Disclaimer: I do not own DBZ or have any rights to it.
Seventeen grinned proudly, looming over Gohan's lifeless body. Extending his foot, he nudged Gohan's face to see if there would be any sort of reaction. The lack of response told him that he had done what he set out to do. "He's dead." The words came out nice and slowly as the cyborg savored the taste of victory. "Come on Eighteen, let's get going." He turned to fly away, not bothering to check if his sister was following.
Eighteen was about to do the same when she heard something. Turning around, she saw Gohan's body moving. He could hear him cough a few times as he struggled to prop himself up against a nearby chunk of debris. His one arm struggled to pull him towards the target point, and soon, he collapsed back into unconsciousness with a groan.
Landing near his unconscious body, Eighteen thought over whether she would blast him into oblivion or not. However, before she could make a decision, she heard someone coming and looked up to see Gohan's friend, Trunks, scanning the area below for signs of his master.
She felt curious about how this would play out, and decided to hide and see what Trunks would do. Gohan was in critical condition and if the boy didn't know his master was alive, he would surely die. She saw him land near the body, and try to shake his master awake. After several failed attempts, the boy cried out and was soon enveloped in a golden flame.
Eighteen's eyes widened at the transformation, something she had seen Gohan do quite often. Now she knew what it was, an expression of anger, pain and suffering. Moments later, the boy took off, presumably either for home or revenge. When the coast was clear, Eighteen emerged and gave a light chuckled. For all its bright lights, the super saiyan wasn't that special; just a multiplier of strength, and with a power as low as his, Trunks still wouldn't stand a chance against Eighteen and her brother.
Looking back at Gohan, she knelt beside him to check for vitals. He's still breathing, and his heart is beating. It would've been safe to move him, though his body was badly burnt from the cyborgs' last attack. Eighteen contemplated killing him now, but as she stood up, his hand reached out to grip her ankle. She tensed up, but quickly realized that he wasn't conscious.
"T-runks…" Gohan began panting before coughing out the next few words. "I…I'm…proud…" However, he couldn't finish his sentence as he passed out completely.
Eighteen was in a sort of trance as she stared down at his body, oblivious to the raindrops soaking her hair and her clothing. He's so helpless, thought Eighteen with a smug grin. However, her eyes widened when Gohan tried to move again. He was still unaware of her proximity to him. She stepped out of his way as he began clawing his way towards the piece of rubble, as if it held all the answers.
"Can't give up," he said in an attempted self-motivation. "Everyone's…counting…on me." He made a painful grunt, each time his solitary right arm reached out to pull him forward. "Can't…I can't let everyone…down." He lacked the strength, and his body gave out s he collapsed mere inches away from his target.
Eighteen raised an eyebrow, yet surprisingly, she didn't feel as amused as she had previously thought. He looks so…helpless. Should I help him? Pity was an alien emotion to her, yet as she looked over the helpless warrior, who just an hour ago had been the second strongest on the planet, she had no idea what possessed her to pick him up and carry him away.
He felt hazy and though his mind wanted to open his eyes and check where he was, he was far too lazy to actually do so. His body ached and he was very drowsy. Gohan tried to move his arm, but it felt too heavy and like he had no energy left. After spending several minutes in this limbo state, he mustered up the strength to open his eyes.
He was in a dimly lit room, and could feel the mattress beneath him. Wherever he was, it was hastily put together. As his eyes adapted, he saw rocky walls surrounding him. Then, looking to his left, he saw two doors, one marked bathroom, and the other unmarked, and smaller, suggesting it was some sort of closer. Beyond the doors and at the far left corner of the room was a gate with metallic bars, making Gohan feel like prisoner. On the other side was a small kitchen as well as a dark passage the presumably led outside.
Closing his eyes and laying back down, Gohan let out a sigh. "Is this hell?"
"No," came a reply from a voice the he instantly recognized. Bolting upright, Gohan saw her standing on the other side of the bars, giving him a cruel smile. "You've been out for weeks. I thought you wouldn't make it."
Gohan glared at her, suspicious of her intentions. "Where am I, and why did you bring me here?"
She wagged her finger at him tauntingly. "Is that anyway to thank the girl who saved your life?"
"Don't play games with me android!" Gohan would have tried to turn super saiyan, but knew he couldn't. He was still weak from his last battle, and wasn't any condition to fight. "I thought you and your brother wanted me dead!"
"We did," replied Eighteen with a raised eyebrow. "However…let's just say I saw an opportunity and took it. Everyone else, including Seventeen and that boy you've been training, think you're dead, but I feel like keeping you around a little longer."
"Why?" asked Gohan with a raised eyebrow. "You've got nothing to gain from having me here. Am I your pet or something" He immediately regretted that last statement when he saw her eyes light up in inspiration.
"Let's go with that," replied Eighteen. "I've always wondered what it would be like to have a pet, and you seem to fit the bill quite nicely." She crossed her arms and moved to the kitchen where she began preparing a meal for him. "I am curious about something. You keep going on about helping others and protecting others. That doesn't benefit you in anyway…why bother?"
