Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon . . . o(_)o Darn!

AN: I have to say how SORRY I am for not updating. ::hangs head in shame:: I know it's a completely lame excuse, but everything has been so busy right now and I'm having a severe case of writer's block. I'm really sorry for not updating sooner. Please forgive me!!! T_T

Also, I know the whole thing with Raye being with Darien was in the original Sailor Moon, but it's not going to be like that in my story. I dunno, it's just too hard to fit it in here. Either way, I think I've made you wait far too long (did I mention I'm sorry about that?) so I'll just let you get to the story. Hope you like it!



Chapter 20: A Little Faith

"Oh Darien, it was so horrible. She just . . . attacked me. That's what I get for trying to make peace with her. What a horrible girl." Mai babbled incessantly.

He tuned out Mai's shrill voice as they headed towards the hospital wing.

The look that Serena gave him, right before he left to escort Mai . . . it was so innocent, so honest.

But they HAD seen her take a hit at Mai.

"Darien? Are you listening to me?" a voice called, jolting him back into reality.

"Huh? O-oh. Yeah." He mumbled.

"So, as I was saying. That brat just punched me, right when I was extending a warm hand of friendship. Some people are just crazy."

Blah, blah, blah. Does she HAVE to keep talking about this? Darien rolled his eyes as Mai continued to relay her side of the story.

He never thought Serena would be the kind of person to seek revenge, but then again, how well did he know her?

What was she to him anyway?

A nuisance? His sister's classmate? His enemy? Or daresay, his friend?

His mind became a huge blur, unable to sort out his thoughts, his feelings, anything.

I need to take my mind off things, he thought.


Serena stared at the chalkboard, giving off the appearance of a concentrated student, rather than a confused and distressed one.

Her head ached from thinking too hard, not about Miss Takahashi's latest novel choice, but about the previous events that day.

She massaged her temples and diverted her eyes from the chalkboard, which appeared (to her) to be covered in alien scribbles and scrawls.

She was furious with Mai for being . . . well . . . Mai.

Furious with that group of people for believing the words that came out of Mai's snake-like lips.

Furious with Darien for not believing her – for not doing anything.

Most of all, she was furious with herself. For caring.

It doesn't matter what people think. The people that care don't matter, and the people that matter, don't care.

That was what she had always been told. And she had lived by it. Up until now.

I am NOT going to think about this, she told herself determinedly. I was right, and that's all I need to know.

I am NOT going to think about Darien and his stupid ways. He is not worth thinking about in the first place.

Inside, she knew that she needed him to believe her. She wanted him to believe her.

Darien thinks I'm annoying already, so it won't matter if he thinks I'm a bully too. He probably thinks I am the worst human being on the planet, she thought.

And that's fine by me. Let him think that. See if I care.

The bell rang, barging into her thoughts. She slowly rose from her seat and trudged out of the classroom, realizing that she had spent the entire class thinking about the one person she had decided was not worth thinking about.


Serena went through her studies the next few days, putting on a content face among her friends and family. Inside, her mind was chaos. It was as if she was lost in a maze, without a compass or a way out.

Darien wasn't much better off. He'd work out, run, listen to music blaring on the radio, but no matter what he did, he couldn't get the image of a certain Meatball-headed girl out of his mind.

At school, over town, they avoided each other.

Darien would sit a few seats away from Serena in the cafe, only to avert his gaze to the nearest group of condiments on the table.

Likewise, Serena would change directions as Darien came towards her in the crowded hallways – especially if he was within arms length of Mai, which was usually the case.

Mai was hanging over him like a bad cold, talking about how horrible Serena was for "attacking her". He grew weary of hearing Mai's incessant chattering.

Though he would never admit it, he missed talking to Serena. He missed the encounters he had with her. The witty exchange between them. The smirk on Serena's face and the unmistakable glint in her eye when she was right.

He wondered silently, if she ever thought about him.

Serena insisted that Yori come to HER house and refused the frequent ride- to-school offers Yori persistently made.

Serena and Darien were both too puzzled, bemused, baffled to deal with each other.

It became a daily ritual – avoiding the mere sight of the other.

Days of this quickly turned into a week.

I thought I would stop thinking about him by now, Serena screamed inwardly. I haven't seen or talked to him in over a week, and he still manages to drive me mad. Figures.


"Serena! That's your fifth scoop of ice cream!" Raye exclaimed disbelievingly.

"Your point being? Ice cream is good for the soul." Serena stated as-a- matter-of-factly.

"Good for your soul . . . yes, but not so good for your soon-to-be bulging belly." Raye retorted knowledgably, a smug look on her face.

"Hey! What are you trying to say?"

"Nothing . . . piggy." Raye coughed loudly into her hand.

"I heard that!"

