- Author's Notes:

I started this story because I thought it would be interesting to see Serena and
Darien fall in love as adults. I'm not a fan of office romance but when it comes
to my favourite couple, well... :)
.

- Disclaimer:

Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi, not yours truly.
.
.

Love Insurance
by Phantasy Star
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Chapter One: Love and War
.

"Ha-hahahahahahaha!" Serena laughed as tears fell from her eyes, "Oh, Mr. Chiba!
That has got to be THE ugliest jacket I have EVER seen!"

Even though she stood in the middle of a large office and it was the busiest time
of the day, nobody made a noise. The four girls behind Serena stared up at her
and the four guys behind the dark-haired man she was talking to waited anxiously
for their boss' comeback.

Serena continued to laugh, lifting her delicate fingers to dry a few tears on
her face. Then she turned to her four sub-ordinates who stood in a row behind her.

"Am I right?" she asked with a sweet smile.

"Of course you are, Miss Tsukino!" the four girls chorused obediently.

Darien smirked.

"Well, Miss Tsukino, some of us wear extra outer garments to keep those parts
that should be private, well, private," he said, and grinned, "I can pretty much
see through your pink shirt, you know."

The four gray-suited guys who stood behind him howled and whistled.

Serena gasped, horrified, and crossed her arms over her chest.

"You sickos!" she screamed, then quickly turned around and held her head high,
"Come on, girls, let's leave these freaks alone and get to work."

She walked away and leaned back slightly to look at Darien's group disdainfully,
"Unlike some people, we don't waste our mornings doing useless things when we
can be out getting clients."

Darien gave a low whistle as she walked away, "If you keep dressing like that,
you'll get a TON of clients."

The guys behind Darien laughed.

The color drained from Serena's face. With a huff, she stormed into her office
and slammed the door shut.

- - - - -

"Why why why why why didn't I think of a better comeback?" Serena groaned,
smacking herself in the head over and over.

Someone knocked on the door.

"Come in," she said disheartedly.

"Miss Tsukino," Amy said as she walked inside, "I got the files that you wanted."

"Thanks Amy," Serena said as she grabbed the binder from her and began to leaf
through it as quickly as she could.

She gasped.

"Oh, Chiba wasn't bluffing!" she wailed, "They really DID sell 1.4 times as many
insurance packages as we did last year!"

Amy sighed and tried to comfort her boss, "We'll try harder, I promise."

Serena looked like she was about to cry, "I hope so."

Then she stomp her foot on the floor angrily, "It's not even about the money
anymore, you know? It's him!" - she paused to point a finger in the general
direction where Darien's office was - "I've GOT to beat him this coming season!"

Amy nodded sympathetically.

"I wish you weren't the one to deliver me the bad news," Serena said poutingly,
"If it were any of the other girls I'd yell at them, but you're too nice to yell at."

Amy smiled, "I'm glad you feel that way. Well, I should get back to work."

Serena nodded, "Good. Show Cheeky Chiba and his yo-yo's what we're made of!"

Then she looked uncomfortably up at her assistant, "Um... There's one last thing,
Amy..." - she blushed - "Do you mind if I borrow your jacket for the day?"

- - - - -

"Great job, boss! You really put the crazy woman in her place."

"Her head was so red I thought she'd blow a vein!"

Darien just smiled and took in the praise his assistants were giving him.

"All right, boys," he grinned, holding up a hand to silence them, "Time to get
back to work. Let's keep those ditzy girls squirming this coming season, okay?"

"Okay, boss!"

- - - - -

Serena plastered a smile on her face as she sat down. "Hello, Mr. Chiba."

Darien nodded politely, "Miss Tsukino. How nice to see you."

"I've been looking forward to this meeting," she answered.

The two of them turned their fake smiles over to the person sitting opposite them,
on the other side of the huge wooden desk.

"I see that you kids are on great terms!" their boss exclaimed, "Sometimes we get
little conflicts between the two teams working here at the company."

Darien chuckled, "No, not us."

"We're not in elementary school, Mr. Collins," Serena joked.

"Good, good," Mr. Collins said, "But I'm afraid I'll have to add a bit of a
competitive aspect to your work this coming season."

"Oh, how's that?" Serena asked, still smiling sweetly.

"Well..." the old man said, lifting his glasses slightly to see them better,
"As you both know, the branch director is retiring this year, and we need
someone to fill his shoes."

Serena's mouth dropped open, but she quickly closed it back up.

He leaned forward towards them, "Now, I've been watching Team D and Team S's
performance this season and I'm very impressed. I think both of you have the
potential to be a great branch director."

He shrugged, "Unfortunately, we can't promote both of you..."

Darien's brow furrowed.

"So..." Mr. Collins said, finishing with a smile, "I've decided that the current
team leader who can lead their team to make the most sales this season will
get the promotion for next term. Of course, the other one will remain team
leader, but they'll be working under the new branch director."

Serena's eyes widened.

'Great!' Darien thought.

