Seeing Stars
By Moonsong
tsukinouta@yahoo.com
Rating: PG


Prologue

Deep in the heart of Los Angeles, in a small district
dubbed "Westwood" adjoining the university, sat a
small, family-owned arcade and snack bar. The
Cravens had owned the place for several years but it
was only within the last five years or so had business
really soared. This was due mainly to the sharp mind
and quick wit of family's latest graduate, Andrew. He
had added the café, negotiated contracts with video
game companies, and eventually took over the whole
business, leaving his overburdened father free to take
that vacation he had always wanted. Now, "The Crown"
was a well-established "hang-out" for students,
teachers, and alumni alike.

Darien Shields sat at a corner booth, gloomily nursing a
soda. He and Andrew made it a point to meet here in
the afternoons, or depending on Darien's production
schedule, whenever he could make it. Since Andrew
virtually lived in the upstairs office anyway, his friend
hadn't minded.

In fact, the handsome blond was walking towards the
table at that very moment. He grew concerned when
Darien didn't wave to greet his as he usually did. His
friend was just sitting there staring into his soda.

"Hey, Dare, why the long face?" He said, sliding into the
booth across from him.

Darien looked up. "Hey Andrew."

"You don't look too good, buddy. What happened?"

Darien sighed. 'More like what didn't happen.' "I got
fired."

Andrew let out a low whistle. "Hey, I'm sorry. Want to tell
me about it?"

"Miss high-and-mighty, I'm-the-best-actress-on-the-
planet, Serena Moon." He spat. "I was bringing back a
load of drinks from craft services [1]. One of the sound
guys was stringing an audio cable across the floor and I
tripped on it."

"What does this have to do with Serena Moon?"

"She was on her way back to the dressing room and I
didn't see her standing there. Most of the drinks ended
up on her."

Andrew winced. "And she freaked?"

"You could say that." Darien grimaced at the memory.
Serena, standing there, water dripping from her designer
dress, hair hanging limply, water puddling in around her
feet...It hadn't been a pretty sight. "She started
screaming and making a fuss and finally yelled to the
producer that if he didn't get 'that thing,' meaning me, off
the shoot, she was gonna walk."

Andrew shook his head sympathetically. "So what are you
going to do now? Does your agent have anything lined
up?"

"Not that she's told me." Darien turned away from him
and started stirring his coke. The ice swirled in the sweet
liquid, disappearing as they were drawn into the center of
the miniature whirlpool he was creating. Sighing quietly,
he wished his problems would melt away as easily as the
ice.

Andrew studied his friend, noting the sadness on the other
man's face. Something else was bothering him. He took a
deep breath and asked softly, "But that's not all, is it."

It was more of a statement than a question. Darien shook
his head and gazed into his drink. After a few moments,
he whispered, "Raye left me."

Andrew's eyes widened and he reached towards the other
man to comfort him. "Dare, I..."

Darien flinched away and leaned back into his seat. "Nah,
don't worry about it. I saw it coming and truthfully, I didn't
think it was going to work out with her anyway. It's just
that coming down on top of everything else that's
happened today..."

Andrew stared at his friend sadly, not really knowing what
to say. He hated seeing him like this. When they first
met five years ago, he had sort of taken Darien under
his wing. The young dark-haired boy had popped up in
one of his classes, eyes wide and as unsure as a
frightened rabbit. Andrew had introduced himself and the
two had been friends ever since.

Darien's cell phone rang, startling both of them. "Shields
here." He muttered into the phone.

"Dar-ien! Sweetheart!" The shrill voice caused both of
them to wince.

Darien held the phone away from his ear and answered.
"Hey Mina, what's up?"

"I know you're still on that P.A. [2] stint but I think you
can drop it for this!"

Darien perked up immediately. "What? What is it?"

Mina laughed. "I got you a part in a movie!" She squealed
excitedly.

Darien was ecstatic. "Really? You got me a part?"

"Yes," she teased. "They're expecting you at 6am tomorrow
and they'll be using you for two whole weeks!"

"Two weeks!" Darien exclaimed. He's never gotten a part
that big before. Most of his previous assignments had
been extra [3] work or one to two day shoots. Across the
table, Andrew was grinning broadly.

"Yep! Just think, by this time tomorrow, you'll be starring in
a movie with the one and only Serena Moon!"

Darien's stomach dropped to his feet as all his energy
drained out of him. 'No, no, no, anyone but her!' his
mind babbled frantically. "S-serena Moon?" He stuttered,
praying he had heard wrong.

But Mina kept babbling ecstatically. "Yeah! Isn't that just
great?"

'No.' Darien glanced over at Andrew whose face had taken
on a similar shocked expression. "Uh, yeah. 6am
tomorrow, right?"

"Uh-huh. Oh, and don't forget to drop by my office before
tonight to pick up your script. Gotta go doll, catch ya later!"

The phone clicked off and Darien sat back in his seat,
stunned.

Andrew laughed nervously, "Well, at least you'll know one
person on the set." He joked.

Darien could only shake his head in disbelief.


**********

On to Chapter 1

**********


References:
[1] Craft services - An array of snack foods and drinks
provided to the cast and crew during a production shoot.
[2] P.A. - Production Assistant
[3] Extra - I'm fairly sure most of you know what extras
are in a movie shoot but I wanted to clarify that this is
« extra » work, as in actors who fill in the background for
crowd scenes; not « extra » work as in excess tasks.


Author's Note: Well? What do you think so far? Please let
me know. This is my first real attempt at a Serena/Darien
fic so comments, suggestions, and feedback would be very
much appreciated. I'm also in the middle of a Fushigi Yuugi
"monster fic" so I may not post the next chapters regularly.
Although, if I get lots of requests for this one, I may be
more inspired to continue it! (hint, hint ^_~)

You can reach me at tsukinouta@yahoo.com or join the Fan
Fiction Exchange at Yahoo to discuss this or any other fic
including yours!
http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/fanfictionexchange

Disclaimer: All original materials belong to their
respective owners. Sailor Moon belongs to Naoko Takeuchi and
a bunch of big companies. No copyright infringement is intended.
The story is mine and I would appreciate you emailing me for
permission before posting it anywhere else.

Copyright © January 24, 2000 Moonsong. All Rights Reserved.