The girls glared menacingly at each other for a second, an excited tension between them, before bursting into peals of laughter.

"Hey, I should be heading back to the temple. Grandpa might be worried." Raye said regretfully, after she stopped laughing for a moment.

"Yeah, me too. See you later, Raye!" Serena waved goodbye and headed down the street, ice cream cone in hand.

"Don't let all that ice cream weigh you down!" Raye called out to Serena's retreating back.

Serena spun around indignantly. Childishly, she screwed up her face and stuck out her tongue, causing Raye to chuckle fondly.

What a funny girl, Raye thought. Darien's lucky to have caught her attention. It's a shame he hasn't noticed.

Even Raye had noticed Serena's attraction to Darien, not to mention their obvious compatibility.

Everyone knew they were perfect for each other – everyone that is, except for Darien and Serena themselves.

Raye sighed and headed up the sidewalk, the darkness lit up by the glowing of the luminescent street-lights.


Serena walked along the dimly lit street, happily consuming her ice cream. Its cold sweetness washed over her mouth, spreading a content feeling throughout her body.

What a way to forget all your troubles, she thought.

"Ahhh . . . someone help m—"a voice screamed frantically.

It was quickly muffled and the street was once again filled with silence.

Serena looked around, wondering who had shrieked at such an ungodly hour.

The street was deserted, only the rustling of the trees, swaying softly in the cool breeze.

Suddenly, she spotted a few moving shapes in a dark alley, the light unable to reach it. What she saw, she was definitely not expecting.

Mai. Two men were roughly attempting to drag her through the alley into a limousine.

Her mouth was covered by a tight black strip of cloth, unable to emit the earsplitting cry for help that Serena had heard before.

For a moment, Serena contemplated whether or not to help her.

She deserves to be kidnapped, Serena thought. After everything she's done to me, she deserves it.

Serena considered walking off, enjoying the rest of her evening and the rest of her treat.

Then, she caught a look in Mai's eyes that she had rarely seen. What exactly was it? Fear. Helplessness.

And she realized. She couldn't just leave Mai.

No, she reconsidered. I should help her. No matter what she's done, no matter how many tears she's made me shed, I need to help her.

Without any hesitation, she dropped her ice cream cone and bolted across the street, careful not to be seen.

She ducked furtively behind a large trashcan, the overwhelming stench filling her nostrils.

It's now or never, she told herself, taking a deep breath.

"Hey! Get away from her!" she yelled, causing Mai's two attackers to turn around and face her.

"This doesn't concern you, little girl. Just run along and go do your homework." The man replied scathingly.

"Little girl? Ha. And if you knew me, you'd know that I rarely do homework. And it concerns me now, so why don't YOU run along and go pick on someone your own size?"

"I think I'd rather not. Get her, Yoshio!" he commanded his partner.

"Bad idea." Serena muttered, as she stepped to the side and tripped the advancing man.

Quickly, she brought her hand down sharply on his back, knocking him to the ground.

"Whaat? Who are you?" he exclaimed incredulously.

His astonished face twisted into a smirk, revealing his chipped front tooth.

"Never mind. It doesn't matter, because you won't be awake long enough to tell me."

He rushed her, flinging his fist at her unguarded shoulder.

Reacting immediately, she twisted her shoulder backwards, evading the attack.

"Big mistake, little one." He laughed derisively, as he shot out his other arm.

The scene seemed to play out in slow motion. She glanced downward and watched as his fist collided into her stomach.

Her eyes widened as intense pain spread throughout her body. Serena staggered backwards, her hand clutching her bruised abdomen. It was unlike anything she'd ever felt before. Her breathing became strained, unable to comprehend what had happened.

The man harshly slammed her against the brick wall, his filthy hands grabbing her arms.

For once in her life, she felt helpless. The confrontation was unlike anything she had ever faced. It was nothing like sparring against Mina or Lita, nothing like defending herself against Mai and Ai, nothing like practicing fighting techniques at the temple.

All Serena wanted to do was curl up in a ball and let him win. But she couldn't. She had to get up. She had to fight back.

"Get . . . off . . . me." She groaned.

Mustering all the strength she could, she took hold of his arm and twisted it, causing him to loosen his hold on her.

With a burst of strength, she lifted her foot and struck out at his knees. His legs gave way and he sunk to the floor.

Perfect, she thought.

In a flash, she ran over to Mai, who seemed to be frozen, staring at the man on the floor.

"Mai! Hurry up! We have to get out of here!" Serena urged worriedly.

"Serena? No. I don't want you involved in this. They'll hurt you. Get away while you can." She murmured, still staring blankly.

Yoshio and his partner began to rise, looks of rage on their faces.

Groaning, Serena took a hold of Mai's hand and pulled her, breaking into a run.

