Okay, here's the second and last part. I think. Anyway, thanks a billion times to everyone who reviewed part one. I was so touched! I tried really hard on this part to live up to expectations, so please let me know if I failed or succeeded. I'm still rating this as R, and not NC-17, because I don't think I'm being very explicit, but yes, this story is basically about sex. Serena and Darien are whatever age you want them to be, it doesn't really matter to the story. I don't own Sailor Moon, unfortunately. Enjoy!
Serena couldn't believe how long it took for Friday to come around. Of course Friday always seemed to take its time arriving, but this week it was especially frustrating. It was silly, she knew, to be so looking forward to a confrontation with a so-called enemy, but part of her was optimistic that if things continued on as they had been of late, they wouldn't be enemies much longer. And deny though she would, she rather liked the idea of having Darien in her life on a permanent basis.
Such blissful thoughts floated through her head as Serena rammed her books more or less successfully into the mess that was her locker.
" Hey, Serena. Ready to go or do you have detention?" Lita asked, coming alongside Serena.
" No detention. Miss. H hates to give them on early dismissal days. Where's Amy?"
" Probably waiting outside. We all going to the arcade then?"
" Yup. And then to Raye's."
The trio left in high spirits, Serena's mood the best of all. She was going to see Darien and for the moment it was enough if all they shared was a good argument.
Darien thought Friday was never going to happen. He could have sworn there had been three Tuesday's and at least two Wednesday's (AN: Ever have one of those weeks?). But finally, Friday was here. And when his last class of the day was over he let out an uncharacteristic cheer, jumped out of his chair, and was the first one out the door. He raced to his apartment, threw his books onto the coffee table, and went to take a shower. Soon, he was heading back out the door to stake out the arcade. If he thought it was odd that he was in excited anticipation of an argument, then he didn't let it worry him. He'd enjoyed himself (mostly) so far, so he was prepared to let nature continue its course. He sat down and prepared to wait.
The door to the arcade jangled and Darien's head popped up like he was a puppet on a string. He didn't even need to see her to know Serena was in the room – his other senses alerted him to her presence as though she was a jolt of electricity. His face assumed the expected sardonic grin, and he was all ready to accuse her of all number of horrible things, when he saw her face. She was sad, tears had welled up in her eyes, and she walked as though she were dragging along a piano. He was halfway out of his seat, ready to take her in his arms and console her no matter what the problem was, before he remembered that they were 'enemies'. He couldn't do any of that, at least not in front of spectators.
" What's up with Serena?" Andrew asked Lita.
" Oh, some guy started teasing her and she got all upset. Just yesterday this guy asked her for a date, and she said no, she was seeing someone. Then he found out that she wasn't seeing anyone and he got nasty. I would have popped him one but he was yelling from a car window and drove off when I got closer."
" That's rough, Serena. But I don't see why you're so upset. I mean, you know the guy's a jerk, why bother listening to him?" Andrew said.
" Well, he called her an ugly, lying, uh, 'female dog'? And then he kind of started to, uh, bark", Amy explained. Darien was seething. Okay, so maybe he'd been no better about teasing her before, but at least he'd always stuck around to get as good as he gave. Then he got an idea,
" That explains it then. You're upset because this guy told the truth about you. Wish I'd thought of doing that years ago", Darien said, hoping he could get Serena's attention.
" Hey, give her a break Darien".
" Yeah, I really don't want to deal with you right now", she said, regaining enough pride to yell at Darien.
" Are you sure? Maybe it's time you heard what I really think of you", Darien yelled, all the time trying to communicate to her the real message with his eyes.
Serena glared at Darien. Sure, they argued, but kicking her while she was down seemed a tad harsh. She looked hard into his dark blue eyes, and noticed the gentle, pleading, look that lay hidden in their depths. Suddenly, everything made sense. She was so startled that it was hard to continue with the charade.
" Uh, yeah, maybe I should hear what you have to say. Time I learned my lesson, and stuff. Maybe, we should go outside to yell at each other?" Serena asked, still yelling, despite her almost conversational words.
" I think that's a good idea!" Darien said. His tone implied anger but it was completely incongruous with his statement. Darien took Serena by the hand, and the two of them left the arcade in a blur of motion. The stunned witnesses watched them through the windows until they had disappeared from sight.
Lita looked at Amy, Amy looked at Andrew, Andrew turned to look for someone else who might explain, but since it was only the three of them, he was forced to conclude that they were all equally mystified.
" Did everyone else think that was odd?" Andrew eventually asked.
" Odd? That was downright bizarre. Were they arguing or agreeing?" Asked Amy.
" I don't know, but for the sake of my sanity, I'm going to pretend like it didn't happen", Lita said, and took a long sip of her milkshake. Amy and Andrew nodded in agreement with Lita's wise advice.
Darien was still holding Serena's hand as he dragged her down the street. They had already reached the park when Serena spoke up,
" Darien, where are we going?" Darien stopped so abruptly that Serena crashed into his back. He steadied her as he turned her around so that they were face to face.
