Young at Heart; Take Two
A Sorta Fairytale
SMRFF Lyric Wheel
Author: ChibiCori
e-mail: (and you oughta) kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com
site: www.chibicori.virtue.nu
rating: PG-13 (language)

Disclaimer: Knock knock! (Reader(s): ::rolling eyes:: Whose there?) Naoko. (Reader(s): Naoko who?) Naoko rules! Ha! Orange ya glad I didn't say Naoko owns Sailormoon? I knew you were expecting it.

Summ: That subtitle, Take Two that means probably what you think it means. I had an idea, then halfway through I got another idea and started this one. J Nifty, eh?

::clears throat:: Remember that l-ee-tle voice in Darien's head? He's back, and with him comes something we might forget Darien has, his heart.

Darien's thoughts; 'are in these'
Voice's thoughts; *are in these*
Heart's thoughts; are in these

Oh yeah, and one more thing…LYRIC WHEELS RULE!

Young at Heart; Take Two

* This is really boring. *

'I'm with you on that.'

* Of course you are. How many times do I have to explain to you that what I think IS what you think. *

Darien-

* Endymion. *

-Endymion stifled a yawn and squirmed in his throne, searching in vain for a comfortable position.

* You know, as the monarch of an entire planet, I think you are allowed to order a new chair. I'm thinking leather. *

Endymion wistfully dreamed of an overstuffed leather Lazy-Boy for a moment before Serena-

* Serenity *

-Sorry, before Serenity coughed a discreet yet attention grabbing cough.

* That is so neat how she can do that. *

To which Endymion responded by jerking upright in his seat and gluing his attention back onto the representative of Zimbabwe standing before them.

It seemed a little odd that it would be Serenity that would adjust to court life quicker than Endymion. You know, seeing as how he was the responsible, grown-up one for all those years before the Ascension.

But, indeed, it had been Serena, now Serenity, who had fallen right into the habit of signing countless documents day in and day out. Serenity, who spoke with fluid ease at state dinners and gala events. And again, it was the very crybaby fourteen-year-old he first fell head over heels in love with, that found the hard crystal throne to be comfortable enough to sit on for hour after hour of court proceedings.

* This is really boring. *

'You can say that again.'

* This is really boring. *

'You can say that again.'

* This is really boring. *

'You can say that again.'

* How long do you think we could keep it up until THIS gets really boring? *

'I'd say about now.'

Repressing a fitful sigh, Endymion once more sought out a comfortable niche in his throne.

* I thought kings were supposed to wage war, lead troupes into victorious battles. Slay dragons, burn down villages, tax the people into pauperdom. That sort of stuff. *

Endymion grinned wryly, 'What fairy tale are you living in?'

* …that would be yours. *

"What do you think, Endymion?"

Serenity's authoritive tone broke into Endymion's reverie, forcing him to look over at his wife and partner-in-monarchy. Her face, matured out of the roundness and childishness of youth, looked at him impassively. Innocent as a newborn lamb, if it weren't for the merry twinkle in her blue eyes that told him she knew he hadn't been paying attention.

* Again. *

Endymion licked his lips, searching for his words carefully, "I, uh. I mean…umm."

* Somebody throw him a frickin' bone here!"

Serenity's eye, which no matter how flawless the mask on her face was, always expressed her feelings like an open book; sparked brighter as she spoke, "Don't be shy. Tell us what you think of the representative's proposal for expatiated crop growth in desert climates?"

Casting out a wordless thank you through his eyes, Endymion turned to the little man standing before him. The man's large, brown eyes wavered slightly with his hope, desiring his king's answer, which Endymion gave diplomatically, "Very interesting. Send your report to my office and I will be sure to read it as soon as possible."

The representative very visibly repressed his joy as he bowed and returned to his seat. Endymion turned a boyish grin to Serenity, who only smiled softly and shook her head before returning her attention to the court, "Next on the agenda?"

As the court secretary called up the next order, Serenity leaned over one of the arms on her un-Godly throne and whispered into her husband's ear, "You're welcome, you lucky bastard."

Endymion reached across the short distance and took her hand in his, "Lucky to have you."

Serenity winked at him, her silence agreeing with him before pulling her hand from his and placing it in her lap, her attention leaving him to lay fully on the Merchant to report Earth's economic strengths and weaknesses.

Endymion immediately zoned out. He couldn't help it. If he continued to pay attention, he'd be asleep in seconds. Listening to the women who represented the world's merchant population drone on about how the ear plug business was doubling in the cities with high usage of subway's was the last thing he wanted to do.

What he really wanted to do was do something childish and inevitably embarrassing to get Serenity's attention back on him. But somehow he highly doubted a king would do that in front of the people who judged what kind of king he was.

Being the king was boring.

