Weeks flew by as Serena fell deeper and deeper into her world. Blissfully, she grew closer and closer to him, taking in everything shecould about him. Her friends grew slightly annoyed by the frequent multiple hour phone conversations on week nights, and the dates that usually filled her Friday and Saturday evenings. Her parents asked her why she was spending so much time away from home. What was she supposed to say? Spilling her guts about guys wasn't exactly the type of thing she did to her parents, or friends.Darien managed to bring out a part of her that she didn't experience often. Constantly her heart ached without him, lessening only at the sound of his laugh, or the touch of his lips against hers. She craved him, and he never failed to satisfy.

It was on one of these glorious Saturdays when she was heading over to his apartment, at his request, after she got off of work. Herthoughts were not entirely focused on where she was walking, more thinking about how much she was looking for to being held close, and feeling loved. She couldn't believe how fully and truthfully Darienreturned her feelings. Serena had never, ever, felt that from someone.

Her thoughts skimmed over that for a moment, realizing how true it was. She would have made it inside Darien's apartment quickly, awayfrom the menacingly black sky, if not for a very disturbing thing happening.

"Serena?" she whirled, knowing that voice, meeting him face to face. Her heart no longer lurched at the sight of him, but seemed to revel in the fact that it was free from his torment. Speak of the devil…

"Hi."

"How..how are you?" he questioned, his eyes narrowing as if he was intent on listening, caring about her.

"Great, great…" he nodded, slowly, shoving his hands in his pockets, taking a step closer. He remained silent, and Serena sighed, knowing he was waiting for her to ask likewise. "and yourself?"

"A little disheveled. I've realized I'm a fool." Serena swallowed, knowing where this was going. She couldn't believe that she didn't even care for his friendship any longer. Months ago it meant the world to her, and now she felt like it was just like reliving a bad dream that she had finally woken up from. She had been nearly driven insane by him, smitten even, but it was just so, so different now.

"Look, Troy, I-"

"Just hear me out, please?"

"Troy I…I've moved on, I'm sorry," she cut him off, hoping to spare him the embarrassment he had not spared her in times past.

"I heard…Shields lives here, eh? Nice digs…" Serena felt her resistance tremble as he looked up to the blackening sky painfully, knowing how he felt.

"Then why are you here?" he returned his gaze to her, and he rested a hand on the back of his neck. Serena knew what that meant.

"I….this is going to sound ridiculous…Serena I know you don't want to be friends anymore, and I can understand that, but I can't stop thinking about it. I need closure, or I won't be able to stop…" his hands removed themselves from his pockets, as he took another step her way.

"Well I don't know how to give it to you, I've never gotten any."

"Damnit, Serena, I just need…"

"Need what?"

"This." He captured her, caught completely off guard. His kiss was remorseful, and soft. Serena felt herself reeling, and raised a protesting hand, but Troy met it with his own, pulling away from her.

"Don't….I'm so sorry…for everything….you were there for me when others were not. I just realized too late that I didn't do the same foryou. Goodbye Serena," he kissed her once on the forehead, as if sealing the ends of the relationship she had so long considered her gift, and her curse. His back turned, and he was gone, his hands once more in his pockets as he walked down the street, the icy wind blowing at his retreating form.

Her chest tightened painfully, tears swelling in her eyes, at the finality of what had just happened. Before Darien, Serena had never met someone else who understood and connected with her as well in her life. She turned, running a hand sorrowfully through her hair. It was then that she saw him, standing like a statue against the cement building. Serena froze.

"Darien I-"

"Hey, it's okay, I saw what happened. Who was he?"

"An…an old friend." She brushed off the question, thinking it best not to tell him the details of their past relationship years ago. Darien sensed her obvious discomfort, and beckoned her into his arms.

"Are you alright?" he asked, after holding her close for a few moments.

"Yeah, I'm fine," she said, making sure no more tears escaped her wind blown eyes.