He nodded politely, "That sounds fair, doesn't it, Miss Tsukino?"

'I'm doomed!' Serena wailed in her mind, 'Darien's going to be my BOSS?'

She smiled back at her co-worker, "Well, I don't really believe in competition,
but since it's for the good of the company, I suppose I'm all right with it."

"Now, Miss Tsukino..." their boss said, "I've noticed that your team is lagging
behind Team D this last season... But with a little extra hard work, I'm sure
you can do just as well."

It was getting harder and harder for Serena to keep her smile up, "I will
definitely try my best, Mr. Collins."

"Good," the boss said, nodding, "That'll be all. Thanks for coming in."

- - - - -

Once the door shut, Serena glared at a smirking Darien.

"Oh, so you're a prophet now, are you?" Serena raged, "You just KNOW you're
going to win?"

"I wonder what I should buy first after I get the promotion..." Darien said,
rubbing his chin thoughtfully, "A new car, maybe?"

The two walked back to the main office where their team members were working.

"Guys, guys, guys," Darien said, exapserated, "You're working too hard. We
should at least give Team S a LITTLE chance to catch up with us this term..."

Serena was almost shaking with anger.

"I'm going to win this promotion," he whispered smugly, bringing his face close
to hers.

Her eyes burned against his.

"We'll see, Chiba," Serena said through clenched teeth, "We'll see."

- - - - -

Three days later...

"Look at those dark, blue eyes..."

"And those broad shoulders..."

"And those high cheekbones..."

The three girls peeked through the crack of Raye's cubicle at the team leader of
Team D. They sighed as Mr. Chiba continued to lecture one of his assistants.

"I love his voice..." Raye whispered, "So deep... So authoritative..."

"And his hair..." Mina whispered back, giggling a little.

They watched as he finished what he was saying and turned around to head back
to his own office. He carried a black folder in one hand and had his other one
in his pocket.

Lita gasped, "Oh, and he's got a nice- OW!"

"OW!" Raye cried.

"OW!" Mina screamed.

The three girls turned around slowly and saw Serena looming over them
threateningly. She threw away the thick newspaper she had just used to smack
their heads with.

"No wonder we're doing so much worse than Team D!" she yelled, "My team wastes
all its time OOGLING AT THE OPPOSING TEAM'S TEAM LEADER!"

"Sorry..." Mina mumbled.

"Do you know what's going to happen if we lose?" Serena screamed, "I'm not going
to be the only one who's going to suffer. Sure, once Cheeky Chiba becomes our
boss, he's going to start making my life in the company miserable, if he doesn't
fire me first. But trust me, he's not going to be nice to you either!"

Her voice broke as she motioned for Amy to come over.

She pulled the other four girls into a group hug as she began to cry.

"His stupid Team D is going to get all the big clients and he's going to give us
the little useless jobs," she wailed, "I don't want the five of us to get screwed
over by that monster!"

The other girls sniffled and tried to comfort their broken team leader.

"We're not going to give up, Miss Tsukino..." they said, tears appearing in their
own eyes.

"And neither will I!" Serena sniffled, a determined look slowly replacing the
sad one on her face. "We've got to win this no matter what!"

- - - - -

"Serena, I think it's a little early for me to be thinking about retirement..."

Andrew looked uncomfortable as Serena continued to flip through her book of
notes. They sat in a little restaurant in downtown Tokyo. The food remained
untouched.

"Fine, we'll talk about that later," Serena pressed on, "Now, how about life
insurance? Because, let's face it, Andrew, none of us are going to live
forever."

Andrew sighed, "I'm not even married. Who am I going to pass the money to?"

Serena frowned, thinking hard. Then her face lit up, crazy edge back in her eyes,
"How about insurance for your restaurant? Let's say your cook accidentally lights
himself up on fire and the whole place burns down. When that happens, you'll
want to be covered, right?"

Andrew shook his head, "Sorry, Serena... I already have insurance for my
restaurant."

Serena groaned, frustrated.

Then she sighed, "No, I'm the one who's sorry. I haven't called you in weeks
and I asked you to see me today only for this..."

Her eyes fell, "But I just really have to do well this term. I can't let Darien
be my boss! I can't!"

Andrew nodded sympathetically.

"By the way..." Serena mumbled, "Where do you buy your restaurant insurance from
anyway? I should know the names of some of our biggest competitors..."

Andrew didn't answer for a second.

"Well... uh..."

Serena frowned, "What's wrong?"

"Er..." he said, colour rising to his cheeks.

Serena leaned forward, "What? You can't say...?"

The more he hesitated, the more curious she became.

"Tell me..." she whined, "Which company do you buy your insurance plan from?"

Andrew winced.

"Yours," he croaked.

Serena looked confused, "But I never sold you..."

Then it hit her like a tidal wave.

"WHAT?" she screamed, "YOU BOUGHT YOUR INSURANCE FROM CHIBA?"

The restaurant exploded.

