Serena of the Moon

Chapter Eighteen

Rated: R

English Names

Alternative Universe

Disclaimer: Pretty Soldiers Sailor Moon, or anything related, belongs to the very talented Naoko Takeuchi.

Has it really been 5 years? I don't think I can apologize enough. I've been having my ups and downs and finally forced myself to write. Hopefully I will keep it up. So, we are slowly nearing the end but fear not, I have many more stories I would like to write so I hope you guys will follow me throughout that.

I've decided not to answer questions here since it takes up a lot of room and I know it annoys some of you. For answers to anonymous questions and my many random rants, you can follow me on my tumblr account. My username is Tserea but I think I'll be changing it soon. Check my profile for a direct link to my blog.

Enjoy and thank you so much for sticking with me until now! :)

His nose nudged my shoulder and I swatted at his face before shifting. Of course he gracefully avoided my attack and dug his face in between my shoulder blades. I shivered. "I would love to stay in bed with you all day but I don't think Lita would appreciate that, you know, considering it's her wedding day and all." My eyes flashed open.

"What time is it?" I turned to face him.

"Breakfast was an hour ago." He reached for me, wrapping his arms around me.


I hid my face in his chest, embarrassed but wanting to be as close to him as possible. Why did this feel so conflicting? I could feel the heat generated by mine and Darien's proximity.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

What was that? Darien took hold of my chin and brought his lips to mine. They were gentle but firm. My eyes closed automatically but I still wasn't prepared to have my breath taken away. I don't know why it surprised me so much considering all the times he kissed me the night before. My eyes opened in time to see his lips remain perfectly still as his voice filled my head but it wasn't the same as usual.

Ready to get up?

It looks like he has managed to bring down my wall again but it was different. Not only could I hear him, I could also…feel his emotions. I reached for his face smoothing over his lips with my thumb. He kissed it. I could somehow feel his gleeful emotion through his small smile. I amuse him.

Not anymore than usual.

He kissed my temple.

"We should get up." He pushed the covers away, pulling me along as he stood up. Of course, I clung the comforter to my body. He gave me a look as if to say, "You have nothing else left to hide from me". I flushed. "Oh," he added, giving me a cheeky grin, "don't be surprised by anything unusual that happens today." He placed his hands on his hips, as if posing.

"What's that suppose to mean?" I threw the nearest article of clothing at his general direction. He laughed and reached for me.

"You'll see." He picked me up bridal style, covers in tow, and made his way around the obstacle in the room and into the bathroom. "Let's get cleaned up, now, shall we?"

I was able to escape from the bathroom just as Mina was being sprayed with a last coat of hairspray. Unfortunately, I missed out on the spa treatment the girls received before breakfast. For time's sake, I was given a style that was half up and half down with waves and a few small braids. After intertwining small vines and flowers, I was ready; at least my hair was. It didn't look too bad, given the time limit, and I wasn't the only one that thought so. When I sat in front of the dresser, to put on a pair of earrings, I kept hearing unspoken compliments. The speech pattern was unquestionably Darien's.

I felt a tickling sensation on my neck, as if he were resting his chin on my shoulder. Then the fluttering of a kiss on my cheek. I felt a rising desire and then immediately afterwards, I felt embarrassed. Except it wasn't my embarrassment. I could almost hear Darien's sheepish laugh, making me wonder if I wasn't suppose to feel that particular emotion. I felt another light kiss on my shoulder before the light presence disappeared completely.

We had to leave Lita since she was making an entrance in her own limo. We all kissed her good luck, being careful not to smudge her make up, and left with enough time for the press to get enough pictures of everyone outside the church.

Our ride to the church was filled with joyful chatter until their attention was turned onto me.

"So? How did it go?" Mina asked wide-eyed. I crossed my arms.

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"You can't actually believe we wouldn't suspect something after you both came out of the same room," Raye responded skeptically.

"What? Can't two adults have sleepovers?"

They stared at me.

"I don't have to tell you anything," I said, raising my chin stubbornly, all the while fighting the blush attempting to creep up my ears.

