Who I Am
A songfic (run and hide!)
Author: ChibiCori
e-mail: kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com
website: chibicori.virtue.nu
rating: A happy and squeaky clean PG!

Disclaimers: If I was Naoko Takeuchi, I'd be the goddess of all things Moonie, not to mention Asian (wouldn't you know, I'm every -ish in the book but not a -ian in me!). And if I were Jessica Andrews, I'd be a cute, country-fresh teen who is making WAY more money then what I am now, which is currently nothing. I'd also sing her totally great song, "Who I Am" I suggest it to anyone looking for a pick-me-up. This song is fabulous.

This story is dedicated to all the artists who sing and/or write the songs that make us feel better no matter how deep the funk we're in. The song used in this song-fic is one of those. No matter who you are, or what your background is, this song speaks to you in many levels and you can't help but crack a smile and tap your toes. And there are some parts of the song that are just so Serena. ^_^

Who I Am

The force of the Tsukino's front door slamming behind Serena made the dishes piled next to Ilene shake and clatter together noisily. Ilene spared them a wary glance before returning her attention to the sink.

Though Ilene was already pretty sure what the answer would be, due to Serena's entrance, force of habit had her calling to Serena from the kitchen. With her arms submerged elbow deep in dish water and grease, Ilene asked over her shoulder, "Honey, how was school?"

There was a moment of deadly silence. Ilene could almost see frustration waves emanating from the hall and the atmosphere in the house seemed almost tangible. Ilene was sure if she reached out, she could feel her daughter's anger, but that would mean dripping water all over her nice, clean floor.

Finally, a low growl erupted from the hall before Serena peeked her head around the corner and into the kitchen, a forced smile plastered across her face, "Oh, just great Mom!"

Ilene looked back at her child as she dunked a soapy dish into the deep-set basin next to it, her expression bemused, "Really? Because Miss Haruna called today to tell me you had detention after school again, because you were late, again. And then you tried to explain not having your homework by feeding her some cockamamie story that you had it done, but on your way home from your study group yesterday, you were attacked by a fire-breathing monster who ever-so-conveniently had an appetite for essay papers?...Care to try answering that question again?"

Serena merely blinked before holding a finger up in front of her, "Excuse me for a moment."

Ilene then watched as Serena opened the door that led to the broom closet, stepped in and shut the door behind her.

"Ummmm..." Ilene began, and then tentively called out, "Serena?"

Her hand flew out of the sink, splattering stale water everywhere as Serena's slightly muffled scream resonated from the tiny space. Ilene slapped a hand to her chest and watched in horror as, after a silent moment, Serena stepped out of the closet. The fake smile from earlier plastered across her face, she repeated her earlier answer without a hitch;

"Just great, Mom! If you don't mind. I'm just going to go upstairs." 'And place a horrible curse on nosy, can't-mind-their-own-damn-business teachers.'

Ilene couldn't manage a single word past the shock still wedged in her throat. All she could do was watch as Serena bolted out of the room, then listen as her footsteps pattered up the stairs and finally, Serena's door slamming behind her. Another still moment passed before Ilene simply shook her head, mumbling something along the lines of, "Teenagers, they just get more and more complicated everyday."

As her mother went back to her dishes below, Serena was up in her room, contemplating throwing something through the window. Unfortunately, Luna wasn't there at the moment, so she settled for tossing her bag across the room and throwing herself onto her bed in a fit of teenage melodrama.

There, if that wasn't WB moment, she didn't know what was.

She should have known that today would be the queen of crapola days. When she woke up, she had this distinct feeling of dread. And after seriously debating faking sick, Serena dragged herself out of bed and into the bathroom, where she was greeted with yet another bad omen. The monster of all rats protruding rather unattractively from the side of her head. Brushing that little sucker out was the reason she was late for school.

And the homework thing, well- so maybe the monster didn't have an appetite for essay papers, but it did a pretty decent job of burning hers to a crisp anyway.

Blowing an irritated breath from the side of her mouth, Serena fitfully flipped over onto her back and hung her head over the side of the bed. If anything, her upside down position would make the perpetual frown on her face look like a smile. What was that saying, something about turning a frown upside down? Well, she did just that, literally.

Serena scanned her room with dark blue eyes, looking for something that she could get away with destroying. Some good ole destroy-everything-in-sight venting should hit the spot. But instead of some old plush from days of yore, Serena's eyes alighted on a thin square sticking out from her bag. Confusion flashed over her features, then curiosity as she rolled off her bed and crawled over to her poorly abused sack.

