Clow and Ki

Written by: Jumper Prime

For Disclaimers see chapter 2.

Chapter 3: Goku VS. Cell

Goku walked across the ring to stand in front of Cell. For several moments, no one moved, except for the quivering reporter, and no one talked, except for the reporter who was announcing that Earth's only hope, Mr. Satan, had been defeated.

"This, should be good!" the golden-haired boy said

"Yeah." agreed the short bald man standing next to him

"Here we go." Madison narrated loud enough to be picked up by her camera's microphone "Will this guy have the power to defeat Cell, or will the task fall to our mighty Cardcaptor? You viewers should know by now what this avid chronicler thinks."

Cell uncrossed his arms and began to speak

"As I'm sure you know by now," he said "I've been waiting for this. Killing the helpless quickly grows old. I'm counting on you for amusement while I test my body."

"I hear you're designed to use all our techniques against us." Goku noted

"Perfection."

Both Cell and Goku got into fighting stances and became focused on each other, both watching for any sign of weakness from their opponent. As Mr. Satan claimed his defeat was the result of simply slipping, Sakura simply shook her head in disbelief, reminding herself how those with no belief in the supernatural simply couldn't see its effects, even when it went on two inches in front of their nose.

"Kero, the way they're talking..." Sakura whispered softly to her Guardian Beast

"Yes. It's as though they know each other." Keroberos nodded

"And that Cell was created somehow. Maybe that's why there was nothing on him in the books?"

"Perhaps. Though we should've been able to find some sort of hint, somewhere."

"Do you really think some evil sorcerer or demon lord created Cell? Maybe to kill this guy and his friends?"

"Maybe. If only we'd known this beforehand, for every spell to create a creature, there's a spell to unmake it. Both Li and Eli have more formal training in actual spells than you, and might have been able to remember one that could unmake Cell. If only you'd allowed them to come."

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride." Madison quoted "Hindsight is 20/20. You couldn't have known Cell was created with a spell. This guy'll probably lose, then it'll be up to you to take Cell down. I know you can do it. You've never failed yet."

Finally, after three minutes and fifty seconds of Goku and Cell standing silent and motionless, Cell spoke one word.

"Ding." Cell said simply and both he and Goku exploded into action.

Goku shot towards Cell and spun into a high kick, which Cell blocked with a raised forearm. Goku threw a punch which Cell blocked with a raised palm and retaliated with a roundhouse punch, which Goku ducked underneath. Cell threw a kick which Goku jumped over. While still airborne, Goku spun in a kick which Cell dodged under, going horizontal and pivoting on one arm to sweep his legs under Goku in an attempt to knock him to the ground. Goku saw the move coming and shifted to plant his hand and spring away, doing several hand springs backwards until he reached the edge of the ring.

Goku seemed to vanish and reappeared behind Cell a second later as Cell ducked to avoid a kick, then grabbed Goku's elbow as he tried to drive it into Cell's neck. Cell then used his grip on Goku's elbow to throw the golden-haired warrior through the air. Goku landed on his feet at the far side of the ring and immediately charged back at Cell. As Goku reached Cell, they began exchanging blows at rapid speed. They were moving so fast, Madison couldn't tell how many punches hit and how many were blocked. Suddenly, both combatants hit each other simultaneously, Cell punching Goku in the face and Goku kicking Cell in his own face. They broke apart from each other and landed on their respective feet, staring at each other across the ring. Madison was surprised to notice that Goku was smiling.

While Mr. Satan bragged, the fight quickly resumed with Goku and Cell exchanging blows. Goku dodged a punch by jumping backwards, then he charged again, with Cell also advancing towards him. Just before they would have collided, Goku leaped over Cell, soaring high into the air and then vanished. Cell rested on one knee for a moment before standing up and going very still. For a few moments, all was quiet, then Cell blocked a series of punches and kicks that seemed to come out of nowhere then kicked out at air and hit Goku, knocking him back, though the warrior did a handspring and landed on his feet.

Goku charged at Cell again, and seemed to pass right through before vanishing. A moment later, the real Goku charged in and punched Cell in the stomach, causing the creature to cry out while being driven back to the edge of the ring. Goku jumped up and kicked Cell in the face, knocking him out of the ring.

"He won!" Madison yelled, both relieved and dismayed. Relieved because Cell had been defeated and dismayed because the defeat wasn't at Sakura's hands. Suddenly, Cell stopped in mid air.

"It's not over Madison." Sakura said quietly, with her eyes firmly closed while Cell floated back onto the ring "He can fly."

"Sorry," Cell said without a hint of remorse "But did you think you had defeated me?"

"Hmmph," Goku relaxed his stance as Cell levitated just above the ring before touching down in the center. "I won't fall for your cheap pranks. I knew all along that it wouldn't be that easy to take you out, Cell."

