Serena's Revelations

BY : Mitsuki
Category: Sailor Moon > General
Dragon prints: 3872
Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with Sailor Moon. Much to my dismay, it belongs to Naoko Takeuchi. Also, I make no money from this story. Unfortunately.


Serena was skipping down the street. Today was a good day. Not only had she (sort of) passed a test, her first since she didn't know when, but she seemed to be understanding the stuff Mrs. H was trying to drill into her head. Amy and Lita, her classmates and fellow sailor scouts, had other things to do today, Amy her after school computer class, and Lita, cleaning her apartment where she lived by herself, so Serena decided to treat herself to the hugest chocolate milkshake that she could buy from Andrew's arcade and cafe, called the Crown Game Center. What made her day even more is not only did she NOT run into, literally, Darien, she also didn't throw anything on his head to get his insults flowing. Again, thankfully, he was no where to be seen today. So, Serena skipped into the arcade after a good, trip free day (not counting her usual falls to the side walk during her marathon rush to school in the mornings) and almost floated over to the counter where Andrew stood wiping it down.





"Hey, how's it going, Serena? You look awfully happy about something. Get a boyfriend?" he asked casually. "Of course not, silly! I've just had a really good day! See?" she squealed loudly, several decibels above normal hearing tolerance, and practically shoved her test paper in his face. Grabbing it and holding it out a bit further from him to keep himself from going cross eyed, and saw the number 75% in bold red at the top of her paper circled, and the note from her teacher saying "Good job! I'm knew you could do it! Now make sure to get even better grades!". "A 75? That's awesome, Serena! Much better than your usual 30%!" Squealing again and bouncing in one spot, she said, "I know! And even better, I think I'm starting to understand everything that Mrs. H is trying to hammer into my head! And EVEN BETTER, I haven't clutzed out since my morning dash to school this morning! And I haven't even run into that jerk face Darien today either! Today is AWESOME!"



Laughing, Andrew handed the paper back to her. "That may be because he has a really big modeling job today, and after that, he has lots of homework that he missed for his shoot to catch up on after he's done working so I may not see him at all today. So you more than likely won't either. Anyway, how about I give you something on the house to celebrate your amazing accomplishment?" "REALLY?" she squealed happily. Laughing and nodding, Andrew said, "Of course, Serena! It's not every day that you get a good grade, let alone actually understand what the teacher's trying to tell you. So what will it be?" 



Serena started to get insulted by Andrews' comment about her lack of understanding in school work, but she knew it was true and that he didn't mean anything by it, simply understanding that it was difficult for her to understand, even with the genius Amy's help in the area. The look on Amy and Litas' faces when she showed them her grade at lunch time was priceless. She couldn't wait to shove it in Dariens' face and see his reaction and to rub it into his face. So instead of getting mad, which she normally would have, she smiled brighter, and said, "Can I please have the largest chocolate milkshake that you can make?" "Of course!" he said cheerily, secretly surprised that she hadn't blown up on him when he had realized what he said. He also realized that her not exploding on him meant that she was growing up a bit. It almost made him sad to think that she was growing up from the sweet, bouncy, bubbly, air-head that she usually is.



But he was happy for her none the less. He was proud for the girl he considered a sister. Of course he was well aware of the crush she had on him, but he, being the observant person he was, he knew that Darien liked her, and that she liked him, though they both were oblivious to the fact. Andrew thought about them as he made Serena's milkshake. Serena was just outright oblivious to it; she had no idea that Darien's constant teasing of her meant something more than it really did. She truly thought that Darien despised her. But he knew better. Not only was it true that guys usually tended to pick on the girls that they liked, but he knew Darien, and knew that aside from himself, his sister Lizzy, and his mother and father, he never really bothered to talk to anyone. Matter of fact, Darien talked more to Serena than her friend Raye that also had a crush on Darien.



But Darien, given the fact that he liked Serena but refused to admit it, had point blank told Andrew when he had asked that he considered her more of an occasional acquaintance than a potential girlfriend or friend. Though he supposed he was leaning towards being friends to Raye than he was not. Ever since Serena crashed into his life, Andrew could see him slowly changing, and he was glad for it. 



Turning back to Serena, he laid the hugest milkshake he had ever made in his life on the counter before her, chuckling as her eyes got as wide as saucers and he could practically see them sparkle before she pounced onto the bar stool in front of the milkshake and greedily started eating it. "This is soooo yummy!!" she said around a mouthful of ice cream then yelled in pain. "BRAIN FREEZE!! BRAIN FREEZE!!" Shaking his head in amusement, he came around the counter, and patted her on the head. "I have to go check on my other customers real quick, Serena. Try not to wharf that milkshake down too fast, ok?" "Mmkay." She was so happy that she got a free milkshake for all her hard work, she wondered what her mother and father would think. They'd probably faint in shock. Laughing at the the thought, she finished her milkshake and rubbed her now full of chocolate belly, sighing happily. 



She wiped of her hands and mouth on a napkin before getting up to leave, locating Andrew and hollering "Bye Andrew!! See you tomorrow!" and skipped out the door when she heard his reply. Happily, she ran down the street, not at her normal break neck speed of course, excited about showing her mother and father her good grade. Of course her mother would be like "You need to study some more, Serena!" but she was sure her mother would be happy for her even though it wasn't the best of grades. It was really better than all her other grades so far. And to make things even weirder, she was actually thinking of doing her homework as soon as she got home.



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She had been right about her mother fainting, she noted amused. It had taken quiet a while to get her mother to stir, and when she finally did, she squealed at Serena's usual ear busting decibels and hugged Serena so tight that she thought she was going to break her bones. "Just wait till your father sees this!" her mother had exclaimed. So, while her mother gave her her allowance a few days in advance and gave her a "bonus" for making a semi good grade, her mother made her her favorite food, the largest home made pizza she could make and made several of them, they waited for her father to return from work to tell him the good news. Her father had reacted much the same way when he saw the grade, except he didn't squeal like a girl. He did however hug her and promise to buy her whatever she wanted this once as a gift for doing so well on a test. 



However, the both stressed to her that this would only be a one time thing and that she would need to do better and made a deal with her that if she did better in her school work like today that she would get a five dollar raise in her allowance every week. So, having told her father what she wanted, which was the largest pink stuffed bunny he could find, she pranced upstairs and told her talking black cat Luna, who nearly died of shock. Laughing, Serena sat down at the small table in her room, leaving Luna near the bed where she had fallen when she passed out from shock, and pulled out her work. Looking it over, she was pleasantly happy to find that she understood all of it. Mostly anyway. But she did her homework, and was happy to find that it didn't take her very long at all to do. Though at some point, though she didn't notice because she was so absorbed in her homework, Luna had woken up, walked over to see what Serena was doing, only to faint again at finding that Serena was actually doing her homework. 



Putting her homework away, she picked up the unconscious Luna and placed her on the foot of her bed, and got up and stretched. She was contemplating what she wanted to do since she finished her homework and was still waiting on her mother's home cooked pizza when a knock sounded at her door. "Serena, dear, you have guests," she heard her mother say through the door. Confused, she opened the door to find all the girls, Amy, Raye, Lita, and the new addition of Mina ( I honestly don't think she should have been introduced so late in the series so I'm making it where she's actually there before Darien and Serena actually find out about each other, which will also not be in this particular story) and her talking white cat Artemis standing behind her mother, all seeming to have something in their hands that looked suspiciously like gifts. "Hey, you guys, what's up?" "Well I'll leave you dears to yourselves. Just try not to make too much noise," he mother said before walking downstairs to finish the dinner. She was going to have to make some more pizza because the girls had asked if they could stay the night to celebrate with Serena on her good grade, but she graciously agreed because she was very proud of her daughter. 



All the girls piled in at once and tackled the surprised Serina and all but Amy started talking at once, Raye and Mina demanding to see the proof, and Amy and Lita congratulating her again. Luna woke up again at this point, due to Artemis licking her cheek, and sat and watched the girls roll around on the floor laughing. Finally, Serena managed to get herself free from the pile of girls and went to her bag to grab the test paper and showed it to Raye first, mainly because she was always the one, besides Darien of course, who harped at her about her atrociously bad grades. She was happy to see Raye and Mina's eyes bug out of their heads at the grade written in red on the paper. "Serena," Mina breathed, "This is absolutely great!" "Yeah, Meatball Head, who'da thunk?" Raye chimed in. "If you think that's disturbing, you obviously haven't seen her actually DOING her homework," Luna said, jumping into the conversation.