* It's kinda funny how you want to do childish things now that you are a full grown man when, as a child, all you could think about was the ear plug market. *

'That is kind of funny. The kid/man thing, not the ear plug thing. Those have always been, and always will be, something I don't need to know about.'

Serenity did the cough thing again-

* I swear, it is a hidden super power of hers. *

-and Endymion forced his focus on the Merchant long enough to find out that the market was down for sporks in middle Europe.

* This is really boring. *

'Don't start that again.'

Hey, good news for sporks in the islands surrounding Australia. Them Aussies can't get enough of those handy, plastic utensils!

* Check it out! Shadow puppets! *

'Make a rabbit.'

* You should pay attention. *

'I can't, my mind is elsewhere.'

* Ha, I get it. *

Endymion smirked beneath the shield of his hand as the Merchant finished her report. She bowed her head, pushed her glasses back up on her nose and returned to the merchant section of the hall. Then, thank the gods above, a short recess was called.

"You seem awfully antsy today."

Endymion gladly turned in his seat to his wife. With the break, Endymion's posture had slumped forward once more. He inelegantly propped an elbow on the arm to his throne and placed his chin in his palm. He raised two, dark eyebrows and gave them a short waggle.

Serenity's eyes widened in mild surprise, but after that she only chuckled and shook her head, "You are acting like an overgrown child."

"No I'm not." Endymion answered defensively, and without hesitation. Much like an overgrown child.

Serenity this time giggled, rather then chuckled. The bubble of girlish laughter awoke something in Endymion that he hadn't felt since their youth. Her mouth tilted up into a smile of yore, Serenity couldn't help but egg him on, "Are too."

"Are not."

"Are too."

"Are-" But the tapping of the prime minister's staff on the marble floor interrupted their childish fare and both hastened to straighten themselves as the secretary called the next order of business;

"On the floor, the Duke of Wilhelm to discuss the anniversary ball of England joining the Crystal Kingdom's pact."

"Are not."

Serenity sliced a silencing glare at him, ignored the wolfish grin on his face and returned her complete attention to the Duke of Wilhelm, who was very adamantly arguing over the number of ice sculptures he needed with the court treasurer.

But not so completely that she couldn't toss in one last, "Are too," for good measure.

She always had to have the last word.

* Stick your tongue out at her. *

'I can't do that.'

* Why not? *

'Because she's right, I'm acting like a spoiled brat. And this is not the place for one of my infamous meltdowns.'

* You're no fun. *

Silence fell within Endymion. Something he was not at all accustomed to and left him disconcerted. What was wrong with him?

Usually, he was always able to discover the inner most workings of himself. Sometimes before, and sometimes after he flipped out. But his return to sanity was always guaranteed. But now, not even that annoying voice of his had an answer as to what was bothering him.

He was at a complete loss. What to do? What to do?

Fairy tales can come true

'I beg your pardon?'

* Huh? *

'You said something.'

* I did not. *

'But I swear, I heard you say something.'

* You're losing it, bucko. *

The voice was silent again, a sure sign he was either being oblivious to his surroundings or just ignoring Endymion. But something nagging chewed a pit in his stomach and was beginning to spread unease about every limb.

It can happen to you

'There it was again!'

* Seriously man, get some help. *

'Just shut up and listen for a second!'



* I don't hear anything. *

'But I swear, something was talking to me.'

* Talking to you? *

'Yeah…no. It wasn't talking.'

* That's what I thought. Can I go back to zoning out
now? *

'I meant it wasn't talking, it was singing.'

* …So let me get this straight. Something, in your head, was singing to you? *

'I don't think it was in my head.'

* Like I said buddy, seek professional aid. *



If you're young at heart



* What the hell was that? *

'I told you! See, I'm not crazy.'

* Yes you are. Now you have TWO voices in your head. *

'I really don't think it's in my head.'

The voice seemed about to answer with something glib, but was interrupted once again by the mysterious new inhabitant of the inner consciousness of the king of the world's head.

For it's hard, you will find

Had a subconscious voice a chin, Endymion's would be scratching its now * Hmm, you know- *

To be narrow of mind

* How rude. *

'What were you going to say?'

* Well, if I could get a word in edgewise around here. * There was a short pause, as if the voice was waiting for the crooner to dare interrupt him again. There was no answer to the challenge on the new entity's part, so the voice continued, * I think it's your heart. *

'My heart?'

If you're young at heart

* See. It seems your heart has something to say and must be heard. *

'It hasn't done that before.'

* Well, before we weren't so preoccupied with pressing world-changing matters and actually listened to it on occasion. *

'What does it want?'

* You got me. But I'll bet it's in the song. *

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams

* I didn't know your heart was a Sinatra fan. *

Endymion shrugged in the real world, then answered the voice inwardly again, 'Eh, whooda thunk it?'