It was a c.d. The one Molly had lent her, telling her it was a must have. Pulling it out, Serena examined the cover. A young brunette graced the front and Serena read her name aloud, "Jessica Andrews, huh? Well don't you look like the bouncy picture of country perfection?"

Flipping it over, Serena examined the list of songs, then shrugged nonchalantly, "Why not? Maybe there will be a good crying song on this. Country singers are always great for those kind of songs."

Opening the case, Serena popped the c.d. out and went to her stereo. Throwing it in and pushing the random play button, Serena shuffled back to her bed and threw herself back on. A long, suffering sigh pronounced her misery. 'Watch out Dawson, I'm heading to the Creek.'

If I lived to be a hundred
And never see the seven wonders
That'd be all right

'Aww shucks. Join the club, sweetheart.'

If I don't make it to the big leagues
If I never win a Grammy
I'm gonna be just fine

'Cry me a river. You make more money then I can ever dream of having, I feel REALLY sorry for you.'

Because I know exactly who I am

'A super cute teen with LOADS of fans and money! Tee hee!'

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan

Serena nodded at that, putting her teasing thoughts to the side for a moment, "That's kinda nice."

But the next part had Serena's ears perking up and her jaw dropping in amazement.

Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends that love me
They know just where I'll stand

It's all a part of me
That's who I am

Serena was only partially listening as the song continued. Every word from that point struck a chord inside her. Her bitterness at the world disappeared and awe took its place. The plucked strings began to fill her up, humming along with the music, and continuing as the song came to an end and the next piece began to play.

Serena scrambled off of her bed and grabbed the c.d. case. Searching for the song number and finding it, Serena violently jabbed at her stereo until she found the song again. After that, she ripped the song lyrics from the front and read as the music played, her lips moving in sync with the singer's words. Finally, as the song again ended, Serena's face split into a wide grin and she giggled hysterically. Putting the song back on, she hit the repeat button and cranked the volume before dashing to her vanity to get a brush-I mean, microphone.

Downstairs, Ilene's head jerked up at the sudden increase of noise from her daughter's room above. That girl, why do all kids have to practically blow out their speakers when they were upset?

"Serena!" Ilene called, but instinctively knew that her daughter didn't hear her. Drying the last plate, Ilene then followed suit with her hands and walked over to the kitchen entrance, trying again to get Serena's attention, "Serena!"

Again, there was no sign of recognition, so Ilene moved to the foot of the stairs, this time screaming with all her might, "SERENA! COULD YOU TURN THAT DOWN?"

No answer. Ilene heaved a huge sigh as she moved to ascend the stairwell and rip Serena's stereo out of the socket when the doorbell rang. Casting one last annoyed glare up the stairs, Ilene turned to answer its beckoning call.

Jerking the door open, Ilene dropped her irritated look as she smiled warmly and greeted Serena's dark-haired boyfriend, "Good afternoon, Darien."

Darien's returning smile was just as warm as he took a step into the house after Ilene widened the door in welcome, "Is Serena home?"

"She's upstairs." Ilene answered, her face tightening a bit before she said, "Why don't you go ahead? And could you please tell her to turn down her radio? I'm sure that her hearing would be saved if she did."

Darien chuckled wryly as he nodded. Ilene walked with him as far as the staircase before she tucked herself back into the kitchen, mumbling something else about teenagers. As Darien climbed the stairs, he couldn't help but notice that some of the pictures that hung on the wall were rattling from the force of Serena's blaring music. He winced, 'Ouch, must have been one of those days.'

If Darien had thought that the pictures hung on the wall had been bad, the sign on her door, claiming that he had indeed found Serena's room, bounced off the wood with a ferociousness saved for a mighty slam. Darien smiled wryly as he tamped down the urge to put his ear to the door to listen, since he could easily hear what was playing even from the hall. It didn't sound like very good sulking music, but Serena's taste was, shall we say, eclectic.

Not bothering to knock, since the likeliness of Serena actually hearing it was close to nil, Darien turned the knob and swung the door open.

To feast his eyes on Serena, dressed in her school uniform and a pink feather boa, standing on her bed with a brush in hand as she sang into it. Her skin was flushed a bright pink, her smile wide and her eyes fastened to the mirror on her vanity across the way. Darien didn't even exist.

So when I make a big mistake
When I fall flat on my face
I know I'll be all right

"Um, Serena?"

She had been so wrapped up in her singing, that when Darien's voice interrupted the next part of the verse, Serena jumped, "AAAAAAAH!"