" You know, I have no idea? I just wanted to cheer you up and I couldn't do that with our friends around", Darien said with a loopy grin on his face. Serena laughed. Darien started laughing too before asking what was so funny. " What?"
" It's just that my enemy, the guy who teases me relentlessly, is desperate to make me feel better because another guy made fun of me".
" Oh yeah, I see your point. Is it hypocritical of me to be with you now, should I not have tried to look after you?"
" No, I'm glad you did. I feel better already", Serena said, stepping closer.
" Don't say that. I was planning on kissing you better", Darien teased, wrapping his arms around her.
" In that case, I feel just awful", Serena said, smiling softly. Darien reached out his hand and cupped her chin gently, tipping her head up slightly. He lowered his head with deliberate slowness, and their lips met very tenderly, like wind through a dream. It was the first gentle kiss they had ever shared. It deepened naturally and gracefully, and was charged with the same passion and desire that their other kisses had been, only this time there was meaning behind it. They held each other as close as they could, arms holding, lifting, and linking them together.
Serena couldn't get over how good he smelled. He must have just showered as the smell of soap lingered over his body, accentuating his own natural scent. He was so solid and down to earth; she felt completely protected in his arms. The feeling was so strong that she felt like she was drowning, only it was the most wonderful sensation she had ever experienced. It was so shattering and beautiful that she almost felt like crying.
Warm and soft, gentle and inviting, these, and many other thoughts besides, circled through Darien's brain as he held Serena to his body. She fit so perfectly into his arms, into his life, as though he'd been waiting for her to complete him. He couldn't remember how he'd lived before he'd met her. He didn't want to either. He just wanted to go on holding her and encase himself in that soft glow that followed her every move.
Darien's hand brushed her neck and Serena giggled. The kiss ended and Serena's eyes fluttered open. " Sorry, I'm ticklish, especially around the neck."
" Ticklish? Really…" Darien said, a devilish smile forming.
" Oh no, please, no", Serena said, backing out of his embrace in mock fear. Darien stepped after her and before she could run he was tickling her all over. Serena shrieked with laughter, and made hurried, unsuccessful, attempts to get away from Darien's wandering hands. She crumbled into a ball on the grass to try and escape but the tickling continued, until Serena couldn't stand it anymore. She felt sure she was going to run out of air soon,
" Please, I can't breathe!" Serena gasped out between fits of laughter.
" Fine, we'll resume this later", Darien said. They lay side by side in the grass taking deep breaths. Darien sat up first and pulled Serena into his lap. The sun was just setting over the lake - a shimmering orb of brilliant orange light. Serena's eyes were drinking in the amazing scenery, and Darien was drinking in the sight of Serena. The slight rise and fall of her chest, the long arch of her neck, the shining, golden bangs that threatened to spill into her sea-blue eyes. He began to gently nuzzle her neck, just below her ear.
Serena sighed, thinking nothing could be as perfect as this moment. The nuzzling at her neck tickled, especially when she felt Darien's tongue touching her sensitive skin every now and then.
" Darien, what are you doing?" Serena asked after several minutes had gone by. She was beginning to worry that Darien had a neck fetish or something.
" It occurred to me today, when you said that that other guy asked you out, that other men are probably looking at you, and wanting you, because, hey, who wouldn't? And I thought I'd better do something to let other's know you're spoken for." Serena basked in the compliment for a moment, before realizing what Darien had done. She turned around and fixed her gaze on him.
" Darien Chiba - did you just give me a hickie?" She asked sternly.
Darien actually flushed. He wasn't the kind of guy to be so playful but something about her made him feel completely at ease. And he'd always wanted to give a girl a hickie, so he was almost proud when he admitted, " yup".
" How could you? How am I going to hide this from the kids at school, from my friends, from, oh God, my family", Serena said, eyes going wide at the thought of her father spotting the bruise.
" Tell them you had a run in with a vacuum", Darien said.
" You know what the worst thing about that excuse is? Everyone would believe I was klutzy enough to get a vacuum stuck to my neck, but everyone would wonder what I was doing with a vacuum in the first place. I'm not exactly known for my cleaning skills", Serena admitted.
" Excuse me while I try and act surprised", Darien said.
" Jerk", Serena muttered. Then something occurred to her, " Do you realize we didn't fight first this time? What do you think that means?"
Darien paused to think about it, not sure if he was ready to admit that he was happy in her company, with or without the arguments.
" I… don't know. It could just have been a freak occurrence, us kissing without an argument. I mean you don't like me or anything, do you?"
" Oh no", Serena said, a little too quickly to be convincing. " You still dislike me, right?"
" Of course", Darien said, just as unconvincingly.
" Right then. I'll stand here", Serena said, standing up. " You'll stand there, and we'll both say something insulting to the other and everything will be back to normal. If you can call this normal…"
Darien looked at Serena and couldn't think of one hateful thing to say about her. Fortunately, they were interrupted by a loud voice calling for Serena.
