Heartbeat - 'Quest' universe
Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 0 Review(s)
Goku (Kakorr) has a special gift for Vegeta's birthday - something his prince never expected. Part of the Quest universe.
One-liner – “What are you wearing?”
Warnings – What do you think? Should Quest universe be a warning?
Pairings – Vegeta/Goku (Kakorr)
Ownership? Are you mad? My house would be paid for and I would have a housekeeper.
I guess they’ve been mated about 5 years here, not that it matters too much. This is the second version of this story – the first one, which is smut, just wasn’t working. (But I suspect I will find a way to make it work later – don’t worry, I kept it.) These one-shots never come out the way I expect them to. I listened to my Taiko drum CDs over and over while I wrote this – at full volume, no less. O Daiko at 40 makes things in the living room move.
Sorry – no smut this time. Sap, some corn, but no smut.
Goku finished setting up the last piece of Vegeta’s birthday surprise and stepped back to admire his handiwork. He had searched for days for the perfect clearing – safe and secluded. He finally located this one, hidden deep in an old forest, ringed by massive trees. He knew Vegeta would enjoy his gift more if he didn’t worry about being seen by anyone but his mate.
He hadn’t forgotten the story Vegeta had told him years ago, of when Radditz had snuck the young prince out of the palace late at night to hear the drums. Several years ago he had studied them in the Saiyan Center, using what he learned to make one for his mate’s birthday. He had expected it to remain on display, a useless, but meaningful symbol of the affection he had for his prince. As a result, he was amazed, and extremely pleased to discover Vegeta sometimes took it to their cliff to play.
He grinned to himself. This year he had outdone himself – he had probably even gone a bit overboard, but it would be worth it to see the expression on his mate’s face. Vegeta’s students had introduced him to taiko drumming – something Goku had never known of before – and his prince soon became a regular, attending performances around the world. He remembered catching a small local dojo practicing in a park – everyone was sitting on blankets on the grass surrounding the performers. Gohan and Videl had just announced their pregnancy and Vegeta and he were both in an exceptionally good mood that day – coming upon the drummers was just a bonus. Vegeta had leaned back against him, tail keeping tempo, and declared this to be the most Saiyan thing he had found on Earth.
He took one last look around to make sure everything was ready and IT’d home to retrieve his prince. He nearly laughed at the sight that met his eyes. Tama and Pan were leaning against him sleepily as Vegeta read the favorite story of Kikon and Chikara to his daughter and granddaughter – that was nothing unusual anymore.
::What are you wearing?:: he chuckled. Perched on his head was a paper crown, with a crayon scrawl ‘Prince V’.
::My birthday present,:: Vegeta said. :: Don’t you dare laugh, Kakorr – you’ll hurt their feelings and they’ll start crying again.::
::Wouldn’t dream of it.:: His prince had no defenses against the two little girls, especially when they turned on the tears, and they knew it. He wondered if Vegeta realized how much they deliberately took advantage of his weakness, tag teaming him into potentially embarrassing situations like this. No one else – not even Goku – could get Vegeta to wear something so ridiculous.
::Just make sure no one else sees or I’ll never hear the end of it,:: Vegeta grumbled.
Goku grinned and sat on the floor at his prince’s feet, listening to his deep growls as he read the chapter reciting their triumphant battle against the jihibiki on Vegeta-sei. Eventually, the chapter was complete and the girls were tucked in with a promise to send Mama and G’ma in to give them a kiss goodnight.
“Sap,” Goku whispered in Vegeta’s ear as he quietly closed the door behind them.
“Look who’s talking,” Vegeta smirked.
Goku brought them to a nearly overgrown path approaching the clearing and made Vegeta wait there. He went ahead and lit the fires and started the recording before returning.
“Ready?” he asked, eager to see Vegeta’s reaction. He held out his hand, pleased when his prince shrugged and took it. As long as there wasn’t an audience, Vegeta was willing to cater to Goku’s little whims – like hugging and hand-holding. “Close your eyes.”
Vegeta studied him a moment with his deep blue eyes before closing them and shaking his head with amusement. ::I swear, Kakorr – you are as bad as the girls. I better not end up wearing a paper crown this time.::
::I was wondering how they got you. I promise – no paper crowns.:: He IT’d them to the center of the clearing.
Vegeta took a shaky breath – he felt it before he heard it, fur rippling at the vibrations. He tipped his head back, eyes still closed, inhaling the sound. As he stood there in ecstatic silence he marveled yet again at the wonder of his mate. Kakorr’s gifts to him were rarely ‘things’ – they were moments – cures meant to help heal his still damaged heart. “Drums,” he purred, tail sweeping as the tempo gradually increased. He hardly wanted to breathe; afraid his exhalations would disturb the rhythm rolling through his blood.
The beat of dozens of drums surrounded him, the vibrations filling his chest more than air could. This was different from the performances – there he had watched a stage, but here he was in the midst of it. The volume was slowly building as the complicated rhythms began intertwining with each other. His body chose one and began swaying in time.
