The Final Word: Well, here it is folks—the final chapter. A HUGE thanks to my darling friend AVC, who helped this chapter along and helped me make it work. I had told you before why I was so set on having 21 chapters when I learned it would pass the 15 mark (which I'm really surprised it did!). It may seem strange, but I though it was cool and barely significant; 21 chapters for a fanfic written on Cell, Android 21. Neat, eh? So this chapter is pretty long compared to others in the past for that reason. hehe. I also know that I'll be doing stuff today and be like omg I didn't put that in!
Anyway, again, I've pulled out things from episodes that do not belong to me in any way. Also, it's very choppy concerning the sequences you may remember from the show. I hate Gohan so I didn't want him to have the glory of owning a big portion of this chapter. I wrote what I thought was necessary for the plot. The rest of what I want to say will be at the end so I don't blurt out and ruin anything before you read it.
But I will reply to those who posted a review to chapter 20 (before I posted this chapter)
Aquasage: Thank you kindly! I figured that's what I could get away with since everyone who is reading this fic has seen the Cell Games at least twice or so and is familiar with what goes on. And I totally agree with you. Goku is way to trusting and should have known that the tournament wasn't just a game, but a fight for survival. What the hell he was thinking by throwing Cell a damn bean was beyond me. Yamcha had it right—with Cell, who really cared about being fair? -snicker- I hope you had a good New Year as well, my friend :)
Draguna: It would've been amusing to see if Cell would've been jealous, but I think at that point Cell would be more concerned on fighting than anything else. If anything he might've thought that Layrial being with the Z Fighters was a little more safer for her, but he had warned her about being there, so his feelings towards her at that point was that it was her own fault if anything happened ;) But your review did remind me of something I completely forgot to leave out, so I had to go back to it this morning and add it in. Hopefully you'll notice what that is, but I don't want to say it here as to not ruin it for anyone ;)
Black Mors: Ah yes…Gohan. I've always hated that child since day one. He's always been a damn crybaby, I hated that damn hat he wore when he was like 5, and the number one reason…he killed Cell. It was his own fault it had to go as far as it did, so I don't feel bad for him in the least. I blame him for Goku's death at the end of that saga. And yeah….like I said to aquasage….Goku is dumb. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your lovely compliments. It means a lot and I'm glad to hear that it's been that good for you. What shall everyone do when you finish the last paragraph? What the heck am I going to do now? lol
Reindeer sausage: Here it is…Thank you very much :) I've been holding off getting to this chapter not only because it was confusing to write and I had to keep going back to it for adjustments, but I'll say that I'm going to miss it and all my reviews from you guys.
Chapter 21: Providence
The boy stood his ground as Cell approached with the squeaky footing I had become so familiar with. I don't know what was going through either of their heads, but I wanted to know what sort of lunatic would send his son to fight such a…yes, I'll say it—monster. If Goku was crazy in the head, that would explain it; but maybe there was something that I had missed along the way that would have filled me in on just why a boy no more than ten-years-old, I guessed, would be any match for such a powerful person, err…android.
I watched as the kid yelled out like the Cell and Goku had earlier, the same glow surrounding him. I wish I knew what the hell that meant. I'd have to remember to ask before this all ended. Anyway, I found my hands balled up into tight fists, obviously my way of sitting on the edge of a seat I wasn't sitting on since I was crouched next to a rock in the middle of the desert.
Cell had launched his attack. The boy flew up and Cell followed; the boy flew down and Cell shot out those little light balls; Cell kicked and swung a fist and the boy deflected them. He was stronger than I thought. Maybe he was able to give Cell a run for his money…but Cell was so much bigger it was hard to make any considerations in the kid's favor.
And then I saw that I had jumped the gun—Cell started to beat down the kid so hard I thought he was breaking every bone in his little body. He kicked him, tossed him and even landed a foot against the side of the kid's head. I gasped and covered my mouth with a sweaty hand; I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Cell was beating this kid into the ground! Had he absolutely no remorse whatsoever? No Layrial, this is Cell you're talking about. Oh yeah…that's right.
