Insert standard disclaimer here. I don't own Dragonball Z or any of the characters.


By: Sango


Where do I take this pain of mine
I run but it stays right by my side


I exult, like the bloodthirsty monster that I am, in the viscous crimson streaming in rivulets down my bare, ungloved hands. The stench of charred flesh hangs heavily in the air, the smoldering husks of the planet's decimated population piled everywhere in innumerable funeral pyres.

Inexplicably, I also hover over my own shoulder, like my nonexistent conscience, horrified at the atrocities that one man can wreak upon the defenseless. The strange double vision and irreconcilable emotions threaten to rend my soul in half.

I try to tear away and flee the gruesome sight, but suddenly the other-me latches on to my wrist with an unbreakable grip so cold that it burns even to bone, numbing my flesh and sucking out my strength like a vampire's kiss against an opened vein. I can offer no resistance as he easily forces me to my knees before him, refusing to let me avert my eyes with an iron fist knotted in my hair. The hot, dry wind blows bitter ash into my face, filling my lungs and searing my eyes, but leaving unmarred the merciless clarity of my vision.

Closing my eyes, I long desperately for some form of escape. But this is no simple dream, no mere fabrication of my subconscious; this is true memory. This piteously scorched and smoking ball of rock was a real planet, and the blood-soaked monstrosity at my back was the real me. Is the real me.

He whispers in my ear, and I wonder that my voice was ever so demonically evil and emotionless. "Oh no, little prince. You must look..."

"See the power that we wield..." His dulcet, seductive tone elicits a violent shudder of revulsion...But even now, nearly driven to madness by the full realization of the magnitude of my sins, I can't suppress a thrill of fierce joy at the memory of that power. I had no equal...almost.

I can feel his evil smile without looking. "Ah, you remember..." he muses, pleased.

Sickened, I reflect that I could drown an entire planet in the oceans of blood I have spilt, and the simulacrum behind me is undeniable proof that I had cared not at all. Slowly, my doppelganger and I merge seamlessly into one, though I twist frantically in his grasp, snarling a wordless denial that echoes in my ears, thrown back at me by the barren nothingness I left behind.

Horrifyingly, the pyres stir and shudder, and flaming corpses begin to emerge from the piles where they had lain jumbled together like discarded toys. An increasingly loud noise reaches my ears, a faint buzzing so quiet at first that I could not discern when it had actually begun. It crescendos into the outrage of an angry hive as each lifeless visage turns to face me, staring out of sightless, vacant sockets.

As one, they begin moving forward.

So tear me open, pour me out
These things inside they scream and shout
And the pain still hates me
So hold me until it sleeps

Legions of dead surround me, souls crying out for justice, clamoring for my blood. Sharp finger-bones pierce my flesh as they swarm over me, sending white-hot needles of pain down my spine. The buzzing noise rises in my ears until it vibrates my entire body. The talons dig deeper, piercing my heart, my lungs, my eyes...I scream in agony, but no sound comes. They rip my life away, piece by piece, until nothing remains, but the torment goes on...

Something soft and blue covers me suddenly, as insubstantial as cloud and cool as mist. The hands recoil, and the pain ebbs under the caress of a gentle voice, "Peace, my Prince." Lips like butterfly wings alight on my forehead, and a softy determined voice speaks in my ear. "I won't let them have you."

An angel, clad in a diaphanous shift spun of pure light, stands before me, sheltering my torn and bloodied body with her powder-soft wings. I collapse forward, onto my knees, and her arms encircle me, securing me inside the embrace of silken skin and snow-white feathers.

But before I finally fall out of slumber, I hear a stifled moan as the undead begin assailing her, in my stead.

For a moment I can only stare wildly at the ceiling with my fists knotted in the dampened sheets, trying to calm my racing heart and choking back an unacknowledged sob. My throat burns with the effort that it costs me.

"Vegeta..." A sleepy murmur in my ear. "Mmm...wake up. You're dreaming." She has moved over to my side of the bed, wrapping her arms around me. Her cool touch is a balm to my fevered skin. Not really awake, she has nestled her face into the crook of my neck without noticing that my whole body is rigid, every muscle so tight it aches. I hold up my hands in the dark, feeling a dart of dull surprise upon not finding them red and dripping.

Just like a curse, just like a stray
You feed it once and now it stays
Now it stays

She sleepily reaches up to stroke my face, each slow exhalation tickling my chin. "I don't suppose you want to tell me what you were dreaming about..."

My silence is the only reply that she will get. I don't trust my voice.

