The Apartment By Emilie Trig

Disclaimer: (My first and my last for this story) I don't own any Sailormoon character. All I own is this story. I didn't plagiarize this work so please; I better not have anyone accuse me of plagiarizing.

Chapter 1 It was eleven in the afternoon when a knock came on my door. I was still in bed at the time, dozing away the first half of my day. My friends were all too busy with their boyfriends and work this morning, and hadn't even the time for me. Raye was most likely in her office, yelling to the top of her lungs, at workers for doing such a messy job. Lita was in her gym, that I know for sure, teaching kid's karate for defense against the biggest of bully. Amy, on the other hand, was spending quality time with her boyfriend, Greg and his family over in another state. Mina was probably also hanging around with her boyfriend, Andrew (my older brother), this fine morning and who knows what those two were doing. I can almost make a near exact guess that the two were in Andrews's new apartment making out.

As for my own boyfriend, Ken, he had somehow acquired the same train of thought and deserted me like the rest of the gang. At least he had a good excuse, I thought. Ken was set on a plane to his next lawsuit in Chicago for the next two week. And since it was my day off, I was free for the day.

So here I was this morning; all alone and bored to death in my apartment in Albany, New York. The apartment, in which I lived in, was a little apartment building attached right next to many other apartment buildings. Kind of like the apartment where Meg Ryan lived, in the cheesy movie-my friends had thought it had been cheesy: You've Got Mail.

I got up slowly and drew reluctantly out of my warm, soft bed. Who could it be? I wondered sleepily as I walked rather crookedly to the door. My head was still spinning and I tried my best to grasp back to reality. My eyes squinted to find the doorknob; it hadn't gotten adjusted to the sunlight yet.

My fingers fumbled at the door knob and then pulled it open. I stared at the stranger's face.

"Yes?" I said to the man in front of me in a rather sleepy tone. I gave a tired yarn behind the palm of my hand and then focused my full attention on him.

He held up a piece of paper silently and I read it out to be the renting papers I had put up a few days ago. My eyes scanned attentively at the paper he held and then back to his face. Andrew had recently moved out of my apartment because he'd thought I'd seen too much of his personal life: like when I found Mina and Andrew making out on the couch. I came in the living room to watch some television one afternoon and found them on the couch eating each other's face. I almost giggled back at the thought, but resisted. So immediately after Andrews move out, I put up the renting papers, in hoping to find somebody to help me pay rent.

"Is this yours?" The man asked curtly to me; his piercing blue eyes gazed at me in a rather observing manner.

I cleared my dry throat. "Yes, it's mine" I answered, then a little boldly asked him, "Are you here for renting?"

"Yes, I am." He replied politely. Too polite for my taste, I thought and surveyed the man more closely. His unruly black hair fell wildly over his forehead making him all the more dark and mysterious.

I smiled, trying my best to be polite. "As I have written on the paper," I said to him in a business tone. "The apartment will count as half of yours and half of mine. The rent cost is on the paper, so you know the price. I will provide breakfast and dinner as stated. And how I provide the meals does not matter. Whether it's Chinese take-out or my horrible talent of cooking," I added in with a little jester to ease off the awkward mood. "I will provide you breakfast and dinner. How we will split the apartment, I have no idea." I smiled in my most brightest and then finished with a cheery voice, "How does it sound to you?"

Without even a pause of hesitancy, he answered, "It doesn't sound too bad and I thought about it already. I'll take you on your offer."

I gave him another bright smile and then said, "I'm glad. I guess you'll have to sign a couple of papers, but we can do that another time. My name's Serena Tsukino. It's nice to meet you."

He didn't return my smile, but still managed to remain very courteous. "Darien Corrigan. It's a pleasure to meet you as well."

