By: James Thomas
Disclaimer: If you read any of my other fics, you should really know what goes here, but for those new to all things fanfics…Characters aren’t mine, please don’t sue me.
Notes: As per all the rest of my DBZ fanfics, GT does not exist.
It was another bright day on Kame sennin’s island. A year had passed since Goku had departed with Uub to train for the future protection of the Earth. Everything had settled down and everyone was living a life as normal as possible, being the people that they were.
Kuririn and his wife Android #18 were enjoying the peace and quiet of the quaint little island. Their fourteen-year old daughter Marron was talking on her cell phone while laying out on the beach, while Kuririn’s martial art’s sensei Muten Roshi snored away in his lounger with his ever-present pornographic magazine over his eyes and faithful tortoise at his side.
The married couple simply contented themselves by laying in their bathing suits on a towel near the water’s edge, watching the tides roll in and recede. Earlier they had taken a swim and now they were just relaxing. Because Kuririn was so much shorter than his wife, she simply laid down with her head resting on his thigh while he sat back on one elbow with the other arm rubbing his wife’s shoulders. They savored the peace as they had every day since Majin Buu had finally been defeated.
#18 had her eyes closed as she enjoyed the feeling of her husband showing his affection. She reveled in feeling of unconditional love. He knew nothing about her before she tried to kill his friend Goku, but she didn’t know that herself. He forgave her for trying to kill the Saiya-Jin and he didn’t care about her past. All that mattered to him was what she was now. She felt somehow humbled by his feelings, which made her love him all the more.
Suddenly the back rub stopped and she felt her husband go tense. She opened her eyes and looked up to him. “What’s wrong?”
Kuririn’s face set in a hard stare as he looked out over the apparently boundless sea. “Something is coming, a power I haven’t sensed before.”
#18 sat up and looked out to where he was staring. She used her cybernetically enhanced vision to see what was out there. She saw water being blown aside in huge wakes that obscured the object that was traveling toward them at dangerous speeds. “Something is coming. I can’t see what it is through the waves.”
Kuririn wiped his hair away from his eyes as he turned toward the other occupants of the island. “Roshi! Marron! Get inside quick! Something’s coming!”
“GAAAH!” Roshi exclaimed as his student startled him awake. It took him a moment to get his equilibrium back. “What kind of something?”
“We can’t tell.” Kuririn replied. “But it’s strong and coming fast. You better watch out for Marron while #18 and I see to it.”
The old man nodded and went over and got the attention of the teenager with the cell phone stuck to her ear. She nodded to her ‘grandpa’ as he told her what was going on and went into the house with him.
Kuririn and #18 stood in loose stances while they waited for the form to materialize. A couple moments passed and Kuririn could see him approach, a few breaths later, the object had arrived.
The barrel of water exploded out as the speeding object came to a halt a foot above the waves a short distance offshore. #18 and her husband gasped as they saw whom it was floating above the water. He hovered in place wearing what looked like western clothes complete with a duster and a red bandanna around his neck. His shoulder length hair hung loosely parted down the middle. The married couple could only stare in astonishment as they looked upon the visage of a ghost, the Android #17.
He smirked as he slowly hovered toward them and settled his feet along the water line. He looked the couple over, first Kuririn and then #18. He smiled at the blonde woman. “You look like you’ve been doing well.”
She dropped into a fighting stance with one arm forward and the other protecting her face. “What are you doing here! Cell killed you!”
He let a false hurt look cross his face. “What’s the matter? Not happy to see your ‘brother’?”
Kuririn jumped protectively in front of his wife. His legs may have been quivering like jello, but he wasn’t going to let any harm come to her. “Stay back #17, or one way or another, you’re not leaving this island unharmed.”
The raven-haired android appraised the short older man. It took him a moment, but then the light of recognition shone in his eyes. “Is that you baldy? I didn’t recognize you. You look a lot different with hair, but I can also tell that your power is still far below mine.”
“But I’m not below your power.” #18 pushed her foolishly protective husband aside. “Gero made me stronger, remember?”
#17 smiled. “That was before.”
Kuririn’s eyes lit up. “He’s giving off an aura! How?!”
The male androids turned to the man and then back to wide-eyed #18. “I remembered.”
Her eyes narrowed. “What did you remember that could give you more power?”
“I remembered what I was before Gero took us. I also remember you, Nabiki.” His glare had turned serious.
#18 stood still as she mouthed the name he had called her. It seemed to strike up something in the back of her mind like an itch she couldn’t scratch. “That name. What?” She couldn’t seem to put her words together.
