Hello everyone. See? I got it out in record time despite having had two finals already because everyone wrote such nice things. Reviews work! It should be pretty obvious I don't own Sailor Moon. I used another song in this, (I said I wasn't going to and then… I did, I have no self-restraint J). I altered it a little using my artistic licence (love that thing) but the real version is written by Pierce Pettis and performed by Dar Williams on her 'Mortal City' CD. Really beautiful. Enjoy!

Not true Serena. I haven't left. I've just been having trouble getting my messages for some reason. But I'm prepared to work around it, Darien thought. After all,

Never is a long time…

That night Darien crept up to Serena's house, climbed up the tree, and glanced into her room. Despite the midnight hour, Serena was awake and standing in the halo of light from her bedside lamp. She was dressed in pink flannel pyjamas, ridiculously large on her tiny frame. She looked thinned then he remembered – more tightly drawn.

Not suspecting she had a voyeur, Serena took a quick look at her 'roommates' to assure that both Reenie and Luna were asleep. Then she shrugged out of her pyjama top in order to readjust the bandages on her side. It wasn't a particularly bad injury but it wasn't healing as fast as usual. In fact, she'd noticed a general slow down of all her usually extraordinary restorative powers. She couldn't figure out the cause but it meant she had to be even more careful in battle. Especially with Sailor Mars currently out of action. Raye's grandfather was in the hospital again and Raye needed to be with him. After many tears and many nights spent soul-searching, Raye had asked for the same gift Amy had received. Serena had granted the favour and had lost another small piece of herself in the process. Sighing, Serena got back to the work at hand. She removed the bandage, grimacing as it clung a little to her flesh. It had stopped bleeding finally so she cleaned it lightly and put on a fresh bandage.

Outside, Darien was having trouble breathing. Sure he was a superhero, a protector of earth and its inhabitants, as well as all-around chivalrous, decent, guy, but did that stop him from ogling the half-naked woman in the window? Not likely. He would have looked away if he'd known in advance what she was about to do but now it was too late. Nothing could make him turn away - she really was breathtaking. It took him a few minutes for his blood to start flowing away from certain areas and back to its regular circuit, but once it had his eyes took in the rest of her and came to rest on the bandage. The laceration that marred her perfect skin made him angry. How dare someone hurt her!

And you're one to talk? Darien's thoughts mocked him. Serena her shirt back on and then her eyes went to the window. Her whole body was on the alert and Darien thought he'd been spotted but then Serena reached for her locket and transformed. Darien saw the bright light, the ribbons, and then she was unfastening the latch on her window. Darien barely had time to get to the ground before she too was down and running. He trailed her, a thousand other such nights coming back to him. Only this time he couldn't feel her – he didn't know if she was afraid or uncertain.

Serena made quick time to the movie theatre where a youma was sucking energy from people who were after the late show. After giving her speech, Sailor Moon began drawing the monster away from the crowd, hoping she could get it to chase her to a more secluded place where she could really attack it. It was working until a red rose hit the youma. It then turned around to face its new attacker.

" Shit", Sailor Moon said uncharacteristically. She was going to have to do this the hard way. She physically attacked the monster, blinding it until it stumbled to the ground. Then she removed her weapon from its sub-space pocket and used it at close range to avoid harming anyone nearby. Of course, this meant she was hit by considerable backlash as the creature finally crumbled into dust. Her arms were scorched, her eyebrows no doubt singed, and all in all she was ready to kill the thrower of that rose.

Looking around she found her victim perched in a nearby tree. She motioned for him to follow her and she led him to a secluded rooftop. Then she turned on him,

" What the hell did you think you were doing?"

" What are you talking about? The monster was chasing you", Darien said puzzled, concentrating more on the fact that she was talking to him then what she was saying.

" I wanted him to, you baka! I can't use my power that close to people – it would blind them if nothing else".