Landing flat on her fanny, Serena gulped in deep breathes as Darien walked across the threshold of her room and closed the door behind him. He stepped over to her radio and rolled the volume knob to a less ear-shattering decibel.

"Your mom wanted me to tell you to keep it down."

Serena gulped, her heart rate finally slowed and she smiled up at her boyfriend, her earlier fright forgotten, "Hey, did you hear this song?"

"Very well. I could hear it from down the street, with my windows rolled up." Darien wagged a rascally brow as he further emphasized, "With my own radio blaring."

"Oh, hardy-har-har." Serena elbowed past him, "This is such a great song!"

Darien followed her as she moved across the room to her vanity and brushed out a few tangles her enthusiastic dance had gnarled her hair with. He watched silently as she brushed through the silken strands of gold for a few moments before he propped his chin on her head, face framed by her meatballs as he caught her blue gaze in the mirror, "So, what's up?"

"What's up? Nothing much." Serena smiled into her reflection, though it was a smile meant for him. Puzzlement then clouded her eyes as she slightly turned in her seat, uprooting his chin from the top of her head and looked up at him, "Do we have a date that I forgot about?"

"No." Darien knelt on the ground beside her vanity stool, a hand falling over her own in her lap. Taking it up, he cradled her palm in his and continued, "I just felt like seeing you. Is that okay?"

Serena's eyes called him ten-times the lug-head, "Of course it is! I wish you'd stop by more often. I was in such a mood earlier. Nearly blew my top with Mom."

"Is that the reason for the musical therapy?" Darien tilted a head towards her stereo still softly playing in the background, the exact lyrics eluding him, "It doesn't sound like your usual moping stuff."

"This is ten times better!" Serena jumped up and moved back to her radio, turning up the volume again, "This song is me."

Darien laughed as she again took up her hairbrush and sang into it;

Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowin'
I will be just fine

"Hey! What's all this talk about heart's being broken?" Darien rose to his feet and wrapped a hand around the wrist Serena held her "microphone" in. He looked down at her with serious eyes, so serious Serena could only giggle as she stood on tiptoe to kiss him lightly on the nose.

"Relax Darien, it's just a song." Serena added a wicked arc of her eyebrow as she continued, "Besides, I've got you, I'm not worrying about you breaking my heart."

"Good, because I'm willing to bet I'd be the one wasting away while you run off to your next adventure."

"Never. I will always love only you." Serena drank in a moment as Darien wrapped arms around her waist and they danced slowly. She then quickly and almost painfully disengaged herself from the heavenly embrace, and pointed at him impishly, "You know what you need, mister?"


Serena's cheeks lit in a soft pink glow as she shook her head and backed into her vanity, "No, what you need," she then produced her curling iron from the clutter on top and whipped it in front of her, "is some musical therapy."

Darien glanced from the curling iron to Serena, his color rising in a panic as he shook his head quite emphatically, "No, I don't think so Serena."

Serena only nodded, inching closer to her man, "Oh, but I think so." Then she reached beside her and cranked the stereo back up to maximum.

'Cause nothin' changes who I am

Below them, Irene's brow twitched. Obviously, she had sent a man to do a woman's work.

And boy would Serena have gotten an earful if the bell hadn't saved her, once again. Ilene muttered incoherently as she walked stiffly to the front door, and opened it saying, "Tell her to TURN IT DOWN!" Ilene didn't really care who it was, it could have been the milkman as long as he went upstairs and turned down the music before he dropped the milk off on the front stoop.

Luckily for Ilene, it was the girls. They only stared for a short moment before one, or all of them, pushed through the door and made way for the stairs. Serena's mom was obviously a little tired originating from Serena's room.

"Did she seem, a little irate, to any of you?" Mina said sarcastically as she took the steps two at a time.

Rei snorted, "Just a little."

Lita yelped as a picture frame rattled off of its nail and landed on the step she was on, "Serena must be in one of those moods today. She only plays her music this loud when she's sulking."

"It's a good thing we came over, much longer of this and Mrs. Tsukino might have thrown Serena's stereo out the window." Ami bent down after Lita and put the picture back on the wall.

"Well, shall we relay the message?" Lita smirked, not looking forward to Serena's mood anymore than her mother's.

"Lets." Mina replied quickly, already waiting by Serena's door, "Before Mrs. Tsukino throws Serena out the window."

Again, not bothering to knock since they'd be waiting in the hall forever if they depended on Serena hearing it, they opened the door. What they saw when they looked in the room left them frozen in their tracks.

