A.N: Thank you for the comments! I was happy. : )
Someone asked me about which advice I took about Serena's gift to Darien, and it was the picture of his family put in a picture frame. : )
This is the finale! I really hope I didn't let anyone down, but if I did, just tell me and I might go through and change it.
Chapter 51: Vows and Promises
Serena and Darien fell asleep in each other's arms. After the emotional unwrapping of Darien's present, he pulled her into his embrace, and they talked endlessly about his parents, his childhood, and everything about his past. They both drifted off to sleep, not thinking about the consequences of what the early morning would bring.
Irene, Ken, and Sam all woke up early to go open presents for Christmas as they always did together. They waited for Serena and Darien, but neither showed up…. So Ken, being the nosy parent he was, went bounding upstairs to figure out what was going on.
Ken was still in his robe since it was Christmas, he didn't feel the need to get dressed so early yet. He headed towards Serena's room and knocked gently on the door. "Sweetheart," he said loudly. He waited for a moment and didn't hear any sound of movement in the room, so he cracked open her door and peered in. No one. His mind reeled and his face immediately turned stern as he spun around on his heels and stormed across the hallway towards Darien's room, flinging the door open roughly.
He stomped into the room, and stared icily at the kids in the bed, snuggled cozily under the bedcovers. He was outraged! "GET OUT OF THE BED WITH MY DAUGHTER!" Ken yelled, his face turning red.
Darien and Serena immediately shot up from the bed, dazed and confused. Darien realized what was going on and stumbled out of the bed clumsily, his heart racing as he saw the wrath on Ken's face.
Ken was so angry; Darien could see a vein bulging at his temples.
"WHAT WERE YOU DOING LAST NIGHT?" Ken yelled, pointing an accusing finger at Darien.
"Dad!" Serena started yelling, climbing out of bed. "We did nothing! Did you even LOOK when you came in? We're both dressed," she with a deep frown on her face.
Ken did not care whether they were dressed or not. It was the fact that he saw his daughter… his baby, sleeping with a man that maddened him. Innocent or not, it did not matter.
Irene got to the door next, coming in and looking out of breath. "What is going on?" she asked, looking at Ken and then at Serena and Darien.
Darien was frozen. He had been frozen since he stumbled out of the bed. He didn't know what to do… all he knew was that he was terrified of Ken. His face turned pale as he glanced nervously at Serena and Irene. Look what you did now, you dumbass! His mind yelled at him. You and Ken were getting ALONG, and you went and blew it!
"What is going on?" Ken repeated, looking incredulous, his fist clenching together as he pictured himself strangling Darien with his bare hands. "What is GOING ON is I walk in on my DAUGHTER and her BOYFRIEND, sleeping together! In the SAME BED!"
Irene's eyes widened as she quickly spun her head to look at Serena, then to Darien. When she realized that they were both clothed, and Serena didn't look the least bit guilty, she knew nothing had happened. She exhaled happily, feeling relieved. Irene looked at Ken," Honey… obviously nothing happened here. They are fully clothed," Irene pointed out the obvious, clasping her hands together.
Ken fumed. How could Irene not see the enormity of this? "Oh sure," Ken threw his hands up," That's how it all STARTS, Irene," Ken scolded. "What will be next? Sex?"
Serena blushed with embarrassment as she felt herself get angry. "Dad! You are being so overdramatic! You KNOW nothing happened! All we did was open presents, then we fell asleep," she explained.
"Is that so?" Ken asked, approaching Serena slowly, his eyes nearly bugging out of his head. "So what… you were opening presents, then you were so tired that you fell asleep, perfectly positioned underneath the covers and in each others arms?"
Serena rolled her eyes at her dad, crossing her arms over her chest. " God, you're such a baby," she argued, pressing her father even more. "For your information dad, we were talking about his parents. See that picture right there?" she asked pointing at the framed family photo lying haphazardly on the bed. "I got him a reprint of a picture of his parents and put it in a frame. Afterwards we were talking about his parents and how much he missed them and how he used to blame their death on himself. I was trying to comfort him, so eventually we just fell asleep. There was nothing going on," she finished.
At the mention of Darien's parents, Ken tensed up. He knew Darien's parents had passed away by an accident. Ken glanced at the photo as he felt his anger slowly ebb away. He was too stubborn to let it go though, so instead of apologizing, he said," Hurry up and get downstairs. We have presents to unwrap," and stalked out of the room.
Irene watched after her husband, frowning in disapproval. As soon as Ken was out of sight, she turned back to face her sullen daughter and her shocked boyfriend. "I'm sorry, dear," Irene apologized, looking at Darien with soft eyes. "Ken is-"
"Stubborn," Serena answered.