We stood mutely in place for another few awkward second and not knowing what to do, I invited him in. We walked peculiarly into my apartment together and then I showed him to his soon to be room. His new room, which would be Andrew's old room, was in opposition to my room. The living room was set in the middle between both of our rooms. Darien said he liked his room and had even asked if he could move his things in tomorrow afternoon. I agreed, though I thought it was too soon. And with a nod and a goodbye, the man left my apartment with as much courtesy as when he first entered. He was such a nice and polite guy that I hadn't even any worries about the guy hitting on me. This was a good thing, of course. And the next best thing was, of course, the easing of my mind from having suspicions about the guy being a serial killer.

Later that day, I received a call from my boyfriend, Ken--bluish-gray eyes to die for and dark-brown hair with a great sense of humor. He was such a sweet guy that sometime I'm not even sure I deserved him. He was smart with a college degree and I didn't even have a high school degree. I worked at a Hotel with very low pay, while he made mucho money as a lawyer. It's odd how we fit into each other's life.

We met each other through Lita. Ken and Lita were bestfriends from back then-they still are now and still as close as ever. He had left Albany to go away to college and I've never seen him since then. A couple of years later, I met him again in a court room. At first I didn't recognize him, but then when he'd called out my name, I immediately remember. We stuck more closely together after that. But then one day, Ken called me up for dinner and shyly asked me if we could start going steady. You should have seen how shy he was about asking it. Ken blushed throughout the whole night and at first he couldn't even bring up the topic. Ken was so amusing that he made me giggled so many times that night. Even after spending 2 of my best years with Ken, I still thought him to be very hilarious, but very adorable that day.

Ken called to ask if I was lonely at home and he was very sorry of having left me bored to death at home. I smiled and had wanted to give him a hug, just to show him how much I missed him, but I couldn't.

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After wasting a whole day yesterday, I decided to make something of today. I had already made plans to have a wonderful day today. After being stuck bored in the house the whole day yesterday, it had almost driven me crazy. First thing today, I decided, was to buy some grocery. My fridge was almost empty except for the molded dinner I had in there for weeks. Then I'll stop by at Lita's karate gym to check how things were going for her. And after that, I'll be home in time to wait for Darien to move his things in. Yes, I decided, the day was all set.

Dressed in an old pair of blue jeans and color-dyed T-shirt, I drove my old and beat-up car to Shop Rite. I brought a little grocery and then drove to Lita's gym. When I pushed through the glass doors of her gym, I saw Lita teaching kids some cool karate kick move. She immediately called for a break as soon as she saw me walk in. Lita was such a cool person. She was tall, like she'd always been, and was the most athletic out of most of my friends. I had met her when I was but fourteen. Some kids picked on me that day when we met and Lita--knowing karate--kicked those mean kids away, which isn't a surprise to why she had open up her own gym for karate class. So it was that I was in debt to her that I started hanging out with her ever since.

"Great kick, I saw you performed in there." I said, with a smile, "Think I can do that same fancy move of yours?"

Lita laughed, "Wanna try?"

"Karate?" I asked in a smirk, amused, "never."

Lita opened her portable freezer and grabbed two Pepsi. She handed me one and popped the other one open for herself. "Serena, what brings you to my humble gym?"

"Bored out of my mind, I guess." I walk behind her desk. Placing my Pepsi down, I sat comfortably in her grand chair. I started pondering at some of the pictures on her desk. We came to a couple of silent seconds and then I immediately remember Darien Corrigan-my soon to be roommate.

"Guess what Lita?" I asked her.

"What?" she replied back at me, using the same replicate tone.

"I just caught myself the cutest roommate. Want to know his name?" I said in anticipation. She must have figured out what I was up to because she immediately refused.

"No, Serena." Lita raised one palm of her hand to cease me of my idea. "Stop right there. I don't want you to hook me up with this guy."

"But why not?"

She looked at me tiredly. "I don't even have to tell you why. You know. Stop hooking me up to guys the first time you see them. Just because I'm single now, it doesn't mean my best friend have to start playing match maker."