"Come on, I made you some hot chocolate," he opened the door for her, and they walked to the elevator. It began to move, and they remained silent. A very prominent lump formed in the back of Serena's throat, and she and fought with every inch of her being to keep herself from crying. Darien didn't seem to notice, and was explaining to her enthusiastically the new things he had done in his apartment. His words floated through her head, her thoughts elsewhere. A silent tear finally managed to slip over, trailing down her cheek mournfully. He stopped talking abruptly.

"Serena what….why are you crying?"

"He….he was my best friend, Darien. We were like peanut butter and jelly…the perfect pair, always laughing. It just..fell apart, I couldn't take it anymore, and I stopped trying….and he just…I just…it's just hard to think that after all these years he's not in my life anymore," she choked, as another tear fell onto the floor. She wanted reassurance, wanted him to tell her that she had done the right thing.

"I don't know if I did the right thing…" she looked up into his eyes, searching for guidance. She found something very different instead.

"Neither do I," he replied icily. Serena instantly knew then, that she had made a fateful mistake. His eyes held a look she had never seen in them before.

"Darien, don-"

"DON'T WHAT SERENA? ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING HERE! YOUR BEST FRIEND? IF YOU TWO WERE THAT GREAT TOGETHER, GO AFTER HIM!" his words exploded in a fit of pain. She flinched at his voice, powerful and angry. He had never yelled at her before.

"Darien I-"

"I'M SURE YOU DO! WHAT AM I IF HE'S YOUR PERFECT PARTNER!"

"Darien, you're my best friend now, and you're my pair! He's nothing compared to what you are to me!"

"I SURE AS HELL DON'T FEEL LIKE IT!" his hands clenched the rail with alarming strength, and Serena distinctly thought she saw a tear escape down his cheek bone. Hers weren't slowing either, and worsened at the sight of him in despair.

"I'm sorry I said that, it just hurts to lose a friend! You are everything to me, and I…" her words were lost as he raised his head, meeting her distressed gaze. His eyes were cold and narrowed, tears falling slowly down his face as he clenched his jaw determinedly, hands still graspingthe rail.

"Then why are you second guessing your decision?" he whispered, his voice barely audible, as if he would break down if he spoke any louder.

"I don't regret it….I just feel like a part of me is gone now…friends take a piece of you with them everywhere, and now I'll never get it back," Darien shook his head, slowly.

"No Serena," he breathed, "but it takes someone special to steal a piece of your soul. A friend may hold a piece of your heart, but not your soul, not the thing that cries out to another," at his words Serena felt herself stop breathing, and she'd be damned if her heart was still beating in her cold, broken chest. The elevator chimed open, and Darien left, heading quickly down the hall towards his apartment. She followed, close behind.

"Darien please," she felt herself begging, pleading for him. She wanted to drop to her knees and do whatever he wished her. He paused at the doorway, turning to look at her once more, but still, he said nothing. His stained face was strained from sadness. "Please Darien, you have to understand how much you mean to me!" she was hardly holding back her sobs now, barely able to will her lungs to take in air.

"And how much is that?" he asked, his eyes blankly staring at the wall behind her. Serena took as deep a breath as she could make herself.

"I love you." His head snapped up, eyes darting across her face with amazement. She could feel him wanting to say it back, his mouth opened, and closed again. Darien clenched his eyes shut, as if restraining himself, and to Serena's complete and total horror, backed into the apartment, sealing the door with a click.

Dread. She could feel her heart shattering into thousands of pieces, the splinters impaling themselves painfully in her lungs. Serena did the only thing she could do at that moment. She ran. She ran down the stairs, out the extravagant lobby. She ran across the street, through oncoming traffic. She ran down the sidewalk, and she ran, until she could run no more.

