Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Sailor Moon.
Darien kissed Ann's cheek, inhaling her scent. He identified it as fruity and spicy. It was strong but not overpowering, like the woman who wore it. She leaned into his kiss and gave a small hum of approval.
"You look wonderful."
Ann leaned back and caught his eye, an impish gleam appearing.
"Of course! I always do." She leaned in and pressed a soft kiss on his neck, before going up on tiptoe to reach his ear and whisper, "For you." Darien chuckled and held out his arm, which Ann looped hers through and lead her to his car.
The ride to the restaurant was uneventful. Ann filled Darien in on her day and he filled her in on his own day. He appreciated that about Ann, the fact that he was comfortable with her. She could be a spitfire and a little unmanageable at times, but they'd known each other for quite a while. In other words, he didn't need to worry about any major drama with her.
It was comfortable. Everything about it was comfortable.
As they walked through the front doors of the trendy japanese restaurant, they were approached by a hostess.
"Welcome! Table for two?" she asked.
"Yes, for two," Darien answered, placing a hand at the small of Ann's back.
In no time, the hostess had them seated at a booth that afforded them a full view of the patrons entering and leaving the restaurant.
"Oh!" Ann exclaimed. "I forgot to tell you that Alan phoned."
Darien nodded. "How's he doing? Still taking Europe by storm?"
Ann wrinkled her nose at Darien. "I want him home." She sighed resignedly. "But Alan's thriving where he is and I can't be selfish about him."
Darien raised an eyebrow teasingly. "But, I'm not allowed to practice medicine anywhere other than here?"
She chuckled and tugged one of his hands across the table towards herself. "With you it's different." She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and looked over at him fondly.
He returned her look with a quick smile before looking away and copping out. At this point, he still couldn't guarantee all of himself for Ann. Darien was just about to turn back and engage her in conversation, to make up for his cop-out when the latest patrons to enter the restaurant caught his attention.
"What's got your attention? Who came in? Oh..."
Ann's voice faded into the background and Darien suddenly felt like he was underwater. Gasping for air and reaching for the surface, but unable to get free of the current of emotions that came over him whenever Serena came into the picture. She'd just walked in, on the arm of Seiya Akimoto. She was laughing and glowing and sharing something funny with the man who looked positively thrilled to be with her. She looked great...without him.
Darien tore his gaze away only to meet Ann's knowing gaze. There was a hint of sadness in those eyes, and he knew he wasn't quite out of danger yet.
"It isn't fair, you know," Ann began.
Darien sighed heavily. "Ann, I'm - "
"Don't. I've already told you that I'm selfish. I'll take what I can get for now." She squeezed the hand she still held in her grasp. "But, I won't be second-best, love.
Darien stared at her a moment before inclining his head in a silent apology. She accepted it with a nod and gave him a small, bittersweet smile. He raised one of her hands to his lips for a kiss.
Whether the kiss was an apology, a plea not to leave, or an indication of the beginning of the end, another day would answer.
AN: Here comes the angst! I'm sorry that I tacked it on to the guys, it's just easier with them. The girls will get their turn, eventually. Actually, as I write this, there's a summer storm going on outside...how fitting! Haha!
Please enjoy and review!