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan

Now, it wasn't Serena they were necessarily shocked with. Her wearing a boa and singing into her hairbrush was pretty common. It happened almost everyday, no big deal.

No, it was Darien, singing into Serena's curling iron, belting out some words, slurring through the ones he was uncertain of, right there next to her. Their eyes were both laughing and Darien took her hand and spun her in a quick circle as they sang the next line.

Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy

"Now THAT, is love." Rei commented in awe.

The sudden intrusion broke the spell Darien was under and he quickly dropped his arms to his side, his color high, "What are you guys doing here?"

"Hi, girls!" Serena bopped by quickly, still intent on her singing and all together making a fool of herself.

"When Serena doesn't come to study group, study group comes to Serena." Ami answered, timidly stepping into the room, scanning for pods out of which her two friends may have come. And if that were the case, she'd have to find the alien vessel that had taken the real Darien and Serena, pronto.

Well, okay, maybe only Darien was the pod-person.

Serena suddenly appeared right under Ami's nose, eliciting a slight squeak of fright from the blue-haired genius before she punched a pencil with a pink, fuzzy…thing, on top of it where an eraser rightfully should have been, "No time to study! You have to sing with me!"

"Serena, I really think we should-ACK!" Ami didn't get a chance to finish as Serena yanked her into a tango across the floor.

The other three girls snuck to a space next to Darien, Rei poking him in the arm, "She had a bad day, huh?"

"I have no idea. I came in and she was just like she is now."

"Okay, what's your excuse?" Mina plucked the curling iron out of Darien's hand, smirking with the memory of him singing into the barrel and doing a little Elvis impersonation.

Serena saved him the embarrassment of answering that as she pulled herself and Ami over to admonish them, "No talking, only singing! You have to sing!"

"But, Serena, we don't know the song-" Lita sputtered in protest as Serena slapped a comb in her hand.

"That won't work." Darien warned, then took the curling iron back from Mina, "And this, would be my microphone."

Serena only laughed merrily, her eyes sparkling as she sang;

But I've got friends that love me
And they know just where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

Before too long, the girls were also under the same "feel-good" spell Serena was. They danced and half-sang-half-mumbled the words. Around the third turnover since they'd arrived, they were all looking like superstars, all they needed was some screaming fans and roadies.

Speaking of screaming, Mina suddenly remembered the angry tick jumping in Ilene's jaw and pulled on her friend's sleeve, "Serena!"

"What?" Serena didn't look at her blonde friend, simply delighted as Darien dipped Ami. When the petite scholar had been set upright, she was cherry red and blustering her way through the next portion of the song.

I'm a saint and I'm a sinner

"Your mom wanted you to turn down your radio." But Mina's revelation was lost beneath the shriek of Lita as she was dipped.

I'm a loser, I'm a winner

Serena laughed as Rei shook her head, but got dipped anyway, "What?"

"Your mom! She asked us to tell you to turn it dooOOOOWWWWNNN!" Mina finished in a scream as Darien swept her into his arms and dipped her deep. When she was righted, she was too shocked to remember her own name, let alone the trivial matter she was speaking to her friend about.

I'm steady and unstable

Serena planted two hands on her hips as she thrust out her chin and yelled, "Hey, buster? What about me?"

Darien grinned wide as he turned from the other four, who had now gone to dancing with each other in a ring-around-the-rosies fashion and mimicked her stance, "What about you?"

"I am still your girlfriend, the last time I checked."

His laugh filled the room, deafening her to the music as it rang out and he finally answered, "Well, then come and get it. I think I may have one more in me."

"Not only had you better have one more in you, it better be pretty damn impressive, or I'm never talking to you again." Serena pouted, but her eyes still shone with her mirth.

"That is a challenge I willingly accept."

Serena giggled as she ran across the room, surprising Darien by not willingly falling into his arms for the same move he had performed with her friends, but leapt at his midsection. She wrapped her arms around his neck, then her legs around his waist and clung on. Ignoring his imbalance at her unexpected action, she sang along once more;

I'm young but I am able

Then, gravity won, and both Darien and Serena toppled to the floor with a mighty THUD! The girls shrieked in laughter at that and went to the Serena and Darien's aid, but only ended up falling over in their own hysteria. Darien only chuckled as he captured Serena's face between his palms and lowered her lips to his for a short, but passionate kiss.