The kid stood up and wiped his mouth as Cell landed and took a few steps forward. "Well, Gohan, I see you're ready for round two."
"I'm ready whenever you are you creep," this kid, whose name was apparently Gohan, said. I actually gave the kid a silent cheer for verbally standing up to Cell. God only knew I had done it enough.
They started again…and it continued the way it had the first time. The kid was jumping around and blocking Cell's attacks, but finally Cell had done the inevitable and took control. But what startled me was the fact that he hit the boy hard enough that he went sailing into a nearby mountain, which ultimately collapsed on him. I jumped and up looked on, my eyes wide and my heart pounding at the sight of a murder of a young boy. Cell…how could you…?
"That was almost too easy," I heard Cell say to himself. "Then again, it always is." He smiled and turned his attention to the group above me. "Well Goku, it seems I have won. Now, are you going to fight me or not?"
"Nope! Take a look behind you!" Goku called out.
Cell did so and so did I and everyone else. The rubble burst out in all directions and from beneath the cloud of dust came the kid, clothes torn and blood smeared on his face, but he glowed, giving him a radiance that said he wasn't finished just yet.
"I see that you have more nerve than I gave you credit for," Cell said to him once the rejoined the party.
"You don't have to do this," the kid said. "This fighting—it's meaningless."
Cell laughed loudly. "Do honestly think I'll stop my Cell Games because you think they're meaningless? Well think again! If you don't fight me here today I'll destroy the Earth! Now how's that for meaning?
"You don't get it…."
I listened very carefully, as did Cell I think, to what this kid was saying. With the wind stirring it was hard for me to catch everything, but basically the kid had a hidden power that could be devastating if awakened? Whatever that meant…
Cell chuckled. "An interesting story; but it didn't work. Not in the way you expected, that is. In fact, you've given me something to work for. I want to see this power of yours for myself!" At that point he pounced and unleashed an array of unmerciful attacks that was making the kid scream out in pain. Both of my hands were over my mouth now and I was tempted to just cover my eyes until I could be certain it was over.
"Do you hear me? I want you to be furious!" Cell kicked out, but the kid fought back and hit Cell down. Cell smiled and stood up, his thumb wiping away a small trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth. "Well then, I might just get through to you yet."
He raised his hand and pointed a pale gray finger. I couldn't believe what he started to do—it was like a laser gun built into his finger or something because that's exactly what it looked like shooting out at the kid. The boy jumped around and dodged them, but he had landed right in front of me. I stood up, but Cell didn't seem to take any notice. He shot out one more…
I landed on the ground very hard and I could feel the wind being knocked out of me after I jumped away. I looked over my shoulder to see Cell staring at me sternly, but neither he nor anyone else said anything about me almost dying. How I felt the love at that moment…
It didn't seem to phase Cell at all. He just continued his attempts to get the kid angry. This time he locked the boy in a strong bear-hug that looked like it was crushing every bone in the poor thing's body.
Again, Cell laughed. "Think about it—what a wretched way to die! And there's nothing no one can do about it; except for you, Gohan. So get angry! It makes you mad that you're in pain."
I wanted to yell out at Cell to let him go. It was too much for me to take. I couldn't bear to watch this any longer! And when I was just about to do so, Cell dropped him.
"Stubborn child," Cell said. "You refuse to fight back no matter how much pain is inflicted upon you. Perhaps you'll react better to the pain of your friends."
I watched in horror as Cell darted up into the air and went up to the cliff. He was going to attack all of them at once, wasn't he? How low could that stupid, idiotic, crazy android go?
To my surprise, though, he returned with only a small bag in his hands. I didn't know what was in it, but I didn't care. Cell was up to something and I'd be lying if I didn't say I was scared shitless. There was nothing else I wanted at this moment but to go home and pretend it was already all over. I knew Cell was evil, I knew I was stupid for putting myself through this, but I had never thought he could or even would go this far.
