Oh, it feels so good to be back! This is a silly little first season AR fiction that I wrote while on a recent plane trip. Decided I'd written enough dramatic stuff for once, and tried something a little new. Keep in mind I was on a plane and rather more out of my mind then usual. And if the age difference between Serena and Darien bothers you, do like I do and make-believe that it's all just one big typo. Oh, I don't own Sailor Moon (really? Yeah, really, it's the truth, I swear!). Enjoy!

Serena was having a remarkably good day. She'd made it to school on time, never mind that she had tumbled through the door just as the bell sounded - that still counted as being on time. She'd done excellently, er, well, ah, she'd passed her math test, a fact that pleased her immensely. It was also early dismissal that day, and she'd received her allowance that morning. No detention, an arcade practically screaming for her patronage, money, and no guilt. Yes indeed, it was a fine day.

" Hello, Meatball Head", said a voice. I spoke too soon, Serena thought, a frown coming across her features. If anyone could ruin her perfect day it was Darien. The self-centred, arrogant, jerk, Darien Chiba, who considered himself an expert on everything – including everything that was wrong with Serena.

" What do you want?" Serena said suspiciously.

" Just making sure you knew I was here, so you could avoid careening into me. I'm kind-of tired of being the victim in your klutz attacks", Darien said. Then he couldn't resist smirking. " Although, maybe it won't make any difference, seeing as how you bump into me on purpose."

Serena's face went red with barely constrained fury. Stamping her foot, she said sharply,

" Have you lost your mind? Me purposely run into you? Ha!"

" Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've had a girl infatuated with me. So, tell me Meatball Head, am I right?" Darien didn't tease everyone. In fact Serena was the only person he conversed with on a daily basis, if you considered their screaming matches as 'conversations'. Something about her just got under his skin. He was particularly proud of this new line of pestering – it was quite effective. He expected her to explode at any moment.

" You're completely correct, as usual Darien", Serena said sweetly, batting her eyelashes. Darien's cocky expression faded to disbelief, and then to worry. " I do run into you everyday on purpose". Darien's heart started beating erratically, Serena's not so subtle hinting having a surprising effect on his emotions. Serena saw the change in Darien's expression and knew it was time to shut the trap. " I run into you hoping that you'll have the decency to fall over and die! One of these days, I'm going to hit you just right, and maybe I'll be lucky enough that you'll be so crippled that you'll stay out of my life forever! Now, move it lame-brain, I have important things to do", Serena said triumphantly, stepping past him. She took two steps, tripped over her 'seemed to be too long' legs, and fell.

Darien snapped out of his stupor of disappointment and anger, in order to laugh.

" Whatever you say Serena, I'll just believe what I want to believe, and you believe what you want to believe."

" Arg!" Serena screamed in annoyance. She didn't risk a backward glance as she sped away from Darien. Darien watched her storm off, before turning around to walk in the opposite direction. That girl, Darien thought. Spoiled brat didn't know how good she had it, and all that wasted potential… Maybe if she had some encouragement? Said a compassionate voice in his head. " What she needs is a good kick in the ass", Darien said aloud. Two old women walking by, were startled by his words, and glared at him like he was crazy. You are crazy, getting all happy when you thought Serena was in love with you, and in the same breath cursing the fact that she exists. Darien decided to go home; he was all hot and bothered from the argument – all charged up with nowhere to go.

Though Serena wouldn't admit it to anyone, including herself, she thoroughly enjoyed her arguments with Darien. The altercation today had been no exception. She loved the fact that she could vent all of her frustrations, without being thought less of. Even when she argued with Raye, there was a guilty part of her thinking that 'Sailor Moon' shouldn't act in such a way to her senshi. But with Darien it was different, after all he couldn't think less of her if she tried and, besides, she didn't care what he thought of her. The only drawback to the arguments was all the energy she had when they were over. She always felt so alive, so special and in charge afterwards, and she never knew quite what to do with that feeling. Today, the Sailor V game was the recipient of her hyper condition.