"Mai! For goodness sake! Just move – fast!" she cried desperately.

They jolted down the street, the rubber soles of their shoes pounding rapidly on the hard, concrete slabs laid upon the ground.

After a while, Mai began to lag behind, panting for breath. She clutched her chest, feeling a sharp pain pulse through her heart.

"S-Serena, I can't run anymore. Just go." She groaned, motioning for Serena to leave.

"No! I'm not leaving you. C'mon. We're going right now. Just a little further, I promise." Serena urged, glancing nervously around the street for their two pursuers.

She tugged on Mai's arm, pushing the searing pain in her abdomen to the back of her mind.

They skidded around the corner, searching for somewhere to hide, just for a little bit.

"Over there, Mai! Jump over that ledge." Serena commanded, pointing while she ran.

"Are you crazy? We'll die! I think we have a better chance facing those two than flinging ourselves to our deaths on the rocks." Mai shook her head, stopping dead in her tracks.

"No, you dolt! Don't you remember? The sand bar will break our fall. We just have to be careful and avoid the rocks. Go ahead and go back to the two men who are trying to capture you. But I'm not." She added, snapping at Mai. "Maybe they'll be nice and let you go home unscathed. They might even offer you some money and say you've won a contest!"

Mai glared at Serena's sarcastic comment, but watched in awe as Serena took a deep breath and leaped over the ledge. Serena flew in the air for a moment, before landing gracefully in a crouched position on the sand.

She gently brushed off the tiny grains of sand that clung to her clothes with her palm.

She gingerly ran her hand over her throbbing stomach, right where he had struck her. Serena winced, but quickly shook off the pain and regained her strong façade.

"I can't do THAT, Serena." Mai's voice moaned from the top of the ridge.

"C'mon Mai. Have a little faith. Just don't think about it." Serena nodded encouragingly, her voice full of patience and compassion.

Silence ensued. Only the lapping of the bay water along the rocks was heard. For a moment, Serena was not sure what Mai was doing, until she watched a tall figure shoot off the cliff and land ungracefully on the sand below.

"See? That wasn't THAT bad." Serena said, grinning.

"Whaat? Not bad? Ha. You are craz—"she began, before Serena placed her hand over Mai's mouth and silenced her.

It was quiet. Too quiet. Serena shoved Mai to the face of the cliff and spread herself as flat across it as possible. Her eyes rose up towards the pulsation of footsteps above them.

"Where did those brats go? Damn! Morimoto is NOT going to be pleased with this. Holding that girl for ransom was the only thing we could do. We're gonna get it now, Yoshio." The man whined, his angered voice echoing in the stillness.

"What about down there?" Yoshio suggested, motioning to the cliff's edge.

Please no, Serena thought, her fingers crossed tightly.

She glanced over at Mai, whose eyelids were screwed tightly together.

She seemed so different than she did before. No longer the cold Ice Queen. No longer the cruel witch. No longer the defensive girlfriend. She was more vulnerable. More . . . human.

I have a feeling things are going to change between us, Serena thought. That is, if we get through this.


AN: AHHH! CLIFFHANGER, I know! I know, I know. I am so horrible. I don't know what I did to deserve such GREAT reviewers though! ^_^ I don't want to get your hopes up, so that you think this is a super-long chapter, because it really isn't. (Thanks to coey-sama for pointing that out. I really appreciate it. ^_^) I'll just respond to a few people, but PLEASE don't get offended if I didn't mention you! I really really love hearing from ALL my reviewers, it's just that some people asked about stuff or wanted something to be explained. But seriously, THANK YOU ALL!

Shiro-angel, Pisces86, asuka-2004, starzstruck-1: Thank you so much for all your suggestions! They really helped me out a lot! Thank you thank you thank you! ^_^

Lara1786: Yes, to your question. Sorry that part was so confusing! ^___^"

Everyone else: Thanks for reviewing. Again, I hope I don't offend you by not addressing you individually. Sorry for not updating sooner. Everything has been SO crazy and busy and stuff and I had writer's block. That's so lame . . . ::hangs head in shame:: Thanks for sticking by me! For those of you who were wondering, Serena and Darien will have some more time together, but that's kinda close to the end! Guess you'll just have to wait! ^____^" Anyway, THANKS A BUNCH FOR REVIEWING! ALL OF YOU!


AN: I'll try to update sooner, maybe a week or two. Sorry it took so long this time. Meanwhile, please review! I hope you liked the chapter; I make it over 2,000 words (if that makes up for anything, which it probably doesn't). PLEASE REVIEW! I'd really appreciate it! I REALLY HONESTLY BELIEVE REVIEWS REMIND ME AND INSPIRE ME TO WRITE! PLEASE REVIEW!