Warmth licked through Serena as she grabbed handfuls of his shirt and kissed back with all her heart. She was perfectly content to just stay like that for the rest of her afternoon, but the other four girls in the room with them, who had managed to control their laughing fit, had other ideas.

With a mind-reading look at one another, Mina and Rei both grabbed one of Serena's arms and dragged her off of her boyfriend. Serena began to protest, but Rei's hand killed it in her throat. When Rei was sure that Serena wasn't going to speak, she hooked a thumb back into her chest as she sang;

I am Rosemary's granddaughter

Lita stood to the right of Rei and sang the following line;

The spitting image of my father

Ami was next, blushing slightly, and her movements were nowhere near as flamboyant as the other two, but she still got her point across;

And when the day is done

Then, there was Mina, who stood in front of all of them, arms thrown out to her side and hamming it up as she belted out the next part;

My momma's still my biggest fan

Serena felt tears in the back of her throat, but still picked up her cue when she felt Darien stand behind her, one of his hands entwining with hers. Looking up at him, she smiled and rested her forehead on his shoulder before she sang;

Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends that love me
And they know where I stand

Serena nodded her head towards them and all four of the girls didn't hesitate as they rushed the couple in a group hug. Holding each other fiercely, they all sang in unison;

It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

Meanwhile, Ilene had already had just about enough when she heard a loud crash above her head. The lights flickered and one of the dishes clattered off the pile she had already cleaned and crashed on the floor. Ilene sighed deeply as she stared at the plate before she tossed her damp towel on the counter and left the kitchen.

She ascended the stairs slowly, listening through the wall as not only her daughter's voice, but five others chimed in with the stereo system Ilene now seriously wished she hadn't gotten Serena for Christmas. Three c.d. changers was three to many.

What were they doing in there? Practicing for Star Search? If the answer wasn't something along those lines, and though she loved her daughter, she seriously doubted neither Ed nor Arsenio would give Serena the time of day for her singing capabilities, there would be hell to pay. And hell wore an apron.

Ilene didn't bother to knock, just opened the door and burst in, ready to throw Serena's stereo out the window, but the sight of four girls and one young man singing to teen country star's lyrics with articles of personal hygiene as their microphones stopped Ilene dead in her tracks. They all turned to face her, but none looked ashamed, in fact, they kept singing;

I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father

Serena went to her mother at the door, wrapped an arm around her shoulders and crooned into her brush;

And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan

Ilene flushed as she remembered her crack about Star Search, then shook it off as she squeezed an arm around Serena's waist in a short hug before saying, "I know you had a bad day, sweetie. But you really need to turn the radio down. I don't want you to hurt your ears."

"Okay, I will." Serena promised, then sobered, "I'm sorry I was such a pill this afternoon. I don't mean to do badly. And I try, I honestly try."

Ilene lifted a palm to Serena's cheek and stroked it softly, "I know, honey. I know. I don't doubt that one day, you'll do great things."

Serena smiled wide as Ilene continued, "As long as it doesn't involve you singing in any shape or form."


Ilene gave Serena another quick hug before looking over her shoulder to Darien and the girls behind her, "That goes for you too." Then she gave the curling iron in Darien's hand a bemused look over, to which the dark-haired, young man responded by quickly hiding it behind his back.

With a light chuckle, she swatted Serena back into her room with a quick kiss on the cheek and began to make her way down the hallway, but not before calling back into the room, "And I mean it! Turn that thing down! It's been driving me crazy all afternoon."

Serena listened as her mother's footsteps disappeared down the stairs before she turned back to her friends, an impish smile lifting the corners of her mouth before she spoke, "So…what do you say? One more time?"

There wasn't a moments hesitation as five voices chorused, "Oh yeah."

Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends that love me
And they know where I stand
It's all a part of me
And that's who I am

Serena watched her friends dance around her room, suddenly very glad that she had such a rotten day. After all, with such great friends and family, she should have known it wouldn't have stayed rotten too long. Sometimes, a little cheering up made all the difference in the world.

Maybe optimistic and perky, seeing that glass as half full most of the time wasn't the way the rest of the world, but to Serena, she wouldn't have it any other way. Life would get awfully tiresome if you lived it in angst all the time. And on those down days, she'd always have something like a song to turn to.

So maybe Serena was naïve, a little jaded to believe that the good stuff could just be the good stuff, with no strings attached. But she liked it that way.

That is who I am

Wa ha ha! Did anyone see the hidden message? WAFFles reign supreme!

Liked it? Let me know; kamikaze_bunny_eater@yahoo.com

Muchos Smoochos