"I thought it'd be appropriate to play a little joke since you aren't fighting me seriously."

"Hey, you're holding back as well."

"Little by little I shall reveal to you, the perfect power that lies within me."

"Bring it on." Goku got back into a fighting stance as he finished speaking. Everything was still, once again as the two fighters sized each other up.

"THAT wasn't fighting seriously?" Madison blinked in shock "I'm gonna have to play the tape back in slow-mo later just to see everything that happened already.

"They've only used a fraction of their power so far." Sakura noted with her eyes still closed "The fight's just gonna get more intense.

"You seem to be enjoying yourself," Cell said to Goku "Very much. I'm not surprised. As a Saiyan, fighting is all you live for."

"Are you saying you're any different?" Goku asked and Cell chuckled

"It depends on who I'm fighting." Cell answered as he started walking clamly toward Goku

"Well then, I'll try not to disappoint you."

Cell suddenly surged forward and threw a punch, which Goku ducked underneath. He kicked at Cell from his crouch, but the evil being vanished into thin air, immediately followed by Goku. The battle apparently continuing, Goku and Cell kept appearing long enough to throw a few punches and/or kicks, then disappearing a few seconds later. Madison panned around wildly with her camera in a futile attempt to film the fight, but it was useless. Removing her gaze from her camera's eyepiece, Madison turned to look at Sakura and saw that her friend had her eyes closed.

"Aren't you gonna even try to watch the fight?" Madison asked

"I am watching the fight, Madison." Sakura replied in a distant tone

"And so am I." Keroberos chimed in, using the same tone

Madison looked past her best friend to Keroberos and saw that he had his eyes shut as well. She then glanced at Sakura's staff and saw that it was slowly rotating. The rotation was very slow, compared to the rapid spinning that occurred when Sakura activated a card, only two or three revolutions per minute.

"I get it! You're using your magic to see them!" Madison quickly deduced.

"That's right." Keroberos nodded slowly

In Sakura's and Kero's minds, they were perceiving the surrounding area as if in Virtual Reality. Each person standing near the ring glowed from their inner life force, except for the red-haired giant, who strangely seemed to have none, as if he were a statue. Mr. Satan and his fanclub had the same dim glow that most humans had, but the motley group on the opposite side of the ring from them all glowed extremely bright. One of them, the little boy, glowed as bright as Goku did. Cell was a black mass, a humanoid hole in the image. Sakura and Keroberos could each adjust their individual viewpoints to whatever angle they wished, and did so as they followed the battle.

After a number of appearances and disappearances, they reappeared high above the ring, grappling with each other. Goku kicked Cell higher into the air, then vanished and reappeared above him, striking his opponent and knocking him down towards the ring. Goku followed Cell down, both hitting the ring almost simultaneously. When the smoke from the impact cleared, Goku and Cell were exchanging blows once more. The fight was intensifying to a point where the punches and kicks were throwing off shockwaves, astonishing Mr. Satan's apprentices and startling Madison. Sakura and Keroberos were too focused on their mystical view of the battle to take note.

Soon, a flurry of rapid fire punches into Goku's block were driving the golden-haired warrior slowly backwards, towards his entourage. Goku teetered on the edge of the ring as Cell reared back to deliver a punch that would knock his opponent from the ring. Cell threw a punch but his fist passed right through Goku as the warrior's image faded out. A few moments later Goku appeared in the center of the ring, facing Cell. Cell straightened up and half-turned to glance at Goku.

"Oh, you're good." Cell smirked

Cell immediately turned and flew at Goku. Goku raised his arms to block and slid backwards due to the speed of Cell's flight. As they neared the edge of the ring, Goku allowed himself to fall and kicked Cell in the abdomen with both legs, sending Cell high into the air. Goku immediately was back on his feet and jumped into the air after his opponent, his hands cupped to one side.

"KA-ME-HA-" Goku chanted as Sakura felt energy gathering between his palms "ME-HA!"

As Goku shouted the last syllable, he brought his hands in front of him and opened them, palms facing Cell, and a beam of blue energy shot from them. Cell knocked the blast aside to fly off into space, but the energy attack had been a feint, as Goku appeared behind and above Cell right before punching him in the back. Cell cried out in pain and spun around to punch Goku in the face, knocking him through the air. Cell immediately followed up with a strike using both fists clasped together to send Goku down towards the ground.

Goku managed to recover on the way down and landed hard with one foot and one knee, the force of the impact cracking the tiles he landed on. Cell quickly descended and made a much more gentle landing, across the ring. Goku calmly stood up as his opponent watched.

"Alright, I suppose that was a good enough warmup." Cell stated

"Yeah." Goku agreed with a smile

"That was just a warmup!" Madison said in shock, for once, just as astonished as Mr. Satan and his fanclub

"Now!"