" That's Raye", Serena explained. " I was supposed to meet up with her and the other girls after we'd been to the arcade. I'd better book it", Serena started to move towards her friends, when she thought of something to say, " Just so you know. Next time I plan on arguing that I'm not your property, so you can't go marking me as you want. Really, what typically male behaviour".
Serena sped off as Darien muttered, " You try to do something nice". He was glad she was gone because he was anything but mad at her, and they'd only just narrowly escaped the threat of having a real, caring, relationship. Of course, he was ludicrously happy that she'd stated they would be meeting again.
The following evening, Serena was again in the park, only this time it was for an entirely different reason. An extremely well endowed and badly dressed female toaster-like monster was attacking a group of bystanders. Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury, and Sailor Jupiter, were dashing around it avoiding giant pieces of steaming hot toast. Sailor Moon was on her butt, fuming. I really hate it when these things waste food.
Climbing to her feet, she activated her tiara and shot it at the monster. She succeeded in chopping off an arm, but the monster failed to turn into dust. It let out another scream of outrage and shot another round of toast, or rather bagels, at them.
" That's it! I am Sailor Moon, champion of love and justice, and I will not let you waste food like that", Serena said angrily. She readied her tiara but her speech had given the monster enough time to fire directly at her. Before she could think about moving, a pair of arms was sweeping her off the ground. It was Tuxedo Mask and although Serena was relieved, she couldn't help wondering why she wasn't as excited as she usually was by the appearance of her dashing saviour. Could it be she was more interested in her tormentor Darien, than she was by her 'perfect' match Tuxedo Mask? At first, the thought seemed so absurd that she dismissed it, but then she thought some more and realized Tuxedo Mask had always been more of a dream guy, then an ideal one. She couldn't imagine being with him other then at times like this. She needed someone who needed her. Someone solid, like Darien.
" Finish it off, the monster's back is turned", Tuxedo Mask said, setting her down. Darien wondered why it was that his dream girl, Sailor Moon, suddenly seemed to mean no more then that to him – a pleasant dream. He liked being able to rescue her and he admired her determination and heart, but he couldn't really see being with her on a permanent basis. You don't just ask a superhero for a date and he could never picture himself settling down with an illusory person like Sailor Moon. He wanted someone who didn't find it necessary to ooh and ahh over his every move, someone who spoke her mind, and kept him guessing. Someone like Serena.
And it was around that time that he saw it. Sailor Moon's choker had slipped a little, revealing a middle-sized, oval shaped, bruise just under her left ear. Darien was so stunned that he forgot how to blink. It couldn't be a coincidence.
" Ha! Moon Dusted!" Serena cried triumphantly, unaware that her secret identity had just been discovered. She hurried to check on her friends.
Once the initial shock where off, Darien started smiling, and then he started to laugh. It was too perfect – not only did he have further reasons for being with Serena, but also he got Sailor Moon as an added bonus. In fact, if he believed in that stuff, he'd think it was fate. He'd even go so far as to say that the arguing was just a last resort from whoever was in charge to get them together. Well done Fate, well done.
Serena waved goodbye to her fellow scouts, and started off for home. A figure in black stepped out of the shadows so suddenly that she gave a little gasp of surprise. It was Tuxedo Mask, but he looked different. He had a smug smile on his face as though he knew something.
" Sailor Moon, looking beautiful as ever", Darien drawled. Serena was nervous. Tuxedo Mask never usually stuck around after a battle. What did he want? " Or maybe, I should say Serena."
" Excuse me?"
" I know who you are Sailor Moon. Your Serena Tsukino, you go to Juuban High, and you hang out at the arcade."
Serena's jaw dropped and Darien couldn't help himself. She was so adorably perplexed that he knew who she was, and it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He backed her into a tree, placed his arms on either side of her (blocking off escape), and kissed her hungrily. He wasn't really sure what he thought would happen, but it certainly came as a surprise when she punched him in the face. Hard.
Worrying that she might have broken his nose, he held his face cradled in his hands, his mask and hat had fallen to the ground with the force of the blow.
" Bhat de heb fo bat fior?" Darien said intelligibly.
" What?" Serena said. Darien stood up and met her eye to eye.
" I said: what the hell did you do that for?"
Serena's eyes widened. Flashing midnight blue eyes in a face she knew so well. Why had she never seen the similarities before? Darien was Tuxedo Mask. She could have her down-to-earth, handsome, stimulating Darien, with the added bonus that she could share with him all the stuff that went on in her life as Sailor Moon. It was a perfect situation. Then she noticed that Darien was still bleeding.
" Oh, I'm so sorry! I thought you were… well you are, but I thought that you weren't you, and I didn't want that".
" Serena, that didn't make any sense", Darien said, still a little moody. He couldn't believe she'd actually hit him hard enough to draw blood.
" I didn't want anyone but Darien Chiba kissing me, and that included Tuxedo Mask. I just didn't know you were Tuxedo Mask." Darien perked up a little. How flattering that she would go to such lengths to reserve herself for him alone. "Come to think about it, how long have you known I was Sailor Moon? And how could you not tell me you were Tuxedo Mask?" Serena said, voice getting louder. She transformed out of her Sailor Suit, and back into the long skirt and blouse she'd been wearing before.