"Wait…what are you going to do?"
"Whatever it takes to make you angry!" Cell yelled.
"No! Please, don't do this! If my powers are unleashed I won't be able to stop it. I'll kill you."
"Oh I assure you that once I've had my fill I'll stop you myself," Cell replied.
But before he could do anything the extremely tall guy with the Mohawk jumped forward and picked Cell up in a tight bind. "Sixteen stop this!" Cell yelled as his feet left the ground.
"Stay back!" the man exclaimed. "I will kill him by self-destructing." Cell gasped and started to wriggle around in the clutches he now found himself in. Obviously he knew what was going to happen…And I was at the point that I didn't care.
"There is a powerful explosive inside of me that was meant to be a last resort," this guy, known as Sixteen, explained to everyone. "I am sorry that we androids caused so much pain and suffering. Cell, no matter how strong you have become you will not survive this explosion.
I ducked down and clamped my arms over my head. I knew I couldn't outrun any explosion, so my best bet was to hope I was covered enough. But after several seconds had passed I took a chance to look back at the scene. I heard someone from up top say that the bomb was removed…and Cell took that moment to break free of his temporary confinement. He blew the other android up, metal parts flying everywhere. I stepped back until my back hit solid rock wall.
"Now, let's try some friendly persuasion," Cell told the kid, picking up where he left off as if nothing had happened. He turned to count how many people stood around him. "That's easy enough…"
I was horrified at what happened next. I couldn't believe what had occurred before but this just tightened the noose completely and my stomach churned at what my eyes were taking in. Cell had leaned back and from that funny looking thing centered between his wings came several little creatures…seven, actually, and all of them looked exactly like Cell; seven little blue versions of Cell that giggled wickedly and stood no taller than his knees.
"Now, my dear children," he said merrily. "Those seven on that cliff are your enemies. Give them pain; kill them if it makes you happy!"
I took that moment to run. It was probably very stupid because I put myself out in the open for those little terrors to see, but they hadn't come at me. All of them flew up at the men on the cliff and tangled each one into a small fight. And from where I now stood next to a different rock, I saw that these little brats were stronger than one would think. They were beating the crap out of each and every one of them. Down on the ground here, the kid Gohan was yelling and begging for Cell to call them off.
"Cell stop!" I finally yelled out, making my presence vividly apparent.
Cell turned his head at me and gave me the meanest, most treacherous look I've ever seen on any living creature. "Stay out of this!" He yelled and then immediately turned to Gohan. I saw it too. The light that was glowing around the little thing was much brighter than it was before.
"I said to stop it!" He hollered, but Cell stood there with a broad smile. "STOP IT!" He yelled again.
I'm not completely sure on what came next. There was a lot of wind and everything went dark for a moment. I had ended up falling to my knees and blocked my eyes from whatever was going on. When I felt that things had calmed down, I took a gamble at seeing what was going on this time. The kid was hot, as if he were on fire. The glow was extremely bright and his hair was different— I guess bigger was the best way to describe it.
I looked at Cell and saw that he was a little shook up. Maybe he had pushed this kid too far and realized it was a mistake? Actually, I was definitely willing to bet on that when I saw the boy easily flying around and destroying all seven of the Cell replicas, and taking the little bag Cell had been holding away. Cell was pissed, to say the least.
"Look at what you've done!" He snarled. "No matter though, I can easily put you in your place. You will soon learn some manners and see what its like to fight a real warrior."
"Can it," the kid said almost so soft I hadn't heard him.
I could already see the rage building up inside of Cell. He was at the point where he was going to burst. If there's one thing I had learned about him it was the fact that he was extremely proud and very arrogant. The mere idea of this kid actually being stronger was probably too much for the guy to handle. Serves him right, if you ask me.
The only thing that Cell could do was try to take his opponent down. He jumped and flew to attack, but the boy was gone before Cell even finished his swing. He tried this several times, but the results were all the same.
"Hold still!" He shouted.
