"And nobody ever understood! Well how could they? That all I ever wanted was to bring them something great! Why does nothing ever turn out like it should? Well, what the heck! I went and did my best! And by God, I really tasted something swell! That's right! And for a moment, why, I even touched the sky! And at least I left some stories they can tell! I did! And for the first time since—" hmm? Did you want something? Am I singing too loud and out of key with my Raspy Sick Person Voice of Doom? Well, too bad. If you keep complaining, I'll just go back to my bed of vomiting sickness and bloody noses from dry sinuses and not give you any story! You have to deal with my singing if you want more!
Okay, that was…random. Obviously, I'm really sick and a bit…off. We'll see if this whole chapter can be written in one go or if I have to trash it all and start over. One serious thing though, kind of. Someone who prefers anonymity, I suppose, reviewed saying that I had my facts off because 17 is 18's younger brother because in the anime she calls him a brat and tells him he's immature. Hm. Okay, but since when can you only criticize people younger than you? I mean, if any of you have watched some Inuyasha, Kagome calls him petty, immature, selfish, and bratty all the time and because of that seal, he's a good fifty years older than her, maybe more seeing how well those sexy demons age (ooh, gimme some of that sweet Fluffy lovin! Jade, I wouldn't dare infringe on your sweet sweet Kouga action. Always liked the pretty ones, myself.) So anyway, that whole sidetrip into my twisted mind was just me pointing out that you can't say the age relation between two individuals on such a weak basis. Plus, I mean, come on. 18's a girl, and we all know they mature quicker than boys. Saying he is, what, a whole 2 or 3 minutes older than her, you'd think she'd catch up pretty fast. And although I can't really remember explicitly stating an age relationship between them in my story, I am sick and delirious right now. Earlier, it took me three minutes of staring at the wall and wondering where the stairs went before I realized I was already on my top floor. Weeeeel, anyway, Mr/Ms. Anonymous Reader, I just wanted to say that your review's logic left me confused much like the stairs. But for a different reason. I was just like…hm…so what if she calls him that? I have a 21 brother I call much more degrading things and I'm not quite 19 yet. Damn me for breaching your sense of name calling propriety, but I've never really cared for such things. I mean, any girl who will get so mad at her uncooperative fellow drivers, prompting her to urge them firmly to "suck my dirty $%^#ing *^&%" can't really be all that concerned with the logistics of such phrasing, can she? So yeah, now that I've wasted a whole bunch of space, let's do productive stuff!!!
A Taste of Humanity
(just a warning…it took me a full minute of thinking and then opening up my files to figure out which part I was on. Oh feverish delirium, you are so unkind. Hey does anyone remember what's happening? Never mind, I'll figure it out…wanna know something scary? I have three quizzes and a midterm tomorrow to do in likely a less capable mindset than I'm in now.)
"Ech! It's stretching! You're going to rip it!" Bulma screeched in horror.
"I don't care, I'll just get a new one!" 18 growled back irritably, grunting in effort.
"Should I come in and help?" Krillin asked from the door.
"NO!" both women yelled simultaneously.
"Okay…um, I'll just wait until you're finished I suppose." Krillin answered, but they were already ignoring him.
"Help me get it through!" 18 grunted again.
"Stop! You're really going to rip the thing right in half, and then where will you be! You can't just get a new one!" Bulma protested in a panic.
"Sure I can, you're rich, right?" 18 answered, her voice somewhat strained. "You can buy me one."
"I'm not going to buy you one if you treat them like this! It's supposed to be a precious thing you only have once. Be careful!" Bulma warned.
"What do you know?" 18 challenged. There was some shuffling from inside the room, then Bulma's voice began again.
"Look at this. Do you think this is meant to fit through a hole that small? Come on, be logical 18! You can't just cram it through and be done with it." Bulma spoke in her most calming tone. It was a rare time when Bulma was acting as the pacifier. There was a long silence as 18 considered her friend's point.
"I suppose it is too small." 18 agreed grudgingly. "But this will have to happen, you know."
"Not right now, just wait a while. It's not going anywhere, now is it?" Bulma asked, knowing she'd won as there was more rustling.
