Is this…the end: I'm afraid it is, folks. Last chapter of this story, as sad as it is. I tried my best to deliver a satisfying ending, however, know that I wrote what I felt best :) hehe. Anyway, I'm not going to bother with giving a note at the end, but feel free to ask questions if you have any—I'll reply to you if I can, but only through a signed review.
Also, good news for those of you that can't get enough of these stories; believe it or not, I am planning on writing a fourth, though the basic ideas are only scratched out on paper. It may take me a while to get the finer details—the beginning in particular—but hopefully I'll be able to deliver it. So look out for it. Also, the story of Cell's Shadowed Spirit p.o.v. will hopefully be in the works soon, though my spring break is over as of Monday morning :( We'll see how the weekend goes if I'll be able to start it or not.
Again, thank you all for your wonderful reviews. You guys are honestly what keeps me going, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hopefully I'll "see" you next time, but if not, take care.
Onto the end…
Chapter 11: Final Goodbyes
Knowing I was a married woman and that by doing anything else would make me feel like I was cheating on my husband, I sat still in Cell's arms and resisted the temptation to huddle closer to his chest. The wind was easy on my face with his slower-than-normal speed and I was grateful for it. The cut on my head had dried up for the most part, but even the air whisking over it made it sting.
It shouldn't have surprised me to know that Cell wasn't going to drop me off so easily. He flew to a high cliff that overlooked the ocean, a mass of deadly rocks catching the treacherous waves several hundred feet below. The android set me down; and I looked out to the horizon to see nothing but blue ocean spreading out for miles and miles.
"Cell," I started. I hoped…prayed that he didn't think he could sweep me off my feet. I cared for him to a point, yes, but there was no romance. "Why did you bring me here?"
"I was brought back from the bowels of Hell to do someone else's work," he told me. "The work he planned for me was exactly what I took pleasure in accomplishing years earlier, but only for my own reasons. However, there was something that struck me the moment I took in my first breath back here on this miserable, little planet. Instead of thinking of how I could terrorize the people of Earth, the first thought that came to me was wondering if I'd have the pleasure of laying my eyes on you."
I took in a deep breath and hoped I wasn't blushing—though my face was getting very hot. I looked away, trying hard to think of something to say, something to do besides stand there and just listen and wait for him to act. I knew where he was going with this and…I couldn't touch upon it.
"Cell, I…" I tried to start, but my words were caught in my throat and I found myself swimming in the pools of his bright eyes.
"Layrial," he said, his hand coming up to tangle in the dark blue locks of my hair. "I've told you before that you're the only human I'd ever consider sparing. This time, though, I can't ask you to come with me."
He leaned down and brushed his mouth over mine, his lips cold in the warm sun. His fingertips sent a shiver down my spine when he touched my face and I nearly backed way from the frigid sensation. My heart sank. I knew that I was human, he was biological machine, but…the way he spoke made me want to crawl under a rock. The feeling that his body temperature was continuously falling made me want to cry. I knew the inevitable, but I didn't want to accept it. It was better…not to let this continue.
"Cell, please take me home," I said softly and looked away.
He looked at me, his jaw becoming stiff as he clamped his teeth together inside his mouth. I had hurt him. "I didn't mean it like that," I started, but he stepped away from me and stood up very straight.
"Let us go," he replied.
I directed Cell to the general vicinity of my home; I decided it was best not to land near the house in case Toshi saw—neither of the two had gotten along in their first meeting and Toshi would've assumed too much too soon.
"There," I said and pointed to a grassy field nearly a mile away from my homestead. Cell aimed for it and put me down once his feet landed on the green surface. He looked around, but I noticed the deep breathes he took, his chest rising higher than I was accustomed to seeing.
"Do you still have acquaintance with that other human I had seen you with?" He asked out of nowhere.
Totally unprepared to answer any questions about my personal life, I nodded and thought of the easiest way to tell him, though I figured the blunt side was the best. "I married him," I answered. "We have a nine-month-old daughter."
"Do you?" He replied without the slightest hint of amusement flicking from his voice. "And are you happy, Layrial?"
"Yes," I said without thinking twice about it.
"Happier than you would have been if I hadn't died?"
My heart stopped and I looked at the ground and searched for any clues as to what to do with his question. Of course I was happier than he could've made me—he didn't understand the needs I had as a human being. He was out to destroy, to perfect himself, not to care for a family. The thought of Cell even being part of a family couldn't even play into my imagination.
"Cell, you have to understand that…"
"I do not wish to hear an answer," he said quickly. "Though do answer me this—why did you come out after me when there was obviously so much danger and you now had…settled down, which I believe is the term you humans use."
Now that was the Cell I knew. I smiled and shrugged my shoulders, looking thoughtfully up to the android's odd appearance. "I didn't believe you would team up with someone like that stupid scientist," I told him. "I figured that I could persuade you to give up."
Cell chuckled and closed his eyes. "You yourself believe you have a sort of control over me, don't you?"
"Well, not…control," I said. "I like to think of it as influence."
