Key of the Twilight
Chasing the Dream
SMRFF Lyric Wheel Challenge
Author: ChibiCori
Rating: PG
e-mail: kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com
website: chibicori.virtue.nu

Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah, yackity-shmackity. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Yackity-yack, don't talk back. (Translation: I don't own Sailormoon, Naoko does. So there, don't talk back.)

Summ: Wha-ha! Yet another SMRFF lyric wheel. I luv 'em! The theme for this spin is "Chasing the Dream," and in my fic, Darien and Serena…chase a dream…literally. ^.~v Enjoy it.

Key of the Twilight

It was still in a land ever shrouded in brilliant twilight and a medley of pastels. Trees, or at least the illusion of trees, reached their leaf-heavy branches towards the purple heavens. Everything had the look of paint on canvas, feathery strokes creating every surface, from each pebble at the bottom of a whispering brook to the bird's nest sitting cozily in a safe nook on a high-hanging limb. Even the gentle wind giving the lush surroundings vivid animation seemed to ride the unseen artist's brush.

However, despite the opulent description, the area held a beauty beyond that any human talent could capture. It was untouched, softened around the edges and perhaps – most importantly – radiated with Otherworldly tranquility.

Which was why, when Serena barreled in through a bush it was, to say the least, a shock to the system. Bursting in an explosion of velvet leaves, Serena, or Sailor Moon as she was currently attired, let out an oath and then a yelp of pain as she tripped over a root and landed on her chin.

"Ouch."

"Serena?" A familiar voice came from behind her before Darien, or rather, Tuxedo Mask, appeared through the same bush Serena had gracefully destroyed, "Serena? What are you doing on the ground?"

Rubbing her raw chin, Serena pushed herself into a sitting position before twisting to pin Darien with a venomous glare, "You know, despite all your cleverness, my love, I'm beginning to think your keen powers of observation are slipping."

Darien only frowned in response. Needless to say, Serena was very, very grumpy. And what, pray tell, could have caused this displeasing countenance in his beloved?

It could have been one of many things. Ami had kept her up studying for an English test the night before. Serena sleep-deprived was never good. Also, she hadn't gotten a chance to eat more than the obligatory slice of toast she grabbed before dashing off to school. Serena ravenously hungry was never good either. And then, the icing on the cake if you will, the date Darien had promised her, where food would have been top priority, had been cancelled due to pressing universe-rescuing (again) business.

Throw all of that in with the wile-goose-chase-from-hell night they'd had, and Serena was rightfully, very, very grumpy.

Muttering, Serena stood, brushing dirt from the back of her skirt before moving to the task of untangling the twig caught in her hair.

Darien, at lack of anything better to do, helped his girlfriend with her grooming as he scanned the area before saying, "So we've lost it again, huh?"

Serena's mumblings became more violent as she nastily tore a stick from one bun, fraying the meatball and most likely snapping a few strands of hair if her wincing expression was anything to go by.

"Careful." Darien lifted a gloved hand to smooth back the distressed tresses, taking a few, short steps toward her.

Serena, surprisingly, ducked away from him and walked out of what was left of the bush. Crossing her arms over her chest and tilting her head back to allow her eyes to search freely before answering him, "Yes, we lost it, again. It's a fast bugger."

Darien balled his hands into fists at this side, a sign of his impotent frustration. Not only with their mission, but also with Serena. Each moment longer he denied the urge to shake her out of her stupor, the more he felt his own temper slip. Which alarmed Darien, he always considered himself, and felt the opinion was shared by most, that he was an even-tempered man. He lost it, and never fathomed coming anywhere close to losing with Serena. He thought of himself as a patient man, weathering Serena's mood swings before without a twitch of fear.

The only answer Darien could find was their surroundings. The air was laced with feelings; they prickled at his skin, then smoothed over like a healing balm. Could the atmosphere be amplifying their emotions to skyrocketing levels? Serena's, who kept her heard on her sleeve as it was, was orbiting the solar system while Darien's appeared to be preparing for lift off.

Wiping a hand over his face, Darien moved past Serena and searched until he nearly went cross-eyed. They needed to get out of there, and soon. If Darien's frustration grew to the extremities of Serena's irritation, they'd be doomed.

"Where do you think we should look next?"

Serena's brows lowered another fraction over her nose before she bit out sarcastically, "How about McDonalds?"