"Okay then. I'll try it on after the baby comes." 18 told her and they exited the room. "I just wanted to see how the dress would look, but they didn't finish the adjustments until I was too bloated for it to matter."
"It won't matter. You'll be back down in time for the wedding." Bulma walked downstairs with the very pregnant woman. "You just need to stop worrying about the dress. You'll look gorgeous in it, so just let it be."
"I know, it's just…I feel so restless these days. Krillin won't let me do any work, and I just have to sit around waiting. Nine months is a long time to wait." 18 told her.
"Granted you haven't been treated so well all nine months." Bulma pointed out. "I wish Vegeta would have been half as considerate when I was pregnant. But I suppose…things were different between us then." Bulma gave a small, secret smile as they entered the kitchen, where Krillin was just finishing the dishes. 18 had to admit that it was nice to have him try so hard to make her comfortable.
"Would the two of you like something? Some food or maybe some tea?" Krillin asked, looking ridiculous in yellow gloves that almost covered the whole of his arms.
"Tea would be wonderful, thank you." Bulma smiled at the compact man as he bustled back into the kitchen. She lowered her voice to a whisper and addressed 18. "I still don't know how you get him to do that, but I am completely jealous."
"You know that Krillin and Vegeta didn't begin as the same type of man in the first place." 18 patted her friend's arm sympathetically. "I'd really love to see Vegeta doing dishes with those gloves on though."
"Yeah, that would be a riot." Bulma lowered her voice, doing her best imitation of Vegeta. "Look, woman, I am the prince of all Saiyans so that means I must have silky smooth skin. Give me some gloves, I will not tolerate pruniness!" Both women collapsed in a fit of helpless giggles just as Krillin came back with three mugs and set them at the table.
"What kind of trouble are you two up to?" he asked playfully. It made him so pleased to see 18 laughing and acting foolish with friends like this.
"N-nothing!" Bulma managed to look like she had not been hysterically laughing only moments before. "So, where's the tea?"
"It's coming, just a second." Krillin told her, turning back for the kitchen.
"He is really wonderful, you know." Bulma told 18 quietly before he returned with the pot, pouring all three of them cups and sitting down between them.
"So, how's everything at home, Bulma?" Krillin asked their guest.
"Well, there was an 'incident' last night." She began. "Trunks decided to go play with his daddy, but of course Vegeta wasn't a big fan of this idea. Heaven forbid he be a father for five minutes rather than train endlessly to show us all what a badass he is. Trunks went in the gravity room with him, and Vegeta apparently didn't even notice he was there, so he turned up all the settings and then he heard this squealing. He brought Trunks out of there unconscious. Poor baby, he could've died, but of course, Vegeta could care less. Says that it's Trunks' own fault for going where he doesn't belong and for being so weak." Bulma snorted. "I can't believe that man sometimes, he's so ridiculous."
"Vegeta does tend to—ow!" Krillin yelped as 18 suddenly grabbed his arm in a vice grip. "Honey, what is it?"
"I think it's time." She gasped, eyes wide.
"Time?" Krillin was lost. Bulma, however, was rushing to get the hospital bag 18 and her had put together.
"The baby you imbecile." Bulma yelled. "It's coming." Krillin leapt to his feet and helped up 18.
"Kami!" he yelped, eyes goggling wider than 18's. "What do I do?" he asked in a panic.
"Go get the car ready." Bulma told him. "And calm down!" she called after his retreating form. Turning back to 18, she cocked her head to the side. "Need help getting out?"
"I-I'm fine. Just a little surprised, that's all." 18 caught her breath and strode over to Bulma as though nothing at all was amiss. "Let's go then."
"Remember when we had Trunks, dear?" Bulma latched herself on Vegeta's arm as the gang waited for news of the birth to come. Vegeta looked around, extremely uncomfortable with her affectionate behavior in public.
"I guess." He answered noncommittally. Bulma turned to Chichi.
"It was so wonderful, he stayed by my side the whole time." Bulma clasped her hands to her heart as she spoke to the other woman. Vegeta was grumbling about the idiocy of all this baby nonsense. "And when it was hard, he gave me some of his own energy to help me do it. He may not like to admit it, but Vegeta can be very caring when he wants to."
