A/N: Hi Everyone! I'm afraid I'm still under the weather. And with my being sick, my workload is piling up as well. So I'll apologise in advance for any typo and will come back to fix it should the need arise. This chapter is mostly the retelling of a scene in Episode 62. As I've mentioned before, I think my main contribution is on the emotional element rather than the storyline.
I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to review the previous chapter. A few long reviews this time! ;)
Moonprincess998: Thanks! I'm afraid things will get worse before they get better, but not much longer! :) adoore: I'm glad! ;) Continuing with the story... BlueMoon: LOL. I'm big on women being strong and independent as well! I agree with you Serena needs to be strong, both emotionally and mentally, and she is. At least I hope I've managed to portray her that way. But because she is, I don't see her going to other guys. I think Serena's greatest strength is her loyalty and compassion. Her love for Darien is strong and I don't see Serena as turning away from that love. I don't see her giving up on her life either. I think she's too strong of mind and heart for that. I can't tell you too much without giving the story away but I hope you won't be disappointed! :) natashasurgirl: Thanks for mentioning the spelling mistakes! ;) In all fairness though, I did warn my readers in the A/N prior to the chapter (I wrote it with a temp of 39.4 degrees) and none of it appeared on spell check. I was too sick to get back to it and Shaydoe the treasure that she is, proofread it for me and found a couple of 's', an 'a', and an 'of' missing along with two other grammatical errors. They've all been corrected. As for the mixed episodes, that was done on purpose. I think ff was created so that fans can expand on existing storyline or rewrite or alter scenes based on their fancies. So that was just me using an author's prerogative and asserting my creative licence. Again, the alteration to the sequences was mentioned in my A/N. The fairytale sleep/kiss scene will unfold in this chapter. Again I hope you won't be disappointed! Hugs! :) LoveInTheBattleField: Coming your way! ;) Guest: My late grandmother taught me to give people the benefit of doubt. I guess that's what I'm choosing to do here. I don't know which one of you is right, but since whether or not Rini is the sole reason for the dreams doesn't really pertain to my story, it doesn't really matter. It could all be subject to interpretation anyway. It really makes no difference. That said, I really appreciate your support and encouraging words and hope I could count on them in the future as well! And I like your advice, I will write my fic my way! ;) mangamania: Awww.. I'm sorry I made you cry! At the same time (from a writer's POV only) I'm also glad I made you cry! Because that means I managed to get you to share her pain... Lita & other Scouts will definitely have something to say, but in the next chapter, not in this one. Stay tuned! :) trish1573: Wow! What a nice thing to say. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence! I hope I do it justice! :)
And last, but definitely not least, Shaydoe: Thanks so much for your support (and for going through my previous chapter for mistakes) You REALLY are the silver lining to that negative review in LMSY! I'm so truly glad and grateful that I got to meet you on ff! This story, as you well know, is for you... (even though you totally deserve a better story than this!)
Alright then, on to the next chapter: 'CBTM (Part 3)'. Enjoy!
Thoughts are in Italics.
(Standard disclaimer: I do not own any of the Sailor Moon characters. All characters belong to Naoko Takeuchi.)
Come Back to Me (Part 3: Letting Go)
"Go to sleep. Go to sleep. You must rest forever," a blue haired droid with a unicorn-like horn was hovering above Sailor Moon, a beam of energy coming out of its horn, enveloping the blonde Scout. Slowly, Sailor Moon crumpled to the ground, falling into a blissful sleep, the first one she's had since Darien broke up with her.
A sharp loud crack of thunder followed the bolt of lightning headed towards the droid 'Hypnotica'.
Four powerful Scouts jumped in and surrounded the droid. Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus and Sailor Mercury stood, feet braced apart, arms on defence.
Undeterred, Hypnotica simply floated above them, the same beam of energy that hit Sailor Moon aimed towards the Scouts, enveloping them "You're getting sleepy."
Luna fought the heaviness that she was feeling "Don't listen to her girls. She's trying to hypnotise you. You must resist her. You cannot let yourself fall asleep," she forced out, desperately trying to get through to her wards.
Still undaunted, Hypnotica continued "Go to sleep. Go to sleep. You must rest forever."
One by one, the Scouts were brought to their knees.
Sailor Mars squinted at the droid through the beam of energy. Her resolve strengthened, she slowly forced herself to stand up again. "I call upon the power of Mars! Fireballs...Charge!"
Hypnotica disappeared in a whirl of black and green smoke.
Sailor Mercury turned to Sailor Mars in awe and appreciation, "Cool move Sailor Mars! I was in trouble big time!"
Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter hurried over to their fallen leader and Sailor Venus cradled her in her arms, "Hey come on Sailor Moon, wake up," she said gently. There was no mistaking the love and affection in her voice.
The black and green smoke reappeared. Blue demonic eyes shined through it. "Not likely. She's dreaming. She's running out of energy. She'll fall asleep forever. Except there's no waking from this dream," Hypnotica said smugly.