"Layrial, humans will never understand that they're not as great as they think they are," he said.
What came next surprised me—Cell knelt down on one knee. His fist rested on the ground and steadied him, the other arm draped over his bent knee, but he looked tired. There was no physical evidence that he was hurt or drained, but I could tell that he wasn't feeling well. I dropped to my knees next to him, ignoring any pain that I felt in my own body.
"Cell, you're getting weak," I pointed out, not even considering that my statement could've bruised his ego.
Apparently Cell understood it as the truth because he said nothing of it. "I can feel it," he said.
"The virus." He gave a smile that looked rather evil. "Perhaps I should have considered the doctor's words as truth instead of an act of begging me for mercy."
"Oh no," I said and immediately tears sprang to my eyes. I took hold of his shoulders and looked at him with fear that he was going to just give in to the apparent fate. "You're Cell—perfect Cell! You can't just die from a stupid virus!"
"A continuation of injections would've kept it stable, but now the leftovers are fighting to keep control. Kizufumi didn't explain the entire truth to you, Layrial." I looked at him with confusion written all over my face. "There were three darts—two of which contained the virus, the third containing a separate entity that would build up inside of my core, but remain stagnant until there was nothing holding it back."
I took a deep breath and blinked away several tears. "You mean that asshole had a backup plan? He wanted to make sure that if he lost control over you there was no way you could survive?"
"You're a smart woman," Cell said and finally let himself sit down. I could see the color—what there was of it—fading from his face. I pushed him to lean back and surprisingly I had no trouble doing so. He lay on the ground, his head on my knees, my hands on his shoulder and chest. He looked as if he was a young child taking a nap, but I knew that Cell was losing his fight to stay alive.
"Tell me," he said, his eyes looking deeply into my own. "What do you call her—your offspring?"
"Sasara," I answered.
"Does she look like you?"
I gave a small grin and nodded. "Yeah, she's turning out to look more like me every day."
"Good," he said. "Forgive me for hurting you, dearest Layrial."
"Cell, there has to be something we could do for you," I said, trying very hard not to break down. I couldn't take seeing him like this—anyone in this situation would tear their heart out, but I had a bond…an odd bond, of course, but a bond with him nonetheless.
Cell's pale lips formed a heartwarming smile. He looked at me with a soft gaze, his hand rising to allow the back of his fingers to brush against my dirty cheek. "It's a shame we couldn't spend more time together this time," he said. "Though each time I see you the more I feel myself growing weaker with the mere sight of your lovely face."
Cell's hand fell and his head became heavy in my lap. I looked over at his chest to see it rising and falling slowly. His brow furrowed slightly, the look of pain washing over his face. Before I lost him completely, I leaned down—forgetting about who I was and where my life was sitting—and kissed him gently. I felt a little reply, but then…I knew he was gone.
Though people had fought relentlessly, even giving their lives to defeat this android, a mere virus was enough to put an end to his terror. Cell looked peaceful, his head leaning way from me, his body very heavy and limp. I didn't even attempt to move away; instead my fingers trailed down the yellow jaw-line of his face. My heart stopped, though, when he suddenly disappeared.
I stood up quickly and looked around, holding my hands to my chest, thinking that perhaps Cell wanted to play a joke on me—could he still be alive and he merely faked his own death to scare me?
"Cell?" I called out, but no reply came even after several long moments. I turned around, my eyes scanning the area over and over, but I finally got it to sink into my head that I was alone and he was, in fact, dead.
I began walking back home, thankful that everything was over, but still saddened that I had met my android again only to see him disappear. My android…it brought a small smile to my face as I walked along the trees to hear myself think of him as my android. Of course it wasn't true, but if anything—he probably thought of me as his human. Maybe not, but I let myself believe it anyway.
Three times I had met the android and three times he died, though this time it was more dramatic. Cell practically died like any human would, regardless of the cause. There were still unanswered questions that I failed to ask him, but I couldn't have brought it up with his state of being. I wondered if he purposely spared the life of Gohan, or if the boy just got lucky. I wondered if Cell had gotten stronger because of that virus, though I'm nearly convinced that he had been. Either way, those questions would remain as such, with no answer ever to be given to me.
My house came into view and my eyes lit up the moment I saw Toshi standing next to his car, the back door open—he was putting Sasara into her car seat. I yelled out his name and he turned, confused, and then stopped. He called for me, broke into a jog, and caught me in his arms once he reached where I stood, tired and nearly beaten.
This is where my story of Cell ends. For the rest of my life I'll remember him, but it will remain a secret as to how I truly felt about him. Evil, perhaps he was, though there was something about him that captivated my mind and held me hostage every time I was within is line of sight. I loved him…there's no question about it. The fact that he was an android—murderous and hateful—meant nothing to me anymore. I saw a side of him that no one else was ever able to open. I had the chance to see a side of him that no one else had ever, or could ever open up…a side even Cell himself didn't realize he had.
In the end, though, after learning that there was another emotion besides hatred and power, Cell was complete.