Trying to make amends

"All right Darien you're on." He rang the doorbell and held up the flowers. He looked them over making sure they were perfect. Serena opened the door glaring at him.

"I told you to stay away from us."

"No, no come on Serena hear me out we have a daughter together." He handed her the flowers, she took them and looked at the card before frowning deeper.

"Is this some kind of sick joke, you come over here apologizing when all the time you meant to give these to a another girl!" She threw the card and flowers back at him and shut the door. She stood with her back to the door fuming as she hugged herself. She was grateful Kimiko was upstairs playing as she waited for dinner. She didn't want her to see her break down. Meanwhile Darien stood outside glaring at the card, Beryl had set him back a little, but he wasn't giving up, he at least needed her to agree to let him see his daughter that was his way in. He knocked again.

"Serena please open up, it wasn't my intention to have another woman's name on the card, the teenager who did the arrangement must have been playing a joke or something. Please can we just talk no lies, no fighting." Serena shook her head at herself, she didn't understand why she had to be so kind to bastards like Darien. She wiped her face and opened the door letting him inside. He took his shoes off and they went into the living room. He still remembered how it had looked when he left her yellow roses and a note. Now there were signs of his child no their child, all over the living room. He tried to hand her the flowers again, but she wouldn't take them, he set them down.

"Well what do you have to say?" Serena crossed her arms.

"Firstly that I'm sorry, I know you don't believe me, but I never stopped thinking about you. You are a rare girl and I think out of all the girls I've ever been with and left I did you wrong the most and not just because of Kimiko." He looked her in the eye. "I swear to you I never got your message about Kimiko, I swear I would have done right by her sooner even if I couldn't have done right by you. My father raised me to take care of all my responsibilities and the minute we had unprotected sex, Kimiko became my responsibility as well as you as her mother." Serena took a deep breath, the girls were right closure was necessary.

"Thank you, I'm sure that apology was hard for you, but if not Kimi than what brought you back now?" Darien nodded. He thought about lying to her, but at the very least he needed his daughter in his life, he could always marry some other bimbo if Serena reacted badly.

"Honestly my father gave me an ultimatum marry in two months, and have a child within the year or I forfeit my inheritance which is becoming CEO. It's all I've ever worked for is to be CEO. I came back to make you my wife if you would have me, and start a family, but I hadn't realized I already got an early start." Serena looked furiously at him.

"I am nothing to you, you thought of me and saw it as your ticket to continued wealth."

"No, I could have married any bimbo by now and not even taken the flight to Japan to do that. No, my father said marry someone like your mother, and I knew there was only one woman I had ever met that could even come close to resembling my mother, and that was you. You're not like all the other girls Serena, and that has always stood out to me and made me love you."

"Don't use the word love, you don't love me, if you love someone you don't abandon them."

"Look I realize now that if I want you in my life or even as my wife that it will take time. But at least let me get to know my daughter." Serena turned away from him thinking about it, she owed it to Kimiko to attempt to give her a father even if they would never be together.

"Just don't spoil her too much, she's already spoiled as it is, and she doesn't leave Japan without me understood?" He nodded.

"Yes, where is she?" He looked around wondering if he had actually missed his daughter.

"She's upstairs, you can stay for dinner until she's in bed than you have to go." He nodded as she looked at him. Serena went upstairs and retrieved her daughter.

"Go say hello." Kimiko shuffled over shyly to Darien who smiled at her. She couldn't help but smile back at him.

"Hi," She said quietly.

"Hi, I'm your Daddy, Darien Chiba."

"My name is Kimiko Tsukino."

"Well that won't do you're a Chiba like me." He looked at Serena frowning.

"Her last name will be Chiba when you show some promise." He huffed.

"Fair enough." He turned back to her and she was also frowning. "Why are you sad now?"

"I made you mad." He shook his head giving her another smile.