"I was only protecting what was mine." Vegeta attempted to sound cold, but his words belied his tone.
"I love you too, Vegeta." Bulma kissed him on the mouth and they stayed that way for a while, Vegeta forgetting about all the other people.
"Ew, can't you guys stop doing that!" Trunks finally bursted out, ruining the moment.
"You'll understand when you're older, sweetie." Bulma told him tenderly.
"I don't know, Bulma. I still don't want to watch my parents being all…you know." Gohan made a face, avoiding Chichi's glare.
"Save me!" Krillin came running down the hall, the hospital gown over his clothing torn in several places. He ran up to them, panting. "18's gonna kill me! She was powering up a ki blast so I took off."
"Coward." Was Vegeta's response.
"It's not like he can exactly fight back Vegeta." Bulma reminded him. "I'm sure she'll be fine, Krillin. Don't worry."
"God dammit Krillin I'm going to rip you into pieces if you don't get back here!" the yell was audible from where they stood.
"Better go Krillin." Gohan spoke up. The little man licked nervous lips before heading back as though it were a death sentence. He re-entered the bustling hospital room a bit hesitantly, hurrying over to 18's bedside once he was in. Sweat covered her forehead as she growled in pain.
"I'm sorry it hurts so much, honey." Krillin whispered in her ear as she trembled slightly with effort.
"It's…I'm fine now." 18 panted slightly, following the doctor's urge to push before continuing. "I've never felt something like this though. My body isn't used to this type of pain."
"It'll be okay, 18, you're strong." Krillin told her, pride shining in his eyes. She looked up at him, love in her own eyes mingled with pain and confusion.
"Krillin…" 18 trailed off as she pushed again, pain and effort squeezing her eyes shut. When she recovered, she lifted a shaky hand to his face. "Don't leave me."
"I never will, and you know it." Krillin kissed her forehead firmly, letting her squeeze his hand painfully as she continued to push.
"Alright, she's almost out, come on!" the doctor shouted encouragement. Krillin nodded at her, trying to hide his worry and show only the love and pride that 18 made swell up inside of him. Nodding to him as well, 18 bit her lip as she heaved a mighty push, growling with the effort as the rest of the baby came out.
"Congratulations! It's a healthy baby girl." The doctor went to clean her quickly as 18 let tears of relief slip down her cheeks and Krillin hugged her warmly. With his ear near her mouth, 18 whispered to him softly as she regained her energy and calm.
"I love you Krillin." She let him lift up to smooth her tangled and sweat-dampened hair.
"I love you too." He told her, kissing her lips softly.
"Would you like to hold the baby?" asked a nurse who held the clean and bawling newborn in a blanket.
"Yes, give her to me, please." 18's voice was eager as the nurse handed the tiny bundle over and left the family alone. "She has your face, Krillin."
"That's a shame, maybe she'll grow out of it." Krillin joked, reaching over to stroke the tiny blonde strands on the now quiet baby's head. "At least she has your hair. There's hope for her yet."
"I've never seen something…so beautiful before." 18 told him.
"That's because she's our love." Krillin replied. "This is what our love looks like."
"Kami, Krillin, I'm…we're a family." She told him. "Can you believe it?"
"Hardly. Never thought I'd have a wife, much less a child." Krillin admitted. "I'll never let this go. We're a family now."
"I wish 17 could see this, so that he'd know what I wanted here." 18 spoke up again. "I don't think he would have argued if he could see her."
"Our Marron." Krillin sighed, letting his arms wrap around his fiancé and their child. "Grow up well, little firefly."
"We love you very much." 18 told the child as Krillin held her. In moments, mother and child were dozing peacefully. And as Krillin rose to let them get their rest, he couldn't help but wonder what he'd ever done to deserve this much happiness. To deserve a family of his own. To feel love stronger than he believed any man had ever felt before him. Indeed, he felt lucky.
"I love you." He told the pair on the bed as he left. And now he knew for sure that he would always have someone to love him in return.