The *Voices* Turn
A short story
Author: ChibiCori
e-mail: if you know what's good for ya!
Rating: A nice, juicy PG-13. Orders up!

Disclaimer: Think if I asked nicely, Naoko would give me BSSM? ::sigh:: me either......How about for a day?

Hi! Guess who was divinely inspired! No, not Him, me! Well, this is a kinda sequel to "What the Heart Already Knows" Some of you may have read it, some of you didn't. You don't really need to read WtHAK to understand this one. And of course, the fan favorite "voice" has returned to torture our favorite bish! Same as before, in the *'s is the voice and the thoughts in the '...' is Darien.

The *Voices* Turn

*Just ask her.*

'I can't just ask her, I have to ASK her.'

* I missing something?*

Darien growled as he paced through his kitchen for what was probably the 160th time that night.

*161 counting that last one*

'Are you going to help me or what?' Darien snarled as he cast a quick peek around the corner, making sure Serena was still watching TV in the living room.

This was the night. Everything was perfect, he looked great, she was beautiful, he had a romantic candle lit dinner set up on the balcony. Even the sky was perfect, already bursting into brilliant oranges, pinks and purples as the sun sank into the bay. It seemed pre-ordained. This was the night that Darien Chiba was going to ask Serena Tsukino to marry him.

But it was the asking part that was driving him insane. He had been so busy looking for the right setting, moment and ring, that he hadn't practiced what he was going to say.

*Just say what is in your heart*

'No, that's lame! What do you know?!'

If conscience's had eyebrows, this is where Darien's would have arched its *...*

Darien gave up on pacing and leaned against the counter. His arms crossed over his chest, Darien scowled off into space. This was supposed to be perfect, and he and his stupid conscience was ruining it.


'What, it IS your fault. Why didn't you remind me of this?'

** Silence fell as the little voice found itself speechless for the first time in a long while.

Darien smirked at the triumph, which was usually rare, then reached into his pocket. Out of it, he produced a small velvet box, and inside of that was the engagement ring he had spent weeks searching for. He had finally found it in a small boutique in downtown Tokyo. Opening the small box, Darien pulled out the ring to admire how perfect it was, again.

*Yeah, that makes this the millionth time.*

Darien barely realized the voice saying anything as his eyes scanned the smooth gold band, then over the crescent of glittering diamonds that cradled another rose-colored diamond. The color of the stone was rare, and it's cut and clarity flawless, Darien had been lucky to find such a priceless antique.

*You paid up the nose for it too.*

'It'll be worth it when I see the look on her face.' Darien countered, 'Think of how perfect it will look on her finger.'

*Which one?*


Serena's voice calling from the other room startled Darien from his trance. His hand jerked and the ring he had been delicately holding between his thumb and index finger slipped. Darien watched as everything slowed down and the ring flipped over and over, down and down. Until finally, with a loud 'clink', it disappeared down his garbage disposal.



"Darien?" Serena turned the corner to the kitchen, a puzzled expression on her face, "Did you just say something?"

Darien had to use all of his strength and self control to tear his eyes away from the black abyss that had swallowed three months worth of his salary. He gulped, his Adam's apple painfully sliding down his dry throat. Forcing a smile onto his face, he answered with a cracking voice;

"Me? Nope, I didn't say a thing."

*Oh yeah, she'll buy that. Potty mouth.*

Serena's brow pulled together momentarily, "Are you sure? I could have sworn I heard you say sh-"

"Is there something wrong honey? Do you need a drink?" Darien quickly interrupted, reaching into a cupboard for a glass.

*Ooh, smooth.*

Serena stared at him for a moment, then relaxed her features and smiled up at him, "Nah, I'm fine. I just came to see if you needed help with anything?"

Her smile broke through the growing panic in his chest and forced his worries to the back of his mind. Ring, what ring? He had the light of his life in front of him, loving him. What more did he need?
If conscience's had hands to slap to their foreheads, Darien's would be doing so then.

She had a habit of doing that to him, making him forget his worries. Just one of the many reasons he was devoted to loving her the rest of his life. In fact, he felt like loving her right that moment.

Darien's face split into a smile that matched her own and he drew her into his arms, "I love you."

Serena blushed faintly, then kissed the tip of his nose, "Well, gee, I guess I love you right back."

Darien chuckled softly at her tease, "You think?! Well, I'll just have to fix that."

Bending his head, he captured her lips in a tender caress, that immediately exploded with passion. Serena moaned against his lips and parted her own a bit, an invitation to take it past innocent. And who was he to deny a ladies invitation?

*Ewww, have some respect for those of us who don't want to see that, will you?!*

The kiss soon wound down, leaving both gasping softly. Serena leaned her forehead against Darien's and then grinned, "I love you."

"Much better."

*I want you to think of how gross it would be if I was forced to vomit in your brain.*

Darien loomed over her for another kiss, but Serena simply giggled and ducked out of his embrace, "So what about that help that I offered?"

"Wha?" Darien asked, then shook his head, clearing the arousing fog out, "No, I'm fine. You finish watching your show."

