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Bittersweet and Strange

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"Where in the hell of the universe am I?"

Serena slowly got to her feet, brushing off the dust and looking around. This wasn't Elysion. Heck..... she wasn't even on the same planet. She could see that clearly as she gazed at the blue orb hanging in the sky. Unless she was boiling on the sun..... this could mean only one thing.

She was on the Moon.

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"She's gone," Darien whispered, his face turning a gray ashen as the smoke cleared.

"She can't be too far away."

"Oh really? This is magic we are talking about. She could be anywhere! Anything could have happened," he began to pace, "Artemis. We need him. He knows what we should do. He knows how to get her back."

Nodding in agreement, Andrew hurried for the horses. They left the village, never looking back. They found Artemis teaching the squires their lessons. Seeing the urgency on the prince's face, he immediately dismissed the class and hurried over.

"Serenity... she's gone."

"Gone?" he questioned, thinking she had ran away.

Rapidly, Andrew recalled the events to him.

Suddenly, Artemis began to smile, his face breaking into an easy smile, "I can tell you right now that she's on the moon."

"How do you know?"

"I felt her power heading there. My guess is that the magic of darkness and light combined must have repelled here there, to her birthplace."

"That probably means that Lucian's rotting in hell," Darien muttered, "How are we supposed to get her back?"

Two pairs of eyes turned his way.

"Well... the moon princess is your bride-to-be," Andrew commented casually.

"True," Artemis agreed, "You will rule the moon some day, so you should familiarize with the planet ahead of time."

"But... if they catch me snooping me around the moon, they'll think I'm a spy!"

"No they won't," the elder man was smiling now, "Have you forgotten the annual moon festival? You and your brother were supposed to arrive there tomorrow, but just one day ahead shouldn't be a problem, don't you agree? We could always make up some lie to cover for you. Once you get there, all you have to do is to get a hold of Serena. Stay there till the festival has ended and make your arrival back home. There's nothing to it. I'll even give you a charm to help you find Serena easier."

"You seemed pretty worried back there Darien," Andrew teased, "Shouldn't you go save the lady in distress and win her favor?"

"Shuddup."

"What was that, my prince? Speak louder cause I can't hear you."

"I said I'll do it!" he shouted, spinning on his heels, "She owns me big after this!"

"She saved your sorry life. This is the least you can do," the blond yelled back.

Rolling his eyes in exasperation, he went to give the news of the prince's early departure.

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The moon palace wasn't what she had imagined it to be. Nothing on the moon was like what she had read in her books. She wandered aimlessly, debating with herself whether or not she should enter the palace. Would they believe her if she told them who she was and the reason of her visit? Probably not. From what she had seen of the princess here, she didn't think that her sudden stay would be appreciated. Still, what choice did she have? Wait for someone to just drop out of the sky and escort her back to Earth? Most likely, that was not going to happen.

Heaving a big sigh, Serena headed for the palace, taking a detour through the gardens. As she walked among the beautiful flowers, she felt at home, a feeling that she had never before felt. Plopping down on a nearby bench, she paused to just enjoy the sweet atmosphere. As time passed, Serena felt more and more sleepy. The magic she had used up was taking her toll on her and the fresh scents were luring her to sleep. 'Just a nap,' she told herself, before falling into a dreamless slumber.

"Serenity... Serenity... wake up... wake up!!"

Groaning, she shrugged off the offending hand, turned around, and fell back asleep.

The voice growled, "Fine. You give me no choice."

A bucket of cold water came crashing down on her head, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" *breath* "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" *deep breath* "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! You no good son of a *****!"

"SHUT UP!" Darien yelled, "Are you forgetting where you are?!"

"What are you doing here?"

He rolled his eyes in exasperation, "I came to rescue your sorry butt. What do I get in return?" He pointed at her, "You own me so big after this."

"I never asked you to pour water on me," she retorted.

"I never asked you to be such a pig when you sleep!"

"I never asked you to come rescue me."

