Disclaimer; I don't own DBZ or anything remotely related to DBZ, how sweet would it be if I did though?
A/N; Well, I FINALLY got up off my butt and got the last chapter of Mind Games completed. I really hope that you enjoy it at least a little. I opted for a simple ending, just a nice way to sum up everything that has taken place. You could call it an epilogue. Thank you to everyone who has supported me during this little adventure, I can't put into words how much your support means to me. I hope you enjoy this last chapter; I dedicate it to everyone who has ever left me a review on any of my works.
"Are you sure that everything is alright here?" Bulma asked as she glanced around the Kame house, hands on her hips akimbo style.
"Yes Bulma" Krillen smiled, as he placed his hand on Bulma's shoulder "Everything is totally fine. You don't have to worry"
"Yes I do, I'm your friend, it's my job to worry" replied Bulma as she picked up a pillow and began to fluff it.
"Bulma," 18 took the pillow from the woman's hands. "Please, you've done enough for us already. Stop"
"Fine," Bulma sighed, defeated. She wasn't going to win, she didn't mind really, she hated cleaning, but still, she had to ask one more time, "Are you sure?"
Rolling his eyes, Krillen shook his head, "Yes Bulma, yes. Go home, to your family, it's late"
"Alright, I'll call tomorrow to make sure everything's ok"
"Which it will be" Krillen pipped up as he opened the door for his friend. "Goodbye"
Krillen stood in the doorway and watched as Bulma got in her plane and blasted off over the dark ocean. When he finally shut the door he leaned against it and laughed. "I thought she'd never leave"
"I know" 18 agreed, a smile on her face as she watched Marron play with blocks on the floor. The little girl still had wet hair from her bath, it hadn't been tied back and 18 noticed just how much of herself she really could see in her daughter.
"Marron?" she called to the little girl, who looked up at her mother and flashed her a bright smile. "Ready for bed?"
Marron nodded her head and stood up. She was a good girl who had been through a lot. It was well and truly time for her life to return to something that somewhat resembled normal.
"I'll get her a bottle" Krillen said, then headed off into the kitchen, where there was still a garbage can covering the big hole in the window. He really would call someone to fix it tomorrow; the rainy season was fast approaching. 18 walked into the kitchen while Krillen was heating Marron's bottle in the microwave. She came and rested beside him on the bench and sighed.
"You alright?" Krillen asked, moving his hand to rest on top of hers.
"Yeah, maybe" she replied quietly, as she gazed at the garbage bag, "I don't know"
"Hey," Krillen squeezed her hand, "It's over now, you're ok, everything's ok"
The microwave beeped, and 18 busied herself fixing the bottle. Krillen walked into the living room, picked up Marron and took her upstairs to bed.
He was reluctant to let her go that night, he just wanted to hold her, and keep her safe from harm until the sun came up. As he lowered her into the crib, he smiled, her eyes were already growing heavy as he adjusted the covers around her.
"Goodnight Marron. I love you, so much. I'm sorry you were dragged into this horrible mess, but it's over now, I swear, it's all over now" he ran his hand across her soft hair as he spoke. Leaning into the crib, he kissed the little girl on the forehead, then stepped aside so 18 could repeat the process. They watched the little girl for a few minutes before walking across the hall and into their own bedroom.
"Hey." Krillen called as he relaxed against his pillow
"Yeah," 18 replied, appearing in the doorway to the bathroom, a toothbrush poking out the side of her mouth.
Krillen paused, and smiled at her, "I love you"
"I know" 18 smiled back at him, "I love you too"
18 disappeared back into the small bathroom and Krillen got changed into his pyjamas and pulled back the bed covers. It wasn't long until 18 joined him, and snuggled down beside him.
"Thank you," she whispered, as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the feeling of Krillen running his fingers through her hair.
"For what?" he asked
"For not giving up on me through this whole mess. You were always by my side no matter what. I don't know what I would have done with out you" she smiled into the darkness and wrapped her arms around his firm stomach.
