Disclaimer: Don't own don't sue. I do own all the other characters that pop into this ficcy as well as the story itself.

Rating: PG 13 Some violence & language.

Eighteen's POV

Summary: When Eighteen is regurgitated by Cell, what thoughts are going through her mind? How does she cope with who and what she is? Her past and the future?

If you wish to archive then please ask I'm a nice person. :)

Android arc #4

"Salvation"

Debs-dragon May 2002

Chapter 5

"Hello again, Krillin."

The voice cut through his head like a knife. That soft, sweet sound like a melody that he never thought he would hear again.

"Cat got your tongue, Krillin?" I asked with a smile.

Krillin's cheeks turned red as he tried desperately to form words but his vocal chords had deserted him for the moment. He had dreamt of finding her and now here she was and he was struck dumb! Great, just great! Way to go, Krillin old boy! he thought.

Realizing that Krillin was having problems coaxing his voice back from wherever it was it had gone, I moved away from the hedge and came around the side to walk down the path towards him. I noted his shyness and it touched a chord inside.

Krillin looked up as the blonde approached. Somehow he managed to form words. "Hello, Juuhachigou." Then not knowing what else to say he blushed red and stared at the ground.

"So what brings you here?" I asked.

"Ummm, well, actually I was hoping to find you," replied Krillin.

"Well, you found me. So what can I do for you?"

RealiZing this was his chance, Krillin jumped in head first before his sanity could talk him out of it. "I have been thinking about you a lot since... since... since you know what, and I was hoping to find you as we need to talk." There, he had got it out at last.

I looked at the small man, an amused expression on my face. So Krillin wanted to talk, did he? I couldn't see any harm in that, besides, I really owed it to him for saving me in a sense. "Okay Krillin, we will talk only let's go somewhere better."

Krillin looked up and smiled. She was willing to talk... great! That at least was the first hurdle cleared, now all he had to do was get over the rest and find the finish line. "Do you have anywhere in particular you would like to go?" he asked.

"There's a coffee shop not far from here, is that okay?" I said.

"Sure, fine with me. Lead on," said Krillin.

I turned and headed back down the path and onto the sidewalk. Krillin fell into step beside me. We didn't talk, opting instead to enjoy the silence. There would be plenty of talking to come. We reached the coffee shop and I pushed open the door. We sat down in a booth at the rear and ordered our coffees, waiting for them to come before broaching the subject to come.

Stirring the sugar into the rich brown coffee, I swiped the spoon across the top, gathering the foam and sliding it into my mouth. A good cappucino was one thing I had sorely missed. I raised my eyes and stared at Krillin. "You wanted to talk. Let's talk. Before we start though I want to ask you a question."

Krillin looked at me expectantly. "Shoot," he said.

"How did you find me?"

I listened carefully as Krillin explained about Bulma and her computer skills in tracking me down. He also mentioned a little of Gero, but not much. When he had finished I sat back and ran the information through my data banks.

Krillin watched closely to see what effect this would have on the android. He hoped she would stay so as he could talk to her some more. Maybe he would even get up enough courage to let her know how he really felt about her.

I realized just how much effort Krillin had gone to in tracking me down. Underneath that so called tough exterior there was a sweet man, and seeing as how he had managed to find me I at least owed him the chance to ask of me what he would and answer as best as I was able. "So what is it you want to talk to me about?" I asked, sipping on my coffee.

"Well there are so many questions going through my head but most of them relate to how you and your brother ended up with Gero."

I winced at the mention of Jay. The wound was still raw and I wasn't ready to discuss anything about my brother at the moment.

Seeing the wince of pain Krillin could have cut his tongue out for touching such a raw nerve. "I'm sorry, Juu. I know it must be painful for you and I didn't mean to upset you. I wasn't going to ask you anything along those lines as I gather you will tell me when you are ready." Krillin looked at the girl and locked eyes. His heart melted as he read the pain and suffering in them. "What I really would like to talk to you about is what you plan to do now. I mean, do you have anywhere to live? Have you thought about what you want to do with your life? Have you got relatives that can take care of you?..." Like someone had opened the floodgates so the torrent of words burst forth.