They continued to assault me with their questions, prying for any bit of information. I concluded they were all sex deprived, which earned me a round of pinching that just proved I was right.

The large church, although towering, was nowhere near in height of the buildings surrounding it. Two large square brick towers were attached to both sides of the main building. They each had a set of marble stairs, leading into side entrances and lined by a couple of rails, but they were not as grand as the larger set of stairs that led into the main entrance.

The car slowly came to a stop in front of the church and almost as soon as the door was opened for us, the flashes went off non-stop. When we stepped out of the car, the guys came down the stairs to greet us. They didn't look half bad. My heart felt a little squeeze when Darien gracefully descended the main set of stairs. They all wore matching tuxes: a two button black jacket with an emerald green tie and a matching vest that laid underneath.

Just as they reached us, the flashing turned to a new target as Lita's limo turned the corner and slowly approached. All the photographers rushed over to be the first to get a picture of the blushing bride.

Darien came to my side and tucked my hand into the nook of his arm. "She looks happy."

"She does," I agreed. That smile was not forced on by the flashing lights. She gracefully made her way up the steps, careful not to trip over her gown with help from the flower girl.

"We should get going," Darien said, speaking to all of us this time. We entered the church and formed our line with Darien and I at the front. We had rehearsed with Lita and Nate leading but Nate would actually be waiting by the podium for Lita who would enter after all of us, accompanied by her uncle who would give her away. We briefly greeted Lita's uncle. He had Lita's same hair, if not a shade darker, and his eyes, which were framed by small happy wrinkles, were also a green.

I looked through the glass doors at the awaiting guest seating on pews. Passed them stood Nate, looking especially calm but I could see his fingers twitching from where I stood. He was also wearing a black tux but the suit was longer than the others with more buttons and with a textured pattern along the collar.

Lita soon joined us in the lobby and her uncle smiled proudly at her. I saw him hug Lita before the music called my attention forward and we were queued to enter. For some reason, my heartbeat pounded as if I were the one about to get married.

"Are you anticipating your own wedding?" Darien whispered at my side just as we began our procession.

"N-no." My brows furrowed but I couldn't hide the slight blush on my cheeks. Stupid. I found it hard to see Darien as someone's groom. Ha! Poor girl…

I love you too.

Shut up.

He patted the hand he had a hold of, gently rubbing my knuckles with his thumb. I glanced around, wondering if anyone noticed the gesture. I wasn't sure since everyone held a smile on their face as they gazed at us momentarily before moving to Amy and Zack behind us.

We made it to the end just as the Bridal March began playing. The guys turned to stand besides Nate on the right and I led the girls to await Lita on the left. Lita and the flower girl were walking much slower than the rest of us had but the flower girl always stayed about a yard ahead of Lita, leaving a layer of lily petals that were individually sprayed with glitter. A second flower girl that must have been Nate's half-sister helped Lita with the train of her gown. The pearls and cloth sparkled and shinned under the positioned lights. She really did look beautiful. Looking over at Nate, I saw nothing but pure adoration for the woman that would soon be his wife. He wore a silly grin plastered on his face but his eyes were glazed over in a dream-like state. I stifled a giggle.

Just like any other bride, Lita only had eyes for her groom. When she finally reached him, she looked down, suddenly embarrassed. Probably self-conscious but I didn't see any reason for her to be. She looked amazing and had a glow to her.

Nate allowed Lita's uncle time to detach himself from his niece. He gave Nate a brief pat on the back and directed him towards Lita. Nate delicately held her hands with his larger ones and…I felt the same sensation Lita felt.

Not that I knew what having my hands held by Nate felt like. These were familiar hands. These were Darien's hands. I looked around Nate and Lita to Darien, wondering what he was up to. He just gave me a gentle smile and looked back at the marrying couple, as if to remind me to pay attention.