Goku crossed his arms in front of his face and was suddenly surrounded by a golden aura while loose bits of gravel flew around him. Goku grunted with effort as his aura grew brighter. A steady storm of gravel surrounded him and red energy crackled through the air like lightning bolts. Goku raised his arms to the sky and shouted even louder. At that moment, Sakura's eyes snapped open and her left hand darted for one of her pockets. A card popped out of the pocket, almost of its own volition, as her hand reached it and she threw it up in the air.

"SHIELD!" Sakura shouted as she struck the card with the top of her staff

The star in the top of Sakura's staff spun rapidly and energy poured from the card before it vanished. A semi-transparent dome immediately appeared over Sakura, Madison, and Keroberos. The 'front' of the dome, facing the ring, seemed to have a transparent image of Sakura's wing symbol on it. The dome solidified just in time, as at the very moment it did, red energy exploded from around Goku, bringing with it an intense shockwave carrying a dust cloud. Thanks to the protection of the Shield card, Sakura, Madison, and Keroberos only felt a strong gust of wind, just enough to make Madison's skirt flap and make Sakura's cape blow horizontal behind her. Mr. Satan and his fan club had no such protection and were sent flying through the air by the shockwave.

"Such power." Keroberos whispered as the smoke cleared to reveal Goku's body shining with golden light "The Shield card can produce an area of dead calm in the middle of a hurricane. To force wind through the shield..."

Cell spread his wings slightly and raised his arms just before starting to yell.

"Keep Shield going!" Madison advised "It looks like Cell's copying the other guy! And if the same thing happens..."

"I'm on top of it, Madison." Sakura responded, holding her staff tightly with both hands.

Blue energy exploded from Cell's body, producing a shockwave and dust cloud much like that Goku had just caused. Once again, Mr. Satan and his fan club were literally blown away, though Goku's entourage were able to hold their ground. As the smoke cleared, Cell's body was shining with violet light while his aura was golden.

After a moment, Goku casually walked towards Cell and stopped right in front of him, both warriors staring into each others' eyes.

"Your move." Cell said

"Of course." Goku responded and immediately attacked

Goku sent Cell flying with three unanswered blows, then appeared behind him and sent him in the opposite direction with a fourth, causing him to bounce off the ring surface before coming to a stop upside down in midair. Cell laughed.

"Good work, Goku!" Cell said as he slowly rotated back to right side up. "At last, a worthy opponent! This is the competition I've been waiting for. Since our powers are almost equal it should make for a most interesting contest, don't you think?"

"Yeah. Count on it." Goku got back into a fighting stance as Cell righted himself and wiped a thin trickle of violet blood from the corner of his mouth."

"Is Cell just playing head games, or is he really talking like this guy can beat him?" Madison wondered out loud

"He's got a chance." Sakura answered as the protective dome disappeared and the Shield card appeared in her hand "Maybe I won't have to fight, after all."

Goku and Cell charged each other once more and exchanged a flurry of punches. The exchange was finished by Goku when he knocked Cell's leg out from under him. Cell started to fall but vanished before Goku's next punch could reach his face. Cell reappeared behind Goku with his back to him, and then spun to punch Goku, only to strike air. Both combatants disappeared and blurred over the ring, reappearing in the air above the ring, upside down, and exchanging punches as though they were right side up. They both landed on their feet on opposite sides of the ring and sprung towards each other, their bodies flickering in and out of visibility as they did. Cell blocked a high kick with his forearm, then punched Goku in the belly before taking a kick to the side of the head. Fists and knees struck each other before Cell kicked Goku in the face, sending him flying backwards.

Goku tucked and rolled through the air before landing on his feet before once again launching himself at Cell. Goku's attempt at a flying kick missed, but Cell's did not. Cell's kick hit Goku in the face, but a moment later, Goku's fist found Cell's face, sending him skidding across the ring, though the evil creature stood up as soon as he came to a stop near the edge of the ring. Cell stood with his back to a battle-ready Goku, and laughed.

"I've got a surprise for you." Cell announced as he turned around and crossed his arms in front of his face "MULTIFORM!" Cell shouted and three ghost images of himself appeared and solidified "How do you like these odds?"

"Wow!" Madison said in wonder as she continued filming "It's like the Twin card times two."

"You had this planned, right Cell?" Goku said calmly

All four Cells chuckled in response and then went into motion. They flew rapidly around the stationary Goku before coming to a stop at the four corners of the ring.

"No way. This trick won't work on me." Goku stated

"We'll see about that!" One of the Cell's responded and all four of him charged Goku.

