Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z or the song "Behind Blue Eyes."

Author's Notes: The song "Behind Blue Eyes" is by The Who, but I've had it stuck in my head ever since I heard Giles singing it on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (which, by the way, is the first time he ever sang on the series). I thought it would make a really great songfic, even though I usually religiously avoid and denounce songfics. But songfics are alright if the are written well and don't have anyone actually singing in it, so I decided to do this. I'm usually all about Vegeta angst, but that wouldn't have made sense. He doesn't have blue eyes. I suppose as a Super Saiyan I could have gotten away with it, but those eyes are more teal than blue. Then I thought of the perfect person. Eighteen. Especially after the Cell Saga. It really looked like she had a lot of rage going after she was resurrected. It fit so well. Now, this is not a romance. I don't do straight romance. This is pure angst. So, enjoy. And, as always, review.






Behind Blue Eyes

No one knows what it's like

To be the bad man

To be the sad man

Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like

To be hated

To be fated

To telling only lies

She was bored.

That was something new.  She hadn't been bored before.  Sure, she'd feigned boredom, but never experienced it.  Hadn't lived long enough.  Only a few months.

Well, she'd been busy.  The fighting.  The road trip.  The shopping.  Getting eaten…

Why couldn't she find Seventeen?

It's not like she cared.  Caring was a human attribute.  Androids didn't care—weren't programmed to care.  Programmed to kill—to destroy.  That's what androids are for.  Everyone knew that.  Even those silly low-budget science-fiction movies that Krillen seemed so fond of.

But killing was boring!

Eighteen sat in the quaint coffee shop in the village near Roshi's island, swirling her half-gone, long-cold cup of mocha cappuccino.  She'd grown an affinity for the drink, but after two cups she was tired of it.  She didn't even feel like drinking enough to make her feel the affects of the caffeine, which happened to take a lot of coffee.  And it didn't last.  Nothing lasted.  Not even death.

Yes, killing was boring, and the dead were resurrected anyway.  What was the point?  Sure, she could start the killing and take out maybe a city, but then one of Earth's heroes would just kill her.  And it really wasn't worth the trouble.  Even if she could get away with destroying the world, what would be the point in it?  She had no one to share it with.  And why would she do it?  Simply because she could?  That was a weak excuse.  But should she?  After all, destruction was the purpose of her creation.  To deliver the final blow to the world from the Red Ribbon Army—a long-dead organization that had originally been destroyed by a small child and had only been represented to her by a crusty old man turned android.  A man her brother had killed.  Actually, that was pretty funny.

No, it wasn't funny.  She was fated to a destiny not of her own design, and not of her own control, without any instruction and no one to even understand her.  She was an android, programmed for destruction.  It was in both her blood and her circuitry.  Kill kill kill.  That was all she knew.

Why wasn't she doing it?  Why was she just sitting in a coffee shop with a drink she couldn't even stand to taste anymore?

Everyone knew what 18 was.  She was evil.  Something unnatural.  Something to be hated.  Had she not devastated the world in the future timeline?  Had she not made a game of pursuing Goku's death?  Had she not helped Cell become so powerful?  She knew that it was only grief for losing Goku and relief for the end of the fighting that no one seemed to have challenged her yet.  She almost expected Gohan to come up any day now and kill her.  She was an android.  It wouldn't have been murder.  She was just a machine – without soul or conscience.  Only one saw more—saw what she was beginning to feel.

But my dreams

They aren't as empty

As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely

My love is vengeance

That's never free

She'd been invited to live at the Kame House by Krillen, and sometimes she would show up late at night when only the former monk was awake and crash on the couch.  It's not that she couldn't live or sleep anywhere, and the small house on the island could not save her from an ambush from a warrior wanting payback, or just to get rid of the evil.  But the house gave her a semblance of safety.  As did Krillen.  Poor pathetic human who froze at difficult decisions and had fallen for a machine.  The strongest human, maybe, but no match for the people who would truly want to kill her.  It was ridiculous to even feel this way.

            "Eighteen?"

The android looked up from her coffee.  'Speak of the devil…" she thought.  "Krillen."

The bald man smiled and sat down across from her.  "Good coffee?"

"It's cold," she said shortly.  Small talk was not her strong suit.

"Oh."  The man was nervous and awkward, but not like it was at the beginning.  At first he had been scared to look at her.  And rightfully so.  She had almost killed him during his first advances.  He'd track her down, and pester her.  Didn't he know that she just wanted to be left alone?  But he was either persistent or just plain foolish.  Maybe a little of both.  He kept trying to talk to her, becoming almost a stalker.  And after a while, she started talking back.  Then she started the nightly visits to the Kame House.  He'd talk to her, and she'd just listen.  Nothing earth-shattering.  Just commenting on a movie (the man was addicted to the Sci-Fi channel) or telling about his day.  And she'd listen.  Or maybe comment back.

