The Author's Note Upon Return: A joyful hello to all of those that read this, whether you're returning fans/readers or new ones. This, as you may now know, is the sequel to Shadowed Spirit that many people have been hoping would come up. I will say that I had wanted to write one, but couldn't think of a decent way to present it. I thank Draguna for tossing out some ideas and such. But it was my darling, most wonderful friend, AVC that had started this. Last night she told me of an idea that would most definitely work without screwing up the DBZ plotline at all and that I actually have knowledge of! And I love it. Note that I own nothing except the character of Layrial. Oh, and I highly recommend that you read Shadowed Spirit before reading this…otherwise you may be very confused. And so…the sequel shall begin….

The Past Returns

Chapter 1: Life Has Gone On

So much time had passed. So much had happened since I last took the time to stand and think about what my life was all about. I mean, I know that things have changed—for the best I think—but its amazing just how long ago those changes came about. It's been nearly eight years, I think. Yes, it has been. Where did all that time go? The funny thing is, though, that those eight years seem to be overpowered by the memories that still haunt me.

Actually, it was eight years ago last week that I had knocked on death's doorstep only to be denied and thrown back into the world of the living. I don't wish that I remained dead—I never wanted to die, but sometimes I still wonder if it actually happened. It wasn't possible to die and come back to life, right?

I guess fortunately for me and a great many others it was true. I had died and somehow had been brought back to life. Since then I have tried to push most of the memories prior to that death behind me…but it's so hard. My life beforehand wasn't going the way it should've and I'm thankful my eyes had been opened and my mind was cleared so I could start over and try again. I took that opportunity and did exactly that. I had already quit my job without fully thinking it through, but it was for the best. Within a month I had packed up my life and moved out of the city—something I never thought I'd do because I had enjoyed the "night life" so-to-speak.

Before I knew it I had found myself living with my parents again until I found a decent apartment. Since they lived in the countryside, finding a condo or whatever to rent wasn't exactly the easiest thing to accomplish. So, I did what any other person would do when three years had gone by and I was still stuck in the same place—I moved out. I headed to a small town called South Bay, which coincidently was only twenty-five miles from my old residence I had fled from in the first place. If I had the guts I probably would've gone back to see if there was an opening in my old apartment building, but I knew that was a mistake. After all, I had left there for a reason…

What reason, you may ask. Well think about it—look what I had been through! I had been the third best reporter for the station I worked for and that landed me the job of getting an interview out of a nutcase murderer that had terrorized several towns and cities. The only thing was that so-called nutcase wasn't much of one. He was far more brilliant and had more manners than most men I had met over the course of my life. He might've been obsessed with destroying the world—which I soon learned was entirely possible because…he was different. He and several more people that lived around here were capable of fighting in a way I never thought possible.

This bio-mechanical android, as he was, had gone under the name Cell. He wasn't human, he almost resembled a bug in some cases, but I had been taken by that face and mannerism which almost caused my downfall. Even after he had released me from his containment I had chosen to go back to him, to spend what I thought would be the final days of the Earth's life sitting in the middle of the desert, alone with him on a self-made arena, waiting with him for his tournament that would decide the fate of the human race.

He had lost; he had been destroyed and life went on as if he never existed. The one who was responsible for his demise had disappeared and the credit went to the world's biggest loser—a man by the name of Hercule Satan. Wherever I went I was hearing that the great savior, Earth's Hero, would be giving a speech or making an appearance in such-and-such place. It was sickening.

But that wasn't the reason I had left. Honestly, I didn't think I could handle being bombarded with questions whenever I stepped out the front door. Actually, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I since everyone had watched the tournament on television, many of them remembered the few times the camera caught glimpses of me sitting alone on the sidelines. The day after the whole event was over I received a call from my old producer, begging me if not to return to work, then at least go there long enough for someone to get my side of the story. "Why were you there? How did you know Cell? What did he do to you?" It was the same questions over and over. I had even gone grocery shopping two weeks later, after not leaving my apartment for that amount of time, and the cashier got excited because she had seen me on TV… "You're that girl that had been held hostage by Cell! What was he like!" She even leaned in close and had the nerve to ask me if he raped me.