He clenched his fist at her indifferent tone. "I enjoy helping people. Seeing them happy makes me happy. It's not something a machine like you would understand." His words dripped with venom as thirteen years of hatred bubbled to the surface. "All you and your brother care about is helping yourselves. You never think about how the other side feels."
Eighteen shrugged. "I guess I don't." She turned around and brought him a sandwich, opening the door to hand it to him. "Eat it. It'll help you keep up your strength."
Gohan looked down at the seemingly ordinary sandwich before looking back up at her with a confused face. "Why would you do this? It seems so out of character for you."
"Like I said, I'm curious," replied Eighteen. "I want to know what makes your mind tick." She placed her hands on her hips and eyed him. "You could force people to do your bidding with the power you've got, yet you seem more like their servant than their master. You're always putting them first, and frankly, it gets on my nerves." She raised an eyebrow when she saw him eyeing the sandwich suspiciously. "It's just a sandwich. I do not intend to poison you."
Gohan reluctantly took a bite out of the sandwich, while keeping an eye on the cyborg. She seemed intent on making sure he finished his meal, and with his diminished strength, it was in his best interest to comply. When he had finished, he handed the plate back to her and she walked out of the jail cell, closing the gate behind her.
"You know, I don't understand why you do the things you do. Your powers could easily make the world a better place. You could've been heroes," Gohan's tone seemed to carry a hint of disappointment. "If you hated Dr. Gero so much, then why are you doing exactly what he wanted you and your brother to do?"
Eighteen let loose a cruel laugh. "We've been over this before. We do it because we can. Watching those pathetic wimps squirming with terror is fun. Seventeen and I enjoy bringing disorder to society and showing people just how fragile they are. We're just putting humanity in its place."
"Just because you can do it, doesn't make it right." Gohan was very angry with her, but he knew better than to let his anger control him. He couldn't do anything in his current state, so he might as well figure some things out about his enemy while he was here.
Eighteen turned with face him and glared at him with her hands on her hips. "Don't take that self righteous tone with me. Who are you to decide what is right and wrong?" Her tone was rising now; he had apparently struck a cord. "I'm tired of people saying that what we do is bad with nothing to back it up."
Gohan raised an eyebrow. "We humans kind of have an instinct that tells us when things are unfair, or wrong. It's what allows to function in a civilized world. Without rules or right and wrong, everything would be in chaos. My guide to right and wrong comes from the environment I was raised in." His eyes narrowed at her. "I suppose a robot like yourself wouldn't know."
Eighteen gave him a look that would make anyone else, including Trunks, piss in their pants. "NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER, call me a robot."
Gohan gave her a cocky grin; he didn't care if she killed him, he was already at her mercy anyway. "If you're not a robot, then what are you? You do refer to yourselves as inorganic beings."
Eighteen reigned in her temper. "That's Seventeen you're talking about. He's fully embraced becoming a machine. I, on the other hand, also consider myself to be a woman. If you must know, I'm a cyborg."
"So you were once human?" asked Gohan with sudden interest. He hoped to find out more about what made his enemy tick. "Where you Dr. Gero's daughter or something?"
"None of your business," snapped Eighteen before turning to leave. "I'll be back later. Stay where you are."
Gohan rolled his eyes and lay back down. It's not as if I have a choice. I have a feeling that this is going to be a living nightmare for me. I just hope Trunks can handle being without me. Then he heard his stomach churning and he knew that the sandwich hadn't satisfied his appetite. However, in his current state, he knew that his stomach couldn't handle the monstrous amounts of food he could put away at a single sitting. For now, he would have to suck it up and endure; this wasn't the first time it happened.
Trunks limped down the stairs of the damaged Capsule Corp mansion. His stomach grumbled and he was in a foul mood. When he got downstairs, he saw his mother making a bowl of cereal.
"Hey Trunks," said Bulma. "Are you feeling better now?"
"No," replied Trunks. "Gohan's dead, and I'm completely useless against the androids."
She sighed before turning to face him with a sweat smile. "You've only just become a super saiyan. I'm sure it'll take some time before you get used to it. Gohan trained for thirteen years as a super saiyan and even he couldn't destroy the androids."
Trunks clenched his fists angrily. "He'd still be alive if I hadn't been dragging him down. I'm the reason he lost his left arm."
"Don't blame yourself," replied Bulma. "Gohan wouldn't blame you." She handed him a bowl and directed his attention to the cereal and milk. "Now how about some breakfast. I'll bet food will lift those spirits up."
Several hours passed before Eighteen came back. Gohan could here a metallic sound as the door to the cave entrance shut. He saw her shadow shortly before she appeared in the chamber he was in.
"I hope you behaved yourself," said Eighteen as she set down several bags of supplies. "I brought some supplies." She began pulling stuff out and fixing him another meal. "You'll need to keep up your strength if you want to heal up."
"Aren't you afraid that I'm going to kick your butt when I recover?"