Before any of the Scouts could so much as blink, the puff of smoke rushed into Sailor Moon's mouth.
"Stop!" the Scouts shouted simultaneously.
Too late. Sailor Moon's colour was completely drained.
"Sailor Moon!" Sailor Mars screamed in horror.
"Sailor Moon!" Sailor Venus echoed. For a moment, her entire being was enveloped by a feeling of loneliness and terror beyond anything. This isn't just her princess, but also her best friend.
"Wake up! You've got to wake up!" Sailor Jupiter was so frightened, her words were jumbled. Desperately, she shook her best friend's body. "Come on! Wake up!" she pleaded, frantically searching her friend's ashen face for any sign that she's being heard.
"Sailor Moon!" Sailor Venus wouldn't, couldn't give up.
"Don't go to sleep!" Sailor Mars's fierce command belied her heart that's hammering in mounting fear.
Sailor Jupiter punched the ground in her frustration.
Sailor Mercury's eyes widened in alarm, "Her energy is leaving her body. If we don't find a way to stop it we won't be able to wake her up!" Beside herself with fear, she begged her best friend, her first true friend, "Oh can't you hear us?"
Sailor Venus was begging too. "Wake up Sailor Moon!" she pleaded desperately, still shaking Sailor Moon's limp body in a futile attempt to wake her up.
"Wake up! Wake up!" Sailor Jupiter screamed hysterically.
Sailor Mercury shuddered with alarm, "I'm afraid she's leaving us!" her voice full of hopeless urgency.
Luna looked on desolately. In her mind's eye, she saw Serena crying in her sleep for Darien. Resolutely, she turned and scampered away, going as fast as her legs would allow her, leaping determinedly between buildings to get to her destination.
She jumped onto Darien's stomach, waking him up from a very fitful sleep filled with nightmares of Serena's demise.
"Darien, you have to come with me. Sailor Moon is in great danger. She's falling into an eternal sleep and you've got to come wake her up!" she said urgently.
Darien was still. His mouth was set and cold. Terror and dread filled him. Everything in him, his every instinct, his very heart and soul, screamed for him to go to his princess, demanded that he save her. But the insistent voice in his nightmares warning him to keep his distance from her to keep her alive kept ringing in his ear, playing in his mind.
"But I can't do it," he said firmly, turning away from the black cat, but not before she saw the indecision flickered across his hard features.
She ignored his words and was sorry for the bitterness underneath it. She didn't understand what was going on but knew without a shadow of a doubt that the prince still loves his princess.
"I know you still care about her. So why must you continue to avoid her?" she asked exasperatedly, completely bewildered.
"Because..." he began to answer desperately but she wouldn't let him finish.
She's not about to waste precious minutes when her charge is battling between life and death. "She's running out of time! Go to her!" Her command brooked no argument.
"Hold on Serena! You can't leave me!" Darien shouted as his motorcycle raced to get him to his love, transforming into Tuxedo Mask along the way.
Back to where the Scouts were, Sailor Venus was in tears. "Wake up Sailor Moon," she pleaded. "Please wake up. Oh, come on, please. Oh please Serena," despairingly she shook the girl in her arms.
Sailor Jupiter was clearly anguished. "Oh Serena! How can we get through to you?!" she desperately called out.
Sailor Mercury who was sitting on the ground, her face close to Sailor Moon's legs suddenly gasped, "Sailor Moon!" She turned to the other scouts, exclaiming agitatedly, "Her temperature's dropped drastically!"
Sailor Mars didn't say anything. She couldn't say anything. Instead, she watched on, tears running down her face.
The sound of squealing tires and the bright light that suddenly permeated the darkness temporarily stole their attention from their waning friend.
The masked hero hurried over to his love, immediately cradling her in his arms. Blind terror and panic had him shaking her, "Sailor Moon! Wake up! Can't you hear me?"
She was fading right in front of his eyes. He fought back the panic and fear and placed a trembling finger on the pulse of her throat. It was barely there. A vision of her being torn away from him flashed through his mind.
He held her closer to him, burying his face in the crook of her neck and whispered desolately, "Serena, please forgive me," and in his mind, he heard her calling his name, full of love.
He was rarely a fanciful man but the sight of her made him think of the fairy tales, the enchanted princess and the magic of a kiss.
So he bent over her, brushed the hair from her face, and laid his lips on hers.
She woke slowly, as princesses in fairy tales do. Her lashes fluttered open, her body temperature increases, and her cheeks slowly tinted with rose.
"Darien? I feel warm." The murmured words that escaped her lips were music to his ears.
"I'm so glad, Serena," he answered softly, weak with relief. And then he broke. Just broke. Shuddering, he buried his face in her hair, fought to find his breath. "I thought you were dead." The words were gasped out.
