"Let me in," the woman shouted in an annoyingly high pitched voice. "Krillin, it's your Marron!"
"Krillin's not here," Master Roshi said from the other side of the door.
"Oh, where could my poor Krillin be?"
"Not here," Master Roshi repeated.
"Oh no! And after I spent all this time to look good for him. Where could my Krillin be? I know, he's off buying me a gift! Isn't he?"
"Yeah sure, whatever. Now go away."
"Oh he's so sweet. He knew I was coming so he decided to surprise me with a present to show me how much he loves me."
"Yes, fine. Go away."
"I'm not leaving until Krillin gets back."
The door opened. "Fine, then come on in."
From inside the house Android 18 could hear Krillin shout.
"No don't let her in! Android 18 will be here any minute!"
"Krillin," the woman shouted gleefully. She ran inside. "I missed you so much."
Intrigued Android 18 landed and walked into the house.
Inside she found Krillin laying on the ground. The woman had her arms wrapped around his neck and was kissing him repeatedly. Krillin saw Android 18 walk in and screamed.
"Android 18! This isn't what it looks like."
"Is it now? Then what is it?" Android 18 asked.
The woman turned, her eyes were sparkling. "Hello. Are you a friend of Krillin's?"
"You could say that," Android 18 said. She didn't want to commit to anything until she knew why this woman was here.
"Hi, I'm Marron, Krillin's girlfriend!"
Android 18 had to struggle to steady herself. Krillin's girlfriend?! Not ex-girlfriend but girlfriend? Impossible. Even so, Android 18 felt like a piece of her heart, or whatever device Gero had placed where her heart used to be, had been torn away. She was in such a shock that she didn't even hear what Krillin said next.
"I beg your pardon?"
"I'm sorry is something wrong?" asked the woman.
"You're Krillin's girlfriend? Since when?"
"Oh, for ages. He taught me what love really means."
"Sounds familiar," Android 18 said darkly. She tried to see what Krillin saw in this woman, but that was obvious. This Marron woman had on a dress more revealing than Android 18's bikini. And what she had on display she had an ample supply of. So this was the kind of girl Krillin liked? Stupid and slutty? Those were two assets Android 18 was glad not to possess. "Tell me more."
"We pledged our love for each other and were going to get married but then I went away for a while. My poor Krillin must have been so lonely." Marron playfully poked the area Krillin's nose should have been. "I hope you found some way to amuse yourself."
"He did," Android 18 said darkly.
"I'm glad. But now that I'm back we can finally get married! Won't that be wonderful."
Android 18 struggled to remain calm. "Krillin, since you obviously don't need me anymore I'll be on my way."
She didn't even wait to hear what Krillin said before she was out the door and flying away.
How could she have fallen for him? The bastard! His real girlfriend was on vacation so Krillin amused himself by making out with the machine. Oh, she bet he had a real good laugh about that with his friends. Why did she ever trust him? Of course he didn't love her, why should he when he had such a beautiful girlfriend already, a human girlfriend.
"Eighteen! Wait!"
Oh god, he was chasing after her! What did he want now, to keep her even though he was getting married? Hell why not, just shove her in the closet with all the other machines and then take her out when the wife was out of town. How could she have misjudged him so badly? A kind word and a kiss, that was all it took to fool Android 18 these days?
How could she have been so foolish?