Darien stilled, squeezing his eyes shut and counting to ten, just like all those self-help books suggest, before he opened his eyes to look back at her, "Somehow I seriously doubt Elysian has received any fast food franchises yet."

Serena's eyes flashed, ready to take the bait, before another light flickered there. But this flicker was not her own and the fire was quickly doused as she stared over his head and shouted, "Get down!"

Darien barely had a chance to turn and investigate before Serena had tackled him at the waist and threw both herself and him into a pillow of soft grasses. A mouthful of dirt was their only reward as a bright orb, reminiscent of a frothy bubble whizzed just over their heads at break-neck speed. It bobbled over them a few moments, emitting a soft tinkling that reminded the two superheroes of laughter, or a gleeful, "Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!"

After its teasing hovering was over, it zipped to the right, then to the left before it zoomed out of sight.

Serena wasted no time, shoving Darien off of her and, ignoring the "oof" he breathed as his head made contact with the ground, bolted off in the direction of the orb, "It's getting away!"

Darien propped himself up on his elbows and could only watch as Serena disappeared through another group of bushes. Then, taking a few fortifying breathes, leapt up after her.

In case it hadn't been clear at the beginning, they were in Elysian, at the priest Helios's beckoning. And the bubble that had tried to rip off their heads, was in actuality, an escaped dream.

And to think, Darien had begun his evening believing he and Serena were actually going to have a normal, sedate outing. Heh.

Before any of the hell that was their life broke out, Darien had been dosing on the Tsukino's worn-with-love couch, waiting for Serena. She was running late, which Darien had fully expected, going as far as to bring a book with him for entertainment while she performed the primping magic girls do before dates. Eventually, though, the book began to droop onto his lap and his eyelids got heavy.

The next thing he knew, he was surrounded by a blinding, snow-white light, save the ribbon of sunset hues blending in from the outside of his vision. Darien could recall lifting a hand to protect him from the glare, but the light had no point of origin, coming from all around him. Closing his eyes briefly, Darien heard a voice speak to him.

"You Majesty."

Darien snapped his eyes open again, forcing them to adjust and slowly began to make out the outline of a kneeling figure in front of him, a gesture familiar of someone familiar.

"Prince, I need your help."

Finally, Darien saw the face of the man before him and could not hold back a gasp, "Helios? What is going on? Am I in Elysian?"

Helios's smiled softly, his eyes shining amber as he answered his bewildered master, "No, I am calling you from your subliminal plane."

"I'm sleeping?" Darien shook his head, more to clear it than to deny the priest's words.

"Yes." Darien watched as Helios began to flicker slightly, and the benign expression on his face turned to one of distress, "I require your aid, Prince. Please, come to Elysian."

Darien jolted as Helios faded out, only to return fractionally, "What's wrong?"

"No time to explain." Helios sounded far away. He made a pleading gesture and began to slowly disappear.

"Wait! I don't know how to get there!" Darien reached out, but his hand only pushed through the illusion.

The image of the priest was gone, but his ghostly whisper remained to swear, "Your heart does. Follow it."

The brilliance of his surroundings suddenly doused, but the inkiness turned out to be the shield of his shuttered eyelids. Feeling a hand on his shoulder and shaking, Darien quickly came out of his state to hear Serena's emphatic voice, her tones blending into his mind with Helios's plea for help.

"Wake up, sleepy-head!" Serena's eyes were laughing as she placed a hand on each hip and set her chin, "If I don't get a full eight hours, neither do you. Besides, I'm hungry, let's go."

Darien simply watched her for a moment, taking the time to gather his thoughts before he reached out and manacled her retreating wrist in his palm, "Helios needs help."

Serena looked back, first at her trapped arm, then up to Darien's face before her brows slowly lowered over her nose, "What? How do you know?"

A brief explanation followed, and Serena had simply shook her head in disbelief and mumbled something along the lines of, "It figures."

They were on the street by then, walking side by side on a cool, fall evening. As many of their dates did, this one would have to fall to the side for senshi business as well. Sometimes life wasn't fair. With Serena and Darien, it very rarely was. But they couldn't complain, or at least, shouldn't.

"And just how are we supposed to get to Elysian?" Serena pointed out, trying to keep the irritation out of her voice, "I don't suppose we could just catch a bus, could we?"

