welcoming committee of sorts and grinned at the thought.
Bet he kicked Frieza's ass.
The Saiyan tried to pinpoint Vegeta's ki, but it was fuzzy and spread out over a large area as though spilt from the sky. Dammit, he has energy traces all over the place already! And his life force must be pretty low; I can't pick it out of the haze here.
Goku slowly flew through the air and spotted a familiar white figure. He dropped down and smirked as he saw Frieza nurse a crooked, bleeding tail.
"Hello, Frieza. I see you ran into Vegeta."
The Ice-jin glared up at him, cradling his tail closer. "Dammit, even when I'm dead you still have to irritate me! Go away, Goku."
Goku prodded Frieza's tail, his hand quickly slapped away. "Ooh, that's a nasty injury, Frieza. And if you don't tell me where Vegeta is, I'll make it better and rip your tail out of your spine. Understood?"
Frieza's eyes widened at the threat, and he (wisely) decided not to push his luck. "I last saw him heading off towards Needle Mountain before he got involved in a scrap with Cooler. I hope my brother ripped that stupid smirk off his face."
Goku patted Frieza on the head. "Such a good little Ice-jin, I'm proud of you. Go get that tail sorted out before it becomes gangrenous and falls off."
The tall Saiyan continued his flight towards Needle Mountain, Frieza cursing after him most colourfully while brandishing a fist at him. Goku frowned; Vegeta had a lot of enemies here in Hell; how many of them had he had to fight off? And was he able to keep all of his power or not? But, then again, when he had last come to Hell to sort out an insurrection, no one seemed to have lost their power at all and maybe Vegeta had been able to fight them all off easily.
He flew around Needle Mountain until he found a gap big enough to get through. He carefully threaded his way through until he got to the centre, which was hollow and provided a sort of safe sanctuary. He saw a dark shape curled up on the floor, dark splodges all around it. He ran towards it, panic licking up his spine when he knelt down next to Vegeta.
"Oh gods, what did they do to you..."
Vegeta groaned and tried to open his eyes, struggling with blood-caked eyelids. Goku wet his thumbs with saliva and ran them over Vegeta's eyelids, loosening them enough to open. Vegeta tried to focus, but colours swam and shapes weaved, pain exploding in the back of his head with every movement. Goku helped Vegeta sit up as gently as possible, feeling cracked ribs and cuts under his fingers. The Prince hacked up blood, and swayed slightly.
"Vegeta, can you hear me? It's me, Kakarot."
Vegeta shakily placed a hand on Goku's knee and squeezed to affirm the request; talking was just too much effort right now. As soon as Vegeta could support his own weight, Goku pulled off his orange gi top and ripped it into strips. He wished he had some disinfectant at least, even water, but he couldn't move Vegeta in this state. He would have to do the best he could in this situation. For the first time, he had to help someone without a senzu bean or Dende or even a measly first aid kit. He had nothing but saliva, his gi and his wits. And by all the gods, he was going to try his best.
He bound Vegeta's ribs first; he put Vegeta's arms around his shoulders and knelt in front of him, removing Vegeta's top with a few quick slices with ki. Using his shirt, he wound bandages around Vegeta's torso, holding the ribs in place and making it easier to heal. Once that was done, he wiped away as much blood as possible, determining areas of actual injury. Vegeta seemed to find strength somehow, and looked up at Kakarot as he knelt next to him, bandaging a fractured arm.
"What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be up there somewhere?"
Goku smiled, tying the makeshift bandage in place. "Yeah, but I wanted to see you. What happened, Vegeta? Did you get into a fight with the whole of Hell?"
The Prince managed a smirk. "Of course I did. The Ginyu force, Zarbon, Dodoria, Cooler, Frieza, Cell, Dr Gero and 19, Nappa, Brolly...I'm missing someone...oh, and that guy...Bojack. And then some guys I've never met before...like Lord Slug...whoever the hell he is...was. Just because I'm Saiyan, I guess. Ow, Kakarot! Watch it!"
"Sorry! Keep still, will ya?" Goku was trying to get Vegeta's boot off to wrap his ankle. "You mean you took all of them on in one go?"
Vegeta shrugged, watching Kakarot work. "They attacked in groups. Except for Brolly; he was the first to attack and fortunately, I had all my strength then so I could injure him enough to get him to go. He wasn't really interested in fighting me; I think he was just curious."
