Chapter 15: Ladies Night

Title: Heart's Pain

Author: LightningRose

A/N: Ok I apologize again for being late on an update, got engaged in September, then thanksgiving, then Christmas and work has been crazy busy. So here is this update, I will TRY to put out more.

The repetitive tone of the heart monitor was going to drive her mad. She wasn't sure if it bothered her more than her private life being exposed at this point. The news was playing the story about her and Diamond over and over, some taking details too far. She was positive there was no love child involved in their "romance" which of course didn't really last that long.

She could turn the television off though, the heart monitor not so much.

Thankfully she was supposed to be released from the hospital today. A few days in solitude was definitely in her future, aside from all the media trying to get in touch with her for an interview, she had a multitude of people in her room at all times it seemed. Between doctors and nurses, she also had Darien and the rest of the old gang had flown in for a visit.

All seemed worried about her, Mina even brought the kids. Everything caused Serena to feel over exposed and unsure of how to react to all their attention. Even Raye had shown up a few times to show concern, she had felt it her fault that Serena was at work late, and the reason why Diamond was able to corner her in the parking lot. Of course Serena had to reassure her that it was not her fault, that if not then she was positive Diamond would have found another way to get her alone.

After everything, she felt she owed Darien a bit of slack. He gained her trust back in saving her life; she knew she could always count on him to help her out; it was why she called him that night. Even when they were rivals and enemies in high school he always seemed to be there when she really needed him. She didn't know if she could allow herself to entrust her heart to him again, her friendship possibly, but her heart …she was still unsure.

It's true she was always the one to advocate for giving others second chances and after the past few months she felt she could possibly give Darien one. She trusted him to be a good friend, and right now that was all she was willing to give him, her friendship.

"Come on Serena, let's get you cleaned up and ready to head out. God knows those vultures of reporters would eat you up without any make up on!" She watched as the girls all moved around her room gathering her things like it was the most natural thing to do.

She thought about the last few days she had been in the hospital, how Amy had taken over as her Doctor, not letting anyone else touch her or take tests. Mina brushed her hair gently every morning and helped her bathe….not that it was really necessary, but trying to tell Mina no was like telling her not to love her kids…impossible.

Lita made sure she ate properly, not letting her touch the cafeteria food, which she really didn't mind at all. But Raye was the worst, she sat by her bed and just watched her, it was a bit unsettling and annoying but she couldn't tell her to leave. Sometimes they just looked at each other, not speaking but still talking in their own way. She felt torn on her decisions with Raye, probably because at one point they were the closest.

Being stuck in this hospital made her think too much, and after everything that happened or what could have happened she did nothing but think about her life, and regrets she had. That maybe holding on to anger and grudges were not worth it. Of course she couldn't just drop everything, pretend nothing happened and go back to being best friends with Raye or dating Darien just like that.

Perhaps things can still be made right by them, it won't be easy but Serena could tell this thing between them was destroying Raye. Despite all the pain and hurt she went through because of them, despite the fact she has tried so hard to change who she was, she couldn't stand seeing the people she cared about in pain.

Darien she knew was fighting for what he wanted, but Raye was withering away, letting her guilt eat at her. Serena decided that she would always care about Raye, that fighting it was too hard on both of them. She let her hatred eat at her too long as well, and it hadn't made her a better woman for it, she had become spiteful and angry.

She realized that as much as she forced herself to be different, to be tougher and not care about anything, she missed her friends. She missed being surrounded by their craziness and loving warmth. Serene could feel herself relax as she came to the conclusion that while she didn't have to go back to being her old self; she didn't have to stay as she was now either. She could meld the two together; combine who she once was with who she is now.

"I'm happy all of you are here." The chaos in her room stopped instantly, even Raye perked up a bit in her shadowy place.

"We will always be here for you Sere, even when you push us away." Mina walked over to her bed and sat down, a big smile across her face.

"I say we get you out of here and have a much needed girl's night!" Lita and Amy broke out into grins before plopping down on the bed as well.