"WHAT?!" All of them yelled at the same time, before plowing past Serena to tear open her school bag and find her homework, which was indeed, done. Snatching the paper from the stunned girls hands, Amy went and sat at Serena's table with it. While it WAS surprising that their ditzy friend and leader had actually done homework without someone breaking her arms to do it, it would make very little point to have done it if it wasn't correct. So she busily scanned the paper while the others continued to stare at their empty hands in shock while Serena just stared at Amy, wondering and hoping that she actually understood it enough to have done it right. Amy, after going through all the problems on all of her homework, was surprised to find that most all of it was right. There was a few things here and there that were wrong but for the most part everything was right. "Wow, Serena. This is a little hard to say, but other than a few problems here and there, this is actually right."



While Serena squealed in happiness and jumped up and down in happiness, the already stunned girls face planted onto the floor and stayed there for several moments. Ignoring the girls on her floor, Serena went to Amy and asked for her to show her what she did wrong. After a few moments, the other girls got up and gathered around the two and watched Serena intently listen to Amy and ask surprisingly intelligent questions. After a few more minutes, Raye was so far into shock that she couldn't take it and literally pounced on Serena mid sentence and felt her forehead, making sure she wasn't sick. "Raye!" Serena wailed, trying to get up, "What on Earth are you doing?!" "I'm trying to see if you're sick! This is way too weird!" "I agree," Mina and Lita said together, but only Lita continued. "But even so, it is highly possible that maybe she is just now understanding everything and is actually retaining more of it than she had been." 



"Yeah, but..." Raye started, only to be cut of by Amy. "Raye, please! I know it's odd and frankly scary that Serena passed a test and actually did her homework and got most of it right in the same day, but this is Serena here, and we should be proud and supportive of her and give her encouragement to continue to do good, not freak out when she needs us!" "We are proud of her!" the three said in unison. "It's just not..." Raye started, at a loss for words to continue so Lita picked up the rest. "...Normal..." Mina continued for Lita. "...For her." "I have to say that I agree, but I am very happy that she is finally stepping up in her role as leader and taking things seriously. I am rather hesitant to accept the possibility that it will stay that way," Luna said, jumping from the bed to the table to look at the work that Amy was helping Serena with. "Luna!" Amy said, disapproval clearly on her face. "I say again, while it's true, if we want her to get better, we can't constantly put her down even when she does do right. It doesn't help her at all Luna, and I'm ashamed of all of you for continuing this!"



Appropriately chastised, the room fell silent until Amy grabbed Serena again and placed her near her again to help her finish with her mistakes. Though at this point, all elation Serena had felt at being able to understand was squashed under everyone's refusal to see she could do better. Noticing this, Amy stopped and hugged her, surprising her. "It's ok, Serena, you can't expect them to just accept this all at once. I, for one am glad that you're finally applying yourself. It makes you a better person in the end and ends others derogatory comments about you. Don't give up, ok?" Smiling, Serena hugged her back, murmuring softly, "Thanks for believing in me Amy." They finished up with her paying more attention to it again. After that, Amy brought out the gift that she had brought for Serena when she showed her that test. It was a book on study tips. "Here, Serena, I got this for you. Maybe it will help you improve your grades even more." Serena eyed it with distaste but took it. "Thank you, Amy." 



"Oh! My turn!" Raye said and scooted over close to Serena, pulling a book bag charm out of her bag of stuff. "I made this for you when Amy and Lita called and told me about it. As surprised as I was, hearing it from them made it seem more believable. And I know I've been rather hard on you about your poor grades and stuff so to make up for it I made this good luck charm for you in pink letters and pink and white cherry blossom petals floating down on it." "Oh, wow, Raye!! It's so pretty! Thank you!" Serena hugged Raye and Amy at the same time tightly and quickly put her charm on her bag. Lita bounded over next and placed a handkerchief wrapped box in her hands. "Here, I made these for you! They're all your favorite snacks!" Squealing, Serena glomped Lita. "Thank you!" Setting it on her little table she opened it up to munch on, offering it to the others as well. As they munched on goodies, even Artemis and Luna, Mina came over and handed Serena a small, wrapped, square shaped object. "Here you are, Serena. I know you'll love it," she said with a bright smile. Serena tore into it and squealed in delight. "Oh my GOD, Mina! How'd you get this?!" It was a brand new, yet to be released Sailor V video game. "Who do you think you're talking to, silly? I'm Sailor V, AND I work for the company. Remember?" Serena and Mina both giggled and Serena hugged Mina silly. "Thank you so, so, so, much!" "You're welcome, Serena." 



Smiling happily, Serena said, "If I had known making good grades would get me all this cool stuff, I'da done it sooner!" "I'd have," Amy corrected, but smiled with her. "What all did you get from your parents?" Raye asked. "Well, let me start at the beginning, ok?" At everyone's nod, she continued. "This morning was actually the norm for me. Late for school, dashing out the door at the speed of light with toast hanging from my mouth, marathon run to school, only difference being is that I didn't run into that jerk Darien. Made it to school, and actually felt like I was understanding everything pretty well. Then when we got to the math test today, I actually felt like I knew it. I don't really understand or know why all of the sudden everything kinda makes more sense but it did. So I didn't get detention, got a compliment from Mrs. H, made it to the arcade without running into Darien or tripping, and Andrew gave me the biggest milkshake ever for making such a good grade! I was SOOOO happy! So of course I scarfed it down. When I got home I showed my mom and she fainted." 



Everyone laughed at this. "So when she woke up, she hugged me so tightly that I thought she was going to break my bones. Then she said she'd make my favorite for dinner tonight. Home made pizza! And she gave me my allowance early and even gave me some extra money as a bonus for such a good grade. When dad got home he did the same thing. Passed out cold on the floor." Everyone laughed even harder, trying to picture her erratic father passing out in a dead faint onto the floor. Each had different versions of the scene. "When he woke up, he congratulated me and asked me what I wanted and not to worry about price. So I asked for the biggest pink stuffed bunny he could find. But they told me it was only for this once that they were doing all this, that if I continued to make good grades and keep them up, that they'd increase my allowance by five dollars every week. So all in all, today has been a good day!" Grinning happily, she munched on some more of Litas' yummy snacks. 



"Serena, honey, girls! Dinner's ready!" "She's calling you guys for dinner too? Weird." "Oh, that's your gift from all of us. Since you did so well, we asked your mother if we could all stay over and have a small party." "Really?! And she said yes?!" They all nodded, and Serena couldn't help the squeal of happiness as she jumped up and down. "This is so awesome!" As the girls filed out to go downstairs, Luna and Artemis couldn't help but chuckle at their hair brained leaders antics. "You know, Serena may turn out to be a good leader yet," Luna murmured to her white furry friend. "You may be right. But Amy was right. If we want her to succeed, we need to stop putting her down all the time. It only makes it that much harder on her and makes her not even want to try." Sighing, Luna hung her head. "Yes, Artemis, I know. I can't help it sometimes but that girl is so air headed that I feel if I don't get on her about things, she'll never grow up. But I also realize, she's only 14 and we're heaping all this on her at once. She's just barely had time to be a kid let alone a teenager. This may all be too much for her. But maybe now she's coming to terms with everything and trying to work harder. Today, hopefully, won't be the only day that she does well."



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Later that night, since her mother allowed her to stay up till 11 since it was Friday the next day and she had all day to rest after school, the girls had all fallen asleep around each other. Serena had taken all the blankets, including the one on her bed, she could find and laid them on the floor of her room after moving her table and anything else that was in the way. Then the girls had taken out their sleeping bags and pillows and settled down, still talking quietly, all of course except Amy, who had taken out a small book light and began reading some physics book or something. Eventually they fell asleep, all curled up in their sleeping bags. 



It wasn't till nearly three in the morning when Luna and Artemis felt a disturbance in the vicinity and woke the girls up. Yawning, Serena muttered, "Can't they attack at a decent hour when I don't have to get up for school or have to worry about it interfering in any way?" While the others agreed, they said nothing as they all grabbed their shoes that they brought with them and jumped out of Serena's second story window to the ground after putting their shoes on when they were momentarily sitting on the windows ledge. After everyone made it safely to the ground, they all began running in the direction that Amy's Mercury computer was picking up on negative energy. When they were near enough to hear what few people where out at the time of night scream, they stopped and hid behind some bushes, as the energy had led them to the park area. Tossing her Mercury computer back into her sub space pocket, she looked to the others. "Ready, guys?"