Cell was losing. It was plain as day and for some strange reason, even after I had seen first hand what he had done today, I was feeling sorry for him. The creature I had been threatened by, who had saved my life, who I had….yes, I'll say it—fallen in love with, regardless of whether it was true devotion or mere lust, was losing his respectable battle.
"You've pushed me far enough," I heard him say. They had landed where the boy was not far in front of where I stood and Cell was directly across from him. "You leave me no choice but to finish this once and for all!"
My heart stopped when I realized Cell was going to move as he brought his hands together to create one of those balls of energy. I figured he'd move….he had to. I've faced this sort of thing before, but he had never actually gone through with it.
But Layrial…he doesn't see you right now…he only sees that kid.
I took a step back and held my breath.
My luck still seemed to be with me because the kid moved and diverted the blast away from me. I scurried to a new hiding spot, but instead of hiding like I should've, I stood next to the rock. I don't know why; I guess it was only because I wanted to see what was going to happen.
I got my answer soon enough. Cell was getting the life beaten out of him. The boy now had the upper hand and Cell couldn't deflect all the punches and kicks that came at him. I wish this would all just stop!
And then I saw it….
That bright yellow light…
It came right for me.
I took one single step to the side, but that was as far as I could go. My feet had become numb and my legs were so stiff I couldn't even get them to bed to let me drop to the ground. My hands had become excessively cold and I couldn't tell if I was even breathing. But instead of watching death heading my way, I looked to see who had fired the blast. I should've known, though. Cell stood there, his arm outstretched in front of him.
However…he wasn't agitated like he had been only moments before when he yelled at me. He looked stunned…scared…helpless. I think I heard him yell a sharp, "NO!" I think I saw him move in a way to sprint towards me.
I think….I thought. But I can't be certain.
"Miss…Miss, can you hear me…?"
My eyes opened slowly and saw nothing but dirt. The only thing I felt that wasn't normal was some sort of stone jabbing my shoulder. I pushed myself up to sit on my knees and tossed the hair out of my face. Everything was silent and calm. I felt whole and unscathed—in fact, I was. The scrapes on my arms were gone and I wasn't as dirty as I remembered being before I passed out. I was in the middle of nowhere like I last remembered; only this time I was by myself.
"Miss, are you okay?"
I turned suddenly at the sound of a male voice I had never heard before. He knelt next to me with a look of concern on his scared face. I remembered seeing him with the spiked black hair and the orange outfit…but from where?
Of course; he was one of the guys that had arrived with that blonde guy—Goku—during the Cell Games. But what had happened to everyone else? I looked around hastily, my breath caught in my throat as I wondered what had happened to the others, especially Cell.
"You had me scared for a minute," he said as he took my arm to help me to my feet. "I didn't think the wish worked on you."
"Worked?" I asked, a little mixed up on the situation.
"Yeah—don't you remember dying?"
"I…" Now that he mentioned it I did. I remembered it as clear as day. Cell had killed me. He had finally killed me, but that time…I didn't think he honestly meant to.
"Cell…" I got out before taking a deep breath and collecting my thoughts. "Where is he?"
"Don't worry," the stranger said. "He's gone for good."
"And that boy?" I asked, remembering the kid that had gone through hell.
"He's just fine," came the reply. "He was awesome—it's too bad you missed it! He blew Cell into oblivion, although it turned out to be harder than everyone thought. Don't worry though, everyone made it out alive; well, except Goku, but it was his choice not to be brought back to life."
I had absolutely no clue as to what he was talking about. How the hell could someone be brought back to life? It didn't make any sense; it wasn't possible. Yet I had no desire to ask.
"My name's Yamcha, by the way," he said. "I remembered you had been out here and figured you'd need a way to get home since there's pretty much no way out except walking." He paused for a second and then gave me a thoughtful look. "Why were you out here anyway?"
I looked at the ground. I wasn't in the mood to go through it…I didn't think it was necessary for anyone else to know. The only two people that did were now dead, so the secret would stay with me. "It's a long story that I'd prefer not to get into."