"S' don't have to." She kisses my throat, and then yawns and snuggles back against me. I can't express in words how grateful I am to have her there, right now. Her soft breathing deepens, indicating that she is once again asleep, whereas I won't be closing my eyes again anytime soon. Pressed close against her, my thoughts wander back to the beginning of our unconventional relationship.

She took me like a wild thing into her house, offering food and shelter to a homeless Prince with no means of repayment, and without a word of thanks. With the first small kindnesses she showed me, I had been hooked forever, though I struggled fiercely against it for years. No one had ever done anything for me before, except where fear dictated. Oh, she had been afraid of me, but only a little, and only at first. She and her father built that machine for me, and all of the robots that I subsequently destroyed. She gifted me with her company, and her friendship, though I spurned both.

But I could never bring myself to leave. Inevitably I returned, each time that I tried. Always there was some excuse, but I am sure that she knew the truth. I hadn't known what love was, or if I was even capable of such emotion, but I was beginning, however unwillingly, to learn.

So tear me open, but beware
There's things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me until I'm clean

Unfortunately, such lessons came hard for me, and I caused her much misery in the meantime. I hurt her, unintentionally and otherwise. The monster that I am had no idea how to live with another peacefully, and no practice in taking someone else's well-being into consideration. All of my decisions, for my entire life up until then, had only been about myself.

Even now, as much as I have changed, I am all too aware of my shortcomings in that area. I see her parents, still nauseatingly in love after all of these years, and know that, though she says nothing, she quietly wishes that I could be more like that. But I can't show her the tenderness that the two of them openly display. At least, not anywhere but within the four walls of this room.

It grips you so hold me
It stains you so hold me
It hates you so hold me
It holds you so hold me
Until it sleeps...

But on nights like this, I hold her against me and hate myself for not being strong enough to leave. For surely my blood-stained embrace will eventually taint this innocent, who has never seen the life flowing out of the eyes of a creature dealt a death-blow by her own hand. She refuses even to kill spiders. Terrified of them, nonetheless I have found her desperately trying to capture them and set them outside, lest I incinerate them for her.

How can she not realize that she lies captive in the sticky, vermillion-stained arms of an abomination, a black-souled demon beyond any hope of redemption?

So tell me why you've chosen me
Don't want your grip
Don't want your greed
Don't want it

To this day, I still don't know why she chose me over the human lover she had been with when I first encountered her. Obviously I am the stronger, but I know that meant little to her. I certainly did nothing to encourage her; I treated her like dirt beneath my heel. But she persisted, doggedly worming her way into my heart, permeating my being with countless, deceptively slender tendrils: passion, desire, love. Like clinging vines, they thread through me so abundantly that now, to rip them away would surely be fatal.

I hated her, even as I first found myself drawn inexorably closer. She wanted all of me, refusing to settle for less than everything. I struggled fiercely against my desires. I wanted no part of it. Somewhere, I knew that I did not deserve it, but mostly I resented the invasion of my broken soul.

I'll tear me open, make you gone
No more can you hurt anyone
And the fear still shakes me
So hold me until it sleeps

Deep inside, I can't banish the foreboding feeling that this isn't over; I haven't truly beaten the devil within. I am unable to shake the dread premonition that someday he will return and bring irreparable harm to those I have come to care for, however reluctantly. That I will somehow unleash the beast buried deep in my soul, and he will run unchecked until all that is left of this world is a charred husk of uninhabitable rock.

Kakarot isn't here. He can't stop it.

Only my death can.

I don't want it.....NO
It grips you so hold me
It stains you so hold me
It hates you so hold me
It holds you, holds you, holds you
Until it sleeps...

In my anguish, my grip on her involuntarily tightens, and with a sleepily indignant grunt she stirs. "Vegeta, what is it? Are you all right?"

"I'm fine," I answer irritably, my labored breathing exposing the blatant lie.

She raises up on her elbow to look into my eyes, pulling a wayward lock of hair from her lips. "Please, tell me what's wrong."

I shudder. What would she think of me, then? "No."

She pounds an ineffectual fist into my chest. "Damn it, Vegeta! Either tell me what it is, or go sleep on the couch and stop waking me up!"

I start to get up, but she throws herself on top of me, and stares grimly down at me with an unhappy frown. "I didn't mean that. I don't want you to leave. I just want you to tell me what's wrong," she pleads.

You don't want to know! But I can't fight her off anymore; the floodgates open, and I tell her.

So tear me open, but beware
The pain's inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me, 'til I'm clean

I choke out everything, the words dragged from my throat raw and covered with my life's blood. The whole sordid tale, the purging missions so numerous that they all blend together. Nameless planets and faceless people. Women and children. I recount the dream, shuddering at the blood-soaked image of my younger self that will not disappear, burnt indelibly onto my brain for all time.