"I've been there before, it was where I was schooled as Endymion, and I've even been there in this lifetime." Darien explained, then admitted with chagrin, "Albeit once. But I think that I could fine my way there."

"All right, that answers where, but we still don't have a how." Serena stopped walking and looked at him, daring him to come up with something.

Which he did, "We could transport there."

A blond brow arched, "Transport there? Darien, are you kidding?"

"What? You've done it thousands of times before." Darien defended his idea, puffing up at the attack to his ego.

"Sure, with the girls and when we knew exactly where we were going." Serena spun away from him.

"You don't think you could do it?"

"I didn't say that." Serena snapped, then paused to think before answering in an even tone, "I could transport myself, but I wouldn't be able to take you too, without the girls."

"Darien chook his head, "No time, Helios sounded urgent."

"Then we'll have to think of something else." Serena stopped her pacing to throw herself ungraciously on a bench. The only light came from the street lamp above them, washing both in a sickly, orange color.

"Not necessarily." Darien seated himself next to her, and when he felt her exploring gaze on him, he continued, "I could help."

"You can transport?" Serena questioned sardonically.

"Yes." The cynical expression dropped from Serena's face as she just stared at him, a clear indication to explain himself, "When I first became Tuxedo Mask, and didn't I was Tuxedo Mask, I only transformed when you did. Your transformation was the only thing that could trigger mine."

"I know all this." Serena waved an impatient hand, "Get to the part about being to transport yourself."

"Since I would only change when you did, it was already too late to protect you from whatever harm made you transform. I suppose to save time, or one of my lesser powers, I would transport myself to wherever I felt your power signature. It only seems to work on way though, to find you. And only as Sailor Moon. It also doesn't work for very long distances, usually only if you're fighting within the city, or wherever we are." Darien shrugged, then leaned back into the seat of the bench.

"Well, this is nice to know." Serena whistled, then mulled over his words before slowly speaking, "So, what you're suggesting is that I transform and transport to Elysian, and you'll be able to follow me?"

"Technically, we'll still be together. But I think it may work. With added power from your transport, my own might be able to feed off if it and allow me to make it." Darien nodded his head as he went over the plan in his head once more, looking for any holes.

Which were many, but they were crunched for time and it was the best he could come up with. Rising, then transforming, Serena and Darien found a dark, secluded spot and began their mad plan. Darien watched in silence as pink waves of power wafted up from Serena, lifting her pigtails and fluttering her skirt. When she opened her eyes, crystal blue and focused, she nodded, indicating she was ready. Stepping up, Darien took each of her hands in his and began to channel his own aura. His white light clashed with hers, intensifying the pink flames that overtook her, then quickly, both of them. Darien felt within his heart and found the way to Elysian, then whispered the coordinates to Serena. She looked at him steadily for a few short moments, then lifted her head to the sky, calling out the spell to transport them.

When her feet left the ground, Darien quickly switched on the internal homing device that tied them and felt his own powers surge him off his feet. Then, in a flash of pink and white, they were both gone, only to reappear in the strange world they had been traipsing through for the past few hours. Helios had found them with amazing speed, and explained to them that a dream had escaped.

"A dream?" Serena squealed, "You mean I skipped dinner and a movie to chase down a dream?"

"It is not an ordinary dream, Princess." Helios jumped to contradict in his soothing voice, brushing over Serena's prickled temper in an attempt to defuse it, "The dream that I need your help finding is a True Dream."

"A True Dream?" Darien was the one to question this time.

Helios nodded, gladly turning his attention to the much more sedate prince, "Yes. Each of us have a True Dream, one that we wish with all our hearts to come true. A dream for a successful future, a career path, finding never-ending love."

Serena softened as she listened to Helios's description, her heart grieving for the soul who lost it, "How did it get free."

"True Dreams are often fleeting." Helios sighed, "Sometimes, when the dreamer loses faith in the True Dream, it weaken the wall keeping it in and the dream escapes. Sometimes lost to the dreamer forever."

"That's awful!" Serena moaned, taking hold of Darien's arm.

"It is always sad when a dream is lost and never found again." Helios's eyes darkened slightly, then hardened with determination as he looked back up at the two heroes he had called, "That is why I need your help. The True Dream must be recaptured and returned."

And so there they were, attempting to recapture what was probably the most infuriating True Dream ever. Serena's temper quickly drifted back into place as the chase wore on, and Darien's was slowly following suit. The end didn't look any nearer either, which elicited an unholy growl from Darien as he rounded a bend in the path and Serena had been sprinting down.

