I wanted to write an AU but non-supernatural fic. Here's my attempt at normality. Please be aware, I'm not straining over the editing of this fic, so if there are mistakes I'm sorry.
Disclaimer: I don't own Sailor Moon. Please don't sue I don't even have enough money to pay for this internet connection.
I Never Meant To
"I now pronounce you husband and wife," the priest declared to the congregation in the church, "You may kiss the bride."
Serena felt her stomach clench painfully and her throat constrict as she saw the man she love tie the knot, with another woman. They both looked so perfect up on the raised platform underneath the stain glass windows, which spilled colour over the radiant bride and groom. Darien was impeccable as usual, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and dark wine red tie. His bride, Beryl Ravée, correction, Mrs. Beryl Marionelli, was the stereotypical bride so beautiful it plunged Serena into insecurity and depression. Of course she was beautiful! She was one of the most sought after models of her time with her tall voluptuous frame, flaming red hair and cat like features.
Serena's head tilted away from the couple, tears burning beneath her lids as Darien leaned down to kiss his brides lips. With that final action there was a resonating roar of applause and cheering. People in the pews jarred her as they all filed out, following behind the happy couple, whichvery soon left Serena with the stragglers. Tentatively, she waved Mina to continue out the church with the other girls and their boyfriends, fiancés and husbands – leaving her all alone to nurse her broken-heart.
The ruby red carpet, leading up to the platform, was thick beneath her conservative shoes and she did her best to avoid further crushing the mutilated white rose petals strewn about. Pausing at the steps, she looked up at the large cross between two massive arching windows depicting Mary and Christ.
Serena herself was agnostic, but that didn't mean that there was no one up there. At that moment she closed her eyes and prayed, with all her heart, that anyone up there would help bring her from the agony and give her the strength to continue without Darien. As her eyes opened, they glittered with tears and she turned around, heading towards the exit. At the double medieval doors she stopped and wiped her eyes, glad she decided against mascara in case of this happening because she'd rather die then show Darien how much he'd hurt her.
With emotions controlled, she squared her shoulders, took a deep breath and stepped out into the spectacular Italian sunset. Photos were being taken, the photographer buzzing around trying to snap perfect pictures of the bride and groom with their families.
Why did she come again? She thought to herself; that's right! Raye had invited her and she didn't want the girls getting suspicious over why Darien's favourite sparring partner didn't go. She didn't care if people got the impression she was hostile, however she was afraid of scandal and the risk of her privacy. If the press got wind that successful business protégée, Darien Marionelli, had 'a-bit-on-the-side' his marriage would be damaged before it started and reputation diminished.
Surreptitiously, Serena descended the worn grey stones of the cathedral, which under other circumstances she'd itch to catch on her camera. But not today, not ever, not without thinking about this painful day, and it was sad that the magnificent structure was ruined because of this.
"Come on Sere!" Lita said, hooking her arm with hers, as Mina took the other side joining into the conversation.
"Yeah, we're heading to the reception and you're our designated driver, along with Malachite, for getting us safely home tonight."
"So that means no skimping out on us," Raye piped in, directing them towards the car park, "You're taking my car, because your rental is too small, and Malachite's taking his car."
Skipping out was a very tempting idea, but she was glad she'd been lumped with the responsibility as it meant she had to show her face.
"So if anything happens to my baby tonight, your dead, that's your warning Meatball Head," Raye warned as she affectionately referred to the massive red whale she drove around.
"Watch who you're calling Meatball Head, Pyromaniac," Serena snapped back with a grin.
"Stick a cork in it girls, god for 24 people would assume you're 14 back at high school," Lita drawled in her American accent.
"Something will never change," Amy said then added, "This is one of those things. Frankly I'd be disturbed and highly concerned if it stopped."
"Whatever! Let's not have any philosophical debates over the issue! It's time to Par-Tay!" Mina shrieked, thumping herself into Amy and Lita, causing them to stumble as she threw her arms around them.
As they left through the beautiful wrought gates, Serena cast a look at Darien then hurried on before the girls sensed the change in her mood.
The reception was the biggest celebration that Serena had ever been to. The huge hall was decorated in draped white satins and gold, it was absolutely stunning. But Serena hated every minute! The food was rich gourmet class, but it tasted like saw dust and raked down her throat. After the courses were served, Serena sat quietly sipping a flute glass of orange juice at the border of the dance floor. Raye was making funny faces at her, over her boyfriend's shoulder, which she forced a laugh to. Everything was forced.