#17 smiled reached out toward her shoulder. “It’s the name of my sister-in-law. Your name.”
The blonde batted away the hand and took two staggering steps back. “What are you talking about 17?”
He sighed and brought his hand back to his side. “My name isn’t #17, it’s Ranma, Saotome Ranma; and your name isn’t #18, it’s Nabiki, Tendo Nabiki.”
Kuririn smirked at his wife. “I don’t know about you hon, but I like that better than just calling you a number.”
She shook her head as it was starting to hurt. “Stop it!”
The short man frowned as he turned to the other android. “What are you doing to her?”
#17’s eyes narrowed. “I’m only making her see the truth.” He took a step toward #18. “Remember.”
“STAY BACK!!!” #18 yelled as she let loose a point-blank ki-blast in #17’s face. Surprised by the attack, he was flung back into the water.
He broke the surface with a scowl on his face. His aura leapt to life and his clothes were instantly dry from the heat. “That was uncalled for!”
Kuririn mistook his expression and decided to act in defense of his wife. “KAMEHAMEHA!” He loosed the Turtle Destruction Wave.
#17 threw his hands to his side and expanded his aura. The blast exploded on his force field. “Now that wasn’t nice. I come in peace and this is the reception I get?”
“You’re a dangerous monster!” Kuririn yelled as he prepared his next attack.
In the blink of an eye, #17 was on him, knocking him toward the house with an elbow. The raven-haired android brought his hand up to deliver a ki blast of his own.
“Nooooo!!!” A screaming blonde teenager shouted as she jumped in front of her father. “You won’t hurt my dad!”
“Marron! Get out of here!” Kuririn shouted as he got back to his feet.
#17 closed his hand to a fist, dissipating the ki blast. He shook his head, hovered over, and set his feet back on the beach. “I think we’ve had a misunderstanding.” He stepped forward onto the grass. “I don’t mean any harm to you, and I certainly wouldn’t hurt a kid. I just came to talk to Nabiki and try to help her remember who she was.”
#18 finally opened her eyes and looked over at him. “You said my name is Tendo Nabiki. It sounds so familiar, but it is still out of reach.”
“I think that you all need to come in and talk this out.” An older voice commented from the side. They turned to see Muten Roshi standing with his turtle shell on his back and staff in hand. They all nodded and walked into the house.
After they were all situated at the table, #18 finally looked up to him. “17…”
“Ranma.” The raven-haired android interrupted.
“Okay, Ranma. What did you mean when you said that I was your sister-in-law?” She asked.
He settled back and thought for a moment. “I still don’t remember it all, but being dead for so long, some of it came back. I remember I was engaged to your sister. You took us somewhere outside of our home district for our wedding to make up for something that you did. No one else but you could witness it for some reason. It had something to do with some rivals, mine or yours, I don’t remember.”
He took a deep breath. “I remember being in love with your sister. Although she wasn’t much to look at, she was still the world to me, although I do remember fighting a lot. Anyway, we had gone to the temple and we were wed, but on our way out we were assaulted by an elite group of the Red Ribbon Army. We were all taken prisoner by Dr. Gero.
“He used your sister to make us cooperate. He wanted you for your brain and me for my fighting skill. He modified my body first, and then upgraded when he made you. He knew that if my skill couldn’t kill Goku, then your brains would. You were the second string, the plan B if I failed.”
Ranma halted the story as he kept tears at bay. “When we were finished and under his control, he killed my wife. I watched her die before my eyes and couldn’t do anything about it.” He clenched his fist and his knuckles started to turn white. “We tried to break his control, and we almost made it, but he managed to put us in the stasis pod before we could break free.”
He looked up and his eyes bored into 18. “He wiped our minds, ripped everything we were away from us. A small part of me still remembered what he had done to us and that’s why the first thing I did after being freed was kill him.”
Tears welled up in the corners of his eyes. “He killed my wife. I know I loved her, but I can’t even remember her name!” His eyes shot open in surprise when he felt a pair of arms pull him into a hug. He turned to see the young teenager from before, Nabiki’s daughter.
Marron smiled as she held him. “Everything will work out okay. You’ll see.”
He nodded numbly, but felt comforted by the embrace.
Everyone turned to #18. She was looking down at the table. “Her name was Akane.” She fell back a wash of memories came back with that name. She took a lock of her hair and held it in front of her face. “This isn’t my hair color. It should be…”
“Brown.” Ranma smiled. “Nabiki’s hair was brown, but Gero liked blonde women better.”
