Any ideas on how to continue this would be much appreciated. I'm sort of writing by the seat of my pants here.
Eighteen leaned against the doorway to the apartment she shared with her brother. She was a little tipsy, but the tiny smile tugging at her lips came from the fact that Krillin had been a perfect gentleman all evening. Even when she had accidentally flashed him when she tripped on the sidewalk and he caught her. He hadn't even looked down her shirt. Just shot his eyes up to the night sky and let her use his bald head as support while she unstrapped her heels, which took about twice as long as it normally did.
Okay, so maybe she was more than a little tipsy; that had been good wine and Krillin had been paying for everything. Actually, maybe she should invite him out next time, to pay him back. Yes. That was a good idea. Just to pay him back, mind. Since he was being so generous and all.
Krillin coughed into his fist and looked up at her with a nervous smile.
"Will you be alright?" he asked. Her smile widened.
"Why don't you come inside and make sure?" she said in a sultry voice. He was such a gentleman he even started nodding, as though to say, Yes, what a good idea, I'll put out some aspirin and a glass of water for when you wake up; and then the years he'd spent at Kame House seemed to catch up with him and he just turned red.
"You're pretty cute," she said, and a part of her brain knew she was going to regret saying that in the morning. At the moment, though, it was simply the truth. He was adorable. She'd never met anyone who was really like this in real life; somehow she just couldn't take him seriously as a real person. That was probably why she motorboated him, she thought distantly, clinically. That had to be it. She'd never take a real man's head and stuff it between her breasts, not even if he was just the right height for it. She used a portion of her super human strength to keep him there as she unlocked her door and stumbled inside.
"E-Eighteen!" Krillin protested, his voice muffled, but suddenly all she could think about was that her brother's gun collection was gone. She released Krillin and strode over to the empty gun rack, consciously raising her metabolism by 35% so she would sober up a little. Her ever-present programming informed her that the anti-panic systems were kicking in, but since all that did was slow the flow of adrenaline to her body, it didn't make her feel any better. The last time that particular bit of programming had activated had been after Cell absorbed Seventeen, and it had made her resistance against the monster even more pitiful than it would have been normally. The unpleasant association made her feel even worse.
"He really left," she said in a low voice. Krillin, face mostly back to its normal color, had stepped quietly beside her as she stared at the wall, and at her words he put a comforting hand on her elbow. The alcohol had not yet completely burned off, and that was the only reason, the only reason, that she began to cry.
Krillin awoke to the sound of the door opening and closing. He opened his eyes, and went from being uncomfortably stiff from spending a night on a couch directly into too frozen with fear to move at all.
Seventeen glared down at him with flat, blue eyes that were disturbingly like his sister's.
"This isn't what it looks like," Krillin said, voice high in panic. The smile that broke through the glare on the android's face was hard and cruel and terrifying.
"You know, it's a funny thing," he said almost conversationally. Krillin felt sure that if he'd been holding a knife he'd be using it to nonchalantly clean his nails. "Usually when people say that, it's exactly what it looks like."
It didn't look good, Krillin had to admit. He knew for a fact that he was still fully clothed, minus only his suit jacket, and he was reasonably certain that the only thing Eighteen was missing was her shoes, but since a large, fluffy comforter covered every part of them but their heads, it was easy to fill in the blanks with something a lot less innocent.
The blond head resting on his shoulder shifted, and Eighteen mumbled something that sounded like his name. The glare on Seventeen's face reasserted itself. Krillin swallowed.
"Uh, Eighteen," he said. Since he had watched her cry herself to sleep over her brother, he felt distinctly disinclined to simply announce his presence to her. However, he also didn't want to be the center of said brother's attention any longer than was necessary, so he lifted his shoulder slightly, jostling her. "Eighteen, wake up."
She opened one eye, crusty with dried tears and sleep gunk, and glared at him. It was so like the expression on her brother's face that it gave him a sudden and intense case of the willies. But after a moment it softened, allowing his breathing to start up again, and she straightened up on the couch, inhaling deeply and stretching her arms. The comforter fell away, revealing their clothed shoulders, and Krillin looked at Seventeen out of the corner of his eye. The android did not seem any less angry than before. He held in a sigh.
Eighteen relaxed out of her stretch and sat up all the way, catching sight of her brother as she did so. Her eyes widened fractionally, and then narrowed.
"Forget something?" she asked coldly. Her brother narrowed his eyes as well.
"I was going to come apologize. Because I realized that it was absurd of me to imply that you'd let yourself be used by some desperate little midget."
Eighteen stood rapidly, coming to rest nose-to-nose with her brother.
"For your information," she spat, "he was comforting me because my stupid little brother ran away from home. Again."
"Don't pretend like this is the same thing, Eighteen."
"No. It's not. This time I was convinced you weren't coming back."
Seventeen snarled wordlessly.
"Where were you going to go this time, Seventeen?" his sister demanded. "It wouldn't have been just the cops after you this time, it would have been his crew." She gestured sharply in Krillin's direction, who shrank down into the couch even further. Seventeen's glare deepened, though he did not so much as glance at Krillin.
"And who says I was going to be doing something illegal, huh? That's real generous of you sis, thanks for assuming the worst of me."
"You've never given me reason to assume anything else."
Eighteen was merely spitting words out, heedless of their meaning, but Seventeen turned white, and his eyes burned.
"Then I guess the next time you almost die I'll just stand back and let it happen," he said in a flat voice. Krillin could see Eighteen's eyes soften as she realized what her brother meant, but before she could say anything he spun on his heel and strode to the door. He wrenched it open and turned back just long enough to say, "Don't expect me back this time," before slamming it shut behind him.
Eighteen let out a soft sigh, but then she straightened and jogged after her brother. "Seventeen! Wait!"
Krillin sat on the couch in the now empty apartment feeling, not for the first time, like the biggest third wheel in the world. He'd been wrong about the two of them being lovers, but he hadn't been wrong about their closeness. They were less like siblings and more like two halves of the same person, and there was no room between them for him. This argument would pass, leaving them as connected as ever, and Krillin would be right back where he started, alone.
He stood, gathering his jacket and straightening his rumpled shirt, and then looked down at Eighteen's discarded shoes on the floor.
"I can't let it end like this," he whispered to himself. If he let her go now, he would regret it for the rest of his life. This was nothing like Maron, who had been pretty and fun and in the end, only a means to an end: Krillin the Married Man. Eighteen made him feel like a silly schoolboy but she also made him feel brave, and she was snarky and funny and strong and flawed, and he loved her. He loved her so much he wondered if he'd really loved Maron at all.
Lifting his chin, Krillin strode to the door of the apartment and flung it open, ready to chase down Eighteen and… and…
Well, it didn't matter that he hadn't thought past that part, because down the hall and across from the elevator was Eighteen, her brother in her arms, the dark-haired man sobbing his heart out on her shoulder like a little boy.
Eighteen was murmuring softly to her brother, soothingly rubbing his back, and when she caught sight of Krillin she frowned and made a shooing motion with her hand.
"Third wheel for life," Krillin mumbled to himself as he took the stairs.