Disclaimer: I don't own DBZ/GT
A/N: I've actually had more than half of this typed up for several months. But it is the last chapter and I really wanted it to be good and I reached a point where I just didn't know what came next. Until tonight, when the words just came to me and I finally got the ending I had been trying to get for ever. I guess something was letting me know it was finally time to out this one to bed.
I hope that you enjoy it.
"Have you seen Krillen?" 18 appeared in the doorway to the living room, and eyed Mater Roshi. She had searched the house from top to bottom and he was no where to be found.
Roshi glanced at 18 from the side of his glasses, he was scared of her, but a lifetime of staring at pretty girls had taught him a few sneaky tricks. "He's on the roof. I wouldn't bother him if I were you"
"Why?" 18 asked
"Krillen is a complex boy," Roshi started, "if he's up there, then something's on his mind. He'll come back indoors when he's ready"
"I see," 18 replied, and turned to leave, but she had one last thing to say to Roshi before she left "If I catch you starting at me one more time, I'm going to take your eyes, and rip them out of your head"
The sky was littered with stars, as far as the eye could see, Krillen tipped his head back and gazed up at them. He felt peaceful under the stars. Mater Roshi had told him once, when he was only a boy, that everybody who had ever lived on the Earth had looked up those same stars. He found comfort in that thought. It made him and his problems feel small – and small problems were problems that were easily solved.
All week, Krillen felt like he had been floating on a cloud – 18 was living on the island! It had seemed as though all of his dreams were coming true. And then, one by one, the doubts came. The niggling little thoughts that started in the back of his mind, and then grew in size and number until they consumed his whole brain to the point where he was unable to function like a normal human being.
This was always how it happened, and he had been a fool to think that this time was going to be any different. Self doubt had always been his greatest flaw, and no matter how hard he worked to convinced himself that he was a good person who deserved to live a happy life, everyday his demons tormented him. They were relentless in their attacks, and now that something good finally seemed to be coming his way, he knew something was going to happen to bring him crashing back down, to take him back to the dark, horrible place he was at right after Cell – he was destined to be unhappy, he knew it.
Now that 18 was here, he knew he was doomed. He was head over heels in love with her, it was a love stronger than any he had ever felt before. This wasn't just a mere infatuation, this was so much more, this was full on, all out, complete and utter heart consuming love.
Krillen grimaced at the thought. How the hell was he meant to live in the same house as a goddess like 18, when all he could think about was how much he loved her, and the last thing she wanted was another relationship? What she needed right now was a friend. Someone to support her and be there for her, no strings attached – and Krillen feared that he was not that man.
Burying his head deep in his hands, Krillen groaned. What had he gotten himself into?
Krillen jumped at the sound of his name being called, and quickly spun around to see 18 climbing out of the window. She perched herself beside him on the roof and sat quietly, listening to the claming sounds of the ocean.
"Roshi told me to not disturb you, while you we're up here. I hope you don't mind"
Krillen couldn't bring himself too look 18 in the eyes, instead he just shrugged his shoulders, not even attempting to put on his usual happy demeanour "It ok, it's your house too"
Instantly, 18 picked up on the uneasiness in Krillen's voice. He sounded so different, not at all like the happy-go-lucky Krillen she had come to know and love. This was clearly a whole other side of the small human, a darker side that she had never believed he would have.
"Are you ok?" she asked, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.
Krillen took a few long deep breaths before he replied. He didn't know what to say to the beautiful woman beside him. Should he come clean and confess his conundrum to her, or lie and save face. He knew he didn't have time to think. 18 was waiting for him to reply, so he took the easy option, for the millionth time in his life, Krillen took the cowards way out. "I'm fine" he forced a smile onto his weary face, "Just tired"
18 wrinkled her brow. Why was Krillen lying to her? He was a shocking liar, it was painfully obvious that he was not fine, something was troubling him. However, 18 knew better than to push the situation. If it had been the other way around, and she was in his shoes, she would not want Krillen prying into her personal life, and so she would pay him the same respect and leave his business to him.
"It's freezing out here" she stated, changing the subject, "You should head inside before you catch cold"
Slowly, Krillen blinked and noticed that his skin was indeed covered in goosebumps. He had been so consumed in his thoughts that he hadn't even noticed the steady decline in the temperature. Nodding his head, Krillen stood up and climbed back in the window, 18 followed his lead and climbed in after him.
For the first time, she noticed her surroundings, she had been so intent on finding Krillen the first time, that she had taken no notice of the room, and it was only now that she actually realised she was standing in Krillen's bedroom.
It was small, perhaps smaller than the guest room where she was now staying. The only furniture Krillen had was a double bed which looked like it was about as old as he was, and a low chest of draws, on top of which sat a number of old photos and nick-knacks.
"Uh…" the sound of Krillen's nervous fidgeting snapped her out of her little trance and she turned to look at him. He was blushing, and 18 suddenly realised that they were alone in his room. What would Roshi think when they emerged?