It probably didn't help lighten the situation any when Darien slammed into Serena's suddenly still form, sending them both tumbling down the rather steep hill that Serena had halted to examine. When they reached the bottom, both lay still for a moment, sucking in deep breathes of air and testing their aching limbs for broken pieces.

There were none and it was Serena who was the first to roll over and speak, "So, the tables have turned, Hotshot! Look whose running into who these days!"

Darien mumbled something incoherent and probably blazingly obscene before he sat up and looked down at her, "You could have warned me you were going to stop for no apparent reason."

"No apparent reason!" Serena's brows shot up and she swung a bruised arm up, indicating the hill they had just rolled won, "Hello, Darien? It's denial calling, pick up!"

Darien scowled and prepared an equally stinging barb before a darting light flashed in the corner of his eyes. Jerking his head around and ignoring the series of pops and cracks that followed the action, watched as the dream disappeared in a new batch of trees, its light filtering out and away, "It's going that way!"

He was up and after it in mere seconds, and after a short look back, saw Serena was right behind him, practically kicking his heels. She'd always been a better runner than him, years of sprinting to school every morning had some advantages. A canopy of leaves soon covered their heads and the light was dim. They kept up their running, following the faint glow until it suddenly disappeared entirely behind a twist in the path. Darien made the sharp turn and began to slow, holding a hand over his head to capture Serena's attention to avoid any more mishaps. When he finally halted, he bent at his waist and put shaking arms on his knees. After a few gulping breathes of air, Darien finally looked at Serena and nodded his head towards the new problem at hand, "Now what?"

They had reached the proverbial "fork in the road." Down one road, the fulfillment of their mission, down the other, more frustration and searching. Serena pushed herself away from the tree trunk she had propped herself up on and looked down the two paths before she pointed down one and ordered, "You take that one, and I'll go the other way."

"Are you sure?" Darien questioned, hesitant to separate. Exactly why, was beyond him, he imagined a break from Serena would be refreshing. And vice versa, but still, he was hesitant, "You don't know your way around, you may get lost."

"Like you know where everything is?" Serena replied caustically, but softened at the wince it brought to Darien's face, "I'm sorry. I guess I'm still pretty grumpy."

Darien thought better of replying with just what he was thinking, but was sure that his expression, not as carefully guarded as it was at home, was speaking volumes for him, and simply shrugged. He knew Serena got the vibe when she colored hotly and stiffly shoved a piece of hair behind her ear before she continued, "If we split up, we might be able to find that dumb thing."

"True." Darien gave his path a quick perusal, then turned back to Serena, "Remember what Helios said-"

"Yeah, yeah. Ever-changing landscape, unpredictable weather, questionable wildlife. Blah, blah, blah." Serena rolled her eyes and started down her path.

But Darien's firm hands on her shoulders halted her, turning her to look at him, "I'm serious, Serena. It's easy to get lost here. The land is set by the whimsy of dreamers, so Elysian is always shifting, it always looks different. Just remember when you head back, to follow that star." Darien shifted to lookup and point at the only star in the Elysian sky, glimmering brightly from afar, "It is directly above the temple, and that is the only thing that stays stationary here."

Darien's words were brisk and demanding, but Serena could still sense the concern and love in them. Her heart melted and she turned up a small smile for him, an attempt to ease his worry. When that didn't seem enough, Serena turned to a dirty trick, which always worked. Rising on tiptoe, Serena rested feather-soft kisses on Darien's mouth and lingered, waiting for his lips to ease out of the rigid line he'd set them in. Allowing his passion to mold over her mouth a few heartbeats, Serena finally lowered down onto her heels and looked up at him with earnest blue eyes, "I'll remember."

Pausing only long enough to caress his face with her gloved hand, Serena pulled out of the embrace and jogged down her path. Darien watched her until she was completely out of sight before he turned back to his own road. Sighing deeply, Darien took off, muttering under his breath, "Here we go."

Serena, meanwhile, had barely given a second thought to Darien, her focus solely set on finding that little orb and smacking it like a baseball back to Helios. Why couldn't she have, just one time, a quiet evening alone with her boyfriend and a double cheeseburger? Why did the world have to come apart at the seams when she hadn't slept more than four hours in the last twenty-four, and counting? And why, oh why, had the ground suddenly disappeared beneath her feet?