A furious four-on-one battle immediately commenced between Goku and the four Cells. The battle went back and forth across the ring, but Goku seemed to be holding his own. After the furious exchange was over, Goku was again standing proud in the center of the ring and the four Cells were each at a corner. All four Cell's chuckled

"Well done," one of the Cell's commended "I see that your fighting skills keep improving."

"Well thanks," Goku responded "I try."

"Oh, but this match isn't over yet." Each Cell put two fingers to its forehead "You have no idea what I have in store for you next. SPECIAL BEAM CANNON!"

The Cells' raised fingers glowed with yellow light, then each extended its arm so that the fingers pointed directly at Goku and a powerful beam of energy fired from the hand of each Cell, for a total of four. Goku avoided the beams by flying upward just before they hit and the four beams cancelled each other out. All four Cells followed Goku into the air and it didn't take long for him to knock all four out of the sky. The first Cell hit the ring hard, closely followed by a second landing on top of him, the third Cell landed on top of him, and the fourth Cell landed on top of the third one. Suddenly, three of the Cell's faded out, leaving only the original Cell lying face down on the surface of the ring, unmoving.

"He did it! He beat Cell!" Madison cheered

"Not yet he hasn't." Keroberos said grimly

"Cell's still close to full power." Sakura noted

Suddenly, Cell jumped to his feet and extended his hand, palm up.

"KIENZAN DISCS!" Cell shouted as a red disc of energy appeared and flew at Goku.

The golden-haired warrior dodged aside and the energy disc flew past him, giving Mr. Satan a slight haircut before continuing on away from the ring and exploding against a hillside. Cell threw another disc at Goku and he started dodging it. Cell's energy disc chased Goku all around the ring as he flew fast to keep ahead of it.

"Ha! Nice try Goku," Cell taunted as he saw Goku's plan "The cell from Frieza that's inside me tells me you are trying to draw that disk back this way. No chance."

Cell threw another energy disc at Goku as the golden-haired warrior flew directly at him, the first disc in pursuit. Madison's breath caught in her throat as she saw the new disc slice clean through Goku, but relaxed a moment later as it became obvious that it had only been an illusion.

"It went right through him!" Cell snarled as he turned around to face Goku "This time I'll finish you off for good!" Both energy discs sliced through Goku, but again, the sliced afterimage faded out

"There's no way you can beat me with your stolen fighting techniques!" Goku declared as he stood in the ring "Now give up!"

"No, not yet. It's over when I say it's over." Cell's aura flared and he extended his arms in front of him, forearms pressed against each other, palms facing Goku "KAAAAA-MEEEEE-" Cell shifted position, cupping his hands by his right side and Sakura could feel Cell concentrating his power

"NO! You can't put that much power into the Kamehameha! It's too dangerous!"

"HAAAAA-" A bright ball of blue energy formed in Cell's hands "MEEEEEE-" the ball of light became blindingly bright "HAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Cell quickly thrust his hands forward to the first position and a bright beam of blue energy fired from his hands, straight at Goku. Sensing the power of the blast, Sakura's eyes snapped open and she again struck a card with her staff, transforming it into colored energy.

"SHIELD!" Sakura shouted and the transparent dome of the Shield card once again covered her, Madison, and Keroberos.

Goku flew upwards and the beam turned to chase him, quickly obscuring him from normal view. With her eyes closed, Sakura was able to keep him in sight, viewing him through her mind's eye. Just as the blast caught up to Goku, his lifeforce winked out. For a few moments, Sakura feared the worst, but then, suddenly, Goku's lifeforce reappeared in the ring, right next to Cell. Goku immediately kicked Cell in the face, knocking the evil creature a short way through the air. Cell did a handspring and landed on his feet, facing Goku. As another lull began, Sakura again allowed the Shield card's power to fade and replaced the card in her pocket.

"But how! That blast was too close for you to have possibly escaped!" Cell declared

"I guess, it was luck." Goku responded

"Of course, you're very lucky. But how did you disappear and reappear again?"

"A new technique: The Instant Transmission."

"Instant, huh? Sounds like a useful little maneuver."

"Yeah, it is. You know, that blast would have completely destroyed the Earth if I hadn't flown up and diverted it."

"Yeah, maybe so. But I knew you would do something heroic to save it."

"Oh, I see. So you were counting on me."

"Well don't get the wrong idea. I don't care one bit about this planet or its filthy people, but without it, there'd be no one to KILL!"

Cell blurred into invisibility and got in several unanswered attacks on Goku. While the golden-haired warrior was looking around for his speedy foe, Madison was whispering to her best friend.

"Sak- Cardcaptor. The way they've been talking. Like they're old enemies." Madison noted

"I know." Sakura said in a preoccupied tone, tracking Cell with her magical senses "They know each other's moves."

Suddenly, Cell appeared behind Goku with his arms crossed.

