Disclaimer: Erm, no, I don't own her, but... but... Sailor Moon loves me more than you! So ha!

A/N: Set during season one. What's the difference between infatuation and insanity? The line between coincidence and obsession? Come delve with me into the thoughts of Darien Chiba as he waits for Serena Tsukino (affectionately dubbed "Meatball Head") to perform their daily crash-and-feud ritual on the way to school.

Cloudy, With a Chance of Meatballs

"I am insane. I am literally going off my rocker, and I'm only eighteen," Darien groaned in a heavy sigh, raking fidgety fingers through his black locks. Twin orbs of midnight flickered to and fro, searching out the familiar streak of blonde and blue as one Serena Tsukino raced to school. Darien shook his head at the thought. "How on earth does she do it? If all the demons of hell were on her tail, I bet she'd still be able to outrun them... Yeesh, and now I'm talking aloud! First sign of madness..."

Madness indeed.

Why else would he be staked out on this corner? Why else would he have memorized the exact trajectory Serena's body took, and placed himself directly in the line of fire; the path of collision?

There was no other plausible explanation other than a very premature onset of insanity. Just chuck me in the loony bin and throw away the key, dammit! I've reached that point!

But of course, psychiatrists might beg to differ... They like to do that. To any individual but Darien Chiba himself, the intention was obvious; the motive, clear. Diagnosis would've been swift, had the fellow decided his affliction necessitated medical insight: Darien was suffering from a textbook case of love-sickness. You all know the symptoms: dizzy, weak knees. Heart palpitations. Obsession.

And a certain annoying habit of insulting your crush the second her beautiful, angelic countenance popped into view. Or maybe that's just Darien Chiba.

Damn, damn, damn! I am mad!

Well... we'll have to concede on that point. Really, it was almost pathetic the lengths to which Darien went just to be in contact with the teen, and he knew it. Acutely, achingly aware of it, more like.

And so... here he was, infatuated fool lurking in the shadows of a building, trying to be inconspicuous so as to lay the blame on Serena. Because what the heck else would spurt from his mouth if not a gibe about her spaciness? "I'm not a stalker, Meatball Head... *really*, I'm not! If... if you ignore the fact that I seem to position myself so you'll crash into me, just so I can feel your warm body for one beautiful, infinitesimal second... then no, I'm not a stalker. I'm not obsessed about you. I don't have trouble falling asleep because I'm so anxious to hear your tinkling bell of a voice, even if it's in anger! (Weird sing-song voice) Yep, I'm just as s-a-n-e as can be!"

Hmm, *that* would go over well, right?

Darien cursed aloud, glaring up at the cloudy sky simply because he could. He sort of wished a youma might appear today; he really wanted to take his frustrations out on something... but then that meant seeing Sailor Moon. Which opened a whole new can of worms... or rather, conflicted emotions. And if it wasn't the pretty heroine, it was the mysterious dream Princess... Dammit, these blondes were going to drive him *batty*!

All cogent thought fled the second harried, familiar claps of heel meeting pavement approached. Darien swallowed painfully, suddenly feeling light-headed until he realized it might be beneficial to breathe. The man got in about three deep gulps of oxygen before the girl with streaming buns slammed into his chest with an inhuman shriek. Darien smiled as she got her bearings, milking every moment she stood dazed in his grasp. He quickly schooled his features when Serena began looking up, up, up...

Soft periwinkle met its darker shade.

"YOU!"

Ah, swoon. The delightful sharp tone of a girl who couldn't stand your presence. Darien cringed inwardly for what would follow, and inevitably cement her abhorrence for him.

Serena growled, yanking her body away from his grasp while continuing to glare cerulean daggers. "Watch where you're going, creep!"

"You're one to talk, Meatball Head. You practically close-lined me!" Darien accused, then added insidiously (with just the merest suggestion of playfulness and hope), "Heck, I'm beginning to think you like ending up in my arms every morning!"

Serena let out a roar of irritation. "You are such a JERK! And I was not intending to 'end up in your arms'! I'd rather have splattered on the ground than end up so close to you! The pavement is nothing new to me!"

"Right. I forgot, your klutz attacks normally do end up with you somehow kissing gravel," the ebony-head teased, proud at how well he was hiding his hurt at her previous comment. Really... was she *that* nauseated by him? Though, he supposed he couldn't really blame her. Darien didn't know how many times he'd wished they could somehow erase the past; call a truce, but now the notion was almost risible. Especially if she hated him as much as she alluded to...

"Meanie!" the Meatball Head howled.

"How original," Darien smirked. "If you're going to insult me, at least go find a thesaurus and get creative. Otherwise, our daily rendezvous are *so* boring. 'Jerk', 'Creep', and 'Meanie' get old after three weeks."

Serena openly gawked, feud momentarily forgotten. It was then that Darien realized how... fondly... he'd just referred to their encounters. Like... he enjoyed them.

Crap.

Crap, crap, crap! I've just given myself away! It's all over; she's going to despise me forever... Ohhh, what is she thinking behind that blank mask?

And suddenly, strangely... Serena smiled. A true, warm smile; the kind that brought a sparkle to her ultramarine eyes. Mischievousness made a comeback.

"You know what, jerk?" she said, in the same subtly-affectionate way. Darien's heart skipped a few beats.

"What, Meatball Head?"

"I just might take you up on that."

Darien laughed, silently surprised at how little he seemed to do that nowadays... and that it was Serena, of all people, to evoke the mirth in him. "Then I guess I look forward to tomorrow's fight."

"You're on, jerk."

And then she was gone, sprinting off to school and no doubt incredibly late.

And it was entirely Darien's fault.

Yet, somehow... as the eighteen year old ambled dazedly off to his first class... he couldn't summon up the proper amount of guilt.

How could he, when he was on cloud nine?

The smile never left his face. See you tomorrow, Meatball Head.

~Fin~


A/N: Well... how did you enjoy the fluffy little story? Drop me a line, for my inbox is frequently hungry...

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AngelMoon Girl