Serena didn't really have the time to ponder the latter question as she found herself free-falling through seemingly bottomless sky. After a futile attempt at flailing her arms in false hope of taking flight, Serena scanned her surroundings.

It was like she was in a tunnel, and it swirled with clouds and green sky. The clouds, Serena understood, though the green sky was beyond her. She'd obviously stumbled upon a dreamscape in which the dreamer was falling. Everyone had them once and awhile, waking up in a cold sweat, heart racing in their throat. She simply had to wait until the dream passed.

And pray the ground didn't appear before then.

Almost the same instant Serena had though the foreboding idea, the tunnel disappeared and Serena found herself lying on her stomach, once again in Elysian. Taking a moment to get over the icky feeling that always followed such a dream, Serena pressed her forehead into the ground and took a long, silent breath.

The thunderous roar blasting over her head quickly stole it though, and Serena jerked her head up to find the origin of the frightening noise. And immediately wished she hadn't, "You've got to be kidding me."

A T-Rex lumbered over her body. It started at her like she would be a tasty midnight snack. Serena really had no intention of being anyone's snack, especially a pink, polka-dotted, prehistoric reptile's.

"The kid who is dreaming this up has issues." Serena mumbled as she pushed herself erect and backed up a few steps.

Which the Rex didn't take a shining to. It lifted its immense head and drew an ear-shattering roar from its throat. Serena only "Eep"-ed before turning on her heels to run in the other direction. But no amount of running to school would ever have prepared her for outrunning the Jurassic juggernaut. Serena dared a glimpse over her shoulders just in time to see the lumbering T-Rex take a giant leap then reach down and nip at the hem of her abbreviated skirt with pencil-long teeth. A screech escaped Serena's mouth as she increased her speed, that was WAY too close for comfort.

Then, thank the Lord, Serena vaulted over a bush and back into Elysian. Spinning around, ponytails whipping at her face, Serena scanned with frantic eyes for her predator, but he was nowhere to be seen. She'd escaped another dream.

That was IT! She was starving, hungry enough that had she the tools, she probably would have made a barbeque out of the Rex. She was exhausted from all the running. She didn't want to find that stupid dream, whoever lost it deserved it if they didn't have enough faith in themselves to believe it could come true.

Tears sprang up in Serena's eyes. She didn't really mean it, but she was just so tired, expecting to her to function normally was too much to ask at the moment. Roughly wiping the traitorous tears from her cheeks with the heel of her gloved palms, Serena sank to the ground beneath a tree, using the think, moss-pillows trunk for support.

Serena hated to sound trite, but she didn't want to think about it anymore. She didn't want to think of anything. She just wanted to sleep and dream about cheeseburgers, chocolate shakes and strong arms to hold her tight and keep her warm. And as she ticked off the delicious treats to be had in sweet, sweet slumber, Serena's eyelids slowly drooped closed, her head bobbed until her chin finally rested on her chest and, quietly, Serena fell fast asleep.

Overhead, a light tinkled down through the branches until it was finally revealed as the escaped True Dream. It hovered over Serena for a few moments, silent and soft, before it floated down right in front of her face. It was as if the dream was studying her, and recognizing her as something very familiar.

Finally, it made its move, but not up and away, but inside of Serena's head, where it hoped it would find a way to come true.

^_~ ^_~ ^_~ ^_~ ^_~

Serena was somewhere wonderful. She could sense it, feel it at her fingertips, and smell the sweetness in the air. It was perfumed with flowers, all kids. Serena could feel the velvet petals beneath her bare feet and brushing against her legs. Above, the moon a brilliant orb in the sky.

Wherever she was, it was someplace magical.

*Come with me in the twilight of a summer night for awhile

It was a meadow, or a field. She didn't see any buildings, no streetlamps illuminated any beaten paths. Tall, waving grasses played the home of wildflowers and huge, ancient-looking oaks with branches that twisted and reached far out. The wind whispered soft and the air was cool.

Wherever she was, it was unreal.

*Tell me of a story never ever told in the past

Her vision wasn't clear, or the world wasn't. Everything was kind of, fuzzy. She could feel it all, and see enough to recognize what things were. And oddly enough, some things were remarkably clear. Each flower she saw was vivid, alive in colors impossibly bright for the evening. She could see each knot and gnarl in the oak tree she stood next to, but the leaves were blurred together. She could see every pock on the moon's face, but not the grackles on her own hand.