Goku gently wound the bandage around the swollen ankle, slowly shaking his head. "You amaze me, Vegeta. That's a lot of people to fight in one go and you still managed to make it into this mountain."
Vegeta laid his head down, eyes closed. "I had to crawl into this damn place; Cooler was a bitch to beat."
Goku finished with the major injuries and sat behind Vegeta, gently pulling the older Saiyan up onto his lap and resting his legs alongside him.
Goku stroked his fingers through blood-matted hair, finding the blue strip around Vegeta's forehead amusing. The battered Saiyan was wrapped up in orange gi and strips of his own suit. His feet were bare, ankles too swollen to put boots on. Vegeta relaxed, liking the fingers rubbing his scalp.
"Kakarot, you know you can't stay here, right? They won't let you, and I don't want to get you into trouble. It wouldn't be right if you were made a permanent resident here when you deserve so much better than this."
Kakarot rubbed circles in the dark hair below his fingers. "Vegeta, I don't think you deserve to be here either. And I can't leave you like this, they'll tear you apart."
Vegeta shook his head. "They made some rule here that we can't die again and be extinguished. Stops us from escaping punishment. I'll get beaten for all eternity but I won't die from my injuries."
Vegeta paused, reaching up and resting a hand on Kakarot's cheek. "Kakarot...when my son gets to Heaven...will you tell him that I'm sorry? I didn't mean to let him down and make the same mistakes my father did, but..." He sighed. "It just turned out that way. Will you tell him for me, Kakarot?"
Something about the whole situation seared Goku's heart and he held Vegeta closer, nuzzling his nose into the spikes. There was something so sad about Vegeta's resignation to his circumstances; he didn't believe there was a way out, and if there was one, he didn't deserve it.
"I want you to tell him yourself. This isn't right! I don't want to go back to Heaven without you and leave you here like this. You can't even defend yourself!"
Vegeta tried to sit up, scoffing. "Oh please. I'm not that useless."
Goku smirked. "Then try stand up."
"Fine, I will."
Vegeta sat up, wincing as disks slid out from between his vertebrae and nerves were pinched. He managed to get to his knees, waves of liquid pain rushing through every limb. Then one foot on the ground. But as he tried to straighten his legs, they gave out and he fell backwards, Kakarot catching him. Vegeta bit his lower lip, frustration warring with anger. Goku stood, helping Vegeta stand up, an arm around his waist.
"Don't even say it, Kakarot. I know already."
Goku felt his heart cringe at the bitterness under Vegeta's tone. "It's not your fault."
Vegeta shook his head, eyes scrunching up in aggravation. "IT IS!"
Vegeta crumpled, and Goku lowered him down. Vegeta hunched over, forearms on the ground and face buried into them as he shook with barely-contained frustration and pain. "I can't even defend myself, I'm so fucking weak! And now you have to come to my rescue, sacrificing your time in heaven for someone as truly worthless as me. Five years of training and nothing came of it! I'll never be anything but a failure!"
Goku knelt next to him, running a hand down his back. "Vegeta, listen to me; you're not a failure. You took on so many people in such a short time and fought them all off by yourself. And you are not worthless and I refuse to let you think that!"
He grabbed Vegeta's shoulders and hauled him up into a sitting position, shaking him hard until he lifted his head and looked him in the eye. "You are not weak! You are my Prince of Saiyans and nothing less! Stop hating yourself, Vegeta, because I won't stand by and watch you do this to yourself anymore. Seven long years, and you managed to get through that; you managed to get up and face each day even though your life was collapsing around you, when nothing was going right in your world."
Another hard shake.
"You are strong, and we're going to find a way out of this whole damn mess but only if you find your spine!"
Vegeta cried out with the pain that Goku's shaking was causing, and Goku realised what he was doing and stopped. "Oh shit! I'm so sorry!"
He held Vegeta close, mentally berating himself for being so rough with the injured Saiyan. But it seemed to have worked, because Vegeta's body relaxed, tension seeping out of him. Then he laughed. Vegeta threw his head back and laughed, the volume growing until it echoed against the spiked balls around them. Goku smiled, then joined in, both holding onto each other as they collapsed to the ground, laughing like the end of the world had just been averted. Eventually their rumbles of laughter quieted down, thrumming into deep purrs as they lay on their sides face to face, arms lazily slung around each other. Goku grinned, resting his forehead against Vegeta's.