" I saw the mark on your neck. And what about not telling me you were Sailor Moon?" Darien said, following her example and de-transforming into his former outfit of khakis and white button-down shirt.
" I couldn't just go around telling people who I was. That's kind of the point of a secret identity, that it remains secret? Duh", Serena said rudely.
" Well, why would I be any different? I don't really like the idea of monsters coming around to my apartment. You're being totally irrational", Darien said loudly. He started walking in the direction of his home. Serena caught up with him.
" I'm being irrational? Sure, blame the hysterical woman. You're a real piece of work, you know that?"
" You're the one who's arguing for no apparent reason. What are you so mad about?"
" I don't know!" Serena yelled. She really didn't. It was kind-of annoying that for the time they'd been together, they hadn't been able to talk about the pressures of superhero life, but other then that she was actually really happy.
" You are unbelievable. Only someone with an amazingly small brain, could forget why they were yelling at someone", Darien said, rolling his eyes skyward. They were now at the front doors of Darien's apartment complex. The space between them had closed dramatically, their eyes more on each other then they were on where they were going.
" I don't even know where the hell you're taking me", Serena said, as Darien ushered them inside to the foot of the elevator.
" I'm not taking you anywhere, you're following me because you can't bear to let me win at an argument!" Darien shouted.
" No, I just refuse to let you call me stupid and get away with it".
" Well, it would take way longer then this walk to convince me of your intelligence. So I suppose I have to invite you into my apartment, now that you're here?"
" You don't have to do anything, just tell me you don't think I'm stupid!"
" Fine, you're not stupid, you just never concentrate on one thing at a time. Now are you coming up?" Darien said angrily, as the elevator doors pinged open. Serena didn't say anything; she just stepped inside and crossed her arms over her chest. When the doors had closed again, she approached him.
" So help me, Darien, I still love to argue with you, but sometimes we go too far", she said. Her face was flushed, she was breathing hard, and her eyes were alive with inner fire. Darien watched her with predatory eyes, loving the intensity of the moment.
" Agreed. I should never say things I don't mean", Darien said, brushing some of her hair back behind her shoulder. " Now, do you think we've had enough foreplay for tonight?"
" Absolutely", Serena said, allowing herself to be drawn into his strong embrace. Lips locked with a force that was strong and undeniable. They had a struggle to get out of the elevator at the correct floor, since they couldn't separate for even a split second. Darien pushed Serena up against the door of his apartment while he fumbled for his keys. A neighbour came out of the apartment across the hall and gaped at the amorous couple, before Darien caught sight of the onlooker. Darien fixed his piercing gaze on the man for daring to look at his Serena with anything less then complete respect and the man promptly fled back into the safety of his own apartment. Finally, the door was managed, and the couple stumbled through the door.
Darien carried her with ease to the middle of his living room. He put her feet on the floor and placed his hands at the small of her back. Serena hands were twined around his neck, gently holding his head in place above hers. She slid her hands down his chest shyly, before daring to undo one of the buttons. One of Darien's hands came up to cover hers and to let her know it was okay to continue. She undid another button, followed by another until his chest was bare. The first thing she did was to put her palm over the beating of his heart. She could feel Darien's strong hands through the thin fabric of her shirt, spreading their heat up the length of her spine as he caressed her gently.
The telephone rang shrilly, startling them both. Darien groaned into her mouth before tearing himself away to go answer it. " It's probably work, I have to answer", he muttered by way of excuse. He answered the phone in the kitchen and Serena could tell by his tone that it was likely to be a lengthy conversation.
The interruption gave her time to analyse the situation. That she loved Darien there was no question, but whether or not he loved her was still unknown. That he cared for her was apparent, and maybe that was enough? Maybe she should just do what her body so clearly wanted, and hope Darien came around eventually. Ooh, it was all so confusing. Nothing in her entire life had ever been normal, so how was she supposed to know what the right thing to do was?
Serena began to take notice of her surroundings. There was very little to see, and nothing that could tell her anything about Darien personally. Everything was neat, organized, and sparse. There were only a few pictures on the wall and they were just reprints of various famous impressionist paintings, no photographs. The books on the shelves were all textbooks with titles that she couldn't understand. Darien's voice was still drifting from the kitchen, so she risked a quick look into his bedroom, but found it to be just as cold as the living room. Only the fact that his bed hadn't been made, gave any impression that someone lived there. That and a vase of roses on the dresser. Still no photos, no dog-eared much loved book, or favourite sweater. The bathroom was messy, thank God, at least this guy wasn't a complete neat-freak, but all in all, the apartment lacked warmth.
She came back to the living room at the same time as Darien. They eyed each other almost warily, before Darien gave a sigh as though he were tired and flopped to the floor. He nonchalantly crossed his arms behind his head, shirt gaping open, and rested his gaze upon Serena through partly lidded eyes.
" You're apartment is something else. Tell me, did you deliberately suck the life out of this place?"
" What do you mean?"