And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on the way

'Sooooo, do we know what it wants yet?'

* What? Sorry, I was swept away by the lavish brass accompaniment. *

'Not to mention my heart's rich baritone singing voice.'

* Yep, you've got a fine heart there.*

Don't you know that it's worth
Every treasure on earth to be young at heart

* Young at heart. *

'Very nice.'

* Thanks, I took lessons. *

For as rich as you are
It's much better by far to be young at heart

* Take it, Endy! *

'Young at heart.' Endymion's inner singing voice was a little wobbly.

* You can do better than that. *

'Sorry, I haven't sung in my head in a while.'

* Not since that drunken night in Acapulco. *

' "The Kokomo" never sounded so good.'

And if you should survive to a hundred and five
Look at all you'll derive out of bein' alive

'You know, I think I'm catching on here.'

* You are? * The voice rummaged through Endymion's thought patterns, found what he was looking for and gave it a perusal.

And here is the best part, you have a head start

* Hey, I think you are! *

If you are among the very young at heart The heart suddenly gave both Endymion and the voice a nudge, in the form of Endymion's actual heart muscle thumping erratically momentarily before it spoke, Take it home, boys!

'Oh, we couldn't.'

* Okay! * The voice then stepped up to the implied mic, sitting onstage at the Sands and belted out, * Don't you know that it's worth, every treasure on earth, to be young at heart. *

Then, with a mental shove, Endymion took his turn, 'For as rich as you are,' and realization slowly, but fully dawned on him as he sang out the words in perfect pitch, 'it's much better by far, to be young at heart.'

Endymion could have whooped for joy, both internally and outwardly. But instead he just stood and cleared his throat, interrupting the still rampaging battle over ice sculptures.

But when he stood, all sound came to a sudden and screeching halt. Every eye in the hall looked up at him, some scandalized, some fearful, but all waiting expectantly.

And working entirely off his heart, Endymion didn't disappoint, "Everybody go home."

* What are you doing?! *

"Endymion, what are you doing?" It was Serenity to echo the voice's concern in the real world.

'Trust me.'

And to Serenity, he merely echoed, "Trust me."

* Oh, yeah. This from the guy whose heart is a member of the Rat Pack. * And Serenity's expression didn't fare any better for his decision, though she probably wasn't thinking for the same reason as the voice.

The audience meanwhile, had begun to murmur and speculate. Knowing that the only way to save face, not to mention his seat as king, was to be the king, Endymion pulled himself as erect as he could, and look out through regally set features.

At least, he hoped they looked regally set. He might just look constipated, and that would be of little use.

Oh well, here goes nothing, "Representatives, diplomats and friends from far and near. I know that this seems rash, but it appears that everyone has grown weary of these proceedings."

A few heads bobbed up and down in agreement, and Endymion felt his heart beat faster with the added confidence their response gave him, "And though I am not suggesting we become lax on these proceedings, since they and yourselves do shape the Crystal Kingdom and make it as strong as it has become, I do think a holiday is called for."

A silence followed before the secretary finally raised his hand, and after Endymion acknowledged him, he spoke with a great deal of uncertainty. His pen lay a millimeter from the parchment of the day's business, and it wobbled slightly, "So, what is your majesty suggesting?"

"Suggesting?" Endymion blinked, realizing he hadn't quite gotten that far in his reasoning.

* Well, maybe if you included your reasoning on your hair-brained schemes, you'd have an answer. *

Endymion waved the voice away and sorted through his head until he finally came up with, "Merely a half-day."

And if you should survive to a hundred and five

* Woah, I thought you were gone! *

"But, sire." The secretary fumbled over his papers, "We have other business to attend to."

"Nothing so pressing that the queen and I won't be able to take care of it during our office hours." Endymion beamed as that answer came to him without much thought-

* I feel so alone! *

-And turned to the audience, "Anyone who has not gotten to their business today, write up a document and send it to either the queen's or my office. We will look them over and give you our answers through our personal correspondence."

Another idea came to him and he turned back to the secretary and also the minister, "In fact, little things that can be taken care of in such a matter, like Merchant reports and party plans, should not be drudged up in court. It makes it too damn long."

Look at all you'll derive out of bein' alive

* You're STILL not done? *

"But, sire!" The secretary stuttered once more, this time joined by the prime minister.

Endymion clapped a hand down on each man's shoulder and gave it a squeeze, "Efficiency, men. The efficient kingdom is the happy kingdom. Come to my office and we will sort out those problems." Endymion released them and turned to Serenity, who sat dumbstruck and open-mouthed in her uncomfortable throne. A slow, wolfish grin spread across his face as he added, "Tomorrow."

