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Unconditional

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Unconditional

Originally, you lain down to take a break after getting some chores done. Lately, you found yourself becoming tired more easily and it annoyed you in all honesty. At first, you blamed it on the changing of the seasons and suspected it was most likely that. You only wanted to rest your eyes but you ended up taking a full blown nap.

The only thing that stirred you was the sound of feet going up the stairs. You shifted on the couch, hearing the footsteps and then your bedroom door closing a few seconds later. After that, silence reigned in the house once again, almost tempting you to go back to sleep for a little while longer.

Sleep still clung to your eyes and you blinked a few times to clear the grogginess that had a grip on you. As delightful as it felt to lay your head back down and waste another hour or so, you were curious. The front door was closed and locked and you had a hunch who was in the house. Although your parents had a key to your house and could enter it in the event of an emergency, they always knocked when they knew you were home. There was no knock and there was only soul who did that.

You sat up and stretched. A yawn escaped from your mouth and you rubbed at your eyes, trying to fully wake yourself up. The nap had done well for you and you were happy you had some of your energy restored.

"Babe, are you here?" you called out.

Your voice was a little deep from sleep and you cleared your throat. You were given no answer so that only coerced you investigate. Either he was here or you had a sudden ghost infestation.

"I thought I heard you come in," you said. You got up from the couch and made your way to the stairs. You stood at the bottom of it. "Cell! Are you up there?"

Again, you were met by silence. You rolled your eyes and made the ascent. The steps slightly creaked beneath your feet as they always did.

You had to admit, this was a bit odd. When he returned from one of his outings or training sessions with his fellow fighters, he always made his presence known. The fact that he wasn't responding made it unusual. Your stomach clenched subtly, hoping everything was alright. Either something was wrong or he was intending to scare you. If it was the latter, you would be forcing him to sleep on the couch. If it was the former, it just made you all the more anxious.

"Cell," you repeated, "what's up?"

You made it to the top of the stairs. Only a few feet ahead was your bedroom door and it was firmly closed. You walked towards it and put your hand on the knob. Thankfully, it was unlocked. With a twist of the knob and a gentle push, it opened up.

The room was dark. The blinds and curtains were pulled across the windows and you could only see stray beams of light that peeked through miniscule imperfections in the blinds. Beside the outside light, there was the soft glow of the digital alarm clock that sat on your nightstand. It read two o'clock.

As your eyes adjusted to the dim conditions, you could make out a silhouette in the far left corner of the room. It was a large, dark shape and it almost looked as if it was sitting. You strained your eyes, trying to figure out what you were exactly looking at.

You nearly leapt out of your skin when a deep, almost croaking voice said your name. It came from the figure you were studying.

"Cell?" you asked again, sounding unsure if it even was him. "What's wrong with your voice?"

"Close the door," the voice implored. "I don't want anyone to see me like this."

You needed to see what was going on. This sense of mystery was something you couldn't abide by anymore. You slapped your hand against the light switch and flicked it on.

Admittedly, you weren't ready to see what your eyes laid upon. They widened as you beheld a hulking figure that had to have been the bio-android you married but didn't look quite like what you were used to. This shape was far larger and bulkier than the muscular but lean and streamlined Perfect form you had known for so long. This form was also colored a darker green and had orange portions along his abdomen, jaw and pelvis. There even was a large, thick, black and orange tail that was poised over his shoulder, reminding you much of a scorpion's stinger. His glossy, black wings were nonexistent as well. Even his face had significant changes. His pink irises had transitioned to a cold, blue color. The violet streaks that ran from his eyes down to his jaw were gone as well, replaced by a solid green tint. His lips were also noticeably more pronounced and there was a black bar above them, almost looking like an unusual moustache.

The only things that reminded you of what you were so accustomed to were his crest and the two black biogems that encased his brain and sat in the middle of his chest. The Cell that was staring back at you was a physically totally different creature. More than anything you were shocked; shocked as to how this could've happened.

"I said close it!" he commanded, raising his voice. "And turn off the damn light!"

You did exactly as he requested, not wanting to upset him even more than he already was. You could see it in his posture, hear it in his voice and sense it radiating from him.

"I should've just found some cave at the bottom of the sea and suppressed my energy," he growled. "I don't know why I came crawling back here…"

"What happened?" you pressed. "I thought you went training with Goku for a bit."

"As you can see, the training went horribly wrong!"

The angered and confrontational edge in his tone made you all the more cautious. You trusted him to not lash out or strike you. He had never done so at you before and you trusted he wouldn't do it even in this delicate state.

"Tell me what happened," you said calmly. Slowly, you began to walk over to his side, intending to comfort and soothe him however you could.

"I wasn't physically damaged and reduced to this…lesser state," he snarled. "I used up so much ki and wasn't able to control my own energy at the end of it. I was so depleted and my body couldn't take it… Then I regressed to this previous state."