Once they'd gotten into a debate over a Star Trek episode.  Something to do with the android character.  Eighteen had laughed off the character as thoroughly unbelievable, saying that, for a machine, he sure showed a lot of emotion.  She remembered the strange look Krillen had given her, saying something about laughing androids.  Then he said something about her having a soul, for which he had no basis.

Just what is a soul anyway?  How do you know if you have one?  Do you have to be organic?  Well, she had many organic components.  She had once been human, after all.  What made her lose her soul during the conversion from human to android?  Had she?  And if she had, then why was she so happy to see this short human?

They were all mistaken about her.  In fact, she had once been mistaken about herself.  They thought of her as a machine that got its jollies out of burning carcasses and exploding buildings.  Maybe her mirai self was like that, but she sure wasn't.  She remembered seeing a horror film with Krillen, and a character was being horribly and painfully mutilated.  She'd almost had to leave the room.  Exactly when had she gotten queasy?  I mean, wasn't she made to kill?

Never mind that, ironically, she had never killed anyone in her entire life.

Over these months, she had started to really think about what she wanted out of this new-found life.  And she had come to a profound conclusion: she didn't want to be left alone.  Oh, sure, she pretended to shun all humans.  She was as harsh as any of the other ex-villains that populated earth.  But she didn't know how else to act.  Plus, she'd always have Krillen.

No one knows what it's like

To feel these feelings

Like I do

And I blame you

No one bites back as hard

On their anger

None of my pain and woe

Can show through

"So," Krillen laughed uneasily.  "Are you coming around tonight?  There's a Twilight Zone marathon."

Eighteen's eyes hardened.  "No!  What do you think I am, your girlfriend?!  I have better things to do!"

Leaving behind the stunned Krillen, she swept out of the coffee shop and launched herself into the sky, now orange and pink from the quickly setting sun.  She made sure to go fast enough that Krillen wouldn't be able to follow her.  Putting the island region behind her, she skimmed over the ocean.  Flocks of seagulls flew apart in a panic, and herds of sea lions stopped their daily play to glimpse her form jetting through the sky.  But she didn't care.  She was angry.

'It's all his fault.  That human's.  He's the one that's making me feel.  Before him I was fine.  I knew myself and my goals.  I had a brother—someone else who understood me.'

"UNTIL HE BROKE THAT REMOTE!!" she yelled at the clueless sea lions.

She was still flying, and had passed the ocean shore, leading to a mountain region.  She flew far into the interior, until she grew bored with flying.  She wasn't tired, but flying wasn't helping to calm her down.  She landed beside a mountain stream and sank to a seated position, folding her legs under her.  The air was chill, and snow coated the ground.  She was not cold.  If she had been fully human, and vulnerable to the elements, her anger would have kept her warm.

Oh, yes, she felt anger.  Anger at being used, and having all these decisions made for her.  She didn't choose to be an android.  She didn't choose to be a part of Cell.  Krillen had had the perfect chance to spare the world, and her, of the agony of Cell.  That remote was meant to shut her down.  At the time, she'd wanted it.  That's what really hurt her.  If she wanted to kill people, she would have done it by herself.  But she had been used.  And it could have been prevented.  Krillen had sacrificed everyone for her sake.  No, not hers.  His own.  She didn't ask to be spared.  Could it be that she'd already had a death-wish?  Well, not a death-wish, but she certainly hadn't even wanted to kill.

And then he'd saved her again.  And taken out her self-destruct bomb.  And kept following her around.  Bringing out the human in her.  He wouldn't just leave her alone.  It was his fault.  He was the one making her feel. 

She looked into the mountain stream, which was strangely calm.  Since she had flown into another time zone, the sun was just starting to set, and she could see her calm face.  Though she felt anger, her face did not reflect it.  Her skin was still just as white, and not flushed, her eyes still looking clear—almost indifferent.  Did she consciously hide her feelings?  She wasn't sure, since she was still a novice in emotion.  Anyone who looked at her would think her as soulless as any robot—just a machine.  They didn't understand.  They couldn't see inside of her.

A shadow fell across her.  She jumped to her feet, taking a defensive pose.  When she saw the figure before her, she wondered if the fear showed in her eyes, or if it stayed hidden like the anger.

"Hello, Eighteen."

She regarded the boy in front of her.  He was not making any overtly threatening gestures, but of course he didn't have to.

"Hello, Gohan."

Gohan was pulling on his shirt.  Apparently he'd been swimming before, and had just been drying off.  "I wondered who would be all the way out here.  You don't see many people this far into the mountains."

Eighteen tried to read dangerous intent in the boy's face, but he didn't look angry.  Just sad and tired. Of course, she was no expert.  She forced herself to relax slightly, but still kept her guard up.  Mostly to just run away if necessary.