" Serena! You promised me on a stack of manga that you would go running this morning if I let you miss training practice yesterday. Now get up!" Luna screamed at her charge, the following morning. When Luna again got no response, she had no choice but to dig her claws into Serena's foot, which was conveniently sticking out of the bedclothes.

"Yeouch!" Serena screeched, jumping a few in the air.

" Finally. Now go running like you said you would. Imagine how you would feel if one of the senshi was hurt because of your lack of preparation", Luna said in her haughty voice, which always seemed particularly grating to Serena when heard before nine o'clock on a Saturday morning.

" I will go running, but why does it have to be early? Aren't the benefits the same if I go, at say, noon?"

" If I don't pester you now, you'll find some excuse why you can't go later on. Now, get up or I'll use my left paw", Luna said, dropping her voice dramatically. Serena's eyes widened in apprehension. Luna had one very long, specially sharpened claw on her left paw that Serena was in no hurry to experience.

" Okay, okay, I'm going. Sheesh!" Serena said sliding out of bed. Serena got dressed in her running clothes: the black leggings that hugged her toned legs, the black running bra that emphasized her flat stomach and surprisingly large chest, and the grey sweatshirt that she wore unzipped unless it was cold. With her hair in its trademark meatballs, she let herself out of the house and started off at a modest pace for the park. Despite all her whining, she quite enjoyed running. It was one of the few training drills she was any good at and usually she got to do it on her own, which was a nice break from having Luna breathing down her neck.

The air was crisp but clear and Serena gave a little sigh of contentment. Lengthening her stride, she entered the park and headed for the lake. She was so wrapped up in her thoughts she didn't notice that there was another runner in the park.

Darien had long ago discovered the enjoyment to be had in a morning jog. (AN: I myself have never discovered that joy. I prefer the 'full pot of coffee and Saturday morning cartoons' kind of joy. J). It usually made him feel peaceful and when you lived the kind of life he did, peace was always hard to come by. That was why he was so annoyed to see Serena coming down a path that would soon join up with his. He knew it was juvenile but he felt like it was his park, and she'd never struck him as the type to go jogging. Then again, considering what she ate in a typical day, she must exercise a lot to keep that figure. That lithe, toned, and thoroughly delectable figure… Darien's mood got even darker. Since when had he developed a thing for silly, annoying, spoiled brats, like Serena? Maybe he'd been without a girlfriend too long… Well, there was nothing for it - he would have to bug her. If his day was ruined, then he had to make damn sure that hers was as well.

" Meatball Head. This is a surprise, finally figure out which foot goes in front of the other?"

" Should have guessed I wouldn't get one day of peace. What do you want, jerk?"

" I want my park back. It's obvious you've never been here to run before."

" What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

" Well, I mean, just look at you. I'd be willing to bet you haven't seen this side of exercising for quite some time."

Serena did look down briefly, her low self-confidence betraying her. The moment her eyes left the path, she stumbled, and her face flushed. She did NOT need this kind of aggravation. She increased her pace. For the first time in her life, she was extremely glad for her Sailor Moon abilities; she knew she could easily out distance Darien and possibly even beat him in a race.

Darien laughed when she tripped, and when she sped up, so did he. It was a good thing he ran on a daily basis, either like this or as Tuxedo Mask. Despite his teasing, she could move.

" Hate to break it to you, but unless you're king of all the earth, then this park doesn't belong to you. Now get out of my face, before I sue you for harassment." Serena was still smarting from his insults and she increased her pace yet again. Just go away, Serena prayed in her head. If he kept this up, she'd very soon snap and then Darien would be at the receiving end of a sailor senshi's wrath.

Darien was impressed when she started running faster. He caught up to her, but they were now keeping a pace that was much faster then his usual easy jog. He wouldn't (couldn't) give her the satisfaction of out pacing him.