From beneath her lashes Serena watched Darien and Beryl dancing. Some of his raven black locks had come loose of the hair product he put in, making the strands dance in front of his icy eyes in that 'oh-so-sexy' manner. Beryl was laughing, smiling and kissing as they did the waltz, the long wide bell of her dress swishing noisily around their ankles.
Everything about Beryl screamed richness, beauty and success. Her skin was tanned dark gold by the Italian sun creating a strong contrast with her white gown. Beryl was far more spectacular then mousy Serena, body wise, socially and financially. What did Darien ever see in her? All he must have seen, she thought painfully, was an easy girl.
She felt the cool façade slipping at her analysis of the situation. The room suddenly seemed much too hot and nausea stirred within her, threatening to throw up the little food she'd eaten. She rose and tentatively wove through the tables to the open French doors that lead to fresh air. It was now dark and the sea thundered at the cliffs. Continuing off the stone patio of the venue, she strolled to the edge and took in the sight of the moon reflected in the oceans dark inky surface. Despite the clear skies of the day, it was still winter in Europe and she shivered, clutching her forearms so they crossed over her chest. She suddenly wished she'd brought her camera to catch the once in a life time image. So peaceful opposed the ruckus of the party and she closed her eyes to enjoy the moonlight upon her face. After five minutes, the cold was getting too much, but it had helped to clear her head so she turned around to head back to the reception, but froze.
Darien stood there, his face darkly handsome obscured by the shadows surrounding them. Serena's heart began to thump and she couldn't distinguish if it was with excitement or dread. Quickly Serena fixed her falter and attempted to skirt around him, wanting desperately to avoid confrontation when the pain was gnawing within her.
"Serena," He said in that low husky tone that made her knees melt. However she continued on, speeding to a jog, trying to pretend it was the wind.
She felt herself jerked back and she gasped, casting her gaze to the strong golden fingers curled around her pale forearm like a mouse trap.
"Please, let go," Serena managed politely through clenched teeth, trying to pull free of his steel grip.
"Look at me," He said.
Serena didn't want to, and tried to pry his fingers off.
"Look at me," He commanded in a stronger tone.
Slowly and reluctantly she raised her gaze to his aristocratic face.
"Please, let go," She said a second time, desperation creeping into her voice.
He must have sensed her distress because he released her arm and she backed away three steps, wrapping her arms around her waist. Turning she resumed her path back to the reception, heart thudding in her ears.
"God damn it, Serena!" He exclaimed against her ear as he wrapped his arms around her waist to stop her.
Serena shivered, feeling much too susceptible to him at the present moment.
"What do you want," She forced through her tight throat, all manners gone as she fought to free herself.
"I want to talk," Darien said.
"Alright! I'm listening, just please let go," Serena said her voice cracking with strain.
Taking her shoulders in a gentle grip, Darien pushed her away from the cliff into a grove of trees, which, conveniently, hid them from view.
When he let go, she hustled away, looking back at him as if he'd burned her with his touch.
"I'm sorry, Serena," Darien genuinely said, raking his hand through his now dishevelled locks.
Serena didn't reply, only watched him through distrusting eyes. But gods! She was beautiful, those eyes snapping with anger, the loose hair, escaping her silvery blonde braid, blowing gently around her angelic features. But by no means was her natural beauty shallow, for beneath, she had a fiery heart and strong mind which had drawn her to him in the first place.
Their initial arguments and heated debates lead to a secret rendezvous of love that Darien refused give up. He'd been too selfish to tell her about his engagement to Beryl and, once she did find out, she'd avoided him like the plague, disappearing for a painful, lonely month.
"I didn't want to hurt you-"
"So why did you." Serena interjected, her voice soft but harsh, "Why didn't you tell me you were getting married, huh? Why did you lead me on to suffer the humiliation at the end?"
Darien grimaced, "Because, I love you. I wanted you to be with me."
Serena's eyes sparked with anger, "Don't tell me you love me when you've just married another woman."
The rage was cooled by a flood of tears, which shone like broken stars within her eyes.
Darien rushed to her, enfolding her trembling body against his and resting his chin upon her hair.