Darien looked at the very angry heroine and sighed. He sat down on the edge of the building. Some protector he was, screwing up her plan – it was just that without their bond he couldn't anticipate her movements.

" Yeah, well. How was I supposed to know what your messed up mind would come up with?"

" What were you even doing here? Happened to be walking by?" Serena asked.

" Why wouldn't I appear when you're in danger?" Darien asked curiously. She shouldn't know about the bond broken, but if that were true, why question his being there? Something then dawned on him. " You know don't you? You know I can't feel when you become Sailor Moon anymore."

Serena was going to deny it but she was still mad. Her body hurt; her traitorous soul still ached for its other half. Why did it always have to be so painful just to see him?

" Of course I know. Who do you think broke it?"

Darien's eyes widened in disbelief but he saw the sincerity in her eyes, and knew it for the truth. " But… but why?"

" You really have to ask? Every time I see you I die a little bit more. Do you really think I want you to come to my rescue knowing you can barely stand me? You made it perfectly clear when you said I 'never want to see you again' – well now there's no reason why we need even meet. Besides, I can do fine without you", Serena said strongly. Even though I'm almost too weak to stand right now, she added silently.

" How dare you! You had no right to make such a decision without advising me", Darien shouted at her. Did she have no idea how much he valued that bond? Maybe it meant more to him then it did to her.

" You mean like the decision you made to break us up? I don't recall being consulted when you decided that", Serena said, fuming. As far as she was concerned, any pain Darien felt over the loss of the link was no more then he deserved. Besides it had hurt her to.

" That's different", he roared, knowing it wasn't.

" Of course it is. Because I'm a silly, little, girl, who needs protection – I'm incapable of making a real decision. Face it, you aren't even mad about this whole bond-thing, you're just mad you didn't think of it first."

" How can you say that? I'm staying away to protect you!" Darien said, before realizing he hadn't meant to mention the dream.

" Protect me? You've got a funny way of going about it. I don't think I've ever felt worse in my life", Serena said, angry because she was starting to cry. " I'm going home", she said shakily.

" Wait!" he said, grabbing her arm. She couldn't leave, not yet. Serena winced from the pressure of his hand. " What's wrong?" he asked seeing her pained expression. She didn't answer and he peeled off her glove to reveal the burn marks. " You should have that looked at."

" Why? Happens every time I use the crystal", she said then added silently, and it's getting worse lately.

" Oh, I didn't know that", Darien said quietly. She took her arm back forcibly and put her glove back on. " What about the other scouts, why aren't they around to help you?"

" They still appear occasionally. But I freed them of their obligation to protect me like I did you. I won't have anyone around me who doesn't want to be there".

I want to be there, Darien thought, forever.

" W… wh… what did you say?" Serena said, not daring to believe her ears.

Shit, I said it out loud, he thought. Well to hell with the dreams. It had been so long since he'd last had one anyway. She looked so hurt and vulnerable. Why had he ever tried to leave her? He needed her. And she needed him. He could see it – how she'd lost that sparkle of energy that always seemed to make her glow. Not that it affected how she looked adversely. Standing in front of him, long hair blowing in the breeze, her eyes dark and fathomless; he wanted to drown in their depths. He still loved her. Nothing would ever change that. She was hurting and his feelings for her swept away, at least for the moment, all thoughts save that he wanted to be there for her.

" Serena? I'm sorry, about everything. Just for tonight let me take care of you?" He pleaded, unsure just how he could make her see that everything he did was for her. Always for her.

Serena was so unsure. She'd been halfway into his arms before reminding herself of the heartache he'd caused. Every fibre of her being was screaming at her to forgive, to fill the void that existed in her heart, but there was one small iota of self-preservation that warned her not to give way so quickly. To hell with you, Serena said to the little voice in her head, look at him. He's suffering. Can't I, just for tonight, pretend that everything is like it was before? Don't we deserve one last chance?