" Harassment? Excuse me, but I think you're the one who is annoying me."

" Yeah, well what do you call this? Or is it normal for you to chase down innocent girls at the park, and insult them? Tell me, are you an asshole by birth or is it something your parents brought out in you?"

Darien saw red; nobody dared to mention his family, not if they knew what was good for them.

" And your parents, how long until they disown you out of shame for your embarrassing immaturity, your incredible self-centredness, and your sheer stupidity?" Darien hissed.

It was a good thing Serena was so angry by this point, or she might have given in and cried. Instead, she argued back using language she thought she'd never use on another human being. But then, she reasoned, Darien wasn't human – he was a walking, talking, jerk-machine.

" You'll shut the fuck up, if you know what's good for you. And don't you EVER speak to me again." With that said, she started sprinting, hoping to put distance between herself and Darien and from the things he'd said.

Darien was surprised to hear the swear drop from her lips, he must have struck a nerve. That was fine by him, she deserved as good as she got. It took some effort, but he caught up to her again. This time he didn't say anything to her, he just ran alongside her for a moment before putting on an extra burst of speed and overtaking her.

Serena was not to be outdone. She caught up with him, and the contest began. The two most stubborn people on the planet were running side-by-side, at a speed that not many would have been able to maintain, each trying to shake the other. It was a question of pride, it was a battle of wills, and it was an exercise in… stupidity. Serena felt like she was going to pass out soon, but did that stop her? Of course not. She was sweating and her heartbeat was pounding in her ears, but she refused to let Darien win. She'd die before she let him have that satisfaction. She just prayed that she didn't have a klutz attack.

Darien glanced covertly at his running 'partner', hoping she would show some sign of weakness. She was breathing hard, as he was, but her face had a determined look he was accustomed to seeing only on the face of a certain sailor-suited senshi. Serena wasn't about to give up and a part of him was impressed at the stamina she was showing, since he was feeling close to exhaustion. Another part of him was becoming exasperated. Why didn't she just give up? He'd already run twice as far as his usual jog, and at three times the speed, and somehow he just knew that it was her fault. He should just leave, but he'd rather die then have the klutz queen outrun him. Klutz queen? That gives me an idea, Darien thought. Sure, it wasn't very sporting, but if he didn't do something to stop this mad contest, they'd both end up with heart attacks. So he nudged her with his shoulder. Serena shot him a dirty look as she stepped off the path briefly, but then came back and pushed him. Darien stumbled, caught up with her again, and nudged her a little harder. They were at the crest of a hill, on either side of the path was a gentle, grassy slope, and this time when Serena was pushed, her feet somehow managed to tangle with themselves. Knowing from numerous past experiences that she was about to fall, she grabbed on to Darien's arm, determined that if she was going down, then so was he.

If Serena had been in the mood to laugh, she would have at the expression on Darien's face as he was pulled along with her to the ground. They might have been all right - if not for the fact that they were on a slope and they'd had considerable momentum going into the dive. They started to roll, faster and faster, until Darien's arms were gripped hard to Serena's shoulders to keep their heads from knocking. When the hill bottomed out, they came to a jarring stop with Darien on top. Their heads smacked together with a resounding thud. For a moment, they were both too dazed to do anything but take deep breaths and try to forestall the dizziness. Then they resumed the argument.

" Look what you've done! You are the most annoying, insensitive, manipulative, girl I've ever met!"

" I can't believe you're blaming me for this! And I can't believe you pushed me! Here I am, having a perfectly normal Saturday morning, when you come along, like some crazed army drill sergeant, and then, when you can't hack it, you push me! It's unbelievable. And look at my head! I'm going to have a huge, horrible bump for sure after smacking into your cement-head. You really are the biggest creep I've ever met, and I've met some strange things in my lifetime. I don't know what…" Serena continued with her loud, screaming, rant, which Darien eventually had to tune out or risk getting permanent hearing damage.

