Hello everyone! Some of you might be readers from my other stories if you are I thank you all. If you aren't then please check out my other story when you have the time, it's titled My Beloved Pirate. I'm working on both fan fictions at the same time so hopefully I can take on the workload. I'll try to keep at it for both. Enjoy!
I don't own Sailor Moon.
Chapter 1: Restlessness
Serena stumbled into the arcade, and almost tripped over her feet as she walked over and flopped upon a stool. She was more tired than usual which was quite a feat. Things had gotten very busy these past few weeks and Serenity was now running on a almost-barley-any-sleep-schedule. Yes, her day of waking up for, fighting yomas, and trying to get all of her work done had just been added upon. With exams at school she now had to get up for school and try to be on time, having detention, get to the scout meetings, go home and try to get some work done, go out for the daily yoma fights (now there were sometimes two yoma fights a night), and then return home to cram for exams and try finish the work that she hadn't finished before. She had for the past week been running a 23 hour day. So basically life sucked for Serena right now.
So she leaned her head on her arms and stared sightlessly at the wall in front of her. Her eyes felt gritty and puffy form the lack of sleep. But there was no room to take care of that now, she would soon have to rush off to the scout meeting at Raye's. Her body was officially running on auto pilot, going through the motions of her day. She knew that if she didn't keep moving she would crash and burn, and then it would be even harder to get back up again. The only thing she could do was try to get through it and everything else.
The arcade bell let out a merry jingle as another customer walk in. Tall, dark, and handsome is what people mostly thought when they caught a glimpse of Darien Shields. He was every girl's fantasy with dark hair and deep blue eyes that were sinfully sexy; and with his many accomplishments guys couldn't help but admire him. Darien always retained and interior and exterior image of an emotionless cool, which sucked for any girl that wanted to get close to him Darien, always held people at length and never let anyone get close enough to even try to get under his skin.
He walked over to the counter and sat down on a stool close to Serena's. Serena was Darien's daily prey you could say, as she was subjecting to his endless teasing and insults every day. Expecting a reaction as usual Darien just waited for it to come. When it didn't and Serena kept staring at the wall giving no response at all Darien was about to start off the argument wondering what it would consist of today. But he paused as he took in Serena's appearance.
Serena's buns were askew, some hair falling out of them and the buns themselves drooping. There were dark smudges under her eyes indicating a serious lack of sleep, and her shoulders slumped forward in fatigue. Her usual bubbly, bouncy attitude was no where in sight; in fact her attitude seemed more akin to a zombie. The happiness that lit up her eyes was gone and they were dulled to a deeper blue gazing unwaveringly at the wall.
"What have you been doing to yourself Meatball Head, you look horrible," he said tossing out her most hated nickname hoping to get some response. Though today there was some truth to his words, Serena did look horrible, like death warmed over.
"Cut her some slack Dar," Andrew said coming up form behind the counter. He casted a sympathetic glace at Serena and asked, "Are feeling okay Serena?"
He received no response and Serena kept staring at the wall acknowledging nether of them. Darien and Andrew both star fixedly at the same spot of the wall she was staring trying to figure out what held the girl's attention. Coming up with nothing they turned back to her.
"Serena?" Andrew said again waving a hand in front of her face. Darien tried as well but they both still received nothing. Darien sat back in his chair and said, "Wow, I thought it was just a myth that people could fall asleep with their eyes open."
Darien soon grew tired of being ignored and grabbed one of her pigtails giving it a yank. Serena was so startled she shot up out of her seat, but ended up getting her legs tangled. She fell to the floor in a heap and gave a moan as she landed on her but. She sifted so she rub her some bum and gave another moan as she encountered a bruise on her hip.
Darien was staring down at her with a look of astonishment on his face, "Jesus Meatball Head I wouldn't have imagined you were that uncoordinated."
"Shut-up Darien you baka," she said dragging herself back up to her seat. But it sounded more like a whine than her usual firm insulting voice she used with Darien. This time she rested her head on her folded hairs hiding her face from their view.
Andrew leaned forward and repeated his earlier question, "Are you feeling okay Serena?"