"Oh," he replied.
I looked around for some sort of vehicle in hopes to change the subject, but there was nothing. "Did you fly here?"
"Yeah," Yamcha said. "I hope you don't mind—but my car's back home and I came here before going back there. Flying's not so bad though; I'll go slowly so it doesn't scare you."
"That's fine," I said. I could feel all of my ambition was gone. What I had learned was really hard for me to grasp. With some miracle all of Cell's victims were once again alive. Cell was dead and I was not. I was going to continue my life as if this had never happened when this morning I woke up thinking that I'd be dead by the late afternoon. How things became so twisted…
"Well, let's go! Where do you live?"
I had told him and he had carried me much like Cell had the first time I took a flight with him. Yamcha was gentle and talkative, but I wanted nothing more than to just get home and curl up in bed. I glanced over his shoulder at the crater in the desert floor. Only yesterday I had been sitting where it now was, wondering why the hell I chose to go back to be within twenty feet of the world's largest mass murderer.
During the brief flight I had learned the truth about how I was revived from death. There was some sort of magic dragon that, when all the balls (I wasn't sure exactly what that mean) were collected he could grant any wish. The wish that had been made was that all those killed by Cell return to life. Goku had been one of them, but he chose not to return for whatever reason. It didn't matter to me—my role in that whole ordeal was now over…as if it were just a dream.
I thanked Yamcha kindly and I half thought he expected me to invite him in, but I graciously closed the door when he got the hint and walked away. I made it up to my apartment, slowly, and entered. I stood in front of the door for a long time before making my way into the living room.
Stupidly, the first thing I had done was turn on the T.V. and sat down to see what was going on around the world. As I should've guessed, every news station was the same thing. Although it wasn't completely as I thought. Reporters surrounded a stand where Hercule stood proudly. As I listened I discovered everyone thought he had defeated Cell. How the hell that came up, I don't know…and I didn't care.
I flipped the set off and curled my legs onto the sofa and hugged the big pillow next to me with my arms. I started to think. Not just of what had happened in the last week, but what I thought I was remembering from dying. I could vaguely remember Cell yelling and trying to get to me before everything stopped.
The thing on my mind, though, was what happened before Yamcha woke me up. I was standing in a large room, being ushered out through a large entry from which I had come. There were hundreds, if not thousands of people of all shapes, sizes, colors and textures lined up to enter that building, but for some reason I was leaving. Some strange looking blue man with a horn on top of his head was telling me I was going back. I didn't understand.
As I moved past the crowd I saw him. Standing a little bit further up the street was Cell, bound in chains that glowed a bright green. Two of the same strange looking men, one red, one blue, stood on either side of him. I saw his repugnance shift slightly into a small smile when his eyes had set on me.
We were only a few feet apart when he stopped walking, the two strange men stopping and snarling at him. He ignored them.
"Well Layrial, it seems that things have taken a complete turn around, much to my dismay," he said in that elegant voice. "But one question still remains on my mind. Did you love me in life?"
He smiled at me, but his escorts pushed him to move along. My attendant had started walking again, but I remained in place for one more second to watch Cell. "Cell!" I called out. I just had to know; after all I thought I had the right. "Did you love me?"
He glanced over his shoulder, and gave me a cheeky smirk. "If that's what you want to call it," he replied. Then he was gone. And I remembered no more.
It must have been a complete dream because that's all I remembered from it. I had no idea where I was or what I was doing there, just that Cell was in the same place for a few moments.
My phone ran just then and scared me half to death. The silence was broken by the annoying ring. I reached over to the table where the phone was conveniently located and picked it up.
"Hello?" I said dryly.
"Layrial! Oh my God, thank-you…"
"What were you doing out there? You father and I saw you on the television! We were worried sick. I'm so glad to hear you're still alive. Thank goodness for that man, Hercule. He saved my baby's life." I snorted but she didn't pay attention. "You need to quit that job of yours—risking your life for a damn story isn't worth it, honey."