A nod from everyone, and Serena's command of "Let's go kick some nega butt and get back to sleep", the girls tossed their hands into the air, all but one with a transformation stick. Amy, Raye, Lita, and Mina all threw their hands into the air, their colored transformation sticks in their hands that matched their powers and suits, as Serena tossed a hand in the air and yelled, "Mercury Power!" "Mars Power!" "Jupiter Power!" "Venus Power!" "Moon Prism Power!" After the bright flashes in their respective colors and ribbons, in place of the five girls were the five Sailor Scouts. The blue haired, blue eyed, and blue suited Sailor Mercury was none other than Amy Mizuno. The black haired, brown eyed, and red suited Sailor Mars was Raye Hino. Brown hair and green eyes graced the green suited Sailor Jupiter and was Lita Kino. The long, blond haired, blue eyed orange Sailor Venus was none other than the famous Mina Aino. And who was the famed heroine Sailor Moon you ask? Why none other than the blonde bun headed, blue eyed Serena Tsukino. 



"Let's go, Sailors!" Sailor Moon yelled and ran towards the fight. "Right!" they yelled in unison and followed after their leader. Mercury slowed down and lagged behind them for one reason. She was the brains of the group and usually determined what the monsters weakness was as they were introducing themselves to the negaverse trash. "Hey nega scum!" Sailor Moon yelled out. "How dare you attack innocent people in such a peaceful place!" Mercury chose this moment to state her say. "Parks are meant to sooth and relax! A place meant to have fun and be with friends!" Mars chimed in with, "The innocent people and animals that you are putting in danger are not your toys, nega slime!" Jupiter cracked her knuckles threateningly and stated, "For your lack of respect for love and life, we will take you down!" "That's right! As the Sailor soldier for love and beauty, I will not allow you to take any more innocent peoples' energy for your evil schemes! I am Sailor Venus!" "Sailor Jupiter!" "Sailor Mars!" "Sailor Mercury!" "And I'm Sailor Moon! And in the name of the moon, I will punish you!" As soon as Mercury had had her say, she immediately stood off from the others to take out her Mercury computer and to turn on her head visor to immediately scan the horrid looking creature before them, which happened to resemble an ugly, scantily clad, female, or what was supposed to have been one.



"You Sailor brats won't defeat me! I am the most beautiful creature to have the pleasure to serve Queen Beryl, Vidia! And I won't be so easily defeated, what with my handsome followers to help me!" Upon saying that, the ugly creature called forth what might have supposed to of looked like men, that were uglier than her. Including her, there were only four of them. Sailor Moon, having decided to try to be a better leader, dodged the monster that got close to her, really only having her tiara to help her, while they waited for Mercury to assess the monsters and tell them what was the best way to destroy the monsters. But instead of waiting for the others to tell her what she needed to do, she decided to try for herself and immediately removed her tiara and yelled "Moon Tiara Magic!" before hurling it at the monster that had just previously tried to cut her in half. Her tiara met the monster mid-chest and turned it into a pile of ash. The others barely had time to look to her in shock before they were being attacked as well by the other two men look alike monsters. Mars and Jupiter teamed up and combined their powers on one, while Venus attacked the other. "Mars Fire!" "Jupiter Thunder!" "Venus Crescent Beam" "Ignite!" "Crash!" "Smash!" Jupiter and Mars' powers combined to form an electrified fire and hit the monster square in the chest, turning it to dust. Venus' beam also hit dead center in the chest of her own monster and turned it to dust as well.



"Damn you, Sailor Scouts!" Vidia screamed before attacking them herself. "Mercury," Sailor Mars shouted to her, while Jupiter and Venus took shots at the monster and she and Sailor Moon dodged attacks, "Anything yet?" "Almost!" Mercury shouted back. She furiously continued to work on finding its weakness. Sailor Moon, who had gotten distracted by trying to listen to what Mercury had to say, gasped as the monster Vidia had slipped past the other Sailors and was about to use a sword made from her own hand to cut her in half. Screeching and falling over her own feet in her attempt to get away, she landed on her butt, defenseless. At the last moment, when everyone thought Sailor Moon was finally going to get seriously hurt, a sharp tipped red rose flew through the air, only missing because Vidia jumped out of the dangerous path the rose was taking, and instead of it hitting its intended target of Vidias' sword arm, it impaled itself in the concrete in front of Sailor Moon. 



"The park is a peaceful place full of love and life, and your evilness does not belong in a place so tranquil! I am Tuxedo Mask!" he said. He was wearing a black tuxedo with a red lined cape, black top hat, and white mask covering his eyes. "Sailor Moon! I am very proud of you for attacking on your own instead of waiting for the others to tell you when to attack and keeping yourself on your feet! You still have a lot of work but keep it up! I believe in you!" With a swirl of his cape, he leaped from the top of the tree he was in a flew off into the night. Sailor Moon sat there for a moment in awe, hearts in her eyes. "He's so dreamy," she nearly drooled. "Sailor Moon! Aim for the left wrist! Hurry!" Mercury yelled. Startled, she jumped to her feet and yelled, "I've had enough, nega trash! You're Moon dusted! Moon Tiara Magic!" As she yelled, she took off her tiara and aimed where Mercury told her, tossing it towards the monster with pretty good speed. Vidia couldn't dodge quickly enough and ended up getting Moon dusted. 



"Yay! Way to go Sailor Moon!" the other scouts said in unison, crowding around her. Smiling, they all began walking back to her house, detransforming on the way. Jumping one at a time back into the window, as they had to take off their shoes before going into Serena's room, they all settled back down again and happily fell back asleep. 



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It was a horrible day. At least in Darien Chiba's opinion it was. Last night was a late night for him. He had a long day at work, tons of school work to work on which kept him up later than he usually went to bed or even wanted to stay up at. Then, he had doubled over in pain when he felt Sailor Moon transforming, which meant that not only did he have tons of homework to still finish, but he was going to be up EVEN LATER. He was not happy to say the least. After having involuntarily transformed, he dashed out onto his balcony and leapt to the nearest rooftop following the pull he felt from Sailor Moon. Upon arriving, he hid himself in a tree nearest them, watching and waiting for the right time to use his roses. 



He came into the fight just as the Sailors were finishing up their opening speech and was able to watch them fight and was pleasantly surprised to see that Sailor Moon was somehow different tonight. As if she had somehow gained more confidence than she had previously had before. He watched stunned as she not only dodged a monster that was trying to attack her without falling or tripping, but she actually took the initiative and attacked on her own instead of waiting for one of the others to dust it for her or waiting to be told what to do. When the other scouts took care of their own creepy looking monsters, and only the one that called herself Vidia was left, he watched on carefully. When Mars questioned Mercury about her progress in finding the creatures weakness, he was again shocked to find that, while she had not taken her eyes off the creature completely, Sailor Moons attention had been on Mercurys' answer instead of paying attention to Vidia. 



Seconds later, he heard her gasp and trip over her own feet in her attempt to back off from the negaverse monster and land on her cute butt. Sighing, he waited until he was sure the monster couldn't dodge it, and threw his rose right at the moment the creature raised her hand above her head to slice at Sailor Moon. Whether it was poor timing on his part, or extremely good senses on the nega trashes' part, he didn't know. All he knew is that this Vidia creature dodged his rose and it embedded itself in the concrete in front of Sailor Moon. "The park is a peaceful place full of love and life, and your evilness does not belong in a place so tranquil! I am Tuxedo Mask!" Turning to Sailor Moon, he did his usual thing of giving her compliments to help her better herself. "Sailor Moon! I am very proud of you for attacking on your own instead of waiting for the others to tell you when to attack and keeping yourself on your feet! You still have a lot of work but keep it up! I believe in you!"



And again, as per usual, he made a grand exit, but he backtracked as he always did to make sure that they were able to defeat the monster before going home. When he arrived for the second time, this time hiding in the bushes not far from the fight, he saw with pleasure that the monster was indeed, Moon dusted. He watched for a moment as the other scouts gathered around Sailor Moon and congratulated her. He walked off and headed back to his apartment. Tiredly, he walked back into his apartment, his transformation fading away, and went back to his homework that was sure to take another couple of hours to finish. 



So here he was, dead tired and heading to school. He had contemplated going to sleep for a couple of hours, but the idea of being even more tired than he was before didn't appeal to him so he stayed up late. He was so tired that it didn't even register to him that he hadn't run into Meatball Head yet. Which usually it was her running into him, but today could have been one of the days a fluke happened and he ran into her. But no, she didn't run into him. And neither did he run into her. Matter of fact, he didn't see her at all. At least not until she deliberately smirked at him before shoving a paper into his tired face. "Wha..?" He said tiredly, not comprehending what it was in his face. Blinking and trying to concentrate on two things, one the paper in front of him, and two, not only was Meatball Head NOT running into him, but she was early today. "Meatball Head, what the hell is this?" he asked tiredly, not really in the mood for games. 