Wherever she was, it was a dream.

*Take me back to the land
Where my yearnings were born

That was it, Serena was in another dream. She had to be, even though the surroundings were somewhat similar to where she'd been last, with the tree, the flowers and soft grasses. But it was still different, different enough to leave Serena holding her breath as to what came next.

*The key to open the door is in your hand
Now fly me there

When a man suddenly appeared next to her, Serena jumped. He was only a shape, but again, like the world around her, she could make out some features. He was tall, with boyishly waved hair. His stance was that of someone with authority. The shaded expression on his face seemed to be one of anxiety, of longing, of need. It was confirmed when he passed her, his feelings waving off of him and leaving her stomach twisted in knots.

Was this what he was feeling?

*Fanatics find their heaven in never ending storming winds
Auguries of destruction be a lullaby for rebirth
Consolations, be there
In my dreamland to come

The man seemed familiar. His posture, height and build made her think of Darien, but still…the connection didn't seem to take. Serena opened her mouth to speak, but her voice didn't come out. She was completely mute. Suddenly aware that in this dream she was to be a witness to the actions, Serena stood back and looked around her, waiting for what came next.

*The key to open the door is in your hand
Now take me there.

A woman appeared. Serena could only blink as she absorbed her figure. Tall, slender, exuding grace and beauty. And her hair tied up in two buns on top of her head, long ribbons of hair flowing behind her that glinted in the silver light of the moon.

*I believe in fantasies invisible to me

The woman was running across the field, through green grass that swirled around her up to her waist. She finally emerged from the tall grass and stopped her sprint when she reached the circle of the tree's canopy. She appeared to be in street clothes, a blouse and jeans, which puzzled Serena. The man appeared to be wearing an ornately decorated cape, something formal. Why would the woman be plainly dressed and the man not?

Serena shook her head and watched as the woman came to a stop when she reached the thick trunk, leaning against it slightly, her shoulders heaving as she breathed deeply. She was looking at the man, directly into his eyes, or where his eyes would have been if they had clear features. Her feelings registered the same taut anxiety, but instead of the aching loneliness of her male counterpart, she was filled with joy and happiness. Was she just happy, or was her enthusiasm created by his presence? Serena couldn't tell.

*In the land of misery I'm searchin' for the sign
To the door of mystery and dignity

Longing, though, was predominant in the air. These two people had been waiting for one another to arrive at this moment in time for millenniums it seemed like. They both strained to keep their impulses in check, their hands to themselves to prolong the reunion. It was almost pure agony for Serena to endure it as well, and she was only watching.

*I'm wandering down, and searchin' down the secret sun

They exchanged words, though Serena didn't hear any of them. Their mouths moved, but no sound came out. Wishing desperately to be able to hear the shared intimacies of these two people, Serena stepped forward, straining her ears to hear something. The only sound she heard was very soft whispers, which could easily have been the wind.

Then, the man took a step forward.

*Come with me in the twilight of a summer night for awhile

The woman held out a hand and said something, a protest if her body language was to be trusted. There was a pause before the man spoke.

"I love you."

*Tell me of a story never ever told in the past

Serena had seen Darien's mouth move around those words enough to recognize them when they were said. This man, loved this woman. This woman who looked so eerily like her, the man who shared so many characteristics with Darien. Could this dream possibly be…

*Take me back to the land
Where my yearnings were born

Her train of thought was dashed as the woman, who had hesitated only mere seconds that felt as if they were stretched into several eternities, pushed herself from the tree and threw herself into the man's arms. The embrace was fierce and when she looked up into his eyes, her mouth achingly close to his, Serena could see the tears, feel the passion as she whispered in return;

"I love you."

*The key to open the door is in

The kiss was so bold, so brimming with emotion that Serena felt ashamed for looking. The sense of finality, of finally being something washed over her. Age, she felt, was important. Finally being old enough to share this, finally grown. What did that mean?

As the embrace deepened, Serena turned away, feeling it was not her business to see. She looked out over the clear and smiled softly at the scene. Flowers as far as the eyes could see. But, something in the distance, something huge, reaching into the heavens, and sparkling in the moon's grace caught Serena's eye. It was far off, practically useable except for its luminescence. Serena strained to see, but a new foreign body had arrived.