"Am I too fast for you, Goku?" Cell asked with a smirk on his face

Then the fight resumed, both fighters moving too fast for most of those present to follow, becoming little more than streaks to the ordinary eye, causing Madison a bit of frustration. Cell and Goku were briefly seen as the villain unloaded a series of punches into Goku's face. Goku ducked a punch and kicked Cell skyward, flying after him. The fight continued high in the air, both warriors exchanging blows, moving very fast, only visible to three watchers: Sakura, Kero, and a certain golden-haired boy.

While the fight continued in the sky above the ring, Mr. Satan claimed to see Goku and Cell hiding in the broken part of the ring, but he was soon disproven by the thunderclaps that were the shockwaves from the aerial battle.

Goku and Cell soon crashed to the ring surface and the rapid battle continued, ranging all across the expanse of tile and above it. Goku narrowly avoided falling off the ring and leapt skyward, flying high in the air before Cell appeared above him.

"HEY! GET AWAY FROM THE RING! NOW!" Goku shouted a warning to those below, after a few seconds of conversation between himself and Cell

Sakura felt Cell gathering power for an attack and knew immediately what she had to do. Her eyes snapped open as she pulled a card from her pocket and threw it up in the air.

"FLY!" Sakura shouted and struck it with the head of her staff. The star in the top of her staff spun rapidly as energy poured from the card just prior to it disappearing and white wings sprouted from her back.

Sakura threaded her arms under Madison's armpits and her hands met over her friend's chest while she hugged her close. Before Madison could even cry out in surprise, Sakura had pushed off from the ground and her wings were flapping over and over to get altitude and put distance between them and the ring. At the same time, Keroberos used his own wings to fly up and away, as well. They did this just in time because, mere seconds later, Cell's ki blast exploded, completely annihilating the ring and leaving a large crater where it once stood.

Sakura, Madison and Keroberos looked around to see they were not alone in the sky as they floated high in the air. Goku's entire entourage, including Piccolo, were flying as well. By unspoken agreement, they were all flying over to a nearby ridge and landing on top of it. Piccolo made eye contact with Sakura and nodded his head towards the ridge, signaling that he wanted her to go over to it, as well.

Sakura hesitated as she felt for the lifeforces of Mr. Satan and his fan club, fearing the worst. She was pleasantly surprised to sense them directly below her. Looking down, Sakura saw that they had been rescued by the red-haired giant, who still seemed to have no discernable lifeforce. Relieved that they were alright, Sakura and Keroberos, with Madison in tow, flew to the top of the nearby ridge and landed. Sakura's wings disappeared a few seconds after she released Madison to stand on her own two feet. Piccolo and the young boy had already landed on the topmost ledge when Sakura and her friends touched down on it. The rest of Goku's entourage were just below them on the next ledge down.

"Whoa! Cell blew the ring up!" The short bald man exclaimed as the dust cleared

"Madison, Kero, are you both OK?" Sakura asked her friends

"I'm A-OK, thanks to you." Madison smiled at her friend "See, you were able to protect me, after all."

"I am alright, as well." Keroberos added "Goku's warning gave us plenty of time to get out of the way of the blast."

"Waitasec. I just realized where I've heard the name Goku before: In some old martial-arts magazines Meilin liked to read during free period, back when she first came to Readington. He was like this martial-arts prodigy. He was only thirteen or so when he got second place in the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai, back before they had a junior division. Three years later, he got second place again in the 22nd Budokai, and three years after that, he won the 23rd Budokai in a fight that totaled the stadium! He had black hair back then, though. I wonder if he dyed it black for the tournaments or if he dyed it blonde for today."

As Madison talked, Cell and Goku touched down on the desert floor below. The acoustics were such that those on the ridge could hear what was being said by the two combatants as they stood across from each other.

"How do you like that, Goku?" Cell asked "It's quite an improvement, don't you think? Now the whole desert is our ring. Let's say the last one standing wins the game."

"I see. So it's a fight to the finish." Goku responded

"Would you have it any other way?"

"No, I guess not." Goku answered as he stretched a bit

"Right, that's enough talk, Goku. Now it's time to continue the game."

Suddenly, with little warning, Cell started firing a continuous volley of ki blasts, prompting Goku to fly quickly across the desert to avoid them as the blasts threw up a trail of dust in his wake. He soon turned and flew into the flurry of deadly energy, deftly dodging the blasts and firing ki blasts of his own back at Cell. The two opposing volleys of ki blasts met and produced a powerful explosion, though the observers on the ridge were far enough away to only feel a strong wind and a good deal of blowing dust, prompting some to shield their faces, though others, including Sakura and Keroberos, were too focused on the fight for much of a reaction.

As the smoke cleared, Goku and Cell were down on the desert floor and were exchanging blows. Their hands locked together and they began pushing against each other. Their auras flared into visibility and the ground started to shake.