That was the breaking point. I had already told my mom that I'd be moving back home, but after that cashier's question I had to do it as soon as possible. I learned that's what people had thought—that Cell had tried to rape me, had beaten me, had taken over my mind and made me his puppet. It wasn't all that bad…

Although, I knew I had said otherwise when it was happening. He had given me at least half-a-dozen death threats, pushed me to the point where I wanted him to kill me and I had even been caught by his dirty tricks and kissed him, but…I went back to him. I can't honestly say that I regret what happened out there. He never raped me—that was a total lie. I hadn't even given him anything except a few kisses, some consented, some not. But he had respected me enough to abide by my wishes. That subject of…closer contact…never came up once. I'd say that being an android who was "programmed" to destroy the world never knew of such things, but I knew that he was far too intelligent not to know the basic mechanics of human reproduction.

Cell had left an impression on me that even today I can say hasn't fully disappeared. I don't quite understand it—I really never took the time to figure it out—but I know I had shed a few tears the day following the Cell Games, although I like to think it was more because I was still scared and didn't understand than anything else. I had fallen for him in the strangest way possible. I knew I couldn't have spent the rest of my life with him—I can honestly say I didn't want to, but there had just been something about him that struck the right chord. He had asked me to go with him to the next planet he'd travel to once Earth was gone, and I knew it wasn't possible for me to do that. That was the limit, but even so I knew…he learned to love me too.

After returning to my childhood home I decided to give up finding a new job; instead I went back to school. A year later I earned a teaching degree and I've been working in the schools ever since. I started off with the littlest ones, but they had driven me to the point of insanity. I tried ten-year-olds next, but they weren't that much better.

Once I decided to get out of my parents' house again for the second time in my life and I found myself in South Bay, I started teaching the upper-grade levels and I've loved every moment of it. The attitudes of the teenagers didn't faze me; after all, I had been a reporter and I had dealt with adults with worse attitudes that most of these kids could throw at me. They seemed to like and accept me and I can say I felt pride whenever my old students moved on to graduate. Some even came back a few years later to say hi and that they missed my class.

Though there is one day, two years ago, that still sticks in my mind. It was the first day of the new term and I was starting off with a group of new students. They came in and were ready, but when I introduced myself, a hand shot up almost immediately. "Were you the reporter that had been kidnapped by that monster Cell way back when?"

I had thought people had forgotten. She either had a very good memory because she was only a little kid when it happened or whatever clips from the broadcast they replayed on the TV had shown brief shots of me. I hadn't heard that question in so long…even after moving to South Bay I hadn't been approached by anyone wanting the answer. I remember standing there and staring at the student as if she was a monster herself trying her best to haunt my very existence.

I had to reply, even though I had this terrible urge to run and pretend I never laid eyes on those students. "Yes, I was. But that was a long time ago…"

They all seemed satisfied with that answer and after I jumped into a different subject nothing of Cell or my previous life had ever been brought up again. I'd like to say that I hadn't thought of that kid since then, but I have. Her question opened up an old cut that had been sliced through me with a dull blade. After six years had gone by I still couldn't get Cell completely off my mind. When national "Hercule Day" comes around every year, I try my best to seclude myself in my house and pretend I didn't know what was going on. Every year it was the same thing—a documentary on the martial arts champion's life and what he had (I'd rather say hadn't) done for the world.

Yet I knew that Hercule wasn't around when the Earth had been threatened a year ago. Everyone flocked to him, everyone had begged him to save the world again, but I know he couldn't have done it. I don't know what the circumstances were exactly since I hadn't been there, but I knew that some new menace was trying to kill all of us again. I can't remember the name exactly, but it had been around the time a new tournament came around where Hercule would be the star champion once again. I remembered watching that broadcast…I remembered seeing them—the same people that had been present at the Cell Games. I figured they fixed whatever problem had struck the planet because everything was back to normal within a day or two.

And then nearly a year later…all Hell broke lose, quite literally, again…

Another AN: That's basically your average, sequel first chapter, but it was kind of amusing. I'll admit that I haven't worked out the finer details of what will take place, nor do I have the slightest idea of how long this will be (I doubt another 21 chapters like the original) but I'll work on it as time presents itself. Remember that I have started a new semester with 5 classes and I work part-time and I have a boyfriend that I spend as much time as possible with, so there isn't a huge opportunity for me to sit and write…but I will do my best to get chapters out as quickly as possible. Oh, and the idea of making Layrial a teacher came from Draguna, who had thought of her working with children, but in a different way. Until next time….