"You sure?"

"Absolutely, you don't have to do a thing but be your usual gorgeous self." Darien assured her, ruffling her hair lovingly.

Serena screeched softly, then exacted revenge by reaching up and mussing his hair. Darien bolted out of her reach and put a hand up to the offended follicles, "Hey, watch the hair!"

Serena laughed, then reached out to attack again. With a maniacal grin, Darien reached out and nabbed her by the waist, then lifted her off her toes. Reveling in the feel of her body pressed so close to his, he walked her out of the kitchen then reluctantly set her down in the living room.

"You stay here and be good. I'm cooking you dinner." Darien ordered, tapping his index finger to her nose playfully.

"Oh, I get it, me Tarzan, you Jane."

Darien crossed his arms over his chest, matching Serena's posture and somewhat annoyed expression, "Exactly."

Wiggling her brows mischievously, Serena turned and headed back to the couch, calling over her shoulder, "Okay Jane, have fun!"

Darien paused for a moment, then laughed softly as he returned to the kitchen.

*Wasn't that sweet? Can we get back to the fact you dropped a VERY expensive, very NON-refundable engagement ring down the sink?*

Darien winced slightly, 'Ah man, I forgot.'

*Really? I hadn't guessed.*

Darien ran to the sink and looked into the basin in apprehension, 'I wonder when the last time I ran my garbage disposal was?'

*We can check now if you like.*

'NO, what are you, insane?!'

*I'm your conscience, you should know.*

Darien unbuttoned a shirt sleeve, then proceeded to roll it up his forearm, all the while looking down the black hole.

'I really don't want to do this.'

*Well, we could always ask Serena. Couldn't you just see it;
Oh pumpkin?! Yes lamby-pie? Could you please stick your hand down the garbage disposal for me? What for sweety? Oh, nothing, I just dropped your engagement ring down there. Hey, then you're proposal problem would be all fixed!*

Darien grumbled crossly as he stuck his hand into the disposal, 'I hate you.'

*Hating yourself will get you no where Chiba. Omina, omina, omina...*

'What are you doing?'

*Seeing if I could will your other hand to turn the garbage disposal on.*

Darien stilled.

*I was kidding. Lighten up!*

With a scowl, Darien continued to fish around. Finally, his hand scraped against something metal. Gripping it, he drew his hand out and smiled triumphantly.

*Not so fast big boy.*

"Huh?" Darien wondered, then looked at the object in his hand. His jaw dropped and Darien felt tears stinging at the back of his eyes, "It's the pen I lent Serena the other day."

*Hey, we've been looking for that, she must have dropped it down there. I was wondering what that 'oops' was for. And she pretended to be so innocent.*

Darien leaned onto the counter, his elbows supporting his weight as he scrubbed his non-funky hand over his face. 'This is hopeless, I'll never find it.'

*I won't have that sort of attitude from you mister! Lord knows we've had enough hopelessness to last us a lifetime. Now I want you to stick you hand back into that potentially maiming device and find that ring!*

Darien straightened, took another deep breath, and submerged his hand into the mysterious depths of his sink. Expressions of disgust and irritation marred his face as he shifted past old egg shells and leaves of lettuce. Finally, when Darien thought that any longer down there and he'd have to throw up, his fingers fell upon a hard loop.

'I found it!'

"I found it!" he reiterated out loud, then pulled his hand out to be sure. It was the ring all right, but it was covered with...stuff.

'Ech, I don't remember eating that.'

If conscience's had heads to tilt to the side in thought, Darien's would be tilting its, *It looks like a mix of spaghetti, Ricaroni and... the Mystery Sauce from McDonalds.*

Darien shuddered, then rinsed off the ring, putting the stopper in the sink first of course. When that was clean, he very carefully put it back in it's velvet box, then into his pocket...

*Check for holes first! Don't want that to happen again.*

Only after the ring was safely restored, did Darien clean the hand that so bravely searched the nether regions of his sink. As an after thought, Darien cranked the water up and flipped on the switch of his garbage disposal. He was glad to have the ring back, but....ew.

'I'm glad that's over. Now, what was I thinking about before all of that?'

*How to ask Serena to marry you.*

The stress immediately lept back into his shoulders and the migraine that had been temporarily cured blinded him. He flicked the disposal off and began to grumble violently.

'You wouldn't happen to have any ideas would you?'

*, I have nothing.*

Darien slammed his head into a cupboard.

*....could you, just not, do that again? Maybe?*

"Think....think...THINK!" Darien shouted through gritted teeth.

*You might want to keep that down. I'm just guessing, but Serena is supposed to be surprised by the whole proposal thing, right?*

'Okay, how is this? Serena, I've loved you from the moment I saw you-'

*But you didn't.*

'I did so.'
*I was there man, you didn't.*

"Fine, how about I recite her a poem that I think symbolizes our love?" Darien mumbled out loud.

*You know any?*

"None have been written that can even come near how I feel about her."

*Errrr, you're talking to yourself.*

'Oh, sorry.'