Taking up Serenity's hand in his, he pulled her from her seat and kept her imprisoned in his palm as he turned to the equally stunned court, "You heard me, go home. Spend some time with your loved ones. We shall convene at our regular time tomorrow."

It took no more prompting than that. Like the most self-controlled herd of cattle ever seen, they began to file out, the mumblings and speculations kept to a low buzz. Endymion could care less if they accused him of madness or greatness, all he wanted was Serenity and he out of sight from prying eyes. With a soft tug, Endymion began to lead her from the hall, but he met with resistance. He looked back to see Serenity digging in her heels and looking at him through incredulous eyes;

"What were you thinking? You can't just cancel court on a whim!"

"Sure I can." Endymion looped an arm behind her back and pulled her flush to him, "I'm the king."

Some of the disbelief fled from Serenity's features, to be replaced with wonderment and a tinge of excitement that stained her cheeks a delicious pink before she shook her head clear of the intoxicating fog of his proximity and jerked her head back, "But, what about the Duke? He didn't get to finish his presentation."

Endymion glanced behind her and caught the Duke's eyes, which were brimming with…tears. Awwww, man.

"The ice sculptures, right?" The man nodded, and Endymion continued, "How many do you want?"

"3650. One for each day my country has been a member of your great plan."

'…'

* There won't be enough room for any people. *

Even I have to say that is ridiculous.

Not in the mood to argue, Endymion nodded and began to pull Serenity away again, "You've got it. 3650 ice sculptures for you're enjoyment. Have the order sent to my office."

The duke's eyes dried up and he bowed deeply as the royal couple disappeared into the hallway that led to their private rooms.

"Endymion, what has gotten into-"

But Serenity's question was quickly silenced as Endymion slanted a kiss over her lips. Serenity managed a surprised yelp into his mouth before giving into it, lifting her arms to grip behind his neck and taking an enthusiastic part in its passion. The kiss was so deep that by the time Enydmion had lifted his head, he had bent her over backwards so that she was dipped in his arms, her long hair sweeping the shining floor.

And here is the best part

* Do you ever stop? *

Well, excuuuuuuuuuse me. This happens to be MY domain.

* Sorry. Yeesh, don't have to get your panties in a wad. *

"Gods, Serena. I've missed this." His eyes searched over her hungrily before he buried his nose into her hair and spoke against the smooth, perfect skin of her forehead, "I've missed you."

Speech seemed beyond Serenity's capability, but she still managed a stumbled, "You-you called me, S-Serena. Y-you haven't called me th-that in a l-lo-long time."

"That is because until just a few moments ago, I forgot something very important." Endymion lifted his head and gazed into her eyes, then slowly straightened, but still didn't set her down on her feet. It still amazed him that now her toes just barely scraped the ground, when as the woman-child he had fallen in love with in the first place, her toes would be kicking at his the tops of his shins.

Serenity smiled into his eyes, any irritation at his sudden and whimsical cancellation of the court completely erased as she tilted a kiss to the outer corner of his mouth and answered, "What did you forget, Darien?"

Hearing his name on those soft, teasing lips was nearly his undoing, but he kept his resolve firm. If he didn't tell her how he felt, he worried that his heart might break into "That's Amore."

* Hey! Hey! Don't give him any ideas! *

"I forgot how young you make me feel." Endymion lifted a hand to comb through the silken bangs falling over her eyes.

Serenity seemed to melt even further into his embrace, "I do?"

"Since the moment I met you." And it was the truth. He never had much of a childhood, he had been a grown up forever it seemed. Until her. He kissed the tip of her nose and continued, "Our lives aren't perfect, and I don't expect it to ever be the fairy tale they seem like they should be. But as long as you are with me, I feel young enough to believe whole heartedly in happily ever after."

You have a head start

* I'll just have to look at this way, I have a new partner in crime. *

"So, you think you can be content with our sorta fairytale life?" Serenity's brow wrinkled, her question making it plain that she suspected Endymion's unease in their new roles as rulers of an entire planet and few colonies on the moon, for a while.

Endymion immediately wiped out her concern with an emphatic nod of his head, "Absolutely." Then, remembering Serenity's agitated expression when he had pulled her from the hall, how the old Serena he loved so much was being buried under all the pomp and circumstance, he hugged her tight and said, "If you can promise me one thing."

"Anything."

Dipping her low again and keeping his mouth a scant distance from her own, he bore his intense gaze into hers and tilted up a smile as he said, "You must promise me to stay young at heart." Then sealed the deal with another long, much-needed, kiss.

* Well, if that isn't a cue, I don't know what else is. *

If you are among the very young at heart

* Ha, cha, cha! *

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finito! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you thought!

kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com

Until next time!

Muchos Smoochos
Cori!

Written: June 6th, 2003