" I want…" she began, not knowing how she was going to finish her sentence, when Darien reached for her, and buried his face in her hair. He could do nothing else with her so near. He wanted to hear her heartbeat, feel her touch, and above all, assure himself that she was alive.

Serena buried her face in his chest – an action so familiar yet foreign to her now. She could feel his heart racing and his arms were wrapped around her so tightly that it hurt. But she wouldn't have it any other way. She wanted the solidness, the strength, the 'realness', of the night to wipe away all those thoughts that resided entirely in her mind. Crying and shaking she pulled Darien even closer to her.

" Shh, sh, it's okay", he whispered, tilting her head back to wipe away the tears. Then, so fast that neither could say who made the first move, their lips met in a desperate attempt to keep from ever being separated again. Hands and bodies fused together to be as close together and as far from the cold as possible. They broke apart, some time later, with great difficulty.

" I don't want to let you go", Darien murmured in her ear.

" Then don't" she said, tightening her grip behind his neck. He picked her up easily, and neither of them needed words to decide where they were going. Darien alighted on his balcony, letting Serena slide down his body as he fumbled with the sliding glass doors. When they were inside the apartment, certain inhibitions returned. Darien stepped back from her and de-transformed into the black pants and loose button up shirt he'd been wearing. Serena did the same, appearing in her pyjamas, and instantly felt the burns and yesterday's injury.

" You're hurt", Darien said, reaching out to steady her. Heat ran though the connection reminding them of the desire they felt; that shocking moment of pure adrenaline that made then need to affirm just how alive and real they were. His hands were on her again, lips tasting, devouring. She needed to feel him, all of him, understand and hold all that he was made of.

Impossible to resist the lure of skin; they needed that contact, that warmth. At times tender in their explorations, more often rough because of their rush to outrun reality. For that moment only could they belong to each other and only each other.

No words were spoken, because that would ruin the dreamlike quality of the interlude. Tomorrow there would be repercussions; there would be questions. Tonight there was only them, alone in a warm place of their choosing, where rules and obligations played no part.

Darien could barely contain his wonder when the pyjamas fell away. Not only was she stunningly beautiful, but she was also entrusting him with her body. It was an amazing sensation.

Serena reached for him, memorizing every inch of his body with her long fingers. If she woke up tomorrow and this turned out to be some dream then she wanted to remember it completely.

There was no pain only surprise when she felt Darien inside of her.

Darien shook; he was a part of her.

She felt alive. He completed her – one being.

They were joined; as closely fitted together as two people could ever be.

Serena kissed him with passion, holding nothing back.

Darien responded; he took her in.

They shuddered; they shattered.

Darien wrapped his arms around his angel. For now the moon shone down, bathing them in peace and dreams. Together they fell asleep, blissfully unaware that soon the horizon would reveal the harsh rays of the morning sun.

Darien dreamed. A beautiful sunlit morning in the park; a beautiful golden-haired Goddess on his arm. She was smiling, her thoughts a million miles away. He too was smiling as he pulled her in closer for a kiss. The peaceful image fell apart as Serena was pulled away from him. A wave of black crashed over her; covered her. There was a brief glimmer of light and then she was gone.

'Couldn't keep away, could you? You're weak and she'll pay with her life'.

" No!" dream Darien screamed, falling to his knees. " I won't let her die".

'Then stay away. Push her away today, right now. Maybe there's time'.

" I'm not sure I can, not after everything…"

'Weak'

" I'm not!"

'Coward. You're life is more important then hers?'

" I don't even know if you're real".

' Oh I'm real', said this time the voice changed, to one that was fraught with menace, ' And I'm coming'.

Darien woke up, breathing rapidly. He looked down at the woman beside him and felt his heart lurch painfully. Anything but her, let the sacrifice be anything but her. He leaned down shakily and whispered into her ear, " I'm sorry".