" What do I mean? I mean that this place is so impersonal. How can you live like this, where's all your stuff?"
" Oh yeah, I can just imagine what you're room looks like. Covered from roof to floor, in pink, frilly, junk, and an absolute mess. I happen to like the fact that I've executed a little self-control."
" Self-control's a big issue with you isn't it?" Serena asked.
" I consider it a virtue, yes", Darien said.
" So, there would never be something you really wanted that you couldn't deny yourself?"
" I believe I'm strong enough to resist most temptations. Why all the questions?"
" Just curious", Serena said, with an overly innocent look to her face. As Darien watched she calmly slipped her feet out of her sandals and put them to the side. Slowly, she reached for the zipper at the back of her skirt. Standing with her profile to Darien's now widening eyes, she slid the zipper down. Hesitating for only a moment, she let the skirt drop to pool at her ankles. She pushed the material away with her foot and noted with satisfaction that Darien had gone very, very still. Her blouse still covered her from mid-thigh up, but that didn't stop him from staring at her long, sleek legs.
Serena stood with a foot on either side of Darien's hips and slowly lowered herself. The soft skin of her inner thighs brushed Darien's bare skin, just above the waistband of his khakis, making him draw in a rather ragged breath.
As Darien watched she reached up to the buns in her hair and undid them, sending down a cascade of golden hair that tickled his stomach and made him wish he could run his fingers through it. In fact, it was impossible to resist, and he twirled the delicate strands around his fingers.
Serena was starting to have doubts, but didn't think she could stop now. If she could just get him to admit that he cared for her… She reached for the top button of her blouse, intensely grateful that she'd worn her new, white bra, rather then the one with all the holes in it. She undid it and moved on to the one beneath it. Four buttons to go and Darien was either going to have a heart attack or have his eyes pop out of his head. She deliberately skipped the two middle buttons much to Darien's disappointment, and undid the lowest one. Darien's hands were clenched into fists at his side; he would not respond, he would not give in... he WOULD go crazy if she didn't hurry up with those damn buttons. Number four came undone, and Darien's vision began swimming because he hadn't blinked since she'd started. Button number five Serena had problems with since her hands were shaking so bad. And that left one. He could already practically see all of her, but that wasn't the point and they both knew it. She leaned forward slowly, and whispered,
" I think I'll leave this last one, unless you want to do something about it?"
" Damn", Darien muttered as all his self-control went up in smoke. He reached up and pulled the button off by force, and ran his hands along the exposed skin. His hands circled her waist, his thumbs stroking her stomach, and he lifted his head to kiss her with all the emotion that he kept hidden inside him.
" Say it", Serena said, breaking free from the kiss for a moment. She had to know how he felt. That kiss had seemed to say he not only cared for her, he also loved her, but she needed to hear it. Otherwise this was all a mistake.
Darien wasn't thinking straight, never had he been so confused in his entire life. That he loved Serena, there was no question, but he didn't want this to be some temporary thing. But what if he confessed and she didn't feel the same way? Would he ever see her again? They wouldn't even have their arguments to draw them together, since she would know that none of his insults meant a thing.
" Fine, I'll say it. I have no self-control when it comes to your body, Meatball Head", Darien said teasingly. It was a safe way to answer, wasn't it? Apparently not. Serena pushed herself away from him as though she'd been bitten. Wordlessly she got to her feet and found her skirt, pulling it on with ease. With shaking fingers, she tried to redo the buttons of her shirt, but she couldn't see them through the tears that were forming. Darien got to his feet, unsure what was happening, but upset just the same. He brushed away her hands and did the buttons for her, resting his hands on her shoulders when he was finished. Serena wouldn't look him in the eyes,
" I'm sorry", she said, " I just realized that I'm a slut".
Darien didn't like the word 'slut' at the best of times but to hear it coming from the love of his life and in reference to her was horrible.
" Don't you say that, don't you EVER say that, do you hear me?"
" What else do you say about a girl who was going to do… with a guy who has never once called her by her name?" Serena said regretfully, finally lifting her tearstained face to meet Darien's eyes. He wiped one of the tears from her face, but didn't know what to answer. He'd blown it, big time. If he told her he loved her now it would sound like he was only doing it to get her into bed. But if he didn't tell her…
" It's not like that, with us, is it?"
" I wish I knew", Serena said, breaking free of his hold. " I'm just going to go".
" No", Darien said resolutely. She, more then anyone else, couldn't abandon him. " Don't leave me."
" I don't know…"
" Look, we won't do anything. We'll, uh, call a truce for tonight. You can stay over and we'll just hang out like I was one of your friends", Darien pleaded.
" You want to watch 'Dirty Dancing', talk about boys, and eat junk-food?" Serena asked sceptically, thinking of all the slumber parties she had with the girls. Actually, the thought of Darien being just one of the 'girls' actually made her smile. Darien saw this and it gave him hope,
" Well, for sure we can do the last one. There has to be some food around here, somewhere. So, you gonna stay, Serena?" Darien asked, making sure to state her name clearly.
" Hey, who am I to turn down free food?" Serena said capitulating.