"They're even." declared the violet-haired young man on the ledge below "Not only are they equal in speed but now they're equal in power as well."

The ground neath Goku and Cell's feet gave way as pieces of rock broke free of the ground to fall upwards, the clashing powers wreaking havoc with the laws of gravity. The warrior and the monster traded fast and furious blows as the battle continued to escalate. Somewhere along the way, the battle went airborne and Goku sent Cell falling to the ground below with a punch to the face. Goku descended to the surface and skimmed towards Cell along the ground but Cell smashed up out of the ground and fired a volley of ki blasts at the approaching hero. The blasts seemed to hit, but Goku flew up out of the explosion and hovered high in the air, visible as nothing more than a spot of bright golden light.

"Look, Goku! He's way up there!" the short bald man smiled "Hey, what's he doing?"

"KAAAAMEEEE-" Goku's voice echoed over the landscape

"Everyone, get down, take cover, get moving!" Piccolo warned frantically "Goku's releasing the Kamehameha!"

"SHIELD!" Sakura shouted as she once again activated the Shield card, the familiar dome appearing over Sakura, Madison, and Keroberos.

"Aw, just relax guys. Goku's crazy, but he's not that crazy." the bald man, Madison finally recalled his name from Meilin's magazines as being Krillin, declared "There's nothing to worry about."

"HAAAAAMEEEEEE-" Goku continued his chant

"No! Don't do it! Please dad don't!" the young boy cried out anxiously

Suddenly, Goku vanished from his position high in the air and reappeared right in front of Cell on the ground.

"NOOOOOOOOOO!" Cell shouted as Goku extended his hands toward him

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Goku shouted and unleashed a mighty beam against Cell at point blank range

The world was filled with white light from the blast for a few moments and then it faded. One of the few things visible through the light had been pieces flying from Cell's body as the beam slammed into him As the smoke cleared, everyone could see that Cell's body, or what was left of it, was lying on the ground, head and arms completely gone.

"Did you see that?" The man with several scars on his face asked "Goku blasted Cell into pieces! Nobody could survive the Kamehameha Wave at that close range!"

"You're right, Yamcha. That little maneuver may have just won Goku the tournament!" agreed the three-eyed man, whose name Madison recalled as being Tienshinhan

"Yeah! He's won!"

"He did it!" Madison cheered as Sakura dismissed the Shield card, dissolving the protective dome

"Yeah! Goku did it alright! That Instant Transmission technique really did the trick! Hey everybody! Goku won the tournament!" Yamcha laughed but suddenly stopped as he realized no one else was celebrating "C'mon guys! This is good news! We don't have to worry about Cell anymore!"

"It's not over. Cell's not dead." Sakura said softly, her eyes shut tightly

"What do ya mean he's not dead!" Madison blinked in shock "Goku blew his head off! Does this kind of demon have its brain in its stomach, or something!"

"Cell's not a demon, he's an android." Piccolo quietly corrected

"Huh?" Sakura, Madison, and Keroberos were confused by this statement but didn't have time to inquire further as Krillin picked that moment to yell out to Goku

"GET AWAY FROM HIM GOKU!" Krillin warned "CELL IS GONNA REGENERATE HIMSELF!"

"Oh no." Keroberos muttered as he realized what was about to happen

Suddenly, Cell's headless and armless body did a kip-up to get back on its feet. The seared area marking where the missing parts of Cell's body had been started to bubble and a new head and two new arms sprouted, mere moments passing before Cell looked as good as new.

"Oh my god..." Madison said in shock as she watched Cell regenerate in high detail, via her camera's zoom lens "I think I might be sick."

"It just won't die!" Piccolo growled

Through her mind's eye, Sakura could sense that Goku's power had greatly dimmed and Cell's darkness wasn't quite as intense as before. The last exchange had taken a lot out of both of them, but it felt like Goku's power had diminished more.

Goku and Cell flared their auras into visibility and then Goku charged Cell. The android sidestepped the charge and punched Goku in the face, but Goku came right back with a boot to Cell's face. Both fighters unleashed a rapid flurry of punches and kicks, but Goku seemed to be taking the worst of it. Despite their diminished power, their attacks still packed so much force that the punches and kicks that missed caused rock outcroppings yards away to shatter. The battle took to the air once again as Cell went airborne with Goku in pursuit. Cell fired a ki blast at Goku, who vanished before the blast hit. Goku reappeared behind Cell and punched him but when he tried to follow up, Cell vanished. Cell reappeared a short distance away and Goku tried to hit him again, only for Cell to vanish again. After several more attempts, Cell appeared behind Goku and hit him in the back with both fists. As Goku fell, Cell tried to hit him with a flying kick but the golden-haired warrior disappeared.