"Look at it, you jerk, and eat every mean word you've said to me about my grades!" she said and shoved it in his face more. Growling lightly, he snatched it from her, and looked down at her grade. He had to admit it was better than her usual ones but by no means a grade worth eating his words for. "Meatball Head, a 75 isn't something to be proud of..." he muttered tiredly. "What?!" she screeched entirely to loud for his overly tired ears. "This IS something to be proud of you jerk! This is my first grade this good since I was in grade school! AND, I intend to do even better you jerk face! I hope you fall in a hole!" she yelled and snatched her paper out of his hand before storming off down the sidewalk to her school. Groaning, he shook his head and continued to school. Today was going to be hell. 





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  Serena was furious. She had hoped that Darien would have at least complimented her on a good grade, but that must have been too much to ask for coming from him. She was also sad. Sad because, for quite a while now, she had known that she was crushing on him. Crushing on him even more than on Tuxedo Mask. And as she was crushing on him, she really sought his praise on her good grade. Of course that wasn't how she ended up with one. It really was a miracle. Maybe the negaverse had something to do with her sudden jump in intelligence. Either way, she intended to do better, not for him or the others or even for material things but because it made her feel really good to actually accomplish something, especially since no one really believed that she could other than maybe her teacher, Mrs. H.



So, with that thought in mind, she skipped the rest of the way to school, intent on learning as much as she could. 



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The day was almost finished by the time the day found our two potential lovers heading to their usual afternoon haunt, the Crown Center Arcade and Cafe`. Serena, who again didn't have detention, much to everyone's surprise, because she was on time, actually at least 30 minutes early, again surprising everyone, made her way to the Arcade, for her daily milkshake and some Sailor V video game action. Amy and Lita walked and talked with her, Mina having had work to do that day otherwise she'd have come with them. Amy and Lita were both surprisingly happy with Serena. She had payed attention in class, took surprisingly good notes when she payed attention, AND had done her homework, again correctly except for a few mistakes, before lunch, to which Amy immediately checked and helped her go over. 



Mrs. H had been extremely surprised and had nearly fainted when Serena actually turned in a homework assignment, let alone a completed homework assignment, let alone a completed, CORRECT homework assignment. But then she merely smiled, and congratulated her, telling her to keep up the good work before moving on. Serena had smiled brightly at this and was practically on cloud nine the rest of the day. Even gym, which usually depressed her, couldn't bring her spirits down, and she was actually doing good in that today too. So here she was, happy and content with things as they were going now, that is up until she saw Darien in front of her.



Amy and Lita, who were happily chatting amongst each other, immediately noticed when she fell quiet and then her face looked as if it had lost all the happiness it had mere moments ago. Looking to where her gaze was fixed, they saw why. 



But what surprised them was the way her face lit with a determined gleam as they came up on him, sidestepping around him, leaving him in shock that she hadn't run into him for the second time that day let alone thrown a failed test paper or some other such nonsense at his head, the girls glancing between their leader ignoring him to his shocked face at her odd behavior before bursting out laughing, much to Serena's dismay. 



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Darien was having a rotten day. He had managed to finish his homework and made it to school on time and managed to stay awake for all of his classes, but he was completely dead tired. His head felt like a huge brick that ought not to have been there. He sighed tiredly, rubbing the back of his neck. He just wanted to go home, but he had missed seeing Andrew yesterday for his usual cup of coffee before heading home to his lonely apartment and tons of college work, let alone ideas and such other things for work. He really just wanted to go home since he was on a short vacation this weekend until the middle of next week, so he wanted to go home and sleep until he was in a coma. 



So, to have looked up exactly as Serena passed him, head held high and ignoring him, having NOT run into him or thrown a paper at his head, he stopped dead in the middle of the street in dead shock and stared after her. It took him a few minutes to realize that he was standing there in the middle of the street with his mouth wide open, but hearing the girls laughter at his shocked face, he quickly shook himself out of his shock and followed after them, muttering under his breath, "I REALLY need sleep. Or is this a dream? It has to be. Meatball Head hasn't run into me twice today. The world is coming to an end."



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The three girls walked into the cafe`, saying their usual hello to Andrew on the way to their usual booth, Darien not far behind, a haggard look on his face from the all nighter he pulled last night and sat at the bar on his usual stool. "Jeeze, Darien, did you get hit by a bus buddy?" Andrew joked. "If only," he muttered before asking for his coffee. Maybe that might help him wake up a bit. "Oh, hey, Darien, guess what?" Groaning, Darien rubbed his forehead. Today was not a good day to be making him play games, let alone guessing games. "What?" he said, irritably. "Serena made a 75% on her math test yesterday!" Andrew said, grinning from ear to ear, obviously proud of the blonde headed Meatball Head. 



"Oh, that?" he grumped, "She shoved that in my face this morning, expecting me to give her praise or something of the sort," he muttered. "Wait, wait, wait. Excuse me? Did I just hear you correctly? She showed you her grade and you DIDN'T congratulate her on her good grade?" "No," he scowled, "Why on Earth should I praise her for that grade? 75% isn't exactly the best grade in the world. Good for her, maybe, but not the best." 



Andrew gave him a dark look, which only confused Darien more. "What?" he asked defensively. "You are an idiot, Darien," Andrew growled out as he turned away and made the girls their usual drinks. Darien looked at him flabbergasted. "Andrew, what's your deal? Why are you suddenly mad at me? And how am I an idiot?" "You honestly don't get it, do you, Darien? Serena LIKES you. I'm surprised she isn't upset at your lack of praise of her first good grade. She needs to be complimented to help her do better, not insulted and put down to make her not even want to try." "Huh? What are you blabbering about Andrew? Serena, like me? As if. And even if she did, what does it matter what I think? She's always been quick to jump back at me for teasing her anyway. 



Shaking his head at his friends obvious lack of empathy for his sister like friend, he stalked off, plastering a fake smile on his face as he delivered the girls their drinks, leaving behind a thoroughly confused Darien. When he returned to the counter, he proceeded to ignore Darien. "Andrew." When he got no response he sighed loudly and tried again, "Andrew!" Andrew did no more than cast a glare his way. "Man, what is up with you? Its a 75%. Again, its good for her, but I'd have given her praise if she made above and 80%. And besides, it was probably a fluke."



"For your information," Amy started, the girls having finished up their drinks and were fixing to pay for their drinks and head home for the night, walked up behind him having heard most of Dariens' rant, stopped and glared at him, all but Serena who looked at her feet, "Serena has been improving. Not only did she make a 75% on her test yesterday, she also did her homework last night, and if I had to grade her paper, I'd've given her an 80% or above as she answered all but a few questions correctly. She also got to class extremely early today, took notes during class instead of sleeping, AND did her little bit of homework, again mostly correct, BEFORE lunch! So instead of being a complete jerk and putting her down even though she made a better grade, perhaps you should stop and think about what your put downs about her almost good grade does for her feelings, let alone her self esteem!" 



Slamming her money down on the bar, nearly knocking over his coffee with its surprising force, Amy turned and stormed out of the Arcade after having literally ripped Darien a new one, surprising everyone but Serena. Lita gave him a death glare before giving Andrew her money and muttering a goodbye to him, waiting as Serena placed her money on the counter, still not bothering to look up, and walked dejectedly with Lita outside to the waiting furious Amy, and headed home. Darien just sat in shock and amazement.



"Did I just suddenly walk into an alternate universe? Meatball Head making a good grade, not crashing into me twice in one day, my best friend mad at me because I didn't compliment someone, and now one of Meatball Heads' friends chewing me out because I said her good grade was a fluke? Man, I need to go home and go to bed. Ow!" he yelped and turned to glare at Andrew. "What was that for?" "For being and idiot." "OW!" Darien yelped again. "What was THAT for?" "For putting that look on Serena's face. Amy is right. You should think more about her feelings for once, Darien. I know you like her, but even this is going a little too far." "What?!" he nearly shouted. "Don't play dumb. I see the way you look at her when you think no one is paying you any mind. I also see how you don't even read those infernal school books of yours whenever Serena is around and just watch her from your peripheral vision and smile faintly if you are able to hear something funny she's said. I'm not stupid, Darien, and its insulting that you find me oblivious. I also see how she looks at you. And you know what? Its the same. I for one know its a shock, but to act like that instead of being happy that shes trying to do better is ridiculous."



Tossing his clothe down on the counter, he went to attend to his other customers, leaving a stunned Darien behind. Sighing, Darien paid for his mostly untouched, now cold coffee and left, feeling thoroughly confused and severely feeling like he just had a hole punched in his gut twice over. He had no Earthly idea what he was suppose to feel about all this. So he did the one thing that he knew he had to do at the moment, go home, go to bed, and sleep.