I'm not the one distracting people. His chuckle filled my head and I felt like glowing. That is to say, Darien had a glowing feeling within. He kept hold of my hand and I wondered if the connection was both ways. Could he feel my emotions as well? Although it's been a while since he's read my thoughts or pushed any images into my head, he's never had the ability to make me feel sensations and I most definitely never had the ability to hear his unconscious thoughts.

I suddenly remembered that he owed me a huge explanation. I don't remember giving my consent to this. I felt annoyed. He gave my hands a squeeze as if that would make up for it. It must be the happiness radiating from him that put me in a forgiving mood. That's the only explanation why my annoyance decreased slightly.

I turned my attention back to the ceremony. It was Nate's turn to say his vows. The priest instructed Nate to repeat after him and recited the first line for him.

"I, Darien Delano—"

Nate opened his mouth but instead of his voice, I could only hear Darien.

"Take you, Serena Delciel, to be my wife;—"

I admit there were heart strings that were tugged when I realized what he was saying. I also felt embarrassed

"—to have and to hold, from this day forward—" I watched as Nate's lips moved in perfect sync with Darien's voice. What are you doing idiot? "—for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer—" The seriousness of his tone made it all that more embarrassing. I wanted to look at what expression he had on his face but I just couldn't. "—in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish—" It was hard to pretend not to hear him. For one, he was saying it directly into my head and for another—

"—till death do us part."

—the way he said that last part. I looked up just as he said it and found him looking directly at me. I don't know if I should be creeped out that a vampire swore to be with me until his death. I also wondered if I had hidden commitment issues.

The rest of the ceremony continued without a peep from Darien; just the sensation of my hand being held by his.

Before I knew it, the ceremony was over and I was brought back to attention when the room erupted in applause and Lita and Nate shared their first kiss as a married couple.

To say I stuffed my face was an understatement, especially considering I had to skip breakfast because of a certain someone.

From my seat at the center table, I could see Lita and Nate dancing. They hadn't left the dance floor since they've gotten up from finishing their late lunch slash early dinner. If they weren't dancing with each other, they were dancing with those close to them. It had been pretty amusing to see Lita bewildered when the oh-so-stern Artemis asked for a dance.

I took a drink from my water glass and looked around the large dining hall decorated with greens and browns. Very earthy. Although, I admit, it looks a little strange with the cream colored walls and curtains that lined two of the walls. The shiny dance floor in front of the small stage reflected the simple but elegant chandelier that hung from the high ceiling.

I sheepishly tilted my cup and watched the water swoosh back and forth, being careful not to spill onto the brown table cloth. "Well aren't you the party animal?" I turned my head and came to face Darien. He was bent at the waist, leaning down with both hands on the table so that he would be at eye-level with me.

"I could say the same about you." Not that I've been watching him.

"Oh, are we still playing that?" He asked, apparently catching my last mental comment. Lack of privacy.

"How do I turn you off?"

"You don't." He winked, giving me a cheeky grin. I flushed at the double-meaning.

"Shut up."

"Need I remind you of how long it took to—?"

"We're in public," I reminded him, my flush holding strong. His smile grew wider, disconcerted with my flustered state. He would never be disconcerted with me, a part of my brain argued. Probably the part that was slowly being overtaken by Darien. "We have to talk," I said, referring to the extreme lack of privacy. Not to mention the ability to numb my senses like he did at the ceremony.

"We're at a celebration," he deferred, sensing my agitation. "We'll have plenty of time afterwards." He stood up to his full height and held out his hand for me to place mine in. "Let's dance." My brows furrowed but he took my hand anyway and pulled me up to my feet. He began leading me to the dance floor and I reluctantly allowed him to. "Please don't be mad at me," he pleaded as he wrapped his arm around me, slowly merging us with the already dancing couples. Despite my annoyed mood, I welcomed his arms around me and the slow tempo of the song. I didn't need to trip over myself when I was supposed to be angry. I could feel relief from Darien. He pulled me closer and I resisted the urge to rest my head on his chest.

"Not a fan of public display, are we?"

"As opposed to you."