As her feet touched the grassy land of the park, her legs gave way, and she tumbled forward onto the cold ground. Icy rain was now pouring down her, soaking her to the bone. Serena didn't bother to pick herself up. Lying there, with her face pressed against the earth, she lost it. Realization hit her like a punch in the face, and suddenly she was crying in deep, heaving sobs, that shook her entire body. She pulled herself up, bracing herself against a wooden bench. Lightning cackled menacingly above her, and she looked up, meeting it face to face. The rainwater mixed with her tears, and she coughed as they fell down her throat.

Such a fool she was. Why had she burdened Darien with her thoughts? She should have known that they obviously would have hurt himdeeply. If she was the slightest bit intelligent anymore, she would have noted that before opening her incredibly ignorant mouth. Darien was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He had pulled her out of the biggest slump in her life, turned her grades around, and restored her confidence. He was loving, sweet, and understood her like no one else except Troy had ever, and she just had to mention that last fact. That last, hellish, bitch of a fact. Tory had used her, played her, just yearned for attention, and when he didn't get it from any of his first picks, then and only then was Serena first on his list. Darien was so much more. She loved him. God damn how she loved him.

Serena slammed her fist down on the bench, her skin slicing open as it caught the edge of a loose nail, but she didn't feel the pain. She cast her eyes onto the dark waters of the lake, rippling savagely as the storm raged. She had just lost the one man she had truly, truly loved. Her life was over. Her soul was split, her heart broken, but here she was, still living. Living. What was living if the one thing she had ever wanted just vanished? What point was there in going on if her dreams were broken, her hopes gone, leaving her just an emptyshell? There was none. Her love was gone.

Her feet started moving, taking her towards the midnight blue water. Her mind was blank as it came closer and closer, urging her forward. Just as her foot was about to sink into its murky depths, a voice called out to her.

"Taking a late night dip, Serena?" oh lord, she didn't want company. She really, really did not want company. If she was going to do this, there had to be no one around that could foil it. She whirled around, and met Jake's penetrating stare. He moved towards her, until he was merely inches away.

"Yes," her voice was hollow, and an eerie monotone. Jake's eyes glided over her face, and came to rest on her eyes. He raised a hand, brushing a few stray tears off her cheeks caked with dirt.

"You're crying. Crying for whom?" she didn't answer, just stood, lifeless before him. "Shields isn't it?" he cried, mockingly. "I told you he was bad news Serena," his words cut into her stomach, as more tears fell.

"He's not…."

"Look at you! He rejected you! He hurt you! How long is it going to take you to realize he isn't the one for you?"

"Darien is the only one for me." Jake yelled out in frustration at her statement.

"No, Serena. I'm the only one for you, and I'm tired of waiting for you to realize it," his voice was sinister, and controlling. Even in her distraught state, Serena could tell, and took a cautious step backward, after realizing one more would leave her drowning in the lake. It didn't seem as inviting as it had moments ago. Jake took the last step towards her, a frightening fire burning in his eyes. His hand flew out, encircling both of her wrists behind her back, and he pulled her close. Serena could feel him breathing in the scent of her, and he wrapped his other hand around her neck.

"Jake, do-"

"Admit it Serena. A part of you wants me."

"I love Darien," she spoke clearly, her heart aching. Her words sent him over the edge, and the hand around her neck pulled forward, forcing her roughly onto the wet ground. Serena moaned in pain as his knees pinned her feet, her legs arched, one arm holding her by the throat. He leaned forward, his lips running down her neck.

"I've waited a long time for you, and I'm going to have you, one way or the other." His free hand trailed down her neck and to her chest, and her breath became ragged. Gruffly, he pulled against her shirt, splitting the material as his hand reached between her breasts and under her bra. Her breath caught as her grabbed her chest hard. He reached around her back, pulling angrily at the clasp of her bra before sliding it up her arms and over her head. Serena closed her eyes as his tongue found its way to her breasts, his hands sliding up and down her now naked torso. She felt so useless, so pitiful. Jake's hands began to knead her chest again, and she winced in pain, crying out into the night. He laughed.