Krillen kissed 18's head and sighed. "You're never going to have to worry about being without me sweet heart. As long as there is life in my body, I'll be with you. I'm not about to give up on you, I promise. Now go to sleep, it's been a big day"
"Fine," 18 yawned, her eyelids already growing heavy, "goodnight"
Krillen bounced Marron on his lap as he sat at the kitchen table the next morning drinking his coffee. She laughed and squealed with a joyous glee that Krillen hadn't heard in a long time.
"Krillen my boy" Roshi shut the door of the refrigerator and sat down with his former student and long time friend, "will you please call the glazier today. My house has been in shambles for weeks now"
"Yeah," Krillen's voice halted, "Master. I'm so sorry for everything that has happened here. We took over your home, and got you caught up in all our messy drama. I wish there was something I could do to make it up to you"
"Don't be stupid, Krillen." Roshi scolded him "None of this was any fault of yours or 18's, and even if it were, I would forgive you in a second. You're all part of my family, and you know that family stick together no matter what"
Krillen smiled, he really was lucky to have such an amazing family. A wife who loved him, a daughter who he adored and a man who was practically his father and always looked out for him. He was truly been blessed.
"I'm going to take Marron outside ok. If 18 comes down, tell her where we are please"
"Of course, my boy"
"Thank you Master"
Outside, the morning sun was shining brightly. Krillen placed his daughter down at the bottom of the steps and she quickly waddled down the beach to play with the sand and pick up washed up cuttlefish. Krillen sat down on the bottom step and watched his little girl play. He thanked God for this moment that he had been so sure he wasn't going to be granted. The doctors had told him that Marron was going to be fine, but to Krillen, words meant nothing during those dark days. All he could do was look at his daughter, the child he had helped to create, and know that he had failed in his job to look after her. Well he wasn't going to let anything like that happen again – ever. He was going to look after 18 and Marron right until his last dying breath. He knew in his heart that he would give his life in a instant, without so much as a second though for either of them, but now he also knew, that if the need ever arouse, he would also prove it. There was nothing he wouldn't do for his girls.
"Marron, no!" he suddenly tuned back into reality to spot his daughter only seconds away from getting bitten by a crab. He didn't want to have tears at only 9.30 in the morning. Marron looked up at her father, and the crab scuttled away to hide further along the beach. Krillen smiled at her and waved, and she ran back up the beach, and into Krillen's now open arms. Krillen kissed the top of her head and smiled into her hair. She soon went back to playing in the sand with her toys. Even after everything she had been through, she seemed not to have a care in the world.
"Why didn't you wake me? It's almost 10?" Krillen blinked as 18 sat down beside him and smiled.
Leaning over and kissing her, he replied, "You needed the sleep"
"You know I don't like to sleep in"
"But you're cute when you sleep"
18 raised an amused eyebrow at her husband then turned to watch her daughter play. Krillen reached over and took 18's hand in his, he laced his fingers with hers and together they sat. Silently watching their child, pride and joy filling their bodies.
18 wasn't sure how much time passed, how long she had been enjoying everything being normal and perfect, but her stomach was telling her it was time for food. So, standing up, she headed into the house, Krillen and Marron followed shortly after.
Krillen joined his wife in the kitchen soon; the diamond in her engagement ring caught the sun and cast shimmering reflections all around the small room. It made him happy. Looking up at him, 18 couldn't help the smile that spread across her face, she hadn't been happy for such a long time; she had almost forgotten what it had been like to feel good.
She had feared, while 17 had been with them, that she might have easily reverted back to her old ways. 17 had that kind of power over her, she found it so hard to resist him, and had she been put in the same situation only three years ago, she would have returned to her old life with her twin, no questions asked, had he come to her, she would have gone.
But this was not three years ago. This was now, and now, she had a family who she loved more than she ever even knew it was possible to love. A husband, her best friend and partner in life, she depended on him more than she realised, and above all, she loved him. And a daughter, a tiny baby girl who relied on her mother to be there for her, she was responsible for creating life, and taking care of that life she had helped create was her most important job, a job she cherished with every ounce of life in her body.
And then 17 came into the picture, and everything became a little hazy, and she got confused, and confusion scared her. She didn't know what to do. Torn between her brother and her family. She didn't like being scared, it was not something pleasant, it made her weak, and when 17 scared her she became weak. Luckily though, her love for her family helped her overcome her fear, and she made the right choice in the end. Now, in the small kitchen of their home, with her husband, she knew she had made the right choice.