Or at least a voice. Unaccustomed to the sound of a human voice, Serena didn't believe it at first, but quickly realized it was Darien's, calling from far away. The wind picked up its speed and whipped her pigtails around her into a golden whirlwind. Serena gasped as the world that had been so kind to her, showed her so much love, began to disappear behind a veil of gold, her own hair.

And all the while, Darien's voice calling her got louder and louder, "Serena…Serena…Serena…"

^_~ ^_~ ^_~ ^_~ ^_~

"Serena?" Darien shook the slumbering girl again, "Serena, wake up."

This time he got a reaction. Serena's eyelids fluttered and she scrunched up her nose at the displeasure of being stirred. She stretched under his hands and yawned before she finally opened her eyes all the way, the blue swallowing her pupils before they expanded and she began to focus.

"Darien?"

"Hey, no sleeping on the job." Darien jested, helping her as she stiffly stood up.

"Sleeping? But-" Serena drew her brows together over her nose before her eyes widened in realization, "I was dreaming."

"While in Elysian." Darien quipped, but the flash of light that suddenly appeared out and above her head immediately dissolved his jovial attitude, "Serena, look out!"

"The dream!" Serena cried out as Darien pulled her behind him, forming a shield with his cape.

"It was inside you."

Serena blinked, "Inside me? Then that would mean the dream I has wasn't mine, but the True Dream."

Darien withdrew a rose, ready to impale the dream, but Serena quickly grabbed his arm.

"Don't. It's yours!"

Darien turned back to Serena, his expression truly puzzled, "Mine? Serena, what you talking about?"

"I saw the dream. It was us, we were being reunited sometime in the future. It was beautiful." Serena's eyes grew distant before they focused again on the dream. It simply bobbled to and fro, no longer feeling the need to lead them on the chase, "But what I don't understand is the reunion part. Darien, why have you lost faith in us?"

"Lost faith? I haven't." Darien looked from Serena to the dream, his confusion intensifying with each moment.

"Helios said that the dream escapes when the dreamer loses faith." Serena scratched her head, "But, then again, the dream doesn't make sense at all when it comes to you."

Darien took her shoulders in his hand and forced her attention to him, his words were firm as he spoke, "Serena, I have more faith in you and then I have over anything else in the world. I don't have a doubt in my mind that we will never be apart again, that I am gong to marry you and have children with you."

Serena smiled brightly at his words, then latched onto one. Children? Serena's mind flashed back to the dream, and the clue left. The meatballs adorning the woman, were pointed. The glimpse of a horn through the bangs of the man. The emphasis on having finally grown up and, the glimmering object in the distance, the palace at Crystal Tokyo.

Serena lifted up on her toes and kissed Darien softly, "Thank you. For your beautiful words and faith. I have no doubt that those things will come to pass." She then turned to the hovering dream and pointed at it, "And you, go home."

The dream stilled momentarily, then zipped up and away, headed towards the star above the Temple of Elysian. Darien could only blink as he watched it disappear before he pulled out of Serena's embrace and pointed in the direction with an outraged finger;

"That's it? We chased that thing all over Elysian and all we had to do was tell it to go home? It was that simple?"

Serena smiled wryly and chucked Darien under the chin with a wink, "Sometimes it is always that simple." Darien only shook his head in response, so Serena continued, "Now, can we go home? If I don't get some food soon, I'm going to be forced to eat you."

^_~ ^_~ ^_~ ^_~ ^_~

Helios turned when he heard the recognizable jangling of a True Dream. His face beaming and joyous beyond all reason, he waved it in and looked at it a long and happy moment before saying, "You've come back."

The dream seemed to nod its head before it floated forward and merged into Helios's body.

The boy priest smiled. It came back, his True Dream came back to him. He had been foolish to throw it away, to lose his faith in its possibilities.

Maybe it was a hopeless dream. Maybe it was a cruel dream. But it was his, all his.

Helios held the vision of his princess closer to his chest, willing her into his heart once more, though it seemed she had never left. And the small smile trembled at the corner of his mouth.

Maybe, that was the key word. Maybe.

Helios, priest of Elysian, lover of the future, chased a dream all his own.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, phew! Done! Let me know what you think;

kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com

Muchos Smoochos
Cori!

Written: Dec. 15th 2002