" Don't you ever shut-up?" Darien yelled at her. Serena kept right on speaking.

" And here you are pinning me to the ground and you haven't even asked me if I'm okay. I could have broken bones or a concussion you know, and, hey don't you want to be a doctor or something?"

Darien could think of only one way to stop her tirade, but even as he was going through the motions, a part of him was wondering at his motivations. He was going completely on instinct, and that was not Darien's usual way of making decisions, but it didn't stop him.

He kissed her. He didn't meet her eyes, or ask for permission. He just focused his attention on her lips and stopped their moving with the pressure of his mouth. Serena was so shocked that she completely lost her train of thought. Maybe it was because of their argument and their run, but she suddenly felt alive as though her blood was made completely of adrenaline and she kissed him back. He was the enemy, but she somehow managed to convince herself that the Darien she knew and the Darien whose body and lips were pressed against her, were two separate entities. That meant it was okay to run her fingers through his hair, and to let him trail his hands down her body.

Definitely been too long without a girlfriend. I mean, this is Serena, the girl I can barely tolerate? So what if she's scantily clad, if her breasts are pressing against me with every deep breath, and if every inch of her bare skin is toned and slicked with sweat? Wait, where was I going with this thought? Ah, who the hell cares? Darien kissed her roughly, as though trying to impart some of the frustration he was feeling over doing this with her, and managed to get his tongue in her mouth. If he had any illusions that this meant anything more then a purely physical attraction, they were gone the moment their tongues met. She bit him none to gently, and he pressed into her so harshly, that there was no chance of her lips not being bruised. When his hand brushed against her waist, he felt no remorse for gripping her a little too tightly, just as she felt no guilt for punching him hard in the shoulder when he accidentally leaned on her hair.

" Hey, you kids! This is a public, family place. You can't do that kind-of stuff here!" Yelled an outraged father from the path. Darien and Serena broke apart, staring first at the man, and then at each other. The sudden realization of what had occurred between them, made Serena's face blanch and Darien's face curl into disgust.

" Get off me you pig!" Serena snapped, pushing Darien away and scrambling to her feet. Darien wiped his hand over his lips, as though he suddenly found the taste of her disagreeable. He wished that that were true – his eyes had already fastened to her swollen lips, wanting to kiss her again.

Serena was trying to pretend like she wasn't cold now that she was out of Darien's arms. She became flustered when he kept staring at her without saying anything, and decided to leave.

" See you around, Meatball Head. And try not to throw yourself at my feet the next time we meet, okay?" Darien muttered to her retreating form.

" Excuse me?" Serena said furious. " You kissed me, not the other way around. Really, learn to keep your hormones in check, will y'a?"

Before Darien could retort, Serena took off, running away as fast as she could. Inside she was shaking like jelly, and although she should have felt completely out of energy after her marathon run, she somehow found enough energy to make it all the way back to her house without slowing down. Luna was still curled up on Serena's bed. She stretched as Serena came in.

" That must have been a long run Serena. Perhaps you're learning to take things seriously, I'm proud of you".

Serena had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. She wondered how proud Luna would be if she knew that her charge had just been caught making out with Darien in a public place? She stepped into the shower and tried to forget the whole thing, but a handprint on her waist reminded her that things were likely to never be the same again.

A few days later, at the arcade, Darien was peacefully sipping his coffee and perusing his newspaper. He was deliberately not thinking about Serena and the fact that he'd kissed her. And it had been him who had instigated the kiss, no matter what he'd told Serena. Still, she had chosen to kiss him back, and more besides. God, he could still recall how her skin had felt: taut and hot to the touch. Darien crossed his legs sharply to forestall his wayward thoughts, when a blonde whirlwind bumped into him, causing him to spill coffee all over the newspaper.

" Watch it, Meatball Head!" he said sharply.

" You're the one who spilled", Serena retaliated, turning around to face him.

" That's because you just bumped me", Darien explained gruffly.