The second Eighteen walked out the door Krillin was on her heels. He almost had to throw Marron off him. That silly girl had ruined everything he had spent months cultivating with Eighteen in less than ten minutes. He had to explain to Eighteen that it was all one huge misunderstanding. It had been almost four years since he had seen Marron, the girl meant as much to him as a rock.
Fortunately Eighteen only had a minute on him. He caught up to her over a series of islands a few dozen miles away. He overtook her and stopped directly in her path. She tried to shoot past him but he used his will to erect a crude force barrier, forcing her to slow down and go around.
"Eighteen, let me explain!"
"Leave me alone!"
"It's all a big misunderstanding!"
"I said leave me alone!" She threw a punch at him. He caught her fist.
"You don't understand! These past few months, they've been..."
Eighteen cut him off. "Look you've got your girlfriend now so why don't we just leave it at that. Now let me go."
"No! Not util I've explained."
"Explained what? That you were in a funk because Marron wasn't there so you decided to have some fun with the first girl that came along?"
"It wasn't like that!"
"First rule of cheating on your girlfriend, don't..."
"I wasn't cheating on anyone."
Krillin wasn't certain why, but that was the wrong thing to say. The look Eighteen gave him was so full of pain that it hurt him to see it. But he didn't turn away. Something was wrong here, she was hurt more than he knew.
When she spoke again it was as though something inside of her had died.
"What was I, A toy? Something you could have fun with without angering your girlfriend? Android 18 isn't real, so it's not really cheating, right? After all, I'm not a real girl!"
"Don't you ever say that," Krillin said. He was more serious than he had ever been in his life. Even if he lost her he couldn't let her think that. Everything else, even his own happiness, was inconsequential.
Eighteen could sense the conviction in his voice and was struck silent.
"I don't know if you're going to leave or not, but don't you ever think you were anything other than a real woman to me. The way you make me feel, no machine could ever do that."
After a long pause Eighteen looked him straight in the eye. "I don't believe you."
Krillin could sense it, she was trying to block him out of her life. And for some reason she was trying to deny the humanity she pretended not to have. She was trying to become an android once more, cold, uncaring, and without love.
He couldn't let that happen.
Unable to think of anything else he kissed her.

Suddenly afire with rage and anger Android 18 pushed him away. How dare he, after he betrayed her like that. She should have known. Her instincts about him had been right. He wasn't any different than any of these other miserable human freaks.
"I'm no one's play thing! Go back to your girlfriend and never talk to me again."
"No! Damn it, she's not my girlfriend. I don't love her! I love you!"
"Shut up! I hate you!"
Krillin grabbed her arms. "Listen to me, Marron means nothing! I haven't seen her in four years! I haven't even thought about her since I met you! You mean more to me than anyone."
"Stop lying to me!" Android 18 screamed, trying desperately to break free of his grip. Her eyes were shut as she struggled so that she wouldn't have to look at his face. She was able to get an arm free and began to punch him in rhythm to her cries. "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!"
His arm fell away from her side and she opened her eyes to see what had happened. Krillin wasn't there anymore. Confused, she looked around and spotted him falling towards the ground. He wasn't floating, he was just falling, as though he wasn't able to fly.
As though he had been hit one too many times and had blacked out.
"Oh my god," a suddenly frightened Android 18 whispered to herself. If he couldn't fly then a fall from this high up could kill him. She quickly plunged after him.
Let him be okay, she prayed. Please, he couldn't die, not now, not like this. Not because of her.
Android 18 was able to catch him before he crashed into the surface below. His body was limp.
"I'm sorry!" she screamed at him. She shook him gently, trying to wake him up. "Krillin?"
Her fears were confirmed, he was unconscious. If she hadn't gone after him he would have died. The thought of it sickened her. It didn't matter if he was marrying someone else or not, she just wanted him to be okay.
She flew back to Kame House with Krillin in her arms. When she arrived at the island the green haired girl was nowhere to be seen. Master Roshi and Turtle were lounging on the beach.
"Oh, thank goodness you're back," Turtle said. "We were afraid Krillin wouldn't get to you in time to explain."
"About that Marron."
"Yes, she's a beautiful girl," sighed Master Roshi. "Not the brightest girl in the world, but she makes up for it in other ways. Of course Krillin hasn't wanted anything to do with her since she left him four years ago."
"She ran off with another man," said Turtle.
"Really," Android 18 said. "Where is she now? Krillin needs... somebody."
"Her boyfriends came to pick her up," explained Master Roshi. "Same thing happened last time she tried to patch things up with Krillin. Of course he wasn't here then, he was off fighting the Androids. No offense."
"None taken."
"Hey, is he okay?" Master Roshi asked, pointing at Krillin.
She looked at Krillin's peaceful sleeping form in her arms. She had misjudged him again, both times it had almost cost Krillin his life, at her hands no less.
"I don't know," she said, worried.
"What happened?"
"I hit him, repeatedly.
"He's fine then. Boy took punches from Goku. If you survive that you can survive anything. I should know." Master Roshi went back to lounging. "Just put him in his room."
Android 18 carried Krillin through the house, up the stairs, being careful to avoid hitting Krillin's head against anything, and straight to Krillin's room. She lay him on the bed and pulled the sheets over him, gazing at him longingly.
She had almost killed him. Only a little while ago she had wanted him out of her life forever, now the prospect of losing him made her scared. What kind of hold did this man have on her? Why did she like it so much?
After a quiet moment of contemplation she locked the door to Krillin's bedroom. Then Android 18 got into the bed, wrapped her arms around Krillin, and fell asleep.