"May I join?" While the girls were looking at her with apprehension in their eyes, Serena was looking at Raye, whose voice was broken and hopeful. Just a few days ago she would have told the dark haired woman where she could stick her hopefulness…but things were different now, she wanted to actually try to move on and renew her friendship with Raye. They probably would never be as close as they once were, but it was a start.

Putting on her best Serena smile, she reached out for Raye's hand. The shock was evident on all of their faces, for it had been so long since they had seen that smile.

"It's not girls night without all of us Raye….of course your invited!" it would take time and a lot of effort on both parts, but it made her feel happy, truly happy for the first time in a long time to just be herself. She missed this, the easiness and calm that came with just being happy.

The girls were having great night, watching chic flicks and binge eating on junk food. It felt like high school all over again, when they would have sleep overs and just be silly girls.

"Ahh! This feels so good!" Mina was lying in Serena's recliner, one that just so happened to be a massage chair.

"I know it sucks what happened to you Serena, crazy how some people are not who you think they are. But at the same time I feel like it brought us all back together. I'm really happy we can all get together like this." Serena smiled at Lita, watching her tall friend lounge out on her cream sofa eating a bag of potato chips caused her to giggle.

"You're right, Diamond was not who I thought he was. Shocking that he had been stalking me from and some of you since high school. It creeps me out, especially just thinking about what other kind of pictures he has." She shuddered at the thought that she actually slept with that guy.

"Wait…what do you mean pictures?" Raye was laying down on the floor next to her, flipping through a magazine.

"Well I received a package on my doorstep awhile back, inside were well…pictures of you and Darien from when you guys…anyways I didn't know there were from Diamond until he showed up and started raving about them. I wonder if the cops have found anything else in his place."

"Oh my God! Are you serious? What if he has some creepy stalker walker with pictures of you all over or a closet full of things on all of us?" Mina jumped up out of the chair when she heard what Serena said.

"I'm sure the police would have informed Serena of such a thing if that were true." The girls all looked at Amy, she looked calm about the whole thing with reassured them all. It had to be something they police would need to tell Serena if that were the case.

"Ok that's enough of creepy stalker guy, let's move on what is going on between you and Darien."

A dark blush appeared on Serena's face, she forgot how straight forward her friends could be when it came to boys. In fact she was pretty sure she had this almost exact conversation in high school about Darien.

"I don't know what's going on between us. I'm still torn about everything."

Getting up from her position on the floor next to Raye, Serena walked into the kitchen to get another drink. She was starting to feel giddy and nervous about something, like talking about Darien with the girls was making her excited.

"What do I do!? He won't give up and I can't just give into him so easily!" A mental breakdown that's what was happening here, she was finally having the mental break down she knew would come from all the drama of the last few months.

The girls all jumped up and rushed over to her, wrapping her up in their arms, she felt warm and slowly calmed down. How could she ever believe these women were out to hurt her, she truly wished she never ran away and actually faced her demons all those years ago. She missed out on so much because of it.

"Its ok Sere, look we understand that you can't just give in and move on like nothing happened that easily. But we know how much you love him and how much this has been eating at you." Serena laid her head on Mina's shoulder while she rubbed her back in a comforting motion, probably her motherly instincts showing.

"Mina's right, don't hold back anymore Sere! Don't let him off so easily though….you know?" giggling at Lita's winky face made Serena feel better, laughing truly was the best medicine.

"I know you don't want to hear this, especially from me. But Sere, he never stopped loving you and he beat himself up so much after what we did. I know he won't ever stop either, but that's not to say we can't come up with a plan to bring him to his knees."

Hearing Raye talk about Darien was still tough for her, but she was right. And she liked seeing that mischievous sparkle light up those eyes again.

"I say we form an offensive tactic, one he won't expect. It will leave him confused and not sure how to react."

"AMY! That is brilliant!"

The girls all laughed and huddled together, their movie and junk food forgotten. They had a new mission now, one to wreak havoc on a certain dark haired man.