" Well, excuuuuse me", Serena said, rolling her eyes skyward. She started to walk away when Darien caught her wrist.

" No, I don't think I will excuse you. You ruined my paper, just like you ruined my run the other day, and just like you ruin everything else you touch".

" I ruin everything? Oh, and I suppose you're perfect? You know, some people would think picking on a girl was a less-then-nice thing to do."

" Oh, just be quiet, your voice is becoming lethal", Darien yelled at her. He was so loud that everyone in the busy arcade instantly stopped what they were doing to find out what all the commotion was about. It was so quiet all of a sudden that everyone heard when a plastic drinking straw rolled off a tabletop and hit the floor.

Serena smiled, " I think our audience just proved your voice is at least as shrill as mine."

" You are BOTH driving me and everyone else nuts! Honestly, if you're going to fight, and I realize it's all but inevitable, could you at least use the backroom? If only for the sake of my business?" Andrew said, interrupting the quarrelling pair.

Serena and Darien turned to look at him, faces going red with chagrin.

" See what you've done? You've upset poor Andrew," Serena chided unable (unwilling?) to let the argument stop.

" Me? He's my friend", Darien responded.

Andrew didn't interrupt them a second time. Instead, he herded the two squabblers up and then pushed them through the kitchen, to the very back of the building where there was a little room, scarcely bigger then a closet, with a heavy door. He pushed them inside and slammed the door shut. Andrew was met with mild applause when he returned to the arcade floor for having dealt with the 'troublemakers'.

Serena and Darien barely registered their change in environment. The argument kept right on going.

" I would have thought it was impossible to get kicked out of an arcade, but congratulations, you've done it", Darien said sarcastically.

" Shut-up Darien, you're back here to. In fact, this is all your fault", Serena screeched, taking a step towards him. She was breathing hard, and she felt warm and excited. This was turning out to be one of the best arguments they had ever had. Best? Didn't she mean worst? True, the insults had been coming fast and thick, but even as she gave vent to her rage, a part of her was using the energy and turning it to something else. Something akin to passion… She began losing the thread of the argument as certain other facts began gaining in importance. Like how dark Darien's eyes had gone all deep and dark, and how close his lips were when he leaned in to yell in her face. Or how the constant raking of his fingers through his beautiful, soft hair, was making it look sexily dishevelled.

" You're selfish, you're greedy", Darien railed on as Serena's mind wandered.

" Sorry, what was that?" Serena asked politely.

Darien gawked at her in disbelief. " Unbelievable, your attention span can't even cover the length of an argument!"

" Well, it's your own fault. You're too damn attractive!" Serena cried out in frustration, as her distaste and self-control gave over to lust. Darien had only a moment to register her comment before Serena had catapulted into him. Her arms circled his neck expertly, her lips covering up the grunt of surprise that was Darien's only immediate response. They tumbled to the floor due to the momentum of Serena's attack.

Darien considered being angry for his unceremonious trip to the floor, but the fall had caused Serena's already short skirt to ride up nicely, so he decided to make the best of the situation. (AN: Such a hard life he leads!J). Their tongues wrestled with more force that was probably necessary, plunging and nibbling with all the energy their argument had stirred up. Serena's hand had found it's way inside his shirt, and she was switching back and forth from a gentle caress to digging her nails into his skin. She didn't like him, she reminded herself, but she had to admit that she liked how he felt beneath her. It was clear that she loved to hate him.

Darien had about five different voices in his head arguing about what he should do. First voice: she's you're sworn enemy – throw her off you and rinse your mouth out. Second voice: you're in the backroom of an arcade – not the best place for whatever you decide to do. Third voice: just get her out of your system – you've done nothing but whine about her since that day in the park. Fourth voice: even if you hate her, it's no excuse to treat her like this – you're practically mauling her. Fifth voice: she's gorgeous, she's nubile, and she's willing – why the hell are you listening to us?