Sensing Krillen's uneasiness at the situation they were currently in, 18 walked across the small room and quietly slipped out the door. Krillen listened to her make her way down the hall and into her own room, before he collapsed onto the bed and buried his head as deep into the pillow as he possibly could without suffocating himself.
Why did he always have to make such an idiot out of himself? Why did he always have to pick the worst possible course of action, every single time? How come for once in his life, he couldn't just say the right thing, have the right gesture, know exactly what needed to be done. Why did he always screw everything up?
Not only had he just been presented with the perfect opportunity to confront 18 with his feelings, but he had had her alone in his bedroom and he had practically told her to get lost and leave him alone. He couldn't do this. He couldn't love 18 the way he did any more. What she needed right now was a true friend who had nothing more than her best interests at heart, not a man trying to win her over.
Sitting up, Krillen raked his hands back through his hair and sighed. He seriously needed to get a grip on his feelings before he scared 18 away for good. That was the absolute last thing that he wanted. He had to have 18 in his life, of that he was sure, and if that meant that he had to put his own feelings aside and simply be the friend that 18 needed then so be it. For the sake of 18's happiness, Krillen was willing to give up his own. He honestly loved her that much, that his own happiness was a small price to pay for 18 to have hers.
18 was up early the next morning, even before dawn broke. Stars still hung in the sky, one by one disappearing and giving way to what was sure to be another perfect day on the tropical island. She had hardly slept a wink the night before; her poor mind was overloaded with so many thoughts and emotions.
It had been a week and a half since she had made the decision to make the Kame Island her home, and she still wasn't sure she had made the right choice. A year ago she had sworn to herself that she was going to live her life like a normal human being, unnoticed by everyone while she went about her business, she had been doing that with Dai, and it had all been going well until that one night.
To this day, she still didn't know why Dai had insisted she go with him to the class that night. She assumed he had been bragging about his piece of ass in previous sessions and so had brought her along to boast. That was the sort of guy he was, a complete and utter sleaze, with no values, no morals and no respect for anyone. She had been with him for 7 agonising months and still, she knew very little about him. She knew he was kicked out of home at 16 and had been on the wrong side of the law ever since, he was a drug dealer, 18 wasn't meant to know about that but when she had one day stumbled across several bags of cocaine in the bag seat of the car while unloading groceries, and then they had amazingly vanished the next morning, there was really only one logical conclusion to come too. He was a chronic alcoholic, bourbon being his poison of choice, though he would drink virtually anything with an alcohol content. He truly was a pathetic waste of space, and 18 still wasn't sure that she had made the right decision in leaving him.
She had wanted so badly to be normal. She craved nothing more than to be like everyone else, yet it seemed she was never going to live a life of normality. She had tried her hardest to live with Dai, to do what normal people did, and despite her best efforts, she had failed.
18 sighed and her shoulders slumped. Even here on the Kame Island, she would never life a 'normal' life. There was nothing normal about living on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere, with a perverted old man, a talking pig and an ex monk as room mates.
She did like it here though, she would admit that much. Just one look at the bright pink house and you could tell that this was a happy place. Shifting her gaze, she looked up to one of the second story windows, it was wide open and the curtains were flapping about in the gentle morning breeze. It was Krillen's room.
Her mind wandered back to the night before when they had been sitting on the roof. He had seemed different last night, cold and aloof. She wasn't used to seeing that side of him at all. She wondered if it was because of her. Maybe he was having second thoughts about having her on the island. She couldn't say that she blamed him; she wasn't exactly the ideal house mate; nervous, confused and uneasy. She would hardly be an easy person to live with.
Standing up, 18 brushed herself free of sand and headed up the beach towards the house. Inside, Roshi and Oolong were sprawled across the couch, the TV flickering in front of them, even though they were both fast asleep. No doubt they had been up all night watching 'adult material' they really were both disgusting in every way imaginable.
Shaking her head at the pair, she turned and headed for the kitchen.
Krillen was already sitting at the table drinking his morning coffee. There was an awkward silence between the two, neither of them knowing what to say to the other. Inwardly, 18 sighed. It wasn't meant to be like this. Living with Dai may not have made her happy, but this just wasn't normal, even she could see that.
She looked across at Krillen, who lifted his eyes and stared back at her. Instantly, Krillen knew that something was up with the beauty before him. Her eyes, there was something about them that he had never seen before. She looked sad and hurt and guilty.
He opened his mouth to ask her what was on her mind, but she beat him to it. "Krillen" she spoke his name with a softness not even she knew she possessed. "I'm sorry"
Krillen's heart began to race, conversations that started with the word sorry, never ended well, he knew from far too much experience. "No!" he blurted out in his sudden panic. "Don't do this 18"
She looked at him in confusion, how did he know what was going on inside her head. "I want to be normal, Krillen" she said after a few long minutes of quiet contemplation, and then she quietly turned and left.