Each fighter disappeared and reappeared multiple times, trying to get the edge on their opponent as they vanished into the distance. From afar came a flash of light and a clap of thunder and both warriors zoomed back towards the observers, Goku apparently having been knocked in the direction of his travel with Cell following close behind. They quickly resumed exchanging blows in midair.

"Goku was counting on that last attack to finish Cell off!" Piccolo observed "I don't know how much longer he'll be able to keep this up."

After both fighters scored simultaneous punches on each other, the fighting paused for a moment, then Goku charged Cell, only to get a knee in the gut. Cell held Goku by his collar for a moment then punched him in the face, sending him flying into a rockface. Rocks fell down to bury Goku, but as Cell flew forward, the rubble exploded outward to reveal the relatively unharmed form of Goku. The flying debris caused Cell to come to a halt in midair, and then Goku started firing a continuous stream of ki blasts at Cell, most of which hit and produced explosions which quickly enveloped the android in a dust cloud.

"He's got it! Goku's going to win!" The violet-haired young man declared

"He's used up too much of his power." Sakura said in a detached tone "More than Cell has. He can't win."

"Then start psyching yourself up, Cardcaptor." Madison suggested "Cuz you're still our best hope. Demon or android, you'll take Cell down."

"Hmmph." Vegeta snorted at the thought that a slip of a girl with such a low ki could succeed where a Super Saiyan was apparently failing *Even as tired as Cell is getting from his battle with Kakarot, that girl still would stand no chance against him.* Vegeta thought *I, on the other hand, should be able to deal Cell a mortal blow once this battle is finished. The only downside is that if Cell kills Kakarot, I won't get to kill him, myself.*

"You don't know what you're talking about!" Krillin yelled up to Sakura "Goku will win! He always wins, no matter how strong the opponent!"

"Whatever." Madison responded casually as Goku continued firing massive amounts of Ki blasts at Cell, now completely obscured within a dust cloud high above the desert floor

"My Dad will win!" declared the golden-haired boy who was wearing a copy of Piccolo's outfit, minus the turban "You'll see."

"Well, kids always have total faith in their Dads. What's your name, anyway, kid?"

"I'm Gohan, and this isn't just blind faith. Dad always saves the day. Every time things have looked dark, Dad has come through."

Sakura didn't have the heart to tell Gohan what her magical senses told her was inside the dust cloud. The ki blasts were hitting Cell's shield and having only minimal effect. Suddenly, Cell let out a primal yell and a purple sphere of energy expanded outward from him, while Goku's ki blasts impacted on the surface. The sphere touched the ground and kept expanding, throwing up huge amounts of rock which shattered apart as it rose. Sakura's eyes snapped open as she sensed a compression wave of air caused by the sphere's rapid expansion and realized what it would do to an unprotected person, not to mention what could happen if the energy sphere didn't stop expanding before it reached them.

"SHIELD!" Sakura shouted, once again calling upon the powers of the Shield card to protect herself and her friends.

Cell's energy sphere stopped expanding just after crashing against the side of the cliff that Sakura, Madison, Keroberos, and the Z-Fighters were standing on, almost as though the mass of rock was enough to stop Cell's energy from expanding further. When the sphere stopped expanding, it was mere inches away from the faces of several of the observers, and sparks of energy arced between the sphere and the protective barrier generated by the Shield card. On the desert floor below, Mr. Satan, who had failed to hide behind sufficient cover, was blown backwards by the intense gust of wind created by the compression wave and crashed face-first into a large rock, leaving a deep impression in it.

Sakura's knuckles were white as she gripped her staff. As Goku hovered, his image in the young magician's mind was much dimmer than it was when the fight began. Goku was running on empty. There was no way he could defeat Cell now, which meant that the job would soon fall to Sakura. Sakura was nervous, she still wasn't sure if she could defeat Cell on her own, but she had a bit of hope in the fact that Cell was tired, as well.

Goku touched down on the ground and Cell dispelled his energy sphere while hovering above the crater the sphere had created.

"Are you feeling tired, Goku?" Cell asked his opponent, loud enough to be heard by all "You've lost a lot of strength. Why don't you take a breather. Perhaps one of those senzu beans would help you?"

"Hey, this is our chance!" the lavender-haired man declared "If Goku eats a senzu bean, he can get his strength back and take Cell down!"

"That's right!" Yamcha agreed "Cell said he could!"

"Senzu bean?" Madison blinked in confusion, not knowing about the magical beans which instantly heal and restore to full strength anyone who eats one.

"C'mon, Krillin." the lavender-haired man turned to his bald friend

"We will wait!" Piccolo ordered in a clear voice. For about half a minute, there was silence, then Trunks spoke again

"We'll wait for what? He needs a senzu bean!"