Gohan sank to the ground and started to pull his socks on.  He looked up at the android, and noted her wariness.  "Why don't you sit down?  I don't have to be home for a little while more."

Eighteen sat beside him, but put a little distance between them and kept her eyes on him the entire time.  He had pulled on his shoes, and was now toweling off his hair.  His hair was longer than Eighteen remembered.

Gohan noticed she was still ill at ease.  He gave her a shadowed, yet reassuring smile.  "Don't worry.  I have nothing against you.  I'm not going to attack you."

Eighteen merely stared at him.  He may look like an innocent child now, but she knew that this was the boy that had utterly disintegrated Cell.  The story Krillen had told her was terrifying.  This was not one to be trifled with.

"Do you like swimming?" he asked, clearly uncomfortable with the silence.  When she didn't answer, he continued to babble on.  "I guess you can, since you're a human-type android.  I love swimming, especially around here.  The water's usually cold, but I can just use my ki to warm up.  My dad used to take me every day…"

Gohan broke off suddenly, his eyes darkening.  Eighteen felt—what?—pity for the boy.  Yes, she was sure that's what she felt.  "Why are you not with your mother?" she said, her first real attempt at conversation.

Gohan looked up, his face almost schooled to a neutral expression.  "She's fine.  Grandpa's with her.  But Grandpa told me to stay out as late as I wanted.  Mom's getting pretty moody since—well—since she started showing.  Now that she's getting close, she's pretty freaky to be around.  Bulma offered her a place at Capsule Corp until she has the baby, so that she could be near a hospital, but Mom's pretty stubborn.  She did agree to go tomorrow, but she's not feeling well tonight.  She doesn't want to travel."

Gohan broke off again, when he realized he was practically pouring his heart out.  He usually only did that around Krillen.  Speaking of…

"How's it going with you and Krillen?"

But my dreams

They aren't as empty

As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely

My love is vengeance

That's never free

Eighteen folded her arms.  She felt sorry for the boy, but she didn't feel like opening up or anything.  And how did the boy know anything about that?  "What has Krillen been telling you?"

Gohan smiled.  "He'll sometimes mention your name, but he'll always clam up.  He doesn't talk about you or anything, if that's what you're worried about.  It's just that I feel your ki with his a lot—"

Eighteen's head jerked up.  "Feel my ki?  I don't have any ki to feel.  I'm an android."

"When you first appeared we couldn't feel your ki, but now…  It's still kinda clouded, but it's there.  The more you hang out with Krillen, the stronger it gets."  Gohan scratched the back of his head.  "I don't know what that means, but it makes sense.  I mean, you are more human than machine anyway.  Why shouldn't you be able to utilize ki as well as your android power supply?  That must be what makes you stronger."

'The more you hang out with Krillen…'  Eighteen pondered this.  That was possibly why Krillen had gotten so good at tracking her down of late.  She'd thought she'd gotten too predictable, and Krillen had just checked her old haunts.  But that wasn't it at all.  He was starting to feel her presence.  What did that mean?

"I am not so much human.  I am an android.  I don't have any ki or feelings."  She was mostly trying to convince herself.

Gohan stared at her with eyes that did not belong to a pre-teen boy.  These were eyes that were more experienced in the world than she was.  They were tinged with the unique wisdom of one who had lived a life such as his – a life where he'd had to adapt to any situation, triumph where people many times his age and experience had failed, make enemies into friends out of necessity… these were the eyes of an old man.

"You have ki and you have feelings.  I see them in you, even if you're trying to hide the anger and the pain.  Believe me, I know where you're coming from.  None of my life has been in my control.  I've had to fight because of my power—because of what I am—and I've never had a say in it.  I get angry at everyone for not leaving me alone, and just let me play or be a kid.  So I guess, in a way, I understand you."

Eighteen put her face in her hands.  She was going insane.  What was that—moisture—around her eyes?  Was it tears?  She had seen people cry before, but never her.  Never an android.  And she was crying in front of the boy, no less.

If she was expecting ridicule, she was disappointed.  Gohan tactfully ignored the evidence of her new-found emotion and got up, stretching his cramped muscles.  "Gotta get home.  Nice seeing you."  He walked into the darkness of the woods, leaving her alone beside the stream.  She considered finding a place to stay for the night, but instead she just sat there, looking up at the stars til past midnight.  It was the only way she could think.