Krillen sat, startled for a moment, letting the words sink in and register in his brain. By the time he finally understood the impact of 18's words, she had long since left the room. Suddenly, Krillen jumped into action, leaping from his chair and sending his coffee mug crashing to the ground. He bolted from the room and bounded up the stairs to find 18.
This was it, it was do or die time. If he didn't convince her right now to stay, then she was going to leave and he wasn't going to get another chance to win her back.
"18" he didn't wait for her to grant him permission, he just shoved his way through the door and into her room.
"18, stop!" he pleaded with her, "Please. I'll do anything".
"There's nothing you can do Krillen" 18 said sadly as she crammed her belongings into her backpack. She couldn't believe it had come to this. She had, in the matter of one day, gone from being confident and happy in her decision to doing a completely 180˚ and running scared, straight back into the life she had sworn she would never return to.
"Is it me?" Krillen asked, desperate for his beloved to stay, "I'm sorry, if my feelings for you are wrong. I know you probably don't feel the same way about me that I feel about you, but I can work on it. I swear I'll work on it"
"It's not you Krillen, it's me. Remember when I told you all I wanted was to live a normal life, like a normal human being?"
Krillen just nodded his head dumbly, lost for words.
"I don't think I can have that here. I mean, look around, nothing about this place is normal"
"The way you were living with Dai wasn't normal either though!" Krillen blurted out, suddenly finding his voice.
18 blinked, waiting for Krillen to continue speaking, she was interested to hear what he was going to say.
"For crying out loud out loud 18, you were miserable with Dai. It is in no way normal to live your entire life living under someone else's thumb and forgetting about who you are. That's not what life is about."
"What is it about then?" She asked quietly
"It's about being happy!" Krillen exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air in frustration. "A normal life is a life where you are happy. That's it."
18 sat herself down on the edge of her bed, Krillen's words sinking deep into her brain. What was she going to do? She didn't really want to leave the island; she did want a normal life; and she did want to make Krillen happy, she really had grown quite fond of the small human since their first chance encounter.
Looking up and across at him, 18 asked, "What do you want me to do, Krillen?"
His shoulders slumped and he shook his head, before he replied with what seemed like the only conceivable answer. "I want to share my whole life with you, and I want this to be where you feel safe and happy. I want you to feel like you're nothing more than one hundred per cent human and perfect in every way. I want you to stay, but more than that, I want you to want to stay"
18 couldn't help the small smile that crept up onto her face. "I want to stay"
Krillen's whole body felt so much lighter hearing 18 speak those words, so much so that he may have lifted right off the ground if he hadn't controlled himself. She wasn't going anywhere. Stepping further into the room, Krillen asked "Is this really over now? Can I stop worrying about you packing up and going?"
"You don't have to worry anymore Krillen. I'm here for good"
"Well then, how about I help you pack your things away once and for all"
"I'd like that"
As 18 carefully folded her clothes and placed them back in her draws, a thought popped up into her head. A fleeting comment Krillen had made earlier, that had only now registered in her brain. Her brow furrowed as she thought about it, wondering exactly what it was that he meant. Well, she thought, there was only one way to find out.
"Krillen, what did you mean before, when you said that I don't feel the same way about you, as you do about me?"
Krillen stopped dead, and the blood drained from his face. In the heat of the moment, in his complete and utter desperation to keep 18 on the island, he had blurted out the first thought that came into his head.
"I…" he trailed off, not knowing what the right thing to say was.
18 looked at him quizzically, waiting to hear what he had to say for himself.
"I guess…" he said and ran his fingers back through his hair, then in a move that was completely unlike him, he threw caution to the wind and just blurted it out "I'm in love with you 18, I have been since the very first time I laid my eyes on you"
"Hmm" 18 put her thinking face back on as she took in this latest development, she knew that it was her turn to say something now, but she needed some more time to put together a coherent sentence. She was fairly sure that no one had ever been in love with her before. It was a nice feeling, or maybe it was just nice because it was Krillen who loved her.
"I think," she began, "I think that if you give me some time, that I could fall in love with you too."
Krillen swore that he felt his heart skip a beat or two upon hearing those words leave 18's beautiful lips. Never had he imagined that something like this could happen to him, he wasn't good enough for 18. No! He quickly squashed those thoughts before they had a chance to grow into anything more sinister.
"You think?" he asked, still a little, or a lot bewildered by the events of the morning.
18 nodded, "Just give me some time, ok"
Krillen beamed and felt his heat soar. "18, I am going to give you the most boringly normal life you could ever possibly imagine!"
18 laughed, a real genuine laugh that came from her heart, and she knew in that moment that she had made the right decision. She was home and she was happy, and everything was perfectly normal.
A/N: Well, that's the end of that. I really like this story and I hope that you have enjoyed it to. I'm not giving up yet though, I'm still as in love with Krillen and 18 as I have always been, so you can expect plenty more work from me in the future, so keep your eyes peeled.
Thank you to everyone who has ever read or reviewed this. It truly honours and humbles me that people enjoy what I do and I am forever grateful to be surrounded by such kind and amazingly talented people.
Much love, until next time