This time Serena opened one eye not bothering to lift the other one, she stared at him for so long Andrew being to fidget under her one-eyed gaze. She closed it and said wearily, "I'd feel better if I weren't seeing two of you Andrew."
"What the hell have you been putting yourself through?" Darien said with a note of alarm in his voice. Andrew sent him a look at his bad use of words, but looked back at Serena waiting for her response.
All they got was a bunch of grumbled words that she muttered into her arms that they both had to lean closer to her to catch. "School. Meeting. Homework. Fighting. Studying. No. Sleep." Is what it sounded like.
Darien raised a questioning eyebrow at Andrew then looked back at the motionless Serena. It was obvious the young blonde was running herself on a no sleep schedule. Always the compassionate one Andrew offered, "Serena if you want you can sleep for a little in the back room."
Serena raised her eye again at the sound of his voice but promptly shut it and began massaging her temples as if she had a headache, "If you would hold still I could understand what you're saying."
Andrew's expression grew alarmed, it was obvious Serena was seeing double or form her point of view the world was spinning. "Darien can you take her in the back please?" Andrew asked expecting to receive some sort of argument from his best friend.
Instead Darien just reached over and took Serena's shoulders pulling her to her feet. Keeping an arm about her shoulders he led her to the back room. She was swaying slightly on her feet like she was about to fall over.
He managed to get her onto he couch before she completely collapsed. He turned around to retrieve a nearby blanket and when he was tucking it around her he saw she was already asleep. An unexpected smile broke out on his face, "Sweet Dreams Meatball Head." He turned off the lights in the room and gently closed the door behind him.
A couple of hours later Serena emerged form the back room yawning and rubbing the sleep form her eyes, looking somewhat better. She sat down at the stool again and Andrew came up to her and asked, "How many of me do you see Serena?"
"One," she replied, Andrew sighed in relief and said," I'm sure you're feeling more up to a milkshake now."
His remark received a small smile, "Definitely."
"Are you feeling better Serena?" Darien asked. Serena gave a small jump; she hadn't noticed him sitting in the corner.
"I-I'm fine Darien." She said not missing the fact that he had used her real name. The kindness and caring in his voice threw her slightly off kilter.
"Good, you had us worried for a second there."
Darien worried, about me? Something inside of her melted at the thought and she smiled. Darien returned it, "Wow a smile, I must be getting somewhere."
A little blush crossed Serena's face but it was dashed as she glimpsed at the clock on the opposite wall.
"Oh my God I'm late! The girl's are going to kill me!" she shrieked. She dashed out of the arcade at super speed on her way to Raye's. Leaving Darien and Andrew without another word.
She ran as fast as she could to Raye's which was a good distance away. When she finally reached the top of the step she paused to take a few deep breaths then continued through the shrine.
"I'm really sorry I'm late guys." She said walking into Raye's room. She stopped in the doorway and everyone else turned to look at her. The air in the room went thick with tension, and Serena could feel the weight of her disappointment and disapproval.
"What's your excuse this time Serena?" Raye asked her voice telling Serena she already expected her answer.
"I-I fell asleep at the arcade," Serena said hoping that the girl's would understand, they knew she'd been having a hard time lately.
Raye snorts and gives a laugh, "Figures, that's the typical Serena excuse."
Serena is slightly taken aback my Raye tone of voice, but Mina interrupted her thoughts, "Sit down Serena." Serena sat down cautiously not sure that she was going to like what she was about to hear.
"We've decided that you can no longer be our leader." Ami said. Serena went completely numb in her mind, shocked, barley comprehending what Ami said.
"You're not fit to be leader; we need someone who will actually lead us. All you do is sleep, eat, and klutz out." Raye said her eyes flashing fire at Serena.
"We've already decided on someone else." Lita said not looking at her friend. Serena is totally speechless never had she imagined that she would be in a situation like this, with her own best friends for that matter. She somehow found her voice to ask her next question.
"D-Do you want me to leave the scouts."
"Of course we can't kick you out. Sadly, you're the only one who can destroy the yomas." Raye said.
"Alright then. I can see you've made up your minds. Who will be replacing me?" Serena asked quietly.