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To say she was depressed, was putting it lightly. Oh, she managed to put on a happy front for her sibling, who refused to believe Serena the clutzoid queen was doing good in school, despite the fact that Mrs. Haruna had called and talked with their mother about her improvement in class that day, and her parents, but once she reached the confines of her room, her smile faltered, worrying Luna. "What is wrong, Serena?" "Hmm? Oh, nothing Luna. I think I'm going to go to bed now." Glancing at Luna briefly, Serena brushed past her and began gathering her bunny pajamas and some clean underwear before leaving the room to take her nightly bath.



"What on Earth is wrong with that child? I wonder if its that Darien character again. He must of said something to really upset her again. Foolish man. Hmph." Deciding to wait on Serena to finish her bath before bombarding her with questions, Luna laid down on the corner of the bed. Needless to say, she fell asleep long before Serena returned and remained asleep even when Serena quietly crawled into bed a little while later and laid awake, unfortunately thinking about Darien.



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Several hours later found a groggy Serena still awake. It was yet again nearly three in the morning. She had been unable to sleep due to her constant thoughts keeping her up. Why is it that no matter how hard she tried, no one ever saw her as more than just some air headed bun head? Granted, a few people did actually notice, but it was still hard to deal with when only a few actually cared enough to do so.



With these thoughts in mind, she sighed when she was awake enough and even attentive enough to feel the negative energy before even Luna did. So carefully getting up, she grabbed her locket and slipped out of her window with her shoes on and ran towards the negative energy, not even bothering to call the other scouts as this particular evil didn't seem to be to terribly strong, that and she thought this might be the best way to prove herself to at least the others. She transformed in a flash of pink ribbons and light. In her place stood the champion of justice, Sailor Moon. Running the rest of the way to the (you guessed it; they seem to love this place) park around the lake area, she confronted the water related negaverse sleaze ball of the night.



"Hey, nasty!" "Huh?" the water creature said before turning from her current victim that she was trying to steal energy from. "How dare you attack innocent people on their way to and from work! These people work hard to make a living and I'll punish anyone who dares to make it a problem for them to do their best! I'm Sailor Moon, and in the name of the moon, I shall right all wrongs and triumph over evil! That means you, negatrash!" Laughing, the creature released the human, thankfully on the ground instead of the water it was hovering over, and turned revealing that it was a woman. No better than the one the other day really, but at least you could tell it was one, though scantily clad. "So you think you can defeat me, little Sailor? This Megumi thinks not." 



So saying, Megumi proceeded to attack Sailor Moon. Carefully dodging the water that was flung at her, she jumped from side to side, trying to see if she could analyze the creature before her and find its weakness on her own.



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Darien was rudely awakened by Sailor Moon's transformation. Groaning, he sat on the edge of his bed before quickly getting up and throwing on some clothes really quick like. No sooner had he done that, than his transformation kicked in turning him into Tuxedo Mask. "Why can't they do this at a decent time of day..?" he muttered to himself. Leaping off his balcony, he made his way across town to where he felt Sailor Moon's pull. 



What awaited him there would surprise even him.



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Sailor Moon was having problems, to say the least, at this point. She was quickly beginning to tire and still hadn't figured out what its weakness was. She didn't want to call the scouts because she wanted to prove herself but if she didn't figure out its weakness soon, she was going to be toast. Then it hit her. Megumi never left the water. She constantly hovered over it, even just a bit, and never really touched ground. Forming up an idea on the spot, she dodged yet another bit of water and leaned down quickly, grabbing two handfuls of dirt in her hands before literally chucking it at Megumi, hitting her in the face with it. 



She prayed her thought of the dirt turning to mud upon hitting the water elemental and temporarily blinding her, and was very happy to see that it had indeed worked. Screaming, Megumi's hands flew to her face, desperately trying to scratch off the mud that covered it. "You wretched little brat! How dare you throw dirt at this Megumi's beautiful face!" "Ha! Beautiful? This lake and the surrounding park is beautiful! You are just another Moon dusted negaverse monster! Consider yourself Moon dusted! Moon Tiara Magic!" Hurling her tiara at Megumi, who couldn't see to dodge it, she watched with bated breath as it hit her in the gut and grinned as Megumi screamed and was turned into Moon dust. 



Laughing and clapping her hands she jumped up and down saying "Yes! I did it!" several times before spinning around in a circle briefly, sending her hair twirling around her in golden streams.





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To say Darien was shocked would be an understatement. He had hurried across town as fast as he could when he felt the pull from Sailor Moon becoming weaker and weaker. He arrived on the scene to witness Sailor Moon, BY HERSELF, fighting what seemed to be a poorly formed woman water elemental from the negaverse. He was about to figure out where he could jump in that would surprise the creature the most when he saw a look of triumph cross Sailor Moon's face.



Before he could question it though, Sailor Moon had dodged yet another water attack, quickly leaned over and grabbed two handfuls of dirt and chunked it at the creature. He was unsure as to what she thought she was going to accomplish with such a feat until the woman screamed and nearly cussed out Sailor Moon. "You wretched little brat! How dare you throw dirt at this Megumi's beautiful face!" he heard the negaverse creep yell. Sailor Moon's retort nearly made him start laughing. "Ha! Beautiful? This lake and the surrounding park is beautiful! You are just another Moon dusted negaverse monster! Consider yourself Moon dusted! Moon Tiara Magic!" 



He didn't know if the attack would work or not, so he readied himself to come to Sailor Moon's aid, but he was grateful and happy to see that she did not need his help. This time. But he was also worried that she thought that she would be able to do it on her own. It was good that she was trying, but she really wasn't strong enough all the time to do it by herself. So he waited till he was certain the thing was Moon dusted before he leaped down from the tree he was hiding in and walking towards her even as she was screaming "Yes! I did it!" several times and spinning around.



"Yes, Sailor Moon, you did very well," he said, causing her to stop and look at him, smiling brightly. It reminded him a lot of another certain bun head, but upon thinking that, his somewhat somber mood left. "However it was very foolish of you to take on this monster by yourself. You could have been seriously hurt and no one would have known until it was too late to do anything. I am very proud of you for taking the initiative and trying to make yourself stronger, but you are not yet strong enough to do this on your own. It is dangerous." 



Her bright smile left as soon as he started railing on her for doing this on her own. Could he not understand why she did it on her own? His put downs reminded her of Darien and immediately her spirits fell again. "Yeah," she said dejectedly, "sorry Tuxedo Mask." 'That look,' he thought to himself, 'that's the same look Serena had this afternoon leaving Andrews'.' But before he could question her about the look on her face, she turned and leaped away, going from tree to building, then building and building to go home. Sighing, he rubbed his forehead. "I should at least make sure she makes it home alright," he said before following after her.



He finally caught up with her a few minutes later. He kept his distance and stuck to the shadows so that she wouldn't realize that he was following her, but because of this, when she disappeared in an alley for a moment, and didn't come out for a few minutes, he panicked. Picking up his pace, he managed to get to the alley she had jumped into just as bright pink lights where fading from it. Confused, he looked down, only to gasp in shock. There was no Sailor Moon in the alley where he had seen her jump, instead there was..."Serena," he said softly. Having not heard or seen him, she continued on her way, walking out of the alley and turning towards her home, which he knew for a fact was only about a block or so away. "I don't believe it..Serena is Sailor Moon? She can't be.." 



Determined to find out, he continued to follow her, trying to make up his mind on whether or not he should wait until tomorrow when he was sure to see her at the arcade or confront her now about it. But then she walked through a bit of moonlight shining through a couple of buildings, and he nearly fell from the air mid-leap. But she walked from the moonlight into the light of a street lamp and whatever spell causing him to see the Moon Princess from his dreams in her wore off and she was back to normal. Shaking his head, he thought to himself, 'I must need some more sleep,' and continued to follow her but decided to do so on the ground so that he wouldn't end up killing himself if he saw something else strange. 



He was suddenly glad that he did, because when she passed through some more moonbeams, the Moon Princess returned. Blinking, he looked at her. What was going on? He decided then. He was going to confront her now. Walking across the street and making a beeline for her, he walked up behind her and without thinking grabbed her arm and said, "Serena." Gasping she turned, the spell breaking away as she did. "T-Tuxedo Mask? How do you know my name? And why are you here?" Looking around as if checking for a monster, he mentally bashed himself. 'Idiot! Why'd you call her by her name? Now she'll wonder how I knew!' "I-I know a lot about you, Serena Tsukino. I have a friend that talks non stop about you. I saw you walking out late by yourself and was concerned. You shouldn't be out here by yourself." He was rather pleased with his quickly made up lie. It addressed far more than what she asked, but it would keep her from knowing who he was until he was ready to tell her.



