Proof #1: 17 and 18
Cell's attitude towards them
Ok. The first proof. Now, think back to Imperfect Cell, 1st form. When Cell first beheld the android twins, what did he say? His reaction to #17 was: "Android 17...amazingly efficiant..."
Well enough. But then, what did he say next about #18?
"...and 18..poetry in motion..."
See? It begins already. Notice that with #17, he commented on efficiancy, or, how well #17 worked. But with #18, he made no mention of her durancy or fighting ability. With 18, he noticed her looks and femininity.
First, lets begin with #17 and Cell's attitude towards him. When they meet, the first thing #17 says to Cell is: "Hey! I was in the middle of something. You're intruding!" To which Cell replies: "Yes...I see that now...how rude of me. There must be some way I can make it up to you..."
Cell is clearly amused by 17's annoyance of him. He treats 17 almost as a younger sibling; letting him think he'll have his way, but snatching away all hope of it at the last minute.
In his fight with #17, Cell held nothing back. He wasn't playing around. He was dead serious in this fight; no games. He held no quarms on beating him mercilessly. And yet, we can't say that he was completely one tracked; he did give a half-knacked attempt to try and persuade #17 into joining him before he really beat him down: "Rejoice my brother and sister! The three of us are like peices to a puzzle...designed, destined to fit together and form one whole. Unite with me and fulfill Dr. Gero's dream to create the ulimate warrier.
When 17 refused, Cell basically told him that it didn't matter what he thought; he was going to absorb him regardless...much like an older sibling might tell a younger sibling. And it's clear that Cell thought of 17 as his 'brother' as he so stated above. It can also be noted that Cell didn't technically attack 17 until the boy charged at him first. Much like an older brother or sister would, Cell prodded and provoked #17 into attacking him, just to show the rash young android that he was indeed no match for him. He teased #17, sure, but it was in a gently condescending way, as one might speak with a child.
If Cell treated #17 like a younger sibling, then he most certainly treated 18 like girlfriend material. From the moment he laid eyes on her (or leered), it was clear that he seemed just a tad bit more interested in her other than absorbing. Even though earlier, as with 17, he referred to her as his sister, you can tell he didn't really mean it to her. Every word spoken to her infact, was laced with something more. For example, during the fight with #17, Cell remarked,
"Don't be afraid Android 17..this is your destiny..it has always been. You are part of me.." Then, notice how he cast that side glance at #18 and said in that teasing (flirty) voice, "..ah..you too my little peach...I'm going to gobble you up!", to which she gasped. I personally think that Cell liked getting a reaction out of her. He was always doing things to shock her, like when he licked his lips at her, or shooting her those seductive looks. Cell was playing cat and mouse. He was the predator and she was the prey. But there was more to this.
The newly evolved Cell in his second form was much more confident than his first form had been. True, he was more powerful, but he was also better looking, as he himself noticed, "Ah...new look. Much more comely than the last..." From this point on, his remarks to #18 become more blunt...not as polite. He comes right out and brashly says what he means, instead of using those subtle little remarks as he'd done before. Before he'd absorbed #17, he'd say things like, "...my little peach.." or "..poetry in motion.." Little polite/poetic type exclaimations. But now that he'd absorbed #17, his looks had improved and he was bolder. He'd say things like, "Android 18! It's your turn now. Commere!!!" and "Ah..feisty!". He referred to her pocessively, as if she were already his, "My dear android..when will you understand that you belong to me?"
Clearly these little remarks aren't necessary. Infact, if he hadn't wasted time saying those things, he certainly would have been complete alot sooner. As powerful as he was, he could have just knocked her out and absorbed her right there on the spot, as he'd done previously with 17. Rough her up a bit. But he didn't. Infact, with his approach, it looked, (to me atleast) as if he were trying to seduce her. He walked slowly and carefully towards her, as if not to scare her. And when she threatened to detinate herself, calling him a creature, he looked angry. But at what? The fact that she was going to destroy herself, which would prevent him from becoming perfect, or that she'd called him a creature? I think that it was the latter, because as we later found out, Cell himself stated that it would take her atleast a good few seconds for her to build up enough energy for the explosion, when all he needed was a second to get to her.
Another proof that he was attempting to seduce her? That whole bit about him using #17's voice to talk her into joining him willingly. Why didn't he just absorb her? She couldn't have stopped him. Why did he need her consent? After 18 didn't fall for his little '17 bit', what did he say? "You fool! You're mine whether you like it or not!" Again, that pocessiveness.
In the final moments of 18's life, before she was absorbed, she attacked Cell. But unlike in his fight with 17, Cell didn't fight back. He only laughed, taking her attacks but not firing any of his own. He 'carefully' shot her into the side of a rocky cliff. Cornered, 18 was now reduced to relying soly on her energy attacks, shooting massive balls of energy at Cell which did nothing but slow him down. However, instead of blocking her attacks or knocking them aside, (which he could have easily done considering his power) he humored her, smiling, allowing her energy to push him back a ways before he dispelled the attack.
As he got closer to 18, notice his expression. He looked elated...charged. He stood proudly, straight and tall, his tail held high in the air as he advanced upon 18. Unlike with 17, whom he'd captured from behind, he held 18's eyes as he approached. He wanted her to see him. Even when #16 and Krillin were attacking him, he absently tossed them aside, but in great contrast, was considerably gentler to 18.
So did Cell have a thing for #18? I think that he did, but others may put it off as being civil or gentlemenly. As you'll notice, all the women on DBZ seem to have some power over the men. ChiChi is able to push Goku, Gohan, and even Piccolo around constantly. (Piccolo in that epi when she made them try for licenses) Bulma is able to command and grip to nearly everyone, which she does. Even the mighty Prince Vegeta has nothing to say. And no matter how much of a bother these women are to them, the men never lift a finger to hit or smack them. Why? It's a little thing called RESPECT. These women may not be powerful in the same sense that the Z senshi are, but they are powerful in their own way. Verbally. Even with all the power the men pocess, the women still don't back down. Android 18 was one of the few females on that show to actually have the same power as the men, but is a woman. I'm guessing that the same rules may apply to her.
One more reason that Cell took so long to absorb her? This could also be written off as a pawn by the writers, to draw out the episodes. But no one likes to think of THAT...(I certainly don't).
Well, these are my reasons. Ofcourse, I have many other proofs as well, so stay tuned for more!
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::That's all for now! Take me home!::