Serena was dreaming. It was a beautiful sunny day. Darien had his arm around her and his eyes were alight with laughter. He pulled her in close, his gaze a little more intense with desire, when she felt herself being pulled away from him. She looked up and dark clouds rolled in, pouring down on her their inky blackness.

'Stay away from her Darien, or she dies', she heard a creepy voice say before she was overcome. Before she could be frightened, somebody was shaking her awake. Confused for a moment Serena wondered where she was. Darien's face was looming over her - so intense was his stare that she was startled.

" This was a mistake. I'm sorry, you've got to get out", Darien said, voice wavering slightly. He watched as the light died in her eyes. She looked at him as though she was seeing him for the first time. He shifted nervously under her gaze, which suddenly seemed to know too much. Then a tear dropped. Serena knew this was the end. She'd finally given him everything she had left to give, hoping to finally get through to Darien, and enable him to rebuild his faith in love. But with his decision, he'd shut her out and she no longer had the energy to fight for him anymore.

" I guess our moment's over. I'd like to get dressed now please", she said brokenly.

" Yeah, get dressed", Darien said, trying to look beyond the barriers Serena had erected in her mind, but failing. He then realized that what Serena had meant was that she wanted to get dressed without him being there. Of course, that was natural, but it still hurt. There was none of the gentle tenderness that a morning such as this should have. He walked out.

Serena realized all she had to wear were her pyjamas. For some reason this made her cry. She felt so ill equipped to face this new threat. She felt totally vulnerable; hollow. After she'd wiped the tears from her face, she pushed her shoulders back. She knew instinctively that Darien still loved her – at least as much as he was capable of. And the dream, it had been Darien's she felt sure. He was pushing her away to protect her. Did that make her feel better? He was choosing a dream over her; an illusion over love.

Serena knew she wasn't the smartest girl. She had no book knowledge, she was naïve, and she was frequently surprised by life, but she knew love. There was nothing about this complex, frustrating, oftentimes conflicting, emotion that was not understood or followed by Serena. She knew the pathways of the heart and she knew Darien had stumbled often along the way, but for the first time she didn't have the strength to reach out a hand to pull him in. It was his decision to make whether he followed her and now… now she knew he had given up. So Serena felt empty because he had everything of hers and he'd never given back.

She transformed into Sailor Moon – it made more sense to go home that way and it was still early enough that most people would be asleep. She had to get home before her family woke up anyway. She took a deep breath and opened Darien's bedroom door.

" I'm leaving now. I'll take the back door", she joked mirthlessly. Darien didn't answer her though he jumped when she spoke. He would never get used to seeing her as Sailor Moon without having his senses going haywire. He watched her drop off his balcony and once she was gone, he slumped dejectedly. He crawled back into his bed and clutched the pillow she'd slept on, to his chest.

Serena saw the black cloud from her dreams, hanging over the park as she sped for home. At least it was Saturday, her mother would know she wanted to sleep in. Opening her window, Serena slipped in, and was about to de-transform when Luna jumped at her.

" Where have you been?" Luna demanded.

" Shh, will you? There was a youma and then Darien turned up and wanted to… talk".

" Oh, are you two…?"

" No", she said clearly. " I think it's over, I can't give anymore", Serena said sadly. " I saw a black cloud on my way on my way home. It doesn't look natural, do you and Artemis know anything about it?"

Luna looked rather sheepish and then admitted that she hadn't noticed the phenomenon. Just then Serena's communicator beeped.

" What's up?"

" Hey, Serena – it's Mina. There's trouble brewing at the park. Artemis thinks the Negamoon (AN: insert favourite villain of choice) is trying to create a gateway of dark-energy between their planet and earth", Mina said, before she was replaced in the view screen by Artemis.

" It's going to need the crystal, Serena, and the princess form".

" Artemis, are you sure?" Luna cried from over Serena's shoulder.

" This thing is more powerful then you can imagine and it has to be stopped, today, NOW!"

" Understood", Serena said, clutching her broach nervously but resolutely. " Let's get going Luna".