Darien (AN: surprise, surprise) listened to the last voice. His hands began stroking the soft skin of her bare legs and he could feel her breasts pressing gently against his chest, through her blouse. Her hands might well have been electricity; every place she touched him, he shuddered and twitched. Always, their mouths moved together in a constant battle between supremacy and desire. He loved the taste of her even as he loathed the mouth that usually poured insults at him. Their near violent and certainly intense coupling, was brought up short by a knock at the door.

Serena's eyes sprang open and fastened on Darien's, the implications of her situation washing over her like a cold wave. What if Andrew had just come straight in and seen them? She'd never have lived it down.

" If the silence means you've stopped arguing, you guys can come out", Andrew said through the door.

" Oh my God, he's going to find out about us", Serena whispered fervently.

" What did you think was going to happen? Or were you so desperate to have me, that you pounced without thinking?" Darien whispered back, a smug smile gracing his features.

" Desperate? Pounced?" Serena managed to eke out in disbelief. The doorknob rattled before Serena could retaliate and she sprang to her feet. She settled her skirt and straightened her skirt just before Andrew entered the room.

" What's going on?" Andrew asked, seeing Darien on the floor, and a seething Serena, who also seemed a little embarrassed?

" Meatball Head's a knock-out, literally", Darien said, " I wonder what's wrong with a person to make them so violent?"

" Serena, is it true? You pushed him over?" Andrew said incredulously.

" But I… but he… it was…" Serena tried to defend herself but couldn't come up with another reasonable excuse for Darien being on the floor. She glanced at Darien and even in the gloom she could tell he was laughing at her predicament. " You little bastard!" she cried in frustration.

" Whoa! Relax Serena. He's already on the floor. Come on Darien let me help you up", Andrew said. Darien blanched, realizing he couldn't let Andrew get closer or, gloom or no gloom, Andrew would notice Darien's, er, 'growing' attraction to Serena. Serena noticed his expression, took a quick look to confirm her suspicions, before smiling in devilish merriment. In a silky-smooth voice she said,

" Oh, I wouldn't worry Andrew. Darien's 'getting up', one piece at a time". Serena laughed before turning on her heel and sauntering out of the room. Darien just flushed.

" What did she mean by that?" Andrew asked, still not getting what Serena had been implying.

" How should I presume to know what goes on in that ditz's brain?" Darien said tensely. Above all, Andrew must not find out that he had now made out with Serena twice. He'd never hear the end of it.

" So you coming?" Andrew asked, since Darien still hadn't moved.

" In a minute. I want to make sure she'd gone first."

" Fear a rematch?" Andrew asked, laughing at the thought of someone being scared of the pint-sized Serena.

" Something like that", Darien agreed with a smile. You have no idea how dangerous she can be. While he lay there, Darien began planning out his next encounter with Serena. It had to be something that would provoke an argument (which for them could be just about anything) because that seemed to be the catalyst, and it had to occur somewhere where Serena was the one who would be discomfited. He acknowledged that his plans were causing him to grin like an idiot, but he attributed the reaction to the promise of revenge, and not the opportunity of being with Serena again. She would pay for the painful, though pleasurable, position he was in.

Nearly a week went by during which both Serena and Darien were more agitated then usual. They tried to account for their recent actions in a rational way, but found it was rather difficult. Once could be dismissed as a simple lapse in judgement, twice implied there was something a little deeper that was pulling them together. And seeing as how Darien and Serena were both looking forward to their next argument, meant something else again. Serena was handling her unwanted attraction to Darien in typical fashion: she ignored it and hoped it would go away. (AN: that's my favourite way of dealing with problems, too!) Darien did everything he could to rid himself of his excess energy, and he even went so far as to go on a date with someone Andrew had suggested. The woman had turned out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely smitten, but he'd felt nothing in return for her. The heat, the passion, the sheer excitement, he felt when he was Serena simply hadn't been there. Ahh, Serena. He was realizing that she, and only she, satisfied a part of him that he had long ignored. Lust, Darien readily admitted to that, but maybe something more? Such thoughts made Darien uncomfortable so he pushed them to the back of his mind.