When Krillin woke up it was dark and he was trapped. At first he thought he was still trying to fight his way out of the darkness but then he realized that there was a faint light illuminating the world, moonlight. He began to recognize shapes, he was in his room. It didn't explain why he was trapped though.
He brought his arms up to the restraints around his chest and felt the warmth of someone's hands. Unable to break free of the hugging arms surrounding him he began to turn.
Please, he thought, don't let it be Marron.
His heart leapt for joy when he saw Eighteen's face inches from his own. Asleep she looked serene, her features free of the normally annoyed look she gave everyone. In fact her lips looked so full and inviting. He just wanted to lean forward and brush them with his own. To rejoice in how what they tasted as his tongue parted them and...
Eighteen's eyes shot open.
"Gah! I didn't try anything I swear!"
"That's a shame."
"Look, about Marron..."
She placed her fingers over his lips to shush him. "Shh. It's okay. I know she's not your girlfriend."
"Really? That's good."
"And I don't want to be either."
"Oh." Krillin was disappointed. He cursed Marron and he cursed his luck. He couldn't blame Eighteen though, she had been hurt, it wasn't easy to forget something like that.
"I love you," he said. He put everything he had behind it.
"I know," Eighteen said. "I love you too."
"But not enough be my girlfriend, right?" Krillin said sadly.
"Oh no, baby, I didn't mean it like that," she said, stroking the tears off his cheek. "I want us to get married. I don't want to be your girlfriend, I want to be your wife.
Eighteen smiled at him and Krillin smiled back. Then he leaned forward and rejoiced.

The time had come for Trunks' third birthday. Krillin and Eighteen landed on the front lawn of the Brief's residence. Krillin was carrying Master Roshi and Eighteen was carrying Turtle. Bulma ran up to greet them.
"Hey you guys, you're the last ones to make it, everybody else is inside."
Krillin put his passenger down.
"Inside?" Master Roshi asked. "We're not holding the festivities outside again?"
"No, Dad wanted to show off his new environmental control device so we're holding the party in the big dining room."
"Makes sense, I guess," Master Roshi conceded.
"Yeah, come on."
They all followed Bulma's lead. Eighteen held onto the normally slow Turtle.
"So why're you guys so late? It's not really like you."
"The kids wanted to take care of some things before we left."
"Really? You two weren't doing anything inappropriate, were you?" Bulma teased.
"Not really, no," Krillin said.
Master Roshi snorted. "You should hear them Bulma, some nights I can't get to sleep."
"They're not that loud," Turtle said.
"You're just saying that because you sleep outside. I'm two bedrooms down, trust me, it's noisy."
To say Bulma was shocked would be an understatement.
"Krillin! You and Eighteen are... I don't believe it."
"You better believe it," Master Roshi muttered. "You'd think after the first couple of months they'd start to pace themselves. I'm beginning to regret the day she moved in."
"You don't complain when I cook the meals," Eighteen countered.
"Did I miss something?" Bulma asked. "When did Eighteen move into the Kame house?"
"What're you talkin..." Master Roshi started then tapered off. "Oh right. They wanted to keep it a secret."
"No point in keeping it a secret any longer," Krillin sighed.
"Whatever," Eighteen shrugged.
"Secret? What secret?" Bulma asked.
"Eighteen and I are married."
"What?! Impossible."
"Typical," Eighteen said.
"Why didn't you tell anyone? How long?"
"Seven months. The only ones we told were Master Roshi and Seventeen. We kinda wanted to keep it under wraps. I mean people still aren't used to Eighteen yet."
"You obviously are."
"That's different. We're in love."
"Really? Congratulations. Don't worry, I'll keep your secret."
They walked into the dining room, which had been cleared of its normal furniture for the party, and were greeted by stares. The room was silent except for baby Goten's shrieks of laughter.
"Uh, hey guys," Krillin offered weakly.
"They know," Eighteen said.
"What? How?"
Dende coughed and pointed at his ears. "Sorry guys, I overheard and accidentally repeated some of it in surprise. Please don't be mad."
"Wonderful," Eighteen said dryly.