Noticing that she grew rigid beneath his touch, he looked at her confused only to see anger flashing across her face. "Thank you," she bit out, "but I am more than capable of taking care of myself." Snatching her arm away, she stomped off. "Take care of yourself?" he said, all thought of keeping his identity to himself fleeing when his anger directed at her and the shitty day he had had both because of her and school work came out, "Meatball Head, you can't even make a good grade, what makes you think that you are capable of taking care of yourself? Just because you dusted one negaverse monster on your own doesn't make you capable of taking care of yourself!"



Gasping, Serena stopped and whirled on him, looking at him incredulously. It was then that what he said hit him full force and he mentally cursed himself, for he knew this wasn't going to end well for him in the long run. "Meatball Head? How dare you call me that! If I didn't know any better I'd say you were..." she trailed off as the implications hit her. The only way he could know of her is if he really was Darien, and the only way that Darien could know of the fight was if he was there. "Darien...?" she said, horror written on her face. His cringe only served to prove it was him. A look of pure fury ran across her face. 'Uh oh,' he thought. 'I had to go and piss her off.' "You ARE Darien aren't you?! AREN'T YOU!"



She stalked towards him and he could almost see the flames in her eyes. "You are a JERK! How dare you insult me! Do you even know WHY I did this by myself? I did it to prove to JERKS like you that I CAN do better! And I have been! I made a better grade on my test, made it to school early, took good notes according to the brainiac Amy, DID MY HOMEWORK BEFORE LUNCH AND TOOK OUT NEGATRASH BY MYSELF! If that doesn't prove that I'm getting better then I don't know what will! And so what if it is a fluke?! Even if it is, I plan on doing better anyway! But not for jerks like you!" At this she punched him in the side, with a surprising amount of force, causing him to grunt and hold his side as he let his transformation fall since she knew. "I plan on doing better for myself! I don't even know why I have a stupid crush on you! You don't even like me and always insult me and are a COMPLETE JERK! Go home, Darien! I don't need your help or your destructive criticism!"



Whirling around and running home, she would have laughed if she could have seen the look on his face at both her hair smacking him hard in the face but also her somewhat intelligent rant. Instead, she left him standing there, staring after her and holding his side. "Nice work, Darien, make her mad and still don't learn anything." Sighing, he turned to walk home. She threw a good punch when she was mad. He would have to remind himself that he shouldn't piss her off really bad to where she'd want to hit him. He was surprised though, that even though she did blow up, it wasn't in a childish way. Maybe she was growing up. Thinking on it, he realized that made him like her more. Wait a minute...LIKE her? Since when did he like her.



But now that he thought about it, Andrew was right. He was always picking on her BECAUSE he liked her. He had never thought about it before, but all the stuff he did, picking on her, glancing at her when he thought no one was looking, was all done because he wasn't sure of himself. He had never liked someone as more than a friend before, so he didn't know what to do. Groaning, he now realized that any chance of him earning the time of day from Serena, just flew out the window. "Great, Darien. Just great. Idiot!" he chastised himself. He would just have to make it up to her.



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If she could have slammed the door, she would have. Instead, she just closed her window as forcefully as she could without making too much noise or breaking it. But it did wake up Luna, who yawned and stretched. "Serena," she said sleepily, "What on Earth are doing up? Did you go somewhere?" "Yeah," she said vehemently, "I took care of a negaverse monster. Why do you ask?" Immediately waking up, Luna jumped to the window seat and looked at Serena. "By yourself? Serena what on Earth were you thinking? You could have been seriously hurt!" "Yeah, I know, Luna! Darien made a point to tell me that to! I did it on purpose to show you that I could be better, Luna!" Luna started to be offended by Serena yelling at her before she realized what she said. 'Darien? What has he to do with this?' "Serena, why did you say Darien said something to you about fighting on your own? Did you tell him your identity?" Luna asked, her hackles rising and the fur on her back standing up as she bared her teeth and extended her claws.



The very thought of Serena telling someone her alter ego's identity made Luna very mad. "Of course not, Luna! What kind of person do you think I am?! I don't know how he found out, only that he did! I also know that he is Tuxedo Mask! So we both know who each other is! Jeeze Luna! This is why I never try to do better! Because no matter how hard I try, no one ever sees me as anything more than a stupid air head!" 



A knock on her door kept her from continuing, the voice on the other side her mother's concerned one, "Serena, dear, are you alright? Who are you yelling at?" Putting on a fake voice, her face still scrunched in anger, she said, "Nothing, mother! I was having a bad dream! Sorry to wake you up!" "Alright, dear! Just try to get some sleep, ok?" "Yes, mom! Goodnight!" "Goodnight, dear!" Listening to her mothers' footsteps retreating back to her room, Serena brushed past Luna and climbed into bed, covering her head with her covers and completely ignoring Luna. Figures that she would be right that no one would see her differently. So much for trying. Luna was stunned to say the least. She had done it on purpose? Even knowing that if she lost she would be severely hurt or dying just to prove herself to them? Did she not know that she didn't need to take such drastic measures to prove herself? 



Luna jumped onto the bed and walked towards Serena's head. "Serena," she began only to be cut off by Serena turning over under the blanket in the opposite direction, showing more than saying that she was done talking. Sighing, Luna decided it could wait until she was calm enough to listen and curled up on the end of the bed. It was going to be a long night.     The next morning, Serena was even more depressed than usual. Oh, she put on a good face for her parents and brother, but she completely ignored Luna, and tuned out her brothers', much to his surprise, taunts and general sibling meanness. This fact alone worried Sammy. Normally she would be screaming back at him. While she had a smile plastered on her face, he knew there was something different about her smile. But he knew that she would probably never tell him what was wrong anyway. But even so, he did something that he wouldn't normally do, of course when no one was around, which was hug his sister, surprising her, and saying softly, "You're doing great, sis. Please get better and show me a real smile again." 



Releasing his sister, Sammy ran upstairs to his room to play his video games, leaving a stunned, but slightly cheered up Serena at the door that she was just fixing to walk out of to head to the arcade. 



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Serena walked slowly to the arcade. She didn't run into anyone, nor did she trip, but she was really debating on whether or not she actually wanted to go there or not, even just for Andrew to cheer her up. The reason being the ever present jerk in her life, Darien Chiba. Or should she say, Tuxedo Mask. It made her so mad that the very super hero that she had a crush on since they first met, was also the jerk Darien. She didn't even know how it was possible for her to love two different people who happened to be the same person. The day version Darien, was a complete jerk, even when she didn't say or do anything cluzty or stupid. The night version, Tuxedo Mask, was always there to protect and save her and give her encouragement. She didn't understand how he could even be two different people at one time. 



It wasn't like she wasn't similar in that respect, but unlike him, she was the same caring, loving person in either form that she was in. She felt as if she would end up the same as him. Bitter, uncaring, and mean. She didn't want that. Sighing, she looked at her feet as she trudged closer to arcade, her pigtails scrubbing the ground as she walked. Amazingly, she still didn't run into anyone, and that included Darien. She finally made it to the doors of the arcade, but stood there, looking sadly in, debating. But after a moment, she raised her head high, determined not to show Darien, if he was in there, that he really got to her. So, with this thought in mind, she took a deep breath, held her head high, and stalked through the door, ready to face whatever waited her on the other side. 



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The door chime ringing and signaling an entering customer caused Andrew's head to move towards the door. Being still angry at Darien, he only gave him a brief nod when he had come in and set his usual cup on the bar counter where he usually sat and continued about his work. Darien didn't even seem to notice his friends' lack of greeting or the fact that he was ignoring him. So when he sat down and started drinking his coffee without even a return greeting or an attempt at one, caused Andrew to look at him only to see a haggard looking look on Darien's face. Sighing, he muttered to himself, "The things I do for my friends..." Looking at Darien, he said, "What's with the glum look? Serena finally chew you out?" Flinching a bit at his friends' lack of sympathy, and the fact that he wasn't entirely wrong, he sighed. 



"In a way..." he muttered, gulping some of his coffee. Shortly after he came in, the door chimed again, signaling another customer. Darien shivered, feeling as if someone was boring their eyes into him, and wasn't entirely wrong. He didn't even have to turn around to know who it was, and didn't dare do it. Andrew, however, seeing both her look and his reaction to it, said in a cheerful voice for her, "Hey, Serena! The usual?" "Not today, Andrew," she said in a monotone voice, noting that Darien wouldn't even look at her, and as much as she was glad that he got her message, she was also sad because deep down she really wanted him to apologize for everything. Upon thinking such, she felt her spirits fall. Seeing the dejected look on her face after glancing at Darien, and then turning and trudging towards a booth as far back as she could find, he fairly growled and scrubbed the counter top angrily. 



