The bells to the arcade door chimed as a new customer entered. Andrew looked up from clearing a table and saw five high school girls stroll into the hang out spot. He knew they were in high school, for they were wearing the school uniforms of Juuban High School. Plus, he was great friends with all of them, especially the blonde with meatballs in her hair.
Andrew watched as the moved over to sit in a corner booth, it was excepted because that was "their spot." He went to take an order from other customers, but could hear the laughter coming from that booth.
The waiter heard the bells chime again, but this time his best friend, Darien, had walked in. He wasn't alone, though, for he had a little girl holding onto his left hand. Andrew smiled, it was Rini.
"Yo, Drew!" Darien greeted his best friend. Andrew turned his way and waved.
"What's up, man?" Andrew asked.
"Not much, just meeting Serena and the girls here," Darien answered, "Are you having fun working?"
Andrew laughed, "Definitely!" They both laughed knowing he was probably bored as hell.
Darien noticed Serena in "the booth" and walked over, waving at Andrew. Once the girls took notice of him, Raye and Amy moved out so he could sit next to his girlfriend. Of course Rini couldn't stand to not be beside Darien so she tried moving across everyone onto Serena's lap. She was in a good mood today so she let her future daughter sit there. Darien gave Serena a sweet but quick peck on the lips.
"Do you want anything, Rini?" Darien asked the child.
"Can I have a strawberry shake?" She asked with puppy dog eyes that she inherited from her mother. Darien could never resist Serena or Rini when that face was put into play.
"Of course you can," Darien said sweetly. Andrew walked over to take the groups order. It was three small fries to share, a hamburger for Lita, chicken strips for Serena and Mina to share, and three strawberry shakes, one vanilla and the rest chocolate. Andrew wrote everything down on his little notepad and left to make the food.
"How was your day at school, Small Lady?" Amy asked politely, setting her book down to talk with the girl.
"Oh! My day was great! In art class today, I drew two bunnies playing with each other in the forest. My teacher said it was really good!" Rini beamed proudly.
"That's wonderful! Will you get it back to show us?" Lita asked her.
"Yeah, she just needed to grade it," Rini answered.
Andrew came back with their food and sat it down on the table and distributed it to them. Strawberry shakes for Serena, Rini and Mina, vanilla for Amy and chocolate for everyone else (Darien, Raye and Lita), the chicken fingers for Serena and Mina to share and the hamburger for Lita. He left then to clean up a table near the front.
"I wonder what Helios is doing..," Rini wondered aloud. This made everyone at the table stop eating and looks at her. Rini sighed and stirred the milkshake with her straw.
"Rini…I'm sure he is fine. He had to go back to do his job. His duty appointed to him long ago by the Prince of Earth," Serena soothed. But the last statement made Rini turn and glare in her father's direction. He looked at her with guilt.
"Small Lady, you must understand. Serena is right, he had to go back. My father, the King of Earth, ordered me to assign that duty to him long ago. I was only a prince and my father was my father and he was king. I had to obey him," Darien said to Rini. He didn't want her to blame him for what he was told to do so long ago.
"But…daddy…you are basically king now, aren't you? Can't you take the duty off his shoulders now and let him return to Earth?" Rini asked him using 'daddy' as a hope that he would cave. Darien sighed.
"No, honey, I can't. I am not king yet, I am only the crown prince. So it is out of my hands right now," Darien said. Rini became angry and hit her hand on the table loudly.
"Why not!? The king is dead now and so is the queen! You are the only one left! How can you not be?! This is your planet!" Rini exploded. She had been keeping this fury in for too long. It had been a month since Helios left. After hearing what Rini said and comprehending it, Darien got angry really quick.
"Small Lady, now you listen to me," Darien started in a very deep and calm voice, the voice he used when he was angry. It showed everyone he was trying to keep his cool, "even though you aren't born until much later in the future, you are still my daughter. You will not talk to me like. I believe I know that my parents are dead, for I witnessed Beryl murder them right before my eyes. You of all people do not need to remind me of that nightmare. I will not be king until it is time, and it is not time yet. Even though my father is dead, he still is king." Darien finished very quietly. He was about to break. He not only lost his real parents right in front of him, but he lost his other parents in a car accident that he was in, but survived.
"Darien…," Serena laid her hand on her prince's shoulder to calm him down. He pulled her in his arms and buried his face in his hair. He breathed her scent in, knowing it would calm his temper down. She was the only one who could do it most of the time.
Rini let her head fall to her chest and sniffed back her tears. She didn't mean to make him that angry. She didn't realize how sore the wounds still were from thousand of years ago.
"I'm sorry, Daddy. I didn't know that you still cared about them as much since it's been so long. And I didn't know the memories still hurt," Rini whispered guilty. Darien raised his head to look at her.
"They were my real parents, Rini. I didn't forget about them and replace them with the other parents that I lost. I was closer to them. My other parents I don't even remember. My first folks, I do. I remember times I've spent with them like it was yesterday. I can recall the first time when I was five, my father first showed me how to use a sword. Of course, since I was so young, it was a dagger instead. My mother wouldn't have it be a sword," Darien chuckled replaying his mother getting feisty with his father the minute he tried putting a big sword in his little chubby hands.
"Anyway…I've always cared about them. I look at it as they were my very first real parents. I wouldn't be here if my mother from a thousand years ago didn't give birth to me, and neither would you. Everything for me started with them. I love them as much as I did then if not more," Darien finished.
The table was quiet after Darien stopped speaking. Serena tightened her hand of the front of his shirt and took his hand into hers and squeezed it for comfort. Darien noticed that Rini still felt a little guilty, so he let go of his princess for a minute and took the pink-haired girl into his arms and hugged her. The gesture showed that her words were forgiven.
"Someday, Rini, Helios will return. I'll make sure of it and so will your mother," Darien informed her.
"Thank you, Daddy," Rini thanked her father and hugged him again. Everyone soon joined the bear hug and Rini was smiling again for the first time in a month. This time it was a real smile, knowing her father always kept his promises. He'll return to me…Daddy promised…