The next morning Serena awoke in trademark fashion. " I'm late! Ooh, why didn't someone wake me up sooner?" Serena screeched, tearing down the stairs. She grabbed her book bag, her lunch, and stuffed a muffin in her mouth, before running out the door and waving goodbye to her parents.

" Should we tell her she's a half-hour earlier then usual?" Her father asked idly, refilling his coffee cup.

" Too late now. At least she'll be on time for once, although I really don't approve of your prank, Sammy. Make sure you set her clock back to regular time before tomorrow", Serena's mother said, although the smile in her eyes betrayed the fact that she found the trick amusing.

Serena happened to glance at her watch halfway through her mad dash and nearly fainted when she read the time. However, before she had time to confirm that she was indeed early and slow down, she had turned the corner and run into what felt like a solid wall of muscle.

" Don't you ever get tired or running into me, Meatball Head?"

" Don't you ever get tired of being hit? Why don't you ever move out of my way? And my name isn't Meatball Head, you jerk", Serena said, highly offended.

" I can't believe you're offended. I'm the victim here, and do you ever apologize, once you find it's me you've hit? No, you don't. You know, somebody should really teach you some manners".

" You're yelling at me in the middle of a public street and causing a scene. I don't think you should be lecturing me on my manners", Serena said snidely.

" Arg!" Darien cried out in annoyance. He was determined to win at least one argument, and he could do without the benefit of the spectators who were looking on curiously. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her roughly through a nearby hedge. They found themselves in a relatively secluded spot – blocked from the view of the house whose property they were on by a row of tall trees, and blocked form the street by the thick bushes. " You run into me all the time, do you have any idea what that does to me?"

" I suppose you're going to tell me?" Serena said, crossing her arms and raising her chin in the air. It was meant to be seen as a cold and haughty gesture, but really it was because Serena didn't want to look him in the eye in case she jumped him again. Really, what was wrong with her? Normal girls didn't stop to make-out with their enemies while on the way to school, did they?

Darien's eyes were glued to Serena's flushed face and the elegant turn of her neck when she lifted her chin. He could practically see how her pace was racing, despite her attempts to look calm. How was it that she managed to look adorable and innocent in one instant, and shockingly sexy in the next? He was about to lose another argument he could tell.

" No, I'm not going to tell you", he said huskily, " I'm going to show you".

Before Serena could blink, Darien was crushing her to him; moulding his hard form into hers. Serena gave a startled gasp as Darien's mouth covered hers in a wildly, passionate kiss. Her book-bag fell heedlessly from her fingers, her legs instinctively locking around his hips when he lifted her up, effortlessly, so that she could feel just how much he needed her. With fluid grace, Darien dropped to his knees and carefully arranged Serena on the soft earth before leaning over her again. " See? This is what happens when you touch me. Every time you bump into me, we argue and I start to feel alive or something, but then you run away and leave me all… confused. Then all day, all I can do is think about you and wonder what it is about you that drives me so crazy", Darien said breathlessly. He kissed Serena before she could respond, and the kiss was rough and seemed to be both a punishment for her always running away and thanks for running into him just the same. He broke off his assault to trail kisses down her jaw and neck.

" At least you know your affect on me is just as bad. I can't tell you the number of times I've run into you on the way to school and then gotten detention, because I was daydreaming about causing you some pain. Even worse is that lately, instead of the usual daydreams of planning your hideous demise, I've been thinking about… well, doing what we're doing".

Darien lifted his head to gaze at her, interested by her comment. Serena blushed, as though having thoughts about him, was worse then the actual actions, and that made Darien chuckle.

" At least you don't have to go around the rest of the day with everyone thinking you're a horny teenager. I think Andrew suspects something, I never did thank you for leaving me there on the floor."