"Wait! Just listen to me before you refuse so quickly. His name is Darien Corrigan. I have no idea of his profession, but the guy is extremely polite and nice too. He's pretty tall. Wait," I said again, when I sensed of her refusal to listen. "Midnight blue eyes with a great built. Oh, did I forget about his super hot tushy? Scouts honor, I checked his buns out myself."

Lita laughed in hysteric at my last comment and I did too. "Serena," she said and groaned in agony.

"Personally," I said to her, trying my best to keep my voice in a serious tone. "If I didn't have sweet, handsome, charming Ken, I wouldn't mind getting in the back seat with a gorgeous guy like him." My mouth smiled mischievously. I swear to you, I saw something painful entered Lita's eyes when I mention Ken. But I quickly dismissed it. Was she worried that Ken would do something dramatically painful to me? But he'll never do that, I was almost sure of it. Ken was a great guy-he really is. He would never do anything beyond horrible to hurt me. Ken and I, we're madly in love.

Lita had never had a real boyfriend in her life. Sure she dated them and calls them her boyfriends, but it wasn't serious dating. Even when she was arm-in-arm her ex-boyfriend, to my eyes, they looked more like close pals than what they really are. That was why I started playing match maker. I wanted Lita to be happily in love like I was with Ken. I wonder why, sometimes, she didn't take serious turns with anyone of her boyfriend.

I looked at her once and then looked at my watch. It was time to go. I got up from the chair. "Think about it. If it's a yes, I'll hook you up with the guy immediately" I said to her. "Speaking about the guy, he's moving his things in this afternoon. I have to go home."

I left her gym and went straight for home. Quickly, I put on some casual clothing-a pair of short and tank top-and waited for my mysterious blue eye roommate to get here.

About half an hour later, a moving van parked in front of my apartment--and

Darien Corrigan stood in front of my house-dressed in a white t-shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans. He called his moving guys to bring his things in. I met him at the door and had asked him if I could help with anything. He said that he was 'fine'-in a very respectful manner-and that he didn't need any help.

So it was that I ended up doing nothing, again. With a deep stern and a nasty frown, I sat in my room-with closed doors-wondering about my new apartment roommate. I maybe expected the guy to let me help him and I guess I was hoping to know him a little-but I guess not. Maybe he wanted to do things on his own, I concluded. Maybe he wanted some privacy. It was, after all, his very first day here. The guy was very peculiar: he didn't smile, was too polite to be true, and he was one that didn't flirt-at least not to me. Hmm, I thought to myself, Darien Corigan was very much mysterious.

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After long dullness, I decided to stop the nonsense. It was time to surface from my room. Nighttime had come and it was my time to make dinner. Darien was probably half or more than done with his belonging by now. I had already given enough time to sort his things out. It was enough privacy.

I emerged through my door and looked into the living room. He wasn't there. It was empty, no sign of anyone scuttling or anything moving-except for an opened window that blew on the shades. I then looked at his closed door. I wonder if he was in there.

My feet automatically took me to his door. I knock once, then twice, three times, but no one answered. Curiosity made me reach for the door knob. I check to see if it was lock and it wasn't. My instinct told me not to, it was too rude of me. But my curiosity had gotten the best of me. My hand slowly turned the knob.but my conscience reached through me. I couldn't do it. Forget it, I decided, I didn't want him to get a bad impression of me- if he were to find me barging into his personal room.

I walked myself to the kitchen and then to the refrigerator, probing to see what there was for me to cook.

And suddenly, the door opened. I looked up and Darien's tall, broad form came through--his mysterious blue eyes looking intently at me in silence.

"Hi," I said to him.

He returned my 'hi' and was silent again.

"Where have you been too? You weren't at your jealous girlfriend's house explaining why you're sharing an apartment with a girl, were you?" I joked around with him.

A sudden smile came across his lip and it came on mine too. I was glad my corny jokes were finally getting through his serious face. "No. I don't need to explain. She's not like those jealous girlfriends."

"So you do have a girlfriend. You should have told me sooner. I was going to keep you all too myself." I smiled again, indicating that I was only joking.