"Feel good?" one of his hands began to trail up her calf, and he forced her legs apart as it continued up her thigh. Revoltingly, his fingers began prying open the button on her pants, and made short work of the zipper. He reached between her legs and seized the back of her pants, yanking them down to her ankles. Serena thought she was going to be sick.

"Jake…stop, please…" she cried in agony, her body quaking violently.

"No no my dear, we haven't even gotten to the best part!" he protested, once more sliding the hand up her leg. Serena began to cry. Darien wouldn't want her anymore. She was a raunchy, twisted, broken girl, and she had let herself fall into this all on her own.

"Well now these are pretty," he whispered hotly into her ear as he reached her lacy black underwear. Serena instantly wished she had worn something less appealing. "Shall we see what's behind them?" a shout of protest erupted as he forced his fingers inside of her. Serena could feel hot tears burning down her face as he shoved his hand into her deeper and deeper. He began to force her pelvis up and down with his movements, and groaned as he removed his wet fingers, running them along her inner thigh. The touch seemed to burn and blister her skin. He licked her upper thigh, as his hand slid down her side and to her hips, pulling down her underwear. He flattened his torso against hers, spreading her stiffened legs apart with his own. Serena felt himreach between them and unzip his own pants. She only then realized what he was doing.

"NO!" she screamed, struggling with all her might under his weight. "YOU CAN'T!" There was only one person Serena would give herself too, and the thought of another taking that from her made her want to die. She screamed and pushed against him. Jake grabbed her jaw, and crushed his lips against hers, once more moving between the both of them. She couldn't breathe as she pulled away from his kiss, her chest jerking up and down erratically. "YOU ARE NOT DARIEN!" she felt herself reach out, longing to be with him, free from this monster.Bracing herself for the worst as she felt something against her, her sobs grew worse, and she felt all hope leave her. Her struggles died, as her strength disappeared, her body tired and whipped.

Serena had almost resorted to giving up, when suddenly, as though her prayers had been answered, he was off of her. And she knew, without a doubt, that he was here. Her head felt like a two ton weight, but she ifted it, her body cold and numb as she watched the scene before her. He was here. He had saved her. There were no words exchanged this time. Darien was throwing punch after punch, each one slamming into Jake with a force that frightened Serena. Their black shadows were silhouettes against the reflective lake. As if in slow motion, Jake fell, twisting backwards unnaturally. He hit the ground with a horrid clamor.

Darien stood there, above him for a moment, his chest heaving, clouds of air visibly escaping his lungs in the cold. He turned, looking on her, the pain in his eyes intense. He walked to her, stumbling slightly. Serena shuddered as he wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling her to his chest, sheltering her from the rain. And then she broke. She sobbed into his shoulder, her body feeling dirty, and disgusting.

"You came," she wheezed. Her voice was strained and raspy. Darien pulled away, removing the shirt off of his own back. He slipped it over her head, the large shirt coming down to her thighs.

"Of course I did." Serena still didn't stop shaking, and he drew her to his neck tenderly. Her watery eyes were peeking over his shoulder. Movement caught her eyes, and they darted to where Jake had been laying moments ago. He was gone. She looked around, knowing she had just seen something. Out of nowhere, he flew, something silver glinting in his outstretched hand. Serena suddenly realized what it was.

"DARIEN LOOK OUT!" she shrieked, petrified. Darien's head turned, ever so slightly, releasing his hold on her. In on swift movement Darien ducked, flipping Jake by the arm onto the ground, the silver dagger flying from his hand. He reached down, picking him up by the collar of his shirt, causing Jake's feet to dangle precariously.

"If you ever, EVER, come within 10 feet of this girl again, I will kill you, do you understand me?" his voice was a growl, low and menacing. Serena groaned, her knee aching with pain. She knew Darien had not made an idle threat. He hurtled Jake onto the ground, and watched, as he stood and ran, retreating into the dark night. He knelt beside her again, tears stinging his eyes.