"Not happy with me I take it?" Darien asked hesitantly. "Her or me?" Andrew growled at his friend. "Either or," he said sullenly. "Me? No, I'm not. Her? I can only assume by the scathing look she gave you, then the dejected look that came on her face when you didn't even look at her, that it would be a HUGE no." Sighing, Darien leaned his head so far down that it smacked hard on the counter top with a loud 'thump'. "Great...two people important to me absolutely furious with me. What did I do to deserve this?" he muttered. "Hmm, well, let's see," Andrew said sarcastically, "Could it be your lack of praise at her abnormally good grade? Hmm? Or how about the fact that you completely bashed her for it and many other things on a daily basis instead of for once giving the poor girl some of the praise that she deserves for even tolerating your sorry ass for all the insults that you hurl at her on a daily basis? Or could it be that you're a complete idiot that needs a brain transplant for hurting the girl you supposedly care about daily and not even apologizing for it?"



Flinching, Darien lifted his head up to glare at his angry friend for his overly harsh words, and opened his mouth to rip Andrew a new one, but closed his mouth, knowing that even though his friend just brutally ripped him a new one, he was right. Sighing, he looked away, accidentally turning his head towards where his favorite Meatball Head was sitting, his favorite sailor suited Meatball Head was sitting, and saw that she had her arms folded up on the table with her head resting on them, staring dejectedly out the window, and felt his heart pang at the fact that he probably caused her to hurt to the point where she didn't even want her usual chocolate beverage. Deciding on a whim, he turned to Andrew, determination written on his face, and said, "I want the biggest chocolate milkshake you can make, Andrew." 



"You? A chocolate milkshake? Since when did you like sweets?" he asked, incredulously. "Not for me, moron. For Meatball Head." Giving Darien a look as if he'd lost his mind, he just shrugged and took the money that Darien shoved at him for the milkshake and turned to the milkshake machine. Adding some extra chocolate chips to the milkshake for extra chocolaty goodness, he turned and set it on the counter in front of Darien. Darien grabbed it and went to walk over to Serena, but before he could even move from his seat, he stopped as he felt Andrew grab his hand grasping the milkshake. Looking back at Andrew, he arched a brow in confusion. "Don't hurt her anymore, Darien," Andrew said softly before releasing him.



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Serena stared off into space, or more like, fell further into depression. What was the point, she asked herself, of continuing to try hard when no one notice even when she felt good about doing good? It wasn't like the one person she wanted to notice did, and it wasn't like it made a difference anymore either. No one believed in her, except for maybe Andrew and Amy. And maybe even Sammy, though even he didn't know the full extent of what bothered her. Luna didn't believe in her, she made that clear on a daily basis. Especially last night when she expressed her lack of confidence in her charge that she didn't deliberately tell Darien that she was Sailor Moon. Or the fact that all she did was jump down her throat when she found out that she went out by herself to face a negaverse monster. 



Darien didn't either. When he was Tuxedo Mask and before he had found out her identity he used to. But not now. The other scouts refused to believe it as well. Even Molly, her best friend since before she even became a scout and had any other friends outside of her and Melvin, was skeptical of her new found intelligence. The only other ones at school even remotely trying to put faith in her was the brianiac Melvin and Mrs. Haruna. Though she figured Mrs. Haruna was probably more happy at the fact that her worst student was finally getting better and probably slowly bringing up the class average and that it wouldn't look badly on her anymore. Sighing, she could feel tears gather in her eyes.



It just seemed like everywhere she turned, there was someone there to put her down even when she was doing good. Especially the one that she wanted the most praise from. Why did he always have to put her down? And why did he have to be Tuxedo Mask? Everything was fine before she found out, but now everything was ruined. She sniffed softly as a tear leaked slowly out of her eye and slid down over her nose and onto her crossed arms. She watched as several people walked by the window, oblivious to her pain before her line of site was blocked by a glass full of chocolate milkshake. Burying her face in arms to hide her tears, she said just barely loud enough, "I don't want any, thank you, Andrew." She felt the seat dip next to her, and a softly spoken, "I'm not Andrew" and immediately tensed as she recognized the voice that she didn't want to hear right then. 



"Go away," she said, vehemently, not even bothering to look up at him. She heard a soft sigh, but the weight beside her remained. "Serena," he said softly, "will you please talk to me? Look, I even bought you a huge chocolate milkshake to make up for being a jerk." "As if one giant milkshake will make up for everything that you've done, Darien. You're just going to be an ass to me later anyway," she muttered, causing his eyes to widen at her cussing. He started to harp at her about that, but a warning look from Andrew as he passed to get an order from a customer next to them, as he had heard at the very least the 'ass' comment and thinking that it might not be such a good idea right now, he refrained. "Serena, I really am sorry. You did great on that test and I'm sorry I wasn't very nice about it." He lowered his voice so only she would hear, and continued, "It was a long night. I had a very long shoot the day before, on top of tons of homework from college, and then on top of all that we had to fight that night, and I hadn't even finished half of my homework so I ended up pulling an all nighter and then going to school dead tired. Zombified even. I'm sorry. I was in a grumpy mood because of lack of sleep and I didn't mean it. It really was a good grade and I'm happy that you did well on it. I'm also happy that you're trying to do better even if it is only for you."



Serena didn't move the entire time he was talking to her, and still didn't move even after he finished. Instead of helping her feel better, like she had hoped it would, it only made it worse. She tensed and felt her eyes flood with tears. Darien, worried that she hadn't said anything still, let alone moved, leaned closer to her and nudged her with his shoulder. "Serena?" he said softly, hoping that she would talk to him. Still she didn't say anything. He didn't hear anything either but when he looked closer at her he could just barely see her trembling. Immediately he went into panic mode. Girls + crying = very flustered Darien. "Serena," he said desperately, "don't cry! I swear I'm sorry. I mean it! It was a very good grade!" But to his horror, her trembling increased and he could start to hear a little sniffling. Desperate, he looked to Andrew who had come back with the other tables orders, only to be rebuked there. Sighing, he did the only thing he could think of; pulled Serena into his arms and hugged her tightly.



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Serena couldn't believe what was coming out of Darien's mouth. What was worse for her though, was that she was dead certain he was only saying it to make her feel better and that he didn't really mean it, that things would go back to being normal after she had calmed down some. She felt tears falling from her eyes at a rapid pace and she valiantly tried to hide the fact that sobs where trying to tear their way out of her throat. But to her dismay, his continued, desperate pleas for her to not cry and that he was sorry, made it to where she couldn't hold it in anymore and her body began to tremble, sniffles and small sobs falling from her lips. 



What surprised her more was that not even a few moments after she started softly sobbing, she ended up in his arms and being hugged tightly. She briefly struggled to get away from him, even telling him to let her go with a watery voice, but to no avail. After a few moments, she finally settled down and didn't fight him anymore but continued to cry, ignoring him for the most part but feeling herself melt inside at his warm arms surrounding her. She felt safe and loved which was odd considering he couldn't stand her. He continued to hold her close, murmuring into her hair. "Please stop crying, Serena. I know I hurt you and I'm very sorry for it. Please, believe me. I didn't mean to hurt you. I was being stupid and took out my bad mood on you because you were there and it was wrong of me. And I continued to do it for the rest of the day, and I'm sorry for that too. I know you probably think that I'm only saying sorry because Andrew is mad as hell at me and your friends want to rip me some more new ones like your friend Mercury did, but I promise you it's not any of that. I feel really terrible that I hurt you like this, especially when all you wanted was for me to notice you were doing better."



Sniffling, she looked up at him accusingly, "How did you know that Amy is Mercury? Did you follow her too and watch her detransform?" "Huh? No, Serena. The only person I've ever followed was you and it wasn't to see who you really were. I just wanted to make sure you got home ok and accidentally came across you after you detransformed. That's the only reason I know that you're Sailor Moon," he said softly, so as not to give away her alter egos' identity. "I only knew that Amy was Mercury because once you figure out one, the others just kind of fall into place. Amy is Mercury, your tall brunette friend is Jupiter, Raye is Mars, and the blonde is Venus. Simple once I knew who you were. Speaking of, I won't tell anyone who you guys are on a nightly basis." "Yeah," she muttered, sniffling all the while, "only because if you reveal us, you reveal you." 



