Disclaimer: Do I look like Naoko Takeuchi? No? Not even a little? Oh, poo. -_____-;
Author's Notes: Well... I wrote this as an umm... experiment to see if I could still write. ^^' I've come to a conclusion that writing's not my thing anymore. However, since I started this little piece, I might as well finish it. Just a little piece of waff for those in need of mush. ^^ C&C would still be wonderful though! *hugs* Thanks a bunch, guys. =)
Darien paced back and forth in front of the bathroom mirror, completely unaware of his sorry state. Normally calm and confident, he now stood tense, unshaven, a frown adorning his face. Never in the twenty-six years of his life had he been faced with such a task. A task so hard, that not even he, Darien Shields, could accomplish.
It was all her fault. The damned little minx. He slammed his fist into the wall.
"I can do this. I can do this . . . "
"Yes you can, Darien. Yes, you can," Andrew reassured his friend outside the locked door. Forcing himself to sound cheerful, he faked an easygoing laugh.
As each day of the week went by, Andrew had stayed with his childhood buddy. The backbreaking hours of trying to keep his friend on this side of the earth with both feet on the ground wasn't something to sing about. One could only endure so much of a grown man's grieving. Three days ago, it seemed like Darien was actually progressing. But now, Andrew only dared to hope. If Darien didn't come out of the bathroom within another hour, not even a McDonald's Happy Meal would be able to plaster a smile back on Andrew's face.
"How about a cup of coffee?" Andrew asked, once again, trying to sound positive.
"How about not," came the mumbled reply.
"We could rehearse," Andrew suggested.
"We have yet to decide what you'll wear."
"I'll go naked," Darien answered.
"Well, I'm sure Serena wouldn't mind. But the rest of us might not be willing to enjoy the sight. Now be a good little boy . . ."
"Darien, please, be reasonable," Andrew prodded.
"They're just nerves, my man. Just nerves."
"Go rot in Hell."
"What would Serena say if she found you like this?"
"She'd whip me."
"So come out then!"
"Darien. . ."
Andrew roared. Throwing himself against the hard, polished door, he growled, "If you, my friend, do not come out of there this instant, I will slice through this flimsy piece of wood with a chainsaw and slam my fist into your perfect, flawless face." Careful to enunciate each word, he added, "Now how would you like to propose to your beloved with a black eye and missing teeth?"
And a hole through your brain, not that you would need my help for that, Andrew thought, removing himself from the entrance, smoothing out an invisible wrinkle on his shirt.
Andrew threw hands in the air and huffed. Nothing was going to bring Darien out from his worrying.
"Might I add that it is now-" Andrew stopped at the sound of the familiar ring tone of his best friend's cell phone.
Following the sound, he strode into Darien's room, and picked up the shrilling phone off the bed.
"Drew, you're such a dork."
Andrew laughed. He could just imagine her rolling her eyes.
"Hey, Raye," he said, glancing to see if a certain someone had decided to crawl out of their hole yet.
"Can you put Darien on? I'm at the airport," Raye spoke impatiently.
"The airport?" Andrew asked. "What in the name of Medusa are you doing at the airport?"
"Serena's coming back early. Her flight is arriving as we speak. She wanted to surprise Darien, but I thought he might like to be warned, at the state he's in. If you know what I mean."
"Yes. Yes, I do know what you mean..." Andrew murmured, deep in thought. The wheels inside his head started to turn as a grin reappeared on his face.
"So just send the message over to him, okay? And tell him to act surprised."
"What's that you say? Serena's COMING BACK EARLY?" Andrew yelled, craning his neck toward the direction of the door.
"Yes, that's exactly what I said. No need to get your panties in a knot!" Raye exclaimed.
"WHAT? Her flight just arrived?" Andrew hollered, exaggerating each syllable. "Well then, I guess we should HUR-RY."
He gave a satisfied hmpf when he heard a loud thud coming from the bathroom.
"Drew . . ."
"Oh! She's here? Already?! Oh, fuck! HI SERENA!"
". . ."
Andrew waited. When he heard the creaking of the bathroom door, he gave a whoop of joy.
"Raye, you're a goddess. Remind me to kiss you the next time I see you."
"I won't ask. I won't ask," Raye replied after a moment of silence. "Good luck, Drew. I'll catch ya in a few."
Andrew said his goodbye then tossed the phone back on the bed. Whistling, he walked out of the room. The world suddenly seemed so much brighter, the air so much fresher, the grass so much greener. Turning to the blank wall, he flashed it an enormous smile.
"Flirting with the wall, eh, Drew?" A figure shot out from behind him and grabbed him by the shoulders. Spinning him around, strong hands seized two fistfuls of his shirt and rammed him into the nearest solid surface. The smile Andrew faced could have made the Grinch quiver. The only smile he managed to return looked more like a twitch.
Darien pulled his face close. In a low and steady voice, he said, "Dearest, dearest Drew, tell me again when Serena's coming home."
Andrew laughed nervously. "Soon?"
Darien mimicked his pathetic laugh and then abruptly released him. Hands clenched, he stormed back into the bathroom. He needed to shower. He needed to shave. He needed to dress. He needed to rehearse. And he needed to murder something.
Freshly clean, Darien submitted himself to calmer state of humanity. After having a critical discussion with himself with cold water splashing over him in the shower, he finally found reason to shed light on the situation. One; he could lift this weight off his shoulders sooner, and two; he wouldn't have to bear another few days without her. Number three still remained a mystery. He was a fool. A lovesick fool. And a damn proud one too. Just the thought of Serena being his and his alone brought a tightening to his chest. Just the thought of being with Serena alone...
God help him. A twenty-six year old with the hormones of a horny high school teenager. The two weeks that she had spent visiting relatives dragged on for centuries. Then again, waiting until after the wedding would prove to be an even more tedious task. Despite what others might think, he wasn't a man without scruples. Being all male, the ego and testosterone were there. But being one of the chosen ones, God had decided to grace him with a conscience. Though he wouldn't say the word innocent suited him well either. Heaven knows they've come so close to . . .
"Okay, I have the script," Andrew announced, producing two sheets of crumpled paper, handing one of them to Darien.
Taking the one offered to him, Darien snapped out of his reverie and scanned the page.
"When did you write this?" he asked, squinting to make out some of the words.
"Just now. While you were shaving your legs and powdering your nose."
Darien gave him a pointed look.
"Okay, okay. Sheesh. Chill. Let's start," Andrew said, taking his place on the sofa opposite his ill-tempered friend. "Ahem. Darien dah-ling! You big brute, where's my welcome home kiss?"
Darien twitched at the fake shrill in his voice. Then his eyes wandered from the page to Andrew. "You don't actually expect me to say this . . ."
"Well of course you have to! How else are you going to prepare?" Andrew rolled his eyes skyward.
Darien cleared his throat uncertainly before speaking.
"Oh, there will be time for dessert later, sugarplum," he recited lamely.
"Don't sound so dull! You have to put more feeling into it for Serena."
"This sounds like something from one of Mina's pathetic daytime soaps.," Darien replied, throwing the script onto the floor. Sitting back, he glared at Andrew.
"Aww, shucks. Don't look at me like that. I'm blushing," Andrew teased, batting his lashes flirtatiously.
"Fine, fine," he replied, laughing. "I'll grow up just for today. Just for you. Thought maybe you needed a little cheering up, that's all."
Darien could only shake his head. "Do I look cheered up? Couldn't I just get straight to the point? A simple I love you and will you marry me?"
"I suppose so, but knowing Serena, she might be disappointed at your, oh, what shall we call it, not-so-romantic approach."
He considered what Andrew said. He was probably right. Serena would have no problem entering The World's Biggest Sap contest. If anything, she was all fluff. Being blunt might lead to the silent treatment or even worse, rejection. Heaven forbid. But what choice did he have? An hour wasn't much time to prepare hot hair balloons and candlelight dinners.
"You don't have to prepare anything." Andrew said, unknowingly answering his question. "You're not even supposed to know she's coming home. So let's practice your surprised face."
"You must think I'm stupid."
"In fact, I do. And since you obviously don't need me here, I'm going to head out before she comes. Good luck, man. If all else fails, improvise. We'll all be waiting for Serena's excited call tonight. Or tomorrow morning . . ." With a wink, Andrew stood up and showed himself to the door.
Eyeing the closed door, Darien plowed his hands through his damp hair. Well then.
End of Part One. A review would be wonderful. ^_^ Thanks for reading.