You were aware he had two other forms he once donned before he achieved perfection but you had never seen either of them. This was clearly one of them. In all honesty, you were impressed by it. It was a daunting, vast shape and frankly, if you had to fight him, you'd probably end up wetting yourself. He could probably wrap a hand around your waist and snap your spine in half with one squeeze.

His tail twitched subtly and his gaze turned to the floor. Cell's expression was etched with shame, disgust and disappointment. Gero's greatest creation certainly looked anything but proud and mighty in this moment of weakness.

Finally, you stopped approaching him when you were only a foot away from him. Your eyes had totally adjusted at this point and you could pick out his features easily. His eyes were still trained on the floor.

"I always could revert to one of my older forms if absolutely necessary but I never had a need to do so in these current circumstances," he said.

"If you could go back, surely you can move forward again," you said, wanting to bolster his confidence. "Look, you were with Goku… What did he have to say about this? I'm assuming he saw this happen."

An irritated growl came from him at the mention of the Saiyan warrior. He seemed reluctant to answer but he forced himself to continue.

"He said I'd have to rest awhile and not strain myself or I'd make things worse…" Cell shuddered at the thought of possible reverting to an earlier shape, primarily the one that preyed on so many Earthlings. "He told me to go home and try transforming when I recovered." He scowled heavily. "As if he can boss me around and acts as if he knows everything about me!"

"But it's the best course of action in the meantime," you asserted. "You should stay home, lay low and take it easy. Try again when you feel your energy replenish."

"I have to! Look at me, I'm a disgrace! This form and the other one are hardly charming or fair… They're unrefined, ugly, coarse and laughable! How can anyone take me seriously when I look like this?!"

"It's still you. I don't care what you look like. I know this may sound corny but it's true. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not dumping you because you look like this. I still take you seriously."

An exasperated sigh escaped from his mouth. Cell's eyes shifted to your face and his gaze locked with your own.

"Clearly, you have no standards," he remarked bitterly.

"There's no need to act like a drama king," you retorted. "I've been in your corner from the beginning and I'll continue to remain there for you. That's what you do in a relationship, hon. Couples are supposed to support one another and stick around even when times are rocky. I'm your wife and I'm not going anywhere. I'm not running off because your looks changed. It's gonna take a lot more than that to get rid of me." You offered him a small smile, wanting to lighten the mood a bit. "If I kiss you, will you turn back into your favored form? Can I turn the frog into a prince again?"

An awkward and uncomfortable silence filled the room after you said those words. His stare seemed to harden and embarrassment burned at your cheeks. Your humor was completely unneeded and unnecessary. If he killed you right then and there, you weren't going to blame him.

"Oh, God, sorry…" you fumbled. "I don't wanna make things worse."

A tiny ghost of a smile broke across his face. He shook his head and let out a small chuckle. Despite his wounded pride and ego, he had to give you credit for trying to make things better.

"The effort is appreciated, my dear," he said. "Now I know why I came back here. But I think I will take you up on your offer. It's worth a try, isn't it?"

"You're as sappy as I am," you laughed.

You lowered yourself to make sure you were level with his face. Before you could move your head in to give him the kiss, he pulled you into his lap. As soon as you were in your seat, he pressed his mouth against yours.

It certainly felt…different. Regardless of it, you kept the kiss going, wanting to soothe him. Cell's arms came around you, holding you closer. You could even feel and see his tail wrapping around the both of you, keeping you especially close and snug against him. Despite this sensation, you felt comfortable and trusting of him. There were no other man's arms that felt more safe and reliable.

The kiss persisted for another minute or two before he broke it. He nuzzled you affectionately with his cheek and kept you close to his frame.

"Sadly, I don't think a kiss cured me," he said. "However, it did make me feel a little better."

"Even if it helps a little, then it's not wasted," you assured.

"And it's another reason why I always come back here." He snuffled into your hair and his smile became larger slowly but surely. "Your scent is wonderful and it calms me. And your warmth and softness…that's another luxury I've grown so partial to."

Your cheeks were rosy and warm at his words.

"Flattery," you chuckled and rubbed his chest.

"It's not," he said, his tone adamant and stern. "Don't you dare think I'm lying."

"Okay, okay, I won't push it anymore."

"Good. You know better."

"Please, you need me. No one else can cook your food for you like I can."

He hummed thoughtfully and laughed softly at your words. Cell still held you close to him and his clawed fingers raked through your hair gingerly, stroking your scalp.

You only gazed back at him, staring back at his different but familiar face. As far as you were concerned, he still held your heart in his hand. Perhaps it was too dangerous of a thing to do but neither did you care.

"Alright, I'll admit that," he conceded. "But you know the one true reason why I return most of all. So…" As strange as it seemed, it looked as if his cheeks were getting darker. "Thanks for being here."

"I love you too," you said, only smiling back at him.