Disclaimer: TDS does not own Sailor Moon.
The cocoon of blissful warmth that surrounded Serena Tsukino was harshly disturbed by the blaring sound of her alarm clock. She let out a small groan and extracted one arm from the warmth and flapped it around on her bedside table until it hit the alarm clock, effectively silencing it for another five minutes. Shifting around in her bed, she turned over, expecting to meet the chest of her long time beau, Darien, but the bed was bare, the covers thrown back haphazardly. Her eyebrows wrinkled together on her forehead, but she shrugged it off without another thought.
Snuggling deeper into her side of the bed, she relaxed her body as she tried to get her remaining minutes of sleep before the alarm clock disturbed it once again and she was forced to get up.
Serena crept around the silent apartment warily, listening carefully for any sound. "Darien?" she called out, hoping he was just in the kitchen half asleep. When she didn't receive an answer, the poked her head into the kitchen, finding it exactly as it usually was except for a note.
I had to go into work early and I didn't want to wake you up. Have a good day at work and be nice to the kids!
Serena read the note three times to make sure it was real before turning it over, hoping there was something on the back about plans he made for the day. It was bare.
Sighing, Serena thought, I wonder if he even realized what today was… Folding the note into fourths, she tucked it into the side of her purse on the counter and went to go take a shower.
"You okay Sere?" one of her coworkers, Taylor asked. "Mad that your boyfriend didn't get you a nice enough necklace for Valentine's Day?" she teased.
"I would have taken anything over what I got," she huffed.
"And what was that?"
"Nothing! Absolutely nothing! What is wrong with Darien? He was always the sweetest on this day, now, nothing!" Serena said exasperatedly.
"Maybe he forgot," Taylor suggested.
"I've been dating him for six years and he's never forgotten before," Serena replied dully.
"Lighten up a bit Sere, I'm sure he's- Hey! Stop that!" Taylor said, rushing over to where a little boy was pulling on a little girl's hair.
Serena sighed and let her eyes wander over the rest of the children currently under her care. She loved her job, she really did, but sometimes working with young, screaming children only produced a headache. The utter confusion at Darien's actions that day wasn't helping ease her pounding head either.
She hadn't been particularly concerned when she woke up and Darien wasn't there, but when the dead silence greeted her as she woke, she became a little freaked out. That's why she had been creeping around her apartment and was currently let the anger take over the worry building inside of her. Maybe he really did just forget… Or maybe he's planning to surprise you when you get home. Yeah, that's got to be it. Having consoled herself some, she put a smile on her face and went to interact with the kids playing in the daycare.
She closed the door to her apartment and locked it behind her, throwing her purse onto the counter along with her keys. The quiet hum of the TV in the other room alerted her to Darien being there. "Darien?" she called out, walking into their living room.
He was sitting on the couch, his feet up on the ottoman. He turned his head and smiled at her. "Hey!"
"Hey…" she replied weakly, confusion surrounding her. There was nothing special done up in the apartment and it looked like Darien was still in his work clothes.
"You okay?" he asked, his eyebrows coming together slightly in concern.
"Peachy. Just peachy.." she muttered, stomping into their bedroom. Because of this, she didn't see the secretive smile that came onto Darien's face, hastily wiped off when she stomped back into the room and thrust a small gift bag into his face. "Happy Valentine's Day," she mumbled crossly, dropping the bag into his lap and turning around with her arms folded across her chest.
Well, this isn't going like I hoped, Darien thought. He placed the bag beside him on the couch and stood up, lightly resting one hand on Serena's shoulder to get her attention. She turned her face to him slightly, letting him know she was paying attention but she wasn't going to look at him. "Serena…" he whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing the side of her neck gently. He felt a small shiver go through her and smiled to himself.
He trailed his hands up her torso and rested his hands on top of hers for a moment before softly pulling on them. She allowed him to guide her hands to her side and turned when he tugged lightly on her right hand. Her eyes were shinning with tears, making Darien's heart feel like it was about to split in half. "Serena, I'm sorry I picked a completely crappy way to do this," he apologized.
"Do what?" she whispered faintly.
He extracted a ring box from his pocket, watching her face. Sure enough, her eyes got huge and he heard her stop breathing. He bent down to one knee, still holding one of her hands and mentally prepared himself for the speech he'd been working on all day. "Serena, I'm pretty sure I've loved you since you threw that test paper at my head," he said, making her smile softly. "Everything you do makes me love you even more and after six years of that, I love you so much more than you could ever imagine. Will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?" he asked, holding up the ring box and finally opening it.
Nestled into the black felt was a 14 karat gold band with a simple yet elegant diamond on top. Serena's hand flew to her mouth, covering it as it hung wide open. A moment passed and Darien briefly wondered if she was going to say 'yes' when she finally found her voice and said, "Yes! Yes! Yes yes yes yes yes!" Darien grinned widely at her, gently picking up the ring and sliding it onto that special finger on her left hand.