"No, no you didn't make me mad, I'm not mad, I was just sad that we didn't have the same last name yet. But what's more important is what you like to do for fun."

"Sailor V," She told him with a grin. "Will you play with me?" He nodded.

"Of course I'll play a Sailor V game with you." She smiled and ran to her hand held game of Sailor V courtesy of Mina." Serena watched as Kimiko sat in his lap and he helped her play the game to her delight. She went to check on dinner she had made grilled steak and shrimp with stir fried rice a favorite of Kimiko's that her mother had made her. She packed away a portion for Kimiko's lunch, but not her own or Darien wouldn't eat. She set the table and poured tea for them, she knew Darien liked a beer with dinner, but she didn't have alcohol in her house because of Kimiko and she wouldn't go running to get him any.

"Dinner's ready." Darien walked in with Kimiko after they both went to wash their hands. "It looks bad, but it still tastes good as always." Darien nodded remembering he had been a little weary of Serena's cooking but was grateful it didn't taste terrible. At least not horribly so that time, he hoped time had improved her cooking.

"I don't suppose you keep beer here, huh?" She shook her head and made no move to suggest anything else except the tea and milk in front of him. Kimiko dug in and like her mother she had a very healthy appetite. "Hmm this is very good."

"Thank you."

"So where does Kimiko go to preschool?" Darien asked.

"She goes to daycare where she can play all day a few blocks over."

"Do they work on her numbers and letters and things like that?" Serena shook her head.

"No, unfortunately only the private preschools do that, and they're really expensive."

"Well that won't do at all, why didn't you send her to Cherry Blossom Pre-school I read they're the best in Tokyo."

"Yes the best in Tokyo and they're clear across town, and requires an entrance exam for heaven's sake. Not to mention I'm sure they put no focus on socialization."

"No, I called, there's a reason they're the best in the city, they put equal emphasis on academic and socialization that's why I like it. I went to a academically emphasized preschool myself and I have a great sense of independence, but I do rather kimi is more like you as far as socialization goes for you. I want her to be surrounded by friends that love her and frankly one day that little girl is going to be old enough to run Chiba industries if she wants it and I want her to be better than you or I." Serena looked at him surprised.

"I hadn't really thought about her being your heir." He nodded. "In any case it's over two thousand five hundred pounds a month, that's three hundred and forty-seven thousand five hundred and fifty yen."

"You're a doctor."

"Yes well I have student loans, and some debt I've only just gotten rid of. If it weren't for my father I might have even lost this house. I work long hours and don't get paid nearly enough. Kimi isn't exactly not expensive I wasn't ready to have my life changed financially."

"You're a surgeon though." She shrugged. "It doesn't matter I planned on paying for it anyway, no child of mine will not have the best while I can afford it."

"Hmm and how are you going to get her to pass the entrance exams and there's a waiting list the size of Mount Kumotori."

"You let me deal with the waiting list." Serena shrugged.

"Yes, and how is she going to get there it's clear across town, I don't have time to drop her off?"

"No worries, I'll figure it out before I proceed besides it has extended hours if you need them, I'm not even sure how you're getting by now."

"The girls, my mother, my brother they all pitch in." He nodded and looked at Kimiko.

"Do you mind if I plan a fun day for tomorrow?" Serena nodded.

"I have to work and frankly right now I don't trust you alone with her."

"Well what day are you free?"

"I guess I could see if I can take a few days off how long are you in town for, three weeks?"

"As long as I need, I have no pressing matters to attend to back home."

"Well I just hope you'll have the courtesy to say you're leaving to my face next time. You don't get to do what you did to me to Kimi, if you leave you look her in the eye and you tell her why." He nodded.

"I won't do that to her, that is my promise to both of you, I know it means nothing right now, but it is." Serena nodded. "Will you at least join me for dinner just the two of us to discuss some things."

"I'll think about it, I would have to get a sitter." The rest of dinner was silent until Kimiko didn't drink her milk.