Irene threw Serena a warning look and turned back towards Darien. "He's not very good at apologizing and admitting his mistakes. He's not proud, he just lets his anger get the best of him. I hope you understand," she said kindly.
Darien swallowed and gave a nod of the head, now moving his feet.
Irene picked up the framed photo and smiled sweetly. "They look lovely," she said in almost a whisper, talking about the handsome couple, holding a baby in their arms in the photo.
Darien smiled at Irene and thanked her as she put the photo back down gently on the bed and walked out of the room.
Serena rubbed her eye as she began yawning. That went wonderfully, she thought.
"I can't believe that happened," Darien finally spoke for the first time, running a hand through his matted hair.
Serena looked at Darien with an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry about my dad. He is so ridiculously-"
"Stubborn," Darien finished," Just like you. I wonder where you got it from," he teased as he went to his luggage to pull out some clothes.
Serena stopped him by walking over towards him and grabbing his hand. "You don't get dressed to open presents," she said with a grin. "Come on! We're going downstairs."
Darien's eyes went wide, his face looking completely horrified. "D-downstairs? Like… where your dad is?"
"Yes, downstairs," Serena repeated. "He can get over himself, nothing happened and he knows it," she said as she dragged him out the door.
Darien resisted for a moment, but figured he'd have to face Ken's fury sooner or later, so he'd might as well face is sooner. Him and Serena went downstairs, hand-in-hand and headed straight towards the living room, where the Christmas tree was towering in the corner.
"Merry Christmas!" Sam and Irene said together, Ken standing off to the side with a slight frown on his face.
Serena grinned while Darien forced a smile. "Merry Christmas," they replied.
As they opened presents, Ken asked Darien to speak to him in private. Darien obliged and followed him into the kitchen, swallowing at the anticipation of being yelled at.
Once they were in the kitchen, Ken ruffled his hair a bit before sliding his hands into his robe pockets. His eyes looked sad and full of regret. "I'm sorry…. Darien," he started.
"No.. you don't have to apologize, sir. I mean we shouldn't have been-"
"No, I really should," he cut in, holding up a hand to stop Darien. "I trust Serena, and I trust you," he admitted, looking a little bashful. "I just jumped to conclusions because no matter how you look at it, my daughter sleeping with you in your bed looks wrong. And of course through a father's eyes, it worsens. I didn't even stop to think that the both of you were dressed. And I'm sorry for yelling before I knew what was really going on."
Darien stood in front of Ken, arms folded. Listening, with a hint of a smile on his lips. When there was a pause, Darien said," Thank you, Mr. Tsukino."
Ken smiled at Darien and nodded. "I really am sorry about your parents, Darien. Holidays are probably hard for you and I should have known that… it can't be easy to spend family time like this without your actual family."
Darien shook his head. "It was hard at first, but I've gotten used to it. I just didn't realize how much I actually missed my parents until I saw that picture. It looked like it had just been taken yesterday, so it kind of felt like they were still around for a minute. Serena just comforted me and we talked a little, falling asleep without thinking. It won't happen again," Darien reassured.
Ken nodded an approving head and patted Darien on the shoulder affectionately. "Merry Christmas, Darien."
Darien grinned. "Merry Christmas, Ken," and they walked out of the kitchen to rejoin the rest of the family, already tearing up presents.
Serena and Darien's flight back to California was in an hour, so they got everything packed and ready to go.
It was a day before New Year's Eve, so the airports were buzzing with angry people and luggage's.
As they boarded onto the terminal, Ken, Irene, and Sam all waved their last goodbyes. Smiling and mouthing," I love you's" from afar.
Christmas in New York was the most adventurous and emotional ride Darien had ever been on. He'd been seen naked by Serena, and caught sleeping with Serena by Ken. One thing he was sure off with being with Serena was there'd never be a dull moment.
Serena buckled up her seatbelt and looked out the window, trying to memorize and hold everything in before they took off. She knew she'd miss her family right when they plane would take off. She sighed slightly, leaning her head back to rest on the chair. As she thought about her time spent in New York, she felt Darien's hands cover hers; big and callused, yet very comforting. She turned her head to face him, smiling as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
"It's been one hell of a year, hasn't it?" Darien asked with a playful gleam in his eyes.
Serena laughed and nodded. "One of the best years I've had in awhile," she agreed, locking his dark orbs to hers. What Serena didn't know was she'd have many 'best years' with Darien.
New Year's in California was the beginning of a new era for Serena. She felt everything shift beneath her feet as she walked back to the familiar scene of their dormitory building, hand-in-hand with Darien. Things were slowly beginning to change for her, and it did.