Standing up, he circled his arms around her waist. She looked up at him, her eyes now shining with sheer joy as he bent his head down and their lips locked into a passionate kiss. When they finally came up for air, Darien grinned at her once again. "Go put a dress or something on, we're going out."
"Where?" she asked curiously.
"You'll find out, now go," he said, shooing her away playfully.
"I need to know what to wear though!" she complained, hoping it would get him to spill.
"Just something fancier than a T-shirt and jeans," he replied, pulling her into their bedroom. He quickly extracted a black dress shirt from his closet and switched it with his current shirt. Deciding his pants were okay, he turned around to see Serena frantically searching through her closet for something appropriate.
Darien shook his head, an amused smile on his face as he entered their adjoining bathroom and lifted the dress off of the inside handle, walking to stand before Serena with the brilliant red cocktail dress held out in front of him. After another minute or so Serena gave up, turning to him in frustration, her mouth open to complain but froze in place for the second time that day when she saw the dress. "It's perfect!" she cried, grabbing the hanger and admiring the front and back.
As she went to her dresser to get the appropriate undergarments for the dress, Darien moved out of their room to give her some privacy as she changed. Spotting the unopened gift from Serena, he sauntered over to the couch and plucked the tissue paper out of the small bag. Seeing a box at the bottom, he picked it open and flipped it open. Inside was a watch that he had been eyeing some weeks ago during a shopping trip with Serena. Smiling at the gift, he made a mental note to thank her later and slipped the watch onto his wrist.
Twenty minutes later they were finally heading out. "Can I please know where we're going?" Serena begged, clutching onto Darien's arm as they walked to his car.
"It's a surprise Serena!" he said, his eyes twinkling in delight. He held her door open for her and made a sweeping bow and gesture. She giggled and did a small curtsy before climbing into the vehicle. Shutting Serena's door behind her, Darien moved to his side and started the car, the engine humming to life as they pulled out of the parking lot.
Serena was quiet for once during the car ride. Darien guesses she was too busy looking out of the windows to see where they were going to talk. Sure enough, about halfway to their destination, Serena spoke up. "Darien… What's going on? The only place this way is the temple."
"You'll see," he replied, winking at her. She responded with a huff, folding her arms across her chest. Darien only laughed and shook his head, far too amused by her actions.
"Is everything set up?" Mina asked Lita frantically, her eyes sweeping over the room for the hundredth time in the past hour.
Lita sighed. "Yes Mina, everything is fine. Stop fretting, you're going to give yourself grey hairs."
"What?" she shrieked, gripping her hair with one hand and running her other hand through the long golden strands. "That's not true, is it Amy?" she asked, turning to the blue haired girl who currently had her head buried into some huge medical textbook.
"Stress has been known to cause premature graying of the hair," she murmured absently, turning the page.
"Seriously? Okay Mina, calm down, find your happy, stress-free place that doesn't involve grey hair," she said to herself, closing her eyes and running her hands lightly down her face as to not mess up her makeup.
"They're here! Places everybody!" Raye called, pausing momentarily for everyone to make it to a hiding spot before unplugging the lights, leaving them in pitch darkness.
"-are we here Darien? And what happened to the lights? It's never this dark-" Serena would have kept prattling on if she weren't interrupted by Raye plugging the lights back in and everyone screaming "Surprise!" and "Congratulations!"
Serena's mouth dropped open for the third time that day. "W-wha?" she said, dumbfounded, causing everyone present to laugh. "How did you guys know to set this up?" she asked. The outside of the shrine was completely decorated; lights hung from the tree branches and someone had moved several tables outside and set them up with nice table cloths and pretty candle that barely let off a soft glow. Taylor, Serena's parents, brother, and some of her other friends were there, along with a few of Darien's friends and all of the scouts. They were spread around all over the yard, smiling at the happy couple before them.
"Darien told me his plan and I shared it with Amy; I knew those two blabbermouths would have the surprise," Raye explained, pointing to Mina and Lita.
"Hey!" Mina complained.
"We wouldn't have done that!" Lita said.
"Yeah, sure," Raye retorted sarcastically.
"We wouldn't have! Oh phooey, just forget about it! I'm so happy for you Serena!" Mina squealed, pulling the other blonde into a hug.
Serena grinned at her and she returned the hug. "I'm pretty happy myself." Everyone laughed and the happy couple was passed from person to person, all of them hugging Serena or clapping Darien on the back, congratulating the two on their engagement. When they got to Taylor, Serena said, "Did you know about this?"
Taylor shook her head, a grin on her face. "All I knew was that there was going to be a party for you today; they explained why when I got here."
The girls shared a laugh and launched into another topic. As the night wore on, everyone happy and enjoying themselves, Darien and Serena never strayed far from the other, their hands perpetually intertwined.
"So, the prince finally made it official," Amara said to Michelle as they relaxed against the wall of the temple, feeling the need for some sort of privacy.
"He sure did," Michele replied, her voice amused and a smile upon her lips.