“Nabiki.” She smiled. “My name is Nabiki!” She pulled her husband into a fierce hug. “My name is Nabiki!”
Kuririn smiled at his wife and returned the affectionate embrace. “I’m glad. The name suits you, Nabiki.” She smiled at him.
She looked back toward the other artificial human. Her face suddenly turned sad. “I wanted you two to be married because I had ruined your first wedding. I didn’t think she really wanted it. You two weren’t a typical engaged couple. You were only seventeen and trapped in an arranged marriage.”
Ranma’s eyes went wide. “Seventeen! Android #17! I was seventeen when we were caught. And you were a year older, android #18!”
“Nabiki.” She smiled at him.
“Nabiki.” He returned the smile. He looked back to the teen that was still holding him. “Thank you. You can let go of me now.”
She blushed and smiled shyly as she backed away from him. “Sorry.”
Nabiki smiled from across the table. “Ranma, I’d like to introduce you to my family. That young girl is my daughter Marron, and this,” She hugged Kuririn close, “is my husband Kuririn.”
The formerly bald martial artist smiled from his wife’s embrace. “Nice to meet you.”
Ranma nodded in return. “Nice to meet you. I’m Saotome Ranma, sorry about the mess outside.”
“No problem. It was kinda my fault.” The martial artist smiled as he scratched his head. “It was just a misunderstanding. The last time we saw you, you were still trying to kill Goku. Of course, we haven’t seen you since Cell absorbed you. Did you get out somewhere after he self-destructed?”
Ranma shook his head. “No. I died in the blast. When he managed to pull himself together, he didn’t need me or Nabiki anymore, thanks to the Saiya-Jin DNA”
“So how did you get back?” Nabiki asked.
He cast a smile her way. “I was on otherworld watching when the wish was made for a the good people to be restored to life. I guess the dragon had a real loose definition of ‘good people’.”
“I remember you being a good person.” Nabiki stated as she looked at him. “I guess it didn’t matter what you were when you died, it only mattered how you were on the inside. You might have not been a perfect person, but you were still good.”
He looked down to the table and let out a breath that he hadn’t realized he was holding. It felt like a great weight had been lifted from him. “Thanks for telling me that. I couldn’t remember anything but your sister and fighting.”
A thought occurred to Nabiki. “Wait a minute. If you came back, why didn’t my sister?”
He gave her a sad look. “Her body had been allowed to decompose. She couldn’t come back. My body was already in otherworld technically, so I got a new one there. I thought about that while I was in otherworld. I thought that maybe if I could get close enough to King Kaio I could convince him to let me talk to someone and get Akane wished back.”
“But you didn’t know her name.” Nabiki exclaimed.
“That was the biggest problem.” He sighed. “But I learned the truth too late. She can’t be revived.”
The blonde android choked back a sob. “No.”
“I’m sorry too. We both lost someone important.”
Kuririn sat deep in thought; his wife’s last comment sparked a question in his mind. “What happened to the rest of your families?”
The two artificial humans just blinked and looked between each other and him. Finally, Ranma spoke. “I never thought about that.”
Nabiki shook her head. “I’m the brain of this family, and I didn’t think about it…”
“You can’t blame yourself. You didn’t even know you had family before he showed up.” Kuririn smiled as he stood up. “I suggest we do some research. Bulma has a computer. She could probably help us track down your families.”
Nabiki smiled at him. “I knew I married you for a reason. Of course I didn’t think it was your brains.”
He chuckled as he scratched the back of his head. “I guess I have good ideas every once in a while.”
Ranma stood. “Well, what are we waiting for?”
The other artificial human stood as well. “Let’s go.” She turned to her daughter. “Take care of Roshi, Marron. We’re going to visit Aunt Bulma.”
She stood up with her arms crossed. “I want to go too!”
“You can’t fly.” Nabiki calmly admonished her. “You never wanted to learn how to fight, so you won’t be able to stay up with us.”
“What about the capsule copter?” The younger blonde asked.
“You wrecked it when we let you borrow it last time, remember?” Nabiki shook her head. “You have no way to follow us. You’re staying and that’s final.”
The younger girl latched onto Ranma’s arm. “He can carry me!”
“Out of the question!”
“It’s okay.” The male android waved his ‘sister’ off. “I’ll carry her if it means we can get on our way faster.” The young teenager smiled up at him, much to his discomfort. Something inside of him told him that he should be afraid, very afraid.
Author’s Note: I know I promised a lot of people I would do Mercury Princesses next, but I had this on the back burner and I needed an update. If you want to see more of this story, then send me a mail.