"I will," Raye said proudly her eyes daring for Serena to defy her. Serena didn't say anything for a moment then rose.
"Ok I'll guess I'll be going home now." She said quietly not looking at any of them and they weren't looking at her except for Raye.
"You might as well it's not as if you do anything useful at these meetings anyway." Raye said turning her back on her as if dismissing her.
Serena waited for one of her friends to denied it, but none of them spoke up for her. Serena felt tears prickle in her eyes, but she held them back as she walked out the door.
Serena walked slowly down the steps of the shrine kind of in her own numb world. Her mind kept replaying the scene over and over again in her head, and she still couldn't quite believe it. What use was she now, eyes she could defeat the yomas, but they'd basically striped her of her use. She was a useless blond as Raye had called her so many times.
When Serena finally looked at her surroundings she found herself in the park. She slumped down into a nearby park bench. What had happened to them? They'd been such good friends, but now there would forever be a barrier between them. She would never be a good enough scout. She would never be able to live up to their expectations, and never be able to keep up with them. She would just be there in the background, always a little bit separate form the group. She'd been excluded, by her best friends.
The tears she'd been holding back spilled over the rims of her eyes. She pressed her face into her knees to quiet the sobs that welled up in her throat. She was the crybaby, the one that was over emotional. Was everything that everyone said about her true?
Tears poured down her face, but soaked into her skirt. It was just too much, it was all too much. She couldn't handle this right now, it was just adding to all of the tension that had been building up all week. Serena was just having an emotional overload.
Darien sighed as he walked the sidewalk going through the park. There had been no sigh of Serena for the rest of the day, he really hoped that she would go home and get some real sleep. He was worried about her and that was new for him, Darien rarely cared about anyone. But he had this strange urge to put a smile back on her face, and to make her eyes light up with happiness again. Though he was hard pressed to do that since they'd declared each other their arch enemies.
He was walking past the lake when he saw a huddled figure on one of the benches. As he walked closer he noticed the familiar falls of blonde hair, and the high school uniform. His Meatball Head was crying.
His heart felt like it was being squeezed in a vise, why was she crying? Without making a sound he sat down next to her and pulled her trembling form under his shoulder. She looked up from her knees, her red rimmed eyes with tear streaks on her face were too much for Darien to bear. This girl should never cry, who would hurt her so badly.
He pulled her closer to him and without a word she buried her face against his chest sobbing out loud. Darien felt an immense rage build in him as he heard her cry her heart out. Whoever made her cry would pay dearly tears should never have been a part of Serena's life. This girl was made for love and sunshine, sadness should've been kept far away from her. Her small body was shaking with her sobs and she just clung to him. He held her with never ending patience whispering soft words into her hair.
After her sobs started to recede she just sat there against him, not wanting to move. She snuggled closer to the waves of warmth that were pouring from his body warming her smaller one. He smelled like roses and the scent was intoxicating. Without realizing it Serena began to relax against his body going boneless against him. She felt safe and protected, within his arms she knew that nothing could ever happen to her.
She notice how completely exhausted her body was, she wasn't even sure she could make it how. What Darien had said early was true, what the ell had she been ding to herself? She wasn't cut out for a no-sleep-schedule. It finally hit her that it was Darien that was holding her. It was Darien that was comforting her, and trying to dry her tears. The cool aloof Darien was showing her such kindness and sincerity that she felt like crying all over again. The night her best friends isolated her, her arch enemy was there with her.
"Thank you Darien." She said softly, meaning it with every bone in her body. When she looked up and let Darien's eyes he just smiled and said, "No problem Meatball Head."
She didn't react to the nickname like she normally did. In this situation it seemed more like a cherished pet name that Darien had given her. Darien was loathed to let her go, but he let her ease away form him and wipe the tears form her cheeks. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief and handed it to her. When she tried to hand it back he just said, "Keep it Serena."
She nodded then slipped it a pocket in her skirt, and was about to thank him again, but he got in the first word.
"What made you cry Serena?"
"I just had a fight with the girls, it went farther than I thought it would go, and I'm not sure if we'll be hanging out that much anymore."