"Krillin?"

"Yes?"

"Shut up, you're babbling," I said and then smiled to myself as he sank back into his seat. I sighed and stared out of the window. Just how much did I want to reveal to him at this time? I dragged my eyes back to the man sitting opposite me and reaching forward I took his hand. "Krillin, I am not ready to tell you all of my past at this moment, but I will answer your questions and try to give you some information. Please don't ask for more as I am not ready yet to deal with those thoughts."

Krillin smiled. At least she hasn't hit me, he thought. Yet... supplied his brain helpfully.

And so I began my tale, a shortened version of it. "Jay and I were twins. Our parents were killed in a supposed bungled bank robbery when we were little. We didn't find out until later that they were, in fact, murdered. Our parents' good friends the Williamson's took us in and cared for us for a couple of years or so until Gero showed up on our doorstep. He had filed for custody in the courts claiming to be a blood relative of our father's."

Krillin's eyes widened.

I continued. "The case was heard and although the Williamson's fought hard we were turned over to Gero. We went to live with him in his mountain retreat. At that stage we knew nothing of Gero or what connection he had to us. We lived with him for eight years and during that time he had us tutored by the best teachers available. Jay was convinced he was up to no good as he spent most of his time locked in that laboratory of his. It wasn't until about a year ago that we began to find out what was happening in there and by then it was too late." I felt tears welling in my eyes as my data banks reminded me of what we had suffered there.

Krillin watched as the young android struggled to retain a grip on her emotions.

Choking back my tears I tried to finish my story. "He was conducting experiments. Horrible ones that involved genetics and DNA, combining biological and non biological systems to create a superior being, cloning of sorts. But he needed us to finish his work. I don't know if it was good or bad, but when he went to make his final transfers something went wrong. A chip was damaged and so Jay and myself managed to retain all our memories along with the new ones and orders that he had programmed us with." I felt my world begin to crumble. I had said to much but looking at Krillin I knew I could trust him, that no matter what I had done he would care for me.

"After it was all over and you took me up to that place and made that wish, I just had to get away. I was your enemy for god's sake! I knew how the others felt about me and I wanted to get as far away as I could and so I came back here. But I came back to an empty house. Aunt Jenny and Uncle Howard both died not long ago and so the Butlers next door have let me stay with them till I decide what to do. They were scared of me at first but they know I won't harm them. It doesn't matter where I go, people are always going to react to me with fear and hatred... aren't they?" A sob left my throat. "I didn't want to do any of the things we did. Gero is the one to blame, he's the one that programmed us to seek revenge." The tears ran unchecked down my cheeks as I understood just what my life was going to be like from now on. People would always run from me in terror or try to attack me. Suddenly I didn't want to live anymore.

Krillin reached into his pocket and handed me a handkerchief.

"Don't cry, Juu. I know you weren't to blame for all that destruction, it was just one man's hatred that forced him to seek revenge on people with any means he could. He didn't care who he destroyed in the process. But it's all over now. I won't let anyone hurt you, I promise," said Krillin with tenderness in his voice.

"Ohh, Krillin... you really are a sweet man, but I'm afraid it's too late for me. The world would be much better off without me. I can't exile myself, and now that you have removed the bombs from inside me I can't even self destruct. Although the desire to destroy went along with the bombs, people don't know that. All they see when they look at me is a monster and they run screaming in fear. I don't want that. Let's face it, I have nothing left here. Please do me one last favour. There is a chip inside me that once removed will completely deactivate me. Remove it for me and then destroy my body... Please..." I begged with my eyes that Krillin could see how much I needed for him to do this... to end my torment.

Krillin was torn in two. He could read the anguish in the android's face and understood her reasons for wanting to cease to function, but he couldn't do it. He got up and moved into the seat next to Juu. He put his arms around her and pulled her close. Stroking her hair softly he began to speak in a gentle, soothing tone.