Three Years Later

"Are you okay?" Krillin asked through the bathroom door.
"Fine!" Eighteen shouted from the other side.
"Are you sure?"
"Ye... Oh God!"
Krillin listened as for what seemed like the fiftieth time that morning his wife threw up. Despite his wife's assurances Krillin was worried.
"Honey, I think we should take you to a doctor."
"Like any doctor's going to understand how my body work... Aack!"
"Okay, what about Bulma? She's really good with robotics. And she designed that remote to activate your self-destruct device. When you still had one."
"I don't need to see... Not again!"
"Call Bulma."

After Bulma ran her tests she asked to talk to Krillin alone. Eighteen told him to go, she would be fine, so he followed Bulma to an adjoining lab.
"Okay Bulma, give it to me straight, what's wrong?"
"She's pregnant."
"What?! How? I know she's only part robot, but how?!"
Bulma rolled a large set of blueprints onto the table. It looked like the building plans for a robot, an android. Over the diagram for the head Eighteen's face had been lightly traced over the plans.
"Well you know how Cell was an android grown from cells? So he was an android, but an organic one. Doctor Gero must have used 17 and 18 as test subjects to create Cell. They're bodies have been modified, stronger skin, unbreakable skeleton, denser muscles, but all the modifications are organic. She's even got manufactured hormonal systems that work more efficiently. It's really very fascinating.
"As far as I can tell Gero didn't want any screw ups so all he did was modify the pre-existing template of her body. From what he learned doing that he designed Cell. Except for a couple patches of metal and plastic everything in 18's body is organic, including her reproductive system. In fact, from what I can tell, that's the only part of her body Gero didn't monkey with.
"I think the reason Shenlong couldn't make 17 and 18 human is, because for all intents and purposes, they are human. Only they're humans that could take out entire planets without working up a sweat."
"Yeah, well these days that would apply to Tien and me."
"I guess it would. Good thing you're both good guys. So do you want to give her the good news or should I?"
"I think you should do it. I'm not sure she'd believe me."
Bulma shrugged. "Okay."

"Okay," Bulma said. "Krillin asked me to give you the diagnosis, are you ready?"
"Wait," Android 18 said. She took Krillin's hand in hers and squeezed it tight. "Okay."
"You're pregnant."
"I'm what?"
"That's impossible."
"Honey, Bulma explained it to me. It's very possible."
Android 18 looked down at her abdomen in wonder. Dare she believe it? It was a miracle, no more than that, it was a sign, the ultimate sign. It meant she really wasn't a machine. Krillin, it was all Krillin's doing, he had shown her the truth, first by loving her and now by giving her this gift.
She turned to her husband, tears of joy rolling down her cheeks.
"You did this to me," she said.
"You did this to me," she repeated. "Thank you."
"I... I love you." He kissed her hand.
"Let's name it Marron," she said.
Krillin stared at her. "What?!"
"Let's name it Marron. If it wasn't for her we might never have married."
"Okay, I'm missing something. We're talking about my ex-girlfriend, the insane and stupid one?"
"Yes. Don't you remember? That's the day you told me I was real."
"You are real."
Android 18 nodded. "Thanks to you."


On To Part 3 ~~~>