"I never meant to hurt you, Serena," he whispered intimately and she looked up at him, her face vulnerable and pink luscious lips parted slightly.
Head dipping, he caught her mouth in a light kiss and, like coaxing a doe out from the forest, he traced his tongue over her lips, begging for entrance. From her waist, one hand slipped to her hair, changing her angle so he could deepen the kiss. Darien poured all his love into it, wanting to show her that what they shared was special and she needed him too. When he broke off, his lips drifted over her face and she sighed. From within a pocket he removed a ring, specially made from measurements he took while she slept within his arms, a mere day before she discovered the truth. Ever so gently he took her left hand and brushed her fingers against his lips, her heart thudding a wild dance with fear and desire. On her slender ring finger, he slipped the gold band, the design simple and so her. Two roses, one yellow gold the other white gold, which entwined, the blossom's meeting together as a red and white rose of ruby and diamond. The marksmanship on the ring was spectacular and it looked so delicate on her hand.
"Stay here in Italy with me," Darien purred softly, persuasively, "I bought a house for you. It's perfect and you can do all your arts there."
Serena jerked from his embrace, her eyes huge and luminous in her shocked face, "Did you just ask me to become your-your mistress?" She whispered hoarsely.
Darien didn't say anything, his face pure stone as he watched her, not denying the question.
"I can't believe you!" Serena screamed, twin tears streaking down her face, "I don't want to live a life in the shadows being your personal whore! Don't I deserve to be loved properly by someone?"
Darien's jaw clamped angrily and he raised his arms.
"Don't touch me," She hissed ripping the ring from her finger, "I'd rather die then be 'the other woman'."
Serena then hurled the ring at him and spun on her heel, running as fast as she could back to the reception. She was sure she must look like crap, her hair all over the place and plant matter stuck to her shoes; she took a detour to the bathroom. In the mirror she looked incredibly pale and she splashed water on her face to help wipe the shock from her features. Her hair was a mess from Darien's roving fingers and she quickly re-did the braid, the weight of what they did revealing itself. She moaned softly dropping her head into her hands.
"There you are Serena!" Mina said, "Why are you hiding in here?"
Serena forced a smile, "I'm not hiding, just got a headache and needed to get away from the noise."
Mina pulled Serena to her feet, "Come to think of it, you do look a bit washed out, are you going to throw up or faint?" She asked concerned as she put her hand to her Serena's forehead.
"No, no I'm fine now," Serena managed, trying to resume normality and putting some gloss on her lips.
"Alright, but if you feel really bad, Malachite can take you home and Amy will drive us back, the girl hasn't touched a drop of alcohol. Honesty! That girl does not know how to have a good time." Mina amicably chatted, fussing over the scoop neckline of Serena's ice blue gown. "Also, I need you to support me in catching the bride's bouquet so that my sweetie and I will be next down the isle before Lita."
Serena allowed herself to be pulled out the restroom, where she told Mina she'd sit down with Amy and watch her. Serena avoided looking at Darien, instead watching all the women gathering in the centre of the room, in hopes of catching the bouquet and getting hitched. It would have been quite comical, under other circumstances, to see grown women fighting like cats for the best spot, but Serena felt terribly empty inside. Mina had slim chances, especially since she was next to Lita, but Serena sent her a stunning smile portraying good luck anyway. The women got restless as Beryl stood on a chair and did a few practice swings, releasing the white roses on the third rise. The woman certainly had a strong pair of arms and the roses streaked over the mob of women, heading straight towards her, stalks first like a spear. Her first irrational thoughts were Beryl had seen what happened and was going to kill Serena with her flowers. Serena was a terrible catcher but survival instincts brought her hands up, at the nick of time, to catch the lethal bunch.
"Serena!" Mina shrieked loudly, "Those were my flowers!"
Lita burst with laughter as she elbowed Mina, "Guess you won't be beating me in getting married."
Mina looked down right sulky and Serena felt like she'd crashed right into hell. She was mortified as everyone turned to look at her.
"Here," She squeaked, tossing the bouquet to Amy.
"I don't want them, I'm married already," Amy said, tossing them back.
Attention was diverted as the men began to holler for the next event of the garter toss. Beryl, with a seductive smile to all the men, placed her heel encased leg on the chair and began to pull her skirt up. On her long thigh, a filly white garter sat which Darien pulled down, causing all the men roared with approval. With a quick deliberate flick, sent the garter sailing over his shoulder into the eager mob of men.