"Serena…are you…are you…did he..?" he choked as he tried to form the words, picking her up and holding her against his bare chest. Serena shook her head, nuzzling into his neck, as she held the shirt against her. Darien swallowed, relief flooding over him. "Oh thank god.." he whispered hoarsely. He rocked her back and forth, and turned, heading back towards the apartment building, with Serena hanging sickeningly from his arms.

Finally they were back in his apartment. The walls made Serena regain the slightest bit of security. Darien set her carefully on the sofa, before grabbing a blanket and putting it on her shoulders like a shawl. His presence was what helped her the most. She brought her knees to her chest, forming a blanketed ball, and rested her head on his chest as she stared blankly into space.

"Darien…" she breathed, her voice ghostly, "I let it happen, I let him, I'm so sorry I ran, I shouldn't have said.." a finger pressed lightly against her lips. He leaned forward, his head bent, dark wet hair falling from his face.

"Don't you dare. My god, Serena, I can't begin to tell you how horrible I feel for losing my temper with you. But the thought of another sharing you, connecting with you, I just got so jealous…I'm just so glad you're okay…I wish I could have gotten there sooner." Tears fell from his eyes, landing softly on Serena's cheek, and he squeezed them shut. She turned in the blanket, placing herself on his lap.

"You saved me, from everything." He nodded, his face buried in her hair as he cried, silently. "Without you, I would have nothing to fight for. No reason to survive, no reason to succeed. This…well…what happened, it made me realize and admit that..that I really love you, Darien," she spoke as steadily as possible, despite her trembling frame. He lifted his head from her hair at her words, Serena felt him shudder, and ll at once, his lips were on hers, gently, softly.

"I love you too Serena…more than anything else," he held her from him, his eyes looking over her body with difficulty. The button up shirt she wore exposed part of her collar bone, and his trained eyes could see the beginnings of a dark bruise. His fingers slowly touched the buttons, undoing them one by one. He pulled the shirt open, cautiously. The sight before him made him sick to his stomach.

Serena inhaled slowly as his fingers ran over the welts and knots on her chest. She was sure they were atrocious. Not wanting to look, she kept her eyes on his face, watching as his eyes flashed with anger, guilt, and grief, in turn.

"Oh Serena….baby…look at what he did to you.." his voice cracked. Serena did not want to look. Ever so slowly, she stared down at her ragged body. Purple bruises covered her chest, bloody scratches running down the length of her torso. Dirt covered her skin, and bite marks were evident on her breasts. She felt her stomach lurch repulsively, and doubled over.

"I think I'm going to be sick," she managed. She stumbled to the bathroom, knocking over a side table with a shatter. Her head felt like it was going to split in two. Collapsing helplessly in front of the toilet, she felt his hand touch her back, as he knelt beside her. Serena vomited violently, coughing as she heaved, utterly disgusted with herself. Darien remained by her side, whispering sweetly that everything would be alright. After what felt like hours, she fell backwards into his arms, exhausted.

"Darien…"

"You're still beautiful to me. Why don't you take a shower?" he asked lovingly. Serena smiled despite herself, at his attitude. He was wonderful. Her voice was groggy as she spoke.

"Okay…" He kissed her on the forehead, before exiting and reentering with a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, both of which the smallest pair of each he owned.

"Will you be okay?" he asked, setting the clothing on the bathroom counter. Serena stood up, on wobbly legs. Her knee still throbbed painfully.

"S-stay with me," she pleaded. Darien swallowed. How could he deny her that request? He nodded, numbly, and turned around, his cheeks reddening despite himself. A soft flutter signaled the no doubt dropping of the over sized shirt to the floor. His palms became sweaty. The shower door slid open and closed, its hazy glass leaving only adistorted view of the beauty in his presence, and he turned again. He exhaled slowly, and slid down the tiled wall onto the floor.