Serena paused long enough to leave a note for her parents and then headed out. Outside the sky was already much darker, the black stain in the sky spreading though the pale blue sky.

At the park, the darkness had formed a dark funnel that reached the ground and was destroying what it touched. The area was spreading and Serena knew she would have to get under it in order to stop it. She removed the crystal.

Luna gasped. The crystal was not as she remembered it. It was floating in Serena's hands without turning or in any way reflecting any light. It contained no trace of silver light and it had no sparkle or shine. Rather it looked like a simple piece of glass - breakable and lifeless.

" What's wrong with the crystal?" Luna squeaked out. Maybe this was a joke and somebody had replaced it with a phoney one?

" It's empty, that's all", Serena said. She concentrated and turned into Princess Serenity. Pooling her energy she began to feed the crystal and watched as it started to glow. The light was very weak. So little light against such darkness…

Serena began to walk slowly towards to column of black; fear making her shake, determination making her move forward. Luna watched as her princess walkd into the centre of evil and began her fight.

" Luna, where's Sailor Moon?"

" Inside", Luna said, snapping her attention to the arrival of the Sailor Scouts. Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus had felt the danger and knew they had to bring Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars, even if they were unwilling to come.

There was a soft scream from inside the evil and then a flash of pure light that was swallowed up instantly by the darkness again. The sky was completely black like night and there was a strong wind tossing the surrounding trees' branches.

" Why is the crystal so small?" Artemis asked.

" I don't know. Serena said the crystal was empty, but I don't know what she meant", Luna said anxiously.

Amy was puzzled. She knew she was Sailor Mercury but couldn't seem to make herself transform. She warred with herself until she found her broken blue thread. In her mind, she looped that string around the bright light in front of her. Opening her eyes she was pleased to see her uniform. Across from her a newly transformed Sailor Mars grinned briefly.

" Looks like we're back", Raye said, pleased to have found herself again.

" Mercury, can you do a scan and tell us what's going on?" asked Jupiter. Amy was already at work.

" I don't get it. It's just as Luna says, the crystal is 'empty' for lack of a better term, except for the energy Serena is able to supply. How does the crystal usually gain full power?"

" It's powered by Serena's heart", Luna realized.

" By love", Mina said. " Emotions guide and fuel her life. We have to show her we're behind her".

Love, Luna thought. Of course the crystal is empty, because Serena is empty. She's given away her heart and he never gave it back. I need to find Darien.

Luna took off at a run, heading for Darien's apartment, praying he was still at home, praying she could convince him.

" Darien, come quickly. It's Serena, she's in serious trouble". Darien sat up in his bed and was already summoning a rose before he remembered.

" I can't. If I'm near her she'll die", he said.

" Says who?" Luna snapped.

" I've been getting visions…"

" You really are a baka. Who do you think would have the most to gain by having you two split up? The enemy – they know the strength when the team is all together."

Darien could see the logic behind this and cursed himself for not having had the sense to come up with it himself. But what if Luna was wrong? What if the vision was real and his actions cost Serena her life?

" I can't take that chance", Darien said, unconvincing even to himself.

" What chance are you taking? All you need to know is that love is stronger then anything. It is the only thing that matters."

" Now you sound like Serena".

" I do, don't I? All this time I thought I was teaching her and she was trying to teach me the most important lesson of all. You can't go through life without faith, Darien. You say you might kill her by coming close? Well, I'm telling you that without a doubt she will die without you. She's fighting for her life and this planet, with nothing more then a piece of glass. Tell her you still love her – don't let her die!"

Darien staggered to his feet - his self-control fighting with his heart. If she dies, this will all be a moot point anyways, you baka. Listen to your heart for once.

" I'm coming, tell her I'm coming", Darien said. Transforming into Tuxedo Mask, he ran as though the hounds of hell were snapping at his heels. Luna streaked on ahead of him, arriving only moments before at a scene of absolute chaos.

