Chapter One

She gave a whimper of fright, leaping back onto the porch.

Cell! That evil creature she'd seen, not even five hours ago before the station lost reception. She tried to clear her head. girl, think. You've got an evil over-sized bug in your house. No need to panic, though. Just get the raid...

She frowned at her inner joke. How could she be thinking so stupidly at a time like this?! But what else could she do?? Calling the Police would do no good. Even the armed forces hadn't been able to do much against Cell. I don't really feel like having all those people around my house anyway.. She snapped back to attention. Was her fear of crowds actually overriding her fear of Cell? But then, she didn't know Cell. And that guy Hercule had said that it was a trick anyway, right? She sniffed. But she didn't particularly like Hercule; not enough to take his word on anything, anyways. And she rather liked the idea of being able to fly and shoot beams and stuff from your hands, even though she herself was afraid of heights. She cast a wary glance at the unconscious Cell.

Atleast, she hoped he was still unconscious. She wasn't sure. He had been able to walk, atleast partly, into the house with her support. And he had obviously heard her to some degree when she had spoken to him. Was he just feigning unconsciousness? She peered slowly over at the figure, holding her breath. He hadn't moved since he'd collasped ontop of her. Infact, now that she had a good look at him, he looked pretty beat up, not at all the tall, confident creature who had ramsacked that Tokyo news station. His face and right hand were swollen and begining to blister. With a sick realization, she saw that he didn't even have a left hand; Nearly his entire left arm had been blown off. Some of the speckled green armor of his body was scorched black, and she felt a wave of pity come over her. He looked horrible. One side of the tall husk on his head was broken, and he was oozing gobs of purple blood from various wounds on his body. Seeing him now like this, it was hard to belive that only hours before he'd been a horrendous threat to the planet.

She stiffened. A threat that was responsible for the death of millions of people. If she were smart, she'd kill him right now while she had the chance. While he was unconscious and unable to defend himself.

And yet, she knew that she wouldn't. She couldn't. As evil as he was, she just couldn't bring herself to murder another human; even a not so human creature like Cell.

I can't just leave him here! My parents would definately not like that...

But what was there to do? Even the Armed Forces hadn't been able to put a dent in him, so calling the police would be even less effective. Truthfully there was no one on earth who could even stand a chance at him except-. A light suddenly flicked on in her head.

Those fighters in the tournament! They'd been faring pretty well against Cell...that one blonde guy had even seemed to be enjoying fighting him; if she could somehow get in touch with them, then perhaps they'd take care of him.

But then she frowned.

She didn't even know who those guys were, much less how to find them. It seemed no one really knew who they was as if they'd just appeared out of thin air. But if she couldn't find them, then what was she supposed to do? She cast a nervous glance down at the creature. He still hadn't moved. Not yet anyway. But if he was as powerful as he had seemed before, then it would only be a matter of time before he got up. No doubt he'd be furious at his battered condition...and he'd probably take out his rage on the first person he saw...

Which would be her.

She suddenly felt sick as the realization hit her. She was as good as dead as far as he was concerned. It didn't matter that she had brought him in...didn't matter that she had unwittingly tried to help was all the same to him, and he would kill her. But...

She couldn't stop the wave of pity that washed over her; couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He looked pitiful...broken, and she was suddenly reminded of that poem by Langston Hughes, Harlem (A Dream Deferred)

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raison in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

She shivered. What was wrong with her?! Cell was evil!!! Evil people didn't have dreams...did they?? And even if they did, it would probably be something bad. It was good that his dream hadn't come true, good that he had failed.

Then why was she feeling sorry for him?

With a frustrated cry she ran to the kitchen, grabbing a glass and filling it with water. She would regret this...if she lived long enough to even think about it, that is. She hurried back to the unconscious figure. Kneeling, she lifted his head gently, laying it on her raised knee and put the glass carefully to his lips. She tilted it slowly, allowing a small amount at a time to run down his throat. After a while he began swallowing on his own with tiny gulps. She might have missed it had she not seen his adams apple moving. So he was awake now...atleast partially. And he wasn't struggling. Or perhaps he didn't have the energy to. She was still supporting his head, and he hadn't made any effort to move away.

Sighing, she laid his head carefully to the floor, setting the glass down. She had to do something about that bleeding...her mom would freak if she saw all that blood....ofcourse, it was purple, so she probably wouldn't even know what it was. Still.....

She ran up to the bathroom, grabbing everything she could think of..astringent, bacteria ointment, cottenballs, rags, bandages and guaze, and quickly made her way back to Cell. He still hadn't moved. He hadn't even made any noises infact. She frowned, shrugging it off. Maybe he was just keeping his guard up, trying to wait and see what she was doing.

She set to work, deciding to start with his face and neck first. It was still blistered and swollen, and she wondered what she should use on it. Both peroxide and iodine did basically the same thing, which was disinfect, though peroxide DID have a tendency to sting. She settled on the peroxide. It may burn, but atleast she would be able to see that it was working. After administering the peroxide, she dabbed his face dry and gently applied the ointment.

It's ironic, she thought absently to herself. She was always the one who ran to her mother whenever she got a scratch or a burn. She couldn't stand the sight of blood or of any kind of injury. Yet here she was now, tending to the wounds of an evil villain.


She felt giddy laughter bubble in her throat. Cell seemed to be much MORE than a mere villain...infact, the word villain probably wasn't strong enough. When she thought of that word, the image of a tall, dark haired man, decked out in black with a top hat and a mustache came to mind. Villains kidnapped girls and threatened to rule the world..perhaps with some plan to make everyone into their servants or something. But Cell..he'd wanted to destroy the world. Surly that was something even a villain wouldn't think of doing..right?

She was on his hand now, gently massaging salve into it. Still he didn't move. Infact, even after she'd finished, having dressed all his cuts and bruises, and set a crude splint to his leg, he still made no movement. She stood up. There hadn't been anything she could do about his scorched armor. She guessed that it didn't have any nerve endings in it...atleast she hoped not, or he would be in a world of pain.

She put a hand to his chest, checking for a heart beat. She suddenly cursed herself. Why hadn't she done this sooner? It would do no good to care for someone who was already DEAD.

But he wasn't dead. He was very much alive, his heart beating faintly beneath her fingers...except-

He was burning up with fever. She glared at herself. How could she have been so stupid? THAT had been the reason he hadn't been moving...why he wasn't making any sounds. Why hadn't she noticed before?! She rushed back to the kitchen, returning a few minutes later with bags of ice, which she positioned carefully to his head and chest. She couldn't let him die...wouldn't be able to live with herself if someone died because of her.

Why do I care so much if he lives?! she thought to herself. It was outrageous. She lowered herself to the floor, her back against the wall, and waited for his fever to break.

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