We were quiet again and it made me a bit uncomfortable. What was it with this guy? Couldn't he talk a little more? Share some thoughts with me? At least something that will keep us talking. Maybe he was shy, I concluded to myself. "Hey," I said to him, "Lets go celebrate your first day here. Yes, let's go to McDonald and celebrate."

A slight frown slid to his face. "Why?"

My smile faded and my voice had loosen a little cheeriness, "because.because. It's just because. You don't have to have a reason." I marched right in front of him and gave him one of my most charming smiles. "Let's just go. I don't feel like cooking today, anyways. So please, let's just go."

He was very hesitant, but agreed none the less. I grabbed my jacket and we left the house. We took his shiny red sport car instead of my ratty old one.

The ride to McDonald was somewhat of a hush. His eyes were completely on the road and mine were wearily at the window. He didn't say anything and it seemed to me that he wasn't a conversational person. Does this guy ever talk? I wondered as I held .

I tried to start a conversation a couple of times in the car, but he would only reply and wouldn't exchange any comment with me. He seemed secretive about something. And since it was too quiet, I kept on talking. I didn't like the quietness.

"So.." I said to him, trying by best to keep conversation. "Where do you work?"

Not taking his eyes off the road, Darien replied, "I work at an enterprise."

And once again, the air of silent surrounded us. He couldn't at least tell me which enterprises he worked in and what he did in there? That was when I was up to my last straw. If he didn't want to talk, then forget it. I won't talk either. I sank my butt deep into the cushion.

Maybe it was then that he'd seen the discouraging face of mine and decided to talk because he did.

"And you? Where do you work, Serena?" Darien questioned me all the sudden.

I gave a sigh. "I work at the Queenie's Hotel. I'm the maid." I pointed out with less embarrassment than most people would be. "I clean out the rooms. You know, fold blankets, vacuum the carpet, pick up the liter. It's a pretty boring job, but somebody has to do it. It helps me pay the rent you know." I said in a merry tone. Having a job as a maid didn't trouble me, not everyone in the world had the most interesting job.

"Do have any relatives in Albany, Darien?" I found myself asking, suddenly drawn into the conversation.

He paused and then cleared his throat. "No. My foster parents lived in Galloway, NJ. As for my real parents, I've never met them." He sounded a bit depressed and it made me feel dreadful.

"I'm sorry." I apologized, for surfacing his pain. My eyes shined, and I tried to lighten things up. "Well, want to know about my family?"

He took his eyes off the road for a mere second, to look at me and then smiled slightly. There was something in that smile that made me affectionate and tender-hearted. Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. He was finally cooperating. "Okay, why not?" He said to me.

"Well, I have a brother. His name is Andrew. We're so different that I sometime ask myself if we really are related." I laughed out loud at the thought of Andrew. But then my laughter quickly died down. "My parents...died a long time ago. I can't even remember them. I'm like you, I guess. I've never met them either." I smiled depressingly and then wondered why I had told him of my long departed parents. I was supposed to cheer him up, I thought, not put myself in my own sorrow past.

I cowered deep down into the cushion of my seat and suddenly felt lonely. My eyes wandered aimlessly through the window.

"Have you always lived in Albany, Serena?" Darien asked, breaking through my silent barrier.

My head turned back to answer him. "Yes, I lived here as long as I can remember--even when my brother and I were at the orphanage, which was located here." I paused. "And even after we were old enough to leave the orphanage, we stayed in Albany. This is the only home we've really known, you see. I wouldn't leave this place for anywhere else." I told him and was true to my words. I decided a long time ago that I will never leave this place. Albany is my home, where my parents lived and where I will stay for the rest of my life. "And you? Where have you lived most of your life?" I asked him almost the same question.

Darien paused for some odd reason as if he didn't have a single clue to where he had last resided. "I didn't always live here. I've....been to places." He answered. His sentence was so out of tune that it made me wonder in puzzlement.
To be continue...