"Please, Juu, don't ask me to do that. I can't destroy something as beautiful as you. I believe you have a really good, ummm, heart in there. Please let me take you home with me to Turtle island. We can live there together in peace. Or if you would rather, I can get us a house in whatever city you want and live there. I promise to take care of you."

"But I can't live in a city Krillin, don't you see? People are scared of me and it will only be a matter of time before they form a vigilante group and come after me."

"Then let's go back to Turtle island. We can live there for a while, give people time to forget, to move on with their lives. Then we can always move to the city at a later date if you want."

I looked into his eyes. I could see concern and love there and I felt overwhelmed. Here was someone that was trying to protect me, someone who cared. I had forgotten what it was like to have another care about me. I so desperately wanted to go with him and yet I couldn't help but feel I would hurt him just as I had hurt so many others in my life.

"Please say yes, Juu. I can't deactivate you... I love you too much to do that."

My breath caught in my throat. Krillin had just confessed his love for me. I wasn't sure how to react to that. I didn't love him, but I felt a sense of warmth in my system when he was near me. Maybe this could work. But I would have to tell him of my feelings.

"Krillin?"

"Yes?"

"I hear what you are saying, but..." I swallowed hard. "Please try to understand, I don't return your love. I am fond of you but I don't think I love you."

"Thats okay, Juu. I am grateful for your honesty but it still doesn't change the fact that I would like to take care of you. I want you to come and live with me. That would be enough for me. Who knows, maybe you can learn to love me but should you meet someone else and fall in love with them then you are free to go. I won't stop you. Just please say you will live with me, at least until you get yourself sorted out."

The offer was genuine. Part of me screamed to take him up on it and part said to get away and destroy myself while I still had the chance. All my life since the loss of my parents I had had love and security offered to me only to be taken away as soon as I relaxed and began to enjoy it. Why should this be any different?

Because this is Krillin, said the human part of me that still existed, and he has laid every card on the table, no hidden clauses... no strings.

With a sudden surge of hope, I made up my mind and grabbed for what little happiness I still could.

"Okay, Krillin. You win," I said. "I will go with you to Turtle island, but please give me time. I have a lot to come to terms with."

Krillin felt his heart leap with happiness and hugged Juu closer to him. "You can take all the time you need. No one will bother or upset you. You can be free to be yourself. Ohh Juu, I promise you won't regret this," he said, elated with the decision.

I smiled at his childish excitement. "I had better not regret it," I growled teasingly. "For if I do, you will also regret it."

He grinned back. "It's good to see you smile."

"It's nice to have a reason to smile," I said softly.

We returned to the Butlers' home so that I could inform them of my decision. I would have liked to have believed that they were sad to see me go, but although they said and did all the right things I could sense that they were relieved that I was leaving. I couldn't blame them though. It can't have been easy for them knowing they had a killer sleeping in their house.

"Do you have anything you wish to bring with you?" asked Krillin.

"All I have in the world is what I am standing in Krillin," I said sadly.

"Then we will soon change that," he said. "Once you are settled in at Kame house I will take you shopping and get you anything and everything you need."

"Thankyou. How can I ever repay you?" I whispered.

"You already have thanked me by coming to live with me," replied Krillin.

I reached forward and placed a light kiss on his cheek, smiling as he reached up and ran his fingers over the spot then went bright red.

"Let's get going then," he mumbled.

"Hang on a sec, Krillin," I said, "There's something I have forgotten." I dashed back inside the Butler's home and returned a moment later.

"Okay, now we can go," I said.

"What did you forget?" he asked, looking at a small bag in my hand.

Silently I reached into the bag and withdrew its contents. I held up Miss Fluffy for him to see. "She is the only thing I have left that my parents gave me and she means more to me than anything." I clutched the teddy bear close to my chest and waited for Krillin to ridicule me.

He didn't.

Instead I felt his hand upon my arm. "I understand," he said softly.

Without another backward glance we took to the sky and headed for Turtle Island and my new life.

~ Owari ~