- - - - -

Serena stomped down the street, her purse flailing wildly in her hand.

"That traitor," she muttered under her breath, "I hope his restaurant DOES burn
down."

The rain was coming down hard now. She held on to her umbrella tighter.

'I hope it doesn't start thundering...'

Then she sniffled, her thoughts going back to the problem at hand, "Now Darien's
going to win for sure, and I'm going to be-"

SPLASH!

She cried out loud, startled, as a car drove by and ran a stream of rainwater up
to the sidewalk and soaked her thoroughly.

"Why is this happening to me?" she cried miserably.

"I'm so sorry, Miss!"

She turned around, surprised that the driver had bothered to stop. He looked
like he was in his mid-twenties. His brown hair was starting to get wet from
the rain since he had gotten out of his car.

"It's okay," she mumbled, "It's probably not your fault anyway. Just my bad
luck."

He looked concerned, "You're all wet..."

"I'll just go into that diner and dry my clothes..." Serena said with a sigh.

Without turning around, she went into the restaurant nearby and headed for the
washroom.

- - - - -

She sighed.

'I love my life,' she thought bitterly as she pulled her half-dried jacket back
on.

Checking her appearance over one last time in the mirror, she walked out of the
washroom. She blinked when she saw the young man who sat at one of the tables -
the one who had splashed her on the sidewalk.

"What are you still doing here?" Serena asked incredulously.

"I felt bad for what happened," he explained, "I thought I could treat you to
lunch to make up for it."

"I already had lunch," Serena grumbled, "But I didn't finish all of it because
the guy who I ate it with suddenly stabbed me in the back and I left in a blaze
of anger."

He smiled, "Well then, order something. It's on me."

Serena looked skeptical. She stared at the chair opposite the stranger.

He shrugged, "Fine, I'll order for you."

He motioned for the waiter to come by and asked for two set lunches. Serena
sighed and finally sat down.

"I'm Alex," he said, extending his hand.

"It's nice to meet you," Serena mumbled miserably as she took it, "I'm Serena."

"That's a nice name," he answered plesantly, "So, you work for Tokyo Insurance?"

Serena was about to ask him how he knew. Then she saw that her briefcase was
out in front of them, the name of her company written on top.

"Yeah..."

He grinned. "What a coincidence. I was just looking to buy an insurance plan."

Serena gasped, her face brightening immediately, "Really? What kind?"

He shrugged, "All of them. Car, life, retirement."

Serena sighed and turned away from him.

"I'm really not in the mood for playing around," she mumbled.

"Why would I joke about something like this?" he protested, "Come on, show me the
papers."

Serena hesitated. Then she opened her briefcase and pulled out the files.

- - - - -

"Ha-hahahahahahaha!" Serena laughed as she waltzed inside the front doors of the
Tokyo Insurance office, "Guess who just sold THREE major insurance plans and one
PLATINUM PACKAGE! It's time to bow down before the great Serena!"

To her surprise, Darien stared at her, not saying anything.

"Look, Chiba!" she said, holding the signed papers in her hand close to the
opposing team leader's face, "Look at these words carefully. P-L-A-T-I-"

She froze.

Then she turned around slowly and found herself face to face with her boss, who
was standing behind her.

He was staring at her. She stared back.

She tried to chuckle, "I was just... trying to give Mr. Chiba some... motivation..."

Mr. Collins suddenly smiled back at her and she sighed inwardly with relief.

"Good, good, Miss Tsukino," he said good-naturedly, "Well done. But Mr. Chiba
didn't do so bad himself. Just today he told me he sold three platinum-type life
insurance packages."

Serena's heart stopped.

"Well, keep up the great work, both of you," Mr. Collins said, patting them both
on the back before walking off.

Darien put on a confused look.

"I'm sorry, what were you saying?" he asked innocently.

"We still have three weeks left in the term," she hissed when she recovered her
ability to speak, "Three weeks is plenty of time to sell a thousand platinum
packages and kick your butt! I've got skill on my side, you know!"

"Oh please, Miss Tsukino," Darien retorted.

Serena glared at him, "I admit that I use my charm a little bit to make sales,
but trust me, Chiba, intelligence and sincerity are my greatest weapons!"

Darien laughed mockingly, "Guess again, Miss Tsukino. The way I see it, the only
thing you've got are your looks. I bet clients only sign your papers because
you're gorgeous."

The entire office gasped.

"That is so not true!" Serena screamed hotly, "I- Wait, what did you call me?"

Darien's eyes widened as he suddenly realized what he had just said.

"I, uh... I..." he stammered.

It was the first time Serena had seen him look uncomfortable. Everyone leaned
towards him curiously.

"I..." Darien sputtered, then threw a folder on the desk beside him hard, before
turning to his assistants.

"Get back to work!" he barked at them angrily.

The four guys rushed back to their desks.

Before anyone could question him further, Darien disappeared quickly into his
office and slammed the door shut. Serena stared after him, her mouth open.

'He thinks I'm... gorgeous?'