Darien, as promised, eventually entered a Drag contest, surprising everyone with winning second place. His Drag name was Sophia Marie. He was a handsome man who, when dressed up, made a beautiful woman. All of his friends, and Serena, howled in laughter when he strutted out on stage, wearing a blonde wig and bright red lipstick. He was costumed in a dazzling blue dress, showing off his 'fake boobs'. He did a fake sing-song voice, high and shrill. His make-up was overly done, and his hair was too big. Darien even walked in stilettos, astounding everyone. When he placed second, Andrew stood up and yelled," That's my girl!" as Darien pretended to gasp in surprise. Afterwards, he had been made fun of constantly, mainly by Serena and Andrew who teamed up to laugh at him. Darien just rolled his eyes and laughed with them, shaking his head.
On Darien and Serena's second anniversary, he proposed to her. He took her to revisit the sight where his car had broken down on one of their dates, popping the question under the star filled sky. As he dropped to his knees, holding one of her hand in both of his, Serena gasped, then breathlessly whispered," Yes", nodding furiously as tears started streaming down her face. Darien had never been more nervous in his life then when he had proposed to her. His heart was hammering so loud, it was hard for him to even hear himself talk. When she said yes, Darien grinned, exhaling in relief as he felt his entire body shutter from happiness, standing up and wrapping her in his arms tightly. He slipped the engagement ring on her finger smoothly as it twinkled underneath the moonlight. Darien had asked permission from Ken and Irene before he even thought about buying the ring that promised Serena "forever". They gave them their blessing, and now, Darien and Serena were engaged.
Not long after Serena and Darien's engagement, did Ami and Brett become affianced to one another also. Serena and Ami screamed and cried together, clinging onto one another for dear life as they began making plans to have a joined wedding ceremony. They talked about wedding cakes, invitations, the theme, everything. Darien and Brett just stood off to the side and made fun of their to-be wives.
The wedding was not going to be until after Serena and Darien had graduated, making sure their financial situation would be stable. Darien became a doctor, a dream he'd always had. Serena graduated in architecture major, working for one of the biggest corporations in California.
Serena and Darien, and Ami and Brett got married on the same day, at the same place and time. It was a double wedding, and a spectacular one at that. The brides looked absolutely breathtaking when they started to make their steps down the aisle; each step bringing them closer to their future with their soon-to-be husbands. When they got nearer, Brett and Darien's eyes began to get misty, feeling the enormity of it all.
They had been through every obstacle and curve ball life had thrown at them, and they had survived and made it through with few scratches. The only thing they had to face now was an entire lifetime together, and they couldn't figure out a better way to live their lives then with the person they loved.
When Ken gave Serena away, he choked out his words, wanting nothing more then to hold onto his precious baby girl. Irene cried quietly when Darien lifted Serena's veil, looking at her beautiful face… the face he would get to wake up every morning for the rest of his life too.
Brett, Darien, Ami, and Serena all made vows that day that promised each other and God, eternity and forever. And as the newly weds kissed to seal the deal, everyone stood up and clapped, encouraging them and whistling.
Then, they took their first steps in life as husband and wife, together. Leaving the altar, knowing everything in their life was now completely different.
Serena and Ami were proud of themselves. They had managed to do one impossible thing, and that was to resist temptation. They had saved themselves. They got to wear their white wedding dresses as a sign of purity. They wore the color, knowing that it was the truth.
Remy and Sam danced together, and he whispered promises in her ear as they swayed on the dance floor. Remy blushed at the thought of being married to Sam, but for now, they were too young. Even at a young age, they knew one thing, and that was they loved each other.
Rory had been invited to the wedding and she came with a date. His name was Chad, the red headed boy she'd met with Serena at the mall. They'd been together for quite some time now. Rory now had something she used to envy Serena for; true love. Whatever happened between her and Darien and Serena seemed ages ago. A thing of the past that should never and would have to never be brought up again. She was happy now, content in the arms of her bashful, funny red headed fiancé.
Andrew got the honor of being best man to both Brett and Darien. At the wedding after party, Andrew brought Raye up to the stage and surprised everyone by proposing to her. She stared at him, wide-eyed before she cried out the word he had been waiting for- - yes. Everyone cheered and Ami and Serena rushed to Raye's side, congratulating her and crying with her.
Now, there was a new start, a new beginning for six different people; Serena and Darien, Ami and Brett, and Andrew and Raye. But no matter what happened, they'd always have someone by their side because they had promised each other that through the vows that they placed in God's hands:
" For better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish;
From this day forward until
Death do us part."