By C.S. Hayden
All characters are the property of Akira Toriyama, DragonBall Z and Toei Animation.
Author's note: Back to the PG-13 rating.....
Three months later....
Straightening the lapels of his suit, Krillin hurried out to meet the occupants landing on the wide slope of his front lawn. The sleek red jet car, the latest model, Krillin noted, parked neatly by the Capsule Corporation vehicle with room to spare. The scar-faced driver got out and whistled as he looked around.
"Wow, Krillin!" Yamcha exclaimed as he walked around the jet car to open the door for Chi-Chi. "You've really done a lot with this place! I remember what it looked like when I helped you bring all that lumber in to repair the roof."
"That was a lot of blisters ago." Krillin shrugged happily. "I see you're still helping out," he noted with a sly lift of his eyebrows as he caught sight of the car's other occupant. "What's up with that, eh?"
"Never you mind." Yamcha gave a wry smile. "Chi-Chi needed a lift, what with the baby and all, and it was on my way. No biggie." He opened the door and held out his hand. "And it was my pleasure to do it," he said, smiling cordially at Chi-Chi as he helped her out. "Goten slept all the way and Gohan decided to come with Piccolo. I think he wanted to make sure the big green guy actually came."
Chi-Chi looked around anxiously. "Speaking of which, where--?"
"Gohan got here about an hour ago," Krillin answered cheerfully. "He and Piccolo decided to go for a walk until the rest of you arrived."
"That's good," Chi-Chi said as she collected the baby's things from the car. "Yamcha, can you get Goten?"
"Right here, Chi-Chi." The scarred warrior swung the baby carrier out, Goten and all. "He's still out like a light."
Krillin came closer for a look. "Boy, he gets bigger every time I see him! What are you feeding him, Chi-Chi?"
"Everything that isn't tied down," Yamcha answered for her. "The last time I took them into town, the little rug rat took a bite right out of my sandwich. He eats just like Goku did when he was a kid."
Chi-Chi giggled and blushed as Krillin glanced between her and Yamcha. Bulma had commented that Yamcha had been spending time with Chi-Chi and the boys but he would have never put the two of them together as a couple. He wondered what Goku thought of it if he was watching from the other world. Yamcha was being a gentleman so Krillin put it out of his mind for the moment.
"We're all gathering in the garden," he said, sweeping his arm out grandly. "Just this way."
Krillin led the way up the graveled path that curved around the low sloping hill leading up to the house. He had become rather proud of his home as he and Eighteen worked on it over the past few weeks, from the newly replaced roof to the bright flowers filling the flower beds. They passed through an arch formed by the spreading branches of two enormous chestnut trees into the garden. Several of the other guests were already there, gathering in small groups. Trunks was dashing around the adults, scattering leaves as his beleaguered father followed irritably in his wake.
"These chrysanthemums are gorgeous!" Chi-Chi exclaimed, touching a cascade of blossoms that were trailing down a rough stone wall like a bronze and gold waterfall. "So many different kinds!"
"Well, some of them were already here," Krillin replied, "but Eighteen picked some new varieties to go with them."
"She did a good job," Yamcha commented. He caught a falling leaf. "You'd never think you'd find so many colors in the autumn but just look - the colors of the trees are reflected in the colors of the flowers, from deep purples to the lightest yellows."
"Yes," Chi-Chi agreed. "I never knew Eighteen had such a talent for gardening."
Laughing, Krillin lowered his voice. "Confidentially, I think she just converted her ability to color coordinate her wardrobe to plants. But I'm not complaining - she had me helping her at first but then she got aggravated with me and sent me off to work on the house. This is pretty much all her work."
"Where is Eighteen?" Chi-Chi asked. "I'd like to tell her how much I like what she's done here."
"She'll be along in a minute. She needed help with the new dress she wanted to wear and Bulma's giving her a hand." Krillin blushed and looked sheepish. "Um, Yamcha? Could you help me out with something? It won't take very long."
"Sure," Yamcha replied amiably. "Just let me get Goten and Chi-Chi settled." He escorted Chi-Chi over to a bench under an arbor covered with late-blooming roses. Krillin merely raised an eyebrow at the way they smiled at each other and at the baby.
Yamcha caught his expression and scowled mildly back. "It's not what you're thinking," he said firmly. "Chi-Chi and I have known each other a long time, that's all. We're comfortable with each other."
"Oh, is that what it's called these days?" Krillin drawled. "Really?"
"Knock it off." Yamcha looked around and waved at Tien and Lunch as they walked arm-in-arm along the winding path. "You know very well that I'd never cut in on Goku's action." He glanced back at Chi-Chi sadly. "There's no telling when he might decide to come back."
"True," Krillin agreed wistfully.
A high-pitched giggle diverted their attention. A blue-haired woman in a tight red dress was sitting with Master Roshi under a dogwood tree. Oolong had just presented her with a bright yellow flower. "Maron?" Yamcha asked incredulously. "Does Eighteen know she's here?"
"Oh, yeah." Krillin shrugged nonchalantly. "It was her idea to invite her."
"You'll see." Krillin led the scarred warrior to a small wooden bridge over a stream where two orange-robed priests from Orinji Temple were waiting. "We can start any time now," he told them. "Any time she's ready." The tall, skinny priest nodded and headed down a side path to the house.