"What was that all about?"
Vegeta winced but smiled, looking up to meet Kakarot's eyes. "I just felt like it. Something in my head just gave way and I think I officially became insane. Always suspected it, but never really believed it. Damn laughing broke another rib, I think."
Kakarot blew air into Vegeta's face just to make him blink and because he felt like doing so. Vegeta looked so adorable when he blinked.
"And why do you think you're insane?"
A feral grin. "Because I think I've finally realised that I feel more for you than is strictly friendly."
Now that's what I wanted to hear...
He grinned and rolled onto his back and dragged Vegeta with him, pulling his Prince down for a warm, wet kiss. The blood from Vegeta's injuries added a nice little zest to it, but he found that he quite liked the strange, mature taste Vegeta willingly shared with him.
"Oh, hell! I didn't want to see that!"
They broke off for a minute, looking waaaayyyy up to see Cell giving them a rather odd, disgusted look. Goku grinned, sitting up and putting his weight on his palms, Vegeta sitting on his lap and smirking. The younger of the two smirked as well. "Jealous, android?"
The android folded his arms. "Actually, yes. And for your enlightenment, I happen to be more of a carbon-based life form than you think; I get urges too."
Both Saiyans looked revolted, Goku protectively putting his arms around Vegeta. "I didn't want to hear that! Sorry, but Vegeta is mine. Maybe you can get Frieza to help you out; I hear he's a legendary pervert."
With a grumble the green android/carbon-based life form stomped away, muttering something about Saiyan asses versus Ice-jin tails. Vegeta slumped against Kakarot, wounds flaring back to life. He had forgotten about them for a minute or so and the returned pain seemed worse than before. Goku smoothed his hands down Vegeta's back before holding him lightly, not wanting to jar any more wounds.
"We won't stay down here forever, Vegeta. I'm going to get you into Heaven, or onto Snake Way, at least."
Vegeta smiled into Kakarot's neck. "Whatever happens, happens, Kakarot. But even a little place on Snake Way would be nice if I couldn't get into Heaven. But promise me that you won't forsake your place in Heaven for me; that if it comes to the shove you'll stay up there and wait for our families and your friends. I don't want you to have spent your whole life doing good things to end up down here with a loser like me. Got that?"
Goku shook his head. "No. I'm not going to promise that. I won't let that situation come up because I'm going to find us a way out of it right now. Let's go visit Yemma!"
Two seconds later...
"Dammit! Warn me before you do that!" snapped Vegeta, head whirling from instant transmission. He felt like he'd left his stomach back at Needle Mountain. Goku scratched the back of his head with his spare hand, the other arm holding Vegeta up.
"Sorry, Vegeta; I guess I'm just used to it. Hey, King Yemma!"
The pink giant leaned over his desk to look down. "Back again, Goku? Your friends on Earth used the dragonballs to wish back all the dead, so I've got time to kill. What happened to Vegeta?"
Goku shifted Vegeta's weight more comfortably.
"He got eight shades of royal blood kicked out of him by everyone in Hell. Listen, about Vegeta, while we're on the topic...is there any possible way you can give him a place on Snake Way? Heaven would be preferable, but I don't want to have any blind or useless hope. Pretty please?"
Yemma sat back in his chair, flipping through his ledger to find Vegeta's name. "Hmmm...I don't know...I've already made one allowance today, with that Dabura guy. Didn't want him to cause trouble in Hell, but he seems to be adapting well to heaven. Guess people can change."
Goku brightened; he could use this bit of information. "Well, Heaven is pretty big, right? Couldn't you squeeze Vegeta in?"
Yemma sighed. "Goku, you know I can't just ignore everything he's done wrong over four decades."
"Hey, I'm right here!"
"Sorry, everything you've done wrong. Maybe I could let you in as a spirit but not with your body."
Goku pouted. "But I can't be mated to a spirit cloud!"
Vegeta blushed and there was a resounding crash that shook the room as Yemma fell out of his chair. The powerful Lord of the Underworld, the mighty King Yemma simply gaped as he sat up, staring at the two Saiyans standing on the carpet.
"You mean, you're...but...how...SINCE WHEN?!"
Goku shrugged. "Hmm, probably five or so minutes ago. And no, I'm not going to give him up, so don't even ask."
Vegeta looked at his feet. Gods, was Kakarot always this candid about things? Kakarot's grip around him tightened slightly as Yemma got back onto his chair. The Guardian of Otherworld shook his head slowly as he used the corner of his suit jacket to wipe his glasses clean. A long silence stretched out, and both Saiyans fidgeted.
"Well, now that I've managed to get my mind working again after you short-circuited it..." Yemma put his glasses on and peered down at the two Saiyans. Vegeta wished the pen-pusher would hurry up; his back was aching and he just wanted to lie down and rest. Yemma sighed, pulling Vegeta's form out of his file.
"I suppose that the two of you need to be close to each other, and Goku's record is absolutely flawless...and you have tried to be good, Vegeta, I know you have. According to the rule book, if a couple dies together, and their accounts balance out, i.e., the good outweighs the bad...then you can go together."
Yemma smiled. "You had it hard, Vegeta. You were with Frieza and he moulded you. And you're lucky that Goku is willing to help balance out your previous offences so I suppose you can go to Heaven together. But one misdemeanour and you're out on your ass on Snake Way. Are we clear?"
Both nodded, Goku emphatically so. "Very! Thank you, Yemma! You're the best!"
The giant waved them away. "The next plane is leaving in a few minutes; I suggest you take your abused mate and get on that flight before I change my mind."
Goku grinned and swept Vegeta up, ignoring his protests as he sprinted to the airport terminal. They got window seats and soon the plane was on its way to Grand Kai's planet. Goku hugged Vegeta, excited beyond words.
"All we had to do was ask and look what happened! See, Vegeta, you're not as hopeless as you thought. As soon as you're healed, we're going to spar as much as we want, in and out of the bedroom!"
Vegeta squirmed. "Did you have to say that so loud, Kakarot?"
Indeed, everyone on the plane had turned to stare, but Goku grinned at them. "Hey, what can I say? I'm really looking forward to it!"
Vegeta shook his head and leaned against Kakarot, yawning widely, canines glinting. "It's been a long day, so if you don't mind...I'm going to...to take a nap..."
And he passed out, burrowing his face into Kakarot's shoulder before going limp. Goku smiled and put an arm around Vegeta's back, pulling him closer, looking out of the aeroplane window to catch a glimpse of their destination, Vegeta's breathing lulling him into relaxation.
Rest well, Vegeta. Everything is going to be alright from here on.
Zogeta: Sickly happy ending, but I couldn't leave them to be separated for all eternity.
*Gets kicked by muses*
Zogeta: Alright! Leave me now! It's a happy ending, okay! Deal with it, moody creatures of paradox!
Sparda: The almighty Ice Queen can't allow one angsty ending. Its just fanfiction.
Zogeta: Stupid muse, leave me alone!
*Gets tail tugged by Gutterball*
GB: Aw, poor ickle Zogeta is too soft to have an unhappy ending.
Zogeta: No, I just don't like torturing my characters. But I wrote this so that you would give me some peace! Hell, I've got so many loose ends in my head that I feel like a frayed carpet.
Caelestra: It's okay. We have been appeased...to an extent.
Zogeta: What is this? Some sort of muse party? Piss off.
*Has hair and wings and tail tugged*
Zogeta: OOOOWWWW! What the hell is wrong with you guys?!
*In an unholy chorus of voices*
All: WRITE MORE BEFORE WE SAY 'NI'!
Zogeta: It was a bad idea to let you guys watch Monty Python. I'm truly afraid for my creative studio.
GB: We demand a sacrifice! Bring us the nibs of your pens!
Zogeta: Oh, for Kami's sake. I promise I will write and appease you soon. Its late, I've been on my feet for nine hours, can I go to bed now?
*Muses stalk away, muttering in a rather mutinous and unpleasant manner*
Sparda: Fine, but you have a day off tomorrow, so we expect some writing. Understood?
Zogeta: Alright, I will. NOW SHOVE OFF!
10 May 2005
In dedication to my demented muses: Caelestra the Weird, Sparda the Eternally Annoying and Gutterball the Obscenely Talented One