"I never asked to rescue you either! It just happened that I was bullied into it, and since I was supposed to come anyway... here I am."

Serena's face lit up, "Oh! The annual moon festival. I always wanted to participate in it. Does this mean that I can stay here until the festival's ended?"

The prince smiled slyly, "Of course... as my servant." He put up a hand to silence her protests, "You have no choice. You can not go back home and even if you do, you'll miss the festival. You don't want that, do you?"

She stayed silent.

He continued, "As a prince, reason would tell me to bring a personal servant and since I have bought none, your identity would be busted, don't you agree?"

"Fine," she snapped, "But if you start ordering me about, I will beat up your ass!" "Is that the way to speak to your benefactor?"

"No, but I don't see my benefactor, do you?"

Darien opened his mouth to protest the attack on his ego but stopped as he realized that this was one battle he just couldn't win... not when Serena was intent on making his life hell anyway, "Look, we are being totally immature and we are wasting time just sitting here. We might as well head for the palace."

Grumbling about immaturity, Serena reluctantly stood up, brushing the dust off her skirt. Not only was her outfit not meant for a knight in training, it was obviously not meant for a servant either.

Still mumbling under her breath, the pair made their way back to the moon castle, neither saying a word in fear that another argument would start. That was normally the case when one of them commented on something and the only non-violent way of solving such a problem was to keep their mouth shut and sealed... something they often failed in doing.

After being shown to their quarters, Serena took a flying leap on to the king-sized bed. Darien frowned at her as she jumped up and down on it, enjoying the soft fabric under her skin. Meanwhile, Seiya just stood aside and looked on.

"Get off MY bed!" Darien snarled.

She ignored him.

"You..." he pointed to a side door, "sleep in there. It's the servant's quarter."

She looked snottily at him, "The only lowly one I see here is you... so you are just going to have to move yourself in there," she paused, glancing at the tiny door, "Do you think you can fit through that door? With your weight and size, we don't want you go get stuck halfway through."

He growled menacingly, stalking over to her and slinging her over his shoulder.

"Grab her stuff," he ordered Seiya, who ignored him.

Dodging her flying fists, he opened the door, wincing as she repeatedly kicked, elbowed, and punched him. With one last grunt, he heaved her into the little room and locked the door.

"That takes care of the pest problem," he exclaimed cheerfully, grabbing her bags and throwing them in as well, closing the door before she could get out.

"That wasn't nice," his brother commented.

He shrugged, "Who cares? She would have done the same thing if she had been me."

"But she's not you."

"Whose side are you on anyway?" he demanded.

Seiya smiled at him, "Serena's of course."

A muffled 'Thanks Seiya' could be heard from behind the doors.

Darien snorted indignantly, "Are you going to enter the fencing tournament here?"

"No. I'm planning on trying the wrestling competition this time. Registration is due today, you know."

"Way ahead of you." Grinning, he fetched a note from his desk and walked over to Serena's room. Unlocking the door, he handed the paper to the brooding girl sitting within, "Give this to the people in charge of the tournaments will you?"

She didn't move.

"Do it before I decide to make you draw up my bath," he commanded.

Sighing, Serena dragged herself off the bed and reluctantly took the note, slamming the door shut behind her and ignoring the hysterical laughter coming from within. She followed the directions given to her by a maid and made her ways to a booth set in front of the castle.

A grouchy looking man beckoned her forward, "Are you sighing up for the competitions, girl?"

"I'm sighing up for Prince Endymion of Earth, sir."

"Sport?"

"Fencing, sir."

Gruffly, he scribbled down some stuff, "Anything else?"

Serena hesitated, "Yes sir. I'd like to sign myself up as well."

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I LIVE! Yip, I'm happy to say that I'm alive and writing. God, that took me so long to update. I'm REALLY, REALLY sorry about such a delay. Lately, I have gone really unsatisfied with the length of these chapters. They just seem extremely short to me. I'll TRY to make them longer, but I make no promises.