" Well you deserved it", Serena said. Darien inched his face closer to Serena's until they were nose to nose, and then tried to look threatening. " I mean, I'm sorry?" Serena squeaked.

" Not good enough. I wonder what people will say when you arrive at school completely dishevelled?" Darien asked rhetorically, lowering his mouth to taste her lips again and loosening the bow on her school uniform. Serena struggled briefly and half-heartedly, knowing that if she didn't leave soon she would be late for school, but soon found that leaving Darien's presence was even harder then it had been to leave her bed that morning. In fact, nothing felt as right as being in Darien's arms did. She felt Darien's hand give up on her bow and begin sliding down over her hip to her skirts hem. Deftly, that hand began its journey back up her leg, this time along her delicate skin.

Suddenly, Serena froze; every muscle stilled as she caught sight of two pairs of feet on the other side of the concealing bush. Low heeled sensible Mary-Janes, perfectly polished – those could only belong to Amy, and the other pair of flat, brown loafers with the scuffed toe belonged to Lita – that girl didn't need heels, she was already tall enough. Oh God, two of my best friends are standing perhaps half a metre away. Any sound and the whole shameful secret of 'sleeping with the enemy' would be out in the open.

Darien was worried that perhaps he'd gone a little too far (he might have reasons for disliking Serena but it didn't mean he was going to force her into anything), before noticing her rather fixed gaze. So she feared detection, did she? Well, he'd probably regret this later but it was too good an opportunity to pass up on. With his index finger he gently traced a line up the highly sensitive skin of her inner thigh. Serena yelped in surprise and both pairs of feet turned in the direction of the noise. Serena screwed her eyes shut, expecting detection at any moment, when the school bell rang, and her friends departed. When the noise of students entering the school building had died down, Serena pushed Darien off her and climbed unsteadily to her feet.

" How could you do that? Those were my friends - they would have found us. Oh man, now I'm going to be late for class", Serena realized. She stepped over the prone Darien, and looked around for her bag. Darien got up, retrieved the bag, and pretended to hand it to her. When she reached for it, he held it over his head.

" I would have thought you were accustomed to being late".

" Accustomed, yes, but it doesn't mean I like it. I screw up enough without having to do it on purpose. Can I have my bag, please?"

Her desperate and subdued tone caught Darien off guard. It was easy to forget sometimes that Serena had a life outside of their arguments. He found himself wondering what sort of things she liked to do when she wasn't with him. Really, he didn't know all that much about her – he'd never wanted to get past the label of selfish, annoying, brat that he'd given her.

" Yeah, I'm sorry. Here" Darien said, passing her the bag gently and then straightening the bow on her uniform. Serena stood there staring at Darien like he'd grown another head. " What?"

" Nothing, it's just you've never apologized to me before", Serena explained. This simple act of common courtesy was more confusing to Serena than anything else that had previously occurred. At first she'd thought her attraction to Darien was purely physical, and then she'd begun to actually look forward to seeing him, and now this. Suddenly she was seeing a whole new side to Darien that was decidedly hard to dislike.

" So, I guess I'll see you Friday?" Darien asked warily. They were treading into uncharted waters now.

" Huh?" Serena asked, mystified. Had she forgotten something they'd planned?

" We always argue on Fridays – you have early dismissal and I don't have afternoon classes on Friday, so what else would we do?"

" So we're still going to argue, even though we, uh",

" End up fooling around? Sure we will, I figure our arguing is just part of our routine, our M.O. Can't have one, without the other. And I rather like this new addition to our usual pattern."

" So do I", Serena confessed, daring to meet his eyes. She sighed, " I can't do anything normal, can I? Right then, Jerk, I'm off to school and detention. See you!"

" Later Meatball Head", Darien said, leaving in the opposite direction – but not before he'd seen the automatic tense up of Serena's shoulders at his nickname.

- Please read and review. I have so little else to look forward to…J Next part, Serena and Darien find out each other's secret identities.