"Don't underestimate me," replied Eighteen as she smiled and stared at him out of the corner of her eye. "You were no match for Seventeen by himself, and I'm not that much weaker than he is. Besides, I have ways of keeping your power down."
Gohan sighed as he sat up in bed. He remembered the metallic sound the doors made when they opened and closed. "Is this Dr. Gero's lab?"
"No…it's something he built near his lab," replied Eighteen. "He used it as a living space. I installed the metal bars myself though. I mean you are my prisoner. I have to make you feel like one."
"So I supposed you'll use one of Dr. Gero's inventions to keep my power down…some sort of ki inhibitor?"
"Your smart," replied Eighteen, turning around and bringing him his dinner. "I think I'll enjoy picking your brain in my spare time. Who knows, maybe you'll grow on me." He saw Gohan staring at her like she was crazy and chuckled. "Don't get your hopes up…I'm not that kind of woman."
"Disgusting," replied Gohan as she handed him the plate. He noticed her watching him intently as he began eating. "You're staring."
She rolled her eyes. "I'm just trying to make sure you eat all your vegetables."
"What are you…my mom?" Gohan frown at her, and she returned it. "I wonder how your brother will react if he finds out I'm here?"
"He'd be angry," replied Eighteen indifferently as she sat down near him. "Don't worry though, I'm a good liar and he wouldn't think to come here looking for me. He generally gives me my space."
"So I take it this is your own private domain where you keep your stuff you stole away from his grubby little hands," replied Gohan bitterly.
"Yeah, something like that," replied Eighteen smugly. "Oh, and you would be wise not to upset me. After all, your life is in my hands now. I could finish you off any time I want."
"Off course," replied Gohan with a serious tone. "You're still my enemy. There's just nothing I can do to resist you right now."
"Good," replied Eighteen as she went back outside and put his plate away. She then came back and sat next to him. "Now tell me more about this philosophy of helping others. I just don't get that."
Gohan raised an eyebrow. "Why the sudden interest?"
"Just do as I say! Tell me why you're always helping people. What kind of value do you get out of it?" She was genuinely curious about this. She had always thought the humans would betray each other in an attempt to get ahead in the world she and her brother had created. However, the cyborgs' actions only served to bring out the best in human compassion as people began to rely on each other more than usual.
Gohan remained silent as he contemplated it. "It's hard to explain, but I just feel happy knowing the other person is happy. In a way, I can kind of imagine what they would be feeling. It's called empathy. I help people because I can imagine how unhappy they'd be if I didn't as well as how happy they'd be if I did."
She broke out into laughter. "Man that's good. Did you get that line out of a movie or something? It's so corny." Eighteen continued laughing, clutching her sides in the process, however, she eventually calmed down and saw him glaring at her. "What's wrong? Can't you take a joke?"
"It wasn't funny," replied Gohan spitefully. "You and your brother always do that. Any form of justice is just a joke to you. Do you ever take anything seriously?"
"We took you seriously," replied Eighteen in a more controlled tone. "That's why we decided to kill you. However, I changed my mind when I saw you still alive, so here we are."
"So what now? What do you want with me?" He felt interested in her now. Unlike his previous assumptions, he had come to realize that the cyborgs had a limited range of emotions from happiness/satisfaction to anger/frustration. This, however, was outside of that range, and it left him perplexed. "Actually, a better question would be, why me and not someone else?"
She cupped her chin and thought for a moment. He's got a good point…I guess I'm curious about why he's such a self-righteous fool. "I'm just curious about these…human emotions. In a world like this, I expected it to be every man for himself. Honestly, Seventeen and I think lowly of humans. We thought they only lived peacefully when times were good and would just turn on each other when tragedy struck."
"You underestimate human kindness," replied Gohan. "It's what our species evolved with to allow us to live in groups. We're hardwired to live and work in groups, and good group has members who support each other. Tell me, would you and Seventeen betray each other if things went bad?"
"Off course not!" Eighteen grabbed Gohan's hair and pulled him into closed so their noses were almost touching. "Now listen to me. I will ask the questions around here, not you." Her tone was threatening, yet she spoke in a whisper.
"Of course your majesty," replied Gohan sarcastically.
She gave him a quirky smile. "Sarcasm? That's a first for you. I kinda like that attitude of yours." Leaning in, she planted a kiss on his cheek. "Goodnight. I'll see you tomorrow. Eighteen walked out and closed the gate before disposing of the plate. A few minutes later, Gohan heard the metallic door shut, meaning that he was alone once more.
Gohan's eyebrow twitched, in his mind, the kiss left a burning scar on his cheek. This is really going to suck, thought Gohan. He lay back down and covered himself with the blanket. Oh well, I should try to make the most of this. I just hope the human race can last without me.
I have writers block for all my other current stories. and I've really been itching to put out another Gohan/18 story. Since non of my other current stories will have any Gohan/18 action any time soon, I decided to take a quick break from them and put this story out. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it quickly and get my inspiration back for my other stories.