"They were helpless. None of them had a chance. I showed no mercy, gave no quarter...I didn't stop until the last one bled dry." I swallow. "None of them deserved such a fate."

To her credit, she didn't flinch or look away, but continued to hold my hand, cradling the tightly clenched fist between her palms. Her voice, when she speaks, is steady.

"What about you? The atrocious things that were done to you? The abandonment, the abuse, the years of torment?" As she speaks, her hands trace lightly over the scars covering my bare chest. "How many days did you spend being torn, whipped, and beaten? So many nights spent in regeneration tanks that you forgot what an actual bed felt like?"

I have no idea how she knows about all of this. We must be tied more deeply together than I'd thought, for her to have discovered memories that I never told her about. And we both know there is more that she is not saying. The very worst she has left off mentioning.

Her steely gaze demands my attention. "Did you deserve that, Vegeta? How could you show mercy when none was ever shown you? Did you even know the word?"

I'll Tear me open, make you gone
No longer will you hurt anyone
And the hate still shakes me
So hold me until it sleeps
Until it sleeps
Until it sleeps
Until it sleeps

She pins my gaze firmly with her own, refusing to let me look away. "It's in the past. You can't change it. And it's enough for me that you regret it." Cupping my cheek with one soft hand, she says softly, "I know that it was the only way of life you knew. What else can so much pain and cruelty beget, but more of the same?"

I throw her hand off, angrily. "Idiot! Do you really think that it's that easy? That I can just say, 'Gee, I'm sorry', and everything will be all right? You fool! I killed entire solar systems." In my pain, my voice has a jagged edge of cruelty.

She appears unaffected. Quietly, she asks, "How old were you, Vegeta, when you left home? Four?"

Her uncharacteristic refusal to fight drains all of the venom out of me, leaving behind only a wearied, empty hopelessness. In the dark, I breathe out the last of my fears. "And don't you think, woman, that some day my past deeds will come to call?"

"Vegeta." The love shining in her eyes stops my breath. I can't believe that anyone could possibly care so much, for one such as I. "Whatever happens, we will face it, together."

We. Such a small word, to hold so much meaning.

She is so earnest. Whatever happens, whenever the payment for my bloody, ill-spent youth is due, she will stand by me, even knowing the full extent of what I have done. Undone, I crush her against me, trying not to damage her in my desperation.

Bringing my face to hers, I kiss away the tears rolling slowly down each beautiful cheek, glittering like liquid crystal where the moonlight touches them. Suddenly, fiercely, her mouth descends on mine and she kisses me hungrily, desperately, with a passionate intensity greater than she has ever shown before, as if her life depended on convincing me of her love and she had only the touch of lips and tongue to tell me.

Her nails prick my back as she tightens her grip on my shoulders, and then runs her hands lower, tugging me nearer so that every inch of us lies close against the other. There is no time for preliminaries; neither of us could bear the delay. Each breath comes fast and hard in unison as we clutch at each other, tearing away that which still separates us. The frantic, desperate need for completion consumes us from the inside out, burning, until we are nearly crying out with the pain.

In the end it is as if the air ignites around us, her breathless gasp disappearing into mine. Our mindless, frenzied passion has torn away the restraints holding my latent power in check, and it flows out over both of us in bright, searing waves. But although the sheets beneath us blacken and burn, no mark mars her unprotected skin. At this moment one with me in body and soul, the surging fire recognizes her as its own. Her eyes burn, luminous with the ecstasy of so much raw energy. The citrine tongues of flame blaze blue-white where they touch her, purified by her unblemished soul.

When passion is finally spent, the maelstrom of power dissipates and we collapse in a tangle of limbs and blue hair that stubbornly clings to damp skin. For a long while, we lie there unmoving, resting in the silence that says more than words ever could. Her sleepy thoughts are as close to me as my own, as they always are, afterward. Gradually they cloud over and become incoherent as she fades into exhausted, pleasant dreams. I finally sink beneath the smothering grey mantle of dreamless sleep, but not before I hear him laugh, one last time.




You're going to kill me, but this is really old. I wrote it forever ago, but then decided that it needed major changes before I could post it. But I'm never going to get around to that, and I figured with just a little editing it still fit within what I was striving for with the sequel, so here it is :)

Yes, it's a songfic. Metallica's "Until It Sleeps". I never thought that I'd write one, but it just seemed so fitting.

Oh yeah, and if I don't already have your email address and you'd like to be notified when I start posting Unbreakable, email me! :)


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