Was he right?  Could the boy be right?  Well, he may be just a boy, but he had been alive longer than she had.  Eighteen fought back the odd tightness in her throat.  She was going insane.  That's what it was.  She had this new-found humanity, and it was breaking her apart.  Why else would she be sitting on a mountain beside someone she had been so sure would be the one to kill her?  Why else would she be identifying with him?  Why else would her mood change so quickly in less than an hour?  She had all these emotions, and she couldn't process them.  She pictured the B-movies when robots would experience emotion, and then have a meltdown, spreading sparks and saying in a monotone, "DOES NOT COMPUTE.  DOES NOT COMPUTE."  The image had amused her before, but now she felt like it was happening to her, and it was a scary thing.  What would happen if she went mad?  She was starting to feel like this all the time.  The only time when she could feel emotion, and not have it tear her apart, was when…

In the blink of an eye, she was gone from the side of the stream, racing through the cold air, to a place so familiar.

When my fist clenches, crack it open

Before I use it and lose my cool

When I smile, tell me some bad news

Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil

Put your finger down my throat

If I shiver, please give me a blanket

Keep me warm; let me wear your coat

She walked quietly into the small shack, the snores of Master Roshi and Oolong covering the creak of the door.  Krillen was at the couch, putting some steaming popcorn into a bowl.  The familiar voice of Rod Serling and the famous theme song was playing in the background.  And Krillen was purposefully ignoring her.

She took a few hesitant steps forward.  Had she pushed him too far that last time?  Was he sick of her by now—sick of her berating him for reaching out to her?  She almost left, but didn't know where to go.  So she crossed the room and sat in a chair near the couch, resting on the edge and leaning forward.  She had even picked up the human mannerisms of when they were ill at ease.  Imagine, being ill at ease around Krillen.

"Umm," she started, "Is the invitation still open?"

Krillen merely stared forward, pretending not to have heard.

"Krillen?"

The former monk turned the television off in frustration and turned to face her.  She had never seen him show this much anger.  "What am I, your boyfriend?" Krillen growled out bitterly.

Eighteen was shocked.  This wasn't right.  Krillen was supposed to always be there, and forever imploring.  This was so unlike him—this glaring expression—that was more frightening than Gohan had been.  At least, it seemed that way to her.

"Krillen, I—"

"No, Eighteen.  Let me talk for a minute.  I know I do the talking most of the time, but you seem to make up for it."

Eighteen's eyes widened, but she listened.

"I know your life has been hard, and I know you're just now starting to understand everything, but that doesn't give you the right to play with my emotions like this.  If you'd just rejected me from the beginning, I would have understood.  It wouldn't have been the first time.  But you won't make up your mind.  If you like me, then stop berating me for talking to you.  If you don't like me, then stop coming over at night.  You can't have it both ways.  I need to know where I stand.  So… choose already."

The short speech had been eloquent and without stutters or pauses.  It sounded like he'd been rehearsing for a long time.  Somehow, his anger and hurt feelings had given him the confidence to get it out.  Eighteen cast her eyes down.  She had just realized how much she needed someone that night.  And she hadn't even realized how she'd been behaving.  Yes, she needed someone.  Maybe that showed through in her eyes, because Krillen stopped glaring.

"Krillen, I don't know how to be human.  I'm becoming more and more human, and I think I'm going crazy.  I don't know how to handle this.  I—"

Tears formed in her eyes.  Krillen's eyes widened as her shields began to break down, and what was left was confused and alone.  Krillen blink some tears from his own eyes.  That was it.  She'd chosen.

He crossed the room and pulled her to his chest.  She stiffened in his embrace, but then slowly relaxed.   She knew he would take care of her.  She almost laughed at her own state.  She had been one of the most formidable foes Earth had ever known.  And yet, she was reduced to needing someone to take care of her.  But it wasn't a bad feeling, as far as she could tell.  She felt safe now.  This was a man who could teach her how to be human and how to cope with these emotions.  This was a man who could keep her sane.  This was a man who wouldn't reject her—who was the first to see the humanity in her. 

The evening ended like so many others.  The two sat on the couch long into the night, watching the strange stories of aliens, robots, and paradoxes in time and space—the stories barely even matching the super-strong noseless monk and the even stronger blue-eyed android leaning against each other.  As the night wore on, the two would fall asleep.  They would wake in the morning to the sounds of the many inhabitants of Kame Island rousing for the new day.  Those people would find nothing strange about finding the android on the couch, and they would go on about their daily routines.  Maybe they thought Krillen was making a mistake, and that he was wasting his time with a machine.  Or maybe they saw the subtle changes in the android, the changes that would lead to a new family on the island.  Who knows?  But one thing is for certain.  Something in Eighteen broke that night, and created something beautiful in its place.  She had realized her own feelings, and had come to terms with herself and the world—partly because of a battle-weary demi-Saiyan boy who had inherited his father's judge of character.  But mostly because of a man who fully accepted her for what she was and what she had become.

She was now no longer an evil soulless android.

She was alive.

No one know what it's like

To be the bad man

To be the sad man

Behind blue eyes