The scouts were in a circle, the lights of their tiaras flashing as they willed their strength to their leader. Serena was partially visible now, eyes open, arms upraised. The crystal flashed dully.

Serena stood in the centre and felt herself drifting. There was no anchor to cling to and this crazy ride she was on was going to end badly the moment the crystal realized she was out of fuel.

" Serena? Can you hear me?" Darien, in Prince Endymion garb now, asked as he approached.

" This isn't your fight", she said weakly.

" I came anyways".

" You might hurt me", she said, alluding to the dream and the break-up all at once.

" I might", he said, holding her around the waist as she started to crumble, " if I don't let you know how much I love you".

There was a rapid chain of events the moment those words were uttered. Serena felt like she was on fire. From empty to full; energy shot through her body like a conduit and slammed into the crystal with such intensity that the light alone was enough to rival the sun.

Darien thought he night be screaming but couldn't hear over the roar. He was still holding Serena but he was like tinfoil covering a sledgehammer – inconsequential. It ended not with a bang but with a whisper. The light broke through the darkness and the blackness faded away along with the evil it held in its wake. The sounds of nature and city-life gradually could be heard. The scouts stood up, battered but triumphant. They de-transformed to conserve what little energy they had left. Prince Endymion carried the unconscious Serena in his arms, towards her friends. As she came to, her powers reversed, turning briefly into Sailor Moon, and then to Serena in her pink pyjamas.

" Considering that I'm seen just about everywhere in these things, I should really look into updating my sleepwear", Serena said, sliding out of Darien's arms. She was instantly mobbed by her friends and congratulated by her guardians. Serena started to slump she was so exhausted.

" I'd better take you home", Darien said gently, putting his hand on her shoulder. Serena looked at him, suddenly sad, and shook the hand off.

" I think I'd like to go home by myself", Serena said, slowly meeting his eyes. Then her voice cracked, " I can't do this again. I can't!"

Serena turned and ran, heedless of her bare feet and pyjamas. Somehow she managed to make it home. Even with the door to her house closed, she felt frightened – exposed. The door to her room didn't stop her soul from leaking. Buried under her covers she sought solace in their artificial warmth, but still she shook. There was no forgiveness in her anymore - her spirit was lifeless. All because of a broken heart. And the cruellest of life's paradoxes was suddenly made clear to her: only the person who breaks your heart can mend it again.

Darien shut down. He'd been too late – held on to his fears of rejection and abandonment too long. The dream had always been an excuse and had he not experienced them he, no doubt, would have come up with more reasons not be with her. Love scared him more then pain, but he'd finally seen the light. Serena was right all along, the only thing he needed to believe in was love. But he'd given back too late, left her to wonder too long. Was losing her his punishment? Was fate really that vindictive?

Darien didn't know and the thought that he might never get the chance to explore his newfound wisdom was the worst feeling he'd ever known to exist.

" What's going on? What did she mean 'she can't'? What did you do to her?" Raye demanded.

" Let him go Raye, this isn't something either of them can explain", Luna said, and forced the girls to go home.

Darien barely registered Raye's voice as he turned for home, idly wondering why he bothered.

A child she plays with the moon and stars

Waves a blood red rose whose petals are gone

In a lonely house, where the highest fall

She's a child; she's a child that's all

Serena heard Reenie cry out and rushed to her side. Reenie was fading in and out, like a ghost and Serena couldn't hold onto her even to comfort her.

" I want my mommy", Reenie cried out.

" I'm here Reenie, it's me Reenie. Tell me how I can help you", Serena said desperately.

" My parents are Queen Serenity and King Endymion. You're just Serena", Reenie blurted out in confusion.

Serena rocked back on her heels, Reenie's innocent assertion like a slap in the face. Darien – Endymion – he was her father. They were her parents. That meant, somehow, that they'd been together in the end. Somehow she'd found the courage to try again. For the first time in so long she felt a new emotion growing inside of her. It wasn't a return of love, it wasn't forgiveness, or devotion - it was hope. Just a small spec of faith that things might turn out okay.