The man, who ended up with the garter, had it hanging off his finger in a lazy deliberate manner. There were groans from the other sore losers as the orchestra began the waltz and everyone filed off the floor. Serena had shoved the bouquet away into Amy's arms, silencing her with a glare, hoping that the man would assume Amy caught it and lead the last dance before the bride and grooms departure. But her idea did not work as a slender hand entered her vision.
"May I have this dance," He asked in a gentle tone.
Serena raised her head to his and gazed into a gentle pair of grey blue eyes. Serena licked her lips with nervousness, casting a glance to the girls. Lita was smiling with the thumbs up in encouragement and Raye was glaring 'If-you-don't-you're-toast'.
"I would love to," Serena replied softly, placing her hand within his.
Serena's gaze caught Darien's for a moment but she turned away quickly. He looked stoic but she could see rage in how his sensual lips pressed together. She allowed the man to take her hand as his other curved around her waist, planting her against his firm form. He was handsome, she thought, not like Darien. The man was thinner and more delicate, however that did not mean she didn't feel the hard muscles in his shoulder and against her chest. His hair was dark mahogany and eyes grey blue, like a misty lake.
With the music he began to lead Serena around, and Darien's lips sneered with disgust. He could tell his cousin was very interested with Serena. Rejection still stung at him and his fist closed around her ring. He couldn't bear to leave her for a two week holiday to Belgium, but it was looking like it would be much longer then that with her refusal to remain in Italy.
"My names Seiya Malone, may I ask who you are," He asked with a stunning smile revealing strong white teeth.
"Serena Kingsley, it's a pleasure to meet you, and I'm sorry for my initial reluctance I didn't intend to get the bouquet." Serena said dryly.
Serena was very aware of everyone watching the 'potential' couple dancing. Very aware of Seiya's hand on her back and how their legs brushed, it was very uncomfortable. Flashing Raye a look of help, Raye grabbed Jed and started dancing with him, as did Lita and Nathan followed by the rest of the girls – which helped detract all the attention from her. Soon the floor was filled with couples, and their waltz relaxed a bit with Serena viewing Seiya as a support post, as she battled the crippling fatigue caused by many nights crying.
A request for a dance sent steel down her spine and she opened her eyes to look right at Darien. Seiya glared at Darien, confusing Serena as her gaze darted between each mans hostile face.
"It was a true pleasure Serena," Seiya purred, "Maybe I'll see you again." With that he placed a kiss on her hand.
For a second she watched Seiya's back as he moved through the crowds. That was before she was pulled rather roughly against Darien.
"I don't want to dance with you," Serena whispered fiercely.
"Tough," Darien said simply, holding her much too intimately in Serena's opinion.
"You're too close," Serena said desperately, trying to pull away.
"You're going to make a scene," Darien said as a caution but masked a threat that if she didn't do as he said, he'd make one.
"Stay away from Seiya Malone, understand," He said abruptly.
"Go to hell, Darien," Serena whispered, "You have no right over me."
"You'll stay away from him, is that clear," he said viciously, making his point by crushing even closer.
"Lemme go!" She said louder with desperation.
Abruptly he released her, causing her to stumble backwards and making a little scene amongst the immediate dancers surrounding them. Regaining her footing Serena spun and half walked and jogged to her table. Grabbing her purse she rushed outside, throwing herself into a car and ordering the driver to take her to her hotel.
She kept herself together on the ride, barely, and tossed some money to the driver, not bothering with the change. It was in the refuge of her suit that she let the heaving sobs out at her humiliation and utter dejection. She collapsed on the king sized bed, burying her face into the pillow and letting everything go until she was totally empty.
Tomorrow, she was going to Rome and getting a plane back to England. The girls couldn't understand why she wanted to go back home when this was a vacation! Even though Serena did fancy touring, going to the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, and visiting the City of Canals, Venice, she couldn't now. Not when she had too much sadness to ruin the experience. Serena couldn't wait to get back to her little flat, back to her art studio and lose herself in her work. She'd start the healing process and forget all about Darien Marionelli.
That's what her mind said, but in her heart knew that she'd sustained damage that would never heal. So much for avoiding the family curse.
I'll update again, soon. Also, another MOC chapter coming up.