Water burst from the shower head, and steam floated from above the doors. The water rushed over Serena, its temperature hotter than she normally had it. She hadn't wanted Darien to leave. Being alone scared her, and being without him scared her even more so. The searing liquid hurt against the cuts and scratches, but eased her sore muscles. Groping blindly around the shower, she found a bottle of shampoo, and grinned as she lathered her hair up into a huge foaming mass. It felt good to be clean. Humming drearily to herself, she ran her fingers through her hair, soaking it now with conditioner. Darien had good taste, she smelled quite good, even if it was a manly scent.

After rinsing her hair thoroughly, she decided that she needed some face scrub. Doubting that he would have any, as it was a rather feminine thing to own, she glanced at the shower rack inquiringly. For a guy, he had a rather impressive repertoire. She picked up a bottle, and shrugged, figuring it was most likely a wash, as it was definitely not shampoo or conditioner. She happily poured it into her hand, and ran it across her face. It tingled, though it smelled really good. It smelled like Darien did after he showered. She smiled more broadly, and continued her scrub. The tingling sensation began to spread, and it seemed to be growing more and more intense. Intense? Hell this was downright painful. It burned. Her face was fucking burning! Serena screamed at this thought, and shook her head frantically in the water. It persisted. She did the only thing any normal girl would have done.

"DAAAARIEEEEEN!" she smacked into the wall, blindly. Darien, unbeknownst to Serena, had been rather annoyed with himself for enjoying the fact that she was showering in his bathroom. She had been assaulted, and still, he couldn't help but gawk. Despicable, absolutely despicable. So when her shriek filled the room with alarming range, he was up against the closed shower door in an instant, frantic.

"Serena what happened! Are you hurt!"

"MY FACE!"

Slam

"What is wrong with your face, love?"

"I DON'T KNOW, IT WON'T RINSE OFF!"

Crash

"What won't rinse off?"

"SOME STUFF IN A BOTTLE! IT SMELLS LIKE YOUR COLOGNE!"

Bang

"FUCKING WALL!" Serena cursed, stretching her hands out in front of her. She distinctly thought she heard Darien chuckle to himself.

"ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME!" she roared.

"Serena…baby…you just put on my aftershave…"

"WELL WHY WON'T IT COME OFF!"

"You probably used too much….there should be some cooling lotion on the rack in there, put some of that on, and hold a cool washcloth to your face," he instructed, in midst of her fury.

"I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING! IT'S IN MY EYES! DID YOU THINK I WAS WALKING INTO THE WALL FOR THE FUN OF IT!"

"Well, er…."

"JUST HAND ME THE STUFF!"

"Serena, it's in the shower with you…I can't jus-"

"DARIEN, MY FACE IS BURNING OFF!"

"Alright, you come out, and I'll go in and get it…"

"FINE, GIVE ME A TOWEL!"

"Okay, I'll go find one.."

"NO!"

"What!"

"I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO GO SEARCHING FOR A TOWEL!"

"Well I can't ju-"

"YOU SURE AS HELL CAN, MY FACE IS GOING NUMB!" she bellowed. Thestuff felt acidic! How could men do this? Darien bit his lip nervously. Cautiously, he slid open the shower door. The shower rack, of course, was on the opposite wall. He stuck his hand in, his head still outside the doors. Stretching with all the ability he could muster, he cursed when his finger tips came within an inch of the bottle.

"Serena, I can't reach the b-bottle" he gasped, straining for the rack.

"DARIEN, GET. IN. THIS. SHOWER." What choice did he have? Slowly, he stepped into the wet shower, the water splattering against his jeans. Serena was on her knees, in the opposite end of the shower, her back to him. Darien blushed feverishly at the sight of her hunched form. Finding the bottle of cooling lotion quickly, he snatched up a washcloth draped across the nozzle. The water liquid spilled onto the cloth easily, and Darien took a step towards her.

"Here, Sere, it's right here," Darien held the washcloth next to her. Serena's hands groped around, searching for his. "Where did you get it on you?"