She followed Darien into the kitchen and for a while a tense silence hung over the two.
" Okay, I confess" Darien said, when the silence got too heavy. " I have very few friends, and none of them have ever stayed over. I have no idea what to do".
" It's a good thing we're friends, or I would make some smart comment about why you have no friends".
" Serena", Darien said threateningly, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
" Right, sorry. Old habits die hard. But you are in luck my friend, I am an expert in all things fun and trivial, and that cannot be found in a book. I shall be your tutor tonight and you shall learn how to do things that most 'normal' people do."
" That doesn't sound fair to me, what are you going to get out of it?"
" Tell you what, you can tutor me for my math test next week. Not tonight though", Serena said quickly, fearing a study night on a Saturday above all else.
" Okay, it's a deal. So what do we do first?"
Serena opened up all the cupboards of Darien's kitchen and came up with a vast supply of chocolate. Darien got out bowls, which Serena filled with chocolate ice cream. Then they poured on chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate chips, and Serena wouldn't let them use spoons, they had to use chocolate chip cookies.
" See, if you nibble them just right, you can make the cookies into really big spoons", Serena said, concentrating really hard.
" Aren't we going to be sick after this much sugar?"
" One, you can never have too much sugar. Two, this isn't even that much sugar by my standards", Serena said, with a wink. Darien laughed, and ended up eating five cookies, because he couldn't master the spoon making technique.
They put the bowls in the sink, Serena admonishing Darien when he started to wash them since that could wait until morning. They headed back into the living room, where Darien sat heavily onto his couch.
" I can't believe you eat that much on a regular basis", Darien said, rubbing his stomach.
" Being Sailor Moon is a huge drain on energy. Now we need music, do you have anything besides these three CD's?" Serena asked, holding up a Bach, a Mozart, and an Enya CD. Not that there was anything wrong with those three but it was hardly the festive mood she was going for. Besides, who had only three CD's when they owned a state-of-the-art system?
" I don't think so. No, wait. The previous owners left a box of junk. I think there was some music in there", Darien said, and he went looking for the box. He came back, covered in dust and sneezing, but triumphant. Serena giggled and brushed the dust out of his hair.
" ABBA. This will do fine", Serena said, rummaging through and coming up with a tape. The cheery, pop music filled the apartment. " Hmm, now I'm not sure what to do. Usually with my friends, we'd either be watching a movie now, or we'd be playing truth or dare, which always turns into a gab-fest about who likes who."
" Interesting. No tickle fights in your underwear?"
" Sorry to disappoint you", Serena said, rolling her eyes. " Although, we do sometimes play with each others hair and give ourselves makeovers. Want me to give you mysterious eyes and pouty lips?"
" Not really", Darien said laughing.
" Spoil-sport", Serena muttered, grinning also. She then shivered, and chafed her arms to get rid of the goosebumps. Darien noticed and went to grab her a sweater.
" Here", he said, dropping a heavy blue sweatshirt in her lap. She pulled it on and then grimaced as her hair got all messed up.
" Now you see the reason for the meatballs", she said, trying to put some order to her metres of hair.
" Here, I'll do that", Darien said, trying not to sound too eager. Serena sat on the floor at the foot of the couch, with Darien behind her. " Okay, junk-food, check. Music, check. Messing with your hair, check. What's next, oh learned one?"
Serena was just enjoying the feeling of his fingers against her scalp, lifting the weight of her hair, so that her head felt amazingly light. But she forced herself not to think of that, they were just friends right?
" We talk. Favourite colour, animal, food, and celebrity?" Serena asked.
" Umm, probably black or red, don't really have a favourite animal, chocolate obviously, and Sailor Moon".
" Bah! I'm not a celebrity", Serena said, but smiled delightedly anyway.
" Okay, let me ask you something. Is your whole family golden haired and blue eyed?" Serena started laughing. " What's so funny?"
" Just that I look nothing like my family. My parents are tall, my father has dark brown hair and my mother's is purple – both have brown eyes. And I have an annoying younger brother, who looks a lot like my dad. I used to think I was adopted."
" Used to?"
" Well, after I found out I was Sailor Moon, I reasoned my looks probably had something to do with that."
" Makes sense. There, I braided your hair. Rather messily, I'm afraid, but then I'm new at this", Darien said, relaxing again against the couch. Serena ran her hands along her hair and was satisfied it wouldn't get in her way. She hesitated about asking her next question, but wanted Darien to trust her.
" What happened to your family Darien?" she asked gently. At first she didn't think he was going to answer but then he said softly,
" They were killed in a car crash when I was younger. I was in the car too, but all I suffered was amnesia. I don't remember them at all."
" I'm sorry, that must have been really tough. You should have a talk with Lita some time. Her parents were killed in a plane crash a few years ago", Serena said softly. Darien was a little stunned that she hadn't offered the usual insincere condolences, or worse, the pity. In fact, she was very understanding – she had obviously experienced a great deal through her interactions with her friends.
" It's not so bad, but I do get lonely sometimes. Especially on holidays", Darien said.