Yamcha frowned. "Hey, wasn't that one of the guys you fought in that first tournament? The one that called you a shrimp?"
"Yup, that's the one." Krillin smirked as he smoothed out his suit. "When I contacted the monastery to send a priest, I had no idea they'd send him. He hasn't changed much."
"But he seemed almost respectful," Yamcha commented. "I haven't heard him say anything yet."
"That's because he's got a broken jaw. He made the mistake of making some snide comments about me where Eighteen could hear him."
The remaining priest, an older man wearing a tall black hat, held up a small gong and struck it three times. "Honored guests," the old priest called in a deep voice, "if you will all gather on either side of the path, we can begin the ceremony."
There was a brief rumble of curious voices as everyone took their places. Yamcha started to leave but Krillin caught his sleeve.
"No, I'd like you to stand here by me," he said somewhat nervously. "If you don't mind."
"Krillin?" It was Yamcha's turn to scrutinize the situation. His eyes flicked from Krillin's neatly pressed suit to the attitude of the priest arranging cups on a tray to Bulma walking quickly up the side path with the priest, carrying a portable stereo. She winked at him in passing and set the stereo up on a large rock. She punched a button and subdued music of flutes and string instruments filled the air. He glanced sharply back down at Krillin. "Is this what I think it is?"
"Yeah - by the way, wanna be my best man?"
Yamcha snorted. "It's a little late to back out now, isn't it?"
Krillin grinned and started to answer but his mouth fell open as he looked down the garden path. Framed by the tree-lined arch and showered by gently falling leaves, Eighteen was walking towards them, escorted by her brother. She was wearing a high-waisted gown that wrapped around her shoulders like a stylized kimono that tapered to the ground in a ice white satin brocade. Her bouquet was a cascade of ivory spider mums accented with tiny blue flowers to match her eyes. The whole effect made her glow softly as she passed through the shady garden.
"Is that Android Seventeen with her?" Yamcha hissed in Krillin's ear. "Aren't you afraid he'll wreck everything?"
"Yeah," Krillin murmured back, "but Eighteen put him in a headlock and made him promise to behave."
"I don't know - what if he tries something?"
"Bulma arranged for a little insurance." As Eighteen and Seventeen came closer, it was clear that Vegeta and Picolo were following along on either side, jockeying for position to get the best shot at the rogue android. Seventeen was clearly watching them out of the corners of his eyes with a sour expression on his face.
"Nothing like a little fireworks with your wedding, eh?"
Barely hearing Yamcha's joke, all of Krillin's attention was focused on his approaching bride. Eighteen had the corner of her mouth quirked up in amusement and seemed to be enjoying both her brother's discomfort and the guests' surprise. He suspected that she was having a private laugh at him as well; she'd insisted on keeping her dress a secret and making him sleep at Master Roshi's for the last few weeks. As result, their self-imposed celibacy had left both of them rather anxious for the honeymoon.
The twin cyborgs finally reached the foot of the bridge. Seventeen, dressed all in black for the occasion, handed Eighteen over to Krillin with wry distaste. "I hope you know what you're doing," he said in a low sing-song mutter as he crossed over to stand opposite of Yamcha.
"When have I not?" Eighteen replied haughtily, sniffing indignantly.
That was merely a ruse to keep from showing her nervousness. Her fingers said as much as they tightened on Krillin's arm as they walked up the bridge together, Krillin going up one step higher so that they could face each other at more or less equal height. He smiled at her and winked as the old priest began to talk. What actual words were said, Krillin couldn't possibly guess - he was too caught up in Eighteen's eyes as they went through the motions of the ceremony; saying their vows and going through the ritual of San-San-Kudo by toasting each other with strong rice wine.
Finally, the priest's closing words managed to get past the love-induced haze that was clouding Krillin's brain. "-And now, we ask the blessings of Kami upon this union, the blessings of the spirits of earth and sky, and the blessing of all those gathered here. May Krillin," the priest passed a wand with rattling paper chains over his head, "and Eighteen" he repeated the gesture, "continue to grow in love and wisdom until the end of their days." He smiled benevolently at the newly wed couple and nodded at Krillin.
Taking a deep breath, Krillin leaned in to deliver the ceremonial kiss. Eighteen had been dismayed to learn that they were expected to kiss in front of everyone and had made him promise not to make a spectacle of it. He cupped her left cheek, let his lips brush hers for a few seconds, and tried to pull away - only to have his lower lips seized by white even teeth and pulled back in for a longer, more earth-shattering kiss. Laughter and applause echoed in his ears as he began to grow dizzy from lack of oxygen.
"Um, Eighteen?" Yamcha said anxiously. "You might want to let him go now."
"Yeah, sis," Seventeen drawled sarcastically. "I know it's 'something borrowed, something blue' but the groom's not supposed to be that color."
Krillin felt his knees buckle as she released him. Eighteen caught him before he could fall and stood there with a self-serving smirk on her face. He eyed her ruefully.
"Hey! What happened to demure and tasteful?" he demanded.
She shrugged minutely, careful not to let her gown slip. "I changed my mind." Her eyes danced, promising a lifetime of mischief to come.
Krillin couldn't wait.
Author's Note: There is an ILLUSTRATED version of this story now up on my website. Check it out at: