Sorry it took so long for me to get more up. I've been really busy with school work and such. Thank you all for you patience and the wonderful reviews. Please keep them coming!!

Chapter 2: Running Away

Darien woke with a start. He had fallen asleep on the couch while watching the news. There was a knock on the door, and he went to answer it. There was Serena, tear stains on her face, her blue eyes filled with sorrow.

"I can't go home," she said.

"Why not?"

"I can't tell you," she replied. "I just...can't."

Darien looked her over. He noticed a small purple bruise on her shoulder.

"Would you like to stay here for the night?" he asked quietly.

"You don't understand," he voice was barely above a whisper. "I can't ever go home."

"Did they throw you out?"

"No. It's complicated, Darien."

"Serena..."

She turned away from him.

"I'll try Lita." He placed a hand on her shoulder.

"No," he said. "Whatever the reason you can't go home, I'm going to protect you."

Serena looked up at him, understanding in his eyes. Her knees buckled and she began to sob again. His arms were immediately around her, holding her as close to him as possible. Darien carried her inside, laying her on the couch. She scrunched up into a ball, the tears slipping down her face.

"No one ever said life was going to be this hard," she murmured.

"Yeah, well. You have some pretty hard responsibilities."

"Those I handle better than the real world."

Serena sat up, staring out the window into the black night. Thoughts were racing around in her mind, and she couldn't keep track of them all. She couldn't remember exactly when everything had started to become so complicated. The day she had met Luna was complicated enough. Finding out she was supposed to save the world from evil...no, that hadn't been hard. She'd made the best friends ever. Even when she found out she was the long lost princess wasn't hard. She supposed it had all started long before then, the first time that...

Serena shuddered. She couldn't think about that. This was why she had run away. This was why she couldn't go home. No one would let her stay unless they knew her reason, but Darien was the only one living on his own. Even he would wonder.

"Serena?" Darien's gentle voice brought her back to the present. "Is there anything you need to talk about? Anything I can do for you?"

"No," Serena sighed. "I don't think there's anything anyone can do."

Darien looked at her with concern all over his face, but didn't chase the subject farther. He pulled Serena close to him, and turned the tv back on, flipping through the channels until he realized she was asleep. He got up carefully, tucking a blanket over his sleeping princess.

"I won't let anything happen to you," he whispered, kissing her forehead. "I promise."

I know that was really short, but I hope you liked it!