"Quiet boy!" Vegeta yelled "Where is your honor? Like all pure-blooded Saiyans, Kakarot would rather die fighting than win with one of those disgraceful senzu beans as his crutch. Kakarot trained in the Room of Spirit and Time, just as we did. Now let's see what he can do."

"No! We can't! Goku doesn't have the strength! Don't you see what will happen if he keeps going like this?"

"If this goes on, then he will die." Everyone had a shocked expression on their faces after Vegeta's statement "But, that will be his decision. It is painfully clear at this point that noone among this group is stronger than Kakarot is. Not even myself. So he deserves to have the fight of a true warrior. And that

means to the death!"

"While we all just stand here and watch? I won't be part of it!"

"Aren't you the one who has never stopped talking about how great a hero Kakarot is? If you have so much faith in him, then wait and see what he will do."

Cell said something to Goku that was too low for Sakura or Madison to hear, ending with a laugh.

"You're right about one thing Cell:" Goku answered loud enough to be heard by all "The world does want to see a real champion." Goku's aura suddenly went out as he powered down "It's over Cell, you win. I give up. I know how strong you are. There's no point in continuing this fight, I can't beat you."

Goku's friends couldn't believe their ears at his admission. Each had something to say about it.

"You coward!" Vegeta snarled

"No! Goku!" Krillin yelled

"No! Don't do it!" Trunks cried out

"What? No way, Goku never gives up!" Tienshinhan was in shock

"What! Goku's turning his back on us?" Yamcha couldn't believe his friend had surrendered

"No... Don't give up." Gohan said softly

"No! You can't let Cell win, Goku!" Piccolo shouted

Madison's reaction was quite different

"Looks like you're on deck, Cardcaptor." Madison stated as she put her hand on her friend's shoulder in a show of support "Get ready to kick some ass."

"You win Cell, I give up." Goku repeated "You know, I wasn't sure when I came here today that I'd have what it takes to beat you. I know now that I don't. Fighting you has shown me that there's still a lot I have to work towards. We may be enemies, but today you've given me a valuable opportunity to learn more about myself, and for that, I thank you."

"It takes a big man to admit his limitations in the face of an overwhelming enemy." Keroberos commented while Trunks and Yamcha said some less complementary things about Goku

"It's pointless for us to continue this fight."

"Surely you're joking!" Cell snarled "You can't just say 'I give up' and expect to walk away!"

"Sure I can! You beat me fair and square! I give up!"

"Well Goku, I hope you fully appreciate the consequences of your actions. You may quit if you wish, but if there's no one left to fight me I'm going to reduce this entire planet to RUBBLE!"

"Not so fast Cell! I may be giving up, but that doesn't mean the tournament's over. There's still one more person for you to fight."

"You're not serious. Who? One of them? And exactly which one of these pitiful specimens did you have in mind, Goku? Who? Trunks, Vegeta, Piccolo, or maybe that overconfident little girl? Please, don't waste my time."

As he stood on the ledge below where Cell floated, Vegeta snarled at the android's out of hand dismissal of him, not to mention being lumped into the same category as Piccolo and the puny girl who, for some reason, seemed to think her weak power was a match for that of Cell.

"So, you don't mind if I pick who gets to fight next, do you?" Goku asked

"You actually intend to go through with this?" Cell asked

"I know it sounds crazy, but you'll understand, soon enough. The person I'm about to name is a lot stronger than I am. So, if you enjoyed the challenge of fighting me, Cell, you're gonna like this next one even better. Of course, you probably won't feel that way about it after they've beaten you."

"What's that?"

"I said, you probably won't feel that way about it after they beat you."

"A bold statement, you certainly seem to have a lot of confidence in this mystery fighter of yours. Well, I hope for your sake that your confidence has not been misplaced. Now, where is this great invisible champion of yours!"

"Get set, Sakura." Madison whispered into her friend's ear "Obviously he sensed your power and figured out that you've got everything it'll take to finish the job he started."

Is Goku about to pick Sakura the Cardcaptor to fight Cell, or does he actually have someone else in mind? Find out in the next chapter of Clow and Ki!

End of chapter 3

I know, I know. It's been several months since I updated, and I'm sorry. My only excuse is that I lost my muse for a while, and was also very busy(or maybe that's WHY I lost my muse) Anyway, on a happier note, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I'd hoped to get this chapter done before the year changed, but I guess I was just a little too slow. Consider the size of this chapter a partial repayment of the debt. Oh, and magus, I'm afraid there will be no pairing in this fic.

Anyway, the next chapter will reveal Goku's choice to fight Cell next. Sure, some would say it's a forgone conclusion, but with the changes we've seen so far, can we be sure? I'll try to get chapter 4 out a bit faster, but, as always, I can make no guarantees.