" Yeah, like Valentine's Day", Serena said with mock horror, since the day was approaching quickly.
" Oh please, you probably have a hundred guys asking you out", Darien teased.
" No. I've never been… It's just I'm not normal, and people pick up on that right away. Maybe that's why I like arguing with you so much, you treat me like a real person."
" What do you call not normal?"
" For one thing I'm a super hero running around at all hours of the night. But, I'm always set apart, even from the other scouts. I'm not sure why, but there's always me and then there's the scouts. And I'm not really good at anything, like I have no specific talent, and I'm not smart. Even when I really try, I can't get good marks. Even this thing with you is weird. You're someone I… Well I'm here, telling you things I've never told anyone when earlier I was screaming at you. Life; sometimes I despair of ever getting it right." If Darien wasn't already in love with her, he fell in love at that moment.
" I meant it earlier when I said you're not stupid. And if it helps, I don't believe there is any such thing as a normal life. You are who you are, and I admire that." Darien said.
" Thanks. I'm sorry for saying you have no personality. You do have one, but you try too hard to keep it hidden. I can understand why, but I'm your friend and I would never hurt you like that."
Darien picked her up and gave her a big hug. They settled down on the couch, wrapped up in each other's arms. Serena let her head fall against his shoulder.
" Hate to break it to you, but this is something I don't do with my friends", Serena joked.
" Dang, there goes another one of my fantasies", Darien said. Serena hit him playfully on the shoulder. " Just kidding. Now tell me Serena, what's your middle name?"
And the questions and answers continued long into the night, as the couple discovered all there was to know about each other. Some things were serious and others not so much, but every moment was precious. They had gone about this relationship all wrong, practically backwards, but the end result was the same. So long as they could finally admit to that pesky emotion of love…
Serena awoke sometime the next morning, still nestled in Darien's arms. She moved slightly and his arms tightened around her, holding her in place. She sighed contentedly and the sound brought Darien out of his slumber. His back ached from being in the same position all night, but it was worth it to feel the reassuring weight of Serena pressing against him. For the first time since he could remember, he woke up without the usual feeling of loneliness. He looked down and saw Serena's eyes staring back into his. She had a faint smile on her face and she looked so adorably bedraggled that he kissed her gently. Serena's smile widened.
" You do know it's the morning right and our truce is over?" she said.
" Do we really need that anymore?"
" I don't know, do we?"
" Do you have to answer all my questions with a question?"
" Do you?"
" Do you want breakfast?"
" Yes", Serena said brightly, before realizing that she'd forgotten to answer with a question and therefore had lost the mini-battle. " Using food to trick me, how cruel", she said, before giggling. They shared a simple breakfast and kept the conversation light, but all the time they were worrying that time was running out to tell each other what they were really feeling.
" Are your parents going to wonder where you are?"
" Nah. I have a system set up with the other scouts to cover up when one of us is gone for some time. It's necessary when we're off fighting in some other dimension. Still, I should probably get going", Serena said, wavering.
" I guess, if you have to", Darien said, just as unconvincingly. He walked her to the door and watched as she stood at the elevator doors. They looked longingly at each other, and Darien summed up his courage.
" Serena, I…"
" Yes?" she said hopefully.
" I… really like your shoes", he said, unable to through with it. He cursed at himself.
" Oh. Darien? I love…"
" Yes?" Darien said, eyes wide with anticipation.
" … that you made me breakfast", she said, and then stamped her foot in annoyance that she hadn't said what she really wanted to. The elevator doors opened and Serena threw one last look at Darien before stepping inside.
" Bye Serena", Darien called and the elevator left. " I love you", he said to the empty air. The same man as yesterday happened to come out of his apartment at that time and was startled by Darien's words. Darien flushed at having been caught and glared at the man before shutting himself back in his apartment. The neighbour decided he was going to have a peephole installed so he never again had to meet this insane young man.
Why couldn't I just say it? Three little words - you'd think even I could manage that. And now what kind-of excuse am I going to come up with to see him again? Oh, I miss him already. Serena was muttering to herself all the way home. She walked in the front door and was relieved that her family was still asleep – it was Sunday after all. She called her friends, and discovered Lita had covered for her.
" Yeah, your mom called and asked if you were here. I told her you were, but that you'd already fallen asleep. She didn't seem very surprised by that…"
" Thanks Lita, I owe you one", Serena said. She'd still be in some trouble for not having called her mother herself, but it wouldn't be too bad.
" You can repay me by telling me where you were", Lita said slyly.
" You wouldn't believe me even if I told you. But seriously, can we talk about this later?"
" Yeah sure. See you at school tomorrow?"
" Unfortunately, yes", Serena said, already upset by the thought of school. "Later".
" Yep, Bye", Lita said and hung up.
Serena went upstairs and took a long shower. She redid the buns in her hair and put on a casual outfit of jeans and a T-shirt. She realized she had inadvertently taken Darien's sweater with her, so she put that on also. It smelled like him and she recalled every blissful moment of last night. She'd have to return his shirt… And then she made her decision. She'd take the shirt over right now and tell him she loved him more then anything else. She wouldn't go another second without knowing how he felt, and if it didn't work out she'd just have to live with that. Right now she just wanted to be with him.