"All over my face and neck…I thought it was body wash!" she let out an exasperated sigh, and turned around, allowing Darien to see the damage, and treat it. She drew herself up to her full height, and Darien felt a very prominent lump form in his throat, as he forced his eyes to glue themselves to her face. And what a face it was. By the looks of it, Serena had nearly put a handful of aftershave over her eyes, nose, chin, everywhere. Her skin was red and swollen from her incessant rubbing. Using the washcloth, he gently touched it to her cheeks, and nose, and finally her brow line and forehead. Her eyes, which had previously been squeezed shut to the point that it looked painful, opened millimeter by millimeter, revealing blood shot orbs. Darien chuckled softly. This poor girl!

"Oh thank heaven….Christ, I thought I wouldn't have any skin left," she huffed, touching her face with her fingers. They brushed against Darien's, and she rested her hands on his.

"How are you feeling? Did the shower help?" he asked, noting the fact that her hands had just seemed to notice that arms and a torso were attached to his aiding fingers.

"Yeah, the heat feels good on my muscles…but there's something wrong with my knee, I think it's sprained or something," she cringed as she tried to move it, her eyes still closed. Darien felt his mouth grow dry. He was planning on being a doctor when he was older, and had taken many classes on the subject already. He had confidence that he could identify a sprain, and knew that if it was indeed sprained, she should not be standing on it.

"I should look at it, you shouldn't be standing on it if it is sprained," he struggled out, wondering what he was getting himself into. Serena nodded, lifting her leg. Her thigh brushed against his, and Darien winced at the touch. Bad idea….bad, bad, idea. Tentatively, he reached downwards, his eyes following suit, as he ignored the space between her face and knee. He applied a bit of pressure to the joint, and Serena trembled in pain. He could feel the distressed ligament, and frowned.

"I think it's sprained," his voice gurgled slightly, as the water splashed into his face. Serena groaned. Just what she needed. Her sturdy leg wobbled, and her hands found their way to Darien's bare shoulders in attempt to maintain her balance. Darien goggled at the sight of her flat stomach, complete with adorable belly button, in front of him. Her eyes squeaked the last bit open, and were met by an extremely sexy looking chest. A bare, wet, and muscular chest, to be exact.

"Fabulous," she whispered, more so in reaction to what met her gaze than his diagnosis. He looked down on her, his dark locks falling into his eyes as the water ran down his body. Serena blushed. He was gorgeous. Her hands continued their plight of exploration, running around his stomach, and up his back. Darien stared down, a familiar flame flickering through his eyes. Unable to deny himself a moment longer, he swept her towards him into a hungry kiss. He moaned at the feeling of her against him, and felt his senses go haywire.

"I love you," he hummed into her ear, his hands roaming over her back. Serena felt her heart swell.

"I know…and Darien?"

"Hmm?" he mumbled, his voice muffled as her buried himself against her skin.

"I love you more," he laughed, and pulled her up against him, Serena giggling happily to herself.

So, that's it! It all happened, every horrible, wonderful, incredible detail. Life is strange. Sometimes, all you can do is try to make it one more day, and hang on with all your might. Good and bad things happen, slumps are expected, and the great moments are hard to come by. Perhaps, all you can do is live, striving for something more, awaiting your purpose. As for me, I found mine. He saved me from grief, and willed me to live, all because he loved me. I owe it all to him. My love, my deliverance.

Oh! I'm sure you're wondering what happened in the shower? Well…I did say I owed him didn't I? Why don't I put it this way ladies….how would you repay your half naked boyfriend if he just so happened to hop into a shower with you?

AN: FIN. That's it folks. I'm not going to lie and say that I thought this was an excellent read, because it's not. Nothing extraordinary happened in it. It's about nothing, and the life that so normally goes along with it! Review, and take it easy. Love to you all, and thanks for stickin' through to the end, however hard it was. Please review, you guys.