"I just like reminding everyone that you are mine," He smiled, leaning down as if to kiss the top of my head but stopping just before.

I raised a brow. "So it's more of a macho thing than an adoration thing? You're not doing a very good job at deflating any resentful feelings I have towards you."

"I adore you," he said, this time actually kissing my temple. "Although I like reminding others that you are mine, it is also a nice reminder of how lucky I am to have you." The small display of affection didn't bother me as much as I'd thought it would.

"You bet you are. Don't forget, you were once just a stalker that I tried to stake on multiple occasions."

"Stalker? I like to think it was determination that allowed us to meet after our first encounter." He smiled down at me and for some reason I returned the smile.

They couldn't have chosen a better time to crash through all the windows. The screams weren't loud enough to cover the shattering noises that the pieces of glass made upon making contact with the wooden floors. By the time the crunching underneath all the black boots began, Darien already had me hidden behind him, pushing me into the crowd that had already begun huddling together.

Dammit. I couldn't see anything past the fear stricken faces and Darien's broad shoulders. I half expected to hear H.A.W.C. guards' grunts as they quickly took down however the intruder may be but I grew uneasy when the only noise herd was that of booted footsteps. Darien's back turned rigid when the clicking sound of high heels joined the scuffling boots.

"You call this a party?" a familiar snarky voice commented. I tried to look around Darien but he was making it very difficult to do so. Where had I heard that voice before? It generated a sickening feeling in my gut. I sunk further into the crowd behind me so that I could find an alternative route to the front of the crowd.

I finally made it to the front and nearly choked on my own spit when I realized why the voice sounded so revoltingly familiar. If she noticed me, she didn't show it. Instead, her eyes landed on Darien and said, in what she must have thought to be a seductive voice, "Darling." I couldn't see Darien's expression but it must have been amusing enough for Beryl to respond with a sly grin. I could hear my blood pumping in my ears as I took her in. It really was her.

She had burst into flames the last time I saw her. Not just any flames either. I turned to Darien. He hasn't moved at all. "You look as if you've seen a ghost, darling." She laughed in her eerie high pitched voice as if it were the funniest thing ever. "We were very close once but you seem to forget that you are not my master and only my master can truly kill me." Darien remained silent but I began to feel a mixture of anger and a sense of foolishness from him. "Of course," Beryl continued, "we received a bit of help from our friends. Who knew the ghost community could be so friendly." What? Whatever she was talking about must have been something Darien understood since he didn't give off a sense of confusion. He had, however, begun to scout the room, all while maintaining eye-contact on Beryl.

I began looking around as well. Where were all the guards? I didn't see any. All I saw was a room of guests with mixed expressions and thugs, except they weren't really thugs. Only a few of them were actually big in build and there were even a few women. They all hid the lower half of their faces with black masks and they were all vampires.

I wondered what make-shift weapon was within reach. How long would it take to remove the wooden pole holding up the curtains? I bet that time would drastically drop with my telekinesis in play.

I didn't get a chance to find out since at that instant someone got a tight grip on my wrists and pulled me away from the crowd. "Serena." I heard Lita's panicked call as she reached for me but I was already out of reach. The guy was a tall blond with very sharp features and thin lips. He pulled at me, eventually having to drag me since I refused to cooperate.

"Enough Beryl," Alan said, clearly as annoyed by Beryl's flirtatious advances as I was. I cringed as the man's grip tightened, forcing me to walk in the direction of Beryl. Beryl pouted briefly before she transferred her attention to me and openly held an expression of pure hatred. Our staring contest was interrupted by Alan.

"You look lovely, Rena." He looked me up and down approvingly. I felt really dirty just then.

"What do you think you're doing?" A very pissed off Luna stood from her chair. The mask clad vampires edged towards hers but she didn't back down. Artemis, however, stood to stand at her side.