"There is that, yes, but that's not why. I'm not that kind person, for one. For another, you're already mad at me for crushing your self esteem, not to mention the fact that you're disappointed that I'm Tuxedo Mask." "Not really disappointed," she muttered, her eyes gazing at the untouched milkshake on the table. "More confused. You're always mean to me during the day, but as Tuxedo Mask you were always so nice and cheered me up all the time and believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. So when I found out, it made me confused because I didn't know what to believe. So now I'm all mixed up because...because...I..." Squeezing her eyes shut, she tried to muster up the courage to tell him.



"You what, Serena?" he asked her softly. "BecauseIlikeyou," she said so fast that it took him a minute or two to fully comprehend what she said. Scrunching his brow in confusion, he gasped as he felt like something punched him in the gut at the sheer force of his discovery. Serena LIKED him? Looking down at her head, which had only buried itself further into his ugly pea green jacket that he always wore with his long sleeved, turtle neck black shirt, kahki pants and black and white shoes, he stared in wonder at the pink and white clad girl in his arms. "Serena.." he breathed softly. He felt her tense in his arms, and he had a feeling that he knew what she was thinking. Setting her away from him a little, he placed both hands on either side of her face and lifted her tear stained face up to his and looked her in the eyes, making sure that she knew without a doubt that he wasn't lying to her.



"I like you too, Serena. It's kind of the reason why I'm always picking on you and calling you Meatball Head or klutz or ditz. Because I'm not very good at showing my feelings to anyone besides maybe Andrew as he's my best friend. But even with all my teasing, I like to think that we're somewhat friends as well, albeit a strange pair of friends. And I don't just want to be your friend, I would like to be more than that as well, but I've never really figured out how to go about that since you're always so carefree and spirited and I'm reclusive and anti-social and cynical. I like our daily run ins and our fights. I never thought that you took them seriously. To me it was just us having fun and getting on each others nerves a bit. I'm so very sorry if you felt that I meant anything I said. I mean, you can be a klutz and a ditz, and your hair does look like a pair of meatballs, but I never thought you were stupid. Just that you didn't apply yourself as good as most people." 



Serena, having no choice but to look into his eyes since he held her face in his hands, saw the sincerity there and to be quite honest, was shaken a bit by it. She didn't think that she was anything more than an annoyance to him before, or even a kid sister, but he said that they were friends and that he wanted to be more than friends. She just couldn't believe it. She had wanted this for so long, his caring for her, that she thought it was a dream. The fact that he was using his thumbs to gently brush across the corners of her lips as he spoke, sending shivers through her body was enough to tell her brain that she must still be sleeping. Thinking such, she looked away, murmuring, "This is a dream, isn't it? I'm gonna wake up and find that all this wasn't real, that you still hate me and think me a klutzy kid again."



Sighing, exasperated, he did the only thing left in his arsenal of making her believe. He leaned forward and pressed his lips softly to hers, causing her to gasp. As she opened her mouth on a gasp, he gently slipped his tongue into her mouth and lightly licked her tongue, making her shiver. The customers of the arcade, even the regulars, paid no mind to the kissing couple, as everyone who frequented knew of the daily fights between the kissing couple, and knew eventually this would happen. Andrew, being owner of said arcade and the group of friends Serena was always with, knew this as well, however, they didn't think they would stumble upon them as they were now, lips locked together, Darien with his eyes closed and softly kissing her and Serena not resisting him with her eyes wide open and tear stains on her face. 



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Serena felt like she could have died right there on the spot. Darien was an absolute confusion to her poor brain. He acted like he hated her on a daily basis, but then after their alter egos are reveled and she is doing better in school, he was doing the one thing she never ever thought that they would do; kiss. And what a wonderful kiss it was. It sent shivers continuously down her back and made her finally close her eyes to enjoy it more. They didn't notice when Andrew shook his head and went back to man the counter or when the three blushing girls and one furious one sat on the other side of the booth that they were currently occupying. 



After a few more moments of kissing, Raye finally got angry enough to clear her throat loudly. Jumping, the two pulled apart, looking over to the four girls. Mina and Lita were giggling and sighing dreamily, Amy had her head buried in a book, trying to pretend that she didn't see the smooch fest going on, and Raye glared at the two. Which was understandable, Darien thought, she was under the impression that they were dating and he had never really done anything to discourage her of the thought, but then he never really thought much of it. "So," she bit out, "I take it the two of you have made up." As it was more a statement than a question, neither answered, just blushed and looked in opposite directions, Darien at an random arcade machine and Serena her melting milkshake. 



"I think it's great!" Mina said. Lita chimed in a moment later with "I wish a guy would kiss me like that to apologize." "Uh...it's not what you guys think.." Darien fumbled out. "Y-yeah...I was just..choking...Yeah! That's it! Choking! And he was uh...giving me mouth to mouth!" "Uh huh," Raye said, unconvinced. "Raye, look..." Darien began, uncomfortable. "Save it. If you didn't want to date me, you could have just said so instead of kissing one of my best friends. And you, Serena, I know you've been crushing on him but I didn't think you'd try to take him from me!" "No, Raye! It isn't like that!" "Save it!" she said again, turning away from them but not leaving. "Raye, please, he was just trying to make me feel better," she said, only to be spurned. "Be that as it may," Amy finally cut in, "care to tell us what is going on?" 



Sighing, Serena looked down and began explaining things to them including the fact that she fought a negaverse monster by herself which caused Amy, Lita and Mina to gasp in horror at what could have happened and Raye to screech "SERENA!!!" "What?" she said, still feeling bad about kissing Darien knowing how Raye felt. "You ditz! How can you talk about that here?! In front of him?!" "Huh..?" Serena said, momentarily confused, before it hit her. "Oh..." Looking to Darien, she said softly, "Can I tell them?" Sighing, not really wanting them to know as he knew the scouts didn't trust his alter ego, not to mention the fact that they were scary when they were angry, he nodded softly. Looking back at the girls, she said softly, "I can say it in front of him because he was there. Has always been there..." 



Even with as vague as she was with the information, Amy got it the quickest, the others not far behind in understanding. They all leaned forward, even Raye, and whispered at the same time, "He's Tuxedo Mask?!" They both nodded and watched as their eyes widened in horror. "So that means.." Amy began. "That he knows.." Lita continued for her but Mina and Raye finished for her, "Who we are..." Darien nodded. "Once you know one, it's not hard to figure out the others.." he said softly. "How long have you known?" Raye immediately demanded. "And why did Meatball Head tell you?" "Serena," he said, stressing her name, "didn't tell me. I accidentally saw her detransform. Well, not really saw the whole thing just the flash of pink light as she finished. As for how long I've known, a little over a day."



"Have you told anyone?" Amy asked. "No. Why would I? That would be kind of stupid don't you think? Reveal you guys only to reveal myself as well. I'll pass thanks. And anyway, I'm not the type of person to do something like that." The girls looked amongst themselves, clearly debating on whether or not they should trust him. After a few moments, Rayes anger ebbed and she sighed softly. "Well, at any rate Darien, we'll trust you. For now. But if you hurt Serena anymore, you can be sure that we'll make sure that you pay." The other girls didn't say anything but the looks on their faces told him that they agreed with what Raye said. Looking back at Raye, he saw the hurt on her face and sighed softly. "I'm really sorry, Raye. I never meant to make you think that we were dating. I honestly never paid much mind to the fact that you liked me. I just thought that you were going through a phase or something and that eventually we could be friends. I've liked Serena since I first met her and I should have told you that when I first figured out both my feelings for her and how I felt about you. I'm sorry."



Sighing softly, Raye smiled a bit. "It's alright. Just so long as you make her happy is all I'm worried about." "Are we still friends, Raye?" Serena asked softly, not looking at her in case Raye was still mad at her. Looking at Serena for a moment, a more genuine smile appeared on her lips. "Of course, Meatball Head. We'll always be friends." She leaned forward and squeezed her hand softly. "But I'm stealing some of your milkshake," she said and let go of her hand in favor of the chocolate milkshake beside their hands. "Me two!" Lita said. "Me three!" Mina chimed in shortly after and they all whipped out the straws from the drinks they had and put it in her milkshake. Even Amy. Serena smiled at her friends, glad that they weren't mad at her and were still her friends. Glancing at Darien, she noticed him looking off into the arcade part of the store with a pensive look on his face. Smiling more, she scooted closer to him and snuggled up against his side, laying her head on his shoulder. Darien jumped a bit in surprise, looking down at her, before smiling and wrapping his arm around her and hugging her closer to him, dropping a kiss on top of her head. He had to say, all drama aside, today was the best day of his life, and he hoped would continue to be the best days of his life.   



Thanks for reading! Please leave a review if you like or if you would like to see it continued. :)




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