A/N: Hmm.. Well, since I love playing with the Sailor Moon timeline, well, not really timeline but universe, that's what I'm gunna do right now. Yeah, that's right. It's another AU fic.

Comments are welcome, criticism is remembered, flames are puzzled over, MST's are enjoyed (but tell me first).

Disclaimers: If I owned Sailor Moon, then I'd be putting my stories on TV rather than typing them out, hn?


Almost Crazy
by Clara


"He is driving me crazy!" Serena Tsukino shouted, flinging her scarf to the ground in emphasis, then crushing it with the heel of her boot. "It's as if he's trying to ruin my life!"

Raye Hino watched her best friend with unveiled amusement as the irritated blonde jumped up and down on her scarf. "Really, Serena. I hope you're not talking about the one and only Darien Chiba, are you?"

The forementioned picked up her tattered and dirty pink scarf and brandished it towards Raye as a type of weapon. Darkly, she glared at the almost priestess, then switched her glaredown at the remains of her once favorite scarf. "As a matter of fact.." she sneered, "I am."

Raye sighed in mock exasperation, falling dramatically down onto a nearby bench. She brought her hands to her temples and rubbed them tiredly, annoyance only half pretense. "So tell me, fluffbrain, what'd he do this time?"

Serena slumped down next to Raye, worn from the constant jumping and cursing and yelling. All the anger had drained from her face, replaced with a depressed sort of rejection. Then the tears came. Huge, fat tears that rolled down her splotchy cheeks.. not the kind that disappeared as soon as she got what she wanted, but the kind that was accompanied by soft, angry, and hurt sobs. Raye started in shock, then awkwardly pat Serena on the shoulder. For once.. I wonder if Darien over stepped his boundaries.. "What happened, Rena?"

Serena sniffled noisily, then ran the back of her gloved hand across her nose. Making a disgusted face, she carefully pulled off the glove finger by finger and carelessly tossed it to the side. Regardless of the chilly winter air, she pulled off her other glove and rubbed both her eyes with balled up fists. "He.. he.." she managed around hiccups. Taking a deep, shuddering breath she tried to get out what she wanted to say again. Letting out a loud sob, she drew both her legs to her chest and dropped her head on top of her knees. "He got me fiiiiiired!"

Raye blanked, motionless hand still on Serena's shoulder. Darien.. got Serena fired? No way. That was just.. too absurd. Although Serena and Darien seemed to despise each other with a passion, from what Raye knew of Darien she was positive he would never do something so cruel.

Serena had been working at a cafe down the street for over a year now. She started the job to try and impress Andrew, and also to save up for this hot new Sailor V game, but she ended up.. falling in love with her job. Why? Raye would never know. Maybe it was because during the winter time, piles of kids would group around the counter to buy large cups of hot chocolate, or maybe it was because Serena loved to see young and old couples walk in, hand and hand and reminsce over large lattes. But whatever. The question was, how and why did Darien get Serena fired?

When Raye was sure her pigtailed friend was able to talk, much less talk coherently, she asked, "how, Rena?"

Serena hiccuped quietly, still rubbing her eyes with her balled up fist. "H-he needed a job.. I guess, for the winter.. and.. and.. he t-talked to my manager and somehow got me fired for my job!" She almost didn't finish that sentence, a fresh new batch of heartbreaking sobs rocking her slender body.

Raye frowned, then bit her lip thoughtfully. "You want me to talk to hi-"

"NO," Serena cut in forcefully, head snapping up and sobs disappearing. However, the fat tears still rolled down her cheeks. Raye frowned a bit. "No. Please don't, Raye. The first thing he'll do is say that I was incapable of the job in the first place, that I'd probably have dropped the lattes on the people's laps." Serena paused, a bitter smile tugging at the corners of her lips. So what if she had done that a couple of times..

Standing up, she straightened herself as tall as she could, then smiled down at Raye, trying to make the tears in her eyes disappear. "Don't worry about it, Raye. I'll.. I'll talk to him after I've calmed down a bit, okay?"

Raye opened her mouth the protest, but a single blue eyed glare shut her up. She nodded ever so slightly in comfirmation, and Serena smiled at her, turning around and walking away.

"Thanks, Raye. We'll have to go shopping some other time.. I don't think I'm in the mood today.." she called over her shoulder, not taking her eyes off the busy street, in fear that her cloudy vision would cause her to knock into something. Or worse yet, someone.

It was inevitable, though. A few blocks away from where she left Raye, her blind stumblings were cut to an abrupt halt. She fell unceremoniously on her butt, already numb hands slamming to the ground to try and break her fall. She winced at the sharp pain that shot up from both her hands.

"Of course," she said, closing her eyes and not daring to open them, in fear of what she might see. "Of course, this would have to happen on the very worst day of my whole entire teenage life!"

"What, flunk another test?" a cooly familiar voice asked. Serena's blood froze and heart stopped beating. Disbelievingly, she opened one eye, then let out an anguished groan.

A smug, black haired, blue eyed devil smirked down at her, utterly destroying the remnants of her already crumbling world.

Serena clumsily stumbled to her feet, wondering who in the heavens wanted her life to be so miserable. Blue eyes becoming almost black, she mustered all the hatred she felt for everything and everyone into a single glare, then held her head up high and walked away.

Darien stood there, looking confused and more than a little startled. He had known Serena for a short time, and never, ever had he seen, or felt that much hate come from her small body. Hell, he never felt that much hate come from anyone.

And why, in heavens name, was all that hate directed at him?

*

"GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON WHY I SHOULDN'T RIP YOUR HEAD OFF, DARIEN CHIBA!"

Darien winced and clapped his hands over his ears as a reflex, glaring at his answer machine. Already, this was the fifth message from Raye shouting confusing obscentities into his ear.

"Because I have no idea what I did!" he shouted back at his answering machine, hands still firmly over his ears. He sighed and walkedback over to the offending object, waiting until the shrieking died down a bit to remove one hand from his ear and click the off button. He had a feeling that the other seven messages were Raye remembering a few more curses to shout at him. Heaving out a great sigh, he dragged himself back into his living room and fell dramatically on his black leather couch, draping an arm over his eyes.

The phone rang.

He jerked into a sitting position, eyes wide. Hesitantly, he glanced over at his cordless phone on his coffee table, then made a face and slumped back down. Let the answering machine get it. With my luck it's..

"DARIEN CHIBA, I KNOW YOU'RE THERE!"

..Raye.

Darien groaned and pulled one of the couches pillows over his head, wondering who in the heavens wanted his life to be so miserable.

This was going to be a loooong night.

--

end prologue