"Hush, kitty," Luna's eyes widened in shock and Artemis' in outrage, "This doesn't concern you. I don't know why you are feeling so brave all of a sudden. Your staff is no longer," he paused, "in a position to help you; any of you. Now, Rena," he said, turning back to me, "I have a little gift for you." I was still struggling to escape but every jerk I made only resulted in more pain. I gave one hard twist and my shriek covered up the sound of a crunch. I only caught a glimpse of Darien's hard face before I squeezed my eyes shut from the pain. "Uh-uh," I heard Alan tsk. I opened my eyes to see him talking to Darien now. "Not so fast prince charming," he began and I wondered if the nickname was a way of reminding us that Darien was legitimately the Master's son. "I don't think," Alan continued, "little Rena here wants you to be too active right now. Bring them in." The set of doors across the room opened and my grandparents were shoved in, gaged and bound.

Grams was still wearing her kitchen apron and Gramps was shuffling in with his house slippers. Leading their way in were a couple of vampires and behind them came in a third vampire holding a camera with cables leading out the door. "Say hello to America, everyone." The camera vamp turned in a half-circle, shooting the scene briefly before returning to Alan. "Now, all I'm asking is for some cooperation," he said, walking towards my grandparents with the camera following him. "You just have to do as I say and this lovely couple will be free to go. It can't be that ambassadors are cruel enough to let these elders have their necks snapped. Are you? Darien?" I inwardly, panicked, not sure if I trusted Darien and his bravado. Alan must have sensed something because next he said, "Sure you can save the old couple and the lovely lady. I'm sure you're more than capable of that, but tell me prince," he walked toward a group of guests and pulled Ann out, "Are you capable of saving her?" I frowned in confusion. I was sure that if he would move fast enough to rescue my grandparents and me, a third person shouldn't be that much harder; not with Darien's speed.

But Darien must not have thought so since his jaw clenched and he said, "He wouldn't dare. He values them far too much." He?

Alan laughed and it sounded like a genuine laugh of joy. "No, you're right. Normally he wouldn't but you see, Ann has been a very bad girl and the Master can be only so kind to traitors." He pointedly looked to his left and realized he was glaring at Mal. "He can no longer let his children run amok." I immediately realized that Mal wasn't Darien's follower; he was the Masters. The Master turned Mal and I was certain he had turned Ann as well. But Alan called them both traitors. Does that mean they left the Master to join Darien?

"Alan, you stop this now." We all turned towards Trista's sharp voice, the complete opposite of her usual soft tone. She stood near the doors that my grandparents entered through minutes before but her voice carried across the room.

"Oh, dear Trista. You were always the Master's favorite. He was so heart broken when you left. However, the pain has dulled and he is no longer in need of your services." Trista shrieked and immediately, before the flames appeared, I knew what was happening. "Looks like you lucked out," I heard Alan say to Ann over Trista's shrieks. "You were going to be our demonstration but looks like the Master had a little too much of poor Trista."

"Stop!" Darien cried and the flames immediately engulfed themselves as Trista dropped to her knees. Darien rushed to her side and nobody stopped him. He placed his hands on her, trying to heal her as quickly as possible. I wasn't sure if there was anything he could do, especially with the thick smell of charcoal and sulfur from her skin and hair. The added smell of burning meat and copper made me wish I had a free hand. I wondered if it was my extra strong olfactory senses that made me feel nauseous and my head hurt. Regardless of my nausea, a panic overtook my senses and a feeling of complete loss had me on the brink of tears. What was I going to do without Trista? She can't leave me alone. If she dies, we can't bring her back like Beryl was. However, Trista was in danger. If the Master decided to kill her, she'll be gone for good. I don't know how but in the midst of my panic I had time to be full of so much hatred. That bastard could do this to Mal as well. Sessh and Ann were probably as vulnerable. My breath quickened as I fought tears and did everything I could to save Trista.

Wait. I swallowed but the hatred, loss, and panic were all still there. It was only when I noticed the camera vamp shooting Darien and Trista that I remembered that these weren't my emotions or knowledge. Just as I could feel Darien's anguish, I hoped he could feel even a bit of comfort from me as I imagined my hand on his shoulder.