Had conscience's shoulders to shrug, Darien's would have shrugged, *I don't see why you're having such a problem with this. You love her and you want to marry her. I mean really, what is so tough about it? Imagine how great it will be to have her with you every day. And every night you can make lo-*

'Hey, don't think about my girlfriend that way!'

*....but, it's technically YOU thinking that way.*

Darien froze, a confused expression crossing his features. He remained that way for a few seconds before wildly flailing his hands over his head, dismissing the thought, 'We can't think about that now! I have to think of a way to ask Serena to marry me.'

*Like I said, just ask her.*

'I already told you, I can't ask her, I have to ASK her.'

*...I'm still missing something, aren't I?*

'How about-'


'You don't know what I was going to-'

*I know exactly what you were going to say, I'm in your head.*

'Then, what if I-'

*Been done.*

Darien growled, 'Okay, maybe I could-'



*You don't have the time or the supplies.*

Darien threw his hands into the air in frustration, and again began to tread across the kitchen. Dinner would be ready in mere minutes, and he still didn't have a clue of how to ask Serena to marry him. What was he going to do? And that stupid voice, of course, wasn't helping him. It's only purpose was to make fun of him at any opportunity. Darien spun on his heel and continued to pace.

*I heard that. By the way, that turn made it 165.*

Choosing to ignore it, Darien tapped his fingers against his chin, continued to pace and tried to get the words out right, "When I met you, I knew there was something special about you-"


"No, that's not right." Darien shook his head, then snapped his fingers, "I know, Serena, I love you a lot and I...sound like a three year old. Think, think Darien!"


"Darling, the Earth would cease to exist without you...a couple times...Augh!"


"I could always throw the ring at her with a note attached and lock myself in my room..."

*169. One more and you'll hit 170! You can do it!*

Suddenly, something in Darien snapped. Grabbing two handfuls of dark hair, Darien let out a scream that rattled the rafters of his apartment. He then scrambled to the fridge, yanked open the freezer door and stuck his head inside. He shouted angrily, accenting each word by slamming the door on himself;



Darien halted mid-slam. 'Oh no, not again', Darien cringed as he slowly pulled his head out of the freezer. Serena stood before him, looking at him with frightened curiosity.

*Woah, you freaking out and Serena being witness to it. Deja vu.*

Darien nearly snarled viciously, but Serena's question quicky diverted his attention;

"Ummmm, what were you doing?"

"Me? I was just, ummm..." Darien's eyes widened and his mind scrambled for an excuse.

*Errrr, checking the temperature...ehhhh, looking for leprechauns..licking freezer burn off the meat! Say something! Anything!*

Serena crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her foot, waiting for her answer. Darien tossed a weak smile her way and tucked a hand behind his head coyly, "I was just seeing if the door would close with something in the way."

*Ooh, good one! I'll write that down for later.*

Serena's brow arched, "With your head?"

*Ouch, she's got ya there.*
Darien paused for a moment, before scrunching his face up and finally answering, "Yeees."

*I'd buy it.*

A smile flashed briefly across her face, but Serena quickly hid it. He looked just like a little boy who was caught doing something he shouldn't. With a bit more prodding, the truth would come out, and Serena knew that the reason rational Darien would be slamming a freezer door on his head would be a very interesting one. But when the phone began to beckon with it's rings from the other room, Serena sighed.

"You finish up in here, I'll get that. But don't think that you're going to get through tonight without explaining what is going on here buddy!" Serena proclaimed as she disappeared into the other room.

Darien exhaled slowly, then passed a hand over weary eyes. He REALLY needed to stop doing that. Serena would never marry him if he kept that up.

*Speaking of marriage, think of how to ASK her yet?*

Serena laughed softly as she walked into the living room and picked up the reciever, "Hello?"

"Serena?" a male voice asked on the other end.

Serena smiled as she recognized its owner, "Hey Andrew."

"Sorry, I didn't mean to intrude on anything. I just need to ask Darien something about one of our classes."

Darien's infuriated scream erupted from the kitchen then, followed by the repetitive slamming and thunking of the freezer door.

A moment of silence fell over the phone before Andrew asked, "He's talking to himself again, isn't he?"


Serena could almost hear Andrew shaking his head in disbelief, "He only does that when something is bothering him. What's wrong?"

Serena shrugged, then answered verbally, "He can't figure out how to ask me to marry him. Really, all he needs to do is ask."

All done! See, not bad at all. If you loved it, share with me! If you hated it, blame it on the Jell-O and hotdogs I ate while writing this. Don't worry, I have the constitution of a mental patient on macaroni and cheese day! Trust me, ^_~ ::calls off to side:: Hey nurse! Isn't it time for my medication?!

Huge thanks to my beta readers who helped me get over my insecurities about this fic; Kai-chan, redrose, Kel-chan and Bejiin. Thank you so much guys!

And one more thing (hee hee, I love Uncle), please visit my site.

I just started my comic strip, Kamikaze Bunny Eater, I'd appreciate some feedback on it! And if you're already there, hi, and thanks for visitin'!

Written on: February 21, 2001