" Be strong, little one, I have something important to do now. But I Love you", Reenie's eyes widened and she choked down her sobs.

" I love you too Serena", Reenie said, surprising herself. Reenie only nodded when Serena stood up to leave. Reenie wasn't afraid anymore, for some reason.

Let your love cover me,

Like a pair of angel wings

You are my family

You are my family

Since getting home Darien had done nothing but shut all the drapes to block out the light. He sat in the middle of the floor doing nothing, feeling nothing, thinking nothing. Every now and then his soul reached out instinctively for a comfort from its other half only to be surprised again and again when the link was found broken.

" Darien?" Serena said tentatively into the darkness. Her nerves were shot, her knees shook, but she'd made it. Arriving at Darien's she'd found the door open, and was standing hesitatingly on the threshold.

" You can come in", Darien said softly. Serena approached the prone figure on the couch. She took a seat on his coffee table so that she could face him. His face was so forlorn that she almost lost her chain of thought. " What are you doing here?"

" I'm not really sure. I started thinking of all the things I would never have if I didn't give this another try: love, happiness, a family."

Darien's eyes widened and he sat up to make sure he wasn't dreaming.

" You're saying… we can get back together?"

" No. No more going back in time for us. But I'm saying, maybe, I would like to start over."

" I'd like that", Darien said, taking her hand gently. She didn't pull away but tears formed in her eyes. This was so hard.

"You hurt me Darien, more then I've ever been hurt in my life. And I'm still not sure I can handle that kind of pain again", she burst out, the tears streaking down her face.

Can you fix this? It's a broken heart

It was fine, but it just fell apart

It was mine, but now I give it to you

'Cause you can fix it, if you know what to do.

" I'm prepared to wait Serena. I just found out what love means, I won't back down from it again", Darien said. He wiped the tears from her face and she calmed her breathing down again.

" I want to believe you. Darien if we do this, and I say if, things will have to be a little different. I'm not a little girl anymore that you have to protect. We'd have to be equals, can you handle that?"

" Yes, I know I can. I want you in my life and for real this time. No more of this destiny or fate crap. I just want you because of you, understand?"

" I do."

" And that means no more closed doors for either of us. And… and I'd want you to come over and spend the night again sometime, okay?"

" Okay", Serena said, and cocked her head to the side to appraise him. What she saw made her smile softly. She could look through his eyes straight to his soul. She saw hope mirrored there.

Darien looked at her and saw how her eyes shone in the darkness of his room like stars. She was different, maybe, or it could just be him, but whatever it was he liked it. He frowned when she stood up to leave.

" Wait, where does this leave us?" He asked as she edged out the door. She turned back.

" Let's take it one day at a time", she said, and then approached him. She paused briefly before swiftly giving him a kiss on the cheek and departing.

Darien ran to his balcony so he could watch her leave the building. He was confused as he stood there, looking after her retreating figure until it had disappeared from sight. Was she really going to come back to him? Did she mean it when she said she'd give them a second chance? He stayed there until his soul, once again, instinctively sought out its other half. This time though, to Darien's surprise, it got through. He could feel her presence in his mind like a light reminder of all that mattered. Focussing on their bond he saw it, the gift she'd given him when she'd touched his cheek. It was a new bond stretching from his heart to hers. Brand new, gold, and shining, it glinted in his mind like the most beautiful of dreams. It was also fragile and thin, but Darien knew it would only take time for them to build it stronger and better then ever before.

Let your love cover me,

Like a pair of angel wings,

You are my family

You are my family

Across the city, across time, and across space, the bond reached and pulsed with life.

All done. Like? Dislike? Tell me. And if you like drawn out semi-love stories try my original story 'Prophecy of Power' (I'm such a shameless self-promoter). I would appreciate any and all comments.

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