He heard Kakorr’s purrs over the rumble and looked up into the eager golden eyes of his mate, smiling with pleasure.
“Do you like it?” Kakorr asked, gesturing. They were in deep woods, the trees holding in the sound, making the clearing feel like they were standing in the center of a massive drum. Every few yards a small fire burned, the flickering light making the surrounding darkness seem even blacker.
“Oh, yes,” Vegeta purred, curling his hand around the back of his mate’s neck, pulling him down for a kiss. Kakorr’s hands slid around his waist, holding him close.
::You haven’t even seen the rest of my gift.:: “Look behind you.”
Vegeta shook his head at his mate’s generosity and turned around. Wasn’t this enough? “I don’t need-“
He was suddenly struck dumb. It was the largest drum he had ever seen – nearly the size of a small human bus. Covering it was a list of special occasions when it had been played – victories, losses, births, deaths… in Saiyan. “Kakorr,” he whispered in wonder. How was it possible for his mate and their family to keep doing this for him?
Kakorr stood behind him and wrapped his arms around him. “I knew you would like it. Gohan found it a few months ago while cataloging, and I made him promise not to tell you.” He chuckled, “Saiyans didn’t do anything small, did they? Of course, I think they are the only ones who could have moved it – that thing is heavy.”
Vegeta nodded numbly, unable to tear his eyes away. They had discovered the dragon had taken a broad view on what items to bring back; thanks to Shenlong, the Saiyan center was one of the largest structures on the planet. He traced his fingers over the symbols, imagining he could hear the centuries of history this drum had witnessed. Had there really been trees this large on Vegeta-sei? He passed his hand over the jihibiki skin, feeling the vibrations surrounding them echoing from the massive drumhead. He wondered how it would feel to be standing directly in front of a drum this size as it was beaten. “Can I…?” He moved his hand again and shook his head. He couldn’t play this – there was no way he could do this magnificent instrument justice.
Kakorr knew him too well, though, and put the heavy sticks into his hands. ::That’s why we’re here, Vegeta. For you to have the drums beat just for you.::
Vegeta smiled. He remembered. Kakorr had heard his thoughts even then, before they mated, and he remembered.
“Look – I have a smaller one for me,” Kakorr grinned, “I thought we could do something like drum karaoke. I’m not very good, but I’m willing to try it if you are.”
Vegeta barked a laugh. Only his mate would come up with a name like that. He looked at the giant drum wistfully before deciding why not – it was a Saiyan drum and he was the Prince of all Saiyans – who better? Besides, no one but his mate would see him. “Alright Kakorr – you’ve twisted my tail.”
Kakorr grinned, gave him a quick kiss, and rushed over to his own drum, tossing his shirt away. ::Baka,:: Vegeta thought affectionately. He removed his own shirt, but unlike his mate, folded it and set it carefully aside – Kakorr lost more clothing that way.
He didn’t know how Kakorr had done it, but he realized his mate had worked hard to make another one of his wishes reality. Hearing the drums on Vegeta-sei with Radditz had been a happy memory; he remembered how he had wanted to become part of that sound. And now he was totally surrounded by the vibrations, tail sweeping, his whole body echoing the thunder of the drums, almost making him forget how to breathe.
Vegeta was made aware of his huge smile as Kakorr laughed, obviously overjoyed at how happy he had managed to make him.
“Ready?” Kakorr asked, picking up his own sticks and getting ready to jump in. Vegeta laughed when his mate started beating on his smaller drum with more enthusiasm than talent. Eventually, however, Kakorr was able to get the rhythm, drumming away happily, tail keeping time. “Come on, Vegeta. You try. This is fun.”
Vegeta took a stance similar to what he had seen others use. If he was going to make a fool of himself, he might as well do it right. He listened for an opening, and…hit-
He had never heard or felt anything like it – the sound boomed right through his arm, into his chest and groin. He growled in amazement and did it again. The sound seemed to surround him, flowing through his body and vibrating his bones. Over and over he beat on the head of the drum, testing different places and methods of hitting it to get the fullest sound.
The rumbling beats made him feel connected to the vibrating air around him. He understood now how drumming could be used in remembrance of events. For the painful events it let them build slowly until the shouts of sorrow became natural, the pain fading as the vibrations died away, leaving only the memory of shared grief. But for moments such as this…all he felt was joy. The sound drove him and filled him – he couldn’t stop himself – he didn’t want to. Every beat was another reminder of how perfect his life had become. He celebrated everything – his mate, his family, how they loved him, how he had learned to love them in return.
He felt his mate’s mind touching his own and joined with Kakorr in shouting out wordless cries of happiness. They thundered together, the air nearly solid from the intensity of the sound. He was sweating and growling with pleasure, thankful to his mate for giving him such an amazing release. Vegeta drove them forward and reaching a thundering peak, they roared together.
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