Darien couldn't place what was wrong with his apartment after Serena left. It felt cold and empty. It's because she's not here, you moron. You could have told her how you felt but, no, you had to get all shy all of a sudden. You can scream insults at her but you can't sat those three little words? I love you. It's not that hard, is it? Darien's thoughts continued to berate him for letting her walk away. That's when he decided it. He had to see her and right away. He would tell her in explicit detail how much he loved her and he wouldn't let her go until she responded. Darien grabbed his coat and rushed out the door.
On her way to Darien's, Serena took the shortcut through the park. She was still thinking of how to tell him when she was interrupted by the appearance of a Negaverse creature.
" Oh sure, it had to happen now", Serena said. She transformed behind a tree and came out to face the disgusting, green, blob of a monster. It was at least three times her height and about three or so metres wide but she noticed that with every blob of jelly that it threw, it got smaller. The few people unfortunate enough to be covered in the slime, were losing energy. Sailor Moon ran around and around, getting it to throw as much jelly as she could, so that it would get down to a manageable size.
Darien had been walking through the park on his way to Serena's when he'd heard the ruckus and rushed to the scene. When he saw Sailor Moon, he transformed into Tuxedo Mask, and wondered how to help her. It seemed, however, that she had everything under control. He was so intent on her progress though, that he failed to see the goo that was headed his way. Suddenly he was covered in cold, greenish, slime. The life of a superhero isn't all glamour.
" How dare you!" Serena yelled at the monster. She knew if she destroyed the monster, the slime would stop draining energy from people, and that included Darien. Anger fuelled her attack (AN: pick your weapon of choice) and she destroyed the enemy in one move, but unfortunately the monster didn't turn too dust like usual. It exploded and sent green slime flying everywhere. Serena was covered head to toe, but she still made her way across the battlefield to Darien. She kept slipping on the goo covered grass. Darien rose to his feet also, wiping a hand over his face in disgust. He saw Sailor Moon walking towards him and went to meet her. He too, kept falling about due to the slippery ground.
" Fancy meeting you here", Serena said. She was right up close to him but at that moment she slipped and started to fall. Darien reached for her but slipped as well and they fell into a heap making a loud squishing noise. Serena started to laugh, and then she de-transformed, only to discover she was still covered. Tuxedo Mask turned back into Darien, and laughed along with Serena at their ridiculous position.
" You know, I've had a hundred chances to say this to you, and all of them were in places more impressive then this, and I also wasn't covered in guck, but I love you Serena. Not because your perfect, but because your you."
" I love you too, I was on my way to tell you that. I love you."
" I want to kiss you, but I'm covered in…" Darien started to say. He didn't get to finish since Serena pressed her lips to his, ignoring everything else but the fact that he loved her.
" I was going to return your shirt too, but it's a little messy now. Stupid monster", Serena said.
" Yeah, stupid blob like thing. But you know something? I think I liked fighting it more then I enjoy fighting with you?"
" I do feel sort-of energized, like I used to after an argument with you", Serena said suggestively. Darien's heart started racing.
" My place or yours?"
" Yours. Unless you want my cat to watch", Serena said. They went back to Darien's apartment, and after they'd both had a shower and were completely free of the goo, they made good use of the adrenaline the attack had stirred up.
Darien glanced over at the other side of his bed at Serena. She was on her back with her eyes closed, and he wondered what she was thinking.
" Serena? Are you okay, I mean, I didn't like hurt you or anything, did I?" Darien asked nervously. Serena let him worry for a moment before breaking into a smile and opening her eyes.
" Darien, just this afternoon I fought a monster three times my size. Trust me, I can handle the attentions of a mere mortal man", she teased. Darien smiled and pulled her into his arms again. He whispered in her ear,
" I'll have to do something about that 'mere mortal' comment, you realize? I can argue it out with you or maybe I should just prove to you I'm a superhero?"
" How were you going to prove it?"
Darien kissed her and then leaned over her until she was pressed into the mattress beneath him. " We superheroes have amazing stamina."
" This should be interesting", Serena said. " Can't wait to tell that tidbit of information to the girls."
" You wouldn't", Darien said.
" I'll never be able to look them in the eye again."
" Sure you will".
" Do you really want to argue now?"
" Not really."
" Good. I love you, Serena", Darien said softly. " I didn't want to love anyone but you snuck into my heart through the back door. I thought I hated you so I never saw it coming."
" I love you, Darien", Serena whispered back. " I thought if I acted like myself that nobody would like me anymore, but with you I knew it didn't matter. And it still doesn't, you love me because of who I am".
Certain things still made Serena and Darien argue, and sometimes they teased each other for no other reason then that they could. But no matter how many differing opinions they had, or how many times they refused to see eye to eye on a subject, they knew they were meant for each other. Love was something they never argued about.
I hope you'll read some of my other stuff; they're not all this lemony. Please review!