Author's Note: Hello! Let me just say that I am a huge Sailor Moon fan! I've been dying to write something for it for so long, but I was afraid that I would screw up so I waited until the perfect piece came along and volia! So, a few notes just to clarify on things. This set in more of the manga universe where Darien has powers over the Earth and Venus is the leader of the scouts. Yes, I used dubbed names, but that's only because I'm American and they only showed the dubbed version here and I would have a hard time spelling names . . . so, please forgive me for that. And please enjoy!

Nothing could have ever prepared him for this—not his nightmares, not the harsh reality of the cruel evils in this world, not anything he had ever seen in his few years standing by her side as Tuxedo Mask. He knew that death surrounded them every single time they fought. He knew the one day he might very well fall in battle, but he had come to terms with that. If it meant protecting her and keeping her safe from whatever ills bade her harm, then so be it.

But never had this crossed his mind.

"Serena," His voice barely came out, almost as if he would shatter the new reality around him by speaking too loud. "Serena?" He forced himself into a sitting position and the world came into focus. His mind was foggy and he couldn't quite recall exactly what had happened. What he did know was that his beloved—the woman he had sworn to protect—was not by his side and he couldn't sense her. Shutting his eyes, he focused all his energy on the bond that connected the reborn princess and her prince. He waited for the familiar warmth to fill his body as it did whenever his link found hers, but this time he felt nothing.

He couldn't sense her.

His eyes flew back open and he struggled onto his feet. He could feel the pain of his injuries spread like fire in his veins, but he still forced himself to move. He had to find Serena at all costs. Taking a few moments to regain his strength, Darien looked around. He was in an abandoned building on what seemed to be the top floor. A dim memory floated to the forefront of his mind. He remembered rescuing Serena from a few enemies made of strictly negative energy. As Sailor Moon, she had quickly explained something about a possible reemergence of Queen Metalia and then kept fighting. The scouts had shown up and taken over the battle and allowed the two of them to proceed to where the dark energy was emanating from. Serena had run into the room and then—

Nothing. His memory stopped there.

"Damn," He cursed as he noticed that he was no longer in his Tuxedo Mask gear which never meant anything good. "Serena!" His voice echoed off the walls and broke the silence. There was no response again.

"Darien," He spun around, poised to attack when he saw it was just Mina. "I'm here to help look." Her voice was frantic and Darien figured that she couldn't sense Serena's presence either.

"And the others—?" Mina held up a hand to silence him.

"The other scouts are heading over to the hospital to get their wounds treated," Darien nodded thoughtfully, but saw that Mina herself was pretty banged up. The self-proclaimed solider of love and beauty looked anything but. Her face was full of small, dried cuts and bruises. She was favoring her left arm which meant that she probably fractured it. "They wanted to be here, but as their leader, I ordered them to go." She smiled softly. Mina was one of the scouts closest to Serena and Darien could only imagine how much fear she was feeling about her missing princess and friend.

"I remember seeing her run through that door," Darien pointed to a huge door on the opposite side of the empty room. "It sealed when she got in and that's all I can remember." Venus nodded and the two of them limped to the doors. As soon as Darien approached the doors opened and revealed Princess Serenity lying limply on the ground. Shattered remains of crystal surrounded her body.

"Princess!" Mina exclaimed as Darien rushed to her side. Gently, he pulled her body into his arms and felt for a pulse. "Please, open your eyes!"

There was none. Her body was cold.

Darien couldn't process it at first. How could his love—his precious Serena—be so still and lifeless. It was impossible. This couldn't be happening to him—not again. They were supposed to be happy here, to live with one another and grow old together!

"Serena," He whispered her name and gently stroked some her golden hair out of her face to reveal the Moon Crescent below. His Princess was now . . . she was dead. "My Serenity."

"But . . ." Mina choked out, tears flowing down her cheeks. "How could this happen?" She collapsed onto her knees next to the girl she had been sworn to protect. "Please, Serena, don't do this!"

"The crystal," Darien muttered as he looked at the shattered pieces of glass and Mina wiped a tear away as she looked down. "She must've held onto its power too long and it . . ." He couldn't finish his sentence for it would mean that he was acknowledging her death. Death . . . how could you apply that word to someone like Serena? She was always so full of life! Always bouncing up and down and shouting and failing tests and laughing and smiling and—she wouldn't do any of those things again.

"It shattered," Mina finished as she grabbed one of her princess' hands and held it within her own. Crying, she didn't bother to wipe any of the tears away even as they fell on Serenity's hand. "Please, Princess!" She shut her eyes and began to concentrate. "Venus star power!" A small orange glow began to surround Serenity, gently lifting her up in the air. Darien held his breath and wondered if Venus' small amount of power could perform a miracle. Slowly, the form of the Princess vanished and left just Serena in her school uniform. Mina sobbed as Darien caught the teenager's cold body as it gently floated down.

"Darien?"

A memory half forgotten suddenly filled his mind.

"Yes?"

"Would you . . .?" She paused, unsure if she wanted to proceed with her question.

"What?" He asked cheerfully.

"Would you be able to go on if I wasn't here?" She met his gaze with an almost hopeful look in her eyes.

"Serena, what are you talking about?" He questioned seriously. It wasn't like her to ask such serious questions unless there was something plaguing her mind.

"Darien—" She sounded like she was going to reprimand him and Darien instantly pulled her to his arms, effectively preventing her from speaking.

"I wouldn't." He confessed.

"But you would have to go on and live, Darien—!"

"Without you?" He repeated.

"Yes," She told him fiercely. "Because I would want you to."

"Serena, why are you asking me this?" He squeezed her tightly, afraid that she might indeed disappear.

"I just needed to know," She answered. "Promise me you'll go on."

"But—!"

"Promise me, Darien."

"I promise."

It hit him like a ton of bricks. She had known this was coming. She had known her days were numbered and yet she had said nothing? They could've helped her, protected her, saved her or at least he could've. He refused to accept this as the end. They weren't reborn just to relive the same tragedy all over again. There had to be some way to still save her. There had to be something left in his power that he could do for her.

"Venus," He quietly commanded and Mina perked up a little. "Lend me your power." She didn't ask any questions, just took his hand and held it within her own.

"Venus star power," The leader of the Scouts chanted. The faint orange glow returned and Darien could fill himself absorbing the power. "There." Darien nodded and felt himself morph into his past self—Prince of the Earth, Endymion.

"I will save you," He muttered to his fallen princess. "I will not let you die, Serenity." Summoning his own powers of the Earth and letting them mingle with his borrowed powers from Venus, he was surprised by finding that the other scouts had lent him their power as well.

"Save her, Prince." He could hear them say and he nodded. He would save her. Using all the powers within himself, he slowly bent down and kissed her. He could feel his energy leaving her body and entering hers and as he pulled back, he prayed that it had worked. He de-transformed and waited to see if his gamble had paid off.

"Please." He prayed.

And then, he saw the crystal begin to piece itself back together. Mina gasped as it became whole and then disappeared into Serena. He waited for her to show that she was alive.

"Darien," She mumbled and Darien let a grin break out on his face. Her blue eyes fluttered before finally opening and meeting his gaze. "I'm back." He let out a small sigh of relief before pulling her as close to him as possible.

"Idiot," He mumbled as he felt some of his own tears silently snake down his face. "Serena, don't ever do that again."

And she didn't.

Author's Note: Please review!