"Now that I have a guarantee the prince won't interfere," he didn't wait for Darien's agreement, "I propose our lovely Rena come with me. Or," he added when I didn't reply immediately, "you can be the cause of a number of deaths. I don't think that would give you a very good public image." While he was blabbering about public opinion, I was busy trying to figure out the best strategy. Obviously I was going to go with them. I couldn't put a whole room of innocent people in danger. Not to mention the vampires the Master considered traitors. I glanced at Trista and she looked better but there were still patches of burnt skin and her eyes were shut.

"Fine," I said.

"Good," he said with a tight smile and shoved Ann onto the floor, away from him.

I decided that I would simply faze through whatever van they stuck me in and just hide my presence for a while until they gave up. Who knows, maybe this could be a great opportunity to infiltrate the enemy's territory…

"Ceri," Darien called out to me and I looked at him briefly. He still felt anger but for a different reason this time. Don't worry. I quickly went over my escape plan, putting in extra effort so he wouldn't pick up the second part of my plan since I wasn't sure how he would react to it. He didn't like my escape plan but didn't have a better idea. Don't worry. I won't take long.

The blond loosened his grip on me and nudged me forward on Alan's order. I strode over to Alan, carefully cradling my broken left hand. Hopefully it won't get in the way of my plan. Alan roughly took hold of my upper arm and Darien's brows furrowed as a frown appeared on his face. I cringed at the unnecessary force. I was already coming willingly, wasn't I?

My nerves must have been overwhelmed since I didn't see what came next. A flash of fur darted past me and hit Alan straight in the chest, knocking him on his back and earning me a set of scratches along the length of my arm. The stinging hurt like hell but they were probably nothing compared to the thrashing Alan was receiving from…who was that? The color of the fur looked a lot like Nate's but Nate was clearly standing besides Lita on the dance floor.

The giant wolf growled as it continued its assault on Alan's face. The attack only lasted a millisecond longer before Beryl tackled the werewolf away from Alan and they rolled away, clawing and snapping at each other. Shrieks filled the room as guests began transforming into wolves and began attacking the uninvited vamps. What did you expect at a wedding where the groom was a werewolf? Looks like there's no need for my plan now.

I turned to look for a chair that I could break and use as a stake. I had only taken two steps when I was grabbed from behind by a blood drenched Alan. "You're not going anywhere," he said, spinning me around to face him. I could see his deep wounds slowly heal and close right before my eyes but he still wasn't very nice to look at. His entire face and the front of his shirt were tainted red from the blood he had lost from the attack. A glance at my grandparents' direction told me they were safe enough at Darien's side for me to fight back. I couldn't expect anything from Darien since he was still under the Master's threat.

With my powers, I twisted Alan's arm away from me at an odd angle. He screamed, "You bitch, what did you do?" I furrowed my brows as I prepared to force him down with a final blow. I'm sure I could force that curtain pole through him. "Drop it!" he yelled. Drop what? The next instant my vision was blurred by thick black smoke. Ha! If they thought they could get the upper hand, they were wrong. While my vision got a little blurry, I could still see plenty. Although—I covered my nose. The smell was horrible! I tried to stop breathing and grabbed a napkin from a nearby table to cover my nose and mouth but it was no use. The smell, which was far worse than the smell of Trista's burning body, couldn't be blocked.

When I looked across the room, things looked much blurrier than they did a second ago. The room seemed to have darkened as well. I took a step and suddenly I couldn't orient myself. I wasn't able to hear anything and I couldn't walk straight. I tripped on my own feet and landed hard on my chin. From the corner of my eye, I saw fires starting followed by shrieks and the consuming smell only intensified. I wanted to cough but I didn't have enough air in my lungs. The burning flesh and acrid smells knotted my stomach until I was sure I was going to vomit all of its contents out. A foot appeared in my field of vision and I recognized Alan's clawed hand reaching for me just as I slumped over.

So many notes I want to make but I don't want to take up the room or time so check out my blog for them.

-Serena (soon to be something else)