Darien frowned; Serena and the girls were closer than he'd seen any friends. He wasn't quite sure what had happened, but if it's made Serena cry it must have been something big.
"Is what everyone says about me true?" Serena asked her voice tearing up again.
"What things Meatball Head" he asked concerned.
"You know the usual. That I'm a klutzy, clumsy, blond that doesn't even know how to spell her own name. I eat too much junk food and I'm annoying and useless."
Serena sat there wringing her hands on her lap waiting for his answer that came sooner than she expected. Is that what he friends had done? Made her feel so insecure about herself? Darien thought. His anger toward her so called friends was building by the minuet; they were no friends of hers if they'd said all that stuff about her to her face and actually meant it.
"Serena, how could you think any of that stuff was true? You're a caring compassionate girl, who is full of such love you shine from the inside and out. You may have your faults, but everyone had them, and most people have worse faults than being a little clumsy."
Serena stared at him astonished; Darien himself looked a little taken aback by what he said. He'd said it with such a sureness and purity of tone that Serena had to believe him. And she felt almost instantly better; at least she had one friend who would be there for her. And he had come to her in her darkest hour.
"We are, um, friends now right Darien?"
"Of course we are Serena." He said smiling at her, and unlike most of his smiles this one actually reached up to his eyes. Serena found that she like that smile better than all the rest she'd seen.
"It's getting late Serena, how about I walk you home?" he said glancing down at his watch.
Serena smiled and said, "Sure"
As the both stood and began to walk side-by-side Serena kept inching closer and closer to his warmth. And before she knew it she was reaching for his hand, and he entwined their fingers together. His hand was so large it seemed to engulf hers, but like in his arms Serena felt safe.
They didn't talk for the rest of the walk to her house; instead they just walked in companionable silence. Each taking comfort in the other's presence and Darien decide that he was going to get much closer to Serena over the next couple days. When they reached her door he reached down and gave her a light kiss on her cheek that had Serena blushing.
He just smiled again and said, "Try to feel better Meatball Head, and actually get some sleep."
"Ok" was all she could say. She thanked him again then turned and walked into her house. She leaned back against the door and gave a small sigh. She crept back up to her room and did exactly what Darien said. She promptly fell asleep.
She had the strangest dream; she was walking in a place surrounded by fog. She could barley see two feet in front of her. But she kept on walking forward and she soon saw something large in the distance. She kept walking towards it compelled by something she could explain and she soon stood before a dark building that looked like a palace.
"Tuxedo Mask please find the crystal for me." Came a beautiful voice. Serena had never heard a more melodious or pure voice before. Se looked close and saw a figure of a women standing on the balcony with flowing hair behind her. Below the balcony stood Tuxedo Mask looking up at her.
"You need to tell me more about it; I haven't been able to locate any leads." He said. The mysterious figure only repeated what she said again and soon the very castle faded form sight.
Serena's mind wasn't working properly; she was alarmed at all by Tuxedo Mask's appearance or the women's disappearance. Instead she just walked slowly forward her light foot steps sounding loudly in the silence.
Tuxedo Mask must've heard because he turned and looked at her. "Serena?" he gasped. He walked forward to meet her taking off his mask and top hat. And Darien Shields stood before her in a Tuxedo and she still felt no shock or surprise. Her mind felt as foggy as the haze around them. Darien was the only one who seemed totally surprised by her appearance in this place. Serena only walked forward until they were almost touching; she reached up her arms and wrapped them around his neck.
"Hold me Darien," she whispered softly and Darien's arms immediately came up around her. She felt warm again, and safe, the scent of rose surrounding her. She rose on the tips of her toes his warm breath caressing her cheeks.
"Kiss me Darien, "she whispered even more softly than the last and his dark head closed the distance between them and their lips met. Something inside both of them clicked and snapped into place. They felt merged, as one, and before they could even continue the kiss past a pressing of lips they were both torn away form each other.
Serena felt as if she was falling and falling, her only thought to get back to Darien. But a wave of drowsiness over took her sensing, and as she felt her bed beneath her back then she was asleep again.