"Kimi drink your milk please," Serena told her. She shook her head and crossed her arms.

"Daddy no drink his milk, Kimi no drink her milk." Serena sighed as she finished eating.

"It's really not up for discussion Kimiko, you know the rules, you don't leave this table until you finish your milk."

"Daddy I don't wanna drink my milk," She told him. Darien couldn't help but smile at how easily she called him Daddy. He already knew she had him wrapped around her finger. If there was ever a woman powerful enough to hold him it would always be his little girl and perhaps even Serena. He was about to side with Kimi when he looked at Serena she was daring him to undermind her. He didn't want to do that at all, he was smart enough to realize that would set him back.

"Look Kimi, I know you don't like your milk, Daddy doesn't either, but Mommy only wants us to drink it so we can stay healthy, and so you can grow up to be tall like me. You see mommy doesn't like being short." He whispered the last part making Kimiko giggle. Serena looked slightly offended at being teased. "So I'll drink my milk if you drink yours okay?" She nodded. They both drank their milk before she wanted to play with him some more and insisted he give her a bath. Serena of course watched him, but to both their surprise he was very good with Kimiko although he was unsure of how to bathe her and Serena had to show him. He also had to be shown how to dress her properly for bed.

"Story daddy, story."

"A story man I haven't heard a story since I was a kid." He was silent as he thought. "You know what use to be my favorite story as a kid?"

"What story?" Kimiko asked. He smiled.

"Robin Hood." He related to her the tale of Robin Hood until she was fast asleep and Serena showed him how to tuck her in properly so she didn't wake up.

"So can I return for dinner tomorrow I'll cook, and we can discuss an outing perhaps even the dinner between the two of us." Serena looked guarded, and he knew she had good reason to be. She nodded.

"I swear Darien, you run out on Kimi don't ever come back and I mean never." He nodded.

"I understand don't worry, I'll be here tomorrow, and make you both dinner." He left after a quick kiss to her cheek before she could stop her. Serena barely stopped herself from slamming the door so he wouldn't see if he got the desired effected. She would never let him know that as soon as his lips touched her cheek her defenses had come crashing down and her lips longed to touch his one more. She leaned against the front door as tears spilled down her cheeks until she finally slid to the floor. Why did he have such an affect on her, every time he touched her, her body wanted to melt into his arms. Every time he smiled her lips twitched wanting to smile back, and when he had that sexy little confident smirk on his face, her panties wanted to drop to the floor. She banged her head against the door. The last thing she needed was for her legs to open so easily for him again. This was all a charade for money she had to remember that, but she prayed he was at least serious about Kimiko she deserved a father. She sighed.

"Don't get your hopes up Serena, if he can't stick by you, he can't stick by Kimiko." Serena stood up and began to clean up while she went over in her head how to explain to Kimiko that Darien would not be returning to see her ever. If she were lucky, Kimiko would forget him as soon as the sunrise and that would be ideal.

Darien returned to his hotel a smile on his face as he remembered telling Kimiko the story of Robin Hood and how she had snuggled up to him in his arms. She reminded him of when he use to snuggle to his own mother and she would tell him stories. Her looks even reminded him a lot of his mother, but he also saw some of Serena in her. His thoughts turned to Serena, if she hadn't been so unhappy he might have actually believed they were a family that night. He wished he had never walked out on her, his mother had once told him that when he found the right girl to never walk out on her, and he had done exactly that. He had been too stupid to notice what a diamond he had found. Serena was something so much more than all the girls he had ever slept with, she was doing something with her life, and she was as sweet as he was ruthless. They would be a good contrast keeping each other balanced. Darien couldn't help but think that he might have ruined some of that sweetness.

"Oh Sere, please let me heal that part of you I ruined, even if I am here for selfish reasons," Darien whispered to himself as he parked his car and went up to his room. He didn't notice Beryl watching him from her car.