"Yeah, don't worry about that," I told her. "I'm starting over after all of this."
"You sound depressed, dear…what happened? They didn't fire you, did they?"
"No, Mom," I said. And then I thought about it. Why the hell was I depressed? There was no reason to be. Cell wasn't some guy I could've married. Absolutely not! He was a horror to everyone's existence. To think that I had gone back out there, gotten myself into trouble and then had the nerve to let mind linger on a voice and damn pair of eyes that meant nothing in terms of respect was totally absurd.
"I'm just really tired, but I'm fine now. Look, I'll give you a call in the morning, alright? In the meantime, ask Dad to check out the local listings for apartments. I think I'm going to move."
"Yeah….I'll talk to you later, okay?"
I had hung up the phone and made my way to the sliding glass door that went to the small deck. I had a perfect view of the sunset. It was gorgeous. And although I had just thought all of those things about Cell, only one wasn't true. I think, deep down, there was some sort of respect he had for me…and that dream I had told me so. His eyes and smile had told me so.
The Credits and whatnot: I hope you guys aren't disappointed. I know many of you wanted them to end up together in the end, but honestly, it never would've worked out with the rest of the DBZ world. I had done that once in a fic and now that I look back on it its not something I wished I had done. And if you think about it….it would've destroyed the fact that (as you all claim) I kept Cell in character. Think about it—it's not something he'd do. He had agreed to take her after he destroyed the earth, but with him not doing so I couldn't see him saying "Well, I'll be good and go settle down with this human girl." You think? I'll admit that for a while I was thinking of killing both of them off, but it was unrealistic because of the wish from the dragon. Even if Layrial had remained dead, her life's work would've brought her to Heaven, not Hell with Cell. I'll answer your next suggestion too—Cell couldn't get out of Hell (aka HFIL…thank you dubbed version) and Layrial was a mere human with no powers, so she couldn't have gone down there like Goku had. And he needed to die…he was bad, unfortunately. There was also thoughts of having Layrial see Cell die, but that didn't happen for several reasons: 1) I was too lazy to keep writing battle scenes ;) 2) I had a better idea that would come out way better (yes, I actually sat there and made notes on which would be better) 3) I didn't want to put her through seeing him spit up Android 18 (which is gross…), revert to his former body (which I despise, if you must know) and blow himself up. Yeah…
I hope, though, that their relationship was justified for you Cell/Layrial lovers ;) I went over this chapter at least 3 if not 4 times because I wanted to make sure it was "perfect" so to speak. And I'm damn proud of it too…my longest yet. 3 months later I finished with 21 chapters, 88 pages, and 51,783 words (which is not including any chapter numbers, titles, or notes I've added at the beginning or end of any chapter). Those numbers are all strictly story. This chapter alone is 5,474 words XD Impressive if I may say so…for a Cell fic ;)
I also owe all my steady reviewers (aquasage, Draguna, Black Mors, Thomas Drovin, reindeer sausage, seruzerousygirl, SSJSkaterTrunks, chibibaka1, and chesterzerousy) a monstrous thanks for their support and understanding throughout this entire fic. All of you have made it a point to review several if not most of the chapters and many of you influenced some of the decisions I've made along the way. A big thanks again and I'm glad you all thought Cell was kept in character. I'm glad to know I did what I went out to do :) There were several times where I wasn't sure if I would be able to finish it because of lack of inspiration or if I had become bored, but knowing that you guys were waiting was enough to keep it going.
And I know many of you will ask, or will perhaps think/hope that there will be a sequel, as that is often the case when I finish my stories. I'm not sure, honestly. I'd like to and I had one small thought for it, but whether it'll happen or not can't be said for certain. If you have me on your alert list or check my profile from time to time, you'll know. Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions that I didn't clarify here.
So this is it…farewell.
--Finished 1/3/06, 12:04am-- yes….I was at the point where I had to finish it, thus I stayed up later than I wanted. ;)