Darien couldn't help it. He did what he had been longing to do. He kissed her and for a moment allowed himself to bask in the familiar feel of her. For a moment, he sank out of terror and despair into blissful oblivion. All the love that was from their past life was in that kiss. So was all the love that had accumulated through the years of his lonely childhood. Serena felt them and opened her lips willingly for his searching tongue, her delicate hand sliding through the hair at his nape. With unselfish ardour, she kissed him back with her whole heart, offered it all to him and just for a moment, Darien allowed himself to take what was given to him. He took the love that was offered hungrily, feeling it moved from her to him, flowing through his veins and mingling with his love for her, until the joy of it became almost unbearable. She was everything.
"How rude of you to interrupt her sleep 'Cape Boy'!" Hypnotica wouldn't be deterred by the turn of event. She pulled her horn out, which turned into a sword and aimed at Darien.
"Look out!" Serena shouted, pushing Darien out of the way.
"How dare you attack my guy! I'm the one you want! So come on Nega trash! Let's rumble!"
She took out her moon sceptre and "Moon...Sceptre...Elimination!"
Hypnotica dissolved into a pile of sand, a black gemstone with an upside down moon insignia dropped onto its surface. Both slowly faded away.
"Sailor Moon, amazing job. I'm really glad you are alright again," Darien had regained his control. The facade of cool indifference was back on his face.
"Darien, I just knew in my heart you still love me."
"Serena...But I...I don't love you."
Emotions swirled and tightened and threatened to strangle him. He could barely get the words out. "Believe me."
She hadn't known how completely a heart could shatter. She had thought she knew. When he had broken up with her, Serena had been certain that she would never grieve in quite the same way again. I was right. She thought now and pressed both hands to the ache in her heart. This is worse. How can it be worse?!
Darien tried to swallow. Found that he couldn't. Choked by grief and despair, his stomach churned. And still, he made himself say the words, to give her the closure he thought she needed. "Our love is like a rose, beautiful when it's in bloom but it can't last forever," he said quietly, firmly.
Her breath caught with a jerk of a heartbeat at his words. She would breathe, she told herself. However tight the fist was around her heart, she would breathe, slow, deep breaths. A close brush with death had shown her that she could indeed survive anything. Even Darien Shields, her prince, her love, her soul mate.
Slowly, her hands lifted, rubbed away the tears that she hadn't even been aware of shedding. She wanted to see him clearly, since it would probably be the last time that she'd allow herself to. He looked handsome as always, solemn, dangerous. He was, she thought, everything.
"I love you Darien. I love you so much. So much. Enough to let you go. I just want you to be happy. Even if it is without me." She looked like a heartbroken angel courageously facing her adversary, her voice shaking with love. "You said you don't want the responsibility. I know you care. Care enough to worry about me and my well being. So here's my promise to you. I will be okay. You don't have to worry that I'll stop living my life because of you. You don't have to worry that I'll do anything stupid. I'll take care of myself. I'll live, even if I have to live without you. I promise you I will."
Even as her world reeled and her heart bled, Serena maintained her stance. Amy was sobbing in Raye's arms and even with the tears trickling down her cheeks, Lita looked ready to kill someone. And Mina, Mina wrapped her arms around Serena in a supportive hug, her voice choked with sorrow."That's enough Rena. Let's go home," she whispered soothingly between tears of her own.
Serena scarcely knew she was being consoled. The pain was so great, she felt completely numb. But she pulled herself out of Mina's embrace and continued to face Darien, tears shimmering in her magnificent cerulean eyes, some traced unheeded down her smooth cheeks.
The sight of her almost brought him to his knees.
With a raw ache in her voice, she continued as she wrapped her arms around herself. "But I can't have you in my life and not love you. I can't be in your life and not love you. I wouldn't know how. So, I will stay away and I need you to stay away too."
Darien looked on, despising himself with a virulence that was almost past bearing. He gave her an almost imperceptible nod in agreement to her request. Self loathing poured through him like hot acid, almost doubling him over. It took every ounce of his last will power to maintain the appearance of apathy.
All hope died inside of her with his indifference. And with its death came a blessed numbness, a sort of acceptance.
"Good bye Darien," she whispered, memorising his features one last time before detransforming and turning on her heel. Without thinking about where she was going, she automatically walked towards home. Her friends and cat guardian not far behind her.
Posted on fanfiction: 25 March 2013
A/N: Hmm... How was that? Bad? Good? Let me know! I've written the ending to this story (Darien's turn to beg!) but not the rest of the chapter. I don't think it will contain anymore scenes from the series though. What it will contain is Lita's Loyalty & Lashing, Mina's Mutiny & Meddling, Raye's Resentment & Regret and Amy's Anxiety & Advice! I don't know if I'll be able to fit them into one chapter, so there might be two more chapters of this story. So, review/favourite/follow to let me know that you'd like to know what happens next, and...I'll start writing! *Another evil laugh*
For TOBITF follower, I will try to post Chapter 12: Mother & Sons within the next 48 hours. Try being the operative word as I am still unwell, still busy and still afraid I might ruin the story!