"18…uh…" Krillen stumbled on his words; he avoided making eye contact with his wife, and played with his hands, "I…I wanted to ask you something." He reminded 18 of what he was like when they had first met, scared, shy and unsure of himself, straight away, 18 was worried.
"What the matter Krillen?" she asked, staring at him.
"Nothing, nothing." He quickly assured her, "it's just that, I know you probably don't wanna talk about this."
"Yeah" he nodded.
He was right; she didn't want to talk about this. But it had to come up sooner or later, so they may as well clear it all up now, once and for all.
"Did you kill him?"
18 shook her head, "I couldn't" she whispered.
"But 18, after all the wrong he's done to our family…" he trailed off. "What do you mean you couldn't?"
"I mean; I couldn't do it" she replied, "Not only because I was weak and wounded, but because deep down I love him, Krillen. You know that. I know you don't have any family besides Marron and me, so maybe you don't know what it's like. But 17 and I, you know what we've been through together; you know that he is the only other person in this entire galaxy that is like me. He's the only other one, who knows about the pain, and the torment and the suffering, but above all he's my brother Krillen, nothing is ever going to change that, and I couldn't do it. I couldn't kill my own brother. Don't be mad Krillen, please"
"Hey, he took the few steps to his wife and wrapped his arms around her, "I couldn't ever be mad at you, don't even think it for one second. You've been so strong and brave through all of this, I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for you to have to watch your brother acting like that"
"It's hurt Krillen"
"I bet it did."
They were silent for a few minutes; Krillen rubbed slow, comforting circles on his wife's back until another question popped into the front of his mind. "You don't think he'll come back do you?"
"I don't know," 18 shrugged, "he might. But I'm not going to make the same mistakes I did last time. I won't try to deal with it all on my own; when it's clear he needs help. If he does come back, which I doubt he will, we will get him the help that he needs."
"We still need to be careful though honey, you need to be especially careful, he could very easily show up again, when we least expect it"
18 shrugged her shoulders, "I doubt it, he knows now, that the second he tries everything, everyone is going to be on him straight away. He knows he's not safe."
They stayed like that for several minutes, 18 cherished the moments like this, when her world was at peace, but soon Roshi poked his head into the kitchen. "I think someone is ready for her drink" he said, then quickly disappeared again, so he wouldn't have to get it himself. Krillen laughed, then pulled away from his wife and turned to the fridge.
"You do know I love you, right?" 18 asked as she washed out Marron's cup
"I know, I love you too" Krillen replied over his shoulder
"And you know that, I never meant for any of this to happen"
"Of course I do, I know you didn't want this to happen"
"I'm sorry I didn't come to you sooner than I did, I didn't know what to do though"
"It's ok," Krillen turned to face her again, "What do you say we put this behind us now? Move on?"
18 closed her eyes and smiled, she hadn't heard such a good idea in a long time, "I couldn't think of anything better"
"Well then," Krillen took 18's hand in his and smiled at her, "starting right now, we've put all of this behind us. It's time to be happy again"
18 shook her head with amusement, Krillen always managed to make her feel better, it was why she loved him as much as she did. He made her feel special, but more importantly, he took the time to make her feel special, that was something no one had ever done for her before she met Krillen.
"C'mon, let's go" said Krillen wrapping his arms around her and leading her out the kitchen. The door swung shut behind them.
A/N; So I decided to go for the simple ending. Just a nice little way to tie everything up. I really hope you all enjoyed "Mind Games" I'm sad it's over, I really enjoyed writing it, but it's time to start a new project. Your thoughts and opinions on this story as a whole would be much appreciated. Anything you think I could improve on as an author? Throw me your idea's, it's the only way I'll improve. Lastly, I'd like to thank each and every single one of your for leaving me so many wonderful reviews on this. Even if you ever just left me one review then never came back to this again, I thank you for taking that little bit of time to appreciate me as a writer and even an aspiring author. So thank you. It means more to me than you could ever know!